Smells Like Team Spirit

October 17, 2018:

Danny asks Owen for a favour.

Luke's Bar

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Emery Papsworth, Foggy Nelson, Luke Cage, Daredevil

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

« Can you meet? »

The first text comes from Danny at around 9:30 at night. A few moments later, a second blips, « I have a favour to ask. »

A moment again. « favours »

*

It's a night off for Owen but he's sticking close by his apartment for a variety of reasons. Seated down at the bar which is conveniently in the same building as his new place Owen has his phone out on the counter while he drinks. It looks to be a clam night for Owen considering he only has a pint of beer in front of him.

When his phone lights up the first time, he reads it and places it back down unanswered. But then a second and a third text comes in and Owen's curiosity is piqued. At first he's tempted to blow off Danny but then he remembers his conversation not that long ago with Matt Murdock. He sighs and picks the phone back up to text back.

« Drinking @ Lukes. Come buy me a beer. Or shots, depending on the favor. »

But really being asked for favors by Danny is way better than getting yanked off on missions by Amanda Waller. And besides, if he's going to be a part of this whole hero team thing he needs to start doing stuff like this… right?

*

Plus, doing favours for an insanely rich guy can lead to rewards, right? Not that…Danny isn't already very generous. Still, of all the loose network of people in their little Defenders club, the two of them are probably the most at-odds. Well, so far. There's still time. And there's still Frank Castle who he has yet to meet.

« on the way »

It's about a half an hour before Danny arrives. He was clean when he left home, but the streets are still demony. His arm is covered in some kind of black goop that he's still trying to scrape off. It kind of makes him smell like…cinnamon? He looks around and then manages to spot Owen. "Be right back. I'm going to…" He holds up his goo-covered arm and goes towards the restroom.

It's another ten minutes before Danny emerges, his arm cleaner, but sort of…stained a little, and red from all the scrubbing. He slumps down across from the other. "Sorry. I punched this lizard thing and it exploded."

*

Getting used to the give and take of heroes which has it's own rules compared with the more straight forward tit for tat with occasional backstabbing of his villain life will take some time, but it is in many ways less fraught.

Seeing Danny come in, Owen raises his beer in salute and then pulls a face when he sees whatever the heck is on his hand. Did he just fight a symbiote? Oh right … demons. He readily agrees, "Yea .. please." Though he sniffs confusedly as he expected more of a rotting, sulfur smell versus cinnamon.

"Gnarly." Owen responds to the comment about the exploding lizard before setting down his beer and asking, "Do we need to grab Luke's office for this chat? Or .." He leaves the ending to that question open.

*

Danny looks around, perhaps checking to see if anyone recognizes him. He purses his lips, then, "Just let me get a drink and I'll meet you back there. You need a refill?" Strange that he's drinking. He's been nearly two months of eating like a monk and abstaining from anything stronger than green tea. Or weed. There's been the occasional drink-lapse, but if he's ordering a pint…

*

Owen pushes off with a smirk, not really surprised that this isn't a let's talk in an open bar kind of situation. He grabs his pint and shakes his head, "Nah. I'm good for now." And with that he heads to the back and makes himself comfortable behind the desk in the office. It's not Luke's chair per say but it's his bar and his office and yea, it's Luke's chair.

*

Danny pauses by the door to slurp the top of the beer so it doesn't spill. Or maybe he really just needed a drink after punching the cinnamon pinata demon. He nudges the door behind him and cringes a bit at the sound it makes. Hungover, maybe? And the pint is the hair of the dog.

He sets it down and slumps into the chair. "I uh, I need some help checking some…not so legitimate channels. I thought you might have some ins."

*

"Oh fer fuck's sake. Did someone put up a billboard tellin' all heroes in need of a shady contacts with my number on it?"

Owen throws his hands up at the request and rolls not just his eyes but his entire head. It's not that he's surprised by the request or even particularly annoyed by it, but this is the third time this month that someone's come calling on him for his less than legitimate channels.

"But seriously I will boomerang yer ass if you tell me this is about another God damn drug dealer."

He punctuates this threat by downing a large gulp of his beer.

*

"Owen uh…while the rest of us might be doing things that are…technically illegal, we're not like…we don't…" Danny shakes his head and reaches for his beer. "I learned some things about my dad last night. He was looking for things. I'm worried about leaks in my company, so I can't use those channels. Some of this is probably legit. Auction houses and things. But some of it is going to be black market because they'll be culturally significant artifacts. Which is the kind of thing where the trade is regulated or banned altogether." Someone's been Googling.

*

Owen fixes Danny with his best, oh please do continue to differentiate between me and the rest of the Defenders, which is mostly an impassive look with slightly raised eyebrows. His mouth curves slightly up at the corners when Danny decides to just stop digging and try to change the subject.

"Yer dad? Isn't he super dead?"

This bonding over dead fathers is cut short by Owen snort-chuckling as Danny seemingly explaining to him what the black market is. He demurs, "Yea, I know what black market is. What kind of artifacts? Like the shiny dragon token thing from this summer?"

*

The ninja is deeply aware that he's stepping in it. And Danny doesn't even have thick curls to muss up sheepishly anymore. He close-cropped them to look more professional. Jury's out on whether or not it's working.

"My dad and mom died in the plane crash that dropped me on K'un L'un's doorstep. But after I found his notebook, I'm thinking it can't be a coincidence. There are drawings in the book of K'un L'un's spires. Accurate drawings, not the kind that just get passed down. That means he either saw it or he talked to someone who did."

As for the medallion, he nods. "Yeah, things like that."

*

Owen's mostly aware of Danny's story by now, either from others or Danny himself. He nods at the brief history and then tilts his head at the part about K'un L'un drawings.

"Wait, where were you supposed to be going in that plane? I mean, like officially? Cause that's a way past the line of coincidence if yer dad's stuff included.." Owen is a little slow on the uptake but he's catching on.

"So what kind of stuff are you trying to track down? Something in particular? Or just anything coming out of your magic dragon punching city of Kuala Lumpur?" Close.

*

Danny doesn't correct. He was trying to tell Luke about things in text last night and it came out as King Kong, so who is he to judge? "We were on our way from London to Hong Kong for a business meeting. At least, that's what they told me. He'd been…spending a lot of time away from home so mom and I came with him." His voice gets softer as he speaks about his folks. He looks down at the corner of Luke's desk.

He goes quiet for a moment, lost in a stray eddy of memory. He clears his throat and looks up. "He was after some things. Artifacts from K'un L'un. He seemed to stop looking after I was born. Or maybe he started another journal and it's somewhere else. I don't know. But all the stuff in the boxes is from before mom was even pregnant with me, and a little bit of time during." His jaw tightens. "Maybe if I can find what he was looking for, it will help all of this make more sense."

*

Nodding at the explanation of what the plane was ostensibly doing. He completely misses any of the emotional turmoil that Danny might be going through, or at least ignores it thoroughly.

"Hunh. But yer old man never mentioned it? No bedtime stories about punching dragons, hidden cities or glowy fists?" Those would make some damn cool stories. Course Owen has only ever heard tell of bedtime stories, they're just as mythical as hidden cities and dragons to him.

"Do you have any idea where to start? I mean, besides Madripoor and maybe Qurac or Khandaq or.. one of those shitholes." Ever the culturally sensitive, Owen does at least know where most of the black market trading happens, at least in the arms and drugs circles. Antiquities is not something he cares particularly about, but he could make the right calls to start finding out.

*

"No, he never did. But he worked a lot. Travelled a lot. He tried to be around as much as he could. I played under his desk at Rand. Mom and I went along on business trips. A lot of what we did together was travel and stuff. He wasn't much of a storyteller." Danny clearly has a hard time talking about his dad, if only because he spent hours going through Wendell's things.

As for the where to start? He nods. "I have a few ideas. I have a name of an antiquities dealer dad was dealing with in the mid-80s. The outfit is still around, if not the same people. It's semi-legitimate, but according to the notebook, they had a side business selling wealthy people culturally protected artifacts on the black market. The book makes mention of a few things I'm pretty sure were from K'un L'un. I don't know where they went, but if they had connections then, they might still now."

*

The story about Rands parents finally pulls a small twitch to Owen's face. How ridiculously normal that sounds. Owen thinks about his own parents and how jacked up the story is, the little bits he does know and how big the hole are of what he doesn't. But he manages to listen without making many more verbal jabs or rolling his eyes.

He considers Danny's plan and he takes a gulp of beer and tosses his head from side to side a bit. Finally he asks a little skeptically, "You need to get in touch with scummy people, I'm yer man, sure… /but/" He says this with a bit of reluctance, "Sounds like you need someone who can do 'money' people. I'm not so sure I'm the guy. But I bet Emery would know a thing a or too about that type of thing." And goodness knows Emery would be just as willing as Owen if not more so to bend some rules, especially for Danny.

*

It's true. Danny's life was normal until one day it wasn't. And now it seems like that normalcy might have been an illusion. That's what he's struggling with.

"I need someone who understands discretion. I can't…walk in myself because they'll probably know who I am. And if they know I'm digging into this stuff because my father was involved in it, they're going to clam up. But what if you said you had a rich client who wanted some stuff?" He shifts forward in his seat.

The mention of Emery makes him hesitate. It's probably true that the Irishman could handle it. But, "He already does so much, I'd hate to ask him of that. And he's got a kid. It's hard for me to want to wrap him up in this." Words that would probably get him a smack upside the head if the butler heard him. "There's uh…there's also some…other leads. I tracked a lot of pieces that looked like it included some K'un L'un artifacts. But it was sold to a man whose house was robbed about a month ago. A few of the pieces ended up in pawn shops, so it probably was street level thugs looking for a score rather than a high-end museum fence. They might be sitting with stuff they don't know what to do with."

*

Hemming and hawing, Owen frowns, "Eh. Money can usually smell money. You need someone who can talk the talk. Again, not cause I won't … just don't think I'd succeed. You need someone like a fixer, or a negotiator .." Or a lawyer? "What about Murdock's partner? He's knee deep in this shiz." Owen's not really sure how much Foggy is apart of what they do, or how much Danny trusts him, but he certainly pulls off the 'I represent a rich snobby client' better than Owen could.

"Look you need some b and e, or someone who can out talk a fence, then yea."

Because this is important to you. Owen doesn't add it and he almost rolls his eyes at himself but it's true. Owen would go to great lengths to get some answers about his own past and he finds himself willingly getting sucked in to the mystery of Danny's past, even if it sounds like he's trying hard to say no. He's not, he's just trying to make sure any con would be a successful one.

*

A little frown settles on Danny's face. It's more of a thoughtful, semi-frustrated expression. He's clearly considering what Owen has told him. "The tricky part is, I don't want it to look like me. But I get your point." He doesn't dismiss the idea of Foggy out of hand, either. He just nods a little.

"The second might end up being a better lead anyway, because it's not so cold. There's some stuff that was stolen that's pretty distinctive. Stuff that you can ask about without asking about the dagger in particular. Oh…" he grins sheepishly. "Yeah, the stuff that was robbed included a ceremonial dagger that sounds like from my dad's descriptions and the police report to be like ones we had in K'un L'un. Blades that were carried by the soldiers who manned the watchtowers."

*

Not realizing that Foggy is in anyway officially tied to Danny, Owen doesn't see the conundrum. He narrows his eyes but doesn't say anything else about that.

"Sure. Just let me know some more about what I'm looking for and any leads you have about where I start asking … and some cash to jog some memories." He actually hesitates before asking. Because he really does intend to use the cash for that purpose, even if it seems more likely that it would just buy him some more booze.

*

Danny doesn't even think that Owen might use the money for something else. Because the truth is, if he just asked for cash because he was short, he'd give it to him, no questions asked. OK, so maybe he'd wonder a little, but he's working at being less quick to judge and to lighten up a little on his moral absolutism. Hence, him asking the other to do some digging into criminal activity.

"I'll pull together some more details and get it to you. And a copy of the police report." Don't ask him how he got that. OK…so it wasn't nefarious. There was a bulletin put out to pawn shops to look for the items. Then, "Thanks, Owen. I really appreciate it. I know I was a dick to you before. And I know you don't owe me anything."

Except for the stuff he doesn't know about pertaining to a certain international criminal organization knowing that Danny Rand = Iron Fist.

*

Owen doesn't even blink at Danny having the police report. He can think of a half a dozen ways to get that. But he just brushes off the gratitude, "Eh, no problem. Apparently I'm doin' this kind of thing now." At least according to Daredevil, Batgirl and now the Immortal Iron Fist.

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