From X-Men: rEvolution
Dramatis Personae

Ion, Steve


"What? Nah, man, I fucking stole it."


<NYC> Hellhound Bikes - Brooklyn

Located not far from Jamaica Bay in a predominantly Latinx sector of East New York, this garage doesn't look like much from the outside. A low-slung squat dingy brick building with a hand-painted sign over front proclaiming it to be HELLHOUND CUSTOM CYCLES, this garage has a small office area with its own pedestrian entrance from the street at the front, containing a minifridge, usually full of beer, and beaten down old desk with a ledger and an antique cash register that no one ever seems to use. The rest of the space is roughly L-shaped, its walls lined with racks of tools and heavy workbenches with built-in steel drawers full of hardware and spare parts. There's a raised platform in the wider leg of the space for working on one motorcycle, and there's space in the narrower leg for parking at least three more.

It's been an unseasonably cool day, but Steve is still in only t-shirt (bright yellow with a dancing T-rex skeleton above the word 'FOSSIL' spelled in bones) and jeans. His progress down the street is slow, much interrupted by stopping to chat with people sitting on their stoop and returning a basketball that may or may not have been intentionally passed to him from a pickup game in an empty lot. He gives a perfunctory rap on the open door of the office before stepping inside. "{Afternoon! I have some cookies from Jax and beer from...ah, probably leftover from a party at the common house.}"

"Hell yeah." Ion is swiping the cookies before Steve has finished the sentence. He greets the taller man with an arm slung around his shoulders, a rough jostle, a hearty THUMP on the back, these affections accompanied by a strong but brief jolt. "Which cookies these are?" Maybe an academic question, given he's already shoving one whole into his face. "How's you, how's your people?"

"The citrus kind, which I hear is best for summer." Steve unslings his shield harness -- the shield itself is done up in concentric bands of glittery rainbow colors, with a bright pink star the center. "Things are hectic. /More/ hectic, that is, than usual. Classes ending, schedules changing, vacations to plan and trouble to make." He helps himself to a cookie, gestures at Ion with it. "How about you and yours?"

"{Fucking magic,}" is Ion's verdict. "{Who the fuck knew cookies could be /refreshing/?}" He grabs a second cookie, actually taking a bite /out/ of it this time as he settles back to half-sit, half-lean against the desk. "Fantastic. Business been good anyway. And ain't had Nazis up in here trying to wreck our shit for a couple weeks at least.”

"It /is/ a bit like citrusaid condensed into cookie form." Steve agrees. "{Which makes me wish I had brought some, but I was in a rush to get out the door so I just grabbed some beers}." He gives a small of massive shoulders. "Two weeks? Maybe they're too busy recruiting 'incels'. What flavor of Nazi have you been getting lately, anyway? The traditional ones, the racially diverse ones who only hate on mutants, or the mutant ones who hate on anyone who isn't white?"

"/Psh/," Ion's brash laugh is derisive. "The fucking Purifiers? Finding one goddamn coconut who don't give a fuck about their racist bullshit don't make them diverse. They're Nazis as much as all the rest. The fuck is an incel?" He doesn't leave time to answer this, hopping to his feet with a bright light sparking in his expression." Shit yo speaking of Nazi I finally get you a present, come-come-come." He finishes his cookie, grabs another and a beer as well before bolting from the office to the garage proper.

Steve flushes slightly. "I read their website," he admits, "which isn't to say I buy into their crap, but the focus of their 'mission' seems to be mutants, at least. Incels..." He blinks a few times, then follows Ion through the door. "You haven't got one tied up in there or anything?" For all that, be doesn't sound particularly /disturbed/ by this prospect.

"What? Shit this a /business/, man, we don't keep people tie up /here/." Ion shoots a curious look over a shoulder at Steve. "Why, you want one?" He is waving the other man toward the back dock, though, a bright bright smile on his face. There are two bikes parked back there, a lime green Ducati and one bulkier cycle tucked beneath a heavy cover. Ion moves to throw the cover off of this, sweeping an arm out proudly toward the '42WLA Harley that sits beneath.

"Gracias no, I can get my own most days." Steve shrugs his shield harness back on as he walks. "But you are very considerate to --" He breaks off and stares at the bike, eyes lighting up with recognition. "Oh -- oh, gosh! You tracked one down!" A wide, boyish grin spreads across his face. "This is amazing! Is the paint work original? Does she still run?" He joins Ion beside the Harley. "Probably not, after so long..." He looks back up at Ion, still grinning. "Where /ever/ did you find this?"

"Isra and the Gremlin help," Ion volunteers easily, bouncing on the balls of his feet as Steve's enthusiasm sparks. "Oh /hell/ no she don't run, {that's where the fun is, huh? You and me, we'll get her back in shape.}" His fingers trail lightly against the saddle. "All this time just in a museum she been sitting there. They got a whole-ass exhibit just on you and your boys, did you know? Like you some kinda big-fucking-deal or some shit."

Steve nods eagerly. "Yeah, I can't wait to get started." Then hastily adds, "{I /can/ wait, of course -- whenever you're free.}" His expression turns a bit wistful, but no less fond. "This is one of the few bikes I had any kind of experience working on, before I started picking stuff up from you, and that was...well, like I said, I was mostly just did the heavy lifting." He raises an eyebrow sideways at Ion. "We weren't actually that big of a deal back during the War, but a I've heard several museums have exhibits on me and the Commandos. Haven't been to any. You got this from one of them?" Runs his fingers over the matte olive drab paint on the fuel tank. "{Thank you. And I'll have to remember to thank your kid and Isra, too. It must have been so much work.}"

"After this weekend I'm have some time. You stop by, we start." Ion's hands rub together eagerly; there's a tiny dusting of sparks that whirl up from the rapid motion. "Shiiiit you listen to the displays tell it you boost the whole fucking country's spirit /and/ stomp out the entire Nazi army, don't kill my fantasy." His tongue clicks against his teeth, head shaking. "What? Naw. In, out, bam. You got any idea how little security some these museums have at night?" His eyes have widened, incredulous. "Leverage got me thinking it'd take mad planning."

"Well, my /character/ certainly," Steve hedges, grinning boyishly again. "If we're going with /that/ version, I personally knocked out Adolf Hitler over 200 times." He blinks at Ion, looking briefly perplexed. Then comprehension dawns. " ah, /liberated/ it?" He doesn't seem particularly disturbed by /this/ prospect, either. "Well, you still had to track it down and find it and..." His smile is warm and unaffected. "Gracias."

"What? Nah, man, I fucking stole it." Ion's chest has puffed with no small measure of pride. "Egg helped with the finding, they read /so/ damn good now." He cracks open his beer against his belt buckle, lifts it cheerfully to Steve. "Just gotta promise me when she back up and running you gonna come do some fresh new Nazi punching with us. In /proper/ style."

Steve laughs aloud -- then looks faintly, momentarily surprised by it. "That's...well, that's what we called stealing, a lot of times. During the war. I don't think the expression ever quite went away. But I appreciate it, I really do." He rests one hand on the Liberator's heavy handlebar. "I promise," he replies solemnly. "It would be my pleasure to punch Nazis with you." His smile comes creeping back. "In /proper/ style."