A Concerned Boss

February 27, 2017:

After realizing that one of her assets has gone missing, Melinda May crashes Barry Allen's apartment and gets Spoiler'd.

Barry Allen's Apartment - Metropolis

A studio apartment in Metropolis.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Batman

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

It's been five days since Barry called into work, souding groggy: Car accident I95.

No hospital information for Barry Allen can be found. And he wasn't answering his cell. And he doesn't own a car.

Agent May would not be hard pressed to realize that the excuse was bullshit. And it wouldn't be hard at all for May to get to Barry's apartment, and let herself in.

May had nto accounted for a blonde cheerleader in a purple sports bra and black short athletic shorts who was walking past the door right at that moment. Barry wasn't near the door and with him still injured Stephanie was not willing to let him use any kind of speed to kep the intruder out. So, it was up to Ninja Steph! Back flatted against the wall, Steph waited until the intruder opened the door and stepped in to make her move.

If this had been anyone else but May, the attack would likely have been flawless, beautiful and the intruder would have been flattened against the far wall. But, it's May. May has far more experience than the blonde girl and the fist-fight spills into the living space.

Stephanie finds herself hard pressed to do much more than just try not to get hit within a few heartbeats as May quickly moves to disable her. It's five paces into the apartment when May overmanuevers Stephanie, getting behind the girl, tripping her forward and then slam-pinning her face down to the floor her right arm twisted up between her shoulderblades painfully. May would notice the bandage on the back of her left arm and the ones on the bottom of her right foot which had slowed the blonde slightly.

*

Barry's apartment is more of a studio thing, an open space, with a kitchen/dining combined ares that blends into the living area and bed with only the bathroom having any privacy. Which is where Barry was coming out of, having finished changing the bandages on his legs. "I think I should try to give it a jog today. Not much, just enough to see if it's healin…" he's heard saying, just before he hears the commotion and clatter by the front door.

He moves. Does he ever move. A blur of energy, no more than half a second from one end of the apartment to the other, the bandages whipping behind him as he neatly attempts to slam into the back of the person that takes Stephanie down.

After the assassination attempt twice on him? He's not taking chances. It's not until he realizes that it's his boss that he's slammed into… that it all comes apart with a pale blink from the man in a pair of jogging shorts and A-frame shirt.

"Uh. Shit. I can explain."

*

Keeping one knee pressed into the small of the teen's back and pressure on that torqued arm, May asks Stephanie in a dangerous tone, "Tell me where Barry—" and then someone's slamming into her from behind, before she even realized they were there. That NEVER happens. She rolls with it, though, reaching to snare the arm of her second attacker and pull him along with her.

That doesn't happen of course. What does happen is that she's still got Steph's arm in her other hand and she yanks HER along. Hope that doesn't pop her shoulder out of socket.

*

This was not how Stephanie had planned it. Face down, hearing this unknown, dangerously pitched woman's voice startign to ask where Barry is has Stephanie trying to figure out how tobreak this hold without getting broken.

And then Barry happens.

It's all Stephanie can do to roll with the tug so that the force of it doesn't rip her shoulder from its socket. It pulls a pained cry from the cheerleader regardless, and when the tumble is done, she's still caught in May's arm hold, her back pressed to May's front.

*

"She's with me." Barry offers quickly, a frown as he feels that pain his legs. He shouldn't have gone that fast. "Been helping me with therapy." Because that explains so much as he reaches down to his knee. He's not sure what else to say. But at least he's not trying to attack anyone.. or you know, hurt his girlfriend worse.

*

May looks up at Barry, then openly frowns as she lets go of Buffy the girlfriend and promptly gets back to her feet. "Sit down and explain." The dangerous tone is NOT gone, so she'd better find out where the hell Barry has been for five days. Right. Now.

*

Let go, Stephanie goes splat on her rump, left arm coming up to rub her shoulder. She's frowning lightly now recognizing the SHIELD agent. Rolling to her feet not at all smoothly, Stephanie moves to Barry, hands reaching out to help steady him.

"Here. I'll get you to the sofa. We're done for today, so I'll see you tomorrow?" Stephanie says, trying to make it seem like she's really just a physical trainer? Barry has very rarely heard Stephnie talking like this, voice pitched a little higher and a little airier that is her usual, as if playing dumber than she is.

*

"There was an accident, sprained both of my legs.." Barry says as he accepts Stephanie's help to the couch and meets her eyes for a moment as she goes into vacant mode. "Stephanie, this is my boss, Melinda May. Miss May, this is Stephanie Brown, my uh.." Trainer? Therapist? Pain the Butt? First love. "..physical therapist from GCU." he says, though that sounds completely lame and comes up short. "I should have my legs back enough to be in on Monday."

*

"How did you sprain your legs?" May narrows her eyes at Barry, then she focuses on Buffy the girlfriend when he introduces her and studies the kid. GCU gear. Fighting moves reminiscent of Batgirl and Red Robin and even Misfit a little but none of the above for obvious reasons on each count. And rather familiar color choices on her current attire.

"Mr. Allen, there is only one thing I do not tolerate from anyone, and that is being lied to. Do you want to clarify anything before I drag you down to Medical and send Miss Brown here back to her father figure in Gotham with a suspension notice?"

*

Getting Barry settled, her back almost to May. Mostly to May. It's trusting Barry to be fast enough to alert her in time if May tried anything. That he tried, he tried SO hard has Stephanie smiling lightly as she straightens and she's starting to step away when the interrogation starts. She gets three steps when May comments about a father figure in Gotham. Stephanie tries to keep walking like she didn't hear it, which could be suspicious enough ad she not also flicked a glance at May.

*

"Drag me down to medical? Only kicking and screaming, Agent May." The way he accenuates Agent may warn Stephanie to be careful as Barry settles back on the couch. The man looks conflicted. It seems that a lot of people /know/ who he is. Including ones that he'd rather not know. It's a leap of faith at this point. There's a momentary pause and he sighs. "There's a reason I've taken such an interest in the Mists…" he says as he picks up an apple from the fruit bowl beside the table. His fingers move, and he releases it at May.

However, in the same moment he releases it, he moves. Witin microseconds, he's passed the apple, and crossed the floor to stand before Melinda, his hand coming up to catch the apple to take a bite of it all in a blink of an eye. "Her father's in prison. Just like mine." he says simply.

*

May doesn't try to attack Steph again — and to be entirely fair, Steph is the one that attacked first. But then Barry pulls that stunt with the apple and she actually reacts. She blinks once.

"And you didn't think to divulge this when you hired into SHIELD?" she asks of Barry, clearly indicating the apple with a glance. She's not delving further into the whole deal with Stephanie, she knows enough now that she can track the kid down again later if she needs to know anything else. And, if by any strange chance Barry is truly THAT clueless, he's on his own to figure it out.

*

He didnt' devulge AND he displayed thta in front of Stephanie, and she's at ease enough with the meta to turn to frown shaprly at him.

"Barry! Sit down. Ohmygod," Stephanie says, voice losing the school girl airy as her hands go to her hips. Of course, Barry talking about her DAD might have something to do with the frown. Maybe. I mean, May was there when Cluemaster got out and Spoiler reappeared in Gotham. Steph's seen May's name on the Bat Computer files. And now that's she's really fought her, she knows what the woman is capable of. Batman doesn't like being lied to either, btu he's fine if you just neglect to mention. Just don't act like he's too dumb to figure it out and everyone gets to keep their kneecaps. Hands falling from her hips, Stephanie moves back over to Barry with a slight limp, and tries to tug him back to the sofa to sit.

*

Stephanie chides him and moves to tug him back to the couch, Barry uses the moment to consider and frame his answer. Before he finally settles on one. And god help him when it comes out of his mouth as he gets settled. "Uh. Not on the application that I have to divulge that?" he asks with a hint of cluelessness. As for knowing who Stephanie is? A simple glance around his apartment will show that there are some subtle touches that the young woman spends more time here than not. The dishes are cleaned and put away. There's flowers in a vase on a counter that are semi-fresh. A color coordinated throw pillow on the couch.

At least the plushies haven't invaded the bed yet. That's next in the Stephtocracy.

*

Watching the pair closely as they move about the room — and really, studying the apartment itself — May can see the dynamic here. And she's come to a decision.

"I need you to both come in to SHIELD HQ as soon as you're able," and by that she means when Barry has healed sufficiently. "Allen, we're going to amend your files and make sure you don't have any lasting damage from those injuries. Miss Brown, you will need to be debriefed, and then you will sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement." And no, there is no choice in the matter. She knows the kid is capable of keeping secrets, but SHIELD prefers to have that kind of thing in writing. So that's what they'll do, put it in writing.

*

Stephanie gets Barry sat back down, eyes on his knees, a frown of worry on her lips and a wrinkle of concern between her brows. She has a feeling Barry's ging to be in a bit of trouble at work and that she's probably going to have to do something about it, but when May declares that she will have to come in for debriefing, Stephanie swallows roughly as her shoulders tense. Non-Disclosure means she's legally obligated not to spill the beans. That's not the issue. It's the debriefing that makes Stephanie nervous, visibly so to those used to looking for such things in the blonde. Even as she's nodding in agreement, eyes not quite meeting May's.

"Okay," she says, voice small and youthful again.

*

"Should be good in the morning." Barry says honestly. Considering his legs were broken in multiple places, it's pretty remarkable really. He may not be ready for cross-counrty runs just yet, but in short bursts, he's very much healed. He glances to Stephanie. "So, want to stay for coffee? Pie?" he asks Melinda with a lift of his brow and a glance to Stephanie. No, you're not leaving.

*

"If you don't run on it any more today," Stephanie murmurs softly. She's tense and uneasy, hands coming to fold on her lap. Her heart's pounding and she's trying to act like it's not. In the grand scheme of things, it would be normal for an intimidating government personal to have this affect on a normal civilian. Right?

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