March 31, 2016:

Storm and Agent 13 make Avenger-y small talk, with maybe a few life lessons passed around.

Fort Kirby, New Jersey


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The morning after, so to speak. Sharon spent much of the night cleaning/organizing. She DID manage to find a filing cabinet and at least got some of the files put away. She even replaced the stack with a little post-it saying ~Files are located in offices.~ Just in case the person who left them there worries about their disappearance. The kitchen area, make shift as it is, has the coffee and tea pot, but now she's run out to get a few more things. Toaster. Microwave. Plug in griddle. Sharon is used to living at work, so she's going to make certain she can LIVE at work. Despite having apparently done all of this before 9 am, she now stands in the kitchen area, leaning against the counter, in a pair of jeans and a button down shirt which says she's probably intent on more cleaning work today, not business. Her eyes are half closed as she waits for the coffee to brew and her pop-tart to come out of the toaster.

Ororo was asleep when Sharon woke up, having taken a bunk for herself. Somewhere in Sharon's initial cleaning run, Ororo simply… slipped out. If the history for this one that SHIELD possesses is accurate, Ororo used to be a thief. This lends credence to that. So much for putting a pot of tea on for her.

As Peggy waits for her coffee to brew, there's a noise from above. Like a thousand tiny hooves scampering on the roof, increasing in intensity. It's a rainstorm. Not expected in the slightest, and furthermore, the sky was clear and blue five minutes ago. From the sound of it, it's quickly turning into a torrential downpour.

While Sharon is a good team leader and a great agent, she is certainly no one's mother, so the fact that Ororo has gone by the time she's back doesn't entirely bother her. All the food she's bought is non-perishable (so much for their preservitative laden insides, she has no care for health food!) so it will keep. She jumps just a bit as the poptarts come up and drags the two sickly sweet cherry things onto a paper plate.

Then there is the soud. She blinks, looking up to the roof over her, a single brow arching, "…Ororo?" She asks, mainly to herself. She's almost amused. Pouring out her mug of coffee and taking it with her breakfast, she actually begins a slow pace around the interior of the base as the downpour happens, her eyes to the ceiling. She's looking for leaks! Might as well make some use of the rain.

Perhaps surprisingly, there are no leaks. (Maybe someone grabbed a ladder and a caulk gun as soon as Storm joined the team.) By the time that Sharon is completing her walkaround, the sound of the rain is starting to die down, until it fades away completely, as unceremoniously as it came.

A few moments later, the front door opens. Ororo is in her robe, thoroughly drenched. Her mohawk hangs limp down one side of her face. The robe was clearly meant for walking around the house, not protecting from rain, and it clings to her needfully. Her cerulean cat's-eyes scan the room and settle on Sharon. She gives a single, semi-imperious nod, and then begins making a trail of wet footsteps to the teakettle.

"Impressive. Is that just… a part of the morning routine that you need to get out? Or is it like an exercise you do daily? Calestentics, so to speak?" Sharon asks with a half smile, looking more dressed and slightly less awake than Ororo. She nods towards the kitchen, then, not bothered in the least by the dripping. She just follows the woman to lend what bit of help she can. "There's some food… nothing fresh. I shoulda bought bagels or something. But cherry pop-tarts were on sale." Brilliant morning conversationalist, honestly.

"What grass lies out there needed it," Ororo states, looking over at Sharon and then having to brush wet, white hair out of her field of view. She doesn't seem bothered by the wet robe. She puts water in the kettle for the tea, and once it's going, turns to face Sharon more fully.

"Being that there is so little of it… I must do what I can to nurture it." Ororo smiles softly. "It is bad enough to be surrounded by nothing but concrete and asphalt. Having what little green there is be dead and forgotten would be downright macabre."

"Oh. Of course. I…didn't even think. That makes way more sense than what I was thinking. Sorry, still not awake. It was… weird sleeping away from SHIELD." It was like Sharon left her baby, somehow. None of the middle of the night interruptions, reports coming over her comm, nothing but quiet and a semi-comfortable cot. It was the worst night's sleep she got in ages. She pushes a hand back through her blonde hair, stifling a bit more of a yawn. "…Sorry." She mutters after the yawn is finished, a touch sheepish.

Ororo shakes her head — gently, so that her hair doesn't wick around and fleck water at her teammate. "There is no need to apologize, Sharon. There is no need to walk on eggshells, either. As I said last night, the Avengers are a group of individuals, learning from each other's perspectives."

Ororo gestures up at the ceiling, though perhaps what she means is the sky. "Everything out there, up there, in the natural world, it is connected. My mutant gifts make me part of that circuit — I can see the connections that link every piece together. I can also manipulate them, but for every drop of rain I make here, it is a drop of rain taken from somewhere else. So I am perhaps not a weather manipulator, as much as a weather disruptor. Therefore, if I was to do 'morning exercise'… it would have to be done very, very carefully."

The blue eyed woman listens quietly, earnestly curious, a touch of intrigue across her features as the explanation goes a bit deeper. "Huh. Fascinating. And… does it bother you? To have all that… in your head? Like, is it a background static? Or does it feel natural as breathing?" Since Sharon has been given permission to learn, she is going to ask. She looks like a woman hungry for knowledge or, perhaps, it's just habit to drink in as much about a person as possible when she meets them. It's a good habit for spy, but her questions are not asked with any malice or suspicion.

Ororo brushes at her hair again. She observes Sharon just as carefully — she doesn't really hide it, but it also doesn't seem to be born of malice. "I am not actually sure how to describe it," Ororo says after a moment. "I remember life before my mutant powers. I remember how I saw and felt the world, which I imagine may be similar to how you see and feel the world now."

Ororo purses her lips again, clearly lost in thought for a moment. "Now… for the past twenty years, almost… I see the world differently. It is not better, or worse, or easier, or more difficult. It is simply different."

"Well, that's good. I'm glad it's not more difficult. I would guess it's just like having another sense. Interesting." Sharon takes a pause to take a bite of pop tart before washing it down with a good gulp of her coffee. That already makes life feel better. She stretches out her back, spine popping in a few places as she works on releasing some tension, but quick enough she's back facing Ororo, just nursing her coffee now. "…I could ask a thousand questions but this isn't an interrogation. I was just curious. And, of course… if you have questions, ask. Though I'm not nearly so interesting as someone like yourself." She states with a half smirk.

"Everyone is interesting," Ororo replies. The way she says it, she's not judging Sharon — she's simply sharing her enlightened, goddessly perspective. "Some more for ill than for good, but everyone regardless." Ororo smiles, showing the perfect white of her teeth.

"I suppose my question is a direct one, but one that will answer many matters of curiosity at once — what led you to the path of being invited to the Avengers?" The teakettle whistles, and Ororo sets about fixing herself tea while Sharon answers. She makes it clear that she's listening, looking over to make eye contact whenever possible. Ororo never quite comes across as just one thing: goddess, superheroine, teacher, maybe mother, all mixed indiscriminately, some edges and corners poking out more than others from moment to moment.

A slight laugh, doubtful, crosses Sharon's lips as the woman mentions everyone being interesting. Sharon is definitely of a more skeptical generation or background. The modern generation-y tough skin in her. She finishes the pop tart before fully setting the plate aside, though she does cast a guilty look at the paper plate for a moment — Ororo was so environmental, was she being insulting by using a disposable plate? She'd have to get a recycling bin here. Sharon shakes off the thoughts and looks back to the woman at the question.

"…I…I suppose that's a question for Cap more than myself, really. I was shocked when he asked. I… I've always known I was going to be with SHIELD. My aunt founded the whole damn thing, after all. How could a little girl NOT want to be that? So… I worked my whole life to do exactly that. Be the best agent, best field officer… best person I could be to help protect the world. I, suspect, the Avengers really are much the same. We all want the same thing. So… here I am.

Ororo herself does not seem fussed about the paper plate. She doesn't even spare it a glance. She smiles, though, when Sharon tells the Cliffs Notes of her life story. She nods, and has a slow sip of her tea once it's finished.

"I completely understand," Ororo says. "To carry on the work of family — it is a powerful force in many lives, including my own." Strange, because isn't Ororo an orphan? Or is she talking about the X-Men? "Certainly, you could have done much worse." Ororo winks, playfully.

"It keeps me busy." Sharon states, teasingly offhanded, as if she's picked up espionage work the way some people might take up tennis as a hobby. She takes another long sip of the coffee in the way only a caffeine addict can, savouring and needful. The cup is almost empty, but she's lingering near to the pot like someone who is going back for seconds any moment now. "SO…you've been with the Avengers a while, yes? Relatively, that is. What… what does the team need? How can I help more? Are there things I should be doing that I'm… missing?" She gives another slight laugh, "I don't even know if there are regular meetings."

Ororo sits in silence for a moment at Sharon's question. She looks off to an imaginary horizon, in the way that shows that she's not taking the question lightly. "Guidance," Ororo says, finally. "Consistent guidance. Our team is a hodgepodge, of old and young, experienced and neophyte. You saw Superboy at the school mission — he acted recklessly, as if he was the only one on the field. We must strengthen the bonds of understanding and teamwork. We must provide guidance for the young members, to develop them into healthy, moral, ethical individuals, and not simply components in efficiently solving problems." Ororo does not bring up the debate about killing yet. She can imagine a SHIELD agent's take on lethal force.

That response is probably one of the single most useful things Sharon's heard in a long time. Immediately, a touch more understanding brushes her eyes an she gives a firm, single nod. "Of course. And yes, I…I suspect his heart was in the right place, but it endangered the whole operation and a lot of lives. That's something I can give in spades, truth be told. If people will listen to a woman who can't pick up cars, fly, or read people's minds, that is?" She offers with a half wry smile, mostly joking, but every jest has a kernel of truth, and her lack of powers is something that worries her among this team.

"You and I both listen to Captain America, do we not?" Ororo offers back, before having a relaxed sip of her tea.

"Yes." Sharon states, without hesitation, a touch of a fond smile on her lips. A heartbeat later, though, she tilts her head, "But… he can absolutely pick up a car."

Ororo laughs quietly, and says, "He very rarely has to." Ororo sets her teacup down, and looks at Sharon like she's accessing Sharon's soul via direct connection. Obviously, she's not really doing that. Still, Ororo has the Look to do it. "You are a grown woman, Sharon. One who set a direction for her life and stuck to it, and achieved her goals. However powerful you are, it is nothing to do with the random chance of genetics or mutation. Your power comes from who you are, and who you chose to be, who you continue to choose to be every day that you wake up. The young people on this team, I am not sure they have ever been in such a position, to not only choose who they want to be, but to act on it and make it so. I would dare venture that with that in mind, you are one of the most powerful people in the group."

Once more, she does not shy away from that gaze, but a single brow does arch in just a touch of skepticism. Sharon half smiles to the woman, letting her finish. When she done, she slightly dips her head in almost half-agreement. "I…Suppose. But there will still come a time when some upstart super hero kid is going to look at me and wonder 'What the hell is SHE doing here?' And I'll handle it. As I handle anything else. We're all still learning, as you said." She raises her coffee in a silent toast to Ororo and then finishes it with a good gulp.

Ororo lifts her teacup. "You will handle it," the goddess says, and the way she says it, it's as if she's willing it so, imbuing Sharon with whatever she needs to do it. She sips her tea — she doesn't drink it as ravenously as Sharon with her coffee. She takes time to enjoy it. "Do not doubt yourself, Sharon. If you would not do so as a SHIELD agent, then you do not need to do so as an Avenger."

"Never let'em see you bleed, right?" Sharon states with a low, almost rueful grin. It's been a good life motto, one she doesn't share with many because it would imply she DOES bleed sometimes. With that last smile, she turns her body and moves back to making herself more coffee. Black and sweet.

"Never let a little bleeding slow you down," Ororo replies with a softer smile of her own. She brushes her hair back. As her hair is drying — damp, but no longer drenched — it's so full of body and naturally white, even when it's been carved into a single strip on her scalp. Her robe is not quite as dry, still heavy with absorbency and glued to her figure. "There are far more important things to worry about."

"Never." Sharon affirms, though it's a touch different than her own motto. Her eyes trace down the woman's hair, a touch surprised at the sheer mass of it. Not exactly envious, but maybe a little bit! "…So…is that hair a complete pain in the ass, or do the powers give you a few cheats?" There, she can still be a girl and ask the girlie questions.

Ororo touches her hair, rolling her eyes to look at it as best she can (not well. And what's up with those cat-eyes). "It can be," Ororo says, with a rueful chuckle of her own. "Less so after shaving most of it off." She runs a hand back through it. "A very subtle touch of static electricity helps it stand up in just the way I like," she does confess. Beauty Secrets of the X-Men! "It is certainly preferable to having to slather product into it. I dislike how that feels."

The static electricity gets a slightly amused arch of a brow, Sharon grinning. "Noted." She finishes a good gulp of her next cup of coffee and then looks back to the room, "Well…I should actually get back to working. Need to leave at noon so I can go back to SHIELD for the late shift. You all know how to find me, right? Here…" She reaches into her back pocket and removes her wallet, pulling out a card. Just 'Agent 13' and a number on it, clearly thats meant to be her working card, not her internal one. "This is a good start until I get another phone."

Ororo takes the card, though she doesn't exactly have anywhere to put it unless she decides to stick it to a wet thigh or something. "You know how to contact me, as well," Ororo says, and then she smiles wryly: "Otherwise you would not be much of a SHIELD agent."

A slight laugh, "I might have a few tricks up my sleve." And with that, Sharon takes herself and her coffee out to the front room so she can return to cleaning. There is only so much relaxed conversation she can take before her restlessness forces her back to work.

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