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Private A Chance Encounter

Karen Page

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14th February, Winter.
Year 109.
Tag:
@James Barnes
Karen was not going to let a little thing like losing the two loves of her life stop her from doing her job.

If there was one thing Karen Page prided herself on, it was her reliance and complete inability to give up. That went for all things in life. Sure, she'd had a bit of a break down these past few weeks; barely got out of bed and cried most nights. But this was a new month, a new Karen. Or well, a new deluded Karen.

She was surviving on nothing but coffee this morning, and wide awake because of it. She'd just caught wind of a new story and was now determined to be the first one on the scene, which meant rushing out the door before her boss could say another word. He meant well, but he didn't understand. What Karen really needed was something, anything, to take her mind off the throbbing pain in her heart, the hollowness in her stomach every time she thought of Frank or Matt. She'd been a fool to get so swept up by them, to believe they'd stay in Pandora, to deserve any real happiness. After everything she'd done, she deserved nothing but loneliness and regret.

But the streets were busy this morning, and Karen was not paying attention to where she was going. Her arm outstretched, she flagged down a taxi and been about to jump in when the coffee she was holding flew out of her hand and someone collided into her, almost knocking her flat.

Karen let out a gasp, holding a hand to her chest which now felt bruised. Her coffee lay a few inches away, spilt. "Ah, shit," she said, looking down at herself and then at the man she'd just walked into.

 
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James Barnes

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Bucky had already lost one person to Pandora. Natasha had been taken before he had any real chance to talk with her. It seemed like all they got was a single chance to meet before she vanished into thin air. It was just one of the things a person had to live with in Pandora, he assumed. There was nothing that the man could do to stop it, so he just carried on living without much purpose for the moment. Maybe that would change eventually. Until that day happened, he would just continue on living until something changed.

Despite Pandora having plenty to do, Bucky found himself settling into a normal rhythm almost every day. He had only really left Centria proper to go to his farm. Still, he had only done that a few times. Not nearly enough to say it became a habit to him. Besides those rare occasions, he spent plenty of his time haunting down a few criminals still plaguing Ark City and the areas surrounding it. Though that was not exactly mundane to most people, he figured, it was still something he found himself doing more often than anything. It got old. Fast.

On a whim, Bucky had decided to deviate from the normalcy he had become accustomed. He had decided to travel outside of Centria and soon found himself in Pandopolis. It was place he had only visited briefly in the beginning of his time in Pandora. It was not quite enough to actually get any sort of grasp on it, but he knew it still had similar problems. As he had found out, it had long been a central hub for Pandora. Long before it had apparently expanded. That had not been enough to tempt him to venture to Pandopolis, but the allure had finally gotten to him.

Unfortunately, the worst part about being in a new place was being hopelessly lost. He had scouted a map of the place before. Knew decently well the location of key locations on the map. Those maps did not account for the people that would be walking around on the street, as he found his body connecting with something. Or someone. Instinctivly, a hand flew out to catch the person by the arm. Not wanting to fall. His eyes caught the glimpse of a coffee cup falling to the ground. Most likely a good amount of money faced. His focus went to the woman whose arm he was still holding onto. Removing his hand, Bucky quickly spoke out an apology. "I'm sorry. I wasn't paying any attention." He noticed that she was holding a hand close to herself. Noticing this, he was quick to allow more words to come out of his mouth in order to ease the situation. "Are you okay?""
 
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Karen Page

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12 Lodestone Grove Apartments, Tavoie Borough
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Human
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Single
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"Yeah," Karen winced, unsure why she was trying to shrug it off. In truth, it hurt like a bitch, but he'd apologised and was openly sorry. It'd been an honest mistake and she didn't want to make him feel bad. "Don't worry. I've had worse." Which was more than true. She looked up at the man. "Are you okay?"

He appeared a lot sturdier than herself, and the arm that had caught her had felt like a rock. He was handsome, Karen realised, with long hair and piercing eyes. A little rugged perhaps, but he pulled it off well. She hitched her bag a little higher onto her shoulder, giving her chest one last rub before letting her hand fall to her side. The more she drew attention to it, the worst he'd probably feel.

She noticed the map in his hand, which would explain the collision. "Are you lost?" She asked, realising he was probably new. "Where are you headed? I work not far from here so I might be able to help." She smiled, hoping to ease any regret he felt for almost knocking her flat.

 
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James Barnes

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There was a sense of relief upon knowing that the woman was okay after their collision. He knew that there was probably a tinge of pain, but she didn't appear to want to make a scene out of it. Nodding at her question, Bucky gave her a friendly smile. "I'm fine. I've been through worse," he replied, chuckling softly. Running into someone was far more preferable than what typically occurred to him on streets since arriving in Pandora. Less people trying to hit him.

When he had reached out to help her, he had not exactly gotten a good look at her. He had been just a tad more preoccupied making sure she didn't end up on the ground. Having the chance to look at her, Bucky noted the woman was beautiful. That was obvious just at a glance. If he was going to run into anyone, he was happy that it was someone like her. Polite and unlikely to try and attack him out of annoyance. There were plenty of those people walking around Pandora.

He hadn't really planned on going anywhere that day. Just scouting out the area, but he did not want to admit that he was wandering around aimlessly. That almost seemed like the worst answer to her question. Instead, he decided to make something out of this situation. "I was actually looking for a cafe around here," he replied, eyes drifting to the spilled coffee on the pavement. "Know a place? I think I owe you a new cup of coffee anyway."
 
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Karen Page

Marvel Universe
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12 Lodestone Grove Apartments, Tavoie Borough
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Human
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Karen smiled. He was surprisingly shy for someone so tough looking, though there was a quiet confidence to him as well. He took another look at her, eyes darting around her face. She allowed herself the chance to look at him, wondering what his story was. She exhaled a laugh as he gestured to the coffee all over the floor. Karen was pretty sure she'd dropped more coffee in these streets than she ever had in New York.

Karen nodded, realising where this was going. She hesitated. He was good looking, and it just coffee. That was it. An innocent drink. But somehow, she felt conflicted. Was her heart, or even her body ready to go there again? Or was she jumping the gun? This stranger had caused Karen to drop her coffee and now he was owing her a favour. That was it. From his point of view, there may be nothing romantic about it. Yet Karen caught something in his eye, the way he spoke. She'd been down this road before.

At last she said, "Sure. There's one I pop into on the way to work. We can go there." She took the lead, chancing another side-ways glance at him. "So what's your name? Have you been in Pandora long?"

 
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James Barnes

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These moments had never felt awkward for Bucky. At least, that's what he had believed. The confidence he had once easily carried around with him had been nearly beaten out of him. Task like simply asking someone to a quick cup of coffee seemed more difficult, as he still didn't feel completely in control of himself at times. Did not feel like himself. Steps like this one, though, would be helpful he figured. He had met so many people due to fights that having something simple for once was a more than welcome change.

When the woman agreed to his suggestion, a light smile touched upon Bucky's lips for a moment. Something simple. No bruises to, hopefully, worry about afterwards. "Great," he replied, stepping next to her but allowing a little bit of room to give her a chance to actually lead. "It's Bucky," he said, deciding to give her his name. There was no harm in it, he figured. As far as he knew, he could trust her for the moment. She did not give off any vibes that triggered alarm signals. "I've been here...too long. And what about you?" Getting a name would be nice. Referring to her as the woman he likely gave a bruised shoulder to didn't seem polite.
 
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Karen Page

Marvel Universe
Posts
186
Location
12 Lodestone Grove Apartments, Tavoie Borough
Race
Human
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Female
Alignment
Neutral Good
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Single
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Bucky. Karen had heard that name before. She took another look at him, her brow furrowed and a slight smile on her face as she tried to work out where she knew him from.

Then it clicked.

"Shit, I've just realised who you are," she laughed, half to hide the embarrassment, half out of sheer surprise. She hadn't excepted to ever bump into him like this, especially in Pandora. "You're Captain America's best friend. A World War II veteran. I've been to the museum in New York a few times." She felt the need to explain, not wanting to freak him out. Karen looked at Bucky in amazement. He'd lived for over a century already, at least. "You're James Barnes."

Karen felt almost privileged to speak to him. It was a moment or two before she realised she'd yet to introduce herself. "I'm Karen Page," she added, looking over again with a smile. "I used to work as a reporter for The New York Bulletin so I've seen your name a few times." She wondered if she'd made him regret ever asking her out for a coffee.

"I've been here... Longer than I'd have liked, honestly." It wasn't that Pandora was a bad place, in fact it was pretty amazing as far as places went. But it wasn't home because no one she loved or cared for was here. It was more like a beautiful prison, one she knew she couldn't escape from and had no control over. "I try not to think about it too much."

 

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