Your Princess is in Another Castle
Roleplaying Log: Your Princess is in Another Castle
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Eddie has a deal for Frank — once he finds her again.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: December 14, 2018
IC Location: New York City
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 15 Dec 2018 01:34
Rating & Warnings: R for language and violence
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

A random number texts the one Frank gave Eddie: 'Thank you, Mario. But our princess is in another castle! :blossom:'
'Dating yourself, Daisies. What's up?'
There is no answer.

***

There are two facts that allow Frank Castle to find people better than most would give him credit for: first, homeless people see a lot, and second, there are a lot of homeless vets who are willing to talk about what they've seen in exchange for a hot drink. Frank finds himself in the window seat of a little neighborhood coffee shop near Eddie's current flophouse, sipping on a to-go cup of black coffee. Given that he generally tries not to be noticed when he's out and about, he's taken measures to make sure he gets seen — there's a little paper-wrapped bouquet of daisies sitting on the table in front of him. It's only his second morning at the coffee shop, and his first with the flowers, but then again, he doesn't know Eddie's schedule, just that she likes to leave cryptic '80s references via text and that she crashes somewhere in this general area.

***

Eddie's been shopping. There is a local CVS not far from where the coffee shop is, and the brightly logo-emblazoned bag swings from her gloved fingers as she traipses down the sidewalk. It's the daisies she notices first, having an eye for these things, before she looks up to who is lonesomely waiting for their coffee date. An unpainted smile spreads on her wide lips as she shoulders into the shop and moments later she's flopping down into the seat across from Castle.

"Sparky. You are a sight for sore eyes, my friend. For me?" Eddie asks of the flowers, already scooping them up to give them an obligatory sniff. "You shouldn't have." There is laughter in her voice and unmasked mischief in her eyes as she plops the bouquet inside her shopping bag and hangs the lot on the back of her chair.

Does she ever change her clothes? Probably. Or at least she washes them as she doesn't reek of the homeless vets Frank's been chatting up, but she's in the exact same outfit she saw him last.

***

"Just gettin' in the Christmas spirit." Never mind that daisies have absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. Frank looks up as Eddie flops down opposite him, nodding a greeting. One corner of his lips quirks up in a slight smile in response to the laughter in her voice. "Either you gotta get better at the cryptic Mario references, Daisy," yes, he just altered her nickname, "or you and me gotta learn how to communicate." He's done away with the lumbersnack look, back in his heavy canvas winter coat, but the hoodie still peeks out from beneath it. It's a slightly different shade of gray, so he probably has a couple of them. But why mess up a good look.

***

"Aw, you didn't get it? Disappointing, but it amused me so I'm not going to apologize." Eddie props both elbows on the table, leaning forward to toy with his cup of coffee by spinning the paper cup around in her fingers. Her voice lowers, "So this guy you're looking for, does he have a name? Because I figured out exactly how we're both going to help each other. That is, if I can trust you to keep a secret. You are good at keeping secrets, aren't you Castle?" It's the first time she's used his actual name. When they met, he was in his Punisher gear so that wasn't a stretch, but someone's been looking into his particular moniker.

***

"Coulda meant you didn't want my help, coulda meant you couldn't find what I was lookin' for, coulda meant you figured out my target and they moved him." Frank snorts faintly, "I figured the first one, but thought I should check up." The use of his name takes away some of the half-relaxed sprawl from the veteran Marine, with Frank sitting up and rolling his shoulders a little, settling them wider in an unconscious threat posture. "Yeah, he's got a name. And just like my name, usin' it too much means trouble." His hands are both wrapped around the paper cup of his coffee, and his right index finger — his trigger finger — taps lightly on the half-filled cup. "How 'bout we just say he's a goddamned coward who redecorated the neighborhood. So what's your play?"

***

"Don't worry, Sparky. I just wanted to make sure I had your attention." Eddie tucks a foot underneath her on the chair, half perching. "Here's the thing. You get me his name - because let's face it, that could be a whole host of people at this point - I can get you his exact location down to the cell number. The names of his guards." She starts listing things, her points driven into the table by a stab of her driving glove. "His yard schedule. How much money he has at the commissary. The weekday the book cart stops by. Hell, I can tell you how many rolls of toilet paper he goes through a week. Because dollars to donuts I know exactly which prison he's being kept in. And it's none of the bullshit answers I gave you last time."

***

Frank definitely leans forward at Eddie's offer, drawing in a slow breath through his nose like a hunter scenting prey. His eyes are just a hint wider than before, and tension strums through him, "I got a pretty good idea what prison he's in now. I ain't just been sittin' by the phone waitin' for you to call. But what I really wanna know is when he's leavin' the prison and comin' to trial, and more important, when he's goin' back after." Caution is not in his nature when he has the scent of prey, but he still shifts his shoulders, "So what's in it for you then? What do you get outta this deal, Daisy, 'cause what you're offerin', that takes horsepower. And connections. Serious ones."

***

"SHIELD connections." Eddie grins again, her expressive face looking like that cat that just ate the canary. "Grab me a black coffee and meet me outside." Apparently this is no longer the casual sort of thing that can be talked about in a public setting. She swings herself out of her chair and plucks up her bag, her combat boots hitting the faded linoleum with enthusiasm. On her way to the door, she temporarily sidetracks to the trashcan where those wrapped flowers get unceremoniously tossed before she pushes back out into the winter chill.

***

That tightens Frank's face further, but he nods, watching her trash the flowers he paid like a whole twelve bucks for (it matters when you're on a budget), and then pushing his way out of his chair and heading up to the front of the coffee shop with his own cup. A couple of minutes later, he's out the door and holding out the full cup in his left hand, "Yeah. That's the kinda connections you'd need." He doesn't pause there in front of the coffee shop, but keeps walking slowly, altering his direction and pace as needed to let her pick the place she feels comfortable talking. "I got work in an hour." Just a sort of not-entirely-casual, 'Let's not dick around.'

***

"Yeah?" Eddie asks as she takes the coffee from him and turns to head over to the next avenue. "And here I was hoping you'd boost a car and give me a ride to the Tri. Guess I can alter my plans. What kinda girl operates without a contingency, am I right?" She hitches her head towards an apartment building but once they are at the main stoop, she heads just to the side where the stairs are that lead down into a basement apartment. Taking a penny from where it's wedged between the door and the jamb, she then shoulders in.

The apartment is warm thanks to the radiators, but it's bare. Either Eddie hasn't moved in yet or she has no intention to. There is some gear out of direct sight of the door, including a sleeping bag rolled out in the corner. "So here's the deal. Way back in my misspent youth, I used to be an Agent. Long story short, I got one foot back in the Company and you're going to help me get in the other. You do that, I'll get you all the info you need about your man." She swings her shopping bag up onto the kitchen counter and starts to unpack it. It looks like mostly standard issue medical supplies like gauze.

***

When they head for the basement apartment, Frank has to grin just a little, shaking his head in amusement. He has a basement apartment too. The trick with the penny or whatever the hell she took out of the doorframe causes him to grunt thoughtfully, but he waits until he steps into an apartment that is even more bare than his own before he comments on it, "That's some James Bond shit with the door. Good idea." He stops a couple of paces into the bare room, crossing his arms as he does. The news that she was an agent and wants back in causes him to raise his brows, "Yeah? And how am I gonna do that? Last I checked, law enforcement wasn't really a big fan of mine."

***

"There aren't a lot of ways to secure a place you're not really supposed to be staying in." Eddie shrugs. "Works on windowsills, door jambs. You can also use a piece of tape, but fuck if I carry around a roll of Scotch in my pocket. Anyway, old habits."

At the question about how he's supposed to help her, Eddie is shrugging out of her leather jacket. "You're going to attack me. I assume a guy like you knows where all the important organs and arteries and shit are, right? So let's do our best to try and avoid them. The whole plan goes tits up if I bleed out before I get to their doorstep." Her coat gets tossed onto the counter, leaving her in a long sleeve thermal underneath her t-shirt and those gloves that seem welded to her hands. "You gotta knife?"

***

The lesson in spy-games draws a thoughtful nod, "If someone goes in, it falls down. Makes sense." Surprise flickers over Frank's face at her plan, and he shifts his stance a little, suddenly a little uncomfortable with the idea of carving up — what, an innocent(ish)? a woman? this woman? "Yeah. I got a knife." That's the first thing that gets a response, but then he nods slowly, working the plan — or what he can figure of it — over in his head, "You show up on their doorstep, bleeding but not bleeding out. You tried to take down the Punisher, shows you're on the side of the law now? Might work. Puts me even more on their shit list." It's not a complaint with the plan, precisely, just something to note. Reaching behind his back, he draws the heavy Ka-Bar from where the jacket mostly hides it. "You tried to take me down, you better have some bruises on your knuckles too. You don't seem like the kind to go down easy."

***

"I'm leaving your name completely out of it. Someone may or may not have tried to kill me recently, and that's good enough. I'll stick with an unknown assailant because the minute I give them something concrete, there's going to be a concrete investigation and I'm sure you don't need that heat pressing down on you. Not to mention if they catch you and you crack, my little plan comes to light, and we're both screwed."

Eddie eyes the knife with a long exhale, shaking her hands out at her side as if gearing up. She can do this. She can do this. What's a little pain for the greater plan?

"Good call on the bruises." Eddie bounces from foot to foot, not thinking about it as she pushes up her sleeves and exposes her forearms. Forearms that have consummate scars trailing up and down them in neat little lines. She faces off against a cinderblock wall, intent on smacking that instead of Castle. "Oh yeah, go for the right side, as I recently got shot in the left."

***

Frank nods at the explanation, "Second attempt, you drove 'em off. Makes sense." He's incredibly blase about the suggestion that he might crack, just letting a flat little smile settle into his lips. Watching her psych herself up, he shakes his head, but is stopped from commenting on the neat little lines on her forearms. She's clearly not worried about the knife. But when she turns toward the cinderblock wall, he shakes his head, "Are you kiddin' me? That shit'll show." Instead, he tilts his head to one side, opening up the left side of his face, and makes a little beckoning gesture with the blade of the knife, "Come on, Daisy, show me what you got."

***

"Yeah? You want to tell your friends you got beat up by a girl?" Eddie grins, but with a little shrug she turns back towards him. It's always more fun to hit a moving target and she's less likely to break her hands on him than she is the wall. She falls into a fighting stance which is tight and practiced. It shouldn't come as any surprise, as she's already copped to being a former SHIELD agent.

She knocks her thumb off her nose with a sniff, and then feints with her left before crossing with her right, starting the 'fight' without any more warning. This was his idea after all.

***

"Been there, done that." Sort of. Frank's counting the fight with Batgirl as a win, since she ended up duct taped to a pipe, even if he ended up with a concussion and a new scar. As Eddie turns toward him, Frank's fingers move, flipping the knife in his right hand so that it lays back alongside his forearm, and then so that it juts out the top of his hand once more. It's an unconscious movement as he watches her stance. The brush of her thumb against her nose draws a chuckle from the man — and then her feint with the left draws his head over in a jerk as he was expecting a right. And that's exactly what he gets, popped right in the orbit of his left eye. Great, it's been like two days since his last black eye healed. The blow cuts his skin against the bone beneath and draws out a grunt of pain, but then he's advancing directly into her assault. His left arm swipes up, aiming to use his forearm to knock aside her forearm so that he can jab his knife at her right shoulder, a short darting thrust not aimed to bury the blade to its full depth. It's almost like teasing, in a weird sort of way.

***

The knife slices through fabric and pierces into skin, the flinch from Eddie made audible by the hiss that is drawn sharply through her teeth. But the pain, the pain helps her focus past the flash of images she automatically receives. "That's quite a," Her words stop as instead of withdrawing from the attack she steps right into it, her left hand following up the combination with punch upwards to his gut, just below the solar plexus. "Sewing needle you've got there." And because fighting and talking at the same time - while amusing - isn't really sustainable, she falls silent as they rumble.

***

So the good news is that Frank keeps the knife sharp and clean. The bad news is that he's used it — a lot. He's killed a dozen or more people with it over the last six months. Their paired advances leaves them close, and Frank soaks the punch to the gut with a whuff of expelled breath, grunting as he struggles to draw in another. His left hand snaps down, aiming to hammer a punch into her right thigh while they're close, and then his right comes up again, not to punch the blade into her, but rather to slam the hilt of the knife into her gut. There are way too many dangerous things to actually be stabbing her in there. Finally getting breath in, he wheezes a little, "Always leaves stitches."

***

The combination of slam to her thigh and hilt to her gut has Eddie staggering back a few steps, a single bark of laughter escaping at his joke that masks the pain of being pummeled by the marine. Her weight shifts quickly, taken off the leg that will be sporting a nice bruise in the meat of it so she can deliver a sharp kick just beneath his knee. She's pulling her shots, that much becomes clear, her aim deflected just shy of any attacks that will do any true damage besides the shiner. She needed that one for her knuckles' sake.

***

The kick — even pulled — is enough to halt Frank's advance for a moment, causing a grimace of pain and a step backward. He studies her for a moment, glancing from shoulder to thigh to stomach, and then flips the blade over in his hand, fingers shifting it about dexterous to run along the back of his forearm once more. "Let me know…" and then he's moving forward again feinting a slash at her left — forward — shoulder, "when you've had enough," and then stepping close again to try to bring the plane of his forehead down on the bridge of her nose. He's not looking to concuss either of them, so he pulls the blow just a touch as it closes in.

***

CRACK. Oh man, Eddie hasn't had a broken nose in quite some time. Come to think, it's been a while since she's been in hand to hand combat or had a mark put up that sort of fight. It's enough to stun her for a second as she reels back with blood streaming out of her nostrils, wetting her lips and turning her teeth pink when it mixes with saliva as she grins a bit sadistically against the pain. "Ditto."

She advances again, turning into him at the last second like some subversive tango dance maneuver that leaves her trying to drive an elbow back into his body and following it up with a quick upward twist of her elbow that has her gloved fist going to smack up into his mouth.

***

Grunt, grunt. Frank curls in around the elbow, feeling his ribs creak, and then he's pushing with his left hand at her arm, trying to keep her turning around. The back-fist is unexpected, but his defense robs it of some of its power, splitting his lip and sending a trickle of blood running down his chin rather than loosening his teeth. That blow also robs his own counter of a little speed, his right arm crossing between them to try and lay a draw cut along her ribs, a nice long bleeder that shouldn't do any permanent damage.

***

Eddie lurches her body instinctively away from the sting of the blade at an angle that won't deepen it or encourage its lengthening. Her left hand goes to check the wound, gloved fingers coming back shiny with blood. "I should've bought more gauze." She turns her head and spits a combination of snot and blood that's clogging up her throat from her nose. She doesn't care, it's not her carpet and no doubt she'll erase all evidence of her stay with some well placed chemicals.

Because she's not actually fighting for her life, she can pause their little rumble with a raise of her blood slick hand. She can afford to be weak. Eyes pinch shut for a moment, tight enough that it screws up her entire face as her stance wavers like she might give into the urge to hit her knees. "Make the next one count."

***

Frank's combat boots shuffle on the carpet as his instincts try to take over as well and he starts to follow up after her retreat. And then he remembers why he's not trying to tackle her to the ground in an attempt to pound her head in against the floor — he's doing this for a reason. He checks up, limping a step backward and brushing his left thumb over his split eyebrow to try and keep blood from running into his already-swelling eye. Stretching his elbow-pounded ribs with a grimace, he works his own split lip, then nods, both hands going up before his face, elbows in tight, one forearm lined with the backwards-held Ka-Bar. The fingers of his left hand work, a quick little beckoning gesture that matches his bloodied grin.

***

Eddie's hands fall down to her sides, no longer taking on a defensive stance as she rolls her shoulders backwards and presents him with a wide open target. As he beacons her forward, she can't quite match his grin but one corner of her mouth does lift up lopsided in a sardonic smirk. Then she's walking forward, strolling right into whatever is waiting, completely unguarded. Completely vulnerable.

Trust is a funny thing like that.

***

When she approaches so unguarded, Frank's smile fades away into a more serious look, and he sinks down on his heels a little more, flipping his blade about again so that he can slash back-hand with it, aiming another draw cut, this one across the front of her left thigh. Can't have the wounds looking too neat after all, all bunched up on the right side of her torso. Immediately, his left hand goes out to try and catch her right arm to help support her. Turns out, a veteran Marine — or at least this veteran Marine — is a good person to trust.

***

Presenting oneself so unguarded means you don't have to front through the pain merely to put on a good show for your enemy. Eddie gives an unbridled cry at the slash, immediately thankful at the supportive hand as she crumples into him. Her hands fist into the material of his jacket at the shoulders, clinging tightly as she ducks her forehead to his breastbone, heaving out her breath.

And then…is she humming? No, there are soft words accompanying the light musical notes. "One batch..two batch…"

***

The knife is tucked aside so that Frank can help support Eddie with both arms, for all that his ribs and knee scream at him for doing so. "You need a — " And then he freezes, hearing the words she hums. His knuckles go white on the handle of the Ka-Bar, and his jaw tightens, pulling painfully at his split lip. "What the fuck did you say, Daisy?" He doesn't really get above a low gravel much anyhow when he isn't shouting, but this time, the words are a growl from low in his chest.

***

It'd be so nice to remain like that, feeling sheltered and supported for that brief second. She doesn't have that luxury.

Eddie lifts her face, eyes watering at their corners from the pain and the visions combined, blood crusting around her nose even as it flows freely from her ribs and thigh and the throb in her shoulder. "Sorry…sorry about that."

Eddie clears the cobwebs of emotion that string across her throat and she tries to play it off like it was nothing, giving him a pat where she clenched desperately seconds ago. "Got blood on your jacket, Sparky. And I screwed up that pretty face of yours pretty good. You're not entering any beauty pageants soon, are you?"

***

Suspicion lingers in Frank's heavy features, his teeth grinding for a moment, "We're gonna talk about that, you and me." And then he starts to walk her over to lean back against the counter where the medical gear is, "After I get you patched up and you don't pass out." The commentary on his pretty face causes him to snort, then wince as pain shoots through his face from paired impact points. "Why do you think I got a waterproof black jacket, Daisy? I already did my time tendin' bar, don't worry. I don't gotta rely on my face any time soon." Once she's down, and he's done groaning from the pain in his knee, he takes a piece of cloth and wipes off the blade, sheathing it and gathering the rest of the supplies down alongside her, "So what's your plan to get to SHIELD? You gonna walk downtown like that? Or count on them pickin' you up from the hospital?"

***

As soon as Eddie's back makes contact with the counter, she's sliding down to sit, painfully stretching out her legs with little grunts of displeasure. "Nothing to talk about, but I wouldn't touch me with bare hands anymore, if I were you. There's some latex gloves in the bag." She exhales through her mouth and in through her nose. "Pass out? Nah. I got a secret weapon for that."

With a wince, she digs a hand into her jeans pocket and pulls out a little glass vial. As she leaves the doctoring to him for a moment, she unscrews the cap and dumps out a pile of white powder on the clothed web between her forefinger and thumb and hoovers it up with a quick snort that has her throwing her head back.

"Fuck the hospital. I'll boost a ride, do a controlled crash into their gate. It'll be grand."

***

Honestly, the latex gloves are a good idea anyhow, since they're both bleeding. Still, Frank studies Eddie for a long moment, then shakes his head, digging into the bag to pull on a pair of gloves. The self-dosing causes him to snort out something between a scoff and a laugh, "Damn, Daisy. Might not be your best job interview." Still, it's her plan, and so he just gets to digging out gauze and bandages, roughly wrapping the trio of wounds over her clothes, "I'd do a better job, but you're supposed to be doing this shit yourself, right?" The clumsy bandaging is the work of only a few moments, and then he gathers up another handful of gauze to wipe down his jacket, mostly smearing the spatters of blood, but getting some of it off too. "Next place, you should get a couch. Good cover if someone busts in." And, you know, for sleeping on.

***

Eddie's head thunks back against the counter, her eyes thinning into slits as she rolls her skull back and forth, back and forth on the cheap laminate veneered front. "This is my fourth place this week, I'll be damned if I'm lugging a couch around. First it's a couch, then it's curtains, and before you know it I'll have a cat that I just call cat."

She opens one eye forcibly further so she can eye his handiwork. "It'll do, Sparky, it'll do." Her head flops backwards again. "My name's Eddie, but you know. I kinda like it when you call me Daisy."

***

"Bitch bitch bitch," is Frank's response to her complaints, "I got a couch, a bed covered in guns, and a dog who eats as much as I do." Which is more than he intended to say, and he presses his lips together, brooding for a moment. Then he just sort of gives up. Starting to strip off his gloves, he pauses instead and offers out his hand, "Nice to meet you Daisy," that draws a crooked little grin to his lips despite the way one corner of his mouth is swelling from her knuckles, "I'm Frank. Now get your ass up before that coke or whatever the hell it was wears off." He pushes himself to his feet with a grimace, then offers out a still-gloved hand to help haul her up, "You got a car to steal." There's a pause, and then he adds, "You got my number if you need anything. Even if you're shit at returning texts."

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