Posted by branwynne77
1) This is really, really long. You might want to skip this. It has strong language in it, too.
2) In the MAX series, Frank does have an illegitmate daughter. I just re-named her to Faith.
Mystique/Cooper just gave the lawyer a flat look. “You want a warrant? Here’s our warrant.” She took a grenade, removed the pin and gave it to him.
The lawyer almost dropped the “warrant” but managed to throw it far enough away to avoid splattering anyone. “OPEN FIRE.” The guns went all ablaze and the bus was hammered by the powerful weapons. He watched as holes started appearing through the bus’s heavy armor. That wasn’t good.
Frank saw the others leave through the back door. “Rogue, you are coming with me.” He grabbed her and tossed her over his shoulder, despite her shrieks and futile punches. “Keep that up. I could use a good massage.” He followed through, close behind them, and saw Team Awesome scatter.
/Good luck, guys. Wish you well./ He gave a salute to Micki, who returned with a sarcastic one of her own. /Well, can’t make friends with everyone./ They disappeared into the concrete jungle.
“Ah am not a sack of potatoes, you barbarian! Let me down!” She yelled, bouncing into his back as he made a wild dash for his car. Rogue felt odd being treated like carry on luggage.
“Listen, Rogue, if I let you go, you will be apprehended by those fake agents. Do you really want that? Do you?” He shouted back at her. He restrained an urge to comment on her shapely derriere, even though that would probably shut her up.
“Well, if they aren’t real agents, how in the hell did they find me, you big baboon?” God, his shoulder was being driven into her stomach. It was starting to hurt. “You’ve got an answer for everything, you-know-it-all——OOOF!”
He dumped her in his car. “You’re right. I do have an answer for everything. But I doubt the Avengers’ mansion is any safer, in its current state of disrepair. But if it makes you feel better, we can call the Avengers from my place.” He tossed Mag’s phone into Rogue’s hands. “We can mail it to her later. I’m sure she’d want you to use it to make sure you’re safe.”
Frank jumped into the driver’s seat and took off.
He drove up a narrow alley, which was lodged between two brick buildings. She noted a metal door that looked very thick and very sturdy. Frank punched a button on his garage door’s remote control and it slowly opened. The car went in and he parked it.
Rogue started to chuckle then burst out laughing. There was a hysterical note to her laughter, one that lent her an air of being human, of being frail. This day had been so surreal…the last thing she expected was to wind up at the lair of one of the most wanted men in America. She laughed until she cried. “Ah’m ….so ….sorry…Ah can’t help it. Your place would have been the last spot on earth …..Ah thought Ah would have wound up.”
He patted her gloved hand. “People often have weird reactions when exposed to situations out of their control. Back in my Marine days, one of my men used to laugh riotously whenever he was terrified. Thankfully, that wasn’t often.”
“That made me feel a little better.” She wiped away the last tears of hysteria and took a look around. The garage itself was spartan, containing only what was necessary. Tools to work on his car and some other tools to work on creating different kinds of ammo.
He grunted. “Don’t tell anyone. I don’t want my image blown.” He left the car and hit a few buttons. She looked at him oddly. Was that his attempt at humor? “Just in case we have anything scanning our whereabouts. A….friend of mine gave the technology. Guess he didn’t want anything to happen to me.”
“Can I ask you something?” She asked as she followed him into another room. She supposed it was his living/armory/ “entertainment” room. Her eyes took in the grey atmosphere. No art. Just news clippings and a chart that she supposed he used to help him divine the MO of criminals. She did see one photo of his family, situated on a small table with three candles and a rosary. The area was very tidy.
“You just did, but sure, go ahead.” He started to plan what guns he wanted to take and how much ammo he would need.
“Why do you not seem to like Mr. Stark?” Rogue asked as leaned against a wall.
He thought for a moment. “I don’t like the fact he is running a corporation and has a hand in any sort of government agency. There’s too much potential for abuse of power. I firmly believe there should be a seperation of state and corporation as well as state and church.”
“Kind of like Cheney letting his company Halliburton do the reconstruction contracts for Iraq?” Rogue asked.
“Yeah. Now there’s abuse of power for you.” Frank added, as he selected his weapons. “There’s also the fact that Fury resigned from the position that Stark now presides over. Fury’s a good man and a better soldier—he wouldn’t have given up that position without a good deal of pressure. I’m sure that Stark had something to do with that, though I can’t prove it.”
Frank gestured to a sturdy chair. “Have a seat. It’ll take me a few minutes to clean and gear up.” He entered a door toward the back that she assumed was where he kept and maintained his armor. His bedroom, maybe? She didn’t think he ever took a day off. /He probably slides right into it./
She sat down and picked up the picture. Rogue saw a very happy family; Frank looked almost entirely different, a perfect family man. His wife had been pretty and his children were adorable. A sudden thought that she was intruding on some part of his life made her guiltily put it back. She sighed.
A roar of ….rage emerged from the room. Rogue jumped to her feet as he tore out of there, a look of undescribable anger blazing from him, almost palpable as pure raw heat. He started to shake, his hands were twitching. His rage grew and he started throwing chairs, tables, anything …across the room.
“Frank? What’s wrong?” She asked. There was no way she was getting near him if she could help it. She backed away from him and into the room he had recently vacated.
The room kept the basic Spartan tone of the rest of the lair. utilitarian, bleak, but very clean. Several complete sets of armor hung in a closet, a dresser of regular civilian clothes haunted a corner. A bed inhabited the other. She looked closer and saw three odd shapes, and a gold ring, on the bed.
“God, oh god oh god, no..please god…no,” she said as her feet dragged her over to investigate. Rogue didn’t want to find out, didn’t want to know, but those objects on the bed had their own gravity and pulled her over against her will. Rogue refused to look at those lumps, but picked up the ring and read the inscription:
“Then let amorous kisses dwell,
On our lips, begin and tell. “–F
“Oh god. No. Please.” Her gaze slowly took in the lumps, slowly focusing in the fact they were skulls. “Momma, why did you have to dig up his fucking family!”
As soon as Rogue took a look outside of the room, she knew Mystique had acheived her goal of completely mind fucking the Punisher, who to be honest, was probably not the most mentally stable guy in the Northern Hemisphere.
“Uh..Punisher? …..” She hesitated, feeling the weight of his gaze swing her way. Heavy. Intense. Alarming. “This smells ….smells like a trap. Please, please just sit down for a few minutes until you’ve….calmed down some.” She didn’t think he would purposely hurt her, but his anger definitely made her tip toe around him.
Rogue knew that he would be slaughtered the instant he ran into her. He needed everything he had to fight Mystique.
“I’m going. NOW.” He picked up his guns and shoved them where they were supposed to go, but he was still shaking with rage. “Some things should never be done. Never. Not even I would ….do that.” He turned his back to her and strode to the door.
“Wait, please, wait!” Rogue called out, and caught his arm. “Just calm down. Raven likes to psychologically damage her targets.”
“I. Don’t. Care. I’m going to dissolve her alive in a vat of acid for this.” His breathing was heavy and labored. He whipped around, towering over the slender Southerner, and breaking free of her grip. “Aren’t you tired of having to watch your back for her?” Castle’s rage began to boil again.
She had to settle him down. So she chose her last resort: Rogue kissed him.
Rogue had never kissed anyone before, and she knew she’d probably never get the chance again. So she went for it. Full on the lips, which had been firm and hard, then softened under hers. Hey, if she had to do this, she might as well do it in a way that would make it at least sort of….well…pleasant for him. As pleasant as it could be, that is.
Then her power kicked in, memories that weren’t hers became hers. Reality blurred with a past that didn’t belong to her. Blood so much blood everywhere….so much death that he/she couldn’t prevent.
She pushed him away and he slumped over in the one chair he hadn’t gotten around to destroying. His head felt clear of the rage, yet he felt weak. He watched her struggle through his memories, and although he wasn’t pleased at what Rogue had done, he knew the repercussions of her touch would bring her a fitting punishment of its own. He need do nothing but let her remember.
He heard her scream in agony over people lost since dead and gone and watched her stare at her hands. He knew that in her mind, they were covered in blood and other assorted bits of gore. He ached all over; a kiss from her was not unlike a kick to the groin. And watching Rogue suffer, he sympathized.
“Maria..oh…I failed you and the kids.” She gasped as she sank to her knees, then began to sob as Rogue came back to herself, the Castle personality gradually merged with hers. She could sense him lurking, but not threatening to take her over. Knowledge of tactics and military procedure flitted through her mind, she knew she wouldn’t keep them, but they might last long enough to be handy.
Frank gathered enough strength to come over to Rogue and enfold her in his arms. There was a kind of relief in knowing there was someone else who had “seen” that, but at the same time, a kind of heaviness.
Rogue was barely aware of Frank’s arms pulling her to his chest, but her frantic sobbing eventually died down and his body heat lulled her into a sort of calm. Her head settled onto his shoulder and she sighed. She let herself completely relax, Rogue had accepted the gesture of comfort even if it were from Castle.
It wasn’t just the trauma involving his family she had difficulty absorbing. It was the loneliness, the complete desolation that he went through. Well, was actually still going through. Rogue didn’t think he would ever really heal and that stabbed her in the heart. The superhero community considered him a pariah, but she knew he was human. He ached. He bled. He did what he did to stop horrific criminals from doing horrific things, but oh, she felt him sacrifice his own humanity in the process.
“Was that as bad for you as it was for me?” She both heard and felt the words come from him.
Rogue sensed another attempt at humor and she let a tired chuckle out. “Yeah, that was pretty bad for me. How are you doing?”
“I’m comfortably numb.” He said as Rogue tilted her face up to his, tear-streaked yet she was still lovely despite her red and puffy eyes. There was a wet patch on his shoulder from her tears. All over weakness haunted him and he stayed put for the time being, leaned up against a wall.
Rogue hesitated. “Ah’m sorry for doin’ that. Ah didn’t have a choice because …well, if Ah do hope to get away from my momma, Ah’m gonna need your help. And Ah need you alive. Besides, Ah think Ah’m kinda fond of you.”
He said nothing, but his eyes held a look of warning. “Don’t make it your mission to save me, Rogue. I don’t deserve anything from you.”
Rogue just looked at him with a flat expression. “You, sir, need to get your head out of your ass. Ah feel bad for ya, Ah really do, but you ain’t the only one who lost their family to violence. You’re lucky you have a choice, Frankie, you can either continue to wallow in your past or you can move on.” She jabbed him in the chest.
“Ah’m of two minds about what you do. Ah certainly don’t condone you bustin’ a cap in some idiots’ ass, but Ah do understand why you do it. Some people do deserve a bullet in the brainpan.” She shook her head. “But you relive your family’s death every time you go out on a mission. That’s….that’s not healthy. It makes me bleed inside for ya. Makes me want to reach out and help ya.”
Frank sighed. This woman was incredibly sweet but she was a fixer. She wanted to fix him, to heal that gaping wound in him. “Rogue. I don’t want to be fixed. I don’t want anything except vengence.”
“Ah think you want to find a good fuck now and then…that’s why you have a young daughter who, by the way, needs her daddy. All little girls need a father.” She said. “Faith needs you, Frank. The dead don’t. So man the fuck up.”
“Faith needs me to stay out of her life. Every person I’ve ever cared about has either died or is maimed.” Frank said, as Rogue found the strength to push away and stand up.
She sighed. “Whatever, Frank, whatever. Who gives a fuck about the living when the dead are so much more important?” She thought for a minute and began to root around until she dug up a GPS tracker and a small hand held remote.
Frank didn’t answer her question, but watched as she took off her shoe and hollowed out a section. “What are you doing?” He thought her eyes had turned ice-blue. It was an odd thought knowing a part of himself was in her. Part of him was yelling at him. Just that concept alone made his head hurt.
“We’re gonna play a little game called ‘Trojan Horse’. Ah think we should see if those people out there are really SHIELD agents or someone else.” Rogue concentrated on her shoe, putting supports in it so she wouldn’t crush the tracer. Then she carefully laid the shoe innards back in.
“What the fuck…” He said.
Rogue looked at him, her eyes were the same shade of his, but the blue was fading back into green. “Ya heard me, you Yank. We’re gonna test that little theory of yours. See if those are really SHIELD agents or Mysti.”
“You, my homicidal, gun totin’ pal, are goin’ to back to Stark. Ask him if he did send those people. If he did, all will be swell. If he didn’t, he should know that someone out there has SHIELD technology.” Rogue explained, matter-of-factly as she put on her shoe. It didn’t feel too weird, she decided, though Ah shouldn’t run too much.
“And if it is someone else? Say…your foster monster?” He asked, sardonically.
“Ah know her. She won’t kill me right away.” Rogue thought. “Besides, what military trainin’ Ah’ve absorbed from ya will see me through. Ah hope.”
Frank thought, no…KNEW…she was nuts. “If you had any of my training floating around in that naive little head of yours, young lady, you would set that ass of yours down so I could devise a better tactical plan.” He used his best drill sargent voice.
It had no effect on her. “Nice try, bub. This is the best plan we have.” She watched him gather his strength and try to grab her but she danced out of his way and out the door.
Rogue was fast, he grimaced. Stark is going to be upset that I didn’t keep her safe.