1965-04-25 - Spycraft Pays Off
Summary: Teddy infiltrates the Leader's base…
Related: None
Theme Song: None
billy teddy-altman leader 

It's one of those beautiful spring afternoons that begs for wide-open windows and soft country music, for lounging and maybe slow-cooking something. While that's not exactly what's going on at the moment, Teddy does have the windows open and he *is* humming something softly to himself. From his spot on the couch, in a tank top and barefoot, he embodies the spirit of this lazy kind of day. He holds a notebook in front of him in which there is much of his own writing alongside inserted documents and images, through which he flips idly.

There's a shimmering and then Billy blurs into place, carrying with him a bag that he brings over and deposits on the coffee table, "I got a rack of lamb, loukaniko, and a couple gyros. Then baklava. It's been awhile since we had greek." And knowing Billy, this is from his favorite restaurant— in Greece. He's dressed in jeans and a black hoodie, and he deposits himself right up next to Teddy. "Whatcha looking at?" he asks curiously as he peers at the notebook, adding after a moment, "I approve of the lack of sleeves." He leans his cheek against Teddy's shoulder.

It's hard to say what hits Teddy first, the presense of another body in the apartment or the smell of Greek food. Whichever does, their combination dredges up some fine memories in the young man, and before Billy even makes it to his side, he's already smiling. "Hey you," he says, slowly closing his notebook and setting it off to the side. "Just…Skrull stuff," he admits, gazing upward to Billy with a dreamy look in his eye. "How do you always know when I require food?"

"You're a growing boy." Billy grins, leaning over to kiss Teddy's shoulder and nuzzling that there for a moment, then lifting a hand. Silverware and plates float over, and the bag opens up and spreads food around. "Plus, I was hungry. And it seems whenever I'm hungry, you're hungry. Our hunger-cycles have matched up." He shares a dimpled grin up at Teddy, before curiously looking at the notebook, "Anything new or interesting on that front?" He reaches over and gives Teddy's thigh a squeeze affectionately.

Teddy shuts his eyes to the kissing and nuzzling, lifting an arm to steal a hug from Billy before he swings his legs around to drape over the edge of the couch, placing his feet firm on the floor. "That's convenient." He watches the plates and food float around, shrugging at the question. "Nothing new. Maybe I should bring it up to Noh-Var." Another shrug before stretching and yawning. "Why don't we actually eat at these restaurants sometime?"

Billy melts into the hug, almost beaming he's so happy about it. Its possible the young witch is addicted to hugs. "He does seem to know stuff about them, so that'd be a good idea." He pils on some rack of lamb onto his plate, then some loukaniko and a gyro. The plate ends up quite full, "Oh, we can. Mostly its a language thing. But we can catch breakfast in Paris tomorrow, if you'd like." Pause, "Did you manage to steal a chunk of robot, hon?"

Teddy lifts a hand again to run it through his hair, which sticks up afterwards, because maybe he hasn't washed it today. "I think we can learn enough French to get through breakfast," he says, grinning over as he reaches for a plate and a gyro. "Oh, I almost forgot!" He says, setting the food aside to stand and cross tho the bedroom. Buried in the closet there, in an old box he pulled from who-knows-where, he removes the shoulder-piece from one of the robots and walks it over to Billy. "I had fun getting this one."

Billy doesn't really want to touch it, so he just nods it to the table and peers, thoughtfully, but for his part he's nto quite going to just stop eating. The food will get cold! "Okay, I'll try a scrying after dinner, see where you can go infiltrate next." He shares a quick grin with Teddy, "Good job. How did it go? Did anyone suspect anything was up?"

Teddy stands there holding out the robot part for a good moment before realizng Billy doesn't want to take it. Fair enough, the thing is a little creepy, anyway. "It was almost disappointing how easy it was," he says, finding a place on a side table to deposit the machine chunk. "I got to flirt with the secretary, had some bad coffee, you know." He probably doesn't? And yet Teddy is casual in his brief telling of the mission, but it's left hanging when he sits down to dig in to his gyro.

Flirting? Billy narrows his eyes, and huffs. Jealous. Just a little bit, the green eyed monster rears. Hmph. Still, he leans a shoulder against Teddy's own, apparently not miffed enough to deny shoulder action, "People aren't used to defending against shapeshifters, though they should start with the whole Skrull thing happening. Though I'm not sure quite _how_ they would go about defending against Skrulls. I could probably make a Skrull ward if I had a skrull to test it on, but…"

Teddy eats heartily away at the food while Billy talks, and when the other man drifts off he swallows hard and says, "I didn't mean shapeshifters, though if you need to test it out one someone…" He, too, drifts a bit, but brings it back together by moving off that topic. He'll gladly be a guinea pig if it means saving the world or something, but at present he would rather not consider it. "I was just thinking that so many people at the precinct didn't even give me a second look after I started acting like I fit in. I mean, I know I'm good," he smirks here and throws out a wink, "but we're supposed to trust the police, right?" A shrug, then more food.

"Not in this era." Billy shakes his head firmly, "The police now aren't like the police then, they're corrupt. That's why we never call them when we … save people. We don't ever rely upon them." He reaches a hand over to squeeze Teddy's arm, "If they knew we were together they'd be as likely to try to beat us up as anyone else. But, yeah. That's what SHIELD was teaching as spycraft. If you act like you belong its like 75% of the infiltration. You did good."

Teddy makes another face and sets his plate down. "Yeah, I get it," he mutters, but a smile returns a moment later as he leans back to consider the dimpled guy next to him. "Anyway, mission succesful. I hope you're able to get something from it." Standing again - maybe he's a little antsy - he heads for the fridge where he remembers a beer being the other night. Hopefully its still there.

Billy makes sure to keep the preferred alcohols stocked; even if they like different ones. He watches Teddy head over though. He's always watching Teddy: he can't drink in the sight of him enough. "Oh, I can. The sympathy will get us _something_, though who knows what. I did talk to Dad, by the way, and he verified this guy didn't leave any … left-over telepathic control or influence in me. He was also fairly I will blow something up dire about the whole situation. But he's going to let us handle it now that I know to mindward."

Teddy plucks a beer casually from the fridge and flicks the bottle cap off with his thumb. The little piece of of metal clinks a few times on the counter top before being scooped up and brought to the trash. "That's some good news, at least," he says, crossing back over to the couch to sit and wrap an arm around Billy. "But, for the record, I don't think you're going to blow anything up. We'll figure this thing, I'm sure of it." He does sound sure, for now, but how could he really be given how little they know.

"My stuff isn't entirely that reliable. Remember that time I meant to clean all the dishes and put them away and they all poofed into oblivion? Never did find them, had to buy a whole new set." Billy's a little embarassed about that still, but he nestles into Teddy's arm, and leans comfortably there. "When did you want to try to spy on this bad guy?"

Teddy does remember, and it's the kind of memory he can't help but chuckle at. While it might embarass Billy, it just gives the shifter a warm feeling in the pit of his stomach, and he buries his head against the other man's neck to stifle himself. "I just have a feeling you're going to impress us all." When he lifts his head again, it's with a loving look that's surely meant to offer some kind of comfort. "As soon as possible," he answers quickly, though he amends his response a moment later with a flick of his gaze toward the chunk of robot. "As soon as you're ready."

Billy leans over, "Kiss, then work. Then when we're done with the spycraft, we'll … stay up late." That's code, and considering the grin on his features and slight blush— he still blushes— its really clear what he intends. But he reaches up to touch Teddy's jaw, and leans in for a kiss. Its slow but passionate, and it promises more, but… Work! Sighing Billy pulls away and looks to the robot chunk, and lifts a hand. Out of a bookcase nearby floats a book of maps which settles down on the table, and then the chunk floats up into the air, and Billy concentrates on it, "Do androids dream of electric sheep? Do androids—"

Teddy mimics the lean with one of his own, pressing into the kiss with the softest of intentions. His eyes flutter shut and a contented grunt escapes him. When they break apart, he mutters, "You're the boss," and watches Billy work with an amused grin on his face. He'll have to ask the man where this comes from when there's less concentration involved. For now, he can't do much more than observe, and that's enough for him when his boyfriend is involved.

"—dream of electric sheep? Do androids dream of electric sheep?" Billy holds a hand over the map, and the map changes, showing a warehouse district in Harlem. The robot piece slides down again, and he looks to Teddy and grins, dimples showing. "Oh, since when am _I_ the boss? But that's where it the rest of this robot would consider the-place-to-power-down. I don't know if androids dream of electric sheep, but if they do, that's its bedroom. How do you want to handle this? I teleport you nearby, or you head there on your own and do your thing?"

"Since I decided your lead is worth following, at least when it comes to staying up at night." Teddy winks and stands to consider the map from above. Of course it's a warehouse. "I think I can make it there myself without being followed," he suggests, somewhat eager to put his newish spycraft skills into practice. "I'll be in an out before you even notice I'm gone." He smiles over to Billy, despite feeling a tinge of doubt about the situation.

Before he leaves, Billy lifts a hand up to toucH Teddy's head, "If you're not back by say, four hours? I'll come for you. Here." He closes his eyes, "Ward of the mind, ward of the mind, wardofthemindWARDOFTHEMIND." He nods a moment later, "He will almost certainly not be able to read or control your mind now. Be safe." He gives a slightly worried squeeze to Teddy's arm. This is the first time they've not been together when in an enemy base.

"Oh, we're doing this now," Teddy says, pointing to the floor. After the warding, he says, "Right, hang on then." Rushing to the bedroom to change, he makes quick work of it and returning moments later in a casual outfit that he doesn't mind ruining, if it comes to that. "I'll see you soon," he says, dipping down for a quick kiss. And at the door, he turns to say, "I love you," before headidng out.

Billy smiles, "I love you too." And sits down to fret.

The trip to the warehouse is uneventful, and the warehouse itself doesn't look especially like anything of interest… except for the traffic. There's various people in various sorts of outfits going in and out carrying things coming and going, and they don't really… fit. A person in a baseball T and a person in a suit should not both be carrying stuff into a building.

On the way to the warehouse, Teddy has some time to think. Usually, he does this on his feet, with more tactful people having provided some kind of information prior, but since he's on his own, he figures taking a moment to mull things over before he leaps into action is a good idea. And what realization does he come to? He really doesn't know anything about what to expect. So, when he shows up, he takes a moment to watch the comings and goings of the people around, and in particular to look for a source of the "stuff" being carried into the building. It must beb coming from somewhere.

In an ally to the side is a truck full of boxes. The steady stream of people are pretty much ignoring eachother to unload the boxes and take them inside, though it isn't at all obvious what it is they are carrying.

Since there is no discernable pattern to the people making up the steady stream, Teddy doesn't feel the need to choke someone out and steal their uniform, which is a pity because he did so well during that particular SHIELD workshop. Instead, he shifts his form underneath what he's wearing to that of a dark-haired, middle-aged hispanic man with a bushy mustache. As Rodolfo Villanueva - a monikor he's just taken upon himself - Teddy strides right up to the line of people, inserting himself where it feels natural so that he take a box of his own and ferry it over to the warehouse.

The box is surprisingly heavy, though Teddy is certainly strong enough to carry it. Whatever is inside also shifts. But, as Teddy follows the procession into the warehouse he passes some sort of sound dampening field, because inside its quite loud. There's machinery everywhere, centered around two areas. Closest, there is some sort of assembly belt where these square mechanical boxes are being assembled by people— at one point notably, a diamond is carefully put into another place. As Teddy follows to where he should deposit his box, he sees the rest of the warehouse where… people are being assembled. In their disassembled state they are clearly robots, but once the head is attached, they're indistinguishable from… all these completely silent workers surrounding him.

They're all robots. An army of robots who blend in with people perfectly.

Along the way, Teddy tries to maintain the fluid and single-minded pace he sees around him. Still, he can't help but let his eyes wander to the point where his head follows in an arc that takes in the machinery and assembly lines as best as possible from his point of view. When it comes time to deposit the box, he does so and takes just a brief moment to watch the assemly of a robot. It does not tug at his heart in the same way as a mechanized dinosaur, but he's still fascinated. Turning to leave, he focuses his attention on small boxes, looking for a moment quickly switch from the line he's in to the very end of *that* assembly line, so that he might have a look at where the finished boxes end up.

It is when that box is snatched from where it comes to rest that he gives himself away. Suddenly there's a stillness in the room. As one, all the robots— there has to be almost two hundred— turn to stare at Teddy. For now, just stare.

"What have we here?" The man with a green skin and a large head steps out of a side office moments later, and frowns, "I can't read you, that must be Mr. Kaplan's doing, musn't it? William Kaplan, son of Jeff and Rebecca Kaplan of Queens. 31st street, as I understand it."

After noting the final destination of the box, yes, Teddy swipes one. Getting away with the sleight of hand wouold have been too easy, though, so it should come to no surprise that he eventually comes face to face with the large-headed man, whose voice is eerily familiar to him. Still, Teddy *is* surprised, and this might show for a just a moment. "No, senor. I don't know any William Kaplan." Though his robot cover is blown, there's no reason for this man to know who he actually is, nor his relationship to Billy.

"Little Aaron was playing in his yard afternoon." Aaron being one of Billy's younger brothers.

"Shame if anything were to happen to him. Put the box down, and your hands up."

Two robots approach Teddy, one looking like a fat man and the other a short one.

Teddy considers the threat as he fiddles with the box still palmed in his hand. It *would* be terrible if something were to happen to little Aaron. I mean Aaron. But there's also no guarantee that whoever it is he's talking to won't act on the threat anyway. Instead of thinking it over too much, Teddy shakes his head and says, "No, I can't do that." His next shift is a more impressive one than taking the guise of Mr. Villanueva, as he grows, takes on a deep green hue, and sprouts some leathery wings that flap to lift him off the ground. His hand folds over the box as gently as it can, so that he doesn't break the thing on his way out, which will be through the roof unless stopped.

The robots leap at Teddy the moment he starts shifting, and the fat one slams into the shifter before his wings are fully extended. The other one reaches out to grab one of Teddy's arms to try to hold and keep him in place. The bots are heavy and strong, but truth be told, Teddy outclasses them by a solid margin. He can fight those off nearest him and then leap to the ceiling, and crash through if he wishes, but more robots are approaching. The whole army is moving towards him. But he can manage to escape, if barely.

It was a gamble, going full-out when faced with an army of robots and an unnamed master, but what other choice did he have? Give up the goods and surrender? No way! That's how Teddy frames it when the first robot slams into him. He grunts and lists sideways, right wing stuck for a moment in the robot's grip. When it manages to slip free, just as the second robot grabs hold, he gives a few strong flaps to pull the three of the em off the ground a few feet. "Let — " he grunts again and gives his body a good, solid shake, " — me go!" This, along with a swift kick, wrests him free of the mechanical thugs. As he flies higher, he can feel the hoard's weighted hands brush against his ankles and feet, but he's free and picks up speed quick, ducking his head to power through the ceiling and into the sky beyond.

The robots, alas, can not fly. A design defect that the Leader will correct in a future iteration. The green-headed man stares impassively at Teddy's escape, before turning to look at the nearest robot, "It is time for an upgrade. Prepare the power matrices for plugging in, and upgrade the entire production line. Once complete, move to site B. Execute."

Once it's clear there's nobody following him, Teddy slows enough to check on the box he got away with. Who knows what his impact with the ceiling might have done to it, though he feels like he was able to cradle it nicely enough. After, he makes a beeline for home, flying high enough to avoid being seen clearly by any people below until he's above the apartment. There, on the roof, he lands with a noticeable thud.

Thus! Billy vanishes from where he's fretting, and appears above, floating in the air, electricity arcing through his fingers. Battle mage, ready! But its Teddy, green, whole, looking undamaged, and the relief that is on his features is _intense_. He flies over and wraps arms around Teddy's neck and buries his face into Teddy's shoulder and just clings for a minute, even if Teddy's a little giant and green right now. He never minded green.

The box appears undamaged.

Teddy may look undamaged, but he also appears tremendously fraught. Despite this, he melts into the hug and lifts Billy gently from the ground in return. "Billy," he says setting the mage back down as his wings suck back into his body with two solid *plops*. "I don't know who he was, but he knows Aaron. He knows all about you." And this has Teddy acting a lot less cool than he might otherwise.

They are both lifted into the air before Teddy even finishes speaking. Teddy can fly if he wants to, but Billy's telekinesis is instinctual and can more then carry them as they zoom through the air towards Queens. The color has completely faded from his skin as he looks to Teddy, lifting a hand to touch his boyfriends face, "The ward is still in place. So he got it from me the first time." His voice breaks with fear even as he flies them towards his family. "What did you find?" he asks softly.

This time, Teddy will take the offered ride. Along the way, he remains in his big green form, though without the wings, because it's the size and shape that's actually keeping his torn outfit from falling off. When touched, he stares at Billy with a worried look, pursing his lips together tightly. "They were manufacturing something," he explains, glancing toward his still-curled hand. "Something with the diamonds that were stolen. I brought back a sample, or a piece. It's something, though." Or so he hopes.

As they fly, Billy pulls away only a little, and why becomes obvious; he's having difficulty controlling the electricity that suddenly arcs along his skin, between his fingers, over his face. He manages just barely to keep a calm voice, "Dad said he was going to ward their house, so that's something. The house might be a sanctuary, I'll know when they got there." He pauses, and looks to Teddy, "Let me see it? Without touching it, I mean? Right now…" He lets that voice trail off, "I can look… closer… later when… more steady."

Teddy pulls both hands closer to him, cupping the small box inside as he opens them enough for Billy to have a look. "I have no idea what it might be, but we'll figure it out." Shutting his hands together again, he adds, "Later. Because, babe, you need to concentrate on getting us there in one piece." It's then that his features warm some, and a smile comes to his face. "Focus on me if you need to. We'll get there in time."

Though they're flying at nearly sixty miles an hour, and so will be there soon, its quieter then flight should be at the speed. The telekinesis forms a bubble of sorts, keeping most of the wind out. Billy looks at the box and frowns, "Let's take it to Fitz." is his first thought, "I know I say we need to compartmentalize SHIELD and Planners, but while I'm good at science, its not mechanical science. After we're sure my family is safe let's take it to Fitz." He takes a deep breath, and the electricity fades into his skin, and he reaches out for Teddy's hand.

Teddy takes the hand with one of his own and nods. He actually thinks there will be a better time to plan the next step, but for now lets The Fitz Solution lie there. Pulling the hand to his mouth, he getly lays a kiss against the back of it. "Sure, let's consider that." Another smile, and then he's turning to try and get a better look at where they are, also eager to make sure Billy's family is safe.

Billy's smile is strained, but it is there. And then, ahead, there is a house, and gently Billy lowers himself and Teddy down onto the roof, and Billy sort of… perches. He looks around slowly, and nods, "The ward is up, Dad did it." he confirms, but there's a hesitation, "I'm not sure what to do next, Teddy."

Teddy takes a few steps once they've landed to survey their surroundings. Though still in a hulking mass, he's careful to tread lightly to as not to make a bunch of noise or damage anything. "I don't know either," he says, so he walks over to have a seat next to Billy and look at the little box he stole more closely. "The man I saw was green like me," he explains, because that feels like a good place to start. "Big head, lots of robots. They were building those there, too."

"Yeah this tech is beyond me." Billy is sure of that in short order. "There's also no magic about it at all." He hesitates, and looks around, thoughtful, and he bites his lower lip, "I'm going to try to lay down a ward against machines. Dad guarded against telepathy already, but still, I've never done a ward …well except the one on your brain. Its not perfect but its the best protection we can do. I'll focus it on bipedal machines. Then..w e go home?"

Teddy leans back and says, "Yeah, it's beyond me, too. I wonder if Noh-Varr can weigh in." Again with the future Kree, but hey, if anyone besides SHIELD might be able to offer some insight into advanced technology, it would be him. "And we can go whenever you want. Do you want to make sure people inside are OK?" He nods down to the roof to indicate the house below and lifts a brow. Maybe it's better not to worry them, though.

"There's no way they got here before us and.. I'm.. not steady enough." Billy shakes his head, "Mom would take one look at me and start worrying." He hesitates, "I didn't think of Noh-Varr." Proof that his thinking is not entirely clear. He holds a hand out and closes his eyes, "The terminators shall not pass. The terminatorshallnotpasstheTERMINATORSshallNOTPASStheTERMINATORSSHALLNOTPASS." As usual to Teddy's eyes, the magic does nothing at all, but as the wards settle into the ground around the space, Billy visibly relaxes.

Teddy nods in agreement. They did bolt over extra fast, and he has a feeling that the bad guys wouldn't immediately attack Billy's family since their warehouse was just compromised. So he doesn't push the topic, instead watching the other man work. And when he's done, he says, "You're going to have to explain to me how you came up with your spells today. Let's go home." He reaches out to lay a hand on Billy's shoulder, squeezing it gently and giving it a rub. "There's more of this over there."

Absently, Billy murmurs, "The androids thing is a sci fi book." Pause, "Oh, right, not written yet. Its… good. Seminal. It was a favorite of mine. Terminators are robots who take over and kill humankind. It's a movie… will be." He shrugs. Time and him is fuzzy, he can barely keep it straight sometimes. But Billy reaches out and claps Teddy's hand and then wraps another arm around Teddy's shoulders, and just clings to him, "Home, home, home." He's teleported home so often its the most simpliest of spells for him to do. Space blurs and they are in their apartment, on the couch, safe beneath layers and layers of warded protections.

And it's there on the couch that Teddy says, "Hey," nudging the young mage with an elbow when he notes the murmuring and the shrugging. "Come on, we did good today." He leans back and pulls Billy with him, shifting to his human form on the way. "You can relax now." He can undestand the stress of everything that's happened, because it's happened so quickly, but he hates to see the better half strain under it. "Want a drink or something?"

"It's always been what I've been afraid of, Teddy. People finding that family. Using them against me." Billy's voice is soft, though he leans against Teddy. He practically curls against Teddy's strength. "No drink." He shakes his head, "Take me to bed, I don't want to think about any of this. Help me think of nothing at all but you, Teddy."

Yeah, that's the tough bit about this, because Teddy knows this fear all too well. It's a completely sane fear, too, which only helps drive it home today. "I know," is what he manages to say as he reaches to set the box down on the table nearby. "I know." He hugs Billy close and then gently pulls him up and off the couch. "Come on, it's better to think about all this tomorow anyways." He starts to lead them both to the bedroom, where he'll shut the door pull the other man in close.

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