Trust or Something Like It

July 12, 2018:

Rami takes a risk and entrusts Simon with information.

The Bullpen, Triskelion


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Rule Britannia, Winter Soldier


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Lunch? Comes a text from whatever name Rami has given to Simon on her phone after that first date, followed quickly by: IB leftovers at my desk. Found a fave spot at the office yet?

Simon's name — having seen an upgrade since their first date from 'Yashminder's Red' to 'S. Green' — flashes across the screen of her phone and a tap opens the message. She skims it, brows arched slightly, and then types a response back: You get Yash to deliver to the Trisket? Rami still can't believe that she's been conned into calling the well-respected SHIELD HQ that. Besides the tech suites? OMW

Nope. Dinner last night. The Brit's use of his own diminutive for SHIELD HQ brings a grin to Simon's face, and he carefully extricates the to-go containers from the minifridge under his desk, heading over to the bullpen's microwave and calling out, "Indian Food Incoming." There are a couple of grimaces from a few of the people who haven't scarpered off to lunch yet, but more grins and nods than grimaces, and he starts heating the leftovers up, sending the scent of tikka — and then mango curry — wafting through the area. By the time Rami arrives in the open collection of desks, Yashminder's Red is back at the seat behind his desk, with the two containers on the desk between him and the open chair on the other side, along with two bottles of water. "Just the tech suites? Really, Rami? You need to get out more," he teases.

"Well, I haven't been able to quit the Hell's Kitchen analyses, so I've been spending a lot of time in the tech suites." The Sikh is all smiles despite the hint of tiredness in her expression as she arrives at his desk. She glances over the arrangement of food containers and water bottles before she settles into the opened chair, sweeping her pencil skirt down as she does. "I'm sure there's quite a many lovely places in your little domain here. I just haven't explored it yet."

Simon actually stands up as Rami steps up to the desk, then settles in as she does, gesturing to the containers on the desk, "Mango curry and chicken tikka. Guest's choice." At the mention of the potential lovely places in the Trisket, he glances around, then shrugs slightly, "There's a nice atrium, and a courtyard park. The roof isn't as much fun as you'd think." Grinning a little crookedly, he gestures to the water, "Oh, and there's beer if you want it. Godfather Lite." It's a macrobrew, but it's an Indian macrobrew, which makes it a rare import here in NYC. "How's the investigation going from your end? There's… not a whole lot for field agents to do now. The DEO, the Feebs, and the NYPD are doing most of the footwork now, from what I can tell."

Rami leans forward, peeking into both containers thoughtfully before she snags the one with the mango curry. She settles back with her fork, picking around the contents before she shovels a bite into her mouth. She chews through it as he offers her the beer, and her brow arches slightly at that. "Are you trying to impress me, or are you an actual Godfather fan?" There's some speculation in those words, but then she smiles and nods. "I'll take a beer." Then she takes another bite, leaning forward in a touch of intimacy despite the busyness of the bullpen. "I have some ideas, but nothing more than theories."

"It goes well with Indian food. And pizza. And Chinese." Simon shrugs a little helplessly. "And if I wanted to impress you, I'd have some of the great Punjabi microbrews." As he talks, he ducks under to the mini-fridge again, pulling out a bottle, tucking the cap on the metal edge of his desk, and giving it a pop to remove the top. Holding the beer out, he fetches another as he mirrors the lean, "Unfortunately, they're mostly really alcoholic. For an American. Everyone in here is at least Top Secret cleared. Not that I object to you leaning closer. What're you thinking, Rami?"

Rami claims the beer when he's popped the cap, and she smiles at him ruefully. "Weak Americans." Then she takes a rather bold pull from the brown bottle before she sets it down at her elbow. When he remarks on her lean, she starts to laugh softly while shaking her head. "I wasn't leaning in to be secretive." She gives him a coy smile over her mango curry before she resumes eating. The question is left hanging for a bit while she muses, chewing through the bite. "It's puzzling… the arrangements of the explosives, the buildings that were chosen… I haven't put my finger on it yet. The fact that there's been no legitimate claim to the bombings is also a bit of a brainer."

"Also, SHIELD frowns on working drunk." Simon responds to her teasing with a grin, and he pops the top of his own beer, setting the bottle down a moment to clean off the bottlecaps into the trash. Collecting his own food, his eyebrows rise at her coy words, and he laugh softly, "Well I'm in favor of you leaning in anyhow." His amusement sobers as she passes along her theories, "Right, it's clearly not terrorism, or someone with a cause would have claimed it. So there's a pattern that the computers aren't picking up, and it's tickling your brain? I hate that."

Parambir smiles as she chews through another bite, resting her weight now on her elbows as she remains leaned in across his desk. Her brows arch slightly at his sympathetic words, and then she laughs lightly herself. "Mmm… it is quite maddening." Then she interrupts her slow demolition of the curry to instead drink more of her beer. "Between that and the Ablution puzzle is keeping me up at night." She looks aside toward Simon's neighbors and then back to him. "That is on nights when you aren't keeping me up instead."

Simon nods, taking a pull of his beer and starting to respond. It's a good thing that he's not still drinking the beer, because her little aside causes him to guffaw quietly. It would have sprayed beer over his desk if he hadn't swallowed. Instead, he sets the beer down and lets the guffaw shift to a low laugh, "Well you haven't been complaining about that. I can put in more overtime on my own cases — or Ablution — if you want. Me, I'd prefer to get out of work when I can still see the sun," barely "And see a bit of you before bed."

The response from the Agent has Courtier laughing in a low and delighted laugh. Then she shakes her head, pausing long enough to take another pull from the bottle. "Mmm, well… if you would like to poke around the Ablution files, I suppose I could pass you a copy…" There's a hint of something that crosses her expression, and she leans in deeper — this time without the flirtatious intimacy. "You'll have to keep what you find under your hat… I'm really not sure how secure we are here…" That twinge of spy paranoia can be heard just in the undertone of her words.

Simon's brows rise sharply as Rami leans forward and makes the offer. His pale eyes flicker around the bullpen, and he carefully takes a drink of his beer and swallows before asking, "You're sure? I know you're keeping that close to your chest." The bottle is passed from one hand to the other and he finally sets it aside, gathering up his own take-out box, "I have to admit I'm a Rebirth fanboy. I've got a copy of Cap's original bubblegum card from my grandpa."

The carefully asked question draws her brows up briefly, and then her shoulders roll in what could be a shrug. "You're a spy… you know the cost of betraying trust once you've been let into an operation even a fraction." She holds his gaze steadily across the width of his desk before she breaks that long stare to take another drink and then another bite of curry.

The carefully asked question draws her brows up briefly, and then her shoulders roll in what could be a shrug. "You're a spy… you know the cost of betraying trust once you've been let into an operation even a fraction." She holds his gaze steadily across the width of his desk before she breaks that long stare to take another drink and then another bite of curry. Then she starts to smile slightly, looking up at him while her tongue moves across her full lower lip. "Michael is a Rebirth program, you know… but I wouldn't really ask him much about it."

Simon nods slowly, the amusement slipping from his features, "I do know. Usually a bullet to the back of the head. At the very least though, never being extended any sort of trust again." When she looks away, he lets out a little breath, digging into his own leftovers, "Starting with dating and probably ending with me trying very desperately to be somebody else's problem for a while." At least he can make a little joke about that, and he adds, "Why yes, I happen to have looked him up in the SHIELD database right away. I learned that lesson with you," he chuckles. "And no, I don't think that I would ask any of the Rebirth participants about it directly. You'll note I didn't ask Sergeant Buchanan about it either."

Her fingers slide up over his forearm, squeezing lightly. Her eyes meet his once more, and then she finishes up her lunch with a final bite. The beer is also given another pull, though there's still a good quarter left. "I trust you… as I said to Michael. And as I also said to Michael, I will handle you if you aren't worth that trust." Her eyes flicker away from him now as she wipes away a bit of curry still at the corner of her mouth. "Yes. I found something quite familiar about Buchanan's demeanor…"

"You trust me so far," Simon's light grin says that he's not taking offense at the difference. "I'd be disappointed — and really flattered — if you trusted me fully already, especially with everything going on." Only then does he set down his fork and squeeze her wrist lightly, "I'll do what I can to be worthy of the trust you have extended. I don't want to end up like Lancer, after all." He blinks a moment as she wipes at the curry, releasing her wrist to dig out a pair of napkins from a drawer and offer one out, "I wonder if it's an age thing. There's a lot of meat for jokes there, I have to say."

"Spies." The word is said with a low hint of amusement. With another pull of the bottle, Rami's almost done with her beer only to be interrupted by the napkin. She takes it before she finishes off the beer, and then daubs at her red lips. "I think it's age, but also the agelessness." She then shakes her head and hands him back her bottle, now empty. "Thank you for lunch, Bagha." Her lips twitch lightly as she turns to toss her napkin in a near-by bin.

Simon lifts his beer in salute at her amused statement and takes a swig, then tucks into his food again as she daubs and continues. After she finishes, he chuckles, "If you're going to try to make that one stick here at work, you're going to have to teach the other Agents how to pronounce it." Taking the bottle and tucking it into his own trash (someone is going to have to have a talking to him about recycling), he reaches out to clasp her hand and squeeze it lightly, "Happy to share it with you, Rami. And you know," his voice lowers slightly, just about the volume of the whisper that draws ears, "you might be one of the few who can connect with them about it. Maybe that's why you work so well with Britannia?"

"Oh, I'm not trying to get you a new codename, darling… if I was, then I'd just call you 'Tiger.'" Then Rami laughs as she stands from her chair, slowed by the clasp of his hand to hers. She smiles warmly to him before she squeezes in return. Then she starts to slip her fingers loose from his. The drop of the whisper stalls her, and she tilts her head slightly at his suggested idea. She starts to nod slowly. "Perhaps so. I understand what it is to feel a little apart from time, but not perhaps the same way." She now dips her head, smiling wryly to him. "See you at dinnertime, or have you other engagements tonight?"

Simon doesn't try to hold onto her hand, rising up as she does instead, and giving a little helpless shrug, "I don't know, it depends on whether or not a certain someone gives me homework. This time of year I'm usually spending my evenings watching Canadian Football and banging my head against the table waiting for real football news." Yup, he's still an American. "Give you a ride home then? Just drop me a text when you're done."

Parambir just sighs almost disappointedly. "Football. You know a lovely World Cup just ended, and you could have been appreciating that instead. Yank." Then she slips backward a step, smiling over her shoulder to him. "Alright then… I'll drop you a note when I'm done downstairs." She dips her head as she starts to walk away.

Shrugging even more broadly, faux helplessly, and cheekily, Simon chuckles, "You'll have to try to convert me to soccer. I'm sure you can find ways to keep me interested." Settling back down to let her head off, he gathers his leftovers back up to finish them off — and watch her depart.

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