The Team With No Name: Origins

July 27, 2015:

Steve recruits Ronnie for his latest plans

East Brooklyn

It's Ronnie's place and it's kind of gross.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's recycling day tomorrow. So Ronnie Hautzig is putting out her recycling. She knows full well that what she's dragging out is just going to be dug through by the local homeless to be redeemed for their nickels. She could take the nickels herself, if she wanted. But for whatever reason, she doesn't want them.

Ronnie's dressed casual — dark yoga pants and a grey tank top, looking like she's somewhere between a workout and a shower, with untied running shoes on that she probably just slipped into to walk out the recycling. She sets the bin down with a loud clank — it's mostly glass liquor bottles.

At the loud clank of bottles and cans, Steve Rogers looks up at her from behind his aviator sunglasses. He's wearing a plain white t-shirt and a pair of jeans with black boots and he's sitting upon his bike in the alleyway just outside the back of the rowhouse.

"Glad you came out the back. Not sure who might see us on the street," Steve says as he looks past Ronnie out towards the street in the space between the two homes.

"You busy?"

Of course Ronnie recognizes Steve — he's Steve Rogers, Captain America. She's frozen for a second, looking at him like he'd just asked if she had time to do some impromptu surgery.

A blink, then Ronnie answers. "No," she responds. A too-long, awkward pause. "Do you want to come in?"

"I'm not sure your house isn't bugged," Steve says with a shrug. It seems that everything he does, everywhere he goes, is being watched. Perhaps it's just paranoia, perhaps it's just being well prepared.

"I'll cut right to the chase, Hautzig. The long and short of it is as follows: Aside from my duties with SHIELD, I've been grounded and pushed out. I'm heading underground and I'm looking for people who might be thinking along the same lines."

"Now, you—you seem like an extremely skilled individual. One I owe my life to (and thank you for that). I'm wanting to gauge how bored you are sitting behind that desk."

Ronnie wraps her arms around herself, as if cold — but she's not. She's just not used to destiny staring her directly in the face. Somehow, she knows this is one of those moments.

When Steve details his plight, then asks how bored she is, Ronnie slowly looks down at the recycling bin full of bottles. She just as slowly turns her eyes back up to look at Cap as she answers: "Very."

"So you're in, is what you're saying?" Steve says with a smirk. He swings one leg off of the bike and begins to walk towards Ronnie, and towards her place. "I suppose now is as good a time as any to check your place for bugs."

Ronnie tries to think of a cool line. 'If Captain America asks me, hell yes I'm in,' something like that, but with more panache, memorable like… she knows her life consists of before this moment and after this moment, and she needs to have a great quote for when she tells the story later.

But Ronnie's lips move independently of her brain and she just says: "Yeah."

As Steve starts walking towards the house, Ronnie walks too. Then she suddenly steps ahead more quickly, trying to beat him into the house so she can hurriedly try and clean. It's not destined to be a successful effort. The place is a mess, with more moving boxes than furniture.

Steve allows Ronnie to go ahead; it's the polite thing to do of course. He stops himself from talking more about the plans he has until he's had a chance to check her place out.

As the pair enter, Steve takes his glasses off and clips them upon his shirt. The mess is apparent, but he doesn't bother to even comment upon it. Some of his best allies have been slobs. He'll let you guess which ones.

But do they feel as much shame about it as Ronnie? Who knows. That's up to them to decide. Ronnie, meanwhile, is trying to push a bunch of stuff into a trash can she's dragged over as Steve comes in. "Sorry about the mess," she says, bringing it up since Steve is too polite to. "I'm still kind of moving in." Some of those moving boxes have dust on them.

"Don't worry about it. I barged in on you," he replies as he runs his hand along the wall. It all looks kind of weird as he clearly begins searching her house for bugs. Not cockroaches—the other kind. The same kind he found in his place soon after arriving.

"So, new place, huh? Where'd you live before?"

Ronnie watches Cap work, and has a bit of a look around herself, suddenly suspicious of things like the undersides of counters. She answers Steve: "Manhattan. I was undercover for a while." She takes a pause that's just long enough to indicate she doesn't want to talk about something to do with it. "Then the mission was terminated. I got my back pay that had stored up, used it to make a down payment here. Not the best neighborhood, but I'm not exactly scared of street crime."

"May I?" Steve says as he looks to one of the boxes to grab a scissors. His other hand stays upon the same place on the wall before he begins scraping away at the facade. Eventually there's a small hole. Then a bigger one. Finally, when it's enough for him to stick his fingers into, he pulls out a small metallic cylinder, no bigger than an Advil."

Steve sniffs a bit as his eyes inspect it. He then unceremoniously, puts it in the leftover swill of one of the beer bottles. "One of these guys is good for a whole house. I'm pretty sure you're clear. They must want to keep an eye on you. Guess we should remember that."

He shakes his head at her, "It feels like you're ashamed. You shouldn't be. It's a lot more spacious than my place. And I'm sure when you get after it, it'll be alright. Sounds like you got a good price on it."

Ronnie watches Steve remove the bug, and the disgust on her face is evident. She doesn't say anything for almost a full minute, clearly lost in her own thoughts, holding back some unspoken rage. She turns away, bracing her hands on the countertop of the kitchenette.

"People don't want to move into a neighborhood where they think they're gonna get stabbed," Ronnie replies, perhaps choosing not to reply to the other points. She sounds a bit prickly, now. "So yeah. It's cheap. The worse it gets, the cheaper. Big companies are eating it up. They can buy it cheap now, chase out the riff raff, and turn it into shopping centers."

"Well," Steve says as he looks far away upon the wall, seemingly satisfied that they got the one and only bug, "the stabbings are a reflection of our society. Push someone far enough away—can't be surprised when they turn to a dark place. It was no different than when I was a kid. Just more people and more guns."

"Do you know Agent Drew?"

"Yeah," Ronnie says, agreeing to Steve's assessment of urban crime. She still seems sullen, a bit distant — nothing like finding out you're being spied on to kill your mood.

"Drew? No. I didn't have a lot of contact with other Agents during my mission," Ronnie says, pushing herself away from the kitchenette and prowling through the room like a caged jungle cat. "Nor do I currently, at my desk. Which is probably how they want it."

"Well, what they don't know won't hurt them," Steve replies before leaning on a counter. "Agent Drew is a lot like us. Pushed away from the mainstream. As far as I can tell she's got a bit of a checkered past, but the specifics are above my clearance. I've worked with her on a few missions, and she seems to be what I'm looking for."

Rogers head tilts to the side, "Which I should probably tell you more about." He takes a deep breath—where to begin? "Despite leaving the Justice League, I have no intention on stopping or even slowing down. Our work will be clandestine, with discretion a big part of it. We'll take jobs as they come, and go back to our normal course of business when they don't."

"Understood," Ronnie says. She's glad Cap doesn't have to search upstairs. She'd die of embarassment if he saw the framed movie poster at the center of her slovenly abode. "I'm in. A hundred percent." She sounds firm in this, as much as she sounded annoyed after the bug was found. Firm-annoyed, a good strong combo. "But I want to know: what's my role, in your design?"

"Depends on the mission. To be honest, the core group that I have in mind are sort of do 'everything' types. The specialists will come later." Steve looks at the clock. "Speaking of, I need to head to a meeting. Obviously, at work, you and I won't talk unless it's normal and not forced. If you catch my meaning."

"Understood, sir," Ronnie says. She's going to be so mortified with herself if she ever has a chance to watch this from outside herself and realize what a standoffish tool she probably sounds like, and on top of that one who's in a garbage house. "I catch your drift perfectly. But when you call… I'll be there to answer."

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