Your Name: Phoenix
OOC Journal: birdburning
Under 18? If yes, what is your age?: 21, overage
Email + IM: firstname.lastname@example.org + birdburning @ AIM
Characters Played at Ataraxion: Libby | OC | amethysts, Annie Cresta | The Hunger Games | maredementis
Name: Jane Margolis
Canon: Breaking Bad
Original or Alternate Universe: OU
Canon Point: Episode 12, Season 3, post-death
Number: 111. If unavailable, RNG away!
Setting: Breaking Bad is set in the modern world, with a focus on the drug-riddled underbelly of society. It's completely realistic. Often horribly so!
Jesse Pinkman: You know, I don't get it. Why would anyone paint a picture of a door over and over again - like, dozens of times?
Jane Margolis: But it wasn't the same.
Jesse Pinkman: Yeah, it was.
Jane Margolis: It was the same subject, but it was different every time: the light was different, her mood was different; She saw something new every time she painted it.
Jesse Pinkman: And that's not psycho to you?
Jane Margolis: Well, then why do we do anything more than once? Should I just smoke this one cigarette? Maybe, we should only have sex one time since it's the same thing.
Jesse Pinkman: Whoa, no -
Jane Margolis: Should we just watch one sunset? Or live just one day? It's new every time. Each time is a different experience.
What we know of Jane's history prior to her appearance on the show is this: she's been a drug addict since she was sixteen, with frequent visits to rehab at the behest of her father. Her mother is absent from her life. She was clean for eighteen months before meeting Jesse Pinkman and relapsing. Her drug of choice is heroin, preferably mixed with crystal meth. She's a tattoo artist with no tattoos, because commitment scares her. She was born April 4th, 1982.
Onscreen, Jane shows a streak of empathy for other lost people when she lets Jesse (with his hilarious fake name of Jesse Jackson) rent out the apartment next to hers on cash, albeit with restrictions--such as DBAA. "Don't Be An Asshole." Jane isn't about to deny someone else a second chance, especially after he tells her about being kicked out. She gets being a disappointment. Her job as the manager of her father's building is, clearly, an act on his part to employ her, keep her under control, and make sure she's somewhere he can find her.
The next time we see Jane, it's when Walter White comes to talk to Jesse in the aftermath of Jesse witnessing a murder, although Jane doesn't know about that. Walter introduces himself as Jesse's father, which essentially shuts Jane down as a means of help--she refuses to let him into Jesse's apartment, protectively. Jesse does answer the door eventually, and thanks Jane for having his back. She's obviously concerned, but lets it go. She doesn't get involved in family.
Later, Jesse comes out of his apartment while Jane is drawing. Jesse compliments her art and comments it'd make a hell of a tatt, which leads to her telling him she's a tattoo artist. He asks why she has no tattoos and she says that it's too big of a commitment. Then a friendly biker comes by and reveals Jesse's actual last name in praising him, which doesn't really surprise Jane. When she calls him on it he awkwardly walks away.
Jane comes home some time after Jesse buys his flatscreen, and Jesse hilardoraweirdly listens to her through the wall. He comes out to join her for a cigarette and explains his name, as well as the fact Walter isn't his father. He asks if she'll kick him out, and Jane says she doesn't make it her business what he does as long as he does it somewhere else. Relieved, he invites her in to see his new flatscreen.
A flatscreen which isn't picking up a signal. He nervously babbles about its qualities as Jane says silent. Then Jane reaches for his hand and kisses him, and it's basically the cutest thing in the world.
Until later on, after they have sex, and they adorable around with banter about his furniture, that Jane can smell his weed, her father being a bloodhound, and that he's caught her many a time. Playfully, Jesse invites her to light up with him. She goes tense immediately and starts getting dressed. Confused, Jesse asks what's wrong. Jane avoids answering for a while, but eventually tosses him her 18 month chip and says that she's in recovery. Jane is a former heroin addict, and any drug use or drinking will eventually lead to a lapse. Jesse immediately minimizes his drug use and promises not to smoke up in the house anymore, then invites Jane out, but she turns him down and walks out somewhat ambiguously after complimenting his flatscreen.
After a terrible day of crime and risk, Jesse returns home to find a mattress propped against his wall. Jane let the movers in to deliver it, she reveals, when she knocks on his door and he lets her in. They talk for like...five seconds, then immediately christen the mattress.
Eventually, the bed does get sheets and a comforter, and Jane invites Jesse to the Georgia O'Keefe museum in Santa Fe. Jesse resists, jokingly, and Jane informs him they are going and that some of the paintings look like vaginas, so he might even like it. Then Walter calls, because he ruins everything, and Jesse hurriedly retreats to the other room to talk to him. He tells Walt, irritatedly, that he's going to a museum, but Walt pressures him into cooking with him instead by lying about their methylamine going bad. He comes out and tells Jane that something came up, and she's cool with it, prompting him to call her awesome. And kissing!
Jesse comes back after...more hideous risk and terrible things, as is a theme, and after recovering a little he starts making Jane breakfast in bed as a surprise. She wakes up and interrupts his kitchen failure, offering to make coffee--but Jesse says he doesn't want her to have to do anything. Over huevos rancheros, Jesse tells her that he has the day off from work--in his words, "I'm all yours".
So later on they review some of Jesse's old drawings of superheroes from a few years before. Jane teases him that they all look like him, and Jesse protests, saying that she must have wanted a superpower too when she was a kid. Their cuddling is interrupted by knocking at Jane's door, which makes her panic and scramble to dress herself to go back to her apartment. Jesse knows something is up, but Jane doesn't explain.
It turns out the knocking is Jane's father, who is about to let himself in before she makes it to the door and lies about what took her so long. Jesse boldly decides to go outside to meet him, but Jane introduces him as only a tenant, acting like there's nothing going on between them--like she barely knows him. She takes her father inside and leaves Jesse hurt and baffled on his doorstep.
When Jane comes home from lunch with her father she goes to see Jesse. He lets her in and then confronts her about ignoring their...whatever it is, at that point. Jane acts like it's nothing, shutting him out and saying her father is a hardass, that she was helping him out and protecting him. She cites letting him smoke as a favour. She says that he's the stoner guy she's sleeping with, and Jesse tries to force the issue of their relationship--to him, it's not just sleeping together. Jane rejects his overture, saying "Who's you and me?" Jesse walks out, wounded and angry, leaving Jane with her popsicle and buckets of regret.
Jesse smokes crystal after he gets home, trying to ease the hurt of Jane's rejection. Jane, however, slides a drawing under his door. A superheroine crying with an A on her chest, who looks like her, labelled "Apology Girl". Jesse smiles at it, and things are restored between the two fucked up little weirdos.
More horrible stuff happens in Jesse's life--specifically, his friend and one of the dealers working for him, Combo, is shot and killed. They're watching TV when Jesse breaks down and tells Jane he needs her to leave, saying there's things about him he doesn't know. She correctly asserts that he's a drug dealer, but Jesse elaborates, telling her about Combo's murder. And that he intends to smoke crystal meth to cope. He doesn't want to mess with her recovery by involving her in that. Jane tries to talk him out of it and even going to a meeting with her, but Jesse refuses and goes to his room. Jane starts to leave, making it as far as the door.
Then she stops, and turns around, going to join Jesse. He's her guy, and she doesn't want to lose him. Since he won't quit, she'll relapse.
Jesse goes out to work with Walter, and returns to an apartment that's nothing like the clean space it used to be--it's littered with beer bottles and refuse. He goes to Jane in the bedroom, strung out from drug use, and coaxes her into going to Santa Fe and the museum with him. She agrees, but before even getting out of bed she does a hit of crystal.
The museum is, nevertheless, a good trip. Jane explains O'Keefe's style of art and the subject of her art. Jesse questions why she painted the same door over and over, and Jane says that there's value in repetition. Jesse is still skeptical, saying that she must have been obsessed with getting the door perfect. Jane says that nothing is perfect, and Jesse implies that she is. They kiss, and because it's a flashback it's the saddest thing ever.
Jane scores heroin that night. She and Jesse shoot up together, after mixing it with some meth. At this point, her backsliding is complete. She's happy to share it with him, saying that she'll meet him on the other side of injection. Her attitude is calm and capable.
Walter ends up having to break into Jesse's apartment when he won't answer his phone or door, because he and Jane are both completely out of it.
Jane wakes up when her phone rings. Her father has called about why she's not ready to go to her NA meeting, and she lies to him readily. She discovers the break-in and tells Jesse about it, displaying complete apathy--drug users are used to people jacking their things, and it's definitely not the first time Jane has had that happen. Jesse panics after she leaves, but she doesn't know about it.
Instead, she goes to NA with her father. She flips her chip in her hands guiltily as she listens to someone else's success story, knowing she has no right to be there. Afterwards she goes to lunch with her father, inventing a lie about a complex tattoo to explain her tiredness. He expresses that he wishes she didn't work at a tattoo parlour, since she should avoid that kind of person, which Jane downplays. He asks about Jesse, and she denies their relationship again, which has added importance since they're mutual users now.
(Jesse goes to confront Walter about him taking the stash and not telling him about it. In the argument that follows, Walter calls Jane Jesse's "little junkie girlfriend", and Jesse throws a beaker at him. It's great. And by that I mean awful. This show, guys.)
Jesse rants at Jane about Walter while she teaches him how to shoot up, and she comforts him as best she can. She states that she doesn't even know why Jesse needs Walter--to her, he's just a chemistry teacher. After injecting, Jesse tells Jane that Walter owes him money--four hundred and eighty thousand dollars, in fact. Jane helps Jesse onto his side gently so he doesn't choke if he throws up, and then considers the possibilities.
She misses her NA meeting, sleeping in with Jesse, and her father shows up in suspicious anger - right to Jesse's apartment, since he's no idiot. He comes in and sees all that Jane's been up to lately, while she tries to minimize it, and explodes in outrage at seeing Jesse and the needles. He attacks Jesse and tries to throw him out, while Jane panics and tries to intervene. Her father tells her that she's going to rehab, that very day, and Jane tearfully protests. He calls Jesse a scumbag and Jane speaks up for him, saying his name is Jesse and he doesn't know the first thing about him, and that they talk about rehab every night. Not appeased, her father threatens to call the police, and even dials them up until Jane manages to convince him to let her go to rehab--but tomorrow, because she has to get things sorted out. All her houseplants died the last time she went, because he didn't water them. He decides that's good enough.
After he leaves, Jesse asks if she meant what she said about rehab. Jane doesn't know. But she does know, she tells him, that if they had enough money no one could make them do anything.
Jane calls Walter at home posing as a former student, with Jesse in the background, and blackmails him by threatening to expose his secret to the police. She tells Walter that he's giving Jesse his money immediately and that Jesse has told her everything. Walter agrees, angrily.
She and Jesse discuss it afterwards, with Jane a) underestimating Walter severely and b) determinedly insisting that Jesse deserves his money. He earned it. Jesse is more reluctant about betraying Walter this way, saying that Walter is his partner. Jane corrects him: she's his partner.
Walter delivers the money to Jesse, obviously furious, and Jane shuts the door in his face after a few insults and much posturing is done. Jane opens the bag and is exultant: she and Jesse are free. They can be anyone and do anything, go anywhere, and she excitedly throws out possibilities. Jesse suggests going to New Zealand. She can do her art, he'll be a bush pilot, and they'll both get clean. Jane says she's good anywhere as long as it's the two of them. They'll get clean, for them, and not waste the half million by shooting it up--starting that night, they recover. She says they'll flush their stash right then.
They don't. Instead, they do all of it.
(Walter meets Donald, Jane's father, at a bar. They talk about water on Mars and the difficulties of having family that keeps making mistakes--Jane for Donald, and Jesse as Walter's 'nephew'.)
Walter goes to see Jesse after that, inspired to try to guide him back to what Walter sees as the correct path--his. He turns Jane on her back as he shakes Jesse, trying to wake him. He won't wake up, and then Jane vomits. On her back, she chokes. Walter stands aside and lets her die.
The next morning, Jesse wakes up to her like that alone.
"Hey. If you're trying to sell me something, I've got four words for you: "Do Not Call list." However, if you're cool, leave it at the beep."
That's the only thing that's left of her, after. Her voicemail, which Jesse calls until it's disconnected. That and the airplane disaster caused by her father's negligence due to grief at his job as an aircraft controller.
Jane Margolis presents herself as such: a laconic, artistic, no-bullshit semi-gothic pin-up girl. Her sense of style and comportment are clearly inspired by a romantic image of ennui, all black and grey and red lipstick. But Jane owns it with a sense of humour--this is just how she likes people to see her, what she feels good in. She's a tortured artist; might as well live it out.
Acerbic and reserved are good words for her, but she's not cold, exactly. Just cool, perfectly able to have normal conversations but keeping them relatively shallow. She projects the image that she is just over your shit already. It's your life and your problem, not hers, and as long as you don't get her involved you can go ahead and do whatever you want. More power to you.
This barely covers the fact that Jane is protective and does care, actually, although she's good at making protectiveness seem like a desire for her own life to be less complicated. She doesn't let Walter in, and she does ask if Jesse is okay. She doesn't get invested easily past that, but when she does Jane is loyal and fierce about the people she cares about. She has a special soft spot for people looking for second chances and people with dysfunctional families, because she's been there, and if not for the help of other people--her NA group, her sponsor, even her father--she never would have gotten out of the places she got herself into. One of the principles of recovery is helping other people. That's the step you never move out of, the twelfth one, because it's only in seeing what mistakes can do to you that you're reminded of what could so easily happen to you.
Jane isn't a twelfth stepper, not even close. Eighteen months of sobriety are probably the longest she's gone since she was sixteen sober. But she was at least going for nine when she backslid, the one about making amends. She was really trying to patch things up with her father, living under his employment and his rules, and trying to keep him happy even if she still had a lot of problems with his controlling nature.
Her father isn't a bad guy. A hardass, to be sure, but he's dealing with a heroin addict daughter who is at constant risk of relapse. Jane has put him through a lot of grief over the years, and she knows that. She doesn't want to disappoint him again even if she resents him. It's complicated and ugly, their relationship, full of lies and broken promises and fear, but it's based on genuine love. That's why it's so hard. Love is messier and more cruel than hatred. Donald just wants Jane to live, because active addiction is a death sentence, and he's spent ten years on "love and understanding"--but not the understanding Jane wants. It's probably the understanding she needs, though, because Jane is a fuck up who doesn't know herself as well as she thinks she does.
See, she does relapse, and dramatically so. She does it because she wants to, it's no one else's fault, no matter who blames themselves. Once upon a time Jane probably would have blamed Jesse for the temptation, but she's smarter than that now--using is her choice, and only hers. Instead of surrendering to her higher power she tried to take control of her own addiction again, deluding herself into thinking that surely, this time, she could handle it. She knows better. Any relapsing addict has the little voice in the back of their head that remembers sobriety and the twelve steps, and how it really was better than the artificial escape of using, but sobriety is harder. Sobriety means you get sad sometimes, or often, and you have to cope with what you've done in chasing your fix. Jane is a heroin addict, and not a rich one. Jane has done a lot of bad things and knows a lot of bad people.
Despite what she tells her father about avoiding them, she clearly knows them still. It's one of the things that bring her down. She tells Jesse she knows scary guys, and after eighteen months clean it takes her one night to score. Jane never really left the life behind, because that's hard. It's hard to make 'normal', clean friends after addiction, because they don't get it. Her old friends get it. We see Jane alone, often, because she's wavering between actually entering the sober world and staying in the world of addicts. One is unfamiliar and scary, and the other is at least a known quantity.
Jesse, for example, seems like a known quantity. Yeah, Mr. Jackson, with your stacks of cash and getting kicked out of your parents' house, she knows you. But then Jesse isn't actually all that familiar, because he comes clean with her. He's a good guy, like actually good--at least to her, and that's all she ever sees. Jane sees Jesse trying to impress her like a nervous puppy, and it's kind of cool to have someone care what she thinks. So she shares that she's in recovery, and on some level Jane thinks she can help Jesse, but it's not about him being a charity case because it goes both ways. He makes her feel wanted and important, he doesn't judge her, and he's so sweet it makes her throw up a little bit in her mouth.
Then she almost completely fucks it up immediately, because Jane doesn't want to commit. Pure speculation points to her mother's silent absence in her life. What kind of tattoo artist doesn't have tattoos? One that's afraid of permanence. Of anything you can't undo or unsay. She has this whole image put together of being way too aloof, way too cool for anything like settling down, an artist in her tower, in the world but not of it. It keeps people out, but she realizes she doesn't want Jesse out. When she falls, it's hard and fast and pretty much forever as far as that goes.
It brings out her aggressively protective side. Jane is, ironically enough for such a bitter girl, a nurturer. A protector. Even hiding her drug use from her father is a twisted form of protection. She lies to him for herself, but for him too. For Jesse. For Jesse, Jane goes toe to toe with Walter White, and in a rare instance of anyone pulling that off she wins. Jane is a hard, tough young woman, with no patience for people screwing over the people she cares about. And she wants that money too, because it'll buy freedom for her as much as him. Jane wants out, out from under her father's thumb and out of her mistakes, into a whole new life where she can start over. Do her art and not be Jane with the huge list of mistakes and failure. She wants to be anyone she wants to be.
But all the money in the world can't actually change who she is. She has the best intentions. She really wanted to flush their stash. But she doesn't, and it's not that she can't. She just doesn't want to. So they shoot up for the last time together, and Walter White lets her choke to death on her own vomit. Sure, he didn't mean to roll her over. But he didn't save her either, because Jane was dangerous, with her ideas and her influence and the fact that two junkies together can almost never really clean up unless they pull apart for a while. Jane wasn't going to pull apart.
They never really would have made it to New Zealand anyway.
Jane could have been something, if she lived. She's genuinely talented and obviously well-educated about art and its history. It's one of the things that really matter to her, and one of the tragedies of addiction is that, contrary to stereotype, it weakens and doesn't strengthen creativity. All of those alcoholic or drug addict artists who made great things did it in spite of their troubles, not because of them. They would have been better clean and so would Jane. She's a good person as well, essentially. Not superhero good, a little amoral at times, but she's only human and has never been in a situation where she's had to make those great moral decisions that decide where a person falls on the spectrum of 'good and evil', whatever good and evil are. She's lied and stolen and slept with guys for drugs, that's just what junkies do, but if that makes Jane a bad person then it also makes most people bad. Almost no one can say they haven't lied, haven't stolen, haven't slept with people for the wrong reasons.
Sure, she's contrary and often difficult to deal with, once you actually get to know her. Jane always expects to disappoint and often self-sabotages, just to get it over with. Casual friends are fine. Anything deeper and she will eventually let you down, she knows it. But Jane is capable of apology and restitution, and thanks to the program those actually come pretty readily to her. She won't make you wait long before she says she's sorry--she's Apology Girl, not Perfect Girl, whatever Jesse says. Making mistakes and then trying to fix them are what she's good at, and she's mature enough to accept blame that's fairly laid on her. Judgmental critique sets her off, but acceptance of her flaws brings her in.
She can get fragile, at times, especially around older men. Father figures get to Jane, especially authoritative ones, and with them she makes excuses and tells stories to try to make them just stop. To minimize the damage before it gets too big. She doesn't really fight back with them. She pleads instead, saying whatever she thinks they need to hear. Most of the time it's utter bullshit, the one exception to her otherwise subdued and resigned honesty. Anything to get out of trouble.
All in all, Jane isn't anything that special. Except to the people who love her, who are few and far between, the people who really know her and all her flaws. People who know all that, and still see the good things about Jane. She does matter, to some people, if not the world as a whole, and that's all most people can ever hope for.
Abilities, Weaknesses and Power Limitations:
Jane is only human. In every way, she's just a twenty-six-year-old woman with a drug habit. She's exceptionally slender and easy to toss around, if anyone is moved to do so. She has no experience with or idea of anything actually superhuman--that stuff belongs in comic books and movies.
Jane is a good artist. Her style tends towards a pop art, comic book, and tattoo style. Clean lines and ready accessibility are what she works with, but like many pop artists that's the point. She draws and inks things so that they can be understood, since she wants to communicate with her art, not obscure meaning. If you want a tattoo or a picture like that, Jane's your girl.
Jane is a heroin addict, primarily. If she had to choose only one drug, it'd be heroin. Heroin brings her down and makes her happy, even if it's a false joy, and lets her zone out when she wants to be somewhere else. It's the perfect "whatever" drug. That said, substance abuse in any form is easy for her--meth, coke, G, pills, alcohol. Jane is an addict to escape, not any particular form of it. She promises herself she'll quit, but even when clean addiction is forever.
- her 18th month NA chip
- 10 grams of heroin tar
- An injection kit with two syringes
- her make-up bag
- a pack of Camel cigarettes (regular)
- a tattoo gun
Jane is tall and very thin at 5'9", with naturally extremely dark hair for a white girl (augmented with a wash of dye, because come on), very fair skin, hazel eyes, and an off-beat kind of beauty. With a full, pouty mouth usually augmented with red matte lipstick and enormous black-lined eyes under strong brows she arrests more than she attracts. A lot of it is her attitude. She's the kind of woman who gets catcalls telling her she should smile, no one that pretty should look so serious, and Jane rolls her eyes and keeps not smiling. She wears almost exclusively blacks and greys, save for a stray pair of jeans, in a style that's like rockabilly, emo, and goth all came together and had a slutty baby--flat-soled boots, bras that function as part of her shirt, high-waisted and loose pants, heavy bracelets stacked on her arms. She has no tattoos or piercings, and never plans on them.
Age: 26 (27 in a month)
AU Clarification: N/A
When Jane opens her locker--
Maybe there should be a little backstory. A call back, like a comic book.
When she said she wanted to flush their stash she really meant it. It wasn't as much as what she sees when she moves the jumpsuit and the boots--that's like 10, 12 grams, maybe--but it wasn't a tiny amount either. Enough for both of them to celebrate, right? Enough for a good high, and she'd curled protectively around Jesse.
She protects him now, standing so her body is between him and the heroin. They're quitting. She said and he agreed. They're getting clean, both of them, and everything is going to be fine. So she pulls her jumpsuit and boots out, shuts the locker.
Jane wants New Zealand, wherever that actually ends up being. New Zealand: a place where Jane isn't Jane anymore, not the old Jane, the junkie. A place where she can love Jesse right, not tainted by the need for a fix or bitter like her mom and dad. A place so, so far away from her old life, where nothing can chase her down.
Jesse cries like she's dead and Jane just--
Jane believes it.
But for both of them, she's going to pretend she doesn't. She's going to leave the heroin alone and ditch it later, or sell it for both of them. She's going to make everything work out. That's what she does, right? She keeps things going even.
"Well, that's a thing," she says, trying to be funny, but God, how her voice cracks.
(She wants it, so much. She wants it because Jesse cried when he saw her and she doesn't know where she is and her veins are practically sobbing with emptiness, with awareness. She wants out of here, out of this. She's barely here and already she wants--she needs out. She needs to get out of here and away from the way Jesse is looking at her, like she's going to break right in front of him. She needs away from the other girl he seems to know. She needs to breathe, and she can't.
She keeps the locker shut, for now. But it won't stay shut. She already knows that.
But God, let her pretend.)
[Someone smokes when she's pissed off.]
[She taps the cigarette ash into an ashtray fashioned of a coffee mug, because she's not a slob.]
Space, huh? I've seen this movie. It's the one where almost everyone dies.
[She pauses, glances off-screen, like she--really regrets saying that. The moment passes.]
I read the guidebook. All I want to know is if I can get a doctor to do housecalls. A shrink, specifically.
[She is not actually calm. She's paler than she even she usually is, and her voice is tight. But freaking out won't help. Not in public. That's on her own time, and she has--coping mechanisms.]