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Rating: 3-3-3

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Thread Contributor: Natalia RomanovaUnexpected meeting
Marvel-MCU-3

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#41
"What Cap said." Natasha responded, taking a step closer to Cap and holding out her hand, so that he could take it if he wanted. Yes, he was a big, strong, brave superhero, but getting your spine messed with was not the most fun thing in the world.
"I don't know what happened in his world, but it seems like something we should check out. Do you think that your Tony would tell us anything?" she asked Steve, partially because she wanted to know, and partially to distract him "That would at least give us a starting point. For that matter" she looked at Justin "What happened to Bucky in your world? Even if Stark won't talk, if we look for common points that might give us some clues."
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Marvel Comics-616-ish

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#42
Justin allowed himself to give a start, since he wasn’t yet performing the procedure. Once that point came, it was all going to be calm reserve, but now? Yes, he could afford to be a little pleasantly surprised. This Cap might not know him, but he might have been from the same world still. “So you did know my grandfather,” he exclaimed, before the weight of what, exactly, his grandfather had been came crushing down on him. He was the reason that Jacob was dead, the reason that the Scourges had gone on rampages… but before that, he’d been the one who started the Mystery Men, the one who’d stood up when America had needed someone to stand up. “What… what was he really like?” Justin asked, uncertain if he really wanted the answer, but needing to ask anyway.

As he carefully performed the procedure, he tried to decide if his experiences with Barnes would be any use here. Nat was talking about ‘his’ Tony, but he hadn’t seen this Steve around the tower… Was this really his Steve? “Well if you’re talking about the Tony lording over the mansion,” Justin said dryly, “I can tell you what he won’t. Our Bucky was found by the Soviets after his plane went down. They took him back to Moscow, fixed him up, and started… programming him. He had brain damage… amnesia, so they filled up the blank slate to make him a Soviet assassin. They’d put him in stasis for years at a time and pull him out when they needed someone killed. He turned up in my present day trying to steal a Cosmic Cube. You stopped him and you used the cube to fix him.” If that was his Bucky, what would saving him do? Well… more than likely, create a parallel universe, but screw it. There should at least be one world where Bucky didn’t go through that shit. "All right," he said, as he pulled the needle carefully out. "You can move again. I'm done."
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Marvel-616 Universe

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#43
"Mr. Stark doesn't want to tell me anything. He doesn't think I should mess with the future. He didn't even want to tell me about my own death," Steve says grimly. He blinks at the hand Natasha offers him before taking it gingerly. He doesn't want to squeeze too hard and break her fingers.

"Angel is your grandpa?" Steve looks over his shoulder, so he can see Justin better, "You look like him. He was a good man, rational, not a hot head like some of the guys were. He survived the war, right?"

Steve winces as he feels the needle go in, squeezing lightly on Natasha's hand. The pain is promptly forgotten however, when Justin begins talking about Bucky. His Bucky, not some other Bucky that he doesn't know, but his little buddy who had been counting on Steve to keep in safe.

"No," Steve says, "I should have been there." Guilt churns his stomach. He doesn't even feel the needle pulling out. Steve sits up.

"We'll get him back. We have too. Then we can work on deprogramming him." Steve says.
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Marvel-MCU-3

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#44
Natasha was a past expert at not getting her fingers smushed by Steve Rogers-which did not mean that she wasn't glad that he was being careful to only squeeze enough for comfort. Totally the reverse, as a matter of fact.

She listened as Cap talked to Justin, sometimes, it was easy to forget how old Steve was, and sometimes it came crashing down, and hearing him talking about knowing Justin's grandfather, was one of the latter times. It seemed to happen more often with this version of Cap, she wasn't sure why, maybe it was because he'd woken up earlier, it was difficult to say.

"Tony Stark can choke on his own dick." she said, knowing that the statement would probably shock Steve, but not really caring "Worst case, it'll make another universe, one where Bucky doesn't become the Winter Soldier. Big deal. The point is that we'll have saved him, at least make life better for some version of him. We'll find him, and we'll save him. Promise."
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Marvel Comics-616-ish

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#45
“Oh, he told you about that, did he,” Justin said grimly. He honestly hadn’t been planning on mentioning that one either because of what happened after, but if he already knew… “Well, he has his reasons for that. Namely, it’s all his fault.” Was Justin a little bit bitter? You’d better believe he was. “Just between the two of us, since you already know about it, I guess I can tell you that you got better. It was… complicated. He doesn’t know that yet, though, so let’s not relieve him of his chance to stew over his mistakes.”

And, apparently, Justin looked like the original Angel. Part of him was slightly regretting changing the costume up now… but not much, and he sure wasn’t going to try to grow a moustache to complete it. “He survived the war. Lived to a good old age, too. Not always the best decisions on a few things, but he always made them for the right reasons, I guess.” Not knowing the outcome, could Justin have started something like the Scourges? Well… probably not, but he could see making decisions that led to people taking the group in that direction outside his control.

Speaking of outside his control… “Bucky knew what he was doing,” Justin said. “We both know he wasn’t just the innocent kid that everyone painted him for the war propaganda. You had your job, he had his job, and he did it. There wasn’t anything else to be done then. Now, though?” He hesitated, considering the matter again. “Yes. What she said,” he said, nodding enthusiastically as he indicated Nat. “Tony Stark isn’t the world’s moral authority on what should and shouldn’t happen. I wouldn’t mind making world where Bucky Barnes didn’t have as much of a shit life as he did in mine, even if my world doesn’t change from it.” He paused as he put the equipment away, the sample of spinal fluid already marked and ready to get delivered to Better-Tony. “Although I don’t think we have a spare Cosmic Cube laying around, so figuring out how we’re going to break his brainwashing might be smart.”
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Marvel-616 Universe

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#46
"He kills me?...No, no that's impossible. He said we were friends," Steve says, "and what do you mean, I get better. Death isn't something one can 'get better' from."

Steve relaxes slightly listening to Justin talk about his grandfather. It was so much easier living in the past sometimes than the present (or the future). "Good, some of us needed to survive long enough to train the next generation of heroes. Did you ever become a superhero, like him?" Steve asks.

"Tony Stark can choke on his own dick." 

Steve laughs in surprise as his cheeks go pink. He's heard such crass comments in the field, but never from a lady.

"I know what his job was, but he was still too young. Roosevelt was mad to approve using someone his age," Steve says, "a boy his age should have been worrying about school, not war."

Steve watches as Justin labels his sample to send out.

"Maybe the other Steve has a cosmic cube or something. He managed to fix his Bucky," Steve says.
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Marvel-MCU-3

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#47
"I met a version of Bucky who had found a non-cosmic cube way to work through the programming, it sounds like his world is closer to mine that either of the ones you guys came from, but the methods might still work for your Bucky." Natasha offered. She didn't comment on the revelation that in some universe, Tony had killed Steve, or gotten him killed. She knew that she wasn't reasonable or rational when it came to Tony Stark and his variants, but she'd always thought that he'd protect Steve, be on his side. Apparently that wasn't a universal constant, and because it wasn't she needed some time to adjust to that fact. And wonder if it would spill over into her universe.

"I'm pretty sure that I started younger than your Bucky." Natasha replied "It happens that way sometimes, no use fussing about it."
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Marvel Comics-616-ish

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#48
“I didn’t say he killed you,” Justin pointed out. “It was his fault you got killed, though. As far as getting better, though… well, we live a weird life. You’ve died, Thor’s died, Tony’s died, few other people that I’m pretty sure you haven’t met yet have died… and something ends up happening that they end up back. We live in a world of gods and magic and super powers. Anything can happen.”

And then he asked a question that Justin had thought was self explanatory. “Well yeah, no sense in having a code name if I wasn’t taking the role up, right?” He put the sample on a tray, then logged the request in to Friday to have it analyzed. He didn’t bother leaving the note for Tony, that would probably make him ignore it longer. “Third one in the family,” he added, smiling wryly. “You had my grandfather’s guns, actually. Not sure how that worked out, but you did, and you took them to my cousin, and he promptly went out and got himself killed by some of Grandpa’s unfinished business. Left it to me to clean it up, you helped me do that.” He hesitated slightly telling Steve all of this… but the ship had sailed in preserving the timeline, he figured.

“So… if we can find out how they brainwashed him, we might be able to fix it some other way. It’ll take longer, but we can probably manage it. I know some drugs that would help when you’re breaking brainwashing, having you here would probably help, and I’m sure we can find something here that wouldmake the job go better. So… I guess that means I’m officially in.”
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Marvel-616 Universe

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#49
Oh well it was nice to know that when he does die he won't actually stay dead, although the idea is a bit bittersweet. He was kind of looking forward to spending an eternity in heaven with Ma after a long productive life. He hopes raising him from the dead isn't a regular occurrence.

"Just because it happened, doesn't mean it was right." Steve says, belatedly realizing he is still holding her hand. He let's go quickly.

Steve winces when Justin tells him that his cousin is dead. That he's dead because Steve brought him into the superhero life style. "I'm sorry," Steve says sincerely. He feels a sudden anger at his future self. How dare he drag an innocent person into this lifestyle. Shouldn't he know better, especially after Bucky.

"Thank you both for your help. Neither of you really know me, and I appreciate all you are doing for me," Steve says.
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Marvel-MCU-3

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#50
"You're talking about being an Avenger like its a bad thing." Natasha said to Captain America "It isn't always easy, but its important, what we do. Its important, and not just for the world. Its important for us, too. I'm a better person than I was before the Avengers, before I joined SHIELD."

Natasha shook her head dismissively "No need to thank me. I couldn't save my Bucky, but maybe I can help save your's. Besides" she added with a little "The most fun I've had when I was dressed was when I had Captain America's back." for that matter, the most fun she'd had undressed was when she'd had Captain America's back, but now didn't seem like the most appropriate time to bring that up.
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Marvel Comics-616-ish

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#51
“Yeah, well, he was the golden boy. Third generation, all surgeons, made Grandpa think he was the natural. I went into the military straight out of school, kind of got me off on the wrong foot with Grandpa and my father. He got himself in over his head. He was pretty good at it, from what I hear, I guess, but that’s the life. When we lose, we lose big.”

And there was that unfamiliarity again, which always rankled him when it came from a Steve. “Yeah, that’s the thing, I do know you. I know who you are, I know what you’ve done, and I know what you would do if you hadn’t gotten pulled into this place. When my Grandpa came to me and begged me to clean up the mess that got my cousin, you were the one that helped me get business done. You’re the reason I got to be an Avenger, and being an Avenger is my life. If you need me, you’ve got me, there’s never been a question about that.”

The business all done, he pulled out one of the new gadgets he’d come up with from Hub technology this past month, passing it over Steve’s spine. Repairing anything other than skin injuries would take a good while, but all that Steve had was a needle wound, that was simple enough. He set the depth on the regenerator, then let it start its work, drawing the energy field up along the length of the puncture into his skin and spine, the whole motion looking like he was pulling the wound out of Steve’s body. "So I guess the question's when do we go?"
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#52
"You were in the military? Which branch?" Steve asks. He's always happy to meet another soldier. "And I hope you didn't let your grandpa give you a hard time about that. He grumped about us military boys, but he had a soft spot for us too."

Steve frowns. It was very tiring being surrounded by people who knew him so much better than Steve knew them. When Steve had first come out of the ice he worried that he wouldn't live up to the legend of Captain America. Now he was beginning to worry that he wouldn't live up to his future self. He wonders if it would be rude if he could ask Natasha and Justin to forget that he will allegedly do such amazing things, because there's no guarantee that he will be able to do them again this time around.

He sighs, "if you guys follow me into this mission, I need to be honest with you. I'm not the Steve Rogers you're used to. He's older and more experienced. I don't want you going into this mission expecting the someone with the type of leadership skills you're used to."

Justin pulls the needle out and waves something over the needle mark. It itches, and Steve has to keep himself from squirming.
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Marvel-MCU-3

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#53
"I know that you're fresh of the ice, and that you aren't my Steve, Cap." Natasha replied "But I know that you're capable of going in and getting your Bucky out, because one thing that you have in common with him is that you don't know how to quit. " she shrugged "I guess that what I mean is that you aren't my Steve, but your [i]a{/i] Steve Rogers, and that is good enough for me. I think we should head out as soon as we get a portal open." she said, glancing at Steve for confirmation.
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#54
“Marines,” Justin answered, that old hint of pride creeping back into his voice. “Did a tour in the middle east, then went to medical school with my service benefits.” He smirked a little bit. “No offense to the army or anything.” He didn’t want to get into the old rivalry between the branches of the military… at least not with Steve. There was nothing like being reminded that Captain America was in the Army to take the bite out of any snark about the Marines training you to put a guy down, the Army training you to take a bullet.

Steve’s protest at not being the Steve they knew made Justin smirk a little, though Steve couldn’t see it yet from where he was laying on the table. “People don’t follow you because of your experience, they follow you because of your character,” he said. Well, at least that had been true at one point. After a while, though, and a few years with the Avengers, Captain America had become the man that led campaigns of absolutely galactic importance… but then, Justin wasn’t sure that they’d rallied behind him in the Infinity War because he knew what to do in a battle of cosmic powers. They’d followed him because they trusted him, and they knew that if he gave something an OK, it must not be a morally terrible idea. He powered down the cellular stimulator, setting it aside. “There. All patched up. There might be a little itching for a few hours, but no scarring.” Granted, it had only been a needle wound… scarring would have been minimal anyway, but he’d worked out how to use the technology in a medical procedure, so he had to show off a little bit.

He looked between the two, and Nat’s answer made Justin’s old frustrations rise again. “Ah. You don’t know where your portal is either,” he said, smiling wryly. “Well, maybe we can motivate Tony to move his ass and get things done. Unless you know of someone else that can open a portal for us, at least.”
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#55
"Nothing wrong with the Marines. Better than the Air Force." Steve says with a wry grin. He misses the comradery and teasing between the branches that military life provided.

Steve looks down to hide a pale blush tinging his cheeks. These people really trusted his judgement. His, not just Captain America's. It was humbling, and he vows not to let them down.

"Wanda can open portals and Christian, but I don't know how long they can keep it open. Letting Mr. Stark do it with technology will probably be our most reliable bet." Steve says, privately he doesn't want Christian on this mission. There will be too much fighting. Christian is many things, but a soldier he is not. Wanda would be a good asset on the team, but Steve wasn't sure if she would approve of them messing with the timeline.

"We'll leave as soon as the portal opens." Steve says. "This will give us a little time to prepare."
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