Courier Service

May 21, 2018:

Caitlin comes to the SHIELD building to deliver something sensitive and ends up going on a … Date?

New York City


NPCs: A few SHIELD Agents and a waitress



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…


Caitlin's days of fetching coffee and lifting heavy boxes are over! As a high-powered executive (assistant) in Starr Labs, such mundane tasks are beneath her.

Except when Karen Starr wants coffee are can't leave her desk. Or when something heavy gets dropped in the loading dock. … or when she has to deliver something too sensitive to be trusted to anyone short of an armored courier service.

Still, she's getting PAID a lot more, and that's enough to keep Caitlin happy with the status quo. The company car drives her to the New York SHIELD offices, an imposing grey building that is relatively unmarked and un-noticed by most of the people who pass by it every day. It's quite a facility that occupies the top ten floors of the skyscraper, and has everything from intelligence assets to research labs and even temporary housing there.

The ginger-haired woman steps out of the company car in the basement of the building and takes the elevator up, and disembarks to face a pair of scowling guards. She happens to be taller than either of them, and moves to address the secretary with a smile. "Hi! Caitlin Fairchild, from Starr Labs?" she inquires of the man, adjusting the little black purse slung over her shoulder. A sturdy metal clamshell briefcase is in her other hand. "I have a delivery for someone in Section 5— here's the transfer authorization."

The fellow smiles politely at Caitlin, looks at her ID, and nods. "Uhh, yeah, that's in order," he says, consulting his notes on the computer. "I'll page one of our senior Agents and she'll escort you up to the labs— you don't have clearance to go up there by yourself."

Caitlin smiles thanks and steps aside, looking at a poster on the wall. Her attire's just a bit shy of what would be considered 'work appropriate'— the single-button navy blazer is a casual cut, and her skirt's a little closer to 'mini' than would be appropriate. At least her low-heeled shoes are professional enough.

Upstairs, Jessica's phone starts buzzing. A text message rolls across the screen, interrupting whatever she's doing with an insistent muttering. «Agent Drew, please report to Lobby for escort. Agent Drew, please report to Lobby for escort.»


Jessica was staring intently at screen after screen of dossiers.

Jonathan Carey
Age: 27
Height 6'2"
Hair: Blonde
Last seen between six and eight-thirty pm on Monday leaving his home following a shift at Poulson Courier Services…

Alicia Freisz
Age: 22
Occupation: Courier
Last seen leaving the site of Erikson Armoured Services between the hours of 2 and 4 PM…

The names and numbers scrolled by interminally, just more points of data to add to a mind already cluttered with it to the brim. Keeping half an eye on the screen Jessica balled up a piece of paper and tossed it at a nearby wastebin. it bounced off the rim and rolled away to join the growing pile of discarded notes littering the floor. She rolled her eyes and then spun the middle mouse button without looking. When the text on the screen didn't shift she looked up properly.

Agent Drew, please report to the Lobby…

Groaning softly, Jessica slid languorously from her seat and then straightened to her full height of five feet and six inches as she turned to look around the office she'd been assigned. At 26, Jessica Miriam Drew was a little young to occupy an office like this but her track record spoke for itself. There were plenty of commendations on the wall behind her. The demerits were less advertised and fortunately seemed to have been largely ignore.d As long as she keeps winning, no doubt.

Today, Jessica isn't dressed anything like one would expect of a SHIELD Agent. Blue jeans and a black blouse, paired against a red jacket she snatches from beside the door as she leaves the room. It always pays to be prepared. Caitlin has been waiting for perhaps five minutes when Jessica finally emerges, green eyes bright as they survey the room. They instantly gravitate to the young woman in the slightly more revealing than regulation skirt and blouse. Then they travel upward… Upward…

"No offense, but who thought it would be a good idea to put you in heels?" One inch heels are still more than Caitlin needs to dominate a room. Jessica is left staring a little bit more directly at the redhead's chest than is probably strictly polite. Then again, she might have to crane her neck to avoid that pitfall.

"Senior Agent Drew," Jessica offers by way of introduction before holding out a black gloved hand. "Come one, let's show you around. Have you gotten the tour yet?" With that question Jessica turns and makes her way toward the elevators with quick strides. "Welcome to SHIELD. Watch your head."


Caitlin's already smiling politely when Jessica offers a handshake, and freezes a little at the question. "I-I what?" she stammers. She glances down at her feet awkwardly, kicking a foot up behind her to look at her shoes as if only just noticing them. She looks at Jessica.

"Oh my gosh, /right/?" she remarks, titting a bit. She shakes Jessica's hand in return, gently squeezing her fingers. "I'd have worn flats, but someone told me they're not professional looking. These aren't even my really dressy shoes, I have a set with three-inch heels that are even worse."

She doesn't seem to notice Jessica's casual ogling, and ducks her head reflexively when bid to do so. Run into things enough times, you accept that warning at face value. "Thanks, I've never been here before," Caitlin says, as the doors ding shut. She seems to forget that she hasn't introduced herself to Jessica. "It's so imposing outside. I think I thought it was a bank," she says, wrinkling the slightl upturn of her nose and looking around the cool elevator confines.


"It's supposed to look that way," Jessica agrees amiably enough. Perhaps it really wasn't oggling. She just doesn't seem to concerned with where her eyes land at all. It's a different set of reflexes from other people, evinced mostly when Jess looks around the elevator and then back to Caitlin. She does make an effort to meet the rehdead's eyes periodicallly.

It isn't long before the doors open on one of the upper floors, the number being hidden from view. "Right this way." It's suddenly evident why Jessica grabbed her jacket from her offie. This floor is quite cold, well below sixty degrees even in the hallway nearest the elevator. A couple people in sweaters and labcoats go in either direction, moving quickly between rooms. Glass doors are frosted from the chill but it becomes clear that inside of those rooms are computer components. In some cases working machines light up the rooms on the far side.

"You should wear the three inch heels next time. Thor might mistake you for a giant. It'll be a blast," Jessica offers as she leads the way through the chilled hallways toward a mostly empty conference room. There are various items laid out on the table. A multimeter to measure electrical output, several electronics. A couple shielded boxes. "I'm not entirely sure why they had me bring you up to the lab instead of just transferring the package at the door." Jess turns to face Caitlin now that they are in the room and then rocks oorward onto the balls of her feet to peer at the clipboard.

"…They want the floor supervisor's signature? Damn it. One second." Jess clicks her tongue against the roof of her mouth and then starts toward the door. "Don't touch anything. Not even the floor. I'll be right back."


Caitlin shivers once at the blast of cool air. "Wrong day to wear a skirt!" she says— but doesn't seem to complain aside from that first blustery blast attacking her bare legs. She offers the clipboard to Jessica when she realizes the other woman needs to read it, then blinks at the raven-haired agent's consternation.

"Uh… okay! Right! Don't touch… anything."

Caitlin holds the clamshell with both hands, rocking onto her toes, then settling onto her heels. She inhales slowly, then blows out a puffed-cheek blast of air, head nodding to some unseen tune.

She glances after Jessica, then looks at something on the table. She did say don't -touch- anything, so… Caitlin squints a little more closely, leaning over to inspect it. She starts identifying components— microcircuit drivers, voltage regulators, a few microprocessors… she blinks, recognize the PCB layout. It says 'Starr Labs' on one of the components!

Well, at THIS point, she's just offering good customer service. The clamshell's dropped near her feet and she starts looking through the post-it notes scattered around the unoccupied workbench. A few of them are notes and remarks about circuit diagrams. Mostly, they're passive-aggressive jabs between two lab technicians who can't seem to make the component work.

When Jessica comes back, Caitlin's got a soldering iron in one hand and a screwdriver between her teeth, and is bent over the bench with her his cocked behind her and her shin resting on the clamshell. She's doing something to the unit that's making the computer next to it spit out a series of approving 'beeps' periodically.

See, she's being very responsible! No one's gonna take that clamshell from her.


"I was just authorized to sign the damn thing, but - … What are you doing?" Jessica arches a brow when she sees Caitlin with a screwdriver between her teeth, bending oforward and trying t o work on the electronics without personally touching a single item on the table. She stares for a moment and then gives her head a brief shake. "Don't make me turn the heat down," Jess warns. She even rubs her own hands together reflexively and then takes a deep breath.

"What exactly are you doing?" Jess asks after a moment, tilting her head slightly as she does so. She watches as components are connected and the computer starts to register them properly before giving her head a shake. "When I said don't touch anything I totally meant with your skin. Go ahead, use your teeth. If you need to brush off some dust try using your head for a mop, I get the feeling that isn't covered either. Is hair really touching something? Who knows?"

Now there seems to be a problem. The voltmeter descends drastically as the little device sucks up all the available energy and the lights on it dim slightly. It's clearly suffering a power failure. Inoperable in its current state, in fact. Jessica pauses for a second and purses her lips and then walks over to Cait. She leans in past the redhead so that they end up touching, tucking herself underneath so that she can examine the ocmponent. Then Jess shrugs and places a finger against it.

A smell like ozzone is on the air and stray hairs on the backs of one's hands and neck start to stnad up on end. The electrical output jumps through the roof and Jess is left nodding slowly. "…Proof of concept, at least." She seems to be largely murmuring to herself.a

"So you're a technician too…?" Jessica asks slowly. It doesn't seem to surprise her too much, for whatever reason.


"ah'm fi'hin 'dis," Caitlin remarks to Jessica absently, She seems totally unware that she's absolutely doing the ONE THING that Jessica specifically told her NOT to do, or that she might be getting herself in trouble in the process. She's a little absorbed in her work! She doesn't respond to Jessica's questions— or deadpan snarkiness, for that matter— because she's clearly in 'the zone'.

At least until suddenly there's SHIELD agent worming under her arm with a careless disregard for proximity. Caitlin blinks in surprise, and the whole world comes crashing back around her. She stumbles backwards, barely putting the soldering iron somewhere safe, and almost tripping over the clamshell under her feet. There's some comedic pinwheeling that Jessica mercifully doesn't observe, and Caitlin refrains from crashed into a toolcart with an impact that'd probably be taken like a small explosive device going off.

VVZZZRT. The device buzzes and hums as long as Jessica depresses the button, a frission crawling across everyone's collective skin. At Jessica's question, Caitlin manages to get her balance (and her aplomb) in hand. She's pinking high on her cheeks in a way that has nothing to do with the cold air.

"W— well, yeah, I mean— no, I'm Miss Starr's executive assistant," Caitlin stammers. "I mean, I /am/, I /was/ one of the senior lab techs. We build a lot of these PCBs and sell 'em to everyone— DoD, NASA, even Stark buys 'em for one-off stuff. It's, uh, they're /really/ finicky about the fireware being messed with, so I just routed, a, hum, a few, um…"

She's standing a little close to Jessica, as if unaware that she's approached again. She sniffs the air carefully. "…Wow, that is … I like your shampoo," she remarks, blinking a little owlishly.


"…Strawberries?" Jessica asks slowly. She looks up and then pauses for a second before replying, "Usually I try to avoid scents, to be honest." Still, there's a difference in her demeanor after that, a slight softening of the jawline that shows the compliment mattered where it counts. She straightens then and takes a deep breath.

"If anyone asks you didn't touch a damn thing," Jess warns Caitlin quietly before adding in a wry tone, "Although… I think someone knew that you might be able to help." She shakes her head at this and then takes a deep breath, studying the device in front of her in a rather measured way.

"You've saved us all a few hours. Kind of sucks, I was hoping to spend all night trying to put this thing together. It's like finishing someone's puzzle when they're in the other room. God." Jess rolls her eyes at this. Then she takes a deep breath and holds it for a moment. "ANyway, since i don't have anything else to do you want to grab lunch with me? My treat. There's this pizza place across the street, right. Somehow I… Get the feeling I won't be able to feed you if we go somewhere elese. Unless you're supposed to be, like ,back at your actual job by now?"


Caitlin looks a little crestfallen when she realizes that Jessica was intending to repair the damaged component, and that tempers her enthusiasm at finding another lady engineer. She's one who's got horror stories of the 'bro club' that permeates a lot of the tech world, though Starr Labs probably insulates her from a lot of it.

"Didn't touch nothin', promise," Caitlin says, quickly. "I'm— I'm sorry, I kinda can't help myself sometimes," she says, picking up the clamshell quickly and holding it by the sides of the container. She unconsciously sets it as a barrier in front of, clearly upset she's pricked Jessica's ego. It's not until Jessica's words dawn on her that she perks a little, her tensed shoulders relaxing and the clamshell lowering. "Pizza? I— I could eat," she admits. Caitlin can /always/ eat. "Um, let's… can I give you this first? I'll text my boss that I delivered it and went to lunch, she won't mind," she assures Jessica, offering her the container that was the purpose of her visit. It's not terribly heavy, fortunately.


Jessica takes the clamshell-shaped object slowly from Caitlin and then leans forward slightly. "Pen?" After some wrangling the clipboard is successfully signed and then Jess is taking a deep breaht, holding the new component in the palm of her hand. "This I'll deal with later. I'm just glad that the rest of this mess got dealt with… Anyway. Yeah, sure. Pizza." She nods once. "I've got some free time."

With the item taken care of Jesica moves toward the door with only an inclined head and a brief glance back at Caitlin to show she expects the redhead to follow. Back down the elevator, right out through the lobbyand front doors of the SHIELD building. It feels positively balmy outside after an extended stint in the refrigerated R&D level they'd been exploring an it isn't long before Jessica is removing her jacket entirely.

The pizza parlor isn't terribly busy. Jessica strides in like she actually owns the place, her arms at her sides, eyes turned upward. She doesn't wait to be seated ither, though given the amount of room this probably isnt' an issue for anyone who isn't feeling especially particular at the moment. It's a dimly lit place with comfortable leather seats and large chairs that even Caitlin would be likely to appreciate. And the pizzas? Are simply massive. "So. What do you like on your pies? Be warned, there's only a couple right answers." Green eyes peer upward at Cait intently, meeting her eyes. "And… Thanks . For the help with the components."


Caitlin keeps up easily— it's not hard, tall as she is— and seems more relaxed once she realizes Jessica's not peeved at her. In fact, she seemed more worried about upsetting the slender raven-haired woman than getting in trouble for tampering with with restricted SHIELD technology. "Aah… Anything, except olives or mushrooms," Caitlin tells Jessica, thinking about it carefully. "Mostly whatever is the best value for dollar," she admits.

At the quiet intensity of Jessica's gaze, she flickers an embarassed smile and glances away, trying to poo-poo it off— but Jessica's /still/ looking when she glances up, and Caitlin starts slowly turning pink. "It's— I mean, it's nothing," she says, brushing at a tendril of straight red hair that's escaping her neat ponytail. "Good customer service— saves y'all from having to call us up— not that I'd mind, I mean, if you called me. Us! Me, as us, at the, uh, labs, where… us— /we/— work."

The cashier walks up and smiles at them both. "Hi! Can I take your order?" he inquires, pulling Jessica's attention. Once Jessica's looking away, Caitlin pulls a face of remarkable consternation and lolls her head back, palming her brow and hissing silent reprimand at her fumbling lack of articulation. The clerk gives her a quizzical look, but by the time Jessica would glance back, Caitlin's standing there attempting to feign nonchalance by looking at the calzones with rapt interest.


"Alright. I guess I'll take one extra large pizza with, like, every meat you have on the menu and extra cheese," Jessica suggests, glancing at Caitlin as she does. Once the order is placed she twists slightly in her seat, taking a deep breath again. It's released in a lazy way, passing the seconds by allowing the air to pass her lips. She looks around the room and then back to the woman across from her. A brief pause follows.

"So," Jessica begins with her eyes narrowing slightly. "You wouldn't mind if I called you. Was that supposed to be a pickup line? Are you asking me, a customer, to call you after work and take you places? DOn't tell me that you were just trying to get some free food out of it."

The frown intensifies slightly and fingers rap against the edge of the table. "You know, we just met," Jessica adds in a disapproving tone. "You'd have to give a girl your phone number before she could even do anything like that."


Caitlin's mouth moves at Jessica's words, but no sound really comes out for a few seconds. She's clearly in waaay over her head, and Jessica's wry, deadpan snark is just getting a zero scan across the board from her. It doesn't help that she has fairly intruiguing green eyes, and her mouth's very… expressive.

"II, uh,…" she gets out. "I wouldn't— I mean, that'd be— really, /really/ unprofessional," she rambles. "I mean— asking you out. Not giving you my number, that's— I'll give you my number, sure. I wouldn't ask you out."

Jessica's not doing her a lot of favors here, and Caitlin seems determined to just keep sticking her foot in her mouth. She blanches when she realizes what she just said. "I mean, I /would/, but it'd— I mean, in /theory/ I would, not that, I /will/. Not that I won't! Wouldn't! You're very pretty, it'd just— you're a customer, and I do service customers." A beat.

"CUSTOMER SERVICE!" she blurts out, a second later.


Jessica starts to laugh, all at onc.e It lights up her face and softens that intense stare instantly, leaving her nodding and smiling as Caitlin attempts to extricate herself from a purposefully impossible situation. She twists slightly in her seat then, nodding as she does.

"Well, servicing customers is a good way to get perfect marks on customer service,"she drawls then, amusement still in her tone. "But you seem to be uncertain on a point there." Jess titls her head slightly, reaching up to draw her fingers through her long, black hair. She pulls it away from her face, a gesture that only serves to emphasize those intense green eyes of hers.

"Would you or would you not ask me out? Forget the work thing for a second. You were just in a SHIELD lab touching stuff without permission, you're lucky they didn't fire you out of a cannon instead of the old-fashioned way." She shrugs.

"But I'm not sure I heard you right. You'd ask me out if there wasn't a professional thing involved?" Meanwhile, a pizza is headed their way, approaching from behind Caitlin. Jess makes a gesture for the server to turn around. Not quite ready to be interrupted yet, it seems.


Ooh, Jessica's lucky she saw the pizza coming before Caitlin did. There's not much that can get between her and food, but at the moment Jessica's definitely got the upper hand and any excuse to get her feet under her would be welcome!

But Jessica's merciless though, and Caitlin's hiding her face in her hand at the moment when Jessica gestures at the waiter. "I— I don't know, maybe? Yes?" Caitlin finally says, a little shyly. "You … I mean, you seem nice," she admits, ducking her head a little and absently tucking her hair behind her ear again. "And you're a SHIELD agent, so you're, y'know— you've got some sense of, like… reality," she says. "I don't know— I mean, I don't know what the rules for… fraternizing are? So, I … yeah, maybe?" she concedes, finally smiling at Jessica. "I don't… uh, I don't do much dating-type stuff," she says, nervously. As if that weren't wildly apparent. "I work for Miss Starr and I—" it occurs to her that Jessica might have actually /not/ pegged her dual identity. "I have two jobs, really, so I just don't have… I haven't /made/ time, for it. Dating. Oh my gosh am I still talking," she asks rhetorically, hiding her face in her hand but unable to suppress a laugh.


Jessica lisens to all of this somewhat bemusedly, occasionally nodding if only to motivate Caitlin to go on. When it is all done she folds her gloved hands together and continues to watch intently. Seconds pass without a word and then finally the SHIELD Agent takes a deep breath. She starts to say something before stopping herself and giving a slow shrug. Then Jessica does somthing utterly scandalous.

The raven haired superhero reaches out and takes Caitlin gently but firmly by the arm. She tugs the woman closer, relying mostly on surprise to get her way despite their disparate strengths. As she does Jessical eans over the table and plants a gentle kiss on Caitlin's cheek, along the corner of her mouth.

"Amusement park. After we finish eating." There might be a definite sense that Caitlin's just made plans somehow. Despite the fact that no clear agreement had been reached. It's now that the pizza arrives, an elevated turntable in the middle of their table covered in an actually enormous amount of food for two people. The staff had considered pointing out it was too much then taken a second look at Caitlin and thought about it.

"Alright, Caitlin Fairchild," Jessica continues despite Cait never having introduced herself. "I like listening to you talk. You know, because that way I don't have to so much. It's a thing. Goes with the brooding expressions and the sarcastic asocial personality thing. You know."


Caitlin blinks when Jessica reaches for her, unsure of where it's going. She's heavy enough that even with some super-strength, it takes a bit of extra leverage to get her moving until her reflexes catch up and she leans forward to get… kissed on the cheek?!

"I— I—- okay," she says weakly, utterly floored and turning a few interesting shades of pink in the process as she sits back. The pizza shows up, and for /once/ in her life, Caitlin's too flummoxed to attack the meal in front of her for a moment!

"I'm kind of a chatterbox," she apologizes, a little wryly. "I can't help it. I talk a lot when I'm nervous. Or I get distracted by something. Or I get distracted by something that makes me nervous." She takes two slices of pizza and folds them onto one another, forming a sandwich, and starts eating. She's very polite— never speaks with her mouth full, chews her food with her mouth closed, and doesn't make a mess.

But she plows right through two of the overstuffed slices before Jessica's halfway through her first, and almost automatically is already reaching for two more. "O-oh, I should… gosh, I should text my boss then," she remarks, digging out her phone. It's an sPhone— one of the reinforced military-grade mobile devices, with massive encryption protocols and a tank-proof case. She fires off a text message with a *shoop* noise, and then sets her phone aside while taking anothr quick bite of pizza. The screen lights up, and she smiles at what she reads, and then mutes the phone and sets it in her purse where it won't be a distraction. Considerate!

"So, um… what do you do at SHIELD?" she ventures, a few beats later. "Can you talk about it, or is it all top-secret-squirrel classified?"


"I'm a field agent. I'd tell you more, but a tactical team would burst in here and take us down and I haven't finished my pizza yet." Jessica seems content to watch Caitlin eat. She ordered a pizza that she couldn't begin to tckle herself, apparently anticipatin that Caitlin's hunger was going to border on rapacious. So she crosses her legs at the ankle and shin and works on her first lice contently.

"I do a lot of things, though. Mostly paperwork." Jessica makes a face at that but she's nodding once more after a brief pause. "So you're a lab tech. And a courier. And a- superhero, which actually kinda makes sense." A beat. "Tell me a bit more about you? Or- anything, I guess. You chatter, I pretend to listen. It'll be our system."


"Aww, you knew I was a cape?" Caitlin looks a little bummed out, but brightens almost immediately. The 'pretend to listen' bit gets analyzed for a half a second, then tossed aside. It seems like the first and last thing Jessica says is generally an exaggeration. She's cracking the code, here.

"I— gosh, I don't know," she remarks, looking a little hesitant. It's a pretty open-ended question. She looks at Jessica, gauging her interest, and shrugs one shoulder. "Umm… I went to Columbia, for college," she says. "I got my undergrad degree and went into the PE program in Electrical Engineering, but I got headhunted for Howard Stark's company. I was at THINK for about a year, paid internship. Then the Baxter Institute picked me up— that was really cool, but the paychecks sometimes were a little, uh…inconsistent. Then last year, Karen Starr hired me as an engineer and started… like, mentoring me a bit. She made me a project lead and then she invited me to be… I guess I'm an executive assistant?" she hazards. "I do day to day stuff for her— y'know, errands, project overviews, budget reviews, that kinda thing. Stuff she's too busy for." She shrugs again, and inhales several bites of pizza casually.


Jessican ods periodically through all of this. She might give the impression she really is pretending to listen, but the occasional acknowledgment with eye contact is perhaps enough to forestall that conclusion. She pauses for a moment, tilting her head slightly while she considers Caitlin a moment more. Jess deposits her pizza crust - folded in half - int oher mouth and chews it like she's become a chipmunk for a moment before swallowing.

"Keep going," Jessica suggests after a moment. "ask some questions about me, even. I promise to lie in really entertianing ways." Jess places some money on the table and slides out of her seat. She comes to stand beside Caitlin and gently draw the redhead from her seat.

"What kind of ride did you bring? I guess we probably can't just leave it here. Or did you run or osmething? Becuase my car isn't too far away…"


Caitlin blinks at Jessica. "Oh my— Crabapples!" She says it like a curse. The ginger fumbles for her phone, though she lets the other woman tug her along as they walk. "I gotta call the driver, he's probably wondering where the heck I am!"

She unlocks her phone and dials, eyes going distant as she lets it ring. "Mark? Hi! Gosh, I'm so sorry— I got, uh… sidetracked," she says, glancing at Jessica. "I'll take a cab back. No, really, it's fine. Thanks so much. Sooorryy," she winces, and hangs up the phone before tucking it into her clutch.

"My boss is pretty cool with me taking personal days, but borrowing the company car for a date is probably a little too far," Caitlin explains. She falls into step with Jessica, a little uncertain of what to ask about.

"Uh… okay. Nothing SHIELD related," she says, glancing to Jessica for query. "Else: government ninjas. Uh… oh, any, um, hobbies?" she asks, swiveling to look at Jessica for a half-step as they walk along the sidewalk. "Stamp collecting? Videogames?" she asks, hopefully.


"The still beating hearts of my enemies," Jessica suggests without skipping a beat. She lets it sit long enough Caitlin might even start to believe it, using the silence to lead the woman across the street to the darkly coloured prius which is Jessica's personal vehicle. Maybe she is stealingit from SHIELD. No one will notice immediately either wya, right? The car is unlocked easily with a tap of a button and then Jessica is climbing into the driver's seat.

"Video games sound fun but I haven't really gotten to pla yvery many. T o be honest, I spend a lot of time researching and preparing things for work on my free time. I know, it's just a little boring. Like a pet rock collection but without the satisfaction of being able to pelt your enemies with it when you're finally done."

Cait might be just a little cramped in this car but she is probably used to it by now. Barring unforeseen activites the pair will soon be on their way. "I do a little martial arts too. Some parkour…" She pauses for a second. "You? It sounds like you *hate* video games."


Caitlin is obligated to take a few seconds to get the seat to adjust— she's pretty cramped, but manages to fold herself into the vehicle and lean the seat back just enough that her neck isn't cramping up at weird angles. She glances sidelong at Jessica, making more mental notes. The code-breaking continues!

"I guess I kinda stuck my foot out with that one," she concedes with a small laugh. "I used to play more— back in college. I had more free time then. Well— It felt like I did," she admits.

"I couldn't really afford a ton of gaming on my THINK salary. And then it was about the same time I got my first real job with Baxter that I went full-time with the League. So… y'know." She shrugs, awkwardly. "It's tough to be in a raid guild when you're on monitor duty. The— my friends come first," she explains. "My meatspace friends, not my cyberfriends. So work, League obligations, and just going to the /gym/ takes four hours outta my day. I just don't have time to play hardcore anymore."

She realizes she's babbling again, and deliberately shuts her mouth to form another question. "Do you like your job? I mean— generally speaking, you don't have to give up any state secrets."


"Travel the world, meet new and interesting people, and kill them," Jessica responds wrily. Then she adds in a much more subdued voice. "I do like it. Yeah. I feel like i've got a purpose, and that I can use my talents for something meaningful." She pauses there for a second and tkaes a deep breath.

"Kind of like you with the League in a way, I guess." Jessica nimblly dcuts through traffic, making their way toward Staten Island and the promised amusement park. "You're not even a little worried that I might be trying to kidnap yo uand steal your powers or something?" Jess asks as they travel.


"Not remotely," Caitlin says, cheerfully. "I guess you can /try/, but it's totally happened to me before. It did not work out well for them!" She seems pretty unbothered by Jessica's driving, or the question she poses. "Also, there's the League response. If I went dark for twelve hours, the Titans would be out in force and the big-timers would hat up, too. There's… Thor, and Sif, and Diana, and J'onn, and Green Lantern, and— wow, I mean, I'm pretty sure Superman would show up, but he'd /mostly/ be restraining Carol, because I'm fairly sure she would just start knocking down buildings until she found me under one of 'em."

"Besides, how do you know /I'm/ not kidnapping /you/? This could all be a diabolical plan to lull you into a false sense of security," she says, trying to match Jessica's more expert balance of bored witticisms.


"You haven't apologized and promised to make it up to me for trying yet," Jessicaobserves primly as they are approaching the bridge. She scans the road ahead before giving a shrug. "That works for me," she replies simply.

"You should be more careful though. There has to be someone who can actually cripple your powers." she considers this for a moment, watching as the ferris wheel grows in the distance.

"Anything else you want to know? Maybe something you feel embarrassed to ask…?"


Caitlin nods at Jessica's advise. It's prudent and well-meant, anyway. Granted, there's one person she left off her list, but… well, family's not a good topic for first dates.

Jessica's last suggestion prompts a moment of silence from the ginger, and it quickly /does/ turn to embarassment. I— I don't know," she stammers. She wasn't /thinking/ of anything embarassing, but what happens when someone walks up and says 'don't think of pink elephants?'

"Um… gosh," she mutters. Jessica's suave urbanality comes so effortlessly for the spy that Caitlin can't help feeling a little self-conscious. "I'unno, I feel like I've just been talking about me nonstop," she confesses. "All I know about you is that you work for the government and your only hobby is also working for the government. Do you— don't you have any friends you hang out with?" she inquires, hesitant to tread on potentially sore topics. "Nature hikes, or parties, or whatever?"


"I grew up… Kind of sequestered. My parents worked with some people who really weren't very, mm… Nice. They were good people but they were so focused on what they were doing that they didn't notice the warning signs. So when I grew up and figured it out I left behind a lot of friends and things I used to like to start over fresh."

For once, Jessica's being completely earnest, her softer demeanor accompanied by brief glances toward the floor in front of her.

"I mean. I used to be a PI. I like putting puzzles together. Finding things, checking people out. I like having a mystery to solve. So I read a lot… And I look around…" Jessica shifts her weight slightly. "And I did say I'd try some video games with you. Neither one of us has time to be a hardcore gamer, but… You know."

Jessica parks the car and then climbs out, moving around to retrieve Caitlin. This might seem a bit ludicrous given just how much larger than Jessica she actually is but the black-haired woman does so nonetheless. "I'll win you a pink teddy bear, how about that?"


Caitlin 'ohs', softly, at the explanation, and a flickering smile crosses her face when Jessica offers to try a game out with her. It's some reassurance— but she laughs when Jessica unexpectedly materializes next to the passenger door. It's a sweet gesture, but Caitlin's very careful not to put any of her actual weight on Jessica's hand. She doesn't seem to have noticed Jessica /might/ be more than a mere low-level operative. "I don't think I've ever had a lady hold a door open for me on a date," she admits, her nose wrinkling in laughter. "Feels weird, dunnit?" she inquires— but she doesn't seem to be in a hurry to refuse Jessica's hand, either.

Before they go, she holds up a hand and removes her blazer. It is indeed just a little too warm for outerwear, and under it she wears an ivory colored silk blouse. It's sleeveless and intricate lace material covers her shoulders and the upper third of her torso. "Okay, ready," she says, putting her purse over her shoulder. She walks without any particular hurry, enjoying Jessica's company.

"I, uh… I was pretty sheltered too," she admits, pushing several strands of hair back from her face as she talks. "I had bad asthma and I was, um…. a lot… shorter," she says, carefully. "It was my sophmore year of college when I, um, sort of had my growth spurt. But I spent my first couple years playing games, and takin' stuff apart, and… I mean, I kinda get it. Being lonely, I mean," she explains. "I like puzzles too, is what I'm /trying/ to say, and god am I /still talking/," she mumbles, clamping her mouth shut with a click of her teeth and forcing a smile past her mortified expression


"Wait a sec." Jessica comes to a halt now, turning to face Caitlin properly. She makes the effort to crane her neck slightly this time, making sure to properly meet the redhead's gaze. jess reaches up and places a gloved hand gainst Caitlin's left cheek,m studying the other woman's eyes as she does so.

"I told you. I like listening to you talk," Jessica states seriously. "Definitely don't stop on my account." She gives it a moment for that to sink in. Then she pauses for a second. "Hae you taken a lady o na date before at all?"


Caitlin blinks and looks down at Jessica. It's a little unnerving how easily Jessica can pull Caitlin's attention, but she has it, and the ginger nods twice. "Okay. I'm sorry, I'll— okay," she says, fighting the urge to apologize.

Then Jessica launches /another/ loaded question, and Caitlin blinks and her ears start turning pink. "Ummm… I mean… I was kinda seeing someone a couple years ago," she admits. "But it wasn't, like… formal or anything. We just went on a few dates. Then she got a job in California and moved away. We— I mean, she was sweet, but we weren't major-league serious, I guess," she admits. She hesitates. "I… I should probably warn you, there's not a lotta fun in dating a cape," she advises Jessica. "We keep weird hours and have strange friends, and bad guys randomly harass us on the weekends. So I haven't, um… dated. Much. Ever. Not seriously, with anyone, anyway," she admits. She scratches the back of one calf with her toe, a fidgeting bit of nervousness.


"I work for SHIELD," Jessica points out. "You're describing my day job anyway." She shrugs at this, the nshfits her weight from left to right. "Especially considering that I'm also Arachne." The newly minted Avenger and long-time hero, Arachne. Some people still call her Spider-Woman though another has taken that appelation for themselves.

"I think we can make our own fun. Just means we cna't waste the ime we do have together. Right?" Jessica doesn't really seem to actually be asking. "So, pink teddy bear. Or some other kind of animal…?"


Caitlin is walking along in a bit of shock, following Jessica, and finally finds her voice again. "Wait. Shut the front door," she remarks, a hand cutting through the air. "/You/? You're Spi-" she bites it off, remembering that SOME people actually have a secret identity that they wanna keep that way. "Why didn't you say something earlier?!" she remarks, looking a little thunderstruck. "I thought you were— I mean, that you weren't—" She exhales through a jutted lower lip, reflexively blowing at the bangs drifting across her brow.

"Okay, well… that at least answers… that," she says, looking immensely more relieved. Spider-Woman's a known factor in Caitlin's mind. Weirdly, the SHIELD agent's vigilante identity probably has more substance for Caitlin than the mysterious, dark-haired woman currently leading her into the amusement park's depths. "I wondered what you liked like under the mask," she admits, finally, and smiles at Jessica with a little less uncertainty. "You've got pretty eyes," she ventures. "And… whatever you wanna win, that'd be fine by me," she tells her companion.

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