Of course it's a French Restaurant

January 25, 2015: Steve finds out Jacqueline is alive and goes to meet up with his old friend from the war.

Financial District - NYC

Where the rich people hang.



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Mood Music:

Steve Rogers looks in need of some help.

His face is covered with orangey red, and under the light it looks as though he must have sustained some sort of injury. He's leaned over the table, breathing heavily, and looking as if he's under a sensation that he's never had before.

"Ya like that?" the burly man to his left said.

"They didn't make food this hot back when I was younger!" exclaims Steve.

"Someone get this guy a beer!"

Steve leans over a plate of Jimbo's Flamin' Hot Wings with Special Upstate Sauce. The boys at Jimbo's have been hecklin' Steve about givin' the wings a try. Now he's wishing he hadn't.

By the end of the hour, when he's gotten the buffalo sauce cleaned off of his face, Steve can still feel the eternal flame of his poor choice. He could almost spit flames.

But then, on the television, something catches his eye. Jimbo always puts on the financial channel and honestly Steve never really pays attention to that stuff. Until he sees someone he recognizes. "You know her, Rog?" Jimbo asks as he wipes down the bar. "Because if not, the way you're lookin' at the television is a bit creepy."

Steve's concentration breaks and he looks at Jimbo, "Huh? Oh, yeah. I know her. Or, I did know her. I thought she was dead."


"You know that I would have tried to contact you over the last year if I'd realized you were alive," Steve says as he folds his arms over his chest and leans against the doorway where Jacqueline's office leads out to the carport area. A black limousine is waiting for her and it's not clear how long he's been waiting here.

They both look pretty much the same as they did back in the 1940s. Back then, he was older than her. Now they both should be ancient, but with the miracles of magic and modern science, here they were. Still very much alive, young, and people out of place. Well, perhaps him more than her, but at least she was someone who was old enough to remember. "I read about Kenneth. I'm sorry."

Jacqueline's steps slow as the man steps from the shadow. Robert, in the limousine, starts to open his door, but she waves him back. A smile touches her lips as she recognizes the blond. "Thank you," she says quietly, a little subdued by the thought. "It is, now, I suppose, what it is." She's worked hard to try and put it behind her. It hasn't been easy.

Even so, she has to chuckle. "I'm surprised you missed the news of my rejuvenation. It ran in the European tabloids for months. Though, I suppose, America doesn't much care about what happens to the British aristocracy, if they're not Royals." There's no bitterness when she says that. More amusement, instead. She's happy to be overlooked, much of the time.

"When I heard they'd found you, I was surprised you'd survive. I wasn't quite sure where to find you, however." And she was up to her neck in the battle for Falsworth International. "It's good to see you again, Captain."

"Well," Steve says as he jabs his hands into the pockets of his jeans, "That's the thing. I don't really watch the news. Most of my attention goes to work, and most of my work comes when things sort of go south." He's wearing a pair of aviator sunglasses, a white t-shirt with bomber jacket, blue jeans, and a pair of work boots.

"Where to find me?" Steve chuckles a bit as he looks down the busy New York street. Where to find him is the same question he's asked himself over the past few years. It's a good question.

His head tilts towards the limo, "You off somewhere?"

Jacqueline glances toward the limo and then gives a noncommittal shrug. "Just home," she smiles. "I'm no Howard or Tony Stark to want to live where I work." She gestures toward the car. "Care to join me for dinner? I hear there's a decent bistro only a little further uptown."

"Absolutely," Steve says with a nod as he takes off the aviator glasses and clips them on his t-shirt. "I really need to get this buffalo sauce taste out of my mouth."

Jacqueline laughs at that, a pale brow arching. "Buffalo sauce? Getting adventurous in your old age?" It's a joke she can make fondly. He is still older than her. Even if she is a whole lot older than she looks. She starts toward the limo with him, now, and Robert emerges to open the doors and let them get situated before he starts the car. "Benoit's, Robert, if you please," she tells the ex-SAS man turned chauffeur/bodyguard/backup.

Steve nods, "It was a mistake. Some guys down at the watering hole I frequent thought it would be funny if I went ahead and tried their hottest sauce. Not something I would do again." Steve looks out the window for a moment before he looks back to her, "So what have you been up to for the last 70 or so years."

Jacqueline laughs again — both at the incident and the question. "Growing old," she says dryly. "Until I was suddenly young again, thanks to Jim." Her blue eyes sparkle with good humour. The same man who caused her initial transformation into a speedster was also responsible for her rejuvenation. He's another one once thought dead. "Since then, fighting to keep control of the company in the family. We're expanding into America, which should help. I hope. What about you? Well. Since they thawed you out, anyway?"

"New war, same thing in some ways," Steve says as he fiddles with the piece of rubber between the window and the metal. "I was going to ask how you were able to stay young. I thought maybe it was just a side effect of your powers." He seems a little taken aback, "I didn't know about Jim either. I did know about Namorin fact I need to go see him. And then…there's Bucky." Indeed, it seems all of them are still alivefrom the original gang anyway. Some groups really are eternal, it seems.

The Fates, apparently, have more in store for the Invaders than any of them guessed. Jacqueline gives a wry smile at his comment. "Yes. I've had a run-in with Hydra, not so long ago. They seemed to think I'd roll over and bend to their will now, after a lifetime of withstanding them." She shakes her head. "They were wrong, of course."

Her head cants to one side. "Bucky's still around? Namor, perhaps, isn't so much of a surprise. The Atlanteans have always been unpredictable that way."

Steve nods to her, meeting her gaze as she asks about Bucky. "He's alive. Much like me, he survived…but there's something wrong with him. I didn't see him for very long, and there's a lot I still don't know." But, speaking of HYDRA, they're still coming after Steve. "HYDRA got Skull's body," he says forlornly. "I tried to stop them, but I wasn't in time. Between that, and the attacks on the city and the Triskelion, things don't feel like they're getting better."

Jacqueline nods empathetically at that. "I can't say that they have," she admits. "I've spent some time working for M-13. We've seen some pretty horrific things in recent times, and Hydra's playing right into it, as far as I can see. The Nazis were bad, right enough. But, with the technology available today, I'm not sure 'progress' is as bright as we'd hoped when we actually were as young as we now seem."

"I always thought the war we were fighting was going to change the lives of everyone who came after. It doesn't seem like it changed much at all. Maybe it slowed it down, but that's about it," Steve says as his eyes go back towards the city streets where they pass businessmen in suits as traffic picks up. "With M-13 I'm surprised I haven't run into yet. Just a matter of time, I imagine."

"Likely," Jacqueline concedes. "Though we do tend to stay on the east side of the pond, generally. It keeps SHIELD from kicking up a fuss." She follows his gaze. "I think our war did succeed in many ways. But the wars that came after it took their tolls. America's conflict in Viet Nam was the real turning point, but it was 9/11 that solidified it. At least, in this country. Europe's had its own crises, and has been dealing with the direct threats a little longer, I wager."

"I guess I'm glad I missed it," Steve says ruefully. "Tell me about this place we're going. Is it one of the swanky French places you were always so fond of during the war?"

Again, that soft chuckle. "Yes," she admits. "I'm told it's one of the best bistros in the city; I just haven't had the chance to try it until now." Indeed, the car is drawing close to it. And, before too long, Robert pulls up before it and finds a place to pull in so he can open the doors to let them out.

"If you try to get me to eat escargot, I'm going to leave immediately. Peggy got me to eat it once, and I have't ever fully forgiven her," Steve says responding to her chuckle.

Jacqueline flashes him a wicked grin. "I'm given to understand there are 'steak frites', there. So, there should be something even for your colonial pallet." At least, she hasn't lost her sense of humour. Steak and fries. He should be able to handle that. She steps out of the car as Robert opens the door, and waits for Steve to join her before they make their way into the restaurant. It is, in fact, highly reminiscent of the bistros she used to like to frequent in Paris. It's just been updated to reflect a more contemporary sense of style.

Steve grabs the door and looks around, wondering if he's going to be underdressed. Luckily he's with Jacqueline, so they probably won't care that much. Hopefully, anyways.

"Steak is good. I can do steak." He takes a look at the restaurant and whistles under his breath. Swanky. He'd expect nothing less, of course.

It's downtown New York. While jeans might not be de rigueur in a place like this, they're not unheard of. More important, one might suppose, is the quality of one's plastic. It's only a short wait before they're seated, midway back near to one wall, opposite side of the room to the windows. That suits Jacqueline fine. She's grown weary of window seats, the past several years. They're given menus and water in elegant glasses, and then left to examine the drink list tucked into the menus.

Steve's eyeballs grow at some of the pricing—this is definitely Jaq's speed. Lucky he has so much money saved up from having absolutely no free time. For 70 years.

"I think I'm going to go safe and with your recommendation on the steak frites. You?"

"I'm thinking about the Scottish Salmon," Jacqueline admits. It's light and, perhaps, it reminds her some of home. Hard to say. "And perhaps a light rosé to go with it." She closes her menu and sets it aside, a universal sign to the attentive waitstaff that they may be ready to order. "So, tell me about Bucky. You said he's not quite right? Any idea why?"

Steve sits back and plays with the water glass, "I didn't realize it was him at first. He had Lady Blackhawk…not sure if you ever met her…he had her hostage. It looked like him, but I didn't give it much credence." He sighs, "Actually, you've probably heard about him. There have been rumors of a 'Winter Soldier' for years, coming out of the Soviet Union."

Jacqueline nods. "I know Zinda." Indeed, she had dinner at the flyer's home a few short weeks ago. A brow arches again. "Bucky is the Winter Soldier?" That's… not good. She frowns. "What happened?"

"I'm still piecing that together. As soon as things settle down, I'm going to go after him. I need to find him, to see how much of him is really still there. I can't really describe it to you and do it real justice," Steve says before letting out a frustrated sigh and letting his hand hit the table.

The silverware jostles and diners from other tables look over, startled. Jacqueline gives them a bland look and most of them look away, somewhat abashed. She leans back and picks up a napkin to place it politely in her lap. "That's definitely not good," she agrees. "If you need help, don't hesitate to ask."r

"I might take you up on that, Jaq. Hopefully then you won't be screening calls. Any chance you'd want to come with when I go to talk to Namor?" Steve asks.

Jacqueline considers the request. She's heard mixed rumors of the merman, lately. But, he was an ally once. Perhaps even a friend. So, she nods. "Be glad to," she concedes. "Just let me know when."

Steve chuckles and takes a slow pull from the water, resting it on the table cloth and he nods. "Out of all of us, I think Namor was the toughest to read. He has his own worries, of course. But I need to ask him why some of those concerns ended with him bashing up my place of employment."

"Mm." Jacqueline reaches out for her own water, her tone dry. "I think, after the war, Atlantis-Surface relations took a turn for the worse, though I can't tell you how they stand, today. I've been up to my eyes in vampires, ghosts, and diabolists, which is a far sight from mermen, leviathans, and tidal waves."

"You should talk to my girlfriend. She gets into all of that stuff with the dark magic and the occult," Steve says waving his hand in a circle. "You guys would be two peas in a pod."

Jacqueline's brows rise. "Girlfriend? Indeed… America's most eligible bachelor has found a steady date? Who's the lucky girl?" Once more, her eyes dance with good humour.

"Sara. She's a cop with a penchant for the supernatural. She's a pretty cool person. We're really different and that makes it interesting. Always," Steve admits. He shrugs his shoulders, "We've been dating for about 7 months now. Back when you and I were kids that would be a huge deal, but I guess it doesn't mean as much nowadays."

Jacqueline nods to that. "It's true." Of course, she's still single, still a widow. There were rumours of her seeing someone in the British rags, but rumours can be unreliable. Certainly, now, she's not seeing anyone. And she's fine with that. "I think, though, it still holds some significance. If we choose that it does. Though, I don't suppose you'll want to upset her with such talk."

"Well, we just got over a big fight about Jesus, so now would probably be a bad time, yeah," Steve says with a shaking of his head. They were, in fact, very different and that gnaws at him from time to time. "Let's talk about you. What's going on with the illustrious Jacqueline Falsworth?"

Jacqueline barks a quick laugh, now. "Nothing nearly as newsworthy as the tabloids seem to think. I've relocated here to America, at least until Falsworth America is fully on its feet and productive. Right now, we need to decide whether to move our head offices to Metropolis, or leave them here in New York." Given the states of both cities, it's an even choice, right now. "I'm leaning somewhat towards Metropolis, simply because it tends to be more progressive over all. But New York is the financial capital of the country. That makes it important."

Steve chuckles, "I just got to see you again and you already might be moving. I suppose it stands to reason, but if you do go I hope you won't be a stranger." He takes another drink from his glass. "Metropolis is a fine city. Tony Stark is down there right now helping after the attacks."

Jacqueline nods. "Yes. Falsworth is supplying SI with parts for the generators they're deploying. It's a good arrangement for everyone." It's helping those generators deploy more quickly, because Stark wasn't able to produce them fast enough alone.

Steve nods, "Well that's awesome. Glad to see your company is doing its part. They had me look at some of their stuff when I went down there, but I'm not much into engineering or management."

"I know enough to hold my own in a boardroom," Jacqueline concedes. "But, I'm not my father." Which is probably one of the reasons she had to fight so hard to maintain control of the company. That said, she's no slouch, either. Otherwise, she couldn't have held it. "One of the board members tried to have me removed after my rejuvenation, but I think that was more a bid for more power on his part than any legitimate critique of my performance." Indeed, he made a big deal out of her new, apparent youthfulness.

"Probably nothing worse than you saw all those years ago. It's shocking how little people think they need to intimidate others. It never ceases to amaze me." Steve considers than adds, "Same with running a business that big. How have you dealt with it? The rejuvenation, I mean. I've had a tough time getting re-acquainted."

"I was in my eighty's," Jacqueline tells him. She's only 91, now. "I was in my golden years and looking forward to resting. Truth be told, the mission that took me out to find Jim was one I figured would be my swan song. Eighty-some-odd year old women should not be flying ancient Spitfires into battle, you know." She chuckles dryly at that. "I was hit; I figured my ticket was finally punched. But then Jim showed up and tried another transfusion like the one that saved me all those decades ago. Only this time, it didn't just heal me… it turned me back into a girl again." A twenty-something, actually. But that's a little girl to an octogenarian. "It was a brand new culture shock. All my clothes, all my routines, my friends, everything was for a woman four times my apparent age. I had to relearn almost anything. The press a field day. I had to hire a PR firm to handle it all, and an image consultant just to keep myself from looking a right idiot."

"To think all the people who wish they could go back and live their life over again, you get that chance," Steve says, a bit in awe. "What sorts of things have you done? I mean to take advantage of the situation."

Jacqueline looks a bit discomfited, now. Her smile tugs wryly to one side and she stalls by sipping some water. "Not as much as you'd think," she admits. "Mostly, I ended up going back to work. I was going stircrazy at home. So, took up some missions for the Crown and lent my services to M-13 at Her Majesty's request. Of course, that only added fuel to the fire, when it came to the company board, as I'm sure you might imagine. So, generally, I've spent the last who knows how long tangled in red tape, bureaucracy, and eyes-only NDAs." He might actually relate to that, to some degree.

Steve shakes his head, "I've thought about that a lot…being able to do it all over again. I must admit that I'm jealous." Pause. "And the red tape and bureaucracy? Dear heavens, half the things I do these days have to deal with bureaucracy and red tape."

"And eyes-only, too, I'm sure," Jacqueline chuckles. She's become passingly acquainted with SHIELD. She cants her head and looks at him. "Steve, you may have missed a great deal in the intervening years, but you do, in fact, have something of a chance to go back and start again. After all, to the rest of the world, you still look the twenty-five year old man. That's how they'll relate to you, trust me." There's the dry voice of experience, there. "I often have to remind people I've got many more years experience behind me than it appears."

"It's not the time, Jaq, it's the people. Going back just isn't that easy. Sure, I have a second chance, but I never really got my first one." Persumably Jaq will understand what and who he means.

"Mm," Jacqueline nods in sympathy. "I do have that advantage, I grant you." She had a full life — husband, child… even if that did all turn out rather badly in many ways. It's water under the bridge, now. Mostly. You know. Until it's not. "What I find entirely ironic is the playacting several of the 'modern generation' like to do. They dress in the fashions we dressed in, in our youth, listen to the great swing bands and imitate them with more contemporary styles, and try to recreate 'the Greatest Generation'. Except the fashions they choose are the ones we considered scandalous, the music is marred by electronic grinding that sounds more like feedback than music. And their ideas of the 'Greatest Generation' are more than a little obscured by sixty years of bad Hollywood reinterpretations."

"Well, it has its advantages. I can still use a lot of the same wardrobe choices I used to without looking like a complete nerd. And Chuck Taylors are still in fashion," Steve shrugs. "History and reality are so different, and I'm not sure if anyone really wants to be correct."

"Perhaps it's just as well," Jacqueline suggests. "If you think about it, there were a lot of things when we were children that weren't so good. I can't say I miss the fear of tuberculosis or polio." For all that they seem to be making a comeback among the stupid and ill-educated. "And today's technology does have its advantages. In many ways… the more things change, the more they stay the same. It's the manners, I think I miss most."

"I'll trade the manners for getting rid of segregation," Steve adds with a chuckle. "There were good parts about when we grew up, for certain, but I think it's memorialized more for who we fought than anything that we did, or were."

"I suspect you're right." Again, Jacqueline nods. "We fought a greater menace than most that have come since. And for 'purer' reasons." She puts the word 'purer' in air quotes. "The Nazis were unmistakably evil. Many of the enemies that came after… not so clearly so. Though, I will say, the recent upsurge in Hydra activity puts a lie to that." They're easily more evil than the Nazis, because the most evil parts of the Nazis gave birth to them. "But there was less political ambiguity when we first began the fight than there is now. That counts for something."

Steve nods, "Two days ago a team of SHIELD agents and myself fought a battle against HYDRA. In reference to what I said about Skull earlier. Our fear is that they will be able to resuscitate him. I'm not sure how much you know about the topic, but they have Elijah's cloak."

Steve nods, "The Elijah."

Jacqueline doesn't know much about the Elijah cloak, but given the Hydra diabolists she's met, she's not nearly as surprised as she could be. "I don't know much," she admits, "but I do know they're collecting magical artefacts of significant strength and attempting to bind both demons and vampires to their will in anticipation of some sort of… well, that's the question, now isn't it?"

Steve nods, "That is the question. I aim to find out, too. But the problem is that no matter where, it seems, you strike them, they strike at you from behind." Every single time Steve has left for a mission the past few months, Hydra has struck. It has been maddening.

What do you bet they're specifically timing it that way? Hydra would. "That's why they chose the image of a Hydra," Jacqueline notes dryly. "Kill one head, more spring up. Take on one head, another's free to attack. They're right bastards, they are. Always have been. Though, I'm fairly certain they've gone truly barmy, with this whole occult plot."

"Most likely," Steve says and he comes to realize just how dour he has become lately. Between this conversation and the last one they were having, he can't help but feel he's a far cry from the person he used to be. Joy, he's coming to understand, is something he has trouble feeling these days.

Jacqueline has the advantage of continual personal development over the last seventy years or so. It's not so hard for her to find the joy in small moments. Like, for instance, their meals. Because, yes, at somepoint over the last conversation, waitstaff came and took their orders, and brought the food for them. But, the conversation flows easily, for all that. "One day at time, Steve," she says with a gentle smile. "That's all any of us can manage."

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