Why Don't These Girls Want To Have Fun?

January 02, 2015:

Meridian tries to get Carol and Jess to have fun. Clearly she failed to realize how deep these sticks are in the mud…

Swanky Club

Somewhere in New York


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

So here's how it all happened, more or less, and it was a little while ago so some of the details are kind of fuzzy.

The one thing that can be agreed upon all around is that it started with the limo. It just pulled up along the sidewalk and the back window rolled down and there was this woman in there. She didn't stick her head out or anything, but she called over and said "Hey!"

And this woman, her eyes? Looking in her eyes was like forgetting to look at anything else. At least, that's how the story goes in some parts. Her attention seemed to silence the rest of the world.

And once that moment of eye contact was made… "Get in. Come to a party."

And that was that.

Carol has been going through an awkward period. This whole newspaper editor thing? Cute. Nice for the bank account. But SWEET BABY JESUS it's boring after a few years. Especially for someone whose preferred idea of fun involves a lot of danger, high speeds, and intergalactic threats. She was actually on her way to go out for a drink when the car pulled up next to her, already texting an invite to Jess.

Now? Now she's in swanky club with bottle service, and half of the vodka bottle is already gone. The short black cocktail dress she's wearing is perfectly in place, even if Carol herself is…well, generally a little old for this scene. But then again, she didn't really pick the place.

Jessica Drew may have had to call in a favour or two from her PI days to figure out where Carol is /now/, after that text. Pretending Carol was 15, and that she was and pulling a few maaaaaybe SHIELD-related hijinx got the GPS tracking turned on on her cell phone. So, she's here now.

Jess does fit in at the club. She fits in anywhere. It's a spy thing. Also possibly a genetically engineered part-spider DNA predator pheremone thing. She gets three phone numbers by the time she gets to her friend, and accuingly grabs the bottle. "What the hell are you doing?! You are a grown-ass woman!" Okay, let's never mind this is pretty close to what Jess was doing the other night, minus the fun. Jess is more of a drink-alone-and-mope type. Not that she can get drunk, mind you.

The confrontation is interrupted before it can even really begin, though.

The club is playing some EDM stuff so hot that even Berlin hasn't twigged to it yet, and the VIP section — where Carol is, where Jess is, where the other revelers are — is full of pretty young things. Early twenties, maybe, max. Nothing illegal, but it's still tawdry just for Carol's presence. They all look like models. The girls look like boys and the boys look like girls until no one can tell anything anymore, and no one even asks the question anyway. Their clothes are superior — full-stop.

And just as the bass drops…

The crowd of dancing kids parts so that a woman in white can walk through. Her style doesn't fit. She's old Hollywood chic, vintage gown, hair braided back into an elaborate construction of a bun, emeralds in her jewelry. Her green eyes fix on Jess for a moment. "I didn't invite you," she says, looking Jess in the eyes: "But… stay. I like you."

"Both of you, come to my table," the woman says, and around then it might start clicking that she's Oscar-winning actress (and infamous recluse) Meredith McCorr, and whatever questions arise out of that really seem secondary to the idea of following her as she sashays so subtly back to her table, where the prettiest sit.

"Damn straight I'm a grown-ass woman!" Carol replies to Jess, reaching for glass of something on the rocks. "I am a grown-ass woman, and I can have a drink and relax for a little bit if I want to." Whatever else she might say gets cut off, though, as the actress arrives. "C'mon, Jess," she says, reaching out to sling an arm around the other woman's shoulders. "Let's got sit down. We'll have a drink. Relax for a little bit. Bitch about men. Have you met any decent men lately? I'm pretty sure I've scared most of them off."

Jess stays. And she sits. And dammit, why does this woman look so familiar? She stands out in Jess's mind the way she stands out in this crowd- which is when Jess is realizing she's sitting down and /fuck/ this is one of /those/ situations.

"Carol, you may hate me for this, or… maybe not, I dunno, but in the end you'll probably thank me," she says, and closes her eyes. And then their table is awash in You-Really-Want-To-Please-Me pheremones. Some of the crowd gets it to, which unfortunately means a few extra drinks being brought their way. She… really has no idea what effect her pheremones are gonna have on a telepathic mind controller, but her SHIELD and Hydra training is at least telling her AVOID FURTHER EYE CONTACT, GRAB FRIEND CAPABLE OF MASS DESTRUCTION AND RUN AWAY. "Yeah, but like, let's do it at a bar that isn't so pretentious. Come on, I know a place." More pheremones, more tugging. Get Carol moving, get that half-Kree metabolism working to sober her up… hopefully without scary mind control lady ordering her to kick her ass.

The control that the lovely Ms. McCorr exudes is a subtle thing and all the nastier for it. A look in her eyes is all it takes — the subliminal pattern on her irises is the trigger. And then anything she suggests, well, it just sounds like a great idea. She can make men shoot arrows at their girlfriends and then try to justify it with "well, when she said it, it sounded reasonable."

When Jessica pheremone-bombs the table, Meredith is affected just like everyone else. So she reaches over, and she has the strength of a kitten but she still reaches over, turns Jess's chin towards her, and says: "Be happy." There. The most direct route between a need and a solution is a straight line.

Meridian doesn't seem to care that Jessica is freaking about the party. She seems like anything she says is being broadcast through her, from another planet — she's like her own doll of herself that she's lazily playing with. When she talks, her voice is so soft — yet somehow clearly audible through the din of the club — that it sounds like moving her lips is an exhausting struggle for her. "You can't leave yet. You're both so pretty. I want to know about you."

It's Jess! "Jess!" Carol exclaims at the pheromone bomb, leaning forward to try to catch her friend in a hug. "I'm sorry, Jess. I have been the worst friend lately, haven't I? It's the stupid job. Seriously. It's boring, and we can't do any of it together, you know? Writing used to be fun. But this is a lot of…paperwork. I hate paperwork, Jess. We really need to go back to actually saving the world or something, you know?" It's increasingly hard to tell if it's the alcohol, the pheromones, or the mind control at work here. Carol's physiology is unpredictable at best. Who knows how the Kree DNA and the further manipulation are going to react to more extraordinary pushes?

Jessica Drew is now very very happy. Goddamn it. What was she supposed to- now Carol's hugging her. She giggles. "There's something else-" she starts to say to Carol. "We need to…" she blinks, and looks at Merideth. She wants to know about her? Okay. "My parents mixed my DNA with about 20 species of poisonous spiders, then my dad killed my mom and I was raised by an international terrorist organization to be the ultimate assassin, but I broke free of their brainwashing, and now my life is really just kind of a trainwreck. I can't even get drunk!" She leaves SHIELD out. Maybe because of training, or maybe because, subconciously, she doesn't see it as important in the longwrun compared to the whole "trainwreck." Or sees it as /part/ of the trainwreck.

"Oh," Meredith says, listening to Jessica's speech as if she was being told about a trip to the hair salon where nothing especially exciting happened. She pauses, then says: "More wine for the rest of us."

It does not appear to have been a joke.

"Both of you sound… unfulfilled," Meredith says then, leaning back into her chair and reaching for her glass of wine. Maybe saying it put it in her head. She takes the tiniest sip but doesn't seem to actually swallow it. She may have just subtly spat it back into the glass.

"I blew up a planet once," Carol informs Meredith glumly. "To be fair, the things living there were not friendly. But the point is, I have been an ace pilot, a CIA agent, NASA security, homeland security, and also, I am, like, super. Seriously. But I'm stuck fixing grammar mistakes and arguing about layouts for a newspaper. Let me tell you a secret." She leans forward, snagging a drink as she does. "Print is dead."

Jessica gives Carol a sadly sympathetic nod. "You could do internet stuff, but I hear if you have tits and write about super heroes you just get death threats all day," she says. "Something about ethics in superpowered journalism." She had made the mistake of seeing what people thought of her new Spider-Woman costume, then wanted to go punch everyone, ever. God forbid she start wearing a sports bra while on duty!

Meredith doesn't seem to get Jessica's joke. She also doesn't seem to feel much sympathy for Carol's plight. Her interest seems, to all objective signifiers, completely fake… but it's also impossible to deny that even her fake interest is absolutely magnetic.

"My team used to tell me my magazines sold well… hm." Meredith regards Carol and Jess briefly like she would consider a capsule containing an alien baby. "If you don't like what you do… you should just quit," she says, and somehow when she says it it sounds like the best advice in the world.

"I quit. And now I'm perfectly happy. Because all of this is mine." She gestures around at the club, the dancers, the sexy boys and girls. "Isn't it just… gorgeous?" She smiles, but the corners of her mouth only barely lift.

"I think I'm planning on it," Carol admits, taking a drink. "I just have to find the right team for it. I thought about doing the SHIELD thing," she nods toward Jess, "But man, I'm tired of taking orders from people. And it sounds like a lot of political wrangling. And you know how I feel about political wrangling."

Jess looks at the crowd. "Just what I've always wanted. A bunch of barely legal gyrating kids dancing to music I don't like or understand- okay that one's haircut I like-" she admits as… a boy or girl with a really wicked undercut passes by. She shrugs at Carol's words. "My job, mostly, involves tricking terrible people into giving up secrets, then moving on to the next job. Though that last one did end up a little heavy on the torture, that kinda sucked."

"Well, if it's what you've always wanted… then stay. You're welcome to." Meredith seems immune to sarcasm. In general, it seems like light takes a long time to get from the sun to her particular planet.

Meredith reaches over and touches Carol's hair lightly. "Your hair is so nice," she says, and then returns to her wine for another microscopic sip.

The actress is silent for a moment, and then looks back at the two. "You're both carrying around so much. Stop caring for a while. Cut loose." Meredith micro-smiles again. "What's the harm…?"

"I haaaaate torture," Carol sympathizes with Jess. This is the sort of conversation only the two of them can have. Which is why they're best friends. "With the screaming. And the not screaming." Meredith's latest order, though? Oddly enough, it doesn't seem to sink in all that well. Stop caring. Carol's stopped caring before. Memories. Emotions. Emotions connected to memories. And maybe that's why there's a brief flicker of something across her features. Some part of her that recognizes a force other than herself influencing her actions.

Jessica Drew frowns a little. Don't care? About what? About Carol? No, that doesn't sound right? About her job… well, no, she generally doesn't care about the idiots she helps SHIELD put away or down. Her coworkers… she maybe… had been starting to care… it could be easy not to… but. Not caring about /anything/ doesn't feel right. She fished Carol out of the San Francisco Bay! That's a /bond!/

The pretty young people Meridian usually deals with are much easier than this, because most of them don't have much to care about other than themselves anyway. "Hm," is Meredith's response to these two people who have the weight of the world of their shoulders every other night. "I'm just trying to help, you know." She seems a little hurt that the two of them haven't given themselves over to revelry. And that magnetic air about her — when she pouts, it seems like the world is ending. It's not the chemical rush that Jessica's pheremones provide. More like a nagging doubt — would /not/ acting on this be the right choice?

"How can two people as beautiful as you be so… sad?" Meredith at last looks like she's having a real emotion, her heart going out to these two poor women who have things like 'concerns' and 'lives.' "I don't understand. Just look at yourselves."

"Well, you know. There's a little bit more to life than just being pretty." That right there is pure Carol Danvers. "There's making a difference. There's pushing yourself. Higher. Faster. Stronger. Pretty, when it comes down to it, is kind of a gigantic pain in the ass. People look, and all they see is pretty. They don't see seven languages. They don't see years of service. They just see pretty. Do you have any idea how many times I've been told a pretty little thing like me can't something or other?" Uh oh, now she's getting indignant again.

Jessica Drew nods in agreement, then rests her chin on her hand. "I'm pretty sure the only reason I'm this hot is genetic tampering. I've measured my physical features, they're… almust inhumanly symmetrical," she admits. "Possibly actually inhumanly symmetrical. /And/ I can literally give off pheremones to make anyone I want to want to fuck me senseless. Like, what's the point of making me damn near perfect looking when I have THAT power? Talk about gilding the lily," Jessica says. "And who /knows/ if I can actually pass any of this on to future generations… of if I can pass anything on. You know, my last physical? Doctor said I've got a 55% chance of being sterile," she confesses. "I'm not sure how to react to that. I mean. God. Who /wants/ me having kids, you know?"

Meredith's glass of wine is knocked over. This is because her hand unthinkingly hits it. The whole party stops.

The. Whole. Party. Stops.

It's because Meredith is sitting there, staring at Jessica, wide-eyed. She looks actually frozen in shock — scandalized, maybe. And everyone is looking at her. And at Jessica. And at Carol.

"'Inhuman,'" Meredith repeats, her voice softer than ever.

Another long moment of silence.

"Revel," Meredith says, and then immediately stands up and starts walking away, towards the back of the VIP room, the same way she came in with Carol before.

"Aww, Jess." Carol leans over to try to hug her friend again. "I don't know if I want to have- I mean, I'm not sure I can, either. Damn. I hadn't thought about that." But then Meredith is getting up and leaving, and she frowns after the woman. There's such a fog in her head. Alcohol. Pheromones. Mind-fuckery. All mixed up with some Kree biology. Blink. Blink blink. She needs more alcohol…

The order to REVEL echos in Jess's head for a minute. But even heavier is her own anti-brainwashing training, which… ironically, is actually something Hydra is really good at, despite… actively brainwashing her at the time. They're really big on keeping out the competition. "Okay. So. Someone just fucked with our heads. We need to get out of here. And like… to a sketch artist. SHIELD needs to know about her." She frowns. "Carol. You. Do not. Need. A drink." More frowning. "Don't make me pheremone you again."

Meredith is already on her way out the door. The party continues on without her, as all of the dancers and revelers go back to dancing and reveling — Carol and Jess excepted.

In her limo, driving to wherever, Meredith grips her arms and tries to shake the sensation to look around and check behind every shadow.

"Just one more!" Carol protests, reaching for her abandoned glass. "Come on, Jess. It's just one more drink. Everyone's having fun. We can forget about how sad our lives are for a minute. It'll be great. We can worry about whatever it is in the morning."

"That was your answer after the coma, Carol! You're better than that! We're… we're better than that! Come on!" Jess grabs Carol's hand and stands up. "You said it yourself. Higher, faster, stronger. We don't need this shit. Let's go find something to punch. A bad guy. A dinosaur. I don't care. You're better than getting wasted at some stupid night club and whining about our stupid lives and jobs."

"Yes!" Carol declares. "A DINOSAUR WE SHOULD PUNCH A DINOSAUR." Good suggestion, Jess. That can't possibly end poorly. "The museum. We go to the museum, and we bring someone who can do some zombie raising, and we get them to bring back the dinosaur, and then we punch it before it can get out. It'll be like a dinosaur cage match!" On the up side, at least she's standing up and walking with Jess. On the other hand, she's fixing her outfit into her costume.

"We are not calling Dr. Strange in the middle of the night to raise a zombie dinosaur," Jess argues. "Nor are we going to find wherever Devil Dinosaur lives. Come on. We're going to find a nice patch of sky, and you're gonna fly this buzz off, and then you're going to crash on my couch because I forget where your apartment is…"

"Metropolis," Carol answers on the subject of her apartment, sighing heavily. "It's nice. But Superman might try to pull me over for flying while intoxicated," she snickers. "Oh my god. He's cute, but he's just…cute. How can you be Superman and you're cute? You're supposed to be a badass."

"Really? /Superman?/" Jess looks at Carol. "Not that I don't appreciate the idea of a guy that can keep up with me," she admits, giving it some consideration, then frowns. "But… ugh, come on. No more drinking for you tonight. I don't wanna know what you're like hungover. Coffee's on me."

"He's adorkable. That's a word now, right? Like, he'd definitely bring flowers. I AM SO SETTING YOU UP WITH SUPERMAN." Here's hoping Carol doesn't remember any of this in the morning. She's mostly walking straight, though. It's just…Well. She's in costume. And it's hard to miss Ms. Marvel swaying down the street.

"Please do not try to set me up with Superman," says Jess, towing Carol out of the club and onto the street. "Can you switch back to civvies? People are staring at your ass, and I'm feeling really outshined here." Genetic manipulation can only do so much, and she does /not/ climb enough stairs.

"My ass is really out there, isn't it? I've been thinking that maybe the whole wearing everything but pants angle is maybe not the best," Carol muses, looking over her shoulder to try to get a look at her own ass. "Definitely need a redesign. Like, bare thighs. How is that getting anyone to take me seriously?" She sighs, and it's back to jeans and a t-shirt. Except she forgot the boots. Have to fix…right, tennis shoes, that'll do.

"Have you seen my new look?" Jess asks. "The boys on the Internet hate it, so I know I'm doing something right," she says. "Plus, I finally get to wear a sports bra. Oh. My. God. Seiously, I always figured- hey, super-strength, what do I need extra support for, right? The answer is… everything. You need it for everything."

"Oh my god, right? Support matters. I got speed, and strength, and durability. You know what I didn't get? Boobs that don't move when you're in a fight. Also? Not aerodynamic," she says with a mournful look down her shirt. "But yay for new costume!" she adds, punching lightly - for her - at Jess's shoulder. "I bet you look awesome in it. Why are you polling the internet about it?"

"Oh, like you don't Google yourself," says Jess, accusingly. "I was curious to see if anyone had even noticed. I mean, it's not like I'm really a huge-noticable type like… well. Spider-Man or anything. And I totally know it's not just the boobs that keeps me on the second string. I mean, I spend half my time undercover for SHIELD. I'm sneaky, I'm stealthy. I… have enough of a past that it's probably better I stay out of the spotlight because, I mean, really. They don't take ex-Hydra science experiment spies on for the Justice League- which is /another/ reason you aren't going to try to set me up with Superman. For all we know, that's… what I was engineered for. One elaborate ploy for a blind date with Superman, then BAM. Hydra has Superman clones or something."

"Jess, your parents were smart, but they were not that smart. Nobody is that smart. And they were smart, not psychic. And come on! He can take it!" Carol waggles her brows, elbowing Jess. "He can take it." Drunk Carol is obnoxious. There are so many reasons she shouldn't drink. "Get it? Get it?"

"Are you drunkenly suggesting Superman's into *?" Jess asks, then breaks out laughing. "Oh god he probably heard that, somewhere." More laughing. "Oh god do you think he knows what that /means/."

"No way. No possible way he knows what that means," Carol shakes her head swiftly. "By "it", I meant you. Bow chicka wow wow! Oh man. I am…not in my right head. I would offer to fly us back to your place, but I should probably not fly right now. I might hit a traffic copter or something."

Jessica Drew just laughs, still giggling at the thought of it. "See. There's another reason you need to /not/ set me up with Superman. I /know/ the meaning of these things. You learn that kind of thing doing the undercover Mata Hari thing. You'd be surprised how many horrible, depraved criminal men enjoy- nevermind. God, nevermind, I'm really, really wishing /I/ could get as drunk as you are right now," Jess says with a sigh. "Maybe we can just find a telepath to give me your buzz or something."

"We can be buzz buddies!" Carol declares, giving Jess another hug. "That's true friendship right there, Jess. I will drink your alcohol for you so that you can be telepathically linked to my drunk ass. And side note, I would totally believe whatever about the things criminals want. They're usually not really right in the head."

"Neither of us are right in the head right now. Remember? The head-fuckery?" Jess reminds her friend. Home. Now. We'll watch bad movies on Netflix we'll regret later and order pizza that we'll also regret later. Come on.

Carol sighs dramatically. "Can we at least get the good pizza? Lots of meats, and not a whole bunch of vegetables?" At least she's forgotten about punching a dinosaur. That's progress.

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