Sibling Snapping

October 28, 2015:

Brian goes to visit his sister and starts to feel the strain of trying to maintain what could be a normal life against the coming storm.

Lower Manhattan

Betsy Braddock's apartment with her roomies.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: The Juliana Hatfield Three, “My Sister”

Fade In…

"As much as I cherish London's culture, there's just no comparison to New York for breadth of cuisine." Betsy hipchecks her apartment refrigerator door shut, and walks into the small living room where she and Brian are settling in for a meal. She carries two small plates with decorative bowls inside, and a pair of chopsticks on each plate— and a fork for Brian, if needed.

The apartment's an odd mishmash of Japanese aestheticism, Korean traditional art, Hispanic crafts, and a layer of mad science spread over all available surfaces. Betsy takes up a seat next to Brian at the neatly appointed zone in the middle of the room, folding her knees under her and settling comfortably onto a pillow. She starts settling plates out for her brother and then sets up her own, before cracking open the 'to go' bento box from the local sushi place.

"Itadakimasu, Brian-san." She beams at him and sets soy sauce, wasabi, and ginger where he can serve himself. "We have diet soda, tea, or coffee?" she offers. "I might be able to find some wine— I think Aiko said she left some around here," Betsy frowns, glancing over her shoulder.

Needing to get out of the Consulate for a bit, Brian went to do some of his classes - because he does have to go to college - that pesky Doctorate doesn't grow on a tree in Otherworld after all, then he finally responded to Betsy that he'd stop by. His left arm rests in a bit of a sling where it is still healing up while he carried his knapsack in his right side.

He exchanged cheek-kisses with his sib as he arrived at the apartment and takes it all in. "Well no wonder you never want to come home. You've made your own nest." he says with a smirk as he feels his phone vibrate and takes it out. Apparently the wound wasn't so serious that he couldn't still use his thumbs. "Tea's great." he says absently as he adds in a "Bless you." since he wasn't wholly paying attention to what his sister was saying as he sets down his bag and it gives a brief sound of metal on metal before he puts his phone away and settles in.

"How's things at the Institute been for you as of late?" he asks as he waits for her to bring out the tea for service, looking over the offerings for the day. He'd prefer fish and chips, but she insists on exposing him to all this culture he usually shies away from.

"I've nothing to complain about," Betsy says. She rises smoothly and pours tea from a kettle into a small pot, and returns with a little tea service on a tray already set up. A testament to the confluence of British and Japanese culture? Or just knowing her brother well enough?

"I have some good oolong, if you'd like, though I prefer the jade citrus for sushi night." She holds out a few small containers filled with loose leaves, for Brian to examine. She takes his choice and drops it into an infuser, then sets the small porcelain teapot aside so it can steep.

She picks up her chopsticks in one hand and mixes up a healthy pile of wasabi into a puddle of soy sauce, turning it a milky brown color. "Don't eat any of Leiko's wasabi, if she offers you any," Betsy advises Brian. "Not that you'll likely see her, she's taking a sabbatical to visit family in Korea. She prefers to get hers from a friend who dabbles in genetics. Makes it about as spicy as a ghost pepper." She rolls her eyes and thoroughly splashes some sashimi into the soy sauce, using her chopsticks with a surprising facility. "How's your arm feeling?"

Brian dares to be adventurous, actually using his sister's suggestion to make the tea that she likes. As the leaves are seeped in the hot water, he gives an absent roll of his shoulder. "Caught me off-guard." he admits, "A little tender. The psycho-warrior was using slugs, didn't expect him to switch to energy based so quickly. But, got caught quick enough, and there was only a couple of them." With that explanation, he takes up the fork, not wanting to embarrass himself with the chopsticks today.

He chuckles at the story of the ghost pepper. "Americans do seem to have rather odd tastes, and if you recall, I do like my curry rather hot." he points out as he gives her a warm smile, and then lets out a breath. "It's from that Earth." he says finally. "The chunk of Big Ben out there in the pond. I'm glad SHIELD was able to do the cover up game, but it doesn't stop what happened." Reaching up, he absently scratches his shoulder.

"Should have ducked." Betsy plucks up another morsel, dunks it, and eats in one bite. "Interesting that it's here, now," Betsy says, politely covering her mouth with her hand while she finishes chewing. "Surely there's some correlation between it being here and your presence?"

She pushes some udon noodles aside to get at crunchy tempura rolls, using the blunt end of her chopsticks to transfer a few to her own plate. "SHIELD does have their uses, I'll give them that. Bloody great busybodies the rest of the time, though," she mutters under her breath.

"Never one for digging beneath the surface, Betsy." Brian says with a chuckle as he takes a bite of his food. "Duck. Yes. Great advice. I will be sure to use that next time. I know it is such a hard technique to learn." With a smirk, he chows down, actually finishing his bite before he continues. "It was happening even before I got here, Betsy. That's why the warnings, and the need for me to come here in the first place." He gives a sigh as he settles back down.

"They're not all that bad, Betsy. One of them, Miss Carter, managed to be of great assistance to me recently. And despite being rather old-fashioned, she had her charms. And possibly helped save my life. And since she seems to be attached to your date soon, according to Miss Bishop at the Hall of Justice, I thought maybe you could assist me with something."

With that, he sets aside his fork and reaches down for the bag. Opening it up, he pulls out an old shield. It's not rounded, it's more the older heater shield variety that has a pair of curved tips and curves down the sides into a point that can be implanted in the ground. Turning it around, it's decorated in the familiar stars and stripes of Captain America. "I was hoping, if you had not had your evening with Captain Rogers and mucked it all up yet, that you could make sure he gets this? It may not be his, but in a way, it is now?"

"Oh my." Betsy accepts the shield with both hands and a bit of cautious reverence for the artifact, lifting it once or twice to get a feel for the heft of it. "I … Brian, I'm not quite sure how to give this to Captain Rogers without it looking, well… rather ominously portentous," Betsy points out, frowning slightly. " 'Hullo Steve, a lovely place you brought me for dinner. I have a shield that belonged to your dead alter-universe counterpart. Why yes, I /did/ get my hair done'." She shrugs a bit helplessly at Brian, but sets the shield aside carefully.

"I'll make sure it gets to him in either case, I promise you," she tells the fellow. Her eyes slide towards it. "Though, a bit of sandpaper and effort and it would make for quite a lovely home for the Union Jack, wouldn't it?"

"…I don't need a shield." Brian says, shaking his head fervently at that. "I'm already quite fine with the forcefield that surrounds me because of the magic, I don't care for any other help. Not to mention, it just would not feel right. And it's a damn sight better to say that then to say 'I bought new panties for the evening, you might get to see them later.'." He gives her a smirk as he feels his phone vibrate, and he pulls it out.

Type type type, send, phone put away. "And you're really going straight to his place? Really?" he asks, an arch of his brow. "On a first date? I know he's Captain America. I know he's stalwart, and all that fun stuff. But really? Don't throw yourself at him like that, Betsy. Come on, you're not a drunken frat girl that doesn't know better. Meet him on neutral ground, or better yet, expose him to some of that lovely culture that your are so very fond of." he gives her a wink. "I have no allusions to your activity, still, don't scream desperation on the first date."

Betsy sighs. "Brian, stop being so crass," she says, giving him a gimlet look unknowingly more reminiscent of their mother. "Keep running your mouth in that fashion and I'll break off your fingers and feed them to you. More tea?" She tops off his cup without waiting for his confirmation, and sets the pot aside.

"You're either overcompensating because you're uncomfortable about the topic, you're being an ignorant prig, or you're being thoughtlessly foul-mouthed in an attempt to irritate me. In either of those cases, you can shut up, shut up, and finally and most emphatically," she says, giving him that level and reproachful gaze again, "shut up."

"Shutting up." Brian says, going quiet as he sips at his tea, staring down at the leaves. But even when he's quiet, the thoughts bubble to the surface. Being crass was his natural and very learned defense at keeping Betsy from going prodding at his surface thoughts and memories.

It's much easier, now in the silence of the room for her to get a better grasp of the fact that he's not well. He's concerned, deeply. Something's trying to guide the Fury here.

The Fury, it destroyed a world filled with heroes once already. And made short work of him. And history is starting to repeat itself.

He picks at the sushi absently, his expression slipping from teasing into something more thoughtful. Worried.

"I apologize. It was crass. I'm sure you will be very much a lady and he'll be very much a gentleman."

"I have no doubt of that," Betsy agrees, sipping her tea. "Even for a Colonist, his newsreel footage strikes me as the sort of bloke who takes a more traditional view of things."

She politely ignores Brian's train of thought until he's ready to share it, humming softly to herself and helping him transfer some more sushi onto his own plate.

"Oh, for pity's sake," she snaps after a quiet ten seconds. "I'm not going to drag the topic out of you, but either let's discuss this Furious 'thing', or start adding prime numbers," she snaps at Brian. "I can hear your muddled thoughts trying to churn through that pudding of a brain you have."

"Aren't you just an impatient git today!" Now it's Brian's turn to snap at his sister, as he sips from his tea. "You either want me quiet or you want me talking, I can't do both." he says with a frown. "I have a lot of work to do, Betsy." he admits with a sigh finally. "And I'm not sure when I will get another time to sit like this and just enjoy some time with you. And I don't want that to affect your life. I'm happy for you, I really am." he offers her a smile.

"And I apologize that I was brought over to these shores and that it interferes with your life." Finishing off his sushi, he moves to rise to his feet. "I have things I need to take care of. And you have you life here. The two are completely mutually exclusive, Bets. Don't worry. I'll tell you when I'm free again." he manages as he picks up his bag with his books and moves smoothly to plant a kiss on the crown of his sister's head. "I love you, Elisabeth." he offers quietly before he shoulders his bag and steps out into the hallway to make his way off on the next part of whatever it is he's chasing after this time.

"Urgh!" Betsy drives the heels of her hand into her brow in exasperation, grabbing at him and missing when he darts away. "Damnit— I didn't- hey, wait! No! Brian, you WANKER!" she shouts after him in a shrill tone that she probably hasn't used since they were both preteens. Her voice chases him down the hallway as he darts off.

For good measure, and wholly uselessly, she slams the door after him, then picks up a throw pillow and screams her rage into it.

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