Same day but after [Instance]Out of the Bag.
<Carol> Her attempt at a distraction hadn't worked so she'd fetched coffee from the kitchen and was now heading back across the lawn to her office. About half way there she changed direction and headed toward the teacher's building. Maybe she'd take a nap or find someone else to distract her there? She couldn't remember the last time she'd even been inside that building now that she thought about it.
<Bobby> Inside that very building Bobby was making it snow, all to entertain a very cranky two-year-old.
<Carol> Carol stopped in the doorway and seriously considered just going back outside. "Uh..."
<Bobby> Caught in the middle of his rendition of Let it Go, Bobby halted mid-swoosh and spun in place at the sound. "Look, Rip! She's blonde! Get a blue dress and she could be Elsa too!"
<Carol> What had she just been nominated for? "The only thing close to a blue dress I own is my uniform...." She eyed the child warily.
<Bobby> Ripley stopped in her crying, rolling fit on the floor and peered up at the newcomer. "You're not mommy!" Her lower lip trembled.
<Bobby> Bobby sighed, the snowfall tapering off a bit. "Mommy will be home soon, babe, but you know Miss Carol!" He gave Carol a wide, pained smile.
<Carol> "Oh God... don't cry..." Carol was scared of very few things but the idea of a crying child put the fear of God in her. "Hey look, wanna see a magic trick?" She changed her clothes with a flash of energy, into the afore mentioned blue uniform.
<Bobby> Bobby let out a relieved breath and gave her the thumbs-up. Ripley clapped appreciatively, then frowned a little. "Not Elsa, but pretty!"
<Carol> "I don't know who Elsa is... is that bad?" She looked over at Bobby then looked back down at Ripley.
<Bobby> "You don't know Elsa?" Ripley simply could not believe this and looked at her dad for help.
<Bobby> "We'll have to show her sometime, yeah?" Bobby laughed and dissipated the snow in the room. "She's the ice queen in Frozen. Disney. It's a movie?" He kept trying.
<Carol> Carol gave a helpless shrug, "I don't really have a lot of time for movies... And I sort of forgot most of the things I watched as a kid." She moved out of the doorway, changing her clothes back to her SHIELD uniform as she walked. "Forgot a lot of things..." her nose wrinkled a little.
<Bobby> As a man who pretty much remembered everything from his favorite childhood cereal to the cartoons he watched while eating said cereal, Bobby gave her a patented confused expression. "Really?"
<Carol> She nodded, "They all got sucked out of my brain... most never came back." She gave a shrug, "Can't miss what you don't know you had."
<Bobby> Right... Anna. "Yeah... sorry. Didn't think about that." He winced and started picking up sofa cushions from the floor of the common area, tossing them back into place - more or less.
<Carol> "It's fine, I'm over it... got bigger problems these days." She flopped down onto the sofa, not minding that it was still missing cushions.
<Bobby> Bobby stopped himself just in time before Carol took a cushion to the face, then Ripley righted herself and took a slightly wobbly running leap onto the blonde's lap. "Do it again!"
<Carol> Carol lifted her coffee out of the way just in time and caught the low flying toddler, "Do what? Change my clothes?" She obliged, reaching to put her mug down on the end table by the sofa. "You like my uniform?" she cocked her head on one side, "Know what this is?" she pointed at the pin on her chest.
<Bobby> "Shiny bird!" Ripley poked the top of the pin. "And a starfish." Bobby chuckled and sat down on the sofa beside them, just a little more carefully. "She likes daddy's uniform, but mine doesn't have fun shinies."
<Carol> "This one means I'm a pilot," she tapped the wings, "And this star in its little circle means I'm allowed to teach all the new pilots how to not crash planes. That's a very important job because new pilots are stupid." She nodded sagely.
<Bobby> Bobby snorted. "Technically daddy's a pilot too, buuuut, kinda different."
<Carol> "I'm gonna reserve comment on you in front of your kid."
<Bobby> "Hey, I never crashed the jet, which is more than I can say for most of our pilots." He frowned, brushing lint off his jeans. The truth was, he missed flying.
<Carol> "Yeeeah... why do you think they sent me here? You guys break all your planes." She laughed a little, "At least if the jet loses power out in the world, I can just carry it home."
<Bobby> "I doubt that's why they sent you here." Probably, it was because she was like them. Ripley, bored of all this talk, started working on prying one of those shiny silver leaves from the woman's shoulder.
<Carol> Carol let her try, those pins were in there good. "Well not completely... but it was one of the reasons they picked me over some other super powered agent. My piloting skills are legendary." She wondered vaguely if that was because she was just good at it or something else. A frown creased her brow.
<Bobby> "Mmm." Bobby grumped a little, sliding more deeply into the sofa, then he looked at her and noticed her equally grumpy expression. "Want me to get her offa you?"
<Carol> "Huh?" she glanced at Ripley, "Oh no, she's fine..." she shook her head, "I just got some news yesterday... not sure what to do with it..."
<Bobby> "Yeah? What's the matter?" He looked between his daughter and Carol.
<Carol> "You know there's a talking raccoon wandering around the place right now? Yesterday we were talking... apparently I'm some percentage alien... Kree, if you want me to be specific."
<Bobby> Bobby looked at Carol as if she'd sprouted another head, right there on the sofa. Silently, he reached over to pry Ripley off.
<Carol> "As far as I'm aware, they don't eat toddlers..." Carol sighed, letting him reclaim his daughter and slouching back into the cushions.
<Bobby> Ripley protested, but then went, snuggling down into Bobby's lap and locating a stray thread on his shirt to pull. "Carol..." How to put this? "Babe? ...um..." He covered Ripley's ears. "The fuck?!"
<Carol> Carol shrugged hopelessly, "I don't know! He was showing me all this stuff and it was all freakishly familiar like I'd seen it before and, like an idiot, I asked... and it's his stupid watch person's fault for mentioning Kree in the first place."
<Bobby> "....did you... hit your head?" He was really concerned now, and leaned to get a whiff of her breath.
<Carol> "No I didn't hit my head." She rolled her eyes, "I've never actually been tested for any mutant gene, you know."
<Bobby> "Sooooo, you're going to take the word of a talking raccoon that you're an alien, because his watch said so."
<Carol> "No... because it makes sense on some subconsious level that I can't explain. He was showing pictures... holograms of worlds I know for a fact I've never seen but they were so familiar, I felt the most intense hatred of something I've ever had when he dared to suggest I was a some race of alien I've never even heard of and, when he showed the hologram of the Kree home world..."
<Carol> She sighed, "I can't explain it.... It felt like I was supposed to be there... I don't know... it's weird... and I'm probably supposed to tell Fury..."
<Bobby> "Who will totally send you for a psych eval, stat, you know that right?" Bobby had been on the receiving end of such evaluations himself at one point, after all, and he'd never claimed he was Mork from Ork.
<Carol> "Yeah, I know... and the rest... and it's the rest I'm worried about." She rested her head back against the cushions, "I don't know what'll happen if I say anything... I'd actually rather not..."
<Bobby> "Babe... are you sure about this?" Ripley was bored now, and wriggled back across into Carol's lap. "I mean, yeah, I heard about the rodent, but I don't know that I believe him either. Feral mutants can be pretty funky. I mean, look at Kyle..."
<Carol> "Kyle's a sweetie - this guy is an ass." She cuddled Ripley which was, admittedly, out of character for her. "He's legit - I've seen his ship."
<Bobby> "Riiiiight. You've met Calvin, right? Got a biiiig giant robot sidekick that he built? Oooor, Broo, who opens dimensional portals in the basement?" He cocked his head. "There're lots of mutants who have crazy tech skills to make a ship."
<Carol> "Yeah... newsflash; Broo is an alien." She turned her head sideways to look at him, "I know it's hard to believe... but you didn't feel it."
<Bobby> Bobby laughed, though it held a hysterical edge.
<Carol> "Before you throw out excuses for Broo... I went and asked the little guy. He totally is. Don't ask me where Hydra got the alien parts."
<Bobby> "But Jess isn't..." Although that would explain some things... He shook his head. "This is nuts. Like, bona fide batshiiii - cuckoo for cocoa puffs!"
<Carol> "You think this is any better for me? I don't even know how much of me is... different... or which parent or anything and I don't know how to ask that."
<Bobby> She was serious. He sat up and just stared at her, then ran a hand over his face. "Well... are you, like, adopted?"
<Carol> Carol shook her head slowly, "No, I think my dad would have thrown that at me across the dinner table by now. He's all about how disappointed he is that I'm a girl so I think, if he was given the choice, he'd have picked a boy."
<Bobby> "Well, I think given a choice my dad would have definitely picked for me to not be a mutant," he said with a shrug. "But hey, if he's like... half alien? He has nooo room to talk. Ever."
<Carol> "Except I'm still not a boy... and he lost his favourite because of me."
<Bobby> "Babe..." Bobby paused to sigh and scrub his hand over his hair again. "It's not your fault, and he's a fu... jerk for blaming you. That's on him, not you."
<Carol> "I blame me," Carol pointed out, "I got him involved, it is my fault... but I'm going to make that right somehow - I have a plan."
<Bobby> "You have a plan? Maybe you better tackle one thing at a time? I'm still not so sure about this whole alien thing... but if you think it's something you need to look into, then I would focus on that."
<Carol> "Well the other plan happened before the alien thing, I was already working on that..." she sighed, "I don't know what to do now... on one hand I want to see Osborn punished for what he did... but I know I should tell SHIELD about this thing except I don't know what'll happen... I might not get a chance to see justice done..."
<Bobby> "Babe, I know Fury is your boss and all, but... maybe you shouldn't say anything for a while? You know, just... until you're sure?" Since this was still batshit crazy.
<Carol> "How am I supposed to be sure exactly? Know any alien doctors that I can ask for a second opinion?" She raised an eyebrow at him, giving Ripley another cuddle to distract herself.
<Bobby> "No, but I know Pietro, and he's interested in genetics and shit... and there's always Hank. Get them to run some tests and see if anything comes up? I mean, if you've never been tested for the X-gene... and it turns out you don't really have one? Then..." He shrugged, helplessly.
<Carol> "Then SHIELD are going to find out anyway. I'd rather just go there right away because otherwise it'll look like I tried to keep it from them... which could make it a whole lot worse. I don't want to make it worse..."
<Bobby> "Why would they know if you asked Pietro or Hank?" He cocked his head, honestly curious. "I mean, that's sorta a doctor-patient confidentiality issue... as far as SHIELD knows you could just be getting screened for cancer or something."
<Carol> "Yes but I still have to tell them afterwards..." she frowned, "Unless you're suggesting I just keep it from them indefinitely like it won't come back to bite me in the a-... butt."
<Bobby> "Well, no, not necessarily, but you're still looking at it like it's totes gonna say 'yep, alien!' on the results."
<Carol> "Well why would he lie? He has to know the first thing I'll do if he's just messing with me is put his furry behind through the nearest wall. I've threatened it often enough."
<Bobby> "Doesn't have to be a lie... just a mistake?" He shrugged again and reached over to tickle Ripley's socked foot. The girl giggled and burrowed deeper into Carol. "Maybe he's delusional. Wouldn't be the first time."
<Carol> "Maybe... But I don't know... I don't want to take chances like that... if he's telling the truth and if I don't say anything... how would that look to you? Fury's not an unreasonable guy..." Carol scooped Ripley up, changing her uniform back to her SHIELD one at the same time as it had less things that may cause accidental injury to small children when you turn them upside down.
<Bobby> Bobby smiled at her antics with Ripley. "Okay, well, do what you think you have to do... I just... I dunno, babe. I mean, I've seen a lot of weird stuff with the X-Men, and with SWORD. A lot," blinking, he lost himself for a moment there. "Anyways, while, sure? I guess that's possible? Just..."
<Carol> "I know... it sounds insane... But, I can't explain it... it feels like it's true. I don't know why but it just... I know." She lay the upside down toddler down on her lap then tickled her tummy.
<Bobby> "And if it's true? Then what?"
<Carol> "I don't know... I won't until I tell Fury... So, sooner or later, I'd have to tell him. Like I said, he's not an unreasonable guy as long as you present him with the facts properly... plus I have a good reputation and a good history with him. It might be okay..."
<Bobby> "Yeah, might be." He frowned, not sure about that. Fury himself might be okay, but there were other crazies around.
<Carol> "I guess I'm going to end up telling him... He can figure out what to do about it..."
<Bobby> Bobby just nodded, staying quiet for a moment. "What does Cess think about this?"
<Carol> "She doesn't know yet... a couple of days ago I dumped something huge on her and then I found out about this other thing... So I'm not sure how well this'll go down..."
<Bobby> He turned a wide-eyed stare on her. "She doesn't know? Huger than this, yet you're telling me before her?"
<Carol> "I don't know how to tell her this when we're already in the middle of a thing... and the other thing is more important from a personal perspective..."
<Bobby> "Okay, while I know this thing is your thing and that's a... thing... isn't this kind of important too?"
<Carol> "Yeah but it's not as important as taking down Osborn and his Sentinel project... At least... not as world changey for everyone else."
<Bobby> Now completely lost, Bobby just blinked at her.
<Carol> "We found potential evidence that he's been using them to commit personal errands... you know, the deadly kind... When I have enough, we're handing it straight to Tony so he can make sure there's no more law-dodging. Osborn's got away with way too much."
<Bobby> "The sentinels?"
<Carol> Carol nodded, "My brother and his unit... I got hold of the un-redacted version of the report."
<Bobby> "Just like when they went after me and Hope, and Paige at the hospital... although that could have been Hope too. Or Shaw." He shook his head. "Fucker." The word was out before he could stop himself, then made a face at Ripley and hoped she wasn't listening.
<Carol> "Yeah... he needs to pay for this. If something happens to me... Sebastian knows all the details and Cessily knows where I put the file...."
<Bobby> "Wait... so you're planning to go after him yourself?" Another bout of swearing was coming on, he could feel it.
<Carol> "I'm not going to march into his office, if that's what you're asking." She rolled her eyes, "I'm going to go and talk to the families of the other people in my brother's unit. No one told us there were any other casualties... that reeks of a cover-up. We need to collect as much evidence as possible."
<Bobby> "Jeeeez, got your plate full enough, babe?" He shook his head. "So that's the other thing you're talking about? That you dropped on Cess?"
<Carol> Carol nodded, "I've been trying to deal with it on my own... haven't been doing so well." She looked down at Ripley, "I'm still not sure that bringing in other people is the best idea..."
<Bobby> "So... this is why you're telling me?" He chewed his lip.
<Carol> "I'm telling you because you have the same contacts I do. If it goes bad, get everything to Tony as soon as you can and tell Sebastian Shaw what happened. Can you handle that or am I expecting too much from you?"
<Bobby> "You've got such a charming way of asking for help, how can I possibly say no," he said with a snort.
<Carol> She laughed, "Yeah... I have a reputation to hold up. Can't have what might be my last instruction to you be something nice, can I?" She gave Ripley another tickle in case she was feeling left out.
<Bobby> "If you really think it's your last instruction, why worry about the alien thing at all?" He still wasn't sure he was on board with that.
<Carol> "Because it's a distraction I can't afford right now. I need to be able to focus and I won't with all of that hanging around in the background."
<Bobby> He decided not to point out that if Fury didn't take the news well, her background distraction would become foreground real quick. Instead, he made a vague humming noise and nodded.
<Carol> "Thanks..." she offered a small smile, "Just... don't read that stuff. Just hand it over, okay? Don't risk your family."
<Bobby> "That bad, huh?" He sighed. "My family's already at risk... we're all mutants."
<Carol> "My brother wasn't and neither was anyone in his unit. They don't discriminate... and they're not afraid of anything. I mean it... be careful."
<Bobby> "I can't be anything but careful... I have her," he said, reaching over to tickle Ripley. "Her, and Paige, and we have a future. I'll do anything to protect that."
<Carol> "Good. So just... be smart... I know that's hard for you."
<Bobby> "Yeah, yeah. I'll try." He reached over to retrieve his daughter. "You too."
<Carol> "Don't worry... I've got this," she offered him a smile, "And now I'm going to get more coffee."
<Bobby> "Hope so." He picked up Ripley and stood, the girl wrapping her arms around his neck. "Good luck."
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