Signs of Growth

August 01 2014: In the wee hours of the morning, before the Raid, Jericho tends to Limbo and gets some unexpected but quite welcome company.


A land divided between idyllic paradise and blasted hellscape. Jericho finds himself right on the border, and looking to change it.



  • None

Mood Music:
[* None]

Limbo. Is it Jericho's imagination or is it a bit greener? No… well, probably not. It does look like some of the green is stretching out along the water course he dug. It was a rough day yesterday in the temper department, with both Hawkeye and Manning seriously pushing some of his buttons. It's really enough to make him question why he helps these people at all. He'd probably be a lot closer to having his own problems solved if he hadn't been dealing with unrelated hydra plots. Whatever… At least here they can't find him. Er, he hopes, anyway.

It'd been an odd night for him too. Hadn't been able to sleep. Kept getting woken up by odd dreams. Well, odd dream. Not bad dreams, mind. Not nightmares like he has on his 'bad nights.' Just… strange.

That's how he'd ended up just giving up on sleep at midnight and rounding up K'nert and some tools to get back to work here. This, at least, gives him something to focus on and related paths to think about that aren't SHIELD or NYPD.


If what Manning said was true… Then theoretically he could. But Limbo's a big place. With a lot of nasties. And Manning doesn't have a 'property of' tag attached.

Jericho's been at his gardening for a while, or what seems like a while to him. Most of the time his internal clock and his chronometer (which for him is internal too, but entirely different) don't agree. And then when he gets out of Limbo, well, they all disagree with the atomic clock in Greenwich too. No wonder Illyana has trouble being anywhere on time.

When Illyana joins him, it's by foot. She has on sneakers and jeans and a T-shirt. Her hair's pulled back into a ponytail and there's a pair of gloves stuck in one of her back pockets. "So… what can I do to help?"


Jericho turns gives Illyana a wave as she approaches. "Hey there." He's at this point sure only that it's probably good for him to work these kinds of things off. Ironically, because he knows that being angry might taint the work, coming to Limbo for this purpose centers him quite nicely. Go figure.

"Help? Well I'm about to try a bit of transplanting to see if it takes. And then I was gonna cut another channel over there."

He points to an area that contains what appears to have once been a watercourse but seems to have been turned into part of the blasted hellscape. It's odd, he's reflected, how there doesn't seem to be an end to the water itself. Or a source. But then this place does operate off magic rules.

"If you wanna help dig or help me carry a couple of these saplings, I wouldn't mind at all." Nor would he mind the company at all.


It would be so easy to just resort to magic to help dig out the watercourse, or just teleport over the saplings. But at the same time… isn't that the thing about black magic? It's like the Force. Quick and easy is seductive. So… maybe she'll try it this way. Illyana gives a nod and looks down at the dirt. "I'll dig." She says finally. Limbo is hers. Shouldn't she be here tending it along with Jericho?

Illyana pulls her gloves on and heads over to where he indicates, waits for his suggestions before starting. She does that for a while before speaking. "You alright?"


The comparison to the Force would probably make Jeri smile. Is it like that? Well… maybe. He hopes it's not directed by Lucas though.

"Yeah, I'll be okay. I'm just getting a little tired of being suspected for trying to do the right thing. And people wonder why I have trust issues." He's picked a couple of fairly healthy looking saplings on the green side. He's not sure how they'll do on the other side, but he's hoping if they are planted close enough to the water they'll do okay.

"You know how it is, I'm guessing." He says with a wry smile. The thing about plants… has him thinking of a project…


Illyana gives a soft huff of amusement. "Yeah… I kinda do." Those that can sense evil, or demons, or anything along those lines are instantly suspect of Illyana. But to her at least, they can be forgiven. Evil usually means evil.

"People are afraid of what they don't understand." A mutant learns that as one of their first lessons. And it's not something Xavier's usually needs to teach.

"Do you feel like I'm prying? Having K'nert tail you?" Illyana asks, glancing over at Jericho. She hadn't really thought of it before because, well, she doesn't tend to think about how she might be unfairly poking her nose in other people's lives.


The hacker turned gardener steadies the tree so Illyana can dig around the roots. He won't point out to dig around the roots unless it looks like she's about to cut them. Place like this, he figures she'll be careful.

"Yeah, I've observed that. Too often for my liking." It's human nature. But that doesn't mean he has to like it.

Illyana's question gets a shake of the head and a questioning glance. "No. Like I've said, I trust you. I'm kind of flattered that you think I'm worth the trouble, to be honest."

It hadn't really bothered him all that much when he didn't know if she scried him all the time. Of course now he knows she doesn't and didn't. K'nert isn't that intrusive unless he has a bowl of ice cream. That's about the only time the demon cat even approaches displaying an understanding of the concept of 'sharing.'


If 'sharing' means 'taking as much as I can get'. Though really, the small demon is a sucker for ice cream and it's one of the best ways to get K'nert to listen.

Illyana seems to at least have enough of an idea of what they're doing to not hack at the plant-bits as she digs. The lean muscles in her arms stand out as she digs, getting a different sort of workout than usual. His admission gets a chuckle. "Only you would thank me for a demon stalker." She jokes.

She pauses though, setting the tip of the spade down into the dirt as she looks over at him with a frown. "You're worth the trouble, Jericho." She says, very seriously. In case he might be having doubts, or just the knocks of those suspicious are getting to him.

Briefly, she glances to the green around them. "I wonder if vegetables would grow."


When Jericho looks up again from the work his own expression is serious. "Thanks." And he means it. It's nice to hear from someone that you're worth some kind of trouble and Illyana is most certainly not just someone. At the very least she rates as one of his three closest friends. At most? Probably not the time to think about it right now. He gets an odd sense of deja vu when he does and can't really quite say why.

"Like, planting an actual vegetable garden?" Jeri looks about thoughtfully. "Maybe. I hadn't tried planting anything from the other side yet. I had some ideas to do so though. We could try." Since he's definitely gonna make a regular thing of this.


"I suppose there's that whole 'invasive' species risk but… if carrots start to run rampant I think I'll just deal." Illyana jokes.

"There's stuff you can eat here," Which Jericho probably wondered at as he's walked through. "But most of it isn't terribly tasty." She grimaces a bit. "I remember when we couldn't manage to hunt anything, so we'd have to survive on things we could dig up."

And that was before the green, when there was just the twisted landscape. "Not that what we could hunt tasted much better." She doesn't press the bit about his frustrations having made her statement. Maybe she realizes he's here to escape it, not dwell on it.


The sapling comes up without too much trouble and Jeri walks it on down toward a bend in the water course about twenty or thirty feet from the edge of the green, but in an area that there's some new green starting to show, a little. "Okay… Here I think." He nods to Illyana.

"What about you? Any more trouble after that… thing came after you?" He'll deal with his issues. None of them are likely to kill or seriously harm him any time soon. Illyana, on the other hand he's kind of worried about.

"Anything I can help with on that front?"


Which is not something Illyana's likely to want to hear. She can take care of herself, damnit. Part of why she hates that she came apart like that when Nightcrawler surprised her. It's a pride thing, which is just acerbated by her demonic nature.

Illyana shakes her head in answer as she digs where he's indicated. "No… But someone that was there with me said demons keep showing up to attack him." That makes her scowl, because she knows why. Stupid Phobos. Damn her own eyes for needing to be saved like some DiD.


Jericho nods, holding the tree as the hole takes shape. It's kind of interesting how even the quality of the soil seems to have changed. More loamy and less hard packed clay and rock. Magic gardening. Huh.

"Right, well, you know how to find me if you want it." He doesn't want to push too hard because really, Illyana is in a much better position to know whether she does or does not need help. As for whether or not she'd ask for it… well, part of trusting her means trusting her to make that decision as well.

Though the demons bit does make him wonder. "Ones from beyond your sphere?" He gets that not everyone here obeys her like K'nert. "Interesting. Anything I need to look out for?"


Illyana gives a nod, wiping at her brow with the back of one glove. "Limbo would give cartographers a headache but basically the most stable part of Limbo is my citadel. It's… my rule and will that lets it stay stable." She pauses and qualifies that, "Lets it be as stable as it is. The further out you get, the more mutable it becomes. You get out past the wasteland," She gestures off in that direction, "Eventually you might not even have land to walk on. But then you might not need it, either. But those demons that object to my rule, others that look to build their own kingdoms, they live out there. On the fringes."


Okay, so that's good to know. Jericho had the vague notion that Illyana had competition but was under the impression it was mostly unorganized.

"And that's where this is coming from, somewhere…" It's not really a question but she can elaborate on it if she wants. "Okay, that's good there." He pops the tree in and starts nudging dirt in with his foot.

"Hrm… one more, I think." He starts walking back toward the second slender tree he's picked to repeat the process.

There's a long few moments silence as he thinks. "How do you deal with it?" He finally ask. "The suspicion. I've only been doing this for a bit over a year. I can't imagine having to live this way for a decade or more."


Illyana helps to scrape the dirt in around the tree as well and it's a few moments before she answers. "I didn't kill Belasco. The one that kidnapped me and ruled Limbo before me. I banished him. He can't leave Limbo, so he's probably out there." She admits.

Walking back over with him she looks over at the question, and finally shrugs one shoulder. "I just never expect anyone to trust me and, for the most part I just go ahead and play on those fears. I don't need them." Reasons why Jericho's trust is… precious to her.


That sounds familiar and it's enough to get a wry smile out of the hacker. Though the news that 'Belasco' is still out there is… concerning.

"Mmmm. Any chance that he has something to do with it?" Jericho tries not to intrude on people's private affairs because he knows about this kind of thing. However with Illyana it just doesn't feel the same. And he does want to help. Just not in a way that'll make things worse. He knows about that too.

Gripping the second tree, this one with a much looser grip on the dirt he waits for Illyana start digging. This one won't take as much work.

"I guess it's not too practical for deal with him in a more permanent fashion?" He's not sure how Illyana feels on the whole killing thing though clearly she's willing to do so under some circumstances.


She did take the head off of the sniper trying to kill him.

Again there's a long moment of silence while she digs. "When my mutant power first manifested, I didn't have a lot of control. I bounced through a few places and times before I got back to where I started. I wasn't Belasco's first apprentice. He had another before me. When she felt she had mastered all he had to teach, she went after him. And she defeated him. And then she killed him.

More digging. More silence. "It was the final step. To making her just like him. She gave into her rage. Let it consume her. She hadn't actually managed to kill him and instead just made herself that much more his. So when I fought him, I didn't kill him. I chose to… try… to be human. Instead of a monster."

Illyana lifts her blue gaze to his. "I wanted to though." For a moment, he can see that pain. That burning hunger. "I wanted to so badly."


The tree comes loose and Jericho moves it aside so he can look at Illyana as she looks up. That impulse is itself, very human - to lash out at those who have hurt you. To exact retribution for wrongs done. He's familiar with that range of darker emotions. He deals with them quite regularly really. Joking aside, crashing satellites and wreaking havoc in the name of exacting pain for pain is something that tempts him a lot, especially when things get hard.

"For what it's worth, Illyana, I'm glad you did." No 'I'm sorry' nor expression of sympathy, because it's Illyana. There is a moment though, where it's maybe apparent from the look on his face that this kind of thing is exactly why he's so endlessly willing to trust her. Because she works so damn hard at being what she is. She tries, and trying counts for a lot with him.


Illyana gives Jericho a small, wan smile. "Why can't the good things ever be easy, huh?" No, they've always got to be Damned Hard. She steps aside so he can move the tree over and then she'll start to dig again. The dry, dusty top layer sticks to the sweat on her skin, making streaks here and there where she's swiped at it.

"So. You look like you've got your own demons of late." She notes, glancing up at him as he digs. Because he hasn't slept yet and she can see that tiredness on him. It's as familiar as her mirror.


The laugh from Jericho is dry as the earth they're moving over to. Well, maybe a bit drier. There's water on in this part now. He stops at what he hopes is a good spot for a tree.

"That obvious, am I?" When did she get to read him so well? Well… not like he minds. Being known, like being trusted, is a kind of comfort for someone used to being just a face, a number, or a login.

"Yeah. I've got something a bit dangerous coming up later, the thing with Barton and Manning kind of bugged me to be honest though that's been a while in building and on top of that I had an… odd night." He looks up and smiles a small smile. "Not a bad night. That's when I get the nightmares and hear the screams and gunfire if it's too quiet. Just… strange dream. Kept waking me up. I just kind of gave up on sleep eventually."


"Well. I probably spend more time around you than I should." Illyana admits with a shrug. The mention of something dangerous gets a glance and an arched brow, but she doesn't ask after it. If he hasn't mentioned it until now, she's not going to press him about it.

"You have my phone number, right?" And he has K'nert. If he needs her, she'll come.

Once she gets another decent sized hole, she straightens so he can maneuver the tree down in. The mention of nightmares gets a grunt from her. Yeah, she's familiar with that." That he's got a recurring one that isn't that? Gets a thoughtful frown.

"Sounds like your brain is trying to tell you something."


"Yeah, I'll contact you if I need, thanks." That gets a real smile. Small one, and brief, but there. It's nice to know she's got his back. He just figures she's got enough issues at the moment without getting tangled up in this unless absolutely necessary.

"Doesn't it. Hell if I know what it's saying though." Jericho chuckles. Down goes the tree into the hole and as before he starts toeing dirt onto it. He shakes his head. No idea what the message of that particular dream is. It's all a bit bizarre.

"Ordinarily something like that probably wouldn't wake me, let alone three or four times." Maybe he's just keyed up. Could be that. Maybe.


Illyana pushes the dirt in with her shovel, frowning thoughtfully at his whole dream problem. "I'm not so hot at dream intepretation." She admits. More dreaming would be required for that! "And could be something you ate?" She suggests, perhaps a bit lamely. A spot of mustard. An overdone bit of potato!

"Well, you know you're always welcome here."


Jeri chuckles. "Could be. Or I could just be wound up. And thanks. I cannot tell you how nice it is to be welcome." Even here. Really he thinks of this less as a hell realm and more as Illyana's home. And let's be honest, how many places is Jericho really welcome? Not that many these days.

"I'm sure it'll pass soon enough anyway. Or if my brain thinks it's important it can just find another way to remind me later."

He pauses as the tree is nice and sealed in and nods. "Right. Well, time for that water course." He has a second shovel, not because he was expecting help but because he didn't want to have to make a trip out if his first one broke somehow. This he now goes to get.

"How have you been?" He asks as he returns with it. It's occurred to him that he doesn't ask that a whole lot.


Illyana can't help but chuckle a bit. Because really, who wants to be welcome in Limbo? Apparently Jericho. She heads over towards the watercourse and glances over at him. The question gets a frown and finally she shrugs. "I'm… alright." Too much crap stirred up lately. It has her feeling off kilter. But at the end of the day, she'll be OK. Because she needs to be.


The look from Jeri is… meaningful. There's 'alright' - I'm doing well enough - and 'alright' -I'm not okay but I can't not be okay, so I'm okay.' The latter is a… soldier thing. Just got shot in the leg. 'I'm alright doc'. It's the worst kind of alright, but sometimes it's all you've got.

The shovel bit digs into the earth. Jericho has left about a foot between the watercourse itself and the start of the new ditch. It looks like there's about sixty or so feet to dig from the nearest point to the start of the old watercourse. He wonders idly what it looks like when Illyana's magic eats away at these places. And he's not sure he wants to know.

"Okay. Been kept a bit busy, I take it?"


Illyana gives a nod as they dig, the parched earth flaking away to dust and clinging to sweaty skin. "Yeah. I'm not sure if the attack in the park was a precursor to some larger plan or just feeling me out. I… need to follow up on that."

Which she's not terribly eager to do. Not when it disturbs her so much. And at the same time, she's not sure how she should go about it. If it is Belasco, he's too damned good at hiding.


"That going to be something you might want a hand with. I'm going to be a bit less busy after tonight."

That's being optimistic of course. It could all go horribly wrong and get Jericho killed. But then that kind of describes more days than he'd really care to think about so, not really that unusual there.

"Or do you and your friends have that covered?" It's entirely possible that they do. Jeri has no idea, actually.


"I haven't gone and roped anyone into things. I don't have much to go on." Illyana chuckles over at Jericho. "Thanks for the offer. I'll keep it in mind." She probably wouldn't have asked, but that doesn't mean she didn't want his help.

Jericho gets another glance from her. "When you're finally ready to sleep, you need the Time?" Because she could let him sleep here to get a good however many hours he wants, or make sure he goes back at the same minute he left.


"Stupid mind permitting, more than a couple hours of sleep would probably be good for this, yeah." Jericho grunts a bit as he cuts the trench next to Illyana. Working with someone else makes this whole thing go a lot faster.

"And please do. In this particular case and in general. I'm always happy to help. I just don't always know the ways in which you want or need help. You live in a world where I have to be a lot more careful than usual about making things worse." He grins up at her for a moment. He's good at that, sadly. And doesn't want to apply that talent here. In his own life he's used to just taking on problems that he knows are problems. Works well enough for most people he knows. And probably well enough with Illyana but it seems extra care is warranted here. Particularly as it applies to her domain.


Illyana gives a nod to Jericho. She'll make sure that he gets that time. It's a little thing, just helping him to be his best.

Illyana pauses to swipe at her brow again and chuckles at Jericho. "You're always helping everyone. Me, Nance, Partisan… I know you see some of those as your crusades too, but…" He goes above and beyond, from what she's seen.


The shovel digs into the dirt again and hits a rock. Jeri leans down to pick it out of the ditch. Illyana's laugh above him draws a smile.

"It's what I can do. People I consider close, and there aren't many, well there isn't much I won't do for them." Standing up and tossing the rock toward a pile of rocks not far away - he'll figure out something decorative to do with them at some point - Jericho leans on his shovel for a moment.

"And you're worth it." As in the people he helps are worth it. Mostly. As in Illyana specifically is worth it. Definitely.


Illyana gives a wan smile back. She doesn't argue with him, but it's there in her eyes. In her mannerisms. Silly Jericho. Just a little bit crazy. But no, not going to argue with him because she doesn't want to diminish his words. Even if he is crazy, it means a lot. More, actions mean more than words and his presence here? That says it all.

Nor does she echo the sentiment back to him, the ever-popular 'you too'. He either knows it, or he doesn't.

Back to: RP Logs

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License