Wake and Bake

February 09, 2018:

Danny attempts to pull Luke out of his funk after losing the bar, Luke finally explains why it's been so hard.

//Danny's House //

Biggest house in Manhattan, hard to miss.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Jessica Jones, Owen Mercer, Bart Allen, Matt Murdock

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

*

There's been a strange rhythm to Danny Rand's life as of late. It's been an odd mix of the occasional thug tailing and head bashing and…a lot of meetings. He's been in and out of the house wearing suits more often than fighting gear.
"I am reeaaaallly tired of morning glory muffins. I loved them at first, but man, they get old." He's on his back on the exercise mats, wearing loose martial arts clothing. The gym isn't exactly a hot box, but there's definitely an eau du skunk in the air.
After he finishes speaking, his stomach growls loudly, "…though I kinda want one now."

*

"You think about food more than I do." And that's a compliment, even if it's not exactly delivered that way. At least Luke has emerged from the guest room, but he doesn't seem particularly interested in working out either. He just needed a bit of human interaction and so he sought out Danny down here in his sanctum. Dressed in a pair of sweat pants gifted to him by Jessica after his belongings went kablooey, they're they sort with no elastic around the ankles. Perfect for moping along with the RAND branded t-shirt he's coupled it with. "So no Fisk blow back for you, yet?"

*

Danny hooks his hands together under the small of his back and arches his body up into a yoga pose. He holds it just for a second before flopping back down against the mat with a soft bounce. "Nnnnot yet. I mean, maybe…he's already tried and it didn't work?" That's wishful thinking, of course. But he's nothing if not an optimist. "Any updated on the whole uh…insurance thing?"

*

Luke gives a long exhale that makes his nostrils flare, "I talked to Murdock." From his seat on the mat, he draws up his knees and hugs his massive arms around them. "It's not something we can pursue. So, it's…" There's a shrug, attempting to be cavalier and dismissive about it, but it's clear it's weighing on him and it's not just as simple as there wasn't any insurance to pursue in the first place. "A total loss. Guess I'm out of the bar biz."

*

"Just let me spot you the cash, man. If you won't just take the money, then call it an interest-free loan. I mean…" Danny lifts a hand and stares at the knuckles of his right fist. They're swollen as a fighter's hands should be, nicked with a dozen tiny scars. "…what's the point of all this money if I can't help a friend?"

*

"It's not that easy. I can't…" Luke worries his lips against each other, ending up pulling off a dried flake with a pinch of his teeth. "Technically the bar wasn't even mine to begin with. The business, the building, the apartment …everything. They were all in an estate that Reva set up. I can't, I don't, exist on paper." He frowns at the end of the joint, putting it to his mouth again to draw the fragrant smoke into his lungs, holding it until they burn.

*

"I do. I exist." Danny giggles a little. "I exist on SO many papers. I didn't for awhile, because they thought I was dead. But I sign so many things." He mimes signing the air. He sits up, curly hair mussed, then reaches for the joint. "I could buy the building and you get hired as the manager."

*

Luke manages the smallest of smirks when Danny giggles, his own high apparently much less mild so that he's just sort of subdued. Or that may be the funk talking. "And then what? That gets blown up too, only this time people don't make it out in time? I don't know, Danny. I shouldn't look a gift Immortal Iron Fist in the mouth, but…I guess I also can't keep living on your couch." Though couch is just symbolic, as he's become rather comfortable in the feather top bedded guest room with on-suite shower.

*

"I also probably own another bar somewhere already." Danny shrugs. "Or anything you want to do. Just…" he takes a hit from the joint, pauses, lets his scalp tingle a bit, exhales, then…well, then he blinks blearily. "…I'm here to help you out. You're not gonna be out on the street. I know you're bummed out about it, but we'll get you back on your feet."

*

"I guess I just keep waiting for some big ass sign to tell me what I need to do next." Luke gives a gimme gimme motion for the joint, slapping a few fingers against their palm. "Funny how signs down't really appear when you're just staring at a muted TV wondering why the Roadrunner keeps getting away from the Coyote."

*

Danny passes over the joint and waves a hand to cut hanging smoke in the air. "I do believe in signs," says the curly-haired one dead seriously. "But I also believe that sometimes you have to stop waiting and just follow your gut." Like he did when he walked away from his responsibility to protect K'un L'un!
Okay. Maybe a bad example.

*

"Mm." Luke replies noncommittally about following his gut while he takes another drag, knocking off the tiny little curl of ash into his empty soda can. "There have been plenty of times where my gut has led me astray. But look, Danny, there's something you should know about me and this whole Fisk thing before you go getting in bed with me, so to speak."

*

Danny spins around and tucks his feet under his legs, lotus-style. He faces Luke and listens intensely, or as intensely as he can with the drugs moving through his system. "And you should know there's not a lot that you could tell me that would change my opinion of you."

*

"Don't be too sure about that." Luke says in a pinched tone of not wanted to exhale just yet. When he finally does, his lips cant towards the ceiling to keep the smoke from going directly into Danny's face. "I don't know how. I don't know how he managed it. No one knew me here, knew about me until that thumb drive surfaced that led us to the raid in the first at Monetary Shock. But Fisk knows. He made the connection between Carl Lucas and Luke Cage. He called me out by my name. My /old/ name. He puts the word in the right ear, and I'm headed back to prison. /That's/ why Murdock advised against pursuing the insurance policy."

*

All of this subtle politicking and avoiding crime bosses is not something Danny is good at when his head is clear and he's had a good sleep. When it's the end of the week and he's had some primo weed, he just sort of blinks at Luke with one eye not quite following the other. "You think if you do anything but mope around, then Fisk will try and stomp you down again? That's…uh…" he rubs his cheek. "That's definitely a reason to not do it. I mean. He can't win."

*

A hand mops over his bald head, a subtle sign of frustration. "I can't go back there, Danny." It's the scale he can't balance in his mind, between the fear of going back to prison and the threat Fisk presents to his friends if left unchecked. "I'm being selfish, I know. But I'm an /escaped convict/. It's not like I'm going to get some cushy corner cell with a panoramic view."

*

"Then we find something on Fisk that will make him not play that card," says Danny matter-of-factly. As if it's just that simple. "He's got to have dirt, and we know who he is. We just gotta be careful about how we dig and how. I mean, taking him down would be better, but in the short term…"

*

"You. Jessica. Even Murdock. You're aiding and abetting." Luke sucks again on the joint, drawing it down to a bare stub as they talk, because all this seriousness is at direct war to the high he should be feeling by now.

*

Danny scrubs at his eye like a sleepy toddler. He doesn't yawn, but he looks close to it. "If someone put me in prison, I'd bust out, too." Not the most intelligent thing he's ever said, but again, he's not exactly at his best at the moment.

*

"At that point I didn't have much of a choice, on elf the guards was trying to kill me. Damn near succeeded." Once Luke finally has that weight off his chest he can start to relax. He's been holding that close to his chest, the major reason he's been basically in hiding at Danny's. Fear. He reclines back on an elbow, stretching out his legs. "He had me jumped because I wasn't playing nice. I should have been dead."

*

"But you're not," says Danny. "And then Fisk came at you in your bar. Also," he snap-points, "Not dead. And not back in prison. You have a lot to be thankful for when you think about it that way. That's how I got through the first while in K'un L'un when they told me the way was closed and I knew my parents were dead. That it was a miracle I was alive, and with people who took care of me."

*

"That I should just be thankful my very continued existence is a threat to the people around me I care about? Not really selling it for me there, Danny." Stretching out, Luke finally just lets his spine sink into the mat and he stares at the ceiling. "What was it like? K'un L'un?"

*

"No, I mean, you shouldn't let yourself sink into despair because things could be a lot worse. I mean…you're not on the street. Everyone's all right. And, if Fisk is lashing back at us, it means we hurt him. Seriously. And it means we're in a position where we can keep on hurting him." Spoken like someone who hasn't yet directly felt Fisk's wrath.
The question of K'un L'un has him pondering. No one's ever actually asked him that. "It was beautiful. Serene. Holy. But also harsh, desolate, and isolated. The monks saved my life and took me in. They allowed me to train even though I was an outsider. But I had to grow up fast."

*

"I'm trying, Danny. Which is more than I can say for yesterday." Luke's arm slings over his eyes, blocking out the light from the room but not completely closing himself off from conversation. "You were basically just a kid. Just lost your folks. Thrust into a different way of life, couldn't have been easy."

*

"It wasn't." But Danny Rand is not a person who feels sorry for himself. Which you could call a virtue or a failing, depending on your perspective. "But I haven't met many people lately who've had an easy go of it. So I don't like to compare scars."

*

"But how did you go from a gangly kid who was probably more elbows than brains …end up the Immortal Iron Fist, and we established you're not immortal right? I think so." Luke gives an exhale that sounds more serene than he's been in a long time. "Man, I gotta give it to your meditative herbs…"

*

Speaking of meditative. Danny closes his eyes while he sits lotus pose. Or maybe he's drifting off. It's hard to tell. He could also just be enjoying the body high. "It's a very…" he exhales, "…long story. Can I tell it to you some other time?"

*

"Yyyyuup." Luke drawls, "I don't mean to pry. Just thought we've talked bout me enough." These mats /are/ mighty comfortable, but maybe being a billionaire he can have those filled with feathers too. "Doesn't Emery usually pop up like a magic leprechaun right about now and feed us delicious breakfast foods?"

*

"He hasn't been feeling so good lately," mumbles Danny. "Something about the whole bear business? I've been going to so many meetings that I haven't had a chance to talk to him about it," for which he feels guilty considering how much the butler is attentive to him.

*

"Mm. Speaking of, I should probably reach out to Owen and Bart, make sure they're doing okay. If nothing else, I need to consider their future. I could always just go sweep up hair at Pop's Barber Shop." Luke's arm lifts briefly from shielding his eyes as he peeks over at Danny. "You serious about that loan thing?"

*

"Serious. For whatever you want to use the money for. Whether it's another bar or something else." Danny says this with no hesitation. He means it. He really does have far more money than he would ever know what to do with. Even if Rand folded tomorrow, he'd be set for life. And probably beyond that if it turns out he's actually immortal.

*

There's a rumble in Luke's chest as his arm drops down back over his eyes. "I'll pay you back every single penny. Even if my children's children are paying it to your children's children. If we live long enough to have children in the first place. Maybe it'd be wise to name it something other than Luke's Bar this time around. That wasn't very original in the first place."

*

Danny quirks a grin. "I'll leave the naming things up to you. I'm not very good with naming things. I had a dog when I was a kid who I named Bowser." He rolls his shoulders back, things cracking and popping as he does. "Just tell me what you need, Luke. I want to help."

*

"Whatever we do, I want to make sure you're protected. I'll check with Murdock and I'm sure you have your own fleet of lawyers, but we have to make sure my name is no where near it. But if I can do this for Owen and Bart…" It's one thing to do this for himself, but Luke can easily get behind the thought of doing The Right Thing for someone else.

*

"Did I meet this Murdock guy? I can't remember. I know you guys have talked…" Danny snaps. "Oh, right. He was the lawyer for the guy with the…" he moves his arm up and down and make robot servo noises. He's completely unaware that he's the only one in their little quasi-team who doesn't know the identity of the Devil of Hell's Kitchen.

*

"Bucky, yeah." And to his stoned credit, Luke doesn't spill the beans about that particular secret. "And a friend of Jessica's and at her suggestion, he's the one that drew up the paperwork for the Trust when I left it all to Owen when things started to get hairy. Of course judging by the look of his face, he's getting into his own amount of hair these days."

*

"I would be…shocked if we had any friends who weren't uh…hairy," says Danny. He's not Mr. Clever, but even he recognizes a total dud statement when he makes one. He gets up neatly, but then wobbles a little bit. There's a bit of a giggle. "I never sleep so well than after this uh…meditation. So maybe I should go to bed. You, too. I bet you haven't been sleeping too well."

*

"All I do is sleep." Luke confesses but he rolls to his side just the same. He's not nearly as graceful when it comes to getting to his feet, more of a lumbering oaf in that regard but he recognizes when he needs to leave Danny's inner sanctum. "But I'm totally going to raid the pantry."

*

"You do that. I'm…probably going to want a bacon sandwich in about a half hour." Danny pats his stomach. "And soon, we'll get out. We'll go and do something outside of the house. Go get a drink. Ooo, go skating in Rockefeller Plaza!"

*

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