1964-09-01 - Quid pro quo
Summary: Jessica comes by the bar, and Luke and her come to an understanding
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
jessica-jones luke-cage 

It's later in the evening at the Cigar Factory. The usual after show crowd from places like the Apollo has started to dwindle down to a few sporadic regulars having a drink, scattered at the various stools and tables within the bar. There is an obvious patch of new cement that takes up about a 2 square foot section by the front door, the pale concrete contrasting sharply with the older original floor.

Luke is behind the bar in his usual getup of jeans and a shirt, the latter a little more rough for wear. It looks like the collar might be a little torn or stretched out, and one of sleeves has a long slash in it.

Jessica Jones makes her way in, looking like she's seen better days herself. She got sucked off to Chicago to fight demons of all things, not entirely of her own free will. Okay, maybe she stepped on the disc, but it's not like she knew what would happen.

"You still open, big guy?" she says, "I wouldn't want to impose or anything," she says, sitting herself up on the stool. "Looks like you kind of had a rough night of it already."

As Luke wipes the bar down with a towel and hears that voice he smiles, "I think last call isn't for a few more hours yet, Jessica. Pretty sure you still got some prime drinking time left."

He glances over at the front door as he reaches under the bar and grabs a glass to place it on the counter before turning to reach behind him to grab a bottle of whiskey. "Had a couple be wannabe gangsters slide in here to ask for protection money of all the damned things. I had to 'politely' tell them to fuck right off." He smirks, his eyes scanning her up and down for a moment before he pours a double into the glass. "Damn, girl. What happened to you? You look like you have seen some shit yourself tonight."

Jessica Jones shrugs, "Nothin' worth talkin' about. The worst part of it is just that I didn't get paid for any of it," she mutters. "I gotta stop playin' do-gooder for free. HOw else am I ever gonna get your bar tab paid."

She gets the double and takes a long drink, "You need any help dealin' with these guys? Not the ones who came tonight, but whoever their bosses are?"

Luke Cage chuckles, moving over to the tap to pull a beer for Jessica. "Nah, I don't think so. If they come back around and start looking to cause trouble again, I'll just have to drive my point home with a little less politeness and a lot more foot to ass. Of course, if you happen to be here, well…you are more than welcome to take pictures. We can frame them and put them on the wall."

He slides the beer in front of Jess, and then rolls a shoulder into a shrug as he moves to pour another. "I'm sure you'll get it paid eventually, one way or another. Did Mrs. Wasserwitz end up getting her pictures? Or was this another job…must have been since you didn't get paid."

Jessica Jones snorts, "Fuck a bunch of pictures, I'll put a few boots to asses. I get tired of seeing that shit. It's not just you. Shakedown artists work half the neighborhoods in this city, with their bullshit protection schemes. Punks think because they can throw a trashcan through a window or light a fire, they can rip people off by threatening their businesses. Some of it's syndicate, but some of it's just straight punks looking to make easy money," she sighs.

To the latter question, she laughs, "I ended up catching up with her husband later. Turns out he couldn't quite keep it in his pants even at the office. She'll be getting a good divorce settlement and I'll be getting a couple hundred to keep the lights on, at the very least. That is, whenever her lawyer's done carving up Morty's bank account. So…y'know…eventually," she sighs.

Luke Cage grins, lifting his glass to his lips and taking a pull of the beer, "That shit kicker attitude is what I like about you, Jones. Well, one of the things anyway." He pulls out a pack of smokes, setting an ashtray on the bar between them and taps one out, offering it to her. "You're right about the shakedowns. It's gotten worse in the last few weeks, someone probably should do something about it. But the folks around here, they won't say anything to the cops, not that the cops would come down here to do anything about it anyway."

Luke raps his fingers on the bartop, letting out a long sigh through his nose as he thinks. "Guess I should think about doing something more proactive." He takes another drink, "Guess I am going to have to go take a walk later. Shit, if I only knew a PI who might be able to track down information about who these assholes are for me."

He smiles, taking his own cigarette and placing it between his lips before fishing the lighter out from his pocket. He flicks it open and passes the flame over to Jessica. "Good for Mrs. Wasserwitz. How is business for you, anyway? I'm sure there is no lack of cheating husbands to take pics of, but how many wives out there pay for that service…or have the disposable income to pay for it in this area?"

Jessica Jones lights a fresh smoke and takes a drag, leaning against the bar, "You're subtle, Cage, real subtle. Hey, you maybe look the other way on the tab a little bit and I'll be happy to help you track these skunks back to whoever's takin' their cut," she says. "Probably Irish, I know of a few Irish mobsters around here been needin' some money. Crazy vigilante blew up their bar a couple months back," she says. "Place to start anyway."

"And yeah, cops ain't any good. If you're poor or black, they ain't gonna do shit but probably charge you an extra dime for the phone call."

She shrugs, "Gettin' to be more. I get missing person stuff, too. Lotta kids run away to New York, thinkin' they'll make it big. Half of 'em I send home with trackmarks on their arm, screamin' about spiders only they can see," she sighs.

"Yeah." Luke says somberly, "And those are the lucky ones. The ones that get found." He shakes his head slowly form side to side in thought for a moment before he takes another drag from his smoke, "I don't know what ever gave you the impression that I was anything close to subtle. Must have been all that pussyfooting around and tiptoeing over shit the other night." He grins. "Tell you what. How about a little quid pro quo. You help me with these wanna be assholes and in return if you need or want any help tracking down any of these kids I'll lend you a hand."

He pauses for a moment before continuing, "And I'll take it off your bar tab."

Jessica Jones nods, "Sounds to me like we've got ourselves a deal, -Luke-," she says. "And hey, I thought I showed some real subtlety here or there the other night. Artistry. A delicate touch," she grins.

She blows smoke thorugh her nostrils and sits back on the stool, soaking in the booze and the atmosphere.

Luke Cage grins, "As much subtlety and as delicate as a two by four upside the head, Jessica, but I can't deny there wasn't some artistry involved. Sweet Christmas." He shakes his head, whistling softly in appreciation.

He takes another sip from his beer, letting the cigarette dangle between his fingers for a few seconds before he flicks the ashes into the ashtray. "So, where do we start?"

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