2020-04-05 - After the bar


Thea and Frank get to know each other better.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Apr 5 22:21:09 2020
Location: RP Room 3

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So the trip uptown from Luke's wasn't terribly long, though it had been a little silent - at least on Thea's half. She knows that this is not the wisest of courses, but she also doesn't have /anything/ in her shabby mutant town digs to cater to a guest to. Her building is certainly in a nice part of upper Manhattan, and there's a staffed desk in the lobby.

She will simply just saunter through, and wait for the elevator. She will let it take them up, and then lead him down a quiet, plush carpeted hallway. She will touch the locks on her door, before she will unlock only some of them to open the door. "Come on in?" She'll offer him, as she moves to slip out of her leather jacket. "I don't know if I have any beer, but whiskey I've got."

Frank shrugs off his own jacket, hanging it up and leaving him in a black t-shirt stretched over broad shoulders. He runs a hand back over his close-shorn scalp, giving a quick grin, "Whiskey'll do me just fine," he says.

He's only a little uncomfortable. "I ain't real used to being a houseguest. Most of the time I'm either in a cheap hotel or a holed up bunker. You got pillows an' furniture and everything," he says.

"Truth be told, I have a hole in the wall somewhere else, but it's not really someplace to take a guest. I haven't stocked anything there in a few weeks. No booze, no snacks, and the furniture is pretty lacking, to be honest." Thea will slip out of her boots and set them near the door - exposing her fuzzy purple socks that match her top. "You still full from cheese fries, or is snacking something you do?" She will glance at him, his physique, even as she moves to get a couple of short glasses and a bottle of decent bourbon as she heads towards the couch.

Frank Castle takes a seat on the couch himself, "I'm good, I think. Start giving me too much, I'll start gettin' a beer gut. Which isn't gonna stop me from drinkin' beer," he says.

"Nice socks," he adds, kicking off his own boots. He's in black, of course, as usual, and takes the glass that's offered to him. "Salud," he says, taking a sip.

"So. You know why I do what I do. What about you? What's your motivation?" he asks.

"I just don't see you gaining too much around the middle, to be honest." Thea says with a bit of dryness. She sits down on the couch, a foot lifting to look at her socks. "They're comfortable. And they remind me that maybe the world doesn't have to be hard all the time." She shrugs, sitting back with her glass.

"You want the bullshit version, or the honest thing?" She'll ask him bluntly, those violet contacts not interfereing with her ability to give him a full on look.

Frank Castle nods, "Maybe it doesn't. I have a hard time with that. Catholic guilt. Enjoyin' things, bein' human - I don't allow myself that luxury much," he says.

"Honest. Always," he says. "Sometimes I gotta lie to folks as part of the war, but not anybody I ever wanna trust or I want to trust me."

She takes a sip of bourbon, lashes lowering as she casts her gaze down a moment. "You'd think, being half Greek, that I'd have that Catholic guilt thing. Apparently my father's contribution erases that." She sounds vaguely amused.

She will take a deep breath, and toss back the rest of her bourbon. Then there's a deep breath as she looks at him. "I was fifteen when my powers kicked in, when my mother died in an accident. My father's career didn't have place in it for a mutant daughter - let alone one without control. So on a recommendation, he sent me to a friend's uncle to be trained. Or so he thought." She will lean over, pouring more into her glass. " He trained me all right. Trained me to be a killer. Kill people without ever touching them, in public.. and never get caught. I finally wised up, right around eighteen, when he sent me on a solo job." She glances at him. "His little girl was with him. I couldn't do that to her." She sits back, a hand through her hair. "I snuck off, left him a letter if he or his came near me or my family, I would slaughter them all, one by one. Slow and painful." A sip of bourbon, a moment of silence. "That's when I decided to only really go after those who deserved killing."

Frank Castle sits back and listens closely. Frank is good at paying attention. He's been stilling himself for nears, to be patient, to be precise, to be a weapon. "I could see the training in the way you hold yourself," he says. Predators can often sense other predators.

"Sounds like he has a lot to answer for. Family shouldn't betray family. Shouldn't use family," he says. "Makes sense to me. Power like yours is a fearsome thing. You could save a man or wreck a man, all dependin' on how you want," he says.

"Why do you think I picked on you from the go, Mets? Like recognizes like." Thea says, tipping her head back as she stretches a bit.

Then there's a little snort and a laugh. "My father's a politician, Frank. I'm his bastard daughter from his college fling - who just happens to fit in with the way he and his wife and my half brother look. I'm well read and educated enough to be put out there as part of his horse and pony show, when he needs a stand in at an event.Using is all he knows how to do, at least where I'm concerned." She sips at her bourbon. "But I love my grandfather, so.. I play along."

Frank Castle shrugs, "I ain't gonna police how you live. Long as you doin' what you think is right, I ain't got no beef with it," he says. "I don't have much use for politicians. Craven to a fault, the ones I've met. And I've put a few down, when they've been on the take. When they've put themselves above the lives of other people," he says.

"I miss my grandfather, my mother's father. Kind man. Decent. Hit the beach on D-day. Not enough like him anymore."

She swirls the liquor in her glass, watching it versus the man sitting next to her. "My mother's father - I adore him. And my grandmother. After I went to live with my father, they were so worried I wouldn't come see them anymore." She'll give a little smile, a glance his way. "Which is ridiculous, because my grandmother's baklava is to die for. They own a little Greek restaurant not far from Columbia."

She's silent a moment. "And yes. To what you said before. Some people only see me as a healer, and are ignorant enough to not be afraid. Then there are others, who see how it can cut both ways. And those who only see it as a means to an end. "

Frank Castle nods, "Anytime you can do somethin' other people can't, gonna have people wantin' to put their hands on and use you like a weapon. My being good at what I do…it didn't come easy, but I was always a natural. Good with my hands, good with my head. Don't hesitate. Don't blink. Don't get rattled," he says.

"Maybe you can take me there sometime. I like a bit of Greek now and then," he says.

"Yeah, I know." She says softly. "I don't know which bothers me more. Those that only see me as a way to kill, or those that want to picture me as some white hat Florence Nightengale who's just a healer. Neither one is who I really am." She takes a hefty swallow, before she moves to set the glass down for now.

She glances at him, one eyebrow a little raised. "It'll ruin you for other Greek places, you know. There's a reason they've been in business for ages." There's a smile there, a slightly different Thea peeking out as she shifts to face him a bit more. "It would be easy. I could introduce you as someone I met on my travels. They don't ask many questions, about the travel."

Frank Castle nods, "It's odd. My face has been out there for the world for years, but most people still don't recognize me. Maybe they don't wanna. Maybe I just got one of those faces," he says.

"I'm willing to take the risk of bein' ruined. And I figure you're a person, which means you got good and you got bad. Ain't nobody all o' one."

"Most people see you and that's it. They don't want to think that the Punisher is in their little world. They need to convince themselves their world is safe. So their little brains will let them gloss over how you match the wanted signs and all that on the news." There's the cynicism again!

"Last I checked, yes, I was a person. Pulse and respiration and higher brain function all check." She smirks. "But then again, I figure the same about you."

Frank Castle nods, "I'm a bogeyman. Which I did on purpose. I want them afraid. It gives me an advantage," he says.

"We're both flesh and blood, just like everybody else. Even if you do got some extras. You said you could read me. You can sense things about me. So, what do your senses tell you about me? I'm curious."

"I said if I /could/ read you." She says, pointing out the difference before she reaches for her glass. "The same things I sense about most people. Your heart rate, your respiration. I can see where you have active injuries, and ones that have mostly healed but linger in the form of scars."

Frank Castle chuckles, 'I'm sure that's a fun view with me. Sometimes think I'm more scar than anything else," he admits. "Just an old piece of gristle, I am," he says, pouring another glass for himself and swirling the liquid in the glass. Between this and what they partook of at the bar, he's a little drunk at this point, but he holds it well, without a hint of a shake in his hand. "Plenty more to come, too, I imagine."

There's a hint of a snort as she finishes her bourbon. She should be plastered by now, given her height and approximate weight, with all she's consumed. But she doesn't even really seemed all that buzzed. "Not if you hang out with me, there's isn't. Don't be stupid. I'm the sort of friend guys like you need."

Frank Castle shakes his head, "I'm not. I don't wanna be just another guy who uses you either," he says. "You want to help, I'm happy to have it. You wanna spill some blood, I know plenty of throats in need of cutting. You wanna keep me alive, keep me fighting, I dig that, too."

She will be silent and still a moment - which could be good, or very much not. She looks at him. "It's not using me if I volunteer, Frank. A lot of people who consider themselves hero look down on people doing the less than glamourous stuff that still needs to get done. I'm not one of them. I mean, I'm not a hero, either, but you know what I mean. I don't think the city as a whole can spare you."

Frank Castle nods, "Sounds like you and me are on the same page,' he says. He raises his glass again, "To working together, then," he says before taking a long drink.

"I'm sure they can spare me for tonight, at least. Even I can't work all the time."

She will lift her empty glass in that toast to him. "Well, I can read. Just not you, when we're not talking business." She confesses, head tipping to rest against the back of the couch.

"You already worked tonight. The bomb, remember? Everyone needs some time to rest and recharge. Even me."

Frank Castle nods, "I remember the bomb. And I'm resting. And recharging. And already planning the next hit in my head,' He says. "But in the meantime, spendin' time with you's a pretty damn decent distraction."

There's a blink, that split second of almost surprise across her face. "Distraction? All we've done is swap stories and discuss what we do. That's not a distraction, that's debrief." She chuckles then though, a smile that isn't the sort he's seen her flash at the bar. This one is small, slightly crooked, and real.

"I think I understand, though. You get to be who you are, and know I'm not judging. Knowing I wouldn't leave you high and dry."

Frank Castle nods, "That's the thing. Most times I'm just bein' myself, I don't exactly get anybody to talk to, except scumbags. Or arms dealers. It's good to have another livin', breathin' person to talk to," he says. He isn't exactly admitting he's lonely, but the truth of it is evident enough. How could he not be?

"Well, it's good to know I rank above scumbag." Thea teases him, chuckling. "But yes. It's not everyone that you don't have to pretend with. There's not enough of those in my world, either." Next to none who really seem to grasp who and what she is. "You want some water, or something else? You know, hangover preventative."

Frank Castle laughs, "You rank very, very high above scumbag,' he says. "Water wouldn't be bad. My head's a little fuzzy, but not too bad. I don't usually get hangovers. But better safe than sorry," he says, watching carefully as she gets up to get the water and grasping her hand to hold it when she brings the bottle back, "Thank you."

"Well, that's a relief." There's a hint of something in her eyes at his laughing. She moves to get the water, not thinking much of anything about it. She's smiling still as she brings the water back, stilling when he grasps her hand. Eyes will widen just a touch. "For what, exactly? I'm pretty sure we're both helping each other just… relax."

Frank Castle nods, "We are. But like I said, this isn't usual for me. I don't…have people in my life. Haven't for a long time," he says. "A few here and there. But it usually doesn't last long. They can't handle it and I don't blame 'em," he says.

"I know it seems like I have people in my life, from what you see at the bar. But they've never been here. I.. Anya and Gwen and Becca - they're good people. Anya's a little more my speed than the other two, but I haven't been able to let her close, really. They accept what they know and don't ask much. It's the best I thought I could ask for." There's a half smile then, a lean over to sort of jokingly kiss the top of his head. "Well, I think I'm a little too like you in some ways to cry off."

Frank Castle shakes his head, "You should ask for what you want," he says. "Anything else is cheating yourself." he says. He feels the kiss on the top of his head and tilts his eyes up to look at her a bit more intensely, curious and not quite so much unsure as simply hesitant. Not because of her, but because of him. "Anya seemed good enough. Troubled. But ain't we all?"

"That's what they say. But sometimes words are not my strong suit. Maybe I'm too used to being alone?" It's not quite rhetorical, as she looks dow at him. "Anya's got a lot of heart. But the guy she was talking about? The one.. well, let's just say I made sure to hurt him before I killed him, even if it was faster than I would have liked. He messed up her family, and people she loves. He hurt a lot of people before we could get him."

Frank Castle nods, "Some people ain't much more'n rabid dogs. Gotta put 'em down when they do that kinda harm," he says. Not that he exactly needs to be be convinced on that front. "And I know what you mean. Talkin', especially about…feelings and shit. Well, it doesn't come very naturally to me. But I'd be lyin' if I said you didn't stir somethin' in me. Even if I ain't exactly sure what it is yet."

"A rabid dog would have been a lot easier to put down. This guy was high powered on steroids." Which says something, coming from Thea. She will arch a brow at him, a slight tip of her head. "I don't know, you seem to be doing just fine, at the moment." There's a hint of a smile, and her hand will squeeze his. "I'm not pushing you on any of that. Because I'm in the same boat, really."

Frank Castle tugs on her hand a bit and pulls her to sit down next to him on the couch, closer than she was before. "I'm not sure what I got to offer. I'm broken down and worn down and scarred up inside and out. But I still wanna kiss you all the same," he says.

The pull is followed by her 'falling' onto the couch with him in a graceful motion. But learning to fall is one of the first lessons in hand to hand combat, after all. She will study his face, a faint line between her eyebrows. "Why do you think I need you to offer me anything but what you already do?" She asks, voice hushed to almost a whisper. "Neither of us are shiny new pennies." She points out, a glance down. "And I don't see anyone stopping you from getting what you want, do you?"

Frank Castle doesn't let words get in his way this time, then. He slips an arm around Thea and draws her against him. His mouth finds hers with assured and firm intent, his head tilted slightly as his arms pull her body against his and he inhales sharply through his nostrils at the intensity of the feeling as he tastes her lips against his.

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