The Hand that Kills, Part 4: Where did you sleep last night?

March 20, 2016:

The Hand come for Claire.

Hell's Kitchen


NPCs: The Hand

Mentions: Lara Croft


Mood Music: [ Where did you sleep last night? -- Nirvana]

Fade In…

2:43 AM

It's a long night, a long shift; the kind where your feet ache with more than three hours to go so you do the lean to one side and do the lean to the other side in those few moments where you're actually able to stand still long enough to take a break.

Those moments are so few and far between. Broken bones, sick children, car accidents and choking victims—the hospital gets em all. One big, ever rotating whirlpool of New York where all kinds, at all hours of the day tend to conglomerate.

But that's now over for Claire Temple. For one more night at least. The walk home is a short one and the evening is warm, a signal that spring is well on its way. Things are quiet, with her footsteps making the only sound on the quiet street.

Walking home was, somehow, easier than walking up and down the hospital hallways. Maybe it was the spring air around her, making the light jacket she wears almost unnecessary. Maybe it was the fact that she KNEW her bath and bed wasn't that far. Or maybe she'd just gone over the tired point into delerious. Whichever it is, Claire's going through the entirely too familiar motions of her walk home.

She could do this walk in her sleep, which she half has done many nights. Six blocks, two avenues. Not the best neighborhood, but it's HER home, and she has no fear of home. Her blue scrubs stand out in the dim night and her crocs clap a bit on the cement as she moves as fast as her weary body will allow. Bag, filled with a few more pilfered supplies, rests across her left shoulder.

As they approach, they do so without a sound. Their feet pitter-patter upon the pavement while their swords are already drawn. Four of them, that's all that were dispatched for this mission. It should present no significant problem, assuredly. For eliminating the woman who tends to the sick superheroes of New York should be another pawn knocked out of their way.

But, by chance, a mistake.

The metal of one of the blades catches the light in a perfect way, glinting a ricochet right into Claire's eye, allowing her to get notice of the ninja. Clad in crimson, it's not something you see everyday, that much is for sure.

One of the saving graces of Claire's current walk IS how well she knows it. She can tell if something is off — when someone has moved their decorations from outside their home, or a window has been broken into, or, apparently, when someone is carrying a blade in an alleyway just to her side. Her head barely turns, but she saw that blade. No sounds of a fight, no one else getting mugged or gangs posturing at each other. She was the only one on the street now. Almost immediately, exhaustion turns to adrenaline.

She reaches into her bag, trying to be casual about it as she pulls out that can of mace she's kept because that's what one does in New York, illegal or not. Claire then begins to slightly speed up her walking, stepping out into the street and giving a brief glance before she moves to cross to the other side. She's doing everything to put space between her and that blade without all out running and setting off their predator's instincts. Her dark eyes frantically search for someone else, anyone else, on the street. Maybe if she got to the cross streets, she'd be alright.

Noticing the first ninja means she is unable to notice the next. He pounces toward her quickly, sword extended, looking to make this short and sweet. A blade pierced through the heart and then slashed across the throat is all it would take. In. Out. With no one to know the better.


A piece of metal connects with the closest ninja's cranium and knocks him out immediately and before he's able to do Claire any true malice. The shock and turning and pause it gives everyone puts her face to face with the original ninja she just saw, with only a moment for the nurse to take advantage.

Her line of sight will also see a red flash in the background as another is thrown against the brick wall and berated viciously with punches so fast and furious it's easy to lose count.

It's all instinct now. Fight or flight. She tried flight and it clearly wasn't working, so now Claire has to fight. The sight of a blade suddenly too dangerously close to her gets a cry of shock from her lips, but then that body is gone as fast as it came and the other attackers are as shocked as she is. She didn't have time to be shocked. Claire reaches out, that mace in hand, and violently sprays the second ninja before swinging her heavy bag around to slug him upside the head.

Her heart is thundering now, ice cold fear through her veins to follow that adrenaline. Any part of her that was taking her out of the fear they were after her is now quiet. That blade was meant for her and it's only the flash of red in the alleyway that stopped it from probably ending her life.

The accosted ninja takes several staggering steps backward as the mace burns into his eyes. To his credit, he doesn't scream. He doesn't even make a noise. But he does drop his katana.

But Claire gets another problem, almost immediately. Three metal stars cross just in front of her face and imbed themselves into a particle board window covering (used for the refacing construction project occurring on this block).

The ninja must be spent because he goes back to his sword, but before he can lunge at her, he catches a vicious billy club blast to the head. Even as he hits the wet pavement, two more blows are delivered, shattering ribs and an arm.

Daredevil is all that is left standing to face Claire now.

"I was worried something like this could happen."

It's pure luck and conservation of motion that saves Claire from those stars. She can't move fast enough to dodge them. She couldn't even process they had come so damn near to her until after they were already embedded in the board. It's all moved so damn fast, not like the fights in the movies where there are close ups and the occasional bullet time. This was ten seconds, fifteen at best, brutal, violent, and abruptly over.

Breathing hard, more out of fear than actual exhertion, Claire turns her head back in the direction of the same man in red that she'd packed the wound of the other week. That's not exactly a uniform someone forgets. Her eyes are bright with adrenaline and shock, looking down to the ground where the bodies are and then back to the Devil of Hell's Kitchen.

"…Ninjas?! A-are… are those f*cking Ninjas?! That the hell…!" Her voice is pitched just a bit too high with emotion and incredulousness. She'd laugh if she wasn't shaking.

"Yeah. They are," Daredevil responds as he takes a step towards her, concerned. "Are you alright? A few of these men made an attack last night on Fordham University. They killed a handful of men that were rumored to be involved in organized crime. I have no idea why they might come after you."

Was she alright? Of course she wasn't, f*cking NINJAS just attacked her. But, he can't see the complete incredulousness of her expression, just heart the rapid fire pounding of her heart as she tries to catch her breath and not panic. "…F-fine. Fine. Nothing touched me." He meant physically, right? And there is no scent of her blood on the air, if he could tell the difference. Just that spice of mace in the wind and bleeding headwounds of her attackers. "Organized crime? I…I don't touch those guys. I don't."

Matt stops and considers, trying to figure something out. "Why attack criminals, and then on the very next night, attack a nurse? Anything about you I should know about?" If he seems distracted, it's because Matt is trying to reach out with his senses to gauge other threats. Nope. Nothing else is coming. Not yet anyways. "Do you have somewhere safe you can stay?"

Breathe. That's what Claire needed to do. This was no different than an emergency in the ER, except that it had been her life in danger, not some stranger on a table. She had to breathe. So, she forces herself to draw in a calming breath to a count of five and exhale just as slowly. Panicking wouldn't help either of them. Her dark eyes flicker down the street, back towards her apartment, then the dead or unconscious men on the ground. Everything felt surreal and slow now. "I… have a deadbolt… and the windows lock…" On her apartment that every hero and vigilante in northern Manhattan knew.

Daredevil shakes his head slowly. "If they know where you walk, they'll know where you live." He pauses, trying to think. And once the idea comes, it's hard for him to shake. "If you need a place, I know someone who can help you. Help to keep you safe."

There is part of her that wants to scream that she shouldn't need this, but it would pass, right? Claire takes another deep breath, staring down the block to her lovely little apartment which she clearly isn't going to see tonight. She swallows her heart down her throat, trying to steal some courage about her. "…I…I don't want to be a bother but… shit. Shit. I hate this…" She rubs one hand across her face. "Just for a night or two, I guess. Until this dies down. How many of them can their be?"

"There always seem to be more, follow me." The pair stick to the shadows mostly, and end up walking about 18 blocks. It's dark out, dark and quiet, and so they're able to slip through pretty easily. Daredevil would prefer to take to the rooftops, to swing into the night like the acrobat he truly is, but it'd put Claire at a needless risk. Instead, staying on the ground level would make it harder to kill them both, he reasons.

After about 20 minutes of walking, they come across a gigantic, elegant building in the middle of midtown. Daredevil looks up, and then back down to her. One hand reaches out toward her while the other rises into the air along with the grapnel hook on his billy club.

Fortunately, exhaustion has been well and truly killed by fear. Adrenaline is lovely about that and the shock hasn't entirely set in yet. Claire is quiet during the walk, following her mysterious, red horned friend through streets that are growing less an less familiar. This is a nicer part of town than she normally goes. She's calmed mostly by now, talking herself through the fact this will go away in a few days and life will go back to normal. It had to.

Just as she was getting calm and content, the grapnel hook comes out and he's offering her his hand. Claire STARES at him for a moment. "…You have to be joking. We can't use an elevator like *SANE* people? No, of course not. I don't stitch up SANE people. I should have realized this by now." She mutters to herself, putting her hand into his.

"Hold on."

Daredevil pulls her towards him and secures Claire tight against his side. A moment later they're high up in the air and a moment from there, they're on a balcony.

While Claire is still getting her bearings, Matt is already sliding the door open. "Lara?" he calls out, using a different voice than he would as Matt. Assuming that she would immediately notice the importance of the call to her.


"She's not here."

While Claire isn't generally one to hide from the world, rappeling UP a building is not something she needs to see. So, instinctively, she curls against him, her head hiding into the shoulder of his red uniform, heart kicking up again and breath a bit too tense from the heights alone. SHe holds on tight, a slightly trembling ball of nerves against his body that smells like antiseptic, sweat and cocoa buetter. Soon enough, though, she's got feet on the grount and she half collapses against a door frame. "I…I am… not breaking into your friend's apartment."

"She won't care. She'd want to protect you." Daredevil turns back over his shoulder and faces Claire. "Can I borrow your cell phone?" Asking your girlfriend to house an attractive woman is never a good idea unless a) that woman is in danger b) that woman has saved countless heroes lives and c) you have the common decency to let the woman know what's going on. Lara Croft might be relaxed most of the time, but even she has her limits. Still, this was an emergency situation.

A quiet glare is given to the man and, see it or not, he can probably hear it in her voice. Claire then looks back over the side of the balcony and decides dignity is less important than NOT having to go down the way they came up. So, she hands the cellphone over to him with a breath of impatience. "Whose place is this, even? I…I don't want to be a bother."

"Lara Croft."

It's not clear whether or not he expects her to know who that is. Lara is extremely rich, and the highlight of many tabloids, but more popular in England than the United States. Still, there's a likelihood that Claire may know her. He pulls off his glove with his teeth and begins to text immediately. 'Urgent. Pick up your phone. DD." From there, the phone. After just two tones, someone picks up on the other end.

"Need your help. It's the nurse I went to. The one who helps heroes at night, right." Pause. "Yeah, we're in trouble." Pause. "Same trouble as before. Right. You don't mind? I owe you." A devilish grin slips across his face. "Thanks."

"Totally fine," Daredevil says as he hangs up and hands Claire the phone. "Full reign on her refrigerator, to boot."

Fridge? Just as he says that, Claire's stomach emits the sort of growl that only a woman who HAS worked a double with only one lunch break could make. Her cheeks heat for a moment, but she clears her throat and nods, reaching up to the sliding door and trying to figure out how they were actually going to ge tin without breaking the glass. She takes the phone as she's moving, shoving it back into her pocket. "I…I owe her. And you, I guess. For… for saving my life. Thank you."

Daredevil simply slides the door open. Lara never locks her door, especially when she knows Matt is out. "You're welcome. But we're not out of the woods yet. Let's get you something to eat…" His voice trails. What he doesn't say, is that they wait. They wait for the ninjas to come…

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License