The soldier was gone in seconds—jumping across rooftops, navigating through alleys, knowing every path out of the area that wouldn’t be crowded with people and secret service. He didn’t have to worry about cameras, his bullet proof vest had built in technology that would loop the footage of every camera he passed making him virtually invisible. And for any cameras that caught him…in a crowd, his domino mask would disrupt any facial recognition software.
He was a ghost, a myth, a legend…this was his craft, this is what he was trained to do, this is what he was best at, where he felt comfortable…despite the nagging feeling that something was wrong…
Why had he hesitated…? He still couldn’t figure it out. He should’ve taken the shot, but he didn’t. And the more he thought about it, the more it felt like a sharp knife was being driven into his temple.
Steve ran alongside her without a single word, eyes focused forward and leaping through and past any obstacle that came his way. Eventually they came to the point that Natasha had led them to, where the shot was fired. She had an immense skill when it came to judging the trajectory of a bullet. A skill that Steve didn’t choose to question, especially when it was boding in his favour.
Reaching the top he spotted the gun, darting toward it and picking it up. He narrowed his eyes as he held it in his hands then showed Natasha.
There was nothing else there, not even a trace, a hair, a fibre. It was completely sterile.
When they arrived at the scene, instead of studying the actual spot; Natasha began to twist and turn trying to calculate the best escape route that would have been taken. She saw several possible routes, some better than others but as she looked, she saw no-one or no trace of which way they would have gone. She cursed in Russian under her breathe. Whoever this was, they were good.
She was shaken from her mental evaluation by Steve’s question, turning to look at him and down at the gun he held.
“Da,” she replied, nodding her head, “James has the exact same model at home. It’s one of his favourites actually.”
It was a good gun, well balanced, one of her personal choices too if she ever wanted to snipe anyone.
"Whoever they are, they know what the hell they’re doing. Something must of happened to make them hesitate and screw up the shot."
The soldier had done this before…he wasn’t sure of that, but he could feel it. The meticulous planning, the misdirection, you had to make the secret service vulnerable, the president was only an after thought. That was easy. You put the situation in your control, but let them think they’re the ones calling all the shots. Easy.
Set up an outdoor meet, fill the surround around with a lot of civilians, pick out the rooftops, hand pick the agents, know everything before they do. They were practically playing into the soldier’s hands.
He looked over the scene through the scope of his gun, ensuring everything was as it should be. The soldier was perched on a rooftop far away from the action, ready to take a shot that no one besides himself could manage. He adjusted his sights for the wind and the angle, setting up his shot.
He drew in a deep breath, letting it out slowly, blocking out the noise around him, lowering his heart rate, keeping his aim steady…
"Damnit!" A slight hesitation cost him the shot. At the last second, one of the president’s daughters had stepped into his sights. He didn’t miss…not completely, he’d gotten the president in his shoulder. But there was no chance he could complete the mission. Not now, the Secret Service would be crawling over his location in seconds, but he’d be long gone before they’d gotten there—leaving only his gun behind.
Steve made sure that Natasha was fully briefed, as much as he was. All he knew was that someone was after the President, and something had happened. Without much details given, it was difficult to actually know what they were both dealing with, but something about the situation wreaked of deja vu. Their usual sense of banter in the craft seemed to have dissolved, perhaps because Steve hadn’t really been himself lately. Either way, once they had landed he quickly ran toward the commotion, diving in and ensuring that people gave way for Natasha.
Then there was a gunshot, a shatter and people running around screaming. The Captain had to weave his way through the crowds, stopping in horror as he saw the president stooped over by the girl, clutching his injured shoulder with the secret service over him in a tight cluster as though they were shelling a tortoise.
"Mr President… Sir…" He reached out, but quickly withdrew his hand, turning to Natasha. He had no time to consider this a failure, one shot could’ve been severe. It’d hit his shoulder but that was enough to send Steve’s alarm bell ringing. He bolted back with Natasha by him. "We need to find who did this, they must still be here."
The flight over was quick, as fast as the jet could go. They were not heeding any laws and she was sure that just this once the President and the RAF would not mind them invading parts of the airspace they did have permission to enter. Not that they usually listened anyway. The key thing was getting briefed and it was a serious offence that they were going to. She had expected something serious but her mind hadn’t even gone to the President despite the fact her television had been set to have the live coverage on in the background while she graded papers.
The jet hovered and they dropped down, Natasha instantly analysing the situation while Steve turned to the President. All her training, all her sniper shots, her knowing how to take out snipers and where they would be just by knowing where a target stood; it came rushing back in situations like this. This is what the KGB had taught her. This was what James had taught her. The instinct of a killer; just be able to know, to connect to the killer with a level of understanding.
She had figured it out before Steve had even turned to her. “They shot from there,” Natasha stated as if it were the most obvious thing in the world, pointing to a high up point opposite where the President had been standing. “We should check there for signs first.”
Without another word or another moments hesitation, the Black Widow was running quickly towards the entrance point of the building.
"Cripes…either your wine here is Latveria is really strong or—" How could he have been so stupid? He knew something was up, but he continued to do his usual routine of bugging Doom. He could feel the weight of the sedative slipped into his drink sinking down on him. Get up…get up, damnit! he tried to will his body to try to get out of the situation he was it, but it was too late. He was out before he’d could even stand.
The soldier opened his eyes to sight he’d never seen before, his eyes falling on the one who’d pulled him out of stasis. Loyalties, he never questioned where the stood, and everything was telling him that this man was where his loyalties lay. He stood at attention, listening carefully to the his mission briefing.
Doing his usual work, tired and worn from the events of the school, he kept his eyes focused on his own. Shifting from paper to paper, sighing deeply as he glanced up to the shield that was resting on his wall. With all of the recent events in the school, he was starting to question his abilities, that was for sure.
His azure eyes darted toward the ringing phone, seeing an office number and furrowing his eyebrows. It was from the US, which was pretty far from where they were at present. It always surprised him when he got calls from abroad, especially from that number.
It didn’t take long before he was on his feet, hand resting on the desk whilst the other held the phone. “The president?! Wh-what are you talking about?” He had gotten news of the attack on the President in the states, knowing he had to make his way there as quick as he could - and there was only one pilot that could fly that fast.
He grabbed everything he could, getting dressed in his other uniform, and dashing out down the hallway, storming into Natasha’s office.
"We need to go. Now."
The television was always on in Natasha’s office, as a background noise that she only half paid attention to as she worked. For now, nothing seemed odd. At least, not that she could tell. It was more alarming that Steve had crashed into her office, demanding that they needed to leave.
She didn’t hesitate; merely jumped from her seat.
“Turn around,” she instructed as she began to undo her shirt in order to quickly change into her uniform. She had learned to change quickly, in seconds flat and soon enough she was strapping her guns to her legs and her bites to her wrists.
“Where to? What’s happened?” She asked, taping his shoulder to signify she was done and ready to go.
She exited the office, running to the hanger bay since the urgency in Steve’s voice had been more than enough to make it more than a walking moment. Students knew to move out the way, to get clear as they made their way through.
Quickly, Natasha climbed into one of the quinnjets, doing all the procedures and checks in record timing. Within ten minutes, they were in the air. Though, she had to admit she was slightly confused that none of the rest of the team was with them.
"We can alway take this back to your office…"
"I thought you’d never ask…"
"Hmm…A particular favourite word of yours comes to mind…Nope!"
"Do I always have to have some sort of ulterior motive for kissing you?"
"Not always, but usually your affectionate side waits until we’re back home opposed to standing in the Academy entrance hall."
"Nothing…can’t I just show some love an affection?"
"Hmm…A particular favourite word of yours comes to mind…Nope!"
"You almost done with your school stuff?"
"Just finished. Why? What are you after this time, James?"