When In New York

February 26, 2017:

As Jessica Jones continues to scour Hell's Kitchen for signs of a certain masked vigilante, she comes face to face with the unexpected in the form of one Darkedge of Avalon. This RP is brought to you by the letter "B."

Hell's Kitchen, NY

A place where anything can happen.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: John Constantine, Zatanna Zatara, Daredevil, Morganna, Trish Walker, Bucky Barnes

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Women who walk alone in Hell's Kitchen at night aren't usually exercising anything like common sense. Especially not round about the docks, which takes the roughness of the place and expands it exponentially. Unless, of course, that woman is a private detective who could, if pressed, fling a car. She usually doesn't— that's someone's ride— but she could. She walks with the kind of confidence that keeps most trouble away too.

It's a walk that says: I know something you don't know, and what you don't know about me will make fucking with me very painful.

She's not a cop, but something about her carries the air of one to those who sniff for such things; her leather jacket, jeans, dark green t-shirt and scuffed boots hide neither a piece nor a badge, but she's got the no-nonsense demeanor of one who sniffs out answers routinely. It's impossible to say why she's at the docks, though if one were to have kept tabs on her they'd see that this has become a nightly ritual of late, beginning at the south end, working her way to the north, and back again.

She has not a magical bone in her body.

But the fingerprints of magic are upon her. Magic dark and dire and foul has touched her as early as two months ago. Brighter magic has soothed her body and knit her wounds since that time. She carries a ward upon her person, something touched with threads of Synchronicity magic, something more than a simple protective spell. There is a strong will inside of her, and if that will cannot offer mana of its own to produce anything of any real power, it has nevertheless been flexed before in times of great need, to weak but effective means, should that be something which a person who can sense magic can sense.

—-

This is an odd part of the city. Dark, and gritty, and it held little of interest. But Darkedge found that things in the human world altered and shifted so quickly, so frequently, that even haunts that were growing familiar one night were vastly different the next. Thus, in Hell's Kitchen, Darkedge senses a thing he was not expecting: Magic.

The elf tracks it, follows the scent and the feel until he's following this woman. His steps are silent enough after materializing out of a shadow behind her. Dark magic ripped her open. Healing magic brought her together. There's another flavor he can't identify, but it protects her, armors her. It's so interesting.

—-

Well, it would, if it were active. As Darkedge draws closer he might realize it's not activated. It's some sort of one-use charm, the kind of thing a wizard might give someone to use 'at great need.'

Jessica has good instincts. A finely honed and sometimes over-active paranoia. It doesn't take long for that sense of 'being watched' to creep up over her.

This is not necessarily alarming…the person she's out here seeking might well do the same before deciding whether or not to approach. But she can't afford to pretend that she's that lucky. She ducks between a pair of shipping containers, and leaps.

She lands lightly on top of one of them and crouches down, scanning the street level, searching, heart thundering. Of course, the sensation of the magic leaves a more than legible trail in the air.

—-

Oh. A single-use charm. He knows of these. This is not a sorcerer he is familiar with. The make of this work is altogether different than anything he's used to upon Avalon. Still, it's crafty little item. Still trailing after Jessica, Darkedge senses the magic go up and land upon one of the metal boxes. Smells of metal, anyway. In the low light of the area, as Jessica looks down, he's visible, and Darkedge is looking right back up at her.

The long tapered points of his ears peek out of her metallic silver hair that falls in a cascade down his back, past his waist. He is covered jaw to finger tips and toe tips in black leather, tooled with scrawling magical writing. Protection of his own. In the darkness, Darkedge quirks a brow in silent wordless question: I can catch you, are you really going to run?

—-

"…"

Jessica Jones' expressive face twists up into a look that manages to say one word very clearly.

'Seriously?'

"I'm being shadowed by a fucking elf?" she asks, incredulity twisting both her mouth and her words.

And threatened by one?

Well, she'll stand her ground. She remains in her crouch, though she's tense. Very tense. Who knows what abilities a magical creature might have? Perhaps one she fears. Perhaps quite a few she should.

But she takes it in stride, very much so, accepting the idea of an elf in Hell's Kitchen as if it's basically normal. Because this is her normal now. Maybe he's just a mutant in fact, but he sure looks like an elf.

"Well, what do you want then? You could have just sent an e-mail if you were here to let me know I've already made the naughty list again this year. Even Santa has to have joined the 21st century by now."

—-

Her expression earns a faint smirk and the incline of a chin. 'Yes, seriously.' He waits,using the time and the lack of distraction of walking, to continue to study that sense of magic, pondering it, memorizing it, guessing at the sources. Not her, of course.

Then the human is asking him a thing that makes no sense, and Darkedge's features fall clearly into the realm of: whachu talking 'bout, Willis?

And he doesn't answer. But he does stare at her like she is the enigma here.

—-

She shifts her position slightly on the shipping container, draping one arm over her knee. It's a leap-ready crouch that puts her on the balls of her feet, that gives her some freedom of movement. It's more a defensive stance than an offensive one, though it's neither one of them overtly.

She studies every detail of him, since he's just going to sit there, finally picking out the warding on his outfit. She doesn't recognize it as 'warding', just as 'spellwork, probably.'

She decides sarcasm is utterly lost on him. Pity. She really could have stood to have a nice verbal target. Well, she might indulge anyway, but for now she switches into investigative mode and asks the question again, this time as succinctly as possible.

"Who are you and what do you want?"

—-

I am called Darkedge. I want for little. For the moment, the magic that's touched you is intriguing, the elf replies. Not aloud, for his lips don't move, but mind to mind. He's discovered, in being here, that the humans of this world nearly all seem able to hear his mind's voice. Only one has been able to reply in kind, but this bothers him not. For the moment, he watches, eyes the same color as his eyes trained on Jessica. The movements of her frame are noted. As is any hint that she heard him, for if she didnt he would have to speak aloud.

—-

He can't possibly know it, but Jessica Jones hates any invasion of the mind.

It's not just mind control, anymore. Telepathy was always close to that in her opinion anyway. Then a sorcerer reached inside of her brain, peeled it like an onion, stole every memory within. She remembers feeling him riffling around in there, like her thoughts were papers stowed in a file cabinet, touching every one of them, a slick and disgusting violation.

She does not reply in kind, for she is no telepath. But her eyes flash with fury, and if he can read thoughts as well as sending them he'd get a sudden fierce litany.

Birch Street, Higgins Drive, Fuck You, Cobalt Lane. Birch Street, Higgins Drive, Cobalt Lane, Main Street.

It's not just good for PTSD episodes.

And, aloud, with sudden, intense hostility: "Get out of my head. Now. You wanna talk to me, you talk with your mouth. Keep your thoughts the fuck out of my brain."

—-

Her sudden hostility is mildly surprising. Most humans are confused. A few adjust to the communication after being awed by it. This is the second human unhappy with it. This is the first to demand he speak aloud. Darkedge seems not to have heard or sensed any of the thoughts rampaging about in Jessica's mind. His head tilts once before he swallows, licks his lips and actually works to speak aloud.

It's too soft though, to cross the distance between them, for it's a low murmur and nothing more. It ends with a cough of someone who likely doesn't speak aloud for years on end.

—-

Well. He complies with her request. That eases some of the anger on Jessica's face.

It also inspires her to meet him halfway. He just seems curious, just wants to talk, and doesn't persist with a mind invasion.

She leaps down, landing right next to him. If that is a foolish move that puts her in his reach, well…she'll just kind of deal with it if this turns bad.

"One more time?" she asks, her tone taking on something like courtesy now. It's still wary— incredibly wary— but this time her body language, facial expression, and tone indicate she's willing to give Darkedge the benefit of the doubt.

—-

She leaps into his personal space and the elf tenses faintly, as if she were the threat. But he holds his ground. After all, she's given him a pool a shadow, her own, against his feet. It would be nothing to fall into it and flee, should she turn violent.

"Thoughts. Out ohv- …brain..?" The last word is completely unfamiliar. He may have heard it, but it's so clear by his accent, the way he struggles to get his mouth to work to make the right sounds that he may only rarely spoken this language aloud. Certainly, he has heard if frequently, but is not practiced. His voice is rough too, that rough of disuse, and a much deeper baritone than his lithe frame might hint it should be. Again, he coughs. But it's so soft, almost as if he were trying to keep from being heard.

—-

He's a puzzle to her, just as she is to him.

"Yes. I only want you to speak to me with your mouth. I don't like it when people touch my mind," she explains, eyes narrowing.

For all of thirty seconds, she contemplates allowing him to speak in his own way. This is clearly torturous for him, trying to speak verbally, and she is not, despite all of her attempts to appear as such, an unkind individual. But the thought of letting someone into her mind makes her belly worm and twist with distrust and fear. She can't think of a single person she wants in there. There are close friends who probably could do it and she knows on this count, she'd have the same reaction.

The inside of her skull isn't for anyone else. Not ever.

So she offers a different compromise. "But…take your time. You obviously don't vocalize much. The practice might be good for you, though." She imagines him working his bad mind touch on a barista and her hitting the ceiling, knocking herself out, and falling out cold on her no-slip mat, all because he couldn't work out how to order a coffee with his mouth. If he even drinks coffee.

—-

Darkedge nods to Jessica, the motion crisp and efficient, acknowledging her desire that he only speak aloud to her and that it stems from disliking anyone in her mind. The nod comes with a faint blink of his eyes and a slight sidewise turn of his chin. It is as if he is showing throat, deferring to her wishes while seeming to, somehow, understand what it's like. An understanding that only comes with experience.

As she studies him, so he studies her. Or rather, those magics.

Her compromise brings him out of the contemplative study, and his brow quirks. He inclines his chin to acknowledge the offer, but doesn't say anything further.

—-

She should offer a name, but that decision is…fraught.

She's been getting the crash course. And while she can't remember whether or not it was a valid thing, there was that whole bit about true names and what people can do with them, especially magical people. Fairy tales had been part of her vast research dive, too, because one takes what one can get, and she now had reason to assume some of those truisms came from somewhere.

She already knew that Zatanna could find just about anyone she had a name for, though John seemed to need a material link, and both of them seemed to want a material link as the better option.

And Darkedge didn't sound like any kind of true name. It sounded like a use-name. Something to give out to strangers.

The problem is, her name was out there, wasn't it? He could find it out if he really wanted to. Though maybe speaking it yourself made a difference. And the only pseudoname she can come up with on short notice is…well…simultaneously embarrassing and perhaps closer to what might serve as a True Name for her than she'd care to admit.

So. A compromise again. "I'm Jess," she says, deciding to just truncate the crap out of the name and hope for the best.

—-

The gift of a name to use to refer to her is taken with a light nod, almost a slight bow. He assumed, as with all names given, that it is not her True Name, the name of her Soul. He wouldn't want such a thing. It offers too much power, too much liability. Guarding his own so fiercely, having another give him one so careless doesn't even factor in. So, he just nods and attempts to reproduce the sound she made for her name.

"Zhess."

—-

"Right." Close enough.

She puts her hands in her pockets, all semblance of battle-readiness basically gone. She thinks back to what he'd 'said' before she shut him right down. Right. He'd wanted to know about the magic that's touched her.

"Magic's been touching everyone lately," she points out. "Just touching people constantly, left, right, and center. I'm hardly unique."

Though…

This might be an opportunity. Or it might be a liability. Either way…she'd better learn more.

"Ok, so…mindtouch is out, and talking sucks for you. How are you with writing?" First step is getting some sort of communication that doesn't inconvenience the crap out of both of them.

—-

Her assessment of magic matches what he's been sensing lately, and he nods with a thoughtful purse to his lips. As she moves into that posture that can not offer a threat of any kind, Darkedge seems to relax as well, just marginally so. His head tilts as she works through how to better communicate with him, face open and expression calm, until she says 'writing'. Then his brows scrunch up into a wrinkle of: 'what did you call me?' A moment, and Darkedge shakes his head. He didn't even know what that IS let alone how is IS with it.

—-

Well…fuck.

He doesn't know how to write?

A war breaks out on her face. On one hand, there is nothing that would make her feel more tense and icky and unhappy than letting him back into her mind. On the other, their communication is stunted beyond reason. He made a concession to her without offering any resistance at all. That would seem to suggest someone who could be trusted, at least long enough to share a conversation.

But a little sweat breaks out on the back of her neck, runs down it. And then? Would allowing a long conversation make it easier for him to get back in later, offer a little hacker's back door to get in there and mess around with her thoughts?

No. She simply can't do it.

"I'm going to pull out a device," she says at last. "It won't hurt you. It's not a weapon." If he doesn't know writing, she's not going to assume that he'll see a phone and call it a harmless device. "It will just let me show you something."

This is ridiculous. But he wants to know what the hell writing is and…

She spots some crates and jerks her head at them. "C'mon. We might as well sit down." She suits words to action and brings out her phone. None of this has a thing to do with her search tonight, which is urgent but also going nowhere. If she hears anything, she can be there in a jiffy. Or maybe they'll both get attacked by mobsters and the person she's looking for really will show up to help out. Either way, she can't be any more on the docks than she already is, and she's got a soft spot, it seems, for people who can't function in modern society.

She pulls out the phone and brings up an AR display. She swiftly navigates to a YouTube video.

Sesame Street, some video where Grover and Elmo expound on the joys of writing the letters A, B, and C. "Writing," she explains, playing the video. "Sorry it's corny. It's as we teach our children. I'm sure if I tried to learn the intricacies of your world you'd have to start me with something equally basic."

—-

She seems uneasy again. Darkedge's head tilts. He has made no aggressive moves. Is his lack of understanding of what this writing is so bothersome? When she mentions pulling out a device, explaining what its purpose is, the elf nods, frame remaining relaxed. As she leads the way to the creates, Drakedge follows, eyes peering at them. If they appear metal, he refuses to sit, and just stands near by, looking on with mild curiosity. All until she turns the too bright LED screen toward him and hte light assaults his eyes.

With a slightly pained hiss, Darkedge recoils from it, eyes shutting and face screwing up. He very nearly sends again, but catches himself in time, managaing instead one spoken word:
"Bright."

—-

"Shit. Sorry." Jessica hadn't given any thought to his eyesight. "Let me fix it as best I can."

She brings up the settings, reduces the brightness down to something so dark that she nearly can't see it. Just Elmo's fuzzy outline, a bit, bopping along as he writes the letter B on a chalkboard. B-B-Buh! B is for bat! And b-b-baby! And b-b-ee! And bright, as it happens, though Jess doesn't point out the obvious.

She turns the display so he can see the video again. "Better?" Yep, B is for better too.

—-

The lower light level is better and Darkedge looks at the screen for a few more seconds before having to turn away, head shaking. It's just too much motion and bright lights for him to track and with his eyes still stinging it's unpleasant. Also, the weird almost monsters wiggling around making funny squiggles that they claim is the same symbol for all these completely unrelated things make no sense.

"No. Can speak. Not pain. For me, is rude. To speak. Out loud. Is danger and rude," Darkedge says then, having to translate from his thoughts into English and then figure out the way to make the sounds and to convey his meaning. To help get his eyes to clear from the too bright, he looks away, into the shadows, for a few moments.

—-

Jess shuts it off then, and tucks the phone away. He's using complete thoughts now, thoughts she can understand. Thus, the desired effect has kind of been achieved after all, in a round-about way.

"Here," she says, "it's kind of the opposite. Hell, I wouldn't even know how to reply back to you that way. When in New York, do as the New Yorkers do."

"So everyone where you're from is telepathic? What's dangerous about speaking out loud? And…if you don't write, how do you keep records, share histories, pass on messages and keep a tally of accounts?"

There's no judgment or skepticism here. They're just questions; it's just interest. Once upon a time, Jessica Jones had wanted to be a reporter. She'd missed that boat. But she'd fallen into a line of work where the need to ask questions, to know, was exactly the same. The latter just had stamped her, when she's not stumbling about in the guise of her very worst self, with a desire to know things. She'd told Jane Foster that she'd never seen the end of her academic career as a reason to lose her curiosity, and she'd meant it. Curiosity, in many ways, drives her, and for once she can just…indulge in it, without it connecting, necessarily, to any greater purpose.

It's a balm to her weariness, for the moment, a pleasant and refreshingly healthy distraction.

—-

Eyes not stinging as badly any more, Darkedge turns back to look at Jessica. His lips purse and he presses a silent flick of air through his nose, as if snorting or chortling or both at the idea that humans on the whole can send. He might have comments, had she not moved so quickly to questions, so many of them, that the elf frowns. He's not sure where to start so.. he starts at the beginning, murmuring still, voice barely reaching past the few feet between them.

"No. High born. Danger from knowing, knowledge. To hear is to find. To find is to kill. Unheard, unseen, is alive," Darkedge says with many starts and stops to his words and his phrases. The concentration it takes to speak is visible on his face and in his voice and how he clears his throat in that nearly silent way every so often.

"Keep..? Know not …records. Share, here:" Darkedge says lifting his right hand to tap at his temple, hoping she understands that he means that all history and knowledge and lore is passed mentally, from mother to child through what are essentially memory-dumps.

"Message pass, here." Once again, the elf taps his temple. As for the last part, again, he seems confused.

"Ah…counts?"

—-

…And here she was worried about names. Elves can apparently find you and kill you if they've heard your voice before.

Well. Shit.

She barely refrains from shuddering, but she definitely feels like someone has taken a Sunday stroll across her grave. A whole world where people shove thoughts into each other's brains all day long sounds like a special kind of Nope to her.

"Accounts," she agrees, frowning faintly as she tries to decide how she's going to explain it. "I want something of yours. You want something of mine. We trade. Right? Sometimes, in our world, it's useful to keep a…history…of your trades, especially if they're very complicated. We call them accounts."

But accounts are not the important thing to talk about here. This is: "So…why are you here, Darkedge? In New York?"

—-

Spotting the shudder, Darkedge refrains from comment, though his head tilts faintly at the sight. He doesn't press it. In a world where people press thoughts into your head all day long, privacy is highly coveted and the giving of it of hte utmost respect. So, when she explains Accounts, Darkege follows along with the conversation and he nods his understanding.

"History here," he states, once more tapping his temple, once more indicating that his birth people keep everything in their minds. If the highest among them, the ones needing to track such things, are telepaths, they likely can recall anything perfectly and so don't need such reminders.

"Search," he replies now as the topic changes. It does not seem to bother him at all. "Search magic. Search danger to Avalon. Search fae. Search elf. Search kinfolk." Because that's the best he can do to explain the complexity of the task his Queen gave him and how it fits into the work her does for the Princess and for himself. He's acutely aware that it is insufficient.

—-

"Avalon? Like…King Arthur?"

Should she be surprised that place exists? No. No she really shouldn't. So she just takes that in stride too. "Okay, so you're scouting, then," she says slowly. This makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? If this buzzing white noise and creeping darkness that John was tracking is covering the whole world, why wouldn't it draw entities to come and check it out? "Haven't seen any more fae or elves," she admits, "though now that I know I'll keep an eye out for you.

"I only have a little useful intel for you." She's not sure she should be giving it, but…in times like these having more allies is better than having less. "All I know is there was at least one…angel? Slimed up by some sort of liquid darkness that is really dangerous. I wasn't there directly though; an associate of mine was." She won't reveal the weakness by telling a perfect stranger he's missing though.

"That's all even he knows though, and he's been tracking this for months. All I know is, it's big. I wish I could be more helpful. I get the impression it's…probably dangerous to anything and everything it can touch though. Were I you, I'd absolutely assume it's dangerous to Avalon."

—-

She's not the only one to ask that question of him. He'll just ignore it like all the other times. The name never sat well with his Queen, so Darkedge nods to the comment that he's scouting. That she would keep an eye out for others like him is… mildly hopeful, and so the elf nods once, accepting it even if there would be no way to exchange information, what with Jess's revulsion to Sending.

"Liquid dark?" Darkedge repeats, face growing thoughtful. Thoughtful enough that he lowers his gaze toward the ground though he's not looking at it. Thoughtful enough that he places the elbow of one arm on the back of the other hand so he has a place to perch that arm so he can cover his lips with a gloved hand. Hearing that this could potentially be dangerous to Avalon seals it, and Darkedge uncoils from the thinking pose, straightening up and reaching slowly for one of his pouches.

"Reaching for item. Not danger," he says, as if trying to repeat what she had told him of the phone.

"Is stone. Stone I use. Is not magic. Is touch by magic. Mine magic. Can feel. Would give, can find. Am Protect Avalon. Will not have danger to realm," he says, struggling again with this clumsy thing called speech to convey his meaning.

—-

A hint of a smile touches her lips as he carefully explains what he is reaching for. She inclines her head to him and does not tense up. "It can be bottled, that's the only other thing I know about it. In a magical bottle, I assume. It sloshed about, like a live thing."

He explains his stone to her, and she nods her head. He apparently can't find her just by her voice. "Will it just let you find me or will it help us communicate? Will it let me find you in turn? If you learn anything I'd like to know it too, you know."

She may have a revulsion to Mind Magic, but…tracking magic does not bother her. There are a wide variety of things she can accept and even welcome if they don't touch on her mind.

She's aware their purposes might not line up 100%. He might well be willing to protect Avalon at the expense of her home. But neither are they at odds with one another. Making another contact is always useful, cultivating another potential ally is no bad thing. "And if for some reason your magic is hampered, find a place called Alias Investigations on 46th Street. It's here in this neighborhood. Plenty of people can give you directions. People who want help can often find it there."

Saying this makes her feel remarkably good. It's a purpose she can cling to, something she wants to build for her life rather than something she wants to nuke.

In the meantime, she extends a hand, indicating her willingness to take the stone. Though she does remember something, something both John and Zee said.

"This isn't a formal Bargain, right? We're just exchanging contact information, agreeing informally to give each other information if we discover it? I do my best to avoid entangling myself in magical contracts."

We'll just ignore the fact that Jessica is talking about signing magical contracts like she's ever done anything of the sort, when in fact she's only ever heard second hand that it's a real shit idea. Still, one never knows what might be implied or sealed by a simple thing like agreeing to take magical rocks from telepathic elves on the Hell's Kitchen docks in the dead of night.

—-

The smile and the nod has Darkedge completing his motion to his belt pouch, fingertips dipping in.

"When near, can sense. Is just rock," Darkedge replies, not sure how to explain that the only reason he'll be able to use it to track her is akin to handing someone your cologne infused handkerchef. He'll be able to 'smell' his own brand of magic on it. He fishes out a small stone about the size of a ping pong ball. It's an ovaloid, like it had been tumbled in a river and polished smooth. There is not a single crack in the surface of the bright pink sapphire Darkedge drops lightly onto Jess's open palm. Darkedge's head tilts as he ponders her words.

"No," he replies, not sure how to get the rest of his thoughts out properly. That there is no bargain here. THe stone is just a stone. A very large, very expensive by human standards, polished, uncut, flawless, several karats large, bright pink sapphire.

"Need stone hid? Can shape," Darkedge tries to offer, not sure if he made any sense.

—-

Jessica isn't much up on stone quality; she's guessing hot pink sapphires run anywhere from 50 cents to 50 million. No clue, no context. She does exhale sharply at the color, chuffing a rueful, embarrassed laugh at it for reasons that may not be clear, sighing and shaking her head.

He offers to hide it for her, to shape it. She contemplates that. "I don't know how much you can shape it but…Maybe make it something wearable?" She suggests. "If you can. I'm running out of pocket space. Maybe…a little stud earring, shaped like this." She fishes out her necklace, which is a dull grey but shaped like the old belt buckle Trish designed for her. It's a little known fact that she does have pierced ears; she just never bothers to wear anything in them these days, especially since she keeps her hair firmly brushed over both ears at all times. But this isn't for showing, this is for utility, and if it's going to be pink anyway…well. Might as well. Nobody has to know that she's being sentimental and stupid and girly. They'll never see it.

She'd be more worried about taking it if she didn't know she could crush it to powder and throw it away should Darkedge decide to go all ninja highborn elven assassin on her someday.

—-

The question of his shaping abilities makes Darkedge smirk. Even in his world, the things he can do are amazing and rare. Taking the gemstone again, Darkedge peers at the pendent, then at the holes in Jess's ears which in the dark he can see clearly. A nod and Darkedge seems to pinch off a small bit of stone. It fails to mar the large ovaloid though during the pinching it looked like the gemstones was made of clay. Nevermind the fact that Jess herself had held it and it was real and heavy and solid in her palm. Darkedge rolls the bit of rock between his fingertips, bending it into shape and then putting it into her palm. The gemstone, now slightly faceted, glitters in the faint light of the area. The process is repeated for a second earring, made as closely as he could understand her having wanted it. And two small replicas of the pendant now rest in her hand. Except that they are pure pink sapphire and were made by magic right in front of her.

Darkedge quirks a brow: 'Like that?'

—-

Hopefully he can't do that to people's insides, or else she's really making poor life choices right now. Then again she tried to show him Sesame Street, and that's arguably a worse one.

"Incredible," she says. "Yes, like that. Thanks." She runs her fingers over them, hesitant for reasons that have nothing to do with his magic and which have everything to do with what's going on inside of her head and her heart. She swallows, realizing at the moment prior to actually donning them that it's a lot more than a stupid, sentimental thing. It's not just the shape she's putting on as a reminder now, but the color.

Well, fuck it. Is she going to try to live up to her best self, or isn't she? Is she the type of person who could have pushed ahead on a beach with bullets flying, do or die, or is she the pathetic excuse for a private detective that used to wake up face first in her own vomit more often than not?

For want of a vision the people perish. She has no visions of donning a costume or taking on a superhero name, but the person that person could have been still informs the vision, in a way. And really, she should get over herself. Being just too fucking cool for it all was what led directly to her going two whole years without telling a single member of her family that she loved them, only to wake up and find every one of them dead and gone, their ability to hear the words ripped away from them forever.

She puts them on, then uses her fingers to comb her hair back over them. They feel strange in her ear, a heavy weight that has little to do with the giver. "I guess given this arrangement you'll have to find me if you want to check in, rather than the other way around."

—-

If he could shape insides the way he shapes gemstones, he likely would not even be here.

With his 'gift' accepted, Darkedge pockets the remainder of the crystal as Jess peers at them for long moments before putting them on. He busies himself with returning the stone to its place. Perhaps this is a ritual of some kind. When she speaks again, Darkedge looks up and nods.

"Alias Investigations on 46th Street," the elf repeats her earlier directions, the words sounding like to him the place he is looking is named all of that. He'll find the place, and then make that his last stop of the night, provided it's close enough to his resting place that he won't need a lot of shadow steps to traverse the distance.

—-

"You got it. Door's usually open, just try not to sneak up on anybody." It's a bad habit just about everyone who runs in the circles she runs in seems to adopt. She hops off the crate though.

"It's been nice to meet you, Darkedge," Jessica says. "But I must continue my business this evening." Miles to go before she sleeps, and all that. She puts her hands gently into her pockets and starts to walk away. "Work on that talking with your mouth thing," she adds. "You're getting better at it already."

—-

She can hear the snort, that huff of breath that might almost be amused, but only because he did it loud enough for the sound to travel. She can hear him bow lightly, see it in the shadows… and then nothing. His exit makes no noise, for he simply merges himself with the darkness and shunts himself elsewhere, so another pool of shadow.

Stepping from that shadow, Darkedge continues his own night time prowling. Only this time, sensing for magic sources much more like the light and the dark he just got a taste of on Jess.

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