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Seasonal Marvels

Title: Gatos Fandom: MODOK's 11. Notes: For transemacabre .…

Seasonal Marvels

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Title: Gatos
Fandom:
MODOK's 11.
Notes:
For transemacabre . It may not feel complete. I would have liked to do something longer, but I'm the queen of the 'left unsaid,' and miserable at actual, conclusive plots. If that's a big problem, I'm sorry. But hopefully, it'll at least be a nice, quick exploration of a possible way things could go, after the end of MODOK's 11, and a pairing that came to mind after realising that the most obvious one wouldn't work, for certain reasons.
Rating: PG/PG-13 for swearing in Spanish.

-----

Antonio Rodriguez isn't stupid -- not entirely, anyway. What he's lacking in book-smarts, he's made up for with street experience, and a certain resigned practicality. He doesn't know how to do algebra, or what "DNA" stands for, but he knows the street value of a dozen kinds of jewelry, and how to pin a guy without even bruising him, but making it look like you broke every bone in his body. And he knows the way people work. The way how, if you put enough of them in a room together (at least two, and sometimes not even that), something is going to get hurt eventually.

Which is why, once he actually sits down and thinks about it, the flush of victory and being ten million dollars richer fading, there are some reservations about this 'team' thing. Whether it's a good idea, and -- Hell, even whether Nightshade and Puma would really want to put up with him.

But after those first few nights, the best hotels and the best bars, tipping so heavily that the chichonas even smile at him, the two of them don't tell him to get lost. And when they go back to their suite, and the conversation finally turns to Fireheart's trial, what needs to be done and they'll have to go to Arizona, of course, at least for a while, the guy grins at Antonio. "So, Tuesday good for you?" It takes him a little bit to remember how to do anything other than blink. Once he can, of course, he agrees. Of course.

...and it turns out he was right the first time. They do make a good team. Sure, it's for a legal defense... thing, but with this many costumes involved, you always want someone to stand around and look big, and help beat up the occasional dozen ninja. (It doesn't hurt that two out of the three of them are registered -- which means they're legal ninja-beaters.)

Nightshade and Puma, they don't always notice him, but he's okay with that. They pay more attention, give him more respect, than anyone else has these past few years. And he's even got a consultation, next month, with a guy who says he can get this suit off of him...

---

They're putting things together, one day, after their latest foray into the world of superpowered industrial sabotage, meeting with one of Fireheart's lawyers and getting straight the evidence of a connection to the mulas who framed Puma, when there's a knock at the window. And a white-haired woman, in black leather cut low enough to show her organs, peering in.

Puma's face lights up. "'licia!"

Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat, slips in the window with all the ease of her namesake. "Hey, Tom. I heard you were having some business trouble. Need some help?"

"From you, babe? Always." He turns to Rodriguez and Johnson, with a hopeful grin. "What do you guys say?"

It takes Armadillo a few seconds to realise that he's expected to answer, and not just stand here and try not to look at... uh. "...uh."

The look on Nightshade's face, meanwhile, could curdle milk. "An' what guarantee do we have that she won't sell us out?" It's no secret that Hardy's made some bad deals, in her time.

"Hey. I don't sell out my friends."

Puma steps between them, a far braver (or just more foolhardy) man than Armadillo is. "Hey, Tilda. Chill. She's good people. I swear."

"No offense, Kitty, but I'll believe it when I see it." And she turns and -- shit! -- walks out the door. Hardy looks a little too pleased. Fireheart just looks confused. And Rodriguez...

He follows her, casting a look at the other man as he wedges himself through the double-doors. Hombre, you just take care of your girl. I'll try and talk to Nightshade.

She didn't go far, at least. Just outside, leaning against the light pole. There's a look on her face that he knows far too well -- that makes it all so obvious. Disappointment. Disillusionment. Who can compete with that?

He isn't even close to quiet, even stepping softly enough that he doesn't break the sidewalks. But she doesn't look up, still, until he coughs, and speaks.

"'ey."

"...hey." She tries to smile, but it doesn't really work. Especially with how she doesn't look at him. "Sorry about that. I just..."

"Yeah." And it's such a stupid idea, but what does he have to lose -- "He can deal with 'er, least for a couple hours. You look like you need a little time to think. An' I don't want to have to see them being all... I wanna see cats, I go in an alleyway. You wanna do something that ain't here?" (Unfair? Maybe. But they aren't here to hear it, and Nightshade is.)

She blinks... and smiles. Just a little bit. "Sure. Why not?"
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