A Task
Roleplaying Log: A Task
IC Details

Luke Cage has a task for Frank Castle. Two of them, actually.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: November 29, 2018
IC Location: Luke and Jess's Place, NYC
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 30 Nov 2018 07:21
Rating & Warnings: Some swearing.
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

"Hey man, come on up. I'll unlock all the doors." Luke's image appears on the little screen next to intercom, and the front door of the apartment building soon buzzes. The security guard near the elevator - a luxury in Harlem - merely nods at Frank when he enters and already has the lift waiting to take the man up to the top floor. Luke also unlocked the door to the apartment, the only one on the floor, because he didn't want to get up from where he is sitting.

The apartment is industrial modern, the living room feeding into the open kitchen and dining room with an office cornered off to one side with multi-colored panes of glass. The rest of the apartment spills back into a hallway where the living quarters must be.

Luke is in an open space of floor on a tarp, currently working on a beer and a motorcycle in no particular order.

The guard gives Frank a little bit of the heeby-jeebies, just standing there carefully not paying undue attention to him. It's creepy, and it causes his shoulders to hunch. Getting inside is good, though, letting the warmth soak into his trench-coat and the flannel shirt and hoodie he wears under it. He really, really needs to get his winter coat back. The sheer swankiness of the place is a shock, even after seeing how nice the bar is. He gives a brief knock on the door, then opens it, frowning a little at the relative opulence. "Booze is a good business to be in, ain't it?" There might even be a little humor in his voice. "Nice bike." That's serious though, as Castle moves over toward the tarped area, giving the vehicle a once-over.

Luke gives a little chuck of laughter, "If only I actually owned any of it. Danny's doing." He motions with his beer bottle to the whole of it with a little circular motion. "Have you met Rand yet? Good guy. Hey help yourself, beer is in the fridge and coffee is on the counter." His hospitality is lazy because he has a gas tank in his lap for the Harley. "I wrapped her around a light pole recently, just finally got her a new tank, wanna help me put it on?"

Frank opens his mouth to ask who Danny is, but Luke answers, and he's two steps toward the counter before he puts Danny Rand and Rand Enterprises together, surprise flashing over his features. "You know Danny Rand?" It takes him a moment longer to get started again, finishing his trip to the coffee maker and switching it on. He goes immediately back to the tarp, nodding, "Yeah, I can do that." He settles down alongside the motorcycle, kneeling on the tarp with his side toward the door. He doesn't ask what to do, just studying the big man's progress and pitching in, getting the appropriate parts together to help attach it. "I'd ask if you were okay, but…" There's a little smirk on Frank's bearded face at that, and then he nods, "Just checkin' in. I know the holiday season can be hard sometimes." Him too. There's a pause, and then he shrugs a little, "Probably not so much for you, I guess."

A wide smile gets shot Frank's way, "Danny's my BFF, man. So yeah, you could say I know him." Luke hands over a socket wrench when Frank settles on the tarp again, "When Fisk burned down the building a year ago, Danny was there to help me rebuild. I owe him everything, and even though it's a debt I'll be repaying for the rest of my life, I've never been more grateful."

Luke pauses in talking to set the motorcycle back upright, the effort no more than it would be to turn a big wheel back over. "I haven't had family for a long time, but I'm finally making my own. Which makes you…the black sheep cousin. Grab those bolts.."

Frank knows his way around a socket wrench, starting to thread bolts and align nuts to lock the fuel tank in place. He takes 'the billionaire is my BFF' in stride well enough, but the mention of Fisk triggers a flash and flare of anger, hardening a face made softer by the beard. His knuckles go white, "Gotta find that motherf…" he trails off before he finishes feeding the not-quite-existing swear jar. Grief follows the anger, and he nods, "Yeah. Funny how you find family." Drawing in a slower breath, he puts the socket to nut and crouches down to align the tank, "I think maybe some people need that. Happy to be an outlaw cousin."
"Good, then it's a done deal." Luke says of Frank joining his 'family' as he works in tandem with him, securing the tank a much faster task with two sets of hands. He's quiet for a time, letting the tinkering take place of conversation but as the seconds tick by his expression sombers more and more. "I shoulda reached out to you at Thanksgiving. Man shouldn't spend his first holidays out of the service alone." Especially after your family was just murdered, but that part goes unsaid.

Frank loses himself in the simple mechanics, getting the gas tank in the right place and locked down tight. He could hand the ratchet back to Luke to crank down the nuts as far as possible, but there are a couple of things that go into him keeping possession of the tool — he's distracted, he's an alpha male too, and tightening them too far could actually damage them. That distraction only gets worse as Luke mentions Thanksgiving, and Frank looks down with a grimace, "Yeah. Wasn't the best day ever." There's an unmistakable tension in his voice. "Wasn't the worst either." There's another pause, and he visibly shakes it off, "You ask Snow White yet?"

At this point, Luke sort of sits back on his haunches and lets Frank finish the last of the work, recognizing when a man needs a Task with a capital T. He takes another swig of his beer, but it can't completely obscure the smile that question brings even though the previous topic still lingers heavy in the air. "She said yes. The family grows. You know, I was married once before, but for some reason seeing that ring on Jess' finger is a whole new kind of pride. Reva and I were like this little island. But marrying Jess? It's…like my world is opening wide."

Finishing the tightening, Frank takes the socket off the ratchet and tucks them both away, then stands slowly, turning away to shut off the just-brewed coffee. Luke's words sink home, however, and he lets out a little breath. He doesn't turn back for a moment, an odd mixture of pain, hope, fear, and joy wrenches at him. "Good." The word comes out a little thick, and he clears his throat. half-turning and gesturing to cabinets to get directions to the coffee cups. Once he has them, he fills up a mug and leans back against the counter, one hand on the counter and the other wrapped around the mug of hot, steaming life's-blood. "It's… it's good you can move on, man." He pauses, then tries again, "Or start again, maybe."

Luke takes a clean rag, starting to polish their fingerprints off the matte black tank that matches the rest of the beast. "She wasn't what I thought. Reva, I mean. And I'll never get to ask her if she was with me for me or because she was just keeping an eye on an experiment. So I don't know which it is. Moving on? Starting over?" He flips the rag over his shoulder, a practiced move from tending bar for so long perhaps. An exaggerated grunt has him back on his feet, and after a moment of thinking about it he comes to join Frank in the kitchen. "What was her name?"

The flip of the rag draws a faint smile from Frank, but it fades quickly. He takes a sip of the coffee, looking down at it for a long moment. The question causes him to draw in a breath and let it out with a slow hiss. "Maria." Coincidentally, that could also rather easily be a prayer. "I met her playing guitar in the park." His voice creaks, not disuse any more, just the tightness of all the emotions tangled up in the memory. "She flipped me shit for playing the same song over and over — I was learning it — I flipped it right back. That day, that first day, I knew she was for me." The coffee cup hangs forgotten in his hand, "Three months later, she told me she was pregnant, that she was keepin' the kid, that she didn't want to raise her alone, but that she wouldn't hold it against me if I didn't stick around. I asked her to marry me then and there."

"She sounds like a helluva woman." Luke says quietly with warm appreciation in his voice at the story, but before emotion can claw up his throat he jokes. "Let me guess, you were playing some lame ass shit like Sweet Home Alabama? It'd fit right in with that country boy look you've got going on." He reaches out to slap Frank's shoulder in a brotherly fashion. "Oh, hey. You wanna earn a couple extra bucks?"

Frank looks outright offended at the suggestion, even if he's pushing the offended look hard to make it show through the other emotions tearing at his insides. "Fuck no, man. 'Born in the USA.' The Boss." He scratches idly at the still-new beard, "You mean the urban lumberjack look?" He rocks under the whack on the shoulder, and he shrugs, "Probably. I'm doin' demo here in the Kitchen right now. Fills the time. Whatcha got in mind?"

"Jess and I are taking off to Georgia for a little while. Wish it was a honeymoon, but I've got some business to take care of down there that's becoming more important with this whole registration nonsense." His big hand rubs at his bald head sheepishly, "Anyway, my security guy, he's mostly for show. If someone tougher than a pissed off UPS guy comes through the door…" He shrugs. "Can you just keep a half an eye on the place while I'm gone? Swing by, make sure it hasn't turned into a drug den while I'm gone?"

Frank shifts his footing a little as he regains some semblance of emotional balance — at least so far as he can manage these days. Another sip of black coffee helps. "You want me to come 'round here regular-like?" His heavy brows knot together, "I'm happy to. Just… the cops are still lookin' for me. On and off." He pauses, and summons back just a hint of amusement, "I'd suggest just havin' Mercer do it, but you said no drug den."

"Owen lives downstairs." Luke smirks, "And /should/ be running the bar when I'm gone, but I don't want to overload the man so he can stay clean." His steel cable arms thread together across his chest. "You telling me you don't know how to stay out of sight from the cops?" Luke snorts his disbelief. "And you can always duck into the basement from the alley if you need to. I'd just feel better knowing I got a brother keeping watch, that's all. Problem with losing everything, makes you paranoid to have anything."

Nodding slowly, Frank takes another sip of the coffee and sets it down on the counter behind him. "Just makin' sure you're aware of the risks." He offers out his right hand, "Of course I'll do it, Luke." One corner of his lips lifts in a momentary smirk, "Hell, I'll even keep an eye on Mercer while you're gone. Make sure there's some coffee in his Irish."

Luke holds out his hand for a shake, "I appreciate it, man, and for the help with the bike. Jess'll be glad to have it out of our dining room, even if she'd never admit it. One less toe-stubbing hazard."

Frank's grip is hard — for a normal guy. At least he's not embarrassing himself by trying to crush Luke's hand. "Do you even notice, man?" It's just a clasp and a release. There's a pause, and Frank frowns in thought, curiosity warring with 'really don't want to know,' and then he phrases things very carefully, "She tough too? I know she can leap tall buildings with a single bound…" He's probably not talking about professionally tough. It's not his fault, it's been too long.

"Me feel it? Nah. But she…yeah, my girl's tough but she's not bullet proof like me. Fisk proved that a little too well. She can crush cars though, it's those little things in common that'll keep our love alive." Luke hitches his head towards the door, "Hate to kick you out, but I gotta open the bar."

Frank nods his acceptance of the distinction, "Crushing cars, man… I gotta use a grenade launcher to do that." The invitation to depart causes Frank to hold up his hands, "No, no. I just wanted to stop by, check in. Glad I could help out with the bike. I'll stop by every day or two until you get back." He drains off the coffee, then turns and gives the mug a quick rinse in the sink so there won't be a ring in the bottom and leaves the mug at the bottom of the sink to be washed later. With a nod, "See you 'round, Luke," he heads for the door.

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