A Spy's Bedside Manner

September 13, 2018:

Peggy Carter stops by to visit Jess in her hospital bed.

Medbay, Stark Industries, NYC

You get real blankets here! It's awesome!

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Tony Stark, Daredevil, Michael Carter, Thor

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The bullet that laid one Jessica Jones low came from a Knight’s Armament Mk 11 SWS 7.62 NATO, a weapon normally issued to US Navy Seals. It was fired from approximately one mile away. The most likely nest was an office building blocks away from where her dying body was found.

True facts: Jessica's healing factor took care of the shot to her subclavical artery days ago. This artery is just shy of the caratoid, and it gushes blood fast. The coma is not at all her body trying to repair the pierced artery anymore. Instead, it's a healing factor which is trying to repair the brain damage from blood loss. The advanced medbay really can't do a thing for that except keep her secure and comfortable while hoping for the best. The truth is the longer she's been out the more likely it is she won't die, necessarily, as IVs and such are certainly taking care of her basic needs. It's just the longer she's out the less likely she'll wake up. Brains are complex, the doctors say, and even mutant powers might not save them.

She's been pale, lifeless, small in the bed every visit, motionless, eyes closed, the machines giving off steady hums and beeps. But earlier today JARVIS sent Peggy an alert.

JJ - Awake, responsive.

Sure enough, when Peggy arrives she'll find Jessica sitting up, leaning against pillows with her eyes open, with an episode of The Good Place playing on the television. Muted, with subtitles.

Peggy has been on the outskirts as well as in the middle of what Wilson Fisk has wrought. Being the SHIELD liaison and contact for the bombings, being in touch with the Devil of Hell's Kitchen, putting what will hopefully be star witnesses in Fisk's trial into her own version of witness protection…she's been busy. When she was told by Foggy Nelson about what happened to Daredevil and Jessica, she was quick to visit. While there wasn't much she could do, she knows the power of bedside visits from the war.

With both Jess and Tony both in rooms nearby, she has tended to visit both every other night or so to check in on their conditions. As many have, she's asked JARVIS to keep her updated if either of their statuses change. There has been quite a lot to do what with the windfall of information to process when dealing with the man that put her friend in this coma.

The moment the text arrives, Peggy is quick to make her way to Stark Tower and to Jessica's room. There's an intake of relief to see Jessica sitting up against the pillows and watching something on the television. "Jess." Her voice is even relieved, expression unabashedly happy: a brief moment of seeing Peggy Carter without armor, without carefully composing her expressions and tone to ensure her meaning is conveyed. Instead, it is easy to see that she is overjoyed that her friend is awake and responsive. "Thank God you're awake. I came as soon as I received the message from JARVIS."

"Hey, Peggy," Jess says warmly, if wanly. She picks up the remote and kind of fumbles with it a little bit. Though she's clearly seeking the 'off' button she hits a few wrong choices at first. Volume. "Shit…"

Nope, that one changes the channel…

That one puts on the Aux Feed…There.

She finally chooses the right one and lets the damned thing drop to the bedside table.

The room is kind of crowded. Someone brought in a couch, currently empty, and dragged it right by the bedside. There are flowers all over the place. Jess herself is dressed in just…PJs. Navy blue pants with little grey sharks on them, and a soft grey tank top.

"Yeah, I'll be fine. I'm good. Man, it seems like forever since I saw you last. Since we went to…to…that one country with all the snow."

"Norway," Peggy supplies easily for Jessica. "Yes. It has been awhile. I'm sorry we haven't seen each other much since then." Peggy steps into the room and lets the door close behind her. She's been here enough times to take in the changes, the similarities between her visits.

There is no quick move to help her change the channel, nor any sort of wincing. Instead, she merely waits patiently until Jessica hits the proper button and drops the remote on the table nearby. She is no stranger to friends who received grievous injuries. She's no stranger to them, either. As far as she's concerned, Jess doesn't need a babysitter, she needs a friend.

"I have been rather…tossing myself into my work lately." And lately has been almost a year now. That is the way of Peggy, however. "Is there anything I can get for you? It seems you are rather full on flowers and I am sure the Tower gets every sort of television channel. However, if you'd like anything else, I'd be glad to help provide it."

"No need to be sorry, I know how to pick up a…"

Jessica pauses, casting about for the word. "Thing you call with," is what she finally lands on. She grimaces again, irritated at her inability to come up with the right word, but she doesn't dwell on it very much. She grins a little sheepishly at all the flowers and thinks for a moment. "I can't think of anything. They're letting me eat good stuff, not hospital crap, which I guess tracks. Maybe some news on Tony. Grapevine says he got hurt too? JARVIS won't tell me much more than that and I only know that much because I overheard some people in the hallway."

One thing is clear. Jessica appreciates the lack of coddling. It puts her at her ease, gets some tension out of her shoulders. The taken-in-stride supply of the word she couldn't find is also appreciated.

"Phone." Once again, Peggy gives Jessica a bit of time to cast about for the word before she provides it. While she had hoped the forgetting of the word Norway was merely due to time and trauma, the forgetting of the word phone does have other implications.

Pulling over a chair, she sets it down by Jessica's bed so that she won't be hovering above her like some sort of busybody and they can simply sit and talk. "If you think of anything, feel free to let JARVIS know. He has my number." It took her awhile to accept JARVIS as JARVIS and not as a strange disembodied version of her own Jarvis.

Her questions are met with nods. "I only have certain information on Tony. It did not have to do with what happened to Fisk. It was a separate event that involved the Brotherhood and a company you may know as FuturePharm. He is currently stable, but in a coma nearby. We all seem to be involved in rather dangerous dealings."

"Son of a bitch," Jessica mutters. She remembers how to swear at least, with no problems whatsoever. "I only know a little. He started me on that investigation before the Hell's Kitchen bombing, but I didn't get very far."

She rubs the back of her neck, exhaling. She's not in any shape to investigate a damn thing right now, though if she healed up this far she probably will heal up more. For right this second, though, investigating her own vocabulary seems to be the extent of what she has in her.

She frowns about Tony in a coma though, muttering, "Comas aren't supposed to be catching. There's not supposed to be like, oh hey, coma season, that's really going around. Damn it, Tony."

"His outlook is positive. Much like yours was when you were brought in. His body just needs time to heal," Peggy assures Jessica. There is still a lace of worry in her tone, it's impossible for her to not worry about Tony while he lies in a bed nearby. "Yes. I wish I knew more about it. I feel rather out of the loop." And she, of course, does not like that feeling.

"There is perhaps not a season, but there is quite a rash of people attempting to hurt both the people we know and the city of New York. That tends to take extreme measures." She gives Jessica a bit of a raised eyebrow at that. There is no chiding there.

There's a bit of a pause, her eyebrows lower, her expression turns far more neutral. "Do you remember what happened, Jess?" It is a soft question, not one that she expects an immediate answer. "You don't need to answer me, of course."

"Some," Jessica says, looking at Peggy frankly. "My friends and I set out to disassemble the whole network. The Pinhead had his fingers in just all sorts of crazy crap, and we reasoned if we didn't dismantle his empire it wouldn't do much good to take him out. Daredevil did mention he'd gotten in touch with you, so…thank you for taking our rag-tag bunch seriously."

She blows out her cheeks and says, "My job was to track dirty cops in his network. I have a thick file of evidence on about ten, which I gave over to Nelson & Murdock for safekeeping. One of them suggested a location which was ripe for…"

She furrows her brow again. She waves her hand around, sighing.

"We had to go watch the place," is what she says instead. "Daredevil backed me up, but it was a trap. It looked like they were bringing an innocent in for interrogation and maybe murdering, so we jumped in to rescue the dude and got jumped ourselves. We fought for a minute, and I saw them start to overwhelm DHK, only before I could get to him I guess I got shot. Hurt like a son of a bitch, I hit the ground, they dragged him off. I hear he rescued himself though. I don't remember anything after watching them shove him into the car. I'm not sure how anyone found me, or how I got here. Glad I'm here and not the sick-people place though. Last time I was there someone tried to freaking kidnap me."

"Yes, Daredevil is…well, he is alive. I helped him on Thursday." Though she is not sure she would define him as 'fine', but he was alive past reports of his death. "He mentioned that he and you had put a group together named the Defenders." The name is met with a smile. That certainly does sound like what they've been doing for Hell's Kitchen as best they can. "He seems rather…I'm not sure I would classify. I must admit I may respect him, but he also may be a few tools short of a toolbox."

The rest of the description is met with a nod. "The entire thing is being investigated. SHIELD has quite a windfall of information lately. I certainly hope to do more with it than has happened previously."

With a frown, she nods. "No one should kidnap you here. Who attempted to kidnap you the last time you were in a hospital?" she can't help but ask.

On the matter of who tried to kidnap her: "One of Pinhead's scientists," Jessica says.

She shrugs like it's of no account now, and yet she still doesn't want to go anywhere near Metro General.

"And Daredevil's good people. He's not crazy or anything. He's honorable. You can trust him. And I don't know about put together. This has kind of been his chase for almost two years. People just sort of started calling us that. For awhile we weren't even sure we wanted any damn part of it, but it sort of grew on us, I guess."

She exhales sharply and gives a wry half-grin, if one touched with some sad eyes. "Wish we could have defended 'em against the damned bombings. That one blindsided all of us. Kicked us right in the face."

"I must admit, I think he may be," Peggy sighs at thinking Daredevil is good people and honorable. While she doesn't have much more of a read on him other than the sort that self-flagellates and is intense about his role to play. "He has his own demons, however. That is not meant to be a pun in any sort of way, either."

Shaking her head, she folds her hands in her laps. "Our few talks have certainly helped to build SHIELD's case against Fisk, so therefore he has my respect." And she will personally admit, she was remarkably glad to see him alive after what happened on the river.

Beyond that, though, she gives Jessica a bit of a grin. "The teamed life suits you, I think, Jess. The Defenders may not have gotten the bombings, but neither did SHIELD or the NYPD or any other sort of organization. It happened and we have been the ones to bring those involved to justice. From what I have seen, the people involved care about you. And that is not a thing to simply to turn away from, even if you do not wish to be a part of something."

"Except I do," Jess says with a flash of a weary smile. "They've sort of become family. We all ended up staying at the same place after the bombings, since those left a couple of us homeless. I mean we're all going to be fine, seriously, we're solid, but it was just nice to have a whole pack of people to go back to at the end of the day."

She tilts her head at Peggy and says, "I want to ask you all about your everything, but you said 'buried in work' and that tells me, you know, a lot would have the big red Classified stamp on it. Anything new you can talk about though?"

Because she's interested. She was just trying to find a way to ask that wouldn't result in a whole bunch of verbal redacting.

Hearing that Jess wishes to be involved in a family is met with a smile. "I"m glad, Jess." Her last personal interactions with her involved some stand-offishness. This is a good change as far as she is concerned. "Hold onto that when you can." It's unsure when that can change. Whether by events such as the Hell's Kitchen Bombing or by traveling into the future and losing it that way.

Wanting to know about her everything is met with a bit of a smile. "It has been rather consumed by current events. But Michael and I are speaking with each other frequently and without tossed objects or stony silences. Thor made an excellent BBQ that I believe was one of his goats that came back." Asgardians. "There are strange things going on within SHIELD," what else is new. "However, what with everything that has been going on lately, this has been the highlight of my week."

"I thought Thor rode his goats, not ate them," Jessica says, with an ew expression. "Does…space goat…take well to a good Memphis rub?"

She flashes a quick grin, eyes dancing merrily. It's good to hear about things like goats and the like. Barbecues. Normal stuff. Though she looks awkwardly pleased when Peggy calls this the highlight of her week. She doesn't address it, but she looks pleased.

"I'm glad. To hear that about you and Michael. We haven't really spoken since…"

That long pause, but this time, with it said so recently, she finds the word. "Norway. Either. He and I. He was a mess when he came home, is he doing better now?"

While it may not be an association she seeks to restore…too much weird water under the bridge for both her and Michael alike…Jessica still gives a damn. It's a strange line to walk, to be sure.

"That's what I thought, too. But, apparently, he can cook them, eat them and then they come back." Peggy gives a helpless shrug. "Asgardians." While she may seem to look exasperated by Thor, it's clear that she enjoys his company. "I think this is a compliment, but the goat was delicious. If we had more of those edible regenerating goats in the War, well, it would have ended before forty-five."

As for her and Michael, she gives a bit of a nod. "Yes. It's been rather an ordeal, but we're talking more now. He's doing fine, though he remains disavowed." It's a rather short explanation as to what has happened to her and her brother, but she either does not seem to notice or just pointedly bullrushes onward.

"Let me know if you need to rest. Your body has been through quite a lot and I don't wish to cause you to be in bed longer than you wish. I won't be at all offended if you need to close your eyes. What was it you were watching when I came in before?"

Jessica lets Peggy rush through it, either because she notices the pointedness…or because she chalks it up to being British. Or none of her business. Or any number of things. He's doing fine is close enough, and he's talking to Peggy is good. And in any case, if he weren't…what would she do about it?

And so Peggy turns her attention back to the silly show she was watching when she came in. "It's called The Good Place. It's about this woman Eleanore who shows up in Heaven when she really belongs in Hell. So she's sitting here trying to front, but she keeps doing bad things and causing chaos. Only now she kind of wants to be a better person. She's pretty hilarious. I think something's awfully off about the whole set-up though. I can't put my finger on it, and I'm not sure if it's on purpose, but I'm seeing inconsistencies. So something's up. It's mostly just stupid comedy, with enough mystery to keep me entertained."

Because Jess, when she relaxes and watches television at all, wants funny and interesting, not dark and grim ever. She tends towards comedies on the whole as a result. But puzzles are always good.

Still, after this explanation she does offer a hint of a grimace. "And much as I hate to admit it, Peggy, I am tired and headachy. I could probably use some more sleep, if it's really okay."

"Huh." Peggy listens to Jessica's thoughts about the premise and then tilts her head a bit "How could such havoc be wrought in a place like heaven? A place where every want is met should not allow something like that to happen. It seems more likely that she is actually in Hell." She smiles. "I haven't seen much TV since being here. I've been told I should watch Seinfeld and things like Star Trek, but I have little use for a show that seems to say nothing and Star Trek is interesting, but I have not time for it."

Realizing she might have ruined Jessica's entertainment while she recovers, Peggy blushes. "Sorry. That's probably not what has happened. I know little about entertainment."

Standing, she reaches out to put a gentle hand on Jessica's shoulder. "I will let you rest. I'll be back shortly, though. Thank you. It was good to speak with you. Rest well, Jess."

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