It's Just A Picnic In The Park

August 12, 2016:

Brin, Ryan and Pepper meet for lunch, Darcy happens upon them. Brin gets teased - a lot and they discuss the DEO and the JL:A

New York


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

It's a lovely warm day and Brin is walking with a friend in a park, not too far Stark Tower. In fact, she's put in a call to Pepper to join her for a picnic lunch. There'll be sandwiches and soda. Plus someone that she thinks she should meet.

The small brunette is dressed in a pair of faded blue jeans, joggers and a red T-Shirt that reads:

Client Manager - because Miracle Worker isn't an official job title.

"Did your last group get through ok, Ryan? I know that it was a bit touch and go for a while." They're talking about one the 'runs' that Ryan coordinates.

Ryan is dressed in his normal attire. Slacks, a button up shirt with the sleeves rolled up, and a vest. Should anyone really be paying attention to the shoes he is wearing they will note a pair of black Doc Martins. He smiles at Brin.
"It was a tad hairy. As one can expect, our secrets don't stay that way for long. We made it through and have adjusted accordingly though. Moving forward we will be on solid ground…" he says matter of factly. What he left out was until the next bump in the road. No need to tarnish a beautiful day such as this with those kinds of negative thoughts. He pauses for a moment, "How about you? Are things looking like they are making a difference on your end of things?"

Since Pepper was not officially on the clock at work, she readily agrees to meet Brin at the park, and she's offered to contribute to the picnic lunch. She swapped out her Captain America PJ pants for comfortable jeans, stepped into a casual pair of ballet flats, and headed out.

Arriving with a large woven basket hanging from the crook of one arm and sunglasses protecting her eyes, she walks briskly along en route to the agreed upon picnic spot. Her dark green t-shirt has a single word printed on it in white: "Comtraya!".

Lunch time. Park. Beautiful day. And Darcy's feeling no pain. She's got to report in Monday, but for right now, Darcy's going to go for a roll. Because she can. She's in work out clothes: short-shorts over tights, a sports bra, legs warmers. She's got a small backpack on her back, lumpy with some personal effects. The wires from earbuds dangle from her ears, leading to a beloved iPOD clipped to the waistband of her spandex shorts. Though she's enjoying herself, skating calming without any sort of rush or aggression, Darcy's got protection. Black knee pads that sport white numbers: '187', and matching elbow pads. Wrist guards protect mid forearm to bare fingers. She's got a helmet on her head that's been painted and be-stickered. It's like bedazzling, but with stickers.

"They are, yes. Thankfully the Purifiers have been a little quieter on that front, which is helping as well and we have had a break on some of their funding." Brin murmurs, glancing up to Ryan as they walk. "I'm glad they got through alright, it's a relief to be honest. Knowing that someone's helping those we can't." The rest of the X-Men team is really good there, but they can't be everywhere and sometimes other mutants don't want to deal with them.

"There's Pepper…" she says as she spies the redheaded CEO, guiding them towards her. A grin splits the brunettes face as she sees the T-Shirt and she claps her hands together and raises them to the sky in a sweeping gesture. "Comtraya!" Yeah, the empath might be a fan of that TV Show.

"Pepper, it's good to see you, this is my friend Ryan. Ryan, this is Pepper." beat "And is that Darcy?" she gives the rollerskating young woman a wave. Darcy can join them if she likes.

Ryan listens to Brin give her perspective on the matter then flashes a smile towards Pepper. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance." he says extending his hand towards her. It really is a wonderful day to be out and about. It is also great to meet new people. Networking is kind of Ryan's thing

Ryan smirks at the shirt and Brin's response It would seem he is in the company of a Fan Girl or two. Of all the shows to love, it isn't a bad one "So what's for lunch? I have a tin a black current jellies. Quite tastey actually." He eyes a local park vendor just a short jot away. "I also hear that the stand over there sells some fantastic lemonade and I would be more than happy to procure some for us. Should I get four?"

Pepper can only laugh delightedly when Brin clearly catches the meaning of the word on her t-shirt. "Good to see you too, Brin. And Ryan, a pleasure to meet you." She removes her sunglasses despite the bright sunlight and then shakes his offered hand. "I brought breads and crackers among other things, so the jellies will be perfect. As would lemonade. Thank you."

Shhifting the basket on her arm, she looks over toward the young woman on roller skates and inwardly approves of the protective gear. "I don't think we've met," she admits to Brinley.

On skates, Darcy is happily jamming to Katy Perry's 'Kissed a Girl'. She's all sorts of good mood, so when she spies the wave, a bright smile blooms and she makes her way over. There is a definite dance beat to the way she snakes sdie to side on the concrete sidewalk. She turns a foot sideways to grind herself to a halt and tugs a earbud free.

"'Allo!" she chirps as bright as the day.

"And I've bought a picnic rug and cold cuts … sounds like we're set for a feast." Brin smiles as well "Lemonade would be wonderful, thank you, Ryan." She answers as she guides their little group to a nice grassy spot, takes the red and black checked rug out of her backpack and lays it out.

"Hello Darcy, this is Ryan… " Pepper gets a small smile as Brin simply adds "Airing of Grievances…"

By the time Ryan returns, the food Brin has bought is laid out for consumption as the dimininutive X-Red, settles on a corner. "How are things, Pepper? It's been a few weeks since we caught up last. Tony behaving himself? Well, perhaps I should ask if Tony is behaving himself well." Because behaving badly seems to be Tony schtick. "Ryan is doing some work with X-Red, but I'll let him explain…."

Pepper Potts blinks twice, clearly recognizing Darcy the moment the skater chirps out her greeting. "Hello again," she offers with a smile before following Brin to their chosen picnic spot. Once the checkered cloth is down she anchors one corner with the basket and starts to add her contributions to the pot luck picnic. Bakery breads, fancy crackers, cheeses of multiple varieties, and trays of fresh vegetables and jars of condiments are set out, along with a small stack of real plates and silverware. "I'll leave dessert in here for later," she tells them as she closes the basket again. Clearly, that implies it's meant to be a surprise. "So how did the rest of your pub evening go, Miss Lewis?"

"This really is amazing lemonade" Ryan says more to himself than anyone in particular. He turns his attention to Darcy "Pleasure to meet you." He then takes a seat and begins to survey the bounty before him. It all looks delicious. Where to start

Returning his attention to the group he picks up where Brin left off. "It really isn't a whole lot that needs to be explained honestly. I have been working in conjunction with X-Red to move mutants out of volatile areas. That is to say places where the Purifiers are attacking. I have a large network of individuals that aid in the process of relocation." He smiles to himself. It all seems so clinical when you phrase it like that "But enough about boring me and my passtimes. Working with Mr Stark, that has to be interesting." He then winks at Darcy "And the life of a roller dirby enthusiast can't be a tame one I would imagine." He hopes he doesn't need to use his empathetic abilities to convey he is joking with Darcy. He can be a bit dry in humor at times.

Tossing the ear bud wire over a shoulder, Darcy extends her hand to Ryan for a shake, wrist guard and all.

"Likewise," she replies, before smirking. "ohmygod way dull.," she quips right back. She caught the wink, clung to it, and skated off at a dead sprint.

"Went okay, Miss Potts. Thanks for asking." Darcy pauses a bit as everyone begins to sit for picnic. She glances at each, not sure if it's be okay to join them, even though she walked through the grass on wheels to join them. She managed to look somewhat normal doing it too.

"A pub evening?" Brin grins a Darcy "Well, I hope the pup is still standing. You're welcome to join us if you like. We're just taking a well earned break." she gestures to the food, before taking a sip of the lemonade "This is very good, Ryan."

Peppers comment about dessert has the small brunette looking over and raising an eyebrow … a surprise hmmmm?

"Ryan also works with Helping Hands, Pepper." Pepper would have heard of this group because of the Maria Stark Foundation, if nothing else. Helping Hands takes in recovering substance abuse victims, troubled youths and people in need with nowhere to go. They're not AA, but they're good and they've got solid reputation. It's one of the groups that X-Red refers people to.

Pepper Potts ahs and nods, offering the first of the plates to Darcy as a wordless way of telling her to just sit down and join them. "Helping Hands is an excellent orgranization, Ryan. I'm glad to hear you're part of that. Oh, sorry. You both mentioned Tony. He's been as busy as ever, and there haven't been any lab explosions in at least a week." She pauses then, as if something occurred to her. And it did. Tony's overdue for another lab explosion. That's honestly a little worrying. She dismisses that for now, though, and brings her attention back to the here and now.

Ryan laughs when he hears Brin continue on about Helping Hands. "I thought I said that we were moving on from my boring passtimes." He then shifts his attention to Darcy. "OHMAHGAWD say it isn't so…" This is probably the first time that Brin has ever seen Ryan cut loose. As far as first impressions do Ryan is confident he hasn't wiffed it entirely with Pepper.

Looking back at Pepper. "Helping Hands is great. But that because the staff is full of grade A people. I can hardly take credit for it." Ryan is of course being completely honest about this. The greatness of the orginization is built on the day in and day out kind of folks.

"This one survived. The other one, not so much," Darcy replies to Brin, returning the grin and all but throwing herself to her knees in the grass. She turns to plop her rump on the checkered fabric, and peels off her wrist guards, tossing them into the helmet she took off to shake out her unruly brown hair. Her hands take the offered plates and sets about seeing they are passed out.

"Dude. Community service projects are far from boring past times," Darcy argues as she hands Ryan his plate. "Like ohmahgawd like totally." She too looks at Pepper, nodding seriously as if she knew anything about Helping Hands.

Ryan simply gets a lifted eyebrow from the usually reserved mutant at his playful comments to Darcy. It's certainly something Brin has seen before and it is slightly amusing. "Not boring and very important…" Pepper might have gathered from Ryans' response, that he's more than just with it. It's his organisation.

Given Ryan a cheeky smile, Brin helps herself to food. "Well, I'm glad Tony's not blown up anything lately… It must be nice to have the 'no accidents for …' sign with the number climbing."

"Not so much, hey? Well that's a good thing. What's keeping you busy these days?"

Pepper might have heard through the 'rumour mill' that there's the photoshoot for 'Hottest Heroes' scheduled. 'Hottest Heroes' produces a calendar every year and the proceeds go to a charity. This year, the charity is Habitat for Humanity and 'Berto and Brin had been choosen to appear.

"If I'm being honest with you, going this long without at least a small lab fire isusually an indication that Tony's about to do something particularly reckless or his current project is going to explode more impressively than normal. I'd really rather avoid both of those, you know?" Pepper opens a brown paper sack to reveal a still warm and aromatic loaf of rye bread and proceeds to offer slices to everyone so they can start building sandwiches for themselves if they choose.

"Say, Brin, when is that photoshoot you mentioned? I'm thinking I want to be there for that." And also she needs to schedule Tony for meetings in a different time zone to try and keep him from trying to crash and insist that he be in on that calendar. Though really she's not sure if he'd do that anymore. But she doesn't want to take the chance.

"Well noble or boring it is a topic that couldn't be anywhere near as interesting as this photoshoot business." Ryan says as he snickers at Brin. He stops for a moment to enjoy the food and company. A day off. Hard to come by and much needed.

"You know Ms Potts. I would actually like to thank you for the funding the Stark Foundation has given Helping Hands. It has made an tremendous impact. Perhaps you would like to come down and see one of the local chapters sometime. See where the money is being directed, maybe find some areas of improvement." If there is one thing that Ryan knows is that extra pairs of the right kinds of eyes is vital to avoid stagnation.

"So I know we've bantered a bit but what is it you actually do Darcy? If I may call you that. I mean aside from rolling women into the walls and floor like a kid with silly putty." He smiles. He's having a good time.

"Got me there, Ryan," Darcy agrees amiably, thanking Pepper as she takes some bring and makes herself a sammich. She's just finished construction when Ryan asks her about herself, and Darcy smiles broadly.

"I'm a SHIELD Agent," Darcy replies. She takes a bite of her masterpiece, adding with her mouth full. "Which I guess means I roll more than just woman into wallks and floors."

At the mention of the photoshoot, Brin colours - a lot - and becomes interested in the plate of food she's gathering. "A few weeks, Pepper… and it's to be a beach shoot. They'll be sending me what they want me to wear … soon." Bobby Drake is in so much trouble. "I'll let you know the details when I have them. Nick said he might come for moral support." and to smirk, a lot.

Waving Ryans comment off, the blushing mutant shrugs. "Berto and I were the winners for this years Hottest Heroes. The team has been at me to accept it… Berto, of course, is beside himself - he thinks it's going to be a hoot." Brin clearly doesn't.

Darcy's comment gets a grin "From what I've seen of working with SHIELD…" and Brins done some joint operations with them "… there's also a lot of waiting for something to happen before you get to the rolling …"

"Let me know when the garments arrive. I'll make sure they are perfect." No binder clips hiding ill-fitting garments for Brin, not if Pepper has any say in the matter. "Oh, and Mr. DaCosta is going to be part of it as well?" She seems far less surprised by that. "Ryan, if you want, we can both go and offer Brin moral support." Darcy gets a smile as Pepper finishes building her own sandwich and takes a large, unladylike bite.

Ryan almost spits out a mouthful of lemonade….almost."A beach shoot you say? You know, I heard there were some mutants that needed to be exfilled from a beach somewhere. I'll have to look into that. Important work you know, I might need to spearhead this one to make sure it goes smoothly. Wouldn't it be just the most wonderous of events if we ran into eachother?" He pokes at Brin and flashes a michevious grin in Pepper's direction. Ryan isn't one to make light of the business he is in normally…but it's too good to pass up.

"Well, a SHIELD operative you say. I'm sure you have a file on me bigger than the NSA. Please don't roll me, I'll come willingly." He jests with Darcy, chuckling and holding his hands up to show his compliance.

"Ain't no different than a jam line. You wait wait wait for the whistle, then it's two minutes of controlled chaos, limbs, boobs, and wheels," Darcy quips at Brin. She hasn't had the pleasure of being on assignment with her. After all, the promotion to Field Agent is still new. Pepper's unladylike bite, gets a grin from Darcy, who swings her backpck around to dig for a water bottle. Beach shoot?

"Photoshoot with mutants in a public place. I may have to run this one by my SO, see if she thinks it warrants SHIELD presence… maybe undercover.. in bikinis… sipping drinks with umbrellas in them." Ryan's response to her, surrendering to her and everything has the brunette grinning hugely and pointing her bottle of water at him.

"Yes, you will," she promises with a devillish wink.

"I will Pepper…" Brin just sits there blushing. Somehow she thinks this is going to get a whole lot worse. As they all start offering to show up, the blush deepens (if that's possible) "… I uh… don't think they need all the support. It won't just be Berto and I…" she's sure. Ryans poke gets swatted and the small X-Red just … sighs… deeply. "Who is your SO, Darcy?" the last quip gets an honest question.

"Sooooo… what do you think of Secretary Gyrich's decision to disband the JL:A and rely on the DEO?" That had caused a few raised eyebrows around the X-Red Headquarters.

And yes. Brins trying to shift the conversation away from her.

Pepper Potts finishes that first bite, but before she does so, she reaches over and puts one of the lemonades that Ryan bought in front of Darcy. "Mm. Brin, there's no getting out of it. We're all going to be there whether you like it or not. Might as well just accept it and prepare for it now."

Holding his hands out ready for cuffs Ryan laughs. "So is booking where all the limbs and boobs are or is there a whistle somewhere I have to wait for?" He shoots back at Darcy.

"I am sure it wont be as bad as all that Brin. You know you can count on Pepper and I for any support moral or otherwise that we can offer." He tried to keep a straight face, really he did. The snickers just came out. He had no control over it. That is what he will say if questioned on the matter anyways. In a more serious tone though noting the clearly obvious avoidance tactic Ryan calms himself down. "The JL:A being disbanded is a mistake in my oh so humble opinion. Though I can not say I am truely clear on the motives that lead to it. It would seem to me that it is begging for baddies to come out of the woodwork. As if we didn't have enough problems with that. It will be what it is though and I do not pretend to be a politician or shot caller of any type. Never suited me to be perfectly frank."

Looking at Pepper. "I don't know that I agree with that entirely. I've seen a lot of things come and go and one thing is certain. There comes a time when the world needs people like us. I hope it doesn't come to that."

Darcy smiles at the lemonade, just starting to reach for it while taking a breath to answer BRin's question about her SO when from her backpack comes the themesong from 'The Magic School Bus'.

"Melinda May," Darcy says drives into her backpack, retrieves her phone and holds it to her ear.

"Lewis? …yeah… Yup. Sure thing." She drops the phone into her pack, wrapping her sammich up.

"That was her. Gotta jet. Book ya later, R-man," Darcy winks at Ryan, smiling at Pepper as she threads the ties of her wristguard through an elbow pad so she can get to her feet and still eat her sammich.

"Miss Potts. Always a pleasure. Thank you all for the quick lunch," she says waving as she picks her way through the grass, to the sidewalk, and rolls off munching away.

Brin might have resigned herself to the fact this shoot is happening and is just living in a happy place for a moment longer. "I know, Pepper."

Ryans pondering about the JL:A has the X-Red nodding. "Gyrich cites Pershings assassination and what happened in Steel City as reasons. He seems to believe that the DEO could have stopped them." shaking her head and taking another piece of cheese from her plate, she considers for a moment "If they could do it, then they should have. Steel City is fairly recent. But where were they?"

"I don't know, Ryan, Pepper, we've worked with the DEO on certain incidents. Most of their agents barely tolerate us, at least our involvement, and some just simply don't like us. The JL:A was one of the shining examples … and they just … told them to disband."

"May?" Brin smiles as Darcy adds that piece of information. She might like to be a fly on the wall when that request is made. "Nice to meet you again, Darcy. Say hi to May for me." the brunette waves as the SHIELD agent leaves.

Pepper Potts can only shakes her head at that. This is one of the moset obvious reasons why Tony has insisted on doing his own thing for so long. When he works alone, he has only himself and JARVIS to argue with of tactics an the like. "That really does sound like a bad idea. Why force a long-established super hero group to disband? It doesn't make logical sense."

Ryan is very full from his meal. He gives Darcy a nod and a waive as she makes her exit. "It would seem that we are all on the same page then. It just doesn't make any kind of sense. A damn shame is what it really is." He pauses. "It appears to me though that the stated events surrounding the disbanding is just the convenient vessel that lets them make that jump. I can't believe that there aren't hidden motivations behind it. I don't like it; not one bit." Ryan's facial expressions have become darker as he has been talking. Almost as if recalling something from a distant past.

"No, it doesn't Pepper and neither do I, Ryan. But they've done it. I can't help but wonder what is next." Brin gives Ryan a speaking glance "Hidden motivations, yes. But what? I have to play a careful line, being part of X-Red. We work beside law enforcement and the DEO are a legally constituted body. Still, I have my doubts. I'll keep watching."

Brins phone buzzes and she glances at it, letting out a soft sigh. "I need to go, duty calls. Ryan, you're welcome to join me…" she starts to pack their things away and gives Pepper an apologetic look "So sorry, Pepper. Maybe, one day, we'll be able to make an afternoon of it."

Pepper Potts offers Brin a smile. "Of all people, you know I understand only too well. But here." She opens the basket to start putting dishes and leftovers back in, and pulls out a small pastry box. "The dessert I promised." She pulls a second small box and offers it to Ryan.

Ryan graciously takes a delicious morsel from the small box and stands up. "Ms Potts, it was a pleasure sharing some time with you. Please don't be a stranger."

"Brin, if it isn't an inconvenience I think I will join you. There are still matters to discuss relating to the project." He tips his imaginary hat towards Pepper.

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