An Empty Burrow, Revisited || Roger & Jessica
Standing steady beside her, having not yet sat down, Facilier moved from her front to the side of the chair she had settled in, resting his hand on the back’s wing. He stared down at her, worry continuing to wrestle about with uncertainty as to how to approach her burst of emotion. While he recognized how far their friendship extended, he often thought, after her visits, that he may have sometimes been too forward when stresses and laughter both coursed through those days and evenings.
His hand flexed on the stuffed and upholstered wing, tightening his grip upon it just as he tried to gain a hold on what he should do. Once, years ago, he would have jumped straight into the fray to discover what troubled her, just as she had done for him a great many times over. Now, however, those years had allowed him to realize that something had always been changing, and it hinted at a need for more delicate, if not altogether subtle, approach.
"Jess…," he started, voice strained with throat tightened in his attempt to understand how and what to do.
And then, as startled as he was by everything that had begun to transpire, it was entirely obvious what he should have done from the beginning. Just as he had done so many times in the past, and he suspected he would do many, many times more in the future, he knelt down beside where she sat and placed his fingertips on the edge of her elbow - just enough to have the contact there, but not enough to push the thought of a forceful attempt for confession or offered comfort.
"It’ll be okay, Jess. I can’t promise that, but, in some way or another, for now, it’ll be okay. You’re safe, here… from whatever it is that has caused you anguish. If you want, or need, to talk, we’ll do so when you’re ready."
Pressing just slightly more against her skin, he took to rubbing what he hoped were calming circles on her arm, if for no other reason to assuage his own discontented fear that he wasn’t helping enough.
"For now, though, just breathe. Breathe, and take as long as you need. I’ll be right here, exactly where I am, to listen or help - if that’s what you need, when you’re ready."
Jessica hiccuped and smothered the noise with a kerchief pulled from some long lost region, then dabbed at her eyes and stammered,
"I- I’m sorry to have c-come back to you- hic- In this state! Oh! I wish it were happier news-“
She eyed him pointedly, and sniffled, “I’ve missed you, y-you know.”
She wrung the kerchief and waved her arms, shrugging helplessly, “I had no idea what to plant at th-the end of summer an-and I had so much extra squash-“
There was a trumpeting noise, perhaps a little too kin to an elephant’s keening sound, and Jessica stammered on,
"A-and now with Roger and I- Oh! Doc, things are so bad and I don’t know h-how I let it happen-!”
She pulled back into the chair, shrinking into the fabric. It was faded in patches where she knew he’d rested his elbows frequently, or else drawn up in the chair to read. Her eyes traced the patterns on the walls, finding them blurred as she dabbed at her eyes again and her shoulders ached, tracing the curvature of her own shadow cast distantly.
It wasn’t often that she let it lose- A toon shadow was just as dangerous as a toon, and it’d been so hard to get it to behave since it’d been drawn after she was, but it mirrored her well now, pacing and running it’s hands through it’s hair. She frowned and sniffed pointedly, at which point it vanished, curling into the chair’s shadow— No need to encourage nonsense, even if she was upset. She groaned and leaned her face into one sprawling palm, fingers clutching her forehead and bordering her nose, the hiccups subsiding jerkily as she mumbled,
"I’ve been such a fool, Daniel. He’s been o-out late and I’ve been trying t get another job, j-just to keep steady you know, b-but I’ve been out so long and I’m worried he might..”
Her hand twisted the kerchief and she looked away, lips tightening. She swallowed, and whispered barely, “I’m afraid he’ll—”
But the words were like stones, and they crushed her thought by thought. She glanced to Daniel pleadingly, praying he’d guess her intent- But for all his magic, forcing mind-reading on him was about as effective as squeezing water from desert stones. She swallowed,
"I’m afraid he’s bored with me—O-or worse. I barely see him anymore, a-and we just— Walked by each other this morning. H-he leaves in the morning and isn’t back for so late, and I’ve had days where I’m lucky to wake up and hear him sleeping in the early hours…”
Feeling sick, she shook her head and looked up at the ceiling, eyes watering, “And I’m afraid it’s all my fault.”
"Raised Jewish-" Jess pauses, then adds, "Well, drawn. Half-Jewish. I don’t practice, however, and it wasn’t a large part of my upbringing.”
She shrugs and smiles, “Just not something I devote myself too anymore! On the other hand, I do celebrate Christmas but-” She smiles and waves a hand, “That’s more for Roger’s benefit than mine! And I do love decorating the house for the holidays. There’s no sense of, er God, I suppose, in it for me, just the general good will and caring. I have a hard time objecting to the idea of being kind to others.”
[OOC NOTE; I generally keep religion fully out of Jess’ interactions, to avoid conflict, confusion, etc. u3u And she’s a ‘Toon, so— Not a really, really big deal in Toon Town, I’d think, outside of… Tract Land. But no one goes there. >_>]
[Posted in tandem with last post to provide insight from Jess rather than from me.]
//Despite that I got this
six days FOREVER ago, I’m doing it anyway. 8D
Does your character dream or are their nights filled with an empty blackness? Describe a dream they’ve had or a night they couldn’t sleep and what they did to preoccupy their time.
It varies; Jess generally doesn’t dream a lot, as Toon Town during the day is enough mental over simulation for anyone, never mind someone who spends all her time repressing her Toon nature, but when she does dream they’re often very vivid.
Not colorful, oddly enough, generally a fairly even sense of monochrome where colors are involved (all shades of blue, red, purple, gray, whichever mood) but with a lot of emotion to them. Everything is heightened and important, and she’s woken up in various states of alarm or anxiety from them before.
Once in a while she’s had a nice dream, but she’s not afforded the luxury of remembering those, just a fleeting sense of calm and a state of tranquility that’s hard to find during the day outside of rainy mornings with a cup of coffee and a good book.
Recently, Jess woke up in the middle of the night from a dream just out of memory’s reach, so after a good ten minutes of sitting up and hugging her knees, listening to Roger dream and murmur in his sleep, she went downstairs and had some tea while waiting for the sun to rise. She used the spare time for some chores, but crawled back into bed after a few hours.
What do they think of creation? Do they believe in evolution or do they believe in God? What is their religion like?
Jessica believes in creation— She has too, after all, having been created somehow. The details of her own creation are hazy— “Born”, or made by, Polish American immigrants (whom she does refer to as mother and father) and raised in a non-practicing Jewish “household” (arguably, more a studio than a home) before moving to Toontown, well. Something had to happen. She was ‘created’ along the line somewhere. Why wouldn’t anyone else be?
Depending on the verse or my canonical feelings, Jessica didn’t have so much a ‘childhood’ as she did a brief learning period before being put to work in cartoons and advertisement. Book canon says she went to Highschool with Roger, but that’s negligible and something I’m leaving out of DRP canon for now;
Jessica just.. Was one day.
Talking about her own creation bothers her a little, and she’s not at all sure why or how her creation works; she’s honestly a little afraid to find out. There’s something involving being drawn, of course, and then the animation and…Ideally, an ‘assignment’, but she believes it’s more important for her to determine her own purpose than to have one that was pre-assigned to her thrust back upon her. Besides, she grew close to her creators/animators when she was alive, why should she bother them with useless questioning? It’d probably just wind up being very uncomfortable.
Moving on from literal creation, Jessica is pretty ambivalent. She likes the idea of God, sure, but she’s noticed the idea causes a lot of trouble and a lot of feelings that aren’t necessarily best to incite in mixed company. Jessica and Roger celebrate Christmas, but as Jess has expressed before she does it more for Roger’s benefit than any religious entitlement (and though she is much in agreement with the idea of “Good will towards men,” and the “golden rule,” she prefers to take things on an individual basis than the great plan of people she’s never met.)
Having been raised to entertain, she’s not unfamiliar with religion or what it means to people; she just doesn’t partake. She’ll use phrases like “Oh, my God,” or “Mother of God—” to convey meaning or expression, but she’s not all that attached to them.
If it helps your character, she’ll sit and listen and pray with them, but it doesn’t afford her the same inner-peace feelings it may to others. For her, the act of prayer is more an act of inner reflection than a gesture to any grand or divine force.
Maybe someday she’ll consider it, but for now she feels she’s got herself, her family, and her friends, and maybe that’s all she really needs.
If your character was allowed to murder one person without any consequences, who would that person be and why?
If he weren’t already dead, it’d be that bastard Acme and his pal Maroon. Will or not, Acme knew what he was doing to her was more than just blackmail, and it’s never sat well on her conscious. She’s certain, without a doubt, that Maroon was in on it— Any further and she doesn’t want to know.
They turned a decent woman into one hell of a pretender though, and to that much, and that much alone would she feel she owes them anything. That, however, wouldn’t be enough to spare either. She’s pretty sure she and Roger could have hacked it on their own somehow.
Your character has been granted 3 wishes; what would they wish for and why?
One: To see Roger happy. He’s her world, and a day without his laugh is like a day without the sun. Furthermore, an unhappy Roger is a very unhappy Jessica, and she tends to take — Measures— in fixing those sort of problems.
Two: To see her friends happy and well-taken care of, particularly Mr. Valiant, Dr. Facilier, and Mr. Santorini. They’ve had enough troubles and there’s only so much one woman can do to help.
Three: If she wanted to be selfish, she’d ask for children. Selfishness is hard for her, however, so instead she’d ask the wish go to a child who needed it.
Are they afraid of death? Do they have any regrets?
Death is a peripheral for toons; It’s there like something hidden, and it’s always a possibility. If you’re forgotten, you fade, and that’s their death.
Jess walks a fine line between wanting to be remembered and not wanting to be known; Being remembered means flourishing and living, but being known could mean anything and there’s some times in a woman’s life where that’s not as acceptable as it used to be.
Jessica spends a lot of time worrying about what it is she’s known for, even if she’s ell aware of it. She takes pride in being known for how she looks, but would prefer to be known for how she acts. I feel she’d prefer to fade and die in obscurity, having done well, than live forever in infamy.
Of course, there’s always the uncertain— The threat of magical mortality, or DIP, or just being hurt beyond repair from ink or paint. Jess is drawn to bleed and be wounded in some verses/incidences, so that’s always a threat— It’s funny that how far she’s pushed herself from being a Toon has made her that much more human. (Through various mun magic and finagling, and plot necessity, but still.)
So. Death is a vague fear but not a pressing one.
If there are any regrets (and there are many, which I may get into another time) she hopes they die with her and quickly, rather than letting her linger during fading.
"What is this, a circ-"
POP! POP! POP! POP!
Ohhh, that, Meg thought as she winced at the sound.
She watched Jessica throw the firecrackers at the perverted monster, who screamed and scurried away, uttering curses at them both.
Deposited rather rudely on the ground, Jess stood and blinked, focusing quite a bit of effort on not emitting birds, whistles, stars, or any other manner of Toon reaction. Usually she could suppress it quite well, but—
Well, some gags were hardier than others. Wiping off her dress, she glanced to Meg and exhaled,
"Oh! Thank heavens— I am so, so sorry to have dragged you into that. He didn’t hurt you or anything, did he?"
She frowned, moving close, then paused, “Er- I’m a nurse, if that helps any?”
Red Hot, Ice Cold || Elsa & Jess
Elsa let out a little huff of air at the name - Rabbit. Really. There is no way that’s true. - but at her next words, a little bit later but still there all the same, she felt herself relax, the tension easing from her shoulders. That would explain why so many people had been found in the palace walls recently - people who weren’t meant to be there and often hustled just as quickly out. Yes, sometimes they were taken elsewhere for questioning, but it was taken care of by the guards; Elsa rarely had any real interaction with any of them.
In matter of fact, this was the first she’d met.
She allowed herself to ease out of her defensive stance, even as she felt the ice at her fingertips, wary and unafraid, eyes still narrow. One hand raised to rest on her forehead, fingers smoothing the edge of one brow. ”I don’t think you’re an idiot. Foolish, yes, but no more so than the others following that snake in the grass.” She sighed and focused on the woman again, her hand dropping away.
"Maybe next time consider our reasons for shutting the castles off and do not interfere."
Jessica flushed but drew herself up, smoothing down her dress and murmuring an assortment of, “Yes, well, er-” And cleared her throat. Carefully, she lifted her eyes again to her Majesty, and a dull frown played across her face,
"Really, now? Goodness- I’ve half a mind to leave and drag him back by the ear to you myself."
Tsking, she shook her head and tucked back her hair. There was a moment’s pause, before she curtsied as best she could (cotillion be damned that It HAD come in handy—) and rose slowly. Briefly considering offering her hand, she paused, then folded her hands in front of her thinking otherwise,
"Thank you for your kindness. Er- If you don’t mind, I’ll probably not mention this in the letter back to my husband.”