OOC: Month 7 Week 3 Day 6. Willard's garage, starting private; will likely go public later. "You've gotta be kidding." Willard looks up from the transmission he's disassembled and rebuilt twice today as a calming exercise – the third time, in this case, is not the charm, because he doesn't feel the slightest bit calmed – and fixes a hard glare on Kate.
She really is serious about the masked vigilante thing, he thinks. In his mood, however, that's just another irritant. It's been over a week since his big fight with that Papago guy and as it turns out, his human body doesn't recover as quickly as he'd like. He's still sore and some of the bruises on his arms haven't yet faded. He can at least lift his arms without pain, but he's had to curtail his fighting. The sudden lack of a good outlet for his frustration and anger has done him no favours; he's antsy, on edge, ready to snap. Business has been slow this week, too, which just makes it worse. He's actually planning on tracking down one of the groups tonight and to the smelter with Kate's misgivings. Because at least he doesn't have to put on a mask first for the bare-knuckle matches.
Not to say that the prospect of ending the night in the drunk tank again appeals to him. It's probably the only thing that's got him listening to Kate on the cape and cowl stuff.
For what it's worth, what Kate's wearing can hardly qualify under even the most generous definition of "cape and/or cowl." In fact, at the moment she's wearing nothing but a set of dark gray sweats, slightly faded so that the shirt no longer completely matches the pants, and black shoes. She's holding her simple cut-out mask in her hand, even as her arms are crossed.
She gives Willard a Look. "Yeah, because I'm known for just making crap like this up for no reason," she answers, her false human history showing itself in her unconscious choice of a human swear over a more traditional one. "Do I look like I'm slagging joking?!" she demands, switching back.
Kate looks like she's ready to throttle somebody. Possibly Willard.
"…No," he concedes grudgingly, setting down his tools. "No, you look pretty serious." He leans back on his seat – an upturned milk crate – and crosses his arms. He hadn't really expected her to make good on the hero talk.
"That's 'cos I am," Kate answers as she starts to pace. She's not antsy, exactly - she's just always been inclined to animation.
"Look, I get the need to left off steam by busting some skulls," she moves one hand towards the other to mime grabbing the back of a person's head and slamming them into something, "believe me, I do, but if you're gonna do that, might as well increase the odds the skull you're busting deserves it, right? Not to mention decreasin' the odds I'll have to arrest ya' again."
Willard is in an awkward position. It's awkward because he can see Kate's logic and why doing things her way is the better choice overall, but he's so wound up and bothered that getting badgered about it just makes him even angrier. Sure, not getting arrested is good. So is smashing up the thugs that run all over this part of town. But it isn't like the other people in the fights signed up not knowing what they were getting into, he thinks, and what's wrong with some mutual aggression? There was plenty to be had back home. Why can't he just be left to do things his way for once when the worst that can happen is he ends up in the drunk tank again?
"So what if you've gotta arrest me again?" he demands, chin thrust out, teeth grinding. "Isn't like it'll be any different than last time!"
"And didja enjoy it the last time?" Kate asks, and then she smirks. "I mean, if you did, we can probably work with that, too..." She stops pacing long enough to turn towards Willard, one hand on her right hips.
It takes Willard a second or two to pick up on the nuances here. Once he does, he jabs a finger in Kate's direction, eyes glinting.
"That ain't funny," he says. "I don't like getting arrested, but it's not like you're one of them. Exactly." He fumbles, then makes a frustrated noise and scrubs a hand through his hair. She needs to stop being so right about things.
The corners of Kate's lips pull up just a touch as Willard claims 'that ain't funny.' "It ain't?" she asks innocently. Then she shakes her head. "Anyways, we're gettin' off track," largely due to Kate.
She lifts her hands to tie her marks in place. "Look, I'm goin' out to bust heads. You can come out with me, maybe have someone you trust fightin' at your back," while Kate is well aware that Willard arrived as a loner, and while he's certainly still more... independent than most Autobots, it hasn't escaped her that he's gotten... used to actually having people he can rely on around, "or you can go bust heads on your own."
She finishes tying the mask on and shrugs one shoulder. "Your choice." Something about the tone suggests that she'll accept either way. He's not being dragged out against his will, but the option to fight alongside someone else is there if he wants to take it.
The thing is that Willard, grudging and stubborn nature aside, is itching to beat other people's faces in. He'd much rather do things his way, potential arrest and all. But he'd be lying if he said he wasn't tempted by the thought of going into it with a friendly face to back him up. He hasn't had that in a very, very long time.
Before he can really think about it any more than that, the sound of metal hitting concrete rings loudly off the walls as he kicks a stand out of his way and hauls himself off his milk crate. He ignores the twinges in his side.
"Fine. Lemme go find somethin'," he grumbles and disappears through the door into his living space. If Kate waits – and he thinks she will – he returns a minute or so later with a leather jacket he picked up in a thrift store and a bandanna that caught his eye because it's a bright Autobot red.
Kate grabs the thug in front of her and yanks him down, knee going up to meet his nose. Part of why Kate had wanted Swanson out tonight, of all nights, was because she had gotten a tip on an illegal shipment of bio-boosters coming into the city, one from a shady enough source that she couldn't let the folks in her day job know about it without answering a lot of questions she didn't want to answer. So far, just standard thugs, but given what they were handling, she's alert for the possibility of a low-level temporary-meta.
"So, feelin' better yet?" she asks conversationally.
There's no immediate answer for Kate; Willard's busy. He half-leaps, half-rolls over one goon's back to smash one heel into the side of a second guy's head. He drops, dazed more than anything else, and Willard drives one elbow back into the first thug's face.
"By a mile!" he says, grinning. He's got a split lip already but he doesn't really care. He hasn't noticed any more pain from his side in quite a while, which has done wonders for his mood in addition to blowing off all the steam built up over the last week. He pivots and delivers an uppercut to the solar plexus of the guy whose nose he just broke. It's strange and different, not worrying quite so much about getting surprised from behind as he does so; he doesn't think about it, though, nor does he think about why he isn't worried.
Kate smirks. She doesn't say, 'Told you so,' but she totally thinks it in Willard's direction. She doesn't spend much time on much thoughts, however, as there's another thug rushing towards her. She twists, grabbing the back of his shirt, and calls, "Heads up!" before using the guy's own momentum to guide him right towards a take-down by Swanson.
Kate nods her head sharply and her fist goes up, slamming into the face of the goon coming up behind her. Then her elbow goes into his stomach before she turns, grabs him, and throws him into another one. The gun he had been pulling clatters across the ground, and she scowls. Part of why she had dived straight into the thick of things like she had was because she had counted on the fact that, surrounded as they are, these guys can't fire at either her or Willard without risking hitting each other. Apparently they're being pushed to the point where they don't care as much about that.
"Watch it - some of 'em are packin'," she warns. If she's hit, she'll heal up well enough, though it might be a few days, maybe even a week or two. Willard, however, is a different matter.
"Kinda flattering," Willard huffs with a grin. "Hardly been here a minute or two and they're bringing out the guns." Nonetheless, he watches carefully for firearms as he tries to flip the next thug face-first to the ground without taking a crowbar to the side from his nearest buddy. He's feeling good now; doesn't mean he'll feel good if that steel hits home.