2012 01 31 Mars And Venus Withou

Log Title:
The Spider and the Fly Girl: Mars and Venus Without A Translator

Characters:
Spider-Man and Misty Knight

IC Date:
1/31/2012

Location:
Nightwing Restorations

Brief log summary::
Spidey and Misty compare notes briefly about their mutual ninja interest. They also have trouble communicating.

Rating:
r

There is no TS in this log::
Yes

Post your log::
It's early in the evening by the lights of those who swing, run, climb, fly, and get around the city in ways that your average, everyday human does not. That includes one Misty Knight, who comes down the fire escape from the rooftops to the ground level before code-keying her way into the Nightwing offices which, in the past few weeks have undergone the obvious change that indicates they're about to move: everything is in boxes.
Misty's desk is still unpacked, though, with a box nearby ready to go when she is ready to do so. At the moment, though, she curls up in her desk chair, checking her emails. She's hoping for a message from Professor Wing.
She reaches out one hand to tap the button for her voicemails to come over speakerphone. A message from Colleen. She's on her way back from Milan. Hearing this brings a faint, brief smile to the woman's face. A message from Luke Cage, promising grudgingly to help move…
As fate would have it that's the moment when the phone rings and the caller ID gives that curious mix-mash of ASCII symbols that tends to be the scrambled identifier for the Spectacular Spider-Man. She's seen it before and so it most likely doesn't surprise her too much now. Of course, the key here, is whether she'll answer it or let it go to voice mail and review it later.
Misty glances up, pondering for a second. She lets it go to voicemail, but leaves speakerphone on to see what the caller, the wallcrawling caller, may have to say about the message /she/ left for /him/ earlier in the day. It was clipped, and curt. All business. A bit of city noise indicating that rumor has it the ninjas are in town looking to take out a couple of up-and-comers in organized crime, the better to replace them to build a power base.

Misty straightens in her seat, though, tense posture replacing that languid, catlike slouch she had a moment before she recognized the call encryption.

And there's that voice again, from distant somewhere on high. There's none of that tell-tale wind whipping across the receiver, though there's a touch of crowd-noise and the random rumble of traffic far off and away. "Hey Ms. Knight, s'me."
The phone makes a rustling bustle of sound as he shifts hands and then continues. "Just returning your call and checking in if you needed anything or heard anything. I've been doing what looking I can and haven't found anything. Also dropped a line towards the X-ers about Riptide but they rarely listen to me when I'm standing in the room, let alone, you know, via mail. Anyways, just thought I'd check in. Hope you're doing ok. I should probably mosey, and you know, do he whole, vigilante thing."
Observation: It's back to "Ms. Knight", then.
Her bionic hand flashes out with that preternatural speed the machine is capable of. "You ain't the only one acquainted with the X-Men," is her retort. Only Jean's out of town right now. What /is/ it with the redheads being out of town?! "I sent someone I know the footage of him that I got " /before being web-snatched away, that is/ "to see if his behaviour rang any bells. I left you a message earlier. Check your damn voicemail." The cadence and pattern of her voice is unchanged, but there's a distinct chill in her tone that she's not bothering to hide.

For a moment the wall-crawler holds the phone out partially distant from his face and crinkles one eye, as if trying to endure what he perceives as venom and anger, perhaps rightly so. A few moments are given before he answers, pulling the phone back to his ear. "Yeah, uhm, sorry about that. I probably should. I thought I had. Mea culpa." He says this in a concilliatory tone, trying to at least not give her something direct to rail against. "Anyways, good. S'good to hear. Let me know if you need anything."
Misty ponders a dozen responses, before settling on a simple one. "An explanation." After which she hangs up. Because she's not letting him get away with whatever he'd try to get away with: 'whoops dropped the phone, five stories, need to go back to Reed for another, sorry' or 'so windy, can't hear you' or even trying to offer whatever answer he has for the last thing he said to her over the /phone/. Days of thinking through their last conversation, and weighing against what she's known of the wall crawler before the past few weeks, have told her this man is /not/ a coward. Despite behaving like one where she's concerned. So yeah. She wants an explanation, and hanging up on him, well, in addition to making a point on the best way said explanation better be delivered? Petty? Maybe. Satisfying? Yeah.
When the phone clicks off she's left there alone in her office, enjoying making that point. So the point is made and he'll most likely come by and talk with her about what's going on when he has a chance. It'd be likely that he'd come by after he's done with a sweep of the city or the like, or heck maybe he's busy and he'll come by the next day. So she assuredly expects it to be a bit of time before she sees him.
Then there's the sound of knuckles rapping on the window, exactly three minutes later. Oh no he didn't. He must've called from… 3 minutes away, grr! But, perhaps it speaks more to his worrisome self that he doesn't want her to stew or fume too long. Maybe that was the wise choice. Then again maybe not.

So, he was close by. Point for him having the sense to not leave her hanging. She reaches down on the desk and clicks a button. There's a little metallic noise that indicates the window is on a mechanical lock. And it's followed by a synth-tone that implies that the security system is being overridden to allow him entrance.

Once the spider has come into the window, it slides shut again with an ominous -CLICK-. Misty is still scanning her computer, and gestures to the client chair. "You have sixty seconds to convince me that I shouldn't go straight to the Bugle and tell that pompous ass Jameson he has a point." Her eyes, brown and clear, shift abruptly from the screen to his face. "Because the other night? That bulls#!t with the dramatic exit? That was either stupid, misguided, and chauvanistic — or you're a goddamn /predator/ and you lure people in with that cutesy wisecracking bit to make them trust you before you take a shot like you took with me."

She stands, and walks over toward him, leaning in close and drawn up to her full height. Plus platforms. "And I will be god damned before I let you pull that on /anybody/ else." She stalks a few steps away from him, boots thudding on the boring grey carpeting. She folds her arms and stares, one foot tapping the floor with a tense, coiled impatience.
"Hey, I didn't mean anything like that." Spider-Man is actually taken aback as soon as he gets in the window. He holds up his hands as if trying to stave off the words hurled like daggers. "I mean I was… and then the…" There's a grimace as he looks at her levelly. "Hey I had like no agenda or intentions or anything like that. Heck I wasn't trying to… I don't know, what? I mean what the heck are you accusing me of here? Tricking you with my what?"
Spidey rests his hands on his hips and his brow knits together as he leans forward. "I had like no idea you were… or whatever. I'm not going to claim anything since if I did you'll be all, 'omg I didn't' or whatever. But my intentions haven't been anything. Like ever!"
Misty stares at him in icy silence for a minute. She watches the body language. Tilts her head pensively as he begins stammering and failing, utterly, to explain himself. There is a corded muscle in her neck; her jaw is still clenched. "You had no idea I was /what/?" she finally demands, darting forward again, to get in his face. "So you're a habitual hypocrite with an inability to take responsibility for it? I'd believe your oh, so innocent, persecuted li'l spider act if you hadn't just /apologized/ for taking a choice out of my hands /TWO GODDAMN SECONDS/ before you did it /again/." The brown eyes are almost shimmering. The anger is changing their color from that deep, almost-black shade to something closer to gold-brown. Not a good sign. Not a good sign at all. "So try another angle. The 'I had no intentions' thing ain't gonna fly."
Her speech pattern would normally have had a 'sugar' at the end of that sentence. It's painfully absent here.

"Oh that…" As she says this it actually becomes clear to him and then he actually steps out of his point of view and blinks… then his mouth opens in a silent 'oh' as he realizes what he did in effect. "Oh I… you're right." He stops there, frowning as he rubs at his brow as if pained. There's a small shake of his head. "Yeah, you're right. I'm sorry, I like… sometimes I'm not big on this whole thinking thing. I just. I'm sorry, I have this sort of kneejerk reaction thing to…"
He stops as he looks up to meet her eyes, well as best he can with that mask. "I umm, I'm sorry Misty. I understand I can be a jerk. And really you didn't do anything. It's just… well the kiss pretty much blew my mind."
Misty watches the mask go through minute shifts and contortions, indicating that underneath, that boyish jaw and those delicious lips must be going through some rapid-fire expression changes. She is still staring at him like a lioness trying to decide if the gazelle has enough meat on him to make it worth throating him.

"That's arguable," she says, quietly. The volume, anyway. There's a certain thing that women — particularly pissed-off Black women — can do. They can speak in this low tone that is almost /worse/ than screaming at the top of their lungs. "Damn right you're sorry," she adds. "I /worried/ that the freakin' blade — which, by the way, early speculations indicate that it was /drugged/ — had done somethin' to you. You got me to be concerned about you. I don't generally give a damn how Luke Cage is doing and I've known him for /years/!" Of course, Luke Cage is Power Man, and Spider-Man, for all his adventuring, still looks kinda spindly by comparison. "So you're just a jerk, then? Is that it? It's not an act, like this comedy routine you launch into in public? And the fact that you treated me like I'm incapable of making up my /own/ damn mind? What was that, then, huh? Now that your mind's not blown anymore, you think you could spell it out for me? Like I'm two?"

"Hey, I had no intention to manipulate you or influence you or anything like that. And I'm sorry if you feel I did, or that how I act is like… some sort of predator thing." It's clear she hit him with that, scored some points and made him feel even more like a jerk.
Then he shakes his head and perhaps there's a measure of resignation in his tone. As if he's going to offer this, but he has no hope for a positive outcome. "If I thought you were attracted to me or had feelings or whatever it is or isn't, I would have been more up front with you. I don't date people really, at least not anymore. It's always gone horribly wrong for a lot of reasons I really don't care to go into, and fine I am the jerk when it comes to that. I'll accept that. I understand if you feel I was a bastard to you in some way. I hope we can still work together from time to time." The way he speaks, though concilliatory… also offers no leeway, no chance for negotiation. It's as if he's decided and that's that.
Misty lets him speak. She regards him for a moment, silently seething that he still has the advantage — a faceless mask, while she has only her rage to hide behind. But then he tries to explain himself. Again. She was starting to develop the feelings, yeah. And thought it had been mutual, but damn if she'll admit it to him /now/.
Then he goes on to talk about how horribly wrong it is to date him, and she's reminded that he said it was 'terrible'. The rage is still there, but in spite of herself, she begins to chuckle. "Oh, that's … that's just…" And she has to shake her head and put a hand to her mouth. "So I didn't deserve up-frontness because we were working together? Because we had a common interest in saving the city from ninjas? I didn't deserve up-frontness because I was your /second choice/ after Iron Fist? You, no matter how good you kiss, have got one hell of a complex." At this, her eyes have softened, almost like a switch was flipped. "And maybe that's what I saw in you. That under all that smirking sarcasm, there's somebody just trying to make it past a hell of a lot of hurt."

She takes a couple steps back to park her hip on the edge of her desk. "It's like this." The laughter has faded, whatever brought it out, pushed back again by her preferred manner of approaching the world and in particular, this situation. "You get to make choices for you. You don't get to make 'em for me. You're Spider-Man. You're not Thor, or somebody who's actually, a y'know, genuine damn deity. So if you want to continue working together — or any damn thing else — you better respect that before you step to me with the idea in that little cobwebbed head of yours that you can tell /me/ what to do. You got that?"

"That's so weird, it's like I say one thing, then it goes into the Misty translator and comes out something entirely else." Alright, the humor defense mechanism rears its ugly head again, but hey he can't help himself. Kinda. Spider-Man folds his arms over his chest and looks across the way. "You didn't get 'up-frontness' I guess you call it because I didn't imagine you'd be attracted to me. That's pretty much it. If I thought you were actually serious or whatever I would have put the kibosh to it then. I mean as soon as I realized that you might have felt anything, you know when you /Kissed/ me, I felt I had to say something."
Then he shakes his head, "And sorry, but yeah I kinda do get to make the decisions where you're regarded when it comes to me. And hey, maybe we can't work together. I've always been best as a solo act anyways. So in any case, Misty. I think that's that. Now if you're gonna punch me then please use the normal arm. Thanks."

"The Misty translator?" Misty's chin drops as her eyes widen. "You really think you're sayin' something different than I'm hearing. You really think — damn, you /do/." She shakes her head, amazed and chagrined and amused, all at once.

"Okay, you wanna talk about terrible?" She's on her feet again. The bionic arm is stretched out to her side. "This? Not terrible. This was a bomb. I earned it honestly. No super powers. Just people in danger, and a job that needed to be done." The arm drops to rest, moving like a normal arm.

"Terrible was an impostor replacing someone I loved so well /I/ couldn't tell the difference." Rape by fraud and proxy, that is, but she won't name it that. She's not baring that much to him for his sake. He's supposed to be some kind of genius; let him figure it out. "Terrible was seeing that impostor /die/ and grieving. Terrible was seeing /another/ impostor after I'd /stopped/ grieving, finally."

"So if you think 'oh, I can't, little Misty's too delicate and fragile and soft and easy to hurt' — at least have the balls to admit you're making an excuse. You can go toe to toe with the damn Hulk. With the damn Juggernaut. But when it comes to letting anybody get close — you're just a coward who can't even face up to that truth, so you stammer and make excuses that you can't imagine anyone'd find you attractive. You're not stupid and you're not blind." Half of New York may scream for his blood on the sidewalk, but the other half screams like he's a rockstar when he swings by. "And you're the one who kissed /back/," she adds, lifting her right arm to point at his heart under the little spider on his chest. "Whose mind was /blown/."

For a time he looks at her, and she can almost see the way he holds himself in check. You see, he's not moving. He's not bouncing around with nervous energy. He's focused, intent on her. "Yes. The Misty Translator. As I say one thing. You hear another. I am going to explain one thing. In detail. If you don't believe me, you don't believe me."
He gestures with a slight shift of one hand, very slightly. "I did not think you would find me attractive. I did not say I did not think anyone would find me attractive. My interactions previously with your partner had some flirtatious things to it. It's because she knows I'm safe. You see I know she doesn't find me attractive, she knows I know, so to her it's safe to flirt with me. I'm sorry if I allowed that to be prescribed somewhat to you in the vague goofy flirtations that I allowed."
There's a lift of his chin, and a firmness there in his manner. "I am sorry to hear about what you have had to endure. We've both had to endure difficult things. I'm not going to list so we can compare and contrast. I also don't see this ending positively. I apologize for my behaviour, you've shown me that I really need to be more careful. Thanks and sorry again."
That having been said he turns and opens the window, planting a boot on the lip and getting set to depart.

"Okay, then," Misty says, shrugging, and folding her arms around her midsection. A second later, they move six inches and fold across her breasts. Then they drop into the arms akimbo pose. "If this is all 'sorry, sorry, sorry', answer me one question before you go."

"If it was all such a bad idea — /how come you kissed me back/?" She hasn't opened the window again to let him out, yet, either, and there's no common ordinary lock on it. Unless he plans a dramatic Hollywood type window-shattering exit, he's going to have to wait on her pleasure or take the door like ordinary folks.

Turning to look at her, there's a moment where he considers her expression and her manner. And sometimes one has to play a role, to be the buffoon despite everything. The true answer was because he liked her, that it'd been a while since he'd kissed someone, that it felt right as a moment. Does he say any of that? Nope. Instead he says with a hint of embarassment and trepidation as he rather believably answers, "Umm, because you're hot?""

"Damn right I am," Misty replies, lips curling up in a brief, flicker of a smile. Humor-schtick defense mechanism? Yeah. But also accurate. "So tell you what. I won't hold it against you that the idea of a woman who's not on your 'hero' level scares you. And you admit you wanted to kiss me again." She raises a brow, giving him a brief head-to-toe once over. "And still do." Arrogant? A little, yeah. But she knows what that kiss felt like, and the memory of it continues to shimmer her nerves at the damndest moments.

"That's not it at all, Misty. Not that you're not on my level or anything, it's just…" He holds a hand up to the back of his neck, rubbing there awkwardly as if trying to figure out the best way to say these things. "I tried before. To have everything, to do what I needed to do to be Spider-Man, but also to have a life. And I can't, it's not fair to people, and I've been responsible for things that just… I can't forgive."
Spider-Man smiles behind that mask a bit and tells her calmly, levelly. "And sure of course I wanted to kiss you again, but that's like a given. Shouldn't surprise you a guy finds you attractive. Still do, I don't know. You're pretty mean." He nods sagely at that, then gestures to the window. "In any case… I really should go."
Misty tilts her head and looks surprised, then nods. And sighs. She moves back to the desk and pauses before hitting the window button. "Too bad, y'know," she says, quietly, but without that deadly /tone/ in her voice. The anger's gone. She's accepted that he really /is/ sorry and not trying to play games with her anymore. "Because that was what I was thinkin'. When I kissed you, I mean. I was thinkin' 'Here's a guy who is as close as anyone gets to 'getting' me'. " Her eyes come up to meet the mask. "I didn't tell you that bit of my past so we could do angsty judo. I told you because I wanted you to know I /survive/. That whatever hurts me doesn't /stop/ me. The only thing that came close is no longer an obstacle." The right arm raises again, fingers wiggling in a normal, human fashion. "I've been doin' the not so much livin' as existin'. And I figured if anybody would take it in stride, it'd be someone like you who has no problem with /literally/ livin' on the edge."

"And I told you once already … you can't let the mistakes of your past darken your heart forever."

Click. There's the synth-tone again, security making a gap for the window that slides open to let him out. "We could be damn awesome together if you gave us a chance. No strings. I'm not gonna go all hearts an' flowers on you." Because Misty is not that kind of a woman. Colleen isn't that kind of a woman either, and they'd laugh themseles silly at the notion. "I won't freak if you don't call for a couple days or a week. I'll assume you're in space, or with the Avengers, or have been shrunk down and stuck in some alien kid's dollhouse, and we can eat wings and laugh about it when you get back."

"Eventually 'existing' gets old. And it's not good for you. It'll eventually start eating away at this crazy thing you feel compelled to do."

"Seeya around, Misty." And as he says that he hops onto that window, and then without another word he leaps out of it. Again there's a moment of delay, and the next he's swinging off into the distance.

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