Post Demon Drinking

October 30, 2018:

Backdated to after the Sneak Log, Owen and Frank go to a diner for a bite and discuss stuff.

Diner in Hell's Kitchen

Characters

NPCs: Max

Mentions: Daredevil, Tony Stark, Luke Cage, Harley Quinn, Jessica Jones, Batgirl, Bruce Wayne AND Batman, Catwoman, Green Arrow

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Pretending to join a demon army hell-bent (heh) on capturing mutants and metas for nefarious science experiments was all fun and games for Owen until two young Avengers showed up. It's just a coincidence, right? Owen tries to convince himself as he wanders through the chaos of the aftermath. There are still demons about, but that's not just the reality that is New York. There are portals and .. girls wearing rocket flats? Owen taps his mask in time to see that yes, that was in fact Jane Foster flying into a portal, with Bucky close behind.

"Huh, well that will probably work out fine."

He takes a drag off his cigarette and wanders in the direction where the machine gun fire came from. He picks off a fleeing demon with a razor boomerang before calling out, "What do I gotta put on a red wig and cape to find you?"


After slipping a new drum magazine into his shotgun and charging it, Frank heads back up to what used to be a ruined living room and is now a one-car parking garage. He finds the minigun, studying it for dents and dings and grimacing before he hauls it into the black duffel he left behind for the purpose. The shotgun is un-cocked and added in as well, and then he hears Owen. A frown twists across his features, and he grunts. "I'm up here, Twitch." The submachine gun from his hip gets added to the duffel, and then he starts pulling on the trenchcoat he slipped out of, covering up the white skull on his vest. "You seem to find things just fine. No reason to be jealous of Red's detective shit."


The voice causes Owen to look up and see the newly opened hole in the building with bits of car sticking out. He chuckles and in the next moment, he's there, poking the car as if to see if it will fall out anytime soon. After a moment he turns to Frank and up nods. He notices Frank's chest symbol and oohs, "I dig the skull. Very literal. And oooh scary." The odd thing about the comment is how it is at once genuine, in that Owen does in fact approve of the apparel choice but also mocking.

The comment about Batgirl's detective skills just cause him to roll his eyes. "Yea, she's a master detecitve." And here he does his best Batgirl voice impression complete with imaginary hair flip with his non smoking hand. "Owen? Could you like find this drug dealer bad guy for me? I want to impress this super hot guy." He breaks character to reiterate, "Breathtakingly skilled."

He nods at the bag and asks, "You got a place to stow that? And maybe ditch the body armor? don't know how hush hush you're trying to be." He pulls off his own mask and scargs and stuffs those into a pocket. There's not much about his attire that says 'vigilante costume'.


Frank looks down at his chest at the commentary, then shrugs a little, "They want me to be the Punisher, I'll be the damned Punisher. Might as well use the fear the Blacksmith created." There's something vaguely satisfied in his gravelly voice. He hefts the duffel for a moment, testing it, and then shifts some of the items of mass destruction within around and slings it over his shoulder with a grunt of combined pain and effort. "You know, you're real good at bein' sincere and an asshole at the same time." He says sincerely. And not particularly politely. There's even a bit of a grin at the corners of his lips. That may be because he got to fire off a man-portable minigun not too long ago though.

'Super hot guy' needs some response, and Frank narrows his eyes a moment, then snorts a laugh and starts toward the fire escape again, boots crunching over shell casings. So many shell casings. Exactly a thousand, actually. "You should meet my brother," not by blood born, of course, but by blood spilled, "Billy. Or she should." Eyeing the change from Captain Boomering to Owen Mercer, Castle grunts again softly, "Give you this, those things are a lot easier to lug around." He starts down the fire escape, moving much slower and more carefully this time. "I got a place to leave 'em, yeah. Couple of blocks downtown. Should let Max out for a piss too."


"Hells yea!" Owen agrees that being the Punisher is badass. But he also was the same guy who willingly took up the mantle of Captain Boomerang, so maybe not the best endorsement. Owen laughs at the compliment from Frank, because yes that is a compliment in his book. He clicks his tongue and says in a faux-abashed way "Aw, yer sweet."

He follows after Frank towards the fire escape and gives a shrug at the mention of either him or Batgirl meeting his brother. "Eh, not sure she's into that, but who knows."

At the talk of his boomerangs though Owen nods, "Yea. Can't really keep a machine gun in my watch.." He clicks a button his very normal looking timepiece and a small disk ejects. He presses a button and a full size boomerang appears. He undoes that and slides it back in before getting a thoughtful look on his face, "Although I could probably make enough expanding section to assemble one. I mean ammo is gonna be a challenge but.." If only Owen knew about Jane's STUFF app, he would be insanely jealous and immediately trying to copy it despite it's magical / higher math nature that would likely place it well outside his reach. But he continues to chatter on about guns, "I'm sure I could come up with something for modular weaponry and possible modified magazines."


Frank shakes his head slowly, "Don't care what Red's into." There's a pause, and then he adds, "Don't care what anyone's into." Just to make it clear. The last of the fire escape hurts like hell, carrying that much weight down a ladder with bruised ribs, a still-healing bullet-wound in his side, and enough bruises to make a bad boxer wince scattered across his body. Getting back on solid ground causes Frank to let out a little hiss of relief, and then he nods in the direction he's going to head off to store his gear, only to stop as Owen demonstrates his watch-storage. Castle's eyebrows shoot up, his eyes widen a bit, and he grunts, clearly impressed. "Shit. You designed that? And we got you shaking down drug dealers instead of working for Colt or somethin'?" He would literally kill for the STUFF app. Literally. Kill. Probably a good thing he doesn't know about it. He keeps his eyes up and out as they start walking through the currently-deserted streets of Hell's Kitchen. Turns out, when there's a demon parade, people stay home. "I got some cash from people who didn't need it anymore, but that kind of R&D costs serious money, doesn't it? And you gotta have manufacturing machines and shit?"


Owen doesn't seem thrown that Frank might not care about Barbara's proclivities, or at the very least is professing not to. Frank strikes exactly no one as the kiss and tell type.

"Teeechnically … no. This is someone else's design that I stole and modified for boomerangs." Which is also true of all of Owen's tech. There is nothing in it that he has wholesale created start to finish, it's an amalgam of other people's ideas molded into his own twisted vision. "But. Yea, I built it. And a shit ton of other stuff." He laughs at the part about tracking down drug dealers instead, "Yea well my talents are wide and varied. Building shit, knowing where to score and pissing people off. I'm a regular John of all trades." It's Jack, but who's counting.

When Frank brings up the need for funding and manufacturing, Owen laughs. "I used to build using swiped weapons in crappy storage units in Gotham. But turns out billionaires in New York? Yea they just give you shit. It's .. really fucked up." Generosity and believing in people, it scares Owen to his core. "But yea, when Stark ain't in a comma or have his building turned into some whacko demon dragon nest I have some space there. Turns out Tony is kinda great. I guess I just expected him to be a giant dickwad like Bruce Wayne or somethin'" Not that Owen knows Bruce personally, but he just assumes. For many reasons.


At the moment, Frank probably doesn't strike most people as the -kiss- type, let alone the kiss and tell. He also appears to be more impressed by the idea of modifying someone else's design and making your own steel origami boomerangs than he does by the ability to disappear out of thin air or whatever he figures Owen's meta-ness is. The mention of Stark and the reference to knowing him personally draws a blink of surprise from Frank. Still, he has to defend his city's honor, "Wait… you're from Gotham and you think New York is fucked up?" Shaking that off as relatively-friendly city-competitiveness, he continues walking down the street, drawing in on himself a bit as they come to a section where there are more people walking than demons. "Stark, huh? Always thought Starktech was too fiddly for real ops. Can't mass-produce it without it going to shit." Then again, if you're supplying a single vigilante, or just a couple, you don't need to mass-produce it. Hefting his bag and grimacing a little as he lets it down on the strap slung across his body, he glances over to Owen, his tone darkening just a hint, "Why'd you pull out of the last op, Twitch?"


Owen works under the base assumption that everyone is humping or trying to hump everyone else at all times. It makes for a very weird and vivid imagination of other peoples lives. It's mostly been informed by time around the Rogues and the various terrible members of the Suicide Squad who share in great, horrific detail things that should never be spoken of. It changes you.

"Yea. Which city is currently enveloped in some level of hell with demons dropping out of portals like bird shit?" There really is very little that could actually be said in Gotham's defense, but at least temporarily it might have the upper hand. Maybe.

Owen just gives a shrug of 'yea', because he agrees that it is super weird that he knows Tony Stark. "Yea, he ain't involved in what I do. I'm just a consultant who occassionally helps him out with … really fuckin' weird shit." It's true that Stark has most of the normal scientific bases covered. But Owen has come in handy once or twice … usually as a guinea pig.

Exhaling the last of the smoke from his cigarette, he stops momentarily to stub it out. "Yea.. Turns out an old buddy of mine was on the wrong side of that. I owed him a favor, despite him being a raged dickwad. So I pulled him out before he got shot, or arrested." Owen sounds a little more annoyed about the explanation than normal. No good deed or something.


"Which city needs another city to be infested with fucking demons for it to be worse?" Which is to say, 'one of those is temporary' — theoretically. Frank listens to the explanation of the non-relationship between Owen and Tony, nodding and gesturing up at the Dante-ian sky as if that explains 'weird stuff.' The explanation that follows causes him to frown harder, however. He has a very good face for frowns, his heavy Sicilian brows gathering together. "He made a choice. So did you." Both of those statements are carefully neutral, although he tries a lot harder on the second one. "If you were there, you think you could have stopped the guy with the rocket?" That's the problem with knowing someone's a meta but not knowing what the hell powers they have, you have no idea what they can do.


"That's fair."

And it's not so much that Owen thinks New York is weirder than Gotham, more that when you are used to the extreme nature of one going to the more bland but in many ways wildly different other it causes some culture shock.

"Yea." Owen just shrugs off the part about making choices. He does give Frank a bit of an odd look though about it, a little confused if Frank is saying he should have left him to his fate. To Owen it was incredibly clear. He owed him, he paid that debt. Now they're squared so if the same thing were to happen Sock would get a face full of boomerang and good hearty laugh about it. Oh well.

"Depends. Luke told me a little of what happened. But seemed like you all had it well in hand. And 'sides, wasn't my fight." Owen's not about to add that he is hardly one to normally stop large drug shipments so much as be a part of the distribution chain. He also doesn't sound the least bit remorseful about ditching Frank. Luke maybe. Batgirl … whatever, insert surly inability to deal with even minorly complex emotions here.


The confused look draws a little shrug from Frank, and then he nods, following up with the other point, "Yeah. I figure that any fight you're in, it's yours. You've just gotta figure out what side you should be on." There's a pause, and then he shrugs, "Or if you should just get the fuck out." He grunts a little thoughtfully, "Would've been nice to know you were looking for an out before we went in." He stops then, stepping off the sidewalk to the front door of a just-good-enough-not-to-be-destroyed ground floor apartment with bars over the minimal windows. Studying Owen for a long moment, Frank nods slightly to himself, and pulls a key-ring from his pocket. It takes two keys and a kick to the bottom corner to get the door open, and Frank's arrival is greeted by a canine 'whoof' from within, a short-haired mutt of rottweiler and about half a dozen other breeds greeting Frank with a wagging tail and then studying Owen in silence for a long moment.


"Looking for an out?" Owen makes a crude jerk off motion at that. "I didn't realize you needed my help against a handful of douche bags with guns. Especially with the Chocolate Mountain and Batarina. I owed Sock." Owen realizes that it's a strange enough name to clarify, "The guy I pulled out. It's not like a bailed cause I knew you were gonna get blown up. But yer right 'bout one thing, I wasn't there to help /you/."

"Besides didn't Red tell you that her contact was a drug addict criminal low-life? You should do your homework before you start depending on people. I'm flaky as shit." He wears those labels like a badge of honor, a man used to wearing insults like armor.

He glances at the building and gives a soft amused 'heh' at the look Frank shoots him before opening up. It is always uncomfortable to have people know where your hidey-holes are. Especially when those people are maybe not the most trustworthy. Owen waits outside the door, and only leans over slightly to look when the dog makes a noise. He upnods his chin at the dog, much as he did to Frank earlier and greets it with a "Dog." .


Frank shrugs slightly, "I didn't need anybody's help to wipe them out." He disappears into a rather spare apartment, moving past a couch with a blanket and a pillow at one end to go into what is presumably the bedroom and drop off the duffel in there. Max gives Owen another 'whoof' and keeps staring at him. It's like he can smell the flaky. Castle comes back a few minutes later with his jacket back on, but the skull-painted vest gone to reveal a sweaty black t-shirt beneath, "Red figured I needed help not wiping them out." He gets a leash from alongside the door and clips it onto Max's collar. "And she told me you were a Bat-villain. After I asked. I figured anyone Snow White recommended wasn't going to flake out, considering how much of a pain in the ass she can be. Guess I was wrong." Drawing Max out the door, he gives it a yank closed and locks both locks, "He'll need to water a tree somewhere on the way. You got a place you like for coffee?"


Not coming inside, Owen hangs out outside and narrows his eyes at the dog. It's not that he doesn't like dogs per say, but he's had more than his fare share of run ins with guard dogs to make him wary. Granted if he weren't breaking in he wouldn't have had those run-ins.

"Heh." Owen chuckles at the thought of helping Frank not murder people, Luke and Owen gently coaching him to not splatter brains about. 'Aw, good try, but you totally killed that dude. Let's try again..' Owen is relieved to hear that his reputation does in fact proceed him and only adds, "Yea, my ability to disappoint is boundless."

"Wait. Coffee?! I thought we were a getting a /drink/." Owen looks mildly offended at the thought of getting coffee, but then remembers the flask in his pocket and says, "Yea, I guess that works. Uhh, there's a decent diner two blocks up." Mhmmm diner coffee plus whiskey and omelettes. And thankfully this is one of the few establishments that survived the bombing, and like many others it has managed to keep it's doors open despite the demonic invasion.


"You should work on that," is Frank's advice in response to Owen's ability to disappoint. Perhaps strangely though, it isn't just thrown off the cuff, it's accompanied by a direct look, flatly stated. Sometimes, Castle remembers that he was a Marine Corps officer guiding young Marines not too long ago. "If you're worried about your rep, just remember that it'd be disappointing if you stopped disappointing people." The mention of the particular diner draws a thoughtful nod, "They don't ruin the bacon. That'll do." As he starts up the street toward the diner, he shifts a little, adjusting to the loss of weight — and protection — from the bulletproof vest. "So what the hell were you doin' in the middle of the march?"


"Work on being more unreliable?" Owen smirks obviously understanding what Frank is driving at, but enjoying being obtuse.

Owen can barely help but roll his eyes at the advice from Frank. "Meh. Turns out the more I actually deliver on anything the more I get capes showin' up asking for favors. Hard pass." Of course he's eventually going to have to come to grips with that if he's actually going to go through with this whole hero bit. But really it does seem like a bit of a raw deal.

Laughing about someone questioning his brilliant strategy, Owen defends. "I wanted to find out what was going on. That's the first time I've seen any organization on their side and wanted to see if it was building up to something bad. Thankfully they turned out to be as dimwitted as most of the rando ones I've run into. And I got a feeling anything big happening will be coming out of Stark tower from either that dragon or whoever their 'mistress' is." Owen hasn't done much following up on the demons, more staying alive and making sure others do as well. Besides aren't there real super hero teams for this kind of thing?

"I take it you just needed some target practice before getting back to poppin' caps in gangsters?"


Frank snorts at Owen's smirking response, covering a slight wince in pain as he does. The eye-rolling, however, provokes a slow shake of Frank's head, "You're doin' real good on bein' useful but unreliable then. Sounds like a great way to get tabbed a lot, and get shit piled on you when you don't come through."

The brilliant strategy gets another shake of his head, but he doesn't offer direct criticism, because there's a question coming back in his direction there. Frank's shoulders bunch up a little, the big man looking more than a little uncomfortable for a moment. He's half-saved by Max picking a miraculously still-standing tree to gift his piss to. The dog stops, hikes up a leg, and unloads. Castle stops as well, shaking his head at Max, and by then he's marshaled his thoughts a bit better. "I grew up here. I don't like seein' demons — or anybody else — tearin' this place up any more than Hornhead or Snow White. When I get stuck on my list, I go blow off some steam with demons." Plus, you know, he had a man-portable minigun he really, really wanted to try out.


Owen smirks at the advice on being more reliable. He knows that he's willingly making choices that mean he will be roped into more and more hero work, but still can't help but kick against it reflexively.

"Fair enough" Owen fully understands the need to protect a place, even if you aren't the most traditionally heroic. On any given day the Rogues might decide that a certain villainous plot had crossed too far in Gotham and fight back … or decide it hadn't gone far enough and pitch in. It's a lot of gray area.

Finally it dawns on him that Snow White is likely Jones, and he snerks at the thought of Jess as a Disney princess.

"Yea well listen you get in a tough spot on your little list, do me a favor. Call me. Not Red. Some people can sleep just fine with blood on their hands. I got a feelin' she ain't one of 'em." After all that talk of favors and being notoriously unreliable, here he is immediately offering. "And maybe this time I'll stick around for the party."


Max finishes his business and starts to amble forward again, wandering off the immediate track to sniff at this thing or that as Frank resumes the walk toward the diner. The snerk gets a sidelong glance, but the offer gets an actual chuckle, one corner of Castle's mouth twisting up into a smirk, "Twitch, you just went on about how unreliable you are. You really think I'm gonna call you first?" Still, he shakes his head, "Don't worry, Red ain't got her hands dirty yet," evidently he doesn't count the fate of ziptied guys on an exploding boat when you didn't do the exploding, "and she ain't gonna have to." Castle draws in a breath and lets it hiss out, reaching down with one hand toward Max and scruffling the dog's ears when he puts his head into Frank's hand. "I'm this close." The tension in his voice, the need to be done is back, clear as day, "The damned demons… if it weren't for them, I'da been done weeks ago. But I'm almost there. Three left." It's his right index finger — his trigger finger — that twitches against Max's ears this time.


"Exactly. So I can offer and sound all noble and shit without worrying about you actually taking me up on the offer. I know yer not a speedster Eastwood but try to keep up." It has to be Eastwood because Dirty Harry takes too long to say. Owen having taken the time to light another cigarette while Max watered the landscape puffs away quite happy with himself.

Owen nods at Frank at the talk of how close he is. He narrows his eyes and asks, "And what happens when you finish the list? Get cleaned up, get a job punching a clock somewhere?" He doesn't really care that Frank's planning three more murders. He's mostly on board with the whole 'these people need to die' scheme, it only makes him uncomfortable when other heroes start going along with it. But like Barbara had mentioned, what happens when the list is done?


Frank snorts something approaching a laugh at Owen's confirmation of his offering methods, shaking his head in amusement. Then there's the hundred-million-dollar question, and Frank shrugs a little helplessly, going silent as they reach the diner. Evidently, Frank and Max have been there before, because he pushes open the door and he and the dog both go right in. Technically they're supposed to be in an outdoor seating area to have Max with them, but the waitress doesn't seem to mind, giving the dog's ears a ruffle and getting a cheerful 'whuff' and a wagging tail in return. Frank keeps quiet until they're seated in the back, the veteran Marine sliding into the bench and sitting on Max's leash to generally keep it in place. Coffee arrives immediately, garnering a quiet, "Thank you, ma'am" from Castle. The waitress pours for him, then offers to Owen and departs once her duty is done. Only then does Frank answer, "Don't know. I got one more mission before I'm really done. But until then, I'm on-mission." There's a moment's pause, and then he finally turns things around, "Why do you do it?"


Owen stays quiet as they enter and take their seats, and doesn't prompt Frank as he looks over a menu. He nods at the offer of coffee, and mumbles something that might be a thanks, if only because Frank is so polite about his. Before the waitress is even gone, Owen is pouring from a flask into his coffee. He seems content to sip that though instead of waiting for a reply from Frank.

He accepts the answer, basically that Frank isn't thinking past his current actions like he suspected. He remembers really well the life of going from 'job' to 'job' and not planning anything more than how to get money and then how to spend it, often in the most absurd ways possible on both ends. He is broken out of that train of thought by Frank's question which causes something akin to a scowl to cross his face.

"Me?" He considers the question. And all that brought him to the decision to leave the Rogues and go 'straight' as it were. And then falling in with the Defenders. "Because some assholes need a good solid punch in the face… and I got tired of being one of them." It's close to the truth at least, if a very surface-y representation of it. Owen still hasn't unpacked all of his anger at his father or his own desperate desire to not be the complete fuck-up he grew up being told he was. That all remains a little deeper than he's cared to look, even during his months of rehab.


Frank glances at the flask, but just smirks a little, not commenting on the addition even as he gathers up his own cup and takes a slow, warming sip. Oh yeah, too much blood in the caffeine system, time to fix that. Owen's reason is about as straight-forward as Frank would have assumed, on the surface. By the way he settles back into the vinyl bench seat, there's actually something comfortable about talking straight-up with someone, even someone as relatively different from himself as Owen. "I get that. Pretty much why I enlisted." But enough about him. "You ever think about goin' back? How easy it'd be to knock over a bank or something?" Frank has absolutely no idea how difficult or easy it would be to knock over a bank. Looting dead gangers is a much steadier income stream, at least for now.


Taking a large sip of his doctored coffee, Owen relaxes into it. Frank may run on caffeine, Owen mostly runs on booze. He sets the cup down and leans back as well, maybe for the first time realizing how much he does need to take a break and actually eat something real.

He nods at the part about enlisting. He should have enlisted. Well, he should have not been a raging shithead and then enlisted so that he would actually stick with it. But oh well, yet another regret in the rear view.

"Sure." Owen readily admits that he thinks about it. "I mean you hear about a good score or some crazy heist, I think about it. And besides just because someone wears a cape doesn't mean they aren't also an asshole in need of a good solid punch in the face." Not that Owen's list of such people is incredibly long but it bears saying. And it certainly is something Owen thinks about now. "But. With this whole Fisk crapfest I ended up with some people, and there's boundaries and rules involved." Just like the Rogues, in a way. Because like oh so many people who push boundaries or cross lines, Owen really wants those restrictions. He doesn't come out and say Defenders outloud. That's still kind of strange to him.

Owen doesn't mention having already let them down badly once, but it flickers across his face in the form of a slight wince.


Frank takes another sip of his coffee, wrapping both hands around the cup and resting his forearms on the edge of the table. Despite the bruises, despite the aches and the pains, he actually looks almost comfortable in this marginally not-crappy diner. "The Defenders." There's a smirk behind the name, but Frank lets the expression clear away when the waitress comes back with a doggy bowl of water and a fresh pot of coffee to top up their cups. "Two eggs over-easy, hashbrowns, bacon, sourdough toast please, ma'am." The veteran Marine waits for Owen to add in an order of his own and the waitress to head back to put them in, then looks back to Owen, nodding, "Funny name, for people who aren't willin' to do what's necessary." He gives a grudging little shrug, "I get putting Fisk on trial." Or at least, he's been convinced of the necessity of it, "Closure for everyone else who lost someone. But that kind of shithead doesn't deserve another chance to ruin lives." While Frank may have been going for light and easy through that, by the end, there's more than a little growl in his gravelly voice. He also may have misread the cause of the wince.


"The Defenders." Owen acknowledges the name, which as far as those things go is really not that bad.

To the waitress, Owen nods and says "Same, but white for the toast." And then as if forced by the strong arm of Frank's military politeness he adds a mumbled, quick, "please"

"Yea well, we didn't exactly pick it. But I like it. It's a good name for people doin' their best to try and stop shitheads from burning this city to the ground." He quirks his head at Frank and asks, "How much you know about these people? Cause I gotta say, in the thick of this Fisk thing? Doin' what's necessary wasn't really a problem for most." Maybe for some, sure. But it didn't seem like many people were going to be arguing strongly against murdering Fisk that night. That night that seems ridiculously far away now.

"And as a former … well, current shit head, but former hood. It ain't always so cut and dry. It's.." He wants to say that people get caught up in it, or don't have options or some other excuse but he hates to sound like he's letting himself off the hook. "I've known some decent crooks."


"All I know is that Hornhead threw down with me over some shitbags, and Snow White was givin' me crap for goin' through my list, and Beefcake was urgin' restraint to." Frank takes another sip of his coffee as Max slurps noisily at his water. "But I get that things are different when it's closer to home." Setting the coffee cup down, he spreads his hands slightly, "Some people, sure. I got no problem believin' they can turn their lives around. But I also think there's a line. You go past that line, I don't know if you can come back. Like… the clown. Why hasn't someone put a fifty-cal through his brainpan? How many people would that have saved?"


"Yea well people running around killing people should be questioned, as a general rule." Owen smiles at the nicknames though and takes another gulp of his coffee, wishing not for the last time tonight that they had just gone to a bar. But he can wait. Probably.

When Frank starts talking about a line, Owen looks like he might say something, right up until he mentions the clown. Owen's face darkens. "Yea. If we call mass murderer the line, then I'm with you. Problem is? What about the clowns gang..?" Owen hesitates for a minute before asking, "What about Harley Quinn? Where would she fall in your view?" Gee, that's an awfully specific hypothetical situation you are posing there Owen.


Frank leans forward, his forearms sliding over the edge of the tabletop to rest his elbows there, "Don't know her. Don't know what she's done. Despite you and Red, I've been tryin' to keep my nose outta Gotham. It ain't my city, and the Big Bad Bat's got a hell of a lot better gear than Hornhead." He takes a slow sip of his coffee, lifting his brows slightly, "So you tell me. Where does Harley Quinn fall on the mass murderer line?" There's a low tension to his voice, a weight behind his words.


That's fair Owen thinks. He takes another gulp of his coffee and makes a thoughtful nodding face agreeing that Batman has way better toys than Daredevil, though he wishes he could record that as a sound bite and play it for Jane. And then Frank's leaning forward. It makes a mischievous smile to creep across his face. He half shrugs and says, "Eh. She's killed people. She's been wrapped up in his schemes in the past… but not now." … Right? Owen's confidence at the last part falters ever so slightly, before he regains it and says, "She ain't his girl anymore. But she's got blood on her hands. Where does that fall?"


"I don't know," Frank admits readily enough. "She's tryin' to do better, I figure she's got a chance." He watches the mischief slip across Owen's face, not quite ready to be wary of it. In the course of a sip of coffee, his face hardens again, going from just a guy sitting in a diner discussing mass murderers to someone considering judgment, "A chance." His shoulders roll as if he were trying to loosen them, "But like I said, Gotham ain't my area of operations. And I don't even know if I'm going to have an AO after I'm done with my list."


Owen can lie through his teeth quite effectively when the situation calls for it. And yet he doesn't stop his eyebrows from raising and his eyes from drifting to the side when Frank assumes just because she's not with the Joker that Harley's /trying to do better/. He just shrugs and says "Yea well so long as yer not to the shoot first, find out later point I think I can deal with it."

Owen has never been in the military. He has however been drafted into Task Force X which works alongside military personnel and so he's picked up plenty of their slang. He shrugs and says, "You could always hang up the guns and be a civie. Or I'm sure you c'd find someone willing to pay you to go back and keep shooting things. You seem crazy enough for that." The pronouncement of crazy enough comes not with judgement but approval. Owen has a much easier time relating to people who throw themselves willingly into terrible situations for whatever reason versus those horrifying regular people.


Frank runs his tongue along his teeth behind his lips, considering the suggestion that he re-enlist. Clearly, the idea has been tempting him, but eventually he shakes it off. "There's some shady shit going on out there. I'd rather find some other way to serve." He goes quiet as their food arrives, sitting back in his booth-bench to let the waitress put the plate down in front of him, "Thank you, ma'am." Max watches the bacon on both plates go by, and Frank shakes his head in faint amusement, breaking one of his pieces of bacon in two and setting it down for Max to snarfle up. Only then does he look back to Owen, "And I'm better trained than that. The only time a Marine shoots first is if he's in danger or an innocent is." Grunting, he allows, "That's the only time a Marine's supposed to shoot first." There's a pause as he gathers up some eggs, and then asks, "Why do you care what happens to the Joker's old girl, anyhow?" Somehow, the question sounds more like a test than an actual inquiry.


Owen would laugh if he realized Frank thought he was suggesting joining the actual military again. He was thinking of something far more shady. And lucrative. But Frank's response makes perfect sense in that context and he doesn't have much time to think about the 'serve' part before the food arrives. Owen again feels compelled to grunt out a short "thanks" despite never feeling that need other times. And then Frank's talking about what a marine does or does not do and Owen looks at him a little skeptical. "Yea well Marines also don't normally make their own orders? So not sure how well those rules are gonna hold up out in this life."

At the question, Owen conveniently has shoved eggs and toast into his face which means he has some time to think about how to answer that. Of course by the time he's swallowed he still doesn't have a good answer either, but it helped.

"She's uh.." A friend? My ex? Crazy? All of those? Except not anymore? Owen finally settles on the ambiguous, "We were close"

And then he adds after another sip of coffee, "And I'd hate t'see her kill you."


"Yeah. A chain-of-command of one… that's real dangerous. Seems to me that makes rules even more important." Frank somehow manages to shovel food into his face, chew, and swallow while talking without actually talking with his mouth full. Or at least without showing off see-food. He waits for Owen to work his way through the bite of food and his thought process, his eyes narrowing slightly in curiosity as he notes the hesitation. He's about to say something, and then Owen pokes him with the next line, and he chuckles, shaking his head, "Maybe she could do it." The response is… perhaps surprisingly mild from the veteran Marine, "After all, she's handled the Bat-family this long." There might be a shot or two fired at the Bat-family in that simple statement, but he keeps it cool and ambiguous. "You think she could take you?"


Chomping through the food with little regard for things like manners or apparently very much chewing, Owen talks regularly with his mouthful.

"She has regularly taken on far worse than Captain Boomerang and come out just fine. I think I'd have to fight dirty just to have a shot, and if she's actually pissed? I'm probably dead meat." Harley has a fighting style unlike almost anyone he's ever seen. She manages to regularly come out on top even up against ridiculous odds and better skilled opponents. It's one of those infuriating traits about her that he finds so damn attractive.

"But yea, she's taken on Bats and if not beaten them, managed to get away clean more than once."


Frank nods slowly, "Yeah. Makes things easier when you're just trying to break contact. Still impressive." He puts down his fork and knife long enough to take another sip of coffee, setting the cup in its saucer out toward the end of the table. "And how does she do that?" He leans back like booth, like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, "She's not… what… fast? like you, right?" No sense missing the opportunity to get information on someone who is riding the line of target-hood.


Owen agrees with a grunt as he continues to consume his meal at a frightening pace, even without super speed. He smirks at the question of how exactly Harley Quinn manages to defeat super powered or world class skilled opponents on a semi regular basis. His smirk becomes a conspiratorial smile as he leans forward, darting a look around as if he's about to whisper the secrets of the Colonel's original recipe 11 herbs and spices.

"Really tiny shorts. Huge hammer."

Owen laughs at his own joke and takes a big gulp of coffee only after he's stopped chuckling about his frankly mediocre joke. And really it's not exactly untrue, sometimes those two things do factor in to Harley's /strategy/ … if it can be called that. Her ability to improvise is probably her best skill, but well … Owen's easily distracted by tiny shorts and may have in fact been on the receiving end of giant hammers so that tends to stick in his mind.


Owen laughs, and Frank smirks, even chuckling a little. "Distraction and direct action. Got it." That's… sort of what Owen said. I mean, when you put it through an Owen-to-military translator. "I gotta say I'm always amazed at what some of the capes wear out there. Like, I get you can put kevlar in anything, but fishnets? Capes? Half-open shirts?" He nods to the waitress when she comes to refill his coffee cup again, "Thanks, ma'am." And then waits until she's gone and shrugs a little at Owen, "I'm half-tempted to do the whole vigilante thing just to show 'em how it's done right."


As Frank ruminates about proper attire for vigilante work, Owen can only give a mildly embarrassed half shrug. Somehow he inherited bits and pieces of his fathers costume which includes a scarf. But most of the rest of his gear is useful and he's played with it to make it more so. He does look offended though at the talk of fishnets. "Woah. Listen don't knock the fishnets. I'm firmly pro-fishnets. I mean sure mostly on women, but well if you can pull it off…" Can I pull it off? No.. that's ridiculous. Owen gets back on track as Frank talks about becoming a vigilante. "I have a feeling your version of right might fall juuuust outside other people's view of that." Owen isn't judging per say, he's hardly in any position to do so. But he does easily forsee that being an issue for … most capes.


Frank's gravelly chuckle returns at Owen's defense of fishnets, "I'm not saying they don't look nice, but I'm also not sayin' they're really combat attire." He hasn't talked to roller derby women about track-rash and fishnets. Yet. "I don't think any guy can pull 'em off." He also hasn't seen Rocky Horror. The not-quite judging draws a shrug, "From what I've seen, ask three vigilantes about the right way to do it, you'll get six opinions. Bit of a FUBAR situations. But I'm not talkin' morally. I'm talkin' cuttin' out the theatre." He pauses, thinking back to the white skull on his vest, "The shit that gets in the way." Still, he shakes his head, leaning back in his seat. He glances out the window, his fork tapping rapidly and almost-softly on his plate, "Not somethin' I need to worry about now though. Just finishin' the list. Finish the mission, then worry about everything else." Max picks up on Frank's shift in demeanor, raising his head and then hauling himself to his feet.


"Cutting out the theater?" Owen looks at Frank like he just suggested murdering puppies. "Your anti-fishnets AND anti-gimmick? Oh Frank. I don't know if our true love is meant to be." Wait, what is this about true love? Any how much whiskey is in that coffee? Well not really that much and this of course is Owen just being his whacky self. "I love a good gimick. Condiment King? Classic. Catwoman? Yes please. Mr. Freeze? It's all right there, in the name." Owen inadvertantly lists all criminals in his defense of gimmicks, but really what can you expect from Captain Boomerang?

Owen comes back to the topic at hand though as Frank seems to think outloud. "Yea well, make sure you don't get locked up in the process. Got a feeling you've made enough enemies that a stint in orange would be less fun than usual." It's not that Owen's particularly concerned about Frank being arrested, more like offering advice as someone who has been there.


Frank nods, "Not all the theater. I mean…" he gestures to his chest, where the skull was not too long ago. "But yeah. The stuff that gets in the way. Catwoman… right, catsuit and claws. No problems there. I don't know shit about any Condiment King, but like… Green Fucking Arrow? You know the Robin Hood hat falls off all the time or has to be glued on, and who the hell uses a bow and arrow when you've got guns? A crossbow for taking out a sentry, I get, but a bow and arrow? The Underoos brigade can do whatever the hell they want, because they've got powers, but the folks with less juice, I don't get handicapping yourself." He shrugs a little helplessly, pulling out a roll of cash and peeling off several twenties to pay for both meals and leave a nice fat tip. "Anyone wants to come after me, they can. I don't hide behind a mask. Pretty sure they won't like it though." There's a moment of hesitation, and then he adds, "Thanks for the advice though." And then he's getting up and gathering up Max's leash.


Wiping his forehead in fake dramatic relief Owen smirks as Frank allows that some drama is allowed. He laughs at the part about Green Arrow's hat before coming to the defense of the bow and arrow. "Hey, it's very quiet! And besides. Trick arrows." Because if anyone is going to stand up for strange gimicky weaponry … well lots of people would but Owen too. He quirks his head as Frank drops down money for the meal. "You sure hoss? I don't know what kinda funds you got but I don't mind payin?" Frank can't have a job Owen reasons and it's not like he's Rand or Stark sitting on billions as far as he knows.

"Yea. Thanks for the grub." He then nods at the dog, eyeing it slightly warily as it leaves with Frank.


"It's also bulkier than a rifle, slower than a shotgun, and you can get special rounds for an M203 or a shotgun." Frank has very little sense of the dramatic. At least when it contradicts with efficiency. The query about the money draws a shrug, "I've got enough to see me through the end of the mission. And I asked for coffee instead of booze." Max 'whuffs' at Own, doggie-scowling at him, but doesn't make any more aggressive gestures. Frank looks down to the dog, back up to Owen, and then shrugs a little helplessly. "I'd say he's all bark and no bite, but…" Beat pause, "Watch your six, Twitch." And then he's headed for the door, Max giving Owen another look before he follows.

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