Lies Have Their Uses. Lies Have Their Place.
Roleplaying Log: Lies Have Their Uses. Lies Have Their Place.
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Colleen follows Danny after he goes out as the Iron Fist. A fight occurs, and a lie is loosened.

Other Characters Referenced: Bakuto
IC Date: January 03, 2019
IC Location: Manhattan, New York City
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 04 Jan 2019 03:24
Rating & Warnings: PG
NPC & GM Credits: Danny as Hand Ninjas
Associated Plots

* * *

The vigilante persona known as The Iron Fist hasn't been very prominent. Sure, Danny has been out on the street, but last winter it was in a green puffer jacket and a balaclava. Nothing that creates brand awareness. Then, post-Fisk, he laid low along with the other Defenders. Well, everyone except Matt, of course. That guy and fighting is like a shark and swimming. Danny's been focused on trying to re-balance his chi, but it seems no matter what he does, it remains off-kilter.

In the process of looking for information on his father and his dealings, he caught wind of a planned heist at a neighbourhood antique shop that hasn't gotten its security all the way back to normal after the explosions in Hell's Kitchen. It's enough to get him to suit up.

It doesn't take Danny long after arriving to realize it's a set-up. The antique shop is quiet, and there's no sign of a disturbance. Instead, black figures unfold from the shadows and slowly approach the green-clad young man with the dragon sigil on his chest. "You guys don't look like you're big in to antique end tables," he quips, before predicting the nearest one's movements and moving to smoothly counter, with a flurry of motion and a solid blow to the solar plexus.

Then it's a flurry of motion as the six dark-clad figures descend on the one. They fight in a way that Colleen will automatically find familiar.

* * *

Colleen Wing doesn't often skate out Danny Rand's place, but tonight it was almost an assignment from her Sensei. She needed to keep an eye on the Rand scion, track his movements. It felt, at first blush, like her earlier tasks from Bakuto — mindless, rote, and without purpose. Like the night he had her watch a night-blooming bush throughout the entire dark hours of the Winter Solstice. Granted, those tasks did have purpose — she just didn't understand them until later.

Tonight must be one of those nights.

So, she follows the green-clad billionaire through the streets, staying back and out of sight. The sight of the dark antique shop is her first warning, and the dark shadows is her second. Instincts push her close to the still ajar door into the shop, and — almost in the same heartbeat as Danny — she recognizes the set-up. Bakuto had told her to stay back, to watch, but there's some instinct driving her steps forward. She recognize the dark-clad assailants for who they are. That should stop her, that should make her stay back, to follow her Sensei's orders. But she watches Danny fight, surprised by the actual skill, and it only draws her into the shop.

Out of the corner of Danny's eye, a very unlikely ninja appears dressed in joggers, converse sneakers and a windbreaker. She grabs onto the back of one of the Hand's tunics, hurling him toward a display case of rare coins and other random knick-knacks, giving her the opening to slip into the fray and into a true fighter's stance.

* * *

It's a testament to the good vigilante example of his friends that Danny doesn't immediately call her name when he sees Colleen. But even with half his face hidden by the yellow helmet-mask, the surprise is evident. It's also a testament to his skill that the momentary surprise only gives the appearance of an opening that one of the Hand ninjas attempts to take. He steps aside with near superhuman grace and lands a swift blow to just the right spot to send the figure doubling over in pain. "You should get out of here," he says to Colleen, attempting to pitch his voice low, and failing.

There's hesitation from one of the two Hand ninjas who approaches Colleen. It's possible to read hesitation in the figure's body language. The other, not so much. The other attacks with a flurry of fists in a manner that is trained and confident.

Meanwhile, one of the others recovers and pulls out pair of sais and makes a series of jabbing motions towards Danny. He moves, dodging each strike, bending his body in ways that hardly seem possible to do at that speed. The closest the ninja does is to rake the very tip of the blade across his chest armor. It skips over the ballistic material.

* * *

"You should get out of here," Colleen snaps back.

She'd say more but she's bringing her hands together to block the punches, catching and redirecting them until the assaulting Hand is thrown off balance. This gives her a chance to get the upper-hand, and she's kicking out with a hard snap that adds more space between her and the soldier.

She glances aside toward Danny now that all she has the hesitant Hand ninja to deal with. Her jaw sets, her dark eyes flashing a dangerous warning. Wouldn't you rather run? She puts her back to Danny, trusting him in that implicit moment. While Danny is blessed with ballistic armor, Colleen is not. She's glad that he's handling those sais… for now.

* * *

Danny cracks a grin at her not-so-witty rejoinder. When she goes back-to-back, he automatically changes his guard to trust her to have his back. The ninja with the sais swipes out in a way that forces him down low to avoid the pointed tips. He drops to the ground in a controlled manner and reaches up with his legs to clamp around the attacker's neck, then twist with a display of superhuman strength, then slams the figure down into an antique wooden chair. It makes a skull-rattling crack and blood starts to stream down the Hand soldier's face.

Meanwhile, the figure stands there in front of Colleen, fists up and unsure. She may want to run - and it does seem to be a she judging by the jawline and faint curve beneath the black clothing - but Sensei does not brook cowardice. She lunges forward with a series of competent, but not particularly threatening punches. It reeks of someone who has only ever fought on the mat and hasn't been tested in battle.

* * *

Colleen knows that lunge, she knows the punches that will come. So she moves in a graceful dance of deadly means; the first two punches collide into her well bolstered forearms. The third is caught at the woman's elbow, redirecting it over Colleen's shoulder. She wrenches the arm sharply into an uncomfortable twist, and she carries her weight into a roll that drops the ninja to the ground. It's almost unfair. In fact, in the back of Colleen's mind, that little voice that softly questions her choices, the steps she takes… it murmurs quietly: You may have started this girl's training.

Colleen feels that guilt double-down into rage, and then she's looking down at the ninja in a brief, wordless threat. Get up, and get taken back down. She turns toward those fighting with Danny, and her jaw sets as she advances to join the Iron Fist — though he is really? The Iron Fist of legend would not have needed her help; these six would have been taken out in a single strike. Wouldn't they have?

* * *

Yes. And some Iron Fists of legend would have certainly done so. Iron Fists of legend could have also punched clean through a grown man's sternum with little effort. But that would be murder. And a punch to the ground would destroy the antique shop that is someone's livelihood - the very thing he came here to protect.

He still fights with the superhuman grace that one would expect from a legendary protector. He dodges almost like he knows the blow is coming. His modes of takedown cause pain, but look specifically designed not to kill or maim.

But if Colleen is looking for a display of power, she gets it a moment later. The figure that she knocked into the display case has recovered and has pulled out a hammer, perhaps kept behind the counter by the owner of the store. The man is one of the bigger soldiers and he swings the heavy metal object around towards Danny's head. In a moment of reflex, he lifts his hand to block the blow, fist sparking a bit before it glows yellow a split-second before impact. The shockwave is enough to throw everyone nearby back a few steps and knock the wind out of them. It also shatters another set of display cases. There's a shower of sparks and metal shrapnel, and a cry of pain as the shockwave breaks the man's hand.

The young woman stays down on the ground and lifts her arms to cover her face from the shrapnel, but it still cuts small wounds in her arm.

* * *

That's not how Colleen was trained, and it becomes painfully obvious. She's fast, precise, and threatening on deadly. She doesn't kill though — perhaps because she knows who these footsoldiers are, and her loyalties are theirs. The only forgiveness she gets is the fact that she is on a mission separate from theirs. Or perhaps, they are all working on the same mission, moving according to a greater gamemaster.

When the soldier with the hammer gets his wits back to him, Colleen is turning sharply toward him. She looks ready to step forward, to join the battle… and then the shockwave hits. She staggers back a step or two, her sneaker soles scraping through glass from the shattered display cases.

She guards her face with her wrists and hands, staying in a low crouch until she hears the resound cry of pain. She looks up, and her wide eyes settle on Danny. "You…" The word is breathed as the realization fully dawns. So. Bakuto was right.

* * *

Whether it's fear of being outmatched or mission completed, the glowing fist signals the end of the encounter from the attacker's perspective. The young woman is the first to skitter out the door. The big man with the broken hand is the next to bolt. One already disappeared in the interim and the others slowly retreat with their guards up. Nothing is stolen.

Danny looks a little winded from the effort. It shouldn't be that difficult to summon the Fist for that brief moment, but at least he was able to and the hammer was shattered instead of his hand. He stands in a ready position, but allows the ninjas to retreat. Somewhere down the way, the sound of sirens echoes. "C'mon." And then he's exiting the way the ninjas went, glass cracking underfoot.

* * *

Colleen looks after the first to flee, and then she is turning to follow the movements of the others until she is left in the still quiet with Danny. Her eyes drift to the glowing fist, and then her eyes lift to meet his with a stunned expression.

C'mon, and she is quickly falling into step behind him. Only until they are out on the sidewalk, making their own retreat from the antique shop does she finally ask, "Danny, what was that?"

* * *

Danny is just about to peel off and leave Colleen when she says his name. Again, his confusion is evident despite the partially covered face. He veers down a quiet, narrow alleyway and stops. "How did you know it was me?" There's true concern in his voice. He's actually been trying to hide his identity lately.

* * *

That… is not the question she was expecting. What excuse was she supposed to have? This was supposed to be a recon mission; she was supposed to watch. Wasn't she? She actually takes a small step back, and then she ducks her head a bit while her mind races. "I…" Then her shoulders drop a bit. "Saw you coming out of your place." OK, that's not exactly a lie. "I kinda… followed you…?"

* * *

Danny opens his mouth. He's about to ask her how she knows where he lives but…most of New York knows that. The frown intensifies, which is kind of funny when the top of his face has no expression. "Split up. I'll meet you back there." And before she has a chance to say anything, he's sprinting off into the dark with footfalls barely making a sound.

* * *

Colleen is actually startled by the suggestion, and she hesitates quite clearly once Danny takes off at a run. She stands there, a bit dumbfounded, and then she slowly turns and starts to make her own path back toward the main block, and then retraces her steps toward Danny's place. All the while her head spins up the last few moments — and she finds herself wondering if she hadn't made a bigger slip than she intended.

What would Sensei say?

She ends up outside Gramercy a little while after Danny, having taken her time to get back and not taken any rooftop shortcuts. Her hands are buried in her windbreaker, shoulders hunched a bit against the cold, and waiting at the door to the building expectantly.

* * *

Either he's really fast at changing or Danny made it back faster than she even planned for, because Danny is not in his getup when he answers the door. He does look like he just threw on whatever was closest though, which in this case is a t-shirt and a pair of plaid pants. He doesn't say anything, but he stands aside to let her step into the grand entryway of 19 Gramercy Park.

* * *

Normally, the sight of Danny in plaid pants would have inspired a far more dry remark, but she can't seem to muster it. Instead, she glances aside down the street — as if she can almost see the unseen eyes of the Hand watching this. Like Sensei is watching. Then she steps inside, head slightly ducked as she does.

She doesn't say anything until the door is shut, and then she doesn't say anything because she's actually taking in the interior of his place. She had visions of how people who were not scraping, not fighting for money, not selling trinkets and oddities to pawnshops to make rent lived. She's still a bit staggered by it, and is looking everywhere but Danny for a long heartbeat.

Then she finally turns, meets his eyes, and something falters in her just for a bare, short moment of weakness. "Nice place," she finally lands on.

* * *

Danny looks…disappointed, more than anything. His jaw is set, his gaze locks on hers. "Why did you follow me, Colleen? Why did you come by?" He sounds like he really doesn't want to believe anything sinister from her intentions, but realizes there's the potential for it.

It really is a grand house - especially the entryway with its dripping chandelier and grand staircase. It's built to impress. Which makes the contrast with seemingly down-to-earth Danny Rand in his PJs more apparent.

* * *

The disappointment… it hits her in an odd way. She's not entirely sure why. She had been working at the community center, had worked beside Danny, had seen how the community embraced him. And now, to be standing before him — Danny Rand, the Immortal Iron Fist — she feels… guilt. And shame.

"Danny," she begins, and she tucks her hands deeper into her pockets. She doesn't know what to say, how to get herself out of this situation, so she goes for truth. Bakuto believes the Iron Fist could be an ally. She has to believe that. "I've been keeping an eye on you, Danny… because I'm a friend. Because I protect people, and there's people I look out for. You're one of those people." It's the heart of the truth, really… no mention of Bakuto, or her missions. Her missions have been to look out for Danny Rand. To earn his trust, and like all things, Colleen takes that to heart. She cares for the kids who are working for their scholarships, looks out for their well-being. To her, she's rationalized Danny as just another of those she is assigned to look after. "When you went out tonight, I followed you, because I was worried you were going to get yourself in trouble."

* * *

"And…what made you think I was someone you needed to look out for?" There was a time when Danny would have invited her in further, would have made her welcome in his grand home. Like he did for the whole of the Defenders in the aftermath of the Hell's Kitchen explosions. Now he stands in the entryway, almost like a guard at the gate.

He folds his arms over his chest. His body language closes up. "You've put me in a very difficult position. You know something about me that could…" he takes a breath. "I don't intend to register when the time comes." And that means he's at real risk of losing Rand should it ever come out - and his freedom.

* * *

"Because I didn't know who you were," Colleen's confession is a bit harder than she intends — a bit more brusque. Bakuto had told her, but she didn't believe. "I thought you were just some rich guy who was trying to do something good for the community, but there's people out there who don't like those kind of people." The words come easier from her, and she realizes she's not lying, not trying to mask her intentions. The second the brick hit the window at the Merit Center, she surprised herself how much she wanted to retaliate, to find who did that and make sure they never did it again.

When he closes off, Colleen's hands bury deeper into her pockets. Her mouth tightens a bit, and she nods. "You shouldn't register." She looks up after a heartbeat, dark eyes serious. "I'm not… why would I tell anyone, Danny?"

* * *

"I don't…I don't know, Colleen. I don't know anything about you." One of the hands comes from the protective hold across his chest. Danny tosses it up, then lets it drop. "And as you pointed out, there's a lot of people who…" a lot of people who want to hurt him. That's even without taking the Iron Fist and the enemies of K'un L'un into account. "I want to trust you, but I don't know if I can."

* * *

That… that stings. It shouldn't sting. Danny is just a possible recruit for Sensei, to give him true allies. And yet, she feels a bite of pain. What's worse? She can't keep it from causing her expression to flinch. She takes a step back, dirty converse squeaking slightly on the clean, glossy floors of the foyer. "Yeah," she says, brow furrowing, head shaking. "Yeah, alright. I get it."

* * *

"If we'd met a year ago, I'd…" Danny's hands drop entirely, though his shoulders remain hunched. "I'd have trusted you. We'd be in my kitchen right now. We'd be drinking tea. I'd compliment your form." Only he can say that without it sounding like a creepy come-on. "But some things have happened…"

He bites the edge of his lip and looks down. "But I don't really have much of a choice but to trust you. Because you know something about me that could do a lot of damage if it got out."

* * *

Something about how Danny presents that picture-perfect ideal has Colleen almost smiling, and she'd love to roll her eyes slightly at the compliment your form bit, but alas. She can't quite find the humor there. Where was she a year ago? Probably nowhere near ready to be friends with Danny Rand.

"Look, Danny," Colleen's hands are brushing out of her pockets, down her hips, around to her back. It's a dismissive attempt at a casual gesture. Her brows are slightly furrowed as she tries to sound casual. "You don't have to give me concessions… I'm not going to tell anyone about you." She's honest. There's that. "Maybe… we can just start there." She joins him in looking down, hands sliding off her hips and hands coming together so she can rub at the wrap of gauze around her right hand that hides away the bruises from the NYE Fight Night.

From that slightly downcast posture, she shrugs a shoulder, and then offers: "What do you want to know?" It's something, at least. Definitely not a free pass. She doesn't have to answer every question, or even entertain them. But, she knows that it is something.

* * *

"And you don't have to give me a secret in exchange, Colleen. I don't want to learn more about you in some kind of trade. I'd want it to be because you'd want to tell me." Danny's voice drops a little. He's clearly troubled by the whole thing. "I just…can I have a little time to think?" His manner and his voice has softened. His shoulders drop.

* * *

Secrets — the greatest currency. Colleen knows that better than most. She takes another step back, gesturing offhandedly. "Yeah, Danny… you know where to find me." Which may mean the Merit Center, or perhaps just a casual hope that he does know where to find her. She's at a loss as to what to say, so she settles for a desperately lacking, "Night, Danny." Then she turns with a quite whisper of her sneaker soles on the entry room floor, heading for the door.

* * *

LATER….

"Roll it back," says the man with the dark curly hair as he stands looking at a computer monitor. The tech rewinds the security tape from the antique store.

"Danny, what was that?" says the image of Colleen Wing, shot from above and in black and white.

"Oh, Colleen, Colleen." Bakuto makes a tching sound. "How are you going to play this? You've never been a very good liar."

He looks over his shoulder at a man with a busted hand, face bruised, but he's standing like he doesn't feel the pain. "And you say she went back to his house? How long did she stay?"

"A few minutes, Sensei. No more than twenty."

"Very well. Let's see if Ms. Wing lands on her feet. If not…we may have to step up our plans." Then, he steps back from the monitor, pushes aside the beads and exits into the antique store, safety glass popping underfoot. "I do hope this was worth the damage to our shop. Be sure this gets cleaned up. We have a front to maintain."

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