20141024-Date Night

Summary:
October 24, 2014: In which Sara and Steve have a date that actually doesn't end in a firefight.

Metrotech Center - New York City

A large complex in Downtown Brooklyn, the MetroTech center houses a
university as well as offices from financial institutions, public utilities,
sports teams, charitable organizations and international corporations.


Characters

NPCs

  • none

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


It's early Friday evening, and for once, Sara actually took the time to make plans. She doesn't often, given the way her life goes, but tonight she had an appointment from the department to speak with a local Boys and Girls club, try to provide a positive example of the NYPD for the kids there. Which means she felt relatively safe making plans for afterwards. Kids cause fewer complications than crime scenes. Sometimes. And with that freedom, she gave Steve a call, suggesting they meet up afterwards.

She's just making her way out of the community center, checking her phone and sending out a simple text. « Closing up here. Still free, or get lassoed into saving the free world? »

« Got time. Off the clock for now. »

Steve taps his reply onto the smartphone's screen. A few months ago he struggled with these things, nowadays he's got all the skill of a Mac Genius. His Super Soldier brain figuring out most technology at a breakneck pace. He pulls his bike over to answer, following up the text with another one:
« Where to? :) »

He knows emoticons, too.

« Starving, » Sara replies, taking a look around the area. « Indian place a couple blocks from here, want to try? » She's already starting to walk in that direction, a small smile tugging at one corner of her lips. Don't tell anyone she actually smiled about something, it'll ruin her reputation.

« OMW. »

That said, Steve plunges his hands into the pockets of his leather jacket and tugs the brim of his Dodgers cap down over his eyes. He makes his way towards the place indicated, pausing to tuck the cap in the back of his pocket and carefully combing his hair into a neat side parting using the reflection in a shopfront.

Sara quirks a brow at the response, actually having to pause for a moment to translate. Once she does, that smile quirks again, and she shakes her head as she heads into the restaurant. "Table for two, please," she says to the hostess, pausing when she catches sight of Steve outside and leaning out long enough to wave his way. "Hey there, hot stuff," she calls over with a teasing whistle. "You meeting anyone out here?"

"As a matter of fact, I am," Steve answers, smiling as he spots Sara and stepping inside to join her at the table. "A swinging little number who's one of New York's finest."

Okay, so maybe his slang leaves a little ot be desired. He's trying. He sits down opposite her, looking around the restaurant with a smile.

"I don't know about you, but I'm getting the murgh makhani."

"Swinging doesn't mean what you think it means these days," Sara chuckles, reaching for a menu as she settles in at the table. "But I'll take it in the spirit in which it was given." She winks, letting out a relieved sigh. "So how've things been?" she asks. "I know I've been sort of…you know. Swamped with work. And not-work. And training. How's SHIELD been treating you?"

"I know," Steve says of swinging, shaking his head. "I was looking for swing dancing clubs and … well, I didn't get what I was expecting. They were very understanding people, though."

He shrugs his shoulders slightly at the mention of SHIELD, "Well enough. My backpay finally came in and it's … more than I expected. How were the at-risk kids?"

Sara glances up from the menu, arching a brow and pressing her lips together against a laugh. "Wow," she finally manages, though there's a bit of a squeak in her voice. She does manage not to laugh, though. Barely. "We'll add that to things that must've been interesting. The kids were pretty good, though. I mean, not perfect. Never perfect," she admits with a shrug. "Those kids don't get a great experience with the cops from a pretty early age, so there's a lot of resentment built up. But there were at least one or two who might actually reach out of they're in trouble. And that's enough for today."

Steve nods, closing his eyes for a moment in a show of solidarity. "Well, if you ever think it might help for me to come and speak with them as well, I'll make myself available. Not that I think you don't do a great job."

He leans back slightly, chewing the inside of his cheek thoughtfully. Something is on his mind.

"Hey, I'm a cop, but you're, you know. You. Next time we do one, I'll let you know ahead of time," Sara promises with an easy smile, though it fades somewhat when she sees his expression. "Why so glum?" she asks, setting down her menu and reaching for a glass of water.

"I'm not glum," Steve promises, remaining leaned-back in his chair. "Just thinking. You know, I had something in mind where we went for a walk down the Brooklyn Promenade but I don't think I want to wait."

He reaches into his pocket, producing a long black box which he slides across the table towards her. "I mentioned my backpay came in. Like I said, it's more than I expected. More than I need, really. So I thought I'd get you this … let you know that I'm taking this seriously."

Inside the box is a Tiffany's necklace. Something expensive. The kind of expensive that required one of the security guards looming over him and the clerk why he looked at it. Despite it all, Steve appears nervous. The last time he bought a present for a girl? 1938.

"Steve, anyone who thinks you're not taking something seriously is-" Sara pauses, eyeing the box for a long moment before she looks back to him. Her smile quirks, deeper at one corner of her lips, as she reaches up to tuck a piece of hair behind her ear. "You're not someone who takes things lightly. And I don't need whatever's in that box to tell me that. Just so you know before I open it." Only then does she reach out to take it, brows rising sharply when she opens it. "Wow."

"I know you don't need it," Steve answers, shrugging his shoulders slightly once again. "But it can't hurt, can it? I know I've been taking things pretty slowly compared to what the standard is now but that's only because I'm serious. And I wanted something else to show you that."

Still nervous. "Do you like it?"

"It's…" Actual jewelry. That won't turn into armor, and won't draw supernatural threats like moths to the flame, and doesn't have millennia of history and enemies. "It's beautiful," Sara finally says, looking back up with a small smile. "But you're going to have to help me figure out where I'm going to wear it, because I don't think it's going to fit in at the precinct." Catching the nervousness, she smiles a little warmer, reaching out for his hand. "Seriously. Thank you, Steve."

Steve takes her hand, running his thumb across her knuckles thoughtfully. He can't help but laugh a little at the thought of having nowhere to wear it, though. "Well, we could go out more? Might take a little bit of creative schedule-keeping but we could manage it. You could wear it then. Or I could offer to draw you with it like in that Titanic movie?"

He can't help but grin broadly. There is a sense of humour that isn't all apple pie buried under that exterior. He gives her hand a mildly apologetic squeeze.

"Wow," Sara laughs at that suggestion. "I don't know if I'm more disturbed that you sat through Titanic, or that you actually suggested that. Racy, Rogers." She winks, tugging his hand closer to press a kiss to the back. "Titanic. You at least don't have actual memories of that, right?" she teases, grin flashing.

"I'm not that old," Steve balks, "That happened a good eight years before I was born."

He laughs, letting go of her hand only so he can brush the side of her face with his fingertips after the kiss. "The movie wasn't so great, though. But for once I wasn't picking out historical inaccuracies … did anybody ever show you Saving Private Ryan? I don't think I ever met an Army Captain who was out of his 20s."

"People don't want movies for historical accuracy," Sara grins. "They watch them for special effects, and drama, and good looking performers. And I'm sorry, but how old did you say you were, Captain?" she laughs at his protest. "Or do the rest of us mere mortals have different rules to follow?"

"No," Steve shakes his head, "But I was only 21 when they did all this and made me a Captain … I've just never been promoted." He grins, running his fingers over her wrist absent-mindedly, "Besides, I don't think you classify as a mere mortal either with the magic blade from infinity years ago and all. I think we both have our own rules to live by."

"No," Sara admits, looking down at the bracelet on her wrist, where the red jewel gleams just out of sync with the light in the restaurant. "Not exactly mere mortal. But mortal all the same. Part of how most bearers go, it seems," she muses. "We get…too comfortable, too sure the Witchblade is going to keep us alive. And that's when it doesn't." She shakes her head slightly, trying to dismiss the thought. "On the up side, we manage to keep up with super soldiers, so there's that."

"That you do," Steve admits, nodding his head and glancing towards the bracelet himself for a moment. "Anyway, I'm glad you enjoy your present. You … might expect a couple more. Look."

Steve taps a few buttons on his phone, slipping and sliding through the menu until he gets to his bank account. Finding it, he reveals a recent deposit made by the military and SHIELD. Lots of zeroes. A whole lot of zeroes.

"Can't think of anybody I'd want to share it with more, really."

"Whoa." Sara blinks, looking back with an arch of her brow. "You ought to talk to someone about…doing something responsible with all of that," she suggests. "Although you might want to get a grip on expenses before you decide to buy too much jewelry," she adds with a rueful smile. "I don't know what New York was like before the war, but it's a pretty expensive place to live these days. Has SHIELD been putting you up?"

"SHIELD has that all sorted out, yeah."

Steve puts his phone back in his pocket, reacing out to take Sara's hand once again. "That's one of the benefits. They take care of all the expenses and, in return, I'm on call whenever they need me at the Triskelion. But we should talk about something other than work … that takes up enough of our time already."

"Yeah, NYPD just pays a standard salary and still calls me whenever they hit something weird," Sara smirks, interlacing her fingers with his in an easy motion when he takes her hand again. "On the other hand, even that at seventy years of back pay wouldn't be too bad. But not work things. Well, on the work-adjacent front, I had a couple visits from a couple of the Titan kids recently. Seems they heard about the Witchblade and thought I could help them with some sort of druid problem. Unfortunately for them, it sounds like they need a wizard, and I'm not on great terms with the one I know best right now."

"I don't know any wizards," Steve says apologetically, looking out the window briefly before turning back to her. "But if I can help in any other way, let me know?"

"What, and admit there are things I can't do on my own?" Sara shakes her head, smile flickering. "No, I think this one's even a little out of my ballpark, honestly. Which is what I told them. I've been working on trying to track people who might've done it, but honestly, it sounds like they need an expert. They were hoping I'd be able to get something from the Witchblade, but that's not how it works. Especially not in that much detail."

"Well," Steve answers, not sure what to say on that point as he continues to hold her hand, "You can't do everything. But you're doing everything you can, which is the most important thing." He runs his fingers over the back of her hand once again, "I won't tell you to stay out of trouble since I know you can't … shouldn't do that. But I will say be careful, okay?"

Sara laughs softly, smile deepening. "Look at the good side. I've already survived gang shootings over magical artifacts and greater demons who sent my partner to hell. Literally. Chances of me getting into bigger trouble than that should be slim." She turns her hand slightly at his touch, finger brushing against his wrist. "Sort of made me think again, though. About not trying to keep this a secret."

Steve tilts his head to one side, brow furrowing thoughtfully. "How do you mean? Keeping the Witchblade a secret … or … ?"

"That part, yes," Sara agrees. "This," she points between the pair of them, "I have no intention of keeping a secret. As a matter of fact, sometimes it takes some serious effort not to put it on my badge." She leans forward a bit, setting her elbow on the edge of the table and propping her chin up in her free hand. "It's just, it used to be there was no one who knew, or maybe one person. More and more, word gets around. There gets to be a point where I'm just being naive by pretending it's a secret."

"I know how you feel," Steve smiles wanly, leaning forward on the table himself so that their faces are not at all far apart. "Back in the War, I used to be PFC Rogers when I didn't have the mask on. Now it seems like everybody knows. I keep it a secret as best I can but … heck, SHIELD asked me to sign off on a Smithsonian exhibit about me."

"The world's filling up with heroes, Steve," Sara muses. "And you're the sort of hero people like SHIELD want the rest of us to become. You work with the system. You take orders. You're a soldier, and even if they're a little bit nervous about the things you can do, they understand them. And they like to think they can control them. So a Smithsonian exhibit, that might reach some of the young people waking up and realizing they can do extraordinary things? Sounds like a solid plan for them."

"I suppose you're right about that," Steve stands up, moving his chair to sit alongside Sara so he can take her hand and draw her closer. He's come a long way from the stoic man concerned with the idea of too much PDA. "If you want to go public, go public. If you want to keep it a secret as best you can, then do that. I'm going to support whatever choice you make. But it's your choice to make. Don't be pressured. No matter how full up with heroes the world gets, there's always going to be room for privacy. When that changes I'll punch it until it changes back … "

"I like the way you work, Steve Rogers," Sara laughs softly, leaning her shoulder against his when he moves to her side of the table. "Punch it until it changes back. A plan I can believe in." She pauses for a moment, considering something. "You know, I think we could find an actual swing dancing club," she muses. "If you wanted to look into it. With the understanding that I know almost nothing about it."

"I'm ahead of you there," Steve admits, wrapping an arm about her in a comforting way. "I found one after the little fiasco with the first one. I went and checked it out to make sure it was an actual swing dancing club. I'll bring you next week, if you'd like? For now, would you like to me to walk you home?"

Sara pauses, then looks over with a wicked grin. "As a matter of fact, I think I'd rather you gave me a ride home on that bike of yours," she suggests. "I never get to ride the fun stuff."

Steve smiles, standing up and offering his hand to her as he does so. "I think we can do that … I'm parked just around the corner." That said, he begins to lead the way. He's always courteous enough to have a spare helmet and jacket available just in case he has a passenger.


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