Floral Shakedown
Roleplaying Log: Floral Shakedown
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Frank checks up on Babs and meets Dinah.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: November 27, 2018
IC Location: Sherwood Florist, Gotham
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 28 Nov 2018 01:07
Rating & Warnings: Mild Language
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Unlike some heirs, heiresses, or independently wealthy inventors, Dinah actually has to work for a living. She gets a few bucks here and there and she's ethically above repurposing cash from drug busts even if she really needs it. So working a few shifts at the till helps pay the bills, allowing her to keep a college student as part-time management and labor.

She's sitting behind the counter with earbuds in, head bobbing along with whatever song she's listening to. The door's shut but the security gate is unlocked, and the 'Open' sign is on the door. Faded blue jeans hug her hips and a long-sleeved tee in a baseball cut bares a few inches of her midriff. With dirt under her blunt nails and her blonde hair back in a messy ponytail, she doesn't look like the heroic type at the moment.

Frank Castle is another one who works for a living, in addition to his vigilante 'work.' He's taken an afternoon off, indulging his worry to come south to Gotham. His winter jacket is still somewhere in Barbara's possession, so he's put on his black trenchcoat over his hoodie and thanked his lucky stars that it's not as cold as a few of the previous days. A backpack is slung over his left shoulder, and he considered his options on the way down. The video cameras outside the library mean he can't check that out, so it's a couple of stops along the way, looking at the first couple of florists on his list. But one has a male owner, the other has a woman significantly older than Barbara, and so he finds himself at Sherwood Florist. Looking around inside the florist shop, he frowns thoughtfully, then pushes the hood of his hoodie down, revealing the watch cap underneath. He ducks his head a little, then raps on the door with a backhand gesture.

"It's open!" Dinah yells.

"Welcome to Sherwood, lemme know if you need help." The words come automatically the moment Frank enters, with Dinah pulling one of the earbuds out to let it dangle from the cord around her neck. Tinny music chimes from it. She's perched on a high stool at the counter with one knee propped up, supporting her elbow and with palm under chin as well. Her tablet's in front of her, and she's swiping idly back and forth on the screen with a bored expression. Frank gets a flickering glance when he enters, and then a second, harder once-over. Trenchcoat. Backpack. Watch cap. And there's just the way the guy moves that twigs to some instinct Dinah's got. He moves like a fighter. Like a *professional*. No bravura or false aggresssion. Just that cold sense of absolutely capability.

Her free hand slides down a few inches out of view, and rests her fingertips on the butt of a sawed-off shotgun behind the counter. A Gotham Shopkeeper special.

Frank opens the door and steps in, glancing around before he glances over Dinah as well. His own catalogue is similar, studying her features first, and then her build. The attention — and the disappearance of her right hand — causes him to spread his hands out to his sides, clearly open and unencumbered by any weapons. They're also raw and worn from manual labor. "Ma'am." That's another clue to his time in the service, the automatic politeness. "I'm lookin' for a friend of mine." His voice is a low growl, as if he smoked a carton of cigarettes and gargled razorblades every day growing up. "I'm hopin' you're the one she's stayin' with, 'cause she didn't get back to me, and she's…" he pauses a moment, and goes with, "accident-prone." Because you never know if the roommate — if she's the roommate — is in on things.

"No idea who your friend is," Dinah says, flat-toned. Her hand remains just out of view under the counter, but there's no immediate indication she's making a move.

Definitely *thinking* about it, though, and giving Frank the same sort of look a tiger would give another cat wandering in its jungle. "And as a rule, I'm not in the habit of playing messenger service for strangers who walk in the door and start asking vague questions." Her brows arch a little higher, a pointed expression. "So you here to buy something or just to pester me?"

"Babs." At least Frank is up-front about that. Reaching up with one hand, he scratches a moment at his apparently-new beard, then carefully reaches into his pants pocket with two fingers to pull out a small roll of bills, "Tell you what, if I've got the right person, I'll pick up a nice bouquet for your place, you just let me know that she isn't in the hospital or somethin'?" He's not an easy read, his features generally shut down, but there's a thick ribbon of honest concern wending through his words. "You're the roommate, right?"

"Don't know anyone named Babs," Dinah says, with an instant defiance that screams 'Yes I do know her'. She's stubbornly leaning into the role of interogee: 'Admit nothing, deny everything.'

"But even if I *did*, I'm not giving her name out to a *stranger*," she points out to the man.

The wad of bills gets a scornful look and is dismissed, almost immediately. Strange that a shopkeeper working a ratty dive like Sherwood wouldn't at least salivate over a few Benjamins.

"You realize how creepy this is, right?" she presses Frank. "No name, trenchcoat, black, you come into my shop and ask about my roommate— what's your angle here?" she demands. "Are you some john looking to get laid or a stalker? Because I don't *like* stalkers," she says, angrily.

And for a petite five-foot-nothing of a gymnast she looks like, the little hellion looks like she could take down a rugby team and go out for drinks with them afterwards.

The instant response draws an amused little smirk from Frank, and he shakes his head, "Look, I know her name." He peels off a couple of tens and a twenty, shrugging slightly and puts the much-diminished billfold back in his pocket, still moving his hand carefully. "And I'm wearin' the trencher 'cause I loaned her my coat on her birthday." There's a beat pause, and then, perhaps a little grudgingly, he identifies himself somewhat more with a, "I'm the one who suggested derby to her." And then a little bit of smartass that he'd thought long buried peeks out along with a little crooked grin, "It's been a while since I've been beat to shit, I'd like to avoid gettin' my ass handed to me tonight."

"You're Frank."

It takes Dinah a minute to process it, but it makes sense as the little details are aired. Far more useful than anything he might have given her, even an alias. The derby. Coat. Clothing. The military mien and combat awareness.

Dinah's bright blue eyes narrow and her demeanour doesn't change one bit. She's outed— Barbara's outed. Frank knows where she (they) live.

She grimaces. That information cuts both ways. Now she's confirmed that Barbara is, indeed, her roommate. "Okay. Fine. She's alive and… well," she tells Frank. "As of this morning anyway." She gives him a wary look. "Why do you wanna know, anyway?" she asks. "Are you sweet on her or something?"

There's another moment's hesitation as he's identified, and then Castle nods slowly, "Yeah, I'm Frank," he confirms a bit grudgingly. The grimace draws a wry little nod of acceptance, and the information that follows looses some of the tension — maybe even most of it — from his shoulders. "Thanks." He blinks in surprise at the second question, and then he smiles, the expression maybe a little sad, "Naw. She's a friend. One of the few I got left. Didn't hear from her for a couple of days, I got worried." He goes quiet for a moment, and then the shockingly boyish little smile returns and he lifts the rolled bills a moment, "You still want to shake me down for a bouquet?"

Dinah hesitates, though it'd be easy to read it as ulterior motivations. She eyes Frank, then shakes her head minutely. And her hands return to her lap.

"10.95 for the three-rose bloom," she tells him, uplifting her chin at the display counter. Little aerial misters keep the flowers seeming fresh despite having been cut and de-thorned. "I'll give you a good deal 'cause I'm delivering them myself. I'm not taking your money," she says, bluntly. "I won't drop a dime on my friend for cash. But I'll give her the flowers. From you," she assures him. "Florist's Oath, or whatever."

Frank watches the hesitation, and his shoulders tense for a moment, for all that the little smile remains on his lips. When her hand reappears from beneath the counter, both smile and tension fade. He opens his mouth to protest the choice of roses, then closes it and nods. "Good. You don't seem like a snitch, Ma'am." He puts the twenty on the counter and tucks the tens away again, "Is that a thing? Florist's Oath? It should be." He steps back from the counter, starting to turn back to the door, then stops, his brows gathering in a slow frown, "There other assholes," apparently, he's willing to consider himself an asshole, "comin' 'round lookin' for her?"

"She's a hot, smart, unattached redhead in Gotham with a thing for puppy dogs and troubled guys," Dinah says, summoning a tone as vastly dry as the Sahara itself. "Yeah. There's always assholes looking for her. She's a grown girl, I tell her to do as she pleases," Dinah explains. "But we keep an eye out for each other. Don't make a habit of showing up here," she suggests. Politely.

Ish.

"She's my roomate, not my kid. Borrowing a spare room. Showing up at a girl's house complaining that you can't get hold of her— well. Most guys would take a hint, you know?" There's a belligerence there that can only come from growing up in the street, but it guards a real concern for the wellbeing of the absentee Barbara.

"I think she likes all sorts of animals. But yeah, she's got a thing for Max." It gives Frank a little bit of amusement to not explain that one. He nods slowly to her belligerent warning, "Yeah, but most girls don't end up hurt as often as she does, Ma'am." He considers for a moment, and then adds, "What's it, two stabbings, a concussion, a through-and-through, and more bruises and scrapes than you can count over the last six months?" Shrugging a little helplessly, Frank says, "I figure it's a good thing she's got you lookin' out for her. I'm a bit too far away to play over-protective friend. I'll stay away from your place unless it's an emergency, Ma'am."

A small smile curls at the corner of Dinah's mouth. "Weird to be called 'ma'am' but I appreciate it," she tells Frank, finally showing a bit of humanity. "I'm Dinah," she adds, a beat later.

"She's a tough girl. And like you said, she's got me looking out for her," Dinah reminds him. "She'll be OK. I'll … I'll let her know you came by. And bought flowers for her," she adds, putting her fingers on the small bouquet. "Meanwhile, try not to get shot, huh?"

Frank shrugs again, "Kind of a habit. Dinah." Two fingers tap his chest as he introduces himself unnecessarily, "I'm Frank." He pauses then, "Don't worry 'bout tellin' her…" he stops, shakes his head, "…that's creepy as hell, isn't it? Naw, go ahead and tell her." The warning not to be shot causes him to shake his head and chuckle a little dryly, "Always good advice. Thanks for not shooting me." And then he reaches for the door to head out.

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