Happy Fashionable New Year

January 02, 2016:

Caitlin and Carol talk fashion and style. No, seriously.

Hall of Justice - Metropolis

Built in the same architectural Art Deco style of buildings such as the Empire State Building and Union Terminal in Cincinnati, it harkens back to a simpler time. With its wide open rotunda as the lobby and carpeting gracing the marble and granite floors, the Hall of Justice seems to embrace the concepts of Liberty, Freedom and the Rights of all Humanity.

It is a practical building; a front desk is manned 24/7 with a less-than-obvious security force, ready and able to help any who may seek aid from those within. Beyond, down massive lines of corridors, lies the inner workings of the JL:A. High tech labs that mix both alien and earth technologies can be found there, conference rooms, and even some living areas.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

The door to the locker room opens, and in strolls Carol Danvers, dressed in business attire, completely with a skirt! There are no heels, only flats, but otherwise she looks downright feminine and normal. It's scary. Her hair is even long and down around her shoulders. She moves towards one of the lockers, and nods to the redhead she sees nearby. "Hi, Caitlin. How is your New Year going so far?" she inquires, calmly, as if she dresses like this every day.

Caitlin turns and looks at Carol, then wolf-whistles. "Wow! Hot candied apples!" she exclaims. "You look like a million bucks! Hot date?" she asks. Having just finished her workout, she's still wearing her basketball shorts and a hugely oversized t-shirt that /somehow/ manages to bag. It's clearly an outfit she scored at the thrift store. She reaches for her Powerade and guzzles the half-quart bottle in a few quick swigs. "My New Year's going great, I've got a new apartment, I'm a member of the League, /and/ as long as Sue Storm doesn't hatee my face, I've got a job with Richards Industries. How cool is that?"


The blonde of the pair smirks and shakes her head at the redhead, as she keys open her locker and starts shrugging out of her suit jacket. "Hot date? Not hardly. Just a business meeting. Have to look the part for them to take you seriously. And as it was not You-Es-Aa-Ef business, I couldn't exactly show up in uniform." That said, she continues by toeing off her flats and setting them into the bottom of the locker while she works on putting the jacket on a hangar. "Nice! I'm glad that you were able to get the interview for that." Yes. Carol pulled a few friend cards. Benjamin Grimm owes her favors for days, and she's not shy about it. "You get everything moved for the new apartment?"


Caitlin nods and turns back into her locker, wiggling out of her shorts and t-shirt. She's wearing an industrial-strength sports bra and lycra gym shorts, both of which are perfectly serviceable.

"I did, yeah," she confirms, reaching for her old flight suit and flopping it around. She'd wadded it up before putting it on the hook, so it becomes and adventure of figuring out which sleeves and legs right to be righted. "I got the last of it a few days ago," she confirms for Carol, sitting on the bench and tugging this way and that at the pantlegs, frowning. "Most of it wasn't worth all that much, I guess, but the chair was kinda expensive and my sofa is literally the only one in the tri-state area that won't collapse under my fat butt." She runs her hand through the jumpsuit and pulls, but then eyes the mess of cloth when she realizes she's got a sleeve hanging through the leg hole.

"I didn't have anything really but books and one bag full of clothes. Oh, and my teevee, but man, the one we have here is so awesome I just don't even use it anymore."


Carol unbuttons her blouse and gets it hung up, then turns around to eye Caitlin. She steps forward, and smacks the redhead's hip. "Your butt, Caitlin dear, is not fat. Stop saying that. Now give me that flight suit. You need to learn how to order these things." Carol, on the other hand, has almost two decades of experience with righting flight suits, so she does so promptly and precisely, and then unzips it and turns it over. "Alright. Now, suit up."

That done, the blonde turns back to her locker, unbuttoning and unzipping her skirt, getting it clipped in place once shucked, and then fishes out her own heavy duty athletic underwear and her workout outfit. "I admit, I don't think I've turned on a television other than in the office or here, in almost three years. But once you get your first Richards Industries paycheck, we should take you shopping. One bag of clothes is not nearly enough, the way you go through them. And besides, if you're going to hang out with that crew, you're going to need to step it up a bit."


"Ow!" Caitlin yelps, more out of reflex than any real pain. She hands the suit over and lets Carol unbugger it, then steps into the old surplus uniform and pulls it up to her waist, zipping it and then tying the arms around her waist. "Shopping?" Caitlin asks, nervously. "I don't know about that. I mean, I get these jumpsuits pretty cheap, and I don't think I've got the legs for a skirt. I don't even /know/ where I'd get jeans that I can fit into. And ThinkGeek has these awesome shirts that fit me!" She dives into her locker and comes up with a black babydoll the size of a tarp, and unfurls it. A glittering pink pony is resplendent atop a controller, and it says 'My Little Pwny' on it.

"Isn't this awesome?" she says, giggling and snorting once at the imagine.


Carol smirks and shakes her head. "Caitlin, honey. Believe me, there exist shops in this world that have clothes that will fit you. And you have legs for miles and miles. You'd look amazing in the right skirt. Simply amazing." Carol shimmies and wriggles into the athletic underwear, and then slips on a pair of heavily faded navy blue shorts, composed of sweat pants that have been cut off around the knees, creating Bermuda-length shorts with a NASA logo down the left leg. She then slips on a super-sized soft grey well-worn shirt, made of a sweatshirt cut off around the mid-section, the sleeves severed and the neck ribbing torn out to make it much more loose and gapping. It bears a USAF logo. Short footie socks precede a pair of worn white crosstrainers. "Trust me."

"But I looked at Target, and Walmart stuff all tears up. You mean, like, Macy's?" Caitlin says, almost sweatdropping. "I don't know that's… I mean, that's kinda high-end, isn't it? I bought my suit there and it was like, a hundred bucks! Good job I got some shoes at the upcycler's store." She pulls her cell phone out of her locker and thumbs the screen, and shows Carol a dressing-room pic of Cait in a women's off-the-rack pantsuit. It's too tight through the shoulders, loose at the hips, and the pants weren't hemmed to her wedges. There's no part of that outfit that shows any lick of comprehension about how to dress oneself.

"Looks good though, huh?" she says, proudly.


Carol is a good poker player. She can keep her expression, even her eyes, schooled not to share something ehe doesn't want to share. Which is about the only way she doesn't end up spit-taking at that photograph and her young friend's obvious pride. "Not quite Macy's, either. Just trust me, OK? You get that job, get your first paycheck, and we'll go shopping together. I promise, it will be worth your while." And Carol is SO hiring a seamstress to adjust that pantsuit. Because Caitlin deserves to truly look as amazing as she thinks she does. And as she often doesn't believe she can. "You hungry?"


"Uhh… yeah, have we met?" Caitlin says, ducking her head and chortling a bit, smiling doofishly. "Duh, I'm always hungry. Why? You wanna order something? You just got changed," she points out. "And I'm kinda broke. I think I've got like six bucks right now. Oh— and a coupon for a dollar off an appetizer if we order To Go from Little Caesars. Though, y'know, we could splurge a little bit and I could tap into my gas money and we could order from Dominos," she offers, tapping her chin thoughtfully.


Carol shakes her head. "You know there's a full cafeteria here, right? With plenty of food? And no money required?" The blonde extends a hand to Caitlin as if she's going to help her up from the bench - as if - and then leads the way out of the locker room. "Not that I mind the idea of Little Ceasers, or Dominos, or whatever. But I figured we could go to the cafeteria, get something to eat, and catch up. How were your holidays?"


Caitlin accepts the helping hand up, following Carol along without a word of complaint or argument. When Carol asks the question, Caitlin falls silent for a bit, at least until Carol somehow gets her attention again.

"Oh… they… well, y'know." Caitlin shrugs one thick shoulder a bit awkwardly. "I don't really do Christmas or anything. I stayed in my room eating Ramen and watching Netflix. After… y'know, after my Daddy passed," she says, maanging to hide a hitch in her breath, "I just … y'know, Christmas… "

She trails off, looking down at her feet as they walk towards the cafeteria.


In truth, Carol is not a big hugger. It's just not who she is. But she is human, and she knows what helps, what really feels right. So she slides an arm around the tall redhead's waist, and tugs her into a gentle hug. "I'm sorry, Caitlin. I'm a jerk. I should have thought of that, and invited you over to my place." Which might seem an odd thing to say, as Caitlin likely knows Carol has a sizable family back home in Boston. But her comment would definitely imply she didn't go up there.

Carol doesn't belabor the point, just a few long seconds of a hug for Caitlin, and then she's tugging her gently into the cafeteria and heading for the food. "So. Did you remember to tell Santa what you wanted for Christmas?" she teases, a sparkle in her blue eyes. "'Cause I know you've been a very good girl this year. And if Saint Nick missed you, I'll fly on up there and give him what for."


Caitlin looks away and jams the palm of her hand against her eye socket, pretending like she's got an irritant trapped under the eyelide. But despite her affected lack of emotion, she leans back against Carol, unable to hold back a wry but appreciative smile.

"Th-thanks Carol. I'm okay. And no, I didn't… really think of doing anything," she admits, a bit lamely. "Or asking for anything. I mean—" she gestures at the League as they wander deeper into the main building, moving to the caferteria and approaching the queue. "This is literally all I've ever wanted since I was like… six. Aside from a few weeks one summer when I wanted to be a frog," she amends. "And now, here I am, doing… the hero thing. With the real heroes."


"/You/ are a real hero." Carol offers, turning to face Caitlin directly, looking up into those hyper-expressive wide green eyes before she says it. Almost like she's trying to drive the point home. Which she is. "And I get it. This is all pretty amazing." Says the blonde to whom all of this should be old-hat. But she takes not of it for granted. "But you earned your place here, several times over. This is not a Christmas present." But this is definitely a way to feat that ravenous appetite, and Carol is no slouch either in that department.

"I tell you what. When we go shopping, that'll be my present to you. Belated, I know. But I think you'll appreciate it, and that'll make it worth the wait." And worth the time. Carol smiles. "I spent most of my time working on restoring an old plane. Still a couple dozen hours of work left to do. But it's worth it. I can't wait to take her up once she's done." Higher, faster, farther.


"…well, I binge-watched the entire first season of Man in The High Castle, so…" Caitlin replies. She manages to smile at Carol when faced down, but the moment Carol turns away, Caitlin fairly preens and turns a vivid shade of pink at the high praise from her idol/mentor/friend.

"Hi, can I have… umm." She peers at the menu offerings. "Two of those awesome kobe burgers, a full order of fries, the broccoli, a strawberry milkshake, and ooh! Cheesecake. I'll have a cheesecake. Nono," she says, wiggling her index finger and almost pressing her nose against the sneezeguard. "Not a slice, the whole cake. That one. Yes."

The caferteria aid gives her a blink, but serves up the six-inch cheesecake that should notionally feed five or six people.

"yaaaay!" Caitlin says in her tiniest voice of pleased excitement.


Carol orders up a serving of three-cheese ravioli in marinara, with a side of meatballs, a Ceaser salad, and two slices of fresh, warm, crusty Italian bread. When offered dessert, she grins. "Don't worry. I'll steal a spoonful or so off of hers. Thank you!" And then she follows Caitlin and they can find a seat and settle to eat together. "So. Tell me a little about the new job. What will you be doing at Richards?"


Caitlin finds a bench and settles onto it, the tray stressing the table almost as much as her weight does when she finds a seat. "Hmm? No idea," she says, sipping on her coke before picking the burger up. A quarter-pounder almost looks regular sized in her comparitively oversized grip. "He liked the work I did on those actuators for the LMDs, and I showed him some sketches and design notes I had laying around for improving electrostatic conductivity in impact gelatin." She shrugs at Carol. "But for all I know they want me around because I make good coffee. Still, it's not a lock— I gotta meet Sue Storm, first, and she does the final sign-off."


"Sue's good people, Caitlin. Trust me, it will go well." Carol offers with calm assurance. She sips at her water and then starts nibbling on her food. Damn, but this place is good. A lot better than the base cafeterias she always used to eat from. Carol considers something, and pulls out her phone, tapping and swiping as she records a reminder to herself to call Susan and put in a good word for her redheaded friend. Caitlin needs a few more things to go her way, and this job at Richards could do that. "Rost case, I imagine it'll be some kind of lab assistant job, putting that beautiful mind of yours to work." Which is just what Caitlin needs, right?


"That'd be pretty awesome," Caitlin agrees, digging into her food with abandon. "I mean, it's a dream job. Dr. Richards was saying that they're gonna start me at like, WAY more than what I'm making now. And I'm going to be working on /bleeding-edge/ tech. Stuff that you won't see in the commercial market for years to come. Did you know they've got a robot named HERBIE? And he can fly? I really wanna attack that with my sprocket kit," she mutters, tearing at her fries. "I've been dying to see what a repulsorkit looks like when you take it apart. I mean, yeah, they /say/ that there's a few thousand newtons of explosive force in there, but I mean, they say you shouldn't take your microwave apart too, right?"


Unable to help herself, Carol indulges in a soft but whole-hearted belly laugh at Caitlin's commentary, and grins as she recovers a bit. "Well, yes. I did know about HERBIE. And you're right, they do say you shouldn't take your microwave apart. But I'm sure you have, and studied it all. Just promise me you will be careful of /others/ when you take apart the repulsor kit, OK? You'll be fine, I'm sure. But I don't want anyone else splattered over a wall or something." As much because Carol doesn't want Caitlin to have to deal with the guilt as anything else, but it's all the same, right? "I figured they'd do right by you on the pay scale. Reed can be an absent-minded sort, but he's still good people, and so are the others." Especially Ben and Sue, in Carol's opinion. But she's not biased or anything. "Maybe I should buy you a lab coat?" For her first day, of course.


"No, but that's really nice of you," Caitlin beams at Carol. "I get them in bulk anyway, and I figured out after that incident with the acid not to wear nice clothes under them. I know some scientists and engineers like wearing really nice and fitted ones but really, if you ask me, coveralls are just way more useful."

She picks up some fries and starts stacking them around a piece of broccoli, and in short order she's constructed a surprisingly impressive tower out of greens and potatoes.

"Behold my genius!"

She eyes Carol. "Okay, seriously, you're not just being nice, right? You really think I could pull of a skirt? I stopped wearing my old unitard 'cause I thought it made my legs look chunky. I mean, also, my butt kept falling out of it," she admits.


Carol chuckles with amusement at the food-building antics.

"Caitlin, I am absolutely, one-hundred percent honest about things like this. And I assure you, in the right skirt you would look simply fan-freaking-tastic. I swear, as a woman who has had clothing designed by Jan van Dyne your eyes will roll out of your head when you see what you can look like when done right. And the reason your butt kept falling out of that unitard is because that's what happens when a woman with real curves wears a unitard. You'll notice I wear something more all-encompassing?" And now so does Caitlin, with the new unstable molecule uniform. "I know all about what a unitard will do." Intimately, as it were.


Caitlin gives Carol a million-watt smile, somehow reassured by the older woman's reassurances. "Okay, then for Christmas, I wanna go clothes shopping and get something new," she says, the words coming in a rush. "Like, real clothes. I haven't bought real clothes since I fooofed," Caitlin says, hands pulling quickly apart. "And before that, to be honest, I got razzed a lot over my clothing choices. It was all like… sweaters, and ankle-length dresses. And my nerd goggles," she adds. There is precisely one picture of Caitlin pre-transformation, and … well, it's clearly a picture of a frosh student still trying to get used to losing her braces.

She flashes another smile at Carol and they dig into the meal, plans laid for the coming year.

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