Death, Life, and Boob Pockets

November 24, 2015:

Shift returns from a long operation overseas. He delivers a message to SHIELD via Darcy Lewis' tank top, and tries to explain his death and resurrection to an old friend.

Otto's Shrunken Head - Manhattan, NYC

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Darcy had gone by Rain's office in the Triskelion with more rolls of ductape and a box of Sharpies. …and a requisition form for it all, filled out and just waiting for Rain's signature. As Darcy is want to do, she stops to chat until it's time to clock out. Darcy needs some drink. And she knows just the place.

Meanwhile, Luna's working with a magical box to track someone down. Bruce watches as Lunair fiddles with the thing until she declares a lock is set and she's ready to go. The box leads them to Otto's Shruken Head, a cafe with a liquor license in the Lower East Side of New York City. Bruce, having been just slightly ahead of Lunair, pauses to get the door. Darcy, moving in after Lunair, smiles at Bruce holding the door for her too.

"Thanks. Want a Dos Exis? I'm getting one," she states to Bruce by way of offering thanks for holding the door. And celebrating because she got paid. Field Misison bonuses are amazing things! Her brown hair waves and curls at her shoulders, unruly after being in a tight bun all day. Her red knit hat clings happily in place and her hands are shoved into her over sized coat. The black pencil skirt is completely out of place against the otherwise casual look of the hat and coat and untied combat boots on her feet.

*

Rain is probably abruptly called to help an agent stuck under a soda machine or something. Bear form has its uses. Actually, Lunair's amazon box gies her incredible bonuses to STEALTH! or something. Either way, she's not mentioning how totally underaged she is. That is what fake IDs hide. "Thanks," Lunair beams at Darcy. She looks apologetically to Bruce. Poor Lunair's been PTing her brains out as penance for the whole accidentally enabling Jericho to get out thing. DS's kids are weird.

"Here we are." Beam. Lunair looks around. "Ooh, pastries." She could totally dig desserts. "How are you?" She asks.

*

Bruce Banner just wanted to get some fresh air again - well, okay, not acually fresh, just out of the Authority base and back on Earth in something resembling an actual human environment. He remembers Darcy somewhat from meeting her during an encounter with Shift once upon a time - he's terrible with faces, but she tends to make an impression. He puts out his cigarette quickly before going in and lets the ladies precede him into the building as he makes his way in afterwards.

"Beer is beer," he says in answer to Darcy's question, "I'm not particular about it. Beer and pastry seems a rather strange combination."

*

Five weeks in the UAE, to most, might sound like a vacation. Warm sunshine, impressive Dubai architecture, fancy feasts and beautiful women.

For Kwabena Odame, it was altogether different.

Once again, the Ghanaian's impassioned mission prompted him into going to ground; cutting off most of his communications, tossing his burner phones into the garbage, and essentially disappearing. It's not a thing he particularly enjoyed doing, but going to ground had its pleasant side. The seclusion, the quiet, those were the things he enjoyed the most.

Burrowing himself nose deep into the narcotics trade was the unpleasant side. Kwabena had managed to keep himself relatively clean this time around. Namely, he'd scratched by, undercover inside a powerful trafficking organization, without murdering anyone or putting too many thugs in the ICU. We won't talk about the cocaine volume that went up his nose; when in Rome, as they say.

Kwabena's return to the states couldn't have been more aptly timed. He flew into Newark Airport under a false alias, then purchased a brand new pre-paid wireless. It wasn't until he reached Otto's Shrunken Head, and the free wifi there, that he was able to set up with his personal preferences, stored somewhere in The Proverbial Cloud. The download is taking a while, but, fortunately, there's whiskey.

No longer bald, Kwabena has grown out his hair, which lies in cornrows for the sake of disguise. There's a goatee circling his mouth, and a pair of dark sunglasses over his eyes that are set beneath a NY Yankees ball cap. Over his shoulders is a beat up, old leather jacket; a grey, hooded sweatshirt encloses his lean, muscular frame, and light wash grey jeans are cuffed just above a pair of black P.F. Flyer high-tops. The whiskey sits to his left, the phone to his right, and his shades seem locked upon a television hanging from the ceiling that is playing a recent news story. If he recognizes the others as they enter, he doesn't show it. Not yet, at least.

*

"Good thing I'm not having pastry. But, IOU a beer. Call it in whenever," Darcy tells Brunce with a wink. Either she remembers or she doesn't and is just always this openly friendly. Hard to say as she smiles at Lunair warmly.

"You're welcome. I'm good, thanks. UNless you were asking Smokey over there," Darcy says with a headtilt at Bruce, "In which case, just ignore me." She sweeps her gaze about the place again and moves to the bar to place her order. Time for some XX.

*

Lunair knows Shift! He's been her buddy for a long time, even though she was worried and well. She was unaware of what all he got up to, and he's likely unaware that she spent time at Deathstroke's Happy Fun Sparkle Summer Snuggletime Dance Party Camp. Or whatever. Either way, she does look to be in a lot better shape. Regardless, she doesn't notice him JUST yet as dudes in hats are pretty numerous in New York.

"I am!" Cheery about pastry. Lunair doesn't seem bothered by Darcy's friendliness. She is a social blank slate. Things just are, as far as she knows. She looks to Bruce. She's trying not to hover too much, at least.

*

Bruce Banner is rather in Lunair's camp when it comes to all things social. One of the reasons why he enjoys the gun-maven's company - she doesn't mind that he's a little empty and a little blank and a little…well, Bruce. Human beings are tiring. Of course, Lunair displays great good cheer, while Bruce comes across more often as perpetually bored.

"I wasn't necessarily opposed to pastry and beer - just saying it's an unusual combination," he says. He kind of glances around the place, hands in his pockets, not entirely sure what to do with himself when his eyes alight on Shift and he just freezes. Well. That was unexpected.

*

You know that feeling? It doesn't take a telepath. Kwabena has a good idea of how people gauged him when he came in here. Some overlooked him; a slim few took the cornrows, ball cap, and dark skin and came up with a rather unpleasant prediction. But you know the feeling, when someone, someone who's just entered, is looking at you.

To conceal his concern, Kwabena casts a look toward the woman who came up to the bar. His brow furrows beneath the shades, and he lingers in stillness for a second or two, surprised. Finally, he reaches over to lock his phone with one hand, slugs the whiskey with another, then snatches up a napkin and starts writing a series of numbers down onto the opposite end with a pen left nearby.

"Hey, short stuff."

Kwabena passes the napkin Darcy's way. "Get dis to Steve. Tell him, dat asshole with de eyepatch ought to know what the fuck to do with it."

Peering at Darcy from just above the rim of his shades, Kwabena seems to scowl at her for a moment, but eventually, a grin tugs at the edge of his mouth. That grin becomes a grimace, however, when silver eyes take advantage of the moment to look over at Bruce.

*

Smiling at Bruce, Darcy gives a nod. She then turns to the barista/bar-tender and informs him/her/it that Door-Guy's first beer is on her. And then she leans on her forearms to the display case to peer at the contents. At least, until Cornrowlio gets her attention. Her green eyes flick from unrecognized hat and dark glasses dude to teh napkin. Several things cross her mind.

One: Fucking SHIELD. I'm off the clock. I'm not a damn delivery girl.

Two: How'd the hell did he pick me out that fast? Did I forget to take off my work-badge?

Three: Whoa. Silver eyes. Trippy and familiar. And.. did he just grin at me?

What finally comes out of her mouth is: "Easiest phone number ever. I won't crush your dreams by turning you down, but buy a girl a beer first?" Her hand snakes out to collect het napkin. She folds it with her fingers and tucks it into the safest pocket she has: Front and center of the white tank that she stripped down to because the button up from work was jsut too much to deal with after eight hours.

*

Lunair enjoys life, especially since her early life kind of sucked eggs and so all of the non-egg-sucking moments are precious to her. Bruce is Bruce, and that's all she figures is important. He seems quiet, but that's just how he rolls. Lunair is curious about Darcy, and can't seem to puzzle her out. She smiles, waving to Kwa on hearing that voice. "Hi!" Beam. Uh oh. Still, she's - sort of hit by a wave of uncertainty jost after. "On one hand, goatee. Goatees are often evil. On the OTHER…" Is she debatin herself? She is.

Well. Either way, Lunair asks for some sort of ungodly fancy chai and pastry. She really is froo froo. "Um. How's the beer?"

*

Bruce Banner just kind of stares blankly at Odame for a long moment, his grey eyes stern and a bit blank. Whatever's going on, he doesn't seem particularly amused by the sight of Shift's face. "I think I'll take that beer now," he says, "Perhaps even something a bit stronger. But beer first," he says, nodding as he's presented with a fresh bottle.

He doesn't see much point in making niceties, "Melody said you'd turned up alive. Not sure where she heard it. Not from you, I'm guessing." he says.

*

Caption: Let's hope Darcy's boobsweat doesn't mess up that numerical code! — Claremont

Silver eyes dart back to Darcy long enough to mock eyeroll. "Jesus," he mock grumbles. "You're lucky I'm jet-lagged." Out comes another twenty dollar bill (frigging New York is expensive). "Get her whatevah crap light beer she likes to drink, will you?" There's a healthy note of good-natured jesting when Kwabena asks this of the bartender, and he slides the bill across the countertop with his index finger. "Oh, and, anodah?" He taps the empty whiskey glass twice.

At Lunair's greeting, Kwabena turns in his stool a few degrees so that he might look her way. Eyes narrow for a moment, pretending to be nefarious and wicked. "Well, guess dat was de point, dis time around." Loosening up, he flashes Lunair a subdued grin, and finally reaches up to remove the shades from his nose. "Good to see you, too, kid." His tone of voice maintains a quiet, unshaking pace, as if he's not entirely interested in drawing a ton of attention to himself.

Far be it for Kwabena to let hard topics sleep. His eyes soon sweep to Bruce. The last time they encountered each other, Bruce wasn't exactly himself, and Kwabena wasn't exactly pleasant. Granted, his actions were critically important, but he can't imagine the Hulk was entertained. There's a moment when the dark-skinned mercenary seems genuinely relieved that Dr. Banner is bringing up Melody Kenway, rather than that altercation along I-95. "No. Not from me. Not directly." His fingers rap nervously upon his knee; if he knew Morse Code, Kwabena might have been drumming out something like 'Where's the damn whiskey?'

*

"Light beer?! Fuck you, dickwad," Darcy laughs in reply, happily trading buying Bruce a beer for having Shift buying her a beer. That's when she recognizes him and she moves to settles into the stool at his side.

"Goatee looks nice on you," she compliments before taking her beer and drinking up to let Kwa and his friends catch up. Melody? Ex-girlfriend?

*

Hee. Lunair smiles at Kwa's grin. "Are you feeling better?" She asks. Lunair is no expert, but Kwabena was definitely out of sorts last time she saw him. She IS quietly amused by Darcy and Bruce's reaction to him. "Melody is his friend," As far as Lunair knows, anyway. "I think we're just glad to see you back and - okay." Read: Not evil. Not trying to abduct Lunair again and so the list goes. The beer exchange has her curious, but Lunair doesn't drink for … reasons. Mostly involving the Twerker, Nudity Ray and being drunk.

*

Bruce Banner takes his beer and a drink, moving to take a seat. He isn't much in the mood for jovial interactions right at the moment, much as Darcy and Lunair may be acting like everything is normal. Everything likely is, for them. To Shift, he says, "She had to be carried out of your funeral. She wouldn't believe you were really dead," he says. He considers for a moment and then says, "I'm sure you had your reasons, but you hurt her. A great deal. So you're going to fix that,"he says.

He settles in and, curiousy, takes a bite out of a scone he picks up then makes a slight face. Definitey an odd combination with beer, he was right. "Make things right, whatever that means. She deserves that. And if you don't, well…" he says and then he does meet Kwabena's eyes, "Then lighting me on fire probably won't be enough next time."

*

"No it doesn't." Kwabena clearly disagrees with Darcy regarding his goatee. "I'm shaving it off, first chance I get." When the new whiskey arrives, he stops drumming his fingers and slings the booze back with practiced ease. Two down the hatch, time to scale things back a bit.

It's a bit of a surprise that there had been a funeral for him. Melody hadn't mentioned that when he'd spoken with her; it would seem, for good reason. The news catches him completely off guard, and he stares at Bruce for a long time, entirely uncertain how to react. Should he be happy there was a funeral? Angry that someone decided he'd have wanted that kind of attention to his name and existence? Kwabena is not one who appreciates a lot of attention; only attention from those he really wants to have paying attention to him.

Shifting awkwardly in his seat, he begins drumming his fingertips upon his knee once more. That little bit of intel he just handed Darcy better have been worth all the blow he did in the UAE; the withdrawals have him feeling anxious as hell. Or is that Bruce Banner making him feel anxious?

Banner's final remark does bring him to a grimace. "For de record," he points out, quietly, "I… really, truly was dead." He casts a look Lunair's way. Won't she back him up on this one?

*

"Fuck. Means I can't call you on oweing me skates," states Darcy of Kwa being dead. Making a joke of it seems to be the only way she can keep from cracking at the news. She recognized that the numbers weren't phone related, however she had reacted that they were, and so she'll just have to head back into the office to get the info to Cap and/or Fury ASAP-like. She swigs at her beer to hide the frown on her lips. It fails to hide the way her brows pinch. People dying is unhappy.

*

"Deader than Carrottop's comedy career." Sluuuuuuurp tea. Sagenod. That's seriously dead. "I think he came back all evilified and then got supernally duct taped back together. I dunno. I have to google magic stuff," She admits. Poor Darcy. Lunair looks sympathetic. "I am glad he's back and okay. I think Miss Melody will be, too. Though, she does like sweets. I can bring some for you to give her in apology or something." Lunair seems willing to help mend bridges. "She has worked really hard lately."

Lunair lives very much in the moment, though she adds: "I was really sad when I heard you were dead. The funeral had so many people, my head hurt, so I wandered off and drew a penis on something in your honor." She's quirky. A look to Bruce. "Speaking of sweets, what kind ARE your favorites? Miss Melody asked me to get some for you and I accidentally dumped art supplies on the boss' son and got distracted." Oops.

*

Bruce Banner raises an eyebrow, "I don't disbelieve you," he said. "I don't actually care, in particular. I care that my friend has been upset and I want to make sure that you deal with the situation and not just leave her in the lurch for weeks at a time and presume it will work itself out. If you can face death, you can certainly face her," he says.

He considers Lunair's question for a moment as he takes a sip of his beer, then answers, "You ever have a Fifth Avenue bar? Crunchy peanut butter, dark chocolate. Do they still make those? They're better than Butterfingers."

*

"Dat's…" Kwabena looks over toward Lunair, crestfallen. "Dat's not exactly how things happened. Close, just… you're off, a bit, on just a couple of… a couple of details."

Really, talking about your own death and resurrection is more awkward than discussing New Testament scriptures at Synagogue. He's happy that Bruce isn't interested in the details, because he doesn't enjoy the prospect of hashing it out. "We did get togedah," he tells him. "Some few weeks back. But, den, dere was… something. I couldn't turn it away." Mercenary work can be a real bitch at times, but there's a very good reason Kwabena isn't divulging the details. Everything that needs to be known is found in those numbers tucked between Darcy's honkers, and those who need to know aren't here at this moment. "I'll track her down. Right away. You have my word."

"Fifth Avenue is much bettah dan Buttahfingah," he tells Lunair, before looking back toward Darcy. Poor girl looks sad. "Hey." He leans over closer to her, tapping her on the shoulder. "Cheer up, kiddo," he murmurs. "Death ain't so bad. Resurrection, dough? Dat's a bitch."

*

Darcy, trying not to actually listen in which is much harder to do right now than she'd like to admit, looks over at Shift when he taps her shoulder. Her lips press together. Her green eyes are sharp.

"Still shitty. Especially hearing you left a girl in the lurch. Really. That's just a dick move. even from you, Sir Dicksalot," Darcy retorts, lips now frowning visibly, her beer half done.

*

Lunair looks to Kwabena. "It is all that I have and heard. We missed you. I don't get the impression you left people in a lurch willingly. I remember what you had to hide from me." She is intelligent, after all. Then a look between Bruce and Kwa. She smiles. "Yup. There's a small choclatier that makes their own and sells them. It's only easy to find a small retailers." Lunair: She knows sweets. "I'll bring some for you guys to share then. Or deposit them safely for you. I did tell her I would." Sagenod. "And I'm sorry, guys."

*

Bruce Banner considers, "I think the candy was probably about my little…incident last week. I was feeling particularly down afterwards. I think I've come to a better…appreciation of some things," he says. "Not that I'm known for being cheerful in the first place - and I'll certainly take the candy."

To Shift, he says, "I trust you'll follow through. I won't say any more about it," he says. Getting into things too deeply and actually getting into an argument would be counterproductive, not only for Bruce but for the structural integrity of the general vicinity. The place seems nice, he doesn't need to be tearing it down around his head. "Honestly, I've been trying to die for years, in the hope for a bit of peace. But it's probably time I tried to find peace another way."

*

An eyebrow arches at Darcy, but when Lunair springs to his defense, Kwabena settles back. "My line of work isn't always pretty. Doesn't make for 'conventional' relationships."

Really. Mercenaries are just spies on the odd, not necessarily wrong but not always right side of the law.

"Fortunately… I'm alive, and free of HYDRA's brainwashing, and Master Darque's soul-tampering. I'm making it a personal goal to see how long I can go before some fuckwad decides to try and fuck with me again. At which point…."

A meaningful look is given to Bruce. At which point, a little 'Hulk-smash' might be welcomed.

"It's not peaceful," he advises Bruce, quietly. "In my experience, it just…. isn't."

*

With Miss Bubbley springing to Kwa's defense, Darcy's hackles smooth out on a sigh, and she sets her beer to the counter top.

"Sorry. I'm a bitch. I know this. I own up to this. Welcome back and shit," Darcy says to Kwa, grumpy but honestly before managing a grin at Lunair. Her eyes slide to Bruce then.

"Chocolate makes everything better."

*

Bruce Banner shrugs, "The idea of an afterlife and actual resurrection, believe it or not, makes death far less appealing. I was hoping for oblivion, not yet another phase of existence," he says. "Brainwashing does seem like it would be less than pleasant, though. I have enough psychic turmoil without others mucking about in my mind."

He drinks a long drink of his beer, "Perhaps not fix, but at least make more tolerable, yes, provided it's in sufficient dosage."

*

"Thanks, Darce," Kwabena answers. He turns away, long enough to flag the bartender down for another whiskey. "You two alright on drinks?" he asks.

"Arcane methods were used to bring me back," he admits to Bruce. "Brainwashing was worse, dough. Fortunately, I paid HYDRA back in full for dat." Likely there were some HYDRA agents who didn't end up making it to the ICU, and those kills were sanctioned by SHIELD. Kwabena's at least on the up and up for that one. "My experience was oblivion. Being ripped from that?" He shakes his head, and glances warily at the whiskey when it's produced. He's taken great care to keep his drinking in check, ever since the traumatic experience. There is a moment where he considers just why he's having the drink, and he comes close to leaving it alone. "In some ways, I think I should have stayed dead." A pause. "But, den, I wouldn't be able to buy dis gal some new skates." With a grin, the booze comes up and is knocked back.

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