December 25, 2017:

Spoiler decides to surprise Jessica Jones with some serious Christmas cheer.

Alias Investigations, Hell's Kitchen, New York

Now featuring: legitimately the first Christmas tree that's ever been in here. And hashtags. Lots of hashtags.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Sally Stojespal, John Constantine, Zatanna Zatara, Batman, Azalea Kingston, Matt Murdock, Foggy Nelson, Jane Foster, Barbara Gordon, Red Robin


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Whatever kind of day Jessica had, could it prepare her for what she walks into when she gets in? On the table in the kitchen there is a tree. A small one foot tall tree with tiny LED light in a rainbow of colors. It's not plugged into anything, so it is clearly battery powered. Under the tree are two small gifts. One is a long rectangle, perhaps half a foot in length, two inches wide and an inch deep. Beside it is a small card, like the ones see on flowers given as anniversaries. It's in it's own miniture envelop, with Jessica's name written in girly flowing cursive… in purple ink.

Near the tree and gifts there is a covered plate. The coffee pot has fresh coffee, just now finishing it's brew cycle. The droplets and steaming can be heard. Spoiler herself is waiting in the shadows, wanting to see Jess's reaction to the surprise.

YAY! Christmas Spirit! The blonde is almost vibrating inside from anticipation.


Christmas Day has been weird for Jessica Jones.

She delivered many of her gifts, though not all of them. A pile still sits on her desk. One is even for Spoiler herself. It's evident Jess did the wrap job, because they all seem to have rips or tears or strange edges. They are all bound in some duct tape which was meant to patch the screw-ups. Some of them have two different kinds of paper. At least one has been shored up with what looks to be the funny pages; Charlie Brown's mournful face makes silent commentary as he stares out at the room.

Around delivering gifts, which she figured would be the end of it, she got wind of a group of asshat "carolers" who were showing up at people's doors and committing home invasions. Leave them to the police? Psh. Whatever. No. Jessica went and put the fear of God into the little punks, which is to say she assessed that none of them was any older than fifteen. This had prompted her to get a concrete block. She had broken it over her knee, lifted her eyebrow, and had half Mom-faced, half-threatened each of these stupid children into turning over what they stole to her, along with whom they stole it from. As best she could, with the aid of teenaged memory, she returned them, after delivering a speech she hoped got them all scared straight. She's sure some people got some mix-ups from her moment of playing Jessica Claus, but she did her best.

Dumbasses. God damn it.

When she arrives, though, a smirk tugs at her lips. She only knows a few people who would write in flowery cursive, and an even shorter list who would use purple, and a shorter one still of whom could ninja around her apartment to do all this. One plus one plus one equals Spoiler, but she doesn't go for calling the girl out. Instead she lets the tease of smirk blossom into the delighted grin she's actually feeling, and says, "Holy shit. Santa's been here or something. Does this mean I've actually been good this year?"

She asks it almost to the ceiling, like she's being rhetorical.


In the corner, Spoiler's shoulders come up and a gloved hand touches the tip of her nose, covering her purple lips as she snickers silently to herself. She knows Jessica is playing along with this, but it's fun, it's Christmas, and this is the closest thing to the magic of a Christmas miracle that Spoiler could manage. Behind her head, Spoiler bites her lower lip, eagerly waiting for the gifts to be opened, and not for a moment thinking there was a return gift. Spoiler might be a ninja, but she's not intrusive! Christmas gift piles are sacred!!!

Spoiler has successfully managed NOT to spoil something! #LifeGoals2017


And here is the simple truth.

This is the first time Jessica Jones has experienced this sort of thing since she was fifteen years old. Truthfully, it would be younger; she kind of sussed out the whole Truth About Santa at 7 like any good junior budding detective might have. She'd played along right up until Phillip's death though, because he was too young to know better and she didn't want to…well…spoil it for him. She even let her parents think she still believed, which was some feat for a darkling child who was characteristically just as surly and sarcastic as the post-accident adult Jessica can be at her worst.

It actually brings a bit of a lump to her throat, the good kind, but this is pushed aside in favor of the detective settling next to the tree to start ripping into packages like she is all of five years old.

Not exactly one to preserve the paper, Jessica Jones.


Which it's a bother at all. Hence the use of hte thin paper. It rips so much better. Spoiler leans, stretching a bit to watch Jessica's face as she reveals a black box from Pilot. there's a smaller package wrapped up int he same paper which falls out when the first box is revealed. Spoielr holds her breath, wondering if Jessica is goign to be a spoiler and open the new gift or if she's going to wait for that one until after she opens the sleek black pen box.


As much of a child as Jessica Jones can be when she really lets herself drop her guard, she is not a spoiler. Not when she's having a moment of immediate awe in response to this pen.

She has been given gorgeous gifts this year, also more than she's received since she was 15, and many have been wonderful. She spent hours reading Sherlock Holmes books from Sally, and the gift of the Tibetian singing bowl from John, side-by-side with his more practical demon-hunting charms, touched her deeply. But this one evokes one of the rarest feelings she's ever had— the desire to sit and play with the gift like she really is a child.

She has always loved the tactile sensation of writing. It's why she still takes most of her notes by hand. It helps her remember, but she also likes the feel of pen on paper. It's a throw back to the child who thought she was going to become Jessica Jones, ace reporter for The New York Times, or some other similarly prestigious publication, pursuing the kinds of in-depth stories that win Pulitzers. The part that is more deadly at Scrabble than most people give her credit for (not that she has had occasion to play anywhere but with old men at the park) because she smugly whips out words like 'axiom' or 'zealot' and finds ways to stick them onto Triple Word Scores. The love of words, the love of languages.

It's almost wrong; she is 99.9% sure Spoiler is still hanging out. She should hurry up and open the other so she can stop hiding, so she can be properly thanked, so they can talk and share and be…Christmasy. But she can't resist. She slips the cartridge inside the pen, knowing exactly how, chews on her lower lip in a rare expression of soft-featured vulnerability, snags a piece of printer paper, and writes 'Merry Christmas' gently across the page.

She can barely wrap a present, she can barely cook a meal, her cleaning is hit or miss. But while her caligraphy is not expert, it's a skill she picked up somewhere along the way. When she wants to, she can slow down her handwriting.

"Incredible," she murmurs, and means it. Swift and smooth, everything a pen should be, and moreover, one that will last and last, because the cartridges can be replaced.


Spoiler hadn't realized she was holding her breath, not until Jessica pops in the cartridge with ease. She's used them before. The worry over it had Stephanie finding way too make 'how-to' videos on YouTube and then practicing and then pondering making her own. She actually filmed one, but it was never uploaded. Stephanie didn't want to run the risk of spoiling the surprise. Jessica might be a sub… on her channel… like.. has clicked the red.. LOOK THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE INNOCENT!!!

Spoiler smiles, heart happy and full, as Jessica finds some paper and writes with the pen. That moment to enjoy the gift and not rush to move to the next one is a thing a million times more than she had hoped she'd get as a reaction from the surely detective. And she was glad that she found so many different colors for those cartridges. When Steph couldn't figure out which one to pick, she grabbed one box of each.

This was the single most expensive gift she had pulled this year. #WorthIt

Unable to wait any more, Spoiler finally steps out, a bashful little smile on her face. Because it was obvious that Jessica liked the gift, but until there's the exchange of thank you's and you're welcome's, one really doesn't know.

"Merry Christmas," offers the Aubergine Batling Avenger (wow, that's a mouthful), one shoulder up.


What Spoiler gets is something very rare. Really, really rare from Jessica Jones. Unless she moves (and Jessica telegraphs at Spoiler like she does at everyone else, for all sorts of reasons, to give her the shot at getting out of the way), she's going to find herself wrapped in a surly detective hug. Not a rib crushing one or anything, Jess knows Stephanie needs those. But a big one.

She actually does blink back tears, because there are nice things and nice things, and there was a lot of extra effort put into this particular nice thing. For one thing, she'd been anticipating spending this day pretty much 100% alone after blowing through to various people with presents. Some, like Luke Cage's, won't even make it to him till tomorrow.

That didn't bother her precisely— habit is habit— but she's damn grateful to have an alternative.

Sometimes she barely knows how to react when people do nice things for her. There have been many, but each one is precious, each one seeming just as impossible as the one that came before it. "Merry Christmas," she murmurs, trying to get herself a bit under control. The thank yous and your welcomes and oh-hey-I-got-you-something-toos might just have to wait, because right now she's overcome enough that she can't manage more words than that.


Stephanie saw the hug coming. Hugs after presents are… something Stephanie's missed. Mom used to. When she's sober and remembers Christmas, she still does. Dad? Hugs from him stopped about the time his obsession with beatign the Batman started up. Stephanie's forgotten what fatherly hugs were like. An only child, Stephanie doesn't know what sisterly hugs are like, so the feelings behind this one catch her completely off guard, even as she's returning it.

"I'm glad you like it," Spoiler says softly, leaning into the hugs and more than wiling to just be here, hugging, for as long as it's given.


It's long, but not crazy so, Jessica has a sense of such things. It's long enough to let Jessica Jones get her emotions under control, to get the words, "Thank you," out of her mouth, adding, "This was crazy thoughtful. All of it." Not just the gifts, the second still sitting unopened. But she trusts Spoiler will get it. She does step back with a searching look.

Of all the places she'd expected to find a member of the Bat Family sans Azalea on Christmas, her valiently dingy office wasn't among them. She'd envisioned some sort of Bat Clan Christmas, perhaps with everyone in costume, bat boomerangs on some massively overpriced tree. Well, no, they probably all know each other, but she'd definitely imagined Spoiler, like nearly everyone else she knows, would be doing her own thing today. Maybe she still is, and she still thought of the detective who would be sitting at home reading and eating Boston Market.

And maybe she was facing a lonely Christmas of her own, a thought which causes Jessica some concern.

Still, she decides awkward Christmas questions are not the way to go. Instead she plunges her hand into the pile of poorly wrapped packages on the desk, withdrawing Spoilers without care, and rather… well. Shy isn't really a word most apply to Jessica on most days, but. She has her moments.

This is one of them.

"Your turn."


There was an attempt for a Bat Family Christmas. Stephanie was very very happily decorating stockings for the fireplace in Bruce's study. Tim was sitting next to her and the two of them were being awkward. Barbara wheeled in, Bruce was drinking tea, Jason walked in. Despite Alfred's best attempts, it had fallen apart. Stephanie didn't have the heart to try again this year. She resorted to leaving each little gifts, hidden away somewhere they could each find them, and open them on their own time. Stephanie wouldn't get the joy of seeing their faces but… she'd at least know they got it, next time she went into their space to poke around.

Which reminds the typist to start on those @mails….

"You're welcome, Jess," says Spoiler as the embrace breaks. She gets it. There was more to the gift than a pen. There was the minor decorating, the dinner under the plate cover that Jess has yet to lift, and the little card in which Jess will find the admin rights passcode and the name of the app that Spoiler hacked her way onto Jess's phone about an hour ago when it ran updates; an app which will give Jess full access to the new security suite Spoiler installed, complete with cameras and a 'panic' button to alert Spoiler that Jess needed something immediately. It was just a little more than perhaps Spoiler had originally promised all those weeks months(?) ago, but then Stephanie Brown was an over achiever.

The gift in return was a surprise and that expression is far too easy to see in the little 'o' her purple lips make as she reaches out the take the ill-wrapped thing.

"My..for me?" Spoiler looks up from it with full bodu pause that can only mean one thing. Spoiler blinked under her cowl.

"Really?" Her voice is a tiny teenaged sounding squeak before she moves to open the gift.

AAAH! Duct tape!? Spoiler breaks out a knife to cut it open.


The duct tape really is super-enthusiastically applied, so it might take her a moment. The gift proves to be a massive tactical flashlight. It's a heavy duty LED thing, sleek and black, with a crenelated bevel on the head and tail cap. It's heavy, and super-durable. It could double as a blackjack, one could break bones with it without breaking a sweat. It's not exactly beautiful, but it is a weapon even Stephanie Brown could carry with her without raising eyebrows, something that could slip easily into a purse.

Jessica is too nervous to watch the opening process, gift giving is such a source of uncertainty for her. She grins a bit at the squeak, but she has moved on to the other package, ripping it open with the same childlike glee, all so she doesn't have to watch in case some look of disappointment crosses Spoiler's face. The nervousness does show, there's a bit of throat clearing and fiddling before she seizes on this as a thing she can do so she doesn't hover like some sort of weirdo wasp.


The other wrapped thing, which fell out of the wrapping when the penbox was exposed, are refill cartridges of all manner of colors that would fit that style pen. The other is the card with the passcode and a PS: #SpoilerAlert - Check your phone! (Doodle of the app icon here)

At the sight of the gift, Stephanie's mind races over what to make of it. And then she giggles when she gets it. A 'weapon' for her civilian moments. Because putting on the belt and breaking out the ninja moves while wearing snickers and a glittered Pinkie Pie teeshirt is way too obvious.

"Thanks, Jess," she says, her smile bright as the mid-afternoon in Metropolis. Spoiler clips the flashlight onto her belt for later. Her attention turns to Jess and the rest of the gifts!
Jess relaxes and shoots her a grin. This is probably a maneuver she has and will repeat for every other gift. The sort of uh I dunno, maybe it sucks, what if it sucks, shit it totally sucks— oh okay good— dance that she just did.

She catches the refill cartridge and her breath catches too; there is, again, that flash of childlike response. But…check her phone? She blinks at that, drawing her phone out from her pocket. She knows that hasn't left her possession, it never does, if only because almost everything she owns that isn't furniture, dishes, or food lives inside that thing thanks to Zatanna's magic. But she finds the app quickly enough, and taps it, catching on almost immediately, laughing.

"Oh man, this is great," she says, pleased, shooting her an even brighter grin. "Thank you so much. Man, this all must have taken you forever! This is 100% one of the sweetest things anyone's ever done for me, seriously."


That laugh had Spoiler smiling and moving to settle into the other chair at the table. She's carefully wadding up all the paper and putting it into the box her own gift was in.

"Well. I promised. It didn't take that long. A few hours," Spoiler says, chin tucking down on a blush.

"I'm glad you like that too. I mean. I want to have your back because.. you've kept mine so.. yeah." Is this awkward? Steph made it awkward didn't she? OH man!


If it's awkward, Jess doesn't seem to notice. If only cause she's now looking to see what kind of edible goodies have come with all this Spoiler spoiling of her. But she finally just can't stand it. Detectives gotta detect, even if what she's detecting is the state of her friends.

"You aren't missing out on stuff with like…you know, people you normally do this with are you?" She hopes that's delicate enough. She doesn't want to bring up bad feelings or mess up the mood. On the other hand, knowing could be important for a wide variety of reasons, most of them positive if she is in fact alone for the holidays like Jess is. And if she isn't, well, that just ramps up the gesture, doesn't it?

It's a fine line sometimes, between different flavors of sensitivity to other people's feelings. It's not one she's mastered. So she waits, slightly tense.


The food stuffs is a small platter of an honest to goodness meal. A sandwich with all the trimmings, fresh cut fruits, crunchy veggies, a dipping sauce that does NOT look like it came out of a jar, and cookies. Fresh baked chocochip cookies. (Stephanie might have memorized Alfred's recipe over the times he's let her help him bake them!) Spoiler watches Jess for reactions to the food as she answers, fingertip tracing aimless on the table top.

"No. Not really." It's all she says. But there's that tone, that faint dusting of lonely that Spoiler tries to gloss over with a smile.

"Patrol was quiet after all." Because THAT'S helpful.


And once again, Jessica Jones finds a boiling, burning, growing desire to go smack Batman upside the head. Just with the flat of her hand. 'Stop being a douche', she'll say, and the so-called World's Greatest Detective will probably look at her like he can't understand what's even happening right now, and she'll just leave him to figure that out with his stupid toys.


Here in reality, Jessica is already happily chipmunk cheeking around a mouthful of sandwhich while she gets Spoiler's answer. "So next year, assuming we're neither one of us dead, in Hell bodily, in Limbo or another dimension or kidnapped or whatever…" she says, "you gotta come over on the first, and we'll have some sort of tree party with hot chocolate and stuff. And then after, we should shop. Because did you know shopping is hard? At least I find it hard. You don't find it hard, witness this amazingness, but I find it hard, and I waited till Christmas Eve to do anything. And then on Christmas Eve you gotta come over and we'll have a sleepover. We'll drag Azalea over too. We'll eat junk food and watch Christmas movies. And then we'll wake up and open presents and then we'll eat some stuff, but…" she sticks her finger in the sauce and sticks that in her mouth, "You gotta help me cook it, cause if it doesn't taste like this? It will be a tragedy of the highest god damn order."


Seeing Jess happily tucking into the meal has Spoiler smiling. She leans an elbow to the table and her chin to her hand, just watching someone enjoy something she made. It's Jess's detailing of NEXT year that has Spoiler pausing, and sitting up straighter.

A hot cocoa party? Shopping? sleepover? With Azalea, okay, that's not going to be hugely awkward since Steph hasn't seen her in forever but HEY! Sleepover! Steph hasn't had a sleepover in…. ever?

A smile starts. It's small, it's weak, but as Jess talks, outlines the plan, it grows by orders of magnitude.

"Yeah, yes, sure. Of course," the blonder is saying, nodding.


It's a wonder they haven't run into each other yet. Az semi-sorta lives in the bedroom. When she sleeps at all, which doesn't always happen anymore. But Jessica just sort of leaves that be; the dance of the Batfamily is really complicated and she doesn't entirely get the dynamics one bit. There's shit she's missing, big time, but she knows enough to know neither one of 'em are going to be alone next Christmas.

"You know what else," she says thoughtfully. "There's this other holiday thing coming up where I don't know, people make a lot of noise and this big giant thing drops and shit." She smirks. "I've never gone to watch. Wanna?"

She really never has. She usually gets super drunk. But it's amazing how having cool people around makes her want to go do things like watch the iconic ball drop on New Years Eve. "Thermoses of hot chocolate, roof seating on some roof only crazy people like us would sit on?"


New Year's Eve? Really? Steph's always wanted to watch that drop live, but the crowds in Times Square are stupid, and renting a hotel room in advance in stupid, and rapelling into place is stupid, but now she has a flying motorcycle, and a willingness to figure out how to get two passengers at a time or else just ferry back and forth and what comes out is:

"Ohmygoshtotallyyes! I mean.. Yeah. Sounds fine. I'll.. clear my schedule." Ignore the blush.


Or they can just leap via Air Jess. Few people find that fun exactly, but then again Spoiler is part of the clan that routinely launches themselves off buildings with nothing but a grappling hook. "Morgan," Jessica says to her phone. "Note New Years Eve with S."

Morgan Freeman's voice: "New Years Eve with S. recorded, Miss Jones. Happy New Year."

Look, if there's one thing Jessica Jones gets it is loneliness.

She continues shoving food into her mouth at a rate that suggests she didn't eat today. She sometimes doesn't. She gets irritated with the whole 'figuring food out thing' and then she just lets herself get hungry until she nearly loses her mind. She has half a second to wonder if she should be worried that Spoiler isn't eating, but she nudges her with her shoulder. "So, Spoiler Claus, what's new with you anyway?"

At the least, she can listen.


"Seriously? Your assistant's voice is God?" Spoiler blurts out after she's done internally screaming at having plans with friends and real people for New Years Eve. She can't help but giggle at it, pushing up to pour Jess some coffee and to make herself a cup while Jess is inhaling dinnner… lunch.. breakfast? Spoiler doesn't know some days either. Back at the table, she's nudged.

Spoiler Claus. Ah! Imma write in a Spoiler Clause.

"Oh, not really a whole lot.. maskwise that is. A few things out of hte mask but… maybe that shouldn't be… Unless… I did do a sweep and.. there's the cameras and… I can turn on my white noise generator and fuzz the windows…." Now she's just talking out loud.


"I've got a thingie clipped to my belt that detects bugs." It's under her plaid shirt right now, along with lots of other belt accoutrements.

It gives her a pang, thinking about that. Because…well. Jane Foster made it for her. Her first piece of 'superhero gear' made especially for her. But she savagely pushes that aside. She can't do anything about it right now, she sure doesn't want to process the feelings on it right now. She drinks coffee like she's happy as all get out, and says, "But the white noise generator isn't a terrible idea. And then tell me all about it."


"Alright," Spoiler says, pushing up from teh table again, leaving her cup where it is. A quick circuit is made, rechecking that things are secure to let a batling's hair down so to speak, all without Spoiler ever realizing the pang over the bug detector Jess has. Because she has no idea that Dr. Foster was involved with that, and only an inkling of the trouble she's in. Tim said he'd call when she was needed, and so far her research hasn't really turned up anything new so she hasn't had anything to report into him about. It was depressing and so playing Spoiler Claus was the only way to keep from many putting on the rainbow brite get up and going down to the rough end of town to pose as a low level Gotham villian and just knocking teeth in.

The Mystery Clue does what she wants, yo!

Things locked down, Spoiler moves back to the table and pulls back the cowl, shaking her hair free.

"I got the internship at Murdock and Nelson. Nelson and Murdock? Whichever way they want it," Stephanie says, smiling a bit bashfully into her coffee. Sure, she knows Jess figured her out and has talked to her both in and out of the mask but.. this? PUlling off the cowl? It's… sort of intimate.


Jessica hadn't heard that she was going for an internship at Nelson and Murdock's; that was one bit that hadn't made it into their conversations as of yet.

Ironically, pulling down the cowl is both intimate, and a symbol for a thorny problem. A problem that encompasses two out of the three people whose superhero identities she's learned. Whose faces she's seen both in and out of the mask, who have trusted her with their secrets. And here is the only one of them that ever did so voluntarily. The other two ended up outed, one to Jessica's own skills as a detective indirectly taking her into that orbit, the other due to a battle that knocked his mask away. They aren't the only secrets she knows by a long shot, but they're the only identity secrets.

Promises and pledges were made to the other two. And here is a scenario where Spoiler's problems could follow Matt Murdock home, and Daredevil's could follow Stephanie's home. And to tell either one is to break a trust. To ask either one to talk to the other is to basically out the other, nobody in this equation is stupid.

Jessica continues to work on it while she speaks.

"I don't think you told me you were going for it," Jessica says with a flash of a grin. "I thought you were hashtag-prosecution all the way. Matt's a dear friend of mine though, so I'm happy for you both. He's got a good heart. Foggy too. They're Alias' official lawyers you know. Well. You guys are Alias' official lawyers, I guess I should say."


"I didn't?" Spoiler asks, sounding confused for a moment. Maybe she had thought to send a text and didn't. Ah well. Stephanie shakes her head and shrugs it off, sipping at her coffee.

"I… It's… good to know how the other side thinks," Stephanie manages to rationalize, though there is surprise again. Her blue-green eyes widen faintly and turn to Jess. Steph had no idea they knew each other.

"Really? That's.. okay. Wow. I'll… And I thought thoughs were going to get awkward for different reasons. Okay. I'll, keep this in mind," she's saying, not really sure what her mind is thinking about any more. She shakes it again, clearing it away.

"I'm a bit excited to see things from this perspective. The DA's office was… well, I don't think I was going to get more from there."


"That makes sense. Who knows, you might walk away with a passion for defense. Truth is they're both necessary or we wouldn't have a justice system," Jessica says thoughtfully. By now? Contents of that plate? Gone. She is settling in with the coffee though, comfortable and strangely social. "And I don't see it as awkward at all, Stephanie. I mean mostly? For me it's the routine legal matters of running a business. Matt did keep me out of jail last year, but that case never made it to court. He talked them down from a spurious case right in the interrogation room. Thing of beauty to see, really. And anyway, if I needed to be kept out of jail again, it's not like I don't trust you, right?"

She is pretty frank about her legal issues, not at all embarrassed about them in the least. She adds, "And I mean, you know. Lawyers and PIs, hand, glove. We worked together pretty closely on a case of mine earlier this year. It had all kinds of legal issues involved. Turns out it never made it to court, but being able to go to him and get that perspective and get the hey don't say this, don't do that, yeah that's okay? Invaluable both to me and my client. He helped me save her business."


And this is why the Bats need to learn to communicate! She was taking this from the view point of seeing things from the other side's point of view mixed with, sometimes they really do get the wrong guy.

"Of course," Stephanie says of Jess needing to kept from jail. Stephanie has no qualms about busting a friend out whatsoever. Everything else is mentally chewed on.

"He does seem really good at what he does. I know that I'll learn a lot so I'm really looking forward to it, even if's it's not exactly what I'm used to. I guess, that's the point of learning something new."


Jessica laughs and says, "They're beyond really good. I mean you know. Trial of Two Centuries, right? If nothing else having Nelson and Murdock on your resume is going to be a Hell of a feather in your cap, kid. Just be straight and fair with them and they'll bend over backwards to help you. And as much good work as you do? I think it'll be pretty great for all of you. Here."

Which reminds her.

"Hey, did you find anything on that data mine I asked you to do? It's fine if you didn't, it is a big long shot, but since you're here…"

Workaholic. It's Christmas. You're having one.

Dude. She's -right here!-


Stephanie blushes at the idea of this being a feather. She wasn't out to collect them but… she knows Jess is right.

"…I was up front about my father so, I hope so. I mean. Without, you know.. telling them.. about this I.. I plan on being completely honest," she says before the oh i remember comes over her friend. The question has Stephanie's demeanor falling.

It's fine if you didn't. No, dammit. No, it's not fine. Stephanie doesn't LIKE not being able to find what she was tasked to. It was a simple mission. Information retrieval and research. There were holidays, and no family, and quiet patrols. Stephanie had all the time in the world, and so to fail these badly has her eyes falling to her drink and the smile fading from her face.

"Nothing." One word answer. Stephanie wants to pull up the cowl, make an excuse, head to her Den, and get back to work on it.


This might be an opportunity to get around the problem in a way that allows her to honor both of them. Jessica Jones chews on a hangnail as she thinks it over. "Hey, it's fine," she says. "This shit takes time. Nobody knows what to do and I think the count of people on this is up to like 26. Just keep at it and let me know if you come up with anything. No big."

She sounds distracted. Finally, she ventures this:

"Matt," she says at last, "serves multiple members of the vigilante set. Matt takes confidentiality so seriously he sometimes holds on to shit he doesn't need to hold on to. He is on the top 3 of people I trust absolutely. And I don't hand out trust like candy, you know? If anyone would have ideas on how to keep your legal career from falling into a big firey vat of what the fuck if you're ever outed, he would. It might not be a bad idea to tell him, Steph. If you're ever outed you could bring a lot of shit down on his firm. It's not like the prosecutor's office. They've hung a shingle in Hell's Kitchen and half the time his clients want to pay him in fruit. Half the time he lets them. The prosecutor's office? You don't stand to hurt anyone but you. In his office…"

She lets that trail off.


How in the WORLD did this conversation end up THERE?! Stephanie's gaze snaps up from the table, eyes blue eyes wide and shocked and.. !.! Stephanie.exe has stopped responding. Loading… Please wait.

Her eyes frantically search Jess's face, like she's trying to read soemthing that maybe Jess didn't say, or maybe Steph is trying to figure out of Jess is playing Opposite Day with her or…

"….I'll… think about it," Steph replies, tone a bit leery. She inhales, eyes sliding way and to the sink.

"I washed the dishes, but I don't mind washing these up, if you want me to." Oh, please take the change of subject! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH *screaming internally!*


Right. That didn't go well. She just made Stephanie's brain BSOD.

But thinking about it is good.

"Nuh-uh. You're going to pick stupid Christmas movies on Netflix. I'm going to do the dishes and make us some popcorn. You have done enough!" Jessica lets it drop. She hops up to take care of both of these functions, shoving the phone at Stephanie. She figured out how to hack her phone? She can figure out how to work the Netflix and the projector screen. Jessica has faith! And if not she can always ask…God.

But she smirks. See? Backing off. They're gonna have fun now. Enough serious shit.

#EnoughSeriousShit? Is that too long for a hashtag?

Jessica doesn't social media.


#LetStephChill2017 #NetflixAndCapes?? You really want to watch a movie with #SpoilerAlert?? #YouAreBrave #MyHero

No. Nothing is too long for a hashtag. BTW, Jess's needs to be the title. #JustSaying! Just Saiyan. Oh god, I went anime.

Phone shoved into her hands and told that the rest of hte night, which didn't have anything that needed Spoiler's attention anyway, was to be spent watching Christmas movies, Stephanie blinks a few times before closing her fingers about the phone.

"Can I …use the bathroom?" she asks, voice tiny. This is NOT an attempt to escape, I SWEAR! Spoiler always has a set of civilian clothes and a backpack she can roll up into a tiny space, because sometimes the easiest thing to do to get away from a situation is just to disappear as the Cape and walk out as the Civilian with the police wrapping you in a shock blanket.


That produces a smirk and some of Jessica Jones' gentle salt. "No, you have to sit here for hours and never use the bathroom. Yes, of course you can use the bathroom. You don't even have to leave a quarter on the sink. Go on. We'll have fun. It'll be great."

#SheApparentlyBrokeSpoilerBrain #ItllGetBetter #MaybeNot #SorryBatDude #ButYerStillaDouche


A blush rides high on Stephanie's cheeks as she rises and moves to the bathroom. It's not long later that Stephanie returns, in those hide-a-flats, those shoes you can roll up into your purse but come out with a thick enough sole to walk to your car or something. She's also got on a thin teeshirt and soem thing yoga pants. All nondescript grey. The lipstick's been wiped off, leaving the faint pink to her normal lips. The thin backpack looks heavy enough and she sets it by her feet asshe settles to the sofa. Curling up, Stephanie puts on Die Hard.

Because screw you, that is totally a Christmas movie and so is Nightmare. Tim Burton is a genius.



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