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 Bloody Knuckles Soothe the Soul, Fri, February 17, 11PM // open
Bella Boudreaux
 Posted: Jan 2 2018, 08:36 PM
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Bella had spent another week in Jersey, hiding from just about everyone. She’d left the thirteenth so that she could avoid Valentine’s Day in peace and had not come back until about an hour ago, eyes still puffy and red and blood dripping down from her torn up hands. For someone who didn’t have a particular strength advantage over the average human being, Bella had done some damage to the wooden practice dummy. It was lying in pieces in the basement of her Morristown house, splintered and useless, done in by her neurotic focus. Once the sparring dummy was dead, the Assassin Queen had moved on to the heavy bag hanging from the cross beams. She had broken before it had, if the swollen, purple fingers of her right hand were any indication.

Those same hands proved problematic as handling the keys to her apartment was impossible in her current state. Dislocated, broken, whatever they were Bella had done a number on herself and so instead of crawling back into her cozy, empty, all alone space, Bella just plopped down onto the top step of the stoop and rested her head against the banister. It was nice and cold out and the assassin let her eyes shut as she rested there.

She’d won last month, hadn’t she? Bella was pretty sure that she had faced quelled a coup and slaughtered her would be usurper. She’d done so without losing anyone she had brought to the party. John, Kaine, Betsy, Auri, even Remy had all walked away from Louisiana with all their limbs and significant parts in tact. So then why did everything from that moment since, with little exception, truly and wholy suck. Bella was the victor.

So why did she feel like she was losing everything?

Bella had already lost track of Remy again, but that was an old hurt that was long accepted. Her wayward husband would always be an open wound that was sprinkled with salt if/when he deigned to show up in her life. Then there was the girl at Midnight Special who had changed Bella’s life forever in one fell swoop. Just like that Auri and John both were suddenly gone. At least, gone as she had known them. Instead of a man she thought she might be able to call a friend, Bella suddenly had a ward, a young assassin with a chance to do it all over again.

This time Bella was going to encourage the deadly little thing to do it right. He wanted to train and oh, Bella would make sure Auri was one of the best, but he was going to have more than that. He was going to have a life. She and Betsy alike had agreed on that much. Auri might be one of their people, but he was going to be a kid, too. He was going to go to school, he was going to be around other people his age, other mutants... Suddenly she had a kid to take care of and worry over and spoil. Suddenly she had another chink in the armor... What if someone used the kid against her? It wasn’t unheard of. Children were leverage in their line of work and Auri would barely know better.

It weighed on her. Being responsible for another person weighed on her.

And then there was the boy who didn’t remember her at all. John Radigan had been spun back in his own timeline to a time before he came to New York, before he was a cop, hell before he was even old enough to vote. Very suddenly the man she’d been sleeping with not only didn’t know her but was underage and Bella was feeling decidedly uncomfortable about the whole thing. Her course of action was to simply steer clear but while John didn’t have memories of their time together...

She did.

Bella remembered everything and, just like Remy, one stupid decision banished John from her life. One minute he was there and everything was fine and the next... She was just alone again. Betsy was there, sure, but there was only so much weakness Bella was willing to show the other woman. And Kaine had stayed stalwartly by her side when she let him but she was supposed to be his employer. A queen. She was supposed to be stronger than this and being a pathetic mess in front of him sat about as well with Bella as the thought of sending him away. She wasn’t going to do either of those things.

So she’d taken a week off to break some things and get it out of her system, to avoid Valentine’s Day when the guy she thought she’d share it with was suddenly too young to even legally purchase a rifle, and to try and screw her head back on straight out of sight of the last man standing that she actually trusted.

Instead she sat on her front porch and sobbed into her broken, bloody hands.

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Beast
 Posted: Jan 7 2018, 04:53 PM
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Despite his precautions, John Radigan did not have all of the information he had saved on his phone.

While treating the deaged individuals, Beast had backtracked where the phone had been at for long periods, and had found s location where it had been at for a considerable period of time. Hank had not informed the now adolescent detective, as there was no indication what this place was.

So he had elected to look into it himself.

He had slipped on his uniform before heading out, driving into New York and parking at his place in the city. It didn't take long with his superhuman reflexes, and speed, mainly as he could easily evade other traffic with reflexes that exceeded even a professional NASCAR driver. While he might not have often stayed in his apartment lately, he still insisted on keeping it.

Slipping on his goggles, he propelled himself up, pants only reaching three quarters down the calve and his top only reaching halfway down his forearm. His blue fur and skin stood out against the dark black, with an X comm at the belt and pouches criss crossing him in an X over the chest, and a belt with various gear as well. The goggles were simply prescription to correct his vision.

Running on all fours across the top of the parking garage, he bounded to the next roof, simian arm throwing him forward and pivoting hims around to aim at the next building. Strong fingers and toes dug in the small cracks and creases in between the bricks and concrete, letting McCoy get a firm grasp before hurling himself into the void and somersaulting across the next roof.

Across he went, cutting time and distance as he tumbled and made his way across New York at a speed better than a cab could normally get, rolling across town at a speed of roughly 40 miles per hour. It wasn't his fastest, but that was due to having to navigate the roofs and streets, traveling over and around at times instead of having a clear straight shot.

Yet as he got closer, he also slowed down. Looking around the roof, he wasn't sure if he was going to get any information from this location.

So he decided to drop down and see if he could find any clues.

Letting his claws and feet lightly slow him down as he slid down the front of the building, he lightly kicked off to flip end over end three times as he approached the bottom. Landing with a softness that belied his mass and size, Beast frowned at the door which gave no clue as to the occupants.

Though the appearance of Ms. Bella Boudreaux did raise a few questions.

As did the obviously broken hands.

Pulling out the phone and a small tablet, he compared the location to what he had pulled up and got a match. Looking at Bella, Beast frowned as he saw that the woman was not in a good condition and said "My sincerest condolences for my interruption." Slipping the items in some pouches on his gear belts, Beast then glanced at the hands and said "I am unsure if you recall, but I am the physician at the school Auri is at currently. If you want, I am more than willing to set and bandage those hands for you."
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Bella Boudreaux
 Posted: Jan 14 2018, 03:35 PM
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Bella’s survival depended entirely upon her being aware of her surroundings. And if another person, a regular person, had been about to drop down behind her like some sort fluffy, blue monster Bella would have picked up on it and dropped three knives in the body before it had hit the ground. As it was Beast had a bit of an edge, his speed and ability to move his bulk quietly allowing him to land without Bella so much as pausing her very unqueenly pity party.

"My sincerest condolences for my interruption."

Up in an instant, Bella stowed her shit relatively quickly- Potential threats taking priority over feelings she wasn’t supposed to have in the first place. She cut off mid sob to weakly brandish the knife in her belt, angry at having been caught in a vulnerable state. Her grip on the hilt was awkward and painful, but secure as she leveled the small blade at Beast, blinked and then lowered it. “I’m gonna need a bigger knife,” she muttered. “You’re a long way from home, doctor.”

Now that she realized she wasn’t under attack, Bella took a moment to scrub any proof of tears off her face. Her shoulders squared up and her expression turned in a moment. Just her eyes themselves, red and puffy, gave away the fact that she’d been nearly hysterical a moment ago. Other than the fact he’d caught her...

“I know who you are. But why are you here. Is this about my spider? Is Kaine ok?” Her enforcer was the only one left and if his suit was going to fail, or he was going to start melting all of a sudden, Bella wasn’t entirely sure if she could handle it. Maybe she should have let Corday take the metaphorical throne. Her blue gaze dropped to her hands and Bella grimaced. “Why don’t you come in, doctor. You can look at my hands and perhaps tell me how you found my home when no one is supposed to know where I live.”

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Beast
 Posted: Jan 15 2018, 01:32 AM
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Most who didn't know better might not fear @[Bella Boudreax]. But Hank McCoy knew that she was the head of the United Assassins and Thieves Guild. In a lot of ways, he tended to find both organizations repugnant at an ethical level, thought less so then the option of not having them. He had encountered members of both Guilds in his adventures, and they tended to be exceptionally dangerous human beings, with some also being mutants.

But despite knowing exactly what Bella was and having a good idea of the extremes she had been forced to engage in to get to her position, McCoy didn't have fear in talking to her.

Mainly because at this close of range, her firearms were limited to handguns. Which tended to bounce off of him and sting due to the level of superhumanly dense muscle and tissue on him.

And well.... he hoped the young lady was not desperate enough to start a knife fight with crippled hands. Beast would freely admit that she likely was a better trained hand to hand fighter, but he wasn't shabby. And there were few martial artists who could anticipate a bouncing blue ball of muscle, bone, and claws.

Though if this was a perilous situation, Beast much preferred escape and evasion as fisticuffs gave no answers to the enigmas he sought answers for. Plus at the end of the day, he knew he was formidable, but preferred non lethal means of conflict resolution.

For despite some of his more bestial impulses, he remained a man as opposed to a creature.

Glancing at the knife and recognizing the move as an instinctual one, much like Logan baring his claws when the typical reality TV show which bore as much resemblance to reality as the Wolverine or himself did to manscaping, McCoy politely waited for it to be sheathed. Though he did smile at the mention of her needed a larger blade. "Personally prefer a scalpel should a knife be needed in my lines of work," Beast admitted. "I have never really cared to carry one outside of camping." Granted, some of that could have been that his current animistic form came with built in claws which would work in a pinch, but he suspected the emphasis on 'physician' and 'scientist' as opposed to 'occasional superhero' might be better.

Reaching in one of his belt pouches and taking a few tissues out, a large blue hand handed them over as he politely said "Horrific out of season allergies this year. It almost makes me dread the coming spring." Hank knew that he had been the one to inadvertently intrude. Manufacturing a face saving way for the lethal woman to compose herself was a simple enough matter to help foster goodwill.

He was unsure the depths of the relationships Bella had with either Kaine or Auri, but both were in situations that could induce sympathy from even the hardest of hearts. Shaking his head in the negative, McCoy said "Kaine is a case where there is improvement, thought it is more incremental than exponential, despite my desire to find some sort of silver bullet." Though at the mention of it being her house, Beast looked at her in confusion, glancing back at the items he had. Flipping through numbers, he saw Trevor's and Merry's. Liv's as well. And several with Texas area codes under the headings of 'Daniel', 'Amy', 'Dad', 'Mom', and 'Rachel'. So it was obviously the formerly elder Radigan's phone.

"Well then... this is curious," McCoy mused to both him and to Bella. Looking up and considering the woman he was talking to, Beast slowly said "Treating your hands might be for the best. Because there is something odd here, and being able to cite patient-doctor privilege might be a prudent option." Frowning at the hands, McCoy considered the odds he might have to set them, and knew that was no picnic for anyone involved.

The possibility of pain being involved was not something he looked forward to, even if he was not fond of the profession of assassin. For regardless of what job someone had, he was still a doctor. And his first goal was always to heal first and foremost.

Even if it was the hands of one who used them for death instead of life. For Hank knew the course of his life, knew where he stood. And he knew people were capable of change. All he could do was offer chances to change by giving common human decency.
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