1964-03-05 - Mixed Signals
Summary: Domino goes up against Frank. It's not what she expected.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
domino frank 


The hunt is never over. The environment changes, the prey changes, but the hunt remains the same. Days have passed since 'Michael Garrett' bloodied Domino's nose and left her with the World's Worst Headache. Unfortunately for him, he didn't strike her hard enough to forget the ordeal. Or his face. Or why she had been searching for him in the first place. People like these two, they don't get to live their lives without ticking off a lot of people with deep pockets and countless connections.

Sooner or later a price will fall upon their heads.

The word of the day is that someone matching his description has been seen in the area. The timing is too good to pass up. The proximity to her area of operation is too close to ignore. This guy's wandering into familiar territory. This time things will turn out differently. All Domino needs to do is stay one step ahead of him then catch him off guard. Preferrably with a firm backhand.

*

Frank had spent little time allowing his wounds to heal from their last encounter. He took a day off, maybe two, but even then, he was 'working'. He would walk, talk, pay for information and ask, hard, when lips weren't moving quickly enough. For now, he stayed out of the Kitchen so not to run into that odd looking guy in red jammies. This city, it had changed in so many bizarre ways. News was that some guy here had a garage, and he had recently attended some illegal games ran by the Gnuccis; maybe he'd have more intel.

Just Frank's luck, the shop is closed when he arrives. He stands, staring at the 'Closed! Come Back At This Time' sign in the window. His knuckle taps at the glass gently before he rolls his shoulders and turns, heading down a sidewalk. Hands in his pockets, the older man of silver and black keeps to himself. If he makes eye contact with anyone, he's at least kind enough to offer a nod of his head, and even a gravely, "Morning," now and then. He knew where he was and the many faces of different mutants didn't seem to bother him in the least.

No mutant had ever done him wrong. Well, two did…

*

Following someone on the sidewalk is easy. Even more so when there aren't as many other people around. Cold weather, prejudice, the usual fun stuff. So long as her mark isn't going to deviate any or pull a fast one on her… Stranger things have happened.

Neena keeps within the cover of buildings, indirectly following the man's path until she can find the right spot to trigger an ambush. It all seems simple at the moment, sure, but she knows what this guy can do. Chances aren't being taken this time. After their first brief encounter she's learned a few things, and perhaps learned to give the guy some amount of respect due to his own training.

It should be a good refresher course for when she goes after the Snowbird operatives. They aren't going to hold back any. Why the hell had she been?

Dom may be a mutant but she's a soldier first, something the older guy should be able to appreciate. When she strikes out at his side from the cover of an alley he could probably recognize her moves, as well. Not just another street fighter, though she knows a lot of their moves as well.

*

The sudden strike slams against a swollen spot on his head, obtained in the Kitchen thanks to a flying baton. Hissing in, the man leans forward, resting a hand on his head and turning to face his attacker in the alley's mouth. "You." He grumbles, more so annoyed than anything else. Standing, he pulls his hand way, making sure the spot wasn't bleeding, before taking a few steady steps toward the woman with snow pale skin.

"Happy? I hit you, you hit me back. I don't have time for this today." He explains to her flatly, the man's face stern, even as his cheeks flush pink from the chilly bite in the early morning air.

*

('I don't have time for this today,' what—?)

It's only the second time that Domino's been geared up for a fight only to have it get shut down after her first swing. When the man recoils she darts back and has a .380 pistol out of hiding and leveled at his head, her body turned sideways to make itself a smaller target. A gun, a knife, a length of chain, even a bad insult, -any- of that she would have been expecting.

Not 'I don't have time for this!'

"August. Nineteen fifty-two. Frostfield," is all she offers in a demanding tone. The look in her eyes suggests two completely different feelings. One, that she's expecting him to recognize a word of it, wanting to hear him confirm it. All she needs is a glimmer of recognition…

Two, that there's an entire galaxy of pent-up emotion surrounding whatever the heck it is that she's talking about.

*

Frank eyes the gun now pointing at his face. Last time this happened, luck was on his side. Luck has a way of running out, however, and maybe it was on Domino's team today. Even so, the older man drinks in a deep breath, exhaling it via his nostrils and then lifts his hands to the sides of his face. Open palmed, expression stoic, he gazes from the barrel, to the woman's face, and back again.

"What now?" Comes his reply, one brow quirking up as the other dips down, wrinkling his expression with genuine confusion. The fingers on his right hand move slowly, showing her they're moving, before he points to his jacket. "I'm going to get a smoke." He explains flatly. "Unless you want to get one for me so you don't think I'm being squirrely. Either way, I want one."

*

This isn't how this is supposed to go down. Dom's had days to gear up for this. -Years- to dream of having this moment. One of the items at the very top of her list, one of the numerous faces just waiting to be crossed out forever…

The guy was absolutely clueless. Even through her own anger she can see it in his eyes. No spark of recognition. Only confusion.

She's completely tripping out again.

Her aim falters slightly, the tension within her arm hesitating. "You really…" she almost whispers then trails off, suddenly looking more stunned and similarly confused than enraged. The man can have his smoke. She takes a quick step away from him and looks one way then the next as if she's expecting reinforcements to pour out of the woodwork of the nearby buildings. Beyond one pedestrian who is very quickly running away from the pair..nothing. -Nothing at all.-

"Jeezus," she whispers as her arm goes slack then brings the side of the body-warmed pistol up to the side of her face. The aggression, and her guard, both seem to have been dropped in a hurry.

Her next comment is loud enough for the man to hear without difficulty. "Whoever you are you've made one hell of a mess."

*

"Please, lady. I haven't done shit. You're the one that jump in on my deal." He clarifies, speaking around the end of a cigarette that now rests between his lips. Before slipping the pack away, he offers it out toward her, waiting for her to accept, or not. "Flick that safety. You don't want to repaint the wall while getting to the good spots with your barrel." He then advises. Soon enough, he pulls the pack away, and slips it into his jacket's inner pocket. A lighter out, he puffs his own cancer stick to life, and if Domino had accepted, he would allow her to feed off the same flame.

A flick of his wrist, the zippo closes with a 'tink', and then it, too, disappears into one of his many pockets. "What's Frostfield?" He asks bluntly, but only after taking in a drag and huffig plumes of smoke out his nose.

*

There are some days where a cigarette would be a welcome distraction despite having completely sworn off of the devilish things. The way that Dom's eyeing the offered pack doesn't hide the inner struggle she's facing with that simple decision, either. Why make such a big deal out of it? This time however, just this once, she actually claims one for herself. Anything to get her nerves, and emotions, settled.

Oh yeah, and the gun gets put away. Progress!

With the situation having changed so drastically in such short order the albino seems to curl in upon herself, arms drawn close to her core with one hand raised only to guide the cigarette to her steel grey lips. "None of your damn business, that's what it is," she almost growls at the man before changing the subject. She quickly looks at him with a confused frown, finally asking "Who -are- you? Garrett's either an alias or a completely botched description, though it's no stretch why someone would want you put down."

*

"Alright." He relents without a fuss or hesitation. Both smokes lit, he rest back against a wall, one hand reaching up to claim the cigarette and pull it away from his lips. A quick pass of his tongue, he moistens his mouth and then replaces the smoke. His other hand? It reaches back behind his head and /lightly/ touches at the knot that now has a sibling.

"Me? I'm just a tired old man with things to do. You want me dead, sweetie? Good luck. I make it a point to become the enemy of very bad people. You're right, I'm sure lots of them would pay for my head on a platter." Shrugging, he continues nursing from the smoke, his entire demeanor relaxed, casual even. "I'd off to get you a coffee or something harder to drink, but you don't seem like the 'company' type."

*

"Depends," Domino cryptically replies to the man's hypothesis. "Though I don't make a habit of bar-hopping with a mark."

"Look," she quickly changes gear with a firmness returning to her voice. Talking business is a good way to distract her from other thoughts. "I had all the time in the world to send one into the back of your head back there. Killing you isn't the problem, though I'm ..not going to," she decides with a moment to question her decision before finalizing it. "Least not for the contract. It's messed up, I can't even confirm that you -are- the right guy and it's just not worth the hassle to take the chance."

Smoke filters out through her nose as she quickly reaches up to roughly paw at the corner of one eye.

"You just… You remind me of someone. Someone who -is- a very bad person. Someone who deserves a very long and very detailed end. I thought that..I had that chance. So congrats, you've made it off of the list and free of the contract. Now you are just a tired old man."

Which means that by her own outline there's really nothing stopping her from getting a few drinks with the guy.

*

Silence. It's all he can offer her as she rambles and gives her thoughts voice. One smoke down, he tosses its remains to the ground and snuffs out the flame with the help of mush, and the heel of his boot. "Yeah. Thanks." He mock salutes to now just being tired and old. "I'm not going to dick wave who could kill who," he comments after a few more moments of nothing flood back between the pair.

For whatever reason, his voice softens. There's a hint of concern there, even though it's fleeting. "I'm sorry for the bad memories. I make it a point to remember everyone I've ever met, especially those I've wronged along the way. You…I have no memories of."

*

By comparison the white lady is packing herself with the cigarette, almost as if she's afraid it might suddenly lash out and bite her lip. There's a level of caution involved which normal people just don't do when smoking.

When his tone changes and the admission is made she quietly looks back at him while keeping her head dipped low, first gauging his body language in search of any faults then allowing herself a chance to look him over without the filter of her past distorting the image. "I guess that's changed in a hurry." He'll probably remember her now!

"You've got a lot of confidence in your abilities. Head-strong to a fault. Spent time in the service, I'm guessing. Moves like that, they don't teach you in alleys. Probably faced a dishonorable discharge at some point. Maybe given a bullshit order you didn't agree with, little court-marshalling, now you're saving face by taking it to these 'very bad people.'" Or, maybe she's reading a little too closely into her own history.

*

"Confidence built on a foundation of truth." He comments, giving another non-committal shrug. As she lists a few things, his brow quirks once more, and those dark eyes settle on the albino, studying her intently. "No, ma'am." He answers at length. "I was a good soldier, helped save my unit and came home decorated with honors." Jaw set, his expression returns to its rather normal, somber-stoic mixture. "Speaking of 'very bad people', I need to get going. Good luck with your marks." He offers at least, lifting a hand and turning to exit the alley.

*

So much for that assessment. When the correction comes Domino's hand slowly falls to her side, letting the smouldering end of her cigarette hit the ground then get crushed under a boot without so much as a glance given to it. "Well good on you."

When he excuses himself her head dips back down once more, this time staying there. "Yeah. Give 'em hell," she quietly replies.

Only after he's taken steps away from her does she lift her head back up, calling out "See you 'round, soldier boy."

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