"They were jus’ jealous my CI was beautiful and brilliant, an’ all theirs were either disgruntled henchman, or cracked out hobos," he laughed, leaning forward onto his knees, and rubbing at the back of his neck. The past was a funny thing, but that part of their past… It was a mix of emotions, and while they only spoke of the lighter memories right now, he couldn’t help but feel the pang of strife that came from that period in their history.
Emotions had always been too raw for the both of them, but recently, Jaxon was trying harder to work through his. Jaxon had learned to speak his mind, speak what he was feeling, lest it come out way too late. But Avery’s gaze had this way of reverting him, and just as she fidgeted and shied away from his honesty, he couldn’t help but do the same. And bless her heart, ever the one to make a joke to ease them out of that thicket. He chuckled low, rolled his eyes and nudged her playfully. “Ya little shit,” but he gave her a sweet smile, a silent affirmation of what he offered her, knowing she understood, even as she brushed it off. Regardless, he allowed himself to fall into the joking that was much easier than the rebuilding of their underlying issues. “Jus’ think how great my ass would look in tights,” he grinned, laughing easy. “What!? Ya mean I can’t be the furry Superman?” he gave an exaggerated pout at her. And when she poked him, he couldn’t help but huff out the breath of air he was holding and fall into deep laughters. “Well… ‘m not sure my voice can get high enough ta do his little squeal. An’ ‘m pretty sure the Doughboy didn’t have a deep voice. Oh god… Doughboy with Samuel L. Jackson’s voice,” he disolved again into deep laughs that rumbled through his chest.
"That’s a valid point - I’m sure the hobos on day 37 of a two month meth binge probably lose their appeal at some point. Wait, wait, wait - beautiful and brilliant? Oooh, Jaxon, you better watch the way you dole out those compliments, I might get to used to ‘em again.”, the words meant to be a joke, but the full weight of the memories behind them landed squarely upon her shoulders. When anyone else had said those words, they were just that: words, devoid of any meaning. Jaxon had a way of making her believe it was true though, that maybe she was beautiful and maybe she was smart. His optimistic honesty had been one of the harder things for her to let go of during his more recent absence.
The shrinks had told her that closing herself off, “compartmentalizing” things, was detrimental to her mental well-being, but it was the only way she knew how to live. For so many years, she had to block off emotion to protect that little bit of human being that was left within. Jaxon, however, saw past all of that - even now. He knew that behind the tough exterior was the little girl who was still terrified of thunderstorms or the woman who cried at sappy romance movies. The shields that Avery had grown so used to throwing up around other people, the impenitrable walls were in fact penetrable by one thing: Jaxon. ”Before I would have said yes, but now….I dunno, I think you might be getting a little flabby in your old age, man.”, she grinned, poking at his sides, having known that most men Jaxon’s age were a bit insecure about their age. ”and no furry Superman - It just doesn’t work for you.”
"I’m sure you could get that squeal going if you needed to. Remember when you were halfway through a shower one winter back in the city and the hot water went out? It sounded like you were going through puberty all over again. Oh good God - ‘I’m sick of these muthafuckin’ criminals in my muthafuckin’ city."
"An’ ya wondered why the guys gave me such a hard time fer keepin’ ya ‘round," he rolled his eyes and laughed in reminiscence, mirroring the gentle smile on Avery’s lips. He was glad for this moment, the slightest glimpse, no matter how fleeting, that told him all was not lost for the pair. There was still hope.
“No, no… Yeah. Not askin’ for anythin’. ‘Course. I totally understand. I jus’… Jus’ don’t want ya thinkin’, feelin’ alone… ‘Cause…” he paused, looking up at her with firm eyes. As hard as this was for them, this was important, and with the state Jax was in, he needed Avery to be taken care of. His hand wrapped around hers, the one picking at the sheets. He skimmed his thumb over her knuckles, “Yer not alone, DQ.” He nodded, releasing her hand and leaning back before the moment became too much for either of them. Instead the attention was turned back to him, and he fidgeted, chuckling slightly as the ever ready joke rolled off her lips. “Oh yeah. Jus’ missin’ the tights, huh? Although, I could get behind the cape,” he quirked a brow, before setting his fits on his hips, and puffing out his chest in true superman fashion. He just wanted to make her laugh.
"Well, Jaxon - in all honesty, there were quite a few reasons why they gave you shit for that. It could have been that, it could have been the whole ‘but she’s a prostitute’ thing…there was a variety of reasons.", she grinned, remembering the looks that the other detectives used to shoot at her when she walked into the room. Jaxon, ever the defender, would always sort of shoo them away, eager to protect his….well, whatever she had been to him.
Her eyes flicked up to his, seeing understanding and something else, something she had never quite been able to put her finger on but something that felt familiar and welcome all the same. His hand wrapped over hers in that same comforting gesture that they had used on each other countless times before. It steadied her, grounded her in reality instead of letting her hide away in her own mind. ”Yeah, how could I be alone with all of these damned nurses hovering over one of the ‘tube bombing’ victims?” She replied, staring at one of the nurses walking by and making the ‘I’m watching you’ gesture with her hand. ”And here I was thinking the whole point of a cape was that it got behind you, not the other way around. The tights though, I think you could rock those. You might have to shave your legs first though.”, she chuckled at his exagerated posture, “If I poke you in the belly right now, will you laugh like the pillsbury doughboy?”, leaning over, she poked him in the stomach, forcing him to exhale or laugh.
"Well god damn, would ya look at that. Gonna kinda miss bailin’ ya outta jail. The look on yer face. A mix of "fuck you, jail", "i’m sorry", and "let’s go home." It was cute," he laughed softly at the memory.
Jax paused, mulling over the words he was about to say. “Avery… I know we still got shit ta handle… But…. I’m here, ya know? For you… If ya want. I still care about ya. I was a fuckin’ moron, and an ass, and I get if yer still pissed at me. But… I’m still here, like I was before.” He peeked up at her, sheepish concern written all over his face. Clearing his throat, he scratched roughly at the back of his neck and looked away. “‘m fine, yeah? See. Right as rain. Jus’… Jus’ another day on the job. Done emergency response before. Nothin’ big,” he smiled at her, a weak one, one she would see through, but he tried none-the-less.
"Yeah, I’ll kind of miss it too. The look on the holding officers face when I organized everyone else in the cell to back me up - it was always pretty funny.", she laughed too, feeling more at ease with Jaxon than she had in awhile - but wasn’t sure if it was that or the pain killers.
She got quiet, almost pulling into herself to protect what little of her there was left. ”Hell, I know that…it’s just…I was never very good at this, remember? I appreciate the offer, and will keep it in mind. I can’t give you much more than that right now, I’m sorry.” Her eyes moved to her hands, picking at the invisible dust on the stiff hospital blankets. The tension grew thick in the small room, neither of them ever having been comfortable when it came to discussing emotions. A nod in his direction, Ave wanted to push, to pull him out of that dark corner in his mind - but knew that much like herself, that would just make him recede even further. ”Well, shit Jaxon Sawyer - the superman for the everyday working man.” she cracked, trying to lighten the air.
Perspective - I have it.
"Anymore, huh? Ya little rebel. I’ll make sure homicide or assault isn’t added to yer rap sheet."
"Blast like that… Pretty jarrin’," he murmured softly as he watched her touch the bandage, watching carefully for any flinch of pain. "Yer a fighter, Ave. I know ya don’t feel like it sometimes. But ya are," his voice was soft, fond as he attempted to reassure her. But the attention was turned on him. "Nah, nah. Jus’ a little burn, a cut, some stitches. Nothin’ bad at all. Hush," he brushed off quickly, not wanting to think about his condition at all.
"Nope, not anymore. It just became more cost-effective to control my temper. I’m all growed up now, Jaxon."
"Jarring, sure. But I’ve taken harder hits than that and walked away just fine. It’s…..just going to take a little bit longer than it used to, that’s all. I’ll be right as rain in no time at all.", her voice cracked out, trying to plaster an encourage smile onto her face as she had become so accustomed to doing around other people. "Eh, burns will fade, cuts will heal, and eventually the stiches will disappear too - but I think we both know I wasn’t necessarily talking about the physical, Jax." her eyes met his, saying things with a glance that neither of them were able to put into words.
Well I promise not ta poke yer noggin. And I’ll stave off anyone that tries too.
That sounds… painful. Shit… ‘m jus’ glad ya weren’t hurt worse. ‘m sorry ya were there though. Shit. Besides physical, everythin’ else okay? Don’t hit me, I know I sound like a nurse. ‘M just concerned. Indulge me for one sec, and then I’ll shut up. Okay?
"The effort is much appreciated, wasn’t really in the mood to be taken off to jail for snapping on one of them. I don’t allot for bail money in my budget anymore…"
"It more stunned me than anything, didn’t even know there was any damage until one of the medics made me sit down and get checked out.", she replies, fingers gently touching along the edge of the fresh bandage when she catches sight of a bandage peaking out from the edge of Jaxon’s shirt. "Nah, you don’t sound like a nurse. You sound more like one of the shrinks, who are just going to love getting this update call. I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine. You, on the other hand….you took a bit of a beating there, Sawyer.”
A-Avery? Shit, darlin’. Head injury? I… I know ya probably don’t wanna see me… But, are you okay?
Hell, at this point, I’d be willing to see just about anyone besides those damned nurses ”Excuse me, Ma’am, are you feeling any pain?” which is promptly followed by them poking the head wound.
I’m alright. Something wacked me in the head, piece of metal or something.
The one time. The one-goddamned-time I decided to use the underground instead of walking and it gets fucking blown up. The doctors said I should be fine, but with head injuries, you can’t be too safe. So, for the next 24 hours, it’s just me, the nurses, and the woman in the bed next to mine, who is long overdue for a change of bedpans.