Stormwatch Recruitment: Haven

Characters: Steve Rogers, Haven
Rated: PG-13 (Language!)
Summary: Summary
OOC Date: 2017-01-12
IC Date: 2017-01-12
Where: Brooklyn, NYC

Brooklyn, one of New York City's 5 boroughs, sits on the western end of Long Island. The iconic Brooklyn Bridge, built in 1883, connects it to Manhattan. Neighborhoods range from high-end DUMBO (between Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges); Williamsburg, a hotbed of indie music, art and nightlife; to beachfront Coney Island and its amusement parks. Leafy, row house-filled districts include Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope.

It's her usual afternoon habit: Stop for a hot coffee and a decadent little pastry. It's a treat for herself that she knows she'll have to break eventually, but it's nice to have the freedom to do it. So she's finishing some chocolatey decadence, sitting in her corner table, back to the wall to keep the rest of the front of the shop in view. Boots peek out from under dark jeans, the white and gray flannel button down, and her black coat hanging off the back of her chair. It's a very casual look.

The guy who comes through the door probably wouldn't get a lot of attention in Florida or Los Angeles. He's maybe built a bit bigger than on average in New York, though the old leather bomber jacket (a real relic), makes it hard to get a read on him. He's good looking enough, with a relaxed posture that keeps him from standing out to the crowd. New Yorkers barely slow down for supermodels and movie stars in the street, anyway.

But for Haven Mackenzie, the big fellow would immediately prickle at her sense of awareness. Any soldier can develop it after a few years. It's a reflex, always watching the doors, always keeping an eye on people in the area. He's got calluses on his hands that you only get from hard labor, and Brooklyn hasn't had a fishery in a while. He clears the doorway with a sideways step— exiting the 'fatal funnel'. Hands in pockets, he surveys the little diner with a sweep of blue eyes. Definitely military, that same practiced paranoia.

Then he turns and walks towards Haven. If she wasn't noticing him before, it's hard not to do so now— particularly when he stops at her table and flashes a smile at her. It's a boyish expression, easygoing, at odds with his military bearing.

"Hi. I'm Steve Rogers," he says without preamble. "Sergeant MacKenzie, right? You mind if I join you?"

Haven notices, because she's watching the door. Some habits die hard, if they ever die at all. But that soldier? He's as obvious to her as if someone had summoned a spot light to shine down on him to single him out. Sure, he's good looking, the jacket is super vintagae, and the man is built. But that's not what really rings a bell in Haven's head, and anyone with a file on her knows why.

The blonde loses that comfortable, relaxed slouch, sitting up in that chair, a hand hovering at her side a little awkwardly. Her heartrate has hiked up a bit, and blue eyes watch him with an odd, unfocused look to her gaze. There's a mildly fascinated expression.

She'll blink, looking up at him blue eyes are ever so slightly narrowed and fully focused. Oh, her paranoia is in full effect. "There's a chair there. You might as well sit rather than tower over me." Her hand will lift, tugging that ball chain out to toy with her dog tags.

"Thanks," Steve says, and he seems to mean it. He hooks a chair out and settles into it, sitting back a little with a slouch. It'd look lazy if any other officer in the world did it, but it's pretty clearly done to keep Steve's head more or less on a level with Haven's. His hands stay loose in his bomber pockets, and he just starts to speak when a waitress bustles up.

"Hi," Steve says, to her. "uh, Danish, please? And black coffee, with some cream." The woman looks a little baffled when someone -doesn't- order a $5 latte… but she hustles off again, and Steve flickers a smile at Haven.

"Sorry to just drop in," he says. "I know everyone does the messages thing but I'm not much for texting people," he explains. His accent is all Brooklyn. No dissembling there. "Is this a bad time to talk some business? I can come back later if you'd like."

Haven herself has her coffee sweet and black, so the waitress shouldn't be so surprised. She wouldn't know what else to order, because it's not like there's much choice in MREs. There's a toss of her head, as she watches him order from the waitress, who may be baffled, but takes another look at Steve over her shoulder.

"I'm fine with meeting up, though some sort of heads up is generally a good idea when you're dealing with me. Though I suppose a fellow like you might feel the risk is negated." Haven will let her blue gaze slide over him, taking in all those interesting variances in him from average human.

"Now is as good a time as any. The idea of you coming back feels a bit stalkerish, handsome." Her chin will lift as she picks up her coffee. "What can I do you for you?"

"Well, like I said— someone said text her, someone else said call your cell phone— I figured, the best ways are the simplest ways," Steve says with a one-shouldered shrug. "Besides, it's hard to get a measure of someone over the phone. Better to look 'em in the eye."

He shifts in his chair, easing to lean over the table with his elbows on the countertop. "This is a recruitment pitch," he says. His fingers spread. "I'm not going to yank you around. You've got skills that the US Government spent a lot of time and money installing in you. And, from your, uh… personnel jacket," he says, one brow lifting, "you've got some other somewhat unique talents. The sort of skills that could make the difference for a unit on the battlefield. I'm hoping I can convince you to put those skills to use for America again."

Haven will sip long and slow swallows from her coffee cup, keeping her eyes on his without hesitation. She will let him speak, before she will lower that nearly empty cup off to the side of the table. She will sit up, and mirror his positioning, leaning against the table. "Let's be frank, shall we? The Government made me register, and I didn't have any real choice as to what time and money they gave me to instill…skills. You're here because I have talents the Government exploited." Her expression could be carved of stone, alabaster and lapis, with the way she stares at him.

"You're not making this pitch to the kid who was a medic in the Army, because they don't want to lose that investment. You're making the pitch to me because of what I am. Because the Government doesn't want to lose tabs on me, and are worried I might turn loose canon." Her head will tilt, spilling hair along her shoulder, down her upper arm. "If you read my file, then you know I've been using those skills for America in ways we can't talk about here, unsecured in public like we are. I've been in battle, Mister Rogers. I've made differences, and saved lives. Tell me what you think is going to make this different for me, since I clearly chose to walk away from using my skills in battle?" Her brows will arch, and she'll reach for her cup. "Don't you ever long for a period of peace? A personal one?"

Steve lifts a hand, nodding apologetically. "I'm not trying to trick you into anything, Sergeant," he says, politely. "And for what it's worth— I know how you feel. The Army rejected me six— seven? times before I got accepted. And they didn't want me to lift anything heavier than a typewriter. Then all—" he gesturs at himself. "This happened. I wasn't any more or less of a good soldier before or afterwards. But I was, I have to admit, a little more effective," he concedes, wryly.

"For me, the war was still going when I went under the ice," Steve tells Haven. "We had just started the major offenses into Europe and the war with Japan was still going strong. I don't like fighting— I don't even particularly like hurting people. But I woke up and even if the wars are over, then there are still bad people out there doing bad things to folks who don't deserve it."

His hands spread, earnestness on his strong features. "Way I see it, if someone's in trouble and you can help— and you don't— then you're on some level part of the problem. I'd prefer to be part of the solution. I'm guessing you became a medic for the same reason, and I'd like to offer you a chance to keep doing what you've always done."

"You're a different story, Rogers, and we both know it. You volunteered, I was more voluntold. You chose to become what it is you are." Haven will drain those bitter dregs of her coffee, then set the cup down on the edge with a rattle and a glance to the waitress. She'll mouth the word 'Please', before she'll turn her attention back to Steve.

"There's always bad people hurting good, that's true. That's why we have things like the police." She will counter, watching him with that earnest air to him. "There's also ways for me to help people that don't involve battlefields and PTSD." There's heat in her voice, and she'll pause while the waitress delivers Steve's coffee and danish and refills Haven with a handful of sugar packets put on the table.

"No. You became part of the solution because you wanted to. You had the patriotism bug. My mother served, as an interpreter, did you know that? She used her talent with languages." She leans in a little harder, cheeks flushing and blue eyes dark. "No, I became a medic because I didn't have a /choice/." The words are hissed. "A freak twist of my genetics led me to be medic, and let me have the ability to see inside people. To see internal organs fragged with shrapnel, to see where someone's been tortured and beaten. Not everyone gets to be the glowing Adonis of health and energy you are." There's heat - anger and frustration.. but there's something more fragile beneath it. Fractured feelings, guilt and sadness.

Steve smiles at Haven. It's a little downturned with a moue at the corner. He knows what's going on in her head, or at least it seems he does from the sympathy in his eyes. He doesn't interrupt Haven, letting her talk and vent her anger at him. It rolls off his broad shoulders like a tree in a rainstorm, waiting for the sky to close up after pouring all over the forest.

"You could have gone into a number of different fields," Steve points out, his tone gentle after Haven's angry, fractured heat. "Medical school, or worked at an ER. Or a local clinic."

"It takes a special something to do what we do," he says. "I knew a lotta guys who weren't much good for carrying ammo and doing pushups. When it hit the fan, they'd shoot when they were told to, run when they were told to. They were very good at doing what they were told to do, and an Army needs a lot of guys who do exactly that."

"But there were always jobs that didn't just need a perfectly obedient soldier. It takes someone who's got some heart and soul. Who isn't afraid to make a call on the ground or take a mission to help the little guy. If you're anything like me, you're tired of seeing the little people getting pushed around." He leans back when his coffee and danish is delivered. "If you feel like you've done enough— and there's no one who has a right to make that call— I'll respect it," Steve says. "You did eight years and… how many deployments? Plus dozens of missions all over the world. You've more than pulled your weight for your country."

"I don't think you understand." Haven's voice drops low and quiet… and what Steve can't know, is that this is when she's most dangerous. When she seems docile, talking to him as if he's just made a slight understatement. "I didn't have the choice. I had to register, and you do know about the mutant relocations, I would like to think. I had one chance to avoid that sort of thing, being put who knows where, because of what I could do. They left me one door to choose, of my own free will. I felt pressured, watched.. and well, Mom served. It would be a family legacy thing, as far as some people were concerned."

She will fall silent long enough to rip open sugar packets and put them in her coffee, stirring it. "Oh, I'm anything but perfectly obedient. I've disobeyed more than you'll ever read.. and I did it because it was right, and I could get the objective done. So, such indiscretions were…overlooked in such extenuating circumstances. I know when to pretend to be a mindless little soldier, and when do break from the formation, Rogers."

She will eventually look up at him again. "I AM the little people, don't you see? I got pushed around, and used. Sure, they spent money to train me.. to make me a more efficient and useful tool. The goverment turned you into this worshipped god of a soldier, and used your natural inclinations to further you. I'm sure you can look up how many deployments. I've healed many a bullet wound and broken bone, Steve. I just want to know, from you who admits I've done my part for my country, despite the fact they treat us no better than the Jews you were trying to free when you had your…accident, why I should want to do more for the government who registers me and people like me, like cattle."

"You're right," Steve says, with an exhale. "I can't say that I approve of the decisions that America made in the last few years. Seems like when I went under, we forgot— seemed to forget who we were. Happened fast," he says.

"I've got no right to demand anything of you, Haven," he tells her, speaking with plain, simple honesty. "I don't think I've got much of a right to even /ask/ you to do something. You've done your time. You've pulled your weight and you've done so for people who never know you and dislike you because of something you had no control over. I had the luxury of volunteering for my procedure. At worst, it would have killed me, and my problems would have been over," he says, with a little deadpan gallows humor. "You had to come to grips with an America that's been torn in half— people who want your help but not your person, and people who want your person but not your help. It's not fair," he agrees.

He reaches into his pocket and slides a business card across the table towards her reach. It lays slightly bowed atop the flat plane of the table. Simple script— S. Rogers. A number, an extension.

"You did your part. I thank you, and I thank you on behalf of a grateful nation— and on behalf of the ingrates who aren't grateful enough!"

He gathers his danish and his coffee, rising. "Like I said. I'm not here for a hard sell. I don't know what you're looking for, Haven— meaning, peace, serenity. Maybe you'll find it here in Brooklyn. Maybe you won't."

"Me, I'm looking to make a difference however I can. I've got a particular set of skills that— well, there's not much use for me unless I try to pitch for the Yankees," he says, smiling lopsidedly. "There are bad people in bad places doing bad things. I can't stop them all. But if I can make a difference for someone, I'm not sure I know a better way to do it. I'd like for you to be part of that solution."

"But, I'd rather you'd be happy." He leaves a few dollars on the counter as a tip. "I'll see you around, anyway?" he offers, flashing a good-natured smile.

"I'm looking for an actual apartment first." She drawls the words with that echoing accent. "I want a chance to sleep late, and eat take out. I want to be able to /choose/, Rogers." Blue eyes will lift to meet his. "Choose if I want to maybe go to medical school. Or if I want to go become a motorcycle mechanice. Or shit, hit Stark up for a job. I haven't had my own life since before I graduated high school." There's a rawness to the words, a bleeding of a wound that Haven herself can't heal.

"I'd love to see you around." She'll snap together, trying to cover that vulnerable spot that slipped into view. "I don't suppose you'd let me take you out to dinner." There's a quick grin, a brightness to her face that Steve hadn't seen during their… heavier discussion. "You could tell me how you see me actually helping guys like you. Because you don't seem like you need help from someone like me much."

Steve's smooth departure gets hit at the knees by Haven's suggestion. He glances around a little wildly, and focuses on Haven's face, trying get a read on her.

"Uh— huh? Dinner? Uh… yeah, sure, dinner— that'd be fine," Steve says, nodding a little too hard. "That's my office number. Uh.." He digs in his pocket and comes up with a notebok and pen, both well used. He uncaps the pen and writes a number on the back of the card, in blocky, efficient print. "That's my home line. I'm usually home after seven PM," he says. "My… answering machine is giving me some trouble, so it's easiest just to catch me when I'm at home."

"You like steak, right?" Oh, his reaction is the best thing ever, and Haven brightens even further, a softness in her eyes. "After seven. I got it. Do I get to ask you what you're wearing, when I call?" She teases, smiling at him. "I promise to behave. Steak and potatoes sound good? Or do you prefer something more exotic?"

Steve chuckles, a little nervously. His previous aplomb is a little less resolute than it was. "Uh… yeah, Steak is just fine," he says, demurring. "Who doesn't love some decent eats? I don't know a lot of good places anymore, most of my old haunts are closed down. Call me, and we'll get something sorted out?" he offers.

Haven will rise to look at him. "You don't have to run off, you know. You can stay and have your danish and enjoy your coffee." There's a sigh, her head tipping back as she rolls it side to side, loosening her neck. "Look, I get.. angry, when people talk about helping others, and god given gifts and how I have to do something with them. I know you.. you really believe. I'm a little jealous of that, even though I know at times it has to be hard. But I'm not grouchy all the time. Promise."

Steve smiles again— an easy, relaxed expression once more. "It's really okay," he promises her. "I'm not sore about it. I hit a nerve, and I ambushed you on top of that. Doubly my fault."

"I'll let you get back to your coffee so you can enjoy your snack in peace," he says. "I'd feel guilty about taking up any more of your time— at least for now." He takes a few steps away. "But— dinner, yeah?"

"That was a bit stalker-y. But you're cute, so I'll forgive you." Haven will tease him with a smile. "You're lucky. Most guys don't get a chance to speak, if I think they're trying to ambush." There's even a wink there for him.

"I'll definitely call you soon, for dinner." She promises, sinking back into her seat. "I'll find us somewhere with thick steaks and delicious sides. Deal?"

"Deal," Steve says. He seems a little unsure of how to deal with her casual ease at flirting— this is one skill Steve Rogers seems to not have developed along with his oversized biceps. "I'll see you around, Ser— Haven," he says, catching himself. He grins at her and hoists his coffee in a salute, then saunters towards the door and out into the bustling Brooklyn streets.

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