For a Fix

March 23, 2018:

Personalities clash as Owen Mercer goes back to Alice Walker for a fix, Jessica Jones goes to try to clear up Walker's status, and Jason Todd mostly tries to stay out of everyone's way.

The Walker Mansion, Gotham City

There may be a skeleton in every single one of its closets.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: John Constantine, Bucky Barnes, Zatanna Zatara, Batman

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Friday evening at the Walker estate. Though the sun had long since set the grounds were well lit. As they had been since the whole Zoom thing had stated. Not to mention the fact that there was a Gotham Police cruiser with a snoozer at the wheel. Protection insisted upon by the department after everything no doubt.

Inside the mansion there was the sound of laughter. Mostly that of Autumn, so high and feminine, as she watches Jason make use of the actual ballroom the place has. The acrobatic lessons were delighting the girl and allowing her and her mother's fiance to bond. Alice sat on a couch, knees curled up, with her tablet in hand and the ever present teacup on the table beside her.

Owen's adventure with Harley last night was supposed to be a fun distraction for the both of them. Just a little light vandalism to get the blood flowing and light their spirits. But then a little birdie had to go and spoil the night and worse still, had to get all up in Mercer's head. He has been on a downward spiral lately. In truth, he's never quite recovered from Zoom stealing his speed and then later kidnapping him. He knows that he's been turning to the wrong places for answers and that distractions aren't going to solve this, but knowing something and doing something about it are two very different things.

The plan was for Jessica to talk to Alice Walker. To make sure she wasn't in league with Zoom. But that plan meant that Owen couldn't get another hit of whatever it was she gave him. The one bright spot in a horrible memory has become a point of fixation for Owen. For a while after his capture heroin seemed brand new, the illusive first time high was his again, but that's faded and with it his resolve to stick the plan.

So Owen has done his best to clean up. Ostensibly he's here to offer Alice a long overdue thanks, but that isn't really what brings him to knock on the grand doors. He is starting to look a little more worn, his eyes hollowing out just a touch, his skin just a bit more pale. It could be just a lack of sleep, but it's not.

Jason was doing some gymnastics in the ballroom with Autumn watching on to delight the young lady before he leaps off the bar, does what looks like a 630 tornillo flip, and lands solidly on his feet, cracking his neck and looking to Autumn and ruffling the girl's hair. The dead man walking (government-wise) looks then to Alice wit ha small smile to her, leaning forward to kiss the top of her head with a big smile.

"Anything interesting?" he sits down cross-legged at the foot of the couch itself and looks forward, seemingly playing with Autumn since the little girl isn't trying to mess wit hhim today. so yay! Though he does turn his head a moment. Did he hear something from outside? Hmm….probably nothing.

Alice's head came up at the sound of the door. The tablet was consulted with a few taps as she brought up wireless camera views from the front door. She switches through them and smirked a bit. "Hmmmm, late company. I would have though he'd had come by sooner," She says and glides smoothly to her feet.

The tablet is set on the table and she begins to walk for the door. Alice smiles at Autumn and Jason and says, "I'll be right back." And heads down the hall. The girl watches her mother and makes a face. "He's hungry and not doing good," She tells Jason with a solemn nod. "Ok! I wanna try the handwalking thing again!" And like a switch flipped from dark to bright goes the Walker youngster and she goes somersaulting across the mats laid out once more.

The door is opened and Alice smile, "Mr. Mercer, welcome!" She says and steps back, waving him in. Her British accent is crisp, but warm and she seems to mean it. "I had wondered when you might finally cross my door." Her green eyes take in the hollowed out look of the man sometimes known as Captain Boomerang. The smile fades a bit and she frowns vaguely. "You don't look well," And just like that she reaches out to take his wrist as a doctor would to check a pulse.

Moving inside the grand home with the air of someone who belongs there Owen idly offers his wrist while warily looking around. He can hear voices and what sounds like kids? Crap, that doesn't play into his plan. He had expected them to be asleep, part of the reason for his late night visit.

"Miss. Walker." Owen turns his attention back to her and assures her, "I'm fine. Just not sleeping great. I imagine I don't need to expound on why that might be." He keeps looking around, with a slightly twitchy almost paranoid feel. He still isn't sure it's a good idea to be here. But then again, who is he to talk about what is or is not a good idea.

"I need to talk with you. About that night." He inclines his head now to try and look past into the room where the voices are coming from. "I'm sorry. This probably isn't a good time. But I wanted to thank you for having me transferred. And for helping me… that night." He swallows hard. Pre-amble done, but not quite having gotten around to his point.

Jason turns his head at the sound of the door, and he narrows his eyes for only a moment, hand sliding just an inch towards under the couch before Alice has a happy expression on her face before he looks to Autumn and her usually dry sense of telling Jason what's going on in the world. He nods then to the little lady and he gives her a light push to go out ont othe mats, and Jason watches her ninja about. He and Alice are good teachers. Surprisingly.

At the tone of voice that he hears, Jason stands up then and makes way to the door, seeing Captain Boomera-I mean Owen Mercer standing there talking with his fiance. His eyes are on the fellow, wary and untrusting, recovery or no. "Hey there. Rough night?" he asks the fellow curiously then as he puts his hands in his pockets.

Jessica Jones is having a little trouble getting back in the saddle.

She was healed days ago. But she's just sort of lurked around Trish's or taken her gun lessons with Bucky Barnes. Having a random terrorist smash up her car and issue her a major life-threatening beat-down out of the blue was a little different than the dangers she normally faces, different in that it mimics six or seven things that have also happened to her that moved out of the realm of 'this is the work we do, just another Tuesday' to something else, to feeling overwhelmed and unsafe. Trading fisticuffs with robots or demons is just a little different. One makes her feel like a hero, even when she gets hurt. Like the world is orderly, and makes sense.

And if there is anything Jessica Jones needs, it is for the world to look orderly. To make sense.

The other is chaos. The other is feeling like a victim. Drowning. Overwhelmed.

The other is holding on for dear life, knowing she has thirty days, just thirty fucking days left to one of the biggest milestones of her life, and trying not to spoil it all. And succeeding, with shaking, grit-toothed, crying into her knees-effort.

One wouldn't entirely know it to look at her. She comes striding around a corner wearing a black hoodie and ratty jeans, boots. Looking out of place in this part of town. With the hood drawn up, she has a measure of anonymity.

She did make some progress on this case, and the sticky part is really…does she get paid or not. Because if Alice Walker is a villain who helped to rob Stark Industries, she has to cut ties and then find her kid anyway, for free, because…it's a missing kid. Probably in the clutches of a fucking Unseelie fae.

And if she's not a villain, great. Jessica finds her kid and gets paid.

She becomes the next to stride up to the door and doesn't bother with the bell, just knock-knock-knocking on it. Her face is shut down…mouth tight, eyes flat, hair somewhat messy around her narrow features. The way she stands has a wall a mile high put up all around her. It's a throwback to the days before she started dealing with things, to the days before she had people in her life, to the days when she was falling apart at the seams. It also gives away very little, except to make her look generally sour and a little disheveled.

Alice knows all the problems Owen is facing, at least bio-chemically, as her fingers touch his flesh. Her lips purse and her brows raise slightly. Slowly she nods her head and listens. "You, sir, need…a lot of things apparently. Not just sleep," And she drops his wrist to follow his gaze to the ballroom.

"My daughter and fiance. Come and meet them. It's her bedtime anyway then we can sit, have a drink…and I can fix things if you want. But not in the way you have in mind likely. And only with a promise," She says her voice concerned and serious.

Autumn seems to have a knack for tumbling and acrobatics. Naturally limber and slippery like an eel she picks up what Jason teaches her very quickly. Probably thanks in part to partially plucking the knowing directly from his brain as he shows her. And as Jessica's boots hit the stairs she is moving fast. Out the door and around Jason to yank the door open before even one knock is given. "JESSICA!" The teen cries happily and flings her arms enthusiastically around the detective. "I am so glad that thing did not eat you!"

Alice is standing there with her mouth partly open, having been about to call for Autumn. But that is unnecessary now and so she recovers and smiles over Owen's shoulder at Jessica, "Come on in, Jessica! I've been playing phone tag and I heard about what happened…"

Owen's face darkens when Alice seems to suddenly be aware of what he needs. As she drops his wrist he pulls it away, almost petulantly. He glances at Jason in the doorway and offers a small nod of greeting but nothing else. He didn't feel good about this plan to begin with but it's chances for 'success' seem to be dropping by the minute.

He seems ready to follow Alice when she talks about meeting the fiance and the kid. Fine. Sure. Whatever. "A drink would be great." But then she says she thinks she knows what he wants and isn't willing. "No" Comes out too forcefully. He recovers and says "I mean. I don't know what you had in mind, but I just want to talk." Says the lying liar who lies.

And then there's knock. And a Jessica.

"Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiit"

Owen didn't even make it past the foyer before this plan really tanked hard. It's not a record for his terrible plans, but it's certainly par for the course for him.

He turns to face the door and Jones, offering a tight lipped 'smile' of sorts. But then he sees Jessica and his eyebrow quirks. She looks.. well, she kind of looks like he feels. She said she was fine? Maybe he's not the only one who tells that lie.

Jason looks as Alice and Owen seem to be good friends, giving a nod to the fellow with the smallest smile only for a moment. He knows -exactly- who he is, and it's a surprise that he hasn't tried to kill owen yet. But it is what it is! He turns his head only to see Autumn doing some wicked gymnastics in the main ballroom, nodding a few times then wit ha smile in approval.

Certainly does't take long for the little girl to run straight past Jason to scream Jessica's name and practically throw herself at the young lady. With that said, his smile is evident, meeting a friend of Alice's and Autumn's, clearly. "Welcome to this lovely home. I take it your Jessica? Just a guess." he says then before he cracks his neck a little bit, turning on his heel to move and lean towards one of the nearby walls.

yup, meetin' new people…

If there is anything that will gentle one Jessica Jones, it's a child flinging her arms around her and greeting her as if she is the best thing since sliced bread. She wraps her arms around Autumn in turn, the hardness momentarily flowing out of her eyes, her face. "Hey, sweetie," she says gently. "And don't worry about me. It'll take more than a dragon," or a demon bear, or a tentacle monster, or a Tiger Tank of a Woman…really, it's been kind of a great first Quarter… "to see me eaten. You okay? Been staying safe?"

And then, the long, drawn out 'shit' of one Owen Mercer.

She reaches up. She pushes her hoodie down. "Mercer," she says, her mouth tightening, her head tilting first to one side, just to the other. "What a surprise." And just as he observes her state, she observes his. Her eyes narrow speculatively.

And then to the woman she actually came to see, with her one and only plan for determining the potential conflict of interest thrown right out the window. "Ms. Walker. Thanks for seeing me." And a curt nod to Jason follows that. "Yep. That's me. 100% Jessica Jones."

Aren't they lucky.

Her face is shutting down again, even as she continues to let Autumn hug up on her.

Alice looks back to Owen as he all but shouts and the look isn't one of anger or upset. It is one of understanding and even pity. With a sigh she reaches out and pats his cheek and leaves it there for a couple of seconds.

This time she is diving in deeper and it takes more concentration. There is more damage made faster this time along with the wreck his constant state of stress has put his body in. Chemical bonds in the brain making him crave those highs are released carefully. Too quick and she can cause a seratonin cascade, too fast and he'll be manic for who knows how long.

Getting to see her work on a much more intricate and careful system instead of her usual kool-aide man techniques is interesting. Her eyes dart back and forth as if she were reading or seeing something and her lips move ever so slightly. The feeling on the other side is a mixed bag. First thing that she fixes is the exhaustion and the coiled sense of impending doom, adjusting the cortizone and other stress hormone production. Essentially putting it into a temporary hibernation so -he- can rest. The exhaustion is similarly wiped away like an eraser on dry erase as if he had slept and had the best sleep ever. Then she touches the addiction centers and carefully begins picking apart the worst of the cravings. "You have fucked yourself up royally. Not as bad as some I've seen," She says with a sigh. "Not that I blame you!" She had been dosing herself on more…approved pharmaceutical help.

"I am good. And safe. Jason is teaching me to be a ninja!" Autumn says with pride and grins at the young man trying to blend with the wall. "Come on, we'll all go into the living room," Tonight Autumn is the little hostest and she takes Jessica's arm and begins to lead her. "You don't have to be so worried. It's all as mum said, Jessica. Zoom is a very bad man," And suddenly she seems to be talking louder and she isn't looking at Jessica as she speaks, but at Owen as she leads the way to the living room.

Alice blinks and drops her hand as Autumn and Jessica go past. Not all the work she wanted was done, but moving and sitting were certainly good ideas right now. So they move into the living room. And Alice starts playing hostess. Jessica gets lemonade, Jason his favorite drink and Owen? He gets coffee with what tastes like whiskey in it. Of course everyones drink is poured rom the same pitcher of water, except Owen. Cause his is hot. "Autumn, bed."

"But muuuuuum!"

"Nope. Bed.," Alice said firmly with a shake of her head. And though the young teen stomped a foot and wiggled her body and made growly noises she waved and left for the stairs leading up.

At first Owen flinches when she reaches for his cheek. Not because it looks like an attack, it just feels overly familiar and weird. He relents though, having a small understanding of what he thinks her powers can do for him. And then something starts happening. Owen's eyes go a little wider as he feels his body relax. The feeling of not being as wary though starts to set off alarm bells. He was on guard because he was worried about Zoom, why doesn't he seem to care about that?

And then she pushes just a touch too far. Before she even gets to say the part about not blaming him, he slaps the hand away with the back of his own. Using his speed it's almost difficult to see what just happened, it's far beyond the speed of normal people.

"Don't. I didn't come here for fuckin' therapy lady."

As soon as said that part his eyes shoot to Jason, seeing if fiance man thinks he has something to say about it. His face is not quite as dark as it once was but even the chemical balancing can't right all that ails him.

Turning to Jessica he says, "Jones. Hey. I figured I'd just come ask.." What? Hey are you working with Professor Zoom? Can you dope me up again? And now he feels all weirdly relaxed too, like he just smoked a blunt in the middle of a battle. It's actually not a great feeling.

Jason grins a little bit to Autumn as she tries to take control of the whole situation and host everyone in a neat and orderly fashion. She was always cute like that. When Alice tells her to go to bed and Autumn only briefly resists, Jason ruffles her hair a little bit. "Go on, you need your beauty sleep." he suggests and then the girl does her foot stomp return and she returns upstairs for sleepy time.

Theeen his eyes are on Jessica, giving the woman a nod in greeting. "Hey." is all he says then, before his eyes fall on Mercer and his fiance, not bothered because he knows full well what Alice can do and what Owen is more than likely looking for, before he bats Alice's hand away and clearly shows hostility. However, as his eyes shoot to Jason in challenge, it does -not- look like Jason is gonna bakc away from it. He leans off the wall, his hands falling ot his sides as those eyes lock on Mercer in a 'I kinda want to kill you' kind of way. But, Jason appears to be more in his right mind then Mercer is, so when he approaches, he simply puts a single finger on Alice's back, turning his body only a little bit while keeping Owen in his sights.

let the mind games begin.

His eyes look to Jessica then, before he just crosses his arms and leans back agains the wall.

Jessica sighs and ruffles Autumn's hair. Why does she do anything subtle? When she doesn't kick down the doors, others do it for her. "Good to know, kiddo," she says.

And when she's sent to bed, "Night, Autumn."

Thirteen is still young enough to turn what actually are a fantastic set of maternal instincts on. Hell, she gets them for anyone under twenty, these days, and the age where she starts feeling it is only doomed to creep everupward as her own age does. She observes the interaction with Owen, and Alice's fussing. As she wraps her hand around the lemonade, she quirks an eyebrow at Jason. Tilts her head. Teaching the kid to be a ninja? Okay then.

But she isn't here to delve into ninja training.

And then Owen is gearing up to lie to her. Her eyes flash. She fixes him with a firey gaze. "The Hell you did," she says flatly. "Save it. We'll talk about it later."

But she's pissed. Oh yes. The temper that she has been working so hard to control, that she's blunted and gentled and held at bay and meditated to try to give the good people in her life a slightly more pleasant experience when it comes to dealing with her, that she routinely has to stifle to get any information out of anyone? Is brimming up beneath the surface like a nuclear wave.

Then there's Jason, doing all kinds of weird-ass possessive protective shit. "You got a last name, Jason? We got a missing kid, see, and when there's a missing kid it's real damned important to check into everyone involved in that kid's household in any way."

And since subtle is shot? Blunt is the order of the day.

She turns full on to Alice Walker.

"I need to know exactly how you came to be working for some speedster thief that robbed Stark Industries. Mr. Tony Stark is also my client. A great good deal of my business comes from investigating his security breaches." Autumn's endorsement aside, she needs to know.

Alice's face pinches slightly and she drops her hand and frowns at him. "No, you came for a fix," She tells him bluntly even as she shoots Jason a look a grateful look and he gets a faint smile. As Autumn scampers to her room she turns for a couch in the living room, taking Jason's hand to draw him after..

"And to try to talk me into giving it to you. Come in then and do so. I can help in my way or not, but if you don't want it then I will -not- force it on you. No one is forcing me to do anything now," As she sits down she sighs and there is just something in it. A sigh with the weight of centuries of distrust.

One dainty hand waves to the variety of seats while the other scrubs at her face. Taking a deep breath she locks her eyes on Jessica and says, "I was not voluntarily working for him. He stole me right from a diner, in front of Jason. His last name is Todd, by the way, and I know plenty of his skeletons," The way she smirks tends to indicate they are not actually pleasant. "When I gave him lip he dropped me off a cliff and let me fall a ways before catching me. I tried a few other times and it wasn't pleasant. He knows I heal fast so he wasn't afraid to be rough," The womans nose wrinkles a bit and she lifts the tea cup she had poured with hot water. A dip of her pinky slips it into what looks and likely is a milky tea. "I gave Owen a boost after Zoom caught him and released his straps. I told him to run…Zoom was fast apparently," She sighs and looks guiltily into her cup. "The rest is in the news. Zoom kidnapped me to help him build those damned robots faster. Chemical welds are stronger, but take awhile to set…not with me."

Owen chafes at the look that Jessica shoots him, as she so easily sees through his half hearted attempt at lying. Seriously he didn't even finish his sentence. F for effort Mercer. But the look he shoots back is just as stubborn and frustrated. He breaks it only to shoot side eye at whatever Jason is doing.

He is just starting to calm back down when Alice decides that she is going to call him on it. Owen is 100% not up for hearing that. He just half raises a hand and says, "Fine. I wanted to thank you and ask.. but Jones has got that part covered." He is turning to leave when Alice starts her story. And he is interested. And there is whiskey in that coffee.

Fine, he stays to at least take a drink of the coffee and listen to what she has to say, but he's still agitated at having been both so transparent and caught by Jess of all people. He could care less if Alice or her fiance see him as some high seeking junkie, it's a lot different with someone he actually knows. Especially someone from what he thinks of as his New York life.

And by the time she has finished her story his mind is made up. He stands and says "Anyway, whatever. Thanks for the coffee. I'm leaving." He doesn't wait to hear what others have to say about that. He's headed for the door.

Jason turns his head to Jessica, ready to fight his own battle when little Autumn came and led him away by the hand, giving one more parting look to Alice and Jessica, and to Owen heading out the door because he's a grouch and he didn't get his fix like he wanted, Jason follows Autumn to wherever it is she was gonna lead him. "….arn't you supposed to be in bed?" he says then teasingly before he kisses her forehead. "Thanks kid."

Because Jason has a habit of getting into fights with equally aggressive people.

With the young lady saving his life, Jason ends up standing with Autumn, giving her one of those looks as they exchange quiet words.

'You came for a fix.'

Compassion at a fellow addict twists briefly over the face of one Jessica Jones, doing a merry dance with the hardness there. It makes for a strange series of microexpressions, eyes flicking to the boomerang bartender and back to Alice Walker. It's filed away. Not addressed. She said save it. She said later. And she's going to do it later, as long as he doesn't simply zip away from her because he doesn't want to talk about it. And she knows it's gonna be just hella fuckin' pleasant, like dealing with herself 3 years ago, and isn't that just karma at work.

He's leaving, and her eyes track him alllll the way to the door.

Is she still angry? She's not calm yet, that's for sure.

She listens to Alice's story, and again, there it is. Compassion warring with suspicion warring with just having her dander up in general. Being kidnapped and being forced to do things she did not want to do. It hits hot buttons for one Jessica Jones. But. In the end? She seems to accept the story as truth.

Then there's the matter of Jason's last name. It is meaningless to Jessica right now, but she'll go digging soon enough. Every dark corner of Gotham, said one of the two other clients that have her living herself a sort of Gotham life right now, and if he's got skeletons, he counts.

Finally, she takes out a folder. It's her work product to date, all her footwork, from all the rehashed interviews to her latest discussion with Kendra's Boyfriend, Jim. She extends it in offering to Alice.

"As of right now, my working theory is that your daughter developed a crush on Boyfriend Jim. There's reason to believe the Queen of Winter exploited that somehow. He has gaps in his memory," and that vibrates against her rage too. Did Kendra know that she was going to mind control Jim into being with her? She's pissed at the kid she's supposed to find too, even as she reminds herself it probably was not phrased that way. Pissed at the Queen of Winter.

Just generally fucking pissed.

"And the timeline adds up. He wasn't interested in her prior to, but she sure was interested in him. It's possible she cut some sort of deal. Magical creatures and deals never end well. She's probably in the realm of Winter. If you've gotten any new information in the interum, I'd love to hear it. If you know of a way into her domain, or a way to contact this bitch, I could use that information too."

Not that she's about to go running off to try to pull of rescues or counterdeals or anything like that alone. No. Now she has definitely re-entered probably needing John Constantine and/or Zatanna Zatara territory.

Alice watches Owen leave and her expression is tired and sad. "I wish I could help that poor man more," She says as the door closes and turns to look back at Jessica. "I have not had any threats and Autumn hasn't had any hits," Alice glances at her daughter and narrows her eyes slightly. It is the look of a mother noting their child misbehaving, but choosing not to say anything…yet.

Faintly she smiles though as she watches Jason and her interact. In a moment Autumn is giggling and then she squeezes him in one last hug before bounding over to Jessica. The girl never moves at a walk, or almost never. First waking up she is practically a zombie. "Byeee!" The girl says to Jessica as she offers a hug. "Also…it wasn't really Jim. Just someone playing him. Like a pullet," Then she is skipping out of the room.

Alice pauses in flipping through the paperwork Jessica hands her. Her gaze snaps to her retreating daughters back in alarm. "There is…something you both need to see," Alice says and reaches for the tablet. Whatever she had keyed up previously is triggered and the television winks on and begins to play footage.

A warehouse sealed against the outside as if everything had melted together. Doors to walls and glass to metal, bonds that shouldn't be possible. The footage is camera readouts from her helmet and suddenly she is on the roof and beside her is Batman. Orders and sounds are recorded with great clarity.
Jason doesn't really add anything to Jessica and Alice's apparently heated conversation (on Jessica's part, anyway.) because it's extremely easy for him to tell out of the two of them which one is the most agitated…for other reasons. Anyways, he keeps with Autumn then for a moment, looking at the young lady with a smile as she squeezes him in a tight hug and Jason smiles, wrapping his arms around Autumn until they separate and she's off to give Jessica the same affection.

Then? Once Autumn is gone, he sees the shift in Alice's expression and he in turn becomes extremely serious, his eyes on hers before they shift to the TV. he does narrow his eyes when he sees and hears the Dark Knight. Nonetheless, he sits down next to Alice, eyes forward as he's now strangely extremely focused.

"What'd Mercer want? For his fix?"

The question is just dropped like it's hot, but soon one Jessica Jones is turning to the television. And oh hey, there's the Bat.

She rubs two fingers across her lips, like she could really use a smoke right about now. But she's focused. A hound on the hunt. A hawk in the sky. Watching every last detail. Stone-faced now, giving away very little.

"Patient confidentiality," Alice replies without missing a beat to Jones, glancing at her and then to Jason. All of this is familiar to her so she takes advantage to watch them and sip her tea. The scene continues to unfold.

It is clear from the chatter that Batman had somehow gotten a signal here regarding a phone call Alice received about a half hour prior to the video feed. The view into the warehouse shows it was converted into a living area complete with everything one could want. As it plays a vehicle drives up and Kendra can be seen on the couch below the skylight. The sound of the mic picking up a sharp intake of breath is hard to miss.

Kendra looks up and over at where the door is and it suddenly folds and melts away from where it is joined to the wall like it has become fluid. It opens and in walks an older gentleman, maybe in his mid twenties, carrying groceries. As he begins to put them away, the two talking, Batman crashes through the roof and everything becomes chaotic.

Jason looks to Jessica in a more of a side look, before those eyes also fall on Alice, as if to ask her the same thing, but likely when they were in private. Either way, his attention remains fully on the screen, watching as Batman and Alice seem to work together on certain things…this being one of them. Alas, he sees Kendra and he tilts his head, seeing this older gentlemen riiight before Bats does his…well, bat thing and dives straight through the ceiling.

Same old Batman, Jason thinks to himself.

Though he grips his hands a little tighter as he watches, as if fully engrossed in the video footage that Alice is displaying to them. He says absolutely nothing, however.

"You're not a goddamn doctor," Jessica snaps. "And he's not your goddamn patient. And he actually fucking listens to me," sometimes, once in a blue moon, "so if you want to fucking help him you'll tell me what the hell he thought he was going to get out of your hand job."

Temper fraying just a little bit more.

Fuck it, she takes out a Marlboro and sticks it in her mouth without lighting it. Just to hold it there.

And. There's the kid. That Jessica has been looking for.

"Fuck. Okay. Well. You've got footage. Someone search the warehouse? Did the Batdouche make off with everything? Any answers come from any of that? Who's the dude with the groceries? Do we know? What do we know about this folding wall effect? When the hell was this footage taken? Jesus Christ, you didn't call me or email me when you got this? Fuck!"

Sure, it's Alice's kid and at her discretion but Jessica pretty much forgets that.

She rubs a hand over her face. She hasn't been this unprofessional on the job in awhile. It's a confluence of factors.

Alice reaches out and taps pause as soon as Jessica explodes so she can give the woman her full attention. And she weathers the anger like the ageless thing she is. "I -am- a doctor actually. I have ten doctorates, two of them medical degrees," She says it very casually. "But you have a point. His body is on a variety of things, the biggest of which is heroin. There is alcohol, weed, I'm pretty sure I sensed meth in there too but couldn't be sure, and pain pills," She says after another moments pause.

A hand falls onto Jason's own as he grips the couch tighter. It is subtle and meant to not draw any attention and at the same time she speaks, "I did call you. I left you about seven voicemails that week." Alice says and raises a brow. "You were busy. It happens…I'm not happy, but I am not going to blame you. Things got crazy after that until recently." Alice eyes the cigarette and then gestures to the table next to Jessica. There is a lighter and ash tray there. Funny how the house doesn't smell like anyone smokes, but Jason has seen her do so on occassion.

"Now…we did search the warehouse and I have just as much evidence as Batdouche, as you say. The man with the groceries in Nuke. He has no aged a day since I last saw him. The wall is Kendra's own mutant abilities. She can manipulate any nonliving manner by breathing on it." A pause and she sips her tea. All her actions are calm and slow, a pointed counter to Jessica's own.

"The warehouse is mine now and no one but I and maybe Batman has entered it since it happened. Now, let me finish playing," The last answers given Alice taps the tablet and it continues.

Things all through the warehouse come alive and attack Batman. Nuke throws what appears to be small burning globes that explode, missing or just singing Batman's armor. Alice begins to descend into the warehouse as a crackling blue energy appears on the far wall. Kendra is fleeing, surrounded by a mismatched shell of moving objects no longer in their original shape. They shouldn't even be able to move like they do, but it is there on the tape. Through the glowing blue portal goes Kendra and then Nuke dives in behind and it closes. The rest is just gathering of evidence and an upset Alice. There she pauses it again.

Jason pays no heed to the tension that is clearly between Jessica and Alice. Nothing he needs to get into the middle of. Besides, he knows Alice can fight her own battles, and he'll only come in when he needs to. That said, he feels the softness of Alice's hand on his skin, and he seems to let out a small breath, turning his head to her and looking his fiance in the eyes. That said, he only answers simply. "That explains his erratic behavior." dude was on everything and probably going through a first stage of withdrawals.

Regardless of Mercer, he watches the video to see Kendra seemingly fighting off Batman and her mother with this Nuke dude, and they end up winning to fight another day via escape through portal. Though Jason tilts his head. "…can Nuke make portals then? or is that a product of some gadgetry?" he asks then. "…and it doesn't exactly look like she's held against her will if she fought you without a second thought." he comments then a moment before he sighs, eyes forward.

"So then, what do you plan to do?" he turns his head to Alice. It -was- her daughter after all.

"I wasn't busy, I was trapped in a goddamn weird ass realm that some demon threw me into. You're not the only one with a whole fucking stable of enemies." Jessica grumbles, but at least she got the answer, in re: Owen. "And nothing was getting through to my phone. Stark tech's good. It's not 'get messages in alternate dimensions' good."

Oh thank you god. A lighter and an ashtray. That goes a long way towards ratcheting her down. She lights the cigarette and takes up the ashtray and closes her eyes. Ok. She might make it through this evening.

She does shut up to watch the rest of the tape. It's all pretty chaotic, difficult to make heads or tails out of.

Jason asks what Alice plans to do. Ok. Good question. Great question, actually.

She turns to lift her eyebrows in an echo of the question.

Alice's face is wan as she watches the tail end of the video. The betrayal, though no actual shot can directed at Alice in the video, is obvious. "She didn't really attack me. I stayed on the roof till it looked like things were going back. And then by the time I hit the ground they were diving for that portal," She says. Her voice has gone low and she pulls open the drawer next to her and pulls out a pack of some fancy cigarette and another lighter. As the smoke drifts and brushes against Alice is changes, rippling all along the clouds of whispy white. The room simply begins to smell like orange and spices instead. "Neither of them can make portals. And none of my tech could pick up any residual readings on the wall. Which leads me to think magics or someone else helping them. Nuke said…something," She goes quiet and thoughtful. "Bheir a 'Bhan-mhorair cead dhomh dol seachad."


Jason looks then to Jessica but has no comment ready for her because he has noooooo idea what's with this futuristic alien crap going on here. Demon realms or whatever. That said, both he and Jessica both are looking at Alice as Alice attempts to protect her daughter, and Jason nods a little bit in understanding.

"However way you put it, it wasn't like she was calling for help." he says then with a soft sigh. Though when he hears those words, he nods faintly. "Sounds like something a magician would say. I know the kind who would, at least." he shrugs a moment. "Been some time, but I would never forget something like that." he shrugs a moment. "Seems your old friend has learned a few new tricks."

Jones doesn't speak Scottish Gaelic, but has read enough to know it sounds like Gaelic. She has weird interests.

She pulls out her phone. Tries a couple of different spellings of the phonetics, pulling up a Gaelic spelling guide to try to help her. Pulls up Google Translate.

"The Queen grants me passage," she says.

"Look. It's possible this queen has her under mind control, or geas, or just generally caught in her claws. That pretty much seals it. Maybe the Queen whammies Jim because she knows Kendra's interested, and sets her up. Maybe Kendra's interested, and takes a deal. Either way, she's got her. Now what's left is figuring out how to get your kid back. Since I assume you don't really think she randomly betrayed you for no good reason."

Jessica takes another drag, tumps out some ashes into the ash tray. She takes a look at the logos on the grocery bags. "What's the address of that warehouse?"

"Nuke had made a deal with Queen Mab before back in England. She granted him the power to explode in a nuclear blast. I don't know what else she gave him though," Alice says sounding tired. She leans against Jason and smiles weakly at Jessica. "Ahhh…Let me go get the key to the warehouse I had made for you," And she shoves up and goes over to a locked bookcase. Her body blocks whatever she does. When she turns back she has a keychain in her hand and she tosses it at Jones. "I need to find her. But we're going to need some mystic mojo or we are screwed. Last time I only survived because I -can't- die. I've yet to find anything that keeps me dead."

Jason seems to crack his neck a little bit, looking at Alice as she explains the deal that it appears that Nuke had made. Humming softly then, when Alice leans against him, he wraps an arm around her shoulders to hug her softly before she gets up to get the key for the warehouse. "Right….I don't exactly have any contacts of a mystic nature." he says then. "Well, I prefer you alive, if it helps." he winks at his fiance before looking back to Jessica. "I wonder if one of the abilities given to him by these faes or whatever the hell they are called was that he could perform mind control. That possible?"

Shit. Tears.

Tears, and Autumn running up to hug her.

Jessica takes a final drag on the cigarette and stubs it out. Once. Twice. Three times.

She stands up.

Gruffly: "She's breathing. You're breathing. There's hope."

She catches the key neatly, and examines it.

"Well. There's your motive then. You can't die. So killing you doesn't do a damn thing to you. She has a grudge against you, taking your child and turning her against you is the easiest way to cause you pain. More than any physical torture."

And doesn't it just suck that I understand these psychos well enough to say shit like that. So what does that say about me?

Private misgivings aside, she says quietly, "Let's not go in guns blazing just yet. There's still tools in our toolbox. I'll head to the warehouse. See what I can do."

Jason says he has no mystic contacts. "I have some," Jess says. "And yes. It's possible."

Not that she wants to explain to a relative unknown the rather dark and dangerous fact she's learned. You can bargain for almost any power, if you find the right entity and then pay them. It's the paying them that's the real bitch, but the last thing anyone needs is people deciding they know how to game that system. "Just…sit tight. I'll get back with you soon."

Assuming she's not fired for being awful, but the truth is, she's going to try to find this kid regardless of her status in that regard, and that was always true. 19 is still a child. 19 still deserves to be saved, regardless of her mistakes.

Now here's hoping I don't make any stupid ones of my own.

Because while her impulse is definitely to call those mystic contacts, they aren't always available. And the woman who has parlayed with mercurial goddesses and poetic kings will only wait so long before taking her shot.

She's out the door before any proper reply can be made.

"With the fae anything is possible. They are traders of the ultimate degree. Conosoirs of tastes we can't even fathom. And the Queen of Winter's power is sweeping. But there -are- some things we can rely on…" Alice says as she retakes her seat. Sliding in next to Jason she considers. "The fae can never speak false. That doesn't mean they can't dance around a subject and not tell you the truth, or simply not answer…"

Alice nods to Jessica as she gets ready to go. Dabbing at the tears as if they were irritants more than anything else she smiles wanly. "Thank you Jessica. We will be in touch. Just don't go summoning the bitch without me okay?"

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