Parlay

October 30, 2017:

Elektra Natchios becomes the latest in a long line of people to break into Alias Investigations. She's got questions, Jess has lies.

Alias Investigations, Hell's Kitchen, NYC

A fortress, it ain't.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Matt Murdock

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The window contractor has finally gotten here, so the apartment isn't just a complete cardboard box to wander into. The windows have been updated with thicker glass; Alias Investigations is back in the door. There's a fresh lock on the door, one with a key in code, and fresh new locks on both windows that are just window locks; after Deadpool Jessica's policy of 'ehn, just leave it open' has morphed into a far more cautious 'no, you know what? You want in, work for it' strategy. If nothing else, she's going to make it harder for strange men to drop an even strange tied up armed man into her bathtub. Make it a little inconvenient, make it so they have to stand there with the dude and risk being seen.

Granted, she's pretty sure none of these will really stop any of her friends, and probably not too many of her foes, but as Rizza used to say: 'One does not refuse the buckler because it isn't a tower.'

The apartment is dark; she keys her code in quickly. She's got one earbud in, playing music, singing along, a little, and her hands, at least, are free. Returning from work, ready to call it a night at last.

'You want in, work for it,' is a good strategy. Certain people definitely approved of it. Certain people who don't like pastimes to be too easy. A little challenge keeps the blood pumping.

About an hour ago, Jessica's key lock was examined interestedly, then dismissed. That presence circled around instead to a certain window of the two directly behind Jessica's desk, and slipped up easily into the frame. The work of a few deft moments had it open, the window slid softly open, the curtains twitched aside and blinds drawn up.

Such it is that when Jessica re-enters her home, it will be to the feel of an unexpected breeze touching her face from an open window that should not be open. There's no evidence of any intruder, not at first…

…up until dangling black hair appears in the open window, followed rapidly by the upside-down form of an unpleasantly familiar young woman. Elektra Natchios descends fluidly like a spider, flipping around at the last moment to alight right-side-up on the window ledge in an impeccably-balanced crouch.

"I'd say nice place," Elektra says, "but it isn't very polite to lie."

Jessica Jones scowls.

The wrong assassin is in her window.

She pulls out the earbud and leans on her closed door. It's really only to give herself a good method of escape, if she needs one. For a whole host of complicated reasons, she doesn't want to fight Elektra Natchios, not for longer than she has to. None of those reasons are fear, though at least one is a healthy respect of the assassin's skills. And while she supposes the standard hero thing to do is to want to bring her to justice or whatever, Jess lives in a world that's quite a bit more complicated than that. She has sheltered and taught a pint sized assassin even knowing the girl might well have been adding to New York City's body count, for example, because in its way, that was the right thing to do.

She scowls again, but she weighs her answer, simply flipping the light on when she's sure she has control of her expression again.

"Seeing as you led in with your opinion on my decor and not a gas bomb or a bullet from 2.5 miles away," she says dryly, "I'm guessing you're here to talk?"

That's one of the complicated reasons too…Jess just doesn't love fighting. She will do it, she will learn it, she will usually finish anything anyone wants to start, or try…

But at the end of the day, the P.I. prefers to use her words.

Elektra Natchios, for whatever reason, doesn't seem to want to fight either. Not today. Her hands are empty — though she's undoubtedly carrying elsewhere — and her stance is relaxed and nonhostile.

Her eyes, however — those give Jessica a searching once-over once the light comes on, her pupils contracting in the sudden brightness like those of a cat.

"Gas bombs and bullets are tricky in New York," the woman says, amused. "You drop one little bomb and the NYPD are up your ass. Did you know they're larger than the armies of most small countries? Giuliani was really very overenthusiastic."

She smiles comfortably, leaning against the side of the windowframe. "No, this is a social call. Wakanda was a mess, but it was very illuminating. I have missed such big changes in the life of our mutual acquaintance."

The whole thing is very surreal, but Jessica simply shucks off her coat and hangs it up. She won't go so far as to offer the assassin a drink or anything. She stays on her side of the room, keeping that closeness to her door. She narrows her eyes in something like confusion. "And so you came to me for what, the newsletter?"

She is going to play dumb. She promised Matt long ago she'd keep up like nothing ever changed, and knowing Elektra knows doesn't mean Jess is going to know. Her fierce protectiveness over Matt Murdock means she's going to downplay, downplay, downplay.

She just hopes she's not betraying everything with some twitch of her face.

"I guess I can give you a bit of one…he kicks the crap out of people who do shitty things. Sometimes, we help each other kick the crap out of people who do shitty things. The horns are a bit much. That's pretty much all I've got."

She's even going to downplay that she's heard about the star-crossed relationship between Elektra and their 'mutual acquaintance.'

Elektra's dark blue eyes follow Jessica as she moves. There is something to her stare that suggests she suspects Jessica is determined to play dumb, but she doesn't have enough solid proof to call the other woman out. She can smell the protectiveness off Jessica though, and it lends her gaze something of an unblinking, gauging quality.

Almost as if she's gauging a possible threat.

"I gathered that much from the moniker and the outfit," she says, dryly. "And the dossier I received. I am both surprised and unsurprised, given the boy I used to know." Her head tilts. "Ah, but has he told you even that much? He always liked to play at being two people. It seems he's keeping up the divide."

She is remarkably calm, nearly personable, given she tried to kill Jessica not a few weeks ago… but then, that was just business. A job.

"I try not to peek to far beneath the cape," Jess says with a shrug and a smile.

"I have no idea who he is."

She has to get the topic off herself.

Quick.

The last thing she needs is a psycho ex-girlfriend figuring out that Jessica Jones carried a torch for Matt Murdock for months. The last thing she needs is for this woman to sniff out that she still loves him, even though she's determined it's best to move on and try to find romance elsewhere. That just seems like a big can of worms.

"I guess that makes you one of the privileged few. You clearly still care about him. Would you ever, I dunno, give up the psycho murder thing for him? He got pissed at me once for hitting someone too hard," which is an out and out fabrication, "so I can't imagine he loves your career choice."

She leans back against her door again, crossing her arms, just…a woman having a conversation with another woman about her love life, apparently. Jessica can't help the bit of sass that flows out of her mouth, but she's trying to do the same. What she wants, here, is to keep this from exploding into violence, after all, which means for now? Not taking it at all personally that this woman stabbed her once.

And really, Jess isn't sure she should judge. Something happened to this woman. She might not be a monster, not really. She might just be a person, doing shitty things because she's in pain. And so it stands, with the two of them evaluating each other like strange cats.

"Oh?" Elektra says, leeeeaning precariously forward, balancing her elbows on her knees and resting her chin in her hands. Her expression is pure innocence, but her eyes watch Jessica like a hawk. "More's the pity. There's plenty to see under there."

She takes in the claim, though. Her dark blue eyes process the thought, clearly debating whether to believe Jessica or not. In the end, she seems to decide that her action is the same regardless of if she believes or not, and her gaze eventually ticks away. Elektra clearly seems to care for Matt enough to still keep his secrets. She studies Alias with a discerning eye, as if to force it to divulge its secrets via a mere look.

But her gaze comes arrowing back when Jessica ventures that she still cares for him. Perhaps might even give up the murder thing for him —

"I did not get into the 'psycho murder thing' for him," she says, her low voice suddenly flat, "so he's not a strong argument for me giving it up."

There is a pause, before the mood smoothes and slides away. Elektra is all flippancy when she dismisses, "But he has never approved of most of my choices, so his opinion on this one is not news! Besides, would he give up this pursuit of beating criminals in the alleys of Hell's Kitchen for me?"

She snorts. "Or even for doing something that would be a better use of his potential?"

She's nuts. Absolutely bugfuck nuts. Jessica is abruptly glad most of her life is in her phone. There are, in fact, things Elektra could dig up, were any of her personal possessions really in here at all, that would at least demonstrate that Jess has some sort of relationship with both sides of Matt Murdock's world, one that would make it a bit less believable that she doesn't know shit. Not with her sharing her every case file with him.

Right. Psycho was a bad choice of words. But hey, they're still not trying to rip each other's faces off. That's good stuff.

"Dunno," Jess says with a shrug. "That sounds like something I would know if our association extended beyond beating criminals in the alleys of Hell's Kitchen."

The answer, of course, in Jessica Jones' opinion, is really: no, lady. No, no, and Hell no. All this talk of potential is highly unnerving.

"As it is, my only weigh-in on his decisions of late is that I kind of miss the black outfit."

The way Elektra regards Jessica, too-close and too-intent, does not help with the assessment of 'nuts.' For a brief moment, as she speaks coldly and obliquely of the reason she got into 'psycho murder' without ever coming out and saying that reason, there is a fury in the woman's eyes great enough to fuel the kind of transformation from idle rich to trained killer.

Someone did something to this woman to make her what she is now, and Elektra does not regret the change. For her, it might not even have been a change so much as a peeling back of the veil.

Some of that harshness lingers in her gaze as she listens in silence to Jessica's continued deflections. Her eyes flick around Alias again, because she obviously is not buying Jessica's demurrals. If she has more to say about Matthew Murdock's 'potential,' or why she seems to think he has a potential that is not being fully met, or what she thinks him fully meeting his potential would look like

— she keeps it to herself.

Instead, and quite abruptly, she shakes off that air of coiled danger and straightens back up in the windowframe. A smile flashes across her features, sharp and wild. "I miss other outfits he used to wear," she quips, taking one step backwards.

"But! It is good to know he has such friends to watch his back. These are dangerous times," she concludes. Her eyes half-lid, before with a sleek pivot, she departs the window as silently as she came.

Shiiiit. She did not buy it.

Jessica rubs the back of her neck, exhaling.

Then she pulls out her phone.

Pulls up Matt Murdock's number. Her finger hovers over the button; she doesn't want to alarm him. And she realizes she can't just text Elektra was here. She's going to be watching her apartment, Jess is sure of it.

She switches to Daredevil's burner phone number instead. Meet me at snake place, soon as you can. Stay away from Alias until we talk.

Then she walks over and shuts the window. Locks it. It's flipping cold out. As cold as Elektra's eyes.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License