15159/It Was A Trap, Definitely

From United Heroes MUSH
Jump to navigation Jump to search
It Was A Trap, Definitely
Date of Scene: 29 May 2023
Location: Apartment 1A, Meldoff Building
Synopsis: After the foiled kidnapping, there's post-trap drinks for Jason and Helena, but there are more questions than answers as to who is responsible.
Cast of Characters: Red Hood, Huntress

Red Hood has posed:
How had the evening begun?

_It's probably a trap._

Well it absolutely was. But at least Helena had the foresight to ask for some backup. TUrns out the guys in black should have bet on Red.

Driving away from the scene, Red Hood turns down another alley a half dozen blocks away. The lights on the car shut off and he stops long enough to double check Helena's vitals. Still breathing. Stable pulse. He'd pocketed one of the darts to analyze later but there was no reason to believe she was in any serious danger. Not since he was able to extract her from the scene.

Driving again, he reaches to flip a switch on the console. In an instant it the dark red paint changes color so that the car emerging from the alley is silver metallic and complete with a different license plate.

Civilian mode activated, he keeps his mask on until they arrive at Helena's apartment complex. Shrugging out of his armor and mask, they're set into secure storage that slides out from under the back seats.

Jason Tood emerges from the car and moves around to pick the still 'napping' Helena from the car. Wincing as he must use his left arm, he still manages to get her up to her place and inside.

Setting her on her couch so she can sleep off the tranquilizer, he heads to the kitchen to look through her selection of alcohol. Unsurprisingly he finds a lot of bottles of Italian wines. Giving up on finding anything harder, he takes her best bottle from the wine 'fridge and pops the cork. He returns to the living area with the bottle and two glasses, though he only fills one for now.

The one he drinks from while he waits for her to wake up.
Huntress has posed:
Located in a well-to-do suburb -- but not the richest -- Helena's apartment comprises the entire top floor of the building. It's not the sort of place a billionaire with several 'B's' to one's name would generally choose to live, so it can't be anything but a deliberate choice. While there's security on the apartment, it's Wayne Tech -- early on in her career Helena chose to utilize rival security technology, but as she came to know the Batman and the extent to which his technology reached others, she simply gave into the inevitable, accepted she was probably being monitored to some degree, and learned to live with it.

The place is spotless, quiet and dark until Jason arrives carrying Helena. The lights turn on automatically to welcome them.

Along with those very expensive bottles of Italian wine, there are some obscure bottles of liquor he's probably never heard of before: Cynar, Meletti Limoncello, Cocchi Americano. There's a fantastic view of Gotham from the floor-to-ceiling windows, and a large wall-panel television, controlled through voice commands.

It'll be a while before Helena stirs. When she does, it's with a very unladylike groan, struggling to open her eyes, struggling to /focus/, eyes blinking quickly. "J'son," she slurs his name, vaguely, but clearly recognizes him. "'kay?"
Red Hood has posed:
Jason Todd figured opening the best bottle of wine would send the right message. He did warn her he was an expensive date. Well. Drinker.

He pokes around on his phone as he sprawls sideways in one of the comfortable chairs near the couch. He leans against the back of the chair so that it gives his recently dislocated shoulder the most support. Then he does his best to avoid moving it at all. After the second glass, the wine begins to help take some of the edge off the pain.

And so he waits.

When she begins to stir, he looks away from the view of the city to regard her.

"I'm here" he confirms quietly. "You're safe at home."

A pause. "I'm okay." It almost comes as an afterthought.
Huntress has posed:
There's a sigh, for being home, not hiding her relief at the answer. With effort, Helena rolls into her side, face pressing into the couch's cushion for a moment. She's still and silent for long enough that it may seem like she's drifted off again, but then abruptly, she pushes upwards into a seated position. "I'm going to throw up," she announces, as her head leans forward, forehead resting on her hands, knees on her thighs as she breathes deeply. A few moments later, without moving her head: "No, I'm good." A beat just to make sure that's true. "This stuff is awful. My mouth feels like dry sandpaper. What're you drinking?" It's her way of asking for a glass of whatever he's having. No recrimination: he earned even her most expensive bottle tonight.

Everything's coming a little slower, and so it takes her a bit to recognize the afterthought of his slow answer to her first question. "Yeah?" it's possible she might not believe him, but she doesn't press. It does prompt her to unwind from her curled posture to look at him, though. Her own dark eyes are little more focused.
Red Hood has posed:
Jason Todd already has the bottle in hand, filling the second glass, so that by the time she asks what he's drinking, he can nudge the glass closer to her using his right arm.

"Your best bottle of wine. It's already going on half gone" he declares without a hint of remorse.

"Yeah. I'm good." It isn't like he's going to complain about almost ripping his arm off in his haste to get from rooftop to curb to keep the last guy from succeeding in whisking her away.

Regardless, and despite the brain fog of the tranquilizer wearing off, it won't be all that difficult to notice that he isn't really moving more than he has to. Or that he is rather curled up and favoring his left side or shoulder.
Huntress has posed:
The hand that reaches for the glass trembles only a little. Helena ignores it, as she takes a savoring mouthful of the liquid, eyes closed as she does so. It's the good stuff, and it makes her smile, briefly, as he says it's half gone. "You earned it," she allows, immediately. Her way of saying thanks.

For a bit there's just silence as she masters whatever the after effects of that sedative is, drinking sparingly. She's noticed his lack of movement, but for now she does nothing -- isn't sure she can stand effectively on her own anyway -- just lets the silence stretch. At least, until, "Oh," with an exhale. Her hand pats the pocket of her jeans, and digs out a cell phone. She blinks at it, working to focus, frowning.

"Just the one number in there." She leans forward, sets it on the table, visibly thinking.

Finally, Helena rolls carefully to her feet. Her hand reaches out as if to prepare to catch herself, but she's steady enough as she wordlessly leaves the lounge. When she returns, she's carrying a case in one hand, the other cupping a pair of painkillers; the fingers of that hand reach down to touch his wrist, dropping them into his hand if he obliges, wordlessly. The contents of the case he'll recognize -- it's a pretty simple device attached to the cell phone that allows remote tracking, recording and tracing.

As she sets it up, Helena says, "You should probably do the honors. I'm supposed to be out, still." She seems surprisingly calm about all this, like it's absolutely normal.
Red Hood has posed:
Jason Todd nods. "I did earn it. Just wait till I send you my bill. This is just the after party" he notes dryly.

He's content to sit there in silence while Helena continues to gather her faculties about her. When she sets down the phone on the table, he'll take the moment to refill her glass, setting the bottle on the table once more.

"Seems like a lot of effort to communicate with a go-between while trying to contact you. Kidnap you. Whatever it is this person is after."

He watches her walk away, probably to be sure she doesn't fall on her face from the sedative, but then he turns to look out at the city until she returns.

He takes the painkillers from her without resistance. "Thanks.."

Tossing them back with alcohol sounds like a perfect idea, so that is exactly what he does before looking back at her.

"The honors? You think whoever the orchestrator of this whole thing is, is going to buy that I'm the old duffer? Or one of the hired goons?" He isn't against making the call. He's just unsure how this is going to play out.
Huntress has posed:
"Bill?" despite the incredulous tones it's clear from Helena's faintly amused smile she's playing along. Not like money is an issue for her, anyway. "Let me guess. Time and materials. Emotional damages? You drive a hard bargain." But she'll pay it. Always.

The wrinkle that appears in Helena's forehead suggests she's troubled. "It could be a lot of things. Someone had a mercenary hired to steal some property deeds from me recently. I've been... buying some other real estate of late in response. Either of those could certainly cause a... imbalance. But none of that happened until I got back, so-" she seems to notice he's refilled her glass, smiles a thankful smile, and drinks from it quietly. She seems to think it's something more than warring criminal families.

Helena is aware Jason is looking her way, but it takes her longer before she glances over, meeting his gaze. "Probably not," she agrees with his guess. "But you just need to keep them on the line long enough to trace it. You're good with your mouth, right?"
Red Hood has posed:
Jason Todd nods. "I have to look out for me. Dealing with a Mafia Princess is dangerous work after all. It's more physical damages than emotional. But maybe a little mental duress" he jokes.

Listening to her ideas, he considers them. "Maybe. It doesn't seem like it adds up properly though. At least from first glance. Seems like we'll need to dig for more clues."

Meeting her gaze, he shrugs casually. "I am. But it doesn't have anything to do with making phonecalls" he muses while forcing himself to move. There is obvious discomfort even if he doesn't let it show on his expression.

Picking up what must be a burner phone, he studies it. "Guess we'll see what the man behind the curtain has to say."
Huntress has posed:
"Camurria!" Helena exhales, a narrowing of eyes at least familiar -- not a true anger. "There's going to be a /lot/ more mental duress, you keep that up. Maybe even physical, once I can definitely feel my toes again." It's an empty threat -- maybe. Right now, anyway, especially when she watches the way he moves, so carefully, clearly discomforted.

Just as he works not to let it show in his expression, Helena works not to react. She doesn't, at least, contest the /we/ he throws in there. Jason's retort is met with a disbelieving snort as she sets aside her glass, glancing down at the tracer, making sure everything is switched on before she nods towards him.

There's a single number in the phone, no name associated with it. After a long six rings, it's answered; the man's voice is gruff, possibly like he's putting on a deeper voice for the call -- a little out of breath. "Do you have her?"
Red Hood has posed:
Jason Todd cannot help but grin as he gets a reaction from her. He does seem to enjoy it when she does.

He watches as she connects the phone to the tracing gear.

As the call is placed he focuses on the call, playful banter tabled for the time being.

Pausing a moment, he replies, his voice shifted to try and sound more like that last gunman. It won't be perfect but it could be passable if the caller isn't closely familiar with the goons that were hired.

"Yeah. There were complications but I've got Sleeping Beauty" he says gruffly. "Bitch stabbed me in the shoulder."
Huntress has posed:
Helena notes that grin grin from Jason. She gives him the kind of look that promises she'll remember it for later without any kind of indication whether that's a good or bad thing, but now: business. Even the wine glass is left untouched.

There's a long pause after Jason speaks. Maybe the faint sound of pacing, a long exhale from the caller. "Careful. I gave explicit instructions she was to be unharmed. You getting stabbed is a /you/ problem. She /is/ unharmed, yes?"

A brief pause. Already the man on the other end of the call sounds suspicious. "What happened to the old man?"

Helena, for the most part, keeps her gaze on the screen, watching as it slowly narrows the circle. Gotham -- unsurprising. Upper East side, also unsurprising.
Red Hood has posed:
Jason Todd scoffs, "You're right it's a -me- problem. Your damn sedative didn't knock her out right away and she bolted. Hid between two cars and fought back before finally going under. She's basically unharmed, sure. Nothing permanent anyway" he adds sarcastically.

"Old man was hit by one of the other's darts. Couldn't aim for shit. Clearly. Maybe that was the Mask's fault. Didn't stick around to find out. GCPD was on the way by the time I secured the girl and found the phone on the old man. He'll just look like a mugging victim gone wrong. He'll be fine."

Is it a hard sell? Is it hard -to- sell? The best lies are those which alter the truth to fit the narrative. If anything is going to work it'll be something like this line the caller is being fed.

"What do you want me to do with her?" There's some hinted tone and unspoken suggestion there. Why not? A gunman with a gorgeous, sedated woman.
Huntress has posed:
A long moment of silence on the other side of the line. For a moment it seems like he's buying it. Then there's a breath. "Who is this?" A sudden hint of amusement. "Let me guess. The one that had pie with her at Antonio's? You've no idea what you're getting into, mammalucco. Best step away."

"Helena?" the voice continues after a beat. "I'll be seeing you again soon."

The call goes dead.

Helena's staring at the phone -- at Jason, a mix of confusion at the lack of recognition, as well as a faint alarm that it seems whoever it was was already watching them -- without them noticing. Her gaze ticks down towards the read out of the trace, and hardens. Definitely not better news there. She turns it towards Jason, then reaches for her glass. The trace puts the caller right in the heart of Gotham's Little Italy. Specifically in one of the known hangouts of the Cassamento Crime Family -- a strip joint.
Red Hood has posed:
There isn't anything more he has to say so he lets the man talk uninterupted. He watches Helena as the man speaks and reveals details about their trip to NYC not long ago.

When the line goes dead, he looks at the display from the tracking process and nods. Leaning back in the chair, his breath catches as his bad shoulder presses against the cushion. Even that slight movement is enough to cause discomfort. Definitely time for more wine.

After a long swallow, he looks to Helena. "What now? You know who it is?"
Huntress has posed:
What now? A long silence follows that and his other question. Helena notices that catch of Jason's breath, and she stands. "I'm going to draw you a bath. The hot water and some bath salts will do you good."

She starts to move past where he's seated, but as she does, she pauses to touch fingertips to Jason's shoulder. It's light, not intended to test out his injury, but it might inadvertently do that.

"I don't know who it is. But whoever it is, he seems to know me. He's definitely Sicilian raised, if not born. It must have something to do with my family." And she sounds oddly relieved about that. "The further Huntress and Red Hood are from this the better. Jason, too," Helena adds quiet, before her hand drops away and she turns to head for the bathroom.
Red Hood has posed:
Jason Todd raises a brow at her 'plan' and sets his glass down just as she touches his left shoulder. He grunts quietly in spite of himself. Yeah, it hurts. No he isn't upset she did it.

His face pales for a moment and he just nods silently. He could protest. He could just stand up and leave. Go back to his place and nurse his wounds there. But something about her tone tells him that this is not a time to try and upset her. For one, all she'd have to do is squeeze and he'd be unable to refuse anyway.

"I'll talk to Barbara. This data should be more than enough for her to track the caller." He moves to stand. "Maybe that's true" his being farther away from the situation as either Red Hood or as himself, "but that's not going to happen." The look in his eyes will show he's not going to back down.

"I told you I'd help you. We're not finished yet. I don't do things halfway." Stubbornly he lifts his left arm from the elbow - which still causes movement in the shoulder which he ignores - to catch her hand as it drops.

He looks into her eyes. "I'm not pulling out."

His hand drops then, the pain more than he cares to force himself to endure. As Helena goes to draw the soaking bath, Jason turns and walks to the windows, looking out over the Gotham skyline.
Huntress has posed:
Talk of going to Barbara gets an approving nod. "That's a good idea. Tell her to be cautious?" Not that she isn't by default, but Helena seems on edge. When he stands, she stifles the protest: but it's his words that earn a familiar, challenging lift of her chin.

"Jason," she begins. Whatever argument she has is derailed, first by his words, then by the way he catches her hand, catches her gaze, and says those words. There's so much expression in her features in that moment. Uncertainty, confusion. Relief, despite herself. A surprising warmth. So much that it stops her finding any kind of words, as she turns her head to watch him pace towards the windows.

For a long moment, he can probably feel her eyes on him, but she says nothing. Silently, she retreats, and the sound of the water begins flowing soon after. She'll set out a towel, and fresh clothes. The water's deep, and hot, and soothing for bruised, aching bodies -- chances are good Helena's done her time soaking in his very tub after a hard night's work out in Gotham.

Her approach is silent, her touch a gentle brush of fingers to his back as she looks past him, to the view. "It's ready. You'll stay here tonight." A statement, not a question.