A Red-Blooded American Girl

December 30, 2016:

Captain America shoots the breeze with Darcy after he gets shot at.

The Triskelion - New York City

The Headquarters, Armory and Fortress of the Strategic Homeland
Intervention Enforcement and Logistics division is, for the most part, an
unassailable tower in the midst of the diplomatic sprawl that is Midtown
East. The primary intelligence clearing houses and most of SHIELD's senior
leadership are all housed hear, along with a veritable army of agents and
staff to keep the place running, the world spinning and the weirdness at
bay.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Jane Foster, Quicksilver, Peggy Carter

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

"You ready, Captain?" The men load their weapons, the SHIELD agents taking aim with their large bulky weaponry.

With grim determination, the super-soldier nods. "I am. Fire!"

Aiming with deadly precision, the first volley goes straight for the super-soldier. One attack goes wide, hitting just over Cap's shoulder. A roll to the side avoids two more attempts. The final one slams into the back of the agile warrior's hand, the projectile, a clay pigeon, shattering upon impact. But considering it was able to slam into Steve's skull, it seems like a wise trade-off.

The man who fired gets stares from people who don't know what to think as Cap stands from his kneeling position. Despite his hand bleeding from the defensive maneuver, Rogers gives a thumbs up. "Good shot." With that, the marksman in question gets praised by his peers. And so ends another training regimen of Captain America.

When these happen in public SHIELD training rooms, three types of people emerge. First are the ones that angrily ignore such display, understanding they have much more important work to do and struggle to understand why Captain America gets as much attention as he does. The second are those eager to work with him, either to help him train and get training from him, which he is usually more than willing to give. Finally, there are those that just want to watch Rogers running around sweating in a tank top and gym shorts.

The first grouping of people, obviously aren't here. The second group, a set of five men and women, has offered their assistance by attempting to shoot Cap with modified pigeon launchers in order to simulate the attacks that come from a variety of villains. The third group is sipping drinks on the opposite side of the training watching and/or pretending to be busy. However, as the training ends, the second groups moves out to put away the weapons while the third group just mills about to various locations as the point of interest seems to not be as interesting.

Captain America himself merely moves toward some towels wiping his face free from moisture and his hand free from blood. "Not the best, not the worst," he tells himself with regards to the training.

And then there's Darcy. A part of groups two, three, and four. Because making up her own rules is always best. She'd help the others get all set up to take on the Super Soldier, then kicked back with a drink to watch him running around in gym shorts and a sweaty tank top, and when everyone goes about their business, she collects a first aid kit and makes her way over.

"Still good to look at. Speaking of, lemme see it," she quips, holding up a hand and folding her fingers over a few times in a gimme gimme gimme sort of way.

There is a brief pause as Captain America to sees a very familiar face. "Hey," he begins, his words brief to the faint surprise of the woman with the medical supplies. The hand is offered as requested. It's your standard abrasion, clearly no broken bones, but as expected a loooot of bruising. "Here I would have thought you would have been hanging out with whosawhatcum, the guy you're seeing," he states with a faint smile, averting his attention from Darcy long enough to nod and a "Thanks for the help" toward a couple of people who are making their farewells and leaving the room.

Once his attention is back toward the one treating him, Steve adds, "Kinda a bad way to spend a Friday night."

Darcy leads Steve to a little table so she can set the kit down, and use it to finish cleaning him up and get some antibiotic ointment and a band-aid on it.

"I would have, but he had things to do. He's fast but sometimes things just take time and he can't make everything else move like he can so… This wasn't so bad. Scenage was better than my apartment so I am not complaining," Darcy quips as she gets the scratches covered up.

"No. This is not a bad way at all."

"Ah, I see," Steve replies as he's led. He takes a seat when he has the chance, glancing over toward the hand to see what she's doing before Darcy's face gets his full attention as again. "Sounds like he tends to rush a lot. He a track star or something?" he inquires, clearly as interested in the small talk as you would think that he would be for a mission briefing. "Must be nice dating an athlete. How did you met?"

Darcy's eyes are on Steve's hand and the first aid kit as she works, but she's smiling warmly none the less.

"You could say that. He can't help it sometimes," she replies, a laugh in her voice. "He's a mutant, actually; a speedster. He asked for directions to a coffee place. Because clearly someone that hyper-speedy needs caffeine. Like I need caffeine. He added his contact info to my phone while I was looking the other way."

"A mutant, I know about those," Captain America states with pride. It's far too rare it happens, so he's definitely proud when he does. "Well, I'm sure if he's dating you, he's a great guy. It stinks they get a tough time for something that can't help. Saw a lot of that in the war," he notes, his eyes getting a little distant for a moment, horrors that are not really appropriate for 'mixed company' as he might put it. In a moment or two later, he blinks out of whatever he was reliving and is back in the present, the smile regaining its former stride. "Hopefully things will get easier for them in the days to come."

Darcy smiles as Steve seems so filled with pride and she tries not to blush at the complement through him complementing her guy.

"It really does. Things will change, they have to," Darcy says, voice drifting away as she see Steve looking distant, looking to a darker place. Pietro gets like that sometimes still, when something happens and he remembers dying, and Apocalypse. Like she does for the silver-haired mutant she's dating, Darcy reaches out to put a hand on Steve's shoulder, giving him a warm, real, and solid touch with which to make his way back. And, she waits, smiling softly without judgement or fear or pity or worry. Just the friendly sympathy of knowing that he needs a moment and a friendly face to come back to.

"It will. I'm working on it, about the same way I worked with Culver University's LGBTQ movement years ago. It's wrong to discriminate and bully others just because they're different in some way someone else doesn't like. It's evil and cruel and inhuman. It will get better. You'll see. One day at a time, maybe. But it will get better."

The touch is noticed and Rogers looks toward the gesture with a brief smile before the sobering talk mutes it once more. There is a long pause as Darcy speaks of her college days and her thoughts on discrimination. "Bullies will always be bullies. Seems like you're doing what you feel is right and acting with compassion," Cap says, taking his time to choose his thoughts carefully. He opens his mouth to speak again with pensive eyes, but it seems he shuts his mouth once more. For now, it seems like that is all he has to say on that.

When he speaks a moment or two later, Steve nods toward the hand. "Thanks, you didn't have to do that. Really appreciate it," he says softly.

"True. But bullies had to have been victims first, some how, some way. It doesn't justify, but it puts a spin on it that makes it even more important to help all of them, don't you think?" Darcy replies to those pensive blues. She smiles again, pulling her hand away and starting to tidy up the first aid kit.

"I know I didn't have to. I wanted to. Big difference, and don't mention it. Because I wanted to," she adds, smiling again.

"Empathy is the real way to end it all. At least that's how I see it. It's only when both sides of an issue understand that the people are people. Not the same, not perfect or horrible…. Just people."

The hand is flexed in the wake of Cap's words, Rogers looking to Darcy to give a nod of approval. "Well, was going to ask you why a girl like you was up for joining SHIELD, suppose I found my answer. In talking to you, talking to Doctor Foster, surprised the both of you are here, but glad that you are. Places like here need a bit more humanity in them from time to time."

There's his nod and smile, Darcy pushing the first aid kit to the middle of the table.

"Well, ya'll took my iPOD so.. I was just going to get it back, but then you offered it and a paycheck so…" She's teasing, mostly. But the tone of her voice makes it clear that while it seems far fetched, it's the absolute truth. And then he name drops and Darcy's jaw drops.

"You know Jane too!? ohmyfuckinggodinahandbasket. Bitch never CALLS me! For real." A beat of a pause. "Sorry. Language. So, you've met Jane…" Sweet smile, sing song voice. Darcy puts her chin on a fist and that elbow on the table. Focus on the halo, grampa! The one being held up by the horns.

To the explanation, Cap gives a simple nod, as it seems good enough for him. Shortly after, Rogers rubs the back of his head, clearly feeling a bit embarrassed about the cursing and name dropping. Problem with dossiers for conversational starters, they often leave out important details. But at least Darcy apologizes for the cursing.

"Only because she wanted to talk to me about? a friend," he states, a little evasive on the last word. "She seems to be rather busy. The last I saw of her, I had to kill a demon that was trying to feed her to demon babies." There is a slight awkward pause before he adds some details. "It was a long night but she was okay."

"Of course she was getting fed to demon babies," Darcy quips, eyes rolling. But her lips are smiling and her gaze is amused, so clearly she's not upset by this.

"Thank you for rescuing my friend since I wasn't there to taze people into submission. Seriously, though. I'm going to have to pull her file off the computers around her, internet stalk her, and beat her head in with a pillow for not calling me. Who was this friend?" Darcy asks changing subjects quickly. No wonder she dates a speedster. "Wait… are YOU her boyfriend? Because if you are, we've really got to talk about getting past second base, mister. And you'll forgive me for being a little jelly. I'm just gong to say it: You, are HOT. And sweet and thoughtful and… like a …hero" Almost said fucking hero. ahem! "Knight in shining armor and all that jazz. So, just be level with me: Who's her friend and are you dating my former boss slash bestie?"

Confusion appears on Captain America's face as the modern terms overwhelm his 1940's brain. But he tries to be as diplomatic as possible. "I don't think Doctor Foster plays baseball, though I suppose I would be willing to be on the SHIELD softball team. If we have one."

It takes Cap a moment to process and figure out how to answer the rest of the stuff. "A friend of mine actually," who disappeared in the war. "I thought he died. Might be dead now. But she wanted me to look into it for her because she knows we fought in the war together so I am."

Despite the downer of talking about his dead comrade is, Captain America breezes on. After all, it's been on his mind a lot, so dealing with it has been progressively easier. Keeping it as professional as possible helps, though it's from a deep look in his eyes that there's the pain that hides.

"As for me and Doctor Foster? Not sure we are an item, we just talk and we've only talked a couple of times," Cap explains with a wave of his hands to show he means it. "I'm sure she has someone else. As for myself, not sure I'd exactly be a good boyfriend, but thank you for saying that. Means a lot. No need to be jelly about it all though. Or jam."

Ohmygoodnesssquishy! He's so dammit adorkable! Darcy can't help but chuckle at his misunderstanding, the expression falling into that sympathetic concern once more when his pain shows up and he talks about his lost friend.

"I'm sorry. For your loss and… for being inconsiderate about it. If I can help, even if it's just a shoulder to lean on? Lemme know." And then Darcy's grinning again.

"She does. I got told so. Just need to find her and who this mystery man is. As for being jelly? I'm all sorts of Smuckers, but I'll get over it," Darcy promises, winking and looking to get the subject back onto something a bit lighter than lost war friends.

"You like softball? Or baseball I take it? Sports in general?"

A nervous chuckle is given in response to talk of the loss. "Well, hopefully, it will be something I can handle myself. I really don't want to draw people into my problems. But I'll remember that for sure. It's nothing you need to worry about, it's not a big deal at all, you had no way of knowing," the warrior replies.

Oddly, the talk of who Jane is dating causes Cap's eyes to move back and forth, putting together unseen pieces. He says nothing on it, merely averting his attention back up to Darcy as she speaks of sports. "I only played a bit of stickball on the front, I'm afraid. When I was in a position where I could play sports, I was already on the warfront. Might be fun to play baseball sometime though," he admits. He tilts his head faintly to the side. "What about you, play any sports?"

The nervous chuckle and Steve trying to push past it has Darcy following the subject change.

"Roller derby. Not as competitively as I used to, because of work but now that I graduated again, and have more time on my hands… between the world being stupid crazy… I was thinking baout going back. What do you think? THink I'm a Gotham Girl or a Liberty Belle?"

"Liberty Belle, but I suppose I have my bias." With that, Rogers gives a grin, shrugging as he finally stands up. It seems as he has places to be. "If there is anything I've learned, if there is something you can do that you enjoy, do it. As long as it doesn't hurt you or others, or the dreams that are important to do, do the things that make you happy. In the end, people tend to be unhappy with what they DIDN'T do more than anything else. The risks that might have led to a better life."

Steve moves toward his duffel bag where he keeps his stuff, slinging it over his shoulder. "Well, I likely should be going, but I have a feeling we'll be talking in the future. You stay safe, both in and out of the derbies, okay? It's important to enjoy your life, but remember, you only get one."

"Right back at you, Captain," Darcy replies, smiling. She stayed at the table, not leering but… she did glance.

Wait? She's a red-blooded American girl! She has the right to look. She just… shouldn't touch without permission. No matter HOW tempting.

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