1965-08-25 - A Discussion Between Super Soldiers
Summary: Natasha and Steve meet in SHIELD HQ and share a brief discussion of their perspectives.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
black-widow steve-rogers 

Ever since returning from the USSR, Natasha has been keeping mostly to herself, doing occasional solo ops for the Director, but otherwise not seen much. So it makes for a rather rare moment, when she's actually visible in public, and lingering, sitting in a chair by a desk with her pistols disassembled to parts as she works about cleaning them thoroughly. The task itself, apparently, giving her something to focus on and take her mind away from meandering thoughts.

Steve hasn't been up to much lately either. The shield isn't gathering dust, but peace is a thing both soothing and rankling for the Man with the Plan. He's in an outfit perfectly at home in the offices of SHIELD proper, down to the shined loafers. He's got a file spread across his hands and he's reading as he walks, diverting left and right to walk by people without looking up. Must be the super-soldier senses at play.

But the Widow sitting there at a desk? The glint of gun parts must have caught his eye for he glances over and then pauses, coming to a complete halt near enough that he can speak at conversational level.

"Natasha. I didn't expect to see you today." He looks honestly surprised to find her present in SHIELD HQ.

"Not expecting to see me is smart," Natasha remarks dryly, making it hard to decipher if she's serious or joking at the moment. But then she keeps to that sort of mannerism often. "Just trying to clear up my mind, and my pistols," she notes, setting aside a meticulously cleaned up barrel, before moving to the next part. "Been on any fun excrusions lately? Ones without otherworldly elements, hopefully?" Gotta hate it when mystics throw all of your hard training on a loop with their evil magic.

Indeed, the Captain isn't certain if she's yanking his chain, so he simply smiles faintly and listens, browns drawn together slightly. When the metaphysical comes up, he laughs under his breath and closes the manila file folder. It has no identifying markings on it for the SHIELD logo and a set of serial numbers on the tab. It goes beneath his arm as he walks over and stops a comfortable distance now from the Widow.

"Nothing lately involving any hocus pocus… For what it's worth, I'm fine with it. The world is changing daily and that, I can manage. The…" Words fail him as he tries to think how to describe what he saw in Russia. "'Otherworldly' is a good-enough way to explain it. That I have to stomach in much smaller servings." He looks aside, now frowning in earnest. "I have a feeling that won't be the last time. Guess I'd better be ready for it, huh." He gives Nat a small smile of commisceration.

"See, if these," Nat gestures at her disassembled pistols, "shot magical stop otherworldly bullets, I'd feel much safer. I like fighting something real, something I can eliminate, manipulate, or avoid altogether. But something I have zero control over? I loathe that…" possibly the reason she's been so dour or generally not around of late. That USSR mission certainly was all kinds of out of control. "So…I hear you've been fighting the good fight for a long time. Is that truth or gossip?" The way she emphasizes 'long' suggests she means more than just 5 years.

Steve nods in further understanding in regards to the lack of control. Shifting his weight, he then slips his thumbs into the pockets of his pants and lets his hands hang, his stance some civilian at-ease.

"Depends on who you're talking to when it boils down to things…but a long time? Relatively speaking," he says, expression polite if aloof. "Celebrated my forty-fifth birthday not too long ago. I've been told that I don't look it. Must have a good bloodline," he deadpans.

Natasha grins, she's gotten similar comments from some KGB personnel who weren't in the know in her time. It never occured to her how interesting it would be to measure the perspective of the one she is more or less based on, in some respects. "So did you learn something in all that time…? Such as, what are you fighting for?"

Steve returns the smile to a lesser degree. It fades more still as he inhales and exhales slowly, thinking with his eyes averted to the gun parts spread over the desktop proper. No cataloguing done there, just a place of familiarity he can look upon while measuring thoughts.

"Over the years, nothing much has changed," he finally replies quietly. "The strong still try and step on folks, the weak fight back and need the help. Simplest way to explain it is that I don't like bullies. Never have, never will. People deserve the right to be happy and enjoy the freedom that life can offer them without having to look over their shoulder for shadows."

With one of the pistols all squeaky clean and oiled and shiny as new, Nat goes about assembling it with her deft fingers, making rather quick work of it even while not being timed. It just points to the type of training she must have endured that it's such second nature to blaze through the process. "I agree," Natasha notes without a pause, before leveling her blue eyes with Steve, holstering the one assembled pistol, "and is that freedom readily available in the USA?" Loaded question to be sure, but she wants to take a measure of Captain America, now that she has a chance to know him beyond just an iconic enemy figure that should be avoided at all cost, and brought in if possible.

Now comes the lightly folded arms, still able to keep the manila file folder tucked beneath his armpit without crumpling it and putting the musculature beneath the tame buttondown on minor display. Steve gives Nat a searching look.

"You know as well as I do that's a loaded question, Romanov. Still, you want an answer?" The Captain lofts an eyebrow briefly before sighing once again. "Freedom is in the hands of the people. It always has been. They choose to elect whom they elect and if not? If the power is taken? Then it's upon the people to take back their freedom."

"I've always been of the opinion that USA is ruled by money, that people don't matter, that USSR is ruled by the common will of the people, and that it is nobler for that…" she looks constantly at Steve, never taken her eyes off him as she talks, "but I learned something, I think maybe you learned the same? To some extent…" Apparently his reply was good enough for her, though she still has some disagreement with it, as she goes about cleaning the second pistol.

"I might have learned something," Steve acknowledges evenly, " - but we'll have to agree to disagree on that point. Money only gets you so far, even in the government. Even in the military. After that? It's about actions, not the bills in your bill-fold." He never drops Natasha's gaze and then watches her begin to work at the latter of the pair of weapons.

"Where have your to-dos taken you to then lately? Hopefully somewhere cooler than here. It's been muggy for days." Safe enough topic, he supposes.

"Mostly in the States…but I've dabbled past the Iron Curtain on a few occasions," Natasha answers non-commitally, certainly making no mentions of some of the Red Room jobs she partook to keep appearances. Best not to discuss sensitive opinion shaping matters like that with those who wouldn't necessarily understand. "I think USA, USSR, eventually are the same…it's about power. Nobody cares about the people, not government at least."

"That's why it's on the people to keep the government in check. If it's wrong and we know it's right, it's our job to stand there and not move. To plant roots. Maybe it's only a few, but a few can make a difference. You've seen this many times, I'm sure," says Steve, giving the Widow a rather knowing look. Solo missions have been a thing for both soldiers of their countries.

Natasha listens, but offers no comment to that last bit. Perhaps she's more jaded than Steve, perhaps she is in utter disagreement. You would think twice about standing up to the government if you were from the USSR after all. People there know the difference between a good soviet, and a dead neighbor. "I'm all done," she notes as she finishes with her second pistol assembling it and holstering it. "I need to get some fresh air…thanks for the talk."

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