Hey Boy Hey Girl
Title: Hey Boy Hey Girl
Author: Sakura123 (weber_dubois22)
Characters: Alan Bradley, Lora Bradley, Jet Bradley, Eva Popoff; Sam Flynn
Summary: [AU] Legacy/2.0 (Subroutine 'verse). Chance is a strange creature, Jet believes its the thing that brought them together, Eva knows otherwise. Jet Bradley/Eva Popoff.
Disclaimer: Tron/Tron 2.0/Tron: Legacy and all things related are property of Steven Lisberger, Bonnie MacBird and Walt Disney Studios (and some other guys I'm probably forgetting but can't care to remember).
Author's Note: After spending more time in the TRON 2.0 'verse (and reading TRON: The Ghost in the Machine), I've gotta say I have a new appreciation of this world and Jet Bradley altogether. It's my favorite world next to the original TRON. So much to chew on and so much to play with, I wish Disney hadn't made it non-canon. I want more Bradley/Mercury adventures in the Grid, even if it's just in comic book form.
For those of you who don't know, Eva Popoff is a character from 2.0, not an OFC. She's one of the three, or four/five, antagonists in the game that really doesn't do anything until the end of the game. On top of having a goofy last name, she speaks with a weird accent and is supposed to be French (honestly, she sounds Russian or German). Eva's about 25 in the game (born 1978), making her Jet's senior by five years, but for purposes that suit the tale alone, she's the younger and Jet's the senior. The following storylines are side stories that go along with "Subroutine" a TRON story I'm writing that features Jet Bradley and Sam Flynn as the protagonist and deuteragonist of the tale.
There was no great drama surrounding their meeting, no scenario that involved arguing who's taxi ride belonged to who or strange occurrences had them meeting in the same place, making one or the other appear as stalkers, which simply would've resulted in the arrest of one of them (namely Jet).
He was looking for a box of frozen pizza and she was looking for lasagna. Their paths crossed when she dropped her lipstick and it rolled in his direction, stopping against the heel of his sneaker. He didn't pay any attention at first, too engrossed in reading the "nutrient" facts on the side of the frosted box, then her head bumped his thigh as she kneeled over to retrieve her lipstick.
Their eyes met for a moment, Jet suspected nothing would've come of it if his Flynn's Arcade T-shirt hadn't been showing from underneath his blue dress shirt. A manicured finger pointed at him, almost poking him in the chest, she smiled slyly as she said, "Are you with that Flynn Lives organization?"
The question, a question he could usually brush off without a second thought, caught him off guard that day. The tell in his raised eyebrows and the hand that reached behind his neck to scratch, however, gave him away. "You aren't you?" Her expression became brighter and she extended her hand in greeting, he laughed nervously at her enthusiasm as he shook her hand.
"Not exactly, I just like their t-shirts," He replied. She shrugged her shoulders as she appraised the neon-light affect on the t-shirt with a critical eye. "I suppose they are very cosmopolitan," She chuckled dryly. "Eva Popoff, I'm a senior at CSU."
"Jethro Bradley, I'm a developer at Elfwood Studios," He replied. "You create video games?" She said, quirking an eyebrow.
"You bet," Jet couldn't help the broad grin that graced his lips. She tucked a curl of red hair behind her ear, eyes looking him up and down. "You wouldn't happen to be related Alan Bradley and Lora Baines, would you?" Another question that usually made him uncomfortable, the celebrity of his parents. After ENCOM had become completely dedicated to developing games and software, the digitizing research had been discontinued altogether, Lora left the company in 1982 after accepting a position at HJF.
He spent the better part of his childhood living in two houses until 1990, when his mother resigned from her position as technical engineer and moved to Pasadena, California. In 1994 she got a position in JPL and refurbished the digitizing technology invented by Walter Gibbs and was currently putting it to good use there. His father, on the other hand, continued to dance around with ENCOM as their executive consultant on all things related to Kevin Flynn; Jet didn't think of much of the position, therefore he couldn't understand why his father remained there at all. "Uh, yeah, I'm their son," He answered.
"Impressive. I figure a guy like you would wanna follow in his father's footsteps," She stated.
"Not exactly, I'm not interested in type of programming," Jet sighed. "I mean, I was for a while, I interned a little back in 2004 for FCon-"
"What a coincidence, I'm interning at FCon!" Eva interjected. "I'm actually kind of hoping to work there one day."
"Yeah, well I hope you get the position," He said. Jet remembered her expression became skeptical and amused all at once, she appraised him once again as she tapped her finger on her chin. It was first time he noticed her ruby red lipstick and her general appearance; she looked like a 40s starlet stuck in the wrong era. There was a glint in her eye that he couldn't quite decipherer and swallowed in the moment, they nearly forgot the reason they were in the frozen foods section.
In an unexpected twist, Eva asked for his number and Jet gave it to her without hesitation, giddy at the prospect of hearing from her soon. He would later spend the night wondering how many people she'd brag to about meeting the son of Lora and Alan Bradley, then chided himself for thinking he was important enough to gossip about.
When the morning came, the events of the supermarket were forgotten, fogged with sleep and the priorities of work, Jet pulled himself together and started working on his game. In the quiet of the arcade, he wondered sometimes if she would ever call, then almost immediately preoccupy himself with work or one of the arcade games he still had out and in use.
Eva was fast becoming a fond supermarket memory when they crossed paths again two weeks before his birthday. Snow had decided to visit the city for a time, Jet was struggling to free his hand from a glove so fetch chain from his pockets when she bumped his shoulder, distracted by the task of looking for her cell phone.
He looked up from his glove ready to snap, he recognized her red hair before it bounced away from her face, revealing her irritated expression. The world dropped away, he was smiling before he realized it and so she was. "Hello, Jet," She had contracted his name, reminding him of how much he hated it when people (who weren't his mother) used his full name.
He grinned, breath dancing out the side of his mouth. "Hello, Eva," He replied.
Eva hadn't been in a serious relationship since her freshmen year in college, it had dissolved to the point where she found herself unable to care how it ended. There wasn't any pain she finally ended the relationship, not even when she left him weeping in the café. She threw herself into her academic career, leaving little wiggle room for a social life outside of the occasional club trip.
She started her internship with FCon in the beginning of 2008, it was hard, almost unforgiving when she finally came face to face when the ECO, Ed Dillinger. He had a strong dislike the youth all while acknowledging their invaluable uses to his company's recent growth. Eva hadn't left their building not two hours ago when she entered supermarket.
Out of all the people inside the modest establish, she hadn't expected to meet the son of the man and woman who had a hand in fall of Dillinger from ENCOM. She knew a little about the Bradley's through their involvement with Kevin Flynn, moreso with his disappearance.
She considered the pros and cons of what could happen if she made her presence known to him, it wouldn't help her any in the area of FCon, but it might help her elsewhere. So she dropped her lipstick and positioned herself close enough so when she made physical contact, he would have to pay attention to her. Orchestrated as some her questions started out, her sudden rapport with Jethro wasn't something she was expecting.
They connected on the mere fact that he couldn't stop talking once the subject diverted from his personal life and steered toward what went into programming a simple set of actions for a character and she couldn't stop listening.
They must've stood in the frozen foods isle for twenty minutes before realizing why they were to begin with, she never found her lasagna, but the price no pasta was well worth it. Prolonged farewells were exchanged, she started to walk away when she stopped, the impulse to act brashly grabbed her and didn't let go until she turned on her heel to face him. Jet quirked an eyebrow, glasses sliding down his nose. "What is it?"
She played the shy card, laughing nervously as she said "can I have your number?" Jet looked at her for a moment, his expression unreadable, before readjusting his glasses. "Uh, sure. Do you have paper?" Eva had her paper and pen out of her bag, ready for use. She studied his shaky handwriting, the way the e looked like c's with curls and t's that looked like lowercase j's. His numbers were smashed together, almost resembling letters from the alphabet. "Flynn's Arcade: 555-743-TRON" she reframed from laughing, wondering if was a real number or a dud. "Now yours," Jet smiled.
Taking his hand, she wrote her number on the back of his hand, counting the lines of his palms with her palms. "Don't loose it," She stepped away, making the promise to call him sometime, pretending not hear him when call after her when he smudged her number. That night, she replayed their conversation back in her head; she'd heard that the Bradley boy resembled his father, but the striking blonde hair and blue eyes likened him more to his mother than anything she thought. She woke that morning, thinking maybe she could call him then thought better of it.
Eva found herself lost in her studies until spring break. She had the entire two weeks to call him, yet she reframed from doing so, even when she didn't want to. Weeks turned into months, until the end of the year had finally arrived and Eva, five months away from graduating, forgot all about calling him. That is, until she bumped into him downtown. She hadn't planned that at all.