1963-10-25 - Warnings and warmth
Summary: 'Hilde looks for sleep at Barney's house, and finds warmth and a warning of potential dangerous spots in the City from her friend.
Related: Will dig for it.
Theme Song: None
brunnhilde barney 

New York City in autumn. There is a chill in the air coming, and a dampness, but it hasn't yet overtaken the city. Everything is decorated for Halloween, and the kids are excited. Parties are happening in the apartment complex, and for the last few days, there have been fairies, princesses, ghosts, frankensteins all wandering the halls, moving from one apartment to the next; playdates 1963 style!

Barney Barton's apartment isn't decorated for the season but for the red-orange pot of mums on the small kitchen table that seats 2. The apartment itself is spotless and while not overly decorated, there is more than enough within to make it homey. It certainly doesn't have the hallmarks of a bachelor's pad, for certain. It's neat, tidy, and looks lived in. Couch and chair gathering in the living room, fireplace, hallway leading to two bedrooms and a full bath. Pictures adorn the wall, but not one of them looks like the tennant.

Keys rattle in Barney's suit pants pocket as he takes the last flight of stairs up, bypassing the elevator. Roaming down the corridors, he's humming a tuneless song; probably something top 40 that he caught a little bit of and is now stuck in his head. From a humm to a whistle, the keys are pulled and first the padlock is turned, then the door itself is unlocked and pushed open.


While it's not often that his weird, patch'em up friend intrudes on his space during the day, it's not rare either. Sleep and Hilde aren't, exactly, good friends. She gets off shift just around dawn and will often try at her own apartment for a few hours before giving up and wandering the streets. When it's really rough, she's especially exhausted, simply lonely feeling, or worried about him, however, she'll often find herself here. This is one of those chilly autumn afternoons.

Hilde's long, somewhat lanky frame is currently stretched out on his couch and the radio is going quietly. Just enough to try and distract her brain from some thoughts. It's still not working. She's staring up at his ceiling, watching a house spider spinning a lazy web in the far corner. She hears the key in the lock and doesn't even bother turning her head. She knows who it is.

"… your spider buddy is a harder worker than either of us, you know?" She randomly rasps into the room as he opens the door. It's both a greeting and a warning of who exactly is here on his couch. She doesn't quite bother getting up yet.


Barney's got at least a small 'piece' tucked away on his person, but hearing the voice coming from the living room, he doesn't have to draw it. The key is pulled from the knob, and closing it again, he crosses the room to toss the keys onto the table before he's switching the radio off. WABC. All nonsense anyway!

"Hey," is given in a Midwestern drawl. "You okay?" Barney goes to sit down right about where her feet are, and the first thing to be done is to take off the tie and loosen the collar. Then he can reach for her legs to give her a little concerned squeeze. "You need a blanket or something?"

Now he looks in the direction of the spider, and chuffs a laugh. "He's harder working than me, definitely. I didn't see him there yesterday."


Once upon a time she *didn't* say something the moment he came home and that piece was draw. Hilde's learned since then. Her nose wrinkles as he turns of the radio, "Hey, I was totally not listening to that." She mock protests, but really couldn't even tell him what was on, so she's more just giving him a hard time. It's how she shows affection.

A grunt is given in turn to the question of being okay, but she also doesn't fight off his coming to sit near her. She just picks her legs up enough that she can tuck her socked feet beneath his thigh for warmth. What is it with women and being ice cold the moment it stopped being summer? The cold of her feet could probably be felt through her socks! She's in a pair of sweat pants and an oversized FDNY sweat shirt otherwise. No fancy dressing up for Barney. "Nah, a blanket would imply I actually planned on sleeping or something. It'd just be a tease at this point." She grumbles.

Then her ice blue eyes turn and actually take him in. Tie. Collar. She blinks, staring at him a bit harder, "When the hell did you decide to clean up and get a business man's noose? Out tryin' to impress someone? It certainly ain't date night…"


Tie AND suit jacket! And he shaved! Who'd have thunk it?

Barney laughs as he pulls his pack of cigarettes from the inside of his suit jacket, followed by his lighter. "Believe it or not, I actually do have to wear a suit for work," is given in that Midwestern twang of his. There could easily be a 'honey' tacked at the end, or a 'darlin', depending on his mood.

"I'll getcha a blanket anyway. Just to keep up appearances." Barney makes to rise before he theatrically yelps, "Good lord. Those feet. I'm of a mind to light the fireplace just for them." Definitely time for the blanket.

"Hear anything good at the station?" Now he rises to wander into the hall for the closet that has all his spare linens, towels and blanket! "I was taking a walk down East 78th again, and things are looking a might bit funny." Harlem.


"You're all… smooth. New boss in the office or something?" Her fingertips come up, not exactly gently rubbing at his cheek, as if investigating the stubble that should be there. Personal space has LONG AGO been an outdated concept for them. But then, the amount of times she's had her hands *in* parts of his body, the thought alone of personal space might be laughable.

She groans as he gets up for the blanket, "Come back here. I planned on leeching your warmth for at least five more minutes!" She half teases. But there is probably some truth beneath the jokes. The temperature outside has definitely dropped and where as he has a nice place, she's got a shithole of a closet in Morningside Heights which might not even have the radiators on yet. Possibly one of the reasons she came over here.

The question about the station makes her sigh, rolling over into her side so she can stare at him as he hunts for linens. Between them, to all appearances, he had his life *way* more together. He had a friggin' linen closet! "…Good? I mean, if you are talking about the fact that the Finellis are planning on going to the mattresses again and you might be able to pick up some work there, sure. What do you mean things are looking funny in Harlem? More funny than usual?" She now props herself up on one elbow, waking up a bit more to hear what news *he* has.


"Have to look presentable once in awhile," is returned, and once Barney's got the blankets, he's unfolding them as he walks back in order to lay it on top of her, most definitely tucking her feet in as he does. It's a gentle, tender action that can belie his gruffness. Once done, he's ready to sit back down on a cusion just in front of her, or rather, perch.

"Finellis, huh? Okay.. I'll remember that." And there is no doubt that he will.

Barney's head bounces once and he looks a little concerned, "You don't go near that area this week, okay? All that nonsense about Civil Rights. They're just gonna be burning their own damn neighborhood down unless something's done. So much that even the Fire Department won't be able to control it all. So you," and he leans over to *boop* a nose, "need to stay clear. Give warning. Mayor might just keep everyone out and tell 'em to let 'em burn the place down." There's something going on behind those blue eyes of his, though.. even while talking, there's a .. something back there. "Alright, darlin'?"


A few throaty grumbles are given to the blanket, but she isn't actually saying no. She just has to put up a protest or he might start thinking she likes it. Long, thin limbs curl up beneath the wrap and she makes herself small enough on the couch that he could really sit there without risking her ice toes. It was always so strange how someone so long could curl up to being so small. Some days, Hilde didn't seem quite human but more like some spider woman. And not the sexy costumed kind, but the creepy faerie tale sort.

She gives him a single, affirming nod about the Finellis, all to well knowing what he'll do with that information. The fact that death seems to follow him has never bothered her in the least. But his next statements, complete with the nose booping, gets a flat glare. She rolls her eyes, especially as he calls her darling. "You do that again and your losing a finger, Barton, you know that." She grumbles at him. "And I'll go where the hell I'm needed. Sometimes it's better for me when shit hits the fan. People are less likely to hit a girl and even if they're fucking doing it to themselves, doesn't mean the innocents that are getting run over in the mess don't deserve help." But then her gaze narrows on him, harder than before, staring at his slightly darker blues. "…there's something else going on. Something you're not telling me. Spill."


"Ooooh, language.." Barney chides, laughing.

"But to be honest, honey.. I don't know whether they're smart enough to know not to hit a girl. You go in there to help and all they'll see is some uniform." Barney's expression turns a little more sober, but he's not reached that deathly serious mode. Not yet, anyway. "Might be a way to avert all this, but I don't know if the Mayor is gonna listen. But…" and he makes to rise from his spot, his gaze locked on the firewood that is well seasoned and ready to go into the firebox. "Let's not worry about that, huh? There are plenty other things to worry about than a couple blocks in the city.

"I got some invitation to a dinner party at the Webster's, downstairs. You feel like going? I don't. Every time he starts going on about his investments, I feel like throttling him and just cleaning out his safe that he's got behind the picture of the daisies in the living room."


"Fuck. Yes. I said it. It's a good and useful word sometimes. What, am I offending your delicate sensibilities?" Hilde mutters, though her pale lips have a half wry smile dancing across them even as she watches his rather more sober expression. If he's getting serious, well, things probably were bad. She sighs, giving a small shake of her head, "I'm going where they tell me to go. End of story. But…what do you mean a way to avert it? What is going on in that head of yours, Barney? Talk to me. Seriously… I'm not just a pretty face, I promise."

Her blue eyes roll at the comment about the Webster's, but she then fully sits up, still tucking the blanket around her legs. "No. No distraction. What's going on? You tell me what's going on and I'll go to this dinner thing with you, but you fess up first."


The repeating of the word in question gets a barked laugh in response and he's on his feet, though he's ready to press a kiss to her forehead. "You're adorable, you know that?"

Now, to tend the fireplace! Barney rolls up his shirtsleeves; he's got his watch on at the very least, and crouches in front of the screen. That's pushed away and he starts loading the logs into the holder one by one, making sure everything is right. "Seriously," and he's not facing her. Not yet again. "There's some troublemakers in there, and the Mayor knows who they are. They're making it bad for themselves, and there's gonna be a problem if it's not handled. But I don't think," and now, he does look over his shoulder, "the Mayor's got the balls in order to do what's gotta be done." Now, the Federal government has a stake in all of this.. the FBI. Barney's old handlers.

"You sure you wanna go to the Websters?" He sounds dubious, to say the least, and his tones change completely as if that other topic never existed. "Promise me that if you slap her, I'll be in the drawing room so I can get a good punch on him before we leave."


Where as he runs from death, avoids it, tries to pretend such messy things don't happen even though they happen around him routinely, Hilde has always embraced it. So, even as his back is turned and he speaks about it all in rather round about terms, she just half chuckles and shakes her head quietly. "…Killing them. You're talking about killing the troublemakers. I guess that's one way to do it but, you're right, the Mayor isn't going to pull the trigger. Literally or metaphorically. So… someone else takes the risk or it doesn't get done." She never directly says HE'S the one going to kill them, but this isn't the first time she's discussed death as casually as tomorrow's weather.

The question about the Websters makes her smirk one more time, "…You're giving me permission to slap her? Well, now I *definitely* want to go. But you're the one that gotta live in the same building as them. You can just blame it on your crazy date." She maaaay be allowing herself to be distracted from the topic at hand now. Or exhaustion might be setting in deep enough that she isn't quite as stubborn as she'd normally be.


Thing is, with Civil Rights, the federal government is a veritable rollercoaster ride itself. It wants it, it doesn't. Senators want it, others don't. It's not just a hot-button topic, but it's one of those things that can literally set cities aflame. Do you take out the violent ones, martyr them, so that the peaceful protesters get more traction? Or do you take out one or two of the peaceful ones so that they're martyred and more lay down their weapons? Or do you not discriminate and try and shut down the whole movement?

Depends upon who is paying the bills at the moment the trigger is pulled.

Barney exhales; he tries to keep her from all of it; she's an employee of the city. Well, that and there might be a slight feeling of protectiveness, given his selfish circumstances. And personal. "If they're gone, I'm thinkin' the others won't have the courage to step up. They'll march down a block, maybe make the 8 o'clock news, but nothing worse." Kill a few so more won't die?

"That green dress looks good on you, darlin'. Makes your eyes bluer."

Time to tend to the fire once more, and he shoves newspapers into the bottom of the grate. Headlines of 'I have a dream' speech will be going up in flames shortly in order to make the lady on the couch warmer. "But for now, see if you can't close those eyes of yours for a little."


The last bit of commentary about certain people being gone doesn't get protest from her. It gets no words what so ever, really. But she heard. Hilde just gives him that long, quiet look that he's gotten from her more than once. The look that he hates, because it's like her eyes are half elsewhere and the ice really isn't just in her toes any more. No fear. No apology. Just cold, icy acceptance. As if this has how the world always has been.

But then it's gone. He's muttering about her green dress — the only damn dress she owns — and the wave of heat that is starting to come from the fire place is enough to even kick her sleep-reticent body into sluggishness. It felt good. "…well good, 'cause I'm wearing the green dress since it's the only one I own…" She mutters drowsily. But she does sink back down into the couch, tucking the arm pillow a bit closer and winding her feet between the far cushion and the arm next to it. "…thanks, Barney. Don't…do anything stupid tonight, okay? I'm tired of puttin' more stitches in you the week after I take'em out." Her voice is slow now too, one last gruff admonishment but it's stifled by a yawn and she'll probably be out within a few minutes.


It is the look he hates; it's hard to protect a woman that virtually insists that she can take care of herself? Barney rises slowly with a poker in hand, and once he's got the logs settled, he sets it back on its tray and closes the screen to keep the random spark from flying out. He turns in time to watch her settle in, the words she speaks last echoing in his ears. "Nothing stupid, promise," is whispered as she closes her eyes.

Once he's sure that she is indeed finally in the clutches of sleep, Barney takes his jacket and tie that he'd laid on the back of a chair and moves towards the bedroom, closing the door quietly. He's got phone calls to make.

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