Who is Deathstroke

December 19, 2018:

Cait talks about her history involving Slade to Ghost Spider

Greasy Food Diner

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Deathstroke

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

After bumping into Slade Wilson, Caitlin took a quick exit and headed for the nearest restaurant. Some people drink, Caitlin eats. It's one of those faux-nice chain places that serves mostly slightly overpriced fried food. Caitlin's a stress eater so it starts with a rare exception for her: endless fries and a milkshake. By the time Gwen catches up, she's well into a third bowl of the fries and the waitstaff is starting to udnerstand why Caitlin offered up front to buy them by the bowl.

She's switched her thermal gear over to what looks like regular clothing again, though the boots are the same. Green hoodie, blue jeans, and her hair pulled back in a ponytail. She's looking out the window with a consternated expression, heel drumming a beat on the floor in expression of her agitation.

*

Gwen lagged behind by a couple minutes. Not long, but obviously enough to cause a deficit in the fry-population of this restaurant. When she arrives, it's with a leap that lands her near the front of the door, where she lands with another crunch in the snow and a shiver up her spine. Ugh. Wet feet. She peers into the window until she spots Caitlin, and proceeds to slip inside.

Scraping her feet on the mat, Gwen heads over still in full costume. She's not changing in broad daylight in the elfin snow. Casually, she just sits in the chair across from Cait. "So, like.. Do you want to talk about that?" There's a hint of concern in her voice, as she glances at the empty bowls of fries.

*

Caitlin looks up swiftly. Gwen's arrival jars her train of thought and the redheaded focuses on the webslinger. The rest of the restaurant definitely is Not Looking at the two of them— the Amazon eating by herself or the white-clad spiderling in costume joining her.

"Not really," she admits. "But I don't have much of a choice, I guess. Cat's kinda out of the bag." She exhales wearily, pulling her hair back from her face and looks at Gwen with a stressed expression. "I know I don't have any right to ask it of you, but— please don't tell anyone about this," she says pained. "I work really hard to keep… him… away from the rest of my life." She gestures at the two of them, as if describing the superhuman community at large.

*

"Superheroine swear," Gwen repeats back, holding up her hand like girlscout's honor. She turns to look at one of the tables staring, and dead-stares them back for a moment, before largely ignoring them. What are they going to an amazon and a dead girl? As one of the waitstaff swings by, Ghost asks quickly, "Just a hot cocoa, please." With that moment of peace, she continues, "I promise I won't tell anyone."

Tilting her head, she places her hands on the table while clearing away some of the dishes and loose fries that have escaped certain doom. "So I'm like super confused, fill me in?"

*

Caitlin shakes her head— not in negative but just to get her bearings. Hands steeple over her mouth and nose while she looks upwards. Praying for strength, maybe? She draws her hands against her mouth then sets her palms on the table.

"I can tell you some of it," she says, guardedly. "I'm adopted. Yeah, I mean, I know a lot of us are, so no big deal there," she clarifies. "My situation was pretty bad. No family alive that I know of. One of my dad's friends stepped up to adopt me. There were some … bad guys who tried to kidnap me, early on. Dea— Slade was one of the ones who went in and pulled me out of a bad situation."

She reaches for a fry, dunks it in fry sauce, and munches without much enthusiasm. "So I know he's definitely not a good guy by any stretch. But he also definitely saved me, and a few more times off-camera that I only just found out about. It makes things… complicated. Like having the most metal godfather ever," she suggests.

*

For a time, Gwen watches Cait explain, nodding every now and then. When the waitstaffer passes by and offers her the cocoa, she accepts it carefully into her hands before placing it on the table. "Thanks," she adds, hooking a thumb under her mask to lift it just to the arch of her nose.

"But when you shouted at me.. it sounded like you were scared he was dangerous?" Her hands reach around the mug to cup it and feel the warmth against her fingers. "What is this version of Slade like? And who's Deathstroke?" Very carefully she raises the mug to her lips as she takes a sip and lowers it.

*

"Deathstroke's the code-name he uses here," Caitlin clarifies, speaking in a murmur that's not easily overheard. "He's a hired gun. Mercenary, sometimes assassin too," she admits. "He's really famous in the world of professional mercs. Other than that, most people avoid him. Even Batman doesn't like messing with Slade unless he really has to, and Batman scares the heck outta me," Caitlin confides.

"So— yeah, he's crazy dangerous. He's honorable and smart and loyal, but I also don't want to push my luck with him. If he decides someone's a liability or a threat, there isn't much anyone can do about stopping him. He's *that* good, and that ruthless. You just… walked up to him and said 'hi'. No one else is crazy enough to do it." She smiles, wanly, and pushes the bucket of fries a half-inch closer to Gwen.

*

"— .. Oh." is Gwen's simple reply as she stares wide-eyed at Cait. Well, that might cause problems later, but for now there are bigger issues. The 'lets not think about it' approach to problem solving. "Maybe my new name will be 'Deathwish'," Spider-Woman jokes helpfully while taking an offered fry. Her hands lace back around the mug and its valuable warmth.

"That's kind — well.. complicated. If it were me in your shoes, I would be confused and kind of wanting to avoid him, too." Gwen shifts in her seat to cross her legs and take a long drink out of the cocoa. It's nice not to feel like a Gwencicle, even if her shoes are still wet. "Why keep it such a secret, though?"

*

"Code names are tough," Caitlin agrees. She laughs a little. "I spent six months trying to come up with a good one and finally quit. Not like I can get away with a secret identity anyway."

She exhales steadily, coming back around to Gwen's question. "I've got a lot of people relying on me. The League, Stark Industries, my friends in the meta community. If word got out I was on speaking terms with a guy like Slade, a lot of people would start looking at me suspiciously. They might start digging into my past, and there's some skeletons in there I really don't want made public knowledge." Her lips press into a thin line. "People could get hurt. Or try to use me or … some other people as leverage against him. Easier just to keep it low-key and not make a deal about it."

*

"That's.. something I can understand." Gwen sighs, grabbing a couple more fries and munching on them. Cocoa and fries — the salt is oddly good with the cocoa. After a couple moments of stealing Cait's fries, Ghost Spider adds, "I won't bail on you. I like.. barely understand this dimension but you've stuck with me and helped me and I owe you forever and a half because of it."

Her sentence trails off mid-thought as she thinks of an eloquent way to put the next phrase. "If there's anything I can do —.."

*

Caitlin anticipates the offer and waves it off with a smile. "You're sweet to offer," she assures Gwen. Already she sounds a bit more chipper. "It's not something anyone needs to do anything about. He stays on his side of the world, I stay on mine, and I bake extra cookies to send him around Christmastime. Like a … really violent Santa."

"But I haven't given up on trying to get you home," she assures Gwen. "We're coming closer to understanding what these rifts and and what causes them. Once we do we can reverse engineer it and send you back to your friends and family," she assures the other heroine, and smiles again.

*

Gwen stifles a laugh, "I hope he doesn't have little violent elves, too." She smiles, though. Without the mask over her lower face, it's one of the rare times she's actually visibly smiling.

"I hope you're right. I hope Dad's not worrying too much about me, I miss him a lot." She lifts the cocoa again and finishes off the mug. Upon it resting back on the table, Gwen stands up and pulls her mask back down with both hands. "Ready to continue searching?"

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