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From: G Wiley (Public)
To: Roger Grantson (rg@gmail.wk)
Subject: RE: Query - Requesting Your Urgent Attention

Dear Mr Grantson,

Thank you for your enquiry for Hogarth, Chao, Benowitz and Nelson. Due to high workloads, Mr Nelson is unable to respond to public emails soliciting his attention. Your enquiry will be passed on to our highly-qualified pool of lawyers and the most appropriate contact will be back in touch in the next 7 days. Media enquiries will be dealt with by our marketing department. Please contact marketing@hcbn-legal.com for more information.

Please do not respond to this email as this inbox is not monitored. If you feel your enquiry is more urgent, please do call the office on the numbers provided.

Regards,

Genevieve Wiley
Chief EA to F Nelson
Hogarth, Chao, Benowitz & Nelson

From: Roger Grantson
To: F Nelson (Public) (franklin.nelson@hcbn-legal.com)
Subject: Query - Requesting Your Urgent Attention

Dear Mr Nelson,

I’m sorry for sending this in an email - I would prefer to call but that's not something I am able to do at the moment.

You have acted in a legal capacity for several of my colleagues recently. I do not ask you to defend me in court but I need your input in an urgent legal matter to prevent something going ahead that may prejudice further legal matters of this sort. You may have seen this already: http://www.slashfilm.com/winter-soldier-film-rumoured/ 

I'm sorry. I'm not good at legal-speak. In short, you're helping my friend Natasha and I hope you can help me too. I can't be much more specific at the moment.

Yours sincerely,

SGR

--

"Damn it," Steve muttered at his phone. He angrily swiped at the screen before locking it again. It was lucky, Sam mused, that the world expected Steve Rogers to act like their crochet-y grandpa when it came to new technologies. His speed and skill at being able to use them made for good cover; no one expected a 100-year-old man to be able to not only use a smartphone but be able to use it in anger.

"What's got you so angry?" Sam murmured, before smiling up at the waitress bringing over two coffees. "Gracias."

"De nada," the waitress replied, sounding distracted as she hurried over to the next table. Sam leaned back into the sun and took a sip. Costa Rica was a good place, he had decided. It was a shame they wouldn't be staying there long.

"I can't get through to Natasha's lawyer," Steve said quietly. "The e-mail address she gave me re-directs to his secretary."

"He's a busy guy," Sam said, trying to be reasonable. "And a defence lawyer. He might not be the best person to speak to about this anyway."

"I don't know who else I would speak to, Sam," Steve said, sounded despondent. "I used to ask Pepper if she could help with this sort of thing, but, well."

"Drink your coffee and breathe, Roger," Sam said. They used their cover names in public. The bustle of San Jose was a good cover, but Natasha had drilled them on basic spycraft. "There's got to be a way around this. Did she give you any other contact details for this Nelson guy?"

"No. And I can't risk speaking to Nat again," Steve said, although he did take a sip of his coffee. "I trust her to contact me safely, but not the other way."

Since the jailbreak, they'd scattered, meeting up occasionally at different points across the globe, only meeting centrally in Wakanda. The plan, if something so nebulous could be called that, was to try and clear their names separately and use the law in their favour for once. Sam had made peace with the fact he was at the bottom of the list for trying to get home, not having a family to fight for nor being quite at the top of the Most Wanted And/Or Most Feared List. He wasn't entirely sure if this was a good thing or not and tried to keep out of knowing too much about the legal hoo-hah that had erupted around them. It was safer.

"Who else is speaking with him, then?" asked Sam. "I know that he's spoken to the family of our tiny friend..."

Steve sat upright. "Mrs B is meeting him next week," he said, and in his haste to reach his phone knocked the table, making the cups rattle in their saucer. Sam put out a hand to steady the table and gave a mollifying smile to the waitress, who was glaring at them from three tables over.

"So what, you're just going to text her?"

Steve gave a brilliant smile and focussed his phone in the direction of the dull burnished metal of the table before snapping a picture and tapping out a message. "Texting isn't safe. I’m on SnapChat with one of the kids. She likes the pictures."

"Wait, who taught you how to use SnapChat?"

--

INT. ABANDONED WAREHOUSE - AS NIGHT BEGINS TO FALL

Captain America slumps against the wall of a dingy abandoned warehouse. He is clearly distressed. His shirt sleeve is ripped, fraying the corner of the American flag. The Winter Soldier stands to one side, glaring at Captain America. His body language is threatening and his accent is tinged with a Russian accent. They have clearly been running.

CAPTAIN AMERICA:
We have to stop doing this. You need to hand yourself in. I can protect you!

The Winter Soldier glares at Captain America and takes one step closer, threatening. Captain America meets his gaze but is still clearly anxious.

WINTER SOLDIER:
You can't stop me, Captain! I've changed, I'm not the man you knew! I've done awful things!

CAPTAIN AMERICA:
(Anguished)
But... Bucky! Wait! You didn't mean kill those people! I know that you were brainwashed. You're my friend!

Camera zooms in on the Winter Solider.

WINTER SOLIDER:
Don't you see, Captain? I can't be anything else but a killer now. I... like it. And I'll make the world pay!

CAPTAIN AMERICA:
I have to stop you! For the sake of the world. For the sake of America!

WINTER SOLIDER:
Or you could help me. This isn't my world. It isn't yours, either. Join me, Captain!

His voice softens as he regards Captain America with almost fond eyes. You can see the shy kid from Brooklyn. Softly, swing music begins to play in the background.

WINTER SOLIDER:

Join me, Steve. We could be brothers again...

A single tear runs down Captain America's cheek. You can clearly see his internal struggle and anguish...

(‘Dark Winter's Night’, slated for release Nov 2017)

--

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Mrs Barton. Allow me to assure that your name has not been used in any of our official documents, as per your request. Did my assistant bring you a coffee?"

Foggy pulled out a chair for his visitor. She smiled at him and took a seat. "Thank you, Mr Nelson," she said politely. "Your assistant offered me coffee, but I'm ok."

Foggy took a seat on his side of the desk and opened up the unusual legal file he'd prepared. As per his client's requests, it was entirely handwritten, nothing on any kind of server. "Well, there's good news and bad news," he started, pulling out the relevant notes.

"Start with the bad news," Mrs Barton said with a small smile that didn't quite reach her eyes. "I'm getting used to it."

"I haven't made much progress on getting the charges lifted on your husband or any of his associates," Foggy said bluntly. "I've spoken to some associates who work in international law and they agree with me on this one: they went against the Sokovia Accords and there's no coming back from that one without a resolution from the UN Council. The UN Council is fractured on this point and there's rumours Wakanda might throw its weight behind amending the Accords, but until that happens - if that happens - we're stuck."

"I know," said Mrs Barton softly, and for a moment Foggy saw behind the dignified façade she was presenting to a woman who simply looked like she hadn't slept in months. "Clint knew that would happen. He made the choice he had to. At least he's out there and doing some good with the others."

"Well, I'm not meant to comment on those activities but privately I agree with you on that one," said Foggy encouragingly and was rewarded with a smile. "The good news, though, is that there's no evidence at all that you're even slightly in the crosshairs of any law agency."

"Stark didn't talk?" Mrs Barton pressed.

"There's no mention of you or your family even on the most underground of rumourmills, and do not ask me how I know that," Foggy warned. "You're luckier than the Lang family in that respect, although I have managed to ensure that they are no longer legally under any suspicion or surveillance themselves."

"That's a relief," Mrs Barton said. "Cassie is a sweet kid."

"Mmm," said Foggy non-committedly, and decided not to tell her about the wrangling he'd done with Secretary Ross on that point. "I'm sorry to have had to get you all the way to New York for this meeting, although I can see why you're wary of the phone," Foggy added. "Is there anything else I can do for you?"

"Not for me," said Mrs Barton. "A... friend is looking for help."

"A lot of people's friends are looking for help right now," Foggy said with a wry smile. "Which one now?"

Mrs Barton got our her phone and scrolled through the pictures function. "This one," she said, showing him a screengrab of what looked at first glance like a SnapChat of spilled coffee. Need a contact for the laywer, the caption read. "Look at the reflection," she said softly.

Foggy took a closer look and saw in the reflection of the burnished table a broad, blonde man, sunglasses on his face. He looked back up at Mrs Barton with increased respect. "You're SnapChatting with Captain America?"

"Technically," Mrs Barton said with a grin, "he's SnapChatting with Cooper. I just monitor his account. You can't trust anyone on social media these days."

--

"You can't let this be made," Tony said, and slapped the script for Dark Winter's Night across the desk. Ross raised an eyebrow.

"The American government is not in the business of inhibiting free speech," he said smoothly. "I thought we were here to discuss any theories you might have on tracking down Rogers and the rest of his merry band?"

"Funding this piece of trash isn't going to flush them out," Tony said bluntly.

"Rogers has form in coming out of hiding to defend his friends, Mr Stark. It's more than you seem to be doing at the moment." Ross shrugged. "Hollywood ran out of ideas years ago. I think there's even a biopic of you doing the rounds at the film festivals at the moment. If this is how people see the Winter Soldier then why not let it play out?"

Tony did not think of the phone tucked away in his desk drawer, behind three locked doors. "I want to bring Barnes to justice as much as you. More," he emphasised. "But this isn't about him. You're ruining the reputation of every Avenger with this."

"I told you, it has nothing to do with me."

"Really?" Tony grabbed the script and flicked it open to a marked page. "'Oh, Clint!'" he said, in a breathy and high-pitched accent. "'I can't keep going down this path without you! I'll help you and the Captain, but please, my love, never leave me again!'" Tony's voice dropped and he tried to add a country twang. "'We'll never be apart again, baby. I can help being a rebel, but I can't help loving you.' They're insinuating that Romanov and Barton are some kind of star-crossed lovers? It's not even well-written."

"There's nothing out there about Romanov or Barton's personal lives," Ross said archly. "You can't blame a scriptwriter for using their imagination. Why, do you know something that contradicts this?"

Tony put the script down again, gentle this time. "So you want to go after the civilians involved in their lives."

"Under current law, we have a responsibility to investigate-"

"You want to go down this path? You?" Tony leaned forward in his chair and met Ross's gaze. "How is Betty, anyway? She mentioned anything about where Banner might be?"

"My daughter has no idea where that monster is," Ross hissed, pointing a finger across the desk at Tony. It was amazing, Tony thought, how red Ross could get when he was enraged. Tony smirked and settled back in his chair.

"I know that. I'm actually trying not to drag innocent people through the mud anymore, remember?"

Ross breathed out heavily, nostrils flaring as his colour settled down again. "We can't do anything about this script. I can... maybe speak to some of the people funding it, but it's out there now."

"Fortunately, my lawyers are still charged with protecting the public image of the Avengers. They'll get this stopped," Tony said, and stood up. The chair screeched as it moved backwards. "I just wanted to see if I was right, and you were funding it. Leave the innocent out of this, Ross. We'll go after the main players together. No one else needs to get hurt."

--

From: Genevieve Wiley (Internal)
To: Franklin Nelson (Internal)
Subject: FW: Query - Requesting Your Urgent Attention

Mr Nelson,

I was scanning the spam folder and found the below messages. IT think it's a fake e-mail address but the content seems real enough to me. I've researched the weblink as well and I think it's relevant to Core Case Alpha to investigate further. Would you like me to start a case file?

On an unrelated note, Finance have asked me to remind you...

--

"... and now my secretary is hassling me about it. Sorry, my Chief Executive Assistant." Foggy scowled into his brightly coloured drink and aggressively stirred the ice with the tiny straw. Claire raised an eyebrow.

"We come here, to this place of terrible drinks and overpriced food, to escape from the craziness of our work lives, and you spend the whole time bitching about someone who isn't even a client?"

"You get to stick needles into them and call it stiches when they're being aggravating. I have to be polite. Where else am I meant to take out my stress, Claire?"

"Eh, can't argue with that," Claire said with a shrug, and took a sip of her own brightly coloured concoction.

Terrible Biweekly Cocktails had become a thing a couple of months ago. At first it was a simple way to exchange information in a place that none of their associates would visit. It became a way to vent on the sheer weirdness of their professional lives now being taken up with what some people called superheroes, some called vigilantes and some called 'oh no, not them again'. Claire's clinic was now serving much the same purpose for injuries that Foggy's did for lawsuits. As such: Terrible Biweekly Cocktails.

Foggy slumped over his platter of wings. "They treat me like I'm an expert on every kind of law in every country. I'm really not. But they won't let me speak to any of my colleagues because they're all sneaky and paranoid and weird."

"Ugh, I know. 'Hey, you're probably concussed and you should get this checked out by actual doctors' I say. Do they listen? They do not."

"I haven't got time to look into a movie," Foggy responded morosely. "Defamation, sure, I can look into that. We have a whole department that works on that. But I can't sue a whole movie studio based on the words of a fugitive who is a. still breaking the law on the regular and b. on the run and c. almost certainly not in the USA. That's like asking you to treat a broken leg when the patient isn't in front of you and they won't confirm it's actually the leg that's broken."

"That's happened before," Claire admitted.

"What even is our life, Claire?"

"Fucked if I know," Claire said, and noisily drained her drink. "We need more drinks."

"More drinks!" Foggy enthusiastically agreed. "What are the specials?"

Claire squinted at a bright leaflet left on the counter before going pale. "Oh hell no," she said, sounding horrified.

"It's not tequila month again, is it?"

"No, worse," she said, and gave Foggy the leaflet.


THIS WEEK ONLY - HEROES AND VILLAINS SPECIAL!!!

Are you a HERO or a VILLAIN? Pick your drink! Shh, we won't tell.

Iron Man-tini
Vermouth, gin, olive. A true classic that you can stay loyal to!

Winter Solider Troublemaker
Vodka, bonal, syrup, lime, seltzer, fruit garnish. So good you'll want to go bad!

Bloody Dare-y
Vodka, tomato, lemon, spices. The same colour as his costume - and just as tasty!

"We can't escape these people, can we?" Foggy asked faintly.

"Nope," Claire said. "The Hawkeye Brooklyn sounds kind of good, though. I always liked his arms."

Foggy stared again at the leaflet, with its crude cocktail puns. "I should stop this kind of thing," he said slowly.

"Terrible cocktails? That boat has sailed, my friend."

"No," he said, eyeing up the Scar-gharita Witch description. ('It'll blow your mind!') "This kind of public speculating on people who are still going through a court case. This... this would prejudice a jury. I can work with that."

"Well, at least you'll keep your scary assistant happy," Claire said pragmatically. "Want to just get shots?"

"Oh god, yes."

--

From: Franklin Nelson
To: Roger Grantson roger.grantson@gmail.wk
CC: Genevieve Wiley (Internal)
Subject: Response to Recent Enquiry

Dear Mr Grantson,

Thank you for your recent enquiry to our offices and for your patience in awaiting a response.

I have looked into this case and without meeting in person I am unsure of the precise nature of the legal action you would wish Hogarth, Chao, Benowitz, & Nelson to undertake. I took the liberty to look at the wider issues surrounding this screenplay, however, and felt it came under the purview of defamation and also potentially influencing a jury in some of our wider caseloads.

We planned to move forward with a cease and desist letter but found that other lawyers, acting on behalf of Stark Industries, had already stepped in. You may be pleased to hear that this action has been successful and further pre-production on the work in question has been halted.

As per your implicit instructions, I have deemed it reasonable to bill the research and preparation time undertaken by myself and my assistant Ms. Wiley to the wider case of Ms. Natasha Romanov.

Yours faithfully,

Franklin Nelson
Partner
Hogarth, Chao Benowitz, & Nelson

P.S. SnapChat? Really?

--

Sam did not like Georgia. At all. He didn't especially like Georgia-The-State, but Georgia-The-Country was cold, and the roads made no sense, and they drank tea all the time, and they were unfortunately also hosting a hotbed of Hydra wannabes who coasted along on a constant threat of war with Russia. All of these were bad things.

He sat in the rented car and huffed on his hands. The hotbed of Hydra-wannabes had so far very much been on the side of 'wannabes' than 'actual Hydra' but they still needed to make sure. On the other side of him, however, Steve was looking at his phone with delighted surprise. 

"You ok there?" Sam asked sourly.

"Look at this!" Steve said enthusiastically, and shoved his phone in his hand.

"Really? We're staking out international terrorists and you're reading gossip sites?"

"Nat sent me the link. Look at it!"

(jezebel.com/holy-crap-agent-carter-movie-confirmed)

HOLY CRAP: AGENT CARTER FILM FINALLY CONFIRMED

After what feels like nothing but boring, worthy sausage-fest movies debating the good and bad points of the superhero age, we are finally getting the movie we deserve: Agent Carter.

Confused? You're not the only one. Despite passing away only last year, Agent Margaret 'Peggy' Carter helped set up SHIELD, kick ass and take names. She's mostly remembered as Captain America's girlfriend, although was briefly claimed by the feminist movement in the 1980s.

Here's the controversial part: Tony Stark is one of the Executive Producers for this movie. Here's some quotes from the press conference:

"Many people know the name of Peggy Carter and the work she did with my father, but not many people know how closely they worked together before the founding of SHIELD. I found some of my father's old papers recently, and even I didn't know how far it went. We should celebrate people like Peggy Carter and remember our past. Besides, Dad used to be a movie director. It's one part of the legacy I might have a chance of living up to."

Rumoured frontrunners to play Peggy Carter are Emily Blunt, Daisy Ridley and Rebecca Ferguson. Whatever Tony Stark's reasons are, we are stoked.

Agent Carter is scheduled for release in early 2018. More as we get it.

Sam raised an eyebrow. "Stark's funding a movie? After getting that crappy one canned?"

"Maybe he's mellowing," Steve suggested. "It's got to be good news, right? It can't hurt Sharon, either."

"No, that's a good point," Sam acceded. "Maybe we'll even be able to get back in the US by the time it's out."

"The lawyers are hopeful for Natasha," Steve said. "It's got to be a start."

"Yeah, but -" Sam was distracted by the door they had been watching slam open. "Hold that thought, I think they're finally moving. You ready?"

Steve set his shoulders. "In three, two, one-"

--

"Hi Daddy," Lila said cheerfully, waving at the screen.

"Hi darling," Clint said, waving back, trying not to show the way his heart broke at the sight of his children so far away. "It's so good to see you! Are you being good for your mom?"

"I'm always good for mommy," she huffed. "I'm helping her look after Nathaniel."

"I bet you are," Clint said encouragingly.

"She's very helpful," Laura said in the background, holding Nathaniel. For once he was asleep; the last time Clint had seen him in person, he would squawk loudly through every conversation. "You're reading to him now, aren't you?"

"My teacher says I'm the best at reading," Lila said proudly.

"You're going to be a real college girl when you grow up, hey?" Clint said encouragingly.

"Or a princess," Lila said thoughtfully.

"You can be that too," Clint agreed. "Will you let me speak to mommy for a little bit? You can come back and we'll say good night?"

"Sure!" she chirped, and ran off. Laura scooted forward to be a little nearer to the camera.

"Where's Cooper?" Clint asked.

"He's out back with Natasha," Laura answered with a sigh. "He misses you, and he's angry because he keeps reading stuff about you on the internet. I try to keep it from him, but he's getting so grown up these days. Natasha helps run off some of that energy."

Clint had stopped saying how sorry he was. It had been months now since he had left his home on the basis of a phonecall. He didn't regret his actions, but the consequences were another matter. Laura knew how he felt. He hoped. Natasha's unusual legal limbo meant she had been staying with the family a while, at first out of a sense of owing the Barton clan for being indirectly responsible for their missing father. Laura seemed to appreciate the extra pair of hands, if nothing else.

"Well, at least we can talk now. It's a step up, right?"

"The lawyer assured us no one legal knew about us, and Natasha is sure that any less-legal sources are keeping away too. It's one step closer, I suppose."

"We'll get there, baby," Clint said firmly. "Steve's hopeful."

"Steve is always hopeful," Laura said, and this time her grin was genuine. "You should see the pictures he sends Cooper."

"That is still weird to me," Clint said, shaking his head. He fell serious for a moment. "Cooper... he knows we're still family, right?"

"Clint Barton," Laura said, leaning closer to the screen. Nathaniel stirred and made sound softs and Clint could see Laura shift her hold, bringing him tighter. "We will always, always still be family. Doesn't matter where you are. You know that, right?"

"I know," said Clint, reaching out a hand to the screen. "I know." They were silent for a moment, letting Nathaniel settle again. "Is everything else okay though? Really?

"I am a little sad they're not making that movie about your epic love story with Natasha anymore," Laura said with a wink. "It made her so angry that she finished off all of your handyman projects around the house. I think she was proving a point."

"What kind of point would that be, exactly?"

"Something Russian and deep, I imagine," Laura said with a shrug. "You'll see how well she did with the laundry room when you come home."

"I look forward to it," Clint said, and meant every word.

Chapter Text


THIS WEEK ONLY - HEROES AND VILLAINS SPECIAL!!!

Are you a HERO or a VILLAIN? Pick your drink! Shh, we won't tell.

DRINKS

Iron Man-tini
Vermouth, gin, olive. A true classic that you can stay loyal to!

Winter Solider Troublemaker
Vodka, bonal, syrup, lime, seltzer, fruit garnish. So good you'll want to go bad.

Bloody Dare-y
Vodka, tomato, lemon, spices. The same colour as his costume - and just as tasty!

Old Fashioned Betrayal
Bourbon, bitters, sugar, lemon. Old-time but with a bitter twist, just like Captain America.

Sidewar Machine
Cognac, triple sec, lemon juice. A great accompaniment to an Iron Man-tini.

Spider-inha
Cachaça, ginger, sugar, lime, mint. A fresh-tasting drink for our freshest hero!

White Widow
Vodka, kahlua, cream. Looks good but can have a dark, cold heart.

Double Vision-jito
Rum, strawberries, lime, soda. Looks confusing but tastes delicious like the man himself!

Cos-Falcon-itan
Vodka, orange liquer, cranberry juice, lime. As cool in the city as the man himself.

Hawkeye Brooklyn
Whisky, vermouth, bitters, cherry. They say Hawkeye still lurks around Brooklyn – maybe this will lure him out!

Scar-gharita Witch
Tequila, triple sec, lime, salt. Looks simple but will blow your mind – just like her!

SPECIALS

Pitcher: Giant-Man
A classic Pimm’s cocktail with a full fruit garnish. Serves 6. It’ll take a team to bring it down!

Shot: Ant-Man
Jagermeister, Red Bull. Short but incredibly deadly!

Burger: The Mighty Thor
A juicy beefburger topped with Jarlsberg cheese, cos lettuce and a slice of tomato. A real hunk of beefcake, just like everyone’s favourite alien.

Platter Special: Hulk-buster
Chicken strips, mozzarella dippers, stuffed potato skins, bacon bites, olives, breaded mushrooms. You wouldn’t like you when you’re hangry!