12/6 Issue: Super Duper

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Slarti
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12/6 Issue: Super Duper

Post by Slarti » Sun Dec 06, 2020 11:31 pm

Timelined Monday, May 1, 2023

Jean: Jean's cute little car rolled to a stop in the big old lot of the big old building. Ayep, still looked haunted. She leaned to look up, and up, as she cut the engine. At least she didn't have to live here this time.

Jean: Not for the first time, she wished she'd brought Jamie with her when she told Carol she'd come look around after the dispensary closed for the day. Unfortunately, he had to work. Whatevs. He could just enjoy her telepathic scream if a demon stole her underwear while she was here.

Jean: She walked slowly up to the front door. It was obviously recently painted, but still old as fuck. It was also open. That couldn't get any more horror movie, but it didn't creak when she pushed it open. Kinda sad, really.

Carol: Carol had been rearranging her old office to look less like the old office when she heard the car pull up and looked out of the window. Thank God she wasn't on her own now. She poked her head out of the office when Jean came inside and smiled at the girl, "Hey! You made it!"

Jean: "I did!" Jean looked around at the lobby as she approached Carol's office. It looked... the same. But repainted. Her footsteps echoed until she made it to the office. "So, how's things?"

Carol: "Quiet..." she looked around as she stepped into the hall, "I kinda miss the BAMFs..." she gestured along the hall, "Want to look around or get snacks?"

Jean: "I wouldn't. They smell like ass." Jean considered this for a moment and then smirked. "Is it all the same?"

Carol: "Well the classrooms are obviously gone..." she shrugged a shoulder, "Kitchen's the same. Basement is... worse..."

Jean: "It could get worse!?" Jean was impressed and helped herself to a chair, sitting primly since she wore a skirt today.

Carol: "For sure it could! The BAMFs made one hell of a mess down there..." She found a wall to hold up, "They are not house trained."

Jean: "Um, ew." Her nose wrinkled. "You need a professional cleaning service for that or something. Like those people who pick up dead bodies?"

Carol: "Eh, SHIELD can handle it. They're doing a good job down there and Broo is working on replacing all the wiring so it'll be less hazardous down there soon... not that we'll need to use the basement much I hope." She frowned a little before she shook it off, "Anyway... for the most part the classrooms got repurposed... got a better gym situation... more lab space..."

Jean: "...what exactly are we going to be doing?" Since she was more of an on-call hero than a live-in the whole thing was pretty vague.

Carol: "Whatever we need to..." She straightened up and went to collect her abandoned coffee, "Remember when I started that disaster response thing back when this place was a school? We'll be doing that... plus whatever else we get calls to assist with... but I guess as we get more settled in, we'll find ways to meddle..."

Jean: Jean shrugged. "Okey. Like, Jamie said if we need him for anything he'd help out, but otherwise he's got his own gig using his powers for good." She smirked and picked some lint off her thigh-high suede fuck-me boots. "Unlike me."

Carol: "Well, this is my thing. We can probably manage with what the government throws at us... at least to start with. Who knows after Tony is finished up his term..." she shrugged, "But it goes both ways... if Jamie finds something he can't handle with all of the hims then... I guess we can help out with that too."

Jean: "Awww, well thank you. I appreciate that, even if he doesn't," she laughed. "So what's the room situation? I guess I could leave some stuff here in case I need to spend the night sometime."

Carol: "There's options... you can have stuff in this building upstairs," she pointed overhead, "Oooor there's the old teacher-house which has a communal living situation where you have a bedroom but shared kitchen and bathroom stuff... unless you snag the rooms with en suite bathrooms.... and then there's the other building next to the hangar where there's apartments. Depends how independent you want to be."

Jean: "I guess that part depends on who else will be living here," she said with a giggle, tipping her head back to look around Carol's office. It also looked the same as it had like six years ago.

Carol: "Well, so far it's just me... but hopefully some of the team will move in or I'm gonna go crazy."

Jean: "...how long have you been here by yourself?" Jean's head dropped down to regard the blonde. Wow her hair was short. Like, super short. Like, she wouldn't know what do do with herself if her hair was that short, short.

Carol: "Couple of days... I moved in on Saturday..." She sat down on the corner of her desk, "It's okay during the day when SHIELD are here doing all their maintenance stuff but at night? Super quiet... not used to that anymore... Spent the last month living with the Shaws and their house always has something going on. You know that."

Jean: "Yeah," she laughed. "Jess and all the strays and Miri." Jean sighed. "How is Jess? We haven't talked since the whole... Viper thing..."

Carol: "Oh, she's fine... worried... about Viper, actually.... but otherwise fine. Busy. All those guinea pigs." She gave Jean a grin.

Jean: "She's worried about Viper?" Jean cocked her head.

Carol: Carol nodded, "I didn't ask why... there's a level of involvement where I draw the line... but I guess she's probably doing something dangerous. She'll be fine... she usually is."

Jean: "Yeaaaah. Jamie is still... not okay with Jess' level of involvement, and it makes me nervous too, now." She made a face, looking down to pick at her cuticles.

Carol: "I get it... but you know Jess'd never endanger any of you, right? Her first priority is always to protect the people she considers family - which is pretty much anyone that was at the school when she was."

Jean: "I know she never would intentionally." Jean straightened the ring on her right hand. "Sometimes things backfire though, y'know?" Just like sometimes, she swapped that ring to her left hand and stared at it, to remind herself not to shoot herself in the foot. Again.

Carol: Carol shrugged, "Sure, stuff backfires... but she understands Viper better than most people... I trust her judgment... and, insofar as you can trust someone who works for an international terrorist organisation... I trust Viper to do what she says she's going to do. She keeps the promises she makes to Jess and Broo... I mean, Broo is practically her kid..."

Jean: "Yeah." Jean popped out her lower lip in a pout and looked up at Carol. "Okay, so, I know what the school looks like... why don't we go get dinner or something?"

Carol: "Still think the place is haunted, huh?" She gave Jean a small grin, "Food does sound good though... where do you want to go? Do I need real clothes instead of my nerd shirt?"

Jean: "Maaaybe?" She returned the grin with a shrug. "Also I'm starving, and I gotta entertain myself tonight, sooo..." Jean did a little shimmy and sat up. "You can entertain me! Girls night!" She looked Carol over with a giggle. "You mean you have real clothes?"

Carol: Carol looked down at herself with a shrug, "Somewhere... I figured with this job I can just wear my nerd shirts instead of my uniform all the time... but I have other clothes..." not that she wore them much. "I don't really... do the whole going out thing..." she wrinkled her nose. "DC kind of killed what little social life I had..."

Jean: Jean popped up from the chair and bounced over to her. "Well, we can fix that!"

Carol: "Okay... well let's go find a shirt that doesn't have a Wookie on it and we can find some food..." she finished her coffee and set the empty mug on her desk. She'd get that later. Stepping into the hall, she gestured for Jean to follow her to the stairs rather than just stand around in the empty ground floor waiting for her.

Jean: She was happy to follow, with visions of a makeover filling her mind with possibilities. Mwahahaha.

Carol: Carol led the way to the room she'd claimed for herself, she headed inside and to the closet which she opened and then went to the boxes she still had to unpack and tipped the one labelled 'clothes' out onto the bed.

Jean: Jean's mouth dropped open. "OMG! You... you... heathen!" She went to the bed and started picking up hopelessly wrinkled and abused clothes.

Carol: Carol shrugged, not really seeing the problem. "How presentable you want me?"

Jean: Ruined, yikes, ruined, ten years out of style... She was still sorting through the mess when she looked up at Carol. "No wonder you wear uniforms!"

Carol: Carol blinked at her, "What's the problem?"

Jean: "Oh, I should take you shopping sometime." Jean set aside a few possibilities and straightened up, smoothing down her own pale pink skirt and sleek black shirt.

Carol: Carol tried to keep the alarm from her face, "I don't know if that's necessary...."

Jean: Jean smirked. "You know I'm an empath, right? I can feel you panicking." She propped her fists on her hips and looked around. "We can work with what we've got."

Carol: "Well good, because I hate shopping for clothes..." Damned empathic cheaters. "Am I at least allowed to wear jeans and boots?"

Jean: "Do you have a nice dark wash?" Jean started to search for this item in the pile.

Carol: Carol tossed out a large selection of shades of blue and black denim from the closet.

Jean: Jean snatched up a pair with a squeak and inspected them quickly, then flung them at Carol. "Perfect! Also, you may have noticed I'm wearing boots, too. Boots are always appropriate." She sniffed and plucked out a black, semi-modern shirt that should show off Carol's rack to advantage. "Score!"

Carol: "Awesome..." Carol caught the pants with her face. She grabbed a pair of boots from the floor, "Oh you found something that didn't make you want to cry?"

Jean: "I did! As long as you have a good bra - a good black bra - she amended," giving Carol a critical look, "Then your girls will stun!"

Carol: "Oh, underwear is something I do well," she assured Jean, "I consider it part of my uniform."

Jean: "You do have redeeming qualities!" Jean beamed at her and scooted aside some of the pile to gracefully flop on Carol's bed. "Nooow, do you have any makeup?"

Carol: Carol raised an eyebrow at her, "Why?"

Jean: "So I can perform magic?" Jean smirked at Carol.

Carol: Carol's eyebrows rose, "What's wrong with my face?"

Jean: "There's nothing wrong with it, but I can make it better!" Well, those eyebrows needed work, buuuut...

Carol: "Leave my face alone. It's fine." She picked up the top Jean had decided she was wearing and went to get a bra from the drawer.

Jean: "It is fine! But you can always enhance - do you not have any?" Jean sat back up to watch her.

Carol: "There might be mascara and eyeliner somewhere... but I couldn't tell you where..." she gestured at the boxes that she hadn't opened yet. "Makeup and I aren't friends... Usually ends up coming off or getting disguised by dirt."

Jean: Jean was shocked and appalled by this revelation. "No lipstick?"

Carol: Carol shook her head, "Nope..." The look on Jean's face was kind of hilarious though. She stepped into the bathroom and closed the door a little way so she could change.

Jean: "Not even lip gloss?" She wasn't giving up on Carol! No woman left behind!

Carol: Carol shook her head even though Jean couldn't see her, "When I had long hair it would stick... and I have a nervous habit where I chew my lip so the constant reapplying... it's not really great in my workplace environment."

Jean: "I have long hair." She flipped it. "But I wear liquid lipstick. It doesn't get sticky or come off." Jean smirked and decided to play it up, her tone turning seductive. "Like, no matter what you decide to do..."

Carol: Carol leaned into view to wrinkle her nose at Jean. "I didn't need that mental image, thanks though..."

Jean: She grinned. "You're welcome!" She swung her legs around to plant her feet on the floor again and checked her shirt's boob window before adjusting it. "Seriously, though. I can hook you up."

Carol: "It'd be a waste of time..." Carol called back through the door as she pulled her shirt on.

Jean: "No, it wouldn't," she said in a sing-song voice. "You're totally hot. You just gotta, you know, play it up!" Jean tipped her head to check Carol out. As a friend, OFC.

Carol: "Why?" She came out of the bathroom and tossed the things she had been wearing into the hamper... mostly. "I work and I sleep. That is my life. Where in there do I need to bother with looking nice?"

Jean: Jean just blinked. "Uh, well, looking nice helps me feel better about... well, everything."

Carol: "Yeah... spending my working day in a uniform and secret lingerie is all the looking nice I have the energy for in a day." She sat down to put her boots on, "And I feel fine when I'm in jeans and a nerd shirt..."

Jean: She turned toward Carol and shrugged, then started to rummage in her bag. "Okay, so there any good bars around here? Or like, foody bars? Because I am starving, but I could use a drink for three, too." Jean held up her lipstick and waggled her manicured brows at Carol in hope.

Carol: "Yeah there's a couple on the edge of the city..." she shook her head at the offer of lipstick and reached to grab a jacket because weather dictated she bring one even though she didn't need it.

Jean: Jean gave a dramatic, defeated huff and put her lipstick back, then produced a bottle of infused gummies and rattled it at her with a big grin.

Carol: Carol shook her head to that offer too, "Random drug tests," she supplied. Sure, her powers might negate that ever being a problem but they also might not. She wasn't going to take that chance. "Come on..." she nodded toward the door, "What do you want to eat?" She slid her arms into the jacket sleeves as she pulled the door closed behind her.

Jean: "Anything... I had, like, a smoothie for breakfast and lotsa coffee today and that's it." Jean followed along behind Carol and paused just before she popped two gummies into her mouth. "Drug tests! Oh, fuck me."

[Time Passes]

Carol: Carol was feeling much better now that they were in a bar and she had a glass of scotch on the table in front of her... though, she was pretty sure her choice of drink was getting more frowns from Jean. This only made her want to drink more which would result in more frowning. It was a vicious cycle of scotch and lack-of-girlness shame.

Jean: Her companion for the evening seemed edgy, but between the gummies - fuck those drug tests; they knew she ran a dispensary and she had a lawyer - and the delicious bourbon sidecar she was nursing while they waited for their apps had done a lot to improve her evening.

Carol: Carol sipped her scotch and looked around the bar. It had been a long time since she'd been here and she couldn't remember if that was because she'd decided she didn't like it here or because something happened here or just because she moved away and forgot it was kind of decent.

Jean: Jean thought the place seemed nice, and her drink was yum. The verdict was still out on the food since it hadn't arrived yet, but hey. "It kind of reminds me of Vito's back in Westchester..."

Carol: "Yeah?" Carol turned her attention to Jean, "That good or bad?"

Jean: She shrugged. "It was where all the students went, so they were used to us. It had decent food and strong drinks, so what else could you want?" Jean gave Carol a grin and took another sip of her drink. This place had the strong drinks down.

Carol: "What every student needs..." she toasted this sentiment with another sip of her own. "From what I remember, the food here is good... unless they somehow went downhill since I was last here."

Jean: Jean looked around. It was darkish, as most of your old school bar restaurants tended to be. Lots of corners to lurk in, a small unused stage area and dance floor, lots of vinyl albums on the walls along with other local color. It was also surprisingly busy. "Seems popular enough," she noted, taking another drink.

Carol: "That's always a good sign," she paused and shrugged a shoulder, "Or it means someone on the bar staff is super hot."

Jean: Jean giggled. "Well, we can hope, right?" She took another drink and hit a pocket of pure bourbon. One eye closed. Yikes. Someone hadn't stirred.

Carol: Carol cocked her head on one side, "We might be hoping for different things."

Jean: "Well I'm totes not picking anyone up!" Jean sputtered a little, taking another drink to get rid of the burn. "But I can look."

Carol: She laughed at the reaction, "Sure, but what are you hoping to look at?"

Jean: "I don't know," she giggled, shaking her head. "You're the one who brought up hot bar staff!"

Carol: "Yeah, I was thinking boobs... what were you thinking?"

Jean: "Boobs are always good." Jean let her eyes flick down to Carol's then back to her face. She smirked. "Hot guys, hot girls... I'll enjoy either view."

Carol: Carol felt like she should put her jacket back on, "Now I'm rethinking letting you dress me."

Jean: Jean giggled. "Oh, relax. You're safe. I have Jamie." She finished off her drink and licked her lips, enjoying her growing buzz. "But yeah... after we broke up, I kind of mostly stuck with girls. Being with another guy? I just... couldn't."

Carol: "Yeah..." and now she needed more scotch because she needed the rest of that glass to deal with those feelings she was trying to ignore.

Jean: She watched Carol shotgun down the last of that scotch and blinked. "You okay there?" She waved at their waitress. Where the fuck was the food anyway?

Carol: "I'm fine..." lies. "Want another drink?"

Jean: "Sure." She eyed Carol. Lies. The waitress took their refill order and promised the food was on the way.

Jamie: Jamie strolled in and tossed his jacket to the coat stand where it landed effortlessly, of course. He shot a smile at a couple of regulars and slid behind the bar. "Hey, Freddy." Before the other bartender was even able to open his mouth, Jamie started up again, "Yeah, yeah. I'm late. But only by like fifteen minutes. It's fine. I'll still top your tips. Just watch. See you tomorrow, man."

Carol: Now what to do while she waited for more scotch....? She looked around for ideas.

Jean: Jean shivered, frowning to herself. Jamie? No. She closed her eyes. He was on his boring stake out across town. It was more of a weird echo... Dupe?! Her eyes shot open and she looked around.

Jamie: Jamie slid a drink down the bar with a wink at the brunette in the condom veil. Definitely getting more tips. He spun a bottle on his palm as he poured a mixed drink for a guy trying to hit on a girl waaay out of his league, giving him a grin before turning a sexier version of it on the girl he was trying to bone. He'd be taking her home tonight and it would be hilarious to see this dude's face as they walk out.

Carol: Carol's eyes fell on the activity at the bar and she cocked her head on one side, "Hey.... is that...?" she glanced at Jean.

Jean: It'd only taken her a moment to locate him and she'd been watching the show. Jean's long nails tapped a pattern on the table. "Sort of." She looked back at Carol with a snort. "It's a dupe."

Carol: Carol's gaze slid back to the dupe at the bar, "... Wow. That's..." she didn't know if there was a word in any language for what that was.

Jean: "Super weird? Yep." Jean also looked back at the bar. "I can feel him. It's... real weird."

Jamie: He smirked as he accepted the tip from the blonde for the martini, "Thanks, babe." He pocketed the tip and glanced at the napkin she'd written her number on. Jamie locked eyes with hers, kissed the napkin, then slipped it into his breast pocket.

Jamie: She giggled and tittered, just like he knew she would, then she scampered back to her friends, proud of herself for getting up the nerve to do that. He'd call her tomorrow for a mid-day bang. Maybe.

Carol: "Oh wow... he's obnoxious..." Carol watched this display with a look of disgust.

Jean: Jean was torn. Carol was right and he was totally obnoxious, but he was also her boyfriend - or, part of him anyway - so part of her wanted to go murder that blonde. No, Jean. Bad. "Yeaaaaah."

Jean: "Oh fuck, he's gonna make our drinks," she realized with a giggle, looking at Carol again.

Carol: "Does that mean he's going to look over here?" Or worse... Now she wanted her jacket again.

Jean: "Probably eventually... and that could get really awkward, since he's, like, not in the loop when he sees me fuck knows what he'll do." Jean gave Jamie a mental poke.

Carol: "So I should stay here and not hide in the bathroom?"

Jean: "If you're hiding in the bathroom then I'm hiding in the bathroom with you." Jean picked up her phone and read Jamie's text proclaiming he was working and asking what she needed. "Yeah, you're working it alright." She took a stealth pic of the bar and sent it to him. [Missing something?]

Jamie: Jamie scanned past the bar to the tables, looking to see who needed what and his eyes froze on a redhead at table eight. His nose twitched and he went into the kitchen to find out what they had ordered and to let whoever had their table know it was his now. Oh good! Their food was up. He grinned wryly and brought it out, stopping at the bar for a refill for blondie.

Carol: Oh food was here. And more scotch... with a side of creeper. Now she needed another drink.

Jamie: He came up behind Jean, reaching over her shoulder to slide the drink to the busty blonde, then set their food down. "Order up, ladies."

Jean: A shiver went up her spine as she sensed his approach and she froze when he reached over her. Flirty little fucker. Jean swallowed and looked up, meeting his eyes. "Thank you, Jamie." Her head cocked and she was proud her voice sounded almost normal. "Or is it John? James?"

Jamie: "Oh no, babe. It's Jamie." He gave her a grin and didn't bother to hide his glance down her shirt, then brought his eyes back up to hers. Matching her gorgeous eyes with his own, he cocked an eyebrow. "What are you drinking tonight? A Mohawk? Want me to put some grenadine in it? Make it pink?"

Jean: She'd expected almost anything but that and she faltered, biting down on her lower lip to stop it from shaking. Her eyes were stinging and she couldn't hold eye contact, gaze dropping to his shoulder. Jean folded her hands in her lap and cleared her throat, taking a deep breath before she could answer him. "No. Bourbon sidecar, please."

Carol: Carol gave Jean's foot a nudge under the table. No! You are not allowed to fold! She wondered if Jean would pick up on the sentiment. She could not handle this guy on her own without more scotch. She was out of practice.

Jamie: Jamie was proud of himself that he didn't wince when she looked like she was about to cry. Point one: Team Madrox. He picked up all three empty glasses, "One scotch, one bourbon sidecar coming right up."

Carol: Carol decided to give in to the call of the dark side because fuck tonight. "Can you just bring the bottle?"

Jamie: Jamie shot her a wink, "Only the best for you, babe."

Jean: Jean took a deep breath when he vanished and whipped out her phone. [He's a dick] she told Jamie Prime, then set her phone down. She didn't think a dupe could get to her like that, but they really were Jamie... almost. So, knowing how close to the surface his anger at her was... it hurt.

Jean: "Sorry," she told Carol, reaching to pick at their nachos. "He... caught me off guard."

Carol: "Don't apologise for... that..." she gestured vaguely after creeperJamie, "But also don't let it get to you. You know better... and I can't deal with that on my own."

Jean: "I knoooow," she whined, prodding the plate closer to Carol to share. "He just knew exactly what button to push." Jean sniffed and rolled her eyes at herself. "Hopefully whatever the fuck he ends up bringing me is strong as fuck."

Carol: "Well he's bringing me all the scotch so you can have some if it'll help... and for sure he won't have spit in that."

Jamie: Jamie finished Jean's drink with a surreptitious glance at her, wondering if Prime knew she was around. Probably not. Poor bastard. He plucked an edible flower from the plant growing behind the bar for just this purpose and set it delicately inside one of the loops of the lemon peel twist. Perfection. Next!

Jamie: He spun around on his heel to face his bar back and clicked his tongue as he mulled over which bottle to bring. That one? Definitely that one. He poured a fresh glass for her, tucked the bottle under his arm, picked up the two beautiful drinks, and headed back to their table.

Jean: "He wouldn't do... that..." Her nose wrinkled as she hoped she was right. She felt him again and looked up, directly into his eyes as he approached. It was Jamie, but... this one had a cocksure swagger she found half annoying and half arousing. Dammit.

Carol: "Well I hope not for your sake...." she munched some nachos and watched creeperJamie suspiciously.

Jamie: Jamie set their drinks down carefully, then produced the expensive bottle with a flourish to Carol. "On the house, gorgeous."

Jean: Jean looked down, although it was to hide a snort this time. Wow.

Carol: Her eyebrows went up. Well if it was free.... "It's going to a good home, I promise." Maybe he wasn't so bad... No! Bad! Bad, dark side!

Jamie: "I have no doubt," he winked at her then looked at Jean. "Ladies. If you need anything else, I'm taking over for your server this evening. Enjoy."

Jean: Oh, greaaaat. She closed her eyes until he was gone. Jean looked back up and took in the bottle, giving Carol a sheepish grin. "Well hey, it looks like you're gonna come out ahead tonight."

Jean: Jean finally looked at her own drink. It was the right shade of orange and there was a pretty little flower in the fancy garnish. Her first one hadn't had a garnish at all. Jean glanced over at the bar, watching him for a moment, before she finally took a sip. "Mmm!"

Jamie: Jamie was watching Jean from under his lashes as he poured another drink for a customer, waiting for her to notice her drink. The corner of his mouth twitched up when she obviously enjoyed the flavor. Satisfied for now, he went back to his usual routine of flirting and showboating for hella tips and phone numbers.

Carol: "I guess you're not doing so bad either, huh?" She laughed, "I can't complain about free scotch... and this is even good free scotch. Which I'm going to need more than ever now, apparently."

Jean: "I'm sorry I failed at girls night. At least you're not alone in the creepy nuthouse?" She gave Carol a hopeful grin and popped another nacho in her mouth. As she chewed, she debated what to do with this dupe, especially since Jamie wasn't being helpful. "If you need to punch him later, go for it. Just don't break anything... mine would feel it."

Carol: "If I punch him I'll probably break something by accident..." Carol admitted, "Not so good with the anger management..."

Jean: "Okay, yikes. Don't punch him then." She sighed and took another sip of her drink. Dammit, it was really tasty. "I should talk to him," she decided, looking back over at the bar.

Carol: Carol blinked at her, "You gonna try make nice?"

Jean: She winced. "Yeaaaaaaah? I guess?"

Carol: "Well... good luck... but whatever happens, you can't just leave me here, okay?"

Jean: "I won't leave you here..." Jean was confused for a moment. "Oh! Noooo, I'm not, like, leaving with him. That'd be ... awkward doesn't even remotely cover it."

Carol: "...that is not what I meant. Hadn't even crossed my mind." She shook her head, "I kind of meant just leaving because you were mad or something..."

Jean: "Oh! No. If I try to talk to him like a grown-ass adult and he's a dick I'm just gonna ignore him and let Jamie decide what he wants to do with him." She shrugged. "But this is... weird. Sooo, I wanna see if I can fix it."

Carol: "Have at it... I'll just be here... eating all the nachos and drinking all the scotch..." she gestured for Jean to go off to the bar if she wanted to.

Jean: Jean sucked in a deep breath. "Imma eat some nachos to dilute the bourbon first," she decided, grabbing one to stuff in her mouth.

Carol: "You think that'll help?" Carol eyed her and wondered if Jean even remembered eating the pot gummies.

Jean: She shrugged one shoulder, flipping her hair over it. "Can't hurt, right?" Jean was watching the dupe from the corner of her eye.

Carol: "I don't know... personally I think being a little drunk might be more helpful in this situation..."

Jamie: Jamie casually leaned over the bar, teaching a group of ladies out celebrating a 21st birthday how to do a true tequila shot. Making sure to use his eyes to their full potential the whole time, of course.

Jean: "Noooo. This is Jamie." She made a face at his antics. "Sort of."

Carol: "I still don't see why being drunk wouldn't be helpful..." she shrugged, picking up her glass, "But you know your guy so...."

Jean: "Because he's smarter than he looks. Generally." Jean grabbed another nacho for courage.

Carol: "So you don't want him to catch you out? It's not like you're lying... I think you're overthinking this."

Jean: "No, but it's just... complicated." She sighed. "Also I do not want this one to make me cry."

Carol: "Then you should definitely be more drunk," Carol determined.

Jean: "Yeah, no, that makes crying more likely." Her nose wrinkled and she took a deep breath and stood up. The room spun a bit. Well, fuck. Jean straightened her mini skirt and checked her boobs.

Carol: "Good luck..." she toasted this sentiment with her glass of scotch. "I'll just wait here."

Jean: "Enjoy the show," she smirked, then turned for the bar. She may have used her teke to keep her walking in a straight line.

Jamie: Jamie's eyes cut to Jean as she closed in on the bar and he broke the lime-kiss, leaving the lime for the girl to suck on. He mumbled a vague apology and walked over to the open spot Jean was heading for. "What can I get you? Tequila shots are popular tonight."

Jean: "So I see." Jean wriggled her way onto the tall bar stool and smirked at the giggling girls. Part of her wanted to take his challenge, but it was probably the drunk part.

Jamie: Jamie smirked and reached out for a curl, "Wanna show 'em how it's really done?"

Jean: She let him play with her hair and met his eyes, matching his expression. "Maybe later. Right now, I wanna talk."

Jamie: "Talk is cheap, baby. Action is the only play that means anything."

Jean: She restrained her snerk. "Riiight. Okay, man of action, when was the last time you checked in with your boss?"

Jamie: Jamie frowned and dropped his hand, "What's that supposed to mean? I am the boss."

Jean: Jean gave him a slow blink. "You're not Jamie Prime."

Jamie: He took a small step back, but covered by grabbing for the tequila he'd been using with the girls. Jamie set a clean shot glass on the bar in front of Jean and filled it to the brim. "Babe, I'm as Prime as you're gonna get."

Jean: She cocked her head, but decided to play along. "Is that right?"

Jamie: "Yep." Jamie set the rock salt shaker on the bar and grabbed a lime wedge. "Free body shot?"

Jamie: He let his eyes linger on her lips for a moment, then went back up to meet her eyes, "For old times sake, of course."

Jean: "For old times sake," she agreed, meeting his eyes and giving the inside of her wrist a slow, thorough lick before she presented it to him for the salt.

Jamie: Jamie gave her a slow grin and sprinkled her wrist with the salt. "You sure you wouldn't rather lick the salt off of me? Because that can be arranged."

Carol: Carol watched the two at the bar for a little while... it seemed to be going well. But now she was on her own again and armed with scotch. Never good.

Jean: Jean resisted the urge to tell him what she'd licked off Jamie Prime this morning. "Maybe we'll arrange that later."

Jamie: "It's less fun when you can't make the girls over there jealous of our connection. You know you want to, Jeannie."

Jean: "Oh, more than you know." Her smirk softened a little when he called her by her pet name and she studied his face. If she'd run into him a month ago? This would have been excruciating.

Jamie: "So why not go for it? I'll take this one since you're already nice and primed for me to be able to lick you and then you can lick salt off of me."

Jean: Jean giggled. "Fiiiine." Picking up a piece of lime, she secured it with her teeth and shot a look over at Carol. Wow, how much of that bottle had she already drank?

Carol: The answer was probably too much but she didn't have anything else to do and she didn't want to get stuck in her brain. So, instead, she turned in her chair to look around the bar rather than watch Jean and see who looked fun.

Jamie: Jamie gave her a wolfish grin, shot a look at the girls who were watching them intently, then licked the salt off slowly, eyes back on Jean's face. Once the salt was gone, he gave her wrist a tiny nip, took the shot, and leaned over the bar for the lime in her mouth.

Jean: She couldn't help the shiver when she felt his teeth on her skin, and then there were lips!

Jamie: Jamie bit into the lime, sucking the juice from it, but also pressing his lips firmly to hers. He couldn't help the grin at the chorus of cheers and boos coming from all around them at the bar. Jamie pulled back with a smile, "See? Wasn't so bad, was it?"

Jean: Jean spit the rind into her hand and licked her lips, laughing despite herself. "Oh, I don't know. Could have been better." She smirked and picked up a napkin to get rid of the rind, still tasting the lime juice and a hint of the tequila and salt as she made a show of it herself, eyes locked on his.

Carol: Finally having enough scotch on board and no supervision, Carol fell back into old patterns from DC. She got up from her chair, picked up her jacket to bring with her, then invited herself to sit down with the most interesting looking group of people in the bar.

Jamie: Jamie glanced up at movement from Carol. "Should we invite her to join us? I dig blondes."

Jean: That made Jean turn back to check on Carol. Oh, great. She looked back at Jamie. "You remember who she is, right?"

Jamie: "Yeah? And?" He gave Jean a grin, "You two together now?"

Jean: Jean's nose wrinkled. "Um, no." She looked back at Carol again, but she was just talking, so she returned to the problem at hand. She took in his face and resisted the urge to touch it. "Actually, I'm with Prime."

Jamie: Jamie laughed at that. "Yeah, okay, and I'm the least popular guy in the room." He set up a new shot for her to take and stuck the lime in his mouth as he offered her his wrist.

Jean: She narrowed her eyes at him and lowered her voice enough so his gaggle of admirers wouldn't hear. "Aaaand you remember my powers, right?"

Jean: Jean let that sink in for a moment before she took his wrist, running her thumb over his skin as she leaned down and gave it a lingering lick, swirling her tongue over his pulse.

Jamie: He cleared his throat but couldn't do much else with the lime wedged between his teeth. Jamie's eyes were trained on her tongue and he completely forgot there were other people around. How did she do that to him? That's just not right.

Carol: Carol was making friends while bemoaning that her friend had abandoned her for the bartender. Her new friends informed her that this happens a lot. Rude!

Jean: She could sense she'd finally gotten to him, if just a little. She sprinkled the salt and lapped it up, keeping her eyes on his. Taking the shot and barely hiding her wince, she went for the lime, dropping his wrist to slide her hand across his neck as she delicately sucked and nibbled at the fruit.

Jamie: Jamie refused to make any sounds, but he really wanted to. Instead, he leaned into her just a bit, trying to persuade her to do something a little less delicate.

Carol: There was a lot of kissing and whatever going on over there for someone who was supposed to be talking. The compulsion to use the finger-gun was strong.

Jean: Her next move was less delicate, but probably not in the way he'd hoped. Jean tapped on his mental shielding. You don't believe me, but it's true. She wound her fingers into his hair and pressed her lips to his.

Jean: She let him feel her link to Jamie Prime, and the echo of the link in his own head. Breaking the kiss, she pulled back to look at him, this time prepared for anything.

Jamie: Jamie just stared at her, lime still between his teeth. What the actual fuck? After a long moment, he turned his head and spit the lime into the trash beside him. "That's messed up."

Jean: She sat up straighter and folded her hands on the bar. "I did try to tell you."

Jamie: "Well he didn't."

Jean: "Clearly not. He knows you're here now, but he was less than helpful about it." She cocked her head and regarded him. "How long has it been? Since you talked to him? Since you... got here?"

Jamie: Jamie scrunched up half of his face and ruffled his hair as he thought about that. "Three years. Ish. I'm perfecting my craft."

Jean: "Wow... well, my drink tasted awesome, so I think you've got it," she offered with a small smile. "I can't believe neither of you have talked in... that long. Like, how would you know when to go back?"

Jamie: "I... don't? I'm enjoying myself. Why would I go back? That's ludicrous." Jamie shook his head with a laugh and went to pop the top off a couple of beers for a guy who just walked up. "I'm living the best life here. Plenty of money, booze, and women to go around."

Jean: Jean had been around her share of dupes over the years, but a lot of them were less... put together than this one. "Because..." She waited for the guy to go away. "You're part of him? And that's why he sent you guys out? To learn stuff and come back?"

Jamie: He laughed again and leaned on the bar with his forearms crossed. "Yeah, so? There's no time limit. He doesn't know that I'm damn good at what I do. For all he knows, I'm dropping glasses and bottles every time I try to make a simple wine spritzer."

Jean: This brought him close to her again, her folded hands almost touching his arms on the bar. She glanced down, then up and raised a brow. "Except now I know you're here and I already told him? And I know you're good at it?" She hadn't told her Jamie that part, yet.

Jamie: "Oh, c'mon, Jeannie. You don't really want me to disappear, do you? I'm a lot more fun than he is." He gave her a saucy grin, "I can prove it if you want."

Jean: "You're not as different from him as you want to believe," she said, shaking her head with a giggle. Unable to resist, she raised her hand and brushed her fingertips over his scruffy cheek.

Jamie: Jamie met her eyes, enjoying the touch of her fingers on his scruff. "Oh no? I can do things to you that he can't." He leaned forward to whisper in her ear just what he could to to her that Prime couldn't since he wouldn't duplicate.

Jean: She closed her eyes and smirked, letting his voice wash over her. After a moment, she turned her head to return the favor. "Oh, he can do that now, too," she whispered, pulling back to give him a wicked grin.

Jamie: Jamie frowned at her, utterly confused. "He can stop his duplication? What? No way."

Jean: Since she was still half petting him, she tapped his frown with a finger. "Yup." Jean wasn't gonna tell him how just yet, but it was the truth.

Jamie: One eyebrow went up, skeptical. "Oh yeah? How?"

Jean: "Magic." Since he didn't seem to mind her continued touch, Jean slid her hand back to his jaw again and enjoying the annoyed buzz of the girls watching. "You wouldn't disappear. You're him. He's you. Different experiences, same man."

Jamie: Jamie laughed. "Magic. Right. We haven't believed in magic in years. What, did he finally figure out how dad made the jacket or something? Because if that's the case..." He leaned in again, "It's so much better when we're both naked."

Jean: Jean smirked. "I do love you naked."

Jamie: "And he can't be naked for what I'm thinking. But I can." He propped his elbow on the bar so he could twirl a curl around his finger. "Whaddya say, Jeannie?"

Jean: She watched him play with her hair and it did make her smile. "Jamie," she started, licking her lips and catching his eyes again. "Are you happy here?"

Jamie: "I'd be happier somewhere that I can show you just what I'm talking about," he grinned. "C'mon, babe. I know you want to."

Jean: She rolled her eyes. "Nice dodge, bar boy."

Jamie: "Not a dodge. It's the absolute truth. Promise. And the correct term is barman."

Jean: Jean laughed, shaking her head. Maybe she didn't want this one and his parade of skank memories in Jamie's brain.

Jamie: Jamie tilted his head at her laugh, "What? Thinking about how fun it will be if we go find a quiet hotel room to make loud?”

Jean: "You are really sure of yourself, aren't you?" she giggled. It was fun, and she'd be lying if she said she wasn't tempted, because it was Jamie, buuuuut it wasn't. Jean glanced over at Carol, who must have finished that bottle. Wow. "What kind of friend would I be if I left her here? And before you ask, no, she can't join."

Jamie: "I already asked, Jeannie. You just hadn't answered yet." He turned his head to nip lightly at her fingertips. "I get off in about five hours. I can pick you up then. Or we can just have some fun at your place. Either way works for me."

Jean: She sighed and cupped his cheek one more time to escape his teeth and let her hand fall to his forearm. "My place," she started, glancing down at the ring on her finger. "Is with him. When you get tired of this?" Jean looked around the bar, then back to his face. "Go home, and I'll be there."

Jamie: Jamie looked down at the ring on her finger. Right hand. Interesting. "Sorry, babe. I'll never get tired of this." He shot a wink at a girl who was walking up to make an order in a show of acknowledgment. "If you don't want to have a wild time, I can't make you. You lost out on that four years ago." He pat her hand on his arm, gave her a smile, and went to see what the new girl was needing.

Jean: Jean watched him, checking her phone for any messages from her Jamie. Maybe this one was better off without her? If he didn't love her anymore, and Jamie Prime absorbed him, would he stop loving her too? Oh, fuck. Her heart twisted painfully in her chest. Nonono. Why was this so complicated?! His powers made her head hurt!

Jean: Maybe Carol was right and she should have been more drunk for this. Jean looked up at the table Carol had invaded. It was empty. "Fuck me," she whispered.

Jamie: "That's what I've been trying to do," he mumbled in her direction while he mixed up the buttery nipples.

Jean: Her head whipped back to him so fast her hair swirled. Jean rolled her eyes at him. "Guess you didn't try hard enough." She slid off the bar stool and dug through her bag for her wallet, already telepathically scanning the bathroom and the building for Carol. Nope, just Jamie Lite here. Shiiiiit.

Jamie: "Guess I just don't care enough to try harder." Jamie shrugged and saw her digging through her purse. "Drinks and food's on the house. There's an Uber driver who circles the block for people who need rides if you need one." AKA: GTFO.

Jean: She paused, swallowing. Dupe or not, it still hurt, dammit. Jean went back to her wallet and pulled out a couple of large bills anyway, slapping them on the bar and holding her hand on top.

Jean: "I've already told him this," she said quietly, not quite looking at him since her eyes were burning, "but you deserve to hear it too. I'm sorry, for everything. I never should have left things the way I did, and I never stopped loving you." She licked her lips, trying to stop her voice from shaking, but instead just nodded, patted the bills, and turned to walk away.

Jamie: Jamie dove half-way over the bar to grab her wrist and pulled her back to give her a heated kiss.

Jean: Jean jumped and squeaked, finding herself spun around. Lips! Again! She couldn't help herself and returned the kiss, raising her free hand to his face again.

Jamie: Jamie let himself enjoy the kiss for a long moment, but finally broke apart, gave her a smile, and shrugged again. "I'm sorry it ended the way it did. I should have left you when you first tried to walk all over me. But, live and learn."

Jean: She mirrored the shrug, licking her lips. "I'm not that bitch anymore, just like you're not that naive farm kid, and neither is he. I'm gonna spend the rest of our lives making it up to him."

Jamie: "Ha! Good luck with that one. You'll get bored again or distracted by a different sort of mating plumage. And when he comes looking for a way to drown his sorrows? Then I'll let him reabsorb me. Because then we'll both be done with you in an instant. Heartbreak over."

Jean: Jean sighed. She was never not gonna feel terrible about the Quire thing, but at least this time she was ready for it. "Don't hold your breath waiting for that." She gave her wrist in his hand a significant look.

Jamie: "You know I'm right, Jean. I don't need to hear you say it. It's written all over your face." He brought her hand up to kiss the back of it then let her wrist drop from his hand. "Have a nice life."

Jean: "I think you need glasses then, babe." She took her hand back. "You, too." Jean adjusted the strap of her bag and turned back for the door.

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