2010-03-01: How to win friends?


Keld_icon.jpg Pietro_icon.jpg

Summary: Keld and Pietro have their second conversation. This time, point goes to the alien.

Date: May 1, 2010

Log Title How to win friends?

Rating: PG

NYC - The Avenger Mansion (Training Room)

The training room is just that. There is a large, springboard floor, weights, punching bags, yoga mats, a shelf of practice weapons, and the ever important sound system. Anything you could possibly wish to train for, physically speaking, can be done in this room.

Keld is in the training room, where he seems to be spending too much time lately. He's wearing mid-thigh length green sweatshorts, and nothing else; he has a pair of sticks in his hands with a mirror attached to one side. He's set up some sort of training device with lasers, trying to improve his reaction time apparently, as the device keeps shooting at him and he's blocking perhaps 2/3 of the shots it takes at him. Each shot leaves a slightly actinic scent in the air and when it hits him, a tiny yellow welt on his skin.

Having brought Luna to the mansion to visit people, Pietro finds himself at loose ends. His daughter is being shown around, and while normally over protective he knows she's as safe as possible with the people here, so lets Wasp sweep the girl off for some quality time. AKA, shopping. He passed on going, leaving him to lean against the door here, hands in pants pockets. Jeans and a casual shirt in blue. If the man looked more normal he'd pass on the streets with little attention. "And the purpose of this is…?" Asked with some wry amusement. No, Pietro gets it, but is giving you a hard time.

Keld quickly glances toward the door and smirks. "Some of us are just slow, Pietro … OW!" He glares at the laser. It's his own fault for looking away from the machine; it knows to take advantage of that sort of thing. (Hank would be quick to declare it a Hellish Device, no doubt, but it's no Ultron. At least not yet.)
"So we need to make up for it."
He catches the next beam and reflects it to hit the floor in front of Pietro. Entirely unintentional no doubt. The floor seems unbothered, though.

The beam hits the floor before him and Pietro doesn't look amused. He didn't even flinch however. One of the risks of standing in this doorway, he knows. "Everyone is slow." Said matter of fact. Straightening from that doorway, the man braves the room as he fully enters. "Training I grasp, this seems excessive." Then again how the Captain trains seems excessive too. A huge difference between Cap and Pietro. "You survived the demons well I see." A change of topic.

Keld nods, PFLASH (deflect) … should the beam strike Pietro it won't do anything at all. It's specially collimated to a frequency that resonates with Keld's skin. The alien answers, "It's reinforcement techniques, keeps me focussed. I was far too easily taken (flash PING) down by demons in the fights. Not to mention (flash PFF!) Ow! the ease with which Mr. Wisdom hit me with those knives of his. How did you manage on your end, by the way?"

A nonplussed look when a beam hits him, but since it doesn't hurt, the man doesn't comment. At least not about that. "You should get out more." Pietro notes as he settles onto a piece of the weight equipment here. "Experience will gain you what you need, Keld, not this. You're comparing yourself to people who have been doing this for years." And really, no one compares to Captain America anyway. He got used to that long ago. There's a dismissive motion of a hand, "I'm fine." The demons hurt, but that was all. "Nothing that didn't heal quickly. This wouldn't be the first time I've fought demons, for all I am fairly rusty with the use of my powers."

"Why do you think I'm a novice, Pietro?"
Keld slaps away another two beams. The setting is giving him less than a hundredth of a second's warning, at worst. And he's not moving with super-speed, though it's clear each time he fails to deflect that it's because he isn't using that speed.
The next two beams are deflected directly back at the machine. The following one PINGs off his face, leaving a nasty welt, and a growl from the alien.

"Because you act like one." Pietro tells you bluntly. "Military training doesn't prepare you for the Avengers. Nothing does." He shrugs, not all that concerned about it. "You wouldn't be here if you weren't highly capable. I'm not saying you are incapable, I'm saying I think you're over reacting." Rising to his feet with a smooth grace, he motions a hand. "I'll leave you to your pain." Sorry to have been a bother. Not that Pietro rushes off. In fact he meanders towards the door. No rush today.

Keld reflects a third beam back to the machine, which shuts off. "HAH! Got it. What do you mean 'over-reacting' here? How is training my reflexes back to standard spec over-reacting?"
He grabs a towel off a bench, and starts wiping some sort of skin cream on the welts, then wiping it off with the towel.
"For that matter, what do you mean 'I act like one?' … share with me your wisdom on the matter, if you think I'm missing something. Don't just smirk and run."

Always have to ask, don't you? Pietro stops and looks back. "You can't tell me Captain America hasn't mentioned this to you?" Never mind Captain still says Pietro should practice more. "I've seen you in combat, Keld. It told me that you're new to many of your powers. You were uncertain at times you needed to be certain, and it got you hurt. That's what I call a novice." He motions to the room as a whole. "Keeping in shape, and training daily, are an excellent idea, but is this all you do? I admit I don't know you, but purposely hurting yourself to do better? That excessive. That's self destructive. It tells me you need hobbies. You need friends."

Keld blinks. "This is how we always train. I've done this since I was admitted to military caste when I was ten years old. The welts go away in minutes, Pietro. It's just a stimulus."
He wipes the stuff on the welt on his face, and when it wipes off, the irritation is clearly subsiding.
"Yes, I'm new to the … music, I guess you'd call it. But no, I'm not new to fighting. I made stupid mistakes because I wasn't thinking that this world could hurt me. In that sense, frankly, I _was_ a novice. Your world is so damn soft and friendly, you know. Except of course that I don't really know that many people here, other than Jennifer and Aaron, and Curtis, but he disappeared during the demon thing."
He shrugs, "One thing they don't teach us, how to actually make friends, outside of work. Because we seldom have time to do so, and we should live so long."

"We always? Keld, you aren't there anymore. Different world, different rules." Pietro figures that if you want to be unhappy and alone, you are welcome to it. "Here's some advice about friends. No one on Earth is born knowing now either. That's a skill everyone must learn. You are at a disadvantage in having to learn it so late, but that doesn't change the fact it's a learned skill. You stay in here, you won't learn. And it doesn't matter if the marks wipe off."

Keld narrows one eye and raises his brows, looking speculatively at Pietro.
"So, how do YOU do it then? Make friends, that is. I agree that I haven't really tried to do that. I train, sleep, patrol, do the scat-work publicity stuff, visit Jen, eat, train, sleep, patrol, that's pretty much similar to how I worked before."
He doesn't mention that he does have skills he could bring to bear, but … infiltration, making friends with aliens by appearing to be something one is not, so they can be pumped for information, or set up… not really the sort of thing he wants to use here.

How does Pietro make friends? "I don't." Sounds amused over it too. Which is actually untrue, but the people here wouldn't believe that he does make friends. He folds his arms over his chest and smirks at you. Is that so really hard to believe? "And yet even I manage to acquire a few. You've listed music. If you enjoy music, you seek out others who do. Common ground, even small aspects, is the key. You get out of the training room and spend time with people." Another shrug, for it seems so basic an idea to him. "Enjoy the fact you can." Now that sounds bitter.

Keld looks vaguely … something. Not an emotion that makes sense. "Ah, so we have a case of the gateman's guide to the city. You know, I did watch the … television, thing, whatever that is. When I was trying to learn your society better. It was very unenlightening, it told me much more about my people than it did about yours."
He laughs a bit harshly. "You know, I wouldn't turn you away if you DID want to do something in common but I have no clue what that could be, because my entire life has been completely about the military, about being a soldier. Do you know that we don't actually HAVE art like you do here?"

"And neither are you trying, Keld." Pietro points out for that you have no clue. "And don't argue that. You're here, wiping off paste, not trying to socialize. But neither am I here to teach you. I'm not here to chase you around, and attempt to paper train you. You may give excuses all you like, but it won't change anything. You want to fit in? Learn." He had to. And no, Pietro is not the best example to follow. He's never been good at making friends, and he's no military background excuses.

Keld nods. "You're right, I don't know what the end would be. We have in common being Avengers, but that's all. In the past that would have been enough to begin to build a … warrior-bond, we call it. Loyalty, support. But here, you don't do that, and I am rebuffed when I try to, or simply not understood. So. You would say that I don't try, and in some respect you're probably right, because I don't know what TO try. Anything too strong with someone outside my squad would be going against forty years of training."
He grabs a red and blue sweatshirt from the bench and pulls it over his head, smoothing it down.
"Did you know, I don't actually smell right? Apparently I look like some sort of idealized human, but the smell is wrong. I had a … mis-encounter, I suppose. With someone who told me that I wasn't really there."

In the doorway, the man looks back. "What does that have to do with anything?" Pietro asks of the no smell comment. "I've no interest in sleeping with you, so I fail to see the relevance. Nor is it necessary in making friends. Keld, you have a great deal to learn. Look it up online or something. I've no interest in teaching you." Any wonder he claims not to have friends? Mostly it's a lack of patience. Doesn't want to put in the time. Then again the last friend he made hit on him endlessly until they figured out they had things in common.

Keld laughs, "You are such a fraud, human. You don't realize how much of your instincts drive you, but you come off as the superior one. The scent markers are so very much a part of the way your people interact. I've observed it. They go hand in glove with facial expression patterns. I spent parts of this conversation offering to be your friend, sharing my experiences and feelings, yet you state in judgement that I don't try. Perhaps if you took the time to observe rather than speeding headlong to judgement you'd also have more of the friendship you lack."
He walks over to the training robot and begins to dis-assemble it.

Pietro's look is dark for a moment, but he quickly shrugs it off. "No, it doesn't affect me the way it does others, Keld. I'm unique, and that isn't a good thing. Yet it is. Smells don't affect me the way they do others, because I can't smell much at the speeds I move at. The speeds I'm cursed with. Nor am I good at making friends. Didn't I make that clear? I was up front about it in saying I don't make friends. Call me a fraud, but I haven't been lying to you. I don't lie. Even if it hurts. Good night, Keld." And this time he does his disappearing act.

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