Slade Wilson's Safehouse
Safehouse belonging to Slade Wilson aka DEATHSTROKE
- Team 7
Staten Island. It is likely the last place in the world anyone would expect Slade to keep a flop house, which is likely exactly why he keeps it. Small, clean, neat, cottage like, it over looks the ocean and comes with all the quaint enjoyable things that come with every home on Staten Island. The sound of the waves crashing on the nearby pebbley beach, the sense of community, the occasional wafting odor of rotting garbage and trash that is the Islands one enduring legacy… You know. Staten Island. Inside the house is the very /image/ of a soccer mom's domicile, complete with throw pillows and family photos on the wall. There's even a few toys tossed here and there to give the impression that it's lived in. Of course. Knowing Slade, it might actually be lived in. Hell. It might not even be his home. Best not to think about it.
They arrived, him with his armor broken down into a large hockey bag, weapons too, and he uses a key to open the door and step inside. He even knows the home alarm code. He drops the bag on the floor of the living room as he pulls his 1911 and begins a quick sweep of the home, the motions so automatic and thurough that it's like he's stepped right out of her memory, triggering little feelings of familiarity and deja vu with every motion. In short order he returns, "Clear." he rumbles out business like as he shucks his trench coat and tosses it lazily at a coat hook on the far wall. Of course it lands just right and swings slowly back and forth.
He then moves to the bag, lifts it once more, and then begins removing objects from inside and placing them on the coffee table. This also triggers memories and feelings. Some things never change, and Slade was ever the consumate soldier. Dinah already knows in what order he'll start inspecting his gear to look for stress and wear. It's creepy. Hell, it's only been a handful of years but he's unchange. Like completely unchanged. She's at least showing the small signs of age, but he doesn't have so much as a new wrinkle. It doesn't help with the deja vu. "Sit." he offers, the difference between an offer and a command with Slade is all in tone. She knows the difference well.
Whatever the reputation Deathstroke had around the world, Dinah had known him as a comrade in arms for a good portion of her life. If it came down to it, she would probably trust Slade Wilson over Batman as someone to have your back in a fight, "Nice place." Commenting obviously on the cover that he uses to make the house lived in.
The woman codenamed Black Canary took a seat on the couch, crossing one leg over the other. Slade might even notice, aside from a few minor alterations she was still wearing the same lightweight body armor she had used in Team 7, "How have you been?" She smiles.
Deathstroke is one of the most trust worthy soldiers to go into battle with. He is not a hero however. Whatever Dinah would be into that required Slade as back up would not be the sort of thing that ended in arrests so much as a mass grave.
From inside the bag he withdraws the helmet that is his trademark. When Dinah knew him last it was all orange and had two eye slots, just like it's owner had two eyes. Now, with it's all black half, the eye port welded shut, it seems to somehow fit him better. Something in the dual color, a metaphor for dicotomy perhaps. "I found him." Slade says in answer to Dinah's question. The helmet makes a soft clunk sound as he sets it down almost reverently atop the table. The two halves of his battle lance come next, then the guns. So. Many. Guns.
He walks over to what looks like a liqour cabinet and opens the glass doors on top. The liqour bottles are one shelves there and the whole unit swings open on a silent hidden hinge so that he can reach around into the space beyond. When he comes out he tosses a sizeable black case to her, slightly dusty, it's as familiar as the man who hands it over. Her gear. The pistols, the knives, garotte, ammo belts, even her now painfully outdated coms unit. It's all in there, carefully packed and sealed away in custom foam cutouts. "And we're going to kill him."
Dinah stares into the case, old memories of the person she once was flooding back to her. Could she ever escape who she truly was? Even now, her real reason for being back in Gotham was vengeance. She had never thought ahead to what she would do to her mother's killer when he found her, but it became crystal clear as she sat in the room with Slade Wilsdon.
There were plenty of people she had encountered, she suddenly realized weren't fit to breathe the air on Earth with others. It was a dark path that some walked so others could stay in the light.
"Who?" There was a sadness tainting her voice as she asked, despite the simplicity of the words.
Deathstroke was in the act of sitting down at the edge of the table and pauses for a fraction of a second, a hessitation. "Of course." he says as if feeling oddly stupid, "You don't remember." he shoots her a look, the lone pale blue eye hard as flint, "You may want to put that down." he says, nodding at her kit. "This is going to hurt."
Dinah sets the case down and stares at Slade with her eyebrows raised, a somewhat suspicious tone as she asks the man, "What's going to hurt?" Even as she was asking, she was starting to physically prepare herself for something; she just didn't know what.
Deathstroke really does have a nice voice, deep enough to be all rumbly, but not so deep as to sound cartoony or fake. He has that sort of battlefield voice that can carry with ease over the chaos of a scrum, or makes those little inappropriate murmurs that are all the rage in a certain type of chick-centric film industry. He's even hell on wheels at poetry.
"Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!"
"FIRE IN THE HOLE!" Kurt shouts with a little smirk as he tosses the HE over his head with a flick of his wrist and he turns to look Dinah in the eye, "So what do you think sweetie? Fuji? They have these springs there, just to di-" the last of his statement is obliterated by the grenades explosion, the table he and Dinah are leaning back against is suddenly pounded with bits of shrapnel that only moments ago were Kaznian Spec Ops Cyborgs, one of thier claw-stabby-hands is stuck through the metal table next to Kurt's face, the blade blackened and quivering. "Or," he says, continuing unphased, "we could do that thing Branson was talking about? I mean it's a little exertion heavy but the Himalayas sounds private and peaceful." Slade's voice cuts through the noise like a knife, "Finder! Quit flirting and find me a goddamned exit! NOW!" then there's a blur of motion as Slade Wilson goes to work. Screams follow. Kurt offers Dinah a great big smile and winks at her, "Private and peaceful," he says leaning in to kiss her with a fervor and a passion that's breathtaking. There's the memory of a heartswell of emotion, something so sharp and keen it's painful and hot enough to burn if touched, "so you know /he/ won't be there." then Kurt's hopping over the table with a vault, a P90 tucked against his shoulder spitting armor peircing rounds as he moves. Dinah's memory turns the other way to see an almost baby-faced young man grinning at her, "Really Drake? Honeymoon talk in the middle of a fire fight?" Branson's laugh is like a steel grip around Dinah's heart, but it's unclear as to why. Also… who the fuck is Kurt?
Slade keeps reciting and as his lips form the words, the memories come back, each sharper, more painful then the last.
Dinah closes her eyes mid-way through the poem being recited by Slade, there was something so familiar about it. Whatever Slade had triggered did the rest of the work for her, a soft cry of pain escaping her lips as she suddenly found herself right back in the middle of a memory that had been repressed.
Kurt. Dear sweet Kurt.. it was slowly coming back to her. The sensation of the kiss upon her lips still felt fresh, as if it had just happened. Branson. Yet another face that brought swells of emotion around her heart.
Reflexively, tears began to stream down her cheeks but she didn't know why she was crying yet. For some reason, she wanted to race after Kurt but she knew it was only a memory; an echo of the past.
"You pull some shit like that one more time-" Slade's words cut through the air with a rage they've not often heard in their CO, and he's got Kurt in the air, lifted clean from his feet and held out at arms length with a single fist curled in the man's armor. He shakes Kurt like a rag doll, "You cost me a soldier!" he bellows into Kurt's face, "For what? Your wife was fine you silly shit, I had her covered, getting shot at was the /point/ of bait. Now Branson's down because you left your man." There's a shotput motion from Slade that he makes from the shoulder and Kurt's airbourne for a full fifteen feet before he glances off of support beam in the training room and lands in an awkward slide. "He was a fucking kid Lance, a /kid/." Slade looks on the verge of murder before his famous control seems to set in and he turns his back on the downed man, forcing himself to take a long breath. Alex walks over and claps a hand on Slade's shoulder, "Come on big guy, we need to debrief Lynch then uh," he glances over his shoulder at Kurt who's getting to his feet looking a bit like a whipped puppy, guilt all over his face, "go see how Branson's doing eh? Still a chance he can pull through." Slade shrugs the hand off of his shoulder but starts talking and Alex goes with him, shooting a thumbs up to Dinah behind Slade's back. Alex always was the one who could talk Slade off the ledge, get him to focus. Rumor is they were friends even before they joined the Program.
"Some kill their love when they are young,
And some when they are old;
Some strangle with the hands of Lust,
Some with the hands of Gold:
The kindest use a knife, because
The dead so soon grow cold."
Kurt sits on the edge of the bed in the room they share, staring down at his hands, his fingers curling in and out of fists. Dinah sits next to him in silence, her hand on his back, fingers slowly running through the hair just at the nape of his neck. "Hey lovebirds," says a friendly voice and the strikingly perfect face of a man peeks around the doorway, bringing grudging smiles to both thier lips. Euro-Asian features none distinct enough to really nail down, he's almost /to/ perfect, a running joke on the Team. "Hey Tao." Kurt says without looking up. "Don't beat yourself up about it Kurt, you know better then to take anything Captain America's Angry Clone says seriously. Anything less then perfect and he gets like this." Tao nods once to Dinah, "And Branson will be fine, they're pulling me in to consult on his rehab. He might end up with a new cyber bit or something, but I'll make sure we add a corkscrew so we can make all the Swiss Army jokes. Promise." the sad attempt at humor slips by unnoticed and the pretty boy just nods once more, "Hey, you guys need to talk about it, about anything… You know where to find me." something in Tao's tone changes and when he speaks next there's just a certainty to it that fills the pair of newly weds with faith it's gods honest truth, "I can fix anything."
Somewhere deep down, fear is building in Dinah's chest, like the distant rumble one mistakes for thunder only to realize they are standing before a tidal wave. Something is Wrong. Capital W.
The words of the poem are mouthed silently by Dinah as Deathstroke continues to speak them. She could barely breathe but the words themselves were captivating, painfully so that as much as she wanted the memories to disappear she couldn't will them away.
Kurt and her had been planning their honeymoon but, he wasn't here with her now. She realized, her life had gone horribly wrong at some point.
What did she know of her time in Team 7 aside from the overwhelming memory of Slade Wilson? She thought she had escaped on her own, after disagreeing with their methods.
How wrong was she in what she knew? She knew that what was being brought up from within the deepest recesses of her psyche was the truth; not what she had believed for the past few years.
Her life, at least part of it had been a lie. She shuddered as the memories continued to return to her. She wanted to scream, to run away but she knew she could not. She had to know the truth.
"Of course he loved you!" Tao says, his face screwed up into a puzzled expression, "How couldn't he?" Tao's shoulders move in the smallest of shrugs, "But he's not an unattractive man, and not stupid either." Tao's words make so much sense, so much, "But he's clearly flawed, I mean we all are, but his flaws are just…" another small shrugs, "cliched." It's why he broke his vows. "It's why he broke his vows." Tao says even as she thinks the words. "Married life is so hard." he pauses, "Still…" yes. Yes! Still! How could he betray her?! "How could he betray you? And with her. /Her/! Amanda is our teammate, your friend!" Images of Waller's lithe form twining with Kurt's fill Dinah's mind of her own accord, dark skin rolling over something pale, glistening, glinting.
Tao walks around her where she sits in the middle of the training room, his pace slow and somehow friendly, gentle, as if he were consoling her, "And now that the Colonel is gone, without Wilson always running about keeping everyone in line, Kurt saw his chance." his fingers rest lightly on Dinah's shoulder and he leans in to speak to her, the words imprint on her soul with their truth, as if they were rewriting her DNA, "Finder always could find anything. Looks like he found someone else to be with." each word is like a nail in a coffin, a hammer blow echoing in her psyche. He leans in close now, his eyes filling her vision, so sincere, so caring, "You should go tell him how you feel." she should go tell Kurt how this all makes her feel! Of course! Talking, communication, those are the tenents of a good relationship! She can still save this! Tao smiles as Dinah's arms slide around him in a tight hug, he grunts softly and laughs, "Yes yes dear. Like I told you before, I can fix anything. Now go. Talk to your husband, I'm sure he's waiting to hear from you." and he shoo's her off.
"Some love too little, some too long,
Some sell, and others buy;
Some do the deed with many tears,
And some without a sigh:
For each man kills the thing he loves,
Yet each man does not die."
Dinah remembers it all so vividly now, and it's the details that stand out the most. It's the feeling bone makes in her hands as she feels the vibrations run through it with a hum. It's the look on Kurt's face as his skin trembles before her, bruises appearing like black plague spots on his fair skin before cuts and abrasions appears and blood begins to splatter about under the force. It's the way his eyes were so afraid, so confused, before they burst, the ocular fluid exploding in a wet shower that splattered his face sickeningly. It was the feeling over the humming bone of his skull between her fingers shaking itself apart, turning from something like a skull, a hard round object, to something more like a water balloon filled with shattered glass fragments making his face mushey and unrecognizable. It was the fact that despite how loud she was screaming, directly into his face, she never heard a sound. It was silent to her ears as she 'talked' to her husband, 'told' him how she felt. Loudly. How she killed the man she loved and left him more pudding then man from the shoulders up. The resounding silence of her shout of rage at his betrayal.
And the sudden rushing return of sound as the enomity of what she'd done hit her after it was to late to take back. How a sonic scream became just a scream. Of how her mind broke. And from there, things are… fragmented. Like Kurt's skull beneath her fingertips.
Dinah's fingernails are digging into the palms of her hands, blood seeping forth from the wounds as she begins to sob uncontrollably. Her husband. She had killed her own husband. Her despise for Waller made sense now, "Kurt…." At first it's just a whisper.
"I killed him." Her eyes are open, wild like a madwomans as she stares towards Slade Wilson, "I killed my own husband." Her body is shaking as she speaks, her voice growing louder as she speaks each syllable of each word.
That harpy Waller had caused it. She had been so happy. Things had been so good. She wished she didn't remember, she opened her mouth again to speak but she couldn't find the words anymore.
The pain of the memories was too much for her to bear. She was not who she thought she was, she could never atone for what she had done.
It was a shock, a terrible horrifying shock to her psyche.
She just wanted to scream and maybe she would.
Deathstroke remains sitting there, staring at her. He looks back to his gear once he's seen she's not had a mental break or something and begins field stripping a G36 with mechanical skill. He says nothing. If she was hoping for emotional support or a shoulder to cry on, she's in the wrong house. This is Slade. Slade is all about control. Raw emotion has always made him uncomfortable. He gives her time to figure things out without speaking.
Dinah doesn't scream though. Whether it was numbness from pain or all those years of training truly kicking in, she finds the self-control not to scream and shatter the windows; more likely though it would have just resulted in her being knocked out by Slade.
She reached over to the weapons case and begin to inspect her equipment, stripping down the pistols and sights as if she was back in Team 7.
This was who she was.
"Thank you." It wasn't sarcasm in her voice. She would rather know, than not know. Still, her memory was a mess and she was fearful of what might come out down the road.
"I won't let you down again Sir." Respect. Admiration. Maybe, she even looked to Slade as a replacement father figure in her own way. Those had been in short supply most of her life.
Deathstroke's hands play over the rifle, breaking it down and lining up the part on a laid out cleaning mat, it's all done with the sort of muscle memory reflex action more normal people use to pray or eat food, "You havn't yet." he says flatly, his voice steady and even. "I-" he stops, then starts again, his mind always working so fast that those little pauses are hard to detect, you really have to know him well to notice he even took that fraction of a second to think something through multiple times, "I should have shut it all down when I left. Didn't mean to leave any of you behind." the edges of his jaw buldge slightly as his teeth clench, "When I found out about him, about what he'd done, I thought I was the only one. I m-" his face screws up in a flicker of rage, "I made a mistake." it takes him twice to force the words through his lips. "I made you a promise at Kurt's funeral." he looks up from his work and meets Dinah's eyes with a fervent zealous stare, "I keep my promises Lieutenant." Seriously, the guy never frikkin' changes.
Dinah reached up to wipe the runny mascara from her eyes as she listened to Slade Wilson speak. The funeral. There was something else that was little more than a fragmented haze to her.
As their leader, Wilson had kept them all safe. Without him it had all deteriorated. Somehow, here in this safehouse; she felt safer than she had in years.
"I know you do Sir."
She wanted to admit to him, that out of anyone he had never let her down because without his leadership and guidance she would have been nothing. She didn't though, because she knew Slade Wilson was the kind of man who would just know.
"I miss Kurt and…" She sighs, "..Everyone else. We were a good team, weren't we?"
Deathstroke was the best soldier… that didn't make him the best leader. Everyone had friends on the team but no one was friendly with Slade. Except maybe Alex. But Alex died too and after that? No one liked Slade, no one wanted to be his friend. But you trusted him not to get you killed. Which was enough. "We were the best." he corrects her. "But we weren't friends." he shoots her a look, "We weren't family. We were soldiers. You forgot that once and married one of your team." Slade's never made any bones about his disapproval of that fact, hypocrite that he is. "And not everyone is worth missing." the words are forced out of him bitten off and clipped. He slams the magazine home in the rifle as he finished putting it all back together. "Otherwise we wouldn't be gearing up to kill one of them."
Dinah continues the rounds with her own gear, not disagreeing with Slade. As messed up as it was though, aside from her early childhood; Team 7 had been one of the most stable parts of her life.
That probably was not a good thing.
"Will anyone else be working with us on this?" She was already onboard, instincts having taken over.
Deathstroke lets out a long slow sigh, "Yeah." he says, looking down at the weapon in his hands for a moment before he sets it aside. "In the morning we're going to fetch Tony." he says, the corner of his mouth twitching ever so slightly. Masters was one of the better soldiers, but it turned out he was more. Dual loyalties and what have you. Slade's not big on forgiveness for that sort of thing, still, even he doesn't like what happened to Tony. "He's going to meet us at Madison Square Garden. Just be careful. Remember he doesn't remember anything from back then, we'll have to take it slow otherwise he'll spoke." And unlike most people Deathstroke has a /very/ good understanding of how dangerous a man Taskmaster can be if cornered.
"I read you loud and clear Sir." Dinah didn't remember enough of her real memories to know much about Tony anyways but it would be interesting to be back working with some of the old team and to have a purpose again. Undoubtedly, that purpose wouldn't bode well for others.
When she's finished with her kit she asks Deathstroke, "Is there anything else you'll need of me Sir? It's been a lot to process and come to terms with.." She pauses, "..once again." It was now the second time she had dealt with what happened. It didn't make it easier.
Deathstroke shakes his head, "Chow in the fridge, rack second door on your right down the hall. Kit's there," he nods at the stuff he handed her earlier, "We're oscar mike at 0500." he then reaches over to the side and lifts the scabbarded bastard sword that is part of what makes him, him. "Then we gather up Masters." he's quiet for a moment, "Maybe one more… but I'm not sure. I got out before they could tamper with my memories, but the rest of you… it makes this tricky. Go sack out Lieutenant, I need to think."
Dinah stands and offers a crisp salute to Deathstroke even though it wasn't necessary, "Good Night." She wasn't even sure if the man slept, but she knew that she certainly did. Heading to the fridge she grabs an assortment of things and heads to the room she was told to. Sleep would come for her eventually, but the night would be long and full of terrors for her.
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