Whiskey Tango Heta

January 26, 2017:

Deeply disturbed by the attack on the Milano and his dreams of dangerous blonde secret agents, Peter Quill seeks out Jessica Jones in the hopes of getting some answers.

Metro General Hospital, Hell's Kitchen, NYC

Characters

NPCs: Foggy Nelson

Mentions: Matt Murdock, The Winter Soldier, Jane Foster, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Captain America, Kitty Pride, Zatanna Zatara, John Constantine, Thor, Spider-Man, The Dark Devil

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The easiest way to find Jessica was probably to text her, or call her, if people with space phones did such things. She would have let him know she was in a waiting room off the ICU wing of Metro-General in NYC.

She sits at the one table in said waiting room with a laptop in front of her, as well as two files. The files are for two people named Tasha and Karl, but she seems to be done with those, as if she'd been spending time compiling information about them, whomever they were. Now she's on to reading a paper that she's having some trouble with while alternatively keeping an eye on a husky looking blonde man with a rumpled suit who has stretched himself on the one couch and is sound asleep.

That latter would be Foggy Nelson, who is too worried to realize that this same dark haired woman has been close by, off and on, since the night before Matt Murdock got attacked. Jess can only note wryly that if she were his enemy instead of his unknown guardian he'd be toast, but it's probably just as well.

As for the paper, drawing near might reveal that it's a publication on the Foster Theory. Jess has three highlights in hand and Google in front of her; she needs the latter to even get a start on understanding most of the terms. The green highlighter is for the bits she can grasp right away. The yellow highlighter is for things she thinks she got after looking up the terms. The orange highlighter is for stuff she's lost on.

99% of the page in front of her is orange, but she seems intent on pushing through.

She's wearing a non-descript grey-hoodie and jeans. A capped Styrofoam cup that seems to hold something other than coffee by the smell sits by her elbow. The waiting room is otherwise mostly deserted.

The first sense that she might have company after that call is the footfalls of someone slowly approaching. Heavy falls from a heavy boot. Not someone trying to disguise their presence either. So either they should be here, or they are supremely confidient in their own abilities. Possibly both.

With Peter Quill? Pretty sure its both.

The man strolls into the waiting room like he totally belongs. Red coat swirling slightly as he pivots to glance around. The leather crinkling as he finds his target. In each hand is a tall white cup of something. Could be coffee, could be something else. Its again hard to tell with him.

Its steaming, so its gotta be hot at least.

Blue eyes fall on Jess as he strides across the floor to look down towards her, unabashedly peering at what she's doing.

No shame ever.

He turns to drop himself into the chair next to her before holding one of the cups out to her. Smells like it could be coffee? Maybe.

"So," He sips his own, slurping just slightly. "Coffee evolved while I was gone." A longer pause. "And now that the small talk is out of the way, mind telling me what the hell is going on?"

Jessica accepts that second coffee, the one that is actually coffee, and takes a long sip.

She also smirks. Mostly because she's terrible at small talk, so thank God Peter relieved her of the need.

She does tap tap her finger to her lips, nodding in Foggy's unfortunate direction, keeping her own voice low. He hadn't been terribly loud, but she'd just as soon not wake him. "What do you already know? There's been a lot going on, so I don't want to waste your time rehashing what you've already heard, or diving into things you don't care about."

She puts all of the Foster Method printouts into a pile and sets her highlighters on top of them, closes her laptop, and turns to give Peter her full and complete attention.

"I know that Vader, Bucky to his friends, is now a gigantic dickhole that tried to do something terrible to my ship and almost succeeded. I know that Zee still isn't home, and I'm going to assume that she did something dumb and/or is in even worse trouble now than she was. Since the bad guys with the tank were with Bucky, I'm going to assume Jane is in trouble too."

He pauses in his little tirade to take a long drink of his own coffee as he watches Foggy across the way. One foot bounces up and down with that excess of nervous energy the man seems to always have stored up. "Lets see what else. I know that it has something to do with Hydra, who I have no idea what is but I'm going to assume is bad." A longer pause. "…and I know Rocket is going to need bigger guns to fix this."

Jessica snorts. "Rocket would 'need' bigger guns to get himself a sandwich," she points out. "And who are we to deprive him?"

She leans back, trying to figure out how to arrange this in order of importance. "Zee hasn't been home because she's staying in New York. She's fine now. Two different groups tried to take her soul, and one succeeded, but we got it back. Knock on Formica…" she suits words to action, "that's the end of trouble for her for awhile."

"Hydra is a secret Nazi society whose hobbies include world domination and long walks on the beach. They're obsessed with both magic and high grade tech. Your ship, obviously, being the latter. They also tortured and brainwashed Bucky into acting as their living weapon. Torture I don't think anybody could take. They had him most of his life, but he broke their first round of conditioning so they changed the program. He's a victim. And yes. Jane is with him, and they've repeated the program with her." She taps the notes. "That's why I'm struggling through these. I want to know the old Dr. Foster, and since I never met her, I'll have to try to understand her through what she wrote. And if there's anything in here that could help someone get through to her if the opportunity comes. There are cracks in the new program too."

"I hope you guys have found a new place to hide your ship; I don't think Hydra's the only group of assholes who would see that as a shiny they'd like to add to their collection."

"Don't worry about the Milano, we got that covered."

SMASHCUT TO A WAREHOUSE ON THE EDGE OF GOTHAM. Broken down and empty. Just about ready to fall in on itself. The words 'EMPTY WAREHOUSE' spray-painted across the front of the doors. Peter standing out front nodding to himself with a pleased look on his face.

"Nazis though, man those guys are still around. I mean they were old news when I was growing up." The pilot sets the coffee on the chair next to him and threads fingers behind his head. leaning back in the chair and stretching his long legs out in front of himself. "So most of the magic stuff is over I guess. That's good." He quirks an eyebrow. "But Bucky is still somewhere else. That's bad. Not that I owe him anything, but he helped Groot pick out a couch."

Meaning it was the only couch in Ikea that didn't have bullet holes in it after they were done.

"Plus they went and scratched my ship. Gotta pay em back for that." He adds after a moment. No this doesn't have anything to do with a smoking hot platnium blond nazi ninja that kicked his ass. Not one bit at all. "So. When do we go crack em open like an egg is all I'm asking."

He peers towards the reading material before he shrugs. "And I don't know much about Jane. She seemed really high strung to me. I mean one little mention of space travel and she just broke down."

Jessica doesn't know about that, the magic stuff being done. There are some unfinished threads. But…Quill's just a little ADHD, and she figures she'd better keep him focused on his own immediate problems.

"They just went underground," Jessica says with a shrug. "Took off the overt and embraced the overt. That's what hate does, I guess."

Her eyebrow ticks up at helping Groot pick out a couch. What. The. Actual…no you know what? She's not asking. "Let me guess. His reaction to this fantastic new piece of furniture was…I am Groot!"

But she's smirking. She's very fond of Groot.

"Maybe because NASA has fucked around that nobody else has been farther than the moon, Quill," she points out. "Someone went and broke barriers that our physicists are only just starting to dream of. It all seems casual and commonplace for you, but be a little gentle with those who still have a sense of wonder about it all. Wonder's one of those limited commodities. So do me a favor. If you can, for a bit, when she's back…let her have a look, okay? And don't tease her or let the others tease her for her reactions. Let her have her wonder."

As to when…Jessica leans back and looks incredulous. "What the Hell makes you think I'm in charge? I'm a freaking private detective. Actual people with rank and power and connections are involved in this. They might even decide to cut me out of the loop entirely. However, if I get the chance to talk to those who really are in charge of this leg of things again I'll be happy to let them know that you guys have an interest. I wouldn't go throwing around words like 'spaceship' in front of the government types either though. They might try to confiscate it too. They're not evil, and they have more legal authority, but if they do it might be a long time before you get to see it again. Rocket and Groot could pass as mutants. I suggest you carefully ixnay-on-the-space-nay in general and start spinning the story that you're mutants instead. If anyone asks why you're so woefully behind the times just tell them it's a Kimmy Schmidt thing and smile. They'll assume about 90% of your story and you can move on with your life."

"Man they must suck at covert. Tanks are not covert. I mean really…even I know that!" Quill replies as he shrugs slightly and fishes something out of his pocket. It looks like some kind of future-tech iPad. "They suck at covert twice since they let me slap a tracker on them." One one of their asses specifically. "Been getting a nice signal from it for a day or two now. Singing like a Centuari dancing girl."

A smirk again. "See. What this means is I'm going to show up when you guys go, like it or not. So its just better to have me along than to let me go tearing in by myself." Which he is entirely capable of doing. "Happy to work with people and all." A pause. "And if you're working with someone else worried about Bucky, who goes around wearing star spangled pajamas and a big dinner plate he calls a shield. Already met him, pretty sure he already knows all about me."

A pause.

"What was that group…uh…lets see. They were pointing guns at me…" A longer pause. "…something about 'stop or I'll shoot', wasn't really listening too much cause all of that sounds the same no matter the planet." One finger taps against the back of his head as he thinks. "That Sargent was cute…it was…SHIELD! Yeah. I think those were the guys. Anyway, they already know I'm from space so easy peasey."

He unfolds enough to snatch up his coffee again.

"As for Jane, sure sure. I'll take her to Tau Ceti or something for a week. Ships big enough to go on a trip. She might need a vacation after this."

"You talk like you think I'm Captain America's confidante," Jessica replies incredulously. "Have you seen me? Have you seen him? Come on, you aren't so out of touch with Earth that you can't be aware of the disparities in our relative social standing here. That has got to be the same all over the galaxy. And yes, SHIELD is likely to be the decision makers. I'm in debt to SHIELD. I don't have clout with them."

Though he did give her a phone.

That she's afraid to use, lest she be seen as abusing it.

"But if you slapped a tracker on the woman for reasons other than getting her number…" Here Jessica gives him one of those flat looks she's so good at, the one that says so very eloquently she has her doubts, "Then there's no problem. You're not going to hear me objecting to more fire power, but I don't know what the plan is at this point, truly. But I will text you an interesting emoji if I know it might be an advantageous time for you to move in."

Better that, then Quill deciding to just move in prior to anyone else, thus potentially sending Hydra elsewhere before anyone can do anything. On the other hand, the Guardians are likely to blow any plan to shit. "And if anyone consults me with anything more than 5 minutes of warning, I'll be happy to mention that you all want to help, and vouch for you all. That's all I can promise. I'm not important enough for anything else."

Jessica blinks. "Huh, I thought you guys weren't supposed to leave the planet or something."

"I can't believe he really calls himself Captain America," Quill just shakes his head slightly at that before he takes a deep breath and grins. "Come on Jess, you know me!" This is likely what worries her. "Not askin' ya to put yourself out on a limb. And if anything happens I'll just tell them its Thor's fault I'm here." A pause. "Huh I need to call the guy."

His face scrunches slightly together as he thinks about it. "Urgh, I need to call him so I gotta talk to Kitty."

The things one does for his ship and revenge.

"Eh I'm sure it'll be fine. I won't be missed for a couple days, and if I have too I'll take Kitty and the gem-thing with me. I mean can't be any more dangerous here with weird glowing monster things after it than it is in space."

She scowls just a little. "Hey. No dissing Cap."

It's a little protective, and there's an edge of…what. Hero worship? From Jessica Jones? She decides to blow right past that though.

"Weird…glowing…monster…things?" Jessica asks, making the rewind motion with her hand. She figures he'll get that, as he carries around a Walkman. And he wants to say the magic stuff is done? "What weird glowing monster things, Quill?"

"Awwwwr, you sweet on him?" Asks Quill with a wide grin as he turns towards Jessica. Taunting the woman with super strength sitting next to him might not be the best idea, but Quill is never known for just having the best of ideas.

"Anyway, yeah. Monster things. Somehow they are connected to the gem that Kitty was in. At least that's what that Constantine guy said. The one with all the ink on his arms. Anyway, Johnny English said is was powerful and dangerous and some weird entity was after it. So. Weird glowing monster things. Now that Zee is a bit better though, we can figure something out about it."

A pause.

"And for the record if you keep hitting the things, they stop getting back up. Eventually."

…that doesn't sound good.

"Anyway, Constantine waved his hands over the thing, so there hasn't been any more attacks yet." He adds with a smirk. "But I figure we can deal with it after Bucky and Jane get back."

A pause.

"Oh yeah, whats Kimmiy Schmitt anyway?"

One thing about Jessica Jones is that her face is capable of registering every last infinite shade of cynicism, annoyance, and disgust. She turns one such expression on Quill now, and impatience registers as well. "Because of course a woman can't appreciate a man's sacrifices on behalf of our nation, daily commitment to heroism and kindnesses to her, personally, without wanting a big old lick of his dick. Nice, Quill, real nice. No. I am not sweet on Captain America. I admire Captain America. When I almost died last week he sat by my bedside for days until I woke up. He didn't even fucking know me."

Yeah, she just slipped that in there, about, almost dying, hardly seeming to notice the insertion.

But at least she only gives him cutting words. Jessica isn't one to just throw around her super strength indiscriminately, or use it on people she likes. Which he might remember she does when she adds, "And I'd be just as quick to defend you for what you did for me, and I certainly intend to go my whole life without riding your joystick."

She crosses her arms, even as he moves on, those infinite shades of irritation still playing across her face. But that's slowly replaced by focus. "Yes, Quill. I know who John is. No, Quill. I am not sweet on him either."

But if John already knows about it, she can wipe it off her list of worries.

"It's a television show about a chick who was locked in a basement for a decade or so. I never watched any of it, but the idea is she's out of touch. If anyone presses further you can just pretend your fantasy of being kidnapped by Helga the German and tied down in her basement for years at a time really did come true. The look of slow horror on their faces as you begin giving that dopey sex grin should really stifle curiosity."

"Your loss!" A typical flippant response to the scything tirade. Of course only responding to the most important part(to him). All the rest is ignored, or processed though and then let go. It seems very difficult to get a rise of…well…anything out of Peter Quill. He hardly breaks his grin, just lazily raising his coffee to his lips and taking a long sip of the warm blackness.

"Caramel in coffee. Never get over it." He adds for a moment before his brain, processing though all the scathing remarks, finds one important bit of information. That tidbit is red-flagged. Then brought back to the processing center. Then sent right up to the main control with a bit 'LOOK AT THIS' sign attached.

Even Quill's brain has to be obvious to get his attention.

"Wait wait wait! Hold up! You nearly died?" Now he does nearly spill his coffee as he sits up to turn to peer at her. "What is this with people I know nearly dying and then not telling me about it! I would have brought you…I dunno…a Groot branch or something." A pause. "They flower and stuff."

"I was a little too unconscious to tell you. I was fine until I took all the blasts, then I was out and not fine. By the time I was awake, I was on drugs in a government facility. And then a few hours later, I was fine. It hardly seemed mentioning," Jessica says with a shrug of her shoulders. "Like calling you to report I had a skinned knee."

Scale. Jessica Jones has no sense of scale.

Still, her face softens a little, and lo and behold he gets a smile. "Still, a Groot branch would have been kind of awesome. I'll just have to play up the sympathy angle when I'm hurt enough and awake enough to care next time."

There will be a next time; isn't there always?

He nods firmly, seemingly satisfied by that answer. "You better," Quill's voice a warning. "Else I'll just put a tracking device on you too." A pause. "And Rocket is the one that builds them so they might explode. So you don't want that."

Is that true? Yes? No? Maybe? The world may never know really.

"For the record nearly dying is more than a skinned knee."

He sighs slightly before he shakes his head. "You know its funny. I think the Asgardians sent me here to keep me out of trouble. But all this is more screwed up than anything I ran into before the whole guy-that-wanted-to-blow-up-a-planet thing."

Jessica takes a long sip of the coffee he brought her before answering, but answer she does.

"Really? I'd have thought it all almost prosaic to you," Jessica admits, smiling faintly. "You guys saved an entire galaxy; we're here worrying about a planet, or a city, or just the lives of a few friends or individuals that have come to our attention. Then again…when you've got a few people that matter they really matter. Maybe it's just not as abstract to you anymore, Quill. You've got more people than Rocket and Groot and whomever else is counted among the Guardians in your life now, and you give a damn, so…it all feels much larger, even though smaller plots of land are at stake."

"As for Asgardians, well. I don't know much about them, other than what little I saw of Thor. But…if he thinks like he speaks, and they're anything like the Norse pantheon I learned about in middle school, keeping people out of trouble doesn't seem like their normal MO."

"Transformation through new quests and challenges, on the other hand…"

"They can keep their quests out of my life then! It was totally uncomplicated before they stuck me here!" Peter complains as he starts to drain the last bit of his coffee. "I mean it was simple. Just me and the Guardians. Bumming around. Occasionally getting in trouble. Getting Rocket out of trouble when he decided he wanted some bit of cyberware too much to handle."

Because Peter totally never created the trouble. Nope. Not at all. Never. Not him.

"Urgh. So much easier before all this…" And he gestures widely again. "…stuff."

He falls silent for a bit before he rockets back to his feet. "Alright. Fine. Fine. Whatever. Transformation and quests and whatever the hell else. I'm gonna go get an actual drink. Then go home and pass out, or see if I can poke SHIELD into letting me talk with that Cap guy. Again."

Shouldn't be too hard. Just break into Jane's apartment again and bam. Instant Cap.

"You poke me when something happens and I'll make sure Rocket doesn't blow everything up at once."

"Wait." Jessica says, reaching out to sort of snag the sleeve of his coat gently in two fingers. "Do you think you could stay for about an hour?"

She nods over to Foggy. "He doesn't know it, but I'm his bodyguard right now. But I also have a very complicated super-powered teen staying at my apartment I need to check on. And it's not good for him to see the same face sitting around him over and over again. Also I'm concerned about someone he's connected to, someone here, but he's the one that's going to get the doctor's reports. So if a doctor comes out, wakes him up, and tells him anything…I'd love it if you could tell me."

She looks at him with troubled eyes. "The guy they'll be reporting on has way more than a skinned knee himself."

"Which one, the one? Spidey or the Angry Girl?" Quill makes up names for everyone, she should be used to this by now. A sigh before he shrugs. "Sure. Why not! Why not. Maybe some of the nurses here are hot or something and I can find some fun."

He sits himself back down, stretches out once again and sighs. "Go on then, get cleaned up. I'll just be here dreaming of Helga the German and her tight catsuit." He adds with a smirk.

…well he was listening to some of her tirade from earlier at least.

"Angry Girl," Jessica replies, without missing a beat. "Bug thinks I'm scary and disgusting, which is something coming from a giant arachnid. Thanks."

She starts to pack up her stuff, scowling contemplatively down as she does.

You only get one shot.

It's the echo of a thought she's had, a lesson learned. And despite his dig at her tirade, all but inviting more snark, what she says is something else.

Because this thing will come to a head soon, and she has no doubt he'll find a way into the middle of it. One or both of them could have a bullet in the brain by the time it's all said and done.

She has the laptop bag completely packed by the time she speaks. "I want you to know," she says, "speaking of transformations…that my life today is better. Than when you met me. And that you and the Guardians had a lot to do with that, even before you came and plucked me out of that nightmare. You're a good man, and they're good…Spacemen. I hadn't met too many really good people in a long time. You guys didn't know it, but you helped me just by being around me, and by not caring when I got mean."

Kind of like just now.

"It was important. It made a difference. So. Just in case this is the one and only chance I ever have to say these things…I'm grateful for that. As much as I am for my life and freedom."

She stands, bends down to drop a quick kiss on the top of his head, sisterly and gone in an instant, before messing up said hair with a quick ruffle, the better to thwart his macking on nurses. After that, she's gone.

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