15671/AIM Stuff in the Trunk

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AIM Stuff in the Trunk
Date of Scene: 03 October 2023
Location: Genghis Connie's - Restaurant
Synopsis: Nat and Al plan their road trip.
Cast of Characters: Black Widow (Romanoff), Phobos

Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
Thankfully, this visit to Connie's was much calmer than the last. Course, she hadn't been sparring with Alexander before hand either, thus leading to all sorts of misconceptions at the time. Perhaps even better, it was a slow weeknight. There were a few people that would come in to grab a to-go order on their way home but the only people eating in at one of the tabletops were Natasha and Alexander. Connie and Jin gave them plenty of privacy so they could speak openly while here. Especially since Natasha had her lighter on the table.

It was one of the common jamming devices used by SHIELD. Just looked like a regular silver metallic lighter but a push of a button and it jammed any sort of spying devices within 100 yards. Came in very handy for people in their business.

She was sipping on her tea as she continued. "The paperwork is at home but looks like we have a trip in the near future over in Virginia. Have to pick up a few things, take them over to the office in Knoxville where they are expecting it. Technically work related so all on their dime so we need to plan for all the most enjoyable things possible. Is there anything in Knoxville worth seeing?"
Phobos has posed:
    "Virginia," Alexander's eyebrows rose with curiousity as his gaze tracked over toward Natasha, letting his attention focus upon the redhead before him. He gave a slow nod and smiles a little, crinkles his nose. "Like actual Virginia where Virginians live, or are we talking about Northern Virginia where government people live?" Since clearly there is a difference.
    His eyebrows rise then at the mention of the second leg of their journey, "Knoxville? Is that..." His gaze distances for a moment, head tilting to the side, "Where they have the Bluegrass hall of fame? Or... something similar? Maybe something with Dolly Parton? I don't remember."
    He takes a stab at his noodles, chopsticks twisting them up into a bundle as he twists them around and then lifts them up to his mouth, chewing for a time as he observes her.
Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
"Dolly Parton?"

That had Natasha blinking and suddenly she was pulling out her telephone and seeking the assistance of Google. Even as she was answering the first question. "Northern Virginia." Sadly, she actually understood there was a different. Anything D.C. adjacent might as well just be D.C. as opposed to being Virginia. Or so it seemed to outsiders looking in.

"Dollywood! But that's in Pigeon Forge. Though it doesn't seem too far from Knoxville. I'm adding it to the list. It's outside Gatlinburg. Been there before. But I feel like we need to see Dollywood. It's like one of those things you have to see once in a lifetime at the least, right?"

Though she was still looking for things in Knoxville and frowning. "Sunsphere, Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, Riverbote, Maple Hall. Apparently they have a nice zoo?" Her expression was showing she was thus far unimpressed with those offerings.
Phobos has posed:
    Northern Virginia got him to crinkle his nose a little more but he nodded. "Did you know there's a mall underneath the Pentagon there?" Though chances are she does know that, considering how many years she spent being rather well briefed on... such matters.
    Then she comes up with the deets on Dollywood and his eyes widen, "No hey, wait. I wasn't necessarily saying we should go." Alexander's eyebrows rose as his smile grew, "I mean... it might be fun. Anywhere with you and all. But Dollywood? Though we could scandalize my father with touristy pictures from there. Might be cute..." His eyes distance as he considers.
    Then she's listing off those options and his expression seems to shift between lack of enthusiasm and active negativity. One eye scrunches up then he shakes his head, "None of those really jump out at me. Maybe the zoo? But those places make me sad more than anything since there's..." He shakes his head and waggles a hand. Not exactly answering as to the why.
Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
"Mall under the Pentagon is overrated. And filled with very boring people." How does she know? Probably better not to ask since she wasn't with SHIELD when she was there.

As he explained about zoos, she asked, "Animals in captivity instead of the wild?" Natasha takes a stab at it then considers a bit. "I realize that it probably seems cruel but the animals in there are at least not going to potentially be prey for something else. Or die of starvation if they can't hunt anymore. So it's kind of shit but at the same time they live a better life, outside the whole cage thing. At least it isn't like the old days when it was just a slab of concrete and bars. They are far more enriched."

Then something struck her and she made a little face of recognition. "But likely they are still scared on some level. Some of them at least. So yeah, that could be an issue. No zoos. Ever."

But now she has Dollywood on her screen as she pauses while their meals are brought over. She lays it down on the tabletop so they both can sort of see it, though it's mostly upside down for him. "Country themed basically. But roller coasters and stuff, though more family friendly and less thrill. Either on the way there or the way back, we are definitely going. Can maybe stay in Gatlinburg, see some historic stuff if you wanted? Your father might forgive the cheesy tourist park stuff that way. "
Phobos has posed:
    "Some are alright, but it's... the small ones, or the sick or injured ones." Alexander answers with a small shake of his head. "Nothing I can't endure, but it sorta forces my brain into that mode of realizing some things best not thought about. If that makes sense."
    He slid his chair over a little so he could lean over Natasha's shoulder and peruse the cellphone while she looked. Then he smiled a little and just rested his chin on that shoulder, like a curious Golden Retriever, complete with that fwoof of soft hair against her cheek. His smile was warm as he nods, "Roller coasters? Ok that might be fun." Since compared to the fear of small animals, the fear of humans enjoying a wild thrill and that brush with 'death' is something different entirely.
    "The main thing my father will want to know is if we paid for it, or if the agency paid for it. Since even though it's our money he's still a miser." Which was true, though of course... he had reason to be since they _did_ borrow 8 million dollars from him. For a yacht.
Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
They did give him the yacht though so was it really that bad?

Natasha shrugged the opposite shoulder from where his head was sitting. She had her chopsticks in her noodle bowl as she scrolled a bit. Then she paused to take a big bite of the noodles and chewed before flipping windows in the phone to show him the list of attractions. "Oh I missed that one. Wine and Moonshine Tour of the Smokies. Can't wait to see the reaction at work when that shows up on the card." Because yes, this trip would be funded by work and not them. "World's Fair Park. Which one? Did I go to that one?" And she was poking at her screen again. "1982. No, don't think I did."

Wait, no they didn't actually give him the yacht. Instead, they had given him permission to use it when he wanted. Despite the fact he paid for it. It was kind of his own fault for having that fund set aside for Alexander and not seeing any specific rules for the use of it. And besides, they had really enjoyed the month long trip from the other side of the ocean so she wasn't going to accept it being a bad decision.

"Speaking of World's Fair, you ever been to one?"
Phobos has posed:
    "Were you a good guy then?" Alexander asks with a muffled tone of voice, his head still resting on her shoulder, one arm around her waist as he just enjoys that proximity and feeling that warmth. He takes a deep breath, "Or you know, relatively speaking a good guy." He kissed her cheek then straightened back up into his own seat.
    Picking up his chopsticks he starts to dig into his bowl again, the tips scraping along the ceramic surface with faint sounds. "Wine and Moonshine tour could be fun, I've never had moonshine. I think though most of its appeal is lost on me. Since it's meant to mainly zonk your senses quick?" He quirks an eyebrow asking.
    But then her latter question and he shakes his head, "Nope, never been."
Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
"Next one is ..." Natasha paused as she finished her search then tapped the screen. "Japan in 2025. We'll have to go. Just to say you did."

Then she focuses on her food and the conversation instead of her phone as they already have some ideas in their minds and the talk is leading elsewhere for now. "I was...not with SHIELD if that's what you mean. But I was playing the role of a an American at the time. Worked with your father in '84 actually. Olympic games. You know the story." As they had shared it in the past. "So you could say I was doing the work on the side of the angels but I wasn't really an actual angel."

She had another bite of her noodles before continuing. "Moonshine is awful. Some people like it but I think it's like trying to drink diesal fuel. Or what I imagine that would be like. You ever siphoned gasoline? Same sort of experience for me. So it's kind of lost on me as well but the history might be fun to learn about. We'll keep that as a maybe."
Phobos has posed:
    "You know..." Alexander says with a small smile, "A lot of people feel that way about wodka." He says, inflicting that last word with his slight hint of a Russian accent.
    But then he nods and smiles as he settles into his seat. "Well, if you're planning a route for our travels, let's go backroads. More fun than taking the interstate. Unless we're under a time critical situation." He crosses his feet at the ankles and digs back into his food.
Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
"Not so much time critical as keeping out of sight. So backroads are the better option," Natasha admitted. "Since major highways might be monitored."

Then she smirked a bit as she went back to what he said. "Anyone that says that about vodka is obviously an idiot." And she went back to eating her ramen.