April 29, 2018:

Trish works up the courage to see Azalea after months apart.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Wilson Fisk, Jessica Jones


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The time had come, at last, for Trish to really test her courage. It was time to face Azalea and apologize for basically running away as soon as it got tough. After promising she wouldn't. So she'd hid at home alone, except for Jessica's visit, and had gathered her courage to knock on the door knowing full well it could be slammed in her face. Trish couldn't even argue that Azalea would be wrong if she did.

Trish had picked up her phone and typed close to a hundred messages to Az and deleted every one. What could she even say? If the roles were reversed, what could be said that she would respond to? Sorry I took off and basically lived my dreams while you were stuck here pretty much in limbo? As uncomfortable as it is, it's definitely not the kind of conversation that should be held by text messages. By coming to that realization, Trish had officially ran out of excuses for staying away.

She is now standing in front of Alias Investigation's door, lifting her hand to knock, and droping it back down in indecision. She pushes her loose hair back off her face, straightens her off the shoulder lavender sweater one last time, and brushes off the front of her jeans.

/Get to it, Walker. No more stalling!/

With an exasperated sigh at how silly she is being, Trish lifts her hand, and knocks three times on the door. Nothing left to do but wait.

Nothing left but to wait.

And wait.

How's the willpower to knock again? To test fate? She tried, right? She could say she tried. Absolve herself. Turn around and leave without having to face rejection. But without a door opening, she can't have closure. Trish need not worry though, for fate is on her side. The door opens, but not the door to Alias Investigations. Just a few feet behind her, and to her left, the sound is unmistakable. So too, is that voice.

"She's closed, unless it's ur-"

A little deeper than anyone might have expected out of someone so diminutive, Azalea stares with blue eyes into a green sea of indecision, leaving the distance between them the last gulf in a long journey for Trish to come see her, to be close again.

Now these moments pass for Azalea not in a blur of feeling induced by a Dark Passenger, but with an appreciation for the part of her that is still human. In the well of emotion that rises to tickle her ribs and swell her chest, as if she had to remind herself to breath. Plaid pajama bottoms of some awful turquoise and pink, and a white tank top leaves her in a less than ideal situation for this, a reunion she had seen in dreams, and too, in nightmares.

In all the years Xiuhnel had existed, he never mastered any part of the human condition. Even hatred, even violence kept mysteries from him, and certainly nothing there could inform Azalea on what she should say. This is what it's like to be afraid. A voice at the back of her head, a reminder of the fear she used to have a long time ago, washed away by circumstance.

It's what tells her the right and wrong of staring across the distance, of letting her lips part just a little as she takes in every inch of Trish, drinking her down to the very bones with a stare that always could cut through someone like a knife. The door opens just a little wider, and all that's left is that distance. Feet compared to miles and worse, unspoken distances. Great vast things that promised harm to Trish, but blasted from the mind of the Godling who should consider everything before taking action, but forgets it all at just this, the sight of those familiar green eyes that were once the only beacon she had when she was lost at sea, in danger of losing every inch of her humanity.

In the end, she says nothing, time stretching on as she loses herself in beautiful familiarity, and the emotion that comes with it.


Trish is just about to give it up as a lost cause when she hears the door open behind her. She turns expecting a random neighbor, completely forgetting that Azalea has taken over the suite next door. Green eyes meet blue and she cannot deny the rush of relief that she's not looking into gold.

Trish's lips twitch into a nervous half smile and she lifts one shoulder in a shrug before taking a couple of steps towards the open door and the woman in it. She closes about half the distance before her feet stick to the floor.

"I don't know that I would say it's urgent, exactly, but kind of important." The left side of Trish's mouth lifts again. "It's not really Jess that I was looking for anyway."

Trish inhales deeply through her nose and takes two more steps closer. She was the one who had created the distance so she needs to be the one to take the steps to close it.

"Hey, Az," she says quietly, nerves trying to steal her voice. She drops her eyes to the riot of color on Azalea's pj pants and cannot help the grin that spreads across her face.

"Nice jammies."


'It's not really Jess that I was looking for anyway.'

It's hard to tell the nature of her blush, but part of Azalea is glad to know she still can. It wasn't some accident, some mishappen visit to her sister that brought her here. For months she's been on a path of self-redemption through the redemption of others, wholly embracing a purview thrust upon her as her only way to salvation. But then there's Trish Walker, that piece of her broken off and left to float away. What do you do with a piece of yourself that's happy to be apart?

For someone who has been a monster so long, forcing someone back into the whole of you isn't an option. But here she is, just feet away and it hurts to think more than a moment or two beyond the curl of her lips as they form word after word, all meant to be stones in some bridge rebuild between them.

"I was just about to take them off."

Some things never change. Some things she just can't stop to help herself with, and as deadpan as her delivery is, the curl of her mouth forms a familiar pattern, if understated compared to the sometimes manic creature she once was. There in the aftermath of her comment, meant to make her remember what she looks like wearing nothing at all, she steps to the side, and pulls the door with her, an open invitation.

The only real test is if he she can let her pass into the apartment without reaching out to touch her, as if to make sure she's real and not some hallucination. The apartment beyond has been converted to a studio of sorts. The building can't be helped, and it'll always be in dire need of an upgrade, but Az has done her best. An open kitchen, and grey walls covered with the preferred weaponry of her dichotomy: Instruments of all sorts, and spears, bows, swords, old things all. More than that, paintings and pottery set up every which place she can put them, and though there is a bed that's little more than a mattress and some satin, the main of the room is dominated by electronic production equipment, a trio of guitars and several keyboards.

Something she never did when her and Trish were together. Because back then, the Devil kept her from making music. Back then, she only sung with her fists.


Trish opens and closes her mouth a few times. The first time because Azalea was blushing. Usually it's Trish who's crimson from the neck up. The second time is because she can picture exactly what Az looks like, sans jammies, and it leaves her speechelss with two spots of color burning high on her cheeks. The third time, well that is because she just simply doesn't know what to say next. She settles for a knowing smirk, since she's unable to come up with something clever to say that isn't straight out of the gutter like 'Want some help?'.

Trish forces her eyes away from Azalea, to check out the space she's just been invited in to. Her eyebrows arch a little as she takes in the decor. The weapons are no surprise. The art and music equipment, however, are another story, and cause her eyebrows to lift even higher.

"Nice place, Az, really."

Trish moves forward and crosses the threshold into Azalea's apartment. Her hand twitches at her side, in Az's direction, as though she might take her hand. Instead, she turns it into a gesture towards the guitars. "Those are, wow, they are gorgeous. How long have you been doing the music thing here?"

That should be fairly neutral enough for opening small talk. How ironic that Trish makes her living talking to people and now that it really counts, she can't figure out what to say.

Vulnerability used to be an open invitation, one that crashed violently against the inside of her skull and tempted her towards depravity. Azalea does not forget the way it feels, to watch someone struggle, to be self assured, looming over any weakness with a spiritual superiority. But here and now, as familiar as it might be as that self-conscious reaction eases to the back of her mind, she does not become the predator. Instead it pains her to see such turmoil, and though she is loathe to steal from the people she loves, the moment the door shuts, the moment they are alone, her voice fills the space between them with an apology.

"I'm sorry."

It's a whisper, and before Trish can turn to look back at her, she takes her hand. Azalea still runs hot, a reminder of how different she is in such a simple motion, and the moment she has Trish's gaze again, she doesn't let it go. Her other hand raches up, curling around the side of her neck. Long ago, it was how the people that worshipped The Obsidian Butterfly greeted one another, a touch that meant hello, goodbye, and everything in between.

Right now it means more.

To feel the beat of her heart in her palm nearly brings her tears, but she keeps speaking, unbroken by human emotion. "For all the things I said and did. I could say I was not myself, but I'd be telling the truth and lying all at once. It's complicated, but I feel sorry. So I am sorry. I wanted to call you. To tell you about my music, about getting back the will to create. I wanted to tell you I was better, and that it should be okay now. But.. "

Her jaw sets, tension creeping in at her jawline. She gives a squeeze to Trish's hand, a thumb brushes her cheek. Maybe it's to familiar. It might be unwanted, and if so she'll loathe every part of herself for being so bold. But the part of her that's human pushed away all due sense, and now she only had emotion to give.

" were happy. I was just figuring out who I was again, and I didn't feel like I could just drag you… maybe that's selfish. I don't fucking know. I just know I'm sorry. I just hope you can forgive me."

As a tear slides down her cheek, breaking over freckles to drop to the floor, she looks for all the world like she's lost, looks more vulnerable than she ever did in all the time before, and though she has a God blended in her soul, Azalea Kingston is only human in this moment.

Trish's shoulders drop with relief as Az takes her hand, making the move she herself couldn't, just yet. She'll twine her fingers with Azalea's and lean into the hand on her neck. Her eyes open wide at the first apology. Here, she had come to offer an apology of her own, not get one.

Her eyes close, just for a minute, as she feels the thumb brush her cheek. It feels like it's been days, not months, since the last time they talked. She makes a noise of disagreement to the statement of her being happy and manages to keep from interrupting Az through sheer force of will. The very least she owes the woman in front of her, is to let her have her say.

No matter how much it hurts. And, boy, does it hurt. It kills Trish to hear Az say she's the selfish one, that she's done something Trish can't forgive. Az wasn't the one who basically ran away and disappeared.
rish came prepared for rejection. She was prepared for indifference. She was not prepared to see tears and is completely undone by them.

"Az," she whispers as she wipes away the moisture from Az's cheek with her free hand. "There's nothing to forgive. I came to ask you to forgive me. Don't cry, please don't do that."

Trish lets go of Azalea's hand so she can pull her close into a rocking hug.

"I'm sorry I left. I should have been there. Just please don't cry."

Among Trish's assurance that she need not be sorry, it forces only more tears to slip from her eyes, broken by the sensation of feeling lost until those arms coil around her and pull her close. Usually there is an effort made to breath, to appear as human as her friends, or she might seem unnerving. In the moments that follow she doesn't have to remember to breath, as her humanity rushes to the forefront and all the pieces of her that make her divine don't matter at all.

The difference in height between them lends well to her face burying in the crook of Trish's neck, and then when her arms wrap around her with a strength that will bring an echo of safety, for while she can not envelop her she can hold her tight and pretend like she might never let go.

"I want to tell you I miss you, but I'm afraid the moment I do you're going to tell me you have a train back to DC waiting for you."

Only when, with that whisper delivered, does she look up at her, mouth close enough to her own that she can feel her breath. Eyes close enough that she can see all the minute flecks of color that bleed through the blue, rounded in a thick ring of black.

Trish feels her own eyes burn and her throat thicken as they share the embrace. No, Az's arms don't envelop her, but the solidness of the hug has Trish feeling like she's finally come all the way home. It's a feeling she's missed more than words can express, the feeling of family, the feeling of belonging.

If a tear or two of her own fall into Azalea's dark hair, Trish pretends to not notice. No one would blame her for it, given the emotions swirling through the apartment.

A small hiccup of a laugh escapes Trish at Azalea's confession. She also winces when Az tells her she's afraid. Very carefully, Trish cups Az's face in her hands and looks deep into her mesmerizing eyes.

"I'm not going back to D.C. They didn't have anything that could hold ratings for me that wasn't tabloid garbage fluff." She gives her head a little shake, dismissing D.C., NPR, and leaving all at once.

Unable to resist the temptation any longer, she presses a soft kiss to Az's forehead.

"I missed you so, so much," she whispers.

'I'm not going back to DC'.

It aches to hear it, because the responsibility of it, the gravity of it, falls heavily to her shoulders. It is selfish even when she closes her eyes and tilts her head in against those hands, a soft touch she may not deserve but wallows in until she feels that kiss upon her.

Az should tell her.

She needs to tell her.

But not before she returns her affection, sliding fingers along one cheek to ease her head downward, and leaning in and up once she's tilted her mouth down to meet her own. It's a kiss she's dreamed about for a year or more, a kiss that she loses herself in as fingers slide up to play with blond tresses and tickle at her ear with her thumb.

It is brief, it is filled with every bit of passion she might allow herself in this vulnerable moment, and when the kiss breaks, when she fully absorbs that Trish will stay she looks at her with a renewed resolve.

"If you do, you'll be in danger. There is a man who thinks you his enemy. His name is Fisk. I've done all I could to warn him, short of breaking every bone in his body, but he is not a man of any moral that a mortal mind would understand. I will try to take care of it, but it will take some time. You'll want to lay low. At least for a few weeks."

Trish's mind completely short circuts as Az's lips touch hers and a shiver works it way up her spine as she feels the tickle at her ear. Being consciously aware of the weapons on the wall and instruments near by is the only thing that keeps her from having a Telekinetic accident. While it seems like Az has forgiven her for leaving, if only for temporary, she doubts that good will would extend to trashing her place.

The look of resolve in Azalea's eyes as she breaks the kiss makes Trish pull herself together and uncurl her toes so she can focus on what is being said to her.

"Fisk," she says, eyes narrowing slightly as she makes a connection. As much as she doesn't want to do it, Trish loosens her hold on Az, and shifts back half a step to creat just a little space so she can focus on the topic at hand. She's just been told she is in danger, and now has a name to put to the threat.

"He doesn't happen to be involved with CGI or Union Allied, does he? Because if so, he dropped a lot of money to try and keep me out of New York. Why come after me now, after investing that much?"


"I don't know all of it, but Union Allied was certainly one of his fronts." Az gives Trish that bit of space, but keeps an even gaze, because knowing is being complicit. She could have, SHOULD have told Trish. The admission spills forth. "I didn't know what to do when I found out. Jessica told me you were happy. I didn't want to cloud that.. and I wasn't sure how to…"

Her gaze drops with no small amount of shame. "I was trying to protect you. Because when I looked at that man, I saw a sliver of what I used to be. He cares little for money but what end it can bring for him. And you were, and may become a threat to him again. If he finds out you intend to stay, I.. look."

The resolve was not just for her admission, and when she looks up again, she reaches out to take both of Trish's hands. "I won't let him hurt you. I'll stop him. But we just have to be careful for a little while."

If she can find more forgiveness in Trish's emerald gaze, she'll accept it. And as her hands give a little squeeze, it's her turn to ask the question Trish asked her so long ago, when they both took a long tumble down this sometimes caustic, never boring connection that might have burned, but oh so good. Part of it is wanting to protect her, to keep her from any usual haunts. The other part of her request, is far more selfish, a glance to her humble home, to make her request clear.


Trish listens, really listens, to what Azalea tells her about the whole Fisk situation. She had been needed, by Az and Jess, but she had been too busy chasing fortune to quote her favorite fictional archaeologist. Guilt washes over her and makes her feel like the worst person. Ever. They had put her happiness first, and in true Walker ambitious fashion, she had chased blindly after it, completely oblivious to the damage left in her wake. Not to mention the fact that it was all done on with dirty money, in her mind at least, just adds to the whole smarmy feeling.

"You have nothing to feel bad about, Az. I'm a grown woman who makes her own choices. Listen, I knew something was up when they didn't send me packing, and cancel the podcast as soon as it started to tank. Based on the numbers, it really shouldn't have lasted past the fifth show. No one was buying what I was selling, but they kept pumping money into it. I chose not to see what was right in front of me." Trish smiles confidently and squeezes Az's hands back. "I'm not worried. Fisk has no idea who he's messing with. There's no way he's going to beat us. I mean, I don't think there's any one or thing in this entire universe, who can take on you, me, Jess, and our rolodex of backup. God himself wouldn't fuck with us."

Cocky, yes. Over the top, maybe. But it feels so good to be back and to know she's forgiven. Trish lets go of Az's hand, to run hers up Azalea's arm, to curl around her neck. Like Azalea had done earlier. Her eyes never leave Az's, because the location doesn't matter. Azalea is what matters.

"Of course I'll stay."

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