|Learning to Trust pt. 3|
|What: James learns that Reed is a bit of a strange duck...but one who has built him a new arm!|
It's dark and nearly quiet in the laboratory of Doctor Reed Richards. With the minor exception of a lone figure sitting far off in the corner. Hunched over the figure seems to be looking at something. "Yes... cohesion is stable. Tone is matching." he says to himself as he pushes away from one of many lab tables spread throughout the rater large room. "I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner." As he smiles at his work he looks around. "HERBIE? I need you to grab the proto-matrix stabilizer for me." From the darkness a small floating robot appears. <Of course, Doctor.> the small robot answers with a high pitched British accent. As the figure looks back to his work he can't help but feel a bit of pride for what it's taken others years to create.
Sue Storm has been splitting her time a lot, lately. In between continuing to volunteer at the clinic in Hell's Kitchen, spending time helping Reed (and avoiding that creepy little HERBIE), and making sure that James doesn't feel too much like a fifth wheel while staying at the Baxter, she's been busy. Today, for example, she's just returned from purchasing groceries. Yes, the majority of the time she has the necessary items delivered as the sheer amounts of food that Ben and to a lesser extent Johnny can consume is more than she could carry without being really conspicuous, but sometimes she makes the trip herself to get a few special items.
For the most part, James has been keeping to the room he was placed in. He didn't really bother too much with the television or any computers...they just confused him, really. He does tend to come out for meals and if anyone asks for him, but he's been trying to keep to his own thoughts...and to stay out of the way of the busy folks.
As his ribs are healing, he's been up and about more...mostly pacing about the room. As he hears movement from beyond the door, he finally steps out and quietly makes his way towards the kitchen area.
<Doctor? The sensors have alerted me to the return of Ms. Storm. Shall I go summon her from the kitchen for you?> the little robot asks as it floats towards its creator. "No HERBIE that won't be necessary. I shall go see to her myself, but if you will would you please organize tables one, four and sixteen for me? Thank you." without a reply the little robot drifts off to perform its chores. With a smile still on his lips, Reed gets up from his seat and heads towards the kitchen to greet Sue.
Sue Storm sets the canvas bags of groceries on the kitchen counter and starts unloading them, taking out mostly fresh produce and a couple of butcher paper-wrapped parcels. She smiles as she sees James approaching and greets him in the same way she would any of the permanent residents of the Baxter. "Hey. I was about to fix myself a sandwich before starting the salad to go with dinner. Do you want one?" She sets the produce to one side and starts setting out sandwich fixings, noticing Reed's arrival as well and pulling a few more items including the hoagie-sized french bread rolls purchased for this exact purpose.
James Barnes gives a brief nod, "Thanks..." before he looks over as the elusive Reed also appears. "I..." he looks at the two of them, "I won't be staying much longer. Thanks for letting me stay here for all this time, but I probably should be getting along soon. Tomorrow, probably..." one last night in a bed until he figures more things out.
Reed smiles upon seeing Sue, but his attention is turned to James as he announces his departure from the Baxter. "Really? That is disconcerting news." Reed says as he rums bis chin in thought. "And after all the work I put into making a replacement limb for you." he adds with a smie and a glance to the other man. Yes that's Reed for you. You don't have to ask the man for anything, but he'll get you what you need.
James Barnes pauses at Reed's words, "You what?" He steps over to the other, "Why? I can't pay you...and you're probably in more danger than you were before by having me here if...certain parties found out." Although now he's beginning to wonder. It's actually kind of ego-crushing.
Sue Storm finishes preparing one sandwich and sets it on the counter in front of Reed. No arguments, eat. And as if to further prove her desire to make James feel at home, the second sandwich she starts fixing has all of the toppings and condiments that she's observed are the one-armed man's favorites.
Reed holds up a hand and shakes his head. "No payment is needed, James." Yes Reed knows his name. "And we, of the Fantastic Four, are no strangers to danger." the thin man states. "So please don't feel as if you're putting us in any. You are our guest here and therefore you have no need to worry about anyone threatening us." with that said Reed puts a hand on the man's shoulder. "Besides I don't think Sue will let you go till she's sure you are in better health."
James Barnes looks at the hand on his shoulder but somehow manages not to pull away. He's trying to get back into this whole 'trust' thing even though he knows that eventually it's going to blow up in his face. His shoulders are tense still, "Well, I'm feeling better, so thank you for letting me get that rest in someplace warm...that wasn't a hospital." He looks back to Sue before sort of glancing at Reed, "I know I haven't been a very good guest. Things are just...very odd right now. Like I'm living in two worlds. Or more."
"There are more worlds then you can imagine." at least that's what Reed wanted to say but didn't want to spook their guest. "Don't worry yourself with that James. You are welcome here as long as you wish to stay. And who knows, perhaps with our assistance we can help you with your problems."
Sue Storm sets the completed sandwich in front of James. "If any one knows about having to adjust to abrupt and unexpected changes in our spheres of existence, it's us, James." She goes invisible for a second as if to illustrate. "I spent about three weeks unable to become visible after we first changed." She doesn't elaborate further, hoping that that would be enough explanation. "Like Reed just said, you are welcome to stay as long as you wish."
There's a wry little chuckle there, "Can you restore memories? Because that's really a big part of what's going on. Or...make memories right? Like...I know how to use a cell phone...but then I also don't know what the Hell it is. All at the same time. It's confusing as all get out." He looks at the sandwich, "Thanks," is offered again before he starts to pick up the sandwich. It pauses on the way to his mouth as Sue disappears. "Changed?"
Sue Storm says, "You didn't think that I've always been able to go invisible, did you?"
At the question of restoring memories Reed goes into thinking mode. Mapping the human brain, realigning and even repairing mental pathways. Could take some time or even some help from 'other' sources. As he thinks he looks up to Sue as she 'shows off' her abilities. "The memory complications should be no problem for the replacement limb interfaces or the synth-skin." He's thinking aloud now which means he's gone oblivious to the room.
James Barnes blinks again at Sue and takes a bite of the sandwich, also thinking for a moment. "I didn't know you could go invisible at all. I haven't heard of you...none of you were ever my targets and the only hero I knew back then was Captain America. Only I knew him before he was that." He takes another bite before looking at Reed, "What? What does that mean?"
Sue Storm chuckles softly as she fixes a sandwich for herself. "Don't mind him, he's in science mode. Reed," she says distinctly. "Eat." She smiles at James. "If we can't help you regain at least some of your memories, maybe we can work toward building new ones?"
"Hmm?" Reed says as he looks up. "Oh sorry. I need to return to my lab to check over some things." Yup he's avoiding eating again. He doesn't mean to. It's just how Reed is when he's in work mode.
Oh no, he's not letting that sandwich go to waste. "Reed. Lunch first." If necessary, Sue is not opposed to blocking his path with a force field, but hopefully the stern tone of voice will be enough this time.
"I remember stuff...but I don't...always understand what I'm remembering. It's been two lives...and one isn't...one is pretty awful." Which could be why he's walking on so many eggshells. He looks between the two before he can't help but ask, "Are you two married?"
He hears the 'tone' from Sue. It's that 'Sit before I make you sit' tone. As he sits Reed pick up the sandwich and is about to take a bite when he and Sue are questioned. His brown eyes leap from his meal to Sue then to James upon the marriage question. "Umm" Reed starts as he looks back to Sue and again to James. "No we aren't."
Sue Storm blinks at James's question and wishes NOW that she could get away with going invisible -- she's blushing red to her hairline.
"You two kinda sound like you are," Bucky points out before he takes another bite of his sandwich. He seems almost pleased by that observation. "You should probably eat that sandwich, you know."