The Death of Carl Lucas

August 19, 2018:

Jess and Luke talk about the demise of his past self. Then they have Chinese food.

Harlem Hideout

Safe house for the Defenders in Luke's apartment building. AKA over grown kids' playhouse.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Six, Matt Murdock, Foggy Nelson, Kingpin

Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

They made vague plans for dinner. It was meant to be an attempt to have some normalcy to their lives, to see each other without the rest of the Defender posse or when either of them is knee deep in something work related. It was a nice thought.

Instead, Luke texted Jess that something came up at the bar, and could she just swing by and grab Chinese on her way? It's not the romantic trip to Little Italy he promised, but a noodle is a noodle, right?

By now she has her own access code to the little hideaway on the top floor, and seeming how he's not in their apartment or the bar, it's a safe bet that's where he's holed up. He's not really expecting Jessica yet, or the time has gotten away from him, because he's sitting at the desk with the triple monitor set-up that Six installed. Instead of doing anything mildly productive, there is a curly haired woman staring back at him, though it's clear she's not addressing him when she talks. "Subject Carl Lucas is increasingly withdrawing from the group. He seems solely focused on the next fight, and often appears hostile or disgruntled. He's stopped shaving and showering completely…"


Jessica, fortunately, is not a very fussy person. Not about food, not about romance. Life happens, and considering there will inevitably be a day she has to postpone a date because she's staring at a corpse or chasing after a kidnapping victim, she's not about to give Luke a hard time over this.

But what she sees raises her eyebrows. She puts the food down on the nearby table and comes to drape her arms over his shoulders, watching Reva talk about Luke like he's some sort of lab rat. "You ah, obsessing over this for a reason tonight, babe?" she asks. Relatively gently, because it's all a sore subject for him. With concern, because the fact that he's sitting here watching all this here and now doesn't really strike her as a good sign of a great current mental state.


Luke cups a hand to one of Jess' forearms, hand easily large enough to cuff it without effort but it just rests there slightly. At least he has the decency to strike a finger on the space bar of the keyboard, freezing the image of his deceased wife just as she's slipping a pair of glasses off her nose. "How many years has this motherfucker been jacking with our lives?" It's a nice how do you do, how was your day, if there ever was one. "Who is to say he's not the reason I was rolled up to Seagate in the first place?" That seems to be the crux of this little foray into the hell the thumb drive holds. "He knows who I am, why hasn't he pulled the trigger?"


"Well, for one thing," Jessica says dryly, "pulling a trigger on you is a rather useless affair. For the other, once he outs you, he no longer has that to hold over you. Blackmail material is only useful in two cases."

Says the woman who has investigated quite a few blackmails. Who has, in point of fact, blackmailed a few people herself. For good cause, but she's done it.

"It's useful until the information is out there, and it's useful until the person you're fucking with isn't afraid of it anymore. And since it is literally the only good trigger he can pull on you, he's got to be real damn careful how he uses it. But…he only bought IGH in 2017. February. So. IGH was the one screwing with your life back then, not Fisk directly. Not that this is. Really any kind of real consolation, but there it is."


Leave it to Jessica to bring facts into the conversation, but it actually proves to be some sort of consolation because Luke swivels the chair and leaves the image of his old, dead love for the living, breathing one. He pulls her into his lap, rearranging her limbs like a rag doll. "He thinks he's been able to keep me in line. Look, we haven't talked about this in a long time. Not since things got…serious." He sure as hell never thought he'd be here with Jessica Jones like this, that's for certain. "But if I get bounced back…" What, 'wait for me'?


Jessica settles into his lap. It's really odd how she never minds him doing that. Just picking her up like she's a tiny doll thing, putting her back down. It makes her feel safe, something she never admits to out loud because the idea that she enjoys feeling that kind of safety cuts a hard line against her perceptions of herself. But not all her perceptions of herself, as she has had ample opportunities over the past several years, even discounting Kilgrave, to know she herself is insufficient to the task of safety on her own. Strength is good. The ability to fly is good. All of it's good, but sooner or later someone is always better.

And so she cuddles up. Ignoring the face of the woman she killed just as surely as Luke ignores the face of the woman he loved.

Instead, she cups his face with her hands and looks into his eyes.

He doesn't finish the sentance, but she does what she does, which is plow ahead with a question.

"If you get bounced back, bust you out?"

Probably, her first instinct should be 'Call Nelson and Murdock and let their excellent legal prowess acquit you and save the day…'

But sometimes she goes straight to the extreme.


Her response draws a smile to Luke's lips. "What's with everyone talking about busting me out? You and Owen are going to end up with your own cells on my block." Because that's how it works, of course. "I'll have to finish my original sentence, plus whatever they stack on for escaping. That's more than ten years, Jess. That's a long time to sit around for a felon." This conversation hurts, but he turns to humor instead of offering to go break shit like he did with Owen. "You'll be old and fat by the time I get out."


"Speak for yourself," Jessica snorts. "I'm not the one who eats six breakfasts and goes back for elevenses."

She shrugs her shoulder and says, "I don't even know if we age, you know. This shit that made us isn't at all like what made Bucky, and Cap, and yet you can't be pierced and I heal up eventually. Who knows how long I've got to live? Or you? Course I suspect someone will end me before I get a chance to find out, the way I live my life, but whatever. You going back to prison isn't a damn dealbreaker. When I decide, I decide, Cage. That said? A? We're not taking it lying down, because you have the best lawyers in the world."

Now she gets to the sensible part.

"Second? Let Six wipe Carl Lucas from the ether already so you can sleep at night and stop having fucking maudlin conversations like we're in some sort of gritty 21st Century Jane Austin novel."


Luke dandles Jessica slightly with a bounce of his knee, but it's more a nervous gesture than a playful one. "You think she can just…wipe out an entire person like that?" That's both hopeful and unsettling. "My juvie record. The service. The police force. Seagate. That's a whole lot of Carl Lucas to just make …disappear. Jess, I still have /family/ down in Georgia." Maudlin? Who's maudlin? Okay, so he's a little maudlin.


"Are you going to the family reunion? Sure, they'll remember you, and I'll have to take a trip down there to steal and destroy all the physical records, but yeah. The way the modern everything works you can't go after someone who legally doesn't exist. She can write it in so Luke Cage is the only one who ever existed, man. And uh. I can probably slip a forgery of your new birth records into whatever city hall you want Luke to have been from. It's nothing I haven't done before."

She shrugs, always uncomfortable when she starts walking the line between criminal and detective, then tipping right over it and falling down. It's all for good causes though!

She runs her hand over his bald head, as if she's trying to get good luck off of it, and says quietly, "All I know is, you're a good person. You deserve a fresh start. You do not deserve to sit in prison for a crime you didn't even commit. The other option? You send me down to Georgia with every last bit of the case history, let me work it, and let me prove Carl Lucas was innocent all along. I can do that, you know. I'm more than capable of doing it. And I will go do it, in a heartbeat, if you want me to."


Luke just grunts when presented with both options, mainly because they both require Jessica to go down there. He doesn't talk about family, ever. And now she's going to waltz right into the middle of the past, regardless if she clears Carl Lucas or makes him disappear. "Carl is dead. He died in Seagate." Both metaphorically and for their purposes. It's not a farfetched idea, considering how he left the place. "Either covered up with the rest of the experiment nonsense, or froze and drown trying to escape." It's a weird concept to think of, your own demise. "We'll figure it out." He finally declares and then digs his boot heels into the floor to send them sailing on the industrial wheels of the chair towards the table and their food. All the furniture here is Luke proof, thankfully, because he knocks them a little forcefully like a bumper car into the table. "Did you get extra wontons?"


"Yep. She can make you dead too, and that's a whole lot less work."

Luke may need Luke-proof furniture, but Jessica is the proverbial bull in the China shop sometimes, just barelling forward regardless.

But she nods and says, "Of course I got extra wontons. What the Hell you take me for, handsome?"

She winks, and smirks, and lifts her eyebrows. "You want me to eat Chinese food in your lap, or you want me to sit in my own chair like a big girl? Because I gotta say, Luke, if it's the former I just take zero responsibility if you end up with a noodle on your pants. It's nothing personal. Noodles are just messy."


"You ain't going nowhere." Luke rumbles, one hand curling around her waist. To others it might seem like a possessive movement, but Jones can likely identify it as the subtle way that Cage displays his needfulness. "Besides, most of my clothes end up with bullet holes in them nowadays. Jessica Jones Noodle Art is a vast improvement." With a grin, he shakes out a paper napkin with his free hand and tucks it in the collar of her shirt.


Jessica starts laughing and grins, letting him hold on to her without complaint. "Fair," she says, reaching over to unpack stuff. Of course, the joke about noodles is sort of superflous. Jessica gets the same thing almost every time she goes to the Chinese restaurant, which is General Tso's, which is eaten over rice. Fried rice, never white rice. She eats noodles when other people order noodles, and feeds them to her, because she eats what's put in front of her pretty much no matter what. But when she's got the choice? General Tso's. All the way. Which she knows damned well is a bastardization of a real dish, Americanized to the nth degree. A fact she gives exactly zero fucks about, because it's good.

She fishes hers over, creature of habit that she is, fixing the rice carton and the meat together and grabbing a fork, passing him his own dishes, won-tons included. Which are for him. The other thing she likes are crab rangoons, and she got extra ones of those for hers.

"See. Better than the restaurant. We'd get kicked out for all this PDA in a restaurant."

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