His Girls


danko_icon.gif maeve_icon.gif raquelle_icon.gif

Scene Title His Girls
Synopsis Danko discovers that he didn't get there first, and Raquelle tries to keep his family together.
Date September 3, 2009

Brooklyn — The Cambria Household

No one's gone in and out of the Cambria household all evening, up until now.

Somewhere within, there's a radio playing, an oldies station with that crusty, nostalgic kind of sound to it. Maybe forty years from now, every voice of this decade will sound the same as well. A clock within the empty bedroom ticks over into some tiny hour in the late night. It's been, approximately, eight hours since—

Well, just since.

…where the sun refused to shine, people tell me there ain't no use in tryin'. Now my girl you're so young and pretty, and one thing I know is true…

It's not entirely dark. There are other lights. A mute TV, rendered so in favour of the radio, flickers ghost images of informercials into the living room. The mouth of the kitchen's doorway is dark, as is every other room save for the living room lit up by the screen, of some enthusiastic, voiceless character selling, selling, selling. She's not looking to him anyway. Just rocks a little in time with music.

…you'll be dead before your time is due, I know…

What does Emile Danko get up to when he isn't on the terrorist clock?


That's all the sound there is at the bedroom window. A click. And outside, a quiet rustle as hands too experienced to sacrifice dexterity to the coarse gloves they're bound in slide a pick precisely back into its side pocket.

The glide of the window up on its hinges is near silent. So is the swing of a fatigue-clad leg in over the sill — the scrape of a shoulder and matte black balaclava past the brush of breeze-billowed curtains and a soft shift in ambient light across the far wall. There's no one in the bed.

Watch my daddy in bed and tired, watch his hair been turning gray.

Brows knit over sockets steeped in shadow, Danko steps close enough to be sure as he drags the bulky composite of a tranquilizer gun from its rest at the side of his leg, but the sheets lie flat and a pass of his hand over the comforter fails to feel out any bodies masked by its fluff. For a few seconds he hesitates, eyes fixed pale on the clock while he recalculates and then makes the call to move in anyway.

He's been working and slaving his life away.

On toward the siren call of the radio, boot over boot soundless across carpet and tile alike. What closed doors he encounters are tried to no avail, each bedroom as empty and uninteresting as the first. Gun wielded lazy at his shoulder, it's only when he reaches the bathroom that he's given pause: the handle refuses to turn in his grip, preferring instead to stick at a lock just a few feet short of the television screen's technicolor touch at the hallway's drywall.

On the bathroom's interior, the knob half turns slowly over itself before it stops short again and twists carefully, carefully back, quiet and unhurried as the snuff of a curious bear after a locked dumpster.

He's been workin' so hard, yeah, I've been workin' too, baby, yeah, every night and day, yeah…

There's no sound— perhaps the barest beginnings of a shuffle, but otherwise, the handle remains fixed by its lock beneath Danko's palm downwards. Leaving him with the simple option of turning back or continuing on, as logical as mathematics.

The hallway stretches in front of him with ghostly, wobbling shadows of the muted television set. If anyone could possibly hear the minute creakings of a tested doorhandle, or is soft foot falls, they're not responding.

We gotta get out of this place, if it's the last thing we ever do…

Great. A mental check of the other rooms with their doors already open labels this one as a bathroom or — closet, possibly. Bathroom seems more likely, even if the absence of a bar of light at his feet should suggest that there's no one in there. Should.

His left hand scuffs away from the locked door at a reluctant trace, rising instead to bolster the wield of his gun in the right when he sets his sights on the living room ahead.

Jet black blends well in the gloom of the hallway and the bedrooms at his back, but the flickering television screen promises to make things complicated: the wall to his left wavers an electric shade of blue behind the bend of his knee and he sinks closer to the helter of the right, clinging to the last touch of shadow there is to cling to. When he leans around enough for his eyes to wash pale under television's flood and realizes that girl there's a better life for me and you has no connection at all with the images flickering sedately across the screen, for the first time since he's been here he plays host to a cloudy sense of undefined unease. This is all. Oddly. Familiar.

The furniture is washed with all the same flickering light. The television set has become this age's fireplace, where the family gather around and warm themselves on information, stories, advertising. The light has the same quality as the guttering of flames, although instead of a healthy orange glow, it's a ghost's brand of illumination.

Maeve is almost as still as the furniture, and doesn't look up immediately. She's seated on the couch, a brush in her hand that moves with the gentle motions of running the spikes through hair, although not her own. There's a girl in her lap, draped across her thighs with her legs in a broken doll tangle on the unnoccupied portion of the couch, her feet bare. Her torso is cradled by Maeve, and she is unmoving as her hair is brushed like a well-prized doll. Her eyes catch the TV light, but her expression is as slack as her body.

White powder is spattered on both of them. It swirls in the air when the light catches it. Maeve's head lifts, her halo of blonde hair bone-pale in the shadows, and her eyes wide and bright as they focus on Danko. She doesn't do anything at first, other than gather BJ up closer against her.

Processing. Processing. Danko's slight construction in the open arch of the hallway is as easily recognizeable with a mask as without. Maybe even moreso — the slack black of his posture against stark screen of the wall exaggerated in every capacity — shoulders lax with a predatory breed of confidence that far outstrips their narrow framework, sunken face already tilted in recognition of a connection he'd really rather not be making when a change to commercial blossoms white light through the dandruffy drift of castoff powder around the couch.

The catch of his breath behind the muffle of his balaclava is automatic; the anger that's slow to harden into his eyes somewhat less so. Little girl is probably one of them. Still takes him a second to swallow past automatic disgust. His grip on the tranq gun adjusts itself either way, gloves creaking beneath the wind of sinew and bone that's barely managing to keep his finger off the trigger.

"This is exactly the kind of misbehavior that got you put away before."

She knows bits of him. Stance. Voice. The brush goes tumbling to the ground as her arms go to wrap around the girl, to lock her in bare limbs, to squeeze to her. A wife beater clothes her torso, a skirt leaves her bruised and scratched shins bare, and her feet are as well, resting together primly against the carpet. The radio continues to bleat its blast from the past and couple well be completely silent for all Maeve cares as she studies the man across the room.

"She's not dead." The defense is short and clipped, biting, and followed by Maeve getting to her feet. BJ is taken with her, her feet left to drag on the ground but otherwise secured, ably, by Maeve as she inches away from Danko with her prize gathered to her. The kitchen's door looms behind her, dark, with a slice of window showing through.

More powder smears against BJ, tumbling faster from Maeve's palms in her agitation. "I'm gonna keep taking 'em. Gonna keep taking 'em 'til I get my girl back. You sons of bitches."

"You're killing her." For all that Maeve is backing it up, Danko is disinclined to trail after her just yet, eyes alight with adrenaline-dosed intensity down the sights of his gun — hardly standard as far as firearms go. Too big and too blocky in bleak contrast with the more slender model strapped onto his side.

"Just a matter of time before she's as dead as everyone else, isn't it? Dead as your daughter." Steel scrapes over concrete in the rough of his voice, all coarse edges and the acrid scent of warm metal in its quiet rasp across the hazy span of the living room. And still they're at a standoff, Maeve on the retreat and Danko a matte assortment of light-soaking angles currently putting a whole lot've effort into not looking tense without five more men and five more guns at his shoulder.

"Where's the father?"

"No, you fucking liars," Maeve bleats, holding BJ all the closer, the girl's brunette hair and caramel skin deeper shades than Maeve's own brand of pale, less intense and stark than Danko's matte black form and masked face. Another step towards the kitchen, backwards. There's knives in there. "Her daddy's asleep. He's alone, you know. That ain't no way to raise little girls. They need their momma. They got me now, okay?"

Her voice cracks at the edges, a fluttery smile now traded towards him, though her eyes are damp and sharp. "So you can tell 'im that they're all gonna kill you. The ones that got free. They're gonna hunt you down. So you go find them, and leave me alone."

BJ is starting to slip from her grip, becoming unimportant as she hisses across at Danko, her slender shoulders rising and falling with shallow breath.

Eight hours…eight hours and he's been trapped in his own thoughts and fears and worries. His baby girls, his baby girls. Why he's propped up in a chair - or he was, by now he's worked his ways to his knees on the floor, so thankful for the fact he didn't decide to just wear his boxers as his knees have a thin layer of denim between his skin and the linoleum. He drags himself across the floor as quietly as possible, working that ever present drawer beneath the stove open as quietly as possible.

It is hard work, some how the powder aka snow's effects are wearing off. Not completely mind you but enough that he's starting to move on his own, and with quite some difficulty. It is like getting tied to a bed and left there for longer than 16 or so hours, the muscles are so stiff. He just closes his eyes for a moment.

His girls. All for his girls.

"You better watch out…" He starts singing softly, voice thick and slurred as he's not completely unparalyzed yet, his gift wrapping around the cautionary tones of the Christmas tune.

His well manicured hand wraps around the handle of one of those rare stainless steel skillets that his mom sent him. He's never used it. "You better not cry…"

He does his best to be as quiet as possible, collapsing against the kitchen floor with the skillet.

"Better not pout…"

He gathers his strength.

He can hear pretty well from where he is as Maeve gets closer to the kitchen, and he gets to his knees and uses a counter to pull himself up to his feet. "I'm telling you why…"

Cinematic play of bared torso muscles, glint of piercings, half-naked funness and that stupid powder stuff falling off his body. But he takes a deep breath and then another. He eyes the back of Maeve's head, expression darkening even more and baby blue eyes cold for once as he wraps another hand around the handle of that skillet and holds it up. His voice might be slurred but he can still sing shakily, his gift tugging at the edges and for such a happy song he's got edges of creepyness and anger and fear twisting around each and every note…but he's not singing that last line. No, he's gritting through clenched teeth, almost growling. "Yoohoo..SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN BITCH." WHAM. He swings the skillet for the back of her head.

"I see a few years in the pen hasn't done your sanity any favors." Baaack towards the kitchen she goes, and still Danko is content to stay where he stands, genuine security leeching tension from the strain in his neck while he watches her go. Unblinking. "Ever consider starting small? A pet cat? …A plant?"

There are knives in the kitchen. There's also something moving in the dark, hobbled and stiff after a fashion he's seen before. Again, Danko adjusts the set of his gun, the cant of his brows nothing short of conversational as BJ slips inch by significant inch from the pale claw of Maeve's clutches, like something dredged up blind and colorless from the ocean floor grasping and gasping sick with the bends around dead limbs and a skinny torso. "Anything with a margin of error short of infanticide."

In the kitchen, a tall figure rises, voice too subdued for Danko's ears to register more than a murmur. But the singing isn't so important as the gleam off a skillet edge on an upswing. Across the living area, he lifts his brows still higher, inquiring in anticipation of her imminent braining.


Metal connects to skull, and for Maeve, the world distorts. She'd twitched aside with a sneer writing on bone-pale features, but not movement enough to avoid the momentum of a skillet on a collision course with her head. It glances off, sets her body tipping wildly with the motion of the world before her eyes, and BJ falls with a soft thud to the ground, a lank collection of limbs, hair, but luckily, a pulse.

Maeve's legs stagger her off to the side, a hand out to catch her fall against the carpet, her palm smacking down with a puff of glittering white powder, she's already twisting like an angry cat even as her eyes glaze and attempt to focus. As if ready to claw the face of whatever comes closest to her, her fingers are curled and a growl rattling out from her throat.

…Raquelle really can't tell much other than he just saw his baby girl drop to the floor and Maeve is still in his house. "He's making a goddamn fucking LIST." He swings again and really can't control if he actually hits the woman or not…he over swings because he's still unsteady and he stumbles a bit. "He's checking the damn thing TWICE."

He swings again, trying to get through/over Maeve to get to his daughter. "Gonna find out who's naughty or nice." One more swing. "Guess who's coming to /town/ Snow White." Stumbley swinging and then the shirtless man looks up to GI-The 9th Dwarf in his house. "YOU WANT A PIECE OF ME?! GET AWAY FROM MY DAUGHTERS! Do not TOUCH THEM! Get away from my-" He practically sobs in and out the last words, as unsteady and slurry as he is. "My babies!"

He doesn't know who is who. Just that people are invading his house. They look weird, and somebody has hurt one if not both of his girls.

The clang of skillet to skull is enough to make Danko wince in a twinge of mock sympathy within the frame of the hallway, the tip of his head adjusted minutely to account for the flail of Maeve's limbs floorwards in a disorganized tangle. Electric light cast off by the TV creates a hard contrast in what few lines are visible in his face through the narrow opening of his balaclava, grey eyes stark silver in amusement that manages to achieve companionable charisma without being particularly friendly in the face of warnings half shouted, half sobbed.

"I'm a friend of Joseph's, with the Ferry. Jacob. He's been worried about you." The fact that his gun noses down towards the floor as he turns his head to check after the status of Maeve's recovery is small comfort, and odds are it only gets that close to reassurance by grace of the mask hiding the chilly slant of a smirk.

"Nice shot, by the way…Raquelle. It is 'Raquelle,' isn't it?"

Maeve is crumpled upon the ground, but good news is, she's cleared a few feet between herself and BJ and hopefully— for her— Raquelle. Her forearms are braced against the carpet, her breaths wheezing in and out of her lungs and dry lips, hair obscuring what there is to see of her face, and a smear of darkness in her blonde tangles is black instead of red in this light, but unmistakeably blood.

She twitches a look towards Danko, eyes blinking, slowly, incomprehension manifest in her silence, but for now, she stays where she is, her fingers curling inwards to her palms.

"…" Raquelle just stares blankly/blearily at this strange ninja man thing. "You know my pastor?" Still slurry, the dubiousnesdoubtfulnesswhatthefness is still heavy in his usually flirty tones. Skillet lowers a fraction. "Thank you. Raquelle…Kelly…something." Waaait a second…

"B-But Jacob didn't have a Ferry, th-there are no ferries in the bible. It's Noah and the Ark dumbass. Joseph's going to spank you on Sunday…" His eyes blink slowly, almost mechanically as he tries to clear them.

Right, Ninja is ignored because he's lunging forward and dropping to BJ's side, trying to clean off her face the best he can with frantic yet gentle brushes of his fingers, checking for a pulse, all that good stuff. "It's okay BJ, It's okay baby…I've gotcha…" This is about the time, Diana has worked her way out of the bath room, still armed with a toilet brush scrubber, dressed in her father's over sized bathrobe and wearing a purple shower cap as a helmet. She makes a B-line for her daddy and her sister and eyes the Ninja with wide eyes, baring her teeth (even if she's missing the two front teeth) and hissing before screaming at the top of her lungs and running for her father. The scream kinda gets louder when she sees Maeve there. Yep. Lovely family.

Teary eyed, 4 or 5 year old little blond girl half climbed on his back, 8 year old caramel cutie in his arms and skillet still gripped in an iron grip, he just looks up at Ninja Man with teary eyes and rasps out around his thick tongue. "Don't hurt my girls…" He's starting to get a bit tired.

"You could say that." Raquelle Cambria, clueless about the Ferrymen, check. Two children, at least one screaming, the other still unconscious, check. Homicidal Moab escapee — Danko slants a sideways look in Maeve's direction, eyes dry as desert slate against the moist dark of her own — check. A glance back over his shoulder to the bathroom door serves as confirmation enough that the little gremlin that just went shrieking past him is probably what was holed up inside. So it is that all bases are covered when he hefts the tranquilzer gun and squeezes the trigger without a second thought: not at Maeve, but square at the bare of Raquelle's chest and near shoulder.

"He sounds like he could use a good night's rest," commented to himself or to the girls or to Maeve once the needle's sunk itself in deep, Danko cants his brows at the latter, not quite daring while he swaps out the sleeper gun for the one that goes bang.

"You can keep one of them."

Slowly, Maeve negotiates her legs under her, a hand lifting to touch her head, where the skillet had bounce offa it, and looking at the smeary redness on her fingertips. She wipes this off on her woolen skirt, careful not to smear liquid on the rest of her hands, before she's turning her gaze up from the ground towards Danko. Her eyes blink once, twice, before she says, in a dry, cracked voice, "I know you."

Concussed, maybe. Or just Maeve. Getting up, she inches herself back towards the Cambria family, two of them separate kinds of unconscious, the other one awake to endure. "I want the young one. I want the little one." The one still awake, and decked in her soldier bathroom gear. Powder falls like ash from Maeve's palms.

Hint of relief, then a realization hits him right before the dart and Raquelle grunts, slumping over with Diana on her back and half covering BJ's body with his own unconsciously protecting her with his own.

Diana's little brain is just whirling now as she looks between the Ninja and the Ghost and she feels her father slumping over and she gasps and tears up, trembling like a little leaf. "You hurt my daddy!" She shrieks before growling in her little lisping voice. "I'm gonna tell! I TELL! Werewolf gonna eat all your boy acorns off!" She gets to her feet and holds her brush like a baseball bat, looking between the two. But there is nothing she can really do except cry as it looks like both her sister and her daddy are…she's not quite sure. She just wanted to eat pizza and watch TV.

Nattering and shrieking and growling all ignored with the weary grace of someone whose spent a lot of time being snarled at, Danko nods once in lenient acceptance of Maeve's claim. Saves him the trouble of shutting her up.

Their coming to an agreement doesn't keep him from pointing the gun at her, though. It's held up all the way over to BJ's still form, boots tracking in such away that his eyes never leave the wanted woman until he has to glance down to heave Raquelle's corpus out've the way with a lazy roll of his heel. Nothing is said on the subject of recognition.

"There's a man named Len Denton who's going to be rounding you all up soon. If I were you, once you're finished here I'd make an effort to get the drop on him."

With all the caution of Danko's own aim, Maeve is moving, bare feet side-step side-stepping on around the room towards Diana, even if she's watching the true threat in the room. She worries her thin bottom lip as she considers him, then repeats; "Len Denton." If only to show him that she understood.

Then, with the agility of a cat swiping an insect from the air, she darts out a hand to grab Diana's wrist, reeling her close with a yank and her other hand clapping over the girl's face. The air becomes hazy in the immediate vicinity of both with loose powder as Maeve crouches down by the young girl, her other arm coming to wrap around her, cradle her close. "Hear that, baby? Momma's gonna take care've you and her."

Diana does try to squirm and she starts screaming again and swatting at Maeve, but it is only for a couple of seconds because Maeve's fast like a freak. Then she's out like a dolly light.

…this is the Cambria Family. Tada!

It's touching. Really.

Meanwhile Danko's handling of BJ is less tender overall — once he's got a decent grip 'round one wrist, he hauls her up and twists her over his shoulder like a dead animal, all in a heap with rotty joints and loose jaw etching drool and crusted pizza sauce in thick lines across canvasy black.

He has to squint against hazy air, but presumably the cling of his mask saves him from the worst of what's drifting free. A hard blink and a somewhat bleary scan of the living room later, he's moving off to retrace his path through the hallway in closed silence, unfeeling eyes tracking after Maeve until he's through the master bedroom door and out of sight.

Maeve stays where she is for a long enough time. Long since the swing and shut of a bedroom window clicks open and closed, and for the dust in the air to settle, for the radio to change into static, for the infomercials to keep on keepin' on. The willowy woman keeps the little girl in her arms as she rocks a little on her heels in that crouch.

By the time Raquelle is opening his eyes, he only has smears of powder on the carpet, on the walls to tell him the story of what happened next. Neither daughter are around to do it instead.

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