For the past how many weeks, there’s been that steady, constant moment of panic. Panic that Kilgrave might be around the corner, waiting for her. Or controlling other people to die in front of her to fuel her guilt. Or rage. Or fear. Or maybe those three altogether.
Jessica’s had her fair share of those ever since the moment she found out that Kilgrave was still alive and lying in wait for her. But nothing beats the panic attacks that she feels every time she sees Trish is hurt. Strangled by a big-bodied idiotic police officer. Thrown against the wall of her apartment by said idiot. Literally trying to shove a bullet into her head, no thanks to the asshole that ruined her sanity. Unable to breathe because of a goddamned red pill that she took just to protect her.
They’re both fucking lucky the trigger didn’t work when Trish tried to shoot herself in the head. Or attempted to pull it again when it didn’t work the first time. Jessica has never admitted it out loud, but she won’t know what to do with herself if Trish died because of her. Because of some obsessed psychopath that just couldn’t take a hint.
And last, the time where she had to stand still and listen to Kilgrave’s plan of making Trish his slave. Where he made Trish kiss him like she meant it. In front of her bloody eyes, and she had to resist taking a step because it would ruin her plan of making him believe that he could control her again.
The mere thought, the mere image of his filthy mouth on Trish’s makes her sick. Because of that, it wasn’t difficult for her to decide to finally kill the bastard once and for all.
Needless to say, it was worth it. For all the people that he killed, for trying to take Trish away from her. It was worth it.
She could stay in jail for the rest of her life for that, and it would still be worth it. As long as it meant that Trish was safe, then nothing else mattered.
Still, she’s thankful that Jeri was able to keep her out of prison. She can’t be too careful, and even though Kilgrave is finally gone for good, that drug-crazed jackass Simpson might come back for Trish and herself. To make amends or whatever shit he planned to do, Jessica didn’t care. She won’t promise that she might do the same thing to him as she did with Kilgrave.
Which was why Jessica had to get rid of the last piece that linked Trish to him.
And she’s guessing that’s the reason why Trish’s face and name lit up the screen of her phone.
This time around, her heart doesn’t attempt to jump out of her chest in sheer panic that Trish was probably being attacked and that this was a call asking for help. It feels nice, for a change, to not feel that cold-blooded fear rushing through her veins whenever Trish called. Or when she walked the streets of New York, assuming that everyone around her could be acting on Kilgrave’s orders.
“Jess, have you seen my gun? I know I left it in my bag before I went to sleep last night, but I can’t find it anywhere!”
Jessica grunted, deciding to play innocent. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. You probably left it somewhere else, not that I care about it.”
“Yeah, like how a certain someone was also missing from my apartment when I woke up.”
Trish was obviously trying hard to mask her disappointment, but it didn’t work on Jessica. She winced at this and blearily looked around at her trashed apartment, now remembering why she accepted Trish’s offer to stay in her apartment after the whole thing with Kilgrave and almost sleeping in a prison cell. Not for just one night, but probably the rest of her life had Jeri not made up that lie about Kilgrave ordering Jessica to kill him.
So yeah, maybe she should have stayed in bed with Trish until morning. Killing the guy that had been haunting her, threatening her and the person she cared about the most still did nothing about her social skills and tendency to want to be alone.
Okay, so she should have stayed, especially given the fact that Trish’s mind could also have easily been destroyed by a controlling, obsessive bastard had her plan failed. If Kilgrave not changed his mind at the last second.
And the fact that Trish had to kiss him. Jessica still saw red every time she thought about it. Lots of red.
She’s still a shitty person, no denying it.
Though Trish would say something and convince her that she isn’t a piece of shit and stop her from feeling guilty about every stupid thing that she’s ever done in her entire life. Or that only a day has passed, so there isn’t any reason for her to beat herself up about still being a fuck-up.
That made her feel better, even if just a little.
“Hello, Jess! You still there?”
The concern in Trish’s voice brought Jessica back, and she grunted again to show that she was still on the line.
“Yeah, sorry. I’m still here. I don’t see why you still need the gun. It’s finished. There aren’t any more mind-controlling maniacs looking for us.” Or a batshit needy Rambo banging on your door, she added in her head.
“Well, yeah I know that. But it doesn’t hurt to be careful.”
Jessica sighed and rubbed her forehead. “Look, if it makes you feel better, I’ll get you a new one.”
“And how are you going to do that? By threatening a police officer to give up their gun?” Trish joked, and it makes Jessica chuckle.
“Yeah, that’ll work.”
A few seconds of silence follow after that, but Jessica doesn’t feel like hanging up. The fact that Trish is on the other end, the way that Jessica can hear her breathing, assuages the anxiety that she’s been fighting for the past few weeks.
The fact that Trish is alive and safe makes her feel like everything is right with the world.
“Anyway, pack up some clothes and get back here. We’re supposed to be celebrating, remember?”
“But we already celebrated yesterday. We had lunch and dinner after you picked me up from the precinct, remember?”
“C’mon, Jess! It doesn’t hurt to celebrate some more! Besides, your place is trashed. I’d feel better if you slept here. At least until you get your apartment all fixed up.”
Jesus Christ, way to be compelling. She could use the break, and she knew she’d do anything just to make Trish happy.
Standing up, she grabbed her leather jacket and pulled it on, then threw the few other clothes she had into the only bag that she had.
“Fine. I’ll be at your place in thirty,” she relented with a huff, though she did it just for show.
“Great! I’ll go start on making breakfast.”
“Can’t we just have breakfast here at my place?” Jessica grumbled, not bothering to lock her door. She didn’t even know why she kept locking it after the glass had been smashed. Anyone can just reach around the large, gaping hole and unlock it, anyway.
Not that anyone would bother in the first place. They could just take a peek, see how broken the place was, and conclude that nothing of value was lying around to be stolen.
“Seeing as how ruined your place is – same with your kitchen – I’m one-hundred percent sure I won’t be able to cook there.”
“Alright, fine, fine. But only because you make the best damn pancakes,” Jessica sighed, a tiny hint of a smile quirking at her lips.
“You’re flattering me. Alright, go get your ass over here and I will see you soon.”
“Yeah, see you soon. Bye, Trish.”
Jessica hung up and shoved her phone in her pocket, stopping by a curb to hail a cab. She gave the driver the directions to Trish’s apartment and spent the ride staring out the window, thinking how lucky she turned out to be in the end, despite having gone through a lot of shitty things starting from the time her parents died.
It’s been one bad thing heading to another, but through it all, Trish had been her silver lining in every crap situation she’d gotten herself into. Who else would have the patience to check up on her after staying away from them for six months? Or deal with her being an alcoholic? Only Trish Walker, that’s who.
The driver pulled up in front of Trish’s apartment building, and Jessica paid the fare before stepping out. Like always, she didn’t go through the entrance and went for jumping towards Trish’s balcony. Peering through the glass door, she could see her best friend flipping the fry pan, and she tapped on the glass to get her attention.
Trish stopped and turned off the stove, wearing a smile on her face as she walked towards the door. She was still wearing her sleepwear, her hair tied up in a ponytail.
“Seriously, Jess. Why don’t you use the elevator?” Trish asked as Jessica stepped inside.
“You’re fine with me going through the balcony, and it’s what I’m used to, so…” Jessica shrugged and dumped her bag on the floor, then took off her jacket.
“Just as long as you don’t fall off one of these days,” Trish teased, bumping their hips together.
“Oh, please,” Jessica rolled her eyes. “Like that’ll ever happen.”
Trish just smiled and shook her head, patting Jessica’s shoulder. “Okay. Just sit down and wait. The pancakes are nearly done.”
Jessica nodded and stalked off to the kitchen table, then sat down on the chair. She silently watched Trish cook, the relief of seeing her alive and well washing over her. Maybe she’ll tell her about the gun after breakfast. After everything, after pushing her away for so long, she deserved to hear the truth.
One step at a time to changing the anti-social piece of shit that she had become.
Trish piled up the pancakes onto a plate and set it in front of Jessica, then opened the fridge to grab butter and syrup. The utensils were already set in place, so Jessica lifted off a pancake and dumped it onto her own plate. She spread the butter and syrup on top and started to eat, grunting at the delicious flavor that exploded in her taste buds.
They ate breakfast in silence, with Jessica wolfing down like there was no tomorrow. Well, she hadn’t had Trish’s pancakes in a long time so no one should be judging her. If this was what celebrating the death of an evil asshole was like all the time, then Jessica honestly didn’t mind.
“I was serious about the gun, you know. If you still need one,” she offered with a shrug, shoving another slice inside her mouth.
“Legally?” Trish asked, lifting an eyebrow.
“Well, yeah. Maybe. I’ll try not to use force,” she smirked.
“Riiiight,” Trish shook her head.
“What? You don’t believe me?”
“If you want me to believe you, then I will. We wouldn’t be having this problem if I just knew where that damned gun is right now,” Trish rolled her eyes.
Jessica swallowed and set her fork down. “About that…”
“I knew you had something to do with it. Where’d you hide it?” Trish asked suspiciously.
“I may or may not have ‘hidden’ it in one of the dumpsters,” Jessica responded, making quotation mark motions with her fingers.
“Wait- what? You threw it away? Oh my god, Jess!” Trish shrieked, but Jessica waved her hand to get her to keep quiet.
“Relax, Trish! Jesus. I twisted it around and made sure that it was unusable. Oh, and I threw it in the river, not the dumpster so no one’s going to find it,” Jessica explained, her arms crossed above her chest.
Trish just stared at her, confused and disbelieving at the same time.
“Why would you do that?” Trish questioned.
“Like I said, you don’t need it anymore. The madman’s gone, dead, never to be seen again,” Jessica answered nonchalantly.
“Okay, fine. I believe you,” Trish said, throwing her hands up in the air in surrender.
But Jessica knew her enough to know that she wasn’t buying it. Heaving a sigh, she pushed her chair back and stood up.
“I know you don’t,” she mumbled and shoved her hands inside the pockets of her jeans.
“Can’t you just tell me?”
Glaring at the floor, Jessica mentally cursed herself for being in this situation. Of course Trish wouldn’t buy such simple bullshit. She believed that there was a reason for every person’s actions, and apparently, she wasn’t exempted from that rule.
“You really want to know why?” Jessica gritted out, silently hoping that Trish would say no and drop the subject. Forever, preferably.
But Trish being Trish, folded her arms and stared back at her. “Yes, I do.”
Jessica growled and tried to push back the anger that she felt. The anger that had been boiling over ever since she saw that asshole Simpson’s face. Who thought it was such a great idea to give Trish an illegally acquired gun to protect herself from him (ironic, right?), when the smart and best way was just to forget it and goddamn stay away from her.
Rage, when Trish cried out in pain when her back hit the wall after being pushed away by that steroid-crazed jackass.
The helplessness. The helplessness she felt when Trish told her that she was lucky the trigger didn’t work when she tried – no, when Kilgrave ordered her to put a bullet into her head.
The very man whose filthy lips were on hers, taunting Jessica with that smirk on his face while he tried to take away the one person she fought like hell to protect. The only exception to the rule that she couldn’t love anybody.
She was going to explode with it all, and it made her wonder for a second how she was able to suppress her rage when her worst enemy presented the idea of turning Trish into his slave, left without control over her actions and thoughts.
That was why she had to get rid of the gun, because the thought of it still hiding within the four walls of Trish’s apartment makes her sick. Makes her angry. Makes her feel helpless.
Makes her remember all the times Trish was put in harm’s way because of two assholes that just can’t take a fucking hint.
They were dark thoughts, things she’d rather not revisit but can’t help doing it. She was dark, and Trish was light. It was balance; Trish balanced out the darkness inside of her. Along with the helplessness and whenever she was on the verge of spiraling out of control.
So she yelled. She yelled everything that’s been going on inside her head since that night, and Trish stands shocked, her arms hanging limp by her sides as she takes in Jessica’s unbridled raged. All of it.
She remembered. The glint of the silvery metal, taunting her that it was the reason Trish nearly died. That was why it was so easy to decide to twist and bend it in her own hands, a semblance that she had control of it, that it can no longer haunt her.
That it can never give her another moment of panic whenever she thinks of it sitting around in Trish’s bag, bringing it with her wherever she went.
It’s just… gone. Never to be seen again, never to be used again for any reason at all. All she had to do was forget. The final step in putting all of this behind them.
Trish just stood frozen in place, unblinking, unresponsive after Jessica finishes her piece. The last and most important reason hung in her mouth, her tongue itching to say the words out loud. To Trish, for the third time.
I love you.
Before she could chicken out and push Trish away again (God knows how many times she’s done that), she said it. In the softest voice she could muster, without any trace of anger or self-loathing or whatever negative emotion there is.
“I love you, Trish.”
She meant it then, when she looked over Kilgrave’s shoulder and trained her gaze on Trish. She means it now, now that everything is finally out in the open and with only Trish to hear it.
She’ll always mean it. Just because she was an alcoholic fuck-up, it didn’t mean that she was incapable of saying things without meaning them.
“Dammit, Jess,” Trish murmured and lunged forward.
Unsure whether it was a good or a bad thing, Jessica took a step back, momentarily fearing if it was the right thing to say at this time. If Trish was going to slap her and yell at her to go the fuck away because everything was so messed up because of her.
But Trish doesn’t slap her. Instead, Trish grabbed her by the hem of her shirt and kissed her. And Jesus Christ it felt good. It doesn’t take more than a second before she’s kissing Trish back, because God she’d unknowingly been waiting for this to happen for a long time now.
“I love you, too,” Trish said, and it made Jessica crumble.
And then Trish is kissing her again. And again. And again.
Jessica kissed her back each time.
Right now, like this, there is no moment of panic. There’s just… peace. A peace of mind she hasn’t experienced in forever.
Just with Trish, like this.