447/Home Ground

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Home Ground
Date of Scene: 12 March 2020
Location: Queens
Synopsis: A Black Cat shows up and gets invited to dinner with the Parkers.
Cast of Characters: Peter Parker, Felicia Hardy

Peter Parker has posed:
The data is telling. And it's telling a LOT.

The lion's share of photographs taken of Spider-Man are traced back to a geo-tagged drone camera, which explains many of the perspectives of the pictures. Using a drone for a camera...inventive. And the name attached to the pay stubs for the pictures...Peter B. Parker.
Who just happens to live in Queens, the same place Spider-Man comes and goes most often. They have SOME kind of relationship, but they could not be more different. The best theory is money. Peter provides something to Spider-Man, and Spidey clues him in. Which is a serious thing, considering the neighborhood Parker lives in.

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Felicia has done her research. She's been trying to find Spider-Man's "web" since the first night she came into contact with him. Sure, she has managed to follow him back a couple of times to the neighborhood where Peter Parker lives, but she has never been able to follow him home. This business relationship between him and the Parker kid seems to be a red herring each time she thinks she's getting close, and the results are infuriating to her.

Maybe if she could get Parker alone, she could get some information out of him. She has her ways, after all. But at the moment, she has been more concerned with finding Spider-Man's trail. Either to follow him, or to intercept him. Curiosity might kill the cat, but the thrill of the chase is a siren's call she simply cannot resist.

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter Parker steps out of the rear door onto the deck, placing the red rectangular box the size of a matchbox on the post at the rear of the deck. "Now...let's see how the infrared camera works."
He slides the glove on, then fired up the system, and the drone unfolded and lifted up gracefully into the air. Peter put a set of welder's goggles on, and smiled as the picture from the drone came through. His hand twitched, and the drone was off and moving over the house, following the route that had been pre-planned.

Felicia Hardy has posed:
As the drone clears the deck and a tree that overhangs its edge, the image that Peter sees might be unexpected. Perched on a branch there is the image of a woman in a skintight catsuit with fur trim. Her hair looks darker in the infrared image, but the domino mask is unmistakable. The woman watches the drone with catlike interest. As if, coming too close to her, the drone /might/ get pounced with enthusiasm. Transparent eyes on the image betray her interest in the small flying thing, and she smiles before her eyes dart down to look at Peter himself.

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter blinks and stops the programmed run immediately. The drone itself seems to jitter for a moment before drawing back, moving quickly back to the post next to the deck.

What the heck was he going to do? Did she KNOW? Holy Toledo, what if she knew?

"Uhm...you might want to come down from there..." Peter said carefully. "There's a wasp's nest about 30 feet to your right..."

Felicia Hardy has posed:
"Not anymore," comes the playful voice of the Black Cat, as she springs lightly down to the deck and lands next to Peter. "It's been relocated." Cat looks Peter up and down slowly, and gives him a mischievous grin. "Nice night for a little flight, eh?"

Peter Parker has posed:
Jeez Louise, she doesn't go halfway on ANYTHING, does she?

"You're the...the...that thief from Europe. The Black Cat."
Yep, the surprise is maybe 10 percent fake. She tracked him here, or tracked Spider-Man here. He had been so careful. How did...?
He backed up slightly. She had an undeniable presence, and it was unnerving to be so close to it.

Felicia Hardy has posed:
"Aww...you know who I am," Cat purrs. "You're just as smart as they say." She refocuses her attention on the tiny drone. "Is that the one? The one you use to take the pictures?" She tilts her head, looking fascinated. As she turns, a wasp sting becomes evident on her chest. The one place she isn't really protected. You know. Above her most vital organ. It's a small sacrifice to maintain the image.

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter nods almost reflexively. "Uhm, yeah, that's the one I made. I'm hoping to make a-"


Peter froze, whirling around to see...Aunt May. She is wearing an apron over her sun dress, and is STARING at the Black Cat, mouth slightly open.

"Aunt May! Hi! Sorry!" Words are tumbling out of his mouth. "This is...The Black Cat! I'm...uhm..."
Aunt May recovers slightly, eyeing Cat. "Are you one of those 'superheroes' my nephew takes pictures of? I vaguely remember seeing your picture in the BUGLE not too long ago..."

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Black Cat feigns a bashful head duck, and rakes her clawed, gloved fingers through her silver hair. "Well, Ma'am, I don't know if I'd say 'SUPER', I just...try to liberate stolen valuables from the wrong hands...and put them into the right ones." She lifts her eyes and offers a bright smile to the woman. "I've heard how brilliant Mr. Parker here is, and I just /had/ to meet him for myself."

Peter Parker has posed:
Aunt May tilts her head, regarding the Cat for a moment. "So...you are a guest, then." She looks to Peter, then says, "Well, don't be daft, Peter. The lady is a guest, so invite her to dinner!" She looks back to the Cat. "We're having Chicken Kiev, spinach casserole and baked potato. I'm sure you have to keep that mask on like when you're doing all those mad things..."

Aunt May steps forward, then grasps the ring of the zipper and pulls it up as high as it will go. "...but we prefer a certain level of MODESTY here, Miss Cat."

Felicia Hardy has posed:
"Of course!" Cat replies as she is being battened down for battle. Er. Dinner. "I was just removing the wasp nest in that tree, to keep Mr. Parker safe when he flies his drone. It wouldn't do to have him attacked if the little thing peeved them. I have to think about his safety. It sounds delicious...if Mr. Parker here doesn't object, of course." Her eyes cut to Peter, and suddenly they bear a faint green sparkle of mischief.

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter was suddenly, decisively outmaneuvered. He tried not to show defeat as he said formally, "Miss Cat, would you do us the honor of eating with us tonight?"

Aunt May smiled approvingly.

Felicia Hardy has posed:
"Ohh, why heavens! How could I resist such a lovely and generous invitation?" Cat replies to both Peter and Aunt May. "I'll have to repay your kindness, Ms. May. Do you like emeralds?"

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter's eyes go wide. "Uhm, Aunt May..."
"Oh, hush, Peter." Aunt May begins walking towards the back door, eliciting Cat to walk with her. "Now, I was never much for emeralds, but my Benjy showed me this star sapphire he had seen an enlisted man try to smuggle out of Vietnam..."

Peter stares at the both of them before he realizes he is being left behind and follows on the Cat's tail.

Felicia Hardy has posed:
"Oh, star sapphires are fabulous!" Cat chimes as she follows Aunt May inside. "I'll just bet I can get my paws on one that would make you blush. I'll definitely be on the lookout...I have contacts all over the world who can find these things." She flashes Peter a smile and winks.

Peter Parker has posed:
"Oh, fie, Miss Cat, don't go into such trouble. I'm sure there are much more useful things you can do. You know..." He holds up a finger as she step into the kitchen, allowing Felicia to see the house. A very fine, old house. Built in the 1930's, owned by a former gangster. Rumored to have a fortune stashed there. Dennis Carradine, another thief, had tried for it. Killed the uncle, only to find out the fortune had been there, but long since destroyed by silverfish.

Carradine was in Riker's doing a ten-year stretch for manslaughter. Spider-Man's first capture.

"Now, Peter, you entertain the lady while I get the food." She heads into the kitchen, where some truly delicious smells are coming.

Peter looks back at the Black Cat, wearing his I HAVE LOST ALL POSITIVE CONTROL Face. "Uhm...I'm...sure you weren't expecting this..."

HE sure as heck wasn't.

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Those aqua eyes are positively a glitter as Peter squirms. "Oh, I never expect half my good fortune, Dear. And thanks for being such a fantastic sport about it all. It pays to be on my team, Peter. In more ways than one." She wiggles her brows and gives him a crooked little grin.

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter develops a panicked look in his eyes and said, "Uhm, I...have to wash up...for dinner!"
And with that, he retreats to the bathroom, bumping into the doorknob before opening it.

Aunt May steps out with a large platter, where four oval-ish breaded chicken breasts sit, still sizzling slightly. "Be a dear and take those gloves off? You're not planning to leave soon, are you?"

Felicia Hardy has posed:
"Oh of course not," Cat replies, and she takes off the gloves, effectively removing both her (visible) claws, and the fur trim. She lays the gloves on a table by the door, and returns to the table. "I don't suppose you'd mind if I washed up, too?" She smiles charmingly to May, and moves to wash her hands.

Peter Parker has posed:
Aunt May nods. "You can use the sink, Peter's still in the bathroom." She sighs. "I confess, ever since he started this photography thing, I meet the STRANGEST people. I swear on my sainted mother." She pauses as she steps aside to let Felicia use the sink. "He's a good boy, really. After benjy died, he's been keeping us in good stead. He works so hard, taking such risks to take pictures of that Spider-Man fellow. Have you ever met him?"

Felicia Hardy has posed:
"I have met him," Cat replies as she washes her hands and speaks over her shoulder to May. "Very nice gentleman. He seems sincere. He has been a...bit of an inspiration to me. I find myself influenced, in a few ways. Mr. Parker will be in good hands, as long as he is friends with Spidey." She dries her hands and sniffs the air. "Your cooking smells divine..."

Peter Parker has posed:
Aunt May chuckles. "Oh, fiddlesticks." She does blush at the compliment. "Remind me to send you home with a few slices of my award-winning apple pie. Best in the state." She picks up the small casserole dish and brings it out, but slows slightly. Luckily, Peter is there to take it from her and settle it on the table.

"Now then, Peter..." Aunt May sits down while Peter's adjusting the casserole dish...and waiting for the Cat to sit.

She has finely-manicured nails. Expensive work for a high-class lady.

FOCUS, dingbat.

Felicia Hardy has posed:
"Oh, that sounds amazing," Cat purrs at May's suggestion. She takes her seat and looks to Peter and Aunt May. So /this/ is what it's like to sit down with family. It's different. But a nice different. She can only imagine how holidays might feel with loved ones instead of being spent on a rooftop, watching others scurry home.

Cat's nails /are/ immaculately manicured and painted a deep and frosty red. The claws must be concealed, after all.

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter settles in, then offers to say grace. Aunt May nods, and Peter glances to the enigmatic Cat. He has no idea what she's thinking. But then again, did he really ever?

Peter folds his hands and says grace, then the meal commences. And for the first time, Aunt May lets a Cat eat at the table with them.

To be fair, her table manners were PERFECT.