Kitchen Khaos
Roleplaying Log: Kitchen Khaos
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Frank and Babs kicking ass in the kitchen during 'It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.'

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: December 18, 2018
IC Location: Pier 60, NYC
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 20 Dec 2018 05:01
Rating & Warnings: PG-13 for language and violence
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Catching the pistol, Frank immediately checks the safety and pulls back the slide to see if there's a round in the pipe. Safety first, after all. Something tugs at his memory as Jason pulls on a red hood, but then there are screams from deeper into the kitchen as well, and Frank gives Jason a nod, "Pick your targets." There's no glee in his voice, not like the other man, but there's definitely an unmistakable energy. At the sound of a scream from the kitchens, Frank turns in that direction, yanking his tie looser and pulling up a black kerchief over his nose and mouth. There may not be cameras right here, but there are definitely cameras elsewhere in the building. He heads for the kitchen, leading with his left shoulder, the pistol in a close, active grip in front of his chest.

Barbara Gordon is closer to Frank now than she is to the stalking figure of John. She also didn't notice her magician tail until chaos breaks out. Then she does the only thing that makes sense: she kicks off her heels, throwing them toward a wall, and bolts after Frank. Her dress is being given some quick changes, too. That hair-tie that was hiding in her bracelets? She takes that off and knots up her skirts to get the hemline up, because she's not about to trip on her skirts.

She manages to duck the incoming homemade mace from one of the Hellraisers — nails beat through a wooden bat instead taking out a huge rake of the wall and door before she tumbles out into the gallery, and out of sight.

Frank turns the corner into the kitchen, and to his credit, he only pauses a moment when he sees the Hellraisers causing chaos in the kitchen. Kitchen staff are down and bleeding, several probably dying. But demons, demons he understands. Two quick shots blast into the face of one of the Hellraisers — and go ricocheting off elsewhere. That's not good. The next two go into the thing's gut, and it feels that, probably because it's just a guy under there. But then Frank's chosen victim has crossed the distance between him and it, slamming its shoulder into Frank's stomach and driving him off his feet. That's his move, damn it. But even worse, his pistol goes scattering away, and he is forced to grasp for the thing's horns to keep it from headbutting him with that steel-hard skull. Well shit, it's bleeding on him. That's not a demon, that's a Hellraiser, which isn't a whole lot better.

There's barely a sound before a batarang cuts through the air in a sharp, precise motion that buries itself into the actual ribs of the man dressed in demon bones. Then the redhead in the gold dress is advancing in quick, sharp steps until she is almost beside Frank with his demon-man driven to the ground. "They're human," Barbara gasps before she is grabbing for the closest heavy kitchen implement. The frying pan is a really versatile weapon, and she spins as she slams it low, aiming for the standing Hellraiser's knees.

"Hellraisers," Frank growls as the batarang causes the ganger to curl up and away from him a little. That gives him the space to roll onto his hands and knees, and then just as Barbara lashes out with her frying pan, he aims a kick straight back with his dress shoe at the ganger's other knee. The pair of blows strike at once, and there's a pair of dry snaps, leaving the Hellraiser screaming and falling forward. "Gangsters. Started protecting turf, gettin' worse." Frank pushes himself up to his hands and feet, grabs the nearest weapon — a heavy chef's knife — and glances to Barbara. That's when he stops, his mouth dropping open under the raised kerchief, and his eyes widening above it. Barbara Gordon dressed to impress in her gold dress is enough to totally distract Frank for a moment, long enough for the next Hellraiser to slam a tonfa into the Punisher's stomach, folding him up around the club. The distraction doesn't last long, however, and Castle is grabbing the weapon and stabbing the ganger in the stomach, folding him up in turn and splattering blood across Frank's nice white shirt.

There are still another half dozen around the kitchen, and they're starting to look up from terrorizing the cooking staff, in the midst of the chaos that was once prep for a pretty good rubber chicken meal. Plates of food, serving trays, drinks… it's all been knocked about. At least one fire has started already on top of a range, and the fight's still young.

The gawking look from Frank Castle stalls her just as it stalls him, and she gasps her surprise when Frank takes a tonfa to the gut — "Frank!" Then the fierce is moving forward with her frying pan. She whips it against the Hellraiser's head with a resound thhhhwaaaang!. It impacts hard on the back of the skull, the only unprotected region in the demon skull helmet. He drops soundly to the ground — now concussed perhaps fatally and stabbed. Barbara turns sharply toward the second with a quick kick-up of her skirts. She's barefoot, which makes her feet ground easily into the hard cement.

She gives the frying pan a heft, and then she engages with the Hellraiser straight-on. She slams her frying pan across his head, this time letting it loose so she could slip into a more comfortable fighting stance. She slams up her knee, finding some soft tissue as this one is without body armor. She grabs his horns, using them as handles to chuck the skull loose and drive his face into her knee. Then she's turning sharply to Frank as the second drops, and she slots out another batarang from her thigh holster.

"Alright… let's do this."

There's a pistol around here somewhere, and Frank would dearly love to have it. But there's no time for that. He flips the knife over to lay alongside his forearm and advancing his left side, so that his back is more or less toward Babs and they can cover more ground against the six Hellraisers who have seen people actually fighting back and now headed in that direction, navigating the chaos of the kitchen to get there. "Nice look." There's pain in his voice, but also amusement, and as the next Hellraiser comes at them, he goes low as she goes high, using the lack of grip in his dress shoes to his advantage. He slides through a mess of salad on the floor, coming alongside the ganger and slashing at the backs of his knees as he goes. Babs finishes him off, and he clambers to his feet, ready for the next three coming at once. Her words draw a nod, "We got it."

Of the three, two are armored, and one just has the helmet-mask. The armored ones carry a crowbar and a jagged knife, while the unarmored one has a spiky ball on the end of a chain, swinging it around in tight circles and holding the chain in long loops, ready to hurl it when he gets a chance. The first two surge forward first, the crowbar swinging for Babs and the knife licking out toward Frank.

"Oh, shut up," Barbara says in a half-laugh. "I should have tucked a suit somewhere. I don't fight in dresses." Though apparently she's about to. She puts her back to Frank's ready to cover each other as the six come their way. She waits until they are close, waits until they are on top of them. Then she lashes out, ducking out of the crowbar's attack. She's tucked her batarangs — three of them — between the knuckles of her fingers. She uses them like claws, flashing out a sudden and sharp cut across unprotected skin. She nicks her own skin in the process, but she's done this before. She kicks out a foot, sweeping to take a the crowbar-wielder to the ground. Then she spins with a flourish of golden hems and she releases a batarang right at a third who is still building up speed toward them.

One of the Hellraisers bears something like a bolas, but it's thick and gnarly rope between the weights that look like small kettle balls. He slams out a ball toward Frank's knee before he spins past, catching Barbara's throat in an attempted garrote. For a second, her windpipes scream, and then she's giving him the proper self-defense course of a heel to a foot, elbow to the gut, and then she's grabbing hold of the rope to wrench it clear of her neck. The fourth comes storming in toward Frank, trying to crowd the two fighters.

"Don't think the world's ready for you in a tux." Yes, Frank intentionally misunderstood that. He can feel the tension in her back, feel her start to uncoil, and he goes too, feinting toward the crowbar wielder as if he was going to double-team him, and then spinning toward the ganger with the knife. His own blade slashes at the man's forearm as he goes past, the wicked blade of the ganger parting his shirt and leaving a narrow, shallow line of blood across his side. And then the man is past, and Frank reaches out with his left hand, adding to the momentum and shoving the man toward the flaring grill. There's a roar of fire as a grease-pot is knocked over. The demon skulls do not protect against intense heat. The weighted ball glances off Frank's thigh as the twisting shove turns him partially out of the way, drawing a grunt of pain from the vigilante and dropping him to one knee. But then the asshole is trying to choke Babs, and Frank's eyes go wide. A roar rips its way from his lungs — almost in time with the first explosion of Dazzler's power from outside the kitchen, "NOT HER!" As the ganger stumbles back from the elbow to the gut, Frank drives his shoulder right into the man's chest, slamming him back into a prep station and sending a pile of plates scattering. Grabbing for the man's horns, he slams the demon-skull — and the human head inside it — back into the prep station four times in quick succession, the snarl on Frank's face mostly hidden by his kerchief pulled up over it.

The blast covers the screams, but it is unlikely anyone would have heard them. Grease burns roast the skin beneath the demon skull, and the Hellraiser is scrambling at his face to remove his skull, chucking it toward the Punisher so it glances off his shoulder. Barbara is barely reeling when she gets herself stabilized again. "Frank!" Barbara just manages to choke out when he goes violent — desperately violent. Her voice is raw and rasped with the abuse to her windpipes. It may have been a short garrote, but these guys are strong. It's done its damage. She doesn't have time to stop the violence before she's ducking low from a fifth weapon that is hurling toward her as the last two Hellraisers close in. She's gasping for breath as she tries to keep herself stable as the baseball bat flies high, and she ducks. She grabs for the weapon in her half-crouch, and presses back into it, trying to drive the ganger into the sixth and final assaulter. There's still another one that is coming right for Frank, grabbing him at the collar and wrenching him back.

The flying mask jolts Frank aside and sends a wash of pain through his shoulder — along with a few scorch marks on his shirt, but then Frank is hauled back from his violent assault on the ganger, an arm at his collar and another bringing up a length of pipe to smash over his head. There's an easy solution for this, however, and it's trained right into Frank's being. He juts a hip back, and then pulls with the sweep of the guy's pipe-arm, sending the ganger flying over his shoulder to crash down onto the concrete floor. By this point, Castle is panting hard, and running on adrenaline and rage, flicking a glance up to where Babs is fighting, the red weal across her neck. He reaches out for the mask of the man he just brutalized against the prep table, but by then, the guy he just threw has recovered, and reaches up to haul Frank down to the ground with him. The two roll, Frank getting a slamming punch with the mask to the man's face, the Hellraiser getting a knee into the outside of Frank's thigh and an elbow into his face. Once again, Frank's nose is bleeding, but at least he hasn't blacked his still-healing eye again — yet.

A piercing cry echoes out from the main room, the Canary's scream.

The sound of her friends out there, battling things she cannot see, is unsettling. She tries to stay here and now because she's taking a slice of a knife to her arm and then a hard punch to her gut. Then she's being thrown, violently, and her side slams into a prep table full force so that it bruises her insides more than her outsides. She gasps out a breath, and then her eyes flash with her own rage. Enough of this. She swoops low, and picks up the fallen crowbar from one of the other Hellraisers. She engages quickly, fiercely. She hurts, but her adrenaline masks that pain as she goes into full fight mode. She slams the crowbar against one of the demon-skull's faces, knowing it won't do actual harm, but it startles and staggers, and lets her spin to slam the crowbar up through the ribs of the assaulter. The second she turns to is given a hard kick of her bare foot, and then she's slamming the crowbar's head up between the guy's legs, landing a solid hit to his groin.

The demon-mask crunches into the Hellraiser's chest once, twice, and then right into the other mask for good measure, and then Frank's head shoots up at the scream, the sound setting every hair on his body on end. The impact of Babs into the prep table gets his attention quite definitively, however, and he pushes himself off the weakly-moving body at his feet. He aches all over, but the pain feeds his anger, his desperate need to help defend this member of his new family. As Babs rattles the cage of one Hellraiser and then clubs the second, he rushes behind her, slamming the guy back into the beautiful wood-block chopping table. One arm strains to hold the ganger in place as his other hand reaches around the space for a weapon. The Hellraiser punches him in the side of the head, sending him half-staggering, and then Frank has something metal in his hand — a ladle. That fact doesn't stop him for long, as he uses the handle to flip the mask up, and then cups his hand into the bowl of the ladle and smashes it into the guy's throat three times in quick succession. Did Frank Castle just kill a guy with a ladle? Probably.

Barbara is reeling in the agony of it, feeling her body scream in pain as they continue their hard battle. Frank throws the Hellraiser who had tried to seriously damage her insides into the wood prep table, and then there's another blast — but this one has an odd, hollow sound, like the audio has been slowed and distorted. It sounds odd, but then Barbara starts to wonder if she has a concussion. She's looking up just in time to see Frank take out the Hellraiser with a… ladle. She'd make a comment, but it's too late. Instead, she's being yanked around in one last chance to get the upper-hand on the final Hellraiser standing. She sets her teeth as she meets his eyes, and her snarl is fierce, "You're going to regret that. You should have run." Then she's giving a quick triple-tap of movements: a punch, a kick, and she's hurling the Hellraiser right over her shoulder in a wrestling roll that takes him and Barbara both to the ground. His head slams into the cement ground with an ugly crack, and she will always be left wondering if she killed him then, or if his death came later…

Frank cocks his arm to punch the guy in the throat again, but he's not moving. The ladle is dropped, and he watches Barbara roll the last ganger into the ground with the nasty crack. He holds onto the edge of the cutting board for a moment, steadying himself, and then he pushes off, limping on two legs that both have knots quickly turning into bruises. Blood trickles down from his nose, but he recognizes something there in a moment of hesitation from Barbara. He reaches down with one hand to grasp her arm and pull her up and off the guy, so that she can lean against him and the table he's leaning against, and then he lashes out with one dress shoe, kicking the ganger in the side of the head with his heel and snapping his head over to the far side. She'll be angry at him, but that's better than her wondering if she killed the Hellraiser. Adrenaline still courses through his veins, and he looks about the shambles of a kitchen for half a heartbeat, checking the downed gangers for signs of threat, and then his eyes are back on Babs, "It's over, Red." One hand lifts toward her throat, to touch just alongside the raw abrasion there.

Barbara makes a strangled noise when Frank kicks out with his foot, something between a desperate no and a gurgle. She turns her head into his shoulder, forcing her eyes away from the now corpse. Tears gather at her eyes — exhaustion and weary hitting her hard in that aftermath. She feels him touch her throat, and she flinches away just slightly at the mere proximity touch. Then she looks up at him, and a shaking breath escapes her. She steps in close to him, and her arms thread around his shoulders to give him a desperate, grounding hug. She anchors there with him, and her legs give a shake that suggests she's about to head right to the floor unless Frank holds her up — or unless Frank helps her carefully down to the hard cement. She hears another boom outside, and then something roars and shakes the ground. She closes her eyes tight against the sound, against the increased violence outside the kitchen.

The flinch cuts at Frank, but some part of him had expected it, and he reaches up to brush down the kerchief masking the lower part of his face before his arms fold around Barbara, holding her up, holding her close to him. The motion draws a grunt of pain as the shallow cut at his side tugs. He should probably look up at the boom or the roaring and shaking, but he doesn't, his attention entirely on the young woman shaking in his arms. "You're okay, Red." The words are a murmured growl, adrenaline slowly shivering its way out of his system. "I got you."

It takes her several long quiet moments of just shaking before she's able to speak, but her voice is rough and raw. That garrote did a good job distorting her voice, damaging her throat. She looks up at him after a heartbeat longer. "I know. I know." She eases back just a bit, just to look around at the chaos they have left. It takes her longer than she would like to realize that most of them are dead… or closing in on it. Her hand presses hard to her mouth, fingers shaking with her quivering lips. She closes her eyes, taking a steadied breath.

There's a momentary reluctance to let Barbara back away, but Frank's arms loose after that heartbeat, and one even drops down to brace them — to brace him — on the counter again. "Hey. Look at me, Red. Don't look at them, look at me." The other hand stays at her back, between the straps of her once-gorgeous dress. His dark eyes study her features as she reacts to the carnage and chaos, his breath slowly starting to settle.

He demands that she look at him, and it takes her longer than it should for those watery blue eyes to meet his darker gaze. She shakes her head, expression torn between angry at Frank, sorrowful for the carnage, and just exhausted and in pain. She beats her side of her fist lightly against his chest, using the moment to recenter herself. Then she nods. "I know," she croaks roughly. "I know."

Far off, the sirens begin to wail.

Frank grunts under the impact of her fist, but as she nods, his hand comes up off the table, touching her cheek for a moment. The sirens bull their way into his consciousness, but he doesn't respond to them right away, apparently more concerned with the state of the Gotham vigilante.

The touch to her cheek lifts her eyes to meet his once more. She holds his dark gaze steadily with hers, and then she sighs out a breath before she ducks her head forward. Their foreheads connect gently, and she presses into the connection. Through that, she conveys to Frank that she's okay. She closes her eyes as they remain in that comforting embrace, both coming down from the fear and adrenaline and pain that comes from trying desperately not to get the shit beaten out of either of them while facing bad odds.

Frank meets her bright gaze, and as she sighs out that breath and leans forward, he leans forward too. He rests his head against her temple, letting his breathing slow down from the rush of fury and frustation. There's a centering in the press of temples, allowing Frank to back off the rage that calls to him to deal with the merely-wounded, to finish the job. The sirens whine closer, and still he remains, just breathing there, his eyes closed. Eventually, far sooner than he wants to, he murmurs, "I gotta go, Red."

The moment there, the two of them leaned in together, eyes closed and focused on the weight around them, melts away at those murmured words. She closes her eyes tighter, and then nods slowly against his own brow. "Go, Frank." She opens her eyes to meet his. "Go." She gives him a gentle press backwards, encouraging the backward movement, the retreat.

Reluctantly, Frank opens his eyes at her words, and he nods, letting his hands slip away from her cheek and her back. Before he steps fully back, however, he leans his head again, pressing a brief kiss to her brow, just where her pale skin blends into vibrant red hair. "See you for Christmas." And then he steps back and turns to go, striding through the ruins of the kitchen toward the back exit. He glances over his shoulder once, then continues on.

Barbara sags back into the closest surface, feeling her body give a weary shake. Then she watches Frank retreat, just before she starts to hear voices at the far end of the kitchen… she takes a few moments to breathe, before she realizes she recognizes two of the voices: Dick and Dinah. It's enough to get her to gather herself up, and start to retrieve her batarangs and the knife Frank had used… to protect them both.

Frank should probably care about the pistol of Jason's that he dropped somewhere, but it's not anywhere close to his mind at the moment. Instead, as he staggers to the exit and up the stairwell toward the roof (always have an emergency exit strategy), he listens to the police rushing in down below him, and tries to clear his mind. It's not easy, not easy at all. Not even the rather exciting zip-line trip to an adjoining building (thanks Owen) works.

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