The Dragon and the Serpent

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Svartfreja
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The Dragon and the Serpent

Post by Svartfreja » Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:13 am

Spring 1942. Southampton.

<Viper> Viper hated this assignment. She hated it with every fibre of her being. She hated the cramped little rustbucket they'd made the trip over in. She hated the train to the city. She'd hated the bus from the train station and now she was working on hating the funny little man that was trying to house them somewhere.

<Viper> Hate was one of the only things that she ever felt very strongly and it was a friendly emotion to her. As it was, though, she couldn't let it show so she kept her features impassive as she glanced around the other occupants of the room, fellow refugees... or genuine ones. She was, of course, not.

<David> David felt this assignment hit a little close to home for his own memories. He had been told to act as Viper's husband for this mission. They were a family, for all intents and purposes, but that didn't mean he had to like it. He looked over at her as they were placed with all the refugees.

<David> A part of him felt badly for them, having escaped tragedy himself. He remembered his mission and pushed thoughts of guilt aside. They were there for a reason. He kept close to Viper, the one sane addition to the mission. "Wow," he muttered.

<Viper> Viper arched an eyebrow at him, not really seeing what warranted that utterance. She supposed it was something along the lines of the volume of people that shared the space with them but all she could muster in the feeling department there was boredom.

<David> He put a hand on her as they moved to an emptyish area where they could at least sit. A glance around told him most of these people were harmless, but there were a few that he thought might provide some entertainment.

<Viper> Viper let him steer her, playing the part as well as she could, having no real experience of what it was to be a wife. She sat down beside him and crossed her legs neatly, slipping off a shoe to finally shake out a stone that had been bothering her for some time.

<David> He stood beside her for a long moment before kneeling down beside her. "Crowded."

<Viper> "Yes." What else did he expect? "Like the boat... and the train... and the bus."

<David> "Like everything else," he added, sliding on down to sit. "You alright?"

<Viper> She considered that, nose wrinkling slightly, "No. There is a hole in my stocking." She knew they couldn't get silk stockings here that easily. Sighing, she put her shoe back on.

<David> David smirked and nodded. "I'll see what I can do about that."

<Viper> Stupid stones. She hated those too. Lifting her head, she glanced around the hall again. What kind of building was this? It looked vaguely like a library. "How long are we going to have to wait?"

<David> "We'll have to see. Probably a couple of days." He surveyed the other people again, looking for anyone useful.

<Viper> Days? She didn't want to sleep here! "I hope not."

<David> "Me as well." He dug through his bag and handed her the blanket. "Get some rest. Once these people go to sleep, we might have an opportunity."

<Viper> "To do what exactly? Rub out all the names above ours on their little list?" She stared blankly at the offered blanket then looked pointedly around them at the lack of space in which to actually lie down.

<David> David looked down at his shoulder, then up at her. "Investigate. Explore."

<Viper> She sighed, slumping back against the wall before slipping both shoes off. If she had to sleep sitting up on the floor she was going to be as comfortable as she could make herself. She reached up to take off her hat.

<David> David watched her briefly, then went back to his people watching. "I'll wake you when it's time."

<Viper> "Undoubtedly." He was too big not to notice moving. She shrugged off her coat and folded it to make a sort of pillow after dropping her hat on top of her shoes. She set the coat-pillow between her head and the wall and covered herself with the thin and horribly scratchy blanket.

<David> He smiled slightly and got comfortable. Noticing that a few of the people had given them some curious looks, he slid into his cover story. "Sweet dreams, dear."

<Viper> With another soft sigh, she slid sideways a little to rest against him. There. Now they looked at least a bit like they liked each other. She hated this assignment.
:quicksilver Pietro Maximoff [Quicksilver]

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Re: The Dragon and the Serpent

Post by Svartfreja » Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:33 am

A few days later...


<Viper> Well... she supposed it could be worse. The house looked nice at least. New. The driver had said something about the houses being a new development and how lucky they were. She still didn't feel lucky but then she wasn't a real refugee and neither was her fake husband.

<Viper> People peered through gaps in curtains as the car stopped outside the house and Viper realised they were going to have to put on a show. Wonderful.

<David> David placed a hand on her shoulder to get her to stay still while he got out of the car to go around and let her out. Putting on a show was something he could do easily. He smiled at her and held out his hands for her to take. "Welcome home."

<Viper> She took his hands, allowing him to help her out of the car, putting on a big smile. The kind of smile that projected the lucky feeling she was supposed to be having. "Are you going to carry me across the threshold of this house too?"

<David> "What kind of husband would I be if I didn't?" He asked, offering her his arm for the walk to the door.

<Viper> She took his arm as the driver started unloading their things, "Just don't trip - it's bad luck."

<David> "Well that sounds logical. Dropping your bride as you carry her in? Terrible luck." He pulled out the key, looking it over.

<Viper> "It would be a shame for you to sleep on the sofa tonight," she agreed with a small smirk.

<David> He couldn't help but laugh, unlocking the door and pushing it open. He scooped her up into his arms. "Let's hope I don't fall then."

<Viper> She laughed, playing her part like a pro. She slid her arms around his shoulders and gave him a kiss for good measure.

<David> Stepping through, David returned the kiss as he set her down gently. "I'll get our 'bags,'" he told her, heading for the door.

<Viper> She nodded, going further inside to look around. The house was already sparsely furnished, a set of sofa and chairs in the living room arranged around a small table and a wireless, a cooker in the kitchen, a bed upstairs (they'd been assured) and a few other items.

<Viper> They had a small amount of money from the government with which to buy other items they needed and, of course, their papers and ration books. She set hers down on the kitchen counter before checking the water. They were fortunate that they had an indoor toilet in this new building.

<David> Taking the bags from the driver, David thanked him and headed back inside. They didn't have much, but then again, Hydra agents didn't need much to complete their mission. He set the bags down inside, closing and locking the door behind him. "Now this is more like it."

<Viper> Viper smiled, kicking off her shoes and shrugging off her coat. She left the coat on the kitchen counter beside her papers and headed for the stairs, unpinning her hair as she went, "I'm going to take a bath."

<David> "I'll find... something husbandly to do." He determined, looking around the place. What did a proper British husband do?

<Viper> "You could probably gain from taking a bath, too." She called down to him as she poked her head into the other rooms on the landing. "... I found the bedroom."

<David> He half hoped that was an invitation, but knew better. He dismissed the thought. "After you." He picked up the bags and headed for the stairs. "I'll bring up our things then."

<Viper> Viper went on into the bedroom to start taking off the rest of her things while she waited for the bath to fill. Hot running water, what a luxury. Maybe they were lucky with this assignment, it could have been much worse. There had been interesting stories about the treatment of refugees less than a year before.

<David> David set the bags down in the bedroom and picked up some pillows and a couple of blankets. Plenty for him. He didn't *have* to sleep like a normal human anyway. "I'll find someplace to hide blankets downstairs so company won't know I sleep down there."

<Viper> "Keep them up here until you need to use them," Viper suggested, not at all bothered about undressing in front of him. "There's hardly any furniture down there for you to hide it under anyway."

<David> He quickly dropped the bedding and headed for the door, keeping his eyes off of her. "Much safer plan."

<Viper> Viper smirked a little at the retreat, "I'm not going to bite you..."

<David> "Of course not, but as we are not actually married..." Once safely out of the room, he relaxed to breathe.

<Viper> She laughed at that, shaking her head. She'd have to cross the hall again once she was undressed to reach the bathroom and she half hoped he was still out there to see what other delightful reaction that would elicit.

<David> David leaned back against the wall, closing his eyes. "You have to pretend a lot. The least you can have is your dignity."

<Viper> "You think I should be ashamed of my body?"

<Viper> She stepped out into the hallway, now completely undressed, and stopped in front of him.

<David> "Definitely not." Definitely, definitely not, he told her with his eyes still closed.

<Viper> She cocked her head on one side, leaning close to his face, "But you're still afraid to look."

<David> "Hardly afraid." He smirked at her, opening his eyes to look at her face. He was very careful to keep his eyes high. "Do you want me to look?"

<Viper> "What an odd question," her expression was curious now.

<David> "A woman has the right to show her body to whom she pleases. And nobody else should look."

<Viper> "I undress in front of you and now stand here for you to see and you still have to ask that?" She laughed a little and turned toward the bathroom.

<David> David slowly grinned as he watched her go toward the bathroom. "Apparently. Yes."

<Viper> She felt his eyes on her and glanced over her shoulder before she disappeared into the bathroom, an unspoken invitation. This mission would be entirely boring if they were going to keep each other at arm's length all the time.

<David> David stood there for a long moment. Then it clicked. He shoved off the wall and followed her into the bathroom, closing the door behind him.

<Viper> [Time Passes ¬.¬]

<Viper> Feeling much better and cleaner, Viper was now redressed and tidying her few belongings away but not too away that they couldn't leave in a hurry. She'd gotten very good at that even before Hydra and now she was an expert. "I suppose we should go to the stores next and make use of our bits of paper..."

<David> Nodding, David pulled a shirt on, buttoning it. "Good idea. See what kind of intel we can gather there."

<Viper> "I think you should go without me... at least for a day or two. Until they get used to the idea of me." She was, after all, German and there was no hiding that accent. People were twitchy about it.

<David> "I can do that." He brushed his hair back with his hand and pulled on his boots. "They have to know that not all Germans are the enemy. Many of them are persecuted too. Course..." he just smirked. They had a reason to not trust them.

<Viper> "Indeed." She sat down to start pinning her hair back up again. "I'll have a better look around the house while you're gone... perhaps I'll make a list of the items we should add to the house to make it look lived in."

<David> "Excellent idea. During the day, we need to appear like normal people. Windows open, the whole works. Draw them in. People talk. But you know all this."

<Viper> "I did pay attention during the briefing," she offered a smirk via the mirror.

<David> "Good. This is going to be a challenge. But a fun one," he told her, smirking at her.

<Viper> "I wonder if we should try getting jobs... that would be normal, after all... but then I think I will be stuck in a factory surrounded by other women all day. I may go insane."

<David> "Worse. You should be a proper housewife. Stay home. They won't trust you in their factories," he pointed out.

<Viper> She wrinkled her nose, "That seems somehow worse."

<David> "It is entirely worse. But, think of the advantage you have. Husbands talk to their wives and women gossip. You just need to befriend the right housewives."

<Viper> She'd never been good at making friends, even when she was a child. People seemed to think there was something wrong with her and opted to avoid her much of the time, until she got old enough to be looked at by men anyway. "I'll do my best..."

<David> "All we can do," he pointed out. "I'll get us some supplies. Think of anything you want and things to make this look like a home."

<Viper> She nodded, "I'll do that... and then I will look for a suitable location to set up shop."

<David> "Perfect." He smiled and headed for the stairs. "See you in a couple of hours."

<Viper> "Good luck!" She called after him, placing the last pin carefully in her hair and turning her head to one side then the other to check how she looked. "Try not to upset anyone on our first day."

<David> "I never make promises I can't keep."
:quicksilver Pietro Maximoff [Quicksilver]

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Hawkeye: What is that noise?
IronMan: That is the noise Pietro makes right before he's tossed out of the airlock. ~ Avengers: The Children's Crusade #6

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Re: The Dragon and the Serpent

Post by Svartfreja » Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:34 pm

Days later. London.


<Viper> The siren was both loud and effective. The blackout was in full effect and they were technically supposed to be indoors but a few people were caught on the streets and were now hurrying to the public shelter. Viper had paused to watch them scurry towards their hole with mild amusement.

<David> Ever the good husband, David slid his arm around her and tried to hurry her to said shelter. "We need to hurry."

<Viper> She resisted a little bit, scanning the streets again, "Why?" A man in a dark suit hurried their way, holding a whistle. He wore a tin hat with the letters ARP painted in white on it and started instructing them to get into the shelter too. Uuuugh.

<David> He gave her a strange look as he pushed her along. Why? She had to know why? "So a bomb doesn't land on your head."

<Viper> Viper frowned but the man with the hat looked like he was going to start blowing that whistle at them so she let David lead her and steer her down the steps to the subterranian shelter where other people huddled together in the dingy light.

<David> He kept a protective arm around her, steering her to an empty spot where they could sit down. The refugees were one thing; Londoners... another. He tightened his grip on her.

<Viper> Viper slouched against the wall behind the bench they were sat on, cold hastily constructed out of concrete and brick. The gas lamps that hung in random spots around the shelter hardly provided any light with the amount of people in the shelter to block it. The soft hiss was the only thing that could be heard for a time while the locals waited for the bombs to start falling.

<David> His eyes darted to the ceiling, not really delighting in this, but not as terrified as the British around him. "How long do you think?" he asked her softly.

<Viper> "Can't be that long, they've obviously seen something." She was so bored. Maybe it wouldn't last all night and they could go home.

<David> He nodded and sighed, looking around again. These people were scared shitless! "Well. This is cozy."

<Viper> The first bomb dropped, sending ripples of flinches through the crowd below ground with them as the rumble of it reached them and the tremor shook their hiding place. Viper didn't even blink. She did, however, stifle a yawn.

<David> While he wasn't scared of burning, he didn't relish the thought of having to endure the pain. He glanced over at her, raising an eyebrow. Wow she was good.

<Viper> More rumbles followed, some closer than others. Occasionally one would be close enough to open cracks in the hastilly constructed ceiling above them and rain dust down upon them. Viper wrinkled her nose with distaste every time this happened and waved a hand in front of her face to avoid inhaling any.

<David> David took off his jacket and placed it over her head to shield her from the falling dust.

<Viper> Oh when would this nightmare end? At least she was now largely shielded from the others so she could roll her eyes openly. "How long have we been down here now?"

<David> "Not sure. I've lost track of time." He coughed a little as the dust got in his mouth.

<Viper> "... You are utterly useless sometimes," she muttered back to him. "Well never mind." Maybe someone would have a fit of hysterics and then at least they'd have some entertainment.

<David> He stifled his laughter. "So sorry to disappoint you."

<Viper> Another explosion hit far closer, the sound of glass shattering was audible and some women screamed. Viper remained unaffected by it, unresponsive, except for a moment when she brushed a bit of cracked concrete off her lap.

<David> David winced, moreso from the screams than the explosion. He took a good look at the other women. They were all terrified, crying, rocking. Those with small children were clinging to them. He looked back over at Viper under his jacket and frowned.

<Viper> Viper raised an eyebrow at him. Was he as bored as she was?

<David> He gave her a long stare. "Are you alright?"

<Viper> "Of course." She cocked her head on one side, not sure why he was asking her that question.

<David> David looked away, thinking about that. Why was she so calm? Almost... bored? Was she bored?

<Viper> Maybe he was a worrier? She'd met them before. They liked to check. She settled back against the wall again.

<David> He was unsettled, unnerved. He couldn't put his finger on why, nor could he figure out why she was so calm. It bothered him to no end. He crossed his arms across his chest and watched the others.

<Viper> She glanced at him again then followed his gaze. Aha... emotional responses... she assumed it was fear she was looking at. She wasn't very good at recognising that one.

<David> Still unable to figure out why she was so different, he sighed a bit and tried to relax. After all, he wasn't freaking out either.

<Viper> After another long time in the dark, Viper made the assumption that they would be there all night. The bombs had moved further away but they were still falling. She huffed a little and shifted to lean against David. May as well take a nap.

<David> His arm slipped around her immediately, looking down at her. "I wonder how often this is going to happen."

<Viper> "Hopefully not too often... we just missed the curfew," she muttered. They had a Morrison Shelter in the kitchen of their house but she wouldn't get in that either. Cowering under a table was not her idea of a good way to die if a bomb was to fall on the house.

<David> "Let's make sure that doesn't happen again, yeah?" He asked, rubbing her arm a bit.

<Viper> She nodded, adjusting his jacket to make use of it as a blanket and closing her eyes. If you ignored the shrieks and the destruction, the gentle hiss of the gas lamps was quite relaxing.

<David> David looked up at the ceiling again. Would that thing even hold up in a direct hit?

<Viper> "Stop moving," Viper complained, "At least until after I'm asleep."

<David> "Sorry," he told her, readjusting himself. "Are you warm enough?"

<Viper> "I'm fine, stop fussing," she shifted a little to settle down again.

<David> He smirked a bit. "What else am I going to do?" he asked her.

<Viper> "Sleep?" She suggested, "The time will pass faster."

<David> "Maybe after you wake up," he relented.

<Viper> "Mmhmm... shhhh." She prodded him in the ribs through his coat.

<David> He chuckled, then fell silent so she could sleep.
:quicksilver Pietro Maximoff [Quicksilver]

Quicksilver: Howisshe?Isshealright?Imusetspeakwithmysisteratonce.
Hawkeye: What is that noise?
IronMan: That is the noise Pietro makes right before he's tossed out of the airlock. ~ Avengers: The Children's Crusade #6

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Re: The Dragon and the Serpent

Post by Svartfreja » Thu May 14, 2015 9:50 pm

Weeks later, back in their hideyhouse...


<Viper> Birds. Why were they making so much noise? Viper looked up from her microscope and glanced at the clock on the far side of the room. Oh. Dawn was approaching. She got up and went to close the window to block out the worst of that distraction and sat back down again, going back over her notes.

<David> David leaned in the doorway, sipping on the fresh coffee he had just made. She was exactly where he had left her before he had gone to pass out hours ago. He had a million questions to ask her but, for the moment, he just watched her.

<Viper> The smell of coffee reached her, a rarity here, and she turned her head slightly toward the door. "Enough left for me?"

<David> He smiled and nodded, disappearing to fetch it and bring her the second cup. "I got lucky."

<Viper> "Black market coffee? I don't suppose you found any stockings?" She accepted the cup, curling her fingers around it, and took a deep inhale of the scent.

<David> "Not yet, but this sweet little old lady said she would acquire them for me. Told me to come back in a couple of days."

<Viper> "Good... perhaps this won't be so horrible then." She took a sip of her coffee before setting it down on the table and turning back to her work.

<David> "So some stockings are all it takes to make you happy?" He questioned, watching her.

<Viper> "Until I need something else, yes." She looked down her microscope again and exchanged the slide on it for another.

<David> David was truly perplexed. Was she just this intense on a job? He took a sip of his coffee, watching her.

<Viper> "Is it your intention to stare at me all day? Or just until the sun is up and you have something better to do?" Viper didn't look up.

<David> "The latter," he confirmed, taking another sip.

<Viper> "Good. I was worried I might have to poke your eyes out with something."

<David> He smirked and turned his attention to the window as he heard a commotion, shouting and a clanging sound.

<Viper> Viper frowned at the noise, looking up from her work. "What is going on?"

<David> "Cat." He actually laughed, leaning in to watch his neighbor struggle with a hissing creature.

<Viper> "It's probably hungry.... did you know they issued instructions here to cull the useless pets? So they wouldn't be a drain on limited resources." She went back to her microscope, "Evidently, some opted to set them free instead."

<David> "I'm more than happy to cull that beast for the sake of the war effort," he informed her, watching as it ran off.

<Viper> "If you do, make it look like an accident in case someone we're supposed to make friends with is attached to it."

<David> "You just ruin all the fun, don't you?" he asked, looking over his shoulder at her.

<Viper> Viper raised an eyebrow, glancing up at him. Had he been joking? Oh well.

<David> David watched her again, not quite sure what to make of her. This was becoming a trend.

<Viper> She turned back to her work, making some more notes on her paper and annotations. She sipped her coffee sparingly, wanting to make it last.

<David> Not wanting to distract her from actual work, David tried to busy himself looking over their rations that were left.

<Viper> "These samples are interesting... I think I will go for a walk later and take some more."

<David> "Do you need me for that?"

<Viper> "I shouldn't," she switched out the slides again, setting the ones she'd made notes on into a small box.

<David> He nodded. "I'll go into town again. See what I can find out today."

<Viper> "Could you get some string while you're out?"

<David> "What kind of string?"

<Viper> "Any kind you can get.... lots of it."

<David> "Yes ma'am," he nodded his head and sipped his coffee again. "Want breakfast?"

<Viper> "Yes." She made no effort to get up or move toward the door however.

<David> Shaking his head, David smirked and moved to the kitchen to cook for them. He would just need to make sure the neighbors didn't see.

<Viper> After waiting for the appropriate amount of time, Viper got up from her seat, tidied her desk and picked up her coffee. She headed downstairs after another glance out the window and found David in the kitchen.

<David> It was a modest breakfast, toast with butter and jam set out on the table, and a couple of strips of bacon for each of them. He glanced up as she came in, just turning the stove off.

<Viper> She set her coffee down on the table and took a seat. She had timed that perfectly.

<David> "Anything besides string you need?" he asked, sitting down across from her.

<Viper> She shook her head, "I have everything else I need."

<David> "Alright then." He nodded.

<Viper> She was apt to get very bored of breakfast very quickly these days. They were so similar day after day. Routine was nice but it never hurt to change things up a little. Today, however, there was coffee so this was a vast improvement and she managed a small smile as she bit into her toast.

<David> He caught that smile and returned it as he put a bit of jam on his own toast.

<Viper> She hadn't been smiling at him but if it pleased him to think so she supposed she could let him.

<David> His foot kicked the shelter built under their table, and he paused his eating to lean down and investigate it. "They really expect people to hide in cages?"

<Viper> "I have no doubt it would protect us if the house was to fall down... but if a bomb landed on us it wouldn't do much good." Viper also leaned down to inspect the metal work.

<David> "I have my doubts about both," he muttered, kicking it.

<Viper> "The stories in the newspaper suggest otherwise." Viper straightened up again to continue her breakfast.

<David> "It entirely depends on what falls and how it lands,' he pointed out.

<Viper> "We would survive regardless. Injury free, perhaps not, but I think the emphasis is on survival."

<David> David would survive regardless. He shrugged and went back to eating. "Rather not put it to the test."

<Viper> "Neither would I. I'd much prefer to be blown up whilst comfortable in bed if it had to happen at all."

<David> "I think most people would agree with you on this one." Which was odd. She didn't seem to agree with people on much.

<Viper> "Perhaps." She wasn't convinced. Most people were afraid of the idea of death.

<David> David chewed on his bacon, mind wandering. "We need something soon to report."

<Viper> "They can wait. They know this takes time." Viper was unconcerned.

<David> He raised an eyebrow at her. He wasn't so sure patience was Hydra's best virtue.

<Viper> "I have to test every sample all by myself. It is going to take some time. When I have more, I will know more."

<David> He nodded and went back to his breakfast. He'd just have to get them something useful to buy some time.

<Viper> "Don't worry," she offered, "They can't reach us all that well here."

<David> "That is very true." But he didn't doubt their ability to try.

<Viper> Finishing her toast, Viper picked up her coffee again, "You worry too much."

<David> "It's my job to worry," he pointed out. "I'm here to make everything go smoothly."

<Viper> "And if your worry becomes paranoia, you will jepordise it for the both of us."

<David> "There is a difference," he pointed out, sipping what was left of his coffee.

<Viper> "One can lead very quickly to the other. I've seen it happen." It was always amusing to watch.

<David> "Let me worry about the worrying," he countered.

<Viper> "I'm not worried." She took a sip of her own coffee and glanced out of the window. Noises from the house next door suggested that Mrs Neighbour was up.

<David> "Good," he smirked and finished his breakfast. "I won't be long in town."

<Viper> "I may not be here when you get back... unless you would rather accompany me while I collect samples. I doubt you will find it interesting, however."

<David> "Nope, I think I'm good," he laughed and gathered up the dishes, putting them in the sink.

<Viper> "Then I will see you when I get back." She got up, draining the last of her coffee with a somewhat disappointed expression.

<David> "Be careful," he advised, kissing the top of her head in case the nosey neighbor was watching.

<Viper> "Of course." She offered him a smile, also in case of the nosey neighbour.

<David> He smiled back and went for his coat, watching her a bit as he got ready to leave.

<Viper> Viper glanced at the dishes in the sink as she set the empty cup down on the draining board. Maybe she'd get those before she went out... if he was lucky.
:quicksilver Pietro Maximoff [Quicksilver]

Quicksilver: Howisshe?Isshealright?Imusetspeakwithmysisteratonce.
Hawkeye: What is that noise?
IronMan: That is the noise Pietro makes right before he's tossed out of the airlock. ~ Avengers: The Children's Crusade #6

Svartfreja
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Re: The Dragon and the Serpent

Post by Svartfreja » Sat May 16, 2015 10:56 pm

A couple of weeks later, London.


<David> It was getting late, but David and Viper had needed to make one more stop before they could head home. Once that was done, he kept his hand on her, trying to hurry her along. His eyes darted across the sky. They didn't have long.

<Viper> Curtains were being drawn, street lights were doing their thing where they didn't come on and the Wardens were starting to show up on street corners looking not at all inconspicuous in their tin hats. Then the worst thing happened. That damned siren.

<David> David grabbed her arm and pulled her toward the nearest shelter. It wasn't home, but it would have to do for tonight. He swore to himself. They'd tried so hard not to get caught out again.

<Viper> There was no point resisting but she hated this a lot. They barely made it to the door before the first explosion sounded a few streets away.

<David> David shielded her as they ducked inside, pushing her further inside.

<Viper> She hurried down the steps ahead of him, feeling claustrophobic all of a sudden - there were a lot more people than usual inside. She turned toward David rather than be squashed face to face with some stranger.

<David> David wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close to him as he watched the ceiling, listening to the bombers above them.

<Viper> Viper leaned against him to keep up the charade but mostly it was so she could look as bored as she felt and not worry about anyone noticing.

<David> Another explosion rocked the floor, causing David to swear softly. That was too close for comfort.

<Viper> Viper glanced up at the ceiling, a large crack had formed in it. She sidestepped and took David with her as a piece of it fell down.

<David> There was screaming as that piece of ceiling fell. David swore again and looked up, trying to figure out what they were supposed to do.

<Viper> The street outside took a direct hit. There was no time to figure out what to do as the shelter came crashing down around them.

<David> David did have the presence of mind to push her down and lay on top of her as the concrete fell on top of him. Her head was shielded, which was his last thought before everything went black.

<Viper> Viper coughed, concrete dust was not a good thing to inhale. She managed to shift David's weight enough to roll them both onto their sides. Predictably, the whole thing had collapsed on them. There were moans from others trapped in the rubble but she ignored them, feeling for a pulse on David.

<David> His heart had stopped, leaving him with no pulse to give her.

<Viper> Well damn. Now what was she supposed to do? She smacked him a little. Idiot!

<David> His body lay there, lifeless as more bombs fell around the city.

<Viper> She shoved him to rid her of his weight and checked herself over by feel for any injuries. Adrenaline was a wonderful thing but somewhat irritating when it made you ignore pain.

<David> David's heart started pumping again as his body began to repair the damage. His fingers twitched slightly.

<Viper> Viper felt the movement and eyed the lifeless shape in the dark that was David's body, pausing in her inspection of herself. "David?" she whispered.

<David> He coughed as he began to regain consciousness, groaning just a bit.

<Viper> Well that was a good sign. Odd. But good. "David?" she tried again, "Say something."

<David> "Did anyone get that license number?" he grumbled, trying to sit up.

<Viper> Viper pushed him back down again, "Unless you want to hit your head again, I would suggest remaining horizontal."

<David> He groaned again, holding his head at the rush.

<Viper> Viper smacked his shoulder, fairly hard. "You idiot!" she hissed, "Why didn't you say something?"

<David> "Like... duck?" He questioned, rubbing his head.

<Viper> Her expression was unimpressed, "No."

<David> He stared at her long and hard. "I don't know what you're talking about."

<Viper> "You were dead." She was having none of that denial though she kept her voice down so any other conscious survivors didn't hear her.

<David> "....I got better?"

<Viper> "You did." She wrinkled her nose then, reaching up to touch the side of her head. The adrenaline was wearing off and now she was feeling injuries. Minor cuts and scrapes but they stung with all the dust.

<David> "I was always better," he corrected. "I was never dead."

<Viper> Viper shook her head, "You were - I felt for a pulse. I'm not an idiot."

<David> "It must have just slowed or was difficult to find. I know you are not an idiot, but I was not dead."

<Viper> She frowned at him. He was lying. "I don't believe you."

<David> He rubbed the back of his neck, trying to sit up a bit.

<Viper> Viper shoved him back down again then groped for her purse to retrieve a handkerchief so she could try to wipe off the blood from her face.

<David> He grumbled and looked around them. "What exactly do you think I should have told you?"

<Viper> "How fast you heal," she got rid of what she could feel sticky on her skin and felt the wound that had made all the mess knitting back together.

<David> He grumbled more. "Or maybe you hit your head."

<Viper> "I did. But that is beside the point." She extracted another handkerchief and offered it to him.

<David> Sighing, he took it. "Fine. You win."

<Viper> "Why didn't you say something?" She touched the spot where the wound was healing experimentally. Concussion. Mild and healing but painful.

<David> "I'm not supposed to. Very few people know what I can do for obvious reasons."

<Viper> "I imagine even fewer people have it in common with you." She moved her legs experimentally to see how much room there was.

<David> "I've met very few," he agreed, watching her.

<Viper> "You can add one more to the list." Giving a lump of rubble a small push, she determined it wouldn't dislodge anything really heavy and moved it aside, drawing her legs up and shuffling so that she could sit up again.

<David> David just stared. "What are you talking about?"

<Viper> Another pair of stockings ruined, she grumbled a little. Taking off a shoe, she removed a bloodied stocking, wiping away the smear of blood on her leg and gesturing to the healing gash on the side of her calf.

<David> He grabbed her leg and watched, grinning. "Well then."

<Viper> She took off her other shoe and stocking, balling up the ruined silk and stuffing it in her purse. "I suppose we have to wait until bombs stop falling for someone to come to dig us out."

<David> "Advisable yes. I don't care to go blabbing this secret to all of London." He rolled onto his side to watch her better.

<Viper> "I don't know how many more survived... there were... sounds when I regained consciousness but now it seems to have gone quiet."

<David> "If we could help them, I would say we should. Kind of pointless. We can't do anything for them."

<Viper> "Some may have survived with only minor injuries, it is possible... there were a lot of people." She listened again but with fire engine bells clanging and the rumbling of more bombs falling, it was impossible to tell if there were other people still moving.

<David> "I'm just glad we're both alive," he pointed out, starting to wonder if he could die.

<Viper> "Yes... it would be most annoying to have to send a letter to say something had happened to you." She'd have to get used to a whole new bodyguard and all that grieving she'd have to be seen to be doing. Ugh.

<David> "So sorry to nearly have inconvenienced you."

<Viper> "Could have jepordised the whole operation." She pointed out in hushed tones.

<David> "Indeed it would, wouldn't it?"

<Viper> "Next time we get caught on the street, we should find somewhere better constructed to hide."

<David> "I'll make that my top priority," he snapped.

<Viper> Viper frowned a little. Was he angry with her? Why was he angry? Or was that fear again? She always got those confused. "What's the matter?"

<David> He stared at her. She really was inept! "When someone nearly dies, it is usually of more concern than one's own inconvenience."

<Viper> She cocked her head on one side, "But you're fine."

<David> "It doesn’t matter," he snapped. "Just forget it." He had to sit up now. He rolled away from her so she couldn't stop him.

<Viper> She blinked, "It certainly sounds like it matters..."

<David> "Drop it," he snapped again, surveying himself and using the handkerchief to clean up the worst of the blood.

<Viper> "Why? Something is bothering you and I want to know what it is. Now is as good a time as any to talk about it. We're going to be down here for hours. Are you going to spend the whole time sulking?"

<David> "Yes." He admitted, continuing to clean himself up. She was not normal. She healed like him, but she seemed to have healed some parts of her brain that shouldn't have been healed.

<Viper> She frowned, tucking her legs under herself, "I can't avoid doing whatever it was again if you don't tell me what I did."

<David> "You can't avoid this anyway." He grumbled.

<Viper> "Avoid what?" She was getting frustrated and that was never a good thing - people got hurt.

<David> "Oh so that gets an emotional response out of you. Fascinating. I'll file that away."

<Viper> Oh. That. "I see." She looked at him for a moment before glancing away again.

<David> David fiddled with his boots, relacing them. He glanced up to watch the planes still flying overhead.

<Viper> After a long silence she sighed, deciding to offer something out in the vague hope it would help, "I don't know why I am like this."

<David> "I don't know why either," he offered, looking over at her again. "But you need to watch that in public."

<Viper> "And I do," she pointed out, "Every action I take and word I speak is carefully considered when I know I have an audience. Have I not been playing my part well?"

<David> "For the most part, yes." He rubbed his head, sighing.

<Viper> "Would you prefer I continue the act when we're alone? Would that make you feel better?"

<David> "No." He snapped. He wasn't five. he didn't need coddled.

<Viper> "Then what would you have me do?"

<David> "I told you to forget about it already. Do nothing different." He looked over at her again.

<Viper> "But it's making you.... angry?" she guessed.

<David> He was never going on another mission with a woman. Ever. Ever! He rubbed his forehead. "I'm not angry."

<Viper> She frowned again, "You're something."

<David> He laughed a little. "Yeah. Let's leave it at that."

<Viper> "Is this going to continue to be a problem?"

<David> "No." He was so ready for a nap too.

<Viper> "Your voice sounds odd."

<David> "It sounds annoyed."

<Viper> "I don't understand why you're annoyed."

<David> "Did you miss the part where I said drop it? Forget it? Move on? Leave it alone? There is nothing wrong?"

<Viper> "But there is something wrong.... You are angry with me for something I have no control over. I told you, I don't know why I am this way. If I knew what to do about it, I would do it."

<David> "Which is why I am not annoyed with that. I am annoyed that you are still talking about it."

<Viper> "What would you prefer we talked about?"

<David> Anything. Literally... anything. "How are we going to get out of here?"

<Viper> "I thought we were going to wait for the rescue crews to arrive and dig us out... or have you changed your mind?"

<David> "Rather not be here to have to explain why we are uninjured."

<Viper> "And the people trapped down here that might have survived? What if they remember us?"

<David> "Do you think they are going to remember two random faces?"

<Viper> "Yours is fairly distinctive."

<David> He smirked at that. "So how do we explain unharmed?"

<Viper> "Lucky? There are stranger things that have happened in this war..."

<David> "Hell let's try it then. I think that is more farfetched than disappearing."

<Viper> "Because you don't listen to the wireless all day." She offered him a small smile.

<David> David shrugged and kicked a bit of concrete with his foot, trying to pull himself back together. He was so ready to get out of there.

<Viper> She had mostly stopped bleeding now and she made her way carefully to him on her hands and knees, reaching to place a hand on his shoulder, "If you think it would help... teach me."

<David> He blinked a bit. "Teach you what exactly?"

<Viper> "How to be... normal, I suppose... like everyone else. I know I'm different. But I can learn..."

<David> He smiled at her and nodded. "Yeah. I can help you with that."
:quicksilver Pietro Maximoff [Quicksilver]

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Hawkeye: What is that noise?
IronMan: That is the noise Pietro makes right before he's tossed out of the airlock. ~ Avengers: The Children's Crusade #6

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Re: The Dragon and the Serpent

Post by Svartfreja » Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:01 pm

Summer. A field outside their quiet village.


<Viper> Stakeouts were the most boring things. The people watching part was not too bad but all the sitting in one place and waiting for something interesting to take place was tedious at best. Viper flopped onto her stomach on the picnic blanket, picking up the binoculars and watching a bird by the stream instead of what they were supposed to be watching. At least it was a nice day so they had a good excuse for outdoor lunch.

<Viper> The kingfisher in her sights darted like blue lightning into the river and she adjusted her view to look for it again. They were enchanting to watch, such bright colours.

<David> David had pretended to read the same page in his book for the past, well, he wasn't sure how long. Noticing her movements with the binoculars, he glanced over at her. "See anything interesting?"

<Viper> "There's a kingfisher hunting on the river," she offered in response, finding it again and refocusing.

<David> David shook his head and looked back to their assignment. "Keep an eye on that slippery thing."

<Viper> She smirked, "I will. It's not very well camoflaged."

<David> He laughed and relaxed, turning the page in his book. "I would imagine not."

<Viper> "Want to see?" She offered, glancing at him. "Have you ever seen one before?"

<David> "I'm good," he shrugged it off. "Is there any bread left?"

<Viper> "Probably..." she went back to her binoculars, "I don't think we ate everything."

<David> Setting his book aside, David pulled the basket to him, digging through it. "Do you want anything while I'm searching?"

<Viper> She shook her head, "I'm fine." She never ate much... which was just as well with all the rationing. "Are we sure they gave us the right coordinates? It's been days and there's been no activity in that field at all."

<David> "No," he admitted. "We should find a way to alert them."

<Viper> "I'll send them a postcard." She turned her head to smirk at him, "Perhaps I'll paint a kingfisher on it."

<David> "You paint?" He questioned, leaning back with his bread prize.

<Viper> "There isn't much to do when you're living in an orphanage." She set down the binoculars, rolling onto her side and propping herself up on an elbow.

<David> David looked between her and the target. While he had read her file, he still found this revelation shocking. "I'm not very artistic."

<Viper> "Maybe I could teach you this? In return for your help?" She offered him a smile, "It would be something to do... a good cover story, even."

<David> He made a face, but nodded. "Yeah, I can't argue that. You can teach me how to make art."

<Viper> She laughed a little, "You make it sound like I am going to torture you."

<David> "You might be," he reasoned, taking a bite of the bread.

<Viper> She shook her head, "No... if I was going to do that, I would be honest with you."

<David> Smirking at that, he smiled. "I do believe you on that note."

<Viper> "Why would I lie about that?" She smirked, "It'd be no fun at all."

<David> Smirking more, David nodded. "No fun? You find torturing fun?"

<Viper> "Is that bad?" She went back to her binoculars.

<David> "Yes, but not for people like us."

<Viper> "Because of our jobs, yes?" She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye, "How does it make you feel?"

<David> "I don't," he admitted, taking another bit of bread and chewing on it. He stared at their target, so bored with the stake out.

<Viper> "You don't?" She turned her head towards him.

<David> "Not when I do that."

<Viper> "And afterwards?"

<David> He shrugged. "We have a job to do."

<Viper> She eyed him with suspicion. Maybe it was possible to turn it off? She didn't know what it was like to be normal. "It never bothers you at all?" She'd seen it get to some people, they broke down in hallways sometimes weeks later.

<David> He looked over at her. "When you lose your entire family in one horrific day, nothing else really matters after that."

<Viper> Viper nodded, her expression pensive, "Maybe that's what happened to me..."

<David> "It's quite possible." He placed a gentle hand on her shoulder.

<Viper> "I remember everything about that night..." she frowned, "And the next day."

<David> "Do you want to talk about it?" He asked, half afraid she would.

<Viper> "I've never talked about it... so I don't know." She set her binoculars down, "I can tell you what happened if you want to know."

<David> "That is entirely up to you." He took the binoculars and looked across the field.

<Viper> She sighed, rolling onto her back and watching the clouds, "I was six. The reasons didn't get told to me but we had to take a trip in a hurry. The weather was terrible, there was a storm and the rain was so heavy you could hardly see the other side of the road. It only got worse in the dark. I sat in the back of the car, watching my mother and father argue in whispers so I couldn't hear."

<Viper> Her eyes flicked to him momentarily, "I suppose he didn't see the turn, at least until my mother screamed. The car left the road and went into a tree."

<David> He swallowed and looked over at her. "I'm sorry. That must have been terrible."

<Viper> A frown creased her brow again as she tried to recall whether or not it was terrible, "I suppose it must have been..." she conceded, not really sure one way or another. "When the car stopped moving I sat for a while and waited for them to say something or turn to see if I was alright... but nothing happened. I didn't know what I was supposed to do so I stayed in the car until someone found us the next day."

<David> "My wife was having our first child. And then the blood started. And it didn't stop." He looked around on the ground for some pebbles.

<Viper> She looked over at him again, "Did Hydra find you or did you find them?"

<David> "I found them. I got bored building my empire."

<Viper> "I sometimes wonder where I'd be now if they hadn't found me." She studied his face while he avoided her gaze, "I was in a state orphanage for two years... it was unpleasant. Then some people came and took me away. There were other girls in the new house, all around the same age. They recruited all of us but only one was allowed to get the job. I suppose I was lucky."

<David> "You were. And I'm glad you're here." He pocketed the stones he felt smooth enough for skipping.

<Viper> "You are?" She was genuinely surprised, "I don't think anyone's ever said that to me before."

<David> "I wonder why not. You've been a great partner."

<Viper> "Usually people focus more on my emotional shortcomings... At least I assume that's the problem, I've never asked." She sat up, glancing across the field, "The name they gave me is a title I earned in that house... I didn't make any friends there... I suppose that helped then, but now... now it makes all of this very hard work for me."

<David> "You have a friend. Forget the rest of them. Most of them are useless pawns anyway." He flicked a piece of bread at her.

<Viper> She laughed, "They are! But that is how I view most people so it's no different to me really... except I have to try not to play with them too much."

<David> He smirked. "Well, I like the way we play," he told her, quickly looking around to be sure they were still alone.

<Viper> "Is that so? What do you like about it most?" She raised an eyebrow suggestively.

<David> He pulled her to him, stealing a kiss.

<Viper> She smiled in the kiss, keeping him in it a little longer with a light hand on the back of his neck. There was nothing happening in the mysterious field so they had some time to kill after all.

<Viper> [Time Passes]

<David> David flipped through his book again, not sure at all what the story was even about. He kept glancing up at their target, about to call it a bust.

<Viper> As the afternoon turned into evening, it started to get a little chilly. Viper rubbed the tops of her arms distractedly and took another cursory look across the field. Still nothing. "I think we've seen enough for today. Perhaps we should try coming back after dark."

<David> He passed her his jacket and started packing up their basket. "Good idea."

<Viper> "The best part about this is that we get to sneak around and break their funny little curfew," she smirked, dropping the binoculars in the basket and getting up so they could fold up the blanket.

<David> "Thanks for the help," he told her, picking up the basket.

<Viper> "It's the least I can do," she inclined her head in acknowledgement of the thanks, however.

<David> "By the way... I am going to enjoy this breaking curfew."

<Viper> "I think I am too," she admitted, "I do like breaking rules."

<David> "Something else we have in common," he pointed out.

<Viper> "They do seem to have excelled themselves with this partnership."

<David> "Of all the partners I've had, you're by far the most competent." He smiled at her, offering his arm.

<Viper> She took his arm, "Well I should hope so. I've been in training since I was a child."

<David> He smirked, nodding. "I would hope so too." He led her toward home.
:quicksilver Pietro Maximoff [Quicksilver]

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Hawkeye: What is that noise?
IronMan: That is the noise Pietro makes right before he's tossed out of the airlock. ~ Avengers: The Children's Crusade #6

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Re: The Dragon and the Serpent

Post by Svartfreja » Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:30 pm

Weeks later. France.


<Viper> It was far too quiet. Boring. Viper sat on the windowsil of the second story, feet on the outside, and watched the river across the field. Maybe she'd go for a walk and scare up some fun.

<David> David had lounged himself across the sofa, nose deep in his current novel. As he turned the page, he glanced over at Viper to check on her. She looked... peaceful?

<Viper> "I think I might go to the market," she said after another long silence. There was nothing to do in the house other than read and she was so very bored. England had been tedious with its rationing and blackouts and curfews but at least it had been exciting.

<David> "Would you like some company?" he asked, already putting a marker in his book.

<Viper> "If you want to come with me, I won't stop you." She lifted her legs over the sil to put her feet on the floor again. She reached down for her shoes and slid them back on, "If you'd rather stay and read your book, I can manage."

<David> "Except that isn't what I asked," he told her, smirking and going for his own shoes.

<Viper> "I couldn't care less one way or the other," she lied, picking up her purse.

<David> Shaking his head, David sighed and got his jacket.

<Viper> Figuring he'd catch up, she left the house ahead of him and started down the lane in the opposite direction to the market.

<David> With his long legs and naturally brisk gait, he caught up with her in no time, sliding an arm around her shoulders.

<Viper> She glanced at him in vague acknowlegement of the gesture then continued her intent study of the treeline.

<David> He walked with her quietly, enjoying the fresh air and being near her.

<Viper> "I don't like it here," she said, eventually, glancing at him again.

<David> "I'm afraid we don't have much choice. It won’t be forever," he assured her.

<Viper> "It's too quiet," she complained, "There is nothing to do."

<David> "There's plenty to do. We're in France, for pete's sake." He looked down at her. "We'll find something to do."

<Viper> "Like what?" She raised an eyebrow at him, "Read books? Sit around the house?"

<David> "We've already done that," he pointed out.

<Viper> "We have. So what is left?"

<David> "There are plenty of places to go and see." He gave her a squeeze.

<Viper> "What good is that? It'll just be a new place to be bored in."

<David> "You don't know that. You should appreciate the world around you. It's beautiful."

<Viper> "I do know that. Life isn't so interesting without a little bit of risk involved. There is no risk here."

<David> "Except we heal. That means that risk means little to nothing to us," he pointed out.

<Viper> "It's still more fun than sitting around the house," she argued.

<David> "It is. And maybe we can find some interesting foods to try."

<Viper> "I've already tried them all." She was nothing if not adventurous.

<David> "You've tried every food ever made?" He questioned her.

<Viper> "Everything local. It would be difficult to get anything else here." She paused to watch a butterfly, a flash of movement later saw her catch it and she studied it fluttering in a cage created by her fingers.

<David> David paused, watching her with the butterfly.

<Viper> She watched it for a long time, even after it stopped struggling, then she opened her hand to let it go.

<David> "How did you do that?" he inquired softly.

<Viper> "Hmm? I've always been good at catching things." Letting them go, not so much.

<David> She'd caught his attention, that was for sure. He smiled and guided her along again.

<Viper> "I used to collect them."

<David> "Alive?" he dared to ask.

<Viper> "They were alive when I caught them."

<David> Smirking a bit, he led her down toward the river. "And what did you do with them?"

<Viper> "I kept them on display in cases in my room, painted pictures, learned about them. I taught myself a lot of things."

<David> "We can pick up some paint supplies," he decided.

<Viper> "To continue your lessons?" she smirked a little.

<David> "Yes." Though he found it boring, she enjoyed it.

<Viper> She laughed, knowing he hated it. "You needn't join me if you'd rather not."

<David> "I will paint," he emphasized. "And we will enjoy our time."

<Viper> "Will we now?" she laughed at the instruction.

<David> "Yes," he told her, laughing. "And we will eat French food."

<Viper> "Wonderful." She rolled her eyes a little, "If you like, I could teach you how to catch things like that too."

<David> Now this piqued his interest. "Yes please."

<Viper> "It's really not that hard... it just takes patience and you have plenty of that."

<David> "I doubt that assessment very much," he admitted, pausing to look at the fish jumping in the river.

<Viper> "Why?" She turned to look at him, catching his face with her finger tips and gently turning his head so he was looking at her.

<David> "Because I don't. I get impatient with things, same as you." For instance, he wanted to kiss those finger tips, but he knew it was a fruitless path.

<Viper> She shook her head, "Not the same..." She turned to head back along the path and across the low wooden bridge.

<David> "Just different areas," he muttered to himself, following her.

<Viper> She walked along in silence for a while until she found a field with livestock in it where she stopped again and approached the fence for a closer look.

<David> David moved closer to her, wrapping his arms around her and watching the cattle with her.

<Viper> Viper hadn't been this close to a cow before. They looked stupid. Clumsy. She cocked her head on one side.

<David> They were both of those things. David just enjoyed the moment. He needed to find her something to study.

<Viper> She frowned for a moment, considering hopping the fence to get a closer look but he had his arms around her. "They don't smell as bad as sheep."

<David> "They still smell horrible," he pointed out.

<Viper> "Yes." She turned in his arms to face him, "Shall we look for something that smells nicer?"

<David> "Mmmm what do you have in mind?" He asked, smiling down at her.

<Viper> "Well, you may not have noticed, but we're going the wrong direction for the market... so we can continue to go the wrong way or turn around."

<David> "We know what turning around leads to. Let's keep going the wrong way."

<Viper> "Alright then," she offered a small smile. "Maybe we'll find some wild flowers and we can make the house look nice."

<David> He returned her smile. "I am a sucker for wildflowers."

<Viper> "I know." She stepped back from him but captured his hand, "Come on."
:quicksilver Pietro Maximoff [Quicksilver]

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IronMan: That is the noise Pietro makes right before he's tossed out of the airlock. ~ Avengers: The Children's Crusade #6

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Re: The Dragon and the Serpent

Post by Svartfreja » Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:16 pm

Weeks later. Still France.


<David> The rain had driven David and Viper inside, which he was positive was going to drive her insane if it hadn't already. So far, he had showered, eaten, reorganized his clothes, and finished a book. Now what? He looked over at Viper to see what she was doing.

<Viper> Viper had found something to occupy herself with. All the lessons in bug catching she'd given David had paid off and she was now dissecting the specimens one at a time to see how all the parts connected. She was currently working on a beetle under a microscope with fine tools, a glass of wine on the desk beside her. One thing that was good about France was all the wine.

<David> He stared, watching her for a moment. Such precison. She was so focused on what she was doing. He marveled at that, forgetting himself.

<Viper> Getting the armour of the beetle off in one piece was tricky but not impossible and she set it carefully down to one side then picked up her glass of wine because she'd definitely earned a sip. She realised then that she was being stared at and raised an eyebrow at the starer over the rim of her glass.

<David> Caught in the act, he got up to go closer, taking a better look at what she was doing. "That's an amazing amount of skill."

<Viper> "I have very steady hands," she offered a smirk, "It's useful for a variety of reasons."

<David> "Yes. Yes it is." He smirked back at her and placed a kiss to the top of her head before he left for the window.

<Viper> She put her glass down and picked up her tools again, "Do you think we'll get an assignment soon? I can only dissect so many insects before I run out of variety."

<David> "I sure hope so. You aren't the only one who gets bored," he pointed out, watching the rain fall outside.

<Viper> "I do like the sound of rain though." Despite the memories heavy rain summoned up, the bad things never affected her.

<David> "I do as well. It's a very soothing sound." He looked back at her.

<Viper> She set her tools down again, pushing her seat back and pouring a second glass of wine. She picked up both glasses and brought them over to him, offering him the fresh one. "I suppose I should take a break."

<David> "If you want," he took the glass and took a sip. His arm slid around her as he stared out the window.

<Viper> She leaned against him, taking the gesture to mean that he wanted her to take a break. "What shall we do tonight?"

<David> "If the rain stops, I have a surprise. Don't try to figure it out."

<Viper> "A surprise?" She raised an eyebrow, "I'm not sure I like surprises."

<David> He laughed a little, grinning. "I know."

<Viper> "But you're not going to give me any clues?" She pouted.

<David> "Not a one." He grinned more, pleased with himself.

<Viper> "I don't think that's fair."

<David> "It absolutely is."

<Viper> She shook her head in disagreement and took another sip of her wine, her gaze focusing on the rain again.

<David> He actually giggled a little. This was fun.

<Viper> Viper disagreed about it being fun, her mind already working to try and figure out the surprise. It was difficult, there were no previous instances for her to compare it to or extrapolate from.

<David> He peeked down at her, pleased with himself. "Don't you worry about it."

<Viper> "If you didn't want me to think about it you shouldn't have told me about the surprise in advance."

<David> He giggled again, trying to suppress it by kissing the top of her head.

<Viper> She scowled a little at the obvious amusement. Of course he was enjoying this.

<David> "At least one of us isn't bored now. You'll have plenty to think about."

<Viper> "You're getting more out of this than I am - I was fine with my insects."

<David> "Were you now? And for how long?" He gave her a bit of a look.

<Viper> "Until I run out of them I will be just fine." Then she'd have to find something else to study as they'd already combed their location for the full insect spectrum.

<David> "This will hopefully delay that until we get a mission."

<Viper> "Well now I'm really intrigued... does it have to wait until the rain stops?"

<David> "Unfortunately, it does." He was not taking that walk in the rain.

<Viper> "Then I will need a further distraction," she surmised.

<David> He smirked at that announcement. "And what did you have in mind?"

<Viper> "I'm sure you'll think of something."

<David> Setting his glass down, David pulled her to him gently.

<Viper> Viper drained what little was left in her glass and set it down on the window sil, sliding her arms around him.

<David> His hand slid to her face, gently brushing her hair back. His fingers moved down to her cheek, stroking it gently.

<Viper> She turned her face into his hand, enjoying the contact and offered him a smile.

<David> David smiled back and leaned down to her, kissing her softly.

<Viper> She returned the kiss, tugging at the back of his shirt and taking a step toward the bed.

<David> --Time Passes--

<David> By the time they were finished, the rain had stopped. David fussed over his hair in the bathroom mirror, trying to get it just right.

<Viper> Viper watched him, perched on the edge of the bath in her underwear. She wasn't in much of a hurry to get dressed.

<David> David was more nervous than anything. He hid it well, as always. He looked back at her through the mirror and smiled.

<Viper> She returned the smile, adjusting her stockings, then got to her feet, "Should I finish getting dressed?"

<David> "Of course you should." He smiled more.

<Viper> She headed back into the bedroom to retrieve the rest of her clothes... slowly.

<David> That was just fine with him. He could use the delay. He worked on making himself handsome while he waited.

<Viper> Once dressed, she sat down and carefully pinned up her hair before going to the window to breathe in the cool damp air. Everything smelled so much fresher and cleaner after rain.

<David> Dressed, fussed over, and feeling marginally confident, David put his boots on. "Ready when you are."

<Viper> "I'm ready." Though, for what she still didn't know. She turned back toward him.

<David> He held out his arm, offering it to her.

<Viper> She took his arm with a small smile, "Such a gentleman."

<David> David grinned. "Always." He led her out and down and toward his surprise.

<Viper> She let him lead her, growing ever more curious about the contents of this surprise.

<David> David led her to a car. He opened the door for her, still grinning and offering his help to get her in.

<Viper> She accepted the help, sliding into a seat and offering another smile.

<David> Once they arrived at their remote spot, David got out of the car quickly to let her out, offering his hand to help her out.

<Viper> She, again, took the help and looked around curiously for any sign of his plans.

<David> He smirked and nodded in the correct direction. He had several targets set up and had gotten his hand on some lower level weapons. Things that wouldn't alert those back in town to what they were doing. "It's not the same as real ones... but close."

<Viper> Viper looked over her shoulder at him when she realised what he'd laid out for her, a look of disbelief on her face. "You did all this for me?"

<David> David just grinned.

<Viper> A normal person probably would have hugged then, but this wasn't a surprise for a normal person. She turned for the range he'd set up and picked up one of the weapons, turning it over in her hand.

<David> David leaned back against a nearby tree, content with just watching.

<Viper> Her practiced hands checked and loaded each weapon in turn and she fired at each target, never missing her mark.

<David> Bingo. David smiled as he watched her, also assessing her skill. He couldn't have been matched with a more equal partner.

<Viper> Feeling somewhat better, she turned to him again after setting down the last weapon, "How did you manage to acquire all of these?"

<David> "It's my secret," he smiled at her.

<Viper> "I'm not sure I like you keeping secrets." She trailed a hand over one of the weapons idly.

<David> "Only this one," he promised.

<Viper> "Promise?" She cocked her head on one side.

<David> "Promise." He nodded at her.

<Viper> She smiled, stepping toward him, her hand relinquishing contact with the weapon. "This was very thoughtful of you."

<David> "You were bored," he reminded her. "I fixed it, even if for a short time."

<Viper> "And what about your own boredom?"

<David> "I got to orchestrate this," he grinned. "That was plenty fun."

<Viper> She laughed, shaking her head, "And what now?"

<David> He moved to the trunk of the car and pulled out a basket. "Now for the other reason why it had to stop raining."

<Viper> "You packed a picnic?" she laughed, "You think of everything."

<David> Laughing, he moved to her, sliding his hand to the small of her back to guide her to their picnic spot. "I try."

<Viper> She leaned lightly against him as they walked, "I sometimes wonder what they imagine we get up to while we have downtime."

<David> "I hope they don't wonder too much about it. If they find out I'm planning picnics, my reputation is shot."

<Viper> She laughed again, "Well it's safe with me, so long as you keep making those picnics just for us."

<David> He gave her a fake, exasperated sigh as he paused to lay out the blanket. "If you insist," he grinned.

<Viper> "Of course I insist," she smirked in return, "I get jealous, you know."

<David> "Of.... what?" he questioned, plopping down on the blanket once he had it flat on the ground.

<Viper> "Other people, of course." She sat down beside him, tucking her legs underneath her.

<David> "And what about other people makes you jealous?" he asked, opening up the basket and setting out their food.

<Viper> "Things they have that I want, naturally."

<David> "Naturally. And what do you want?" he grinned as he opened the bottle of wine, pouring it for the two of them.

<Viper> "At the moment? Nothing." She cocked her head on one side.

<David> "Seems I did my job well then." He passed a glass to her.

<Viper> "Thank you," she took the glass and raised it to him in toast, "I have yet to be truely disappointed."

<David> Smirking into his own glass, David nodded a bit. "Good."

<Viper> "You were worried?" she took a sip of her drink, smirking in amusement herself.

<David> "Of course I wasn't worried." He scoffed at her.

<Viper> She laughed, "You wound me."

<David> "I strive to please," he shrugged a bit.

<Viper> She gave him a shove.

<David> David laughed and pulled her into a bit of a hug.

<Viper> She wrapped an arm around him to steady herself, "I suppose I could do a lot worse."

<David> He ruffled her hair for that one.

<Viper> She was apt to change her mind, and emptied her glass into his lap. Now they were even.

<David> "Ack!" He jumped up... then paused, smirking. "You know. You only had to ask." His pants came off!

<Viper> She laughed, "Where would be the fun in that?"
:quicksilver Pietro Maximoff [Quicksilver]

Quicksilver: Howisshe?Isshealright?Imusetspeakwithmysisteratonce.
Hawkeye: What is that noise?
IronMan: That is the noise Pietro makes right before he's tossed out of the airlock. ~ Avengers: The Children's Crusade #6

Svartfreja
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Re: The Dragon and the Serpent

Post by Svartfreja » Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:18 am

The following Spring. A Hydra base in Germany.


<Viper> Hooooome! Viper was delighted to be back at Hydra after over a year of absence. An absence full of tedious missions in countries that couldn't get anything nice if you were trying to go unnoticed and live legally. Now she could have whatever she wanted, whatever she was used to, and she was going to make the most of it.

<Viper> Only one thing about the missions had been tolerable - her assigned partner. But now that they were back in a base it was unlikely they'd see each other very much. After stopping by a lab to see what they were working on now, she headed down to one of the common areas to eavesdrop on conversations and find out what had happend while they'd been away - this was usually the only way she'd find out.

<Viper> No one volunteered information to her unless she intimidated them into it and, for this, it wasn't worth it. Most people seemed to avoid her and conversation with her as much as possible. She didn't mind though, people were stupid. Sitting down with a cup of coffee, she opened a book and sat back in her chair.

<David> David, however, was having the time of his life. Finally, an audience for all of his stories! He found himself in the middle of a crowd, recanting the non-secure stories of their triumph... and maybe a little embellished. "Then I fought off 12 British soldiers with just my bare hands!"

<Viper> Viper snorted from behind her book but refrained from further comment, picking up her coffee for a sip. Mmmmm...

<David> After some time, David was done with his stories. The crowd dispersed and his eyes landed on her. A very slight smile across his lips as he crossed the area to sit beside her.

<Viper> Viper glanced up, catching the movement out of the corner of her eye, "I think you should see the doctor - your memory is faulty."

<David> He grinned, laughing a little. "It's like a fish story. It gets bigger every time you tell it."

<Viper> "How many times have you told it to turn three into twelve?" She raised an eyebrow at him over her book, her smirk hidden by the pages.

<David> "Eleven." He grinned at her, watching her.

<Viper> She laughed a little and shook her head, "It's a good thing no one wants my stories or you may have some explaining to do."

<David> "Aww don't be like that. I want your stories. Am I no one?"

<Viper> "You know my stories," she pointed out, "And you wouldn't have wanted to hear them if we'd had anything better to do."

<David> He flicked a bit of her hair. "I would so have."

<Viper> "I suppose we'll never know," she waved his hand away and lowered her book. "You needn't pretend to be interested anymore."

<David> He smirked at her. "Who says I was pretending?"

<Viper> An eyebrow raised in response to the question but she offered no comment and picked up her coffee cup to get a refill.

<David> David was quick to hold out his hand. "Here. Let me."

<Viper> She passed him the cup and leaned back in her seat, never one to say no to someone offering to do something for her.

<David> He was gone to get her coffee, just the way she liked it. While he was there, he got some tea for himself.

<Viper> She watched him for a moment then reached for her book again, wondering why he was still trying to be nice to her.

<David> He returned with their two beverages, sitting down beside her and offering her the coffee.

<Viper> She inclined her head in thanks as she accepted the cup, studying him again for any clues to his behaviour.

<David> David raised his cup to her before taking a sip. "Glad to be back?"

<Viper> She nodded, "Yes, we can finally eat real food again."

<David> "And all the coffee you can drink," he laughed at her, watching her.

<Viper> "Indeed," she smirked and took a sip of the beverage in question, her eyes wandering over the other agents in the room who she knew were stealing glances their way. She frowned slightly, "You realise you're no longer required to accompany me, yes?"

<David> "Yes." He told her simply, smiling at her.

<Viper> The confusion showed on her face for a moment, "Then... why?"

<David> "Did it ever occur to you that I want to?"

<Viper> She shook her head, "No one wants to..." she was still confused.

<David> "Well get used to being bothered then." He told her, leaning back with his tea, relaxing.

<Viper> "You're not bothering me..." she set her cup down and shifted in her seat to face him better, "I'm just not used to this..."

<David> "Well... I guess get used to it then." He took another sip from his cup.

<Viper> She offered a small smile, "Fortunately, I'm already used to you."

<David> "Then why are you so shocked that I like your company?" He studied her a moment. "I like spending time with you."

<Viper> "There are others here now... before it was just the two of us... Usually people don't like spending time with me... they're going to think you're odd."

<David> "If they haven't figured that one out for themselves..." he shrugged. "Since when do you care what others think?"

<Viper> "I don't but other people seem to care so I thought you might be like them... and you seem to like people so I think it only fair to warn you that they might start avoiding you if they think you're like me."

<David> She was concerned about him! He just grinned at her. "I doubt they will think I am anything other than how I am."

<Viper> "Well don't say I didn't warn you..." she picked up her coffee again and took another sip.

<David> "It's worth the risk," he grinned at her.

<Viper> The eyebrow went up again, "I doubt many people would agree with you."

<David> "Again with the other people," he nudged her slightly. "I'm not other people."

<Viper> "But everyone you'll have to work with in the future is... I'm only thinking of your future - which will be long."

<David> "Very, long." He smirked at her again, wagging his eyebrows a bit.

<Viper> She laughed and nudged him with her foot under the table which drew more than a few glances from around the room. Most of the agents were of the opinion that the Viper was incapable of finding anything funny.

<David> David just laughed with her. Now there was the Viper laugh he worked so hard to hear! "Will you have dinner with me tonight?"

<Viper> "Of course," she smiled, "If only to give them something more interesting to gossip about."

<David> He grinned at that. "I'll pick you up at your room?"

<Viper> She gave a nod, "What time should I be ready for?"

<David> "7:00." He flicked a bit of her hair again. "Can't wait."

<Viper> She waved that hand away again, "You will have to, there are still some hours to go," she smirked and pushed her chair out to get to her feet. "I think I may go for a walk."

<David> "See you tonight," he told her with a grin, watching her as she moved.

<Viper> "Yes, you will." She offered another smile and bent to pick up her book, reaching to brush her fingers across his shoulders as she pulled away.

<David> That made David grin. He cracked his knuckles and picked up his cup of tea again. Time to train!
:quicksilver Pietro Maximoff [Quicksilver]

Quicksilver: Howisshe?Isshealright?Imusetspeakwithmysisteratonce.
Hawkeye: What is that noise?
IronMan: That is the noise Pietro makes right before he's tossed out of the airlock. ~ Avengers: The Children's Crusade #6

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Re: The Dragon and the Serpent

Post by Svartfreja » Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:46 am

A couple of months later. Hydra. (Final installment!)


<Viper> David had been out for far too long. His mission should have been over hours ago so where was he? Viper paced the floor in his quarters having already broken in to wait for him there. He couldn't have been killed... had he been captured? She helped herself to some scotch and sat down on the corner of his bed.

<David> He had indeed been "captured" after his mission trying to save what he thought was a damsel in distress. Peggy Carter, it turned out, was no damsel. She and her friends had spent the night with David as they got to know each other. Now, as the liquor was wearing off quickly, he started undressing from his uniform as he walked down the corridor.

<David> One of the friends had been Steve Rogers, the other Howard Stark. It had been Howard who talked to David about something he called the SSR. With his skills, he would definitely be a good asset. And to stop criminal organizations? To be a hero? How could he pass that up? He was grinning by the time he opened his door, blinking at seeing Viper there.

<Viper> "David! Where have you been?" Viper was on her feet the instant the door opened, "I thought you'd been caught..."

<David> "With... people..." he gave her an odd look. She was concerned? "I never get caught."

<Viper> She went to him and wrapped her arms around his shoulders, "I was worried you weren't coming back..."

<David> He grinned, despite himself, and slid his arms around her. "Don't you have more faith in me than that?"

<Viper> "You were due back hours ago..." she pointed out but her nose wrinkled a little, "You've been drinking..." and there was something else there, she nosed his shoulder a little. Perfume?

<David> He laughed a little. "Yeah. I made friends. I actually wanted to talk to you about that."

<Viper> She lowered her arms, backing up a little bit, "You've been with a woman..." and she wasn't sure how she felt about it... maybe jealous? Yes. That. Interesting...

<David> Woman? He faltered, then laughed. "You'll love Peggy. Just don't make the mistake of trying to rescue her." He ran his hand through his hair and went to finish changing.

<Viper> Love her? She doubted that. "I think that's unlikely..."

<David> "Well like her at least. She's got a temper." He shrugged out of his uniform shirt, tossing it aside.

<Viper> "That makes two of us..." and he seemed to like that. She frowned.

<David> David laughed a little. "That indeed does make two of you." He pulled a plain white tee over his head, sliding his arms through the sleeves. "Spent a lot of time talking to her and the guys, Howard and Steve. Howard is starting a... program of sorts."

<Viper> "Oh?" She took a sip of the scotch in her glass.

<David> "Stopping international crimes, crime organizations... hero stuff." Satisfied with his attire, David crossed the room to her, taking the scotch and setting it down so he could capture her hands.

<Viper> "So... stopping the organisation that we work for?" She looked down at their hands, frown still creasing her brow.

<David> "Likely might come to that," he admitted. "Which is why I want you to come with me."

<Viper> "What?" She looked up at his face, trying to work out whether or not he was serious.

<David> "Ophelia... I love you. I joined Hydra thinking they were doing the right thing, but they aren't. Howard is on the right track. I'm going... and I want you to go with me."

<Viper> "David..." God damn it! She bowed her head and tried to figure out which one to deal with first. She sighed, pulling her hands from his and going to sit down again. "I don't know what I'd do in an organisation like that..."

<David> "Don't be ridiculious. You do whatever the mission at hand is."

<Viper> "And when I lose my temper? Then what? They're not Hydra, they won't shrug and send me on my way..."

<David> "Then I'll be with you." To protect her, like he always had.

<Viper> "I've been with Hydra my whole life... I don't follow rules..." They wouldn't want her. Hydra knew she was broken but they liked her that way, normal people feared her and they'd look for reasons to lock her away and throw away the key. She didn't want to be trapped in a cell forever, unable to explore and learn - that would be boring. "They won't want me."

<David> "I want you. Isn't that enough?" He brushed her hair back from her face, hand lingering at her cheek.

<Viper> She looked up at him, "You don't want me..."

<David> That made him raise an eyebrow. "I don't?"

<Viper> "We are... friends," she hazarded, somewhat uncertainly, "But... I don't... I can't... and you'll resent that... eventually..."

<David> David nodded, backing up from her. "Right. Friends."

<Viper> She was confused now, "Aren't we?" Had she got that wrong? She'd never had a friend before.

<David> It wasn't her that was wrong, it had been him. Him and his stupid idea that he could have more with her. "No. We are." He pulled her to him, holding her. "And we always will be."

<Viper> She wrapped her arms around him but she was still uncertain, "How? How can we be friends if we're not on the same side?"

<David> He smirked, kissing her forehead. "Aren't you good a breaking rules, Cupcake?"

<Viper> "It's not me I'm worried about..." she pressed her face into his neck. "I don't want you to go... please don't leave..."

<David> "I told you I want you. I won't just abandon you, even if I'm not here."

<Viper> "You promise?" She held on tightly, not wanting her one and only true ally to leave.

<David> "Of course I promise. I just came up with a new nickname for you too," he grinned, nuzzling her softly. "I like Fi. Planned on only torturing you with it when we're alone."

<Viper> Viper managed a small laugh, "I think it's better than cupcake." She gave him a squeeze, "We need to make an arrangement... if you're really going to go... some way we can still talk..."

<David> "Alright... what can we do?" His hand slid to her hair, toying with it.

<Viper> "I don't know..." she chewed her lip, "Maybe I can make something..."

<David> "Howard can probably make something if you can't. He is kind of a whiz with technology. Look at this thing!" He pulled out a tube of lipstick. "He made it for Peggy, but I wanted to show you."

<Viper> "Don't ask for their help!" Did he not get it? "Once you leave here... we're supposed to be enemies - I work for Hydra, remember? They can't know... unless.... unless we passed information? Nothing big... just enough..." she took the lipstick, eyebrow raising.

<David> "I don't have to tell him what it's for, Fi," he told her gently. "It's a toxic lipstick. If you put it on, then kiss someone, it will knock them out."

<Viper> "You need them to trust you... that means no secrets." She inspected the lipstick with interest though, "Can I keep this?"

<David> "Of course you can," he smiled at her. "Oh I've always had my secrets," he waggled his eyebrows at her.

<Viper> She laughed and gave him a small shove, pocketing the lipstick. "Are you going to be okay?"

<David> "Of course I am," he grinned at her. "Are you?"

<Viper> After a pause, she nodded, "I usually am..."

<David> David just smirked and kissed her forehead. "I'll always be your friend."

<Viper> She smiled, "Good... so... how long do you have?"

<David> "Well if you were coming with me... I wanted to leave tonight. Since you aren't... I can wait till morning."

<Viper> She bit her lip, "That's really soon...."

<David> "I don't see a point in delaying it," he pointed out, playing with her hair.

<Viper> She nodded, "I... suppose we should make the most of it then?"

<David> "I'm all for this," David told her with a grin.

<Viper> She smiled, the tiniest flicker of sadness hiding in her eyes, before she pulled him down for a kiss.
:quicksilver Pietro Maximoff [Quicksilver]

Quicksilver: Howisshe?Isshealright?Imusetspeakwithmysisteratonce.
Hawkeye: What is that noise?
IronMan: That is the noise Pietro makes right before he's tossed out of the airlock. ~ Avengers: The Children's Crusade #6

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