Sticky Webs

July 30, 2015:

Gwen and Peter catch up.

New York

Pizzeria

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Middle of the day and Queens is its vibrant and active self. The streets are alive with the sounds of traffic, the rumble of the crowd, and the occasional exclamation when a taxi is cut off or a pedestrian is nearly run over. It's just after the lunch rush and some of the restaurants on the strip are closing up their outdoor seating, a few low-hanging grey clouds threatening with some rainfall in the evening. But for now it's just the hot muggy grossness of Summer.
And it's in this weather that the Spectacular Spider-Man finds himself wending his way home. The fastest route tends to be webbing it, even when crossing the bridge if a convenient semi-truck is going that way. But once you get into Queens proper… well Spider-Man becomes pretty darn conspicuous when all the roofs become one or two stories tall. Peter Parker strolling down the sidewalk is much more incognito than say Spider-Man running across the roof of a Bodega.
Today he's hurrying, rushing to make the meet up with Gwen he'd agreed to. Sure it shouldn't have been a big deal, he usually goes and sees Aunt May around this time each week, but then there was this thing… with an armored car… and then the burning cars after the collision…
The day just slipped away from him. So he rushes. Right now he's rushing out of the alleyway he'd ducked into, quickly pulling on his regular clothes. Nothing fancy, just his work clothes. Chinos, blue button down shirt, brown leather shoes. He pauses, hopping on one foot as he gets out of the alley trying to tie the other shoe and making sure the neck of his costume is tucked back under his collar. A few more moments and he might be in view of the meeting place, Antonio's pizzeria on Kingston, as he walks up the sidewalk quick as can be shouldering his backpack.

Gwen was sitting inside of Antonio's already wearing a purple skirt and blouse, she was glancing down at her phone a little impatiently but she understood circumstances now better than before at least.

Reaching towards the coke in front of her, she twirls the straw around a little before taking a sip and muttering, "Typical Peter." She seems more amused than annoyed; despite their prior talk she still didn't take the whole 'hero' thing as seriously as he did. She had a life.

Through the door he emerges, the bell on it jangling as he strolls on in. He steps up to take a seat opposite her, unslinging his backpack and setting it down with a fwumpf of canvas fabric. He grins embarassedly, cheeks coloring slightly as he replies, "Hey, if I was on time you'd immediately think I was an evil clone or something."
That said he grins across the table, but then signals to the passing waitress for a menu and a soda, then turns back towards Ms. Stacy. "Though in fairness, it totally wasn't my fault this time." He adds, as if it ever really is… or isn't. "But things have been crazy, lots going on. How've you been? It's been like, a dog's age."

Gwen had run into Ben Reilly, several times and The Scarlet Spider. The joke kind of made her pale a little, "That's not funny Peter." Maybe this was a conversation best saved for another time, she didn't want to go making assumptions especially since the suspected clone had vanished for the second time in months.

"I've been better. My dad is still in the hospital thanks to that Joker toxin along with a bunch of other officers. Bobby was asking about you to." She smiled just a little, things were so much simpler during High School; well for everyone but Peter.

"You look good by the way. What's been keeping you busy and how's Aunt May?" She took a sip of coke again, she would let Peter handle the order.

It wasn't too complex of an order, burgers, fries, and a soda for him since she already had one. He delivered it with that winning smile of his, then looked back to her. The comment about the clone gets him some grief and he blinks a few times, perhaps its relevance slipping past him. But then she presses on and he takes a deep breath.
"He's lucky, from what I know of it that toxin is like… well just rare for people to…" He watches her face and realizes that instead of a burger he's beginning to sup upon his foot. So he breaks off and clears his throat.
"May's good, I was going to go see her after here, I'm sure she'd be tickled to see you if you wanted to tag along. But I didn't want to speak for you since I know that might not be your ideal sort of day." He smiles again, a little nervously.

"I don't mind, I'd love to see her. If I knew you were going there, well, her cooking is much better than Antonio's." Gwen smiled at the passing waiter, "No offense." She ordered a caesar salad (always a bad move at a pizza place) and hoped that nobody spit in it after her comment.

When the waiter is out of earshot, she slips her phone into her pocket and asks, "Have you ever run into the Scarlet Spider? Or heard of him?" The clone stuff was just too tantalizing for her mind to forget right now.

"Umm," Peter grabs his soda and pulls it closer to him, the glass leaving a small ring of sweat upon the glassy tabletop. "Only like, peripherally. I've never spoken to him. I thought maybe he was a sort of copycat. Which, hey, more power to him if he does decent things. Better than that Chameleon guy."
There's a beat, then his brow furrows, "Were you around for that?"

"Umm," Peter grabs his soda and pulls it closer to him, the glass leaving a small ring of sweat upon the glassy tabletop. "Only like, peripherally. I've never spoken to him. I thought maybe he was a sort of copycat. Which, hey, more power to him if he does decent things. Better than that Chameleon guy."
There's a beat, then his brow furrows, "Were you around for that?" The young Parker pulls off the partial straw wrapper from the end of his staw and then pulls it around. He takes a long sip of his drink, then takes another steadying breath. "Mmm, first soda of the day."
But then he returns to the train of thought, "I also haven't seen much noise of a particular graffiti artist and all, so that's good too." He eyes Gwen pointedly.

A shake of her head is given briefly by Gwen, chameleon guy? She didn't follow the numerous and almost infinite number of costumed heroes and villains, just the ones that mattered, "I was probably busy when Chameleon guy popped up.."

The salad is picked at hesitantly, why did she order a salad?

"She's been busy hunting down the Joker and figuring out a cure to that toxin. It's not really her sort of lifestyle." She winked at Peter. If only she had known all those years ago.

"We've already covered my, albeit biased, point of view." Peter smiles back at her, amusement clear in his eyes. But then he shakes his head and looks away. He twirls that straw in his drink a few times then looks back, "I just know for me the whole… realization I had to do this whole crazy schlamazzle was pretty hard to come by. So I hope you don't have to deal with that." Like say Joker poisoning one's loved ones.
He straightens up, "But then there's the part of me that kind of wants you to just be safe. So… it's confusing." He takes a breath and sighs, "Anyways!"
He shakes his head, "Let's just relax and talk about like, normal ok stuff. Ok? I mean how many people do I get a chance to do that with?"

A soft laugh escaped her lips as she listened to Peter, Gwen was touched that Peter was still concerned for her safety; god knew she worried about him every single day.

"Anyways.."

Gwen poked at the salad a little more; did that crouton move? No, she was just imagining it, "How's school? You get your grades up Parker?" She couldn't imagine the juggle that was but it was definitely as normal as normal got for chat.

* OOC Time: Mon Jul 27 22:32:29 2015 *

+MEET: Spider-Man has arrived via +meet.

"Yeah, crazily enough." Peter grabs a french fry and pushes it around in the pool of ketchup until it was more ketchup than fry. He took a bite and chewed for a bit, swallowed, then elaborated. "They let me make up some of the work I'd missed and I got to retake the final, so my scholarship isn't in jeopardy. Starting to line up some things for after graduating, though which is super scary. I think I may go for a grad program in chemistry or physics if only so I can hold off the future a few more years."
He stifles a sigh and shakes his head, then eats the rest of the fry. Peter continues on in that manner as he speaks, acquiring fry, devouring fry, repeat. "Was able to get some decent results on a project I had going. You know, it's a time like this…"
There's a pause as he looks around, as if making sure nobody might overhear, but then he continues. "Time like this that I sorta wish I could do something more with the web thing. I mean, at least could help me out with Aunt May some…"
He pauses again and looks out the window, "But maybe it's also kind of selfish to keep it just for my uses. Maybe I should kinda like send an anonymous email to Tony Stark or Reed Richards… then again they probably don't actually read their own email."

"Johnny could introduce you to Doctor Richards" Gwen smiled brightly before looking around the restaurant again, "He asked about you last time I saw him." Gwen continued to pick at the salad uninspired by it before reaching over to steal one of Peter's fries, "Stark is a little harder to reach and more self-absorbed I think."

Of course there was other options, "I could probably take something to Doctor Wells at STAR Labs if you wanted. He's a good man and /very/ interested in helping everyone out, you would like him." She clearly respected her boss a great deal. Thank god she didn't know he was a villain.

"I'd need to think about it," Peter looks pensive as he considers his next fry victim, then chomps on it and looks back to Gwen. "Last time I tried to make a profit from this whole dealio…" He waves a hand, "Anyways, I might just… I dunno, donate the formula but also kinda worried somebody might misuse it. Or maybe fall in the wrong hands. And then I'd be the guy who caused Dr. Doom to take over the world because of his sekrit formula."
He heaves a sigh as the anxiety of his existence hangs upon his shoulders like a large gorilla. But he smirks crookedly across the way at her, "So your turn. Gimme the whole Gwen Stacy Experience in as many words as you like. I got time." He looks up at the clock on the wall, then checks his own digital watch as if making sure he's not going to be late to Aunt Mays. For once he isn't.

"Take all the time you need Peter, it's a big decision and with Doctor Doom in town? It's not as far-fetched as you think. That formula is nothing short of amazing." She had no doubt that if they combined their efforts and utilized some synthesized chemicals from her own organic webbing, they could improve Peter's formula but that was a lot of work and probably best saved for another time.

"Work. Party. School. Sleep." Gwen winked and was clearly kidding, she wasn't exactly the biggest party girl.

"On the school side of things, I've finished my masters and I'm working on some intriguing research involving metahumans, hopefully it's going to be Doctorate material. I still need to get Doctor Wells to double check some of my research but with luck and a very good dissertation, you might have to call me Doctor soon as well." Gwen reached over and snatched another of Peter's fries, this was probably nothing new to him at all.

Munching down on the fry and sipping her coke she continued blabbing, it was always good when you had a great listener, "Star Labs is starting to do a little better after the negativity, I've been working on antidotes to various toxins in between other research. Hopefully we can put the Joker out of the poison business soon." It helped that Doctor Wells knew about her powers…

"There's been a few guys, but they've all been jerks. Seems like the best ones are all taken or too busy."

"Wow, sounds like you have your life together." Peter does look impressed, finally taking up the challenge of his burger. It's a big enough one that he feels comfortable, especially in the company of a gurl, to take a knife to it and cut it in half so he doesn't make a mess of everything while trying to eat it. Once that's done he takes up a half and bites the corner and chews for a time.
"You're going to be a big time nobel prize winnder and I'll probably be struggling to just get out of school without getting myself smooshed or flunked." He shakes his head and smiles ruefully at her, sure he's often a bit of a downer, but a lot of times he's just playing into the part. "And hey, it's good that you're dating and all. I still really haven't found the time." Or the right gal. Or one that could jump over the hurdles of his various protective tendencies considering how things have happened.

"Together probably isn't the right word, I just keep myself really busy to avoid thinking of distractions." A soft laugh escapes her lips as Gwen watches Peter with the burger before picking up a napkin and reaching over to wipe the corner of his mouth.

Oops. Old habits die hard sometimes.

"I wouldn't really call it dating either and I doubt I'll ever get a nobel prize. That's for the really smart people, like those three we were talking about." It was also typical of Gwen to sell herself short a little.

"Nah," Peter, as ever, is pretty sure she's got an angle on things better than him. "You'll be strolling up the aisle as you accept your prize and the whole time you'll be telling them that you're not that smart that you got a B in gym that one time." His smirk is there amused, genuine, but playful nonetheless.
After she wipes his mouth he does so as well, but uses his forearm ever so gracefully. He takes another bite of the burger and chews for a time before adding, "But it's pretty great you've got your foot pretty hugely in the door with a lot of big brains. If they're giving you the time of day then you really gotta know that you've got something going on up in the old noggin." He gives her a solemn nod as if that settles it.
"Did you ever listen to LL Cool J? I just discovered him the other day on the Youtubes."

Gwen rolls her eyes just a little at the praise and then her eyebrows raise, "LL Cool J? Seriously? You still kind of suck with your choice of music. We're not going to have the talk again, are we?"

Her phone plays off part of a song and she quickly pulls it out and blushes, "Sorry, it's a work text."

Looking down at the screen, she smiled like the greatest thing ever had happened, "Well, this is good news." Clearly she was going to keep Peter in suspense.

"Whatever, man. LL Cool J is awesome." Peter grins as he perhaps realizes that his taste in music is notoriously bad, but he defends his 'discoveries' with vim and vigor. "Do you know what his name stands for, huh? Do ya?" But then the phone rings and he settles back into his seat watching, waiting…
"Well?" Peter never was one much for suspense, nor surprises really. "What's up?" He takes another bite of his burger, chews, swallows. He leans over as if trying to steal a look at her phone but then drops back into his booth seat.

"It was the lab results from animal testing on the joker's poison." Gwen seemed very happy about such a sore topic for some reason, "The antidote worked on chimps and there's a half dozen police officers in the hospital who volunteered for human testing. I have to confirm the lab results myself, but if this works." She snatched a fry and pointed it at Peter, "My dad and all those other cops will be cured and they can be out there harassing you again."

"That's great, Gwen!" Peter seems terribly pleased and gives a short nod. "The FDA will probably fast track it I bet for wider distribution." Though there's probably an argument for them only needing it around Gotham and its neighboring cities. He shakes his head, "See, here you are just having lunch with me and you're totally over-achieving just sitting here. Man, some people's kids."
He grins and takes another bite of the burger, nearly finishing it. But since he's so terribly nice he pushes the plate over towards her, "I see you eyeing your salad, here I'll split my burger with you."

Gwen takes the half of a burger gratefully and takes a big bite, she didn't have to show off around Peter; so she just continued to ravish the much better food than what she ordered while he talks a bit.

"I hope so, The Joker is an idiot." She would have called him something worse, but it wasn't in her nature.

"I know you didn't want to talk business, but some people have been ranting about a guy named 'Carnage'. Ring any bells?"

Peter shakes his head as he takes a sip of his soda. He sets the plastic cup down and straightens up. "Nope, don't believe so. I mean… I run into a lot of people and a lot of times I don't get a name. I know them as like crazy Bunny Lady, or Armored Dinosaur Guy, or Guncrotch." He pauses, then adds. "Ok I'm fibbing, the last guy was named Codpiece but seriously he was… weird."
He takes another sip of soda and then asks, "Why, what's up?"

"He apparently wears a suit like.." Gwen pauses and goes back to eating her burger as a waitress passes by, she was getting good at this discretion stuff, "..Spider-mans, just more menacing, apparently kills people and fires alien goop for webbing. That's what the Tigra lady and someone else made it sound like anyways. The 'Scarlet' Spider seemed pretty scared to, he sort of disappeared after all of this to which is kind of odd." She hadn't taken it seriously before, but maybe now she was; just a little.

"That's… weird," Peter looks at her curiously and modulates his tone of voice to be a bit lower as he replies, "I mean, all these spider themed people. But no I hadn't heard of this before. And if I had I'd probably have remembered it, alien goop. Yuck." He puts down the fry he was about to eat and crinkles his nose.
"But I'll put my ear to the ground and see what I can see. Maybe I can figure something out." He glances back up at the clock on the wall, then back to her. "I should get on over to Aunt May's, did you want to come? You could keep her entertained while I mow the lawn and break down her recycling."
He grins and reaches for his backpack even as he fishes out his wallet from inside a jacket pocket. "Or hey if yoooou wanted to mow the lawn…" He gets his lone twenty dollar bill out and plops it on the table, which should be enough to cover their two meals.

Gwen considered it as she looked down at her phone, "I want to, but I should probably consider making my way to the lab and get prepped for the human trials. It might take another day or two of work." She seemed excited and dissapointed all at the same time, "As hard as it is to turn down an offer to mow the lawn and listen to Aunt May ask why we broke up…"

"Oh when you put it like _that_." Peter grins at her as he slides out of the booth seat and once he's standing he offers her a hand up should she wish. "But hey, this was nice Gwen. We should do this again sometime soon. Or if I hear about a party or something I'll let you know. Promise if tell you about it and that I'll definitely try to show up."
With that said he steps back and swings his backpack over his shoulder, and should they make their way towards the door he'll hold it open for her as is his well-mannered way. "I'll tell Aunt May you said hi, though. Ok?"

"Anytime you like Peter and please tell May I said hi. I miss the talks her and I used to have, despite some of the awkwardness." Gwen wouldn't elaborate further, sighing softly as she stepped out the door and out into the street.

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