Testing the waters
I do not own the rights to any TV show, movie, cartoon, comic, graphic novel or book. Never read Marvel comics growing up, all we had was Astrix & Oblix and Tintin so I am basically going off the movies and what I find on the web.
Thanks for the review
“I can’t believe I am saying this Cap”
THUMP .... “OH UH”
“But you kinda suck at this ...”
“Ahh” Thump thump
“At this hand to hand stuff.” Said a barely out of breath Faith as she rested her right foot on Steve’s chest .... Steve’s very sweaty, perfectly formed chest. Faith quickly backed away, knowing her mind well enough that she would be trying to make Steve sweat for a whole lot of difference reasons if she stayed close to him.
They were still down in the old storage area / boxing gym, Steve still being reluctant to work out in the gym with the rest of the employees. To say their sessions had not got as she thought it would was an understatement. She knew the comics had exaggerated things, after all they had him punching out Hitler, but she had never realized how reliant he had been on his shield.
Sure he may not had access the hand to hand training that was available to both civilians and the military in today’s world but still she had expected him to have had some training. The guy threw down like he was in a bar brawl.
“I survived well enough against Hydra.” Said Steve as he got back up to his feet and walked to his side of the ring where his towel was.
Faith did the same, grabbing a water bottle from a cooler behind the corner pole and taking a swing. “I am not doubting that, but I unless missed something those guys were still your run of the mill humans and like you I doubt they had any idea what a dojo was.”
Resting against the ropes which watched as Steve toweled himself down. “Look one of the first things Diane told me was that despite all upgrades you have as a slayer there is always going to be something bigger, stronger and faster than you, hence all the martial arts and weapons stuff we learn.”
“Here catch.” She grabbed another water bottle and threw it over to him. Nodding his head in thanks he grabbed a stool and pulled it into the ring.
“I am not saying your without skill, you have the drop on me speed wise and obviously height wise but right now I would sooner Xander ...” Faith grimaced for a second “or even Clint rather then you against a master vampire” taking another swing from her bottle.
Steve raised his eyebrows a bit at that. He knew Xander (she had stopped calling him X-man after the debrief on the X-Men) was someone from Sunnydale that she had hurt somehow, as for Clint ‘Hawkeye’, well he knew that he was good at a bow or rifle but apart from that...
“By that I mean they both know what their strengths and weaknesses are, you on the other hand ... well you remind me a bit of myself when I hit Sunny D thinking I was basically unstoppable. And I don’t want you to go through what I had to to figure out otherwise”.
Sensing an opening Steve was about to ask what she meant by that when the elevator opened up and Maria walked in “How’s it going?”
Grabbing her own towel Faith considered her answer. “He’s not doing too bad, we need to work on expanding his range of moves but he is picking it up. It is a bit tricky trying to teach him while sparring with him at the same time.”
Maria nodded, running the options through her head. “I’ll see if Tony can spare Natasha for a couple of days though she may ask that she has a round or two herself. I understand working with Tony can be rather ... frustrating at times.” Both Steve and Faith smirked at that, having both meet the man they could understand the sentiment. Maria looked through the ropes at Steve who was still sitting down leaning against one of the corner poles. “I need to speak to you for a couple of minutes about some HR details.”
Steve turned his head and looked up at Faith who nodded that they where done for the day. “You go ahead, I’ll do a bit of stuff on the punching bag and catch up with you at lunch.” One of the first pieces of common ground they had found was that neither was initially comfortable sitting in the SHIELD cafeteria due to the stares they had gotten. Only as they had gotten the courage to speak to some of the agents, and vice versa the agents to speak to them, had the found it easier.
Once Steve and Maria had left Faith let out a breath and gingerly got out of the ring, sitting on the stairs holding her ribs as the adrenaline dropped and the pain set in. “Jesus the guy hits like a fricking bull”. The dude definitively had some strength in him but she stood by what she said earlier about him only having an advantage in speed. Unless he was holding his punches because she was a woman, which being all honorable and all probably was not off the cards.
“Stupid bloody man being brought up in times when guys actually had bloody manners.” She muttered, leaning back against the corner post as she wandered once again if she fully understood what she had gotten herself into.
Three weeks earlier
Faith was in a good mood I mean yeah it was prison and everything but the inmates had stopped trying to hassle her and all the restrictions placed on her since her last break out had well and truly been lifted. And just then her good mood started to evaporate, her last break out had been to stop an apocalypse at the Hellmouth with Angel and the tacit support of Giles. Which of course made her think of how she had avoided the Scoobies, which of course made her think of Buffy. Even now when she looked back at it she unsure how things had got so fucked up. If she had only opened the door sooner after turning down B’s offer of help, if only Wes had not overheard Buffy and Giles talking, if only ... if only ... god she is going to drive herself crazy thinking of this.
“Faith you have visitors” she looked up at the guard
“Oh Jack you mean you did not just come over to see me” she quipped back with a cheeky grin.
Jack just smiled “ I’m sure the warden would have something to say if I did, now hurry up.”
Faith got up from the table, ignoring some of the glares she was getting from the older inmates. It was general knowledge that the warden and many of the guards had a bit of a soft spot for Faith despite her continued escapes. 95% of the time she was a model prisoner, the other 5% she was either defending herself or another inmate who was being pressed by one of the female gangs.
“Hey where are we going?” asked Faith noticing that they were not heading towards the visitor room.
“Not those kind of visitors, sounds like some suits are interested in you.” And with that Jack moved her towards the interrogation rooms.
That got Faith’s attention. It could not be her lawyer otherwise Angel would have give her the heads up. It could be Wolfram and Heart trying to make a deal or the cops ...Faith stopped her face going pale. She had been pretty forthcoming in the statement but there was something she had left out partially due to shame and partially due what little self-preservation she had left.
Jack stopped and put on the official resolve face used by all prison guards. “Look I don’t know what this is about, but you’re smart enough to know how this works.”
Faith nodded and entered the interview room. ‘Definitely not cops’ was her first thought. The guy with the suit, standing with his hands in front of him holding a folder could pass as a cop but he could also be hundred other things. The guy sitting at the table though was a different story, even when you took away the fact he looked like a one-eyed Shaft there was definitely something .... off about him. He looked kind of sexy though, had the whole dangerous vibe thing going and Faith couldn't help but wonder if the stories about bl...
“Miss Leanne my name in Nick Fury head of S.H.I.E.L.D, please take a seat.” The Shaft wannabe said, indicating the seat across from him.
Warily Faith sat down. “I guess I would be honored if I knew what the hell any of that meant.”
“Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division” interjected the suit.
“This is one of my agent’s Phil Coulson, Phil is here because he has the most experience with people like yourself.”
Faith suddenly got fidgety. “Look man I don’t know who you think I am.”
“I don’t have to think anything, I know exactly who you are Miss Lehane. And more importantly thanks to Miss Summers I know what you are as well.”
Before Fury could finish he found himself on the floor in a head lock. He tried to turn his head to see what had happened to Agent Coulson. “If you're looking for your bum boy he is located between my legs. I admit he is not that bad looking and it has been awhile but if you do not tell me right now what you did with B ...” Gritted Faith as she applied a little more pressure.
But not enough to stop Fury from rasping a explanation. “Miss Summers is at home in Sunnydale where she wants to be. I HAD offered her a job opportunity but she had to turn it down for obvious reasons, before we parted ways she mentioned you may be interested.”
Faith wasn't buying it, she and Buffy hadn't exactly made amends before she turned herself in. “Say that I do believe you, you must have noticed that I currently have a job in the prison metal shop and it is not like I can just walk out and quit.”
“Let go of them now! Let go of them now! Move! Move!”
Faith released her grip on the two men and did not resist as the guards dragged her off the two men and pushed her prone onto the floor.
“Relax guys we were just having a friendly chat.”
“That may be pushing it” said Fury rubbing his throat as he was helped to his feet “but we have not finished here yet.”
The head guard Richard tried to lay down the law. “Sir it is prison policy....”
“I know full well what your policy is, your warden went over it fully when I came in. And I made it quite that no matter what I was not leaving till I had my say.” Seeing that Richard was hesitating Fury tried to find some middle ground. “Look you can keep her handcuffed if you want but we are not done here till I say so.”
Richard hesitated for a second the nodded to the other guards who moved Faith back to the table. After she had sat down they chained her hands to the table and her feet to a ring in the floor. Richard had one condition before he was willing to leave. “One of our guards is staying in here, that is non-negotiable.” Fury nodded and the guards filed out bare one.
A very uneasy silence filled the room as everyone eyed each other.
“You where saying about Buffy?” Barked Faith
Doing his best to look unfazed Fury continued his pitch while Coulson stood silently. “What I was said about Buffy was that I had offered her what I am about to offer you. In fact she even took the tour with all the bells and whistles.”
“And what the shoe budget wasn’t high enough?”
Faith turned and gave the guard the evils. “Sorry” mumbled the guard, taking a embarrassed step back.
“The problem was." Continued Fury. "That she already has a job, one that is very limited when it comes to travel options especially to and from New York.”
“The Big A?” Faith’s eyes widened “Jesus I have not been on the east coast since ...”Her head dropped and she started to wring her hands again, as much as she could with the handcuffs. “How much did B tell you about what I did in Sunnydale?” Expecting to finally get the tongue lashing she knew had to come one day.
But Fury wasn't going to be the one to give it. “Enough to imply that you did not confess to everything you have done, even stuff that the cops would believe.”
Looking up at Fury Faith was unable to hide the bewilderment in her voice“And despite that you still want me? Why? I mean I have to be...”
“What you are,” said Fury leaning forward, his voice dropping slightly. “Is someone who lost their way but had enough sense to realize it. Even if your choice of remedy was extreme... Let me tell you about the Avengers program”
And that was it, that was how he hooked me, not like I had anything better to do anyway.
"Ah well I’m here now might as well back the best of it, maybe get a bit of action before they get sick of me and throw me back in prison."
And with that settled the self-described fuck up of the Avengers program headed off to get cleaned up.