What's Bukiy?

April 05, 2017:

Juno finally finds THAT CAT. Grymalkin decides to troll a stranger. Bucky is not amused by pranks.

NYC - Hell's Kitchen

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Captain America, Jessica Jones, T'challa

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Ever since Jessica Jones 'cornered' Juno outside of the apartment she shares with her handler, the assassin has had to modify one of her latest projects. That doesn't mean she's given up on finding Grymalkin, just that she's less likely to attempt to skin him when she does.

To that end, she's wearing dark clothes and toting around a similarly-colored backpack, with a few extra goodies tucked away into pockets. She looks a little bit like a newbie goth (without black nailpolish, required to proceed past Goth Level 3), so normal people don't pay her much mind.

That's the way she likes it though! Meandering down another side street in Hell's Kitchen, she keeps her eyes open for any signs of a black cat with mismatched eyes.


Commute time in Hell's Kitchen is relatively busy. Cars rush along streets in concert with walking pedestrians. The sounds of cop sirens and honking vehicles fill the cold air as litter tumbles along marching feet.
The little gothlet only earns a few glances from passersby, most of a mind to simply get home.
One passing fellow going perpendicular to the side street mentions, "Fetching backpack, love." Glancing over the edge of his newspaper. Curious that, one gold and one blue and … Oh. She'd know that playful smirk anywhere. The young man wears a warm long coat as he simply continues walking past her. Looking for all the world like just another commuter amidst the walking throngs.


Nobody, nobody, nobody…

She knows that he was a man for a short while, yet somehow Juno still thinks of him only as 'a cat that can turn into a people' and not 'a people that can become a cat'. She's basically been running on a very piecemeal sort of theory for weeks now, and her lack of results is very telling.

Or, he could maybe just come to her.

"!!" Juno's eyes widen as the familiar stranger passes by her, murmuring something about backpacks and it's him, it's him, it's the Liar Ca— er, Probation Cat!!! She stops on a dime, turning around to grasp for his wrist, staring at him with round eyes.


Hilariously enough, neither is precisely true. He is neither man nor cat, but these are simply details to the ghost's endless search.
The fellow is chuckling to himself as he seems to be reading an article from the New York Times, "Aaaah Trump, you are the comedic gift that keeps on giv-eh?"
The man is halted from his reverie, white-gloved hand pulled back as he's yanked to a halt. The paper dangles from his other hand as he looks over his shoulder questioningly, "Hrm? Ah. Yes. The dead girl. Aaaaaah, listen love. As entertaining as it would be to watch you run away through a wall and listen to people scream Iiiiiiiii sadly promised someone I'd leave you alone. Soooo, I'll just be on my merry way then.." Giving the newspaper a solid snap of the wrist to straighten it out once more.


He makes a very reasonable request, explaining his promise to someone that he'd stop bothering her. He snaps the newspaper like he expects to be left alone to laugh at the world's misfortunes. Juno keeps looking up at him… and doesn't let go. But she doesn't seem particularly inclined to start screaming, or run through a wall, or do much of anything at all besides hold on to his wrist and try to stare a hole through his head.

Juno considers his words. Considers her own self-appointed 'mission'. Opens her mouth. "How come you aren't gray?"


The taller youth has noticed that the grip on his wrist has not yet been relinquished. Offering a long sigh under breath he slowly begins to turn toward her, casually tossing the newspaper towards the nearest wastebin.
It falls miserably short and tumbles immediately into traffic.
"You are making it exceptionally difficult to keep my promise. Which is an odd sensation for me, by the way." Mismatched eyes peering into her own. A long red scarf dangles about his neck loosely, beneath the black long coat he wears a surprisingly formal looking suit, the sort a butler for the vastly rich might wear.
"You have a pretty good grip for a dead girl." He listens to the off-putting question a moment, eyes glancing skyward as he considers it, "Hrm? Oooh!" Free hand pointing up as he smiles, "You have me confused with Gray-Malkin. He's a witches familiar. Entirely different thing. I.. Am Grymalkin which.."
Eyes sliding to the side, "..Actually I suppose we're the same thing, how can I help you? Exactly?"


Her eyes don't stray towards the newspaper, though she notes it out of the corner of her vision. Situational awareness and all, you know how it is. While some effort would be required to break her grip, she isn't being cruel about it - no fingers digging in between bones to hunt out nerve clusters, no punishing strength like a manacle. Just a teenage girl with a mind made for zeroing in on a single goal.

"It's not breaking your promise as long as you don't bother me," she counters. "If you just talk to me, Jessica Jones won't be mad." She feels fairly sure about it! Jessica had been rather soft-hearted, after all. Even Juno could tell.

She watches him glance around, her own body still despite the people who occasionally move past. She blinks owlishly at him. "And I'm not dead."

Instead, she shrugs her backpack off of one shoulder, tugging it through the arm still grasping his wrist until the bag is held loosely in her other hand. "You can turn back into a cat and get into my backpack so I can show somebody that you're real." Juno pauses, and glances down at the empty bag. "Unless you'd rather walk."


Standing with remarkable composure for someone who's wrist is captured, Grym laughs mirthfully as she explains the details of the promise, "You don't know how boys work, do you love?"
He tilts his head at the mention of Juno's benefactor, "Aaaah so you do know Miss Jones do you? Fascinating woman. Anger issues I think. Do you happen to know who hired her to find me? I'm suspecting you did not pay her off in stickers and stuffed animals."
As she states the nature of her vivacity, Grym merely shrugs seemingly unconvinced on that point. That or he just enjoys calling her Dead Girl. One of the two.
However, as she issues her final ultimatum the youth stares at her past his messy bangs. Long seconds hang in the air framing his blank expression.
"HA HAAAAAAhehehe HAA!" Half-doubling forward in sudden laughter, he slaps his thigh with his free hand, "Oh Oh! No no. No! Not at all. This is perfect heee! Okay. Okay!" Already calculating all the gags he can work with on this, he reaches over to grab the edge of the bag. In a strangely fluid motion, the tall man 'pours' into the bag. The black of the material flowing in a blur until the backpack is now heavy one black cat.
The nearby pedestrians stop and back away immediately.
Someone tosses her a quarter. Pretty good trick.


She tilts her head at him just a little bit. Boys work the same as men, just smaller. Sometimes faster, usually softer. But she feels like maybe he's talking about something else.

With a mental shrug, Juno refocuses her attention on Probation Cat's strange and wandering words. While she does know that 'a king' had hired Jessica, she's only sort-of certain that it must have been the Cat King. He's the only one she's ever met, after all. "I think I know," Juno hedges, though she doesn't really remember T'challa's name. It wasn't important! "He was a Cat King, even though he said he didn't know of any subjects like you."

There is a fleeting sense of victory and satisfaction as she watches him pour into her backpack in a manner that is both fascinating and deeply weird. This, coming from a girl that reaches into people's chests sometimes!

She dodges the coin out of habit, looks around at all the bystanders, and promptly… runs away, holding the bag to her chest just long enough to half-zip it and shrug it back over her shoulders.

A few blocks away, Juno slows down, checks to make sure Grymalkin is still alive and still in the bag, and then pulls out her cell phone to send a quick text.


Cat King eh? The name rings a few bells but none of them likely to be in New York City in this era. Deciding that's enough of a clue to push for, the cat otherwise busies himself in the backpack, plotting how best to spring the surprise.
Cradled backwards with his black paws folded to his chest and longer back feet slung upwards, his tail slide back and forth as he considers.
"Heeeeeeere's joh-Stupid. Hmmm. If only that chest-bursting alien had a catch phrase.. Mmm." He's otherwise perfectly content for the girl to carry him about. He's certainly had worse living conditions than having a young girl carry him around for once.


It's not an immediate response. The phone to which the text goes is one of many, and it's not checked as frequently as its owner's actual, main, totally above-board and non-secret-assassin phone.

Eventually James Barnes does notice one of his burners has received something, however, and he reads the text with a growing frown. With a quiet aside to Jane as to where he's going and when he expects to be back, he sends a brief affirmative reply, pockets the burner, preps, and heads out. The time lost in waiting for him to notice the text is more than made up in the utter speed with which he can cross the city. Super-soldiers have ways of traveling that are much more efficient than the New York City subway, great as the latter may be.

He is not readily picked out of the crowd, when he does arrive. He blends effortlessly into the mass of humanity, even with his longish hair, indistinguishable from any other American milling around. This nondescriptness was one of the many qualities for which he was selected in the first place, to become the preeminent hidden blade of the Soviet Union, and it serves him well now.

He doesn't immediately approach the girl and her hidden burden. He makes a cautious sweep of the area first, a swift distrustful circle checking for snipers, hidden operatives, traps… anything that might indicate this was, all along, some nefarious plan to drag him back into service. It isn't until he finds nothing that he turns and makes his oblique approach.

"You rang?" he inquires, once close. There is nothing about him to indicate why Juno would be so adamant to seek for him: he looks like any other average young man in his early thirties, dressed simply in a jacket and jeans, though there's something about his eyes that doesn't match up with his apparent age.


Juno is much better at patience than many girls her age. Besides, she has some traveling of her own to do; it wouldn't do to just wait for the Winter Soldier in the middle of a side street. That is called Loitering and people sometimes get upset if you do it near their property.

Instead she takes a small detour to a small park. It's not that big, and it's a little bit too manicured - it doesn't have the wild, color-saturated beauty she'd read about so recently - but it's a park and that's good enough. Besides, there are trees and benches, so plenty of places to sit and wait. She'd sent Bucky that address, and started walking.

She still beat him there by twenty-something minutes, but Juno doesn't mind. The cat in her backpack is a small weight compared to books or weapons, but the occasional stream-of-consciousness mumbling is more distracting. She does her own sweep, finds a bench, sits down, and waits.

Juno really doesn't have any way to sense when the Winter Soldier is around - nothing particular to only him, just the itchy-neck feeling of eyes on her back. So when he gets close enough to speak to her, the girl turns to look at him before smiling. "I found the cat," Juno grins, and pats the backpack almost smugly.


And from the depths of the backpack.. A man! Rather than the black cat Juno had endlessly gone on about, a fully grown man erupts from the yawning vessel. The zipper struggling to contain his waist as half of him somehow manages to reside within as he spreads his arms wide!
"Ha! H-.." And then this strange magical fellow halts in mid catchphrase as his heterochromatic eyes behold this theoretically nondescript stranger in front of him.
This is a look James Barnes has seen before. Not as often considering how well he covers his tracks, but that baffled look of someone seeing something that can't be true.
Which is hilarious considering how Grym seems to be standing in some kind of dimensional pocket with half of himself in our world. Juno feels no difference in weight either, in fact the backpack would hover in space if she simply dropped it.
He leans his head forward, unlike the man before him his face surprisingly clean and young. A few wavy locks framing his golden eye as he spies the veteran carefully, "..Bucky?"

Grymalkin steps from the backpack as casually as a man stepping over a hedge. Long leg slipping from the zipper followed by the other as he approaches closer. That investigative stare roaming this stranger's features.
"James. Buchanan. Barnes?" Every spoken word mirrored by a step in his well-polished shoes. Looking for all the world like a young British butler in a black longcoat.


I found the cat, she says. His blue eyes narrow.

The only narrow further when half a man pops improbably out of the backpack. Bucky doesn't move, per se, but his stance tenses, everything about him abruptly fight-or-flight ready. The look on Grymalkin's face is not a good one. It usually means he's been made, and it usually precedes him having to Do Something About That.

his eyes flicker back and forth between Juno and Grymalkin, sharp and guarded and wary. Especially when the man says his name. Especially when he starts approaching and uses his real, full name.

"You're a real educated cat, aren't you?" he says. His arms fold, right hand slipping beneath the lapel of his jacket, his ID bracelet riding up and disappearing under his sleeve. His eyes warn against any closer approach.


Why does he look a little upset? She found the cat. She didn't kill it! She watches Grymalkin pour out of the backpack and stop halfway, vaguely-expectant expression unchanging when he spreads his arms out and— says a word she doesn't know. "Bukiy?" she mouths quietly. What's bukiy?

Thankfully she'd left the backpack on the bench next to her, so nothing too gravity-defying has to take place just yet. Grymalkin is bending the laws of physics just fine already. Juno watches him step the rest of the way out of her backpack, turns to gauge the Winter Soldier's reaction—

—and sees that he is, in fact, unhappy at Grymalkin's slow approach.

Juno is off the bench at the speed of thought, inserting herself neatly between the Winter Soldier and the fancy cat-man, with a pistol trained right between Grymalkin's eyes.

"Bothering the Winter Soldier counts as bothering me," she informs him, back completely turned on Bucky.


As warned, the strange butler halts just outside of easy striking range but remains uncomfortably close. His head remains canted just so, an inquisitive stare as he weighs the World War artifact carefully. His terse reply earns a widening smile as he chuckles to himself, hands clapping together and rubbing quickly.

Jackpot!

He then turns to regard Juno with that bright smile, "I had no idea your friend was a living piece of American History!" Grym adds to Bucky over his shoulder, "Everyone has been to the Smithsonian! You could say that learning all about your master in arms has been a passion project of mine."
Turning again as he opens his jacket to reveal absolutely nothing. Reaching in very deliberately and slowly so not to set off the clearly tense fellow, withdrawing.. A newsreel. The black and white crackling image of a newsreel appears in the air above his gloved palm.

"..And Caaaaptain Americaaaa leads the charge against the Nazis abroad!" The 40's newscaster proudly proclaims from the illusory reel, a perfect copy of one playing in the Captain America exhibit at the aforementioned museum of history. The stuttering image showing Rogers on a tear, going through a small army of soldiers alone with the familiar Bucky in tow behind, rifle blazing.
The reel pauses, zooming in on bucky's face, framed by that iconic coat at his collar.
He holds up the still image to Juno who has now interdicted herself between them, "Look! Apart from the stubble and what sounds like a century of world-weariness he's a spitting image!"
A slight pause as he looks to her, then back up to the man yet again, "Winter. Soldier. Hrmmm?" That grin not shrinking.


"Vse v poryadke." Interestingly, James Buchanan Barnes, American icon and war hero, speaks flawless Russian: as unaccented and natural as if he were a son of the Motherland. His tone is half reassurance, half order, all expectation that Juno will put the gun down. "<No need. Not yet.>"

He pauses, as Juno uses his title, and Grymalkin picks up on it. His features betray nothing, but inwardly there is a grimace. That was an error on his part. Careless. "<Though we will have to talk about what you should call me in front of others.>"

His attention returns to Grymalkin, his language back to English. "Lotta people have been to the Smithsonian," he says. "Not a lot of people connect the dots. You must take a real interest in history."

And the 'cat' proves that he does. Bucky's demeanor closes down visibly when Grymalkin speaks of how learning all about 'his master in arms' has been a passion project. When he withdraws that newsreel from… somewhere… and plays a clip from the war. His expression flattens out into the facelessness of new-fallen snow, without mark or feature to hint at any emotion buried beneath. It was a long time ago, but it is still not easy to look into his own past and see himself as he was— and to remember how he should have been, if not for…

"<I may have you kill him yet,>" he eventually remarks to Juno. It is obviously a joke, but then again his eyes are— as Grymalkin observed— certainly seventy years harder and colder than the eyes of the man in the newsreel. To Grymalkin: "What do you want?" His tone slides into wryness. "An interview?"


Juno does not lower her pistol. There's nothing behind her eyes except rote muscle memory, the vague impression of 'dislike' - whether for the cat, or the way he rambles, or the magic show of what looks like a very old broadcast hovering in midair.

She doesn't like this. She doesn't like this doesn't like this doesn't like this

doesn't like this

But she drops her gaze, just for a moment, to the film reel. The newscaster's cadence is too unusual for her to really keep up with - she can only hear some of the words. But she knows 'Captain America' by face, and despite the poor image quality, she still knows the Winter Soldier's.

Juno doesn't turn around to look at him, because she has a gun trained on a possible enemy and looking away is Stupid. But she wants to. Oh, how she wants to.

'It's all right.'

She blinks once. Lowers her weapon to point at the ground. Looks at him over her shoulder. Oh, she made a mistake again… Juno frowns, and looks down. Another one. "<He called you Bukiy,>" she notes quietly. "<What's Bukiy?>" What should she call him? It does not occur to Juno that the Winter Soldier has an actual name that he was born with, because she doesn't. Maybe he has a false name that he likes more than others.

The girl does brighten noticeably, however, when Bucky suggests she may still have some use. So he can't be that angry with her!


"<I'm not worth the bullet.>" Grymalkin adds in equally flawless Russian. "<Winter Soldier sounds Norse. Did Valkyries choose you for Einherjar? It would explain your dashing unaged looks.>"
There's something about the quality of this man's language that seems odd when switching, perhaps yet another magical trick of some kind allows him to communicate in whichever language he chooses?
Standing there with a happy look on his face, even with the young thing drawing a perfect angle on his forehead as if the pistol was nothing more than a child's plastic squirt gun.
Although as angry as she is, Grym does take a moment to offer the little assassin some advice as he mentions back in English, "It's better to go for the heart." Reaching in to tap his chest just over where the organ should be, "This way you can easily cover the wound with my coat and slump me in a corner. Less suspicious and would give you more time to slip away before someone finds the body."
His eye peculiar eyes return to Bucky, "Right?" Asking for the soldier's advice on that matter.
As she lowers gun finally he then mentions, "She seems new at this. But.. Hey." Grymalkin holds up his hands in surrender, closing his eyes as he seems to come clean, "Honestly I was not expecting you, Mister Barnes. Is there another name you go by these days? It's.. haha, Honestly a huge honor to meet you. Huge." At the suggestion of an interview he places his hands in his pockets, adopting a far more pleasant and cordial tone as he smiles vastly more sincerely, "I was expecting.. Well to be honest I wasn't sure what to expect from this girl's handler. It was definitely not you." Tongue running along the inside of his cheek a moment, gaze yet again scouring every detail of the surprise war hero, "I'm suspecting this has a lot to do with the Cold War. Made the jump to intelligence, have you? Very careful work, that. I apologize if I've inadvertently blown you or this girl's op. I had absolutely no idea this was in play."


What's Bukiy? Juno wants to know. "…Me," he says eventually. "My name."

His gaze returns to Grymalkin as the dapper 'man' swaps to Russian right along with them, though not with the air of an actual speaker so much as with the air of someone magically cheating. The Soldier considers him and his chatter with flat lack of affect: offering no response or reaction to his rumination that 'Winter Soldier' sounds Norse, nor any explanation of how exactly it is he has persisted for a century without, apparently, aging a whit.

Grymalkin gets briefly distracted in giving Juno some friendly advice. Right? the cat wants confirmation of his pointers. Bucky holds that mismatched gaze for a long few moments. "It depends," he says eventually, "on what your goal is."

In time, Grymalkin seems to decide honesty is the best policy: or to pretend to do so, anyway. James continues to regard him with suspicion even as the cat submits that it is a huge honor to meet a living World War legend. The praise seems lost on him. Perhaps because there is something huge and dark counterbalancing whatever pride he might take in being viewed as an American hero.

"I am not her handler," he finally reveals, allowing at least that much in terms of information. "And you've very carefully avoided answering my question."

Really, Grymalkin ensured hostile guardedness from Bucky Barnes the moment he mentioned studying Steve Rogers.


Grymalkin gives Juno some advice that ought to have served her well. The Winter Soldier gives his thoughts on the matter, so Juno is silent about that. She has her own method of hiding bodies that can't be cleaned the traditional way, but even she knows better than to correct Grymalkin and spill that secret. Instead she backs up one step, then two, then angles herself to stand almost at Barnes's side. It's for a better bead on the cat and her environment (and maybe also a little bit because she wants to stand closer to him). But… "Bukiy?" Juno looks up at him, wide-eyed.

"You have a real name?!"

She clams up after blurting that out because Bukiy is talking and that means Juno should probably not unless asked to.


As Bucky dourly and correctly points out the dodged question, Grym claps his hands once more and chuckles inwardly yet audibly. "Honestly? I just wanted to pull off that bit with jumping out of the backpack and see what kind of reaction I was going to get. Heh! Color me surprised that I'm the one who's stunned." He shakes his head and smiles, "I'm harmless! I'm just a guy with a bit of magic who likes pranking people. Totally not worth the 'Winter Soldier's' time. I'm just.. I'm just like a street performer, okay? Totally, small time." Tugging at the lapels on his coat demonstratively.
Then gesturing to the girl, "She? Honestly is pretty funny. I was going to leave her alone but she insisted on me meeting you soooo.. Look. I can tell you really, reaaaaaally don't want to go into where the Hell you've been doing for what.." Mentally counting a moment as he looks to the skyline, "Sixty? Years? Something like that. So look.. Honestly? I am a fan soo.." Bouncing in place slightly as he slaps his hands together in prayer, "Can you pleaaaaaaaaaaase introduce me to Captain America? That would be.. So incredible!"

As Juno speaks up, Grym happily adds, "Yes! His actual name. He has friends, a family even. Poor thing.. Do you even know what those are?" Frowning in sympathy, "Child agents don't seem like a very American thing to do.."


You have a real name?!

For a few moments, said owner of that real name looks incredibly tired. He glances at the girl by his side, visibly debating what to say, before he decides there's not much that this strange cat of a man hasn't apparently already put together. "I was a man before I was the Winter Soldier," he explains, voice heavy. "I was twenty-eight. My name was James Buchanan Barnes. I was a sergeant in the US Army. I fought and died in the World War."

He is silent a moment. "You were meant to be someone too," he eventually says, "but that was taken from you. Much earlier than it was taken from me."

Poor thing, Grymalkin observes. Even the Winter Soldier has friends and family, but does Juno Hart? Does she even know what those are? It doesn't seem an American thing to do, creating child killers— "This was not done by America," Bucky interjects, voice low. It's really not hard to guess who it WAS done by.

He lapses into somewhat skeptical silence as Grymalkin admits he really just wanted to troll whoever Juno was taking him to meet. What a surprise, to get a dead war hero and legendary assassin instead! "I was told you were likely harmless," he admits conversationally, though the look in his eyes still doesn't seem very appropriate for casual conversation at all. "That you didn't mean to frighten Juno here, and that you gave your word to leave her alone. Which, hey. I'm willing to take you at your word on that. Once, anyway."

Not rhetoric one would expect from James Barnes, the clean-cut all-American hero. Perhaps, however, something one would expect of this other name he has somehow gained since the 1940s, which must be tied to 'whatever the hell he's been doing for sixty years.' The Winter Soldier.

But can he just— please— introduce him to Captain America? Pleaseeeeee??

James' expression goes cool again. "There's proper channels to go through if you want to meet Steve. I don't make it a habit to fast-track people past the line. I'm kinda protective with his time and how he chooses to put himself out there. You understand."


Juno watches the cat-man posture and sidestep and charm, but she still hasn't returned that pistol to wherever she was keeping it (Bucky wouldn't have even seen her lift the hem of her hoodie to draw it, though Grym can probably guess just how she reached it so quickly). Something, something, something that Jessica had said to her, and how she'd thought to look at the cat afterwards…

She realizes that he's speaking to her. Poor thing. Why do people keep saying things like that to her? Worrying about her, feeling sorry for her… is it because she keeps making mistakes? Inwardly, Juno frowns. "I have friends," she objects. There's Jessica, and Cindy, and Stephanie, and maybe Bukiy if she can stop failing. "I have sisters." Bucky is probably the only one here who knows just how not family Juno's 'sisters' are.

He was a man, he says. He died, he says. That makes sense, Juno thinks, nodding slightly. Because now he is something greater than a man: an ideal. Maybe she died once too, and just hasn't remembered who she used to be? Could that be what Bucky means when he says that 'being someone' was taken from her…?

"But you're lying," she tells Grymalkin, pale blue eyes grave. "Jessica Jones said that you were thousands of years old and that you don't know how to act around people." She doesn't think that Jessica would lie to her, and she's seen Grymalkin do nothing but squirm and flow and redirect away from sharing any real knowledge.


The touching moment between Juno and Bucky is given some silence. Offering a considerate face as he places his hands together, clearly unable to fathom what a great loss these two must share.
As Bucky states for the record that America is not behind this, his eyebrows lift a brief moment as he adds, "The Russians are a brutally pragmatic people." As if the earlier use of language was not a dead giveaway.. But learning many languages with perfect fluency is a common skill for an international operative.
That Bucky does not adopt a conversational tone is unsurprising. It's difficult to think of any conversation with living war relic as anything other than 'epic'. The former Sergeant is corrected on one point as Grym sheepishly adds, "I.. May have meant to frighten her a little bit, actually. The whole prank thing." Gesturing with index finger and thumb.
As proper channels are mentioned, Grym brightens, "Excellent! Perfect, of course! I would be delighted, where do I sign up? I completely understand. With.. You know.. That saving the world thing he's doing yet again these days. I would happily stand in line!"
As Juno mentions her friends and sisters, The Butler grimaces with a murmur under breath, shaking his head as he looks to Barnes, "I.. See there must be others in her.. Situation. I take it you're part of the operation trying to .. ah.. Work with girls like her?" Offering Bucky look of admiration for such noble work, saving these children from their horrid fates.

'You're Lying?' "I beg your pardon?" Grym speaks up with some surprise. As Juno reveals just how much Jessica actually told the young assassin, Grym seems nonplussed as he smiles back to Barnes, "Look. Miss Jones is the one who told me to leave Juno alone. Rough around the edges that one but seems real nice. Like I said, I was totally going to leave her alone. I said.." Waving his hands about as his eyes roll up to the sky, "I said plenty of things to make myself sound all big and important. Hah! You've probably heard it a million times from some other guys who have superpowers or whatever they call them. You know how it is.."


Juno does not seem to quite take the meaning of his brief foray into his backstory in the way he intends. There is a matter-of-factness to the way she accepts his death as James Barnes and reanimation as the Winter Soldier which implies she does not register that he is framing it as a great loss. A persistence in the idea that she does have friends and family which indicates she does not see the difference between what she has, and what true friends and family are.

He gauges her a few moments, eyes neutral, before he looks away.

The Russians are a brutally pragmatic people, Grymalkin observes. James Barnes turns his gaze to the other man, frost-blue eyes hard with six decades of memory. "The Russians are a brutal people," he says, full stop.

Now, Grymalkin admits, he may have MEANT to scare Juno a little— just a little— but that is the point of a prank! The line of James' jaw tightens, especially when the cat subsequently presumes he's part of the operation trying to work with 'girls like her.' "The process is assisted by people NOT pranking them," he says dryly.

Or lying to them. Bucky's eyes narrow again a bit as Juno accuses the cat of lying. Jessica said he was thousands of years old and didn't know how to act around people! James' expression stays neutral in the face of this; the man could probably make a killing at poker. "I've heard a lot of big talk over the years," he says grimly. "I'll be the judge of whether yours is just more hot air." He doesn't say how, but he seems quite confident he can find out in his own unique ways.

As for Steve? Bucky sighs, just a bit. "Steve has a very lovely secretary," he says. "At the Triskelion."


Again, she swerves to avoid realizing a simple truth. It doesn't help Bucky's cause that she's been on a poetry kick lately, and while she doesn't quite understand magical realism she does understand more basic metaphors now.

Juno just isn't ready yet.

Mm-hmm. Bukiy clearly doesn't trust the cat, so Juno won't either. She did, however, promise not to kill him as long as he left her alone and stopped scaring people. So since keeping promises seems to be important, she'll do her best to keep this one.

All bets are off if Grymalkin starts up with the 'trolling' again though!!


The magic man also seems nonplussed about the whole 'death' angle Barnes suggests he suffered. One would imagine it to be simple wordplay of the life he left behind.. But then in this era of returning miracle, who can say?
The hard moment between Juno and Barnes is again noted, chuckling as he rubs the back of his neck as he realizes he .. has not been helpful to this girl's reconditioning, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry! I had.. Absolutely no idea. None." And as he suggests the jury is out on Grym's nature, the Butler just again waves his hands and cracks a crooked smile. The sort of smile that says 'how can this guy possibly be a thousand years old?'
"Triskelion. That lovely building? Yes, of course. I'll get right on that."
Taking a step back he then regards them both, "Well. It was.. An unexpected honor to meet you Sergeant Barnes." Offering a haphazard salute, "This was.. Not what I was expecting at all. I can see I really messed things up here soooo I'll leave you two alone. Again, big honor and.. Thanks!"
Awkwardly spinning on his heel, clapping his hands together and marching right out of the park with as much smoothness as he can muster together.

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