1965-09-05 - Tenacity and Hope
Summary: Steve goes out for an evening run and meets Lindon.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
lindon steve-rogers 

Lindon usually has an escort, and maybe he does around here somewhere. Or maybe it's one of those moments where there's a lull, where attention is dropped for just a moment. He seems to be out here alone, in the park at night. He's got on his coat. The nights are starting to get cold. He's a bit of a looming figure in the dark, tall and thin.

He stops at a fountain, watching the water burble and flow. He stands lost in thought, his mind wandering off on some thread that tells him volumes about the ins and outs of fountain maintenance. Within moments, he'll know everything there is to know on the topic.

From the nearby concrete path comes the rhythmic approach of a jogger. Whomever it is has a brisk pacing, absolutely high enough to get the heart pounding through limbs and extremities. Out of the relative dimness beyond the regularly-situated lamps comes a gentleman blond of hair and sturdy of build. He wears a long-sleeved workout shirt in navy-blue, tight enough to showcase that he might work out regularly, as well as grey sweatpants and running sneakers. His approach brings him by the fountain and he comes to a pause alongside it, tossing his head back briefly and blowing a hard sigh.

Looks like he's going to use the raised edge of the fountain as a stretching point for how he plants a foot and then leans backwards to stretch the muscles along the back of his leg. It's when he wipes the back of his hand at one temple that he realizes the presence of Lindon and glances over. A small but friendly smile is shot towards the other man.

"Sorry if I'm disturbing your peace, I won't be long. Just have to stretch," he explains of the obvious.

Lindon blinks a few times and looks at Steve. He's got a naturally haunted look about him, It's those deep dark eyes. He studies him for a moment, and his expression softens. "Oh," he says, "it's all right. I was just…" He smiles, kind and so awkward. "You're… I know you."

He shoves his hands in his coat pockets, hesitates, then takes a step closesr. "I'm Lindon. I'm sure we haven't met."

The Captain looks up from considering the toe of his jogging sneaker with one hand wrapped around its sole. His blue eyes are far brighter than those of this stranger, but still jaded, in their way. World-weary? No. World-experienced, yes, in facets unknownst to the civilians he lives amidst.

"You know me, but we haven't met?" He asks this even as he brings one foot down from the concrete ledge to swap it for the other. "Haven't heard that before. Lindon though, right? Steve. Nice to meet you." Again, another smile, plain and friendly, just one man to another.

Lindon's smiles broadens tentatively. "I know of you," he says. "I'm sorry, I looked at you and saw a war. You were in France." He shakes his head and says apologetically, "My mind is all over the place tonight. I must sound like a madman. You've got a very strong presence."

Of course he's had to have heard of Captain America, but so much of that is about the costume, and Steve isn't wearing it now. So much information is hitting the poor Archive all at once, but that little nugget hasn't caught up yet.

The sharing of what precisely triggered the Archival knowledge is enough to bring Steve to focus squarely on Lindon now. He keeps at his stretch, but now the librarian has his full if dubious attention.

"No…you're fine," he eventually replies. "I've had stranger things said to me over the years. France though? Hmph." It's a quiet close-lipped laugh. He shakes his head a little, looking back to his shoe as he deepens the stretch. "Been some time since there." Those blue eyes slide back to Lindon. "Is it magic you've got then? Some sort of…ability to look into people's pasts?" He asks it so bluntly that clearly the man's had run-ins with the Arts before, one way or another.

Lindon shakes his head and says, "No, it's, uh." He's not supposed to come out and say he's a relic, but damn it, he wants to inform people by nature. He goes quiet as he thinks, his gaze turning inward. "It's a gift," he says, and his lips twitch at almost a smile. "A privilege. To know things."

Focusing on Steve again, he says, "Usually it's general knowledge. Who won the 1941 world series. The Yankees. What's the boiling point of ethanol, 78.37 Celcius. It's not usually very personal, but I see you, and I know. I'm sorry, I'm not trying to pry."

Lindon still gets that full and dubious attention from the Captain. He retracts his sneakered foot from its perch atop the fountain's wall and then settles into a lunge, gracefully balancing in order to enact the stretch.

"So if you know things, then why don't you know who I am? I had to introduce myself," Steve points out, ever the disbeliever in things beyond the mundane. "Doesn't sound like a gift to me if you don't…know all the information you need to know to come to a conclusion."

"It's a gift I've often wished I could return," Lindon says, dropping his gaze to Steve's feet. "The problem is, while I'm getting flashes of who you are, I'm also seeing your sneakers, gauging the wear and tear while my mind analyzes the material of the soles in relation to the pavement found in this park to predict how long you'll have them before you wear this pair down, too." Because somehow he knows Cap runs, and he runs a lot.

"Oh," he says. "The costume. I see it, now. Of course, you're…" He looks around, this way and that, and he lowers his voice. "You're Captain America."

The Captain's angular face shows transparent surprise at the sudden naming. He's impressed, it's clear as day on him, and he slowly straightens from his lunge. A low whistle stops when he murmurs,

"I'll be damned. I'd normally call you out as hinky, but I don't think you're lying." There he goes, ever wanting to believe the best in people in the end. A few steps and there he is offering a hand out for Lindon to shake if he wants, sporting a half-smile. "Captain Steve Rogers. I appreciate you being discreet it. Sometimes, I just want to go for a jog."

Lindon shakes his head and says, "No, I'm not." Though he doesn't seem offended at the prospect that Steve would think he was. He merely looks confused. He smiles though as he shakes Steve's hand. "It's so nice to meet you," he says, so gentle-natured. "I would feel bad if you were trying to get some time to yourself and I ruined it."

He shakes a little longer than normal before he reclaims his hand. Social niceties are hit or miss if he isn't thinking about it, and gosh, it's Captain America! "You're so much more than a costume," he says.

Steve doesn't make any deal of the longer-than-necessary handshake, simply taking back his own once Lindon disengages from it. He then lifts the same hand and makes a dismissive motion.

"You didn't ruin it, no worry. The temperature was just cool enough to make it worthwhile. I've got another ten miles to go yet, but this is a good-enough place to pause for a quick rest." He glances away as he hears a distant sound, but it's sirens too far from the Park to warrant immediate aid. "And thank you," he adds, looking back to Lindon. "It's a symbol. The people need to see it, but I hope I've kept living up to the spirit it once inspired."

Dark eyes peer into those bright blues, and Lindon forgets to blink for a moment. How does one say casually to someone they just met that they're too pure for this world? He glances away as he says with a slight stammer, "You're doing a fine job. Your actions in the face of adversity have been exemplary."

He hesitates a moment, then asks, "How do you do it, Captain? When the world makes it so easy to lose yourself, to stop caring and take the easy route out. When they all want to tear you down, how do you keep standing up?"

A good question, and one that requires some thought. Steve glances away, towards the fall of water from piping. He watches the lightplay of the lamps ripple across the surface and at one point, he inhales and sticks his hands in the pockets of his sweatpants. He meets Lindon's dark eyes again.

"You just do. I don't mean to sound trite, but when I was growing up, if you took a licking, you kept on kicking. You dusted yourself off and you kept at it. You find the good in the world and you protect it at all costs. Grit and blood, you spit it out and you keep swinging. In France, the good was freedom. Freedom from tyranny for the people of the world." He shrugs. "These days, maybe it's not as obvious, but there're still things that need protecting. I'm not going anywhere anytime soon."

Lindon nods slowly, careful not to break eye contact. "My abilities have been sought out," he says, keeping his voice low. There are other things he doesn't want being overheard, not just Cap's identity. "There are people willing to do terrible things to get hold of what I can do. Conversely, there are people who work very hard to make sure that happens.

"Sometimes I wonder when it's too much. Too dangerous, too costly." He taps his temple. "This thing in my head will kill me. The fight to keep me safe only ends one way. And so I wonder somtimes how best to use the time I've got. To make it count. I think being more like you is a good place to start."

"It can't hurt, pulling yourself up by your bootlaces," the Captain replies quietly. He tilts his head a degree, expression quietly sympathetic for the plight he doesn't quite understand. He can still see that there's some solemn sadness about this newfound acquaintance nonetheless.

"If anything, do it for those who would grab you under the arms and help get you to your feet — for those who work hard to make sure that no one takes advantage of your abilities. Your brothers likely work just as hard as you do to keep the world around you safe."

Lindon listens intently, words of wisdom from someone who might be the best human. "Sometimes it seems like a pointless exercise, and somtimes you fight for the sake of fighting." He smiles a little. He doesn't look like a fighter, this one. He looks like a fellow more at home in a library with a good book. There are the signs of fighting, though, of struggle. He wears it around his eyes.

"Of course, you're right," he says softly. "Do it for them when I can't do it for myself. They do work hard, and they keep me on my feet." He nods. "Maybe it's better to let them have hope than to remind them of the facts."

Steve nods in agreement, his mein lightening a touch as a small yet true smile curves his lips.

"Sometimes, hope is the best you can do. It's a small light when it's dark, but you can follow it regardless. Light at the end of the tunnel and all." From the trees, an owl lifts off and glides silently away after quieter hunting grounds. Geez, humans, yammering away here, can't hear the rabbits in the undergrowth just off the path. "When times get tough, I think of my friends - of my mother. She was…an anchor and a rock, an island in the storm. I'm strong because of her and I honor her memory in this," the Captain explains in a low voice. His one-sided dimple is wistful in its way. "I honor my friends and the sacrifices they made and make at my side. What else can I do but get up again? I owe them nothing less."

Lindon's quick gaze finds the owl and follows it in its flight until it's out of sight. For all he knows, it's a nosy Sorcerer Supreme checking up on him, and he smiles a little at the thought. He is blessed to be in such good hands. His attention shifts back to Cap, and those gentle eyes take him in with wonder. He loves his mother. Of course he's the perfect human.

"Your words have weight, Captain Rogers," he says. "And I want you to know they've found a place in my mind and heart. For the sacrifices made on my behalf, I owe them nothing less than tenacity and hope."

Steve looks down at his feet briefly, hiding the flash of a bright smile and toning it down first before he looks back up at the Archive. The source of the stifled amusement shows next in his words:

"Knew that public speaking class would come in handy," he jokes lightly, happy to cast the spotlight away from himself if at all possible. "Still. Good. I suspect they'll find your tenacity and hope a form of strength to them as well. Maybe it's your way of getting back up. I hear spite's a strong motivator and there's something in seeing your enemy shocked at you on your feet again."

Lindon smiles at Steve's words, and he lowers his gaze to give the man reprieve from those all-knowing eyes. "I never thought about it that way," he says. "That I could be a source of strength. I hate the neediness of my circumstances, and the thought I might give something back is quite heartening. Thank you for that, Captain."

The idea of spite as a motivator gets another grin from him, though he looks a little uncertain. The man just doesn't seem spiteful. He might invite spite over to tea to see if it would like to discuss its issues. "I suspect that's the last thing my enemies expect to see." Since most of them assume he's a book.

"They might call you mulish, but you'll be still swinging," Steve agrees in regards to surprised enemies. "And you're welcome." Another shrug, as easy-going as much as he offered thoughts on matters. "Sometimes, I've got useful life experiences to share. Not often, but they seem to count when they do." He glances to his wrist watch and then back to Lindon with an apologetic little twist of a smile.

"I'm sorry, but I've gotta finish out those last ten miles. There's a morning meeting and even soldiers need sleep. Lindon, a pleasure to meet you," and he holds out a hand again, warmed from being inside the pocket of his sweatpants.

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