|Playing In The Darkness|
|What: Catwoman winds up witness to the 'punishment' of one Anthony 'Skeeter' Bruzzano, an experience he doesn't live to tell about. After everything's all said and done she meets Jackie.|
It has been nearly a month since Selina had the unfortunate run-in with the Red Hood. A month she spent gathering her inner-strength which was all but shattered when he beat her to the point of nearly breaking her jaw with a lucky-and-well-placed kick. A month she spent trying to recover mentally as well as physically. It took her longer than she thought to get back in her A-game but the Cat is back on her feet and ready to get back to business as usual.
The thief is currently on a rooftop as she's often wont to do, fully garbed in black leather, her goggles in place over her eyes. Her whip is in hand, the braided leather allowed to rest coiled at her feet, her expression grim.
Gotham. Jackie. Hates. Gotham. New York has hope, it has life, it has a thrum of people and the press of the helpless stands shoulder to shoulder with the helpers, there's... a balance there that he enjoys and finds comforting. Gotham has none of that. Even at noon the city is dark, dirty, and at night... <<We looooooove this city Jackie boy! You should relish in it. Can you not taste the misery? The hate? The /weakness/ is like... It is like Gamora before the Angelus burned our pretty city to the ground.>> Jackie frowns. At night in Gotham The Darkness grows stronger and he can't seem to force it to be quiet.
He stands before a long polished oak desk, his hands idly crossed before him as he stares past the desk at the man who sits on the other side. Anthony 'Skeeter' Bruzzano stares back at Jackie with flat dark eyes. "I thought the old man would be comin' hisself." the sitting man says, peeling an orange with a large heavy knife, "Sign uh respect." he flicks the peel away. Jackie stares back at the man, "You assume he respects you. You shouldn't." The pair of men can be seen, vaguely, through the window by anyone outside. Of course, to be high enough you'd have to be on that rooftop. Across the street. Not exactly a likely spot for a spy or coincidental witness.
Not the most normal pf places to accidentally have someone notice but there's Catwoman who is just about to make good on a little grand larceny in the form of a diamond she is just short of dying to get her hands on. Her alter ego could use the extra funds the gem will buy to establish a new lion preserve in Kenya, and the Cat herself could use a good rousing game of 'cat and mouse' that often ensues when Batman discovers she's up to no good.
At least that was the plan but she's suddenly distracted by the sight of movement across the way from her. Frowning, she looks around before carefully swinging to the windowsill closest to the roof level, the clever cat then creeping down a drainage pipe until she can reach the correct floor and the proper window, intending on peeking in. Silly Cat.
Jackie's eyes narrow, "You assume respect, and you should not. The Old Man had heard you were hard, quick with a blade, but none to bright. He did not know you were stupid. Ignorance can be forgiven Tony, educated, but stupidity?" he shakes his head. "That cannot be tolerated." The man with the big knife still as if he'd been slapped and his face starts to turn red in anger. "I don't know who you think you are boyo, bu-" "You were seen." Jackie interrupts the man speaking, his voice calm, even. "You were seen and identified and you are not important enough for us to waste resources in keeping you out of of the DA's hands." he turns to glance at the window, "Especially not in this shit hole." he waves a hand at the darkened city beyond. <> the whisper in his head hisses softly, <<Five stages of grief in time lapse photography. Taste like... inevitability.>> Tony stares at Jackie, "No one was there Jackie! Couldn't uh seen me!" <<Denial.>> the voice hisses. "Besides, you tell me who and I'll just pay 'em off to keep their gob shut, maybe do them too." <<Bargaining.>> Jackie says nothing, staring out the window at the night beyond, his back to the orange holding capo.
The figure in black inches closer, pausing just before the window itself, trying so very hard to keep herself. She missed everything that had been said prior to her arrival so what she does manage to hear lacks context which causes her to frown deeply. The voices are new to her so for now she merely watches although she makes one little error in allowing her whip to swing free, the handle of which clatters noisily against the window sill. Hopefully the men are too distracted to notice.
Jackie rolls again, this time waiting until the man is almost on him and then rolling towards Tony and under the wild swing of the machete. But Tony really is quick, and the Bowie knife slices through the long trench coat Jackie wears, leaving it hanging at an odd angle. Jackie stands and spins on the other man, his eyes narrowing further. "See what I mean Tony? Stupid." his hand raises, a small compact 9mm with a short thick supressor attached to the front comes into view. "Brought a knife to a gun fight." Tony never gets to comment because a pair of rounds less then a centimeter apart hammer through his heart, and two more blow out the back of his skull before the body can even fall. The bullets shatter the window on the other side and glass and gore spray in Selina's direction, bits of brain and bone and building. It all happened so fast...
So quick. It all falls apart so quick. She can hear the tension and then see what she can make of the violence, the way Skeeter comes after the other man caught just out of the corner of her eye as she leans to the side marginally. Good thing she does as it means she can see what is transpiring. Wincing, she ducks down on the narrow ledge, able to do so with little difficulty thanks to her feline-like agility, that keeping the worst of the blown-out glass and ruined brick facade from hitting her face. Still manages to come away with a small nick on her left cheek despite her speed, the tiniest of cuts that will heal on its own without scarring. By the time the commotion is over it'll be heard. Catwoman is cussing. Loudly.
"This is god damned unreal," the undoubtedly feminine voice almost shouts. "How in the hell does this keep happening to me?" Maybe someday she'll learn that curiosity should be ignored from time to time, tonight being a perfect example of that.
The gun shots were quiet, almost silent, and this is Gotham, no one calls the cops for a little broken glass and a threat shouted loudly. That's like... Tuesday. At lunch. Now maybe they'd have called for the gunshots, if they had heard them, but they were soft, muffled. Jackie turns his eyes to stare at where Catwoman hunkers, hiding, and his eyes narrow. He turns and quickly walks out the door of Skeeter's office, leaving the body where it lays and vanishing into the hallway beyond. He's a pro, you don't stick around after a hit, at least, not in the same room. Bad business that.
No way in hell Catwoman's sticking around, either. She's not exactly on the right side of the law so calling it in herself is not an option plus the cops just might think she's the one who killed the guy even if they should know by now that she doesn't carry a gun.
A hand-over-hand scramble up the very same pipe she used to get down brings her up to the roof and she's swift to move into the shadow where she stays put for a second or five, trying very hard to catch her breath at the same time she thinks. Just who was that men who did the shooting and what is his role in Gotham... assuming he even has one to begin with.
Jackie says, "I thought I heard something." comes a voice directly in Selina's ear, breath washing across her cheek lightly, warm and soft against the fresh cut there. Jackie is behind her, in the shadow she decided to hide inside of, "A sneak thief however, was not what I expected to find." How he got from inside the office all the way to the roof that fast is ... not something that bears thinking about."
"I thought I heard something." comes a voice directly in Selina's ear, breath washing across her cheek lightly, warm and soft against the fresh cut there. Jackie is behind her, in the shadow she decided to hide inside of, "A sneak thief however, was not what I expected to find." How he got from inside the office all the way to the roof that fast is ... not something that bears thinking about.
For a moment she mistakes Jackie for Batman. He often sneaks up on her like that and she can't even begin to count how many times he's whispered into her ear, it relaxing her enough to lean back against the hero. An immediate realization takes hold when she feels the body against hers, however. The Guardian of Gotham's form is one she's all but intimately familiar with so it takes her all but a second to realize her mistake.
Turning slowly, Catwoman's eyes narrow slightly, her body tensing as if she's about to pounce, her fingers curling just enough to cause the retractable claws to slide from their housing within the gloves' fingers. "I don't like surprises," she angrily spits, annoyed that the stranger caught her unaware.
Jackie's eyes seem to glow a soft yellow for a moment, but more likely it was a reflection from the city lights, as he steps out of the darkness and onto the rooftop proper, "Then maybe you shouldn't back up into shadows ass first expecting to be alone. Or lurk on rooftops poking your nose where it doesn't belong. A safe way to avoid surprises is to live a less interesting life. Were I you, I'd either get used to them or give up the leather fetish." he points out blandly. He reaches down to hold up his newly cut coat and sighs, "Dammit. You have no idea how many of these things I go through in a year. My coat maker thinks I'm James Bond."
"I... wha... I-I..." Sputtering in near-indignance, Sel about tries to rake those claws over Jackie's face but she's stopped from doing so by the Bond comment which gets her to laugh. "God, you're not Bond. Might be cute but you are lacking the accent." The claws slide back into place before her hand is used to brush what she can of the glass and debris off of her, her eyes held to his face. "Seriously. Who are you," she asks, letting the comment about her catsuit slide.
Jackie looks mournfully at the jacket once more and then sighs and lets it drop away and hang oddly on him, "Jackie." he says, eyeing her up and down with obvious appreciation for the entire ensemble, "Nice. Not sure about the animal motif, but it's a definite step up from the flying rodent problem I heard this town had. Cats, much more fun to pet."
Catwoman just rolls her eyes, sighing. "Hello, Jackie. I am Catwoman." Her moniker just might strike him as being funny. Or even obvious. Her eyes narrow again as she adds, "And don't think for a moment that this is a pussycat who'll take kindly to you trying to pet her." Not a gruffly-given warning, her voice not deep enough to pull that off, but it's still a warning. "Who was that guy and why did you kill him?"
Jackie offers a roguish grin, "Oh, but I'm so very good with my hands." he counters, his voice a soft rumble. "Tony something-or-other-stupid was a one time hit man turned capo for a Family here in Gotham. He broke some rules." Jackie offers a little shrug, it's no an apologetic one, more of a 'and there ya go' sort of motion.
That's a name Selina doesn't know. Skeeter must be either someone new to the city as Jackie is or someone who managed to fly under the Bat's radar for however long. Thankfully he won't have to worry about the vigilante as... someone took him out already. "I see. Remind me to never break the rules, then." Would help if Selina /knew/ them to begin with but she's trying to be light hearted. Doing so might very well keep her alive.
Jackie shrugs, "Rules are there to maintain order, keep things simple. Breaking them is bad for business." he doesn't say that he wasn't sent here to kill Tony, just to straighten him up a bit. Frankie Franchetti doesn't care that Tony killed the wife, the kids, the dog, doesn't care about the things he did to the bodies to amuse himself. Frankie cares that he was seen, that he could point fingers, turn State's Evidence. But Jackie cares, and he's the enforcer, it's his job to make sure the rules remain untarnished. Now... if only everyone else knew about the rules... He turns his eyes towards Selina again, "You steal stuff, I've heard about you. No bodies, just break ins." he grins impishly, "Good break ins. Perfectly acceptable." that's within the rules.
Jackie. Not the most masculine of names a man can have but she can't help but to find it pleasant to say. "Jackie... I think it suits you," Catwoman says, a hand raised to push her red-lensed eye protection up onto her forehead. Approval given, then, she can't help but to raise a brow, that causing the feline-esque cowl to shift, making it look like the ears that grace it perk. "I am glad you find it such," she mutters in slight amusement. "I'd hate to have to be killed for my work." Pause. "I am attached to breathing, after all."
Jackie nods his agreement, "Most people are, they're really very irrational about it." he smiles to show he's being glib, "But thieves don't rate. Keep your bodies limited to the guilty and you and me are kosher." he turns to look out over the city, his hands sliding almost lazily into his pockets, "So what were you going to steal from Skeeter? Not gonna stop you," he says quickly before she might object, "just curious."
"I don't kill," Selina says while shaking her head, her brow faintly creased as she glares. "I follow Batman's rules. Rule number one: Do not kill. Not for revenge. Not for the sake of it." It's okay if it's self-defense, or so she assumed, but she's been lucky and hasn't had to do that yet. At the question she raises a hand, it waved dismissively. "No, I was about to hit someone else's stash." No name, no address, nothing to give away where she's going. Just in case this guy changes his mind and decides she needs to be offed.
Jackie huhs at that and shrugs, "Feel free to ruffle through his safe if you like, help muddle up any eventual investigation if a bunch of his cash went missing." he smirks, "But that's your call." he turns back to face her, "So why a cat? Why not just some leather and accessories, maybe a military gear harness and what have you, why toss on ears and make a whole thing out of it?"
Will Selina hit Skeeter's place? She can't conceal the look of interest on her face so it's highly likely that she will before departing to her intended destination. "Why?" She grins and answers, Catwoman not having to stop and think in the least. "I have always felt a kinship with cats. Even as a girl. So thought it'd make sense." A bit of history behind why she went with this style of costume is left out. C'mon, a gal can't tell a man everything right upon meeting them for the first time.
Jackie just shakes his head at that, "I like those cute little turtles, even had one as a kid for a little while, I never slapped an armored shell on my back tossed on a mask and went by The Tortoise. Eh. I guess it's not my style in general. I like Armani more then I do turtles anyway. More comfortable." he shakes his head again, "Catwomen and bat boys, next thing you know they'll have cat men and bat girls. Whole families of animal related masked people." he grins at that, "Hell with it, this town could use a little light hearted romping. Look," he reaches into his coat and pulls out a card that he then extends to Selina, held between a pair of fingers, "I might have some work for you if you're interested. Could always use someone stealthy and not beholden to a Family, and good free lancers are harder to find then honest cops." The card has the name and number of a restaurant in Queens.
Tortoises. That gets Selina to snort but she skips over all that, letting the subject of themed costumes slide. She is silent right up until he hands over the card, it deftly taken and tucked into a pouch, her eyes sparkling at the thought of a paying job. "I am sure I could be convinced to work for you from time to time. But my services do not come cheap." The gentle curve of a shoulder is lifted, a half shrug that is as fluid as every other motion she makes. "I'll give you a call... but for now, if you're wanting me to destroy the evidence you left behind I better get to it."
Jackie snorts softly, "Lady, money I have, good help is harder to find." he turns back to the city at large, "I didn't leave any evidence behind, but you taking what you want won't exactly help the cops figure out what happened, at least not exactly." he grins, "They like puzzles, it's why they got the fancy badges, let them sort it all out." he turns to look at her again, "I'll see you around kitten. It was nice to meet you, maybe next time less leather?" he pauses, then shakes his head, "Scratch that. Wear the suit, it's hot."
In the distance the sirens can be heard. GCPD is a bit slow tonight but they won't be long in arriving which means Selina has to hurry. "Always do," she says before dipping her head, a polite nod of respect. After the gesture she makes with the climb down. Time to do some of what she does best. She'll be alright. The police will never know she's been there.
Jackie watches her go and his face hardens a bit once she's out of sight, and eyes, dozens and dozens of them appear int he shadows and darkness all around him. <<Now boss? Now can we play!?>> Jackie stares out at the skyline... and then grins, his smile flashing in the night as he steps back into the shadows, "Yeah boys, it's Gotham, just remember The Rules." The voices hiss annoyance, "Never forget the Rules..." and then he fades through the Darkness and vanishes.