Old Acquaintances

Summary:
December 30, 2014: Three old war buddies have a reunion in a run-down warehouse in Gotham; one of them learns that her ward is a little more bullet-proof than she looks. (Warning for violence, language)

Gotham City

A crappy warehouse somewhere in Gotham City.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


The Winter Soldier has work to do in New York, but there's something that's been eating away at him for months— ever since that disaster of a hijacking/kidnapping scheme.

Something happened when he negotiating with the pilot. The music was so loud, and the mix of odors in the cockpit was so pungent… and she was so. Stubborn. He doesn't remember the last time that he lost control the way he did up there— probably because he took pains to keep it from his handlers ever since, allowing the memory to bury itself deep in his subconscious where his regular brainwashings couldn't quite touch it.

The pilot feigned to know him— had information on him that nobody in her position should; he had to know why, if only for security purposes. He'd done some preliminary intel-gathering since the hijacking. Her name, war record, and anything else he could get his hands on legally and from a distance were his initial concerns; he gradually worked his way up to periodically digging for more from there, always taking pains not to attract the attention of whatever agency she might work for.

It's taken from the initial crime until a week or so ago for him to reach the point of trying to surveil her in person, and even that's been limited to a few hours of staking out her address a night. Given that time to learn something of her habits, though, he'll eventually take the step of trying to pick up her trail as she goes about her business in Gotham.

He knows a little something about patience after spending so much of his life behind sniper's sights, but he can only wait for so much longer to solve the mystery of Lady Blackhawk.

-

Like a lot of nights this season, Lady Blackhawk has been making another charity appearance on behalf of "the company." This one, unlike the toy drives and food bank drives, she didn't drag her young protege along with her to- though she did send Charlie a few texts making sure to check in with her.

It's not a New Year's Eve bash, but it's a dressy enough gig that they have her in the uniform, miniskirt and all. When things finally let out, she speed dials Charlie to let her know she's on her way home, and ask about any requests for late-night takeout as she starts walking the few blocks to the parking lot she left her car in (the event, once again, not fancy enough for a valet). She's sober, but tired… maybe that's why she doesn't have that sense of being watched.

-

Charlie, on the phone "I am pretty sure there is an unlimited supply of food in the fridge.. I think it is a magic fridge of plenty Lady B." she sounds like she is playing a video game, a rare night of not patrolling perhaps, that or the crash noise is a car wreck and she is up to no good. "Id love some pizza or chinese." the rare take out vs. all that yummy home cooking.

-

After setting up with a blanket and portable space heater on top of a building between the venue and the parking lot, the Winter Soldier spends the duration of the event watching and shivering. It's convenient that his goggles come with zoom modes, because it means his hands are both free to keep the blanket wrapped fairly tightly around his body while he waits; he certainly lower(much lower, really) temperatures back in the Motherland, but that certainly doesn't mean that he's interested in freezing now.

Hours later, when he finally spots her approaching his vantage, he sheds the blanket so that he can climb down into the alley and resume tracking her on the ground, from the shadows— once he gives himself a moment to get his quickening breath under control, that is.

He can't remember the last time he felt anxious before an op. He barely even knows what 'anxious' is, besides, apparently, an incredibly distracting version of caution. He is, at least, able to push the confusing impulses down as he moves through the alleys, skulking roughly in parallel to her route until he actually manages to get a few steps ahead of her by cutting through a corner a block or so away from the lot.

There, he hunches in the shadows and retrieves a syringe full of sedative from his belt. As soon as she passes him, he takes a few brisk steps out onto the sidewalk after her, aiming to get close enough to clamp his right hand over her mouth while he jabs the needle into her neck with the left.

-

"I'll see what's open, an' if I find anywhere that ain't on the Skipper's list of mafia fronts or recent closures for healthcode violations, I'll pick something up." She's soooo not going to be the one to give the kid food poisoning. "But if you really want Chinese, there's some char siu pork in the freezer. Directions for heatin' it up are on the label." Directions for heating everything are on the label. Including clear warnings about not putting foil anything in the microwave. Those are… there for Zinda as much as Charlie, if not more so. Zinda and the microwave have… trust issues, and she generally avoids using the thing at all costs. A side effect of skipping the latter half of the 20th century.

"Say," she says, frowning at the sounds of the video game she's hearing. "Those /are/ game sounds, right, I don't need to ask you for pictures of the scr-" and then the phone tumbles to the ground with a clatter, even as Zinda starts to reach for a weapon. She's out before she can even get anything unholstered, going limp against that damn (COLD!) metal arm.

-

Charlie mhms through some of this paying attention to her video game. "I was hoping more for easy chinese or pizza not reheated Lady B." she then mhms a bit at the beginning of a lecture, about to protest but then she hears the clatter "Lady B?" she strains to hear anything "Lady B are you okay?"

-

Once he's got his metal arm looped somewhat stably around Zinda's waist to support her, the Winter Soldier crouches down to scoop - and hang up - her phone, then drags her back into his alley. Once they're out of sight, he props her up against a wall so that he can clutch the phone tightly in his left hand as bright blue sparks begin to dance along his fingers. In a matter of seconds, they blossom into a crackling sphere around his hand and the phone both as his tactical EMP is activated; once that's taken care of, he just slips the phone into a belt pouch for safe-keeping.

Now he just has to find something to do with Zinda. After throwing one of her arms over his shoulders so that he looks like a friendly neighborhood vigilante helping a drunk partier to her car instead of a kidnapper, he steps back onto the sidewalk with her in tow and works his way towards a black '67 Impala parked a few buildings closer to the lot.

When they finally arrive, he makes sure to look both ways for witnesses before popping the trunk and stuffing her inside. When he's all done, he climbs into the driver's side, grips the wheel for a few quiet moments of deliberation, and then starts driving. Since he's spent most of his time working out of New York this year, he doesn't have any safehouses in Gotham; one of the city's ubiquitous abandoned warehouses will have to do for a venue instead.

MAYBE HALF AN HOUR LATER

The Winter Soldier backhands Zinda really, really hard. Instead of a car, they're in a run-down warehouse; instead of a trunk, she's tied to a chair. The sedative should be wearing off by now, not that the Soldier is averse to helping her back to consciousness in his way— sans metal arm; he just wants to wake her up, after all, not take her head off.

-

Lady Blackhawk has a vague sense of motion before that ever-so-rude sudden welcome back into wakefulness. "Didn't'cher momma tell you it's rude to hit a lady?" Zinda slurs, still working the sedative out of her system, moving to raise a hand to wipe at her mouth and- oh, right. Tied to a chair. "Th'hell d'you want?"

-

Charlie tries to call back several times and then drops her controller and runs up to her room snagging her gear. This takes a couple of quick minutes to get situated. Then she bounces vanishing from her room in a flash of pink and purple smoke >pinkurple>.
Misfit finds herself on the sidewalk on a dark Gotham street, a car rolling off at decent speed down the way. She looks around confused about not finding Lady B, then bounces fast before she is hit by another car coming out of the darkness >pinkurple>. From the nearby rooftop she focuses and bounces again >pinkurple> and ends up in the street in the darkness again. A car turning a corner and continuing on at speed. "Sonofa" beeeeep goes another car causing her to bounce up to a rooftop >pinkurple>. She runs to the edge of the rooftop and peers down at the car speeding off. She bounces several times but now she is sticking to the rooftops as she keeps up with the car.

The logistics for Mistfit of bouncing onto a moving car, or maybe passanger seat is making her squint. So instead she waits until it comes to a stop and then approaches the warehouse. Stalking it and waiting for the right, Bat-perfect moment to strike and save Lady B.

-

"Who do you work for? What is your mission?"

They're in an open area of the warehouse between halls that lead to offices and break rooms on one side and inventory on the other; plenty of room for Zinda, the Winter Soldier, and, just within arm's reach, the Winter Soldier's pop-up tray of tools. There's a knife, more rope, a roll of duct tape, and a cordless drill all laid out and waiting.

"How old are you? Really." After pushing his black goggles up onto his forehead, he turns his gaze pointedly towards the table for a moment before fixing his eyes to Lady Blackhawk's and crouching so that he's only slightly looming over her.

"I've been waiting for months to speak to you," he adds, a little quieter. "I would prefer it if you were straight with me, but I can wait a few more hours for answers, if that's what it takes."

At no point, incidentally, did the Winter Soldier notice the colorful smoke puffs in his wake; his attention was elsewhere when she was bouncing into traffic, and moving along the roofs made spotting them rather unlikely. Given the stakeouts(not to mention Charlotte's voice coming from the phone after Zinda dropped it), he isn't really banking on having more than a few hours to talk to her before the police and/or SRD begin to become an issue.

Given more time spent on thorough intel-gathering, he might've been able to catch a glimpse of Charlotte's powers in action and made some adjustments to try and accomodate for having a teleporter in the mix; instead, though, she's pretty much Zinda's inexplicable young roommate as far as he knows.

-

"I own one eighth of Blackhawk Industries. I don't /have/ a mission," Zinda responds. "As for my age, check my wallet. There's a few fake IDs with recent birth years, but the real ones are in there. But… that's kind of a complicated question either way. I… skipped a few decades. Don't ask me to explain it, 'cause I sure as hell /can't/." She frowns, looking at the familiar eyes behind the goggles. "Take off the rest of the mask. I've seen your face before. Your face is in the same goddamn history books I'm in."

-

Misfit chews on her lip and then bounces, disappearing from her stalking by a window and appearing inside the warehouse now. She eases along until she has a much better view now. Dark vengeance indeed on this jerk face very soon now. Lady B though is in trouble but not in immediate danger, and if she can identify the villain then maybe they can track him down even if he escaped the upcoming smiting she plans to dish out for putting B in danger.

-

"I've seen your face too, Ms. Blake," the Winter Soldier replies as he peels his mask away long enough to give her a good look at Bucky Barnes. He starts hunting for her wallet as he adds, "We were on a plane together."

Once the wallet is found, he briskly digs through it, hunting for every scrap of identification he can get his hands on. A couple, he spends a second or two examining, perhaps searching for deeper meaning; most, he just tosses aside after a glance.

His wallet search gets a little frantic towards the end, and when it all turns out to have been for nothing, he flings the thing at Zinda's face with a loud exhalation, then twitches towards the tool tray. "Who do you work for?" he repeats as he grabs the power drill. After letting out a slower breath, he turns back towards Zinda while nudging the mask back into place.

"What is your mission?" he repeats while squeezing the trigger and filling the rundown warehouse with a motorized roar.

This might qualify as 'immediate danger'.

-

Zinda narrows her eyes. "You've been on /more than one/ plane with me, /James/," she says, somehow cooly ignoring that goddamn drill. Or, well, /appearing/ to ignore it because oh /god/ that's a power drill and she's seen some pretty terrifying movies and has /been/ put through some pretty goddamn painful things by enemies before and then there was that whole Killer Shark thing where she's just plain /missing/ several whole MONTHS of her memory whatever he did to her was so traumatic- Breathe, Zinda, breathe. "You've obviously been watching me. Who could I /possibly/ be working for? Huh?"

-

Misfit buzzed Oracle with a "Hey Lady B just mysteriously hung up on me and wont answer her phone while talking about chinese food.. going to check it out." then updated her with "uhn… I think she is in that car…" as she proceeded to 'bounce' after the car. Once warehoused she would give her an update "Going in." and tap her camera on and then she was inside and in silent mode, cause talking would give her away as she snuck in for a good look. She tenses up … on the edge of doing something pretty stupid but at least she is giving Oracle a good feed of what is going on.

-

In the Clocktower, Misfit's communication is met with concern by Oracle. The feed from Misfits comms unit is giving the redhead good information, along with her location.

Checking her screens, Oracle frowns, all other team-members are currently engaged in activities. "Misfit, I'm going to send out a wider call, all our team is engaged. I'll redirect whoever I can, as soon as I can."

This is not something Gotham's Information Goddess has tried before… it might be risky. Using known comms channels for SHIELD, TITANS and other independant allies, Oracle sends out a call "Agent in danger, assistance requested. Please respond." Who know who is going to respond?

-

Gotham is not so far from New York, and Steve Rogers' business often brings him to field offices as far afield as Baltimore before SHIELD starts shelling out for airfares. Not that he minds all that much. As much as times change, a bike and the open road have stayed the same - albeit that there are fewer Shermans and more of the Volkswagen that didn't fly through the air and explode over London. Just like old times.

The signal that comes through his phone is enough to snap him out of his reverie. Turning into traffic somewhere along the Garden State Parkway, he swings heavy to the side to manuever the bike out of the path of an oncoming truck. Gotham isn't his beat, but 'agent in danger' is something he can't ignore and he's not so far away that he can't respond.

The bike speeds up the narrow alleyways and crooked streets that make up the City before Steve finally abandons it, shrugging out of the civvies he wears to reveal his uniform underneath. Corny, really, but you never know when you'll need it. His shield already strapped to his back, he tugs his cowl over his head and takes to the rooftops en route to the signal.

-

The Winter Soldier's eyes widen a touch as that name hits him. It's certainly not the first time he's heard it, as common of a name as it is in the States; there's nothing particularly exotic or foreign about it.

Except— for the way that his stomach churns after she lobs it at him, like it's the morning after an ill-advised discount sushi dinner. For a little while, he just stands— looms— there as Zinda speaks, drill humming away in his hand instead of being plunged somewhere awful.

Why does everything smell like dust and Chanel No. 5…?

"Hh— " the Soldier groans as he ducks his head and briskly rubs at his face. As soon as he's done, he lunges forward so that he can grab a handful of hair with one hand while bringing the drill in so that it's hovering just a few inches from the pilot's eye. "You're lying!", he protests, a dose of venom slipping into his otherwise passionless voice. After a deep breath, he shifts the drill down so that it's hanging over Zinda's right knee instead. "How did you know about the injury from Afghanistan?" he demands of the wound near /his/ right knee that she once sitched him up.

"If I already knew what I needed to about you, we wouldn't be here. I'm not an idiot, Ms. Blake, and I don't have anywhere else to be. Tell me what agency you are working for— tell me who your handler is. Tell me what your mission is," he instructs. Once again, emotion creeps into his voice; this time, it's less venom, more uncertainty— and desperation.

-

"Afghanistan? Is that where they told you it's from?" Zinda asks, unflinching. "Whoever /they/ are, they're full of it. There's marks from eight stitches on it. Should have been seven, but I'm /shit/ with stitches, and you couldn't keep your ass still, and it ripped open while I was workin' on it," she says. "You were bleedin' real bad, an' I was so scared, worried they'd hit an artery. You were so dizzy from the blood loss by the time I got it to stop. I promised to dance with you if you'd stay awake."

-

Misfit totally makes a noise, its a very soft noise, when the drill is nearly plunged into Lady B's eye and then.. it isn't and she manages to get a grip and not bounce until it is not pointed right at her eye. Talking seems to sort of be working but enough it enough. She is still in her teens and not hardened to this kind of fashion by war or brainwashing. She bounces from her shadows in a silent flash of pink and purple smoke /pinkurple/.

One moment there is no one off to the right (Drill hand side) of Winter Soldier and the next moment there is a vigilante that flings two of her batarangs at him. One for the drill and one for his jerkface. "Get away from her!" how is she to know he is a super soldier, though she is at peak human herself.

-

All the drill noise makes it hard to hear tiny noises from hidden vigilantes; the Winter Soldier keeps his eyes glued on Zinda's as he threatens one of them, and afterwards as she tells him about his injury. There are eight very faint stitching marks running down the warped length of the scar, but he doesn't remember how much it bled. Or when it happened— or how, really, beyond 'taking a bullet in Afghanistan'. His eyes drift down until he's staring at the drill more than he is Zinda herself as she speaks, and he lingers unmoving for a moment afterwards.

"Well," he finally exhales. "Whatever agency you belong to fed you bad information, Ms. Blake; I don't dance."

At that point, he draws his drill hand back with every intention of driving the tool into Zinda's thigh— and a hidden vigilante makes her move.

"What— " is all the reaction he's able to manage before pinkurple gives way to a batarang-flinging Misfit. One sticks in the back of his hand, causing his arm to jerk away from Lady Blackhawk and the drill to fall buzzing to the floor; the other slices by his cheek, and the resulting gash is worse than it otherwise might have been because he turns into its path to look towards the direction it's coming from instead of recoiling.

It hurts, but not too badly to keep him from acting on his first instinct upon seeing a lone newcomer: drawing the handgun holstered on his left hip and firing a bullet into Misfit's gut in the blink of an eye.

"Who is this?" he then wonders in a flat voice while turning his gaze back to Zinda.

-

All the threatening. All the intimidation. None of that made any impact on Zinda. But when she saw Misfit pinkurple-teleport onto the scene, her face fell. No. She knew this wasn't a mission this kid could handle. This wasn't one Charlie could Dark Vengeance her way out of. She knew how well trained Bucky was… and how deadly he was like this, with the controls off. With this… arm. With… whatever ghosts were in his head. And when that gun went off, she felt what Steve felt just before he hit the water. A total loss of control over the situation. A loss of a life that wasn't hers to lose. One that was too damn young to be here in the first place.

"Who /is/ this?! She's a fucking KID you goddamn-" Zinda's screaming now, crying, fighting at every restraint. Shit, when did she tip the chair over? When did that happen. "Just a kid, did you even look at her before you shot her?!"

-

Misfit was just about to feel good about this whole situation, she disarmed the drill and … then she is shot in the stomach and go figure she hasn't got the new bulletproof outfit from Batwing yet. Wow that hurts. That is probably totally why Batgirl pushed for no exposed skin despite looking awesome fighting crime too.

The teen vigilantee Misfit hits the ground hard crying out sharply and then the girl is gone with a flash of pink and purple smoke >pinkurple>. Without a trace.

-

Lady Blackhawk is now just freaking the everloving fuck out in the chair. On the floor. Oh hey look at all the languages she can swear in!

-

Oracle sees the shot got off and then the feed to Misfit camera dies. This can only mean one thing, the young teen has 'bounced' and the redhead closes her eyes "Please, let this bounce heal you, or bounce here." she murmurs.

No eyes on the scene, the wheelchair bound woman brings forward the CCTV and security feeds for that area.

-

"Drop the God damn gun, soldier!"

The voice belongs to Captain America. Not a Captain America anyone under the age of seventy is likely to have experienced, but unmistakably him. A little bit of Chester Phillips and a little bit of their old drill sergeant's influence chiming through. The kind of voice that gives commands and by God you better believe they're followed.

He drops from a skylight as Misfit vanishes. Wherever she's gone, he can't follow. He hopes she knows what she's doing. How to find help. His trouble is here and now and he focuses on it. On the Winter Soldier. His fists clench tight, shield still at his side.

"Who do you think you are?" he demands, "How dare you wear his face! How dare you!"

And already Cap is moving like lightning, crossing the distance and leaping over the fallen Zinda at Bucky. She'll be fine. Fine enough, he'll guess. In all honesty he should secure her before he even thinks of tangling with whatever this thing is. But he's mad. Mad in the special kind of way that doesn't usually get through the calm, level head he's known for keeping. That he has to keep. He holds nothing back as he throws a heavy-handed punch at the Soldier's jaw, seeking to bring the pair of them crashing to the floor.

-

"Briefly," the Winter Soldier says as he fires another shot— into concrete, thanks to a timely flash.

Clearly, he's going to have to be faster if he sees her again.

"She's an intruder," he corrects, sliding his goggles back into place. "Do your superiors use child agents…?" There isn't a shred of judgment behind the question, just clinical curiosity. He touches his right fingers to the gash in his cheek for a moment, then closes on the thrashing Zinda so he can get low and snag another handful of hair with that same hand. The pistol clicks as he shoves it against her skull and yanks on her hair to try and take some measure of control over her struggling.

"One of you is going to tell me what I need to know," he says, loudly enough to be heard by anyone who might be lurking near by. "One of you; that's all I— "

The shattering skylight gives him some indication that things are not going as they ought to, but that's just about all the warning he gets; no sooner than he lifts his head towards the second newcomer, he gets a thunderous sock to the jaw that sends him sprawling.

If he's ever in his life been hit that hard by anyone, he certainly doesn't remember it now.

The gun, of course, goes skating across the ground— as does his mask, baring the lower half of his face. Even though he's seeing two of them now, he answers the Captain's condemnations with a metal-handed strike aimed at his chin. He would rather not spend any more time than he has to on the bottom of a clinch with this colorfully attired, inhumanly strong man.

"Whose face?" he hisses afterwards.

-

It takes her a lot of effort. A lot of thrashing and twisting and goddamn it she's probably bruising a few ribs or worse in the process. Throwing herself, and the chair against the ground a few times until she hears a CRACK and then more twisting and squirming and eventually, she gets a hand free. And a leg. She uses a broken piece of the chair to cut through restraints. And she crawls to the gun, and closes her hand around it. With a slightly shaky hand, she fires a round into the wall to get the attention of both men.

"Get off him, Steve. It's him. He has the scars. I've seen him react to things, things only he could react to. But he just… he could have just /killed/ a young woman entrusted to /my care/," her hands are shaking so bad, she probably can't make the shot, even if she /really/ wanted to. She's still not sure she does. She tries one last thing. She throws a small glass bottle at the floor a couple feet from his head. It had been in her purse, discarded. Chanel No. 5. The glass breaks. The scent wafts into the air like a cloud.

-

From behind Oracle back in the clocktower "That REALLY HURTS.. it is like swallowing a flaming bowling ball… … guns suck Oracle.. we need to ban guns right now….!" yeah Charlie is behind Oracle babbling now, she sounds bit like she may be in shock and riding a lot of adrenaline. Still she looks .. okay… as she stares down at her exposed stomach, shirt pulled up a bit. It does look like there is a bit of pale pinker then the rest of her skin right there in the center of her stomach maybe, or just the mind wants there to be. Okay right about then she realizes that neither of them have any idea what is happening with Lady B "Oh god… I need to get back there and help her… he could be drilling her knee right now!" well she has spirit if nothing else.

-

Cap's head jerks sharply to one side as the metal fist strikes his jaw, enough to set his cowl slightly askew and raise a vicious black-blue welt on his chin. A trickle of scarlet creeps from the corner of his mouth but, even with his head spinning he doesn't let up his assault. He raises his fist, head barely turning as the gunshot goes off. This is a man who used to sleep with artillery roaring next door.

"Impossible!" he growls, lifting his fist once again as though to punch the man but hesitating just a second. He gives him a good look, as though trying to find some sort of seam or error that would give the whole game away: "He died! I saw him die! It's a trick. It's not beneath them. Nothing is."

He leans in close to the Winter Soldier, voice full of venom and ire so uncharacteristic in Steve: "You're not fit to even know his name, Hydra scum!"

-

"Charlie!" Oracle exclaims at the voice behind her. "Are you ok?" she starts until she sees what the teen is seeing. "Yes, go back, but becareful this time." Looking at her feeds, she's seen Cap's arrival "You've go an ally on site, but they won't know it. Keep up the dialogue and get Lady B. out, let Cap take the blows, ok?" The redhead looks like she feels awful about sending her young charge back in, but…. it's what she signed up for afterall.

-

SOME TIME AGO

"Hey, uh— Steve?" James 'Bucky' Barnes loudly clears his throat at the entrance to his communal barracks, hoping to get his partner's attention. He would have knocked, but his hands are busy gripping the edges of a gently creased Blackhawks hat in front of his body like it's a FabergĂ© egg. The faint scent of gun oil and French perfume curls around him, emanating from the hat. "I know you're probably, um, busy," he continues as he shuffles in, "but I hadda question, and I just— "

The young special operative takes in a big lungful of air to calm his nerves, and then he belts out, "— you gotta know a thing or two about gettin' a girl to notice you, right?" His eyes are glued to the ground by the time he reaches Steve's bunk, thanks to that outburst. "I mean— no, not a girl, a woman." His eyes twitch up towards Steve's and he turns the symbol on the fragrant hat towards him in the hopes of adding a smidgeon of context. "Not that I got a shot or nothin', but…"

NOW

This star-spangled person refuses to move, even after the Winter Soldier hits him hard enough to draw blood. Is he a metahuman? He's probably a metahuman, which means that he probably should have given him more than just a jaw-rattling punch.

Just as electricity begins to worm along his arm so that he can correct his mistake, a bullet rips through the air and tears his attention away from the Captain.

"More misdir— " he begins to snarl before she punctuates her pleas with shattered glass and surrounds him with French perfume.

"— urrr…" he slurs as his eyes widen beneath his goggles. The mask helped filter some of the ever-present fragrance, but it's— somewhere else, now. And there's so much Chanel wafting into his nostrils, taunting him with feelings that are at once alien and cloyingly familiar. The electricity crackling around his arm quickly fades as the perfume distracts him from frying the good Captain.

The first time he manages to exhale, he turns his eyes up to the star-spangled bull he's tangled with and struggles to focus on him through his blurred vision. The 'A' on the forehead, the star and bars wrapped around a body built to represent everything good and—

and

"GET AWAY FROM ME!"

Shoving his metal arm towards Steve's midsection, he tries to force a little bit of separation between the two of them so that he's able to skitter away and create a little more. Even if he's successful, though, he won't quite make it past scrambling up to all fours, thanks to reeling from Steve and Zinda's one-two punch.

-

Lady Blackhawk comes up beside Captain America, as bruised as she is. She still has the gun in her hand. She's still shaking. "Do you /see/ what I mean. There's pieces of him /in there/," she pleads with him, even as she keeps the gun trained on him, tears running down her face. "Whatever that Shark bastard did to me… they did to him a hundred times worse." And in a smaller voice. "God. Charlie. She's a good kid. Oh God if she's dead…"

-

Misfit nods, also she left her batarangs there, which well doesn't weigh on her as much as Lady B's safety mind you. She bounces out of the watchtower in a flash of pink and purple smoke and appears in the shadows, there is no smoke on her arrival. "Oracle… she is up already and .. woah captain america…." she basically is playing camera girl for Oracle right now giving her eyes in the room. She holds her hands out for her batarangs and they .. yes they animate and flap back into her hands zippy as any real bat.

-

"No," Cap shakes his head, though Zinda's words distract him enough to let the Soldier push him away and create some much needed space. "You don't understand. It can't be him."

He turns his head slightly to look at the sudden arrival of Misfit, sparing her a brief glance before turning his attention back to Lady Blackhawk: "You said she's in your care. She's shot. Care for her, God damn it! Get her out of here!"

This is cursing for Steve. Cursing with a capital C.

Turning his attention back to the Winter Soldier, he stretches out a boot to kick him square in the middle of the back. Largely aiming to send him sprawling again. But he halts. A thing about the Super Soldier Serum? It makes everything operate at its peak. Even memory. And try as he might, he can find no flaw that would make this whole illusion fall apart.

"Buck," he begins, the edge in his voice slowly softening, "If you're in there, you need to come out right now."

His cowl still askew, he reaches up and pulls it off completely to reveal his face. His jaw is already swelling from the solid hit but he is still him. He readies himself, shield moved from his back to his off-hand.

"Because I'm not going to let you hurt anymore good people."

-

Zinda still has a gun drawn. Cap is pulling his shield around. Those batarangs from earlier are— flapping— into— the shadows.

The op is already playing out nothing like the way it was planned to; why not flying batarangs?

Lips that once dripped with taunts and cheery braggadocio are twisted into a line of discontent as the Winter Soldier staggers back to his feet, panting the whole way. His eyes bounce the Lady and the Captain, the latter's pleas falling into the cold, dark hole that the Russians have made of his psyche. His attention ends up focused more and more on the Captain until, finally, it's just stuck there when that final promise is made.

After a second or two of staring at Steve, though, he decides to test his word by dropping his metal hand to his belt, unclipping one of the 'pouches', and flinging it towards Zinda at lightning speed; it beeps rather ominously the whole way.

As soon as the thing leaves his hand, he turns and starts running towards the inventory shelves to one side of them. There is some zigging and zagging in case she tries to shoot at him, but he's hoping that she'll be busy dealing with the bomb before too long— especially since it's designed to 'stick' to people and/or surfaces via an array of little grabby claws and magnetic attractors. Not to mention that he's still not entirely steady on his feet, thanks to that shot to the jaw.

There's a grapple device on his belt, and Cap helpfully smashed through the skylight when he entered; all the Soldier has to do is find an opening to actually get up there.

-

Luckily, the magnetic attractors stick to the gun, and Zinda's smart enough to throw the thing /far, far/ away- especially when something far more important shows up- Charlie- unarmed. "Oh, thank god-" she runs to the girl, hardly believing it. "You're not- oh, darlin' I thought you were dead, I thought," she's still crying. She doesn't care that the Winter Soldier is escaping, or that a small explosive is about to go off. Captain America is there. She pulls the girl into a tight hug. "We need to get you outta here. This ain't superhero stuff, this is… this all soldier. You… you shouldn't've been here for this, I'm so sorry, darlin'… You bounce back to the Skipper, I can get out of here," she promises.

-

Well this is awkward. Misfit puts her batarangs away before she is hugged tightly. Also embarassing as she looks past Lady B towards where there will shortly be explosions, Captain America, and the bad guy who shot her. God she is being hugged in front of Captain America. She will never live this down. "I'm okay… really I'm good.. B.. I'm okay" breath "B the bad guy is getting away.. and that is Captain America isn't it.." she finally wriggles free and gives Lady B her comm since her stuff was messed with by Winter Solider and bounces before she dies of embarrassment, back to the clocktower.

Behind Oracle again "I…. think I may die… I'll never be able to say hello to Captain America now and not remember this moment…" teenagers.

-

"Quick thinking young lady!" Oracle praises Misfit as the video feed still shows the scene. There's little she can do, but Zinda knows her stuff as does Cap. "Come and watch with me, Charlie… let's see how this plays out." Looking to the young teen, the redhead grins "Maybe, but that's that the stuff that teenage dreams are made of."

-

Cap doesn't even hesitate as the explosive is thrown. There's no telling how much damage it'll do and he's not ready to test it. He doesn't want to let the Soldier get away, but if it's between that and stopping more people from getting hurt then he doesn't have to think about it. He moves quickly, throwing his shield through the air so it lands with a clatter over the explosive. Immediately he throws himself onto it, muffling the explosive beneath the impenetrable metal. It's still smoking as he lifts it up, planting a boot into one of the crates and propelling himself upwards towards the ceiling. He grabs onto a low-hanging beam, using the momentum of it to propel himself up through the skylight. He knows he's too late to catch him, but he's not gonna let him get away that easy.

-

"O, this is Lady Blackhawk. She's… she's okay!? She was shot. How is- Nevermind." That will be covered later. "Bucky… /James/" she calls the names out again, the way she did earlier, this time more pleading, even if she knows there's no way she can chase after them. "God damn it, remember!" And then she's left in the building, alone. She sinks to her knees, shaking her head. "I'll be reporting back ASAP. I'm… gonna need a strong drink. Damn it, Skipper, what did they /do/ to him?" After that, her comm line is silent, until she makes it back to the Clocktower. She's pretty silent after that for a while, too.

-

A wire snaps out of the wand-shaped device clutched in the Soldier's left hand. As soon as he feels the hook on the other end find some purchase, he flicks a switch and zips into the air, explosions and pleas ringing out beneath him.

He doesn't look back on the way up, not even to check for last minute shields; he needs to concentrate on where he's going, and the smell of Chanel is so, so thick down there. Even when he finally makes it outside and the fresh winter air hits him in the face, he can't bring himself to look back as he sprints towards the edge of the roof, intent on diving towards the next crappy warehouse over and grappling on top of it. Cap's boots thundering across the roof tell him that he needs to go— fast; he doesn't know what would happen to him if he was forced to grapple with the flag-draped man again right now.


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