15166/Potential or Problematic

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Potential or Problematic
Date of Scene: 31 May 2023
Location: Barbara Gordon's Apartment, Clocktower
Synopsis: Skye and Barbara catch up and discuss a potential new recruit. Decisions are made to not decide and let Skye work with the potential to see if she meets their criteria. Otherwise food was had and love lives were discussed. Or lack of on the love lives.
Cast of Characters: Oracle, Quake

Oracle has posed:
When Skye had said she wanted to meet in person to discuss some Birds business, that had caught Barbara's attention. Generally they did most of their work stuff through the computers. It was sort of their thing. Certainly, they were friends. They'd met many times and shared meals here or there. But they both had very busy lives so that was less often than they might like.

Barbara had set aside a window in her evening. It was after work at the library but before the events of the night would be starting off with her crews. Currently, her apartment looked normal. All the hidden goodies were tucked away in their alcoves and no one would be the wiser unless they had seen her 'work' setup before. Since most people didn't know she was Oracle, that was very few.

At the appointed time, Barbara had a bottle of wine ready and some finger foods should they want them.
Quake has posed:
Skye really would have preferred to meet with Babs for coffee, or to chat about anything but business. Unfortunately business seems to be more pressing - between the Birds, and SHIELD, and the Batclan and their workings - they had very little time for chatting about other things..

Such was tonight.

Skye came at the time that they had arranged. She stopped on the way to bring Chinese Food along (Much the way Barbara has cleaned up the extraneous bits and pieces of their outside life - just in case! And knocked on the door. "Dinner for two. And I'm totally free." In more ways than one, alas. Perhaps she'll have a minute to tell her friend about that too.
Oracle has posed:
At the knock, Barbara dashed across the room to the door and opened it wide. "Hey! Oh! That sounds amazing. Thanks you for thinking of it. I just have like a mock chauceuterie board or some such. If they include marshmallows. I just put what I had." And she had to laugh at herself as she waved her friend inside.

"You want plates or just eat from the take-out containers?" Since she wasn't sure how much Skye had brought.
Quake has posed:
"Do you like cleaning after I am gone? I wouldn't! Besides.." Skye came into the room fully, and handed over the two paper bags. "There's something to be said about the decadence of eating take out from the cartons. This is my favourite hole in the wall place where I let them surprise me. So far they are batting 1000%."

The bags were filled with all sorts of vegan and meat lovers kinds of foods. Of course, Skye had the noodle soup that was especially for her. "I don't get their often enough now that Clint is taking another one of his breaks. I don't know."

Sitting on the couch cross-legged she shrugs. "Would you like the business beforehand, or the patheticness that is my life?"
Oracle has posed:
"Point." And Barbara returned to the living room area, hopping on the couch and pulling items out of the bag to line up on the little coffee table. She was dressed casually at the moment. Yoga pants, socks on her feet, a t-shirt with a sloth on it. "I'm clear for the night as well. Though you know I'll check in to be sure that everyone is okay because I'm just unable to resist doing so."

She pulled out one of the containers for carnivores, which seemed to have some sweet and sour chicken in it. Some chopsticks were claimed and she plucked out a piece. "Let's go business first. We'll get into the patheticness of our lives after we have more wine in our systems." Then she popped the morsel into her mouth and chewed.
Quake has posed:
"Good choice! Besides, I wouldn't know where to begin." This time.

Business.. Where should she begin? "Well, I should make it clear that you aren't good to like this one. But!" And Skye held in his pointer finger. "I have my reasons." For her part, she is, as usual, wearing a drab outfit that she could have been working out in. Only where others would be wearing bright colours, Skye typically wore black, including her arm bracers.

"Did you get my file on Rose?" Batman had wanted the Birds to take the appraisal of her.
Oracle has posed:
Mention of Rose has Barbara wrinkling her nose every so slightly then quickly schooling her expression back to neutral.

"Yes, I got the file. Compared the information there to what the Justice League has. As well as SHIELD and a few other high level agencies." Since Skye would know she had been in SHIELD to look, if Skye had checked. "Got to admit I'm curious why you are interested. She's a mercenary for hire to the highest bidder."

She picked up some fried rice and eyed the chopsticks then opted to pull out the plastic fork that had been thrown in the bag instead.
Quake has posed:
"Frankly? I ask myself the same question: Why?"

Why, indeed?

And the only reason that Skye has, is herself. Particularly the young girl that she was back then.

"Did I tell you about May, and the time she offered to let me go with no prison. No keeping an eye on me. Just.. let me go?"
Oracle has posed:
Barbara raised her eyebrows as she considered the question. Then the brows were lowered and furrowed. She gives a negative shake of her head. "I don't think you have."

And she settled in with her sweet and sour chicken again, swirling the golden nuggets of yumminess in the bright sauce and munching happily.
Quake has posed:
Ah! So she hadn't. Though, Skye hadn't told anyone. It was one of the little secrets that she held onto.

Putting her noodle soup down, Skye begins.. "Before I was accepted into SHIELD, I had two choices. To join them, or to rot out my days in a maximum security prison. I was livid. I hated the members that I worked with - or so I thought. Hated Fury for giving me the ultimatum. Hated May for not putting up with my temper tantrums. I put only the minimum amount of effort in. In short I was miserable."

"And May said if I was so terribly unhappy in SHIELD, then she would talk to Fury, and they would find some way that my records were expunged and I could drift into the cracks and slink out without anyone noticing I was gone."

She picked up her soup and poked at it with her chopsticks. "I couldn't do it. I had my freedom, and I couldn't do it. Rose reminds me of me. She needs someone to give her a chance. Someone who doesn't see the outside, who would give her a chance for the girl she is on the inside."
Oracle has posed:
As Skye talked, Barbara watched her, noted her expressions and how animated she was at certain points. And she did consider it. Weighed the information shared.

"Just because someone gave you a second chance doesn't mean she deserves one. You were stealing information. Had a moral compass that was driving you to try to fix things, to advocate for. She kills people. For money. It's a very different thing."

She hadn't said no. But she was very much considering. There was a lot against it. Which is why she was not rushing to say yes.

"You're identifying with her for some reason. Any idea why? What did she say that got to you?"
Quake has posed:
Skye pokes around her soup with her chopstick, and takes some of the noodles.

"I didn't. But some of the terrorists.." She called them by their actual designation: Terrorists. "Did. I knew that they were doing damage beyond what I stole from their computers. I pretended, but really? I knew."

"Rose was an orphan." Like me. "She didn't have love. The ability to take schooling. To have real friends." The people who Skye hung around with during her days as a terrorist-hacker weren't her friends. They just used her. She knew that now. "Sure she kills. But how many people did I affect without caring what happened to them?"


She puts her soup down again, and runs her hand through her hair. "She stopped. Actually stopped herself from her usual way of dealing with the attack on the subway." Which she wasn't the cause of. "Instead of killing the perpetrators she held herself back. Because I gave her the choice to be free. Batman was aware of this. It was a chance. It could have gone so very, very badly. And yet the little bit of giving her a chance paid off.'
Oracle has posed:
Barbara continued to work on her sweet and sour chicken as she listened, watched her friend closely as she worked through the details. "Perhaps I'm just not seeing it the same way," she admitted as she put that down and took a sip of her wine before poking around the take-out boxes again. The honey shrimp caught her attention and she claimed it then settled back in to continue listening.

"She has that choice every time she does what she does though, Skye." A pause to choose her words and continuing. "Just because this one time she chose to not kill doesn't mean she has changed. It just potentially means that you somehow swayed her?"
Quake has posed:
Skye can only shake her head in confusion.

"I realize that I may be too close to this. Fury has taken me under his wing, so to speak, and to get at the base emotion that is fueling the behaviour. Lately I've been pretty good. Coming up with the exact same things as he has. Sometimes a little bit more."

"Her, though? I can't say if I am right, or if I see myself in her."

She takes a spring roll and eats it slowly. "So. What do *you* think?"
Oracle has posed:
"I think we'll need to see more. Monitor her. Find out if that choice was a fluke or if she really does want to do more. If you want to try to guide her, that's on you. But right now, not ready to give her an invite to the team since I don't know how trustworthy she is."

Barbara isn't going to mince words, not when it comes to the safety of their group and the people they try to help. "She's on the Watch And See list but that's all I'm comfortable with. For now. We can revisit this in a few months."
Quake has posed:
"Oh for sure!" Skye has to laugh. And then sobers. "I told her about the Birds. I'll be frank about that. She recognized the SHIELD insignia - it couldn't be helped to get down to the subway quick enough. I told her .. oh god.. too much - but I didn't give up the others. Told her that with some training, and a rasp to her outer edges, that, sure we.. I.. would be very interested in her."

So she didn't quite say 'you're in'.
Oracle has posed:
That has Barbara's brows lifting and she stops with the chopsticks about halfway to her mouth, a fried honey soaked shrimp caught between the two wooden implements. Then she lowers it back down to the container, releasing it and holding her chopsticks still in the box.

"How much is too much?"

Because now all those alarm bells and concerns are happening. She trusts Skye, knows she would not endanger the team, but it was an automatic reaction. "I have no problem with you taking her under her wing. No problem with monitoring her for the Birds if she keeps on the straight and narrow. But I really want to know what she was told so we can do any sort of damage control that might be necessary if she chooses another path."
Quake has posed:
Rose had sussed out SHIELD on her own. The other thing she was told. "I let slip that I was a founding member of the Birds. I thought maybe if she knew someone with more power in the group, it might have seemed more real to her then just another member. Hell, for all I know she thinks I'm crazy, and someone who stole a couple of SHIELD cuffs trying to make me more important than I really was."

Spring roll done, she returns to her soup with intent to finish it this time. "Like I said, the only one who could be in danger is me."
Oracle has posed:
"So she now knows there is a team called the Birds. And that you helped found it." Barbara went back to munching as she weighed that. In truth, that wasn't a lot. Just that a team existed with that name. Yet, things were still vague and she had to follow up.

"Did you tell her what the Birds are? What we do or about any of the members even by codename? Such as Oracle or Black Canary or Huntress?"

Because if she knew the names of some of them, then she certainly would know they were heroes. Not people who went and killed other people. Although Huntress had crossed the line in the past, thus why Rose wasn't being dismissed outright.
Quake has posed:
Skye gave Babs a hard look. "I may be stupid at times, but I'm not crazy. We might have had two minutes before we hightailed it out of there - before the police came and realized that nobody called SHIELD for help."

That one was easily shoved under the rug.

"There were two others besides me - Batwoman and Huntress. I got weird looks but they kept their mouths shut. I'm surprised they didn't corner me after." Digging around with her chopstick she finally had to give up - there was nothing left in her bowl. "I should have gotten two of these."
Oracle has posed:
"We could always order a delivery of more soup," Barbara suggested. She shook her head a little bit and then gave a shrug. "Since it's amazing and I didn't get any," she added with a smirk.

Then she drops that and goes back to the main topic of the conversation. "I know you aren't crazy nor stupid so don't be silly. I just wanted to be sure what we are dealing with to be able to know where to go from here."

Then she popped that shrimp into her mouth, chewed and swallowed. "Alright, so for now, Rose is your protege but kept out of the Birds entirely. No more details. Until we see how things are in a few months, if she has kept her nose clean. So, anything else for us to work on business related or...?"
Quake has posed:
"We could order more soup. Hell, someday I will make it from scratch for you. One of the three and a half meals I can prepare." That; roasted chicken; spaghetti; and salad in the bag (which she only had to open).

Mr. Nooodle, while she eats them - quite often (like 5 or 6 times a week.. yes, she was aware. Bad Skye, bad. ) - does not come even close to a meal.

"As for Rose, that's reasonable." Really reasonable in fact. "I'll keep you informed." She shrugs, at the remaining question. "Just my love life. Clint is back - again - at his apartment. Taking some time alone. Which could mean.. who knows. You know, other than he kept me on a more carefully balanced eating routine.. Ah hell, who am I kidding. I miss him. The cats are elated at having his side to the bed all to themselves, but I miss him."

For some reason or the other she doesn't mention the fact that they were partners.. or did that change to?
Oracle has posed:
"You need to move on from him. Yeah, I know you love him. Likely always will. But sometimes things just don't work out with the guy we think it should." Barbara gave another little shrug as she continued to munch, a pause here or there between to chew and swallow before she went on to the next statement.

"Course who am I to tell anyone anything. I'm still single. Still pining over lost love, in some ways. Which is stupid as I know he's moved on from me." She lets out a little puff of air, a frustrated noise as her hair flutters a bit. Then the shrimp are set down and she grabs the fried rice again, concentrating on that now. Even as she did so, she pulled out her phone with her other hand and pushed the button for the delivery options. There she started adding the soup to the cart and scrolled in search of anything else that might sound good. "What sort of desserts do they have?" she murmured. "Because now I want something sweet."
Quake has posed:
Skye says, quietly, "I know. It will take some time.." Her voice was then more solid, "Unless you've got a guy that you'd like me to meet?"

Her laughter rang hollow, though.

Desserts she knows something about, including off-items that the cook would make an exception for her! "Let me order!"