It was difficult to part ways once the plan was settled, but necessary. Natasha and Sam said their goodbyes to Krystal, Steve, and Bucky knowing that this mission might be lethal. But they all knew that they'd have to save the 'what-ifs' for another day. It would only be a distraction.
Sam and Natasha retrieved his wings easily. The next step was infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D.
"You sure this is a good idea Nat?" Sam wasn't nervous, just checking in. "Seems like a bad idea, decking your boss."
"It'll probably be safer for her. I suspect Alexander Pierce isn't going to let anyone argue him out of the Insight project. She's probably on the list."
"Sure, but so are you."
"No." Natasha didn't look at him. "Zola said it would be senseless to kill me when my loyalties can be bought."
Sam had been expecting Natasha to protest, say that she was better equipped for whatever Alexander Pierce was going to throw at them. Her blunt honesty surprised him. He put a hand on her shoulder.
"Hey. I know it's not like that. It just goes to show they don't really know you at all."
She smiled halfway.
"You just met me. How can you be sure."
"You're with Captain America. He trusts you. Seems like a good judge of character."
Natasha let herself smile for real- and then let go of it. It was time to start the mission.
Successfully impersonating one of the members of the S.H.I.E.L.D. oversight board, Natasha walked into the base. It was easy enough to find out where the planned meeting with Alexander Pierce was to be held; she was early of course. Plenty of time to let Sam in through an unguarded window and rescue the members of the BAU they were sure were trapped inside. They needed all the allies they could get. After all, anyone in the building could be working for Hydra.
Natasha was more worried about the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents that would be taken in by the lies Pierce would surely tell them. They'd be fighting for the wrong side without even realizing it. She was hoping that the BAU could help curtail the situation and prevent needless casualties. This was going to tear S.H.I.E.L.D. apart- and she was desperately hoping that there'd be enough people after the crisis to put it back together.
The remaining members of the BAU were trying their best to appear calm as they searched for Morgan and Reid. It was clear that something was very wrong- the conspiracy within S.H.I.E.L.D. had to go much further than they previously suspected. They were worried about their friends, not ready to fear the worst and struggling to remain calm.
"Wait, I've got something," Garcia had tapped into the security system. Prentiss joined her, staring at the screen. "What is it?"
"Locked elevator, with security cameras disabled," Garcia grinned, typing away. "And it's the route they would have taken to get back inside the building- yep! There they are getting in. And then the footage just cuts off. It's labeled as a 'maintenance issue' but they've got to be in there!"
Prentiss was already out the door, followed by JJ and Hotchner. Garcia followed them on the cameras, tracking their progress. She connected to their headsets as well. "Can you hear me?"
"We're here Garcia!" Prentiss examined the elevator doors. "We'll have to pry it open."
"Hang on guys, looks like you're about to get some company." Garcia saw two figures walking down the hall. "I'm not sure who they're allied with, be careful."
Natasha removed her disguise as soon as she saw the BAU members.
"We're the good guys. Trust me on this one." She shot the Hydra agent that had been tailing them.
Beside her, Sam just grinned.
"I've got something in my kit that should help get them out."