Trouble's Come to Visit

May 10, 2018:

When violent human supremacists gun down a mutant kid in Hell's Kitchen, Claire Temple is the only one to call.

Claire Temple's Apartment

There's no place like home. At least until you do surgery on the table.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Jane Foster, Trish Walker, Danny Rand, Luke Cage

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

There is a dream that lives in the heart of many a nurse. The shift will end. You'll go home - there will be wine. You can draw a nice bath, put on some music. Maybe read a book or something. Then you remember you live in a postage stamp apartment, making do with what you can without a roommate and that what itty bit of a tub you have has been backing up for a month with no help in sight from the super. And -then- you remember the various almost bodies, there but for the grace of a well timed nurse go I vigilantes, victims, and bad guys that have been there and …

Well. What happens to a dream deferred? It turns into a slice that's started to conceal by the time she got in the door, whatever juice the bodega had close to the entrance, and some water. At least the game is on. And Stanton's coming up to the plate, and they're playing the Red Sox. Down by Three, one out. Judge on first. A crack of the bat, a single down the line to third, Judge to second… two on and a chance to tie. Sanchez stepping up…

*

There are dreams deferred.

And then there are dreams tanked.

And in the scheme of things, in Hell's Kitchen, one detective seems to be at the center of many a tanked dream. The pound-pound-pound on the bottom half of Claire Temple's door is not polite, not a neighbor hoping for sugar. It is one Jessica Jones, a spectacle in a bloodstained black hoodie and jeans. In her arms, a teenage kid who is obviously not entirely human, by virtue of the fact that his skin is roughly the color of a blue spruce and his hair is a shock of white that makes him look snowcapped. The bulk of the blood is coming from him, though there's a fair amount running down Jones' face as well.

She doesn't call out to Claire, not wanting to draw attention. She has the kid cradled in one arm like he's a baby, like he weighs nothing, which to her he virtually does not. Her other hand, sheathed in fingerless gloves, presses hard upon a gunshot wound.

"C'mon kid, stay with me, damn it," she mutters.

Feeling a bit desperate, Jessica's foot lashes out to knock on the door again. Perfect control means it just makes noise. She leaves no holes, doesn't splinter it, which is probably all to the good if Claire can't get the super up about the bathtub. No need to add door damage to the mix.

*

Sugar suggests time to bake and a place big enough not to overheat when the oven gets turned on past 200. Those footsteps in the hallway, the rushed quality. There's a chance, right? Instinct says no even if Claire's not sure /why/ she suddenly starts eating faster as Sanchez walks. Bases loaded! Hope springs eternal!
A sip of juice as the footsteps outside come to a stop … Strike two! Strike three! Down to one out. That sip is fast becoming a gulp. But c'mon. They can't blow this bases loaded with one out opportunity
And then there's the sound that's downright delicate when it comes to Jessica, perfectly timed to a ball hits the back of the Red Sox catcher's mitt with a thud just as the DH strikes out.
The side is retired. Hope dies. Trouble's come to visit.

Claire hustles to the door door as the local network cuts to commercial. .. oo OO ((It can't be that bad, they're not at the fire escape, climbing in a window, or /breaking/ in a window)). Of course the location just means that luckily the primary med kit is on the way to the door and already in one hand when she opens it to .. blue. So much blue. It's something new at least as she opens her mouth and doesn't quite have a ready response, just moves to the side and gestures Jessica and her companion in before poking her head into the hallway to make sure there's no one nosing out the door before she closes her own. "I really need to get a cot."

That's probably about when the first Red Sox player up in the next inning hits a home run.

*

"The sons of bitches shot him in the stomach."

No hope of small talk from Jones. "Humans First asshats. Where can I put him and how can I help?"

She sounds grimly furious, as one might expect. "I don't even know who the hell this kid is."

For extra fun, because of course Claire wants to treat some strange blue kid with no known identity on her kitchen table, or her couch, or wherever else she ends up deciding is a great place to do some surgery. Or whatever it might take to save him. Her mouth is set in a grim, tight line, and she looks around as if sudden healing might crawl out of the semi-busted oven, or perhaps the walls.

*

"Are the sons of bitches coming in after you?" Claire locks the door as rain starts coming down more heavily outside, pattering against the aforementioned fire escape and turning the city streets slick. It's bad enough that the tarp is being rolled out across the field. If only the tarp she was dragging out and tossing over said table was being brought out in solidarity instead of surgery. She sets the kit down. Grabs a spray bottle from the kitchen counter and starts spritzing it down. Some folks might have it handy to spray a cat or a plant. Temple? Impromptu sterilization in a hurry. "Down there. Start with getting the shirt out of the way. How long ago was it?"

There are a few quick actions while That shirt gets dealt with, hands washed and water left running to get hot. Bottles uncapped. "Well let's find out who the kid is to start. Hey." That's to the young guy as she hurries in, looking down to see how much abdomen is exposed and if there's any obvious intestinal ooze starting to happen. "I'm going to get you stabilized so we can get you out of danger, okay? Things are going to hurt for a bit, but we're here with you. What do you want us to call you?"

*

Jessica prioritizes these questions in reverse order.

"Four and a half minutes," she says, figuring that's the important bit. How long the blood has been gushing out of the kid's body.

The detective puts the kid down and simply rips the shirt off the kid by virtue of grabbing both ends and tearing it off of him. Looks like maybe a 9mm bullet went into him. It probably nicked an artery, from the amount of blood that's happening, and it has probably found a way to damage the organs in its way, because this isn't a neat, clean, just-get-it-out and all will be well wound. This is a messy, dangerous wound. With intestinal ooze.

"Reuben," the kid whispers, in obvious agony.

Then there's this question of whether the sons of bitches are coming after her.

"Not today. Today they're sleeping it off in the gutter. Eventually I'm sure. They can get in line."

*

Quick check for the exit wound, if there is one. If there's no exit? The bullet's gonna stay right whever it may be hiding for the moment in case it's actually blocking MORE blood from escaping. There's a quick ABC check and then some cursing in Spanish. And yes, with the name Reuben, she may be doing a mental check to see if he speaks the language and is more comfortable in it. "Reuben. I'm going to be working down here. When it hurts, you just squeeze Jessica's arm as hard as you need to, but I'm gonna need you to be quiet as you can. It's gonna suck, but I'm guessing police would suck more. Can you tell me what day it is? Who was the last president?" Checking some brain function as her hands start doing their thing. At least she's gotten past objecting and pointing out to them that They Need To Go To A Hospital. Deaf ears have finally gotten through.

She reaches down and adjusts Reuben's position, elevating his abdomen a little before she checks his nail beds before diving in to the nitty and more slippery than gritty. "So Reuben. Thinking's probably hard right now. And I've asked you a few questions. But one more. Anything medical abnormalities that you know about that I'm going to find out in a minute?" Hey, never know if his family physician mentioned that in addition to the blue skin and such, he has three kidneys or some such.

*

Reuben does switch to Spanish with some relief. Jessica offers her arm, figuring she's got an easy job. The kid says, "Jueves." He names the last president too. Whatever else is true, his brain is working fine. "No policia," he agrees.

She asks about medical abnormalities. Rueben just shrugs his shoulders at that one, a little bit helplessly. "«I can shoot shit out of my fingers, but I usually have to be not bleeding to death for that.»"

If he does have three kidneys though, Reuban just doesn't know.

Jessica swears. "Hang on, Claire. My friend gave me a gift, it can help." He's got her arm, so she frees her other hand to yank back her hoodie. Currently blonde for reasons? But that's not the important part. She shakes her hair back from her ears, usually a no-no for her, and twists one of the simple stud earrings she finds there. An X-ray of some sort comes up, a holographic laser display.

Kid does not have three kidneys, and is mostly normal inside. Except for the bullet, which is indeed now blocking some of the blood.

*

Claire Temple is way too used to this. She cracks a smile when the kid makes a joke and she doesn't try to hide it. He went to the trouble, he gets to see that the person working on him appreciates it. Gets to feel a bit like the hero of his own movie there, being tough and making the ladies laugh. It's part of the bedside manner, the work to put the patient at ease enough to relax just a little while she works. "«I'd make a joke about what you shoot out of your fingers, but I don't want you to laugh right now while I work. Remind me when you're coming to visit me in a week or two to check on how you're doing, alright?"» Even if she's talking fast, her tone is calm, confident, and steady. Cause sure he'll be home, and able to come back. This is going to be a blip and his life will be 'normal' again. Or at least that's the tone she's setting.

They'll deal with reality in half a day when they're dealing with the treatment. And that's about when Jessica's new super power of freaking telepathy kicks in.
Claire: .. oo OO ((I wonder if I could get enough money for my soul to afford a portable x-ray machine?))

Jessica: And behind this curtain of (WTH)? blonde hair is …

Okay. That's going to get her to stare for half a second. "So you're saying you brought me a shooting victim and new jewelry, because you want to leave those with me, right? Turn your head a little to the left and duck your chin a little."

*

Meanwhile the kid does seem to respond to this bedside manner. He pops a smirk, a cocky one, before his whole face transforms into agony once more. He can only keep that up for so long. He's sweating quite a lot, but he stays quiet, lets Claire work.

Jess would be horrified at the idea that she has telepathy of any kind. She just knows medical people do better when they can see what the fuck is going on.

Jessica does as she's told and considers this. They were gifts from Jane, and she doesn't want to give them up, but at the same time, Claire can do light years more good with them. "Would you settle for me loaning them to you while I beg the creator for a second set for you?" she asks at last. "I think she'd do it. She's good people. But it was a whole…it was meaningful. And shit. Is all."

She scowls, feeling like a dumbass for saying such sentimental things while her arm is getting squeezed really hard by Reuben, a thing which of course barely registers. "This where you want my head?"

*

There are a few minor adjustment requests. When Claire finally has Jessica positioned JUST RIGHT so that she has the holographic images as an overlay on the field of surgery, she nods. "Now just pretend you're posing for a painting and hold absolutely still for, you know, the next couple of hours," she says. Perfectly reasonable request, right? With the sweat starting up, she gets an IV line in. "I don't suppose your friend has a portable bloodbank on call so I could get some plasma and o-neg, huh? And instant blood typing?"

Yeah, Jess is off the hook for the moment as far as being called out on the treacley emotional business. There's work to be done. "Sounds like a deal. If the creator ever wants to meet for lunch at the cafeteria, by the way, I can think of a few more ideas. Also, -please- tell me The Creator isn't some sort of super hero name she's using."

*

It is a good thing she has Jess Jones on this duty. For all her faults, Jessica can indeed hold an uncomfortable position for hours. Usually it's in the service of surveillance other PIs can't pull off. Wedging herself between a pair of buildings six stories up, using nothing but her strength to prop her up there, and the like. But it works just as well for this, and with a life on the line she stands stock still with a discipline few would credit her with.

"I'm O-neg," the detective says. "I mean. I'm not medically normal either. Creepy healing factor blood, I don't know if that helps or actually hurts, but you can have it if it helps."

Despite holding still, Jess laughs out loud at the final quip. "No, but I'll have to suggest it to her. That's kind of fucking epic, and she's made good shit. No, these were courtesy of Dr. Jane Foster. I'll have to introduce you two. I think you'd like her." Jane Foster was of course all over the news last year, in re: the Bucky Barnes trial. Not exactly an unknown figure, even if one doesn't follow the ins and outs of theoretical physics.

Reuban isn't really awake anymore, though he isn't dangerously out either. He's just doing the drift thing people do when they're severely injured.

*

Time passes during the makeshift surgery. No more not a doctor/blah blah excuses. This has become life. Forget that it's the end of a double shift, adrenaline is best drug. Seems to be working for the Yankees as well. Reuben and the boys in the pinstriped uniforms get a little rest in the seventh inning stretch. Let's hope the boy follows the team's example as they rally from four down to tie it during the bottom of the seventh. There's no glamorous homerun. It's grinding it out teamwork, singles and walks and getting the guy ahead of you home again.

We're going to ignore the top of the eighth for the moment. No need to give Reuben a bleak turn.

And so it is that in addition to posing for the neverending portrait, Jessica's going to be fitted to be a drip bag transfusion from the source. "He's too young to drink. Poor kid's going to miss out on the fun part of this transfusion. Though if he wasn't half knocked out already… I don't know if it's good you told me you're O-neg or bad." The name of Jess' friend? It gets a startled look. "Really? Wow. You don't do anything small do you?"

*

Jones would shrug, but she's still on portrait duty. On the matter of not doing things small. "I keep trying to," is her dry comment. It just keeps not working out that way.

But Claire telling her that she shouldn't have mentioned her blood type just makes her chuff a humorless laugh. It takes her a minute, though, to realize what Claire means about the 'fun part of the transfusion.' It's true, when they first met, she was still very much off and on the wagon. "He's gonna miss out on it anyway. I'm 7 months clean and counting. Anyway, if you need a little extra take a little extra. I don't know how much normal people can give on an emergency basis, but I can probably put out two to three times that without needing more than a cheeseburger and a good night's sleep later."

She is stoic about the needle to a point. That is, she rolls her eyes skyward and makes a grossed out face when Claire starts doing her thing to make her into a human drip bag.

*

There's just a little gouging and exploration needed to find the vein. Reality of life. It slides in as the Red Sox batter hits a home run to retake the lead. Because life's tough in the big city and tonight, everyone gets to feel some of the pain. "Make a fist and release a few times. When I start feeling woozy on my feet we'll all get some break time," she promises. "We really need to meet someone with an in at the bloodbanks." The works going well. Dramatic and traumatic in turns, but she's getting the kid stable.

It's going to take longer than a minute to process the seven months sober. That and it deserves its own moment, not something crowded into the impromptu surgery. "Hey, I think you moved a bit. That or his spleen did. Please, Reuben's spleen, stay where you're supposed to be. Back down a bit… so what's going on in the rest of your life, then? Were you at the rally to, well, rally? Or get dragged in?"

*

Jessica pumps her hand back and forth. She looks blank at 'rally' as she readjusts her head; she had moved, not Reuban's spleen. Thankfully.

"Oh. No. No rally. They just were chasing him and wearing a bunch of paraphenelia. They were a street away from something else I was doing. Fuckers."

Never one to do well with small talk, Jessica Jones struggles with what else is going on in her life. It's not that she's trying to be unsociable. Her face works, those sorts of closed-off, vaguely uneasy expressions that she makes flitting across them. When asked this question she is often liable to go into a sort of sitrep, rattling off various problems she or others are embroiled in until their eyes glaze over. It took her awhile to realize not everyone wanted a case report when they asked a simple question, and yet it's nine times out of ten the only thing Jessica is doing and the only thing she knows how to talk about.

"Just work," she says. "You?"

And then the follow-up, "Anything you need?"

Cause if she's not much of a talker, she is a lot of a do-er, and she's generally willing to help. Especially when interrupting someone's pizza and game time to bring them bleeding teens. And if nine times out of ten the answer she gets is 'no, I'm fine', that tenth time keeps her asking.

*

Even if she's not looking up at Jessica? Yeah, there's no mistaking the eyebrow raise at Jessica's just work. "Right. Just work. No chaos, no danger, this is the first time you've been within a hundred feet of a bullet since we last saw one another?" Surgical thread time, getting in for some delicate work doing unmentionable things to blood vessels and organs in the name of survivability. "And Reuben would have -words- to say about the lack of a social life," Claire points out helpfully before she has to shut up to bite some thread off. Hey, sitreps work for someone used to looking at charts.

When she's able to chat again, and yeah, she has a gift for multitasking the talking and the medical care after years in the ER, it starts out… non verbal with a shrug. But the words catch up! "Hmmm. You know, actually yeah. Maybe your friend could help. She must have some pull. You hear the fall out of the news conference Richie Rich gave, and the PR repair work of setting up a community center for folks like…" Well. A nod down at the table, a nod up at Jess herself. "I wonder if your friend could talk him into setting up a clinic as well. I think I'm one attack of honesty away from job hunting. Again. It would be nice having a place to take some of the cases that aren't "Oh shit, someone's on my tail -now- urgent."

*

A quirk of Jessica's lips, cynical and amused. "Getting shot at and shitkicked is just work. So is chaos, so is danger. And would he now? Well Reuben can rest at ease. I have also had dinner with a friend, welcomed my sister back into town and have not yet done something stupid to drive off and alienate the guy I'm dating yet, though we are now officially breaking records as far as me not tanking it yet."

Maybe it's just a matter of asking the right questions in the right way, to shake out those less awkward comments that actually get somewhere.

Jessica blinks as Claire makes her comment. "Jane? I don't think she knows Danny. But fortunately, um. I can still make this happen."

She eyeshifts. "No making fun of me for my phone's virtual assistant," she adds.

Because Jessica says: "Morgan, dial Danny Rand."

The virtual assistant says: "It would be my honor and pleasure to dial Mr. Rand for you, Miss Jones."

In Morgan Freeman's dulcet tones, because Jessica Jones apparently has a thing for the man's voice.

She gets voicemail, but says, "Danny. Jess Jones. Call this number when you get this." She rattles off Claire's phone number. "You're calling Claire Temple, the best damned medical professional in Hell's Kitchen. She wants to do stuff. You wanna let her. Call me if you've got questions."

And then she shrugs.

Nothing small.

*

"There's another universe out there where you would be a great person to have around in the ER. I think the shitkickings you deal with may take things up past my paygrade, but still." Claire leans in closer to the imaging as she makes some final checks with the assistance of those holographic images. She may not have understood the idea of 'covetousness' until this very moment. Not powers, not money, but this sort of toy to help her do her job better. The social life stuff, though? It gets her smiling again and she goes back to Spanish. "«Hear that, Reuben? Sounds like our girl is getting some on the regular. She's gonna break your heart, my friend.» At least she trips back to English to speak directly to Jess at the end, though. "I try to catch what I can of her show." True Confessions: She may have called in once or twice to do some righteous speaking truth to power through the airwaves when one of Trish's shows hit on a topic near and dear to her. "Seems like it's doing you some good."

The game is coming to its oh so sad end. Reuben's getting sewn up. And Morgan Freeman is talking on Jessica's phone.

Morgan Freeman, aka Jessica's phone is supposedly calling Danny Rand.

Jessica knows Danny Rand is Richie Rich.

There's a lot to unpack with one little phone call!

Why yes. Claire IS standing there looking slackjawed for a moment. She has to pick SOMETHING out of all that gobsmacking business to comment on. What shall it be?….

"If you think I'm not making fun of that in the future, you must be out of your goddamn mind."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License