So a little birdie told me if I had an itch to scratch (a kastle prompt) you were the person to go to? So here's my shot in the dark. Karen & Frank are caught by some gangster or something and the bad guy is smart hurting Karen to get info outta frank (info frank actually doesn't have)
I’m sorry for the delay, anon! I do have something - I dug up something old and finished it just for you :) It’s more working with the prompt, rather than the direct scene itself - but I hope you still like it!
Frank finds Karen trussed up in the back of a van in Queens.
He doesn’t really remember much about how. There is skin crammed under his fingernails and blood slopped down his front. He is panting, braced somehow against the bumper with a knife in his hand but all he can see, all he remembers, is the expression on her pale, dirty face when he’d pulled open the door.
He hauls himself into the back. His left leg threatens to crumple beneath him, trembling and wobbly and weak as shit but he makes it in and he kneels himself before her, taking the knife to the zip ties.
He tries to go carefully, slow. He doesn’t know what they’ve done to her. He knows it only been a few hours, he knows that they’re dead; he knows that he slaughtered them but he doesn’t know what they’ve done and that thought lodges itself in that thick skull of his, and it scares him more than anything.
He tries to cut the zip ties, but his hands, they just won’t stop shaking.
She’s pushed herself up to meet him. She moves, presses against the knife, and she’s saying something, saying his name, he thinks – but then the ties around her ankles give and he has an armful of warm, alive, Karen Page.
It’s jarring, the sudden, intimate touch. Her head tucks beneath his chin, her arms like steel bands around his chest. He breathes her in, the smell of her shampoo and the dirt and the sweat and when he absorbs that through the haze of his heartbeat and the fear he drops the knife and holds her against him, tight.
“Frank,” he hears her saying, finally, through the storm in his head. “Frank. Frank.”
“You’re okay,” he mumbles, his hands following a pattern down her back. It’s automatic, familiar. He feels her shake in his arms, although whether she’s crying or laughing, he can’t really tell.
Eventually, after a second or a lifetime, she pulls away and tugs him from the van. They half-fall out of it and further into the alley, away from the bodies, her legs wobbly from restricted circulation. As he steadies her he can see the welts left around her wrists, the bruise just visible beneath the sleeve of her blouse. He seems to get stuck again on that, a moment.
There is a rushing sound in his ears. It’s blood, he thinks; it’s familiar, it’s his state of calm, the one that’s carried him through his wars and he needs it now, because this isn’t done, it isn’t close to fucking finished.
She’s asking him another question.
“…are you ok? Are you hurt?”
He looks back at her. She’s moved closer. She’s waiting for a response, he remembers.
“Uh, yeah. Yeah,” he manages, after a moment. “I’m fine. You, how are you? Did they-?”
“I can handle it.”
He finds himself laughing. She could, yeah, she had a way of dealing with shit even when it scared the hell out of her, when she should be running the other way. He’s fished her out of a van and the evidence of what he’s had to do is all around them and she’s still looking at him, trying to get a hold of his gaze.
She panting, still, and there’s blood blotched on her blouse - from him, he realises, and he’s got blood on her face too. She’s pale and trembling. Christ, she’s still here.
The itch is still there too. It’s growing stronger: it’s not finished, Frank. This is not finished.
He hears a groan from back towards the van. He’d left one of them alive; he’d forgotten that.
“Down the street,” he croaks, forcing the air through his throat. It feels like he hasn’t spoken in a week. She frowns at the non-sequitur, still trying to catch his eye, to read him, but he looks away. He nods down the street. She needs to get out of here. “Red truck, scratch down the left side. Lie low with a friend a while, alright?”
He swipes at his nose, fishing his keys from his pocket, and she doesn’t move.
“Without you?” she laughs, but it’s forced, hoarse, and her mouth tightens after it. “Frank,” she tries again. “It’s over. It’s-”
He cuts through her tumble of words. “Not over. I need – information. I’m going to get it.”
Her eyes flick back towards the van almost unwillingly, and her expression changes, a cycle of emotions that pass too fast to read. “Then I’ll stay until you get it. We’ll bring one of them with us. We’ll go through it together, but Frank-”
I don’t want to lose you again, she doesn’t say, but he hears it anyway.
He shakes his head, running a hand through his hair. He starts to get it; she needs him now, needs him to be present, but he, he’s got to see this through, he needs to see it through.
“What do you think is going to happen here,” he states, and it’s not a question. She understands what he means. Of course she does. She hardly flinches, though, and he’s not sure if that’s new or not, or if that’s something that’s broken in her, that he helped take apart, all of those months ago in the woods.
“Frank.” She says his name again. Without the excuses, the attempted reasoning: simple, honest emotion. “Please.”
He remembers the last time. His little girl, she asked him, she fastened herself to his hand and pulled him towards her room and she didn’t care that she wasn’t twelve anymore, she waved that book in his face and she begged him to come with her.
Regrets and almosts. He almost did it. Lisa almost made it. Karen Page almost didn’t.
He stares at Karen, dumbly, and his words fail him.
“You need to go.” He manages, eventually. He’s repeating himself. He doesn’t know what else to say.
She looks at him another long moment. There’s that multitude of emotion crossing her features – too many for him to read, but maybe something in his voice gets to her because she takes the keys from him with shaking fingers, and then she leaves.
He looks at his hands. He clenches them, watching the way the knuckles stretch the skin, before he fetches the knife and strides back to the alley mouth. He glances back down the street when he reaches it, checking, but Karen is gone from sight already. Good. That’s, good.
Another groan, weaker now. The survivor, half-slumped over the bumper with his hands pressed over his ribs and when Frank turns towards it the groan becomes that little more strained, that little more panicked. Good - he steps forward, he takes it slow, each step calm and precise. The survivor tries to scramble away. It’s one of the ones that had been in the back with her, that had got the knife and not the bullet. Frank feels that chill sink back into place.
The piece of shit was not going to last long. The man’s breathing is already a bit wet; he must’ve nicked his lung earlier, but they didn’t need much time, did they?
Frank’s at the van now and the man slip-slides onto the floor, squeaking as he lands – he has cracked ribs as well, Frank could use that. The man tries to pull a knife and he kicks it away and stomps on his sternum, feeling good when he hears the scream.
He presses his knee into the man’s chest and bends down, close enough to see the whites of his eyes reflected in the knife.
No, he doesn’t need much time at all.