2019-10-10 - Rooftop Chit-Chat


Anya and Gwen meet on a rooftop and chat about being Spider-People.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Oct 10 00:00:00 2019
Location: A Skyscraper Rooftop

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Theme Song



Late evening in New York; the sun is setting, and the city is transitioning from daytime hustle and bustle into a thriving nightlife. People are out clubbing, driving around, goign to restaurants, going on dates, going to the movies… all the ways you can think of to enjoy New York (or hold down a nighttime job).
This means that the super-heroes are out and about to, naturally. Sitting on top of a mid-sized skyscraper, with her feet dangling over the edge, is one Gwen Stacy, clad head to foot in her black and white spider costume. She's finished a sandwich she brought for a snack, and is currently thumbing through some mostly irrelevant stuff on her phone, for whatever reason. (What? The phone has her whole life in it!)

A blip on the Spider-Comm system will appear, marked 'SG-Black'. It's approaching from uptown, and as it closes in, the telltale sound of *thwip!* can be heard just over the din coming from the streets below. Spider-Girl dashes onto the rooftop in a smooth glide from below, with a huge piece of beef jerky sticking out of her mouth.

"Euu ook mooreb," she remarks, then flings a hand to release the webline that was carrying her and reaches up to snatch the jerky from her mouth. "Er. You look bored."

Gwen knows that 'thwip' sound pretty well by now. Well, everyone does who watches the news, but she knows it… intimately; so between that and the blip on her comms, she's not the least bit surprised when Spider-Girl arrives on the rooftop. She perks an eyebrow upwards from behind her mask; not that anyone can see it, but one of her eye-lenses gets bigger. She makes a mental note to ask Peter how he did that sometime.

Gwen mmmms softly, "Not… bored," she muses, "Just nothing much going on right now that the police can't handle. I know my Dad would not be thrilled with me interfering in one of his investigations either, even if he doesn't know it's… y'know, me." She shrugs her shoulders, and tucks her phone away again after thumbing off the screen. "How're you tonight? How's stuff?"

"Quite night," Spider-Girl agrees, as she walks over toward Gwen. "Be glad. Some nights it's like… one shitshow after the other around here. Hell, Spanish Harlem's so quiet you could rip ass and they'd hear it all the way down in the East Village." Plopping down, she swings her legs over the side of the building and swings them. It just can't be helped… rooftops, fire escapes, anywhere there's a lack of ground beneath, there'll be swinging legs.

"How're you holding up?" she asks. "Y'know. After the bridge."

it can't really be helped; Gwen pulls her mask off, and sets it down on the ledge beside her. An ordinary person might worry about the wind picking it up and sending it flying, but ordinary people aren't spider people, who are more than fast enough to catch it. She sits there thinking for a long moment, that seems to drag on as the sun sets, but in actuality doesn't take that long. Or at least, maybe it just feels long to Gwen.

"I don't know," she admits. "I mean… it was exhilirating, at first. I mean, terrifying, I've never been literally shot at before, and I've never been in a real fight before, outside of standing up to a few bullies at school and getting away with socking 'em because I'm a girl." She shrugs her shoulders lightly, "But… then someone died, and I know it wasn't my fault or any of ours, it was the terrorists and it's on them, and just them. But I can't help… I dunno, feeling guilty? Does that make sense? And I just keep playing it over and over in my mind, trying to figure out what I could have done different. I *feel* like I screwed it up, badly."

The silence that would have been is marred by the sounds of nightlife below, but also, by the sound of Anya gnawing on beef jerky. Otherwise, she does not break that silence. "Yeah," she eventually answers, her voice a bit distant. She's quiet after that, so many of those feelings resonating deep within. The image of that woman falling to her death has played out without ceasing.

"I mean, you didn't," she says, with a strong voice. "Doesn't make it any easier, I know." She shakes her head, and pulls her legs up to wrap her arms around her knees. "My story's a little different, y'know. Growing up in East Harlem? Back when the Kings were around? It was like… one day you're glad you can eat your dinner without someone shooting someone out on the street. I got used to beating the hell out of people, because that's the only way you survived. You either beat on someone, or they beat on you. That's it. That's how it goes." She pauses for a moment then, eyes locked upon the skyline beyond. "Now, if I just go and do that the same way I used to, I'll… punch right through someone's skull. I had to reign that shit in, or else I'd turn into the killer. Totally on accident, but… this stuff, it changes you. It changes everything. I even tried walking away once, and… every time I ignored a siren, it was like… I don't know. Like taking a knife to myself."

"I was told I had a choice. That I could choose to be a hero, or just… be a normal person like I was before, just that I have super powers now." Gwen looks sideways at Spider-Girl, "But… I don't. I know what you're saying, and I mean, I *know* it. I can't ignore a siren either. I can't just let someone get hurt when I know I could help them." She leans forwards, resting her elbows on her knees; someone must be getting used to ridiculous heights, because a month ago she'd have been basically comatose from panic to be sitting here, like this.

"My Dad's one of the top policemen in the city. It's not the highest paying job ever, but that's not why he does it. He carries a badge to protect people, and sometimes he's home late or not at all, and it's because he's doing his best to save everyone he can. …There's some damn bad cops out there, but my Dad's the example they should all follow, seriously. So… I'm going to follow it, too." She straightens up, and leans over to punch Spider-Girl lightly on the shoulder. "Also, you're awesome, just so you know."

"None of us really have a choice," Anya points out. "We might think we do, but… we're no different than people who are queer, or trans, or, you know, not white or male. We're gonna have to walk a certain line, and we can't run from it forever. Might as well embrace it and make the best of it."

She listens to what Gwen has to say. She may not like cops as a general rule, but there's at least one she likes, and after what Peter told her, she did a little digging. Gwen's dad is definitely one of the good ones, there's no question there. "At least you know why he's out late. You're gonna have a rougher time, you know. Mi Abuela - my grandmother? She still thinks I'm on drugs or gang banging or something. I'm pretty sure she believes me when I tell her I'm not, but then I come home at 5am trying to hide bruises and… well." She shakes her head. "I dunno which is worse, her thinking there's a needle in my arm, or… knowing just how dangerous my life is."

The heaviness is lightened by Gwen's punch, and she turns to look at the woman with a rueful grin. "You think so, huh? My first day wasn't nearly as loco as yours."

Gwen nods quickly, "I do think so," shre replies. "No, actually, I know so. And I'm really glad for it, having friends you can count on is a wonderful thing, and when you're a spider person I'm pretty sure the potential pool is… small, yeah?" She leans forwards again, resting her elbows back on her knees. "I don't know how I'm ever going to explain things to my Dad. Peter thought I should tell him the truth, but I… I've tried, three times, since it happened. I just don't know how to break it to him that his only child is, as of late last month, a masked vigilante with super-powers. He's a great cop, but he does not approve of vigilantes. And I understand why, just… yeah." She perks an eyebrow upwards, looking sideways again. "Is that the way things usually go? Like the other day, I mean? just… hopefully without, y'know, losing people."

"Pretty small, yeah," Anya answers with a rueful grin. Once names come out, however, she reaches up to remove her mask, letting it and the faux-ponytail flop down against her back.

"No, it's not usually like that," she assures Gwen. "Usually its webbing up a mugger or, you know, a bike thief. Its the easy stuff. The stuff that gets you free tacos and your own hashtags on Instagram. But there are days…" She shakes her head. "There are days when you're gonna see some really… really messed up stuff."

"When I was ten, my Dad fell asleep working on a case, and I saw… pictures. Crime scene photos, of a rape and murder case. I had nightmares for weeks, and I didn't realize at the time but my Dad was almost ruined over it, but I got over it and he did too. …But I mean, I know that he handles that every day." Gwen shrugs her shoulders lightly. "Seeing that turned me off of ever considering a career in law enforcement. I just… wasn't ready to see it. But now it doesn't really matter, I need to figure it out and learn how to handle it."

Gwen tapes her fingertips against each other and sighs softly. "I'm glad I've got you and Peter to talk to, Anya." She bobs her head, "I can't imagine having to figure this out on my own with no help. …And you know I'm here for you, too. Talk to me about anything, anytime."

The story draws a truly heartbroken look to Anya's eyes. "Jesus," she whispers to herself, trying to imagine what it would be like. "There're others, too," she says quietly. "Like, there's this guy, Hank McCoy? He's really smart, but he's a mutant, and he's big. And I know a guy with unbreakable skin, and another who can teleport." Her eyes dance mischievously. "And… one time? I was on an operation with Captain America and The Hulk." She nods her head truthfully. "I might've… broken two of my arm bones on that one, too, but, still. There are moments where… it still sucks, but it's awesome."

Gwen perks up, "Hey, I got to help Clint Barton and a couple of his friends yesterday," she replies, "They were trying to apprehend this guy who turned out to be a robot, and I made sure he didn't get away. And they said thank you and didn't try to arrest me or something. So yeah, actually, that was awesome and it felt really great." She leans back, throws her arms up over her head, and stretches. "That's awesome that you met Captain America and the Hulk, Anya, that's completely awesome. …I do sorta envy Captain America a little bit, I guess, being able to be a hero and just be… y'know, himself. But I have too many people I need to protect."

The newest member of the spider-family grins, "Also, those other people you mentioned sound awesome, too. I'd love to meet them sometime. …You know, it's going to be really hard to maintain my introvert status."

Anya is all smiles; it's moments like those that make it worth dealing with moments like the bridge. "It's a lot easier with a mask," she offers, grinning. "Throw it on, no one knows who you are underneath. You could be anyone."

The young woman lifts her beef jerky to take a final bite, gnawing on it with a deep sense of gratitude; it sure beats those SHIELD protein bars that she's almost out of. "If you ever make your way uptown, stop into Luke's bar in Harlem. It's an 18 and up joint because they have food. Really good BBQ. I'm kinda working there, so, you know. If you come in… pretend you don't know me, yeah?"

"Oh! Luke's? I've been there once, exactly once, and had a fantastic burger. No booze, 'cause I'm not 21." She bites her bottom lip, and furrows her brow, "Can we even… have alcohol? I mean, I hadn't really thought about… mixing super powers with… inebriation? Probably a bad idea?" She hmmms softly. "But, you work at Luke's now, hunh? That's really awesome, Anya."

Gwen snatches her mask out of the air as a breeze finally does blow it off the side of the building. "Yeah, being able to put on the mask and just be anyone is prety liberating," she agrees. "Well. Anyone who's five foot five, and a girl with a small chest, anyway." She smirks, "Which is like… at least a fifth of New York, so yeah, basically anyone." She tilts her head sideways, "One of Barton's friends took a sample of my web, and I was all like NOT COOL but what was I gonna do? Say no?"

"Oh, yeah, we sure can," Anya tells Gwen. "I dunno how it works for everyone, but… it takes about an entire bottle of tequila to get me even remotely drunk, and it doesn't last long. Apparently, my whole body's on overdrive. I'm not a biologist or anything, but I did some research, crunched some numbers and… yeah, it makes sense." Her eyes widen and she says, "Still, I would not want to be even buzzed and trying to webswing, or stop any bad guys. I don't think drinking is bad, and if it takes.. half a bottle of hard liquor to even feel it, so what? But anything can be bad in excess."

At Gwen's remark, Anya glances her way and grins. "Hey, you know, not everyone is into cup size, mi hermana. Trust me." Her eyes twinkle with mischief. "You got it. Hell, one night? You and me? We'll go troll the Village on a Friday night. You'll see. East or Grenwich, doesn't matter."

Suddenly, Anya's mood shifts when Gwen tells about a sample of her web being taken. She straightens, and her mischievous expression fails. "What?" She spins around to face Gwen, nearly bolting to her feet. "No, that isn't cool, and YES you can absolutely say no! Listen, I've worked with SHIELD people. Twice now. But, just like you said there are bad cops, I guarantee there are bad agents." She reaches out to shove a finger toward Gwen's shoulder. "Next time, you absolutely say no, unless you're comfortable with it."

Gwen's eyes widen at Anya's mood shift and sudden outburst, but she manages to not do anything embarassing (like fall off the building). "You know? I didn't think of that at the time. …I don't think that agent meant anything malicious by it, I think she was just… just really curious, and I don't blame her for that." She fiddles with the mask she's holding in her hands. "But, yeah, next time someone does that, I'm going to go NOoOOOoOOOoOooo at them and make them feel extremely guilty, like they're invading my privacy or something."

"But uhm… Greenwich, or the Village. Troll them for what, exactly?" My my; someone is naive, isn't she?

Anya visibly sighs and settles herself. "Sorry," she says, feeling a bit bad for having rattled Gwen so. "I just… you know, consent is important. Not just in relationships. You wouldn't want someone to rip your mask off without asking, it's kinda the same thing. If they'd asked… gives you a chance to say yes or no, and honestly? If someone asks, I'm a hell of a lot more likely to say 'yes'." She shrugs. "You're probably right, but, it should be your choice, not theirs."

Thankful that the conversation shifts back in the other direction, Anya settles back down and drapes an arm over her knee, bending forward to rest her face on her arm so that she can look out at the city. The position might be entirely uncomfortable for most people, but for her, it's as easy as sitting cross legged. "Oh, you know. For attention. We'll go in our costumes, watch people stare. Call out boys who are disrespectful. Make a statement." Her eyes twinkle and she glances toward Gwen, grinning. "Maybe even meet someone. You never know." Her grin widens. "Wingmates, right? Like… Luke and Wedge. Maverick and Goose."

Gwen chuckles, "Well, I definitely prefer Luke and Wedge, or like…" She trails off, "Okay, I was going to say Han and Chewie, but as awesome as Chewbacca is he's way too hairy for either of us." She smirks, "Also, Goose dies. Both in Top Gun and in Mad Max, if you've ever seen the original, which nobody has. …Honestly, the only good parts are the beginning and the end. …But seriously, what you propose sounds like fun, and I'm all in favor of it."

She shifts to sit cross-legged, partly mirroring Anya, just by adopting a pose that would be painful for a regular person but just seems fine for her, somehow. "Let's agree not to be like Romeo and Juliet, things really didn't work out for them, yeah? …Seriously, what is it with the human race and fantasies about friends and lovers who die?" She pauses, "Oooh, I know! Rarity and Twilight Sparkle."

"Oh yeah," Anya answers, suddenly remembering about Goose. "No, no one is allowed to be Goose." She grins as Gwen agrees, but then quirks a brow at talk of Romeo and Juliet, and even seems more confused at talk of Rarity and Twilight Sparkle. Surely she's heard of the former, but has she never heard of the latter? "Well, everyone loves a good tragedy, but we're gonna have plenty of those, we don't need to go making up our own, alright?" She watches Gwen for another moment or two, before righting herself. "Listen, I'm gonna swing my way back up to my turf. If it stays this quiet, I might even go home at a reasonable hour, read Abuela a bed time story or something." She then rolls her eyes and murmurs to herself in Spanish, "«She'll probably ask me to rub her feet again.»"

Gwen, as it turns out, does not speak Spanish; so she doesn't catch any of that last bit. "Watch My Little Pony sometime," she suggests. "Yes, it's for children. But I promise you, you'll enjoy it. Promise." She pulls her mask back down over her head (short hair really is a blessing sometimes), and hops up to her feet. "Alright! let me know if a supervillain busts out and you need help punching him." She stretches, and cracks her neck from one side to the other. "I'm gonna get another circuit in myself. If nothing erupts, I might go home and… and study, I have exams in organic chemistry and my genetics course coming up next week."

"Thesis," Anya offers, while standing and pulling her own mask down. "Followed by early graduation, followed by I-don't-even-know." She grins and offers a fist for the bumping. "You got it, chica."

There's a chance she might even google some My Little Pony when she gets home.

A chance.

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