This is especially for rozk, who introduced me to Jessica Jones.
This is an Angel / Marvel crossover, set two years after the end of Angel Season 5 (and ignoring the comics), and shortly after the end of the first story arc in The Pulse. For more on Jessica Jones see her Wikipedia entry, and various Marvel comics, most notably Alias (nothing to do with the TV show) and The Pulse. See part I for disclaimers and acknowledgements.
Marcus L. Rowland
"NO!" shouted J. Jonah Jameson, "The Bugle will NOT pay for you to protect one of your super-friends without you telling me why!"
"She's a client, not a friend, and I only met her yesterday. You know I have to maintain client confidentiality." Jessica didn't remind him that he was a former client. "I'm not protecting a secret identity, if that's what you were wondering. She's nobody you would have heard of, just a frightened pregnant woman."
"I have to agree with Jessica," said Ben Urich, "I think the real story here, if there is one, is security at the clinic."
"I looked up their company records on line," said Kat Farrell, looking at her notebook. "Forty percent is owned by Stark Industries, thirty-five by Fantastic Four Inc., ten by Warren Worthington. The rest of the shares are owned by the doctors who set the place up. It's not a publicly traded stock so not all of information is on line, but they look to have assets of around fifty million dollars. That ought to pay for a fair amount of security."
"The Friends of Humanity tried to trash the place a couple of years ago," said Urich. "She-Hulk happened to be there for a check-up at the time, so that didn't get very far. They also had some trouble with the pro-life crowd, but since there's a big overlap between them and the Friends that never really came to much, those guys like the idea of supers having abortions."
"Is there a story in that?" asked Jameson. "Are they conducting unnecessary abortions? Was your friend after an abortion when she was snatched?"
"She's not my friend, she's a client," Jessica repeated, guessing that Jameson was starting to get interested, "and she wasn't after an abortion, it was a prenatal health check. I can ask around, but I've heard nothing to suggest that they're doing anything unethical. It's an obstetrics and gynaecology centre, I guess they must have to do things occasionally if a pregnancy goes wrong, but I've never heard of anyone going there with the intention of getting an abortion."
"If The Pulse covers this," said Kat, "we could include an article about the medical side of things. The downside of being a super-mom."
"Didn't Cosmopolitan cover that a couple of months ago?" Jessica had read the article with morbid interest.
"Doesn't matter," said Jameson, "we'll give it a different slant, find some celebrity mothers who are willing to talk to us."
"You want to go for it?" asked Urich.
"See what you can come up with," said Jameson, "but it had better be good."
"I didn't think he'd go for it," said Urich, once they were out of Jameson's office, "he can be a cheap bastard. How do you want to handle things?"
"I can ask around in the community," said Jessica, "there are a couple of leads I want to follow up, nothing really concrete yet."
"I'm probably best for the police and any mob connections."
"And that leaves me to visit the clinic," said Kat, "and ask some questions about their security."
"What about the girl?" asked Urich.
"Luke's on it for now," said Jessica, getting her things together. "I'd better be moving."
"Anything else we should know?"
"Don't be surprised if this one gets weird."
"Do you want to make that a little less vague?" asked Kat.
"I'll talk to you later." Jessica headed for the elevator. A few minutes later she was en route to Greenwich Village.
You didn't find Stephen Strange's house unless he wanted it found, or you were a powerful enough magician to get through its outer shields. You didn't get inside unless Strange really wanted you there. When the taxi dropped Jessica at a convenient corner she looked up and realised she was right outside his front door... which opened as she was about to knock. A few minutes later she was in his study, explaining the circumstances.
"I see," said Stephen Strange. "What makes you think I can help?"
"She's a goddamned werewolf, and her boyfriend was some sort of supernatural detective. Who else would I go to?"
"Hmmm…" Strange steepled his fingers, seemingly lost in thought then said "As it happens, I do know a little. Her friend Angelus came close to precipitating a war between the lesser demonic realms, fought on the streets of Los Angeles. It was cleverly done but foolhardy, and Angelus and most of his associates died in the battle."
"Angelus? She said Angel."
"He used both names. Angel when he had his soul, Angelus on the occasions he… mislaid it."
"How do you lose a soul?"
"He was a vampire, I'd imagine that keeping it was the hard part. Didn't she tell you?"
"These are murky waters, Miss Jones, but I can't immediately think of any reason for Miss Ash to be in danger from demonic sources. The destruction of the Black Thorn and their front organisation in this dimension left a power vacuum. You might imagine it as equivalent to the eradication of one of New York's lesser crime families, with every other faction scheming to take their place. Access to Earth and human souls is one of the prizes, of course, but for now, at least, they are far more concerned with their internal struggle."
"Could revenge be a motive?"
"It's a possibility, I suppose, but those who would be most inclined to seek revenge are dead, their factions in disarray. And Miss Ash would not be an obvious target in any event."
"Is there any way you can find out?"
"I can certainly make enquiries."
"Is there anyone else that might target werewolves?"
"Bounty hunters, wizards and hedge-witches, and anyone else who regards them as a threat or an opportunity… I'm afraid that they are potent magical creatures, and many are greedy for their powers. But most hunters would target a werewolf in its animal form, not human. The first night of the full moon is still three days away."
"Okay. So maybe they don't know she's a werewolf."
"If what you described is correct, they most certainly do. Werewolves have considerable resistance to drugs, and it carries over to their human form. To take her so quickly they must have used several times the normal human dose of tranquiliser."
"Crap. Any ideas?"
"Find out more about the conception of Miss Ash's cubs; question her, see if you can learn anything more."
"Want to give me a hint as to why?"
"For all its fur and teeth, a werewolf is still essentially a transformed human, not a wolf. Miss Ash may believe that they were sired by a wolf, but it is far more likely that the father is human, or another werewolf."