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The Wonders Of Government Jobs

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“Hey babe?” Peridot asked. Jasper didn’t look up from her book. “Babe?” Jasper only seemed to bury herself further into her armchair. Peridot pouted. “Babe?!” She tried louder.

Jasper let out a huff before snapping her novel closed. She leveled an aggravated look at Peridot. “What?” She bit out.

“We still on to raid Area 51?” Peridot asked, a smirk clear on her face.

Jasper frowned. A pit sprouted in the depths of her stomach. “What?” She repeated, hoping she heard wrong.

“You gonna take me storm Area 51, right babe?”

Jasper’s eyes went wide. “How did you know?”

Peridot frowned. “Know what?” She watched as Jasper to their apartment’s windows and peeked through the curtains as if she was spying on someone. “....What are you doing?”

“Shhh.” Jasper turned from the window and went about scanning their living room. She ran her hands down the corners of the room, around the edges of their couches, and beneath the coffee table in a determined search. It’s when Jasper looked up at the ceiling light with dread clears across her face that Peridot really grew worried.

“Oh no. Oh no no no.” Jasper stood up. She snapped off the ceiling light before unscrewing the light bulb. Peridot frowned at it, curious at what Jasper was upset over.

“They bugged us.” Jasper held out her hand to Peridot. At least, a dozen, tiny cameras dotted her broad hand. Peridot gasped.

“Is that a Hunter mic?” Peridot snatched one from her palm. She looked it over with a wild gleeful look on her face. “I’ve only seen these in passing on the deep web. I thought they were a myth!” She brought the audio bug closer to her eyes. “It really is tiny!”

“Peridot, shut up! They can hear you!” Jasper hissed. She took the camera back and crushed it in her hand. The bugs crunched in her hand before Jasper let go, letting the broken pieces fall into the living room carpet.

“Jasper! You just destroyed millions of dollars!” Peridot whined.

“Focus! We have to move quick.” Jasper barked out as she marched down the hall. Peridot followed behind her into their bedroom. She watched as Jasper pulled out two suitcases from under their bed, one of which was Peridot’s novelty flying saucer backpack she swore she lost months ago. Before Peridot could complain, Jasper tossed it at her. Peridot caught it, surprised to find it packed to the brim.

“I already packed us the essentials. Let’s go.”

“Go where?” Peridot asked, but Jasper ignored her, choosing to push past Peridot. “Jasper, what the hell is going on?”

“I wasn’t careful enough! That’s what!” Jasper cried out, knocking a fist into the thin hall wall. Pictures that dotted the wall rattled and fell loose from their nails. Peridot dropped her bag in order to save one from crashing into the floor with the others.

It was a picture from their first date, back when they had both just moved to Beach City. The date was a spur of the moment decision on Peridot’s part. They had met maybe once or twice through mutual friends, but Peridot was captivated by her. She had to know more.

Still, it was a challenge trying to navigate their relationship back then. Between Peridot’s social awkwardness and Jasper’s stoic air, the date seemed to flounder on and on as the night waned on through the standard dinner date. Neither had much to say nor much experience in dating to draw on.

But, they worked through it together. Whether it be through genuine interest or a bullheaded determination to have something go right, they hung around each other after the right time to call it a night. They wandered the boardwalk and then the beach, trying to pick each other’s brains. It was still awkward as hell, but it was a sweet memory nevertheless.

That’s how she got the photo. Peridot had just dropped a corny pun, just to break the ice. To her surprise, Jasper burst out laughing. Her tiger striped face looked more relaxed than it had all evening, her long white hair bouncing carelessly with each hearty laugh.

Peridot has quickly snapped a picture of the moment as she did with all things she found precious and within range of her phone camera. But when she looked up at the real Jasper and she saw the same face filled with regret, it filled her with a painful sorrow.

“It wasn’t supposed be like this.” Jasper said as if she was trying to convince Peridot. She looked down at the picture in Peridot’s hands, and she seemed to give. She slunk to the floor and pulled her knees to her chest. “It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Jasper gestured both her hands at the floor. “I was just supposed to come do my job. I was just supposed to stay undercover, and I could live a normal life outside work.” Jasper’s breathing picked up its pace to a worrying amount. “Now, the government going to come after us!” She slammed her fists into the floor with a dull thud. “I’ve ruined everything!”

“Jasper...” Peridot carefully approached her. When she didn’t seem ready to go off again, Peridot laid a hand on her back. “Calm down. Please.” Peridot awkwardly patted Jasper’s back.

Jasper’s broad shoulder’s hitched under her hand. Jasper let out a deep, wheezing breath. “I’m sorry.” She whispered.

“Jasper, I’m going to need more information. You’re freaking me out.” Peridot deadpanned.

Jasper looked up at her with desperate golden eyes. “What do you mean? You found out.”

“Stop talking in riddles please.”

Jasper huffed, some of her annoyance returning to her face. At least, she wasn’t totally lost. “But, you know! You know I’m a government agent aligned with Area 51 and now, they know!”

“Wait, what?”

“What?” Jasper frowned.

“Babe...you do know I was talking about the meme, right?”

“What?!”

“Yeah! It’s all over the internet right now.” Peridot pulled out her phone and showed her one. Jasper took the phone, staring in disbelief.

“Are you kidding me?” Jasper groaned, tossing the phone back to Peridot. “You gave me a heart attack over nothing?”

“Well...” Peridot made a face. “Your employers now know I’m acquainted with the deep web so...” Peridot went retrieve her backpack from the ground. Jasper groaned, but she stood up.

“We’re moving to a safe house in Crystal Cove. No arguments.” Jasper said, going retrieve her own bag.