1964-07-30 - You're either part of the problem or
Summary: Sharon runs into JP and gets a double serving of guilt.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
sharon jean-paul 

With the sun down, the temperature has cooled a bit and there's even a bit of a breeze to make it actually pleasant outside. Jean-Paul is taking advantage of that, lounging in a chair on the patio with his feet up on a second one. A hand holds a snifter with some brandy in it and the sound of Mozart is coming through the screened doorway that leads into the mansion. A record player has been set up near the door and is playing the Requiem.

While Sharon did actually intend on training and working with the Avengers more, and she told Steve she fully accepted his offer, fate laughed. So, the CIA has been tapping her for jobs at least every other week, often off American soil. So, there has been little time to train, or even meet people. She's just back from another run over the last four days, has dropped her bag off in her room and taken the fastest, get that job off of me shower possible. Now, with wet hair, in nothing but a tank top and daisy dukes, the blonde steps back out onto the back patio, packing some Lucky Strikes against the base of her palm.

At the hint of movement from the corner of his eye, Jean-Paul glances over and takes note of Sharon. A quick flicker of his gaze takes in her state of undress and that she's lighting up. "Do make sure you are standing downwind of me, if you would, ma chere. The odor of cheap tobacco will absolutely ruin that of a fine brandy."

A husky voiced chuckle comes from the woman who needs but cant her head the slightest to feel the wind on her face, she's got the sense of a sniper, and slip easily down wind of the elegant man and his brandy. "But of course. I'd hate to destroy a good brandy, though, this is *fine* American *tobacco*." The sarcasm in her voice is barely concealed as she hoo-rahs for the good old USA with a long smirk on her thin mouth.

"An oxymoron if I've ever heard one." Jean-Paul counters and turns a bit to more fully regard Sharon. "Given where we are, I make no assumptions about who is authorized to be here nor pass judgment on their manner of dress. So I will merely ask 'Who are you, who I have not seen here before?'"

A slight tilt of her head in understanding, "Sorry… I guess Steve isn't actually all at good at informing people about those he invites to live here, much less train… Anyway. Sharon Carter. My Aunt is a… very old friend of Steve's…" The lanky blonde offers her non-tobacco holding hand, trying to keep the stink of it as far away from JP as possible. "I was hoping to perhaps join up full time but… work keeps pulling me away."

Jean-Paul makes a small, dismissive hand gesture. "I do not live here, myself so it is entirely possible he informed those who do. Whoever they might be. A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Sharon Carter, niece of an old friend of mon capitaine's. I am Jean-Paul Beaubier, fastest man alive. I note that also includes women."

A single brow arches as she gets his name and his claim to fame. A slight smirk curls at the corner of her lips, "I'm certain a thousand other people have told you that most men don't brag about being fast, hmm?" She has the mannerisms and ragged voice of career soldiers, having put her car and social airs aside a long while ago. She does shake his hand before taking back her own calloused fingertips. She also has the palms of a gunner and probably someone who has boxed a lot. For all her lanky limbs, there is ropey muscle beneath them and enough scars and bruises to easily lose count. She's not some pretty princess. "Just visiting then, Mr. Beaubier?"

"Non. Not in the way you mean it." Jean-Paul answers. "I am a member of the team at mon capitaine's request ubt have an apartment nearby. It is a matter of seconds to go from one to the other and tonight, I had a desire to be surrounded by greenery." Which isn't necessarily the case here but a lush lawn and trees and bushes counts, if not literally 'surrounds'. "And your Central Park does not electrical outlets available."

"This…is all true. And the place is damn nice, after all the work Steve and Carol put in… I was only going to stay a few weeks until I found my own place back in the city but… I'm getting spoiled now." Sharon admits with a gruff sort of laugh, working so hard on simply being comfortable here. Being in her civvies and smoking a cigarette does seem to help, and she further works towards that comfort level by going over to one of the patio chairs down wind of him and sprawling down into it. "Nothin' special about me here. Not the fastest woman in the world or anything. Just a friend."

"But a trained fighter, if I am not mistaken." Jean-Paul suggests. "You do not have the musculature of a waitress." Or lack thereof. "Dancers do not have callouses on their hands as you do, not even those who… employ a pole, shall we say. It also would seem strange to invite someone to stay here who was not accustomed to unusual housemates and potential danger. So I shall say that your claim to be nothing special is, at best, self deprecating."

"… It's the company line, so to speak. I started in SHIELD. Moved to working for the CIA about a year in. Works out better that way. Still nothing special." Sharon admits with a slight shrug of those boney shoulders. She doesn't say it in a way of humble-bragging, but just the casual commentary that could be used as if she was talking about the weather or a new set of shoes. It's simply a fact of life and, if he's a team-mate, it's not one she bothers to hide.

"Ah, a spy. Fascinating." Jean-Paul gives Sharon a more appraising look now. "Have you just come from assassinating some Russian operative? That is what American spies do, non?" And other unsavory things that shall not be named.

"Russia's old news. Nowdays, the Asians are the issue. But no, I came from Morocco this time…" Sharon dead pans, utterly honest, but not elaborating otherwise. She just crosses her long legs with a motion which is a *touch* slower than would come natural, probably parts of her sore that she's not quite showing. There was a fight. She hides it well. Old habits. "I'm considering retiring. Would be nice to work on home soil for a while."

"Asians in Morocco? I suspect there is a story there." Taking a sip of his brandy, Jean-Paul idly swirls the liquid around in the snifter. "Are spies allowed to retire?" he asks idly. It's difficult to tell if he's being serious or not. "Though with le Capitaine as your friend, it would probably not be wise to make you disappear."

A bitter laugh escapes her throat — bitter enough to be two day old coffee — and Sharon smirks around her cigarette which now precariously balances in the corner of her mouth, "When they pulled me out of Vietnam two months ago, I thought it was going to be forced retirement… But then they realized they can't keep me out of the field, they need me. It's been messy since. I suspect, if I wanted out, I could make it happen…" But, the tone of her voice says she hasn't quite decided yet if she DOES want out. She ashes her cigarette to the side just before it falls on her own chest. "…And you? How did you discover your… talent? How long have you been working with it? WHat brought you to the Avengers?"

"I would think an American woman would not blend in well in Vietnam." Jean-Paul states, perhaps a touch dubiously as to the claim. But then he lightly shrugs a shoulder at the questions. "It was not at all difficult. They manifested on their own without any prompting not long after I, as you Americans say, 'became a man'. I am told that is not at all unusual for mutants. As for the Avengers, I was visiting the World's Fair when it was attacked. I assisted in getting people to hospitals and your Capitaine was there. On our second meeting, he asked me to join him."

"I'm surprisingly good at not being seen." Sharon leaves it there, killing the last drag of her cigarette and leaning over for the currently empty ashtray that lives there for, probably, her alone in this house. She reaches back to her pack, planning on chain smoking, but then thinks better of it. She's trying to be polite, it seems. So, instead, she lounges back in her chair and kicks her bare feet up on the patio table. "Steve is good at picking out good people. I'm glad you didn't hate the world enough to tell him to fuck off when he asked… There's a lot of angry mutants out there."

"Ah, I am very angry indeed, ma chere." Jean-Paul says with a chuckle. "Very angry. And I lecture other angry people on how to bring down the government, starting with that of America as it is the worst offender in the west. Peacefully, of course and working within the current political system. Preferably."

The woman arches both brows, not offended but rather intrigued from the glance in her gray blue eyes. "You are being serious." She half asks, half flatly states. She still doesn't seem offended, but it's the most interesting thing he's told her this entire conversation and she's certainly listening now.

"I am being very serious." Jean-Paul agrees, looking and sounding amused. "I am an Olympic gold medalist in skiing whose medals were stripped from me when it was discovered that I was a mutant. As I am also a defiant homosexual who refuses to bow down to The Man, I am doubly oppressed and thus in demand to speak at various universities and other groups of activists against the capitalistic imperialism and oppression of the American government."

All those words bring a half wry smile to her lips and, polite or not, she finally does tap free another one of those Luckys. She shakes her head slowly, "…Our government is fucked. Keep giving'em the finger. Glad you're the fastest man on earth. You'll probably need it to dodge that bullet some day." It's not meant as a threat, but a sad sort of warning and acceptance of the corrupt state of their country.

"Oui, very fucked." Jean-Paul agrees. "And I hope to see it fall and be replaced by one not focused on heterosexual, white male humans making money at the expense of everyone else at the end of a weapon."

The woman is silent for several heartbeats after that. She't can't disagree… But she can't agree either. Not outloud. So, she just drags off her cigarette, sinking back a bit deeper in the patio chair so she's all slouched, knobby legs and arms. She stares up towards the sky and the mingling smoke in the air from her exhalation. "I suppose it could be worse." She finally offers, the best defense she can muster for the people she serves.

Jean-Paul just gazes at Sharon a moment before taking another sip of brandy. "Oui." he finally says. "The body count could be higher than it is now. So." he continues. "Will you be lending your talents as a spy to the team?"

"If they ask for them, yes…And I never said I was a spy. The CIA employs secretaries, you know…" Sharon murmurs, a slightly teasing, enigmatic smile crossing her tired features. She's not really bothering to hide it, either, but she should play the game. "I'm living here… never intended it but… it's become home now. I want to serve where I can. Would be nice to serve people I believe in."

"Secretaries. In the field. In Vietnam and Morocco." Jean-Paul notes. "Of course, ma chere. I am certain your shorthand is superb." Giving her a nod, he glances over at the mansion. "Le Capitaine fights for ideals he believes in, not for the government unless by some odd chance they happen to overlap. You should retire and devote your time to doing the same. You will sleep better."

"Some higher level members of the CIA do need their personal attache‘s, you know…" Sharon offers, but her heart isn’t behind the dance of words any longer. The man's charm, and passion, is enough to put a sour taste on most of what she's pledged to do. The look in her eyes is that of a woman going through the motions anyway. She takes another drag of her cigarette, "Steve has the lucky of celebrity status behind him and the privilege of being able to choose such a life. I don't know that I can say the same. Besides, sleep is overrated."

"It is easy to do nothing and let the status quo continue, ma chere." Jean-Paul states evenly. "Was it not the American president Theodore Roosevelt who said 'Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty.'? Le Capitaine has chosen his course of action regardless of those who would gainsay him. What you do with your life is for you to decide and whether it shall be easy or worth having."

"I promise you, little of what I do is easy." It's simply… Habit, probably. There's something hollow in Sharon's eyes, just like her thin cheeks. Someone who just didn't entirely come back from over seas and probably never will. She takes a long drag of her cigarette instead, burning through this one far quicker than the last. "Ideals are… pleasant. The luxury of the lucky."

Jean-Paul finishes his drink and stands. "Do you truly wish to continue to be a tool of the oppressors?" he asks Sharon, gazing directly at her. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." he quotes. "Are you content to do nothing? Do you think you are worthy of le Capitaine's friendship if you are? You stand at a crossroads, ma chere. You can either continue to be part of the problem or you can join those fight for a solution. Vive la revolution." There's a blur and air rushes into the space he had been standing. In less than a heartbeat, he's gone, the music has stopped, and Sharon is alone.

The woman doesn't quite meet his eyes, the heavy stare ahead very much the look of the guilty. Sharon is clearly intelligent. She knows he's right. But she doesn't speak up, not yet. She lets him get his piece out, each word weighing a touch more heavy on her heart. Her eyes close after a few heartbeats, against the wave of it all. She breathes in slowly and when she reopens her gaze and lips to speak to him, he is gone. She is left alone and quiet on the porch. She turns her head, staring off into the night. It will, no doubt, be another sleepless one.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License