Apology Cake

February 04, 2017:

Jessica Jones shows up at Trish Walker's door to make amends for her long silence.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Captain America, The Winter Soldier, Spider-Man, Red Robin, John Constantine, Zatanna Zatara, Peter Quill

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Eight months. Eight months since Jessica Jones had table flipped her therapist, packed up her stuff, and just left in the aftermath of Kilgrave's attack. Sixteen months since Kilgrave first caught her. Perhaps Jessica's own secret number of the universe is an eight. Or perhaps it's just a coincidence, and she's full of bullshit.

She is aware Trish came by Alias. She couldn't help but be aware, with a panicked Cindy telling her all about how Trish saw her on the ceiling. Jessica had been amused at the picture Cindy painted, in which Trish was all but a looming International assassin in disguise, after Jessica's blood. But she couldn't blame the girl…the life she'd led had definitely lent itself to such paranoia.

And even so, she hadn't called or made it over right away.

There had been a lot going on.

She has a bag in her hand as she presses the doorbell. She wears a dark blue shirt and her black leather jacket, jeans, and a necklace. The necklace is silver, but it's fashioned into an interesting shape; the shape of the little bejeweled belt buckle Trish had designed for the "Jewel" costume.

Whenever Trish gets around to hitting the intercom button Jessica seems to all but sense it. She holds up the bag. "It's me," she says. "I brought cake. It's Apology Cake, so it ought to taste pretty good."

At least she chose the front door, vs. leaping up to the balcony and climbing over like a bohemian. That probably would not have been great for the cake.

Trish stood in front of the intercom, debating whether to ring Jess up or not. She was still feeling a bit raw about Jessica's silence, but being petty wouldn't accomplish anything. After a few seconds, she unlocked the door, and opened it. She didn't step back for Jessica to enter right away though. Instead, she stood in the doorway with her arms crossed.

"Is it chocolate?" she asked, tone very cool. "It's not really an apology cake if it's not chocolate." Trish took a step back, motioning for Jessica to enter.

Trish noticed the necklace and felt her heart softening. Jessica had been though a lot, more than most with what Kilgrave did, but that didn't excuse cutting her out of her life in Trish's opinion. She didn't show the change in emotion, keeping it cool, as she wasn't willing to let Jessica off without an explanation for her silence.

"So," she said, eyebrow arched, and arms still crossed over her chest. "How have things been?"

"It's double chocolate." Jessica says, offering it up to Trish. It even looks like it came from a real bakery. "And I'll give it to you even if you decide not to let me in. I know I've been a real asshole."

But she knows she's going to be let in tonight, because she has the big guns. Trish asks what she's been up to and…well. Actual mischief appears in her eyes. A smile hovers around her face.

There are other changes. The last time Trish saw Jess she absolutely reeked of booze and cigarettes, the two things she'd used to try to self-medicate. There's no booze on her breath. No reek in her clothes.

She drops her hook, one thing she's pretty sure Trish won't be able to resist. "I met Captain America," she says, oh so casually.

Both of Trish's eyebrows rose straight up, and she paused in reaching for the cake. The Captain America? Trish's green eyed monster reared up in all it's growling glory, but she punched it down. Wallowing in 'Why can't it ever be me?' self pity wasn't really her style anymore since cleaning herself up. It didn't stop her from having moments, but she worked very hard to keep them at just moments.

"Oh," she said casually, taking the cake. "Double chocolate means you can stay and even have a slice. Maybe two. Where did you meet him?"

On the subject of cleaning up, it looked like Jessica had as well. It was great to see her sister without blood shot eyes and a reek of booze strong enough to knock out a large horse. It was the look in Jess's eyes and the almost smile that reassured Trish that Jessica was in fact doing much better than the last time they had met.

"You look good, by the way. Asshole." Affection filled Trish's voice and the side of her mouth lifted in a half smile. All had not been forgiven yet, but it was a start.

Jessica smirked and closed the door behind her, eyes dancing as Trish calls her an asshole. "Wellll," she drawls. "That's starting in the middle of the story. Cut me cake and I'll give you the whole thing. I'll let you choose between the detailed version and the really sketchy version."

Jessica gives no sign that she's aware of Trish's jealousy. There's some irony to it…all that time trying to convince Jess to do the superhero thing; well, if she'd done a good job of it the first time meeting other superheroes would have to be the result. But…maybe she can find a way to make that up to Trish, too.

She takes off her jacket, tossing it carelessly into a chair. A little more soberly she says, "It's…a really long story. And a really weird one." This is a disclaimer she has to give. Because it is very much both.

Trish rolled her eyes as Jess tossed her jacket onto the chair. "There's hangers in the closet you know," she said, knowing full well Jessica would probably just leave it. Double chocolate cake took precedence over just about everything so she left it at the one comment. She took the cake into the kitchen, dished up two healthy slices, and poured them both a glass of milk. Considering the options and the disclaimer, Trish made up her mind as to which version she wanted.

"Sketchy first, with the option to call for details later." Trish forked up a bite. "Good cake, thanks. You can tell me what you're apologizing for after you tell me about meeting the Captain America."

She had a good idea what the apology was for, but wanted to make Jess squirm just a little, if she could. Okay, so maybe Trish was being a little petty, but she was justified. Wasn't she?

Trish's curiosity was surging and she was more than likely going to want the detailed version. Weird was not the first word that came to mind when she imagined meeting someone like the Captain. Intimidating and exciting, most definitely; weird, not so much.

Leave it she does. Some things don't change.

Trish calls for sketchy. She focuses on her cake, struggling. A lot. How does one boil all this down to sketchy?

"That's probably the better option," she says slowly. "Even sketchy put a friend of mine in the hospital. But…you're my sister, so there's no avoiding associations with me, so I'll tell you whatever you want. Now I just gotta figure out how."

"The first time I met him, it was after I ran into an International assassin while investigating a case. My young client figured out his identity…Sargent James Barnes." A figure revered in the Smithsonian. "She had actually encountered him several times. Had shared conversations with him. Once she told me of how he was acting…he was being mind-controlled, Trish. Not by Kilgrave or anyone like him. It's this…sort of…it's like SHEILD, only it was born out of a split-off of the Nazi movement, a really nasty International cabal. Anyway, I told him it was mind control then. I could tell, you know? He didn't believe me of course."

"The second time I met Captain America was when I woke up in a SHIELD facility. I took enough damage to put me down for five days. I was uh. Kind of part of a team-up. With him, and Spider-Man, and the Red Robin, and Bucky Barnes again, only he had slipped some of his control at that point, and John Constantine, who you wouldn't have heard of…" Actually not really even the first team-up she'd been part of.

"Anyway he sat by my bedside. The whole damned time I was out. Reading his Bible. And we talked a little." She smiles down at her plate, mashing cake with her fork more than eating it. "He said I did good. On the mission. But…he was also…by then he understood. He'd come to accept what had happened to Barnes. I got to see what it looked like." She mashes some more, a shadow passing over her face.

"On the other side, I mean. All the pain he was going through. And in that moment I realized all the pain you'd gone through. I hadn't realized it before, how much it must have hurt you to watch me fall apart after Kilgrave, that of course you cared, so you hurt for me. All I could see, feel, smell, hear or taste was my own hurt. And I'm sorry for that. I'm sorry I cut you off, cut you out. There were reasons, but…all of them feel like stupid reasons, in retrospect."

She exhales. "That was two weeks ago. I knew then I needed to come see you, but…please believe me when I tell you that I didn't make it over because lives were at stake. A lot of lives. And I had to see it through, everything that as in front of me, before I could."

Trish's mouth fell open in shock. Not once but twice? A SHIELD facility? Spider-Man and the rest? Jessica had been part of a team? Quite a lot had happened since they had last talked, to say the very least. And none of that explained how Jess had found Cindy.

Trish bit her lip as Jessica gave her apology, almost tearing up. It's funny how hearing exactly what you thought you wanted to hear didn't feel so good sometimes. She reached out to take Jess's hand, partly for comfort, and partly just to keep her from mangling the rest of the cake on her plate.

"I believe you. You might be an asshole, but at least you're an honest one." She cleared her throat before continuing. "I'm sorry too. I'm sorry I tried to pressure you into seeing that shrink. So I guess that makes us a sorry pair. Part of a team, hey? Does that mean you are giving that superhero thing a try again?"

Concern warred with excitement at the thought of Jessica working, fighting, along side the likes of Spider-Man and Captain America. On the other hand, Trish herself might actually get to meet those she admired so much through Jessica. Her mind raced with the possibility of getting one of them to appear on 'Trish Talk', regardless of how remote that chance was.

Jessica drops the fork and takes her sister's hand. Her touch is feather light. Conscious of her strength, Jessica had always almost over-compensated in the times, few enough as they were, that she would touch anyone. Her control was perfect these days, but that didn't stop her from always worrying that she might, say, squeeze a hand and break it by mistake.

"You just wanted me to get better, to go back to being myself," Jessica says, looking down still. "I just…I couldn't. I'd changed too much, and I couldn't."

She exhales and gives a little smile at the Hero Question. "Yeah. Yeah. I am. I've made a commitment to do just that. I can't exactly explain how I came to that. At first it was all just a case, if a freaking whackadoo one. Find Giovanni Zatara, Zatanna Zatara's dad."

More famous names; the former a world-renowned stage magician, the latter his daughter, also a stage magician, if less renowned. Jess says the names as if pretty oblivious to their fame. And she's not reading Trish's mind when she talks about the next bit…she just had been nursing this thought for awhile.

Jessica probably can't get either Spider-Man or Cap on a radio show, but…"I'd like you to meet her. She's…a big part of why I've been able to pull myself together again." She looks up, her lips quirking into a half-smile. "And she is still trying to build a career, so…if you invite her onto your show, she'll probably say yes. She's not just a stage magician, she's got real magic, so even though she's not famous for that and you probably shouldn't try to get her to talk about it…it's kind of like interviewing a superhero. I've told her all about you; she's eager to meet you."

Trish inhaled sharply at the names Jess continued to drop names on her, choking slightly on a bit of cake. She pounded on her chest, coughing, and wheezing with watering eyes. "You're a 'freaking whackadoo', so of course you'd get those kinds of cases," she said when she was recovered from her near death by chocolate cake experience.

"I'd love to have her on the show. I've never seen one of her performances, but I'm interested. I definitely wouldn't bring up her extra magical ability on air but can't promise I won't ask about it off the air and record."

Trish really wanted to meet the person who was able to turn Jess back on to the idea of being a real hero. Zatanna must be quite the amazing person to be able to succeed in helping to bring Jessica back to herself. Again, the bite of jealousy quickly squashed, at someone else's success where she had failed.

Jessica had looked up by then to catch the subtle shifts of expression.

She took a breath. Where once she might have callously ignored Trish's feelings and refused to say or do anything about them, she says, "You were just too close to it, Trish. Too close to me. It was…the start of it was something nobody close to me could give. When she walked into my office I was face down on the couch. I had an empty in my hand, I probably reeked. But she just looked at me, young and naive, and trusted me to help her. Trusted me with the most important thing in her life. I had to step up, and as I did…I kept meeting more and more of these people, being reminded that you weren't the only good person out there, that the world wasn't so bleak. And even then it took being told that I'd done alright by a freaking hero icon and being thrown into two separate other dimensions to get to this point."

She chuffs. "Because. You know. I gotta do everything the god damn hard way."

Her eyes are serious as she meets Trish's. "I hope I don't … I hope I don't mess it up again. I want to become someone you can…"

She hesitates; this is deep emotional territory, and it isn't easy. But there's that thought again, something that has been persistently bouncing around in her brain ever since emerging from one of those alternate realities.

You only get one shot. One shot to say what's important to the people who matter most.

"I want to become someone you can be proud to have as your sister, Trish. And I want you to know…I do love you."

Ok, she can't take that anymore, so she smirks. "But I swear to God if you reach for the spandex again I'm going to lose it."

Trish felt the tears start to well up again so hid it by pinching the bridge of her nose and closing her eyes. "Only you could talk about being in TWO different DIMENSIONS, like it's no big deal." Once she felt it was safe to look at Jess without blubbering like a boob and embarrassing both of them, she met her sister's eyes.

"I am proud you're my sister. I may not have been happy about you moving in at first, but I got over it. I love you too, even though you insist on doing everything the hard way."

Deciding that they had both had enough of the feelings for one piece of cake, she gave Jess a haughty look. "We both know I've got way more fashion sense than you so lose it all you want. It's what's in for superheroes. Spandex or Lycra, you decide."

Trish realized that she had forgiven Jess for the months of silence. It seemed to be exactly what she had needed to start recovering from Kilgrave. Jess had a really good point about being too close to it and if Trish was really honest with herself she could be a tad pushy, bossy even, when she thought she knew what was best. Not that she'd ever admit that out loud, of course.

"Maybe something in a leopard print?" Trish added, unable to resist teasing Jess just a little bit more. "With a cape!"

"Fuck. No." Jessica says flatly. "And no masks."

She smirks, though. Sooner or later she'll show Trish her lazy outfit. Today is not that day though. Today she adds, "Seriously, no masks."

"But I'll wear this." She touches the necklace. "Thing is…I kind of like the idea of just being Jessica Jones. Being held accountable for my own actions, good or bad. Being accessible. I guess it kind of seems like people already know they can come to Alias and get help…you can get to me in a way you can't get to Spider-Man or Captain America. If someone on the street needs someone to turn to, they can turn to me, you know? And if they need the others, well…now I can get the others."

Her expression turns shrouded, dark. "Just…be really careful. I mean more than usual. A 25 minute conversation with me got someone sent to the hospital, captured and interrogated, his organs perforated by magic. He's okay now, but…it was dumb luck that allowed me to find him and take down the person hurting him, and he might still have died if Zatanna hadn't healed him. That's where I was the day you were at my apartment, with him."

Ohhh look at the cake. Jessica Jones takes a really hasty bite for some reason. "Damn those bakers, they outdid themselves."

Trish laughed at Jess's emphatic dismissal of her costume suggestions. She stopped laughing as Jess continued. Again, she had really good points. Jessica Jones from Alias Investigations was far more approachable than those she had named.

"The necklace suits you, Jess. I'll admit, and only this once, that you may be right about not needing a costume. You're the hero for the little guy. No, that's not right. The common person? Geez, I sound like such a snob. You're the one who helps the regular people, which is pretty admirable in it's own right."

Trish studied Jess for a moment, her sister's intuition telling her there was something Jess was trying to avoid talking about. "I'm always careful. My apartment is like one big panic room complete with steel reinforced door, bullet proof glass, and actual panic room. It's not exactly easy to get in here if I don't want you to come in." Not wishing to start a fight again so soon, she added "But I'll be extra careful, I promise."

Who was this mysterious 'him'? Why the sudden interest in cake? Trish grinned as a sudden thought occurred to her. "Jess, are you trying to hide something from me?"

Jess laughs as Trish tries to stumble her way out of sounding like a snob. "The Hero for the 99%? Yeah it all sounds pretty terrible, even I can't do it."

Then Trish asks if Jess is trying to hide something from her. She gets a hot, defensive, "No," that could have come straight out of the mouth of her teenage self, complete with a scowl.

Then Jessica sighs, scowling down at her plate. But she's not really scowling because Trish is teasing her. As when John and Zatanna had done it, it was warming; a marker of belonging, something she was now hungry for.

"Just…the man in the hospital? I've got…a serious thing for him. I am trying not to. He got hurt because of me. He knows some, now, because you know, he rightly said he should get to know. He's tough, but he's also— I mean he's a lawyer, you know? And while I'd love to think standing around with the A-listers will mean I get overlooked when these people compile their enemy lists, I also know that's not what's going to happen. I'm accessible to anyone who wants to reach me…the good and the bad. And even if all that were true he hasn't given any indication he's interested…not that I've shown him I am. And even if he had, I still have a drinking problem. Trying to become better didn't magically chase that away. Though I have an appointment with a SHIELD psychiatrist next month. Cap set that up for me when I asked. I thought maybe they could give me some anti-depressants that wouldn't just bounce off my crazy system. I've decided to go to AA too, though I haven't had much time…but it just seems a lot to push on someone who deserves so much better."

Now Jess eats the cake for the same universal reason women everywhere dive into chocolate cake: because she's got some serious emotions to eat. "I feel so stupid, babbling about my fucking…love life."

"Christ. I haven't even asked you how you're doing, what's going on with you, any of it. Just going on and on and on about my own shit." Intense as that shit was.

Trish did a mental victory dance at guessing right about the mysterious him and even managed to keep her outward smugness minimal. She let out a snort that could have came from her own teenage self for Jess's quick 'no' that always meant she was lying. It was surprising to hear Jess admit her feelings, but Trish was enjoying the new openness from her sister.

"Going to meetings might not be a bad idea. I've gone a couple times, when I felt like I needed it. And he'd be lucky to have you warts and all, whoever he is. I understand about a relationship being a bit too much for right now, so kudos for not overwhelming yourself."

Trish waved a dismissive hand at Jess's inquiries about her own life. "I'm boring and don't want to talk about me. I'm thoroughly fascinated by your, ahem, love life and want to hear more about it since I don't currently have one. Unless you count my obsession with Jimmy Choo."

Family can be strange sometimes, scrapping like two strange cats or not speaking at all one moment, and the next talking about boys and making jokes about leopard print. Or alternate dimensions and actual magic wielding magicians. Only in New York, Trish thought to herself.

Jess looks up in surprise to hear Trish say she had. One thing Jess had not ever really truly processed was that Trish had gone through her own struggles with addiction. And probably post-traumatic stress, courtesy of Bitch-Mom. And probably…

Shit, probably all of it, in her own way. She stares for a moment, because in her eyes, Trish had always been the together one. Smart, beautiful, famous, tasteful, loaded through virtue of her own talents. Sure, in need of Jessica's protection, but…that was really all she'd brought to the table wasn't it? Her ability to keep Trish safe.

"Would you…go with me?" She asks. "I…mean I read on the website there's probably going to be like 50 people in there and they won't make me talk, but…"

But she really can't walk into that building by herself. She can feel the resistance building inside of her. Coming up with the idea of going, versus going. But she didn't want to let anyone down, and she definitely did not want a repeat of her embarrassing incident in her apartment.

"I don't know, I hear Jimmy Choo makes great bracelets," which could be a joke or could just be Jessica's distracted utter indifference to fashion.

"You only don't have a love life cause you're busy as fuck." Idly, Jessica runs down the list of new friends she's made, trying to figure out whom she could introduce Trish to. Her brain explodes by the time she hits Peter Quill…nope, that ain't happening. She might have to fling him across the room again if he leers at her sister, whether he saved her life or not.

Trish nodded and smiled encouragingly at Jess. "Of course I'll go with you, whenever you want, unless I'm on the air of course. You only talk if you want to, no pressure there. Sometimes it helps to just listen to other people, or at least it does for me. It's reassuring to know I'm not the only one going through the hard times, you know?"

Trish was beyond touched that Jess had asked her to go for support. It was only mildly spoiled by Jess's lack of fashion enthusiasm. She made an 'ugh' face complete with the groan at the bracelet comment and again for the one about her own love life.

"He makes amazing bracelets, purses, and shoes. I have entirely too many of each. As for a boyfriend, meh." Trish lifted one shoulder eloquently.

"Thanks," Jessica says, now swirling icing around her empty plate, making patterns. "I'll have a little time. In a few weeks I'm going to Germany. Unfinished business. But I'd like to go to the first one before I go so…just pick a time."

She suddenly swipes up chocolate and solemnly beeps Trish's nose with it, leaving a big glob. "I've decided to stay the night," she says, as if she can just invite herself up here. "My apartment's full of super teens, and there's more to tell."

She stands and just heads towards her old room like she owns the place, even going so far as to leap onto the bed without even looking…

Which of course means she falls flat on her face, for the bed isn't there. She stares down at blue mats, squinting around at weapons and Krav Maga charts.

Her grouchy opinion on this floats down the hall seconds later. "Boring, my ass."

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