You can crash here

December 09, 2015:

Caitlin and Kate discuss Cait's living arrangements, and a happy answer is found: the Lakehouse!

JLA Lakehouse

An attractive multi-room habitation on the Justice League grounds.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Johnny Storm, Tony Stark, Dick Grayson's butt, Carol Danvers


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Caitlin has taken to living in the gym. Not /literally/, but she's in there as often as she's at meals, it seems. Anytime she comes by the League headquarters, which is at least once a week, she's training in the exercise room, and she uses the equipment that normally only Wonder Woman touches.

"Okay, one more, one more, one two three hnnnnngggrrh," she grunts. She stands slowly with a steel bar across her thick upper shoulders in a squat machine. Sweat beads on her shoulders and she struggles mightily to full extension, the reinforced metal groaning a bit in protest. It takes her a laborious full two seconds, but she hits a standing position with a blast of air from her lungs, teeth gritted.

"Yeah! Yeah! Got it!" she crows. The machine locks the bar in place and she steps out from under it with shaky legs, letting the powerful magnets return the system to a ready position once more. Wearing her sports bra and workout pants, she grabs a towel up and blots her face quickly, breathing heavily at the tremendous exertion of working on the equipment. Considering the superheroes who normally use it, she's moving a /ridiculous/ amount of weight.

Kate practices. She practices a lot. She doesn't have anything but her skills and her brains to rely on when she's in the field, and that means she pushes herself to keep up with the rest of the team as much as she can. That used to mean sparring with the SHIELD agents who helped out at the Hall. But since the DEO took over, she's a little short-handed on partners who aren't likely to leave her damaged, no matter how good she is, if there's an accident.

It means she's been taking it out on the punching bag lately, which is where she's coming from now, glancing over toward Caitlyn's machine. "Hey," she calls over with a small smile. "Getting comfortable?"

"Huh?" Caitlin turns to Kate, and then flashes an ebullient grin at her. "Oh! Hi Kate. Yeah, totally," she tells the other girl, using the towel to blot her neck. "It's awesome having real workout equipment, you know? The best workout I used to get was bending I-beams at the metalworks. Using real lifting equipment is legit. How about you? You've been here forever, right?" she asks Kate, looking around. She moves over to a different set of weights on a curl bench and fiddles with the magnet resistance dials to get the weight up to something challenging. She starts working through curls with smooth motions.

"Didja see my Instagram today? I totally met Johnny Storm. It was awesome! I got a kickass selfie with him— it's trending outta sight right now."

"The Fantastic Four do great PR for as diverse a group as they are," Kate says with a wry smile, taking a drink from her water bottle. "And they've done an impressive job monetizing the things they do, too. Them and Tony Stark." Leave it to Kate to be thinking of the broader applications of any group of heroes. Not that she doesn't recognize the cool factor. She totally does.

"And it's been a little less than forever. Almost a year?" she adds, tilting her head to think it over. "Wow. Crazy year."

"Man. You're so lucky to have this gig," Caitlin tells Kate jealously. "I've met more awesome superheroes in the last month than I had in three years, here," she tells the archer. "I was all small time for ever, you know? I mean— Carol's been coaching me a lot, which is awesome. She introduced me to all kinds of cool people. (She is kinda awesome)," Caitlin adds, sotto voce.

"But… I mean, it was just college for me forever, then grad school, then THINK… I just didn't have time for the hero thing, y'know? And I feel bad about that," she admits with a sigh, "so… maybe it's my fault I didn't get in with the JL:A earlier."

"Lucky," Kate echoes, dropping onto a bench with a rueful smile. "Yeah, you could say that, I guess. Lucky Clint- Or…" She trails off, rubbing a hand at the back of her neck and looking at the floor. "Honestly?" she says after a moment, looking back up. "When this all started, I wasn't sure it was what I wanted. I'm still not sure it's where I belong or what I'm supposed to be doing. All of this. The fancy base, the custom equipment. The PR. The paperwork and reports. It's not what the hero thing is supposed to be about. I spend a lot of time reminding myself that all of this helps go toward the things that are what the hero thing is supposed to be about."

Caitlin sets the weights down and walks towards Kate, slowly kneeling down and dropping her weight onto her heels as the girl talks. She rests her hands on her thighs and listens attentively, their heads on something like an approximate level for once.

"Everyone says you're really good at it?" she offers, tentatively.

"I'm sorry," she says, with a frustrated flick of her fingers, worried sympathy on her features. "It's… well, you know, I'm not good at the other stuff," she tells Kate. "I mean yeah, I'm good at fighting and tactics, but I wouldn't know the first thing about running public relations, or planning strategy and stuff. Everyone says you're really really good at it, though. That's probably a more useful superpower than anything I can do," she says with a grimace. "It's not… yeah, I mean, there's not a lotta sex appeal, but on the other hand… Dick Grayson's butt." She gestures vaguely.

Kate laughs, smile flashing despite herself. "Yeah. Well. There's always that." She reaches out to clap a hand to Caitlyn's shoulder. "We're all here for a reason. Mine's not really the paperwork. Mine was, from the beginning, to be a reminder. There are so many incredible people on this team, it'd be easy to forget that the people we're protecting aren't always extraordinary. They're frail, and they're afraid, and they're human."

"All of which is not the point," she waves a hand. "Because yeah," she grins. "When it comes down to it, this whole thing is pretty cool. You been up to the Watchtower yet?"

Caitlin's eyes bug a bit. "What, seriously? I thought you had to be able to, like, fly to get there." A hand swishes through the air, illustrating flight. "Or at least be something other than whatever I am. Reserve team, or whatever?" she hazards. "I'm… kinda fuzzy, the membership details were a bit vague— I've got the emergency beacon and the number to the front desk, and the snazzy new duds but that was mostly 'cause Carol was tellin' me it wasn't decent to run around with my butt hangin' out of my leotard," Caitlin says, "but I kinda figured like, it was a 'Don't call us, we'll call you' deal with doing the really cool-kid stuff. You mean we can just go up to the Watchtower, like, …. anytime?"

"Well, not just any time, no," Kate grins. "But, you know. If you want to some time, I could take you up. I will warn you, it sounds super cool when you start, but then when you really end up doing the work, it's basically like a security guard front desk. Only instead of monitors in a building lobby, it's monitors on a space station." She pauses, rolling her eyes. "And yet the boys all think it's the coolest thing ever."

"Uh, well…" Caitlin's visibly torn. On the one hand, hell yeah it's awesome, it's a spaceship. And it's the /Watchtower/. On the other hand, she's desperate to stay on Kate's good side. One might get the sense that Caitlin doesn't have a surplus of girlfriends her age.

"I mean, you know, it's probably just because they wanna do… dumb… guy stuff on it," she offers lamely. "I'd love to go up and just at least, like, see it," she says, quickly changing the topic. "Y'know. I've never been in space. Can't fly," she adds, lamely. "But I wanna learn more about the League, and stuff, you know? I mean…" she glances around, voice dropping— not that it'd do any good, with the number of people with hypersensitive hearing. "I've /always/ dreamed of being in the JL:A. And now I'm here, and I just don't even know what to do to help, y'know?"

"I'm pretty sure it's a size thing," Kate winks. "Everything looks so much smaller from up there. But yeah, we can go up some time, show you how it works. And as far as what to do to help, that's…" She pauses, smile slipping crooked. "That's the easiest part of the whole thing, Caitlyn. People need help, we show up and do it. Little old ladies crossing the street. Cats in trees. Less cliche, there are always hungry people, and people who're hurting. I still go to the shelter at least once a week to teach a self-defense class."

"But that's what I always do," Caitlin blinks. "You can't tell me seriously that the Justice Avengers need someone to help with merit badges. I've been doing that for years, and I'm pretty sure that even with Caro- Captain Marvel sponsoring me, you guys didn't ask me to come on to bump up your quota of feel-good deedery."

Kate chuckles, shaking her head. "Well no, that's the truth," she agrees. "You and Carol, you fit together. Had the same conversation with her. There're several things going on right now. You want to read up on them, then you should talk to the Oracle. He or she or it has the information. My money's on she, based on personal interaction, but that's just a guess. But honestly? Right now, the way the League's structured, we're emergency services. We don't patrol so much as respond to emergency calls. We could use more of a plan. Missions. But it's something to be careful about, with the DEO trying to stick their noses in."

"Well… she /is/ Captain Marvel," Caitlin says, trying to hide the glowing tones of hero worship. "I'm just super lucky she is willing to look out for me. She helped me get that new uniform, with the unstable molecules!" she adds brightly. "And she totally saved me on Apokalips, so… y'know, there's that."

She rocks to her feet and stands up smoothly, with a surprisingly limber ease. "I feel like I should be doing something, but… well, I guess you're right— I just gotta keep an ear out," Caitlin allows Kate, reluctantly. "It's just weird not being a solo act anymore. It's weird commuting from /Gotham/ to come here. Though, hey— Reed Richards says he's looking for a new intern, so that could be legit. I might finally get an apartment that doesn't smell like the wharf and is ten minutes from the turnpike."

Kate pauses, then flushes, scrubbing a hand over her face with an embarrassed expression. "Jesus, Caitlyn, I'm sorry," she grimaces. "I didn't even think- We've got a- I mean. There's the lake house," she says, sitting up and then standing up when the other girl does. "I mean, that's why I got it. So the team could have a place. No one's expected to stay there or anything, but you don't have to commute from Gotham if you don't want to. The place has, like…There are plenty of bedrooms if you want to stay there. Although if you can get an internship with Richards, you should totally do that, because that man's a genius. And if you did the whole college and grad school and THINK thing, then genius sounds like a good thing for you, you know?"

"Wait, what?" Caitlin blinks sounding confused. "I- I thought the lake house was for like… y'know visiting dignitaries and stuff," she tells Kate. "It's /yours/?" She gives Kate a stunned look. "You're… how do you own a lake house?" she asks, confused. "I mean, that'd be completely awesome, because it's seriously a half hour of driving in good traffic to get to the Baxter building from my apartment— more like two hours during rush hour. And it'd be awesome to be close to the gym and HQ here," she amends, gesturing vaguely.

"Really, though? It'd be okay?"

"More than okay. Please. It's actually pretty empty there since Steve and Clint left. Thor used to stay there, and Kara too, but they're not, so…Honestly, it's ten minutes away and half the time I still crash on a cot here because it's too much too empty." Kate smiles faintly, self-conscious. "Money's not a thing. My dad owns Bishop Publishing, I've got a trust fund. Thing is, growing up rich? Either money's all you care about, or you figure out the money's not the part that makes it mean anything. You can buy all the big houses you want, they're just space if you don't fill them up with people who matter."

Caitlin gives Kate an envious look. "My daddy died when I was seventeen," she tells Kate. "He was a concrete man in Iowa. We never had a lot of money, but at least he had enough set aside to get me through high school. I got lucky and got some scholarships, for college, but… well, to be honest I think I'd prefer /your/ troubles over the Maruchan vs. Nissan noodles debate," she admits.

She clears her throat and stubs a toe awkwardly at the ground. "I… well, I really appreciate it, Kate," she says, soft-toned and looking a bit reddened. "I can afford a few hundred bucks a month for rent, so… I mean, I know what property values are around here, so if I can work off the difference…?" she says, looking up hopefully.

"It's not really all it's cracked up to be," Kate says simply, taking another drink of her water. "Anyhow. You can pay in rent if you want, but really, it's there for the team. That's its purpose. I kind of feel crappy for not thinking to tell you about it earlier, honestly," she smiles crookedly. "I guess people kept turning it down, I got out of the habit."

Awkward Caitlin is awkward, and she can't think of a graceful way to forgive Kate the imagined slight.

"Well.. I… I'm gonna make good use of it," she assures the girl. "And I'm gonna get my stuff out of my apartment in midtown and get a U-haul, and get moved in before the weekend is out!" she declares. "And then throw… a housewarming party, or something. Uh.. meanwhile, I'm gonna get cleaned up," she tells Kate, realizing she's still in gym attire.

"And hey— thanks." She flashes a quick, dazzling smile. "I really appreciate you helping me out. It's nice to know I'm not alone here."

"Hey, any time," Kate promises. "And let me know when you've got the time for the Watchtower," she adds as she heads toward the door herself. "I'll show you around, let you see how it all works. Don't be a stranger, yeah?"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License