Defenders: Some Assembly Required

September 07, 2018:

Daredevil escapes the Kingpin, crash landing injured back at Casa Rand. Owen delivers a tip once he's done digging glass out of his face.

Casa Rand

Where everything is edible. Even the schnozzberries taste like schnozzberries.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Jessica Jones, Kingpin, Tony Stark

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Four days. It's been four days since Jessica Jones was shot by a sniper from a mile off while staking out some cops on Wilson Fisk's take, rendered comatose, and shuttled off to Stark Tower by her friends. And before she lost consciousness, she managed to relay to Claire Temple that Daredevil had been beaten and captured by the same people who took her down. The P.I. remains in a coma, and it is uncertain whether she will ever come out of it, and if so in what state.

Since then there have been no further retaliations or reprisals against the Defenders. Just a lull that presumably allows for the continued acquisition of Hell's Kitchen properties by Fisk's tendrils, and for the ordinance that will allow him to transform the neighborhood to move through the grinding wheel of local politics.

Time, too, for the loose network of vigilantes and misfits and lawyers who have been fighting Fisk, and who have largely been clustered around Danny Rand's posh mansion, to either absorb and process the loss or counter it.

The scene is Rand's kitchen counter, because even vigilantes on a revenge tear need to eat.

*

It’s amazing how their lives have been changing in a series of split seconds. For Luke, his life came to a crashing halt on Monday when he got that fateful text from Claire. Since then he’s been in stasis right along side Jessica without the benefit of a coma. For days, he’s refused to leave her side. He hasn’t showered, he hasn’t shaved, he hasn’t eaten and he hasn’t changed clothes. It’s a good thing his skin is resilient, otherwise he would have worn through with worry as he remained in vigil next to her medical bay, rubbing his thumbs together with hands solemnly fisted together in silent prayer. Finally the staff coaxed him away with promises of phone calls the second her status changes so he’ll take a small break and take care of himself. He’ll be in no state tend to Jessica if she wakes up now, they reasoned, and so they poured him into a town car and sent him Rand’s.

Numbly, he comes in through the front door, not bothering to call a greeting to anyone as he moves through the hallway to the kitchen with unfocused eyes. He looks like he’s been through a second bombing of Hell’s Kitchen, stubble on his jaws, fuzz on his head, and the caked and crusted blood of his beloved on his jeans and darkening the front of his hoodie in a macabre Rorschach test.

*

Kitchen counter/island has a healthy spread on it. There are roasted potatoes and root vegetables, there are five roasted chickens arranged on a platter, there are freshly baked rolls, a pot of tea, a pot of coffee, fresh fruit cut and arranged in a bowl, then some roasted corn on the cob piled up.

Butter and gravy and other fixings are within reach and there is of course water and juice and soda in the fridge. The Irish Butler is bustling around the kitchen, as he has been cooking and baking for hours, right now he is pulling pans out of the oven, one of chocolate fudge brownies, the next is lemon squares, the final one has cinnamon buns on it….

Dressed simply in a pair of dark grey jeans, feet in socks, and a long sleeved dark blue henley, his long hair is pulled out of his face and tucked in his grey beanie. Emery is super butlering, instead of a cape though he has an apron.

*

The problem with being the head of a multinational corporation is that you can't just step away to tend to vigilante stuff. Not when your company has been going through a series of PR crises and you're being blackmailed by a mass murderer, anyway. Danny's sitting at the island, doing his best to take up as little space as possible for Emery's food. He's dully surfing the internet on a tablet, a cold cup of coffee by his elbow.

*

And bless that staff, because Claire was probably a few hours away from having to find out how to start an iv line on Cage to try to get /some/ sort of fluids into the man. And that is a horror best left for another day. She's spent more than her share of time at Stark Towers the last few days to help with Jessica and Luke, and maybe to be a tiny bit nosy about Tony's condition. But there have been little things to help Luke with. Asking questions like what are Jessica's favorite moisturizer and skin care products, and then making sure they're supplied. Giving him the job of applying those small, personal levels of care. Keeping track that there's water next to him at all times so he'll at least hydrate, by gosh darn it.

And when it was time to pour him into said town car, she was happy enough to tag along on the ride to all that food and the REALLY excellent thread counts. Hopefully it will be a little peace of mind for Cage since she has an app on her phone giving her Jess's vitals, the better to be able to return immediately if anything happens.

The smell of the food from the bird, the plane, the super butler's kitchen is quick to lure her in that direction. "Okay. I know I've lost track of time lately, but it isn't Thanksgiving already is it?"

*

One might expect Kinsey, the unpowered, hanger-on girlfriend in the household to be clinging to the ankles of the rest of the Defenders, anxiously asking if they'd learned anything more about the parties responsible for her partner's disappearance and her best friend's coma. She is not, to the best of anyone's knowledge — anyone still in the house, anyway — equipped to investigate the situation on her own. One would also be wrong. She's been absent since the day Jess was found and returned to the Tower in terrible condition.

She's been lamenting for months that there hasn't been a sensible time to discuss (confess?) her sooper-sekrit identity to the remainder of the Defenders — Luke and Danny, most particularly. Luke probably most of all.

There still isn't one, and after sleepless, foodless days of fruitless searching, she's officially burned through her reserve stock of fucks to give about much of anything, including delicate revelations.

…Which is how it happens that Six turns up in her full getup and makes her way wearily toward the kitchen, looking as out of place in all of this posh, old-world opulence as it's possible to look, stopping just inside the door, helmeted and motionless, staring at all of that food, and just…wearily buckling under the weight of both her hunger and her resignation.

She slides her thumbs up beneath the helmet's low edge and pops it off. Dark hair pinned haphazardly, wisps gotten loose, looking disheveled and shadow-eyed, she thunks it down on the counter, artificial hand atop it, and bleeds out a sigh. "I hope you made enough to share."

It's probably a joke. It's really hard to tell.

*

Even a small crowd like this causes a racket. Emery's cooking, Luke Cage's heavy footfalls, the thud of Six (surprise, Kinsey's!) metal boots. But it's all run of the mill din, the sort you might expect of any smallish gathering of people going about their lives, even if those lives are shouldering the weight of the heaviest stressors one can imagine.

The same can't be said about the next sound they hear. It's a clatter-crash-thump of breaking glass and something heavy hitting a surface — like an ornately papered wall or one of Danny's gorgeous hard-wood floors.

It's close. It comes from this floor. In fact, it comes from Matt (and sometimes Kinsey's) suite on this floor.

*

Luke makes poor company, having only answered Claire in short clipped answers that he had to root up from the one corner of his brain that is thaw enough to comment. Some day, if they make it that far, he’ll have to apologize for his boorish behavior. He ghosts over to the sink where he’s polite enough to at least wash his hands (or risk Emery’s wrath) and he’s staring at the swirl of pink that goes down the drain for far too long. He hears Kinsey’s voice behind him and when he turns towel drying his hands he sees the helmet on the counter.

Eyes go from it, to her face, and back down to the black robotic dome and there’s just the barest sigh from his large lungs. “Fuck me.” The dead words just drop from his mouth, cold and emotionless instead of his cheesy curse work arounds. It’s hard to know if it’s meant for Kinsey or for the ruckus in the other room, but he’s stomping towards the latter.

*

Texting at superspeed is a useless endeavor. The technology has it's limits of speed and the receiver can't type as fast as a grandmother without her glasses, let alone a speedster or even faster: a thirteen year old girl with a secret crush. But Owen can't help himself. Finally. After weeks of trying to get something to pop up, and then the last few crazy days of busting down doors or at least buying drinks for some of the dirtiest sons of bitches he knows, something real. And not just from one drunk asshole!

Security at Rand's has been amped up. More than Owen cares to attempt to bypass at this point, even if he could. He's tempted, just to prove a point. Namely that he's an asshole who doesn't respect boundaries. But it's too important that people actually listen to him for him to screw around.

And so Owen texts Emery » "Headed to Rand's house. Important."

Of course he's also not headed for the front door like a normal person, he's skulking about and landing on the roof. The cameras are given a frown and a point, as if to threaten to take them out, but he remains on his best behavior, waiting to be let in.

*

"Jaysus, ye look like shite." Emery mutters as he casts a side look to Luke, looking him over thoughtfully before just bowing his head politely, no harshness in his tone. "Fix yourself a plate have a bite before gettin' cleaned up." He clears his throat and looks to Danny even as he is setting down a stack of plates, and a basket of utensils. "Master Danny…" He tries to get his attention before he regards Claire with a small smile and another polite nod. "I just wanted to make sure I had supper prepared for ye all, fix yourself a plate luv." There is a pause as he checks a text.

Then Kinsey shows up and when that helmet comes off he just tsks softly and gives her a look that flickers between fond and concerned. "Fix yerself a plate…." He trails off though, head cocking to the side before he carefully picks up a cinnamon bun with a napkin and then opens a drawer to pull out a glock. "Dun get up…Luke, sit and eat…I have this. Help yourselves, I shall be….right back." As he starts to make his way towards the direction of the suite.

"Alright, I 'avent enough fucking nerves left to deal with heart attacks and rampaging arseholes who can fart laser beams and piss acid and break windows with a thump…I spent all day slaving over that meals and if ye mess this up, I swear to god I'll fill ye with so many holes, every whore ye meet will be terrified of stealing their business…" He declares bravely while holding a cinnamon bun and a glock aimed for the suite door. "But if ye play nice, I've got a nice sweetie here for ye…please dun be a fecking ninja or a haint…"

*

The skulking man on the roof might be forgiven for thinking the wail of alarms are for him. Instead, it's Danny's beefed-up security system that's screaming through every room of the giant house. Even with the commotion - the arrival of Claire and Luke, Kinsey's nonchalant reveal (he can appreciate that, considering he did the same thing at their last meeting), the ninja is uncharacteristically slow to react. He looks up, and seems to be looking at his surroundings from the bottom of a well. He sets the tablet down, then just sort of looks around in dull confusion like he's not sure if he should disarm the alarm or go investigate.

*

Claire Temple has seen Kinsey around Danny's house, and some in passing conversation, but the masked bit is new. At the same time? Isn't everyone* around her sporting a trendy secret heroic identity these days? So it's easy to be somewhat nonplussed about it. There's a polite nod of greeting, the kind that's weighed down with sympathy for that whole missing Mike, er, Matt business. "Have you been taking care of yourself?" Because of course, work mode engages much more easily than shock mode.

Emery doublefisting a cinnamon roll and a gun, though? That causes a touch of gaping jaw as she waits her turn at the sink. Only to add breaking glass upstairs to the mix and it's time to mutter a curse word. The nurse gives the repast a longing look as it becomes clear that dinner is about to be mostly on hold. Because by gosh darn it, if she's about to have to hide behind the island during a gun fight, by golly one of those drumsticks is coming with her!

*Unless you are Foggy, too good and pure and cinnamon bun (not Cinnamon Gun) for this world.

*

Fuck me, Luke says, and all Kinsey can do is slide herself half-onto a stool seat, leaning forward into her hands, elbows on the counter, and rubbing at her face. "Yeah, pretty much," she agrees tonelessly. Distantly, some part of her would very much like to converse with her about what she's just done, but it's being drowned out, at least initially, by the smell of food. Her stomach audibly rumbles.

She's blinking, bleary-eyed, as she sits up and reaches for whatever's edible and nearest, when the thing happens, and now it's the thing drowning out her internal monologue, instead.

The location of said thing, more than anything.

She pivots, eyes wide and suddenly sharp, gaze angled through the door. She's reaching for her helmet when Luke starts that way — better plan — and then Emery wants to go, too, and the combination leaves her sitting on the stool, watching the pair uncertainly while her heart knocks around the inside of her chest. "I think that came from…" But they know, probably.

It's either bad news, or very, very good news. She swallows down the temptation to hope.

*

Emery's warning to whatever it was that made that crashing sound meets no answer from beyond Matt Murdock's closed door. Maybe the butler's words are lost under the sudden blare of alarms. Maybe he scared the foolish burglar off. Maybe it really is ninjas, and they're already behind Emery ready to

But no, nothing. Just silence, until Emery opens that door. And what he finds there is an unexpected entrant. Daredevil, or someone in most of his uniform, prone and faceplanted on the fine wood floor of Matt Murdock's room, with a rich jade glass vase is scattered into a million fragments beside him. Matt's bedroom window, with its heavily sheltered and shaded garden view, is propped open. Apparently the vigilante had successfully cleared that only to collapse enroute to the bedroom door.

At least it looks like the vigilante. It's hard to say with one cheek pressed firmly into the floor like that, and with the man absent his ridiculous horned helmet. In its place is a scarlet wrap that obscures the top half of his face, worn in the same style as the classic black 'sock' of old.

He isn't moving, but his chest is rising and falling in even increments.

*

The crashing window glass and alarms blaring means that Owen can stop worrying about setting off the alarm. But the door remains locked and he at least shows the good restraint to not just blow it off its hinges. Though the fact that something is going down means he can't just sit up on the roof and wait around for someone to let him in. But what is a semi-homeless looking semi-speedster semi-drug addict to do? With a glance over the side to see what has become of the window, and which one it was, he frowns and walks back from the edge of the roof.

"ihatethis.ihatethis.ihatethis.ihatethis."

The mantra streams from Owen's lips as he runs for the side of the building and then down and in to the 'open' window. To call the landing rough would be a generous overstatement. Catching far too much broken glass and wall with his face, Owen flops back to the floor. Leaving two people now bloodied on the floor of the bedroom. At least Owen is in better shape though, enough to look up at Emery and comment, "Oooh cinnamon roll." before turning his face to the side and seeing what looks an awful lot like Daredevil.

"Huh. Found him."

*

It's been four days, and Foggy Nelson has been strangely absent from the Rand pad. This is quite unusual because he actually lives here until the trouble with Fisk subsides. There was a note left behind that simply stated: 'I'm OK. —Foggy.' Wherever he's been staying is a total mystery, though Matt would probably have a good guess — if he was in any particular condition to guess.

He's slumping his way into the kitchen, suit all rumpled and tie loose around his collar. His messenger bag hangs loosely at his hip, and he looks otherwise disheveled. He takes in the kitchen, blinking around. The sight of Kinsey barely stalls him, and he shrugs a shoulder. "Alright, I buy it."

He's starting to unshoulder his bag just as Owen goes darting out of the room, and calls: Found him.

*

Right. Because the giant bullet proof man is used to walking /away/ from potential threats and let the mushy fleshy fodder go at it alone. He's moving slower, legs filled with lead from sitting so long in his vigil, so Emery makes it to the door first, wielding his double trouble of gooey dessert and gun. Looming a head above the Irishman, he gets a full eyeful when the door swings open and he just calls back over his shoulder. "CLAIRE. Grab your kit. Kinsey, it's Matt." Probably. Unless Owen decided to dress up a homeless man in a Devil suit, put him in a wood chipper, and then climb through the window with Hobo Joe's inert body. "And someone turn off that GODDAMN ALARM."

*

When that door is opened, and no response is uttered…there is a subtle shift in Emery's posture, his lines straightening up and muscles coiled. The glock is trained on the body on the floor before he clicks back on the safety, and tosses it onto the bed and approaches the body, murmuring softly a Latin prayer for hope, as he kneels with the pastry still in hand. He is doing a visual check for injuries and life before he reaches out to gently place a hand on that fucking exposed cheek and jawline if allowed. He takes a deep breath feeling with senses beyond his own for life and more than that…pain. And if he feels it, he is taking it as his own.

He cannot even pretend to be surprised by Owen, he just calmly hands him the cinnamon bun. Then he just looks over his shoulder at Luke, then back to Matt then back to Luke and just shakes his head. "Go then and fix the good ladies a couple of plates of food for their trouble…" He eyes the big man. "Its the least ye can be doing in addition to roaring like a fecking bear." Then back to Matt and Owen.

*

Eventually, Danny clears himself from the mental molasses he seems to be mired in. Slow reaction time plus chaos equals…well, he's doing that confused look where he scrunches up his face real hard. Either the prolonged screeching of the alarm or Luke's bellow gets him moving. He goes over to a wall panel and presses his thumbprint to it, which suddenly silences the bleating. He moves towards Matt's room, slowly (and not because his reactions are dulled this time.) He blinks. "Owen?" Then he looks to the downed man.

*

Well, at least the sink is empty and was already running warm. Claire turns it to Scalding and does a quick, scouring wash. Her hands are still dripping as she runs over to whatever hidey hole she's secreted the Rand Estate Med Kit bag in, then pounds up the stairs to join the party in Matt's room. But at least there is a, "Hi Foggy, bye Foggy!" in passing.

Once upstairs, she slides down to her knees somewhere between Owen and Matt. There's a quick visual assessment going on - visible blood, breathing problems, broken bones. Who's more borked? They'll get the trauma treatment to go along with Emery's pain relief first.

*

There's time and awareness enough for Kinsey to answer Foggy's appearance — and momentary pause — with a weary shrug of the shoulders, and a faint, tired smile.

It doesn't last. She sits in a kind of taut, humming tension as Luke and Emery go to investigate, listening so intently that she's barely breathing.

Luke says it's Matt and the sound that escapes her hardly has enough air to be carried on — a toneless sound in her throat as she practically vaults off of the stool. The rest of what Luke said sinks in for her almost the moment her feet hit the floor: Claire, grab your kit.

It's enough to inject icewater into her veins, and keep her from running at a dead sprint for the room down the hall. The nurse moves fast, which is good; she might have bodily carried her into the next room, otherwise — and once they're in the room, Kinsey hovers. Looms, even. She covers her mouth with her one gloved, organic hand and paces the two feet and change that she's able to actually pace, eyes locked to the battered man on the floor.

It would be worse if she hadn't seem him in rough shape so often before, but still: the temptation to get in the way is strong.

*

It's true, Matt Murdock has taken a lot of beatings. A lone man without super-strength or durability who does what he does — it's inevitable. But even a cursory inspection by Claire will reveal that this is an epic-level ass-kicking nearly on par with that one time she found him in a dumpster. The cheekbone that's exposed to them is swollen, misshapen out of its symmetry and alignment. His teeth are tinted red, bloodstained.

No knife-wounds this time, though, that's a blessing. It only takes a very little prodding by the nurse before he stirs out of his unconsciousness, snapping awake with a startle that sees him vainly trying to push himself off the ground. Murdock's always get up, he hears before he hears, senses, anything else — any other person in the room.

"I'm okay…" he groans, his voice sounding distant and hoarse to even his own ears. He doesn't even know who he's saying it to. "I just need a — just need a minute."

*

It's clear that of the two Matt is the more broken. Owen looks roughed up, but he kind of always looks roughed up? It's more like cut up with a single knife versus put in a blender between the two. Owen even accepts the cinnamon roll while lying on his back. He looks over at the presumed Devil and then back at the crowd of people.

"Uhm. Unrelated. Didn't see the canon they shot him out of.." Trying to poorly communicate that he didn't bring Daredevil here and indeed had no idea who or what had come through the window before him.

He stands and steps away from Claire and all before holding the cinnamon bun far out with one hand and gingerly trying to shake the glass off his face and hair with the other. Seemingly satisfied that he's mostly clean, he takes a few bites, not seeming to mind his light injuries.

"Once we're sure that's not a skrull, pod person, shadow clone, shape shifting demon or SHIELD LMD rigged with explosives, I got some news."

Owen casually indicates Daredevil with a free hand and somewhat unwittingly exposes the fact that he's dealt with all sorts of weird shit.

His casual manner however becomes a much sharper as Kinsey enters, even without the helmet he can see clearly the identity of one of his would be targets.

"Oh. Fuck. Me."

Matt's girlfriend? From the bar? He then snaps his head to look down at Daredevil and narrows his eyes.

"No…"

"You telepathic eye borrowing fuckwit."

*

It has taken Foggy a good half-second longer than it should to realize what's going on. Everything blurs together — the smile from Kinsey, the hello-goodbye from Claire, and how the room goes from full to empty. He feels heavy in his own feet, turning slightly toward the hallway as voices filter through.

When he finally steps in that direction, he is stalled at the backs of everyone else. He hears the groan from Matt, and the words from Owen. And suddenly Foggy is laughing. It's invasive, intruding on the moment of seriousness with a fit of hiccuping giggling that has him sagging into the wall of the hallway.

"Jesus-Fucking-Christ. A pod person?" he manages through his giggles, "Oh my god… I need a drink." He slides down the wall a bit. He presses the cuff of his shirt against one eye

*

There is a growl, a literal feral growl, from Luke directed at Emery when he suggests Luke go fix the ladies a plate. Despite the butlers commanding air, Cage doesn't turn to do as bid and instead lumbers further into the room and Matt's prone form. There is a bare of his teeth, not in effort but in some inner type of seethe, as he crouches down and scoops up the Devil from the floor and away from Emery's compassionate touches and Claire's assessing ones. "It's Luke, man." He warns so that Matt doesn't struggle against the lift. "What you need is to lay your ass down and let the lady work." With Matt's form draped across his arms, he strides to the bed and careful as can be, sets Matt down on the expensive coverlet before sweeping away all the fancy decorative pillows with a swipe of a paw. It'll be easier for Claire to tend to him on this level and ultimately he'll be more comfortable on the plush mattress.

*

As all the sundry and supers crowd into the room, and emotions flare and everything tangles together, the Butler's expression just tightens as he does not move his hand. Luke's dismissal of his instructions is taken in his usual stride. "My apologies Master Luke…" No sarcasm there, just years of training causing him to lower his eyes. When Matt is picked up and moved, the butler moves with them. Just a sigh and shake of his head, he is reaching out to gently take the man's hand as Matt begins to gain conciousness, the Irishman's breath catches and his head falls forward. Nobody in this room knows what he is doing, but he does it…willingly and without being asked, he embraces the pain that begins to seep through the man's nervous system to atleast spare him that during his reunion with friends. He trembles slightly but he has had worse and he just murmurs softly, quiet Latin prayers to Gabriel for healing as Claire works.

*

"You're up next," Claire informs Owen sternly. At least theoretically. Once Matt's been identified as the patient in need, she's not really looking away from him. The gloves are being snapped on and she pauses for only a fraction of a second as Mercer rattles off the possibilities. "Thanks for loading me up with those possibilities," she mutters. Luke scoops up the downed Devil and the nurse is left to follow along dutifully in his wake. A corner of her mouth twitches at Cage's instructions to Matt. "He knows what he's talking about, Mike."
Then it's diving in time - breathing check and making sure the airways are clear, checking for bleeds and circulation issues. She can fiddle with her (Jessica's, but the debate over giving them back is definitely on hold) earrings when that's done.

"Okay - broken rib, but it isn't perforating anything. But if I can have medium muscle volunteers - we need to pop his shoulder back in. The tooth will need a delicate touch to pull it. But so far it looks like the real thing, and I've seen him in worse shape." HIPAA compliance be damned. They're his family. All that said, though, she's going to be walking someone through the shoulder relocation program and doing her job for a while. Don't mind Claire, she's going to be in work mode for a while. And maybe checking on Foggy later to make sure he isn't hyperventilating!

*

The sound of Matt's voice makes Kinsey's eyes prick with heat, lids shuttered against the threat of tears — more difficult than usual, following three days without the sorts of things that people need to stay level. Luke lifts him up and she wants to follow, but Emery is there, and Claire, and the truth is that she wouldn't really be able to do anything for him right now that they can't.

Foggy, on the other hand..

There's something in the incongruent, brassy sound of Foggy laughing that pulls her attention, and gives her someplace to anchor herself. Just a couple of steps take her over to the wall beside him, and once he's finished doing unobtrusive things with the cuff of his shirtsleeve, she reaches out as though she's going to take his hand.

Because they got him back. They got Matt back.

*

Funny that Owen Mercer's insults are the first thing that punches through the fog and disorientation of Matt's sudden awakening. He smiles a little, bitter and wry. "I don't need to steal eyes, Mercer," he retorts, his voice still hoarse. "I don't need eyes."

Then Claire and Emery do their deft work, each in their own way. Assessing the damage done to tissue, muscle, and bone. In some cases, even alleviating the suffering attendant to that damage. And then someone is picking him, carrying him in his arms towards what must be the bed. There's a moment of reflexive resistance before he hears Luke's rich and singular baritone, all reassurance. It's Luke, man, he says, and suddenly Matt feels a pang of pain Emery can do nothing about, because it has nothing to do with the physical.

"I'm so sorry…" Matt says to the larger man as he's laid on the bed. There's anguish in his shakey and hoarse voice, even borderline desperation. It isn't just a condolence or a well-wishing, it's an expression of profound remorse. Guilt.

There are other voices he hears. Claire's, Foggy's. Not Kinsey's yet, and he's not rooted enough in the space or his own senses to even be able to detect her presence yet. But for the moment his focus is on Luke Cage, and the one person not even in the room with them.

*

"Luke, you get nasty with these nice folks helpin' save his blind ass and I will choke you with this delicious cinnamon thingie." Apparently the word for bun has escaped Owen's mind, but not the ability to threaten Luke who seems to be having a rough go of dealing with people he cares about being nearly murdered.

I don't need eyes

"Yea, you need a doctor. You look like shit."

Looking around the room as people seem to be either amused or concerned by his list he rolls his eyes and explains. "/What/? Number one reason I'd send back a captured cape was to lead me to the others or to blow them up or kill 'em in some super fucked up way." Because sometimes a little villain 101 is a good thing for people. Just, Owen has no filter and now is probably not the time.

He looks at Emery for an all clear before just putting it out there. A solemn nod from the Irishman is good enough for Owen that this is in fact the real deal.

"I have a lead on Fisk. It's solid. He threw his weight around and pushed in on a hideout here in the city. Underground. An abandoned subway station beneath City Hall. If he ain't on the yacht? That's the best bet to nail 'em" Yes, there's a fat joke in there. Owen is super mature.

Owen pauses for a second to aside in a thick Jersey accent, "Seriously though, why are there so many abandoned subway stations? And have they ever been anything other than a criminal hideout? I mean look in Gotham, we'd just knock down every abandoned bowling alley till we found the Kingpin but nooo, here in New York that's not trendy enough. Whatever."

Is kingpin even a bowling term?

*

The touch of Kinsey's hand to his quiets him, though he hiccups at least twice more before his tears flow freely down his cheeks. He turns his hand outward and takes Kinsey's firmly, squeezing at it without hesitation.

He doesn't look at Kinsey as if making any kind of eye contact would make this a thousand times worse. Instead he does all he can to swallow any further threats of giggles. He instead looks like a teenage boy trying really hard not to laugh as Teacher Owen dispenses his wisdom before the class.

*

"Try it." Luke snaps at Owen, leaving the 'and I will end you' off at least. His temper simmers down a notch though, and he ticks a finger at his own cheek so Owen will take the hint. "You gotta bit of…" Glass imbedded in your cheek, bro. But then he's distracted by Matt's apology, his dark skinned forehead wrinkling in deep chocolate waves. "Man, ain't nothing you could have done. Not your fault you got your ass kidnapped." He's shifted towards the head of the bed, assisting Claire where needed but otherwise staying generally out of Emery and the nurse's way now. The furniture groans as he leans against the headboard, arms crossing over his chest. "Soon as I'm sure you aren't dying, I get to go tell Jess the good news." It doesn't occur to him in the slightest that the Devil thinks Jones is dead. "They tell me she can hear it." He mutters quietly, /needing/ to believe it. Believe that she's still in there. It's enough emotion tugging so hard at his heart strings it tightens the tendons in his jaw so that when his head swivels to listen to Owen and his tip, he's glowering again.

*

Emery opens his mouth, glances over to Luke and then to then others and back down to Matt. He takes another deep breath and steels himself for the work to come, he just nods to Claire when she talks about popping that shoulder back in. "I can help luv, then I…nng, I will…god boyo…" Give him a moment as he just nods slowly to Claire, preparing to help. "Oi…my dear, precious Last of the bent cock flingers…you are rambling. Get a bottle of me goodstuff out from under the sink…ye all deserve it. After we get Satan's Secretary here sorted, then we'll see to the rest of you."

*

And like a drunk uncle Owen wanders off somewhere to find more booze. Well that and clean up in one of the many unoccupied bathrooms somewhere. It's reunions all around. Matt and the group. Owen and that sweet, sweet shower.

*

Matt hears two things in the course of two minutes that want to have him up off this lavish bed, back on his feet, whatever Claire has to say about his condition. The first: "Hear it?" he asks, baffled at first. It's been — it's been just days, hasn't it? No time yet for burials or graveside visits. "Wait, Jess is alive? Fisk told me —" He lets go of a breath that's been caught in his chest since he woke up on that…

"There's no more yacht," Matt says flatly to Owen's words. He peels back the red bandana, which seems to be a woman's scarlet shawl, revealing both a black eye and the full extent of his profile's swollen asymmetry. "That's where he was holding me. But it — it sank. So maybe this station, it really is where he ran to…"

*

"She's alive. In a coma at Stark's," And so is Stark, but that's a story for another time. "But she's alive. Now we just gotta get her to wake up." Luke's weight shifts next to Murdock again, the faint smell of her blood still clinging to his clothes and a rasp of emotion in his voice that betrays it hasn't been a good couple of days for his girl. "Speaking of which, I gotta get back to the Tower." He's already been gone too long in his books, no matter how good the reason is. There is a brief squeeze given to one of Matt's hands that telegraphs that Cage is glad Matt's alive, but then he's moving off. If he grabs food to go and cat naps in the taxi on the way back he can shave off some precious minutes of being gone. On his way out, he makes a noise, sucking against his teeth with a tsch. "Go over there and hug your boy." This said to Kinsey and Foggy both.

"Looks like we get to flush a rat out of the sewers." He's bellowing in the hallway.

Sewers. Abandoned subway station. Tomato to-deadFisk.

*

When Luke gives that order on his way out, Foggy looks after him briefly. Gently, he releases Kinsey's hand and gestures her forward. "He's yours, Kins. I can wait." He gives her shoulder a little squeeze before he turns to rest his shoulder blades back into the wall. He's not sure if he's going to hug Matt or slug him, so best that Kinsey gets a hug in first.

*

For the kindness of allowing Kinsey dibs on Matt Murdock's eternally broken body, Foggy Nelson receives a fierce one-armed hug — but it's brief, because the moment she has permission, she ducks through the persons arrayed around that bed with the swift ease of a darting bird, and slides ever-so-carefully into the spot beside him, leaning to lightly press her lips to his temple — whichever one looks least busted. The scent of saltwater comes along with more familiar things — all of the stress hormones and machine lubricants and personal toiletries he's by this time perfectly familiar with.

Those prosthetic limbs of hers are not kind to high-threadcount sheets, probably, but…

She'll pay for that.

Probably.

She spends all of ten seconds trying to come up with something to say, and ultimately concedes defeat, choosing instead a sniffing, watery-eyed silence, Foggy's hand exchanged for Matt's — for as long as she can manage to hold it and stay out of Claire's way, anyway.

*

A coma, Luke says. The words rebuff some of that wave of relief that had washed over Matt on realization that Jessica Jones is, in fact, still alive. But only some — what he hears is enough to hang his hope on. Matt reaches up to give Luke's shoulder a reassuring clasp before the larger man is standing up and making his way back out from his bedside to hers.

Soon enough Luke has his replacement. He's yours Kins, Foggy's voice says, and it's the first real signal in the disorienting whirl of sensation and information that signals her. He lets out another short breath, hazel eyes shutting tight with some kind of strange, joyous relief as her scent and the sound of her rapid-fire heartbeat invades his senses. "Sure am," he says. Technically it's an answer to Foggy's words, but there's no question that they're directed at the woman who is settling by his side…

…with the sound of her work-night prosthetics catching on Danny Rand's million-thread-count sheets. Secretive Six is in her getup, but sans mask, at least to judge by the press of her lips to his crown. Like him, she's outed before the whole crew. His eyes pop back open to question her, even if they have no means of getting an answer back. But the moment passes briefly, punctuated by a short, helpless, mostly silent laugh. He takes her left, all-too-human hand in his and gives it a squeeze. There'll be time later to process this new reality, along with many other things.

But for now, weariness claims him, the same it drove him to collapse face-forward in his own room and topple an exorbitantly expensive vase. He gives himself over to it, and to the people around him, whether it's their embraces or the inevitable resetting of his shoulder into his socket.

What's coming will be painful, sure, just like what came before. But in this moment Matt is home, or what passes for it, among his friends and his cobbled together family. It's enough.

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