About the other night...

October 30, 2014:

Carol and Clark talk about the things they haven't said to one another.

Daily Planet

The office of one of the greatest news media sources of the world.

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NPCs: None.

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Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

There wasn't a lot of time for chatting after the whole bomb scare thing. There were deadlines to meet, and police to explain the evacuation to, and other important, administrative things to see to. That doesn't mean Carol forgot about what her most responsible reporter said right after the bomb didn't go off.

She waited, though. Whether it's an old Air Force or CIA trick for making someone nervous, or she wasn't sure what to say, or she just didn't have time, it's been a few days since the whole bomb incident. But this morning, there was an email for Clark, directing him to a lunch meeting with the editor.

At 11:59 and 59 seconds, there's a knock upon the editor's door. "Miss Danvers?" If not stopped, Clark enters the room with a nod. "You wanted to see me for lunch?" Clark is wearing something ridiculous, as per usual. It looks like something a 70 year old professor might wear, and his hair is all over the place, to boot. It's far more clear, now, that the entire thing is a ruse.

"Kent, you can call me Carol, or Colonel, or boss, or Danvers, or…just about anything other than Miss Danvers," Carol replies with a smirk, closing her laptop and leaning back in her chair as she takes a closer look at the facade. "Take a seat," she nods toward the chair across from the desk. "I had sandwiches brought in if you're hungry. I haven't heard anything on the scanner suggesting you ought to be, but I don't know how your metabolism works."

"Alright, Carol," Clark says as he comes on into the room; old shoes padding upon the surface of the floor. "Sandwiches would be great." He closes the door behind him and moves abruptly over to the chair before having a seat. His eyes begin to search the room inconspicuously as he checks it for bugs.

Not cockroaches.

Carol stands up to go to the sideboard, where a party tray of subs sits, picking up a turkey for herself. "I was CIA for a little bit, you know," she says as she takes a bite, watching the search. "If you find anything, I really need to rethink this whole journalism thing." That said, she picks up the tray to move it to the desk before settling back into her seat.

Clark takes one of the sandwiches off the tray and sits back in his chair. He's careful not to begin eating before she does. "Well, it's always good to be on the safe side. That's what they taught me back in boyscouts." Clark grins, slyly.

"You're probably not even kidding, are you?" Carol takes another bite of her sandwich, considering the young reporter for another long moment. "All right, that's enough beating around the bush for me. Is Lane in it with you, or are you feeding her the pieces for those Pulitzer-bait schemes she gets into her head with the whole double identity thing?"

"I'm not kidding, no," Clark says with a chuckle. And for a moment, he looks offended. "No. If you go back and notice, you'll find that Lois was writing articles about me before I worked here. She doesn't know, and I do it by the book. I have a reputation of being honest."

"No need to get your panties in a twist," Carol smiles faintly, shaking her head. "Sorry. Let's start over. Hi, I'm Carol, and sometimes I go by Ms. Marvel. A few years back, I had a spectacular accident involving an alien in hiding, and somehow I ended up with pretty much all of his powers. And possibly been some. There's more, but it actually only gets more complicated from there, so."

"/You're/ Ms. Marvel?" Clark can't help but look shocked, and all the previous irritation seemingly gone. "Wow. I did not see that at all." He's held Ms. Marvel in great esteem, and Carol too. "Maybe I should have put it together when you came to Metropolis and both of you showed up."

"Only fair to come clean after you spilled," Carol chuckles, tipping her chair back and taking another bite of her sandwich. "Besides, it's not like I had you pegged for…" She pauses, giving the outfit another long look. "I get what you're doing with the unassuming reporter thing, but it's possible you might be trying a bit too hard there. Maybe. I don't know, I don't think I'm really one to talk at this point."

"You're the only person who has figured it out," Clark says with a tilted head. "Besides, it gives me an anonymity that I wouldn't normally have. People don't really like getting close to people like this, and it's the only time I'm ever free."

"Free," Carol echoes. "Yeah. Not sure how well that ever works out, honestly." She rubs a hand at the back of her neck, letting out a slow breath. "Well. I wanted to let you know that I understand how things get…complicated when you do the things we do. If you need a cover for some reason, feel free to use my name, all right? I sent you on assignment, I told you to be there, whatever it is."

Clark smiles faintly and nods, "I appreciate that, Carol. And by all means, I'm not sure if it'll ever come up, but feel free to drop my name in some way also. I meant what I said when I told you I was thrilled when you came to Metropolis. Our people are far better off now that you're here."

"Maybe," Carol laughs. "There's a lot of power here. Lot of heavy hitters. Not as much in the way of organization, though. At least not that I've seen. Gotham's got its own sort of community, New York's got government input. Even the metahumans have their own place. Metropolis…seems to be a little less structured so far."

Clark rubs his chin and tilts his head, "Well, I have a few people who you might like to meet. For instance, I have a bit of a network here in the city, and then, of course, there's those in the Justice League."

"Big guns," Carol agrees with a faint smile. "To be honest, I've been on the fence lately. Thinking that maybe it wouldn't hurt to be out and honest. I may have been CIA, but I was also - am also - Air Force. If you ask me, there shouldn't be anything to hide about helping people who need it. Besides, it's not like I've got a lot of people I need to protect from being close to me."

"That's what it is for me. My family. My friends. I mean, you see how much grief Lois gets just for her association with me," Clark replies. "It's a tough decision, of course. I'm sure you'll give it a lot of thought and do what's best for you."

"I think Lois would be bored out of her mind if she didn't have someone to be upset at for giving her grief," Carol points out with a brief laugh. "That's a young woman who lives for a challenge. But I'm ah. My family and I don't really…" She pauses, a frown furrowing her brow. "Part of that long, more complicated story. Besides, I think there's an important point that needs to be made about heroes. We shouldn't have to hide."

"Sometimes we have to live in the world we live in, and not the world we should live in," Clark says. It sounds pretty jaded for a man seen as a shining beacon of hope. But, of course, there are all sorts of things about Clark she may not have realized. "But you're right, we shouldn't."

"There are a whole slew of worlds out there, Kent," Carol says with a tight smile. "I went looking for the one I should live in, and found out that's the sort of thing you have to make yourself. So I came back here. Home. To Earth. I'm starting to think there's more to changing it than a sideline job being a hero while indulging in some personal career goals."

"I don't think trying to have a life is necessarily wrong, or selfish. This job…" Clark doesn't mean the Daily Planet. "This job will consume you. You know that. I don't feel guilty for wanting some time for myself.

"Oh, I don't feel guilty, either," Carol assures, taking another bite of her sandwich. "Just…I don't know. Too much time in the military, I guess. For me, it's sort of meant to be a way of life. All of it. Down time's a rare thing. The job is what's real, what's life. This? This is just something to fill the time between missions."

"You have to eat, I suppose," Clark says. He doesn't. At least, he's not sure he does. He's never gone too terribly long without eating, but the scientists at STAR have told him they're pretty sure he gets everything he needs just from the sun. "How did your time in the military copare with what you do now?"

Channel Public added with alias pub.

"In a lot of ways, less different than you'd think," Carol muses. "There's a lot of pressure here, after all. Deadlines, details, people to coordinate and direct. Gives me at least a little bit of the rush I'm used to. Fewer people telling me what to do. Also less impressive equipment," she grins. "And it doesn't have the same life or death pressure, of course."

Clark nods, "I had a feeling you'd say that." He takes a bite of his sandwich and stays quiet for a long moment before turning the subject, "Your thoughts on the terrorist attack earlier this week?"

Carol sobers at that, letting out a slow breath. "I'd be lying if I said that wasn't part of what's got me thinking about organization among heroes," she admits. "I've been meaning to look into it, but it's funny how people who'll talk to someone with a few stripes are less eager to talk to someone in a mask and spandex."

Clark tends to agree, "It should have been prevented. And whoever it is, I'm sure it has something to do with what happened in here the other day. Who, meanwhile…I have no clue."

"I wanted to talk to you about that, actually," Carol grimaces, leaning back in her chair and crossing her arms over her chest. "It showed up in my office. But they had that note on it, as if they expected it to be found. I'm not sure I normally would have, though. So my question is, who do they know about?"

"There was another note after the train station. It was written in the broken out, flaming windows across the street from Innovation Station. I think they know who I am," Clark says ruefully.

Carol tilts her head slightly, considering. "Good and bad," she decides after a moment. "Bad. You've got people to worry about and you don't want to come out. Good, that means they don't know they're also dealing with me." Her smile flickers, wolfish.

Clark smiles faintly again, "That is good news. Lois had said something similar—to toy with them the same way they were toying with us. At the time I didn't know how. Maybe that's our play."

Carol leans forward, holding out a hand and snapping her fingers. "Pass me your phone," she orders, clearly not expecting any objections. "I've got a feeling you're faster than I am, but I'm not exactly a slouch when it comes to moving quickly. You see something funny, you call your editor and tell her you think you might be late."

Clark reaches into his pocket and produces it, checking quickly to see if he's got any messages (when your boss tells you you're going to be in a meeting, you put it on silent), before sliding it across to her. "I suppose I don't have to ask you to not say anything about this to anyone. Kind of ironic, right? An institution built on truth."

"Air Force. CIA," Carol recites as she adds her number into the phone, passing it back with a smirk. "It's not all black and white as newsprint, Kent. There are lines, and we all should be able to recognize them. But when it comes down to it, right and wrong can't all be that simple. We have to trust our guts."

Clark takes the phone back and cycles through his contacts. "Well that's the real problem, Carol. In regards to this latest problem, my gut is telling me this could get a lot worse before it gets better."

Carol grimaces at that, nodding once. "There doesn't have to be anyone particularly special to you for someone to know how to get a hero's attention. Cause enough, big enough problems, and we'll come running. We can try to anticipate, but without more information about who we're dealing with, that's going to be tough. The best we can do is respond quickly. And if we do it in numbers, there'll be enough people to investigate while others stop the bleeding, so to speak."

"You're probably right," Clark says. "But there's nothing worse than the wait. The wait and the doing nothing." Clark sighs, setting the sub sandwich down upon the desk over a napkin. "I plan on heading down and trying to get more information from MPD on some of the labwork. Not sure what they'll find."

"More from the bomb here than from a burning building, I think," Carol muses. "If you want, I'd be glad to go with you. Lean on people a little bit. Be indignant about the bomb in my office," she adds with a brief flash of a grin.

"Yeah," Clark says with a nod. "I think that'd be a good idea. Strenght in numbers." His eyes spy the clock. "I'm due to head down there in about two hours if you want to clear your schedule."

"Sounds like a plan to me," Carol nods once, standing up and walking around the desk to lean against the edge next to Clark. "We'll figure it out, Kent. Call your friends before it's time to go out again. We'll be ready."

Clark stands and takes the sandwich with him, taking time to roll it up into the napkin. "Sounds good, Captain." Clark gives her a pursed lips, regretful smile with a nod.

"Colonel," Carol corrects with a wry smile of her own, tapping two fingers to her brow. "See you then."

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