15195/A Park By Any Other Name

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A Park By Any Other Name
Date of Scene: 10 June 2023
Location: Central Park, Manhattan
Synopsis: J'onn finds Jess sitting on the grass. They have a brief discussion and Jessica becomes irritated by J'onn's kindness.
Cast of Characters: Spider-Woman (Drew), Martian Manhunter

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
It being a pleasant, even sunny day, Jessica is out and about. Kind of. She's wearing jean shorts and a t-shirt that says, 'Hi. I don't care. Thanks.' It's precisely the sort of t-shirt designed to discourage any sort of conversation but also exactly the sort of t-shirt that attracts the sort of person determined to bully through the sarcasm with optimism.

Her shoes resting on the grass beside her, Jessica Drew is resting on her back in a patch of sunlight in the midst of the park. She's not the only one -- people taking a lunch break to sit and enjoy the good weather, most minding their own business. Except for the middle-aged man who is standing over Jessica, blocking her sun. "Great t-shirt!" he says sunnily. "I'm sure you really don't believe in that. You know lots of people feel disconnected in this city, but you don't have to be."

Great. It's the starting pitch of one of those 'join my cult' spiels. Jessica's already grimacing. "Nope."

"How about I buy you lunch and we can talk?"

A cult, or maybe a bad pick up line? Either way. "Double-nope." Jessica is starting to glare, but the guy seems persistent. So, yeah, probably cult.
Martian Manhunter has posed:
More than likely?

A really bad pick up line. Doesn't help that the guy is so cheery with a 'nice guy' kind of look to him. J'onn J'onzz was here today, in his human guise of a man with sun-kissed skin, some dreadlocks, and similar clothes to when Jessica had seen him last. He notices Jessica, but he doesn't approach immediately. Instead, he watches the scene before his eyes. He sees a normal guy...

Being pushy.

But J'onn is well aware that Jessica doesn't need any knights in shining armor. He watches. He observes. Though he /does/ begin to approach, he doesn't introduce himself or say hello quite yet. He just approaches.
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"I bet you feel empty, right? Like nothing in life has meaning anymore? I see it all the time. You're not alone. In fact I was right where you were two years ago-" the pitch is just warming up, the guy talking like he genuinely /believes/.

Jessica Drew just sighs. "I'm gonna stop you right there. I get it. I'm practically radiating potential cult member, right? But nope, you're barking up the wrong tree here. I'm only here because my therapist said I need sunshine, and he's annoying enough and a little bit genuine enough that I feel like I kicked a puppy when I disappoint him. I genuinely mean what the t-shirt says, though. I really don't care about your world view and I don't care to be saved, or whatever other pitch is going to follow."


"Nope. Just /nope/." Jessica is glaring. She's good at it! Even so it takes a while for Mr. Optimism to really get that no means no. The man's shoulders actually slump and for a good half a second Jessica feels sorry for him. At least until he turns, spotting J'onn, and the pitch starts all over again.

"Hi, friend!" Mr. Optimism smiles. "You seem like a man looking for purpose in life..."
Martian Manhunter has posed:
"She has said no. You should honor her request and make no fuss."

J'onn tells the strange man looking for followers into his blossoming faith. Though as he says such a thing, the man turns his charms towards the Manhunter! "Forgive me, friend, but I'm not interested in learning of your beliefs. Instead, I would like to sit with my friend, so long as she has no desire to dismiss me. Excuse me." J'onn makes a move to walk past him.

All so he could look at Jessica, a smile on his face, warm and bright for her. "Hello Jessica. Can I sit with you?" He asks, knowing that in the past she's been prickly, and he'd like to honor her wishes instead of being like this strange fellow here...

and earn her wrath.

She's threatened she could punch him back to Mars. He has no intent to test that.
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"I'm just being a good citizen and reaching out to those in need," Mr. Optimism beams brightly at J'onn. "Oh, one should always have an open mind about one's beliefs, but I don't want to talk about that. I want to talk about you!" It'd be a good pitch to someone without a strong sense of self -- it's nice for others to be interested. His smile only falters a little as J'onn walks past him, and he turns to stride towards the next nearest park-goer, undaunted.

Jessica just looks relieved the optimist cult figure gave up. She's trying not to do violence right now. Her therapist said that was healthy, but she's not so sure, especially right in this moment. If she didn't feel guilty about lying to the guy...

Her brow furrows when J'onn appears. How is it that he seems to know when she's out and about? "Are you reading my mind? Stalking me conventionally? I know my twitter doesn't have anything of my location." It's not a no, possibly because he's kind enough not to block her sun, and she sighs. "Sit wherever you want, as long as you don't block the sunlight. Apparently I'm low on vitamin D and it's making me cranky." That's almost certainly not what she was told.
Martian Manhunter has posed:
"I don't."

J'onn looks at the optimistic man, his eyes starting to become hardened that the guy really cannot take no for an answer. If he keeps pushing? He won't like where this is headed. In fact, it's quite rare to see the Martian lose some of his patience and this guy is...a lot. It's a deep flaw to lack fundamental understanding of the term 'no'.

But his eyes shift back to Jessica as she gives him permission to sit down as long as it's not in the sun. He sits down next to her, and he lies back on the grass to look up at the sky. "No. I just really like this park and I've found you to be a frequent guest." He chuckles. "I don't have social media." Though he looks up at the sky. "...I can see how this could be relaxing."
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Apparently the lone man that Mr. Optimism picks next is, like J'onn, really not forgiving of the spiel he's getting, since there's a vociferous swearing that sends the man onwards and out of sight.

Jessica's already forgotten him though. Her /hmm/ seems, at face value, to accept J'onn's reasoning for why he's here. "I have a mandatory stint of two hours a day in the sun, until I'm less grouchy." That's not exactly how it was prescribed, but close enough. Does J'onn hear the facetiousness? It's a very human thing, and Jessica Drew is full of it in spades.

"...it's not relaxing!" Jessica turns her dubious gaze on J'onn. "It's enforced relaxing, which is the opposite of relaxing." Hard to fault her logic, really. Her brow creases. "Shouldn't you be out saving the world or something?" Pot. Kettle. Black. She /did/ go 'home' to the Avenger's Mansion, so he can't be unaware of her affiliations.
Martian Manhunter has posed:
Mr. Optimism had that charm about him. But he didn't have that dawg in him. He doesn't know how to compliment the capabilities of others and charm them into a smoother acceptance, even when told no at first. Instead, all he comes off as is annoying, ignorant, and pushy.

As he rests near Jessica, he looks up at the sky and he tilts his head. "Minimum?" He asks curiously. "I fail to understand how staring at the sky assists in one's emotional state, but perhaps it could be assisting." He remarks, though he can hear the facetiousness in her voice, but he decides not to comment on it *too* much outside of what he's already speaking.

Though she comes after him for the relaxation portion. "I could say the same thing about you. Though you are out here...and not with your fellow Avengers." J'onn chuckles softly. "I believe there are numerous metaphors for this. Is not one 'pot calling the kettle black?'."
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
When the Martian says he fails to understand this prescriptive solution of being outdoors and in the sun, Jessica Drew practically wails, "Thank you! Me /either/. It was something-something Vitamin D, something something fresh air."

"Oh, no. I'm not allowed to do any Avenging. Or any SHIELD'ing, for that matter." SHIELD'ing is a real word and Jessica will fight people on that. "It started as holidays and I was fine with it but now it's... wait," she snaps her mouth closed, eyes narrowing as she pushes up onto an elbow to /eye/ J'onn. "Stop distracting me. I /can't/, so that doesn't apply. You didn't answer my question."
Martian Manhunter has posed:
"That seems like accurate instructions."

Was that...sarcasm from the Martian? J'onn chuckles when she seems to practically wail her confirmation of this kind of seeming 'bullshittery' that's been going around her lately. But she mentions that she hasn't been allowed to Avenge, or SHIELD, or anything of the sort. Most likely until she can get herself sorted out. A look of amusement on his face. "I did not picture you as someone who was restricted by rules."

Though she sits up and she eyes him, and he meets her in the eyes. Her eyes were beautiful and wondrous. Though she had a prickly side to her...she was a kind person. Otherwise, she wouldn't ask. "I did not realize I was distracting." He teases her softly. "I'm currently on leave from the Justice League. If they need me, I would hope they will call." He remarks softly. "Is it a bad thing that I am spending that time with you?"

He asks her, a softer tone touching his voice.
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Sarcasm? Jessica Drew /squints/ at J'onn for a long few seconds, full of suspicion. It's not until he says about rules that she relents and lets out a sigh. "I kind of want to punch people which suggests I should /not/ be doing those things right now." Like, maaaybe they have a point. She's still annoyed by it all though.

"You're on leave? Why are /you/ on leave?" There are some things that are just intrinsic to Jessica's nature. The desire to know is one of them. Curiosity killed the cat is a saying for a reason, but she's never let that stop her.

Is it a bad thing? It's about then Jessica clues into the tease and what J'onn says and it becomes blindingly obvious. "Ohhhh," she says, one hand held out. "Yeah, no, it's weird. Even for a human, let alone an alien. I'm not dating. I don't date. I don't do friend dates. Or friends, really." All matter of fact.
Martian Manhunter has posed:
"That would indeed suggest that perhaps this is healthy." J'onn suggests to her, though he seems to think for a moment why he's on leave. "I was off-world for a long time. Not every world has a Justice League, or an Avengers, or SHIELD. Some worlds are defenseless." He offers to her with a soft smile on his face. "So...I suppose this is me on vacation rather than leave. Leave suggests I may have made a mistake."

J'onn tilts his head at her and she holds out a hand to reject any kind of romantic advancement. "Why do you have no friends?" He doesn't ask about the dating. Maybe he's not her type? "No one was meant to walk this path called life alone." He offers then.

"But, if it is a discomfort for you, I will cease."
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"So Earth is like your chill out zone?" Jessica, for obvious reasons, sounds kind of dubious about that. Probably because it's not really been anything like that for her. Then again, she has been bumming around in the mansion for like almost a month straight, so maybe...

She elects not to push it.

"I'm terrible at friends." Honest, apparently, too. At least on this. "Pretty sure, anyway." Because Jessica doesn't remember a lot of the last five years but that's all by her own personal choice. Which leads her to her other confession, "I make lots of bad decisions, that seem like good decisions at the time." Her eyes narrow. "None of that is a bid for sympathy, or pity, by the way, so I better not see any of that." Do Martians do pity? She isn't sure and definitely doesn't want to find out.
Martian Manhunter has posed:
"You could say that. Though at times, I could be here, and Green Lantern could be our offworld representative. It merely depends on which one you happen to find where." J'onn shrugs from where he's lying down on the grass, and he turns to prop himself up a little bit to look at her. Though she's been bumming around the mansion for awhile by the sounds of it. Hasn't gotten out too much, been too busy following directions of therapy, which is good, but..

Sounds lonely.

"I don't think you're terrible with me." J'onn suggests to her. "We all make bad decisions. The benefit of hindsight.." He chuckles a little bit. "If you required pity, you haven't shown so." He remarks to her with a kind smile.

"But so far, you have not made me regret saying hello to you."
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
People could certainly make a leap of assumption that it's a lonely state of being. Jessica herself though doesn't see it that way. It's all said matter of factly, like someone who knows themselves a little too well. And probably someone who has spent way too much time in mandatory therapy sessions.

It's the unfailing kindness that gets to her. It's too much. She puffs out a breath, and pushes to her feet, bending to tug on her shoes. "Stop being so... /nice/ at me," she scowls at J'onn, like it's the most awful thing in the world. "Go... do that for someone who deserves it."

And with that, she's off. Her mandatory sunshine time isn't up, and her mood isn't improved. But it does feel oddly satisfying to stalk away.