Pt. 66 Returning to the Nest…..
[PORT AUTHORITY SECURITY FILES: 04162017 0200hrs]
Loc: Port Authority Bus Terminal, 9th Ave and W 41st St, New York, NY
<a handful of passengers shuffle off a bus in the darkness, distancing themselves from one in particular, a slightly disheveled looking man in a fedora and shades, reeking of cheap cologne, snapping his gum loudly as he wrestles with a pair of carry on bags and a guitar case, the man walks off to an empty bench, setting the case down, looks casually around the station, pulling out his phone, dialing a number>
Clint: <passers by give him a wide berth as he speaks into the phone loudly with excitement, his southwestern accent grating> NATTY, BABY! Big Daddy’s back in town! <an older man within earshot rolls his eyes and moves to another row of benches further away> Just rolled in from Reno, ready for that gig you were telling me about. We meeting at Nicky’s place? <listens, his eyes going wide behind his shades, almost dropping his facade> Wait, what? <looks back around, lowers his voice just slightly> Are you sure this isn’t going to end up like that charity benefit in Leipzig? <listens, nods> I trust ya doll, I just don’t know how much I trust Mr. Bigshot. I’ll be there soon, leave a light on for me. <listens a bit more, a pair of women pass by, Clint nods at them, giving them a leer over the top of his shades> Oh don’t worry Baby, I’ve got something big that’s just waiting to get out when I get there. <hangs up the phone, tucking it back into his pocket, grabs the case and exits the station>
[AVENGERS TOWER SECURITY FILES: 04162017 0200hrs]
Loc: Residential Level A, Quarters of W. Maximoff, AVENGERS TOWER, Broadway & W 58th St, New York, NY
<Nat hangs up the phone, setting it on an end table, paces the room, Wanda sits back in a chair, looking up at her>
Nat: Yep. He wasn’t too happy when I told him to meet us here, but he just got to the city and is on his way. <grins> Scott’s with him too, sounds like the poor guy must have been tucked in a pocket the whole trip.
Wanda: <puts a hand over her mouth, giggling> At least we know they made it here ok.
Nat: <studies her> Are YOU ok? Being here?
Wanda: <rises, wandering the room, touching random things> It is, odd. <looks to Nat> Everything is the same, yet everything has changed. It’s like walking into a picture of a moment, but the warmth of the memory is gone.
Vision: <coming out from around a corner> Much HAS changed, Wanda. However this is still your home, and there are still people here that care very deeply for you.
Wanda: <eyes light up> Vis! <jumping up to hug him, his arm wraps around her> I thought you’d be at the Avenger’s compound!
Vision: Mr. Stark informed myself and Colonel Rhodes that you and the others had returned to the Tower. I wished to be here to welcome you back. I have also been looking forward to showing you THIS. <he closes his eyes for a moment, his appearance changing, Wanda gasps as a human male stands before her, no sign of Vision’s original form remains>
Wanda: <shocked> You’re, you look, but you’re still?
Vision: I discovered that with the power of the mind stone, I can create the illusion of a human in order to better pass amongst them unnoticed. However, I am still me. Look for yourself.
Wanda: <caresses his cheek, raising a hand, her powers connecting with the mind stone, > I see, <pauses, still looking> I see, <leans into his chest, his arm wrapping tighter around her> I missed you too.
Nat: <shifts from one foot to the other, mumbling to the oblivious couple> Aaand that’s my cue. You kids have fun, I’m gonna go before this turns into some weird thing you’d find on Tumblr. <grabs her bag, heading out the door, Wanda and Vision never noticing her exit>
Loc: Residential Level A, Quarters of N. Romanoff, AVENGERS TOWER, Broadway & W 58th St, New York, NY
<Nat drops her bag silently by the door, drawing her stun batons, stealthily checking every room and corner of the apartment, before returning to the living room to retrieve her bag and close the front door, she turns on the lights and proceeds to flop on the couch, picking up the tv remote>
Nat: <mumbling to herself> Wow, DVR que’s a little clogged up there! Hmmm, Nightmare on Elm St marathon or last season of Drag Race? Movie time sounds like a plan.
<a knock at the door interrupts her binging, she rises, activating a view screen on the door, a disheveled man in a fedora stands before the door, hands moving rapidly in ASL- ‘Hurry up Nat, these bags are heavy.’ she opens the door laughing>
Nat: Why didn’t you drop them off in your place first?
Clint: <follows her inside, droping the bags, opening one, pulling out a package> I had my orders. If I didn’t deliver this as soon as I got here, the boss would never let me hear the end of it.
Nat: <opens the package excitedly> Lemon bars! She always puts just the right amount of powdered sugar on top! <digs deeper> AND new pictures! My god those kids grow fast. I’ll call Laura in the morning to thank her. <hugging him tight, feels something wiggling in his breast pocket, backs away, starting to laugh again> I think I almost crushed Scott!
Clint: Wake up buddy! <reaches into his pocket, casually tossing what looks like a toy figurine towards the floor, the figuring begins to grow as it falls, a man in a red and silver suit suddenly standing between the two of them>
Scott: <taking off his helmet, looking around excitedly> Oh WOW! Hank never told me SHIELD offices looked like THIS!
Nat: <exchanges a look with Clint> You didn’t tell him?
Clint: <shrugs> There really wasn’t time. I couldn’t just pull him out of my pocket in the middle of the bus station.
Scott: <looks back and forth between the two, confused, apprehension in his voice> Tell me what? Where are we?
Clint: <sighs> Change of plans. I don’t like it any more than you, but we’re at the Tower.
Scott: <cocks his head, brow furrowed> Avengers Tower? Home of the guy who got us thrown in the Raft? THAT Tower?
Nat: <giving them both a look> Calm down Scott. Alot has changed in the past year, including Tony. SHIELD is overcrowded with newcomers at the moment. The Accords won’t be lifted until morning, so laying low here is the best option. Besides, we’ll need a base of operations once we get to work, and this is still one of the best. I know it won’t be easy, but, <points a finger in their direction, her voice growing sterner in emphasis> you two, NEED to set aside your differences with Tony for the time being. Fighting Hydra, Russia& the GOP is more important right now.
Scott: <skeptical> Until he has another change of heart and turns on us. Never trust a Stark.
Nat: <glares> I’ve worked beside plenty of people in my life that I didn’t trust, much less like. <turns to Clint, winking> Some of them eventually earned it. This is bigger than all of us, and too much is at stake. The mission comes first.
Scott: <sighs, sits down on the couch, sulking> Fine. But if we get locked up again, <looks up at Nat> can it be here? At least this place has cable.
Nat: <shakes her head, grabs his arm, pulling him off the couch> Oh no, Down the hall with you two. You’re bunking with Clint. I don’t do roommates. <wrinkles her nose> And go take a shower! Disguise or not, that cologne reeks! <pushes then both out the door, shutting it behind them, digging into the box of treats and returning to the couch to enjoy her movie>
<the two men look at each other, shrugging, each picking up a bag, Clint grabbing the guitar case, making their way down the hall>
Scott: So, did I miss anything else while I was naping on the bus ride?
Clint: <grins> There was a little girl, right about Coop’s age, fussy and miserable. Poor mom couldn’t get her to settle down. Took all my will not to break my cover to just scoop her up and sooth her to sleep.
Scott: <sighs sadly> I miss Cassie.
Clint: <claps him on the shoulder as they head down the hall> You can call her in the morning.
Loc: Residential Level A, Quarters of S. Rogers, AVENGERS TOWER, Broadway & W 58th St, New York, NY
🎶”But Saturday night is the loneliest night in the week
I sing the song that I sang for the memories I usually seek”🎶
<Steve sits silently sketching, Frank Sinatra crooning from a replica 1940’s radio, Sam wanders the room, looking over the old pictures covering the wall, Howling Commandos, Howard Stark, Bucky, and Peg>
Sam: <turns around, rolling his eyes at the gloomy artist> Man, what are you doing here? <nothing but music and the soft sound of pencil scratching on paper answers him> Hey! <puts a hand on Steve’s shoulder, Steve looks up at Sam, sighing, Sam shakes his head> By tomorrow moring we won’t be hunted criminals any more, we’ve got the team back together, and the love of your life is back from the dead, right across the hall. <points toward the door> WHY, the HELL, are you sitting here brooding when you should be over there getting your old man groove on?
Steve: <eyes full of sorrow> She’s not staying.
Sam: Yeah, I heard. So? Doesn’t mean you two can’t ‘do the fondue’ while she’s here. You two seemed pretty damn excited to see each other back at the park.
Steve: <tersely> That was before I knew it couldn’t last.
Sam: Steve, stop looking at the big picture for a moment. She’s the love of your life. Sharon ditched you because you couldn’t let go of her ghost. Now she’s here in the flesh and blood, and you want to run and hide. <shakes his head> Sometimes I think you just don’t know how to be happy.
<the song in the background has ended, the room silent but for the snap of the pencil breaking>
Steve: <softly> I was happy when I was with her. It’s best I keep my distance, because if I get too close, I’ll never let her go again.
<Sam sighs, at a loss for words of comfort, looks down at the sketch, knowing his friend is right>