The Cavalry Regroups
Roleplaying Log: The Cavalry Regroups
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Dinah, Babs, and Frank regroup at the Lance house and talk about WTF just happened.

Other Characters Referenced: Huntress, Rocket, The Joker (unknowingly), Elektra, Jim Gordon, Luke Cage, Emery (not by name), Billy Russo
IC Date: July 01, 2019
IC Location: Lance Household, Gotham
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 04 Jul 2019 06:49
Rating & Warnings: R for language (not just Frank for once!)
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Frank princess carries Dinah Lance into the house after having managed the concussed and choked-out Black Canary out of the sewers under Gotham with a wounded Batgirl in tow. There was some forced chill driving, and now the three are back home and Barbara is holding open the door into the house so Frank can get inside.

The house has all the appropriate lights on of a family home dissuading strangers from lurking about. "Helena?" Babs calls, and there's no answer. She turns toward Frank. "The couch." She points to it so he can set her down somewhere soft.


"Helena?" Frank sounds mildly confused — but then again, he went straight from work to two hours in a car driving over the speed limit to infiltrating a hostile compound to… barely being able to kick the crap out of anything — his mind's a little behind, "Oh. Tell." He never actually got her name, for all that she trusted him with her story. Maybe it just never mattered. He follows Barbara's direction, coming around to couch and groaning a little as he kneels down alongside the couch to set Dinah down.


Dinah stirs with a whimper of complaint as she's jostled. She's got a bad knock and it's got her laid out pretty solidly, but the motion as she's settled into the sofa brings it crashed back.

"Fuck," she whispers, and puts a palm to her head instinctively. She yelps and instantly regrets it, bleary eyes opening wide to focus with disorientation at the blurry faces hovering over her.

"What th— what happened?" she slurs, unable to sit herself up.


Barbara touches Frank's shoulder gently when he groans through setting Dinah down, and then she's painfully sitting down on the ground beside Dinah's head. She strokes back some of the blonde hair, and she smiles wearily down at her. "Hey, Di. You're home. I kind of… gave you a concussion, and then things went pretty sideways. Um, drugged up and masked dudes dropping in from above… knifes, swords, lots of blood. I got you out when it was over, and Frank helped us get out of the sewers. We're home now" She continues to brush her hair back. "You want some meds? Water?"


Frank's eyes tighten a little at the yelp nearly in his face, "She kicked your ass." There's a flash of a wearily-boyish grin on his face, and then it fades away again. He puts out a hand to Babs as she sinks down onto the floor, and then shrugs a little, "You can ignore the messages on your phone." Because there are about five texts and a voicemail on her phone from Frank, all in flat, bald language not quite expressing worry and concern, but definitely hiding it under the surface of bad grammar. He braces his hands on the edge of the couch, then pushes himself to his feet again, pointing aside, "You got Tylenol-3 and… weed pills, right?"


Dinah starts to shake her head at Frank, then grimaces, holding a hand over her eyes. "Concussion. Need, uh… wooden box, china cabinet, third drawer," she says, pointing blindly at a heavy curio hutch in the corner.

She parts her fingers and glowers at Barbara through them. "Did you drop me on my head after you choked me out?" she demands. "Last thing I remmber was you going for the tapout. Why does it feel like someone used my head to knock a door open?"


"Um." Babs lets Frank get the meds while she looks down at Dinah. She takes on a slightly smiling, sheepish look. "Not on purpose!" She hesitates before she explains, "I did the tapout, dropped you all dramatically, the Showman called us frauds, and then unleashed his minions… then the carousel collapsed, and you kinda… hit your head on a wooden carousel horse. So, I'm not entirely sure who gave you a concussion — your B.F.F. or a wooden horse." Beat. "Can we blame this all on the carousel horse?"


Frank follows directions well. Sometimes. This is one of those times. Moving over to the cabinet, he groans again as he crouches down, digging into the draw and pulling out what's necessary. "First you gotta fight, then you gotta make some idiot who probably doesn't even know what a real fight looks like happy?" Shaking his head, he pushes up and moves to the kitchen to get a glass of water and bring it all back.


"Frank, bring me some hot water for tea?" Dinah calls.

She forces herself to sit upright when Frank returns. The box's lid is unlocked with a careful touch (some kind of puzzle box?) and she digs it open with a few careful twists and maneuvers of parts and levers. "Remind me to order more of this," Dinah tells Babs, and produces a little silk tea pouch. It's dunked into the hot water and she glances at the clock on the wall with a squint to count down the seconds.

"/Mostly/ blame this on the horse," Dinah allows. "I think you get… twelve percent of the blame. The whole point of the fake knockout is, y'know. Don't let me get brained while I'm unconscious. Next time, /you/ get to be the patsy," she mutters, and takes a sip of her tea.

It smells terrible and tastes worse, but Dinah powers through it, quickly setting the teabag aside on an ashtray.


Barbara offers a small smile to Frank has he returns with the tea box, and then she asks for a hand-up silently by stretching up her hand to him. Once he helps her up, she breathes out a slow exhale. She aches, and she aches doubly when she moves her arm awkwardly. She moves aside to sink into a chair, stretching out a bit. "I'll remind you in the morning." She sinks an elbow onto the armrest, tucking her cheek into her knuckles. "I'll take twelve percent." Her eyes flicker to Frank, and then she nods. "Yeah — but I think he knew what a real fight looked like. I suspect he even knew that Dinah and I had good reasons to phone it in." She flickers her gaze to Dinah. "I'm struggling, Di. I can't remember who grabbed me." Which is really weird for a woman with picture-perfect memory. "I was on a rooftop, and there was some… red light, and a woman, and I can't remember what happened. I woke up at the fight night."


Frank grumpily nukes a mug of water and brings it over, setting it down with a little clunk that makes the super-heated water boil. The box is handed over, and he gives Barbara the hand up, grimacing a little as he leans back to haul her up to her feet. He stays up on his feet, because that hurts less than sitting down, and he's been sitting too long anyhow. He looks over to Babs, considering, then nods, "Twelve percent ain't so bad. I say you take it." His brows furrow a little as Barbara recounts her problems, "She ended up in a van. Tracker went out a little while after. That's about when I started driving down."


"Someone /grabbed/ you?" Dinah forces herself to drink the tea as fast as the temperature allows. "A woman in red. Uh…" She starts trying to rack her brain for names and dossieres. "Elektra?" she hazards. "She's shinobi, though. Kidnapping's not her style." Dinah frowns heavily.

"I thought you decided to try and hat up and rescue me or something. Frank, thank you for hatting up and rescuing me," she adds a beat later, batting her lashes up at Frank.

"I didn't expect to see you there," Dinah admits. "I guess we need to rehearse our Thunderdome plans. This kinda backfired on us."

"Getting kidnapped and forced to fight in an arena happens more often than you'd think," she advises Frank.


Babs nods slowly, her frown darkening as she does. "Yeah. It happened so fast." Or at least that's what her fragmented memory suggests. "I don't even think I managed to land a hit before I was out." She rubs slightly at the back of her neck, wincing slightly as she does. "No… I didn't even know these things were going on. Or, um… I didn't know it was anything beyond the usual Gotham street crap." Then she takes in a breath, shoulders shifting slightly. Her smile takes on a slightly apologetic edge when she looks at Frank. "Welcome to Gotham." She decides to spare Dinah and Frank from the full play-by-play, so settles for, "Once the Showman called me out for rigging the fight, it all went to hell. The talking raccoon was the only one left standing on the upper level, and we combined forces."


"I'd think kidnapping Bats would be stupid as hell. But…" Frank shrugs, then rubs at his ribs lightly. "Guess not." The lash-batting draws a faint chuckle from him, and he shakes his head, "Hey. You want me to hat up and come after you, you gotta keep your vOS on you so I know when I've gotta promote Darren the barback to fuckin' line cook, pick up the hardware, and drive down." There's a pause, and he adds, "You've also got to wait two and a half hours." He made it in two, but that wasn't really safe, with illegal firearms in his van and going well over the speed limit. Agreeing with Babs, he adds, "Fucking Gotham." And then he stops, running back over, "Talking raccoon? Fucking Gotham." Oh, if only he knew. It's worse, it's not just Gotham that's that weird. "Didn't seem like you were leakin', Dinah. You need anything but the tea?"


"I think I met that raccoon once," Dinah volunteers, helpfully.

Not that her statement is any help at all.

"I'm good with the tea." She grimaces and pounds back the rest of it. "I keep it in the puzzle box so I either gotta be sober or ask Babs to get it. It's that blend from the Five Immortals valley," she explains, glancing at Barbara. "I need to head to Crazy Larry's and pick more up next time I'm in Midtown."


"Stupid, or very smart. You only grab a bat if you want to make sure we're there for something, for some purpose." She rubs slightly at her overextended and bruised elbow. At Frank's words of the distance he travels to get to them, Babs offers an apologetic smile. "I don't think the talking raccoon is from Gotham. I've never seen him around." She glances toward Dinah. "If you know him, maybe we can find him and ask what he was doing there." Then, Barbara wrinkles her nose slightly at the mention of what's in the puzzle box, but she doesn't say anything beyond that look. Then she is resting her head back again. "We're going to need to dig into this, but…" Her eyes tick toward Frank. "I need a couple days to recuperate. And I need to shower to get the glitter out of my hair and to stop smelling like sunscreen."


Frank strangles the words 'if you put them down, they wouldn't come back to kidnap you,' in his throat, but it's a near-run thing, his brows furrowing, his right index finger twitching, and his feet shifting slightly under him. Instead, he goes with, "Do I even want to know what's in it?" He shakes off the half-question though, looking from Dinah to Babs, "I found the place by having GAARD track down places that were using more electricity than they should be. The club up top is closed Mondays, but it was drawing a bunch of power." There's a pause, "Total side-note, but if you want to shut down an illegal server far and what's either a slumlord's tenement or a human trafficking operation, she spotted those too."


Dinah looks into her empty mug, then at the silk teabag on the ashtray. "Given how my nose just went numb, I'd guess as many felonies as what you've got in your car right now," Dinah tells Frank. She stretches out with a sigh of relief and slouches in the chair, all evidence of concussion or neck injury gone. "It's this blend of Chinese herbs. Legitimately from a little isolated valley in China," she explains. "I don't fuck around with concussions or neck injuries. Cup of this in the evenings, some ice and heat, I'll be right as rain in a few days. Chiropractor will pop the worst of what's left out."

She considers the ceiling, then looks at Frank again. "Y'know, after Barbara powders her nose and makes sure her nails aren't cracked, I'm game for busting some human traffickers. Been a while since we did some street shit. Is it Maggia or Triad?"


Frank strangles those words, but Barbara can almost sense their presence in the back of his throat. Her blue eyes glance aside to him briefly, and then she is reaching out to touch the opposite elbow that isn't injured. She's rubbing at the joint when Dinah mentions nose-powdering and manicures, and her eyes roll dramatically ceiling-wards. "I'm fine, Di… but Frank's right. We both need to take a couple days to actually do some unpacking. My memory is fragmented and that means there's something I might be missing."

Then she leans her head back again, looking pained and in need of a shower. She's getting glitter everywhere — don't tell Dinah. She looks to Frank, surprised at how he used GAARD to track her down. "That's… brilliant, Frank." She doesn't mean to sound surprised, really. Marines are notorious for their jarhead stereotypes. She's ready for the smirk, and meets it with a smile. Then she leans her head back. "Probably Triad. The Maggia have been quiet for a few months since the Whispers encroached into their territory." She closes her eyes briefly.


"Five? Six? Not sure where the shotgun sits." The carbine and the grenades are definitely illegal. Frank scowls at Dinah's teasing of Babs, shifting his feet, but not responding. He can be restrained, really. She's definitely right on the concussions, not that he would ever admit it. "No idea who it is. Just that they're drawing more power and water than they should be. Hell, it could be a drug operation." He snorts at Babs, shaking his head, "Look. Marines are smart motherfuckers, Babs." His eyes narrow, and then his lips quirk into a bit of a grin, "Sometimes even vets are. But it was just tracking logistics."


"Might be time to sit down and do some meditating," Dinah advises Barbara quietly. "I know it's not your favorite thing ever but some autohypnosis might help." She makes a face. Dinah doesn't care for it either.

"Anyway Frank— why don't you dig into it a bit? Do… recon, or whatever it is Marines do." She's baiting him a bit, but bats her lashes at him to take the sting out of her words. "If you can get us actionable intel, we can talk about making the move on them. Who knows? Might make for a fun weekend."


Fun weekends. Barbara just sighs out a little, amused breath. Then she's hauling herself up to her feet, groaning as she does. "I need to check in with Dad. He sent a couple texts that ALTHENE replied to, but he wants me to call." She touches Frank's shoulder, but Dinah gets more affection as she leans down to press a sisterly kiss to her friend's forehead. "I'm glad you're okay, Di."

Then she's shuffling past, and her fingers squeeze at Frank's shoulder gently before she is heading for the stairs.


"Amphibious operations. That's what Marines do," Frank deadpans right back to Dinah, then lifts his brows, "And babysit dignitaries who get themselves into more trouble than they can handle." He looks over to Babs as she touches his shoulder and then squeezes, "Yeah. Make sure your dad's not too worried." There's probably an 'I'll be up in a minute,' but he doesn't say it. Dinah probably knows it too, but that's still no reason to say it. "I gotta spend a couple days actually doing work. Got a big Fourth planned at Luke's with this English butler. But maybe I'll come down Friday and poke around."


"Myeeeh, I'm fine," Dinah says. She knows a forehead kiss is a Babs stealth check for wellness. But she hugs the redhead and leans back on the sofa once she's gone, hugging a knee to her chest. "Luke's bar, huh? I haven't been there in a bit," Dinah muses. "Glad he's still running it. Hell's Kitchen needs more bars where getting 'throwed out' means something, y'know?" she says.

Her head rests against the sofaback. "How th' fuck do you know a butler?"


"Bullshit," Frank puts in, so Babs doesn't have to sully her tongue with such a word. But he nods at Dinah's question, "Yeah. He had some rough shit going on for a while, but I think maybe they're getting it sorted out. Even if it's up in Harlem, so Hell's Kitchen still needs places where the owner can throw you into the Hudson." The profane question, however, causes him to snort faint amusement, then spread his arms out at his sides, "I got hidden depths." He waits a moment, then cracks a boyish smile for just a moment, "Naw. Friend of a friend. Employee of a friend of a friend, I guess. Seems like a good guy. Fucking miracle worker in the kitchen. How's school? I'm fuckin' impressed, by the way. I know I'd never have the chops to do college."


"Sucks. Fuckin' hate it," Dinah responds, easily. She starts kicking off her oversized biker boots with a grimace and shrugs out of the worst of the bizarre outfit, leaving her in something almost like gym clothes. "I don't like sitting still for that long. Detective work, yeah, I'm good there. Stakeouts. But sittin' still for an hour to learn about… algebra. It makes my eyes cross," she complains, and rubs her brow. "Though after that smack to my skull they'll be doing that more often, I'm sure," she mutters.


Frank grunts in sympathy, "Yeah. I get that. There's a reason Bill's the sniper and not me." He looks toward the front window as a car passes by, his lips twitching into something approaching a scowl, and then loosing again as he looks back to Dinah, "As long as you see the purpose of it, yeah? I'll sit on my ass for an hour or two waitin' for shitheads to walk into an ambush, but you want me to just wait while someone else is doing something? Fuck that." He nods slightly, "So yeah, I get it. Hell, these AIs starting popping up all over the place, you won't need algebra. Just ask 'em. Pretty sure even those of us with repeated head injuries can do that." Says the man who was shot in the skull once.


"Pretty sure I'll get failed outta school if they catch me taking dictation from an AI. Even /if/ I could afford a real one," Dinah says wryly. "Hopefully I can get some work that pays more than fifteen bucks an hour. Don't know much about the PI game but I know I'm tired of paying guys fifty bucks a day just to take some photographs. Might as well get my license myself, right?"

She gets unsteadily to her feet. "I think I'm gonna go sleep," she informs Frank. "Hope the headache in the morning ain't too bad." She eyes Frank. "Thanks, by the way. For showing up for me and Babs. I appreaciate it."


"I'm just sayin', maybe you don't need algebra so much." An opinion which might say a lot about Frank Castle the high school student. But he nods, grunting sourly, "Yeah. I got lucky finding Luke's, but I still feel kinda shitty taking off so much. It's a good thing the menu's simple." He shifts, but doesn't actually offer out a hand to help Dinah up. She'd probably refuse it anyhow. Instead, he offers his hand to shake after she's already up, "You don't gotta thank me, Dinah. You show up for family." It's a simple statement from the veteran Marine, at least on the surface. "You do whatever you gotta for 'em."


Dinah gives Frank's hand a shake when it's offered. "Yeah. Yeah," she agrees, a little surprised by the emotional weight of Frank's statement. "That's, uh. What we do."

She scratches her head and scowls at some dried blood under her nails. "Well. I'm gonna go shower forever and wash this shit off. I'll see you later, Frank."

She starts towards the master suite, a little less steady than she'd prefer until a hand gets on a wall. "Sleep well, okay?" she bids him, and then heads into her rooms to sleep off what'll be surely one hell of a concussion.


Frank clasps Dinah's hand in the shake, then looses it, nothing fancy, just a business-like shake. "Pretty sure I will. You too, Blondie." He watches her stagger off, frowning, then looks toward the stairs, a hint of a smile touching the corners of his mouth before he makes his tender, faintly-limping way toward them and upstairs.

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