2218/Cat as Catch Can

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Cat as Catch Can
Date of Scene: 24 June 2020
Location: Brooklyn
Synopsis: Felicia meets Peter, and talk about really big...swords.
Cast of Characters: Felicia Hardy, Peter Parker

Felicia Hardy has posed:
5:00 pm, on the street outside Ludo's. Clear blue day. Uncomfortably warm. The text simply said: 'Hey, wanna get some food?' Nothing else. After a bit of back and forth on where, Spidey suggested Ludo's, and that was good enough for the Black Cat, so 5 o'clock was agreed upon. Nothing said of why, no rules laid down. Nothing.

Only, Black Cat never arrived.

Instead, Felicia Hardy is loitering near a newspaper dispenser, wearing a pair of tight, hip-hugging designer jeans, a shiny black blouse, a black silk choker, and some running shoes. But while her outerwear was obviously made just for her, everything else she might have brought with her is left to the imagination.

Except for the long box she's carrying under one arm while looking at her phone.

Peter Parker has posed:
Spider-Man was sitting in the gated patio, waiting for the Black Cat to show.

Salvatore Ludo AKA Salvatore Ludovico had been a mid-level mobster who craved the spotlight, so when he turned state's evidence and got the Gravanos locked up to a man, he went into WitSec. However, he hated keeping a low profile, and set up the restaurant. His wife had to get the liquor license.

His survival was guaranteed bu the fact that any Gravano goons on the street were culled by the competition, and the existing families gave zero cares about the annoying little loudmouth.

Spidey had helped him out when a few guys had tried to trash his place, so now he got the VIP treatment in the gated area. He was a minor celebrity, and Sal Ludo knew he drew business.

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Well, someone in costume isn't hard to miss, and Felicia freezes with a cold shiver down her spine. About-facing, she wanders off, still looking at her phone. Rounding into an alleyway, she stays near the edge of it, just so no one can look over her shoulder as she thumb-texts rapidly, "u came in costume???"

Peter Parker has posed:
Spidey tilted his head, then sent, <Well, yeah. I'm not trying to share secrets, that seemed a little too personal. I told Ludo I was meeting another hero here. He's...kinda used to me showing up and meeting odd characters.> A pause. <If...you want to take some time to suit up, that's all right. I didn't want to pry into your personal life.>

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Felicia Hardy texts back with an annoyed tilt of her eyebrows, "not a hero!!" Her hips tilt to the side. This wasn't going like she'd planned. He was so easy to trick the last time! She thinks and adds, "sure u dont want to meet @ hellfire?" Then another line: "bought u something. small, black, and fancy"

Peter Parker has posed:
That earned a wince from Spidey. He'd HEARD things about the Hellfire Club. Stuff that made him give the place a wide berth.

The "small, black, and fancy" mention gave him a little chill down his spine. He knew something about the kind of stuff she enjoyed, and one of them was catching him off-guard...

Give her a chance, give her a chance...

<If you want to come to lunch without the costume, I can accept that. If you feel comfortable with it.>

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Felicia Hardy beams. Too easy. She's smiling as she thumb-texts back, "that was the idea!" Another line: "rdy when u r" She pauses, thinks, and adds with a pleased, sneaky  smile. "cant wait to give u ur gift <3" but then she pauses, frowns, and thinks to herself. She eyes his response and sets down her box, backspacing out. Instead she sends, "I can't wait to give you your gift :heart emoji:. I think you'll enjoy holding it close." That's better.

Peter Parker has posed:
Spider-Man smiled. Well, this was an unexpected thing, but if she felt comfortable with it...

<Okay. Tell the maitre'd you're here for Spidey, Party of Two. She'll bring you back.>

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Blink. Scowl. "You have to leave the suit behind too."

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Thinking on that, she sighs with closed eyes. "Look, people who meet Spider-Man get noticed. You may not have a bounty on your head (which is weird, btw, I checked) but I do. I want to keep a low profile too."

Peter Parker has posed:
Spider-Man blinked. <Hmmm. Well, there is a private room in the back. I'll ask Ludo.> There is a pause of about a minute, then Spider-Man comes back on. <Done. He'll escort you back and I'll meet you there after he leaves."

He probably has no idea he may be solving the wrong problem...

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Felicia Hardy eyes her phone suspiciously. He didn't actually promise to take off the costume. But...he's not really that sort. Right?

But it is super hot, she actually *isn't* wearing her suit under her clothes, and she wants some air conditioning. So she trots out of the alley, wanders back to Ludo's, and heads inside.

Soon she's waiting in the private room with a bit of trepidation, nervousness, and general anxiety. This could go super, super bad for her. Like, really bad. She shouldn't be here. This was dumb.

But she closes her eyes, breathes deeply, and centers. ...And undoes an additional button on her blouse. Really, it's less than her suit normally shows, but every little bit helps.

The long box is hidden under the table.

Peter Parker has posed:
Then a different door opens, and Spider-Man steps in.

She's...wow. If it wasn't for MJ occupyin his mind, the image of her would hav e moved in a long time ago, whether he wanted it or not. She was...well, she wasn't his age. Twenties, for sure. But she had that sense of experience. That should know a thousand ways to entrap a man's heart...and enough secrets to keep them.

She wasn't wearing the mask, or the costume. That was...more relaxing. Her costume displayed what it was meant to conceal. Just relax and talk. And maybe...just maybe...well, they could see what happens.

"Hey there, Cat," he says out loud. Because that's the only way he knows her.

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Felicia, meanwhile, looks shocked. Heartbroken. Her head turned away just a little when he walked in, her lips are a little parted, and her eyes are wounded. "You...actually wore it anyway." She sighs, eyes closed. "And I'm sitting here with no mask, no suit, no claws. I'm a moron. This was a stupid idea." She stands up quickly after scooting out of the booth.

Peter Parker has posed:
Spider-Man holds up a hand. "Wait...hang on, okay?"

He takes a deep breath. "Listen...if you're willing to trust me with your face, I was thinking...I should be able to trust you with mine. Sal doesn't know who I am, so...I asked for the private room so no one else would know."

He looks around, sure there is no recording devices currently running.
"Just...be ready for a letdown."

And with that, he reaches up to the mask and pulls upward, exposing his chin, his mouth, his nose...
Only this time, he's not stopping. It keeps going up until it just...pops off his head, revealing the face of...

Well, he's no one famous. In fact, short brown hair, brown eyes that do betray some intelligence behind them, in addition to the slight blush in his cheeks.

He could be anyone.

Felicia Hardy has posed:
That surprises her. A lot. She looks a little shocked again, but in a neutral way this time. Then positive over the course of the next couple seconds, showing a warm, surprised smile. "Hey, you *are* pretty cute!"

Hopping over with a bounce of, well, curves, she offers her hand. "You know, I figured there was about a 30 percent chance you were either horribly scarred, bug-eyed, or Bruce Wayne." Assuming her hand is taken, she lifts her eyebrows, "So, um, hi. I got you something."

Peter Parker has posed:
Spider-Man...or whoever he is...blinks. "Really, Cat? I...uhm, what do I call you when you are not...well, the Cat?"
His cheeks are flushing a little redder. If he is handsome, it's not something he hears from many other than his parents. He sounds like someone who has been teased gets a compliment and wants to know, if there is a punchline...usually served with a real punch.

Felicia Hardy has posed:
She waves a hand, brushing the concern aside, "Cat works. If you want my name, it'll cost you the price of asking really nicely." She turns a bit and asks, "Sooo..." Drawing out the 'o', she tilts her head coyly down and to the side a bit, she asks with high eyebrows, "Want me to get your gift out right now...?" She watches him with an innocent and totally, not-at-all-sly sidelong look as she gently tugs at the folded collar of her partially undone blouse.

Turned slightly to the side as she is, the lacy scallops of lingerie can *just* barely be seen along the fold of silk when she tugs on the point of her shirt's collar. Her platinum-silver hair is cascading over her shoulder as she watches him, *really, really good* at looking completely innocent.

Peter Parker has posed:
The young man - college age, if that, how old WAS he two years ago? - blinks and has the good grace to look down as he realizes normal clothes can reveal a little too much, as well. "I...well, I didn't know we were exchanging gifts. I didn't get *you* anything..."
He also looks a little woebegone. A young man who feels he is out of his league in her presence.

Felicia Hardy has posed:
"You really did."

Felicia sounds unusually serious when she says that, and she doesn't elaborate on what she means. Instead, she turns her back to him, walking with a lazy saunter toward the private little booth. "Anyway, thanks for answering my little questionnaire on what sort of evil creature you're fighting."

She slides a knee onto the seat cushion and glances back at him, "I'm not...really much of a fighter. Like, I *can*. And will! But~..." She looks away, leans down, and ducks her head under the table. 'But' indeed. If her jeans weren't custom tailored to her, they'd be a fifth of the way off already.

"...I got you something I think might help!" In the dark under the table, she blinks at the package, not really having thought through how she would actually get it out from this angle. She expected to be sitting in the seat normally, not on her knees with her backside in the air.

"If...I can...Um." Felicia grumbles a bit, fighting with it and making her buns twist and wiggle behind her. "If I can get it out."

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter turns quickly. MJ/Red Sonja is an epic woman on both sides, but he can't help but be reminded of one of Flash's cruder descriptions.

*"Those legs go all the way up and make a sexy ass of themselves."*

"You...can call me Pete." He takes a deep breath as he continues to look away. "Well, I never imagined I'd be sharing info about Lovecraftian horrors and evil sorcerers with anyone, but the pictures of the demons, the language, and the iconography should help if you come across anything like that in your...work."

Felicia Hardy has posed:
"Pete, huh? I dunno, you look more like a Peter to me. Or Pete-y." Felicia turns the box, ah-has, and starts to extract the four-foot long box carefully, "And anyway..."

Finally yanking the stupid box free, it makes a wooden *clank* sound against the edge of the table before settling on her lap. "...Cthulhu, Hastur, or whoever it is wasn't planning on you having this." She scoots back, stands up, turns, and presents the wrapped present to him with a formal little curtsey. "And *with* this, that Horror can politely go screw itself."

It's wrapped in black wrapping paper with two silver ribbons, and underneath is a very old, well-lacquered mahogany box. It has two brass latches, and the interior is lined with beautiful red felt.

And upon the felt lies a pure black hand-and-a-half sword.

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter is about to react to the "Petey" when he sees the box...and the sword within. His eyes go wide.

He may have his strengths in science, but he gets the feeling this thing is magical. Nothing that looks like THAT was made for the SCA.

But he steps back from it.

"Uhm...I can't use that." He paused, then took a deep breath to explain further. "I mean...one, I don't know how to use a sword. Red Sonja knows how to use a sword, and very well, and she already HAS her own sword. And as you could probably see from the vidclip marked SMALLPOX_HOSPITAL.MOV, she can use it very well..."

Another breath. "And...I can't use it because that's not me. I can web up these things just fine, but I can't just...kill. it's not in me to do it. So, a sword is more of a liability in my hands than an asset."

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Felicia *could* be really hurt by that, but instead she just gives him a :| look. "...Are you really telling me that Spider-Man would rather let an ancient blood-god overrun the four corners of the Earth than poke a tentacle with some sharp metal?" She lifts her eyebrows, "You *didn't* let me talk you out of fighting this stupid thing in the first place, so the *least* you can do is go after it properly equipped."

She offers the box again with a step forward, "And this is *the* Ebony Blade! Supposedly it eats demons and sorcerers. Or something." She glances down at it with a side-eye, "Immunity to magic spells-slash-attacks, blah blah. The books were pretty vague and Arthurian about it."

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter eyes it uncertainly. "...Or something." It might as well be a vial with a glowing-green slime with a Post-It that says, "KINDA SAFE."

Peter looks to Felicia. "There's something else. We know the guy's name, but we don't know where he is. We've seen his little butt-munching boogeymen and a couple of cave trolls, but we haven't seen Kulan Gath. Or any sign of Shuma-Gorath, thank you, God. This might be beneficial in a proper donnybrook, but there's been no sign of him since the mess at the smallpox hospital."

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Felicia Hardy trills a little, "Was Sean Bean with you for the cave trolls?" She looks way too amused by that, and can't stop smiling a stupid little smile as Pete continues the list of Bad Awfuls. Finally getting her expression mostly under control, she clears her throat and holds her hands out. "Well, if you don't want the actual, literal Sword of Killing Weird Magical Stuff, give it back!"

She puurrrrrs with a languid little twist of her whole body, eyes closed for a second, "Maybe *I'll* go kill Kulan Gath and Shuma-Gorath, and people will just *bring* me their diamonds instead of hiding them." She blinks her eyes at him with a warm, happy smile. "...Actually that doesn't sound like a terrible idea. I'm sure Taskmaster could show me how to use it in a day or two."

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter steps back from the sword in its box. Curious he may be, but even he has played enough D&D to know not to mess with magic items he does not have a proficiency for.

"If you kill Kulan Gath, I'll be amazed. If you kill an ELDER ONE like Shuma-Gorath, I'll be positively GOBSMACKED." He shakes his head. "Anyway, I *did* get to use the line, thankyewverymuch. AND none of them were strong enough to escape the webbing, so I *was* able to handle crowd control." He smirks, a lopsided smirk that tends to elevate his looks by being natural and unaffected. "So at least I bring SOMETHING to the table."

Felicia Hardy has posed:
"I think you bring a lot to the table."

It's said very quietly, with just a little real innocence bleeding through.

"...So you're really not going to use it?" She frowns down at the box, looking a little deflated, and clicks it shut. "...Guess I'd better return this, then." She glances aside, adding mostly to herself, "*IF* I can return this. Do ancient Merlin blades from days of yore require a receipt?"

She sighs and glances at the door. "We didn't even get any food, you know." Her clear blue eyes snap back to him sidelong, "I really was looking forward to a nice dinner."

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter shrugs. "I can put the mask back on and we can still have dinner. Without the magical weapons with the hidden strings. Because all magic items have strings attached. I am secure in this hypothesis."

He picks up a menu from the nearby table. "Their gnocchi is pretty good."

Felicia Hardy has posed:
"The only hidden strings I know of are attached to my underwear, Pete. Peter. P--"

She doesn't call him Pete-y this time. Just barely.

Felicia flashes him a wink, "Honest, though if you need to check you can."

At the offer of having dinner, she eyes the table for a moment, the box, and the floor. Then him, sidelong. Her head turns to face him, sending her moonlight hair over her shoulder. "...Sure. Gnocchi sounds good."