2019-11-02 - A Secret Kept


Steve reveals to Betty how she kept him safe during his period of AWOL lycanthropy.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Nov 2 05:54:50 2019
Location: RP Room 1

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It's been weighing on his mind for many a night since the brief spate of time where Steve went completely AWOL, lost to the pull of the Harvest Moon. Patient attempts at something like meditation are pulling up critical pieces of memory almost lost in the muddling of man and monster mind. One thing he does remember is a face and it's when he's seated at his desk in the Triskelion with fingers massaging his temple that it clicks. The report before him on the desk, read over three times without acknowledgement, becomes unimportant because…wow. That Betty Brant had done all that…? For him?

It moves Steve to contact her and ask to speak with her at the Brooklyn Bagel Shop, a small mom and pop place tucked into the corner of a side-street. The Captain is relatively incognito in his windbreaker and long-sleeved thermal beneath in blue, jeans and general cross-training sneakers. The Dodgers baseball cap really makes it, honestly: truly, no one will spot him now except for those looking, like Betty. He's seated at a table with only room for one more and already eating a bagel smeared liberally with cream cheese. His cup of black coffee, no sugar or creamer, steams off to one side.

Betty, for the life of her, couldn't understand why Captain Rogers was wanting to speak with her. She wasn't going to ignore it, however. Maybe he wanted to do that interview after all. Accepting, promising she'd meet him at the appointed time, Brant makes her way to Brooklyn. In jeans and a light jacket, Betty walks in wearing a pair of boots, already starting to warm herself against the pending chill of late autumn. Having spotted Steven, she gives him a wave and makes the join him.

"Good evening, Mr. Rogers." She greets with a smile, pulling her sit in. "I'm sorry I'm late, the train was a little slow today. Is everything alright?"

Upon hearing Betty arrive, the Captain glances up. He immediately makes to wipe off his mouth with a napkin and tries to beat her to seating herself, but the young woman is certain and present now.

"You're barely late," he says with a small smile. A sip of coffee clears out his mouth all the better and he clears his throat. "Everything's…as good as it can be, but that's not the point of why I asked to speak with you. First off, you're safe?"

That's a question to ask.

Blinking, Betty sits back slightly, her hands resting atop her lap. "I'd hope so." She answers, a line of concern touching her forhead. "Do…you know something I don't?" In truth, she had been very safe as of late. As far as someone like herself could be, that is.

Tension about Steve's eyes lessens. A small sigh leaves him and he still grimaces as he reaches back to itch at the nape of his neck. "'s'good to hear, Miss Brant, it really is. I mean, figure you wouldn't have accepted the invite to speak with me if you'd been in trouble, now that I think about it." A palm is then run down his face before he pinches the bridge of his nose beneath the shade of his baseball cap's bill.

"«Get it together, Rogers…»" Steve mutters to himself in Gaelic. Clearing his throat again, he then leans in, forearms folded on the table. "What I'm about to tell you is between you 'nd me, Miss Brant. I need your solemn promise as a reporter that I won't regret speaking to you about it." Eyebrows lift promptingly even with the cap partially obscuring their rise.

Concern is there as she watches the hero fidget in his seat. "Mr. Rogers?" She asks softly, her hand moving to touch his arm. One small pep-talk later, she leans in as well to close that distance. Nodding at his request, she sits back long enough to show him her phone and digital recorder. For both, she removes the batteries and puts the bag under her seat.

"I promise. Call it my oath of secrecy to you, Steven Grant Rogers."

Those true-blues look between her eyes once Betty's done dismantling technology and stashing away her purse out of immediate reach. There's something which flickers behind Steve's eyes and he even appears to inhale testingly for a second before nodding curtly almost to himself.

"I deeply appreciate it, Miss Brant." There's another second or two of pause where he seems to be searching the reporter's face nonetheless.

Then, very softly, the Captain tells her: "You offered me asylum recently and you might not have known it was me. You risked life and limb not only giving me shelter, but facing down a creature like me who could have killed you instead of remained focused upon me. I want to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your kindness and bravery, Miss Brant." He then watches for her reaction, hoping it won't draw attention.

Silent as he stares, she lets the man across from her do as he sees fit. She doesn't move, nor shy away, her own eyes searching his face for some answer - why am I here? When he speaks, she leans closer, tilting her ear his way and allowing her eyes to fall half-lidded. As he tell his story, there's confusion there at first until it slowly starts melting way into recognition.

Turning to face him, she peers at his eyes, trying to find that solid link of his words to her memories of a certain evening. Smiling she sits back then, moving her hand in a simple, fluid motion. "You're welcome." She signs. A shift in her seating, she brings her chair around and tenderly hugs the man hidden by jacket and cap.

Surprised by the hug, Steve doesn't move. He's still somewhat blown away by Betty's reaction and especially the ASL used to acknowledge the connection of memory made. Of course — why sign at him otherwise? There are the vaguest, most wispy memories of communication in that vein, given his teeth and tongue would have made any spoken words impossible.

His hand rises to gently pat at her shoulder, careful not to use too much force. "Meant more'n you might think, Miss Brant," he continues still quietly. "Could've gotten yourself into a world of trouble. It's taken me weeks to remember things as is, which…given my memory, it's proof of how much I wasn't me."

The contact is kept brief within the space, and her wish for his comfort was trumping the experience. Hugging Captain America - that's going in a diary somewhere. Were it a more fangirl moment, she would be doing just that. Instead, she nods and exhales. "It's ok, really. I get myself into trouble all the time. If it's for a good reason, I don't mind it." Her head cants as she considers him. "Do you still need help? I didn't get the chance to speak with my friend about aiding you, but the offer is there."

"Are /you/ safe?"

"Yes, 'm safe. Got more'n enough between me 'nd anybody who wants to try anything right now." Steve's laugh is more of a rueful huff. Indeed: he's married to the century's most famous retired assassin. "Things're in motion to get me all figured out 'nd anybody else out there who got bit. Won't be like this for much longer."

A deep swig of coffee disappears, heedless of potential for scalding. "If your friend has that kerchief, maybe bring it to me in the near future. It'll need to be kept someplace safe, where I know where it is. That, 'nd…maybe stay inside for the next few nights, just in case." His small smile is somehow apologetic.

"I can't promise to do that, but…" She digs into her bag and offers him that slip of fabric. "Here. I didn't know when I'd see him again, so I had it ready." Plastic baggy included to keep it clean and fresh. "I took the hint after what happened, or has been happening, that maybe I need to move house again. Different home, different borough. I'm thinking Brooklyn this time." Betty smirks.

With a form of reverence, the Captain takes the offered ziplock bag and hides it away within an interior pocket of his coat. His shoulders slump minutely in visible relief. Knowing this piece of himself is in his possession takes some small modicum of worry-weight from his mind.

"Brooklyn's not half-bad," he quips with a knowing look towards Betty. "Rent can be tough, but the people're worth it. Won't find another borough like it." Homegrown pride shines in his words.

His hands rise nonetheless as something again shadows through the back of his true-blue gaze. Signing follows. «You have not seen another werewolf near to your house since then, have you?»

"Yeah? I'm good on rent. I just want a place. I still love Queens, but after mom died, well…" A shrug. "Then after Eddie and you," chuckling, she swallows. "Shit, how am I going to tell Frank…" A shake of her head, she sits up and 'listens' to what Steve has to say.

"No, not at all. At least not that I've noticed. I've been a bit busy, truth be told."

«Good,» comes the final sign and the closure of this vein of conversation. Steve had dearly hoped this would be the case; it kept everything more centralized and confirmed personal expectations.

"If you need help finding a place, let me know. Me 'nd Barnes…" The Captain shrugs and smiles with a quaint sheepish quirk to his lips. "We know the borough like the back of our hands. Can let you know if you're looking in the wrong place if you want easy access to transportation, things like that. You've got my number." He nods towards the dismantled cell phone where it was placed away.

"Sounds like a good time, Mr. Rogers. I'll be calling you soon." Smiling, she shifts to stand and places her purse back in place. Leaning down, she kisses the top of his ball-cap head. "If you need any help, let me know, ok?" The offer seems mutual. Lets try this again sometime with less…terror." Chuckling, she winks and turns to leave.

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