Back to School Special
Roleplaying Log: Back to School Special
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

After a long day of school shopping for Kennis, Emery and Jess take a little time to talk about (or not talk about) things that have been bothering them.

Other Characters Referenced: Matt Murdock, Kingpin (referenced), Emma Frost, Jane Foster, Luke Cage, Bucky Barnes
IC Date: September 12, 2019
IC Location: Emery's Apartment, New York
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 13 Sep 2019 03:43
Rating & Warnings: R (swearing)
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Being a single father is difficult. Being a single father to a 6 going on 7 year old is difficult. Being a single father to a 6 going on 7 year old girl in New York is difficult. Being a single father to a 6 going on 7 year old girl in New York while balancing beting a Butler to 2 multi-millionaire(+s), a team of superhero vigilantes, and occasionally get stuck in alternate dimensions fighting spectral goddamn bears. That's also difficult.

That is why the simple things are what matters, Kennis has been tucked in and away having passed out in the car after 4 hours of belated school shopping. It was decided while she might not go to a private school full time, and she still will have private tutors, she will have some classes and activities at a local all girls catholic school so she gets to play with other kids. For now. And it was probably the collective badgering from people like Jessica and Foggy to talk him into submitting to this shaky compromise.

For now though, Jessica has been/was invited in after shopping to the Papsworth's condo. Emery bustling around the kitchen making coffee, tea, and setting up a plate with muffins and fruit as he idly pops a grape. His left shoulder is still heavily bandaged but he wears a simple black henley, dark jeans, polished boots and his hair is pulled up in a lazy manbun. "All I'm sayin' is…if she goes runnin' around in denim trousers, are ye absolutely sure that's going to be okay?"

* * *

Jessica Jones is in ratty jeans, and a blue scoop-necked shirt. Her own hair falls in messy black waves, brushed but more or less left to its own devices. She hung up the jacket when she got in here. And as the statement of one Emery Papsworth just demonstrated, she is an excellent advocate for little girls getting to wear modern clothes.

She rests her chin on her hand, elbow on the counter, and watches Emery bustle about with a look of skepticism on her face. "Yes, it's going to be okay. Christ, Emery, little girls wear jeans to school every day. What in the nine Hells do you think would be not alright about it?"

Her tone isn't nearly as impatient as her words might indicate. She sounds tired, but then she nearly always does these days. She also sounds fond, her weary words spiced up with mild hints of humor. This latter thing is less common since Luke took offf. But then, she loves Kennis and this sort of expedition was probably one of the few things in the world that would have been guaranteed to put her in a much better mood than her current workaday baseline.

* * *

"I dunno! Last time I 'ad to worry about school tings, I dun tink girls were even allowed to go to school." Emery shrugs almost helplessly but he slides the plate of mini-muffins and grapes out of the way so he can start slicing the cheese with a soft tsking. "And they still were smarter than ever bloke around." He snorts softly. "I'll make ye a cup of strong coffee lass."

He's been there as much as he can, quiet, but there. The invisible and sometimes visible guardian angel making sure there are containers of food in Jess's fridge. If she started drinking more heavily, her cheaper stuff occasionally replaced with something more expensive just handled subtley. And just keeping her engaged with Kennis related things. "Also, it just feels like she's growin' up too fast."

* * *

At the very least, Jess hasn't turned to drinking yet.

She has turned to sleeping in her office though. There's a mini-fridge in there that stocks well enough, and she's quietly appreciated the food. Left to her own devices she'd probably eat Chinese takeout and stale coffee and not much else. But when confronted with Emery food, she certainly eats both happily and hungrily.

She nods gratefully to the offer of coffee, and her lips twitch at the discussion of little girls being smarter.

As for growing up too fast, she says, in tones more gentle than the ones she's usually credited with: "She'll be a kid for a lot more years. You've probably got at least three before she stops wanting to play fairy princess. She won't be a tween for awhile. The fact that she's growing up and is ready for stuff is a sign you're doing a good job. And she'll always be Daddy's little girl."

* * *

Emery looks down for a moment before moving to turn on the kettle, and set up the french press and what not as he chuckles softly. A flicker of sadness in his eyes. "Aye, and I'll live to see her breathe her last as well." He finally murmurs and then shrugs that moment of melancholy off with a quick shake of his head.

He bustles about. "Thank ye all for mindin' her while I was trapped fightin' and being aggravated by that bloody bear. Thankfully he's trapped where he is but he's such a baby and a sore loser."

* * *

"It was the least I could do after bowing out of Bear, Round II, myself," Jessica says, rubbing the back of her neck. She has nothing to add to the issue of Emery's lifespan; any reassurance she could muster would not be reassurance at all. And she still feels bad about saying that she couldn't handle another round with the bear.

Then again, every time the subject comes up she rubs vigorously at her arms, which she does now. She can still remember what it felt like to have real, live, actual maggots crawling under her skin. Feels the slimey touch of memories that leave her feeling unclean.

It's probably important to know one's limits. Probably.

* * *

"Bah, there's a quote. Let the dead bury the dead. Let the old shadowy bastards handle the old shadowy bastards luv." Emery winks as he pulls down a couple of mugs. "Put it from your mind, and know I'll help take care of it." There's a waggle of his eyebrows. "It does pay to have both a guardian Angel and a Butler on your friends list."

* * *

Jessica flashes a quick grin and says, "In spades," by way of agreement.

But she soon sobers again, and asks: "Did you see the paper?"

Because certain news stories can't be ignored. For one thing, she's well aware of the profound effects that story will have on people in their circle. Some far more than others. Some far more worrysome than others.

Despite the fact that the topic should be anything but appetizing, she still pulls over some of that cheese and starts snacking on it. If she lost her appetite completely every time some kind of bullshit happened, she'd never eat.

* * *

"Aye." Emery replies, pouring two cups of coffee and then setting out the caddy for Jessica to fix hers however she wants. Then he takes the tray of cheese, muffins, and fruit and his own cup of coffee and heads for his small yet elegantly decorated living room. Setting the tray on the coffee table and settling on the couch.

"I'll have to take Matty to church, check on 'im. See what's what."

* * *

Jessica follows Emery to the couch, bringing the caddy with her. She doesn't put anything in the coffee. She never does. She takes hers black as her own blighted soul. And has a habit of eating whatever is put in front of her just as it is. If Emery had put milk in the coffee himself she'd have taken it as is, without any complaint. Same principle.

A look of relief crosses her face when Emery says that. "Good. That's good."

And then she shoots him a smile.

"Thanks for taking such good care of us. Really and truly."

* * *

Emery also drinks his coffee black, so he just takes a long sip of his coffee and quirks an eyebrow. "Well, if someone's gonna go prancin' about in tights, its good to make sure they've said all the prayers they need. Do ye know how the chance of injury to the nethers increases the tighter yer pants are?"

He drawls the wry comment before just bowing his head politely and smiling softly. "I missed havin' people to care for who weren't payin' me to do it. You all have become me family. Family takes care of family."

* * *

Jessica's lips quirk again. "I hadn't known that particular fact, no. Maybe he should go back to cargo pants."

He probably does not need to go back to cargo pants. Jane's precise engineering would have easily accounted for nether regions. To the last centimeter of measurement.

"You're family to me too," Jessica says, and means it. She eats a little while before she says, "Sorry about getting impatient with you in Alaska. I think you were trying to run an op while I was trying to run an investigation, and those are two totally different exercises."

Sure, the general genial state of their current conversation would indicate that they're both over it, but…they did manage to drive each other crazy, and probably, it's better to get that out on the table.

* * *

Emery leans his head back so he can throw a grape up in the air and catch it in his mouth. The apology though seems to catch him off guard as his lashes flutter a bit and he opens his mouth and closes it. "Mm." He hesitates for a moment before continuing. "I was trained, to become another person to achieve whatever goal it is I need. To use psychological tools. How people react to tings that make them uncomfortable. How others call for help. How they handle paths that diverge from normal expectations."

He leans forward to let his cup rest on the coffee table as he continues. "There's no need to apologize. Aye, we had two very different methods to get to one single goal and at teh end of the day we managed. But I do tink maybe a bit more conversation is needed."

* * *

"Yeah. I'm still getting used to bringing back-up at all," Jessica admits, still clutching hers. "So I didn't think to talk about it. You know? I just figured it would all make sense to everyone, why I chose to do certain things. It's hard for me to think in any other way but being a detective. Cause that's pretty much the long and short of me, you know? And I sure didn't want to get arrested. I don't have an Alaskan PI's license."

She gives her head a rueful shake. "I mean I've been with groups, on teams, but the situation was different. So was the dynamic and stuff."

The Defenders, formed to watch each other's backs when they all have a tendency to run off alone. Small wonder there's a learning curve on the whole communication thing.

* * *

Emery mmhms softly, popping another grape and watching Jessica quietly for a few moments. "There's much more to you than ye tink missy. More than just a detective or the default opener for jars." He idly scratches his cheek. "If we'd just convinced him that we were annoying tourists? Then he would've called for help and the pointdexter outside with the cute bum would've still gotten those channels and the chatter and a direction without ye revealing your full hand." He hesitates and continues. "But, the Sheriff happened to be a good sort, so your PI move was just as good." He gives a little shake of his head. "I didn't want to step on any toes, after all you invited me along. But a good plan is always somethin' to 'ave. Talk to your partners, your team, come up with plan a, b, and then always have a plan fuckit."

* * *

"Is plan fuckit where we just start punching shit?" Jessica asks dryly. But she can't argue there. She nods and says, "Yeah, I had a feeling about that guy. The Sheriff."

But she simply shakes her head, shrugs, and smirks about being the detective and the default opener of jars. "Some of those pickle jars are pretty intense even for me, man," she quips.

And then she admits: "Solving cases…that's the one thing I don't ever screw up. I don't always solve them. Some leads just dry up. Some people are pretty careful and don't make them."

She drains her coffee like it's whiskey, because that sparks thoughts she doesn't want to have.

"But I can't think of a time I've ever just actively fucked one up. Even when I was first getting started. I could name you 100 times I have actively fucked up literally everything else, but not that. Even with—"

But she clams up on 'even with,' opting to say instead: "I'm glad we got those kids home. And Emma too, I suppose, if only for your sake."

Certainly not for Emma Frost's.

* * *

"Punch, kick, stab, rub. There are lots of options in that plan." Emery drawls softly before chuckling lowly and sighing softly when he hears that Even With and he doesn't push he just gives her a look and a quick shake of his head and reaches for his coffee again. "That's what matters 'eh? Ye solved yet another case. The kids got home. And I still have me job seein' as one of me bosses isn't braindead."

* * *

"Yeah," Jessica agrees. Her expression clouds for a moment, and she exhales sharply.

"And may there never be another case involving telepaths. One of the kids just…up and mind controlled someone. I hate mind controllers. It was self-defense. She had every right to use whatever weapon she had. But…"

The PI shakes her head and aggressively munches a muffin, as if she could eat this cognitive dissonance away. It's not working, but she sure tries hard anyway.

* * *

"There will always be cases involvin' telepaths. But maybe best let those who have a few more mental defenses handle that lot. The mind is a powerful ting to waste for a reason." Emery shudders. "One of me brothers…like me. The mind was their domain as well." He worries his bottom lip and gives a small nod. "But he only ever worked based on orders and he liked a bit of a laugh from time to time."

* * *

Jessica shrugs and says, "I have defenses. They aren't a threat to me anymore, I just don't like them. Honestly I'm the perfect person to go if telepaths of any kind are the enemy. I'm not sure how great I am if they're a friend. But I'm not going to walk away and let kids suffer just because they lost the genetic lottery big time, either."

She frowns thoughtfully and asks: "These brothers of yours. Are they like…after you, now? Or are they going to steer clear?"

* * *

Emery quirks an eyebrow and ndos slowly. "Well that's good to know." But that second series of questions makes him just take a loooong sip of his coffee. "All of me brothers are resting as peacefully as they can in a crypt. I'm the last one of me kind. So the organization that made us. They'll always be after me."

* * *

She's carefully asked questions about Emery's situation in the past, of course, but this is the first time she's addressed the question of the brothers. And mostly because she'd suddenly had images of an archangel-adjacent telepath showing up to give Emery trouble. That the organization has been a factor has of course always been true.

"Sorry," she says, and seems to mean it, a wince crossing over her face. She doesn't elaborate any further on that point, figuring it doesn't need much elaboration to begin with. She asks: "Do you need anything, Emery? From us? From me?"

Her lips quirk. "Besides reassurance that your daughter's legs aren't going to fall off if she wears jeans, of course."

* * *

Emery gently reaches out to squeese Jessica's shoulder and give a small shake of his head. "Dun apologize. It was a valid question." And his nose wrinkles as he considers that for a moment and takes a deep breath. "I need to know that ye'll come to me if ye need help with keepin' anyting that lurks in teh shadows at bay. I need to know, that ye'll always look out for me daughter regardless of what happens to me." A long pause "And I also need reassurance from time to time that me daughter won't have a long line of boys chasin' after her because they can see her legs." He winks and rolls his eyes. "Do ye need me to make up the guest room so ye can crash and then sneak on in the mornin' before Jesus and even the heavenly hosts are awake? Or are ye makin' back tonight on your own?"

* * *

Jessica cracks a grin at his needs, because these things are all things she can give. Will give, no matter what. Seeing as he knows that, she doesn't reiterate this fact.

Her eyes sparkle a little as Emery finally reveals what the real problem with jeans is, but she says: "She'll have a long line of boys at some point, or girls, or both, but she also has a whole lot of terrifying people to give them the shovel speech. Starting with Bucky freakin' Barnes."

But the offer gives her pause. She chews on her lower lip, then says: "Guest room, please." Sleeping in a real bed with a real shower next door, not a gym shower, would be nice. It's ridiculous. She has a place to live. She just refuses to go there, and the longer she stays away the harder it is to go back. "I probably won't sneak away before Jesus is awake. I sleep kind of late. But if that's okay? Totally the guest room."

* * *

"Oh that's fine. I get up, go for a run, so will be easier for me to do if you're here while the wee one is sleepin'. She is /not/ a mornin' person and I tink she learned that from you." Emery smirks gently before giving a reassuring pat on Jessica's shoulder. "ANd then we need to go back to your place and pick up some of Kennis's tings. I didn't want to go without ye. But you let me know when you're ready." Yep, he also knows that bit too but he doesn't push.

* * *

Jessica digs out her key and just passes it to him. "I'm turning it into a safehouse," she says, with an uncomfortable shrug. "I can't live there. That will let you pick stuff up and just…yeah. I don't want to go back there. Ever."

Ever is a bit harsh, a bit long, a bit absolute. What if Luke came back? But the hurt in her tone indicates that she might not want to go back there ever either, for all that she's still got his ring in the inner pocket of her jacket. For all that the freaking building itself means that she really can at this point just take whatever cases she wants, and probono too. She never would have dreamt she'd be a goddamn New York landlord but that's basically what she's become. And then promptly turned the running of all that over to a property management firm.

But having dug this key out, having directly acknowledged something that is still eating at her for all that she doesn't want to whine to anyone else about it, she makes a hasty exit. She says: "I'm gonna take a shower before bed," and darts in that direction before that can turn into a whole discussion.

To her mind, talking only makes it worse.

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