Frank runs into Karen years later. She's married and pregnant/has a child.
Frank never liked going into the city during the day, it was always so busy, so crowded with people that slowed him down. But it had been weeks since he stepped out for supplies, and since he was back in Hell’s Kitchen for the first time in years, he was curious what had changed.
With his worn-out baseball cap pulled over his head and his hands deep in his pockets, Frank began walking around the street stalls. There were places he noticed hadn’t changed at all, and he was beginning to think he never left this city. Until he laid his eyes upon someone who reminded him over every single day he spent away from this place.
“Oh sorry,” the woman apologised, stepping back and bumping into Frank.
“No problem ma’am,” he returned, noticing the woman was heavily pregnant.
As soon as the words left his mouth, the woman stilled. Her blonde hair was covering her face as Frank watched her turn, his eyes growing wide at the realisation of who he had come across.
Karen Page stared back at him, wondering to herself if she was really seeing the man she thought he was. He had a scruffy beard now, but everything else about him was the same. The black clothes, the military-like jacket, even the bruises and gashes hadn’t changed.
“Frank?” she whispered.
Frank’s lips almost pulled up into a smile at the sound of his name on her lips.
“Long time ma’am,” he nodded, looking down at her large baby bump. “Long time,”
Karen followed his gaze to her stomach, running a hand over her tight-fitting shirt. It was then. that Frank noticed the ring on Karen’s finger.
“I…I thought you were…” she trailed off, unable to speak her thoughts.
“Came close a few times, but I’m still kicking,”
“What are you doing here?” she asked. “Hell’s Kitchen never stopped looking for you,”
“I know, I kept my distance,” he explained. “Got a bit is business here, thought I’d take in the sights,”
Karen chuckled, immediately reminded of why she missed him so much when he left.
“You’re married?” he asked, unable to stop himself.
Looking down at her ring, Karen had a small smile on her lips. A smile that Frank saw perfectly.
“Yeah, I am,” she nodded.
“Good guy, huh?”
“Very good guy,” she grinned again.
“Good,” Frank nodded. “You deserve the best guy out there. And uh…I’m assuming that ain’t from a big lunch?”
Karen watched him point toward her stomach, chuckling lightly at his words. She missed so much about him.
“Due next month,” she explained. “It’s a girl,”
Frank could picture a tiny version of Karen. Blonde locks, a huge temper and stubborn as all hell.
“Well if she’s anything like you ma’am, I gotta wish you some luck with that,” he laughed.
Karen grinned back at him, appreciating everything about him in that moment. Frank Castle would always be a mystery to her. Seeing him right now, Karen knew that it would be the last time for another long while.
But he was here, he was alive, and he was okay. As okay as Frank Castle could be.
“All this time, it’s killed me not knowing if you were…if you were alive,” she admit.
“It’s better if you pretend I’m not,” he advised.
“Frank…” she began, unable to put any of her thoughts into words. It was too much.
“I kept reading your pieces,” he added, changing the subject. “Knew you wouldn’t stop getting your ass into trouble,”
“Maybe I’ll slow down now,” she shrugged.
“I don’t think you’ll ever slow down ma’am,”
Karen smiled back at him, knowing that this was going to end very soon. They couldn’t stand here all day and talk, and Frank would never endanger her by meeting anywhere else. Not when this city would always be hunting him.
So before Frank could escape again, before she lost him once more, Karen stepped forward and hugged him close.
Frank could feet her large stomach pressing against his own and it took a few moments for him to react, but once he had his arms wrapped around her too, he finally felt some peace.
Being back in Karen’s arms, smelling her shampoo, feeling her warmth. It took him right back to the way they used to be.
“I’ll always miss you,” Karen whispered.
“Me too ma’am,”