Wheel of Fortune
Roleplaying Log: Wheel of Fortune
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Jess and Luke discuss the future and their pasts.

Other Characters Referenced: Owen Mercer, Bart Allen, Pepper Potts, Danny Rand, The Brotherhood
IC Date: April 03, 2019
IC Location: Luke's Bar
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 23 Apr 2019 18:28
Rating & Warnings: Language
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Luke worked all day at the former site of the Triskelion, and yet tonight he still opened the bar. The place is empty thanks to the appearance of the Sentinels and people either not in the mood or too afraid to come in, but still Luke opened the bar. Owen still hasn't reappeared. But still. Luke opened the bar.

Now the big man is behind the bar, leaning with his back to the rest of the room as he points the remote at one of the flat screens, channel surfing. Nothing seems to catch his attention or he's far to distracted to land on one program, because he's on about the fifth round of flipping through all the channels.

  • * *

Luke Cage is an industrious man.

Jessica is usually a workaholic woman. But something about all of it…Luke and the Triskelion, Jane in jail, Carol's name being dragged through the mud after being fooled by something Jessica would categorize as close enough to mind control, and the final kicker of the giant fucking robots…

Well. She barely got out of bed this morning, slept till about 4, and has only just dragged herself to the shower. She has not gone to a bar (because she'd never drink at Luke's). And she has not gone to a liquor store. These ought to be considered accomplishments, because she wants a drink. She is hanging on to sobriety tooth and nail right now after nearly a year and a half of not being at all tempted.

She comes downstairs and flops onto a stool at the bar, greeting him with: "Can I have something I can at least pretend is a drink?"

  • * *

Luke turns the moment he hears the little bell above the door chime, though the fact that it's not a customer doesn't seem to bother him. Usually easy with a smile, especially for Jess, this time it's slow to form and it's just a ghost of a thing. "With or without the paper umbrella?" He asks before he tosses the remote aside and flips over a clean glass and fills it with ice. "Have you eaten? I can make some nachos. Gave the cook the night off, because I figured…why not."

  • * *

"With," Jessica says. The woman who drinks hard shots normally doesn't go for the froofy umbrella, but today she is in a mood, and in a mood says 'get the froof.'

She shakes her head. She hasn't eaten. "Yeah, I'll take some nachos. That sounds about my speed right now. How are you feeling?"

She'll at least take a stab at being a good significant other-type person. She has definitely not made the effort in her looks. Ratty jeans and a blue and black plaid shirt thrown over a black tank top, with boots. She does not look like she has bothered to try to tame the bedhead beyond the bare minimum it takes to be vaguely presentable.

  • * *

In answer to her question, Luke merely shrugs one of his shoulders like the other can't be assed to join in on the gesture. "'Bout as good as any of us, meaning the 'gifted'. Registered or not. It's like you now can tell who is powered and who isn't just by how tense they are."

A mixture of ginger beer (non alcoholic), club soda and fresh berries are put directly into the glass and a little paper umbrella is unfolded and stuck in alongside a straw before he pushes it over.

"Speaking of. Was it me, or were those giant robot things targeting Metas like they were walking around with giant bullseyes painted on their back.

* * *

"No. They were," Jessica says grimly. "They'd be a pretty piss-poor weapon if they started shooting at the…"

She makes airquotes. "Poor, helpless humans."

She snorts and rubs a hand over her face. "It's like they want a motherfucking war. They keep this up they're going to get one, too. There won't be any choice. They sure forget, rather conveniently, the number of times all of us god-awful metas saved their fucking asses from shit they wouldn't have been able to handle."

She takes the drink and for a moment her mood lifts. "Hey, this is impressive," she says. And means it.

* * *

"Only the best for my girl." Luke rumbles as he dries his hands off on the towel that seems permanently affixed to the drape on his shoulder. "It's like Registration was just a head start on a witch hunt. Not only am I starting to feel like hooking up with SHIELD was a wise move to keep us safe in all of this, but I hate to say it: I'm starting to see the Brotherhood's point."

* * *

Jessica nods glumly and says, "I'm starting to see it too, to be honest. I mean on one hand everything they do seems to escalate this even more. On the other hand…"

She blows out her cheeks. "I'm not sure terrorism is the answer, mind you. But I'm starting to wonder if revolution is."

She'd be a lot more worried about SHIELD bugging the bar if they hadn't blown up. But right now she's sort of going to shrug at them. Like what the hell do you expect us to talk about? "I mean how dumb do you have to be? Did you hear those figures? Over 100,000 of us in the state. And a group of people who we can beat up one handed wants to start shooting at us with giant robots and imprisoning us for existing? Who thought that wasn't going to backfire. Because I think it's going to backfire. And sooner or later I think I'm gonna wanna help it backfire."

* * *

Luke touches his nose in the internationally accepted signal of 'nailed it in one' when Jess talks about wanting to help it backfire. "And were those that were targeted any of the Registered? The news.." He gives a little look over his shoulder to the TV, where he's left it on a muted sitcom instead of a news broadcast. "Ain't saying yet from what I've seen." He leans forward slightly, "You know that family in 2C? The mom's unregistered. Hell, the only thing she can do is math like a savant. But I'm letting them stay in the basement safe room for the time being."

* * *

"Good," Jessica says. "We should probably see about smuggling them out to Delaware, to be honest. And I think every one they took down was registered. Every protester they arrested. Because otherwise they would have been arrested for not being registered, not herded into a 'free speech zone' just to bait them into being pissed off. I'm sure the excuse is rioting or something. I think at this point if they can't get us for one thing…"

She moves her straw up and down in her drink, then takes a grim sip. "It'll be something else."

* * *

"Or they'll just make up something else." Luke mutters darkly, reaching for his own glass which at this point is just ice water. It might develop into something stronger as the night goes on or after Jessica leaves, but for now he wants to keep his wits about him.

"So essentially law abiding citizens were targeted and arrested for being out in public, or were they all from the zone?"

* * *

"They were all from the zone. They're not so stupid as to make a wrongful arrest yet I don't think. Not with Peterson v. New York on the horizon. Matt would have a field day with that, and a mass wrongful arrest would have to support his class action claims."

She takes the umbrella out and lays it next to her glass, then downs more of the drink. "They won't let me see Jane," she says. "Nobody's letting visitors into the Raft. Something about an escapee. She's in there with the Kingpin. I'm worried."

From the broader concerns to the more personal ones, though this is the first time she's really said much more than Jane's been arrested. Which was reason enough to enter a truly dark mood.

* * *

Luke's frown deepens at the mention of Jane and Jess' concern about being incarcerated in the same place as Kingpin. "Jane can take care of herself, and it's one of the most secure facilities on the planet. Look, I know they aren't letting in visitors, but what if I try and flex my new SHIELD clearance and visit her for you? No promises, I'm not sure I'm any more leveled than a janitor."

* * *

"I'd like that, if you can swing it without getting yourself into trouble," Jessica says, taking another swig of her drink. "The last thing I want is for you to get caught in there too."

She blows out her cheeks, and addresses an elephant in the bar. "And I know I took that same risk going after that robot. I was trying to make it look like, I dunno, plausible deniability, right. That I was just fleeing. Seems to have worked as nobody came to kick down our door. I couldn't just stand there and do nothing and I couldn't figure out how to openly do something. I mean I've broken tons of laws, you know, but never right in front of the cops. And usually doing things the cops would look the other way on because I do them for decent reasons. By the time we start openly tossing DPS the finger, that's it. That's us being declared terrorists whether we go buddy up to known terrorist organizations or not."

* * *

Luke leans into the bar when she makes her little confession, reaching across to take her hands and sandwich them between his own. "Babe? I'd have done the same thing, had I thought of it. And, you know, had that ability but that's besides the point. Look, we run into fires, not out of them. It's who we are. And if things are going to change then there needs to be more people willing to take those risks. Otherwise we might as well accept we live in a military state now."

* * *

She looks a bit relieved. His flat tone when he'd caught her had said he was less than pleased, but maybe with time to think about it he's revised his stance.

"I think…" she says slowly, "We have to give Matt his shot. To do this the legal way. But I think maybe what we need to do is start smuggling people the Hell out of the state. Nobody's keeping them from leaving yet, but any traffic stop with anyone unregistered gets them arrested. And maybe us for … whatever, being an accessory to not having a piece of paper. We have the basement room, but…well. I started stocking food and shit in some underground tunnels Bucky showed me once ages ago, back when Registration was just a sick glimmer on the horizon. I'm not sure how to go from there, but…"

* * *

"We'll figure it out." Luke assures, giving her hands one more squeeze before leaning back. "The Martinez family can't stay down there forever, so if we can get them to Delaware sooner rather than later all the better. I hate to start drawing parallels to things like Anne Frank, but here we are. So. Nachos?"

* * *

"Nachoes," Jessica agrees. She gives a hard smirk. "And yeah, we're not supposed to draw the damned parallels, but tough shit. They're the ones who made the killer robots. We get to draw all the parallels we want, now."

She starts crunching the ice in her glass, and admits, "Honestly just talking about doing something is making me feel better. In the past, we did shit about shit. It's feeling helpless that's pissing me off. I don't know how the fuck you fight a fucking government. I never thought I'd miss the dragons and the demons and the dimension-eating gods and the primordial darkness that ate entire buildings."

* * *

"I don't know about that, the Government hasn't been able to break my arm like some Godly being did. Well. Yet, right? I'll talk to Danny, see what he can do within the realm of plausible deniability about helping us set up some place for these people to go once they hit Delaware. Not 100,000, but I'd like to know the people we're getting out have some place to go besides 'not here'. So that, and seeing about getting in to visit Jane for you. It's a start, babe." Luke confirms as he steps out from behind the bar, edging around it to come and give Jess a kiss to the temple before needing to go in the back to make her food.

* * *

She waits patiently enough for said food, taking up the important task of channel flipping while he's in the back. Flip. Flip. Flip. So many news reports.

Where does she land?

From the sounds of it, Wheel of Fortune.

"Oh for fuck's sake, it's not nearly time to…why are you buying an I? It's obvious the Is are there. That's TION. By a fucking S."

Because when life sucks, and your fiancee is in the back, it's time to yell at people being obtuse as they try to solve word puzzles. It was what carried her through in the hospital. She's still seeing her neurologist. Her answer about how it is going is always, "Fine."

* * *

"You don't buy the consonants." Luke tells her as he breezes back in with the plate of chips and hot melty cheese alone with the various other toppings. It's not as great as something the cook would have whipped up, but it's also not the microwave version either. "Separation Anxiety." Hopefully that's Cage solving the puzzle and not a direct comment on Jess' behavior.

* * *

"You knew what I meant," Jessica grumbles, as she picks up a nacho. But she quirks an eyebrow at him as he solves the puzzle faster than her. She puts her finger on her nose though, because now that he's said it, she sees it. She pops the nacho into her mouth and crunches it, rolling her eyes because it takes the contestants about 7 more spins to get what Luke got to instantly.

Jess is far more prone to being a dismissive-avoidant type than a separation-anxious type, but with Luke she at least tries not to be.

* * *

With nothing to do behind the bar, the Man Mountain settles onto a stool next to her and helps himself to a nacho as well. "When I was a kid, I used to watch game shows with my mom all the time. Especially if I stayed home from school sick. She'd make me a cup of hot cocoa and toast with peanut butter on it, and we'd sit on the couch and watch Bob Barker and Alex Trebek."

* * *

It's a window into Luke's early life that Jess has never had before. For obvious reasons, she doesn't ask about his former life. Now he lets this tidbit fall voluntarily, and her face softens.

Though she grins. "Hot cocoa when you're sick? I hope you weren't sick to your stomach with that combination."

But she's not critisizing. She smiles a little, and says, "My mom sucked as a cook. She'd try to cook breakfast every now and then. Usually she just broke all the eggs and got shells in them and then we all ended up going out for breakfast instead. Where she excelled was homework help."

* * *

"Buncha white guys, handing out money for knowing shit like the going price for Brillo pads." Luke grins aside to his fiancee. It's true he doesn't talk about his childhood years often, but if he was going to, no doubt it would be about his mother who holds some kind of sainthood status in his mind.

"So you're telling me you got something else from your mom other than your good looks?" He teases lightly as he munches.

* * *

Jessica Jones grins and says, "Yeah. But I mean…she was Jane level smart. And she could play the piano. The quilting thing was just sort of a one and done project of boredom for her one summer, but…I'm still really glad you saved it. I'm honestly not sure where the detective thing came from. He was an engineer. Worked for Stark Industries in fact."

She tilts her head to one side and smirks. "How much are Brillo pads? That's a gameshow I would fuck up royally, so there's that. And what else did you do with your Mom?"

* * *

"Pretty sure the detective thing is all Jessica Jones. And in the 80's? Two dollars and thirty two cents. Give or take." As she asks a direct question about his mom, Luke doesn't exactly clam up but he seems to get a little tense about it. It's one thing for memories just to fall off his tongue, it's another to try and dredge them up.

"She loved her garden. We had this little postage stamp sized backyard, but it was her pride and joy. I wasn't much good for it except pulling weeds or snapping beans, but I still remember the way she would tilt her head back and just soak up the sun like the plants she was tending."

His throat clears. "So is that how you know Tony?"

* * *

"No. I don't think my Dad ever met Tony. It might have been how Tony knew me," Jessica allows. She steers off the topic of Mom, catching the tension. She picks up another nacho and smirks faintly.

"Dude just shows up in my office. Broke in like everyone else. Sits at my desk and tells me he wants me to work with Peggy to find out who is stealing from his organization. Doesn't bat an eyelash when I make a bunch of demands. In fact he one-ups me. I told him I wanted…full access, so I could do my job, and a kevlar vest. He tricks me the Hell out. And he didn't get upset when I gave him shit. He was like oh good, you're acting like I heard you were going to act. Tony hates it when people fall all over themselves for him, you know. And then I found his theif and his murderer. The case was weird, and awful, but I solved it."

* * *

"That's my girl." Luke grins, full and honest for the first time in days. "I ever tell you how he and I met? He just sits down at my bar one day, we start talking, and he ends up fixing the old furnace, back before the fire. We haven't interacted much since, come to think. When I was at the Tower, he was in a coma the same time you were."

* * *

"He's like that," Jessica says, of Tony and the furnace. "You didn't ever tell me, but I can believe it. I think he honestly just likes supporting people. Especially people who are doing good work as he sees it. There's usually a method to his madness. Usually about six things going on with any one thing he does, even if it's only possible to see one or two. I have seen him since his coma, it was when he was telling me about his plan to open Stark Unlimited in Metropolis. He did not share he was going to saddle poor Bart with his former office though. That's what got me decided on going down there to vet the place for him a bit."

* * *

"He's good people. Even though he definitely helps define the term 'eccentric billionaire'. Huh, I know two of those now. We should start collecting them, have our own little menagerie. Like that word? Got it from our toilet paper in the men's room." Luke pulls another nacho away from the group, watching the cheese stretch and snap before he decides he's not hungry any more and sets it back on the edge of the plate. "Poor Bart. Thank god he has that Pepper lady."

* * *

"Pepper's nice. When I finally got the guts to touch my expense account I got her on the phone. I was in a panic and she was like, oh, here, let me fix it for you. You've been underutilizing it. Here, do this this and this."

Jessica quirks a grin and shakes her head. "Yes, that's a good word. We'll be able to solve for it now when it comes up on Wheel."

She smirks about Danny though. "Danny's an entirely different kind of eccentric," she notes. "They're like…on opposite sides of the eccentricity spectrum." He's not hungry, but she is. She keeps right on diving into the nachos. Breakfast of champions.

* * *

"Expense account, huh? Don't suppose it covers buying your finance a new motorcycle does it? Mine's buried in several hundreds of thousands of pounds of rubble." Not only did he lose his new lunchbox, but Luke drove to SHIELD that day. But he doesn't lament it for long, going on, "Poor Danny, man. If one good thing came out of all of this, I no longer have to hide who or what I am. But Danny?"

* * *

"It does," Jessica says, tilting her head. "Go pick one out, get me the receipt. It basically covers anything they can write off as a business expense. Just put my name on it too and bam. Transportation for Private Investigation services. Basically it's part of my compensation package for doing all their background checks and insurance fraud cases. It is also, I think, Tony paying me to punch things in the face because he trusts me to pick good things to punch in the face. So go for it. If they kick it back we'll just pay for it."

She grimaces and says, "I should have thought about that before. But honestly your motorcycle was the last thing on my mind."

She nods about Danny with a grimace, and here she does look around in case a Sentinel is…what? Going to climb out of the lime box?

* * *

Luke gives a soft chuckle as she tells him just how they'll go about expensing it, "It's not that important. It's just a thing. Didn't have that much sentimental value to it, even if I did just finish fixing it after I wrapped it around that light pole when you got shot. But I suppose at least looking couldn't hurt. Wanna come with? Maybe we'll find you a new helmet. Something pink with sparkles."

* * *

"Only if you're wearing the lavendar one," Jessica says with a smirk. "With little bunnies all over it."

She makes bunny fingers and hops them across the counter as if to demonstrate. The 'bunny' then grabs the final nacho. She puts it into her mouth and says, "But sure, I'll come with. I guess I'd better stop moping and get my ass back on the job."

If nothing else, Matt's counting on her to bring him more evidence of abuses for his case. And they're certainly mounting. And she still has to find Willis Stryker. Neither of these things will happen while she's in a depressive funk. "Should have come down hours ago," she admits. "You're way better than booze for cheering me up."

* * *

Luke watches the little bunny mime with amusement, but if she wanted to him to wear a lavender helmet with bunnies on it, you can bet he's secure enough in his masculinity to do it.

"Damn straight, I am. Besides, you coming down here gives Emery time to sneak into our apartment and iron out the Jess shaped impression you left in the sheets. And leave us more food."

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