A Priest's Confession

November 26, 2017:

Emery comes clean about his past to Danny

The Rand Mansion, Gramercy Park, NYC

Posh AF.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: No Sleep Til Brooklyn - Beastie Boys


Fade In…

The whole house has been open to Emery since he started working for Danny - with the exception of the basement. Whenever Danny has come up from downstairs, he's closed the door behind him. And when he's down there, the door has always been closed. It's consistent enough that Emery could see the now-open door as the invitation it is.
It's a short flight stairs into the basement level. It's easy to imagine this room as his childhood sanctuary. He grew up with secret places - underneath his father's desk at Rand Enterprises, and down here. It's no unfinished rec room - of course not. There's deep wood paneling and built-in bookcases, but Danny has transformed it into a training space. There's martial arts equipment around the outside, including a punching bag. There's also a weight bench and other equipment. The light is currently set low. He's sitting lotus pose in the middle of the room on a small mat. It would be all deeply peaceful if it weren't for the wall mounted speakers screaming, "NO. SLEEP. TIL BROOKLYN."

*

Danny's Name has been called a total of 7 times. Emery has been working ever since his 2 day hiatus. Even working when he can in between planning to fight a Demon Bear. But tonight, he is on duty on an off duty night. The fit Butler wears a comfortable pair of black pants, stylish black and white converse sneakers and dark green henley work under a sleeveless black hoodie, long hair pulled back in a loose manbun. He has always respected Danny's privacy so he comes only half-way down the stairs, keeping his back to the room just in case.

"DANNY RAND! DO YE WANT STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE OR PEACH COBBLER TOMMOROW?!" The Irishman hollers again, trying to call out over the screaming music. He is idly wiping his hands off with a towel, in the kitchen a lasana is currently cooling off and he's already put Danny's colors in the wash, it's been a busy evening.

*

The Beastie Boys continue their yelling contest with Emery for a few bars more, before Danny realizes he's being addressed. He snaps out of his meditative state and murmurs, "Volume to half." The smart speaker chirrups in assent and the music volume drops to non ear-bleeding levels.
He unfold himself neatly and steps over to the bottom of the stairs and grins up at the butler. "Don't you ever stop cooking?"

*

There's a soft exhale before Emery arches an eyebrow when the volume is lowered. "1st off, that is an excellent music selection." Then he shrugs his shoulders with a smirk, turning slightly to peer at Danny to make sure he's decent before turning around fully. "I spend a majority of me time doin' tings that are not cooking. I work out, I parent, I clean, I cook, I jump out of teh way of angry New York drivers…sometimes, I even knit."

He sighs and leans against the wall, folding his arms over his chest. "Now, which do ye want? I'm tryin' to make sure I have all the ingredients I need or to see if I have to order from a bakery dependin' on me schedule."

*

"Well, then don't you ever stop…" Danny rolls his hand, "Doing all that?" He leans on the end of the bannister and arches his brows. He smiles good-naturedly. He looks over at the speakers, then back to Emery. "You like the Beastie Boys?" Then, "You know me by now. I'll eat whatever you put in front of me." And a lot of it, too. He's got a pretty impressive metabolism.

*

"Doing 'all that' is really what me job is, Master Danny." Emery drawls softly before nodding slowly. "Aye. When the Beastie Boys first came out, I appreciated the honesty and rawness. I was a very angry little boy. Back then, if ye screamed like that they thought ye were possessed and called the preacher to wallop you for a bit." He waves a hand vaguely. "Aye, and I try to make sure there's plenty of carbs for ye to consume with the occasional sweet treat packed away. Goin' deeper into the winter, I'm gonna stick to mostly stews for ye."

*

Danny smiles bigger. That seems to tickle him. "My iPod survived the crash. It was the only part of home that I had. There was a lot of hip hop. I was pretty…well, I didn't really rebel. Except my parents hated that music." He pauses a moment and studies Emery. "Is everything all right?"

*

Emery smiles softly. "I lived through the creation of hip hop and used DMX has a lullabye soundtrack for me daughter. Was the only ting that calmed her down." He pauses, probably not meaning to divulge all that before he blinks a few times and sighs softly. "I….hope so. I always believe tings will be all right. Tings are just getting weirder and weirder. A life I thought I left behind me, abilities and shite I thought I wouldn't have to face or use again keep gettin' tugged on and…"

The Irishman trails off, rubbing a hand over his face. "All me life, most of what I can do has always been somethin' not talked about. Used as a tool, a sword to be directed wherever the feck I was told. But I put all that aside when Kennis was born. So it gets hard."

*

Rather than hover on the stairs, Danny motions for Emery to come down. It's a small thing, but if they end up in the kitchen, then the other man is going to putter and make him tea or something. But the basement is Danny's domain. "So are you ready to tell me your story?" That's not an accusation - it's a genuine question.

*

Emery looks up the stairs for a moment, as if looking towards a safe haven…where bowls and cheesey goodness serve as deflections. But after a brief pause he follows after Danny, down the stairs and shrugs his shoulders. "That depends. I've never really told anybody me story, because most people dun believe it or they'd end up wanting to kill me for it. Ye promise to not punch me in teh face with yer glow fist?"

*

Danny grins at Emery and holds up a hand, "I promise. No glow-punching." He heads over to a small mini-fridge and pulls out a bottle of green tea iced tea. He holds one up to the other in an unspoken question. "Whatever your past, you've proven yourself to be a good man in the here and now. And that's what's important." Naive of him, maybe. But he can't seem to not be optimistic.

*

Emery holds out a hand to accept the bottle of green tea with a quirk of an eyebrow, lips twisting in a hint of amusement at the reversal of roles and he looks around, thoughtfully. Exhaling softly in a bit of relief at how there's nothing unnaturally kinky or weird down here for him to have to worry about.

"Heh, I do what I can." His lips purse as he considers how to start. "Alright, so…where do ye want me to start? I was born in 1910. Tere's alot of years in me story." First bombshell dropped and he just takes a sip of tea.

*

There's a couch tucked away past a small kitchenette. It looks like it was the height of luxury in the mid-90s which probably means it was the old family sofa that used to be upstairs. Danny pauses on the way there and arches his eyebrows at that revelation. "I always felt you were an old soul, but I didn't think that was literal." Still, no judgment from him.

*

The Irishman follows after Danny with a soft laugh and a shrug of his shoulders as he takes another thoughtful sip. "Aye, but if anybody askes I'm in me late twenties or early thirties…eh, closer to the twenties. Its not technically a lie because that's when the pause button was pressed on me wrinkles but still. Its a difficult ting to explain."

Emery worries his bottom lip and squints a bit. "So aye, I've been around for a bit. Seen alot of shite. That's why your ting with the glowy fist and teh monks and such was mad, aye, but not the weirdest ting."

*

Danny sits on the arm of the couch and sips from his own bottle. "Well, on the other side: I've been living in another realm and fought a dragon. Soooo," he grins. "I'm not going to be totally shocked that you're a hundred and seventeen. Well, I mean, it's surprising that you yourself are pretty old, but not that that kind of thing is possible." He's really not the most articulate of young men, but he gets there.

*

Emery hmms softly and settles down on the floor in front of the couch, leaning against the crouch and bending his knees to rest his arms against them as he considers how to continue. "Ye fought a dragon. That's…that's actually very badassed. Ye know that right? No matter how kinky yer official title happens to be. I know I have only known ye for a short time, but I'm really proud of ye for that…"

It gives him time to think."Ye were chosen to be a protector and I guess, it is almost like that for me. Only I was chosen from the moment I was implanted in me mum's womb. She was a nun. Tere were 10 of us made, I later found out…each of our mother's was some type of holy, pure, or all around good woman. Never quite knew who me da was. Me mum went a wee bit mad after she got knocked up, went around yellin' people an Angel impregnated her." There is a long pause. "I never actually knew her as 'mum'. Just Sister Constance, in the orphanage I grew up in."

*

"I think you finding it kinky says more about you than about my title," says Danny. Though he makes a joke about it, his cheeks pinken a little as well.
Then he listens to Emery's story. His brows knit thoughtfully. "That's…that's a hard way to get started in life."

*

"I'm a very dirty old man, boyo." Emery murmurs with a hint of a smirk at the joke and a waggle of his eyebows before he takes another swig of tea, looking down for a moment. "Like I said, I was a very angry little boy. Not going to excuse it, because I was a mini arsehole. Even when me mum died and I was put through different schools, I was never fully comfortable in me own skin. I knew people around me were lying, I could see it, sense it. I just saw the world through bullshite and steel. Learnin' how to serve because I'm Irish and well I'm not goin' into the racism of teh time here, but lets just say I had a mentor that made sure I'd always have a job."

His jaw sets. "I found out about me callin' when I was 16. That's when I killed me first man."

*

Danny gives Emery his full attention. He takes it all in, imagining the circumstances as best he can. When he gets to the last part, he winces a little, but it's mostly in sympathy. "I'm guessing that something is part of the reason you don't look your age."

*

"Aye. Yes see, there's a balance in life. Light and Darkness. Good and Evil. And there are people who have a job to make sure that balance is maintained. Sometimes…to maintain that balance, people have to be taken out of the equation of their lives earlier than their allotted times. Its a 'holy' and 'honorable' task. If somebody is evil and their plans will throw off the cosmic order of tings…they are taken out. If a person was evil, and has tried to become good but is captured and this capture will help evil prevail…they are taken out." Emery licks his lips and exhales softly, shaking his head and chuckling softly.

"Some high and mighty holy bastards decided that they needed trained soldiers, blessed by angels to handle this task…to maintain this balance and release souls to their eternal destination before the time they were actually meant to die. So they made 10 of us. And blessed us. And cursed us with that blessing."

*

A lot of other people who might hear this story might doubt Emery's tale of good and evil and angels. But Danny, as mentioned before, fought a dragon and dwelled in a separate realm. He's got a pretty open mind about things beyond the realm of ordinary experience and perception.
After the initial explanation is given, he asks what may or may not be the obvious question, "So…how come you're a butler?"

*

"Because as a Butler, a servant, it got me close to people to watch and take out whoever needed to be taken out." Emery explains softly, gesturing idly with the bottle of tea. "Over teh years I've served some of the most important and dangerous people in teh world. I am a very damn good Butler. I've trained as a priest as well but I like drinkin' and havin' sex too much for that."

Then he stares off at nothing in particular, memories flickering in his eyes. "I've trained for years and done me job diligently for many years. Rarely asked questions. Used me abilities as directed. But I retired when Kennis was born. I dedicated meself to being a damn good Butler and Servant. My priorities shifted and changed." He looks over to Danny for a moment. "The blessing, is that I get the years that my targets were supposed to have left, added to me own life. The curse, is every soul that I reap leaves behind a figment, a shadow…residue that has free reign to torture me whenever I am unconscious or sleep." A wry smile goes here.

*

It's all a lot more gray and more complicated than what Danny is used to dealing with. And he really doesn't have a frame of reference to imagine what Emery's life has been like. But even so, he listens carefully and tries to absorb it all.
That last bit sits with him for a moment, too, then he purses his lips. "That explains why you don't sleep much." Then, "Have you tried to meditate? To calm your mind and rest it without sleep?"

*

"I do meditate. I can go with only 2 days of sleep a week, usually. I have to sleep though. I cannae go without it, and avoid the…pain. Its hard to explain. Its my penance. That's what I meant in that call. Its part of teh whole package. I do penance for the murders I have commited in the service of my masters…by allowing the shadows of those souls their revenge when me body is asleep." It is a complicated mess and outloud it sounds just as unfair and ridiculous but Emery sounds rather matter of fact about it all.

There's a deep breath taken before he continues softly. "I don't want…Kennis to be like me but there are people who, since I'm the last one of me kind, want both her and me to see if they can start breeding more when she comes of age. That is why I am a Butler. That is why I dun have a set address. That is why I moved here to try to start a new, safer life even though I have to look over me shoulder constantly. That's why I do not mind that ye need me to get blood out of your clothing. Its safer than the life I would have without it."

*

Penance. That's something Danny understands, even if it's mostly in the abstract. Balance, a greater duty, a greater calling - all of those things fall neatly in his frame of reference. He can't fully understand what Emery is going through, but he can start to in a way someone else might not.
He stands up, purses his lips and then says, "Let me show you something." He sets his bottle of iced tea down and moves to the back of the room. It looks like an ordinary wall with a fuse box. He opens the fuse box and flicks one of the breakers. There's a popping sound and a seam on the wall opens to reveal a door. He opens the heavy concrete divider to reveal a panic room stocked with food, three cots and a radio. It even has a generator in case the power is cut. "My mother showed me this when I was a kid. She told me to come here if something bad happened." For the Rand family, kidnapping was a very real concern. "I want you to use it if you need to."

*

Emery follows Danny with his eyes, head tilting to the side as he exhales softly, giving a small nod as he studies the panic room. He's seen them before, there almost seems to be a bit of relief that this house has one as well. He is quiet though before he looks to Danny. "If somethin' happens to me…I, I want to make sure Kennis knows that this is a safe place she can go. I've done alot of fucked up tings in me life, but Kennis is not one of those. It does me heart well to know there's somewhere safe she can go if somethin' happens."

He takes a long swig of his tea before exhaling through his nose. "And she likes your hair so she trusts you."

*

"Well, I better never cut it then," says Danny. He looks into the panic room a moment longer, then shoulders the door back into place. "Thank you, by the way. For trusting me with her. I know you wouldn't do that with just anyone."

*

"You are goin' to end up lookin' like a labradoodle if ye dun at least keep it trimmed." Emery cautions with a small smile and he bobs his head in a stilted nod, taking a sip of tea at the same time. "I wouldn't do it with just anyone. Ye have a good soul and are a good person. Ye haven't been jaded or twisted by the world to seek power. Ye /have/ power and do not lust for more."

*

Danny smiles sheepishly and ducks his head. He rubs the back of his neck. "It's hard to lust for things when you don't know what you want." He moves to retrieve his own tea, but mostly so he has something in his hand. "Do…I have to worry about someone trying to get to you through me? Not that…" he holds up a hand, "…I resent the danger. I'd just like to be prepared."

*

"Mm, nah." Emery purses his lips. "There is a code wit these sorts of people. Kennis however…I tink her picture has been circulated amongst certain organizations. I've been havin' to fight off kidnappers and such since I've got here. Its died off lately, and I'll let ye know if they start lookin' for her again." He promises.

*

Danny frowns. It's a very serious frown, even though it somehow manages to make him look younger. "How much does she understand about all this?" For obvious reasons, he doesn't like the idea of someone putting a kid into the middle of things.

*

Emery smiles weakly and lowers his eyes, shaking his head slowly. "She…knows that Daddy sometimes to fight to keep her safe. She tinks bad faeries are comin' after us because they are…bad. She's a really smart girl, so sometimes I wonder." He rubs a hand over his face. "But she doesn't know why. She just knows how to do what Daddy says without askin' questions when it comes to packing up, or hidin' and such…"

*

"I think…she might know more than you think she does," says Danny. "I mean, I understood more of what my parents were talking about when I was a kid." He looks back towards the now-closed panic room. "Like, I understood why we needed that room without them explaining it to me. I grew up with people paying a lot of attention to me."

*

"Aye, she knows alot. But she doesn't know the exactly why…or that her daddy is as old that I am. She just tinks I used to be a knight. I don't ever lie to her. But she's 5, there are tings she's not yet ready to hear." Emery explains before worrying his bottom lip. "I hope tings calm down. She had a good life, a calmer life before we had to move."

*

"What about uh…" Danny realizes what he's about to ask is potentially awkward, "…her mother? Was she like your mother?"

*

The mention of the Mother makes Emery quirks an eyebrow and purse his lips as he takes a sip of his tea and there's a flicker of anger that crosses his face. The Irishman looks thoughtful as he considers how to answer this. "Five years ago, I accidentally impregnated a high ranking member of a certain family that I am not legally allowed to mention by name. Kennis was the result of that accident and I was paid alot…alot of money to take full custody of Kennis and as far as other people are concerned, her biological mother died in childbirth." His cheeks puff out in a huff. "Long story short, to ensure a political marriage still continued, on the record Kennis was never born to her actual mother."

*

Danny wrinkles his nose in both disgust and familiarity with the explanation. He's pretty naive, but he understands the way high society works for the most part. The dirty secrets they like to sweep under the rug, and can do because of money and power. "Are you…going to explain any of this to her as she gets older?"

*

"Its a fuckin' mess." Emery replies softly. "But when she's old enough, I'll explain that her mummy loved her enough to give her to me, to raise and protect and love." He spreads his hands almost helplessly. "I haven't figured out how to tell her she can never actually meet her mother without an international incident. I'm hopin' I get some time to figure out how to explain that. For now, I make sure she knows she's loved. She asked about her mum before, its a…hard question."

*

"I remember when I was just a little older than her, I fully started to appreciate how different my family was. I went to this camp with a bunch of other kids, but there were also a number of sponsored spots for kids from low income households. It was the first time I fully appreciated that not everyone lives in big houses, has drivers and has people wanting to take pictures of them." Danny shakes his head. "I still didn't quite get it even after I met those other kids." And some might even accuse him of still not really getting it.

*

"Until she moved here, she had private tutors, nannies and went to school wit' other people who had to be driven to school in armored cars." Emery admits with a hint of a smirk. "But we lived in a neighborhood where other wee ones went to public daycares, so she'd always be tryin' to bring treats from her school to share wit' the neighbor kids." He remarks fondly before remembering again how he uprooted her life due to the dangers his own history brought to their lives. He clears his throat. "Ye turned out okay though. I mean, fightin' dragons and unruly hair and all…"

*

Danny chuckles a little, "Depends on your definition of 'okay.'" He looks off into the distance for a moment, then looks back to Emery. "Please let me if I can help, okay? You've been watching my back. I'd like to do the same."

*

Emery pushes himself to his feet, and brushes invisible dust off his thighs before taking another sip of his tea. "I will try to remember that I have…help now. Its comforting." A pause. "I'll tell ye about the whole demon bear vendetta demonic animals deal after dinner. And after I finish washing some ties for next week as well." He nods towards the stairs. "Its Lasagna. There's a whole pan just for you." He winks and heads for the stairs, pausing to look over his shoulder at Danny, staring at him rather intently for a moment. "Thank you." Its a genuine utterance of gratitude before he starts back up the stairs.

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