|Learning to Trust, pt. 1|
|What: James Barnes and Sue finally have a conversation|
The fiasco in the hallway earlier today set the entire clinic back, causing most of the rest of the day to be busy bordering on insane. Sue had stayed with Mr. Barnes long enough to hopefully get him settled, and maybe (hopefully) extract a promise to rest. Then she'd been called away. She'd stopped back in a few times to reassure him that everything is still okay, but the last check-in was over an hour ago.
James Barnes didn't necessarily make the promise to rest, but he agreed to stay as long as he wasn't hooked back up to the IVs or any of the machines. He also demanded his clothes...but didn't throw a fit if they don't arrive. He doesn't ask for food, but if some is brought in, he'll eat. If there is a television in the room, it will be turned on. If there are only magazines, he'll idly flick through.
Sue Storm arrives again finally, this time carrying a takeout container and a shoulder bag that seems to be carrying more than it is accustomed to bearing. "Mr. Barnes?" She knocks softly on the door and opens it just a little, not just walking on in. She's been consistent about this attempt at politeness the entire afternoon.
James Barnes reaches to his side as if for a gun...but it's not there. There's a scowl before he moves to a more defensible position in the room as the door opens. There's no invitation in, but he does ask, "When do I get to leave?"
Taking the man's words as an invitation, she pushes the door open enough to step into the room and closes it again behind herself. "I've got the discharge papers with me, as well as a few other things." She approaches to offer the takeout container to James, at the same time settling her shoulder bag on a handy chair. The bag has a water bottle, some printed sheets of paper and a kind of tablet computer visible inside it.
James Barnes looks at the container and blinks, "What's this?" He reaches for it and winces at the movement. At least the ribs are taped, but he hasn't been getting much rest on them. "You shouldn't have brought me here in the first place. Well...the redhead shouldn't have. She just painted a target on you all." He quiets, "Maybe."
Sue Storm smiles reassuringly. "It's rigatoni from the Italian place down the block, and you haven't painted a target on anyone. You're not the first ... unique patient we've had here, and we know how to be discreet." She pulls the water bottle from her bag and sets it where James can reach it easily.
"You knew my name. That's enough." For some. The container is looked again, but there doesn't seem to be much more recognition. "Italy...I've been to Italy. I don't remember eating there..." but then again, his memory still isn't terribly reliable. He also looks at the water bottle, "What's in that?" Of course, then the smell of the rigatoni begins to waft his way and he finally takes it and opens it up carefully.
"Water. And my knowing your name only means that I'm the one that spoke with Miss Potts." She moves her bag to the floor and settles into the chair after James takes the food container, then pulls the papers, tablet, and a pen and sets them on her lap. "If you want, I'll fill out the discharge papers while you eat." Wake up! Wake up! James Barnes is quiet a moment before he nods and digs into the food. It's not something he's remembered having before but it smells good and he's starving. It's at least half the mean before he actually starts tasting the food. "This...is good," he declares as he pauses to take some water from the bottle. "You shouldn't have any papers with my name or information on it."
Sue Storm smiles a bit slyly. "We have a special section in our paper files for someone named 'Charitable Recipient'." She starts writing on the papers, filling in the various fields with the ease of practice.
James Barnes nods at that explanation and goes back to the food. It isn't long before he finishes off everything that was in the container. "That was very good...I've never had that before. That I remember. Thank you." He finally does remember some manners then.
"You are most welcome. I thought you might be hungry." Sue finishes filling out the first page and gets up to open a cabinet on the far wall. "Your clothes are here," she says as she then takes the medical chart to pull the papers to add to the collection in her hands.
James Barnes glances over at the woman before moving to get his clothes from the cabinet. He then glances over to make sure she isn't looking as he gets dressed. It takes a little longer than usual, perhaps, due to the fact that buttoning things with one hand are not terribly easy or quick. "I was. Thank you. And...I guess...thank you for taping up my ribs." He then looks through the cabinet, "Where's my gun?"
Sue Storm is very careful to not look while James changes into his clothes, despite the urge to offer to help. Then, when he asks about a gun, she looks honestly confused. "Maybe that's what's in this envelope that Miss Potts left for you?" She pulls a large manila envelope out of her bag and offers it to him, the seal clearly still intact and the contents clearly heavy and oddly shaped.
James Barnes looks over at the envelope before taking it, his shirt still un-buttoned as the gun is apparently more important. Holding the package between his knees, he then opens it with his hand. Reaching in, he pulls out the gun and frowns as it's wrapped in silk. There's a frustrated sigh given before he sets it briefly on the bed. "Thanks. So...I get to just walk out of here now? I mean...once I'm dressed and all?"
Sue Storm sets the paperwork back in her bag. "If you want. Though, I will admit that if you choose to leave, I'll be worried." She stands with her bag in hand. "No obligations, but you'd be welcome to stay with us for a few days if you want." She doesn't specify right away who 'us' might be.
James Barnes works on finishing gettind dressed before the gun is tucked back into the pocket of his threadbare jacket, "Us? You mean, here? In this clinic? I don't know if that would be the best idea. I don't...think I like being around all of this stuff." He gestures to the medical equipment.
Sue Storm smiles. "No, not here. My residence, in the Baxter Building. There aren't many places in New York that are more secure. Or, if you'd rather not, I can give you a lift to anywhere you like." And she means that in the most literal sense, though that may not be readily apparent.
James Barnes doesn't answer immediately. Finally though, he asks simply, "Why?" There's suspicion in his voice and expression, "You don't know me...aside from my name." Which could be dangerous. Or, so he thinks.
Sue Storm hasn't associated the man's name, though she might ask Reed to do a search or two once she's home. "Because I can? Look, I know what it's like to feel like you're a walking disaster, on the verge of bringing everything down around you. And I didn't have it nearly as bad as my brother or our friend Ben. So, now that we have the ability to try to help others, I'd like to think that we pay forward the kindness that was shown to us." She pauses, wrinkling her nose slightly at herself. "Does that make any sense?"
James Barnes's hand goes into the pocket with the guns as he tries to scrutinize Sue's words...find any hidden ulterior motives behind them. "Do you invite everyone who comes into this part of the clinic home with you?"
Sue Storm shakes her head no. "No. Only the ones I think really need the extra help. Besides, I think that Reed might be able to help with what's going on with your arm."
Glancing over, Barnes looks at his arm...and then back to Sue, "Which arm? There's nothing wrong with my arm aside from the bruise left from sticking me with that needle." He just sort of stands there a moment before asking, "Who is Reed?"
Sue Storm blinks. "Well, um, the chart said something about your residual limb? And Reed is... well," she lowers her eyes in what looks like embarrassement for a moment. "He's a good friend, and he's the one that owns the top third of the Baxter." She mentally shakes herself then steps toward the door. "I'm going to take your discharge papers to the front desk."
"Residual?" Some of the circuitry is still in there since the sever was clean, but not necessarily clean between flesh and metal. "What the Hell is the Baxter?" It's not a building he's ever heard of in Manhattan!
Sue Storm doesn't answer the 'residual' question. "Have you seen the skyscraper with the giant four near the top? That's the Baxter."
James Barnes's brow creases as he tried to remember if he really noticed that building. "Oh. Yeah, I saw that. So he owns a building. So did the people who build the Empire State and Chrystler building." Some of the big skyscrapers of his time, of course.
There's another moment of silence before he asks simply, "Why should I trust you? How do I know you're not trying to kidnap me...or worse?"
Sue Storm stops at the door and looks at James. "Because you have to start trusting in the goodness of others sometime. I don't really have any way to prove anything. But if all the bad things you've seen, do I resemble any of them?"
"A lot of the Nazis were blonde," James points out easily and, it seems, earnestly. He might even be teasing, but there doesn't seem to be a hint of smile on his face. "I haven't...trusted...in a while." And the one guy he trusted most hasn't bothered with him in months...since well before his escape.
Sue Storm actually looks a bit hurt at being equated with Nazis. "Well, like I said, no obligations. If you feel you can't trust an offer of secure shelter, there's not much I can say to change that." With that, she slips out of the room and heads toward the front desk.
"Captain America is also blonde." Sort of. He lets her leave the room for a moment before he follows after her. "Hey!" He calls, not knowing or recalling her name. "I accept. But if you try anything funny, I won't lie down easy."
Sue Storm smiles at Mr. Barnes and nods, walking very sedately so he can follow without jarring his ribs too badly. She stops at the front desk just long enough to hand the papers to the nurse there, then continues on outside.
James Barnes follows, looking around warily still, as if expecting to see...well...something. It's both a disappointment and a relief that nothing does come up to attack the two. He does, however, keep his hand in the pocket with the gun.
Sue Storm takes a deliberate step up onto... nothing and reaches a hand toward James. "Step up onto the force field, it's really the fastest way to get there." The moment she says it, the field under her feet goes briefly opaque so the man can see it.
James Barnes looks at the woman as she steps on nothing...and then at the hand that is offered. "Force field?" He looks down as it goes opaque and actually pulls his hand from his pocket to take it so that he can step up into the...thing. "How did you do this?"
Sue's personal force field is about half an inch above her skin, and is probably an unusual tactile sensation. As soon as she has a gentle but secure grip on James's hand the rise straight up off of the sidewalk at a pace that nearly rivals an express elevator. At the same time, though it's not apparent from inside the force field, they've disappeared from view.
"That's something Reed is still trying to figure out. Did you hear about an experimental shuttle flight that happened a few years ago? That was us -- me, my brother Johnny, Reed, and Ben. The best that Reed's figured out, we were bombarded by some kind of cosmic rays and it changed each of us. My force fields and what my friends can do are why I said that you don't pose a threat to the clinic or to the Baxter."
James Barnes blinks some as Sue tries to offer an explanation. "No, I don't know of that." A few years ago he was probably in stasis, actually. "So...sciency stuff." He'll let it go at that.
While they travel in this unusual manner -- the force field gradually arcing from a pure vertical motion to more horizontal -- Sue gets out her cell phone and sends a quick text, likely notifying someone at the Baxter that they're on their way.
It's late evening, a little past when Sue normally arrives home from volunteering at the clinic, and she texted ahead to Johnny letting him know she was bringing a house guest along, including their shorthand stating she wasn't bringing dinner. About ten minutes later, she and James appear on a balcony that leads into the main living room of the Four's residential area. "We're here." She again deliberately steps down from the force field that conveyed them here, waiting for James to do similar. If she thought he'd accept, she'd offer him the force field equivalent of a wheelchair.
There is a shout of surprise and a few four letter words from inside the residence. Then Johnny is poking his head outside. "Sis, how are you?" He has the guilty look on his face and the smell of heating elements can be detected. "You are sure a quick one." He grins over at the guest. "Hey there. Johnny Storm. Maybe you heard of me?"
James Barnes can walk...it just might be rather slow and very careful. He looks about as they land, "Whoa. This place is huge..." especially for living space in New York! At the shout of surprise, his hand is pulled from the pocket of his threadbare coat, gun prepped and aimed at the source of the sound. When the man appears, the barrel of the gun is aimed right at his forehead, "No..." he doesn't move from his spot on the balcony, "I never have." Wake up!
Reed has been in his lab, as usual, putting the finishing touches on something he's been working on. With a proud look on his face as well as some stubble, Reed wanders the Living area of the baxter, not really paying attention to Sue, Johnny and the new guest.
Sue Storm blinks and promptly puts herself between Johnny and the gun now aimed at him. She's clearly completely unconcerned about getting hurt. "Mr. Barnes, this is my younger brother." She then turns to look at Johnny, letting the pistol point at the back of her head. "Johnny, Mr. Barnes has been ... out of touch for a while." At least, that's what she's figured out by his various reactions. Turning back to James, she reaches one hand toward the pistol. "You don't need that here, really. Let's go inside so you can get some rest."
Johnny looks immensely disappointed when James doesn't recognize him, but not overly concerned about the gun pointed at him even as Sue steps in front. "Okay," he says with a tone of resignation. He starts to head back inside. "Working on dinner. It is leftover surprise. Just be glad that Ben didn't do the cooking last."
The gun is uncocked after James looks between the siblings. The other entering the living area is also noted, but he hasn't forgotten Sue's words from earlier. He needs to re-learn trust. Putting the weapon back in his pocket, he nods to Sue before narrowing his eyes at Johnny. He's going to be watching him.