Contingency Planning

July 23, 2018:

Jessica Jones asks Emery Papsworth an important question about his daughter.

Danny's Swank Apartment

So luxurious!

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Danny Rand, Owen Mercer, Foggy Nelson, Kennis Papsworth (NPC)

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Sometimes, Emery is not cooking. Sometimes he is cleaning and getting ready to prep for the next day and then leave to go do Daddy Duty for another 24 hours. This evening, he is straddling the fence of doing both at once. He is currently finishing up a platter of meat and cheese sandwiches, stacking and arranging them on the platter on tiered fashion. Chicken and Mozz, Roast Beef and Provolone, and then just swiss and tomatoes. Whole wheat bread. Its one of those platters he can cover with a plastic lid and stick in the fridge for people to eat the next day.

Meanwhile, he's got pots soaking in the sink and glasses and mugs drying on the rack as he is dressed in a pair of dark blue jeans, a vintage grey and white Sex Pistols t-shirt, and his docs, his hair pulled back in a secure man-bun as he works quietly.

Jessica comes down from the room she's sharing with Luke and watches him for a minute. "Hey," she asks at last. "Need a hand?"

It's not the first time she's offered a hand in the kitchen. She can peel and chop at least, and she seems to have taken to watching him work his magic, with the narrowed eyes of someone who has decided she's ready to figure this damn 'cooking' thing out.

She is dressed in ratty jeans and a grey tank top. A couple of amulets trail under the tank top, hard to discern. She hasn't put on her shoes yet, which means she's not going out just yet. Her hair is just down. A little messy. Same as it mostly ever is.

"Hm?" Emery looks up and smiles fondly at the woman, shrugging a shoulder and gesturing towards the sandwich tray as he pulls out a second one from under the cabinet and then purses his lips thoughtfully. "How are ye at ah, teh sandwich stackin'?" If you could finish piling them on here, I'd could see to those pots and have them dried and put away in a jiffy."

He does however, set a sandwich aside…probably for Jessica as he looks her over thoughtfully. "Did ye want a cup of tea?"

"I think I can manage to stack a sandwich," Jessica says, and she gets on that. She thinks about the tea, and shakes her head. "No, you've got enough going here in the kitchen.

But…"

She frowns down, carefully stacking sandwhiches. She gets a whole other row of them arranged before she speaks again.

Finally: "I want to talk to you about something. It's a little morbid. And it might piss you off. It's important though."

This is when the detective pauses in the act of said stacking, so hopefully it's not terribly time sensitive. With that perhaps ominous-sounding opener dropped, she pauses.

"Very well, but if ye get parched, let me know. Tere's some fizzy drinks in the fridge." Emery nods a bit before moving towards the sink to test the water and put on his gloves in preparation for pot scrubbing.

The opener just makes him blink a few times and tentatively scrape a scrub brush against the pot. Then slowly he starts gaining a momentum to work through the dishes with a soft grunt of acknowledgement and a soft 'ah'.

There is a moment before he nods slowly. "Well out with it luv, ye can't drop somethin' like that and leave a man hanging."

Jessica nods and exhales. "When you were missing. I mean. I wanted you to be okay. For sure. I want you to live out the entirety of your very long life, spouting all your creepy Bible verses and making all sorts of very salient comments about what can and can't be bounced off of people's asses. But…when you were missing, I kept wondering. About Kennis. If you'd made arrangements. If anyone was appointed as her legal guardian in the event that you die."

She grimaces. "Sorry. There is just no non-awkward way to ask this question. I tried to think of about 80 different ways to broach the subject. Every last one was just fucking awkward."

She goes back to stacking the sandwiches, rapidly, as if getting the platter put together properly could make up for the subject matter.

That makes him just turn around and frown for a moment as he opens his mouth and closes his mouth. "Ah." Emery slips off a glove and reaches up to rub his chin with a weighty exhale and a weary smile. "Aye. Nimisha Weatherbee in event that I am confirmed dead, is not her appointed guardian but has been designated to see that the final arrangements that I'd prefer get passed on to whoever will be her legal guardian."

There's a long…a very long pause. "Just so that they know what they are gettin' themselves into. What ye 'ave to understand about Kennis is that her mother is technically of royal blood. She was supposed to be married off as a virgin' but me gettin' there first spoiled that so to keep tings from seeming untoward and to maintain the diplomatic arrangements that they had made? She went 'missing' for 7 months due to 'reported death threats'. Then she was induced. And Kennis was given to me, with the express orders that the child should never, ever be linked back to her or her family and that until she is 18-21 and her mother has already born an eligible heir that has also reached adulthood, Kennis can have no knowing contact with her birth bother or their family."

He runs his ungloved hand over his face. "She has a medical record and birth certificate with honest to god redacted black marks in it and she's barely 6 years old. So. Nimisha has known me since she was 18. She's…in her 50s now. She knows teh truth but…even though she was her nanny for a long time, she doesn't want to raise her unless she has to. So she's agreed to keep her until a trusted legal guardian that I had already approved or she approves of is willin' to take it on."

Jessica Jones' eyebrows lift. "Jesus, Emery. You don't do anything by halves, do you?"

This, of course, to the tale of Kennis, Actual Secret Princess.

"But…I mean if nobody's ever supposed to know then, what? It shouldn't even touch her life at all, right? Unless at some point Julie Andrews is going to show up and teach her how to do her hair or something."

She exhales though. She's getting off on a tangent, and she knows she's getting off on a tangent. She turns and slides her hands in her pockets. And says, "It doesn't matter. Emery, I love Kennis."

She looks up. This part should be done looking in the man's eyes, after all. "So. I'd like you to consider putting me. In that paperwork. I know she's got a relationship with Owen and Danny too, but…I'd like you to consider me."

And there it is, out in the open.

Emery shakes his head and pulls a faec at the comment about 'halves'. "To be fair, I didn't even know that I could get someone pregnant luv. I mean, me brothers were just abstinent for teh most part. I was always real careful and all…" He trails off and shrugs his shoulders. "I'd kind like to see an Egyptian Julie Andrews." He smirks a bit.

Then that next confession makes him blink, lips parting for a moment as he takes off the second glove and folds his arms over his chest. He meets her gaze for a moment before looking down and low whistle and a soft chuckle. It almost sounds sad. "With the life that ye all live. I know…Owen would be willin' to do the worst he'd have to do to keep her safe. I know Master Danny would make sure she'd never want for anyting. But ye could give her somethin' that she's never had to compensate for losin' me and that would be a mother…"

He worries his bottom lip for a moment. "Can ye promise me one ting then? That you'd do your damndest to make sure she never kills a person? With me blood, if she has the genetic marker that'll give her powers…her first kill will trigger her powers." He stares off at nothing in particular, as if momentarily haunted. "They never know which of the graces will be the strongest when the blessing comes…"

Jessica blinks at how fast he accepts that, and his next comment. "I will do my damndest," she says, and that's all she can promise. The world is unpredictable. Life is unpredictable. That's why they're having this conversation at all, since by rights it should be Emery, all the way, who does his. Of course, now that she's been given the heads up she can pitch into that as well, right here and now.

"Graces and blessings just went right over my head," she admits softly. "Other than knowing there's some religious basis for your abilities. What would happen to her exactly?"

She asks it with due gravity. He looks haunted and for once she finds herself reluctant to poke, pry, and ask the questions. But this strikes her as far more relevant than Kennis' relationship to Egyptian royalty, and so she tiptoes through the gate and closes it behind her, just as she mostly did to initiate this entire thing at all.

Emery nods slowly at the agreement, worrying his bottom lip again just catching it between his teeth as his hand distractedly rubs over his bicep, pushing up his sleeve. He's got four bands of enochian sigils wrapped around his left bicep, wrapping around in a continuous spiral that ends above his elbow. There's a glance down to that when she asks that question.

"Michael. Gabriel. Raphael." He points to each line of sigils as he speaks. "Chief of all Angels, defender of heavenly hosts is Michael. Gabriel is Angel of Messengers. Raphael is the Angel of Healing. Various properties from all of these go into the basics of our DNA. Kennis is already extremely intelligent and athletic, she will probably never catch a cold, and when I was little I could always tell when people were bullshitting me. But after someone is triggered. The grace of that angel, the…eh stronger abilities directly connected to one of them, that becomes stronger than the rest which fully mature. Stronger, Faster, and then with a special ability that stands out amongst the rest based on which 'angel' chose you. I can always tell when someone is lyin' to me or being deceitful. But me brother Gabriel? He was telepathic."

He's divulging more but this is probably because Jessica's asked directly and this involves his daughter. "She might be like you. Like Michael was. Extremely strong and with the ability to use any weapon expertly without trainin'. She might get the mind shite. She might be able to heal with her touch…" Then his jaw sets. "But, the people who want to kidnap her, are hopin' that she'll be like me."

Jessica remembers seeing all of this the night she bandaged Emery up. But she hadn't asked at the time, what it all meant. She only even vaguely recognizes the Enochian for what it is because of some of Zatanna's books, and they only very lightly touched on it. She tilts her head thoughtfully, but then absorbs it. She's seen demons, been to Limbo, why not Heaven? Why not angels? Why not some sort of DNA-activated powers triggered magical blessing?

"Why are they hoping she'll manifest your power set? Is it the most deadly of them all? Aside from knowing when people are bullshitting you."

And then she tilts her head in the other direction. She can be rather like an owl sometimes, as she pieces things together, expands what she understands.

"Was some angel speaking through you the other night? At the bar? When you went British and started spouting Bible verses?"

"Heh. I was the only one who manifested it." He traces over the sigils for Samael but does not speak the name outloud. Emery sighs softly and pushes his sleeve back down with a slow shake of his head. "If ye let the Catholic Church design super soldiers, ye were bound to get some seriously biblical shite." But he still thumbs the side of his nose and flashes a weary grin.

"The grace of teh Angel of Death flows through me veins. Aye. The only Angel that nobody prays to because if ye see 'im, it means its too late for ye anyways. But, tis the Church, so they make sure I suffer for it to keep tings balanced. The souls that I reap, leave behind residue so to speak and when I fall unconsious, they are allowed to torture me…to get their payback." He rolls his eyes and then tries to explain softly. "Mm. They never really explained to us /how/ its directly connected to anyting. That…was…" He struggles to find a word. "Conditioning? Reflexive."

"Yeah. I can see why you wouldn't want to risk it now," Jessica says softly. "For Kennis, I mean. Aside from what any kidnappers might want. That doesn't sound like anything anyone would want for their kid."

She chuffs a little bit. And decides, apparently, that it's time to make an awful religious joke. "Good thing Methodists didn't design super soldiers," she quips. "Based on my childhood, my guess is the only powers they'd be manifesting is some sort of potluck power. Gaining the power to torture people through the 12-hour unidentifiable crockpot goulash, the questionable dip, and that one lazy asshole's Kentucky Fried Chicken run."

Because what else can you say when someone says 'Oh yeah, I got cursed with the touch of the goddamn Angel of Death, it kinda sucks?'

Emery nods slowly to Jessica as she gets it, lips twisting in a sad smile. "I have to live out the penance for every life I have reaped, whatever years they had left are added to me own, so that I can fully pay for me sins. I'm goin' to outlive me daughter most likely, but I'd rather see her get to grow old and live and get the chance to wake up beside someone one day…than to have her cursed with me abilities."

But that joke? It takes him a minute before he /laughs/. He full out belly laughs and bends over for a moment before straightening up and wiping at his eyes with a soft chuckle and a 'whoo'. "Saints above woman…" He just sounds amused and shakes his head slowly. "I dun trust anybody, its hard for me. But I know that ye love Kennis, and that Kennis could really have no better woman lookin' out for her. You might 'ave to share weekends with Owen or somethin'…but, I will tink on it. Get that adorable honeybun of a lawyer, the Blonde One, to get ye some power of attourney papers drawn up for me to sign just in case ye need to use them. But I'll at least get Nimisha your name, for now. So that she knows I'm finally making choices."

Jessica quirks a grin as she gets the laugh. Like anyone, she enjoys that. She puts the final sandwich atop the pile and says, "I will. And…just so you know…"

She sobers. "If it became necessary. I'd rearrange my life a bit. Ask Stark or Rand for a security consultant's gig or something. On the payroll. Health insurance, stability, not running around getting my ass kicked and guns shoved in my face. I just…felt you should know that."

As for Owen, "And I'd never try to keep her away from Owen or Danny either."

She contemplates, then snags a sandwich off the top of the pile. The one she just placed. That one won't be missed, right? "I'll talk to Foggy," she adds. "Thanks. For not uh. Freaking out. At me bringing it up."

There's a soft smile as Emery just nods slowly. "I know ye'd do what ye could. Including being there to break the legs of the boys or girls who break her heart if I'm not around to do it." He winks and then turns back to the dishes.

"When it comes to me daughter, I'll always listen to good ideas about her life…if she had to be without me, so no worries luv." He does offers one last parting admission. "She's the only ting that helps keep me stable. Gives me somethin' to do better for. The only ting people should ever worry about…is what would happen if somethin' happened to take her out of my life." Its a sober confession.

And then he quickly lightens thing up with saying. "After ye finish getting your munch on, pull the lids out from under the counter and cover those platters to put them in the fridge. I'll be out for lunch tomorrow, dealing with Kennis's fencing dues and buying her new boots. Hopefully these are enough to tie ye all over."

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