Dead to Me

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    yibo. (100)

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    |Frank Castle|

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    |Karen Page|
    March 25th, 2016 at 06:55pm
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    She'd told him he was dead to her. If that was true, why was he constantly on her mind? It didn't matter where she was, what she was doing, or who she was with, Frank Castle was constantly on Karen's mind. She didn't want that lingering moment when they locked eyes while he was on the roof of that building to be the last time she saw him. She needed to find him, and she'd been trying so hard to, but so far any leads she'd had seemed to run cold real fast. She knew that he'd be laying low, he was on the run after all, but she hadn't expected it to take this long or for it to be this difficult. She was determined, and once she set her mind to something, she didn't give up on it very easily. She wasn't going to give up on him either.
    March 25th, 2016 at 10:34pm
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    One important aspect of lying low was knowing who was looking for you. It made it clear who you needed to avoid, or who you needed to find before they found you. Hell's Kitchen was no longer giving him answers. Too many people were expecting him to come for them and everyone had gone underground. Frank followed them. He needed to get off the grid and pull them out from the dregs of it all if he wanted answers. The police were looking for him, knowing now that he was still alive. There was a death penalty looming over him, for the supposed murder of the DA. They still hadn't figured it out, and it was easier to just blame him for it. It wasn't hard to find out that Karen was looking for him again, and Frank had to consider it stupid of her. She meant well, but it was only going to put her in more danger.

    Breaking into her apartment wasn't hard. She lived in an apartment block where very few people asked questions. No one even spotted him picking the lock and walking in. Normally, he'd have just forced the lock and broken in. He had more respect for Karen. It was empty when he arrived. She'd still be at work. He gently pushed the door closed behind him, looking around the tiny space. The first thing he noticed were the bullets holes in the wall; the landlord still hadn't gotten round to fix it. Frank took a step forward, running his fingers over the damage. Why Karen was willing to put herself at risk of this again was beyond him.
    March 25th, 2016 at 10:50pm
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    The thought that Frank might come looking for her hadn't crossed Karen's mind once. She hadn't told anyone that she was looking for him. She knew that if anyone found out, no matter who it was, she'd likely be told to give up on it. That it was safer for her to let go of it and move on. She knew that it was dangerous though, she knew that the police were still looking for him, and they likely weren't the only ones who were either. None of it had deterred her though. Really, the only thing that even somewhat had was the frustration over not finding him. She wasn't giving up though. She wouldn't.

    She'd picked up takeout from the Thai place around the corner on her way home from work. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary until she got up to her apartment. The door was shut, but when she went to unlock it, she noticed that it was already unlocked, and she was 100% positive that she'd locked it before leaving earlier that day. Someone was inside her apartment. Reaching into her purse, she gripped the .380 she carried around now tightly before opening the door.
    March 25th, 2016 at 11:23pm
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    Frank could remember clearly the night that he had forced Karen onto the floor, and shielded her with his own body. She had been trembling underneath him. It was a memory that stuck out in his mind because he felt partially responsible. Someone came after Karen because of him. They knew if they took her out, he would be blamed for it. He would have to carry the weight of Karen's death. He already had enough blood on his hands. He didn't need hers. It's why he needed her to stop looking for him. She was getting herself into deeper shit than she could imagine, and Frank wasn't sure she would be prepared to deal with it. Karen was strong, he knew that. But this was an entirely different level.

    He skimmed his fingers across the cheap wallpaper, his finger dipping into one of the bullet holes. Some of the wall plaster crumbled around his finger, leaving a dust residue on his skin. Whoever had done this wasn't messing around. They wanted her dead, and they wanted to make sure it was done properly. He paused as he heard the door open behind him, hand dropping away from the wall. The last time he was in Karen's apartment, she pointed a gun at him. He didn't doubt this time would be any different.
    March 25th, 2016 at 11:40pm
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    Karen's heart was beating so fast, she was surprised that it hadn't beat right on out of her chest. Someone was inside her apartment. It was hard for her not to let her mind wander and think of the worst scenarios imaginable. She had a gun, she could defend herself, but would whoever was waiting for inside expect that? Would they be prepared to take her on?

    Once she was inside the apartment, she shut the door behind her and drew the gun out of her purse completely as she switched on the light. "Jesus!" The last person she'd expected to see was Frank, and to say she'd been startled, despite knowing someone was inside her apartment, was an understatement.
    March 26th, 2016 at 12:49am
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    An odd sense of relief came to Frank when he realised Karen was still carrying her gun. At least she would be prepared if anyone else turned up looking for her. Letting out a small sigh, Frank raised his hands, showing her that he wasn't holding a weapon. It's what she had asked of him last time, and he wasn't surprised she was startled by his appearance. He had just broken into her apartment.

    "Nice to see you too, Karen." He muttered, turning to face her completely. He wasn't there to joke around or catch up with her. He just needed to know why she was looking for him and to tell her why she needed to stop. She was back to normality as far as he could tell, with her takeaway box and lack of police officers stood outside her door. She needed to stay normal and keep her head down.
    March 26th, 2016 at 01:22am
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    His face wasn't as bruised as it had been last time she saw him. In fact, the bruises that had once been there seemed to have cleared up, but there also appeared to be a few new ones as well as a couple of small cuts. Karen was certain that wasn't the extent of the injuries he'd received since she last saw him though, and they likely hadn't been the worst of them either.

    She shook her head in response to his words and shoved the .380 back into her purse before setting it down along with the bag of takeout. "What are you doing here, Frank?" She asked as she started pulling out the takeout containers. It was clear that she was attempting to busy herself while she wrapped her head around the fact that he'd broken into her apartment. He was the last person she expected to find when she walked in.
    March 26th, 2016 at 12:19pm
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    Frank had been in a fair few fights since he last saw Karen. The difference was no one was able to lay a hand on him. Fisk had given him a good fight in hospital, and caused the majority of his injuries. It drove him on further, determined that no one else was going to get to him like that again. He was patching himself up as he went along.

    He watched her carefully as she put away her gun, slowly lowering his arms when she stopped pointing the firearm at him. He didn't blame her for being defensive, but she was one of the people he'd never hurt. Not when she'd done so much for him already.

    "I'm wonderin' what you're doin' lookin' for a dead man," He stated simply, eyes sternly fixed on her.
    March 27th, 2016 at 12:50am
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    Karen shouldn't have been surprised that he knew that she'd been looking for him. For some reason though, his words took her by surprise. It made sense though. He'd shown up to her apartment to find out why she was looking for him in the first place. She knew that he'd probably think that she was stupid for looking for him and that it was dangerous, but she knew that. She knew what she was risking, and she didn't care.

    Despite everything that he'd done, and despite what she'd said to him about him being dead to her, she still saw something good in him and she cared. She cared enough to look for him, despite what she was risking, even after everything that had happened.

    "I have my reasons." She said simply. "It's been a while..."
    March 27th, 2016 at 04:53am
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    It was exasperating to Frank that Karen was still looking for him. She had a chance to start over and move on from everything that happened following the case, but she just wasn't doing it. He thought, after their conversation in the diner, she would take his advice and fix things with the guy she cared about. Maybe settle down, get some normality in her life. She didn't need to be running around after him.

    "No you don't," He replied sharply. Karen had made it pretty clear that Frank was dead to her. They had nothing to do with each anymore Whatever overlap they had in each other's lives no longer existed.
    March 27th, 2016 at 06:17pm
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    Karen flinched slightly at the sharpness of his words. She knew that she'd made it pretty damn clear that he was dead to her. She was sure that it made no sense at all for her to be looking for him after she'd said that, but it didn't matter what she did, she couldn't seem to get him off her mind. After everything that had happened, one would think that she'd seek out some semblance of normality. The truth was, she had her own shit she was still dealing with and trying to sort out, and maybe that should have been what she focused on, but it wasn't. Frank was.

    Part of her figured that if she found him that might stop. That was the reason she was trying to sell to herself as an explanation for her actions. She knew that it was complete bullshit though. There was so much more to it than that, though she was almost certain that she didn't know the reason fully herself.

    "And why can't I, Frank?" She asked.
    March 28th, 2016 at 12:11am
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    "You forgettin' what happened last time?" Frank ran his tongue along the inside of his lip, his arms crossing over his chest.

    Someone wanted Frank dead. There was no denying it. He knew it meant he was heading in the right direction. He was digging deeper and deeper, and it was starting to get to someone. They were starting to get twitchy. It was no longer a matter of 'if' Frank was going to find them. It was when. They were starting to panic, and they wanted to take Frank out before he found them. They were going to take out everyone around him to. He'd never forgive himself if they got to Karen.

    It bothered him. It bothered him that he cared so much.

    "You almost got killed."
    March 28th, 2016 at 01:00am
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    How could she possibly forget what had happened last time? It simply wasn't something that Karen was certain anyone could forget very easily. Maybe there were a few that could, with the aid of alcohol, but she was not one of those people by any means. That wasn't going to stop her from looking for him. Neither had her lack in success. If he hadn't broken into her apartment, she probably would have continued looking anyway.

    "I'm completely aware of what happened last time." She said matter-of-factly as she busied herself a bit by taking the takeout containers out of the bag.
    March 28th, 2016 at 01:46am
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    It stunned Frank how Karen could be so casual about it all. Through the years, Frank had lost touch with worrying about things. He no longer cared about when someone was going to punch his ticket or the people he hurt. The last thing he expected was to see Karen going through the same transformation. He knew she wasn't a defenseless damsel in distress, but he didn't want her heading down the same path he did.

    "So you know, and you don't care. That it?" He watched her unpack the takeout containers, taken aback by how casually she was approaching all of this.
    March 28th, 2016 at 02:16am
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    "I never said that I didn't care." Karen said. She knew that she was being rather nonchalant about all of this, but she did care about nearly being killed last time she'd gotten mixed up in everything going on with Frank Castle. How could she possibly have forgotten what had happened last time? There was a difference between not caring and not letting it bother her too much, and she was doing the latter of the two options.

    "It wasn't the first time my life was put in jeopardy."
    March 29th, 2016 at 01:22am
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    "It ain't your first rodeo, I know."

    Maybe Frank was getting too jumpy about it all. Karen could take care of herself. She'd made it this far, and still had the balls to start looking for him. It made him question why he was bothered that she was looking for him, and why he was stood in her apartment. The bullet holes served as a stark reminder of the danger he'd put her in, but he couldn't bring himself to leave. Maybe he just didn't want to be put through this; the confusion of what she wanted from him.

    "Am I dead to you, or not?" He asked quickly, his voice still rough but slightly softer than it had been before. "I'm not gonna stand here and preach to you. Not if you still think I'm a monster."

    Karen was the only person who saw good in him. The only one who helped him remember. He didn't see why he should waste his breath trying to keep her safe if all of that meant nothing to her now.
    March 29th, 2016 at 02:15am
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    There it was. The million dollar question. Was it bad that Karen didn't fully know how to answer it? It should have been a simple enough question to answer. She could easily answer with 'yes' or 'no', but there was just something about it that wasn't nearly as simple as one might think it to be. Why couldn't she just answer him? She'd been looking for him for a reason, but she didn't fully know what that reason was. Her thoughts had been a jumbled mess when it came to Frank Castle lately. She'd seen more than one side of him since they first met, and all of those instances sort of fueled her confusion. She didn't entirely know what she thought of him or if he was dead to her. If he was though, would she have been looking for him at all?

    "I don't think you're a monster, Frank..."
    March 30th, 2016 at 12:09am
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    Frank felt his fingers twitch at Karen's answer. It wasn't an aggressive twitch, it was just something that happened when he was worked up. He'd been through a lot since he left Hell's Kitchen, but what seemed to hit him the most was the fact he no longer had Karen. He didn't 'have' her in the first place, but she was the only one who believed in him during the trial. She'd tried hard to remind him of who he was before everything happened, but there was just something he had to do... Even she couldn't stop him. It hit hard to know she was no longer there for him.

    "Then why're you lookin' for me?"
    March 31st, 2016 at 11:34pm
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    "Why am I looking for you if I don't think you're a monster?"

    During the trial, Karen was one of the few people who really saw good in him. She'd never just seen him as a mass-murdered or a monster. Truthfully, she didn't entirely know who she saw him as. One minute she was telling him he was dead to her, and the next she was search for clues in all five boroughs so that she could find him. She understood how confusing it probably all was for him, she was kind of still confusing herself too.

    "I never should have said what I did to you...about you being dead to me..."
    April 2nd, 2016 at 04:00pm