You killed my father, prepare to die

Summary:
November 28, 2014: Echo comes after Daredevil.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Hell's Kitchen


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:


Some years ago.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus Church is not the tallest or most prominent vantage point in Hell’s Kitchen. There are taller buildings just down the street from the tops of which one could get a perfect view of the city surrounding him. But Daredevil doesn’t care much for views. From here, the sound strikes the façade of the Stella Tower and reverberates just so to give him an ear to the world. From here he can hear almost everything.

For now he rests atop the gable of the church roof, one arm slung over the cross to steady himself as he exhales deeply. The yellow of his suit is torn asunder at the shoulder, thigh and ribs – narrow misses with some knife-wielding gang-bangers. The cuts are shallow but sensitive nerves wail like a banshee, calling for him to rest and focus inward so that he might put the pain out of his mind.

Out of the darkness comes a figure, her face printed with a white handprint, her hair tied back ,and feathers sticking from her bandaged arms. "Daredevil." The word sounds odd, a voice he knows, Maya, standing there in a posture that means trouble for him. Then, an instant later, she is attacking. His own moves, used against him, her body twisting in midair as she spins to kick him in the stomach. The grace is unmistakable, and the two batons in her hands are weapons indeed as she twists to use them against his poor cut body.

It’s rare that someone finds him out here. Rarer still when he does not want to be found. The inward focus to draw his mind away from the pain deadens his senses for a moment, the sound of the city drawing down to a tight circle around him. A circle that is suddenly invaded by her. He turns slightly, not raising his defense swiftly enough. One of his own billy clubs darts up to deflect hers with a clatter as he uses the momentum of his body to swing around the cross and out of the path of her kick. Her second blow strikes true across the side of his head with a dull smack.

His teeth bare for a moment, a rivulet of blood from his nose mixing with the white of them as he grimaces. He does what his father never taught him to do and goes on the offensive. As he reels from the hit, his head still spinning and his ears still ringing, he brings his foot up in a somersault kick directed at Maya’s jaw. He struggles to find her through the radar sense he’s come to rely on, the ringing in his ears and the blow to his head giving the world around him a veil of hazy static.

He doesn’t spare any words. He doesn’t need to ask. All he needs to do is listen to the sounds she makes. Her body will tell him all he needs to know about mood, attitude and motive.

The mood is fury, and she actively is trying to kill him. Her breath comes in short pants, just for the instant as she ducks to avoid the kick, taking the clip on her jaw, but her hand lifts to catch his foot, holding it as she spins, her body's momentum carrying her over to land a little away from him. His movement is mimicked, a perfect copy, an echo almost, her foot coming up into that somersault kick.

He didn’t expect to see his own moves thrown back in his face. Daredevil knew all the moves and their potential counters but they were always a little different. They always had their own elements that made them something unique. This was like fighting his own reflection. He’s already moving forward when her kick strikes him clean in the jaw, overstretching himself. A mistake. The sudden strike at his throat makes him cough, his windpipe clinching shut a second. His feet go out from under him, body falling heavily onto his shoulder as he topples out of control down the slope of the church roof.

Where is she? He reaches out, the rattle of his body across the roof tiles filling the air with sound that bounces off the form of his assailant. One billy club clatters to a stop in the gutter beneath him, the other one still in his hand is thrown with accuracy and brutal force at Maya’s forehead. But he has no time to consider his next move as he topples over the gutter, feet dangling perilously over the roof of the lower level down below.

There’s a decision to be made. Climb up or let himself fall. One would invite a further beating, the other at least a couple of broken bones.

Maya takes that hit, not expecting it, her choice to catch or fall taken from her. Her body arches as she falls, her fingers outstretched, the bruise on her forehead split, blood trickling down. Her fingertips catch the Church's fence, a spin taking some of the momentum from it, and she lands well, if bleeding and bruised. It takes a moment for her to clear her head, but then she is in motion, her own billy club hurled at his falling body, aimed, as his was, at his head, intending to knock him down, knock him out. "You killed my father, I am going to kill you, whatever it takes." The promise is in her voice, that odd way of speaking that comes from never having heard a sound. She makes the moves in precisely his faction, an echo in motion, his skill taken and used against him.

Slowly, Daredevil has managed to catch on to just what his attacker is doing – copying him. Echoing him. As he falls, his hand darts forward to snatch the hurled baton out of the air. He hits the lower rooftop of the church heavily, feeling acutely the cracking of a rib and the tearing of muscle. He doesn’t throw the baton back at its owner, instead letting it clatter out of his hand and into the gutter.

“You’re wrong,” he grunts, pushing himself up on his good arm and balancing carefully on the edge that plummets sharply down towards the street.

Unheard, his words pass her by, and she tilts her head back to look up at him a moment too late, and then she launches herself forward, flipping head over heels, before she leaps to catch the gutter, using it to flip, aiming to kick him en route to that lower rooftop, hoping to carry herself over him, to land safely on the other side. "This is not going to stop, Daredevil, you murdered him." Again, her voice is almost thick, the words spoken, his voice so familiar to him.

“I’ve never murdered anyone,” Daredevil argues, trying to focus on the voice and understand just where it comes from. “You’re wron – ARGH!”

He has no choice but to take the kick, holding on to keep himself from falling. But the pain shoots up his side, her boot finding the fractured rib from his first fall and sending the lightning bolt of agony through his brain. His fingers loosen, the yellow of his suit already soaked red in several places. He can’t maintain his grip and he falls.

But he’s prepared. At least partially so. He reaches out, an air conditioning unit slowing his fall just enough followed by a hefty slam against a window ledge. His momentum is eased enough that when he bounces off the closed lid of a dumpster and lands on the alley floor, his injuries are not nearly as serious as they might have been.

He reaches out with his senses. Searching for the attacker. Trying to place the voice.

She jumps, leaping from the roof, careless of her own bleeding head, careless of the risks as she lands. The roll breaking her fall is from another film, another hero watched, and she rises to her feet, turning her head to find him. "Why did you do it? Was it just Kingpin? You wanted to get to him and used my father to do that?" She has one of the billy sticks, holding it, spinning it, facing him now, her voice truly furious. "Did you know he left a daughter? Did you wonder if I would come for you?"

“Kingpin?”

Daredevil’s head is spinning. The pain, coupled with the fall have rendered his radar sense ineffective – he’s truly blind for the moment. But he faces towards her slowly, lifting himself to his feet and holding himself steady against the dumpster.

“Someone is lying to you,” he growls, face bloody, “You’re being used.”

She is walking towards him, her voice cold, the anger in those odd tones written loud and clear. "He said you would say that." She considers him for an instant before she moves into action, hurling that billy stick at him, aiming at his forehead, an echo of his move, the one that left her forehead bleeding. Even as she does so, she moves forward, intent on harm.

Daredevil’s radar sense may be gone for the moment, but he knows the sound of a thrown club – he hears it enough. There are no fanciful moves for him here, instead he simply lets himself slide to the ground and glare in the direction of the oncoming attacker, “God damnit! Why … won’t … you … listen!

The rage inside him boils over and he rises to his feet, the pain of his injuries becoming just a dull ache in the background. He throws himself at Maya, less practiced martial artist and more vicious brute intent on harm. His fist swings for her head, his knee lifts towards her midsection. His temper has gotten the better for him. He fights for his life.

“I!” he shouts, each word punctuated by thrown punches like those of a prize fighter, “Never! Killed! ANYONE!
Those are moves she hasn't practiced, ones of his she hasn't seen on the videos, her head hurled back by the first punch, and then doubled up by the knee, ending on her knees, gasping for breath, his words literally going over her head. A second and she puts a hand out, pressing it on the floor, a warning of the abrupt, determined movement, fueled by her anger, by the pain of loss, her body propelled towards his, his movements echoed precisely, her fist flying at his head, her knee lifting to the more vulnerable parts…

The moves being thrown at him are not his own and they’re easier to counter, but his senses are deadened. He lifts his arms like a boxer, covering his head and turning aside a couple blows before hunkering over to take the knee to his stomach rather than someone more painful. He’s hurting. He’s on the ropes. But he lashes out, grabbing for her throat with both hands and attempting to throw her against the brick wall of the church. Almost as though he’s going to choke the life out of her.

Brick walls are so unforgiving, and the breath leaves her, just in time to lose any chance of regaining it, her eyes wide as she lifts her hands, grabbing his wrists, an instinctive response. There is no way she is going to keep still, struggling and kicking out, the sticks in her hair loosened by the impact, her hair falling around her face.

“Listen to me,” Daredevil growls, regaining his mind briefly enough to keep himself from doing something he might regret. “I didn’t kill your father. The Kingpin is a liar. Whatever he’s doing, he’s using you to get to me. You need to understand me.” He enunciates each word. No longer mumbling or growling. He leverages his strength to keep her from getting away from him, taking the kicks with grunts of resolute pain.

This time she can see, her gaze dropping to his mouth, obviously lipreading, and then she slows, the kicks reducing, her hands on his wrists tight. A slight shake of her head is a denial of his words at first, "Say it again." Her voice has that odd quality, words never heard spoken. "Say it again." Her gaze is fixed on his lips, through the hair tumbling around her face. No fight now, just an oddly intense moment where she is staring at his mouth.

He’s getting through. He realizes this. His gaze immediately loosens, enough that she could easily slip free if she wanted to. He doesn’t want to hurt her. The timbre of her voice is enough to tell Daredevil that she’s confused. The reason she hasn’t answered. The way she talks almost like she’s copying words she heard somewhere else. Could she be deaf? He tries that. He speaks slowly. Sounding out each word an enunciating.

“I. Killed. Nobody. Kingpin. Is. Using. You.”

Maya's forehead creases, and then her eyes widen, the instant fury in her face showing comprehension, "I am going to kill him." The words may be indistinct, but intent and emotion are clear, and she lifts her hands, pushing him out of the way, the murderous rage that was directed at him now entirely Kingpin's. Her hair loose, it swirls around her, despite the injuries from their fight, she is going to and find him right now.

“No,” Daredevil shouts in vain, moving to grab onto her shoulder so that he might turn her around and get through to her again. “You can’t. Do you think if he was an easy man to kill he’d still be alive? If you go at him, you’ll die. Not to mention you’re hurt.”

His brow furrows in turn. Bad idea, Matt. Real bad. But what choice does he have? If he lets her go, she’ll get herself killed. He’s sure of it.

“Come with me. You need to know the why, not just the what.”

She doesn't hear that shout, but she spins when he grabs her shoulder, staring at him, catching the last few words. "He trusts me, I can kill him." The words are quieter, hatred simmering in her eyes, and then she hesitates, assessing her own body before she gives him a reluctant nod. "Where?" The question is softer, her temper slowly under control.

“He doesn’t trust you,” Daredevil answers, shaking his head. “He doesn’t trust anybody. He uses them. The second he gets even the faintest idea that you’re not working for him anymore? He’ll put a bullet in your brain and that’ll be the story of you.”

He’s beaten and bruised and his destination is on the other side of the Island but he can get them there. He’s had worse nights than this one. “Home.”

Her gaze stays on his mouth as he speaks, and she nods silently, before she replies, "I am Echo." A statement, an introduction, and she follows his lead, trying to keep his mouth in sight, "Home…" She lifts her hands, smudging her own blood across her forehead, as she tugs her hair back from her face.

“Daredevil,” he answers, moving to pull the ladder of the nearby fire escape down so they can ascend to the rooftops with relative ease. As he does so, he winces in pain. All of that savage beating he took coming right back to him. “But I think you already knew that.”

He’ll take her home. His home. The townhouse in Lenox Hill. The basement is secluded enough that she can stay there and recuperate without necessarily getting a hint of who he is. He’s still unsure if he should trust her. But he’s always been good at reading lies and he senses none.

Definitely not how he pictured the night going.

"I know that. I am sorry." The bluntness of her apology is sincere, her gaze on his face, and she walks quietly beside him, ignoring her own injuries, her hand lifting only when the blood drips down. She rubs at it, smudging it, seeming to accept the problem. "Why does he want you dead?"

“We disagree,” Daredevil answers, reaching to pull himself up the ladder with a grunt of pain. “He thinks he can use people to get what he wants and throw them away like garbage when he’s done. I think he ought to have that fat skull cracked and enjoy a life sentence strapped to a gurney in Sing Sing’s hospital wing. Just a little conflict of opinion.”

She shakes her head, the moment he started to climb the ladder causing her to lose anything he said. She follows him up, reaching to catch his arm, "Please, I need to see your face to understand." The frown is frustration, and she lifts her hands to turn his face towards her, the gesture strangely intimate, her gaze on his lips. From any other woman, that might be a come on.

For his part, Daredevil can’t tell what she’s looking at. But given her words, he can assume she’s looking at his mouth. So he stops, reaches to take her wrists gently and lower her hands down. Not five minutes ago this woman was trying to kill him, he’s not quite at the love me tender stage just yet.

“The Kingpin is a vile, cruel and selfish man. He takes what he wants and crushes people to get it. I won’t let him. We disagree."

She lets him lower her hands, a nod hinting to anyone with eyes that she understood this time, "He is. I am going to kill him." Flatly spoken, not a promise, a certainty, and she steps back from him, watching him closely, her eyes narrowing. The thoughtful look on her face would give him warning, as she lifts her hand, putting it between their faces almost, watching him through her fingers.

“I won’t stop you,” Daredevil answers. No. He doesn’t kill but he isn’t about to protect scum like the Kingpin either. “But I want you to make sure you’re ready for that. Killing somebody isn’t something you can just do. It’ll leave a stain on you that won’t wash clean.”

He tilts his head slightly, the distant sound of sirens heralding the approach of the authorities who might’ve been alerted to the ruckus on the roof: “We need to go. Come on.”

"You cannot see." The words are soft, her suspicion confirmed by his lack of response, but she moves at his request, at his direction. Going seems sensible, and she doesn't reply to the first part of his comments, heading in the direction he indicated, in thoughtful silence.

Daredevil shakes his head, “No, I can’t. But I make up for it in other ways.” As he just evidenced by having a fight that didn’t result in his complete and utter dismemberment. That said, he takes to the ladder and climbs upwards.

At the top, she jumps off, turning to face him, out of reach of the police below, and she smiles, an odd moment of warmth, "Between us, we can watch a show." That is it, the only comment, before she continues on the path he indicated.

"Sounds like a plan," Daredevil answers, grunting through the pain and breathing a little heavily as he sits down a moment to take a rest. "I've been meaning to watch the Wire."

She joins him, turning back to sit next to him, her gaze on his lips. "I hurt you badly…" The observation is quiet and she reaches forward, looking for where the harm is worst, "Let me see?" She sounds concerned, her forehead creased.

"To be fair," he begins, "Not all of it is you. I had a run in with some wannabe thugs earlier in the night. You caught me catching my breath. You can take a look but I can already tell you what's broken … I've got the supplies at home to take care of it." He sniffs the air, "You're bleeding, too."

"You caught my forehead, it is not bad." Discolouring, bloody, and she does take a look, searching to make sure that is all. Then she lapses into silence, turning her head to look across the city, her frown deepening, the thought of King Pin nearly palpable in the air.

"Still, a head wound needs to be looked at," Daredevil answers, pointing eastward, "Follow me."

That said, he takes off at a run across the rooftops. They'll be home before sun up.


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