We're All Mad Here

April 02, 2017:

Jessica Jones catches Silk on her way out the window and attempts to apologize for upsetting her on taco night. Cindy waves this away, and talk swiftly turns to other concerns.

Alias Investigations, Hell's Kitchen, New York

You know you've truly fallen down the rabbit hole when you wind up here.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Azalea Kingston, Tony Stark, Trish Walker, Spider-Man, John Constantine, Zatanna Zatara, Spider-Gwen, Elinor Ravensdale

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Cindy Moon: Secretary by day, superhero by night.

And superhero by day. And budding missing persons investigator by all hours. And student by day. Not so much by night.

And sometimes secretary at night, too.

Tonight, however, is not one of those nights. Having done her best just the other night to make sure another one of the objects in the apartment broken by Az was secured— the coathook in the bathroom— and making sure things stay tidy in the room that she and Azalea Kingston share, the young spider-heroine sits, bored, with her feet up on the desk in a way not unlike Jessica Jones would.

Nothing is going on. Files are filed, and she remembers … way, way too much about everything that needed to be organized, or typed up, or sorted out for the office, leaving her with a critical decision: Does she stay and gaze at the clock, or does she go right out the window?

Giving in to urges to fly free, she peeks around quickly before dropping the blinds, letting her fingers twitch and weave and allow the webbing to flow freely from her hands, creating the silken, close-fitted black and white suit that has become her trademark in the skies and streets of New York.

Still no sign of that other Spider-Woman, either. Maybe she should text Spider-Man…

Lifting her head, craning her neck to check her situation, she starts making way for the window, opening it with a creaky shudder that still hasn't been sorted out even with all the work that's been done to improve the place.

"Shh! Shh!" she chides it. Don't blow her escape!

—-

Jessica Jones is passed out on the couch. It's not so much blowing her escape as waking a notoriously light sleeper. She half-sits up and opens a bleary eye. She stands up in her baggy sweat pants and tank top and comes over to actually help with the window. The damned thing is sticky. "There you go," she says.

But she pauses, hesitates. "Hey, are you in a hurry to go out? Or…do you want some company while you do, for a bit?"

With everything else that has gone on, Jessica hasn't had a chance to check in with this ward of hers, the one who is arguably the least problematic of the two. But just because Cindy is self-sufficient and easy to deal with doesn't mean that she doesn't have her own problems and issues.

And there are things to address. Amends that Jessica needs to make.

—-

Suddenly, Jessica Jones is awake.

And she's coming over to help with the window, because Cindy is a little afraid of overdoing it and just ripping it right out of the sill. Her gaze at the glass panes flattens as she curses the day they were fired in the forges of the glassworks and bought (likely) on discount clearance when the building was being built. Stepping aside from the window, she tugs the snug red mask across the lower half of her face down.

She has this look on her face— the kind where you expect to be sent to the Principal's office.

"Well, I was gonna just clear my head for a bit. Punch some bad guys. Hopefully not have to catch a taxi again," she says, briefly pantomiming the stance used to actually achieve this feat. "I mean it's not— I can talk, what's up?"

—-

Jessica looks a little baffled at the look on Silk's face. But…then…she doesn't really associate herself with any kind of authority figure, not really. She mostly feels like a giant out of control child herself on the best of days. Of course, she kind of is aware that she is. It's a back and forth kind of thing.

"I wanted to apologize. For taco night," she says. "I could tell that I really sprung that on you, and it upset you. I want you to know I'd never try to replace your family at all. I want you to find them, more than anything. I just…also want you to know you'll always have a place here. That I'm not going to abandon you or suddenly throw you out or leave you behind. I know we haven't known each other very long, but you've been there for me. I just want you to know I'll be there for you too. But…I wasn't sensitive enough to how that might have hit you."

Now it's Jessica's turn to look like she's about to be in some sort of trouble, though of course the look isn't precisely the same. It's not really the look of someone who is worried about an authority figure. It's the look of someone who has already caused some pain, and is worried about causing more.

—-

Cindy opens her mouth, but Jessica gets the first words in, and then… she frowns. Slipping her fingers to the back of her neck, one side of her mouth twists while she chews on her lip as much as her words, gaze drifting down. "Look, I … I know what you were doing. And what you were saying. I appreciate those thoughts, and everything you, Trish, Tony, Spider-Man, and Az have been doing for me. I mean."

A vague gesture with a small wave of her hands. "'Hey look at the creepy bunker girl with spider-powers. Do you mind if she stays here for a little bit?' I would've been pretty skeptical, but… you still took me in and you're helping me get back on my feet while I look for my parents and brother. I can't even begin to figure out how I'm gonna pay you back for everything you guys did for me."

"It stung, but… I'll be okay. I'm going to find them."

—-

"No debts between us. You have already done a lot. Because of you I didn't have to turn in my 30 day token and start over, yeah? But you are going to find them. And I never thought you were creepy." What Jessica had thought was that Cindy Moon looked scared. And alone.

But she decides not to share that. "I mean. After all. We're all mad here," is what she says instead.

"And if you want to go to college, be a journalist…I'll help you do that too. That's…actually what I wanted to do,when I was a kid. And it's not like you're not learning some of the same skill-set. Or do anything else you want to do. And I don't want you worrying about…burdens or debts or any of that shit."

—-

No debts, because she helped Jessica out at her worst. Cindy grins a little, tilting her head. She feels good about that, and the reassurances of the search and… she wasn't creepy, or weird, even with all the talk about Inheritors and mystical people from across the multiverse.

'We're all mad here.' Ain't that the truth.

"I'll … probably start worrying about college after I find my family. I—" Cindy's head cants, looking as though she can see through the wall adjacent to the window. After a moment, she shakes it, then looks back at Jessica. "I can figure out the rest as I go along. And I promise, when I find them, I won't try to jam everyone in here to stay."

—-

That makes Jessica laugh. "Good. We'd have to stick them to the ceiling every night at this rate." She did that, she helped get John and Zee back. "Meanwhile, if Bug is still holding you up you just let him know I do not give a hot damn about his identity or his secrets. He needs to get his shit together so you get what you need. I mean fucking damn. He's going to give it away to someone someday anyway. You know how? He'll be standing around in Joe Nobody form and he's just going to open his mouth. And start babbling. And anyone who has ever heard Spider-Man babble and babble away will just be like, 'yep, that's the guy, that's his voice, maybe now that I know who he is I can blackmail him into shutting up for a second."

It's mostly an attempt to make Cindy laugh; Spider-Man's endless monologues don't really bother Jessica all that much. Then again she and Bug are kind of in this dynamic where they tweak each other endlessly, so there is that. She even raises her hands and makes little sock-puppet talka-talka-talka motions with them.

—-

The instant that Jessica gets over the words 'identity and secrets,' Cindy's eyes shift away. It's not the 'guilty' way, or the 'worried' way, it's more the 'I know more than I should' way. Her hand lifts a little, mouth opening, though she does try to suppress a laugh— and fails— before letting her hand fall to her hip, pointing a red-clad index finger at Jessica.

"About that."

She's trying to not laugh harder at the sock puppet hands, corners of her mouth quirking up and down.

Cindy looks up at Jessica. "I had to track him down to talk to him about this Spider-Woman-in-the-hoodie thing so we're over that hurdle. So, we're over that. … I kind of want to add a hood to my suit now," Cindy then quietly remarks, tugging at the snug mask clinging to her neck. "Anyway, I… I'll probably talk to him about this after we get /that/ whole mess sorted out."

Nodding somberly, Silk's mouth falls in a flat line. "Spider Club is tough sometimes," she says sort-of-somberly-but-not-quite-meaning-it.

—-

"Sounds like it. I haven't seen hide nor hair of poor Bugette since that one incident," Jessica muses thoughtfully. "It's like she just dropped right off the map. I keep thinking I should look for her, because she seems to trust my alter-self, but…she probably thinks my Me-Self is a villain. In the end it seems best to just try to help her if I run into her again without looking for her."

Still, she frowns thoughtfully. "If I were her, by now I'd have figured out I'm not in my own world. I'd be hitting the library every chance I got, trying to understand what's different and what's the same. And I'd be hyper-focused on returning. Looking for people who could help me do that maybe, trying to decide who I could approach or trust. I'd be watching those people maybe. All while trying to stay under the radar or out of trouble. By now I would have…mmm. Scrounged a few mall fountains for enough coins to go Goodwilling for day clothes, and I'd have gotten out of the ultra-conspicuous spider suit. I bet she's walking around as who ever she is under the mask. Because who would recognize her? People who know her Here-Self maybe, but that's it. Probably not anyone she's spazzed out and webbed to a wall while accusing them of criminal acts."

—-

"I'm not sure what she thinks of you. But she knows we're friends and she knows I live with you, and she thinks I'm a supervillain or something. I don't know what I said. That's— where I'd been running off to as soon as I could, the last week, I was trying to find her. When I finally tracked down Spider-Man to talk to him about her, he said he was going to take a turn searching and told me to get some rest."

Cindy holds up her hand. "And I did, I swear. I got some sleep."

"But I left her a box of stuff up on a roof nearby where I talked to her. I even put it like, out of the way, so you'd have had to jump around or climb up on top of stuff to even /see/ the box, and it was gone, so I'm thinking— I'm /hoping/— she got it. It wasn't a lot, though, just a change of clothes and some protein bars and water and stuff."

"Honestly, I want to try to find her again. I might go talk to Spider-Man again and see if he's turned anything up," she says, convienently leaving out the part about knowing his number.

—-

"Keep me in the loop? I'm glad you did that for her. I'm concerned for her. She's got to be terrified. Finding yourself in another reality sucks hairy balls." Jessica shakes her head and steps back. "I'm keeping you," she realizes.

It's a big city though. This is as needle of a haystack a search as she had to deal with making a few weeks ago. Thoughtfully: "If it gets too frustrating talk to Elinor again. She's agreed to help Alias from time to time. Her ghost network is amazing, and there are lots of dead people in the city. They can help find just about anyone, when there aren't any other options."

—-

Cindy frowns a little. "I didn't even think that was possible, and I have spider powers."

Alternate realities have got to suck. What was she like there? What was her doppelganger like that caused the Spider-Woman to get so freaked out and attack her?

"It's fine. I— we needed to talk. Maybe I can talk to her again, too. If I can, I can try to search her out with this," the dark-haired girl adds, tapping on her temple.

Tugging the red mask up over the lower half of her face, the spider-woman (lowercase!) pulls back her hair with a sweep of her hands, checking the fit, and then crawling up into the window. With a 'fwip,' a line of webbing connects to the next building over, across the street.

"Also I have told nobody about Jewel!"

And then Silk is /out the window/ like a gunshot, looking back with a huge grin pulled under her half-mask.

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