Know, Like, Trust
Roleplaying Log: Know, Like, Trust
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Danny Rand asks Jessica Jones for her opinion on Colleen Wing.

Other Characters Referenced: Colleen Wing, Matt Murdock, Luke Cage
IC Date: January 31, 2019
IC Location: Alias Investigations, Hell's Kitchen, NYC
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 01 Feb 2019 03:15
Rating & Warnings: PG-13 (cussing)
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

A text arrives from one Danny Rand, Immortal Iron Fist, the Golden Labradoodle of Gramercy Park, the CEO of Rand Enterprises and the owner/operator of the Merit Center. « Hey. You like sushi? »

* * *

A text returns from one Jessica Jones, Bearer of Many Unwanted Nicknames and Private Detective of Hell's Kitchen. «I do like sushi.»

* * *

« Got dinner plans? I know this great place. Was thinking I'd get us some and drop by your office? » In a different context, that might sound like Danny's made offer of a date. But that's laughable for a couple of reasons that don't need explaining.

* * *

Everyone knows he'd never be that smooth asking for an actual date, for one.

* * *

It never really crosses Jessica's mind, to be honest. She taps in: «I never turn down good food, I never turn down free food, and my office is open. I'll be here.»

And then there's just this little bird.

It's a thing, with Jessica. She hates the smileys. They look fake to her. They look overeager and weird. But she also thinks her texts look even more abrupt and curt than she can be in person. So with friends, she puts a stupid animal on there, and it tends to be a different one for each friend. Matt gets turtles. Man Mountain gets a fox.

Apparently Danny gets birds.

At least she did not go with a puppy.

* * *

There's a little bit of a lag before the next text pops through from Danny. « OK. At the place. Anything you don't like? I've been told I like the weird stuff but that's just weird for New York I guess? » And then two sushi emojis, a fish emoji and a…chicken?

« Sorry the chicken was right next to the tempura one. »

* * *

«I'm not picky. You know what's good there. I trust you.»

She adds a different bird. A penguin. Because she doesn't want it to be mistaken for a chicken. Because that would either make for a weird return, or make it seem like she's making some sort of yay or nay comment on chicken (either way).

* * *

Long story short: emojis are weird. Danny gives up on them for the moment. « K. ETA about an hour if the place isn't too busy. »

It's just under an hour later that there's a rap on the door. Yes, it's her office, but he's a polite young man. He'll push it open if she doesn't come right away. He's nearly swalloed by a green puffer jacket and is holding a rather large takeout back. "I uh, may have gone overboard? But I know Luke can put away leftovers so I figure it won't go to waste."

* * *

Jessica steps forward to quickly take it from him. A holographic screen and keyboard are sitting on her desk, emanating from her phone, but she shuts that down after getting the sushi in. "Yeah, I don't think that will be a problem at all. This was nice of you, thanks."

Her lips twitch. "Did Luke get you all in on the campaign of 'feed Jessica, she forgets to eat now that her kitchen isn't attached to her office?' Or did you just sit up straight at your desk going: Jessica. Sushi. Must?"

She pushes two of the desks together to make a decent table, and pushes chairs around until the whole thing is capable of creating a dinner-like setting. And she flips the sign on the door to closed, because she doesn't really want clients or potential clients coming in during the meal.

* * *

"Ah, no I got to the restaurant and there were lots of things I hadn't had in ages. And it's not like if you order a roll, you're getting just one piece." Danny grins and steps in, setting the bag down on her table on before shrugging out of the jacket.

He starts to unload the food. There's really enough sushi to feed three times as many people, along with tempura and gyoza. "I got some of the standards a few different things. I uh, well, this isn't vegan but I've been sort of easing up on that a little lately. Lentils. They're great. But you can only cook 'em so many ways. Even if you're Emery."

* * *

Jess helps him, and she says, "Did it help any? All the lentils and things? To get you back on an even keel?"

Once they're unloaded she is not shy about diving in. She is not a person who soy sauces her sushi overmuch either. Like almost anything she encounters, she takes sushi exactly as it is. And likes it better than most things she encounters, to boot.

"I know you were pretty worried."

Just because she's never commented on Danny's struggles with his chi doesn't mean she hasn't heard and observed.

* * *

Danny sinks into a seat and shakes his head. "Hasn't made much of a difference. It's still not coming any easier. I don't know if I'm overthinking it, or what." He pops open the gyoza that steam a little. He must have picked it up nearby. He pulls out a pair of chopsticks and picks one up. The container he opened is vegetable, but there's a half dozen pork as well.

He shrugs, chews, swallows. "I uh, so other than just catching up, I thought I'd talk to you about Colleen." He nudges a second dumpling around. "What do you think of her?"

* * *

"I don't trust her."

The reply is swift, and instant.

But she won't leave him hanging about the 'why.' "She's full of vague warnings about enemies of the Iron Fist, not you personally, but the title. But she won't give any concrete details about who might be a threat. Or why. Or how they might strike. Or when. She followed you on behalf of some mysterious Sensei, but again, protects his or her identity. I ran her background and it was way too frickin' clean. I can't find shit. Most of us, you know, we go through life leaving little bits and pieces of ourselves every where. Data. Social media profiles. Addresses. Bank accounts. Whatever. Not this chick."

She shrugs. "So unless she also stepped out of some mystic city into a brand new New York Life, something's up."

* * *

It's hard not to see the disappointment on Danny's face at her assessment. "Oh," he says, a piece of sushi almost to his mouth. "I uh, I had Matt meet her too. Very…clumsily. But I know he can tell when people are lying. He didn't think she was lying about wanting to protect me. But yeah, this thing with her sensei…" He trails off.

He goes quiet a moment as he opens a few more containers, poking through until he finds the eel he was looking for. "Me and Matt should never be allowed to try and question someone together, by the way. Apparently we're a horrible team when it comes to that." Which means they should just stick to beating people up. They're pretty great at teamwork for that.

* * *

Jessica's eyebrow ticks. "Yeah. Well. Thing is, not lying isn't the same as being trustworthy, Danny."

A pause, a beat, and bluntness. "She has a thing for you. You apparently have a thing for her, given the kicked puppy look you just gave me. But until she's ready to shoot straight with you? You'd best not start any…thing."

But curiosity gets the better of her, and she asks, "What happened when you two tried to question her together, anyway? What did she do? What did she say?"

* * *

The question inevitably comes while Danny is chewing on the sushi. He takes a moment to swallow, which nearly has him choking at the 'thing' comment. He turns a little pink but neither confirms nor denies. "She uh, she got a little annoyed we were asking some of the same things you asked. She liked your approach better, by the way. We tried to be casual about it, but it didn't work."

He looks down, jaw tightening. "I was never told the details of K'un L'un's enemies, but I know they have them. I wasn't told we had allies, but that doesn't mean it isn't true. I think she's conflicted. I understand what it means to be loyal to your sensei." He reaches for another piece of food, but doesn't put it in his mouth right away. "She said she followed me because she was worried I was a billionaire wannabe vigilante who was going to get himself hurt. And that she didn't believe I was the Iron Fist at first. And that she believes her sensei wants to help."

* * *

"She made some comment about how the Iron Fist was not supposed to be here, or something," Jessica says, "But she specifically told me, 'My Sensei believed Danny was important, and I needed to keep an eye on him.' So…whatever her worries were? She did it at the behest of Mystery Ninja."

She pops a piece of sushi into her mouth and chews thoughtfully. "I was considering surveilling her. Following her around a bit. She also told me her sensei wouldn't hurt you without, quote, due cause, unquote. And since we don't know what her deal is? We don't know what due cause looks like."

* * *

"I don't think she's a bad person, Jess. I know it's probably naive of me, but…" Danny makes a motion over his stomach. "…I feel it in my gut. That doesn't mean she hasn't been misled, or that she doesn't have divided loyalties. But I don't think she would ever knowingly hurt an innocent person. You should see how she is with the kids in her karate class." His admiration is plain, but still guarded. He's learned some cynicism from his friends, even if it goes against his nature.

* * *

"Good person is also not the same thing as trustworthy person," Jessica says, leaning forward. "David Archer isn't a bad person. He's a prick, but he's not a bad person. But while he was trying to put Bucky Barnes away you can damn sure bet he was not a trustworthy one. A person doesn't have to be bad to be dangerous, either. All they have to do is be committed. In fact, she brought up good people too, and said not all the Iron Fists have been. If she decides you're a problem, she's going to try to do something about you. She's not your friend, Danny. Maybe someday, man, but not right now. Not yet."

* * *

Danny's hangdog expression gets more hang-dogg-y. It seems to have killed his appetite too because he doesn't go for another piece of sushi. He rubs the side of his neck. "What should I do? Fire her? Get you to follow her? Put out a restraining order? She can fight, Jess. If we can find a way to sort her out, she could be a great ally."

* * *

Jessica gentles just a little bit. She hasn't lost her appetite, of course. Not by a long shot. She takes another piece of sushi and works her way through it before she answers again.

"I think you do nothing drastic like firing people or putting out restraining orders until you know what's going on. Whether you find that out because you have me follow her, or because she comes clean, or by some other means. We don't have a clue what she needs to be sorted out from yet. And I mean, it could be nothing, right? It could be all shrouded in this faux mystery shit because ancient vows and honor and whatever. But we just don't know anything. Until you know, you can't act."

* * *

"I told her to tell her sensei I wanted to meet him," says Danny, a bit sheepishly. Like he knows that Jess is going to disapprove of that course of action. He clacks his chopsticks together. "At least…we can have the man come out behind the curtain? And if he won't meet me, well, that tells us something too, right?"

* * *

Jessica puts down her chopsticks on the edge of her little plate.

"Tell me," she says, "You didn't agree to meet Mystery Ninja alone? Tell me…it's fine, Jess, I already planned to bring a bunch of my friends to make sure this guy didn't tase me or poison me or Vulcan neck pinch me at any point during this quote-unquote discussion?"

Yep. The PI disapproves. The PI disapproves a lot.

"And if you did meet him alone, tell me you're fine with me tailing you so if he gets freaking fiesty I can just see how well his karate does against me jumping right on his back?"

* * *

Danny looks a bit like the good kid being chastized by his teacher. "I didn't…say either way. Just that I wanted her to pass on that I wanted to meet him. No promises of being alone." So that's something. "Look, I know you all think that I'm naive and trusting, but I haven't been wrong too many times. I have a sense about people. That probably doesn't catch things like manipulations and all that, but I think I can get a read on this guy if I can meet him. If you and Matt come too, well, we have three pretty different perspectives."

* * *

This brings her off the ceiling somewhat. The notion that Danny will take both her and Matt.

"Alright. Good. And if he like, springs a meeting on you somewhere…just try and get in touch with someone. Me, Luke, Matt, Emery. Doesn't matter. Someone."

She shakes her head and adds, "I don't think you're— I'm not making a judgment of you, you know. It's my job to say the shit most people are too polite to say, it's my job to be suspicious even though every social instinct rails against it, and it's my job to tell you facts A, B, and C are not lining up. I want you to be who you are, man. And I think trusting your gut is a good thing. But if you were sure yourself? You wouldn't have worried about her knowing your secret enough that Luke came and told me. You wouldn't have brought Matt to vet her. And you wouldn't be here asking me what I think of her now. So your sense about people may say she's a basically good person, but it's also raising red flags. And of course…jury's way out on the Sensei."

* * *

"I think Colleen likes you, by the way. She liked that you just cut right to it while Matt and I tried to…" dance around? Lie? "…yeah." He shrugs and grins a little. "Yeah, I…the fact that she does seem to be good-intentioned but is doing some shady things is what worries me. I mean, she's teaching some pretty vulnerable kids. If she's in with bad people…" he stops himself, because the idea of Colleen hurting any tiny ninjas seems pretty farfetched.

* * *

"I liked her too," Jessica says with a shrug, proving her whole point, perhaps, about 'like' and 'trust' not being at all the same things. "She didn't try to lie or bullshit me, which is a point in her favor. She just answered, or said 'I'm not going to answer that.' Which, of course, is totally her right. Just not a good way to get the trust of PIs."

She takes her chopsticks up again and says, "I wouldn't worry about the kids. Whatever's going on here, I don't think they're much in it. I don't think she'd drag them into it. And I don't think she'll try and warp their brains or anything to join some secret cult or anything like that. I think they're the uncomplicated part of her life she wishes was her whole life, deep down, and I think taking it away from her would be a dumb move."

* * *

Danny nods slowly and considers the wealth of sushi containers in front of them. "So I'll make sure you'll be there if her sensei wants to meet. If he won't, then I think we try to find him ourselves. I think…the thing at the antique shop was staged, so maybe the owners of the shop have something to do with it."

* * *

Jessica leans over and grabs a legal pad, and a pen, temporarily abandoning the piece of eel sushi she'd been about to devour.

"What was the name of the shop? I didn't think to get that while I was talking to Colleen because I was really leading the questions in a different direction. I'll dig into them, see if anything shakes out. Or shakes out about the property itself. I'll fire it off to you and Luke and Matt, since we don't need to go playing convo-round-robin, if I find anything. Since this isn't exactly stuff I can type up in my database."

* * *

"Ummm, Time Again Antiques. It's in the Kitchen. I can get you the address." Danny discovers the tempura which is now a bit less crispy, but he goes for it anyway. "I guess a big tell would be whether a police report was filed for the damage, huh?" He purses his lips. "Come to think of it, there were probably cameras, but I didn't see anything on the news." A beat, "Uh…Ward taught me how to set up Google Alerts."

* * *

"Reporters man the police scanners, but a break-in in the Kitchen is not something anyone pays attention to. There's a break-in around here every other week."

Jessica circles it a few times and says, "But yeah. Big tell if there's no police report, because if there's no police report they're not filing an insurance claim either. How much shit did you guys break when you were fighting in there?"

She kindly lets the comment about Google Alerts pass. She'll razz Danny about a lot of things, but trying to get caught up in a world that passed him by while he was sequestered after his parents died is not one of them.

* * *

"Um, a lot? I mean, we shattered a couple display cabinets. It wasn't very big in there and there were four of them." Danny pauses, looks her in the eye. "Did Colleen mention she thought one of the fighters fought in a familiar way? Because she told us that. Which makes me wonder even more if the whole thing was staged."

* * *

"No, she didn't mention that. I didn't even think to ask about the break-in."

Jessica rubs her head, sounding irritated, but this time she sounds irritated at herself. She drops her hand and says, "Even one broken antique is a pretty penny in loss, so if they didn't file a claim then yeah. I'd pretty much throw my weight behind the staged-fight theory 100. And as it is? It's a good theory. Did she tell you anything else that I might have missed?"

* * *

"If it was staged, the question is why. The fighters…they weren't really trying to kill me. They weren't pulling their punches but I know what it's like to fight people who want me dead." Which is a reminder that although Danny seems naive, he's been in his share of life or death fights. "One of them, the one that Colleen thought she recognized, even seemed a bit scared." He considers her question, then shakes his head. "I don't think so. Matt might have picked up on some things I missed though."

* * *

"So you'd out yourself," Jessica says, floating the idea with a spread of her hands. "Sensei 'thought you might be important.' Maybe he also already 'thought you might be the Iron Fist.' So he stages a fight to see if you'll start glowing. Now it's confirmed. Colleen has your secret, but so does he. And as a bonus, they all got to see how you fight. But if one of them was afraid, that puts an even scarier new piece into this puzzle. Coercing people into staging a break-in, and a fight. Do we have any other clues about who Scared Kid might be? I'd really like to talk to whomever it is."

She takes another note. She's taken several now, only absently working her way through every kind of sushi he's brought. Her attention is all on the case now.

* * *

Danny hesitates before offering up his theory. Investigation isn't his forte', but also…he's running up againt the wall of wanting to be on the same side as Colleen. "I think…" he takes a breath. "Colleen's dojo. Maybe one of her former students?"

* * *

Jessica drums her fingers against the table. Ker-drum. Ker-drum. Ker-drum. She opens her mouth to ask a question, and then thinks better of it. But her eyes have narrowed, just a little bit. She jots that factoid down as well, frowning.

"But only one? She didn't think anyone else was one of her former students? I suppose I could go ask her all this, but you've already told me she doesn't care for being asked the same questions twice, and pissing her off isn't going to be helpful to anyone."

* * *

"One of the guys really could fight. The others were just…competent, and the young woman was…well, it felt like it was her first real fight?" Danny doesn't say many things other than 'I am the Iron Fist' with absolute conviction. "But she's only been teaching a few years, so if they were more senior fighters, she might not have taught them." He really doesn't like going down this road, but he's going anyway.

* * *

"Interesting," Jessica says grimly, though her tone says she finds it more disturbing than interesting. She tap tap taps her pen against the legal pad and says, "Anything else you remember? Things they said, things they did? What did they wear? Did any of them have distinguishing features? Accents? Anything you can remember, Danny."

Now the sushi mostly lays forgotten, but there is jalapeno yellowtail with her name on it still, pulled over to her little plate to get remembered again when she gets off the hunt.

* * *

Danny thinks for a moment with his face screwed up in the way it does when he's thinking real hard on things he doesn't want to be pondering. "I…no? I mean, I don't…usually pay that much attention to the people I'm fighting. I just fight them. They were wearing dark clothes and their faces were covered. You know…stereotypical ninja style." He mimes a face covering.

* * *

Jessica tries not to roll her eyes. She tries really hard.

And fails. She rolls them. It's not at Danny; it's at stereotypical ninjas in a Hell's Kitchen antique shop.

"Sure, we've had demons and aliens, why not stereotypical ninjas?"

She throws her pen down. "If the owners aren't cagey I'll see if I can't get their footage. I don't like this, Danny. I don't like it one damned bit. And if it was staged, this means Sensei or whomever is playing a double game with Colleen, too, because he let her be surprised by the fight. I don't get the feeling she'd lie about that. She'd just tell us to mind our own business."

* * *

"Yeah," says Danny with a heavy sigh. "This is weird for me. I'm used to people coming at me for stuff with Rand. But the Fist? Things I don't know about the Fist?" He grabs up another piece of slightly soggy tempura. "All the more reason for me to keep digging into what my dad was looking for. To try and find out more about K'un L'un. I might have enemies I don't even know about."

* * *

"Wait, your dad was looking for something having to do with K'un L'un? And that's how you ended up flying over their space?"

This is new. Jessica squeezes her eyes shut for a moment, and says, "Should I know this? If this is something you told Luke or something he didn't tell me. We don't keep secrets from each other, but we have a pretty firm 'don't blab other people's secrets' policy, for obvious reasons. He might not have told me becaues it wasn't my business yet. Or because, as I've had cause to say to another…ah…client…because he doesn't…really do details."

* * *

"Oh, I uh…this isn't an…" Danny shakes his head. "It's not something I've been talking to a lot of people about. I know you've got a lot on your plate. And it's been a kind of…personal journey."

He takes a deep breath. "My dad…was looking for K'un L'un before I was born. I found a box of his old papers that had information that could only come from talking to people who had been there. I've been trying to find out more, but it looks like he stopped digging into it about the time I started walking." He half-shrugs. "I found some recordings of interviews too. He talked to Matt's mentor, Stick. So that's weird."

* * *

Not for the first time, Jessica Jones struck by the strange ways many of their lives weave in and out of each other.

She, Matt, and Luke all end up changed by the same goo, as does her personal, if very dead, nemesis. Danny's father ends up talking to Stick, Matt's mentor. Even Wilson Fisk growing up in the Kitchen just like Matt did. In and out and in and out, dozens of threads. Probably a fair number she doesn't even know about yet. It's enough to make her wonder if fate really is a thing, or if these are just the oddities of cause and effect. She doesn't believe in coincidence, but this is all fairly strange. Like a few times when just the right people and resources were available on Friday because something shitty or weird happened on Monday, for example.

She shakes off her Noir-esque inner monologing and asks, "May I look at this box?"

* * *

"I don't know if it would make much sense to you, but you can look if you want." A beat, then Danny clarifies, "It's all in my dad's shorthand without a lot of context. Like he was writing notes just for himself and no one else. Lots of random short phrases. I can only make sense of the K'un L'un references or dates from my childhood."

Then his pace picks up a little bit, like he's excited, or at least energized. "I started trying to construct a timeline. My dad went all around the world trying to find nuggets from K'un L'un. I pulled some Rand archives and lined most of the trips up with business trips or vacations. In some places he searched antique shops and estate sales, or searched certain people down to interview."

* * *

"Antique shops again," Jessica says, her eyebrows lifting. "Do you know any of the other names of people he searched out? Talked to? They might have an idea of what set him on this path. Did you cross-reference any of this against things Rand Industries was doing at the time? Anything that would draw those two together, or help make it clear why he'd suddenly get interested in a magical city halfway around the world? Where was he on the exact date this apparant interest got started?"

* * *

Danny shakes his head slowly. "No, not yet. There's a lot of missing dates, and there's some holes in the Rand archives too. Dad was not good at dating things, and a lot of the tapes had faded labels. I couldn't connect notes to the taped interview until Matt told me he went by Stick. No one ever said names on the tape. Well, the tape that survived. One of them broke the moment I put it into a player." And who knows what mysteries that cassette held?

"Dad's…early life is pretty vague? He never told me much, and the articles about him when he first launched the company with Harold were kinda vague. Just how he built the company from the ground up and it grew quickly."

* * *

"Do you think Harold had anything to do with this quest of his?" Jessica asks, tilting her head. "Maybe Joy and Ward have a bunch of K'un L'un crap in their attics too, but never thought to look at it or wonder what it meant because it didn't seem relevant to a whole lot of anything at all."

She gives him a faint, apologetic smile as she takes up another bit of sushi. She knows she can be intense, when she starts down the road of asking a thousand questions, but there are a thousand questions, it seems, to ask, all looping back around to Colleen Wing and her mysterious sensei.

* * *

"It's possible. But I haven't…" Danny hesitates, "…I've only talked in vague terms to both of them about K'un L'un. In order to get their help, I'd have to tell them everything. And I'm not sure if I want to drag them into this." The Meachums are like siblings, with all the complications that come from that relationship. No doubt Jess can relate, given Trish and her stage mom.

* * *

Jessica balances her ability to relate with the investigator's urge to kick over ant hills.

And finally says, "Alright. For now, I think I'm going to leave digging into your family history to you. I'll focus on the here and now. This antique shop, and Colleen. There's no way I have a chance in hell of finding Scared Kid without a lucky break or a purposeful break-in I'm sure you'd rather I not engage in, so that leaves the shop owners. If you do want me to spend some time tailing her, let me know."

She tips a finger at him. "In other news, I did find your vandals. Stupid kids getting drunk. That doesn't mean you won't face aggro from other quarters that are more serious, but this time it was bullshit not worth worrying about."

* * *

Danny exhales a breath he wasn't quite aware he was holding. "Thanks, Jess. Honestly, you digging into that takes a load off. Because I think this stuff with my dad will give us clues too. I promise I'll call if I get stuck or need some insight." There may very well come a time when he needs someone who will look at his dad for who he is, absent of all his baggage. But that time is not yet. "I think…maybe we'll see what happens with her sensei before we go tailing her."

Then, "…aggro?"

* * *

Jessica gives a ghost of a smile. "Aggression. Damage. Bullshit. I think it's a video game term? But I'm not sure, because I don't play video games. I might have heard it while Luke was playing them or something."

Another beat. "And you're welcome, Danny. In both senses of the word, you know? All you ever have to do is ask. And…endure my detective henning, I guess."

Augh. No more comparing myself to birds! Next the girls will be trying the Heroic Hen on for size, and that's shit I can do without.

* * *

"Ohhhhh." Danny nods knowingly. "I've heard that." He was still playing Pokemon when he lost all access to video games. He hadn't graduated towards Warcraft and all the associated terms. Luke's continuing his education in that field but they haven't progressed too far into the vocab yet.

"I uh, I guess I need some henning sometimes? But I really do appreciate you guys looking out for me. That's not something I used to have. I mean, a little bit. My friend Davos used to watch my back. But there's not a lot of moral ambiguity in K'un L'un. Not that we saw, at least."

* * *

"Not that you saw is the operative phrase," Jessica says with a quirk of a cynical smile. "There's moral ambiguity everywhere."

In fact, when people take pains to hide it or to make it seem like it's not there? That's when Jess worries. But she decides this is not a conversation for 'now' by a long shot.

"Anyway, you're sharper than you give yourself credit for. You've just got a big heart, is all, and were in the sheltered environment for so long that you're still a little overloaded. You've got insights the rest of us don't get, anyway. Don't forget you've always looked out for us, too."

* * *

"I feel like a lot of what I do is…throw money. Because I know that does help, even if that's the easiest thing I can do." Danny shrugs, then starts to re-cover the sushi they didn't eat. There's a few containers neither of them even popped open. Luke'll have a good feed. "I've had nothing, and now I have everything. I don't really know what it's like to be in between."

* * *

And here he is, talking to the proverbial woman of the middles. Who has been up, down, and inbetween all her life, who tends to straddle all kinds of lines. She taps her fingers against the desk and says, "I don't know that I could really tell you," she admits. "All I know is? Most people don't throw. They hold on to as tight as they possibly can. It's a tool. It can be used to build, destroy, or hold the status quo. You aren't throwing money. You're building with it."

She shrugs. "Being generous? Being kind? That's what makes you special, Danny. Not glowing fists or your family legacy. And it's a rare goddamn thing. So."

* * *

Danny looks aw-shucksish in the most genuine way. He rubs his neck. "I'm just lucky I have you guys to keep me smart. To keep me from making bad choices. Because I probably would've made more by now if it weren't for the whole…Defenders gang." He starts to load the sushi into bags. "Now unless you have a fridge here, you should probably take this home to Luke."

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