This Is Your Brain
March 9, 2017
“This is excellent work, Natasha. Thank you for bringing the situation to our attention.”
Sam turned to stare at Tony, along with six other people including Natasha. He continued to sit at the head of the table, nodding seriously as if he often complimented his teammates on a job well done.
Without any sarcasm.
Or name calling.
Or annoying interruptions.
“Steve,” Tony continued, “now that we have narrowed things down to a few key locations, do you what to share some broad outlines on how to approach this?”
Steve started, his mouth opening and closing. Then he took a deep breath and called up aerial surveillance of the warehouses that Natasha had pinpointed as the origin for several large European shipments of the Sunday drug. Sam listened with one ear while Steve went through potential challenges to hitting the facility and started in on Plan A. Sam would, of course, review the plan later until he had it memorized, but honestly, Plan A never worked. Plan A rarely even made it off the quinjet. There was always something unexpected that had to be adjusted for. Monsoons. AIM. Genetically altered monkeys with kukuri and bad attitudes.
More important that learning about Plan A was figuring out what the hell was wrong with Tony. He was sitting up straight, drinking flavored water. His attention only ever left Steve to study the holographic projection of the target. It was unnatural. Suspicious.
“This sounds solid, Steve. I’d like to offer a few suggestions, if I may?” Then Tony waited, patiently, for Steve to give him the go ahead before he started talking. Creepy.
Sam’s phone vibrated in his pocket and he discreetly took it out to check who was messaging him. His mom was flying in to New York that evening. Sam hoped her flight hadn’t been moved.
BAMF: Creepy, but also mesmerizing.
Sam could see Natasha studiously paying attention to Steve’s presentation. The leather case for her tablet was open, but he couldn’t see a messaging app from his angle. He also never noticed her hands moving. And how in the hell did she know what he had been thinking? Actually, scratch that, Sam thought, we are all thinking it. Except Vision. Vision’s probably thinking about dolphin pods and stormwater management and tactical breaching and, who knows? Yogurt flavors or something. As stealthily as he could, he typed in a response.
BAMF: It has been suggested that practicing adult behavior in a forgiving setting will make parenting easier for him.
Sam saw her hand pass over her tablet, but did not notice anything that resembled typing. He wondered how she was doing it. He wondered if she would teach him. It would make gossiping with his cousins during Thanksgiving dinner much easier.
So…we’re supporting this?
BAMF: Enjoy it while it lasts.
BAMF: Heads up, Steve’s looking to you.
“Sam, do you think that will work?” Steve was looking at him, as was Tony. Everyone else was still reviewing the plans or staring at the clone that must have replaced Tony Stark.
“Well,” Sam began, trying desperately to recall what Steve had been talking about.
“If you don’t mind me stepping on your toes, Sam?” Natasha raised her eyebrows, but gave no other indication that she was saving his hide. Sam waved her to go on gratefully. “There is no reason not to bring secondary aerial support. Clint has been itching to get off of the base for a while, and if we don’t need him he can at least keep the quinjet warmed up for us.”
“Sound good to you, Sam?”
“Yeah, Steve,” Sam nodded, trying not to look as relieved as he felt. “Good idea, Nat.”
Discussion moved on to timing and a few additional details they were waiting on informants to provide. Sam sent one last message.
I owe you one.
BAMF: I already have something in mind.
Because of course she did. Sam smiled to himself for the rest of the meeting.