4566/Christmas Crash Course

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Christmas Crash Course
Date of Scene: 01 January 2021
Location: Scott Lang's House
Synopsis: It's Christmastime at Scott Lang's house with Cassie, a mute ninja, an awkward pro-wrestler, and throwing knives.
Cast of Characters: Scott Lang, Strix, Katsumi Oshiro

Scott Lang has posed:
Christmas this year was, well not the strangest Scott had seen. He'd been in prison for a few of them so this year's certainly topped any of those. Still he'd never expected to have one with himself wearing what else but the one red suit he owns, his Ant-Man outfit, a bad fake beard and floppy Santa hat lending it a bit more Christmas charm. With the occasional giant ant trundling by. And an actual ninja attending. Cassie had thankfully taken a liking to Strix immediately, anyone that would listen to Cassie chatter endlessly without making a sound was bound to be the littel blonde girl's friend. Now the trio sit in the main room, a handful of Cassie's presents opened though she was a bit more studious than most children her age, not immediately tearing through them.

"We need to wait for Miss Katsumi so she can see some!" she'd ordered having met the troubled wrestler as well at dinner a few nights ago, her and Scott both insisting Katsumi stop by again for Christmas rather than spend it alone in a foreign country. What Strix thought about any of this was of course anyone's guess. At least nobody had been cut yet. The smell of waffles and bacon fills the house as well, batter and a waffle maker sitting at the ready in the kitchen with fixings alongside a plateful of greasy pork.

Strix has posed:
Strix was something of a surprise this Christmas in many more ways than one. Firstly, just her mere presence is a surprise. Cassie most likely had many, many questions about her outfit and multiple dangerous weapons, and would have let Cassie handle them when asked, if not for Scott's timely intercession. Secondly, is the fact that Strix is literate, though badly so. She never learned to read or write past the third grade and it shows. When given a notepad to write on, her lettering is big and blocky filled with childlike misspellings. Also, it turns out her name is Mary. Thirdly, is the assassin's appearance once she took off her Talon uniform. It probably took more encouraging than one would think. Mary has a very athletic build, as one would expect. However she kept her head wrapped haphazardly in gauze, with bits of dark brown skin and black curly hair poking out. The reason for this is apparent from the bits of skin that can be seen, is that it's marred with many, many, many scars, and has resisted any attempt to remove those bandages. When asked if the court did this to her, she shook her head and wrote out "BOMB" on the notepad.

She's been a model house guest, though. She was a little skittish at first, but quickly warmed up to Scott, and especially to Cassie. It turns out that Mary is surprisingly good with her, listening to her chatter on with rapt attention, and easily playing with her and her toys for hours on end.

This morning she's been watching Cassie carefully unwrap all her presents, smiling and clapping in shared joy. She silently asks to see each toy, to which Cassie acquiesces. She examines each toy carefully, amazed at how much things have changed since she was a girl herself, before handing them back.

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Scott has had his hands full. Not in the 'Dear Penthouse Forum' kind of way some might expect from a situation like this, but with ladies of a more bombastic nature meddling in his holidays. To be fair, at least a part of it is his own fault. One cannot haunt a toy store on Katsumi's watch! But what does one do for Christmas in the States? It's a couples holiday here, too, right? That makes the prospect of visiting a man's house that much more unnatural; not that she's ever been an avid paragon of societal norms. But it just feels so /weighted/ in expectation.

It was embarrassing to do, but Katsumi had to ask a few people in hedging, uncertain tones about the implications and customs. One of the people happens to be someone she's pegged to fight soon, but nevermind that. She's been advised to bring a gift. She can manage that. Right? It's not too late to go Christmas shopping on Christmas Day, is it?

Knock, knock.

Katsumi sheepishly stands in front of Scott's door, dressed in a considerably more conservative fashion than is her norm. A fluffy teal parka hugs her figure, trimmed in white fur. Formless mittens cover her hands. Skinny jeans cling to her legs, and a pair of brown uggs on her feet. In her arms, she supports two plastic bags - one carrying something that looks a little more weighty, the other hanging conspicuously limply from her wrist.

Scott Lang has posed:
When Scott opens the door he's far less sheepish in his ridiculous Santa get-up. He has a part to play and he's bound to play it come Hell or high water. "KATSUMI!" he bellows with a forced bass in his voice that sounds not the least bit convincing. "MERRY CHRISTMAS! HO HO HO!" he follows with, all but dragging the uncertain girl inside as he takes one of the bags from her and sets it on a nearby table.

"Miss Katsumi!" Cassie cries out with rather sincere enthusiasm. There's no shyness in her either as Katsumi soon finds small arms wrapped around her waist in a hug before grabbing at her arm, dragging her towards the tree even more firmly than Scott had pulled her inside. "We were waiting for you before we opened all the gifts! You're late!" chides Cassie, directing Katsumi to a chair.

Scott meanwhile is still playing his part as Santa as he pulls out an honest to goodness sack from behind the decorated Christmas tree and rummages through it. "I've heard a few girls have been very good this year, so lets see what we have for them," still trying to force his fake deep Santa voice only to break out in a cough near the end. "Alright, maybe enough of that. Mary here you go. Katsumi. There, wasn't a lot of time and I don't know either of you THAT well so uh, gift receipts included, no hard feelings," Scott says, setting a couple packages near each, wrapped with the same kind of skill one expects from a single father who hasn't done much wrapping in his life. There's a lot of tape in other words. Cassie meanwhile has already returned to her own far larger pile under the tree, no longer any reason to wait as wrapping paper starts to fly once more.

Strix has posed:
Mary looks very surprised to actually have gotten a couple of presents. This wasn't something she expected Scott to do at all, and her eyes light up in delight. She rushes over and gives Scott a huge hug in return. She retreats, and looks over at Katsumi and gives her a bashful wave.

She goes and sits on the floor with Cassie and takes turns with her with opening Christmas presents. The first thing she opens turns out to be a pink sweatshirt with rainbows and unicorns. If she could speak she would probably have squeaked in pure joy, and quickly wiggles into it.

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
"S-Santa-san?," stammers a surprised Katsumi. Those formerly-green-gone-magenta-eyes are wide to near-perfect circles, having not expected that and with no idea how to react. It's obvious who it is. But is everyone supposed to pretend it isn't, for the kidlet's sake? Help!

She's tugged into the door while the dangling bag is taken. It would feel empty. And though Katsumi starts for the table, she finds herself caught by small arms. Carefully supporting the weightier bag still in her arms, she hunches a little towards Cassie with a considerably warmer, natural smile; the sort basically never seen on the Punk Princess. "Hey, sweetie!," she greets, sparing an arm to hug around the girl's shoulders. "I'm so sorry I'm late! I had to fix up a strawberry cake with filling and topped in chocolate!" She withdraws her arm to bring her fingers to her lips in a theatrically coquettish manner. "Oh, that was supposed to be a surprise for later. My bad..." She shoots the girl a playful wink.

The creamy spongecake? That's a Japanese tradition she's subjecting these Americans to. So neener. It was also a royal pain tracking down a bakery that had something like that available. And some components - specifically the shaved chocolate feathering the top with intermittent Hershey kisses - she had to add, herself.

As Scott begins his Santa tirade, announcing the girls have been 'very good', Katsumi shoots a wryly dubious look down to Cassy. "Sounds like Santa-san should'a checked his list three times if /I/ made the cut, huh?" A grin chases the joke, and she's back to focusing on Santa Lang. The mirth in her voice dries up a little when she realizes he got her things, cheeks faintly flushed. Oh, she sucks. So bad. "Um, you really didn't have to. It's- it's fine. I got you guys something, uh... too..."

There's a quick glance to the weightless bag Scott had taken from her, and she hurriedly moves to set the other bag down on the table as well. Without a doubt, the weightier bag contains the aforementioned cake.

As for the other bag? It's an air-freshener. And not the fancy kind. It's a thin, cardboard-style rearview-mirror-dangling cupcake-shaped air freshener that proudly states it smells of vanilla.

Embarrassed and pre-apologetic, she slinks back a little. That's where she finally makes eye contact with Mary, noting the wave. Then immediately, the bandages. She nips onto her bottom lip firmly, biting back the knee-jerk impulse to make a crack. It's official: she's in eggshell mode. She will not allow herself to say something stupid and ruin the day. It's going to be difficult. It's going to be extremely stressful and nerve-wracking. But she's determined to not be a problem. "A-ah.. hey," she greets the other female, hand raising in stiff greeting.

Scott Lang has posed:
"That's not Santa, it's my Dad silly. Santa already left," Cassie rolling her eyes at Katsumi and her obvious ignorance. Adults, honestly, did they know nothing? Her next present is torn apart featuring a toy unicorn very much like the ones on Strix's sweatshirt. Scott having his own momentary indecision of what to do as Mary hugs him. The girl clearly having her own series of issues, quirks, and who knows what else from what she'd been through. But it was Christmas and she seemed so darn happy, he finally relents and hugs her back after only a moment of hover-hand hesitation.

"Hey you're welcome Mary, enjoy hon, you deserve it. Katsumi, well, maybe sometimes Santa likes the naughty girls too eh?" Scott pipes up only to realize a moment later how that sounds. Santa was supposed to have red cheeks anyway but this was a bit much as he flusters and flails, coughing and tugging at his fake beard, bits of cotton pulling out of it and getting everywhere. "I mean, cake! You brought a cake! We'll get into that in a bit! But hey I was just glad you could come. No one should be alone on Christmas," Scott mostly, FAIRLY well recovering by the end. He remembered too well those prison Christmas days. Cellmates weren't quite the same thing.

Trying to gloss over his faux pas he grabs the lighter bag Katsumi had made mention of and cast such nervous glances at, then gets down in front of the tree with Cassie and Strix. Acting like he's unwrapping a Fabrege egg he finally pulls the air freshener out. There's no sign of disappointment or confusion on Scott's face. He's either a very good liar or actually enthused at the cheap cardboard. Or at least isn't disappointed as he grins and shows it to Cassie. "What do you say Cassie?" Scott reminds her.

"Thank you Miss Katsumi! Dad's car smells funny all the time! Thank you thank you!" Cassie likewise showing it as much appreciation as she had any toys even as she goes for another present.

"That's not...that's not QUITE what I meant," Scott grumbles, trying to subtly turn his head and smell at himself as if to check something.

Strix has posed:
Mary notices the uncomfortable wave, and frowns slightly, eyes downcast. She fiddles at the hem of her sweatshirt for a minute before getting up and going to the closet. When she returns she has her Talon mask on. There. Problem solved.

She sits down next to Cassie again, and reaches for the next present. A tiny one this time. When she unwraps it, it's a small car. One that looks very much like Scott's car. Her shoulders shake in a silent giggle as she silently turns the car around in her hands. She lifts her head up and turns towards Scott, somehow conveying a 'thank you' though the expressionless mask.

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro watches the girl move to the closet, immediately wondering if she'd managed to mess things up in record timing. And when she emerges in a mask, her heart breaks a little. Yeah. Something about her is just intrinsically bad if she can do this to someone while actively trying to not be a problem. Her gaze drops, sullen, to stare at the floor. The Hell is the matter with her? Why is she clinically incapable of not hurting people? Trying to apologize for it without knowing what she did wrong would just make things worse, wouldn't it? She doesn't trust herself to not screw it up. Well, whatever she did, she didn't mean to do it; but she's certain it was rotten anyway. It's a hard reminder on why she keeps people at arms' length.

Not that that's really a possibility here.

As Scott speaks, her oddly-hued gaze lifts to him again - and her head /cants/ when he makes his statement. She doesn't say anything, though! She just shuffles aside, her insides twisting a little further as it becomes clear that Scott is about to reveal her woefully pathetic gift for all to see. Her mitten'd hands fold modestly before herself, watching with wincing anticipation.

There it is. A lame cupcake-shaped vanilla air freshener. Shoot her, plz.

"I-it smells like vanilla," she offers lamely.

The two of them are being terribly nice about it, though, so she affords them a weak smile. "Happy to contribute."

Scott Lang has posed:
By now Scott is used to seeing Strix/Mary in the mask, her putting it back on hardly even registers in his mind as a 'bad' thing. It hadn't taken long to figure out it was a security blanket for her and given what little he'd been able to figure out about her she was certainly qualified to need one even if him and Cassie both encouraged her to go without. But a day like today was a lot to take in.

"Hold on now, if you're wearing that..." Scott going back into his bag and pulling out...a green holiday elf hat with bell on the end. This goes neatly atop Strix's head giving her quite the makeover between tactical ninja gear, pink sweatshirt, and jingle bell hat. Cassie seems equally delighted as she claps her hands and laughs before attacking Strix with a tackling hug before she opens another gift, this one a toy car of the same series as Strix's.

"We need to race!" Cassie immediately announces though where the track is in her mind is anyone's guess as she challenges Strix, Cassie's car in the air as often as it is on the ground or going up the side of furniture.

It gives Scott a moment to pause though and grinning under the beard he looks at Katsumi, finally noticing her unease, his brow furrowing up as he stands and moves next to her, kneeling beside her chair.

"Hey, buck up kiddo. Take off the mittens and coat, stay a while. I won't make you drink any eggnog I promise. Neither me nor Cassie can stand the stuff," he tries to jest, hesitating and then going for it. He reaches out...and RUFFLES her hair. Well, if his hand gets close enough.

Strix has posed:
Strix's hands pull together to clutch in glee at the hat, and readily wears it. Even though she could probably dodge the tackling hug, she does, and even falls over from the impact of it, hugging the girl back.

At the challenge of a race, Strix nods enthusiastically, and gets on her hands and knees following Cassie's example, trying to follow her on the imaginary track, performing jumps and flips with her car as well. Even though she can't vocalize it, her body posture just screams, "VROOM VROOM"

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro observes the exchange with a small amount of detachment, caught somewhere in the mire of self-reflection and regret. It isn't lost on her, the absurdity of what's unfolding before her: she just doesn't know how to react to it. Her determination to not step on toes further has left her near-catatonic.

That is, until Scott plants himself beside her and calls her kiddo. Her head turns to give him an odd look. "Dude, how old /are/ you?," she challenges. "I don't look that young." Does she? She might look a little young. Blame her heritage. She ages well. But her hair winds up ruffled; silky blueblack tresses, all amuss. With a whine, she raises her mittened hands to try to fix her hair. But mitten lack something integral to the process! Fingers!

Mittens are removed. That's the first step in Scott's nefarious plans, no?

She threads her fingers through her hair to try to fix it. "I don't think I've ever had eggnog. It sounds weird. I know what an egg is, what's a nog?"

Scott Lang has posed:
The race has made its way around the tree and the better part of the room, up and down walls, under an end table before Cassie categorically declares, "I win!" at some imaginary finish line. Mary never really stood much of a chance with Cassie making up the track as she goes. Already though she's bouncing about again, still dressed in her pajamas, pink with some cartoon character on them only the very young, or the very parental would even hope to recognize. "We need to get Daddy to race next!" she's whispering at Mary conspiratorially. It was both a blessing and a curse to have a daughter old enough to enjoy playing with dolls while wearing a shrinking suit that can turn you into one. Unbeknownst to Scott, Cassie begins quietly relaying to Mary exactly where the shrink button lies on the palm of his right hand, cause if you're going to sneak attack a man and have a ninja at your disposal, why not use it?

"Thirty and carrying it well thank you! Especially now my beard grew in," Scott jokes, pulling at his fake beard again with one hand. The thing was cheap and it shows as the band on it breaks and the whole thing pulls off leaving only bits of cotton clinging to his cheeks. He crinkles his nose and throws it on the ground with the wrapping paper. "Old enough to recognize when someone is feeling kinda off in a room full of people. C'mon, lets you something to eat, might make ya feel a little better. No nogs. Nobody knows what a nog is, we just know we don't want them in the house," Scott tells her with a roguish grin as he stands up and pats her on the upper back with his left hand, his right hand alas left exposed by his side.

Strix has posed:
Strix throws up her hands in a silent cheer as Cassie declares her victory. She listens attentively as the shrink button is described to her, nodding occasionally to show she understands. Silently, she sneaks towards the tree, and unhooks one of the ornaments. She pulls out the hook, and with a bit of creative bending, turns it into a little throwing star. She then *flicks* the star with surprising force and accuracy, enough to hit the shrink button.

Her shoulders shake with silent laughter at the resulting chaos, and holds up a hand for Cassie to high-five (a gesture Cassie was sure to teach her).

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro blinks when the beard breaks, leaving him with bits remaining on his face. Were she less on guard, she's probably make some childhood-damaging remark about Santa having necrosis. But she's keeping herself under wraps in a firm way. And to a degree, still feeling the coat wrapped around her is helping her remember to stay on guard. Not against others, but against herself.

"I guess," she says hesitantly with the hand patting her. "I just d- EEEK!"

Katsumi panics when Scott suddenly vanishes before her eyes. And after a quick, cursory scan of the room, spots a tiny version of him beside her. She immediately straightens her posture and steps back from Scott, SmolSanta. "W-w-w-what is this!? You shrank!? How did you-"



The last one's delivery carries equal parts recognition and accusation.

Scott Lang has posed:
Usually when Scott shrinks he's doing it under his own power, which gives him a second or so to prepare. Having it forced on him leaves him momentarily dizzy and disoriented, staggering with a lurch in his stomach. "Oh, what just..." he groans before a voice booms overhead like accusatory thunder. Oh. That can't be good. Scott lifts his head for a quick glance around, the living room messy with toys, torn wrapping paper, empty boxes, and other Christmas morning detritus now a colorful and mountainous landscape. In the 'distance' he sees Strix and Cassie celebrating, even his 6 year old now a titan in her own right.

Then he looks closer to himself, namely at a set of Ugg boots, each one big enough to qualify as a multi-story building unto themselves. His neck gets a crick in it as he leans back to look up at Katsumi glowering down at him. Well, she no longer looked so unsure about herself. That, that was a good thing right? He snaps his helmet into place, the only thing that lets his tiny voice be heard as it amplifies it with a slightly echoey tone. "Katsumi, listen! I can explain! I'm a hero! And what happened at the mall the other day..."

Maybe it was real, maybe it was all in his head, but he at least felt pretty sure one of her boots was starting to move again, and in a direction much more towards him than away. Scott pivots and turns to start running and leaping towards the other pair. "Cassie, Strix! You can explain rig-" only to stop as Cassie holds up her new car.

"Dad we're gonna put you in and see how fast we can smash them together!"

Scott stops rushing towards the two of them, pausing a half second before turning tail and fleeing towards the kitchen instead. "No no! It's time for more breakfast! Clean-up! Something! Stay away you lot!" he cries out in alarm. Wait, all he has to do is unshrink himself he suddenly realizes, gripping his hand...and yelping in pain. Looking down incredulously he sees the modified 'throwing' star has gotten itself stuck, wedged against the buttons and keeping him from pushing them right away. He keeps running for the kitchen instead, now trying to pull the bit of metal out of his hand at the same time.

Strix has posed:
Strix seems to have second thoughts as Cassie announces her intentions. She puts a hand on the car keeping it from going forward any further and shakes her head, indicating that her idea is probably a bad one.

There's a sharp *tink* sound as something small and black pierces through one of the front windows. Strix's reaction is immediate, turning and chucking the car at it before it can find it's mark: Her head. The projectile's trajectory is thus changed and it *thunks* itself into the wall, revealing itself to be a throwing dagger, much like the ones that Strix herself has stowed away.

All the humor has gone out of the Talon now, and she gets to her feet to retrieve the dagger. Pulling it out she sees that there's something tied to the end of it. A little replica of a mask, round and white, looking like a stylized owl. A call to come home to roost. Her hand grips the dagger in anger, and with the other she pulls the festive elf hat off her head.

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro isn't sure what she's feeling right now. Anger? Maybe not. Frustration? Definitely. Confusion? Without a doubt. It isn't the boot Scott has to worry about so much as Katsumi leaning forward, her recently-bared hands closing in on him. But he's fleeing!

"A hero!?," she balks. "With what you were doing!? You- ugh!"

She walks after the tiny fellow, frequently dipping to try to scoop him up. "I wanna have a /little/ talk!"

It was a pun. Not even a good one. She's not sorry.

The sound of something breaking behind her gets her immediate attention, however. And seeing the object embed itself into a wall gets a startled squeak, and sees the grappler ducking into the presumable safety of the corner of the room. No, she doesn't know what's happening. Ninjas don't attack, where she comes from! ...Ironically enough.

Scott Lang has posed:
Cassie pouts as Strix holds her back. It wasn't like it was the FIRST time she'd ever put her Dad in a toy car and zoomed it at something solid, he was more durable than he looked! But then she too has a chance to scream as the dagger comes through the window, her close proximity to Strix meaning she has a good look at it flying through the air. The car in her hands is dropped and her lower lip sticks out. "D-Daddy!" she wails. Scared for herself? Strix? Upset at the broken window or hole in the wall? It's all wrapped up in that single word and instantly Scott's fears for his own well-being are forgotten as he charges back.

"CASSIE! Lay down on the floor!" he hollers as he bounces across the room in the silly looking but effective leaps, landing up on the windowsill for a look outside. But they're ninjas delivering a message, there was nothing to see. Just in case though, every ant within a block of the house is soon circling the house like a thin black moat...including a couple closer to the size of dogs in their mix as Scott communicates with them to set up a perimeter.

"I think they're gone already. Mary are you alright? What's going on?" Scott questions, hopping over to his daughter who has obediently lain down near the wall clutching her unicorn toy. Scott whispers something to her, the girl nodding her head and burying her face in the toy as Scott turns back to the room, glancing at Katsumi at last. "Katsumi, I'm sorry. About the other day and...well this. I'd hoped for a more peaceful Christmas," he confesses, still an inch tall as yet, reminding him to look down and tug more on the metal hook. Almost there.

Strix has posed:
Strix goes to retrieve the notepad and pen that she's been using to communicate with the Lang family. She scribbles, her anger coming out with how hard she presses the pen to the pad of paper. When she does she lowers the pad down low enough for Scott to read.

        I HAV 2 GO
        UR NOT SAFE

More specifically, one can guess, it's Cassie who's not safe with Strix around. Scott can presumably take care of himself, and even though she doesn't know Katsumi, she's an adult.

She stalks to the closet where she's hung up her Talon uniform and starts stuffing herself into it. It really wasn't meant to be worn over a fuzzy pink unicorn sweatshirt, but she'll be damned if she takes that off.

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro squirms in her corner in Cassie's direction, but she seems well in-hand with Scott. So her rear stays put huddled in that corner, arms over her head in classic duck-and-cover position. She so doesn't care about the other day now. To her understanding, it looks a bit like they're under attack from something. Or at least there's the very real threat of it!

Thugs in an alley? A bar brawl? These are things she's cool with. They're predictable. Normal. Throwing knives around on holidays in the presence of children? That's the opposite. It freaks her out, and it's clearly written on her face.

"W-what's going on?," she manages in a voice much smaller than her typical vibrance.

Scott Lang has posed:
The problem was, Scott mostly agreed with Strix. He did NOT like his daughter being in the line of fire. Even still his conscience warred with his parental instincts as he finally pulls the Christmas hook free and presses the restore button on his suit, bringing him back to normal size. He takes a second to brush at Cassie's hair and give her shoulder a squeeze before he stands and follows after Mary. As he does he calls to Katsumi, "To be honest I don't know everything. But Mary here got involved with some very bad people, they trained her to kill since she was a kid, she ran away, and I'm pretty sure this means they just found her again," summarizing what little he had been able to figure out from Strix's cryptic writings.

"Mary wait. Just wait half a second. This house isn't safe but we can get you someplace else, Avengers Mansion, Pym Labs, they've got security. We can figure something out," he tries to implore her, pursing his lips as this doesn't seem likely to slow her down. Digging into his suit's pouches he comes out with an ordinary wallet, pulling out all the cash inside. "Here, at least take this," he says, handing her about $75. He was no Tony Stark but he knew she probably had less than that on her. The next thing he gives her a bit more useful mayhaps. "At least take this with you. Hank always makes me carry a tracer, pretty sure he has a few I don't know about. You click this, sends out a signal to let us know where you are and if you need help. Simple got it?" Scott handing her what looks like little more than a tiny red button.

Strix has posed:
Now that she's suited up, it's clear that Strix is some kind of assassin. The matte black costume with the owl motif is intimidating, to say the least. The swords and daggers she's strapped to herself makes her look dangerous. Considering the reflexes she's shown, she's probably more dangerous than she looks, which is saying something.

She shakes her head at Scott's offer to harbor her. She picks up the pad of paper and scribbles:

        THEY WILL
        FIND ME

and shows it to Scott. She does, however take the cash, and after a bit of hesitation, the tracker, stowing them both in hidden pockets of her suit. She then walks over to Cassie and hugs her, if she lets her, and finds the car that she used to deflect the knife, and tucks that into her suit as well.

She heads to the door and, before she opens it, waves goodbye. As soon as she leaves the house, an unmarked black sedan pulls up, letting Strix in to take her back to Gotham.

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
One might expect Katsumi to've collected herself to take stock in what's happened. They would be wrong. Katsumi is in full bystander mode, tucked firmly into the corner of the room and freaked right the Hell out. The appearance of Strix in full regalia does little to assuage her concerns, nor does Scott's talk about things /WAY/ above her pay grade. What has she gotten herself into?

When the ninja chick takes her leave, Katsumi finally lifts to her full height. Uneasily, she begins backing towards the door as well. "I-I, uh, I should- I should go, you got, um, you got your hands full, a-and um, my manager would, um, freak if he knew I was, uh, a-anywhere near this..." Nevermind how she's clearly the one hitting the end of her rope. She gropes blindly for the doorhandle. "Y-you guys enjoy that cake! It's, um, it's all yours!"

Scott Lang has posed:
Scott watches Strix take her leave with a sense of foreboding in his gut, and some guilt besides. What was he letting her walk into? Cassie hugs her tight though, the little girl sniffling as she says, "I hope you beat them all up," before she lets go. Scott stands at the broken window then watching her go, the ants parting to give her a clear path to the street before she's driven away. His hand tightening into a fist and hammering on the wall.

"I should have..." pausing as he bites his lower lip. Done what? He looks back to Cassie. He couldn't risk her, the little girl clearly upset. And then Katsumi is babbling, reminding him of something. He needed to distract her. Distract both of them.

"Still ninjas outside," he deadpans as Katsumi gropes at the door, looking between the two. "C'mon, lets go have some Katsumi's cake to calm down," in full Dad mode now as he tries to calm the situation down, Katsumi getting snagged by the wrist and dragged into the kitchen alongside Cassie, not allowed to leave without a full slice of cake and a glass of milk. The only solution to a ninja-filled Christmas.