February 16, 2018:

Luke and Danny visit the site of the (former) bar, Impulse visits, the start of rebuilding ensues.

Former Site of Luke's Bar

Big pile of rubble.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Ms Marvel, Max Mercury, Red Robin, Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Owen Mercer


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The first step was getting Luke to admit he had a problem. The second was the promise of a loan. The third was getting him out of his hidey hole but the lure of drinking somewhere else other than Danny's couch actually held appeal for once. When Cage said, "Let's go to the bar," maybe this isn't really what Rand had pictured, but here the pair are at the pile of rubble once know as Luke's.

It's still taped off with sad yellow CAUTION! plastic ribbon, starting to fade and weather over the past month. With the insurance claim abandoned, so was any further investigation and therefore any clean up efforts have been likewise foregone. Now there's just a giant 'For Sale' sign on the debris piled property from the bank. "Maybe we should have brought two bottles."


This isn't really what Danny expected, no. But ever the agreeable one, he's letting Luke lead his therapy, so to speak. Or rather, he doesn't know enough about actual therapy or to help someone out with emotional stuff that he'll settle for being company.
He's carrying a messenger bag, in which is a bottle of whiskey. "I dunno. If we had, we might pass out and freeze," says the ninja CEO as he examines the rubble with a frown. "I can buy the property if you want. At least for now. Until you decide if you want to build something else here."


"I'm sort of counting on it." Luke glances over his shoulder to give at least a partial smirk to Danny before his eyes go back to the giant heap of rubble. "Maybe we'll just build a giant middle finger statue on the property, dedicated to Fisk. Hell, if we call it art, maybe we can even get a grant for it." The big man doesn't bother ducking under the tape, he just snaps it between his hands like it's a thread of spider's silk in his way. He hasn't been back here since the incident, and so he just pauses for a second to let it sink in and see if it hits him like a fist in the gut.


Danny digs around in his bag until he pulls out the bottle of whiskey. "Well," he begins as he examines the site, perhaps picturing said finger. "…I could use a tax write-off."
He cracks open the bottle, then steps into the rubble behind Luke. He nudges the big man with the bottle and offers it up.

The blur of red and white probably won't even register until the figure moving at such speeds suddenly backtracks from passing the lot of rubble that had formerly been his first actual place of employment. You know, with money.

It's some couple of blocks further down that Impulse stops and then turns himself back around to head back to the spot.

While it hasn't been every day that he's come by, he'd made it a point to pass it whenever he could. He's not really sure what he'd been hoping to see. Maybe at first, the place still in tact as though the whole ordeal had been a bad dream. Maybe hopes that the rubble would be cleared out so things could be rebuilt. It's been over a month now and nothing had happened. But today's different, if only because two people are here. Two familiar people.

For the moment Bart forgets he's in costume as he practically just appears with a brief gust of wind, in his hero red-and-white. He stares a bit, because he hasn't thought that far ahead of what he'd meant to do once he'd come here, but that's typical.


"You know if you stayed technically dead, you wouldn't have to pay taxes at all." Luke turns slightly at the nudge of the bottle, reaching down to take it and twist off the plastic tamper proof seal and then pulling the stopper. The latter gets flicked off into the pile of concrete and bricks, meaning they'll just have to finish that bottle tonight. Oh darn. It's somewhere midway to his lips for the first swig that the red and white festooned Bart super-speed-stops on the sidewalk. "Jesus Fucking Christmas!" That little gust of wind was enough to knock even the mountain man Luke Cage off his feet, or just the sudden appearance is force enough to make him stumble back into the rubble pile and flail as he tries to maintain his footing on loose shale /and/ not drop that precious bottle of booze.

It's also enough for Luke to mix up his swearing with his attempt at not.


"Yeah, but then I'd be…" and then Danny is reacting, all ninja-like. He may not be a super-speedster, but he moves pretty quick for a millenial billionaire. He drops back into a steadying stance amongst the rubble, then manages to snap his hand out to grab the liquor bottle by the neck, an inch before its bottom would hit a bit of twisted rebar. He freezes in that low ninja pose, bottle held, blinking up at the vague blur turned human. He stays down in that neat and suspiciously agile pose, one knee bent, the other leg kicked out, one arm thrown up for balance, booze neck in hand.
"I…think I ripped my pants again."

"-aw grife, sorry!"

Seeing his former boss go sprawling, Impulse is moving again, if just to make a grab for Luke's arm as he digs his feet into the rubble to help steady him. Lanky as he is, the Speedster's stronger than he looks, at least.

Once he's sure everyone's not falling or dropping things, Impulse glances between the two, casting Danny an awkwardly apologetic look. "Um. Hi?" he finally says to both, accompanied with a little wave. Let's try that again.


"Bart?" Luke's never really seen the guy in his getup before, "We need to get you a bell." He's straightening up, brushing some grit off his palm but it's not like a tumble will do any damage to the big man. Danny's pants, however, are another subject. "And you really need to get elastic crotches." Now that they've established that nothing of value is broken, read the booze, Luke is making a gimme motion for the bottle again. "You doing okay, kid?" The last to the speedster.


"This uh, girl I met sent me an ad for pants but I think it was from the 70s?" Danny adjusts his grip on the bottle, then stands up smoothly. He reaches back to check his pants, then lets out an exhale of relief. Nope, it only felt like he ninjaed out the seams again. "Uh. Hi," he says awkwardly as he looks at Bart. He hands the bottle over to Luke.

The confusion from Luke has Impulse glancing down at himself before he smacks a hand on his face. Right. Whoops. Well, it's not like he didn't already know, right? Bart had pretty much flubbed that when he'd provided the Titan Tower's address for his contact info. It's a wonder Max hasn't had a heart attack. Multiple heart attacks. It…couldn't have been easy to be his guardian.

"Er, yeah. 's me." He frowns a bit. "I was going to ask you that. I haven't seen you in forever."

Looking at Danny, the Speedster tilts his head. The subject of pants has confused him, but at least, given Danny's relief, it seems like a false alarm.


"You met a girl." Luke's eyebrows shoot up at that notion from Danny, drowning away the thought that he really /has/ kept himself out of the loop with a swig of liquor. He's rubbing away the moisture from his lips with the curve of his hand when he sheepishly shrugs at Bart. "Had to work through a few things on my own. Sorry about the whole … being unemployed thing. Danny, you remember Bart? The barback from the Christmas party." Maybe he should be introducing the guy as Impulse, but that doesn't seem to occur to Luke at the moment.


And people criticize Danny for being bad about secret identities. He nods to Bart, then takes a minute to squint at him. "Oh, oh yeah. I was…" he pinkens a little, "…a bit drunk that night." His first Christmas back in New York, and his first one without his parents. It was a bit rough. At least he was a happy drunk.
He turns to Luke, then says "Yeah. There were ninjas and a boat load of drugs and stuff. And she's stretchy. She's uh…the one with the mask in Jersey City. Marvelous Girl."

"Errr, Impulse in costume," he points out, clearing his throat. "Max'd kill me if he knew I screwed up with the whole dumb identity thing though." Which, Bart likes to think, isn't completely his fault because he hadn't figured that far when it came to normal-life contacts and such. Of course, Max would probably retaliate with the 'you didn't think' and be done with it.

"Nah, don't worry about it Luke. I mean. It's not like anyone expected that to happen."

There's a mildly interested look cast back to Danny because of mention of ninjas. Well, of course there'd be.

"-anyway, there anything I can do, Luke? I mean…well, I don't know what all's going on except that bars don't usually explode like that… Maybe if I were looking harder I would've noticed something was off.."


Hey, we're all friends here, right? Besides, how can you /not/ just spill all your secrets to the Labradoodle known as Danny? "Look at you, branching out. Making new friends. Meeting girls. So when are you going to bring her home so I can question her with a shotgun across my lap?" Because that might just happen. Luke lowers himself onto a particularly large piece of concrete, making it his temporary throne among the refuse of his exploded bar and subsequent building above. "Impulse. Right. Is there some council that goes around giving out names? Because seriously. Marvelous Girl? Power Man? We need to have a talk." His boot turns over a brick, "Not your fault, kid. There are a thousand what-ifs I've been replaying in my mind for weeks now, the simple answer is I helped kick an ant hill and this was just one of many consequences to come."


The Labradoodle known as Danny is definitely quite good at spilling his own secrets, at least. No one has trusted him with any of theirs yet, so it's hard to say how good he would be at keeping them. He blinks at Luke's 'shotgun across lap' comment. Slowly, the gears kick into place. "Oh. No. No not…we just fought some ninjas." It wasn't like a date or anything, his tone seems to say.

He reaches out for the bottle of whiskey, because he's not going to let Luke drink alone. Even if he would only need a fraction of what the big man would need to get under-the-table drunk. He can't go drink-for-drink, but he can at least attempt every four or five pulls. "Who's Power Man?" he asks. That's a new one for him.


There's something of an amused look between Luke and Danny at the exchange. "People still do that?" Bart, no.

He shrugs at Luke. "I dunno. I got mine by accident but it seemed to fit. Power Man?" The latter he kind of says in simultation with Danny's own question. Although fighting ninjas sounds like a cool date.

While he not quite frowns, Impulse still looks uncertain at the response Luke gives. It's not that the answer doesn't make sense. It just really sucks.


After Luke passes Danny the bottle, a big ole fat thumb gets jutted at himself when Danny asks who Power Man is, Luke looking a mixture of bemused and annoyed, "It's starting to stick, apparently. Like saying 'Hey Abilities Dude!'." There's a shake of his head. "Hey Impulse," Even after he says it, Cage's eyes narrow for a minute like he's still trying to process /that/ one, but continues. "Where'd you get your duds anyway. I'm thinking I at least need to up my game a bit from just a hoodie. Because," A motion to the rubble.


Danny has to steel himself before he takes a proper swig. Although the bottle he brought just happens to be a twenty year old Speyside. He's still learning his booze and just took something from the cupboard. The stuff is smooth, and that surprises him. He passes the bottle back over again. "Power Man," he says, testing those words. He head-wobbles in half-agreement. Hey, it could certainly be worse.

He blinks at Luke's question, then looks at Bart's getup as if he's imagining Luke in something similar. His nose wrinkles. "I don't know if that's really your colour, man."


Well, Luke had proved himself to be more tougher than the average human. "Huh…" Impulse says, nodding slowly as he seems to be visualizing Luke and this newly revealed Power Man moniker.

"Thirtieth century." The response is made without a second thought, but then that all the more defines the reason for his own codename. Impulse blinks, and then amends with, "-but Red Robin is really surprisingly good with putting costume stuff together." Sometimes his pal seems just way too eager to redesign things too.

Looking at Danny, it's pretty easy to tell where Impulse's imagination goes. "…pfft."


"You…got your fancy spandex from…the future?" Luke's eyes go to the bottle that Danny holds, as if to question how much they've actually imbibed in the short time here. No, no, it's only been a few swigs. "I'm too old for this shit." But there's actually a chuckle there as he picked up a jagged piece of drywall and frisbees it at the construction dumpster set up near the alley. "And no, no one needs to see me in skin tight red and white. Not even Jess on date night. But I gotta come up with something if we're going to start fighting back. I can't risk you all again."


It says something about Danny that he goes immediately to, "You're dating Jessica?" and not to, 'thirtieth century.' He does however circle back to that and blink. The blink turns into a bit of a wry gril. "New York really does have all kinds, huh?" Then, "You didn't risk us all, Luke. I chose to be a part of it. And he's running around in futuristic spandex. And I don't imagine he's delivering pizza."


Just quit while he's ahead, that's what he should do. Impulse smiles wryly. "Kind of? …on the account that I'm kinda from there."

He looks around for a relatively clear space to plop down to sit, sighing.

"Hey, risks are part of the job. And when people are in trouble, doing something about it is natural, because ignoring it isn't an option."

Smirking at Danny's pizza remark, the Speedster shrugs. "Only on occasion at the Tower."


A pair of brown eyes just slowly BAHLINK at Impulse, "You're from…the… gimme that, Danny." Luke makes a grab for the bottle because he can't even finish that sentence right now without more alcohol involved. "And careful saying I'm dating Jessica out loud. I'm convinced she can hear those words, where ever she is, like some Mystic. And once she catches wind of them, part of me is afraid she's just going to do a disappearing act and not even get a text like the last guy. So I'm giving her plausible deniability when it comes to any label. So no. Definitely not dating."


"I don't really want to know what the world might be like that far in the future," says Danny with a slow headshake. "I'm trying to imagine what people a thousand years ago might've imagined where we'd be." Probably not imagining people drinking in a ruin in Hell's Kitchen in the middle of February. Speaking of. He zips his coat up a little higher, but he's not going to complain or suggest they go.

He eyes the big man sidelong at the comments about Jessica. "I'll uh, be sure to keep that in mind." He toes at a bit of rubble and uncovers a bottle opener. He stoops down, dusts it off, then half-offers it out to Luke. Memento?


Whoops. He's driven his boss to drink. Somewhere Max Mercury is probably having a migraine.

"Probably better that way," Impulse agrees, nodding at Danny. He wouldn't even begin to know where he'd start with that, and the time he'd gone back with his mom definitely wouldn't have been a trip for the faint of heart.

Peering at Luke, he nods solemnly even though the warning is more towards Danny than himself. Relationships are so complicated.


Cold? It's not really one of those things that registers with Luke until it gets to the extremes. "It's not…I just don't want to screw things up, you know? She's sort of one of the few good things I've got going." The bottle gets held between his thighs to free up his grip for the bottle opener, Luke leaning over to reach for the metal relief of a hula girl who can open beer with her thighs. "Lola! She made it!" He kisses her little carved face. "See, things are already looking up. So Danny'll buy the lot, I'll do the clean up work myself, then we can talk about rebuilding and giving this kid a job again, so he can stop … freaking me out with this future talk."


Danny drops to squat on top of a piece of concrete. He shifts over when he finds a bit of rebar digging into his butt cheek, then eventually chooses a different piece of rubble altogether. He pulls out his phone, but he isn't being rude. He very awkwardly, slowly, (and probably typo-ridden-ly) pecks out a message to someone. Normally he actually tries to type in complete sentences, even on his phone. But that requires two hands, and although his fist glows, it doesn't come with associated warmth. "There. I've asked my lawyers to work on the sale. It should be pretty quick."
Something occurs to him while they're sitting there. "Uh, do you…need a job?" he asks of Bart. "Cause I think I own a bar or something somewhere. There's catering for sure, at least."


Seeing Luke lighten up at the sight of something so simple but obviously sentimental, Impulse smiles. That's more of the Luke he's wanted to see, and the words spoken just make him feel all the better as he hears them. He laughs.

"Well, if it was just going to take that to help you get back in gear I should've done it a long time ago!"

He lets his arms drape loosely over his knees, not seeming too bothered by the cold place he sits on despite his suit. A quick jog will set that right. As Danny pulls out his phone, Impulse eyes the slow texting, his foot tapping, but mostly because he's just envisioning how much faster he is at throwing out messages. Robin hadn't been kidding when he told Tony Stark that burned through several phones.

"Wow, just like that?" he blinks, brows arching behind the yellow-tinted lenses of his goggles. "Cool." And then he blinks again as Danny looks at him with a direct question. "Uh…" Pause. "Wait, you think?" How's that work?


"Or maybe if you really wanted to look into the lucrative pizza delivery gig, he might own a chain or two as well.." Luke is only half joking about that as he just shakes his head in quiet wonderment about how Rand could probably move heaven and earth with just a signature on the right line. "Billionaires at work, kid." Because calling Bart 'kid' makes him want to snicker less than 'Impulse'. "It's best not to question their ways, for they are ancient and secret. I thought I did well by having enough cash to make sure that Wilson & Murdock could cover your … the.. uh. The unemployment of Owen and my barback Bart. But then this guy sneezes and suddenly we're sitting on Rand property." He's quick to add, "Not that I'm knocking it! Thanks, buddy. Couldn't do this without you." The last to Danny, which sounds one part sheepish and a whole lot of grateful.


"Pizza?" Danny thinks about it for a minute and then shakes his head. "I don't…think so? But I think we own some food distribution something?" Which he could be mistaking for shares in Apple. Then again, he can really be forgiven. Rand might primarily do pharmecuticals, but there's a whole world of smaller companies they also own to support that business. It's all really complicated and there IS a lot to remember.

He checks his phone one more time, then tucks it away inside his coat and zips it up before digging both his hands deep in his pockets. He gives Luke a little grin. "I'm just glad you're letting me help you, man. It really is what friends are for." He lifts a shoulder and glances to Bart. "I think we own the catering company that operates out of Rand Tower and does our internal catering stuff. They also do a pub in the lobby and one around the corner in one of our other buildings. Even if I don't own them, we're the landlords so I'm sure I could put in a good word." And if your billionaire landlord asks you to hire a bartender, you say yes.


Hey, at least he doesn't do the speed puns like his grandpa. When Luke imparts the ways of the rich and famous, Impulse nods like he's being taught some sort of life lesson. Maybe in a way it is. It's sure a lot more than he's figured about billionaires, that much is certain. There's a small frown as Luke stumbles over the part about covering for unemployment for both himself and Owen. More stuff he hasn't really understood but only figured is part of all the complications of having- and losing- a job.

But things are moving on, and maybe the next time Bart comes by this corner, there'll be a building again. …well okay, maybe not that soon, but Speedsters.

He grins at Danny. "Well, I wouldn't say no to the chance. Something else to do until Luke's back in business." Keep him busy and not bored. And keep his ever growing cat fed.


For the first time in a while, even though he's sitting on the ruins of his livelihood and life, Luke seems content. It manifests now in a small smile as he polishes the metal bottle opener on the material of his jeans, cleaning off the concrete dust that has dulled Lola's shine. "See. Everything is coming together nicely. Suck on that, Fisk. You can knock us down, and it might take us some time, but you bet your ass we're going to get back up again."

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