Family

June 15, 2018:

Owen and Emery stop avoiding each other long enough in Rand's gigantic mansion to have a solid heart to heart. With much swearing and threatening to maim or kill one another.

Rand's House

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Harley Quinn, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Kennis Papsworth

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It was late the first night that Owen got back with Danny. Between getting patched up and finding a bottle of booze to take back to his room Owen was barely seen in the house. It's not that he was sneaking about, he just didn't want anyone to see him… fine, he was sneaking. His guilty conscience weighing on him Owen still planned to leave early the next day. But then that day passed and he managed to screw around enough with little errands and checking in on his lab at Starks that he ended up back at Rand's that night. It was obvious that Emery had straightened up while he was out, and at first Owen was relieved that he had avoided him.

But then one more day turned into two and there was no word. No angry lecture. No contact at all. And Owen's initial relief turned to regret. Of course that only deepened when Jess and Luke showed up to read him the riot act. Well, really Luke showed up to crack jokes and Jess's riot act was abbreviated by the fact that she understands Owen, possibly better than anyone, except Emery or at least Owen thought.

And so now changing tactics from avoiding the Irishman to setting out to find him Owen sets off on an arduous search of the spacious abode.

*

Butlers receive secret ninja training of some sort, because Emery is good at being seen and not hear. He's still around, caring for people, cooking meals, setting out coffee made just like people want it. Cleaning guest bedrooms and making meds, leaving freshly washed laundry folded up neatly upon beds.

But so far, no direct conversation except for the initial slow once over as if assessing for himself the younger man's health and then nodding as he toddles off.

But tonight…he can be found in the kitchen, with grocery bags being unpacked. He wears. simple pair of dark jeans, black converse sneakers and a black Sex Pistol's t-shirt, his long hair pulled back in a man-bun as he is currently placing extra cartons of milk in the fridge, kneeling down to make sure the dairy stays on one side of the fridge to make room for other goods.

*

Well that was easier than he expected. Owen didn't even have to search more than two floors. He quietly takes a seat at the counter and watches Emery bustle about for a while before nodding his head a bit and asking, "Sooo, we, uh, not talking? Or what?"

He waits patiently for a reply. And kicks himself for not having followed through on his intentions to call or text at some point. He meant to! Honestly! Except he didn't. Not even once.

*

The Irishman straightens up and moves to the counter, setting down two glass bottles of beer, and popping of the tops using his ring. Each shhhpop echoing in the quiet of the kitchen as he initial response to the question. He snags a beer for himself and takes a swig with a shrug.

He keeps up the quiet a bit longer. Long enough to kneel and set a bag of potatoes near Owen's feet and nodding towards the sink as he quirks an eyebrow. "Roll up your sleeves, they aren't gonna wash themselves." And he picks up a knife, standing near the sink, a plastic bucket resting on the counter and he idly twirls that knife, slowly in a figure eight. "Wash, ten pass and I'll get them peeled. Thinking about makin' a stew tomorrow."

*

Beer. Good. Potatoes.. What?

Owen slowly takes the beer, his eyes never leaving the sack of potatoes. He takes a sip of the beer and then then duly picks up the sack of potatoes and moves them to the sink. He asks, "Am I allowed to speed through this or does that not meet your Mr. Miyagi penance rules?" The beer is set down on the counter and the water turned on. But no potato is picked up, at least until Owen get some clarification on the rules here.

*

"Ye speed wash the potatos and I will still have to take normal amounts of the time to peel them because News Flash, I can't jack off at the speed of light unlike some people." Emery drawls softly, just continuing to twirl that knife. "You set the pace. I'm just here to feed people and clean up after them as is the duty of my fucking vocation Mercer."

He takes another swig of his beer before setting it aside "Did you speed your way into cold turkey or are ye taking the time to get clean?"

*

"Far be it from me to criticize anyone giving themselves a helping hand, but if you jack off with a knife and a potato I think it's safe to say you are doing it wrong. By anyone's standard." In the midst of this wisecrack Owen does get to washing though. He washes them dutifully, at regular speed.

"I'm pretty sure Danny will let you yell at me on the clock. Hell I'm pretty sure Danny would let you stab me a couple times so long as you clean up the blood and let him heal me. He is literally the most relaxed person I've ever met." Owen doesn't face Emery much during this conversation, instead keeping his face down towards the sink, only occasionally shooting side eye glances over his way.

"I.. " He sighs and says, "I am still fucked up." He had meant to try to coach that in some way, but again Emery would know the truth, so why bother. "But I've been thinking of sticking around. Giving it a shot." He had planned on leaving again. This was supposed to just be about getting the amulet to Danny and then bouncing. But that hasn't gone to plan.

*

"Aye, he's a good lad." Emery agrees softly, he leaves that wisecrack alone though, even though it did garner a hint of a smirk and roll of his eye. He's quiet for a few moments, waiting for a few potatos to get clean before he tugs the towel he's tossed over his shoulder down to dry the first potato and start peeling smothly and quickly. He's proficient with knives and he's peeling it in such a way that produces one continuous peel, before its placed in the bucket and then he starts on the next clean potato.

"Thinkin' about sticking around?" He sucks his teeth and exhales slowly. "Did ye get what you needed from your runner? The space, the clarity of mind, the atonement, the lesson…the empty feelin' that you realize cannot be filled by doin' what ye always do when yet get spooked." He stabs the knife through a potato with enough force for the potato to get pinned to the counter and the knife to get stuck in said counter. All the while, his voice staying calm but he falls silent again, leaning forward against he counter, bracing himself with his hands and letting his head fall forward.

*

Okay, Emery is going to pass up a chance to one up him on a joke, this is serious business. Owen puts on his best serious face and gets back to washing potatoes.

"I tried. I tried a normal life as a bartender and it didn't pan out." Owen tries to recite the words as if they are just coming to him but he's thought some about what he would say. "And yea, I got spooked." Owen narrows his eyes and glances at Emery, "Why would you know that? How do you know that?" The tone goes form confusion to genuine concern.

"Emery. You okay..?"

Owen stops washing and looks at him, any worry about a lecture long forgotten.

*

"Because you're not the only bastard haunted by tings hidden in the shadows of your fucking mind. So terrifying that ye try to use whatever you can not to tink about it because the goddamn demons and monsters and horrible beasties they told ye as a kid were under your bed are actually in the bed with you now." Emery replies with a shrug of a shoulder. "You're not a big enough asshole to just up and leave without a good reason."

The question about his state of being though just makes his jaw set and he takes a deep breath and then another. "You are family, Owen Mercer. Not a friend, not a passing acquaintance, not a homeless smelling bartender. You are too much of a pain in my arse for that. You are family. You were gone, without a word or a trace and I would've burnt down half of this city to find ye had I had an inkling that somebody had done you wrong. Do you understand what I am saying?" He's still focussing on keeping his voice steady.

*

Owen thinks he knows what Emery is saying at first. He knows that there is some screwed up nightmare scenario waiting him in the night that has to do with his past. He knows about the all to real fear for Kennis's safety. And he nods at the part about not just up and leaving for no reason. There were reasons. Kind of. Maybe? They don't look so real now in hindsight, but at the time something gripped him. Something he still hasn't quite put his finger on, because he's been avoiding thinking too long about it.

And then Emery launches in to an impassioned speech about family. Because if Owen won't put his finger on it, Emery will.

Owen tries to keep looking at Emery during the talk but his jaw sets and he turns away. He nods when asked if he understands but for a while he doesn't say anything.

And then quietly Owen tries to explain. He doesn't look up, still holding the latest potato, inspecting it for more dirt with far more interest than it merits.

"I found out I had a brother. A half-brother anyway. I've never had family before. I thought.. " He shakes his head a little, "I thought I was fine with that."

He turns the water back on, having apparently decided that the potato is not in fact clean enough. And he takes a good long sip of the beer for good measure.

*

"Well. You 'ave family now. So reach down between your legs and tug your balls out from where teh went to hide when ye got too overwhelmed. There's growin' pains and adjusting to life where people actually give a shit about you is hard." Emery moves to pinch the bridge of his nose. "If ye 'ave to run to get some space again, atleast leave me a fuckin' note. I won't even fault you for shitty handwriting. Leave a note. Send a text. Because you use substances to cope wit' shite and substances make you vulnerable and you deserve at least one or two people to watch your back as you take a break from reality so that when ye return, you still have both of your feet."

He reaches for his beer and takes a long sip. "Now, I've got a penthouse still in me name, its not staffed at the moment, but I put the key in your room. Its got a nice view of teh city but is pretty private. I've only got it for 3 more months. You are goin' to take your deliciously curvy and tantalizingly mad girlfriend there and spend a couple of days groveling at her feet. Then, you are goin' to get yourself together enough, to go to one of Kennis's fencing matches and you /will/ cheer her on and reassure her that her Captain Boom has /not/ been hurt, or made to go away like her Nimi."

*

There's not much more than a look to acknowledge the words. Owen doesn't actually have the words to say how much it means to him. He tried to tell Jess and Luke. Kind of. But Emery is right that he is ill equipped to deal with people giving a shit about him. It's unchartered territory for Owen. His dad may have tried in the very brief time they had together, but that ended so ridiculously poorly that any good it did was quickly erased. And somehow Waller with her tough firm hand was the closest thing to a parental figure that Owen latched on to. But this? This is better.

"I will. For sure. I .. meant to call." It sounds lame, but at least he is telling the truth. He did in fact mean to, just never actually made himself do it.

Then Emery starts talking about penthouses and Owen gets very confused. His head nearly then tilts off when Emery casually mentions his girlfriend.

"Wait. Full stop. You met Harley? How do you know about us?"

Of course he can't really stop and get into it when Emery follows it up with the line about Kennis. That one hits him like a punch in the teeth. "Shiiiiiiiit. Oh fuckin' fuckity fucks. I didn't.." Of course he didn't think about how his absence would impact her. He didn't really consider his girlfriend, closest friends, let alone their kids. Owen didn't have permanent people in his life until very, very recently.

"Yes. I will be there. At every. single. match. …" he thinks a second before adding "Sober." and then only another second before adding "Mostly." Because really it's best not to make promises you know you are going to break after just letting someone down that badly.

*

The Irishman reaches out to pull the knife out of the counter and the potato and gives a small nod. "I know ye did boyo. But ye didn't. All you can do now is try to do better next time. Fuck, egg me car if calling is too hard. I don't care." Some of this cuts too close to home for Emery, but he lived in the darkness for so long being told he didn't deserve to be cared about. And that's one thing he does do, despite all his sassing and bitching. He cares deeply.

Emery examines the knife's tip with a shake of his head as he replies distractedly. "Because she's head over heels for you and your relationship cockblocked me even though your bagel loving arse was not /even there/. That's how much she cares. Of course I didn't know her missing lover was /you/ until after I started imagining…." He trails off. "We bumped into one another at a peep show. Shared a drink. Talked about ye."

But then the rest of it hits Owen and Emery just nods slowly. "She currently tinks that you hate her. But I told her that you were not dead or hurt badly so she is no longer leaving milk in her window beside a candle asking for Jaysus and teh Fairies to bring ye home safely." He shrugs his shoulders. "You good on smokes? I've got 2 extra cases more than what I need for teh month."

*

Owen nods. He means it. He will try better next time. It's something strange that he still doesn't expect. People willing to give him second chances. He expected to lose people if they knew about his drug problem. He didn't think anyone would understand about Harley. He is always surprised people can be okay with his past. Eventually he will get used to it. Maybe. But for now at least he hears Emery and gets it, at least a little bit.

"Oh hell no. I do not want to hear about you wanting to fuck my girlfriend. We might be family, but I will still cut you." Owen of course is pointing a potato at the man with a knife, but the point still stands. But then he hears about bumping into her at a peep show and Owen kind of shrugs, "I mean whatever, I get it. Obviously. But now you know, so that ends those jokes. I will end you."

"Shiiit. Well I will do my best to explain that I had to take care of some bad things and I dunno upgrade her fencing sword thing with boomerang tech to come back to her." At the question about smokes Owen just shrugs, "Eh, I could always use a spare carton… and you serious about that Penthouse thing?"

Somewhere in there, Owen must have speed blurred, because all of the potatoes are now washed and gleaming on the counter. He pretends to be surprised to see them done and says "And speaking of smoke breaks, I think I'm due one. Thanks for the talk Notre Dame." (The Fighting Irish for anyone playing at home)

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License