The Harold Washington Library Center is a monster of a building. It sits at a corner on State Street, a great contrast to the small branch in Ashburn that Ian works in. It’s the sort of library that he would have loved to work in, ten stories high that included a garden, office space and workspace for public resource. It puts his little jailhouse-looking branch to shame.
Ian’s in his usual attire for work even if this isn’t specifically his workplace. Running errands from his branch isn’t an unusual thing, and sharing of resources between branches in the city is commonplace, so such is why he’s here. Currently he’s waiting on being given the books and periodicals he’d come to collect, which is why he lingers in the spacious lobby and hasn’t gone off wandering the rest of the place itself, as much as he’d like to.
Emi Long ducks into the library because she’s a bit bored. And cold. unzipping and taking off her jacket, then adjusting her white blouse underneath, and tapping at her skirt, she takes a moment to warm up. Resting a hand on her hip, she looks around, and then sees Ian. Walking over at that point, she waves and says softly “Oh hey.”
He’d been sitting on one of the benches just moments before, now on his feet and leaning his arms over the railing overlooking the walkway to the auditorium and exhibition space below. Ian lifts his head at the voice apparently addressing him, and he smiles politely as he does a quick mental rifling for the name that went with the face.
“Miss Emi, good afternoon,” he greets.
Emi Long comes up to where Ian is. Seeing that he’s leaning at this spot, with a view over looking a bit drop, she pauses and bites her lip a moment. Then carefully coming up beside him, bent over halfway to lean herself. She does so reluctantly, then giggles nervously, high. “Oh god hi,” she says softly. “Busy?”
Her hesitation to join him by the rail is obvious. Ian chuckles a bit before giving a shake of his head at the question. “Well, not really, anyway. Technically I’m on the clock, but everyone else around here’s busy so I wouldn’t be surprised if it will take a while before someone remembers I’m waiting here to pick up materials.”
He shrugs, wincing just a tiny bit from the movement. “But what can I do? And there are worse places to wait. So what brings you by?”
Emi Long snickers, blushing slightly as she looks at Ian. Getting used to the drop in front of her, she briefly glances at it, then back over To Ian. “It’s cold and I was coming in just to like, look, taking a break from the weather. God it sucks.” she smiles weakly.
“Yeah, the weather’s been pretty miserable. At least there’s no blizzard.” Ian eases his weight from his arms that he rests over the railing, bringing a hand up to massage his shoulder a bit. “Being somewhere warm’s definitely the better option. So how’ve things been at work?”
Emi Long sees the man massaging his shoulders, and squints. She stands up, puts her soft hand on him, and tilts her head. “You hurt? And don’t even joke about blizzards? Works okay I’m just.. learning…”
Ian laughs, if briefly. “I wasn’t joking, just stating fact!” He gently waves her hand off as he lets his own fall away, and he straightens from the railing to roll his shoulders a bit. “Ah, just a little sore. Had a kind of bad landing. It…was an interesting night,” he says dryly. ‘Interesting’ is probably an understatement.
“Well, that’s to be expected. You only started recently, right? Haven’t been taken on any crazy excursions yet?”
Emi Long bites her lip, and tentatively tries again, to give the man’s shoulder a gentle rub. Looking at him a long moment. “I um,” she nods. “Well… hopefully it wasn’t too bad. Was it.. um… it wasn’t around the house was it? And no.. no excursions.”
“It’s fine. Just a little bruised,” the librarian assures, stepping away from her a bit. He snorts lightly. “Oh no, not at home. It was a… Well, I guess it was supposed to be a mission. Don’t suppose you’ve met Agent Carter yet, have you?”
There’s a bit of a nod as she says she’s had no excursions. That’s…fine too, he supposes. But this is the guy who hasn’t really complained about having a desk job for the past several years.
Emi Long squints when he pulls away so sharply. Looking at him, then her hand, she giggles “It must be hurt worse than you’re letting on. So proud…” Winking at him. “I’m sure I could walk you to get some aid if you need it. And yeah I met her. She said if mission leaders wanted they could bring me on, um, excursions. If I’m useful.”
Proud wouldn’t be the word he’d use, really. Being thrown back by a vibranium shockwave just hurts your everything.
“No, it’s bearable, really. It could have been much worse,” Ian says somewhat wryly. It’s easy to say such now that he’s lived through being nearly attacked by a genetically modified leopard.
“Oh, so you know her. Well, I guess he’d know better than I would. I’m not sure how SHIELD operates. I think she got hurt worse than me last night. Hope she’s all right.”
Emi Long giggles, biting her lip again. “Well I don’t want to hurt you. Just going to rub it a bit. But if you need a pain killer… come on, we can go back to HQ.” Gesturing with her head. “I’ll even go back into the cold.”
Ian smiles as sincerely as he can manage. The girl’s all too kind with her concern. “I don’t think it’s that bad. Besides, I’m still waiting for something here. And if I go by SHIELD HQ they’ll probably stick me with needles again.” His lips quirk in a lopsided sort of expression, and it’s hard to tell if he’s joking or not.
“You just came in to warm up. Go have a look around. It’s a nice place if you haven’t seen it. I need to go and remind people that I’m still here if they haven’t gotten things together for me yet.” He nods at her, turning to head back towards the front desk.
Emi Long takes a slow breath, shaking her head. “I don’t believe you. The way you pulled away… it must hurt. But I can’t, you know, make you come get help. If you’d rather… well, that’s up to you, Ian. We can stay here instead.”
“That’s not…” Ian sighs, shaking his head. Sometimes there’s just no convincing people, and it won’t make a difference going around in verbal circles. He turns to face Emi again, offering a polite smile, the kind he often wears when working the circulation desk.
“Thank you. I’m glad we’ve got that covered. But really, there’s no need to hang around. I’d walk you through the place but once I get these materials, I’ll need to head back to the other branch- where I actually work.”
Emi Long giggles. She’s not sure why else the man would recoil so sharply at her touch. But she shrugs. “Alright. Or we can just go straight to your work. Or I can go home and get out of your hair,”she winks.
“Honestly, I don’t know what you’d do there. If it’s just for a library visit, you have a perfectly good one here. If there’s no special engagements or functions being held, you might want to stop by the ninth floor’s Winter Garden. It’s…not really a garden but the architecture and the windows are worth the look.”
Ian smiles again as he turns to head back towards the desk, feeling like a tour guide. He wouldn’t mind if there were openings for actual positions here, which he still checks now and then.
Emi Long giggles and nods, knowing she can’t do anything but smile and make casual conversation. “Sounds neat.” she grins, following along. “I just came in to warm up. I totally don’t want to be a bother to you Ian.”
He holds a hand up, signaling to give him a moment as he approaches the woman sitting at the desk to ask about his pick-up. For a moment she looks confused, and then her eyes light up as she seems to remember what his inquiry is about. The phone is picked up. Status is asked, an answer received with a nod. The receiver set down, she nods back at Ian. “They’ll be right down with it,” she replies.
Ian nods at her with his thanks, then turns back towards Emi. “Hopefully not too long now.”
Emi Long giggles. “So you have a book, one that you can’t get at the library you work at?” She starts to reach for his shoulder again, but then catches herself and pulls it back. If he’s that sore… “Is it for work or?”
“Something like that. We tend to shuttle books around to be borrowed around the county,” Ian replies, nodding. “If one branch doesn’t have something but it’s on the list with another, then we’ll put in a request for it if it’s too much trouble for the person asking for said item to go to one of the other branches. A lot of the time we’ll get requests from the local university, especially when midterms and finals come around.”
Emi Long giggles. “I’m surprised they send you to transfer them by hand. I mean… can’t they mail it?”
A shrug. “Quicker this way. I don’t mind getting out for it either. Sometimes things are slow.” Ian pauses as he considers. “But sometimes things are mailed. This way at least they know they have someone actually receiving the things.”
Emi Long bites her lip and looks around. ” I mean, you came all the way out here, spending all this time… that’s pretty amazing really.”
“Well, I do get a ride back and forth,” Ian points out, smiling wryly. “I try not to spend //too// much time out. Today I’m not even closing, and this is a pick-up, not a return. If it were the latter, I’d go home for the day once I was done.”
He looks up at the sound of footsteps, turning as a man approaches with a book bag. The question exchanged and answered by looks and nods, Ian accepts the books, fingering through the titles before nodding to himself.
“Well, looks like everything’s here, so back out into the cold for me.”
Emi Long giggles. “Oh, so you get to spend your whole shift here, doing nothing, and getting a ride back andf orth… I’m surprised they let you get away with that.”
“Not the entire shift, mind. And not here. This is a pick-up, like I said.” Ian slips the book bag over a shoulder. “If I have drop-offs, then I’ll usually go towards the end of my shift. Works better that way. But I need to get these back before I clock out.”
He steps back, giving Emi a nod. “So. It was nice seeing you again, Emi. Take care, and I hope you enjoy the rest of your time here.”
Emi Long waves and starts zipping her jacket back up. “Good luck,” she smiles. “And get yourself checked out.”
Ian smirks. “Yes mother,” he replies, turning then to head towards the doors as he pulls his coat closed before he heads on outside.