Cameras and lights flickered on, revealing a large audience filled with a wide variety of people, from all walks of life. He was sitting at a desk, with a cup of steaming hot coffee to his right, while a large sofa was on the other side of the desk, angled so that whoever was sitting on it would be facing the audience. He cast his eyes to the side as a smile grew on his face. Behind the curtain he could see the director giving him the thumbs-up signal, which told Mark it was okay to begin.
"Well Folks," Mark Goldman said as he crossed his fingers over themselves. "Welcome to another segment of 'The Early Morning Show'," he continued in a warm tone as he took a sip of coffee. An applause followed, coming from both the audience and the speakers, which where supposed to encourage people to clap, in case they where less-than responsive.
"This morning we've got a rather special guest booked," Mark smirked as he set down the cup. "I'm sure all you New Yorkers are familiar with him. After all," the talk-show host chuckled, "It seems as though he's fairly news-worthy. I can't remember the last time I picked up a copy of the Daily Bugle and didn't see a picture of him on the front page. Until they stopped publishing and moved to an all-internet based company," the suited daytime star finished as he straightened his back. He could feel the anticipation building in the audience, and he swallowed hard. This was a big risk for the show, in Mark's opinion. It could either make them famous, or put them out of business. "Ladies and Gentlemen," Mark said proudly as he got to his feet, "Spider-man!" On cue, the arachnid hero back-flipped onto the stage, wearing metallic armour that resembled something that Iron Man wore.
In fact, Mark was sure that Iron Man was the one who supplied him with the armour. But he was able to put aside his personal opinions as he shook the hero's armoured hand. Applause echoed out from the audience as the two men sat back down. Mark sat behind his desk, while Spider-man sat on the couch, which buckled slightly under the armour's weight. Fortunately, it didn't break.
"So," Mark smirked lightly, "This has been quite an...eventful year for you, hasn't it?"
"I guess you could say that," Spider-man replied with a nod. "But I'd really rather not talk about the Island," the hero finished with a nod in Mark's direction. Almost as if he was warning him to not overstep any line. Which Mark could definitely understand. Boundaries where boundaries.
"I think there's been enough coverage of that in the last few weeks," Mark replied as he shifted his shoulders. "Don't you? Besides, I think there are a few other questions the good people in the audience want," he smiled warmly with a slight chuckle. "I think people want to know about the new suit," he finished.
"This?" Spider-man replied as he outstretched his arm, showing of the sleek metal for all to see. Mark could see the cameras begin to focus in on him, for the people at home to admire. "A gift from the Avengers."
"From Tony Stark, you mean," Mark replied, not missing a beat. "The man who's always looking to forward his own business by supplying other superheroes."
"From him," Spider-man answered with an inclination of his head. "I think he was trying to re-build some burnt bridges between the two of us."
"Between you and the Avengers?" Mark asked intently, careful to not sound aggressive. "I mean, we all saw the news a few months ago at that factory. And the subsequent explosion. You don't have to answer, of course." The audience remained silent, waiting for the arachnid hero to answer.
"There were a lot of bridges to build," Spider-man replied firmly as he leaned forward. "On both sides. And there still are some to be fixed. Especially between me and the people of New York," he finished with a slight wave, which several people in the audience returned. The first of them being a smiling blonde woman sitting in the front row, who Mark guessed had a special connection to the superhero.
"Now, why don't we talk about something more...pleasant," Mark smiled as he glanced to the notes that he had lying on his desk. On them where a series of questions that he wanted to ask, and some that had been submitted by viewers through their website. "What was wrong with your old outfit?"
"Well," Spider-man replied as his armoured fingers crossed over on themselves. "I got a new one. This one. And I think it's a bit better, don't you think?"
"How is it better?" Mark asked with raised eyebrows. "You'd think that steel plating is overkill for someone who normally patrols the streets?"
"Well," Spider-man said with a slight chuckle. "Unlike The Thing and Luke Cage, I'm not bulletproof. And agility only goes so far," he continued as he shook his head. "So this helps a lot. Plus being able to fly at Mach-1 is a bonus. So is the tactical mapping of an environment. And the oxygen filters. And I don't think my girlfriend minds the fact that I don't come home with bullet holes every night."
"Oh!" Mark exclaimed as he straightened his back, and several members of the audience gasped. "So there's a Mrs Spider-Man out there?" the seasoned talk show host asked as he took another sip of coffee. "A Miss-Spider, if you would?"
"Well I'm not married," Spider-man chuckled as he bowed his head. "And no, I'm not seeing Spider-woman. I think she'd kill me. Unless my girlfriend killed me first," he chuckled as the audience laughed at his weak joke.
"Well could you tell us a little more about this special lady?" Mark asked as he leaned forward, and checked his watch. He was aware that the audience, as well as the cameras where loving what was being said. But he also knew that there where three minutes left until commercial break. "Can you give us a name? Even if it's just a first?" Something like that would be news gold, because tabloids would pay big money for that kind of story. "And is it someone we all know?"
"Well..." Spider-man said as he looked down at the front row, towards the same woman who had waved at him. She seemed to nod, and he raised his head back up. "I'm sure you're all familiar with the name Captain Marvel." Now that was something that Mark hadn't expected, and neither had the audience.
"Well that went well," Carol said as she tapped his shoulder. The two of them where standing on a rooftop in the middle of the day, in full costume. "I hate to think what you might have done if I hand't been there to tell you what to do."
"Well it would have been like any other night when I'm alone," Peter shot back as he lifted up his faceplate. "I'd have had to get myself off and going. Without someone else' help," Peter smirked as he gave her a playful push back.
"What's this?" Carol teased as she brushed the back of her hand against his cheek. "Do you usually have to get yourself off?"
"Well not last night," Peter smiled as the two of them leaned in for a kiss. As soon as their lips met, their respective pagers went off, telling them that they were being called by someone at Avengers tower. "'Sup?" Peter asked as he activated the video screen calling feature. On the other end, she could see Captain America, Steve Rogers, sitting at a table.
"I see you're still very camera-friendly," Steve smirked as he tilted the screen.
"You watch the Goldman show?" Peter replied with a twinge of a smirk.
"Well with the termination of the Daily Bugle Newspaper," Steve said as he folded his fingers. "Talk shows are all I've got. But anyway," the first avenger continued as his head bowed slightly. "Is Danvers with you? She-"
"Here," Carol piped up as she pushed her head in front of Peter's. "Something wrong?"
"Sort of," Steve sighed. "Remember a few weeks ago, when that restaurant you two where in was robbed?" The first Avenger continued as Carol nodded, remembering how Peter had ended up being shot in the process of protecting an innocent child.
"My shoulder does," Peter quipped, causing Carol to chuckle.
"Well a similar group just held up a bank on lower Broadway Ave," the Captain said, "I was hoping you two could investigate. It might be good to have someone seen on the ground. Can we count on you?" The pair of them shared a brief glance at one another before they replied with simultaneous nods. Peter put the small card away before closing his faceplate.
"Race you?" He quipped before blasting into the air. She cursed under her breath as she took off after him. While Carol was fully aware that she could outstrip him in open air, but not while ducking around corners. He held the advantage there, because of the amount of time he spent patrolling the streets. So she resorted to following him closely, staying less than a hundred metres behind him. It didn't take long for the pair of them to reach their intended destination. Already, she could see the police lights flashing, along with two ambulances. Two cops approached them as they landed in almost perfect synchronization.
"Six gunmen held the place up," one of the officers said. "They where dressed as Daredevil, Moon Knight, Spider-Woman, Iron Man, Captain America, and yourself from a few years ago, Captain," the man continued as they approached the bank. "They got away though, they had a hostage," the officer gulped, "and they had some heavy firepower. Military-grade stuff."
"Any injuries?" Peter asked as he stepped into the bank.
"A guard was knocked unconscious," the second officer replied as he pulled out his notebook. "But he's going to be fine."
"Anything else?" Carol asked the man. "Did the people pick up anything?"
"Yeah," the officer said as he scratched something on his notepad. "Yeah, someone heard something about a drop-off next weekend. Kinda seems like a long time to wait, don't you think?" Carol had to agree with the man, most criminals waited only a few hours. A week was rare.
"Did they get a location?" Carol asked the man.
"no mam," the first officer said with a slight shrug. "They where quick in and quick out," the man said plainly as he scratched his head. "We got here just in time to see them pull away in a van. We tried to pursue but..."
"I get it," Carol replied, the man's hands had been tied. "Send all the footage to the Avengers, please. We'll handle it, officer."
"Yes mam," the man said as he, along with the second officer turned around and walked away.
"Think it's the same people?" Carol asked her boyfriend, who shrugged slightly. "I mean, it's the same M-O and-"
"I think it is," Peter said in response, "way to many similarities. Plus some high-grade weapons. Probably the same group at least," he continued as he tapped his fingers against the granite. "And I think that I might know where they might be meeting," Peter finished as he turned around to face her.
"You do?" Carol asked with a shrug, "I didn't think Spider-powers included telepathy."
"Funny," Peter replied. "Let me handle the jokes. Anyway," he shrugged slightly, "how often do you see six people walking around New York in superhero garb? Besides street-level vigilantes on a team-up," Peter finished as he rolled back his shoulders slightly.
"Well today," Carol said in an unsure tone, "Halloween," She continued, not quite sure where his logic was going.
"Those where some high-quality costumes in the restaraunt," Peter quipped. She was sure that he was smiling underneath his mask as he attempted to lead her to a conclusion.
"Oh you've gotta be shitting me!" Carol cried out as she realized what he was referring to.
"Nope," Peter replied casually, "ever been to Comic-con, Captain Marvel?"