Vinyl Night

Summary:
September 16, 2014: Sam and Zinda go for a vinyl DJ set at a bar, but end up spending more time talking about the reappearance of Bucky Barnes.

Harlem


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:


In spite of the slow gentrification of Manhattan, there are a few Harlem bars where you can still find a proper vintage vinyl set on certain nights of the week. No goofy air horn sound effects, mashups, or overlong transitions: just two turntables and a crossfader. Just in case anyone thought hipsters weren't doing anything worthwhile, they're a decent portion of the clientele on such nights, helping to keep them afloat.

It's to one such DJ set that Zinda and Sam have become semi-regulars. When neither of them are overseas or in the air, they try to stop in. The music sits comfortably in the 60s and 70s, splitting the difference in their home eras and giving them something interesting to talk about. But first: "Need a beer?" Sam asks as he approaches the bar.

-

"You read my mind," says Zinda, shrugging off her jacket. She may not be a cheap date in terms of /quantity/ of alcohol consumed in one night, but at least she's happy with whatever's on tap. And always willing to pick up her own tab if she knows she's started to over-do it (if it's been a rough day).

"Been too long this time, I think," she says, happily settling next to him once drinks are ordered and superfluous layers of outerwear are dealt with. "How's Steve been? I haven't been able to see him much since the… not so good news. No particularly stupid risks, I hope?" Talking about work might be rule-bending a bit, but the other man is a friend, and she does worry. "I hope he's been eating alright. Maybe I should drop by with some stuff for him and Sara." Knowing Zinda's Costco habit, this should feed the couple for about two months, if the freeze and ration properly.

-

Sam has a cool pint glass waiting for Zinda by the time she's settled, and a second for himself. "Yeah, I've been out of the country more than in it, lately," he says as he slides her drink over. Her question gets a waggled hand and a lopsided grin. "Risks, sure, but I don't think they were especially dumb ones. He was along on the first, ah, business trip. And I happen to know for a fact that he's been eating well — my mom fed him enough food for an entire squadron just the other night."

But there's something else there that he has a few questions about, himself. "'Not so good news?'" he repeats, as though trying to puzzle it out. "Did I forget something important, or has he been pulling the whole stoic warrior thing on me again?"

-

Zinda frowns. "He didn't tell you?" She crosses her arms and shakes her head. She's clearly debating this. Hell, Bucky was her friend too, and /she's/ the one who took the pistol-whip to the face. "A little while ago. You guys were on-mission. I had a thing with Blackhawk," she lowers her voice, leaning in. "How they managed to keep this out of the news… Russian politician, our security team was… breached. Guy tried to hijack me. Thing was… I knew his face. It was… It was Bucky, Sam. Same guy you see in your history books, just… few years older. Longer hair. Claims not to remember a thing but… he wouldn't point his gun at me, just at my co-pilot," she tells him. She looks down at her drink. "He always was a little sweet on me. And… he didn't lay a hand on me 'til I really pushed him," she continues. "And I caught him in a spot where I knew he'd have a lot of scar tissue- 'Cause I was the one who stitched him up."

"He ended up makin' a break for it with his target, so… it wasn't an assassination thing, whatever it was. But. Someone did… something to him. It was him. There's some part a'him left in there, too. I could see little echoes of him. I didn't tell Steve that part, but…" She shakes her head again. "Someone messed with my head a bit like that, a long time ago. Maybe it's just wishful thinkin'."

-

At the beginning of Zinda's explanation, Sam is sipping his beer. By the end of it, he's staring at it suspiciously. "Bucky Barnes. The actual Bucky Barnes, but only a few years older?" he restates, as though making sure he hasn't misheard. "You sure it wasn't his grandson or something?" Sam isn't obsessively familiar with the details of Cap's career, but he does know that Bucky was supposed to have died way too early for 'a few years' to cover it. "It could even be a clone. Groups like Hydra do stuff like that. But the actual Bucky Barnes would be pretty unbelievable, even for them."

He crosses his arms and props himself up, elbows on the bartop. "But…like you said, you've been through something like that. I guess you would recognize the signs, if anyone could." Suddenly, he glances downward, as though embarrassed, then locks eyes with Zinda. "Actually, you've probably gone through that whole line of thought already, haven't you? Thanks for waiting while I caught up."

-

Zinda nods. "There were too many little co-incidences. The way he wouldn't point the gun at me. The old wound where I managed to kick him. The things I managed to say to him that gave him pause…" she says, then takes a loooong drink. "He's still in there. They replaced his arm with… something else. Metal, I think." She rubs her jaw where he hit her. "Would'a broken something if I hadn't fallen with the blow. Left a hell of a bruise, still. Lot of his movements were the same… but not all of 'em." She frowns. "I… don't remember anything from…" and here's where she starts to shift and get uncomfortable. "When Haifisch did that kinda thing to me, but it was only a few months, after the war," she explains. "We were trying to track him down in South America. Whatever he slipped me… just. Made me real suggestible. Not real useful, just… I did what he said. I only know what the rest of 'em told me, an' that ain't much," she admits. "What's been done to him… it's more than that. And it's had a long time to settle in."

-

Falcon frowns: a look of concern. Clearly, this encounter brought up some of Zinda's own 'old wounds,' and yet it's not something she can ignore or get away from. The only option is to solve this thing as quickly as possible.

"Do you know where he might be?" he asks. "You said he kidnapped someone. Maybe a ransom? Maybe we can figure out who would want that target?" He's attempting to shift this to a place where Zinda especially can make progress; a problem she can work on rather than a bitter, painful memory. And maybe, if she can help Bucky, that will help her heal, too. "I mean, I rescue people. It's what I do," he adds with a soft smile.

-

Zinda smiles. "My Skipper's workin' on that… and a whole lotta other people, if what Steve told me is true," she says. "Hopefully. By the sounds of it he's… made it this far by bein' real good at hidin'…" she frowns. "No idea how he's gotten this far lookin' this young. Guess that's a question for when we find him, get the real him back. He's waited long enough for this rescue, that's for sure," she says, then finishes her drink. "We'll figure it out."

-

Sam's only about halfway through his own beer. But there has never been a question which of the pair can knock 'em back faster. "Yeah, we will," he agrees, returning her smile. "He may be good at hiding, but now that we know what to look for? We know a few people who are damned good at looking. I'm guessing SHIELD? I know a couple of other people with some pretty amazing skills who owe the two of us favors."

-

"I can have Blackhawk Island taken out of decommission for when we do find him," she volunteers. "Get some new beds into the barracks, clean everything out… make sure nothin' in the trophy room is capable of… activating," she says, furrowing her brow at that last part. The last thing a recovering Bucky needs a sudden WAR WHEEL attack. "I figure somewhere isolated and familiar oughta be best for recovery. For his safety and… everyone else's." Frown.

-

"Sounds like it might be fun for you as well as good for him," Sam suggests, leaning toward Zinda to give her a nudge. "Brush the cobwebs out of the old HQ. Dust off the trophies. Half nostalgia trip, half project for the future. I like to have something to work on. I bet I could get Tony interested in retrofitting some of your planes. Or, hell, even the weirder trophies."

-

"Howard's boy, right?" Zinda asks. "I still haven't met him. You'll have to introduce me. Wouldn't mind a few fancy, retrofitted planes. Ain't sure I wanna let him near the trophy room. We… had a rule banning his dad from it," she admits. "There was an incident." Of course there was.

-

"Yeah, Stark. Knowing his son, I think I can imagine the 'incidents,'" Sam answers with a wide grin. "Brilliant man, though. And I'm not just saying that because he's my boss. Or because he has a robot suit full of rockets and laser beams. Well, okay, partly because he has a robot suit full of rockets and laser beams, but not because I'm intimidated by that. Just because it's cool."

"I could introduce you sometime," he adds. "Although he might try to hire you. He hires people like some people collect matchbooks."

-

"Well, I suppose he could always just buy my company, then technically I'd work for him," she muses. "It'd certainly put some pep into our R&D department," she says, laughing a little. "Not that they don't get some really neat stuff done, but, well…" Howard's boy is Howard's boy. Then, she laughs. "From his reputation, hiring me ain't the only thing I hear he might try, but I'm guessin' havin' you on my arm the whole time might send a bit of a message there," she adds with a wink.

-

Sam pauses with his glass halfway to his lips. He…hadn't thought of that. Maybe introducing the two of them wasn't the greatest idea he's ever had. Still, he plays it off as a joke. "Whaaaat? Like you would go for that 'rich' 'powerful' 'genius' stuff," he scoffs, taking another swig. "I know what you're into. The content of a man's character." He holds his deadpan expression for a few seconds more, then grins. "By which I mean dance moves. You do not want to see what Tony Stark thinks qualify as dance moves."

-

Zinda laughs. "You ain't got anything to worry about there," Zinda assures him, standing up to give him a kiss. "No boy in a tin can suit's gonna sweep me off my feet, promise. Not when I've got one with wings, /and/ dance moves, promise."

-

Sam returns the kiss, then smiles under the touch of Zinda's lips. "I think that's my cue to remind you just how good my moves are," he suggests, getting off his own barstool. Taking Zinda by the hand, he leads her out to the dance floor to do just that.


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