1963-09-27 - Dream Team?
Summary: Happenstance puts Jean Grey and Frank Castle in the middle of a gun battle.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
punisher jean 

A few days have passed since that fateful night in the bar, the one in which Jean met Castle. That night was a busy night for Frank, he did end up dispatching a couple of the people from the location despite Jean's pleas otherwise. There just wasn't any justice in letting some of them go free and those that did live were certainly going to feel it the next day after their severe beatings.

After having gone to that one bar, Castle had made it a priority to cycle himself around town from one location to the next. What had come of this was tracking down a potential lead to a drug dealing group that had drawn his attention. Their preferred location to meet and take over was a small coffee shop in midtown. So naturally this coffee shop had an extra patron this evening, Frank Castle, who sat in a booth next to a window, cap over features, eyes looking out and nursing a cup of coffee.


The same coffee shop was the one that Jean ventured. Well, ventured when she was out by herself, wanting some alone time from the familiar minds in the mansion. She was getting around well so much that she only needed her crutches now, her legs were still hurting but that was only due to physical therapy. Each step was taken, and soon there were click-clacks there after. After all of this? Her arms were forming muscles and she was feeling pretty good.

The bell rings as the young redhead steps in, her hand holding now a singular crutch, walking without it straight towards the stool seat that was soon set upon. "Coffee please? And a slice of apple pie." This late at night? It was clear that someone wasn't going to be sleeping.


Frank was being observant, in his current disposition he had to. So the arrival of the red head from a few days before catches his attention and his brow furrows to etch his face and drag the creases further into their place. He hesitates, he really doesn't want to address this but after a moment he reaches into his pocket and starts drawing on a napkin. It takes a minute but when he is done, he picks up his mug and makes his way to the counter, setting the mug there.

"Dolores? Could I get a refill please? Thank you." His gravelly voice is directed towards the waitress as he places the napkin down next to Jean. It is a drawing of the coffee shop and like before there are X's on it. Different this time is that half of those seats are currently empty. He doesn't speak to her, simply waits for his mug to be filled.


Her order was an easy and quick fix. And she waited with the eagerness of a person receiving a gift that was in the form of a paycheck. Once the plate of pie was set in front of her, she immediately begins to dig in, the cup set down soon after and filled, her eyes alighting upon Dolores with a grin as she gives a thumbs up sign. It was unclear as to who stuck out like a sore thumb in this place. Could it be Jean with her sunny disposition? The pale green dress and nice little dress shoes that she wore or the shroud of darkness that was approaching her left?

The gravely voice gets a pause, and with a look up and then down towards the napkin, Jean notes the placement, then looks over.. then looks back again with a frown. What.. the hell was.. "No." She says adamantly. Shoving the napkin back. Even though those seats weren't filled? She was determined to stop him.


No. The word amuses Castle some as he smiles at Dolores when she fills his cup and nods his thanks to her. "No. Huh?" The amusement even oozes into his tone, the amusement an adult has for a child who tells them when they can and can't do something. "Dolores, when does your shift end dear?" The politeness of Frank's tone seems a bit out of place, could it be he has concern for the kindly server? Or is just looking to eliminate collateral damage.

"About fifteen minutes deary. That's when that .. other girl comes in." The distaste is clear in Dolores' tone, the scrunch of the nose adding to it.


His amusement makes her angry, just a little. The pie was no longer desired, she was starting to feel sick. Maybe he was taunting her, though.. how could that be? As far as she knows, he was already there when she walked in. "Listen.." She starts, but once he talks to Dolores, her face bunches up yet again. She was ready to throw a temper tantrum, but instead.. "Ma'am? Can you get me a burger and fries?"

Nevermind the other girl that was coming in, she needed to talk to this man.. right now. And as the woman puts on a smile and wanders off, Jean turns towards Frank to look up towards him, "Look! I don't.. you can't.." Jesus. She didn't even know his name! But he certainly knew hers.

It wasn't a deep scan, just a surface one. One that would hope to gain his name and nothing more. There was a little fear to look too deep, "..I.. I don't know what you did when I left, but please.. You can't do this to people. Don't be like them."


He's a normal man, nothing really to prevent any sort of touches to his mind, but egads that mind is just … dark and pained. Frank looks steadily at Jean and snorts softly. "Being like them means preying on the innocent and weak. There's a difference between what I do and they do. I punish them for their crimes, nothing more." Just the harshest sentence available naturally.

"When the shift change happens, their crew comes in. That's when it will be. So you can enjoy your food for the next fifteen minutes, but once that change happens, you best be out of here. For your own sake."


Jean shakes her head faintly, only pausing once her order comes up quick. This coffee shop.. well.. even as it serves as such the food was just as good as any diner. Though this one seemed to be made a little too quick. It doesn't mind Jean any, she was attempting to keep the woman busy until her shift changes. "We're not judge, jury and executioner.." She hisses out quietly, getting tense. So much that she was shifting within her seat, even as he speaks of his plans.

Her head shakes faintly, her eyes drawing down towards the seat that he's not taking. She wanted to compell him, to show him that she had power too to make a great force.. but really? She was scared of the guy. "Frank." She says levely, "I'm not leaving."


Frank's shoulders lift up in a shrug. "That's your choice Red. No one is making you stay though, you remember that." He does pause then adds, "Just don't get in the way." Reaching into his pocket, he pulls out a $50 and sets it on the counter. "Dolores, for my tab and for this woman's as wellf."

Dolores smiled at Frank, he had always tipped her well since he had begun coming into the diner the past couple of weeks so she was happy to start addressing the bill before the shift would end.

Frank's eyes drift back to Jean for a moment and he lowers his voice as Dolores moves away. "You keep acting like a society is going to deal with these people. If society cared, at all, then why the hell haven't they done something? You want to pretend that the cops don't know? Wake up."


"I know that." Eesh! The man was so mean. So much that her arms are already folding upon her chest. There was no other interaction that she's had like it. It was strange. And in a way, both her and the phoenix found it oddly thrilling. Not that she'd admit it.

As he pays for the meal, Jean nearly reaches out to take it, but Dolores fingers were eager and quick. With a slight grumble to herself, she turns yet again, her crutch soon snatched up and food left discarded. As she stands, his quiet words make her look up towards him in a slight glare.

"We're awake." She says quietly. "And society is going to care. I'll show you." The napkin was soon taken as Jean carefully, and slowly walks to one of the booths that the men may or may not sit at. And as she does, she scoots right into the spot where one of the X's were marked. Sadly enough, she had forgotten her food. But it didn't matter, she was still pouting.


Dolores returns to Frank, change in hand. Checking over the bills, he offers the woman a smile and leaves a generous tip. "Now you get on home Dolores. Can't have the best waitress in New York City being exhausted from working too late." The older woman laughs at Frank's antics and the man does put on a decent enough show. The minutes tick away as her shift comes to an end. It's announced mostly by the arrival of her replacement.

The dark haired woman just has a vibe about her. It isn't the tattoos or the jewelry that causes it, it's just that the woman puts off an aura of bitch. Not little bitch but super bitch. The bustle of a changing of the waitress occurs and during it, Frank starts to make his way back to his table.

Shortly after the change over and Dolores' depature, four gentlemen walk in. They look the part with a capital T. Their swagger, the way they carry themselves. The fact they aren't even trying to hide the fact they're carrying guns. The vehicle they rolled up in; everything exudes that over the top demeanor of drug relations. What really sets them off is when they have to stop, because some woman is sitting in their spot, drawing looks at Jean.


Jean was making herself at home. Settling into her booth with a few hops and bounces. She was afraid, but her pure defiance about not letting anyone die this night was giving her a pair that she never knew she had. Maybe this was apart of some new code that she was going to take up. She could have assaulted Frank, but then she would have felt horrible. Maybe something inside of her knew that he was right, but then.. was his way right too? So many questions to ponder on, but once the girl enters, Jean looks unsettled.

She does try to smile at the girl, then faces forward, her crutch soon lifted to put upon the table as she clears her throat yet again. Tugging away at her collar as the men enter and glare in her direction.. she doesn't move. But.. she was shaking like she was left out in the cold. And she needed to do something to make it 'seem' like she fit. So she takes up the menu, despite having food there, and begins to browse. Stupid Jean.. she felt so damn dumb.


Certainly some heroic gent would step in to rescue her, right? … Right?… No.

Frank is at his table, he's got his coffee and he looks about as interested in what is going on as one would be interested in watching a cockroach race across the floor… which is actually what he appears to be watching. Look at that little bastard run.

The server walks over to Jean's table, a snap of gum in her lips as she looks over at the 'regulars', her eyes going back to the red head. "Listen toots. Ya gonna have to move, k? I got some regulars that come in and like this table." There's no attempt from the woman to put on a happy smile, she just sneers at Jean.

But even as this goes on, two of the dealers move nearby, one of them sliding into the booth across from Jean while the other remains standing. "It's easy Vera. Maybe she can stay, be part of our… conversation."


Jean looks, well.. she looks downright terrified! So much that she's smiling wide as Vera approaches; her cheeks were even burning red and the tips of her ears matched the color. "Uh.. well.." Jean fidgets yet again, carefully grasping her crutch so she could slide out of the table, but with the men sitting, that was -not- going to be the case right then.

She slides over, pressing herself against the window as she looks out of it, wanting to become small in that moment. How could she pretend to be someone else to rescue a boy when she couldn't even handle this. She was breathing heavily, a deep inhale.. slow exhale, her head soon shaking as she puts on a smile. "I.. really just want to order something to eat." She says.. not so honestly. "But.. since I.. really don't.. I mean I can't move fast enough.. I can buy you guys something? Anything?"

Maybe Frank wouldn't do anything if she were near. And if they were engaged in a healthy conversation with a nice, young lady. "I'm Jean. Jean Grey." And she holds out her hand faithfully towards the man in front of her.


Whoever this Jean Grey girl is, well the thugs and the woman are now greatly amused. When she offers her hand, they all start to laugh uproariously. The scene is easy to picture, the little 'nerdling' trying to fit in with the school jocks and punks. If it weren't so real, it would be comical. But this wasn't a comedy to Frank. This was work and he was actually starting to get annoyed.

Setting down his coffee, now that it was empty, he did so with a loud enough motion to pull the attention of Vera, who glanced over and rolled her eyes. "It's that damn creep who just sits there and drinks coffee and reads the paper. What the hell." Turning she starts to make her way over to take care of Frank's coffee mug, leaving room for the rest of the drug dealers to settle in around Jean. The grins are not fun, but predatory and one even reaches out to touch her hair unless she moves away.


Okay.. that didn't go over so well. Her feelings were mildly hurt, so the hand was slowly drawn back and hidden just beneath the table. Frank definitely gets her notice, and as Jean turns back to look, she spies the hand that comes into her direction, and without a sound or a shriek, she allows him to touch her hair for a split second before she moves away. "Oookay.. that is enough of that.." She says quietly, shifting in her seat closer towards the man in hopes that he'd move. "I think I need to be going now.. really.."

This was such a mistake, a really, really bad mistake. "Excuse me, please? I need to get going."


The one that was reachign for her hair stops when she moves, but now he's clearly leering at her. However one of the others gets a bit more serious, his tone changing as he looks at Jean. "You sit at our table? You offer to buy us dinner and now suddenly you're too good for us?" Yeah, that was a threatening tone. The man leans forward, across the table to look the red head over. "Maybe we don't think you should be going now, since you decided to use up so much of our time, hmm? You think about that miss?"

Anytime now right, Frank will come in and swoop in and save her. That's what happens in these situations; except Frank is now gone from his table.


Jean shrugs back into her spot as the man glowers, so he wasn't going to move.. okay.. "I.. I didn't say that I was too good for you guys.. but.." She looks back towards where Frank is.. was.. then frowns. "But you guys are just downright mean.."

Even the waittress was gone. Jean was getting a little bold and she was getting a little scared. And when she gets scared, she tended to lose control. Which was something that she didn't want to do. Would Frank kill her too?

That thought alone chilled her more than the guys subtle threats did, and yet? She was left with no other choice. She was trapped. She didn't know what the hell she was doing, but she knew how she was going to get out of that situation right then and there. "You need to sleep. Both of you." And if they couldn't feel it then, nor see that it was coming, her fingers pressed against her temples to rub as the slow pressure begins to build within the back of their heads. "-Now-."


Eyes start to grow heavy, the lids beginning to droop and suddenly the sounds of their heads smacking the table follows as Jean's mind tricks prove to quickly overpower the weak minded and they are napping on the table. As the heads fall and the clanking of silverware starts to announce the slumber, Frank emerges from the kitchen, rubbing a towel over his hands as he comes back out. Eyes look at the table and he tilts his head, then shrugs and starts to walk in that direction. "And you get on my case? Jesus, you take them all out at once?"


The thumps cause Jean to jump, and with a sigh, she drops her hand down upon the table. Well, that was easy! In fact, she rather felt proud of herself. If not scared to the point of peeing in her skirt. As Frank emerges from the back, she allows herself to slump visibly. She thought.. well.. she was figuring that he left her there to flounder..

"Well.. yeah?" She says, unsure. "I mean, they're not dead." To prove a point, she reaches out to jab one upon the side, who soon grumbles and begins to snore. "They're just sleeping." And with that, she pushes the one that was on her side of the booth over, getting enough room so that she could stand upon the seat, leaning to try to crawl her way from the back and onto the floor. "Where's.. where's the girl?" She was struggling, but she makes it with a little crouch that causes a bit of pain to strain her features.


"Oh Vera? She's thinking about her life choices in the kitchen freezer. She'll be more likely to have a conversation once she's gotten the opportunity to relax… or chill out, as these kids say these days." Oh God, Frank made a pun. He walks over to one of the sleeping guys, lifting his head up by pulling the hair back and up. "Huh. Luigi Muscarbanne. Low ranking lieutenant of the Taligibue Family. Didn't realize he was going to be at this little meeting."

Frank is having this conversation mostly to himself, but not having forgotten that Jean was right there. "How asleep is asleep?" He asks it to the red head, voice still unamused.


Jean relaxes visibly, leaning over the the back of the seat to reach for her crutch. "Oh thank god.." She says quietly, then sticks it underneath her arm to lean against it. She makes her way around the back, moving towards her coffee to take a sip. Now that it's gone cold, she could drink it straight up without flinching. While Jean didn't know what in the world he was talking about, it doesn't stop her from watching.

"I.. don't know." She says honestly. "..maybe sleep enough to just be regular sleep?" Her hand lifts, and soon she motions towards the table, causing it to shake and rattle just to see if they wake up. Though if they do? She'd just put them right back.

"You know.. if the lady isn't talking.. I could try to get her to.." Try, is the operative word.


Frank has his own method to test asleep. Still holding Luigi's head up by the hair, he rears his hand back and delivers a punch to the man's face. There's a brief moment when his eyes open but then he's out cold; not just from brain fog but from face punishment. The thud of him hitting the table is harder than the first time and Castle nods his head. "Now he's definitely asleep."

A glance back towards Jean is given and Frank shakes his head, "I'll get her to talk. Don't need help with that. I have my ways. But you should be getting along your way. Back to your… safe little corner of life. I have work to do."


Well, he did it. Jean didn't even scream out, she did flinch however and lifts her hand to rub at her cheek. Jesus. She even heard the crunch! While doing away with her need to either cry or throw up or put Frank to sleep too.. she decides to help. He seemed nice enough to not want to kill them -now-..

"No. If you didn't get her to talk now, she probably won't. And she'll die in the freezer." She states, finally straightening up. "You never gave me your name. Have you ever wondered how I realized that your name was Frank Castle?" Her hand lifts, tapping at her temple. Though, she didn't get anything else from his head.

"So, I'm going to go back there and talk to her. Just tell me what you want to ask her, and I'll get it for you. And then we'll tie them up and wrap them in a nice, neat little bow for the cops. And I'll get them to confess. Swell?"


"Listen girlie. I've been getting people to talk, and confess, for longer than you've probably been able to put on a bra." Frank retorts to Jean, casting a glance at her. "I'm glad you've figured out my name. You could have just asked as easily. The questions I want answered are variable, so I don't need you to do it for me."

He's about to say something else, his tone heading into that insulting not pleasant direction when suddenly outside the screech of tires can be heard, a vehicle coming to an abrupt stop. It is quiet.

Then there's a click.

Frank is running towards Jean to throw himself at her. If he hits her and knocks her down? Great. If he misses and she remains standing? Well… he did tell her to leave earlier.

Neither are going to change the fact that the glass of the windows to the diner shatter as the report of machine gun fire suddenly erupts.


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