Party Crashers
Roleplaying Log: Party Crashers
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Eddie runs into Roy at a wedding and enlists him for some shenanigans.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: January 15, 2019
IC Location: Paramount Hotel, Manhattan
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 17 Jan 2019 00:57
Rating & Warnings: Violence & Language (trigger warning for cutting)
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

It's not the premiere social event of the season, but the wedding between the Vander-Walson's daughter and the Shipley's son at the Paramount Hotel in Manhattan is a lavish bit of an affair. The ballroom has been decorated for the reception in dripping arrangements of lavender and cream colored flowers and polished silver flatware where the guests are treated to a five piece band, sit down dinner and an open bar. After the first hour of free-flowing champagne, who is or is not on the guest list gets a little hazy.

The cake has been cut and the happy couple have been introduced to the dance floor, now people mingle and enjoy the live music after the lights have been dimmed to enhance the mood.

A server moves among the table, clearing empty plates and carrying them two by two instead of stacking them or using a bus tub. It's a classy affair. It's also a tedious task for the catering staff, and so the very bored and distant look on Eddie's face matches the others just like her uniform of tuxedo pants and shirt with a neat little black bow tie.

*

How in the hell does Roy get hauled to these things? Mostly because he doesn't want to piss off one of the few upper-class customers he has at the garage, and at least she's cute, so when Miranda Schuyler asked him to be her date to the wedding, he agreed. Now, however, Miranda has found a groomsman from her own social class to snog, and Roy — well, he's not exactly sad. Okay, maybe a little, because he would like to be getting snogged, but that might screw up the money flow even worse, so he's not that sad. He's also not feeling a whole lot of pain after champagne and the open bar, and so when he finally recognizes Eddie, he gives a little double-take, gathers up his Seven-and-Seven and heads in her direction, approaching from behind to stand beside her in his own classy (if a bit worn around the edges) dark gray suit, "That's a classy-as-fuck look." He's not too drunk that he's going to use her name, when he's not sure if she's under cover or just picking up some spare change.

*

The worst part of all of this for Eddie is the fact that gloves aren't part of the caterer's uniform, and she can't risk standing out at the moment. She turns with newly plucked up plates to nearly swing them into Roy, drawing just short of the collision that would leave left over mashed potatoes all over the front of his pretty suit. Left blinking for a moment, her smirk is slow to form. "Hello, sir." She's quick now to punctuate the proper term, so he understands she's not supposed to recognize him, "How did you like the chicken, or did you go with the fish option?" Gaze dips to take in his apparel, and she quiets her voice enough to say, "You clean up nice."

*

Roy shuffles back from the incoming plates, his arms going out to the side and sloshing the pale drink about in its glass. Thankfully, he's drunk enough of it that the ice just tinkles, and nothing spills. "The chicken was a little rubbery. Pretty sure that's the danger of these, but that's way better than the fish, because it almost always tastes fishy." Badum-ch. The quieter words cause him to shrug a little helplessly, even if they also spark a grin that gathers at the corner of his lips. "I thought you liked me all sweaty and dirty. I coulda done this sooner…" And then the smile splits broader, and he adds, "And suits are always hot on women." His brows lift as he shifts from flirtatious to actually-slightly-serious, "I'm not gonna screw up any heavy leering on your part, am I?" Slightly serious. Also, leering is definitely code for 'spy business.'

*

"But that color really brings out your eyes." Sarcastic or not, Eddie leaves that for Roy to decide, but her eyes are sparkling with something akin to mischief. "Might I suggest the coffee bar, sir. If you're going to participate in any leering." Her eyes go past him now to where the father of the bride is talking near the head table to another gentleman that looks vaguely out of place, if only because he's wearing tennis shoes with his haphazard attempt at formal wear, a blazer over a vee neck t-shirt and jeans. "Because we could have some real fun, unless you were looking forward to doing the chicken dance later." She spins away, once more avoiding all talks about how she might look in her waiter apparel, zooming away to deposit this last round of dishes.

*

"I thought it was my smile that brought out my eyes," Roy retorts. He's not soused enough to go rubbernecking at whatever Eddie is looking at, but he does just barely start to turn his head before he stops himself. But then there's leering to be had, and so he drains off the rest of his drink and sets it carefully atop one of Eddie's plates so that he can free both hands to sing-song, "Duh-nuhnuhnuhnuh-nuh," as he pinches his fingers at his shoulders like chicken beaks. And then promptly makes a face like he's throwing up. He steps out of the way so that Eddie can beat her retreat, and then idly turns about, eyeing the various people in that direction. He latches onto t-shirt and jeans talking to the father of the bride because he looks out of place, and then starts to wander over toward the coffee bar. Leering plans or not, he does stop to chat up a bridesmaid briefly, because if Miranda got a groomsman….

Still, a vigilante's work is never done, so he leaves without digits or room key, heading over to the coffee bar to get himself something wildly cream-and-sugared.

*

Eddie returns to his side shortly there after his arrival at the coffee bar, here only to restock the swizzle sticks, of course. It's a tedious process, arranging all those thin black straws in their holder, but the catering company prides themselves on an eye for detail. Shame that comment about the chicken will never make it back to the manager. Standing shoulder to shoulder next to Roy, there is a casual glance to make sure no one is listening. "They're going to exchange a briefcase and squeaky feet over there is going to meet up with his goons in the basement and beat feet. I need what's inside." She notes the extreme amount of sugar packets he's loading into his coffee with a smirk. "I assume you have your gear stashed nearby? If so, meet me at the service elevator in five."

*

Roy is just standing there, stirring his fixings into his coffee, really. And then he turns around, leaning back against the coffee bar so that he can check out the young, female, and single crowd. Not looking for any briefcase, not at all, just for pretty young things that, oh look, a briefcase. "There's always something, isn't there?" He doesn't sound sad about that in the slightest. "Not all of it. But of course I have my gear. I convinced Miranda we should stay in the hotel tonight so I had an excuse to pack a bag." He pauses for one beat, two, glances aside to Eddie, and adds, "Separate rooms, by the way." He drains off the cup of coffee, taking the shot of caffeine and sugar to balance some of the alcohol he's already put in his belly, "I better still be presentable by the end of this. I plan on closing this place down." Setting the cup down, he pushes off the table, heading off in the direction of the bathrooms.

Five minutes later, he saunters down the service corridor to the elevator, in his domino mask, red and black suit, and about a third of his usual arsenal. Just a half-dozen throwing knives, the pair of escrima sticks, and the knife at his hip. No bow, no short sword, no pistol — the perils of traveling cross-state with someone else.

*

Uh-huh. Eddie looks totally convinced that they have separate rooms. With an eyeroll, the server is off, picking up a tray and swiveling it up onto her shoulder before she disappears into the kitchen area near the back.

When they meet up again, Eddie has slightly changed her appearance. The bow tie is gone and the tuxedo shirt undone at the neck. It must be untucked too, for the tails are sticking out of her dark grey leather jacket, the multiple seams indicating there is some protection sewn into the fabric, whether it be bullet proof plates or just aramid. She's armed as well, with her service pistol strapped to her hip.

When Roy saunters in, Eddie is jumping down from a room service car that's been rolled over. The security camera above them has been dismantled with a little blinking device left in the port to help obfuscate their identity. "Fancy meeting you here." Eddie quips before she hitches her head towards the staircase next to the elevator before she pops through the entrance herself. While the one that serves guests is kept pristine, service access is always darker, dankier, and scuff marked from industrial traffic. "Hustle." She tells him once they've started their descent. "They've got a minute head start." Her feet start drumming on the concrete staircase, and three quarters of the way down, she merely one-handedly vaults over the railing to land on the flight below.

*

Ugh, no fun when the person you're trying to tease doesn't believe you. Still, Roy's on a timer, so he doesn't linger to clarify. The camera gets a quick glance, a small device in his own hand already. It gets tucked away, however, now that Eddie has already taken care of it. "I know, right? It's almost like you're following me." Her claim of them having a head start causes him to snort, "Sorry, I guess I need more practice at quick-stripping." Not that he's not proud of it only taking him five minutes to get out of his suit and into his Suit — although it would be much more impressive the other way. He doesn't wait for her to start hurrying down, however, noting sadly, "And me without a grapple arrow." Instead, he swings a leg over the railing, grasping it with both hands, and then lets go, dropping down a floor and grabbing the railing with his hands as he helps stop himself with his feet. The process is repeated, dropping him down a full flight each time, and he grins over at her as he she vaults by overhead.

*

"Show off." Eddie's voice bounces down the stairwell, no louder than the sound their feet are making on the treads. Not really equipped to compete, she continues doing what she's doing, only adding a few skipped stairs to the process as her momentum speeds up. By the time they reach the bottom floor, she bounces off the wall low kick so she doesn't just smack into it. Though not necessarily winded, she is breathing faster from the exertion, the thrill of the chase making her grin wide and toothy. The expression fades away to seriousness however, as she reaches for the knob to the fire door, a finger held to her lips in warning that now they have to be quiet.

Indeed, voices are ahead of them. Three by the sounds of things, talking lowly and arguing.

"This isn't how this was supposed to go." Male 1 protests, as Eddie slinks into the darker basement hallway. The buzz of the overhead light indicates a short somewhere, casting flickering light down.

"Shut up, and take the case, Marcus." Male 2 says, his cast shadow on the far cinderblock wall shoving a case like shape towards him.

"The access to the subway is this way. No. That way." Male 3 proclaims.

*

Roy smothers a chuckle at her accusation, but getting down to the bottom first gives him the opportunity to catch his breath a little and gather a trio of throwing knives in his left hand, ready to pass to his right and launch. His grin matches hers, and when she holds her finger up, he leans in close, just shy of letting his lips brush her ear (probably ending up farther away than he intended due to her issues of skin contact), and whispers, "I'm just the heavy here. I'll follow your lead." As he straightens up again, he gives her a wink, holding the door open for her and then letting it close silently behind him. The straight line that Male 3 leaves him causes Roy to roll his eyes upward and make a soundless expression of frustration. Because clearly he would love to have stepped out and said something along the lines of 'Actually, it's this way. Through me.' But he doesn't know anything besides 'Eddie needs the case,' so he holds off on the superhero lines.

*

Eddie gives a tight little nod to Roy that he's following her lead, all business now that things are getting heavy.

Damn. That would have been a good line.

She flattens herself out against one wall, ungloved hand skimming down her side until her fingers curl around her pistol. Sliding it out silently, her thumb clicking off the safety, she cross-steps sideways and slinks towards the voices that are still moving away.

"Can't you read a damn set of schematics?" Marcus, Male 1, accuses the third, apparently the the complainer of the group. "Are you holding your phone upside down?" There is more grumbling until they finally find the door which squeaks open and slams shut behind the trio.

"If they make it to the subway, we'll lose them." Eddie tells Roy, dropping some of the caution in favor of expediency.

*

Roy looks down to the pistol as she draws it, murmuring, "Let's see if we can do without that, yeah?" Although there may not be a whole lot of hope there. The urgency in her voice causes him to nod, and he accelerates his approach, "Guess we'll have to do something about it then, won't we?" Flicking one of the throwing knives over to his right hand as he reaches the door and pulls it open, he tumbles through close by the ground. As he pops back up to his feet, he notes cheerfully, "It helps if you take your head out of your ass first, Mook Number One." His right hand whips back and then forward again, aiming the first knife toward the forearm of the man with the briefcase, hopefully to make him drop the case.

*

Classy. Subtle. Two words that Eddie will never use to define Roy, even under the pressures of torture. As he throws open the door to the room, it squeaks again, the only bit of warning that Number 1 has that something is amiss. What they're in now is a cavernous utility room, the door leading to a steel mesh walkway that rings the rectangular area and overlooks the building's ancient and monstrous boiler that heats the hotel above, and the housing for the waterworks and electrical. The trio is skirting around to the left where there are stairs leading downward, and at the noise of the door, all three have turned to see Roy's entrance. It's only through that benefit that Roy's first throw misses, because Marcus the Mook 1 sort of flails and the knife hits the case instead, bouncing down to the walkway with a clatter.

The second man, obviously the 'leader' who they spied in the ballroom earlier, shouts the prototypical bad guy phrase, "Get 'em!" And the third man pulls a gun. A shot rings out and pings the door frame just above Eddie's head as she comes into the fray.

*

"'Get 'em?' Really?" Roy darts through to the right, clearing the left for Eddie as she presumably follows him. He grimaces as the knife hits the briefcase, but another one is flying, this time toward the third man's gun arm. "That's all you have?" leaps off the edge of the walkway, grabbing hold of a stanchion with both hands and swinging around, leading with his feet aimed toward Marcus's chest. Apparently, when he's only slightly toasted, he moves very well, like quicksilver. "Didn't you get to chapter two in the Mook's handbook? You need better Mooks, Training Wheels." Because he's not going to call her by any of her actual names in front of the mooks.

*

This time Roy's aim is true, both his feet hitting Marcus square in the chest. The man goes careening backwards, saved from a tumble down to the story below only by benefit of the railing. The briefcase isn't so lucky, however, and it gets flung with the wild swing of his arms. The third guy takes a knife to the arm, dropping his gun with a clatter and a yelp of pain. He hisses as he twists partially away, left hand closing around the hilt of the knife and pulling it free. As it drips with his blood he flicks it back at Roy.

The bossman takes off in a run for the stairs, leaving his two henchmen to fight it out with Eddie and Roy so he can try and retrieve the case.

Eddie has other plans however, seeing that Roy has things well at hand. Gun temporarily stowed, she takes a run for the railing, grabbing it with both hands and swinging underneath it. She lands with a clang on some duct work then hops down a level further, trying to head off the man before he can reach the case.

*

The impact arrests Roy's momentum, and he twists to drop back down to the catwalk in front of Marcus. And then there's a bloody knife coming back to him, and he raises up his arm, giving a sound somewhere between a yelp and a grunt as the blade strikes his triceps. It slashes through the covering, the impacts the armor beneath, inflicting a nasty bruise but failing to mix his blood with that of the mook. Probably for the best.

As Eddie goes after the case, Roy does just what he said he would, play the heavy. Ducking down, he whips the escrima sticks from their holsters at his calves, and then he's up, giving them a little beckoning gesture with the sticks. "Come on, boys… surely you give better banter than your boss." His eyes flicker aside to where Eddie is landing, and then back up to the two goons, "You should see what I can do when I have all my toys."

*

Marcus recovers from his flail with an angered look on his face. He rolls his shoulders up, fists balled at his side as he advances on Roy to duke this out the old fashioned way. Mister Three has a useless arm dangling down by his side, but that doesn't stop him from trying to recover the gun with his off hand.

Eddie lands on the floor below, the case now between her and the man at the bottom of the stairwell. He raises his hands defensively, "Now there's no reason we can't both walk outta here happy, right Sweetheart? What's it gonna take? Money? I'll pay you twice what the other guys are." Even if he might not know who the 'other guys' may be, he's willing to take the chance that she can be bought. The second Eddie takes a step towards the case, though, his hand is tucking into his blazer to pull out his own gun. Seeing the weapon, Eddie's hand is back at her hip to draw hers, firing off a shot before diving behind the metal casing of some equipment. She peeks back out just long enough to squeeze off an ICER round, but it goes wide. The one he fires is more true, skimming across her shoulder and leaving a gouge of fabric and skin in its wake.

*

"Now see, I'm going to have to go through you," Roy doesn't do old fashioned so well. Instead, he baseball-slides low along the walkway, looking to duck under Marcus's blows and kick the gun away from Mook Three. Sure, it tears up the covering of his armor a bit, but the gun is (theoretically) far more dangerous than ol' Marcus. "And you aren't going to like that." The pair of shots from down below cause him to grimace, but he rolls onto his back, starting to kip-up. Unfortunately, he's just a little slow, and he takes a boot to the chest from Marcus, the impact slamming him back down to the catwalk hard enough to rattle the metal.

*

Mister Three cusses a blue streak as he's left to go scramble after the gun, even falling to his hands and knees for the last few feet and making a last ditch effort to dive onto his belly to try and reach it before it topples over the edge of the walkway. His fingers barely touch it before it careens off to clatter down below and now Roy has two men who are angered enough to stomp him to death if need be.

Eddie doesn't have time to really recover from the pain in her shoulder, not even touching what she knows to be now trickling red from the furrow the bullet left there. She takes a quick breath and then rolls back out into the clearing just as the Bossman gets his hand on the handle of the briefcase, keeping low as another shot from Eddie hits the case instead of the man hauling ass to the access door that leads to the tunnels and eventually the subway. With a grimace she's back on her feet, giving chase with a warning shouted up of, "On the move." So Roy knows where she disappeared to.

*

When the next boot comes in, Roy slaps both batons toward Marcus's other knee, looking to drop him to the ground and give him room to spin up to his feet again. It costs him another kick to the ribs, one to the right thigh, and a fist to the left shoulder, but then he's up. "Keep making noise." He grunts as he blocks another punch from Three, and then he quips, "I'll be right there, Honey." Even with the protection of the Arsenal-suit (which would be a horrible name, but it's also the best one he has — only for use in his head), those are still going to hurt in the morning, but at least he doesn't have any broken bones or cracked ribs.

*

"Honey". Eddie would like to give him a kick of her own for that one but thankfully she has her hands full chasing after that damn briefcase. Hashmark is gone, leaving a slamming door in her wake with another shot muffled from the other side.

The escrima sticks are more efficient than fists and brute kicks, Marcus' knee giving out and making him crumple. With a groan, he's left holding it with a cradle of laced fingers, rolling around the walkway in agony. Three wipes blood off his bottom lip where he caught an elbow in there, and without the benefit of a fancy protective suit he's slowing down from the physical abuse.

*

"Now, you've got two choices here, gents." Roy keeps a hint of his attention on Marcus while he feints a blow at the bridge of Three's nose, "See, I've got to get over there… and you're still in my way. You can either lay down on the catwalk like good little Mooks and wait until the police come — and I'll be coming back to check — or I can — " He's moving slower now, his ribs and leg and shoulder aching, but he swings his left-hand escrima stick out toward Marcus' temple, and then charges Three, both sticks flashing as he strikes knee-ribs-head, "Who am I kidding, this is easier." And one might even believe him if it weren't for the pain leeching into his voice.

*

Wait. What was option two?!

In quick succession both men are laid out with their new concussions, the sounds their bodies make as they crumple akin to sacks of potatoes dropped from about the same distance. Limbs all akimbo, they'll provide little more resistance to Roy getting to the sub-level than minor speed bumps.

Down in the tunnels, Eddie's voice exchanging shouts and vitriol with her mark do little to help Roy know which way they headed, as the sounds bounce off the arched ceiling in a deep echo that makes the point of origin hard to discern. Fortunately for him (and less fortunately for her) breadcrumbs have been left in the form of little blood droplets that lead the way, their wet splattered surfaces catching the yellow overhead light.

*

He can knock them the hell out and just go. Like he said, easier. The escrima sticks are shoved back into their holsters and he takes the same general route Eddie did down to the utility room floor, under the railing to the duct-work to the floor, grimacing as he moves muscles already settling into deep bruising. He doesn't even take the time to scoop up the gun way over yonder, or his throwing knives scattered about. Instead he runs into the tunnels and stops for a moment, confronted by the echoing of curses. "Damn it." He closes his eyes for a heartbeat, then opens them, starting one way — only to spot the spatter of blood another way. He takes off in that direction, eyes scanning this way and that as he limp-runs through the tunnels. He spots another droplet, and then calls out, "Marco!" as he hurries after the next red tell-tale.

*

In an answering 'polo' there is a crack of another shot and then the tunnels go silent up ahead. The trail leads left and through gate in a set of bars before it jags right. Roy passes under a manhole cover, which must mean he's crossed at least one street since being under ground. Soon there is a low hum followed by a vibration which marks them close to a subway line.

The blood drops get further in between, the bleeding must be starting to clot. Thankfully the trail isn't much longer as he draws up on Eddie and the Bossman, the latter of which is face down on the ground with his hands zip tied behind him. Hashmark is on her knees in front of the case, bare fingers shaking as she pops it open. There isn't a million dollars inside or a bunch of files with TOP SECRET stamped on the covers. It's just completely filled with foam except one square that has been notched out and a tiny chip nestled inside.

*

Roy arrives just in time to… watch Eddie get the prize. He gives a little smirk and then starts rolling his shoulder as he saunters up to glance at the bit of something that they got all beat up and shot for. "Now that was cutting it pretty close, wasn't it?" He almost sounds proud, rather than annoyed as some others might. That's Roy Harper, Jr, living on the edge. The sight of the chip causes him to chuckle, "Nice… that's a hell of a lot easier to tuck down your clea — " and then he grimaces, "Damn it, you've got pockets in those pants. There go all my illusions about femme fatales." Still, he cans her over, narrowing in on the wound on her shoulder, "That's gonna leave a mark. You need to go back to the party for any reason, or can you go somewhere to get that looked at?"

*

Eddie doesn't seem to hear Roy. For all intents and purposes, she's deaf, dumb and blind because she's just sitting there with fingers resting on the little computer chip inside the case without reacting to his approach. While her eyes are open, they're moving back and forth like someone stuck in a deep REM sleep, dreaming while she's awake. Whatever she sees with her unfocused gaze causes her to shiver until her hand snaps away as if she's been shocked. Still, she seems stuck in whatever state she's in, lost to the world around her.

*

"Shit." Another almost-great line wasted. It's only a tiny part of Roy's brain that thinks that, the vast majority worrying about the woman in her near-catatonic state before him. He steps close, reaching out to touch her unwounded shoulder — and stopping. And then she snaps her hand back, and he grimaces again, looking from chip to woman to unconscious mook-boss. "Shit." Reaching out, he takes the chip from its case and slips it into a padded pocket at his belt, then looks to loop an arm around her shoulders and get another under her knees — luckily touching clothed skin with his suit, because she probably doesn't want anything to do with knowing what it's seen. He groans his way up to his feet, his leg and chest and shoulder all protesting loudly, aiming to lift her into a princess carry against his chest.

*

Eddie curls into him, laying her cheek on his shoulder so touch was inevitable. Her hand also lifts to fist into any purchase she finds in his suit, and barring that, flattens out on his chest. She's in no position to protest, her blank eyes just slowly blinking on the odd occasion out of the body's innate ability to keep them from drying out. "Where are you taking me?" The voice is tiny and distant and so unlike the sass-filled bravado-laden tone it normally carries. It's like she's asleep and being carried off to bed after falling asleep on the couch. There is a tremble in her form, a quiet quake as if she's trying to rouse herself to no avail.

*

The bandolier across his chest makes a good grip, but there's also the neck of the jacket as well — plenty of non-tactical handholds that could easily be used against Roy in a fight. The suit has seen fights, literal highs and lows, injuries, even a couple of inflicted deaths. It's also seen arguments, bitter and sharp, and good times too, further into the past, family times between the various Titans. The little voice worries him, his brows furrowing over his mask, "Still trying to figure that out. Got the chip. Got you." There's a moment's thought, and then he makes his decision, "My room. Nobody'll bother you there." The words come quiet and short as he carries her back through the tunnels, trying to follow the now-backwards trail of rapidly-drying blood. It's not as easy, but he has more time.

*

"This wasn't the plan." But then again Eddie isn't offering up what was or where it went wrong. Now she's just along for the ride, not so much as saying another peep for the journey. She just stays curled against him and motionless, her eyes always forward staring at nothing and her breathing calm and complacent. There isn't even a wince at any jostle to her injured shoulder, she's just lost in another world. Most likely later she'll cuss at the vulnerability but for now there is nothing to be done until he gets her someplace safe.

*

"Nope. It wasn't. My plan was to get drunk and hit on bridesmaids. Or maybe the other single girls, since the bridesmaids get all the attention." Still, he doesn't complain further, using a service elevator to get up to the appropriate floor and circling the floor in the way he worked out earlier than avoids the couple of video cameras in the hallway. That lets him fumble the card from his belt, nearly drop it, nearly drop her, catch both, and then get the door open. It's booted closed again behind them, and he gets her onto the bed and checks out the graze on her shoulder, eventually getting a washcloth from the bathroom and wrapping it to her shoulder with a towel, then going into the bathroom to change into civvies and pack away his super-suit. He leaves the door open as he changes, so that he can keep an eye on the clearly-out-of-it woman. The chip is tucked into the little inside pocket of his jeans as he pulls them on.

*

While he was changing in the bathroom - dammit she can't enjoy the show - Eddie has oozed out of the bed to sit on the floor with her back propped up against it. She's moving on her own now, which is a good indication that she's not so much as snapping out of it as slowly sliding back to reality. She even tilts her head up at his form when he comes back into the room, but her eyes still seem to be blind. "Help me get my jacket off. And I need a knife." Normally she'd take care of all of this herself, no matter how long the task took, but he's in for a penny he might as well be in for a pound.

*

The voice stops Roy as he's about to pull a t-shirt on, and so he drapes the shirt over the dry sink and collects a clasp knife from alongside his dopp kit, coming warily over to her side. "You okay, Eddie?" No teasing nicknames, not with his brow furrowed with concern. Despite the stupid question, he doesn't hesitate, grasping for the sleeve of her unwounded arm and pulling it free, then helping to lean her forward a little to get the jacket off her back so he can slip it down her hurt arm. There is a bit of hesitation before he hands over the knife, but he flicks it open and offers the handle out to her, the fact that he doesn't even try to back away suggesting that the hesitation isn't for his safety.

*

There's a little noise of pain as he slips her jacket off her injured shoulder, but otherwise Eddie just slowly moves with his administrations. "I'll be fine." She murmurs, hand moving at the speed of molasses to take the knife from him and balance it on the curve of her leg. Her tuxedo shirt is ruined already, and there is no hiding what she's about to do unless she sends him from the room, so it's with a dazed lack of modesty she just starts unlacing the buttons from their corresponding holes. Peeling it from the crusted over wound at her shoulder, she eases the garment off and leaves it in a puddle around her waist. Beneath she wears a lavender sports bra and all the scars that come along with her line of work. Bullet holes, old knife wounds. They're all etched out on her skin like a roadmap of her turbulent past, but marching up and down her arms are neat little horizontal scars and Roy is unfortunately about to find out why. Taking the blade she sets it between two aging lines and starts to draw a new one with the keen edge.

*

Roy is distracted enough by what she's doing that he doesn't even get himself an eyeful. Instead, he holds the collar of the tux shirt apart so that she can get to the buttons more easily, then helps her ease it off her shoulders. The scars of a violent life get a soft little whistle from the man, for all that he has plenty himself. And then he spots the hashmarks, and his brows lift, reaching for the knife as well, but stopping just after his fingers graze the back of her knuckles. His fingers retreat immediately, curling into his palm, and so there is nothing to stop her from adding another mark to her skin. "Shit, Eddie." His mind flashes away to the profiles he's read, unfortunately honing in on one Mr. Victor Zsasz. But there's a clear difference, and he murmurs, "Those aren't kills." It's an oblique inquiry, easily-enough dismissed as a statement.

*

There is a hiss, low and as long as the cut into her skin that splits open in the wake of the knife, the furrow immediately swelling with blood. It's not horrifically deep into the meat but it's enough to make a difference and Eddie's eyes sharpen. "It's easier for people to think they are." Even her voice sounds more in tune to the here and now, as if the pain has woken her back up from whatever limbo she was stuck in.

With a relieved sigh, she slumps back against the bed, suddenly looking very tired as the blade falls idle in her hand back to her lap, letting the wound seep down her arm. "Sorry about your plans. I'm sure if you hurry you can still slip into something a little more blonde and leggy." But it doesn't sound as if she particularly wants him to go.

*

The response draws a slow nod from Roy, accepting it. After a moment, as she slumps back, he pushes up from his squat, going to collect another washcloth and offer it out to her for her arm, his shirt still forgotten on the edge of the sink, revealing his own scars — bullets, blades, and burns alike. The knife is collected, and he pauses a moment, "Blondes are overrated." And then he wipes the blade on one of the washcloths and closes it, tucking the knife into the front-left pocket of his jeans. "Besides, I can't exactly invite her back up to my room, now can I? Not with a hot brunette in her bra already there." He rocks forward to his knees beside her a moment, digging out the chip, then settles back into the squat, holding it out to her, "Pretty sure this is yours. Well, now it is, at least."

*

Eddie dabs at the new wound with the offered washcloth, cleaning off the majority of the blood before she's reaching for her jacket to drag it back over. She's old hat at this, and so there is a small kit in a zippered pocket. She's becoming more animated by the minute, more like her usual self. "If you think I'm touching that thing again, you're off your rocker." Her eyes flick over to him and get drawn down to his bare chest.

With a clear of her throat, Morales' eyes are forced back to his face. "Is there a microwave with the mini bar? Toss it in and zap it for thirty seconds. That should fry it." And the microwave, so don't expect a deposit back. Her face turns away, a fringe of dark hair falling against her cheek, as she takes a little foil pack between her teeth and rips off the corner before she applies ointment to both wounds.

*

Roy looks down at the chip in his hands, shrugging a little helplessly. Clearly it doesn't seem to be hurting him. But he doesn't question the decision, getting up and popping the chip into the minibar's microwave. He doesn't immediately spark it up, however, instead nodding toward the towels he's provided as makeshift bandages, "Once you're done with those, I'll toss 'em in here too. No sense giving your DNA to anyone." He passes her again on the way to the bathroom, gathering up his plain white t-shirt and glancing over his shoulder to her, "My eyes are up here, by the way." Two fingers gesture to his face, and then he pulls on the shirt. "Some day, after way more to drink or do, you'll have to tell me just what it is that set you off about the chip." Instead of pressing that, however, he moves over to sit down crosslegged beside her knees, "Lemme know if you want me to do any of that for you. Although I guess you got plenty of practice doing things one-handed."

*

"I'll have to go back down into the tunnels and wipe them too." There is a brief hint of a smirk as he comments about where her eyes should be directed, but now she's just keeping them mostly averting and daring darting glances. "I usually work solo." She explains quietly, dabbing her shoulder briefly again before her hands fall with a sigh back to her lap.

"I, um. I'm different, Roy." She tries to start explaining, but in true fashion she just changes the subject, suddenly asking instead, "Hey, do you think it needs stitches?" Morales twists, shoving her injured shoulder towards him.

*

"Yeah, I left a couple'a knives down there. Plus some unconscious guys and whatever weapons they had." Roy shakes his head, "I doubt anyone'll notice a little blood though, unless you're worried about the big guns investigating." He nods toward the towels, "Bloody towels all over the hotel room though… that's a party they might wanna check up on." There's a little chuckle there, and her half-explanation causes him to shrug, apparently unconcerned. Because there's a bloody (smooth, well-muscled, nicely delicate bone structure) shoulder being shoved in his face. He leans close, only trying to look down the tight wrap of the sports bra once, and then focuses on the wound, both hands rising to rest lightly on her skin on either side of the graze. After a moment, he shakes his head, "Naw. I'll slap a couple of butterfly bandaids on it, should be fine." He's definitely not a doctor, EMT, or field medic. As he rocks back again, he lets one hand slide down to her upper arm, squeezing lightly in a manner meant to be reassuring, "Nothing about what went down's gonna screw you, is it, Eddie?"

*

Eddie's eyes demure to the hands touching her skin, but she doesn't flinch or pull away even when they go from exploring her wound to the smooth of a palm to reassure her. "Well, it wasn't the plan." As she said before. "But there are always contingencies. I was going to drug them and clean up the scene, leaving the chip where we found it after I got what I needed. They wouldn't have had any memory of either you or I being there. Just inexplicably beat to hell, but no loss on their end. Here's to hoping they leave the empty case behind, because my finger prints are all over it." A pause. "Roy, take your shirt back off."

*

"Yeah. They're definitely going to remember me. But I don't much care if some New York mobsters do," Roy shrugs a little helplessly, "I'm not up here that often." Appearances to the contrary, "And even less in costume." Appearances to the contrary. He starts to add something more to her plan, and then she pauses and requests that he strip again. A grin starts to blossom on his lips, is squashed, and then comes back rejuvenated, and he reaches up with both hands to pull the shirt off, his brows lifting in silent question, "Am I getting a kiss for carrying you back, or are you going to make me tear the shirt up for better bandages?" There's a little teasing there in the words, but also some actual uncertainty.

*

"Neither." Eddie says dryly, the verbal eyeroll is enough that she doesn't need to add the physical one. Once the shirt is out of the way, Morales does the unthinkable and crawls into his lap, tucking her head down low against his collarbone and beneath his chin. "I just didn't feel like knowing everything that shirt has been through. I see things. Visions. Memories that get caught in things." The confession slash explanation comes quietly as she literally steals the comfort she needs like a leech by forcing him into the cuddle.

*

The sudden advent of the lap-Eddie causes Roy to push out his legs a little, creating a little more lap, and to drop the shirt aside so that his arms can wrap naturally around her shoulder and around her waist. Despite the unthinking embrace, the sudden closeness clearly surprises him, jarring quite sharply with the snarky, thoroughly independent woman he's come to know and kind of want to roll energetically in a bed with. He's surprised enough by the sudden closeness that her confession takes a few moments to settle in. And then he slides a hand up her spine, over the back of her sports bra, so that he can support the tuck of her head against his collarbone and throat. "Huh. That's pretty freaky. You know I worked with a guy who could run faster than a bullet? And an orange alien who could shoot fire and didn't like to wear many clothes." Just to put things on the proper 'freaky' scale, which is to say, seeing visions not so high up there. "That explains the gloves." Because occasionally, Roy actually thinks things through. He pauses a moment, considering it further, and then pushes the t-shirt a little bit farther away. There's likely a whole lot of Lian memories in that, and pretty much all of his civilian clothes.

*

Eddie's being self-indulgent and she knows it, but just a moment longer can't hurt anything, right? Tentative fingers lift to explore an old scar on his chest, tracing the outline of it mindlessly. "It's why I'm good at what I do." She swallows thickly, "And why I should get back to it."

Her head lifts from its tuck, offering a smile that doesn't seem particularly genuine. "Thanks again for the assist. But I totally could have taken those guys by myself." A pinch is given to his cheek in lieu of any other show of affection she could give him in this moment. "Slap that closure on my shoulder, and I'll leave you to your bachelor pad."

*

Roy should really be getting used to the abrupt send-offs with Eddie by now. One moment his eyes are drifting closed at the stroking along the line of scar tissue, his fingers starting to tease through the hair at the back of her neck, and the next she's lifting away from him and forcing the smile. "Pretty sure you're good at what you do because you've got the skills and the will, Eddie," he smirks faintly with that, then snorts at her posturing even as he agrees, "Yeah. You could have shot the shit out of them. Really is my fault you got tagged, asking you not to shoot 'em." And then she's pinching his cheek, and whatever influence the very-warm woman wearing slacks and a sports bra may have had on him goes away, "Augh… my grandma used to do that." She wasn't actually his grandmother, but his adoptive mother, but it's an age thing, and a respect for age thing. Drawing in a breath, he starts to move, but she's still curled up in his lap, "Hey, you can hang a little longer if you want. Then I'll throw you out."

*

At the invitation to stay, she might for a split second look tempted. Eddie's bottom lip gets caught by a graze of her teeth as her fingers skim the fine hair at his temple. Hopefully his grandmother never did that.

"The job wasn't authorized for lethal use." Morales says the most romantic things, really. In short order, she's rolling herself out of his lap, kneeling to face away from him as she digs in her little first aid kit for the butterfly bandage he mentioned needing to use. It's held up over her shoulder between a pinch of fingers. "Like I said, I gotta finish up downstairs and then go file my official report. Don't worry, I'll leave your name out of it."

*

Whatever Roy's grandmother may have done or not done, she certainly didn't cause the wash of gooseflesh down his spine and arms like the touch of dexterous fingers to his scalp does. "Then it's a good thing I was there." He flashes a little smile, but when she rolls up, he pushes himself to his feet as well, one hand dropping down to touch the bare skin just above and outside her shoulder-blade, a feather-light press of fingertips before its gone. He's a step to her side toward his own first aid kit before he spots the bandage held up, and he chuckles, kneeling down at her side again to pluck up the bandage and peel it out of its packaging, "That's a good look, by the way." Beat pause, "I appreciate it. The keeping me out of it. As much as I'm all in favor of organizations that fight off alien invasions, I don't need to be on SHIELD's radar with the bullshit vigilante and registration laws." Squaring up the bandage between forefinger and thumb of his right hand, he reaches down with his left, "This is gonna hurt like a bitch." He pulls the edges of the graze together, then applies the butterfly bandage.

*

There is a sharp intake of breath when he presses the edges of the wound together, the air held in her lungs and the tension bunching up her muscles until the bandage is applied. Her head turns until her chin nearly touches shoulder there, eyes lifting to find Roy's gaze. Normally she avoids these kinds of questions at all costs, but she has the nerve to ask, "What look?" Before she immediately regrets it. "Lemme guess. Something about me half dressed and on my knees." She snorts, before asking brusquely. "Done?"

*

Roy is smart enough to change what he was going to say, "The length of your back." Evidently, he isn't bothered by scars. As he well shouldn't be considering his own collection. "Yeah. All done. You're paperwork ready, and once you've got a shirt on, you'll be clean-up ready. Gimme the towels and I'll nuke them and the chip so you can see them." Which means, of course, he definitely won't be bringing any blondes back to his room. There's always their room though, right?

*

"Lucky for me, I narrowly escaped the harrowing tragedy known as scoliosis." Eddie plays it off with a joke when all else fails, layering back on the veneer that's been successful at protecting her thus far. "Zap the card and shove the towels into the hotel laundry bag. I'll burn them down in the tunnels. Toss this in there too, will you?" Eddie asks, flicking her ruined tuxedo shirt at his face.

Getting a shirt on is a little trickier, seeming how she's now bereft of one. That leaves her either stealing his dress shirt from the wedding, his plain white tee or…she goes with option three, which is just to shake out her jacket and try to ease her shoulder into the sleeve.

*

"Yeah, then you'd just be a badass spy instead of a hot badass spy." Roy's probably not shallow enough to consider scoliosis a disqualifying factor in hotness, but he's definitely willing to fall back into banter. He tosses the bloody towels toward the hotel room's closet, then moves around to the minibar, putting a spoon in a mug of water and setting them and the chip in the microwave, punching in thirty seconds and leaving the silicone and metal to spark, crackle, and fry. As it does, he moves back around to deal with the bloody towels, eyeing her struggles with the jacket and then deciding not to intervene, deadpanning, "Oops. The Internet told me that microwaving a spoon with my water would heat it up faster." His own gear is next, and he pulls on his discarded t-shirt, then goes for the rest of his clothes, his action gear already stowed in a duffel.

*

There is a flash of an indulgent smile at his spy retort before Eddie lowers her face, focusing on zipping up her jacket, pulling the closure high up her neck and tugging the bottom hem down to conceal the holster at her hip. "I hate when that happens." She breezes by him to relieve him of the bag of bloodied fabric, meeting his eyes for one brief moment before she's on her way to the door. "See you around, Arse-enal."

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