Heartbreak Hotel

February 09, 2017:

Zatanna Zatara finally returns to Shadowcrest after a long few nights in New York City, to find her house in a state of disorder and in the midst of it, the shattered pieces of Jessica Jones' heart.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Matt Murdock

Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Jessica Jones has been in a dark place for hours. And hours. And hours. Going to Bucky and Jane's and laying awake without a lick of sleep had held it at bay for a little while. But even the balm of her Bros didn't help as much as she could have hoped.

But all day long it got worse.

That's how she came to be at Shadowcrest for the first time in weeks, though she's not looking for Zatanna. She still thinks Zatanna is in New York. She doesn't want Zee to see her like this, necessarily, because she's already dimly aware she is a house full of fucked up, maybe even worse, right now, than when Zee first found her face down on her couch in a drunken stupor back in November.

For one thing she's got a Big Gulp cup from the local convenience store, and it ain't full of Coke. It's full of Jack Daniels, and she's drinking it out of a straw. She stumbles to the Magical Liquor Cabinet of Justice and tops it off with the first thing she grabs; some kind of Schnapps. She looks drunk, which for her means she's had a great good deal already…stuff that would knock over a grown man usually leaves her fully functional to the point of being able to investigate cases competently, after all.

Her mascara and eyeliner have run down her face in dark rivulets thanks to the messy crying she's done. Her throat is raw and rough from it.

So when she stumbles through the house yelling, "Quilllll," in a faux-seductive tone, it's…not exactly attractive really. Nothing that comes out of her mouth is attractive. It is the rock-bottom awful of an emotional breakdown, of someone hitting a brand new low, someone who had thought she was really, truly out of lows to hit. Not…that she's at all introspective about this right now.

"Quillll. I changed my mind," she slurs. "I wanna take your joystick out for a spin after all, Peter." She thumps into a wall, slamming a door to one of the bedrooms open with a hard shove of her hand. It rebounds off the opposite wall, but thankfully doesn't do much more than dent.

"I know it's good and thick, I've seen your tight ass cause you like to drink your milk naked. You're already naked, right? You're usually almost naked. I mean…tha's convenience, right there. Thas' what you'd expect from someone who's served 4 billion cust'mers." She pauses to take another long drag off her Big Gulp and hiccups.
"Not that I'm…callin' you a whore or anything. You jus' seemed pretty proud of your…of your customer service record."

She's in exactly the clothes she was in yesterday, which means dirty jeans covered in brick dust, a dirty tank top, her scarf, though her jacket seems to be MIA at the moment, perhaps left at Dr. Foster's apartment. 'I wore this yesterday' funk and 'I also spent time in an interrogation room' yesterday are her scents of desperate choice.


The bedroom that Peter Quill has taken up residence is currently occupied. Outside, it might be possible to hear a muffled conversation. Kitty's voice - for those who might recognize it - may be heard every once in while.

"Ah! That feels really weird!"

"Peter! Stop that! It's not a toy!"

"No wait, put your hand there."

Then, as Jessica approaches, the conversation goes silent. As Jessica drunkenly throws open the door, she will find Peter Quill and Kitty Pryde there, fully clothed and chastely doing some magical science experiments. The gem she was rescued from - with the help of Jessica and Thor - is currently held in Kitty's hand, but is also phased and being pushed somewhat through it even though it looks like she's attempting to push it into Peter's own hand. With her phasing abilities, it should be easy. However, the magic of the thing has made it impossible. The experiments paused, though, as they heard Jessica's approach.

"You're a space gigolo? With a customer service record?" Kitty looks at Quill with a surprised and frankly disturbed look. "Is that really what the Ravagers do? Oh man, I should have known. It's in the name."

That is quickly put aside, however, when she takes in the state of Jessica. Pushing the gem at Peter, she stands and moves toward the private detective - solid now. "Jessica? Are you—okay? We should get you some water. What happened?"


"It feels kinda warm!"

"…huh does this always happen?"

"I'm trying! You hold still I'll push!"

Peter's voice is somewhere between amused and full of concentration as he attends to this experiment. They need to find out what the gem can do! Its so strange, but at least it hasn't caused much in the way of trouble in the past week or two. There has to be something strange with it though, something that could give a clue as to who wants the damn thing.

…and suddenly that doesn't really seem to matter anymore.

The door is flung open with enough force to make the Ravager…well…ex-Ravanger…glad he wasn't closer to the door. "Hey easy on the door, Jes—"

Its about then that his brain starts to parse just what she's saying. "Hey!" Comes the exclimation. Then a glance back towards Kitty. "HEY!! No! Thats not what…they are more like pirates!" A longer pause as he pulls his hand away from the Gem and turns towards the door, leather jacket whispering with the movement. "I mean mercenaries. More like mercenaries. Who do piracy on the side. When business is slow." A pause. "And a little treasure hunting."

This isn't really helping.

"ANYWAY!" He calls as he takes a closer look at the clearly bad off detective. "I'm not naked." Because of course thats what he focuses on.


"Hey Kitty," Jessica slurs, tilting a finger at her. "I like you, you know? You're impressive. I just want to join. You're in the middle of something, I'm not trying to take him away from you. I'm not gay or even bi or anything but I jus' want some friendly company." She shakes her head violently at the mention of water. "Nuh uh. No water. Don't wanna feel. Unless it's man. I wanna feel some man. But I it'll be good for you too, I'm gen'rous. Why is everyone so clothed?"

She rips off her tank top and throws it at Quill. Fortunately there is a bra under there. "Screw…polite sex with your clothes on."

Thankfully she doesn't try to kiss or touch any of them, even now too sensitive to the idea that she might touch someone without permission. "Kiss me. Either. Both. Don't care. Just kiss me right now." She rubs her eyes, smearing mascara on the back of her hands too. From the looks of it she's done this before. She stumbles into the middle of the room and sits on the bed, giving them what she thinks is a seductive smile. She makes 'come hither' motions with her hands, and rises up on her knees, arms wide, ready to receive anyone who would like to kiss the Avatar of the Brewery. She slurps at her Big Gulp. It makes air-straw sounds. So she opens the cap and downs it.


She has just arrived home. Zatanna hands off her coat and scarf to Kasim, who bows before starting up the stairs leading to the voices she hears. Grim and exhausted from her trip to New York, a hot bubble bath and a nice dreamless sleep on her own bed feels like something she desperately needs, though all thoughts of doing so are eradicated for the time being as she inclines her head, and follows the direction of the disturbance.

It was the least she can do; to say hi, to exchange a few pleasantries before she flops facedown on her pillows, probably without even making it to the bath that she has been daydreaming about since a couple of hours ago.

But out of all the things she is expecting in her house, she doesn't expect this. The noises draw her to the guest room that Peter Quill occupies, ensconced there with Pretty Kyde (or was it Kitty Pryde? She had only met the other woman once)…and Jess stripping off her clothes and asking the both of them for a kiss.

The magician freezes in her tracks. Ice-blue eyes turn to Jess, and then to Peter and Kitty in the room.

"….wow, yeah, sorry. Didn't mean to interrupt. Pretend I wasn't here."

She turns around, and nearly /walks back out of the room/, before she pauses, and reaches out to transform the nearest statuette into…

…a bottle of strawberry-flavored lube.

She hands this to Jessica. "You're gonna need it, I've seen his penis. It has a mind of its own." To Peter and Kitty, she beams. "Happy threesome, everyone!" No judgment.

And with that, unless stopped, she heads back out.


Kitty gives Peter a skeptical look. No, it's pretty much solidly placed in her mind that Peter and the Ravagers are gigolos. Perhaps pirate gigolos, but gigolos nonetheless. However, then, her attention is squarely on Jessica, which causes her to blink her eyes quite a few times. "Woah, wait, uh, that's…we're not in the middle of anything! There's nothing to take!" As Jessica rips off her tank top, she quickly reaches behind her to yank the sheet off of Peter's bed to try and wrap it around the other woman.

"This is not! This is not a sex thing!" she tells her, attempting to be convincing. "You just need to lie down. We're not going to kiss you while you're drunk."

It's about that time when she's attempting to wrap a sheet around a topless Jess that Zatanna walks in. The woman who has been kind enough to let her stay in her home while she's been gone. "No no, please be here!" she calls out to Zatanna, pleading. "Interrupt! This is something to interrupt!"


Peter catches the shirt. It reflex as the clothes come flying towards his feet. He also looks. Because…I mean. Come on! They are right there! RIGHT! THERE! The angel and the devil on his shoulder are having an argument about just what to do about this.

…alright. Lets be real. The angel is asleep or tied up somewhere, and the devil is just slowly nodding. Something about 'well…she's asking for it…'

The sudden appearance of the owner of Shadowcrest causes him to blink. "Intrupting?" A pause. Oh. OHHHHH. The magical addition. Thoughtful. He seems to start to smirk. "Well I mean you could j— "

And Kitty plays the adult card.

"I'm not going to kiss her?" Pause. "I mean yeah! No kissing or…something!" A longer pause. "I mean it could be a sex thing, but I guess its not." He mutters half-under his breath.

At least he's happy that Zee paid him a compliment.

…yes, he's taking that as a compliment.

"Yeah, you might as well get back in here, Zee. Kitty doesn't want to have any fun."

…he is so not helping is he.


Jessica takes the lube and yep. Opens it right up. That happened. Starts slathering her hands down as Kitty Pryde wraps her in a sheet and starts shouting that this isn't going to happen. And Peter rightly does the right thing and refuses, with nudges from Kitty, to indulge Jessica's last ditch attempt to fling herself headlong into her downward spiral.

Naturally things turn a little ugly.

She glances at the two women, then looks away, shame faced. That shame just makes it worse. The pain comes surging up. And in her drunken state she fixates on the male in the room. Maybe if she yells loud enough her friends will just ease out and she can finish screwing up her life a little more.

She grits her teeth and snarls, "GOD DAMN IT QUILL, MAN UP! YOU KEEP GOING ON ABOUT HOW FUCKING GREAT YOU ARE IN BED, GET IN HERE AND MAKE THIS BETTER!" She hurls the bottle of strawberry lube at his head, sneering. "Mister I fuck everything that breathes, barely trying!"

But you know. If anyone here had any doubts as to whether or not this is a warm fuzzy friendly happy thing that's going on in here…probably going to be disabused of that notion. "What, you don't want me either? FUCK YOU."


At Jessica's drunken, shrieking yell, and Kitty's pleading for her to stay, Zatanna glances amongst them. Hesitation crawls all over her features; all she wants is to /go to bed/. She has had a long few days in New York, and the mattress is transmitting its siren's song to her from across the way, to the west wing where her private bedroom and her father's boudoir is located.

But it's clear that something is wrong; Jessica is upset.

She rubs the side of her face. "Jess, why don't you take a seat and I'll have Kasim send up some tea? I know you're…" There's a glance at Quill. "…hankerin' and all but maybe once you got something other than booze in you, you'll realize that this is a really bad idea. I mean, Quill runs around naked all the time, and my house has some /really weird things/ everywhere. I don't think you want that anywhere near your…"

Oh god. She can't say the word out loud in polite company. Can she?



She reaches up a rope to pull on it, to summon the house's tea service. Reaching out, she puts an arm around Jess, blanketed thanks to Kitty, and starts guiding her towards the nearest place on the bed to get her to sit.


"This is the address," Timothy Jackson Drake says to himself, standing at the entrance to Shadowcrest. His brow furrows, looking up at the foreboding estate; he turns, and looks in the opposite direction. Over there, Wayne Manor. Over /there/, the property where the Drake estate used to stand. He's lived in this part of Gotham his entire life, literally within walking distance of the very spot on which he stands. He turns to look up at Shadowcrest again. His mouth tugs into a frown.

"Was… Was this always here…?"

He has /never seen this place before/.

Freakin' magic.

Not long afterwards, Zatanna's perfectly normal civilian friend from college, who has nothing strange or unusual about himself at all, and certainly doesn't know anything about crime fighting or vigilantism or anything of that sort, finds himself inside the Addams Family-esque, or perhaps more Munstersian, mansion, looking around warily. He knocked, and the place let him in, so… That's probably a good sign, right?

"Uh… Hello? Zee? I brought—" He hears somebody shrieking. For all he knows, this house has ghosts or banshees in it and the shrieking is perfectly normal, but his body reacts before his brain does, loping strides carrying him to the guest room that it turns out is the source of all the commotion.

So really, as far as anyone except for Zatanna knows, some complete stranger just burst in, his dark blue eyes going wide as he sees some kind of… Situation developing.

"Oh. Uh." He pauses, reconsiders. Coughs into his hand once. He spots things quickly. People in bedsheets. Jessica Jones, someone he definitely doesn't recognise, handling lube. "Sorry, just, uh, I didn't know it was orgy night or I would've brought snacks." He unshoulders his courier-style bookbag, rooting through it. "Lemme just… Get that thing, Zee, and I'll get out of your hair before anything else gets in it."


Oh dear God. What in the world is going on?

Kitty Pryde attempts to keep herself away from the lube and Jessica's hands, but as she's attempting to keep Jessica wrapped and as calm as possible. She gives Peter a very narrowed eyed look as he doesn't help. While she can't exactly reach him to slap him right now - as her hands are busy - she swiftly swings her leg out to kick Peter right in the side.

"Jessica, Peter's just…he's not going to sleep with you while you're drunk. Maybe later, okay? Once you've sobered up, he'll prove to you just how good in bed he is." The more Jessica talks about just how many girls Peter has slept with and how great he supposedly is at it, she just looks at him.

However, it's clear there is something more here than drunkenness and the notches on Peter's bedpost. No, she tries to help Zatanna move the other woman to the bed and calm down. "Yeah, like Zatanna said. And— " she glances at her, raised eyebrow at him walking around naked all the time. Man, this is a lot of information about Peter all at once. Trying to move the subject along, she asks, "Look, what's wrong?" Because she's seen Jessica and Peter together before, there didn't seem to be any sort of romance there. Then again, she's been wrong before. "You're not—-" she lowers her voice, whispering, "You're not in love with Quill are you?"

And, then, another person appears. Sighing, she just surrenders to it. "This isn't an orgy. I swear. But, I have to ask, what snacks would you even bring to one?"


He didn't even do a lot of bragging to her!! Peter is innocent in this! And just as confused as everyone else. And he gets kicked in the side for it. "What did I say!" He shoots towards Kitty as he staggers. "I mean yeah I'm good in bed but you said you didn't want to do anything like…I don't even know whats going on now!" He protests as he eyes Jess. "Wait either? What the heck is this abo—"

And a bottle of lube catches him square in the face. Getting all in his hair, part of his face. The bottle flies up and with expert reflexes he catches it before it hits the ground. He stands there for a moment before he takes a deep breath. A thoughtful look crosses his face as he reaches up to wipe part of his face off. "…strawberry. Good choice, Zee. I'm gonna get a towel."

And he wipes the hand off on Kitty's arm. Then shoves the bottle into Tim's hands. "Tim right? Right. Hold this." And spins towards the bathroom. "ALWAYS WITH GETTING IN THE HAIR!"

After a few moments from the bathroom there is a additional reply, aimed at Kitty. "Anything with electrolytes! Gotta keep hydrated!"


As Zee moves her to a sitting position and puts an arm around her, and as Kitty continues to talk her down, Jessica falls silent. Her face slowly crumples as Kitty asks if she's in love with Quill. The woman looks like she's in agony suddenly, which she abruptly is. She whispers, "No. No, I'm not in love with Quill. Sorry I hit you in the face, Quill. I'm sorry I'm not in love with you too. You're a great guy, but you're not the one. I just…hoped you'd…"

She sees someone she doesn't even know in the room and the whole room just starts spinning as mortification and pain make her hyperventilate. She grabs to Zatanna for support, though she doesn't wrench away from Kitty. She just hangs between them, shaking. She's supposed to be Zatanna's rock, but right now she's nothing but a sea of sand.

"He's seeing someone else, Zee," Jessica whispers, her throat so closed up suddenly she can hardly speak. Hot tears pour down her cheeks. "He doesn't want me. I let him know how I felt and I thought there was a connection, a real connection, and then…"

Now the sobbing starts. "I'm sorry Zee, I'm sorry Kitty, I'm sorry Quill, I'm sorry…Tim…"

She shudders, then breaks down entirely. "It's not fair, this is not fucking fair at all. Everything I've survived, everything I've fucking dealt with, why the fuck is this rom com shit the thing that hurts the worst? I hate rom coms. I hate it when women get all stupid for a man. I promised myself. I promised myself I'd never be this way so why? Why can't fucking breathe? Why do I feel like there's a hole in my chest I'll never be able to fill up ever again? Why do I feel like I'll never be warm again? Why? He was never mine to have, he was with someone else from the moment I fucking met him. I was so stupid, so fucking stupid to think I could…she must have been the third one, the other one he wanted the ward for."

She'd never been in love before. And she'd never had her heart broken before.


Several things happen at once.

For once, Tim has arrived and whatever mortification is on Jess' face is now reflected on the magician's, staring at her friend with wide, ice-blue eyes. Her mouth works open and closed, her arms still around the private investigator wrapped in a blanket (thankfully, otherwise her classmate would have seen her half naked). But she manages to plaster a smile that's somewhat sheepish. "Tim! Hi, I guess you found the place okay after all, it's not….funny story, you can't really find it unless you know what you're looking for. And now that you have, presto-changeo! Did I mention we used to be neighbors of yours? Ha ha ha….well, I think everyone in this room knows who you are. Peter's my alien houseguest and Jessica is the private investigator I've told you about before. The brunette is…" Pretty or Kitty?! Oh god, she can't remember. "…Pretty. Kitty!" A look of apology is shot at the X-woman. "This is my best friend, Tim Drake. We go to Gotham U toge— "

And this is when Jessica's arms go about her in turn and she hears her whisper. Whatever mortification Zatanna feels dovetails /immediately/ into pure horror when she starts crying. Crying and ranting in her arms. The raven-haired girl, for a moment, stands there with arms full of brokenhearted alcoholic private detective and for a few precious, breathtaking moments, she has absolutely no idea what to do.

As always, she latches on her first instinct. Her limbs tighten around Jess, dragging her further against her. She says nothing yet.

"Tim, could you go downstairs and tell Kasim to bring up some ice cream with the tea?" she asks, that expression of apology growing. "And…" A glance to Kitty. "Could you make sure Peter's not…ruining anything?" Her eyes widen a little, to try and signal the other woman over Jessica's head to /warn Quill that this is happening/.

And with that she hopes that gets everyone out for a few minutes.


"Finger foods," Tim answers to Kitty without even hesitating. "Maybe little sausages."

It's clear, though, that he's managed to accidentally intrude on a deeply unsexy and also emotionally awkward moment, which is not helped any by the way Quill hands him the bottle of lube. He frowns down at that, before just… Setting it aside on table. Then he wipes his hands off on his jeans. He didn't try to make the situation worse, of course, though it seems that he has, at least for Zatanna, seeing an unexpected look of mortification on her pale features. Usually, Zatanna would just take whatever in stride.

Honestly, it figures that this would better serve to get this kind of reaction out of the Princess of Prestidigitation than any of his intentional attempts. The grin he flashes back at Zatanna is nearly as sheepish as hers, but whatever he came here to bring her in the first place is currently forgotten, as he zips his backpack back up and slides it back into position. He doesn't even have time to respond to the introductions, any more than Zatanna has time to finish them, because Jessica is very upset. And drunk. And upset.

Tim hears what she's saying, of couse, even if Jessica is trying to whisper as she practically clings to the other two women; it becomes even easier when she /stops/ whispering, when she lets everything pour out, and the dark-haired young man is beset with a sudden and inescapable sense of guilt.

He thought he was being so clever, giving somebody else advice.

He's glad he didn't show up in the guise of Red Robin. Jessica would probably try to whoop his ass, then.

"…Yeah, okay. Kasim, ice cream, check. Is Kasim going to turn out to be a wolfman or like a talking painting, though, because…"

Well he supposes the only way to find out is to go and check, so the perfectly normal college student slips out and back down the stairs.


It's impossible for Kitty not to snicker when Peter gets a bottle lube to the face. It seems the Star-Lord gets things chucked at him often enough to be amusing for her. "Oh my god," she hisses as Quill yells at her question as to what to bring to an orgy. Of course he has an answer to that quip. Of course he does.

Attempting as best she can to both cover and comfort Jessica, Kitty suddenly freezes at the sobbing. She holds onto the woman, somewhat caught between the grip on Zatanna and her own attempts to comfort. It is an awkward sort of moment. While generally a very sympathetic person, she has no idea what to do with a topless, strawberry-scented lubed up Jessica as she holds onto a woman she barely knows and cries about a man she doesn't know. That situation, the heartbroken one, at least, is one she definitely understands. Most of her days of Xavier's was spent pining for a man who she would never be with. "It'll be…it's okay. That guy is an ass." That's her general 'don't know anything about the situation' go to. However, then, Zatanna takes control of this emotional ship and she will concede to her authority. "Kitty," she corrects automatically as Zatanna waffles between Pretty and Kitty.

Carefully unwinding herself from Jessica, she squeezes her shoulder. "It's okay. There's no need to apologize to me. You haven't done anything wrong. Getting drunk and wanting a booty call from some random sketchy space guy when you're in a bad spot is nothing to be ashamed about."

Leaving the room with Tim, she looks at him, amused and warily. "You know, you had that joke readily on hand. That makes me think you've thought about this before." Then, she follows to find Quill in the bathroom. Once there, she makes to slap him. That's how you make sure Peter's not ruining anything, right?


"I'm not that sketchy!!" That would be Peter's contribution to the conversation in the bedroom. Where Star-lord is indeed trying to get strawberry lube out of his hair and his face. He just about gets done as Kitty walks in, and as he turns towards her with a smirk to open his mouth…

…and gets slapped right across said mouth.

"Oh come on!" He exclaims as he throws the dirty towel at her face. "You already kicked me! Isn't that enough!" His voice is loud enough to carry before he peers around her, then back to the woman.

His voice lowers, and his brows narrow. Confusion continues to dance behind his eyes. "So," This part not ment to carry further than the door of the bathroom. "What the flarg was all that about!" He can totally use space swares on Terra. The'll never know. "I have no idea whats going on!" A pause. "But no way I'm going back out there yet."

…his self preservation instinct is strong with this one.

She's gonna go from hot and bothered, to just bothered, to sad, to angry at guys, to flinging Quill though a wall.

Its happened before!


As Zatanna takes control Jessica sobs enough to nearly choke. But when Kitty calls him an asshole, she fervently shakes her head; he's not, and she can't stand for him to be called one. If he were an asshole, she could snort and step off with one of her signature zingers and a wry look, shrugging him off like every other man she's shrugged off before. It's precisely because he's not an asshole that she's so devastated. And her 'anger at guys' is apparently spent spewing the abuse she'd spewed at Quill.

All the talk of what to eat at an orgy just sort of spins around her without landing in her psyche. But Kitty's attempts to comfort her by saying 'the guy is an asshole' provoke a response.

"No. No, no, he's not, he's not an asshole. He just made a choice," she rasps, shivering in Zee's arms, a little calmer as she hastens to defend the man she is still very much in love with. "That's his right. He can be a good person and still make the choice I didn't want. Matt is a good man." Everyone has to have choices. To malign Matt Murdock, or to allow him to be maligned, for making his, would make her no better than Hydra.

No better than Kilgrave.

Not to mention they're still supposed to be friends, painful as the idea currently feels. Friends defend friends. So comforting as it might be for even a moment to go there…She won't do it.

She chuffs an unhappy laugh as Kitty absolves her of things she will be ashamed of and wish she can forget later; yet another new low, making a huge scene in front of her friends and flinging herself at Peter Quill. "Thanks," she mutters.

If she knew how horrified by her display Zee was, she might well let go, try to pull herself together. But instead she clings to the other woman as a sorely needed lifeline. Later she'll find apologies for this too. It's the opposite of what she sees as the natural order. She's here to guide, protect, help and soothe Zee; she shouldn't be dumping on her and certainly not on her houseguests.

She just adds it to the fires of guilt and self-loathing; another big radioactive stinking mess to join the rest of it. She just doesn't have the strength to move.

One might be surprised, as much as she's leaning on the woman, that she's not flattening her. But even when everything else is so decidedly out of control, she keeps her strength on a leash, contrary to the images many people have of her snapping and going on a rampage. There's always one part of her reserved for that. She feels no stronger than a normal woman, even as she continues to weep on her friend's shoulder.


As Tim heads down the stairs, he would find Kasim. Broad-shouldered and with skin like caramel, the turban he wears suggests that he's of Hindu descent, with a full white beard that would make the likes of Santa Clause proud. Disconcertingly enough, he would be waiting at the foot of the stairs for him, as if already expecting the young Drake/Wayne to come and find him. He even tilts his head expectantly.

"I'll bring the service up shortly, Master Tim," he says, giving a deep and respectful bow from the waist before he shuffles off towards the kitchen, to do what he asks. Tea and ice cream. There'll be a cart coming up shortly.

Shadowcrest is huge and sprawling, though the young detective's keen eyes would discern that something is off immediately; he would realize why in short order - the architecture of the mansion outside does not /fit/ the interior. Rooms that should be shaped one way are constructed in different patterns - for all of its circular shapes outside with the gothic towers, the large rooms in the first floor do not reflect them - they are uniform and rectangular.

There are only two floors, from what he could see, but each hallway seems to stretch out for /miles/. A chamber on the second floor, in particular, has huge, floor-to-ceiling doors, guarded by a statue of a demon and an angel - east and west.

As Jessica clings to her, Zatanna hugs her tighter, stroking her hair and burying her face and lips against those ebon rivers of hair. Having met the man in question, in person, laid out in a hotel room after cultists have tried to murder him, and from what she gathered from Jessica, the man told them /nothing/, she knows very well that the man is not a jerk. Though he probably thinks he is - she's heard stories about Catholic guilt.

"Jess, what happened?" she asks quietly. She knew she had a crush, she teased her about it, but the fact that she was /weeping/ this way suggests a completely different connection entirely. It was as if she was…


Oh no.


"Well, I'm extremely rich," Tim says to Kitty, as though that explains everything about his orgy snacks joke, or why he would've thought about that enough to have a reference on hand. "And we've gotta do something with our free time, in between the yacht races and playing chess with actual people dressed up as knights and bishops."

He says this completely straight faced, because a consequence of having Dick Grayson for an older brother is that you need to learn how to make - and take - a dirty joke. And a consequence of growing up with the Batman is that you develop an incredible poker face.

"Oh!" comes Tim's voice from halfway down the stairs, wafting into the bathroom where Kitty has decided to slap Quill until his new codename becomes Handprint Face Man. "Baby gerkins! Or tiny carrots, and a white dip!"

At the bottom of the stairs, Tim finds Kasim, who despite there being absolutely nothing in common between the two men, reminds him almost immediately of Alfred Pennyworth. He looks like he's already expecting the younger man, like he already knows everything about him from the sizes of his clothes to the last time he ate. And it might be magic, some part of Shadowcrest's mysterious powers… Or it might just be a butler thing, because he's pretty sure Alfred doesn't have any magic.

"Thanks, Kasim," Tim says to the retreating man, because there's no point in not being polite. And well, he's pretty sure Zatanna doesn't want him or indeed anyone else returning to the room where she's trying to comfort Jessica - there's a fresh rush of guilt there, sour and warm in his belly, knowing that it was his own advice that put the PI in this situation - so there's only one thing to do.


Or, well, not snoop, but orient himself with his new surroundings.

"And I thought Wayne Manor was big," he mutters, having grown up in an only /slightly/ ridiculous mansion before his father's death ended up with his being relocated to the /truly/ ridiculous residence of his adoptive parent. "And creepy." Nothing about the interior makes anything resembling rational sense, even as he tries to map the place inside his head. The hallways look like the Scooby Gang should be getting chased by a guy in a ghost costume, everyone coming out of different doors than they went into.

Of course, eventually he finds himself in front of that huge door on the second floor, guarded by statues.

"Yep, creepy," Tim says, noding once. "This is gonna be the part where one statue always tells the truth, and the other one always lies, and you have to figure out which one is which to open the door." He shouldn't go nosing around, of course. It's rude.

And yet, there he is, checking out the big scary door.


Kitty squeezes Jessica's shoulder as she goes. "Okay. I'll take your word for it." And that is not a line or something sarcastic. If Jessica believes this Matt fellow to be worth it and someone she would drunkenly throw herself at Quill for, well, Kitty will respect Jessica's feelings. Though, she also definitely believes from her own observations that based on how he has made Jessica feel that he may be a jackass.

Tim gets a continually 'unimpressed' look as they walk. It's a short distance between the room and the bathroom for Kitty to go do Zatanna's asked task. "I see. I've heard that for the extremely rich 'finger foods' size is the general thing." Once Tim yells 'baby gherkins' she cups her hands over her mouth and yells back, "That sounds about right for the super rich!"

Once inside the bathroom, though, her general demeanor is subdued, but pissed. "You are too sketchy!" she hisses at him. "You have no idea what's going on but you're joking or willing to take advantage of Jessica while she's obviously completely wasted and hurting?!" Since Peter could hear her comments form inside the bathroom, she's attempting to keep her voice down so that Zatanna and Jessica can have their own private conversation. "That is the very definition of sketchy! Jess just had her heart broken by somebody and she was trying to - for some reason - rebound with you. Just what is your reputation? This is why people think the Ravagers are gigolos, I'm sure." Even if she may be the only person who thinks the Ravagers are gigolos.


As Tim snoops, the double doors open for Tim, and a shadow looms, a presence heralded by the smell of dust and sand, and the sound of tattered linen strips.

Hassan the Mummy stares down at the young man with his dead eyes. He doesn't blink, because he can't. For a moment, brittle fingers remain resting on the handles. Perfectly preserved, and absolutely huge, his very nature allows him not to, at the very least, offend the young man with the damp, moist stench of death. With a clear, determined effort, his jaw rattles as he speaks.

He speaks in hieroglyphics.

A language that Tim, probably, has had no cause to learn. Somewhere over the mummy's shoulder is a very refined baritone.

"I say, Hassan, who is it now?"

The words are coming from /the stuffed dodo/ mounted on a pedestal close to the front. It turns its head to regard Tim.

"My word, /another/ house guest? Is the mistress out to collect more of them?"

"Perhaps a visitor, dear Abelard," says the /severed griffon head mounted on the other wall/. "The lady of the house /does/ get them on occasion."

"Indeed. But the last 'visitor' she received ends up spending the night here more often than not! You would think the God of Thunder would be sleeping on a cloud, or some other such nonsense. But no. He /has/ to impose."

With that, all three sets of dead eyes turn back to Tim expectantly.


"Hey now!" Peter protests as Kitty confrots him in the bathroom. "I wasn't gonna take advantage of anything! I mean I'm not gonna say I'd /never/ do anything. I could be really drunk or something." He pauses a moment. "Not helping my case, anyyway! Yeah, I didn't do it! I mean the most I would have done tonight is get her into a bath and hoped she passed out!"

I mean he stared, cause she was topless. BUT COME ON THEY WERE RIGHT THERE!

He pokes Kitty's shoulder, leaning towards her but keeping his own voice down. "Man, just how bad do you think I am?! I mean I'm low, but I'm not /that/ low!" He'll totally take advantage of a one night stand, but not a friend!

Mostly because he has to deal with the friend later and the one night stand is just 'SEE YA LATER!'

He isn't going to explain that kind of logic though.

"I have no idea /why/ she thought about throwing herself at me like that! Though I can guess!" There is a grumble before he squints at her. "And the Ravagers are not gigolos!" A pause. "That might actually be a step up for them really…"

His brow furrows just slightly as he looks behind her towards the door. Turning his attention back to her he adds. "…you think Zee explained to Tim about the guardian things here?" A pause. "Eh I'm sure he'll find out."


"I've been in love with him since the alley," Jessica whispers, soothed, a little, as Zatanna strokes her hair. She curls up more tightly, closes her eyes. "It was so many things. He was so brave. He was dying and all he cared about was warning Nelson. He laughed, made jokes. I couldn't believe how strong he was. And his eyes, oh god he's got the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen. He was slipping away and I was so afraid for him. I went back you know. I took water, I scoured all the blood out of there, I remember what you and John taught me. Even before that he'd gotten to me. When he and Sal got attacked…do you know the cultist tried to choke him? Anyone else would have been so pissed that I'd put them in harm's way. He tried to make me feel better. He did make me feel better. And after you left, at the hospital, he called me his hero. Not just a hero, Zee. His. I felt like some sort of…knightress in shining armor or…some sort of shining angel for a minute. For just that one moment I was my best self, the best person I could possibly be, everything I want to be, everything I'm trying and failing to be. I intended to leave him be, I didn't want him to get hurt due to my crazy life, I was just trying to watch over him from afar, but…I got arrested yesterday."

Yep, that's just slipped right in there. She sniffles. "I guess I fought my first public super-villian. This crazy guy in a metal suit on stilts stepping on people and things and maybe killing them and stealing millions of dollars. But when I punched him he just flew into an apartment building and caused all this damage. I've never had such a failure of control before." She hasn't seen the video, does not know it was totally her. "You know I've got control, I've got great control. Nobody was hurt but oh Zee they could have been." She shudders all over again, a little keen rising up in the back of her throat. "I couldn't be in jail though. There's all this stuff we need to do. So I called him and oh god. God you should have seen him. Fierce, elegant, intelligent, but before he even defended me to them he defended me to myself. In his eyes I was still a hero. The charges got dropped, just like that; god it was beautiful. He was so beautiful. So when we got out I asked him if I could hug him. He was bemused I guess, but he said yes."

"I couldn't quite ask him out, but I told him at least a little of how I felt; how I saw him, how kind he'd always been to me. He said I was easy to be kind to but…but he's seeing someone. He's in love with someone else. And how can I begrudge him that? I wished him well. I got out of there."

She shrinks in on herself. "That should be the end of it, shouldn't it? I'm a fucking adult. This is what adults do. They put people out of their mind. They say 'oh well.' If they really love someone they just genuinely wish for them to be happy with whomever, right? She's probably perfect. She's probably blonde and she likes flowers and she's Catholic and she probably went to Cambridge, she probably never cusses, would never dream of touching alcohol, never smokes, and lives a simple, sweet uncomplicated life. I bet she teaches Kindergarten and plans to do that until she has all his babies. And I should want that for him because people who love people don't…they don't stand in the way."

And then she breaks down again.


To see Jessica this way is surprising, and concerning. But as the words tumble out, Zatanna's eyes soften considerably, weaving her fingers through her hair in a comforting fashion, keeping her pressed against her and her eyes falling on the door. Her other guests are staying out of trouble at least - Kitty will rein in Peter, as she usually does (by reputation, she hasn't been around her own home for quite some time), and Tim is keeping himself scarce. Out of courtesy, no doubt. Knowing him, he was probably already exploring Shadowcrest, now that he's been let in a place that has always existed, but he's never noticed. It probably nags him, considering his powers of observation, and knowing her best friend as well as she does, doubtless he is already trying to make up for the lapse of perception in spades.

The fact that Jess got arrested does register, and she would feel her tense up at hearing it, a quiet locking of her limbs and a stiffening of her muscles. But she relaxes when she gets to the part about Matt getting her out of there. It's handy to have a lawyer around, especially one that specializes in criminal defense. She says nothing, spends the last minutes of her spiel stroking Jessica's hair….up until she gets to the inevitable part. The self-recrimination. She has been exposed to this to her entire circle of closest associates more times in the last few weeks than she has her entire life. Admittedly, until her return, she didn't /have/ any close associates to speak of. She has been fortunate, lately, to find a few loyal souls who would stick around her and the brand of trouble she normally brings to the table.

"Jess, whether child or adult, nobody likes being rejected," she points out quietly, though she wonders why she didn't think of that, herself. Having seen Matthew Murdock in person, thinking he was single was /probably/ wishful thinking. Even she thought the blind attorney was devastatingly handsome. "And really you should give yourself a break. I know you. I know this….kind of thing doesn't happen to you very often." Or ever. "So of course it's going to hurt. Don't beat yourself up over something you can't control, okay? Your brain's pretty formidable, and so's the rest of you, but when it comes to this sort of thing, the heart typically has /other/ ideas and most of them are things you won't like. And…Jess, I'm not going to lie. Speaking as someone who's stayed in the Heartbreak Hotel more times than she likes, it's going to suck. It's going to suck /a lot/. The next few days, the next few months even."

She pauses.

"But don't…I don't want you to think this is a bad thing. Feeling this way for someone. Because it's not. You should never feel bad for loving someone, especially someone /good/ like Matt. He probably needs that, too, you know? Even if he can't return your feelings. You're a P.I., you know how shitty this iife is. The world needs more of that. I know, that probably doesn't help, but trust me…right now? Nothing will, so cut yourself some slack, and /wallow/. We can pick up the pieces later, but right now…you need to. You need this. Okay?"


The statues, it seems, aren't actually going to ask him riddles, or anything else. The doors open, seemingly of their own accord.

Until it becomes apparent that an actual, no foolin' mummy is opening the room from within.

Dark blue eyes harden, Tim's gaze sharpens as he looks up, waaaaay up at the towering preserved corpse, his stance relaxing, shifting his weight back, ready to move because just standing there and getting clobbered by something twice your mass isn't a very good idea in a fight. Except that the mummy tries to /talk/, incomprehensibly.

The voices behind the mummy are less incomprehensible.

Tim looks past the mummy, sees… What appears to be a stuffed /extinct flightless bird/, that is talking. And then also talking, a stuffed head on the opposite wall. Except /that/ animal has never actually existed, he's pretty sure.

Slipping out of the aikido stance he'd moved into without thinking, Tim lifts his hands and rubs at his eyes. He's definitely started hallucinating because of stress, right? He's been trying to get more sleep, lately, but more than four hours a night just feels /wasteful/, and…

Nope, still there. He holds up one hand index finger lifted in the universal sign for 'just a second,' as he fishes his phone out of his pocket with his other hand, opening the camera to try and get some kind of proof that his brain hasn't cracked, and that this is actually happening.

"Sorry, what?" he says, distractedly, because while this isn't the weirdest thing that's ever happened to him, it is pretty high on the list. "Oh. Yeah, I'm a friend of Zatanna's, actually. Tim Drake. It's… Nice to meet you?"


"You were the one saying it!" Kitty counters, not giving up the point. "I was in the room." Her problems have nothing to do with him looking at Jessica's bra-clad chest after she ripped her tank-top off. It's a more attempt to figure out who he is.

"I don't know how bad you are! I know very little about you other than you were in an underground gigolo pirate operation called the Ravagers-" That seems to be something she will never let go. Perhaps ever.

"-What is it that you can guess? I mean, you apparently have quite a reputation, Quill." As he pokes at her shoulder, she reaches up to catch his finger and hand to hold it. "Stop poking me." After a moment, hand still attempting to keep a hold of his poking hand, she asks, "The guardians? What are they? I thought you were some sort of Guardians."

The brunette mutant remains in front of the door to keep Peter from moving past her and into the private and personal conversation happening between Zatanna and Jessica happening beyond them.


"Welcome, Master Tim. I am Abelard. The griffon is Chauncey, and the mummy's name is Hassan. This is Master Giovanni's inner sanctum. Everything he has read, collected and kept for the last…" The dodo turns its head towards the griffon. "How many years?"

"At least fifty," Chauncey replies, his murmur contemplative, identifying just how vast the collection is in the span of a legend's life, close to half a century's worth of adventures and knowledge stuffed in these confines. "I believe the collection started with Leonardo Da Vinci's notebooks."

He's joking, right?

"Ah, yes." Abelard turns back to Tim; if he has any objections to Tim taking a picture of the library, he doesn't show it. "If you can't tell, Master Tim, we don't get out much. We're largely confined here as this space's librarians, and curators. If you have any questions, you needn't but ask. I trust that the mistress won't have any objections to you poking around a bit. I will have to advise you not to touch any of the artifacts, though. Some of them are rather…"

"Ornery," supplies the griffon head.

"Among other adjectives, yes."

Hassan speaks, but once again, he is unintelligible.

"Hassan says that he will happily reach for whatever tome you cannot," the dodo translates. Who knew that the mummy could be /so helpful/.


"Why do you keep adding to it! Just space pirates! No need to keep tacking on adjectives!" Peter's tone is exasperated as he tries to peek around the brunette in the way again. His head snaps back towards her though before he rolls his eyes. "Oh come on. Can't figure it out. I'm /easy/." He really has no shame. "Possibily saver than a pickup at a bar in her mind, and easy. I mean she just got rejected, she needed to know that it wasn't something wrong with her, so she goes to the easiest mark she knows. Me." A smirk at that. "And the best in bed too, but thats just added bonus."

His other hand snaps up to poke her in the ribs, but just once. The threat is there. Because at heart he is five and telling him to stop just doesn't work. His other hand he tugs on a few times, pulling her towards him this time. Of course this is how they ended up phased though a cabinet last time.

"Totally going to keep poking you." He mutters, once again trying to look around her. At least until she asks the question about the Guardians. There is a pause for a moment as he turns back towards her. "We're family. The Guardians of the Galaxy. Thats what we call ourselves." A pause. "Well I kinda came up with it as a cool catchphrase right when were were going to explode a Kree warlord with the power of the creation of the universe. But it kinda stuck."


Zatanna Zatara has got a gift for words. Backwards, forwards, it doesn't matter. She can use them to knit the raw forces of creation to create change, or she can use them to bandage a bleeding heart until the bearer of that heart has found the strength to push herself up and keep going again.

Fall down, get up. Fall down, get up. Jessica Jones wishes she didn't have to do so much falling down, wishes she could be together like others in her life seem to be, but Zee's given her what she needs to get up for another day, even if 'getting up' feels like dragging herself through a field of broken glass and asphalt, crawling on her belly, stumbling to her knees.

At least she's moving, if only internally, metaphorically.

Jess' tears slow and finally stop; she gives the intense air of listening to every healing word out of the mage's mouth, wiser and more experienced in these areas by far than one achingly lonely PI with dozens of internal wounds that make the fact that she is sobbing on the shoulders of people who care about her instead of laying face first in a pile of garbage, piss, and vomit right now nothing short of a miracle.

She still can't bring herself to move, but Zee's insight is confirmed as she finds a few words. "Never," she confirms in a whisper. "It's never happened to me. I never thought it could."

"Wallow," she agrees. It's wallow or lose her mind, because much as she'd like to just stop loving him she still does, fiercer than ever, ready to bleed for him inside and out if it provides him with anything he needs or wants, to keep him safe, to guard his happiness.

She raises her tear-stained face and admits her final defeat of the evening, her final huge, crushing, disgusting vanquishment. "I went to AA," she whispers, her sadness now for this, her shame, her spectacular failure to manage her addictions. "Trish took me."

She drops her head right back where it was.

And, with the poison at least aired out and expunged, passes out into the sleep she desperately needs. To the waste of the tea and ice cream, but…her stomach won't stop twisting and churning. There was a good chance she wouldn't have been able to eat any of it without making a big mess anyway.


It turns out that he is, in fact, able to take pictures. Video, even, of the talking stuffed dodo. Of the talking mounted griffon head. Of the mummy. They appear, as far as he can tell, to be real and not a product of his mind finally cracking and splintering under the stress of the past… Five years? Six?

"Okay, not a psychotic break, that's good," Tim says, more for his own benefit than anyone else's, deleting the pictures and video immediately, erasing evidence by pure reflex, removing all traces that he was ever somewhere he shouldn't have been. That he ever saw something most people wouldn't believe, even in a world where the Justice League and the Avengers save people from marauding giant starfish five times before breakfast every day.

The interplay between Abelard and Chauncey is of course followed even as the detective makes the cursory attempt to verify his own sanity, because the need to pay attention has long since been drilled into him. The inner sanctum of Giovanni Zatara, a man whose shadow has loomed over the events of the past few months… And in a way, the past few /years/, for Tim Drake, as an inheritor of the Great Zatara's more mundane techniques by way of the Dark Knight.

It feels strange, regardless. Strange in a way that mummies and talking taxidermy projects have nothing to do with.

Like walking on someone's grave, even though he knows Giovanni to still be alive.


"Yeah… I'm sure looking at a book or two couldn't hurt," Tim decides. He'll probably get out of there… Eventually.


"It's your fault for the adjectives!" Kitty tells him, unapologetically. As the other hand moves to poke her in the ribs, she gives an uncontrolled soft laugh. It's not due to amusement, more about where the finger poked. To keep it from happening again, she grabs that hand too. There. Both hands neutralized.

As he pulls at the trapped other hand, she may shift this way and that, but she doesn't phase and she doesn't let him past. While she cannot hear what Jessica and Zatanna are talking about through the door distinctly, she can hear vague tones and voices. Living in a mansion filled with enhanced emotions, drunken nights and people declaring unrequited love for each other every other Tuesday, she knows when to stay out of something. Living in a house possibly as large as Shawdowcrest and filled with mutant adolescents and teachers who can be just as bad has given her an attuned sense as to when it is best to let a closer friend deal with the situation. This is one of those times. She can tell by the cadence of Zatanna and Jessica's voice.

"Come on, stop it. Leave them alone. They deserve some privacy." Wrinkling her nose, she leans forward just a moment to try and figure out where that scent is coming from. It's obviously Quill. "God, you smell like a junior high girl's strawberry lip gloss."

Then, she smirks. "You can try to keep poking. But, as far as I can tell, I've got your both your hands." The smirk turns into a bit of a surprised face. "Explode? Kree Warlord?" This is all information to Kitty. "Is this all that 'you only survived because of your alien blood stuff'?"


"That's great, Jess," Zatanna murmurs, squeezing the private investigator tight against her. "I'm proud of you."

The young woman remains like that, holding the other tightly until the older woman's breathing deepens and she is sure that she is asleep. Slowly, gently, as if she were blown out of the most delicate glass, she lowers Jessica into the covers, proceeds to wipe the strawberry lube off her hands with Kleenex, and pulls the rest of the covers on top of her. Pushing her hair away from her face, she leans in to press her lips warmly into her hair.

The door opens from behind Kitty, the magician finally emerging, lifting her finger to press against her mouth - the universal symbol to be quiet, and closes the wooden appendage as silently as possible behind her, emitting only the faintest of clicks.

"She's sleeping," she tells Kitty and Peter both, with a grateful glance towards the former, reaching out to squeeze the young mutant's shoulder in an effort to communicate it. "Give her a few hours, eh, Peter? We can reclaim your room afterwards. I'll have Kasim set up the tea downstairs, since I'm guessing Jess doesn't want to eat or drink anything in her condition anyway."

There is a pause, ice-blue eyes wandering around the landing. Speaking of tea…

"Where's Tim?" Oh god, did he get lost?


"How is this my fault!! You're the one that keeps adding them!" He hisses back as he finds his other hand caught. Not before his eyes light up though and a wicked grin spreads across his face. "You're /ticklish/." He exclaims in his normal voice. Before realising that they are supposed to be being quiet. "You're totally ticklish!" His repetition in a much quieter voice as he files that information somewhere for later.

His hands /are/ still caught though, so he can't follow up on that information. Lucky for Kitty. "But yeah, Kree are big blue ugly angry xenophobes. Though some of the amazon kinda warrior girls are hot." Of course he would say that. "And he wanted to blow up a planet, so we all blew him up first. And yes, its because of my alien blood stuff."

Its the crack about smelling like a girl's lip gloss that causes his eyes to narrow. Slowly a smile spreads across his face. "You /do/ have my hands. But that means I got yours too." He suddenly agrees as he slips fowards, arms going /around/ her and…

…well when Zee opens the door, just after she pats Kitty's shoulder. Peter is going to(try) to plant a kiss right on Kitty's possibily suprised lips. Now they /both/ can smell(and possibily taste like) strawberry lip gloss.

Is Peter mortified by Zee being right there? Nope. Not at all. Doesn't bother him one bit.

He'll either get slapped, or come up for air in a little bit. Either way…

"Eh its fine, Zee. I can pick up my stuff in the morning if she needs the sleep. Not like this place lacks rooms." Nope. not bothered by this at all. "…and Tim? I think he was headed towards the library?"


Lord. The last thing Kitty wants is for Peter Quill to learn about a weakness like being ticklish. She'll have to neutralize that as best she can. Luckily, the phasing thing generally helps on the ticklish front. Right now, at least, the problem is taken care of by the trapping of hands.

Behind her, she can hear the murmur of voices die down. It sounds like Zatanna has managed to calm Jessica down. There's a breath of relief at that. Kitty likes Jessica and didn't like to see the woman unspooled, drunk and trying to fix her problems with a ride on Peter Quill's wild ride. That will certainly be a woman she will attempt to follow up on later.

Kitty doesn't fight Peter as his arms slip around her waist, hands still trapped in hers. There is little trust there about tickling or otherwise. The private moment is one that she seems hesitant, but leaning toward him.

However, then the door opens behind them as Zatanna enters to debrief. At that moment quite a few things happen. Kitty entirely focuses on door and Zatanna entering. She's not embarrassed by her holding Peter Quill's hands or his arms around her. This evening has been filled with high emotions and strange things. This is, certainly, not the weirdest thing that has happened.

As she starts to turn her head toward the door, however, Peter uses his leverage to try and pull her forward. Her attention is completely on the room on the either side of the door. When Zee opens the door, she opens it to a scene of Kitty releasing one hand to slap Peter. "This is not the time!"

Keeping a hold on Quill, though, she turns to Zatanna and smiles at the hand on her shoulder, "He went downstairs. I think toward the kitchens? Jessica's alright, right?"


"Whoa, what. When did this happen?"

Zatanna looks between Peter and Kitty. She doesn't even blink at the slap, because she's been there too. She's Italian, after all. Sometimes it could be a sign of the most profound affection. But there's a small quirk of a smile, rubbing the back of her neck absently with drifting fingers. "I guess I've been gone a while, sorry about that. I've been going back and forth between Gotham and New York lately, business and all. But my house arrest is over, so I'm living here again."

And she has missed /so many classes/. The only reason she has managed to keep up is somewhere in her library, getting lost at the wonders within.

Kitty's question has her sighing. "She's….she's not. She's never been in love before and the moment she got the guts to confess, she got rejected. So of course she's destroyed. I think we've all been there." There is a skeptical glance at Peter at that, though. He seems to be more the one who does the leaving than the pining.

"But I said she ought to give herself time to wallow and I think she will. She'll be staying here for a while, I think, but….if you see her, try to cheer her up, okay? I mean, it's the two of you. I think all I really need to do is put the two of you in one room together and she'll be able to forget she's heartbroken for a little bit. Sometimes that's helpful, too."

She speaks with experience, because she does. She's probably one of the only handful of people on the planet who's managed to break up with the same guy twice /after/ breaking up the first time. If there's a way to kill a dead relationship a second time, she has managed to do it. It's definitely one for the books.

"Anyway, I should probably fish Tim out of the library before I never see him again." It seems more likely that he'll be there instead of the kitchen. "And then sleep. Oh god, sleep."

If she can ever again, after seeing what she has in New York.

Wiggling her fingers in a wave, she turns to start heading for those open double doors.

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