1964-09-29 - The Final Piece of the Puzzle
Summary: In the library's Records, Gwen finds important information she needs and Rosemarie offers up bravery she normally doesn't possess.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
gwen-stacy rosemarie 

In the 1990's, the infrastructure of what would be known as the Information Superhighway and eventually the Internet would revolutionize research, detective work, and checks into the background of people.

However, it is not 1990 yet. As such, the library is a place for detectives to go, along with Public Records, the courthouse, and the telephone book.
Gwen walks into the public library, her father's police notepad in one pocket, and looks intent and focused.

Rosemarie is ensconced at her information desk, the podium in glossy wood to be found at the cusp of the sciences section. A little furrow in her brow speaks to the level of concentration necessary for translating her coworker's shorthand.

She's in the process of transferring records, specifically pertaining to the older archives. These sprawl under the perview of Bart (formally known as Bartholomew, but hey, she's never called him that and never will), the Head of Collections, master of the glass-walled safes that hold the library's rarer texts. He demands precision.

This handwriting is killing her.

Putting her chin in her hand, she glares down at it, tapping the pencil eraser on the desk.

Gwen is a little intimidated by the library. She had been a child here, reading about fantastic tales about Narnia and Middle-Earth. She remembered checking every closet and article of furniture in the house, looking for portals to other worlds, where she could be a princess or a mermaid or a shield-maiden.
Dreams are for children. And she was no longer a child.
She spotted Rosemarie and smiled faintly. It was good to see a familiar face. And Rosemarie had reminded her of those childhood days when anything was still possible. When magic was still a fanciful thing.
She made her way to the information booth, a wry smile on the tough girl's face. "Hey, Rose."


Hearing her name, Rosemarie glances up from the scribbling of notes down the sheet of lined paper. For a passing second, she looks petulant, with her brows knitted and mouth set in a moue of disapproval. Then the expression shifts to acknowledgment of the familiar, open and there's the smile instead of the grim line of lips.

"Oh, G-Gwen, h-hello. W-What brings y-y-you in t-today?" She sets the pencil aside and sits upright in her chair, prim and proper behind the desk with its low-rise of paneling to corral in her work and separate visitor from librarian. Today, a sweater in fine weave of cream to counter her black slacks; flat on her feet, out of sight. A hairband in white keeps her wavy chestnut hair from her face and instead down about her shoulders.

Gwen smirks. Rose is a pretty girl. She thinks that, and suddenly is reminded of Old Lady Thompson and her parakeet, Sebastian. "Pretty girl, aren't you a pretty girl?" she had said.
Well, Rose may be a bird-person, but she is no parakeet.
"Yeah, listen, I need to get into the Records department. I have to follow a lead. I could use some help, if you are available." Why does Rose stutter? Is Gwen that intimidating? Maybe she should dress up a little more. Or down. She is reminded of what she has in her backpack and smiles thoughtfully. "And I was hoping to talk to you for a bit, anyway."

"R-Records?" Rosemarie glances over her shoulder in the general direction of the area and back, dark eyes alight with interest. "Is it ab-b-bout…y-your father?"

Her voice drops to a softer pitch, both secretive and sympathetic, in a way. "D-Do you n-n-need to see th-the r-reels again?"

Gwen takes a quick breath. Wow, she remembered. "Yes, Rose. I feel guilty asking you along on my personal crusades, but this is important to me." She colors slightly. "And I don't know how you feel about following me down these rabbit holes I keep finding."

The librarian gives the other young woman a little smile.

"Y-You haven't scared m-m-me y-yet, Gwen. There are…" and she pauses, inhaling. Her gaze drops to her notes and her mouth finally closes. A flick of tongue wets dry lips, a nervous gesture, and she looks at the blonde again. "There are sc-carier th-things out th-there."

She fishes her keys out from the drawer above her lap and then steps out from behind the desk. "C-Come on," she says, gesturing for Gwen to follow.

Gwen is momentarily startled by the admission. Something her friend once said occurred to her. "There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio." Shakespeare? JFK? Bugs Bunny?
Then she takes heart and follows Rose. Always another rabbit hole. Maybe she was like Travis McGee, always willing to wake up the old horse and take up the rusty lance.
So, she follows. Curiouser and curiouser.

Records aren't locked up as tightly as Archives, so a quick jingle of keys, turn of the lock, and the door opens to admit them both. Rosemarie enters first and steps to one side, holding the door open.

"Th-There y-you go. D-Do y-y-y-you know w-what y-you're looking for exact-tly?" she asks, attention upon Gwen.

Gwen takes out the leather book, flipping it open as she had seen her father do a thousand times. Gwen the cop. "Yes. Public records for a company called Clarisin Pharmaceuticals Unlimited."
She steps through the door, then looks back to Rosemarie at the doorway. "I could use your assistance." She pauses. "I also want to show you something."

"Oh." Her expression is openly curious, lightly surprised. Rosemarie nods and after giving Gwen one more brief regard, she shuts the door with a click of the bolt going home. Not locked, simply firmly shut.

"I m-m-might b-be able to f-find s-something on C-Clarisin Pharmaceut-t-ticals." She walks over to a tall row of file cabinets and begins peering at the labels. Alphabetical, but by which term to search? "W-What d-d-did you w-want to show me?" She asks this half over her shoulder, the main focus on locating the right cabinet.

Gwen smiles, putting down her backpack. She should have one made that's a little more streamlined for her other…extracurricular activities. She opens it to pull out a fashion magazine. "I was thinking about your wardrobe issues, and I saw something that might help…maintain your modesty." She flips it open to a dog-eared page, unfolding it to reveal a dancer in a high-necked sleeveless jumpsuit.


While Gwen fishes out the catalogue of outfits, the librarian keeps searching. Ah, there we are. A collection of information on the company in question. She listens and turns, file folder in hand, to see the spread of pages offered up for her examination.

Walking over, Rosemarie blinks a few times. "Oh, G-Gwen. That's…d-d-different." She angles her head a little, clearly considering the outfit. "I h-hadn't thought ab-bout s-something like th-that y-yet."

Gwen nods and points to the shape of the top of the jumpsuit. "It's backless. You could get a form-fitting top you could wear under your blouse. You might trash the blouse, but this design would allow for your wings, and still maintain your modesty." She looks to the folder. "Wanna trade? You can look at this while I look at the folder."

"Sure," and the two are able to swap packets of information. One's markedly more avante-guard than the other, full of numbers and names and perhaps a clue or two to be sussed out. Rosemarie wanders off towards the door, her finger resting beside the jumpsuit's design on the magazine's page.

"W-What m-m-made you think of…m-me? The w-wings?" She suddenly asks, paused in her wanderings, the catalogue still open in her hands as cinnamon-brown eyes land upon Gwen again.

Gwen nods as she looks through the papers, going from them to her notes and back again. "Yes. I was thinking about how they came out, how beautiful they looked, and how it was a damn shame you had to rein it in because of what it did, and then I wondered, what if it didn't ruin your clothing? Then you might not feel so self-conscious about it. I mean, it's a part of you. Like what I have is a part of me. I may conceal it, but it's not because I'm ashamed of it. I just needed…the right uniform for the work. I…wait."
She paused, going from the notepas to the folder, eyes flicking back and forth…

"Oh." Rosemarie's eyes drop to the magazine in her hands again and she looks beyond its pages. Gosh. It would be nice to simply walk about with the Shi'ar attributes on full display. Yet another person impressing upon her that her atavistic traits are nothing to fear.

The pause brings her to mince over to Gwen, attention upon the folder's contents. "W-What is it?"

It was amazing. Dad had said once that no fact is more important than any other fact. He had been proven right over and over. And here…
She could SEE the strands connecting point to point, could SEE the filaments crossing from the folder to the notepad with the police shorthand her father had taught her. What it led to…
"North Korea…" She whispered. "Clarisin. Sinclair. John Sinclair. Figurehead. Operations…Dan Soon-Min. General Soon-Min's son. DPRK. North Korea. Dammit, it FITS!"
Gwen turns, a look of ferocious joy on her face, and suddenly hugs Rosemarie. "We got it, Rose! It fits!"

A sudden hug has her arms pinned to her body; the magazine ends up tenuously held by fingertips somewhere against her thigh.

"Oh! Th-That's — that's w-w-wonderful, G-Gwen, b-but I d-d-didn't d-do anything except show y-you w-where th-things w-were." Rosemarie's quick to demure, as is her wont about most successes in general, but she still smiles faintly even as a light blush shows under the freckles of her cheeks. Poor thing. The wind changing direction might bring that pink to her skin, such is her propensity to blush at the drop of a pin.

Gwen suddenly realizes she has Rosemarie in a bearhug, and immediately releases her. "Oh! Geez, sorry!" She smiles. "Hey, knowing where the information is is a time-honored skill. A lot of detective work is simply knowing where to look for the info you need." She begins making notes. "This makes a lot of sense. And it changes a lot. It tells me where to look next." She looks to Rosemarie, then says, "Uhm…I was kinda guessing that the design would work, so…I got it for you."
She goes back to her backpack, then pulls out a folded-thrice garment bag, the silver-grey backless jumpsuit behind the thin plastic.
"I found it on sale, and I am pretty sure I got it in your size."

The librarian drops the magazine on the floor before she can stop herself. Oh, but Lindon has only the barest head-start on awkward fumbling in public. Perhaps Rosemarie has an edge via the stuttering.

"Y-Y-Y-You did-d-d-d-dn't have t-to d-d-do th-that, Gwen!" The catalogue is gathered up, held to her chest, and she continues to stare, very much surprised.

Gwen grins. "I had ulterior motives. I wanted to see you in it, because I think you'd look majestic." She takes a breath. "If you don't want to try it now, that's all right. It's a selfish motive. But sometime, if I could get to see you…as you truly are…wearing that, I think it would make my day. Heck, it would make my WEEK." She winks. "So there…I have selfish desires, and selfish motives."

"Oh g-g-g-g-g-g-gosh." There's the word! Finally, out from the machine-gun of stuttering. The tips of her ears are nearly cherry-red and she tucks her chin. A swallow and Rosemarie continues. "Y-Y-You're t-too kind, Gwen, th-thank you. Anyone c-could w-walk in, s-so another t-time. If I g-g-get a chance to w-wear it, I w-will."

Her deep brown eyes meet and hold the young woman's gaze. "W-What w-w-will you d-do with the inf-f-formation y-you found? Or is th-that secret t-t-too? I w-won't b-be nosey if so," she adds, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear in nervous action.

Gwen smiles wryly. "It answers some questions about a person who came to me. Someone who needed help, someone I am helping. It explains…why she is what she has become." Gwen smiles fondly. "It seems that I have found someone who needs me." She looks back to Rosemarie. "It is…hard to explain. I must sound like a complete idiot." She blushes slightly.

Rosemarie tilts her head, a funny little half-grin on her face now.

"N-No, n-n-not at all, Gwen. Y-You are a v-v-very helpful p-person. If she n-n-n-needed y-your help, she c-c-came t-to the r-r-right lady." The fashion magazine is looked down upon briefly. "V-Very helpful," she repeats and then laughs quietly. "I'm v-very g-g-glad that I w-was able to f-find the information f-f-for you."

A pause. "If…" A short sigh and she seems to steel herself, a brush of golden raptor color entering her irises. "If y-y-you n-need m-more help…outside of the l-library, l-let m-m-me know. I m-might b-be able to d-d-do more."

Gwen looks to Rosemarie, and realizes she is on very delicate ground. Refusal would be an insult. There is something powerful within Rosemarie, something very much like a huntress. And keeping her out of the hunt might very well be unforgivable.
"If it is possible, yes. I'm hunting a very dangerous person, Rose. If you want to help with that…then I won't say no."

It seems that a possible fear was confirmed to the librarian. She drops her eyes and seems to shrink despite her height and stature.

"I…w-w-wondered if it w-would b-b-b-be risky. Y-Yes." She nods quickly a few times before meeting Gwen's eyes again. "I still w-w-want to help. I'm n-not g-g-good in a f-fight, b-but I c-could guard. Keep w-watch." Her shrug is hopeful, in a way.

Gwen nods. "Any help would be appreciated, Rose. I wouldn't ask you to do anything you could not do." She stepped forward to grasp Rosemarie's hand gently. "Thank you."

Rosemarie gives the young woman's hand a gentle, friendly squeeze back, her expression losing some of its wariness and softens.

"Y-You're w-w-w-welcome, G-Gwen. M-Maybe I can d-do someting…heroic w-w-with w-what I've b-been…given." A little laugh and she pulls her hand away to cover her mouth, half-shocked at her own stance on things, apparently. "Anyways. Y-You l-let m-m-me know.""

Gwen nods. "I will. And I have faith in you, Rose. I think you can do great things." She closes the file, then her father's notepad. "You should probably put that file back. I wrote down everything important from it."

"Oh, y-y-yes," and Rosemarie takes the file on the pharmaceutical company back. It's returned to its place in the cabinet and the door slides shut with a hollow clang of metal. On the way back to the door, she pauses and half-holds out the magazine.

"D-Did y-y-you want this b-b-back? I'll t-take the suit," she says, the other hand outstretched to take the plastic-wrapped clothing.

Gwen smiles. "Keep it. But if you want something specially-made for yourself, let me know. I happen to know a fashion designer who could use the work."

Gwen hands the plastic-wrapped jumpsuit to Rosemarie, smiling wryly. "Let me know how it works out for you." She writes a number on a sheet from the notepad, handing it to Rosemarie. "New phone number. Had it set up special. I call it my Hotline."

The suit is bundled up carefully over her arm, half-concealing the magazine in the process. She takes the sheet of paper with phone number and considers it, nodding.

"Th-Thank y-y-you, Gwen, I'll b-be sure n-n-not to lose it." She means the number by the little uplift of the paper; it'd be hard to lose the jumpsuit, let's be real. "Here, this is m-m-mine, in c-case y-you need to g-get hold of me." Shifting parcel and catalogue about, Rosemarie quickly writes out hers and the exchange is done. "I'm n-not home often due t-t-to work, b-b-but the answering m-machine w-works just f-fine."

Gwen grins, then looks around. "I think we're good. Deep breath, Rosie." She smiles fondly to her. "Let's let everyone think we're normal." She winks.

Gwen gets the blush she's probably hoping for. Up to the tips of the brunette's ears again and she tries not to smile even as she's opening the door to the room. It leads to a hallway and then out into the library proper.

"W-We're all a l-little odd here, I think. We b-b-blend in j-just fine," and she laughs, the acoustics allowing for a mild echoing of the sound.

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