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Entwined Destines – Episode Eleven Curse of the Cat Part One: Strange Bedfellows
Skyline of NYC, night
"I think we've taken enough vids & pics for one night," Spider-Man said. Spider-Man and Ghost Spider had spent the past hour posing for pictures and recording video clips while they executed a dizzying array of acrobatics and mock fight poses. It had been two weeks since Peter was hired to be the newest science correspondent for Bugle Media on condition he kept J. Jonah Jameson up to date with all things spider related.
"Ol' Flattop would be so mad if he knew he was essentially paying you for us to goof around and take selfies." Ghost Spider giggled.
"That he would," Spider-Man agreed while retrieving his webbed up camera from its nearby perch on the side of a building. "Hey wait a minute, calling him 'flattop' is my thing." Spider-Man huffed indignantly.
"Aw, I'm sorry I took your nickname for Jonah." Ghost Spider said draping her arms around Spider-Man from behind. "Want me to make it up to you. I wonder how much Jonah would pay you for a sex tape of Spider-Man and Ghost Spider. I bet a lot especially if we get our freak on." She whispered seductively. With a yelp, Spider-Man jumped a step away from Ghost Spider almost dropping his camera. Ghost burst out laughing. She soon doubled over clutching her stomach as she continued to laugh at her partner's expense.
"Not funny, Gwen. I could have dropped the camera then all our work would have been for nothing." Spider-Man said.
"Sorry Peter, but your reaction to my joke was priceless. I couldn't help myself. Teasing a boy is so easy, and fun." Ghost Spider managed to say in spite of her continuing bout of laughter.
"Tease a lot of boys do you?" Spider-Man said his voice taking on a cocky edge.
"I've teased my fair share." Ghost Spider said. She had stopped laughing by this point.
"Maybe I should punish you for your crimes against male kind," Spider-Man said as he put his camera in a sling made of webbing which he attached to his back.
"Maybe you should." Ghost Spider said coyly. "But you'll have to catch me first." Ghost Spider then swung away on a webline.
"Come back here, you naughty little spider and take your punishment," Spider-Man called after Ghost Spider.
"Make me," Ghost Spider called back.
"That's it. I'm giving you a spanking once I catch you." Spider-Man said. Spider-Man gave chase swinging after her on a webline of his own.
"Never, I'm far to fast for your slowpoke." Ghost Spider-Man called back she was almost out of sight.
"Only because you have a head start, cheater!" Spider-Man shouted.
"Whatever, slowpoke," Ghost shouted in return.
Ghost Spider led Spider-Man on a merry mock chase over the next hour. Very seldom did the duo ever get to cut loose and have fun like this, as such, they relished every rare moment of fun afforded to them. More than once during their journey Ghost Spider slowed down so Spider-Man could catch up with her, in turn, Spider-Man let Ghost Spider escape several times when he could have easily caught her. Once their trip around the city ended they engaged in a "fight" during which they threw extremely weak and slow punches and kicked at each other that failed to fully connect. Finally, Ghost Spider tripped Spider-Man landing on top of him, luckily she rolled the web protected camera away just in time. They shared a laugh at their near disaster.
"Have I told you how much I love you recently?" Spider-Man asked.
"Yeah, you told me this morning, and at lunch and again when we watched the Orville before our patrol." Ghost Spider said.
"That was a great episode," Spider-Man said.
"I'm glad Isaac isn't really evil." Ghost Spider said.
"Me too," Spider-Man said. "Although I'm worried the crew won't accept him back into their ranks after his earlier betrayal."
"I hope they forgive him, but I doubt they will for a while given what he did." Ghost Spider started she then started laughing again.
"Why are you laughing? Did I say something funny?" Spider-Man inquired slightly perturbed by her reaction to such an intimate situation.
"Only two geeks like us could talk about sci-fi at a time like this." Ghost Spider said. "I love you, my nerdy man." Ghost Spider said.
"Back at you, my nerdy girl," Spider-Man said.
Ghost Spider hooked her fingers around the bottom of Spider-Man's mask she pushed it up until his mouth and nose were exposed. Ghost Spider raised her own mask until the bottom portion of her face was likewise exposed. Ghost Spider planted a soft kiss on Spider-Man's lips which both greatly enjoyed. The couple was lost in their own world until their tender moment was interrupted by a familiar voice accompanied by clapping.
Whoo, take it off, get down and dirty! Give me a show!" Black Cat cheered from nearby.
Spider-Man and Ghost Spider pulled down their masks and quickly scrambled to their feet. "What do you want?" Ghost Spider demanded. She glared at the other female from behind her mask.
"Can't a girl say hi to her friends?" Black Cat said slinking over to where the spiders stood.
"Of course," Ghost Spider said. "But last time I checked we weren't friends."
"Oh, I wouldn't say that." Black Cat said. She ignored Ghost Spider completely instead she zeroed in on a very uncomfortable Spider-Man. "Two of us are very friendly with each other." She stepped in front of Spider-Man and ran her right index finger along the contours of his muscular chest much to the chagrin of Ghost Spider. "Aren't we Spidey?"
"I, I have no idea what you're talking about." Spider-Man stammered.
"I'm hurt. I thought our little tryst meant something to you? I know it did to me. Didn't you enjoy my thank you for saving me from that nasty Punisher? You might be a spider in the streets but you're a tiger between the sheets." Black Cat said with a suggestive wink.
"We nev-," Spider-Man tried to protest.
Black Cat silenced him by placing her right index finger to the front of his mask. "No need to be modest. I can see why they call you amazing, you sure are." Black Cat said. She looked over her should at a stunned Ghost Spider. "Maybe we can compare notes, honey? Identify points of common enjoyment and areas where he can approve." She added with a sly grin. "I don't mind sharing, do you?"
Ghost Spider appeared as if she was going to say something but ran off before she did. "Gw-, Ghost Spider wait!" Spider-Man said but Ghost Spider was already gone.
"Let her go Spidey." Black Cat said clinging to Spider-Man. "Who needs an insecure little girl when you have a confident sophisticated woman?"
"Get off me," Spider-Man said without hesitation in spite of how good Black Cat's warm body felt. He pushed Black Cat aside harder than he intended causing her to topple over onto her back.
"Ouch, you hurt me." Black Cat said rubbing her generous butt while getting to her feet.
"I'm sorry," Spider-Man said.
"If you're truly sorry you'll kiss it and make it better." Black Cat said with a mischievous look in her eyes while she gave her butt a slap.
"Why is everything centered around sex with you? Can't you say a single sentence that is free of innuendo?" Spider-Man snapped.
"Theoretically, I could, but where would be the fun in that?" Black Cat said.
"Aside from being a pervert, you're also dishonest," Spider-Man snapped.
"Moi, perish the thought," Black Cat said pointing at her substantial cleavage which spilled out of the v-neck of her too tight outfit.
"Nothing tawdry happened between us and you know that," Spider-Man said angrily.
"In my heart, I know no such thing." Black Cat sighed putting her hand over her heart.
"I save you and this is the thanks I get. You tell the love of my life a lie so you can ruin our relationship? Do you hate me or something?" Spider-Man asked.
"On the contrary, I'm very fond of you." Black Cat said trying to lean against Spider-Man again. "Here, I'll demonstrate."
"Uh, no, hands off lady." Spider-Man sidestepping her.
"Ah, c'mon on Spidey. Don't you find me attractive?" Black Cat said striking a sexy pose.
"Granted, you are rather pretty but so is a coral snake and it's also deadly," Spider-Man said.
"What is life without danger?" Black Cat said. "I'll tell you what it is boring, just like your wallflower girlfriend."
"I like boring," Spider-Man said. "She and I can have fun together doing everyday things just as much as we can crime fighting. For example, we were talking about the latest episode of the Orville before you spoiled our evening."
"The what now?" Black Cat asked genuinely confused.
"It's a science fiction TV show we both like," Peter said.
"You're actually into that stuff, no joke?" Black Cat asked.
"Yup, I love all things sci-fi and fantasy along with real science," Spider-Man confirmed.
"Why, when you live this unbelievably exciting life?" Black Cat said.
"There's more to me than this mask," Spider-Man said. He gave his face covering a quick tug. "Gw-, Ghost Spider and I have been together for years. She was with me before she knew I was Spider-Man and before she became Ghost Spider. She loves me for who I am not for who she wishes I was, can you say the same?"
"No," Black Cat admitted following a long pause.
"Now if you'll excuse me. I have to find her. I only hope I can repair the damage your lie has caused." Spider-Man said.
"I'm sorry I lied." Black Cat said her bravado was gone. "I guess I wanted you because of the excitement you represent in my mind, not because I genuinely care about you. Trying to take you away from someone who does actually love you and you love back isn't right."
"No, it isn't." Ghost Spider said. Before Spider-Man could say anything she slapped Black Cat hard enough to bruise Black Cat's cheek. "That's for being a lying bitch."
"Ghost Spider you came back," Spider-Man said. He was equal parts happy and apprehensive to see her again.
"My original plan was to give you two a piece of my mind until I heard her confession and your speech about true love." Ghost Spider said.
"Are we cool?" Spider-Man asked.
"Baby we're frozen," Ghost Spider said putting her arms around Spider Man's neck. They gently touched their heads together. Ghost Spider-Man then broke their embrace. She looked hard at Black Cat. "You better stop trying to seduce people and then lying to their significant others when they reject you or you'll quickly use up your nine lives, kitty."
"Did you have to hit me so hard?" Black Cat said while rubbing her now sore cheek.
"While I didn't need to, I enjoyed doing it." Ghost Spider said. Ghost Spider wrapped Black Cat up in a tight cocoon of webbing before Black Cat could react.
"What are you doing?" Black Cat exclaimed as she lost her balance and the cocoon fell on the rooftop.
"People died when you attacked Oscorp a while ago, or have forgotten? You should answer for your crimes." Ghost Spider said. "We're taking you in."
"You can't! I didn't mean for those people to die, honest!" Black Cat wailed.
"That doesn't matter they still died." Ghost Spider said.
"Please," Black Cat pleaded. "If I'm arrested I'll be unmasked. My mother will be crushed. She has no idea I'm Black Cat. She's innocent in this whole mess."
"Look on the bright side at least behind bars you'll be safe from the Punisher." Spider-Man joked trying to defuse the situation some.
"Punisher has left New York. He has a big job out west. Word is he won't be back for weeks." Black Cat said struggling against her bonds.
"How would you know?" Ghost Spider said.
"I have my sources." Black Cat said. She tried to use her retractable razor claws to cut herself free but Ghost Spider noticed.
"Oh no, you don't." Ghost Spider said adding more webbing so as to incapacitate Black Cat's hands.
"You have every reason to hate me but don't take your anger out on my mother. I'm begging you." Black Cat said.
"Maybe we should release her?" Spider-Man said.
"After everything she's pulled, no way." Ghost Spider said thinking not only of herself and Peter but also of Harry and Mary Jane. Due to Black Cat's callous actions, Harry was a cripple and he & MJ were on the verge of losing everything.
"Is this about what happened at Oscorp or what she tried to do to us?" Spider-Man said.
"How can you even ask that? I would never allow my a personal grudge to influence my crime fighting." Ghost Spider said indignantly. "I'm offended you'd even suggest otherwise."
"I'm sorry but she has gone out of her way to hurt you," Spider-Man said.
"Whatever," Ghost Spider said. "I'm taking her in with or without your approval." Ghost Spider stooped down. "First though, I want to see her real face."
"Stay away," Black Cat said trying to squirm out of Ghost Spider's grip.
Ghost Spider was having none of it. She plucked off Black Cat's domino masked followed by her white wig to reveal blonde hair done up in a tight bun. Ghost Spider and Spider-Man were temporarily rendered speechless by what they saw.
"Felicia Hardy!?" Ghost Spider gasped.
"Please don't tell anyone I'm Black Cat, okay. My mother is rich you know. She has lots of money. I'm sure I can convince her to give you each as much as you want if you agree not to out me. Does that sound fair? Think of all the geeky stuff you could buy." Felicia said an expression of utter defeat etched on her face.
Ghost Spider was appalled by the fact one of her closest friends was also this super ho thief. How could this be? More importantly, what was she going to do about it? She glanced over at her partner for some sort of guidance. Spider-Man merely shrugged. He had no idea what to do either. They found themselves in quite the pickle.
"What'll it be you two? Do we have a deal?" Felicia asked hopefully.
Ghost Spider reached a decision. "I know I'll regret this." Ghost Spider said taking off her mask.
Spider-Man was about to stop her but then decided to follow suit. "In for a penny in for a pound." He said unmasking.
"Gwen, Peter," Felicia said in disbelief her eyes grew wide in shock. "What's going on here?"
"That's what we'd like to know," Gwen said. "I have a feeling this night has just begun for the three of us." She finished as she leaned down to free Felicia.
"Thanks, I guess," Felicia said back on her feet a moment later. "Still you shouldn't have slapped me so hard or tied me up like that."
"And you shouldn't have lied to steal my boyfriend," Gwen said.
"In my defense, I didn't know it was you guys. I would never hit on Peter. I respect you guys too much for that." Felicia said.
"I should hope so," Gwen said. She then added. "Why are prancing around this city dressed like an overly sexualized cat burglar anyway?"
"It's a long story," Felicia said. "I'm not sure where to begin."
"How about at the beginning?" Peter said.
"Okay, but let's go somewhere more private. One can never be too careful when you have a secret identity to protect, as I'm sure you know." Felicia suggested.
"Good idea," Gwen said.
The two spiders put back on their masks. Gwen handed Felicia back her dominion mask while Peter handed her back her wig both of which she quickly donned. The trio then left the rooftop.
A Warehouse owned by Otto Octavius the Bronx
"Very good," Otto said when Harry managed to walk several feet using the balance bar. "The exo-harness is working splendidly."
"I've barely moved ten feet all day. We've been here since 3:00 pm." Harry lamented, His body was covered by a steel colored series of interlocking bars connected to a mass of black & gray wires.
"Dr. Octavius is right Harry. We've made great progress both on your research and you walking again." Mary Jane said.
"But not enough. Oscorp Corp will be bankrupted and I'll be an old man before we actually accomplish either." Harry said.
"Harry everything takes time. You must be p-," Mary Jane tried to say but Harry cut her off with one of his outbursts an occurrence which was becoming ever more frequent.
"Easy for you to say you're not the one who's half a person! You can still walk without this contraption!" Harry yelled.
"Harry I'm sorry. I didn't think. I-" Mary Jane said.
"You never think that's the problem," Harry growled.
"Harry-," Mary Jane said only to this time be cut off by Otto.
"Perhaps it would be best if you leave Mr. Osborn in my care for the rest of this session Ms. Watson. Don't worry I'll see he gets home safely." Otto said.
"Okay, if you think it would be for the best Dr. Octavius." Mary Jane said reluctantly.
"I do," Otto said.
"I'll see you at home, Harry." Mary Jane said but Harry refused to acknowledge her goodbye.
Once they were alone Otto again spoke. "I thought she would never leave. Now to begin our real work." He said rubbing two of his metal tentacles together in anticipation.
"I hate treating MJ so badly and keeping things from her," Harry said.
"I assure you it's for her own good. You'll feel better about these minor indiscretions once you're fully mobile again and your company's future is secure," Otto said. "Unfortunately I can't say these procedures won't be painful given I'll be grafting an interface directly onto your spine. However, physical discomfort is a small price to pay for perfection, my boy."
"And justice against Black Cat," Harry said with a dark expression on his face.
"Exactly, my soon to be magnificent Mecha Spider," Otto said just under his breath.
"What was that?" Harry asked being lost in his fantasies of vengeance for a moment.
"Nothing you need concern yourself with, young Mr. Osborn, nothing at all," Otto said.
To Be Continued
Author's Note -
I gave Black Cat a wig here in addition to her typical domino style mask to make the preservation of her secret identity more plausible/easier.