Cindy Stages an Intervention!

February 28, 2017:

Cindy Moon steps up to stop one Jessica Jones from making Poor Life Choices.

Hell's Kitchen

The home of all-night liquor stores and tenancy problems.

Characters

NPCs: John Constantine, Zatanna Zatara, Trish Walker, Tony Stark, Spider-Man, Elinor Ravensdale, Azalea Kingston, Iron Monger

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Jessica Jones has barely been sleeping. She's working two cases right now, and sleep is what has been thrown on the sacrificial altar and left to burn. But eventually? Something has to give. Around 1 in the morning she came in and fell onto the couch fully clothed, where she immediately went to sleep. That should have been good news.

It wasn't.

Because she's basically been functioning by giving every one of her emotions about everything that's going on a good solid middle finger, ignoring them completely.

Emotions will have their due.

Which is why Silk's Spidey-sense might already have been buzzing.

But she did sleep for two hours; tossing, turning, muttering. The nightmare, whatever it was, left her drenched in sweat. Sometimes she muttered in her sleep. Sometimes she thrashed.

It's the thrashing that wakes her, dropping her hard onto the floor, where she rises to her hands and knees, panting, staring sightlessly at her own fingers. She hasn't had one this bad in a long time, though this one was totally different from others she's had, a confused mess of highly disturbing imagery that clings to her and leaves a sour taste at the back of her throat.

It's Day 19 sober. Day 20, really, if one wants to take account for the morning hour. And it's suddenly 20 days too many. The shaking won't stop. The emotions are rushing up on her. And she remembers that there's an all-night liquor store basically across the street.

She shoves herself to her feet and moves towards the window. Silk will hear her leave. Hear her thump to the street below because she can't be bothered to wait long enough to take the elevator.

The rationalizations, the alcoholic's best friend, the addict's succor, begin as she rapid-walks down the street.

She's under a lot of stress.

She needs to keep her cool. A bottle is like a single drink for anyone else. It'll take the edge off. Let her sleep. She has to sleep so she can function. She has to function so she can find John and Zee.

These emotions are liabilities, and if she can't manage to keep them from bothering her, can't shove down the waves of guilt and anxiety and depression and worry, then she has to send them away.

She probably won't get the DTs again, that was probably just a fluke, brought on by a lack of food.

She'll just have one or two bottles tonight, and then she can stop again. Really, she's been doing rather wonderfully. She's made it 20 days, her longest stretch, so nobody could blame her for having some now, when things are so rough. Anyone would drink if they had this much on their mind. It's an adult's prerogative.

The justifications take her all the way into the store.

They take her through the aisles.

And look, it's not like I'm buying whiskey. I'm buying tequila tonight.

She thumps the tequila bottles down on the counter and pays.

Tequila's like…plant based or something. It will be like drinking a vegetable.

She steps out onto the street with that thought. Or a fruit? Some kind of cactus anyway. Some sort of nutritious cactus or something.

She shoves one bottle into her pocket. Her fingers reach out, shaking, to slowly twist the cap off of the second.

—-

Doors opening and closing in the middle of the night: Cindy Moon may have been out of the bunker for a month now, but she still isn't quite used to the nuances of it, and living with other people. Her eyes tick open when the door to Alias Investigations admits Jessica Jones for yet another night on the couch, but the sound and rustle of the woman hitting the deck is just familiar enough that her eyes drift closed and she can start to ignore it again.

Time passes. She's almost back to sleep.

Jessica is back up on her feet. She doesn't sound good— she doesn't 'feel' good, not to the spider-girl's extrasensory ability.

The fact that she didn't leave through the front door is enough of a distressing situation— why would she do that??— but as she moves to the window, something clicks in her head: Jessica's not well.

Pulling on a wool brown coat over her hockey jersey and hurrying to slip on a pair of sneakers, she doesn't even bother with changing out of her pajama pants before she's following right on out the window. Checking below for anyone paying too close attention in Hell's Kitchen, she grips the railing of the fire escape and vaults herself off over the street, hopping down the walls in an alleyway before she hurries out, following the PI as quietly and discreetly as she can.

Jessica exits the store, clutching the bottle. She's going for the cap, albeit hesitantly.

Cindy's brow creases. She's tried to stay out of her business when it comes to matters like this, but… something is wrong. "Miss Jones?"

—-

Jessica actually jumps, startled. Caught. She shoves the bottle under her jacket flap, hiding it. "Cindy, I thought you were home and in bed," she says, gruffly concerned. "Is everything okay?" Her first thought is not that Cindy followed her, but that Cindy herself was out, doing her own work. Cindy's an adult, after all, and for the most part Jess treats her as one, other than harping on that GED rather relentlessly and trying to make sure there's enough food in the house and all the bills are paid.

She's still protective, but it's a fine line, really, between being protective and pushing herself in where she's not wanted.

She hasn't even realized the signs of her own bullshit that are still drifting around the apartment, like the AA pamphlets that Cindy might well have found while filing, courtesy of one Trish Walker.

"Do we need to go beat someone up? You know I'll back you up if you need back up. I mean…back up is always a pretty fantastic idea." Her hand tightens just slightly around the bottle. She wants it, wants it now, wants it bad, but not enough to pop it out in front of the other woman.

—-

'I thought you were home and in bed.'

Cindy's shoulder cocks a little, head tilting. With her hands in her pockets, it looks like some kind of half-assed shrug, the kind kids do when they're trying to disregard the authority of their legal guardians or parents. "Couldn't sleep, and… I felt it again. I mean, it went off again, in my head," she says, indicating with a quick wave of her finger at the side of her head.

She'd look more asleep if it weren't for the crisp air of the evening. Was it six more weeks of winter still?

Legally an adult, but she missed out on so much of her childhood— so much of those critical teenage years, with no friends, no guidance from her parents, stories of mystical spider-hunters and other such nonsense, and a boatload of memories. Maybe a few regrets, too— was Hector in Boston now? He always talked about it.

Rubbing her hands together and blowing into them for a bit of extra warmth, she moves a little closer to Jessica. "Well, I mean— hittin' stuff is the easy stuff, and I do like that," she admits, mouth quirking off to one side. "But no, uh— are you okay? Something didn't feel right with you, so…"

Her eyes drift— not quite looking at Jessica, but at the form inside her jacket.

—-

As parents go, Jessica Jones isn't great.

She can barely cook. Actually she basically cannot cook. She does keep the apartment clean for them. She tries to offer a shoulder, guidance, shelter, help, her own gruff version of caring. But she herself lost her parents at…actually right around the same age Cindy lost hers. The substitute she got was the first villain she ever fought, however a poor excuse for one Dorothy actually was.

In some ways, the school of hard knocks aged her, gave her wisdom. In others? She's still struggling to grow up herself, and the ways that her life was derailed after she eventually graduated from high school— at the age of 21, thanks to the coma, and with a GPA that closed a lot of doors— didn't help.

She follows Silk's gaze down to the bottle. And tries to make a decision. Throw it away then and there or…

The addict takes control, and she turns away from the girl. "Yeah. I'm fine," she says, back to her. "You should go home. It's cold."

—-

The young spider frowns. She should go. It's cold.

Cindy frowns, looking down— like the kid being sent away by her parents, or in this case, the badass aunt. She starts to turn, but then hesitates, looking down at the street. Her hands ball up into fists. Should she go? Is it really her business what Jessica does with her life?

Silk sucks in a deep breath, the cold stinging her lungs. She turns back to Jessica, approaching at a brisk clip to stand at her left side. "If it gets too cold, I can just weave myself thermal pants."

She says it defiantly, almost— staying at Jessica's side to prove her point. "I can't pretend to know what's goin' on, but you're hurting. I can feel it— I— I'm just worried. I don't want to see you, like… /hurting/. So if you wanna go back together, we can get warmed up and I can make the most badass hot cocoa that was ever spawned from a packet."

—-

Love…or even just being cared about at all really…is Jessica's other drug. The one she needs a lot more than booze. She squeezes the bottle. Too hard.

It slops all over hands. Shatters. But…one down. She stops in the street and gives Silk a tormented look. "I don't deserve it," she whispers. "But…but okay. Cocoa sounds…that sounds good."

She doesn't look at the girl as she digs out the other bottle. Caught. She passes it over, closing her eyes. "Pour that out, would you?" She's shaking with the effort of saying that. "I don't think I have the strength to do it myself." Obviously physical strength isn't the problem. Little glass shards draw blood from her hand, but it's instantly cleaned by tequila at least.

She just wipes it all off on her jeans, plucking out the little shards and kind of letting Silk lead the way back to the apartment. "I shouldn't dump all this shit all over you," she says softly, hunching her shoulders. "I'm supposed to be there for you. And I barely have been really as it is."

—-

The bottle shatters. Cindy starts, not quite expecting that— she'd been carried around pretty easily the day she showed up a mess on the fire escape, but she's actually seen very little firsthand of the PI's strength in action. Passed the other bottle, she looks at it in the way a little kid would when passed the keys to the car: Trepidation, a bit of worry— should she even be touching it? Of course, she's barely twenty instead of fourteen or so.

Twisting open the cap with a little more gusto than necessary, she dumps the contents into the nearest gutter and tossing the bottle into a public trash can. Sniffing at her hands for a second— was that smell on her?— she looks at Jessica's hand while they start walking.

'I'm supposed to be there for you.'

"You are, though. I mean… I've got food, and water, and somewhere to take a shower, and someplace to sleep." A pause, then she adds, "And it isn't like six stories underground, either. That's a big plus. And you don't make a big deal of me coming and going with the Silk stuff, and… you've given me a crapload of space while I deal with being a gigantic basket case."

The spider-girl tilts her head at Jessica. "Uh, I can make a bandage or something. Won't take more than a few seconds."

—-

"Oh, sure, thanks. It doesn't need to last long. This stuff will be gone in like six hours, shallow cuts like that," Jessica says, sniffling a little bit. She's not quite crying openly, but the urge is there, and she is trying to keep it back.

She extends her hand and says, "You don't seem like a basket case at all. You seem really remarkably put together considering all the shit you're having to deal with. Probably the steadiest of everyone at Basket Case Investigations, which really is probably what I should have named the place. Wouldn't have marketed worth a shit, though."

She looks down at the street as they walk, knowing her way around well enough in Hell's Kitchen that she hardly needs to look up.

"My friends are missing. They're in a place where they're probably being hurt. Terribly. Relentlessly. It's my fault they're there. If I hadn't been so fucking overconfident about my own investigative skills, my own ability to find anyone I ever needed or wanted to find, to find out anything I wanted to know, I'd have moved faster. And we'd have wrapped up this whole thing before the trap sprung that took them away. If we don't get them back, that's on my head. I've been trying to deal by just…working it, you know? Doing what needs to be done. But it's now all down to whether or not I can find these guys I should have simply followed back to their lair in the first place. The night they attacked? Set whatever trap got sprung? I was tired. I'd had a long night. I had a little cut on my face I wanted to bandage. I took the Uber home. I told myself…no big, I'll just get to work on finding out what the Hell that was all about tomorrow. How hard could it be? It's been over two weeks now. So pretty damned hard."

—-

Cindy looks around for a moment, just making sure no one is looking, or looking too close, then she extends her fingers to either side of Jessica's outstretched hand. A bit of thin webbing slackens out from the tips, her knuckles twitching and fingers weaving back and forth as the spider-silk forms into a plain white strip of cloth that twines fairly nicely around Jessica's hand.

"I'm just scared," she admits.

The bandage is surprisingly soft, smooth and not even remotely sticky. It explains a lot about the seamless super-suit— and the choice for the hero name.

"I'm afraid of asking Spider-Man about who he really is. My entire neighborhood is different, all my friends are in college somewhere else, my ex-boyfriend's long gone, my favorite pizza place boarded up a couple years after I went into the bunker… I just want to go back to how things used to be. I just want to watch dumb movies and have fun and go play hockey, but now it's like— I gotta get a job. I gotta get a GED. Last week I caught a taxi that got thrown like a baseball."

Cindy looks down, frowning. "I dunno. It was five years, but I just want to unpause my life— pick up from fourteen-going-on-fifteen. And I know I can't. And I'm just freaked out over that and trying to attack it one thing at a time."

Tucking her hands back into the pockets of her coat, Cindy listens intently. She's looking more at Jessica than down, though extrasensory awareness keeps her from bumping into things and people— mostly. Listening provides it's own set of challenges— her friends are missing. Something bad might be happening to them. Jessica's blaming herself.

She can't quite find words, though she's trying— the opening and closing of her mouth, forming an 'o', then pursing her lips in thought. "I'm sorry, I didn't realize. I can try to help out, if you want. You guys have done so much for me, and… I should help out, too."

—-

Jessica flexes her fingers, and for a moment is just distracted by how…not sticky it all is. Silk's abilities to do this never cease to amaze her; the superheroine is indeed well named. She gives a little thumbs up of approval, but…what Cindy is saying has far more of her attention. That she's scared.This is the most she's really heard Cindy talk about the emotional side of all she's going through, and she's giving her full attention now.

"You have a job," Jessica reminds her, gently. "Seriously. I get paid $200 an hour, you shouldn't worry about the little $15. Stark Industries has ensured we'll have steady work for awhile, and with Az working cases too…" She shrugs. "I didn't want to throw you into the investigative thing yet, cause I figured you had your plate full as it was, and really that maybe you'd want to do something other than look for people, for awhile."

'I just want to unpause my life.'

"I know a little of what it's like," she admits, sliding her bandaged hand and her good one alike into the pockets of her jacket. "I was fifteen when my parents and baby brother were killed in a car accident. I woke up two years later. Someone had adopted me while I slept. My family was buried as life support kept me alive."

"And all I wanted back then was for everything to go back to normal then, too. It's not exactly the same but…I do get it. I remember crying my eyes out for a full day and a half because all my favorite television shows were off the air, I'd missed everything, I'd never know how it all ended. It was the dumbest shit to cry over, but I couldn't handle crying over the other things. And once I realized my body had changed too…well, it was exciting but it also kind of wasn't. Because I'd gained it all at my family's expense."

"You and Az are also already helping by holding down the fort," Jessica says. Briefly she considers. "There might be a big…gang rumble thing…if you feel like helping out with that. I've seen what you can do, after all. But only if I can find and identify the right gang. Your ability to stick people to walls for questioning would sure come in handy." She can't find it in her to turn down the sincere offer of help.

—-

"Naw, I mean— that's fine, Miss Jones. $15 an hour was more than I was making before I went in. And it's nice to finally have more than about six bucks to my name at any one time, even with like, the cool watch-phone that Tony gave me. Stuff like this just didn't even exist before I went in," she adds, in a bit of wonder.

And now… she didn't even know any of this about Jessica Jones. She knew a few things— mostly what Trish told her, but there was something of an age gap, and she didn't feel right prying into the other woman's life, even if there were stories about hilarious pillow fights and the like. She was lucky she could get Trish to talk about that, given how nervous she was being caught sitting on a wall.

Cindy's head slants forward, mouth drawn into a flat line. How Jessica was on life support, how her family died— that part, especially the words 'baby brother,' seem to have an impact on her. How the little things changed her, and the discovery of her powers affected her. "I'm sorry… I didn't know. … My family saw me change. Mom and Dad walked in after my webbing came around. My brother…"

'No… I'm afraid of you.'

The frustrated, sad look on her face says it all.

Clearing her throat, the young spider-girl shrugs. "The filing doesn't take long. If those guys need a kick in the butt to get them talking, I can totally do that. I mean like, a superhero knocking a bad guy on his ass is pretty normal, right?"

—-

"Well how the Hell could you know?" Jessica asks, giving Cindy a wry smile.

The look does say it all, indeed. "I'm sorry too," Jess says softly. "It sucks when people you care about are afraid you're going to hurt them, when hurting them is the farthest thing from your mind."

By now they're back at their building, so she pauses long enough to just leap straight up to the fire escape. She'll wait for Silk to come up too before speaking again. It gives her a few moments to collect her thoughts. "It is as far as I know," she admits.

"You're doing better than me. You know what I did with my life after emerging from a coma and finishing high school? Basically? Nothing. For years. I bounced between unemployment to underemployment, I lived in Trish's apartment, I spent whole days in my pajamas, I even got hooked on One Life to Live which is truly the cesspool of underachievement."

"Trish kicked my ass over it every single day too. You've got these abilities, Jessica, you should use them, Jessica, go be a superhero, Jessica, I'll finance you. I didn't even give it a shot until a few years ago. I was pretty well hooked once I started though. It made me feel like someone. Unfortunately I went 'away', shortly after that, and that made me think I couldn't do it. That I just didn't have what it took. I started Alias instead and didn't try again— the hero thing— at all until, well…November. And then I just kind of…fell right into it." She gives a rueful little smile.

"Investigation is the only thing I've ever been really good at, that I've always known I could do."

—-

"Still, I mean… er. Yeah." Cindy says.

Then, Jessica leaps straight up to the fire escape, landing on the metal with a crash of bootheels and more than likely making the neighbors groan about the presence of their resident PI and the noises coming from in, near, and around her apartment yet again at all hours of the night.

Cindy's mouth hangs open for a second. "Cool."

Not quite able to get the same amount of vertical in a single leap, she again takes a quick paranoid look around before she runs a few steps up the wall, alternating bounding leaps between wall to fire escapes, scrambling up the wall at an unusually speedy rate. Slipping over the railing.

She talks about how Trish pushed her into things— talked her into the heroic routine, how she dealt with life and recovering from her coma. Cindy leans against the fire escape's rails, letting the corner of her mouth quirk for most of the story— though 'going away' draws a little more of a reaction from her, brows scrunching up as she considers for a moment what 'going away' could mean for someone like Jessica Jones.

She also tries to imagine Jessica in a super suit.

"Damn," she adds. "Not even I got hooked on that show."

Cindy's look is deathly serious. "I mean not that I had a choice. Most of what I had to watch was on VHS."

After a moment, she sighs. "On that note, I'm sorry I haven't been more open about the details about my life. There's— it's just— it's complex. You know the brunt of it— and even if I haven't turned up a lot of useful information, I… feel like I'm a lot farther along than I would've ever been alone."

—-

Jess has given zero thought to the neighbors and the noise she makes…it's probably something she should consider. She's already had tenancy problems once before.

Jessica smirks as Cindy admits she never got hooked on that show, and spreads her hands in a 'see?' gesture. "Didn't I just say you're doing better than me?" VHS tapes or no VHS tapes.

She slips inside the warmer apartment and drifts to the kitchen, but since Cindy offered to make the cocoa Jess is going to let her. Maybe she has some method of making it taste like something more than brown powder water, which is what Jess gets whenever she tries to make the stuff. She's curious to find out, at the very least…and, well, the promise of having Cindy make cocoa for her was the trade she made for giving up the booze for one more night.

Totally cashing in.

She shakes her head as Cindy apologizes. "I want to help," she says. "But I don't want to push you into anything. I know you're just trying to protect Talky McSpider Pants. And truth be told, right now I don't have the bandwidth anyway. I worry about you, is all. And if you're farther along, then…I'm glad."

A shadow or two lifts from Jessica's face…hearing she's been a little bit of help to Cindy reminds her that she hasn't screwed up everything for everyone. Just Zee and John but…she's doing the best she can.

Besides, the conversation and Cindy's caring response to…well…everything…has brought a touch of John's voice back to her mind, something he said once when she was blaming herself for something else that had gone wrong. 'That's like rear-ending someone's car, and finding out a month later that the person driving it hit your friend at a crosswalk. It's barking.'

What would he say if she gets them both back, and tries to tell him all about her coulda, shoulda, woulda?

Maybe: Oi, luv, you're talking, but all I'm hearing again is some daft nonsense, shall we try again with something that makes sense?

The thought almost makes her smile.

But…back to the matter at hand. "Were you able to verify they are alive?"

—-

Slipping inside after Jessica, Cindy pushes the window closed and lets out an involuntary, 'brr!' before rubbing her hands together again and shrugging out of her winter coat. Hanging it up, she kicks off her shoes by the door and stands adjacent to one of the heating ducts into the apartment until she feels a little bit better.

Jessica wants to help, but she just doesn't have the brain power for it with what's on her plate already. Cindy's mouth pulls to a grin again. "Like I said, you've already done a ton to help me just by being here. I'm never gonna be able to pay that back."

Once she's sufficiently warm to her own standards, Cindy starts an oddly light-on-her-feet bound toward the kitchen, to scrounge up not just microwave powder, but an actual container of baking chocolate, and a bit of sugar, milk, and a dash of salt. Oh yes, for all the time that she spent eating nothing but microwave food, she's totally going down the route of doing this, at least, from scratch.

Setting up a shallow pot, gathering ingredients, and putting on milk to heat, Cindy looks nervous. After a long moment, she nods. "Yeah. It's a long story. I mean it's not, but. … we talked, me and the lady down the hall, but I was in costume when I asked because I wasn't sure if I even /should/ have been talking to her, and … and she confirmed it for me, kind of, with her magic stuff."

Another pause as she sets up a couple of measuring cups. "Because magic is real. And actual magic, and not fake or CG or something."

—-

'I'm never going to be able to pay that back.'

"Well, who says I track favors? Anyway, having you here has been great. And maybe by the time you are in a position to need more from me, I'll be more in a position to handle more. Sometimes I guess shit more or less works out that way."

In truth, she pays very close attention to them…when she feels she owes someone else. It's totally different when she has something to give.

Often, it's enough to feel like she has something to offer at all. And in reality, it's nice not to come home to an empty house. And Cindy's consistently here; Az often is in and out. Which is fine…Jess would worry if she hadn't heard from Az in like a week, but everyone within these walls was more capable of taking care of themselves than most.

But now Cindy is working some sort of…multi-ingredient magic in her kitchen. What's this now? Jessica had bought the baking chocolate mostly because…it had seemed like something that might be useful, so she'd bought it. Then she'd discovered baking chocolate on its own tasted like shit, and she'd tossed it to the back of the cabinet and had forgotten about it. She's already looking impressed that Cindy can maybe assemble all of this shit into a functioning cup of cocoa.

"Good," Jessica says, to the notion that it's been confirmed. "I'm glad Ravensdale could help. And yeah. Pretty much real. There are even scientists who play in both ponds and try to splash them together and make them all come together and play nice."

—-

The alchemy gets better, Jessica Jones: Prepared chocolate using the baking powder, sugar, water, and a magical sprinkle of salt. Warm milk! Stirring! Proper applications of heat!

Magic is real, Jessica said so.

Having her here has been great— that causes Cindy to smile a bit, tugging a bit of her hair back over her ear. "Don't worry, I'll keep it all balanced up just right until you're free, and then, like, p'khrrrhrhhhh," she says, hands flicking forward in an explosion gesture. "If I'm not fighting like, twelve foot robot guys again or something nuts like that. Cripes, my fingers hurt after that."

"She did— I mean I was nervous. I was really scared to ask. I mean… that changes… a lot, right? But knowing they're not… it's… it feels good to know. Of course, I feel kind of silly because I went in as Silk, even though she's literally, like."

A gesture to the exit of Alias Investigations. "Enrh. Right over there. I don't know."

"I thought about taking a look at the bunker again and seeing if there was anything I could have missed. Or… I guess I should say, anything that would make more sense now that I can see it again, having been out for a month."

—-

"Yeah, the 12-foot robot thing is the other thing on my plate," Jessica says grimly. "We've made some headway on that, but mostly right now it's been day after day of interviews with people who don't know jack shit or aren't talking. Still, that's the due diligence portion and it has to be done." Eventually, though, 'Jessica Knight' will have done all she could do. And Jessica will be right back at 'figure out victims, figure out case.'

'I feel kind of silly because I went in as Silk.'

"You shouldn't," Jess says soberly, even as she watches the alchemy unfold before her very eyes. "feel silly, I mean. You should do whatever makes you feel safe and okay. Sometimes we need our masks." Says the woman who never wears…well. Any obvious one.

"Fresh eyes are always helpful, especially if everything's been left untouched," Jessica muses quietly. "And the fact that it just kept right on having power is still something worth exploring. Even if there's a generator, well, there's a serial number attached to a generator, which means there's a company who sold that generator, which means there's a buyer, which means there's a record. And if there's notsomeone is still paying that electric bill, and it would be interesting to see who, and why."

She looks down, giving another rueful half-smile. "Can't stop, sorry. Not even at 3:30 in the morning." But…

Well, she'd been slowly easing off the emotional throttle as it was, a transition Silk could certainly feel. But nothing eases Jessica Jones off her emotional throttle like work to do and puzzles to solve. Puzzles and investigations are more comforting than any blanket; exercising her brain always helps to restore her equilibrium.

"That smells fucking amazing, by the way."

—-

"Just be careful if you go up against it, like. It's got these laser beam things in it's hands, and a big one in the chest. … And it's strong, and has these weird like, shockwave missile things." Cindy puts up her arms and makes robot shooting noises for emphasis. "I mean I'm fast, but those were tough to dodge. 'Cause I didn't. I kind of wiped out on some rooftop."

At least she doesn't have to feel too weird about wearing her costume to visit the ghost lady down the hall.

Jessica goes straight into work mode— listing off ideas, possible leads, the fact the power is on (and was still on even after she snuck back to gather some of her things). "No, it's— it's fine. Honestly, don't worry about it. There's a lot of stuff I haven't even thought of yet. I should probably go talk to Spider-Man about it, too, but he's…"

Pause. Her head turns as though she's scanning the room, and she's got a slightly intent look on her face. "I think over that way," Cindy says, pulling a thumb over her shoulder. "I just don't want to… like… bug him."

Lips quiver as she tries to suppress the smirk.

Turning to the cabinets, she snags two mugs and sets to pouring straight from the pot, getting a can of your favorite local spray-whipped cream before adding a dollup on top and presenting the mugs.

"Good! — I mean, thanks— I had to have the powdered instant stuff for years. I thought I was gonna forget how to cook anything with the amount of microwave stuff I had to eat."

—-

Huh. Cindy can sense Spider-Man. That's an interesting factoid she didn't know. She files it away but doesn't address it, not wanting to freak the younger woman out by letting her know she'd dropped another strange hint. If people are going to drop them, Jessica can't help but pick them up, after all, even if she can politely play dumb.

Instead she smirks at the pun and says, "Cindy. You have the right to talk to whomever you want. And if there's anything Spider-Man loves? It's hearing the sound of his own voice. He'll probably just appreciate the audience for his rambling babble. And anyway, you can't know what's going through his head. You should give him the chance to tell you if you're bothering him. Don't like, assume, and sit, and stew."

Advice Jessica hasn't mastered herself, but…it's always easier when you're looking at someone else's problems.

"Holy shit, you're putting whipped cream on that!" She sounds impressed.

Up until this point…the whipped cream had mostly existed for squirting directly onto a finger, and from the finger to the mouth.

"You actually know how to make that shit in the fridge into actual food items?" Jessica asks, even as she takes the mug and curls her fingers around it. She takes a long sip and her shoulders relax. As she's allowed the liquor to leave her system her appreciation for sweeter tastes has grown, and the shot of endorphins any good burst of chocolate brings anyone doesn't hurt either. "Note to self. Cindy Moon lives up to her goddamn promises." Because this really is the best cup of instant chocolate she's ever had.

—-

There's stranger things out there for spiders than just a wonky extrasensory ability! Though she does grin a bit. "I probably could go track him down. It's that or I go web 'PLEEZ WE NEED 2 TALK' on the back of a billboard and hope he sees it. It's that or try to get his phone number."

'Holy shit, you're putting whipped cream on that!'

Cindy throws back her arms like a stage magician, looking rather proud of herself.

"Well, not a lot— I mean, Mom was the cook and she'd make me come in and help, especially on holidays. And then everything I ate kind of came out of a box, packet, or a can. Sometimes a freezer. I had a big chest one in the back of the kitchen," Cindy says, hands up for emphasis.

She watches Jessica, too— still a little worried, of course, but not quite saying anything about it. She's dry— she may have caught her this time, but is she going to be there next time?

No, just— put it out of your head, for now. Try to have a good time, even at 3:30am. Try to not focus on it. Homework's done, quiz later this week, and in no time at all she'll be able to take the GED exams. And she has a lot of casework to organize and file and make sure she earns that damn fifteen bucks an hour.

Cindy Moon lives up to her promises. Smirking a bit, she gathers the cookware and sets it in the sink, running a bit of water. She'll take care of it in the morning.

"I /do/ try."

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