15638/Snacks and Contingency Plans

From United Heroes MUSH
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Snacks and Contingency Plans
Date of Scene: 27 September 2023
Location: Dining Hall, Avengers Mansion
Synopsis: Jessica has totally not been dodging Steve. (Spoilers -- she has.) They talk about her nightmare and make some contingency plans.
Cast of Characters: Spider-Woman (Drew), Captain America

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
If you ask Jessica, she absolutely hasn't been hiding, nope. She's been in the Mansion these last few weeks! Totally leaving her room and eating meals. She just happens to be on a wholly separate scheduled to everyone. Kind of on purpose.

Definitely hasn't been avoiding anyone. NOPE.

It's very late, and most of the lighting in the mansion has been turned low by JARVIS. The dining rooms are dark, but the kitchen has a soft little spotlight, and a couple of the drones are whirring about busily, moving around the dark-haired woman who is sitting on the edge of the bench.

Jessica's wearing a t-shirt that says #TeamJess, her favorite pair of pink unicorn pants, and fluffy elephant slippers. She's also sipping from a cup and wrinkling her nose. "No, JARVIS. Way too much sugar. You have to tone it down heaps. Look, a good milkshake is an art. Do you want me to kidnap someone from ShakeShack to come talk to you? Because I could totally do that."

"I think that would be ill-advised, Miss Drew," JARVIS suggests.

"Probably. All right. Try again."
Captain America has posed:
For his part Steve Rogers -- Captain America -- has not exactly been a frequent visitor to the Avengers Mansion as of late.

A lot of that has to do with the fact that there is a great deal going on. There is usually some assignment from SHIELD that requires some attention. Or even threats that he can deal with on his own withouth calling out the full force of the Avengers to deal with it.

Still, even when things are quiet on the big, imminent threat front, Steve likes to check in now and then. And occasionally, it's just a little more convenient to stay at the Mansion rather then trekking all the way back to Brooklyn for the night.

Which is what brings him around at this late hour, tonight. He is still in uniform though the cowl has been tugged down to drape loosely around his neck, his famous shield strapped to his back. He does hear the voices from up ahead, though he is not particularly surprised once he realizes that it is Jessica and JARVIS. That definitely tracks.

"I see someone's up late," Steve says casually as he rounds the corner into the kitchen, offering a brief smile towards the woman. "JARVIS, if you can log me in. I'll be staying the night."
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"Woah, woah, that's way too much cocoa, Dubstep." Jessica leans over to bop one of the drones on the head. "It's not concrete mix. Try again."

She's been at this for a while, judging by the smattering of half-empty cups on the bench behind her.

Super hearing is great! Useful for knowing when someone is coming so you can prepare. Jessica totally dusts off her pants and tugs a hand through her hair so it doesn't look like she got up without brushing her hair. (It doesn't really help, though.) When she spots who it actually is -- Cap in his full uniform -- she goes a little pale.

The look she gives him is all sorts of complex. There's fear, but it's not really fear of him, exactly. There's a moment's panic, and a lift of her hand to her chest, rubbing at it. And then an attempt at a casual, "Hey," that comes out a little too awkwardly high pitched.

Even for a non-spy it's comically easy to read Jessica's sudden discomfort. "I mean, hi. Yeah. I got a craving for uh... milkshakes. But I didn't want to go downtown. You're in, uh, late."

"Of course, Captain," JARVIS answers without missing a beat. "Always good to have you in the Mansion."
Captain America has posed:
All in all Cap is a pretty observant sort of fellow.

Oh sure, he doesn't always get some of the modern references, but he is reasonably good at reading people, at understanding when something a little strange is going on.

And Jessica is definitely not nearly so subtle as one might expect from her.

Pausing for a moment, Steve looks over the kitchen and the fairly sizable number of half-filled glasses that appear to have liquid that vaguely resembles milkshakes within. Apparently they didn't make the cut. And of course there is Jessica's slight disheaveled appearance as well. -- which admittedly doesn't seem quite so strange given the hour.

But most of all there is that feeling of fear, anxiety, that is unmistakable. And where that's coming from, Steve is not entirely clear.

"Yeah, just getting in," he offers up quietly, brow furrowing ever so slightly. "Everything alright with you?"
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"Yup!" Jessica says in that too-bright voice. "All fine. Just, uh," she reaches out to encouragingly pat Dubstep, which has the inadvertent action of definitely adding too much cocoa to the next mix-in-progress. "Just trying to teach JARVIS how to make the perfect chocolate milkshake. It's a process, as you can see. Best done at night so I don't get in anyone else's way. That's definitely what I've been doing of late."

There's just something in the way Steve looks at people that makes them want to be honest. Even Jessica's not so immune.

"All right, I'm lying," Jess confesses, surprising no one. "I had this /dream/ about you and it was kind of awful, but awful in the way that in the dream I kind of wanted it, even though I didn't?"

Jessica's forgetting to use her words again. This is a thing her therapist is working on. She takes a breath.

"Everyone but you was being put under the control of my pheromones, and you were telling me to stop, but I couldn't. So then you struck me with your-" her gaze flickers to the shield, "-and, then you said- you said 'Hail Hydra', and I woke with a bruise. It was one of those hyperreal, but /actually/ real dreams." Jessica touches her chest again, rubbing at it in memory. "Wanda thinks it's a magician trying to make me afraid of my own powers. Which, thanks asshole British magician, I always /was/, didn't need the help."
Captain America has posed:
While he understands that everyone has boundaries and he prefers not to press them, he's not really one to let things fester.

Despite her denials, it is pretty obvious that Jessica is going through something. Something that seems to at least be somewhat related to him. As far as he's concerned, that gives him both the right and the obligation to try and sort it out, to do what he can to make it better.

Fortunately for them both, it seems that he is not going to have to press the point as almost as soon as soon as that insistence that everything is fine is verbalized, the retraction is almost immediately offered instead.

Moving to perch himself at that island counter where the mansion's drones have been commandeered into mastering the art of the milkshake.

And he just listens.

Listens about the dream that she had. Listens about the implicit fears that were preyed upon as part of that dream. The fact that he was a central figure in it. And that somehow the dream managed to leave actually, phsycial reminders on her. In short, none of it sounds very good.

"I can see why you're a little tense," Steve agres quietly. "And it sounds like Wanda knows what she's talking about. It all sounds too specific to be just a random thing. Not to mention coming out of it with an actual bruise," he agrees, shaking his head slowly.

Reaching out, he lays a hand on her shoulder. "You know that if you need anything myself and the rest of the team will be there for you. I don't know why someone would want to mess with you like this, but we'll have your back Jess. Promise."
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"Yeah. Wanda's great. She's going to put a protection spell around my room, so hopefully it won't happen again. And we were thinking of putting a kind of trap in my mind as well. I mean, it's already messed up in there, can't really make it worse, right?"

Riiight. Jessica has very weird ideals of what appropriate boundaries are, thanks to her Hydra upbringing. Letting two magicians do some magical voodoo battle inside her mind seems just kind of obvious and logical to her.

"Yeah. I know you -- everyone -- is. That's the worst part." Jessica shudders, not because of his touch to her shoulder, but because of the memory. "Problem is I can still see the way everyone looked at me. Nat, and Wanda, and even Spidey. And you-" she grimaces, her fingers flexing into a ball. "I hate all this magic stuff. I just want a bad guy to bunch in the face, you know?" she says, looking up at Steve, like, /he/ should know.

Dubstep nudges her hand, and Jessica takes the cup. "Thanks, Dubby." She rattles out a breath. "And, thanks, Steve. I should've told you before, it was just... it's so freaking weird. And I hate the idea that even if it's a nightmare, it /could/ happen." Granted, she's exceptionally careful these days. Bruce created a perfume that neutralizes her pheromones. Something that Barton carries around with him as a matter of course. But it's no surprise that a woman who was controlled by Hydra for a lot of her life has /feelings/ about her controlling others, even if it's not something she can do consciously.

"Can you... make me a promise, Steve?" she asks. "If this ever happened for real, and I asked you to knock me out, would you do it?" She rubs her hands together. "I mean it. You know I heal fast, and I can take a punch, so it's not like you'd kill me or anything. It'd just make me feel better knowing I had that option rather than messing around with team mates."
Captain America has posed:
Admittedly magic, or any sort of mental manipulation like this is a little bit out of his personal balliwick when it comes to effective means of dealing with it.

Much like her, Steve would prefer a straight fight most of the time -- though better yet, find a way to avoid the fighting part entirely if at all possible. But he has enough experience to know that the bad guys will rarely make that a realisitic possibility. No matter how ultimately hopeless the cause, they will probably be difficult in that respect.

Which, of course, is one of the advantages of being a part of a team like the Avengers. They have a lot of membmers, each with different areas of expertise, different powersets. That they can tackle different threats with different approaches, all depending on what's necessary at the time.

This definitely sounds like something more up Wanda's alley, though the ready way in which Jessica seems willing to give herself over to be used as essentially a battleground draws a concerned looks from Steve. "It sounds like Wanda has a good handle on it. Hopefully if whoever is responsible for all of this shows their face again we'll be in a position to put an end to it thanks to that," Cap muses thoughtfully.

Of course the rationale makes sense, that the possibility of losing control of herself and thus taking control of others would naturally trigger all sorts of fears and anxieties. "I haven't been around as much as a I should have. I'll try to be more available. But I get it. Whoever was responsible for all of this plainly knew exactly where to hit you to make it hurt. Which is concerning in and of itself," he admits.

The request doesn't shock him. Steve understands where it comes from and as good as he is at violence, it's not something that he looks for. Indeed, he will always try the other approach first where he can. "If that happens Jess, if you lose control of your powers and if there is no other way, yes, I'll knock you out and we can dealing with the aftermath later," he agrees quietly.

Then Steve smiles and gives a little shake of his head. "But it won't happen. You're in control. Bruce is a genius. His little concoction will work. And all of us know the score. We'll be prepared if the worst happens and protect ourselves," he assures her quietly.
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
While Jessica's aware of the concerned look, she misreads what it's for. "Yeah. And you know, worst case both Wanda and the asshole magician get stuck in my mind and then we have to go find a /third/ magician. I'm pretty sure I remember where Doctor Strange's place is. Maybe?" she shrugs. It's one of those things she's not so worried about, weirdly.

"I have no idea why. It's not like I've annoyed a lot of bad guys lately. I mean, yeah, around New York. But that's mostly the lizard person, and the Rhino, and that TechBro guy. Not like, on this level." The thought of it makes Jessica consider, frowning. "Hydra probably wouldn't bother being so indirect. It could be something aimed at all of us, just... you know, I'm the weakest link?" She says it like it should be obvious. She is, after all, going to therapy every week with a SHIELD psychologist for a reason. Not really a thing she hides, not from Steve, anyway.

When he agrees to her proposal, Jessica lets out a long breath of relief, and smiles at him. Steve sounds so /sure/. It's very reassuring. Or would be if she could get the image of them all saying /Hail Hydra/ out of her mind. "Thanks, Steve. You somehow always know the right things to say." The grateful look she gives him is absolutely full of trust. He's definitely her rock, whether he wants to be or not.

"Want to help me test some terrible milkshakes?" she offers, lifting the cup to her mouth, gulping, and by her expression, immediately regretting it. She coughs. "Dial back the cocoa by like twenty spoonfuls, Dubby. Ugh."
Captain America has posed:
His mind is not entirely set at ease here, but if there is one thing that Steve is pretty good at it is maintaining a confident demeanor in the face of the worst sort of problems possible.

It's too early to tell if this particular problem falls into that category of course. Jessica and Wanda seem to have it under control for the time being. And he has given what reassurance that he can to Jessica as well -- even if it involves a promise to knock her unconscious.

Their lives can be a little strange sometimes. Just what offers comfort. He probably wouldn't have expected a promise to clock someone to be so well received when he first volunteered for the Super Soldier program.

Such is life.

The hour might be late, but under the circumstances making a little time for milkshakes is probably a good idea. Well... judging by some of the concotions not necessarily a good one. But the right one. Steve's pretty big on doing what's right.

"Sure, I could use a change. And testing terrible milkshakes would definitely be that. Lets do it!"

Hopefully they don't regret this in the morning.