Midnight Shadows Guided Games GENEsis: DOFP Genesis In Character Days of Future Past [Other] Winter is Coming [Carol / Bucky]


02-08-2019
06:32 PM
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02-08-2019, 06:32 PM
[In-Character] [Post #121]
“Sarah was great.” He told her. “And I guess so”, Bucky added. His eyes were once more wondering. It was hard for him to just turn off that instinct. Most of the time they had him out of cryo in these past decades he was on a mission. And when on a mission he had to remain alert. At all times. So he scanned the faces, waited for anyone who would look longer than necessary – even if just by a moment.

And yet, the smile remained on his face even if his eyes regained some of their sober scrutiny. When the train left the station, Carol continued. This time she spoke about her own family. When she mentioned her father Bucky could relate. He had never had a good connection to his own parents. There was a reason after all why he had spent so much time with Steve rather than his own family.

“Steve was … is … was easy to get along with”, he said after Carol shared the details about her own brother. Before the sense of loss and regret could take hold, Bucky pushed the image out of his mind. He could not think of his old friend now. So he focussed on Carol instead and nodded when she brought up how much of a sweet tooth he was. He mirrored her smile when she pushed her hand up onto his chest and across his heart.

The train stopped again and Carol announced that it was only another two stops and Bucky nodded. He sucked air in through his nose, his gaze wandering off to the left side of him, skipping across the heads of other passengers. Everyone living their lives. A life. Whatever that meant. Bucky was over a hundred years of but had been awake for no more than thirty-something years. They had put him on ice – like an icepack one would only pull from the freezer when required. An object. Meant to fill a purpose, and put back once no longer required.

“I’ll stay back”, he announced, once more looking down at the woman in his arms. She was leaning against him now. “You do what you have to do. Just know I’ll break this up when the cops are coming.” This time he would certainly throw her over his shoulder and carry her away.
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02-08-2019
07:52 PM
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02-08-2019, 07:52 PM
[In-Character] [Post #122]
“Yeah, he always found a positive spin on things. It made him hard to not like him.” She smiled at that, even when he was obnoxiously trying to be right and she could have thrown him into the sun, he would say or do something and they were back to being friends. Once this was all over, she would go back and search for Steve. She was certain he was out there. Maybe he was on ice?

Looking up at him when he announced that he would stay back, she was confused for a moment until she remembered he was talking about the meeting. He would let her do what she had to do, but break it up when the cops would come.

“You don’t have to stay back.” She told him. “No, don’t argue. I’m not trying to be difficult.” Carol gave him a half smile. “She’ll know if you’re there anyway.” Caitlin would, and she would call him out for it and maybe even force him to show himself. She had her ways, especially if she brought along someone else. Like Wanda Maximoff, who would gladly pull him into the meeting no matter the consequences.

“And I really don’t like the idea of not having you in my sight.” She whispered, her eyes lowering to his chest. The train stopped. Went through its routine and left the station. “I know that sounds silly, but I can’t explain it.”

It was that invisible pull she had been feeling ever since they had sex. There was more between them, and just the thought of him waiting outside where she couldn’t see him… No, that didn’t sit well with her.

“Next stop is us. We’ll have to walk for another five minutes before we’re there.” Maybe she should tell him where they were going, that it would look actually strange if he was hovering outside. Cait had set the meeting in a mutant owned establishment, they would be safe there. A little coffee bar.
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02-08-2019
08:13 PM
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02-08-2019, 08:13 PM
[In-Character] [Post #123]
Of course she would not just accept it. Why not, he wondered, given that she had worked with him and with the Services for years. She knew their ways and she knew exactly what they would do to him. Bucky could remember how she had walked out of several of his wiping sessions. He could not blame her. It had not been a pleasure being the one whose memory banks were being momentarily disabled either.

He would have to stay back, and cautioned him to not argue right in that moment. He quirked an eyebrow ever so slightly when she said she was not trying to be difficult. But her smile made things easier. Bucky felt himself relax a little, relent even. Then the next words made him curious. This person would know. Someone with powers? Oh all the more reason for him to stay away.

But he gave up for now. There was no reason telling her otherwise. And somewhere at the very bottoms of his heart and in the back of his mind he knew that he wanted this to go on for as long as he possibly could. Eventually Sentinel Services would swoop in, and they would get him somehow. They would bring him back, extract his memories, wipe them and then he would go on ice. And that would be that.

So Bucky had to smile a little when Carol said that she did not like having him in her sight. He breathed deep into his chest when she said how she though it sounded silly but couldn’t explain it. “No it doesn’t”, he said thinking back to the two words he had whispered to her at the market place. Me, too.

Carol announced that their next stop would be the one to get off on. Bucky nodded, looking up slightly to see the name of the station. Another nod. Then he just pulled her against his chest, his arms closing tighter around her and he rested his chin on the crown of her head. What he did was continue to look at the people around them – but a part of him really just treasured the moment.

Then the train slowed. Bucky exhaled as if something heavy was on his shoulders. He loosened his hold on Carol, his human hand once more finding one of hers. He tugged her to follow him out of the train car and when at the station he prompted her to take the lead.

Five minute walk. Hell knew what was going to happen after that.
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02-08-2019
09:08 PM
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02-08-2019, 09:08 PM
[In-Character] [Post #124]
Once he pulled her against his chest, she settled in, both arms coming around him and her cheek resting on his chest. Breathing in deeply, she took in his scent and just enjoyed this moment, how short it might be. It felt normal, and that was exactly what she needed right now. She closed her eyes, feeling the train slow down she let out a sigh. Too fast. Way too fast for this moment to be over.

Dropping her arms, his hand found hers and she followed him off the train. It was her turn again to lead them and she pulled him towards the exit. It would just be five minutes if nothing would happen.

Walking up the stairs of the exit, she inhaled the cold wind that suddenly whipped around her. There would be more snow, even the city wouldn’t be spared. She made sure that she was flush next to him, guiding him where needed but it wouldn’t take long, just around the corner and then at the end of the street.

It was nice, sorta, just strolling down the street hand in hand. Even though they were both on high alert.

Then they were in front of the little coffee bar. “Here it is. Come on.” She didn’t let go of his hand, using the strength that she still had to keep a hold. Pulling him inside, it took her a moment to adjust her eyes to the lighting, or lack of lighting. It was dark, cosy and empty. Except for the barista behind the counter.

“Carol?” She asked and Carol nodded. “Take a seat. She’ll be here soon. I’m locking up, giving you some privacy.” The girl walked to the door, locked it up and turned the sign to closed. Then she disappeared, just like that. Okay then. She pulled Bucky with her to the back, made sure that he could take a seat on the couch, the one against the wall that was facing the door. She sat next to him, crossing her legs and arms.

“She could have at least made us some coffee.” She muttered.

“Don’t be displeased with her, she was just holding down the fort.” A voice rose up from her left, and Carol was up and threw herself around the woman standing in the door that presumably led to the kitchen. Or a backroom? “Hey there.” Her voice warm as were the arms wrapped around Carol.

Pulling back the two women looked at each other and Carol felt stripped by that gaze. Like it was all knowing, and maybe it was. Then Cait’s gaze shifted to the man on the couch. “Ah. I see.” A smile curling on her lips, but she didn’t elaborate and Carol knew that she needed to talk to her friend again to find out what it had been that she had ‘seen’.

“You didn’t come alone, did you?” Carol asked and Cait shook her head. “My trusted ‘bodyguard’ is nearby.” Caitlin rolled her eyes but grinned. Carol let out a deep breath and moved back to the couch, sitting down next to Bucky.

Caitlin looked from Carol to Bucky and gave him a sad smile. She most definitely knew more than she was letting on. The woman spoke up though. “I would introduce myself but for the sake of me knowing who you are, let’s keep things vague. Shall we? I’m sure you can figure out my identity anyway.” Caitlin sat down across from them. Carol noticed that she was looking tired.

“Now besides the go bag I brought, what else can I help you two with?”
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02-08-2019
09:42 PM
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02-08-2019, 09:42 PM
[In-Character] [Post #125]
Cait stepped through the portal, ahead of Wanda into the small kitchen of the coffee bar. It was the perfect location because nobody knew that it was owned by mutants, that it was owned by them. The resistance. Stepping towards the doors she could hear her friend muttering something about not having been given any coffee and that made her smile.

“Don’t be displeased with her, she was just holding down the fort.” She had sent Sian ahead, manning the bar for a while. The girl came in handy with her teleporting powers. Carol was in her arms and she closed hers around Carol. “Hey there.” She said with a smile on her face. She was bombarded with a lot of emotions from her friend. Confusion, agitation and something else.

She pulled back from the embrace and looked at Carol for a moment, sifting through everything that she could pull from her friend. Her eyes drifted to the man on the couch and it all made perfect sense. In a way it reminded her of Gabe and herself. What they had. “Ah. I see.” She smiled again, but didn’t tell more.

Carol prompted her about being alone and Cait shook her head. “My trusted ‘bodyguard’ is nearby.” She rolled her eyes and wondered why Wanda hadn’t shown up yet. She loved these kinds of things.

Cait shifted her gaze to the man on the couch, and the readings she got from him in a way it made her sad and it conveyed in her smile. She knew who he was, or who he had been. “I would intorduce myself but for the sake of me knowing who you are, let’s keep things vague. Shall we? I’m sure you can figure out my identity anyway.” She sat down, and suddenly felt really tired. Her upper left arm was hurting, and she had no idea why. She blamed it on her knew ability.

“Now besides the go bag I brought, what else can I help you two with?” She looked back at Carol.

“I have an inhibitor and it needs to get out. We would have done it but they attached it to my spinal cord.” Carol just told her and Cait felt herself get angry. “You picked that up when you went missing?” Carol nodded. “I see. I know a clinic who takes care of these things but they need to clear their schedule to make sure you can get in safely.”

“That would be very much appreciated. How long?”
“A week? Two maybe?” Caitlin knew that that wasn’t fast enough for her friend. “It can’t be helped Carol, they help mutants, they have to make sure nobody knows you will be there.”

“Valeria?” Carol asked and Cait smiled.
“She’s in her safe house. I suggest that if you need hiding, you should go to her.” Benji’s sister wasn’t called the Invisible Girl for nothing. Besides, Cait had a feeling that Carol would need her friend.

“Carol, we owe you for all that you have done for us. Our resources are yours to use when you need them. Just call. We’ll be there.” Cait smiled at her friend.

“Thanks. I’ll probably hold you to that.” Carol replied smiling as well.

“I left your bag in the kitchen, you should get it before you leave. There’s an exit there too. Take it, there’s a car for you waiting there to bring you to Val’s.” With that she stood, tossing the car keys to Carol. “I’ll talk to you later, okay? And be safe.” she said to Carol who just nodded. “I mean it, Carol. Don’t get caught or I’ll have to break a promise.”

Cait looked at Bucky then, cocking her head slightly and she felt the corner of her mind tug upwards in a half smile. “It was nice to meet you, Bucky.” And with that she turned on her heels and left through the kitchen door. The portal was still open and Cait stepped through, leaving her friend behind.
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02-09-2019
12:42 PM
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02-09-2019, 12:42 PM
[In-Character] [Post #126]
Bucky became a spectator for the next minutes rather than an active part. The only thing he kept doing was let his eyes roam. As they drew closer to the meeting point it turned out to be a café. He would have to remind Carol later that they would need to find a new location for that place after this. Everything Bucky saw was basically compromised.

When they eventually had made it inside and the girl locked up for them, Bucky knew the moment the other party to this meeting arrived. His eyes homed in on the door the red haired woman would step through moments later.

Bucky stood, giving the women some privacy. He moved closer to the window, assuming a place where he had the women in his periphery while scanning the outside. He tried to keep as little time actually looking at the people present as he could. The less he saw, the less he could remember. He could reduce the chance for Sentinel Services to ID these women but probably still not be a hundred percent sure that he could prevent it.

Especially given the fact that the redhead’s face was definitely familiar to him.

Bucky zoned them out, keeping his gaze on the roads outside. Despite SentS having gotten the cops to put out an APB on Carol, there were no black suits on the streets. He had not seen a single unit.

It still made no sense. Bucky had been involved so often when SentS was after someone. They would turn every stone, every pebble even. Comb through a city like New York in a matter of days. This was nothing like that.

Then he turned around just as Caitlin lifted her head to look at him. Her words made him nod. Just once while he tried to stop his mind from making the connection between face and name. He said nothing to her means of bidding farewell.

Instead, he eventually stepped closer to Carol. “Bag. New car. And then… Val as in Valerie Richards?”
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02-09-2019
01:49 PM
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02-09-2019, 01:49 PM
[In-Character] [Post #127]
Carol let out a deep breath when her friend had left. Things were real, she was safe for now. They were safe for now. Cait had left her with means to get to Valeria, even brought her a go bag. She had thought about everything. Carol wouldn’t have expected otherwise. They were at this game for a long time after all.

Standing, Bucky came closer to her and asked about Val. “Yeah, Valeria Richards. You’ve met. Feisty blonde with a big mouth.” Carol smiled, amused. She had kept Valeria away from him most of the times. Except for those couple of times that her friend had crashed a couple of debriefings. Valeria style.

“Come on.” She grabbed the bag pack she had been carrying earlier and made her way to the kitchen. There was a large black go back on the counter and Carol couldn’t help but smile.

Heading out the backdoor, she found the waiting car. It had Val’s address pre-programmed in it. Now she only had to convince her friend to let them stay with her. Easy-peasy.

FAST FORWARD TO LATER THAT NIGHT

Her hands were running over smooth skin, muscles reacted to her touch and after a very trying day she was starting to let herself relax. Val had reluctantly let them stay, Peter hadn’t said much. There was another story there but one that Val did not want to discuss in front of Bucky.

Fine. Whatever. She got that.

Except when she had asked Peter if he could place a specific dinner order for her he had given her a phone and a take-out pamphlet, telling her that she should do it herself and had given her a wink. They had everything she needed. Two pints of Ben & Jerry’s and one pepperoni pizza with lots of cheese. That had been their dinner, and the look on his face would forever been ingrained in her mind after he had seen what she had gotten him.

After dinner she had a very hot shower and now she was sitting on top of him, straddling him, in shorts and a tank top. Her thumbs making circular motions up his spine. It still amazed her she had been able to coax him into bed after he had his shower. Told him to just lie on his stomach and be still. To trust her. For a moment she thought he wouldn’t go for it, but he had given in the moment she let her fingers go to work.

Carol was working her way up until she reached the seam where his skin met the metal of his arm. She let her fingers trail there, skimming over it. “Tell me about your arm?” She asked him softly.
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02-09-2019
08:05 PM
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02-09-2019, 08:05 PM
[In-Character] [Post #128]
To say none of this was what Bucky Barnes was used to was an understatement. He was not exactly sure where to put any of this. Figuring out this thing with Carol was hard enough. And now there were more people who obviously weren't too thrilled to see him.

Valerie Richards was not unknown to him. Yet to see her in this place under these circumstances did open yet another realm of truths. SentS knew a lot, but they did not know all. However, if he were to return to the Services, if they caught him and extracted all the things he had found out, things would change around there. A lot.

Eventually, they had withdrawn into one of the bedrooms. Carol had left the room to take care of their dinner. Bucky had chosen the time to take a shower. The adjacent bathroom was small, but it was one they would not have to share with the two people they now shared this apartment with. It had a shower, and that shower featured warm water. What else could he possibly want?

Standing underneath the scorching hot spray he thought back. Small moments. Like the one when Bucky has slipped to the spot right next to Carol behind the Honda at their arrival. He had picked most of the luggage from her. The one where he had so easily assumed a stance to shield Carol. Those minutes on the train.

Oh, those minutes on the train …

What was he doing? He had no place in this world. His ‘home’ was a cryo chamber at one of the Services’s compounds. His bed was literally a cylinder of ice. He was a fossil in this time. At best, he was woken to be active. How could he live here, now, when everything and everyone he knew and loved was gone? And yet those questions were strange. As the Winter Soldier he had stopped questioning things. He accepted and went with it.

So why not do that now? Why not accept something that came from something bad as something good?

Those were the thoughts running through his mind has Carol’s hands worked his back. She found pinched muscle and worked at the perpetual tension always logged in his shoulders. This was something precious, he realised. Something to be treasured.

Somewhere along the lines of those past two or three hours he had accepted this place as a somewhat safe joint. It went with accepting that his plane of existence right now was limited to those four walls. He could wind down, allow his senses to retract. There was not much to watch, not much to stay aware of.

Was this what real downtime looked like? Not the kind that involved a chamber that would cool him down to zero degrees?

A smile played on his lips when he thought back to dinner. Dinner. She had brought him ice cream. Delicious, creamy and sweet ice cream. A whole pint. A spoon and she had called it dinner. That had stirred a part of him that wanted to stay beneath the surface. A part that would be hard to box again once it had been shaken awake.

They had switched their pints back and forth. He had laughed, and he had teased, and she had teased and they had talked. And in the end, both pints had been empty. Bucky had barely touched any of the pizza. He loved sweet things. But not just sweet. But sweet and savoury. Rich in flavour. Whether than was chocolate or fruit didn’t matter to him. He would devour a block of swiss chocolate with the same gusto as he would a cone of coconut or strawberry ice cream.

And now? Now Carol was giving him a backrub. It was hard to accept. Hard to just agree to this happening, and accept that there was someone who deemed him worthy of those things. He could not remember the last time he had had one. And Bucky knew he had never received one after receiving his bionic arm instead of his human one. So having Carol there who appeared to have no problems accepting the artificial limb as a part of him appeared to be a lucky thing.

Though she once more surprised him. Tell her about the arm.

The bionic limb surred to life almost reflexively when she asked. He flexed the biceps, balled fingers into a fist before releasing them again.

“It’s heavy”, he said, knowing all the things she would know about it. Every debrief she would prompt him about the arm and issue possibly required updates. She knew this thing. Knew him like this. Maybe that helped. Bucky wondered whether maybe it would be an issue with anyone else. Carol? She might even know more about its specs than he did.

“Sometimes the seams hurt.” He admitted, his deep murmur almost hoarse. “But it’s like a phantom pain.” Her hands roamed his back, ever so often slipping closer to the patches of skin where the bionic arm was connected. It would prompt a physical reaction in him. It was oddly soothing, prompting a weird chain reaction in him. Pleasure and pain sometimes went together, they said. When she pressed the right trigger points, it was pleasant. Pleasant.

He was glad it didn’t bother her.

“I have sensation in it when I’m not in combat.” He added, wondering whether she knew this. Carol was probably in the know about the limb being of normal body temperature - had she had clearance to know he could enable normal sensibility of skin? At some point it had become a subconscious thing. “I can feel things. But I shut it off when I’m fighting and when the arm is damaged.”

He tipped his head forward, forehead now resting on his lower arms.

“Why Carol”, he prompted her. “Why ask me now?” She could have asked every time they sat in a room together for so long.
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02-09-2019
09:04 PM
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02-09-2019, 09:04 PM
[In-Character] [Post #129]
Her eyes fixed on his arm when he flexed his biceps, balled his fingers into a fist before flattening his hand again. She could hear the soft hum, the whirring when he used his arm. In a way it was soothing to her now, it meant that he was close enough for her to touch him. Her fingers continued on his back, working their way up, rubbing and pinching at the knots in his muscles.

She knew that his arm was heavy, she had seen what it was made of and had seen the weight written out in his file before they had attached it to him. So, yes, she could believe that it felt heavy.

Carol continued, listened to him tell her that the seams sometimes hurt. Like a phantom pain. Her fingers trailed up again, closer to said seams and she was always gentle around that area, knew subconsciously to be tender even before he told her this. She didn’t want to add to the pain that he sometimes felt. She didn’t know. He never told her this before.

Her fingers travelled back down again, her eyes back on his arm when he told her that he had sensation in it when he wasn’t in combat. Okay, that she did not know either. She knew only that it would function like a normal arm, that it felt warm to the touch but beyond that she had thought it just to be a bionic arm. So, he could feel things with it? But shut it off when in combat or it being damaged.

Yes, why was she asking him now? And then her mind flashed back to the cabin when she had woken up in his arms at some point and had asked him. “Because, I asked you in the cabin if it hurts, the seams. You told me no.” Letting him mull that one over for a bit. Before continuing with answering him.

“You’re being more open to me now than two days ago.” Leaning forward she rested her forehead between his shoulder blade. Her lips pressed to his skin there for a kiss. “And I’m a curious person by nature.” She smiled at that, breathing in the clean scent of him while she did so. Maybe he didn’t realise it, but he was shedding more and more of the Winter Soldier and letting himself be Bucky. If only with her, in private.

“I didn’t know you had sensation in your arm, or that you could turn it off and on.” She was good at her job, but this had not been in his file. Or the file she had received. Or uncovered. “Does it feel sensation the same as your human arm?” Yes, she was curious. It was why she was so good at her job in the first place. But she didn’t see this as a job, she just wanted to know. Wanted to know everything about him, Bucky, and how he saw things. Feel them.
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02-09-2019
09:49 PM
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02-09-2019, 09:49 PM
[In-Character] [Post #130]
Bucky would have nodded if the position he was in didn’t prevent it. The arm did not cause pain so to speak. It was the ever present sensation of something being there that shouldn’t be.

“It’s not the same”, he responded to her question. “But it’s close.” He closed his eyes for a moment trying to allocate what it was like to have an arm that had never been his to begin with. Generally, he would not question it, or doubt it. He would not fight the fate he had been given. There was no point, there was no room for this when being the Winter Soldier. But that wasn’t what he was now.

He was closer to his old self than he had been in years. Decades.

Her words resounded. He was being more open now? Was that natural? Or was it something he ought to be weary of? Should she know more about him or should he return to how it used to be. But really. Could he? Could he return to the operative she had known? There was so much more now. Even Bucky knew this.

“It’s not pain”, he said eventually. “It’s like a burn. There is no malfunction. It’s just a sensation I ...” He had no word for it. “I don’t know how to explain.”

He pressed his eyes closed for a moment. Contemplating this moment. The entire night. What he was feeling, what was happening here; what had happened ever since she had concussed herself in the woods. Bucky flexed his midsection and then turned around slow enough to let Carol realise what he was doing and adjust.

Bucky’s hands came to rest on Carol’s thighs and for the longest time he just looked at her. “Maybe we shouldn’t do this”, he said, feeling trapped between what could be and the risk he was bringing to her. “Carol, your friends are compromised because I’m here. This place is. The cafe is. That cop who let us go is …

“What will happen to you?”

He swallowed, wondering if ever he would be able to just take and accept without wondering what his presence would do to those around him. The WInter Soldier had changed him. He was a far cry from the Bucky Barnes as he had truly been. Bucky Barnes would have never worried.

However, Bucky Barnes had not spent more than a lifetime killing people.

He flexed his bionic fingers, hesitated for a moment and then let them find her lower arm and push up. Bucky stopped before he reached her face. “It just isn’t real.”

None of this is, he would have almost said.
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