Broken Bourbon Bird
Roleplaying Log: Broken Bourbon Bird
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Warren gets another visitor at the hospital. One who comes armed with booze.

Other Characters Referenced: Danielle Moonstar, Alison Blaire, Deadpool, Magik, Joker
IC Date: September 17, 2019
IC Location: New York City
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 18 Sep 2019 03:51
Rating & Warnings: R for language
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

It's been a little over half a week since the mission to end the Demon Bear — and the unintended fallout thereof. Warren spent a brief amount of time at the X-Men base, but in the interests of not drawing attention towards 'the secret vigilante base' with someone of his high profile staying there, he was quickly moved to what most people would call New York's preeminent hospital. New York Presbyterian has been updating its services to better account for metahuman anatomies steadily over the past decade or so, and it's widely agreed that there's probably nowhere else better in terms of treatment.

This all fails to explain why, after these many days, Warren still remains in the hospital, and there's been very little word about his progress or when he's expected to be released. Visitors haven't really been permitted either, not in those first few days.

It's all doubly baffling when one thinks about his secondary mutation, which — it's not on the order of Logan's self-healing, but it should have taken care of the injuries by now. Last time his wings were hurt, by this time he was already flying again.

Finally, the moratorium on seeing him is finally lifted — perhaps Ali and Warren's personal assistant, Kiff, think that he needs company more than he needs isolation — though this probably doesn't always shake out as the people around Warren hope it will. Dani was in the previous night, but she didn't stay long. Perhaps there wasn't much to say; perhaps something else happened.

Either way, he's still on bed rest, though kept propped up in a seated position due to the fact his wings need to be kept in traction. Well — whatever is left of his wings. It's impossible to easily see their condition, because they're bandaged up from the last surgery that was performed, but there's a faint hint of rot that works its way out between the tight bindings that probably isn't all that good a sign.

***

This is one of those moments which Neena has always dreaded. One of the challenges which has pushed her toward being a loner and closing off her feelings. It had been easier back in Indonesia. Young, angry, almost without a soul, such losses could be seen through a completely dispassionate lens. Life always moved on.

It wasn't until she had found Milo then watched him die in her arms only months later that everything had begun to change.

This is what causes the white woman in black to hesitate outside of Warren's room, slowly leaning back against the wall and casting her head toward the floor with a barely audible "Shhhit."

How on Earth is she supposed to provide a friendly and positive atmosphere after what had happened? After she had been wearing so much of the other mutant's blood? She still has one of those broken, red-stained feathers which had gotten caught on her combat webbing that day. And from what she's been able to gather, the situation hasn't improved. At all.

Maybe it's time that she started keeping some reminders rather than trying to bury it all. Not that it's going to be any easier to deal with. Probably much the opposite.

Despite the trials of such an encounter Domino tries her best in the usual Devil may care attitude. It's way past anything approaching visiting hours, probably best not to ask how she managed to sneak into the hospital. When the subtle knock sounds she's soon letting herself in, one hand on the door and another holding onto a smaller black bag.

"Heeey, Warren. The meds around these places are always crap so I brought you a little somethin'-somethin.'"

Like a bottle of bourbon and some glasses. GOOD bourbon.

With any luck it'll help take her mind off of the smell of rotting flesh…

Goddamn she really hates hospitals. And anything remotely similar to hospitals.

***

There's no response to her knock on the door. That's probably as close to a 'come in' as anyone will get, these days. If he didn't want people to come in, he'd certainly make that very plain.

When she slips in, it will be to find Warren awake despite the late hour. Despite that, he isn't actually doing anything; the TV isn't on, and he's not reading a book or looking at a tablet or reviewing any kind of work. He's just sitting, staring out the window, even though there's not much to see out there either. Just the moonlight passing across the clouds.

Though, well — to Warren, that probably counts as a lot more than 'not much.'

He doesn't respond to her initially, either. Not until she says she brought something, at which point his head turns a little. His absence from the sun and sky has had a more pronounced effect on him, faster, than most, and the quality of his pallor has changed from the smoothness of marble to the pale wanness of illness. His eyes are still sharp blue, though, crystalline and too-vivid in his fine features, fixed on her with perhaps the only interest he's shown for something in a while.

"Finally, someone brings me something I actually want," he says. It's… a more crass demeanor than she would no doubt be used to, from him. He tilts his head in the universal 'get over here.' "Bring it over before someone checks on me and notices."

***

The change in Warren's demeanor is obvious, though Neena honestly can't fault him for it. Being confined in a room like this on top of feeling miserable always brings out the worst in people and he's got -plenty- to be ornery about. Despite the crassness in his response she actually cracks a smile upon receiving confirmation that her offering is not only appreciated, but desired.

It's the sort of gift she'd be pining for if their situations were reversed.

"Don't worry about the staff," she offers while nudging the door closed and coming closer. "I can take care of it."

Whether she means talking her way out of it or reaching for a weapon is left to the imagination.

Glasses are put down and filled to the halfway mark, they may as well get off with a strong start. The task is done in silence from the albino's end, momentarily lost within her own thoughts at having seen Warren lost to the dark void of what had to have been a turmoil of emotions. That kind of 'deep dark' thinking isn't born from trying to solve a complex mathematical equation. Warren's in a REAL bad spot. Bad enough to be circling the event horizon of personal damnation.

It's probably a good reason that she showed up when she did. Lucky for them both.

A seat is pulled over so she can flop down beside the guy, finding somewhere to kick her boots up without being -too- obnoxious about it. One glass is held up between her fingertips and gently swirled around when she passes another look his way. The obvious 'how are you feeling?' never gets asked. She knows better. Instead, "If there's anything else you've got a hankering for then you let me know. I just might deliver."

***

"Don't shoot the staff," is Warren's automatic response, though it's plain it's the kind of autopilot reply he's not really thinking about. What he's probably actually thinking about is the alcohol, as he watches her fill two glasses halfway and push one over.

He reaches past it, takes the bottle himself, and fills his glass the rest of the way. Nearly to the rim.

She asks eventally if there's anything else he wants. "Keep bringing these if you come," he says. "They'll say it's bad for me, it'll interact with the medications, blah blah. They don't know what's bad for me. They don't even know how I work."

He takes a quarter of the glass in a go. "They've done two surgeries and they can't explain to me why that's fixed nothing. They can't explain to me why my self-healing is doing nothing." His tone is strident, abrupt; the kind of tone he never used with the X-Men, but which one could imagine him using with underperforming corporate underlings. He finishes another quarter of the glass. He drinks like he's had a lot of practice, which is probably not all that surprising given his history.

There's a pointed pause, maybe anger or guilt or a blend of both, before he says, "Dani said there might be magic involved. Why the hell not. But it's the last thing I want near my wings."

***

To the request (order?) to not shoot the staff she holds up an open hand but dammitall if Dom isn't grinning like a fiend while doing so. Then a brow hooks upward as he takes the bottle and finishes topping off his glass. "That bad, huh." To which Warren soon confirms her suspicion on the matter. Here's 'hankering number one.' "I can make good on that."

Next comes a rolling of the eyes, "They always try to pull that shit. It's already Misery City around here, the -least- they could do is let you have a little comfort from home. Besides, with the right mix of booze and meds you won't be worrying about -anything- for a good long while."

When he puts a quarter of that very full glass away in one go, -that's- when she's really paying attention. And the forecast is bad. Really..really..bad. Then following the rant the glass is down further to the halfway point.

Maybe she should have called in for reinforcements.

Warren's words have a honed edge to them, too. Sharper than after he had flicked her off of a building. She could speculate, maybe the demon bear had some really awful Hell Bacteria in its maw or something, but that's not what he's wanting to hear. Instead she half-shrugs and offers "I could steal some of Deadpool's mojo? Not sure if it works on anyone else. We can only pray that the monologging is an isolated condition."

Magic is an idea which never would have crossed Dom's mind, but..if it IS an option, then "Why not? You're shooting that down about as quickly as I would having an offer for a psychic reading."

***

That bad, huh?

The look Neena gets in response comes from eyes which have not lost a whit of their raptorial two-mile focusing power. 'Maybe I should have brought reinforcements' was certainly the thought Dani Moonstar left with, the previous evening; probably he glared at her too. And if he's being this uncooperative with both of them even in the limited time frames of their visits, how much worse might Ali have been getting it? She has to be around him practically all the time, and there's no guarantee he's gentler with her because they're a Thing.

Maybe it's why she's not here right now, though one would expect her to be.

"Comfort," he laughs. "They offered me comfort. They wanted to put me in the concierge ward," he explains dryly, his voice extremely precise in that way a man's voice gets when he's teetering on the line between 'holding his liquor like a champ' and 'not holding it at all.' He's staying on the right side of that line for the time being, at least, which is astonishing given how much bourbon he just took, how quickly, and in his current condition. "All the comforts I could want. Afternoon tea, for Christ's sake. The wrong kind of comfort. Smoke being… blown up my ass, 24/7. I get it all the time. I'm sick of it."

He keeps drinking. "Pointless. I just need this." The glass is swirled gently. "And answers."

Her suggestion of Deadpool gets a grimace. "I'd try anything if it came to it," he admits, though grudgingly. "Nothing else has worked and it's verging on a week. The magic — " He finishes more of his glass. "I'm not shooting it down. But she suggested Illyana. Demons, me, don't always get along. Hell if I know exactly why."

He puts his glass down a little too hard. "Like I said. I'd try it if I had to." It becomes obvious that despite his anger and his outward pessimism, a large part of him is still in denial about how bad off his wings are, and the fading likelihood of them fixing themselves.

***

The Look is to be expected. Neena has it coming and she takes it without a flinch nor a complaint. Heck, if Warren wants to take out some of his anger on her then she'll accept that, too. The man's got a right to bitch and she won't take it personally if he aims it her way. And..better that she shoulder it than someone like Alison. That lady's got more than enough to deal with, already. Getting snapped at won't make it easier.

Another sip is taken from her glass, infinitely more reserved than Warren. Dom's not expecting to get any refills tonight, he's going to need the bottle for himself.

"Considering who they're taking care of they had best be doing everything they can. I mean, you could buy and sell this place right out from under their feet." Dipping her head once, she confirms "Drinks are on me. Answers are more of a mixed bag. Unless you think a little motivation might help get you somewhere useful."

Like pinning a Doctor to the wall with a knife at their throat.

She totally would.

Hmmh. 'Magic' and 'Illyana' does paint kind of an unsettling picture. "I don't know," she sort of mutters. "A demon wrecked your shit. Maybe another demon could fix it. I'll pay Wade a visit, regardless. He's always been willing to share some of the red kroovy."

When the glass smacks down and Warren's conclusion is voiced, Neena turns pale blue eyes upon him. "Hey. The fight's not over, alright? You've got a solid team who'd turn this world inside out if that's what it took. Whatever might seem like an option is worth pursuing. We've got your back, Warren. Never forget that."

***

Getting snapped at won't make it easier, but it sure has already happened. There were some arguments, some sharp words — Warren might have told Alison to leave him alone. And so — he is alone. His extremely bad mood might be because he's feeling kind of guilty, and simultaneously angry that he's feeling guilty.

Without comfort from Alison, he seems to be deriving it now from the contents of Neena's gift. He's already pouring himself another glass. It's a good thing that, despite the atrocious condition of his wings, his enhanced physicals at least still seem to be in fine working order as far as his powers go. "I could," is his blunt statement of fact, when it comes to the idea of buying the place out to make it suit his whims. His head lifts, and for a moment he looks a bit more like his old self: blue-blooded old American royalty, outraged at the lack of results from the plebs.

Then he sighs, putting aside the bottle, and he's once again just a tired, injured bird. "'Do you know who I am?!' only goes so far here, though. I've learned that if you make doctors scurry too much, they start throwing around useless treatments just to please you. Waste of time."

He gives her a bit of a sidelong look at talk of 'motivation.' This time, he doesn't automatically quash the 'joke.' "Cameron's probably got that covered already," he says eventually. "Sometimes I hear him shouting at the doctors from the hall. …I've never heard him shout before." His expression skews bitter. "Novel experiences for everyone."

Neena wants to pay Wade a visit, regardless. "You, Dani," he murmurs. "Paying your visits. Yeah… do it. Might as well. I'll be here."

Her final words, though? The polite thing to do would be to appreciate them, to thank her for the sentiment, or to express relief at how determined everyone is to help.

"I didn't say it was over," is what he says instead, his voice strained the way a bowstring strains when an arrow's nocked. "I do not accept not having my wings."

***

So far the situation seems to be going ..okay. No one's blown up yet. No raised voices, no threats, nothing thrown. For places intended for people to get better there really aren't many other locations which will drive a person stir-crazy more quickly or effectively than a hospital.

The one part which is working in their favor? If Warren happens to pass out on the bourbon he doesn't have far to fall.

It may be a glimpse of a tired and broken bird but for a moment Dom gets to see the man whom she had originally met. He's still himself somewhere inside. If this is all she's able to take away from their meeting tonight it'll be enough to feel better about where things are headed.

"There does come a time where threats of violence see diminishing returns," she stoically agrees with another drink. Following is another half-shrug. "Still damn fun, though."

'Cameron,' huh. "Well good on him" is similarly agreed with another dip of her chin. It's a name which doesn't sound familiar to her. It's also one which she is now making a point to remember.

Then his bitterness returns. The change of pace back to Old Warren was nice while it lasted. A minor detour on his path to an uncertain future.

Sure, maybe a smile or a thoughtful acknowledgement would have been nice but that's not the kind of person Neena is. She -wants- to see the fires of determination stoked. Get mad, get vengeful, get -motivated.- On that front Warren delivers..and Domino smiles. "Fuckin' A, man. We're doin' this. The Hotwings legacy will continue."

***

By now Warren has finished glass number two and shows no actual signs of slowing down, nor passing out. It could be his accelerated metabolism and endurance, or it could just be that he's incredibly good at holding his liquor invisibly. He has done his share of crazy fraternity drinking, after all, and also a lot of business in Japan, which is basically 'a lot of crazy fraternity drinking, except you close a business deal at the end.'

The alcohol might also be part of what's keeping him from blowing up and throwing things… though Neena, whether she knows it or not, gets dangerously close to triggering that with that final exchange. His tone is a palpable warning — like bared fangs against the intrusion of too much banal positivity into the conversation — but whether he might have snapped at her further remains a mystery.

Because quite suddenly, they are not alone.

"You pay them off to extend the visiting hours, Warren?" The tone is gentle and amused, and it comes from an unassuming brown-haired, brown-eyed man, spectacled and with an air of patience, standing in the doorway.

Warren's impatience evaporates, if temporarily. "No, but now I'm going to," he says. "Cam — you haven't met Domino yet, have you?"

"Only on paper," is Cameron's answer, which probably explains why he isn't alarmed at her hyper-secretive presence here after-hours. "A pleasure. I'll assume you will take the bottle with you when you leave."

***

Well. Domino's no stranger to putting back obscene amounts of liquor, herself, but clearly she's going to need to supply a couple of bottles on her next field trip out this way. She isn't feeling judgemental so much as impressed. Maybe even proud. Where others might be alarmed she's simply amused. It's almost like being back 'in the trenches' with other mercs, gruff attitudes and rampant bullshittery aplenty.

Though it is a little odd to be sharing such a moment with someone normally so composed and reserved.

At the sudden and fairly shocking change of attitude she feigns a look of innocence with fingertips brushing back against her sternum in a 'who, me?' sort of guesture when a third comes into the room. Probably as unannounced as her own arrival, except that SHE remembered to KNOCK.

For once.

The guy at the other end may not look like much but somehow she can already place a name to his face before introductions are made. He also looks like a librarian but she keeps that thought to herself.

Bingo. Here's Cameron. A black-lipped smirk and a lazy-borderline-sarcastic salute gets passed his way. "Yeah, I'll take it with me," she promises without bothering to add 'it'll be empty by then.' It'll be more of an effort to clean up the evidence than anything else.

The sudden vanishing of Warren's impatience here does help to stay her tongue before more sarcasm can break free. Something along the lines of 'if you don't take care of him I'm gonna kick your ass.' If in Warren's severely battered state he's able to change his song so quickly for Cameron then she can respect that he's actually doing some good around here.

In fact, she offers "I only brought two glasses but you can have some if you're up to wrestling it out of his hands."

***

It's not a side of Warren that people often get to see, certainly — at least not these days. Maybe in the past, when he was fun and flirty and always fucking trashed and the gossip rags had to trot to keep up with all the crap he got himself into. But ever since registration, in particular, he's really shaped up. Really embraced the dignity and class of his blood. Really fallen back on all the gracious social training of his early life…

There's never really just one side to anyone, and the same is true for Warren Worthington.

Yet another facet of him appears, with the arrival of his best friend. Cameron's presence seems to have an automatic relaxing effect on Warren, which spares the man Domino's judgment — for now.

Her offer draws a faint smile out on the man's mild features. "He looks like he needs it more than me," is Cameron's easy remark, which brings Warren's eyes to roll. Two men, best friends, used to taking the piss out of each other no matter what. "I presume you know what you're doing there, Warren." There's a distinct pause, before he continues slowly, "With Alison, though — "

Warren's good mood turns off like a switched light.

Cameron ignores the obvious warning. "You should really talk to her — "

"No." Warren's voice is so short, the sparse syllables grind against one another. "Now, Cam? You want to talk about this now? No."

Cameron passes Neena a look, then the monitors showing Warren's spiking vitals. "I also came to tell you they're going to try a third surgery," he says, after a pause.

"Then it had better work," is Warren's sole response. Cameron slants Neena another look, almost apologetic, before he cuts his losses(?) and leaves.

***

These recent events seem to be bringing a lot of the deeper sides of the team back to the surface. It wasn't that long ago that Neena had given Dani a teary hug, and one which was honestly meant. Someone's more likely to get swept up by a tornado then struck by lightning than to see that side of the mercenary.

Now, she hasn't seen every facet of Warren Worthington just yet and this is a fine moment to be getting a crash course in the lessons she had previously missed, but it comes with some concern.

His life is, well..up in the air. While he's grounded everything else is getting tossed about in the wind. Once the dust settles, which one of these facets is he going to land on?

The short and sharp exchange between the two paints a worrying picture. From everything that Domino had seen and heard thus far, Alison had been a key part in Warren's foundation. Refusing to speak to her after suffering so much trauma is understandable but the harshness and the determination in his decision is almost difficult for Neena to hear.

The thought had crossed her mind before. Now it's set in stone. She's going to have to find Alison, herself. They're going to have a talk and Neena's not going to tell Warren about it.

Fucking sue her for caring.

With the final look from Cameron she closes eyes and yet again dips her chin, longer and more pronounced this time. 'Yep, I get it, evac while you can.'

When Cameron steps out Dom suddenly isn't sure what to say. 'He's a good friend' seems just as harmful a thing to say as 'wow, what an asshole.' The only way she'd bring up Ali's name is if she's being paid a very large sum of money. So she leans back and takes another drink. Then comes her deepest words of wisdom yet tonight.

"They must have hand-picked your room to have the shittiest view possible."

***

Warren, in these moments, is pretty much what might be unfondly called 'a fucking diva.' Cameron seems used to the sudden mood swings, if nothing else, merely resigning himself to taking his leave until Warren is less upset and in a more reasonable frame of mind to talk. Which, you know, might be never, at this point.

This leaves Neena in a distinctly uncomfortable spot. Not just because of the intense awkwardness of having had to see that — the old Warren would never have had such a personal argument in front of another person — but because now she's alone with an obviously upset Warren. And now she's going to have to find Alison and have a talk and care

Interpersonal relationships. The worst.

The awkward silence stretches on. Normally Warren would have long since said or done something to smooth over the rough patch. Today, he does absolutely nothing to help Domino out here, except drink more. It's up to her to find something to say to break the electric silence, and… find something she does.

Warren actually laughs. The frightening part is that it's not actually clear whether that's a good sign, or whether Neena is still drifting about firmly dead-center in the shoals of Moody Warren danger. "I told them I didn't want coddling, but I didn't want them to take me that seriously." He starts pouring again. The bottle is practically empty. "In fact, I think they're torturing me. Clear view of the sky." He stares out the window. "It would have been a good night to fly."

He is silent a few moments more, his head bowing a bit drunkenly. Injury has made a sodden drunk of him, and his inert sulk is tarnishing even to a beauty as great as his. "There's no point to sitting with the convalescent forever," he says. "Everyone has their plans what to do, and everyone's said all the platitudes I could ever care to hear already — ten times over. Your time's probably better spent telling Dani it's not her fault, or whatever banalities she needs to hear. She ran away from me too quickly for much of that to happen."

More like she ran away too quickly for Warren to work up the heart to tell her it wasn't her fault — and sound like he meant it.

***

Some say that laughter is the best medicine. Domino has to believe these people have never heard some -other- individuals laugh. Like, say, The Joker. As Warren laughs she's grinning alongside him in a similarly noncommittal way. Maybe it's genuine, maybe not, but it's there.

It seems that he has a little more to get off of his chest and the bottle is almost drained, giving her the perfect excuse to claim that last bit of wonderful liquid for herself so that she can start packing up shop.

"Look at it this way, they could have stuffed you into a closet. Or worse. Underground."

It's a subtle touch back to her own past of having been born and raised in a subterranean facility, though she's moved far enough past that darkness to be able to smile a touch while mentioning it.

"You're a bird stuck in a cage and I'm a mouse stuck in the high-rises. Look at us, all meeting in the middle and shit."

The parting call is starting to be made. Right with the last of the booze disappearing. She had figured the two events would be directly connected, and really it works out for the best. Without something to drink between the two the only outlet they'd have is conversation, something which neither happen to be real keen on at the moment.

Neena nods once then with a slight hesitation stands and empties the last of her glass. 'Evidence' gets tucked back into the bag. "I'm not gonna harp on you or anything here, but try to remember one thing. One of these days you'll be out of this room and what you come back to will be what you left behind."

The Institute.

The team.

The family.

Dom's not going to give him a lecture on being all sweet and nice with people who care about him so much as remind him that if he stirs up too much shit with people now he'll be swimming in it soon enough.

***

Warren glances sidelong at Domino at her talk of how it could be worse — he could be underground. The memory of her nightmares flickers in his eyes. The subterranean facility, the chair, the doctors. The way she clung to him after he scoured the darkness away. It feels like a lifetime ago that he did that.

The memory is painful right now, for multiple reasons, and his gaze turns away again soon enough. "Yeah. I guess. Well — thank you for bringing the alcohol." His voice turns dry, sharp. "My one joy since I've been here."

But it's quickly enough approaching time to part ways. It might have been a silent parting, a bit awkward but uneventful — except that Neena doesn't go without a last bit of advice. It's good advice, logical and sound, and definitely in his best interests.

From the proud, narrow way his eyes turn back towards her, he seems to be taking it as a supercilious admonishment — or a threat.

"Noted," he says, cool as he must be in the boardroom. "You can go."

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