1963-07-31 - Pineapple Banana Daiquiri
Summary: Daredevil and Spider-Woman have something resembling a heart to heart.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
jess daredevil 

Hell's Kitchen ain't really that bad by day. During the daytime, criminals tend to be of the smarter variety. Harder to bust, more likely to be involved in so-called 'white collar crimes'. But even the smart criminals need their dirty work, and the dirty work goes down at night.

On this particular evening, there comes a slight reprieve from the oppressive July heatwave. The air has cooled down to a balmy 68, and a breeze blowing in from the harbor offers a touch of the only fresh air New Yorkers are going to get this far from the Atlantic.

A group of thugs, Italian, operating for the Cavassini family, are waiting outside the entrance to a midrise apartment building. One of them is smoking, the other one is packing heat. They've come to rough up one of the Five's well known bookies, and plan to catch the loan shark by surprise at his own home.


By day, Jess has started to settle in as an entry-level SHIELD agent. She hasn't been entry-level since she was nine, and even then she was a special weapon. Entry level? Is maddening. Not to mention she's never in her life had an actual personal life, which means that when the work day is over and it's time to go home, she has absolutely no idea what to do with herself.

So she's taken to putting on her costume and and heading into Hells Kitchen, seeking out the one person she actually knows outside of the limited circles of HYDRA and SHIELD. Never mind that she doesn't actually know him.

Landing lightly on an adjacent rooftop, she crouches at the edge, peering down at the thugs. That's never a good thing.


The man with the gun reaches up to buzz the apartment once more. "This is horse shit," he grumbles. "Let's just bust in and take it out of his ass."

"Look, Danny, that ain't how this is gonna go down. You can't come into Hell's Kitchen and act like a-"

A whizzing sound precedes the sight of a billy club whizzing from the shadows, striking the shorter man in the face and knocking the cigarette (not to mention three teeth) right out of his noggin.

"… sssshhhit!" The taller one readies his pistol and moves toward a column on the building's facade, looking to the shadows with fear in his eyes.


There he is. Jess grins to herself, leaping lightly from one rooftop to another before she starts to crawl quietly down the wall behind the gangster taking cover. Definitely not the sort of thing men looking for Daredevil are expecting to see. She stays quiet for the moment, though, creeping up on the group.

Of course, she's also searching the shadows. She just has better hearing and vision than the gangsters. After all, it wouldn't do to ruin his shot.


The taller gangster is taken by surprise, when Daredevil smashes right into him. He came right from the shadows! There is a brief struggle, but Italian muscle just doesn't have it on a guy trained in the ninja arts. The thug is on the ground, his pistol taken apart, it's pieces scattered across the street.

Then, with a quick motion, the masked figure shifts his head directly toward where Jess clings to the building's facade. "Don't you have your own turf?"


"Not really, no." Jess flips down from the side of the building onto the shoulders of another of the gangsters, about to snap his neck before she realizes that Daredevil's taken care not to actually kill the thugs. Instead, there's a flash of yellow-green energy as she treats him to a solid venom blast.

The man crumples and Jess rides him down, hopping off just before the pavement to look to the next targets. "Not big on sharing?"


Beneath the mask, Matt Murdock knows how to snap a neck. He knows the motion before it comes into play, and he's a hair away from turning the assault on the woman. He cannot see it, no, but he can hear the arms of her uniform shifting against bare skin, the slight construction of air in the thug's neck.

Before he makes his move, however, there's a sound… and a smell.

"I just don't like surprises," he answers frankly, before walking over to the thug. He reaches down to snatch up his first billy club, then nods his head skyward. "Roof."

The first club is slung to the utility belt around his waist, and the second is aimed skyward. There's a click, and the telltale sound of cable unraveling. The grappling hook sinks into brick seven floors up, and Daredevil goes flying upward, toward the rooftop.


"Well, I'd call ahead, but you didn't give me your number," Jess calls after him, leaping to the wall and climbing up behind him. It's not quite as quick as the cable, but it also doesn't seem to require any equipment. Not to mention, it doesn't actually seem hard for her.

She hops lightly over the edge of the roof when she reaches the top, watching him curiously. "I mean. Really, I can go if you want. I just…don't exactly have anything to go back to, so. If you wanted some help?"


Up top, Daredevil has found his footing. The cable is rapidly recoiled into the club, and he steps up to the very precipice of the rooftop, looking over the edge. Awfully risky for a blind man.

"I've been doing this alone," he answers, with the same frankness as before. "It's not fun. It's… difficult to hide the bruises. And it sure as help isn't legal."

His shoulders rise and fall with a sigh, and then, he turns away from the roof's edge to walk back toward Jess. "What was that sound?" he asks. "That smell. I didn't hear anything mechanical… are you one of the mutants?"


"Not…exactly." Jess keeps an eye on the entrance below, frowning where he can't see. "What sound and smell, though? You can smell this?" That glow builds around her hand again as she holds it up, nostrils flaring as she tries to catch just what he might be smelling. Her own senses are enhanced, but she's never noticed a smell from the discharge of energy. Unless it was the smell of singed people.

"It's bio-electric energy," she explains. "I'm not a mutant, though. I mean, I suppose it's a mutation, but it's not that species. That's…probably not making it more clear."


Beneath the mask, Matt's nose curls. "Yes… I can smell that." A pause. "You wear gloves on your uniform. The bio-electric energy is causing some kind of irritation to the fabric. It's a synthetic, must be, because it fits with an unnatural tightness to your fingers. You wouldn't notice it, but… eventually, you're gonna need to replace those gloves."

The man wields his standoffish nature as a shield. It's a shield he's considered dropping. "You aren't the only one who is… enhanced." He reaches up to peel the mask back from his face. His eyes stare blankly forward, not entirely straight, not quite focused on anything. It almost makes him look a bit silly.


"Yeah, they wear out," Jess agrees, the crackle of energy around her hand fading out. "I always figured it from from the climbing," she admits. "That's bioelectric, too." She looks at him closely, the way his eyes move, before pulling back her own mask. Maybe he can see, maybe he can't, but it's just being fair.

"My parents were scientists," she explains. "Mum got hit with a laser carrying spider DNA when she was pregnant with me. I was pretty normal until I was about eight, then all of this started. You?"


The removal of her mask is appreciated, but only for its gesture. He won't be able to see her face, he won't have any idea just what she looks like. He knows she is in good shape; it's the way the air moves around her when she's in motion. He can tell the length of her hair, but not the color of her eyes, the color of her skin, or the shape of her facial bones.

At her query, Matt produces a laugh of irony. "A blind man was about to be struck by a truck, so… I pushed him out of the way. I was young. The truck swerved, and I got… stuff in my eyes. Blinded me within seconds, but everything else?" He looks away, drawing a deep breath and focusing on the city. "There are police sirens in the Bronx. Three cars, in pursuit of a motorcycle." A long pause. "I don't think it's going to end well for the rider. They've shot out his tires…" Another pause. "He's not breathing anymore."


"That must be…maddening." Jess perches on the edge of the roof, feet pressed against the ledge beneath her. "I hear pretty well, but if I had to filter all of that out?" She shudders, shaking her head. "Must be hard, not being able to shut it off. How'd you end up moving from that into all this?"

She waves a hand out over the city, glancing down toward the lights. "You're on your own now. Did someone pick you up and train you?"


"It's more like… filtering it in," answers Matt. "I have to… focus. It's hard to explain, you know?" He gestures out to the city. "It just… works. Its gotten easier every year."

When she asks of his training, he smirks. "Yeah," he drawls slowly. "A real mean mug, but he set me right."

Matt turns to face her then, eyebrows rising. "I'm not entirely alone, you know. I have… another life. A job. Friends. Do you really have nothing to go back to?"


"Yeah, no." Jess folds her forearms over her knees, looking out over the city. "Not long after I came into my powers, I passed out. I was in a coma for a couple months, and when I came out, the people my parents used to work for told me they'd died. So they raised me instead. Raised me to be their spy, their weapon."

Her voice is quiet, but then again, she knows he can hear her. He can hear the way she's still conflicted about it. Old pride, new shame. "Turns out they weren't really telling me what their agenda was. So I bugged out, switched sides. Which is…"She trails off, shrugging. "But anyhow, you don't raise spies to have a lot of friends and hobbies."


While she speaks, Matt comes over to the edge of the roof and sits down beside Jess, swinging his legs out over the edge. He can feel the even beating of her heart through the brick, through his seat. Yes… a spy would have that level of control.

"No, I suppose not," he answers, with some level of guarded empathy. "Listen… I'm sorry. I put on this mask, I become something else. There's not much trust in the Kitchen these days. Too much mob violence." He cants his head to the side, looking her way, before offering a gloved hand in greeting. "My real name is Matthew."


"Jessica," the woman responds in kind, reaching out to take his hand with a small smile. It's not like she has to worry about him finding out who she is. Jessica Drew is a name that only exists in some very limited, very classified files in the hands of a few select intelligence groups. "But I usually go by Jess. Nice to meet you, Matthew."

Her grip is solid, but careful too. There's far more strength under the skin than there ought to be, despite the fact that her hand is also lighter than it should be. "Uh." She stiffens for a moment, flushing. "Hey, so, let me know if you smell something else funny around me, okay? It's a…thing. That I probably shouldn't use on friends, but I don't always realize I'm doing."


A short laugh. "Yeah, most people just call me Matt," he answers. "But the business cards say, 'Matthew'." And there it is, a smirk, the first real sign of friendship.

There's a disconnect between her grip and the lightness of her hand, a thing that causes him to let his hand linger a moment too long. He flushes at this, and quickly releases, but he can feel the heat radiating from her face as well.

"Nice to meet you too," he says. "Properly." Another beat. "Not following each other around, being all… creepy like."

At the last, he cocks an eyebrow, and turns to face her general direction again. "A… thing?" he asks. Curiously, he focuses on his olfactory glands, filtering out the smells of the city below in an effort to see if he can determine anything that might be off.


Jess laughs in surprise, grin flashing as she lets her head fall back. "Yeah, okay, that's fair. But, you know. Creepy is what spies do. I'm a great spy. I suspect I'm kind of a failure as a human being," she adds, rueful. She tries to make it sound like humor, but there's a note of truth there too. Girl's got some baggage to unpack. "But great spy."

At his question, she flushes again, taking a deep breath. "Pheromones. I can do it on purpose, but I mostly try not to. It's kind of hard to control once you put it out there. And it feels gross. But I kind of…sometimes don't do it on purpose."


"I'm pretty sure that anyone who leads a double life constitutes as a failure of a human being," Matt concedes. Right there with ya, babe.

He turns to look at her again, raising an eyebrow. "Pheromones?" he asks. It takes a moment or two for him to fall back on his Columbia education, but when he connects it, his back straightens. "Goodness, Jess… going on a date must be terribly awkward."


"Oh, that's cute." Jess reaches out to pat his hand, smirking. "You think I go on dates. I don't think I've ever been on a date where the other party wasn't a target," she admits, leaning back a bit to think it over. "Yeah, no. I mean, there was Jared, but that wasn't really dating and in that case…" Another humorless laugh. "Turns out I was the target in that one, so."

"I'm not sure if the spy thing counts as a double life," she muses. "It's kind of not a whole life, right? Like hey, here's work…where you either pretend not to exist or pretend to be someone else. But all you do it work. So really you've got one non-existence and about fifteen pieces of existence, which doesn't really add up to a whole life."


Matt looks down at his hand when she pats it, smirking ruefully. "You need to go on a date. You know, dinner? Theater show? Ball game at Yankee Stadium?" He laughs aloud. "It's important to have fun, is all. Life can't be all… work. Busting up bad guys."

Matt lets loose a long sigh, then reaches over to place a hand on her shoulder. "Sounds like you've got some catch up to do."


"Yeah, guess so. But honestly? Kind of more comfortable out stalking unsuspecting vigilantes for the purpose of beating people up," Jess admits, unabashed. "Way less awkward. What was the story with these ones, anyhow?" she asks, tipping her chin toward the unconscious men on the street. "Not that it matters. I mean, bunch of guys waiting outside an apartment complex are pretty definitely up to trouble."


With a snort, Matt moves his hand away and gestures down to the street. "Those chuckleheads? Couple of heavy hitters for the Cavassini family. They came here to rough up some bookie. Not that I have much love for loan sharks, but no one deserves to get a bullet in the face. Sentencing, prison time, that's a whole other story."

He shakes his head then. "Thing is, this whole mess goes beyond Hell's Kitchen. When I started… this, I vowed to keep my neighborhood safe. How am I supposed to do that when there are outside influences that go beyond Manhattan? Hell, I'm pretty sure some of these influencers are coming from outside the states."


"You could stop calling it your turf when someone tries to help," Jess suggests, smirking. "I mean…" She laughs a little, hands up in a mock-defensive position. "Your neighborhood, your call, but if you can't do it alone, then the easy answer is to do it with someone else. Just keep making it cost more for them to be here than it does for them to leave."


"The defense rests, Your Honor," Matt quips, with a rueful grin. "So, how do we make this work? I can't give you my office number, because trust me, when I'm out here doing this? I'm nowhere near the office. Can't give a spy my home number, either."

With that, he raises his eyebrows and dares to ask, "I imagine these, uh, pheromones… must be fairly unique?"


"Oh hell no," Jess shakes her head quickly. "Nope. Trust me, you don't want to go down that rabbit hole. I don't want to go down that rabbit hole. I may not be great at friends, but I'm pretty sure chemically brainwashing them to like you is bad form. You've got super hearing. Give me a three or four block radius and I'll shout out something ridiculous."

She pauses, considering. "Something like 'pineapple banana daiquiri' or something. Or we could set up dead drops, but given what we're working with, that seems unnecessarily complicated."


"You - is it really that strong??" Matt doesn't seem to believe it. "I'm just saying… if it's unique, I could smell it at a distance. Shouting something? Come on, Jess, even I've seen a Bond flick. Last thing you wanna do is blow your cover by shouting about daiquiri's."

A pause.

"At least make it vodka martini's. That sounds far more spy-friendly. And don't shout. Trust me, you won't need to."


"How many people order vodka martinis in this part of town? It has to be more than order pineapple banana daiquiris. Please, lord, let it be more than order pineapple banana daiquiris," Jess adds, the sound of her grin in her voice.

"But yeah, it's that strong. And the bigger problem is I don't have a lot of control over it. I can basically do calm, fear, or attraction. But I kind of have to be feeling it to put it off, and sometimes when I am feeling it I can't really stop putting it off? And people do dumb things when they're being driven by their instincts."


"Not in this part of town," Matt answers. "But where the tourists go?" He grimaces. "Yeah. Might be close."

"Okay, so the pheromones might not be that great of an idea, after all," he admits. "I don't do fear, calm is risky and… yeah that last one is kind of gross."


"It really is," Jess sighs, pained. "Like, lying about that sort of thing on a normal human basis is gross enough, but when you add the pheromones to it, it's just not even fair." She reaches up to shake a hand through her hair, thinking it over. "Dead drops work, if you don't need something immediately. Basic spy craft."


"Or I could just tell you where I work," Matt answers. "Odds are you'll figure it out eventually."

Leaning forward, he looks down at the sound of some action. Seems the bookie has figured out what's going down, and he's opening the front door to look at the spent thugs. There's a lot of cussing and some foul Sicilian words being thrown around, before the front door of the apartment building slams shut.

"Dead drops and daiquiri's, then." Matt pushes himself to his feet, then turns to look Jess's way. "Dinner. Wednesday night. To go over the drop zones." He raises a hand. "I promise; it's not a date. That would be creepy and brain-washy."

His eyes are still unfocused, but while he pulls the mask up to stretch it back over his head, there's the subtle sign of a mirthful grin on his mouth.


"Yeah, but that would take all the fun out of it," Jess grins back at him, pulling her own mask back into place. "Have to leave a girl a little mystery so she doesn't get bored." Straightening, she stands on the edge of the rooftop, walking along the narrow ledge with perfect balance.

"Thanks, Matt," she says over her shoulder as she reaches the corner. "For giving me a chance to be a person."


The smirk broadens. Yeah, she'll figure it out, this much is certain. It's too bad he couldn't take bets on it with Foggy; the poor chap is cross enough with this vigilante business, but he's the only one who really knows about it.

The grin softens then. He neglected to tell her that his parents were gone as well. He knows more about the life than she may yet realize. "I sure hope you like Italian, Jessica."

With that, he turns and runs full tilt the other direction. He's not going to be around to see what happens next; if she wants a slice of the Kitchen, she can have it. It means he's gonna get a good night's sleep, for once.

At the edge of the rooftop, he leaps into the air, limbs flailing about for a moment before he drops out of sight. It's a long, long drop, but the telltale sign of a grappling hook and cable is enough to let one know that there won't be a splat coming along.

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