Vernal Revelations
Roleplaying Log: Vernal Revelations
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

With a smalltime crook in tow, Ryan Rivers meets up with Jessica Jones to interrogate what really went down at the jewelry store robbery.

Other Characters Referenced: X-Men
IC Date: December 17, 2019
IC Location: New York City, NY
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 18 Jan 2020 02:50
Rating & Warnings: PG
Scene Soundtrack: The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky
NPC & GM Credits: Zeph by Ursa.
Associated Plots

Got your message. Good work, kid. Where am I headed?

Jessica Jones did respond as soon as was immediately feasible. She did not respond immediately. She's learning that Avengers deal with a lot of shit, can't always deal with it together, and often have to travel to do it.

That last is her least favorite part of the job, but she's adapting.

The upshot is that she couldn't get to her phone right then. Not that it wasn't on her. Every possession she owns is in that phone, thank you magic, thank you Zee, but she was going toe to toe with some sort of lava person at the time and it just wasn't a good moment for so much as a distracted reply.

After she was a sweating mess and had some burns to take to medical, and some pain killers to put in her body.

So. There was a bit of a delay.


As Ryan was waiting to hear back for Jessica he had managed to find a store still open late at night to get some medical supplies to help patch up Zeph and some over the counter meds to help with the pain. Though Ryan is no doctor by any means his Uncle did teach him how to self-diagnostic and treat injuries in case he ever needed for survival purposes.

Now that he got the supplies needed now he just needed a safe place to take Zeph to help patch her up and to rest while they wait to hear from Jessica. As Ryan thinks to himself, he can’t go to the X-Mansion, well at least not yet. Can't take her to a hospital, too many questions and they would arrest Zeph if he took her there and he still has questions before that happens. As he continues to think, the idea of an old motel might be best, they don’t always care who they take in as long as they get paid. With that Ryan sets off with Zeph to a nearby motel to get a room.

Just as Ryan had acquired the room and got Zeph and himself into the room he gets a message from Jessica which he reads then responds quickly. Head for the Motel at (insert address here) Room 208. Text me when you are at the door! Also as a heads up Zeph seems to have a passive mental ability around her that causes people to be in a calm like state, not sure how that will affect you with your defenses, i don't know if she can turn it off or not. How long will it take for you to get here?


Zeph does a perhaps surprisingly little amount of protesting as she is moved hither and yon. Little, to the tune of none.

When they get to the motel, she keeps her head down and hidden behind curtains of long hair. She looks shy, and it's not the first time the owner has had sketchy couples checking in. There's only a room ready with two full beds, he explains… Not realizing it's not a problem. And when they get into the room, the Boho blonde makes her way wordlessly to the bathroom. She takes her time before coming back out, but there isn't a window to worry about her climbing out to escape.

Eventually she emerges, gingerly sheds her faux-fur trimmed faux-suede coat with its sprawling floral embroidery, and slowly moves to sit on the bed.

All the while, it's there. The gentle lap against the senses of the psychically aware, like an oceanic lullaby. Peace. Calm. The sort that could easily rob the right someone of a will to do anything.

She wordlessly allows Ryan to tend to her wounds—a banged up hand, a still blooming bruise on her cheek, and probably a couple cracked ribs. She has a couple of bruises on her side, too, that are perhaps a bit concerning, but at least she's got no outward signs that something is much worse.

It's a miracle really, for a girl who's probably 100 pounds soaking wet and built like a twig, who ended up on the wrong end of a street fighter’s steel-toed boot.


The warning is certainly appreciated, but Jessica Jones trusts in the magic that's been so painstakingly set in her noggin. Zeph had no effect on her before, and she doesn't expect her to have one now.

She texts Counter when she's right outside the door, then waits, arms crossed, to be let in. This forms the secondary effect of ensuring she's something like a tiny brick wall blocking the door if the girl tries to bolt.


As Ryan is treating Zeph’s injuries he realizes the possible fractured ribs which he knows how that feels as he has had that kind of injury before, he does his best to treat her injuries with the medical supplies he got and his survival training he got from his uncle by applying ice packs to help with the bruises and gives her some OTC painkillers to help with any pain including.

As Ryan works on treating Zephs injuries he notices just how thin she is, like malnourished thin. It really is a miracle she did not get seriously injured from that fighter. As Ryan treats Zeph’s injuries, he tries to talk to her in a calm and friendly southern tone. “Hey, how are you feeling and are you hungry? Also, what is your name?” Ryan knows the name she was called back at the robbery but is trying to see if that is her real name or just a code name and to see how she is feeling to see if she is hurting anywhere else other then the injured areas. “I have a friend coming over soon and she might be able to help a bit more than I could.”

Soon after Ryan had asked his questions he gets a text message from Detective Jones saying she is outside the door. “And I believe that would be her now.” Ryan then heads to the door and looks out the small hole on the motel door to confirm that it is indeed detective Jones and will unlock the door and undo the chain lock and open the door and stand at the opening “Evening detective, nice to see you again.”


“‘m alright,” the blonde mumbles, looking a bit uncomfortable with questions. “And you can just call me Zeph. It’s all anyone ever does.”

There’s someone else coming, he tells her. She immediately grows more suspicious, but doesn’t really outwardly speak against it. What good would that do, anyway?

She just sits on her bed and fusses with the ice packs that she decides, in no short order, that she really doesn’t like. She waits until Ryan’s distracted with the door to shove them under a pillow so she doesn’t have to keep using them.

But then her eyes turn to the door, and her suspicious gaze settles on the opening of the door. As her breathing grows nervous, more nervous than what Ryan would have even seen at the fight club, the temptation of lethargy that sits somewhere in her metahuman ability grows heavier on the room.


Jessica strides into view and stares down at Zeph. She watches body language, watches signs of nerves. Her mouth tightens as red blooms burst throughout her mind, but she decides not to directly address that.

She pulls a chair over, spins it around, straddles it, contemplating how she's going to handle this. What she does not know is that Ryan has billed her as someone who can help. Still, there are important context clues here, and she reads them well enough.

"I'm a PI," she tells Ryan automatically. "Detective is a title for cops. I appreciate the respect, but it's an important distinction."

She turns her attention to Zeph and adds, "But that doesn't mean I don't have authority. My name is Jessica Jones. I'm…"

God help her. Why is this so hard when it's now a real thing and not some bullshit she's pulling just to get through certain cases?

"I'm an Avenger. We more or less met the night you were participating in a robbery. Now Counter here, he seems to think you're someone who deserves a hotel room instead of a jail cell. He's a good dude, and maybe he's right. I guess a lot depends on your side of the story. What happened that night, Zeph? I can call you Zeph, right? You can call me Jess."


Ryan feels the strength of the calming presence grow from Zeph as Jessica comes into view and Ryan has to strengthen his mental defenses to not fall prey to her power. It's a little bit strenuous for him but manageable.

As Jessica enters into the room and take a seat Ryan wonders how to best handle this as well, he had hoped to have a little bit of time to talk with Zeph and maybe establish some level of trust maybe but now Ryan must figure how how to keep things under control and to get the truth.

Ryan nods to Jessica as she states the appropriate title for her work and then the fact that she is an Avenger now! That is new to him and quite a surprise to him and a thought comes to mind of why she did not mention this when they met last time. Though that matters not right now. Ryan then turns his attention back to Zeph and sees just how nervous she is with Jessica and it's understandable considering what happened the last time they met and tries to do what he can to ease her worries.

Ryan takes a seat in another chair and speaks to Zeph in a calm tone “There is no need to worry Zeph, I understand why you feel very anxious right now but you do not need to be! Jessica nor myself are going to hurt you! In fact its possible we might be able to help you.” Ryan takes a moment before speaking again to let that sink in with Zeph to hopefully calm her down a bit. “When I saw you in the underground fight ring you look like someone who was ready to give up and wanted to get caught or worse and I could tell something was troubling you, so please tell us what happened and let us see if we can help you.” As Ryan is speaking to Zeph he is hoping his kindness will help ease the tension in the room and Zeph will feel she can open up to us, and will find out what caused her to act the way she did before and what else may be going on from what he felt from her at the Underground fight ring.


Zeph looks to Jess, and her declarations don’t seem to be helping things. ‘Hi, I’m an Avenger, and I totally threw a rock at your head.’

She then looks to Ryan, the bringer of the rock-throwing creature. ‘Hi! I’m here to help.

She fails to feel optimistic about this scenario.

She’s about to talk, when she coughs instead. And it hurts. She winces and holds at her ribs, and then narrows her eyes.

“I… don’t really see where else this goes, other than me in custody. So.”

Thin arms stretch out towards Jess, prepping for cuffs. “Let’s just save everyone a bunch of time. I don’t need you helpin’. I don’t need his helpin’. Let’s just get this over and done with.”


“I don’t carry cuffs, kid,” Jessica says with exasperation. Christ. “Look. As of right now there are only two people who aren’t criminals who know you mind controlled people at a robbery where cops died. You have an opportunity to keep it that way. You don’t want that opportunity? Awesome. You can sleep in the Raft tonight. You want it? Cut the crap and tell your story. I don’t like mind controllers, but maybe you aren’t a bad person. Maybe someone made you do it. Maybe you had someone or something to protect. Maybe you’re a good kid in a bad situation and you don’t even like using your powers that way. Maybe you were one of the telepaths scooped up and kidnapped to Alaska and now you are in some deep shit. So maybe it ends up with you in a safe place instead. With us going after bigger fish. Or willing to give you a pass.”

Ryan is about to maybe get other surprises too, because she lowers her voice and says, “Listen. I have done a lot of shit I am not proud of. Someone gave me a second chance once.”

Slightly revisionist history but also true at the fundamental level of truth.

“Maybe Counter and I can be yours.”


Several things are put against her in Jessica’s accusation, and not all of them sit well. There’s something about the delivery that twists in Zeph’s gut.

“It doesn’t turn off,” she snaps, although it’s a mostly heatless, frustrated sound. A hand curls backwards, indicating her lungs. “I breathe; this is what it does. Only way it stops is if I stop breathin’. I’m not like my brothers and sister. I don’t get a switch to turn it on and off. So you don’t like what I do? Fine. There’s pretty much one solution for that.”

She shrugs. “But hey, another guy didn’t much like my gig either tonight, so, you only have to go half as far to get me the rest of the way there.” She pauses, and then feels inspired to continue. “…And I ain’t, furthermore, a cop killer. I was supposed to be there to… Breathe. Breathe in, breathe out. But then everything went…”

She pauses, and then her whole face screws up and she slowly moves to lie down so as to curl back up on the bed around her aching middle and get her back to Jess and Ryan. “Whatever. This whole stupid city just likes to be angry. That’s not my fault. Call ‘em to come get me if you want. I don’t have anywhere to go, anyway.”

All the while, still the quiet call for calm continues, made thick by her frustrated exhales.


Doesn’t turn off. That gives Jessica a real moment of pause. She has never before considered a power that just doesn’t turn off.

And maybe she should. Kilgrave’s didn’t really either. His choices were to be really careful and never use an imperative. Of course he also chose to use the worst possible ones too, so no sympathy for him.

But for Zeph?

Anger was the reaction Jess had been pushing for. Because in anger people reveal more than they mean to. Zeph gave her some threads to follow, and she picks the best one. “You were there to make sure nobody got hurt,” she surmises, finishing the sentence. “The idea was that if everyone stayed calm, nobody would get hurt. What went wrong?”


“Just because someone is calm doesn’t mean they don’t get stupid ideas. Someone saw I was the little one and tried to hurt me. Notus, he… He always has kinda looked out for me. So…”

Things escalated.

All of this is said without Zeph really looking up from her place on the bed.

“Anyway, you were there. I guess you saw how that all worked out.”


As Ryan listens to Jessica statement, he finds that both he and her may be more similar than he had originally thought, especially the part about doing things that you are not proud of and someone giving them a second chance at life as the X-Men did. Maybe there is a chance for a friendship between the two of them then just this one time working together.

As Zeph and Jessica continue to talk Ryan just listens as it seems Jessica is handling this way better than he is, i mean he is getting her to at least talk which he barely got her to do before Jessica arrived, and now he is not sure how to help with this now. Ryan had hoped to do much better just finding Zeph but maybe that's all he can do, just find people and fight them. But for some strange reason Ryan wants to help Zeph, before she just an escaped criminal, new seeing her and hearing her story he feels more inclined to help, and he still feels like there is something bigger at play then just a simple robbery gone wrong, so for how Ryan continues to just listen and watch Zephs physical actions to see if he can pick anything up and help however he can.

As Zeph finishing her last statement a thought occurred to him about the robbery, Ryan did his research while on Zeph and her group while trying to find her, and while there is a long list of crimes done by them, none of them where in New York until this last one. "Zeph, can you tell me something? Why did you and your group decide to rob this store in New York? I know that you and your group have done lots of similar acts before without it going wrong, but you never did any in New York until this last one. So what made you and your group decide to New York instead of staying where you were before with little problems with your activities?”


Despite Ryan's thoughts on his own aptitudes, it's a good question, and Jessica backs off to give the girl time and space to answer it. She leans forward on the chair, rocking onto the front legs the way most people's Mommas told them never to do, but doesn't throw any additional ones into the mix.

Indeed, she gives Ryan a quick nod. It was a good one, and one she hadn't thought of. Good questions are a good way to win this investigator's respect.


And it’s a question that actually draws Zeph’s head back in his direction, looking over her shoulder. She’s suspicious. Surprised.

“You looked us up?” As realization dawns, confusion fades to something far more world-weary. “Oh. Right. The papers.”

Her eyes close and she puts her head back down on the pillow, leaving her back to the pair without answering the question.

“I really hate this city.”


As Ryan sees Zeph’s reaction and her response of hating this city, Ryan somewhat understands her on this, though it's more of people and not just the city itself. People tend to fear and hate people who are different and discriminated against them in many ways, he has experienced this himself before, the hate from people for being different. He also has been in her situation before, what's it's like to be alone, to be done with life and to just give up. He feels sympathy for her a bit and what's to help her if he can. That and if they are going to find out more they need to gain some level of trust from Zeph.

Ryan leans forward in his chair and folds his hand in front of his mouth as the thoughts of his past come back to him, and Jessica can see the hard look on the side of his face. “I understand your hate for this city, Zeph. People are can be so horrible to people like us, with there fear, there anger, there hatred for us, even those who are our flesh and blood who loved us until we are different and they tune on you. Then the feeling of being all alone with no one to go to, to rely on for help. I've been there before, like how you are right now, and in some ways I'm still right now. But one day when i had given up and was about to except my fate, someone came and helped me, for no reason or expectation of being repaid and thanks to his kindness. I did not trust him because who does that, but i decided to trust him and through him I now have a new home and a group of people like me i call family.” Ryan pauses for a moment before he speaks as he was not intending to let so much out but is just seemed to happen. “I understand how you are feeling right now and I know you don't trust us Zeph and we have given no reason for you to trust us, but I do want to help you Zeph, just as someone helped me and gave me a second chance. So tell me what can i do to gain some of your trust and help you with what is going on?”


Jessica reaches inside of her jacket for a packet of cigarettes that is no longer there, and sighs when she discovers this. Quitting sucks, but attaching her name to the big A means trying not to do anything that harms the image of the organization. As low-key as that attachment has been. And she definitely doesn't want some kid who fankids all over them to think that smoking is cool because Jessica Jones does it.

So the gesture aborts, dies before it begins, and after this somewhat impassioned speech from Ryan, simply notes: "You didn't answer the question."

There's no heat in the words, no change in her general demeanor, just an observation.


It’s a very impassioned plea that Ryan gives. And perhaps, if the girl on the bed were in a different situation, it might carry more weight.

But she is who she is. And she’s done what she’s done—or her siblings have, at any rate.

She stays where she is, and she doesn’t say anything to any of it. But then the other woman talks.

“Yeah, no, I didn’t,” she confirms quietly to Jess, curling up a little tighter and somehow making herself seem even smaller against all the odds. “Because everyone knows what happens to snitches.”


Ryan sighs a little to himself. He had hoped that what he said would help break the ice between them and Zeph and gain some trust, but it seems to not have helped at all.

Ryan knew that Zeph did not answer the question before and he was not expecting a straight answer from her right away, for he knows what it’s like to be in her position. But she did confirm something for Ryan with her answer to Jess. Because everyone knows what happens to snitches means that there is something or someone else behind all this that bigger than her to snitch about.

“Yes. Snitches get stitches.” Ryan then turns his head and looks to Jessica “And by that statement it usually means that there is something more or someone else bigger pulling the strings.” Ryan look to Jessica to see if she agrees with his statement and to see what she says.


Jessica doesn't make either a verbal or a nonverbal comment right away. Instead, she studies the girl.

"Are you worried about getting your ass handed to you? Or are you worried about protecting your siblings? These are two separate problems with two separate answers. If you're worried about both, then they're two sets of problems that need to be addressed."

For the most part, she's still leaving the real sympathy to Ryan. She's not sure what she's feeling, and it doesn't even matter. They need the information so they can do the right thing here, whatever that is.


There’s a long silence before Zeph speaks, and then a response comes out in a murmur. “Both.”

Zeph doesn’t really have a lot of good options, truth be told. She knows it. She is fairly sure that Jess knows it. Ryan is… something of a wild card. And, in the end, she really is just a nineteen year kid who has relied on her family—for better or worse—for everything. Without them, she is grasping at straws.

She slowly, painfully, turns so she can still lie down but look at the pair, an eyebrow pricked upwards.

“You saying I don’t need to be?”


“Yes it is possible, Zeph, I know what it is like to be in your situation and I understand that you worried about your brothers as well. We can help you, Zeph, but in order for us to be able to help we need information and the more information we have the more we will be able to help.”

Ryan pauses for a moment as he think who he knows who could help with this as well. “I have some people that I know who could help as well for both you and possibly your brothers and the more information they have, the more they can be able to help you as well.”

Ryan hopes that this will break through to Zeph and get her to open up to him and Jess. Though it’s a little ironic for Ryan on how this went from hunting down a criminal to now trying to help said criminal.


"They're already in custody," Jessica points out softly. "So I guess that raises the question of who is going to protect you. And whether they're at all safe."

She leaned forward. "Look. If someone's had you all under their thumb all this time, and they suddenly made you run a super dangerous job that got half of you caught, then there's leverage here. A big, dangerous fish is more important to anyone than a group of young people who were just trying to survive. If we nab the big fish, you're free of him, nobody gets any stitches, and maybe we even pull strings. Get them out of prison."

Jess isn't convinced they don't belong there, but that's the kind of determination someone can make when the truth gets told.

"Or," she says, "it plays out another way. You've gotten yourself caught. If someone's keeping tabs on you? They know you got caught. They know you are now in a hotel room with an X-Man and an Avenger, at least if they're the type to do their homework. That screams someone who has already flipped. Now the kid here? He didn't realize that, cause he's wet-behind-the-ears. He wasn't trying to set you up or anything. But it won't matter. Perception matters a hell of a lot more than reality does. So…if you really want to protect them, we need to now what you know something like yesterday. If you really want to protect yourself, double that. Because right now you've given us jack, and if that's how this evening goes, if that's what we walk away with? We can't go get big fish. We can't justify not turning you over to the authorities. We have absolutely nothing to protect your siblings with. And you all probably get severely hurt or even dead because of it. Your situation sucks, and I'm sorry, but I think if you think it through it's obvious that confiding in us is your best play here. For all of you."


She knows that not all of them qualify exactly under the ‘young’ qualifier. The spread of ages is certainly more than meets the eye, and there’s a lot that meets the eye. But small fish?

Yeah, that fits the bill.

Zeph closes her eyes tightly, and then her voice drops low. Mournfully so. “We got paid to come into New York. Big money, I think. I… I don’t know. I don’t really get to see the cash. That’s always been Boreas. Boreas and Eurus. But it was enough to make the travel worth it, they said. Could keep us for a while, and it didn’t really matter how things went down. Just come into the state, make the papers, get ID’d, get out, get paid, lay low for a good long while. Costa Rica, we thought. Eurus figured the best way to get the papers and a quick ID—to get it done quick—was to come into Manhattan.”


As Jessica mentions the wet behind the ears remark and the fact that he put Zeph in even more of a predicament, now he feels quite stupid with himself. For he should have realised this and acted with more caution, followed by the fact he had hoped to have left some kind of good impression with Jessica with how he handles this is now pretty much down the drain in his mind. Then Jessica mentioned he is a X-Men to boot, he had hoped to keep that part a secret from Zeph unless it became necessary but so much for that now too i guess. Though Ryan tries to hide it a good insightful person can tell Ryan feels a bit terrible with what he caused.

As Jessica finishes his description of the situation Ryan quickly begins to stretch out using his telepathy to scan as far as he can to see if he pick up anyone who might be watching the hotel or Zeph while still participating in the conversation.

When Zeph starts to speak and tells us about what happened, a sense of relief falls over Ryan as they finally start to get somewhere and learn the truth. As Zeph finishes speaking questions start to follow from Ryan “Do you know anything about the person who offered you all this job or even where you all were to meet him after the job was done?”


Jessica grimaces a little at Ryan's reaction. Well. That's a mess she can clean up later. In the meantime, she has to take a moment to try to make sense of what's being said. This time she adds another question atop Ryan's own.

"And let me make sure I understand exactly what you're telling him. All this person wanted, the only thing you got asked to do for a whole bundle of money…was pull one job in New York. One big public job that hit the media, and then boom. Grab an ID first, pull this job, get out. That's what you're telling us?"

Because it's possible she means something different by 'make the papers,' and sometimes the clarifying question is the right one.


Ryan won’t feel anyone watching. Just that still-flowing current of calm that is completely at odds with what the blonde is exhibiting.

She closes her eyes and then hesitantly nods. “Yeah. Yeah, that’s what I’m saying.”

Then she scrunches up a bit more without reopening her eyes. “Ugh, I am so dead when they hear I blabbed.”

She pauses, and then adds, “I mean, I don’t know who—exactly—was paying us. These guys popped in and out and out a few times, talking about a backer. I had to get what I could, overheard. Yay for portals, I guess. Wish they could have, I dunno, portaled us out. That would have been helpful.”


Ryan is a little bit relaxed when he does not pick anyone watching the place, one less thing that he needs to worry about, for the moment anyway. Though he continues to keep a mental sensor to alert him just in case.

As Zeph continues to talk about there being more than one guy, and something about portals, he comes to the conclusion that these guys are probably just middle men and the fact that some of them might have powers, though it's just a theory. But it does mean that there is definalt someone bigger orchestrating this whole thing, though the question still remains why.

Ryan understand Zephs worried about being dead for talking and wants to say something to assure her that wont happen but is not sure how he can provide that. Ryan stays silent for the moment and then turns to look at Jessica to see how she responds to the information and leave her to continue talking with Zeph as she seems to be having better luck then he is at the moment


"Son of a bitch," Jessica mutters. "You poor kids were roped into a goddamn false flag attack."

Not entirely accurate: they really did try to rob the place, but it's pretty obvious this was someone's effort to make sure nobody forgot to hate metas. With everyone getting pretty used to Registration and life moving on as normal for the vast majority of the state.

Poor kids. Poor idiot kids, but Jessica doesn't hammer that point home. She does glower though. Oh does she glower. The glare is real. Her glare says everything she's not saying to Zeph, things like…are you kids really this stupid? Yeah okay, her sibs aren't that young, but they sure seem it to Jess.

She blows out her cheeks. "Okay, kid," she says. "We're going to need your locations when those portals were set. I've got some folks who can go and look at those, might be able to glean some info from them. They didn't portal you out because they set your asses up. You were meant to take the fall."

She'll need several someones, she supposes, as there's no way to tell right now if they're magical portals or technological portals or mutant portals or what.

She takes out a pen and a pad of paper and drops it on the bed next to Zeph. "We're going to protect you, you're not dead," she says gruffly. "Just stop fucking around. The calibre of people you guys just played catspaw for is too goddamn high."


Zeph completely wilts beneath Jess’s disapproval. She’s about to protest about them all being kids, especially with her siblings being ages apart, decades at a time. But then…

That is some weighty disapproval.

“I-I can’t,” she protests, staring at the page and growing only more frantic in her expression. “They came… That’s home. I can’t.”

Because then her family will kill her.

“I can tell you where they dropped us off, outside the city?” She picks up the pad, and starts scribbling frantically, and then finally pushes herself up so that she can write. To her feet so that she can shuffle towards Jessica and shove it at back at the brunette in an attempt to use the one address as an offering. “Please. Please, don’t make me tell you where home is.”

Poor idiot kid, indeed. She doesn’t seem to get at all that, if the right person cracks the portal code… they can figure out where ‘home’ is anyway. Or that an Avenger with access to her siblings’ booking records and Tony Stark is going to be able to figure out where ‘home’ is.

Backwater town upbringing. Improper, incomplete schooling. Not the sharpest tool in the shed to start with. Baby of the family, coddled in every way. Everything stacks against her in the worst ways, and makes it so that—by appearances anyway—Zeph is easily led along every step of the way.

She glances, desperate for help, towards Ryan before deciding that’s a lost cause, probably. She drops her gaze to the pad and tries again to push the notepad towards the investigator.


As Jessica mentions the protecting part Ryan decided to chime in. “Indeed we will protect you and do what we can to help your siblings.” Ryan then looks to Jessica “As for protection, I can contact one of the leaders of the X-Men and arrange for her protection with them. I doubt who ever these guys are will want to tangle with X-Men on their turf.”

When Zeph pleads with Jessica on not telling the location of their home Ryan feels conflicted about this. On the one hand, every bit of information helps and having the location of there home would help greatly. On the other hand he understands where she was coming from as well the X-men are like a family to him and if he were in Zeph’s shoes he would probably feel the same way.
Ryan looks to Zeph. “I understand how you feel Zeph about this I really do, but the fact is these people set you up and your home is no longer safe haven for you or your brothers and sisters. In fact, there is a good chance these people probably went to your home after what happened to erase any trace of them and your family as well to cover their tracks and if we had that information it will help us with finding these people. I know it feels like you are betraying them by telling us, but in truth you would be helping them and yourself.” Ryan waits for a moment before speaking again then turns to Jessica “Still, is there a way we can go without her telling the location of her home? Will probably find it on our own anyway, especially with your resources as an Avenger. But for her sake.” Ryan knows that Jessica is not going like what Ryan is asking and rightfully so but Ryan gets where Zeph is coming from.


"Good enough," Jessica sooths. It's true. She can find home. She puts the paper away and looks to Ryan.

"Yeah. If you guys will take her that's great. That's better than what I can do, and I trust Warren. He won't put up with any bullshit or misuse of powers." Which might explain why Ryan saying 'I'm an X-man' smoothed the way at the end of their last conversation.

She also turns an exasperated look on Ryan when he announces she can find it anyway. But it's not the death glare, so he's still doing alright. "I'm not going to make her tell me anything else," is all she says, standing.

She looks at Zeph. "I'll see what I can do for your family. No promises. But I should at least be able to see to it that someone keeps an eye on them where they're at. I'll put in some calls. Be good, keep your nose clean, you and they will get out of this just fine."


The look that the blonde shoots in Ryan’s direction, confusion and the immediate ‘oh crap’ that follows, is transparent enough that no one needs to be a telepath to read it.

Her eyes close, despairing and ever at odds with the calm that suffuses every breath, and she just bonelessly slumps onto the edge of the bed before just collapsing back on the pillow.

She doesn’t say anything else.

She’s said too much already.


When Jessica Gives Ryan the exasperated look, he realises he messed up again. Feels like he just keeps making a lot of them tonight. Something he will improve on if he gets the chance too.

“I’ll contact them shortly and if all is good I’ll take her there in the morning.” Ryan then looks at the collapse Zeph on the bed then back to Jessica. “She needs some rest after the day she has had, and the room is paid for the night anyway.” Ryan pauses for a moment thinking on how best to ask if Jessica still wants to work together on this after all the screw ups he did, i mean he would understand if she did not want his help, but he wants to continue and finish this. “Hey um, I'm sorry for messing up on this. I guess I still got something to learn and all. Are you ok with us working together still, or do you want to handle this on your own? I understand if you do, I am wet behind the ears still with some of this stuff.”


She waits till they're at the door so she can speak quietly, out of earshot. She gives him a look that's half-exasperated, half-fond, and all sort of motherly.

"What are you talking about? You did great. You got her here, didn't you? Don't take every bitchy thing you hear said in an interrogation to heart. I'll be in touch."

Which just goes to show, sure, Jess will throw pissy looks around all night long, but that doesn't mean she stays angry past turning around.

She zips up her jacket, and heads into the night, already pulling out her cellphone to start doing the follow-up work.


“I’ll update you if I find anything on my end, good luck to you ms. Jones.” As Jessica leaves Ryan closes the door and locks it behind Jessica and then lets out a sigh of relief for really thought she was going to say they were done working together.

Ryan then takes a seat in the chair and gives a call to one of the X-Men leaders to update them on the situation and arrange things for Zeph at the mansion.

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