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Rick pulled his motorcycle up to the appropriate spot along the sidewalk to parallel park. Given the small nature of the vehicle compared to the cars around it, he managed this easily enough. Putting down the kickstand, he dismounted and took off his helmet, then reached into the basket having off the back, where he'd placed a crate of non-perishables. Pulling it out, he moved toward the building that was the reason he'd come here - one of Brooklyn's few remaining homeless shelters. Rick had spent several of his summers here in his youth, first at Aunt Polly's insistence and later because he had genuinely enjoyed the work.
Sure, it killed the social life, but that was the price you paid.
Every so often, he'd come back around and help out where he could. His job kept him busy, but he'd volunteer some time or some supplies whenever he could. Every little bit, after all, helped. He was greeted at the door by Clinton, the son of the couple who ran the shelter - Mr. and Mrs. Gause, or as Rick had come to know them, Jeff and Belle. Jeff had been one of Rick's friends in the neighborhood when he'd first moved in with Polly, having inherited the place from his own father. A nice way of following in his footsteps, Rick had always thought.
The place wasn't exactly lively at the moment, though a few people had wandered in here for a meal from the kitchens. His main focus, however, was in delivering some food for them to use.
"Ah, thanks again, my friend." Jeff took the crate from Rick as it was offered.
"No problem, Jeff. Just wish I could do more." Rick said to him.
"Oh, I think you do well enough." Belle commented, patting Rick's cheek. "If we asked any more of you, it'd probably cost you an arm and a leg."
"And Rick would give it to, wouldn't ya?" Jeff teased. "Takes all kinds, eh?" Rick just laughed along with them, as he slipped into his pocket the thumb drive that Jeff had passed him. Neither his wife or son knew that Jeff had become a member of the Brigade, doing just a little bit of surveillance work when he could.
Like he said, it took all kinds.
"Mr. Jones, are you gonna stay for dinner?" Clinton asked.
"Would that I could, buddy. But I have to get down to lower Manhattan. Got a promise to keep." Rick asked.
"To a lady friend?" Clinton asked with a shameless grin, Belle giving him a light smack in the shoulder. "I was just kiddin', Ma! Sheesh!"
"You watch that tongue of yours, boy!" His mother scolded him. Jeff just laughing. "And don't you encourage him!" She rounded on her husband.
"I didn't encourage a thing, my dear!" Jeff grinned a grin that was so very much an echo of his son's.
"Oh, don't you my dear me..." Belle said.
"Well, I should leave the three of you to it..." Rick said, gesturing back toward the door...and then hearing the door open. Seeing the look on Jeff and Belle's faces, he turned on his heel to witness. A group of five young men in ratty clothing...except for one in the lead who wore a cheap suit. The other four were armed...he was not.
"So...Mr. Gause." The man in the cream-colored suit spoke, pulling a toothpick from his mouth and dropping it to the floor, crushing it under the heel of his off-brown dress shoe. "Have you reconsidered my employer's very generous offer?"
"The answer is still no, Donovan." Jeff said. "Doesn't matter how much money he throws at us, we're not selling." The man in the suit rolled his eyes. "It's a matter of principal."
"Principals don't mean jack to me, pal." The man shook his head and sighed. "Ugh...I always hate this part of the job." He gestured, and one of the men went up to the door, turning the lock. One of the other four raised a gun. "Now...anybody who wants to stay breathing, don't say a goddamn thing."
"Whoa whoa whoa, hey...what?" Rick asked and got a gun barrel in his face for his trouble.
"Don't get involved, wise guy, if you know what's good for ya." Rick stared from the barrel of the gun to the man with the suit, who had been the one to speak.
"Do I look wise to you?" Rick asked, trying to seem braver than he felt at this exact moment.
"Oh, I was hoping you'd say that." The thug holding the gun said, his thumb clicking the safety to 'off'.
Even though he knew that he'd been gone a long time from the place he used to call home, from Brooklyn, still walking through what had used to been familiar streets came as a surprise. Certain things had remained the same, at least in the grander scheme of things. The streets were mostly the same as well as their names but the buildings had changed. Some of them were still the same shape and size but in another color. The building at the corner of St. Marks and Vanderbilt had used to have a shoe-maker at the bottom but when he passed it today, it was nothing like that. The sign out front read Ample Hills Creamery. He thought it was an odd name for a place that made ice cream--why wouldn't they just have it say Ample Hills Ice-cream?
Bucky wrote it off as one of the many things that he was still coming to terms with the modern age, plenty of it that he'd missed out on considering whenever he hadn't been kept on ice he was out killing and doing missions. His current mission seemed more arduous than he wanted to admit, which was having a day off, doing what he wanted. Trouble with that was of course him not knowing exactly what that was. It was how he'd ended up Brooklyn to begin with, had allowed his feet to just carry him through the city. In the crowds the NYC offered, it was easy to be anonymous.
Nothing lasted as long as you'd thought it would do, especially when it came to peace and considered quiet, at least not for Bucky. He noted the movements out of the corner of his eyes and would've noted them even if he hadn't wanted to. But he saw it, the flash of a knife and the barrel of a gun peaking out from underneath a coat. The weight in their steps screamed trouble long way. It wasn't until after he noted too, that the building that now was a shelter for homeless people, used to be the gym where he'd gone to practice wrestling.
Whether it was nostalgia or something else Bucky refused to acknowledge but he was moving towards the door moments before it closed. All it took was a peak through the window on the left the make the assessment he needed and as it was, just in time as he heard the safety click. A forceful kick tore the door from its hinges and landed on top of one of the four. "Get down!" With left arm raised to protect himself from the bullets that were inbound, he stepped across the door, the man under giving a pained grunt. The assailant with the gun feverishly started reload but was unable to finish before he was grabbed by the throat and flung across the room and into a shelf filled with porcelain. Upon impact some of it shattered but it also knocked some of the shelves off their hinges so by the time the man rag-dolled to the floor, a flood of plates and bows followed, breaking into a hundred pieces and more once they hit the floor.
So...several things happened at once from the moment that the thug put the gun up to Rick's head. First, Belle gasped and held little Clinton back by the scruff of his shirt. Jeff pulled them both back as Rick stood, unbowed...and hoping that he wasn't about to get his bluff called in the worst possible way. His salvation came when the front door was literally torn from its hinges and thrown against one of the men. The glass shattered on the man as he was collapsed under it. That was enough to distract the others, including the man in the cream-colored suit.
"You heard him! Down!" Rick only got a split second look at the man...with a metal arm. 'There is absolutely no way...' He thought, recognizing the man from both the leaked SHIELD files and from recent events. The Winter Soldier...was it possible? He wasn't questioning it, just thanking his lucky stars as the guy started making mincemeat out of the hoodlums.
"The dishes!" Belle protested as Jeff started to pull her and Clinton to the backroom.
"Go! Go!" Rick gestured for them to move quickly.
"Waste the freak!" One of the men pulled a knife, coming at the metal armed assailant. The one nearest Rick had a bat, and Rick sought to take advantage of that situation.
"Hey!" Rick said, getting the man's attention...and giving him a slug across the chops for that attentiveness. Rick grabbed the bat before it hit the ground. Two down, three left, and it seemed that Cream-Color Suit Guy - Donovan - was trying to circle strafe his way around to the exit that was suddenly much more open with the attack of James Buchanan Barnes.
'Oh, no you don't...' Rick thought as he moved to advance on the guy, only to be intercepted by one of the other guys, who flipped open a butterfly knife on him with a surprising amount of flourish and caused Rick to back up to avoid getting skewered. The guy took a few more stabs at him, Rick backing up each time until he came against the wall...and remembered he had a bat.
Rick slammed it down against the man's arm as he advanced with another stab, causing him to yelp in pain, and then slammed the bat into the side of his head, knocking him over. 'That was...embarrassingly easy.' He thought, and it was about then that he realized that the dude who had been impaled by shards of glass from the door that had been literally throw onto him was up again...and less than pleased as he ran right into Rick and tackled him over the soup line.
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