December 14, 2017:

Spoiler, still disturbed by her vision, comes to check on one Jessica Jones. To check…and to find out how she can help.

Alias Investigations, Hell's Kitchen, NYC

At least try to make it look hard to break in for like at least 30 seconds, guys, jeez!


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Deadpool, Red Robin, Bucky Barnes, Jane Foster, Zatanna Zatara, Batman, Azalea Kingston

Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

It was night time. Spoiler had put off going to check on Ms. Jones for about as long as she felt she could. So, to the apartment the blonde went, only to find security was beefier than the last time. The surprise was a pleasant one, and smiling, Spoiler set to work hacking the key pad by the door. Not the best hacker in the Family, it takes Spoiler several minutes, fussing with her phone at the pad before it gives way and she's able to by pass the rest of the locks to get in. Alarm reset, Spoiler takes a moment to survey the apartment before moving to the kitchen, finding HER cup, and starting a fresh pot of coffee.

Oh! There's left over from the previous pot? Spoiler takes a moment to clean it out first, and the same mug she remembers Jess using is pulled out and set near the coffee maker.

That done, and with little else to do, the blonde batling settles herself with a back to a corner, fresh made coffee in hand, sipping the warm drink as she reads her Twitter feed on her HUD.

In many ways, Jessica Jones knows the updated security is almost a waste of money. So many people know ways around it that it's not even funny. Many of them are friends, some of them are foes. At the same time, finding a weirdo in her bathtub who nearly blew up her apartment and who shot up said bathtub sort of made her put her figurative foot down. People want in? They can at least freakin' work for it.

She gets a ping on her own phone from the keypad, letting her know someone has entered. She rolls her eyes; time to change the code, clearly, but she's not terribly upset. She should try installing an interior camera to find out who it is so she won't just go blindly walking into a gun in her face, but whatever, there's no camera today.

There is definitely left over from the previous pot, burning away because Jess forgot all about it. Marks on the bottom of said pot say that this is kind of a regular occurence. She will at least vastly appreciate coming home to the smell of fresh coffee, instead of burnt.

When she arrives she's in her black jacket, zipped, her tattered grey scarf, boots, jeans. She smirks when she sees who it is, with her cup no less, and grins.

"Hey, Spoiler," she says warmly, because she's very good about using Code Names When In Costume and Real Names When Not.

A fact that Spoiler is oh so thankful for.

"Evening, Jess. Nice keypad. Do you want me to bring by some minicameras so you can see who's in? Rob might black them out, but that'd be obvious. He's a little paranoid. Especially right now. I suppose, I cant blame him. Coffee?"

Yes, it's a little rambly. Yes, it's a little youthful. Yes, Spoiler has uncurled from her chair with the clear intent to go pour Jess siad cup of coffee.

"Coffee sounds great," Jessica says, stripping off her jacket and hanging it on her coatrack. She is wearing a black sweater beneath, nothing to write home about. The scarf follows soon after, as do her fingerless gloves. It takes her a moment to realize who 'Rob' would be, because she of course calls him 'Red,' but she gets there quickly enough. "And I'll take you up on minicams. I had one outside my door for awhile, but it just got stolen."

She pulls one of the chairs at her little bistro table around, straddling it. "How are you? I'm sorry, I meant to check in with you ages ago but the whole damned…however many weeks have gotten away from me. Just been one thing after another after another, you know?"

Purple-black lips smile as Jess accepts the offer of coffe, and Spoiler leaves her mug on the table to go make Jess a fresh cup.

"I'll bring some really small ones, help you hide them, or give you ideas on where if you'd rather. If you can see them, they're too big," Spoiler says, moving back to the table to serve the coffee and settling down again. She crosses her feet at the ankles.

"I'm…" there's a lengthy pause. "Worried. I know. I'm not upset that you didn't check in. I've noticed some activity here so, I figured you were okay." Sip of coffee.

"I'll accept the help," Jessica says, (wonder of wonders, for someone who routinely doesn't). "I imagine you've got far more tech training than me. If you've had even a day of training on how to hide and install cameras, you officially have more than me."

She curls her fingers around the coffee and takes a long sip, closing her eyes. Hot coffee after being out on a cold day is pretty much bliss.

"I figured you were too," Jess says with a faint flicker of a smile. If only because she's sure someone would have informed her if something had gone wrong. "So how are you doing? Merry Christmas, by the way." She's said that a few times now; she's starting to kind of like saying it, so she just goes right ahead and says it again.

It's nice that someone accepts help. Spoiler's smile softens and her head nods.

"Yeah. No problem. I'll help you get set up," she promises of the cameras and extra security. She too takes a sip of her still warm coffee.Cold was the reason for the beverage after all. About to answer how she was doing, teh Merry Christmas is surprising and Spoiler blinks once… and then blushes lightly.

"Ah. Merry Christmas," the blonde replies before settling her mind on a gift she is suddenly voiwing to get Jess. The smile returns, a bit wane.

"I'm alright. Like I said. I'm worried." There's a puase. As Spoiler ponders how to say it before she just figures blurting it out would be best.

"I… Rob and I got into a tussle with something… black…. And slimy. …and…" Words fail her and she ends up shuddering on a bluuggh sound.

Jessica has done zero point zero Christmas shopping and the shopping days are counting down. There is a good chance she will end up running frantically around the stores on Christmas Eve, anxious and angsting because she's not sure anyone will like anything she gets. In fact, gift giving is enough of a source of anxiety, having done very little of it, that the anxiety is in fact something that's making her delay the entire exercise.

But for now, all thoughts the Season are put out of her mind. She listens, and her brows draw down. "Where was this?" she asks, tilting her head. "When was this? Did Red chase it away with an Uberflashlight? Did it seem to try to unmake everything it touched?"

"His place. …His secret place. His nest." Pause. "Oh God.. that sounds stupider outloud. Bird.. Nest…" Spoiler seems to dwell on this for a heartbeat before shaking herself free of it and straightening up.

"A few nights ago I think. We… destroyed it. He used the headlights of his car. I swear to you Jess. I FELT how bright it was, and even with my eyes closed and face buried AND my flare comp, I saw stars for a good while after.

"No? At least, I couldn't tell. It.. splashed on me and.." Spoiler shivers, her cheeks paling.

"It hit me with a cloud of.. itself? And ti was like.. it was talking into my head. Showed me Rob and you and Sergent Barnes and Zatanna, and…. some others I didn't know. Rob said one was A Dr. Foster. The thing, in my head… I've … I'm just worried about you guys."

So not Primordial Darkness, thankfully, or Spoiler would be very dead. Maybe even wiped out of memory. Of existence.

Thank Someone for small favors.

Jessica tilts her head. "Of course," she murmurs. "At his lab. He said something reacted there, right around the same time…and of course she saw us there, so whatever was in his lab, connected to her, would be able to tap into that and show it to someone else."

She exhales. And watches Spoiler carefully, seeing all that paling. "As much sense as that all makes to me, that couldn't have been pleasant for you. It sounds like I ought to be worried about you. Any lingering effects? Nightmares? Icky feelings?"

"Icky feelings and nightmares are mostly gone," Spoiler admits, peering into her coffee cup before…

"The thing said two of that group were going to die. It's… got Rob and I both on edge. So, I wanted to check on you and… let you know that I'm on alert. If anything goes down, I need you to call me. Either phone, I don't care," she says, fainlly looking up. The motion triggers the lends of her cowl to slide up, to reveal her eyes, so the plea can be seen. It's about as close to pulling hte cowl back as she's going ot go until this place is more secure.

"Yeah, Red mentioned that," Jessica says, and suddenly she just looks tired.

"Pretty sure I know who, told him that too. Barnes and Foster are in some trouble right now, trouble none of us really know how to get them out of. Thought we made some progress on it the other night but…"

She shakes her head and scrubs a hand over her face. "They're the most likely candidates. We're working to save them, and I mean I wouldn't take the word of a cloud of evil magical shit as gospel. Evil magical shit seems to like fucking with people's heads, like kind of universally. Those two have at least a fighting chance right now, still at least a 50% chance of coming out of this okay. So I mean. Things aren't good, but all isn't lost, either."

She takes a long sip of her coffee, and says, "Still, I'm happy to keep you on speed dial. I like having all my friends on speed dial right around the time my ass is getting handed to me on a platter."

"But… nothing?" Spoiler offers, eyes worried. Frowning she sits back as the happy relazed from earlier fades into fatigue. Feeling she casued it, Spoiler bites at the inside of her lower lip, and nods quickly to Jessica's assessment of hte odds.

"Yeah. I've got my last final tomorrow, so… well, even if I was still in class, I mean it. Call me. Txt me. I… I want to help."

But nothing?

No. Not but nothing.

But worse.

But Jessica doesn't even know where to begin to start with explaining it.

Even so, abruptly, she knows exactly how Spoiler can help.

"Actually," she says slowly, "a lot of this is still as it ever is, about the brains, not the fists. Investigation. I've got a sort of witness interview I could do, but I was going to do a big research project too. I think you and your Batstuff can do it a lot faster and more efficiently than I can. First, I'd like you to dig up everything you can about a jawbone that was on display at the History of Math museum. Natural History of Math? I wasn't paying too much attention to the name, because first, trying to figure out why a math museum exists, second, magic, evil, yuck, etc."

She blows out her cheeks. "And then? Once you figure out what that thing was all about, see if you can't plot me a list of where other artifacts or items like it may be tucked away in the city. We're looking for…Native American, probably, legendary significance or mystical significance of some kind."

This may be too little, too late. It may be too much, too useless. Jessica leans back in her chair, troubled, thinking it through. "Toss in some cross-referencing to see if any other stuff like that has gotten swiped or stolen recently," she says, chewing on her lower lip. This could be her pushpin map all over again. Or…it could generate a pattern, point to potential targets, give some hints as to what, exactly the end game might be. In the chess match. Where both the rescuees and the villians appear to be the same people.

She adds, "If you see Barnes and Foster they're sort of short one soul each right now, and they'll probably try to kill you. Not their fault, they got hit with a Hell of a whammy but I wouldn't engage without backup. They'll fuck you up real good if you try it alone."

Or. Kill her. Which nobody wants. It's not disparagement on Spoiler; for she adds, "Trust me, I won't engage withou backup either."

Not that Jess is eager to engage at all.

Something she can do? Spoiler straightens up, phone pulled out to voice record the information so she can organize it later. And by later we mean almost immediately. She's nodding, the lens slipping back into place over her eyes. Research, homework, studying, reports.. this she can do. Over-achiever, good student, Steph's report will be freaking color coded on scented paper!

"Got it. How often do you want updates?" she asks.

"Shit, you might have to take it statewide too. Pay close attention to anything out of Westchester County."

But a smile touches Jessica's lips. It's nice to see, really, Stephanie's eagerness. And…well. Few people love this end of the job as much as Jessica does. It's nice to find someone else who thinks pouring through scads of information in the hopes of withdrawing a small kernel of something useful is actually fun.

"As soon as you see something you think is interesting, update me," she says, after a moment's thought.

As excited as Spoiler is, she feels compelled to warn: "This might be like a lot of my investigation attempts. A completely dead lead, waste of time. Or it might deliver us the information we need. And we won't know till someone does the due diligence and just does it, this really will be a huge help."

Purple lips pull up in a warm smile.

"This is most of the job. Knowledge is power, and when you can't fly, aren't bullet proof, and slow as a snail…" Spoiler quips with a slight hint of mirth that's a touch bitter at the tail end. At least she's able to start making jokes about it now. Sort of. She brings her coffee to her lips to sip at, eyes skimmig the transcription of Jess's request to make sure it's intact before she deletes the recording.

"I'll txt you if something looks important, for sure."

Jessica tilts her head at Spoiler, hearing that touch of bitterness.

"You know," she says.

"Who impresses me the most? In this biz? It's not people like me, who got chemicals dumped in our lap one day and woke up able to throw a car. Especially not like me; I mean, I screwed around for almost a decade and a half after that, not bothering to help anyone with it, working shitty customer service gigs. And even my first bit as a detective, I mean you know. Infidelity cases aren't exactly changing the world for the better."

She leans back on the legs of her chair, exactly how everyone's Mom says you should not, and tips a finger at Spoiler. "It's people like you, and Red, and a vast list of people I've met who said, fuck it. I'm going to put this uniform on, and I'm going to work my ass off, train my body, train my mind, get out there, use whatever edge I can get or find, and I'm going to make the world a better place. I think about how much time you two must have to spend to stay conditioned. To learn how to fight. How much bravery it had to have taken to learn those heart-stopping grappler swings you guys all seem to do…without the benefit of a healing factor or the ability to power leap or whatever. Will, self-discipline, that kind of heart…it's something special. Super-power in its own right if you ask me."

She whistles. "And you do it all around what, law school? Fuck me, Spoiler, I barely made it out of high school. At the age of 21. With a 1.75 GPA. So."

Jess's monologue has Spoiler's eyes widening, and a blush drifting over her cheeks. She seems to sink back into her chair, as if uneasy with the praise, and yet the blush and the tiny smile… It eases some of the burden and the tension. It's like a flower finally getting a bit of water after too long without it.

"So… I'll… update you. And.. I'll get those cameras set up," Spoiler says, changing the subject on burning cheeks.

"Do you want me to get you a view app on your phone so you can monitor them?"

Jessica tilts her head at the girl, noting the signs of someone who needs encouragement but has lacked it.

What the Hell, Batdouche? How often do you tell this kid she's doing a good job? What do you do, tell her 'nice hat' or something every third quarter?

She dismisses it, reminding herself that she has never directly exchanged words with Batman; that her impressions of him come from a single encounter, that maybe he was trying to do something with Az she just didn't get by flinging multi-million dollar toys around while making her fend for herself in a church closet…

No, actually, if she continues that line of thought she's just gonna get pissed off at Batman anyway.

"I'd love that, thank you," she says with a smile. "Would help me know if trouble was waiting around my apartment, versus people I like. I really have been nervous about the day I walk in here to recieve the sudden gunshot wound to my head."

The thank you has a similar affect, the blush staying in place as Spoiler pushing to her feet.

"Sure. No problem. I'll call to make sure you're in before coming by again. And I'll set up the cameras and the monitor app at the same time," Spoiler says, tone bright and youthful and eager and shy all rolled into one. The gunshot tot he head remark isn't as offputting as it seems, for it seems to solidfy Spoiler's decisions.

"And if it's okay with you? I'd like to link it to my phone, to trigger an aleart as a fail-safe, if your alarm is triggered or something? and.. if your phone runs out of charge or abruptly shuts off?"

Jessica Jones reaches out to offer a fistbump, and tilts her head in consideration. "You know what, I'd appreciate that," she says. "It would be nice to know someone else is able to keep an eye on this place. Azalea is still in and out of here," as far as she knows, anyway, but she hasn't seen any sign of the young godgirl moving out. "But just having someone else watching it remotely would be great."

Because God knows she has had enough scares. It warms her, it's another instance of someone just showing her a ton of care and concern. Even over a year past the date when her life started changing to allow for this it still sometimes strikes her as odd, almost impossible, eerie, and…well. Pretty damned wonderful.

Fistbump? Fistbump! Spoiler smiles and reaches out to thump her gloved knuckles against Jessica's hand. She absolutely does NOT open her hand and waggle her fingers and blaabalalalala's. Even if the thought crossed her mind. She nods, and collects her coffee cup.

"Sure. I'll get that set up," she says as she pours out the dregs, washes her cup, turns off the coffee maker so it won't burn again, and then washed out the filter tray after ropping it into the trash can. Spoiler, Best Room Mate?

"Need anything else tonight? I need to finish my patrol," she asks, turning from the kitchen clean up.

"Nope! You've been awesome as usual. I'm glad you stopped by. Me? I'm going to drop my happy ass into a bubble bath and stay there until the water freezes over."

Jessica levers to her own feet, and adds, "You're welcome here any time." Just in case Stephanie wasn't sure.

Stephanie's never sure about house guesting. She's either too over the top or too hard headed. The blush returns as does the smile, and Spoiler nods again.

"Ok. Don't drown. But if you do, speed dial. I know CPR," she quips, before moving to use the front door LIKE A REAL PERSON. Spoiler out.

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