August 28, 2017:

Shortly after Elektra's attack, Jessica Jones calls Daredevil and Jane Foster to verify their presence in the land of the living.



NPCs: None.

Mentions: Peggy Carter, Michael Carter, Elektra

Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

south outsid birninzana. shooter. stuck

Five words that had sent one Jessica Jones into a panicked flight from Birnan S'Yan just minutes after working with Michael Carter to talk Peggy Carter out of a Wakandan jail. It had prompted a ferocious and futile group text announcing she was coming and strictly begging/ordering Jane not to die.

The subsequent struggle between Elektra, Daredevil, and Jane had taken enough time for poor Peggy to fall fast asleep, and for Michael to coach Jessica on what to do when she can't do jack. Namely talk about anything but the problem, which had led to a ramble through the case notes, a short lecture on how to solve the cryptoquote (not to be confused with the real codes Peggy knows how to break) and a short digression onto how people on Wheel of Fortune always buy vowels way too freaking soon. All told it really wasn't very long at all.

A new text comes, this time from Daredevil, informing her that Jane had been attacked by a female assassin, not Wakandan, armed with guns and martial arts weaponry. She starts to text back.

And then she doesn't. She stops the vehicle she's in, because the last thing she wants to do is wake Peggy up, slips outside, and calls. The text could be from the killer using DHK's phone, trying to lure her— or even his— next set of victims. And, frankly, she wants to hear the voices of two people she cares about, so she can reassure herself that they are both okay.

She conferences them both in; both their cell phones will start to go off at once.

In a thick and shadowed jungle miles away from Jessica Jones, though only a few dozen yards off the road where Jane Foster's car went suddenly skidding, two cell phones start off at the same time. Daredevil's vibrating burner is buried in the cargo-pockets of his body armor; he searches for it and flips it open quickly. Coming just moments after he sent that cautionary text to Jessica it's no mystery whatsoever as to who is ringing them. "Hey, Jess," the masked man assures her quietly. "We're both okay over here."

This is, even by Matt Murdock's ordinary standards of bullshit, a bald-faced lie. He can tell from the coppery tang in the air left by Jane Foster's nosebleed that, while the scientist is alive, something injured her — whether it was the car-wreck or Elektra before he got there or… something else. As for the man himself? The ache where Elektra's knee met his chest may be fading, but his mind is reeling, casting itself about in any number of directions — few of them helpful.

"…are you okay?" he adds.

Because while Elektra couldn't move that quickly, it doesn't mean that there isn't more than one assassin out there. And picking them off all at once while they're separated has a sort of logic to it.

Jane Foster's trusty cell phone already sees active use when the call comes in; lacking Matt Murdock's more extraordinary senses, she uses the light off its screen to flashlight a way through the underbrush, carefully wading through a jungle on footsteps that already too-shaky.

She also works at wiping away that aforementioned nosebleed, cleaning it into the darkened sleeve of her shirt. Her mind whirls; her skin feels like it's been ionized, covered in some ephemeral layer of something with its own charged polarity. She feels like she could hold a lightbulb and cast light.

She might even be powering the battery of her phone with a touch. Probably not, but it sure of hell feels like it. With the initial nausea diluting to something low and rolling and manageable, all Jane is left is tired. And lingeringly itchy.

And some part of her kind've wanting to do it all again.

"Ducky," replies Jane to Matt's question, both to him in person and into the conference call, which she joins. She sounds a little too blaise for what appears to have been a murder attempt. Maybe when you suffer enough of them, they start to just lose their novelty. Maybe there's just no need anymore to be afraid, so why even waste the effort. "What he said. All's cool. He quantum tunnelled like a pro. Chased off that nutball, whoever she is."

There's an arch to her voice, coupled with a glance at Daredevil that he won't see but sure as hell will feel. Jane's giving him opportunity to run with it or keep his strange secret, whatever it is. It's not her place to share.

"And hey, Jessica."

It is just like Matt to ask if she is okay after he goes tangling with some psycho. Jessica looks around though, and realizes maybe stopping a vehicle by the side of the highway to have a phone conversation is not smart with a crazy assassin thing running around. Still, she allows it for the time being. She's on an open stretch for the moment, not even anywhere with a lot of tree cover, and she can't see anything or anyone untoward. And, well, right now if she did she might well take the opportunity to pound someone's face into paste.

Still, she splutters a little bit, aghast, even as worlds of relief bloom inside of her just to hear both of their voices, safe and sound. She quashes the anxiety that whispers it's some sort of voice program, faking it, it's some sort of illusion. But then Jane says 'quantum tunneling' and some part of her banishes that.

It all culminates "Me? Yes, of course, I'm fine. Wait. What? Quantum tunneling?"

She paces. She scrubs her fingers through her hair. Quantum tun— "What the— Where are you guys? Are you sure she's gone? She could be doubling back or getting— . Wait, of course you're sure."

She clamps her teeth shut with a click before she can subject them to an even greater onrush of…well. Detective-henning.

Whoever she is, Jane says of the shadowy assassin who just a few minutes ago was merrily singing Greek lullabies as she stalked the scientist with a sai. Matt hears that note in her voice, the opening to open up, and ducks his head briefly. Guilt and shame — from varying sources — flood him, but they don't seem to move him to speak. Even if he may have just told Jane that he owes her an explanation, it's clear from the silence that follows that he has no intention of giving it on this phone call.

He clears his throat when Jessica gives the vocal equivalent of a double-take at Jane's brief rundown of their encounter with Elektra. "Yeah, Jane had me going all Scott Bakula," comes the rueful reply of a man whose cinematic references will be forever limited to pre-2001. It's a testament to just how jarring the last half-hour has been that the frickin' quantum leap is the part of the evening that's done the least to set him off balance. "So I can't actually tell you where we are. Not much of a point of reference. But — yeah. I know we're alone out here, for now."

Jane's dark eyes watch Matt, his ducked head, his ocean of guilt. His deliberate withholding of information.

She knows he can't see her, not in the standard, usual ways human beings with eyes track others. It still doesn't stop her from giving him the most long-suffering look in all of documented human civilization. She keeps herself from letting her next breath go in a rustling sigh.

Secret, it is. Can't judge, won't judge: she has secrets of her own. Fine, maybe judge a little, because seriously it sure sounded back there like his ex-girlfriend tried to ventilate her head a little with a bullet.

"Just south of Birnin Zana," she fields instead for both of them, picking her way through and under a branch. She hopes there's no spiders. "I didn't get far outside the city. Probably not more than a half-hour? It'll be a walk back, but there's a road. And it's the age of google maps, so it's kinda hard to get lost anyway for long, really."

And, a beat. "Yep. Quantum tunnelling. I finally got the program right." Pause. "Not that I tested it on you or anything, Matt." She did.

"We'll be fine though, Jessica," Jane's clear, slightly-strained voice promises. "If she comes back, we'll kick her ass again. Doubt it though."

"Did you say 'oh boy' at the end of that tunnel, DHK?" Jessica asks dryly. "That's kind of tradition you know. Jane, that's awesome."

She means it, even though this is such a weird time and place to congratulate the woman on the achievement. She knows how much that ability has meant to Jane, though of course she has no idea how the woman is doing it. She paces a little. They say they'll be fine, that they'll just walk it. She looks at the time on her phone, looks at the road ahead, frowns. "That's a long, hot walk," she replies, words coming out slowly. Why a bit of a walk? Did Jane quantum tunnel herself to…well, she'll ask later.

"Look, I am not really that far myself. I can come pick you two up. You can rest in a nice air conditioned car." She'll have to order up another car from this car's computer so she can send the two agents on, which will add a bit to the travel time, but she still suspects it will take less time than them hoofing it in the heat. "What's the nearest kilometer marker?"

She is aware, on some level, that she may exasperate them with this insistence on…well. Trying to take care of them when they probably don't need it. But the realization doesn't really stop her from making the attempt.

Fortunate that Jane's patient with him, or at least as patient as she can be. It's probably too much to ask that the perpetually secretive Matt Murdock turn over a new leaf and start experimenting in radical transparency, here in this foreign country where they are at once searching for evidence and — now — being actively hunted for the meddling. Even if the secrets didn't touch on the deeply personal. Even if he wasn't still sorting through how he felt about them, or their implications.

A brief puff of breath, quiet but suffused with gallows humor, meets Foster's insinuation that he was her guinea pig. "Yeah, I sort of asked for that with this name," Daredevil admits dryly, though he's quick to tack on to Jane's words, speaking into the phone: "And she's right, Jessica. The fewer of us wandering around outside the city limits, the better. You should find the others, give them a head's up, circle the wagons. Jane and I have got the walk home handled."

The battle between respecting their space and trying to…well. Take care of everyone, as Matt so often gently points out that she seems to feel the need to do in her new life as someone who actually gives a fuck, rages within one Jessica Jones. A helpless, pissed off expression crosses briefly over her face, emotions she's glad they're not there to see. Or, in Matt's case, sense.

Her friends have just been attacked. They're in a jungle, for fuck's sake, if she remembers her geography on 'south of Birnan Zana' right. Or near a jungle and an open highway. Their argument is simultaneously that wandering around outside of city limits is problematic and that they should do just that.

They're adults, Jones, and they just drove the assassin off all by themselves, and, without a doubt, better than you could have. Leave them be.


Her response is cranky despite her attempts to talk herself back off the anxiety ceiling. "Right. Circling wagons. Ok. But let me tell you both what's going to happen if you fight off an assassin only to die of heat stroke of all things. Hell, this is going to happen if either of you die of assassin, round two. I'm going to find the one with the audacity to do it in whatever afterlife they're in. I'll storm heaven, I don't even fucking care. I will do it just so I can a) shout at you. A lot. And b) so I can drag you back to the land of the living. That Greek dude that played that harp or whatever to get that one chick out of the underworld? Will have nothing on me."

Grumble. Grump. Grr.

And then, having gotten that nonsense off her chest— for it was, after all, pure, unadalterated nonsense— adds a polite and more traditionally caring, "Please just…text me when you get there safely."

And then she gets off the phone, leaving poor Daredevil and Jane to their trek, even as she gets back to…well. Riding in a car with spies.

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