It Was Never Supposed to Hurt
Roleplaying Log: It Was Never Supposed to Hurt
IC Details

Evangeline Whedon finally shakes herself out of the blackness that closed over her after the death of Warren and Alison. It's now time to put plans into action. Dani is there to help.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: October 26, 2019
IC Location:
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 27 Oct 2019 15:40
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

It was never supposed to be this personal. Not one bit of it.

It's what she's been thinking since the beginning. But it was always personal. It was personal in her first trial case when she was sending people to jail. It was personal when she was outed. Fired. Divorced. Disowned. It was personal when two mutants she didn't know saved her from complete destruction. And it was personal when Warren lost his wings.

This was…

Someone is waiting behind her in the kitchen, patient. Peering around her. They wanted coffee too. The robe she'd been wearing for the past few days needed to be washed. She needed to be washed. It was sometime around that point where her tear-streaked makeup and general corpse-like appearance struck her completely by accident, her reflection caught on the surface of the fridge display.

This is not the person who will figure this out.

Coffee cup and still hot contents dropped into the sink, she returned to her room. A hot shower and a fight with a hairbrush later, Dani would get a text: I'm ready.

And so when Dani found her it was downstairs, in an room that used to be used for briefings. Now it was used for all sorts of things. She has her laptop, but it's closed, and she's staring at a holographic display of Warren and Ali caught in a genuine moment at some party, a whisper shared between them when the cameras weren't supposed to be looking. She's fixed on the private smiles.

She's staring at digital ghosts, and trying to imagine a world where this man could hurt that woman. And Vange, very oddly, is not dressed in her normal clothing. She is dressed in the suit Hank McCoy made for her some time ago: Black head to toe, with a red stripe here or there that converges into a red, circled X in her upper left shoulder. Tonight, Evangeline Whedon is dressed like one of the X-Men.

Danielle Moonstar's phone does the obligatory chime of 'text message' received. As soon as the musuical notes are heard the black-haired woman automatically slides her phone out of her pocket. She expects to see something from Carolus, or his Spider friend, or even others - but Evangeline?

She doesn't expect that. At least, not yet.

But upon reading it Moonstar drops everything she's doing and just leaves whatever room she's in. Then it was a quick jog down some steps, down a hallway, around a cornder, until she finds that occupied briefing room. The Cheyenne woman's steps are quiet, but not purposely so, and when her shadow darkens the doorway the woman raps her knuckles against the doorframe to announce her arrival.

She only manages one strike of knuckles upon doorframe before Moonstar spies that holographic display of Warren and Ali, with effort Dani pulls her eyes away and re-focuses upon Vange. "Evangeline."

Dani's address has a formality to it, but seeing the other woman dressed in her X-Gear brings it out.

And within her name are unasked questions from Dani -

Are you ok?

What can I do for you?

But none of those things are spoken aloud, instead Moonstar adds, "I'm glad you contacted me. I've some news."

"You know I was asleep when those alien guys invaded New York? I was exhausted from work and I slept through the whole fucking thing. I woke up and just stared at the news and it's 'heroes save New York'. And I had to run outside to see it for myself, because I couldn't believe it. I've had a lot of those 'I can't believe this but it sure did happen' moments over the last few years." She doesn't take her eyes off the hologram while she talks about the impossible becoming possible. But eventually, she does close her eyes again, to keep the tears away.

"I believe in this kind of shit now. I saw the look in his eyes, Dani. Just a look. Vacant. Empty. I saw him so fucked up. And I know someone has been fucking with his shit. I knew it because I could feel it. Someone pushed on him until this happened. That's how it could happen. That's… that's how I could do something like that, if someone carved my fucking soul out. So please, please, tell me your news makes me wrong. Somehow. Please. Or at least tell me you found out who pushed him, so I can find out what their bones taste like."

She is not okay. Because of all those closest to Warren and Ali, to all those who knew them and can't believe it and are running in circles to find another explanation, she may be one of the few who understands how this might, somehow, happen. And maybe she's ashamed because of that. It's hard to read on her face, but she needs to figure it out, and when she finally looks to Dani with glassy eyes, it's clear she needs a few drops of hope from a friend.

For the first half of Vange's words Moonstar stays across the room, mindful of personal space.

Mindful of her own personal space, as well.

There are so many emotions for everyone to unpack since the story hit the news. Since their friends died.

But by that second half, where Vange clearly struggles, Moonstar walks briskly across the room. She doesn't do anything as crazy as fling her arms around the other woman in a HUG, but she does reach out to try to place a comforting hand upon the other woman's arm, or shoulder.

A movement that means two things -

I hear (and feel) your pain.

You're not alone.

"None of this." Dani begins, her voice losing some of that cool and calculated tone that she often speaks with, "Is your fault. Or mine." Which is even harder to say, but before she can dwell on those words too long the Cheyenne woman turns a look to the holograms of Ali and Warren, "Or theirs."

Now her gaze returns to Vange, "They were murdered. Both of them."

A cut on someone's finger might turn her into a raging monster. She shied away from handshakes. She didn't like personal contact. After her husband left her, she went into a very healthy relationship with her job. But as soon as Dani touches her, she melts, the pain etched in her face threatening to turn into an outcry of emotion. But Dani has a way with words that bring her back from the brink, and she presses her palm to her forehead to center herself in that brief moment she allows herself to just be open and human and not the closed off rage monster she so often appeared to be.

'They were murdered. Both of them.'

They aren't words that should ever bring someone relief. That harsh reality smacks her right across the face. But she is relieved, and it's selfish. Because it means there's someone out there who did this. Someone who needs to fucking die.

When she looks up at Dani her eyes are almost gold, and it's a slow shift back from the brink of wanting to tear out of this place and take to the sky, because some dark corner of her mind tells her she could find them. Years of particular method, of practiced patience in research and using the written and spoken word to solve her problems bring her back to here and now, and she takes Dani by the shoulders and guides her into a seat.

"Tell me everything you know. Tell me how you know it. Tell me where I can help."

It's lawyer time now.

The killing can come later.

The relief that Vange feels is something that Dani is familiar with.

She too had terrible thoughts, about who's fault the murder suicide was, and when the realization came that it was not hers -

Well. Relief is a mild way to put it.

Seeing the other woman echo those emotions in the same way brings a look of understanding. Of sympathy and empathy too.

Not that it lasts too long. Not with Dani and Vange being quite the professional types that often keep themselves closed off from those around them. Now Dani finds herself guided by Evangline's touch and the Cheyenne obliging sits down at the table.

Tell her everything and how she knows it's murder.

That's enough to cause Dani to stay silent a few seconds as she marshalls her thoughts.

"One - as much pain as Warren was in he would never do that to Ali. Himself? Maybe, but not Ali." This Dani believes whole-heartedly, "Second - we found what remained of his wings. They were infected - or injected - with some kind of technological virus. It turned the workers into literal metal zombies." She tries to recall how Carolus put it, but can't quite remember his verbiage, "Very unstable creatures that popped when attacked."

"But the most damning evidence is the crime screen. Four of us went to look at it and we're all fairly certain parts of it was staged. Also … Ali was being drugged with ketamine."

Her voice goes icy at the mention of the drug and it stays icy as she finishes with, "There's several people we think could have done it, or be involved with it. His Aunt Cecilia and her son Hunter and also Cameron Hodge."

"I can send over all the information we've gathered so far so you have the full picture."

Her heart never beats this fast unless she's flying, and right now she feels like she's soaring out of the stratosphere. At first it's all the normal things she might expect someone to hear from a friend talking about a friend. The kind of things you say when you can embrace denial like a warm blanket. But then comes more. Evidence. Real evidence. She hasn't seen it, but this is a sworn statement if she's ever heard one, and she sits back in her chair and curls gloved fingers over armrests, her slow nod to Dani the only initial response.

"Did you talk to Jones? Who else knows what you've found out? We need to keep a tight circle. Because if what you're saying is right.. if it's his family.. or if.." She pauses here. She never liked Cam. But it was something else. It wasn't that this man could be some kind of killer. Right? She had instincts she didn't even understand. He never triggered them, not like that.

"..if it's Cam. I might have a way we can prove it. Nothing that will hold up in court. But we don't need it to. We just need to know the truth first, and then pry the proof from the horses mouth." Her heart slows. Calculation fills in the thrill that comes with hunting people, a thrill she wishes she didn't have.

It was never supposed to be personal. And she can't let it be if she's going to figure this out.

"We we know where his family is? Do we know where Cam is?"

Who else knows about this?

Moonstar is quick to respond, "Myself, Carolus Sinclair, a friend of Carolus' who goes by Ghost Spider, Jessica Jones and Daredevil." She pauses a moment as she considers who else might know, "Possibly Domino and Illyana, depending on whether Carolus has spoken to them yet or not."

"Outside of the school likely no one else." Well, beyond the murderer, but Dani doesn't have to say that outloud.

"What do you have on Cameron?" She asks immediately, even going so far as to wave aside the fact that it wouldn't hold up in court. Really, Dani could care less if it did - sorry Carolus! - because when the time comes to go after the murderer it's not going to be good.

At all.

"After tomorrow I may have more information on who in particular wanted them dead."

"I don't know where his family is at this moment, or Cameron, but I can find out."

Sometimes it's good to have SHIELD security clearances.

"I do have a favor to ask of you. Do you think you'd be able to go to Warren's estate? I'm worried about Kiff, but beyond the condolence visit, I can't hang around without raising too many eyebrows. You might find it easier to check on him more regularly than I can."

"Nothing. Other than his repeated fuckups when it came to a few recent acquisitions. The companies Warren had bought out to stop them from making anti-mutant tech. Ultimately it all fell under his responsibility, but he fell on his sword each time. Apologized profusely. He was his friend forever Dani. I just can't…" Maybe the rush possibility, of hope that comes with knowing one of your friends did not murder the other pushed her into an older mindset. That time before, when there was still disbelief. But if she could believe Warren were capable of this, even understand how it might happen, she has to believe anyone is capable of it, too.

"If it's one of the three… you're still in good with SHIELD, right? Because if you are, you might not be after what I'm about to ask you to do."

She leans close, a hand reaches out to take one of Dani's. She gives it a squeeze, a reflection of the strength Dani gave her when she first walked into the room and touched her shoulder. "I want you to have two SHIELD agents find that rat fuck cousin of his and arrest him. Do it in public, and then keep him in a box. Fucking rendition his ass like only SHIELD does to the worst fucking people. We bug the other two, then sit back and see who fucking blinks. Maybe Hunter will spill his fucking guts if he knows anything, but my bet is on Cecilia panicing and trying to meet or talk to whoever did this in a way she shouldn't." She doesn't say Cam again. Because honestly, she really just hopes it isn't him.

Because she can imagine that betrayal being the last thing either of them saw, and it makes her want to turn the whole of New York into a fiery ruin.

"Right. Kiff. I'll get him. He can come stay here. He won't like it because I don't have a car but when do we ever get to do things we like anymore?"

The insight into Cameron Hodge prompts a thoughtful expression from Dani for a few moments, up until Vange asks about her connections to SHIELD.

"I'm in good with them still, yes." She agrees with absolutely no hesitation and it's only when Vange says those next words and also gives her hand a squeeze, that Moonstar's expression tightens.

It's not the tightness of being asked to do something that goes against all she stands for - even if it does - no, this expression is something between realization and relief.

Realization that the time has finally come where she must choose SHIELD or the X-Men.

Relief that this particular sword will not hang over her head for much longer as Dani has already made her choice.

She made it as soon as she learned of Alison and Warren's death.

"I'll pick up Hunter as soon as I can. I've seen him a time or two and I expect it won't take long for him to crack under pressure. The real threat will be his mother and what she might throw up against us."

"Then we'll keep tabs on Cameron and Cecilia and see where it leads us."

When Vange agrees to get Kiff, Moonstar's expression eases. "Thank you. I'd rather he not get caught in the crossfire."

"Just don't pick him up yourself. Find the two most Men in Black looking mother fuckers that SHIELD has and order them to pick him up and take him away. Preferably while he's with friends or something. I want word to get back. I want someone to think that someone found out something, and that there's a weak link. And that's why it has to be SHIELD and not someone else. They have to be able to protect him." She will not mention their buildings or hovercraft sometimes falling down.

She will not.

"Alright. Alright, right." She's nodding to herself now, and lets go of Dani's hand as she leans back and exhales a breath. Momentarily she stares at the table, but eventually she finds Dani's gaze. "None of it's going to bring them back." She says it to herself, really. Pain twinges at her jaw. She wants to fly right now. If only to get Kiff. She wants to soar to forget about the truth of what they're doing. All they can do is try to find justice.

"Keep the info coming - anything you find out. I'll try to organize it. I'll talk to Jessica again too. Long shot but, maybe some drugs went missing, or were ordered through a subsidiary of WI. Probably not. probably to blatant a place to look but no stone unturned. I'll go get Kiff now, in fact.. otherwise i'm not sure what might happen when someone realizes Hunter is gone."

If he's even part of it. Lots of 'ifs' in her plan. But thankfully, all of these people are pieces of shit, so who fucking cares.

None of it's going to bring them back.

"No, it won't." Dani agrees and here her voice and expression turn icy, and for a moment the air in the room turns just as cold. "But we'll avenge them."

By killing those responsible, but that doesn't really have to be said, right?


Especially when super sensitive Moth ears might hear.

"As soon as I hear anything I'll send it your way. I'll also make sure to get the scariest suits to pick the kid up. Just let me know when you get Kiff so I know when I'm good to go."

At this point Dani rises to her feet and settles a look on Vange, "Be careful out there. I know you can handle yourself and take care of just about anything, but until we know fully what we're dealing with we need to be careful."

Vange stands too, and tucks her laptop under an arm. She's already moving towards the door. Partly because she needs to drop her computer off in her room, the other part is that she really needs to feel the sky. It'll help her think, and once she has Kiff she'll feel a little bit safer. She stops at the door and glances back, because there was one more thing she wanted to say. It's written all over her face.

Instead she just nods. "Yeah, I'll be careful." Probably not, though. It isn't exactly what she's known for but then, this is a little new to her. She isn't often so in the thick of it like this. And while she still intends to help quarterback, she imagines she'll be wearing this suit out in the open far more often until they figure our who took their friends from them.

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