Good for the Soul

Summary:
September 15 2014: Jericho starts to recover from the Greenland operation.

Unit 24F

A nice apartment in Hell's Kitchen with a view of the Hudson.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[* None]


Jericho is still having a bit of trouble staying upright so he doesn't immediately go anywhere when he and Illyana arrive back home. He hadn't been sure at first whether or not Illyana would return here or stick to Limbo for a bit. Nor if she'd be able to hold her form ,or if he was due another visit from the Darkchilde. Either really…

He does feel odd. Not just the lingering pain and weakness but… like something's changed. He's not sure what though. Unaware that being drained in that fashion saps his ability to moderate his responses to… anyting.

-

Illyana has managed to corral her emotions enough to put the Darkchilde back away, but being in Limbo isn't likely to help her keep it there. Even with the mage dead, the fact that he touched what was marked as hers makes her furious. She helps Jericho onto his bed and then starts to strip off his gear. Luckily a lot of it was ammo and that got used. She's quiet as she works to get him comfortable, her focus oddly inward at the same time.

-

There go the knives. And the tactical harness (He's happy to see that go) and the burnt and charred shirt. At least the burns were not too horribly bad. He has a few, mostly on his chest. They're not overly large. That ripping sensation was worse and the man responsible is dead now.

"Are you okay?" He asks quietly, watching her as he attention is turned mostly inward. He's seen her do that before though never really sure what it signified.

-

His voice easily pulls her back to the here and now as she looks up from dropping his gear to the floor with a blink. "I'm fine. You're the one that got yourself all banged up." She reaches down to slip a hand over his toros and the marks there but more. She can feel that emptiness in him now, from where the power was pulled from him. She didn't notice that he had it really, but she notices its loss quite distinctly. A trio of words drips from her lips, white fire licking upwards around her hand. There's no sense of heat where it touches him, but the tingle of magic. Some of that white magic she has in much shorter supply.

-

Jericho blinks as his traces light up, absorbing the magic which flows back into him. His arms find ther way round her though he's not sure exactly what the spell did. To an extent it doesnt matter. Illyana thought it was necessary, so she gets her way. He's like thoat sometimes though not always.

"You had that…mage fighting you." His voice is still quite soft, his eyes flicking down to watch the fire on her hand. "Thank you."

-

Illyana knows that his traces absorb magic, and so she gives it to them as she pushes her magical energy outward for it to 'feed' on without any particular effect. It does make her a bit of a beacon on the magical radar for the moment but she's not too worried about that for now.

Illyana settles onto the bed with him, letting him drag her in close and gives a soft snort. "He was in over his head." She says, her tone also soft.

-

Jericho huffs, the sound still a bit pained. "He was or I was?" His arms curl aorund the blond and one of his hands rests on her back, thumb sweeping back and forth. "Be honest, I can't exactly remember what happened after… whatever he did to me. Just muted sounds and a lot of pain. Then he was dead and the base was about to blow up…" A smile comes to him as he recalls. "And you came over to get me out…" The fact that she did so with horns and hooves doesn't draw comment. In fact he hugged her just as tightly on the other side as he always has when she's simply been a slight, pretty blond girl.

-

Illyana chuckles softly. "Him. Definitely him." She says as they fit together on his bed. She tries to stay close without hugging him too tightly or laying on him, so as not to aggravate his injuries. Her manner sobers when he says he doesn't remember much. "You remember way back? When we talked about you potentially being some kind of magical battery? He… tapped you. Not in a trickle or a stream, he took everything you had so he could throw it at me." Her hand smooths down the center of his chest, still sheathed in that eldritch fire. "He did it knowing you were mine. And he hurt you doing it." The combination, the insult of touching what was hers and the fear of his being hurt pushed her over into rage.

-

"Is that what that was…" She'd mentioned it could hurt, though he'd figured on the way in rather than on the way out. His traces pulse brighter than usual as they greedily drink in her magic. "I'm okay now…" He muurmurs with a gentle smile. "Thanks to you."

He still feels odd. Hollow, for one. It's strange how you don't notice some things until they're gone. He's definitely noticing the absence of the magic within him and while he can't see it, his traces have too, pulling in more energy faster to put it back.

But it's not just a hallow feeling. There's a sensation that something has altered, perhaps a barrier been removed or weakened, he's not sure. At the moment he's only sure that he's very glad to have Illyana with him right now and when it occurs to him to turn and kiss her on the neck, that's exactly what he does.

-

Illyana can feel the draw his traces have on her power. Something that usually she can't as it just takes in the ambient levels. She feeds more of her power into the small spell even as she looks thoughtful. "I should be able to feed some of my power directly into your traces." She suggests. "That might help." And not something she's normally inclined to do, between her pwoer on Earth being finite and her power in Limbo being tainted.

"I just made your job easier. You had things under control." She says with a chuckle, deflecting his gratitude. "You're the one that gave everyone a target." Her eyes half-close in quiet bliss as he lays that kiss against her skin.

Jericho chuckles low, his face still near her neck, the kissing having turned into an affectionate nuzzle. "You came when you did not have to, stood by me in the biggest fight I've ever been in and saved my life." Yes, he may have been the one who found the place, but he'd have tied, and probably the entire assault team with him, had she not been there. "I'm glad you were there."

He can see her eyes half close out of the corner of his and it makes him tug her a bit closer, loving that look on her face. Slowly he's starting to feel more normal though still… off kilter. The hacker chalks it up to the magic and the near death experience since he has no way to know otherwise.

-

"Well, it's a good thing that you're good at what you do. If you'd been hurt before that…" Well, Illyana might have worried SHIELD a whole hell of a lot more. It did demonstrate that she can handle him being in danger, though. She didn't freak out from that. She's used to having friends in the line of fire and trusting them to handle it. That's helped a lot. But real injury to someone she cares about? Not good.

"I know I shouldn't have patched you up when we hit Limbo." She admits then. But in the heat of the moment with her demonic side riding her, tending to him seemed way more important than what using her demonic magic on him might do.

-

A soft, amused little breath sounds near Illyana's ear. "You were worried." Jericho murmurs. "If our situations had been reversed, if it'd been you hurt instead of me, I know I would have wanted to do absolutely anything I could to help." He pulls back slightly just so he can look at her, those amber eyes shining - literally in this case as his traces drink down magic.

"In any case I don't think it did anything unusual to me." The demonic nature of her magic seems to bother him a lot less than it does other people. He knows using it taints her soul, knows that overuse is dangerous to her, but just as he's come to accept her demonic side and regard it as part of the rest of her, he accepts her magic. It's risky, yes, but she's not the only one whose abilities carry with them some kind of risk.

He'll probably have some make up gardening to do though.

-

Illyana leans back enough so she can see his eyes as well, her hand moving up to trace his brow and the curve of his cheekbone. "You're eyes are almost completely amber." She murmurs softly. When they met, they were mostly grey. What it means, if it's her fault… well, that she doesn't know. Just that they've changed since they've met.

"And yes. I was worried." She admits. She gives a brief chuckle. "I think that the SHIELD folks would have liked to know about your exit strategy beforehand… Why didn't it pull you out thought?" She figures being a teleporter herself, it's not like she needed to be included.

As to how the magic might taint him… well, it's not like she could suddenly turn away from him if he ended up demon-tainted.

-

Jericho lets out a low, quiet chuckle. "My exit strategy was to walk back to the Bus. I didn't figure on them collapsing the whole base around us when the commander died. The teleportation trick was just for emergencies. But it's not mine, per se. I figured if I didn't have to use it there wasn't any reason to expose more of my allies to SHIELD's tender mercies." He wouldn't even have exposed Illyana to them if she hadn't been going public anyway.

"I'm not sure why it didn't pull me out. Or you. It was supposed to get everyone." Perhaps there was some trouble with the magic being slung around? He's just not sure. "You should come up to meet Koriand'r at some point, though. She's a bit… off, but she and her crew are good people to know.

-

Jericho lets out a low, quiet chuckle. "My exit strategy was to walk back to the Bus. I didn't figure on them collapsing the whole base around us when the commander died. The teleportation trick was just for emergencies. But it's not mine, per se. I figured if I didn't have to use it there wasn't any reason to expose more of my allies to SHIELD's tender mercies." He wouldn't even have exposed Illyana to them if she hadn't been going public anyway.

"I'm not sure why it didn't pull me out. Or you. It was supposed to get everyone." Perhaps there was some trouble with the magic being slung around? He's just not sure. "You should come up to meet Koriand'r at some point, though. She's a bit… off, but she and her crew are good people to know."

His eyes follow her hand. There isn't much grey left in them at all. Just little flecks. It's sort of the reverse of what they were when they met. "Yeah, I noticed." He's not comepletely sure why they changed though he knows that they started to change again some time after he met Illyana. It could be related but… "Yours changed too, though, in a way." Not in color of course but she's seemed less cold to him. Less distant. Though that could just be him. The glow of his traces throws purple highlights into Illyana's eyes… and he kind of likes what it does, truth be told.

-

Illyana's fingers dance lightly against his side, not-quite-tickling. "You want me to come meet your other girl who can help you avoid long flights?" Her tone is dry, and the relaxed way her eyes are partially closed is pretty good indication she's not actually concerned he might have a wandering eye. "I'm never sure how meeting your friends will go." She says with a chuckle. The meeting with May was… interesting.

When he mentions her eyes, it makes her brows arch upwards. Because certainly they haven't changed with the significance that his have. And it's a rather localized effect. Most everyone else still just gets that ice, are distracted by the emptiness they're used to seeing warmth in when looking into another person's eyes.

-

Jericho stretches a bit, his sides lightly quivering at her not-quite tickling touch. The mention of 'his other girl' gets an amused snort. "She's taken. Which is, all in all, a good thing." Koriand'r is a warrior, but she's also this kind of frightening combination of world weary traveler and little kid in a candy shop. "She's not from around here though, so tends to be a bit more understanding. Certainly if she reacts more poorly to you than to the huge green Conan the barbarian she picked up, I may have words for her." Illyana probably knows she has good reason to be confident in Jericho, for the loyalty he displays in other parts of his life if for no other reason. If she's paid attention though, she may realize there are other reasons.

"I figure we're working down. You met Partisan and there was a fight. You met May and it was an interrogation. Maybe, one day, I'll have an ally who will meet you and react normally." Or maybe not. That might require that he have normal allies, which he doesn't.

Her arched brow gets a chuckle and now he's reaching up, tracing the line of her jaw, and then up her cheek toward those eyes. They're still empty and cold a lot, but much like the place they just came from, there's life there if you know where to look and how to appreciate its own kind of stark majesty.

-

Illyana laughs at the bit about Partisan. Well, OK. It's a low chuckle but for Illyana that's pretty much a laugh. "Yeah… I was really tempted to stick my sword in her when she was attacking me." Which, especially in Limbo, might have well Unmade the magic that makes her work. That might not have been an easy bump for them to get over, if she'd killed his best friend. He can probably figure out why she didn't. She has an aversion to killing unless she feels it's necessary. For a soldier, she likely seems excessively careful. For the people that she grew up with… well. They wouldn't enjoy knowing how much blood she's got on her hands.

"But. I'll try not to get us off on the wrong foot. May and I did… alright." Illyana just took exception to May having any say in who Jericho decided to trust. Because she feels a bit proprietary over the man.

-

"Can't really blame you there. If an angry werewolf had attacked me I'd probably have been all about responding with lethal force." All the same, Jericho's glad he never had to find out what would have happened if Illyana had killed Parti. The whole thing had been his fault anyway, though. If he'd told Partiasn that she was dropping by, the woman probably wouldn't have reacted so poorly to her presence. Probably. It is Parti, after all.

Illyana's aversion to killing is not one of those things they've really talked about. Jericho isn't in the habit of lecturing people and the fact is that she can handle herself. It helps that she doesn't lecture him when he feels it necessary. Beyond that… well killing does something to you. Few people they've met know that better than Jericho does. It's hard enough when you're a relatively regular person. When you have a demon nature? He can see how she might not want to feed it that.

"May takes a while to warm up to people. Hell for the longest time I was just some dangerous guy she watched and wanted to arrest and interrogate." It took some time and some proof tht he could be more than just an irritating hacker for May to accept him as an asset, then an ally. Then a friend. "If it helps, I think this last bit will have earned you a better spot in her book. Being able to work with others is a big thing for her." Of course, Jericho wouldn't blame Illyana if she didn't particularly care what May thought of her, but there you go.

"Koriand'r though, should be easier. She seems to be a lot more… accepting of some things. Heck, she gave a group of near strangers access to a space ship because she thought perhaps we could be trusted. It's a bit… different than the way I operate, you know?"

-

Illyana can't help but snicker a bit at that. Different indeed! "Well, we'll see how it goes." She'll at least try. Because they mean something to him. Much the reason why Partisan will be perfectly civil to Illyana and would likely back the blonde up if she needed it. Because Jericho is important to them.

"I know people can get over the whole demon thing." Most of Red team is proof of that. The ones she went to school with. They're also the ones that May can thank for Illyana learning to work on a team. She can even take orders! If she thinks the person giving them is worth listening to. And the orders make sense to her. OK, maybe she doesn't really take orders so much as suggestions. "There's worst time to be a lone wolf is in the middle of a team situation. Given that SHIELD has that whole military bit going for them, I hope nothing I did set them off too badly." Mostly because it would make things more difficult on Jericho and/or Red.

-

Jericho slights out a sigh that says what he thinks of SHIELD, as opposed to what he thinks of May. "SHIELD is paranoid in ways that make me look perfectly reasonable, and they're a lot less nice about what they do with it." He, after all, isn't in the habit of trying to turn people into 'assets' or 'leverage' them. "But I'll deal with it. I'd much rather have had you with me on that than not, as I mentioned."

Deal with it. For Jericho that means everything from put up with a bit of extra suspicion to go to war with SHIELD over Illyana if they push things too far. Because she's important to him. "They'll have a lot of things to review, though. You weren't the only Red Team member in the field, nor the only X-Man. Lunair, Mike, Kitty, Logan… I'm sure they'll be very interested in what they can all do. And that cat guy. Uh… Vorpal, I think it was. Anyway, truth be told I don't much feel like a lone wolf." He has his pack. He's not on a 'team' really, unless one counts the incipient Outsiders, but the people he trusts he would fight, kill and die for and that's just as good in his book.

-

"You'd better not." Illyana says with one of those small smiles. "Nancy, Partisan and I would be quite put out if you did." Poor Jericho. He needs more testosterone in his little family.

"Hill said it's a go on her end of our deal. So I'll need to start seeing what Manning can do and what information I can help him with. If SHIELD wants more info on Red Team, then they can ask nicely. If they want more info on the other X-Men they're going to have to ask really nicely." Because only Red is public. And they'll fight to let the others keep their secrets. "But I'm not expecting SHIELD to have too many objections if Hill's willing to work with me."

-

Jericho nods. That's, at least, good news. "Sounds like it's going to work out well for you." His tone suggests he thinks that this is the way it should be. But then he's voiced his thoughts on Red Team before. Surely, after all this, something should go right. It's about due for them.

The hacker is silent for a few minutes, smiling a bit as Illyana mentions Nancy and Partisan and herself. Oddly, a lot of the people he knows and considers friends are women. Well, there's a few others he can call allies who are men but none he'd call family. Not yet, at any rate. Unless Parti eats a guy, which… goodness, would be a bit jarring.

For now he pushes down all the thoughts that naturally occur to a paranoid man about how it could all go wrong and kisses Illyana again, first on the neck, then on the jaw, squeezing her a bit, silently thankful for the reality of her presence right now.

-

Illyana's amusement is a quiet, low laugh as he plys her with kisses. "Hey now, aren't you injured?" She teases him, wiggling away but not putting too much effort into it.

-

"Yes. And you're good for the soul." He murmurs, teasing lightly himself, though probably serious about that soul part. He catches her jaw with another kiss and a bit of a nip as she sqiurms, laughing softly and not letting her get too far. He's been like that in the last week or so, much more willing to be… assertively affectionate. Not aggressive as Illyana can sometimes be (though there are times and places), but definitely more willing to put the 'she's his' part into practice.

-

Illyana gives a soft snort as he makes that claim. "OK, that's it. We're calling a medic. You've obviously been hit on the head too hard." She remarks dryly. She's stopped her 'struggling' though, the hook of her fingers in his waistband drawing him closer and rolling him over her so he doesn't have to take her weight while he's injured. "Maybe you'd better prove to me you're feeling alright."

-

Jericho grins, his expression part playful and part tender. "Mmmm. I think I can do that." One hand comes to rest on Illyana's cheek, the other on her hip. There's a long moment where he just looks down at her with a smile that's gone very soft. The one that's as close as he gets anymore. Then he leans down and kisses her once more, this time slowly, with all the worry and relief of the day pouring out into grateful affection that when it's all over, she's here.


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