Challenge #00278: Den of Iniquity

Jacqui, the blackie, the lackey named Pertwee (and yes I know she’s a she! :P) and the almost comical bond formed watching the terrorist let loose in a crafts store.

[AN: Can we not have racist (or any –ist) words in submissions, please? No matter how cute it might be that it rhymes, it is not a nice word.]

John Smith had come to catch the mutant out. He still suspected that Scott Summers was somehow cheating, even after all this unexpected familiarity with mutant-kind. Even after finding out that no matter how mutant a mutant was, physically, they were still human, mentally.

Though Sara was a matter of some debate. Primarily because she had rarely been human in her mind before she became a ‘fully fledged’ mutant.

And speaking of Sara…

There was Mrs Adrien. High-powered socialite and unexpected advocate for mutant rights including the right to be treated like any other human being. Wearing a shade of blue that looked very fetching, rather than her trademark strawberry-pink power suit, or - Smith realized - her post-mutant-daughter purple.

Sharing leaning-space on the square column was none other than Agent Jane Pertwee. Trying to look menacing whilst also simultaneously leaning on a column and being damn near bored to death.

Come to think of it, his feet kind of hurt, too.

“This place needs courtesy couches.”

“There’s a kiddies’ zone in the far east corner,” said Jacqui. “Rubber jigsaw mats in various stages of decay, sadly. And the Smurfs cartoon series on an endless loop.”

Smith vomited in his mouth a little. “Ugh. Thanks but no thanks. I didn’t know you shopped here.”

“I’m don’t,” said Jacqui. “Sara’s insisting on becoming a 'fanbot’ for some something-punk band and can’t find the right kind of wig. Or makeup. Or items of flair. To be very strictly honest, I’ve lost track.”

“At least yours walks around,” griped Pertwee. “Mine’s been up and down the yarn aisles five times. And he’s picking up that same fucking ball of wool again!”

Smith could understand. He’d been allowing Summers to lead at increasing distances until the column looked like a very nice place to lean.

There was a distant crow of, “Yes! Gears!” from somewhere in the craft-themed labyrinth.

Jacqui remained rooted to her spot.

“I think your daughter’s found everything she’s looking for,” prompted Smith.

Jacqui leveled a glare at him. “You obviously have limited experience with craftspeople.”

“I’m picking up some of the lingo,” Smith confessed.

“Six times,” muttered Pertwee. “Ooo. He’s decided to take the fucking ball of wool. How excitement.”

“Sara’s culching,” explained Jacqui. “Whatever she comes to the checkouts with, it may not all be used for her current project, but it might come in handy.”

“OoooOOOOOoooo…” came the faint coo of Sara. Evidently, she had found something cool.

Jacqui rolled her eyes. “I really should look at some comfortable shoes,” she noted. “Or a portable chair.”

“I can recommend FitFlops,” deadpanned Pertwee. “They’re made for people who get sore feet. And ensure that they don’t.”

“No,” agonized Pertwee. “Don’t go looking at the crochet hooks again…”

“I take it some are more fussy about their sources than others?” Smith enquired.

“No,” said Jacqui in a dead, flat voice. “They’re all like that.”

“Sometimes?” said Pertwee, “We have to get rounded up by store security at the end of the day.” Her mad smile had nothing to do with finding anything funny.

“Been there, done that, got a dozen tee shirts,” said Jacqui.

Somehow, Smith got the idea that he would not be finding any mutant cheating, today. He would, however, be finding sore feet and the little cafe around the corner that made its keep from bored co-customers like him and Jacqui.

Pertwee, unfortunately for her, was not allowed to leave her post.

Smith bought her coffee anyway.

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