cara davies (never) cancels class.
It'd take anyone by even the smallest amount of surprise, waking up in a house they didn't recognize, in a bed that isn't their own. Carol Danvers' had quite a few of those moments over the years. She's woken up in Avengers Tower, in the possession of the Brood Queen, in the Statue of Liberty, in the smoking hull of a plane, and in Greenwich Village. In all of those cases, each of those locales feels a veritable alien planet unto itself. For all intents and purposes? They were. This room, though. This one that doesn't register on this nondescript Sunday morning. It's unremarkable, with it's paneling and scattered picture frames. At first, she thinks it's a dream -- she's bleary-eyed and groggy. All it'll take is some coffee in her system to get it straight. When she looks at the smiling faces in the family photos, nothing jumps out at her. Just the taste of morning breath and the IKEA carpet laying limply beneath her feet. Look alive, Cheeseburger, she reminds herself. You've got work to do.

Finding the coffee proves difficult. It proves even more so when she drags her toes over the strange carpeting, peering into half-finished rooms and what seems like a tiny, but orderly, office. Carol's in someone's home, that much is for sure. She just doesn't know whose. The caffeine-withdrawal headache is starting, she thinks, and it elicits a grumble from the former Air Force colonel. She's a Kree warrior woman known not only on this hunk of rock floating in space, but on several others.. And she's being done in by hot bean water. This, she reminds herself, is not a solitary instance of her own felling at the hands of a steaming mug. When her hand reaches to push against her temple, she notices, the fingertips are softer than she's used to. There are blunt, manicured fingertips that she doesn't recognize when she holds the hand out to examine it. This is when the dread bleeds into her gut.

She moves a little quicker now, ducking into doorways, trying to find the woman's bathroom. It takes another minute and one stubbed toe before Carol finds it, and gawks when she looks in the mirror above the sink. This is not her face. This is not her house. This is not her body. This is not her life. Nothing had prepared her for this, no niggling sense of impending doom, no memo, no weird, splitski-feeling in a biplane, no Dharma Initiative common denominator.. Nothing. All she can do is stare at the stranger in the mirror, and wonder how she got so lost. Lost to the point where she wound up in another woman's body. Part of her sense-memory flickers back to what it's like to lose herself to energy, to another being, to the galaxy. None of that parallels this. Carol Danvers, with her mother's nose and her brother's buzzed haircut, is gone. Only her mind is left, and it's living inside a woman she can't physically recognize.

The thought makes her curl her lip and shiver. This isn't some bad horror movie. It's real; the four pinch marks on the inside of her arm have confirmed as much. This woman has a rounded nose and sharp cheekbones. Carol Susan Jane Danvers does not. Carol Susan Jane Danvers has a ding of a scar on her forearm from the time she touched a hot cake pan at her family's home in Boston. This woman does not. It takes quite a bit to make Carol shake -- she's a pilot, after all -- but she can't stop the tiny vibrations of the fingertips that both are and aren't her own. Where am I? Who am I? Sparks don't come when she calls for them, that familiar tingle of connection to something bigger and cosmic. She is cut off, on a figurative desert island in.. Where is she? Ah.

Carol spends the next hour pacing in her (her?) pajamas: a Stanford Physics tee (she's in San Francisco, it seems) and a pair of flannel shorts that are, admittedly, worth a little bit of praise in terms of comfort. This is a situation, and according to the iPhone she'd picked up and snooped through, she has approximately ninety minutes to solve a bit of a second, ancillary dilemma by association. Professor Cara Davies, the owner of her current face, it seems.. Is giving a lecture on Black Holes and extreme astrophysics. Cute. For a split-second, Carol almost thinks she'd be able to pull it off. Stay humble. Cheeseburger.

She decides against it. Instead, she's got some work to do.

Cara, if you're in there, or out there somewhere.. I'm gonna figure this out. A beat. No answer. If I don't, I'll get you a new carpet for your bedroom. Deal?


Due to an unforeseen personal emergency, I have to postpone Monday's lectures, and will have limited access to e-mail.

I anticipate being back on campus tomorrow for office hours. Please send calendar invites ahead of time if you plan on stopping by.

Cara L. Davies


Well.. Carol thinks to herself with a sigh, only letting it out once she hears the hallmark 'whoosh' of sent messages: .. That was easy.

Thankfully, Davies wasn't smart nor paranoid enough to put a lock code on her phone. It ended up, Carol surmised, saving her reputation with four classes. Good going, math girl.

Carol gets to work almost immediately, scrolling through photographs and text messages. In the same time it took to fire off an email freeing several college students from their Monday angst, Carol discovered a feminist with a penchant for planners, Pinterest, and a solid hatred for cats. The latter was a dealbreaker, but she'd work on it. How, she had no idea.

A few more scrolls later, and she'd find the text messages. Lo. Teddy. Parker. Charlie. Carol had no idea who any of these people were, but they were gradually filling in some of the blank puzzle pieces. Cara was a good friend. Granted, an overextended one (she's got a wedding party tonight), but a good one nonetheless. Carol snooped and studied until the phone battery reached fourteen percent. She already likes Cara Davies' taste in music. Maybe this won't be a complete disaster.
When a phone charger's found, Danvers relents. The phone goes down, and Carol -- finally -- packs a pod of coffee she's likened to vibranium into Davies' Keurig, punching the button and taking her time with exploring the decor, the dishes, the food in the kitchen. Almond milk? With a shake of her head, Carol takes a sip from a mug that's got a postcard of the state of Georgia on it.. Tasting normalcy but experiencing everything but. This is wild, and beyond anything else she'd experienced before. There were lows, sure -- Carol Danvers knows dissociation, disconnection, and separation from the self more than most -- but nothing had ever compared to this. She's had her memories brought back once, she thinks, but they were hers to pull down. Cara Davies is another person entirely. A costume. A role.

I'm a goddamn person, thanks, what-feels-like a random gut instinct defensively flares, almost as if to contest Carol's upturned nose. This is my life. It sounds like a stubborn conscience given a voice, and Carol nearly drops the mug. "You're real. I'm real. This situation is FUBAR," she says to her (Cara's?) reflection in the microwave: "At least we can agree on that." When Carol doesn't hear an immediate response, she wonders if this nightmare's coming to an end.. But there's a snort that sounds remarkably like one she'd let out. Cara Davies, Carol's happy to say, is no fool. Who are you? The question is faint. What's happening to me? I-.. Us?

"My name is Carol Danvers. I don't belong.. Here, but.." FUCK ME RUNNING, the voice she's calling Cara feels like it screams. Holy shit. You're the Brie Larson Iron Man. Carol barks out a confused laugh, a rasp that doesn't sound easy or natural coming from a slight-and-pretty blonde like Cara; moments later, it strangles itself in a panic realization. Cara and Carol are both piloting this ship, and the realization is becoming all the more apparent. The two minds in one body are talking.

".. Sort of and not at all."

.. You're going to kill me, aren't you? The tenuous, good-natured moment shatters, like a fingertip pressing down into trembling surface tension, waiting to surrender to the slightest push. "No, Cara. I-.. I need you to help me." Carol's.. Cara's eyes stare into the mirror again, certain in the request, and terrified of the rebuttal. What do I need to do?

"Do you have the answer to what's going on?"


"Ah.. Uh.." A hand scrubs into hair that's longer than Carol's fingers are used to.

This is really inspiring faith, you know.

"I need you to help me, and I need you to trust me, okay? Freaky Friday style."

Not Invasion of the Body Snatchers?

"I am not a body-snatcher, that much I do know."

Technically, you are. You're making me -- my body -- drink coffee. I don't..

"I'm doing my best, mathlete. To figure this out, we need to trust each other."

I literally learned who you are because of a preview on E!News. I have no reason to trust you.

"For the love of all that's holy, I don't look like Brie Larson. More of a Charlize, if I had to pick. Please tell me you've seen Aeon Flux."

Cara laughs at that one. Maybe this won't be so bad. Their quiet, surface-level conversation continues for the next few minutes as they slowly relinquish and obtain control of this body, different lives and realities coming together in the body of a physics professor who hails from Georgia. She's got the instincts of a pilot, a superhero, the minds of an academic, and a pop culture junkie all swimming together, and when they go for a run, it all starts to coalesce. Carol runs them past the aquatic center, and Cara sounds the alarm to signal a slowdown.

Was that you? In there? Carol shakes her head.

"I don't know what you're talking about." Nevermind. They continue, speeding up as fatigue starts to set in.

"Come on. We've got to get you in shape, Davies."

Wait. No. We have to go back home. There's a party I have to get ready for. Missing it's not an option.

It's noon. How important can this party be?
When Carol wakes up on Monday, she's still in the red sheath of a dress they'd committed to the night before; the expensive mascara she'd chosen as Cara's voice quieted down was rubbed down her cheek and an angry bruise had streaked itself across her knuckles, proving the reality of the situation to even the staunchest of nonbelievers. Cara Davies has gone worryingly mute, and Carol Danvers was wholly human, for the first time in decades. Mystique, was wearing a different face than she was used to (granted, that wasn't saying much), and had gotten her out of what could've been a very bad ending to a very bad day. It was enough to make Carol's headache surge. It surged to the point where she brought her fist down on the couch where she'd collapsed the night before, futilely pounding against the cushion. No burning through the fabric, no punching through the springs or destroying things in frustration. In that moment, Carol remembered how to toe herself along the fragile tightrope separating the feelings of 'relief' and 'disappointment'.

WebMD doesn't provide answers for this sort of thing -- Carol knows, she's checked -- so she flies her fingers over the keys, trying to figure out if she recognizes anything from the local news, anything in Cara Davies' inbox.. None of it helps or provides any real sort of insight. Frustration rears its head again, and instead of punching something that might crack a very-human knuckle, she stands up from the desk. She had the power to cancel an entire day of lectures, after all. Cara had been strong enough to refuse and fight back, even for a little while. She was, from what Danvers could tell, a decent woman. Her voice was silent now, but Danvers had the irrefutable urge to do right by the woman whose body and life she'd usurped. A woman she knew next to nothing about, aside from an E!News penchant, and an instagram full of Likes on photos of planners. God help them both.

Without a tour guide, Carol is flying solo, using whatever information she can find to help her navigate a Monday that she's not even sure how she'd crested into. Was last night real? The feeling of recognition, stolen away by knockout gas and an attempted right hook that makes her scrub her face in embarrassment with how real they were and are.

"I'm sorry, Cara. I'm going to figure this out," Carol promises, staring down at another piece of furniture she doesn't know. "I'm not going to get us killed," she vows, kicking off the heels that'd brought her to well-over six feet tall, leaving them there in the living room as she trudged over to the bathroom, aiming to take the hottest shower known to man.

".. I hope."