Snow White and Rambo Launch a Buddy Cop Movie
Roleplaying Log: Snow White and Rambo Launch a Buddy Cop Movie
IC Details

Frank Castle and Jessica Jones begin an uneasy case collaboration.

Other Characters Referenced: Luke Cage, and a whole lot of others.
IC Date: January 04, 2019
IC Location: Luke's Bar, Harlem, NYC
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 05 Jan 2019 04:57
Rating & Warnings: PG-13
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Jessica Jones is not an early riser. So it is well after six am by the time she finally wanders down to Luke's kitchen. It's somewhere closer to noon. She wanders down dressed and ready for the day though, a blue and black plaid shirt thrown over a black tank top and black jeans, and her boots. She surveys the new Castle Domain and nods thoughtfully.

She doesn't immediately start talking. She's at that part of her day where speech is not exactly the first and quickest thing to happen. She's clutching a travel cup of coffee in the fingers of one hand, swathed by fingerless gloves. She does, however, look about for Frank to see what he might be doing or where he might be as he makes this place his own.

Frank is an early riser by nature, but by necessity. His repeating nightmare woke him up at 3 am, and he went to knock down some walls and leave his notice at his old job. By a few minutes after six, he's in the kitchen, his heavy winter jacket hung up on a hook by the door, and his head under the sink. In the nearly six hours he's had in the kitchen, he's moved the fridge from one side to the other, gotten the garbage disposal working to his liking, and removed his hoodie to reveal the dark green and black plaid shirt thrown over the black tank top, blue jeans, and brand new combat boots. God damn it. They even dress the same. Without Owen's intervention.

At some point he went out to get coffee of his own, but it's been set aside at one end of a counter. After a couple of minutes of Jessica's presence, he straightens up from where he's drawing lines on the walls of what was once a coatroom or storage nook. "Caffeinated?"

"More or less. Holy crap, you work fast."

She gets a little more coffee in her system, then says, "Luke said you needed help with a case. Something about some gang called the Hellraisers, and more 'hey it's totally cool to have powers if you have to take these really expensive and profitable treatments for them' ideas coming out of the criminal underworld?"

She finds a counter to lean across. There are certainly some differences between them. If she tried to do all this construction and putting things together there would just be a big mess.

"I've been here for a couple hours." Six. Frank sets his tools down in the walk-in and walks out, resting one hand on the counter alongside the future-fridge, "And Luke had most of the stuff in place already." The telephone-game draws a grunt from Castle and he shrugs slightly, "Sorta. Shitbirds in demon-skulls hit Jennings' big party. I didn't see it, but from what I heard, they hulked up like Meta-users, but without the blue eyes. And some folks got torn apart, ritual-like. First part sounded like the Hellraisers, so I went and talked to one of 'em." Which probably means he used 'enhanced interrogation.' "He said they didn't do it, they don't touch magic. I believe him." Which probably means he used a lot of 'enhanced interrogation.' "Said they had a deal with Jennings to leave them alone. Said someone else hit the ball. I wanna figure out who did it."

Jessica holds up a hand, a pained expression on her face. "Okay, okay, okay," she says.

She takes out a notebook. "I want you to assume I don't know what the fuck you're talking about, and I want to take it all the way back to the beginning of anything relevant to this. I'm sure you think I know a lot, but…I came out of a coma to find I'd had a goddamn stroke, straight up. At the time when this 'blue eyed' thing was happening I'd lost half my vocabulary and the use of my goddamn left hand. And I love Luke, but details aren't his thing. I swear to God, so far I've gotten more info out of his old partner about his own case than he was able to give me. I have details on par with 'we went somewhere once and then a boat blew up.' I even need you to tell me who Jennings is. Just walk me through it, okay? All of it. Even if you think I know, even if you think I should, even if you think it's some pissant detail that's not important. It probably is."

She's all professionalism as she speaks, despite the wince about her time in a coma. She had been all cheer in front of everyone during that time, even Luke. Maybe especially Luke. And she had been happy to be alive. What she didn't reveal to anyone, except maybe to Matt who might have been able to hear it in her heartbeat or smell it or something, was just how scared she'd been in that time that she'd never be able to work again. That she'd live the rest of her life at half mental capacity, watching thoughts spiral off into the ether.

"It's why I got the name wrong when I came to ask about your friend," she adds, exhaling. "Aphasia."

She shrugs. Embarrassed. But there it is. She needs the rundown, and that's that. But at least he knows why. And if she keeps her eyes on her legal pad while she talks about this, what of it?

'Details,' she says. Frank grimaces as she backs him up and gets out the notebook, but nods slowly. All professionalism, he can do that, even if he winces slightly himself at the mention of her damage. Debriefing, just like in the service.

"After the demons got sent back, a group'a gangers started wearing demon skulls and bones, claimed some of Hell's Kitchen. They talk a good game about protecting the people in their territory, but that mess on New Year's Eve a couple blocks from here with the Jamaicans and the collateral damage? That was them. Would've been worse without Red and John." He's drifted away from the point, and snaps back quickly, "From what the Hellraiser told me a couple nights ago, they had an agreement with Councilman Jennings — Third District." Which includes Hell's Kitchen and several others. "He was talkin' big about them, they were talkin' big about him, but nothin' happened. Until he held his Winter Ball."

The index finger of his right hand twitches a hint at his side, "I was there 'cause I heard there might be trouble. There was. Shitbirds in demon skulls and bones hit the place, started draggin' people off. Me and Red dealt with a bunch of 'em in the kitchens. From what I heard, it was a hell of a mess outside. Everything else I know on that is second- or third-hand. I heard a bunch of masks and capes and underoos were there, and they stopped people, but that some of the gangers had heavy weapons, and some of them started growin', hulkin' out. Some of them got exploded by the capes. And from what I've heard about the mess, some people who got dragged off got taken apart. Some people are sayin' ritual sacrifice. And none of the reports of hulkin' mention blue eyes."

Right, the blue eyes. "Meta's the drug that the Blacksmith was bringin' in. On the ship, Luke ran into some guy who took a dose, got all blue-eyed and stuff, and hulked out himself. Red and Nightwing ran into one that was shootin' electricity or somethin' like that. But it was all blue eyes and sometimes veins. And nobody at the party mentioned that shit.""

Jessica's pen flies across the page, building something that's part timeline, part to-do list. If Frank were to look over, it would look something like this.

Demons (just after). Some mess a few blocks…ask Barbara & John. "When you say there was a mess with the Jamaicans, do you mean the Hellraisers vs. some Jamaican gang or working with some Jamaican gang or what?"

She scrawls: agreement w/ Councilman Jennings, 3rd D. (our district). "What were the terms of this agreement? When you say 'talking big' what did that mean? Do you mean he was making noises about getting them off the streets and they were making noises about killing him? Or something else?"

She jots down Winter Ball Hit: HR motiff; dragged off…Rit. Sac?? Hulked out…someone exploded??? NOT Meta (BKSMTH drug).

"And do you know which capes were there? I'll have to talk to them."

At the top of the page she writes: Case Objective —> Find out who really hit C. Jenning's ball & tried to frame Hellraisers, source of hulking out (magic???) and scope of threat this might represent. She underlines it several times.

"Yeah, Hellraisers versus Jamaicans. I don't know much more than that except some bystanders got killed and it was ugly. In Harlem though." Frank answers the questions without hesitation, although recalling the details gathers a frown of concentration on his brow — it's a good brow for frowns. "Don't know the terms. Guy I got was pretty low level, I think. Dropped his ass off with the cops." Which might be surprising but welcome news to Jess, for all that he brushes past it. "But yeah, exactly what you said. Talkin' big about crackdowns and about killing, but not doin' anything about it." The question of which capes were there causes him to frown in thought, "Like I said, I was in the kitchen, so I didn't see what happened. I know Black Canary and John were out there. Some healer too. Some people say Hornhead was there — Stark definitely was. Oh, and some woman named Psylocke. Whole buncha celebrities too, some Waynes and other folks from Gotham, some alien chick, Worthington. Don't know how much use talkin' to them might be."

It is surprising news. But it's also a relief. Jessica's eyebrow only briefly ticks upward at it, but she makes no more comment than that. She jots down the names. She'll try to visit all of them, but some are definitely more accessible than others. Still, big party like that, everyone will remember different details. She smirks briefly.

"Bruce Wayne? He'll just love seeing me at his doorstep again I'll bet."

She shrugs. "Maybe no use at all. Maybe all the difference in the world. Especially since you get that many capes and amateur detectives and pro detectives wearing capes in one place, some of them are bound to have noticed something or collected some evidence, or tried really damned hard to." She jots down every name. "And even if they only noticed that the appetizers were pretty tasty before all Hell broke loose, due diligence says I talk to them."

She tap-taps her pen against the legal pad and says, "Any other leads I should know about? And…"

She circles a few of the names here and there, adding: "What's your endgame?"

The question is asked in a casual fashion, but let's face it. Jess turned down her very first case with Frank because of his original endgame, or what she suspected it was. Of course, in this case, things are a little different. Now she has taken the time to get all or most of the information. She'll investigate it no matter what. It needs investigation, and she's a good person to do it.

The endgame question definitely relates to whether Rambo will get all the Intel Snow White picks up, or whether she'll try to resolve it in a different way.

"Don't think it was Bruce," Frank clarifies, searching his brain, "Two of the adopted sons." There's a pause as something clicks, and he blinks, "Oh shit, one of them was Red's friend. Grayson. I gotta talk to him anyhow." That sends him down a different pathway of thought, his scowl deepening. But then there's something more important. The endgame. Frank looks up, meeting her eyes without hesitation. He steps forward a little, so that he can rest his hands on the counter that he leans back against, and eventually gravels, "I don't know." It's an uncomfortable admission for the veteran Marine. The scowl deepens still further, furrowing heavy brows over his dark eyes. "Depends what they've done and what they can do. They're just assholes making trouble, the cops can handle 'em." On the other hand, "They're killin' innocents to give them magical juice to hulk out and kill more people? I figure there ain't no way to hold 'em, and they should be dealt with. Permanently." There's challenge in the last statement, which he promptly undermines by adding, "That square with you?"

I don't know actually wins more respect than a definitive statement.

She caps her pen. "Yep. Dumbasses go to jail, monsters die. That's always been my philosophy. And to me the definition of a monster is in fact someone whose power has grown to the point where there isn't a way to hold them, that nothing but death will stop them. Save getting your hands bloody for when there's no other choice. And pretty much nothing says no other choice like blood mages and cultists. Only way to deal with the shithead variety of wizard is to hit them hard, hit them fast, before they get any spells off."

Common ground, apparently. Maybe she only really disagreed with the sheer number of people going down, and whether they were all monsters. And the way his original crusade looked likely to put innocents in the crossfire. Just killing for the right reasons?

Apparently nothing she hasn't done before.

"So, when I find something actionable, I'll get back to you and we can go look into it."

Frank nods at her definition, "Figure we're just gonna have issues where we divide between dumbasses and monsters. But not with these guys. For what it's worth, incap-agents," that would be knock-out gas in military-ese, "work pretty good against the one or two I've run into. Figure a nonlethal shell from a shotgun'd do pretty well too. But if someone starts throwin' spells or whatever the fuck they do at me or mine, I'm gonna put 'em down hard and fast, then worry about clean-up later." Just so they're on the same page, or at least so she knows what page he's on. Her conclusion, however, has him shaking his head, "No. You got stuff to do for Luke too. How 'bout we split the list. I want to talk to one more Hellraiser, confirm the intel I got from the first, then I'll hit up some of the people, you hit others. We'll work it together, so you can still work Luke's stuff too."

Jessica has such a habit of taking on everything herself. Even with the Defenders all around her. Even with Luke. She actually starts a little when Frank says he wants to work the other half of it. She rubs the back of her neck and finally says, "Well, I guess this time you're not paying me. But while you're doing that there's one more angle you can work better than me anyway."

She tips a finger at him. "Gotham gang called the Whispers. Batgirl and I had this weird run-in with 'em. Anyway, they were dabbling in magic for the first time ever too. And while we didn't see anyone hulk out, they sure got new abilities out of the deal. Could be there's a connection. I don't really do the whole 'jump gang member in an alley, beat him up till he talks' bit. Or waterboard him, or whatever you do. Gangs aren't really my thing. But they're yours. You might want Constantine along to help interpret any mumbo jumbo, but…it just strikes me as an awfully big coincidence. I think we're going to follow this chain right up to some unifying asshole right up top."

Frank lifts his brows as she suggests there's an angle he can work better than her, but the angle, when it comes, actually has him smirking just a touch, a low chuckle rising in his throat as he shakes his head in amusement. "T — " he stops there, his eyes flickering in the direction of Owen's apartment for a heartbeat before he corrects himself, "Me and another guy checked them out after they hit you and the Birds. That's where I found out about incap-agents and less-than-lethals. They also swarmed the shit out of us and we had to get rough." There's a pause that borders on long, and then he admits, "And then we got our asses kicked and got outta there. Might be able to do somethin' about the Whispers, but I don't know if I can make 'em talk. I'll try, but it could get messy."

The stop has her eyebrow arching, but she doesn't pursue it. As the direction of Owen's apartment is also the direction of a whole bunch of other apartments, she doesn't automatically make the connection. "Just don't send me any graphic photos or video clips, Castle."

She snaps her notebook shut and pushes off the counter. "Thank you, by the way. For the Christmas presents. That was really thoughtful of you."

And while she can be exceedingly rude, sarcastic, and temperamental at times, on this count she seems to mean it. They'd surprised her and touched her. Caught her off guard. And so he gets a moment of sincerity out of her. She refrains from stating the embarrassed obvious: that she didn't get him anything this year. He just hadn't crossed her radar on her annual holiday anxiety spiral otherwise known as Christmas Shopping. It's a sure bet his name has been added now, though.

"Learned that the first time I tried to get evidence. Somethin' about coercion being inadmissible." There might even be an amused smirk behind the words. The thanks causes Frank to shrug a little helplessly, and he looks down. But Frank is nothing if not (almost always) honest, and he grunts, looking back up, "Yeah, don't worry about it. You weren't on my list either." The smirk spreads into a bit of a crooked grin, actually looking a bit boyish for a moment, "But I figured if I was givin' Luke somethin', it'd be pretty shitty not to get you somethin' too." There, no more guilt about not getting him anything.

His admission that she wasn't on his list produces a flash of a grin out of her, honest humor dancing in her eyes. "Benefiting because the one thing we can both agree on is Luke's basic awesomeness? Yeah, I can live with that."

And with that, she heads towards the door. "Alright. Things to do, people to see, assholes to nail to the wall with admissible evidence. See you around, Castle."

No lingering when they can actually end this meeting on a good note.

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