Learning How to Communi-cat

April 11, 2018:

Cassandra and Catwoman discuss costumes amidst some misunderstandings.

Catwoman's Safehouse

A well-stocked one bedroom apartment in a loft atop a tall multi-use building. It even has cable.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

*

The location: one of Catwoman's safehouses in Gotham City's East End.

The place: a loft atop a multi-use building, the storefront dedicated toward things for the home and garden. Access comes in the form of a rooftop door set into the side of a brick wall, steps leading down into a moderately furnished place with an open floor plan and a couple bedroom and bathrooms.

Catwoman has been in and out of the place for a couple days since giving Cass a key. Cats have their own lives to lead, after all, but at least there's been some communication as to when she'd be back around. This is certainly no Batcave, no Wayne Manor, but it's quiet, the fridge is stocked, there's cable TV, an internet connection, and it's got heat and running water.

The sound of the door opening above may register, the booted feet and sleek legs clad in black appear, followed by the sight of a coiled whip. It's her. She's back, and the sight of the shoulder bag being removed follows. Seems it's got a bit of weight to it.

*

In stark contrast to when they met Cassandra is currently very lightly dressed. She's wearing a ank top and athletic shorts that don't get anywhere near her knee. In other contexts one might consider this lewd, but she is sitting in the middle of 'her' living room after all. Still, it's a good look at the girl's figure and build. She's very athletic, tightly toned muscle and gentle but still very feminine curves. She's also fighting with the television.

It's becoming pretty clear Cass has no idea what to do with the tv but before now she hadn't even paid it any heed. Today she's clearl been messing with settings, brow furrowed as she tries to uncover its secrets. The girl leavs every day, that much is clear. Where she goes isn't but, like Catwoman, Cassandra has her own things to do it seems.

Cass looks up from the blank blue screen to see Catwoman enter. She blinks her wide amber eyes a couple times and then incdlines her head to indicate the bag. There's just a hint of a smile on the very serious young woman's features as she studies her benefactor.

The fridge has been raided. Cass eats a lot, which probably isn't a surprise given her extreme level of exercise.

*

Catwoman sets the bag down on a tabletop island that separates the kitchen from the living area, then she strides over to take the remote whether it's simply handed over or she has to gesture for it. A couple button presses and the screen changes to actually showing something. "You needed to change the input," she explains, handing it back over afterward.

Nothing is made of Cassandra's attire aside from a brief glance at what it covers and what it doesn't. She's already going over to the fridge for a bottle of milk she sips from directly. It's small enough for that, and it's probably what a cat would prefer to drink as well. "If you did that to the fridge, I guess I'll have to get a little more active out there. Or, maybe you will." It might just end up refilled by the next time Cass is out and back.

"You're probably wondering what's in the bag," she adds, setting the bottle down next to it as she draws the zipper open. "If we're going to do this sidekick thing, you're going to have to look the part."

*

The remote is handed ovr without cassandra even looking up. She knows what Catwoman would like by now, and her attention to the blank screen is obvious. Casss makes a biref note of the show that is currently on. It's a soap opera so her lack of linguistic ability contributes to her complete disinterest in the show beyond cursory observation. She might not e able to name it but Cassandra knows what a television is.

The clothing doesn't cover much at all but she isn't naked in the middle of hte house. thistime. Cassandra hops easily to her feet without isng her hands and sstrides over to the table when Catwoman mentions the bag.She is staring at it intently, those brown eyes wide.

Small hands arrested on the edge of the counter and the tall but slneder young Catwoman protege nods slowly in response to the sentiment being offered. She reaches out toward the bag and waits for Catwoman to give some further instruction.

*

"I thought so," Catwoman remarks, and she leaves aside anything related to the television, even going back to mute the volume if need be before attention is turned back to the contents of the bag. It looks like elements of an outfit, without actually being one. "Let's talk costumes," she begins before catching herself and adding, "Or, I'll talk costumes and you do that quiet thing of yours."

She withdraws a few strips of material. One is similar to spandex. Another is similar, but with a bit of a sheen to it. There's leather, similar to her own catsuit, and there's also a glossy, rubbery latex. "You get to pick the material so we can work on having something made for you," is the explanation she gives, but there's more to it all.

"You may or may not want claws, but we can take care of that if you do. That's easy." She flashes a gloved hand of her own, waggling fingers and those sharp, metallic 'nails' at the ends. And, out come a few different styles of cowls and hoods. A couple have ears, but others don't. "We can cover your whole face, the upper half or the bottom half, or do something like this." The goggles she wears are gestured toward. "And, ears or no ears." A pause, then a speculative squint and a thoughtful look. "Do you like tails? They can be fun if you really want one to go with the whole look."

*

Cassandra settles on leather. Latex, PVC, and spandex all have Cassandra making faces at them, while another fabric choice is literally ignored entirely. One might get the impression that Casss wouldn't settle for naything that is glossy in the final product. Material is laid out, the ncomparedto Catwoman, and then set down again. Cass nods slowly.

When the claws are shown off, Cassandra nods slowly, and then it's time to go through the cowls. She settles on a hood. One can pull up the front to cover their mouth and it hugs the forehead, leaving mostly those deep amber eyes in view.On the top are little black cat ears to match the rest of the outfit. No goggles for this girl. She doesn't seem to be fond of having her eyes covered.

With the selections made Cassandra turns toward Catwoman and walks forward slowly. She lcoses the meter or two between them in a couple steps, looking up to meet the taller woman's eyes. A glance at the costume on the table follows and then the girl points at Catwoman's chest. Perhaps she wants them to match.

After a moment they are standing just about close enough to touch if one inhales deeply, eye to eye, with Cassandr'ashands moving toward Catwomwa's arms as if to very gently cradle her. It's a thank you probably, but it's clear she isn't presuming she has permissio to touch."

*

If the goal is to match materials with Catwoman's, Cassandra's coming pretty close to it. Only, the catsuit is a little shinier, a little more textured than the plain leather. However, it would make a fine outfit for a sidekick. "How much do you want covered, then?" she asks. They could base it on Catwoman's own look, or go down from there. It'd be tough to go up.

Hands press flat against the tabletop as her choice of headgear is settled on, bringing with it a slow nod from the cat burglar. "Not a bad choice," she agrees, and she goes about tucking away the samples that are deemed not up to snuff. The question of a tail is left aside for now; it appears Cassandra has something else on her mind first, and Catwoman's head angles toward one side in a questioning manner when the approach is made. "Hmm?" She's following where those hands are going.

*

Cassandra runs her fignersover the fabric, tracing Catwoman's form carefully and examining the outfit. She tilts her head slightly, not answering the question of how much to cover. It should be noted that Catwoman has never seen her leave the house without being covered fromtoe to shoulder and her arms as well. She seems to prefer more conservative attire as a rule. Right now, however…

Cassandra briefly bites her bottom lip, tilting her head slightly while she continues to study Catwoman's outfit, and her eyes. She doesn't seem to be shy abou touching, getting a feel for both the leather andthe form of the person beneath by proxy.

*

"If this is just so you can get close enough to throw me, we're going to have trouble," Catwoman remarks, playing it off as a joke while at the same time carrying more than a hint of warning to it. It's only been a couple days or so. Trust must still be built up. "But..fine. Here." She extends the left arm, palm up, which will give Cass a better chance to inspect whatever it is that's got her so interested about it, so curious.

The eyes remain focused sharply on the younger woman, still inwardly unsure whether or not a mistake is being made here. She hasn't forgotten about the bit of sparring they did.

*

Catwoman is guarded and Cassandra frowns faintly. she looks perhaps a little injured as the woman shields herself, despite the fact that logically it hasn't been enough time for the memory to really fade. Clearly, the joke was interpreted more akin to the wariness Catwoman actually feels than the amusement she was trying to portray. Still, Cassandra accepts the offered arm and runs her fingers down Catwoman's bicep, around her arm, along her elbow, and then down her forearm all the way to her wrist. It's actually a rather tender movement, really. Cass pauses on taking Catwoman's hand in hers, palm to palm.

Cass still doesn't show the slightest bit of aggression. Probably for the best.She does glance at the costume materials a couple of times before meeting Catwoman's gaze for the final time.

*

Perhaps for the first real time since their encounter the other night, Catwoman shows difficulty in figuring out what Cassandra is getting at. When they sparred, their 'communication' was clear. There was no need to speak, say, or do anything elaborate. They both got the language of the fight, if somewhat different in their particular methods, but it fostered an understanding and respect between them as a way of breaking the ice.

Right now, she's not entirely sure what Cass wants. After she allows the tracing of fingers down the arm and on to the wrist and nearly the palm, she asks. "What are you trying to say? Where's your pad..?" It might help to sketch it for her, to help show her, or Cass can try without it.

*

Cassandra takes a deep breath, tilting her head to the left. She gives a firm nod and then releases Catwoman's hand. She turns away from the woman and walks over to the couch. Before taking a seat the girl turns to ocne again meet Catwoman's eyes. She glances down at her own clothing and then frowns for a second before looking back to her room companion.

The notepad, for the record, sis sitting on the edge of the table beside the clothing. There are a few new pictures to be seen if Catwoman flips throug hit. Most of them are very flattering sketches of Catwoman, though there'sa young woman (probably blonde, though it's hard to tell in a black and white sketch) in one of them, sitting at a table in a cafe.

The stances, positions, and expressions are all different. Cassandra features in a few. One or two might be considered risque, though that might simply be because Catwoman wears a more or less skintight bodysuit all of the time.

*

The joys of non-verbal communication. Sometimes it's easier, but other times it's not. The feline fatale leaves the kitchen area to stop short of the couch, leaving her goggles in place after briefly reaching for them as if she might be about to lift them to her forehead.

With the book noted, along with the way Cass looks betwen them, Catwoman picks the pad up and checks the last few pages before she glances back toward her new..friend? Partner? Protege? Temporary visitor to her safehouse? The relationship is not very well-defined yet, but she seems on the flattered side by what she sees. "If you're trying to show me what you want to look like, or what you want to do..here." The pad is offered up, but she adds, "Nice work, too. I see you caught my good sides."

*

Cassandra looks up and when she sees Catwoman holding up the pad and discussing the pictures she smiles brilliantly. It shaves a few years off off of her dour demeanor, making the girl appear closer to her actual age. She nods then, taking a deep breath and she shifts herself to face Catwoman properly and then tilts her head a bit more while she considers the statements a moment.

Cassandra turns the television off and then returns to Catwoman with a slightly swaying gait. She reaches up toward hte goggles, intnet on pulling them upward. The better to see one another's eyes. She glances at the notebook and then gently takes it away to set it aside. One of the pictures is carefully removed - featuring Catwoman and Cassandra both - and this is offered to the master thief.

Cassandra actually flushes faintly in the face of all the praise. Well, probably for that reason. She doesn't really explain herself.

*

If she didn't know any better, Catwoman might think Cassandra was…no. She's surely not and it's just a misread of body language. The woman must be curious, trying to find out more about her, to learn whatever she's able to. With the TV off, the room gets quieter.

Cassandra's approach is noted, then a brow goes up for a questioning glance as the goggles are carefully shifted up to her forehead, resting against the material of the open hood she wears. There comes with it brief hesitation, as if this is exposing her in a way she's not sure she wants to allow, then she's given the piece of paper.

It almost makes Catwoman look heroic in a way, as if Cassandra is looking up to her. Is that what it's meant to convey? What sort of impact has she already made on the ninja who does not speak? It's held in a hand before she nods and sets it aside, and whether what she says next is a changing of the subject or not, she decides, "I think you'd be best in a catsuit similar to mine. Don't groan, but you can't be Catwoman too. Maybe..Catgirl?"

*

Amber eyes watch Catwoman with quiet qadoration when the suggestion is made and the girl's smile brightens. She seems ot have accepted catgirl… if she understood at all. Cassandra shifts her weight forwqrd slightly at the pronouncement, and tilts her head agqain.She reaches up to draw her fingers through her spiked, short black hair and tug it away from her fac.eFor a second she meets Catwoman's eyes.

Small hands return to Catwoman's sholders, framing her form delicately in a more serious way. This time, Cassandra is standing perhapsa little too close. She has to, of course, to investigate the costume and learn by touch. The notepad is set aside. Cassandra's lips purse slightly in a delicate bow.

Then the girl nods seriously. She gently draws Catwoman closer to her.

*

Gently, Catwoman's hands close around Cassandra's wrists and she guides the woman's hands away from her arms and body. "If I'm reading you right, I'm flattered and it's not that I'm not interested, but it's a little too soon for any of that. Let's focus on helping you out first."

She sidesteps as she lets go, still eyeing the sketches before looking back to Cass. "Someone trained you to be a killer, but you hold back. You don't just go for the kill right away. That's good. It means you know the value of a life. That's important." And, it's something she can work with. There's an art to knowing how not to go too far, to do something one might not be able to live with.

"I think you also haven't known what it's like to be close to anyone, as a friend or more." She's picked up stray cats before, but nothing like this. It could be more complicated than she first thought.

*

Cassandra frowns as Catwoman steps away and shakes her head. she steps after her and reaches for a hand again. This time she is a bit more direct. Cass pulls Catwoman closer and actually embraces her for a solid second, then places a kiss on the woman's cheek. Afterward she turns slightly to look toward the sketches, following Catwoman's gaze to her destination. Cass drops the rest of it, apparently satisfied with a second and a half of contact. She takes a deep breath and then yawns softly, shifting her weight from left to right.

It's a bit like a tabby has taken in a tiger cub she found on a street corner. At least Cassandra prefers to hide her claws.

*

Apparently..Catwoman misread again by thinking too much about what seemed to be the case. All Cassandra wanted was a hug? "Oh. Well, damn. I guess I'm an idiot," she almost laughs, finding some amusement in it but there's also the brief worry she may have hurt Cass by assuming more to this than there is. In fact, she allows the embrace and lets it go another second or two just to show it's fine.

Then, she runs a hand over the top of her head, between the cat ears worked into the design, leaving her to shake her head. "Usually I'm better at figuring things out than that. I'm not used to someone who doesn't talk." Without the goggles over her eyes, it's not as difficult to see them. She truly does look apologetic.

*

Cassandra smiles at this and then nods slowly, apparnetly getting the idea. She purses her lips for a second again and then eans in and hugs Catwoman more firml. The second time she doesn't hesitate, or try to pull awayso quickly. Cassandra bburies her head against Catowman's shoulder nad just holds her tightly for a moment. If she wants to end it after only a few seconds catwoman might need to work a bit. At least the message is clear: apology accepted. That or Cassandra is shamelessly using Catwoman's contrition to feel her up. There's always an angle.

*

"Fine, fine, /fine,/ point made," Catwoman says in a grumbly way, even if the sarcasm of the words doesn't quite make it to her tone or body language. She's certainly not uncomfortable in her own skin - just look at what she goes out for 'work' in - but she's unaccustomed to not being able to get to the bottom of something quickly, to not be able to properly get a feel for a situation. There's a bit more relaxation into the second embrace, giving Cass more of a chance for a proper one. A hand even moves up to tentatively pat over her shoulderblades.

*

Eventually Cassandra is satisfied and she does, in fact, release Catwoman. She makes her way back to the couch and flops down on one of the cushions. Amber eyes slowly drift back toward the other woman as she looks at her askance. Oh, look. There's a spot on the couch next to Cassandra. What could that possibly be for?

Having been introduced to the ways of the remote again Cassandra fiddles with it until she manages to actually acquire a movie to watch. It's completely in Cassandr'as wheelhouse. Lot sof shooting and epxlosions.

*

Shaking her head, Catwoman releases her end of the hug and takes up possession of the sketchbook again. After Cass has already planted herself on the couch and left room for her, she clucks her tongue. "Hey. Think fast." The pad is tossed her way, fully expected to be caught.

While the movie plays, the thief saunters her way in front of the screen. "Before you get too into this," she says, jerking a thumb behind her before pointing to the book, "I want you to draw how you want your costume to look. I should be able to have something made in a few days with the right sizing. Then you'll really be Catgirl. Deal?"

*

Cass looks up and, predictably, catches the sketchbook without any difficulty. She watches Catwoman while she is being addressed and then looks down at her sketchbook and begins to flip through it. The girl reaches toward the pen for qa second and pauses, as if she is uncertain what she should do next with the object she has in hand. She taps the pad a couple times with her pencil, sitll watching Cats, and then looks back at the movie and begins sketching the female lead. To be fair, she IS wearing leather and sexily shooting at people in a surprisingly methodical way. It's relevant.

*

Catwoman's lips draw thin. Cassandra isn't drawing what she was asked to, realized upon glancing at the screen then moving over to peer at the page in progress. "I said.." she starts, cutting herself off as she looks toward the ceiling. It's flat, painted white, plainly average. "Okay. Look here." She gestures toward herself, then points at the page. "You draw you," she continues, pointing at Cass, then to what's left on the table. "In that." Her hand waves as she adds, "Whatever you want it to look like. Like me?" She again points to herself, then along an arm. "Down to here? Or to here?" She stops at different lengths: shoulder, bicep, elbow, all the way to the wrist then hand itself. "And legs." She repeats, indicating shorts to full foot coverings. "You like gloves? Boots?" She indicates both, before muttering to herself, "I might have to get you a bell collar, just so I can hear you coming and going…"

*

Cassandra watches carefully, nods, and then begins to sketch feverishly.

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