Jul. 23rd, 2015

ranalore: (bucky winter)
[personal profile] ranalore
Сказка|Skazka
by Rana Eros

(MCU, Natasha Romanova, James "Bucky" Barnes, 200 words)
Folklore of the Red Room.


~~~

"Don't cry," they are told when they're first brought to the dormitories, "the Soldat watches over you."

Stolen from home with brutal efficiency, too young to understand what awaits them, they take it for comfort. It's only after they've had their first lessons in what the Red Room requires that they know it for a threat.

Yet those who survive long enough to train under the Soldat find while he's an exacting teacher, he's not a cruel one. He doesn't torment; kills only when necessary. His codename becomes comfort again when nothing else is.

"Don't cry," they whisper to each other in the dark, though none of them cry anymore except as an interrogation method. The words are a ritual, a spell against the possibility that tomorrow they may be ordered to murder each other. "Don't cry, the Soldat watches over you."

It's been a decade since she scattered the Red Room's ashes on a biting wind, but Natasha tastes them now as the Soldat sweats and shakes beside her in a motel bed outside of Williamsburg. He murmurs something, his voice catching, and she presses a cool cloth to his forehead.

"Don't cry," she says. "I'm watching over you."

END

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