Chapter 5: A Christmas Story
Key: 'Words' = Peter 4th walling it
'Words' = Peter's thoughts (not 4th walling it)
- December 24th / Present -
'I like to believe that Christmas brings out the best in people. Even in the worst of us. Of course I'm speaking more in the sense of the desire to be kind to others. To do for others without asking or needing anything in return. You know what I mean? Wally told me once that he convinced the Ultra-Humanite to repair a toy duck that was destroyed in their fight, in the name of the holiday spirit. The toy was a Christmas gift to some orphans, and Barry had to go all the way to Japan to get it. So he was pretty miffed when it was destroyed. Apparently the albino gorilla even went so far as to modify the toy to recite bedtimes stories, to better "culture" the children.'
'That's what I mean, comfort and joy, kindness and peace. All that jazz. And so far today, it has been. It's Christmas Eve currently, and I'm slowly making my way back to the loft. I'm out for one last patrol just to be sure, dropping off Christmas presents, and, because the ladies told me to, being gone for a few hours. Don't know what they're up to, but based on the other evening's events I betcha it'll be interesting.'
'Hang on a sec, let me check my list twice here.'
Spider-Man is sitting next to his favorite statue, Bruce. Pulling out a list from one of the hidden pockets on his spandex, he runs a finger over the list. Resting next to him is a mostly empty red sack. "Autographed Spidey bobbleheads to the GPD, check. Scarf to Mel, check. Presents to the Birds, check. Sent that off to Dick and the Titans, check. Happy Holidays banner in the Watchtower...heh heh, check." 'Okay I have to explain that last one, cause you're gonna love it. I'm so glad J'onn didn't catch us doing this. So Wally, Ollie, and I went to the orbiting space station the Watchtower earlier today to do a quote unquote check in, and leave this little Christmas gift for the League. Using Ollie's arrows, Wally as a distraction slash lookout, and some of my modified longer lived webbing, we made a huge web banner on the cafeteria ceiling reading: "Happy Holidays Super Friends! From SM, GA, and F." We're gonna be in so much trouble, but it's sooo totally worth it.'
The list continued on with several names not scratched out. Those included Pam and Harleen, Batman and Robin, Kitty Cat, and Wanda. Peter couldn't help to grin at the first five, but the grin changed into a somber smile at the last. 'It's been over a year since my arrival in this dimension, and still no sign or clue that Wanda is here too. I still haven't given up the search though. Thanks to being part of the JL the search went global, but there still hasn't been anything. Sure the occasional Bigfoot sighting, or look-a-like, but no indication of her magical signature, or any major chaos related incidents aside from the norm. Dr. Fate has been readily looking for her too. When I explained that her powers can and have literally altered reality with one incantation, and that she hasn't been the most mentally stable person, it really put her on the JL's radar. I won't lie, I feel very bad about having to hang that Class S Threat on her, but it's the fastest way to get them into taking the search seriously. I'm really hoping she wasn't pulled into a completely alternate dimension. I feel responsible for us being transported, because I didn't take things seriously with Phantazia. I coulda been faster, knocked her out like Wanda said, but I didn't. As much as I would like to be able to go home and see Aunt May and all my friends, I want to make sure Wanda is okay. Besides I'm actually doing some good here. That and I fear what would happen to the girls if I left.'
'Finding Wanda has been put on the back burner for so long, I'm really feeling guilty about it. There have even been days I have completely forgotten about her, which is a horrible thing for me to do. Life just has a way of distracting me from time to time. I realize there was only so much I could do up until recently, but now I have another responsibility keeping me here. The peaceful lives of both my roommates is in my hands now. *Sigh* What kinda hero am I when I can't be out there looking for the one person who probably has needed my friendly face the most over the year.'
'I know I shouldn't continually beat myself up for it. Cosmic forces beyond my understanding and control were at play. What could one little Spider-Man do against that? Makes me wish I still had the Uni-Power. PHENOMINAL COSMIC POWERS! Itty bitty livin' space. Get it, Microverse, Cosmic Powers, eh, eh? Anyways, before I get back into this self loathing rut I still have a few stops to make till I can enjoy a, hopefully, nice evening, and then wait up for Santa with Bubbles.'
Spider-Man web lines the building across the street, and pats Bruce on his stoney back. The Gargoyle has a Santa hat and beard on 'He does like being festive, this guy.'. "Well Brucie I'll catch up with you later. Merry Christmas man, say hi to the family for me. Oh and if you can, pass a little message on to your half bro, tell him to tell the Avengers that Logan needs a bath. They'll know what it means. Merry merry Bruce." With that Peter jumps off the ledge and into his long swing. His current destination is Siggy, 'That's the nickname of the Bat Signal at the police station. No joke, Bullock named it Siggy. That was not my doing...but I totally woulda if he hadn't.' as that is the only way Peter can think of to deliver Bat and Robin's gift. I'm gonna leave a note for Commissioner Gordon to give them to them the next time he uses Siggy. A route burned into his head over the year he's been here, Spidey swings along the streets almost on auto pilot to the GCPD.
'You know I actually think Bats might really like the presents I made for him and the boy wonder. You know all those Batarang things he tosses around? I actually made a Spidarang for him, patent pending. They're shaped like my emblem. Sharp little buggers too, nicked myself a few times on one or more of their legs. Anyways, I made them special, they explode on impact into a super adhesive webbing. And by super adhesive, I mean good luck getting loose, cause it's meant to stop the Flash mid run, and even hold Sups at bay temporarily. How can such a thing be, you ask me? Well back home while I was working at Horizon, I made a prototype super strong glue. It actually made quite a bit of money, and saved it's fair share of lives. So I just took that formula and worked on it at S.T.A.R. Labs for a while. This is my own personal batch of course, cant let this beaut go mainstream. Last thing I need is Luthor using it, and me having to apologize to a rather pissed off Kent. Still since I know Bats deals with the super baddies regularly, I wanted him to have more of an edge. That, and I've seen his glue Batarangs, they're weak. My regular webbing is stronger than that. Ohhh point for Peter, count it. So they're getting a bag of them for Christmas.'
'Honestly it was either that or a puppy, and I'd worry about the puppy. Woulda named the puppy Ace, cause I always wanted a dog named Ace. So whilst I make my last rounds before home, how about I tell you the tale of my first time as Tenebrae?'
Nov. 29th / One Year Ago
"Why not do this during the day again? I mean I know I've only been in the criminal game for a few days, but wouldn't it be safer? Don't Bats come out at night?" Peter whispered huskily to seemingly no one in particular, his breath coming out in small clouds. It had been snowing lightly all day, and a fine covering resided on the top of the buildings. Already cloaked in his pitch black persona 'Tenebrae if you forgot.', he skirted along the shadows of the rooftops, keeping an eye on a particular car below. The car was a nondescript red two door model with enough speed to make a chase, but not stand out enough to raise suspicion. 'Though it is proven in plenty of non-funded scientific studies that red cars are privy to both more suspicion and accidents. Why drive such a vehicle then? Cause what the ladies want, Peter backs off and lets them get. I guess "It's so overt it's covert", to quote one Sherlock Holmes.'
"I've actually questioned that already myself T, but I don't make the times for these transactions, the buyers do. It's whatever they feel comfortable with." Selina's voice replied back through his ear piece. She was was currently driving, and Harleen was in the passenger seat. Both were gussied up in their formal evening wear 'And looked oh so nice in those poured into costumes.'. They had been on the road for about twenty minutes, with Peter tagging along, making sure to keep out of sight. 'With my Web Shooters confiscated by Pam, I was basically down to actually hoofing it. Now don't get me wrong, I had no problem keeping up with them, my stamina is something I actually take pride in. I had a grappling gun, but you can't really swing the way I like to with those things. So yeah, you don't know what you got till it's gone. I missed web slinging so much on these little outings, in more ways than one. You'll see.'
"At least you blend in well cutie. I haven't been able to spot you for some time now." Harley complimented through the same ear bud. Peter took the next roof gap like a pro parkourer, and ran into the nearest shadow.
"Thanks, I'm not totally unfamiliar with these stealth missions. Heck, I used to have a suit that made me mostly invisible and soundproof. Woulda been awesome for this."
"Why not use it all the time if you had it then?" Catwoman asked as she took the next right, and Tenebrae followed on the roof that overlooked the street.
"Well it had some flaws in the design. I'd rather not have to put Cat or anybody through the same thing again." 'Peter explained, as he kept up with the girls. My simply named Stealth Suit was designed to bend light, much like what my F.F. suit does now. Only it wasn't altered by T-Gum's, that's Third Generation Unstable Molecules. It was an Omni-Harmonic mesh system made of first gen Unstable Molecules, and ran on a limited power source. The suit was also adapted to negate sound, both incoming and from the suit. It was so I could fight Hobgoblin, and later on allowing Kain to kill the Spider Queen, both used sonic type attacks. I'm just as susceptible to sonic attacks as your average joe, so I needed to make a defense against it. Have you ever played the Elder Scrolls games? It was basically having your sneak at max, and being able to walk right into the faces of the bad guys. The major flaw was deafness. While activated you can't hear anything. Cat was hurt pretty bad because of that flaw. So I ended up kinda giving the suit to Kain, one of my clone brothers.'
"She's the gal ya thought Selina was at first, right?" Harleen snickered, and nudged Selina with her elbow lightly. Kyle just grew a playful smirk.
"Yeah. Sorry about that by the way." Tenebrae apologized to the air ahead of him.
"No worries T. Gotta ask though, is she prettier than me?" Kyle asked teasingly. There was a few seconds of quiet before Peter responded. 'Luckily they didn't see me almost miss my jump. I hate loaded questions, they are so not fair.'
"I...uhhhh...plead the fifth?" He responded cautiously.
"So she is." Selina's voice accused.
"Wha...I didn't say that!" Peter whispered loud and quickly, hoping to defending himself. 'Loaded questions have no right answer. None. You answer truthfully, you are mean. You answer the opposite, you are just trying to cover. You don't answer, they get angry. You try to change the subject, you probably get hit. So yeah I don't like loaded questions.'
"Stop misinterpreting my lack of words. It's not fair." Peter pleaded weakly, only for it to fall on deaf, sadistically grinning, ears.
"Then tell us which one of us Cats is prettier." Selina goaded with mock sternness. 'Something's in the multi-verse don't change. Cat's being catty is one of them. Time for a diversion Peter, make it a good one.'
"So...how's the weather down there anyway? Is the heater working alright?" 'I'mma freakin' genius. It says so on my IQ test.' The masked vigilante slash criminal asked. Harleen's loud laugh made Peter try to cringe away from the ear bud held there by his mask.
"Smooth Parker, real smooth." Kyle added among Harley's hysterics. Tenebrae could practically feel the mockery oozing into his ear canal. She joined Quinn with a few of her own guffaws.
"And here I thought I was being nice by not talking about my exes behind their backs." Tenebrae huffed mostly to himself, but when the laughter in his ear suddenly stopped he got nervous.
"Wait, she was your ex?! Oh boy, now I gotta know who this gal is." Selina purred into the mic.
"Yeah Petey, spill the beans." Harleen's voice had a more threatening edge to it than either of the others on the line expected. 'Let it be known that a jealous Bubbles, is a scary Bubbles.'
"Um should we be talking about this now? Aren't we getting close to the rendezvous point? 'Coincidentally we actually were, thank you convenient happenstance.'" Peter was desperate to change the subject now. He knew from experience how talking to girls about girls, especially exes, tended to light a fire under them one way or another. 'And like I said a jealous Bubbles...'
"Actually...yeah we are. You ready Harls?" Catwoman replied. She lost her overly tease-the-spider attitude, and got into business mode. The woman sitting next to her grumpily crossed her arms over her chest, and let out an annoyed huff.
"Yeah, but this isn't over Petey. Ya gonna do some gut spillin when we get back home." Harleen grumbled, to which Selina giggled, and Peter let out a groan.
"Okay, okay, just go easy on me Harls." Peter came to a rest against some large air conditioning units on an office building's roof. This building sat across the street from a smaller one story business, with a big metal door, two barred windows, and a sign that read "A Little Used Book Store". Once Peter got a look at the sign, he had to throw his hands quickly over his mask covered mouth to help stifle a laugh. 'Hah ahaha hahaha heh heheheheh. Gotta love a good sense of humor in store owners.'
"C'mon T, it's not that funny. Get your act together." Catwoman chided over the com before she and Harley exited their stolen vehicle.
"Right, sorry. Zenning Tenebrae now." Peter whispered quietly, and took a few deep breaths, getting into his role.
"It is pretty funny though." Quinn added, and from his spot Peter could see the huge grin she had on her painted face. Parker's throat snort was silenced when Selina shushed him harshly, and both ladies entered the cutely named book store. 'My job was to wait outside an watch my criminal cohorts' lovely backsides. I was only to interfere if something looked amiss outside or the signal was given over the coms. A very nice perk of having hoods and masks, concealing small communication devices inside is easy.' As soon as the metal door closed behind them static buzzed from his ear piece. 'Unless the other guys have a jamming device. Then it's worth squat. Crap.'
'Shoulda guessed an information broker would take securities like this. Last thing you need is your information being broken into.' Peter thought, as he restrained the urge to come off his vantage point and join the girls.
He had been waiting impatiently for a minute when heard the sound of careful movement coming from the fire escape behind him, on the other side of the roof. His enhanced senses gave him just enough warning to duck behind a steaming vent shaft before whoever it was noticed he was there. Peter listened to the newcomer's light steps crunch in the snow, which were growing closer. The pale light of the half clouded moon reflected off silver, and illuminated the man nearing where Tenebrae had just been.
The vigilante took in the guy's odd choice in attire. His head and most of his body was covered in a silver, Peter guessed, body armor, topped by a crimson and golden outlined shirt vest 'Thingie.', and matching pants. His hands were covered in golden gloves, and his head was hidden by a silver fabric mask, which had a red ocular device adorning his left eye. 'I shouldn't be one to criticize, but that is one ugly costume. At least the piece's he had strapped on him took from the goofiness of the guy's ensemble.' He had strapped to his back a very high powered looking silenced sniper rifle, and on his tactical belt several pouches, and a holster on each side housing pistols. What caught Peter's curiosity the most was the odd wrist gauntlets on each arm.
"In position now. Have the men move in. Remember Black Mask wants the data undamaged. He wants the targets captured too, but a little worse for wear doesn't matter." Red Eye said then removed his finger from touching the ear part of the eye piece. This quiet corner of the city didn't have much in the way of traffic, especially on a Sunday night. That allowed Peter to hear the sudden increase in vehicles approaching all at once. 'Ambush, and I can't warn the girls. What would Tenebrae do?' Peter's mind questioned, and Pamela's "training" came back to him.
~ Flashback ~
"For this to work you must not be the imbecile you are in any way, shape, or form. You are going to have to be harder on your opponents, take the initiative, fight brutally. In the criminal world it's kill or be killed, and that's what you have to do. I know it won't be easy for such a goody goody as yourself, but it's either do or die. I will not allow Harley or myself come to harm for your ineptitude, and should that happen consider yourself mulch. Remember, I am watching you." Poison Ivy's threat was accompanied by a sharp brief pain that coursed through his body. With that inspirational speech Ivy made him leave Eden, and go to Harley and Selina for fight training.
~ End Flashback ~
'Like I said, not a lot happened between me and Blossom during Tenebrae's creation. She left the majority of that to Bubbles and Buttercup. They gave me the tools, and serious rouge fighting techniques. The only other times I worked with Pam was for attitude and personality adjustment. She was deadly serious in making me be nothing like me. What helped me the most, and I don't like to admit this, was using the time I had the Symbiote attached to me. I used that as a base for Tenebrae's personality, and mostly just worked on leaving out my mouth. It was an interesting week of becoming my criminal self to say the least.'
Flashy Guy stopped when he saw the footprints left by someone, but before he could register what that meant, a shuffling sound put him on alert. He looked up in time to catch a right hook square on the left side of his head from above. Tenebrae had leapt into the air from his spot, and caught Flashy completely off guard. Peter had no way of knowing how strong the guy was, so he used a enough force to knock a normal man out, and then some. Tenebrae landed in a slight squat, his right fist brought downward toward his left hip, and his left arm up over his right, ready to cover his head, just in case the man was still up. 'It's something I learned from Sifu Shang Chi. Always be prepared to guard, just in case. Martial Artists have known this for hundreds of years, and all I thought about it before was that it was a cool looking pose. So many blows to the head that could have been avoided.'
Flashy Guy dropped to the right, barely catching himself on that knee. Tenebrae watched him for a moment unsure. Obviously the man was dazed, but he turned his head quickly to see his attacker. The man was well trained to be able to take that blow, Peter mused. A slight twinge of pain shot down his spine, and faster than the normal naked eye could see, Tenebrae spun right driving his left knee into Red Eye's solar plexus. Lurching forward, the man coughed into his mask, and was about to hit the ground face first. The dark clothed vigilante grabbed the back of the red vest at the collar, and quietly lowered the unconscious guy to the snowy roof. 'Freaking A, even for me that seemed brutal. I think my jokes help soften the blows I deal to the baddies. When it's all quiet like this my fighting just seems mean. Grant it that's what Pam wanted, but still. Speaking of Pam, yeah that was her telling me to finish the guy and stop hesitating, basically.'
Having no way to web Flashy up, Tenebrae quickly looked over the roof toward the store. He spotted two black SUV's parking on his side of the street, one from each direction, and then heard two more coming from either side of the building he was on. 'Great, and the girls must be in the back of the shop, cause I can't see them.' The vigilante had to quickly figure a course of action. With Harley and Catwoman more than likely unbeknownst of the situation, and goons crawling out of the wood work, Peter had to think fast. He also couldn't very well leave Flashy up here without incapacitating him somehow. 'By the way Flashy's real name is Deadshot. Learned that after this little jaunt. Apparently he's the Bullseye of this universe. Which is about right, both claim to never miss, and both can't even hit one human sized spider with a sniper rifle. That being said, Clint isn't in that jab for one reason, Ollie. Oh I've got plenty about him and Ollie, trust me. Ollie still doesn't know why his nickname is The Hawk.'
'Well I was always more of a think as you go kinda hero.' Peter thought to himself as no immediate amazing plan came to mind. 'But first.' Tenebrae quickly stripped Red Eye of every visible weapon and his tactical belt. He pulled out one of his weighted bolas ropes, and went about doing what a spider does best, wrapping up it's prey. It wasn't nearly as pretty or probably effective as his webs, but it would have to work. 'Who wants to know what Tenebrae uses for gadgets and weaponry? Anybody? Well your gonna get the list anyway, so nyah. Besides my altered FF suit, to which the one way lenses were shrunk to regular eye size and the same color as the rest of the suit, I only had my Stuff Belt. What? Everyone around here wears a utility or tactical belt, and as one to normally go against the grain, mine's the Stuff Belt. On said Stuff Belt I had several pouches. Two large ones on each hip, with an extra band on them around my upper thighs, to keep them from making sound while moving. On the side of right pouch was a holster for my grappling gun. Inside these two pouches are several individual weighted bolas wires in the right, and a motorized spindle fed weighted bolas with thicker wire in the left. I had three other smaller pouches on the belt around the back. In them were smoke bombs, flash bombs, and several small throwing knives respectively. The knives were a precaution, that was avidly argued against by me. Eventually Selina convinced me that they had other less pain inducing uses, so I kept them. Plus I didn't want Pam showing up and putting me to the floor for disagreeing. That is basically the arsenal I had on my first excursion. It grew a bit since then, but my main weapon was always supposed to be my Spider-Sense and physical abilities. I aimed to be a Chaotic Neutral type badguy.' By the point he just finished tying up Flashy and his guns, he heard car doors shutting all around him.
'Alright ladies here I come, just stay safe till I get there. Here goes something.' Tenebrae tucked Flashy under his right arm, his weapons under the left, and took off toward the left alley of the building. Half way there he pulled let the guns fall into his left hand, and then chucked them onto the next roof over, they were mid flight as Peter reached the ledge. He took a leap of faith 'Not really.', and silently stuck himself to the opposite structure with his feet and left hand. One quick glance down revealed another black SUV parked just below him, guys with guns in winter gear surrounding it, and all having a skull-like black masks covering their faces. 'Themed Thugies are what I like to call the Criminal Elite's henchies. For some reason all the goons, hired guns, madmen, or minions of the guys who pay them, sway them, or threaten to fillet them, seem to run a costume code of conduct with their boss's persona. Wow I said that rather eloquently, even for me. Way with the Word, a sub study of Way of the Spider. Anyway, this theme thing seems especially rampant with Gotham's big bads. I asked Harley if she had ever had Themed Thugies, she said she did at one point. What got me was she said that Pam had some too. Bubbles got to see my best guppy impersonation during that conversation.'
After the glance Tenebrae wall hopped his way down the buildings. With his sticking ability he was able to keep silent on the swift descent. 'Now another thing I should mention about Tenebrae versus Spider-Man. I'm not supposed to just stick to things anymore. I'm just supposed to display great feats of strength and speed. If I had to "stick" to things I was supposed to make it look like I was digging my fingers or feet into the wall, floor, large heavy objects thrown at me. This was to break a much more subtle connection between the two. However I needed stealth this time, and breaking walls with my fingers wasn't the best way to go about doing that...plus this was my first run.' Within ten feet above Peter stopped briefly to hone in on the first of four guys by the car. 'Gotta do this quick and quite.'
"ARGH!" A pained voice echoed from outside the alley. Immediately the men below were up in arms. 'Alright who's the moron!' Before they could escape the alley Tenebrae dropped silently down behind the thug he targeted. In a lightning fast movement he grabbed the side of masked man's head in his left hand, and rammed it sideways into the alley wall. 'One down.' The mask on the guy's face cracked from the impact, and then his body slumped to the ground unconscious. The noise was heard from the goon ahead of him, who spun around in time to see Red Eye's body obstruct his vision and crash into him, with a grunt. 'Two.' The remaining henchmen were alerted, but missed the dark figure land in between and behind them. Peter grabbed both their head's and brought them together hard. Both men collapsed on each other in the alley, knocked out.
'And that's a triple header.' Peter mocked in his head, just before the guy with Flashy's body on him shouted. "There's someone here!" Goon #2 was quickly disengaging himself from the out cold mercenary. 'Crap.' Several of the guys from the SUV on his side of the street, passed by the alley earlier heading toward the first shout. They missed Tenebrae's attack, but the remaining two came onto the scene when Goon #2 called for help.
A quick glance to his left and immediately Tenebrae dove his left hand into his that hip pouch. Using his superhuman speed and accuracy, he threw the weighted bolas right from the pouch at the first bad guy coming into the alley. The blunt solid piece of metal tagged the man square in the nose, easily breaking it and the mask covering it, and forcing him backwards on his haunches. It was only when the thug hit the ground did he scream in pain, grabbing at his face. The second thug came around the corner just in time to see his partner fall backward out of the alley onto the sidewalk.
Tenebrae's left hand went to the wire he launched and gave it a short quick tug. The rewinding mechanism kicked in, and the bolas began retracting into the pouch. Peter didn't stop as this was happening. He hopped up on the SUV's hood, and from his crouch he kicked forward with his right leg, catching the just standing Goon #2 in the jaw with his heel. That man crumpled to the ground without another word, as the vigilante landed on that side of the car.
SPIDER-SENSE! The warning came a second before Peter heard the bolt of the machine gun being pulled back. "You sunnova bitch!" the street thug cursed. Tenebrae's senses sped up, making time seem to slow down. He reached into his right pouch, grabbing a free bolas. 'Here's the wind up.' Peter thought as the barrel of the gun was being leveled to him. He began crouching as he released the wire from his throw. 'And the pitch.' The bolas spread open, and spun mid air, both weighted ends keeping the simple contraption moving.
The first two bullets flew just above where Tenebrae was crouching, when the bolas caught and wrapped around the last conscious thug. The machine gun went off, spaying bullets up into the air, as the guy's torso was pulled back from the force of the wire. He took a few re-balancing steps back, then pushed himself back forward only to have his stomach caved in by a black suited foot. 'STRIKE THREE! You're outta here!' The imaginary crowd in Tenebrae's mind cheered for him. The final masked man was sent soaring across the empty snowy street, and into the brick wall of the book shop building. He spat out into his mask, the air knocked out of his lungs before darkness overcame him.
Peter stood at the entrance to the alley, and quickly scanned over his handy work. For not having his trusty web shooters 'Which would have ended that about a minute faster, and with no bullets fired if I did. Still, the Themed Thugies are out cold, minus Screamy Oh-Poor-Me My Nose Is Broken over there. Not bad. Which reminds me, big surprise in three...'
Better off not leaving anyone conscious for their escape, even if it left a bad taste in his mouth, Tenebrae advanced out of the alley. 'Two...' The whimpering thug managed to collect himself enough to try and crawl away from the black form bearing down on him. Peter grabbed the guy by his coat collar, lifting him up enough to bring an easy knockout with one punch. His fist reared back, ready, when a groan further down the street caught his attention. 'One...' An ever so slight turn of his masked head, brought into his vision an huge minion fall face first into the street, but that wasn't what the vigilante was focused on.
Batman was staring back at Tenebrae. 'SURPRISE!' The Dark Knight stood in almost the exact same way as he did during their first meeting, body cloaked in his cape, and eyes boring into Peter's very soul. This time Batman's white, one way, lenses were over his eyes. The stare down continued for a few 'Oh my god.' seconds, before being broken by the shocked silent stooge Tenebrae was still holding, attempted to pull a knife on him. Peter just decked the man out as originally intended, only much quicker this time.
Tenebrae left the man to the street and slowly, carefully, stood to his full height, facing Batman. 'Well I guess that explains the commotion in the other alley. At least I don't have to worry about the rest of...OH COME ON! Seriously?! Why Batman!? Why my first night?! Damn you Parker Luck! Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, and double crap! What is he even doing here? Wasn't this supposed to be a secret meeting?! ARGH!' Peter mentally screamed. From behind his unreadable mask, he glanced around the hero, there were several henchies splayed out in the street, unconscious or otherwise tied up. 'Great minds think alike. But then again street level heroes always know to make sure every baddy is indisposed. Sure the Supers can make the job twenty times easier, but when they are dealing with global level threats they tend to forget the paid support. That leaves more for the rich bad guys to work with, and more for us to put back down. Plus a conscious free goon can be just as dangerous as the guys who employ them.'
"Who are you?" Batman's rough voice asked, breaking Peter from his silent stupor. The new criminal stood staunch, a practiced confidence that he'd perfected over nearly ten years of crime fighting. 'Okay, no name giving, stay quiet. Be confident, and stay quiet. He's just a normal guy, so stay quiet. A normal guy who can beat the pants off of supers, c'mon stay quiet. You are not afraid, you are a mountain Peter, he's just another street level hero, no problem. Just remember to keep your trap SHUT!' After a quick mental pep talk, Peter was feeling only a hair better about the situation. He even heeded his advice for once, and shut his yapper.
Tenebrae's stance was a loose one, not revealing any sort of training behind it. It was how he normally carried himself either way, but underneath he was a coiled snake, ready at a moments notice, and fine tuning into his Spider-Sense.
"Who are you?" Batman questioned again, and very slight movement underneath made his cape shift. His Spider-Sense started to tingle slightly, obviously Batman wasn't nearly as friendly with Tenebrae as Spider-Man. 'Maybe not having back up puts him on edge...never mind, this IS Batman we're talking about.' Peter stole a glance toward the bookstore, he still couldn't see either of his lady friends, but there were lights on deeper in the store.
"Fine. Surrender yourself and things won't get ugly." Batman, the epitome of patience, actually sounded a tiny bit annoyed at the silent treatment. 'Wow, you learn something new everyday.' Tenebrae's head just quirked ever so slightly to the right in response, showing he was listening, but unresponsive to the order.
'Maybe he'll just leave me be if I stay put. What about the girls you idiot? You have to make sure they are okay. Still, as long as he...' Batman turned his head very slightly toward the store. 'Crap, he's after them too. Well there goes that shot in the dark, what else can go... no wait' 'And the idiot thinks it. *Facepalm*'
As the Parker Luck would have it, the heavy door to the bookstore jarred open at that moment. Clouds of gray smoke billowed out along with Catwoman, whom tucked and rolled into a kneeling ready position on the side walk. Crazy sweet laughter followed her along with gun shots, as Harley handstand flipped her way out of the entrance too. She quickly spun around, and using he giant mallet 'Where does she keep that thing?! I swear we left the loft without it.' she hit the heavy door as hard as she could, slamming it shut, and easily warping it in place to the frame. Harley was chortling happily, as obviously there was action inside the store as well, and she was loving it.
"Alright now we jus need to get T, and we're..." Harley said lyrically, but was hushed silent by Catwoman catching her attention with a pointed finger toward Tenebrae and Batman in the middle of the street. "Oh...Hi Bats, lovely evenin' innit?" Harley Quinn smiled widely, but the slight fear in her expression wasn't lost on Peter. 'See, I'm not the only one who's afraid of him.' Batman didn't seem nearly as surprised by the sudden appearance of the two Sirens. In fact he quickly threw back his cape, and launched several Batarangs at the two, almost on instinct. The Batarangs flew strait and true, aiming to strike each woman. Until a black blur ran in front of them, almost effortlessly catching the one aimed at Catwoman in his left hand, between the middle and index finger. Having pulled out a mini dagger with his right hand during his burst of speed, he launched it at the rang aimed at Harley. The dagger deflected Batman's projectile with uncanny accuracy, both clanking harmlessly to the street far away from each other. 'Damn I'm good.'
All present, minus the unconscious and Tenebrae, either gawked at the his amazing action 'The girls.' or stared hard and analytical at him 'Bats.'. The black suit Spidey recovered from his catch, righting himself into an imposing stand, bringing the Batarang up slightly before tossing it to the ground in one quick swipe. It clinked along the ground, impossibly loud, in the stunned snowy silence of the street.
"WOO! WAY TA GO T! How's that Batty boy? Shakin' in your boots yet?" Harley, of course being the first to come out of their amazement, shouted triumphantly toward Gotham's protector. She fist pumped the her mallet one handed, grinning ear to ear. 'Ohhh, thank you Bubbles. I soooooo wanted to hoopla there. My times as Tenebrae have to be the hardest on me. Not because I'm a criminal, but because I can't gloat about the cool stuff I do.'
Batman's muscles tightened further, showing him preparing to fight an enhanced being. Obviously his opponent was a force to be reckoned with, and Batman wasn't one to take chances with the unknown.
Tenebrae's head turned to the left slightly, and nodded toward the two women. Harley giggled and bounced up and down happily a few times, while Catwoman simply returned the nod. Then Batman moved, he tossed several small metallic balls towards Tenebrae, whom took off to the right. The women behind him also split off, Cat following Pete, and Harls taking to the left of the street. The balls erupted into explosions of white light upon hitting the street between where the three were just at.
Tenebrae ran forward, the same as Batman, charging one another, the light not phasing either. When within five feet of one another, Batman dug his left foot forward his cape swinging around, cloaking his left side. Swiping his right hand forward, he loosed three small pellets, his hand continuing down toward his left hip. SPIDER-SENSE! Peter, on reflex, ducked his torso right, the pellets flying past him harmlessly. The pellets exploded into small clouds of gas behind him. His run went unhindered, but Batman anticipated the man's reflexes and swung his left arm out, cape flowing off, obscuring Tenebrae's vision. SPIDER-SENSE! Peter was within two feet of Batman when the hiss of a grappling gun sounded. Turning his torso to the right, the gun's hook flew by where his chest just was, effectively stopping Peter within striking distance. Tenebrae reeled his right hand back for a punch, as he swung his body back forward. SPIDER-SENSE! Batman's right arm swiped forward, up from his left hip, the point of a Batarang aimed to slice across the black suited villain's torso. Within a blink Tenebrae's left shoulder rolled back, with his chest, giving the appearance that he was going for a wild uppercut with his right fist. The Batarang nicked the suit, cutting a thin line over the fabric of the left pectoral. A barely noticed red line formed where the edge cut into Peter's flesh. 'Dang those things can are sharp. My suit is designed to resist tearing, but that thing just sliced right into it.'
Tenebrae's amazing reflex allowed the wild haymaker punch to follow through though. Batman's years of combat experience and training paid off, as he managed to see the blow, and bring his left arm back up to a loose vertical guard. The forearm took the brunt of the punch, which felt like a sledgehammer, and knocked the Dark Knight backward down the street, the grappling gun dropping to the ground. The recoil slammed his arm against his head, but Batman had absorbed harder before, and quickly collected himself, as he landed in a slightly unbalanced stance. 'I may have put a bit more into that than needed, but hey first impressions.'
To say he wasn't expecting such power in the slender athletic form, was an understatement. His right arm was verging on numb. If not for making the punch wild, and his suit's impact absorption material, he may have had a broken radial bone.
Tenebrae had righted his stance, just as Batman got into his own stance. SPIDER-SENSE! Peter's eyes sharpened underneath the mask, and he suddenly ducked into a crouch. The crack of a whip followed just a moment later. Looking up he saw Batman's gritted teeth and tensing muscles, with a whip end tightly wrapped around the forearm that took his punch. A fast glance back revealed Selina had the hilt of the whip held securely in both hands, as she was braced to hold her ground. She gave her partner in crime a cocky grin and wink. 'It's freaking terrifying how well she can use that whip. I'd make a comment about her and BDSM, but I'm afraid I'd get the whip...Oh who am I kidding, I totally did make a joke about it...once. The sinister grin accompanied by "Wanna find out?" me made me run from the room.'
Peter's head swung back around when he heard the crunch of snow ahead of him. Batman was about to bring down the same Batarang in his right hand to sever the whip, but a silent phantom blur of red and black appeared at his now exposed right side.
"Batter up!" 'Hey another baseball pun. Way to hit it out of the park Bubbles.' Harley Quinn shouted, as she thrust her left foot forward, and swung her giant mallet around in a low to high arc with the entirety of her strength. She had the happiest, craziest, toothiest, smile Peter had ever seen, outside the Joker and Green Goblin, as her whole top half spun around. Batman, known for taking down up to fifteen thugs at a time, knowing the battlefield and having a plan ready, made a mistake. His assessing of the new guy, turning into a fight he wasn't ready for, and he follied in focusing on him. Catwoman and Harley's follow-up attacks hadn't registered until much to late. 'To be blunt, he was caught by surprise. If he was prepared, I'm pretty sure things would have been much different. Heck, after tonight they usually were. Give Batman time to prepare, and you usually won't win.' That didn't mean he was without his trousers, just that this would hurt a lot.
Catching the huge hammer coming at him from his peripheral, he tried to twist his body. Let the mallet graze his midsection, but it was to little to late. The drum rammed at an upward angle into his chest, dead center of the ribs, with all the force of a lithe woman like Harley could muster. 'I won't lie, I winced. I know what it's like to be hit like that...only it was the Hulk, and a big green fist. Or the Thing, and a big orange fist. Or the Juggernaut, and a big red fist. Or the Rhino, and a big gray fist. Man, why do most the guys I fight hit like a battering ram. It's not fair.'
Peter watched the hero's first reaction thwarted by the whip holding his arm, his body wanting to toss itself backward and off the ground with the blow. Instead he wrenched forward, coughing out a small amount of bile and spit. Selina held fast to the tethered line, and Batman dropped to a knee, hacking and practically begging silently for the air to return to his lungs. He released the Batarang, and cradled his chest with that arm. He didn't say anything, leaving it only at breathing hard.
Tenebrae took a step backward, making sure he was just out of reach. Taking in the entirety of the incredulous scene before him. Batman, Gotham's protector, global hero, was basically at their mercy. Peter guessed there were tricks Bats could pull off to save himself, but together they had effectively, and literally, winded him.
"Nice job T. It's not everyday you see the Bat beaten like this." Selina said, sounding pretty pleased. Peter wasn't quite sure how to take that. 'I'd already heard from Harley about Selina's relationship with the Bat. I have, err had, the same thing with Felicia. The love hate, good guy bad girl, side hopping kinda thing some of us heroes have with the line riders like both Cats. I wasn't sure where they were at right now, but my guess was she was leaning toward the Sirens right now.'
"Look at the big bad bat bowing before me. If only Mista J could see me now. He'd be all fire and brimstone." Harley gloated, skipping in place. Peter stood slightly off to the side silently, not because of what he was told, but because of what was going on inside him. The heat of the moment was dwindling, and he was watching the scene with a much clearer head. Uncertainly roiled up inside of him.
Batman made a move for his belt, but Harley saw it. She quickly spun her hips, kicking at his chest with her right foot. He quickly brought his loose arm up to block, but that just dulled the blow. The kick wasn't as hard as she could've made it, but it was enough to cause a huge surge of pain in the hero. Then Kyle yanked on the whip, unbalancing Batman again. He had to brace himself on his free arm, lest he fall forward on his face.
"Naughty Batman, thinking we'd let ya try somthin." Harley bent forward at the hips, her mallet resting head down on the street, with her right hand on the end of the hilt. She was smirking almost seductively at the vigilante. 'That pose was so sexy, Batman better have appreciated it.'
The warped door to the bookstore, thumped loudly, catching everyone's attention. The tense situation with Batman had waylay-ed remembering that the girls had just escaped a fire fight in the store. 'In our defense, this whole scenario played out in like a minute and a half.'
"Harley we need to go. Stop playing around with the Bat and let's get out of here." Catwoman called as she flicked her whip hand, unwrapping the business end from Batman's arm, and recalled the rope.
"Aww poopie. Well Bats, I hate ta hit and run, but..." Quinn lightly kicked the head of the mallet, and swung it up, back into a two handed hold. She pulled the large weapon back behind her head, ready to strike down on the incapacitated Batman. "...here's something to remember me by. Nighty night." Her crazy grin returned, and a mad joy flashed in her eyes. The mallet swung forward in a high arc, only to be stopped mid swing.
Tenebrae stood next to her now, his steel grip on the handle above her head. Harley whipped her head toward him, wrath replacing the joy. Her angry eyes fell on a solid black unreadable mask. She narrowed her eyes, and was about to let loose a choice set of words, but was stopped when a gruff hardened voice emitted from the black. 'To help you imagine my Tenebrae voice, think if Wolverine had a cold...wait that can't happen. Umm...oh how about if Christian Bale had a cold. Yeah that sounds better.'
"Enough." Even with the change of voice, Peter said this in almost a whisper. Harley Quinn's anger quickly melted away, as she let out a breath.
"He's right Harley, we don't have time right now. Let's go." Catwoman called, as she ran to the car, quickly jumping into the driver's seat and starting it up. She sounded very slightly relieved.
"Fine fine. Well Batty Boy, we'll have ta play again soon." Tenebrae let go of her weapon, and she let it rest on her right shoulder. "Let's go T." She smiled happily at Peter, and he could see it was a mask for her annoyance with him. Selina had the car backed up to them, and Harley hood slid to the passenger side.
Peter looked down to Batman, who was staring right back at him. Both blank lenses locked together for a few moments. Both expressions unreadable for different reasons. Batman was obviously recovering quick, and Peter felt he could leave him to escape without to much worry.
And just like that Tenebrae turned away from the Dark Knight, and hopped into the getaway vehicle. Selina backed the car onto the sidewalk, and with screeching tires took off down the road, away from the night's debacle. Batman managed to stand up and watch them leave. Peter thought he saw the cape fly up toward them, when he turn back around to watch. He did see the door finally kick open and a young boy in a costume exit, before they slid around a corner and he lost sight of them.
"WOOHOO! We totally kicked batty boy's ass tonight. He was practically begging fer his life. Such a wonderful feeling. Ya did awesome tonight Petey." Harley was literally bouncing in her seat. Even if she wasn't happy with Tenebrae stopping her from delivering a deadly blow to the Caped Crusader, it didn't show now. Peter guessed she was just riding the adrenaline, and being her usual giddy self.
"Uh yeah...thanks." Peter acknowledged Harls, but only that. His mind was back in the street, and the showdown he just had with Batman. The rest of whatever the two Sirens were talking about, was lost on him, his thoughts taking precedence. 'We really just took down THE Batman. A part of me wants to be celebrating with Harls, I can't deny that. I know I didn't do anything officially wrong. Well aiding and abetting sure, but I really didn't do anything out of the ordinary except that. Why do I feel so wrong then?' He questioned to himself, hoping to get answers from the same source.
'I've fought many a hero in my time. Mostly misunderstandings, some because we had to choose a side, sometimes just because the wrong thing was said at the right time, or circumstances differed, but it happens. I don't know any hero who's not had to fight another hero at some point. We may all stand for the greater good, justice, and what's right. That still doesn't mean we always see eye to eye, or believe in the same course of action. The Superhuman Registration Act, and following Civil War back home are testaments to that. Let me tell you, it was hard to see who was in the right. That's pretty much how I was feeling at this moment. I'd fought another hero without cause, aside the threat of death, and it felt very wrong. But...I hadn't truly done anything wrong, had I? I beat him sure, but it was to protect the girls, and I stopped Harleen from really hurting him. It was a loose justification, but it eased my mind. I needed something to hold onto to prove I wasn't a total criminal, and that was the best I had at that point. I could only hope Batman never figured out it was Spider-Man under the black mask. Still they don't call him Detective for nothing.'
"Yo Parker, you in there?" Selina's voice finally penetrated his jumbled mind, snapping him back to the now. At some point the women realized he was almost in a trance of though, and tried to bring him out of it. Harleen was right in my face, snapping her fingers in front of my nose, and Kyle in the front was turned around staring at me worriedly. She had pulled off the street and into a parking garage. The concern in their eyes finally registered to Peter, and he shook his head several times.
"Wha...oh sorry. I was just thinking." He apologized, his blank mask looking from Catwoman to Quinn.
"Well stop, it's scary when ya aren't talking. Ya had us worried." Harley pouted, her bottom lip sticking out cutely. Peter sighed, and his body slacked a bit.
"Sorry." He murmured, running his right hand over the bottom of his jaw and around to the back of his neck. 'To give a bit more perspective on how I was feeling imagine me trying to protect some villain because of circumstances, it's happened trust me. Then Captain America shows up and now I'm fighting him. Then here's the kicker, I can't tell him why because of some reason or another. So I end up beating Cap, it can happen, and now I want to explain myself, but cant. So now there is this cloud of uncertainty between us. I can explain everything to him later, and he can forgive me, but that cloud will be there for a good long time. It's kinda like that, but now I'm fighting another hero I've only met once, and he already doesn't trust me. So if he ever finds out who Tenebrae was I will probably never be able to earn his trust. That's pretty much how I was feeling at that point.'
"Yeah no problem, but for now lets just make our escape okay. We still have a lot of ground to cover before we can relax. C'mon." Selina's tone exuded exasperation. She let out a breath and got out of the car. Harley didn't follow immediately. While still turned around in her seat facing the man in the back seat, she reached out and put a reassuring hand on his shoulder. Her smile was sympathetic.
"We'll have a talk about it when we get back, kay Pete?" Harleen said softly, in a no nonsense tone. Peter looked up and sighed, before he gave her a faint smile and nod. The nod was the only thing being seen, and Harley Quinn quickly shuffled out of the car. Tenebrae followed after a moment, and the three of them took to the fire escape of the building next to the garage. The trek home was done mostly in silence, but the girls did talk about the transaction a bit. 'I should explain this, since gloomy there basically kept to himself. Precautions have to be taken to escape the Batman, most all repeat rogues in Gotham know this. As resourceful as Bats is, you better be sure to cover your tracks. This was where the stolen car, and hoofing it came into play. We dropped the car off in a predesignated location, which was gonna happen even if he didn't show up. Then it was off to the roof tops for a ways, followed by entering an escape building. Escape buildings are places the criminals have keys or access to, that are meant as a lay low point, temporarily. There are many points in Gotham alone that are used as such. It's actually amazing how thorough criminals are at escaping, at least the good ones. This particular apartment building was accessed by an always broken window lock to a vacant room. Inside we all switched to civies, and exited the building through the front door. From there we split into two groups, me and Harls together in one. Then we would make our separate ways back to the loft. See pretty dang efficient.'
Harleen did her best to keep the mood light on the trip back. She kept Peter company by wrapping herself around his arm, and resting her head on his shoulder. To anyone else they just looked like a couple walking down the street. While he wasn't much for conversation, Quinn kept him chatting about random things that weren't job related. 'I know I've said this a few times, but I really can't thank her enough for those first few months. She really helped me, especially with those "talks" she mentioned earlier. She got to be a psychologist once again, and I got to vent. Anyways, fast forward to the return home.'
The light mood Harleen had created between her and Peter shattered as soon as they heard shouting outside the lift. The two voices were obvious to them, Kyle and Isley, and neither was happy.
"...times do I need to say I'm sorry!" Selina's voice trailed, like she was moving quickly. When the lift finally came to a stop, Peter quickly rose the the gate, and Harley ran inside. The scene that met them was Ivy pissed, several plants around the living room grown well beyond proportion and were lashing at Cat, with her dodging to and fro. Pam was dressed in a slightly loose white tank top, black baggy sweats, and thermal socks. 'Guessing from her slightly matted hair, she had recently taken a shower. So this was comfy just before bed relax wear. What? A guy tends to notice the states of dress his lady roommates walk around in. It's not creepy at all, just being observational.' Selina had at least placed her black leather coat away sometime before being attacked, as she was in her brown long sleeved turtle neck, and blue jeans.'If you're curious, and I know you are, Bubbles was in her black jacket, red long sleeved shirt, blue jeans, military boots, a red knit beret hat, with her glasses. And for the ladies, I was in my newly acquired brown leather jacket, a black long sleeved shirt, blue jeans, and tan steel toed winter boots. Yeah I don't have many settings for my civies in the FF suit.'
"RED STOP!" Harls nearly screamed making her way toward the enraged woman. Pamela's attention shifted to her friend, and the plants halted their advance on Selina. "What the hell's the matter?" Harleen asked panicking. Peter moved across the room to check on the target of Poison Ivy's wrath. Selina gave him a reaffirming nod that she was okay, as he started looking her over for injuries.
"This stupid bitch put us all in danger!" Pamela growled to Harley, pointing a sharp nailed finger at the black haired woman. "Black Mask will now think you and I are in on the information theft, because she dragged you along on the exchange! He's going to be on the warpath to get it back too, if tonight was any indication!" Ivy's voice had dropped a few decibels, but the anger was no less evident. She fixed her furious gaze on the two in the living room.
"Listen I'll find another buyer and get rid of it, I just need some time." Selina defiantly pleaded, her body still tensed and ready to run. Peter made sure to stand slightly between her and Poison Ivy, but off to the side enough to not block her line of sight. The last he wanted to do was get Ivy pissed off at him. Should that happen he doubted he could move fast enough to stop her from using her "child" to drop him.
"How could she know her buyer would turn her in? It's not fair to put the blame on her...ARGH!" Peter reasoned, attempting to calm Pamela down. The green skinned woman shifted stare to the only guy in the room, who had his hands slightly up in defense, and balled her left hand into a fist. Parker grimaced and dropped to his hands and knees instantly. 'It wasn't the worst she'd put me through, but it still hurt like a mother.'
"Parker!" Kyle quickly dropped to a knee next to him, and put her arms around him trying to keep him off the floor.
"She stole from Black Mask! He runs one of the largest criminal empires in Gotham. He will buy out every broker in the city to get that information back. And now that she's dragged us into this, our security is in jeopardy. So don't go defending this bitch. You have no idea..." Pam started her voice rising again with each sentence, along with the paralytic pain from her seed. Parker slid forward slightly, his wall crawling powers fluctuating with the strain and agony, but thanks to Selina he at least wasn't sprawled out on the floor.
"Red it's fine, we'll find a..." Harleen cautiously grabbed her friend's left hand in both hers, again bringing attention back to the jester. The distraction released Spidey from her will, and he tucked his forearms underneath himself as a brace, with the echoing pain still coursing inside him. He was shaking and doing his best to get his breathing under control. Catwoman carefully helped him up into a sitting position, throwing his arm around shoulder.
"Stop defending her! She put you in danger..." Ivy interrupted Quinn's plea, but in turn was interrupted herself, by a wavering loud voice.
"Then I'll take the heat off of you." Peter raised his voice above Pamela's to make sure he had everyone's attention. His fists were clenched at his sides, and his head was hung forward slightly. All the women in the room froze, and stared at him with wide eyed disbelief.
"What? And how do you plan to..." Isley began confused.
"I'll double my efforts as Spider-Man. Make sure that this Black Mask guy has to focus on me. That should take enough heat off of you to get rid of the information, right Selina?" His determination, even in the face of the slowly receding agony, caught her off guard. 'Having one's nervous system crushed is painful, I will not deny that, but try going up against Morlun, or Firelord, or two Phoenix charge mutant siblings already out of my league. Now that is pain.' He could see the wheels trying to kick start in her head, his declaration needing to process, but she still came through for him.
"It would take some serious doing, but yeah that could work. Give me about a week, and I can find a buyer outside Gotham." The black haired woman confirmed, before looking up to Ivy for approval. Peter slowly raised his head to get Pam's reaction as well. His brown eyes locking onto the beautiful pale green skinned red head.
The next few moments were heavy with tension. Pam was eying Peter hard, trying to find some form of reluctance in his declaration, while Harleen and Selina fluctuated from looking at one another to either of the former. Slowly Poison Ivy's scowl turned into a manageable frown, but she never took her black and gold eyes off of her lackey.
"Why? Why put yourself in more danger for her? It would be so much easier to just turn her over to Black Mask, and even gain favor with him." Pamela Isley asked, but the undertone in her voice demanded an answer to her question. Peter had steadied himself in the time before her asking, and propped himself up onto one knee, using his arms as braces on the righted knee.
"Because she's my friend. You all are. I know we barley know each other, and there's the obvious gap between our professions which really strains trust. Still you ladies took me in and gave me a home, reluctantly and not without stipulations granted...and the consequence is rather steep, but... I'm gonna hold up my end of the bargain and be your hero. If that means putting my life on the line to make sure your safety is assured, then so be it. It's not like it would be the first time anyway. Just...at least let Kitty try." By the end of his impassioned speech, he was on his feet but leaning on Selina's slightly shorter frame, his right arm around her shoulders.
Harleen's eyes were sparkling, she knew she had liked Peter, but being called his friend, by him, just made her light up. She tugged slightly on Pamela's hand again, like a eager child. "Red?" She asked her friend in a quiet hopeful tone.
Poison Ivy was much harder to read at this point. She refused to drop her dangerous glare, but she felt her anger diminish slowly. If the idiotic man before him was willing to throw himself into harms way to protect them, then he was doing exactly what she ordered him to. But being called a friend, and with no hint of falsity, annoyed her greatly but also drained some of her animosity toward the man. Did she consider him a friend, no, but did she mind him fighting so hard for her safety, no. That was actually kind of flattering, especially considering he wasn't a mindless thrall. He could very well have just been trying to stave off her using her "child" on him, but found herself doubting that. Something she had learned over the week, even in their limited interactions, he was idiot, but an honest idiot.
Pamela unclasped her fists, and looked down at the the blond woman holding onto her. She let out a short sigh, after meeting Harley's pleading puppy dog expression, and turned back to Peter and Selina. "One week. If this issue isn't resolved by then I will throw her to Black Mask myself, do I make myself clear?" Ivy's authoritative voice at that point gave no room for disagreement.
"Thanks." Peter let loose a held breath, and Selina simply nodded to the plant woman. Harley however lit up, and strait up hugged Ivy. She affectionately rubbed her face against Pam's, making the tough girl appearance fall like a ton of bricks in Peter's eyes. Poison Ivy quickly disentangle herself from the blond, and started to make her normal escape into the Garden of Eden. She halted at the base of the stairs, her slender hand on the railing. At this point, Harls had moved over to Kyle and Parker, grabbing his free hand with both hers, and bouncing on her balls of her feet, thanking him for calling her his friend.
"Parker I wish to speak with you privately." The three in the living room halted in their relief, and Peter sheepishly met Pam's gaze.
"Uh sure, of course." Peter took a careful step, making sure his legs actually wanted to work, and then was about to make his way to the ascending Isley, when Kyle put her hand on his shoulder. She leaned close to him and gave him a chaste peck on the cheek. The vigilante's cheeks burned red slightly. Catwoman grinned and moved her lips to his ear.
"Thanks Pete." She whispered, and then let him go. Peter just gave her a goofy grin, and started toward the stairs again.
"No fair!" Quinn suddenly grumbled slightly miffed, and hopped onto his back, hugging him tightly from around his neck. Peter's eyes bulged slightly as he was drawn backward. 'Do you have any idea what three inches of height difference can do to ones spine when being hugged from behind? Not to mention Bubbles hugs like a bear, so my windpipe was in danger, but...' She bounced up and planted a black lipstick kiss on his left cheek '...worth it.', before squeezing herself onto him. "Tonight was fun. We'll have to kick bat butt again soon. Thanks Petey." Harleen's voice was slightly lyrical in her thanks, and she let him go, Spidey pulling himself back forward, and absentmindedly rubbing the front of his neck.
"Sure, next time, Harls." Parker slightly coughed out, but finally he was able to follow the already gone Pam. He removed his coat and dropped it on the couch before heading upstairs. Selina had occupied the recliner before Harley's show of affection, and was watching the flustered guy leave with a mischievous grin. She was sitting cross legged with her left arm across her lap, holding her right elbow, who's hand held her chin in it. Quinn just stood at the edge of the sunken living room almost strait as an arrow smiling widely, and finger waving Peter off. 'Kinda surprising how quickly the just diffused time bomb of a situation is brushed off by those two. I guess you learn to shrug off death threats by your criminal buddies pretty quickly in this line of work. Either that or me being scarlet was a much more interesting situation.'
Upon entering the Garden Peter had fought down his blush, and had the common decency to return to a very cautious and careful state. Poison Ivy was about to talk to him, alone, with no defense coming from either of the other gals. 'Nervous didn't being to describe it. I swear the Batman confrontation was just an iota more stressful than this potential deathtrap. Mainly because I know what I could have been traipsing into.'
"Umm, Ivy I'm here. What did you want to talk about? I'm not in trouble am I, cause I swear that was all the them back in the living room." Peter stated nervously, as he cautiously entered the jungle. He carefully reached out with his Spider-Sense, just to be ready. Not spying her immediately he looked around before advancing further.
"I swear one day I'm going to rip out your vocal cords." Her voice came from the grassy opening near the far wall. So Peter headed that way. 'At least she's threatening me, instead of the silent treatment.' He thought. 'The silent treatment is ten times worse, trust me.'
"Get in line. It's close to three miles lon..nnnngah..." He froze in place immediately as he entered the clearing. There sitting with her right leg over her left, was a very naked, very stern looking Pamela Isley. 'Told ya I've seen her naked before. Does that sound like bragging? Cause it totally is.' Her hair was tastefully and teasingly covering the intimate parts of her lovely chest, and her crossed legs obscured her other private area well. Somewhere along the line she must have removed her before bed comfy relax wear. Ivy was sitting on her overgrown toadstool, leaning back a bit, using her arms as braces. 'If she was at all concerned for her modesty it didn't show, and honestly I didn't care. Still, I didn't need my Spidey-Sense to tell me that this wasn't for my benefit. This was a form of intimidation, showing just how little my presence mattered to her, more or less. She could have also just been wanting to see me squirm. A bit of both probably.' Even with all the more intriguing spots his eyes could have rested, Peter made sure to keep them on her extremely beautiful face.
"At least I know one way to shut you up." Pam's voice hadn't lost an ounce of annoyance, and her expression mirror it. 'Still sexy as hell when she's annoyed though.'
"Dwah." Peter replied intelligently, but shook his head, when her gaze hardened. 'Shutting up now.'
"I'm going to keep this brief, as I don't want you here any longer than needed. So just zip it and listen." She started, making it clear she wasn't playing around. Spidey swallowed slightly, and nodded that he understood.
"You did well in protecting Harley tonight." She didn't hide the obvious bad taste she tasted when saying that. Something Peter took as a positive, since it wasn't outright spite. "Black Mask's ambush, with Deadshot being there, could have gone much worse. You played your part as Tenebrae well, especially against Batman. 'I had no idea how she knew this. It could have been told to her by Selina, but I doubt she knew about the sniper on the roof. So I had to assume it was her "child" in me. That didn't help alleviate the unease I felt at that point. She seemed to know way to much, it was downright unsettling. I mean I know how now, but that comes much later.' " Considering this was praise, Peter felt less nervous about this talk, but internally his mind was racing on just how much the seed inside him could relay.
"Than..." He started.
"I'm not done." Pam shot him down quickly, her frown deepening. "You three had Batman in the palm of your hands, and you let him go. Do you realize just how many people would have killed for that opportunity? Why didn't you let Harley finish the job?" She asked, but Peter expected she already knew the answer, and this was a rhetorical question.
"I...I agreed to protect you, not to help kill others. I can't...no, I won't." SPIDER-SENSE! Peter's body quickly tensed on reflex. He saw Ivy getting ready to move her left hand, and the threat was very real. She hated being talked back to, especially by him, but he wasn't going to kill for her. So Spider-Man clenched his fists, braced himself, and awaited the pain, but he never broke eye contact with her. Then the Spider-Sense slowed to a slight drum. Pam simply repositioned her left arm behind her to be more comfortable, and broke a dangerous knowing smile.
"Cute, but if you really are going to keep your promise you may very well be put into that position. How will you handle it then?" Poison Ivy's question hung in the air for a few moments. Peter had no actual response to give her, he'd never really been this deep down the rabbit hole before. Sure he realized that the criminal element was much less forgiving, for lack of a better word. He had even thought of scenarios of that exact nature while training as Tenebrae, but he could never finish them. More like he refused to.
"I'll make sure that it never comes to that. I refuse to let anyone die if it's in my power to prevent it. That goes for those who I'm protecting you from. I'm not going to change just because I'm working within the criminal element now. As a great man once said: With great power, comes great responsibility." Peter Parker stated with absolute conviction. 'I'll be damned before I change who I am just because of my alignment. At least...when I can help it. Lets just say the incident wasn't pretty.' His resolve made Ivy's smile drop, being replaced with a frown that showed she wasn't all to pleased with his answer. She let out an exasperated sigh, and rolled her eyes at him.
"Very admirable. I guess we'll just have to see when the time comes then, wont we? Until then just make sure to continue being our hero." She emphasized "hero' mockingly, with a smirk. Raising her right hand she made a shoeing gesture indication he could get the hell out of her sight.
"I guess we will." Peter affirmed seriously, then rolled his shoulders a bit before turning to leave. He stopped a few steps away from the red haired beauty, and looked over his left shoulder. "Have a good night, Ivy." He said kindly, and as if the previous conversation never happened. This slightly caught the woman off guard. She wasn't ready for the simple kind gesture, but she didn't let it register beyond averting her gaze, and turning around on the toadstool to her workbench. Spidey left quietly after that, preferring to just have a good nights rest now.
Dec. 24th / Present
'Some night, huh? Luckily that's all in the past now.'
Peter was checking his list inside the ascending lift about an hour later. Back in his street clothes, and an empty red sac slung over his shoulder, he looked at the last names on the list, Pam, Harley, and Wanda. Having already wrapped both the former's presents, which were under the impressively decorated tree, that just left the little red rectangular box in his jacket pocket. 'It took me some time to actually come up with an idea of what to get her. I hope she'll like it, I spend a good deal of thinking it up and making it. It may look simple, but I think it'll speak volumes. At least I hope it will.'
Again Peter's mind had wandered to his fellow Avenger and dimension traveler. His right hand entered his jacket pocket, and clasped the box in there.
"Someday I hope I can give this to you Wanda. Wherever you are Merry Christmas." He said softly, as the lift came to a halt. Immediately he is assaulted by the smell of freshly baked cookies. It easily overpowered the early turkey dinner they all enjoyed prior to his departure for patrol. Peter was officially in cookie heaven. He'd had the delight of being spoiled by Harleen's chocolate chip cookies over the year, and always got excited once he smelled a fresh batch.
He lifted the gate, and went to the coat rack still entranced by the smell. Slinging both the bag and coat onto the hangers, he turned to find he was alone on the first floor. The illumination around him mostly consisted of the Christmas lights, several turned on lamps, and the kitchen island's over head. It was a pleasant mood setting, add in the aroma of baked goods, and Peter felt like he was truly back home. He hadn't felt like this since he was last at his Aunt May's a year ago. No longer just a house was the loft it was a home.
"Merry Christmas Eve ladies. I'm back. What say we break out the nog and wait up for Santa?" He calls out loud enough to be heard upstairs. He heard one of the doors upstairs wrench open quickly, and the sound of many bells ringing echoing toward him.
"MERRY CHRISTMAS PETEY! WELCOME HOME!" Harley shouts joyously, as she barley stops herself at the railing on the second story. Looking up he sees her huge toothy smile and lustrous bright blue eyes, just before she pulls back a bit from the railing, still holding onto it, and then hurls herself over the side. Quinzel pulls herself into a giggling ball, tucking her legs up against her stomach, and her arms on together over her chest, as she falls.
Reflex kicks in and Peter runs under her, catching her effortlessly in his arms. She obviously had no worry that he would be there to catch her, as she instantly opened her baby blues, and wraps her arms around his neck, pulling her housemate into a tight hug. Pete's face is buried into her collar, just above her breasts, as she affectionately rubs her cheek against the side of his head, humming lightly. The moment of worry gone, Parker grows himself a big smile, and just lets the hug happen. 'Like I'd want to stop it anyway.'
"Merry merry Harleen. Have you been a good girl so Santa will bring you lots of presents?" He asks fatherly, knowing full well the answer is no. 'Yes and no actually. But we'll get into that later.' Harley pulls back from him, her arms still around his neck, a coy grin spread over her face. Peter is finally able to see what she is dressed as, and where all those jiggling bells came from.
Harley was dressed in a red velvet vest top, with white fluff lining around the neck, down the clasps, and along the bottom hem. There are two jingling golden bells on the top hem of each shoulder, and running down her arms were red and white horizontally striped arm covers, coming down to mid hand, with a hole for the thumb to wiggle through. Matching the vest is a knee-length skirt, with white fluff around the bottom, and two large golden bells attached to the right and left side of the fluff respectively. She had white and red diagonally striped stockings covering her legs, down to the red elf shoes, complete with a curly point and a bell at the end of each. Wrapping the ensemble up was a two pronged jester Santa Cap, curving backward, with bells at the end of each tip, her golden hair done up inside the prongs, with some bangs hanging out rebelliously over her face. 'Normally you'd think this would be overboard, even for the most avid holiday enthusiast, but for Bubbles, this is just par for the course. She comes up with some crazy costume ideas, and manages to look amazing in each and every one. I guess it's just part of who this wonderful woman is.'
"So how do I look, very lick-able or what?" Harls almost purrs the question, sending the man currently holding her a smoldering look. Peter forces down a sudden lump in his throat, before he responds.
"If you were a candy cane, I would just eat you up." Spidey says with a forced confidence. 'Now don't get me wrong, Harleen flirts with me ALL. THE. TIME. I'm very used to that and her clinging nature. I like that about her, she doesn't hold back much in the emotional or intimacy department. I even join in on it, heck I find it harmless enough. Whenever we go somewhere she occupies one of my arms, rubs he against me playfully, gives me hugs in the open and even kisses my cheeks regularly. Heck I do the same back, it's honestly nice to be so open that we are good friends. However, whenever Pam would join us on the outings, she would shoo Harley away, saying the PDA is making her gag, or an excuse similar. But this, that look, that tone of voice, I can swear she is actually seriously trying to come on to me. Or that's just the man downstairs praying it is true. Either way, YOWZA!'
"My my Petey, getting bolder aren't we? We're not even alone right now." Quinn leans in and whispers this part into his ear playfully, with a distinct undertone of sultry. 'Oh sweet merciful...' Peter blooms in a red hue, again he forces a second sudden lump down with an audible gulp, and looks into Harley's half lidded eyes when she pulls back from him. "Well, we're waiting." She leans her head back, along with her upper body, and calls up toward the top of the stairs. Her lower right leg points upward, from over his arm under her knees, just for emphasis. Peter shakes his dazed head quickly then follows her gaze to the top of the flight.
"You are going to give the fool a heart attack Harley." 'I...I...I...' Pamela rolls her eyes, as she descends the stairs daintily. 'Slow mo start, and cue "Take My Breath Away" by Berlin. If this is the last sight I see before I die, I can die a happy man. Pam has officially replaced Jessica Rabbit as the hottest red head ever created, hands down.' Poison Ivy was dressed to kill 'And by my heart's refusal to beat, doing just that.'. Peter drinks her in more with every step down she takes.
Starting from her toes, she has plain crimson leg warmers, flowing into a tight thigh-length one piece, also crimson, dress. The little red dress is both strapless and stops at the cups to the bosom, which cut a short v in between showing a generous amount of her breasts. It was also backless till just above the tail bone. It was simple, but it accentuated her pale emerald flesh. Her exposed flesh was tastefully peppered with red leaves, which seemed to radiate a soft glow in the low lighting. A large maple leaves rested under each collar bone, and from their tails, a thin vine trailed down each arm, red leaves sprouting from the vines, ending in another larger red maple leaf on the back of each hand. Ivy had two strands of emerald ivy intertwined in her hair, running from behind her ears down into the long french braid she now wore. Along the tiny vines were small vibrant green leaves which stuck to her hair in flow back pattern. One eye catchinly large brilliant red Christmas Amaryllis flower adorned the right side of her hair line. And finally on each cheek was a single red leaf. Their seeming glow accentuated her golden/ebony eyes, which were locked onto Peter's stare.
Sometime during Peter's enrapture with Pam's state of dress, Harley had hopped out of his arms, and was standing off to his side shifting from watching him and Ivy, a huge knowing smile there. Ivy made sure to keep her eyes on the vigilante below to gauge his reaction to her. Needless to say the sheer shock and wide-eyed amazement he displayed brought a small smile to her face. She could even feel her cheeks heat up, putting a emerald tint to them.
When Pam joined the three at the bottom of the steps she side glanced to Harleen, who's smile grew wider, and she nodded sideways to Peter. The Queen in Green lifted her hand and put her index finger to the bottom on his chin. "It's polite to compliment a lady on her outfit, not drool on the floor, Parker." With that said she flicked her finger, and closed Peter's mouth. His head shook slightly, then he blinked a few times, coming back to reality.
"I...uh...wow, Pam you look...beautiful. Uh...what's the occasion?" 'Noooo! Such a stupid question, c'mon Parker.' Peter stammers slightly. As usual his right hand goes to the back his shaggy brown hair, scratching it nervously. He doesn't see it, but as Ivy is looking to the side, her blush darkens a bit.
"Well seeing as it's Christmas Eve, and we're having a party, I felt the urge to dress up nice. Is that a problem?" She asked teasingly, looking back at him with mock anger. Peter thrust his hands out in front of him defensively and rapidly shook his head no.
"No no no of course not. I'm just..." Suddenly Harley threw her right arm up between them, and stopped it just above everyone. Dangling between her clasped thumb and pointer finger was some mistletoe. 'Oh my god Bubbles...'
"Let's start this party right! Everyone pucker up!" Quinzel said excitedly, bringing a quick gulp to Parker, and a slightly skittish look from Isley. She steps up in front of Peter, holding the mistletoe above them, and leans forward, pushing out her lips and closing her eyes. Spidey shoots Ivy a look, who just places her hands on her hips, and nods her head up, silently telling him to go on. He returns full focus to the patiently waiting woman in front of him with ready lips. Another gulp. 'Well Parker this is happening. Don't let the lady wait. Go on, go on.'
Slowly Pete leans in, pushing every ounce of determination he had forward. 'If I'm the luckiest man in the multiverse right now, then I'll get to kiss two intelligent, powerful, beautiful, and wonderful women tonight.' Only an inch separated the two, and he could hear his heart pounding in his ears.
"Spider-Man we have an emergency." 'SON OF A BITCH! UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLE! WHOEVER YOU ARE, YOU ARE SO DEAD!' The three roommates all start, and immediately look up to the second story windows, two rather pissed. There in front of an open window pane stood the Batman. 'Nooooo, NOOOO, NOOOOOO! Not now! What could be so FUC...'
"We've found the Scarlet Witch, and she's in trouble." He continued without hesitation.
"Wanda. . ." Peter said, suddenly breathless.
CHAPTER 5 & ARC 1: "How this Story Starts" END
A/N: I know, I'm a horrible ass for ending on that cliffhanger. Gotta keep you all interested. That being said, thanks to all who are still with me on this story. I know this chapter is two months off schedule, but Christmas time hit me hard, and put my muse in a holiday coma for a while. That excuse being said, I have made this chapter nearly 5K words longer in hopes you'll forgive me.
With this chapter we are officially out of the first Story Arc: "How This Story Starts". Yes that was the Arc name. We now move into the shorter, but very looked forward to "Red Christmas" Arc. A bit of info on this coming arc, it'll probably only be a chapter or two long depending, but as you guessed it revolves around Wanda, and it will totally be in present time. So there is something to look forward to.
Let's see, anything else, oh the next few chapters will be rather serious in tone, similar to this one, but we'll be swinging back around to the good stuff after a bit, and much more Spidey, Ivy, Harley back story and present development. Just for fun I'm gonna add another poll, and said poll will be about this story, and may influence it depending. So look to my profile page after you read this to vote. I eagerly look forward to the results. I think that's it for me now. I hope to not make you wait to long for the next chapter, cause I know you all wanna see what happens to Wanda. *Flame Shield On* Till next time everybody, up up and away! Oh and R&R please it's always good to hear what you have to say. Bye bye.
FrivolousThoughts: Thank you very much Friv. Your notes on that snippet really helped pull that part together. I won't lie, as soon as I started the 'bat and spider' speech it just flowed, and is a personal favorite of mine too. I'm glad the little time insertions helped make the story easier to follow. As for the 'Incident' as it is now officially called, my lips are sealed, you'll just have to wait like everybody else. Look forward to the next chapter, cause sh*& gets real, and Spidey has to really step up to the plate, both physically and emotionally. Till then, thanks for the support man. And I know it's late, but Merry X-Mas.
Psudocode Samurai: I'm very sorry for not getting this out in time for Christmas. I agree it would have mad it feel more authentic. And the comedy will resume, but for now it's time to jump into seriousness. The gifts will be interesting to say the least, but we'll have to wait a while for the reveal. As for the return, no comment. It may or may not happen, we'll have to see. Thanks for reading.
Selias: Man Selias, you really don't like Pam? What's up with that?
lostsoldierS636: My lips are sealed.
TheWickedTruth89: Keeping it up.
Mayhem296: Why thank you, I was going for giggly. And I wish I was that great of a writer, but if I did that the story would be over to fast. Maybe when I start getting paid to write, but until then, thanks for the support.
The New Creed: Glad you enjoyed so much of the story. Yeah Pete and Pam originally were the main pairing, but now, with the great dynamic between Harley, I am having second thoughts. However nothing is set in stone, so please forgive me not having any solid definite just yet. As for not know Bruce, Batman warned his apprentices to hide the truth, and the way Peter sees it, he won't dig if not wanted or needed. But that doesn't mean it wont happen. Thanks for reading.
Coppa-Cola: Thank you. I was really worried about the meeting, but I'm glad most everybody sees it as the way it would go.
qdon: Well hopefully this chapter will get you opening up more lol.
HaywireEagle: Hopefully not to ADHD, or Deadpool might sue him. And may the teases continue till the end.
ST3VETH3PIRATE: Explaining the 4th Walling. All 4th Walling is from the present. Peter is telling this story, and when it is present time, it's his thoughts. Hope that helps with the reading. Thanks for your support.
ZeAwsumOtaku: Sorry for the late update, here's another chapter as appeasement. Glad you are enjoying my fic. Thanks.
Harbinger of Kaos: All good questions, with only one I can answer definitely right now. What happened to Wanda will be found out in the next few chapters. Glad you're still here, thanks.
Never-End66: No worries, I totally understand. However I hope when things come to a head everyone will understand the OOC. Thanks for reading.
SUP: Honestly I couldn't understand some of that, but reply to what I got. Peter tends to build things up in his mind, so when all these war stories about Bats being the big bad hero came to him, of course he'd worry. As for the age difference, maybe Peter is younger, maybe not, that's the thing about comics they tend to not give specific ages of their characters, unless their newer it seems. Plus there is all the reboots, world changes, etc that screws with times lines. For this story though, I'm putting Peter mid to late 20's and the girls maybe a bit older, but not by much. Hope that helps. Thanks for reading.
JoWashington: Glad you like it, here's more to hopefully like. Good hypotheses my friend, but my lips are sealed, though I do have the plot already idea-d out. You'll just have to keep reading to find out.
Blizzardfang: Well you are with us now, and you shall not missing a chapter from now on. Thanks for reading.
A-BOMBLIKEABOSS: A diverting answer. There may or may not be, next question.
Guest #1: Depends on where you are in the story arcs of the comic. He could lift that much in Spider-Island when the Queen supercharged his powers yes. But he lost that after the arc.
ZeroKelvin: Lucky yes, but it's the Parker Luck, just remember that. I'm glad you found us through back channels, and really enjoy the story. I try to make something that appeals to my meticulous and subtle nature and appeal. So of course how about a story, being told by another story teller, who likes to keep suspense and plots mysterious. Hah hah! I'm weird. Thanks for reading.
GentlestCobra2: One game at at time, Ralph.
GreyAB: Thanks for reading.
warfolomei: Finally someone points out my first canonical error. Yes, but I write it as, the GL movie in this universe is a tribute movie, and they don't actually know who it is. It is indeed, but a very effective method of keeping him. Here's more buddy.
Hikari no Suzaku: Well I can't argue, but then again Ivy is complicated.
Devil Rebel: You like interesting pairings, check out "Caught in the Web" by FrivolousThoughts or "Everybody Loves Spidey" by Maximus-Reborn. And to answer your question Vie = Violet (Costume Color of Choice). Thanks for reading.
Legend of the Kyuubi: Because that was a part of Peter's life he really didn't want to associate with. It's a painful section in his history, and was really only brought up as a joke. FYI he crossed the name off as soon as he wrote it down, and didn't even tell the girls.
Slash16: Takes me a while sometimes, but I do keep writing. Here's the results.
Quelthias: Of course I''l continue this story. I'm loving at much as everyone else. Sciency lingo, well there will be more, but the situation really needs to need it. I am no science major myself, so I kinda need to know what I'm talking about to write it lol. The jokes, well the best way I can describe this is I've been an avid Spidey fan for many years, and I actually think his made up personality is close to mine. I just write the situation, and then the jokes come out. But the DC verse gives me plenty of cannon fodder. Glad you liked the meeting. Thanks for reading.
packjack: Ah hah, I see where the mistake lies. She wasn't the one who hired Firefly. In fact I don;t think she would ever, unless the situation was very dire. She just crashed the robbery in progress, and stole from the thieves. A very Catwoman move. I hope this chapter clears that up more, and them hanging out seems much easier. Thanks for reading.