2019-11-10 - Getting Used To Things


Saturdays are for relaxing.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Nov 10 05:49:21 2019
Location: New York

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Theme Song



Jemma is not really the kind of woman to go out 'shopping'. Not the way some do at any rate. But there'd been a new boutique store that opened recently that was a bit too good to pass up. Called 'Golden Years', it had fashions from the 30's through the 50's, all made using authentic methods and authentic fabrics, perhaps improved a bit here and there for durability.

The shop has an old timey feel to it, deliberately. It's wood paneled, the light fixtures are vintage and there's a radio playing wartime hits in the main room. It's been doing pretty good business. And it's not very far from Jemma's house.

Jemma really doesn't spend a lot on clothing but when she does go shopping, it's in places like these. The shop is lovely, the decor nearly spot on and the shop assistants are dressed appropriately.

Jemma's currently browsing one of the racks, admiring a dress that could only be described as 'pinup'. It's just her style and she's seriously considering buying it and the darling shoes displayed with it.

"You really do have an old soul don't you." That's from the doorway of the shop. Jeriah hadn't been here a little bit ago but he must have sensed or seen what she was doing. He comes over beside her to look at the dress. "You like that one?"

It really is quite nice. A lot of things in here are. There's a lot NOT to admire about fashions from the period but this shop tastefully skips those bits.

Jemma looks up at the hacker soldier in surprise. She really hadn't been attention to the link they share and hadn't picked up on his amusement at watching her. "Did I forget a meeting, Jeriah? Or does something need my attention? I was really hoping to get a Saturday to myself, for once."

With Steve cured from being a werewolf, Jemma has a little time to spare at the moment.

The dress she's looking at is forest green, the bodice fitted, the sleeves short and the skirt flared. The cuffs, belt and collar of the dress are a fawn colour - the effect rather stylish in it's simplicity.

"I don't know if I have old soul but I know what I like." The biochem blushes a little as Jeriah joins her. She hadn't expected that. "But yes, I do, rather…." There's enough of a pause that he might think she's going to add more but she doesn't.

He can probably pick up on her thoughts though. She does think loudly. And she's wondering if he likes it too.

"No meeting, no." Jeriah says. "I saw you shopping. You never shop. I figured I'd come look at what could be worth actually going into a store for." He's right of course. She does a lot of her shopping on the internet.

"Well why don't you let me get it for you then. Call it an early Christmas present." It's actually of the right color to be worn around Christmas, so that's entirely plausible.

Even if the notion of him buying this dress for her might make her sputter a bit.

"You … wanted to see why I was shopping?" Jemma says faintly, looking up at Jeriah in question. The thoughts filter through her mind about how glad she is she's not in a lingerie shop. She'd be mortified…

Oh. She is mortified. "No, no. No thankyou. I … why would you buy me a dress?" Sputter, yes and blush. A lot. It really is a nice dress and she could wear it to the Christmas party. She was going to buy it anyway but … "I … no really, why…"

"Because you'd look good in it, of course. And you seem to want it." He can hear that she wants it, that she was going to buy it. She might REALIZE that Jeriah can hear her thinking that and if she does that's going to make the blush worse. Maybe he just wanted to make her blush.

Or maybe he does think that she'd look nice in it. He's seen her in period dress before after all. And he seemed to enjoy the way she filled it out. When they were dancing. Oh. Actually he's been quite close to her when she was wearing that, she realizes.

"I mean, I can't stop you if you want to buy it for me but … it's … well, it's the not sort of thing I'm used to." Jemma manages to stutter some more. "Gifts from people I work with - well, unless it's the Secret Santa, they don't generally happen."

She can feel her cheeks flaming as the realisation sets in that Jeriah can probably hear her thoughts. Which makes the images of the lingerie she'd been considering the other night to spring to mind - quickly covered with an image of a bunny rabbit.

"I'm … " she's not said 'no' "Will you please stop thinking about how looked in that other dress?"

"Would you prefer that I think you how looked in this one then?" That's not any better. That might be worse. Jeriah takes the dress off the rack and hands it to Jemma. "Did you want to try it on and make sure it fits before we check out?"

Unless she says no, it seems, he's probably going to get it for her. Which is fine, it's not a HUGELY expensive dress. Not like he's buying her a ring or anything. But it's still a very nice dress and he's saying she looks good in it.

He'd probably like how she looks in that lingerie too. She might realize that thought's from him…

"I … uh … this is very disconcerting Jeriah…" Jemma manages in that prim and proper tone she can adopt. "I… should. But I don't want to hold you up." It's so strange to have a man shopping for a dress with her.

Jemma hasn't had many experiences like that, if any.

It won't take her long to try it on, as she takes the garment and disappears out the back. Stop thinking about that… she chides about the lingerie. Of course … he gets the images of her trying that dress on.

In the terrible lighting of the change rooms.

He can also feel her 'choke' on the thought of him buying a ring.

It's not long before she's back, blushing bright red. The shoes … she'll get later.

"I was right. You do look nice in it." Jeriah says. Yeah the blush has him grinning. It's like it's a game, making her blush. But he genuinely does think she looks good so there is that as well.

Rather than letting her go to change back he just offers his arm. "Well lets go pay for it shall we?" Is he doing this just to get a rise out of her? She might think so except that she can sense his thoughts and no… he doesn't seem to be doing this for the simple joy of trolling her, much as that does seem to entertain him.

"Stop it…" Jemma mutters about the grin, letting her hair fall about her face to hide the blush some. "I'll just go and…. oh. You want me to wear it now?" They'll have to remove the tags but the cashier can do that, easily. "I … has anyone told you, you're a strange man, Jeriah?"

Why is he doing this? He'd sought her out and … yes, he's trolling a bit, but there's more to what she's getting from him.

"At least let me buy you lunch…"

"If you insist. There's a deli up the road. Or did you want to order in?" Maybe she doesn't want to parade around in the dress and he won't make her. They can go some place she's more comfortable, like her place if she wants, and eat there.

Either way Jeriah helps her gather up her clothes and takes her to the front to pay for the dress she's wearing. The cashier takes off the tag and is definitely making a few assumptions. Jemma gets a wink as they leave. That will likely only make the already critical-mass blushing worse.

"Strange? Well. Maybe. I like 'mysterious' better." Oh he's definitely a mystery.

"Uh. What would you prefer? I was going to spend some time on the couch this afternoon, put a movie on and review some of the results of the tests I've been running." Because of course, Jemma wouldn't totally relax. There's a flash of an image of the two of them curled up together.

"If we order in, I'll get enough for dinner and the rest of my day will be set …" It's Jemma babble, made worse by the wink and she doesn't seem to be stopping like she usually does.

"Well, strange and mysterious. It's not every man who would buy the strange scientist a dress just because he liked it."

Oh. Jemma could bite her tongue about now.

"We can go to your place then. If you don't mind me inviting myself along." She doesn't. Jeriah can see that from the image he's getting. Instead he starts off at a walk with her toward her car. He had actually walked here. He'd been in the area and his car will be fine where it is.

"Strange? Maybe a bit awkward and absorbed in her work but not strange." Ah there's her car. Well. Her house won't be far off.

"What do you want? I'll order while you drive?"

"I … don't. I mean, I invited you to lunch and let you chose the venue." Jemma stutters, guiding them towards her car. It is of course, an ultimately sensible car - much like Jemma herself. Small and compact, but not a hybrid, thankfully.

Jeriah can sense the moment of panic as Jemma starts cataloguing things. Like how tidy her place is. Has she left any clothing laying around? Is it really tidy enough to have a visitor?

"You'd be one of the few who don't think that." the biochem murmurs as she unlocks the car and slides into the drivers seat. "And they think me even stranger now…." Now she's been modified. Heh. She's not thought on that while Jeriah was with her. Normally she'd be very self conscious.

"Turkish today. Get four serves of Parmesan chicken, Zucchini balls, salad and whatever you prefer to eat." Handing over her card so he can place the order, the car is started and they're off.

It's not long to her apartment, even driving in New York traffic on a Saturday. Her apartment is on the fifteenth floor.

Jeriah orders all of that, plus a couple more dishes. "Should be there about twenty minutes after we arrive." He says as they drive. So nice to be able to do that all in his head.

When they do arrive Jeriah takes off his coat and hangs it on the rack, and then his boots. He is polite after all. Jemma is, of course, still wearing that dress. And he pauses to admire her as she takes off her own coat.

"I have wine to drink and maybe a beer or two. It's not big on my shopping myself, I'm afraid." Jemma says as they enter the apartment and slides her jacket off and hangs it up. The blush doesn't fade as she senses his regard.

"You're looking at me, Jeriah." She's not had him do that before. Not like that. Kicking off her shoes, the biochem moves to the kitchen to get some glasses and a drink. "I didn't say, thank you, did I?"

The apartment is just as Jeriah would expect. Neat and tidy, sparsely furnished and practical.

"Oh you are quite welcome." Jeriah says. He follows her to the kitchen. "A beer would be fine. You said you were going to get some work done. Anything I can help with? Or would you rather put on a christmas movie instead? White Christmas? Holiday Inn?" Something like that?

It's not the first time, though, that he's looked at her. Maybe not quite like that but he's seen her in her chosen style of dress before and admired it. She's sensed him do so. "It's a nice place you have by the way."

Jeriah can sense the uncertainity in Jemma, catch the stray thoughts that she can't quite mute. Unsure of why he would be looking like that at her. It's not the thing that people do. Jemma is a scientist, a cybernetic one at that.

And it's making her a little flustered.

"Uh. Thank you… it's a place." For all her worrying on the way over, it's rather tidy. "Beer it is and then a movie. I have White Christmas AND Holiday Inn, as well as It's a Wonderful Life and that latest one with Kurt Russell is streaming again." *Someone* likes her Christmas movies, clearly.

"I was going to review some results. You can help if you want - it might be gobbledy-gook to you though. It can wait till we've eaten though." Jemma has to reach to get the glasses from the cabinet - Jeriah might assume, quite correctly, that she has a set of steps somewhere.

"Uh, do you think you could … save me getting the steps."

"What do you normally do a Saturday, Jeriah? When you aren't following Scientists around."

"Follow engineers around." Jeriah teases. "I relax. Sometimes I go out. Play games. Depends. Saturdays are for doing whatever takes me. I find that having an unstructured day helps me stay sane."

Jeriah reaches up to get those glasses and pulls down two. Well, probably they only need one he usually does beer straight from the bottle.

"How about White Christmas. It's a classic, is it not? I'm going to guess that you're not used to having company over." Based more on how she was near panicking rather than how the place looks.

"Mustn't be SHIELD engineers, I haven't seen you look at any of them." Jemma quips back, freezing a little as Jeriah reaches past to get the glass. "I have a gaming console … oh, no, you're an X-Box man. I doubt you'd sully your hands on my PS-4."

Now she really is teasing. At the thought of an unstructured day, Jemma's own thoughts go wild - that's not something she gets to do often.

Getting the wine and beer out of the fridge, Jemma turns to look at Jeriah "I'm so rarely home and who would come to visit? Kelly came over when she needed help with Roy but … " Jemma really is a workaholic.

Watching Jeriah carefully, she nods slowly though. "White Christmas it is. I love Bing and Rosemary Clooney. You strike me as a Danny Kaye man."

"Maybe but Vera would be too much for me. I'll take Rosemary, thanks." Jeriah says as he takes a seat on the couch and takes a drink of his beer. Ah. Nice and cold. At least she kept it refrigerated. Unlike, well, most Brits. Warm beer. Really. Who does that?

Brits. That's who.

"Dinner will be here in a couple of minutes. Want to have it on the couch or…" She does have a table but there's no reason they can't eat and put on the movie at the same time.

That does cause Jemma to blush. "I don't know, I think you could handle someone like Vera." Rosemary though, Jemma mostly identifies with.

Grabbing the remote that's on the counter as she passes, Jemma takes a seat next to Jeriah and turns the TV on, finding the movie they've just discussing and queuing it up.

"We'll eat here. I only really use the table when I have to work." Jemma answers quietly. Nervous and self conscious again now they're settling again.

"I'll uh … get some serviettes and cutlery when the delivery comes. And … maybe I should change."

But Jeriah really does seem to like the dress.

"You don't have to. I mean you can change if you like but you look nice like that." Jeriah says as she settles. He does have to get up again when the food arrives. It takes a few minutes after that to get it all dished and plated and served but there is soon a quite nice repast spread out on the coffee table and Danny Kaye is in the process of saving Bing Crosby's life, something he will surely regret.

Jeriah settles back in, plates up some food and watches. It's quite normal. Except that it's not. When was the last time she had someone over like this after all?

"I … uh. OK…. " Jemma is nonplussed, she truly is. As Jeriah collects the food, Jemma gets the extra bits she mentioned before settling back down to eat.

"Did you know he wrote that song for Holiday Inn and didn't think it got enough time, so he decided to do this movie?" the biochem is babbling a little, a sure sign that she's a little discomfitted.

This isn't normal. Normally she'd been sitting here with her tablet, reviewing test results or reading the lastest Scientist Monthly. Relaxing, with a friend, isn't something she does with very often.

"I had heard that story yes. It's a good song. I did like it, especially in this." Jeriah says. He eats. Rather calmly. If she's babbling over much he doesn't really say anything about that. Just lets her talk. Yes this is all perfectly normal. Okay no it's not. But he behaves as if it is.

"I'm going to get another drink. Did you want something?"

The movie moves on. They're back in America and Danny is telling Bing that he needs a break, then they're off to the club to the see the Sisters sing.

Nodding slowly, Jemma holds up her glass to be refilled. "Please. You know, I'm the hostess, I should be doing that, not you." Why does he feel so at home with her? Because he does. Jemma's not picking up any awkwardness from the soldier-hacker. It's all from her.

And he can hear every thought as she thinks it.

Along with what she might get him for Christmas. A small vaccuum cleaner for Brutus, maybe.

Jeriah chuckles and glances up at her. He lets her go and thanks her when she comes back. "You'er quite the good hostess. Are you sure you don't do this more often?"

Because for someone who doesn't usually host people she's got some very firm ideas of what it is that hosts do.

"Is it really all that bad? Not like we're doing anything untoward after all, is it?"

"Not here. Mum and Dad used to entertain a bit when I was younger before I started at College, though. The lessons tend to stick, you know." Because of course they would. She is British! "You can get the next one, I promise."

That does mean that she expects there'll be more today.

Blushing faintly at his comment, handing Jeriah the beer she's retrieved, Jemma's fingers brush his and she pauses, good eye meeting his gaze.

There's a small shake of her head, her hair falling to shade her face. "No, it's not. It's … nice. Really. To have you here."

"It's nice to be here." Jeriah cants his head. He can, of course, read her thoughts. He can sense the… it's not embarrassment. It's just awkwardness. Why though?

"Something wrong, Simmons? Or should I say, Jemma?" It's a tad personal, using her name when speaking into her mind like that. He scans her surface thoughts and then finds something. An image. So he copies it in real life… and puts his arm around her shoulders. "Better?"

Why awkward? Jemma's smart and confident, why awkward now she's alone with Jeriah, like this.

The blush gets slightly brighter when he finds that image and copies it, even though she leans into it and sort of curls at his side.

You don't have to, Jeriah. I'm … being … silly. They're friends, right? Work colleagues. She shouldn't be feeling like this, should she?

"I'm still not sure why you came looking for me today…"

"Because I was in the area and I had to see for myself what you were shopping for. Can't say I regret having done so." Because she looks nice. She'll pick that up. But what is it that she's feeling that she 'feels' she shouldn't? What is it that she's inclined to do? Curl up at his side like this? More.

The arm around her shoulders is rather nice, isn't it. Why is it that she's smart and confident in the lab but not… here?

"So you could tease me…" Jemma murmurs, resting her head on Jeriahs shoulder, her breath fanning over his neck. "We're friends, Jeriah. This … shouldn't … I wasn't sure you even liked me, let alone enough to do this …"

He can get the images easily enough. It's hard for her to connect with people like this. It's rare that she's found anyone that can connect with her and … yet, Jeriah has.

In more ways than one.

Apart from that, she's not entirely human, is she?

"Maybe not entirely so I could tease you." Jeriah chuckles. He lets her stay right where she is as the image plays. "Why is it so hard for you to connect with people? Are they just not as interesting as things?"

That could be it. Jemma is a scientist. And a very focused one when it comes down to it, really.

"Not entirely?" Jemma's lips brush Jeriah's neck as she speaks. It's nice here, though she's not exactly entirely relaxed. "I … It's not things, exactly. Most people talk to me like Doctor Simmons or Doc. My work hours don't give me much time to socialise and … I don't know, Jeriah. It's not like I go clubbing, is it? Or shopping with the girls."

She sighs, letting her weight lean against him a little more. "And then I had my accident and now … I'm a cyborg. Not a real person, anymore."

Jeriah gives Jemma a bit of a squeeze around the shoulders. "You seem real enough at the moment." He says softly. It's a gentler side of the hacker than she'd seen before. Maybe getting to hear her think day in and day out has bred a bit of familiarity. That's certainly a good explanation for why he's so comfortable with his arm around her.

"Do you not think you're a real person, really?"

"You make me feel real enough …" Jemma can't help but blush, can she? But she doesn't move away, turning her head so she can watch the movie as it plays.

Maybe hearing her think has given Jeriah some familiarity. It's hard not to hear her, or so he says.

"I don't know, Jeriah. I'm hackable, Kelly has to moderate my emotions and you've got a permanent connection to me. My arm is completely metal. My eye … can see through flesh. You tell me. Am I real or am I now just what someone has made me?"

"You're not any worse off in that regard than normal people though. They just break and no one can fix them cause no one can get into their heads." So sure Jemma has some issues but do they really make her less real?

He doesn't think so.

"What would you need to feel real, Jemma? What would someone need to show you for you to feel real?"

"I can be programmed, Jeriah." Jemma answers quietly. "Kelly can rewrite me. Hell, even you can affect me if you wanted. I'm as much machine as I am human, aren't I?"

The question has the biochem looking back to the screen to watch the movie, still leaning against Jeriah's shoulder with his arm around her. "I'm not sure, Jeriah. I … was never very good at that before, was I?"

He wouldn't really know. He only met her after the accident.

"Would you like me to try programming you?" Jeriah chuckles. "I'll bet it's not as easy as all that." It's probably not. Then again he might be able to do it which is probably not a comforting thought. Or maybe it is. He could keep her safe right?

"Well? What did you want before? What made you feel alive? Other than science obviously."

"I'm sure it wouldn't be easy, but you could." Jemma murmurs, letting out a long slow breath as she does. "I … I'm used to having you in my head, though. Knowing you're just a thought away. Feeling your amusement … even if you're laughing at me."

"I … didn't really. My work was enough, really. It was everything. It still is but there's more to life than that, isn't there?" beat "You've shown me that. You make me leave my lab and take me to dinner and dancing. And now … you're here, like this."

"This … makes feel real, Jeriah. Being here like this."

"Then everything should be alright for now, shouldn't it?" Jeriah chuckles as he tugs her in to shelter just a bit closer against him. Curled up, in a cute dress watching a christmas movie with her face tucked in against his neck. If she isn't blushing to hell and back it'll be a miracle.

But then even if she were she'd still want this, wouldn't she?

Of course Jemma is blushing. That's almost her default state. Still she does seem to snuggle on in with Jeriah, curling her legs under her as they watch the movie.

"For now, it should be. Yes." She agrees.

"Should be, mmm?" Jeriah laughs as she actually does some snuggling. He glances down. Her legs are bare, not stockinged but he's seen her wear hose before. She favors a darker type, which sets off with her pale skin. And yes. She'll pick up on that.

"Should be but isn't? Or should be but is?"

"Should be… mmmm." Jemma smiles. Her legs are bare, she hadn't intended on wearing a dress today, after all. Jeriah only thinks Jemma wears hose, he can't be certain they aren't stockings.

Can he?

"What would you say if it said it was? That … I wouldn't mind doing this more often?"

"I might run out of dresses to buy you at some point." Jeriah teases. He knows that's not what she means though. The hacker soldier chuckles and looks down at Jemma. Nestled as she is, where she is.

"I could do this more too." He had after all taken her dancing. And to dinner. And they hadn't been dates per se. Just him making her get out of the lab. But… he'd enjoyed them. And she had. And it's not like he would take just anyone dancing, is it?

"Not before I run out of closet space." Jemma smiles, looking up into Jeriah's eyes as he looks down. "That's not what I meant though, is it?" Yes he knows it and she can tell, she's picking his thoughts up after all.

"I don't know, I'm sure you'd have enough women to take dancing or otherwise. You're a good looking man Jeriah, and you're … nice."

"Do I seem much inclined to take other women dancing?" Certainly Jemma hasn't SEEN Jeriah with any other women. And while she certainly has noticed him noticing them - he isn't blind after all - he's never really approached any of them. Nor they him. He does seem a bit… military. That surely doesn't make him horribly approachable to moast.

"I… No, you don't. Just me." Jemma answers, still watching Jeriah's eyes as they sit there. "So why me then? The trouble magnet Scientist?" A bit military? A lot, really. And … scarred in someways.

In the background the movie plays. Bings heading back to the city to go on the show which Danny is up to his antics again.

"Why me?"

"Why you? You're here. You're nice. You're pretty. There's a dozen reasons." Jeriah murmurs. He reaches up to run his hand through her hair. She's got it in a loose do that's very curly and generally rather 40's. It's nice. And soft. Because, you know, she uses shampoo.

"Would you rather I not?" He's teasing. He knows she rather he would.

As Jeriah runs his hand through Jemma's hair, a piece falls loose over the side of her face. "So it's me, because I'm here?" She's teasing as well, actually smiling now as her fingers trace his chin.

"I …. like it. I told you. I could grow used to this. Very used to it. The dancing and this, being here with you…"

"Well. It couldn't be here if you weren't." Jeriah points out with flawless logic. He keeps running his hand through her hair. "That does feel nice by the way. And if you could get used to it…"

He smiles a bit. "Maybe I'd like you to get used to it…"

Jemma blushes, turning her head a little into Jeriah's hand as he strokes her hair. "I'm glad you like it. I want you to get used to it too. I … want you to enjoy being here, with me." She's forgotten about the movie, at least for the moment.

"If you keep this up, taking me dancing, spoiling me, I think you run the risk that I will get used to it."

There's a question in her eye, her palm against Jeriah's cheek now.

Jerah sweeps his thumb over Jemma's cheek and cants his head slightly at the question in her eyes. Eye. He isn't moving though. "Well that's a risk you will just have to take isn't it. That, or decide you're going to get out on your own without me."

Which she could though he gets the rather distinct feeling she'd rather not. He leans in a bit closer and plants a very brief kiss on her. Not on her lips, not quite that bold. But nor is it a simple peck on the cheek either. Though that'd probably be enough to turn her bright red.

"I already like your company, Jeriah…" Jemma murmurs. "And I think … it's a risk I want to take. It's been a while since I've found someone that I want to feel … close … too."

The kiss when it comes, has her blushing but not pulling away.

"Is it something you could used to, Jeriah? Or … would you rather keep your distance?" He doesn't get the chance to pull back from that kiss, Jemma brushing her lips against his.

"Well I could get used to that for a start." The brushing kiss. Jeriah still doesn't pull back and she can feel his breath on her lips. His presence in her mind may at this point be almost second nature. It's rather surprising how quickly people can get used to things.

Even things as terribly invasive as that.

"Could you now. Then that's good." Jemma whispers again, her lips brushing his again. She doesn't push it, doesn't make any more advances than that. His presence in her mind is a comfort - mostly - and she's almost forgotten that it's there.

"I'm glad you came looking today." She's not paying attention to the movie but perhaps they should. They could simply bask in each others company for a little while, couldn't they?

"I'm glad I did too." Jeriah seems content to bask. There is indeed not much on the screen that interests him at the moment and he likes this movie. Instead he scoots a little closer. He won't press either. But he is very much enjoying this. More, perhaps, than he would have expected some time ago.

But then… getting to know someone often reveals surprises.

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