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The mission resets abruptly, from objective: kill to objective: protect
- Part 1 of Infinite Coffee and Protection Detail
The handler disconnects.
“That’ll throw them off my scent. Now we wait. Right, creepy eyes? Guess you’ll stand there staring all day, dumbass, as long as I keep saying velveteen.”
The mission imperative has a tone now. That tone is smug.
Barnes smiles – a slow spreading of his mouth until all his teeth are exposed, and the man’s mouth drops open. He’s twitchy and sweaty and wearing a shirt so cheap-looking Barnes would’ve passed it up in a dumpster.
“Velveteen,” the guy gasps.
Barnes breaks the zip ties with one slow wrist movement. The guy lurches for a weapon while Barnes retrieves his coffee and takes a sip.
“Aw, it’s cold,” he says.
The sweaty guy has a pistol basically pointed at him – or at least, shaking sort of in his general direction. Could be the safety is off. Probably not. The guy’s barely able to stand upright: he’s clearly an office drone with just enough knowledge to get in extremely big trouble.
“Hey pal,” he says to the guy in a soft voice. The voice slides naturally out of his throat, a purr that means violence. That means enjoying the pain of knuckles meeting jaw.
“Hey. Do I worry you?”
“Doesn’t seem to be working anymore, friend.”
He steps forward, still smiling. The sweaty guy blinks reflexively, and the gun weaves a little dance hither and yon.
“I should worry you.”
“I am … really sorry, Steve,” Sam says.
“No, it’s really not. This is what I do for a living, man. I should’ve used three or four brain cells before I opened my damn mouth.”
“Well. I shouldn’t have yelled at you.”
“Dude, I know people in the Air Force who would call that sweet talk.”
Well done, Sam.
“So the plane thing.”
“What do you want to know, Sam?”
“That was on purpose. Like the Helicarrier?”
“God. I don’t know. Yes? It just seemed like the right thing to do, and I didn’t mind it. Or I only minded it a little. I mean, what else was I supposed to do? Go home, marry Peggy, and name our first son James Buchanan Rogers? It would have broken my heart all over again, every day. It seemed so much easier to just be done.”
Rogers you shit.
“That’s not how grief works, Steve. People who are hurting don’t like to think it, but most of us are more resilient than that. They find a way to go on. They find a way to not re-break their own hearts over and over.”
“Well, it didn’t work anyway. I couldn’t even die right.”
“I for one am pretty glad about that. Along with most of New York. And your boy Barnes, seeing as how he seems to be taking out anyone who even thinks about threatening you.”
“Yeah. So maybe hold off on all the heroic suicide thoughts for a while, will you?”
“I promise. I have to get Bucky back, don’t I?”
“Wait a second. If he has you bugged, that means he can hear you, right?”
“That is generally how surveillance works, Sam.”
“Ever thought about talking to him?”
“If he can hypothetically hear you, why not talk to him?”
Rogers’s voice goes deep, with a sound in it that makes Barnes’s stomach drop about 8 cm and inexplicably makes him think of … shoe polish? In his hair?
“Sam, that is a great idea.”
I will never stop loving this
One of the best things to come out of the he fandom, wow