Technically Bespoke

April 29, 2018:

Owen delivers Danny Rand a shiny new suit.

Rand Residence

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Emery Papsworth

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Owen had agreed to have Danny's armor patched up and ready to go by the the weekend. He had been working on it diligently, even asking Jane for help… okay fine, he didn't so much ask Jane for help as snoop around her work space and do as much reading in Stark's files as he had access to. But it actually paid off, Owen thanks in part to his newly acquired future tech knowledge actually understood some of the techno-babble and was able to incorporate it into the design of the armor. All was going pretty well until the shitshow that is Owen's personal life decided to rear its ugly head.

Which is why an alert on Owen's phone is waking up at 5 in the afternoon on a Sunday reminding him to contact Danny. Owen expected that alarm to be reminding him to stop working in a lab. Instead he's waking in a pool of saliva on the floor of his nearly bare Gotham crash pad half dressed and looking like he's been run over by a few trucks.

"Shit! Shittie shit shit shits." Owen tries to get his wits about him and find where the noise is coming from to get his phone. He fires off a text to Danny that the armor is ready for a run through, and he can bring it by Danny's this time. He then tries his best to clean up and look presentable in the midst of cursing himself for screwing his sobriety streak up again. Eventually though he gets on the road, headed for Stark Towers first and then hopefully down to Grammarcy to Rand Mansion … which is the name Owen mentally uses for Danny's palatial home.

*

It may not be a mansion in the suburban or even urban-that-is-not-Manhattan sense, but it is definitely old New York's very definition of palatial luxury. It's the kind of building that's been subdivided and subdivided again in other buildings, but the Rand name and fortune has allowed it to stay intact. Still, Danny's only using a small corner of it. When you're used to living a monk's existence, you can only spread yourself out so much.

That and the young billionaire CEO has hardly been home lately, between the duties at his company and various functions. He's managed to squeeze in meditation and training, but hardly any vigilante stuff. Which is a good thing, really, since running around without a mask was bound to get him in trouble.

After Owen's buzzed in, he'll find Danny standing at the kitchen counter, eating a bowl of granola and drinking a mug of green tea. He flicks off an episode of Game of Thrones. "Hey."

*

Despite all of his best efforts Owen still very much looks like garbage. He at least has reasonably clean clothes on and doesn't smell, that's something. He walks in carrying a small duffle bag and gives Danny a small smile and wave, "Yo."

"I would ask if Emery's about but considerin' yer eating cereal and not some ridiculous french meal I can't even pronounce, I'm gonna go with no on that one." Owen tries to work out in his mind if he's disappointed or relieved that Emery isn't here. It's not like he's not going to tell Emery about shooting up, he just would prefer not to do that in front of Danny right now.

"Anyway, like I said. I got the suit done. And yes, I worked out those pesky bullet issues." He lifts the bag up onto a counter. The bag itself is small and light like a gym bag, so at least whatever Owen's cooked up isn't some giant armored monstrosity.

*

Danny rubs a little milk dribble off his chin. He's looking at Owen rather than the bag, his mouth creased into a frown. "You want some coffee or something?" He doesn't even offer the full-of-health-benefits green tea that he's sipping. He may seem clueless a lot of the time, but he's actually not terrible about reading people. Or maybe, just the health of their chi.

*

Looking at Danny it is really hard sometimes for Owen to imagine him leading a multi-billion dollar corporation, as it probably is for many people. He shakes that thought off though at talk of coffee. "A coffee would be good. Or a whiskey. Or both in one mug." Anything to stop him from feeling like he's going to throw up on the no doubt ridiculously expensive kitchen cabinets and floor.

"Yea, I worked out a different underweave material and I got it all painted up. Should be good to go, and it has a full mask or helmet like thing to help keep your face out of sight. Did you want a voice modulator thing thrown in..?"

*

"A voice…? Do you think that's a good idea?" Danny walks over to a ridiculous espresso machine (because of course.) He puts a mug under it and hits the Americano setting. Before long, it's bubbling and hissing away. When it's finished, he sets it in front of Owen. No whiskey, but he may have just forgotten. "Are you okay?" Granted, he doesn't know the other man well enough to know that him being rough around the edges is not entirely unusual.

*

"I … don't think it's a bad one." He half frowns, already considering where it would go and how it would work. The more OWen considers it the more he realizes how necessary it will probably be to do everything in his power to help Danny keep this secret. "Yea, actually, yes. We should do that. There's too many people that you meet as Danny, it just makes sense." And then Danny asks after him and Owen's eyes narrow suspiciously.

"Yea, I'm fine."

The reaction is slowed down, purposefully so that he can at least try and sound sincere. He accepts the drink and tries his best to not be disappointed in the lack of booze involved.

*

It's a damn fine cup of coffee, if it's any consolation. The shiny robot does a good job of replacing a barista. Danny leans on the counter and eyes the bag with more visible interest now. "This is weird. I mean. I get why it's necessary, but it seems…I don't know…official?" Him fighting a few necessary fights in a hoodie, after all, is different than donning a purpose-built outfit.

It seems, for now, he won't push on the topic of Owen's state of mind.

*

Fine, at least it's a good cup of coffee. Owen can't really complain about that but he won't let it cheer him up either. He smiles a bit and says "Yea, I dunno. I guess I just fell into the costume set so it feels totally normal to me." He half shrugs at least accepting that it is not normal.

"But, I mean. There isn't any reason you /need/ to do this. I mean, you have a full life I'm assuming. Like .. being all rich and business guy?" Owen has no idea how that works.

*

Danny has no idea how it works, either. That's part of the problem. He lifts a shoulder and then reaches for his tea. "How much do you know about my story?" Most people know that he's the heir apparent to Rand Industries, and that he and his family were presumed dead after a plane crash. So it was a big deal when eight months ago, a random hobo claiming to be Danny Rand suddenly appeared back in New York. He clearly did something to convince the Meachums he was who he appeared to be, because he managed to reclaim both his identity and his company. Speculation abounds, with the leading theory being that he was kidnapped by a cult somewhere remote and strange, and only recently gained his freedom. It's not entirely off-base…aside from the kidnapping part.

*

"Your story?"

Owen thinks about it for a second. He is vaguely aware in broadstroke of Danny's return to the living. But he frowns and says "Honesly I think I was wasted as hell when you told me? Something about punching a dragon to become a master ninja so that you could rescue your princess love from King Koopa? Shit, wait no, that's Mario." Owen laughs a bit at and says, "You mentioned you were getting in a bunch of scrapes and needed to keep it quiet. Not really clear on why or… the how."

*

Danny frowns a little. That's really just the face he makes when he's concentrating, though. "I was in another realm," he says after a moment. "That exists alongside this one. The um, the short of it is? I don't think I'll ever be able to just be a businessman. I know too much. I can do too much. Plus…" cue dopey grin, "…I'm kind of pretty bad at the business side. But I'm trying to learn. Because it's what my father would have wanted."

*

Another realm? Owen frowns deeply and looks horrified at the way that this story is beginning. He waits for Danny to explain that Owen was some grand master of martial arts there who had his shit together, because that's just how Owen's life seems to be going. But he listens and actually manages to focus on what Danny is saying. "Please tell me there was no doppelganger of me in that world."

And then Danny brings up his father and Owen smiles in a way that doesn't reach his eyes. He nods, understanding how that works. "Right.. yer dad.." Owen now remembers some of the stories about the Rand family.

*

Wendell Rand had a good reputation - still does, in the way that only people whose lives are cut tragically short can. The supposed deaths of the Rand family were big news back in the day. But unproblematically good men don't get to become billionaires, generally speaking.

"What? Uh, no not…that kind of other world," Danny grins a bit sheepishly. "More like…another realm that isn't a copy of this one. It's just…apart. And the way back home was closed for a long time. The two worlds only sync up periodically. People from that place rescued me when I was young, and there was no opportunity to come home before recently because the way was closed."

*

"Oh well.. that's good." He takes a gulp of coffee and tilts his head. "That's different." He tries to figure out what the heck Danny is talking about. "Two worlds sync..? Wait so that's why there was a dragon to punch? Because you were in a different realm? But… why does that mean you now need to punch people here in the city?"

*

The truth is, Danny doesn't have a good answer to that question. Except, "I was trained to fight. And I can't…not fight. Not when I can do something about it. Uh, can I see it?" He nods towards the bag. That's better than trying to explain his motivations, which he doesn't entirely get himself.

*

Owen just narrows his eyes and tilts his head as Danny admits that he isn't sure why. Owen opens his mouth as if to start offering reasons but then thinks better of it. He shrugs and says "Yea, I get that I guess." Owen not really having that pressing urge to do good simply because he can tries to empathize with it, but mostly fails. "I mean good for you for not just like fuckin' off with your crazy money and partying non stop on yachts.." And without meaning to Owen gives some insight into exactly what he would be doing were he in Rand's shoes… if Rand is wearing shoes.

*

Danny's…not. But to be fair, he is at home and he probably took a shower not too long ago. It's actually been awhile since he was barefoot in inappropriate contexts. "I learned not to attach too much meaning to the material. I uh, didn't exactly live in luxury in K'un L'un. But no one did. We all trained and worked together, and each of us earned what we had." He reaches for the bag, suddenly not able to contain his curiosity.

*

"Oh. That… makes a lot of sense then." Owen considers how free Danny is with his house and stuff and at least that part of the puzzle clicks into place in Owen's mind. But then there is the internal struggle of how easy a mark that makes him and Owen's newfound desire to not be a complete shitbag. For now his better urges win out and he says, "That's good. I'm sure not a lot of people with your net worth have that mindset.."

But when things shift back to the bag, Owen perks up noticeably. "Yea, bust it out. Put it on. I want to see how it fits and what you think.. and maybe throw shit at you. Or I can wear it and you can shoot at it." And then Owen realizes that Danny doesn't strike him as the type to shoot well, and there is a lower part of the face that is not armored. "Or … just punch it really hard."

*

On the surface, Danny would seem like an easy mark. In practice, he's actually a decent judge of character. The problem is, it takes a little while for him to come to that judgment, and in the interim, he imagines the best of people rather than the worst. He's also built up a little network of people around him (completely unconsciously) like Luke and Emery who act as external bullshit-meters.

"I appreciate this. I mean, you didn't have to. I know being mixed up in my stuff could mean trouble for you." He tugs the gear out of the bag. "I don't…we don't…know very much about each other, but Luke and Emery seem to trust you."

*

Owen quirks an eyebrow at the talk about appreciating it. "Well, yer payin' for it, so you don't have to.." As usual Owen is uncomfortable with the things like gratitude or concern. It makes him almost push back in a abrasive or defensive manner. "And seriously, I've been in and out of jail and I'm on countless people's shitlist. I don't think this will significantly add to my troubles." But then Danny brings up Luke and Emery and Owen does noticably relax a bit.

"Yea, well, pretty much same. I trust them… so by extension, we're good." And that's the strongest reason he wouldn't screw over Danny right there, because he doesn't have many people he'd consider friends so he really can't afford to go losing any right about now.

*

"One of my first roommates in K'un L'un was there because he had been caught trying to steal from the monastery. He started out in the kitchen to repay his debt, scrubbing pots and mopping floors. He had to meditate with us, and eventually, he started training with us. He was doing well, but then his old ways caught up to him and he cheated on an exam. He was sent back down to the kitchen until he proved himself again." Danny pulls out the bits of the armor and inspects them as he's talking. He's mostly checking for weight and flexibility. "By the time I left, he was the one teaching the youngest students. And he never got sent back to the kitchen."

*

This armor is a significant improvement over the first edition that Danny saw. It's similar in design to Daredevil's oddly enough (weird how that works) though not quite as heavy in the armor department. It's got the yellow (almost more of a gold) and dark green color scheme going on.

At Danny's words Owen just smirks a little. Considering his latest failure and the state of his life he is a little skeptical of this feel good story. "Everybody loves a good redemption story." It's said with only a slight twinge of sarcasm. "I don't think anyone's going to be putting me in charge of kids any time soon." Though the thought does bring a genuine smile to Owen's face as he imagines teaching kids all sorts of horrible and inappropriate life skills.

*

"My point is," says Danny with a kind, if a bit wry smile, "…I don't judge anyone on their past misdeeds. What matters is your intentions, and your actions now. And you…have made me some freaking cool gear." To enable a billionaire in being a vigilante, which is technically illegal. Splitting hairs. What counts is this is a good deed in his books.

*

"Well that's … " Owen tries to find a word that's not naive or 'nice' but he's struggling not to be a dick. "A good policy." It's not that Danny is wrong. He's just way more open than Owen could ever conceive of being. He takes another sip of coffee and says "Yea so, we still good with figuring out a way to get me on payroll or at least setup as a contractor to pay for this? I can get Emery to figure that all out.. I need to uhm.. catch up with him anyway." With that Owen is pulling out his phone to set a reminder and then head out. He should probably try to find a meeting. Should.

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