2020-08-03 - Hot Pot Life Coach


May catches up with Lena and offers her a new direction.

Log Info:

Storyteller: {$storyteller}
Date: August 3rd, 2020
Location: Little Sheep, NYC

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Agent May is frequently gone for days at a time, the perils of her job is the only explanation she ever offers. And if she occasionally wears long sleeved shirts that cover her arms all the way past her knuckles even during the height of summer, that is apparently also one of the perils of her job. She's currently back in town, though, and has either figuratively or literally dragged Lena by the ear to get something to eat. They need to catch up, after all.

While waiting for their hot pot to arrive, she studies the younger woman over her tea cup — chrysanthemum tea, which looks like someone lopped off the tops of a bouquet and stuffed them into the teapot. "So. Anything interesting happen this week?"

Lena goes. She's never one to really turn down free food. That and at least it wasn't Ambrose giving her a call to go out. Granted, she would have gone if Talbot offered. Sitting there, looking somewhat flat and absolutely undernurished. Food. Food was always good.

Looking over the woman's attire, she trails down the sleeves before reaching out for her own drink. It was not tea. It was Mountain Dew. "Looks like you've had more fun than I have." She replies. "I looted a place. Beat up some thugs. Then tried looting another place. That didn't work out very well. Ended up flying and having questions about myself flare up. Didn't like that."

May can only raise an eyebrow at Lena's oh so verbose description. "Why were you looting a place?" She sets her teacup down with gentle care, and though that's common enough it can sometimes mean uh oh.

"Flying. I think I'm going to need you to elaborate on that as well." She's mentally picturing the kid ending up being conveyed somewhere by helicopter, which in this town means likely the police, and that's a bit worrisome. "Is this going to require me speaking with someone on your behalf?"

"I found out some chump in a pent house had a painting I wanted to…" She sighs. "Get for Mick when he comes back." By now, it was safe to say that man may never be coming back. Ever. It was no surprise that she was somewhat obsessed with this man she would talk about now and then. He was all she knew. All she ever knew. Her age was showing. "Anyway, it didn't work out. Some strong bird lady I've faught asshats with before found me out. Dropped me off somewhere.

Her lips twitch and her pale gaze stays down. She pointedly doesn't look at May's face. "No. No cops. I just got a warning."

May mentally processes the information, and can only be glad that Lena didn't actually get pinched for attempted B&E. And considering the kid actually looks a bit contrite about it, she tosses out a related question just before their food order arrives.

"Which painting were you wanting to get?" She timed it perfectly so that the younger woman has to choose whether or not to answer that question in front of the server setting their food on the table.

"Rome Burning." Lena answers without pause or hesitation. Giving a glance toward their server, she offers them a gentle 'thank you' before looking toward the pot. At first, she doesn't move to eat. She does, however, wait until the server leaves before continuing the conversation.

"Mel, you've…during your career, you've lost people close to you, right?" Jaw tight, she chews at nothing and swallows. "How do you just let that go?"

May's eyebrows quirk upward briefly at the painting mentioned, but she doesn't otherwise comment, simply serving up a modest portion of the family-style meal for herself. It's the follow up question that has her chopsticks pausing briefly over setting a few morsels onto Lena's plate.

"Every person who enters or leaves your life will do so differently. How they stay with you, /if/ they stay with you, will also be different. The ones that leave, but leave traces…" She's quiet for a moment before continuing as calmly as before, her eyes on the simmering pot of fragrant broth. "Either you find yourself gradually noticing their absence less and less, or you never get over it and learn how to live with the sensation that something is always missing."

She then nudges the container of rice toward the kid slightly. "Eat."

"I don't think he's ever coming back." Lena confesses in less than a whisper. Eyes slick, her cheeks stain pink with that urge to sob and scream. To be angry and sad all at once. "I have so much shit I've swiped, stashing it away like some damn pack rat just incase he comes back. Just incase he shows up and I can just shower him with gifts." Her fingers shake briefly as she looks at her chopsticks and then the share of food offered her way.

Working up some slices of meat and veg, she bundles them with oblong balls of rice and beings stuffing her face. If she eats, she can't talk.

May nods slowly, eating for a moment as well and letting Lena not talk. For the moment. And then, possibly in spite of what Lena thinks she'll say next, she tosses out her next question while refilling her tea cup and apparently not minding at all that a few small flower petals have gone along for the ride.

"Would you be willing to tell me about him?" And yes, she WILL ask first before using SHIELD resources to track the guy down and find out what's become of him.

"What do you want to know? He grew up like me. Well…kinda. I never asked about his family life much. Got taken in for setting fire to his folks place. Got burned from it, too. Still scarred up. I met him at juvie. He was just a lug at first, my brute, y'know?" Shrugging, she keeps eating. "Originally, I was just using him. Eventually…" More food. "He got out before I did. Promised to take care of Lisa for me. And once I was out we went on our first date. So…yeah. He's all I've ever known."

"After I developed my gun, I made one for him, too. We just fit. Fire and Ice. He had my back and I had his. We were partners."

"Don't know what happened to him. He could have just gone off for something. He's done that before. But never this long without saying something. For all I know, he could have gotten himself into trouble. Locked up. Dead." She shrugs. "He could have gotten tired of me, went out on some book tour once his novels got big…" A glance up and over, she finally makes contact with May. "He wrote Sci-Fi Romance Novels."

That would actually make the guy easier to track down. Maybe. "Well, that's an interesting choice of occupation." Not a bad one, honestly. But that sort of stuff has never really been one of her interests. It was more of her old partner's wheelhouse. And currently completely irrelevant.

"I could try tracking him down for you if you wanted," she offers while setting the last morsel of meat on Lena's plate. Because, really, how difficult would it be to track down a sci-fi romance novel author with burn scars on his person?

"I…don't think that's a good idea. If he wanted me to know where he was, he would have told me by now. If not, maybe he wants to be lost. I don't like not knowing but at the same time I don't want to know." Beat. "He's the only person I've ever loved. At least I think that's what that was. I didn't feel like a fuck up around him because we were both fucked up, y'know?" Pausing to drink, she sets her cup down. "I'm mad at you." She begins again. "Because of you, I don't brawl as much. I even tried taking down a monster so it didn't hurt people. What're you turning me into? Some type of…I don't know…Citizen Cold or something?"

May nods at the refusal to track the guy down. Fair enough. She won't pry. "Well, just remember. Don't trap yourself in his absence to the point that you miss other possibilities that come your way." This advice is very definitely a case of 'do as I say, not as I do', though May would deny that to her dying breath.

She huffs faintly in what could maybe possibly almost be amusement at the Citizen Cold comment. "I'm not turning you into anything. You're doing it all on your own." And she leaves it at that — for now — very likely just to needle the kid a bit.

Lena Snart glares. She hated that. She wasn't sure what tasted worse in her mouth - her being taught good lessons, or turning 'good' all on her own. Another few drags of soda and she returns to her meal. The initial ache of talking about Mick was fading. She'd get the rest of it out later. Probably alone. Away from anyone and everyone.

"I tried dealing with Loki about it. Guess in a way, I got jealous of that. Him and his wife, Ambrose and Tal. They live…ageless lives and have had someone always there. I had…three years? Not counting lockdown?" Brushing back some of her hair, May might even notice that the girl's makeup is even lighter. "Strip that away, the things I'm good at, all I've ever done - what am I?"

May sets her chopsticks down precisely — she's done eating — and starts listing things as her tea cup lifted and its contents contemplated as if they can impart words of wisdom to her. Really, she's just watching the little chrysanthemum petals float around in her cup.
"You're a survivor, you're diligent, you're persistent, you're contemplative… shall I continue?" Yes, everything she mentioned could have been phrased to sound completely negative, but instead…

Lena Snart sets down her own sticks. Chewing. Swallowing. She stares at May in silence. It takes her a long while to react more so than just wide eyed and muted. Her lips part, then close, and part once more. "So I'm not just a fuck up…"

"I don't think you are, at least. Yes, you've made some poor life decisions and you've paid for them." That's a polite way for May to say the kid got tossed into juvie, at least. "You can't do an instant 180 from that kind of life experience. But at the same time, you didn't go right to doing what you'd been doing before. That indicates that you aren't a fuck up. You're simply still a work in progress."

Honestly? Everyone is, in May's opinion. Anyone who thinks there is nothing left for them to learn or improve upon is deluded.

"I-I'm not sure what to do. I'd have support if I asked, from Talbot and Ambrose. You. But once I run out of…funds, where do I go from there? I've always stole to survive. Get what I needed and then some. Do…I get a job?" The very word seems to roll off her tongue with a great amount of loathing.

May shrugs and nods. "You could, it's not the worst idea, and likely safer and more stable than continuing to steal. I'm sure that you are more than capable at making any job you choose work for you, and smart enough to pick a job that you'll be able to stick with."

She refills her tea cup one last time. "I'd suggest you apply where I work, but I"m not sure that that would be the best fit for you." Or maybe it would be, but she really isn't the best person to be the judge of that. Not about SHIELD.

Lena Snart another fit of staring and snickers. Then she flat out laughs. That was one of the best things she's heard in a good long while. It dies down, a giggle and snort later before she realizes that May is serious. She wasn't joking. "I…almost tried to kill a few members of SHIELD before." Shaking her head, she slumps back and exhales smoothly. At length, she reaches for her drink. "Fuck it. Sign me up."

At Lena's laughing jag May simply sips at her tea, and she responds to the comment about trying to kill SHIELD agents in a mild and almost deadpan tone. "I trust you won't try again." But it's the 'fuck it' that has her hiding a hint of amused smile behind her tea cup.

"I'll give your name to a recruiter. Though it might be a good idea to make sure all the things you have stored away are either very securely stored or no longer in your possession before that happens." She's totally not expecting the kid to run out and dump all of the items she'd collected for the man she mentioned at the beginning of the meal, but being caught with stolen goods — particularly the noteworthy ones — when trying to join SHIELD… that's just not a good idea.

"Right." Taking up her phone, she taps away for a few seconds before slipping the phone away. "So…I'll be called or, is it like police academy or…?" A blink. "Can I keep my look? My guns? I'm not giving those up or my research."

"Everyone's situation is different," May offers honestly. She takes up the check and hands it to the server with enough cash to pay the tab and leave a VERY generous tip before leading Lena out of the restaurant before continuing the conversation.

"Since we're already familiar, I won't be allowed to be part of the recruiting process for you. And seeing as your research and your weapons would be major reasons for recruiting you, I don't see why they would make you give them up. In fact, part of your recruitment might relate to those items in particular. I'll make sure to mention them as points of interest."

After a moment of consideration, she notes one last thing before they continue on. "You can always say no, and SHIELD is required to accept your refusal and leave you be. If a recruiter even hints at pressuring you into joining, especially because of your background, let me know right away."

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