5465/The Wrath of J Jonah Jameson

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The Wrath of J Jonah Jameson
Date of Scene: 06 March 2021
Location: The Daily Bugle Building
Synopsis: Peter Parker runs into Eddie Brock in the Daily Bugle lobby. A confrontation with J. Jonah Jameson results in Eddie taken away in a squad car, and Peter negotiating to get the charges dropped.
Cast of Characters: Eddie Brock, Peter Parker

Eddie Brock has posed:
The lobby of the Daily Bugle Building is like many an office building in New York. Areas with chairs for visitors to wait for someone to get them. A coffee stand that makes a pretty fair brew. Even a little shop where tourists can get T-shirts emblazoned with a picture of the iconic building, with famous headlines, or even the face of the paper's famed editor.

Eddie Brock hadn't spent much time in the building. Not in years. Once an investigative journalist with the paper, his work on the Sin-Eater serial killer had been his downfall. Having come in possession of a confession with damning details, he'd been pressured by editor J. Jonah Jameson to take it to press before it was ready. Eddie had caved, and the Bugle had declared the name of the killer in it's headlines that day.

The next day, Spider-Man brought the real killer to justice. A police officer who lived next door to the mentally ill man that Eddie's article had accused. Jonah threw his journalist under the bus both publicly and professionally. Leaving Eddie seething with a desire for revenge, and dooming him to a life writing for tabloids, or at most ghost writing something when a former friend or colleague would try to throw him a bone.

Eddie's handoff of something just like that had just happened, a box with a USB and some material evidence that couldn't be transmitted electronically. And he knew he should leave. Instead Eddie sat in the thick metal chairs outside the coffee stand, watching people move through the lobby bathed in sunlight by the walls that were floor to ceiling windows in front. A pair of cops were swapping stories over coffee on the other side of the seating area. Eddie just sat, listening. But not to the men.

   <<Venom>> "You should go upstairs now. Kill Jameson. You know he deserves it. He ruined your life. He cost you your job. He cost us Ann. He deserves to die a hundred times over. You know that you want to do it, Eddie! Now is the time!"

Peter Parker has posed:
And of course, because the Parker Luck is a real and force for trouble, it is about this time that Peter Parker comes in.
He's a little wiped. The current work for Ted is challenging, and a full series of midterms are burning up the energy he doesn't expend punching bad guys. So it takes him the distance from the front door to the security desk before he stopped.
Peter tries to be subtle, pausing...then sighing and heading for the bathroom. He steps around the corner and is instantly alert, peering around the corner he just cleared.

He hoped he was wrong, but he wasn't. It was Eddie Brock his ownself. He looked distracted, but Peter had no idea what it could be. But he did remember what had happened.
It had been the Sin-Eater thing. His first serial-killer encounter. Eddie had seemed okay at the time, just...desperate to make good. The blowback from the confession was unforgettable, but he knew JJJ had castigated himself in private. But the man's ego at the time was enough that certain sacrifices had to be made for the sake of journalism.
And sometimes that meant HUMAN sacrifices.

What bothered him was the other look. When he wasn't distracted. A look of emotionless intent, or possible restrained anger. The look of a guided missile.
So...he had to see what it was.

A few minutes later, a voice came from Eddie's left. "Hey, there...Eddie, right?"

Peter gave Eddie his best disarming smile, the one he used when explaining why he was late for the umpteenth time.

Eddie Brock has posed:
Eddie looks at his coffee cup, but leaves it untouched. His foot nudges the table's leg. Good metal tables and chairs, he had always liked the choice when he'd had his morning coffees here. The chairs screech a bit when slid across the floor, but they had a nice sense of solidity to them.

   <<Venom>> "I know you want us to change. But not in this. He deserves it Eddie. I know how often you think about it. Every time we walk past the garbage down to that little apartment with the card table and not even enough shelves for your books. That's what he made us. Garbage."

Eddie Brock's eyes go over to the two policemen. Though their uniforms just bring up a memory. Police in dress uniforms all in perfectly formed lines. Wearing black armbands. "No," he murmurs sotto voce at the memory.

The movement of someone approaching him pulls Eddie's head up. When he sees who it is, a bit of a smile comes to his face. "Peter Parker. As I live and breathe. You still toiling around here? Taking pictures or have they finally realized the talent they've had under their noses the whole time and set you to work writing?" Eddie asks. He rises from his chair to offer Peter a handshake.

Peter Parker has posed:
No sense of danger, no blare of the Spider-Sense. Maybe he read the guy wrong.
"Still taking pictures, sadly. I got a job as a lab tech, but all that money gets eaten up by tuition, books, materials, and the like. I got into Empire State University, though, and so far, so good."
He gets the feeling calling attention to the fact that most of the pics he sells are of Spider-Man. That subject has a somewhat...AWKWARD position here.
"How have you been doing, Eddie? You sorta vanished about the same time I was making a living selling pics, and I didn't know how to reach out to you. Didn't have much luck on social media."

Eddie Brock has posed:
Eddie has an easy smile for Peter, a bit of a lopsided thing that turns up one side of his mouth more than the other. He's got about two days of growth on his chin, his clothing simple. Jeans, a black shirt and a dark green jacket. "Oh yeah? Empire State? That's great Pete. You were always into the science thing if I remember right."

"You know," Eddie says with a wry smile, "I was just over there. Well actually I live in Greenwich anyway, but I mean at ESU. Science building even. Ran into this girl in a wheel chair getting off a city bus." Eddie gives a small shrug and continues in his typically coarse, deep tone, "Ended up offering to push her and she was going to meet some professor in the Science Building. Guess she goes to Columbia, came over to collaborate."

At the question about how he's doing, Eddie gives a little shrug of his shoulders. The way his eyes drift away from Peter rather than continuing to meet his eyes is probably the more honest answer as Eddie says, "Oh, I'm getting by ok. You know me. Yeah, there wasn't much good with my name out there for awhile so I just shut down everything like that," he says, eyes still avoiding Peter for a moment before he looks back. "So you're still in the science thing are you? I had something I could maybe use an opinion on, actually."

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter's apologetic smile grew more natural and warm. Peter still hasn't changed. Give you his last buck for a coffee, always willing to provide an answer if you had a question.

"Well, Eddie, what say I buy us a drink, and you can bend my ear all you want. I may even have an answer, I hope."

Eddie Brock has posed:
"Hey Peter, I'd like that. You can catch me up on how things have been. What was your aunt's name? May? Is she doing well? I've got a cup already, but why don't you grab one and join me?" Eddie replies, his speech having a slight slur once he gets going, but he's always talked that way, not a sign of drinking in his case.

The glass doors flanked by the floor-to-ceiling windows open up and J. Jonah Jameson strides in. He's wearing a suit as he always does in the office, and a jacket overtop. The editor in chief has a purposeful stride as he heads for the elevators. His pace suggests not only might he walk over anyone in his way, but probably enjoy doing.

He's halfway to the elevators when something distracts Jonah from his current thoughts. He comes to a complete halt and turns to look over at where Eddie Brock is talking to Peter Parker. "You!? What are you doing back in here!?" Jonah says, loudly enough the two policemen glance over briefly, before going back to talking over their coffee when nothing else is amiss. Jonah stalks over to stand before Peter and Eddie. "Parker! Didn't I fire him!? I'm sure I fired him," Jonah says rhetorically.

Peter Parker has posed:
Ah, Parker Luck, even when you fail, you keep on trying. It's ALMOST admirable.

"Well, yes, Mr. Jameson, but he's meeting up with me and this place has the best coffee in town."
It's actually barely above East River sludge, but he's not going to give JJJ an inch. Also, appealing to his ego.

Eddie Brock has posed:
Eddie doesn't say anything at first, just looks Jonah in the eye steadily. His feet in a little wider stance than normal. Eddie Brock doesn't tower, but he's built like a rugby player. He stares Jonah back down as the editor begins berating the two of them.

"I'd have thought you had more sense than that, Parker!" Jonah snaps. "Don't you know people judge you by the company you keep? And this one has already proven the kind of person he is. One not worth the time of decent, ethical journalists like ourselves!"

Eddie looks away, a muscle in his jaw twitching.

   <<Venom>> "You see! He doesn't deserve the air he breathes. We should end him, Eddie. His screams will be exquisite after all of the screaming you have endured from him."

Eddie stuff his hands into the pockets of his jacket so it won't be visible when they ball up into tight fists. "It's a coffee stand, anyone can get a cup here," Eddie replies in a tight voice.

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter takes a breath. In, out.

"Well, I've made my choice, Mr. Jameson. And since I'm only a freelancer, it means I'm not 'on the clock.' And Eddie's right. This coffee shop is open to the public, and Eddie qualifies. So...with all due respect, Mr. Jameson, I'm going to sit and talk with Eddie now."

Eddie Brock has posed:
Jonah fumes, as the man is consistent if nothing else, and he knows that both men have the right of Eddie's having a right to be there in the public space. "You disappoint me, Parker! Every time I think maybe you have a future in this business, you give me room to doubt you," Jonah says to Peter.

"Hey," Eddie says, eyes flitting to Peter and then back to Jonah. "Go easy on the kid. He doesn't deserve-"

Eddie's words are cut off by Jonah. "Just because I can't have you run out of here though doesn't mean I want to see you ruining an upstanding young man's possible career," Jonah says loudly to Eddie. He steps forward, getting right up in Eddie's face. "That's the problem with people like you! Only worrying about yourself and no one else. Not worrying about the consequences of running an innocent man's name through the mud!" Jonah says loudly into Eddie's face.

   <<Venom>> "Do it now Eddie! We can put a spike right through his heart! Listen to him! He was the one that pushed you to publish that article! You only did it because he made you!"

Eddie stares Jonah down, body tensing further as the other goes on. "Not a shred of ethical decency in you, Brock! I just wish I'd seen it sooner before you brought shame to the Daily Bugle and the fine men and women who call her home!"

   <<Venom>> "Kill him! He ruined your life! He cost you your fiance! KILL HIM EDDIE!"

Eddie Brock lashes out suddenly and violently. Not at Jonah but at the metal chair he'd been sitting in. Eddie kicks it savagely and sends it flying, skittering and sliding across the floor and right into one of those wall-to-ceiling windows at the front of the building. The glass shatters loudly, shards bouncing across the floor.

The two cops jump to their feet and start over.

Peter Parker has posed:
Then Peter does it.
He steps BETWEEN Eddie and Jameson. In his eyes, he is protecting Eddie from Jameson, and unknowingly protecting Jameson from Eddie.
"Look, we're GOING, okay?" He whispers to Eddie without looking back, "Get out of here, this is trouble you don't need. Meet me at Big Jake's food truck, east side of the Park. Just GET out of here..."

Eddie Brock has posed:
J. Jonah Jameson has a satisfied smirk on his face. Eddie has a wince as his funneling his emotions into something other than hurting Jonah results in far more than he had thought it would.

Eddie nods to Peter. "Yeah, kid. Sorry," he says, and starts to back away. But the cops are quicker.

They reach the trio, one of them grasping Eddie's shoulder firmly. "What's going on here?" the other asks, his focus going to the man in the suit, naturally.

J. Jonah Jameson stands up a little straighter. "I'm J. Jonah Jameson, managing editor of this building. I want that man arrested. For whatever you can. Vandalism! And, assaulting that chair," he says.

Eddie Lets out a sigh as the cop that has his shoulder pulls Eddie's hands behind his back and begins to cuff him.

The other cop looks to Peter. "What happened here? We saw him kick the chair through the window."

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter looked to the chair. Yeah, that was a surprising amount of force. He can't lie, but he can try to alleviate some of the damage.

"Look, it was an ACCIDENT. It wasn't vandalism. It was a mistake." He looked to the cop cuffing Eddie. "Hey! He's not violent, and he hasn't hurt anyone, you don't need to do that."

Yeah, he doesn't know everything.

"Look, at MOST, it's reckless endangerment of property. That's a Class B MISDEMEANOR. Just write him a citation, let him pay the fine, you don't have to take him to jail!"

Eddie Brock has posed:
The cop doing the talking seems the elder of the pair. He's about six feet two and probably in his late forties. A few age lines starting to show. From the cop's expression Peter can probably sense a sympathetic soul to Peter trying to stop this from turning into a full-fledged arrest. "Sir, if it wasn't intentional, a citation would be-" the cop starts to say to Jonah.

But Jonah cuts him off. "No, the Daily Bugle wishes to press charges to the full extent of the law. That window costs thousands. This miscreant needs to learn his lesson."

The cop sighs and motions to his partner, saying, "Take him out to the car." The other officer takes Eddie away. Eddie looks back over his shoulder to Peter, his expression a mix of apologetic, grateful, and resignation.

The cop meanwhile tries again, "The courts always have a heavy load, sir," he says to Jonah. He looks towards Peter as if to enlist his aid in dissuading Jonah from going through with pressing charges.

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter steps forward. "Mr. Jameson, there was no intent to cause damage, and the place has insurance for accidental damage."

He's really going to do this.

"Mr. Jameson, it's my fault he's here. If you don't press charges...I'll give you all my pictures free for the next week."

Eddie Brock has posed:
Jonah crosses his arms stubbornly, watching as Eddie is taken away, a satisfied light filling the newspaperman's eyes. But the entreaty from Peter Parker draws Jonah's attention back.

He reaches into his pocket, pulling out a cigar and inserting it into the corner of his mouth, if not lighting it. Even if he can't smoke inside, he still enjoys having it there. Especially when he's thinking.

"Free, for a week, you say?" Jonah says as if considering the offer. He makes a frowning face as he weighs it.

He lifts a hand to motion towards Peter. "We're talking action shots. No saving a cat from a tree, or old lady donating to orphans a quilt made from her laundry lint." He pauses, considering. "You can get those next week. But action shots. Spider-Man up to no good. Maybe some of the Avengers. Deal, Parker?"

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter takes a deep breath.
Well...Aunt May will understand. He just hopes ConEd will.
"No puff pieces or gimmes. Whatever I can get, you have. Actions, evidentiary, raw footage. That's the deal. You have my word on it."

Eddie Brock has posed:
Jonah chews on the end of his cigar as he often does while he's thinking. "Alright, Parker, you got a deal," he says. Though Jonah turns to the policeman, and says, "But I want him taken and booked first. Then let him go. He needs to realize the seriousness of his actions."

The cop lets out a breath of relief. If he can save the city having to detain someone, and the courts having to handle the case, over something minor like this, then he's done his work for the day. "Alright. We'll book him and release him in a couple of hours," he agrees.

The cop looks to Peter and gives the 19 year old a nod. "Thanks for the help," he tells Peter. The officer has been taking notes. One of the building security people who came over to listen in, but had let the cop handle it, says, "I can provide you the rest of the information, contact details and such."

J. Jonah Jameson nods his head and says, "You have loyalty Parker. I respect that. Just be careful it doesn't end up getting misplaced. Alright this has taken up enough of my time, there's work to be done," he says, turning towards the elevators.

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter sighed in shaky relief, then headed towards the car where Eddie had been taken.

He was going to have to ask how he sent a chair through plate glass, but now was definitely not the time.
Peter said through the door, "Eddie? I'm going to follow you to the police station. They will take you in, book you, ask questions. SAY NOTHING without a lawyer. They're going to let you go, anyway."
Another deep breath. "I'll wait for you at the station, so I'll be there when they release you. After that, if you want to head home, I'll have a subway token for you. Just admit to nothing but your name. Assume no wrongdoing. Make it easy for them by keeping it uncomplicated, and they'll let you go." He paused. "Want me to grab something for you from White Castle or Popeye's Chicken?"

Eddie Brock has posed:
Eddie is in the car when Peter arrives, the cop leaning against the vehicle in front of the passenger door. His radio is squawking, the other officer providing this one with an update of the situation. "... and the other guy cut a deal so he wouldn't press charges."

The cop keys his mike back. "Roger that. Alright, will wait for you here." He turns off the radio and tells Peter, "Nice job," then wanders over to the front of the car, checking out some dings and scratches on it.

Eddie looks up through the glass to see Peter there. "Thanks Peter. You're a real decent guy. Let my temper get the better of me," he says. "Nah, thanks. You've done a lot already. I should be the one buying you something," Eddie calls back through the window.

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter shook his head. "...Forget it, Eddie. Just...try to keep the chair-kicking to the absolute minimum, and we're square." He reaches into his backpack, pulling out a couple of Milky Way bars. "It's all I got, but it'll take the hunger edge off if you want 'em."

Eddie Brock has posed:
The cop comes around, offering to take the candy bars. "I'll give them to him at the station," he promises Peter.

Eddie gives Peter a grateful look. "Thanks Peter. I'll find a way to make it up to you," he calls back through the shatter-resistant glass. He lets out a sigh then and sits back in the car. From inside the building, the other cop emerges, the broken glass crunching under his feet until he's made it past it and over to the car. "Alright, let's get him to the station," he says as he moves around to the driver's seat, and the other cop moves to take the other front seat.

The cop tips his cap towards Peter then climbs inside the car. The police vehicle pulls away then, Eddie looking back over his shoulder out the back window towards Peter, before the car turns a corner and drives off out of view.

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter watched the cop car go and sighed.
An entire WEEK of pictures. Plus, so much for his sugar fix.

Oh, well. As an old economist once said, "Who among us is immune from the unexpected?"
He took a deep breath, then headed for the nearest alley. Maybe he should talk to Eddie about setting up a blog or something, where his blacklisting can be sidestepped. He just looked so...lost.

Sometimes, the best you can give is some advice and a couple of candy bars. The trials and travails of the Blue-Collar Superhero.

...Hey, that's not a bad title. Maybe after he finished SUPERHEROING ON $5 A DAY...