Slumming at the Y

August 13, 2014:

The Upper West Side's YWCA does brisk business with not only the housewives but with law enforcement types. (A sure draw for a billionaire? The housewives, that is.)

YWCA, Upper West Side NYC

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Two tone walls reach up to an elevated ceiling in the nearly two-story tall room. A blue stripe of approximately one yard width runs along the bottom border of the otherwise white wall. The ceiling is a solid steel grey with overhanging arches and exposed supports to make the room seem that much bigger. Flourescent lights hanging just below the supports offer superior lighting, and overall, it's just a very positive atmosphere.

Blue gym mats have been set up, along with some yoga mats leftover from the afternoon Level-II yoga course. The floor is made of a wood patterned material and is quite hard. A couple of runners jog around the room and some obstacle equipment has been set up for a couple other people practicing parkour in the padded safety of the Y's gym.

Evelyn is here, now re-equipped with her arm proper. Her body's been repaired back to tip-top shape, and to celebrate, it's back to training like she does every day. She hardly needs the exercise, it doesn't really do her any good because the limits of her body are relatively fixed, but it does her mental state good and keeps her skills sharp. Her skills can always improve, too. They are not fixed.

Off to the side of the gym, she's wearing a pair of grey sweats, a blue t-shirt with a SHIELD logo over the left breast, and a couple of black sparring gloves. Gauze has been wrapped around her wrists (under the glove) and up her forearms. Her hair has been tied back into a bit of a pony-tail, though it's quite short given that her hair isn't actually all that long.

Previously, she had put out a message to Tony to let him know where she was going to be for the afternoon, given in the morning she was hanging around Stark Tower to just get the general tour of the place. After all, she still has SHIELD things to do. Meeting with the closest thing she has to a partner is also pretty important. Even if they're just punching each other.

~

Punching one's partner is important, Clint will tell anyone! It gives an understanding that can't be gotten anywhere else of abilities, limitations, and the practical knowledge to be able to predict an action. It is those things that could mean the difference between life and death in the field. And, as the closest thing the Agent has to a partner may attest, these things are sorely lacking.

Something to be remedied.

Barton is dressed very much the same way; grey sweats, black t-shirt with a SHIELD emblem that is drenched with sweat down the front and back in testament to the level of effort he's putting out. His hands are wrapped beneath his own gloves, and he's sparring with the newly repaired Evelyn. Raising a hand to work at his left shoulder, Barton sounds close to a protest, "PT is gonna yell at me when I get back into the office." He's got a shoulder just coming back from a bullet strike. It's been weeks, but he's -only- human. "Be gentle, okay?" Just having finished weight training, he's feeling the effect.

Doesn't stop him from coming in with a feint, however, a low punch to the ribs before spinning around to do a leg strike from behind. Assuming, of course, she's still -there- to do it to!

~

'Everyone's watching.. to see what you will do.'

Tony recieved the message from Evelyn while he was busy in the workshop, testing a new composition alloy that proved to be about six thousand percent more deadly than the palladium he's currently using. With this major setback pretty much ruining his Wednesday, he took the Saleen S7 out for a joy ride around New York City. You know… to clear his head.

'To see what you will do.'

He really hadn't intended to wind up at the Y. He wasn't really sure where he was trying to be, honestly, only that he didn't want to be in the lab right now. He had a handful of weeks before he was going to 'die'… So why not enjoy some of it?

'Everyone's looking… at you.'

Weaving in and out of traffic, his first stop was on the outskirts of the city. Out into the sticks where he can push the car and really see what the damn thing could do. One hundred… one hundred and sixty. Top down, barely able to 'see' the road, much less hear himself thinking about the life he's probably going to end up losing. It's kind of like taking a whole bottle worth or prozac and downing it with a healthy helping of scotch.

'Everyone's wondering, will you come out tonight? Everyone's trying to get it right…'

Eventually, he does end up at the gym. Several hours after he got the message he pulls up and swings the car into a parking spot. He flings himself out of the car, top still down, and tosses the keys to a homeless man. "Everyone's working for the weekend…" Swinging his arms like a train as he walks around to the trunk and grabbing a duffel bag. "Everybody want's a new romance." The homeless man just sort of stares at him… did he just give him a car? "It's your's bro… HUMP DAY."

Then he starts into the Gym.

~

After yesterday's total clusterfuck in Mutant Town and having to fill out all the reports and explain two dead kids, Paul just needed a day to decompress. Surprisingly, the Captain even agreed. He might be a dick but he's not a heartless one. Today's he's put his mind on autopilot and worked his way up through Manhattan, stopping at various gyms where he has memberships, practicing his parkour in the park and along rooftops, and stopping periodically at hot dog and pretzel stands. He's taken his time since the day's supposed to be relaxing but by the time he gets to the Y in the Upper West Side, he's sweaty, tired and ready to get somewhere it's air conditioned to finish this leg. And almost bumps in Tony. "Stark. Should you be out of the hospital already?" And what are you doing in a Y? Don't you have your own gym where you can pretend to work out in between sips from your martini? That goes unsaid but the tone and look might imply something close.

~

"It's okay, trust me," Evelyn replies with. She'll take it easy on Barton, sure. He needs to work on his offense and counter attacks, she'll take a mostly defensive stance. Of all military close-combat training, even the defensive stances look threatening. The gloves leave just her fingers expose, enough to leave enough dexterity for grabs, though she doesn't need those. Evelyn's own shirt front is wet with sweat, the patch on her back testament to the run she was doing while Barton weight trained.

When the feint comes, she moves to avoid it by stepping back. If that were a real attack, she would have avoided it. Fortunately, that gives her enough time to turn her torso enough to dodge the rib strike. She moves in almost one contiguous movement, using the momentum of her body to figuratively roll with the punches. She's been doing close combat for a while.

"Woah!" She huffs like a martial arts 'Hai!', half out of surprise at the leg kick. Swinging her arm (that was raised defensively), she makes to smack the incoming blow away with her forearm (and hopefully knock Clint off balance), while following through with her other arm (the one that wasn't) to punch Barton in the chest. Gently. The hand is padded, at least.

It's probably good that Tony didn't respond to her earlier message, as her phone is now located in her dufflebag in one of the Y's many lockers. She wouldn't have been able to read it, anyways.

~

As Evelyn rolls her body in with the punch for the dodge, pulling a great deal of the momentum away from the hit, Clint is already committed to the spin and sweep. The leg block that swings in does take him off balance, but Barton's spent enough time to know never to put all weight on one side or the other. It's the one thing that keeps him from landing on his ass from the punch that comes in to his chest. Padded fist still means he feels it; and while he knows she's pulling her punches (as is he), there's still enough for a soft *whoof* to exit the man. Stepping back to gain his breath, Barton holds up a finger, "One sec.."

~

"Oh hey, yeah just put yourself anywhere there…" Tony says when someone almost bumps into him, but seriously how could someone make his day worse? So he keeps smiling. "Wait, you're that officer right? The one from the bridge?" He doesn't know about the other stuff, like the CPR and the fact that the two of them probably got intimate via mouth to mouth.

"Probably not." Should he be out of the hospital? No, no he shouldn't. It's been a few days, sure, but seriously… he was dead. But now he's not and he's Tony Stark, so it's difficult to tell him what he can and cannot do. Even with the looks of disdain that usually comes from law enforcement personel when they wonder why he's not working out with his personal trainer, American Gold Medalist McKayla Maroney. "My personal trainer, American Gold Medalist McKayla Maroney was busy training for the Olympics."

He would assume Paul has some place less interesting and dirtier to be, but he has no idea who the guy is, other than a cop. He's pretty sure he'd be sipping something like a wholesome glass of milk while reading the NYC law books or something equally boring, though.

American Gold Medalist McKayla Maroney.

~

"Yes, the one from the bridge." Paul agrees, not seeing a need to elaborate further. "I imagine she's usually training for the Olympics." Which gives Tony an excuse to sit on his butt and drink while pretending to have a person trainer. Stepping to the side, he starts walking past Tony but then pauses and looks back. "Good work on the trucks." Gotta give the man his due.

~

Evelyn disengages when Barton disengages and she pants a bit. She's not totally drained, but the adrenaline always get her heart beating. Or lack thereof. "That was great. I almost couldn't catch that kick and that -really- hurt." She shakes her arm for effect, "I couldn't step back in time and had to block. Really great combination of maneuvers." She's offering more constructive criticism and support than her trainers did in the CIA. For what it's worth.

~

"Always keep your opponents off guard. Always have to think moves ahead because that's where you get the chance to put them where you want them. It's all in predicting." Barton draws a lung full of air and stands straight again, catching the sight of the approaching Detective Manning. And… Tony Stark?

"Hey, Manning," is called out with a wave of his right hand before he rolls his left shoulder to try and unkink it. "What brings you around?"

And nearby… "Stark? You know you'll still be mugged in the Upper West. Can't trust those millionaires. Always begging."

~

"Hey, I'm just like everyone else. I put my Iron pants on one leg at a time." Tony is hardly ever confused for being modest. It is not even a word he has in regular usage for fear that he'll accidentally start acting in accordance. No, he's better as a self assured bastard. It's all around just a much more effective way to be, in his experience.

Less questions.

With his duffel on his shoulder and Paul walking into the Y, he really has no excuse not to head inside where he is spied and spies the pair of agents in all their sweaty glory. "Oh, hey." Half wave, half very bad salute. Like he can't make up his mind which he wants to do, so he just sort of combines them.

"Living the dream." Motioning around the Y with a twirling finger. "I live for coming to these places. All the people, packed in here like sardines. All of them pretending that they're working out and not using this as a social lubricant…" People recognize him, some of them are very pretty people too.

"Nice scenery though."

~

Paul looks over as he hears his name. "Barton? Hey. Just taking a day off and working some things out. What are you doing here? I know you have your own training facilities." What with the invisibility field, he enver did get a look at Evelyn so he just notes the SHIELD insignia with a small nod and looks back to Tony. Yeah, that little bit of grudging respect disappeared quickly. So glad to have one's opinion confirmed. Shaking his head, he continues toward Clint.

~

"You're right. Just gotta respond, and remember, no fighting is dirty if it's for your life." Evelyn adds as a final note before being distracted by the thing that Barton's distracted by. Tony Stark and Paul. Paul and her have a weird history that Paul isn't even aware of.

She was there when they fought the goons Spiderman was messing with. She was hidden around the corner, being just that guardian angel for Sara. She's been at the station before, but never really interacting with Paul. It's likely he's even heard of her as an interim officer when she was acting in capacity for the CIA. A spook. But the dots are never connected, because she obviously isn't a CIA agent, she's SHIELD. Couldn't be the same person. She was obviously there when Loki attacked, as well. Just unrecognisable in her equipment. It provides for an awkward remeeting, when she smiles and waves like she knows the guy. But Paul probably doesn't know her.

Tony gets a sort of half awkward salute right back at him. "Hey, Tony." She walks over next to Clint, and stops aside of him to be part of the conversational circle that's bound to form with all this social lubricant around. "Sorry, I invited Tony over before we started sparring. I hope you don't mind."

~

"Yeah, I'm slumming it too. My place is on the East side." When Barton had 2 incomes. Now, rent is a little harder to pay. Take-out from the more 'hole in the wall' joints means he gets to eat AND keep the lights on/water running in his apartment.

Barton grins as he extends a hand in greeting to Manning, and shrugs soon after. "I like to get out sometimes. Actually pretend I have a life, even though we all know I don't."

Nodding at Evelyn, Barton brings a hand up lightly behind his 'partner', only to let it drop again as she joins and the circle becomes a 4. Brows rise and he barks a soft laugh. "I know. Richer. Smarter. Not insulted."

~

Playing the part of social lubricant will be sweat.

"She did, it's her fault." Said with an unrealistic frown at Evelyn by way of Clint and Paul, "I was perfectly miserable in my workshop and she pulled me out of it to come make everyone around me miserable too…"

Tony drops his bag and glances around, "So, where are the bacteria infested petri dish they probably refer to as a locker room?" See? There's a reason he loves these places. You want to give yourself a complex? Do a culture swab of the shower knob in a gym's locker room. Seriously, I took Microbiology, it changed my life.

That being said, Tony grabs his bag and starts towards the door marked with the universal symbol for men. He'll be careful to not actually 'touch' anything while in there because that's how someone catches Ebola. There's a scare on.

He realizes that's not how someone catches Ebola. That doesn't mean those places aren't hella gross.

Richer, Smarter, don't forget neurotic, paranoid, narcissistic.

~

"Have we met?" Paul asks Evelyn, giving her an appraising look to try to place her but coming up empty. He clasps the hand and nods. "I understand. I avoid the department's gym for the same reason." Plus it's not really designed with parkour in mind. He watches Tony go into the look room then looks back to Evelyn, obviously questioning her decision. And her taste.

~

Evelyn thumbs towards the men's locker room when asked by Tony. "He's right, it's all my fault." At Barton's comment she blushes, "We just have some history from before SHIELD. It's not like that." She rubs her face, doing a bit of a facepalm by placing thumb and index finger on her temples while hiding her expression. Awkwaaaard.

Looking up at Paul, she shakes her head. "I.. I uh, guess not formally. I'm Evelyn. I guess sort of unofficial partners with Clint." She looks over at Barton for clarification. Partners is a weird word for it. "Besides," she looks over to Clint, "I have dibs on you your next day off."

~

Clint thumbs back towards the changing rooms. "S'why I usually just wear the sweats from home." Ever since 'the' song came out… "Cool off better while on the bike, too."

Clint watches the man head towards the door before he exhales again, the sound a hiss through his teeth. "Sorry. Detective Paul Manning, Evelyn. My… sorta partner. As much as one has one with our line of work. Ev, this is Manning. We've worked together on a few ops. Huge help."

Now, however, when Evelyn begins the rather awkward explanation, those brows work their way even higher, if it was even possible, ready to meet his short-cropped hairline. "Oh," is given as a response. That's followed up with the two words, "I see." Lowering his head, he does at least chuckle, "Not gonna make phone calls first?"

~

Tony is whistling Loverboy all the way to the locker room, stopping periodically to check out the local culture and wildlife. A rare yoga instructor in her natural habitat… His ray bans are pushed up on his brow to see how she interacts with her fledgling cubs. "Stunning. I love nature."

Then he's gone, busily trying to change without having to talk to anyone more than a few words of greeting. Mostly awkward smiles when naked dudes walk through the locker room towards the shower… cringing when they do so barefoot.

"Nice to meet you." Paul tells her and doesn't comment about her choice in men. Some women like rich. "Speaking of phone calls, I was going to do so later but since you're here, Barton, let Hill know I want to talk to her? About that thing on the bridge the other day."

~

Evelyn nods at what Barton says. Yeah. Sorta partners. Line of work. She looks confused at the last couple sentences, obviously not quite getting. "I.. what?" Confusion. Something's happening that she missed. Hardly a case of 'Android does not know how to human', more a case of 'talking about relationships is hard when you grew up with limited exposure to people'. That fine detail escapes her. The context is gone.

Then Hill is brought up. "I actually spoke to our Co-Director the other day. I am in the process of putting in the final details in my report about the bridge incident and Loki." Evelyn looks to Barton, he probably knows she was involved in that incident, and also likely aware of the damage that was caused to her and the environment. Fun.

~

Always Barton's luck.

"Hill? Sure. I'll lob a flash-bang in her office first before I run in and put the note on her desk. Might give me enough time to get out." Of course he's joking. Right? "Seriously, yeah. I'll pass it on. Though, if I can help at all and it's not 'eyes only', I'll be glad to."

Evelyn's confusion only serves to confuse Barton more. Of all the time he's spent with the AI, he's still in that 'limbo' in the 'real girl' and 'not real girl'. And doesn't everyone know what 'has a history with' means? Particularly when explaining to -him- that time before SHIELD? Only leads to one assumption. Particularly when it comes to Tony Stark. "What, what?"

The scene on the bridge reference gains a nod from the agent, and he pulls off one glove, then the other before unwrapping a hand, sticking gloves under an arm. "Yeah. At least we have a name to a face now?" Before, Hill was just tracking a ghost.

~

Reenter Tony Stark. Unaware that he has been the subject of much debate, but hardly surprised by this fact. It is not unusual to be loved by anyone. Heck, it's not unusual to have fun with anyone. Especially when anyone is him.

He has fun with himself all the time.

Sometimes he even invites people over to join him.

He's a giver.

"Okay, everyone is looking confused." Said as he returns, wearing sweat pants and a 'I'm with stupid' arrow pointing up to himself. "Except you." motioning to Paul, "You just have this glowing happiness that radiates off you like a nuclear reactor." Wooshy fingers.

~

Wait. Loki? "Loki?" Paul repeats, now giving Evelyn his full attention. "Is that another terrorist group like Hydra or are we talking the Norse god?" Because that would definitely explain some things that he wanted to ask Hill about. "Did SHIELD recover what was in that truck? Because there was some definite supernatural shit going on." When Tony shows back up, he's not ignore. He gets a Look and then is ignored.

~

"We know what he's calling himself. Whether or not that he's the same Loki from mythology remains to be seen, but with the weather tricks I'd be hard pressed to believe he's not, I guess." Evelyn adds to the conversation, nodding.

"Seriously, Clint. What?" Now it's just annoying. She obviously cares about his opinion and this miscommunication is driving her crazy, but then Tony rejoins the conversation and she just shakes her head. "Nevermind, just.. Talk to me later, okay?" It's probably something that should be addressed in private in front of everyone, anyways. There's measurable concern in her voice. It's probably nothing.

In Paul's direction she shakes her head, "It's not good to talk about here. I don't have clearance to say even if I knew, anyways." A sympathetic expression, "I'm sorry."

~

"Yeah, we didn't before, though." Of that, Clint is pretty sure. "And as far as whether or not he's 'real', at this point in my life, there is no way in hell that I'm gonna underestimate anyone who wants to toss around the name of a god."

Beyond that, however, Clint's not going to get too much deeper. Not unless he's brought into it and gets to attend briefings. From the sound of it, he's more than happy to stay out of this one. (With Ev's arm ripped off? No thank you.)

"History, Ev?" It's a side, stage-whisper, and when Stark rejoins their merry band, Barton straightens again. "Gonna get some sparring in then? She's got a good roll-back, so make sure you don't put too much behind your hit because you're gonna have to follow through quickly or she'll have you on the mat."

~

"Thankfully, I don't give a ball of ear wax about clearance." Tony is all helpful smiles, "But I don't think I want to share with you." Pointing at Paul, wiggle fingery. "You've got judgmental eyes." Still wiggly pointing.

"And you're ignoring me. So you clearly don't think I know anything, even though I was ''right there'' beside what ever was in the trucks…" He turns to look at Clint and Eve, head jutting to the side towards Paul, "Ecretsy nisy rontfy histy uygy."

Ok hand signing and quirking his mouth at the suggestion of sparing, "I was thinking maybe I'd go with some pilates… Any takers?"

~

"Don't worry about it. That's why I want to talk to Hill." Paul tells Evelyn. He knows to go to the top. Or a higher rung on the way to the top, anyway. "You were unconscious." he points out to Stark. "And hauled away before the rest of the cargo that was fished out of the river."

~

Evelyn nods to Tony and Paul. "Yeah, I don't want to take any chances. If he's really Loki, I'm not going to go and pick a fight with him." She shakes her head. When Hawkeye stage whispers to her, she narrows her eyes and thinks about it for a second. To her, it just means a past. Uh. Thinking, thinking.. Oh. Shit. Her eyes light up for a second and she grabs Barton's left arm and starts dragging him away. "One second!" She says, panicked.

Away from Tony and Paul and nearest to the entrance of the gym she spares a few words with Clint out of the earshot of present company. Words like: 'I didn't mean like that' and 'We didn't sleep together, you know that anxiety thing I have' and also 'I'm sorry!' Whoops.

~

Barton allows himself to be led, pulled away by Evelyn from Manning and Stark. His voice lowers as he leans forward a little, the whispers forming words that are, hopefully, out of earshot of the others. "Hey, hey.. I get it. It's Stark." What female wouldn't want to sleep with the guy? Even as an AI? "Don't worry about it." He's trying, he is! "I'll.. I'll catch you later, Ev. Thanks for the spar and the spotting." After all, he wasn't about to do the weight training without a spotter. Not with the slightly weaker arm.

Turning now, Barton offers a wave to the others left standing before he turns about and heads out the door, pulling his keys from a sweatpants pocket.

~

Left alone with Paul.

Tony sucks his teeth a little and rocks slowly, if only to make the awkward a little more awkward. "So, Eve, right?" Jutting his head in the direction of the escapees. Unaware that she is currently defending her honor against his less than reputable reputation! He sullied that poor android through association alone.

That's a super power.

~

Paul frowns a bit as Evelyn drags Barton away. That leaves him with Tony. Alone. He eyes the gym equipment and debates how rude he wants to be when the man speaks up. "Is that a question? You have history and don't remember her name?" Wonder of wonders, his opinion of the man can go lower.

~

"I shouldn't be surprised you're not very good at conversation." Tony says with a little frown, glancing over towards the work out area where the pilates are happening. Lots of ladies in there, "I was saying, Eve.. what a piece of work. As in, aint she grand.. It's okay." Patting the air and starting that way, "You have a low opinion of me and want very badly for me to fit it. I'll be over here not disappointing you."

And thus he does, joining in with all the grandiosity one expects of him! Clapping and raising his hands out wide, "Ladies! Don't mind me, I'm just admiring how amazing everyone is lookin'."

~

Guess how that opinion was formed? Paul should thank him for not disappointing him. No, not really. Shaking his head, he goes to actually work out.

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