8305/An Expected Unexpected or Unexpectedly Expected Visitor

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An Expected Unexpected or Unexpectedly Expected Visitor
Date of Scene: 18 October 2021
Location: Melina Vostokoff's Safe House - Mutant Town
Synopsis: Following what she learned from Natasha, Yelena has been tracking the woman who said she used to be her mother, and having located her safehouse, stalked it to wait there for her return. Unexpectedly, she found lots of memories that seem to have unlocked something inside her.
Cast of Characters: Melina Vostokoff, Yelena Belova

Melina Vostokoff has posed:
The apartment in mutant town is nothing special at all, which is probably why it's been a safe house for so damn long. One bedroom, worn and cracked hardwood floors, a rusting fire escape up to it's window (since it is on the second floor) and appliances that were probably new sometime in the 60s and still are somehow chugging a long. There is a modern coffee maker now, and a modern vault in the very back room where, probably, many weapons are hidden. But that's it. It's a safe house. There aren't many personal things here.

But there are scraps of things. A scarf that smells like Melina. A few pieces of very modern 'soccer mom' clothing. Because of the way fashion comes around, they are almost an echo to what she wore nearly two decades ago when she was playing Yelena's mom. Those few glorious years of All-American happiness. Melina's still dressing that way. If Yelena *really* goes digging, there's the scrap book they made together when she was very young. It's tucked between the mattress and the box spring. But otherwise, there is nothing personal in this place.

Melina's been out a while, hunting for a few others, trying to keep herself occupied, trying to keep moving. But she always has to come 'home', and this is the closest thing to 'home' she remembers. So, without much paranoia, she shoves her key in the front door and pushes it open.

Yelena Belova has posed:
Melina couldn't have possibly expected that she'd let slip to Natalia that she's looking for her 'daughter' and not have said 'daughter' hear about it sooner or later. It's very likely was a very intentionally quip she gave Natalia, knowing that the most famous of Black Widows would no doubt investigate such a claim. The fact that these days are the weirdest, most emotionally chaotic for Yelena, naturally would bring a yearning for the comfortable and familiar.

Even if not, there was simply no way she wouldn't go out of her way to try and reunite with her one time mother, or cloest thing to that she's ever had, besides the Red Room's infamous 'Mother'. Dr. Lyudmila Kudrin.

While Melina has been doing her best to 'accidentally' run into Yelena, the younger of the two is very much a full fledged Black Widow herself. She's been doing some investigation of her own, and found it relatively easy to spy Melina's safe house. There was always the possibility it was intentionally easy to find, which is why after a stakeout, Yelena was carefully to sneak in once she saw Melina leave on this or that errand.

Her primal instinct was to sweep for traps, after all, it was an easy find. Could this be some sort of fucked up revenge the Red Room had concocted for her...? The price for killing 'Mother'? It was the first thing on her mind when Natalia told her that a woman claiming to be her 'mother' was about.

What she finds brings her pause, the clothing so similar or derivative to back 'then'...the happy days. The lingering scent...curious that the olfactory sense is the sense that most strongly evokes memories of the past.

She finds the weapons, meaning they are not currently on Melina, she finds standard stuff indicating this is an old safe house that just recently came back into use...but that scrapbook...that catches her off guard. So much so, she can't help but fight the tears that threaten to come out. She really wanted to sit facing the door with a pistol pointed at it as Melina walked in. But instead, she winds up lingering too long in the bedroom, going over the scrapbook cover to cover. So many real memories of a fake situation.

Eventually the sound of the door snaps her out of reminiscing, and she walks out quietly, and somewhat hesitantly, out of the bedroom. She wanted to say something, but finds words just not coming out of her mouth, as she levels her gaze with the woman who used to mean so much to her.

Melina Vostokoff has posed:
While Melina is as closed to 'retired' as one gets (for the fourth time now), she's still a Black Widow. She's still trained to know when things have changed -- just the smallest hints of temperature changes and scents in a room when a place is occupied when it shouldn't be. The moment she cracks the door open, the faint scent of something that breathes out of the place makes her hand stop. She's not certain who it is, but she knows she's not alone. Either death, punishment, or hope. It's just as likely to be any of those things.

She hesitates a moment, reaching one hand down to very carefully draw her pistol out of her side holster and keep it hidden behind her denim-clad thigh. If it was her once-handlers, she'd give them a fight. She then pushes the door the rest of the way open to look up and see... Her.

She shouldn't recognize her. She didn't watch this girl grow up -- only but a handleful of years and she was so young -- but she knows her. A myriad of emotions rip themselves across Melina's face as she stares at her once-daughter. That heartshaped face, those eyes, she'd still know them anywhere. For all the memories they took from her, she didn't let these one's go. "...baby girl?" She asks softly, in English. It was only ever English between them. Even that day where they made the scrapbook -- a dozen holiday memories shoved into one afternoon -- they used English.

Yelena Belova has posed:
"So...you do know what I look like...were you given reports?" Yelena asks in English, as coldly as she can manage, trying to hide the turmoil of emotions she's just experienced looking over that scrapbook. On the one hand, she'd have loved to have a copy of it, on the other, it would probably be the first thing the Red Room would tear to shreds. So maybe it's a small blessing that she even got to see it again.

"You look exactly the same," the blonde states flatly, looking Melina up and down, "...are you going to shot me now?" She no doubt recognizes from the stance that Melina has her pistol at the ready.

Even talking in English with this woman jarrs many memories Yelena thought she had locked up good. Good enough to survive the rest of her stay in the Red Room. But they're there, and the iron dome hiding them all deep below the surface, is starting to crack. "I was going to wait for you with pistol drawn...but it felt wrong."

Melina Vostokoff has posed:
While parts of Melina are trying to trap all the emotions away, to handle this as business like and calm as possible, they are failing. She's waited too long, she hasn't taken her own drugs, there's just too much beneath the surface to cover. A bittersweet, strained smile tugs across her mouth and she steps the rest of the way into the room, shutting and locking the door with a near frenetic immediacy. Then the gun is put away, back in a holster hidden down the thick denim of her jeans. "No! No... I... if it was them, I would shoot them. I didn't know. I would never... could never shoot you." She confesses softly. Now-empty hands slightly tremble, fighting the need to reach out for the girl. Not girl. Young woman.

"Not... reports. I did not know for a long time. Not until you came here. The mess with Mother. The group of you who got...out. I was given photos. Told to... fix it. I recognized you in the photo. All grown.." She blinks back a sudden sting of behind her eyes. She is not a woman to cry. "I'd recognize you anywhere. I was so...proud. You got out." She takes one step closer, enough that she can catch the girl's scent on the air. Melina even still smells the same, her rose hips shampoo and clean, crisp deodorant.

Yelena Belova has posed:
"...I wanted to shoot you," Yelena cuts into Melina's assurance that she would never shoot her, "...when you abandoned me..." they both know it's not true, because the Red Room was always calling the shots, and neither of them ever had a true choice about anything in their lives. Only choice was to live, outlast the competition, standout, and become a Black Widow. Because failing that would be death. As a child, it's harder to understand, and while Yelena no doubt knows better now, that pain is probably the most honest emotion she felt for years.

Standing there, looking at Melina, Yelena can't help but feel like a little girl again. Like any moment some fellow of special profession or affiliation would walk into the door under whatever story Melina sold him, and while the adults would talk, she would sneak in their briefcase and snap shots of vital information. It was the easiest play in the book, just some mischief from a kid, looking for candy, and though she usually never got caught. The few times she did only took a chiding from Melina, a demand for apology, and that was that. Ingenius how much you can do with a 'mother and child' team, yet most countries have a sembalance of 'ethics' that prevents them from taking advatnage. Not so with the Red Room.

"So you know..." Yelena suddenly pales, "you know I killed Mother..." it's funny how Yelena's voice is soaked with guilt. She's still reliving that moment in her dreams, or rather nightmares.

Yelena takes a hesitant step towards Melina herself, for all her talk, she missed the one woman who was most like a Mother to her in her life. It's hard to claim otherwise, no matter how angry she is with Melina. "It was all Mother's fault...she gave me no clear mission parameters, refused my questions about Natalia...and I don't know if Natalia manipulated me...but it happened. IF you're here to make me pay for that, well, you taught me to fight for every moment. Death is never an option, and we'll kill everyone else before it's our turn...right?"

Melina Vostokoff has posed:
A slight nod of affirmation comes in response to the information that Yelena killed Mother. "I know." There is a weird mix of emotions as she says that. Part of her scared but the rest of her strangely proud? She can't hide the crackle of a smile across her lips, one that doesn't reach her eyes, but she is proud. "Oh, I know. That's...why they sent me." And behind those last words is bitterness. Hate. Drown in a mix of exhaustion and resignation, but there is no love for their puppet masters left in Melina's tone. She's too far gone.

Unless Yelena pulls away, and she won't fight to keep her if she does, Melina then, quite abruptly, reaches out and wraps her arms tight around the young woman in an embrace that is near breath-stealing. She holds on for life, not certain if this will be the last time she ever gets to try but she's going to take her chance. If Yelena says, her cheek buries against blonde hair and she breathes in a shaking, deep drag of air that smells like her daughter. "You did good, baby girl. So... so good. They'll try... try to make you pay... but I won't. God, I'm so...damn proud of you." She whispers into the girl's hair, sotto voco, the words so quiet that even bugs should miss them.

Yelena Belova has posed:
"After you....when they took me back..." Yelena starts, still struggling to keep her visage clear of emotions, like they were taught. Emotions only come into play when they can play with the target, with the enemy. They are otherwise useless. But now, she finds it very hard to contain. There was just a different kind of bond between her and Melina. A very unusual assignment, and as a younger kid, it was easier to handle it as truth.

"After you, they put me under Starkovsky, many years...I was prized student, best cadet," she again freezes, stutters, her hands clench into fists while trying to otherwise hide her rage. "...my test was to see how I handle investigating his murder..." Yelena relates, "there's always death, always separation, and I wind up alone..." nevermind that the Red Room themselves eliminated Starkovsky, wouldn't it be fun for Yelena to learn that much. Hell, Melina might have been the one who killed him. Who truly knows.

Yelena sees Melina approach further, and while she braces for a hand to hand alteraction, she winds up caught in a tight embrace which she doesn't shy away from. She allows it, but at the same time, she doesn't quite return it. Her hands are shivering at the sides of her body, as she seems to mull over whether she's capable to embrace Melina as much as she wants to.

It's hearing Melina tell her she's proud of her that eventually gets Yelena to relent and return the embrace. It's been a while since anyone told her she did good, showed her appreciation, and she takes it. Perhaps a harkening to those derisive show of approval from Mother, when after a successful assignment she'd get a pat on the head and a juvenille 'good girl' as praise. As if she's cleaned up her room, when she's just assassinated a high priority target.

"...I missed you, mother," Yelena eventually whispers in Melina's ear as they stand there, locked in a tight embrace.

Melina Vostokoff has posed:
There is silence from Melina for what feels like too long. Especially as the girl mentions Starkovsky. If Yelena is paying attention at all to the little details, something goes more still and stiff in the older woman. Guilt? Surprise? Perhaps a bit of both, but fortunately Yelena keeps talking and her 'mother' doesn't have to explain anything right now. It's just more near erased memories to add back to the holes in the archives of her head. She'll process it later.

There is a relief that they aren't looking at each other, especially as the younger widow dares to return that embrace. It means she can't see the tears which do finally rebel and cut down Melina's cheeks, though she might feel the way breath shudders in her throat and lungs, not near so controlled as it was but a few minutes ago. Her fingertips stretch wide, pressing little points of pain and love against Yelena's back as she clutches to her so hard it could be considered unhinged. "I-I... I missed you too. I screamed, I... think. Fought. Didn't... I didn't want them to... take you. After everything, they called me a traitor. I... I guess I was. They... sent me back to be re-educated. I... don't remember much of it. I remember screaming at them. ... My mistake." Those last two words come out as barely a scrape of air. The training still stuck in her head.

Yelena Belova has posed:
"You...? A traitor...?" Yelena is surprised to hear that, she has no clue how many times Melina has been through the Red Room grind, but she felt like she was the only traitor in the Red Room's history. True, she did hear Mother call Natalia that, but she killed Mother, was there ever anything truly worse? It's strange she feels the need to explain, but she does never the less, "I would have never killed her, it's just...I saw it...all the clones, how replaceable we are."

"I thought you gave me away willingly...did you really fight?" Yelena asks, very glad herself at the embrace allowing for a few tears to go by unseen. Nothing worse then being seen crying, unless the job calls for waterworks. "I was punished by Mother because I said you were my only mother and I want you back...it took a while before I finally understood, it really was just a job."

For a moment she goes back silent, and finally states in a barely audible voice, "I saw the scrapbook, how did you manage to keep it? Was so much fun making it..."

Melina Vostokoff has posed:
The laugh that comes from Melina's throat as her girl asks how she's a traitor is scraping as sand paper and bitter as poison. It's a sick laugh, almost as uneven as the shake of her hands as she holds onto the younger woman. She pulls back enough to look the woman in the eyes, her face mottled with tears and redness. She has no cares for beauty or propriety right now. "Oh... I have been a traitor more times than probably any. Natalia. She might beat me now. But they need me... so they keep scrubbing my mind clean, sending me through again. Giving me my own damn drugs." There's another one of those laughs. Something inside Melina is very, horribly broken. Just a pile of shattered pieces were a soul or a mind once was.

But it is the comment about the scrap book which gets the hardest reaction. Melina suddenly, almost violently, pushes Yelena away. She stares at the girl like a dying, wounded animal, ready to bite any hand that will feed it. Adrenaline's spiked and she's angry, viciously angry, that the woman saw it. She's that protective over the thing. "You weren't supposed to SEE." She hisses, breathing hard through flared nostrils for a few ragged moments. That wasn't what she was asked. She just acted in on instinct.

She then turns her back to the girl, marching through to the small bedroom to gather up her one prized position -- the one bit of her soul she's kept. She flips through it with shaking fingertips. Everything still in place. Every memory she preciously framed. Every picture of them, and the man, who she suspects is long dead in prison. "...I... hid it. Deep. In Ohio. When I knew we had to go, out in the back yard... It was what I held onto. I knew I had to get something... out of that yard. When they took *everything* else, I managed to remember that yard. Found it again. Years...years later. Put the pieces together. I tried. I didn't know... how long ago it was." After her momentary panic and anger, all the shaking pieces are spilling out over that book. Over the pictures of the girl she raised, not the woman behind her in the room.

Yelena Belova has posed:
"You did...? That doesn't make sense, and I still don't have the full story of what happened to Natalia with Hawkeye, so I wouldn't know. I don't think I'm a traitor...and I killed 'Mother' and it was all because of a stupid situation 'Mother' made worse because she thought I wasn't good enough!" Yelena is visibly upset, and when they break the embrace enough to look at each other, her face is also marred with tears. "And what are those drugs you created?"

The sudden violent push almost makes Yelena lose her balance, though she saves her stumble into a roll back into standing position, her assumed position unmistakable as that of martial arts. She's ready to fight, being pushed like that is more than a tell. But she doesn't lash out to strike first. "I wasn't...? Why would you keep it away from me!?" Yelena hisses right back at Melina, before explaining, "I thought I was walking into a trap, I did a little search, found that instead...I've infiltrated countless agencies and buildings in countless countries, but that's the biggest treasure I ever unearthed."

When Yelena follows Melina to the bedroom, and sees the zeal with which Melina studies the scrapbooks for missing bits, Yelena assures her, "I left it as I found it, I didn't take a keepsake." There's something in this frever of protecting the scrapbook that makes Yelena actually think, for a moment, that perhaps that time together as a family meant something for Melina too. It pleases her to think so. "I guess you also liked playing 'mother' a little bit...like I enjoyed playing 'daughter'," and why wouldn't she, for once in her life Yelena had playdates, parties, all manner of things she neeeded to have to not raise suspicion that she's nothing but a normal kid in the neighborhood. Just moving in with her mom, nothing special.

"I can see it's important to you as it is to me...so I wouldn't ask to have it, but can I take pictures of it?" And as if to further sell her point, she immediately followed up with a bratty sounding, "I did help make it!"

Melina Vostokoff has posed:
It's that very last sentence that breaks Melina out of whatever sprialing panic she'd dropped into. The book is in tact, after all, and Yelena has a point. But it's the demanding, bratty way she follows up her ask that pulls bloodshot hazel eyes up from the book and over to the grown woman she only slightly helped raise. "Oh... you haven't changed entirely at all, have you? They could not program you...out of you..." She's so proud of that much. She takes a deep breath, trying to still something within her, and then leans over to gingerly shut the book. Now having explained what happened, there's a few hints of it -- some pages that picked up a bit of staining and the simple fading of age, but where she hid it must have been mostly water tight and precious, for it to be in as good conditon as it is.

She then fully unfolds, bringing the book gingerly back over to Yelena. She doesn't let go of it yet, her knuckles white around the edges, but she is bringing it. "...you may take photos. Hell. You... you should have some of it. If you can stay free, you...deserve it." Her face then takes a moment to crumbple, mind finally catching up to the other things Yelena said.

"...wait. If you did not... intend... to kill Mother... If you don't want to be a traitor..." Her eyes study Yelena's deeper, both dreading and confused, "Do you... want to go back? Do you want to... Fix this? I can... fix you." She sounds sick about the thought, not excited, but the offer is made. "I am *supposed* to fix you."

Yelena Belova has posed:
Yelena grins at Melina, "there's a reason I was made Black Widow after Natalia," for a moment she wasn't sure if there was still a fight about to happen or not, but that look she gets after her solid argument, makes her feel perhaps there won't have to be one. "I'm glad you kept it...it would be a terrible thing to lose. I was going to wait with pistol drawn until I found it..." there's a slight sniffle she just barely stops in time.

She looks very proud when Melina presents the book, unfolded to her, and she proceeds to go through the very important task of a true archivist, and goes about getting photos of every single page for herself, including the outer covers. "If you'd let me have a photo I will take, but I will leave you the book, you're the reason it exists today...I'm satisfied with the pictures.

But then it turns serious, and Yelena looks at Melina with confusion, "I...don't understand...fix me?" She looks very suspicious of the words, as well she should be, "I can't go back..." she muses, very well aware of what happened, and what's the cost of it. Nobody in the Red Room would care for a reason why she killed Mother. It just doesn't matter.

"I thought you were sent to kill me...*fix* me sounds, different...is it like putting a needle in my brain kind of fix?"

Melina Vostokoff has posed:
As Yelena starts to go through the book, Melina steps back just enough to watch her. She sinks down onto the edge of the old bed, drawing one leg up to tuck beneath her, and she simply watches. The tears don't return, but her eyes are glassy and the faint smile that comes from studying those delicate, precise motons, is something of genuine emotion. It's like she's watching every inch of how fast her daughter grew up and cannot help but be proud of this woman in front of her. "... find a picture. If I do not fix you..." Melina's eyes press shut for a moment, fingertips tightening against the bed.

"...I should give you the whole thing. If I do not... fix this... My life will not matter." From the tone of her voice, she's already accepted that. She is going to die, sooner rather than later. Giving away the book would just be the last moment of acceptance in her mind. Her eyes reopen as the fix is asked after, something harder coming over her features.

"You are... right. Mostly. It is closer to a needle... in your mind. Drugs. I've been making them for... years. They just work better now. No more of those horrid movies, not much of the torture. A little surgery, a few chemicals, and you are... *Fixed*. Better. A proper Widow again. You probably wouldn't remember any of this at all. My work is quite effective."

Yelena Belova has posed:
To most, looking at Yelena right now, would be nothing unusual, but someone who knows her like Melina does. Someone who knows what she's been through, and how she undoubtedly conducted herself over the last decade or so, it's quite obvious this is very special. For a brief moment, as Yelena takes hold of the scrapbook and drinks it every minor detail once again. The minute inflections on her face are enough of a tell how she's reliving a very special moment. She sees more than the photograph depicts, she can see, hear, and smell everything encapsulated in that very moment of a fleeting few years of happy childhood. Of a childhood at all. It's precious to her, and she cherishes every moment of it. The fact she was allowed such luxury at all for the sake of that mission is testament alone to how highly touted a cadet she was in the Red Room. Because the Red Room has no little girls, it has cadets. Some are good ones, and some perish, because it is always survival of the fittest.

"If for nothing else, thank you for making this with me, and for keeping it." To Yelena it was a fun activity with her new found mom. But she should know better by now, Melina made the scrapbook with her because it validates the story, there's no family with no single photo or momento. It looks too suspicious.

"To find just the one...?" Yelena gasps, giving Melina an evil eye, "so cruel!"

The musing about Melina giving her the entire scrapbook has Yelena shaking her head, "you deserve this as much as I do, and I think you are lying if you're saying you don't need it." Those blue eyes focus on Melina a few moments longer, before she points out with a smirk, "you liar." To be fair, they all are, just that.

But then the stakes are revealed, and Yelena closes the book, "if you don't...*fix* me you mean? Then you die? Why not join me and Nat then? Why not sell that you fixed me...?" Yelena, for a few moments, does sound the child concerned for her mother, "you can't die, I won't let them do it! You're still my mom, more so than any other mom," and saying that hurts because Mother is quite the 'mother' figure around the Red Room.

Then comes the explanation of the 'fix' and Yelena looks crestfallen. If she was given this very offer, moments after she shot 'Mother' she may very well have taken it. But some time has passed, and Nat had began to do some recuperative work on her. Her attitude about the entire ordeal is a little more skewed.

"It's nice...having something better than torture and movies, but, I don't want to forget all of this. She holds up the book in both hands, hugging it close to her heart, "that's more me than anything else...it's the only me."

Melina Vostokoff has posed:
As Melina is accused of being cruel in that slightly pouty voice, her smile creeps slowly warmer across her face. It's like she can see the little girl she knew opening back up, shining through this cold, trained killer, with every moment longer they spent together. "...How did they not train the brat out of you, I do not know. You have always had such the mouth." Melina mutters with a barely contained grin through tearful eyes. She loves this girl, that much is clear. And the fact she kept the book probably means she always has.

But good memories and teasing over scrap books can only last so long. Her smile falss away when she's accused of being a liar. That she cannot die. She gives the faintest shake of her head, greenish eyes fully turned away, studying her hands now. Little scars beneath her fingernails. Burns on the pads of her thumbs and pointer finger. So many other memories far less pleasant than the book.

"Natalia does not wish for me, or trust me. She should not." Melina's Russian accent is thicker now, as they discuss the room and things that weren't her time being all American. "I gave her... and maybe I give one to you, if you do not wish *fixed*, then I give you... freedom. A way to fight. Maybe SHIELD makes it better. Makes more. They destroyed my ingredients, to fight it. There is only so much. If you do not wish fixed, stay here. Take the one they call Underwood -- she was never fixable. Keep the other child. Natalia knows herself well enough. Run. I will buy you... time. As much as I can. But they will end me for this. They have the drugs now, they do not need the maker any longer."

Yelena Belova has posed:
It's quite an observation, considering everyone else who met her so far was mostly met with a stoic, cold demeanor. Having seen this scrapbook and having run to the truest version of a mother she ever had, seems to have warmed her up a bit. "I think they found it endearing, the right word at the right time, can make someone lose focus." Yelena looks a bit confused at the mention of Natalia's take on this, "why me and not you? Aren't we the same?" Yelena naively offers...or is it naive? Hard to tell when Widows say something purely to illicit some freely given information.

"I've not met Underwood," Yelena admits, though she seems quite curious. But it seems like time is running out for this particular meeting, she doesn't know who has been observing Melina, or who else might be coming to check in, but at least she has a momentary solution, "let me knock you out, I could have caught you off guard, then it wasn't you who let me go..."

Melina Vostokoff has posed:
Melina can't entirely hide the sadness that crosses her eyes when Yelena offers to knock her out. It's like a child trying to put a bandaid over a gushing wound. But she knows she's trying to help. "If they are watching us this closely, we are probably both already dead. But..." She stands, going towards the weapons vault. A few quick motions to get the heavy thing open and, inside, are certainly some weapons. But also a far smaller freezer. She unlocks that as well and pulls out two little red vials. She holds them heavily and still for one moment. The last bit of salvation.

Then she turns, offering them in Yelena's direction. "Take these and knock me out. You threatened my life. I hadn't the heart to kill you. You took what you came here for and ran. Clearly, you didn't need me. You just needed this. If they try to ... fix you... or any of the others, this will help. It's all I have. Take it and go." This is such a screaming betrayal and failure of her mission that there is no way she'll survive after it, but Melina seems to have accepted that. At least she gets this passed to her child. She's no longer hovering over the book. If Yelena knocks her out, she could probably take that too.

Yelena Belova has posed:
Yelena seems very confident in her offered solution, but perhaps if she had Melina's vastly more prominent experience, she'd be less optimistic. "Let's hope they aren't then...but best be safe, right?" Yelena notes, eyeing the scrap book as Melina goes to unlock that small freezer within her vault. Does she leave it her and risk losing it if they are on to Melina...? That scrapbook is likely the most important treasure of her life, hell if she'd let anyone take it and destroy it. She knows Melina will keep it, but can she...? Given what she just said...

"Understood, SHIELD knows more than they thought, I came for this...and SHIELD isn't even thinking of turning you, so you're a safe asset." She looks between herself and Melina and notes, "emotional attachment from our mission made you sloppy, you didn't go for the kill...might convince them not to kill me, if I'm that good."

She takes careful hold of the vials she's given, inserting them into a secret pouch in her vest, a damn useful thing! Then looks at Melina with a smile, "I see you again, mama," she promises, and quickly goes about a knockout maneuver that uncontested should be lightning quick.

She hesitates a moment, before eventually settling for returning the scrapbook to its hiding spot, figuring even if they get Melina, she could return to take it from this safehouse. Things are certainly more involved than she imagined, and the Black Widows are crawling quite an intricate web.

Melina Vostokoff has posed:
With no fight, no protest at all, Melina drops to the ground like a puppet with strings cut. Maybe a neighbor downstairs will hear. No one will care. She's left unconscious and for Yelena to make her 'escape' with the final betrayal she'll ever commit against her country.