Frenzy's Wreckage, AKA Jones

March 14, 2018:

Minutes after Frenzy leaves the scrap yard Daredevil arrives to fetch one Jessica Jones and relay her to safety.

New York City

The filthy scrapyard, the chill March skies, Trish Walker's purple fortress.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Spider Woman, Spider Man, Silk, Six, Luke Cage, Batman, Jane Foster, Thor, Spoiler, Red Robin, Frenzy, Tony Stark, James Barnes, Danny Rand

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

If Matt was anywhere in their shared neighborhood when the altercation went down, there's no way in Hell('s Kitchen) he missed it. It only got louder at the spot where it eventually landed, at the scrapyard that Jessica sometimes uses as a makeshift boxing gym. Because boxing a car is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

Probably makes the neighborhood a little loud for Matt on the days she decides to go do that, too.

But fights are over fast, and it really only took less than four minutes, tops, for Frenzy to issue what might well stand in as the beat-down of Jessica's life.

She is sort of drifting in and out of consciousness on the ground near a pile of flattened cars that are all over the place, as if they were really just a stack of Hot Wheels in a child's room, kicked over by a careless grown-up in a hurry. The smell of rust and metal certainly predominate the yard, but there's also the dangerous smell of electricity. A single live-wire dangles precariously near some of the scrap, sparking away and filling the air with heat and electric smell.

Jessica herself smells like fresh blood, layered over vanilla and leather, the faint scent of her occasional Marlboro habit, and, thanks to the fight, now a fair amount of filth. She breathes unevenly, and is just sort of curled into the 'please stop hitting me now' position, though in a way that indicates she's not entirely with it. Here and there bones scrape uneasily against one another, and a heartbeat has become a throbbing thra-thrum drum concert through her small frame as the length of her seems to be swelling up, from the crown of her head almost clear down to her booted toes.

*

Matt was close. Just not close enough. Not recognize what that what's happening isn't Jessica's ordinary sparing session, then put on your suit, and leap rooftops for ten blocks in the nick of time close. In fact, it takes him ten minutes — and by then the force of nature aptly named 'Frenzy' is herself in the wind, leaving nothing behind but her wreckage and Jessica Jones.

Which, in this case, amounts to the same thing.

His heart is beating rapid-fire and he's out of breath when he does swing, vault, and land in the middle of the scrap yard. The cord snaps back into his billy club and he tucks it away absently as he scans for the source of the other racing heartbeat in the area. "Jess!" he cries, voice carrying strains of shock, outrage, and the inevitable self-recrimination. I was too late. The red clad man breaks into a run towards the woman who lies in a fetal position near the ring of broken cars and places a gloved hand on her shoulder, her side. He can hear the scrape of bones — breaks, to be sure — and can practically feel the heat emanating off her body as it begins to wholesale inflame. But it often takes a laying on hands for him to precisely pinpoint injuries.

"It's okay, you're okay Jess…" he says soothingly, though through a grimace, honestly not knowing whether she can hear him in that liminal realm her consciousness currently occupies.

*

It's probably nothing some rest and her healing factor won't take care of, but it might take longer than usual. Her left side is pretty cut up, though her jacket provided some protection. Her head has taken blows, concussions. Some of that swelling is probably pressing on some important nerves in her brain. Four broken ribs, one fractured hip, and a dislocated right arm. There are blood vessels inside her body that are torn or crushed, pretty much everywhere. She's not in danger of dying, she's just in a world of hurt.

She can hear him, but it takes her a moment to register everything. When she first hears the sound of someone landing she raises her head just a little, looks vaguely in that direction, and sort of squeezes back down into her protective curl, bracing herself for more blows. It isn't until she hears him speaking— not even her name, but saying she's okay, trying to soothe her— that she relaxes.

"Hey M— D— " She doesn't seem real sure which of his clothes he's in, which name to use, so she just lets her mumble of greeting trail off. She looks up, but the tilt of her head is not quite towards his face. Just sort of following the line of his hand on her shoulder.

For all that, she offers a woozy joke, tinged with far more pained humor than real sarcasm despite the fact that it's an answer to his reassurances. "I am? Good, cause for a second there I thought I got my ass handed to me."

*

Were his features visible, they'd register a wash of relief when he takes stock of her injuries. Bad, but it could have been worse. Should have been, perhaps. After all, why trounce someone as powerful and well-connected as Jessica Jones and then leave her alive able to I.D. you? What better way to get the Avengers, various Batlings, and even the makeshift Hell's Kitchen gang they've put together on one's tail?

Unless, he considers somewhere in the basement of his brain, that's entire the point.

The rest of his consciousness, meanwhile, is consumed with a sudden, vivid sense of deja vu. He remembers more than a year back, when their roles were reversed, bleeding out in an alley while one Jessica Jones hovered over him. Even poked full of holes, he'd put on a brave face at the time, suffused with the same gallows humor she shows here.

"Yeah, you've looked better," answers the blind man through a smile that's somehow wry and gruffly affectionate at the same time. He adds, softly and more seriously: "Jess, an ambulance is on its way. It's about five blocks off. Cops too."

The question is implicit: Should we wait for them?

*

To Matt's implicit question, Jessica all but recoils. "No hospitals. No cops."

Ambulances and hospitals have gone from yeah-ok-if-she-has-to straight onto the nope list since Matt and Six brought all those fun-filled revelations about IGH to light, to say nothing of the crazy mad scientist's attempt to abscond with her for Round 2. And she definitely doesn't want to talk to the cops. Her lack of trust for them has not gone away, and she rather suspects her state of beat-down would just get her cuffed in a hospital, forcing Matt to put his lawyer hat back on long enough to talk her out of there.

Especially in the current climate.

She offers an alternative. "Can you help me get to Trish's place? She's still got the apartment." Not Alias, for Christ's sake, she was attacked on her own goddamn street.

His own jokes give her a bit of grounding, an anchor for her swimming brain to affix itself to, though she's still muttering her words. She stubbornly tries to push up on what she thinks is her good arm, figuring she'll at least do her part. This proves to be a mistake, and the groan of pain she lets out says so. She follows it with a few hissed curses, just to make herself feel better. She doesn't fall back over, she just sort of remains there, pushed up on one arm, head dipping, a bit of reactionary saline pricking at her eyes. They're swollen like the rest of her is, so they don't really fall. And as she drags her head up, she swallows, a bolt of adrenaline suddenly twisting at her.

*

"How'd I guess?" Matt murmurs with a set of his jaw when she rejects hospitals and ambulances out of hand. Not that he can blame her. How many ugly injuries from his night-time adventures has he shrugged off in the name of privacy, independence, and stubborn self-reliance?

When she tries to rise and fail, the sightless eyes hidden behind the two red lenses of his mask roll upward. "No way, Jess," he says, gently drawing her up to a stand so he can bring her to his side and wrap a hand around her hip. For all her crazy strength, she's still skinny — a light, even flimsy load to bear. "Just lean on me, OK? I'm no Spider-man, but I can get you to Trish's." One step forward, then another, as he tests her ability to keep up and keep moving without debilitating pain. "You know I ran into another spider woman the other day? She helped me and Six nab an alien. How many of them are there, anyway?" He's normally silent, sphinx-like when he wears the mask — but he knows from experience how far a little distraction can go when you're in pain. Meanwhile, he reaches out with his senses for the best angles and lines of ascent, and pulls his billy club out of his holster with his free hand as they take one step, and then another.

*

He draws her up, and she is indeed skinny. And there's little evidence of strength right now anyway. She's spent. As for how fast?

She sort of refuses to complain, until she has to, and when she has to, it's with sharp, bitten off curseword cries. Mostly, "Shit." When it's really bad, a more expressive: "Shit!" Not more sensible things which might communicate that he's moving too fast for her of course.

Bottom line? The answer is they can move 'fast enough to get out of there before the cops arrive,' but not by much. She doesn't resist his help though. Which is a testament, in and of itself, of how crappy she's feeling.

He talks about Spider-people, and Jess murmurs, "I've only run into three spider people. Spider-Woman, the dubiously named Spider-Man, who is more like Spider-Talkative-Hyperactive-Child, and Silk."

And the rambling mumble of helpfully provided information is a testament to the wisdom of his strategy. Getting her focused on something else.

"What kind of alien did you guys have? Luke had an alien too. Man. Aliens. Last year's theme was magic, I think this year's theme is goddamn aliens. By the by, don't buy Mrs. Baird's bread, it's associated with some sort of alien blood contamination turning people into tentacle monsters. You are not allowed to turn into a tentacle monster."

*

"Spider-Woman is the one who webbed me and accused me of working for Fisk, right?" Matt asks as he brings them slings that cable up and around a pole that allows them to scale the mountain of junk that will lead them to the nearest rooftop. His rarefied senses allow him to gauge just how fast they have to go to stay ahead of the sirens, and where necessary he'll take a heavier load of Jessica Jones to keep them on track. "It was Silk I worked with, then. She seemed, uh, quippy. But totally competent."

Skinny or not, he's huffing when they reach the summit. He detaches the cable from its anchor point only to toss it upwards, singing through the air to spin and wind around a pipe on the rooftop. He gives it a short, testing tug while he listens to her — right up until he double-takes. "What? Really? Shouldn't they — I mean. There should be a recall, right? That's one hell of a class action lawsuit they have on their hands." A beat, and then: "As for mine — it was some kind of crocodile lady who'd been stealing from electronics stores. She murdered a security guard. The first time she escaped, but Six's taser put her down on our second fight. I handed her over to SHIELD."

Another tug, a deliberating pause, and then a shake of his head. No time like the present for a test. He tells her: "Hold on, time for some Batman shit." And then, with arm tightening around her and the billy club raised aloft, he presses his thumb down and the cable is retracting, lifting them up and up and up towards the roof.

Where did he get these wonderful toys?

*

"Yeah, Spider-Woman was the panicky kid who thought you worked for Fisk. You worked briefly with Silk before too, you probably just forgot. Last year, when we went after that weird-ass snake gang in the old amusement park," Jessica mumbles. "But they're all quippy. I think it comes with whatever spider mojo makes them do the things they do."

She grimaces to hear him huffing because of her, though chuffs a pained laugh at class action lawsuit. "Maybe," she says. "Associated with. It's not in all the bread. Haven't found the connection yet. Brand new case. But I still wouldn't eat that shit."

His story of a crocodile lady robbing electronics stores produces a shake of her shoulders, though.

"Well, there goes the theory that all aliens are more advanced than us. Apparently the crocodile ones go holy shit, Best Buy! Our civilization is saved. For sure alien, and not a mutant?"

She also snorts as he says hold on for Batman shit, and mutters, "Batman, my ass. You are seriously so much cooler than that douchebag."

But she holds on gamely enough, trusting him to convey them through the air in this particular fashion without an adrenaline spike of any kind. There are a few physical reactions that say that her head isn't enjoying this too much right now, but it's not bad enough to even produce the growls of 'shit.' She doesn't delve into his new toys or even the restoration of the red outfit from its previous incarnation as a laser panther chew toy. Claw toy? Scratching post?

*

"Oh yeah," Matt says on the matter of Silk. "There were — a lot of people along that night." Many of whom, for various reasons, he hasn't seen since.

He swallows a smile when she tells him he's cooler than Batman. It may be the nicest thing anyone has ever said to a boy who grew up worshiping the young Dark Knight and who, in adulthood, ended up emulating him. "Batman's a douche?" he asks with genuine curiosity, and maybe a touch of skepticism. She'd know, though. Jessica Jones knows everybody. "I guess that dumb airship during the blackout may have been a clue."

Then it's up and up and up. He isn't totally sure it would work, or work so smoothly. Less smooth is the effort it takes to grapple himself up and over the ledge, pulling her along with him. But it gets done. "And I don't know," Matt says with weary exasperation on the matter of aliens raiding Radio Shacks. "Maybe the croc-lady was stuck and needed some, uh, triple-A batteries to get home? But I don't think she was from here. She seemed totally exasperated with us and the whole planet."

*

Jess, of course, has not drawn the parallels between them at all. Even with him calling it Batman shit, she misses the fact that he might have been inspired by the Dark Knight. It's nothing they've ever discussed before, after all, and so he gets the Unvarnished Jones take on the guy in the batsuit. "Yeah. He's a bigot and an egomaniac," Jess says. "Only thing I've ever found to be to his credit are the people who follow him. Not that I've met all of them."

Not quite everybody.

Right. That dilemma rears its head again, one she hasn't thought of since she walked into his office to tell him about the lawsuit.

Any way she slices it, too, it's not fair to one or the other of them. She could 'introduce them' and he'd smell her out, and that means Jessica is still basically betraying Steph's secret. If she leaves it alone, knowing, she's sitting on knowledge that could, if it blows up the wrong way, seriously hurt Matt way more than it could hurt Steph. And Jessica's plea for Steph to disclose probably fell on deaf ears.

She decides for now to just…edge towards something like maybe kind of sort of doing the right thing. Maybe. Whatever that is. "One of 'em works in New York way more than in Gotham these days. If you run into Spoiler, I'd vouch for her."

There. Maybe. Shit.

But his story about the crocodile woman has her laughing painfully again as they soar over the city. "Ow. Shit. Ow," she says, gasping for breath. "Well at least you got her, whatever her crazy bullshit was all about. It's good to hear Six is back in the saddle too."

*

For all Jessica's internal deliberations and hesitance, Matt seems to take in news of this 'Spoiler' without much visible reaction. "Huh," he says of the news that said vigilante works more in New York these days. "That's true of that Robin with the scrambled voice, right? He's got that teen superhero club thing over on the east side. I guess all little batlings need to need to leave the roost at some point. Gotham's got to seem pretty constricting."

He leads them forward, across the rooftop, until they reach the adjoining ledge. "Anyway, the alien is SHIELD's problem now," Matt agrees as he hurls the billy club cable towards a distant pole. Talk of Six sees a flicker of a smile on the devil's lips. "Yeah, Jane did good. If you're taking some days at Trish's, I'll tell her to — uh, drop by and see you. She'd like that." There's more to say, but he can't. Because really, how can you say with a straight face: Her formerly rogue A.I. won't talk to her, and I'm worried she's lonely.

"Hold on," he says instead, and he means it literally. He tightens his grip on her waist and then they are swinging through the air like spider-people themselves, slicing through chilly March headwinds towards a concrete promontory one avenue over.

*

"That'd be good." Jessica says, and means it, of having Six drop by to see her. She's gotta stay on top of dragging Six out to various girl's nights; she's pretty well aware of the isolation problem on that front.

And she leaves the matter of Spoiler alone again for now, having dropped the clue, only nodding about Red and his collection of kids over at the big T building.
He says hold on, and she does. Before January this might have produced a clutch, because soaring feels different from leaping, and it's not under her own power besides. But she's been relieved of certain fears, at least.

What does occur to her, as they head for that singular balcony, is that Trish's habit of leaving it open for Jess is really dumb. As demonstrated by this. Right here. They've been acting like Jess is the only one who can get up there. Well, it's a habit she'll rectify tonight. Not that it matters as much with Trish tucked safely away in DC, though her blood runs a bit cold, causing a hitch in her breathing. Maybe her decision to stomp around as Jessica Freakin' Jones with no mask at all was not a smart one, and it's too late to do a damn thing about it now.

Nevertheless, with some safety and the distraction of friendly conversation and humor, too, the PI finally is ready to drop the information of what the Hell just happened. Because it's not information to just sit on. Once they land, she says, quietly, "So…usually I pretty much know exactly why the person who has showed up to take his or her swing at me is doing it. I know what I poked, whose nose I bapped and who I'm pissing off. This time…I don't think it was about me. Or…maybe not just me. But I don't know exactly who the fuck it was about."

*

There's one balcony in particular they want, and Matt finds it expertly, even all this time later. He'd been tasked with looking out for Trish, and he had, in his own watchful way. He steadies her, does another quick survey with his stranger-than-strange senses to make sure neither the flight nor the landing had caused her discomfort or injured her further. And he seems satisfied that this gambit has paid off — the winding conversation with stops along memory lane kept Jessica distracted and unmindful of the bruising that's already swelling her jaw, her eye, her abdomen.

A few steps more and they'll be into that unlocked balcony door, and she's finally bringing up what the fuck happened. Matt listens carefully. "His or her," he repeats carefully. "Why don't you tell me what happened. Then you can rest, and after that we can decide what to do about it."

*

"The assailant was a her," Jessica says. She reaches out for the door and sort of slides her hand along the glass, then grasps the handle and gently slides it open. They might as well be inside for the conversation. She doesn't go far, resigning herself to needing the help to getting to something to sit down on. He's been as gentle with her as it's possible to be while moving her at all, let alone through the air, and she's at least not taking anything new. A few days of just laying still should take care of the rest.

"Strong. Stronger than Thor, I think. Way stronger than me. I found her fuckin' weakness though. She doesn't like electricity too much."

She puts a hand to her head, talking about it is definitely sharpening the aches, but she's no longer upset about it, which she definitely was during and directly after. "She said she was Brotherhood. And…I mean obviously I don't know what everyone we know gets up to, Matt, but I sure haven't done a damn thing touching on anything those…crazy fucks…are doing. But they sure seem worried someone will. About a third of her bullshit was that I was too sympathetic to," she drops her hand to make quotey fingers, "flat scans," her voice drips with disdain for the attitude, "and the rest was a bunch of crazed bullshit about how none of my friends had better interfere with the Brotherhood's work or whatever. Which. Fuck her very much, I'd ignored them before cause I'm a PI, not goddamn Jack Bauer, but I'm sure feeling a little interfere-y now."

But maybe only a little. After all her bits are back in the same place.

*

"Brotherhood," Daredevil repeats as he guides them through those glass doors and into the darkened living room of Trish's posh, high-rise apartment. He listens for the quiet whirr of hidden cameras, and hearing none, takes off the lightweight devil-mask and reveals a hat-headed, scruffy Matt Murdock. It irks him, this revelation. Not just because it's a new enemy, a new complication, when their eyes were already taken so far off the ball by demon bears and lawsuits and what not.

More than that, it offends his civic conscience. He's been out there, for the first time since Barnes' trial, making the case in the press for mutants. Telling the country that, despite the Brotherhood's antics, it's flat-out wrong and unconstitutional and reminiscent of this country's darkest moments to persecute people because of their heritage and their differences. It's suddenly so much harder of a case to make when the Brotherhood has brought the battle to someone close to him.

"I saw those two at the Stark expo," Matt says slowly as he guides her to Trish's unoccupied bedroom. "The fast one and the — uh. Sorceress. But haven't had anything to do with them after that. Six would have told me, and Luke and Danny…" he seems skeptical.

*

That bed, with its glorious Memory Foam mattress, is exactly what Jessica wants right now, and once he's got her close enough she sits gingerly down, bites back another groan, and then pries her shoes off by virtue of tugging down on the backs of the heels with the front of her toes, not even loosening them. Then she shrugs out of her jacket, an exercise which brings more tears to her eyes. She should shower; she'll just change the sheets when she feels a little less like ass.

"Yeah," she gasps, as she just hangs out there for a second before finally easing onto the pillows. "I mean…way after that expo, Tony asked me to look into it, but just. There wasn't a damn thing I could do for him. It was pretty fuckin' straightforward, and every Department of Department had the place locked down so they could scour it for evidence they could do a hell of a lot more with than I could. And I mean…ok, it's no secret I work for and with Tony either, but she didn't mention Tony. And fuck if she didn't sound like she was trying to talk me around to her bullshit point of view at least once. But this woman wasn't either one of them. This crazy bitch wasn't at the gala. I went through the footage, at least, enough to know that."

She shakes her head and adds, "She didn't even call anyone out by name. 'Tell your friends,' she said." She makes a scoffing noise, and mumbles, "Think Rand bought like, their perfect secret hideout and turned it into a FroYo stand because he felt like there weren't enough of those, and he thought the sharks with laser beams on their head would be a cool marketing strategy? That might explain it."

*

Matt helps ease his charge onto the bed as he can, all while he listens to Jessica lay out all her known connections to the Brotherhood. "The Brotherhood blew up the whole Stark Expo," he says with a roll of his shoulders, a thoughtful jut of his jaw. "I don't think they'd go after one of his P.I.s to get at him. No offense, Jess, but they'd go bigger." Especially when there were so many opportunities, with Stark Tower in such disarray during the blackout.

He takes a seat on the edge and foot of that bed, about a foot below her feet, and clasps red-gloved hands together in his lap. His smile twists rueful when she speaks of Danny. "I actually think that kid's got a good head on his shoulders," he says, even if he's probably not much older than Rand himself. His fair brow knits. "Tell your friends," he repeats. "Sounds like something a rival gang would say in a pissing match over territory."

*

"None taken," Jessica says dryly, about them going bigger. "Christ, with present company and a few other notable exceptions excluded, today I could have fucking gone for being someone nobody fucking knew. I remember those days."

Dryly: "I mean. Not well, given I was drunk every minute, but I sure remember there were a lot fewer crazy bitches crumpling me and my car up like fucking Coke cans."

She chuffs a breath and says, "Yeah, I think he's a good kid too," on the matter of Danny Rand. She is physically a little older than both of them, and she has pretty precise reasons for calling him a kid. And in this case, age makes no difference; mentally and experentially Matt is probably older— or at least way more mature— than both Rand and Jones put together.

But this last bit has her attention. About the rival gangs. Frowning, "If that's the case, then…it's not just the choice of target that matters, right? Do you think maybe they're pushing into Hell's Kitchen?"

She is neither Jack Bauer, or, still, any kind of gangland expert to understand why anyone would push into any territory, and any street scuttlebutt she'd have picked up from the neighbors she'd have missed, as she'd been spending 9 out of 10 nights in Gotham, what with her three biggest and most active cases somehow ending up there. To that end, she asks: "What would they have to gain by doing that? Getting pissy over which street corner some dude sells drugs at seems about as small as going after two bit private eyes."

*

Matt's smile is brief, slight, but still tender when she talks about the good-old-days of anonymity. He doesn't argue with her, although there are things he could say about the relative merits of her life now and her life then. There's just a press of his lips together that conveys nothing more than the sense of an affable, knowing, and decidedly fond shrug.

To the rest? "Seems to me there's only one thing to do if we want to figure that out," Matt says of that deciding question about what's to gain, and that with a strain of something darker in his tone, a harder set to his jaw. "And that's to get the gang together. Let me worry about that. You — you just rest up. Okay?"

*

The truth is her life is way better and she knows it. But at the moment, she's feeling crappy, so she gripes. And because Matthew Murdock seems to have a basically calming effect on her always, he gets wry grumble-griping instead of the true pissiness she could easily work her way up to without much trouble, with her head pounding away like it is.

Indeed, all she wants to do is rest. He gets another scott-free pass towards letting him worry about things. "Don't worry," she mumbles, sounding like someone who is already closing her eyes. Not that they have very far to go on that count.

"I'll be right here for the next week at least. Mostly sleeping."

A pause. Then, softer, "Thanks for scraping me off the pavement, Matt. I really appreciate it. Especially you getting there in the nick of time to do it. Be careful, okay? The woman laughed when I sent her on what had to have been a twenty-story drop."

*

Thanks for scraping me off the pavement, Matt.

He grins, still clearly worried and angry, but that momentary expression is bright enough to send a thousand crinkles across his fair features. "Any time," he says with a shrug of his shoulders, feigning nonchalance. She tells him to be careful and he ducks his head, purses his lips. All's well, that expression says, while his insides rage with every hitch of breath and swollen blood vessel he picks up from being scant inches away from her. "You just rest up. Let us worry about your new friend. Who knows? We may surprise her, even. Give her a real shock."

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