2019-06-03 - Cockatrice Jacket


Ben and Illyana go for a walk on the Boardwalk and Ben fesses up that he went to meet this reality's version of his progenitor.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Jun 3 17:55:58 2019
Location: Coney Island

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Theme Song



Getting time away from super heroics is often such a challenge. Well, it was. These days? Ben Reilly has more time than he knows what to do with. This, as seen by multiple parties now, is considered a bad thing. This man with time on his hands means he starts putting to action all those ideas that crop up at 2am while you're upside down, watching informercials and eating cereal. So he calls Illyana. Get him out of the loft. Get her away from demons, mutant disasters and other manner of oddity.

"No, no, no. That's not how it started. I'm preeetty sure you were the one that threw a rock at that two headed snake-bird thing. Not me. Made a great jacket though." Ben holding two corndogs, says while walking along the boardwalk. The usual slacker chic of khakis, an old Offspring tour shirt and a hoodie. He shaved though. There's that.

"Speaking of starting things. Kinda got Web Heads attention. Heh." He offers a corndog and quickly steamrolls onward. "Hey, how have you been? Everything quiet back in the land of crazy evil and dry heat?"

"That was a bloody cockatrice and so no way I threw anything at it because I knew what it was and wouldn't have wanted to get it's attention." Illyana argues, reaching out to try to wrestle away one of Ben's two corndogs. Between his strength and sticky fingers, if he doesn't let her she'd need to teleport off his hand to get it away from him.

They make an odd pair, him in slacker attire and she in metalgothpunk. She actually looks tired today. Drained. But of course she doesn't acknowledge it. Showing weakness is like blood in the water. Things come looking to exploit it.

When Ben mentions having met up with his source material, she frowns over at him, looking concerned. "And by 'attention', like, you threw your boxers at him in a fanboy fashion? Or like, he recognized you, or…?" She knows Ben hasn't been out in tights recently, so it's unlikely Spider-Man ran into Yet Another Spider. Illyana ignores the question of how she's been. Because honestly, after dealing with Siffror she feels… dirty. And she's not going to admit that.

"It was a bloody cockatrice -after- you threw the rock at it." Ben corrects all too quickly. The grab for a corndog is met with brief resistance but he gives up the deepfried wonder with little more than the token fight and a small, lazy smile. "Okay, we'll agree to disagree but if anybody at all asks if I've ever seen a cockatrice, I'm telling them yes." A bite, a pause. "Then I'ma say you throw rocks at them."

They'd make an odd pair even if they wore matching 'I heart NYC' t-shirts. To be fair, that would likely make it weirder but the fact remains that they are… strange. While the mutant demonic monarch doesn't flat out admit her exhaustion, Ben doesn't need one. An arm around her waist now that he's got a free hand. Easy to lean into and not give up the tell of tragic weakness.

"Yeah. And… when that didn't work, I may have rigged that stealth gizmo I've been working on. Kind of left it on the street." He's talking faster. A little higher pitched. A very Stewie moment. Rushing it all out in one breath isn't easy. "In his patrol path. That I knew beforehand because I stalked him. Turned random people invisible and let him 'save the day' to meet him." GAAAAASP! He looks to her, too toothy of a smile. "That was harder than it looks on tv. On the bright side, no fight."

There's the brief back and forth Battle For The Corndog, Illyana's mouth pressed into a determined line that nevertheless quirks upwards at the corners. When he legs go she stumbles back a step and has to correct. Then she gives him a broad, toothy grin at her victory even if she knows she didn't get it by overpowering him. "Whatever." She says of the cockatrice, certainly not conceding. It's one of the things about Illyana that rubs a lot of people the wrong way.

There's some tension as Ben puts his arm around her, because it's unusual for people to do. She tends to creep people out and they keep a careful distance. That's not helped by her occasionally vicious responses to being touched without her permission but, after a moment she lets out a very quiet sigh and leans into him. Despite Ben's slight frame, she's all too aware that he can easily support her.

The blonde chews on her ill-gotten gains for a bit, and then turns her head to look over at him, quirking a brow as he starts to do that totally guilty flood of talking. "You set up an elaborate trap so you could say 'hi'?" Her tone is dry and mocking but oddly gentle. As are the words that follow. "How'd he take it?" Because how could Spider-Man look at Ben and not know who he was? Or who he was supposed to be?

The little battles are always the fun ones. Dancing that line of resistance before relenting. Super duper strength is all well and good but when Illyana wants something? It's not a contender. "Whatever counts as a win." He's fast to point out. Tapping his corndog to hers in cheers for his victory.

That moment of tension. Oh, Ben isn't a stranger to it or straight up suicidal. The hover-hand grip is close as can be until the blonde overlord of Limbo leans into him. A breath is let out he didn't know he was holding. Onward they go, toward the end of the board walk.

"Yeah. That's pretty much it in a nut shell, yeah." A brow arches, he looks to her with a small wince. Seeing what he did in hind sight, her tone helping illustrate the point all too well. "Crap. Oh, that was weird, wasn't it? Oh man." Shaking his head, Ben lets out a half hearted chuckle. "He took it well. He took it well as he could, to be honest. How well can you take that conversation? Hi, masked vigilante. I'm a clone of an alternate reality you. Yeah, I'm older and I look a little different. Oh, that's not the weirdest thing you've seen this month? Okay, cool."

Ben laughs at that. Loud and unexpected. "I totally ambushed him. Wow. I should have asked you for a better way to handle that."

Once Illyana's accepted Ben's touch, she cuddles in to enjoy it, briefly rubbing her cheek against his shoulder as they continue to amble along. This sort of easy companionship is sort of new to her. She has Piotr, but he was in Russia during the years she was on Earth. She had Kitty, but the other woman was across the pond through a lot of that same time.

"I'd say it sounds like something I'd do, but I probably would have just opened a stepping disk while he was mid-swing. Viola. Captured spiderguy." She rolls her gaze up to him. "You could have asked me for help, you know. I'm totally down for kidnapping people." It's something of a joke, given her own past. But y'know, temporarily borrowing them? That's OK.

"I really don't think you needed to get quite so elaborate though. Something that turns people invisible? How did you even *make* that?" Science and Illyana are not great friends. Not too surprising considering she grew up in a world without electricity but full of magic. "You gonna… hang out with him or anything? Or his other Spider-Friends?"

It's a comfort that's rare in his world. Rare in both of theirs, really. It's something Ben slides into all too easily. Matching her stride and going with the flow, as it were. It's the little things. "Welllllll. A week ago, I kind of almost opened up a summoning hole thing. Give me time, I might try that stepping disc out for a spin." He says with a smile but and a little laughter but the hint of honesty there is hard to miss.

"Human relocation." He says, waggling that corndog at her. "Kidnapping is illegal. Catch and release is a conservation tactic and probably a loop hole. I'll need to ask my lawyer." He doesn't have one. Ben offers a shrug and a squeeze. Pausing a moment in their pace to let someone rollerskate past. The no-look dodges are instinctive.

"Yeeeaaaah. I think I think too much." Ben nods sternly before biting off the last of his corndog, tossing the stick back over shoulder. "It's supposed to be a personal active camo field but I can't for the life of me get it to stop going all wonky. Gotta be a shielding issue. The materials are…" Ben cuts himself off and looks to Illyana with those big, hazel eyes. Unsure.

"Honestly, I don't know. It's been so long since I put on the tights. Think I could get away with putting an X on my belt?"

"Well I don't think it's copyrighted, but shouldn't you stick with a spider?" Illyana replies to his question, not buying that wide-eyed unsure look one little bit. Illyana doesn't really have any sort of costume herself. She wore the school uniform when she went to Xavier's, but that was a good seven years ago for her and she's not putting it back on to do any superheroing. Not that she does the usual superhero gig of swooping in to save people on the street. "You're avoiding the question, though." She says in a bit of a sing-song to him.

That he's having a problem getting materials gets a thoughtful quirk of his mouth. "What kind of materials do you need? Getting somewhere I'm good at. Buying things… well, I'm less good at that." She admits. She's a poor Queen of Limbo.

"I suppose." Ben muses on keeping the spider iconography, a side glance to Illyana notes she just isn't buying what he's selling. A low, barely audible chuckle and he gives a nod. "Yeah, you're probably right. I couldn't rock the yellow or the skirt. Don't get me wrong, I could make a solid go of it but in the end? Probably arrested." He nods, settling on his fate as a Spider brand possible hero. Avoiding the question? Ben? It's almost a hobby for him. Burying questions in babble. Coming to a stop, Ben takes in a breath and holds it. Thinking as he takes a leaning spot against the wooden railing. Both hands grip the old, time worn wood. A little too tight. Just to leave the impressions of his fingertips. Because he can.

"Hang out with the 'slingers? We'll see. I can't stay out of trouble too long, so let's be honest. Just a matter of time." He rolls his eyes at that thought. Retirement ending. It never lasts for their sort. A brow arches upward, chin lifted ever so slightly. A touch of a squint. "Illyana, did you just propose a heist? I heard that. You said it. Do we wear suits? Masks? I mean, yeah, I have one but do you? Nah, no masks. Or should we? Wait, wait, wait. No. That's probably bad. Unless you know a guy with energy dampening, light weight metal."

"You're really more of a deep red sorta guy." Illyana says oh-so-dryly. She comes to a stop with him, turning as he leans against the railing so she's facing him. It means she can watch his face a lot easier than when they were walking side-by-side. He might not have accounted for that. Her gaze flicks down to that too-tight hold on the wood and then steps into his personal space to put her hands over his as she leans in. "It's alright. It's real. You're safe." The words are said without her almost trademarked snark, a soft reassuring murmur.

Then the blonde's eyes are rolling, a hint of her usual smirk back. "If I want a suit, I can make one. Ruler of my own dimension, remember?" It's said for comedy, but Ben's got more of an idea than most that ruling Limbo isn't without a heavy cost. "Also means I don't care so much about laws I don't make."

"Brings out the color of my eyes." He says with a mock hair flip. A theatrical thousand yard stare off across the bay, Ben nods once in acceptance of this made up fact. In absolute honesty, he picked a solid color scheme to hide blood. So much easier. Laundry days can stretch a bit. "I-" He looks away. She stepped inside that personal bubble and that was no issue. Not her. The touch of her hands over his, the way she looked right past his bullshit. "I didn't know I did that. It's hard to tell sometimes. If I'm awake or not."

Clearing his throat, he pushes it all down into that pit inside him. A handy habit that will eventually bite him. Hard. Letting out a heavy sigh, shoulders sag as he sinks into a calm. "Not even my dimension. What do I care?" Ben chuckles softly at that, tilting his head aside as he returns his attention to the blonde empress of Limbo. "Let's put a pin in that for now. Enough about me and my bad ideas. How's the business down there anyway?"

Illyana Rasputina's hands tighten over his a bit to reassure him. The small smile she gives him isn't something she gives a lot of people. It's certainly never done casually. "I figured." Her tone is still soft, and when he doesn't get jumpy, she stays close enough to reassure him. "And of course you care. That's part of what makes you a hero, Ben. Even if you're setting up elaborate traps to say 'hello'." Her tone's turned teasing now. At least about the traps. Even if he bailed on her, apparently he still gets the 'hero' tag.

When he asks after Limbo she sighs a bit. "I'm trying to get something to grow there. Back at the old garden." The one with the giant oak whose power helped her survive that endless winter that was part of Belasco's punishment. "Limbo was supposed to be like a paradise before Belasco corrupted it. You'd think I could just turn it back, right?" But no. So very no. All of her attempts end up twisted and Wrong. Often horrifically so.

A gift not offered often is one Ben accepts quickly and without hesitation. That smile is a rarity and one he sees more than most. That reassuring squeeze to his hands helps melt the tension away. No jumping. No twitch. No look away. He gives back a light, laconic smile. "Was." The teasing tone, he rolls his eyes. Looking up at the darkening skies. "To be honest, they were only semi-elaborate and I don't have a mustache to twirl so I'm pretty sure it's all above board."

The smile fades, falters with concern. Perplexed but he does so love a challenge. "The old garden. That's a tall order you have there, Illyana. Maybe it's a light issue. Not exactly my strong point but it's something I can help obsess over." Shaking his head, Ben finds it a little difficult to see Limbo as a paradise. Brows furrow. Eyes darken momentarily before he shakes it off, gaze brightening. Smile tugging wide at the corners again. "Just a matter of time. New management, new rules. Just gotta figure out how to enforce them or get around the old ones, right?"

Illyana Rasputina gives him one of her smirks, a brow arching. "Mmmmm." Is all she says about his 'was'. For someone that's seen so much darkness, she seems insistent on finding the light in some people. Maybe it's just to help convince herself that she's not completely lost herself.

"I recall you're good at obsessing. Maybe I'll find someone you can bounce all of your sciency ideas off of." Because they always went over *her* head. Seeing the shadows flit through his gaze, Illyana brings one of her hands up from over his to lay her palm against his cheek. "You don't have to ever go back." She tells him, like a promise, even if it makes her bleed inside. Because Limbo is a reflection of her, and rejection of it… feels like a rejection of her. It also makes her wonder what it cost him to go back there with her recently.

There's a distant rumble of thunder, a sudden storm sweeping in. Illyana looks that way and then tugs Ben away from the railing. "C'mon. Let's get under cover before we get soaked." The timing of it seems a little ominous, and likely doesn't help Ben's recurring worry that this is all really just another dream…

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