|Cassie Sullivan (likeamayfly) wrote in the100,|
@ 2016-04-11 21:39:00
|Entry tags:||!log/thread, !mount weather, cassie sullivan, frank castle / the punisher (mcu)|
Who: Frank Castle & Cassie Sullivan
When: Late Friday night
Where: Outside the mountain
Rating: Low-medium. There’s no bad language, but some talk about killing
Frank had been keeping his head down, keeping to himself. Some days he barely said a word to anyone. If anyone talked to him, it was usually his roommate. Tried to get him to do things for fun. Usually a blank stare was enough to quell him, but that didn’t always mean that he stopped talking.
He hadn’t yet decided if he liked this place or not. Lack of corruption was refreshing, but boring. Boring meant it was also exhausting. He hadn’t been lying when he’d told Red that he needed a war. Needed the anger, and the adrenaline, and the satisfaction of another dead shitbag that wouldn’t live to hurt anyone else. A world that didn’t need The Punisher was a world in which he didn’t really fit.
The old Frank Castle might have fit in. But that Frank Castle was dead.
Guard duty wasn’t bad though. He didn’t really trust the other soldiers, but he didn’t need them watching his back. He stuck mostly with one person, one of the few people he actually liked - as much as he liked anyone, anyway. One of the few people he was absolutely certain was worth protecting, because she was just a kid. A kid who’d been through hell, but still a kid, even if she thought she wasn’t.
They were a strange pair, to anyone who might have seen them on patrol. The big, muscular man with his enormous gun over his shoulder, and the small, redheaded girl. Frank was still inclined towards silence, partially because his senses were trained on everything that was going on around them, but it felt companionable enough (to him, at least). But he glanced over at her every once in a while, just to make sure she was alright.
At one point he heard something in the bushes and put a hand out to stop her, instinctively stepping between her and the new potential threat. His gun raised, he looked down the sights, only to see the glint of an animal’s eyes looking back at him in the dark.
“Racoon,” he said, gruffly. “Maybe opossum.” Or some other weird mutated critter. They had some weird as shit animals around here.
Cassie used to be a normal teenager. Ten months ago, her biggest worries were whether or not Ben would finally pick that day to talk to her, passing her math exam that was coming up, and wondering if she had enough time after school to take Sammy to McDonalds to get the new Happy Meal toy. Then the Others had come, and the world had changed completely. Now she was walking along outside of a mountain stronghold with an M16 in her hands, a Luger holstered on her thigh - Kara had shown her how to wear it comfortably where it was always by her fingertips - next to a man who was armed way more heavily and had a dark expression on his face nine times out of ten. And strangely enough - that comforted her more than if he’d been offering pity or platitudes.
The silence had been fine with her, because she’d gotten used to it over the almost two months she’d camped out alone in the woods back in her world, hiding from everything, and as they walked, she let him stay just a tiny bit ahead of her. It meant that she could see if he started to turn towards her with a weapon, so she could shoot first.
When he stopped suddenly, she realized then that she’d heard something as well, and she bit back an annoyed sigh when he moved in front of her. Stubbornly, she took a small step to the left so that she could at least lift her gun without shooting him accidentally, should something attack. At his words, she hesitated briefly, then lowered her own rifle.
“We should trap it to take to the kitchens,” she said, wishing that Katniss was there with her bow. She also wished she’d learned how to use one herself - maybe she had time to, before she left. That would be good for hunting.
“Already gone,” Frank said, with a shrug. “Not our job to chase it.”
He could have shot it, easily. But with a gun like his, it wouldn’t have left much. He also wasn’t in the habit of shooting animals, even for food. Maybe that was a weird moral sticking ground, and it wasn’t carved in stone: if he was out in the woods, he’d do whatever he had to do to survive. Running off to chase an animal and leaving their patrol - he’d need a better reason for that, especially with a young girl tagging along.
“Oh,” she said in reply to his words about it being gone, then looked up to him. After a moment, she stepped up beside him, deliberately out of his reach. After a minute, she looked away and motioned for him to continue on the patrol, intent on walking with him.
“You shouldn’t have done that, you know.” Her words were matter of fact, despite her age, and were spoken while she scanned the woods in case there were any other animals around. “Stepped in front of me like that. It was dumb.”
Frank glanced over his shoulder at her. “Hm,” he said, a noncommittal sound. “I do a lot of things I shouldn’t do.”
And he definitely wasn’t going to apologize for shielding her. He could tell she was a tough kid, that it mattered to her that she was tough. Didn’t matter, so far as he was concerned. She could think whatever she wanted, he was still going to do whatever he thought was necessary to keep her alive.
“If the Others come, you’ll die first, then,” she told him, almost all emotion gone from her voice. Even though there were people there she liked - and he was one of them - and there were people there she almost nearly trusted, she’d learned already that no one stayed so getting attached was just stupid. This entire mountain colony was stupid - so many in one place meant that it would be easier for them to all get killed. That was the main reason she’d picked guard duty - so she could see them if it happened, and so she could run. Keep herself alive, at least, in case Sammy was out there.
It couldn’t be said that Frank was a sensitive or tactful soul. He also really didn’t give a shit about whether he lived or died. The person he’d been before his family was killed - the person that mattered - was already dead.
“Maybe they will. But I’ll take a hell of a lot of ‘em down with me.”
“So it wouldn’t be enough of them.” She snuck a glance up at him, frowning a bit. “So it’d be stupid. And what happens if they attacked and because you were standing in front of someone else with a gun, you got killed by accident? That would just be a waste, unless that person could get your weapons easily.”
Everything she knew about survival, she’d learned through trial and error and movies. Sometimes Cassie knew that some of what she said didn’t make sense, but sometimes she knew it did, and she had long since gotten over being scared of her own responses to things. She wasn’t the same person anymore, as much as that sucked.
“How many’s enough?” Frank wasn’t going to brag, because he was realistic about his own abilities. But she just didn’t know how many he could take down. How many he’d already taken on single-handed.
He looked over at her again. “You going to shoot me in the back?”
“All of them. Every single last one of them.” Because if even one lived, she believed they’d all still be in danger.
At the question, Cassie didn’t look up, but her grip did tighten a little on the M16 in her hands. It was the last thing her dad had given her, hidden in the woods around Camp Ashpit, and it had saved her life twice now. Well, at least once.
“Not on purpose.”
“Then I’ll take out all of them.” It was a plain statement. It was just a thing he’d have to do. Same way he’d had to clear that damn landing zone, same way he would have killed his way out of where the Irish had been holding him if the Devil hadn’t stopped him, same way he’d killed all those inmates.
He gestured toward her gun. “You’re going to use that, you should be making sure you’re not going to shoot anyone by accident.”
His response caused her to look up at him, an almost hopeful glint in her eyes, but it was squashed quickly, since she wasn’t really sure that could actually happen. If they were lucky, though, the Others would never show. But luck was in short supply lately.
“I haven’t shot anyone by accident with it yet - only on purpose,” she told him. “But you still might be in the way if someone attacks us.”
Frank caught the look, and then the way it disappeared. He didn’t say anything about it, though. He didn’t really know anything about these Others, aside from what he’d seen her say about them on the network. He didn’t know what kind of weaponry they had, what kind of tactics they used. The Irish had gotten the better of him, briefly, with that damn tranquilizer - and the cops, or Fisk, could’ve killed him when he was unconscious. He wasn’t invulnerable, and he didn’t believe in giving false hope. But on the other hand, if he was facing down an enemy like that, he knew where he was going to be. In between them and a scared teenage girl, doing his damnedest to make sure they never got through him.
“That’s the point,” he said. “To be in their way. Not yours.”
She frowned a little, eyes dropping to the forest floor as they walked. She wasn’t sure she liked that idea so much, but in the end, it was better that he got killed instead of her. If he was fighting, then that meant she could go. She’d wanted to go during the battle, or just before, but there had been too many creatures and things from movies that she hadn’t seen a way to get through. Then she’d been hurt and taken in to triage, so that plan hadn’t gone the way it should.
“Whatever,” she finally said, a hint of the teenager slipping out almost absently.
Frank hid a smile. It was barely there one second, completely gone the next. “Look,” he said. “We get attacked, I’ll step in front of you, take out as many as I damn well can. You save your ammo and start using it the minute I go down. Deal?”
At that, she looked at him a little incredulously. “And stick around so I get killed too? No way.” Cassie shook her head at that, then looked away again, because she knew that it was probably the wrong thing to say. People were supposed to care about honor and togetherness and taking out others until you were dead, but she’d seen what happened in that situation - it only got everyone dead except the bad guys.
“If I’d done that when they killed my dad, I’d be dead too,” she said after a few minutes, softly. “He told me to run, so I did.”
“Even better,” Frank said. He would have said the same thing, but hadn’t expected she’d agree to it. Not with that tough exterior and the pride she had behind it. “You go ahead and run, then. Find somewhere to hide and don’t come out til it’s safe. Don’t look back.”
She looked back up at him, and inwardly she suddenly felt more tired than ever before. Cassie really wished the world wasn’t like this, but she nodded. “Yeah, I won’t,” she told him. Because she knew what could happen if she did stay, and she didn’t want to die, not really. Not if there was a chance her brother might be out there, and no one could give her a 100% guarantee that he wasn’t.
Dropping her eyes, she rolled her shoulders a little and shifted her grip on the gun, returning her attention to their surroundings.
“Good.” Frank didn’t matter. He wasn’t trying to get her to care about him. He just wanted to protect her, and even that was selfish, because he couldn’t handle another innocent death on his conscience. Couldn’t handle seeing her bloody and broken the way his daughter had been. “You keep yourself alive. I’ll just make it a little easier.”
“...Is that why you’ve been stalking me around the mountain?” She looked over at him again. “Because you’re not really all that subtle. At all.”
Frank raised his eyebrows, and then he actually did smile without trying to hide it. Just a quirk of the corner of his mouth, but a smile nonetheless. “Yup.”
He didn’t bother offering any other explanation; that was the full extent of his reasoning. He was keeping an eye on people. Those who might be in danger, and those who might be dangerous. He hadn’t been given any reasons to kill anyone just yet, but it was only a matter of time before someone, somewhere did something bad.
“...Okay,” she said after a moment, falling quiet again.. It was strange, sometimes, to turn a corner and see him there, or notice him walking into the mess just after her, but in a weird way it was kind of comforting. Particularly now, with what he’d just said. Now if only she could actually trust him…
“But why are you doing it?” The question escaped before she could help it.
Every sign of amusement disappeared from Frank’s expression, and he was silent for a long time, so long that it seemed like he might not even answer. But after a while he said finally, “Had a daughter. Once. About your age.”
During that time, Cassie stayed silent as well. She distracted herself with absently shifting one hand to the Luger on her leg, then back to the M16, as though reassuring herself that if anything, she had a means to protect herself. The answer, when it came, was a surprise, and she wanted to ask more questions, but a glance at his face told her it was better not to.
“Oh,” was all she said, and the redhead nodded her understanding. Now that she knew why, she was okay with it.
Frank didn’t say anything. He had talked about this before, didn’t make it any easier to say it again. It was a wound that would never close. It would hurt until he was dead. If she understood that, that was fine. If she didn’t, it didn’t matter. It was what motivated him in everything he did. Otherwise he still wouldn’t be getting out of bed in the morning.
Cassie let the silence stretch, continuing on as she kept pace with him, becoming lost in thought as they continued their patrol.