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Summary: Because there are no words.

Dark Future Date: July 31st, 2009



Must go faster. Must go faster.

With an angry screech and squeal of rubber against pavement, Julia IV swoops around a corner with two dark, armored humvees hot on her tail. Inside the cockpit of the highly modified combat vehicle, Jack groans and leans his weight against the wheel, willing his baby not to fly off the road. "C'mon. C'mon, honey. We can do this," he urges his car. When he hits the next straight stretch, he takes one hand off the wheel just long enough to press a set of buttons mounted in the dash. Nitrous to the rescue. The humvees are unable to keep up with Julia's sudden burst of speed. They quickly fall behind, then fade out of sight entirely.

The Irish freedom fighter doesn't relax until he's safely parked with his vehicle concealed behind a mound of debris. As soon as the engine's turned off, he snatches up a bulky silver attache case from the passenger's seat and makes a beeline for the elevator. The ride down is tense. It's hard to relax when you're carrying a mystery package with tons of high tech security that's almost gotten you killed. Twice. The case acts as an incredibly secure mobile safe. The key to the locking mechanism is a handprint and voiceprint from none other than Candy Cain.

DING! The doors slide open and a weary, ragged Jack tumbles out. His limp is even more pronounced than usual and he has a bloody nose that seems several hours old at the least.

Blue screens light up Candy's features, and she watches the grainy images anxiously. Come on, Derex. You can do it. The security camera lab is small, confined, dark, and her gaze darts from monitor to monitor. There. There he is. She watches the familiar figure of the swaggery, slightly limping Irishman amble at a rush across the debris and into the elevator, where he appears on yet another monitor. She smiles brightly when the silver case in his hands is spied, and for the first time in a few days, she truly relaxes. Safe and sound.

At a jog, she moves out of the security room and down a metal staircase, onto the floor they agreed. She's dressed all in black, the kind of clothes she dons when they go out for errands and rescues, and she beelines her way towards Jack when he emerges from the elevators. "Jack!" she calls out, rushing over, hands out for the silver case. "Thank god, you made it." A quick scan over him. "What happened to you?"

Groan. And whine. And moan. These are the things that Jack would like to do, but he's far too professional. Instead he just passes the case into Candy's waiting hands. "Ran into some trouble after I picked this up from your friend. No big." He touches his fingers to his nose and winces. "That's some kinda safe. I was lookin' at it on the way back. Uh. I tried putting my hand on the scanner and it shocked the shit outta me." He has the decency to look a little embarassed. "Sorry. I was curious. That a lot o' security."

It's heavy, but that's no real problem. Candy clutches the safe to her, and bites her bottom lip, looking at Jack with concern. "Ooh, did it? I probably should have warned you about that, it's very… personalised." Sheepish smile. "I hope it didn't cause you too much trouble." And. And that's it for being concerned. For now. She might make cookies later. But right now, she's busy, turning away and finding a flat surface to place the case on. She runs her fingertips across the lid, almost hesitant to open it up.

"Nah," Jack replies. "I ran into a foot patrol on the way back to the car. Had me a little fisticuffs. Then some humvees on the way over. That could've happened on any milk run, though." He casually dismisses the two life threatening situations with a wave, then crowds up beside Candy. He could ask what's in the case. He certainly wants to know. These last few seconds of anticipation are sweet to savor after all the waiting and all the trouble getting it here, though.

Candy nods absently, but it's clear where her focus on. Taking a breath, she places her hand flat down onto a smoother metal plane, the touch scanner, in the centre of the lid. After a moment, there's a beep… and she removes her hand, a little relieved. No electrocution for her. From an unidentifiable source within the safe, a female electronic voice sounds out.

"Voice security activated."

Candy lowers her head a little, speaking clearly, "Whose milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard?"

"Miss Candy Cain. Permission granted."

There's a hissing sound, a vacuum, and the lid mechanically lifts up a fraction. A substance resembling dry ice promptly pours out the seams in thin wisps. With a small, happy squee and a brief burst of hand clapping, Candy pushes the lid back slowly. Inside, it's already lit up from side panels of fluorescent lighting, revealing trays upon trays of one of the most precious substance known to Candy: cosmetics.

Eyeshadow, eyeliner, eye-everything, foundation and blush and mascara, oh my. A few vials of nail polish but most importantly - lipstick. "Oh Jack," she breathes, reaching in to take out a tube of lipstick, uncapping it. It's a brilliant, blood-toned red. "It's beautiful."

It's. It's make up? Jack's face goes pale, then pinkens, reddens, and purples in an impressively short amount of time. "I. Oh my God. I just." He points both index fingers at Candy and blinks owlishly. This is what he got into a two on one fistfight over? This is what got the shit shocked out of him while he was driving? This is what got him chased by Homeland Security humvees? There are a great deal of things that Jack would like to say right now. Most of them are about four letters long. His breath catches in his throat and he lets out a brief, strangled groan. In the end he settles for a helpless smile. "It's very red."

Candy's eyes go owlishly wide also, holding up the lipstick as she watches Jack's face turn an impressive array of colours. She leans back on her heels, as if half-anticipating he might explode, but really… she had almost run out! No way could she go stomping around with monster-face, not even in a dystopic, war-ravaged New York City. It was as dire an operation as any. When he finally settles on that statement, however, she smiles happily, and nods. "Who knows what's in fashion anymore," she says cheerfully, twisting the lipstick out a little higher. "I figure, why not go for the classics." She then bends to peer into the mirror within the case - because of course there is one - and liberally applies the lipstick to her lips, neat and efficient. She's done in about three, well-practiced seconds. Then, she straightens, tugs Jack's shirt to scootch him closer, and plants a very deliberate kiss on his cheek, leaving behind a perfect kiss mark. "Thank you, Jack."

This is enough to melt away the last of Jack's irritation. His smile grows wider and genuinely pleased. He shrugs his shoulders and scuffs a boot against the floor in a very 'aww shucks' fashion. He blushes thoroughly, pleased to have put a smile on the face of the woman who hugs them all when they're sad and bakes them cookies to make them happy. If makeup is what the Saints' momma wants, then makeup she will get. He's not dead, right? That's all that matters. He wraps his arms around her and gives her a quick squeeze. "Anything for you, hon. You deserve a treat every now an' again."

No eviscerating of Candy Cain, hurrah. She happily hugs him back, before replacing the lipstick back into its proper place. "You're sweet. Where would we be without you smuggling fire-engine red lipstick into New York City?" she says, longingly trailing her fingers over the two rows of nail polish, before reluctantly shutting the case to put away properly. As soon as the lid is closed, there's a beep, then that voice again.

"Locking mechanism activated. You go girl."

Okay, that gets a slightly sheepish glance from Candy to Jack, and she picks it back up off the table, holding it to herself a little defensively. "This should uh, keep me going for a while."

Jack laughs. With his voice as damaged as it is, it's one of the few warm, pleasant sounds he's still capable of making. "Only you would keep lipstick in a safe more secure than the nuclear football. I'm proud o' you. That's a helluva setup." The teasing is gentle and still comes with a smile attached. Candy's done a lot for Jack over the last couple of years. What's a little lipstick between friends, right? Still, there's one thing that puzzles him. "Question. What's a milkshake?" He gestures at the case, referring to the code phrase.

Candy looks down at her case. Then looks down at her cases. Then looks at Jack and smiles brightly. "Something that brings all the boys to the yard?"

"Oh." Jack nods his head agreeably, certain that this is something he should be understanding. Wait. Wait. Boobs? "OH!" Unconsciously, he glances at Candy's cases. Though he wouldn't have her as anything but the older sister figure she's come to be, he has to concede the obvious truth. "Damn right."

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