2019-11-17 - Spider to Spider


Spidey seeks out Spider-Woman to thank her for her help.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Nov 17 22:10:48 2019
Location: Manhattan Island

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Theme Song



It's a Sunday afternoon, and it's been relatively quiet. Not much crime going on, which was always good. It gave him time to handle everything that was necessary to be done.
And today is a good time to reconnect on more thread.
He had found out that Anya had connected the agent known as Spider-Woman to the Spider-Comm system. With everything going on, he had needed time to get his life back together. But it had been too long, and he had to do what was right, and recognize everyone who had come to help him.

In the spirit of this, he had sent a message to the unfamiliar spider-icon. He was pretty sure it was the right one.

<Spider-Woman? It's Spider-Man. I know this is out of the blue, but I wanted to speak to you. Is now a good time?>

Given the time frame between the Night of Morlun and today, Jessica has just begun throwing herself back into the game. Her healing as it is, she managed to overcome the skull fractures fairly quickly, but the disorientation itself was something that was desperately hanging on. Only in the past two days has she been tentatively dipping her toe in the pool again. So Spidey's message catches her by surprise.

<Man of Spiders. It's as good a time as any other. Just keeping a radar on the ground, here.> The rooftop where she's sitting on the edge is quiet. So are the people below.

Spidey felt a little self-conscious. She sounded competent.
<Well…all right, then. I can come to you, no problem. Just say 'Activate Beacon' and the system will triangulate your position. This sort of thing…I'd like to tell you in person.>

<If you're planning to tell me you're having my baby, I plan to contest this conclusion. I wasn't even there at the time. Otherwise….>

"Activate Beacon."

How she can be sure this isn't some trick to help a clandestine criminal organization find her, it's beyond her comprehension. But Spidey did pop up on her radar that night, so surely someone hasn't figured out how to hack this so quickly. Her position will show atop a bank building, on the edge, in the evening shadow of a radio tower behind her.

It takes a few minutes for Spidey to get there. More like ten. But the icon with the symbol on his chest appears when he gets to within two miles of her, and she can see it moving along the skyline of New York. A lot of bobbing, weaving, bouncing…like watching one of those sing-along-song shows with the bouncing ball over the lyrics, but in a three-D environment.
Spider-Man lands on the opposite end of the bank roof, making no attempt to be sneaky. he walks along the roof towards Jessica's position, taking a deep breath. Yeah, she's spooky-competent.

This evening, Jessica has opted for a spandex suit that runs a navy blue gradient, darker at the shoulders, and gradually lightening along the body until her calves and ankles are a lighter blue-grey. Emblazoned on her chest is an arachnid in its web, both shining in chrome-like silver. Her mask is lying to one side, but she reaches for it as she rises to meet Spider-Man.

"The man with the plan…" She quips in greeting, as she turns to face the approaching hero. The wind tousles her long, dark, lazy curls, and she tilts her head. "I'm glad to see you recovered from the funhouse. But how well are you doing?"

Spidey chuckles sadly. "Some funhouse. ZERO fun." He looks at the costume, then back up to Jessica's face. "I was…well, it's been a bit difficult, putting my Humpty-Dumpty life back together again. But…I didn't come to talk about myself. I just needed to…say something to you."

He gets to about ten feet away, well outside personal-space distance. He wrings his hands, looking for all the world like a kid asking his date to the prom.

"…I wanted to thank you. I didn't really know how connected you were until the end…and didn't realize you'd been hurt because of m…because of Morlun. You went into harm's way because of me. I can never thank you enough…but I'm sure as heck going to try."

Jessica has never had a particular sense of personal space, on the whole. She knows what feels appropriate, and what doesn't. So she approaches the rest of the way, closing the gap that Spider-Man left.

"You know, Jess replies, reaching up and attempting to put an arm around his shoulders to squeeze gently. "If you think about it for a moment, in the light of what I saw? It's a no-brainer, and I would have done it a thousand times over. That's what we do every single day, isn't it? We jump in, no matter the odds, and for people we don't even know. People who can't defend against those odds. So naturally, I had to jump. You're not just any civvie. You protect them. I could never let that asshole eat you. I mean I /did/ let him. But I didn't /like/ it." She gives Spidey a slanted side-eye.

Spider-Man looks relieved. He takes another breath, then says, "…it was the right choice, as crazy as it sounded. But the nightmares didn't care." He looked down. "I…appreciate all that you did. All that you went through. And I was wrong not to connect you like the others until it was too late. I never should have left you in the dark like I did."

Jessica shrugs. "You were preserving the ones you knew and cared for. I was a wildcard. You didn't know what I might be out for. I don't blame you. You had a plan and you had to protect it. If it failed, you risked a lot more than just your own delicious hide" She pauses, and holds up her hands. "I did NOT mean that the way it came out. I was just meaning like…y'know because Morlun wanted to eat you so you must be deliciousI'm making it worse, aren't I?"

Spidey chuckled. "Contents noted, Spider-Woman. No harm, no foul. I get what you mean." He smiles, and then ohs and reached into his backpack to pull out what looks like a small plastic box. "Someone very dear to me wanted me to give you this. An apology for taking so long." He ahs, and then grabs a plastic fork wrapped in cellophane. "You'll need this for it."

In light of the conversation, Jess' foibles included, she is almost terrified to find out what's in that box. She tentatively accepts it, along with the cellophane-wrapped fork.

"Well…I will accept it, since you said it came from someone dear to you. If it'd been from you….well, you seem like the kinda guy who'd give me the cold shoulder if I said you looked delicious. And I sorta just did." She points at him with the fork in an accusatory manner. "Besides, what you did that night took brains and guts and endurance. You hurt and you bled for it. And while WE go in knowing there's a chance, you went in knowing what to expect. And you still went in. That takes dedication."

Spider-Man nods quietly. "Well…you deserve that, that's for sure."

When the lid comes off, the smells waft up. Sugar. Apple. The light buttery smell of the crust. No, not butter. Lard. Because the perfect crust demands it.
Jessica finds herself the recipient of what is, in Peter's opinion and the state of New York, the best apple pie in the city. The award hangs in Aunt May's kitchen. There is enough for three large slices or six smaller ones.
"I thank you. And my Aunt thanks you."

"Awww~" Jessica's tough and reasonable facade has been obliterated, and she squeezes Spidey again. "You're so sweet. You gotta watch yerself, someone's gonna take advantage of you if you're not careful. Choose wisely the company you keep, a'right? You worry me. If there's one thing I've learned up here, it's that not everyone has your best interests at heart when they get close. Understand?" She is already unwrapping the fork and stealing a bite of the pie. Because there are perks to not wearing a mask.

"Oh my God…best apple pie….EVER. Want some?"

Spidey holds up both his hands. "I get it from the source, and my backside would get tanned if I took anything from your gift. That's all yours. The box is sorta my invention, though. Keeps stuff warm. up to 150 degrees for three hours. It uses those little tabs that come in those Boy Scout cooking kits, though. Reverse-engineering those is not easy."

"Oh wow," Jess replies, looking the box over again more closely. "That's impressive. I guess the rumors are true…You /are/ a genius, aren't you?" Jessica watches him appraisingly.

Spider-Man took a moment to answer. "Well, I'm smarter than the average bear. But it's what you do with it that matters." He smiles warmly under the mask. "Now, I don't want to find out that you shared any of that with anyone else." He looks around, then says, "So…how would you feel about being permanently wired into the Spider-Comms, so if something comes up on either end, we can keep in touch? I'd like to avoid getting on SHIELD's bad side, and if there's something going on that you should probably know…"

Jess nods quickly. "Oh that'd be fantastic. I would like to be able to alert you as well as your team. So being wired in would be probably the best idea of the day. Besides this pie. And nobody is getting any of this. It's going in me, with all speed."

Decorum was never Jess' strong point.

Spidey chuckles. A gentle one, not mean. He's not a mean guy.
"I'll see you get dialed in. You should stay connected anywhere in the five boroughs. You'll see the icons of the other Spiders, as well as a couple of 'affiliates.'" His face softens slightly. "But I should make you aware. Morlun was the patriarch of a FAMILY of a race they called the Ancients. They call their family the Inheritors. They are very powerful, but are highly susceptible to radiation. You should probably open a file of them in SHIELD's database, if you haven't already."

Jessica nods slowly, taking in the information. "I'll add this to the information I had gathered, and see to it this all makes it into a file there. I'm certain SHIELD will be grateful for the info. And we /definitely/ need to keep tabs on the situation. From whence one comes, more are bound to follow."

Spidey turns to look out at the city. "I made a comprehensive file on what Morlun can do." He takes out a small SD card from under his wrist, handing it to Jessica. "Video clips, my own observations. Reactions to various situations. Recordings of the stuff he sent to us from Spider-Woman and Spider-Girl…" He stops, then continues, "…all of it. Even the bad stuff. So prepare yourself."

Jessica nods and takes the SD card. "I'll add it to the file. All of it. Best to be prepared, no matter what. Right?" She looks back to Spidey, shaking her head slowly. "Ya sound too young to have to deal with all this garbage. I hate it. I hate it more than having to deal with it myself."

Spidey looks back to Jessica. "I was 16 when I got these powers. It's not fair that I have to deal with bad guys shooting at me before I'm old enough to vote…or that I felt I had to lie to everyone. But life isn't fair. So…complain about it, or roll with it. I decided to roll with it." He smiles wryly. "But…a lot of people are getting helped. That has to count for something in the plus column, right?'

"Everything you have done so far counts for something in the plus column, Spider-Man." Jessica shakes her head slowly, considering. "And I am not sure there's anyone else out there who'd have immediately gone cape and started that Plus Column. You're sort of one of a kind, y'know. Special issue. And that's what makes you who you are."

Spidey looked a little uncomfortable. "Before I apply for sainthood, I have to tell you that my first thought wasn't 'How can I help people?'…it was 'How can I make a buck?'" He looks around. "My first step in my road to this was trying to make it as a professional wrestler. If I han't screwed it all up, you might hear about me going toe-to-toe with the Rock or whoever the champ is these days. I got selfish…and it cost me everything. I forgot the responsibility that must come with power."

Jessica nods thoughtfully, taking the story in. "Well, kiddo, it may come as a surprise to you, but humans are fallible. I wouldn't expect you to immediately turn to heroing. At that age I'm surprised a kid wouldn't turn to theft. It's a lucrative business, and hard to resist. But either of those would be better than where I came from, so you get no judgment from me."

Spidey looked at her. "Would I be out of line asking you about yourself? We have barely talked, but I feel like I have to make up for lost time. I'm a little weird, I know, but…yeah. Is that a bad thing? Is everything about you need-to-know?"

For the first time since Spidey had arrived, Jessica went somewhat silent. Her gaze turned from Spider-Man out to the rooftops, and she remained quiet for a lingering moment.

"I was made before I was born," Jess begins. "They experimented with DNA splicing in the womb, and created a lethal assassin they could raise, instead of hire. I eventually began to question that existence, and allowed myself to be captured by SHIELD. They helped me. They saved me…But I have no memory even of that. I have nothing before the day I woke up in their medbay with a clear head, and a new life."

Well, Spider-Man, there you go. Explanations can be like beatings, sometimes. If you ask for it, people tend to give them to you. And sometimes they can feel the same.
"…Jeez Louise, Spider-Woman. And I thought *I* had problems. I know we're not in competition or anything, it's just…sometimes perspective can hit you without warning. I'm…sorry to hear about your past, but I'm glad to hear you've laid claim to your present and are making your own future."

Jessica smiles faintly. "It's really like a storybook. Everything I know about my past, I read in SHIELD files. But I'm glad I made the decision I did. And I am glad that you and I are on the same side. I don't suffer my past. I just look forward to a brighter future."

Spider-Man nods. "Well, I've seen some off the things you can do. I'm guessing you're highly trained in various agent-y skills as well?"

Jessica nods, stealing another bite of hot apple pie and chewing.

"I retained my training…as such…when I was freed from the brainwashing. But SHIELD saw to it that I received the best training out there when they made me an agent. So if there is anything you need….any help you could ever use? I'm at your disposal."

Spider-Man looks thoughtful. "All right. But you need any help from us? All you have to do is ask. We have some pretty smart people in the Spiders. I have to finish college before thinking about a SHIELD position, but until then, nothing wrong with asking."

Jess smirks, a playful smile that crinkles her nose and brings light into the depth of her green eyes. "Sounds to me like we're just gonna be cooperating the crap out of each other, Spidey."

Spidey bows, his arms wide. "Use me for my mind." He straightens with a grin that can be seen through the mask. "Well, I should probably get going. I have to get ready for a big Neurochem exam in the morning." He hops into the ledge. "Stay in touch. We'll do the same."

"Better you than me," Jess replies. "Thank your aunt for me…for this big wedge of heaven. It's going home to enjoy the company of some vanilla ice cream." She smiles. "And…be careful out there. I will send you my number on the comm. If I'm not on, feel free to call. I'm always willing to help. Thank you. And just…be safe."

Spidey waves. "You too."
And then he falls backward off the roof. A THWIPP! later, Spider-Man swung off into the distance, waving as he does a half-gainer at the upward apogee.

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