By Explosive Firelight

June 02, 2015:

Betsy and Flash meet again, the ninja unable to leave the Agent to his duties; in the heat of the moment, a kiss is shared.

Mutant Town

A purifier warehouse in Mutant Town that Venom is tasked with destroying.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

'BZZZZZT' A low rumble comes from the small datapad that is at Agent Venom's side. He's perched on the side of a building, one hand and one foot somehow clinging miraculously to the side of the wall as if his fingertips were covered in Superglue of the Gods. He'd been crawling upwards slowly, pausing only for a moment to flip open that datadisplay, to read the small message and smirk to himself.
"Evil woman." He shakes his head, quickly hits a few buttons with his thumb, hits send, then closes the display.
And then it's back to work. He climbs steadily up the side of the building with all the ease of an acrobat in zero-G. One hand plants upon the lip of that high rise apartment complex and he _flips_ himself up and around, landing in a crouch with his elbows upon his knees. A small set of lenses flip down over those white eyelets as the night vision kicks in and he espies the target for the night.
That's the place. And those beige and white vans all parked out in front of the package distribution center… nothing suspicious about those. Except for the subtle electronic signal that's coming off of them, planted by another operative some days ago.
Just need to hold here until the other two vans arrive. That only takes fifteen… perhaps twenty minutes. Eventually they drive up, the brakes of one complaining with a squeak as a quartet of men get out. From this distance one can't make out what they're saying, but one of them lights up, just long enough to limn their silhouettes in the dark.
Targets set, Agent Thompson moves.
An electrical wire serves as a zip line that takes him down smoothly towards the rooftop of the checkpoint at the edge of the distribution centers parking lot. He flips off of that, then starts to move in crouching low darting from cover to cover.
It's only a span of a few seconds once he's on them. It's a blur of motion as the black figure drops from the roof of one of those vans, landing upon the back of one of the men and then uncoiling in a smooth whirl of motion grasping one man's head and slamming it into his knee as he leaps upwards. Landing he twirls the other direction and a heavy combat boot crunches into the man's nose. A flip lands Venom behind the last who is trapped in a rear naked chokehold that is locked down almost instantly, tightened… and the man is out.

Venom apparently doesn't notice the shadow flitting along the roof edge on the building opposite him. It's not really his fault- Psylocke's in an entirely different league of stealth. Few people can say they can get the drop on the likes of Logan /or/ Jean Grey, let alone both. Betsy Braddock is the exception to the rule. She's a ghost, an afterthought that even dogs and cats often miss in her passing. She moves along a six inch ledge in her thigh high boots with their heels, even, as naturally as if she were walking down the street. A spring, a flip, and a surge of telekinetic force sends her wafting over to the building Flash abandons, where she looks down with glittering, alert eyes as he effortlessly dispatches the men. She clings to a ledge barely two inches wide, wrapped in shadows that obscure her from easy view- but her dark lips twist into an approving expression as Flash takes out the targets with such ease.

It might be hard to reconcile the silent black figure with the gregarious Agent Thompson, but few people have ever seen both sides of him in such a way. He moves to quickly secure the unconscious Purifier operatives, zipties in place and their bodies thrown into the back of a truck, he flicks a small trigger upon another device that signals his handlers the location of four to pick up.
As quickly as that data is provided he breaks off into a silent run, taking cover beside the loadway doors where the trucks would normally dump off their carge. One hand reaches down to grip the metal door and pull it up just enough so it grinds faintly but does not squeal nor squeak. Once that's locked in place with a small piton-like device he drops and rolls into the building. For the moment he disappears from her view, but most likely not from her enhanced mental senses.

Betsy starts sliding down the exterior wall, fingers sliding and scrabbling silently as she drifts along the brick front and hooks pipes, protrusions, and even breaks in the stone to arrest her descent. Finding a window open a few stories up, Betsy eases in and lands in a catlike crouch, head whipping back and forth as she checks her surroundings. With a quick sprint she's up and moving, hand behind her back to stabilize the katana strapped to her shoulderblades. She peers around a corner and starts running again, her enhanced telepathic senses broadcasting as clearly as day the position of the Purifiers and the swathe Agent Venom is cutting through them.

And yet from inside there's still barely a sound. She can almost see the ghostly images of the interior, all the assembled echoes of what each mind within sees serves to weave together an ethereal sworl of movement that represents the ebb and flow of the one intruder moving within from target to target.
She can almost map out his progress before it happens as his approach is by the book. The flanks are secured, the exits disabled. Once that's done he begins circling through the area taking the sentries first. His techniques are non-lethal for now, as when he strikes she can still sense the mind after Venom leaves.
But then something might gain her attention. Somehow… below the distribution center? There's a flicker of a mind that presents a hazed image, tinged with something like feedback. Yet it only remains a mystery for those few seconds as suddenly within there's a loud /crack!/ and then an explosion of concrete upwards, shattering skylights and peppering the aluminum roof with a rainfall of stone. Venom's knocked back, skidding to slam into a far wall.
Then, rising from that cemented over elevator shaft that just exploded upwards, a nine foot tall man in heavy armor clambors up and over. Rising to its feet with a whir of servos it brings both heavily weaponized arms up tracking Venom, the chainguns begin to whirl to life.

Betsy's instincts are to throw up a telekinetic shield, diverting the spray of concrete into a wall of pure force that sends it skittering away. She doesn't just crouch, though- the woman is up and moving a microsecond later, ghosting into the dusty shadows. She exits through a door into the rafters over the distribution center and with a flying leap and a tuck, flips onto a catwalk, landing with about as much noise as a can rattling down an empty street. She sprints without looking at her feet, staring intently at the armed and armored man bearing down on Flash. Her intention before had been stealth- now, she readies herself for combat as she gets to a flanking position.

Unaware of her presence, Flash is already diving to the side, rolling onto a shoulder and then /leaping/ up onto the far wall with an inhuman exhibition of speed and strength.
Yet those chainguns fire, shells spewing from the arms of the armored man as it tracks after the man. Yet the rounds go awry, pinging sharply off of the flickering purple barrier that serves to break their angle. Large wooden crates are shredded by the ricochets yet the Purifier Heavy does not stop firing. Instead he shouts, "Come to me, Mutant Scum! Come! And Be Cleansed with Holy Flame! I will be merciful!"
After those words are shouted over the external PA he begins to chant in latin. Something 'abominatio' or 'haereticus'.
But Venom is not one to take such lying down. He's still moving, leaping off the wall, landing with a flip and then extending his arms and firing twin weblines with a quick /thwip!/ then _yanks_ himself forward at the man like some human missile. He /slams!/ a foot into the side of the man's head and actually makes him reel heavily onto a back foot.
"No thanks," he says, "Not too hugely interested in your flavor of mercy, fella."

Betsy readies herself to leap into the fray, but Venom's remarkably graceful response to the attack gives her pause. She settles her weight on her haunches, a leg splayed out for support and a hand resting under her for a tripod of balance. Her dark hair tugs around her cold features, eyes alert and glittering, waiting for the moment Flash requires help, but eagerly anticipating the solution he'll find to take down the heavy Purifier combatant. She hisses low, nodding approval at the smack of webbing and the brutal smashing kick he delivers, eyes intent on the Heavy as it struggles to maintain balance.

The way he'd recovered from that kick was to flip backwards and land in a crouch, one leg slightly forward from the other and his head lifted upwards as he watches the teetering robot. There's something so graceful and athletic about the way he moves, but also in some ways so terribly alien.
"You fool!" The armored man shakes his head abruptly, trying to bring those suddenly unwieldy heavy weapons to bear upon Flash. The target so close now that when he tries to take aim the two long barrels of the chainguns /clank!/ together. "If you defy me then I shall be left to do naught save CRUSH YOU!"
And as the large armored man lifts a heavy boot upwards, getting ready to squash the bug, Flash replies easily enough. "Yeah. This is a thing. That's you know, not going to happen." The words are delivered rapid-fire even as Flash snaps an arm forward and there's another /thwip!/ as he webs the tall mecha-suited man's leg then _pulls_ on it.
Balance robbed, the heavy battler falls onto its back with a loud crunch!

Betsy gets out her cell phone from the pocket at the small of her back and flicks the screen on, briefly illuminating her stark features. Thumbs fly over the touchpad and with a faint giggle she sends a text to Flash, muting the screen a moment later. She stays hunkered down in that long-legged sidesquat, balanced easily. She glances left and right, as if making sure no one is looking at her, then tilts her head sideways to check out Venom's derriere in that skintight outfit. A purple brow tics upwards, lips quirking in appreciation as she watches the ink-suited superhero taking the Purifier agent to task.

Flash's phone beeps. 'Are you from space? That ass is out of this world'.

Meanwhile, the armored crusader roars in anger as it tries to reach back with those heavy weapon-laded arms, trying to plant one to get some way to recover. His voice is going a mile a minute, "I shall crush you under my mighty tread. You and your kind will all suffer, mutant!"
But Flash is not idle. As soon as the thing hits the ground he runs up and leaps onto the chest of the robot man, looking down into the fellow's eyes. "You guys are such assholes." And then there's a 'click' as from his belt Flash attaches a claymore mine right onto the side of the man's helmet.
He flips up and off effortlessly then with an impressive display of strength he _pushes_ the heavy armored behemoth back _into_ that elevator shaft, the metal fins on its back scraping and leaving sparks and then his voice _yelling_ loudly at first then quickly fading and fading as he falls farther and farther.
Agent Venom stands up, and sends a pair of grenades following after the man just to be sure, the rings clinking softly upon the cement ground.
And then there's a low, 'bzzzzzz' from his phone.
He stands up and turns away from the elevator shaft, flipping the phone open to read the text message. And he blinks a few times at it, perhaps confused.
And then the explosives go off with a heavy /WHOOMPF!/ a gout of flame rising up and out of that elevator shaft right behind him.

Betsy giggles softly, heat and light bouncing off a telekinetic shield once more. She curls one leg under her and sits on it, resting her chin on her knee. Opera gloves wrap around her shin and hug her knee against her chest, the firelight playing against her fine-hewn features. For once her hard, stoic features are somewhat softened in Flash's presence, head rolling to the side again as she looks down at the confused Agent standing on the ground floor. Sensing his confusion, she laughs again, sitting otherwise still with the endless patience of the trained ninja.

Turning his head to the side, Flash smiles openly for once. It's one of those things given when one thinks they might be observed, but might not be as well. He shakes his head and to his credit does his job first by keying in the message to his handlers signalling the need for a pickup and the completion of the op.
But once that's done out comes the phone and he starts to press a few buttons. Though his eyes lift and he looks across the room even as he walks along that distribution center's cement floor. It is perhaps that small laugh that alerts him to her presence up there above.
His eyes lift and that mask slides back from his face, exposing the blonde-haired blue-eyed young agent's features as he smiles crookedly up at her.
For now he says nothing, instead he lifts a finger and points it at her, eyebrows inclining as if he were scolding her.

Then the text comes through, 'It's all the Tae Bo. You should try it.'

Betsy lifts one hand in a wave, wiggling slender gloved fingers at Flash with a perfectly dainty little greeting. She sits a bit more upright when her cell phone vibrates again, reaching back and flicking it into her hand once again. She opens the message, reads it, and looks over the screen at Flash with one upticked eyebrow. Fingers fly and a message *shoops* off with the familiar sound. She brushes her hair back from her face as the roaring fire whips up the winds, looking down at Flash as he grins up at her. She looks him up and down openly as she waits for him to reply, the contrast of his human face with the symbiote wrapping his frame an odd contrast of feature.

Flash's phone alerts him. 'You really need to work on your banter'.

The symbiote settles its shape once again and he's just a man in a combat harness, albeit without the balaclava. But he shakes his head with a smile and even before she's done typing there's a /thwip/ as a webline grasps the railing. It tightens and _yanks_ him upwards where he catches the edge with one hand, twists in mid-air and then lands beside her with a faint click-clank upon the metal grating.
Gaining his feet he steps towards her, but stops a pace away to smile at her openly. "What are you doing here?" He asks, the smile reaching his eyes as he shakes his head and then says, "It's dangerous."
Of course then his phone bzzzzzts and he rolls his eyes, reaching for it. He flips it open again, reads… then barks a short laugh.
Eyeing her aside he shakes his head trying to look annoyed but failing. "You're lucky I'm in a good mood."

When Flash swings into proximity, Betsy rises, the motion sinuously controlled and perfectly balanced. She shifts her weight to her right foot, cocking a hip out and resting her fist on her hipbone.

"I followed you for an hour without you noticing," Betsy informs Flash drily, her other hand making a languid pass through the air. "You're not terrible at being stealthy. The costume is a bit distinctive, though," she says, looking at his chest. Her brown eyes flicker back to his face, one eyebrow upticking. "And what would you do, precisely, if you were in a /bad/ mood, pray tell?" she says, reassuming her inexhaustible mask of self control.

It's Elizabeth. He's used to her manner, to the way she holds herself, and the way she presents herself. But the sound of her laughter is still light in his ears and so even when she casually hassles him in her own inimitable manner it doesn't break his smile and she can almost see the blazing shine of his affection in those surface thoughts of his.
"See, I felt like someone was watching but I couldn't see anything." He shakes his head and then takes a step closer, gesturing to the side as if he were explaining the simplest concept to an attentive pupil. "What would I do?" He looks back, "Oh that's simple. My honor would be besmirched. We would have to face each other on the field of battle. Until one or the other of us submitted and apologized for her most grievous insult."

Betsy looks at Flash as he nears, stepping a half-pace closer as well with an easy swagger, even on those heels. Stalking about on them adds three inches to her carriage and makes it easy for the leggy British Asian to look Flash in his too-blue eyes.

"I might have had a more flippant reply, before, but you handled yourself very well. It makes me inclined to give you some measure of consideration." She brings up a thumb and forefinger between them, eyes narrowing in a suggestion of sinister amusement. "A tiny. Tiny measure." She drops her hand, arm hanging loosely at her side and splays out the fingers of her fist to rest on her waistline, elbow crooked. "But you looked good doing it, and that's at least as important as finishing a job efficiently, I suppose," she says, looking down at the catastrophic wreckage that still casts her face into bronzed relief as gas and petroleum burns in the pit of the elevator shaft.

It's an image that he'll carry with him for the rest of his days. That if he ever had memoirs it would hold a place there of prominence. That night when the beautiful and mysterious Elizabeth Braddock looked on him in such a way. How her perfect features looked with the play of shadows and light upon each curve. And the feelings she caused to swirl with only the smallest of smiles.
She can probably sense the warmth, and flickers of images of his desire to extend a hand. To just close that distance with the faintest of touches. But she can also feel those faint echoes in his mind of those worries.
Like small dark tendrils they touch his thoughts, the doubt and fear are there. But they're not as strong as they were before. Instead it moves him to say quietly, "Elizabeth."
His tone is level, controlled, and there's something rather serious as he says, "I like you. I may be foolish but I am drawn towards you. But I should be honest with you too."

Betsy looks at Flash and for a long moment, her face is utterly inscrutable. Alien, even, wierdly lit by the flames burning beneath her. They flicker and surge and die, shadows crawling over her and making it impossible to discern her thoughts. But she doesn't move, or retreat, or falter under his steady gaze.

Abruptly, Betsy's hands lash out and grab the front of Flash's uniform, with a shocking speed he probably didn't even suspect she was capable of, and lifts him bodily up six inches off the ground. Her arms ripple with flat-packed muscle, stepping into him for balance and staring at his face with that same inscrutable mask.

Then she pulls him in, still holding him aloft, and kisses him. Very thoroughly, using the front of his uniform and leveraging her forearms against his chest.

At first his reaction is almost like a cartoon character. Blue eyes widen in abrupt surprise as he looks down at her. Through his thoughts what he just said flashes through his mind as if trying to find out, 'what the hell did I say!?' But then she pulls him in and suddenly she's kissing him and yes those are her lips and he finds his eyes closing and his head turning just so and the kiss growing.
He gives into it. There's no time for hesitation or self-doubt. There's just the now and the blurring sensations. There's the steady pulsing waves of heat from the burning Purifier so far below. There's the two of them together and his arms snaking over her back to hold her close, one leg curling just so.
And then the kiss breaks and he keeps his eyes closed for a moment, recovering his breath. Eventually… eventually he opens his eyes and meets her gaze. And he is speechless. There's just enough in him to give a small lift to the corner of his mouth.

Betsy finally sets Flash down, eyes dancing despite the serious set of her jaw and the curled moue of her lush dark lips. She releases his uniform and straightens it, fingers dancing absently over the muscle in his chest before her palms lay flat for a moment. Swept up in the moment, too, she leans against him just for a breath, eyes holding his, searching them for meaning or truth or perhaps just for sharing a beautiful moment.

"You talk too much." She pats Flash's cheek, then starts backing away with a loose-hipped stride, sash and hair snapping and fluttering in the surge of heat and

Another deep breath is taken and she can almost _hear_ his heart pounding in his chest. He sort of looks at her and shakes his head, then gives a small gentle laugh as he steps after her. "I do. I really do."
And as easily as that, there is resolve in his mind. Oh the concerns are still there, the worries. But when awash in a sea of feeling it is difficult to notice one piece of driftwood alone.
And, of course, that is the moment the black vehicles of SHIELD begin to pull into the parking lot of the building, their headlamps casting curious shadows upon the walls of the distribution center. Flash's gaze shifts to them for a moment, then back to her and he says quickly. "You need to get out of here or they're going to make you fill you… a _lot_ of paperwork." But he takes another step towards her.

At that, Betsy laughs, a genuine sound of merriment from the woman. She laughs with honest delight, shoulders moving back and forth. Betsy grins at Flash, perfect teeth a sparkling glitter, her eyes wide and filled with genuine amusement. "Worry about yourself, Agent," she scolds him, continuing to back away with that sensual stride, hands clasped behind her back. "I'm quite capable of going unseen. You'll learn to dislike that about me," she taunts him. A surge of light and heat blossoms up again, and Betsy pitches over the catwalk like a flower falling from a tree. The moment Flash goes to look where she plummets, though, he'd find… only shadows. As befits a ninja's disappearance.

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