At the mention of Coulson’s name, the tension unknotted from her shoulders. He was a good man, she appreciated him. Faina reached out and took one of the scones from the bag, bringing it up to her lips with both hands—looking something like a squirrel.
While Katarina could have sworn that she saw Faina relaxing at the mention of Coulson, she made no mention of it, taking another bite of her own scone. “—What’s your cat’s name?”
“Пушистый.” Faina replied, taking a small nip out of the scone. “But I just call him Poosh.”
The cat hopped up on Faina’s shoulder, curiously sniffing at the scone. It seemed more appealing than his own food.
“I just mean,” Natasha insisted with a roll of her eyes so grand that she could practically see the inside of her skull, “that I see myself in you. I was like you once. I don’t want to hurt you because I remember being hurt by people pretending they wanted to help me. In the end, they were Department sleepers trying to catch traitors and defectors. Since you’ve been gathering information on me for the Department, you have to know know that I’m not working for them.”
She pushed her plate away and sighed.
Faina put her pizza down on the plate and resorted to picking off the cheese and eating it in clumps before returning to eat the saucy bread. Generosity… she remembered it from her youth, a lifetime ago when villagers would give her a day old roll or a sweet when she wandered into shops.
"I lied," she admitted. It was the only thing she could think of that could come close to repaying the generosity. "Lukin does not know about the baby."
Both dogs started barking and Kate made them sit before going to answer the door with a smile. “I think they’re excited.”
Bo trotted off after Bacon to help with the treated before Target came out from under the couch and winding himself around Kate’s leg before she picked him up and plunking him on her shoulders. “You’re welcome. He’s great.”
Bacon dropped the bag of treats on the floor and pounced on it. When this failed to open the bag and secure the treats inside, he resorted to making a high pitched whine.
Faina laughed as she watched. It was a strange, squeaky sort of sound almost like she wasn’t entirely sure how to make it.
"Are you feeling okay?" she asked after a long quiet moment.
Faina watches as he slides his hands into his pockets. Is there a knife? That first thought jumps to mind unbidden. That is always the first thought. Her age is not a secret, it’s right in her dossier for anyone with high enough clearance to read. But perhaps few people bother to do so. This one hasn’t. “I will be eighteen by the end of winter.”
She tenses and he watches as her gaze flicks to his hands. Alright, so she’s a little paranoid.That seems…rather understandable, actually. Seven years in a lab — since she was 10? Of course, that’s just assuming she recently got out. Otherwise it was even earlier that she was subjected to that experimentation or such. (Okay now he’s curious if this time in the labs is the shared history that she has with Natasha Romanoff.)
“Well, fly to Australia and you can drink your birthday away legally, I guess.”
"Your country has bizarre laws," Faina mused. "You can be sent to war, but you cannot drink." One usually begot the other, and in a very specific order. But personally, she only drank alone in her apartment when she was certain that her security system was in full effect. Or possibly in the company of Kate Bishop. "I prefer not to have my mind and reflexes dulled by poisons."
Idly, she toyed with the silver tracking bracelet on her wrist. Its presence was new and she was not yet accustomed to the weight—she doubted she would.
"Why are you saying ‘knock’ instead of knocking?" she asked, standing up from her bed. "The door is unlocked."
"It could be worse. They could have me in chains." She had definitely been locked up in chains. "And they let me keep my cat." She pointed to the white fuzzball grooming in the corner.
"Is that a cat or a gremlin? You don’t feed it after midnight, do you?"
Still, Darcy stands awkwardly in the doorway. Should she go in more, or should she wait? And how strange was it, that Darcy hardly knew Faina, but had been drawn there to see her all the same?
Faina blinked, she looked at Darcy then at the cat then back at Darcy. “It is a cat?” she said, her brow furrowing. “I leave food for him, and he eats when he pleases. What does the Kremlin have to do with him?”
As per usual, Faina did not understand half of what came out of Darcy’s mouth. But, for some strange reason she liked that—there were things in the world that did not make sense, so there will still things to be learned.
"What the fuck just happened?" he murmured to himself, hissing as he poked at the newly acquired wound. How had he not noticed before?
He found himself unnerved from the strange encounter and decided that it was better to just head, Slipping on his coat, he threw a few bills onto the table before heading out of the door, hands buried in his pockets as he walked down the road.
Pulling the hood of her sweatshirt over her head, Faina set out to follow him—not close enough that she would be easily noticeable as anyone other than another person strolling down the sidewalk. Where was he staying? Who was he working with? There were answers. She just had to find them.
Then do not keep your experiments in the fridge.