1963-10-15 - The Gospel of Frank Castle
Summary: Jean visits Frank Castle, who rationalizes his truth.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
punisher jean 

The use of the schools kitchens were a godsend; there she was able to fry up a few pieces of chicken, whip up a batch of potatoes and gravy on the side, and some random vegetable that she was sure would go untouched. Frank, seemed like the meat and potatoes man. Besides, if he wasn't there for the second night in the row, she'd just give it to the bum down the hall.

But, invisibility is as it does. Thankfully, her path was always taken differently. An extra street here, a different path there, anyone who could have seen her right then at that moment forgotten her at that instant. At least until she reaches the door, holding the bag which houses the food and plates as she lifts to knock upon the door which would grant her entry.


Frank had been missing from this safehouse for obvious reasons, he didn't view it as being safe. What was the point of an unsafe, safehouse? After all that had been led there and the chaos that he'd been bringing to the Bloodsports, it wasn't a surprise he'd be on the move a bit of late. However the carefully placed clues he left about had been distrubed, that means someone had been coming by the location; so it was time to set a trap to see if he could catch himself the trouble maker.

The door that Jean knocks on doesn't open, instead the one across the hall does where Frank is standing at /that/ door instead, weapon levelled in her direction until it lowers. "Jesus. You again?"


Another knock, this time louder this time grants her nothing. It was with a quick click of the door that has her turning, preparing to greet whomever with a smile until the gun itself was leveled in her direction. She looked mildly surprised, but she soon relaxes, lifting up the heavy bag with her flimsy arms, a smile pressed to her lips. "Yes. With food for you."

She takes a careful step forward, her head tilted, gauging his reaction. That smile soon falls as she takes another step, though this time a look upon her face was serious. "I just want to talk. May I come in?"


Castle looks Jean over once, then twice. This woman never really took a hint, he even 'moved' to get away but yet here she was again. There's a grunt from him as he tilts his head towards the door, reaching out to take the bag of food off her arms and allow her to walk in. "You have until I finish eating to talk." He wasn't foolish enough to turn down a meal.

This apartment looked surprisingly different from the one across. Somehow, it was even shittier.


As he takes the bag, she steps inside of the apartment, her nose turning up almost immediately as she gives a shake of her head. Thankfully, she wore something unlike herself.. or maybe it was like herself. A pair of jeans, a regular t-shirt underneath and a shrunken jacket taken from Logan's closet. He was horrible with laundry.

"You were right." She states, and it took those few days apart to even come up with the answer. "I.. you.." She turns slightly, getting right down to the hypotethicals. "..you know how you can just hope, and wish for someone to be another way, or that a situation that you can see with your own eyes is just.. different? And it turns out, it's just bad. Worse. And it turns your stomach and you want to.." She looks guilty, incredibly so. "..I kidnapped a boy from his home."


There's actually a slight hitch from Frank as he was starting to sit down at the table when she finally gets past the rambling and to the part where she admits what she did. He settles down into the seat and opens up the bag of food. "First; why? Second; How." The two questions come one after another, a formal business tone to his voice that just seems to fit. A militaristic tone. "Also you need to stop rambling and collect your thoughts."


She didn't outright answer. She waits until he was properly seated so that she could take a seat as well. That, and she was gathering her thoughts. Trying her best not to ramble. Why.

"He was being brutalized by his parents. And the kids at his school. Any attempts to get help from the boy was met with resistance. I don't even think anyone called the cops. By the time I found him, his arm was broken and he was nearly malnourished."


"I walked in and took him. They.." Does she even mention Emma Frost? That was not her secret to tell. "They were put asleep. Like what happened in the diner."


"There are thousands of children whose parents beat them and who don't eat well. Across this city alone." Frank states as he starts eating some of the vegetables, looks like her guess was wrong. "There are three probably in this building alone. No, that's not the whole of the why, is it." His eyes glance up at Jean before he goes back to the food, shaking his head. "This isn't a confessional, there's a church a few streets down for that. If you came here, you came here for a reason. Your head needs sorting out, but you're leaving out details."


"I know that." She said quietly, leaning back within her chair. At least he was eating! And her food didn't suck! It wasn't the best but goddamn it, free food tastes great. But he was right, he called it. She needed to be sorted. She couldn't outright go to the usual suspects. Some would either praise or chide her. Tell her that she had done something wrong. But what she needed to hear and confess, was the truth.

"I wanted to kill them." She states plainly. They both did, but how could a man like him understand that she felt what the Phoenix had felt? "I came so close to just killing them. I was angry. I was mad. I only had an -inch- of care left in me and that's why I left them. But, I left them without the memory of their son. I left them with each other, which, was not much of anything at all."

She doesn't look at him, slightly ashamed at this confession. "The kid is better off.."


"Again, why this child?" Frank asks, he's started on the chicken. Something about this scenario has him a little tighter lipped than usual, a bit more on the uppity side. He even eats a bit more slowly before finally setting things down. "Also, did you take away the memories of the grandparents? Aunts, uncles? Neighbors? Did you go to the school and erase all of their memories also? What about the boy's memories? THey still exist?"

Setting the fork down, he shoots his eyes up to Jean then. "Messy. Sloppy."


Jean couldn't explain it to him no more than she could herself. "I don't know." It was the truth, and it was honest. "Maybe some parts of him reminded me of me. I don't really know." The bag was soon taken, her own plate withdrawn, but she doesn't eat. In fact, she just keeps it there, a little sick to her stomach. Because of the questions. The questions that make her realize that she had done a horrible thing. A bad thing. She -was- messy. Sloppy. She didn't even think -that- far..

Her head drops to rest upon the dirty ass table, her eyes closing. Shit. Shit shit shit. "I'm such a fuck up.." She quietly says to herself. Jesus. At least the boys memories don't exist. That was a bright spot that she doesn't mention.


Frank, being the master psychologist that he is offers the insight of the ages. "Yep. You are." Then he let's that truth settle in while he eats a bit more of the food. The silence wears for some time before he speaks again. "You see Red, you judge what I do but what I do is clean. When someone dies, there's not a lot of unanswered questions. You'd have been better off just killing the parents in something to look like an accident. Now, there's a trail, there's questions, there's confusion and chaos. But it isn't your fault."

"You're not a killer. You're soft, a kind heart and all that other bullshit people tell themselves when the real word they are looking for is uncommitted. You want to do the right thing but only on your terms." His tone is different, it's one of the Castle 'talking to' but it isn't angry, or disappointed. It's actually a casual tone of discussion. Probably the closest he can manage of civilized talk.


"I wanted to. You don't know how much I wanted to.." Jean admits, her cheeks were a touch red, but it was her eyes. Dull, burning, filled with tears. It wasn't sadness. It was anger. Frank made her an angry girl. But she was glad that he was there to talk to; she was confessing and confiding her deepest thoughts to a notorious killer. A vigilante who wasn't all half assed. Who was the real deal.

And probably batshit crazy.

But she saw a good side of him once upon a time, yet something inside of her knew that he'd never be that again. Not for anyone. "I don't want to be soft." She states with a sniff, finally lifting her head to use the heel of her palm to wipe away at the tears. "I mean, is that a bad thing? To do right my own way? Not as I have but, clean."


Frank pauses midbite and is silent for a few minutes before he pushes back his chair with a scrape and gets up, walking over to a nearby set of drawers. Pulling it open, he pulls out two books and brings them back, setting them on the table between the pair as he sits back down. One is labelled 'The Bible' the other is 'Ethics'. "It depends on who you ask." He reaches down, setting the Bible on one side and Ethics on the other. Apparently the man can read.

"Do you know what these two books say about justice?"


Jean leans back as he stands, her body stiffening. For a moment, she half thought that he'd actually give her a good smack against the back of her head or get into her face to yell. But once he walks away and returns with the books, she was thoughtful. She could pick his mind, find out what he was going to say before he said it, but this seemed.. better. She felt better. Funny that.

"No.." She says, even shaking her head.


"Of course not. Very few people would. So let's walk through this and see if maybe you can answer your own question." Castle reaches out and taps the Bible first. "Two ideas on justice. Eye for an Eye in the Old Testament, Turn the other Cheek in the New. Now, you know which one I subscribe to and which one you subscribe to. I believe eye for an eye is true justice. Not because turning the other cheek is a sign of weakness, but rather because of what this book reveals."

He lifts up Ethics. "People are all unjust taking advantage of each other, so society creates a system to protect each other from the unjust. What's the problem with that then Red?"


"Okay.." Jean says quietly, finally sitting up within her seat. Her food was covered, pushed back towards Frank so that he could eat at a later date. And she listens, her mind working as she stares towards one book, and then the other.. a little furrow of her brow ruining her features as she sits back to think. A quarter, dirty as it was, was dragged from it's spot upon the table, set to tilt and turn as she digs it into the table with half spins that required no motion from her hand.

"No one is turning the other cheek and there is no eye for an eye?" She questions aloud. Its a wonder as to how she didn't graduate high school!


Frank just stares at her flatly. "No." He states it in as plain a tone as he can possibly manage. "If the society sees the need for a justice system, to ensure that we are protecting each other from the unjust, and everyone is unjust, then all we have done is give those same Unjust people power over the rest." He sets the book down and frowns, "Think of it this way. You take the best bank robber in the world. Tell him that to omany people are robbing banks so we want him to stop the rest. So he can stop the rest of the bank robbers, but he's still a bank robber himself. Corruption is part of the human state. So there can't be true justice, because the unjust are in charge of the system."

Turning back towards the food he takes a few more bites. "So when you ask is it bad to do right your own way, the question doesn't mean anything. Because if no matter what you do, it will be unjust. That's why that system can't work. Only Punishment works, not Justice."



But she does listen. This is possibly one of the best lessons she's ever had. A lesson in truth in the way a madman sees it, Frank's truth, which oddly enough makes a hell of a lot of sense. It even resonates within, for the inner-bird demon was quiet as she was. A cosmic thing set to silence by a mere mortal. Intriguing..

"And only death." Jean says, with a little finality, standing up to meet his.. well, not his height. But it was close enough. "Your way is just because your Punishment is true. My way is unjust because I try to give a chance.."


"There is no choice in Death, it is final. What you offer, when you give a chance, when you give mercy is options. But every choice has to have a cost to it." Castle explains grumpily. "I sit here and the price I am paying to eat this food is having to listen to you. This food is not free, I'm paying a high price to eat it." It could be a joke… hard to tell from his tone, but probably not. "The choice, the chance, the option you took. You had the option for the parents to live. So you erased their minds, now there's a long list of things that come from that choice, other choices that you have to make now."

Castle finishes up with the potatoes and chicken, setting the plate aside and leaning back in his chair. "When the choice is simplified down to live or die, there's not a lot of gray area and not a lot of needing to deal with fallout. Tell me that simply killing the parents wouldn't have been a lot less messy? A lot cleaner?"


"You could have slammed the door in my face." Jean points out. "But you let me in. You seem like the man who would have no issues doing that any other time, right?" She asks.

"The choices being.. the other people that knew of the kid. Who will probably come looking for him."

'And when they find the parents, they will assume he's dead.' - The bird wisely thinks.

Jean looks over towards her left, then back towards Frank again.

'It would have been easier to erase that entire lineage and build anew.' The bird answers Frank, but sadly, he wouldn't hear.

"Yes." She answer for her. "But I couldn't."


"Because you still think that people are redeemable. You're hoping that there is some switch inside of a person that turns them good or evil. There is no real good or evil. There are predators and prey." Frank explains to Jean. "The Lion isn't evil because he kills the gazelle, he's a predator. Out there.." He nods towards the window, "There are a lot of predators that hunt prey. The balance is off, so there needs to be predators for the predators."

Which is what he is. "Someone to punish the Predators and keep them in line."

"I should have slammed the door in your face. But you needed to be in here and to not be making a racket across the hall in the old place. Choices. I could have shooed you off, but you'd keep nosing around. I could shoot you, but you're not a predator. You're just… well, you're just prey."


"There is nothing wrong with thinking that, though.." Her protests were weak, so much so that she turns away from him and begins to pace. And.. kick things around. Into a slight pile, which has her frowning completely. "For fucks sake." She finally snaps out, drawing her hands out within the air. She was going to clean this goddamned place too, by gods if she could help it.

Papers begin to roll across the floor, dragging themselves, scrubbing against the floor until they rip into shreds. Trash was picked up and snapped into that middle as she lets out a little grunt while she works.

"Probably am prey.." She says quietly. Admitting that fact. "I don't know how else to be."


"Everyone knows how not to be prey. They just would rather not be. Not make the tough choices." Frank says as he sits there, smirking at the display Jean puts on of trying to clean, things moving of their own accord. He'd sussed out a bit of what she was and was capable of over the few meetings and observations he'd had, this just being added to his knowledge base.

"You tried to stop a predator. Good for you. What you did, you realize, is you went in and swatted the Lion with a rolled up newspaper, took its cub and told it to forget about it. And it probably will. But guess what?" He leans forward, tilting an eyebrow, "It's still a fucking Lion out there. Looking for new Prey."

His thumb lifts, jerks to some distant direction. "The bar. The coffee shop. Every time you interfere you're not helping. You're swatting at the Predators, making it so they're more aggressive. If you got and kick a Lion in the nutsuck, sure it may limp around for a bit, but you better believe next time it sees that tasty gazelle it'll go hunting again." His hand smacks the table.


"You put them down. No more predator."


"They make the choice that lets them sleep at night." Jean points out. Or rather the bird does. The line is starting to blur in that regard, it getting much easier to allow the thing to ride her, to use her voice when she didn't feel like speaking. She focuses however, on the motion of the trash that she gathers up, swishing it one way to collect a stray part, then the other to roll the tuft of crap into the corner, neat, tucked. And with a closed of the fist, she compacts it. Many papers, boxes, everything else smashed into a neat, carryable pile.

The smack of the table snaps her out of it though, her hands dropping after she jumps, turning to face him with a slight unsufferable gaze.

"I can't do that." She says. "Not like you." It was then that she finally approaches him, while she was still frightened of him, she was at least sure that he wouldn't hurt her. "How can you sleep at night after all of this?" Her hand reaches up to touch him, but.. she doesn't.


"The easy choice, that's what they make." Frank affirms at that, and then sighs and closes his eyes. He doesn't notice Jean's approach or her attempt to touch him at first. He just opens his eyes after and shakes his head. "Sleep is for health. Nothing else. I don't sleep more than I must. Don't have sorrow or pity for who I am. I'm a Predator myself. It's just that I only go after other predators. The Lion Hunter as it were."

The smirk on his lips quirks just a moment, "It's easier for you, people like you, to not know about people like me. It lets you believe that the world can be good. Wholesome. All your friends. All those people you associate with. They need the world to be wholesome, because if it isn't. If just an inkling of what goes on out there, it would shatter their reality. THat is why you struggle Red. You stepped through to the other side, and it scares you to see it."


The shake of his head has her arm dropping, her body sinking to the floor .. not clean but good enough. She does look to it, her lips pursed, she could focus all of her energies to pick up every tiny bit of dust, to create something larger, and do away with it in just a thought. But that was a bit much. At least he didn't call her a mutie freak.

"Yes." She finally says. "Came back haunted too." She says matter of factly. "I once told a man a wish of mine, to see the world through rose colored glasses. And he gave me a pair that were colored red. And I thought it was funny, until I realized that.. I already crossed that line when I was a child. When I tried to save the girl.." She shakes her head. "..I think that then, was when it all happened. You're.. just telling the truth."


"Truth is relative. IT's through the eyes of the person that is doing the looking." Frank responds as he fishes around by his feet, finding a cooler that was there and pulling out a beer, cracking off the top and drinking a bit. "I'm just telling you how I see the world and turns out, you probably see it the same. Most people probably do. But hell, don't make a damn bit of difference. I ain't here to convert any souls to my cause Red. You're the one that came here because you're confused. So are you unconfused yet? You get your confession all finished? Cause I'm done with the food."


"I did, no do. Denied it really." Jean says quietly. But, yes. Her confession was done, there was really no need to linger here any more than necessary. But still, Frank was in danger, even if he knew it or not. He'd forever be in danger. While Jean wasn't the kind to say that she'd protect him, but this one was on her head. She fucked up, after all.

"You won't be here tomorrow, would you?" She asks.


"Nope. Once you leave I'm going to scrub this place down, purge it out and relocate, again." Castle comments with a shake of his head. No wonder he was such a mess, he never stayed anyplace very long at all. "It's better to stay on the move, Predator's hunt afterall and they're always looking for me. Gotta keep on the move, keep relocating. It also keeps strays from coming by too often."


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License