Logs:Aging Gracefully

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Aging Gracefully
Dramatis Personae

Akihiro, Steve


"Think I found what I was looking for though."


<NYC> Chimaera Arts - Dumbo

This is just one of the many abandoned warehouses in DUMBO, and like many of them it has recently changed hands. Unlike most of those, however, it does not have some corporate developer's sign out front promising a transformation into luxury condominiums or a boutique shopping center or the latest concept restaurant. Instead it's marked by a piece of weathered but wildly colorful plywood propped up on a stack of broken pallets, which reads "Chimaera Art Space!" above "chimaera.org" in smaller letters.

The warehouse is moderately large and decorated with graffiti art in various styles--some of it recognizable as the work of renowned local street artists. A pair of monstrous scrap metal sculptures, perhaps still works in progress, flank the entrance. The building itself has undergone significant renovation recently, complete with wiring, plumbing, and a modular partitioning system. The grounds, too, have been cleaned up, ramshackle fences torn down and rusting detritus removed in favor of reclaimed (and brilliantly repainted) outdoor furniture ringing an impressively engineered firepit.

It's a cold, rainy Monday, and Chimaera is relatively quiet. A sleepy young woman is banging around the kitchen, half-heartedly doing inventory, one of the older members is working on a large acrylic painting in a partitioned-off studio, and there are a pair of brocialists standing under the eave by the back door, smoking hand-rolled cigarettes and discussing Bookchin. Steve has been sweeping, dressed in a green-blue-white plaid flannel shirt and comfortable fitted blue jeans, and black combat boots. He's humming 'The Worker's Song' by the Dropkick Murphys quietly under his breath.

<< Maybe I should have came here with somebody that knows the place. >> Akihiro thinks quietly to himself in his native Japanese, burying his hands into the pockets of his old brown bomber style jacket. Slowly stepping through the warehouse he cants his head to the side slightly, listening to the conversation about Bookchin.

"I don't think I actually heard about him until the nineties, maybe I can actually buy some of his books. I'll have to have somebody show me how to use the Amazon." he decides, stopping short and just sort of taking the space in.

"Hey there. Haven't seen you around." Steve pauses at the sight of the new face, leaning on his push broom. "There's probably some Bookchin on the communal shelves over there, though we don't sell books. I'm sure Bluestockings carries him, if you don't want to fuss with Amazon." He flashes a smile at Akihiro. "But I suspect you didn't come here looking for books. Can I help you?"

“Oh really? That’s good to know, I’m not so hot with com-“ Akihiro stops talking once he turns to face Steve, his jaw going slightly slack.

“You’re Steve Rogers.” He takes a deep breath to calm his nerves. “I mean, you are, right? It’s been fifty some years, but you look just like that poster I used to have.” He waves at the other man’s outfit, “Well, almost exactly like it.”

"I am," Steve says, bowing his head slightly. "I ah, didn't age while I was on ice, but the artists did sometimes take liberties. And I guess the uniform was pretty distinct, though not as comfortable as this." He tugs on the cuff of his flannel. "I'm afraid you have me at a disadvantage, Mister..."

“Howlett. Akihiro Howlett.” Akihiro extends a hands on impulse. “I think they made you a bit more muscular.”

“You missed a hell of a lot. Can’t say it was all great, especially not for people like us.”

"From what I've read, I'd have to agree. Pleasure to meet you, Mister -- Howlett." Steve blinks, looking more closely at Akihiro. "I'm sorry if this is an odd question, but -- you wouldn't happen to have a grandfather named James, would you? From Alberta, Canada?"

“You mean the Wolverine?” Akihiro asks, looking down at his own outstretched hands.

“He’s my father.” The hands turns into a fist and he raises it upwards, letting his claws tear through the space between his knuckles. “I’ve never met him though, he got my mother pregnant after the war but didn’t really stick around.”

Steve blinks again. "Father?" Looks Akihiro up and down. Frowns. "You look incredibly young for --" His eyes go wide when the claws come out and he slides one foot back, dropping into a fighting stance even as he pulls the broom around to his side. Doesn't lift it, though he looks quite ready to, eyes darting to the nearest other occupants of the warehouse. "I'm sorry to hear he did wrong by your mother, Mister Howlett," he says calmly, "but I have no quarrel with you."

“I guess he didn’t pop his claws then?” Akihiro retracts his and coughs awkwardly, scratching his cheek.

“Sorry for spooking you.” He sort of raises his hands in a harmless manner. Well, as harmless a manner as somebody that just revealed they have claws can.

“Seventy-three. I’m seventy-three. I think my father was about this old when you met him, but nobody’s really sure how old he is. Last I heard he’s still alive though.”

Steve slowly straightens up, his cheeks flushing ever-so-slightly pink. "Sorry about that. Just startled me." His grip on the broom handle eases slowly, his eyes still fixed on Akihiro's hand. "Oh, I'd seen him do that. A lot. But they were...metal, and I just always thought that was because he was -- like me. But I guess he could have mechanical...parts and also be a mutant." He blushes harder. "Obviously." If he was going to continue being embarrassed about this, however, by Akihiro's age and the subsequent revelation. "Oh! Wait --" He's silent for a moment. "I don't suppose you have any idea..." But he cuts himself off with a sharp take of his head. "I suppose he'd have looked me up already if he were still alive and interested. Anyway, he's not here, but you are. So, let me do it right this time." He extends his hand, sheepish, "It's nice to meet you."

“My people skills aren’t the best, but it’s good to meet you.” Akihiro apologizes again and takes the offered hand and gives it a firm shake, firm enough to crush a regular humans hand, but that quickly loosens. “Sorry, I’m a little nervous.”

“He doesn’t even know I exist, as far as I know. I’ve been looking for him, but he stays off the grid. He might not even know you’re alive.” His hands end up back in his pockets and he changes balance from one foot to the other awkwardly.

“Out of curiosity, are you families with a man named Silas Burr?” There’s a visible shudder down the mans spine when he mentions the name.

If Steve is much bothered by the tightness of Akihiro's handshake, he doesn't show it. "He'd have to be pretty far off the grid not to have heard about me, but I do recall the man had a fondness for the backcountry." He heaves a long sigh, shaking his head. "If I ever run into him, I can tell him to look you up -- something you would like." wrinkles his brows, thoughtful. "Silas Burr? I'm afraid not." Studying Akihiro a bit more closely after the shudder, he adds, "Should I be?"

“He’s probably further north. Wouldn’t be surprised if he was living without electricity.” Akihiro shakes his head slightly. “Yeah, I’ve been wanting to talk to him.”

Taking a deep breath he shakes his head again. “He ran with the Devils Brigade during the war. When I was fifteen I ended up training under him before they shipped me into Vietnam. Unpleasant man all the way around.”

Steve nods once, firmly. "Will do." And then he's blinking all over again. "I didn't really get to know the rest of Howlett -- of your father's unit, other than him. I'm sure he's not much threat to anyone by now, though." He frowns. "Unless they all aged as gracefully as he did." A beat later he adds. "Or you. Or...me."

“I hope not. Most ‘recruits’ into the Weapon Plus program don’t heal as quickly as us Howlett’s do.” Akihiro reaches back up to scratch at his cheek. “I don’t mean to pry, but you wouldn’t happen to be looking for a sparring partner, would you? I know I have to pull my punches when I’m fighting humans so I don’t kill them, so I imagine you probably do too.”

Steve chuckles, looking down as if that would hide his blush (again). "I wasn't specifically, but it is a problem in my life. Haven't really found a place to do that just yet, but I sure wouldn't mind trading punches if you're up for it sometime. Though, for the record..." He holds up one hand. "I don't heal as fast as your father, either." He glances at Akihiro's knuckles. "Or you. I'm here a lot -- pretty much ever Sunday and Monday afternoon, especially. Though, speaking of which...were you looking for something here I could help you with?"

“I might have a workaround for that.” Akihiro says with a small nod. “I was mainly just having a look around, I’d been meaning to get back into art. Think I found what I was looking for though.” He lifts his hand in a wave. “It was good meeting you Cap. I’ll be in touch for sure, probably look into picking up a copy of those books.”

Steve nods. "Fair enough." He hefts his broom again, gets ready to return to his sweeping. "Glad you found you were after, and I'll see you around." He waves, too. "In the mean time, be safe."