Logs:Bargaining Chip

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Bargaining Chip
Dramatis Personae

Fury, Steve

2019-07-15


"You really gotta learn how to text."

Location

<NYC> S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ - Times Square


This corner office is big, bright and airy, which is not cheap to come by in midtown Manhattan. On one side, a huge glass desk sits in front of the floor-to-ceiling window looking out over Times Square. The far corner has a leather couch, a coffee table, a liquor cabinet and a sideboard, but the rest of the floor space was left open between bookshelves.

There are probably over/under bets among S.H.I.E.L.D. agents now on how long it will be until the next time Steve Rogers storms in to yell at Nick Fury. If so, some of those agents are getting paid today. He marches right up to the director's door, dressed in a sky blue t-shirt with a fierce winged wolf crushing a thick length of chain in its snarling jaws, one of its paws pinning down the broken chain, bracketed by the words '107th, Howling Commandos', and 'Vérité sans Peur' in bold jagged script, perfectly fitted blue jeans, polished combat boots, with the great round face of his iconic shield slung across his back. The starstruck junior agent assigned as escort hastily opens the door for him. He allows a small nod and a 'thank you' be before sweeping into the office.

Behind his desk, Nick Fury is dressed more formally than is usual for him, though still in in all black: a crisp dress shirt, vest, and trousers, suit jacket slung carelessly over his high-back chair. The eyepatch is still leather, though. Even the coffee mug in his hand is black. "Good morning, Captain Rogers," he says gruffly. "You really gotta learn how to text."

"Colonel Fury." Steve comes to a stop opposite the desk and levels a cool gaze at the man behind it. "I do know how to text, but you never gave me your number." His expression betrays no amusement. "Besides, some things need to be sorted out in person." His brows wrinkle slightly. "Are you familiar with a U.S. government project codenamed 'Prometheus'?"

Fury levels a flat gaze at Steve, but then shrugs. "That's fair. Take a card before you go." He waves at a small black tray full of unassuming white business cards as he lifts his coffee for another sip. The cup freezes halfway to his mouth, and he looks back up at his visitor. "I may have mentioned to you, we're U.N. Even our jurisdiction over mutant terrorism on U.S. soil is not absolute. Ninety percent of my goddamned job is wresting with alphabet soup agencies over intel."

Steve narrows his eyes. "Given that is the most transparent evasion I have ever heard, I'm going to interpret it as 'you know and you just don't give a fuck'."

Fury heaves a long sigh. "I give a fuck, there just isn't much I can do about it without starting an International incident. But there's really no point us arguing about that, because I suspect we're not going to see eye-to-eye." He leans back in his chair and steeples his fingers. "So why don't you just cut to the chase, tell me what you want me to do, so we can get this over with?"

"I want you to take this to the U.N., or one of those alphabet soup agencies, or the dozens of contacts I'm sure a man like you must have throughout various world governments," Steve replies calmly. "I want you to keep doing it until you find someone willing and able to put an end to it. Because this is an atrocity happening on /your/ watch, in /your/ field." He hesitates. Pulls a slip of paper from his rear pocket and sets it down on the desk, sliding it toward Fury. "And I want you to find out what happened to this man. Prometheus abducted him four days ago."

Fury reaches out and plucks up the paper, keeping his eyes on Steve right up until he skims the writing on it. "'Dawson Allred,'" he reads aloud, eyebrows raising slightly. "I don't know how many times I have to tell you this, but we're not U.S. government. I don't have access their classified data unless they graciously decide to share, and I'm pretty damn sure they're not going to hand over any lists of names just because some loose end of ours got a bug up his ass." He puts the slip back down and takes up his coffee again, watching Steve carefully.

"He goes by 'Flicker'," Steve adds. "I can send you a photograph if you don't already have a file on him, or can't figure out how to trawl social media profiles." His jaw tightens and he pulls the shield from his back, turning it over in his hands contemplatively. "You said want me to work for you because of my principles. I'm not sure I want to do that, but I sure as heck can't if you refuse to take even the smallest stand on this. So look at it this way --" He slams the shield down, face-up, on the desk. The glass surface gives off an eerie hum, but does not shatter. Whether this is a testament to Steve's control of his strength or the superb engineering of the desk is hard to say. "-- I got this thing back where your agents failed. That's got to be worth something."

Fury's eye widens when Steve raises the shield, and his hand starts to reach under the desk, but then stops when he sees the other man's intent. He puts the coffee down again and shakes his head. When he finally speaks again he just sounds tired. "Dammit, Cap..." His hand settles on the smooth surface of the shield. "It's worth a lot, and I do admire your principles, including your loyalty to your friend." After a brief silence, he withdraws his hand and runs it over his bald pate. "I'll see what we can do."

The twitch of Steve's face betrays some emotion he doesn't allow to fully express. "Thank you," he grits out, finally. "A good man's life is on the line -- they might kill him before long, if they haven't already. I won't take up any more of your time, but please let me know as soon as your people discover anything." He turns to go, his broad shoulders slumping almost imperceptibly, but then stops and reaches to pull a card from the tray he'd indicated. He looks it over, and nods, holding Fury's eyes for a long moment. "I'll text you."