Use the Sparkly Pen

January 29, 2016:

Ruby Rowe gets a picture with Steve Rogers as Peggy Carter visits a scene that only historians could love.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The New York Distilling Company is one of those places which gets a little cute about history, although the idea of craft distilling is hardly a sin. What could be more American than producing hard liquor? (Just ask Lincoln.) The facility in Brooklyn has an attached bar, like so many places do these days…

Tonight has a special event that does NOT involve some guy with a guitar or several guys with guitars and matching beards. No, today is an auction - an auction for MORE LIQUOR THAN YOU COULD KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH… or rather, casks of the olde-style hooches produced by this estimable place. All proceeds to the USO.

The auctioneer is eating a vegan falafel wrap in his authentic turner-d-century costume off to one side. The goods have been carefully arrayed up on a little stage, with the first item - a cask of gin named, appropriately, after Dorothy Parker - up for inspection.

Ruby Rowe is in semi-period costume. Her quasi-flapper dress and cloche hat complement the cask of gin she is looking upon with adoring eyes, along with several other people (mostly positioning for selfies). She is also chewing industriously on the straw stuck into a half-emptied highball glass.

"Isn't it great?" says a stranger to her.

"Leave me alone," she answers him without looking, "I'm in reverent awe."

Auction time in only five minutes. Give or take. (Probably give. That's a big falafel the guy's eating.)

"Are you sure this is a good idea?" Steve asks Russell Rodgers, a friend of his from the Veteran Meetings he's been going to.

"Well, you already signed up, and the proceeds are going to St. Jude's, so you run the risk of being known as the first super soldier to hate children. Besides? What's a few hundred signatures and handshakes gonna matter in the long run?"

His friends slaps Steve on the back and gives the soldier a wink before disappearing back into the throng.

Leaving Steve alone. At a booth. With a sign that says, "Get a picture and a signature with Captain America. $100. Proceeds to St. Jude's Children's Hospital."

As she has become used to this modern world, Peggy had started to dress in a more modern fashion. While her clothing and outfits have become far more modern - though she has kept her pin curls and red lipstick. Tonight, however, seemed a reason enough to dress up in 'vintage' clothing. She's dressed in her old SSR uniform, put into storage that she has been able to retrieve. Hair is placed into victory rolls, make up is done impeccably.

She's not sure what to expect when she enters the Distilling Company. She was given an invitation through SHIELD - possibly as a joke - and she decided to actually show. At the moment she has not gone toward the bar, instead glancing about to get a lay of the land before she decides to find a place to set up shop for bidding. The Agent of SHIELD can't help but notice both Ruby and Steve in their respective places. The sign draws a smirk and small laugh from Peggy. The investigator gets a bit of a once over with recognition.

Ruby's admiring gaze fades. It's a cask of liquor. What more can you say about it? It'll be hers shortly enough, thanks to a cash windfall - oh yes, she's sure, it will be hers.

She takes a deep breath in through her nose, and turns on her heel with a rattle of beds. She spots Peggy with passing surprise, though she doesn't quite perfectly ID her. It's been a while, after all, and this is an occasion where someone might pull that style. Ruby does raise an eyebrow at her. And a drink! She keeps the straw in between her teeth, though.

Then she sees… CAPTAIN AMERICA, ALONE AND VULNERABLE.

Ruby saunters up to that booth and reads the sign for about twice as long as it would actually take to read. She takes the straw from her mouth. "Saint Jude… isn't he the patron saint of lost causes? That's a little on the nose, isn't it, Captain?"

NOW she looks at him. The straw in her lips pivots down as she asks in a low confidential tone, "Does the signature have to be… /on/ the picture?"

Steve thinks he catches a glimpse of someone, but his gaze is interrupted by Ruby as she arrives right in front of him. He looks up at her from his seat and smiles. "Well, I wouldn't really know. My mom raised us as protestants."

"Well, it doesn't have to be. To be honest, I've signed a magazine, an old trading card, and one man's Vietnam Vet hat."

Peggy returns Ruby's look over, eyebrow raised. It seems clear that Ruby doesn't exactly place the Agent. It's no surprise, but Agent Carter lives in recognizing others when they don't know her. She moves over to try and talk to Ruby - but before she can do so she is high tailing it toward Steve.

With a knowing laugh, she follows the woman slowly. As she approaches Steve's table, she moves forward to be somewhat behind her. It's not that she's attempting to overshadow her meeting, but there are few people she knows at this meeting. Her eyebrows raise quite a bit at her question of whether Steve will sign something or Ruby's that is not a pictures. She certainly has an idea of what that may be - whether or not that is true. "I'm not sure I'd believe Captain America the patron of Saint of Lost Causes."

Ruby runs the straw over her lower lip for a moment. "Hats and magazines, huh? Sounds exciting. But you MIGHT - in principle - sign anything…?"

Oh, Peggy's here now. Ruby chuckles, lowly. "Yeah, true, true," she answers the other woman, before leaning forwards and closer to the Captain. "Do you do the photographs yourself? How's this work? I got two hundred burning a hole in my pocket, if you can believe it, and I still have trouble believing it myself sometimes."

"Sign anything?" Steve asks, naive to what this young woman might be assuming. His blue eyes linger on her for a moment before trailing up to look at the dark haired woman with the English accent. He smiles towards her genuinely. Frankly, it's been a while.

"It's been a long time since anyone's called me a saint, Peg." A brief pause is added to with, "It's good to see you. How have you been?"

Peggy gives Ruby a noncommittal smile. The more her questions pry the more she's interested to see on where they will land. The pressing of her inquiry is met with more of a studied look. She's not about to answer to Steve about what he will or will not sign. "I'm not sure if you remember meeting me." Reaching out a hand, she introduces herself to Ruby again. "Peggy Carter." The brunette in the SSR uniform smiles, as if this is all part of the auction.

"It may be a while still," Peggy tells Steve with a quirk of a smile. "I was merely saying that you were not a Patron Saint of Lost Causes." She looks to Ruby and then back to Steve. "I am well, thank you. Been a bit nose to the grindstone. How have you been?"

"I remember you from that horrible little expo thing," Ruby says amiably as she reaches out to take that hand and give it a couple of firm pumps. After this she shifts round a smallish purse and cracks it open, reaching inside and craning her head as she counts things out. She scoots to the side so Peggy has a clear shot at Steve.

She also produces four green engraved portraits of President Grant and fans herself with them idly, winking at Steve from the margins of Peggy's peripheral vision. That was definitely not her first highball.

"I've been good," Steve says like someone who hasn't. "And I suppose it depends on who you ask." He chuckles a bit to himself and gets a wry grin for a moment. "It's really good to see you," he reiterates. "It's good to hear you're doing well."

Back then to Ruby, Steve twists his mouth in consideration. "Are you a big fan of US Grant?" he asks.

As Ruby moves, Peggy merely stays where she is. As she produces quite a few portraits of President Grant for Steve to sign, she can't help the laugh that escapes, though she covers her mouth with her hand to help with that endeavor. No matter how many highballs Ruby has, she's aces in Peggy's book.

"It's good to see you, too. Glad to see you're doing well." Looking at Ruby, she grins. "I'll leave you to your donations for the time being," she replies. There's no teasing or malice in her voice. Instead, she respects Ruby's desire to have Steve sign her pictures. As such, she'll step back to ensure she gets the full signing experience.

"I figured the children are," Ruby answers Steve wryly. As Peggy shifts aside, she fans the money back together, proffering it. "Count it if you want. If I'm reading these prices right, that's two pictures and two signatures, Cap'n. Do I get to pick the pose?"

Steve does well to hide the brief pang in his stomach that always seems to come when a guy sees his old, best gal. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but leaves you feeling worse for the wear.

But his focus is on Ruby now. After all, it's for the kids. "Within reason," Steve says with a tilted head, wondering what this young woman is conjuring. "I'll trust your good for it." Steve slides the jar over towards Ruby.

"Hmmm, well then," Ruby says as she puts the fifty dollar bills into the jar, one at a time.

"I won't do anything you can't put on the cover of a magazine, don't get too hot. Though I guess now that I think of it -" And with this she pivots as if to march round the booth! If not stopped she attempts entry and the cruellest twist of all: /sitting in Captain America's lap./

"Well that's reass-," Cap nearly offs as Ruby hops up into his lap. Nevertheless, he turns towards the camera as a man who stands behind the tripod begins giving directions. "That's it Cap, smile wide. Now you, gorgeous, give those pearlies a whirl."

Ruby gets comfortable and turns to give the camera man her best smile. When he starts moving towards the actual shutter button, she suddenly hikes up her left leg, eyebrows raising as she leans her head backwards, earrings jangling. AFTER this, fortunately, she is quite willing to slide off.

"Number two, let's just be friends," she suggests. Her left arm raises up, curled as she waves Steve forwards. "Unless you want to sit in /my/ lap for a change."

"Well, I suppose we can do something different. Too much sitting in laps will get me typecast." Steve stands up and takes his place next to Ruby's side and sort of faces the camera awkwardly with hands on hips, unsure of what Ruby is aiming for with this one.

Ruby puts an arm around Steve's waist, which is probably like the second best place she could've put it, and throws up (improbably) a peace sign at the camera for the second one. CLICK!

"Well that was painless," Ruby says, lingering for just a moment before letting go. "Is he gonna print those out on one of those fancy new photography printers, or do I have to leave my address?"

Steve looks down at Ruby and smiles sheepishly, "He's got one of the new printers." He moves over towards the table, "I have a few different colors that we can use depending on your preference and what shows up the best. And if you like sparkles. I hear that's big."

"For your printing or your autograph," Ruby says a little wryly. "I'm not gonna ask for anything but color, though. Too Warhol otherwise."

She taps her chin. "And as for what to sign…" Ruby lingers on the question for several seconds, before grasping her purse and twisting it around, presenting Steve with an approximately oval surface of sun-faded green(?) silk. "Put one of 'em here."

"I meant the autograph," Steve says with a chuckle as he reaches for the sharpie. The black one seems to work best, he guesses, as he pulls the cap off. "What am I signing anyways?" Even as he asks, he inscribes his name, "Steve Rogers, Captain America" on the oval surface.

"It's a purse, it's just a weird shaped one," Ruby says. "I'd say it's older than you are, but from what I've heard, I'd be lying. - Ha! Is that a star? I love it."

"Which of the photos do you want to sign?" she asks then. "When he gets 'em ready, I mean."

"Whichever ones you want," Steve says smiling. "You put in that much of a donation, I'll sign whatever you want." He tilts his head at her joke, as if to say that he hasn't heard that one. A billion times. Since being thawed out of a flippin' ice cube. But he can't hold the stern face for very long.

"Then let's go," Ruby says with a half-wink, "with the fancy high kick one. That'll look better on the wall."

"You going to bid on the gin?" Ruby asks, fiddling with the straw from her glass again.

Ruby's antics reward her with quite the raised eyebrow as she moves into Steve's lap and then gets her autographs. The woman dressed in her SSR uniform has nothing of the like to sign or auction at the moment. She came for the nostalgia and the charity. Despite all that, she watches with undisguised amusement at the pair.

"I can't imagine anyone is here to not bid to bid on the gin." It's her contribution.

"Sounds like a wise choice," Steve says. Within a moment the picture is being printed. "Gin? Actually alcohol doesn't really do much for me these days. I do enjoy a beer now and again, but don't really get much into the liquor."

Ruby snorts at Peggy's remark. She pivots to face towards Peggy, arms folded loose. "I dunno. You get people here just to have a drink. Or to come take a photo with Captain America. I hear he's around."

To Steve, she asks, "Really? Does it get you sick or do you just shrug it off?"

"Depends on the liquor for me," Peggy replies. "Gin is fine, so is beer." As the picture is printed of Ruby and Steve, she remains back. Alcohol has not done much for Steve in quite awhile but she doesn't bring that up vocally. She'll let him answer about why he no longer drinks. That's not her story to tell.

"It's a side effect of the serum, really. Just sort of does nothing anymore. And once that's the situation, realize how much of it tastes absolutely terrible," Steve says with a chuckle. In turn he does not mention that even with his liver powers, Carter could still probably out-drink him.

Ruby considers this. Slowly she considers the full details. It makes her frown, but it's a slow sort of process, even as she turns to get her photos and present them. "Use the sparkly pen," she tells Steve.

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