Always Watching

September 17, 2018:

Emery becomes the next friend to stop by Jessica's bedside as she recovers from the attack that nearly took her life.

Stark Towers, New York

If you gotta be laid up, this is where you wanna do it.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Various & Sundry Defenders

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

There are things that even the open minded and sassy Butler have trouble saying outloud, and the amount of fear and trepidation he felt when hearing rumors of Jessica's death didn't lessen that much when he found out she was severely injured. The little over protective part of him that he keeps denying he has when he quietly adopted this merry band of misfits. Emery had been so busy trying to hold down the fort, that he had not visited..but when he heard she woke up…many letters and pictures from Kennis were sent.

Today, he visits bearing gifts and a serious expression. Dark jeans, long sleeved henley in light grey, beanie and leather jacket and he has a cooler bag slung from one shoulder, carries a crystal glass vase of magenta and red chrystanthemums and lillies in one hand/arm and a large grumpy cat stuffed animal in the other as he walks in backwards, balancing things carefully.

*

Jessica Jones is wide awake, tucked into bed. She's trying to do a crossword, but it's not going well. She frowns down at it, then finally scribbles all over it with her pencil and tosses it aside. "It was a stupid puzzle anyway," she grumbles, to nobody in particular. The grouchiness is probably a good sign with this woman, a sign that her spirit is completely in tact for all that she remains bedridden. Of course. Given everything, being awake is a good sign.

Then there is Emery, walking in backwards. "Hey!" she says, growing more cheerful. She blinks. "Do you need help with all that?"

Because of course she'd offer, even though she's moving so slowly trying to get out of the bed that it's ridiculous for her to even try. There's a lot of fumbling going on with the blankets that says she's having a few coordination problems.

*

"If ye move from that bed Miss Jessica, I swear to all teh Marys in the bible I'll pick you up and put you back in there meself, then tuck you in so tight, even you won't be able to get out without a key." Emery replies smoothly turning himself around once through the door. The vase of flowers is set on bedside table and the giant kitty cat with grumpy face is dropped on the bed as he unshoulders the cooler, looking the woman over for himself and then nodding slowly. "Have no fear, I have brough potato leek soup, cream pudding, loaf of fresh bread, and a small tin of biscuits, ah…I mean cookies for ye to eat or bribe nurses with…"

*

Jessica gives a sheepish half a grin, and then her eyes close in bliss. "Emery, you're my hero. It smells frickin' amazing, and I'm so ready to dive in it's not even funny. Thank you. For my new little friend here, too."

Jessica actually cuddles Grumpy Cat for a moment. What? She can like stuffed animals if she wants. Shut up! It's Grumpy Cat! Grumpy Cat always gets a pass.

She also makes no move to get out of the bed, either because she does not want to be tucked in so tight she needs a key to get out or because it might well have taken her longer to do it than it took Emery to get over there with all his stuff.

*

"I figure the shite they feed you in here would probably do more damage to you at a soul level than whatever messed you up in the first place." Emery flashes a dimpled grim before moving over to a sink to wash his hands, moving around the room like he is familair with them as he is moving side tables around, moving one closer to the bed and adjusting it to position just right.

There is a hint of amusement at the grumpy cat cuddling. "Your giant hershey's kisses of a man turned into such a worried asshole that I thought…" He trails off. "I thought it best I keep an eye on tings not here in the hospital, make sure that anger didn't….endanger anyone ye would have had to kick his arse for when you got out."

He talks as he works though, setting out the container of still warm soup on the tray table, with a spoon set on a folded napkin.

*

"Yeah, he mentioned he had lots of…" She trails off, frowning. There's a word. She rolls her hand around to try to find it. And fails. "He mentioned he'd been as grumpy as the cat," she amends, because finding some alternate way to express herself works too, when she can't remember a word.

It would be hard to overstate the way Jessica's eyes are tracking the creation of this tray. Like a hungry wildebeast tracking prey. Or is wildebeast prey? Whatever. She's staring at it with hungry interest.

"Don't you always keep an eye on nearly everything?" she adds with amusement. "I feel like you pretty much keep an eye on nearly everything. Anyway, how are you? How is Kennis?"

Because the other part of this is the sort of…isolation, up here."

*

"Grumpy? No, that chocolate wanker is so in love with ye, he growled at me when I asked him to be a gentleman and fix some ladies plates…" Emery shrugs a shoulder. "It would've been hot but…I was mostly just worried. He's a good lad. He might be tough on the outside, but he feels deeply."

The fresh bread has been sliced and a couple of pieces are laid on a small paper plate beside the bowl of soup and then there is a small glass container of cream pudding he lays out, small spoon beside it and a chocolate chip cookie stuck in it. Bottle of water is uncapped and set down as the final piece of the tray setting.

"Kennis is good…worried about ye all. Working on her court case against evil and her campaign for Fairy Queen." He rubs the back of his neck, comsidering how to respond to the keeping an eye on things and how he is, carefully. "Well. Every group of folks like you all needs a guardian angel looking out for ye." He winks before sighing softly. "Even if ye piss off people with powerful as…all get out allies…"

*

Jessica files that away, that bit about Luke being that in love with her. But of course, that's emotional stuff with a capitol E, and she freezes up with that in the best of times, really. So! She moves right along from there. Her lips twitch when Emery says Kennis is working on her court case. "Had a case once, kidnapping, where the culprit really was Mab, Queen of the Winter Faeries. I suppose I'd be the person to call if she ever needs to see that one served with papers."

A statement which proves Jessica is not going to stop pissing powerful people off any time soon. And if that one didn't, this one did. She shrugs uncomfortably and says, "I think the fact that we're pissing them off probably means we're doing it right. People like that should be pissed off."

The tray is all set. She practically leans forward in anticipation of Emery getting that within reach.

*

"Christ all mighty, fecking Mab?" Emery tsks softly and shakes his head as he wheels the tray closer and adjusts the lever to swing it over Jessica's bed withing reach. "If she needs a witness, I will let her know who to call." A small smile. "Here luv, do ye want to sit up a bit more." He is poised to pillow fluff and bed adjust.

He is quiet for a while before sighing softly. "I know, Miss Jessica. You all are doin' good work. So, I keep ye fed. I tink almost all of ye trust me enough to know I am there for you all. Your slice of chocolate cake might not like me much, but he does trust me pancakes." He winks and nods.

*

"He likes you fine," Jessica says, accepting the help sitting up with a look of gratitude. She uses her right arm to transfer Grumpy to her stiffer left one, thinks better of it, and sets him at the top of Pillow Mountain instead. "He's not a person who would keep eating your food if he didn't like you. Also, you talk about it like all you do is cook for us, which we both know is bullshit."

She reaches for a utensil, going straight for the soup. There's a moment where she frowns in outright confusion when the soup does not stay in or on said utensil. She tries again, concludes this is the wrong one. She returns the fork to the set, still stained with potato soup, and frowns down at the others. She slides her finger along the butter knife, nods, chooses the spoon by process of elimination…

And dives in like none of that happened, even though the irritated twist to her mouth doesn't quite get wiped away. Nor the slight flush of color at her cheeks that appears.

*

"Oh, is it?" Emery tugs up a chair beside the bed, flicking a smaller spoon seemingly out of no where as he sets that on the tray beside the cream pudding without a comment as he watches Jessica with no judgement in his eyes.

He waits for a few moments before waving a hand vaguely, slipping a knife from up his sleeve and idly twirling it. Figure eights, forward, backwards, figure eight, forward backward and so on, a mindless task to keep his hands occupied. His eyebrow quirks from time to time before he speaks softly, almost teasingly. "You are absolutely right, I clean your laundry too."

*

Jessica laughs at his display and his words alike, the sparkle shining in her big brown eyes. Sure, the neurons are not lining up 100% right now, but she's alive, she's got people she loves, and right now she's got some fantastic food in front of her. It's enough to keep her genuinely cheerful even seconds after the irritating experience of losing track of basic utensils. Besides, this is something she'd laugh at anyway.

"That you do, and damn does it smell better than I ever can make it smell. And feel better. You must know what all those extra settings and products and shit are all for, cause it's all a mystery to me. I figured out 'detergent' and 'on.'"

Her eyes do close in bliss, nearly with every bite, and she's eating with absolute gusto. She definitely is not having any trouble moving the food to her mouth. She pauses to bite into the bread like she's taken a brief trip up to the Heaven she's pretty sure she wouldn't have seen even if she had died.

"I'm surprised you haven't launched us out of your home by the ear yet," she adds with a smirk. Yeah, she knows it's Danny's house technically, but the one who makes it a home is busy doing his knife routine at her bedside.

*

"Considering I've been doin' the washing up since before there were washing machines readily available, I've had a wee bit of practice." Emery drawls softly before shrugging a shoulder. "If ye want me to show you the secret of getting blood out of hoodies. Let me know."

Then he watches her for a little while longer. "Pssh, isn't me home. And when tings get real stressful, sometimes I'm reminded of that. But I'd never kick ye out of a place you can call a sanctuary. I'm fortunate that Master Danny has such a big heart." He purses his lips. "One day though…I'll have a beautiful mansion of me own. With a backyard plenty big enough for Kennis and You to 'ave matching ponies. Heated and Non-Heated pools and a magical shower/bath in every bedroom…"

*

"Oooh, I get a pony too," Jessica says, flashing a grin. "Score!"

Her lips twitch, and she adds: "You one up Danny with the heated and non-heated pools and you'd never get rid of the lot of us, you know that right? We would all have homes and it would be oh um, sorry, Emery, it's um. Getting fumigated this week and stuff, I'll just be in the pool because…you know…chemicals in the face…"

She exaggerates all this, of course, with hand gestures like she's about to take off to this pool already.

By now the non-dessert portions of the food have disappeared. The small spoon, carefully laid out and its function made clear, is picked up so she can dig into the custard. "Even Danny would probably have a plumbing problem every other week. Well, maybe not. He's got that Zen thing going on that makes him ironically the least material out of all of us."

*

There's a small smile, its only a bit sad as he shrugs a shoulder. "Back in me day, that was the epitome of finally having a family. Being the one who had a home…for others to come back to, no matter what they are going through." Emery waves a hand vaguely. "Besides, I'd make sure you all had your chores. I'm not waiting the talents of people who can do teh heavy lifting."

Then he stops twirling the knife, studying it thoughtfully before slipping it back up his sleeves as he leans forward. "So. Dun back hand me luv, every day I bring you food, I'm gonna put out a full setting. All the forks, all the spoons, and all the knives…that way you can start workin' on that a bit more, alright?"

*

She blinks in confusion at being told not to backhand him. She really just sort of looks at him blankly. Then realization dawns, and she looks ruefully down at the tray, and the fork which is still covered in soup.

"Thanks," she says. "All the dominos should line back up in my noodle eventually. It's annoying and embarrassing, but it's better than dead. And it's all of it milder than it could be, so. No complaints. And no getting pissed over it either. The sooner I stop trying to eat soup with a…"

She waves her hand at the utensil, because even though he just said 'fork' the word won't float back to the surface of her brain.

"The sooner I can get the Hell out of here and get back to work, so. Practice is good. And you know, if I get to eat even more of your delicious food, so much the better. So. Thank you."

She shrugs again, uncomfortable with this. There are certainly times in her life where she would have been snappish, salty, even a bit bitter over everything, but that Jessica Jones hasn't been around for a long time. Not that she can't get snappish, salty, and bitter over all kinds of things, and often does, but. Not this. Not here. Not today. And even 'getting the Hell out of here' isn't said with any particular rancor. There's a vast difference between sitting in Stark Towers recovering and a public hospital. As well cared for as she's been, she's got the perspective to deal. Most of the time, anyway.

*

"Fork." Emery supplies softly with a nod. "Ye fight for those words that your brain tries to keep away from you." He encourages before rolling his shoulders and he smiles softly.

Then he takes a deep breath. "So. What do you need from me beyond delicious food?"

*

"Fork," Jessica dutifully, and somewhat wryly, repeats.

She considers the question, then finally shakes her head. "I'm getting it. Visits from all of you are good. Lots of rest. It's not like I have plants to water or a pet to feed or anything like that, so…I'm honestly in good shape, Emery. The headaches have already subsided, some of the sound sensitivity is gone. I'm nowhere anyone who wants to finish the job can get to me. I'm really doing just fine, and this…" she waves her hand over the thoroughly decimated tray with a smile, "Is like the elixer of life as it is. Probably just did more for me than all the meds and freaking therapy exercises combined, you know? I guess if people are fretting over me, tell 'em to quit that shit. They won't believe it from me."

*

Emery considers this quietly for a few moments, taking a deep breath and then exhaling in a soft stuttered chuckle and a slow nod. "Very well if anybody's fussin' over ye more than they should. Let me know. I'll tell Kennis and she'll try them in her court of law." He winks and then gives a small nod. "You're alive. That's what matters. You're strong, and I respect you too much to mollycoddle you too much." He shrugs his shoulders. "I might spoil you with food and first choice of teh deserts…but I fully expect you to kick this temporary injury's ass, okay?"

*

"Okay," Jessica says, with a quirk of a smile. "I will. Promise."

The food is done, and she picks up the tray one handed to gently rest it back on the bedside table, then reaches across her body to retrieve the Grumpy Cat.

"I appreciate it, Emery, all of it."

She rubs her eyes a little bit, clearly starting to get tired. Brains that are trying to heal need lots of sleep, even when they're healing with the benefit of superhuman powers. Jones, now pleasantly drowsy with a fully belly, is flagging. "I'm sorry," she murmurs, settling back into her pillows. "I drop off mid-conversation sometimes right now and I feel like I'm maybe about to lose that battle."

*

Raising to his feet, Emery moves to push the table and tray away, starting to clean up quietly as he bows his head politely. He watches the woman for a moment before nodding to show he undedrstands. "Close your eyes luv, dream of your dark chocolate prince and warm fancy baths and savin' the world like the warrior goddeess you are." Then he does what he does best…clean up so that nobody will even be able to tell there was food in there, fluff flowers, adjusts pillows and when Jessica falls asleep, if she does, he's sitting right there…when she wakes up, he's moved on but left a singular little 'precious angels' figurine on the bedside table, with a small note that reads.

'Always watching'.

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