A Really God Damn Bad Day
Roleplaying Log: A Really God Damn Bad Day
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

When the Trike crumbles, Dani and Luke get trapped inside. Winter Soldier, Daredevil and Jessica Jones hurry to free them before the air runs out.

Other Characters Referenced: Owen Mercer
IC Date: March 24, 2019
IC Location: Triskelion
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 25 Mar 2019 04:49
Rating & Warnings: Mild language. And Bucky is covered in blood, like Bucky do.
NPC & GM Credits: GM'd by Moonie
Associated Plots

* * *

It's now hours past the initial attacks and assaults from the Brotherhood and Hydra. The city reels from the devastation that's been unleashed, but that doesn't mean they're shocked into inaction. Instead, like the City always does, it pulls itself up and does what it does best; it comes together and helps one another.

The site of the Triskelion is all but swarming with various people. Cops, EMTs, Firefighters, ambulances, police cars, fire trucks and anything else that might be needed. Several disaster relief crews are already on sight, their equipment powering up to search through the rubble.

Large floodlights have been brought to the scene to light the area and it shows the destruction that's been wrought upon the Triskelion. Cement, mortar and steel girders lay in an almost cascading pattern, as it sprawls outward onto sidewalks and the street itself.

The piles of debris already have people crawling upon it and the sound of dogs might also be heard, as their barks echo all around, pointing the way to the survivors buried beneath the rubble.

For one of those survivors, Danielle Moonstar, she finds herself unconscious for the moment partially pinned beneath a heavy section of ceiling within a partially intact hallway. She had almost made it out, had made it to one of the lower floors, but before she could quite escape the building collapsed. Perhaps it's the distant sound of the dogs barking, or more likely the nudge upon her empathic senses that causes her to stir. She can feel the furious level that the service animals are working at, taking cues from their handlers as they search.

* * *

Worst first day of work. Ever.

Luke was tucked away in a back cubicle, left to fill out paperwork in triplicate regarding his new employee status, choosing to do so in the evening after his duties at the Bar were finished and he gave the shift over. He doesn't even have a cool lanyard yet. Somewhere around the time he's filling out the boxes regarding 'emergency contacts', shit hits the fan.

He hears the alarms, but has no place to report to. Better to sit tight. Nonessential personnel, that's him. That's what he signed up for. Then the electricity goes out. Well, forms are hard to fill out by red emergency lighting. He finally decides that's enough of pretending this is not his circus or his monkeys, and he stands up from the desk around the time the world around him starts quaking. Managing to make it into hallway by the time the floors above caved in, Cage gets trapped not far from Dani herself.

And to top it all off: he lost his new lunchbox.

* * *

The fact that Luke was at the Triskelion when it blew up means Jessica Jones is in a barely restrained state of panic. Yes. Yes, theoretically she knows that most of him can survive that. Theoretically, some rebar could get shoved through his eye or down his throat, too. And she has other friends here, or that could be here. Quite a few, actually.

Some well-meaning emergency worker who just sees a tiny woman tries to stop her from wading into what looks like a dangerous spot for anyone else.

"Miss, you can't…"

"Damn it, BACK OFF," she snarls, as she lifts a piece of rubble the size of a Toyota over her head and moves it carefully aside. "I can, I will, I am, just FUCK YOU."

Maybe not so barely restrained. Poor emergency guy, who is now six shades paler.

* * *

Midtown Manhattan is on fire, covered in soot, and filled with the sounds of screams, sobs, and sirens. For many a Manhattanite it's deja vu. They soldiered through the Hell's Kitchen bombings, an alien invasion, and even the gates of Hell opening up above them. New Yorkers proved their toughness, their tenacity and their resilience to the world. Only for it all to happen all over again.

Some of that refrain is going through Matt Murdock's mind as he leaps across the smokey skyline. Other thoughts course their way through his mind too, more specific. Worry for his friend. Slowly-building fury at the newscasts he can hear from half-a-dozen different nearbye devices. But he tries his best to convert all those thoughts into background static and hone his attention on the space around him for any and all signs of life.

What he hears instead is Jessica Jones threatening to fuck someone up with a slab of concrete the size of a car. "Shit," he mutters before slinging his grappling line and swinging down from the third-story building towards the pair. "Jones!" he shouts as he swings closer, seeming all the more demonic for being wreathed in that smokey miasma.

* * *

"No, that isn't stable get down!" Comes a shout from the other side of the rubble, as someone warns someone else away from an unstable section of debris. There's more shouted words, some not quite nice words, as people try to moves away as needed and others try to shore up where they can.

Water flows quite liberally as the firefighters strive to keep hot spots cool enough so that more fire doesn't break out.

Within the broken remains of the Triskelion, specifically the hallway that Luke and Moonstar find themselves in, Danielle Moonstar finally regains consciousness. It starts with her eyes opening and then a jerk upward as she tries to sit upright. It soon becomes immediately apparent that sitting upright was the wrong course of action to take, as pain flares at the points where she's trapped. "Dammit." She mutters and while she can't say she knows what's happened since she's been out, her first thought is definitely to get free.

Which means she needs help.

But she doesn't call out for help just yet. Wary of just who might answer her request for aid. For now, the woman tries to wedge her free hand under the main portion of the debris to push. She just needs a bit of wriggle room, that's all. Then she can squeeze herself out.

* * *

Luke is staring at his cellphone, trying to get a signal in his cramped little air pocket, but it's reading zero bars. The pale blue light that illuminates his face is also enough for him to see a shift of debris in his proximity that seems intentional instead of just a shift. "Hey! You alive in there?" He shouts over, even though movement means that yes, in fact, someone is still breathing nearby. He stows the phone and crawls in that direction, making quick work of sending chunks of drywall and refuse behind him. "We're in here!" He bellows, on the off chance a rescue worker can hear.

* * *

The sound of Daredevil's voice makes Jessica turn, even as she hauls up more debris and puts it in the pile with the first thing. Despite the fact that she's a bare half step from a full-on freak-out, she's focusing on getting the really big pieces of rubble that normal rescue crews couldn't handle, to give them more room to dig. The call corresponds with a burst of saline pricking at her eyes, which she angrily dashes away even as she sniffs a bit.

"What?" she asks, maybe a little defensive, maybe a little confused, maybe just sounding desperate and angry and like she's got a lump in her throat. She doesn't even bother shouting it, knowing he can hear her fine. Then she looks down at the little emergency worker and she's like, "Oh for…I'm not going to fucking hurt you, dude. God damn it."

But she modulates the tone, knowing the 'what' could very well be 'stop freaking out the normals, Jess.'

* * *

Daredevil step-kids to a landing there in the eerily empty avenue, not ten feet from Jessica. He retracts the cable and sheathes the club in that holster at his calf. Then it's just a few steps and he's beside her. He gives an upnod to the pale responder. "We're going to find him, Jess," he assures her, lowering his voice so it won't carry. "His odds were better than anyone else's in there."

Guilt lances through him. He put Cage in that office. His harebrained scheme to get Luke out of his Cath-22 — and now, on the man's first day, it literally blows up in his face. It would be comical… if this all weren't so clearly a tragedy.

It's then that Daredevil's senses, sharper than any service dog's, pick up on the sound of Luke's bellow amid the cacophany. It sounds sharp and clear in his ear, even if it made a journey through a small mountain of broken concrete and steel to get to him. "Wait," the man in red says in a hush, head cocked to the right. "It's //him/. West corner of the block. He's — I think he's buried pretty deep. Come on."

* * *

Choking smoke, mingled with the ash and dust of a fallen building, clouds through the air. It is definite deja vu for the denizens of New York, forced to endure this sort of destruction and chaos too many times over the course of the past few years.

For some, it is more than deja vu — it is the building blocks of a life lived amid violence, much of it his own doing, and as such it is a landscape as familiar as the backs of his own hands.

Matt Murdock will know who approaches, a few moments before he appears. For Jessica, who he appears beside without preamble, the Winter Soldier will seem to simply slide out of the smoke soundlessly, abruptly present between beats of the heart where previously there was nothing but empty air. He is in civilian clothes — he was plainly not expecting the Triskelion to be attacked when he was at it, today — but the left sleeve of his shirt has been ripped loose, exposing the metal of his left arm all the way up to the shoulder.

He is covered in mostly-dried blood. That will be how Matt knew he was near.

He doesn't say anything at first — just squeezes his right hand to Jessica's shoulder. His blue eyes, tracking over the rubble, bear an alert, lupine cast. "One step at a time, Jess," he finally says, before he falls silent to Matt's direction. "One step at a time," he repeats, moving forward at an abstracted, grim lope, though he sounds as if he is now telling that to himself.

* * *

Nope. She's stuck.

She's pretty sure nothing's broken, but she is definitely good and stuck. Down here in the dark. It's enough to cause the first initial threads of panic to spiral within her heart, her brain. Sure, she's trained for this sort of scenario, but training doesn't mean you still don't feel fear.

There's always room for fear.

And that's what causes her to immediately answer Luke's shouted call. Wariness of Hydra's involvement be damned, all she feels just this moment is intense relief.

"I am! In here! What's left of the hallway."

There's truth to what Moonstar says, she is in a hallway but it's now more pocket than true structure. The Cheyenne lays pinned under a hunk of concrete and drywall, "Gonna need some help getting this shit off me."

Knowing she's no longer alone, Dani finds a reserve of calmness again, which has her asking, "What's your name Agent?" And while there's something familiar to the cadence of his words, Dani doesn't realize just who's coming to help.

Won't she be surprised when she realizes Agent Cage is here to help.

For Daredevil and the rest, as soon as they make it for that westerly corner of the building an engineer pops up, "Hey! We haven't shored that area up yet!"

Not that it'll stop anyone, but the man has to shout out the warning.

* * *

"Luke Cage!" Cage yells back, because he'll be damned if he uses Power Man, even though that's what he's called on the streets of Harlem and elsewhere, it's a moniker he's not used to addressing himself as. "I think…I think I'm in the hallway too. Let me see if I can get to you." He pulls away more debris, dust caking his hands that remain unscathed despite clawing and scraping his way to the sound of the woman's voice. Using his cellphone's flashlight feature, he shines it in a sweeping motion at the wall of cave-in. "Can you see my light? I'm coming." There is a grunt of effort instead of pain as he moves a girder with his shoulder, bolstering it up on a chunk of concrete to create a shorn up tunnel.

* * *

That Bucky, in addition to Luke, was one of the people Jess was worried about too, and not just her well-night indestructible fiancee, is evident by how she grips that hand gripping her shoulder in turn for a moment, squeezing. That Jane is also on that list is evinced by the way she looks about for her tiny friend. She opens her mouth to ask if Jane was working in the Triskelion today, but Bucky is already loping, and that causes her frantic brain to fixate back on what Matt has to say.

That he hears Luke, and she lets out a relieved breath, feeling like an idiot. That had not been any synapse connection that had gotten made when he'd said he'd be right over, really. That Matt would be able to listen and that would vastly help the rescue efforts. Just that she was relieved that he would be.

The bottom line being the words set her to racing in the indicated direction. When the engineer speaks she says, sounding way more brusque in a way that indicates her professionalism is creeping back in, "I don't really know what that entails," or even entirely what it means in this context, because all she can think of is shoving timbers in mine shafts and that seems wrong, "but I bet we can do it a lot faster than you can if you tell us what to do."

* * *

Daredevil, too, feels relief on the emergence of the Bucky Barnes, sometime SHIELD consultant. Though he's nettled by the sudden realization that, were it not for that caked blood on his jacket, the Winter Soldier really could have snuck up on him this time. He'll chalk it up to the dizzying array of sense impressions swirling around this chaotic early-morning scene. His relief may be less literally palpable than Jessica's, but it can be seen there in the crook of devil's smirk.

"Barnes," he says simply. These two have always managed to pack a lot into a few words.

"He's found someone else down there," Daredevil says with a grimace as they approach the site. "A woman — her voice sounds familiar." His contact with Dani Moonstar has been limited enough that he can't pick her voice out of a lineup.

He puts up a hand in greeting to the man giving them a word of caution. "We're going in there, one way or another," he says with an upnod towards the pile of rubble. "Clock's ticking, and oxygen is short." Lower, just to the group, he says: "I can probably pick up if things get too wobbly, though you two will have to do the real heavy lifting."

* * *

The brief clinging pressure of Jessica's hand yields a turn of Bucky's head, and a last squeeze of her shoulder, before the erstwhile Winter Soldier pulls away. His gaze turns to Matt a moment later, his head inclining even if Matt can't quite see the gesture. "Hey," he answers in turn, deliberately vague, all that needs to be said between them encapsulated in one syllable. Never know who is listening. His own identity might be public now, but Matt's is still quite under wraps.

As for the unspoken question hanging in the air? "Jane's fine," he says. "If mad enough to spit hornets."

Matt reroutes them back to thinking of the survivors, however, and Bucky is quick to lope in the indicated direction. The engineer that pops up gets little more than a steady look from the Winter Soldier. Covered in blood and with an equally-bloody knife sheathed at his hip, he doesn't seem in the mood for warnings. "I've walked through worse," he says, brusque as ever. His attention turns to Matt and Jessica. To the first: "Tell us if it starts to sound hairy in a way I'm not noticing." The second? "Walk where I walk."

He starts across the unstable rubble with uncanny balance, visibly picking out the path that seems the most stable towards where Luke and Dani are.

* * *

The engineer turns a look towards Jess. It's a mix of calculation on how they could best use her help and gratefulness that she's offered in the first place. Daredevil's words causes the man's mouth to open, to likely argue against just going out there, but that argument soon dies a short and rapid death thanks to a bloodied Bucky Barnes.

Now, all the man can do is shake his head grimly at the small group. There's empathy there, but also a sense of exasperation from the man.

They all know the clock is ticking and time is short. All of them, in the end, want to save as many as they can

As for those trapped beneath -

It takes a moment for Moonstar's brain to parse the name, then when it does, "Luke?" Her tone is incredulous in the whole 'am I imagining this' tone, "What the Hell are you doing at HQ?" She twists, attempting to see around the chunk that keeps her down and while she can't see much she can see the light of his phone, "And yeah, I can see the light." And then realizing that perhaps he doesn't know who she is, she says, "It's Moonstar. Dani Moonstar."

Above ground Bucky, Jess and Matt will find their journey perilous enough. Rubble shifts, pebbles scitter-scatter, and even the 'stable' footfalls are risky at best. Every so often with a particular step or placement of foot a subtle shift can be felt and somewhere deep within wreckage a groan of overly fatigued metal can be heard.

* * *

"Hey, girl." Luke crows almost triumphantly when she identifies herself, like he'd been looking for her all along. "Oh. You know. Holding down a desk as part of some twisted version of community service for having been a wanted felon in the face of Registration. The usual." He wants to keep talking to give her something to focus on, but his words are suddenly cut off by a heavy cough.

He might be the Man Mountain, but certain things can take him down. Like his lungs that have taken some hellacious abuse in the past, even considering his healing factor. Some things just aren't the same since chemical attacks, pretending to be a firefighter without gear when Hell's Kitchen fell, etc.

"All right, you can see my light. I'm almost there." He moves one last piece which looks like it's the twisted remnants of a reinforced door, and instead of tossing it aside, he uses it to wedge up against the side of the hole. "What do we got, Moonpie?" He asks, shining the light in her pocket of hallway.

* * *

Jane mad enough to spit hornets, alive and well, is enough to produce an actual grin from Jess. It's quick, but it's there. Here's hoping she spits a few in productive directions.

But Bucky knows what to do, and Daredevil is indicating they're going to do the thing. Seeing the engineer's empathy and exasperation, she digs out her Registration card and waves it at him, just in case there are more protests. "Multipass," she says sardonically, with a little smile and dip of her head to indicate the sarcasm isn't really aimed at him. After all, she just assumes he doesn't know any better than the first dude did who they are or what they can do. And if he does? Well, flashing that relieves him of some sort of liability or something, right? Maybe.

Then she shoves the card back into her jacket…and walks where Bucky walks with great precision and the lightest steps she can manage. Taking his lead on where to walk and what to move suits her just fine. Especially when that first groan of metal tells her she should not have been so cavalier about scampering up and moving rubble around on the other side of the building. She swallows, heart rate spiking, adrenaline spiking, breath growing a little more shallow, palms sweaty enough to require her to rub them against her jeans. Clenched jaw and a pale face says she is definitely feeling the fear.

"One step at a time," she mutters, exhaling. And concentrates only on that. Put her feet where Bucky puts his feet. It's not that hard.

* * *

"It's that girl with the pegasus that's with Luke," says Daredevil as they enter the into the warped and ruined remains of the Triskelion, a reference to that strange landing with Emery on Danny Rand's rooftop in the aftermath of another mass-bombing in Midtown. "He's trying to get to her."

The Devil is surefooted, deftly navigating the unsteady terrain. He can hear the groans and creaks, but for the moment seems unconcerned and — well. Without fear. Presumably he can tell the difference between the idle complaints of the rubble and true risk. Or maybe he's just exceptionally foolhardy.

Or both. Probably both.

"Make a right at the fork up ahead," he tells Barnes. "I think we're getting close to where we'll need to start digging and punching."

* * *

Something else that Matt's nose can pick up, especially this close, is that none of the blood on Bucky is his own. But that's probably not something that requires preternatural senses to guess at.

The engineer gets a last measured look — especially when Jessica pulls out her Multipass and waves it. That makes Bucky's expression shade a bit darker. He doesn't pull out his own card; it's public knowledge at this point who he is, and what his status is in that regard. Instead he just turns his back and moves on. Something about this entire ordeal — about watching the shield his old friends built burn to the ground — has put the Winter Soldier perilously close to the surface again, and it's hard to say at any given moment which of the two men in James Barnes' head is doing the driving.

Certainly earlier, when he was slitting Hydra throats which were responsible for destroying all he and his have worked for again, it was a healthy mixture of both.

The rubble is more treacherous than he at first gave it credit with his cavalier remarks, but he does not show nervousness if he feels any. He walks lightly, his enhanced senses serving as guide enough for him — though it takes senses of Daredevil's caliber, ultimately, to tell them where to go. Bucky turns accordingly, at the fork. "I'm good at both," he says dryly, of punching and digging. "Especially the punching. Just like I taught you, Jess."

* * *

Shock has settled a light grip on Moonstar and it almost brings a hysterical bubble of laughter from her. Thankfully, that humorous noise only presents itself as a ghost of a chuckle.

"I think you and community service need to have a talk." She allows, "Cause you are definitely getting the short end of the stick here." And while there are more questions to ask, his cough cuts anymore chatter short up until he manages to ask that last question of his.

Especially at that nickname. Moonpie. It threatens an overwrought response again, but Moonstar tamps it down forcefully.

"My left arm and leg are pinned. If you can lift it a few inches I can squeeze out. Then we can work on getting us both out of here."

Because they are so getting out of here.

There's a moment of silence before Dani suddenly asks, "Are you hurt?"

Above, the Defenders find themselves successful in arriving at the spot where Luke and Moonstar are trapped. For those with the enhanced hearing the two's voices are definitely much clearer.

The occasional shift and murmur of ruined building can still be heard, but there's nothing more but to go downward and dig deep.

* * *

"Nah." Luke wiggles his large frame into the opening, "Everyone jokes that I have a hard head, but now I can rightfully say I've it's true. I've had a Triskelion dropped on it." The universe deciding to test this theory right then as a chunk of concrete breaks off and bounces off his chrome dome, only eliciting a wince of 'told you so' to Dani. It takes him a minute to wedge in near Dani's left side, scooping out some debris before he braces his back on the ceiling of the cave-in. "Get ready. On three. One…two…" And the big guy pushes up with his legs on 'three', giving a groan of exertion at the weight. He doesn't so much as need her to wiggle out as he's leaning down and just fisting a hand in her shirt and hauling her forward.

* * *

Jess knows that last bit has nothing to do with Bucky thinking she needs punching tip refreshers and everything to do with him being well aware that she's the only one in this group of three who is not stoic and confident and all those sorts of things. It provides an effective anchor, so she nods to him gratefully and says, "Got it."

She'll need confirmation from both men when it's time though, so for now she just clenches her fists pre-emptively, slim fingers covered in fingerless wool prepping to get the job done. Because she can't hear a thing except this damn building making it's damn sounds.

But once it's time? She will indeed do it just as Bucky taught her.

* * *

"Here, stop here," Daredevil tells the other two, tilting his head again as he listens. Listens to Luke and Dani's banter, to the churn and shift of things beneath them as Luke Cage takes on all that weight to haul Dani out. "I think they're together now."

He knows this is the part where his utility begins to fall by the wayside. But while he may not have super strength, the Devil of Hell's Kitchen has a strong, purposeful body built by years of beating on very bad people. He can and will do his part, beginning to lift up pieces of rubble and heave them out of the way. And all the while listening, listening for trouble around them.

"Who's blood… is that… James?" he asks Bucky as he works, groaning as he throws a small slab of fallen wall aside. "Brotherhood?"

* * *

One thing James Barnes has always been is grounding. He was the pragmatic, grounding presence standing behind Steve Rogers in WWII, and he's continued to be a pragmatic, grounding presence even into the 21st century, among all the new people he's come to know since he woke from old Soviet brainwashing to find himself in a strange new world. The effect only intensifies when he's pissed, because when he's pissed everything turns into cold, clear lines for him — lines straight from A to Z, with little consideration for emotion or morality.

It's a very centering mindset. And he shares that centering effect outward to others around him, unconsciously. Jessica is unsteady, and automatically he steadies her.

Stopping when Matt indicates they stop, he frowns down at the rubble. He can't hear as well as Daredevil, but he can faintly detect the presence of Dani and Luke below, and he promptly applies himself to the debris, relying primarily on his left arm. The metal whirs softly as he works, with a smooth humming slide of its many intricate components.

He doesn't immediately answer Matt's question.

"Some is," he eventually says. The sudden rage drawing the line of his jaw tight should be no surprise to people who know Bucky as well as Matt and Jessica do, when he adds, "Most is Hydra blood."

* * *

The mention of the Trisk falling on his head brings a wince from the Cheyenne woman. "We were definitely caught by surprise." Is all Dani can think to offer in ways of an apology. An awkward apology.

Then he's right there by her side and the Moonstar flashes something of a smile, face dust-streaked and all. "And while it's not the best day for any of us, I'm glad to have you here."

And now comes the hard part, getting Dani out from the debris. Was she expecting to have Luke pull her free via her shirt? Hell no, but does she appreciate it? She sure does.

Especially when she finds two of her limbs don't quite respond properly to her mental commands.

As such, Luke pretty much hauls her free of the slab, and while none of her bones are broken, there's enough pain to cause her to shout out wordlessly as she's moved. Once free the woman fall-crawls-rolls to a space free of the slab that pinned her. There she just leans against the wall and breathes quietly for a few seconds, before finally saying, "Fuck."

"Thanks. Give me a minute. I can call for reinforcements, but need just a minute."

She intended to use her empathic senses to call upon the dogs, but before she can do much more than verbalize that notion, the faint noises from above being to trickle downward.

* * *

"Take all the time, you need, but I'm going to keep working." Luke examines the low clearing overhead, trying to figure out the best way up and out of here. "I don't know how much oxygen we have down here, and I'm a big guy." A big guy with big lungs that need big air, dammit. "I think maybe…" He moves a piece of rebar aside, but it causes a rainfall of rubble to pelt them. Tenting himself over Dani, he lets his back and shoulders take the brunt of it. He coughs again, the tail end sounding like a wheeze. "Hold on." He mutters, shaking off dust and rubble like a dog before he reaches into his back pocket. "Gonna be mumbling for a bit. So, you're our voice. Keep calling out, so they know we're down here." Pulling out his wallet, he pulls out a device that makes it bulge. It looks like a heavily modified dust mask that can be folded up, but the 'fabric' looks high tech. "Thank you, Mercer." He mutters before sliding it over his mouth and nose, securing it behind his head. And then he resumes digging.

* * *

Lift and move. Lift and move. When there's a bigger block, punch it, but don't get carried away. Don't punch it through the other debris. Control. Break it up into pieces that are easier to grasp and pull without threatening the whole structure. Now doing useful work that is guaranteed to lead to Luke, Jessica's heart stops trying to rent an apartment at the back of her throat.

She pauses to look up at Bucky about his declaration of Hydra blood. It is indeed no surprise. Any dead Hydra agent is good riddance as far as Jessica's concerned.

But neither is she prepared to comment on it. She just doesn't have it in her. What she's got in her is the work in front of her, preferably before anyone runs out of air. Luke's respiratory issues are part of the reason both Bucky and Matt found her in such an emotional state at the beginning of this endeavor.

* * *

It was a loaded question Daredevil asked, who it was that Bucky Barnes killed. That same question kept the attention of a whole nation for six months, after all, and it's no secret that Matt Murdock maintains an active interest in the state of his one-time client's soul.

But the fact is that the vigilante didn't ask Bucky out of concern, and there's nothing like judgment when Barnes gives his answer. Matt continues to work for a moment longer: hauling, throwing, sometimes striking with his boot or billy club. When he finally speaks, it's with genuine curiosity. "A Hydra and Brotherhood teamup?" he asks between heavy breaths. "That sounds like a bad day."

A beat. "We're getting close. I can hear them digging towards us."

* * *

Perhaps under other circumstances, Bucky would have felt more… 'examined' by such a question from Matt, especially given the fact that Matt has always had a certain interest in the state of Bucky's soul. That's flowed both ways, of course, over the course of their friendship; there's been stretches of time where Bucky had cause enough to worry about Matt's soul, too.

Under these circumstances, though? Bucky knows why Matt is asking. There's a certain point, when the situation is bad enough, past which there's only pragmatism, and the need for knowledge in order to frame how to respond.

"I don't know about a team-up," Bucky says, pulling a large piece of concrete free with a quiet whir of his arm. "Team-ups aren't really the Hydra style. I'd like to know exactly what the hell the connection was here, though." He throws the concrete aside. "Because it definitely turned out to be a really god damn bad day."

* * *

The mention of oxygen brings Moonstar back to reality and the Valkyrie opens her eyes. While visibility is poor down here, that doesn't stop her from reaching out with more metaphysical senses towards Luke Cage.

She likewise focuses her gaze intently above his head and while she doesn't necessarily see a telltale shroud, that doesn't mean that she's going to rest on her laurels. Life and death can change in an instant.

"Sure, I can yell." Dani agrees, and while she readies to raise her voice the mention of Owen Mercer causes the woman to crack something of a joke. "Though you've gone and done it now. You said his name. It shouldn't be too long before he shows up here and mocks us for getting into this situation. Probably take pictures too." Though honestly, that wouldn't be such a terrible thing at this point.

* * *

"No doubt in a diaper with a boomerang glued to his forehead, belting Yankee Doodle Dandy." Cage grumbles.

And then like something out of a horror movie, a big black fist punches up through the rubble in a patch that the others have just cleared. Dusty fingers claw at the air, trying to see if there is anything above it but they grasp at nothing and then start to pat around the perimeter trying to find purchase.

Luke grabs the edge and gives a hard yank down, enough to create a hole that he can peer up through with irritated blood shot eyes. "Hello?" He calls up with his mask muffled rumble, then reaches out again.

(And that, kids, is How I Met Your Mother.)

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