OTP: One True Pastry
Roleplaying Log: OTP: One True Pastry
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Luke visits Jessica at work to talk about Stryker, Tony Stark, and whatever else comes up.

Other Characters Referenced: Owen, Bart, Danny, Tony, Pepper, Emery, Frank
IC Date: January 29, 2019
IC Location: Alias Investigations
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 30 Jan 2019 03:52
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

* * *

Jessica Jones is slumped over her desk, groaning. A long, impassioned, even overdramatic groan.

She is not bleeding. She is not hurt. She is not dying.

She's just got a single ear bud in her ear, and a phone call that reads 59:03 and counting. Tinny hold music can be heard through the earbud that dangles halfway down her shirt.

This is the job sometimes.

The whole job.

Sure, she'd told Luke the whole job was often wanting to punch people and being unable to punch people. But right now she wants to punch a government institution, and that's got to be exactly the same thing, because she definitely can't do that either.

* * *

There is a quick knock on Alias' door before Luke is peeking his chrome dome inside to make sure that groan he heard through the door wasn't the result of a client physically being in the office. A tentative, "Babe?" Is given before he's just waltzing in, carrying two cups of to-go coffee and a paper bag.

Unsure if she's on the phone or just listening to music, he whispers: "Cruller?" Because when she's working there is a good chance she hasn't bothered to stop for silly things like food.

* * *

"Yes please," Jessica says, raising her head. In normal tones. She rips the earbud out, puts the thing on speaker, and turns it mostly down. "On hold," she explains. "You ever want to watch seconds of your life just drifting away, try calling the United States fucking Postal Office for anything. Through rain or snow or sleet or the foot someone clearly needs straight up their ass."

She takes the coffee. Her lifeline. She sips at it and sighs as some of her tension eases away. And as soon as he gives her the pastry she's going to tear right into that.

Yep. Forgot to eat.

"You're a good man, Luke Cage," she says. "Someone ought to marry you."

* * *

Luke drops his frame into one of her client chairs - which thankfully are Man Mountain proof - and stretches his legs out with his own coffee resting on his thigh. "Good thing I have someone in mind. One of those is for me, y'know." Not that he would protest too much if she tucked into his.

He pops the plastic top off his coffee, not bothering with the piddly little hole in the top and instead sipping straight from the paper rim. "Why are you calling USPS? Lose a package?"

* * *

"You gotta have two forms of ID to get a post office box. I'm looking for your boy Stryker. One of them has to be a photo ID, and one of them has to be like a lease, or a utility bill. You can't just roll through town in a hotel and get one. Now…any criminal worth his salt can find his way to a fake ID, or make one of his own. But…the address on an electric bill or a lease has to come from somewhere. You don't just…I dunno, walk into someone's place and swipe one of those. Typically, you'd get it from whomever you're staying with. And that might be a lead worth following. In a few different directions, really, if I can just get someone willing to tell me what it was. The record will be on file."

* * *

"If Stryker really is behind this, he ain't my boy. Not anymore." Luke rumbles, the worry and disappointment and unease creasing his face in new lines. He's not even sure if he can get wrinkles anymore, but this would be how they're born. "Still not convinced it could be him. I mean, we were tight back in the day. Why would he turn on me like that?"

They didn't really talk about it on the way home from Georgia. Just like his visit to his mom's grave, every time the subject came up, he changed it. But now it seems like he's ready to listen.

* * *

Jessica Jones sighs at Luke.

"It's a good thing you became a bartender, love. You had no future as a detective."

She sits on the desk, the better to sit next to his propped feet. Just a bit of contact while she looks seriously into his eyes.

"Picture this," she says. "You commit a crime with your best friend. Okay? You've been in and out of trouble with the law. So you go to jail. Your friend goes into the Marines and gets hailed as a hero. A golden boy. And then? To add insult to injury, he goes and becomes a frickin' cop."

Her eyebrows raise. "You don't think you'd be pissed off?"

Another pause.

"C'mon, Man Mountain. It was like. Pretty much the whole plot of Sneakers. And if you have not watched Sneakers then I know what we're streaming tonight."

* * *

Luke quirks a bit of a smirk, his words muttered into his coffee cup as he goes for another sip. "Then I guess I know what we're streaming tonight." He's quiet as he considers this, swallowing his mouthful of coffee to warm him though he barely felt the chill of the bitter New York winter on his commute to her office.

"So, he's jealous. Frames me to take off some of my shine and give me a taste of what he went through? Seems a little overkill."

His eyes go to the phone, "They really give you that kind of information over the phone, without a warrant?"

* * *

"Depends on who you get on the phone," Jessica says with a hitch of a shrug. "They're not supposed to, but it doesn't mean it doesn't happen if you can think of a convincing enough reason for them to do it. Faking a familial connection usually works. I'm an adoptee looking for my long lost dad, or whatever. Pull on the right set of heart strings and you maybe get lucky. If not, well. There will be other things to try."

She shrugs about the overkill though. "People are shits sometimes, Luke. What seems reasonable, and sane, to you, doesn't enter anywhere into a lot of people's equations at all. They see the world a certain way. See themselves a certain way. Start getting the notion they haven't been treated fairly, that they aren't getting what they deserve. Take steps to get what they believe they need as they see it."

* * *

"I don't know how 'sane' my decisions are. I have a drug addict with the keys to my kingdom, a wanted ex-marine as my chef. I lost my bar back because he's now running Stark Industries, and my fiance introduces me to fun new experiences on our dates like dragons." Luke manages a bit of a dry chuckle of humor despite the situation.

"But if it's true, if he really did go through those lengths to send me up the river, something tells me we're not just going to be able to find out where he lives and reason with him."

* * *

"No. It won't be where he lives. It'll be where someone he knows lives. Probably someone he met in prison. And from there we might be able to follow the bunny trail back to where he was."

She does blink at some of that. "Bart? Little Bart has been put in charge of Stark Industries? Why the fuck would Tony do that to the kid? I know Tony's pissed and flipping his board of directors and pretty much the whole world a bunch of fingers left and right, but…Bart?"

The dragons don't even warrant a comment from Jessica. She does say, "I think as long as your wanted ex-Marine keeps his wanted nose clean he'll be fine. The cops aren't that eager to put away a dude who killed a bunch of gangsters. If they wanted him that bad they'd have found him."

* * *

Luke throws up one hand in a, 'hey, I didn't do it' kind of gesture when it comes to Bart. "I have zero idea. I didn't even know the kid knew Stark much less was in line for any kind of succession. I just get a text from Owen saying he fired Bart for his own good. And it's not like he'd even have the time to do something as menial as refill ice when he's got a multi-million dollar international company. To run. At, like what, eighteen? Owen was a little froggy about the whole situation, but probably because baby slash older bro got the gig. We should probably keep an eye on him to make sure he's not triggered to relapse."

Luke reaches out to cover her knee with his palm, "Can we also find prison records, see who he might of celled with and see if they live in the area?" It's a weird combination of topics.

* * *

"I think Stark may just be trying to run the whole company to the ground out of spite. Or…Bart will turn out to be great at it. The thing about Tony is he has an eye for talent."

She nods to Luke's latter query though. "Prisons are even more tight-lipped than post-offices," she says ruefully. "The way it will have to happen is…I cross-reference the address against the owner, cross-reference that against people with a record in Georgia and Jersey and maybe New York, and cross-reference that against the dates both Stryker and Dudebro were in prison. If they match, it doesn't matter if he was in the same cell or not. They could have met in the yard, or in the mess hall, or on a work detail. 'Cellmates' is kind of a cliche. Not that it doesn't happen, but it's not the only way people make connections in prison."

* * *

Luke gives Jess a wide grin. "You're right, I would have made a shit detective. Guess there was a reason I never made it past beat cop." Besides, you know, incarceration. "So do you need anything from me, besides stuffing you with the occasional pastry? I know this is important to us both, but I hope your regular business isn't suffering."

* * *

Jessica considers that, what she might need. She's not used to needing things. Or at least, not used to needing them and asking someone else for them. She chews thoughtfully on said pastry, even as she shakes her head. "Regular business is fine. Promise. We are in no danger of going broke, and neither is Alias Investigations."

She finally shakes her head. "Other than that? I don't even know. Some back-up at some point. I don't have any leads on the Jennings case but eventually I will and I think it's likely to turn nasty. The Whispers case is already pretty goddamn nasty. I still think they're linked. Finding abuses to document for Matt is piss easy. He's got me running background checks on all his new hires too, but that's pretty basic and standard. Bart hasn't fired me from doing all the Stark Industries work yet."

* * *

"Well if you need me to intimidate anyone or mash buttons on a computer and try not to cuss at it, you know where to find me." But no, they aren't in any danger of going broke, they still have the bar and the hefty portfolio Danny set them up with, but he still wants to make sure her business is successful too. Not that she needed any help before Luke came along.

He gives her knee a little squeeze and then relaxes back with his coffee again. "Why is Tony pissed?" Not that Luke has seen his old acquaintance in a while. "Registration?"

* * *

Jessica nods. "Registration," she confirms. "They made him register. He thinks they're going to try to squeeze him or freeze him out of the company, next. So he just divested himself of it while he could, and is pulling some other maneuvers. I don't think he let me into even half of what he's really doing, to be honest. He was more manic than usual, last time I saw him. He's planning a business move out in Metropolis, which is part of the reason I've been out there getting the lay of the land."

She gives a faint half-smile. "I don't know that the dragon landing atop his building did him or his PR any favors, you know? Made it look an awful lot like the demon thing was his fault. I still don't even know what caused the demon thing, and if I don't know you can bet a whole lot of scared people don't know either."

* * *

Luke's chin juts out and he scratches the tip of his goatee with a scrape of fingers. "Is Tony…powered? I just thought he had a bunch of great toys…oh, the glowing chest thing. Right." He let's out a phew of air, "Tough one. Guess they wanted to make him the poster boy for the Pro movement after that, and he had other ideas. Like appointing Bart. Maybe I'll deliver the kid's last paycheck personally. See what's up."

* * *

"Yeah. He's considered someone who has his abilities through science, so. He still counts. But that would prove interesting, so yeah. I'd love to hear about that. If Tony's just…I dunno. Super depressed and flying off the rails that might be good to know. I'm not sure I'd be the right person to talk him down if that's the case, but…Pepper Potts might be. But I mean normally? He's crazy like the proverbial fox."

She pops the last bite of the pastry into her mouth and settles back with her own coffee.

"If you see Danny before I do, by the way, tell him I confirmed it was just stupid kids who got drunk. I put a word in the ears of their parents about the follies of vandalizing the property of the uberrich. I think that should stop it from happening again. From that quarter, anyway."

* * *

Luke pulls his feet off her desk to let each boot fall to the floor with a heavy plop. "Will do. Emery left dinner for us again, call me whenever you're on the way home and I'll heat it up. Even if it ends up technically breakfast by the time you're finally off hold." He stands, leaning forward to give her a quick kiss. "Proud of you, babe." And he nonchalantly leaves the other pastry in the bag for her, too.

* * *

She gives him a 'what? why?' look when he says that, but she kisses him back. "I'll come home early. We have a movie to watch."

And…

"Your call has been disconnected," the phone informs her. Still in Morgan Freeman's voice.

She sighs and shakes her head. There's a thing to try again on another day, apparently. She soothes her irritation by reaching into the bag and taking up the pastry. She will indeed eat that, feeling a stab of gratitude. He always looks out for her, does Luke Cage.

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