To Have a Sister

June 02, 2017:

As events unfold on the Raft, Jessica Jones sits at the security checkpoint. After calling everyone else on the list, she calls her sister, and allows herself to absorb a little comfort as only Trish can give it.

A Raft security checkpoint on the coast.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Matt Murdock, Bucky Barnes, Jane Foster

Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

"Trish…" Jessica sounds…emotionless, almost. Like she did when she used to drink and just pushed forward with what she had to do, but with no hint of drunkeness, or slurring.


Trish's stomach drops out the bottom of her feet, and all color drains from her face, at the tone in her sister's voice. Something was wrong. Really wrong. Her grip tightens on her phone and she visibly steels herself for the news to come.

"Please, for the love of all things holy, do not be calling to tell me someone has died. Please, oh please, just let it be that my car is destroyed and it's probably not going to be covered by insurance."

She moved to take a seat on one of the stools at her kitchen counter. Just in case.


"Nobody's died, car's fine. I can't say much about this but Bucky was just arrested. For some real serious shit. He's at the Raft. He has a lawyer. That's all I can really say. I just…Heh. I called all his friends. Now I just…just needed to hear your voice, because this is some bullshit."


There is a moment of stunned silence, while this new information is processed. Bucky. Had been arrested, was being held at a high level security SHIELD facility. She had been doing her homework on them, so she knew the implications of his current lodgings. A small sigh of relief that it wasn't death or her car escapes as she gathers her thoughts.

"Wow. He's been arrested? It must be some serious bullshit if they took him to the Raft. The fucking Raft? If he doesn't have a spectacular lawyer, I know a couple who would put Johnny Cochran to shame." Another pause, before resuming with a much gentler tone. "Are you coming home tonight? I can make popcorn if you're not going to be busy tearing shit up, looking for a way to clear Bucky."


"His lawyer is absolutely spectacular." Jessica says, with utter confidence, faith, and trust.

Are you coming home tonight?

"I don't know. I'm going to drive Matt back, then try to see if I can't drive Jane back. I have a thought that I might watch her apartment awhile, keep her safe. Maybe pick up some of her laundry. Wanna meet me at the laundrymat? I could use the company."


"Alright, if you say the lawyer is good, they must be….Wait. Matt. Matt Murdock? Hell's Kitchen Matt Murdock who helped get those ridiculous charges dropped for you earlier this year? Yeah, Bucky's in good hands." She chews her bottom lip for a moment, trying to decide what she would pick up to eat along the way. "Sure, just text me which one you're going to be at and I'll be there. Please, tell Jane if there's anything I can do to help, just let me know. I mean, it's not like we're the bestest of friend, but I like her and Bucky, so I want to help."


"I will but not right now. My prediction is she's going to be pretty much just…out of it. I'll be lucky to get her in the car. I'll be lucky if she doesn't try to sleep on the beach." Jessica's voice is grim.

When Trish had first started saying Matt's name, she'd braced herself for a slew of objections. That he was too young, too inexperienced with just nine months under his belt. When Trish instead says that Bucky is in good hands, there is a faint chuff of breath. Obviously this is exactly why Jess thought he'd be good too.

"I love you. I don't know how talkative I'll be either, but…I'm glad you'll be there."


Trish's heart breaks a little, as she can clearly see the tiny little woman huddled on the beach, staring out to sea. Mostly because it was how she felt, every time she went to Stark Towers. Her throat is cleared, to prevent feels from being felt any further.

"I can get a pretty pimp survival hut put together and delivered if she won't leave. I'm not being an ass, I swear, I'm just offering to help. It's hard enough dealing with something like this with visitation privileges, never mind. I love you too, forever and always, Jones. You're mine and I'm keeping you forever. Even if you don't talk, because I like your company. I'll even bring food. Do you need me to bring anything else? Or just food and my fabulous self?"


"Food and your fabulous self sounds good," Jessica murmurs quietly. The survival hut brings the very faintest hint of a smile to her lips, a stab of affection through the cold knot of anger and fear that has gathered inside of her, pulled itself in, and shut the door. Her friends don't need her angry, sad, and scared. Her friends need her making phone calls, doing laundry, picking up groceries, and following whatever instructions Matt gives her. It's a rough reality that there is only so much she can do. "Fabric softener maybe, they are probably better at housekeeping than me and they probably know what the fuck that stuff is for and should probably have some."


"Fabric softener is doable. Food, fabric softener, and fabulousness. I'll give you twenty bucks if you can come up with one more thing that starts with an 'f' to bring." Her lips quirk slightly at her own cleverness. A puzzle, something rather mindless, might not be a bad thing for Jess right then. A little something to help ease the stress and anxiety she must be feeling for Bucky, if only for a moment.

"Hey," she says softly. "What ever it was, it wasn't your fault. You're doing what you can and being there for Jane is the best thing you can do. Unless you have hard evidence proving Bucky's innocence, in which case, get off the damn phone and go clear this shit up!"


The first words that come to Jessica's mind are unsuitable. Big F, little f, what begins with f? Fish sticks…that's food. Fingers…that's just weird. "Forks," she says, coming up with both a socially acceptable and sensible answer in a short period of time. But…Trish knows her sister well, because the puzzle is helpful. She'd actually thought about it for a moment, had enjoyed the brief respite of focusing on it.

"I know it's not my fault. And I don't, not really. I helped find some back in January, though I didn't think there would be a trial back then. I'm just scared for him."


Trish lets out a laugh, conceding defeat. "I'll have your twenty and the forks. You know what, I think that's the easiest you've ever agreed to not being at fault. I'm proud of you. That's major personal growth. I'm scared too. Let's be honest, it's not like he isn't exactly unknown. We know why things happened, but not everyone is really that willing to embrace the idea that it's possible."

She stands up to grab her purse, deciding she'd walk until she had everything picked up, since she'd already used the car service that day. She had taken up Jess's suggestion to keep switching up her routine. "I'll get soap too, since they usually just have crappy stuff in the dispensers at most places. Laundry is the one thing Jane isn't going to have to worry about, with us on the job."


"Soap is good," Jessica says. She seems…reluctant, really, to hang up the phone. But then, the sounds behind her are clinical and institutional. She's not at the Raft, but she is at a security checkpoint.

Trish says she's proud of her, and Jessica lets out a soft puff of breath. "Yeah. Well. I learned I can't live that way. Blaming myself for every crazy thing. I've got actual things that I've actually done wrong I can feel guilty about. No need to borrow more. But thanks. What would I do without you, Trish? You're making me feel a little sane again."


"Dr. Trish is in the house. The bill is in the mail. And you've got forty five minutes left of your fifty minute hour. I can't do the ink blot thing over the phone. Do you want to talk about your dreams? Have you had one of those crazy, 'I walked around with a carp on my head but couldn't figure out why everyone kept saying haddock' things, have you?"

She's not exactly anxious to hang up either. She sometimes has to force herself out the door, if she stopped to think about why she was switching up her routine.


Jess lets out another soft laugh. "The blot test is easy. All I see are moths. They all look like moths to me." She closes her eyes, leans her head against the wall. "When I dream good dreams, I dream I can fly," she admits. "Just leap up and keep leaping and fly, like Superman style and shit. Though I'm curious to the neurosis in your head this carp thing points to. Do you have a fish phobia I should know about?"


Trish snickers a little in return. "Moths are what I see too, unless it's a bat, and that's not Batman related. The only fear I have of fish is that it might get in my mouth. That would be a tragic, world ending catastrophe. Flying though. That would be something. That's funny, you know. Because one of my best dreams is you and me, saving the world, Avengers style. Kicking bad guy ass, fighting dragons, rescuing the Prince/Princess Charming, and striking fear into the hearts of villians everywhere."

She's grinning like an idiot, recounting her tale.


"Oh Trish," Jessica murmurs, and there's warmth in those exhausted words. Warmth and a little fear, but she doesn't have the energy to pursue that today. As it is, it makes some emotion well up…and Jessica finds she can't handle it. She shoves it back down. She cannot fall apart. She must not cry. She has to push forward. She has to be there for these people. This is not about her, and she can have her feelings on her own time.

Damned stupid feelings.

It's occuring to her that she's even going to have to keep doing…life. She still has murders to solve. She still has a business to run, and had best run it. For a moment it's just dead air on the phone as the darker of the two sisters struggles to remain steady and stable. When she finds her way again, she murmurs, "Saving the world feels a little above my paygrade, but these bucket list items of yours are duly noted."


"At the risk of sounding all maudlin, and the dreaded feel, it needs to be said that you've saved my world." Her grin wobbles for a minute, as that feel tries to creep it's way out. "Do I need to call you an asshole or something? Because I will. Or, better yet, can you tell me why a raven is like a writing desk? I never got why Johnny kept saying it and I've always wanted to know the answer."

Puzzles. Puzzles are good and riddles are kind of like puzzles. Beats 'What do I have in my pocketses, my precious', if not by much.


"That one is easy," Jessica says, with dull tiredness, but she says it. The distraction is more than appreciated. "They both start with the phonetic-r sound, because the W in writing desk is silent. I don't know if that's the official answer, but it's the only one I ever came up with. What's in your pocketses, my precious, is lint— and that would be a safe answer for everyone, because everyone's pockets have lint in them. I always wondered why that guy didn't just say 'pocket lint', but I guess that wouldn't have made a very good story either."


Trish blinks silently for a few moments before bursting out in laughter, causing a few people to start and give her dirty looks. She rubs her forehead and lets out a small sigh.

"Yeah, pocket lint would have ended the series in about thirty pages. And then we wouldn't have been given the spectacular sight of Luke Evans and Orlando Bloom all sexyfied with the Benedict Yummybatch Smaug. Hmmm, might have to book a marathon weekend in the near future. I haven't lumped out like that in a while and I think we're both maybe due."

She almost adds if you can keep your mind off Bucky and things long enough to sit through a whole Hobbit marathon, but doesn't, as it's really not necessary to point that out.


Normally Jessica Jones would turn down anything that involved spending a whole lot of time doing something other than work. A Lord of the Rings Marathon definitely qualifies.

And she hesitates, because having fun while Bucky's life is in the balance seems somehow wrong. On the other hand…"I guess I could do with some time staring mindlessly at Aragorn's ass." She doesn't promise a time, but…there's promise that Trish can get her to wind down for at least a little while. And then, "Looks like the ferry's coming back…I gotta get Matt back to New York. It'll be a few hours…I'll text you when I'm on my way."


One side of Trish's mouth lifts in a small victory smile. It wasn't much, but it was a start. A few hours staring at Aragorn's ass would do them both some good.

"Okay, as always, be safe, watch out for the lunatics, and I'll be waiting for your text. In the meantime, I'll see what sort of laundry goodies I can find while I'm waiting. You never know what kind of new fangled goodies have come out on the market. Love you."

She'll wait for Jess to hang up first, reluctant to release the connection, knowing Jess was needing her moral support.


Which is probably why Jessica just sits on the phone for a few moments before she remembers to say, "Love you too." Maybe it's the damnable lump in her throat. Maybe it's just the need to be connected to her sister for a moment, like she's a child holding Trish's hand, not wanting to let go. Finally she inhales, exhales, and hits the little red button that disconnects the call, either because it's just gotten ridiculous, or because the lawyer they're all pinning their hopes on is now getting off the ferry.

Either way, the connection with Trish ends for awhile. The connection with Trish…the only person she feels safe falling apart in front of a little bit right now, because Trish, of all the people in her life, doesn't need her to be strong about this. With Trish, she can just be sad.

There is nothing better than a sister.

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