The Joys of Being Complicated
Roleplaying Log: The Joys of Being Complicated
IC Details

Emma Frost approaches Jessica Jones to make an exchange.

Other Characters Referenced: Trish Walker
IC Date: January 22, 2020
IC Location: New York City
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 23 Jan 2020 06:48
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [*\# None]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

It’s been some time since Trish Walker set a proposal at Emma Frost’s feet.

The more time that passes, the more uncomfortable the mind witch becomes with the notion that 1) someone stupid enough to suggest openly crossing Wilson Fisk also knows that she is a telepath, 2) that said stupid person has some really troubling ideas about what Emma Frost should do with her money and influence, 3) that she has absolutely nothing in place to control said stupid person aside from mind controlling her… and that has its own set of troubles.

Clearly, number three is where Emma Frost can take her power back, though.

And so she dials a number that is not terribly hard to find, belonging to one Miss Jessica Jones. And she makes a deal. “I have information that might interest you, regarding your sister. If you’re in the mood for making a trade, then you can find me here, at this date. I’ll be alone, and ask you come the same.”

Of course, the time is this evening, at ten o’clock, in a tiny, out of the way wine bar that will not permit Jess to exit the vestibule until she confirms that she’s here under Emma’s reservation. She’s been here since 8, if one is honest, going through a bottle by herself, listening to the jazz pianist in the corner (who is quite good). She’s tucked away in a corner booth now, smoking a cigarette under the ridiculous air filtration system and settled into the deep curve of the seat with a deeply satisfied sort of air. She lays her head back against the high back of it and listens to the turn of thoughts with a languid ease.

And she waits. And she drinks a small measure from the new bottle she’s ordered. Ands she smokes. And she waits some more.

"Shit," Jessica Jones said, when she got the call.

But she shows up. And since it's Frost, she even shows up in her business suit. Emma will recognize the Starkweave well enough, but the black suit and red blouse are tailored well enough, and work perfectly with Jessica's coloring in a way Jessica herself probably doesn't notice. She even threw on some make-up.

She arrives on the dot, on time, and sits down across from Emma. "I'm alone," she promises. "And I didn't tell anyone we were meeting."

She looks grim. And harried.

"I didn't even have the 'goddamn it Trish, what did you do' call yet."

Jessica Jones brings with her a very particular psychic signature, and it’s one that Emma will allow to wade through her awareness without touching as soon as she feels the brush of it. She has headaches enough nowadays. But that can’t be said for the space around Jones.

Emma Frost expands her perimeter exponentially upon the the other woman’s arrival, rippling out as only someone of her calibre can.

Trust, as they say, but verify.

Satisfied that Jones is as good as her word, Frost opens her eyes and lazily lifts her head. “That’s for the best.”

She offers the investigator neither glass nor cigarette, operating under no illusion that they are friends or allies.

“Understand that this sort of conversation is not really my preference, but I owe you something of a debt… after Alaska.” She can’t really hide the twitch of a sneer at the mention of it, but the rest of her expression is better schooled. She moves on, though, which helps her to contain the surge of discomfort at needing to mention that horrible scenario at all. “So here we are. Your sister has been putting her nose in all sorts of places that are not good or healthy for her, and it seems that she is of a mind to keep doing that. That is bad enough. And I am going to tell you what she’s up to now, presumably without your knowledge as you typically seem to have more sense than that, in exchange for your assistance in getting her out of my business.”

Jones isn't lying. Despite the many pretexts she indulges in to solve her cases, the many ways she breaks, bends, and contorts the law, at heart she's an honest person.

She also doesn't request any of the comforts.

A variety of expressions cross over Jessica's face to hear Emma's opener. "She told me she was backing off from just about everything I knew she was involved in, promised me in fact. So yeah. Without my knowledge," Jessica said.

She exhales sharply. "What's she doing?"

“She needs to forget any associations that she thinks she understands with regards to me and the Hellfire Club. She doesn’t understand anything at all, and I need to make certain that she’s not going to go and talk about her assumptions. She has the wrong sort of attention. And I am offering you this friendly suggestion: tell her to look pretty, to party well, and then to go home.”

There’s a pause, and then a deep drink follows.

“Now, given that she’d given her word to you, I fancy that it’s something of a surprise when I tell you that she approached me at a Hellfire Club event, asked for an appointment… and then pitched that I finance a radio company to challenge Wilson Fisk and his latest purchase of WNEX.

Frost picks up her smouldering cigarette from its resting spot in order to take another long drag from its slim length, taking her time.

“Perhaps you might see, then, why I might get a little concerned that your dear Patsy might begin to think that she’s all the tools she needs to shove her way through things. And that needs to not happen. It’s not good for you or me.”

She inhales sharply. “I told her I’d consider it. Clearly, I’m not actually considering it.”

Jessica actually shoves her thumb and forefinger into the bridge of her nose and pinches. "Sure. Because going to financial war with him worked so well for Rand Industries years ago."

She drops her hand and exhales.

"Her poking into your affairs is my fault," she says bluntly. "I can't tell you who, but I got a very high-profile client who got an invite. He hired me to vet the club, so he could decide whether he wanted to accept. When I couldn't find anything I asked her if she knew anyone who was a member, because, you know. The whole celebrity thing. There she was, and so it seemed like a way to get the job done."

Emma’s eyes narrow suspiciously, but she releases the narrowing with a heavy sigh and another drag of her cigarette. There are so many things that would be so much easier to handle if they could be openly discussed.

But they can’t. And so one must do the best one can, with what one has.

Jones brings up Rand Industries, and Frost seconds the thought with a ghost of a smile. “So many people forget that history is often the best teacher.”

She shrugs one shoulder as she finishes the cigarette and then proceeds to smash it out in the ashtray in front of her. “I explained to her that Wilson Fisk is not one who is easily crossed. And certainly not by shoving a direct competitor in his face. When I tell her ‘no’, I want no retaliations. If she tries it, I will safeguard my interests.”

"Retaliations? From Trish?"

Jessica snorts softly and sighs. "Look, Miss Frost, Trish is…a pure heart. And she's a romantic. And she wants desperately to be a hero in the most storybook sense of the word. She won't retaliate, and neither will I. We've got more history than Alaska. I remember who was there when that Cthulhu…thing…rose up. Zee spoke kind of well of you. So. You're complicated. I'm complicated. Trish ain't complicated. And that's what makes her such a pain in the ass."

She drums her fingers thoughtfully. Her telling Trish to back off clearly won't do shit.

"Let me ask you a question. If I asked: what's a plausible story I could bring my sister about…"

Here Jess makes quotey fingers. "What's really going on at the Hellfire club…"

End quotey fingers…

"That I could pretend to have discovered through my own investigations…that might also get her to back off? Plausible with what she may have done and seen? Because that might be the answer. Making her think it's solved. Especially if we can work in something she did to…"

More quotey fingers. "Solve it."

And as much as Jess hates maybe being complicit with what may be truly awful shit, protecting her sister will always come before other concerns. The Hellfire Club seems a little like…the Senate. An awful institution that is too entrenched for the likes of her to uproot anyway.

Zee spoke kinda well of you. Well, there’s a ringing endorsement if ever there was one.

Jones scoffs at the thought of retaliation. The telepath’s features retain their stony cast. She does not, it seem, share Jessica’s scepticism and is unmoved by the reassurances the investigator offers.

Settling back, Emma takes her glass with her as she threads her arms under her breasts defensively. The thought of giving any ground, even on lies and pretenses, doesn’t sit well. At all. Her ice-pale eyes narrow again.

“On a scale of 1 to brokering nuclear Armageddon, what sort of fiction are we talking about here?”

A pause fills the air, and then she tilts her blonde head. She’s giving this far too much thought. She should get up and walk away right now.

She sips her wine instead.

Jesus, are they brokering nuclear Armageddon?

It doesn't take telepathy to read that one. It sprouts all over Jessica's face for a moment, before she can reign it back in.

Jessica snaps her fingers. "You know what, nevermind. I have an idea."

Why nuclear Armageddon gave her this idea, she's not sure. "Rich and famous swinger clubs. Millionaires using the club to make contacts to get their freak on. Oh the scandal. Not illegal, certainly embarrassing, and nothing Trish needs to trouble herself about."

Which might work if Jessica hadn't panicked and said they might kill Trish. Then again. The rich and famous have absolutely killed people to protect their stupid bedroom secrets in the past.

Emma meets the first of Jessica’s expressions, answering the unspoken question with a wordless answer. Her eyebrow arches and her look of utter fatigue as she is accused without accusing of participating in the death of everything. ’Really?’

Jessica Jones has no need to know how deep the rabbit hole goes.

But then the brunette is onwards, and Emma only grows more tired looking. Unfolding her arms, she reaches for the bottle and sets down her glass so she can pour more. And while she may be elegant enough as she moves, she certainly has the subtle tells that she’s been generous in her pouring.

“This is why most of Europe thinks we’re all Puritans, you know,” she quips dryly. “But fine. You don't need rag fodder, correct? We can go along our merry little way, and you have it from here? Because I feel I’ve done my good deed for the month.”

"Yes, I think that's plenty," Jessica says, making an ew face. She needs no fodder at all. Her past career of photographing people's bouncing butts has ensured that.

She makes no response to Emma's tired looks, either to be embarrassed about them or to defend them. Instead she stands. "Right. Good talk."

She does not pretend they're friends or allies either, because there's no 'thank you.' But then, Emma made it clear that this was Jess cashing in on Alaska. For just about the only reason Jess would ever 'cash in' on something like that anyway, unless Emma's help could help her save lives, but the understanding has been set.

Instead, she starts walking away, jerking a careless thumb backwards at the booze. "That stuff'll kill you, you know."

It’ll kill you, Jessica Jones warns, and Emma Frost laughs. It’s a beautiful sound, on the surface, tuned perfectly to sound like music and amusement. But Jess—more than many other people in the world—might sense the strain of self-destruction lying deep beneath it. Or she might not.

But there it is, all the same, hiding in the depths of the bass clef, more dark and rumbling feeling than sound.

“I suppose it’s a good thing that I’ve got Mister Papsworth on my payroll.”

Jess hears it, and she looks back over her shoulder in response to it. Damn it. The mention of their shared connection, someone who cares about them both and so sees something in them both, makes her soften a little in spite of herself.

"Yeah, Emery's got a gift or forty," she agrees.


"Thanks, Miss Frost. I appreciate you reaching out to me."

God damn it, grumble, grumble, grr.

Emma lifts her glass in a sweeping sort of toast, her vixen’s smile never faltering. “Of course, Miss Jones. I do hope the rest of your evening is more pleasant.”

Let it never be said that the mind witch can’t read a room, or that she is in anyway unaware of the general sentiment of those subjected to her presence… who know what she is.

If anyone really knows what she is, anyway. She likes it best that people don’t.

The joys of being complicated.

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