(2016-08-12) Hell's Kitchen Doesn't Like Buskers?
Hell's Kitchen Doesn't Like Buskers?
Summary: When someone takes a dislike to Serenity playing her guitar in Hell's Kitchen, Daredevil intervenes.
Date: 2016-08-12
Related: None
NPCs: Malcolm Morrison
Scene Runner: Daredevil
Social/Plot: Plot

Night in Hell's Kitchen is far from quiet, especially on a Friday night with people having gotten their checks in the mail and it being pay day. The bars are lively, the streets are active, and pedestrians walk up and down the worn sidewalks with a lurching staggering gait, and it's not even close to midnight. There's the sound of traffic, the ubiquitous slam and crash of trash can lids and even a rowl from a distant cat.

It is all so familiar. Yet also entirely alien. This is not his Hell's Kitchen. The man standing sentinel high above the streets, holding a baton lightly in his hand and his gaze narrowed as he looks down to the passing of people going about the first night of their weekend… so familiar. Yet not.

When his night started he had rushed from rooftop to rooftop. He stopped on one street corner, the initials he had carved into the telephone pole were there, the MM of Matt Murdock. The <3 was there too, but the other set of initials was a DG. Who was DG? The memories just didn't mesh. The streets were the same, but the owner of the package store was different. And then meeting Foggy… Foggy who knew him and did not know him.

It was all troubling, and when the Daredevil cannot figure out what is going on with his mind… he chooses action, forces action. And leaps into the night.

It's there that he crouches now, silhouette limned by the gleam of the moon, looking like a crouching gargoyle as he reaches out with his senses, seeking familiarity amongst them. Voices he recognizes, the tell-tale shift of heart beats that connect such to a gang member. It's in front of the Irish bars where the Hell's Kitchen Irish gangs tend to congregate. He knows some of the people, and yet others…

One of those people that Daredevil does not know at all is the young woman known to her friends as Songbird Marie. Even if this was his home universe he might not know her because she does not come to Hell's Kitchen often, but tonight she has broken that habit.

Serenity sits on a sidewalk near the corner with her guitar in her lap and a cap on the sidewalk in front of her as she sends the sweet sounds of Taylor Swift out into the night.

While the young woman is playing her music a few doors down from the bar, most of the New Yorkers seem to enjoy it. A few coins and bills fall into her hat, making a light clink of sound and then the people step on past. It lends a pleasant tone to the evening though not everyone agrees with it.

A man is leaning forwards with his head in his hands, seated partially against the wall of Molly's as two of his friends pat him on his back, a mass of vomit between his legs as he's clearly trying to recover from a pretty hefty bout of drinking.

That man lifts his head and hurls a few words Serenity's way sharply, "Can ya cut the fuckin' racket? Tryin' ta keep somethin' of my guts on the inside if ya hear me." His accent is sharp, and his annoyance is as well. Though the two men start to murmur to the guy, "Let it go Malcolm, s'alright."

Serenity visibly cringes at the harsh words but she keeps on singing until she finishes the song. Then she glances toward the man being sick before getting up and moving a little farther down the street from him. Her heartbeat quickens considerably as she moves. Serenity does not like conflict.

The man gets up to pursue her, his footsteps heavy as he sways and he says, "Really, where the bloody hell do you get off? People like you comin' down to the Kitchen, givin' it a right bad name." He closes the distance towards her, lifting his hands up as if he was truly perplexed.

"C'mon now, Malcolm. She's just a gal pan handler. She didn't mean a thing, did ya darlin'?" At least one of the two men following in his wake seem to both be trying to corral the man, yet something in the way they move, something in their eyes seems to speak of how they're used to picking up the pieces after him.

"There's a reason you don't see those bloody drum fellas with the paint buckets around here, we pack em all up, ain't that right boys?"

"That's right, Malcolm, but c'mon."

And he advances upon her, scowling and trying to aim a kick as a piece of debris on the sidewalk and missing.

But then suddenly the man is /yanked/ sharply into the side alleyway he had just been passing, two heavy gauntleted hands grasping his lapels and pulling him face to face with a man in black and red armor, whose silhouette is barely discernible from the shadows.

"Malcolm Morrison, you. You I know." The man's voice is a growl, a malevolent scowl given words to speak as he shakes the man once and causes his two minders to reach for firearms but not draw. "Tell them to put the guns down, you know what happens if they don't, don't you Malcolm."

Serenity fumbles with her hat as she tries to get the money out of it and shove it into her pockets. Coins ping off the sidewalk when she drops some and she hesitates on the verge of leaving them. Then the man is tugged into an alley. She drops quickly to her knees and begins to gather up the coins. She struggles to fight down her urge to bolt and run before he can start chasing her again.

While the young panhandler starts to gather up the fallen coinage and bills, the two men with their hands in their jackets look nervously betwixt themselves. Yet it's Malcolm's words that take center stage as he says, "Do what he fookin' says, jaysus!"

The two firearms are set down with a metallic click and the men back away with their hands raised, frowning to themselves but staying close to try and effect the outcome of whatever this is.

"S'alright, Devil. S'alright. Was just havin' fun with the wee lass. We haven't broken the accord, right? S'all good, eh?"

But Daredevil's voice is severe, words low and precise and whispering a promise of mayhem in each syllable, "I don't care what agreement we may have had in the past, Malcolm Morrison. If you've been thinking this was your personal fief, you're damn wrong. I'll be paying a visit on your father. Do you understand me, Malcolm?"

There's a sound of leather creaking and then a short sharp shriek of pain that's cut off just as quickly, "Jaysus, fook all right! I'll tell him!"

And as quickly as that the man is let loose, staggering away with heavy steps and his men picking up the revolvers. All of this only happened in the span of a minute's time… and as quickly as that it's over.

Once they're far enough away she'll hear a voice from those shadows, quiet, without the malice though with the same intensity as he says quietly. "Did they hurt you?"

Serenity glances at him in instant concern. Costumed heroes attract bad guys. Serenity dislikes conflict. She's also silent. Disturbingly silent. Her breathing and her movements make almost no sound at all. Indeed if her heart weren't beating so loudly and quickly in her chest, he might not even be able to find her. She shakes her head with just a whisper of hair moving as the last of the coins is finally shoved into her pocket.

As he listens to her answer she might not be able to tell, but he is listening to the pace of her heart, the flow of blood through her, the way she moves. He cannot sense any injury, can tell she is perhaps upset… excited. But no… no creak of bone against bone, nor the rush of blood to an injury. Yet all of this is naught.

She may see in the shadows him turning his head slightly, not looking at her, the black eyelets of his mask hiding any window into his features or expression. His nostrils flare slightly, but then he steps from the shadows. She'll see that he is no monster, no beast, just a man in red and black armor that defines him. He says quietly, "Those men are scum, but they're right. It's dangerous to play here."

His head turns slightly to the side, looking as if he heard something distantly, though for him it is to 'see' her more accurately. "I can't be everywhere. Give me a month to do what I can here. It should be safer then."

Serenity whispers, "I do not normally play here. I don't think I'll come back after that. It's not worth getting hurt for a few bucks that I can get playing down in the theater district or in Central Park. I just thought I'd try it once."

Turning to face her directly, the tall man says quietly. "I understand." And as he says that he'll place a folded twenty dollar bill in her hat, flicked the last small distance to wing its way there to land light amongst the rest of the currency. "For now… that might be best."

And as he says that he steps back into the alleyway, tuning to move away. His footsteps are quiet and it doesn't take very long for him to be gone…

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