Don't Walk Into the Shiny Thing

September 12, 2018:

Jessica Jones emerges from her week long coma to find Luke Cage by her side. A few blips in the conversation make it clear she's hardly at 100% yet.

Stark Industries Medbay, NYC

JARVIS is the best nurse.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Tony Stark, Matt Murdock, Danny Rand


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

You never know how long a week can feel until you're left in constant anticipation. For something to happen, something to change. Be it good or bad, it's like holding your breath inside aching lungs unable to release it.

Luke received one boon, however, and that was Owen demonstrating that JARVIS is all too happy to fulfill any perceived need for the big man and the comatose patient, which started with a couch and a recliner crammed into one side of the room. It also means that Jessica now has a nest of soft pillows, real blankets on her bed, and low jazz music pumped through the bay.

Every flat surface has started to accumulate vases of flowers as the concern of friends has started to pour in, most arranged to where Jess will be able to see them from the bed, but they've started to spill out around the corners and be propped on the floor. She'll also find herself in her favorite pajamas with brushed smooth hair, cherry lip balmed lips, and moisturized skin care of Luke, inspired by Claire to give him something meaningful to do during the time spent in vigil.

Speaking of, despite the more comfortable seating arrangements, neither can be drawn close enough to her bedside but the small client chair he started off in, so he's wedged himself back into it next to her mattress. His arms are folded and rested by her side, his head pillowed on the hard 3-D printed cast that encompasses his left forearm as he lightly snores. His souvenir from Fisk.

The bullet wound that laid Jessica low hasn't been the source of danger since Day 3. Her healing factor sealed the puncture as if it was never there. The Stark Industry doctor peeled away the bandage to find smooth skin beneath.

Not surprising, the professional had said, given her powers. But he'd warned that the wound was never what was keeping her in the coma. It was the blood loss from the wound, which would have deprived her brain of oxygen during those crucial minutes. He'd said that if she hasn't just flat out died by now she probably won't, but that doesn't mean she will ever wake up. Brains are complex, and a healing factor that handles broken bones and cuts in a matter of days may not be able to tackle the twists and turns of neural networks to any useful degree. Thus she might not wake up, or may wake up severely brain damaged.

And for this entire week she hasn't. She's been motionless.

Her favorite PJs, it's worth noting, are a pair of soft navy blue pants with sharks all over them, and an equally soft tank top in sharky grey.

When Jessica finally wakes she doesn't open her eyes right away to see Luke or the flowers though. It's the breathing apparatus in her nose that apparently finally stirs her.

Grimacing in discomfort, she just raises one exhausted arm and blindly yanks the source of the discomfort away, causing an alarm to shriek. "Son of a bitch," she slurs, and that opens her eyes, drawing her hand to her head. Which means the IV catches. "God damn it…"

She yanks that right out as well, drawing blood. Good. Now she can grab her head for the second alarm that's shrieking away.

Luke is up like a shot, no doubt his apprehension of late not letting him slip into a deep slumber. He blinks around for a second in panic, the alarms shrill and grating against already frayed nerves that has his chair shooting out from underneath him as he knocks it with the back of his knees. Wait. Jess is talking. Jess is cussing. Jess is AWAKE.

"Sweet Christmas…" Cage mutters under his breath like an 'amen' to anyone else before he's reaching over with his good hand to try and stall her tactics. "Hey, hey. Babe. Calm down." His hand clamps over her ripped out IV site, stemming the bleeding and also holding that wrist. "JARVIS, send the nurse! And turn off the monitor alarms!" He bellows before he's cooing back to Jess to try and calm her. "You're at Stark's, in the medical ward. I need you to chill."

Jessica peers at Luke as he grabs her arm and yells at JARVIS. Big brown eyes blink at him in confusion. She stops trying to yank things out of her body, and instead stares at his arm.

"What the Hell? Nobody can break your arm."

She still sounds a little slurred and out of it, and she grimaces like she's got a massive headache, but at least some part of her is as alert as ever, tracking that detail right away. She's not fighting him or anything, slowly getting oriented enough to just lay back cause she feels like ass.

"Apparently it takes a God." Luke replies vaguely, his weary face splitting into a grin as the alarms suddenly mute, leaving his ears slightly ringing. He shifts higher towards the head of her bed, smoothing back mussed hair from her forehead before leaning over to kiss that furrow her headache is causing between her eyebrows. "I've never been so happier to be cussed at in my life." There is laughter and relief tinting his voice as he lingers, hovering over her like a mother hen. "It's been a week, babe. You've been out a week…we thought…I thought I lost you."

"You kidding? I know better than to go towards the bright white…"

Here Jess frowns. Like she's having trouble finding a word. And finally she settles on: "shiny…thing."

Still, she is soon kissing him gently before flopping back to the nest of comfortable pillows. Now oriented to time, place, and why Luke has a broken arm, to an extent, she moves on to the next thing that floats immediately to the surface of her consciousness. Her voice is low and urgent.

"Matt? Bastards took Matt, Luke."

Because she doesn't remember that she got that message across before passing out.

"Hey. Hey." Luke pulls away, if only to fiddle with the side rail to her bed. With only one hand and a couple functional fingers on the other, it takes a little futzing before it finally clicks down. The bed sinks on that side as he perches himself on the edge of the mattress. "We got him. I don't know how, but he rescued himself. We didn't have time to get into the details. But Jess, listen. We took him down. Fisk…it's over. The Kingpin is in custody. It's over. We did it." He tries to rush out the news to ease her mind, but his voice is thick with the emotion and relief.

Jessica lets out a rush of a soft laugh to hear that Matt rescued himself. It's relieved enough just for that, but her head tilts to one side when she hears the rest of the news.

She raises a pale hand to his cheek, smirking. "Sounds like you kicked some ass, Man Mountain," she says softly. "Sounds like you all kicked some ass. Damn. I missed the whole party. We got a good chance of keeping Tubby the Wonder Freak in custody, you think?"

She grimaces, seeing all that futzing. "Sorry I scared you," she adds softly. She just had to sleep it off, after all. She can see at a glance that this was not fun for him at all.

Luke nuzzles into the hand at his cheek, while his goatee was freshly formed a few days ago, now he has enough scruff to suitably scratch against her skin. "It was a city wide effort, when you take into account SHIELD. But we should have enough to bury him so seeing daylight will be nothing but a distant memory when the son of a bitch finally kicks off. He's going to pay. The right way." The last words seem a little difficult for Luke to get out, a thread of guilt tying them together.

At the apology though, he just shrugs, "Hey. I gotta remind you, you promised not to run and hide again if you got hurt." He tries to point out jovially. "But when you're hiding in your mind, it's not like I can come get you from the inside of some gem. Especially with that brain lock you've got going."

"More like being buried in an avalanche in my own head," Jessica says wryly. "Or something. I don't know. Sometimes I felt like I could hear you and I'd try to wake up, only I couldn't. The blackness would just suck me back down again."

She shrugs uncomfortably, her mouth twisting in a grimace. She can't remember anything he specifically said. Just hearing his big Man Mountain rumble.

She suddenly quirks a smirk. "I mean you know. This is the third one I've been in my whole life. But I am not taking Coma Woman as my superhero name. It's just not happening."

Figures that would be absolutely ridiculous if it weren't for the fact that those comas mean she has healed up from things everyone else would die from in the first place. Just flat out die from.

"Yeah, and what would your superpower be? Napping?" Luke quips back, taking her hand and gently tenting it between his own where the pale thing gets swallowed. The cast is smooth beneath her palm, the upgraded tech needed to keep his bones in place when they couldn't do an internal fixation. If he's in pain at all, the expression of it is mingled with the worry and tiredness that already creases the corners of his eyes. "Hold on." He says, after another indulgent moment of looking at her very lively face. Muttering, "Three damn times." Under his breath as he fishes out his phone and types a quick group message with a thick thumb.

"Don't underestimate the power of napping," Jessica says with a smirk. "Napping is going to change the world, Cage. Crime rates would drop if everyone took a nap at midday. Way fewer cranky assholes out there."

He texts, and she goes silent to wait for him to finish it up. She shrugs about 'three damn times,' as if it's just another day at the office for her. Which it kind of is, apparently. She examines the cast, smirks at Danny's signature in particular, and asks: "What's a girl gotta do to get a…"

She trails off and makes a frustrated face after a moment. She exhales in irritation. "It has meat. In between round bread. Brown meat, cooked, not pale meat. Um. Vegetables on it. Cheese. With fries."

She rolls her free hand around, trying to find the word.

Luke slips the phone away, only answering one of the immediate return texts but will attend to the rest later. No doubt they'll be pouring in. "Burger?" He supplies with a quizzical expression, reaching over to grab a plastic cup of water with a bendy straw in it to offer over for the time being. "Soon as you're cleared by medical," And judging by the fact that's twice he noticed her slipping on words, it becomes more apparent that that's needed, "I'll get you whatever you want from whatever restaurant in the Five points you want, babe. But right now, drink."

Jess obediently drinks, grousing, "Real food is good for healing. Doctors know this." Burger was indeed apparently the word she was after.

But all the same, drink she does. Thirstily. Her mouth is as dry as sandpaper, really. She's not dehydrated, but IVs don't help with dry mouths. She has the whole thing down in an instant. She skips the bendy straw though. She hates straws on principle, says they make her feel like a kid. Usually she plucks them out. This time she just pulls open the top and drinks around it like there's no tomorrow.

"Don't worry, I won't try to get out of bed early," she says. Which would be a first. A real first. Still, she seems to mean it.

"Good, 'cuz if you tried, you'd find a Mountain sitting on your chest. You being awake…Jess that's only going to be part of the battle." But she knows this. This is her THIRD coma after all. "So we're going to do this slow and steady, a'ight? Don't give me any excuse to go into lockup and finish the job, part of me is still itching to snuff out that smug little man." Only Luke would call any part of Kingpin small, but there it is. He reaches for the little pale peach pitcher that all hospitals seem to use for water and refills her cup in case she wants more, plucking out the straw to get it out of her way when he's done.

She does want more. She drinks this one a little bit slower, but eagerly.

She knows this, but…not for the reasons he thinks.

The first coma was drug-induced by IGH, more than an actual coma she was actually in. The second was a result of multiple magical spells shocking her system. She'd been completely magically healed, but it had taken her body awhile to realize that. This is probably the only true coma she's ever been in. And certainly the only time her brain might have taken a beating.

"Yeah, no. Don't do that. The last thing I want is for you to go to prison." Especially if he actually is guilty, which is a much stickier widget than him being innocent. "Besides, sometimes living a shit life is the true punishment."

"That's where I'm taking my peace." Luke rumbles as he reluctantly gets up from her bedside as the nurse comes in. "I'm lucky I have good friends that kept me reined in, otherwise we'd be having this conversation through plexiglass. I think I've got a lot of apologizing to do, now that I know you're going to be okay." You ever see a six foot six man who can crush concrete with his bare hands look sheepish? Because Luke is looking pretty sheepish right now.

The nurse politely clears her throat, and Luke ushers her closer with a wave of his cast arm. "I'll step out into the hall." He offers, because no doubt other unpleasant things have to be checked, like catheters, and the fewer audience members for that, the better.

Jess lifts her eyebrows at that one, but pat pats his arm. "I'm glad they talked you off the ceiling then. That's what we're all for, you know? Helping each other when we're about to cross lines."

And yes, much as Jessica Jones loves Luke Cage, the last thing she wants to do is deal with a whole catheter situation in front of him. She in fact is not real pleased to have a catheter situation at all, even if it's unavoidable. Her real battle, over the next few minutes anyway, is to be nice to the nurse instead of grousing and being sarcastic at her.

Everyone knows she just loves feeling vulnerable in front of strangers, after all. But Luke in the hall is also a mitigating factor for this sensation. All-in-all, a good thing.

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