Spider(Fly) on the Wall

January 29, 2017:

Seeking out Jessica Jones, Trish Walker, radio host and best sister to the private investigator, unexpectedly meets the newest resident of Alias Investigations.

Alias Investigations, Hell's Kitchen, NYC

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Jessica Jones

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's been a whirlwind of a few days for Cindy Moon.

Being freed from a bunker hidden in the depths of New York, learning of another person bitten by the same spider. Learning that others with powers were there, willing to help her out, and that same strange feeling— the connection— with Spider-Man. Jessica Jones, offering to help her out, and giving her a place to stay for the time being. She made one brief trek back to the bunker before sealing the door again, just enough to recover some of her clothes and belongings.

Cindy hasn't left the apartment much since then— Alias Investigations may not always have a steady flow of customers and in and out of it's door, but she'd rather not run into more people than she actually needs to. She knows that she has a second roommate here, though she has yet to meet her. She knows that Jessica was doing something dangerous just the other night— and more than that, for a short time, she could swear she felt that strange nagging connection between herself and the Spider-Man briefly sever. Moreover, Jessica was not exactly forthcoming about what happened.

Dressed in thick dark leggings and a white and red Detroit Red Wings hockey jersey, Cindy is sitting, quite literally, on the wall— her legs folded under her, sitting on her heels, bare feet adhering to the wall. Her hair's pulled off to one side, tied off and left to fall over one shoulder. She's got a few papers across the sofa below her, and an open folder in one hand: The case of the missing Moon family. The case that Jessica has taken on pro bono.

Her missing mother, father, and brother.

Flicking the folder closed, the girl sighs, then pinches the bridge of her nose.

"I knew it was going to be hard, but I didn't think it would be this hard," she announces to the thin air of the empty office.

—-

Trish had finally lost patience with her adoptive sister Jessica's silence of six months. One call to say Killgrave was dead and then nothing else beyond what Trish could dig up. It had been long enough without contact and she was tired of keeping tabs on Jessica through her numerous contacts. Trish was proud that Jessica had opened Alias Investigations but extremely hurt that Jess hadn't seen fit to let Trish know herself.

After double checking the address on Google, Trish got out of a taxi in front of the apartment building, and let out a low whistle. It wasn't the level of accomodations that Trish had been accustomed to for most of her life, but it wasn't exactly a slum either. She stepped out of the elevator and saw the door at the end of the hall with Alias Investigations. She approached and deliberated between knocking and just trying the knob until she heard a voice inside Trish smiled and opened the door.

"I got tired of waiting for you to call Jessica. Where have you…oh!"

Trish started in surprise. She was not expecting to find a strange girl sitting on her sister's wall.

—-

After years of being alone, there are certain habits that are hard to break— talking to yourself, doing paperwork by yourself, and … sitting on walls. Or the ceiling, if the opportunity arises. The tingling sensation in her mind— that weird sense of when things are going wrong— flares, but it's been going on so much and so loudly since she came out of the bunker that she's had a hard time adjusting to this sort of thing.

And so, the door clicks open, and her eyes go wide. She didn't expect anyone, let alone anyone that was not Jessica Jones. There's an awkward moment where the silence hangs between them, then suddenly her feet kick forward. The girl drops, then lands on the couch butt-first, still clutching paperwork in her hands— even though others are now scattering across the sofa and onto the floor.

shit shit shit oh no she should've listened to it who is this lady

"Hello and welcome to Alias Investigations, I'm sorry but Miss Jones is out of the office right now so if you'd like to leave a message I can make sure she gets it as soon as she gets back," she blurts out quickly, a little loudly, and with eyes as large as dinner plates, trying to not break a sweat— like she's trying to just blow off what just happened as quickly as possible.

Nope. No problems here, Cindy. Just pretend like the pretty blonde lady didn't see you just doing that. Though she /does/ squint a little after a moment, getting that 'I recognize you' sort of look in her eye that she undoubtedly knows well.

—-

Trish goggled for a moment more, then quickly shut the door behind her, and leaned up against it. Her mind was racing, trying to think if Jessica had previously mentioned knowing anyone who fit this girl's description. It didn't take long for Trish to decide Jess hadn't and that she better introduce herself, recognizing the look on the stranger's face.

Trish approached the girl, smiling warmly, and with her hand out to shake.

"I'm Trish Walker, Jessica's sister. I'm sorry for just walking in like that, but I thought she was here. You are?"

Trish kept her voice calm and even, doing her best to put the other woman at ease.

—-

Closing the folder and setting it aside, Cindy bends forward and scoops up a few of the scattered pages before dropping them on the couch as well. "Sorry, I— uh—" she stammers out, getting up to her feet. Offered a hand to shake, trying her best to put on a bright smile and a brave front, the dark-haired girl nods and takes Trish's hand. "Hi! Ah, sorry, my name is Cindy."

She's laying it on a little thick, sure. But then after that brief handshake, her head tilts. Her eyes get that spark of recognition, and then… "Oh! You're— Patty, from the TV show! Sorry, I didn't recognize you… I'm sure you get that all the time, though," she says, gathering up the paperwork from the couch.

"A-Anyway, sorry. Miss Jones isn't here right now. I'm watching the office for her until she gets back. The mysterious life of a PI, and all that, right?" She doesn't touch on the 'sisters' thing… she'll go one question at a time right now. Cindy points toward the desk at the other end of the room. "I can try to call her, but she's visiting a friend at the hospital, so I don't know if she'll answer?"

—-

Trish put her hands in the pockets of her jeans after shaking the girl's hand. She could tell Cindy was a tad uncomfortable from her experience reading her guests on the talk show, but was too curious about her abilities to leave politely. Another person who was blessed with the kind of gifts Trish had wanted her whole life was too exciting to pass on.

"No need to bother her if she's at the hospital." Trish frowned slightly, again feeling very cut off from Jessica, though it passed quickly. "Don't worry about not recognizing me, it was a while ago, and I prefer blonde to red now."

Trish had noticed the scattered papers and had been trying to unobtrusively read what she could before Cindy began gathering them up. "Have you been working with Jessica long, Cindy?"

Trish went into talk show mode, doing her very best to keep Cindy at ease, and as comfortable as possible. Her hope was to keep Cindy talking until Jessica came back and to learn as much as she could about the girl's abilities if possible. None of the heroes who had fought for New York against the aliens had been wall crawlers and Trish's curiostiy had been piqued.

—-

Is she buying it? The whole, 'you didn't see anything out of the ordinary' act? Cindy's having a hard time telling— but then, she isn't that good at reading people in general. The lifestyle adjustments are so hard! Does Trish know about Jessica too, then? I mean, she doesn't know /anything/, really, about Jessica Jones other than Spider-Man trusts her, so…

"Oh, only a few days," Cindy replies, circling around to Jessica's desk and tapping the printouts onto the desk before dropping them on the seat. She moves off to one side, trying so very hard to keep up the 'young and innocent' routine. "Mind the phones, keep the papers straight, take messages, make sure the place stays cleaned up— you know, pretty basic stuff!"

She wishes she had a phone on her right now— some way to just get in touch quickly with Jessica, to confirm the story. Trish Walker? Jessica Jones? Was one of them adopted? She doesn't look like she's dangerous, and she's an old TV actress, and … thinking about it, didn't she see ads about a radio show on the way back this morning?

Cindy tilts her head, rubbing a thumb against her temple and glancing over her shoulder out the window as though she expects to see something. Quickly dismissed, she returns her attention to Trish. "So you're Miss Jones' sister? She never… brought up family."

—-

Trish's lips compressed slightly at the pain caused by Cindy's casual comment. The years they spent growing up together, keeping each others' secrets appeared to have no meaning to Jessica. She did her best to brush it off, drawing on her experience as an actress to mask what she was really feeling. Jessica had some answering to do, when she finally managed to show up.

"My mom adopted Jessica when we were teenagers, which would be why we have different last names. Jessica's pretty good at not mentioning things, as she didn't tell me she had an assistant either, so I guess we're even there." A quick laugh followed, with the hope that Cindy couldn't hear the bitterness behind the joke.

Trish had resisted Jessica's moving in at first, but that had changed after she discovered Jessica's strength and Jessica had found out it wasn't always sunshine and peppermints in the Walker's home. The two young girls had become more than just adoptive sisters after Jess had defended Trish from her mother's abuse. It hurt more than Trish cared to admit, even to herself, the casual way she had been cut out of Jessica's life after Killgrave.

"Do you have siblings, Cindy?" Trish noted the rub of the temple and wondered if she had a headache. When she looked out the window, Trish assumed she had heard something. Perhaps enhanced hearing was part of Cindy's gifts? It was something Trish made a mental note to inquire about, if they got that comfortable with each other.

—-

"Oh, I see… well… yeah, I guess. But to be fair, I only just started, so it's pretty natural for me to not know all about Miss Jones' private life."

That would make sense, Cindy surmises. There's still a little doubt in her, but truth be told, she wouldn't make a good detective's assistant if she didn't doubt at least a little bit about a lot of things, right?! Right?!

At least, this is the lie she keeps telling herself to keep this train of thought going. Hopefully this doesn't go spiraling out of control on her. But Trish then asks a slightly harder question— one that makes Cindy's face fall a little more flat. "Yeah," she says, trying to keep her voice from going too far into a sour note. Digging deep, her hands clap together, and she puts on a big bright smile. "But, ah— um. Hey, I guess that means you must know all kinds of embarrassing stories about Miss Jones, right? That's good, too! I mean, not that I want to pick on her. That'd be unprofessional, and stuff. And I wouldn't want to get in trouble, but I mean. Stories!"

Cindy holds up her hands a little, fingers fanned out. "I mean if you want to, of course. I don't want to keep you— I mean, Miss Jones has a lot going on. Hush-hush detective work, if you know what I mean."

'Please know what I mean,' mental Cindy thinks to herself. 'I have no idea what I'm doing right now.'

—-

Trish noted the change in expression when she brought up family and mentally kicked herself. That was obviously not the way to go with this one. The way she responded to stories about Jessica though, that had potential. And it wasn't like Trish didn't have them. Picking one that wouldn't reveal too much was the way to go.

"I understand completely, Cindy. I am remembering one story, that shouldn't get either of us into too much trouble." She sat down on the couch that had been cleared of papers. "We were having a pillow fight, I was winning no matter what Jess says, when the pillow Jess was using exploded. She couldn't see with all the feathers, and clocked me right in the face. I had a black eye and everything. We had to put off filming for a couple days until the swelling went down enough for the Make Up department to cover it. My mom was furious, the studio was furious, and I thought it was the funniest thing ever. A superhero with a black eye isn't very convincing, according to the network executives."

The young woman made a very good point, about a couple days not being very long, so she tried to let go of feeling bad about Jess not mentioning her. Remembering the pillow fight went a long way towards restoring Trish's mood, and the smile became more genuine. Trish also remembered thinking one of her teeth had been knocked loose too, given Jessica's strength. Trish didn't want to bring it up if Cindy wasn't already aware of it though.

'I was winning,' Trish starts, and then the story slowly tugs at the corners of Cindy's mouth until she's got a full-on smirk going. Her fingers lift, and then she lets out a short laugh at the thought of a TV star getting the third degree over a black eye. From what she knows of Jessica— at least what she's heard— the description feels pretty apt. "That's /awesome/. I bet they had you in makeup for like, hours, just trying to not make it obvious."

Shifting her weight from one leg to the other, Cindy's fingers weave together, and she sighs. "I'm sorry Miss Jones isn't here. I'm sure she would've loved to have seen you. If you want, I can let her know you stopped by?"

—-

Trish smiled widely, pleased to have been successful with her chosen story. She couldn't help the absentminded rub on her jaw, soothing the phantom ache she had felt for a couple weeks. "I really was, and even then, they could only shoot me from the left side for a whole week. It was such a pain for blocking shots and I was not popular on set for a while after that."

Despite her best host efforts, Cindy didn't seem to be relaxing very much. Trish noticed the shifting of weigh and fidgeting with her fingers and decided it was most likely going to take more than one meeting before Cindy was comfortable with her. And most likely it would take Jessica confirming the relationship as well.

Trish stood up, tugged her sweater down into place, and gave Cindy her best friendly smile. "I'm sorry Jess isn't here too, but it was really nice to meet you Cindy. I would appreciate you telling her I stopped by, and let her know I'll be expecting to hear from her soon." Trish tucked her hair behind her ears and checked her watch. "I'm sure I'll see you again, but I've got to run."

—-

"Wow. I mean, I've never worked on a TV show before, but… wow. That sounds like it could've been rough."

Relaxed? Maybe— she's trying. It's a little tough; Cindy knows nothing about a lot of things and a lot of people right now, and she's pretty terrified she might've just caused herself a problem that needs fixing at some point. Maybe Jessica would know what to do? Would Spider-Man?

As Trish gets ready to foray back into New York in winter from Alias Investigations, Cindy is quick to be polite, padding with light footsteps over to the door to twist the knob and get the door for the radio host. "Of course, Miss Walker! I'll get right on it— I'll let her know that pillow fight round two will go your way, too."

Only after Trish has left will Cindy close the door, lean against it, and exhale a gigantic sigh. This might be a problem. Or is it a problem? What if she's not actually Miss Jones' sister? What if all of this just exposed her to the people that were hunting her? What if— what if— what if?!

It's a lot of what-ifs and no answers. For now, Cindy opts to return to her room— to what is nominally Jessica's room— and collapses on the bed, staring at the ceiling. After a few moments alone, she speaks aloud to the room and no one in particular.

"Freedom is complicated."

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