#SpoilerAlert: Catwoman Wins

February 20, 2017:

Barry and Stephanie go on a date - muggers interrupt - and they are rescued by an unlikely source.

Train Station - Gotham

A Gotham Train Station

Characters

NPCs: Muggers

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go - Soft Cell


Fade In…

After their conversation in the weee hours of the morning, Stephanie had taken a few moments to check her schedule with the Bat Computer for her night time activities. Because Tuesday was a late morning class day, she had the late night shift, starts at 2am instead of at 10pm. So, a decision was made: Date, in Gotham. There was that BBQ place she talked about the other night and the Botanical Gardens or the sports stadium or the Tech Institute's Public Fair Days where school kids submitted science fair projects and the best of the best of the best were on display. Whichever Barry seemed more interested in. After BBQ.

Of course, Stephanie had to convince Barry that it was a good idea. Which happened via text, and took much of the day. And it meant that Stephanie had skipped a nap (without telling Barry that she was skipping a nap), until she made it clear in that round-about-not-talking-about-metahuman-abilities-while-totally-talking-about-mutahuman-abilities sort of way they are developing that it wasn't HIM that was unwelcome in Gotham. It was the Men in Red and his very bright yellow of crackling lightning Flashy mutahuman power use that wasn't welcome.

So, meeting up at 5:30pm for after work dinner (pre-night-job meal?) Barry and Steph had baked potato with brisket and all the trimmings, then caught the end of the visiting hours at the Institute (because Barry is a Science Nerd and Steph is okay with this) before heading out for a walk and maybe some more food.

9:04PM - Gotham. It's dark. It's always dark, and street lamps flicker now again as the pair walk down the street toward another food place to end the night before Steph drops Barry off at the train station to catch the last train back to New York (not that he'll actually USE the train, but appearances are important!)

That's when it happens. What always happens in Gotham when there's a pretty girl involved. Muggers. Eight of them. Because clearly muggers travel in herds, or seomthing.

*

He didn't even wear the ring tonight that holds his uniform. Stephanie would have been so proud, right? The dinner was all hand-holding and small talk and loving gazes, before he totally nerded on her at the Institute. The physic and chemist major may have gone a little overboard, but Stephanie took it all in stride, right until he was suggesting staying to help with one of the project.

Her arm looped his, a pretty blonde smile and a tug was enough to tell Barry that it was time to go. It was getting late, there was a train to catch, and Barry knows that Stephanie has her night job to get to.

He was just admitting to her. "You know, I've never had a crab cake.." he starts to say, just before the muggers show up. In a pack. He steps a little, putting the blonde behind him as he pushes his glasses on his nose. "Uhm.. look. We don't want trouble. If you want money.. we can do that. I'm going to reach for my wallet, slowly." Sure, he could take care of this in a matter of seconds, but Stephanie made him promise.

One of the muggers speaks up. "No trouble, he says, the girl looks like she's dressed for trouble."

*

Catwoman has been expanding her "territory" so to speak, and when she comes to an area bolstering an arrival to a museum that is worth a peek she is… Bored to damn tears, ones that even fog her goggles.

Sitting atop a building she removes them from her head, strokes a finger over the lenses in a smear that gets pause when she looks down and the typical dark of Gotham brings out the usual activities.

Nope. Gone. This is just too easy and the kids need a lesson…

But when goggles go back on and she turns her back with the rise of feet folding beneath her body she straightens and looks back once more.

Dressed for trouble? Catwoman's upper lip recoils, teeth flash and the fall of a leather extension that descend akin to a tail from the thrust of hip suddenly drops into a coil beside booted foot.

No sound, no word, but beside the building in front of Steph and behind Barry her voice is a dulcet purr towards the men. "I am always dressed for trouble, boys." Though those eyes are not on any of them, they are upon a finger that rolls along her lower lip, black and gloved in a shine that suddenly extends a claw with a curl.

"I got time for all of you." And that finger extends from outstretched arm, curling into a becon.

"Try me!" And that whip ccracks as she moves forward slowly, that stalk a sway of hips and a dangerous call forth…

*

Stephanie saw the muggers as they approached, and had tried to steer them clear, but… it was out onto the street or into a dark alley. Neither was a good option. So when Barry pushes in front of her, between her and the muggers Stephanie has a moment of 'hey man! why are you blocking me from kicking their…' and then the fact that she's not in her gear either almost has her huffing at herself. She'll just have to be tricksier? She steps up against Barry's back, to look like she's cowering, but ready to give herself a place from which she can use him as a pivot point.

And then there's the purr.

Blue-green eyes track to the sound, and Stephanie's breath catches. Oh man! Catwoman. Just…great! Her hand on Barry's elxobw, Stephanie curls her fingers onto him a bit tightly, seeking to keep him fixed to the spot unless the guys don't turn toward the leather-clad… villian? theif? cat-burgler? not-quite-vigilante? What the heck is her status anyway? Stephanie bites the inside of her lower lip as she tries to make adjustments for not going batling on the muggers. Cause she could… lure them in the ally, discreetly drop a smoke bomb she keeps in a hidden pocket in her purse, and then go full on batling on them. SpoilerAlert: She'll blame it on one of the Bats as she leaves before the smoke clears, Barry in tow.

*

They really need to work on their communications. Why? Because Barry moved in front of Stephanie not to protect her from muggers, but to prepare for the fight.

As the muggers react to Catwoman's arrival with a growl of a gravely voice. "Who invited the stray?" he asks. "Thought you were working for yourself. You all social justice warrior now?" he asks, as he starts close. With many of the men turned to the attention of the woman in leather, it frees up Barry and Stephanie.

Mostly. There's only a couple left. He gives her hip a small double-tap. Go. It says. He's conflicted. He wants to help. He easily could. But Stephanie said 'NO'. So now he's in the role of the helpless civilian while his girlfriend runs to play hero with the girl in the cat suit.

*

Catwoman's chin rises, but for inspection, pride, and a hint at the mugger's gravelly "insult". Scars lopped around throat from Black Mask and her recent past still lingering, and if it was not for the narrow of gaze behind goggles it would almost seems like she was proving something.

Can you save my HeavyDirtySoul?

"Don't flatter yourselves~" A hiss although the mugger's words bear the brunt of the vocal blow on the dge of a tailed whip-crack!

"You're not Dressed For Trouble, boys!" But that does not slow the Cat, as she is already launching forward, the whip attempting to bring one face-first into pavement as she lunges over the figure to land a booted heel into another with a pivoting rotation of hips and her poise ever-ready, a smile on her face as claws lash for another and the fight is on!

"It's just not fair and some need lessons…" Stated as she moves with a fluidity into the fray, Steph given a look as she does so then blinks away.

*

Half a dozen on Catwoman, two for herself. Good odds. Stephanie takes a few heartbeats to study the two left to her and how she can drop them in a manner that's just sloppy enough to be considered self-defense classes while being effective enough that neither she nor Barry are injured. Nor leaving Barry feeling like he needs to zip here or there to avoid or land a punch of his own.

Yes. They need to work on their communication. But in their defense they really haven't had many moments to fight as a team together. Either, Spoiler's finished up and Flash is stealing her off some where, or Flash has everything wrapped up before Spoiler can quip her hashtag.

Maybe they need to work on their timing first?

Maybe these things go head in hand.

Whatever the case, as the two step into them and Barry double-taps her hip, Stephanie moves…. just as Catwoman gives her a Look. Oh, Babs is going to have another reason to talk to her.. AGAIN.

It's not as fluid, at first, as Stephanie can move, but she's not really the best at masking how she moves. Thus, Stephanie dispatches her two with batling grace and effeciency after a single awkward looking punch. One of her moves is classic Bat: get between, elbow one as a set up to punch the other in the face. The roundhouse that follows is not Batman. It's too much dancer, almost like ballet. And the way Stephanie leaps in the middle of it to use her other foot and weight for added power to drop the larger opponent smacks of a gymanist rather than a ninja. One down, one to go, and Stephanie lands in a crouch so she can slip, small and tiny, between the muggers legs, and leap up behind him for a very not batling lookign move. It's a forward snap kick, which really should be standard fare, but… it looks less like a clean karate jump kick, and much more like a cheerleader using a high kick to do some damage in payment for unwanted football player advances.

Look! She didn't say it!

She wants to. That explains the scowl. Must not open mouth right now. #SpoilerAlert!!!

*

It's not like they train together either.

Unless you count DDR as training.

Honestly, Barry's so fast that trying to time with him is next to impossible. As Stephanie goes on the attack, he uses the first leap of the girl to give a very ungraceful stumble forward as if he was tripped, and his glasses come off. He falls to the ground on his hands and knees as if searching for them.

But what the shadows cover is his hand moving super-sonically to cause a vibration. It starts off localized, and then the whole area trembles, as if to dislodge bricks or.. knock certain muggers off their feet. The tremor quickly passes.

It's not the first time that Gotham's had an earthquake after all. And hopefully, huddled as he was, not even Stephanie can figure out what happened as he flattens himself as one of the muggers falls to the ground next to him.

*

Stepahnie is watched, noticed, even as she moves over her boyfriend who 'scuttles' for his glasses…

And the word they know shakes.

But Catwoman is poised, her motions of alacrity causing people to fall… Right into Stepahnie's fists and kicks! But one is snapped back within a whips coil, drawn into Catwoman…

Don't touch me, pleasssee!

The one who spoke to Stephanie as such, and accursed her, perhaps into a stereotype?

Either way, Catwoman suddenly moves with a withdrawl of stroking hand along his neck laden in whip coils, forcing the body to impact the cement face-first as she leaps back and springs off one of Steph's assaulters, forcing him harder into her retort.

I'm sorry!
I don't pray that way!

And landing, Catwoman is in a crouch, dragging her tail'd whip across the ground into the rotation of wrist and curl fo clawed hand.

"They need to know when to fold 'em…" She lolls forth upon that feline tenor, a glance to Barry is wary, but not totally accusing or trusting. Such is the Cat.

Stepping over one her finger tic-tocks with her verbal 'Tsk-tsk', a claw opening his attire from neck to… well… Embarassing!

Tainted love.

*

Finding his glasses after feeling around with his hands, Barry pushes himself back to his feet and looks around. "You alright?" he asks Stephanie, quickly moving to her to make sure she's okay after taking down too would be muggers. Though with his perception, he's able to follow Catwoman's movements, even when she 'blinks'.

Speedster reactions tend to play that way.

Baby baby, where did out love go?
Oooh don't you want me..

The young man pushes his glasses back into place as he watches Catwoman finish off the last of the attackers by peeling his clothes off like a banana. "Uh.. thanks!" he says, grabbing Stephanie's arm to run off with her. Because Stephanie was totally not selling her lack of abilities. And he doesn't want to be around to watch Catwoman go full on 'let me teach you a lesson' on the muggers.

I've got this burning, burning, yearning feelin' inside me
Ooh, deep inside me, and it hurts so bad…

Time to get to the train station. And maybe call a cab for Stephanie.

The shadows swallow the figure, even a flash of eyes back to the duo with that Cheshire smile.

She has angels and demons both, but this….

… Was redemption.

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