15675/Post Mission Punching Session

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Post Mission Punching Session
Date of Scene: 04 October 2023
Location: Gym, Avengers Mansion
Synopsis: An informal post-mission debriefing leads Steve and Jessica to make plans to question the German doctor they extracted.
Cast of Characters: Spider-Woman (Drew), Captain America

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
After the mission in Germany, it's business as usual. Hand the prisoner over to SHIELD, a long debrief in a dull room, and finally sleep. Only for Jess that latter part doesn't last for too long. Her sleep patterns are already messed up anyway, thanks to a combination of those nightmares and her now-ingrained habit of avoiding as many people as possible.

The training bags in the gym at the Avengers Mansion were created to try and withstand Steve's strength at least to a point, which means Jessica's only destroyed one and is working her way through a second.

She's dressed in her favorite set of unicorn pants, and a t-shirt that says NOPE, her hair pulled up into a pony-tail as she slams her fists into the bag like it's done something to personally offend her. This isn't just a work it: it's a kind of vengeance.
Captain America has posed:
By most view points, the mission to Germany, the attack on the Hydra base, and the recovery of Dr. Nemetz was an unqualified success.

But Steve Rogers has some different measures to judge success or failure then the average SHIELD agent. It is not always just achieving the misison objective, but what happens along the way.

Which is why things are not completely settled as far as he is concerned. For one, he has made it very clear to Fury that there is still a man's family to be rescued -- and if SHIELD isn't interested in putting some of their resources towards that end, they had better not call on Captain America for awhile. Because he is going to be busy.

And there is also the issue of that vial with his name on it. That, combined with the Jessica-scientist makes him think he has a pretty horrible idea of just what's going on there.

Maybe he is getting better at judging her moods and what they'll likely mean. Maybe he just feels the need to hit something too. Either way, as Steve enters the gym he is not at all surprised to see that Jessica is already here. And wailing pretty hard on the heavy bag. He pauses for a moment, and then he starts to make his way over, moving to stand behind that same back, adding a little extra resistance each time she strikes it.

"You doing okay?" he asks quietly.
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
He knows Jessica's hearing is exceptionally sharp. She probably heard him enter the gym, so there's no real reason that her lips press together briefly when he moves to stand behind the bag, except for letting him know exactly what sort of mood she's in.

Not that it's hard to guess.

"I'm not sure why I'm so upset. Like, I knew this was possible. I know there's no limits they won't go to, but still," Jess slams her fist into the bag: it's /much/ more satisfying when it resists her punch with Steve's weight behind it, and so she punches a second time.

Then she lowers her hands, sighing as she glances at Steve. "I should've told you," Jess says. "I knew, from my undercover mission, that they were collecting information about some of the Avengers. Like, detailed childhood histories and contacts. And I had an inkling it involved gene therapy of some sort, but I didn't think it was... that they had..." Jess makes a frustrated noise and takes another quick shot at the bag. "SHIELD wanted to keep it on the down low until they could locate a target. Nementz. I guess Fury has reason to be worrying about leaks."
Captain America has posed:
It is Fury's job to be secretive and paranoid. Not that those around him, like, say Steve, is always particularly happy with that fact. But he tends to accept it too.

Occasionally reality comes up against idealism and Captain America is better then some at accepting that particular fact. Not that it makes him change his thoughts or deeds on the matter of course. He can be surprisingly stubborn about some things.

Leaning into that bag, Steve gives her room to speak, lets her take that frustration out on the bag and express just what she's thinking without interruption. She clearly needs it and for the moment he can put any of his own, similar frustrations aside.

"You're probably upset because even though you knew it was a possibility, it is still a violation," the blonde super soldier replies quietly. "Trust me, I'm right there with you and we didn't see another me standing around working for Hydra. Just seeing that vial with my name on it..." he says quietly, trailing off and giving a shake of his head.

"Trust me, it took just about everything I had to not just stop everything and interrogate Dr. Nemetz right there, right then. Mission be damned," he conceeds quietly.

There is no recrimination to his words, but he dips his head slightly towards her. "I'm sure there's a lot that you came back with from them. Lots of information, lots of intel. And I imagine Nick wasn't keep on oyu sharing. I get that," he agrees. There's no judgement there, even now.

"But yes, you should have told me," he adds, flashing a brief smile her way. "I understand SHIELD's rules, and I'm sure they put you in a tight spot. I don't want to make it worse. But this..." he says quietly. "This is too important to just leave up to Fury. It's too personal. If they have anything like that for the rest of the team... well, that could be a nightmare scenario."
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"/Oh./ Yeah. That makes sense." For some reason, it doesn't even occur to Jessica it's a violation until Steve voices it. Things like moral boundaries and a sense of right and wrong are things that the former Hydra agent is still learning to accept as normal and expected.

Jessica's still processing that when Steve confesses he saw a vial with his own name on it. "Oh, shit!" Her eyes are wide. "Um. Sorry." Steve is probably one of the few people she tries to swear less around. "That's... bad," she goes for an understatement, taking two quick steps towards the bag, then to Steve. "Yeah, I think it's your turn on this." She settles her hands against the bag as if to brace it in turn for him.

"I really don't think we need another you running around. I mean, I'm secret, but they could fuc- mess up everything for you." Mostly, Jessica looks relieved that he doesn't seem to hold her responsible for keeping secrets. Granted, she's pretty open and expressive about herself, but SHIELD's secrets -- and the Avengers -- she guards with a zealousness that probably has roots in her Hydra training, as unsettling as that thought might be.

"It is personal," Jess agrees, slowly. "And I saw histories for a lot of the team. The metahuman ones, anyway. Though nothing on Thor -- I guess it's too hard with him being a completely different DNA set?" She shrugs. Science really isn't her forte. She stifles a brief breath, thinking. "There was a place they kept referring to, only calling it the Facility. I never found it where it was, only that it was a really closely guarded secret. Maybe Nementz knows?"

She gets a look in her eye, kind of bright and full of anticipation. It's the look of pending trouble. "We /could/ go have a chat with the doctor. There's a few SHIELD agents who owe me a favor or two and will look the other way, if Fury doesn't want to let us at him."
Captain America has posed:
There are many things about the present day that were something of an adjustment for Steven.

Which is totally understandable. And for the most part the changes are for the better. The food, the technology, it is all really quite remarkable and while he is not committed to the idea that it is all neccessary, it definitely comes with it's advantages.

Of course somethings have been a little harder to adapt to, and the 'colorful' languages choices are definitely one of them. Fortunately he has also learned to put aside most of his objections to that as well, if only to avoid the constant teasing that occurs when he encourages less colorful turns of phrases.

Still, the blonde super soldier smiles briefly at Jessica's efforts to at least respect his preferences on the matter, a wry smile curving over his features for just a moment. "It might be called for under the circumstances," Steve allows quietly. He's not exactly sure what he would have done if he saw a Steve Rogers, Agent of Rogers walking around that base. It doesn't really bear thinking of.

Except it has to be thought of. because they need to be ready for the worst case scenario. "I'm not sure if it would be worse per se. You have some potent abilities that could be problematic if duplicated. But it would open up different areas of concern to be sure," he agrees. Hydra does like to utilize influence as much as weapons, and Captain America comes with a measure of that.

Either way, Steve takes up his spot by the bag, lashing out with a light jab, and then another. A flick of the wrist as he strikes the heavy bag, bouncing back and forth between either foot. "That's a small mercy," he agrees on the issue of Thor. "If they could ever develop a clone of him that they could control..." he says, again shaking his head.

Fortunately that doesn't seem to be on the table.

"It might be worth it. We can ask Fury and if he stalls or equivicates we can do it your way." See? He's not beyond a little rulebreaking. For a good cause.
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"Yeah. A me running around would be bad, too. I-" and then he's talking about her abilities, and Jessica's eyes widen. "Oh, shit." She doesn't even bother to censor herself this time. "I wanted to kill her, like seriously. I mean, I thought that was just because you know... evil clone and all, but that happens to women when I, ah-" she clears her throat awkwardly. "You didn't feel anything around her, right?"

Because another her running around with her pheromone powers and no reluctance to use them is bad, yes.

Her fingers tighten on the bag, leaning into it to counterbalance Steve's jabs. "Yeah, it's... not good."

Jessica's actually kind of pleasantly surprised when Steve agrees to play the questioning her way. She's so used to him trying to play by the book where possible that those moments he does otherwise -- usually for the greater good -- just kind of catch her off guard, because she's no good at guessing what the greater good /is/.

It makes her laugh, brightening her gaze. "All right." She bounces on her toes for a second, then shifts to keep the bag steady. "You should make a run at Fury first. I'm bad at it. He just gives me this look like 'remember that time you tried to assassinate me?' and I can't really say anything, because... you know. Everyone knows."
Captain America has posed:
None of this has any good repercussions.

But then when they are dealing with Hydra that only stands to reason. There are only degrees of bad to be found, no matter just what plans that group might have. Nut to be sure, duplicating any of the Avengers could ultimate sow chaos. Particularly if the duplicates are able to maintain a cover for any particular length of time.

Steve could only imagine that harm that a Hydra version of him might be able to manage. And he doesn't have shattering powers.

In that respect, an evil Jessica clone could be much more dangerous in some respects and as she raises that disturbing possibility, Steve gives a quick shake of his head, flicking another jab at the bag before unleashing a harder, more powerful overhand left, striking the bag square and driving it back into Jessica. "I didn't. But we didn't get that close. Doctor Nemetz didn't seem particularly effected either so either she didn't have your abilities or..." he says tilting his head.

They might have gotten lucky afterall.

"Fair. When I circle back around to him about rescuing the man's family I'll let him know that I want -- taht we want -- a chance to talk to the man himself and see what we can get out of him," Steve agrees. It's clearly a measure of just how much this entire situation concerns him that he is already openly allowing for the possibility of avoiding the customary channels and going rogue.

At least a little bit.
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
The blow Steve strikes against the bag is hard enough to push Jessica back a little, her bare feet sliding on the ground before she steadies the bag. The answer her gives makes her exhale a sigh. "Well, if she's anything like me, she can't actually control it. It's usually stress based though, so maybe it only happened after I punched her in the face, and you were carrying the doctor out by then." She frowns a little. "Then again, maybe they need that specific spider type from Wundagore to replicate it? But Hydra would have all those notes, so it's not like it would be hard."

Unsettling thoughts, indeed.

Much more welcome is the idea of Steve being open to going rogue. "This keeps up, I'm gonna be at risk of turning you into a spy one of these days," Jessica teases. "The hard part is teaching you to be a little less... you? I'm just not convinced it's possible." This is a compliment, though it probably seems confusing given the way she's contemplating Steve as she says it.
Captain America has posed:
There's still a lot they just don't know.

Which, of course, is why they need to talk to the Doctor. Chances are Fury will be interested in a lot of the same answers. But that's the problem with dealing with the ultimate spy. He doesn't always share what he knows. Sometimes for good reasons. Sometimes for reasons he thinks are good. Either way, this is one mission where Steve just isn't content to be the diligent soldier and accept what's offered.

Neither, it seems, is Jess. Though that is probably less of a surprise. They had very different training afterall. "Until we know more, it's hard to say," Steve agrees, throwing a few more punches before stepping into the bag, ready to trade off with her once more.

The mention of turning him into a spy brings a brief, wry smile to his features. "I don't know if I'd go that far. Sometimes we all have to do things we would rather not because it's just necessary," he says quietly. "I'll see what I can do about moderating some of my me-ness, at least until we get to the bottom of all of this.

He's not exactly meeting her halfway here, but its probably not an entirely bad thing that one of them at least wants to try and do things by the book before plunging headlong into rogue actions.
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
The punching from earlier helped settle Jessica's mood a little more. But really, it's the talking it out with someone who understands that helps her a great deal more. She might just have to start giving more credit to her therapist at this rate. Still, she absolutely doesn't pass up a chance to slam some quick, angry jabs at the bag when Steve moves to brace it for her.

It definitely has its place as a therapeutic tool, too.

"Oh no," Jessica says, with alarm, eyes widening. "Don't you dare not be you, Steven Grant Rogers." Which of course, is an absurdity to demand, but it's not like Jess is all that logical in her emotive reactions. "I take it back. Erase it from the universe. Some things are just meant to be. The stars in the sky at night. Flowers in springtime. And Steve Rogers being a humble, genuinely good guy without even thinking about it. Nope. I refuse to be responsible for changing the balance of the universe. I have enough on my conscience."

She gives him a look that is in no way threatening but somewhere above stern, before she takes a few more punches.
Captain America has posed:
Sure, it might be a little primitive. But sometimes hitting things does hold a lot of the answers.

Personally Steve is happy to have it be the specialized heavy bags here at the mansion. But then it is pretty much guaranteed that he will aos have the chance to beat on various other threats as well. They don't seem to be going anywhere and they are likewise not terribly interested in surrender.

Fortunately the one thing that works better then punching? Punching /and/ talking out the issue with someone else. It can be practically a miracle cure. Or at the very least both Steve and Jessica seem to be in a slightly better mood wthen when they came into the gym.

Her reaction draws another brief smile from the blonde super soldier and he tips his head. "I guess. If you insist," he agrees. Lets face it. Steve the spy probably never would have taken.

"But we're still going to get the answers we need. One way or the other."