What's a Corn Dog?

February 19, 2017:

Juno discovers many new things. Steph gets challenged at DDR. Barry thinks he's found a case of human trafficking.

Metropolis Mall

The arcade and the food court, specifically.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Silk

Plot:

Mood Music: Re-Venge - Matsuri Japan


Fade In…

The arcade literally just openned. There are few people here, and Stephanie's talked to the owner and convinced him to let her record. She's done the intro out front and just told Barry he could have the camera rolling as long as he wanted. Just keep an eye on the battery. She had an extra in the bag if it ran low. And remember that she's got to have footage she can use to keep it steady, okay? okay! The pair went to the Dance Dance Revolution game, so she could explain How To get perfects. It's all timing. You can't wait for the arrow to get to the top, but you can't stomp the pad too early. Then a comment on how the top arrows pulse with the beat and how when the arcade is playing loud music you have to ignore it and focus on the game music. Okay, ready?

Money in, time to jam out, on Medium, so Steph can talk as she tries for as many streaks as she can. They'll repeat this until she gets a 100% perfect song on Medium and Hard. Expert takes too much to talk through, but Steph's gonna try for it anyway because… REASONS! But sometime during that the battery needs to be changed, and so Stephanie pauses standing on the game pad, leaning on the safety bar with her back to the screen to watch Barry play with her digital camera to swap the battery. Her face is flushed, breathing slightly labored, but the blonde is smiling.


There's a reason why the two are in the position they are in, and it has nothing to do with Barry being slightly broken. She knows that he could get on that pad. And then he gets stupid focused. And the next thing you know, Bob is your uncle, and Barry would be setting world records with his steps.

Because he's not at all competitive.

Which is somewhat true. He's yet to be early for anything when it comes to their dating - Stephanie has even made sure to tell him that a movie time is 10 minutes ahead of the previews, just to trick him into making it on time.

When the battery light flashes annoyingly at him, he blushes with a chuckle. "I guess I should have spent a little less time filming you outside?" he asks with a blush touching his cheeks. He couldn't help it, the blonde is a beauty. He drops out the battery as he works on fishing out the replacement from her Hello Kitty backpack. "Too bad you can't dance for tickets."


Juno came back to the mall. Juno likes the mall.

Her handler gave her more money and told her to 'have fun'. Juno isn't sure what fun looks like all the time. She had enjoyed spending a few minutes with Cindy, but Cindy is probably not here today.

She checked anyway, just to be sure. Nope. No Cindy.

She found something else, though - a place called ARCADE. The black-haired girl has a seat on one of the benches outside and pretends to read something on her phone while conducting covert surveillance. What is it for? It's so bright and loud! People put money into the machines, and have fun playing them. There's one for shooting! She's good at that! But she can shoot things whenever, and it's a lot like work, which is not supposed to be Fun. (She checked.)

Well, what else is there? She tries a crane game (it's rigged), and willfully does /not/ reach through the glass to check on just how soft that stuffed animal is. She's doing so well!! But the loudest, brightest thing in ARCADE is a machine for stomping on arrows. Juno stares at it for a while, since other people are watching too and that means staring is safe.

Most of the others, however, are not staring quite so brazenly. And then the blonde and her companion seem to be done, so Juno checks her handful of tokens (not good for purchases outside of ARCADE) and steps up next to Stephanie on the other side of the dance pad, slotting in the required four credits.


On the screen, it flashes:

A NEW CHALLENGER HAS APPEARED!


Of course people are staring. This is not new to Steph when she's filming. Some might even be subscribers. She did tweet this. When Juno steps over, the blonde smiles in a perfectly friendly and turns to see the screen, which had been waiting for her, to flash it's announcement. Barry's quick. Hopefully the camera can keep up. If not, maybe this girl will stay for a redo. In any case!

"Hi! Nice to meet you," she says, letting Juno select the song. Stephanie'll put it EXPERT and then just relax and have fun and not focus on OMG THIS HAS TO BE AMAZING PERFECT. Keep things fun!


"My girlfriend's not at all competitive, miss." Barry offers to Juno, his tone as dry as British toast. Then he gives her a grin as he starts to film, because this is always amusing as he gives a quick selfie wave to the camera. Since you know, Stephanie has introduced him to her subscribers and now he doesn't have a choice in the matter.


Thankfully Juno has been watching long enough to have a basic understanding of how the game works. She doesn't have any favorite song yet, so just scrolls through the list until she finds one that she likes the sound of. 'Matsuri Japan'? She's never been to Japan. But she likes the heavy beat and flutes! "Hi! Nice to meet you," she parrots back, grinning, and her voice is rather chirpy - though with a slight Eastern European accent.

The other girl is doing EXPERT. Juno selects that too. "Oh? Well it will be Fun anyway right?" she asks Barry, because sarcasm is not a thing that Juno has much experience with either.


"Expert. Wow. Nice," Stephanie says, believing Juno's played the game and has selected her favorite song. She turns to Barry and the camera.

"Oooh. It's on!" she bubbles, hair up in a pony tail too. She made fists at the camera as the count down to start the song started, pumping them toward her waist in that cute cute Japanese magical school girl sort of way. Giving the camera a heart with her hands and then a V with her fingers, she chirps, "Let's do this, and have fun!" Steph turns back to the screeen bouncing her hips and shoulders to the music when it starts, getting the beat and getting ready for the arrow-madness!


And this is his girlfriend. Barry just chuckles in amusement as he continues to film. And when he does so, he can't help but to hear a song from his youth in the back of his head as he considers Stephanie. And it just.. fits as he pans out to make sure she and Juno are both in frame.

She's the heart of the funfair
She's got me whistling her private tune
And it all begins where it ends
And she's all mine, my magic friend
She says: "Hello, you fool, I love you
Come on join the joyride."


Juno catches the sight of that strange fist pump and heart sign out of the corner of her eye. She doesn't think that's part of the machine program, because she's seen Steph stomp without that before, so that must be for the camera. She bounces on the balls of her feet once, twice, getting a feel for how springy the arrow pads are. Not very. The traction is fairly good for plastic. They are spaced an acceptable distance from each other for optimal stomping.

Juno likes this. And then the arrows come at breakneck speed, and while her timing isn't as perfect as Stephanie's, she has yet to miss a beat.


EXPERT WINS. DISCOALITY.

——

Being silly for the camera while trying a new song on EXPERT has Steph off beat. She starts off beat and it just goes down hill from there, with Stephanie laughing at herself so hard that she ends up having to grab the bar behind her, panting and gasping between laughing, hand holding her stomach.

"Redo! Redo! I wasn't ready. Ohmygod. I'm horrible at that song!" she calls out, eyes on Juno as the song ends. "Gratz on the win." Because it was just barely and this is terrible. She looks over at Barry then.

"I'm deleting this footage," she says, laughing still.


"I'm already uploading it." Barry announces with a Cheshire grin. "Under 'How to NOT play Expert DDR.'." he winks at Stephanie playfully as he prepares the camera for round two - perhaps hopefully a little better?


Having never done this before, Juno considers a C to be perfectly acceptable. C is a fine letter! She only won by a few points anyway. She blinks at the other two, smiling, but doesn't seem to understand entirely what Stephanie means. Is that 'horrible'? "But you passed," Juno remarks, pointing at the screen for emphasis. "Thank-you," she addes quickly, realizing the intent of 'gratz', because Juno is a complete alien but not entirely stupid.

She wonders where the boyfriend is uploading video to. Maybe it is the You Tube. "Now it's your turn to select a song, right?" she asks Stephanie, because she still isn't sure on the rules for more-than-one-person-playing-stomping-game.


"I will dump you so fast," Stephanie warns without the slightest hint of seriousness in her voice. Her nose wrinkles at the not-threat. Still all smiles, Stephanie turns to Juno with a giggle.

"Yeah. But I'm one of those crazy A-student kind of people? Umm.. sure. Let's see.. AH!" Stephanie says, selecting "SPEED OVER BEETHOVEN" and putting herself on HARD. She turns back to the camera.

"Don't judge me! I nearly fell off the pad on the last one," she tells Cameraman Barry, before turning back to her partnet.

"I'm Steph, by the way."


"I dunno, I might keep this one for my own amusement, the next time you tell me what a great dancer you are." Barry teases openly, and offers a little wave. "Barry." he offers to Juno as he prepares to start the film up again so that he can catch the two of them in all of their glory.


Hmmm. Is this a thing that people study? This wasn't part of her education growing up! But then, lots of things weren't. "I'm Juno," she introduces herself to them with a smile.

She knows this song - well, a version of it anyway! There's a lot more repeating of 'Beethoven' in this version. Just like Steph, she changes her difficulty to HARD, and manages to do only a hair better than the blonde. "This game is really fun," she decides, wiping a faint sheen of sweat from her forehead. She can see how it would quickly make someone thirsty though. It also probably burns through a lot of energy. She'll want to replenish her supply at the 'food court' later. "Why are you filming?" Juno asks Barry during a lull.


Missed one, because Barry distracted her early in the song with the dancer comment. She grumped when she misstepped three times in a row, then focused on hitting everything else, but considering this was the tenth song in a row she's done, she's not as quick as she might otherwise be.

Shut up. that's her story. She's sticking to it!

Bringing her arm up, Stephanie wipes her chin and upper lip and nose dry of sweat with the soulder of her My Little Pony tshirt. It's light black and has Twilight Sparkle on it. The text she's 'holding' up reads: We must SCIENCE this at once! Steph's going to let Barry answer the question. She's a little winded.


Rankings!

Player 1 (Steph): EXPERT Ranking: C+
Player 2 (Juno): HARD Ranking: B

"Stephanie has her on channel she does social things on.. speaking of. Want to give it one more go, hon, and we can go to that Corn Dog on a Stick place? I'm jonesing for some Cherry Lemonade." Barry admits with a little grin. Of course, he's always probably a little hungry. As for him? Jeans, sneakers, and a T-Shirt that has the periodic symbol of UM on it - the Element of Confusion.

"Or are you going to actually allow me to try?"


Juno doesn't think that is a real element.

What's a— she takes a moment to reflect that she's been asking herself variants of that question an awful lot lately. That's just what it means to be a new person in a new place. She remembers what she was told: soon enough this will all be old and familiar to her. Juno hangs on to that, because she doesn't know any better than to believe what her handler tells her. "Oh! Here," she tells Barry, stepping down off of the pad. "Will I hold the camera? —no, shall," she corrects herself.


Give it one more go? Stephanie nods, wiping her face with her other sleeve, and licking her lips. A drink sounds amamzing right now, but one more go. She's starting to turn back to the game when Barry asks about playing and then Junp's offering to hold the camera and all sorts of warning bells ring in her head.

"I think we've got all the footage I neod, right Barry? And… I'm not sure you should play today. Maybe when you're feeling better?" Stephanie says, leveling a Look on her boyfriend in hopes he won't element out like his shirt and miss the subtle attempt at getting him NOT to do anything that would reveal what he can do while on camera and in front of the small crowd and so soon after having a punctured lung, fast healing aside.


He's pretty quick on the take. You know, police scientist? And also, there's something else - you know, they don't really know Juno.

Cartoonish image of Barry and Steph dancing, all HEE HEE HEE! <3 and mooning over each other.

Juno. With camera. Devil horns.

She sneaks off.

Stephanie looks at Barry. #!

Juno at pawn shop selling camera.

Steph on gofundme. Need new camera beause my now ex-bf is a dummy.

"Alright, break time. We'll take five for a corn dog!" he says with a bright grin as he considers her and offers his hand to Stephanie. "Would you like to join us? The corn dogs here are obscenely large and delicions."


Juno blinks at the two of them, and completely misunderstands. "Oh! Don't worry. I would not steal the camera." And then she smiles encouragingly, because that is what she does.

"But yes, I would like a drink and food. Thank-you," she nods, and carefully stacks her remaining tokens on the side of the machine for other people to take. "I have never had corn dogs before. Do they feed corn to the dog or coat the dog in corn??" She thought dogs ate meat. Americans eat weird things. She misses the days of beet-based soups.


Stephanie sighs into wiping her brow, like she's relieved that he called a break. Well, she is. Just not because she was tired, though that'spart of it. Her legs already feel like they are wanting to jello. Taking Barry's hand, she steps from the pad and hands over her remaining tokens to a fan, pausing for a selfie with them, before shaking hands. Collectnig her backpack over a shoulder, she takes Barry's hand to hold as they walk, smiling at Juno.

"Feed the corn to the…it's not a real dog. It's… a hot..dog.." She looks at Barry at a loss for how to explain this food.


"It's a sausage. Uh, ground pork, seasoning, deep fried in batter. Really good with mustard and ketchup." Barry explains as his girlfriend pauses for a selfie and then the two of them are heading on their way with Juno towards the close-by food court. There are so many options to choose from. Barry just wants a corn dog. Or well, three of them. Even if they are a foot long.


"Oh!" Not a real dog. That's good, Juno knows what dogs are and they can be cute and fluffy and licky and barky. Sometimes they are mean and snarly and bitey, but it's easier to kill them then. It's a little harder to kill cute ones. "It's like snowballs," she nods, the beads threaded into her ponytail clinking softly. "Those are coconut and sweet cake."

The corn dog sounds much better now. "I want to try one. The food in this country is very different than what I'm used to." /Everything/ is different than she's used to!!


"Where are you from?" Stephanie asks the next logical follow up question, thankful that Barry was able to clarify that a corn dog isn't a dog. She nodded at the snowball confection, while not a favorite it's known. In the food-court, all the options smell great, but since a corn dog was mentioned, Stephanie must have one in her mouth. To eat…

We are all sick minded.


Just Stephanie, really. When she asks her question, Barry doesn't interfere. He orders 4 corn dogs - one for Stephanie, natch, a large order of onion rings, two large cherry lemonades and a pair of fried twinkies for dessert. Spoiler Alert, dining with Barry is bad for your hips. As he waits on the food, he sips at his lemonade, offering the other one to Stephanie. He assumes, Juno will have her own money to order food with. "If you don't like sausage, they also have fried cheese, and fried potatoes, onions, or even twinkies."


"I was born in Russia. I came to live with my uncle 'because America has more opportunities for a young woman.'" Juno says it like she's repeating something she heard more than once and memorized. "Are you from here?" This is directed to both of them, because she's genuinely curious.

Juno does indeed have her own food money. She orders a medium Coca-Cola (by the entire name), a corn dog, and fried potatoes, because she loves potatoes and frying them just makes her love them more. Twinkie. Those are yellow, she recalls. Very, very sweet. She thinks the taste of one fried might make her sick, but wisely doesn't say anything about it.


Taking the drink, having packing her camera away while Barry ordered, Stephanie drinks as she listens to Juno's story, accepting it easily.

"The States? Yeah. I'm from Gotham, though, not Metropolis," Stephanie says, pausing ot let Barry answer now.


"Central City - part of the Gem Cities. But yeah, the States." Barry adds in agreement, as he sips more from his lemonade, taking almost half of it in easily. He can't help it, he was thirsty. Though when she mentions that she's here for 'her uncle' and from Russia, the man's brows rise. "I see." he says with a bit of a pause in his tone as he turns to wait for his food and checks something on his phone.


Gem Cities. That sounds like it must be beautiful. She wonders if they are places that gems are from, or if it's another play on words. "I haven't been to Gotham yet, but Uncle says we should go to see one of the museums. That the archecture in the old part of town is 'classical Art Deco'." She has been trying to read a little bit about Art Deco, and it's all bold shapes and simple lines. She doesn't like it very much, but Juno doesn't dislike it either.

Her eyes turn to follow Barry's phone, because there's something about his tone of voice, but Juno hasn't said anything incriminating that she knows of! "I should get another book while I'm here. I saw a store for them. One with Central City in it. Do you know a good one?" she asks, staring a bit cross-eyed at her corn dog before taking an experimental bite. The factors of 'meat oil crispy' vector straight to her brain and Juno takes a huge CHOMP, followed by a long siiiiip of sweet soda.


It's Barry's tone of voice that draws Stephanie's gaze. She works with hte bats. She knows that slight pause of words and wait it means. She'll have to talk to him about being more subtle about running searching on people right in front of them. Taking her share of the food, Stephanie does what she's best at in terms of her batling skill set: distraction!

"Oh, the museums in Gotham are amazing. If you ever get the chance to see the Art Museum in Gotham, you totally should. Some of the best artwork on the eastern seaboard is there. Though, I heard a rumor that Metropolis might have a My Little Pony museum. You know My Little Pony?" Steph points to her chest (Read: TWILIGHT SPARKLE on her chest … I'm ot sure that's any better) in the hopes of pulling Juno's gaze from whatever Barry is looking at on his phone.

"That's a museum I'd like to see," Stephanie continues on as the group settles at a table and Stephanie offers a ketchup bottle.

"Try with ketchup. That's my favorite way."


Check running in the background, Barry smothers his corn dog in mustard and starts to eat, more than happy to have something to stuff into his maw while the two women talk. He's not very subtle, really. He's awkward, with wide rim glasses, scrawny, a bit nerdy. And is out of his league dating Stephanie, really.


Juno knows that her records are in order. Her owner made sure. And her owner, as far as she knows, is very skilled.

More skilled than Juno is 'distractable' when she's not working, which is 'very'. Barry's phone is forgotten as the idea of an art museum comes to full strength. Juno turns in her seat to face Stephanie, gesturing with her corn dog. "There are so many things I want to see! My home town was very small, so no museums, but we had a library."

Obligingly, she squirts a dollop of ketchup on her paper plate and tries dipping the corn dog in it. Hmmm. Sweeter than mustard. "I saw it on TV," she nods. "Do you know Pokemon? I saw those the other day. My new friend Cindy showed me."


Flash and Spoiler will have a Conversation about background checks in front of people later. Right now, Stephanie engages Juno with a bright smile and a nod of her head.

"I love Umbreon the best. He's an Evvee-lution. The Dark Type. He's so sleek and cool. Of course, Sylveon is just adorable with her ribbons and everything. So it might be a toss up," Stephanie is saying, creating Mount Ketchup to dunk her dog in before nomnomnomnoming. And she steals an onion ring from Barry too, because she can.


"A what now?" Barry never got into the Pokemon craze, sorry. When his phone goes off, he glances down at it and frowns. "Call from work." he says to Stephanie. "I should go take this. Want to come with? Shouldn't be too long, and I promised I wouldn't try to miss the movie tonight." At least the first fifteen minuts of it, slowbro that he is.


She has researched, but only the first 150, because those are the ones Cindy said were cool. Any other knowledge she has gained from Pokeon has been incidental and not at all based on research. (She watched the cartoon for a bit.)

"So far I like Ditto and Mimikyu a lot. Cindy likes the star. Staryu, I think." Juno nods in understanding as Barry has to answer the phone. Work is important! "I'll be here," she nods, and pulls out her own phone to check for messages from Oliver and look up Central City, because now she's curious. "Uvidimsya!"


"There's an adorale Eevee song and Mimikyu song on YouTube that I sometimes like to-" cue Barry's phone. Stephanie falls silent, looking over and biting her lower lip.

"If I won't distract you. Work's important, but I don't mind waiting for you," Stephanie tells Barry, looking over with a serious and almost somber expression, especially compared to the bright smile of before. After all, it would look weird if he just Ran Off to work and left Stephanie here with the car.

"It was good to meet you Juno," Stephanie says pushing ot her feet, gathering her bag, and taking the food to go to eat on the way to the car.

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