CapeFan92 Meets SlothBaby

May 08, 2017:

Tiny fangirl meets not-so-tiny fangirl. Unsurprisingly, the two most enthusiastic heroes on the Eastern seaboard hit it off swimmingly.

Hall of Justice

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

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

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Captain Marvel, Captain America, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Supergirl, Batman, Hawkgirl,

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

With the surge of Inhumans and metahumans following the Terrigen Crisis and the reorganization of reality, the Justice League has set up an additional 'special duty' for residents of Metropolis who pull regular duty at the League headquarters. Monitor duty, of course, and then there's patrol operations, standby for special missions, even public relations.
It's into that last slot that Caitlin Fairchild's been placed, and the big ginger has been assigned to 'handle' those who come around the League looking for answers or insight or just exploring the change of their life.
Caitlin doesn't wander around in her costume, of course. A pair of comfortable jeans, low slung on her hips, and a v-neck t-shirt in pale green with a blue camisole under it make up a tidy, casual looking outfit. Sitting in an office next to the Guest Reception area, Caitlin's sole indication of heroism is the ID badge on her belt that says 'MEMBER' in big, bold red letters next to her profile picture. It looks like she's playing a game on her cell phone, though even the fairly oversized mobile device looks positively tiny in her hands.

It's taken Kamala a lot of courage to show up at the Justice League HQ. Yeah, she's an Inhuman. She doesn't know a whole lot about what that means, as far as it goes, but she's been taking care of Jersey City and its environs for long enough to feel that maybe, just maybe, she has a legit claim to rub elbows with other heroes. Other heroes. Of which she's one. It's still a little hard to come to terms with that.
She did a lot of pondering as to whether it should be Ms. Marvel or, well, Kamala Khan who shows up at the League. She finally decided to go in costume: she's not quite ready to out herself, any more than she's ready to definitely join up with any teams as yet—not that she imagines they're all clamoring to get her.
So it's a warm late afternoon that the young woman steps in, both hands anxiously tugging on her thin scarf. She looks left. She looks right. She freezes when she sees Caitlin Fairchild past an open door, her eyes going wide.
Holy crap. Fairchild. It's impossible to mistake a six-five ginger for anyone else, especially in the League HQ. She should definitely take a picture. She should definitely NOT take a picture; that's impolite. She should definitely not go in and say that she wrote a fanfic about Caitlin catching a falling building and saving all the people inside. Beyond any of those things, therefore, she stands frozen for a full minute before edging up to the open door and giving it a knock.

"Ack!" Caitlin fumbles her phone when Kamala knocks on the door, eyes going round as dinner plates when it slips from her fingers like a stick of butter. She grabs at it, succeeds in knocking it /farther/ away, and then lunges for it.
"Eeek!" Caitlin squeaks, falling out of sight behind the desk in a spectacular bellyflop. There's a wall-rattling *THUMP* and two pictures on the wall are immediately knocked askew.
She pops up a second later, obviously fighting to regain her equilibrium, and clears her throat before pulling her hair back into some semblance of array, barely held there by a plain black hairband. "Hi! Yes, hello, hi, welcome to the Justice League, how can I help you?" she inquires of Kamala politely, trying to suppress a somewhat embarrassed pinking to her ears as she settles her weight onto the heavy steel stool behind her again.

"Oh gosh!" Kamala's moving forward, stretching out a handpretty far, actuallybefore Caitlin dives and fumbles for her phone. When it looks like she's about to grab it, Kamala starts withdrawing her hand; when Caitlin thuds behind the desk, Kamala winces and covers her face for a moment.
As Caitlin re-achieves verticality, Kamala's just straightening the pictures on the wall and giving her an apologetic smile. "Sorry! I didn't mean to ninja in on you. Is your phone okay? I'd feel like a real jerk if I scared it to death." When she hears her own words, she closes her eyes and grits her teeth. GREAT first impression, Kamala.
"Hi. Sorry. Hi, I'm — I'm Ms. Marvel, actually," she says, gaining a little more solidity as she starts over. "I take care of Jersey City. Not that — I mean, I know the world and beyond is the League's patrol, but. Nobody can be everywhere at once."
She hesitates. "Not that I know of," she adds conscientiously.

"Oh, it's fine!" Caitlin assures Kamala, brightly. She seems to have missed Kamala's use of her talents. "It's a League issue phone — pretty much indestructible," she smiles.
"Wait, Miss Marvel?" Her green eyes go wide in excitement, and she raises her hands under her chin quickly. "I know you! You're new, right? You do the, um —" she wiggles one arm out to full length, gesturing. "Stretchy thing! That's neat, I've only met one person who can do that. D'you know Dr. Reed Richards?"
She rises from the stool and comes around the short desk. She's not even wearing crazy shoes — just a pair of low wedges. She's -that- tall, but considerately doesn't get close enough that Kamala has to crane her neck to look at her.
"Miss Marvel, huh?" She grins, dimpling. "Guess you're here for Carol Danvers, then, but she's on mission. Is there something I can help ya with, though?"

The temptation to stretch herself — or just her neck — so she can look at Caitlin head on is… pretty intense. But the littlest Marvel is a little starstruck by the starstruck Fairchild. How EVEN.
"Omigosh. Not personally! I've never met him but I've heard of him. Mister Fantastic, right? With the flying car and the science?" She never even thought about it that much — what other superheroes had her kind of powers. And Reed Richards is major.
"I'm just. Well, sure, actually! You actually know about me? I didn't think — I mean, I kind of just came to, you know. Meet people. Say hi. Introduce myself. …Maybe get a selfie with Captain Marvel but REALLY not just to look like an idiot. It's really cool to meet you; I mean, of course I know who you are. Super-smart, super-strong, super-cool."

Caitlin immediately turns a flaming shade of pink at the praise, her freckles blooming, and laughs nervously. "Uhhh, I'm maybe /one/ of those things," she titters. "I'm not the token cool one here, I think that we've got too many Air Force pilots," she says, ducking her head a bit. "Green Lantern basically thinks he's responsible for making the sun shine, the way he walks."
She digs in her phone and flicks across the screen, then flips it around so Kamala can see Caitlin mugging for a selfie with a stretched-out Reed Richards, both of whom are grinning at the screen.
"I'm CapeFan92," she tells Kamala. "I run the Heroes of Instagram account, I mean, I used to, I think there's a guy in Des Moines who's doing it full time now," she explains. "But yeah, I know… gosh, I think every metahuman operating on the eastern seaboard, and most of the new ones operating in major cities. As soon as someone gets a photo of a new hero, you're up on Instagram. Crowdsourcing it, y'know? Heck, I know about folks the League isn't even tracking yet."
She twists around and aims the phone at both of them, holding it high and stooping to get them both in frame. "Time for the official selfie!"

"YOU'RE CapeFan92?!" Because yes, Kamala knows who Fairchild is, but she REALLY knows who CapeFan92 is. "That is so freakin' cool! I've followed that account from the beginning! Was it you who got that shot of Wonder Woman jumping off a building onto a helicopter? Epic. One of these days I'm gonna invest, get a GoPro, take some action shots. Except I dunno if it'll still work when I shrink it down…"
Oh gosh. Oh GOSH. She didn't even have to ASK for the selfie. THIS IS ALL ACTUALLY HAPPENING. Ms. Marvel has just good enough reflexes (and the instincts of a millennial, to be honest) to grin and flash a peace sign at the phone. She even throws her other arm around Caitlin's shoulders.
Best. Day. Ever.

"Smile!" The phone *beeps* and the selfie is captured. "I'll tag you on my private account, if that's OK?" Caitlin asks, politely. "I don't post all my pics to the main page, just the really good PR ones. And yeah, that was me! Though there's this guy named Parker in New York who just — ugh, he gets these /insanely/ good action shots. I don't know how he does it," she says, enviously.
"But I'm not a photographer, so it's just funsies." She tucks the phone into her back pocket. "Anyway! So are you like, just shopping around, making friends? Or are you here for like, an official League tour? We do those, I mean, /I/ do them, because I'm on guest duty, and that's not like, a punishment or anything," she adds, hastily, "I mean, I /like/ doing it, it's fun, and it's not because someone downloaded some malware into the League monitor station — I mean, okay, it was technically me, but my friend Hideki promised me that the link was good, and I was really behind on Game of Thrones, so," realizing she's chattering on, Caitlin snaps her jaw shut and smiles at Kamala, visibly forcing herself to not continue to babble.

"That's totally okay. D'you have my official tag? JerseyMarvel? I'm going to get likes and follows through the ROOF with this!" The mention of Parker rings a faint bell, and Ms. Marvel nods: "I think I've seen some of his stuff on one of the news websites. I forget which one. Bugle? Planet?"
Caitlin's babble is followed completely easily (and with a degree of relief; someone else who thinks like her!) and she shakes her head: "Oh jeez, you gotta be careful with those sites. Torrents. Streaming. I nearly bricked a computer once, too; luckily I have a friend who's super great at fixing that sort of thing." She doesn't say that her parents didn't let her watch Game of Thrones. She's a Grown Adult now. She can watch HBO at night if she wants. She can also cover her eyes during the most vivid sex and violence, too.
"I mean. I'd love to go on the official tour. And I don't — I mean. This is maybe a dumb question, but does the League have a hotline kinda thing? Just in case something really epically bad happens and I maybe can't handle it entirely on my own?"

"Yeah, lemme give you the digits, it's 9… 1… 1…" Caitlin giggles at Kamala, shaking her head apologetically. "I'm sorry! I'm teasing. That was mean," she says, ruefully. "Yeah, we do, well — kinda. You need to call up the Metahuman Crisis Line," she explains. "Which most civilians are not supposed to have, because it's supposed to just be for metahuman crises, but if you're a meta, and you're in a crises— hey! There ya go." She reaches over the desk and picks up a business card, and hands it to Kamala. "C'mon! Let's do the tour thing," she offers. "The Hall of Justice is really more of a public relations area than anything else — the hangar's off limits to guests (sorry) and the Watchtower is where most of the main crew is most days, anyway."
She reaches around the desk for a smart little purse and a Big Gulp container, which looks about half empty of something that smells like strawberry milkshake. She slings her purse across her chest and takes a few hungry sips from the container. "So, this is the lobby, obviously," she says, leading the way through the doors and into a large atrium. "Lots of cool stuff on display here — the busts of the original team members, portraits of current members," she says, gesturing at statues and portraiture in all areas. "Some cool trophies, too, like a chunk of the Nemesis moon that Superman stopped, some pottery from Themyscira… I think Aquaman brought that glowing coral in the fish tank," she offers, fingers gesticulating expressively in all directions.

Kamala takes the card, fiddling with her bracelet as Caitlin starts to lead her out. She tucks the card away and withdraws a cell phone — not a super-recent model, but it's been well cared-for considering its owner is a klutzy superhero. The screen isn't even cracked, though it does have a few scratches.
"Can I take pictures?" she asks. "I know there's a billion out there already, but." There's just something about the pictures you take yourself. Even if they aren't as good, they're somehow better. Though she hangs near Caitlin, Kamala absolutely leans closer to the trophies and the busts, an unabashedly dorky smile stretching over her face. It's mixed with the bright wonder in her eyes; she's really here, and she's really getting a tour from an actual hero!
"I will look at whatever you have to show me," she admits. "I know I'm not cleared for anything really sensitive, but. I've. I've followed hero news all my life. I never thought I was going to be one, but I dreamed of it. Like everyone, I guess. This is so surreal." She pauses for an instant before adding, a little shyly: "What's she like?"

"Yeah, I mean, in here is OK," Caitlin tells Kamala. "I'll let you know if you're in an area you can't do it. Normally there are signs up an' stuff," she explains. "I mean, this is kind of a museum, y'know?" She wiggles her shoulders and half leads, half follows as Kamala runs from exhibit to exhibit. "I… kinda know how you feel about the hero thing," she admits, quietly. "I was doing the solo act two years ago. I had a crappy apartment in Gotham and I was heroing in New York and West Metropolis. It sucked. I got sued — twice — for damages when I got thrown into someone's car," she says, wistfully. "Both times, I mean, the charges got dropped, but — I couldn't eat right, couldn't get a decent job, had five roommates…" she shudders, then shakes it off.
Caitlin gives Kamala an inquisitive look. "Who?" she inquires, looking for clarification.

Given permission, Ms. Marvel starts snapping shots of everything she sees, including an above shot of herself and Caitlin walking through the lobby. "I'm lucky," she muses. "I mean, it's hard — it's impossible — to fit things in around school and family and stuff. I don't have to worry about rent, at least, but even when I'm managing the balancing act and at least a 3.0, 3.5, which is the only way I can maintain going to school — I mean, there was actually a time when some jerks tried to use my image on this gentrifying project in the neighborhood, and everyone hated me all of a sudden because I didn't even THINK about getting the rights to my own face; like, who even needs to think about that?" Heroes, apparently.
"Oh. Oh! Sorry. Captain Marvel. I kind of… snagged her old name without talking to her about it. I've never actually met her. But you definitely have. What's she like, in person?"

"Ooh, you -definitely- need to talk to the League's attorney about that," Caitlin says, sympathetically. "That's really rough. But, the nice thing is that you can get … uh… the Latin term for 'retroactive' claim to your rights and image, since no one can copyright your face," she explains. "I, uh… well. Don't Google me in certain online communities, I uh… well, Photoshop sucks," she mumbles, face turning an explosively red shade of crimson. "Thank goodness for the DMCA and takedown notices."
She clears her throat, thinking about Kamala's question. "She's awesome," Caitlin says, finally. "She's like… I can't even describe. Smart? Confident? Strong? Supergirl— I mean, she's been my best friend for like… ever and ever, but Carol and I are… I don't know. She's mentored me, she taught me about heroing, she sponsored me into the JLA…" She shrugs, eloquently. "She's sassy and confident, and she always had good advice and she doesn't take lip from annyone, even Batman or Hawkgirl."

It's just really not a good idea to say that in fact she knows exactly what Caitlin's talking about, that she's run across those pictures, and that while she's not the sort to actually LOOK at them, they got passed around her fanfic communities and people got suspended and it was just a Bad Scene. "Ugh," she says instead. "That sounds beyond gross."
Kamala sighs at the description of Carol, nodding a bit dreamily. "I can't believe you just know all these people. Come to that, I can't believe I know you now. Does this ever stop being just completely unreal and unimaginable? Standing in a room with… with Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman being absolute shining beacons of awesome, and Batman brooding in the corner, and. And like that. Does that ever feel normal?"

"No," Caitlin confesses — and then laughs. "I mean, I guess for some people it does, but… not yet. Not for me, yet, anyway," she amends. "Missions underwater with Aquaman, bombing around the coast in the jet, travelling to exotic places… I love it. I used to be really shy around people, too, so it's kind of a new thing for me."
"Oh! Here's the gym," she says, as they pass down a hallway. Inside are several metahumans and regular folks exercising, though the metas have some specialized equipment set up. As if reinforcing the parity between metahuman and human members, no one is differentiated by their uniforms or workout attire — plain, navy blue athletic gear abounds, with the JLA crest prominently visible in white. "I'm here at least twice a day, if I don't have sparring practice with Diana or Cap," she explains. "I can eat enough food that I don't lose muscle mass after a day of heroing anymore." She slurps on her Big Gulp — empty. It was at least full of most of a half a gallon of protein shake not ten minutes ago! "Hmm. We might need to hit the cantina next, which is — I mean, that's -my- favorite perk of the job. Free food," she says, conspiratorially.

Politely, because she is a person of respect, Ms. Marvel does not take pictures of the people working out. They're people working out. That's just… uncool. Instead, she observes the workout equipment with fascination, particularly the stuff the metas are using. "Could I come here?" she asks, slightly awed. "Or is it just for JLA folks? I totally get it if it is, but I seriously could really use a place where I could just give myself a real stretch, literally and figuratively."
She perks up at the notion of the cantina, adding: "Do you get super hungry after you use your powers too? Man, if I have to heal too much or morph too much, I can eat out the whole fridge and have this massive food baby."

"When I started with the League, I was a Reservist," Caitlin explains, leading the way. "So it's really only for League members — but any Meta can apply as a League reservist, too. You have to sign a code of conduct waiver, there's some paperwork, and some basic instructions — y'know, don't kill people, don't use your powers for malicious purposes," she says, counting on her fingers, "don't offer commercial endorsements, don't engage in political activities, don't … … something, and I can never remember the fifth one," she mutters.
"And, yeah, I get really hungry. I don't metabolize photons like Carol does, or the Kryptonians," Caitlin explains. "I have to get the calories from -somewhere-. Just maintaining muscle mass takes like, three or five thousand calories a day, depending on how much walking I do. I can burn ten thousand calories in a single workout, pretty easily."
She wiggles the container at Kamala. "After my first week here, the cooks asked if I'd be OK with protein shakes, 'cause I kinda cleared out the buffet one evening before late shift showed up. They were… peeved," she admits.
"Hey, it's OK if you don't wanna tell me, but what's your first name? I mean, if you wanna tell me, if not, it's okay, I can call you 'Miss Marvel', if you like," she offers, with sincere regard for Kamala's preference.

Don't engage in political activities. "Sometimes," Kamala murmurs, "being alive is a political activity."
She covers her mouth and tries not to laugh at the mental image of Caitlin just mowing her way through a buffet. "I've never measured," she admits. "But I can't just… squish my shape to be a skinnier me. I get way enough exercise, and I got a meal plan for when I'm at school. It's all-you-can-eat but it's nooooot great and who even KNOWS what they do in the kitchens."
At the question, though, she hesitates. Bites her lip. "I have a family," she begins. "Mom, dad, brother; they don't know. I mean, I know I can trust you, I just need you to know that this is totally a secret identity, okay?"

"Hey," Caitlin says, pausing and touching Kamala's shoulders. She looks down at the girl sympathetically — though an astute individual would see something sad and a bit wistful in her green eyes, too. "It's okay. Family is important. I wouldn't want you to risk it, and someone once told me the only way to keep a secret is to keep it to yourself. A lot of — well, /I/ don't, but a lot of League members have covert identities. I'm… kind of distinctive, so it doesn't matter what I wear, I'll stand out," she says, gesturingly vaguely at herself. "Unless I wanna wear overcoats and fake moustaches and rain hats."
"So, you'll be the Mysterious Miss Marvel, okay?" she asks, good cheer returning to her tone. "That'll be good for you, anyway. Give you an air of mystery."
Relief and regret are mixed on little Miss Marvel's domino-masked face. She does manage a weak grin, though, at the idea of Caitlin in Typical Inconspicuousness Costume. Taking a deep breath, she nods once. Even if it is a little reluctantly.
"Mysterious Miss Marvel it is," she says, "but you can call me…" What. Zoe called her Kammie, and that was totally unacceptable. But it couldn't really hurt, could it? "Kam. Because seven syllables is kind of a mouthful and you're awesome. Deal?"

"Kam it is," Caitlin agrees. "C'mon! Let's hit the cantina up and get a quick snackie for the road, then I'll show you the rest of the tour. We've got a pretty awesome recreation area, too — ever played table tennis against The Flash?" she asks. Her voice fades into the distance as she and Kamala continue their journey into the Hall of Justice, the effusive redhead regaling her new friend with tales of trying to play table games with metahumans, and how they all cheat to various extents.

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