|An Unexpected Rescue|
|What: Red Hood gets in over his head. Catwoman saves his sorry butt.|
The Magillicutty Gang are pretty small-time news, dealing in 'bathtub' drugs and small arms, but their movements have at least caught the attention of the Red Hood. Not likely deserving of a bullet between the eyes, at least not yet, but maybe a little shake down, let them know they're on the list. So through his typical list of contacts, the hideaway of the Magillicutties is tracked down. Hood donned, Jason storms in, gives his typical 'This crew is my crew now' speech and waits for everyone to piss themselves as expected.
The problem is that the Magillicutties are new. Very new, and while they certainly have heard of Batman and his various associates, the Hood has somehow escaped their radar until now. And because they're brave, proud, stupid or a combination there of, they aren't terribly impressed. And while Jason talks a big game, ten against one is still ten against one. Thus cue the Hood trying to seperate out the members of the gang by cutting through the alleys of Old Gotham, bullets ricoccheting off bricks walls while Hood takes stock of his supply behind a garbage dumpster. He's underarmed if he still wants to get out of his nonfatally. Note to self, Todd: always take more munitions than you expect, while the goons close in on his position.
Gotham has been down a thief as of late, Catwoman not daring to go out after having the secret of who she is discovered by the Clown Prince and his loony girlfriend, that being enough of a reason for her to keep her nose clean since she was rescued by Robin and Batman. But she can only behave for so long before the itch becomes too much to ignore and she's driven into old habits.
Currently out for a rooftop-run before a hit on an unsuspecting mobster's home, she finds herself pausing when the familiar ring of bullets hitting cement sounds, it causing her to gasp at first. Takes a moment but she eventually calms when she realizes she's fine at the same time she figures out where the sounds are coming from, that being the direction she now runs in when she decides to see what is happening.
The dumpster that Jason crouches behind is actually down a dead end. He continues to listen as the footsteps close in. Five...no, six in total that are keying in on him. Checking his clip, he can take out four of those if his aim is perfect. He's sure they're all armed though, and the volley back could be enough to seriously injure him with his one exit route cut off. Oh what he'd give for a grappling gun. Really needs to steal one of those from a WayneTech warehouse someday.
From the other end of the alley, comes a voice, thick Irish accent clogging down the words as they are spit echoing off the walls. "A'ight Mister Hood, youz made your offer very clear. Figger this as a way of negotiations." A shot is fired, largely in warning towards the back wall. "Actually, second thought? Take negotiations and stuff 'em," the mob leader spits, before three of the gangsters approach Jason's point.
Huh. Look at that. Selina happens upon the little party just as the hidden object of their attention is being closed in on, something about how they do so getting her to frown. Part of her tells her to not bother, that this isn't her fight, but the nagging sense that she should just go and get back to work is over-ridden by concern. What if they're seeking out a woman who might wind up hurt or killed if she doesn't get involved? That is only a possibility but it gets her to make up her mind fast and she's soon leaping down a nearby fire escape.
While she hurries to get down to street level her whip is drawn, pulled free from its pace on her hip with a soft hiss of leather when the snap is released.
As the mobsters slowly approach Jason, their attention is suddenly pulled away by the sudden appearance of a lady in leathers. The mob leader steps forwards, hands on his hips, revolver in hand. "And who the hell are you, Leather Las?" he asks, clearly annoyed by all the costumed freaks in this city. It is just a split-second, but Jason's instincts kick in, causing him to leap out from his hiding spot and take the poor sap who took point, spinning him around while in the same motion to kick out his knee. A loud yelp of pain echoes, only to get caught off when Jason curls his arm up and cutts of the breathe of his new best friend. Hey, human shield! Awesome!
Steady his aim on the thug's shoulder, he keys the gun squarely on the mob leader, cocking the pistol so that everyone knows he's serious as a heart attack. "She's my business partner," he bluffs convincingly. "And trust me that you don't want to get on her bad side, or mine. So drop your piece, tell your boys to do the same, or you're not going to have a chance to regret it. You follow me, jack?"
Leather Lass? Really? That gets her to pause but she swiftly recovers, Catwoman able to follow the Hood's lead with only a second or two of pause given. "He's right. You don't want to get on my bad side," she says while waggling a finger at the collection of baddies. "Not that you have much time to rethink your actions... if any." Shrugging, she comes closer to the head gang banger, her eyes held to his. Nothing much cows Selina and this guy is far from being the kind of man who can make her flinch.
"Tell you what," she continues. "If you let my partner go we will forget this ever happened and you and your boyfriends can go on your way. If not..." Nothing more is said but the threat is thick in the air. Nothing good will come out of anything if the Red Hood isn't allowed to go unmolested.
The gang leader wrinkles his nose at the unspoken threat, but eventually he does glance around at his men and makes a small snap. In the moment, the men not held by Todd are quick to sheath their weapons and back off. He glances towards Jason and snarls a bit. "That enough? Call your bitch off...boss," he growls. Behind the hood, Jason grins and shrugs, shoving the man with the hyper-extended knee towards his leader.
"Take your trash. Cut out the drugs and guns running, wait for word from me. But for now, lay low. And if you don't?" He points towards Selina. "You answer to her. Now get ghost."
Not needing to be told twice, the gang heads out of the alley, walking with their figurative tails between their legs. For his part, Hood keeps his gun leveled at them as they shuffle out of the alley.
Catwoman sneers when she is called a bitch, a feral showing of teeth that marks well the fact that she is /not/ pleased by being referred to as a female dog. "Get out," she snarls as they begin their egress from the alley, soon leaving her alone with the man she unintentionally rescued.
A hip is cocked to the side and allowed to be braced against an old piece of... something, her hands busy as she recoils her whip. "Interesting turn of events," she murmurs with a snort to punctuate the statement. "How the hell did you wind up cornered by them, huh?"
"Misjudged how fiercely indepedent they'd be," Hood says, evetually holstering his own gun. He glances towards her, though all she sees is the red reflection of the hood's shine. "Tried to make them an offer, and they didn't care for it. I figured if I got them in a confined space, I might have a chance to at least take some out with me." That's more or less the truth. "I suppose a thank you would be in order. Also, congratulations on coming out of your hidey hole." Apparently he noticed her temporary absence.
"I see. That's strangely sloppy of you. You aren't known for making mistakes like that." The whip is returned to its place on her person and her arms then crossed under her chest, her eyes narring slightly as she regards him as well as mull over what he says last. "I didn't really have a choice in the matter," she grumbles. "When it came to having to lay low, I mean. But decided I can't let people keep me at home the rest of my life."
"Hey, we all have off days," Hood responds, sounding a bit defensive from behind his mask as he crosses his arms over his chest. "Plus the intel on these guys was nearly non-existant. Figured they'd have heard of me, know the routine. You know what happens when you assume, et cetera, et cetera." He raises a brow beneath his helmet at the mention of not having a choice. "You never struck me as someone who allows decisions to be taken out of her hands. Anything you need a leg up on? I owe you one, and besides, you know what they say happens when the cats away."
Selina Kyle eyes Hood curiously, his admitting to having an off day not exactly what she expected to hear from him. Neither is the way he offers to help her. "I suppose," she grunts to the first, knowing there have been more than enough times she hasn't been on her game, those times being when the shit hit the fan particularly hard as a result. At the latter she pauses, not sure how to take all that. "I don't know. It involves The Joker and his goon squad. Could get messy." No, she's not expecting Todd to balk at that but it is only fair to mention that things will not remain uncomplicated.
Jason doesn't not only balk, he seems to stand at attention at that. "Old clowny?" he says, something in his voice both curious and...excited? Not quite, but certainly expectant. "Could say we have some old score to settle, so any leads you might have would be greatly appreciated." He rolls his shoulders. "And if I help you in the bargain, well, so much the better, right?" He leans against a nearby wall as he gives the other vigilante and even glance. "So you got on the wrong side of Joker? Bad place to be, but you don't need me to tell you that."
"Yeah. Old clowny. Jerk kidnapped me and then violated my privacy. He knows who I am now along with Harley and whomever else they decide to share the infomation with." Sel is not one to hold grudges usually but this has her feathers ruffled still and she is not afraid to make sure Jason can notice how it does. "So. I don't know what to do. Can't rightly kill him but... well." Yeah. Just 'well'. How can she finish that train of thought without letting it slip that she wants Joker and his gang to die for what they did to her.
Jason lets that silence hang for a second, before repeating with signifcant added emphasis, "/You/ can't rightly kill him..." He slowly approaches Catwoman. "I don't mean to talk down to you, because hey, you're a big girl. You know what you're doing. But at this point? You have to see that his way isn't working. Won't work." He pulls out his gun, holding it out in demonstration. "When you got a problem like a clown, there is only one real solution. And if /he/ won't do it...well, someone else will have to take that necessary next step." He pulls the gun back and holsters it. "So yeah. If you catch any leads, feel free to slip them my way and then look away if you need to."
The topic discomforts Selina who has adopted a 'no kill' policy much like the one Batman has, it being a sign of her own moral fibre, but Hood is right. That doesn't always work, however. Her chin dips a bit as she mulls over his words, taking it all in, considering the options it lays before her as if her own life depended on it. Finally, after a good minute or two of silence, she speaks again. "I can't ask you to do that," she whispers, "but I do need some kind of help. I can't continue to let him be while he knows who I am."
Hood shakes his head as he starts to walk past the woman, away from the alley and out back into the desperate city. "You don't have to ask me to do anything," he says plainly. "Whatever I do is my own choice, my own destiny. All you need to do is whisper in my ear, point me in the right direction. And don't get in my way." He glances over his shoulder. "You know what needs to happen. I only pray you'll let it happen...partner."
It's tempting. Joker being killed would rid Gotham of one of the biggest thorns it has had in its ass, after all, perhaps even getting rid of some of the other thugs who might take such action as a warning. Sel reaches up and rubs her nose, her gaze lowering while her chin drops a little more, lending a bit of a thoughtful aire to her expression. "I might... partner. We'll see." In other words, don't hold your breath, Jason.
That's not a no, which is certainly far better than he'd ever get from Bruce. Hood clicks his tongue against the roof of his mouth and nods his helmeted head. "Alright. Well...until next time. Try to stay safe." And with that he's gone, disappearing into the maze of back-streets the dot this neighborhood of the damned Gotham streets. Another shadow in a city consumed by them.
Jason's departure is watched before she turns around herself, her eyes lifting up towards the tops of the buildings. For a moment she half-expects Batman to come and tell her how wrong she was for even giving the impression that she might be alright with Todd killing Joker for her or chide her for something else but there's no sign of him, leaving her equal parts relieved and disappointed. "Stay save as well, Red," she whispers before disappearing herself.