| Moment of Awesome: Doug Ramsey/Cypher: In the aftermath of his encounter with the Destines, Doug needs a personal assistant.
"Phoebe, please, come in." Normally Doug would have gotten up to answer the knock, but he was finding that he had to re-evaluate even some of his most minor habits in the wake of how his body reacted after whatever it was that had happened to him when his and Wanda's battle with Grace went pear-shaped. Multi-hour naps were becoming his daily norm. "Please, sit," he told the blonde as she entered his office.
14 did so, cocking her head to the side as she studied Doug. This was one of the things 14 loved about Phoebe. Irma would have to be tactful, and Esme may not have said anything at all. But Phoebe...
"You look like hell."
...could be blunt.
"Then I look better than I feel." It was blunt, and it was perhaps slightly cliche, but it was also the truth. Doug had been exposed to a lot of things over the years, and experienced quite a bit of pain, but even the interrogation he'd undergone in Genosha had been finite. This weariness, bone deep and perhaps even further, was a new status quo, something to be endured every moment forward with no end in sight. "Blood magic is a real sonofabitch," he added wryly.
14 shrugged in her chair, leaning forward so that she was resting her elbows on her hips. "Sounds useful, at least." If he'd wanted sympathy from her, he'd have texted Irma instead. So clearly, there was something else. "Still, I imagine you didn't just text me in order to critique your appearance."
"I get enough of that recreationally," Doug agreed. He'd worked hard to counteract the 'skinny dweeb' stereotype, on top of keeping himself in good physical condition for his job, and this was likely to undo all of that. "I need an assistant." Given that his own public status with Emma was as her personal assistant, they were verging into 'assistant undersecretary' type places, but still. "This didn't do anything to my mind, but right now-" Doug paused. There was no time frame on recovering from this, and he was being painfully optimistic to think otherwise. "-I get winded going up and down stairs."
He held up a hand to forestall whatever biting remark Phoebe might have been preparing. "I don't mean I need you to hold my dick while I piss or anything like that." (14 scrunched up her nose. Really, there was no need to be crude about it.) "But there are aspects of my job that are too physically taxing for..." He waved a hand to indicate his cane and sallow skintone. "...this."
He frowned. "And physical security is my biggest concern." They did a good job keeping their cover intact and countermeasures in place. But he - and Emma - had enemies even so.
Phoebe steepled her fingers. "I see," was all 14 said. Honestly, it sounded like Doug was looking for a glorified babysitter. "That explains the what, I suppose. Now, I have to ask 'why?'. If it was just business, Emma could find someone acceptable enough on her own. Glorified secretaries are a dime a dozen, after all. But obviously, she hasn't. I doubt you expect to get away with not paying me." There was a distinct impression of You're not that stupid in her tone.
There was a small quirk up of her lips. "You need a telepath, don't you?"
"A telepath. Who can fight." Doug started ticking off points on his fingers. "And isn't afraid to tell me when I'm trying to do too much. Who I can trust." And he did trust her, at the very least to be herself. "I need more than a 'glorified secretary', and that list is pretty short." In fact, the only candidate was sitting in front of him. Granted, he wasn't sure if she would accept - it would depend on her own internal calculations on what she would get out of the offer. His own trust wasn't so transactional, but he knew at least a bit about how she approached things.
14 seemed to take an almost morbid sense of amusement out of the entire situation, despite everything. You could hear it in her voice. "You must be truly desperate to come to me for help." Still, there wasn't any reason to dismiss it out of hand, even if she thought she'd be a terrible secretary. There was a long, long pause as Phoebe seemed to measure up Doug, before giving a small shrug. "Alright, I'm interested at least. What are you offering?"
"Access. Connections. Resources." The things Doug knew she wanted. She was definitely Emma's in that regard, even if she would likely be loath to admit it.