2019-12-30 - Harlem Heroes?


Luke, Anya, Thea and Becca discuss recent events

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Dec 30 21:56:48 2019
Location: Luke's - Upstairs Apartment

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Theme Song



It's Saturday afternoon, maybe an hour after the incident with the giant mechanical critters in Central Park. Being decidedly not a sports bar, Luke's is fairly quiet at the moment, though that will inevitably change as the clock moves on toward evening. Still, there are some patrons present. Becca and Anya arrived separately, but within minutes of one another, the tall Texan blonde looking uncharacteristically nervous and twitchy. Neither of them is scheduled to be on-shift.

When inevitably asked, they would tell Luke that they'd be needing to talk privately, and that Thea should be along soon to join them. And so it is that the group winds up in Luke's apartment upstairs from the bar…

Luke ushers everyone upstairs to his abode. The studio apartment is as big as the bar below, but is very sparse in decoration. The only real things of note are a small photo pinned up next to the doorway of a woman about Luke's age, and an entertainment unit opposite a large king-sized bed.

"So…what's going on?" asks Luke as he shuts the door behind him. "Everyone ok? Did something happen again?" he looks pointedly at Anya. "Do I need to knock heads?" Luke folds his arms over his chest, looking at the three women.

"Knock, knock."

A familiar voice comes from the rooftop entry, moments before its pried open and Spider-Girl drops in.

This, of course, answers a lot of questions, for everyone. Luke already knew, as did Thea, but Becca, well. She just found out shiny an hour ago.

"Oh, we knocked all the heads already," Spider-Girl quips. Her costume is ripped up, again; and while her wounds have healed, blood remains from where her skin was rended.

Thea arrived after the other two, perhaps surprisingly with a couple shopping bags. She'd dropped them just inside the door, and taken her boots off to be polite. Her socks? Fuzzy and bright purple, which doesn't match anything else she's wearing.

Hands pass through her hair, just looking between the three others, before she'll find a spot to sit, where she can keep her back to a wall. "Could I bother you for some water, Luke? Or a sports drink, if you have it?" Her voice is quiet, betraying some sort of inner exhaustion. Legs shift so she can sit cross-legged, while she offers Becca a quiet, encouraging smile. Trying to convey without words that it'll be okay.

"Um, well…" Becca had begun, hesitantly, but trailed off, averting her eyes. But then Anya's return, in costume, kind of frames things toward the needed context. She looks from her to Luke and back, the implication quickly landing for her, that Luke knows about Anya's costumed identity. She swallows, then begins again, saying, "We were in Central Park, an' there was an attack. Giant critters, that turned out t'be mechanical." She takes a nervous breath. "People were gonna get hurt. The critter-bot-things had t'be stopped. I… I had t'help." She's dressed in jeans, red-and-white retro Converse sneakers, and a grey hoodie worn unzipped over a black 'Luke's' tee.

"Spider-girl?" Luke says as she crawls in through the skylight. He doesn't know Becca knows, so he uses the alias. "You ok? Look a little torn up there."

As Thea arrives and asks for something to drink, Luke nods and moves over towards the small kitchenette, opening up the fridge and pulling out a few bottles of water. He unceremoniously starts to toss them towards the ladies pretty sure each of them can catch the chilly plastic projectiles.

"I hope you don't mind me saying so, but y'all look like someone rode you hard and put you away wet."

As Becca starts to speak, Luke opens his own water and takes a sip. "Well, yeah, I would hope you would help. You seem pretty capable and I didn't take you for the type to run away from danger. Hell, you work here…and believe me I know what you go through on any given night. The fact you don't up and clock some of the customers shows me your character, Becca."

Reaching up, Anya pulls the ripped, half mask from her face; the brown ponytail appears to be hair extensions, woven into the mask itself, for the blue-mohawk comes out with the reveal, all messed up thanks to being shoved haphazardly into the mask.

The item is left to flop back against her shoulder blades, and she settles brown eyes upon Rebecca. "Seems we're both full of surprises today, hermana."

Her attention lingers upon Becca, an intensely speculative expression the likes of which Becca has likely never seen before; it's not the kind of look Anya gives folks when she's not in costume, and when she is, her eyes are usually concealed.

She doesn't look, but her hand rises and snatches the bottle of water without effort.

Thea reaches up to catch the bottle of water, cracking off the top to take several big swallows. "Becca, it's okay." She's not always the best at being comforting, but she's trying.

She stretches, then pops her neck with a groan. "Anyhow, yeah. Big robotic bugs, attacked for no reason I could discern. I couldn't do anything against them, but my talents were needed anyhow." There's a quick look at Anya, and her exposed skin where she had jumpstarted the healing. "I think everyone in this room can just be their damn selves. None of us are what would be considered normal."

Deciding that maybe an action would speak louder, or at least more clearly, than words, Becca looks at the bottle Luke tossed toward her, as it's in mid-flight — and it comes to a sudden stop, about a foot in front of her, hovering there for a few seconds until she reaches out to take it in hand.

Her eyes flick to each of the other women, and then return to Luke.

Looking from Anya to Becca and back, Luke takes another sip of his water. "Ok. SO that happened. Good to know."

Thea gets a look as she describes herself as 'unnormal', he opens his mouth to say something, but the hovering bottle catches Luke's attention before he can speak.

"Sweet Christmas." mutters Luke as he watches Becca pull the bottle from its stationary position in the air. "That your doing, Becca?"

"Amen," Anya mutters under her breath regarding Thea's advice. Yes, they can all just be themselves. For once.

Gulping down water, her attention remains largely upon Becca; eyebrows rise at the display of her power, and she lowers the bottle to give the young woman another speculative look. "Telekinesis? Or physics?" Can't be magnetism; plastic is non-ferrous. She folds her arms and begins to grin. "Are you screwing around with gravity?"

Thea will lift an eyebrow, and meet Luke's look with an even stare. She's including him in the not normal category, yes. She will swallow down more water.

She watches that floating bottle, completely appearing calm about everything. "Gravity is my guess. But hell, I don't know. I can't see psychic powers being used." She lets her legs go straight against the floor, flexing and relaxing her feet. "It kept her safe from little bug grenades."

Becca nods to Luke, once, slowly. "Yeah, that was me. I'm a freak." She's so used to that label for herself that it spills out without any consideration that it might then also apply to anyone else in the room. "Been tryin' t'keep it a secret, but today, I — I just couldn't stand there'n do nothin', or run away an' not help…" Obvious clue that her emotions are roiled up — the Texas in her speech gets thicker.

She nods again, to Anya and then to Thea. "I mess with gravity. I can turn it up, turn it down, make shields out of it, move stuff…" And here she rises a few inches off the floor as she concludes, "…an' I can fly."

\Taking another sip of water, Luke eyes the trio of ladies and smirks. "Well shit. Guess I never really have to worry about my place being robbed. I've got a 'spider' and someone who can manipulate gravity on staff, and…" he pauses, not knowing exactly how to describe Thea. Spook? Government Agent? Troubleshooter? "..some sort of 'specialized talent' as a regular. I pity whomever comes into that place looking to cause trouble."

He looks to Becca, "Wish you had been around a few nights ago. Could have used your help with a fire down the way…speaking of which, I haven't seen anything in the news, and nobody has come beating down the bar door, so either I missed it or nobody got any clear shot of me." He pauses, "Not that they could have really used any photos of me."

Anya's expensive eyes bounce from Thea, to Luke, and back to Becca. Her head tilts to the side a bit, and the flash of a fiery expression passes through her eyes when Becca refers to herself as a freak.

Its short lived; when Becca floats into the air, Anya's lips part just a bit, clearly awestruck. It's not that she's never seen people who can fly, it just… never gets old.

She sets the water down and approaches Becca, though she keeps a safe distance so as not to alarm the Texan, but also, to avoid getting caught up in any gravimetric anomalies.

"Damn right you are. We all are." A coy grin spreads across her lips. "Let your freak flag fly, sister."

A brief laugh is given at Luke's remark of his nakedness. A sideward look is given to him. "I can see the Daily Bugle headline now. 'Harlem Bar owner: ticklish.'"

Thea is suddenly on her feet, without thought. "You are NOT a freak. You're a mutant, and there is absolutely nothing wrong or shameful about that." It's one of the first signs of emotional 'heat' anyone will have seen from her in days. Luke with get a lazy, barely heated glare. "I'm one. And I'm pretty sure you don't think I'm a freak, Becca." She will hold a finger up in Luke's direction, a whip quick gaze at the big man. "You hush."

"I understand hiding what you can do. A lot of people are assholes. But us? Like I said, none of us are normal. Not even the big guy, for all he plays it. "

Then she turns to Luke, crossing her arms, one hip angled. "Biokinetic. I just happen to work for SHIELD in the bargain. I'm their walking medkit." There is some bitterness on those words. "Though healing is not what I do in my other…profession." She will pull her knife out of her boot, flicking it open to open a slice on her arm. It barely has a moment to bleed before everyone can see it pulling together, healing over.

Thea looks at Anya. "I blame the Spiders. Other than my trainers, no one knew for a long time, until the Spiders."

"So… So I guess I'm not fired, then," Becca says, quietly, looking at Luke with the bare start of a smile. "I… I wanted to think you wouldn't, but I… Sometimes y'don't know about people, 'til you do."

Realizing Anya's hesitance at coming too close, she lands, with the gentleness of a butterfly — and then takes a step forward, pulling Anya into a tight hug. She comes close to missing Thea's display of her power, but doesn't, and those blue eyes go wide.

Luke flicks the cap of his water bottle at Anya, "You hush" he says nearly at the same time Thea tells him to hush.

He blinks and looks over at Thea, "What?! What did I say?"

His eyes widen a bit as Thea cuts on herself, and then heals before his eyes. "Hey, I didn't know that?! All you ever told me was you worked for the government in a consultant capacity. I didn't know you were a mutant, give me a break!"

He looks to Becca, cocking his head to the side. "Fired? Why in hell would I fire you? Did I EVER give you the impression I was some kind of racist motherfucker that would fire someone because they were a bit different? Shit, I would have to fire my own damn self. Thea, give me that knife…"

A flick of a hand, and a purple webline almost too thin to be seen catches the cap and sends it swinging to and fro from the ceiling.

Welcoming the hug, Anya pulls Becca in close, wrapping her arms around her friend and pressing her cheek up against hers. She doesn't let go quickly; sometimes a hug can mean the world.

"None of it is easy," she says quietly, a near whisper meant for Becca alone. "However it happened, whatever it means, whatever you decide to do with it… it's not easy. It never will be. But it's fucking worth it."

She finally pulls back, but her hands remain on Becca's shoulders, looking her dead in the eye with an encouraging stare that glistens a little. "It'll always be worth it," she repeats, just loud enough now for the others to make out.

Finally stepping back, Anya turns to look at the others. She'd missed Thea's display of powers, but… she already knows. She turns to look at Luke, that same expression of knowing lingering in her eyes.

Thea is already folding up her knife to tuck away. "You think I am going to ruin a good blade that way?" She sasses Luke. "It would be more useful against a steel door, Mr. Invulnerable skin. Who didn't get so much as a nick when there was debris raining down, who had his pants /burn away/ and didn't get so much as a heat blister? Did you think I didn't notice this shit? You're blurry, to me. I can still see if you were hurt inside, but outside? Nothing. I don't know how, but I know what I saw."

But she'll hold out the closed knife on an outstretched palm. "You fuck it up, you owe me a new one."

Becca clings to Anya gratefully, and nods to what she's saying, her own eyes tearing up a bit. Once disengaged from that embrace, she looks past Anya's shoulder at Luke. "No. No, you did not," Becca replies to him, looking a bit ashamed. "It's just… Down where I'm from, a lot o'people would think y'should. Not everybody, not nearly, but…" She stops, takes a breath, and finishes, "…my parents would."

"Shit, Thea, you would likely at least scratch a steal door if you took the knife to it." Luke says as he takes the knife from her outstretched hand, opens it, and without a second thought shoves the knife into his chest at full force…where it just shatters into fragments of steel at it impacts his skin. He then walks over to the big kings sized bed and reaches over, picking it up effortlessly with one hand like it was made of single ply toilet paper…the real thin kind.

"Yeah, Becca, I ain't exactly normal myself. Sure as shit started out normal, but some illegal experimentation does wonders for a guy…so yeah, not going to judge you for being a mutant. I'm sorry your family would."

He looks over at Anya, then back to Becca. "What she said."

The demonstration of Luke's unbreakable skin draws another sly grin. Anya's eyes shift over to Thea. "Maybe he'll get you an upgrade?" she remarks, finally letting her own brand of usual sass back into the mix.

Gathering her water, she takes another long drink, before looking back over to Becca. "There will always be people out there like that," she says. "Just a fact of life. You can't always change them. You just have to make life what you want it to be. Power's in your hands." She pauses, and an apologetic look comes into her eyes. "Not in your family's hands."

She shrugs, and looks over toward Thea and Luke. "Besides…. family isn't always blood."

Thea sighs, a hand coming up to rub over her face. "Do you know how expensive that knife is? Well, was. Christ, Luke." There's a flat glare at Anya. " That was a new one." To replace one she had lost in hell.

She looks at Becca, and her expression softens. "It's not just down south. My father sent me to the Middle East to get me out of the way, and teach me to control what I do so I can pass as normal." It's hard not to hear the disgust. "He didn't know I was being trained to be something dangerous." An assassin, but.. why be so specific?

Becca's eyes go wide again as she sees Luke seemingly on the way to stabbing himself, and then her jaw drops with a little gasp as the knife shatters. The demonstration with the bed draws an incredulous, half-whispered "Holy fuck" from her lips.

And then Anya is speaking. And Becca is listening, and by the end of it, barely holding back the tears, and giving her friend a crooked little smile.

Then, turning to Thea after she's spoken, Becca says, "Daddy didn't get to throw me out for bein' a mutant. He'd already just done that for me bein' queer. The first time I ever got up the nerve t'mess around with another girl, an' he came home early an' caught us. First time he ever hit me in all my life. So I hit 'im back — Up against the back o' the house with my powers." She looks just a bit defiantly pleased at that particular memory.

Luke looks to Thea, "No idea, but I am sure you will tell me. Don't worry, I'm pretty sure I am good for it. Pretty sure." He grins, rolling a shoulder as he shrugs. "Most likely, anyway. I mean, what, it couldn't have cost more than a couple hundred, right?"

He looks to Anya and then back to Becca with a nod, "Besides, looks like you found yourself a new family. Sorry your dad was a dick."

"Good on you," Anya says. She will always stand up for defending oneself, no matter who threw the first punch.

With a long sigh, she takes a step over toward a chair and sits down. "What are the odds," she muses. "The four of us, all… y'know. Enhanced." She looks up and around at the three, before settling her eyes on Becca. There's something she wants to say, or ask, but… now might not be the time.

Thea just gives Luke a look, shaking her head to laugh. "Nevermind. I have others I can use until I can get another one reordered." She then turns to smile at Becca. "Atta girl. Fuck 'em, if they don't like you just like you are."

She will drink the rest of her water, before she'll look for a recycling bin.

"I need to eat. Healing a bunch of people on the fly leaves me hungry. Anyone else want some Greek food? I'll be back. If you want something, have Anya Text it to me." She'll smile as she slips her boots on and moves to head on out, down, and to the street.

"Thank you," Becca replies to, well, everyone after that. "Thank you all. My life's completely different now from what I thought it'd be, a year ago. Knowin' y'all are okay with what an' who I am, an' that you'll have my back, it's… I don't even know how to say."

Luke Cage chuckles and looks over to Anya, "No shit. We have the makings of our own super team. Like those Avenger guys. We could be the Harlem's Heroes, or something like that. I Met a lawyer today that deals with the hero community. 'Course if we go that route I am going to need some kind of super hero name and a costume. I can't have you webbing me up all the time."

Luke pauses, opening his mouth to say something else, then closes it again.

"Right, anyway…that sounds like a good idea, Thea. I could go for some flaming cheese and a whole thing of gyros right about now. I'll go with you." as he moves to catch up with Thea.

"Oh god, yes," Anya says in regard to Greek food. She looks over toward Becca as the two depart, grinning. "You've had Greek, right? Tell me you've had Greek. If not, I totally know what to get you."

"There's a diner not that far from where I live," Becca answers, nodding, smiling, and visibly perking up at the thought of food. She'd been so wrapped up in everything else that she hadn't even paid attention to her stomach grumbling. "But go ahead an' surprise me. I'm sure I'll like it."

"Deal," Anya says, and sends a message to Thea; almost the same thing she's ordering for herself. Giant size Greek gyro with shaved lamb, a side of grape leaf wraps and spanakopita.

Once the order is complete, she settles in, drops her phone on a table, and gives Becca a long look.

"So…" Her eyebrows rise a little, and she leans forward, resting her chin on a hand enclosed in black webbing. "What now?"

With a soft smile, Becca suggests, "Now, how about you tell me what you were gonna say a few minutes ago, but didn't?" Yeah, she picked up on that.

Becca finds herself the recipient of one of Anya's signature smirks. It lasts for a moment, before she moves over to join Becca.

"What now," she repeats. "As in… y'know, you've blown your secret to three of the dopest people this side of the Hudson." She folds arms across her costumed chest. "Are you just gonna keep working here, keeping what you can do on the D.L.? Or is there a mask and a cape in your future?"

"Well, first thing, yeah, I'm gonna keep workin' here," Becca answers. "I love you guys, I love this job, an', well, far as I know, bein' a superhero doesn't pay much, y'know? Still gotta pay my rent, an' everythin' else." She allows herself a slight chuckle at that, before continuing. "An, well, you're not the only ones who know. There's a girl I met a few weeks ago, with super-speed powers. It was kinda like in the park, I helped her stop some jackass in a stolen car before he ran down people who were crossin' the street. Managed to keep from bein' found out by anyone but her. Since then, she's kinda been helping me figure out the hero thing, takin' me out 'on patrol' once or twice a week on my nights off."

"Good, cause if it was just Luke and Holden, I think I might go loco." Anya giggles at the thought; Lord knows she could handle those two men on her own, but she's glad she doesn't have to.

Her expression then grows far more serious. "As for the whole… mask thing. I'm gonna give you some unsolicited advice. I hope you don't mind." By the tone of her voice, Becca would need to gravity seal her mouth shut to keep it from happening.

"Some people hide it. Others don't. Those who do, usually do it for a reason. To protect people. I know you're here alone, but… you still have things to protect. Like this place."

Her eyes glance down for a moment, and she nibbles lightly on her lower lip for a moment. What she's about to say is difficult, but, she knows it needs to be said.

Looking back up, her eyes have moistened again. She reaches forth to grasp Becca's hands, if allowed, giving them a firm and meaningful squeeze. "But don't think that your family's safe, just because they're in Texas. If you do this… eventually, you're gonna make someone mad. Really mad. And you've gotta do whatever you can to protect the people you love. Even if they're dicks to you."

Its heartfelt… as if she knows this from personal experience.

Becca nods. "More for you guys, and for the other people who live in my building, an' like Gwen and the rest of the band, but yeah, I get that," she says. "What I've got now isn't very good. Just, like, a cheapass dollar-store grey hoodie, not as nice as this one, an a pair o'jeans, an' one o'those pairs of ski goggles with the one mirrored lens all the way across."

She shakes her head. "Actually ran into Gwen while I was wearin' it. Think it took her 'round ten seconds to figure out who I was."

There is a brief expression of familiarity with the name Gwen, but the thought doesn't cross Anya's mind that it might be the one she knows. "When I first started, I was terrible at it. I had a wicked costume but that's it. I used to go patrolling with the same backpack." She nods over to the backpack; it's covered in pop culture patches and is a dead giveaway as to who owns it.

Becca looks at the backpack, not that she's not familiar with it already from working with Anya, and actually giggles a bit. "Yeah, that is a mite obvious," she says. "I kinda got a worse problem. Gwen told me she thought it was me, just by sight, but then as soon as I opened my mouth, she knew for sure. I gotta either learn t'lose my accent or else just not talk when I'm in costume." Because there are SO many tall young blondes with Becca's build and Texas accents running around New York.

"That," Anya points out, "or get someone to build you, like, a Kylo Ren helmet." She laughs at the idea before smirking. "I might know someone who can pull it off."

Growing a bit more serious, she offers, "I can totally help you. Seriously. Let's come up with a badass costume." A pause. "And a code name."

"Help with a real costume would be great," Becca says, looking both grateful and eager. "The codename, I figured out already — or at least my speedy friend likes it. I wanted somethin' simple, an' that made sense with my powers. Finally settled on 'G' — as in the gravitational constant, or pulling Gs. Force of gravity."

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