|ɑgɛɳt ɱѳɓiuร (jetskiing) wrote in avengers_logs,|
@ 2021-09-11 18:21:00
|Thankfully this trip to Madripoor didn’t result in any serious injuries for Sharon. It’d been really cut and dry, actually--while she’d had things to do to maintain her business, she also focused quite a bit on the art gallery. The above-the-table side of things. That part made her very happy, gave her something to do, made her feel useful. Coming back to the Tower in San Francisco hadn’t been as hard as she thought it would be. A part of her worried that if she went to Madripoor, she’d fall into her old life there. Leave this one behind… but there were people here she wanted to see: Mobius being one of them.|
The pair met up in the lobby downstairs and headed out for burritos. After a quick Google search earlier, Sharon had found a tiny, hole-in-the-wall kind of place, with only four tables inside and two employees who didn’t speak much English. It had excellent reviews, so Sharon decided this was the place to go. Mobius seemed willing to follow her lead. Soon they were sitting with burritos in front of them, Mexican cokes in glass bottles at the ready. Sharon had a knife and fork for hers, as she knew it was bound to split open and spill its meat, beans, cheese, and pico all over her plate.
“I think we could have shared one of these. It’s huge,” she said, giving him a grin.
Oh, hell yeah. This burrito was bursting at the seams and Mobius was here for it. He was here for the ‘dive’ vibe too, true hole-in-the-wall style - complete with painted concrete walls, plastic tablecloths, and your friendly abuelas chattering loudly in the kitchen over stove tops that sizzled, He was pretty sure he could throw a dart at the menu and land on something delicious so it didn’t really matter what kind he got - though he settled for the surf and turf one, shrimp with carne asada and a burrito so intense it took two tortillas (that had the cheese steamed right into it, which meant the tortilla achieved unparalleled....girth) to contain the work of art.
“You ain’t kidding,” he chuckled, and he picked up his knife and fork to try to figure out where to start - maybe just...cut into it and yolo, as they said? It was going to be messy either way but he wouldn’t judge Sharon and he doubted she’d judge him. “I guess just roll me back to the Tower and I’ll be okay.”
Well. Here goes nothing. He sliced into the end and took the first bite. Mmm.
Sharon gave a little laugh at that. “I’m not sure I’ll be capable of much rolling when I’m through with this. I swear, it’s like four meals wrapped into one.” She’d have to ask for a box to take leftovers home, and she’d be eating this for days. “I’m really glad I didn’t eat much for lunch. And that I wore the pants with the elastic waistband.” They were incredibly stylish, thankyouverymuch. But still super stretchy where it mattered. Sharon was planning on taking full advantage of that stretchiness.
When he tucked in, she did the same. Hers was chicken, and it was absolutely heavenly. She gave a soft groan as she chewed, closing her eyes at the flavor. It was simple, but perfect. After the first bite, she lifted her glass bottle of Coke and clinked it against his in a toast. “Cheers.”
“Cheers,” Mobius echoed, toasting with his bottle and enjoying that little clink and the ringing of glass sound effect. Likely he’d be going for a box at some point too - he still wasn’t entirely used to portion sizes like this or even food as good as this. For a millennia (or two) he’d existed solely off of TVA cafeteria fare and it wasn’t great. Not exactly hot and fresh, or even flavorful at all - but he hadn’t known the difference, didn’t understand what he was missing. He just - went with it.
Food that was as dull as actual dishwater and forgotten drinks - such as Josta soda or those little Boku fruit juice cartons - that was all he knew. So yeah, San Francisco was a lot and he’d definitely be hitting up the gym at the Tower more often than he hit up the TVA’s training rooms, that was for sure.
“What’s your favorite way to burn calories?” he asked, after taking a swig of that Mexican Coke. It seemed to taste a lot spicier than regular Coke, that much he could discern. “Because running on the treadmill is one way to do it, but it’s not exactly fun.”
Portion sizes and food quality were entirely different in Madripoor, too. Maybe not quality, but definitely flavor and style. It was easy to eat healthy in Hightown--it was all lean meats, soups, vegetables. In Lowtown things were a little different, with street fair that was as much as show as it was a snack, but when Sharon was in Lowtown she wasn't exactly looking for a meal. Different priorities.
She was mid sip when he asked her favorite way to burn calories. Unfortunately. Her mind went to naughty places and she nearly choked on her drink. Sharon had to lift a napkin to cover her mouth, and sputtered as her cough turned into a laugh. "Sorry," she wheezed, grinning and bright red. "I can think of a couple of ways I like to burn calories." But the flirtatious tone was likely completely negated by her ridiculous reaction to his question.
Sharon. Mobius laughed - he was relieved she wasn’t going to choke, but also distinctly amused by her response. Because he knew what she meant and, well, he guessed he didn’t disagree. Mostly it was nice to see the more lighthearted side to her, the mischievous side (did he have a mischief kink or something? People who were naughty? Because, honestly, what was this). It made her eyes twinkle in a way he guessed that she had to hide, or didn’t even experience at all, during those scrappy years where she was a fugitive clawing for power and prestige because once she had been turned out, that community wasn’t ever letting her back in.
At least not until now. But a lot of things were different now.
“I’m sure you can,” he grinned, nudging her under the table. “You should tell me more about that. Go ahead, I’m listening.” Yes, here he was, paying rapt attention.
“Dont!” She coughed, laughed, and pointed her fork at him, grinning. “Don’t be mean! You’re the one who asked about burning calories.” Then she lifted her Coke for one more quick sip and set it back down again.
“Well, now whatever answers I come up with are nowhere near as exciting as the answer running through your mind, so.” She shook her head, the color slowly fading from her cheeks. “Just… whatever you’re thinking. That’s what I like to do.” She gave him a wink, then stabbed her fork into some of her burrito guts to take another bite.
“I didn’t mean it like that,” Mobius insisted, but he was still chuckling. Alright, he guessed he could see how it could be taken that way - but a part of him was still that repressed TVA analyst who spent an actual millennia caught in the same trap of lies, the same routine, blindly going along with what he had been told because he didn’t know any better. He’d missed a lot and even if this whole universe was them just being moved around at the whims of He Who Remains, it was still a lot more freedom than he’d ever had before.
He tried to look at it like making choices, being stuck here due to factors outside of his control but yet being able to control what went on within, as in, what he could do and making the most of his time - maybe he was fooling himself with that, though. Maybe Ravonna was right - only those at the top truly had free will. But the alternative seemed much more dire.
“Or maybe I did. Guess you’ll never know,” he teased.
Hey, the last time they’d seen each other face to face was the morning after they’d burned calories together. Not to mention it was an incredible experience for her… so of course her mind went there. While Sharon probably wouldn’t assign the word repressed, she knew he was a little on the more conservative side. When he came through with the flirtations and whatnot, Sharon loved to see it--it meant he was coming out of his shell. And when those things happened, she felt like a girl out with a guy, rather than a hardened criminal spending time with the one person who knew her dark secrets. It was a good feeling.
“Swimming,” she finally said, after a bite in silence. She nudged him under the table. “I hear the bay is absolutely freezing. We should go swimming. That’ll definitely burn some calories. In a fun way.”
Wow. Living on the edge. “I think you heard right,” Mobius said, and he knew that the water temperature was around a chilly fifty-five degrees Fahrenheit all year - thus a wetsuit would probably be required. “You’re pretty hardcore, but you know what? I’m calling your bluff.”
Biggest challenges would be the currents, the pollution, and probably the fog that rolled in like a thick gray blanket, looking similar to smoke from a fire - you’d lose track of land that way, and could probably get lost or disoriented. Or getting run over by a boat - that seemed to be a concern too. “We’ll go swimming in the bay - may as well swim to Alcatraz while we’re at it, eh?” he smirked, going for another ambitious burrito forkful (by the Timekeepers, this thing was truly ginormous) and returning the nudge again - though it was a full-on game of footsie at this point, played beneath the table.
If they wanted to keep their lips a rosy hue and not end up with icicles dangling from their eyebrows and earlobes, then maybe wetsuits were a good idea. Sharon grinned over at him, her nose crinkling with pleasure. “Really? You think I’m hardcore? What gave it away?” Possibly her criminal empire in Madripoor, or the gunshot wound she toted when she arrived at the tower. But it pleased her that he seemed excited about this idea.
“Hey, you wanted to burn calories in a fun way. And while I can think of one way that’s a lot of fun--” Footsie again; a nudge of her foot against his. She could definitely get used to the way his foot nudging hers made her heart speed up. “--if you want to burn calories in public, swimming in the bay is bound to do it. I imagine that’ll get our heart rates up.”
“You mean the original fun way couldn’t be done in public?” Mobius asked, being a shit on purpose. And really pushing the envelope, but what could he say - he had discovered that he was something of a risk-taker and he enjoyed the thrill that came along with really living on the edge. Like trusting the embodiments of ‘chaos’ and ‘tricksters,’ and vowing to burn the TVA to the ground. Swimming in the Bay and risking a good old-fashioned drowning. Public bangin’. Stuff such as that.
It made perfect sense that he’d be drawn to a hardened criminal who basically owned piratical Madripoor like there were magnets stashed within the both of them.
“I’m sure we can do the private fun too,” he pointed out. Because he was beginning to have to be honest with himself about how ‘this will only happen once’ clearly did not mean it would only happen once. “I mean - if you want. I don’t know much about how that whole thing works, but. In a place like this timeline, I’m not even sure there are many rules.” Besides the ones they imposed on themselves.
“It could, if you’re willing to risk it.” Sharon raised a playful eyebrow. She couldn’t imagine Mobius doing that in a public place… but then again, maybe he would just to try and prove something. Playing chicken, so to speak. When she was faced with that kind of a challenge, Sharon often wasn’t going to be the one to back down. She wondered if Mobius was the same way.
She was about to take another delicious bite from her burrito when the fork paused half-way up to her mouth. Did he just… Was this more than just playful flirting? She was convinced that he wasn’t interested in anything outside of… well, a drunken shag. Poppin’ the proverbial cherry. A little fun for both of them before he went on his date with Tony and she with Bruce. But that sounded like he wanted to do it again. Did she hear him right?
“You want to? Again? But I thought you and Tony…?” She lowered the fork, the bite forgotten.
Mobius was treading in completely unfamiliar waters here. He really didn’t know much about actually being in relationships (never had one before); only thing was, he just didn’t see why anyone would get married in such an unstable universe like this, at the whims of such an unstable entity. But despite that, he knew some people had done it anyway (and, lo and behold, it hadn’t turned out well). That wasn’t what he was searching for - maybe what he did happen to be looking for was to grasp the chance to do what made him happy, as long as other interested parties were on board too.
“We did - I mean, we had a great time but he’s not trying to tie me down just to him and I’m not necessarily expecting that of him either...” Mobius started, napkin twisting in his hands kind of nervously. “I’m not sure how to handle all of this but I can’t pretend I don’t...feel something for you. Because I do.” He also wanted to make that clear - that it wasn’t simply about the physical.
Tony wasn’t going to be upset - he knew what Mobius had been through. Like how he had everything taken from him, how he found out his entire existence had been a lie and was starting over from scratch by trying to build something that was his. He could share that with whomever he wanted, while he had the chance. “But if you don’t feel that way, or any way, that’s fine too,” he assured. “I’m not pressuring for anything.” Mobius could take no for an answer - he wasn’t that guy.
Suddenly, Sharon felt giddy. She felt her cheeks growing a little hot, her heartbeat speed up. It was ridiculous, wasn’t it? The hardened spy having this kind of reaction to a man confessing that he…feels something for her. But that’s what it was. She was giddy. That was the only word for it.
“I feel something, too,” she admitted shyly, reaching across the table to slide her hand over his wrist. He looked so nervous, and she felt so nervous and this was absolutely ridiculous. Two grown people behaving like teenagers? “And I’d like to explore it with you, if you want to.”
Mobius curled his fingers around Sharon’s, and the way they were holding hands just now - you’d think this was Lover’s Lane, circa 1952. The pink flush on her cheeks was nice too - he never thought he’d be capable of making anyone blush like that, especially someone like her, but here he was. It was flattering. Kind of exhilarating also.
“I want to,” he said, and his voice was warm - a balmy breeze. “Though I’m not trying to stop you from doing whatever you want to do with your doctor friend either.” Just because Tony was pretty open and accepting of things that involved pursuing other romantic venues besides himself, didn’t mean everyone was. People wanted different things.
And Mobius, he was still figuring out what he wanted - but he planned to be honest with the people he cared about no matter what, as he got further along with that whole thing.
It definitely wasn’t a soda shop, and it definitely wasn’t 1952. But the feel of his skin against hers, the warmth in his voice, the expression in his eyes? Sharon felt shy about it, and a little embarrassed for feeling shy. Again, hardened criminal, grown woman, acting like a giddy teenager.
“No,” she added, “Like you said, there are no rules here. Not when everything is so impermanent, and we could be whisked away in an instant?” So long as they were both open and honest with each other and their partners, Sharon didn’t see any problems. “You’ve got dates with Tony, and I’ve got dates with the Good Doctor. And… we can have dates with each other.” It was a good system, right?
“And our first should definitely be swimming in the bay,” she added, smirking softly. “Do I need to roll you home tonight?”
“Maybe,” Mobius responded coyly. “Or just come home with me in general. Make sure I get there safely.” Walk him to his door and all of that - though he clearly planned to invite Sharon inside. That wasn’t even a question.
He squeezed her hand, keeping hold of it - but he used his other to stab at what remained of the burrito and, granted, he’d made a substantial dent in it. A box would definitely be required, because the thought of wasting food seemed abhorrent to him - especially after that seemingly one-way trip to the Void where he’d taken a firsthand tour of the place meant to be the TVA’s dumping grounds. So many cafeteria trays and rotting leftovers...
“We can go swimming in the bay too. I’ll research the best spot and get us situated.” There may even be a couple of ‘swimsuits optional’ hidden gems, but the water was so damn cold he didn’t see how that’d be a good idea. Either way, warming up together once they got out was the biggest draw.
There was a warmth that spread from his hand into hers, up her arm, and through the rest of her body. She blushed again when he squeezed her fingers, and she returned the gesture-- running her fingertips along his knuckles. She could hardly believe this was allowed. "I'll make sure you get home safely," she said. Though he could handle himself, she was sure of it, she was pretty badass, too. Hardened criminal and all that. "And if you invite me in, I won't say no. Just… no vodka and champagne this time? I was seriously hungover."
Swimming in the bay sounded like a seriously cool adventure. Sharon was in. The idea of stripping off wetsuits and cuddling naked together under a blanket to warm back up again was probably the best part. She was about to say so when the man from behind the register came to check on them.
"Everything taste good?" He asked in this thick accent.
“Oh - “ Mobius glanced up, a smile on his face. He probably looked a little twitterpated but it couldn’t be helped. “Yes, it’s all great - thank you,” he told the in-house burrito person, but then he remembered a box and how both he and Sharon would need one, so he politely asked for two. Amazing he even managed to come up with a coherent response at all, really.
When they got those boxes he scooped his leftovers into one - plop, it all went, and maybe it didn’t look too appetizing but it would be good to heat up in the microwave at midnight when he was starving again. “No questionable cocktails,” he promised Sharon. “But I’m definitely going to invite you in, just so you know. I’ll make coffee instead or - something.” Not anything that would cause a hangover. It had been ages since he drank that much so he hadn’t been feeling great the next morning either - like a balloon was slowly inflating in his skull.
When the employee asked how they were doing, and smiled that knowing smile, Sharon sat up a little and withdrew her hand from Mobius’s almost sheepishly. She wasn’t ashamed, but she also didn’t think it was the world’s business who she held hands with. Her foot found his again under the table, though, as she gave the man a “thank you” for the box, and started gingerly scooping her food into it. (It went plop, even as gentle as she was trying to be with the remains of her burrito. She still had 3 meals worth.)
“Something, eh?” Sharon asked, grinning softly. “Coffee sounds nice. Or ice cream. You still have some of that left in your freezer, or did you eat it all while I was in Madripoor?”
The box closed and burrito snug inside, Mobius managed to stand and stretch a little - now getting to the door would be an issue, but hopefully he’d make it without it needing to be greased to get by. “You’re braver than I am,” he groaned teasingly, because the idea of eating anything else made his stomach rumble in protest. Like, no, please no more.
However, that would probably change when they got back to the Tower. Maybe a little walk would do them good and he’d feel like he had room for something else when they arrived. “But yeah, I still have ice cream. Some of that chocolate fudge kind, if you want. I’ll gladly share.”
Together they climbed from the table and somehow managed to head out of the restaurant. No rolling necessary, but those waistbands may have been a little tighter. Sharon gave the man behind the register a smile and wave before the door closed behind them.
She chuckled. "I didn't say I wanted a lot of ice cream." She lifted a hand to gently and tentatively wrap her fingers around the crook of his elbow, the leftovers in a bag dangling from her free hand. She had a bit more leftover than he did, so maybe her stomach wasn't quite as bursting. "Maybe just a coffee. I don't want either of us feeling ill." They had other things to do that might be spoiled if they felt sick from too much food.
Mobius went ahead and took Sharon’s hand, nestling his palm against hers - and what could he say, he was a big ol’ sap who liked to hold hands. If she didn’t want to she could always pull away and he wouldn’t be offended. “I know technically coffee’s not a good digestif - “ It probably made things worse, in all actuality, but. Ask him if he cared. “It just seems so perfect after dinner though.” It was like ‘science’ saying you shouldn’t look at your phone in bed - well, who was gonna listen to that advice?
The trip back to the Tower was actually kind of nice. Rugged shorelines, some houses that lit up in pastel shades, and landmarks that seemed iconic - the Golden Gate Bridge pierced the sky above them, and the way fog settled in around the bottom made everything with the lights look that much more ethereal somehow. He felt pretty jaunty when they got back too, and he fished for his keys to let them inside his apartment. “Alright, you make yourself cozy - and I’ll make myself useful.”
Fiiiiine, Sharon blushed as she slipped her hand into his and laced their fingers together. She got a little jolt of electricity in her belly at the feel of his skin against hers. Their hands swayed between them as they took a leisurely stroll back through the streets of San Francisco to the tower. It wasn’t late enough in the year (or late enough in the night) that it was freezing, but it was balmy. Sharon was glad she’d worn a sweater.
It was a pleasant walk, and by the time they got back to Mobius’s apartment, she felt a little less full from dinner. Funny how that happened. He unlocked the door and let them in, and Sharon toed off her shoes in the front walkway. Then she passed off the leftovers so he could store them in the fridge before she wandered into the living room to curl up on the sofa.
“We should get you some artwork for your walls,” she called to him. “Bring a pop of color into this place. I can even get you items that weren’t stolen.”
Sharon, what? Mobius laughed, sticking the leftovers in his fridge and also puttering about to put on a pot of coffee. The scent of it brewing was comforting anyway, homey, that nutty and almost smoky aroma. He reached for mugs in the cabinet and brought them down to rest on the counter, then went back into the living room while that dark brew percolated.
“You and your ill-gotten gains are real sexy,” he said, making himself comfortable on the sofa next to Sharon, slipping his arm around her. It was true though - and while the idea of housing stolen art in his apartment was thrilling, maybe he should stick with something legit. Just in case. “I’ll take plenty of advice about what to put in here. Guess I could use a conversation piece or two.” He wasn’t expecting many visitors nor did he anticipate throwing many parties but - maybe?
“Oi, I’m very sexy, thankyouverymuch,” Sharon teased, leaning in against him with his arm around her shoulders. It was warm and comfortable. This exploration of their feelings was off to a great start: it was just their friendship, only with more touching. More hearts fluttering, more twitterpated expressions. Sharon was full of those. She practically had cartoonish stars in her eyes. If she could see herself she might be disgusted. (But also happy.)
“We could hang something on that wall,” she offered, motioning toward the wall next to the window. “I’ll just need to know what your aesthetic is. What kind of art makes you feel most comfortable?” There was some garbage art up in some of the rooms--stuff that had come with the fully furnished apartment of it all… but Sharon would rather have no art up than hotel art. Blech.
Huh, that was a good question because Mobius didn’t exactly know what the hell his aesthetic was. He’d studied a lot of history, however - and that included art history. Being ageless as he was meant that he studied a lot - knew a lot too. Languages, random facts (he would absolutely annihilate during bar trivia night - maybe he and some others should team up for extra cash), more useful tidbits too. Everything was all there, chock-full in his noggin’.
So he’d at least try to come up with an answer to Sharon’s question. “Weeeell,” he drawled, fingertips doing a tap dance on her knee. “I liked the art of the ancient Roman era - you know, Pompeii. Red. Cinnabar. The wall paintings which depicted an initiation into a Bacchus cult.” Maybe it was the mythology of a lot of the art, maybe it was because the wealthy would invest so much money into putting up frescoes to impress visitors and some things never changed. But he was a fan.
“Or cubism - I like that too. No one knows what anything is. It’s just - abstract.”
There were a lot of things that Sharon was still learning about Mobius. The face that he spoke so many languages would be news to her, should she ever find that out. Or how extensively he understood history. Or his studies into art history. All things she'd love to learn about him--with almost everything else. Exploring the feelings meant more than just sexy times and dinner dates. It was getting to know one another on a deeper level, and Sharon was looking forward to that almost as much as the sexy times and dinner dates.
She nodded when he talked about Pompeii, mind going to all the art pieces she had access to back in Madripoor. Nothing there really stood out--until he mentioned cubism. Then she lit up. "I can definitely help you with cubism. There's a very talented artist called Andrea Ferrigno... I have access to a few of her pieces."
“Oh yeah?” Mobius perked up too, because he was really into the idea of having personalized art here in his apartment - art that was catered to his tastes and picked out by Sharon, anyway. It was a way for her to show her other talents as well - she may have settled into Madripoor to build a criminal empire, but she had to know about art regardless in order to keep up the ruse that she was dealing in various works. And it was wholesome (provided the art wasn’t lifted from someplace, but anyway). “I think I’d like that. I’ll hang it right in the spot you suggested.”
The coffee was finished brewing so he patted her knee and then got up to pour them both cups, which he brought back into the living room. Along with the creamer and sugar he’d grabbed, in case she wanted any of that in hers - he already added creamer to his, because black coffee only seemed good after intense hangovers. Or if you were a serial killer. “Cheers to art, I guess? Or having conversation pieces?”
“I think we can make that happen. I actually have a piece in mind.” Sharon was already silently brainstorming… which piece, how much, who to call to get that process started. It wouldn’t take much effort at all to have a piece shipped out here and hung. Maybe she’d do it as a surprise for him. Was that too much? Afterall, they’d only just… Started dating? Whatever this was between them? (Even though it felt absolutely normal and comfortable already. Was that weird?) She didn’t want to overstep any boundaries. And yet she also kinda did.
When he hopped up to get the coffee, her side felt cold where it’d been pressed against him. But it didn’t take long for him to return, coffee and creamer in hand. She dressed hers up with cream and sugar because why not? This was sort of the dessert of the night. The mug lifted in a toast, “To art. And conversations.” Then she sipped and it was like heaven. Her eyes fell closed. “You get the good stuff.”
“I try,” Mobius grinned. “...and did a lot of research.” Of course he did - because that was how he operated - besides, as much as he liked the Starbucks in the lobby downstairs he didn’t want to get morning fuel from there everyday (because, wow, that was pricey). So it was a matter of looking into what would be best to brew at home, grounds that he could pick up from a grocery run - and he wanted to put more care into it than what most put into just grabbing a bar of soap or something, on that level. He had a very profound methodology for choosing a coffee (how well it heated up in the microwave was also a factor).
He turned the TV on then too, by asking Friday nicely, and Netflix was queued up - they could find something for background noise, ideally. Then he settled in, because he definitely hoped that Sharon would stay over, and she was free to cross any boundary she wanted. Mostly? It was all good with him.