1965-05-21 - Diamonds and Friends
Summary: White Widow comes across a sassy cat burglar with a few tricks up her sleeve.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
gwen-stacy felicia-hardy 


Monday Night. Deep in the heart of the city, and a white blur is shooting between the skyscrapers.
Gwen, AKA White Widow, is feeling a little bummed out. The record producer had told her her lead singer was going to be out of touch, and what kind of band has no lead singer? It was driving her bugnuts.
Webslinging always clears her head, and she was able to get a transistorized version of the police scanner, so she is listening to the byplay as she travels towards downtown Manhattan and the Financial District. Maybe she'll score on a bank heist? A remote maybe.


Black Cat lands slips out of the diamond exchange through the hole she cut in the glass. She pads up onto the roof silently again and takes a moment to check out the score - a scattering of glittering diamonds on black velvet. She hadn't been greedy, just took enough to pay for her trip to Morocco next month. Well, maybe a little more than that. Okay, a lot more. But not as much as she could have.

She's clad in her trademark tight leather catsuit, a low-pulled zipper along her bust and white fur trim at her gauntlets and boots. A stylish, cat-eared mask hides her identity as she puts her take back into one of the hidden pockets of her costume.


It's not danger that alerts her. It's the police scanner, giving out its codes. Alarm Tripped. Potential robbery. Police sent to verify.
Except the police will get there in five minutes, and Gwen can be there in five SECONDS. She's already in the neighborhood, and all she had to do is swing around, and she's a hop, skip, and a quarter-mile jump from…
…Heeeeyyyy now. What's this? The black-suited figure is moving along the roof, out of sight of the normal populace.
The normal populace, however, is not composed of human/spider hybrids, last she checked.
So the athletic figure on black and white is not TOO surprising as she lands at the opposite end of the roof from the thief.
"That's…an interesting look." the figure says almost politely as she sizes up the Black Cat.


The burglar tossed her white-blonde head, cocking her chin a bit as she takes in the figure across from her. "Well, I think we can agree that we're both trendsetting," she says with a hint of a purr. "I take it you're the local superhero type? I knew there was a boy spider, but I had no idea there was a girl. Shouldn't you be off catching muggers or harassing gangsters? I'm just picking up a few pretties to pass the time, no reason to make a fuss about it," she smiles, her lips crimson red.


Felicia can see the smirk under the mask. "Caught 'em all. Got the whole set. Now I'm moving on to jewel thieves. But I have to say, I don't know if I have one of you, yet. Now, if you can give me your name, I'll know what to cross off my list." She begins to saunter forward. "I'm White Widow. Pleasedtameetcha."


"White Widow? My, what a pair of opposites we are, then. I'm the Black Cat. My feelings are almost hurt that you couldn't guess, but, well, a girl's reputation can only go so far," she says. She begins to sidestep, trying to maintain a distance between herself and the heroine, "You sure I couldn't convince you to think twice? I have quite a haul here, I wouldn't mind sharing a wee bit. Not evenly, of course, since I did all the work, but what's a little graft between rooftop friends?"


"Graft? Try grand larceny, Cat. Believe me, you picked the WRONG person to try a bribe." She moves with an eerie grace, the kind of grace you can expect from a spider. "But I will cut you a little slack. Leave the diamonds, and you can get out of here with your dignity intact. Try to take them…and things will get very tight very fast." She closes the distance to twenty-five feet. "I'll count to five…and trust me, I don't slow down after four."


She holds up her claw-gauntleted hands, "Now, now, there's no need to get violent. I didn't mean to insult your precious integrity, darling, but a girl has to try, doesn't she? Now, I can't quite give it all up, because I worked very hard on this heist and, quite frankly, I earned it," she says, gathering her concentration a little to prepare to unleash just a weensy bit of bad luck on the superheroine, "And really? I thought you might like to take your time."


Gwen chuckles. Wow.
"One…" She begins to walk forward, wiggling her fingers as if to loosen the up. "Give it up, street cat, before I declaw you."


Black Cat backs up just a step at a time, peeking back over her shoulder to make sure her cable line is still attached to its grapple. Yup. "I wonder which number is your unlucky one? Guess we're going to find out," she says.

She lets loose her power and a pack of pigeons sleeping in a nearby chimney startles, flying in a wild swarm that momentarily batters at White Widow. Not likely to harm, but certainly distracting. The Cat backflips and grasps her cable, attempting to rappel down the side of the building with quick hops.


TwooooooWAUGH!"
Suddenly, she can't see a thing! the air is full of feathers abd small bodies buffeting her, getting in the way of her and the cat, one of them flying into her hood, wings beating at the back of her head.
She bursts free of the rats with wings to see the Cat backflip off the roof. "DAMMIT!" she curses, reaching up to clear the pigeon from her hood, leaving it flipped back as she runs to the edge of the roof, looking for any sign of her. How long had it been since she lost sight of her? A second? Two?


The Cat is fast, getting close to the bottom of the building. She looks up in time to see Widow glancing over the edge of the roof. The burgler puts a glove to her mouth and blows a kiss up to the heroine and then leaps, twisting in midair and landing on the roof of a passing taxi, her claws scraping on the metal and throwing a few sparks as she digs in her grip.


Oh, no you DON'T!
"THREE, FOUR, FIVE!" She yells as she runs along the roof until she reached the far ledge, jumping to fire a webline in midair, and then she is in full webslinging mode and gaining on the Cat's ride, dodging sreetlights and arcing over traffic lights as she gets closer to the taxi…


Black Cat looks over her shoulder and swears a bit under her breath as the stubborn heroine continues her pursuit, "Honestly, what does a girl have to do to perform a simple act of larceny in this town?" she tsks.

She holds on tight and keeps low to the roof, wondering if she's going to have to do something else to lose this chick.


Another webline and now she is directly overhead, aiming even as she swings…

And then the Black Cat is borne aloft, plucked off the roof of the cab and swung upward, one foot from a streetlight.
In the next moment, she is caught on Widow's right arm, the left holding onto the webline as they swing higher.
"Best not to struggle. You don't want to get dropped…" comes the voice just above her head.


She doesn't struggle, because she knows better than to want to fall. Easier to go along for the ride and figure out a way out once they have secure footing underneath them again.

She sighs and makes a pouting face, "You're a real spoilsport, you know that, toots?


Widow chuckles. "Yeah, that's me, professional spoilsport. It even says that on my business cards."
She vaults up to a rather high skyscraper, landing lightly. However, the arm carrying the Black Cat uncurls as she finds the surprisingly-sticky palm against her belly pressing her against a warm heat exchanger as she webs the Cat's midsection fron navel to knees to the metal box. Odd, considering Felicia can't see where the webs are coming from. Unless they are coming directly from her.
"Bid a fond farewell to your dignity. It's on a short trip and won't be back for awhile."


"Seems such a waste of your talents, all this do-gooding nonsense. Can't you at least be Robin Hood, steal from the rich and give to the poor? Admittedly, I'm not poor, but I can do a good impersonation. It's really a victimless crime, those people have a nice insurance settlement coming their way and I make a tidy profit on the black market. It's a symbiotic relationship, all very equal."


Widow eyes her. "Uh-huh." She grasps the Cat's right hand, lifts it up to press it against the metal side, and then a jet of webbing keeps it there. "Additional costs due to premium hikes, costs go up, and who pays? The people buying them." She moves to quickly grab the left hand, lifting it up to web it to the panel as well. "What about you? You could turn vigilante, like me. I can show you what it's like to be on the right side of the law."


She sighs, "I"m not sure I have the temperament for it. I'm not particularly judgmental or self-righteous. I've never avenged anything," she says, "Tell you what, how about we stick to your original deal? I give you the stones, you let me go and we'll call it even for once? Think about how they'd treat me in prison, a crying shame."


Widow eyes her for a few moments, then reaches for the mask…then stops. No…that's dirty pool, to just take someone's secret away from them. That's not the way she does things.
The gloved hand lowers to the Cat's waist. "You'd better tell me where you hid them, or I'll have no choice but to frisk you. And you seem frisky enough as it is."


The Cat can't help but chuckle a little, "I wouldn't want to deny you the fun, but if you insist. Small of my back, just above the beltline, hidden zipper. I'm sure cunning fingers like yours can find it quickly enough," she sighs.

"On the one hand, I'm very put out. I was looking forward to that vacation. On the other hand, I do like having playmates. I wonder if you can make a ball of yarn out of this stuff?"


Widow chuckles. "Oh, it'll break down in about an hour." She reaches around behind Felicia, nimble fingers feeling their way along the small of her back. She should have turned her around, but she couldn't risk dealing with her without having her anchored. She was as craftly as her namesake.
"Better a stay-at-home vacation than an all-expense-paid trip to Club Fed." She is glad Felicia can't see her blush at her words about fun. "But I gave you my word, and I'm sticking to it…oh, there it is." She pulls out the small pouch, opening it to look at the diamonds. "That's a lot of hot ice…"


"Tempting, isn't it? So shiny, so pretty. Look at them catch the light. Each one of those little pebbles is worth as much as any of the cars down there on the street," she says, "Hardly seems fair, does it? What makes them worth so much? They're just rocks. But people get all jazzed up for pretty things. I should know."

"A whole hour? That sounds terribly boring. Are you going to read me a story?"


Gwen looks at her, then says, "WELL, if you want to be entertained, there's this new Travis McGee novel by John D. MacDonald. A DEADLY SHADE OF GOLD. About a guy who specializes in taking stuff back from people who legally robbed others. It might appeal to you."


"Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I might. Reading can be something of a chore, but I'll go look it up, just for you, how 'bout that?" she says.

"In the meantime, I guess I'll just hang out here and wait for sweet freedom. Long as you don't renege and call the cops on me. That would be awfully unfair."


Gwen grins under the mask, then reaches into her backpack, pulling out a paperback novel with the picture of a squat gold idol. A DEADLY SHADE OF GOLD is printed on the cover.
"I suppose we have enough time for the first chapter, at least. Just so you won't be BORED, after all."
She opens the book as she sits on a short concrete pillar. "Chapter One. A smear of fresh blood has a metallic smell. It smells like freshly sheared copper. It is a clean and impersonal smell, quite astonishing the first time you smell it. it changes quickly, to a fetid, fudgier smell, as the cells die and thicken. When it is the blood of a stranger, there is an atavistic withdrawal, a toughening of response, a wary reluctance for any involvement. When it is your own…you want to know how bad it is…"


Black Cat can't quite resist a laugh, shaking her head, "Oh my. Now if only I had a nice glass of wine to sip while I listened. Maybe a cozy fire," she says.


Gwen shrugs. "Maybe I can oblige if I wasn't sure you'd make a play for the diamonds. Now hush."

"…I knelt beside her chair and held the smelling salts next to her nostrils. Charles hovered. In a few moments she sat up, her color still ghastly. She tried to smile and said, 'Walk me, Trav. Get me out of here. Please.'"
She paused, then checked the clock. "Well, with the interruptions, that's still about 45 minutes. I figure you have another ten or so before those start to fray. By that time, the diamonds will be returned, and out of reach." She stood up, tucking the book and the pouch away. "I promise I won't call the cops on you. But if I catch you again at this sort of thing, I might change my mind."


Felicia Hardy sighs in her bonds and watches the Widow swing off, "That's just darn rude," she sighs. "She could've at least gotten me a soda pop."


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