The Sensational Sandwich Setback

February 21, 2018:

Kamala wants to join the Titans! Sandwiches are involved! Ninja Turtle References are made! Copyright infringement takes place! This log has it all!

Titans Tower

It's a god damn T

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Red Robin, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's time, she's decided.

She's been fighting crime. She's been on at least one terrifying international mission. If you throw yourself out of a perfectly good plane, she's decided, you get to try to join a supergroup.

So Kamala stopped off in a coffee shop restroom and changed into her Ms. Marvel threads, gave her hair a quick comb, and stared at herself in the mirror for a good five minutes telling herself that she could absolutely do this.

Standing now in front of the Titans Tower, she's suddenly not so sure. Biting her lips, rubbing her hands together, she dithers in front of the door for a good five minutes before pushing open the lobby door.


So. A lot of things have been happening.

Almost none of them are good.

Horrible things took place in New York City. That's bad.

Spider-Man got blamed for like, at least 50% of them. That's bad.

Peter Parker is 60-70% sure he didn't turn in his paper on redox reactions in on time. That's bad.

So. Things haven't been shaping up so well for Spider-Man OR Peter Parker, which has meant a lot of very, very short-lived crime fighting boughts for the webbed vigilante punctuated by people thinking he's trying to mug them/kill them/knock NYC's entire power grid out on them/do some sort of weird Demon Bear juju to them (how did he get blamed for THAT?) and then, most of the time, trying to shoot him and/or beat him with a purse while he screams something about being a FRIENDLY neighborhood Spider-Man while weaving between bulletfire. His public image: at an all time low! But it's not all bad. At the very least…

He's got a sandwich??

This is, apparently, Peter Parker's sole solace in life. His one good thing to cling to as he makes his way towards Titans Tower. It's his favorite sandwich, from his favorite place. Lots of meat. Just enough bread. The guy who owns the place doesn't try to kill him. All the stuff that makes a sandwich truly great. Sub in hand, Spider-Man drops down from the skies as he releases his web-line, hitting earth with utter silence feet-first as he nurses that sandwich like the most precious thing in the world. He's here because a) he has some SCIENCE! to do and this is the best place Peter has to SCIENCE! and b) Titans Tower is basically the only place he can come to anymore as Spider-Man without someone coming at him with a crowbar. So here he is. Meandering to the front door. Like a normal person.

"Sandwiches are beautiful, sandwiches are fine! I like sandwiches, I eat them all the time! I eat them for my supper and I eat them for my lunch!"

… Like a normal person, singing lovingly. To his sandwich.

So immersed is he in his one joy in life that, for once (for ONCE), he doesn't really have the situational awareness to see that SOMEONE is at the front door of the tower that usually doesn't get a lot of foot traffic (emphasis on 'foot traffic'). Serenading his precious sandwich, he doesn't see Kamala there, opening the lobby door —

"If I had a hundred sandwiches, I'd eat them all at oncAAHH WHAT"

— until he is heading on a straight collision course with her, in an impact that will surely take his precious, beautiful sandwich soaring precariously through the air.


There are moments. In life. Moments that people can count on to make them heroes or villains. Moments that are presented without comment or without detail. Without any sort of context. These are the moments that are used to test the mettle of those that are experiencing these moments.

There are only a few of these moments that each person, each living being, will have in their lives.

This… is not one of those moments.

"COWAAAAABUUUUUNNNGAAAAAAAAAA!"

Considering the varied reaction time of those present on the other side of the Titans Tower doors, there may be some collisions of doors with hands and/or faces. Or there may be something else that can happen. It's hard to say say. But there's definitely something going on inside.

The lobby doors catch a pushing blast of static electricity to send them flying open (even though one of them was being pushed inward, so that could be a mess) and there's a dreadlocked and costumed black kid surfing on THE AIR thanks to some flying disc that's being elevated by the powerful glow surrounding him and the flying disc.

"TUBULAR, DUDES!"

Apparently, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Superhero is feeling some surf's up action as he's surfing right for, well, not the doors. More like the costumed collective that's outside the doors?

This is probably going to end badly. Or at least it'll make for great TV.

Titans: Impact Edition.


Considering things that young heroes have in common: a certain tendency to get into trouble, an occasionally overly simplistic view of the world, and food. Every young hero is a black hole for food. It would be a lie to imagine that part of the reason Ms. Marvel wants to join a super team is because of the open cafeteria she saw at the JLA.

So really, Peter's sandwich song is in the back of Kamala's mind at pretty much all moments, which makes it not too surprising that she heard it but didn't quite process it until she gets hit by the Friendly Neighborhood Wrecking Ball.

There's not a lot of mass to Ms. Marvel. Peter's feet knock her off her own and she goes arse-over-teakettle, feet above her head. But this is no absolute problem for the Silly Putty Superhero. One hand and arm reach out to catch Spider-Man before his head meets the pavement (though in fairness, he probably could have caught himself, but she's not thinking of that just now). The other hand shoots up to catch his beautiful sandwich, wrapped with love, and brings it back down to settle in his arms like a newborn.

"Hey, are you okay? You gotta look where you're — " And then she actually looks down to see his face, and her eyes get a little too huge for her head. "Oh. GOSH. You're Spider-Man!"

And then? And then she gets hit by two doors and one Static, which means Peter is going to have to protect his sandwich from Static now, because Kamala's immediate reaction is to grab onto the doorframes with one hand, brace herself with both feet, and stretch into a wide stretchy… blanket, basically, or trampoline, to catch them both.

So now: two heroes, one cuddled in a big arm like an infant, both caught in a Ms. Marvel colored drag chute.

"…So can I be a Titan?" Big smile.


When bad things happen, they tend to happen all in short succession, relatively speaking. It's like a ten car pile-up in a metaphysical sense. Spider-Man knows that very well. That is his life. His life is a constant, roving ten car pile-up.

And this very moment is like a microcosm of that one irrefutable fact. Peter Parker makes his introductions to Kamala Khan by way of a head-on collision and a graceful greeting of "NO! SANDWICH!!" as he goes toppling over. Really, the fall isn't the bad thing. He always lands on his feet. Like a cat. Or… a spider. A spider-cat. (Shut up.) His equilibrium is already reasserting itself as he falls backwards into the gentle embrace of gravity, his right hand already sweeping behind him in what will be a totally graceful and amazing handspring. That's not the problem.

The problem is obviously the sandwich.

He topples backwards, left hand stretching out, fingers splayed and white lenses widening in abject horror (one assumes). You could practically do a dramatic slo-mo of this moment, running some suitably ostentatious classical composition in the background. Maybe something Wagner-y. He is about to touch ground…

… and it never comes. Instead, moments before his totally awesome handstand, Peter Parker finds himself kind of dangling in Kamala's elongated grasp like some sort of swooning damsel in distress, lenses shuttering in some sort of vague approximation of a blink. He looks up. Sees Kamala.

Sees that she's saved his sandwich. Somehow. With her super-limbs.

For a moment, he just kind of… stares.

Oh. GOSH. You're Spider-Man!

"And you're — uh -" come on peter think don't be a jerk she's got a costume she's obviously a superhero of some kind get the name right oh my god you idiot you've never seen her before in her life have you just tell her that

"… the… Sensational Sandwich-SavEWAUGH?!"

Maybe it's for the best he never finishes that thought before Virgil just blows in with turtle-y, ninja-ish flare for the dramatic. Thanks, Static!

As it stands, the second that collision happens, and Kamala's hands go for the doorframe, Spider-Man is suddenly lurching backwards from the shock of the sudden entry. He lets out a cry of horror and, reacting purely on desperate instinct, reaches out, presses two fingers against his palm —

*thwip*

Long story short, Spider-Man is left in that strange, dangling grasp in front of the entrance to Titans Tower. Eyes widened in dismay. The perfect picture of lamentation.

Cradling his sandwich.

Covered in webbing.

"… I just wanted to save you…" he mumbles. He, at least, has the dignity not to sniffle. Just enough. Why does the universe hate sandwiches and Spider-Men??

He is in the middle of his mourning when he hears Kamala speaking. Still holding him. Kind of… ballooned out like a stopgap in front of the door.

"… maybe I can just dissolve the webbing and it'll be Titan what now? OH MY GOD HOW DID YOU TURN INTO A HUMAN PARACHUTE."

Off to a good start.


"… Wipeout."

Somehow Static has managed to cause collisions and also get caught up in the stretchified embrace of someone that he hasn't met or seen before but things are okay now. Especially considering the fact that he's on the ground and his Static Saucer is off to the side and there's just a whole pile of heroes that are gathered in the opening lobby to this Tower built for Titans.

"Okay, next time, I'm just taking the rooftop exit." Static pops up to his feet and starts with the dusting of himself off and even sends one outstretched hand to summon his disc back to him. Which gets folded up and tucked away into one of the hidden pockets of his costume. Or Static Clung to the inside of his jacket. Whichever one's coolest.

"Hey. My bad, Webster." And then Static's smiling because he's got an idea. "I've got an idea!" See? "What if I did a little magic…" Static makes the energy around his hand crackle. "… and we see if I can't put a little shock to the 5 Second Rule system. I have no idea if it'll work on webbing buuuut… Science!"

With the offer to help with Spidey's Sandwich thrown out there, he turns to look at Kamala and doesn't miss a beat. "You turn into a trampochute. We don't have anyone that can turn into a parapoline." Static grins. "You're in."

He doesn't even have the power to do that!


Static's regaining his footing. Spidey is… Spidey's sandwich is possibly okay if Static didn't smush it, and shame on him! Was he born in a barn?

"Static!" SHE KNOWS WHO HE IS. Not that it's hard to tell. Not unrelated to Static's static, Kamala's hair has started rising over her head as if she were touching a Tesla coil, but she's slowly stretching back into her usual shape. "I have your limited edition poster!"

Maybe that's not the best thing to say to people you're trying to impress.

She looks anxiously at the dangling web-cocooned Spider-Man, adding: "I am not going to take a picture of you like this. No matter how many Instagram likes I would get. Can I help at all? Are you okay?"

But Static has said she's in. That means she's TOTALLY IN. Maybe even officially. "I can do more than that. I can get big or small or change shape all kinds of ways. What… what kind of sandwich is it?" Big sad eyes.


And there is Spider-Man, left wide-eyed and wondering at the marvel that is the Precocious Plastic Princess.

No, that doesn't sound right either. Come on, Peter, don't try to name someone who obviously probably already has a code name.

"Dang," mutters the spider-vigilante, scratching the side of his head, sandwich momentarily forgotten, "that's awesome."

Really, he knows about Mr. Fantastic and everything, but it's one thing to HEAR about a thing versus actually SEEING it. And so, for a moment, Peter Parker spends a bit of time wondering over just how Kamala's powers actually work, his inner nerd working away at all the possibilities even as Static and Ms. Marvel address him directly, in turn.

"… maybe some kind of human silly putty, no that's just dumb — uh?" And this is the Amazing Spider-Man's grand answer, just kind of staring blankly at Kamala as she assures him about not taking his picture. He looks down at his current state. Lenses whirr into a white-slitted squint. A second passes.

"Ohthankgod," is his first, swift sigh of a response. "Look — okay? Look, normally I'm — I'm a whole lot cooler than this, it's just — I mean, REALLY cooler than this, like, so cool, you couldn't even believe, it's just — uh." A second passes.

"… I really love sandwich?" And here, Spider-Man's shoulders just slump, dejectedly. Defeated.

"Thankyoufornottakingmypicture."

With that, though, salvation!! Static offers his solution, and instantly Spider-Man is hopping onto his feet in an all-too-casual display of agility, reasserting himself like some sort of weird, webbed springboard as he jabs a finger Virgil's way. "Oh my god! That's an amazing idea! That might actually work. You have no idea how important to me this is, this is like -" His hands spread out here, REEEEAAALLLY WIIIIDE, "- my entire. World. Right now. This sandwich. Right here." Man. That just sounds sad.

But rather than dwell on it, Spider-Man just hands that sandwich over to Static with a warning of, "Be gentle, and make sure to use a current that's… I mean, you probably know how to do it, right? Yeah you probably know, it's fine," before he turns to look at Kamala again. And then Static. And then Kamala. And then Static.

"It's a — cold cut combo sort of thing, it's kind of like, my own personal touch and — wait, you want to join the Titans?" He is really on the ball today. "We definitely don't have an Elasti-Girl," that's not her name Peter, "but uhhhh the process is a little more formal than that. Like, you have to hang out on a rooftop until Red Robin mysteriously drops down behind you and -doesn't- make a super obvious joke about his name. Then you know your in." A second passes.

"… But I can probably get ahold of him and set up a meeting on like, some dramatic rooftop somewhere. Or his office. Does he have an office? He probably has an office. Just, pro tip? Don't make any obvious jokes about his name. Seriously. No matter how tempting. It's a trap."


She's going to rescue everyone twice today. Because she's just that much of a hero.

"I'm Ms. Marvel," she says. "It's okay, I don't have any, uh, action figures yet or anything." But she's been the subject of some graffiti in Jersey City, which probably doesn't even count.

She does reach out to pat the sandwich in Spidey's hands: "It sounds like a really beautiful sandwich. Check it, see if it's intact. If it's not, I'll treat you to another one. Honest."

And then there's talking about Red Robin, and Kamala grins and twists the hem of her costume between her hands. "Okay, that would be super. Totally super. So what you're saying is I should definitely not stop off for a bag of burgers and fries before I get snuck up on hanging out on a roof. I usually figure, like, anyone who got taught how to hero by Batman is probably pretty serious. Do — do you have any tips? Should I pretend to be mega serious? Does he drink coffee?"


"Wait? Action figures? Are there action figures of me?? What! That's gotta be, like — bootleg or something, how am I not getting royalties on that?!"

This is a revelation to Peter Parker. Well. Not entirely.

"… man I can't even afford a decent pair of shoes, I need some toy money…"

But it's fun to grouse about.

And there goes Spider-Man, waving his sandwich around in exasperation just before he starts to pass it off to Virgil; Kamala's Kamalinterference stops him just before, however, and that masked head tilts just a bit. "Uhh… thanks," he begins, slowly. It's a nice offer. Too nice! Now he feels guilty! And so, he instead chooses to reassure: "It's okay though, really. We're just gonna zap it full of electricity and make it come alive again. Like a Frankenstein sandwich. A Frankenwich. Original content, do not steal." A second passes.

"Man. I really need to start looking into copyright and trademark laws."

Seriously.

He has so. Many. Ideas!!

"Ms. Marvel though. Okay. Got it. Like — like the other Ms. Marvel? The Ms. Marvel who's Captain Marvel now? Is there like a secret family of Marvels and they all have super powers and you took up her old role? Maybe you all share a magical connection or… no, that's just ridiculous. Sorry. Sorry! Okay. Okay. Ms. Marvel. … -Was- Ms. Marvel's powers super-stretchy embiggen-slash-ensmallening though…………?"

And here, Spider-Man just stares off into the distance, lost in thought, before Kamala's gratitude kind of slowly drags his attention back into focus. "Huh? — Oh, yeah! Wait. No. I think like, he's attracted to food you can find at Red Robin. I mean, I was eating a hot dog when he found me. Hot dogs are a thing at Red Robin, right? They're a thing everywhere! So that might be a thing. Maybe get the whole shebang to lure him out, but be subtle about it. How many times does it need to happen to be a pattern? One? That's right, right?" But. Suggestions. Here, the masked menace rubs his chin. Thoughtfully.

"Well, when you meet him, make sure you talk in a real deep voice like you're chewing on gravel, that way he knows you're legit serious about being a superhero." And here, Peter casts his voice lower, into an exaggerated rumble that is barely comprehensible. "Something….. like…….. this………………….." A second passes. His lenses shutter into a squint.

"And I think he drinks the angst and grit of Gotham city. So… yeah. Coffee." Zing!


"Oh yeah! Yeah. I mean they're kind of cheesy, but — I'll show one when I next see you? Basically some people got some old action figures and reworked them, then took them apart and made… I think some of them are injection molded and some people do actual 3D prints, but whatever the weather, some are for sure better than others."

As Spidey keeps babbling, though, Ms. Marvel is seriously grinning. Oh God, it's like someone put a window into her head. It's like listening to her own inner dialogue. Help. These people are fun and she's definitely going to be one.

"Oh! No, I just. Captain Marvel is EPIC, but we're not related like that." Says the brown Pakistani girl about the blonde fighter pilot. "We're just both cool. I borrowed the name because — because of reasons, basically, but mostly I'm just a big fan of hers? But yeah that's it exactly. Big bag of burgers and fries because Red Robin makes those. Reeeeeally tasty burgers. You get me. So that plus coffee."

She ponders this. "Black coffee. So yeah! You're not an evil terrifing vigilante menace to New York, right? Because the newspapers, man. They turn on you like crazy. Just when you think you're doing okay somehow, suddenly, you get blamed for seventy things you had nothing to do with and it SUCKS. Am I right?"


"I really need to trademark my name. And identity. And come up with an address to send my royalty checks to. Maybe here? Robin would probably be cool with that, right? Right??" Spider-Man taps his chin, his lenses slowly squinting. In THOUGHT.

"Hmmmmm… action figure money…"

Really, though; more than anyone else, Peter knows that way lies danger. For all his talk, right now, those dozens of different thoughts are all kind of consolidating on Kamala and her potential addition to the Titans. She seems alright. Better than alright. She's making jokes! They need more people who make jokes. Really, the only serious person is Red Robin, but he's worth about fifteen separate grimdark inner-monologuing noir vigilantes on his own, and that's not including if Batman ever decides to make a guest appearance by smashing through a window in the tower and roaring 'THIS IS MY T-TOWER! MYT-TOWER!!'

So basically, this is what Peter Parker is imagining, Batman slurring out ownership of Titans Tower and also he has a tremendous butt-chin that is really distracting and also kind of looks like George Clooney a bit?? as Kamala debates the finer points of her approach to dealing with Red Robin. He pauses. Looks back at the Pakistani hero. Tilts his head.

"Okay. Yeah. Don't worry about it. You're gonna do awesome. Really, all you've gotta do is be honest. Seriously. Don't lie. Ever. He can tell." Spider-Man leans in,slowly, bringing his hand up between them in a conspiratorial whisper. "I think he might be part-machine. Like the Terminator." And here, he leans back out, looking around the tower with vague suspicion.

It's only then that she brings up his terrible public image. And even MORE terrible public image of late. "Oh my god," laments the poor college student slash terrifying vigilante menace. "Oh my god! That one guy. Hates me. So much! I didn't even do anything to him! Lately! Like, come on, who's memory is THAT good??" What could he even be referring to?? Whatever terrible event happened in the past, he doesn't dwell on, instead continuing on. "And I wasn't ROBBING that train, I was REVERSE ROBBING IT. It's completely different! Those government agents I beat up were like, evil or something, or they dressed like it! And those kids were all being terrible and totally had it coming-"

Wait. He's not… he's not doing himself any favors here, is he? Stop talking in vagaries, Peter Parker!!

"Uhhhhhh."

A long silence passes.

"… I mean… I'm… gonna go… scientist… sandwich."

And with this, the heroic and not horrible Spider-Man slowly. S l o w l y. Backs away. Back into the Tower. Before he can ruin his image further.

"I'lltellRedRobinaboutyouhe'llbeintouchI'mgonnaputinthegoodwordforyoudon'tworrybye!"

And with that dizzyingly fast farewell, Spider-Man disappears into the depths.

… Maybe it's not a great thing, him giving Red Robin his recommendations for Kamala.

TIME WILL TELL.

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