Meeting Silk

January 10, 2016:

Carol comes to visit Caitlin and meet her friend, Cindy. Misunderstandings follow.

JL:A Lakehouse - Metropolis

Lavish without being ostentatious. Expertly decorated without losing the basics of comfort. This is the Lakehouse that 'belongs' to the JL:A (though Kate Bishop's name is on the paperwork).

Once through the doors, the foyer opens up to a large foyer, decorated in deep rich hues. Stepping through, the living area is comfortably appointed, each chair, each couch with its own set of throw pillows. Coffee tables and end tables dot the room, each with its own work of art, and coasters for drinks. Windows overlook the pathway to the slip to the lake that lies beyond.

A professional kitchen is attached to a grand dining area, the great glass and shining metal table able to seat 20 without difficulty.

Upstairs, four bedroom suites can be found, each with their own 'theme', each with their own balconies. Past the suites, five large master bedrooms, each with their own grand window and walk in closet are available.

On the roof, a helipad.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Caitlin actually looks like a girl today! Mostly because after movie night with Carol and Kara, she'd finally had two girls who know what they're doing attack her hair with a brush and show her the virtues of conditioner. And then they'd done a preliminary shopping run, because Carol wasn't going to be caught at an upscale clothiers with Caitlin in her only clean set of coveralls.

Caitlin and Cindy are hanging out in the Lakehouse common room. Aside from that odd duck Peter Quill and his random comings and goings, Caitlin momentarily has the Lakehouse more or less to herself. And finding that she's got /friends/ again, she's taken to inviting people over all the time. In Cindy's case, that's a small trip across the river— for Carol, that's literally a three-second flight from the JL:A HQ to the Lakehouse out back.

Caitlin has a computer set up in the rec room, the machine still in disrepair as she tries to isolate a broken component inside. "Okay, it's not the graphics card," she mutters, reattaching an internal cable. "Weird." She glances at her phone— she'd just texted Carol an invite to swing by, presumably having something to do with the package wrapped at her elbow on the table.

The Lakehouse systems register an incoming flight. "Flight access detected. Signature match: Captain Marvel. Flight path authorization transmitted and confirmed. Granting access, standing down security. Welcome to the Lakehouse, Captain Marvel."

The glowing golden-wreathed form of Carol Danvers alights on the lawn, followed by a ripple effect as she transforms from costume to civilian attire. "Thank you. Please transfer me to off-duty status, emergency notifications only, please." the good Captain offers, as she strolls up to the doors and slides one open, stepping inside and looking around. "Hello, Caitlin?" she calls out, before finally catching sight of the usually exceptionally tall redhead currently hunched over attacking the computer parts. "What are you up to?" she queries, curiously, as she approaches.

Cindy Moon is lounged out back on the couch, her feet resting on the arm of the couch as she stared upwards at the ceiling. "Yeah, so weird." She offers unhelpfully, rocking a bit as she kicks a foot up and down. Really, she's just getting used to relaxing with friends! Just being able to swing (HAH) by and just waste time is a much needed distraction from the super-heroing and journalism thing. An well, real friends are nice too. And then she's tilting her head to the right, brow knitting as the newest arrival shows up. And then she's jumping up, sitting on the couch awkward as she suddenly runs a hand through her hair. Yep, yep- Yep, that's only just Captain Marvel. Its cool. Your cool Cindy. PLay it cool. SO COOL.

Cindy, who currently looks like a deer caught in the headlights, is once more in proper civvilian attire! A white turtle neck with nice long sleeves compliments her tan pants, she looks cozy at least! And yes, her hair has been done up into the most prim and proper of buns.

Caitlin looks up and beams when she spots Carol walking in. "Carol!" she sings, hands going up. She remembers she has a small screwdriver bit in one hand and quickly sets it down, getting to her feet. Her t-shirt says 'My Other Shirt is +4 Armor', and she tugs on her hem awkwardly a few times. She's wearing /jeans/, people. And actual girl shoes, not just her bargain-bin sneakers.

"Carol, I dunno if you met Cindy before, but this is a Cindy," she says, gesturing fitfully at the girl sitting on the sofa. "She's a friend. She's a freelancer," she explains, which is a polite word for vigilante. "We're just hanging out. I, um, got you something," she says, shyly, reaching behind her and picking up a soft, wax-wrapped bundle with a hatbox atop it. She holds the bundle balanced on one forearm and with careful fingers, loosens the box top and invites Carol to open it.

It proves to be a familiar looking bussard cap— a bit anachronistic, though, as it's jet black and adorned with a slightly stylized Army Air Corps insignia atop the brim. Inside, on the label, are two letters done with a steady hand- 'ZB'.

"It's original," Caitlin confirms, tearing back just enough paper to show a hint of a leather bomber jacket and a very distinctive uniform underneath.

Carol smiles warmly at the redhead, apparently used to her geeky ways, and amused by them rather than non-plussed. (But no, Carol does not understand what '+4 armor' means, beyond that it is something Caitlin finds fun and amusing.) She offers a nod and a smile to the startled, wide- and wild-eyed Cindy. "Hi, Cindy. Pleased to meet you." Carol extends a hand to the girl. "I'm Carol Danvers." Otherwise known as Captain Marvel, obviously. "What do you do in the civvie world, Cindy?" Best not to ask about her costumed identity until or unless the younger woman decides to share on her own, right?

Carol chuckles softly and looks over Caitlin's big bundle with a bit of a perplexed look; she cannot imagine Caitlin shopping for a formal hat, for pity's sake, given what it was like getting her into decent civvies, or showing her a properly /fitted/ lady's skirtsuit. (In which Caitlin looks awesome, thankyouverymuch.) "You know, you didn't have to get me anything." Carol comments. But she's not going to argue overmuch.

When Carol starts opening things, she is gentle and careful. But that pales by comparison to what follows, as she catches full sight of the hat inside: that style, that color, those initials. Then the leather jacket and uniform beneath. "Caitlin … by God, girl. How? How did you …?" Yeah, that's about when words plainly fail her. This is a Big Deal.

Cindy Moon picks one of her hands up off her lap, sending Carol a small half wave as she smiles sheepishly. "Hey, I'm a Cindy." She replies with a quick nod. "This is what we tend to look like." She adds, trying to stiffle the awkward welling within her chest. Why were there so many tall fair-haired ladies in this building. She's only feeling a tiny bit tiny over here, that's all. "And a journalist." She remarks with a short nod, adding in a little bit for herself there. She's a great one of those! Freelaner is a new word for her to be entirely honest. "Fact Channel, sadly." She adds with a nice dorky smile as she reaches out and takes Carol's hand, yep, she's shaking Captain Marvel's hand, nope she's not blushing one bit.

"I honestly didn't expect you to be THIS tall, but its good to meet you." She adds, playing it so very very very cool as she lets the gift giving take over. OoOOoooOOoh.

Cindy's cooler than the other side of the pillow, and Carol's the epitome of Big Damn Hero, but Caitlin… well, no one should ever let her play poker. She can't help it— she starts hopping from foot to foot like no girl her size should actually do, clapping with barely suppressed glee.

"I knew it I knew it!" she squeals. "I knew you'd like it, 'cause I remember seeing that press clipping of Captain Blake, and I /know/ she's gotta be one of your favorites," she says, falling into that mile-a-minute chatter. "So I was all over eBay and then since, you know, I'm friends with a lot of cosplayers and stuff I was looking around and this girl who has a boyfriend who lives in little Czech, he was saying he saw an old AAF women's outfit, but it was weird 'cause it had the skirt and that double-breasted top, and I did some research, and then I went there with my friend Wanda— she's awesome," she asides, "and I met this little old dude who said his auntie gave it to him and it belonged to this big war hero who was one of the only female aviators, so I wasn't /sure/, but then I saw the initials and I was like, /totally/ sure."

A beat. "…you like it, right?" she says, momentary self-doubt overcoming her as she twists her fingers into stressed loops.

Carol is still pretty blown away, but she pauses to step forward and embrace the taller, bouncy redhead. "I love it, Caitlin. I absolutely love it. Thank you." Of course, if it's the real deal, it'll never fit Carol. But that isn't the point. It's a piece of the living history that has inspired generations of female aviators. Amelia Earhart was amazing, no doubt. But Zinda Blake was Lady Blackhawk, a consumate aviatrix, a war pilot, an actual Ace who forced her way onto the Blackhawks squadron and proved herself the equal of the best of them.

Quite obviously, Carol Susan Jane Danvers has spent her life flying higher, farther, faster in pursuit of that ideal.

"I'll have to get a case made, so that I can put it up on display. This is amazing, Caitlin. Thank you." Yep, Carol even has unshed tears in her eyes. That's how big this is for her. "I would really like to meet that 'little old dude', you know." Because that's how big a damned deal this is.

Cindy Moon can't help but grin oh so cheesily at Cait, despite being towering over the mere mortals around her, she's absolutely adorable on every level. What a cute dorky world ending monster. And natural, this is going right over her head right now, but you know what? With her level of vertical vantage, things tend to sore right over quite a bit.

Cindy Moon totally flashes a thumbs up at Cait from behind Carol.

Caitlin's also a crier, and a hugger, and she picks Carol up off the ground and hugs her as hard as she dares. Which even for the redoubtable Captain Danvers is near rib-crackingly firmly.

It takes her a beat to realize she's holding Carol off the ground, and that Carol's possibly having some trouble breathing, and she sets the blonde woman down. Cindy gets a bleary eyed smile, and Caitlin steps back a little bit, using the lower hem of her shirt to wipe at her eyes in about as un-ladylike a fashion as she can manage. She's rocking some serious abs though, apparently.

"Okay, sorry. Got all sniffly," Caitlin admits, flipping her wrists around floppily as if shaking off the last of her feels. She beams at Cindy and gives her a thumbs up, back. "Okay, sorry, I'm okay," she lies, still a little damp and red-faced. She really colors badly when she's emotional.

"Anyway, that's your Christmas gift," she tells Carol, patting the package. "I'm glad you like it. And there's a mannequin for it too, but that's in my room. I thought that'd ruin the surprise."

She squeezes Carol quickly again, as if worried the stylish pilot will object, and then steps back, fingers interlacing loosely in front of her. "Okay! So, that was The Big Deal," she tells Carol. "Thanks for coming by so soon. Wanna hang out with me an' Cindy?" she invites. "So far she's putting up with me swearing at my computer a lot," says the redhead. Which isn't precisely true, because Caitlin possibly doesn't even know any really good cursewords.

Cindy Moon perks up. "I was sitting on the couch!" She one-liners, breaking the order to be so very unhelpful.

Thankfully, Carol does not actually need to breathe, so she isn't seeing spots and weak-kneed with a lack of oxygen when the massively-thewed redhead finally puts her down and lets her breathe again. She just feels like she ought to be that way. "You're entitled to get sniffly, you know." she comments, though wow, that really does look awful on Caitlin. "Next time, though? Kerchief, dear. You shouldn't flash people to wipe your face in polite company." Right. Says the pilot who has no fear of beer-pounding and belching. But she knows what's proper, even when she chooses not to do it.

"I'll still want a case, to preserve it all. But thank you. Thank you very much." Carol bags everything back up and puts it on the table, then sits down on the sofa with Cindy. "Caitlin managed to find what appears to be an original uniform for Zinda Blake, one of the very first women aviators, an actual World War II ace pilot who flew with the Blackhawk Squadron. She is one of my biggest heroes, and an inspiration to generations of women pilots. I chose the Air Force when I left home, because I wanted to be that woman, or as close to her example as I could manage." At least now she has bothered to explain all of this to Cindy, right?

Carol then turns to look at Caitlin. "So. What's wrong with that box of circuits, anyway? What's it not doing, and why aren't we just going out to get a new one?" Carol is SO not into tech support. But she'll rebuild an ancient, out of service plane and get it back up to pristine condition just so she can fly it, despite being able to outperform it herself under her own power. To each their own. "So. Cindy. Journalism. You ever work for the Planet?"

Caitlin manages to suppress her hopping happiness and moves to the sofa near Carol and Cindy. Without any self-consciousness she drops down onto her knees in front of the sofa and slouches comfortably, seemingly more relaxed as it puts her head donw on the same level as her friends instead of being half a head taller than they are.

Cindy Moon blinks several times before whistling between her teeth, really just happy she got a briefer. Now, Cindy was a pretty big fan of clothes, but she's yet to be reduced to tears over receiving a jacket. Though, that may be because no one has given Cindy a really *nice* jacket. Hint hint Cait. "Honestly, she couldn't even tell me." Cindy points out regarding their less than functional technological query. "I mean, not that I would be able to understand even the simplest of terms." Cindy no computer very good. Cindy no computer very good at all. Technology is just scary at this point.

"H-Hah, the Planet? God, I wish?" She asks, steepleing her fingers. "It would mean getting away from my boss." She adds, stretching some now as she gives Caitlin a soft smile. "Glad to see you again, how was the weather up there Red?" She teases before turning her attention back to Carol. "I'm an intern- Or well, I was an intern over at the Fact Channel. I'm full time now."

Caitlin snorts at Cindy. "Funny, you wanna get sat on?" she says, threatning Cindy with vast insincerity.

She looks back to Carol. "Oh. Well— it's kind of part of how I'm paying for it," she admits with that reflexive Midwestern honesty, looking abashed. "The little old guy needed some computer work done, so I traded some IT support. And then his neighbors liked what I did so much that /they/ hired me, too. So I'm rebuilding some of these old point of sale terminals. The most challenging thing is that a bunch of 'em are running an OS that I stopped using in high school, so I'm trying to upgrade the ones I can."

Caitlin starts droning a bit— enthusiastically, of course— about the virtues of software optimization over upgrading hardware. It's terribly tedious for anyone who doesn't have a degree in computer sciences. "So I'm trying to save them some money by reinstalling some core programs and seeing if firmware updates will make them run more efficiently," she concludes. She reaches up self-consciously and adjusts the hairband Kara had given her during movie night a few days prior— she'd hardly gone without wearing it since then.

"I civvie up as an editor at the Planet. What's wrong with your boss?" the blonde of the trio inquires of Cindy, curiously. She's actually interested, after all.

Carol does her best not to glaze over as Caitlin goes on and on about the tech. She holds on as long as she can, but eventually she can't help it. She loses focus entirely. Whoops.

"Uhm. OK. So. How can we help you out?" Carol asks. That's the best she can do about this.

Cindy Moon blinks ever so slowly at Caitlin, she'll ever so slowly raise a hand and open her mouth to say something back at that statement, but you know what? No, too easy, she's not going for the low hanging fruit there. She'll just take it right on the nose as she gives Cait this shocked expression. Thankfully Carol saves her from the awkward staring, the young woman flashing a half smile as she crosses her arms over her chest. "He's *insane*." She starts, now flourishing a bit with the twist of her wrist. "Like, you would think someone would need to stop screaming so that they could actually, you know, breath, but apparently not." She cringes, now rubbing her hands together. "And the demands, ugh." The spider finishes, flopping back against the couch with a groan.

"Just thinking about the deadlines sends shivers down my spine." She mumbles, only to peek a bit at Caitlin, then shoot a glance at Carol. "See what I said? She just, talks and talks…" She stagewhispers, putting a hand over her mouth. "But its kind of cute, right?"

"Help? I don't need help," Caitlin says, sounding puzzled by the offer, if grateful. "I'm just rebuilding these computers. It takes a lotta Red Bull. I mean, it was easier when I had real fingers, instead of snausages," she admits, looking down at her hands. "But I haven't broken anything yet, so that's good!" she says with a positive tone of voice.

She gives Cindy a sympathetic look up until she speaks to Carol sotto voce, then rolls her eyes with an expressiveness that can't bely the smile on her face. "Shurrup, I'm /right here/," she tells Cindy plaintively, ears pinking a bit. She harrumphs and folds her arms, looking stubbornly across the room.

Cindy Moon breaks the order once more, super-human agility extends to one liners! "See. Cute." She points out.

"Adorable, in fact. it's one of my favorites amongst her personality quirks." Carol admits, not bothering with sotto voce as she responds. After a few moments of consideration, Carol turns to Cindy. "You should put together a resume and portfolio, and send it to me. Maybe I can find you a slightly closer to sane working environment." It's a maybe, but she's offering.

Cindy Moon sticks her tongue out at Cait, going full on child mode as the gargantuan crime fighter puts on the pout. "Well that's why I said it!" She replies, laying on the heat as they torment the poor girl. But then, Carol brings up her resume, and then the portfolio and the possibilty of getting out from under that mad man's thumb. They DO say that print news is dead, but well, she wouldn't really be able to say no to more money coming in. And really, she can only make so many more top-10s on the website before finally ending it all. "I- Really? Are you sure?" She asks, clapping her hands together suddenly as she goes ram rod straight. "I uh… The eight year blank period of absolutely nothing will be acceptable?" She asks, quite awkwardly.

Caitlin hides her face in her palms, but there's little she can do about the near steam coming out of her ears. "Ohmygooooood," she groans at the praise being lavished on her.

The conversation returns to Cindy's career, and Caitlin looks up, pink fading from her cheekbones. "See? Carol's the greatest, what did I tell ya?" Caitlin says, beaming at her mentor as Carol effortlessly solves yet another problem. Clearly, she'd expect Carol to be able to walk o nwater even /if/ she couldn't just fly over it.

"I'm sure you should send it along. We'll see what happens. But how about you tell me about the eight year gap?" Carol has a few rather weird gaps in her employment history, too. She understands, and she can probably make others understand. Her employers clearly respect her point of view, after all. She's not promising anything, but she's all about trying her best to offer opportunities for improvement to anyone, especially other women. Someone has to.

Turning to Caitlin, Carol inquires, "So. How did you two meet?" She's curious. There's no hint of her suppositions in her tone of voice.

Cindy Moon rolls her eyes upwards in response to Cait, well, she DID tell her. But then the question regarding that gap, which brings a rather conflicted look back up as she coughs bashfully and brushes her hand through her hair. "Well, have you ever seen frozen?" She asks, shooting Cait a pointed look, don't even think about it. "I- Well, kind of along those lines if you understand." She mumbles, letting the statement hang in the air between the two. Yeah, dropping the origin story was fun, normally college was an excuse but she's captain marvel so she has to understand. Right?

And then the second question! Though, what could she POSSIBLY be supposing? "Radical skateboarders." She blurts, all no-nonsense.

Caitlin nods at Cindy. Then she nods at Carol, validating that explanation. "Seriously. Those guys, who, um, do the skateboarding thing? Like the '90s stunt rejecters, who use explosives and attack, um, armored cars. We stopped 'em," she says, proudly.

"And Cindy was homeschooled," Caitlin says, for once nimbly leaping to someone's rescue. "Like me." She gives Carol her most solemn, big-green-eyed gaze. "So y'know, there's that sort of gap in the, um, employment record. I didn't have a job until I was a work study as an undergrad," she reminds Carol, coming to her new friend's defense.

"She doesn't have ice powers, though," Caitlin supplies helpfully. "So it's not a perfect analogy. Maybe— ooh, you know, you should go with Tangled," she tells Cindy, nodding vigorously. "That's a better one. No superpowers, and there's that whole climbing motif thing."

"Frozen? Yep. Mmm. Twice? No, sorry. Three times, so far." Carol answers Cindy, with a little nod and a wry smile. "If you ever want to talk about it, I'd be happy to discuss it, or just to listen." Sometimes it helps to speak of these things to someone who actually understands from their own experience.

Carol looks a bit non-plussed. Radical scateboarders. Homeschooling? And Tangled? What's that? "Sorry. I got a bit lost in there. But I'm glad the two of you have found each other. I'm sure that feels good, to have someone so close that you have so much in common."

Cindy Moon gives Cait a flat, flat flat look. You came to her rescue, and then left her high and dry with the rest. Wall climbing?! Why not just come out and tell her straight up who she is? THough, she does tuck Tangled into the back of her mind, she won't complain about more disney movies to watch, though she really really needs to do some catching up. "I… Ah, thank you." She'll finally add, clapping her hands together as she shifts a bit on the spot, shooting glances this way and that. "Yeah, pretty happy I found the giant too. She's pretty useful when people are shooting at you." She remarks with a curt nod, or when you're attacked by skateboarders.

"Though, I guess I should come out and say who I am, since Red already started spilling the beans." She remarks, STARING.

Caitlin blinks rapidly at Cindy's silent remonstration. "WhadidIsay?" she mouths, looking befuddled. She holds her palms out in confusion, glancing at Carol then back at Cindy. "I didn't say anything /specific/," she says, with uneasy defensiveness. She figets and stares at her fingers, twisting them into loops.

"'call me a giant, you're a midget," she mutters under her breath.

Carol can't help it. She busts out with some laughter, watching the two younger women interact. It's so fun! And rather adorable, really. "Now, now. Let's all take it easy, shall we?" She resists the urge to tell Caitlin to come over here and cuddle her girlfriend, who clearly needs it. That would be overstepping; their relationship isn't actually her business, for all she wants Caitlin to be happy, and thinks they're precious together. "There's no reason for you to tell me your callsign, Cindy. You do that when /you/ are ready. Until then, any time you want to talk, I'll listen." Caitlin already knows the same goes for her.

Cindy Moon blurts it out anyways. "Silk, I'm Silk." She says, placing her hands on her knees and turning her head a bit to the right. "Which uh, well- I'm like Spider Girl if I had to put it really simply." She mumbles, glancing back over to Carol but doing everything she can to avoid eye contact. "Probably haven't heard of me, I've been trying to avoid… Particularly insane things." She adds, waving a hand before nodding along. "I'll… Keep that in mind, thank you." Look, its Captain Marvel. She can totally trust her, right? And then she's back to looking at Gargantor. "You're going to have to speak up!" CALLING YOU OUT GIRLFRIEND.

"She /started/ it," Caitlin complains, dourly. She stands up smoothly, absently swiping at her jeans to straighten a crease under one knee. "And I said, '/you are a midget/'," Caitlin says, cupping her hands around her mouth and focusing the noise right at Cindy. The ginger Amazon has some pipes, too.

She shifts her weight and folds her arms loosely across her stomach. "And Silk's way better than Spider-Girl. It's not like that dude with the skinny butt's got the rights to a franchise or nothin'," snorts the expert on all things hero. "But, y'know, whatever." She flicks a hand in the air, feigning disdain.

"So, like, whatever," she says, trying for studied nonchalance and totally failing.

Carol watches the two girls curiously, like a spectator at a tennis tournament. She almost wants to take each across a different knee and start paddling. But, that can wait. Right?

"Silk?" Carol ponders. Mmm. She recalls some mention of that name in an intel report, but not much. She merely nods. "Well. It's nice to make your acquaintance." she answers, holding out her hand as if to re-introduce herself.

Carol glances up at Caitlin curiously. OK, so clearly Caitlin is invested, here. Which is, as always, adorably precious. "I trust you, Caitlin. Now, relax, settle down. Maybe we should pop some popcorn or something? Watch one of those movies you're always so interested in? Or I can head off, and we can arrange delivery of the gift at another time, let you ladies have some alone time?"

Cindy Moon had a lot to talk about, a lot! Really, she was going to tease Cait, she was going to comment on how naturally Carol didn't know who Silk was. THere was so much good stuff here! And well, the midget comment. But oh no. Nope. Nope.

Poor Cindy kind of just blanches, sitting there and staring wide eyed at Carol as she brings the alone time.

"W-What is that supposed to mean?!" Deffensive!

"Um, okay?" Caitlin says at Carol's suggestion. "I'unno what movies everyone wants to watch, though. Why would we need alone time?" she says, the suggestion clearly going right over her head. She gives Cindy a quizzical look, then her shoulders rise and fall in perplexment.

"I'ma go get some popcorn going though, 'cause that sounds good now." She steps off towards the kitchen purposefully, and only almost falls over just once! Considering she's wearing any kind of heel for the first time in years, she's doing okay, folks! She goes around the corner and towards the kitchen, and starts banging around looking for some snacks.

Carol just raises her blonde eyebrows, looking back and forth between both younger women. "It's OK, you know. I'm no prude or anything. I may have spent a lot of my adult life in the military, but I'm not phobic or anything. I just thought you two might want to tease and banter and snuggle without the old woman third wheel in the room." Because, see, Carol doesn't get how either of them could not be aware of what is going on. Or what she thinks is going on.

Cindy Moon thanks whatever deity it is that watches her from above as she burries her face in her hands, hiding her eyes as her ears turn scarlet. At least Cait was too much of a brick to realize it, but they've only been friends for a short while and they already seem like a couple?! Really?! They're getting inuendos now?! And from Captain Marvel none the less! The embarassment washes over her like a tidal wave as she just, kind of keeps her face hidden here in her lap. She's really, totally mature. "We're… Not a thing." She mumble grumbles, barely audible.

Caitlin /does/ fall over as those words catch up to her in the kitchenette, and there's an 'eep!' and the sound of someone about the size and composition of Ben Grimm falling over, sending a bowl clattering across the floor. One can almost imagine the comedic pratfall as she struggles to her feet, presumably using the table for balance, only to have it flip violently— that motion visible from the dining area— as she puts too much weight on it.

"Crapsackin doggoneit!" Caitlin cries out. Unable to figure out how to get her feet under her, she crawls to the countertop at the edge of the kitchen and stares peers around it Carol and Cindy.

"It's not like that!" she declares, aghast. "We're just friends! I'm not— I don't— and you're not— but I mean, I'm not— I could— but I don't—-" she says, starting to babble incoherently with a panicked look on her face. Her expression's one Carol's seen before, usually right before Caitlin decides to start running for the hills at literal ground-chewing speeds.

Cindy Moon is just dying.

A bit taken aback, Carol looks at Cindy. "You're not? Really?" OK. Carol is not perfect. Maybe she read this wrong. But she didn't think so. It seemed so clear to her.

Then the pratfalls of Caitlin ensue, and Carol is struggling to hold in her gut-trembling laughter, hands clasped over her mouth, tears streaming down her cheeks. Gawd, but that girl is adorably hilarious! Carol turns, looking at her trapped, sputtering, blushing and panicked redheaded friend, and pulls her hands away from her mouth at last. "Caitlin, there's nothing wrong with it. Whether you are. Or aren't. Maybe I'm wrong. But I have to tell you, that's what it seemed like to me, and I'd rather give you both a chance to explore that idea in privacy, than to interfere."

Cindy Moon doesn't even respond, nope, she's wallowing in self pity over here! ANyways, its not like she's going to show her face to these two, she's beet red! She's so better than this.

N-Not that she likes Cait or anything either!

Caitlin's jaw keeps working, but the words sort of trail off into an incoherent murmur, then stop coming entirely. She's simultaneously ghost pale and sprouting spots of high Irish pink in her cheeks and ears, eyes flickering almost wildly from the laughing Carol to the entirely stricken Cindy. It's obvious there's no part of her social or spiritual training that's equipped her for dealing with any part of this situation.

Slowly, she just retreats into the kitchen, and curls up behind a cupboard out of sight.

"…kay," she says, weakly, her voice slightly muffled.

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