Just Because You Can

November 13, 2017:

Danny calls Emery for help. Emery helps, gives advice and confesses to a couple of things. Danny gets patched up.

Emery's Secret Apartment

Small, clean and sparsely decorated. There's a bathroom, a single bedroom, a small kitchen and a large livingroom/office space. Hardwood floors and there's a soundproofing against the walls hidden by dark green drapes. Furniture is far and few between, the kitchen is stocked, the counters/island have a wooden stools pulled up to them, the bathroom and bedroom have the bare essentials but outside of a large and locked chest pushed against the wall beneath a rather large wooden cabinet mounted against the wall and a king sized mattress in the middle of the living room floor with a small nightstand beside it. There's not much else. The far corner of the front room has another small wooden cabinet that is also kept locked. All light bulbs have been removed from sockets and there are candle sticks set in certain corners or on flat surfaces. Being a basement apartment…there are no windows. There is no TV either. There is a vintage looking radio set on the kitchen counter. The scent of incense and candles fills the air, making this hideout even more otherworldly.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

This time, Danny's not texting at 3:00 in the morning. It's only around 10:30 at night. But the spot he sends along via GPS coordinates is quite a bit dodgier than Luke's bar in Harlem. It's a dark alleyway just a few blocks up from the river with a bunch of warehouses. When Emery pulls up, he'll find the young Rand leaning against the wall, his jeans covered in blood at one thigh. He's not doubled over in pain though, so that's good.

*

Lately, Emery's had a special alarm like ringtone set for Danny's number and when the text alert goes blaring at 10:30 PM, the dark haired butler just eyes the phone where it rests on the kitchen counter and strips off his rubber gloves with a shake of his head.

It is a black Charger that pulls up to the mouth of the alleyway, blocking the entrance from sight and the window rolls down slowly. The Irishman rests an elbow against the space left by the rolled down window and leans a bit as he is lighting the cigarette that dangles from between his lips. Tip of the cigarette flares and the zippo is snapped closed before the first drag is taken. Emery wasn't technically on duty, he was just getting dishes washed or something else domestic…clad in a heather grey hoodie that may or may not be cashmere, and a pair of comfortable dark blue jeans, his hair is damp from a recent shower and he rakes his fingers through his hair to pull the long strand out of his face as he exhales a cloud of smoke and just stares at the young man leaning against the wall.

There are no words as the engine is left running and the car door is pushed open, the Butler grabbing the first aide kit his brought and making his way into the alley with a soft 'tsking'. "Oh…boyo, teh jokes I could make about a young man like yourself leanin' against the walls in a dark alley…" But he's kneeling down beside the young man, examining his thigh, cigarette held between two fingers and out of the way. "Can ye explain to me /why/ you are hanging out in a dark alley with a bloody thigh? In a way that doesn't sound absolutely f*cking insane?"

*

And other jokes could be made about Emery pulling up in an expensive car and examining him while smoking a cigarette. Unfortunately, Danny is too naive to make those kinds of jokes, so none are forthcoming. Instead, he just kind of hobble-limps towards Emery. "It's just a graze. Sorry for bothering you."
In fact, the wound doesn't seem to be gushing. The pressure of the fabric on the graze seems to have stemmed the worst of the bleeding. It doesn't look very nice, though. He's also got a shiner in the making. He eyes the first aid kit. "Can we do that back in the house? There's…" a police car wails by in the background. "…some things, uh…happened."

*

"…well the pants are indeed ruined, that's for sure." Emery eyes the car and then cocks his head to the side as he hears the police sirens. Pushing himself to his feet he sighs and makes his way back to his third baby, the charger, opening up the backseat door. "Alright, climb on in. Dun appologize for bothin' me. Apologize to me car for the blood ye may be about to get on her leather seats." He takes another drag off his cigarette and tosses the first aid kit back into the front seat through the driver door's window. "And be quick about it before ye end up on a headline."

*

"It's a little late for me to avoid being a headline, don't you think?" says Danny with a good-natured grin as he lowers himself into the car. He does his best to hold his leg in a way that doesn't get blood on the seats. Really, he shouldn't be worried. He could afford to have the whole car's interiors redone with no problem at all.

*

"Ye know what I mean ye cheeky brat. A /new/ head line. Where they invent some stupid lie that makes ye stocks drop and then the people at Rand crawl all the way up me arse with stupid questions that have nothin' to do with ye bein' safe." Emery drawls as he slams the door and then crawls into the front seat. "Seat belt, or lay down across the seats. I 'ave leather seats for a reason." And the interior of the car does look to be custom detailed. Black leather seats with dark green accents. Onyx like finishes on panels, etc.

Then he's pulling away and the soft yet beautiful purr of that engine is almost too loud in the silence that follows. But it doesn't appear like they are heading back to Rand's house. He is actually driving in the opposite direction of Danny's home. "So. Do ye wanna talk about it?" He finally asks, breaking the silence.

*

Danny manages to maneuver the seatbelt and sit upright without pulling his leg too much. He knows enough about injuries not to fuss with it while he's in transit. And, well, he's not the best person to appreciate Emery's nice car. He's never really ridden in a cheap car.
He pinches his eyes closed and momentarily considers healing himself. But since the last time he did that, he passed out and it took two days to recover, he's not in a big hurry. "I was…I've been trying to root out the corruption in Rand. I was just supposed to be watching tonight, but they had kidnapped someone."

*

"So ye thought ye were up to snuff after showin' up like a soon to be groom after a 2 day Stag Do and sleepin' like the dead only like 2 days ago?" Emery quirks an eyebrow and looks at Danny in that rear view mirror. "Really? I know ye are some type of ninja equivalent of Tarzan, Master Danny, but are ye bullet proof? Can ye move faster than a speedin' bullet?"

*

"Like I said, I was just supposed to be watching a truck," Danny slouches deeply into the seat and closes his eyes. His face knots in a wee bit of pain. "But I wasn't going to sit there and let them kidnap someone. If they drove away, the cops might not have found them if I had called it in."

*

Emery just grunts softly. "Watchin' a truck. By yourself? Did ye 'ave any backup or support?" He does notice that hint of pain with a glance to the rearview mirror before he starts backing up slowly after a good while of driving…into yet another alley. The neighborhood is quite old, perhaps not the best part of town for outsiders but the charger is backed into an underground garage of sorts and the engine is killed as he takes another drag off of his cigarette.

*

Danny just now realizes that they aren't headed towards his plush Manhattan townhouse and are instead…pulling in somewhere else. He looks out the window, squints, then flares his nostrils. "Where are we?" Then, "This guy showed up and helped. But surveillance shouldn't require backup." As he, the guy with tons of experience shadowing people says.

*

"Surveillance should actually require backup, or at least a contingency plan." Emery replies with a shake of his head. He's retrieving that first aide kit and exiting the car, dropping the cigarette on the ground and grinding it out beneath his boot. "We are somewhere safe. So I can get ye patched up and I can come up with a story for why ye look like an extra from the movie Fight Club." He holds Danny's door open for him.

*

"You think reporters are watching my place after the explosion at the Stark Expo?" says Danny after he pushes open the car door. He might not be the most savvy of guys, but his parents taught him early about being in the public eye. There were photographers there the day he was brought home from the hospital.
He pulls himself up and out of the car, still favoring his shot leg. He looks around, then limps forward.

*

"Kidnappers, reporters, your growing fan club, your growin' hate club…" Emery murmurs softly as he flips up his hoodie and gestures for Danny to follow him, first aid kit carried under one arm and a backpack slung over that shoulder before he offers his other shoulder to Danny just in case he needs to support.

The journey isn't long but it isn't short, to an old and run down looking apartment complex, and then to the elevator that leads down to a basement level apartment. A wall is tapped for Danny to lean against as the butler unlocks the door. "C'mon then…."

Into…an apartment that seems out of time almost. Small, clean and sparsely decorated. There's a bathroom, a single bedroom, a small kitchen and a large livingroom/office space. Hardwood floors and there's a soundproofing against the walls hidden by dark green drapes. Furniture is far and few between, the kitchen is stocked, the counters/island have a wooden stools pulled up to them, the bathroom and bedroom have the bare essentials but outside of a large and locked chest pushed against the wall beneath a rather large wooden cabinet mounted against the wall and a king sized mattress in the middle of the living room floor with a small nightstand beside it. There's not much else. The far corner of the front room has another small wooden cabinet that is also kept locked. All light bulbs have been removed from sockets and there are candle sticks set in certain corners or on flat surfaces. Being a basement apartment…there are no windows. There is no TV either. There is a vintage looking radio set on the kitchen counter. The scent of incense and candles fills the air, making this hideout even more otherworldly.

*

Danny has sustained much worse than a bullet graze and continued to fight. So he moves a little stiffly, but without a great deal of trouble. Walking back home would've been out of the question, but he does all right with just general moving about. He follows behind, taking note of his surroundings as he does.
Once he's led into the apartment, he looks around, taking in small details. "This place has good energy," he murmurs, which would seem really flaky except for the fact that he can legitimately channel energy. "I know a sanctuary when I see one."

*

There's a hint of uncertainty that flickers through Emery's eyes as he watches Danny take in the hideout and he gives a small bow of his head, turning to lock the door, sliding an extra deadbolt into place and bowing his head for a moment, lips moving quietly in a latin prayer before he makes the sign of the cross against the back of the door. Keys are tossed on the counter, backpack unslung and set on a stool, first aid kit also set on the counter. "I'll get…ye a pair of clean sweats from teh bedroom and a clean shirt." He nods towards the mattress. "That's been stripped and cleaned, so ye are safe to just collapse if ye want to. Take off your pants, so I can tend to your wound when I get back." He heads into the bedroom.

*

Danny moves awkwardly through the apartment and sits on the edge of the bed. He tugs off his jeans, wincing as he pulls the denim from around the wound. It pulls up the clotting that was starting and starts the wound bleeding again. That's why he was sitting on the edge. He presses his hand tight against the wound and grits his teeth. "I hate guns," he murmurs.

*

Emery returns to the living room with a clean pair of black sweat pants and a black t-shirt advertising some 80s punk band and those are tossed on the mattress beside Danny. First aid kit in hand, he's kneeling down beside the man's leg and pulling out the necessary suppiles to start patching him up. "Ye dun hate guns, you hate gettin' shot." He only puts on one glove however, getting a cotton patch and the alcohol needed to start cleaning the wound.

He kneels there for a moment, bare hand hovering above the wound before he takes a deep breath and looks up at Danny for a moment and then presses lowers that bare hand at the same time he begins cleaning the wound with the alcohol.

That's when there's a faint glow to his eyes in the dim/barely there light of the room as he channels the pain and discomfort from the young man's nervous system into his own, exhaling softly as he cleans, taking slow and steadying breaths.

*

The bullet might not have lodged in his thigh, but it did gouge a long chunk out of the side. It isn't a serious wound, but it is a painful one. "No, I hate guns," says Danny. "A fight should be your true measure, not how well you can move a finger."
He suddenly starts to feel better, like a shot of morphine or… "What are you doing?" he asks through a forelock of hair as he looks down at Emery.

*

"Dun be a fight snob." Emery mutters through gritted teeth. "If ye hate guns, would ye rather I not use one to defend meself or people that I care about in heated situations? Should I put me daughter at risk, to put me true measure to the test?" He asks, idly cracking his neck and ignoring the phantom throbbing in his own thigh. Bloody cotton is tossed aside before he's applying antibiotic gel with another swab, bare finger tips pulling at the skin slightly to keep the bleeding from getting any worse, keeping that pressure so the pain is channeled into himself. "Hm?" Gauze and medical tape is pulled out next as he prepared to bandage the wound. "I'm treatin' yer wound…"

*

"No, you're doing something with…energy," says Danny. It's not a very good way to describe it, but it's the best he's got. "Taking my pain somehow. Emery, I can handle a little pain. I'm trained to handle pain. Don't do that on my account."
He looks at his leg, then points to a long scar on his other leg. It looks like it was sliced open and sewn back together. "I tore my leg open scaling a mountain on a training exercise. I got myself down on one leg." He chuckles a little, "I was sixteen. I think I can handle the sting of a bullet wound."

*

"Please shut the f*ck up for a moment." Emery murmurs without any malice as he's wrapping up the thigh securely. The Irishman exhales softly and gives a tiny shake of his head. "Ye aren't the only person trained to handle pain. Its easier to treat a wound when somebody's muscles are relaxed than it is if ye be feelin' your own shite." Then he finally removes the hand, slowly…the topical gel has a bit of topical numbing agent in it, so he's not as concerned as he lets the discomfort flow back through the channel and return to Danny, less than before but its a wound. Its going to be sore.

He scoots back on his heels and starts to gather the bloody cotton and open bandanges and ruined pants. "Get those sweat pants on. I'll put these in the rubbish bin." A pause. "Danny, just because you /can/ handle somethin' doesn't mean that ye always have to." Then he's cleaning up the mess.

*

Danny watches Emery move off, brows lifting, a smile appearing. "You should take your own advice. It seems like all you do is handle other peoples' shit." He reaches for the sweatpants and maneuvers himself into them. "A…lot of it mine, lately. It isn't what you signed on for." They've had this conversation before, but sometimes things bear repeating.

*

"When…" Emery starts out carefully, tossing the pants and everything used into his trashcan, after checking the pockets just in case there's something in them still and he moves to the kitchen sink to wash his hand. "When you live a very shitty life, it is a bit of a break to handle other peoples' shit. A relief even. Trust me. I dun take on any jobs I dun wanna do." He shrugs a shoulder, drying off his hands and opening up a cabinet to pull out a bottle of whiskey and two glass tumblers. "Yes, you make mistakes when it comes to balancing tings in your your new New York reality that comes with your name. Its hard. I know ye wanna run out and fight for truth, justice and the Come Long way with your mighty fist of Glow Power. But this isn't monk land wit' dragons and noodles and mountain trainin' exercises. This is New York, wit' guns, and teh mob, and bombs, and people who care about ye." He fills each glass with whiskey.

*

"Emery, my father's company has been tainted. I…don't know if it's Joy and Ward's fault, or if things just got away from them and their dad. Or if the company just got too big to see itself. But I won't let bad things be done in ym family's name." Earnestness drips off of Danny's words. It really is that simple for him. Simple to concieve of, more difficult to execute. "Do you think I should just sit at home and play figurehead CEO? Because I can do a lot more than that."

*

"Oh my GOD, pull yer head out of your arse for a moment and listen to me." Emery brings a glass over to where Danny is settled. "And listen good. Ye are ill equipped to handle this fight in the state ye be in now. Ye run around, get hurt, get bruised, try your hand at surveilance with no backup, get shot…get bruised. If ye wanted to figure out what was goin' on, don't you tink starting to look like you have a secret nighttime life that does not involve strippers and blow but instead black eyes and gunshot wounds /might/ tip people off that ye be lookin' into tings?" He offers a glass to Danny before taking a sip from his own glass of whiskey. "Do ye want to be like Tony Stark? Because that is how ye become like Tony Stark. And mutants and magic and murderous robot lookin' tings attacked his last shindig. Do ye want people at a Rand office buildin' or part to get shot up and for your name?"

*

Danny takes the glass and continues to look sheepish. He mops his curly mess of hair back out of his face. "I'm not going to become the CEO that Joy wanted you to make me into. You know that, right?" His eyebrows arch. "I'm a fighter, Emery. And no matter how inconvenient it is, or how it hurts my reputation, I can't stop being a fighter. It's all I've know. Everything…" he motions around. "…New York? That's been a daydream for me for half my life. I feel like fighting here…" he looks down, then up. "Fighting here brings those two halves of my life together. It makes both make sense."

*

"Aye. I knew that from the beginnin'." Emery admits, sipping from his drink. "But I want to be there to help ye become the CEO that ye /need/ to be." Then he sighs softly and toys with his glass at that admission of being a 'fighter' and not being able to stop. It resonates with the 'old' man and he just tilts his head. "Did I say ye should stop fightin'?" He pushes himself to his feet and kicks off his boots, lining them up neatly beside the bed before padding over to the cabinet on the wall. A key is dug out of a pocket before he unlocks the cabinet and then opens the doors and then slides them further open against the wall explosing…well yes, there are swords, and fighting sticks, a few staffs, alot of blades, both wooden and metal. A small collection of melee weapons and while isn't even half of the Butler's collection, it is still well kept.

A nod towards the wall. "I'm sayin' that ye need to get way smarter about it. Ye need to /trust/ that I will do what I can to help ye be a smarter about it all so that ye can feel whole without leavin' the other tings in your life to fall to pieces."

*

"Look, I've been making friends. People who I could call to…" Danny trails off. He gets to his feet with some effort and moves stiffly across to get a better look at what's being revealed. He looks surprised, but also…oddly not.
He just looks at Emery, snaps and says, "I KNEW you weren't just a butler. You aren't fussy enough. And you know first aid. I thought you were like, a combat butler or something. Which…" he wobbles his head. "Seems like you sort of are?"

*

"Friends are good, start there and network…like that Miss Jones woman. She's good people." Emery offers encouragingly, leaning against the material draped wall beside the weapon's cabinet, and throwing back the rest of the whiskey in his glass. There's a tiny frown before he snaps his fingers and points to Danny. "Oi! I can be hella fussy Master Danny. I just don't bother with you because…lets face it, formal graces would be lost on ye. Also, all butlers learn first aid. And flower arrangement."

But he does shrug a shoulder. "I am…Emery Papsworth. Professional Butler and Certified Personal Assistant. At this time, I am /your/ butler/assistant until such time that ye no longer need or want me. For every rich as f*ck person…there's a unique set of skills their butler needs to have. And ye just happen to have been lucky enough to get me."

*

There is a voice in his head that says, maybe you were sent here to guide the Iron Fist as the times of trials approach. But Danny's been getting better at not using his outside voice on thoughts like that. So he doesn't say anything.
He takes a deep breath, then lets out a different thought he was holding in, "Do you know where I can get body armor? Cause there's metas who can shoot electricty and people with guns. And I'm used to fighting people with…" he nods towards Emery's cupboard, indicating the swords and sticks.

*

Emery crosses an arm across his chest and purses his lips as he thinks that over. "…it has been years…since I've had to go lookin' for body armor in America. There is protective clothing and shite for the rich and elite. I'll put out some feelers for who is doing lowkey yet high quality work these days. If ye /are/ going to do this boyo, ye have to learn better discresion and the art of usin' cash to avoid paper trails." He pushes off of the wall. "Also, me number is in your phone. When you connect with your new friends and store their numbers in as well, please make sure ye have a phone tree set up for emergencies. I'm not goin' to step on you and stalk your arse, but knowing where you are will help me run better interference with yer company." There is a long pause. "Also, feel free to invite them over for tea or supper. Food often softens people up for deals."

*

"My lawyer is a family friend. I trust her." That would be J-Money, aka Jeri Hogarth. "But there's a limit to how dirty she's willing to let her hands get." Danny bobs his head to the other bits of advice. "I uh, I also think a mask might be a good idea?" He mimes the shape of one over his face. "I don't like the idea of being weighed down by a bunch of gear, but it's probably the best option."

*

"Ye won't need the lawyers unless ye end up on a traffic cam shoving yer glowing fist down somebody's throat." Emery gives a nod. "Dun worry about that bit." Then he blinks a few times. "A mask. Well. Figure out…uh, how ye want to wear the mask…." He moves a hand to his chest. "I'm goin' to have another drink. Ye can crash in the bedroom, and I'll drive ye back home early in the mornin'. I need to recover from the shock of ye sayin' sensible tings…wow. A mask." He flashes a dimpled grin and a wink and moves off to get the bedroom set up for a sleeping guest in true Butler fashion. "Just dun google Gimp Mask!" He is, quietly chuckling to himself. He really is getting too old for this.

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