Berühre Nicht Alte Wunden

May 10, 2017:

Cutscene. Bucky Barnes and Berlin, a city he knows well and not at all.

Berlin, Germany

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Bucky Barnes doesn't need to sleep much. He'd take most of the watches at night as a result, but you don't really need watches in a penthouse no doubt guarded by the best Tim Drake's brain can cook up.

So sometimes, in the late hours when everyone else is asleep, Bucky gets up, and goes out, and walks. Berlin is a city he has been to many times before, but never when in his own sane mind, and never for any purpose but to explicitly cause death.

To be fair, this time, it's ultimately going to end in death as well. But there are some nights where that doesn't have to be the case, and that's more than he ever got before.

Much as he loves Jane, much as he values the friendship of those he's here with, there are times he needs the silence of total solitude to sort the ten decades rattling around in his head. The penthouse is a tense place lately, anyway, what with everyone apparently finding something to argue about with everyone else, and there's a greater peace out under the stars than there is caged in with so many volatile personalities.

Bucky has his own tension going on, but it is with himself, within his own mind.

Besides, Jane keeps taking up all the space in their room with her work. He has half a mind to leave all his sniper rifles piled on her side of the bed the next time he has a chance.

The last night he goes out, as per usual, he does not go to see the places tourists usually see. He walks to the site of an old theater, now nothing but an empty lot. He lingers on a venerable old bridge. He goes to the Reichstag building. He stands too long in front of the Russian Embassy, head down, lost in thoughts and memories older than the young men and women walking past around his still figure.

He sees many landmarks for the second, third, or fourth time in his life… but for the very first time with his own eyes, and his own Brooklyn-born, American boy sense of wonder.

It stops him briefly, to consider that. He has seen so much of the world, made kills on every continent save one, yet he's still never even seen the Grand Canyon.

He ends his long walk somewhere in the grey hours between "very late" and "very early," at a cafe that opens at a time using the "very early" definition. He orders a coffee, and sits and watches the few people out and about walk on by.

Presently he looks down at the napkin on the table. He considers it a moment, before he pulls a pen from his pocket, opens the napkin up, and starts setting down lines.

His hand was never a creative hand. He couldn't do the fine artwork that Steve could. He could not make beauty. But what he did have was a good head for angles and geometric shapes, a keen spatial awareness, a very steady hand, and a kind of discerning accuracy that could note and render even the smallest details with precision.

Back in the life he once had, these things might have led him to a career as a drafter. He had been learning the art when war broke out. Instead, as it turned out, life took those qualities of his and turned them to the high-precision art of killing from afar. A steady hand and a good head for physics serve a sniper just as well.

He is rusty. His first few lines are not even perfectly straight. But eventually the knowledge comes back. He renders walls, windows, door openings. He renders the multiple floors of a building in an orthographic projection, dashing out light dotted lines to indicate the direction of hallways, the intended flow of traffic.

He makes a sketch of the building he remembers used to be here, back in 1954. A nightclub frequented by American soldiers stationed in West Berlin. He shades it in, adding some few touches. The bar. The dance floor. The vague, ghost-like shapes of people.

His pen lifts, moves, and touches down, making a blot where he remembers his first blooding as the Winter Soldier.

It was just a trial run. A flawless and easy kill. He remembers.

Glancing up, he can see that same spot. It now houses a small table where two tired, smiling lovers sit side-by-side. He thinks about that, a long few moments — about how time ticks on and wipes away all uglinesses, in the end.

Then, very carefully, he folds the napkin and its sketch, gets up, and leaves it behind.

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