Callbacks

November 27, 2017:

Jessica Jones tries to find Spider-Woman for help involving a certain mobster.

Central Park

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Kingpin, Matt Murdock

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

It's evening in New York City. It is a large city and filled with people, even at this time of night. The city that never sleeps, as it were. It is certainly a place where anyone can go to disappear. Were Gwen Stacy the sort of person to simply disappear into civilian life, she might just do that. However, she is not. She's Spider-Woman and that comes with the need to help people no matter the world.

The recent overtures from Red Robin have been stuck in her mind. Work with the Titans, help people, maybe they can get her back to her own world. Coulson also had an offer with the help of Jane Foster. There are quite a few people wanting to help her.

Perched on the top of one of the peaked roofs near her safehouse, Spider-Woman is in her white, grey and pink costume. For the moment her hood is down. The phone that Red Robin gave her is held in her gloved as she looks off at the large T shaped building in the East River. A team. Her hesitation has been more than just being a stranger in a strange land. She's not really much of a team player. But maybe she could be. A finger taps on the icon for Red Robin, the phone number coming up, the small phone icon lit up and ready to connect. Then, she thinks of Peter, wanting to be like her, experimenting on himself to make it happen. Her killing him…

The phone is switched off and stuffed back into her pocket, the hood pulled over her face. No, not yet. The Titans already have a Spider-Man. They don't need a Spider-Woman. Without hesitation, she leaps and then swings herself down the street, arcing her way around the city to find something to take her mind off this train of thought. A robbery? A purse-grabbing, even. She swings her way toward Central Park, knowing that to be a hotbed of problem activity at night.

*

Central Park is where Jessica Jones' questions have brought her. It's a hotbed of activity that draws Spider-Women, and it's a good bet.

She's in better shape, somewhat. Two days of nothing but sleeping, eating Emery's cake and rabbit stew, of occasionally watching comedies. She took the whole damned weekend off in a move that was wholly uncharacteristic for her. A few friends forgiving her foibles. No booze— back to the countdown now, back to AA, back to tokens, nalprexone, it seems, cannot be modified to fit her physiology the way serotonin reuptake inhibitors can— and almost back to herself.

Almost, except for the part where she still feels her skin crawling at the prospect of anyone touching her. Anyone at all. A big barrier between herself and those she'd like to draw close to.

But when a detective is hurting, a detective gets her ass on the job, and she made Matt Murdock promises. Besides, really, she should have checked on this kid ages ago. The fact that she left it for what, 10 months? Is kind of bad. She'd let herself think it wasn't her job, wasn't her problem, that one issue could do without her personal intervention. But that's not really who she wants to be. She could have squeezed in one more thing.

She has made…concessions.

Matt Murdock would never ask her to put pink anywhere near her hair, but what others will ask of her and what she'll ask of herself are two different things. With a sign of resignation she'd clipped two pink hair extensions into her raven locks before coming out on this hunt, one to either side of her face, like stripes. She'd went and found a white T-shirt with a V-necked collar that is outlined and rimmed in the same electric blue Trish chose for the Jewel outfit. She can only assume that whatever her counterpart wears is similar. Her leather jacket is over that, displaying the pseudo-Jewel outfit. She put on her nicer, bulletproof jeans and boots. And make-up. While she's not keen on being touched, she's healed enough that she can at least look like something that didn't come out of the rag bin without feeling…exposed. She even brushed her hair, though the wind is doing a number on it. Panther tooth necklace hanging at her neck.

Of course, she forgot that she might just find some trouble of her own to deal with. So it is that Spider-Woman might hear, "Christ, c'mon guys, not tonight, seriously. I'm not in the mood to hurt punks."

Jess is rarely in the mood to hurt anyone, and she's always leery of guns, which is why four punks with guns are enough to get her hands up and her face twisting in that look of disgust she sometimes gives. She could probably do more about it than she is, but…using her words is a thing.

"Seriously, guys, piss off."

Of course, the current climate means they're not just simple muggers.

"Shut up, you mutie freak!"

Awesome. Jess has found herself some bigots that she now wants to hurt even less, because it would confirm their bigotry.

*

Much like Jess, Gwen is a woman who thrives with the ability to shove emotions down in order to work. Her work is more being a vigilante than a detective, however. Swinging through the park, it's not just the shouts that draw Gwen to the sound of Jess being hassled by bigots. There's a bit of a ping of Spider-Sense. Though on this Earth that has not exactly been a reliable marker of anything, she still tends to try and follow it.

Landing on a tree branch, she blinks a few times to see a - sort of? Almost? - version of Jewel being harassed by gun-toting jerks. However, now is not the time to question what is going on here, it's a time for action. This is exactly what she came here looking to do.

"Hey, that's a totally offensive term, you…" wait, she didn't think this far ahead. Crap, just say something Gwen, "Jerk-offs." Smooth.

Oh well. Not ever entrance is going to be a good one. "Just take a hike and leave the nice pink haired lady alone." While she's still on that branch and covered by shadow, they should now be able to see her through the leaves. White isn't exactly the best camouflaged color there is. "Otherwise I'm gonna have to stop you and I doubt you'd like that."

*

Heads snap around to fix on Gwen. They are apparently not too concerned about her lack of smooth one-liner delivery. One thug does twist up his face in fear and rage, and goes to fire at Spider-Woman. Jess, who will stand there with her hands up and bullshit all day long when it's her springs forward to close her hand around his gun, crumpling it like an aluminum can. Galvanizing for percieved danger to Gwen far faster than for percieved danger to herself.

"C'mon asshole, quit that—"

But of course, now three of them are firing pretty much at Jess. She staggers forward as one slug punches into her jacket, and if that's all that happens the one that grazes her temple certainly draws some blood. She raises her hand to that, gasping in pain. Grazed or not, it hurts like hell, and both of these things definitely ensure that she will be in some deep shit without Gwen's intervention in just no time flat.

*

As the gun turns toward her, Gwen can guess that this is not going anywhere good fast. Spider-Speed and Reflexes are good for something, though. Even as Jess is crumpling his gun, she is flipping downward and twipping a webs out as she goes. Quickly, she attempts to gum up the first and second guns with two flicks of her wrist.

Once she lands, she's immediately standing in front of Jess to draw the fire, shouting, "Hey, what did I just say, jerk-offs!" Much like Jess, her first instinct is for the other woman and not for her own safety. A flurry of movement, she attempts to lasso all four arms of the gunmen together and holds onto the end of the strand. With her enhanced strength, she wastes little time to yank whoever she manages to ensnare off of their feet and to the left and into a nearby tree.

*

These guys are no match for Spider-Woman; no match for her webs and no match for her strength and speed. She soon has them all trussed up in the trees like nobody's business, putting an end to their aspirations to perforate themselves a pair of genetically enhanced individuals.

Jessica, for her part, touches the bleeding gash a few times gingerly, then grimaces again. Ouch. Whatever. It'll heal.

"Thanks," she says softly. "Seriously. We should probably take a hike before anyone else shows up though. And…together, maybe? Because I'd really like a chance to talk to you, if you're willing. I know I was kind of a bitch the last time we met."

Granted, she was a bitch who thought she was doing much the same as Gwen is doing now, leaping in front of someone who needed help, but she had been really tired and stressed. She seems to remember laying on the threats a little thicker than normal.

*

Once she's webbed the attackers securely to the tree, Gwen quickly returns to Jess to make sure she's okay.

The blood, the gashes, she frowns at those as well as the woman's outfit. She's the daughter of a detective and from a distance the outfit looked like it could pass for Jewel, up close it is clear to her that the hair is clip on, the outfit is different and that this is not the Jewel that she knows from Earth-65. So, that means it's the Jessica Jones of this world.

"That's what I generally do," she tells Jess in lieu of a 'you're welcome'. Her offer to walk together is met with a tilt of her head - which in general is a full masked translation of curiosity. "I' should've guessed since you're dressed up like that. Unless you're deciding to take up another night gig."

There's a nod to show that she'll walk with her, but she holds up a finger. "Just a sec." Turning back, she webbed a little message saying 'Bigoted Jerks With Guns' above their heads on the tree. Then, she starts walking down one of the more sheltered paths. With the two of them, she's sure they can handle more jerks if they come out of the trees. Her being a raging bitch is met with a shrug of her shoulders. "I was attacking a friend of yours. I should really be the one apologizing. I was pretty confused and out of it."

*

"Interdimensional travel sucks," Jessica says, in forgiving tones. "Believe me, I know. I've done it myself. Not for as long as you have, but I mean, you know. You get there, people who acted one way in yours act another in that one, people who were dead are alive, people who were alive are dead, you find out you're someone totally different, maybe better, maybe worse. It's weird and confusing and you don't know whether to wind your ass or scratch your watch."

Jess and her movie quotes. Was that Jumpin' Jack Flash? She thinks it was Jumpin' Jack Flash.

She slides her hands into her pockets, falling into step beside Spider-Woman, pulling the extensions out and stuffing them away now that she's sure the younger woman won't just take off because her hair is the wrong color.

"I apologize. I should have tried to come and help you a little bit, especially since I've been there, but— I was really, really overwhelmed at the time, and after awhile I guess I just assumed you were okay."

*

"Interdimensional…" Gwen looks to Jessica, puzzled. Does everyone here know she's from another world? Was there some sort of This Earth bulletin that she missed because she's not a part of this Earth? "Why do you think that was me?" Whether the quote is Jumpin' Jack Flash or not, Gwen misses the quote. Perhaps they don't have that movie on her Earth. Or she just never saw it.

It's weird to just be walking while in her Spider-Suit. She's usually flinging herself off of buildings or swinging around one way or another. Rarely is she just walking down a path next to someone.

The revelation that Jess has done it before is met with a quickly jumped upon question. "How? How did you do it?" Maybe she can use that to get back home. It might just as easy as that. She doesn't need all the weird science or the Titans.

As for the apology, she blinks a few times. "You don't know me from Adam, Miss Jones. And I attacked your friend. I definitely wasn't expecting 'welcome to this version of Earth' flowers. It's fine. I'm fine." Though she's not really fine. She's still isolating herself, still tossing herself into vigilanteism instead of dealing with the fact that she may be here awhile.

*

"Because of the Jewel thing. Here, at this time? It's like…an in-joke between me, my sister, and maybe a couple of friends. Nobody knew that name. It's nothing I've ever gone by, but I know I've gone by it in other places, because three weeks before I met you I went to a place where I was doing the whole Jewel thing. I had not apparently gone and dyed my hair in that one, but it was enough to tip me off. But um…well. The first time I did it, I was thrown into a nightmare realm by an evil sorcerer, the second time, I was sucked into a too-good-to-be-true realm cooked up by an evil terrorist organization. Then there was the time a gateway opened and I was staring at myself while she griped at me, that one was not a fun day; that gateway got pretty smashed up though."

She's apologetic as can be; she knows none of that is what Gwen wanted to hear. Involuntary. Involuntary. Smashed.

Jessica just gives a quick shrug at not knowing her from Adam, pointing out, "You help people you don't know from Adam all the time. I mean. It's our gig, right? Stop bad people from doing bad shit." She swears constantly where Jewel never does, her hair's dark, her fashion sense is different, but it seems not everything is different.

"As it happens," she says slowly, "some friends of mine might be gearing up to stop a particular bad person from doing some bad shit pretty damned soon. The raging asshole mob dude you mentioned when you ah…visited us."

*

Done in by her own references. Gwen knew it would come to this some day. It's not exactly like she's been hiding what she knows from what is actually here. It's impossible to know all the differences - large and small - and to try and research them exhaustively and comprehensively in order to fit in perfectly here takes far more concentration and study than she is willing to do. Her distractions are action, not study.

The knowledge that what Jessica experienced is impossible to replicate effectively, she sighs. It was a long shot anyway. However, she shakes her head. "I web people from getting shot, I don't go to the hospital afterward to make sure they're okay." Not usually. Sometimes. The statement gets a look tossed to Jess as she speaks. It's a long one and it is hard to tell what the woman is thinking through her mask.

Whatever it is, the next one is much easier to tell when she mentions the mob dude that she accosted Matt Murdock over when she first arrived. "Murderdock?" Her tone is low and dangerous. "He's here?"

*

Murderdock? Seriously?

Jessica shakes her head, lips twitching in amusement. She can not even begin to imagine any Matt who could have a moniker called Murderdock. "No. The only Murdock here is our friendly neighborhood very kind very nice very sweet lawyer who— " well, wouldn't hurt a fly is all wrong, isn't it? "Would never do bad stuff. He'd sooner hurt himself than kill someone else, so we couldn't call him Murder-anything. I'm talking about the other one. The one you said your uh. Evil Twin version of my friend was helping in your reality. That really wigs him out by the way. Matt, I mean. This other dude, he seems to be doing an awful lot of awful shit without any special help from Hell's Kitchen's best lawyer, anyway."

It is hard to tell what Spider-Woman is thinking behind the mask and hoodie, but Jessica looks at her frankly to see what her response might be, a little concerned that she might drive the girl off again by giving her too much, too fast. Still, frank and open honesty is pretty much the only play she can see here, and it's really the only one she would feel right about anyway.

*

The other dude. The one that she said Murdock was working for. The one that kidnapped a young girl to threaten her. The one that promised that if she got into his business she would live the rest of her days in an asylum. Who knew that she had said his name on the street.

At that, Spider-Woman stops right where she is. Is this is a test? A trap? Fisk said he had people everywhere. Immediately, she starts to back up toward a tree trunk. The flight instinct is starting to kick in again. Perhaps it is too much and too fast for Gwen, for her body language completely changes. While before she was wary but open, she suddenly goes into vigilante mode - ready to fling a web at Jess and run at a moment's notice.

"What do you mean?" She could trust Jewel, can she trust Jess? Or Matt Murdock? How different are people between dimensions? It's completely possible that this is all just a way to check up on her, to make sure she will keep her end of the bargain. From what she saw in Fisk's eyes, she would not put that past him.

"What are you here for?" she asks. The expression is not readable, but she is surely studying Jessica Jones.

*

Who immediately puts her hands up.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa."

She backs up herself. She in fact puts herself in a position that would make it easier for Gwen to web her if need be. Deliberately.

"My friends are working against him," she says slowly. Very quietly, too. "They've uncovered some things about him. They want to put him away. Some of them were hoping you'd share a little of what you knew of that guy from your own world, in case there were parallels. Leads they could look into. I think they're about to go smash up one of his operations soon, even. I mean I'm not going, there's some stuff in that operation I— don't feel strong enough to face."

She takes a deep breath, exhales. "Look, I know…our world's asshole is not your problem. But you don't strike me as the kind of person who can just stand aside, either. Can I maybe give you a number? The lead dude investigating this case. If you feel like talking to him or looking up any of what he's done to fight this mobster already— some of it made the news— well, you'll have the option. And if you don't, hey, no harm no foul. I'm sitting this one out because I'm scared. I'm not going to judge you if you decide to do the same."

*

Jessica's immediate defensive stance doesn't make Gwen come closer, but she stops her ready retreat. "How many friends? He's got eyes and ears everywhere. He kidnapped a little girl and threatened to kill her if I didn't give him information about how I knew who he was. All because it got back to him that I knew who he was after I attacked you two."

There's a clench of her hands into fists. "This isn't me standing aside, this is me helping. If there's more than two of you who know? I'm betting he knows what you're doing already. What I know? It doesn't apply here any more. He knows who I am. He almost cut a young girl's hand off to prove a point to me and I have no doubt he meant it."

This is all without saying his name. She did, after all, made a bargain that she wouldn't say his name again. And she also said she wouldn't get into his affairs. That scared little girl's face flashes in front of her eyes. He could just as easily kidnap her again.

*

Jessica's eyes widen in horror as Gwen recounts the tale of the kidnapping, the near-maiming.

She narrows them in fury. "That son of a bitch." That might actually make her forget her fear of Kilgrave long enough to…

But her mental health is not stable; she actually grimaces away in fear. Whatever she's not strong enough to face yet runs pretty damned deep.

"I'm sorry," she says, when she has herself back under control.

Spider-Woman asked a question, and Jessica gets herself back under control long enough to answer it. How many? "I'm not sure," she says. She chuffs a slight laugh. "More than two, but all of them trustworthy. Folks like us. Lead Investigator knows my weaknesses on this one pretty good, he doesn't want me near it and I just…I don't have it in me to argue right now. But…"

She chews on the inside of her mouth.

She can't turn away either.

"But I could go keep an eye on the kid. This mobster, he's— he's not the one I'm afraid of. If you decide to help, I can go do that, at least." Though doubt flickers over her own face. Watching a kid's house during a raid is one thing. She can't exactly give the child 24/7 surveillance indefinitely. She can put the kid on her rounds, vary up times, do a dozen other things, but there would still be huge windows where she couldn't be there. It's a consideration that stops even her, and she makes no move to get a number at all.

*

That son of a bitch. Exactly.

Gwen stays where she is, all her words and warnings soft to ensure they don't carry. Does Kingpin have people waiting in the woods just in case someone stopped by and thought to talk in what they thought was a safe place? She's not sure, but she also wouldn't put it past him.

"It's not just that girl. He picked her randomly and put a gun to her head. He could pick anyone. I'm sure he'd grab someone I cared about if I had loved ones on this Earth." Though, she wouldn't put it past him to take Hannah just because he did before. To show that his threats aren't empty.

Having no idea about who it is Jessica is afraid of, Gwen frowns and shakes her head. Jewel had no such experiences. There's someone worse than Kingpin? "Who could be worse than this guy?" she can't help but ask out loud. She's got a big mouth.

There's a long pause when there are offered solutions. Gwen clenches her gloved fists even tighter. She can't turn away, either. She can't let this Kingpin terrorize a neighborhood just because she was scared. Of course, she can't allow this guy to hurt Hannah or anyone else, either if she gets involved.

"Dammit," she hisses and then reaches a hand out. Quickly, she gestures with her hands in a way to mean, 'give me the number.'

*

"Some asshole with mind control powers," Jessica mutters uncomfortably.

She watches Gwen though, and sees the entire struggle played out in body language and pauses. Hesitations, clenched fists, curses.

Jess can sympathize. She can.

She takes out one of her own cards, but scrawls Daredevil's burner number on the back. "His name's Daredevil," she says, figuring a costumed superhero will respect a costumed super-hero's need to stay anonymous. She puts them in touch primarily because Daredevil knows 10 times more about this case than she does. She hadn't even connected the incident at Metro General back to it, until Luke spilled the beans. It occurs to her to be a bit concerned about what Spider-Woman might know about Matt and his abilities from her time in the other world, but…if that cat is out of the bag it's already out of the bag, and Jessica can't control what parallels are already there for the pink spider to find. He is, after all…all over the news. In both guises, really. And this was Matt's suggestion in the first place. He would have to know that he hasn't kept Jess far enough in the loop for her to really ask her own series of helpful follow-up questions. The best she can give is 'give me the recap of your experiences', which is surface level stuff. Not to mention Spider-Woman is very nervous and very afraid to talk. Giving her the decision to make the call or not, rather than pressing for info in the here and now…it's the only way they're getting anything.

"Google 'Daredevil + Vistoya Trucking' if you wanna watch him conduct a daring rescue of some other kidnap victims."

She holds the card out to Spider-Woman without stepping closer, mindful of the other woman's wariness when it comes to her. "Tell me where I'm going and who I'm looking out for." He could pick randomly, but Jess can't watch random. She can only keep her word, and watch the one kid that's been targeted before.

*

Daredevil. The name isn't at all familiar to her. Murderdock goes by The Kingpin (or, more accurately 'Totally Not The Kingpin'), though his business card does have the obnoxious saying "The Devil You Know" on it with his phone number. She always thought it was in regards to lawyers. However, Jessica is right to worry that she knows about Matt's abilities. Gwen Stacy already knows that the Matt Murdock on her world has enhanced powers. However, it's already been proven that things on this world do not necessary carry over to hers and vice versa.

The card gets pocketed. Maybe she'll call him, maybe she won't. She has to think about it, but she also can't just let the opportunity to stop this pass her by. "I'm not guaranteeing anything," she says. "I still might not call this Daredevil."

However, just agreeing to this means something and Hannah might still need protection. "Her name's Hannah Musgrove. Black hair, green eyes." Jessica's a PI, she's pretty sure she can find the right Hannah and protect her.

*

Yep, she sure can. Birth record search will give her everything she needs.

"Done. My number's on the front of the card. If you find you need help or a place to lay low, well, I'll help." Jessica knows that offer might not be accepted either, but she's going to give it all the same. It's the right thing to do. "Need help figuring out if someone is on the up and up, well, I might just know." She inclines her head in respect, and adds, "Thanks again for the help tonight. I think you kept my head from getting perforated."

Here, she walks a few steps back, the conversation seems to be over and she doesn't want to press, but she'll give Spider-Woman the chance to say anything else she'd like to say before simply turning to go.

*

Hearing that Jess' number is on the front of the card is met with a nod. More numbers. That could be a good thing or a bad thing. "If I do this, it's probably a bad idea for anyone to help me for a little while." People who help her could get put directly into the line of fire. Kingpin made that very clear. "Thanks for the thought, though."

The thanks in her direction is met with a smirk. It's probably more recognized in the tone of her voice rather than an actual expression. "Don't mention it. That's our gig, right?" Look at that! Call back! Nailed it, Gwen.

With that, she does what she's been itching to do since they started walking: with a quiet 'thwip' she pulls herself into the air and swings out of Central Park. There's things she has to think about and discuss. And possibly a few people she might actually need to call now.

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