12/16 Issue: Talk of Shame

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12/16 Issue: Talk of Shame

Post by Svartfreja » Wed Dec 16, 2020 5:10 pm

Timelined for the morning after [Issue]Super Duper.


<Jean> Jean had a bit of a headache today, but it had nothing to do with a hangover. She had no idea if the retinal scan, handprint, biometric voodoo Stark bullshit was working yet or not, but she planned to Jedi mind trick the fuck out of whoever she ran into to get inside if she had to.

<Jean> As it turned out, the SHIELD workers were friendly, and they knew who she was. It was weird and also cool. Mostly weird.

<Jean> Once inside, she made a beeline for Carol's room.

<Carol> Carol has only just gotten home and peeled off her clothes from the night before. Now she was in the shower with plans for coffee and some light electrocution to make the hangover go away. She couldn't remember much of last night but she for sure knew how it ended. So much for a fresh start in Boston...

<Jean> Jean didn't bother with knocking, so she opened the bedroom door and immediately heard the shower running. While going in there to yell crossed her mind, lying in wait also seemed appropriate. At least she was alone. Carol's fuzzy mind was the only one in that bathroom.

<Jean> The bed was still covered in clothes, confirming her suspicions for the night. Jean made a clean spot, sat, and crossed her legs.

<Carol> Carol shut off the shower and grabbed a towel to get rid of most of the water on her skin and in her hair before using her powers to take care of the rest, running her fingers through her hair to settle it as she went back into the bedroom. She froze in the doorway.

<Jean> Jean raised one hand and wriggled her fingers in greeting. "You're alive! Good to know."

<Carol> She was fairly sure Jean hadn't been there when she'd gone into the bathroom... "Of course I'm alive... how long you been sitting there?" She crossed to her dresser to find some underwear.

<Jean> "I dunno, how long have you been in the shower?" Jean was watching, but too annoyed to appreciate the view.

<Carol> Carol shrugged a shoulder, "I don't know... ten-ish minutes?" She closed the drawer, going to the closet next to pick out today's nerd-shirt.

<Jean> Jean folded her hands on her knee, rotating her ankle in the little black boots she was sporting today. Unlike Carol, she'd gone home, so her shower was early this morning when she and Jamie got up. "Soooo, what happened?"

<Carol> Carol raised an eyebrow at the question as her head reappeared from the neck of her t-shirt. "I could ask you the same thing. You went to talk and then you started making out. I got bored..."

<Jean> "I wasn't making out! He wouldn't talk unless we did the stupid shots, so I played along." She smoothed out some creases in her shiny gray skinny pants.

<Carol> "That's not what it looked like." There was totally flirty shit going on, "I didn't know how long I was going to have to wait til you actually got around to talking... so I went to make some new friends." Now she had pants! Coffee....

<Jean> "I saw you move tables." Jean's nose wrinkled. "That's when he suggested you join us."

<Carol> She had to laugh at that, even though it made her head hurt, "Well, that would have been less boring."

<Jean> "Maybe, but I definitely wasn't gonna get anything out of him then..." She looked down and picked at her nails. "Not that it was going well anyway."

<Carol> "So what happened in the end?" She was keen to get the subject off of her, "Coffee?" Because she was getting some even if she couldn't find her other shoe. She would go in her socks.

<Jean> "TLDR? He wanted a hate fuck. When I wasn't into it he got nasty." Jean made a face at the room in general. "Then I left to look for you."

<Carol> "Yeah... I was gonna come back - I did go back," she remembered that bit, "But I guess I lost track of time and came back later than I meant to..." She headed for the door to go down to the kitchen and the promise of caffeine.

<Jean> "You did?" Jean bounced to her feet to follow. "Ugh. Was he still there? He told me he was getting off in five hours. Tried to convince me he was Jamie Prime. As if." She made a frustrated sound. "They always fucking forget I can tell. Telepath, duh."

<Carol> "Yeah he was still there making eyes at someone else..." she glanced at Jean, "I looked for you, couldn't find you... went back to the other bar without the creeper-dupe."

<Jean> "I looked around, came back here, drove back by that bar to see if I could sense you, because not dealing with that asshole again." She sighed, floating down the stairs. "Then I gave up and went home to my Jamie."

<Carol> "Well at least we know where not to go for team-bonding drinks in the future..." Carol offered by way of consolation as she headed into the kitchen.

<Jean> "Yeah unless Jamie just reabsorbs him..." That idea made her feel sick, despite his assurances. Jean perched herself on one of the cabinets and crossed her legs, then uncrossed. The counter was a lot harder than the bed. Her nose wrinkled.

<Carol> "You sure you want that assholery back in Jamie's brain?" she leaned against the counter while she waited on the coffee machine.

<Jean> She gripped the edge of the countertop. "No." Jean looked down at her feet as they swung a bit. "Jamie said it wouldn't matter... but he gets all those memories, and fuck knows what all this dupe has been up to..." She sighed. "And he said some pretty terrible shit to me."

<Carol> "So let him stay there doing whatever shit he's been doing for the last... however long." She waved a hand vaguely, "He's not hurting either of you there."

<Jean> "Jamie wants them all back eventually, because they're like... pieces of him, and he lost so many of them." She looked up at Carol. "He sent that one out not long after we broke up, specifically to learn to be a bartender." She snorted. "A mixologist," she said, adding the air quotes.

<Carol> "And then he forgot about it?" Carol turned to take two mugs down as the coffee was nearly done.

<Jean> "Not forgot, but... he does that. It's how he learns lotsa different things at once. It's handy, but weird, since they all live separate lives and he can't always sort out the memories later." Jean shrugged. "The longer they're on their own, the less like the original they are."

<Carol> "But he doesn't check in with them when they're taking for-freaking-ever to learn something? Ask how it's going? Make sure they haven't gone off the reservation?" She poured two cups of coffee and offered one to Jean.

<Jean> "Apparently not," she said, taking the cup with a thanks. "He apologized. Like, profusely, for being a dick, even though it wasn't him."

<Carol> "That is one confusing power..." Carol wrinkled her nose, leaning on the counter again and inhaling the scent of coffee. Ahhhh music to her hungover brain.

<Jean> "Tell me about it," she sighed, sniffing the coffee. "I don't suppose there's any sugar around here? Or, like... anything else?"

<Carol> Carol nodded, "Kitchen's the same," she parroted from the previous day. "SHIELD like to keep their staff well fed."

<Jean> "Yay!" Jean floated down from the counter, since sliding off was gonna be uncomfortable. The dupe was right about Jamie needing the jacket for some things, but... worth it. She checked the fridge and made a pleased noise. She wouldn't even need the sugar! "Caramel mocha! They knoooow me!"

<Carol> Carol gave her a small smile, "See? It's not so bad here."

<Jean> Now that the coffee was doctored to her satisfaction, Jean leaned against the counter and sipped, making a pornographic sound of appreciation.

<Carol> Carol chuckled softly at the sound Jean made, "Apparently it's really not so bad..."

<Jean> "Sooo good." Jean took another drink, expression calculating. "Speaking of, how was the rest of your night after you abandoned me with the Cocktail douche version of my boyfriend?"

<Carol> "It was fun..." or at least what she remembered of it was fun. "Probably more fun than you were having..."

<Jean> "Yeah that pretty much sucked balls. Did you find any eye candy or company for the night?" Jean arched a brow at Carol and gave a suggestive little wriggle.

<Carol> Carol felt herself blush a little and she looked down at her coffee, "Maybe..."

<Jean> Jean perked up. "Oh! Spill! I want the deets!" She sidled closer and took another drink. "Was she hot? Or he?"

<Carol> She thought back to the morning when she woke up before the flailing started, "Yeah he was okay... still looked okay this morning so, that's a good measure."

<Jean> "Ooooh, a boy. Don't get me wrong, girls are fun, but I like guys better, for many reasons." Jean winked. "But just okay? Sad."

<Carol> She shrugged, "It's not like I'm looking for a keeper right now..." she shook her head, "Way too much other stuff going on."

<Jean> "Doesn't have to be a keeper." She echoed the shrug. "Maybe just a regular? Friends with benefits, y'know." That's how she'd spent the last four years anyway.

<Carol> "I don't want that either... plus all my friends are married."

<Jean> "Make new friends?" She grinned. "Fuckable ones!"

<Carol> Carol laughed, "When do you think I'll find time for that?"

<Jean> "What about the one from last night?" Jean floated back onto the cabinet. "I mean, was he an asshole about it this morning or something?"

<Carol> Carol shook her head slowly then decided to hide from further explanation by taking a long drink from her mug. Noooooope....

<Jean> Jean rolled her eyes and took a drink. "Well, point still stands."

<Carol> "I don't think I have the time to make a new friend... new job and everything... Kinda waiting to see how things work out..."

<Jean> "Old friend then maybe?" Jean forgot again and crossed her legs, then uncrossed.

<Carol> "All married, remember?" She shook her head, "I have bigger problems right now than getting laid on the regular..."

<Jean> "Fine," she sighed, supposing she could understand. It'd been a lower priority for her for a while, too. "Oh! OMG! You know what he asked me? My Jamie?!"

<Carol> Carol shook her head, "No? You gonna tell me or make me guess?"

<Jean> "He asked me why I didn't fuck him!" Jean was still torn on this herself and took a sip of coffee to sort her thoughts.

<Carol> She laughed, "Oh wow... did you mention that he was a slimy douchebag?"

<Jean> "Well, I didn't put it exactly like that or he'd get all offended. 'But it's me, babe'!" She mimicked his deeper voice and wrinkled her nose. "I mean, it is, but it's sooo not."

<Carol> "He's had a few years to become not so much like the original... and he did it all wrong..." she echoed the nose wrinkle, "But hey, at least I didn't have to pay for expensive scotch."

<Jean> "There is that," she giggled, although she had totally paid for it. Jean hadn't wanted to owe him anything, especially once he started to make his feelings clear.

<Carol> "I guess we'll have to find a new bar though..." she looked over at Jean, setting her sadly empty mug on the counter.

<Jean> "Uh. Yeah." She took another drink, looking down into her mug. "I don't wanna have to deal with him. He told me I was gonna break Jamie's heart again and that when I did he'd let him reabsorb him and they'd finally be rid of me forever."

<Carol> "You sure you don't want me to punch him?" Carol decided she needed more coffee.

<Jean> Jean giggled and looked up. "Tempting, but no, because unfortunately mine would feel it and he didn't do anything wrong." Jean thought about this. "I'd also feel it through the link, so that is totes a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face."

<Carol> "You can't block it? I thought you were some kind of super telepath?"

<Jean> "For myself? Yeah." She just chose not to shield from him. "For him? I... don't know? He's got his own kind of telepathy with them, but it's way different than mine."

<Carol> "Probably should see just in case..." she glanced at Jean as she poured more coffee. "Never know when it might come in handy...."

<Jean> "I never tried it. We never even talked about it, but... after what happened to him with the cannibals..." Jean held out her mug and gave Carol a hopeful look. "We should really try."

<Carol> Carol took Jean's mug to top it up, "Yeah, exactly... the superhero gig isn't exactly the safest job on the planet... I mean... it's fine for me because I'm all indestructible but you're all.... squishy."

<Jean> Jean's eyebrows shot up. "I am not!"

<Carol> Carol blinked at her, "Sure you are..."

<Jean> She sat up and prodded at her own flat belly. "Um, while I do know that you mean not invulnerable, can we rephrase?"

<Carol> She laughed, "What word would you prefer?" She offered Jean her refilled coffee.

<Jean> "I don't know," she laughed, shaking her head. "But I do too many crunches and run too many miles to let squishy stand, bitch!" Jean took the cup back with thanks. It'd fucked up her chocolate to coffee ratio, but caffeine.

<Carol> "Until I'm given a better word to use, squishy will be the word. Gonna have to deal with it."

<Jean> Jean made a frustrated noise, rolling her eyes. "Anyway. We had the link before, too, when we were at the school. Just... neither of us got hurt again." Well, that was a new thing to worry about. Great.

<Carol> "And we will try to make sure no one gets hurt on this new team... but we're not stupid." She took a sip from her refilled mug. "The uniforms have been upgraded with that in mind."

<Jean> "Upgraded?" It'd felt pretty much the same as the old ones when she wore it at the press conference. And after, when she'd taken it home for playtime.

<Carol> Carol nodded, "The fabric has been improved - it now self-repairs. And the protective stuff is better... plus for you squishier types there's extra body armour you can put on over the top."

<Jean> "Self repairs. Nifty!" Jean's nose wrinkled at the term. Again. "Body armor, huh? I'm hoping being on fire will discourage people from messing with me."

<Carol> "Crazy people with guns don't tend to look at the whole situation before they start shooting... better to be safe than sorry. They should also be able to withstand significant impacts so.... if you fall off something you won't go splat."

<Jean> That made her nose wrinkle further. "As long as I have my powers I should be good."

<Carol> Carol nodded, "Yep..." she left that there.

<Jean> She made a noise. "Why did I sign up for this again?"

<Carol> "Because it's fun!" Carol turned up the false enthusiasm.

<Jean> "Absolutely! I love getting shot at!" Jean put on a manic grin to match her deadpan delivery. "Yeah, maybe I should shield from him... when I'm on duty. He's not gonna like it."

<Carol> "Yeah probably for the best... you don't need to be getting all distracted on the job either."

<Jean> "Me?! Distracted?!"

<Carol> That made her laugh hard enough she had to put her coffee down, "You're the queen of distracted."

<Jean> Jean laughed, and could only take a sip of her coffee. She touched her link with Jamie and gave him a quick mental hug from across town when she determined he wasn't doing anything too important. "Sometimes," she allowed.

<Carol> "I would say it's all the pot but you were just as bad, if not worse as a student... I think the pot might be helping."

<Jean> "It's my powers," she sniffed. "Jess is my therapist. Was? Is." She shrugged. "The Viper thing kind of fucked that up, too."

<Carol> "If Jess is helping you, don't let Viper screw that up... Let Jess carry on helping you. She's still exactly the same person she was before you found out about Viper, you just know now."

<Jean> "Yeah, I know." It wasn't really her belief in Jess that was shaken, but, ugh. Not going to get into it again. Jean contemplated her coffee and replayed their conversation from last night, before bar boy.

<Carol> "So carry on seeing her... if it's Viper's spying you're worried about, Jess doesn't have cameras in her office because privacy." Carol picked up her coffee again to take a sip. "There's laws about that, you know."

<Jean> "Viper's a terrorist, you know? She doesn't really follow laws. It's kind of what they do." Jean gave Carol her most innocent smile.

<Carol> "Yeah which is is why Jess made sure that if she hacks the security because it's a hobby, she won't be able to spy on any sessions. Jess follows laws, that's what's important."

<Jean> Jean restrained an eye roll. Sure, Jan. "So, who do you expect to actually live here on site?"

<Carol> Carol shrugged, "I don't know... Beth said she would... maybe Rogue unless she gets a place... probably Cess...."

<Jean> "Cess, huh?" She gave her a coy smirk. After her post press conference gossiping, Jean had a better idea of what was what in their new little group. "Rogue isn't gonna hang with the President?"

<Carol> "I don't know..." she wasn't going to pick up the Cess bait, "Probably split her time... it's not like it's hard for her to go back and forth..."

<Jean> "Yeah, I wish I could fly faster. I might be able to if I practice more, since it's just my teke." Jean took a drink. "Have you talked to Cess?"

<Carol> Carol looked down at her coffee, reminding herself she was holding it so she should manage her emotions a little bit, "No..."

<Jean> Well, that was a roller coaster of emotion. Jean kept her poker face and looked at her own cup. "I'm not gonna pretend I know what happened with you two, but as someone who suffered the consequences of being a dumb bitch for four years... talking to the other party can help."

<Carol> Carol shook her head, "It won't... Nothing's changed."

<Jean> "I can tell you still care about her. I can't really turn off the empathy thing." Unfortunately, sometimes. "It might at least... help clear the air? If you're both living here you'll kind of have to talk..."

<Carol> "So we'll talk about work stuff and leave the rest alone." That was her plan and she was going to stick to it.

<Jean> Jean made a face. "That's awkward." She couldn't even imagine trying that one. It was like her trying to make nice with bar boy. "You know, she might want to talk about it, too?"

<Carol> She shook her head again, putting her coffee down before she broke something, "I don't know why..."

<Jean> "Because she might still care, too? Feelings don't just flip off and on like a switch, even though that would be, like, totally handy at times." Jean made a face and shook herself back on task.

<Carol> "We didn't break up because either of us stopped caring..." she sighed, running a hand through her hair, "I don't want to talk about this... can we not?"

<Jean> "You saw me having a... whatever the fuck that was with an exact duplicate of my now former ex. Maybe if you tell me why you did break up I can help?"

<Carol> "This isn't the same..." she shook her head, "And it's... very personal... so I don't really... we're not that kind of friends..." she didn't want to offend Jean but she couldn't help how she felt and right now she was feeling super uncomfortable.

<Jean> Jean flattened her lips. "So is that the plan with me, too? Talk about work stuff and otherwise nobody needs to know you?"

<Carol> Carol sighed and tipped her head back to look at the ceiling for a moment, "Look... I don't talk about things. That's how I deal. I had one person I used to talk about everything with and he went and died so now there's just me... No one needs to know all the stuff in my head..." Even if Obi seemed determined to pull it all out one way or another.

<Jean> She frowned. "Maybe someone does though? Didn't you just tell me to keep going to Jess?"

<Carol> "I keep having this talk with people.... I'm talking to someone it's just taking a while to get comfortable with talking about everything... there's a lot of stuff that's happened since Steven died..."

<Jean> "Well maybe they are having this talk with you because they can see you're hurting and want to help?" Jean took another sip. "I signed up for this X-Men thing to see if I could do some good with my stupid powers, after all."

<Jean> "Who is Steven?" She looked over the edge of her cup, watching Carol squirm.

<Carol> Carol turned away in a subconscious effort to protect herself, "He was my brother... he and his unit were killed by Sentinels..."

<Jean> "Oh, shit. I'm so sorry. His... unit. Military? Not... mutant?" Jean watched her still, feeling the grief rolling off the older woman.

<Carol> Carol nodded, "He was in the Air Force like me... we both signed up so Joe could go to college... our parents could only afford to send one of us... and Steven was the favourite..."

<Jean> "So... two brothers? I have a sister. She's older than me. Married. Also not a mutant." Jean laughed to herself and took a drink. "She's the favorite in my family."

<Carol> "They're both younger than me... Joe's the youngest... Steven and I were really close..." she swallowed, busying herself with cleaning out the coffee filter. "My dad's never forgiven me..."

<Jean> "I'm sorry, Carol." Jean's voice was sincere. "So he was the one you talked to about things?"

<Carol> Carol nodded, "Since we were kids...." May as well put more coffee on... "I don't remember much about being a kid... but the bits I do remember, he's always there..."

<Jean> "That's hard," she said with a nod. "I idolized my sister when I was little, but pretty sure she hates my guts now. Still... losing her. Even losing Rachel was... hard."

<Carol> "Yeah..." She leaned against the counter, watching the coffee machine, "I wish I had more memories of him..."

<Jean> "Why do you not remember?" Jean was kind of shocked that Carol was talking at all, so she was happy to keep it going.

<Carol> "Because when we were teenagers, Rogue and I crossed paths and... our powers apparently don't mix well. I ended up in a coma and she ended up with all my memories up until that point pretty much..."

<Jean> "Ugh, that sucks. Comas are the worst, too. You wake up and you're still tired." Jean cocked her head, realizing something. "That's why she flies..."

<Carol> Carol nodded, "Yeah everything but the absorption thing is pretty much me... she is super jealous of the energy powers I have now..."

<Jean> "Your powers are fun. I look like fire, but actually generating, like heat, is harder."

<Carol> "It's useful, not gonna lie... but for a while there my powers were stuck on overdrive and that was awful..."

<Jean> "I sometimes burst into flames, and considering Jamie got burned alive a few times..." Her nose wrinkled up and she took another drink.

<Carol> Carol nodded, "Yeah... I get that..." More than most people probably realised.

<Jean> "Which part, because they both suck?"

<Carol> "Both?" Carol offered, "I get what it's like not to be able to control some aspect of your powers.... and I know what it's like to have something horrible happen to you and get reminded of it all the time."

<Jean> "That... seems to happen a lot. You notice that?" Jean shook her head. "I just wanted to be left alone and live my life, but being a mutant fucked that all up."

<Carol> "Well... at least you're human?" Small consolation but still.

<Jean> "Okay, I have always wondered... how are you alien?" Jean made sure she wasn't using the tone in her question.

<Carol> Carol shrugged, "Hell if I know..."

<Jean> "How did you find out?"

<Carol> "A space-raccoon told me," Carol picked up her coffee, using her powers to reheat it and taking a sip, "I know. Sounds crazy."

<Jean> "A... space raccoon." Jean just stared at her coffee. "Sounds crazy? Uh, yeah, but then you saw me doing body shots with an exact duplicate of my boyfriend last night. I think crazy is kind of the routine?"

<Carol> Carol nodded, "Exactly... and it was confirmed by the Shi'ar after they rescued me from the Brood so..." she shrugged a shoulder.

<Jean> "Wow. That's... a lot." She guessed being human was a perk after all.

<Carol> She nodded, "I have a lot of stuff going on... so trying to deal with it all is a problem and picking one thing to fix first is also a problem. Which is why I don't want to get into any of it. It's easier to pretend nothing is weird."

<Jean> "I... get it." Jean sighed and cocked her head. "But like I said, I can feel you're... having a hard time. Soooo, if I can help? I'd like to." She smiled a little. "And not just because you have a great rack."
:quicksilver Pietro Maximoff [Quicksilver]

Quicksilver: Howisshe?Isshealright?Imusetspeakwithmysisteratonce.
Hawkeye: What is that noise?
IronMan: That is the noise Pietro makes right before he's tossed out of the airlock. ~ Avengers: The Children's Crusade #6

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