Pizza and Philosophy

February 01, 2017:

Red Robin contacts Spider-Man, to talk about what happened at Ozone Park. A discussion on mortality and morality follows.

A rooftop in Manhattan


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Zatanna Zatara, Thor, Captain America, The Winter Soldier


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

What seems like ages ago, Red Robin gave Spider-Man a cellphone on top of that roof. Since then, it had only really seen use that same weekend, to bring the cowled vigilante in on the mission that ended up taking them all to Switzerland, and otherwise it had sat silent.

Until a few hours ago, when it buzzed with a text message. An address in Manhattan, with the helpful addition of 'on the roof', and a time to be there. It beats trying to swing around the city and find one specific webslinger, after all… Especially since, though Red Robin has no idea as of yet, there's more than one out there currently.

Whenever Spider-Man arrives, the night air over New York cold and crisp but largely clear on an early February night, lit by myriad streetlamps, windows and car headlights, neon signs and who knows what else. Millions of man-made stars below, creating enough illumination that only a few points of light are visible in the sky above.

On that rooftop, Red Robin is sitting, waiting, on top of a section of HVAC assembly, the low thrum of the heating working providing a curiously meditative sound, underlaying the distant cacaphony of the city below. There may well be trouble developing somewhere - really, there almost certainly is, with the great crush of humanity that inhabits New York City - but he has the emergency band scanner in his earpiece shut off for the moment. It's not his turf, after all. And he has a more specific worry to deal with.

He also has a pizza, the box sitting beside him, one slice of pepperoni and cheese held in his gloved hand as he chews pensively. Being a vigilante is hungry work, and energy bars don't cut it /all/ the time. Plus he didn't feel like getting shot at trying to get a hotdog, as happened to Spidey on their first meeting.

New Yorkers are /scary/, man.

One thing that's certainly constant about New York City, or any place of sufficient size and population density: there's -always- trouble happening. If you listen to certain media outlets, it's also all probably part of some vast, spider-based conspiracy.

One that's, apparently, been in overdrive the past few days. The Daily Bugle and other more bite-sized friendly social media sites have been abuzz with the rash of spider-related crimes and acts of vandalism, terrorism, and/or malapropism. Someone's been busy as of late dealing with that perpetual trouble in New York City, trying to stem an unstemmable tide. Working hard. Too hard.

But really, right now, it's not as if Spider-Man has the presence of mind to be doing anything else.

It's a little one-man crusade that's only slowed slightly since the webbed vigilante's surprise meeting with a certain, backwards-talking magician. Briefly abated, but not stopped, by the time he receives that text Spider-Man is already in full swing again. Pun not intended. … Mostly. One doesn't need to look hard to find the wallcrawler, but at the same time… he's practically everywhere. On one side of the city at one point, and on the completely opposite end in record-breaking times, finding Spider-Man might not be difficult. Catching up with him, another matter entirely.

So, it's circumvented with that single message, those simple instructions. And eventually, the wall-crawler arrives under a sky blotted out by a sea of artificial light, flipping up onto the roof behind the Red Robin with remarkable silence for one usually so talkative — as if he knows just where, and how, to land to not even make a peep, as naturally as breathing.

"Hey, sorry I'm a bit late," more than a bit, "I was just busy being awarded the key to the city for acts of, uh, spider-bravery," that's not a thing, and no he wasn't.

A trending tweet would illuminate what he's been busy doing with clips of Spider-Man using his webbing to give a mugger a patented spider-wedgie before leaving him out to hang on a lightpost.

Busy day.

"Oh whoa hey is that pizza?? I'm starving, is that — like — for eating, or is it why you asked me here? Like — y'know, evidence of a crime? Is there some kinda… weird… pizza conspiracy going on? The Sbarro Family up to something no good again?"

Chatty as ever. But even he can't quite hide how tired he sounds. How the words ring just a bit hollow.

"It's fine," says the electronically modified voice of Red Robin, when Spider-Man speaks from behind him. He doesn't seem /surprised/ when the webslinger shows up, despite the near-total silence of that impressive landing, though whether it's because he wasn't surprised, or because he's just really good at not letting his surprise show, is a question he leaves as mysterious as he can manage.

He has a certain image to maintain, after all.

"You've been busy," the cowled vigilante continues; in the heads up display provided by his cowl's lenses, he can in fact see the trending tweet, having been keeping a proverbial ear to the ground for mentions of the spidery vigilante, which is somewhat easier in this modern era of social media and everyone having a camera with them pretty much all the time. The computers in his not-too-distant penthouse whirr and process information, relaying it wirelessly to his suit's much simpler computer system, keeping him appraised just in case it had turned out that the other young crimefighter had gotten himself into trouble.

"Help yourself," he adds, gesturing at the pizza. "It's just pepperoni and cheese, but it's tough to go wrong with the old classics." It's one of the advantages to wearing a costume that doesn't cover the mouth, Red Robin finds: It's not too much of a hassle to eat without revealing your secret identity, which was enormously helpful when that certain backwards-talking magician blackmailed him into a meal at Constantine's place, after the first encounter with HYDRA's utopia machine.

Before Ozone Park. Before they were all plunged into that supposedly perfect world.

"I spoke to Miss Zatara," Red Robin says, deliberately using a form of address for the young woman that implies a distance between them. That connection could be dangerous, after all. If both Red Robin /and/ Tim Drake were known to be friendly with the Princess of Prestidigitation, it could introduce clues that would make his life awkward. "I'm assuming she's already been around to talk to you, but I figured…" He trails off, frowning slightly, considering how to put it. "…Well, we're both in sort of the same line of work. And I suspect we both have similar rules when it comes to how we do that work. What happened to that main in the HYDRA base, the one Barnes killed… That wasn't your fault. I don't think any of us could've gotten there in time to stop what happened."

Red Robin certainly would've rather seen the man captured alive, so that he could properly answer for his crimes… But given that he'd been emotionally traumatised, and then shot repeatedly, he knows he was in no position to prevent what Barnes did. Which makes it easier to not blame himself. Mostly.

'You've been busy.'

"Today's leg day."

The glib response is delivered as light as air as Spider-Man makes his way oveer to the edge of the rooftop near where Red Robin resides. He's just a little bit disappointed he didn't manage to surprise the other crimefighter. Everyone does it to him! He needs to get his, some day!

Fortunately, these worries (distractions) fall by the wayside for the sake of pizza (more distractions); the webbed vigilante hops onto the edge of the building in an easy crouch, flipping open the pizza box to peruse the goods inside. Lenses whirring into a squint to focus on the food, he peels free a slice, rolling up his mask past the lower half of his face as he speaks. "Cheese and pepperoni is pretty good, but have you ever tried coconut shrimp pizza with squid ink sauce? It's…"

… …

"… uh, pretty bad. It's not good."

And so, Spider-Man sets about enjoying his graciously normal pizza, going through it like he was a human woodchipper and the pizza is just unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He goes through that first slice in distressingly record time. 'Shotgunning it' might be the appropriate way to describe it. It's not pleasant.

He's been working all day and trying not to get shot, give him a break!

Graciously, he at least makes sure to eat through the whole thing before he actually starts talking again, lensed gaze lifting back up to Red Robin when he mentions Zatara. "You did, huh," he utters, spandex-covered hands resting on his knees a moment as his gaze wanders back over the city. "She's—? Oh, uh. Yeah. We had a…" He hesitates. There's no easy way to put the whole thing into words without saying more about himself than he really wants to. "… we er, yeah — we talked." There. That'll do.

The lower half of his face now revealed, it's hard to conceal the frown that settles over those lips when Red Robin talks about the man Barnes killed and how there was nothing that could have been done. It brings back unpleasant flashes of memories he's been unable to get out of his head, and instantly, the spandex-clad wall-crawler goes to tear off another slice of pizza.

"… I could've," he says after a moment, before he starts to eat, shaking his head. "I could've stopped him. I could've gone for his feet. Webbed a wall. Could've outrun him." Anything. So many things you think of, after the fact, when it no longer matters.

"But I didn't. I let my own problems get to me, and now…" Two people are dead who he could've saved. "… I mean, I'm… I'm happy we saved Dr. Foster, and Sergeant Barnes, and stopped…"

He can't say it. Doesn't want to think about it.

"… but I should've… should've been better." And with that, he returns to his pizza, shredding off a smaller bite as he chews it in a distant, distracted way.

That is, in the end, one of the more widespread complications of the whole costumed crime fighting bit, when you've got a secret identity and good reasons to want to keep it secret: You have to be careful what you say, to whom. You have to be careful of how you say it. One little thing could be crack that breaks your secret wide open, when dealing with someone who has a keen mind.

Red Robin has a rather bad habit of figuring out those secrets, himself, which is exactly how he got into the vigilante business in the first place… But it didn't stop with figuring out who the Bat and the original Boy Wonder were. One never knows what might give him the vital clue that could end up unlocking Spider-Man's carefully guarded secret.

Especially since he's already almost certain that Zatanna knows exactly who's underneath the webbed mask.

Being an excellent listener as he is, the cowled young man remains quiet while Spider-Man talks, absorbing the things the wallcrawler says.

'I could've stopped him.'

'I should've… should've been better.'

Red Robin could easily hear those words in his own voice, because he knows he's said those things before. Thought them before. An echo of his own self-recriminations, over a hundred, a thousand things that have gone wrong since the first time he put on that domino mask and went to save Gotham alongside the Caped Crusader. He's supposed to be better, smarter. Prepared for every eventuality. He's supposed to be ten steps ahead, fifty, a hundred.

A chuff of air escapes the mouth below the fearsome black cowl; that same mouth twists into a rueful smile. It's one thing to say those kinds of things yourself, quite another to hear someone else say them.

"It never gets easier," he says, which is probably not very helpful. "Everything you do, you'll always wonder if you could've done better. If you could've pushed harder, if you could've figured things out sooner. People like us, we go out there to try and keep anyone else from getting hurt, but we're not gods, Spider-Man. We run ourselves ragged, we suffer and we sacrifice in the hopes that other people won't have to, but there's always going to be some things that are beyond us. There's always going to be someone who's faster, stronger, deadlier. We're always going to make mistakes."

How many things had he given up, as part of this life? Friendships, girlfriends. The chance to have some semblance of a normal life. He could've gone to Harvard, or Princeton, or Yale, but instead he elected to go to Gotham University, to stay in the city that needed him.

"Especially after what we went through in HYDRA's so-called utopia. You'll pardon me for making assumptions, Spider-Man, but I don't feel like being driven to dress up in red and blue spandex and swing around protecting a city where they like to shoot at you is a sign of a trauma-free upbringing… What that place did to us wasn't exactly conducive to efficient action after we escaped."

Red Robin sighs faintly, and picks up another slice of pizza, considering it with those featureless white lenses in his cowl.

"Eight million, five hundred and fifty thousand. That's roundabout the population of New York City. That's how many people we saved, going down into that facility under Ozone Park. That's how many people HYDRA would've consigned to their 'perfect' hell. That's assuming the system would've stopped with just the city. What if it would've kept going? Seven point four billion souls. Human, alien, weird… Wizard people, whatever."

"But I know," he continues. "Even two lives feels like too high of a price. So do you know what we do, people like you and me?"

'… but we're not gods, Spider-Man.'

"Tell that to Thor," is Spider-Man's first, wry remark.

But he does listen. Even if it brings back memories he'd rather not remember; it's not as if he wouldn't be thinking of them anyway. Hasn't been thinking of them. He's really been able to do nothing but over the past few days. The pizza is, at best, a temporary distraction, nourishment that fills a young man who probably hasn't eaten at all today before now; it doesn't distract enough. And certainly doesn't tear his attention away from what the Red Robin has to say.

"I didn't really ask to do any of this," Spider-Man begins slowly, carefully. Maybe it's revealing about him, maybe not. "I didn't, like — it wasn't my dream to have these kinds of powers. To be able to lift tow trucks over my head, or whatever. I didn't get up every day wishing for that. I just wanted to…" Be happy? Have friends? Be popular? "… be normal. But I do have these powers. So — I've gotta use them. Right? I've gotta do good with them. It's… it's my responsibility, now."

Spider-Man shakes his head. He takes another bite of his pizza. He knows how much he's sacrificed — how much he never really wanted to sacrifice — for the sake of the mask he's wearing now. And that he'll have to give up more, too — probably a lot more. Those lenses squint out at the skyline, a thousand countless lights bathing the city in their glow. His lips twist into a line.

"And I know — that guy, that guy Sergeant Barnes killed, he was probably an awful guy, right? Compared to all the people we saved, compared to all the lives he's ruined, who cares, right? He probably deserved it. Whatever. Gobulev too. But…" A sigh heaves past the young vigilante's lips, white breath pooling in vaporous clouds from the exhale. "… I, y'know — I do care. They should've gone to jail. Should've answered for what they did. But — but not like that. I can't accept that."

He knows exactly how many people they potentially saved. But it's harder to see that than it is the things that happen right before your eyes. "Which I guess just makes me a big dumb idiot, but it's just… who I am. I can't… let that kinda thing go."

Objectively, Spider-Man knows Red Robin is right; he's probably even told himself as much, too. He was exhausted. Beaten down physically, mentally, spiritually. Everything. The things he saw in that other world… he just blocks that thought out of mind with a single, crisp wag of his head. He considers the question.

"Eat pizza 'til we feel super fat?" is his first response, the joke ringing just slightly hollow as he shakes his half-eaten slice of pizza around. What is that, the third? He packs it away, apparently. Still, he hesitates, slumping back just a bit on the edge of that roof.

"… we keep moving, right?" he asks after a moment. "You don't give up, even if you make a mistake. You just try your hardest to avoid the next one." His lips pull into a thin line. "You try to be better."

That's a good caveat, though. They might not be gods, but there are beings around who certainly seem to be.

But even Thor Odinson couldn't save everybody, down underneath Ozone Park, could he?

"You shouldn't accept it," Red Robin confirms. "Maybe he did 'deserve' it, but that's not what we are. We aren't executioners. We try to save lives, not to end them." But there are others who would seek to fight crime, to stop evildoers, in a more permament fashion. It seems easier, after all. Neater. A bullet to the head, and how many potential victims are saved?

If Batman had just blow the Joker's brains out, how many people would be alive today who otherwise aren't?

But then, the question becomes, where does it stop? Once you appoint yourself judge, jury and executioner, how long before you're living out a Judge Dredd comic, capping people in the face for jaywalking?

"The pizza's a good start at least," Red Robin agrees. "Though these costumes aren't very forgiving if you start to let your figure go. Especially that spandex, that's not going to hide anything." A rare bit of levity from him, these days. So often, once he puts the cowl on, he wears a more grim and serious persona to go with it. Something more like the Bat, less like the comparatively cheerful Boy Wonder. Maybe it /is/ the cowl. Maybe a domino mask would make him less… Like that.

"But yeah, exactly. We need to remember our mistakes, and we need to learn from them. We can't let them weigh us down, Spider-Man. I've seen people in this line of work nearly broken by their regrets, by the things they felt they could've done better. If you let them, they'll pull you to the ground. Strangle you. Destroy you. I'm not saying to forget, to brush it off as not mattering, because it /does/ matter. Use it. Remember how you feel right now, and do everything you can to make sure you never feel this way again. To make sure /nobody else/ has to feel this way either. Because whether they know it or not, the people of this city need you. Captain America, Thor… They're great heroes, sure. But how many people down there are going to hear about how Captain America jumped down out of nowhere and saved their grandmother from a mugger? How many people do you think, in twenty years, will be telling their children that they're only here because Thor pulled them out of a burning building?"

"Remember the mistakes, Spider-Man. Remember the times you fail. But remember that they don't erase the good you do."

There are times that he gets angry enough he feels he could kill someone. They're rare, but they've happened. It happened at Ozone Park, too.

But the same thing that's making him push himself so hard these past few days is the same thing that keeps him from ever being able to act on those thoughts.

He can't imagine, though, just how angry someone like Bucky Barnes would be. And it's there that Spider-Man's thoughts linger, even as Red Robin offers his advice. Does he really have any place to cast aspersions on someone who's been through so much…? Who's known nothing but war for most of his life?

The webbed vigilante is chewing pensively on his lower lip when that brief joke comes on Red Robin's part. Wide white lenses look up as the wall-crawler blinks behind the mask. "Huh? — Oh, yeah, right? I dunno though." He looks down, those lenses squinting into little white slivers as he pokes at his midsection. "It'd be — y'know — an intimidation tactic thing. Like you've guys got 'I AM THE NIGHT!,' I could have 'I am the fat guy in spandex!' Just, like, imagine how terrified people would be if they saw that swinging in on a web-line. The Spherical Spider-Blob." He makes a little 'oooooo' sound right here. And then goes back to his pizza.

"Think about it. … uh, please don't think about it." Chomp.

It's a bit of humor to liven up what has otherwise been a rather despondent week for the webslinger. And a chat that is otherwise necessary, even if it doesn't otherwise inspire the best of feelings in the young man. Too many memories that are much too recent. Like the look on Gobulev's face. Or the snippets of memories from the other New York that have slipped between his fingers like grains of sand no matter how much he tries to grasp onto them, like so many grains of sand. He listens to those words, even as he stares down at the pizza box in front of him, lips pulled taut in a pensive line.

"Remember the mistakes…" he murmurs to himself, not like a revelation, but like a mantra to be remembered. It's something he knows better than most, and that pang of memory still fresh after his talk with Zatanna makes a brief frown crease across his lips.

'But remember that they don't erase the good you do.'

Slowly, Spider-Man pushes himself back up onto his feet. He wipes his hands, laden with pizza grease, and then stretches out with a grumble and a pat of his stomach. "I think if I eat any more I'm gonna burst. … maybe could handle two more. Three more. … four more." He clears his throat, even as he wisely lifts his hands to the roll of his mask to tug it down. He hesitates, briefly, before asking,

"People like Gobulev…" he shakes his head as he abandons that train of thought. "… d'you think that there are… like, some things people do, some mistakes they make — or, whatever, where it doesn't matter how much good they do, they'll never be able to make up for them? Like…" He shakes his head. "… nevermind. It's a dumb question."

"Stick with Friendly Neighbourhood, maybe," Red Robin suggests, his tone wry underneath the electronic modulation that blurs his voice, that helps to keep the barrier of anonymity between his costumed and civilian identities. He could probably do without it, it's not like the other members of the Batfamily depend on similar tricks, but doing the Batman Voice for an extended period of time is rough on the throat.

He's tried it. It wasn't fun.

The cowled head turns slightly as Spider-Man rises to his feet and decides to swear off further pizza, rolling his mask back down to hide his lower face; once it's there, the webhead's voice is more muffled, the full mask doing a decent job of concealing what he actually sounds like… But not being a somewhat famous rich person when he's not in costume, it's much less likely that his regular speaking voice would get recognised by random people.

There's a faint shrug from Red Robin, before he starts eating another slice. That's one advantage of the sort of life he leads: It burns through a lot of calories, doing things the human body isn't supposed to do, and without the benefit of superpowers, or magic, or some super cool powered armor suit.

He listens, as Spider-Man follows up a moment of hesitation with a protracted question. Is there a point at which a person's mistakes, a person's crimes, are too much for them to ever make up for? Some deep philosophy, to go with the pizza.

"It's not a dumb question," the cowled vigilante says. "Isn't that what we all hope for? That the people we stop… From purse-snatchers to murderers, that they'll find a way to reform themselves, and try to make up their debt to society? It's… Well, since I've started dealing with the likes of Miss Zatara, I've heard a lot about devils and demons and Hell right out of the Bible, though I'm not sure how much I really believe about an afterlife and eternal judgment." It's a bridge too far, for him. Life in Gotham, fighting alongside the Batman, hasn't made him give up on humanity… But it has cost him whatever faith he once might've held. Surely, if God existed, then He wouldn't allow the sorts of things Red Robin has seen happen. And those things were the products of human cruelty, human ingenuity. There's a very small number of incidents that he could actually in any way blame on these 'demons'.

"So I don't know if there's some ultimate, impartial arbiter of our sins, and whether or not we've balanced the wrong we've done with the right. I don't know if there's some big beardy guy with a book who tells you if you're good enough to get into paradise, or if animal-headed people put our heart on a set of scales to check how it balances against a feather, or if we get to go to a mead-hall with Thor. And honestly, I don't think it matters."

He gestures at the city below, his slice of pizza now devoured - even the crust, he's not some kind of barbarian - in a kind of all-encompassing way.

"That's what matters. People. Trying to make right by the people we've wronged. Trying to make right by ourselves. And maybe… Yeah, maybe some things can never be forgiven. Maybe someone like Gobulev could never have made up for the things he'd done to people, even if he'd had another whole lifetime to live."

Red Robin had wanted to kill him. Even though it went against everything he stood for, he can't deny that he felt it, something he hadn't felt since his father's death. That moment when he'd seen what had happened to Zatanna, when she'd told him what had been done to her, and his heart tore in two and cold rage poured out, a rage that sustained him through the sleepless, violent days that had followed, that had barely abated when her soul was restored, that had found a target in the old man with the Tarnhelm. But would he have done it? Would he have stood by and let Barnes, or Constantine, or Thor do it? Or would he have spoken out like Spider-Man did?

He'll never know, now.

"But even if you can't make up for something… You should still try. You should still have the /chance/ to try. To make the world even a little bit better, instead of worse."

The afterlife. That, too, calls to mind the conversation the wall-crawler had with Zatanna, and the offer she made.

He's still trying to wrap his head around that.

He doesn't bring it up, however; it's one of those things that might give away more than he'd like, at the end of the day. And there's not really an easy way to just go up and say 'I -know- there's an afterlife because this reality-warping magician said she'd totally break the laws of man so I could chat up my super duper dead uncle!' It's just an awkward thing to broach. Really.

So he just listens. Quietly, hands falling at his sides as he looks down to the long drop of the building beneath him, and then out to the city beyond as Red gestures. It helps, to hear from someone else — a true outsider's opinion on a matter that's been weighing heavy in the young man's heart the past few days. He lifts a hand, brings it to the back of his neck, and clasps there, rubbing with the faint heavy of a sigh before that muffled voice speaks again.

"I… yeah," he finally agrees with a single, vague nod of his head. "Yeah. That's why I can't — I can't forgive that guy for what he did, I can't understand why… Doing that, just…" Taking your own life. "… it's a coward's way out. It's easier to just… just, y'know. Give up. Run away. Whatever. Escape."

It'd be easier.

But it's not something he could ever do.

'But even if you can't make up for something… You should still try.'

It's a familiar echo for Spider-Man, as the young man lifts his hands, checks one web-shooter after another to make sure the cartridges on both aren't about to run empty. He is in the middle of replacing one, idly flipping open a compartment on his belt to replace that webbing even as he speaks once more. "… Thanks," he offers, after a long moment. "For this. The talk, I mean, not the — not the pizza. Maybe the pizza. Fifty-fifty? I mean, not like, the words weren't helpful, just, I was -really- hungry. Like… I could devour a planet hungry." His shoulders lift in a helpless shrug, even as some levity returns to his voice. Keep going. Remember the mistakes.

But don't forget the good things you've done, either.

"… I mean it. Really. Thanks."

A second passes.

"Wanna do a tour of the city with me? You can -totally- get your name in the headlines about how you came all the way from Gotham to beat back the, I dunno, Spider-Maniac. 'Red Robin Saves Queens, Opens Restaurant!'"

So, it turns out he can't resist. He tried, though, and that's what matters.

"It's, like, a total pick-me-up. Whaddya say?"

The web-shooters make for an interesting break from philosophy, anyway, as they set Red Robin's gadgeteer sense to tingling.

He watches with a mild and mostly inobtrusive curiousity as Spider-Man fiddles with the wrist-mounted devices, replacing some kind of cartridge in one of them, retrieved from his belt. He wasn't really sure /where/ the webs came from, previously, and was leaning towards the possibility that it was somehow related to his other superhuman abilities, because at least then it would explain the spider motif.

If it was just the wall-crawling, he could be… Gecko-Man. Or any sort of bug, really…

"I know what it's like, to be shaken," he says, slowly standing up. Between the two of them, they've honestly managed to get through the pizza, anyhow. "There's been times when I thought it was too much, and I just wanted to do anything but… This," he gestures at the costume, at the whole of it. "But in the end, the good that we do… No matter why it is that we do it… It's important. If even one person is alive because of us who wouldn't be otherwise, then it's all worth it."

All the sacrifice, all the loss, all the pain. It has to be, surely. If it wasn, then what was the point of his life so far?

"So, you're welcome."

The suggestion of a tour around the city gets the cowled vigilante rising to his feet, quite easily as though he hadn't been sitting there for ages. He reaches under his cape, pulling out one of his grapple guns, giving the gadget a heft.

"You know, the best thing about having a secret identity is that restaurant hasn't been able to sue me. Or try and contact me about a sponsorship deal. But sure, let's go, Spider-Man," he says, a faint grin tugging at the visible mouth beneath his cowl. "Nothing like a little dangerous swinging from building to building to work off the calories."

Sadly, those webshooters look entirely like tech. They look fairly expensive, too, just from a cursory glance. That wasn't always the case, but, well — sometimes it's nice when crazy billionaires casually discover your secret identity. Whatever those webs are made of though, that's the real mystery.

If Red Robin wants to ever meet someone with actual organic webbing, though, Spider-Man certainly knows -someone- who does. And she can make costumes with it, too!

He wants to make clothes too! Imagine the money he could save! Why did he draw the short end of the power stick?!

These lamentations aside, once Spider-Man is sure those web-shooters are locked and loaded and not going to just up and jam on him again like certain, other times when dealing with giant, angry demons, his attention is turning towards the city. He's already planning out his next route even as Tim speaks, taking into account the areas he hasn't covered yet, or the areas that haven't been covered in a while. It's been a busy night, after all. And New York is the city that never sleeps. Still, those thoughts pause, looking back toward Red Robin. His head tilts, for a moment.

It's a nice comfort, speaking with someone who operates at least somewhat on the same wavelength as him. Behind that mask, Peter Parker smiles, just a bit. "'With great power comes great responsibility,'" he quotes, before looking back towards the city.

Words that etched everything he is, now.

"I didn't ask for this, but… since I have it, I have to make the most of it."

And so, the young man bounces lightly on his heels as the Red Robin accepts that invitation. He looks down, calculates his trajectory, and then remarks, "Seriously? You're like, totally missing out on an opportunity! Just imagine how evil doers would quiver in terror at how much money you make every time you say your dramatic catch phrase—"

He leaps. He falls. He sings:


And off he dives back into the thick of it, a line of web sending him swinging off through the city limits.


Ready to fend off evil, and hopefully not drive Red Robin crazy.


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License