Mulling Motivations

August 15, 2018:

Danny comes home after being threatened by Fisk and then meeting with his lawyers. He and Luke have a not-so-productive conversation about the motivations of the man called Kingpin.

Rand's Home for Wayward Defenders

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Emery Papsworth, Matthew Murdock, Foggy Nelson, Wilson Fisk

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Luke's days are full. Between setting up a bar that mysteriously has yet to open, to managing the apartment building, to trying to retain a relationship…then there is the whole lending his hand where able for the Fisk debacle, though right now it's less about the brute force that he can provide and more about the finesse of tracking down this ship that the Kingpin may be on and planning plans that just as quickly get discarded. It's been taxing.

Without Jess nearby, Luke feels comfortable enough unwinding with a drink up on Danny's rooftop terrace, sunk down in a chair that he's comfortable with in its ability to hold his weight so he can relax. Even if 'relax' is a relative term. He's got a bottle of bourbon balancing on his knee, foregoing a glass as an unnecessary step between delivering booze from container to mouth. Simplifying his life in minor ways is a tiny victory.

*

The house is too big for Luke to hear the door slamming downstairs, or the subsequent stressed stomping around the bottom level. When Danny appears on the patio with his own bottle of booze (vodka) and a small wooden box that holds his stash, he's clearly not expecting anyone else to be there.

He looks…well, like crap. His hair is mussed. His suit shirt is untucked and his suit jacket sits slightly crooked. His pants are wrinkled. Emery would be horrified he showed up anywhere in any business capacity looking like this.

He makes it halfway across the patio before he catches slight movement. "Luke. Hey."

*

"Danny, my main man!" Despite the exuberant greeting, there is a shadow to Luke's eyes, though to be fair it's a shadow that's chasing them all in this house. It's like Rand is running a wayward home for the Kingpin victims. There's a whistle from the big man as the billionaire enters a pool of light that gives Cage a better view of the crumpled business man. "Board meeting turned into a brawl? If so, I gotta rethink my view on white collar work."

*

Normally, Danny is full of easy smiles, especially when he's greeted like that. But the shadow has firmly rooted. He crosses the rest of the space, then shrugs out of the suit jacket that feels oppresive in the mid-August humidity. He sits down, sets the bottle down purposefully, then, "I just finished meeting with Foggy and Matt. Fisk called me tonight."

*

That causes Luke to set upright a little more, digging his heels into the floor to push his form in that direction. "Yeah?" He asks. It should be a casual thing, but it comes straggled out of his throat with the trepidation Danny's statement deserves. He doesn't even make the joke that Foggy and Matt have tousled Rand in that way. "I take it if you called in the law dogs, he musta knew exactly where to hit you."

*

"He's blackmailing me," says Danny as he pops the top on the vodka. "He killed the whistleblower who went to the press with the memos. He says he'll implicate Rand if I don't stop buying up Hell's Kitchen properties." His voice is uncharacteristically dour and mopey. He swigs the vodka, pulls one hell of a face, then makes a grabby hand motion for the bourbon. Why did he grab vodka??

*

How much Luke wants to give a hearty laugh at that face and gimme motion for the bourbon, but considering the circumstances all that he can muster is a quirk of his lips that flashes briefly as he leans across to share a bottle that no doubt came from Danny's own stores. "We know he can do it." Luke says lowly, the number of stunts Fisk has managed to pull is admirable if you could at least view them impartially. The flat of his palm pulls down his facial hair in an exasperated gesture. "What did Nelson & Murdock have to say?"

*

"Nelson and Murdock think I should capitulate. Daredevil barely held back contempt for giving Fisk any ground at all." Danny takes the bottle, sniffs it, then still coughs after he swigs. But he doesn't pull such a dramatic face. "Things are already moving to withdraw purchases. As slowly as I can without risking him releasing the information."

*

"What if you beat him to the punch?" Luke looks up quickly, brown eyes flashing beyond the subtle haze of alcohol that tries to cloud them but his metabolism is working to burn it off just as quickly. He's thinking about just what his own words mean exactly, but the thought is in motion with that blurt of words.

*

"He's already punched. I'm already on the ground. Now he's holding a gun to my head." Those words are deeply sullen. Danny follows them with a hard swig from the bourbon before he passes it over to Luke.

*

Luke reaches for the bottle, easily cupping it in one hand. "Maybe Six can make the evidence disappear, or point it at someone else and pull the trigger before he can. Keep pulling out of the real estate. It buys you /time/ Danny, but we can figure this out, man. Don't just roll over and show him your belly like I did for so long."

*

"Luke, he had this woman gunned down in the street. Because of me. Property isn't worth that. If I dig in my heels on this, he can take me out of the picture. Maybe even put me in jail. At least…" Danny tosses a hand, "…at least this way we still have my resources to come at him another way. Like I said to Matt, there are battles and there is the war. This is a battle. We have to think of the bigger picture. And losing ground on one front doesn't mean giving up."

*

"Mmph." It's an inelegant answer, but it seems that Danny's already made up his mind on the matter. "Can't blame you." And Luke just drops the matter of trying to /fix/ everything that's exhausted him lately. Instead, he'll just play the role of the steadfast friend and he takes a swig of bourbon before passing it back. "You go down and we'll all fall like dominos behind you. Like it or not, I think you're the face of our group." There's a little up nod given, indicating the wooden box. Stop bogarting the weed, man.

*

Danny wrinkles his nose at Luke's declaration he's 'the face.' "Don't say that. That's too much pressure. And you guys would keep fighting if I was taken out. But we'd lose the ability to hit him where he really hurts - in his money, in his resources. Because what he wants to do requires money." He flares his nostrils. "We need to find a way to hit him there."

He looks down at the box he forgot he was holding. He passes it over to Luke. "You go ahead. I don't know if I want to be mellow right now."

*

"You the one that brought it up here." Luke points out, giving a grunt as he hefts himself over enough to grab the box and drag it over, popping the lid and grabbing the grinder to check the contents. "It can't be cheap to keep a floating fortress." Luke agrees, pulling out an errant seed and flicking it aside. Otherwise, Rand's stash is the cleanest around but that's what happens when you can afford the boutique stuff that can be gotten honestly instead of some street dealer level. "And you're going to have to dock or keep moving it without raising the eyebrow of the harbor police. He wouldn't risk being far enough away to keep to international waters. He'd wanna be close."

*

"And Fisk is as protective of this city as the rest of us. In his own, twisted way," says Danny morosely. He cradles the bottle of bourbon, jaw tight. "He's just protective of his version of it. Like a parent who beats their child because they're not who they want them to be."

*

"Try being raised Southern Baptist." Luke grunts as he sprinkles some green into a paper and rolls it with a quick twist of his fingers and a dampening of his tongue to keep it sealed. He roots around until he finds a lighter, then tucks the box aside. He leans back with a sigh and a distant look, either churning over his childhood or Fisk or drawing further similarities between them in his mind. "So what does he /want/."

*

Danny leans forward on his knees and rolls the bottle of bourbon in between his hands. "I don't know. He wants property. He wants it cheap. He doesn't want me to have any of it. So we can guess that he doesn't want affordable housing in Hell's Kitchen." He chuckles humourlessly. "Could his evil plan really be gentrification? He killed eight thousand people for condos?"

*

"Maybe he's one of them Neo-Nazis." Luke snorts out fragrant smoke from his nostrils, exhaling the last of the drag on the end of the joint to make the flame die into just a low ember. "White-washing Manhattan, one borough at a time. There's a lot more money long term in slapping a Starbucks and Jamba juice on every Kitchen corner rather than brownstones and bodegas. Maybe we can rally some well-meaning squatters to slow down the bulldozers."

*

"If that's really his plan, then he truly is evil," says Danny, lips thinning. "I don't like calling people that because people are more complex than that and labelling leaves you blind to their motivations. But what other word could there be for someone like that." He looks out over the twinkling New York skyline. He swallows a large mouthful of booze. It's already started to make his scalp tingle. "The beauty of this city is its ugly bits, its imperfect bits, its mix of people. I missed it so much."

*

"Thought you didn't want to be mellow." Luke responds wryly as Danny starts to wax poetic about the city. "But My guess is money motivation rather than racial. I think he's the type to believe that a black dollar is the same as a white dollar when it comes down to it, as long as it's lining his pocket. So. Buy cheap, build it up, sell high. It's what I would do if I were a giant dick." He pinches the roll away and offers it over on the off chance Rand has changed his mind.

*

"Maybe Fisk doesn't love the city at all. Maybe he hates the city. Maybe he wants to change it so much that he no longer sees it how it used to be." Danny shakes his head. "I don't want to try and think how he thinks. But it's what we should be doing." He eyes the joint, sighs, then sets the bottle of bourbon aside and reaches for the joint.

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