Pretty Close to Perfect

March 20, 2017:

Jessica and Trish lean on one another for entirely different reasons in the aftermath of Trish's latest run of bad luck in Hell's Kitchen.

The log starts in Hell's Kitchen and moves on to Trish's apartment.


NPCs: Brett Mahoney

Mentions: Matt Murdock, Joker, Azalea Kingston, Silk, John Constantine, Zatanna Zatara, Kinsey Sheridan, Bucky Barnes, Jane Foster, Tony Stark, Peggy Carter

Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Trish steps back from the car at Jessica's wave and offers one of her own to The Devil of Hell's Kitchen. Her phone is coming back out of her pocket to make the appropriate calls, but first, the social niceties.

"Bye! Thanks again for everything, including staying with me, I really appreciate it. It was nice talking to you too, even if it was off the record. Stay safe, or as safe as possible, yeah?"

She turns to place the 911 call, remembering to give her location this time. By the time she's done her call, Hell's Kitchen has reclaimed it's Devil. Her adrenaline is starting to wear off and she can feel her hands starting to shake. She has just been attacked, by six bikers, and probably wouldn't be standing here getting ready to talk about a boy with her sister if not for the timely intervention of the man in black. She puts on her brightest smile to distract from the shaking as she faces Jess.

"So! How about that forgetting to tell you where I was. Talk about dumb blonde, huh. He seems nice. Really great shoulders. I like him, but then he said I was bad ass, so that doesn't hurt his cause."


Jessica waves it away. "Now that I've seen the carnage I'm guessing you didn't have time."

She paces about, then restlessly puts her police scanner app on and sticks an earbud in her ear. "Oh goodie. It's Mahoney. He just loves me," she says. "The responding officer I mean. You might wanna do the talking. After that we can go back to your house or Alias, though if you plan on sleeping tonight your house is the smarter bet. I still have some stuff over at your place."

She puts her hands in the pockets of her jacket, looking pensive. Then she gives a slight smile that does nothing to clear the shadows from her eyes.

She takes out her phone.

And photographs the two Trish pointed out. She might not put it on her fridge but…she's going to keep the momento. She tucks the phone and the app away and exhales. "He's not given to hyperbole," she says at last. "At least not in my experience with him. If he says you were bad ass, then it was his honest opinion. How's your face? Is anything broken? Do you need to go to the hospital now that the adrenaline's wearing off?"


A rich laugh bubbled out as Jess takes her pictures. Trish is definitely going to want copies of them, but she'll ask later. She rubs at the tender spot on her face, wincing slightly. She shrugs her shoulders and shakes her head negatively. Looking back at the time stamp of the text to Jess has rattled Trish quite a bit. What had seemed like hours had actually been less than one.

"No, I don't think so. It's smarting, for sure, but nothing I haven't had already. Is there a mark? How bad is it? I suppose it's a good thing I'm just on the radio. Why do they always go for the face?"

Now that it's been brought up, her face is throbbing like a fiend, and her vanity fires up. Without waiting for Jess to respond, she moves to the window that's still intact to try and see her reflection. The poor lighting has her cursing and digging for her phone, hoping the inner camera with the screen as bright as it can go, to get a better view.

"And how do you know what my adrenaline is doing? You're not a doctor." A little bit of Trish's own snark comes out in her frustration with not being able to see herself well enough. It's almost enough to push her over the edge, but not quite. Not yet. "Well? How's my face look? I can't see anything and I'm going to be addressing the lack of lighting in this neighborhood tomorrow. Goddammit!"


Jessica digs out her phone again and flips on the flashlight app, shining it this way and that to get a better look. "Concealer," Jessica suggests. "It'll be fine with concealer. They go for the face because it's frightning and shocking, I guess. Maybe cause it's non-lethal. I dunno."

She listens to Trish and her nervous energy, thinking that this is an improvement, really, from the Joker fiasco. She's rattled, but she's not the weeping mess she was after the Joker. The situation is different, of course. Her mother wasn't harmed. She got some of her own back. "I know," she adds, with no apparent emotional reaction to the snark, "because that's what happens when psychopaths attack you. You get adrenaline. Pain isn't as intense. Until the adrenaline goes away."

She leans against one of the darkened lamp posts and gestures to the cop cars that are pulling up, stepping into the shadows. She doesn't do it as well as the Devil of Hell's Kitchen. But the shadows are kind of thick. She mostly just doesn't need to be noticed first. "For now…work it to your advantage, cause they're going to have lots of questions."

A black officer gets out of the car, along with his partner. "Miss Walker," Mahoney says, his voice kind but professional. "What happened here?"


Trish prepares herself for the encounter with the law in a way that Jessica will recognize from her acting days. Her head bows and she lets out all her air in a whoosh. As she turns to address Officer Mahoney her face is camera ready. Not smiling, but calm and friendly. A smile might be considered a weird reaction, given the situation. She steps forward, towards the man with the badge.

"Thanks for getting here so quickly. I hit a pothole, which flattened my tire, and these assholes, excuse me, men proceeded to attack me and my vehicle. A scuffle occurred, during which a man showed up out of nowhere, which resulted in six of seven criminals being laid out. There was another guy, but he decided discretion was the better part of valor, and ran away. That one," she points at the tased dude. "Has been tased, by me, and he was the one who started it all. That one," she points at Whimpering Mess, "was pepper sprayed, again by me. In self defense. I don't know what happened to the others, or where the guy who helped me went. I didn't see his face or get his name, I'm sorry."

Off the record was off the record after all. She shrugs her shoulders and spreads her hands, palms up.

"That about sums it up, Officer."


"Cuff them," Mahoney instructs his partner. He and they begin to work on it, apparently taking the story at face value. He sighs at Trish. "You sure do find a lot of trouble, Miss Walker. First this Joker thing, now this. We can call you a tow truck, give you a ride back anywhere you want. Do you need medical attention? We have more cop cars coming." Jessica has edged out of sight still further, just not really wanting yet another encounter with this cop right now, for all that it went better than usual at WNEX.

"Unless you've already called someone to come get you," he adds. "How do you want to do this? I assume you will be pressing charges against all of these men?"

All pretty standard questions, really, for something like this, spoken matter-of-factly as the cruiser lights wash the entire area in swaths of migraine-inducing red and blue.


Trish blinks for a few moments, completely caught off guard at her not being questioned further. A benefit of being a celebrity, or well known anyways, is what she chalks it up to with a mental shrug. A few more moments pass as she processes answers to everything Mahoney has just asked her. Blink, blink.

"I'm sorry, Officer, it's been a night. Yeah, I'm starting to get really tired of all the bad luck lately. I'm seriously thinking about traveling to Ireland to kiss the Blarney Stone. With how my luck's been going lately, I'll probably get a cold sore." Her lips curl in a weak smile for the weak joke. "I'll have a driver service pick me up, thanks. I will, however, take you up on the tow truck, since you'll want to document all the damage done. As far as charges go, I'll have my lawyer get in touch with you to proceed. I hate to be a diva, but I'd like to distance myself from this as much as possible in hopes of avoiding retaliation. Cowardly, I know, but there it is."

She wants to reach out to Jess, but didn't want to bring her sister to the Officer's attention, so she stuck her hands in her pockets instead. Her toe rolled a rock back and forth, as the novelty of the whole thing was wearing off. Fast. She wanted to go home and eat something fattening, while hanging out with Jess. Her sister has the quilt from her mom for comfort. Trish's security blanket is, and will probably always be, Jessica.


"Yes ma'am," he says.

Celebrity, or…the simple fact that they're looking at a bunch of incapacitated giant men and a slim woman. Celebrity, money, preconcieved notions…whatever it is, it's working in her favor. Eventually they, even go away, leaving the streets clear. The tow truck hasn't shown up yet, but they assure her it's on the way; they gather the name of the garage she wants it taken to. Sadly, the whole thing takes nearly an hour, in direct contrast to what Trish does not want.

When they're gone, Jess melts out of the darkened alley where she'd taken some refuge. "Go ahead and get your driver for real, let's go back to your apartment," she suggests quietly. "Air Jess is turbulent and not fun to travel via, or so I'm told. Mostly awkward and uncomfortable." She knows that the Apartment of Fortitude is Trish's safe space, far more so than Alias. Alias. Is also crowded.

"Az decided to move to New York all the way, for good," she comments, a slight smile touching her lips. Now, she figures Trish could use some good news. Get her focused on positive things. "She said…she needed her family." She can't really express how much this touches her, but like the words of the Devil of Hell's Kitchen, she doesn't bother hiding it either. "I'm thinking…you, me, Silk, Az, taco night at Alias sometime soon. To celebrate."


Trish texts her usual service, requesting a pick up, at Jess's suggestion. Then she starts digging through the interior, pulling out all her stuff, since she didn't intend to stick around. If the tow truck didn't show up before the service, the Kitchen could have the car and choke on it for all she cared at that point. A grin spreads at Jess's news. Az in New York, permanently. This was a good thing, and taco night was even better.

"Really? That's great! I'd love that, Jess, really. If things are so crowded at Alias, you have your key and know the door code. My door is always open to you and there's plenty of room in the bed as long as you promise you won't hog the covers. And stay on your side. You've got sharp elbows and like to stick them out. So…Az is good then?"

Smooth Trish. Real smooth


Jess gives a smirk. "Is this your way of asking me to be your teddy bear tonight? Fine fine, I will. Your bed is comfy anyway. I will do it, but only because I'm a selfish bitch."

She wraps her arm around Trish and hugs her close. She's reminded of all those years she spent, mooching off Trish, living in her house, eating her ice cream. It inspires a deeper hug, and closed eyes, as the car rolls up. She doesn't answer right away, as to whether Az is good.

"Not yet," she admits at last, once they're tucked into the back of the car. "She's doing a lot on her own to keep things under control. Having people around her who love her matters. I've asked John to help her. I don't know if he can, but he's agreed to try. If anyone can he can, and maybe Zee too." She leans back, closing her eyes again. She turns her head and looks over at Trish. "Try not to worry about that tonight okay?" So much for steering things into lighter, better territory. That topic is dark and dangerous after all.

Time for something lighter. "Wanna come meet a friend of mine this week? Her name is Kinsey. She's a mechanic in Gotham. I promised her a girl's night of some kind. She's a little introverted, wants to make some friends. I told her I'd introduce you at some point. She's really great. I liked her immediately and you know how rare that is."


Trish squeezes Jessica back, head on her shoulder. The more she thought about it, maybe they weren't all that different after all. Not really. Night and day, light and dark, in personality and looks sure. But they are two sides of the same coin where it really matters, complimenting each other like sweet and sour. She rolls her eyes with an exasperated sigh, but waits to stick her tongue out at the back of Jessica's head until they're getting in the car in response to the teddy bear comment.

"Yes, I'm asking you to be my teddy bear, even though you're a selfish bitch. Memory foam, dude. Can't beat it. It's good that she's doing better, at least. I haven't heard from her for while, not like I've been blowing up her phone with messages either, but I was starting to worry. I thought maybe she was away working a case or something, but forgot to ask. But she's alive, and here, so that's good enough for me. I'd like that, very much. Any kind of distraction at this point is a welcome one. As long as there's no shenanigans. I'm getting to old for that shit to be happening on the regular."

Her hand reaches out and brushes the spot around the mark on Jess's face, careful to not touch the actual injury.

"What happened here? And what does the other guy look like?"


"She's been working lots. I've been giving her every minor one while taking the major. Sadly we're profiting at your expense. Ever since WNEX our phones have blown up," Jessica explains. She decides to do her teddy bear impression now, cuddling against Trish in the back of the car, a mess of soft cotton and leather. "She's a really good PI even on just a few weeks experience."

Jessica flinches when Trish touches the mark, though it's not physical pain. She hesitates, not really saying what the other guy looks like. She glances up at the driver, then closes down even further, shaking her head. "At your house," she says, tense in every muscle of her body; Trish can feel everything go rocklike beside her. "Not here." Maybe not at all. Trish needs her tonight, not the other way around. She breathes deeply, evenly. Picture a void, shove your feelings into it and…

Nothing. Just tumbling into a swirling morass of guilt and tension and upset and exhaustion that nearly leaves her dizzy. This technique is hard; at least Bucky said he himself could not manage it right away. Maybe she should practice when there isn't a lot of terrible shit on her mind. Her face settles into the hard, closed off lines that Trish is far more used to seeing there, walling off something, closing in tight around something, holding it close.

"So I've figured out where you can patrol," she says, covering it all with snark as usual, though it's not the cruel, bitter snark of before. She's…actually trying to be there for Trish, trying to deflect the whole uncomfortable conversation with humor instead. "There is definitely a squirrel throwing nuts at the kids at the petting zoo. He comes out around 2 PM every day; only you can save this day!"


Trish gathers Jess close, rubbing her back, and kissing the top of her head when she feels her stiffen. Wrong question, Trish. Really wrong question. Feeling pangs for bringing up something obviously hurtful, and she kinda rocks Jess a little too. As much as one can, with a solidly stiff snark machine that brings a smile as often as rolled eyes.

"I'm sorry, honey. I didn't know, it's okay, later is fine." Later being a clever euphemism for whenever you're able to. "Az's learning from one of New York's, dare I say world's, best PIs so of course she's picking it up quick. The fact that she's smart doesn't hurt either. As for the squirrel, I'm on the case! I'll give him one of these!"

Her fingers danced their way up Jess's side, finding all the sensitive spots along the way. It's risking getting headbutted in the face to do it, but cost vs reward analysis deemed it well worth it.


Jessica relaxes as Trish backs right off. She even offers a laugh as Trish rises to her joke instead of getting mad. "I look forward to reading all about your victory in the Bugle," she says. But then Trish is tickling her.

She does not headbutt; she does tense against it, shaking with laughter but holding herself very stiff and still. Flailing, and the kind of loss of control that comes with giving into tickling, is a good way to get someone really hurt or something really damaged. It's a harsh exercise of will, something cultivated after that fateful pillow fight, well—

Trish found it funny, but Jessica had seen it as an early, object lesson in how horribly things could have gone wrong. It had instilled her early fear of accidentally hurting someone she cared for with her strength, her vow to never misuse it, the fear that had made her pretty resistant to the whole hero thing early on, in addition to her survivor's guilt, and further, in addition to a general apathy that had come along with the realization that graduating at the age of 21 with a 1.75 GPA wasn't, as she'd thought at the time, going to lead to any meaningful work that she wanted to do. Raised by suburban highly-educated WASPs as she had been up until the accident, it had taken her a long time to realize that her most meaningful work could come at the end of a 2-day course that had cost $375 and change.

She knows Trish knows how much she can take; she can't handle tickling like this for more than a minute or so. But she also trusts her sister enough to bring this brief silly comfort. She won't tickle back…that too leads to the kind of rough-housing it's simply too unwise for her to do. But it is comforting, relaxing the hardness in her face, eyes, and body once more.


A couple trips up and down her sides, just enough to bring the laugh easeing the hardness in Jess, and Trish stops. Getting clocked once already tonight had been more than enough, thank you! She puts on her best Saturday Morning Cartoon announcer voice.

"Who's the scourge of all terrorizing Rodents? Who's taking out ruffians with a single shot from taser and pepper spray? IT'S PATSY! And her sidekick, Super Snark, cutting bad guys down with her razor sharp tongue." She resumes her regular voice. "I don't know about you, but I'd watch that. But only because I'm a narcissistic, self-indulging bitch."

It's on the daily, that Trish wishes for super powers of some kind, or to be enhanced/mutated into something more than she was. Right now, she's wishing that she was unbreakable or had the ability to heal super quick, so they could have a good old fashioned tickle fight. There's something cathartic about having a play wrestle as long as no one got hurt in the process. It never once occurs to her to wish that Jess was anything less than she was, only to be more, and on the same level as Jess.


…The Saturday morning cartoon voice has the desired effect. It draws a surprised laugh out of Jessica; a geniune one, one that actually has sound instead of all the sardonic chuffing she usually limits herself to. "Super Snark. Damn it. That could have been the name. The whole name. I missed out on my chance to truly have the right identity after all."

Jessica could wish the same thing, but not for the same reasons. She could wish it so that she could avoid being in terror of the fact that Trish has already tasted 'It' thrice. The thrill. The danger. The first time, helping others, stopping horrible people, courtesy of Az. The second, as the cool negotiator, and for all that it had shaken her the PI rather thought it had taught Trish something about what she was capable of under pressure too. And now tonight. She knew It. It was a potent brew: helping others, tackling challenging problems, the heady mix of coming out the other side of danger, of the growth that it forced in a person. The more physical rewards…the way everything just felt right on the times when skill and-or ability came together to create a good outcome. The sense of significance. There were many who couldn't stand the stress or the strain, but…she didn't honestly think Trish was one of those individuals.

The physical wounds were dangerous enough; the psychological could really fuck up a person's life. 'It' made everything sharper: higher highs, lower lows.

If she couldn't shelter Trish, she'd have to support her. That's a reality Jessica isn't 100% sure she's ready to deal with yet. What would it feel like, to lose her sister? She can imagine. She can imagine all too well. It chokes her up. She can see a plethora of shitty situations unfolding right before her eyes, all horrifyingly plausible.

For a moment, she's in Maryland again, staring at a severed head, crawling with maggots. It's not Cassandra's head in her mind's eye now, but Trish's.

She exhales sharply, but is spared having to say much by their arrival at the apartment at last. This gives a little time to regroup, to shift gears, as they're buzzed up and through. She sheds her shoes at the door, leaving them in a messy pile. She takes off her jacket, revealing the fact that a pink mark has crawled up her arm from her inner elbow to her shoulder, about the size of a baseball and a half; that under the collar line of her tank top there's a splash of pink from somewhere beneath that to nearly all the way up her collarbone.

"It'll heal," she says, prempting it, knowing how shitty it looks, but she's not going to sleep in her jacket. Even she's not that ridiculous.

"So. Post battle ritual. Shower? Food?" Jessica is not at all hungry, given what's crawling through her head, but Trish might be. "Stupid comedies on Netflix?"


Trish notices Jess's sharp exhale, but doesn't want to press her sister since she's loosened up from the 'Super Snark' joke. Notices and doesn't forget in the kerfuffle of getting in the apartment. Whatever happened to leave the marks must have been really bad. Bad enough that she's happy she can't sense any trace of indulging in liquor on Jessica. The radio host knows she's going to get to the bottom of it eventually, but it'll have to be done delicately.

"Post battle routine? I suppose based on my previous two experiences my choices are food or sniveling. Neither of those really appeal, so maybe shower and Netflix?" She walks to the cupboard and pulls out a bag of microwave popcorn and a package of double stuff Oreos. Taking out two bikers more than qualified as enough of a workout to be able to shamelessly indulge. "You got the popcorn while I shower quick?"

Nonchalance and blase are the best description of Trish's assumed demeanor. She's hoping it's hiding her desire to pounce on Jess and shake her until she starting giving answers. The flinch at the almost touch in the car has her holding back, trying to give Jess the space to open up about it on her own.


"No problem," Jessica says, to the request that she makes popcorn. "Go on, clean up, get the smell of biker grease skank out of your hair. I'll be here." She moves right for it, knowing, of course, precisely where everything is, padding soundlessly across the carpeted floor. She's amused that Trish asks her to make popcorn two seconds after telling her food doesn't appeal, but gamely chooses to call no attention to it at all.

She picks out some microwave popcorn and gets it going, leaning against the kitchen counter as she lets it spin away in there. Probably Trish will need to shower longer than the popcorn will need to pop. She picks up the remote and pulls up not the Netflix queue, but the Hulu one. Unless Trish decides she wants to watch something else, Jess will put on her go-to show for feeling like shit: Scrubs. It's always either that one or Parks and Recreation. She hasn't had time to finish either one of them, but the stupid antics are similar for both…work place actions that would get most people fired in truth, but are hilarious. She likes Scrubs a little better, though she enjoys Ben Wyatt's irritated closeups a great deal on P&R.

When the popcorn is ready she dumps it into a bowl and puts the bowl on the coffee table. She curls up on 'her' end of the couch, or, at least, the one she always claimed back when she lived here, folds her arm under her head, and waits for her sister to emerge, mindlessly watching JD and Turk do something stupid on the screen.


"Okay, I'll be back before you know it!"

Trish had every intention of having a really quick, fifteen minute tops, shower. She really did. Once she got in front of the mirror though, all previous plans went out the window. Taking inventory of all her various bumps and bruises took a bit longer than anticipated. She leans in close, inspecting her face first. Turns out Jess was right with her initial assessment. A little concealer, some full coverage foundation, and creative contouring should smarten that right up. A moment is spent on wishing the asshat a particularly nasty cellmate before the inspection continues. Her wrist is bruised and tender from it's contact with the car and she's surprised to find a bunch of small scratches on her left side. Kind of like what you'd get from a cat, but not exactly. Those must have come from the window glass. She turns around and stands up on her toes, looking back over her shoulder. Yup, that was bruised too, a big old purple blotch on the right side. Her abused posterior gets a sympathetic rub before she finally gets into a steaming hot show that leaves her skin pink.

When she finally emerges from the bedroom, her hair is piled in a messy bun on the top of her head and she's got her flannel Eeyore pajama pants and Grumpy Bear tank top that says "I'll rise but I refuse to shine" on. Oversized Marvin the Martian slippers cover her feet. Outside of the apartment, where people could see her, Trish's style is very chic and put together. Inside the apartment, where only a select few were granted access, her style is very 'comfy nerd'. She drops on her side of the couch and snags a handful of popcorn.

"What're we watching? Scrubs? That's appropriate since I'm officially stank free." Trish's lips curl in a smile as she reaches out with her foot to nudge Jess before tucking it underneath herself. "Thanks for hanging out. Love you, Super Snark."


"Scrubs," Jessica replies, with a nod of her head. She smiles to hear Trish in good spirits. "I love you too, Wunder Brat," she says, apparently sticking to that superhero name for Trish. She shoulder bumps her, and says, "Of course I'd hang out. Thanks for trying to come check on me. I know that's what you were doing. You shouldn't have had to do that. I should have been a little bit…smoother, I guess. But maybe next time I feel like shit I'll just stay here. I should quit bothering Grandad and Jane."

Yes, sometimes she totally calls Bucky "Granddad."

"Might use your punching bag later," she admits. "And then: tomorrow I'm going to go look for a BabyDaddy. If you don't have work you can come with. I don't antcipate it being too dangerous."

She's silent for a bit, letting the show play out for another ten minutes before she says, almost as if it's out of the blue, "You know. If I could just…stick a needle in my arm, draw out some plasma, shove it in your arm, and make you as hard to break as I am, I would. I'd do it in a heartbeat."

She finally turns to face Trish. "But…what you have…it's more impressive you know. You have worked your ass off to come as far as you have. I only got what I have at my family's expense. It was luck. A trick of my genetics. Fate, maybe, since as John says Fate just is going to do what it's going to do. But you decided to make yourself into something more than you were. I'm learning that's hard, it takes commitment, it takes pain and hours and a lot of guts."

She picks at her sweatpants, leaving the popcorn untouched. "I don't know that the Devil of Hell's Kitchen has powers. I haven't seen evidence of it, just…hard work and training. I know Red Robin does it with hard work, training, and…well, gadgets and a boatload of apparent money. Peggy. Hard work. Training. I've said all this before but I guess I just didn't really have it in me to lump you in with that company. But I've got to face facts. You're not Squishy Trish anymore. I guess what I'm trying to say is…if you want to do this thing…if you really want to enter that world for whatever reasons are compelling to you to do that…I'll support you. However I can. In learning how, in getting what you need, even in trying to treat you more like a partner and less like someone I have to take care of."

She exhales. "It's going to suck in some ways though. You will start encountering sociopaths and bad scenes an awful lot. Like almost every night. Not every night, but almost every night. And there are going to be situations that are going to be too much for you. There are plenty that are too much for me. It would kill me to lose you but…this has to be your choice."


Trish's mouth opens and closes like a fish a couple of times. She can feel the tears threaten as Jess continues, only slightly abated by her amusement at being called 'Squishy Trish'. She clears her throat and tries again. Nope, not yet. So she settles for a trembly, lip biting smile while ducking her head slightly. Jessica's warnings are taken very seriously, something that has changed since her second taste of 'It'. And tonight's encounter only serves to heighten her respect for how dangerous it could be. Whatever DHK, as Jess named him, said, she highly doubt she would have been able to handle the whole group on her own. A deep breath and she feels ready to speak finally.

"Thanks for acknowledging that. It has been a lot of hard work. And it means more than you know to hear you say you want to treat me like a partner. I'll take all the support, and love, and good juju, or whatever you want to call it. Don't you think I feel like that too? Do you really think that it wouldn't bother me to know something happened and I wasn't there to help?" She sucks in a sharp breath as tears threaten again. Not because she is sad, or even angry, but because of how passionate she is about the subject.

"My door is always open, you know that, and the workout room is always available. Whenever you need it or me. I don't think I'm really cut out to do this whole superhero thing by myself. I'm not ready to do it full time like you and Tony and I don't feel like doing the mysterious thing like Batman with the whole secret identity thing. Where I can be really effective though, is as a sidekick. Like a guest appearing sidekick. Like Ram-man and Stratos from He-Man. They show up for their guest appearance to help the hero out and then go on about their daily life. Unlike Man-At-Arms and Teela, who are there pretty much every episode. Yes, I've been watching it on Netflix, and no, I'm not embarrassed by how much of a geek I am."

Trish huffs out a breath and pats Jess's knee. "Long story short, I don't think I'm giving it up completely, but I'm not going hard, full time either. Because I don't think I'd be able to face shit like tonight on a daily basis and stay sober. I haven't worked this hard to stay clean to throw it away over being stubborn stupid."


"Whereas for me…" Jessica admits, curling against Trish and just flopping on her at last, "This…is. What keeps me sane. You really were right all along. When I'm working everything usually makes sense. But alright. Sidekick it is."

She pauses for a moment. She is gathering herself, but in this count she's slowly taking words out of this box in her head. The one where she keeps all of the words that she's recieved, that she needs to build herself back up with.

Steve Rogers: You did well. You stepped in, selflessly.

Red Robin: Good things happen, too.

Matt Murdock: You're my hero, Jessica Jones.

Bucky Barnes: Friend.

Other words, wrapped up with care and taken out to examine now.

"I walked into a grisly murder scene the other night," Jessica says at last. "The same night I took these injuries. If a guy in a hat with red eyes and red lines on his body and a drawl finds you, run if you can, and do whatever you can to survive if you can't, even if it means telling him every scrap you know about me. I will not be angry. Give me right up. I killed him. He inexplicably got better. But he might be pissed. He might also have brutally murdered this woman. I'm serious, Trish. Cooperate if he shows up, do whatever it takes to live. He was in three places at once, and he basically had me dead to rights. This face shot? A little to the left and something would have exploded inside my skull. These marks? This is where his weapon hit me dead on. If I hadn't been wearing Tony's bulletproof clothes? Dead. As it is the clothes were eaten away."

She exhales. "The woman was just the aunt of one of my victims. She was our last lead. A lead I'd prioritized right to the bottom of my list. First, because her involvement seemed self-explanatory. She was a relative; Anders, my other vic, sent her half a paycheck. Maybe sick, maybe poor, beloved, whatever, it didn't seem like rocket science, and it wasn't a pattern. None of the other vics did anything like that."

She closes her eyes, shuddering. "I vomited all over the scene. That's how bad it was."

Jessica again mentally clings to those words, mentally searching her roster for others. She doesn't find specific words, but she finds faces. The faces of everyone she's come to love and care about, the faces of people who have stood by her, who have made her feel worthwhile, who have helped her become more than she was just a few scant months ago.

"If I'd been there one week prior she might still be alive. That's what I kept thinking that night. Poor Peggy. I had a panic attack, I was just the last thing from cool ever. And then he attacked and I accidentally killed him. I— I suppose I could kill someone if there truly was no other way but I want it to be a last resort, not something I do because I'm feeling hotheaded and scared. Peggy says it was self-defense."

"I blame myself. And then I don't. And then I feel guilty for not blaming myself, which is just…insanity. We could have gone, and she could have died anyway. We could have gone, and she could have died anyway, and we might not have found all the stuff we found, the break in the case we needed. So I guess this time guilt isn't the problem. I just feel so incredibly sad when I think about her. I feel sad for this life and all the other lives on this case of mine, cut so stupidly short. I feel sad over the violence aimed at people who just are trying to live their lives. And I feel sick, because when I close my eyes I still see her body. Last night I had all kinds of nightmares, only the head kept changing. Sometimes you. Sometimes Jane. Sometimes it was Matt. And sometimes it was just Cassandra's all over again, because Cassandra's was bad enough."

"Anyway. That's what's eating at me. I wanna catch everyone involved in these deaths. I want to see them brought to justice. I guess at the end of the day, wanting that is the only sane response I can have."


Trish pulls Jessica closer, stroking her hair back from her face as she speaks, and cuddling Jess close in the kind of comforting gesture that she had so desperately wanted as a child. The story she hears causes her heart to break a little for her sister. No matter how much she denies it, Jess has a soft, squishy center, and things like the scene being described hurt her. There is a strong urge to want to hug and kiss away all the hurts being felt, but she resists, knowing too much will drive Jess away fast.

"Oh, honey, it's not your fault! It's not! For all you know, that had happened before you were even given the case. You did what you could, when you could. It's horrible, absolutely horrible that you had to see the aftermath, but there's no way to know you could have stopped it from happening. Look at you! Just because you're strong and heal quick doesn't mean you're unbreakable. You can still get hurt. So you should be guilty for not being omniscient and unable to be in more than one place at a time? Come on, Jess. That's like me being guilty that I'm not actually a superhero like Patsy was. You do the best you can, when you can, and that's what's important. If you did nothing, didn't care about the death of a stranger, didn't want to help, then yeah, you'd be a horrible person and have a reason to be guilty. And if Peggy says it was self defense, then that's what it was. Period. End of discussion. That woman knows a thing about a thing or two."

She can't help herself, and drops another quick kiss on the top of Jess's head.

"If I encounter said dickwad, I promise to follow all your instructions. Run if I can and do whatever it takes if I can't. I have no desire to die, I promise. If there's anything I can do to help you figure out this case, you let me know immediately. Believe it or not, I know a lot of different people, in a lot of different areas, who are very willing to help me for a simple on air mention of their company or whatever.


"No, I've had the case for a month or so. It happened…a week ago, according to Baltimore PD." Jessica replies, actually accepting all those cuddles and hair strokes, coping, tonight, in a relatively healthy way. "But…no. No, I'm not omniscent. And I definitely can't be two places at once. And I just can't bring myself to feel guilty for focusing my attention on my friends in literal Hell. It's not like I stopped working the case. I just—didn't work it in the right order." She's even able to acknowledge that she can't really say she could have made a difference.

She is listening as Trish tells her she does the best she can, as she can.

"I hate. That I can't save everyone. Now that I'm saving anyone. I hate that I wasted almost ten years of life just…rotting. Think how many more people I could have helped."

But Trish offers to help, and Jessica nods. "I think that might come up when I search for the father of Kelly's child, the kid Marx was caring for. The baby's in a foster home right now, thank all that's Holy. But…I might need a celebrity favor at that."

She exhales, and she just…looks up. "I promised myself that I would focus on you tonight," she says wryly. "I get tired of listening to myself whine all the time. But then I thought…well, maybe keeping it to myself, at least with you, wasn't the right call. And now that I've talked to you I actually feel like I can move on, get focused. I'm still a little worried Tony might fire me for mishandling things. I still feel sick when I think about it. But I don't feel like I'm just going to…crumble. Either."


"You needed to heal, hon. Time to grow and find yourself. Time to forgive yourself. You weren't in any shape to be helping anyone so no use beating yourself up over it. You're helping now. You're changing now. You can't expect too much right out the gate, cause overwhelming yourself isn't good either. I don't think you'll get fired and if you do, fuck him for not understanding. Actual friends in Actual Hell trumps everything all day long. If it's a problem, we'll pay him back and understand why everyone calls him an ass all the time."

Trish's heart goes out to Jessica, knowing the weight of wanting to be and do better, and feeling like you're always falling short. It's just one more thing that they have in common. She feels a little sick herself, thinking about all the risks Jess was taking, but at least there has been someone there to watch her back, as far as she knows.

"Anything, anytime, as long as I don't have to take my clothes off." It's a terrible joke, but it's what she has at the moment. "I don't think you were whining, and I am an expert. No arguing with the Wunder Brat. Bottling things up isn't healthy and it's helped me not turn into a quivering mess at the terribly bad luck I've been having lately with criminal run ins. Any time you need to vent, about anything, you know where to find me."


"To be fair he doesn't know about friends in Hell." Jessica points out, but… "He probably won't."

She's silent for a long moment. "Okay, Wunder Brat. Okay."

Then she looks up at Trish, smiling wanly. "You have no idea how much I want to drink right now. Not mentally. Just…physically. I feel like my cells are crying. For it. Well, actually I guess you do know. It's all I can literally think about. Like I'm starving, only I can't stand the thought of food. But a bottle of Wild Turkey? I know it will wash the maggots away for awhile. I'm not going to but…can you take me to the meeting tomorrow, before I get to work? I don't think I'll make it through the door if I have to go in alone. I think what's going to happen is I'm going to find my way into a bar instead, and have a big bar breakfast, no matter how much I tell myself not to do it. I think I'll just…suddenly be in the bar, three bottles down and working on a fourth."


"Of course I'll go with you. It's probably not a bad idea that I go either, for that matter. It's been a couple of days in a row, you know what I mean? I'm not needed at the studio until later, so I can stay with you as long as you want. I know I can't stop you from doing something you want to do, but I can be there to support you, like you support me. Deep breathing helps, pounding the shit out a punching bag helps, and if there's a candy or gum you like, that helps too. I used to eat Jolly Ranchers by the metric ton when I was trying to dry out. It's better than smoking or drinking, and with your metabolism, you don't have to worry about getting fat. Bag."

The last is said with exasperated affection. That was another thing she had envied about Jess. Being super strong, very sexy with the hair and eye color she was blessed with, and having a metabolism that allows her to eat without a single thought to working out. Her own smile is more tired than wan.

"You're not going to lose the contract with Tony, just like you aren't going to have a bar breakfast, or kick yourself for not being the perfect, omniscient super human, capable of being in eight different places at the same time. Just like I'm not going to take on every thug in New York all by my onsie. Savy? So. Do we have an accord?" Since the announcer voice got the desired reaction, Trish goes for the Captain Jack Sparrow impersonation.


"You're such a damned dork," Jessica chuffs affectionately. "Yeah sure, we have one real savvy accord, Trish." Still, she seems to feel better. She shakes her head at the offer of food, though. Still, she might change her mind in the morning. The metabolism does make its demands, and while she can push it off for awhile that usually tends to be kind of a bad idea, making her cranky, making her make terrible decisions.

"I really am lucky to have you, you know," she says. Matt had told her point blank that she was. It had been a statement that had been only the truth, and had driven home how shitty Jessica had been to just ditch her sister. "I honestly don't know where I'd be without you." Maybe in some universe she's actually Bag Lady Jones, Alcoholic Extraordinare. Yuck. Yikes. Though it would at least mean this is not in fact her own personal Universe of Utter Fuckups. She is starting to get sleepy; if Trish isn't careful she's going to have a sleeping Jessica in her lap instead of trying to keep her elbows to herself on her side of the big king memory foam mattress.


"You really are and it's about time you realized that." Trish sniffs and lifts her chin for effect, completely unaffected by being called a dork. She knew she was and was damn proud of it. "Seriously though, I'm lucky to have you too. We'd both a horrible mess without the other, so I guess it's a good thing we have each other."

The sleepiness must be contagious, since she finds her own eyelids getting heavier. Stubbornness has her staying on the couch watching, but not really paying attention, to the tv. All things considered, it's practically a perfect moment for Trish. Just her and Jessica, having sisterly heart to hearts, after doing what they could to make the world a little better. Granted, it had been thrust upon Trish this night, but it was still pretty close to perfect.

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