Keeping the Murdered God

April 17, 2017:

Unable to simply return Azalea Kingston to her apartment, Jessica Jones enlists the help of Tony Stark and Trish Walker to ensure that she won't be a danger to herself or others while a solution is found.

Stark Industries, New York City

A bastion of fine interior design in a cold, cruel world.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Cindy Moon, Daredevil, Zatanna Zatara, Red Robin, Batman

Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

A little earlier…

The first call, after Jessica Jones and Matt Murdock parted ways, was to Trish Walker. She makes it while continuing to stand on the rooftop with the unconscious Azalea Kingston at her feet and the fading sirens of the night's pandemonium ringing around her below.

"Sidekick time, now." This curtness is a throwback to an earlier era, though it's more subdued than snappish. "I need you to buy a good car seat and a diaper bag full of baby supplies— basics, food for an 18-month old, diapers, wipes, and meet me at Alias. I'll fill you in later, right now I need you to move."

The second was to Tony Stark. For this, she sucked down a breath and tried to summon up something a little more polite; she's about to make a big ask. The result was that the grief and unhappiness that she is feeling right now filtered right through the phone.

"Tony. Jess. Remember when you said you were willing to help? I don't need a Quinjet. I need to a place to comfortably contain someone who can summon up Thor-level strength. It's…"

She'd never put a label on this relationship before. It was so weird, with Az calling her sister, with Az having a thing for Zatanna, whom Jess also thinks of as a little sister, and then dating Trish, who is Jessica's sister. Sister was never the word Jessica would have picked.

"It's my foster kid."

Suddenly the lump wells up in her throat, and the tears burn at her eyes. She hesitates long enough to get herself under control, but he might hear her sniffling it back. "I don't know where else to turn."

And then she'd found that her reticence to touch Azalea had disappeared entirely. She had been unable to do it, there on the roof, because she had still been associating her, to her shame, with that paralyzing blow, that lick, the near-death damage that she'd taken.

Not anymore. She scoops Azalea up and pushes her head into the crown of the girl's head. "Oh kiddo," she'd whispered, letting the tears flow freely for a moment.

Then she'd leapt off the roof and carried Azalea home, packing a bag for the girl, reclaiming Annette from poor Cindy, kicking glass into a corner while she'd waited for Trish. She'd given a full explanation on the ride over.


She leaves Trish to carry the baby. Jessica is fully healed from her injuries, but looking at her would make it clear they were extensive. She's in the jeans Tony gave her and a flannel shirt that he hadn't, and no jacket… it had been a nice spring night.

Her face has a huge smear of blood on it, her shirts are soaked with blood, her wrists and hands are covered in it. Dried, now. She's carrying Azalea, and while she's mostly gotten herself under control she's grown more and more withdrawn. She'd given Trish the details of Xihunel's rampage in the dryest possible terms, had said of course nothing at all about the other emotional hits she's taken this evening.

No mention of what Itzpapalotl offered, no mention of Matt Murdock at all, a scant mention of good old DHK being there when the shit hit the fan.

She swipes her card to get into the building, looking for Tony. Her eyes are shadowed, her face is grim.


What, is she crying on the phone? That…my god she might have been. What in the world is going on? You know what. Tony doesn't want to know exactly whats going on, he can figure that out later.

The lobby is cleared out when she arrives, not a soul in sight. Well one figure in sight. Tony is of course there, but he isn't dressed down.

This might be the first time Jess has seen him all dressed up.

Seven feet tall, this suit is bulkier and slightly more boxy than the sleeker MK VII unit that he's been flying around in. The armor more angular, the arms built out more. A silver-blue color instead of the normal red-and-gold scheme he's known for.

…look he had no idea what to expect. So he took precautions.

As she stalks into the building though the armor comes to life. Its head swivels towards her.

"Jess?" The voice is modulated by the helmet but its obviously Tony. "You look like hell." His voice still that bantering tone that brings it home that this is indeed Tony Stark. "Sorry I got all dressed up but I didn't quite know what to expect." A pause. "So is this…" A pause at he glances at Azalea. "…right. Explain as we walk…"

With a wine of servos the suit turns to start moving past the banks of elevators in the lobby, heading more towards the back of the building.

In fact heading towards what looks like a supply closet.


Trish handled Jessica’s call with ruthless efficiency, spending entirely too much money on baby things because GOD there are so many choices in those aisles, showing up at Alias Investigations in just over an hour. One look at the state of Jess and Az had her lips tightening and eyes hardening, but questions were held back. For now. Because Jessica Jones looked like a woman on the edge.

She enters Stark Towers, carrying a baby that isn’t hers, with the duffle bag full of baby gear slung over one shoulder, praying the kid doesn’t spit up on the ivory crochet sweater she had thrown on over dark jeans. The damage she had come across on the way to pick up Jess and company had, for the very first time, caused her serious concern for her ladies, and nothing she had heard or seen since lessened it. She knew there was more than Jess was letting on, based on the way she was withdrawing, but Trish didn’t know how, or when for that matter, to try and get her sister to open up.

The giant iron man suit that she thought was just a decoration speaks and she starts hard enough to startle the baby, who immediately protested. Not that Trish blamed her, since she kind of wanted to protest herself. With her own heart thudding madly in her chest, she tries to comfort Annette.

“Shh, shh, shh, there there, we’re almost done, just a little longer, okay? It’s just Tony in the big robot suit, nothing to be scared off.” There is a definite note of discomfort, bordering on panic, in her voice as she awkwardly attempts the fabled ‘Bob and Swish’ with Annette, following Tony and Jess towards what she hopes includes professional child care.


There's a sharp gasp, a sudden intake of breath as they approach the elevator, and then Jessica Jones will find a leg swinging up and over her head. It might seem like one of those inevitable preludes to battle. To some hold or lock that will make her strength worthless, paralyze her, disable her. Leave Xiuhnel with Trish and a Baby and a Metal Man. Only one of which might stand a chance.


But when she pulls herself out of that hold and flips out of Jessica's arms, it's to land in a sudden, still crouch. She stays there a moment, every breath a ticking timebomb as realization returns to her. As He crawls out of his prison. She turns, probably right when someone thinks to reach for her, and her back finds the wall next to the elevator. Her eyes fall shut and the battle proceeds, but not here in the lobby. It's in her mind.

It's always hardest right after one of Zatanna's bindings inevitably fail, and the God-Thing crawls it's way out. But at least he's not hungry. Just angry. He'd tasted the freedom of being without a conscious, of destroying as he'd liked, and it felt good. And now Azalea was back, clouding it all. Making it hard to see. When her eyes snap open, they are thankfully their normal, crystal blue, and one by one she looks between Trish, the baby, and Jessica, until finally she takes a stagger-step away from Iron Man.

"…the fuck is there a robot for? Holy shit, how long was I asleep? HOLY SHIT. TRISH? YOU HAVE A KID NOW?!"


'Jess. You look like Hell.' "Well. I almost went."

Jessica isn't really joking as she says that. She is flat eyed, flat-toned, and flat serious.

She follows Tony, not even reacting to the suit. She apparently has no problem with it. It was apparently the right choice. Dunce, it's worth noting, does bobble gently behind, trying to hold to his command to stay with Jess. He tells Tony in his way that he took care of the baby for a few minutes, because he is a good Dunce. So however Trish is doing with child care? It's better than one Jessica Jones did while panicking.

Trish's ruthless efficiency and lack of questions had actually produced one softer, more grateful look before Jessica had slipped back into the depths of her despondent air.

Tony asks for an explanation, and Jessica opens her mouth to give one. But then her face contorts into fear and watchfulness indeed as Az flips over her head. She all but assumes a combat stance— an odd enough thing when she's crying over the fate of her foster kid on the phone.

But she was paralyzed, helpless, threatened with something she fears and beaten to the point of near-death tonight, and there's that to contend with too.

She watches Azalea remember, she watches Azaelea flip out, she swallows, and she tries to summon calm.

"Azalea," Jessica says quietly. "I need you to calm down now."

She looks at Tony helplessly for a sec, then back at Trish, then refocuses brown eyes on Azalea's blue ones.

"The child is Annette Anders, she's here because— she's here."

A significant look at Tony. Yeah. That Annette Anders, daughter of one of his dead employees, murdered by mind control, ward of Cassandra Marx, murdered by decapitation.

"This is Tony Stark. We're at Stark Towers. Az…you remember what happened."

She can't just sit here and calmly give Tony the blow by blow of how her ward is fused with an ancient Aztec god right in front of her. So she waits, trying to give details and explanations to two people at once. "You're going to stay— " she falters, not sure how to explain that she's basically putting Azalea in a form of prison right now.

"He's going to help us. You're going to stay with him for awhile, while…we figure things out."

She can't bring herself to say that it's all just while John and Zee are waiting for a solution.

In her heart of hearts, she believes Itzpapalotl now. There is only one tiny whisper of herself that says John Constantine deals with these kinds of impossible scenarios all the time, and can draw the 'win' rabbit from this hat when even John himself hadn't been very sure. It's a whisper strengthened, though, by Matt's assurances that he was in this with her now, that he was not in fact going to throw her out of his lives, but would be there trying to help. She holds onto that for a moment, even as she clumsily ends her sentence.


"Next time duck faster," Tony quips back towards Jess' flat-voiced comment as he gets to the back wall, past the elevators. Off to one side, a simple looking corridor.


"Yes, sir."

There is a hum of machinery as what looks like a broom closet at the end of the hall starts to move. The entire wall starts to move in fact. Presumably with the closet still attached. It retracts up into the ceiling to reveal a very large sized elevator. Easily more than enough to fit everyone and then some.

"You've all been busy. Hey Trish. Sorry about being overdressed." He adds towards her with a jaunty little wave of his hand that is one hundred percent Stark, even when he's in his suit.

He would say more but Az's sudden movement and shouting has him moving. He plants one foot to spin towards the woman, deceptively fast for such a thing. His hands are coming up…but…they stop short of combat ready. Since Jess is already trying to diffuse the situation.

Instead there is a little wave towards Az. "Yup. Tony Stark. We met at that movie night."


Trish nods her head at Tony’s wave, grin flashing as the disgruntled feels are fading into fan girl feels. Here was an actual, working Iron Man suit that she could reach out and touch. If her arms weren’t full of Annette and her accouterments. “Hey Tony, no worries, it’s better to be overdressed than under-dressed.”

The bob and swish, which seemed to be working it was worth noting, paused when Azalea flipped out of Jess’s arms. Her mouth falls open in a wordless stutter as Annette is mistaken for hers. She gets her arms going again before any fussing can start. She manages a small half smile at Jess as she looks back at the pair of blondes, doing her best be as reassuring as possible in a quick look. Her weight shifts as she prepares to take herself and the baby out of danger should this little situation escalate.

“Hey you, welcome back. Didn’t think you’d be awake for a while yet.” Trish keeps her voice calm and soft, one side of her mouth lifted in a half grin. Part of her debates the wisdom of everyone climbing into the elevator together. The other part just wants to put down Annette and find a stiff cup of coffee, because this has the feel of a very long night.


The laser focus she brings to Tony's movement is a testament to how dangerous she might still be. But there's no fight in her, and it seems that the bigger cage, the conscious effort of Azalea Kingston, is still holding for now. Her expression turns crestfallen as she looks around her, a pale shade of her former self as she listens to Jessica talk to her. Talk like she's someone else. Like she's standing on a ledge. Of course, that's nothing compared to the memory that Tony dredges up.

She'd spent all day meditating. Written down a dozen or more things to do and not to do. A lot of people would be there that she wronged, each by being less and less human every day. So she kept notes. Recited reminders. Keep your hands to yourself. Don't talk about other people's lives, or worse, their memories. Don't say anything that comes to your mind, only things you really think about first. For all that preparation, she had only one small outburst, and like so many gathered she had fallen asleep with her head on Trish's shoulder and a smile on her face, and didn't even mind Cindy waking her up with a cheer of 'Yes!' when Marty got home at the end of the movie and Doc was okay.

Azalea wondered if she'd ever get another night like that again.

When she looks to the baby, and then to Trish, she seems sunken and hollow, because in a sea of things she should not do, End the World being highest among them, hurting Jessica's sister had been at number two on her list. But she could not help but play with fire, not when Trish Walker was so very much like a moth, drawn towards her flame. What can she say to her? All she can do is be glad that she didn't get to see it. All she can hope is that it doesn't terrify Trish to know what she's become, and when the talk show host speaks and makes this as casual as any other conversation, there's something in her expression that lifts. Some part of her, somehow, recovers. Finally, she looks to the elevator, looks up at the lobby ceiling and whatever might wait high above.

"Didn't expect to wake up at all." It's barely loud enough to hear, and without prompting, she steps onto the elevator and waits in a corner, her gaze pressed to the floor as if it owed her answers and her demeanor, if anything, introspective. Maybe her and Xuihnel are screaming at each other. Maybe she's just wondering why Zatanna didn't blast her out of existence.


Tony and Trish are handling this so well. That movie night seems so distant, so long ago. Only Jessica's eyes show an expression, but it's hot tears at the edges of it. She reaches out to gently squeeze Trish's shoulder for just a moment, then does the same for Azalea. "Come on. Let's get in the elevator," she says, steering the girl in that direction unless Azalea somehow stops her.

"Zatanna is not the type," is what she says. But maybe she, Jessica Jones is. She's just not ready yet. Not quite yet.

"Instead, we're— going to take this step. For now I need you— Tony has a place where you probably won't hurt anyone so long as the chains Zatanna put on Xihunel hold."

And now, she feels she can give the poor Iron Man an explanation. Her voice drops. "Azalea's soul is fused with the soul of a very angry Aztec god. He flung enough entropic energy around an hour ago to flatten a parking garage, he nearly beat me and my friend within an inch of our lives, and he got Asgard strong within about a … ten minute confrontation. Right now she's girl strong, and she's at the wheel."

A guilty look. She can't shake the feeling that if she'd just handled Itzpapalotl a little differently, none of the night's horrible consequences would have come to pass. Another part of her says that eventually, though, things would have come to the same head, because Jessica would never have agreed to just let Azalea Kingston twist in the wind. She doesn't know what that makes her, whether hero or irresponsible child playing with things she doesn't understand, but she's not even that sure she could have created a better outcome. Yet the guilt persists all the same.

"I have a feeling had he remained at the wheel much longer tonight, there wouldn't have been a New York. So until we figure out what to do, because she can't just be exorcised… "

It's a more succinct explanation than she gave a certain Daredevil, but she'd really been trying to give him a lot more context, and an understanding of what had gone wrong, because she'd felt she owed him that. This is just more of a 'here is why I am asking you to hold my foster daughter prisoner in your tower.' It's a different kind of debrief.

She'd offer to take the baby from Trish Walker, but she needs her hands free. In case Az flips out again.


When Tony steps into the elevator the entire wall slides shut.

No sooner do the lights flicker to life and the elevator starts to move.


The drop is liquid smooth, speeding downwards under the building. The oppose way most people would expect, but Tony seems unworried.

Instead he just turns to look between the three women and a baby. There is a sigh, a full body one that shrugs his shoulders before with a whirr of machinery the chest of the suit peels outwards as pannels open to let Tony out. He steps into the elevator as it speeds down to whever its headed.

One hand runs though his hair before he takes a deep breath. There is a pause as he reaches back inside his suit and pulls out a bag od Doritos.

Which he starts crunching on.

"Have I said today I hate magic?" He asks conversationally. "I mean that's just me, and I'm sure its not all bad. But it just doesn't obey the right laws man, and that gives me such a headache. More of a headache than Quantum Cardio. I mean I can deal with the fact that someone can run fast enough to jump dimensions, but magic is something altogether different."

He glances towards Az for a moment then back towards Jessica. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. "Yeah. Well what I got isn't exactly furnished. You'll need some throw rugs and maybe some curtains. But it should work fine."

A glance at Trish again and a lopsided smile is given before he returns to finishing his Doritos.


Trish leans her cheek against the hand on her shoulder and allows herself be led towards the elevator. The way Az carries herself and the look in Jess’s eye breaks her heart, and knowing there isn’t much she can do breaks it even more. She keeps her grin on and demeanor light, hoping that doing that helps, even if it’s just a little.

To distract herself from the growing need for caffeine, and maybe even get a little grin out of Az, Trish pitches her voice for the two of them. “Sleep over in Stark Tower? Best date ever!”

If that didn’t work, she’d figure out a way to get her phone out of her pocket without dropping it, or the baby, and ask Az to take her pic with the Iron Man. But then the suit opens and she has an insane urge to ask Tony if she could climb in. She can just see the look on Jess’s face, all ‘Really Trish? Right now, you’re indulging in your crazy fan girl obsession?’ and almost asks right then to see it play out in real life. Wiser heads prevail, for now, and the moment passes.

“Not to brag, or anything, but I’m pretty good with making a place all Feng Shui. Plus, any excuse to shop, so consider rugs and curtains covered. I even promise no pink, Az.”

She glances down at the little girl in her arms, marveling at how such a small thing could weigh so much, regretting not buying the sling, or whatever the saleslady had called it.


"Xiuhnel already ate those bonds. It's just me now." Azalea means that she's back to where she was before it all started. Just her, standing in front of a God-Thing that could end the world with his might and misery. Her gaze ticks down until Stark steps out of the suit, drawing scrutiny to it's internals, while her lizard-brain looks to the bag of chips.

God how she wants to eat something.

"As long as it will make everyone safe." But for how long? She's already looking forward to the inevitable wait. The days stretching into weeks. Maybe years? Maybe it isn't a stop gap, but a solution, He tells her. Maybe they mean to lock her away forever.

The way Jessica chooses her words so carefully, and with so ittle profanity. The way Tony smiles at Trish, with that lopsided grin. The way the baby keeps looking at her, like it knows something. The way Trish-

If there is a string to what is left to her humanity, she's the one who can pull on it. The one she has not ever offended or turned off, as broken or aggressive as she might be. There's a hard swallow, when looking at the blond thrill seeker almost brings her to tears. She blinks it away with something almost embarrassed when Trish mentions pink, and she looks down and shakes her head.

"Liar. I saw that pink outfit you had at the bottom of your closet." Azalea tries to lighten it all a little more, but has no idea the dark turn she is bringing to the conversation. "If you'll bring pink to superhero cosplay fantasies, you'll bring it to anything. But.. Jewel? Come on. We can find a better name than that." Said the 'Dark Devil'. What a joke.


Normally the mention of that damnable stripper-super hero outfit would reduce Jessica Jones to blushing, or sputtering, or a snarling lot of irritation. She looks down at the little diamond necklace she's wearing and reaches up to fiddle with the little earrings. She needs to take all that off. She's no hero. But not here, where it will hurt Trish.

Trish, who she brought specifically because Trish is the one who will watch over Azalea. "Decorate away. Shop away. I need you to take care of her, Trish. I can't be here for a few days. Maybe a little over a week. I told you, about traveling to Germany. By the time I get back I hope we'll— have an answer."

She looks down, hands in her pockets. Just Az against Xihunel. An awfully small soul to fight an awfully big God.

She looks to Tony and says, "I really appreciate this. I think I'm going to want to talk to you in private. Once we get things settled. If that's okay. I know this isn't really what you had in mind when you promised to help."

She leans against the elevator, and finally just…opens her arms to offer to take the baby, nodding for Trish to just…go to Az. If there's anyone who will keep this from escalating tonight…it's not Jessica Jones.


Tony's sharp eyes take all this in as he finishes up his chips. He folds that up and slips it into a pocket before he draws a deep breath. The elevator stops though soon enough and as it slides open it reveals a large square room. Its fairly bare, as if hastily cleaned. In the dead center is a large circular room made of some clear material, reinforced with bands of metal. A door hangs open in the center of the facing wall of the odd room.

"So like I said, totally not ready do decorate. But I had JARVIS fix everything up as quick as I could."


Trish flushes bright pink, all the way to the tips of her ears, at the mention of Jewel. She resolutely does not look at Jessica, but can imagine what she would see on her sister’s face. At least Az is thinking it’s hers and not Jess’s right now. She’s going to do everything she can to keep it that way right now, too. Her sister has taken enough of a beating tonight already, without adding insult to injury. Her head gives a sassy little toss and one shoulder lifts as much as possible with a baby bag on it.

“There’s no law against looking cute while you’re fighting crime, so why not pink? I mean, Kevlar and knee pads are all fine and dandy, but not exactly high fashion.” She clamps her teeth shut on the costume subject, before she babbles herself to death. “You know I’ll do that without your asking, but it’s nice to be asked anyways. Try not to worry too much, I’ve got this.”

Annette is passed to Jessica and in the process she’ll see guilt, remorse, with just a touch of amusement for Azalea finding that outfit. She thought it had been tucked far enough away to escape notice, but apparently not. Once the baby is secure in her sister’s arms, the bag gets set on the floor, and she crosses to Azalea with her arms open for a hug if it’s wanted. Given the nature of the situation, Trish wasn’t exactly sure physical contact was what Az needed or wanted, so she left it up to her to decide. It was important that she know the option was there if she wanted it though.

When the doors finally open, the space she sees is practically screaming for some color, to her eye, but she keeps it to herself. Tony was doing a wonderful thing for her ladies and snarpy comments would be poor repayment. What she does say is “I can work with this.”


There's a look of something solemn there for Azalea when she sees Jessica put at ease, when she realizes the fight is, perhaps, done for the night. Pain and regret, and also the thankfulness of someone who simply would not be without her. She looks at Jess before she's crushed into a hug, and returns it, holding onto Trish until finally her eyes close and she is forced to let her frustration out in a breath.

It isn't until the elevator stops that her eyes snap open again, staring at long last at the container she's meant to live in. It's what draws her back from Trish, has her look far away from Jess, one hand remaining in Trish's as she steps outside the elevator and pulls her along. "What..what is this meant to hold, anyway? I mean, why did you build it?" There's a certain skepticism. She remembers the power. The way it grew in her in such a short time. Where might it have stopped? "And what happens if I try to break out? What happens if it starts to fail?"


It's weird, but Jessica Jones is a natural at the comforting baby bounce. Up and down and up and down, her hip out to keep the baby comfortable. It's like she's got really good maternal instincts, though she'd never cop to those to anyone, or would never even imagine she has them.

But then. She was just called a mother, not too long ago.

Azalea has perfectly reasonable questions. Jessica has no answers. Those are answers for Tony to give her, and she steps out of the elevator and aside, soothing the baby, kissing her forehead gently, before forcing herself to face the space square, to face the fact that she is putting this girl into a box because they are swiftly running out of options.

But she has no more words for the moment. She lowers her head again, leans against the wall, and waits until Tony is ready to have that conversation with her, listening to Trish be so wonderfully Trish: making the best of things, making the situation seem almost normal and funny. Her heart aches.

She never has done right by Trish Walker, never has really seen all that her sister is, but moments like these do drive home for her who she has been blessed with.


"If it fails I freeze you in carbonite," Tony doesn't blink an eye as he steps forwards in the empty space of the double rooms. "Technically its entirely possible so don't look at me like that." He adds with a smirk as he steps towards the room. "And you Trish consider this your playground. I really don't care, place could use some paint." A longer pause. "And I built it for something stronger and angrier than you, just in case." He adds with a smirk. "It should hold, least long enough to figure out something to do about things."

A pause.

"You guys are figuring out something to do about this, eh?" He looks between the three of them. The hug. Ugh. Feelings.

"Yeah, sure you are." He adds as he glances away from the group. "Come on Jess, I'll show ya round while they get settled." A pause. "And yes you can get in it."

He had JARVIS activate visitor mode, so at least they won't be able to shoot anyone.


Trish pulls Az closer, kissing the top of her head first, and then gently resting her cheek on the spot she had just kissed. She follows Az out of the elevator, silently echoing those same questions. What was supposed to go in there and would it be enough to hold back the thing that just about wiped out Hell’s Kitchen were definitely at the top of her list.

Maternal Jones is not missed, though those comments are saved for later. All it did was confirm something she had long suspected about her sister, but daren’t say for fear of a razor sharp tongue lashing. The kind Jess was famous for. Or was it infamous? She could never keep those two straight. Regardless, it was noted, and saved in the ‘Use Later’ file. The way Jess had withdrawn has Trish extremely worried, but one problem at a time. Problems she can actually do something about first.

She barks a quick laugh as Tony threatens carbonite, picturing a metal Azscicle, before she catches herself. And then she hears them. The words of an angel, sent from Geek Heaven, to give her a taste of her heart’s most coveted desire. She can get in it. Her feet stop and her hand slips out of Azalea’s as her head turns back towards the open elevator. A good person would say ‘No thank you, it’s your thing, I couldn’t possibly’. It’s been well established that Trish is not a good person. There is one thing, and one thing only, that would be able to drag her away from where she’s needed. And that is getting a fix for her superhero addiction. Which Tony just handed over on a silver platter. Her feet are moving before she’s fully aware she’s made the decision.

“Well, maybe just for a quick minute, as long as the safety is on. I don’t wanna wreck anything.”

Except that polished, mature, caring, responsible adult image, which has just been demolished. Everyone, meet Trish Walker, super geek.


When Trish holds her, she lets her anxiety melt away, lets the tatters of Zatanna's bonds lose into the maw of her tormentor, to push him down just a little more. For a few moments. A soft exhale, and she tilts her head for a little kiss, because she knows it's going to be awhile before she gets another. Then, there's the room.

It's one thing to understand you're an animal inside. It's another to face your cage. For the longest time she just stares at it, stepping away from Trish a little, and then peeking back at Jessica and the baby. She tries to show that it's okay, offering the smallest smile of reassurance, and waves at Trish to take Tony up on his offer.

At least, maybe, this will give Trish a pass to visit here all the time. She can only hope someone will. It isn't until she's at the doorway that she gives a long stare, reaching out to take her bag from Jess's free shoulder before moving inside.

Azalea doesn't want anyone to lock her away, and so she does it herself, sliding the glass door into place before stepping back to pace around the interior. "Oh wow. All the amenities." She remarks as she brushes a foot past the markings that indicate places to stand and press one's feet to make the toilet and shower rise from the ground. She can only presume that the 'glass' walls must run deep. In the end she presses the control for the bed, little more than a mat that rises up on one side.

With a plop she drops to the mat and looks up at Trish and Jess, and finally Tony. "Thank you."


Az does the brave thing. Locks herself away. Pulls out the bed. Jessica shoots her a proud look and manages to find something to say.

On a rooftop: 'We'll find a solution.'


"I'm proud of you, kiddo. I," A hesitation. Then she says it. "I love you. We'll fix this."

And then there's Trish, and Jessica gives a noisy exhale. "Great. Iron Trish. That's just what the world needs. Try not to turtle in it, sis. I need to borrow the car." She walks up and digs the keys out of Trish's pocket before the woman can get into the suit, no doubt entertaining Az with it, without a hint of apology. Only Trish could have this kind of invasion of personal space.

And then she shoulders the diaper bag and the baby and follows after Tony, leaving the two women to talk without her.

She turns her back though, because after telling this kid she loves her, she's going to have to tell Tony Stark not to hesitate to put her in carbonite or take any other measure he needs to take if her eyes turn gold, if she starts turning violent. And to call her immediately if she does.

She's going to have to explain the rest of her plan for tonight…going to Gotham, returning the baby, going to take a look at murder victims #6 and #7, Anette's foster parents, and tell him that she has a new name to investigate for this case: Decimux of the Infinplex, leader of the Agents. And then she's going to take her leave, because the truth is…she has a lot to do.


Trish sticks her tongue out at Jess’s Iron Trish comment, secretly loving it, and planning on getting it put on a tee shirt. She gives up the keys without a comment or complaint, as she is focused on the task at hand. Getting in the suit without looking like an idiot. She indulges herself, complete with peace sign selfies, and not a small amount of giggling, for exactly three minutes before she starts feeling like a dog for playing with the suit when Az needed her. This feeling increases when she returns to find Az already inside the box, sitting on a mat for a bed. There is a very brief moment where Dorothy Walker almost comes out of her mouth in a vehement protest that these accommodations simply would not do. A nano second really, before manners and common decency take over.

“Thanks Tony. I’ll have this place ready for the cover of Weird Homes and Décor in no time. Be safe Jess. Love you asshole.”

The decorating statement is said with a false sense of bravado. If asked what she was going to do with it right then, she wouldn’t have an answer. Exercise equipment? Might not be a bad idea, but what else? A real bed for sure. And some seating for company, because she would not be sitting on the floor when hanging out with her lady. It was simply not going to happen. The nickname came out without thought, a term of endearment, no matter what it sounded like to everyone else. And then it was just the two of them.

“So, bad day, huh?” It was woefully inadequate, but the best she had to start the conversation with right then. Way to go Trish, with the super eloquent statement she thinks to herself sarcastically.


As much as Trish might think it self indulgent or somehow improper to indulge in what might be a once in a lifetime opportunity, Azalea seems to see it a different way. She does not have an ego to bruise, just something made of bravado and anger and terrible, terrible thoughts. Something that does not feel pity for itself. But the rest of her can feed on the joy she sees there, for a few moments, as Trish walker puts on a hero's shell and stands before the glass.

"Average day. I still got to see you." It gives her the bravery to be bold, to curl a smile at her quip, and to place a hand on the glass. It also gives her the power to destroy, and she hates it for the gifts it brings, even if right now, it lets her enjoy the sight of Trish walker in a metal can.

"Just do me a favor, alright. Realize that this tin can you're wearing. My body armor. Jess's strength. It's all bullshit. It was giving a fuck that stopped this thing - me - from killing someone tonight. It's going to take you giving a fuck to see Jessica through this shit. I know you want to stay and watch me, and all that, and I want you to stay too. But you have to help her first. Keep her from taking a drink. Stop her from hurting herself or beating herself up. Both of you are how this gets better. Work with Constantine and Zatanna. Promise me? Promise me you'll look after Jess?" When I'm gone.

She doesn't say it. She doesn't want to hurt her, even though she wishes she could be more honest about her own chances.


Trish struggles with getting out of the suit for a moment before yelling in frustration “Goddammit, get me out of this thing”. Followed by a sheepish “Thank you” when it opened up. Of course it was voice activated, why wouldn’t it be, or maybe it was just JARVIS to the rescue. Either way, she was out of the suit. She gets down to put her hand on the glass as well, knowing it was cliché and unable to keep from doing it anyways.

“I know it takes more than armor to make a hero, if that’s what you mean. Trust me, I give plenty of fucks, for Jess and you. I’m always there for her, until she pushes me away. And even then, I’m still there for her. I’ll be here for you too. I’m good at multitasking. And here’s the thing about Jess. As long as she has that baby in her care, she won’t do anything stupid like drink. In her shittiest moment, she still has standards. I promise I’ll look after her, Az. I promise. I swear to Christ though, if you don’t pull through this, I’m going to be really pissed at you.”

Because she heard it, even though it wasn’t said. The tone is more resigned weariness than anger or hurt though, like she was expecting a conversation along these lines. She had gotten it from Jess too, after all.

“Besides, we’ve just started having fun. I haven’t even gotten to take you to on a vacation or weekend getaway yet. And we’re going to need a rematch sometime where I plan on lasting longer than three seconds before getting pinned, or passing out.” She winks at the end, more amused than embarrassed by her dismal performance in their very brief sparring match.


More terrifying to her is not dying, but not knowing what will come out the other side. What they have, this little slice of pretending to be normal, is so new. So fast. So right and wrong all at once, but she doesn't know what will happen when John Constantine and Zatanna Zatara do whatever it is they'll do. Will she still be able to feel anything at all? There's a hard swallow, as that bit of normalcy in a sea of despair threatens to get swallowed up. But at least, for now, she has someone she can trust with all of this. With looking after Jessica, who, let's be honest, is in way deeper shit than Az. After all, Az just has a world-ending monster as a soulmate.

Jessica is in love with someone she can't have.

Crystal blues tick over all the pleasant symmetries of Trish's face, her hand sliding down the glass until she can lean into it. "We'll work on it. Maybe get you to something respectable." There's a beat. The smallest smile. "Five seconds?" But oh that tease.

It is followed by her eyes falling shut, and a meager expression approaching pain. "I should sleep. It's.. it'll give you all time to do whatever with the baby. Buy a crate for it or whatever, you know. But then, once everything's okay, come back. And.. and make sure Jessica tells Red. He can tell Batman."

They should know. She has a kind of other family out there, and they'll worry. Who knows how long it might take for them to come looking, but when they start kicking over rocks it can get bad. Best to head it off.


Trish laughs at Az’s quip. Five seconds would be a nice, considering she was maybe being generous with her three. It would take a lot of work, but she wasn’t afraid of that. The captivating crystal blue eye close and Trish’s fingers flexed on the glass, with the urge to cup that pale cheek or brush back the dark hair that’s fallen forward. Damn the glass getting in the way, damn Aztec Gods and their stupid, petty, rampaging moods. And damn not being able to do a fucking thing about it.

“You do that, darlin. A little rest will go a long way right now and maybe something to eat when you get up. I’ll make sure Jess tells Red to activate the phone tree and look into some grub while I’m at it. We wouldn’t want your friends thinking we’ve kidnapped you after all, tempting as the idea is.” She fluffs her hair and does her best to appear far more sure and confident than she actually feels at the moment, flashing her best smile. “I’ll be back before you know it. Sweet dreams, Az.”

No. Don’t. You are not going to say that!

“Of me, of course.”

And you said it. Congrats, you’re the nerdiest of the nerds. It takes great strength of will, but she manages to keep that smile in place, until she’s headed out after Jess and Tony, and facepalming as soon as she was out of sight.

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