A.K.A. The Ghostbuster is In

January 30, 2017:

Jessica Jones rushes in heroically to help a neighbor who doesn't need saving…and Elinor Ravensdale, by the simple virtue of being who she is, gets dangerously close to her secrets.

Hell's Kitchen, New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Zatanna Zatara, John Constantine, Matt Murdock, Red Robin, Peter Quill, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, The Winter Soldier, Jane Foster, Captain America

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Seeing the dead has it's perks, but mostly it's a pain in the ass. Most ghosts are not strong enough to interact with the living world, but some of them are angry enough to make things fling across the room. That's the sort of asshole spirit Elinor is dealing with at the moment. One who doesn't want to move on, or talk about moving on, he wants to continue to pester his ex wife even if they were divorced for years before he died. What it sounds like through the paper thin walls in this tiny apartment is an angry boyfriend, throwing items against the wall. Furniture, glassware and pillows are hitting up against the wall, and while the shouting should be louder, it is at least the sound of someone's television up a little too loud. Elinor is taking this in stride, waiting for the ghost to use up it's energy and mentally taking tally on how much she's going to have to spend at a second hand store to replace her glassware.

She really needs to invest in tupperware.

An angry boyfriend getting violent.

Not just a screaming fit. This sounds like violence, abuse.

Once she might have just thrown a shoe, or screamed at them to shut up. But this new commitment to being a hero has her moving down the hall, the three dimensional diamond necklace around her neck swinging with the force of her walk. She barges her way in; by opening the door if it's open, by breaking it if it's not.

"Listen you sorry son of a bitch," she growls. "If you lay one finger on her…"

And that's where she trails off, because she's staring at a woman and a bunch of shit moving.

Jessica Jones herself is an interesting study in a city that's been getting more interesting lately. Elinor would have felt that bit, about getting more interesting; it's like a white noise, a sense that something is happening, something big, something magical.

The private detective doesn't have a magical bone in her body. But wisps of magic cling to her all the same. Somewhere on her person, Elinor detects a delicate and perfectly constructed ward, humming with threads of Synchronicity that speak to a very specific brand of magic, latent and waiting to be activated, but present. It feels like a one-use item, but she probably didn't pick it up in a gutter. Something about the taste of the magic says it was made _for her_. Wisps of magic cling to her like fingerprints; some fair, some foul. None more than about two months old, but telling a story. A story of a woman who is no stranger to the strange, not anymore.

Which might make her the best possible person to have shown up at the door…or the worst.

Ranalle Lavellan was focused on the ghost, so she didn't hear one of her other ghosts give the warning that someone was close to the door, or kicking it open. Instead she yelps out in surprise and glares at Jessica as her door is kicked open. "What the FUCK! Does anyone knock in this city?!" The ghost takes one of it's floating items and tosses it toward the open door, thankfully his aim is horrid. There isn't anything visibly there, but there is a distortion in the air that suggests something might be there.

With a growling sigh she looks toward the ghost. "Leave, or I will bind you to your grave and you will not be able to stalk your ex." She points at the air, and honestly it looks rather like she's gone mad.

"I…thought someone was beating you," Jessica says lamely, catching the water glass before it can hit the ground and offering back out. "I didn't realize my neighbor's apartment was infested with angry dead people. Sorry…" She takes a step back, feeling extremely awkward. Then forward, to put the water glass on her table. This is the first time she's ever had a heroic false alarm; it feels weird and supremely uncomfortable.

Then she asks, "Actually. Wait. If Slimer there is stalking his ex, shouldn't you bind his ass anyway?"

"Yeah I get that sometimes. I don't last long in apartments, but it's what I can afford." Elinor says with a frown as she doesn't break her eye contact with the ghost. Finally the items slowly lower to the floor and some of them are gathered up by unseen hands and returned to their rightful place. Now that the chaos has stopped Jessica would get to see what the room looks like. The lighting is dim, with a lot of lamp shades covered by colored scarves to give it a warm glow. The furniture is mismatched and well worn, but covered in blankets to make it look nicer. All of the windows have dark fabric over them to block out the day light, which might be visible from the outside.

At the question, Elinor frowns and shakes her head. "It's only temporary. What I need to do is help him work through the problem, and get him to move onto wherever he is going."

Jessica shrugs. "You've rented at the right place then. People yell and scream all the time here. Mrs. Alvirez doesn't care about that as long as you aren't trashing the place and you pay your rent on time. I'm Jessica Jones. Down the hall, at Alias Investigations." Since she no longer has an apartment number, but rented under a mixed residential/commercial lease.

She frowns at the space where she imagines the man is. "So…he's not hurting the ex? He's just…follow-floating around her without harming her?"

A ghost flickers behind Jessica; a black woman with a mane of curls, flying back and away from her. She's mouthing something, but it's hard to make out before the apparition disappears again, all unperceived by the PI as she worries about this ghost of Elinor's.

"I don't normally have ones this feisty." Elinor admits and when Jessica introduces herself she nods her head. "Elinor Ravensdale, and yes I see dead people." When the ghost is brought up again she shakes her head. "He's getting close. He's able to throw things around it isn't long before it esclates further. Still if I can stop it before it gets to that point than I consider that a win, even if no one is there to give praise for my deeds." Reaching down she awkwardly smooths over her skirt when something catches her eye. Looking over Jessica's shoulder she furrows her brows as she spots the other ghost. "Wait!" She says, brushing past the PI toward the hallway. It seems she's easily distracted. "Say it again!"

Jessica steps aside. Her expressive face shows the sort of cynical-annoyed bemusement that it often shows when people act weird around her. She stares down the hall, seeing nothing and just sort of…steps out of Elinor's apartment and closes her door behind her for her.

"Er," she says. "Well, thanks for…ghost busting, I guess."

The ghost flickers again. Falling back, always falling back, endlessly towards a dark and rainy street. It mouths the words again, but again it's hard to catch them; she's gone again before a single sound breaches the ether to float to Elinor's ears. She's looking at Jessica, attached to her somehow.

"It's not all that glamorous." Elinor says flatly as she follows the ghost. She watches the scene that is put out before her, frowning as the words are simply forms that never reach her ears and try as she might she can't read the ghosts lips. When she disappears again Elinor sighs and turns toward Jessica. "You wouldn't happen to have a reason for a spirit to linger around you would you?" She gives a quick description of the ghost she just saw. "I hate when they get all cryptic like that."

'It's not that glamorous.'

"The things that matter usually aren't."

But then Elinor Ravensdale asks her about ghosts that might hover around her, and Jessica Jones goes kind of still.

She can think of two. And then Elinor's describing her, narrowing it down to one.

Jessica is already a pale woman. The description makes every last drop of blood drain out of her face.

But a moment later, she plays it off with a tight smile, turning back towards her office. "Don't have any dead exes," she says. "Fraid I can't help you there. Maybe it's the ghost of some crackhead who died in my apartment or something? There are a lot of crackheads in this building."

She's definitely spooked; her stride picks up pace, though she's trying to keep it casual. There's still plenty of time to stop her. "I'm actually surprised, living here, that you manage to talk to anything but a bunch of crackhead and meth-head and stoner ghosts."

"She didn't look like either a crack head or an ex, and it takes a lot to manifest to get a message across even if the words are never heard." Elinor says as she starts following the woman down the hallway. "I'm like a beacon to these things, I get more than just whose died in this building." Not that she hasn't met those who linger here, perhaps that's who was cleaning up her apartment. "Look, I get it, no one likes to face their ghosts, but I have a feeling she isn't going to leave until her message gets across."

Jessica stops and closes her eyes, swallowing.

She doesn't turn around. Her fists twitch, then clench.

This woman could unravel her deepest, darkest, most shameful secret. She could go to jail.

Worse, her newfound friends might learn about it. What would Zatanna think then? John? Matt? Red Robin? The Guardians and all the other good people she's met? Who would they see then?

How about Captain America?

Some of them might believe her.

Sargent Barnes would. Jane Foster would.

The ghost is suddenly beside Elinor, following the trail of the ectomancer's regard to some sort of serious manifestation. I'm Reva, she says. Her voice sounds sad, terribly sad. It's…it's not urgent yet. Not yet. For now it's okay. It might stay okay. I won't hurt her. Can I…stick around for awhile though? It's been eight months since I've done anything other than fall backwards again and again…

Unaware, Jessica speaks. "You're trying to help, I get that," she says at last. "I even admire you for it. But…"

What can she say? That she's ghost free, again? Yeah, right.

"There are others who deserve your help more."

"I don't get to pick and choose." Elinor says dryly, however when she finally hears from Reva she doesn't respond verbally, but nods her head once in acknowledgement. She'll talk to that ghost later and get the rest of the story, but for now she sighs at Jessica. "I've noticed the darkness in you." It's hard to miss after all, especially after the last disagreement with their land lord. "I know it's hard to deny it, that sometimes it is the loudest voice in the room." She pauses for a moment, trying to figure out just where she's going with her little speech. "But you shouldn't fear it. It only makes it stronger."

Jessica whirls around, scowling, well…well…darkly. She's scowling darkly.

"Awesome. You should set up a little booth. The Ghostbuster is In. 5 cents."

Fear makes her caustic, embarrassment, anger. Her mouth tightens; she knows damn well she's being unfair. She shakes her head, grits her teeth, looks away.

The darkness is definitely the loudest voice in her inner room now.

She struggles to find a better voice instead. She has to take five or six deep breaths to get there. The expression on her face isn't pleasant; it's closed off and haunted, but neither is it angry. "No. I'm sorry. Look I - I just…" She half turns away again. "I'm sorry. I hope my ghosts don't throw things."

And then a horrid thought. Could he…from the grave…?

"If a British male shows up, don't talk to him. Banish him. Banish him fast. He's pure evil. Don't try to help him. Just banish him."

Elinor's face is as calm and passive as it has been before. She deals with the angry and the hurt all day long, so she doesn't return the scowl. Folding her hands behind her back she simply shakes her head. "I'd never pay my bills on that salary." Though she lets Jessica calm herself and find a voice that isn't so loud and once she speaks again. "Unburying the dead is never easy. Maybe you'll be in luck and this one won't be for you. Just because you were both in the hallway doesn't mean you were meant to mingle." She reassures the other woman, and folds her hands in front of him.

Her reaction to the Brit causes her to blink and she raises her brow. "I also haven't seen anyone like that but… if I do I'll be sure to banish him."

"Good." Jessica says flatly.

"Yeah. Probably just…someone in the hall."

She knows better. She absolutely does. But she is going to take the 'out' that's been offered, take it now while she still can.

The back of her throat burns. Her hands shake a little bit.

She was overdue for this. The descent into the Hydra base, taking her face to face with Sargent Barnes' past, had stirred up the figurative ghosts. Elinor is now attached to the literal one.

How badly will her life fall apart, as a result?

One day at a time, Jones. One day at a time.

She turns away from her apartment. There's no liquor in there.

Get help. Good things happen too.

She passes Elinor in the hall. Just one drink. Just one. To take the edge off. So she can sleep.

You're my hero, Jessica Jones.

Take care of her, Jessica.

She punches the button three times, willing the elevator to move faster.

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