Well-Intentioned Lies

March 19, 2016:

After weeks of pleading, Caitlin's brother Alex Peabody puts her in the same room as Slade Wilson, the ultimate custodian of her secrets. The reveal about her origins is… shocking, to say the least.

Alex's Penthouse

A luxury flat outside Bristol.

Characters

NPCs: Alex-Fairchild

Mentions: Carol Danvers

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Peabody eyes the screen of his phone and sighs heavily, closing his eyes before tucking the device away into a pocket. She's late. He doesn't really have time for late, not right now. He's been slogging through the translation work, trying to get the damned thing to even make sense much less function and he's farther away then ever before. He needs to be working. Not… standing around in New York waiting for his 'little sister' to show up. Things aren't exactly easy back at the office at the moment after all. He checks his phone again. Two minutes late. TWO WHOLE MINUTES! Where the hell is sh-… … … "Eric," he says to himself, "there's a small chance you're becoming Him. Quit it."

*clump clump CLUMP CLUMP CLUMP* Well, there's no mistaking those foosteps. "HEY ALEX I'M HERE! PUT YOUR PORN AWAY!"

Caitlin closes the front door and wrestles out of her jacket, a midriff-baring demijacket in horsehide brown leather. Whoever she's been hanging out with has been giving her some fairly good fashion advice, at least, and her hair is longer than it's been since she first moved into the house a half-decade ago. She fluffs it out a few times and tugs her t-shirt into place, jagged red lettering against a grey field proclaiming 'FOR DA HORDE!' in crude lettering. Her jeans even fit, which is something she'd not figured out even well into college.

Wedges clunk against the floor and she finds her way towards Alex's study, bright orange head peeking around the corner and flashing a dimpled smile. "Hi! Howzit goin'? You eat yet?" she inquires, walking fully into the tidily appointed room.

Peabody's NYC condo, as one would expect, is modern in the extreme, immaculately clean, and almost impersonal in how much of it is both of those things. Everything is flat cool surfaces, metal and tile and glass, the few peices of wood in the place are polished to a mirror shine and clearly were hand crafted with extreme precision, gleaming works of art as much as they are chairs or stools at the bar. His study more of the same, a long wall of nothing but self adjusting tint windows and a wrap around desk of brushed steel polished ebony wood. He's currently staring out at the city and all it's infinite twinkeling lights. "I had some coffee and a protein bar," he's always been something of a health nut, "if you want something help yourself to the fridge. I believe there's a quinoa and spinich dish in there you might like, has fresh veggies and everything." he turns around to eye her, "Why am I here Caitie? Work is sort of intense right now, taking even this much time off could be problematic." he's trying to be gruff, but he's smiling slightly and it ruins the effect.

"Hokay bee-arr-bee," Caitlin says, actually not really even stopping long enough to do more than say 'hello' before she's moving towards the kitchen. Which is really where she was headed for, anyway.

She clinks around in the kitchen a bit, and by the time he presses her question, she's got the entire salad bowl in hand— along with all the other leftovers he'd had laying around in the fridge. Fork in hand, bowl in the other, she's already making steady progress in demolishing it.

"Howcome you only got rabbit food still? You're a grownup you know. I get pizza every Friday now," she declares with a dimpled beam.

"Um you said you'd look into the, uh, stuff you gave me," she reminds Alex, glancing around the area shiftily. "You know. Papers, an' stuff."

Peabody watches her stuff her face and just shakes his head, "There's a salmon filet in there too, blackened on a cedar plank, dash of lemon." he says this as he siddles up to a stool and slides himself into the seat there, "And I do that because I'm the only one in my family without a beautific metagene powering me through my 30's and into a perfect body." he points out. "Some of us have to actually do P90x you know."

Her comment has him sighing again, "Ah." he says sitting up a bit straighter in his seat and staring at her, "I really wish you'd let this go and just be happy." he comments as he pulls his phone out once more, taps it a few times, then sets it on the counter top, it's screen blinking a faint dull red color which then slowly turns green. "You know, focus more on Netflix and Chill then on violent past things. I heard they released a new Pee Wee movie this weekend."

"Yep, found it. And … either old whipped cream, or bland yoghurt," Caitlin says, frowning into the bowl. She stirs the leaves a bit, then takes another big bite.

"I don't do Netflix and chill, mostly because A: Eww, and B: I get shot at a lot in my side job anyway. Which, I mean, is really just hard on my clothing budget," she concedes.

"C'moooooon," she groans, drumming her heels on the floor a few times. "I can't keep doing this. Carol's found all kinds of weird stuff about my dad. She thinks she even -met- him once, but since there aren't any -photos- of him, I can't come up with something she can compare it to. So… I have this giant empty hazy spot in my life and my memory. And since you're getting that twitchy look you get when you're stalling," she accuses Alex, "I'm starting to think -you- ain't got all the pieces, either."

Peabody is quiet for a long moment and he looks down at his phone and it's continual green glow. Jesus this couldn't be a worse time. But how do you tell your sister that her memory and daddy issues are second fiddle to, well, a potentially world ending alien invasion 5000 years or more in the making? Well, do it without your adopted father gutting you like a fish. That's the really tricky part. He taps his finger on the countertop again, thinking. "I know enough." he says finally. "Enough to know that asking more about it will end… badly." he makes a face, "I told you I would help you if you took the time to think it over," he locks his gaze on her, "SERIOUSLY, think it over. I won't lie to you Caitie, you're not going to find out what you want to, call it a… gut feeling." he plucks the phone up off the countertop and tucks it away in a pocket, "But. I gave you my word." and he was raised by two men, both of whom believed a man was only as good as his word. "I know a guy you can ask your questions to… Just. God." he rubs at his eyes, "Jesus Caitie, be careful. Okay? He's-" he cuts himself off before saying anything else and fidgets. He looks nervous, almost afraid. "Goddamit. Finish your food and I'll make a call." he eyes the fridge, "And mix me a vodka cranberry while I'm doing this, easy on cranberry." and now he's drinking. Clearly there are things happening Peabody wishes were very much /not/.

"Uh, not all of us can only think as fast as we can sound out the words, Peanut," Caitlin retorts, flicking a pine seed at Alexander. "I know it's this crazy idea, with all the time you spent throwing weights at other grunting dudes, but some of us are capable of rational contemplation."

Shovel shovel shovel, chew chew. "Also, don't think I'm gonna make a habit of making you drinks." But she does get up obligingly and finds the cranberry juice, and then busies herself in the liquor cabinet with pouring a splash of vodka— barely a few drops, really— and tops it off with a lot of cranberry juice. She takes a sip, makes a face, and adds… more juice.

"I don't know how you drink this stuff," she mutters, bringing the glass over.

Peabody puts the phone away after a short conversation and returns to the bar, taking up his seat there, "I usually don't." he takes a sip of the drink, pauses, eyes Cait over the rim of the glass, "You are a shit bartender." he says before heading for the cabinet, "Do you remember Uncle Slade at all? I'm not sure you met him more then…" he seems to think on it, "Twice? Maybe? Three times? Tall man, big, real big, eye patch like a pirate if pirates were terrifying?"

"Because booze is gross," Caitlin rebuts absently, poking through her salad. She frowns. "Are these raisins or baby tomatos?" She eyes one on the end of her fork, then with the 'meh' of the starving college student eats it anyway.

"I … kinda? The eyepatch… yeah. I mean, I remember seeing him, but then it was a lot of 'Go play out back' when he showed up." She frowns. "Right? I seem to remember that. Is that right?"

Peabody pours almost a hands measure of vodka into the drink, which goes from a black maroon to a soft blood red under the power of translusence. He takes two big gulps and then heads back to his seat, "Yeah." he says quietly. "Dad, you remember he served right? Royal Marines, SAS, MI-6? It took me years to figure out the sorts of things he did, but he did some Things, capital T. Before he retired, Dad was a legit warhero. Did you know he was knighted? And I don't mean like Elton John, I mean knighted back when that sort of thing /meant/ something." he falls silent and looks back down into his drink, "Especially to a black man." swirl. Gulp. Swirl. "Dad was a scary man Caitie, the stuff he did, the things he trained for… Slade, he was Dad's best mate, I never knew the whole story, neither of them talked about it often but they go WAY back, had that thing that only guys who've seen the shit have? Like brothers who don't realize they're not related? Well, good as Dad was, Slade's better. By magnitudes." he glances Cait's way, "You need to understand he's not like most people, like normal people. The man has no bend in him, no break, no give. And I mean /none/. If you push him, he'll push back and I don't care how strong you are Caitie, you're not strong enough to deal with a guy like this." he's talking fast now, almost like he's not bothering to breath, or perhaps worried he won't have the time to say everything he wants to, "So there are some rules you need to know." Sip. "If he comes at you, don't back down, it's a sign of weakness, if you go at him, he'll fucking wreck you. You stand your ground, you don't back down, but you don't get overly emotional either! He's like a shark, if he smells blood in the water you're done. He respects self control and dicipline above all things, you /control yourself/ Caitie, I mean down to the core of your core. DEEP." he lets out a long breath and pushes the remainder of his drink away having only downed about half of it, "And whatever you do, don-"

The door to the condo open without warning and in walks a very large man with an eye patch and white hair. His hair is short but not military short, and the eye patch covers the socket but does little to hide the scars that snake out from underneath it, showing the wound not to have been a small one. He has a very neatly trimmed goatee, also snow white, and his face is lined, but on further inspection he doesn't look old enough to even be Peabody's father, much less knew William Wintergreen so well as Peabody claims. He's big, not just tall, which he is, but broad, NFL player big with the sort of muscle one gets from years of careful training. He's wearing combat boots with a mirror shine and a pair of black military pants tucked into them. A black cable sweater over the pants and all of that under a heavy black fall time coat that falls to his knees. He does not look pleased to be here, "What the hell Alex?" he asks, his voice a deep rolling rumble of annoyance. The patch and voice likely bring back a few memories of times when he was around, everyone, even Wintergreen, seemed to suddenly be on their best behavior, as if his presence meant everyone suddenly tried harder to be better. He settles a pale blue eye on Cait, then back to Peabody, "You have got to be kidding me." he says flatly, disapproval heavy in his tone.

Caitlin eyes Slade as he clomps into the room, and scowls a little. Maybe it's a bit of backbone she's suddenly discovered— but mostly it's Caitlin coming to -Alex's- defense for once.

"Hi, Slade," she says, slipping to her feet. He's built full furthur across the chest and shoulders, but Cait's not hurting at all for height, perhaps one of the few women who can look him right in the eye. Unconsciously, she drifts a pace closer to her brother, a bit closer to Slade than Alex is.

"I badgered him into it," she tells Slade. "Yelling at him isn't gonna undo anything here. You… remember me, right?" she says, a bit awkwardly. "It's… um, Caitlin. I kinda, uh, had a growth spurt."

Slade keeps his eyes locked on Alex as Cait talks, ignoring her completely, "Now." he says flatly, "With all the shit going down, you chose /now/ to-" he cuts off, his teeth coming together hard enough they click softly. Peabody eyes the drink, starts to stand up to say something, then settles back into his seat and reaches for the glass, "You know what?" he says, taking another heavy gulp, "Fuck you." Slade blinks. "Yup. Gonna be one of those talks." he says turning on his stool to face the much larger man, "We all got family Slade, and how far do we go for family?" he asks softly before he leans forward into Slade's gaze as if it were a heavy wind, "I had two fathers, both of them taught me when it comes to family there are no boundaries." he meets the stare evenly and it's Slade that looks away first, though it's towards Cait this time, making it uncertain if it's a surrender to Peabody or just him trying to make a call of his own. Slade continues to stare at Cait. The silence sort of drags on uncomfortably for long seconds, the two men in a locked battle of wills.

"Fair enough." Slade eventually lets out before shooting Peabody a look that's somewhat softer around the edges, less angry and challenging but not exactly a warm look of approval either. He heads for the bar himself, "I remember you Cait, and I know about your growth spurt. I keep tabs on-" his lips tweak at the corners slightly, "family, extended or otherwise." he pours himself a scotch and uses tongs to drop a pair of ice cubs into the glass. "You have questions I suppose?" he asks, turning to face Cait. Peabody seems to rock back as this plays out, apparently not having expected to win and now that he has, isn't sure what to do with it. So he takes his drink instead and sort of craddles it in both his hands looking a little stunned. Slade lets it pass without pointing it out.

Caitlin's hands flip up and down awkwardly. "Questions? Questions is kind of the understatement of the friggin' century," she says, plaintively. "Everything I ever thought about who I am and where I came from turns out to be some kinda crazy hypnosis or therapy or something. I kinda beat it outta Alex, and then another friend of mine confirmed bits and pieces of it."

"Who am I? Who's my dad— really? I've seen enough 'redacted' bits that I'm gonna scream if I read another intel document that is mostly black ink and a lot of adjectives and transitive verbs."

Slade sips the scotch and glances Alex's direction, a brow quirking slightly, "Danvers." Peabody says flatly, and Slade's expression darkens, "Ah." he says as if that explains it all before he looks back to Cait, "Yeah. You're Also Ran friend couldn't last a day in the life, and I mean that literally, she made it one mission. Cute kid though, heard she got the alien juice. Good for her." he sips the scotch again before shooting another look at Peabody, "We secure." Alex nods and shows the green screen phone and Slade seems to settle into staring purely at Cait now, letting her have his full focus, "Here's the big speech." he says using the hand holding the glass to emphasis the point, "I have all the answers you seek, every one of them, but the truth is not nice and it's not kind, and in the end you're not going to like what you find, in fact, there's a very good chance that learning it will ruin a good deal of your hard won happiness. I can give you all the truth you wan, but truth is like mother nature Caitlin, a cruel heartless force as beautiful and eternal as clear blue skys and frosted mountain peaks and as destructive as meteorites from space that wipe out all life on our little blue ball of a planet. Nothing wrong with beautiful lies if they let you be happy, let you live a good life, most people prefer them. You sure you want to poke the volcano?" he extends a finger warningly, "Take a moment and think before you answer." Peabody looks up at Cait, "You know my vote." he says softly, "But he won't lie to you… he won't soften anything either. He'll hurt you." Slade doesn't deny this.

Caitlin swallows at the threat of truth that Slade proposes, but shakes her head, red tresses shaking across her upper back. "I'm… I'm not backin' out at this point. Carol's looked into it too much and she called in 'favors' to get the information Alex wouldn't give me. And… and don't talk smack about her unless you're gonna do it to her face," she tells Slade, backbone stiffening a bit as he takes a dig at Carol, a stubborn look that she probably stole from Alex crossing her fine features. "She's my best friend and she at least still -has- a lot of friends in the, uh, life. And I've seen her tap Diana out before, so…. yeah."

Slade nods his head, "I did talk shit to her face, why do you think she left? She didn't have what it took to get the job done. That's not bad. Not everyone is cut out for the hard stuff, they'd rather put on brightly colored spandex and play pattiecake with others in outgrown costumes purchased from a professional wrestlers yard sale. I get it." he nods as he sips his drink. "At least she served, I can respect that." at the mention of best friends something flickers over Slade's face, it's fast, a dulling, but it's gone soon as it came. "Okay." he says finally, "Ask." the word has a heavy finality to it and the sound of it makes Alex flinch in his seat as if struck.

"…ask, he says, criminiddly," Caitlin exhales, flipping fingertips skywards. "I don't even know where to begin. All right— so— I mean… …where do we even start? I don't … there's so much to deal with," she murmurs, eyes downcast at the floor. "How much of what I remember is real? How much is like… implanted memories or whatevers? Is… is Alex Fairchild really my dad?"

Slade tilts his head at that, "I can't accurately answer the first question because I've no idea how much you remember at the moment." he points out, "I'm amazing but I'm not psychic yet, can't peek into your thoughts. How much are implanted memories? A good deal of your memories are implants, or transplants, it gets a little sticky there, tangled up one with the other definition-wise." he sips from his drink, "And yes." his tone stops being playful, "Alex was your father," he glances at Peabody, "and his namesake." another beat, "And one of the best men I ever knew." the ice clinks in his glass as he finishes off the drink and sets it down for now.

"Umm… okay… uh…. Oh! Iowa. Was Iowa real?" Caitlin asks, glancing at Alex, then back to the burly warrior. "I … I mean, once I started looking into things, I realized, like… there aren't any photos of me before I turned seventeen. There's two of me and Daddy but it's just a really crappy Polaroid and it looks like a couple of friggin' corpses propped up, not… us. And … well, howcome there's no pictures of my mother?" she asks, in a near whisper.

Slade shakes his head, "Iowa was real, just not for you." he says evenly as he makes a motion with his finger, "Transplant." he points out. "One of the photos is real, the other was made for you, so you'd have something." he rinses the glass out and then pours himself some water in the same one, "Your mother isn't in the pictures because she wasn't important. Alex was." And that's apparently all he has to say on that issue.

"That's… what? That doesn't make any sense," Caitlin says, stubbornly. "How come there aren't any pictures of her? There's gotta be -somethng-," she objects, fingers twiddling around one another in agitation. "She's my mom! I mean, what… did… did she die? Am I adopted or somethin'? How come there's nothing about her at all? How come I don't remember any friends or people? I used to think I was just homeschooled 'cause of the allergies but… I foudn out that most homeschool kids -still know other kids-," she points out, glancing from Alex to Slade, and back and again. "Alex was literally LITERALLY the first person close to my age I actually ever remember meeting. Was that some kind of a setup?"

Slade lets out a sigh, "You don't have a mother for starters." he says simply, "And he's the first person your age you ever met because he's the first person your age you ever met. Which when said aloud makes perfect sense really, untrustworthy memories aside." he sets the glass down and takes a breath, something in his posture changes, "This isn't fair." he says after a moment. "Usually this sort of thing doesn't… A lot of old memories have been surfacing, ghosts from my past, and I find myself a bit touchier then I usually am. Let me cut to the chase, make this simpler." he turns and plants his feet, squaring up as if he were going to do battle with Caitlin, "You have no memory of other children of a mother because neither of those exsisted for you. You are a clone, made almost exclusively from the genetic material of Alex Fairchild. You are, in a way more true then any other in history, /his/ daughter, and his alone." One of the reasons he doesn't visit her. She looks /so/ much like Alex.

Caitlin's jaw moves up and down and no words come out of her mouth. She reaches for a table and misses, backing up, and trips rather badly on her wedges. Cute yes, but she is not nearly graceful enough yet in them to move when distracted. Down she goes, landing with an immense *THUD* and a squeak of exhaled air.

Her eyes flicker a few times, dropping from Slade, and then focus dully at the floor behind him, jaw slack and face downcast, and her shoulders slump forward in an utterly defeated posture.

"…oh," she gets out, finally.

Slade continues to stand where he was, staring down at her unmoved, "There were at least thirteen in the series of clones, Alex's DNA was, apparently, perfectly suited to the experiments, something about rare genetics that I didn't want to understand. You were the only successful one of the batch, the rest didn't make it." his tone suggests she not ask about that part, "Alex was unaware of all of this, all of us were, but by the time the was happening I'd begun to suspect that something wasn't right. Alex discovered holes in his memories, I helped him solve the puzzle, then we, he, I, a few comrades, came and pulled you out. A few of the others survived, but only because they were perimeter guards, everyone that went in died save you and me. Including my friend." Peabody warned her, Slade warned her, the man is merciless, the truth merely continues to come, pummeling at her like a physical attacks. Alex kneels down next to Cait and puts a hand on her shoulder, squeezing firmly and saying nothing.

"You were erradic after the rescue, wild. They had begun the memory process with you, implanting memories of a childhood and the like, fitting Alex in as your father where they could, but they didn't finish the job. When I moved you in with the Wintergreens, you became violent, enraged. Something had to be done." Slade just stares down, unblinking, cruel in the story telling, "I know some people and we took you to them, had them complete the process. You have memories of Alex, good ones, but they're lies. You never met the man, never knew him. Those memories you have, the good ones of the times when things weren't so bad?" he finally takes a squat, crouching down so he can keep her gaze more easily, "Those were memories of Billy, Peabody's father, /your/ father, but he gave them up so that you could remember Alex instead. He sacrificed his own memories of you for your sake, gave it all up." Slade's quiet for a moment, "He didn't even hessitate when I suggested it." he looks away then, something shining in his eye. He moves over towards the windows to stare out at the city, "Two best men I ever knew, both died caring more about you then themselves." something wet hits Cait's hand and Peabody angrily jerks a hand across his face, his jaw setting hard. "Enough." he says, and there's steel in the tone. Slade merely nods his aquiesence.

Caitlin is very quiet for a long time. Long enough for the two men to compose themselves, long enough for the sounds of the house to still, to the creaking of wood and the quiet hum of electronics.

And then a terrible, wracking sob escapes Caitlin's chest. It's a ripping noise, almost painfully loud, chest clenching and letting a croaking weep of anguish out. She inhales and then sobs again, leaning sideways and pressing her face against Alex's shoulder. It'd be a pitiful sound but for the sheer volume of it, and the angry, helpless pain of it all. It's a hard thing to hear that all truth being dropped upon her, to find out that all that a person is … is nothing but an echo of someone else, grown in a lab.

It takes her several minutes to get herself under control, and she uses the bottom of her shirt to wipe her eyes. "S-so I'm… I'm not really anyone, then," she gets out, croaking. "I'm just a clone with a bunch of stolen memories."

He moves so fast… just… it defies description. The Flash moves in a blur, a speed so quick that it's a visual smear of motion, when Slade moves it's not like that, it's more like the perfection of motion made only barely visible. One can see it happen, but they don't realize what's occured until it's already over, as if he were moving /just/ ahead of their minds ability to process the stimuli. Cait's is off the ground, literally, her toes dangling above the floor and her shoulders hit the window hard enough to spiderweb the glass beneath the impact, the sort of glass that really /doesn't/ spiderweb. Slade holds her in the air by the front of her fashionable jacket as if she weighed no more then a loaf of bread, the one hand in her lapel keeping her upraise while the other works it's way into and out of a fist as his hip, flexing back and forth, "Don't you dare." the words hiss through flashing white teeth, bared by lips peeled back in anger. Peabody is on his feet in the blink of an eye, a large pistol in his hand though where it came from is anyone guess. He looks torn and scared, the gun hovering half raised.

"Good men, the /best/ men, died for you." he shakes her in her jacket with a single jerk of his first, "For you!" his voice barks, "You carry the legacy of man who made everyone around him /better/ simply by exsisting, you are his daughter by blood and Billy's by /choice/. Not one person in all of exsitence has had the good fortune to have the fathers you have. Don't you /dare/ feel demean that with self pity." "Slade.." Peabody's tone is filled with warning behind them.

Caitlin doesn't look injured or shocked. She just looks a little… bewildered, for a moment, feet dangling an inch or two off the ground, one wedge left spinning behind her at the sheer velocity of Slade's attack.

She grabs Slade's meathook in one hand, staring at him with a blank expression— emotions not yet caught up to the training that's been beat into her daily for nearly a year by Carol and Diana alike. She grabs his thumb, the weakest point of grip, and she twists and squeezes. And hooh boy, she's strong. Beyond strong. 'Crack diamonds' strong.

"What… what do you want me to do?" she grates, eyes still wet, cheeks shining with spilled tears. "I don't know who I am or where I'm from. I don't have a life, I'm… I'm a fucking lab rat! I'm a LAB RAT!" she screams, fingers tightening spastically, unaware of the pressure she's applying.

Slade's expression doesn't change as she grips his hand, it doesn't change when there's an audible crack of bone and she can feel it break beneath her fingers. It doesn't change when with the same fluidity of motion he twists to one side and applies preasure of his own. Diana and Carol trained her, but they trained her like a hero and neither of them have his years in the trenches. He puts Cait in the air up over his shoulder, and instead of a throw that tosses her across a room like most would do, he instead throws her into the floor. Not just allowing her bodyweight to carry her, but then 'helping' her falling process by adding a super strong downward shove of his own. Peabody's floors crack, the tile shattering under the impact, bits of ceramic flying about and a small dent appearing in the condo. He's over her, knee in her bracial nerve cluster at the shoulder, the purpose of which is to numb the arm entirely. He looms over her face as his open hand, the nonbroken one, cracks across her check in a disgusted slap, "Who the fuck isn't?" he asks calmly. "You think I came into the world like this?" he asks, holding his hand in front of her face and with an audible crunch resetting the thumb in it's joint, bending it back into place with only the slightest twitch of an eye. "I can name ten lab rats off the top of my head without even trying, most of them are names you know and know well. I can't name one other person who had men of such quality love them as you have." he leans in to fill her vision, "What I want you to do doesn't matter. What do /you/ want to do? Sit here, trying to fight me while I use you like a wrecking ball to destroy your brother's condo? Because I can do that. If that's what you want, some useless empty violence, I can supply it in /spades/. But that's all it will be. Useless. Empty."

Caitlin barely even grunts when she's flipped, smashing a six-inch deep hole in Alex's luxury flooring. She blinks once when she's slapped, staring up at Slade, and then her free arm whips around in a tight hook, aimed right for his ribs. It's enough force to flip over a loaded military armored transport, weak position and all, and she swats him off of her with bone-breaking force.

She gets to her feet a bit awkwardly, scowl tugging at her lips, and faces Slade, fists curling up into a ball. "You're the one who hit me first," she points out, her voice still thick and hoarse. She glances at Alex, flickering, but keeps Slade in the periphery of her vision. "And… yeah, from what you just told me, I -was- born this way. And," she sniffles again, rubbing her face with the inside of her wrist, "it sounds like it ws pretty close to yesterday. I… I think I'ma kinda entited t' a good cry over it."

"Dickbutt," she adds, as a belated insult.

It feels a bit like punching a brick wall, and he takes the hit and rolls with it, the force tossing him through the air, but he twists like an olympic gymnast and lands with his toes pointed downward, his legs absorbing the shock and the whole flight ends with him perched perfectly on the lip of Peabody's bar as if just that small purchase was the same to him as a wide open floor. She's stronger, but when it comes to speed and grace she's so far out of her league it's laughable, the man moves like Diana does, as if everything came natural. "Boo fucking hoo." he says coldly, "You wanna cry because, what exactly? You didn't have a childhood? Or was it because it wasn't enough to your liking, having two father's willing to die for you? Your daddies didn't love /enough/, or … what exactly? What is it that you think is so bad about how you've had it that you're entitled to shit?" he asks. He extends a leg and hops off of the bar, combat boots and all, and lands without a whisper of sound, almost as if he were showing off. "You want to see what childhood can be like? I can walk you through Gotham in an hour, I can /show/ you kids with a right to cry. You don't fucking qualify. You're strong, durable, made from the blood and sinew of one goddamned war hero and the kindness and love of another. Since you've been alive you've no wanted for anything, food, education, clothing, entertainment, a /family/, everything has been given to you and still, some part of you thinks that… what? It's not fair? Somehow you should get /more/ then this?" he stares at her with anger that's clear to see, but it's reigned in, controlled. "You're a spoiled little rich girl with family that loves you. Must be fucking exhausting having to carry a burden that heavy, good thing you're superhuman, should help you shoulder it better." he heads for the door, his coat flaring a little as he walks, glints of metal in the shadows there, "I expected shock, I expected anger, I expected righteous indignation. Didn't expect selfpity. Not from /his/ daughter. Either of them." he pulls the door open and turns to stare at Peabody, his jaw working, "Take the day." he says after his mouth opens and then closes, as if he thought better of sayign something, "Be at work tomorrow." and the door closes behind him.

Peabody stares at the door, he's behind and to the side of Caitlin, though how and when he got there is hard ot say. He reaches out to slide his hand in hers, gripping it tightly, "You okay?" he asks softly, the gun he carries quickly being tucked away. "Forget him, he's … complicated. And an asshole. Sometimes."

Caitlin sniffles again, nodding, then looks at Alex. She shakes her head and stifles another sob, hair tossing back and forth. "No. I'm… I'm not okay. I don't know … I don't know if I'm ever gonna be okay. He's… he's talking about people I don't actually know," she reminds Alex, choking her tears back. "I've got a dad I never knew, an' the … stupid ten things I remotely remember, I only have 'cause I stole them from /you/," she says. "I'm sorry, Alex, I… I never would have done this to ya. You know that, right?"

She grabs a napkin nearby and rubs her face vigorously, making no improvement whatsoever. She's blotchy and red-faced and doesn't have the complexion to cry 'prettily'. "I'm… I'm gonna go home, I guess." A dismayed look crosses her face as she takes in the damage. "Oh, geeze, I'm… I'm sorry. I'll … I'll try to get some money for… for this." She gestures vaguely, and then hugs Alex again. "Thanks Alex, thanks for… ….well, thanks," she mumbles, eyes betraying her hurt at the situation. They'd warned her, after all. "And yeah, he's a jerk. Double dickbutt." She squeezes Alex once more, weak and with an arm numbed by pain and that knee strike. "I'll see ya." And she heads out to the front door.

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