Room Service
Roleplaying Log: Room Service
IC Details

Doug and Kitty discuss their time apart and what to do moving forward.

Other Characters Referenced: Bobby da Costa, Warren Worthington
IC Date: February 11, 2019
IC Location: Archer Hotel, then Manhattan
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 14 Feb 2019 05:13
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

The Archer Hotel — Doug Ramsey's "Cell."

Outside are two very large, friendly security guards hired courtesy of Bobby da Costa.

Inside the suite, there's a shoebox on the table, open, with a brand new pair of purple chucks in it, and a little black microchip in a paper bag next to a sketchbook with a pencil jammed in it. A t-shirt on a coat hanger is hanging on the back of a chair — it says 'Mexico' in Kanji.

And the Beastie Boys' "Hold It Now, Hit It" is playing at maximum volume. There's a pile of books next to the bed, in a dozen different languages.

* * *

There's a knock on the door. Kitty Pryde could have phase through he walls. She could have gone through the ceiling, the wall, the floor, everything. She does this for a principle.

And while there are looks to the guards, she has been with Berto on this and so she feels as if she has the permissions to get in here. And, in fact, she does. The guards let her pass and wait for her to be let into Doug's rooms.

Standing at the entrance, she surveys and then looks back at Doug. "Settling in?" she asks.

* * *

Doug comes out of the bathroom. He was combing his hair. He has blue jeans and socks on, and he hasn't really gotten TALLER — just squarer. Like the world's biggest nerd hit the weight bench and got lats. He blinks at Kitty, and then he rubs the back of his neck.

"Before I answer, pal, I have a question for you. …Can you look me in the eye, and tell me, honestly, that you think this might be a fake-out, or that there might be some Hydra booby-trap buried in my head? Because I can deal with reading that off of Dani and Bobby, but if I'm gonna get it from you, I need you to tell me to my face, first thing." He points at Kitty, and then at his baby blues.

7 years ago: It was sunny, that day. Cold, but sunny. The memory of the speaker is cast into shadow — sometimes the face changes, but it's mostly a Sienkiewiczian darkness. "Kitty." A long pause, and then, "I'm so sorry Kitty. …It's Doug. …He's been shot, Kitty. He's dead."

"…Are you going to be all right?" It was a stupid question, the kind you ask when you have nothing to say.

* * *

"Honestly?" Kitty looks at Doug. There is not hatred, but there is suspicion there. "I will not put anything past Hydra. Yes, this may be a fake out. You may want to infiltrate. You've already said Hydra has infiltrated other places. Why not the X-Men now?"

Kitty remembers that moment, the point where she was told that Doug had been shot. It was a strangely bright day and she just nods her head. "I'll be fine." She was young - one of the youngest on the X-Men - and she did not want to show any sort of weakness to them. She was an adult! She would handle this in an adult way!

* * *

…And it wasn't the last time she'd have to be an adult and bury somebody close to her.

And yet now, snap back to reality, and here Doug sits. He's on the bed, and he's got his shoebox in his hand, turning over one of those purple All-Stars, just kind of staring at the shoe for lack of something else to look at that isn't Kitty. Finally, he says, "Kitty…"

"…Do you remember that day in Hank's chemistry class, where Lockheed farted and the bunsen burner shot about eight feet straight up, and Hank's eyes got really big and there was dead air for about forty-five seconds, and then he said 'Oh my stars and garters' in that tiny little voice… and Ororo had to spend the rest of the morning airing out the first floor of the house?"

He sets the shoe down on his lap, and studies his hands. "Well… I *may* have gotten mad at you for an X-Babies crack you made about the NMs the night before, and given him an entire pot of fireball chili. And three pots of extra-strong black coffee… and a pack of cigars."

He gets an itty-bitty little smile, and when he looks up, it's like he's fifteen again, and an *imp* dances behind big blue eyes. "As revenge goes, all-told, it worked out better than I could've hoped."

* * *

"I knew it was you," Kitty tells Doug with a bit of a look as to the confession about Lockheed. The little purple dragon isn't with her tonight and perhaps it's better, as he certainly has some interesting ideas on what a good revenge might be.

While Doug remains restrained in watching Kitty, she does not take his eyes off of him. "Doug, we were friends for years. I knew you. You knew me. We both know you were kind of a jackass if you felt your pride was hurt." Her arms cross. She's in the room, she's here, but she's clearly watching her friend for signs of something. Maybe she's not even sure what that something is.

"I know it's you, Doug. That isn't the problem. When I saw you last it was still you. It was you but you had been changed. You chose them. I wanted you to come back to us, but you chose them."

* * *

Doug looks up, and he says, "And it was like ripping pieces out of myself with hooks to do it. Look…" He says, "At the very least, sit and have dinner with me, and talk. It's not gonna be anything fancy, just grilled chicken, rice, and veggies—" At that, there's a knock on the door. "And there it is. It's open!"

The door opens, and a young bellhop comes in, toeing the door closed behind him with one foot, with food on a cart covered with a silver tray. "Here you go sir, chicken and rice. Can I get you anything else?"

Doug looks up, and then nonchalantly pulls on his sneakers, lacing them up. "Yeah, could you send up another bottle of seltzer for my friend here?"

"Absolutely, no problem."

Doug rises to his feet, and walks over to the tray, before looks up to Kitty. "I don't know about you, but I'm famished."

…Then he knife-hands the bellhop in the neck, dropping him to the floor with a gurgle, before he races to the table, and grabs a black microchip in a plastic bag and jams it into his pocket, and throws a book in a backpack. "Kitty—"

* * *

"I'm sure it did." Kitty sounds both skeptical and if she does want to believe him. It's a strange mix.

The bellhop arrives and passes off the food. Automatically, she studies the bellhop. It's not a conscious thing. When she's in a situation that she is wary about, she will start to look about, try and pick up things the remember later just in case.

There's nothing that strikes her as off balance of the bellhop. It's a man who is doing his job, delivering food. The sudden strike of Doug throws her into action. Pulling her katana out of her bag, it is unsheathed and pointed at Doug even as she moves right for the bellhop.

"What the hell, Doug! You just stabbed him!" She is going to move to try and help him. Her trust has not extended so far that he can suddenly stab the hotel staff without any sort of explanation. "What, is the bellhop Hydra?"

* * *

Doug shoulders his backpack, and then walks over and flips the lid off the cart, revealing the gas grenade underneath it.


He looks up at Kitty, and takes a step back, before the grenade suddenly emits a gust of noxious green vapor.


* * *


Kitty keeps a firm grip on the katana, but she also keeps a hold on the foot of the bellhop as she wraps her leg around Doug's leg.

"Take a breath!" The floor between this floor and the next isn't exactly thick, but she doesn't want them to be randomly trapped and the noxious gas in the room is not exactly one that will help anyone.

The group crashes downward, almost certainly about to crash into the ground with a crack until the air seemingly gets thicker. Like landing on something of a pillow, the trio land in various forms of array and disarray on the floor of the room right below theirs. "What the hell, Doug!"

* * *

"…I've been made." Doug says, before he climbs off the bed, much to the surprise of the couple that was in it. "I honestly thought she wouldn't bother — I guess it's sort've flattering that Madame Hydra thought I was worth killing."

"I knew he was there to kill me the instant I set eyes on him. Bobby's guards are both already dead, and the building is probably *crawling* with Viper's men. That stuff was the Kiss of the Viper — a neurotoxic compound she synthesized specifically to incapacitate Wolverine. One of the components in it is Smylex nerve toxin. *One* of the components."

He looks around, and then at Kitty, and he closes his eyes. "Look. Paranoia *cannot* rule the day here. It can't, or Viper wins, and a lot of people die. You have to look me in the eye and know…" Doug's eyes are watering from the faintest sting of that stuff, and he wipes them with the back of a hand, and then he looks at Kitty, and holds his hand up in the Kohanim's blessing.

"That I am… and will always be… your friend. *Please*!"

* * *

"No offense, Doug, but this is exactly the sort of thing Hydra would do to try and get me to trust you." Kitty presses against the bellhops neck in order to try and stop the bleeding. "They're dead?" She looks at Doug and gives him a bit of a helpless expression. A man is dying under her hands and she has no idea who to trust. If he's a Nazi? Well, she'll turn him in. Otherwise? This could just be a helpless bellhop.

"It can, Doug." Even as she attempts to stop the bleeding, she can tell this is a lost cause. The man gives up his last breaths and she pulls her blood soaked hands off his neck. "You're my friend. I don't doubt that. But, you were my friend when you went back to the Nazis. You warned me then and I tried to help you, but you ignored me. Why is it different now?"

Whether she trusts him or not, there are gas bombs and dead bellhops. "What do you want to do? We have to fix this, Doug. What if it gets out that mutants were involved in a murder at a hotel?"

* * *

Doug looks up at Kitty, and he sets his jaw. "It won't." He says, with emphasis. "Because not only can I bury it, not only can Bobby bury it, but Hydra might be willing to stick their neck out to kill me—" He looks down, and then at the Bellhop, and says, "…I killed him. Sometimes I forget what Silver Samurai taught me." He curls his hand into a fist, and then squeezes his eyes shut.

"But they won't risk yanking the curtain off to reveal themselves. Hydra's victory depends on its invisibility."

He looks left, and looks right, and inhales. "We can't waste time on this now. Clock's ticking. I'll break down over having lost your trust *later*." He grabs Kitty by the wrist, to drag her out of the room. "Senator, I trust you'll forget everything you saw or heard, since that woman isn't your *pregnant wife*." He grumbles. "The family values candidate. What a world." He steps out into the hallway with Kitty, and looks each way. There's a maid wheeling a cart down a hallway. "Phase." Doug says, before he drops to the floor, as she… pulls out a pistol and starts shooting. "Now take her out!"

* * *

"I don't agree that it's wasted time, but this definitely isn't the time."

Kitty tries to make sure her face isn't seen when she is pulled out the door by Doug. That includes his supposed breakdown over her lost trust.

The maid wheeling the cart toward them is met with a look. Grabbing onto Doug's wrist, she phases them to make sure the bullets pass through. Then, instead of taking the maid out entirely, she keeps phasing.

They're through the floor of the hallway and into the one right below them. "If you want me to trust you? Show me I can trust you, Doug. I'm not killing people and I don't want you to, either. And don't run from me. Trust me to take care of myself and you, too. If you can't do that? You're not the person I knew." She gives him a moment and then she phases again.

While they were in the Penthouse, Kitty has her own personal elevator. Continually, she moves them through the floors. It's almost a free fall until the last few floors where she brings up that same air pocket to let them fall through it like jelly. It's not exactly comfortable and it's not exactly perfect, but they reach the ground floor in record time. "

* * *

Through the floor. It's amazing how having the right teammate can turn a race for survival through the Tower of Terror into a complete cheat. Team selection is everything. "I'm not exactly thrilled about crushing that guy's throat—" And then he looks to Kitty and for a moment he's flabbergasted. "I'd follow you anywhere, pal — and I trust you with my life."

Then sighs, deeply, and says, "…Well, Hydra just burned me, with finality." He looks around the Lobby, and then says, "Take me whereever you think I should go, Kitty. I'm not running away. Not this time."

"Not ever again."

* * *

With the strange cushion that Doug and Kitty are given, they do not crash onto the floor of the hotel lobby. It's only people who are directly looking in their direction that see the two people drop to the floor through the ceiling.

However, she does not take this moment to reflect. Keeping a hold on Doug, she quickly grabs onto him and pulls him through the walls of the hotel. Once on the street, she just keeps moving. Moving toward the train station, she keeps moving. This is New York and once you're past the main issue, people will tend to ignore you.

"We need to get to Gotham. I have some contacts there." While she may have brought Doug to the Institute immediately, if people are after him? He needs to be protected. Instead, she makes her way to the train station and picks up a phone and dials a quick number. "Hey, Peter, I need some help in hiding a friend. I don't think I can get him into Shadowcrest, but is the Milano available?"

* * *

Doug is leaning against the wall, sulking because his Best Pal doesn't trust him anymore, and eating a snickers bar. He looks up, and says, "…Who's Peter?"

* * *

Peter Quill is not having the best of days. The ring on his phone(WHO EVEN USES PHONES ANYMORE) and when he answers he sounds heavily distracted. He does answer though, since he noticed the number.

Of course he is distracted when he does so.

"LOOK I DIDN'T KNOW SHE WAS GONNA FLY RIGHT INTO IT! Groot! Stop poking her!" He sounds distracted. Someone shouting something at him from the other end. "…I don't know how to turn off magic! It's not like a proper you know…tech…thing…" Then Peter turns attention to his actual call.

"Kitty? Hey beautiful…what…" A pause. "…wait help hiding a friend? I mean…uh…yeah I can get the Milano out and meet ya somewhere. I…um…it's been a bit of a crazy day. But yeah, yeah I can meet ya somewhere."

* * *

"Peter is…well, he's abrasive. But, if Hydra is going to be after you? This is where I know you'll be safe. He's a part of the Guardians of the Galaxy. They're, well, they can protect you, since it seems like people want to kill you when you stay in normal hotels."

Kitty takes a breath. "They're unconventional and I think they'll be better suited to help you than a hotel with hired guards. I'd take you right into Shadowcrest, but you need Zatanna's go ahead for that. But, the Milano is good hiding place until we can clear you."

The phone is against her ear as she talks to Doug and she shakes her head. "Just…nearby Shadowcrest, Peter. That'll be fine. Come back alive, okay? Tell Groot that I hid something for him in the cabinet." There are multiple cabinets. It would take him awhile to go through all of them. "We'll be there in a couple of hours. I just need a place for him to stay till we can get him into Shadowcrest. Thanks. Be…" She knows careful is not the right adjective, "Be you."

She looks to Doug and gives a grin. "Gotham is weird." Putting the phone down, she looks at him. "Look, I want to figure this out. But I can't….I don't know. Hydra has hooks in people Doug."

* * *

Doug raises his eyebrows, and then he says "They're unconventional. The Guardians of the Galaxy." Then is expression goes flat. "*Kitty*." He says. He gives her the stink-eye, and then he says, "…I'm in no position to have an argument with you now pal." He seems to just get a read off of her, somehow.

Then he gives a deep sigh, and makes the vulcan salute again, holding his hand out to Kitty's. "I knew it was wrong, walking away from you. They have a hypnotist, a psychiatrist. His name's Doctor Faustus. He—" He frowns. "There's still a lot I don't remember from four years ago." But he's been gone for seven.

"Kitty, look. You were the *first* girl I fell in love with, and I'll never lie about that. The emotion changed form, but it never went away. And—you're not looking at me the same way you did, and I will *never* forgive Hydra for taking that from me. Never."

He lets his head drop. "I'm tired, Kitty. If this… uh, Peter has someplace where I can just be set aside so people can forget I exist for a hot minute, maybe that's exactly what I need."

* * *

"Alright, Kitten." The pilot replies with a smirk. "You aren't gonna like the spot. But I'll see you there. Rocket and Groot have to babysit an angry clam till Zee gets back."

…this is normal for them.

"Maybe she'll stop throwing herself at the glass if I'm gone." He mutters as he hangs up. "I'll be back soon!"

…and with that he goes to take the Milano. To a scrapyard.


* * *

The stink eye is acknowledged. "Look, Doug, the Guardians are good people. Unconventional, but good. They're not going to allow guards to killed outside their doorway. Of course, they may be more likely to stab people in the throat." And, well, she has seen that Doug will do that, too.

They make it past Penn Station and toward Grand Central and as they do, the phone is put away. Things may not be the most stable when she puts Doug with the Guardians, but she is confident that both of them have a good place to both hide and regroup.

Kitty doesn't say anything until they are under the relative anonymity of Grand Central. There are people moving toward the subway, to the LIRR, the Metro-North. No matter the circumstance, the space is solemn, beautiful, filled with marble and light and history. She buys them tickets to Gotham.

"Doug, you are my friend. I will always protect you. But…you died. I know that didn't actually happen, but a lot happened to me, too. I'm not the same person I was. I went through a lot and while it didn't involve Nazis? It was a lot. That girl you fell in love with? She's not me. Not anymore."

Shaking her head, she passes off the ticket to Doug. "I know you are. I can't say where you're going is restful, but I do know they'll protect you. If you're with them? They'll see them and not you. That I can basically guarantee."

* * *

Doug runs his hand through his hair, and then he says, "Kitty, my powers have grown past what they once were. I see more. I know more. And you might think you're not the girl I fell in love with at fifteen, but it's only because there's more dimension to her. More shadows yes, but bolder lines. More pain. More brain. More everything that made you… you. Nothing got taken away, only *added*."

"But the way you see me now makes me feel like so much less than I used to be, and I'm not sure how to process that." He looks away, his eyes shadowed.

He kicks the seat in front of him, hard, which is thankfully empty. "This SUCKS! We're back together, we should be having the time of our LIVES, and I just want to curl in on myself and cry." He puts his chin in his hand and looks out the window, his expression still shadowed.

* * *

"Doug, do you know anything about what I went through once you died?"

Kitty looks toward him as the settle into their seats and make their way to Gotham.

Shaking her head, she laughs a bit. "I'm sorry that you working with Nazis makes me look at you as if you've lost your way." She can't help but keep the bite of sarcasm in her voice. "I don't know what you've done with them, but I doubt it was great. Do you want me to rejoice in what you've done with an organization that makes my skin crawl? I'm glad you're out of it, but you also went back to it."

She laughs, looking toward the scenery rushing by them. "Even if you came back without this? Do you think we would be having the time of our lives? I would still want to know why you didn't come back." She shakes her head. "There's no easy return for you, Doug. We thought you died. Now that you're back? When the world wants to register metahumans? When they want to put mutants under a microscope? I just…I think it's you, I just worry. The people I'm taking you to? I trust them implicitly. I"m not pawning you off. These people I care about very deeply, but they won't be harmed if you aren't what you say you are. You understand, right?" She looks at him, frowning, unsure of how to handle good friend returned from the dead and also escaping a cult.

* * *

Doug arches his eyebrow at Kitty, and then he says, sullenly, "Then maybe everyone would've been better off if I'd stayed dead! Because I'd rather be dead than hurt you."

He sits, and surls, for a long time, turned away and watching the countryside go by. "You think I wanted this! You think I asked for it?! My world is *gone* Kitty, and my parents are *gone*, and I have been used by *evil* people and I'm trying to hold it together because there are so many lives at stake…"

He closes his eyes. "The world I knew is gone. And I have been violated, and used, by fascists, and their *stink* is all over me."

And he looks at Kitty, and for a moment, there's real hurt in his eyes. "And I feel like I'm drowning and I'm reaching out to you and you're just *watching me sink*, Pryde. Because you're *angry* and you have every right to be. I'm *sorry* I didn't come back with you, okay? I'm *sorry*. I wanted to and I *didn't* because I was chained up inside of some… ego-construct Faustus built and I couldn't get free of it until Betsy knocked something loose inside my head."

He puts his hand over his eyes, and leans into the window. "Mutant Master of Language *my butt*. If I was, I'd find what I needed to say to- to-"

He closes his mouth, and his expression hardens.

Without really paying attention, he gets out a sketchpad and jogs one knee, as he draws a skull with coiling tendrils — the symbol of Hydra.

Then, while looking out the window, his fingers move on autopilot, and he sketches an (X) over it, and writes 'THERE IS NO MASTER RACE' in hard letters beneath it. He hasn't even looked at it.

"I'm sorry I hurt you." He says, his voice sullen, with an ache. "I never wanted to- but I guess I did, huh."

* * *

Kitty's shoulders rise just slightly.

"Doug…" She doesn't know what to say here. "I'm not sure. I want to believe you. I do."

She catches his eyes when he gives her such a hurt look. "If it were up to me? If I were the only person involved? We wouldn't be here. But people…." her sympathetic face closes. "Bigots tried to maim Warren. I can't…I just…I want to believe you." But she shakes her head.

There's an intake of her breath and then she lets it out in a long, slow breath. "I know you didn't." The Doug she knew wouldn't do that. But, then, she's not sure she knows this Doug any more. Watching him draw on the sketchpad, she can't help but try and grab at it.

"I'm glad Betsy got to you, but you really want to get into this with me? You want me to tell you why I'm upset about one of my closest friends being involved with a Nazi organization? Why I am upset that when I reached out to you you chose them over than me? What do I need to spell out to you, Doug? I get it. I want to. But it's hard. I can't forgive you right away. You want to get into that? Why this makes this entire situation makes it hard for me to look at you?"

Kitty takes a very deep breath. "I'm bringing you to a people that I trust implicitly. They can protect you against Hydra."

* * *

"You think I don't get it? You think that I'm that tone-deaf, that it all just slides off?" Doug frowns. "You can't just conjure a personality out of whole cloth. Faustus built Discord out of me — my insecurity, my resentment, my anger. He took the worst parts of me and gave them free reign and I'm disgusted with myself."

"And yeah." He relaxes, slightly. "I know you're still trying to help me. But I don't have *anybody*, Kitty. Not really. It's all shame and guilt and—and anger whenever anybody looks at me. I'm *alone* and I guess I was counting on borrowing a little of your strength, even if I have no right to. I guess."

"I made you a promise once, that I'd always be there if you needed me. I meant it. But right now-" He turns away again. "Amicus certus in re incerta." He snorts.

The pad is surrendered, easily enough. It's full of loose, scribbly sketches. Memory aides toward a life that no longer exists.

* * *

"Honestly, Doug, I don't know." Kitty looks at him. "I wouldn't think so. A lot of people don't. You may think you do, but it's different when you're actually experiencing it."

Kitty doesn't flip through the book. Instead, she looks at the crossed off Hydra symbol. "A friend in need is a friend indeed."

She holds onto the notebook, but she looks at him. "I'm still helping you, though, Doug. What part of that makes you think I'm not your friend? I'm taking you to people I trust. Maybe I don't exactly trust you right now. You're not alone, but if you want to gain my trust again? You need to know why I don't trust you right now. That I need you to understand."

* * *

"I didn't say you weren't my friend." Doug says. "Emotions aren't a wholly logical language." He rests his chin in his hand.

"But since the thought that I might — even remotely might — ever betray you has entered into your head, I guess I feel like I failed you. Let you down. I didn't keep my promise after all."

He glances back over to Kitty and says, "And what about how I need you?"

He turns away, and then says, "…Let's come back to this when we've both had some time to think. I'm afraid I'm not going to be great company for your friends, though, pal." He lets himself sag, visibly.

"Just… make sure the others know what happened, and that I'm safe."

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