Moonlight Serenade

November 29, 2014: Deathstroke pays a surprise visit to Steve Rogers in his home.

Steve Rogers' Apartment, Brooklyn

An eclectic mix of modern convenience and old school charm.



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Mood Music:

The apartment was dark, but not the sort of dark most homes possess in this day and age of small unobtrusive blinkie lights and power consumption indicators. It's the dark of a lifeless place, dark upon dark, where the only light comes from the other NYC lights outside the window, a sort of softer light difused by honest to god curtains. It's… almost exactly as Slade thought it would be, which left him uncertain. He wasn't sure if he should be disappointed or impressed by that and chooses impressed after a short deliberation. Getting through the security measures was difficult, but he knows people, the scary kind of people, who make very good livings at knowing about things like this. It was the far more subtle more mundane security measures that Slade almost missed that made him smile when he caught them. The hair in the crack of the door trick for instance, all of them a nice touch he approved of. He's touched nothing, moved nothing, only looked unobtrusively while waiting patiently for the home's occupant to arrive. Patience is a virtue the young do not possess but that Slade has in great abundance, he barely noticed the hours slipping by.

"Probably around six or six thirty," comes a voice from the corridor, the sound of a key rattling in the door. " – Williamsburg? Alright, I'll see you there. You too. Good night."

As he moves through the door, he holds a StarkPhone between his shoulder and ear with both arms occupied by those reusable canvas grocery bags. He puts them down in the doorway with a gentle thump, letting the phone drop from his shoulder into his waiting hand and ending the call. As he deposits it into his pocket he pauses. Unfamiliar scents. Everything about him was enhanced to the absolute pinnacle of human possibility, his senses are no different.

His shield rests against the wall by the door. SHIELD don't like the fact that something so expensive made of a material that exists nowhere else on the planet isn't kept under a tighter lock and key. But the fact is, the SHIELD was gifted to him personally – they can all go jump in a lake. He kicks the lip of it expertly, propelling it into the air and catching it swiftly.

"If you're one of Director Fury's," he tells the dark, moving out of the entryway and into the living room with his shield raised. "We're going to have words. If you want to insist I get a voice mail, you can learn to use it instead of showing up uninvited.

Deathstroke watches from the darkness, his eye narrowing only slightly as he watches Steve enter. Slade was treated with a variation of the self same serum that made the Captain, his was slightly more successful… at least in theory. Some would say less so, considering the man that came out the otherside. "I have worked for SHIELD when called to, but do not belong to them." he says as he steps forward a half step. That small bit of distance allows the soft light from behind the curtains to splash across the orange half of his mast, showing the single eye hole and the icey blue eye behind it. His voice is deep, but gravely, in Steve's day they would have called it 'smokey' or something, likely it would make a killer Jazz album, but the tone is pure soldier. Something in the clipped words, of course, the helmet pretty much flat out gives it away. It's not like Deathstroke's exsistence is a secret to Cap. To many clear coincidences and parallels between their lives for someone not to have pointed Cap at the heavily redacted SHIELD files on the man or a threat analysis or twelve. A hand comes up, palm out gloved fingers held in the universal sign for 'hold'. "Peace." Slade says simply, "I'm here to talk." he believes the fact that the shield was still waiting by the door for Steve is a strong enough gesture of his intentions.

"You're a mercenary then," Steve answers flatly. "In that case, we're definitely having words and we'll be having them with New York's Finest. Given how you found your way in here, I'm betting you've got my phone number. You can call me on that."

He nevertheless lowers the shield to one side, arm still through the straps just in case he needs it. If he recognizes Deathstroke the Terminator he doesn't give it away. His brow instead furrows like an adult chastising a rowdy youth that has overstepped their bounds.

"I don't appreciate having my home broken into."

Deathstroke doesn't move at all, "I am the mercenary," he corrects Steve, "as you well know. As we both know, you will not be calling the NYPD here because you know what would happen next. I would surrender, they would arrest me for simple breaking and entering, and then along the way back to their precinct of choice I would escape, likely at the cost of a life or two, for which you would feel some measure of responcibility. All this can be avoided through the simple act of carrying on a conversation." he reaches up and with a soft metalic click removes his helmet. He's older then people think.

No matter how often people read the files, know his actual (guesstimated) age, the white hair, the lined features, they always seem incongrous with the poise and presence of the man. No one who looks as though they were in their early fifties or late forties should be built like he is.

"And your phone is tapped. Hence…" he waves a hand idly around the home. "That's why I have this," he holds up a small black remote like thing he pulls slowly and nonthreateningly from his belt, "it's currently transmitting a white noise recording of someone putting away their groceries and listening to big band music while keeping this conversation between us." he sets the small plastic box thing down on the coffee table at his feet, "So. Are we done posturing now? Ready to speak like professionals?"

Steve glares, his brow furrowing even more at the intruder: "You're a murderer too, then? Or would you rather be called the murderer? And the worst kind, too – the kind who thinks he can blame his own sorry choices on everyone else around him. Even hypothetically threatening to kill a man for doing his job doesn't fly with me, pal."

He moves to the door once again, disappearing out of sight before the lock clicks open. He returns, gesturing curtly to one side with a frown: "I'm not posturing, son. You know that damn well. I want you gone. Whatever file you have on me, it's wrong if it says I deal with trigger men who break into my house and threaten murder to make me cooperate."

Morality isn't a game for Steve Rogers. It isn't a mask he puts on for the public. His ideals go right to his very core. And sometimes that makes things difficult. It would be much easier to sit down and talk. Enlightening, too, without question. But Steve draws his lines in the sand with more conviction that most people have even seen.

Deathstroke sighs a bit and reaches up to pinch the bridge of his nose, "You know I forget that even though you're older then me, you're still just a kid." he says rubbing at his eyes, "I'm dealing with a 90 year old thirty-something. Outstanding." he says 'outstanding' like a drill instructor, which is to say with feeling but not the one most people would prescribe to the word.

"I don't blame anyone for anything, I am the master of myself. I told you they would likely die because they would try to stop me, like a good cop should, and I couldn't allow that. This isn't a statement of blame, it is a statement of fact like water is wet and the sky is that way." he points, "I told you you would feel responcible for it, I didn't say you /should/. If you aren't capable of listening then you're not the man I need. I didn't want to call in the Bat, but I will. He never served, he doesn't understand the call like we do." he reaches up and lowers the helmet back into place until it clicks softly and the man is gone behind the deathshead mask, "But when you read the SHIELD file three months from now detailing the servicemen /I/ saved while you sat here in your loft feeling righteous and morally superior, I want you to remember that you could have saved some Rangers, good men, fighting men, but instead of having a conversation you felt it was more important to make meaningless grand gestures." he backs towards the window and slides it upwards without taking his eye off of Steve. He is not stupid enough to walk out the door past Steve within his reach. "I'll go the way I came. I suggest you not follow."

"Do yourself a favor and stop imagining we're anything close to similar," Steve answers coldly. "I kept my ideals. What did you do with yours? Sell them? Did you even have them to begin with? I've seen soldiers like you before. Men who never felt a call to duty – only a bloodlust that they could have sanctioned by the state. There are soldiers and there are killers, Mister Wilson. Don't fool yourself into thinking you're the former."

He moves towards the kitchen with his groceries in hand, unpacking them in regimented rows on the counter as he speaks: "If you want to hold the lives of soldiers to ransom, that's on you as well. I won't be blackmailed. You're not going to bully me into playing your games. Who do you think you are? Do you think this is the first time a man has threatened lives if I don't do what he asks? I won't flinch. If you don't want to be straight up with me – and don't delude yourself, you haven't been – and good, fighting men die because of it? That isn't my fault. You can twist it and slice it however you like, but keeping information from me is your choice to make."

He turns, the shield now resting in its place back against the wall. He opens the refrigerator and deposits a carton of milk on the shelf. "I won't sacrifice what I stand for to feed your ego. If you want those men saved, you'll tell me and I'll die for them if it comes down to it. But if I've hurt your feelings and you'd rather go chase ghosts, go. A real soldier wouldn't want me to kowtow to a thug to save their lives. They put their lives on the line so people are free to make those choices."

He closes the fridge, tilting his head slightly to one side: "The balls in your court. You're the master of yourself. Prove it."

Deathstroke stills at the window, his eye narrowing to a slit behind the mask, "I loved my country Rogers, and I gave it everything. In return they made a science experiment of me, which was fine, I had after all volenteered for that. But then I found that they were making experiments of my children." his voice becomes hard, cold, and there is a rage there that still has not been quenched, "They experimented on my children Rogers. Because they wanted to make more of me. Of what they made us. You want to know what I did with my ideals? I realized they were a lie, a bill of goods I'd been sold by a recruiter as a naive fifteen year old boy. Your country used my children, babies, as guinea pigs…" there's a soft click no one else could have heared as Slade's jaw clicks under the preassure of his teeth pressing together tightly, he's quiet for a moment, "You're still not listening. The people that did this to you, to me… to my children. They have sixty-three US Army Rangers in lock down. They're experimenting. They're trying to make more of us. Of you. Of me. Of my children. Statement of fact. I am going to save them. I had thought you may want to help, clearly I was incorrect." he folds himself in half in a way no man of his size should be able to and slips through the window without a sound, "You know," he says, pausing as he hangs there by his fingertips, "when they asked me if I was willing to undergo the procedure, you know what my first thought was? What would Captain America do? You were my hero Rogers. I, better then anyone, should have known better. There are no heroes. Never were." and then he's free falling away from the building. There's barely a whisper of sound, even to Steve's ears, more proof about the guy's file. File also says he's a loner in the extreme, doesn't work with teams, doesn't build units, he takes missions on solo. Extreme trust issues and borderline paranoia disorder. Might make a fella wonder where a dedicated soldier might get a thing like that.

Steve doesn't sigh. He doesn't rush to the window to let it be known that his mind has been changed. He stands by what he's said. With everything laid out before him on the counter, he steps around and out into the living room to approach the window. He doesn't look outside, instead he reaches to draw the curtains. He pulls his StarkPhone from his pocket, tapping in a brief text message before he moves over to the antique Vitrola. The grainy-sounding strains of Moonlight Serenade begin to drift out over the city street. He settles down in the sofa, leaving the lights off as he rests his head against the back and closes his eyes …

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