Cadets and Jokes

October 02, 2018:

A group of SHIELD agents meet and joke around in the training area.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

"Watch the elbow!" Clint Barton's voice is harsh and borderline abusive as he smacks the side of the cadet with the back of his hand. "Look at you, all tense like you got a date with Betty Sue for the Cotillion." He almost casually pushes on the cadet's shoulders and sends him tumbling to the side even as he tries to maintain a firing stance.
"That's right, I made a dated reference that might mark me out as a man of some years. I'm that unafraid of you guys coming for me." A few steps down the firing line, his ear protection hanging around his neck while the line of a dozen prospective SHIELD agents all stand at the ready with their commission sidearms held up and taking aim. "Look at you, next generation nonsense. I've seen a ninety something year old man shoot better than you." Of course that ninety year old person was pretty much a legend, but still.
"That's not fair, sir. That's Cap." One of the cadets, a shortish fellow with some fight in him snaps back.
"Are we having backsass in SHIELD?" Clint stomps down the line quickly, leaning over the shoulder of the cadet while the youth tries pointedly to ignore him and keep firing position. "There's no backsass in SHIELD. You should know that. It's like our credo, it's right under the emblem with the big flag and armor bit. No Backsass."
"Sorry, Agent Barton. I'm… sorry."
"Damn right, you're sorry."

"I understood that reference," Captain America mentions with a quiet, reserved quality from behind the cadets, directed at Clint. Deadpan playfulness from the Captain. Mild pleasure that he often gets when he can follow a reference. Most of the time he's out of his depth on emojis and me-mes and everything else.

He'd not come out of nowhere, although Steve is extremely swift when jogging, as he was clearly doing. Jogging is the gateway to overall fitness, after all. He slowed to come to a stand behind the cadet row, automatically crossing his arms over his chest, stance apart, military. If the Cadets were focused before and not nervous, they might be the opposite now, although Steve only means well, and is hardly one to judge on a craft they are working to improve. "But Agent Barton isn't wrong about the back-sass," Steve says in mock seriousness, backing up the other Avenger, but the smile is present on his lips.

The effect is palpable amongst the cadets as they hear the voice that has followed them through their years. That voice that is heard on television from time to time telling everyone to be calm, the voice that's famously recorded for the speech during the Battle of the Bulge, the voice that tells them about the dangers of teen pregnancy and getting stuck in detention.
All of them snap to, tightening up, abruptly more professional despite the levels of exhaustion that some of them must be feeling considering the day that Clint Barton's run them through. But there's also silence, respectful silence, but silence all the same.
Not from Clint, however. "Now look at what you chuckleheads did." He turns away from the cadet who so unfortunately had his attention moments ago. "You woke the man up from his afternoon nap." Sure the words might seem a touch disrespectful, but the half-smirk on his lips lends it just the right edge of camaraderie that is due.
A few steps forwards and he extends a hand. "Cap. What's the word?"

"I've had enough sleep on ice to last me; jogging is my new afternoon rest cycle," Steve teases back, willing to make fun of himself, smile still relaxed. Disrespectful words are taken in the manner they are meant: comradery. "The word? I'm taking a breather between Events within the city as they come up," Steve explains to Clint as he approaches and accepts the hand, speaking more quietly, though since the recruits are quiet as church-mice they will probably hear just fine. That 'Events' somehow had a capital letter in the front of it with Steve's pronunciation.

"But I'm confident with our current response, and proud of the men and women that are actively out there, to get us as far as we've come," Steve continues, perhaps aware he's being listened to by the cadets. But it doesn't make a difference: he doesn't put on a certain face for the cadets. Steve's just this way. He'd talk about Staying In School in the same type of tone. Don't let Captain America down, kids. "I was able to see first hand not just some of the first responders, but the medical staff working long hours to respond to the level of injuries, this morning. Everyone's on their A game, and we're making a real difference."

Shortly after the arrival of the good Captain, the door opens again but this isn't the typical recruit coming through the door. First, she has to duck so she doesn't bonk her head like the stormtrooper in A New Hope. Second, she's green. Literally. Her eyes, her hair, her skin. Third, she isn't really dressed for SHIELD. Instead she has on a pair of purple shorts and a white tank top which shows off a lot of that green skin. There is a phone holder strapped to her upper arm holding her iPhone. The white cord leads from it to a set of ear buds which are hanging around her neck at the moment, dangling at the front as she looks around. The sound of some boy band music may be heard through them which attests to the volume they'd been at while in her ears.
She pauses upon entering, looking around as she furrows her brow. "And this is most definitely not the file room. Unless you're using them as target practice and I think that would be a violation of many record retention laws on both state and federal levels." She gives a bright smile and a half shrug with only her right shoulder. "I apparently filled something out wrong which I know has to be a mistake on their part because seriously? Details are my life." Why she feels the need to share this with strangers? They can only guess.

Over his shoulder Clint hollars, "Alright you lunks, I want those numbers improved." He turns around and gestures, "Those are amateur numbers, lets bust it up!" He waves a hand and then starts to walk off even as the SHIELD service weapons start making their mildly hushed 'bark-bark' of suppressed gunfire. He nods towards Cap and starts to step away with him so they can get down to talking shop about what's been going down without having to distract their training.
"Yeah, seems like a lot of it is contained uptown. But kinda rough trying to keep a demarcation for these critters that can be most whatever they want and all that." The other Avenger folds his arms over his chest just far enough away. "You seem to be holding up pretty well."
But then Steve will likely see Clint's eyes distance past him and towards the entryway where the Sensational She-Hulk has stepped through.

Natasha is doing her part by sitting in a nearby chair with her black leather booted feet up on the back of another chair, crossed over one another at the ankle whilst she's cutting off wedges of an apple with a shiny metal blade. One wedge of tasty is apple is deposited into her mouth and her green eyes rest on Barton as he chides the others.

"My favorite part is when you talk about the backsass." Natasha says dryly to Clint when there's a brief moment of silence. She then adjusts her gaze so that it falls upon Steve who gets a small smirk before she then looks over toward Jenn. Jenn will get a nod and a light finger wave of recognition from that of the Black Widow in that chair she's so casually lounging in at the moment, in her full uniform with weapons strapped to her thighs and all.

Despite talking shop, Steve was looking over some of the cadets. "I'll be fine," Steve assures Clint immediately with his usual selfless assurance. He'll run himself into the ground and then suddenly things won't be so fine, but his dedication is one of his defining characteristics. "I don't want to intrude; mind if I talk to the cadet on the end? I have a suggestion for her," Steve asks, polite, respectful of Barton's current class and dynamic. He pauses, as Clint's eyes move, and Steve turns to glance over his shoulder to follow onto the sensational arrival. Brows lift; Steve lacks a poker face, but the politeness remains, and his smile comes up soon enough with a quick acknowledgement of a head nod to her. He hasn't met her, but he's semi aware. Not that that would change anything about his reserved friendliness.

Once given the go ahead, Captain America approaches the cadet on the end, after picking up an object out of his bag nearby to bring over to her. He takes his time with the Cadet, showing her how to use the grip strengthening object, indicating her gun, and talking her through it in his patient way. Cadet or Avenger, all more than worthy of his time and advice.

As she gets the friendly smile from Cap and the nod from Natasha, that apparently means She-Hulk is welcome in the group. This is how her logic works. She walks further into the room, giving a half wave over at Natasha. "Long time, no see. We still need to work some color into your wardrobe. Say it with me, color is my friend…" But the smile shows she is only teasing.
As Steve wanders off to the side, she quickly looks at Clint and mouths the words "That's Captain America!" without making a sound. Because really, Clint might not know! Alright, it's just that she's that excited to see the legend in the flesh. Then she offers her hand to Clint for a shake. "She-Hulk at your service. Friends call me Shulkie." She doesn't say if he is in that category yet but the information is out there. "Or Jen but I'll answer to any of them. Nicetameetcha."

To Clint's credit the way his eyes widen and a small jolt seems to go through his features as he shakes his head sharply once, then looks over wide-eyed after Cap walks off… then turns his head back to look first at Nat and at She-Hulk with a look of shock… it seems almost authentic. The capper is when he mouthes and whispers, 'Ohmigod is it?' and then looks on wide eyed again after Steve.
He takes a step to the side to stand closer to She-Hulk and says, "Do you think he'll give me his autograph?" But then he seems to recover long enough to shove his hand in Jen's direction. "Clint Barton. Heya." He gestures with a thumb towards Natasha, "You already know that layabout?"

Another bit of apple is consumed prior to and whilst Jen says that to Widow about her wardrobe and then she's showing a lopsided smirk as she looks down at her lap where the knife and remaining half of an apple resides. "Its dress like I write my poetry, and how my poor black heart feels." She sighs dramatically then, her stare going back up to She-Hulk. "At least I'll have a career at Hot Topic to fall back on once all of this crumbles around us."

Another slice to the apple and then she looks over to Cap as well while Barton talks of autographs. "Don't tell him, but I got him one of those tshirts with painted on muscles for his birthday. I think he's going to love it." And then she's sliding the next apple slice into her outh off of the edge of the knife and making a little 'face' at Clint for referring to her as a layabout.

At the little act from Clint, Shulkie can't help but giggle a bit. "I'm sure he would give you an autograph." Then she lowers her voice to a whisper. "Think he'd go on a date with me if I asked nicely? Nah, stupid idea. I'd just stare at him and drool on myself. Not a good look on a date. Well, most dates." That's frightening that it might be a good look on any date. Her tone shows she is teasing though, not at all serious about asking out the good Captain cause really? One does not just ask out Captain America. It isn't done. In her mind.
She glances at Natasha and nods to the question from Clint. "We've worked together a couple of times. She's short," She puts her hand down really really low, parallel to the floor to indicate what she means. "But mighty."
Then she considers the shirt for a birthday present. "I don't think Cap needs one of those. He could just not wear one. Or did you mean him?" She points at Clint then looks him over appraisingly. "Not sure he needs one either. Damn, those are some mighty nice biceps. You lift?"

"I have like five of them already in my closet." Clint says as he shoots a look back over at Natasha, mirroring the little face as he looks back towards She-Hulk, then he nods slowly and solemnly, as if she had just imparted some great sagacious touch of wisdom. He turns in time with Jen to look pointedly back at the Black Widow and he murmurs, "That's true. She is. Indeed. Short." Still nodding he looks at her as if she had just been judged by St. Peter and found wanting. A small shake of his head is given. Sad.
But then back towards the green giantess and Clint looks up a touch towards her, "What, weights?" He asks as he holds up one of his, to be fair, rather well developed arms considering his particular area of expertise. "Nah. Those things are heavy." He then smirks a little and seems to push past the humor and asks, "So Fury brought you in with all the crazy going on?"

Another glance is given to Steve with the cadet who seems to be just as smitten with him as She-Hulk, likely a lot more in fact. "Ask him, Jen." Nat tells the tall-one. "He needs to get out and live a little. Get some experiences that don't involve bashing things with shields, or helping little old ladies cross the street." She knows Steve would just turn Shulkie down though, while being utterly kind hearted and respectful about it at the same time. She suspsects he has a whole list of those turn-downs written up somewhere for the women who muster up the courage to ask him out.

Nat then just smirks at Clint, as she generally does. "No sir, you get the Tuxedo T-Shirt. Because it represents the same level of class as your backsassing self." She drops her booted feet off of the back of the chair and walks what remains of her apple over to a waste bin to deposit it. "I am vertically challenged. But I make up for it in raw slashing power… and one day when the 'Black Widow' label grows tiresome, I'll be filing for the rights to use 'Child's Play' as a replacement." She turns around and reaches up to run a hand through her hair. "I already have the red locks to help pull off the look." Angry little red headed doll running around killing people?

That earns an outright laugh, the idea of Natasha taking the place of Chucky in that role. "I can see it. You're scary enough. Course, possessed dolls…" Shulkie shudders. "Scare the crap out of me. Don't tell anyone that though."
She glances toward Steve speculatively but then that thought is completely and utterly dismissed. He's safe.
Back to Clint, she eyes that arm and almost flexes her own arm to show off a bit. Then she remembers the fragility of the male ego and she keeps her arms at her sides. See! She can restrain herself! Rarely. "Nah, I brought myself in with all the crazy going on out there. Most of the things can't really hurt me much so I'm a good choice. I haved worked with SHIELD as a consultant from time to time. It's how we met," she nods toward Natasha. "But I have a full time job elsewhere so no agent spot for me. I suspect it's also because they don't have those spiffy uniforms in my size."

"You're not /that/ short." Clint says as he takes a few steps and sits down on the bench near the wall, leaning forwards as he watches Cap working the now… crowd of students who have all gathered around and are listening to the hero convey the finer points of gunplay in a way that they seem much more responsive to considering… well it's Cap.
Barton smirks a little, exhaling a small thing that might be a laugh with just a little more energy, then he looks sidelong. "You just like to say Backsass."
"I dunno, I imagine if Fury got the itch to have you on the team he'd be able to rustle up a tailor that could fit the bill." That's a charitable comment coming from Clint, something assuredly Nat might recognize is him trying to be 'nice'. "I mean I could always use someone to duck behind when we go on patrol tonight in Central Park."

The knife's blade is suddenly retracted back into the handle thats held in Natasha's left hand, she twirls it around her fingers once and then slips it back into a leather holder on the edge of her utility belt's left side side. "I'm always submitted changes to these uniforms that they give me, ideas on how to make them fit better and work more functionally. But then the finished version gets sent to me and I think the lab boys just focus on lifting and separating more than they focus on my requests. Maybe I'm paranoid though." She takes a lean back against a table's edge and then crosses her arms over her stomach and glances to Cap's show for the trainees. "I'll admit, he holds a pretty captive audience. Its that early nineteen hundreds charm that this world has completely forgotten about, except him."

Her green eyes drift back over to the other two and she grins just a little again. "We should get Shulkie a backpack to carry you around in, like Luke and Yoda." She's full of pop culture references this afternoon!

"Being somewhat soft and squishy, no offense meant, that's probably for the best to hide behind me. The view back there is pretty nice too, from what I understand," Shulkie adds without a bit of self consciousness. She has a filter. She just doesn't use it when she's Shulkie, most of the time. She thinks it, she says it.
At Nat's suggestion, another of those giggles is heard and she shakes her head. "He'd be a little tall for that. His head would stick out way up here," She holds her hand above her head. "And that would just lead to all sorts of problems with that whole soft and squishy problem."

For his part, Clint snorts and leans back against the wall, thick arms folding across his chest as he grants Romanoff one of his half-smirks tinged with a sour growl that's almost assuredly all show. He lifts a finger off his bicep as he warns her, "You sure you want to travel further down the road of height jokes, Widow? Way it strikes me for you that's hostile territory." But that having been said he shifts his attention to Jen as she speaks.
"Alright, I don't need this abuse." Though his smirk seems to show his true feelings. "I'm gonna go load the high power rifles for the kiddies. You guys stay good. Or as good as you can be." That said he pushes himself to his feet and starts to mosey.

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