Summary: The Winsome Wasp meets the Living Legend.
Location: The JLA Mansion
Rating: PG for mild innuendo.
"I feel pretty.... oh so pretty..." Janet van Dyne sings happily as she passes through the front door, into the mansion, "I feel pretty and witty and wise..." She wears a gorgeous sundress on this chilly but clear summer's day. "Boys! I'm hoooome! Milan was wooonderful! My fashions were the hit of the expo!"
The first sound that comes to Janet's ears is...laughter. Two male voices, one of which is quite familiar, if not one that she's likely accustomed to hearing laugh so...openly. The laughter is coming from one of the parlors, where Jarvis is seated at a small table, laden with tea and scones, and speaking with a fellow in some rather famous star-spangled attire, though the cowl of the uniform is pulled back to reveal the features of plain old Steven Rogers. Both men are laughing, but Steve appears to be in the midst of a tale, sort of acting it out, "So then Prime Minister Churchill says, "Bugger me, Captain, but when I ordered fish and chips for supper I most certainly -didn't- mean it as code for "Send Prince Namor to me immediately!"
"What the heck?" Janet wonders, aloud, to herself. She follows the sign of laughter and jolly memories to the parlor where she spots... "OH MY GOD!!!" Janet drops her bag, which hits the ground with a thud, and points at the man in the red, white and blue. "You're Captain America!!!"
Whoops, busted! The ever-professional Jarvis manages to move to his feet in the blink of an eye, yet somehow does so without seeming hurried at all. While his face is still flushed from laughter and he does have to wipe a tear from his eye, he clears his throat and speaks, "My sincere apologies Miss Van Dyne, I did not hear you come in." He moves towards Janet with that effortless, unflappable grace he usually manages to keep up at all times, and gestures between the Captain and Janet, "Captain, may I present Miss Janet Van Dyne. Miss Van Dyne, this is Captain Steven Rogers, better known as...well nevermind, I think you've got the right of it. Please, allow me to take care of your bags." He moves to unobtrusively pick up those parcels and disappear from view, leaving the pair to converse. Though a few chuckles can be heard as he heads down the adjacent corridor.
Steve turns to the new arrival, not seeming at all startled or off-put by the sudden interjection. He steps forward, smiling brightly, "A pleasure, Miss Van Dyne."
"I got the email about you being found and joining the team but... wow...." Janet holds out her hand, palm down, wrist bent, fingers slightly curled. "You're even more gorgeous than the documentaries made you look. Oh my... Captain Rogers, you might have just inspired me to enlist." Then? Janet flutters her eyelashes.
Cap's been schooled for high society functions and occasionally interacting with European nobility, heads of state, and corporate bigwigs, and so executes a perfectly proper hand-kiss at Janet's gesture, "I'm flattered, Miss Van Dyne, but from what I understand you're already doing plenty of good work whether you're formally enlisted or not." He's thankful for those admittedly brief dossiers that Nick provided him with of his teammates. "There's a fresh pot of tea brewed, if you care to join me?" Despite his perfectly-groomed manners, there -is- a touch of pink to Steve's cheeks at the eyelash fluttering. Of course, he just keeps up the gentlemanly gestures by pulling out the chair for Janet.
"A man with manners. Be still my heart!" Janet pitter pats over her heart and then settles down into the offered chair. "Tea sounds lovely. I take mine with no cream, three sugars. Wasps... we like our sweets. My one weakness." She considers the Captain for a moment, her mouth quirked into a lopsided smile. "It really is good to have you with us, Captain. The League's a fantastic team but you're a legend."
Steve prepares the tea as requested, offering the cup and saucer towards Janet after a few moments, inclining his head with a somewhat sheepish smile, "Well, I'm glad to be here, though from what I understand you and the rest of the League have been well on your way to legendary status, yourselves. I was just a soldier doing the job I was assigned to do. I'm beginning to worry that my reputation has been a bit inflated in the intervening years. But please, call me Steve."
In truth? His reputation isn't really exaggerated. If anything, it's understated simply because a lot of what he did is still classified. But Steve's far too humble to conceive of such a thing.
"Please, Captain.... Steve." Janet says with a laugh. "Diana? Superman? Batman? Legends, certainly. I'm just the winsome Wasp. They call me when they have little problems to deal with." She holds her fingers apart just an inch. "Tenny tiny ones. Those are more my speed." She takes a sip of tea before she continues. "I do mean it, though. Right now, people can be distrustful of superhumans and downright hateful towards mutants. Someone like you... someone who inspires by just breathing? We need that. The League needs it. The world does."
"It's a team effort, and raw power certainly isn't everything." He'd know, having fought alongside the likes of Namor and the original Human Torch. "Sometimes stopping a teeny tiny problem at the right time prevents it from becoming a very, very big problem further down the line." Steve notes with a smile and a sip of his own tea, though the smile turns to a more serious expression at Janet's latter words, "Yes...it's troubling to see some of the tensions that are so prominent right now, but I'm sure in time the League can overcome those sentiments."
"I hope so. It isn't anything new." Janet says, looking out, towards one of the room's windows. As if she could see the whole world through that glass, "You must have seen it in your day. How people with different skin colors, different religions were treated. How women were treated as ornaments and possessions, not people. The world has gotten so much better but sometimes it seems as if, for every prejudice we chip away at, another rises up to take it's place."
"Sadly, it fits with our history as a nation. The prejudice shifts from one minority to another. As you said, in time it seems the prior targets become accepted, while all that ire shifts to something or someone else." Steve smiles, "But we're still a work in progress, and people like you and me, and the rest of the League have to keep fighting for the hope that one day, hopefully sooner rather than later, we'll get it right." Steve sips from his cup once more, "White, black, Christian, Muslim, homosexual, heterosexual, human, metahuman...it's always been diversity that's our strength. When we manage to set the labels aside and work together...we can accomplish anything." He looks a touch sheepish, "But sadly, it usually takes a War for that to happen."
"Mmm..." Janet says, eyes shining. "That's what we need. Diana and Superman can give speeches like that but they're both lacking something... human? Diana's a princess and Superman's so out of this world powerful that its easy to dismiss him as not understanding the common man. You, though... yes, Steve, I think we need to get you out in front of a camera or two soon."
Steve clears his throat, cheeks reddening a bit, "Sorry, I have a tendency to go on like that at times." He sips from the tea once more, and adds with a more confident tone, "I've some experience with public statements and appearances, and no problem with making them for the right causes, but if we're going to try to parley my reputation to sway public opinion it'll likely work better if we focus on actions more than words." He grimaces a touch, "And maybe wait until I have a slightly better grasp of the world I'm living in now." He chuckles, albeit a bit grimly, "Two and a half weeks ago it was spring of 1945, for me. The here and now is...a little overwhelming at times."
"I can imagine." Janet stands up and paces so she can eye Steve from first one angle, then the other. "Hmm..." She works out his sizes in her head, "We'll need to take you shopping. New clothes. New shoes. You'll need a few suits, clothes to work in, clothes to work out in... is there anyone you want to get back in contact with? I can have my HR people look for them. They're fantastic with background checks."
Steve glances up at Janet, blinking a couple times, before smiling, "Well, I probably could stand to do some shopping. I have a few things but...it hasn't been a tremendous priority." He blinks at the thought of tracking people down, "Well...Nick I already know about, as well as most of the Howling Commandos. He also informed me about...someone special..." He pauses frowning, "She...uh, she remembers me on her good days. But apparently there are fewer and fewer of those."
"If you get me a list of names and some other identifying characteristics, I'll see who I can track down. If this... someone special knew you were Captain America... she deserves to see you in person before she sees you on the television." Janet says, smiling sadly. "Don't you think?"
"I should see her, yes. Was planning on a trip later this week." He knows it's not going to be easy, likely for either of them, but she does definitely deserve to know the truth. "Anyone else? I...I don't know. Nick already gave me a list of many who have passed on. I think most of the most important people I've already accounted for. Though I understand there may be some original members of the Justice Society that are still around."
"That I know of? The original Green Lantern, the Flash... I believe Wildcat is running a gym in Gotham. Here..." Janet slips her cell from her belt and taps the screen. "I have a address for you if you want it. You can go visit him, go a few rounds..."
"Ted Grant? He helped train me back before the War. I'd love to see him. I'd imagine they likely know I'm back." He accepts the address from Janet, smiling, "Thank you, Miss Van Dyne. I appreciate this."
"Its nothing." Janey waggles her phone at Cap. "The wonders of modern technology. Has anyone explained the internet to you yet? Its sort of like radio you can access at whim, except its also text, video, and pictures, even games. You can access it on phones, like this one."
"I've heard the brief version, but Tony suggested that I might want to take my time before delving too far into that particular innovation. It sounds amazing, but right now I'm still reeling from my favorite Baseball team having moved to Los Angeles and something called the "Super Bowl" being a bigger deal than the World Series." Steve teases lightly, "It took a poor SHIELD Technician fifteen minutes to explain "E-Mail" to me, and about five more to assure me I didn't need a stamp." He's at least partially teasing, but not entirely.
Janet van Dyne can't help but grin. Handsome, gallant, a sense of humor, and a butt that just won't quit? Yum! "Don't worry. Plenty of people still love baseball. You should see this town when the Yankees make the series. My company has a box at the new stadium. I'll take you sometime, if you want."
"I'd probably enjoy that, Miss Van Dyne." Steve says quite sincerely, "The city's changed a lot...but at least the street names and layout are roughly the same, and there's still plenty of buildings I recognize." He pauses, rubbing at the back of his neck a bit, "Found a nice apartment in Brooklyn. A little fancier and bigger than I'm used to, but it seems to be working out all right."
"Janet, please." the winsome Wasp says, "If you're Steve, I'm Janet. Or Jan. Who is paying your bills? The JLA stipend? Or do you still get military pay? Did Fury try to make you a SHIELD agent, too?"
"I didn't even know there -was- a JLA stipend." Steve laughs a touch, "The U.S. Military was kind enough to give me back pay, plus interest, for my time spent in suspended animation. It...well, it's a lot more money than I'd ever thought I'd see in my life. Though of course it doesn't seem to go nearly as far these days. Still, it looks like it will last me quite a while. I'm...well, I have pretty simple tastes and I was raised to be rather frugal." Being a child of the Great Depression after all. He gestures to the mansion, "A place like this, well...as a boy I'd never even have imagined I'd set foot in it."
"Get used to it." Janet says, quite seriously. "You have power in this world, Steve. How much power you take and how you choose to exercise that power... that's up to you. Some people say our place as heroes is on the side line. We do out job and then fade away. That's bull. Its our responsibility to use the fame and power that comes with the costume to make the world a better place in more ways than just hitting the bad guy." She quirks a grin, "And if we have fun doing it? All the better."
"I've managed to squeeze a little bit of fun into my career. Punching Hitler was fun." Steve grins a little bit at the memory. "Some of the public appearances, plenty of good friends." He pauses a moment, looking a bit wistful, "Sometimes we just had to -make- a little pocket of sanity and good cheer for ourselves, whenever we had the chance."
"I can't imagine the horror of it." Janet says, shaking her head, "I've read accounts of the men who found the concentration camps. Opened those gates, saw the prisoners and the horrible things that happened there firsthand..."
Steve nods grimly, "Yes, it...I can't even begin to find the words." Not that he doesn't try, anyway, "We knew Hitler and his high command were evil, and the bunch of costumed and metahuman villains they had working for them, but...we didn't know how deep it went. We had heard rumors...sketchy reports. The hysterical ramblings of refugees. But the first time I saw the camps..." He shakes his head, "I had done my duty up to that point. I was a soldier, and I fought for my country and the common good. But I don't think I fully realized until that moment why I became Captain America. I knew I'd spend the rest of my life...however long or short it might be...trying to make a world where something like that could never happen again."
"Except we did it here." Janet says, quietly. "To Japanese-Americans. And now people talk about doing the same thing to mutants. You hear all the same things over and over again, only its worse because mutant children often can't control their powers at first. They can do a lot of damage before they learn how to deal with it."
"I...didn't agree with the Japanese Internment, but at the time I was fighting in the War and everything was vetted through the War Department. Even if I'd spoken against it, the public never would have seen it. I made my views known to the brass, for what little good it did. At least the country seems to have realized it was a mistake in hindsight." He frowns, "Everyone has the potential to cause damage, whether on a small or large scale. But we can't penalize, much less criminalize people for an accident of birth." Steve shakes his head, "I'll freely admit that the situation is more complicated when you're dealing with people that can potentially do damage on a large scale, but we should be trying to understand them and help them to prevent these kinds of things...not scaring them into a position where they might lose control in a panic."
Janet van Dyne smiles. It is a warm, genuine smile. Her hand reaches out and she places it on Steve's shoulder. "I can't imagine you saying anything different. I don't think its an accident, Steve. That you were frozen. That you ended up here and now. We need you now."
"We'll see. If I can make a difference for the better, I'll move Heaven and Earth to make it happen." Steve smiles warmly to Janet, "I do believe things happen for a reason. So I think we can agree on that. Still, it's good to know you have good people fighting alongside you when things are at their worst."
"I agree." Janet nods her head. "Now, let's get you out of that uniform and into some clothes you can go out in. We need to take you shopping. Janet van Dyne's now in charge of your wadrobe and that, Captain Rogers, means you dress in style. James Deans' style I suspwect, but style nonetheless."
"James Who?" Steve queries, though he doesn't argue with Janet's suggestion of a wardrobe update. He's really only picked up a few things since arriving. In other words, enough to get by. Still the question is yet another reminder of just how much Steve has missed in the last 65 years. "I've got some clothes in the locker room. I'll get changed and meet you out here in...ten, fifteen minutes?"
"We'll pick up some DVDs, too..." Janet says with a grin. "We've got a lot of pop culture to catch you up on, Steve." She winks and then finishes off her tea. "I'll take all this to Jarvis. Go. Get changed." Then she watches the man of yesterday walk out because, damn, he's as fine going as he is coming in.