2010-02-11: Time Together

Starring:

Carl_V4icon.pngJo_V4icon.png

Date: February 11, 2010

Summary:

Two people who are all business seem less than professional when alone.


"Time Together"

Carl's Office — Governor's Island, Building 27

Another day, another dollar. Well, lots of dollars, really - it's been many years since Carl has needed to worry about things like job security or keeping the bills paid - but he does have to put the time in. At the moment, he's speed-hunt-and-pecking with one hand, some routine reviewing of records, while absently reaching for a plate of egg rolls with the other.

There's just the one keyboard, this time. No playing chess from the office during this gig; that one kid last year may or may not have had an ability, but either way, now the risk is simply too great.

The door to the office creaks open as Jo enters the room in her standard attire — her tailored black pant suit, ridiculously high high-heels and a white blouse. Her hair is tied back in it's usual tight ponytail. As she enters, she shuts the door behind her. "Carl," the word is almost cold, clinical, yet she says it with a less-than-distant smile. "Working hard or hardly working?" She marches towards him with that all-too-familiar sound of her heels against the concrete.

"You know me," Carl replies smoothly, "business before pleasure." He smiles back at Jo, but she'll have to work that out from his tone of voice because he doesn't turn around. "I've been going over the camera coverage for this prisoner transfer coming up— it wouldn't surprise me if someone tries making a move then. Need guards placed at the right stations, too, otherwise we'll still be screwed and the only difference will be that we get to see it coming."

"I only go home to sleep now," Jo says with a nod and the warmest smile she can muster. "I can't believe the insolence. Do they seriously believe they can move people under our noses?" Her nose crinkles as she shakes her head, "It's ridiculous really. I've been pursuing more leads… although they're not as common as I'd like." Or for the man she's after. Her nose wrinkles as she reaches into her jacket pocket and feels the pocketwatch she'd picked up earlier that day, but it's only a momentary frown, a blip on the horizon. "You look busy."

Carl taps in one more line's worth of whatever, then finally swivels around. "I have been, yes. Logistics— I'm just working on how, someone else can worry about why." A glance toward the exit, and by implication the outside world in general. "So we've already picked most of the low-hanging fruit, huh?"

"Seems that way," Jo says with a sigh and an eye roll. "And still no sign of what I'm after." She purses her lips together; this has all been very frustrating with no progress. "These targets were easy. Relatively, anyways. All it took was a gimmick to reel them in. Like moths to a flame. A UPS uniform, a ridiculously short skirt… and a …" she cringes and frowns like she's just tasted a lemon, "mime costume." She shudders and never wants to be a mime again. Mimes are annoying. "Have you located anyone here?"

Carl shakes his head. "Me? I'm not a front-line guy— field agent, sometimes, but strictly man in the van. I've mostly been running in-house maintenance, coordinating a bit of intel so it gets to the right people to use it. Like you." Now he leans back in his seat, considering. "So were you in the white face paint or the little black dress? Or maybe both?" Not the UPS uniform, surely, she's not an autumn by any stretch of the imagination.

"Both," Jo says with a smirk that curls into a sly smile. "I thought I was particularly convincing. I pretended to blow up balloons. It was good times." She steps a little closer. "I think I'm becoming a shockingly good actress," she says matter-of-factly with that same smile. "You'd be impressed."

Now there's a mental image that could go a couple of different ways. Arms resting casually behind his head, Carl nods to Jo's latest claim. "Why don't you try me? I'm sure I will be." Behind him, the computer screen continues to scroll through whatever it's doing. It'll keep for now, unless the program decides to throw out an alert.

"A mime, really?" Jo is actually smiling now. A genuine smile. Nothing sly, nothing concealed, something actually present, in the moment. "Kinky." With that same smile, she unbuttons her suit jacket (exposing her holstered gun) and sets it on his desk. She tightens her jaw for a moment to pull herself into character, and then puts on her blank looking mime-face. She truly appears vacant. She tilts her head at Carl and then holds up a single finger matched with an unusually bright smile. She reaches down to the ground and pretends to pick up a balloon with she then pretends to blow. Very, very unsuccessfully.

Like he said earlier, business before pleasure: the chair is pushed over to the other side of the desk, leaving plenty of room between Carl and the gun. It's sure to have the safety on, but the habit is ingrained nevertheless, in case someday he runs across someone less careful than she is. With that matter taken care of, he looks the newly silent woman up and down, slo-o-owly leaning over and twiddling his fingers as if to turn a knob on her helium tank.

Jo shoots him a playful pout and a shoulder shrug before allowing her eyes to light up at the helium tank. With a beaming smile, she bends down and emits sheer delight as the balloon is filled. She then pulls it off the invisible tank to tie it, but releases it too soon, causing the balloon to fly around the room and her head to follow it's direction and eventual landing … on Carl. She pouts again as she takes another step towards him to pluck it off his shoulder.

Just when it seems that Carl is planning to continue playing along, he reaches up to take hold of her wrist in mid-air. "Now that's just creepy. Who are you, and which fridge did you stuff the real Jo into? Do I need to look for some puppet strings to cut, here?" He seems faintly amused, actually, though it's not completely clear.

She shoots Carl a look of surprise. That was unexpected. Jo could try to flip him if she wanted. She could probably get out of the hold. Yet there's no struggle against it. In fact, a smile of satisfaction spreads over Jo's lips at the hold and words. "I told you I was good," she chimes musically with a broad grin. "It's good to know if my naval career ends I have a future as… a mime." She offers him a toothy grin.

Oh, she could flip Carl easily - he's not combat-trained for much more than making a strategic withdrawal. But he lets go as soon as she speaks up again. "Always good to have options. Why, are you expecting to be off this project any time soon?"

It would mean he wouldn't see her again any time soon. The last time they hooked up, they were both okay with that. Will it play out the same way this time around? It's a little more complicated when you start to get to know the person as an actual person and not just a pleasant tangle of limbs.

"Not that I know of. But I think the shrink I spoke to thought I was a liability or something," Jo quips as she continues to smirk. "Although I guess I haven't been relieved yet. Must be a good sign, right?" She hmmms, "I have no intention of dropping out, if that's what you mean though. I'm no closer to my goals." Goals. Teddy. The only take she's ever cared about. The only reason she sticks around.

She pulls the elastic band from her hair. "And you? Staying on for awhile? Or did you have to talk to the shrink too?"

Carl shakes his head. "Not yet, I think they're doing them in alphabetic order. They'll get to me eventually." He doesn't sound enthused about the idea— it sounds good on paper, but there's always the worry that they'll be wound up too tight and make a mountain out of some molehill. Or decide to go power-tripping, worse yet. Like the horror stories that go around in some circles about Child Services.

"I think secretly all shrinks want to see men and marines cry. That's why they go into their profession," Jo quips. "Or their looking for moles. Projects like these are notorious for witch hunts." She glances around the room before she adds, "She asked me questions about potential personal liabilities; I didn't mention you." Not that she would. Carl probably knows that, but it's worth saying anyways. "I'd appreciate it if you do me the same. And not mention our…" Relationship? That doesn't seem the right word so instead she chooses a phrase, "…time together."

"Why would I do that? There's nothing about it worth mentioning." Unspoken implications are fun, though; Carl leans back over toward the keyboard, tapping a few keys— and bringing up a screen that says 'Activate localized lockdown test? (y/N)' He glances back toward Jo, one fingertip hovering over the trigger key.

"Agreed," Jo says coolly. She leans over and squints at the screen before her lips curl into a mischievous grin. She purses her lips together for a second as if trying to make a decision, left-overs from her mime impersonation before she nods, still silent.

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