2019-09-23 - People Have Lives


Jeriah has to drag Jemma out of her lab.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Sep 23 04:30:36 2019
Location: Jemma's Lab

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Theme Song



I started a joke which started the whole world crying
But I didn't see that the joke was on me oh no
I started to cry which started the whole world laughing
Oh If I'd only seen that the joke was on me

It's late in The Triskelion and most of the other staff have gone home. Not all of course, but most. The song is filtering out from Jemma's lab as the door is open. Accompanying the immortal melody is the sounds of things being moved around - not heavy items but trays and 'dishes'.

Should anyone care to stick their head in - and they might not with that choice of music - they'll see Jemma is busy cleaning. Moving small pieces of apparatus, trays and the like and scrubbing surfaces …

"Your music choice is…" Jeriah is suddenly in the doorway, leaning on the doorway. He's in his usual black tee shirt and tactical pants. They're comfy and they're rugged, so he likes them. His arms are folded and he's got his trademark smirk on.

"I take it you are for once not staying ungodly late?"

I looked at the skies running my hands over my eyes
And I fell out of bed hurting my head from things that I said
'Till I finally died which started the whole world living
Oh if I'd only seen that the joke was on me

"… wonderful." Jemma finishes and looks over her shoulder at Jeriah. "BeeGees are amazing … Sally, volume 10% please."

The volume of the music drops dramatically, now barely audible.

It takes Jemma a few moments to finish scrubbing out the fume cupboard before putting the tray of beakers and testtubes back into and closing the cover. She turns to take Jeriah in fully, sweeping the soldier from head to toe.

"What makes you say that? I'm taking advantage of the fact that I only have a few things brewing, to clean my lab." Which means she might be staying later than usual. "Why? Do you have a better offer?"

"Well I don't know if it's as exciting as science Jemma but have you ever considered, I dunno, going to get a drink or something? That is a thing people do you know. Have beer after work." Jeriah snorts. "Though there'd have to be an 'after work' for there to be that."

"You can't just sing a little ditty and have forest animals come clean the lab for you? Sorta disappointed, Jemma of Nine."

"Maybe I could program your dogs to do that for me…" Jemma quips. Jeriah won't miss the look that passes her face as she turns away to start wiping down another counter, letting her hair fall forward to shadow her face.

"Are you suggesting that I go and get a drink alone? Most times people do that because they have others to meet and socialise with."

That's a telling a statement, really.

"There's after work for me, you know that. I leave here and go home." The biochem sighs, keeping her back to the soldier "What did you find out from your traces on my black outs? Anything more than an address we need to visit?"

"Yes, a few things. The hack is such that I'm positive they've got help IN SHIELD, which is a problem. It means they we do have a traitor. It's not you. It's not me. And we need to be very careful. I think we can rule out Kelly, Roy, Clint and May. None of them have the technical expertise they'd need. If it's someone you've come in contact with I doubt it's any of your compatriots. Most likely someone in a tech or analytics division."

Jeriah is good when he needs to be. Well okay he's good all the time he's just flippant most of the time as well. He straightens up and motions. "Come on, Miss I Don't Want to Drink alone. You've done enough work for today and I'm going to go get a cold one. So…"

"I don't mind drinking alone. I just usually do it at home. It's easier and … less problematic." Jemma mutters, stubbornly finishing up the cleaning she's doing. Problematic? Interesting. "So, Jeriah? Are you asking me to get a drink with you?" Or is he telling her?

"If it's someone who access to me and you think within their SHIELD, we should start with whoever has had access to my … conversion." That should be easy enough to get, surely. "Analytics and Tech could be it. Those departments are huge though. I guess the site visit will help with that?"

Her bag is there on her desk and locking her workstations is easy.

"Sure. Asking. Let's go with that. And not mention that I could probably make my dogs herd you to the bar." Jeriah smirks. When she's ready to go he starts to walk. The bar isn't far and it is within walking distance so no need to go to the car.

"Wouldn't need to be someone with physical access to you. You're on wifi you can be accessed remotely. All it needs to be is someone who has access to the files that tell them how to do that. The medical team would be prime suspects but most doctors can't code their way out of a wet paper bag. We're looking for someone with a lot more tech savvy, or they'd have been caught by now."

Once down to ground level he starts to walk down the block. It's getting brisk here in New York as summer gives way to fall but it is not yet jacket territory. So he doesn't yet have one.

"Asking. Right. You know there's normally a formula for that? Like, hey Jemma would you like to get a drink with me?" Jemma shakes her head still not looking at Jeriah. "But yes, Jeriah, I'd like to get a drink with you." It's so … dry.

When he starts locking her workstations, she gives him a dirty look but puts the cleaning aside, tidying up and ensuring everything is in order before following.

"Not all doctors no, but the team had to have someone who could code and it doesn't mean they were present for my … operation." Which means it could be anyone it tech, but the list is likely smaller.

The biochem shivers as the cool air touches her skin, she'd not bought a jacket because she hadn't expected to be out so late. "I don't suppose in your poking around, you found any information on the source of my implants? I'm …. still getting dreams."

"Really, usually in the Army it's 'Hey scrub, get your stuff on we're going out drinking and not coming home until all of us are shitfaced or arrested." Or both. It happens. Oh the bar fights that Jeriah has seen.

"I found some information but nothing that actually tells me anything. I'm still following that up. I am starting to get the impression that at least some of your implants were recycled, though." Jeriah says as they walk. He glances over to her. "Cold?" He WOULD actually offer her a jacket but he doesn't have one.

"Can one of your friends help you out with that? Y'know, being jacked into your brain and all."

"I'm not a scrub." Jemma mutters. "And I'm not in the army, as you so readily remind me, often." What is it with Jeriah that gets this sort of response from her? Jemma's sweetness and light with everyone else. "And yet, that's more of an invitation than you gave me."

"Me too. These aren't normal dreams…" the woman says quietly "… but what gives you that impression, anyway? Something you found or something you didn't find?" The question about being cold has her looking up at him.

"A bit. I feel the cold, generally and it's not the middle of summer anymore." She sighs as he adds the follow up question. "They really aren't you know. Kelly has a connection, just like you do. But that's sort of it, now. Why … what is it that bothers you about that?"

"She's jacked into your brain Jemma." Jeriah points out. "What doesn't bother you about that?"

The hacker solider gruffs and lets it go. Up ahead she can see the bar. They're approaching it quickly and when they reach it Jeriah holds the door open.

"Well do you want me to invite you by telling you we're going to get shitfaced? Because I wasn't planning on getting shitfaced. Just a beer before going home. I've got to drive and I suspect you do too unless you're hiding a cot in your office somewhere."

She is. He knows that. He's seen it.

"Anyway, I'm suspecting that because the files aren't structured like full reports, the ones that I've found. It always refers back to other files I haven't found. Suggests that the implants in question have a longer history than you'd expect."

It's possible Kelly doesn't need to be jacked in. That might be something they need to test again. "And you can't connect whenever you want?" It's an honest question. "You've seen how useful it's been, I'll admit it's not without it's problems but nothing is. And … I'm not a raving psychotic cyborg, because she is."

"Does it bother you that much, Jeriah?"

She snorts at his question. "I was simply pointing out that delivery was more of an invitation than you gave me." He won't miss the guilty look at the mention of the cot. "It would be nice, just once, to be thought of as mor than just 'Doc' or 'Hey you' or That Scientist Who Doesn't Have A Life."

Entering the bar, Jemma pauses just inside, letting her eyes adjust to the change in light. Well eye. Her appearance creates a small stir, people nudging each other and staring openly. The british born biochem, just tilts her chin up.

"That matches what I know of the project. How much do you know of the Deathlok Project?"

She'll wait for him to find a seat or … something.

"I can't fundamentally change who you are Jemma. She's got access to everything." It's not a question of what he or she can connect with. It's what they can change. Jeriah can make her pet Hank. Kelly could make her love Hank. Or at least that's the way he sees it.

Jeriah goes right for one of the tables and takes Jemma with him. Yes he knows people are looking and are going to look. He's here for a beer and conversation. Not staring.

"Not much. The details are classified and I didn't feel like trying my hand against SHIELD countermeasures. Even if I won that doesn't turn out well for me."

Does Kelly really? Jemma just sighs. Jeriah might have a point and the connection makes Roy uncomfortable anyway. "I'll see Kelly and we'll work to remove it." Whether he meant that to be outcome, that's what he's got.

Ignoring the stares but letting her hair fall over her face, Jemma follows Jeriah to the table and sits. "Are you going to make me drink beer? Or can I order wine?" She asks dryly, considering Jeriah.

"Deathlok is the name of the first person to receive this. What I have is a pale comparison of the original. They didn't have implants like I do, they had a serum that bought them back from the dead."

"I don't think being a psychopath is a better option." Jeriah points out. "She hasn't been untrustworthy yet. But you asked why I was worried and there you are. I wouldn't like people in my head. Call me crazy. Comes of having been duped by AIM."

If they'd been able to get into his head he never would have gotten out.

"I presume the name comes from the fact that the implant process somehow prevents death? Hence death lock?" Nooooooot quite.

"You can order whatever you want so lon as you don't want warm beer. This here is Murica."

He's a soldier. He would say that.

And Jeriah can enter Jemma's head and make her tech do things. What else might he do with time? Not that Jemma says that. "I'll see her. If I can regulate myself, then I will."

"Then I want a nice dry white wine." She gives the soldier a long suffering look for that comment about beer.

"Not exactly, with regards to the Deathlok, no. It was initially designed to reanimate the dead and keep them … alive." It's horrifying really. "The original was a serum that was found in an artifact. SHIELD has been working on that for years to … improve it."

Jeriah signals the bartender for a beer and a wine. Dry white. The hacker shakes his head and settles in. Beer will be along shortly.

"Reanimate… That's horrifying Jemma. I retract everything I said about Kelly being in your head. You should not abandon that failsafe." Partly because he KNOWS that any tech designed to do that HAS to be designed to fully power and control brain functions. Which means that having Kelly jacked in as a failsafe is actually a rather wonderful idea. It means that her own implants can't take her over.

"So the improvement is to use it on the dying instead of the dead. Greeeeeat." His impinion of that is understandably rather low.

Jemma snorts. "We'll see. When I woke from the operation…" she shakes her head. "The memory is there if you wanted to see it. I wouldn't recommend it." She was an animal.

Jeriah's response has Jemma's face falling, eyes turning down to look at the table, hair falling forward again. "They should have let me die …" He's right, it's not really an improvement and absolutely horrifying. "… there are times that I …"

"The serum has been modified to work on living tissue and the implants, refined. But I'm an experiment, really."

Jeriah reaches forward and pats Jemma's wrist. "Hey. No, you don't wish you'd died. It's always better to have lived." Okay maybe not ALWAYS but in most cases it's better to have lived. He's heard soldiers say that before. And… far too many of them wind up acting on it.

"Well, experiments are something you understand right?" Their drinks arrive. Wine for her, beer for him. "You'll be in good shape, then. You can document it. Know the results. And you have an interface expert to help you out. And me."

"I was ready to… Jeriah." Jemma starts as the soldier touches her wrist, turning her eyes to that hand and following his arm up to his eyes. It's there, she'd made her peace and was ready to move on. "Then I woke up and didn't know who I was. If it hadn't been for Kelly, and Roy, I … they'd have me in a padded cell, right now."

She shakes herself, blinking her one good eye, and smiling tremulously. "Sorry. I … you didn't bring me out to have me become morose. You must have some good drinking stories from your time in the army…"

"You? Are you a benefit in all this or a detriment?"

"Me? I'm what makes it all work?" Jeriah says. He moves his hand and takes a sip of his beer. "And yes I have a lot of war stories but coming out like this is only MOSTLY about having fun. Sometimes it's also about letting someone vent and depressurize and you Jemma haven't done that properly in God only knows when."

So it's natural that she's a bit morose. She's had a rough time of it and she's British. It's a bit of a difficult start position but she'll manage he's sure. And if not she'll keep calm and carry on.

"How do you want to handle the intruder. We can tell May and Clint but the more people who know about this the more people can leak it accidentally. We probably SHOULD report it to internal security but we don't know if they're compromised either."

"I didn't say war stories…" Jemma watches as Jeriah moves his and stops him, putting her fingers over his. "… I said drinking stories. I know you have war stories and I … wasn't going to ask you to relive those." Talk about someone who is focussed.

She doesn't comment on venting and depressurising. She's Doc, she's there for others, isn't she?

"Bring May and Barton in, let them help with that decision. I'm leery about trusting within SHIELD at the moment. And that's killing me." beat "I'll abide by whatever you three, four including Hank, decide though."

"Mmmmm. Alright." Jeriah says, swirling his beer and taking another drink. "And yeah I have drinking stories too. Mostly of barfights. And of sitting outside the gate of a post watching the MP's arrest drunk people. And of tranqing a moose and putting it on the company CO's back sun porch." Which would have been enclosed. Which would have been a disaster. Which would have probably from Jeriah's point of view been hilarious.

"SHIELD is a spy agency. Are you really surprised that there are trust issues here?"

Jemma pulls her hand back, flushing brightly at her action and trying to hide the awkwardness by sipping her wine. It's going to be that type of night, she's sure it is.

She should have finished cleaning her lab and gone home. Surely there was a good musical on Netflix to watch.

"A Moose? No stories of running naked through a base and getting arrested? Only to have your wrists slapped and sent to parade?" Jemma's heard stories too. She sighs again though, "I believe in SHIELD, Jeriah. Believe we're doing the right thing and that people … wouldn't do what's being done to me."

"You're a spy agency." Jeriah chuckles. "And a big one at that. It is basically impossible for there to NOT be someone doing something they really shouldn't be. It's a simple formula, Jemma. Large number of people plus lack of accountability due to classified information structure equals certainty of abuse."

Which is not to say that SHIELD doesn't do good things or that it's mission isn't valuable. It's to say that SHIELD is made of people and in a group of people that large doing things that secret you can be pretty sure that some of them are being naughty.

And not in a fun way.

"Are you going to lecture me, Jeriah? I know the pitfalls …." Jemma shakes her head. She doesn't want to talk about it.

This is why she doesn't go out. She's a buzzkill. She'd rather be talking about that culture she's growing. Or that fungus Agent Gresham recovered on her trip.

"Tell me about the Moose and whether you got in the sunroom. And just how much trouble you were in."

"Oh well our doc had to dispose of some morphine. We were bored in Alaska. So you know. You're out driving. You see a moose. You decide to relocate the moose… The guards on the Air Force side of the base don't care so long as you don't leave the moose with them…"

Jeriah grins. No wonder he's such a pain to her. He's apparently a pain to everyone.

"We gave it narcan before we left." To wake it up. "I'm not sure EXACTLY what happened because we ran. CO eventually made it in to work, I'm told, but I didn't see him. I miiiiight have been in my room playing X-Box so, you know." Another grin, another sip of beer. He cants his head. Does she believe he actually did this or is it a tall tale.

"As for trouble? You have to get caught for that."

Jemma watches the soldier-hacker, reading his face. The grin … if it doesn't say he's going to tear your throat with his teeth, it might be almost appealing. Almost. Except it's usually accompanied by some smart-ass quip.

"I don't believe you." she finally says. "I think you're making at least part of it up. A tale you've embellished to make it sound better." Which part is what she's asking herself and trying to read him.


"Oh? Which part do you think I made up?" Jeriah grins. If she thinks he's not being entirely honest maybe she knows what part is a tall tale. It's like a game. Spot the lie. Of course it's entirely possible that he's telling the truth. That he and his friends did get up to such ridiculous hijinks.

That smirk seems to be perpetual. Did he smirk like that when he was in the Army? Did it ever cover anything? War is hell they say and he has made a lifetime of it.

Jemma looks down at her hands again, that she's folded on the table in front of her. The grin is a little infectious, she'd have to agree. "The narcan. And the X-Box, you strike me as a PS-4 type of guy." That gets a look that's a mix of shy and teasing.

"I'm not sure Narcan would work on a Moose." Because SCIENCE!.

"What did the official report end up saying? Mooses don't usually wander onto peoples enclosed porches."

"Sure it does. Simple chemistry. It binds to opiates. If you have opiates in your system it works." Jeriah laughs, leaning back. "And how dare you. X-Box was the top entertainment for people in the middle of nowhere." Was it?

Well, for him it was.

"I don't actually know. I imagine something like 'Moose found on my back porch through unknown circumstances. I don't know that anyone looked that closely on HOW it got there. I mean, I'm sure someone knew but proving it would have been another matter."

"Now I know your fibbing. You'd have hacked the system because you could …" She thinks on that though and looks up at the hacker-soldier again "That was before, though, wasn't it? Before you were … you joined the project."

"And the PS-4 is a far superior gaming machine. I don't know how you did anything on X-Box in the middle of nowhere."

"That was when I was in the army ye.s Just a soldier." Jeriah says. Perhaps a special forces soldier but still just a soldier. He looks very carefully at Jemma as she expounds on the virtues of the play station.

"Because it's rugged, dependable and Gears of War is just waaaaaay better than anything they released on the other end. I mean come on. If I'm going to bayonet someone I want to do it with a chainsaw."

Of course he does.

"You were a soldier, before the modifications, weren't you. Your ability to hack and all that, came after?" Jeriah's told her some of that already. "So you didn't find out what the report was - that's because the incident didn't happen. Knowing what I know of you, you probably a moose but I don't think you did the rest of that. You would have left it somewhere though…"

She's still quiet, he's not quite distracted her from the conversation about her transformation but it's helping.

"There's more to life than War, you know. Kingdom Hearts, Mario Cart, The Witcher. All have good ports to the PS-4"

"Sort of. I had some training in information warfare, which is why I was selected for the implants in the first place, but it got a lot more important after I had them. Oh and the IW implants were army, not AIM." So he'd actually been augmented twice, which explains a bit. And a hacking commando sounds… interesting.

Jeriah smirks. "Is that your best guess? Shall I show you the video?" Because there is video. He can replay memories thanks to how he was augmented. He could do it on his phone but he could also just access her and send her the vid file.

"My life is war, Jemma. That's all it's been. I've been a soldier since I turned 18. I haven't known anything else."

"Wait, you were augmented by the army as well…" That draws a frown from Jemma. "… why do we keep doing this to people." It's interesting yes and when the SCIENCE! part of her brain kicks in, it's fascinating. But the 'person' that Jemma is knows it's horrifying.

"I want to see the video. I want to know the type of person you are, Jeriah." She blushes at that and drops her eyes to her hands again. She shouldn't be drinking wine, it makes her talkative.

"Your life isn't all war now, Jeriah. There's so many things that it could be, if you'd let it."

"Because the army is trying to make better soldiers. They've been doing that forever. Gear, training, diet, weapons. The Captain America project for goodness sake. The nation with the best soldiers wins the wars. Everyone is in that game, it's not one the US can afford to not play." Because if a rival gets those soldiers, well…

Jeriah smirks and connects to Jemma's implants to send her the memory. It goes exactly like you'd think. With lots of laughing and some swearing and ends with them running away. It's a good memory. An amusing one to be sure.

"Have you heard of the song of the sarissas?" Sarissa. A greek word for 'spear'.

Jemma smiles at the video, glancing at Jeriah. If she can, she pauses a frame on a young Jeriah's face. "You were very young, Jeriah." She shakes her head and looks up to him. "Were you … given the option to say no, in the army?" He must have, but Jemma wonders if he understood then, what it meant.

"Song of Sarissas? Macedonian campaign, right? I'm not particularly familiar with it, history … is interesting but biochemistry is my jam."

"Sure. Could have said no to a lot of things. It's a volunteer army after all." Jeriah says as he takes another drink. "But it was an option only given to the best." And Jeriah is one of the best. An excellent hacker. A deadly soldier. An incorrigible annoyance. Only the best.

"Macedonian cavalry, Companions, used to stack their spears up in braces when in camp. When the wind whipped through them it struck a chord and made them whistle. Most of the soldiers in those armies spent their lives in them, or… a good portion of their lives in them."

He takes a breath and another drink. "They had a saying. 'The sarissa's song is a sad song. He pipes it soft and low. I would ply a gentler trade, says he, but war is all I know.'"

"And you … like to be the best, don't you, Jeriah?" There's a slight hint of teasing as Jemma takes a sip of the wine. "How old were you, when they did that? And then when you joined AIM?" She's asking a lot of questions about him.

"That's … very poetic." About the sarissa's, she means, and looks at Jeriah carefully. "You're telling me that you don't think you can change?" Is that it? She doesn't believe that war is not the only thing he could do.

"I didn't join AIM." Jeriah says shaking his head. "Even accidentally. But to answer your question I got my first mods when I was twenty two, at the end of my first tour. The AIM thing happened a few years ago, so… twenty seven?" Jeriah has to think about that for a minute. How old is he now? So many birthdays he didn't celebrate because he was in some hellhole no one was going to admit he'd actually gone to.

"I'm saying I've spent my entire life at war and it doesn't look like I'm running out of fights, does it? I mean even here, at SHIELD, you folks are mostly interested in my ability to storm a building solo."

Jemma blinks at Jeriah's statement and shakes her head, closing her eye again as she focusses. "That is a lot of your own preference. If you recall, I offered the Academy route for you. I've started … " She sighs and looks into her glass of wine.

Jeriah's not wrong. There's no end of conflicts and sometimes it is all they can do. And really, who is she to be lecturing? He had to drag her out, didn't he?

"I'm not only interested in you for your ability to storm a building solo."

"Well no, you're not of course. But let's be honest. Without my ability do you really think I get hired for this job? SHIELD knows what I am. I'm good at shooting things, hacking things and blowing things up." Jeriah takes another drink and leans forward a little, watching Jemma.

"The Academy… has its temptations. I mean, I'm smart enough for it if I can say that without sounding like an asshole. But I don't know how… suited for it I am."

"No, of course not. But it doesn't mean you wouldn't get a job doing something else, Jeriah. You paint yourself as a soldier as much as anyone. Is that how you see yourself? Or what you think you have to be?" Jemma flushes a little, looking down into her glass again before adding "For what it's worth, I appreciate that you were."

Was Jeriah really only hired because he could fight? Or did SHIELD look at Jemma and see she needed something more.

"You don't sound like an asshole for telling the truth. You *are* smart but it's more than that, you know how to problem solve. Not many people do, you realise that." Finally, the cyborg woman looks up and meets Jeriah eyes. "What makes you think you aren't suited for it?"

"Because I've spent the last twelve years blowing problems up." Jeriah laughs. "Do you really think that's going to play well with how they prefer things at the Academy. No offense Jemma but a lot of those people will have spent most of their lives in school getting the doctorate you usually need to attend. Not many of them will actually HAVE real world experience."

That could sting but Jeriah's not talking about her specifically. He's just pointing out that the people at the Academy MIGHT be agents in training but they are by definition… academics.

"Well yes, but you wouldn't be the only one who has gone that way. However, if you like … maybe I, or we, could speak with the Instructors and devise some form of distance learning course." Jeriah can see Jemma watching him carefully, trying to read him. "If you wanted that, Jeriah, I … would help you work through it. It would be quick but …"

She gets that he wouldn't fit in well at the Academy but he deserves a chance at something else.

"And you don't have to say it. I've no right to be in the field. I'm just a squint, after all."

Jeriah waves a hand. "Eh. You'd do fine in the field if they'd have bothered to train you properly. What I don't get is this half measure where they give you a marksmanship class and some basic hand to hand and then put you out there. That's not your fault, but it IS your problem." Since it's dangerous and not just to her.

"I… might be interested." He says sipping. "We can investigate it anyway." He'd love to actually be able to take his skills to people and say 'look I have a piece of paper that says I can do this'. Those pieces of paper are sometimes quite necessary.

"Is that really what you think they did?" Jemma cants her head as she asks that question. "You don't think it was my lack of application that's to blame?" Jeriah is … very critical of all of this and Jemma understands *why*, he's right that it's her problem.

"If you are, then I'll go talk to the Instructors there. See if we can come up with something. Maybe you'd like to come with me in a week or so, I've been asked to speak to one of the classes. Something … inspirational, apparently."

Just how inspirational she is, Jemma's not sure - and Jeriah can see the doubt as that thought crosses her mind.

"You should have a hobby, Jeriah. And I don't mean bedevilling me. Maybe you'll find something that doesn't feel like you're always at war."

"How is bedevilling you not a hobby?" Jeriah smirks. He finishes his drink and takes a deep breath. He could do with some food. He wonders if they have nachos or something like it here.

"Inspirational mmm? I mean, most people would find someone in your position inspirational I suppose. Just talk to them about hard work and applying themselves." He waves. He's heard dozens of 'inspirational' speakers. Sort of a thing in the military. "Usually works."

What DID SHIELD do with Jemma? "It's hard to blame you for not building the house if you're never given any lumber."

"Oh well, you know. One of the youngest to graduate the academy. A Field Agent. All that. But I wonder if I will be now …" Sometimes Jemma thinks she should be kept in the shadows and used as a cautionary tale. Careful kiddies. You can overreach and then look what happens.

"Something *other* than bedevilling me, Jeriah." She sighs, knowing he's trying to lift her mood.

"I'm hungry and I feel like dancing … given you've dragged me out, I know just the place." The colour rises again "… um … that's if you've the time and would like to come with me…"

Jeriah checks his internal chronometer, which sort of looks like him glancing down and to the right. Yeah that should be fine. He doesn't need to be in bright and early tomorrow.

"Oh? Where did you have in mind?" He's already getting up, ready to go wherever it is she feels like going. They can get better than nachos too at a proper diner. New York has all kinds of food.

That has Jemma blushing even more. "Just a little club. It's got a good kitchen and a small dance floor. Monday nights is big band. Lots of songs from the 40's among other things."

Leaving a few bills on the table, the biochem stands and gets her bag. "Order us a UBER, Jeriah." She's already moving. He can do that, can't he?

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