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Old 09-14-2017, 07:58 PM   #26
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"I didn't see it, sorry-you know I never check Facebook. Mostly because you tag me in a bazillion saying and recipes, but hey, you do you, Mom."

Jenna wasn't dressed yet. She wasn't anything yet-her wet hair was still wrapped up in a towel, a matching yellow one tucked around her slim body. She had laid out an outfit the night of the phone call-then changed her mind twice since. The blue dress! No, no, maybe she didn't like blue anymore. The black skater's dress and her black sparkly flats! No, he was so tall, she should probably wear heels-not that they would help much.

She had finally settled on a red silk and lace number she hadn't actually worn before. It was plenty appropriate, but also fun. It was just a matter of tracking down the right bra-and what was she going to do for shoes?

"No Skype tonight-I gotta actually hurry, there's a, uh, a thing." Even as she said it, Jenna knew it was a dire mistake. The woman on the other end of the line went silent-and then pressed for details. A thing? On a Friday night? What sort of thing? Was she going out? Where to? With who? Was this a date?

Her mother had started talking so fast, it was shifting from English to Tagalog. Jenna got the third degree, her face starting to turn red as she tried to play it off as just a friendly meeting in her mother's native language, but the older woman was abuzz with excitement, wanting to know what she was going to wear, wanting to know where she was going to go, wanting to know where she had met a man and if he was Filipino or not and-

"Mom. Mom, seriously, stop-" Too late. She'd be planning a wedding and grand kids and God only knew what else before the call was over. "OkaywellIbettergetgoingMomloveyoubye!" And then she hung up the phone, shaking her head and muttering to herself. It wasn't like she was an old maid, jeez!

It did remind her how little she went anywhere, and made her feel a little nervous about tonight.
Dinner was too forward. Coffee was low key and casual, middle of the day or early evening without any chance of disappointed expectations. She could wear the things she always did. Dinner was just...well, dinner was a date. He had accepted a 'kind of', so maybe there was still wiggle room-maybe not so forward. Either way, he made it all too easy to just...agree with him. Happily go along with things. Smooth, but not snake oil salesman smooth.

Maybe that was why she felt so nervous. He was self assured, comfortable in his own skin. And she wasn't always...well, sometimes she just felt a little awkward, socially. Jenna made a noise of triumph as her right hand closed around the heel of one of her favorite shoes and pulled it out from beneath the bed. Well, at least she had cute shoes.

///////////////////////////////////////////////

It was exactly two minutes before the agreed upon time when the olive skinned Filipina turned the corner, pausing a moment for a trio of conversing men to part for her-eyes glancing her way without trying to stare. It wasn't hard to see why-she was wearing a long sleeved, deep red dress with a tessellating silk pattern in a slightly darker shade on the fabric. It wasn't low cut or anything less than conservative, really-but the scoop neck still showed off a delicate, pretty collar bone and a slender throat. The dress came in with a thin silver belt around her small waist-and then flared off her hips to fall just a few inches above her knee. It did a wonderful job of showing just how femininely shaped the petite woman was without being too risque. From the front, she looked perfectly respectable, if a little virginal.

But when one saw the back of the dress-well, maybe not as conservative as one had thought. The dress buttoned just at the nape of her neck-and then was open in a diamond shape to show her toned, olive skinned back before it met the silver belt and the skirt flared out as normal. She had beautiful skin, and what was showing was still plenty appropriate for formal dress.

She wore a pair of black, round toed heels that only gave her a slight boost in height-but they accentuated her toned legs nicely, as well as were cute with the large bow on the front of her ankles. She'd done her hair up too-loose waves curled into her dark hair, a portion pulled back and braided near her temple, the long bangs swept a little to the side. Natural looking makeup, just a hint of copper to the bronze brown eye shadow and a dark tint on her lips.

Dark eyes were looking for someone, and she found him easily enough, given his height. Jenna gave a little wave with one small hand, the other one holding a small black clutch at her side. Silver, simple but elegant earrings to match her belt, and a thin silver bangle on her wrist

"Hi!" Jenna greeted as she stepped up, extending her hand because...well, seemed appropriate to do something? She smiled, and it was contagious. "It's nice to see you, Anthony. The view from here is just-crazy, isn't it?"

She turned to look at that famous skyline again, the lighted bridge across the water. "New York can be just...beautiful. I don't think I could get tired of that skyline, you know?"
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:28 PM   #27
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Since the encounter with the brat, he could no longer think of her as Velocity, Sleuth had found himself taking to the streets again. He'd been slow and a little sloppy after so many years of inactivity. Sure he'd kept up his exercise regiment, but there was something about being put there on that knife's edge that sharpened the senses.

He'd tried staying at home, but he couldn't stop thinking about the brat. She'd struck him several times, but worst of all she'd left him with an itch. He wandered around his apartment a little lost, fantasising that the fight had gone differently and his domination of her had ended with a more satisfying encounter.

He blushed at the thought and decided to go hit someone that seriously deserved it.

Jenna's phone call was a grateful distraction. He was eager to spend time with someone normal, and he'd always found bubbly, optimistic women attractive. Of course she was plenty easy on the eye. So this was good, yes. Normal and good.

He shaved his hard and handsome face, and applied product to his chocolate coloured hair into a spiky shock.

He selected a suit of deepest blue jacket and pants, brown belt and a crisp white shirt with the top two buttons undone around the collar. A faint splash over aftershave and he was done.

He arrived about ten minutes before Jenna and sat enjoying the view of the river, lost in thought. The brat had been quiet the last few days, which was a good thing. Wasn't it? What was he doing thinking about her, he was about to go on a date. He shook his head.

A stunning Asian woman in a red dress arrived at the desk, and it took a full double take before he realised this was his date, at which point all thought of the brat were dispelled from his mind.

He let out an appreciative sigh as he watched her cross the room. Hastily Anthony stood and took her small hand in his, before pulling her chair out to sit. His eyes widened and he could feel his mouth go dry when he saw the cut of her dress at the back, and he had to resist the desire to place his hand on her back.

"I'm glad you didn't get lost again, and turn up at the cafe next door," he answered with a teasing grin and a wink. "You look... wow!"

"It's been a year since I've been here, to be honest. It's nice to have an excuse to go to nice places."

In a short order he ordered lemon, lime bitters, expressing some slight disappointment that she wasn't the legal age. He asked about her studies and what life is like back at home. He is easy to talk to, flirty and inquisitive about her interests and dreams. In contrast he doesn't volunteer a lot about himself, and is occasionally evasive when answering questions about his past, preferring to have her be the focus of conversation. There are times when his eyes narrow, and he gives her a strange penetrating look. Several times during the conversation there would be a slight lull, and her face would drop into a melancholy expression.

A short time after the entrees are served he finally asks what is on his mind. "Jenna, we don't know each other well, but something has changed since we spoke. I feel like something is bothering you. Has something happened in your studies? I just want to make sure you are enjoying yourself."

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Old 09-14-2017, 10:58 PM   #28
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Jenna's gave a pretty laugh at his good natured teasing, and seemed both a little embarrassed and brightened by his compliment. "Thank you! Took a minute to decide on what to wear. You look nice, too."

Like some sort of celebrity, really. For some reason, Jenna liked that he was wearing a suit but no tie. Men always looked good in suit jackets, she thought. Again, he was not a frat boy or an overworked honor student, was on a higher tier than her college peers-and it was attractive. Confident.

She had maybe worn the dress to impress him, which was a change of pace-because Jenna wore what she wanted to wear for herself, and really only for herself, any other time. Of course, she liked the dress too. And her shoes. She had a weakness for shoes that she would be much, much too embarrassed to admit to.

"Sorry-" Jenna lifted her hands apologetically. "Still a few more weeks before I can become an expert wine aficionado." A pretty smile. She didn't actually intend on doing that-not really, but she thought it was amusing.

He wanted to know about her and Jenna went ahead and told him about her studies so far-a rather intense, tightly packed schedule over the past two years, with a few courses taken as extracurricular in high school. She had taken 28 credit hours last semester alone, and was double majoring in English and Criminal Justice, with a minor in Physics, of all things. She told him how her studies took up most of her time for what felt like forever-but she loved to learn and was grateful for the opportunities she'd been given by her parents, as well as her careful frugality, having worked as a barista through high school and early college. She was going into law, but wasn't sure the pre law curriculum was thorough enough-so she had constructed her own with the help of a very good student adviser. Jenna clearly loved school, and didn't sound burned out or even very stressed. She was a woman with her eye on the ball, unafraid of hard work and discipline.

She asked him about his own education, curious what he had studied, where he had attended.

Life at home sounded cozy and nice-her father was a retired Marine and her mother was now a nurse, having gone to morning college courses once Jenna was in grade school. She clearly loved both dearly. Her mom was Filipino and had met her dad while he was stationed in the country. Jenna was their only child and had grown up doing a lot of volunteer work with seniors and shelter animals. She was multilingual, had grown up speaking both English and Tagalog-and then picking up Spanish in her teens. She told him she and her mother flew out to visit with family in the Philippines once or twice a year for a week at a time. He'd learn she used to play tennis, and was very fond of the sport-and had run marathons for charity more than once, though she preferred and ran 5K's more often. Or had used to. She loved museums and exploring new cities-making the move to New York an enticing opportunity to lose herself in its historic buildings and streets.

Jenna kept trying to get him to talk about himself, curious and inquisitive-but he always seemed to steer things back to her. He WAS easy to talk to, charming and intelligent. But she felt like she was talking too much-something that tended to happen, here and there-and tried to dial it back a notch.

She was staring out at the water a moment, the beautiful lights of the city-when he spoke again, drawing her dark eyed gaze to him, straightening up in her chair with the slightest of frowns. "Oh, I'm sorry." She smiled, but it didn't brighten her eyes and face as much as usual. "I am. I feel like I'm talking your ears off, but I am. And I still love New York, am so excited to be here."

He was right, they didn't know each other very well. But she had been walking around with Velocity...Laura in the back of her mind. Feeling guilty. Feeling as if she was being neglectful. Ignoring the words of a heroine who hadn't deserved to die, her request. She wasn't good enough. She didn't know how she could get good enough. He looked at her, open and inviting, and Jenna twisted the cloth napkin in her lap beneath the table absently, her pretty mouth forming a frown.

"I was sort of signed up for a...volunteer activity not long after I moved up here. Few weeks before I met you, actually. I put in a lot of work and effort into things, and usually get good results, you know? Short term goals to accomplish long term ones?" She started slowly, not wanting to sound like she was bragging or full of herself.

"So, I thought why not this? The person who signed me up, she's great-and she's really put her heart into it. Really served the community. I didn't want to let her down. I was so excited to be here, adopt New York as my home. She's uh, she's retired and didn't get to do much in the way of training, though. So I was trying to figure things out on my own, best I could. She's also inaccessible, um, moved. You know. Retirees." Semi true. "But it's hard. Harder than I thought, and I had already counted on it being pretty hard. I didn't think I'd be anywhere near as great as she was, but..." She smoothed her fingers over the small, smooth hand on her lap, the one that had been pulverized into a broken bloody mess. The one she almost killed a man with.

And what that man had said.

"But I was resolved to do what I could. But uh, kind of got some feedback from someone else, someone who knew my predecessor, and it was...bad. I was told I was too green and just...not going to measure up. I argued a little. Everyone starts somewhere, right? I wasn't getting a big head about it. Didn't matter-I messed up and proved him right." Jenna deflated a little, her fingers tucking a lock of hair behind her ear, sweeping her bangs off to the side and out of her eyes.

"I'm just not used to failing. It
doesn't make sense to press on just to do a subpar job, right? I mean, there's a lot on my plate already. If I can't give her...program my full attention, it isn't right or fair. I've always believed in doing something well or not at all, but..."

He asked her what the activity was, and Jenna's eyes widened a fraction. "Oh. It's a community outreach thing, mostly." She shifted her gaze back to the lit skyline. "Helping...victims of street violence, stuff like that. I think...I think he was right-I'm young and inexperienced in a world I'm unfamiliar with-and New York...well, it deserves better. It deserves her, but she's not coming back anytime soon. I was resolved to do what I could despite everything, but..."

"I...want to quit." She admitted quietly, her eyes lowering to her lap. Jenna was so bubbly and hard working, her giving up on anything seemed out of character, even for having just met her. And the admission seemed to cost her.

"Ha, kind of downer talk, huh? Sorry-you really haven't said much about you though!" She fumbled with her napkin, a slightly nervous smile. "I've blathered on all night, I'm sorry."
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Old 09-15-2017, 12:18 AM   #29
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Anthony's hawkish nose wrinkled as she told her story. He listened intently, his blue, steely eyes fixed on hers the whole time.

"I understand the frustration that can come from dealing with someone who is knew to a job. Some people once chosen to do a job, begin to see it as an entitlement. Something they think they deserve, but haven't yet earned.

It is a little bit like tonight. Just because you agreed to come on a date with me, doesn't guarantee me anything." His steel blue eyes drop from her's until they locked onto her soft, kissable lips. His voice dropped becoming husky. "I need to work hard to earn such a privilege."

For a brief instant his eyes darted further down to the beautifully formed curves of Jenna's bust, before returning to her eyes. Had she blinked she might have missed it. Anthony took a drink and when he spoke again his voice had returned to it's deep baritone.

"You work hard at everything you do. I've just listened to you telling me all about your studies and your work. You aren't the kind to rest on your laurels because someone chose you to do a job. Even if you don't know everything, you'll find your own way. Maybe find someone who can help teach you what you don't know.

"Sometimes we fail, or We don't get what we want right away," he gives her a roguish smile, "but if it's what we want, and we want it bad enough, then it's worth fighting for."

"I think whoever he is, this guy has grossly misjudged you. I think it would be a disservice to the community you are trying to help, if you didn't prove him wrong. That's just my opinion."
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Old 09-15-2017, 12:57 AM   #30
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Jenna nodded a little. Maybe that was what the fedora sporting man had seen-a kid who thought they were entitled to some sort of legacy without any work.

And then Anthony shifted gears slightly, and Jenna's dark, dark eyes blinked at him, surprised-and then impressed. That was sincere. He really thought like that, which was yet another thing that set him far and above her college peers. She didn't know what to say.

Was he even real?

And then his dropped a little, sounding...well, Jenna wasn't sure how she'd describe it, but It made her heart beat a little faster and her stomach flip. She felt her face getting kind of warm, despite the breeze coming in off the water-and she looked away to her water glass, her graceful fingers bringing it up to her lips.

"If it's what we want, and we want it bad enough, then it's worth fighting for."

Now she felt warm for an entirely different reason. Comforted? He had managed, almost effortlessly, to smooth over the disquiet she'd been feeling for several days. Maybe...maybe she could do some good.

Maybe.

"...thanks Anthony." Jenna said quietly, turning the cool glass in her hands as it rested on the table. "That...well, I feel a bit more hopeful. I'll keep thinking on it, but...you're right. I work hard at the things I try to do. Maybe my efforts won't be enough, but..." She lifted the glass back to her lips with a shrug, a smile over the top of it before she took a sip.

"Well, it'll be better than none, right?"

She really liked this guy. Which seemed a little imprudent, but it was hard not to like him. Still, she didn't really know anything about him-nothing beyond how he carried himself, the glimpses of who he was in what he said here and there.

Jenna set the glass down, her own eyes narrowing a fraction and her close lipped smile faintly amused as she considered this. "You know, I think you're doing the mysterious man thing on purpose. For all I know, you could be anybody over there, Mr. Ackerman." She laughed again, that pretty feminine one.

"I'm...glad you decided on dinner. I don't usually go out for evenings out, like to keep things...casual? But this is nice."
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:28 AM   #31
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You know, I think you're doing the mysterious man thing on purpose. For all I know, you could be anybody over there, Mr. Ackerman."

“Ah, you’ve seen through my clever ruse to appear more interesting than I actually am. I thought by surrounding mystery with an air of mystery I might be more intriguing to women.” Anthony smirked at Jenna, leaning backwards in his chair.

"I'm...glad you decided on dinner. I don't usually go out for evenings out, like to keep things...casual? But this is nice."

Anthony nodded, and looked like he was going to say more, but dinner arrived, and they both fell silent while they enjoyed their food.

Anthony volunteered that he had been born in New York, and lived here all his life. Whilst he had dated many women, he’d only ever been in love once. When asked, he confessed yes he was lonely at times, but that he had his work to focus on. Unfortunately much of that was very secretive, and hence he was legally unable to talk about it. Even if he could, much of it wasn’t very interesting, anyways.

When desert arrived, he managed to convince Jenna to share, and they even fed each other with their spoons.

When dinner was finished they each felt bloated, and he escorted Jenna arm in arm out to the street corner, and ordered a cab using his mobile.

“Should be here shortly,” he said. With his long finger he brushed a stray hair away from her face. “You have lovely hair,” he said looking down at her with a sad smile. His hand dropped to his side, but he noticed she hadn’t pulled away when he did that, so he did it again. This time though, instead of focusing on her hair, his eyes moved to her lips, darted back up to her eyes again and then once more settled on Jenna’s lips.

He leaned down…

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Old 09-15-2017, 10:50 PM   #32
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Somehow, Jenna doubted he spent much time trying to figure out how to be intriguing to women. Looking like him, sounding like him, and from what she had seen so far of his intelligence and humor-anyone would consider themselves lucky to have his attention, she figured. She was flattered by it, in the very least.

His apparent non disclosure agreement kept him from saying much about work, which made sense if his company designed weapons and things. Maybe when they started producing more domestic products, she would get to hear more then.

By the end of it he wasn't a COMPLETE stranger, and they had fun trying each other's deserts. She tried to pay half but he wouldn't hear of it-so she convinced him to let her at least pay the tip for the waiter. And then he offered an arm-and Jenna took it without entirely thinking about it. It just felt natural, even with as tall as he was. He made her feel dainty and feminine, particularly in this dress-and the muscle tone easily felt beneath the sleeve of his jacket. The two of them drew a few glances, but Jenna was too busy casting upward glances to him here and there to notice.

"Sure." Jenna acknowledged about the taxi-and then he brushed a strand of hair away from her face, back to her side swept bangs. For a man with such large hands, he was surprisingly gentle and dexterous. "Thank you-I might be just a liiiiittle vain about..." She trailed off, her dark eyes taking in his sad smile, a flicker of quiet concern passing through her dark eyes. "...it." She was about to ask him if he was alirght when he lifted his hand and did it again-slower this time, his steel blue eyes moving to her tinted, full lips.

Jenna's heart picked up pace, everything feeling very, very quiet as he glanced back up to her eyes, then her mouth. He was going to kiss her. Did she want him to kiss her? Yes. Yes she did. Maybe a little too much. Would he be warm? He looked warm.

Anthony would lean down, the young woman's eyes curious and a little widened, focused on his face and mouth as much as he was on hers. But she shouldn't. It was just a kiss, she was being dumb-but suddenly she felt nervous and worried he might expect something after all, despite what he had said earlier. If he got testy or irritated, at least she'd know he hadn't been sincere about that, about not feeling entitled to...things.

She really hoped he was though.

He would be inches away when her right hand suddenly rose and pressed a small, graceful index finger against his lips, her left one slipping over his jacketed shoulder. There was a moment of silence-her dark, dark eyes contemplative and a little anxious, uncertain.

"Ha...ha, sorry." She had colored a little, seemed a little awkward all of a sudden, nervous. And then she quickly popped up on the toes of her shoes and pressed a quick kiss to his cheek instead.

"I like you, Anthony." Jenna said as she dropped back again, her hand sliding off his shoulder and coming up to her lips, her warmer smile breaking into another of her soft laughs. "Oops-accidentally got...well, the color looks good on you." The taxi was pulling up, Jenna finally lowering her gaze from his face, no longer standing with her head tipped back as she turned and stepped towards it, that tantalizing view of her back again. "I had a nice time, thank you so much...call you again soon?"
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Old 09-16-2017, 08:37 AM   #33
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The disappointment in Anthony's eye was unmistakeable, and he retreated back several steps with a look of embarrassment on his face. It only lasted as moment before being replaced by another sad smile and a nod.

"I had a nice time, thank you so much...call you again soon?"
"Me too, thank you for agreeing to have dinner with me. I hope to see you again, soon," he said. "You have my number."

He stood on the curb and helped her into the cab. Were she to turn around as she drove away she would have seen his fingers reaching for the spot where she kissed him.
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Old 09-16-2017, 02:01 PM   #34
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MONDAY:

Jenna was in the media center, printing off her paper due on Thursday. She liked to proofread and edit a paper copy before submitting, and this one was no different. She had happily scooped up the pages and was heading back to her laptop when she noticed the gathering crowd of students near one of the large televisions on the wall. Huh. Sports team winning or something?

Or losing, given those expressions.

Curious, Jenna closed her laptop and moved to join them, tilting her head back to read the subtitles. Her eyes widened on the live feed being shown, taken from a helicopter above Central Park. A giant, pulsing, bulbous closed flower sat next to a shooting fountain of water, thick vines and roots spiraling out of it, rapidly turning the park into a jungle. The video cut to a roadside view of a smaller version, then another, and a third. Vines ensnared entire vehicles, trapping the drivers within and wrapping around entire buildings. It was horrific looking. Someone tall reached up and turned the sound on. “-trapping citizens in the encroaching plant life. Citizens are advised to evacuate the surrounding areas, as rescue workers are unable to get to those trapped. It is speculated the attack is being perpetrated by eco terrorist Pamela Isley-”

Jenna walked away, feeling anxious and jittery. From the footage, it looked like the entire park was being taken over. She continued out into the courtyard, walking a little faster as her mind worked. What could she do? Poison Ivy was in the big leagues, wasn’t she? Much bigger than some neonate heroine with poor control over her own abilities. Jenna had walked herself all the way to the academic wing without thinking-crap. She was SUPPOSED to go to the Bernhardt center. There was a study group review she wanted to attend in twenty minutes, at seven pm.

Jenna hesitated, then moved to her door regardless, unlocking and closing it tightly behind her. She leaned against the door, eyes on the tupperware of summer clothes beneath her bed, hiding the costume she had shoved behind it. She looked from it to her previously broken, mangled hand. No. Bad idea.

Jenna stood another moment before heaving a sigh, dropping her books on the bed and kneeling down to reach under it. She retrieved the costume she hadn’t touched in a week, unfurling it to stare at it worriedly.

Velocity had asked her to help the people of New York. But Trench Coat was right. She wasn’t ready or worthy of the task. She barely had any inkling on just what the full extent of her abilities were, how they worked, what she could do with them. But when would she be ready? Was she willing to dismiss Laura’s words and the responsibility that had been laid at her feet, just because some guy had told her to go home? She had been committed to try, before.

She had wanted to help, she had sworn to help.

Her hands tightened on the costume and her eyes lifted to the window, staring out at the darkened sky as she thought about what Anthony had said, his encouragement. Did she want it badly enough? Was she willing to fight for it…?

///////////////////////////////////////////////////

Velocity was in the news. The speedster in the shimmering blue costume and silver boots, gloves and goggles was shown nodding to a man in SWAT gear on a street corner, a strange rectangular device dropped into her hands. The uniformed man pointed towards the flower bud down the vine and car lined street. No one had been able to get close to the plant without being overtaken, so far.

Police and firefighters moved in front of the camera and obscured the scene-but the crowd parted just long enough for cameras to see the heroine disappear, nothing more than a shimmering blue blur as she blew past the news crew and police set up around the first of the strange bulbs blocks from Central Park, racing headlong into the thick greenery for its center-vines moving in her wake, but too slow for the heroine..

And then she was back in short order, a thumbs up-and a small explosion went off, toppling the flower bud and sending it rolling. Along with everyone else, the heroine watched as the vines shriveled up and began to retreat-and then she was gone as rescue workers were finally able to get to those trapped, the source of the plant’s life extinguished.

Elsewhere in the city she hit a second and arrived at the third only to find it had been taken care of. This new Velocity didn’t stick around to chat-she turned and was gone in a blur. Heading straight for Central Square.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Jenna came up short on the edge of the mini jungle, darting several feet back when a vine moved for her-then settled down once she was a short distance away from it. The young heroine darted a little to the left, then the right, trying to decide where best to make a run for it-and because it felt good to move, to be fast again, after days and days of ‘normal’ movement.

This one was huge. Bombs weren’t going to topple it and kill the thing-maybe there was a way to poison it? Maybe Ivy was inside, controlling it? She wasn’t sure. She also wasn’t entirely sure what she would do once she got there, IF she could get inside it at all.
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Old 09-17-2017, 08:44 AM   #35
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Damn it was hot in here, and claustrophobic as hell. Sleuth was surrounded everywhere by vines and flowers. He slashed and hacked his way through the worst of it, trying to find a footpath or something that could tell him where he was. The center of this thing was giving off a weird electromagnetic field and so his compass was useless. With the plant life stretching so his into the sky, it was difficult to tell which way was which.

This was a dumb move. He was no match for poison Ivy. This chick made batman pause, and Sleuth knew he was no Batman. The problem was, a number of Ackerman's shareholders had been in the park when her plant took over. Sleuth had to make sure they were safe.

He heard a voice up ahead and cut his way through the dense vegetation until he was found an older woman trapped in a clearing.

"Help me," she cried, but a moment later she saw his mask and took a step back. "Please, don't hurt me."
"I'm not here for that," Sleuth said. He pulled out his laser and burnt his way through the branches seperating them. "Are you alright?" he asked. She nodded, fear evident in her eyes.
"Go." He didn't have to ask twice. The older woman sped past him , through the path of felled vegetation he'd left behind him.

As soon as she was out of sight he leaned against a branch and slid down it until he was seated. He reached for a small pouch containing water. Why was it so hot in here? Like a sauna. Sleuth always hated the heat. It's why he lived in New York and not Florida. He rested and rehydrated.

There were only two shareholders left, then he could get out of here. One of the proper suits could deal with this, he was just here for what belonged to him. Once he had that, he was gone.

He climbed to his feet and noticed a giant purple bulb hovering nearby. What the hell? Had that always been there? His eyes went wide, but it was too late. The bulb swelled and a moment later spat some sort of pollen directly into his face. Sleuth tried covering his mouth, but it was too late. He fell to his knees hacking and coughing as the substance found its way into his lungs.

Fuck. Fuck, fuck fuckity fuck.

Sleuth climbed back onto his feet and took a step. His breathing was coming in rapid successions, but he felt... good. He shook his head. He still felt hot, but it was a welcoming heat. A nice heat. A stupid smile played at the corner of his lips and he stumbled forward.

After a few steps his trenchcoat fell to the ground. Yes, that felt much better. His hand pulled at the straps on his vest and that fell to the ground too. His hat followed, as did his shirt and belt. Yes, much better. Wow, what was this stuff, it felt good. Must be the serotonin in his brain, making him feel happy. Yeah that was it. That's why he loved it here. It was awesome.

The trail in front of him opened up and he saw a leafy bed waiting for him. With a smile Sleuth fell onto the bed, failing to notice the large venus fly trap closing in and around him.

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Old 09-17-2017, 09:24 AM   #36
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What the hell?

The shimmering streak of blue and silver stopped short next to the discarded trench coat. She had dropped onto the cleared path not too long ago, and supposed she knew who had been doing the clearing, now. She picked up the coat by the collar, frowning at it. Then her head turned so her eyes could follow the trail of clothing items apparently stripped away and dropped by Inspector Gadget.

She had read about paradoxical undressing as far as hypothermia went, but-! From behind her silver, concealing goggles, Jenna’s eyes widened as she saw the owner of the discarded clothing comfortably lying on a giant venus flytrap. One that was closing on him.

Gross. Also, holy shit!

The coat briefly hung in place before crumpling as the girl flitted away, darting off into the thick greenery before returning and bee-lining for the impossibly large, carnivorous plant. She climbed onto it and darted across its dewy surface, having to slow so she could drop into a kneel to shove the thick branch in between the ‘jaws’ of the thing, close to where they hinged together-and backed off a step at normal speed, frowning at the obvious stress the weight of the upper petal was putting on the branch.

Yep, nope.

Back to the shirtless-why was he shirtless?-bane of her short existence in a mask, Jenna dropped off the edge of the plant. He wasn't just half naked-he was, well-Jenna flushed but forced her gaze away, embarrassed. Wasn't the time to be getting flustered.

“Hey, this isn’t the time for a nap!” Jenna reached to shake his shoulder, a worried glance to the branch. “You’re going to be plant food if you don’t get up!”
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:40 AM   #37
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"Huh?" someone was shaking him. His skin felt so good where she touched him. Her hand left a trail, and tingles of pleasure rushed through his body.

“You’re going to be plant food if you don’t get up!”

"Get up?" her looked down at his pants which were poorly hiding his rock hard erection. "I think I'm already up. Help me," he said.

Sleuth wrapped his arm around her shoulders and allowed himself to be pulled to his feet. His dick pushed painfully against his trousers. He gripped it with his other hand as she led him out. He sighed slightly at the contact. He wondered is she was excited or grossed out by him. "I need your help..."

Velocity pulled him out and a moment later the branch holding the venus fly trap open shattered. They stumbled forward and Sleuth fell to the ground. He rolled onto his back in time to see the jaws of the thing opening wide. He reached for his belt where he kept his knives, but they were gone. Velocity was no longer next to him.
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Old 09-17-2017, 01:15 PM   #38
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“Yeah, I was just going to politely ignore your plant fetish Inspector Gadget, but hey-” Jenna responded, feeling her face heat up further at the absurdity of talking about a man’s erection, making jokes-but she was Velocity right now, not easily flustered Jenna Paige. It didn’t matter if she was a little crass, no one who knew her was ever going to know.

There was a feminine noise of exertion as Velocity helped to pull him up. “Nngh-not here to judge.” She had one arm wrapped around behind him and his arm drawn across her shoulders-letting go of his wrist to swat his hand away from himself with an alarmed noise. “Ladies present! Think about whoever you're thinking about later!” Was he drugged or something? Jenna thought he was drugged or something. He was a jerk, but she didn’t think he was one of those kinds of jerks.

It only worried her more, made her want to get him out of here. He had either been drugged or... “Jesus I hope you’re not having a heat stroke.” She muttered. Then she heard cracking and glanced back to the branch in time to see it snap.

He stumbled and she ducked under his arm, not wanting to be pulled down with him- she thought she felt the petal beneath them tilt just before they stepped off. She twisted around before he had even hit the ground-and muttered a curse as the plant opened back up and reared upwards, supported on a tree trunk thick stalk.

“Oh, great.” She zipped to his discarded clothing items-the jacket, his shirt, the vest, his belt-coming back into view just to his left, wearing his hat and her arms full of his costume pieces. She dropped them on him, then frisbee’d his hat back as she moved to meet two snapping vines from the Monster Plant. “Pleasekeeppantsonandgetdressedthankyou.” The fast words ran into each other as she darted to one vine and then the other, the shimmering blue blur mixing with green before she was again at his side, the vines tied in a bow. The Venus flytrap made a monstrous noise that caused the heroine to flinch-the plant tipping back and drawing roots up from the ground, tearing it asunder and rising to stand. Velocity sucked in a breath, picking up a rock easily the size of her small fist. “Be right back, I guess.”

She zipped to one side of it, throwing the rock as hard and as fast as her arm could go. “HEY YOU PIECE OF COMPOST!” Drawing its attention away from him, it seemed-able to dodge or avoid the vines it tried to capture her with as she distracted it.
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Old 09-17-2017, 06:17 PM   #39
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Yeah, I was just going to politely ignore your plant fetish Inspector Gadget, but hey-”

"Yeah, yeah, my eyes are up here, brat!"

She got him out.

The monster raised itself up and A second and a half later, Sleuth had his coat, Kevlar and belt back. The creatures vines were tied up in a bow, and it looked pissed.

Sleuth reached for a knife and looked around for Velcocity. He spotted her luscious, athletic body standing a short distance away. Her perfect bounty rising and falling in response to her heavy breathing. He'd love to cup one of those... sleuth shook his head and looked back at her. His eyes hardened when he spotted the purple flower that had put the whammy on him positioning itself behind her.

The purple flower bulged preparing to spray it's bounty all over her. Sleuth threw his blade across the clearing severing the main vine. The creature/ plant rose up in pain before crashing down behind Velocity.

With a roar the Venus fly trap narrowed in towards him.
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Old 09-17-2017, 07:08 PM   #40
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For a weird and VERY pissed off moment, she thought he was trying to attack her. She blurred to the left-and slowed up to see he’d hit some weird purple thing that had been behind her. Like a freakin’ snake.

“Gah!” Velocity blurred out of the way as vines as thick as her torso came crashing down for her, the speedster racing up one and grasping hold of an overhanging smaller vine she couldn’t quite wrap her hands completely around. She jumped down off of it the larger one and was only briefly visible before, like in the secret bunker-she vanished.

Everything was slow again. Jenna’s heart picked up pace. Man, if only she could do this all the time-homework could be done in seconds. Circling the beasts root legs several times, Jenna then moved to wrap the other end around a thick looking tree.

Now what? It’d fall on him. And shit, things weren’t looking as slow, as still anymore-and were rapidly returning to normal. She glanced up and saw a plane frozen high in the air-the familiar bat shape a relief.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////

“Uh, hi again.” The ‘brat’ was suddenly at his elbow, her teeth worrying at little at her lower lip, her anxiety apparent even if her eyes were concealed by the goggles. She grabbed his elbow. Hadn’t that hand been a mangled mess days before? Didn’t feel broken, in that glove. She spun him around to be facing away from the beast, though he would be able to catch a glimpse of it suddenly caught up in vines, tipping, tipping-!

“Average person can withstand like, 5 G’s before passing out, right?” She nervously asked, one hand moving to the back of his head, bit of a reach for the petite, rookie heroine. Wait, what?

And then they moved. He had cleared a path and the brat took it, the jungle one green and brown blur before they were rapidly approaching the emptied street.

And then they stopped, her hand leaving his head. "You okay?" Her tone was a little anxious as she stepped back, her other hand slipping off his shoulder.

"Good thing I don't take orders from you, Inspector Gadget. You would have been lunch." She wasn't smug, exactly-but it was a little annoying, that flicker of a smile on those full lips.
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Old 09-17-2017, 08:58 PM   #41
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Sleuth dropped his gear onto the ground and slipped into his coat. He didn't bother with the shirt, belt or Kevlar, but the coat would at least hide his physical arousal. Her close proximity to him wasn't helping matters either. He wanted to erase the space between them. Pick her up in his arms and wrap his lips around hers. His skin still felt so hot, but his brain was starting to pierce through the cloud of lust and hormones racing through his system.

"You nearly got your sexy arse killed is what you did," he retorted irritably. He stopped and frowned at his choice of words, and also at the tone which was thick with lust and wanting. He shook his head, placing a hand on her shoulder for support. "Poison ivy is too dangerous for you. She'll put the whammy on you like she did me. Don't want that, not looking like you do..."

Sleuth forced himself to break contact and leaned on his knees taking deep breaths. He needed to get out of here.
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:19 PM   #42
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The smile became a frown and the small, olive skinned woman huffed. “Hey, I wasn’t the one trying to take a nap in a carnivorous plant.” She pointed at him with her apparently healed hand, her other gloved one propping on one of her curved hips. One got the feeling that behind those silver painted goggles, she was studying him closely.

“Is that what happened to you? Spores or pollen or-wait, so it’d be cool to face off with her and die if I was ugly?” A scowl, watching him try to catch his breath.

“Look, I had to at least come out and try. Luckily-” Velocity gestured to the black shape hovering in the sky. “He showed up to take her back to HIS city.” She crossed her arms beneath her chest.

“I’m not going to ignore things just because they’re scary. I'm here to help however I can...luckily for you."
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Old 09-17-2017, 11:07 PM   #43
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No, she was twisting his words. Or was she? His head was so fuzzy he barely knew what he was saying.

Fine, she'd done good. She'd saved his sorry arse there was no denying that. She had no problem rubbing that in his face, and maybe justifiably, But what about next time, or the time after that? How long until he found her underneath a dumpster?

His dick was starting to go soft again beneath his coat, with it the hormones began to subside, and a scowl found its way back to his face.

He opened is mouth to retort, but suddenly a voice shouted, "you on your knees"
Sleuth turned in time to see a blue and red light further down the street. Fuck a duck!
"It's him," a voice cried and without warning the police opened fire.
Sleuth leapt behind a dumpster as bullets rained down onto the walls or the alley.
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Old 09-17-2017, 11:27 PM   #44
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Velocity zipped away as soon as her compatriot dove for cover-a second dumpster from down the way shoved-with no small amount of effort mind you-into the line of fire to block off the mouth of the alley on the cop’s side.

“W-what the hell-what did you DO?” Shrapnel and ricochet would still be a problem, but the speedster seemed startled and confused, frozen with her left hand still on the hunk of metal she had forced forward to block the hail of gunfire. There was space to get around it, but just barely-he’d become swiss cheese, and maybe she would too, that narrow of a space-no matter how fast she was.

It only took one stray bullet to strike one of Velocity’s toned thighs or calves for it to be all over. Not that the police would mean to gun for her-they were trying to get to him.
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Old 09-18-2017, 03:13 AM   #45
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Sweet Christ? What was wrong with her? Why hadn't she run up, or through the wall already.

Sleuth kept his head down and strapped his belt around his waist. He scattered a small smoke canister towards the two cops who thought they were dirty fucking harry and followed that with a slip bomb.

Grey Smoke hissed from the canister obscuring the cops view of the alley. Sleuth leapt across the alley way to Velocity's side. His right arm shot upwards and he fired his grapple gun into the air. It disappeared from sight. Sleuth waited another second for the cord to either tighten or the grapple to come plumeting down into the street with them.

"Grab hold," he yelled,wrapping his left arm around her slender waist. A moment later they launched up into the air, two stories, three then four stories. Sleuth pulled the small woman tighter to him.

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Old 09-18-2017, 06:24 PM   #46
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Jenna was alarmed as he threw something towards the police officers-worriedly dropping down to peer around the dumpster and confirm he was using nonlethal traps. Well, thank God for that.

He had leapt to her side of the alley and she glanced up at him-then stood to frown at the grapple hook he fired. Huh. So that’s how he got around.

"Grab hold,"

He wrapped his arm around her waist and Jenna stiffened, her eyes widening. “I don’t think that’s a good-!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

It was a good thing Velocity didn’t have super strength, or she would have crushed him. Even with as small as she was, the petite heroine had a surprisingly strong hold-one that pressed her tightly into his side. Of course, it probably helped she was absolutely terrified of heights. Arms wrapped around HIS waist and hugging tightly, powerful thighs tightly clamped together on either side of one of his-she screamed most of the way up-and couldn’t let him go once they had touched down, not at first.

“I-it-! You?" She sputtered breathlessly and nonsensically, trembling against him. Her eyes were tightly closed behind her goggles, not that he could see it. "Heights.” She finished.
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Old 09-18-2017, 10:49 PM   #47
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The petite heroine smooshed her body into his the moment they left the ground. Her bountiful soft breasts squeezed into his side, and he could feel the heat of her breath against his bare chest. Velocity's thighs wrapped around his leg, and he could feel her pressed against his hardening crotch. He held her tighter as they lifted higher and higher into the air. She screamed the whole way.

They came to land in a stair well on the side of a building, and still she didn't let go. Her whole body was trembling and her forehead and lips were pressed against his bare chest. He stroked her hair until she calmed and then placed a gentle hand underneath her chin. He lifted her face so they could meet eye to goggle.

She looked frightened, vulnerable. Unconsciously he ran his thumb over her pert lower lip.

Bending down to make sure she was ok.
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Old 09-18-2017, 11:23 PM   #48
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He was stroking her hair, oddly gentle instead of antagonizing or condescending. Which was good, because Jenna wasn’t quite as ‘tough gal’ as she pretended in her mask and costume. Especially not when her legs felt like jelly. Her eyes opened when he lifted her chin, studied her a moment. Jenna wasn’t sure what he was seeing. Probably somebody who had no business trying to play hero.

But like before, when she had hurt her hand-he lost a bit of his harshness, and something else took its place. Something...kind? Or... He ran his thumb over her lower lip and they parted slightly for a slight intake of air. Very gentle still, the pad of his thumb slightly rough, or at least felt as such against the soft skin of her lips. She should move. Yesterday. They weren't exactly friends. And poor Anthony had been denied a kiss just a few days ago. She had made no promises or commitments to him, but if anyone deserved one-and he had looked so sad, before and after...

Before she could really think on that further-a bullet tore through the night air and chipped brick somewhere above and to the side of the fire escape. Startling her.

Oh shit-she had almost forgotten, in her fear, in the ensuing, odd reverie.

Jesus Jenna, focus!


The cops were trying to murder him! Untangling herself from him quickly, Velocity's expression shifted to concerned alarm. “G-go! I’d heal quick, probably, b-but-” Those crazy cops were firing off regulation and without a care in the world for bystanders. She didn't WANT to get shot, but assuming they didn't manage to kill her instantly, she'd probably be fine. Him, less so.

That meant racing higher. Jenna didn’t want to go any higher. They really didn’t have a lot of options, at the moment, but she didn’t. She should though. Make sure he got to safety, after being drugged up. Even if she was scared of falling. Anthony’s words bounced around in her head, and she charged up the stairs after him-keeping up but not blurring past, not this time.

“Why are they trying to kill you?” She was easily keeping pace with him, though there was a bit of a shaky nature to her voice-the height a little dizzying, if she dared let herself think about it. She also sounded concerned.

She was less than keen on the police, at the moment. Minutes before they were happy to have her plant bombs for them, and now they were too busy shooting at Inspector Gadget to give her the time of day! Freakin’ New Yorkers and their guns, Jesus Christ. “Trying to gun you down in the street?" There was no way that was a legal use of force! Certainly not ethical in the slightest.
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Old 09-19-2017, 01:36 AM   #49
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"Maybe they know me better than you, he replied cryptically and took off along the roof top. He picked up speed as he approached the edge and then leapt into the air landing hard on the next building.

Sleuth led the way over a number of rooftops before stopping at a small three story building two or three streets from where the police had been. Surprisingly he pulled a key from his pocket and silently led the way down a flight of stairs, his laboured breathing filling the small enclosed space.

On the first floor he opened the stairwell door and the duo found themselves in an abandoned boxing gym. He crossed the room to the ring and leaned against it. He turned and his eyes took her in.

"I never said thank you, for before." Sleuth takes a deep breath and Exhales heavily. "I still don't think you're ready to be doing what you are doing. You're certainly not ready to be Fighting, or protecting people from the sort of criminals who would utterly destroy you, just because you chose to put that suit on, but you did good, brat. You saved my arse, tonight."

He smiled at her cheekily.

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Old 09-19-2017, 11:46 AM   #50
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"Maybe they know me better than you."

Jenna fell behind a few steps, frowning. Hopefully he didn't have a basement full of bodies...or blew things up in his spare time. She was pretty sure she would have heard about a home grown terrorist in New York if that was the case, but you never know.

He hit the roof top and kept right on going. To where? He...wait-oh no.

Jenna stopped short about midway on the rooftop, her hands over her mouth and her eyes wide behind her goggles. No WAY was she doing that! She stared at his disappearing back as he leapt again, not even the slightest bit of hesitation. He was crazy! Completely out of his damned mind!

"Lunatic..." She breathed, watching him race across the third rooftop. Maybe he wasn't crazy, just brave. He had been cutting through that jungle, too. Going to help?

But she was not going to do this. Nope. No roof top jumping for her. She was a speedster, not a damned flying acrobat. Even if she maybe DID have accelerated healing-still trying to figure that out or not-she couldn't survive that kind of drop, no way.

Jenna glanced back behind her. She wasn't sure she should trust those cops. And she needed to know who this guy was. What he might know about Velocity, this city. And...and if he was a problem or not. She hoped not. It was kind of scary out here, might be nice to know somebody.

"Okay. Okay okay okay." She bounced on the balls of her feet and swung her arms out a little, trying to gear herself up. She was fast. She could clear it, no problem. It was just momentum, right? Bit of a jump? She could already do a pretty good long jump-she'd been in track and field.

What if she froze up at the edge, toppled over and fell?

"WHY would you think that, right now?" She growled to herself, backing up a few paces out of habit-and bursting forward. Oh jeez oh jeez oh-her boot hit the edge of the brick work and she shoved off-and was on the other side before she had time to freak out.

Jenna skidded to a stop, twisting to look behind her, wide eyed. Well, okay then-here we go. She turned back and blurred across the roof tops he'd traveled over, small-least felt small, she didn't need much air she was goung to fast-jumps over each alley and side street until she finally slowed to a trot at normal speed on the last one.

Oh thank God-they were heading down and inside again. She was curious to see where they were going, and very, very, very relieved there wouldn't be any more roof jumping.

Huh. Jenna was reminded of Rocky, a movie she had seen once as a kid and barely remembered, save that training montage. She looked around curiously, trailing behind-before he leaned against the ring and thanked her.

Earlier she had teased him, but now she just felt a little embarrassed. She removed a glove and dragged her hand through her hair, letting him talk. She had tried to put herself in this guy's shoesn and had thought long and hard about what Anthony had said. It was easier not to get defensive because of it.

"Yeah, well-no one deserves to be lunch." She said a little awkwardly, tugging the glove back on and making herself a little busy reattaching the velcro as she went on. "...you're probably right about the other stuff. I'll either learn the job or fail miserably at it, guess we'll find out." She gave a nervous shrug, but her voice found resolve. "I have to try."

He'd called her a brat again, but he had smiled at her this time. Jenna supposed she'd roll with it. She didn't entirely think she had earned the name Velocity anyway, even with permission to use it.

"So...I inherited my moniker, but what's yours? Unless you LIKE being called Inspector Gadget."

How did he know Laura? Which side of the law was he on? Did all the cops shoot on sight, or just foolhardy ones? There were a lot of questions, here
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