15417/A day at the gym

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A day at the gym
Date of Scene: 02 August 2023
Location: Gymnasium, The Triskelion
Synopsis: Skye meets Steve at the gym.
Cast of Characters: Captain America, Quake

Captain America has posed:
One thing that never changes is the military's penchant for instilling the practice of running in those it trains and as quite literal living proof of decades of that practice Steve is here running. He's not wearing his suit, instead simply in track shorts and a simple white t-shirt, but oddly - wearing some thick soled hiking/trail boots instead of cross trainers or the like.

He's also not running at the restricted pace that he'd be required to use outside in the 'world', and is instead moving around the track at a pace that's, well, super human - and he has been at that same pace now for more than a half hour. His passage stirs up a bit of a breeze with each loop, his footfalls audible on the track a good ways away, and he's only now looking like he's beginning to work up a sweat.

The rest of the gym is busy, but not crowded, and yes - Captain America still manages to draw attention even here where he shouldn't _really_ stand out amongst any of the other rather incredible and well trained members of SHIELD and its allies.
Quake has posed:
Skye was supposed to have more PT - especially since she had 'Quake'd'. When she was just a hacker, the requirements were still hefty, but considering her skill set she was sent in to the front lines often. Now? SHIELD used her frequently, to the point that some days she was uncertain if she worked as a hacker with a particular added skillset, or if she was now that particular skill set, with some hacking on the side.

Either way, nowadays, she fits in a daily routine. Some days she hated it. Some days it was.. okay? She still didn't enjoy the crowds, to the where she came later. Today though she had plans in the evening. So here she was.

She just finished her first set, and was mopping her forehead, and the back of her neck. Debating. Would anyone notice if she stopped and didn't do the full repertoire of sets? Maybe not?

Until.. Steve. Steve would know. Steve would make her feel guilty without meaning to. Damn.. Unless, she snuck out quickly and quietly..
Captain America has posed:
Around and around he goes until finally Steve comes to a pause, a stop which just so happens to be well within easy speaking distance with Skye, it's where he left his bag and the .. five spare punching bags he apparently brought along as replacements for the one that hangs nearby.

"Big switch from mostly .. keyboard jockeying to being quite a bit more operational, isn't it?" Steve asks, by way of starting conversation, as he picks a towel up out of his bag and mops off his face before exchanging it for a big gallon sized bottle of water that he drinks down several big gulps of before setting it down and apparently deciding to take a moment and catch his breath.

"It was a .. heck of a wakeup call in boot camp for me, goin' from that slim-nothin' kid to push my way through. DI's weren't easy on any of us - no one really knew why I was even there."
Quake has posed:
Skye snorted under her breath. "No kidding. I mean, they made me do the minimal sets that were required. Same with marksmanship.. though, with May as my trainer for when I was a probee.." And later, Clint as her partner.. there had always been a higher standard. Even so, most of the times when she was in the middle of things, the person who needed her skills was her. Now?

"There were a couple of times where I had to go in. Most of the time I used to stay off but near enough to do my thing. Nowadays? They've been taking advantage of my ..skill set while they have it and Hydra hasn't got anything they can use against me. It's not like I never do hacking. I do that anywhere. I do my job everyday."

Which Steve may or may not know - when she's sitting around the break room? She's working. When she goes home? She's working on her own time. And since her setup was used to take out 'Kyle' from SHIELD's systems, she has her own system away from SHIELD's.

Skye really doesn't 'play' on her off time. And now that she and Clint have broken up? She's worse.

"How did you manage it?"
Captain America has posed:
Steve takes another long pull from the gallon jug of water, the thing a quarter empty now, and then sets it down. Reaching into the bag he pulls out a pair of gloves, just simple thin fingerless hand and knuckle protection, and pulls them on.

"There's no real secret to it. Sheer willpower... you just don't give in, give up, or stop trying."

__ I can do this all day __ - a quote that echoes through time at Steve and he's certainly heard repeating over and over again.

He flashes a famous smile then, a bit of a boyish grin, "And, y'know, finding friends to believe in and believe in you, is important too. Taking time to realize _what_ and _who_ we're doing this all for is even more so. Soldiers need to know what they're fighting for. There needs to be _purpose_, not just a paycheck."
Quake has posed:
Skye stretches her shoulder blades, one by one, listening.

"Sure. Easy for you to say it. For years my laptop was all that I needed. I can do anything on it all day, and all night if it is necessary. I have. Plenty of times. But this?" She waves her one arm around her. "This stuff is foreign. Besides, do you know why I have to do it? Just in case. That's why. Just in case they break me and I am left with them without my powers."

She does tell him how Shredder had figured out how to negate her powers to keep her in a power shield with no way out. SHIELD had bumped up her regular PT from that point on. They still did not know what he had done, but for Skye it was a wake up call. She was depending on her powers too much. And while she still preferred hacking, SHIELD had other plans.

"Everyone seems to be gone." On other missions, or in cases, personal problems. "Steve, you know, I never thought I would find myself admitting this, but I miss them. All that time, those people grew on me."
Captain America has posed:
He gives her a look, then, when she says 'easy'. Steve's blue eyes find hers and hold them and allows just a bit of the strength of personality, of sheer dogged willpower, that's really his _true_ super power to show through his eyes, become apparent in the set of his jaw.

"Skye. In the end.. all we have to rely on is ourselves. There's always gonna be someone bigger, faster, stronger, with more friends. You owe it to yourself, and those you care about, to be the best _you_ you can be. Forget the powers, forget the computers, forget all those things that they can take away. You're not the first one to have your powers taken, or to have them given later on, or even both. Be _you_ - find and make that person as strong and true as you can. " He leans down and picks up one of the punching bags, one handed. " The rest - that'll follow along. The friends.. well, yeah. Times are crazy - but there's more than a few good bars around here or the mansion, more than a few good old regular folk worth talking to and gettin' to know."
Quake has posed:
Steve earns himself a look of disdain, while she gets ready to do sit ups on the incline board. Putting her feet underneath the bar at the top, and letting herself recline, her voice is dry, "And what happened to SHIELD's we're all family? Huh. Listen, I lived on the streets. By myself. And I didn't need anyone. You people broke that thinking down."

Angrily she takes her first few sit ups.

And a few more in silence.

"The thing is.." She lowers herself on the incline board. "Clint and I have broken up for good. If I go out to the bars that's it. There's over, and there *over*. I've known it for some time now, and it's.." Skye shrugs. "Do I want to build up trust? Or go back to the way I was before. All our friends have dispersed. There's no reason to try again. You said yourself, in the end we have to rely upon is ourselves."

What she doesn't say is maybe it's time to break out and leave SHIELD.