2019-09-27 - Overwhelmed


Jeriah looks in on Jemma. She's had a big day

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Sep 27 05:14:28 2019
Location: Jemma's Lab

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Theme Song



Jemma's been closeted in her lab for most of the day, working. In fact the rumour is that she's not been home since yesterday. There's another rumour that Captain Rogers isn't well and there may have been incident in Jemma's lab, which might be related to her burning the candle at both ends.

Whatever it is, she's there now, no music sounding and the door shut soundly, while she tinkers at her workbench.

The lab door opens to admit Jeriah who has lunch, which he is eating. Lunch is a burrito - it looks quite good actually - and the dog-drone next to him is looking like it wants some. Jeriah is pointedly ignoring that because of course GIVING it to the dog drone is a recipe for having to clean its insides out later.

"Jemma what the- there you are. Have you been here all day? You look like ten miles of bad road."

So flattering.

"Shut the door." Jemma doesn't turn as Jeriah enters, just keeps her face down, looking at the bench. "I've been here since yesterday, yes. Something needed my attention then I had a conference with Hank and then …"

Jeriah can see her shoulders tremble, hear the beaker in her hand clink against another as her hand shakes.

"Is there something you wanted?"

Jeriah does shut the door and stands still, watching for a moment. For all that he talks - and sometimes punches and shoots - he's actually quite good at watching. He looks reckless because his risk threshold is higher than other people's, partly, but also partly because he makes observations and decisions rather quickly. So when he's actually quiet, and watching, it's unusual.

"Why don't you put the science down." He says finally. "Your hand is shaking. I can hear it from here. You probably don't need to be mixing things right now and you're quite clearly upset."

Jemma stills when the door shuts and Jeriah doesn't say anything. She was expecting some form of snarky response. "I … focussing helps. When this is done, I need to get it down to the containment cells and then maybe I can home and shower."

The beaker is put down though, Jemma's voice breaking just a little. "I'm just tired …" she finally says - though he knows that's not true. Jeriah has seen Jemma do far more than this and not bat an eyelid.

"It's been a long … couple of hours. You didn't say if there was something you wanted."

"No. I didn't." Nom. Jeriah finishes the burrito and perches on a table behind Jemma. She doesn't seem to have turned around so far and so he's still looking at her back. The dog-drone goes up to her and noses at her. It's quite tall, after all, at the shoulder.

"Mmmhmm. And is it fatigue or something else that has your voice cracking. I'm a soldier Jemma. I know what someone who is stressed out looks like. It can't be the workload, you'd spend all day here happily if you had to. So what is it?"

The dog nosing at her shoulder has Jemma turning and glaring at it. "Shep, stop it. I'm not in the mood." Yes, she named the damned thing. Jeriah will see the tracks from the tears down her cheeks. See the fear and the hurt that she's hurting.

"It's just … there's a lot going on and … " Her good hand pushes her hair back from her face, her eye finally meeting Jeriahs. "Steve was in here earlier and he … nearly turned into a werewolf. He looked like he wanted to eat me."

That won't make any sense, at all.

"And then Hanks serum … He told me I wasn't required. He was so cold."

That doesn't sound like Hank at all.

The dog noses more at her anyway and when she turns around she can see Jeriah is thinking. She probably hasn't seen him that thoughtful before.

"That doesn't sound like Hank. I take it the serum did something to him? And Captain America did what now?" Tried to bite her? In a way she didn't like? That's… okay that's weird. "He's a… right." SHIELD is weird.

Jeriah pats the table next to him. Come over here and take a load off.

"It isn't Hank, not anymore." Jemma says, shaking her head as she tries to compose herself. Think of England, Jemma. Stiff upper lip and all that. Put your fears in the box and just get on with things. None of it, is helping at the moment.

"Steve looked like he wanted to eat me." She confirms, looking at the table and then at soldier. He might think she's going to refuse till the dog nudges her shoulder again, sending her in a halting step in that direction. "I … I have work to do …"

It's said faintly as she hefts herself up onto the table, holding herself straight so she doesn't brush against the man.

"Hanks serum worked, after a fashion. He lost all his hair, like he wanted. He got smarter even but it affected other things, not the least of which is his hormone balance and his ability to empathise."

"And then Steve … said he could smell the lavendar I use and … the scent of me …" She swallows and Jeriah will feel her shake.

"Lavendar? And that made him want to eat you?" Jeriah makes a face. "I'd only do that if you were covered in chocolate." Because that's the only time it's edible.

"Oh… I see. His serum had side effects. This is why we test things on animals…" The hacker says rolling his eyes slightly. "And he said some hurtful things. Is it reverseable?" Because if it's not, an unempathetic Hank might ACTUALLY be kind of a problem… "And are you alright?"

That might be the first time he's asked that. "You may have work to do but you're not getting it done right now so… chill."

Jemma blushes. A lot. That might have been Jeriah's intent. "No. The scent of me … he said. Not just Lavendar but all of it. And you're not covering me in chocolate." beat "ever." Jemma takes a deep breath. "Steve got bitten by something that we think is a Loup Garou, a werewolf. It's certainly looking that way and he changed himself last night. Today, I had him for testing and … he got close and … started to change. It was frightening, Jeriah."

The blush doesn't fade though as she looks down at her hands. "Hank. We did all the testing we could." She sounds miffed at the implied critiscm. "And because it works on his mutation, testing on animals…" she huffs and falls silent. "Yes, it's reversible and I've given him six hours to do what he needs. We'll be making him revert because if he doesn't, there's a high probability he'll die."

"I'm… alright. Hurt and scared and worried for Steve. Worried that I won't be able to help him and I'll be consigning him to a living hell."

"Don't you HAVE a voodoo division for exactly this kind of thing?" Jeriah says as he watches Jemma. He's not dipping her in chocolate, no. He's not eating her because she smells of lavender either. Though lavender chocolate DOES sound rather nice right now.

"Will Hank comply with that ultimatum? As for Steve… do you have to be the one to fix him? SHIELD has other experts after all. If he nearly ate you, maybe it's time to give someone else a shot. No shame in that. You're doing a LOT anyway."

"We do, yes and they're working on it." Jemma answers, raising her eyes to meet Jeriahs. She can't tell at the moment if he's being sardonic or if he's really trying to help. She's still blushing though.

"Hank … said he will. We just had to appeal to his sense of logic really. I'm not too worried by that, I was just taken aback. He's … my friend Jeriah and he looked at me like I was a slug." Jeriah might have noted that Jemma doesn't have many people that she socialises with. A friend might be something of a luxury for the biochem.

"Would you give up on someone because someone else could do it, Jeriah?" She asks that quite honestly.

"Letting someone else take a crack at Cap and giving up on him are not quite the same thing, I think." Jeriah points out as he leans back on both of his hands. "But alright if you feel strongly about it would you like someone there next time? Or maybe the Voodoo division can send someone."

Jemma knows someone who can handle Wolf Steve if it comes to it. Someone who isn't Jeriah who would honestly struggle with that with Steve without his dogs. Of course with his dogs that's another story.

"Will he be sorry, do you think, tomorrow?"

"I… will have someone there next time. It was … foolish. I had security just outside the door and told them to hold off. Steve was trying, ever so hard, to control it and I didn't want to make things worse." When Jeriah leans back, Jemma leans into him, finally … not relaxing really … but maybe calming is a good word.

"I'll have the WAND agent that was assigned to the case to be present next time and have auto-injectors filled with cream of aconite."

The last question has Jemma thinking. "Steve? Or Hank? Steve feels horrible, I could see it on his face. Hank? I think so. Once he's back in his right head. It's so *not* Hank to be so cold and calculating. I should have tried to get some sleep before I did that conference."

"Well that seems… reasonable at least." Werewolves are beyond Jeriah's purview as really is a lot of the science that she and Hank do. But helping people deal with tricky situations? That he's pretty good at. Granted a lot of his solutions are rather direct but then… so is he.

"Perhaps you should get some now. Why is it that you're working overtime again? You're clearly not in much of a condition to be working with your hands shaking like that…"

"I just have so much to do, Jeriah." Jemma sighs. "I could pull the cot out, I suppose and get some sleep here." That's not what he meant, not at all. And really, she *needs* a shower.

"Between trying to find something to help Steve, looking at Kwabena's problem and seeing if we can help him, AIM, my research is being leaked and Agents being replaced by Clockwork monstronsities …" She's in that spiral that occurs when you get tired. "And the Director wants a briefing on Kwabena's immunity hearing."

"There's just so much to do." She says again.

"I am going to make you go home and at least bathe if I have to tie you to one of my dogs and drag you there myself." Jeriah says folding his arms. "No one is helped by your science if you mess it up because you're tired and distraught. And also, privately, you need that shower."

She's smelling a little bit sour. "There's always something to do. You can't get it all done right now and you need to attend to basic necessities. Like emotional health. And hygiene."

"I'll … " Jemma deflates and moves away from Jeriah. She can only imagine how she smells. "Steve seemed to like it." There's a faint smile. Not all of her humour has fled.

"I'll go home. I'll stop by the break room and get a snack on my way out." The biochem sighs. "I'll have to organise dinner as well. Did you come in for something?"

She asked that before and now she's asking again.

"I saw the door shut and the light on, mostly." Jeriah says. Was he checking in on her or…

"And also I was going to do some hardware work on the VR simulator project we've got going. I think I can add some processing ability that'll make the visuals smoother but I'm still going to have to work with you to get touch and sense. I'll need to understand how the brain processes that in order to code it."

Or at least have a general understanding. They might need to bring Kelly in on this at some point but they don't need to now.

"But. That can wait until after you shower."

"Alright then. I'm going to go home."

Jemma so doesn't look happy at the moment but that should pass, shouldn't it.

"Let me lock up here, get my stuff and a snack and … I'll be back early tomorrow." She'll have to order dinner at some point. "Thank you, Jeriah."

Hoisting herself off the table where they're sitting, Jemma glances at Jeriah before starting her close up routine.

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