winter’s soldiers

by renegadekarma

“We’re not done talking about this,” he replied.

“Honestly, I could do without another one of your lectures, grandpa.”

“I’m only ninety-five!”


“Fancy a popsicle, Capsicle?”

Dakota ignored her. “If you’re going to keep making ice jokes about me, I’m going to get out,” he threatened.

Tatiana gestured vaguely to the window. “We’re on a plane, Cap.”

“My point still stands.”

Tatiana rolled her eyes and began pulling counting the knives she had on her. “This should be an easy mission. Fury said so going in. Just get in, get the hostages out, and leave.”

“I was there for the briefing too, Tatty,” Koda replied, although he did spare her a quick smile as he readjusted his shield on his arm.

Tatiana considered what he was wearing for a moment. “Do you ever get tired of wearing that suit?” she asked after a moment. “I mean, it’s all covered in stars and colorful and – you don’t feel ridiculous wearing it?”

“I feel like freedom and patriotism.”

Tatiana rolled her hazel eyes once more. “Alright, then, Cap. You’ve got your mission, then?” She glanced toward the end of the plane, where the cargo hold was beginning to lower. “Go ahead. Age before beauty.” She smirked at him.

“I’m only ninety-five,” he sighed but obligingly jumped out the back without a parachute.

Tatiana leaned out over the edge and narrowed her eyes at him, her dark hair whipping around her in the wind. “SHOW OFF,” she called out somewhat affectionately before grabbing a parachute and following him down.

Discarding the fabric behind her, she slunk around the ship, following the star-spangled man in front of her as he peeked around corners.

“You get down and try to find the hostages,” Koda whispered to her suddenly as he leaned around and noticed a row of guards patrolling. “I’ll take these guys out.”

“Yell if you need me,” she called back before sprinting away silently.

He nodded at her retreating figure and then turned down the corner, shield in hand, before kicking the first guard in the back of his legs and watching him collapse before starting on the others.

Meanwhile, Tatiana was not looking for the hostages like she’d been ordered. She’d fought her way into the control room with a rather minimal amount of bloodshed (really, a lost finger wasn’t much in this business) and was trying to hack her way into the system. SHIELD information was precious and her utmost priority. The hostages could way.

It was Captain America who got to the hostages first. Dakota frowned as he entered the room and saw the bound and gagged passengers, eyes wide in fear that relaxed as soon as they recognized him. “Tatiana, I’ve got them. Where’s the plane?” he called into his earpiece.

No answer.

“Tatiana?” He sighed when there was no answer again and then began to haul up the nearest hostage, slinging him over his shoulders.

By this time, more of their team had arrived, and Koda was able to carefully direct the hostages to them instead of relying on him. “I think Tatiana might be hurt. She’s not answering,” he told the nearest soldier before heading around the ship to the control room.

She was leaned over the counter, typing furiously as the door opened. “What’s up, Capsicle?” she asked, not sparing him a glance as she continued focusing on the screen in front of her.

Koda paused for a moment, baffled and then scowled at her. “What are you doing?”

“Recovering the SHIELD documents. They’re classified.” She continued typing. “Fortunately, they’re encrypted and these captors on this ship haven’t yet managed to break in, so all our secrets are still safe.”

“That wasn’t the mission,” Koda growled, coming around to the front of the computer and placing his hands on the monitor.

“It was my mission,” she corrected, sparing him a hazel glance briefly before she pulled a flashdrive out of this system and began striding out of the room.

“Do you know how many lives you put at risk just so you could get that?” Dakota demanded as he followed her. “Our priority was the hostages and making sure they were safe.”

Tatiana was now flagging down the plane above them, waving her arms up in the signal that they’d agreed on. “They were fine. If this information got out, there would be a hundred thousand people in trouble as opposed to thirty,” she informed him dryly as the plane let down a ladder.

“Yes, but even so,” he grabbed the rope ladder firmly as Tatiana began climbing, halting her abruptly so she couldn’t move further, “Where is your sense of morality, Tatiana?”

“Must have disappeared with my curly hair,” she returned breezily, shoving aside his arm and beginning the ascent. “You coming up?” she called down to her partner.

He grumbled for a moment as he began to pull himself up after her. “We’re not done talking about this,” he replied.

“Honestly, I could do without another one of your lectures, grandpa.”

“I’m only ninety-five!”

She stopped abruptly and turned to him, halfway on her way up. “Look at me and just breathe, okay? No one got hurt, everyone’s out safe, and we’ve finished the mission as well as recovered all of SHIELD’s information, okay? What’s so wrong about that?”

Dakota pinned her with a glare. “You know what was wrong about that,” he replied. “Your priority needs to be on protecting human life.”

She turned and snorted, climbing again. “Well, we can’t all be as moral and righteous as Captain America, Koda.”

“You can certainly try,” he grumbled as he followed.