1963-11-20 - Four to Five
Summary: It turns out Jennifer isn't the only one with some secrets. Now there's work to do.
Related: N/A
Theme Song: None
jennifer sue 

Christmas won't be here for another five weeks, but that does not stop the cards from piling up already. Thankful mutants and happy supernaturals given representation by the upstart lawyers make sure those handwritten cards, some of them crafty and others probably stolen from a five and dime, are mounted up on shelves, the wall, and a tree-shaped display created by two clerks definitely not billing much for the time.

Priscilla, queen of the legal jungle, supervises them. The indomitable spirit of the place, she is responsible for the peppermint coffee currently on the go and three plates of cookies being more than nibbled at by the attorney dealing with yet more paperwork. Nothing spells terror and horror like a US government letter, or the possibility of aliens, foreign spacemen, and prancing outsiders taking over Hollywood.

"Yes, I know," Jen has given up on life to take calls on a Saturday at 7 PM. This is truly miserable. "Fine. No. No, Wednesday is not acceptable. We cannot possibly have a filing then. You can't… Jerome. Unless you can personally escort a Supreme Court justice into this office with a marching band, we cannot have it filed. There aren't enough hours in the day. Yes. Merry Christmas to you, and no, I have not seen that Spider-Man stole the fourth carriage on the Seven, and I'm certain he has not hidden it in Jersey. Ha. Goodbye."

Two cookies are arbitrarily shoved into her mouth.


There are always advantages to being able to turn invisible… like leaving the house alone on a mission of a personal nature, and, rather theoretically, wanting it off the books. A gentle rap of knuckles on the frame of Jen's door announces Seo Storm's presence before she can be seen. She leans against the door frame and spies the piles of papers before cringing. "If this is a terrible time…" she frowns slightly.

It's been a few weeks since the pair of ladies have seen each other, but Sue looks well. Her skin hues a faint pink tone, and her eyes are alight with some unspoken delight as her arms cross over her chest. "Honestly, I can come back during regular work hours. I just…" her lips curve into a self-deprecating smirk, "I don't often manage to get away without the others noticing."


Everyone can enjoy invisibility. There are countless uses, most of them terrible or invasive, but still enjoyable. Nonetheless, Jen looks up at the knock to her office door and then down at herself. Any cookie crumbs? No offending cookie crumbs! Win for the lady attorney. She nonetheless pushes back her chair, putting the phone receiver on the cradle, having none of that touchtone business introduced yesterday nationwide with such awful results in New York. An electronics store taken over by frightening spirits, imagine!

"A terrible time?" The voice kicks memory into overdrive, and her smile grows wider as she looks up, waving her fingers. "Hurry in before one of the clerks sees you. Tell me about it!"


The door is closed as Seo steps further into the office. Her grin turns toothy as she notes the cookies and issues Jen a one-shouldered shrug. "Comfort food seems like a necessary thing on a Saturday in the office." Her grin furthers and she shakes her head, "And to be clear, I meant in interrupting you. I'd hate to interrupt when you're too consumed by… well, everything. And I'm happy to have you bill us for this visit. I just didn't really feel like speaking to reception and getting the royalty treatment." Her eyebrows draw together.

Which might beg questions in and of itself.

"In fact, things have been rather insane. And I think — " her fingers lift as if to pause herself and try to reach the beginning of whatever purpose has brought her here. In doing so, she draws attention to the lab-grown ring on her most-significant finger — complete with a sapphire strip in the centre. "It's been an eventful few weeks." She points to the extra chair in the office, "May I?"


"Have a cookie or several. Honestly. I don't need any more than I currently have," says the attorney, sighing softly over the pile of food. There are snickerdoodles, sugar cookies, a few oatmeal and chocolate chip varieties for the taking. Pushing aside piles of folders and papers neatly indexed by printed letter, stickers, and other tabs, Jennifer sets her elbows atop the cleared space and steeples her fingers. "I think you and I both know we are collectively overwhelmed. If we wait for a good time, it will be 1985 and there will be floating cars in the sky, running shoes with rockets, and hamburgers made from protein powder." Oh, how little do ye know, girl, how little. Her nose wrinkles in amusement at the royalty treatment, and she gestures to a seat or the small couch mercifully free of boxes.

"Go ahead and take a spot wherever you like. See? I even added this so I'm a real lawyer and can sleep here." That bag? That bag. A smile forged from the dark brings a brightening to her features as she looks at Sue, then her ring. "Are you? Congratulations?" One must be subtle and circumspect. She is not. "You've met Peter, I know. He told me a bit about the cosmonauts and… well. I wanted to talk about that, since everything, but sit! And know no matter what, I'm not angry."


The couch ends up being Sue's preferred spot. She sinks into it and emits a soft sigh. Apprehensively, Seo considers the cookies. Her head cants to the side and her nose. "It's not that I don't want a cookie, it's that, I'm not sure it's a good idea." She cringes slightly. "I haven't been.." she lifts her fingers and then just shakes her head. Everyone int he residence knows anyways. "I'm pregnant. We're not exactly telling people, but I haven't been well and really eating anything for days. Joon made some waffles that I managed to keep down, but otherwise I've been living on a diet of saltines and ginger ale. I suspect this falls somewhere under the whole attorney-client privilege. Probably. Especially it's one of the reasons I'm here." Her eyebrows tick upwards.

The congratulations earns Jen a comical smile. "It's been a very eventful week," or so. "Reed proposed yesterday. It's all very whirlwind." She actually chuckles and shakes her head. "To be honest, in the Baxter Building, things are either silent or insane. At least it's a good version of the latter."

The smile subdues at the mention of Peter. "Peter," Seo repeats as she looks a hint bewildered again. Oh Jessica. "Yes, well, we were just glad he was okay. I really didn't know what would happen."


The benefits to being an attorney: great selection of black suits, win arguments, poker face. No look of shock crosses over Jennifer's expression. She wears the same smile she would approach a new client or a crocodile with, armed with Priscilla's constant remonstrations to everyone in the office to be polite. "I'm told that part passes fairly soon. We also live off crackers around here, though I can put together a good beef broth if that would possibly settle. Consomme is the stuff French women survive by, unless you believe my grandmother's stories about leek soup being the thing." Mm, leek broth, the reason Frenchwomen never get fat, apparently. LIES.

Silent insanity is brushed aside while she plunders another chocolate chip cookie, mindful of eating it quickly but politely to avoid triggering those penchants for… well, trouble. Nine months of insanity, engage! Nodding to Sue, she says, "Of course. As far as you and Reed and Johnny are concerned, everything is confidential. I wouldn't break that trust. Would a cup of tea go down well?"

A bewildered hint from her guest does stop Jen for a moment. "Yes. Cosmonaut, flying car, unconscious for thirty hours, all that. You first, though."


Seo leans back in the seat and allows her eyes to look up at the ceiling. "Tea would be lovely," she replies with a near sigh. "Regardless, it's been a strange few weeks. And I find that we're in an odd place with everything. I remember you mentioning your cousin at one of our early meetings. So, I suspect you understand something of the family element." Her eyes blink owlishly. "You see, we're in a strange position. My team is my family. We are who we are because we have each other, not because of what we can do." Her lips hitch up on one side in a lopsided grin. "And there are things that I really need to consider in the coming days." Especially after the mantis incident.

"We need to expand the team," she lifts her hands with a strange earnest. "Already we have a wonderful secretary working in our employ, but I mean in other ways. I need my family safe. The nausea is bad for me right now. I'm not as reliable as I need to be to watch their backs. They would protest," she chews her bottom lip, "but I need them safe. It's keeping me up at night. Which," she chuckles lightly, "only adds to the mounting exhaustion."


Getting up to survey the little side stand with its collection of mugs, glasses, and water takes the brunette a few strides to accomplish. There's a coffeemaker in here that Mree pillages enough, but hot water is easy to procure and Jen has a chest full of various packages. "Orange pekoe, black, or this… 'royal blend?' That sounds promising." The peek inside said box has her bringing out another, smaller box with a crown stamped on it. English tea, it would seem. "I do understand. My father is the police chief of Los Angeles County. My cousin lives in this area, and tends to be consumed by his work. He spent time growing up haunting my house when he could, so I think of him more like a brother." There's a fondness to the way she speaks, a genuine bond and a certain tinge of sadness. Hey, he's not exactly all over. "I have to imagine you've got a new perspective on life with all that's happened. Not just the headline news, the fact you've increased your family by two." Oooh, such scandal.

She is not scandalized.

"Safety is something we're all driven by, especially now. And you probably have a double dose of it because you cannot step out of the spotlight." The earnestness is rewarded by a splash of a smile. "What can I do? Privacy disclosure wavers, recommendation on a good bunker?"


Seo leans forward. Royal blend does sound promising. And easy smile follows the questions: "A bit of both, I suspect." Again she lifts her hand, erasing the thought. "Evidently there was a two year plan, and we skipped to step seventeen." Sue beams at the notion, "Trust Reed Richards to have a two year plan for his relationship." But as far as the thought of the headline news is concerned, Seo manages a tick of her head, "Indeed. I need to visit my aunt before the papers break anything. But I also really need to see a physician before said visit." Her smile tightens, losing some of its lustre in the process.

"And, along with that, I think I need to write a Will. the thought really hadn't occurred to me before. We hadn't talked about the potential, but with things shifting, and the thought of imminent parenthood circling…" Her eyebrows lift.

"And along with that," she inhales a long breath, "you could consider joining our team." The smile turns a bit bashful. "We're well-resourced. But I also need them safe. If I'm not as dependable, I need them with extra hands on deck."


The royal blend is a black tea enriched by delicate liquor, shades of caramel and a whisper of richness. Water to put on to boil will take a few minutes to be prepared through the pot, a mug selected from the second shelf. Jennifer laughs. "A two year plan! Goodness, don't say that too loudly or else someone might start crying Soviets have overtaken the Baxter Building. I'm not serious of course. Accentuate the accelerating pace of life by doing everything in one lump sum, right?" Her smile widens, with a shade of the nightshade glimmer her alter-ego holds. "I'd suggest a good doctor but unfortunately my particular predicament means I almost never use them, now. Presbyterian Hospital is said to be pretty good, though, and you'd have your choice of associated doctors in different areas as you need."

When it comes to a will, though, the attorney barely even blinks. "But now onto more important matters. Paperwork is easily done. Power of attorney and a will are fairly standard issue. We can draw up—"

Yes, she's still thinking there when a team is mentioned, tapping the machine to pour out hot water a little faster, like buttons on an elevator. Called, it will come at its own speed regardless of what she does. Braincell, crunch. Thought pattern, halt. Eyes widen, and she peers over her glasses. Is Sue serious? Yes, Sue seems serious. Is she pregnant and crazy? Yes, apparently that too. "On one condition." A pause. "Provided it doesn't offend you. I'd like you to always be honest when you're being pushed or feeling drained. Because whatever it takes, I know your brother and your gentlemen fiance will take care of you. But if I'm helping, I'd like to be sure I help you, too."


"Well, I think I can manage to find a doctor through SHIELD. A good friend of mine is connected, and given my rather… unique situation," yeah, the biology is going to be an issue, Doctors Richards and Storm are already apprehensive about it, "it seems wise to try to have someone who specializes. That said, it will likely be someone I don't know. Even if a friend trusts them," she rocks her hand, "I'd rather have some privacy wavers in place. At least for the time being. Obviously this isn't going to be a secret forever, and it's unexpected on multiple fronts, but it'd be good to keep it quiet until we make a decision as to timing," and Aunt Margay knows. Because while so much Korean yelling is in Sue's future, so much more would be if her aunt learns through the grapevine.

She chuckles lightly at the last. "Of course. Our team isn't one that secrets stay secrets long. Ben, bless his heart," her eyes turn upwards, "guessed what was going on before Reed knew." Sue's eyes narrow and she stifles another chuckle. "Sincerely, nothing stays quiet long, and when we're a team, we are a genuine team. That means we know, well, everything, pretty much. Or, in short order we do," her eyebrows draw together slightly.


Biology being an issue is top of the pile for the girl who occasionally turns green, and by occasionally, every other day. The flash of a smile follows, and Jen puts down a cup of tea on the sidetable by Sue's couch. "I can fetch up sugar, honey, cream? I don't usually take anything in them." The apology and the offer follow one another crisply while she retreats back to the safety of her desk, though she leans against it slightly. Not enough to really make it evident, one mustn't lounge around.

"All of it sounds good to me, though. I'm an easygoing girl." California thing, supposedly. Her cheeks pink slightly and she looks down at her toes, avoiding a directly look. "It will not be my place to claim you're being overtaxed, but I do keep an eye out for those who need the attention. As to me, the only secrets I have are the client confidentiality bit, but there's the business with the aliens putting me in a different purview. The partners are sort of… watching. And much of it has to go through the experts." AKA: the old men get to rule the roost while she plays.


"Fair enough," Sue manages before sipping on the tea and shaking her head. "No cream or sugar necessary. Honestly, if I can get it down," she chuckles again. "Two months of bad judgment," she smirks. "Regardless, at least that resolved itself." Her fingers tighten around her cup. "I still wish I knew though," she talks more to herself than Jennifer, which prompts her to shrug. "Peter would absolutely be invited as well if he were so inclined." Seo manages another grin.

"Speaking of, how's he been since the cosmonaut incident? We haven't seen him… to my knowledge, anyways," and, truth be known, Seo has been rather preoccupied.


A grin is met with a smile. "I'll ask him. Personally, I think it would be good for him, and… let's face it, I like watching him jump around a battlefield." Jump around. Peter's ears would burn off hearing that. Jen does not spare a girlish grin or staring down at the plate of cookies, which goes a long way to explain to one to-be-married woman what the other thinks about her beau. Serious?

Is the sky blue?

The happy moment implodes on itself as the shadowy voice in the back of her head rouses from a light slumber, and the slow, dark seep of emotion poisons her bloodstream. "Hearing the cosmonaut came down safely was relieving, but he… He took an uncharacteristically long time to tell me about it or the two days he was down. On its own I'd assume he didn't want to upset me with the details. Never mind how lame that excuse sounds, I could buy it. But he told me a few things in detail." Remember that business about truth and everything coming out? Well, she's testing that now. "We meet up to deal with criminals and problems usually ever Friday. Or several times a week, actually. He said there was this mugger he almost decked. The thing is, Peter never hurts people. I mean, it's a point of pride with him, he may glue them but he tries to limit the human damage as much as possible. But punch a guy for being a criminal. Getting mad at the people he cares most about. His suit's different too. Did Mr. Richards give him that?"


Seo's eyebrows knit together at the explanation. "Well… he was out for a few days. I can confirm that much. He was in our medbay. I called his Aunt and hatched up a lovely excuse. I mean, I have a younger brother that I essentially mothered. I know what it is to worry." Her lips purse though as she considers the situation. "I don't know about the rest though. And I don't think Reed gave him a suit. I mean, Peter's suit was a mess. I had it in a box for him, and wanted to make sure he had it. So it's not impossible that Reed did, but I definitely wasn't told if it happened," her head cants to the side. "We have unstable molecules uniforms. It'd be good for Pete and yourself to have one. They accommodate whatever our cells need. So they stretch, heat, and cool as needed. But… to my knowledge Pete didn't get one…" she frowns.

"How did he get mad? He's so earnest in general…"


Jennifer laces her hands together. Another lesson of the Bar: don't fidget. She rarely does, even with those shapely calves and pretty forearms tensed slightly. "He never told his aunt what happened, any of it, and I am fairly sure she's in the dark on his job situation. I don't think she knows he no longer works for the Bugle. How much else she knows about his moods isn't clear. I have to see her every week with this awareness gnawing away." Teeth sink into her lower lip, and the shade moving over her face speaks to intense unhappiness. "Confidentiality isn't the problem. It's this sea change in his personality. And the fact his suit completely changed shape when he talked about coming over to my apartment for a change of clothes." Her fingers rise to pinch the bridge of her nose, an uncharacteristic gesture. "He said jeans and a t-shirt, and the suit became a t-shirt. It even added a label. I watched that and it was all I could do to stop myself from tearing the shirt from his body but I was unsure whether it would flow up over my face and cut off my oxygen. I'm hard to hurt, but suffocation might work. Maybe? I've never tried."


Seo leans forward and squints. "Wait. What?" Her throat clears and she sits on the edge of the seat. "He didn't tell his aunt about work? And he was fired from the Bugle?" Incredulously, she takes a long drink of her tea and ponders each of these points. "I don't… I'm not sure what could be happening." Her jaw tightens and she shakes her head, "If Reed had provided Peter with a suit, it doubt it could do that. I mean, they are extraordinary, but I've never…" her eyebrows draw sharply together. "I'l talk to Reed, and, perhaps, try to touch base with Peter." She lifts a hand to allay concerns, "I won't say we spoke. Just that I'm checking in after his injuries and wanted to know how he was healing or whatever." Her eyes roll, "I'm basically the Fantastic Four team mom. Seems like my job anyways."


"I think so," Jennifer says. "I've had maybe six hours of sleep in three days, and things are starting to get foggy. Everything to that is off the record." Hey, she's saving herself on that front. Jen rubs her forehead. "Yesterday he dropped that he almost lost his temper with her. Out of the blue. I couldn't believe my ears. He talked about leaving the city for a bit, maybe to help him calm down. But I'm pretty sure that he never told her about the Bugle, and as far as I know he isn't working there. Or he got furloughed. He is still going to school." The girl is still a girl, and that girl is a worried one.

Enough she might pace in front of Sue, careless of it. The driven desire to move staves off her anxiety, that anger. "Suits don't usually change shape, I know that. This one practically sassed us. Call me crazy. But a psychotropic, voice-activated suit? I have to be open minded by a black suit that rolls around him with a mind of its own puts a girl a bit on edge. Worse, his anger issues… that's supposed to be my worry. Not his. If he gets mad, he could hurt himself, he could hurt someone. So consider this my worried warning. And if that turns out to be harming him, I'm going to tear it apart barehanded and stamp on it until you guys can contain it."


"And we'll do our part," Seo offers in return. "Truly. I'll talk to Reed first and confirm, but I'm pretty sure if he had a suit that could do that, he'd have told me about it already. At the very least in the 'check out this amazing thing, Seo' way." She takes another long swig of the tea and allows her eyes to lid. "And then I'll check in with Peter and see what I can learn about, well, anything. And we are in your corner on this. Both of your corners." Her eyebrows lift to punctuate the point. She presses herself to a stand and reaches out to squeeze Jennifer's shoulder. "You're not alone in this."


"I'm sorry. I wasn't sure if this was something that jumped out of the lab and I hate drawing conclusions without proof." Hey, it's the job talking. Jen reaches for a snickerdoodle and munches politely through it, but determined munching is determined. "In the meantime, I will keep up with Peter. He's my boyfriend, after all, and his wellbeing is a personal issue as much as a professional." That's the basics of it. Her smile passes and she dips her hand, putting her hand gently landing upon Sue's. There is considerably more strength in there than previous occasions, nothing like practicing with one weights all the time. "Thank you. Truly. I feel better having said it and not being called insane."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License