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Rating: 3-3-3

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Canons: Open/Oc's Welcome!

Bans: Howard the Duck,
RPF* Real Person Fiction; IE Apping an actual celebrity

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Thread Contributor: Pete WisdomNever send flowers -cookies will do-
Marvel Comics-Marvel 616-Adjacent

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Mike

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#1
There were few phrases that could make Pete Wisdom's blood boil. He tried to be a reasonable bloke, and generally he succeeded. Life was too short to get bent out of shape over something some tosser said, probably while he was drunk. Unfortunately, there were a few exceptions, exceptions that made him go stock still and made his eyes glow with power ready to be unleashed.

Today, that phrase, uttered in one of his favorite bars, was 'vodka martini, shaken, not stirred.'

He didn't turn his head, though his eyes did scan the mirror behind the bottles at the bar for a second, and when he spoke up, the bar went silent. "Stir it. That bloody ponce can't tell the difference, because no one can tell the difference. I told you to never come back here, James." He cut off the feeble protest about which bar this was that followed. "Never back to the bloody Hub, you traitorous prat. I'm giving you until the count of five..."

What happened next would be the talk of the central Hub for a few days, he was pretty sure. While things being shaken up happened quite frequently in the boroughs, it was a bit less common to see bullets and streaks of fire flying through the streets of the bazaar... and it was quite a spectacle that drew quite a lot of entertained eyes. Eventually, one of the suited figures dove into a doorway, fingertips blazing with solar fire that he was ready to send streaking out into the street if the git decided to abandon his very wise decision to retreat in the general direction of his portal.

"Oh sod off, you bloody plonker, there is no such bloody thing as a license to kill, and I wouldn't need one if there was!" he shouted at the retreating figure. "And you sound like a prat when you introduce yourself like that. Might as well call you 'Duchess,' that's a better codename than a bunch of sodding numbers!" He strained to hear the reply, then shouted his own back. "I don't care if he's bloody American, he could've kicked your arse too!" There was another gunshot, and Pete obligingly hurled darts of flame down the street in return, smiling savagely at the surprised yelp that came in return. Bloody git. As if any self-respecting subject of the crown would drink vodka when the good lord had given them gin anyway.

Straightening his tie, Pete went to walk back into the bar, only noticing a moment too late that he'd been further down the street than he'd imagined, which would explain the delightful smell of pastries and fruit that had been tickling his nose for the last few minutes. Pastries and fruit and... a very familiar perfume...

Well then. Hello, poppet...

Pete took off his sunglasses, smiling at the very lovely lady tending the shop, and tucked them into the pocket of his jacket. "Sorry about the commotion, luv," he said. "Bit of a busy day, I suppose, and if it's not a problem, I could dearly do with a spot of tea right now."

@kel
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#2
Now There wasn‘t really anything that was a ‚good‘ vs ‚bad‘ neighborhood in the Bazaar section of Hub, sure there might be a few alleys ya took your chances on but when it came to random rampages breaking out of the boroughs...well ya took your chances. The buildings might rebuild but there was a reason her good friend Dr. McCoy turned a brisk business. People didn‘t heal back in a hour or so like objects did.

So when gunshots and blasts rang out, Belle did what every other shopkeeper managed so one extent or the other; putting up what ever armor/shielding they had and either kicking out or ushering in bystanders to get out of the line of fire.

Most days Hub was a perfectly civilized place….and than there were the days it resembled an old west border town. Today was the latter.

A few short months ago Belle likely wouldn‘t have been able to roll with such sudden turns of events. Her last two adventures had not hardened the buxom redhead but rather given her a confidence in her self that allowed her to finish serving her customer his slice fresh that morning made peach pie, calmly snag the brushed metal shield (faithfully polished each night, careful never to scrub away the tiny rememintes of paint) and position herself near the entrance to her little store.

Considering most of her customers where no fresh meat, most shifted or made their own preparations as well.

Just in case.

„Well considering ya probably made my suffle fall ah thin‘ ya owe me more than a pot of tea.“ Belle put up the shield a half smirk playing at her lips as she recognized Pete (or at least a version of him, in hub you could never make that assumption!)

Belle gave him a once over, arms crossed before spinning on her heel to lead him to a little table out of sight of the door. She really didn‘t want a gun fight in here if who he had been fighting came back and spotted him from the street!

„Ya ok hun or ya need me ta call the Doctor?“
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#3
And the lady still had that Captain America shield. Interesting. One of these days, he’d really have to see about getting one of those for himself. There was no situation where an indestructible shield wasn’t useful, after all, even if he didn’t really think throwing it around was the best way to take out the opposition. Anyway… she obviously was ready to keep herself safe, which was a pleasant thing to know.

“Well, technically, it was the other tosser who was making all the noise, but since he isn’t going to be here to make good on the inconvenience, I suppose I’ll just have to, won’t I?” Pete said, ever so reasonably, smiling back at her. “And don’t worry about me, I’m all right. That prat is a terrible shot. Probably would have been in more danger if he was trying to hit the street around me. Sorry about that, by the way. Some people can’t take the hint when their overblown presence isn’t wanted in these parts.”

He sat down where she indicated, still trailing a bit of a heat-haze from his fingers as they cooled, carefully making sure to keep them steepled instead of touching the table for the next few minutes. “So… what exactly would this humble agent of the Crown need to do to make up for a lady’s fallen soufle?” he asked, a sly look sliding into that smile. “If I buy something, that just makes even more work for you later, so this sounds like something that I’d need to pay back in a less professional setting.”

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#4
„Ah am fairly sure tha your fire zaps were some of that as well.“ Belle quipped back saucily. „An‘ who was you fightin‘ an‘ should we be expectin‘ him ta come back with friends?“ Because that was very vaild question in this moment, she had her customers to look after after all.

Oh he was just the little flirt all full of himself wasn‘t he? Belle turned filling a tea pot from the large copper heater on the counter. „Oh Honey...my soufflé is worth more than a dollar fifty.“ butter couldn‘t melt in her mouth as she set down the tray with cup and kettle, sweetly insinuating his ‚personal‘ skills were bargain basement.

„Earl grey or English breakfast?“

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#5
Pete scowled when she asked who he was fighting with. Sadly, people usually recognized the name and had an altogether inaccurate idea of his character. “Tosser named Bond. Bloke’s bad news, let’s leave it at that, and no… he won’t be back, and certainly not with backup. He’ll slink back to his own world, pretend that there’s some plot against him and that he’s some sort of wronged party, and come back again in a few months thinking I won’t notice. I always notice.” Maybe next time, the bugger would bring some new gadgets. Pete hadn’t gotten any new toys to play with lately, he wouldn’t mind taking a few off that prat when he sent him scurrying back home.

Pete cocked an eyebrow at her little barbs. Now that was just bloody uncalled for, wasn’t it? He was being quite a gentleman, if he said so himself… “Well, if you’d like to keep it just tea and baked goods, that’s your prerogative, luv. I certainly never cut corners when I’m offering to take a lovely lady out for dinner… don’t know of anywhere it would just be under two dollars, but if you aren’t interested, I won’t push, now. Earl Grey will be fine, thanks.”

@kel
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#6
Now if Belle knew him better she might have taken that moment to tease him about his obvious dislike for the famous super spy, however between his feriousious scowl and the way he reacted to her salty put down...well she wondered if she had misunderstood his intentions.

The red head was honestly put aback when he offered to take her out to dinner, plenty of men flirted with her, offered her drinks, or more intimate adventures, but this was honestly the first time she’d been asked out and Belle had almost missed it.

Belle used the time it took to gather his order to process the...offer? “Well.” she began setting down the tea set, “Ah wasn’t aware that was an offer for a date Mr. Wisdom.” She rode the line between playful and..well a touch more serious than she allowed most of her customers to see.


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#7
The lady was a little off balance, and Pete had to admit that he preferred it that way. Not that he preyed on vulnerable women or anything skeevy like that, but romance, like anything, was something of a competition. If the competition was off balance, there was much less of a chance that they’d pull one over on you and leave you looking like a prat. Not that he had any intentions of making her feel like one, but… well, women seemed to get such a great joy out of doing it to him, didn’t they?

“Well, Ms. Street,” Pete said, leaning back in his seat, “I don’t know why it wouldn’t be. Why? What did you have in mind?” His lips curled up on one side as he eyed her, obviously amused. “Nothing scandalous, I’m sure, a proper lady like yourself would never let such thoughts cross her mind, now would she?” The tease was there, but he didn’t push any farther. He didn’t want to put her off, after all, just maybe make her blush a little. Redheads always were lovely when they blushed. “You haven’t been here more than a few months… how far have you explored off into the more… strange parts of the district, luv?” He had a few places in mind, obviously. The central part of the Hub might not be as huge as the boroughs that surrounded it, but it still had quite a lot of sights to see, particularly if you had someone to show you.
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#8
Truth told Belle wasn’t exactly IN practice in terms of more than light flirting. Till James she’d been very firmly a Good Girl, and if she’d come close to passing past some of those boundaries when she’d been a teenager...well that was a damn decade and more ago now wasn’t it? She was old enough not to fall for every pretty pair of eyes no matter how they drew her attention, or what naughty promises they held!

...And then he was tweaking her nose, intentionally calling out the fact that he didn’t think her a proper lady, which really she wasn’t she was white trash and held the pride of a born southern girl. “Ya have no idea what crosses mah mind Mr. Wisdom.” Belle in the grand tradition of her foremothers infused that simple sentence with scintillating promise and the crack of disciplining a naughty school boy.

“I suppose it depends on what you call ‘strange’. Ah worked at the Goddess after all.” she pointed out evenly. @mike
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#9
Pete might not have actually thought Belle wasn’t a lady, but he would tease her for unladylike thoughts, or make it sound like any supposed (read: completely and utterly real) implications of his words might have all been in her supposedly (read: probably not at all) dirty mind. “Oh, you’re right, luv, I don’t. But then… I suppose this isn’t the right setting for me to be asking into the matter, is it? You’re working, business is booming, and ears are turning our way. A woman has to have her little mysteries, aye?” He picked up the tea, wincing slightly as he leaned forward to take a drink. A complete and utter prat Bond might be, but he’d managed to get a good kick in toward the beginning when the fight had started. Pete just prayed that he wasn’t going to have a size 11 bespoke shoeprint on his hip tonight.

“I’ll admit, that place will prepare you for a lot of the more colorful places on the Hub,” Pete allowed. “It’s positively normal in many regards, though. I’ve found a restaurant where you have to meditate on your meal hard enough that your perfect meal transcends the barrier between thought and reality and appears in front of you before you can eat.” He shot her a little smirk. “Granted, the meals aren’t that filling, but no one ever seems to care. Or if you’re feeling for something more relaxing, there’s the Flaming Dragon, where they actually serve dragon.” He set his teacup back down on the table. “I’m sure we can find something you haven’t seen before, aye? Perhaps that’ll make up for making your soufflé fall?” Of course, she’d said it had probably fallen, so it wasn’t even a sure thing he had anything to make up for, but neither of them seemed to care about checking.
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#10
He wasn’t wrong; this time of day her clientele shifted towards the living, the dead it seemed preferred the early hours of predawn and post midnight, some few remained during the day, but by and large the pattern seemed to hold true.

What that meant is that Belle’s Soul Food opened at midnight and closed at 4 pm with a few hour ‘breaks’ peppered in there where the kitchen was closed and she only sold what had already been prepared while she rested and set up for the next run.

“Ya hurt?” Worry infused her tone as Belle leaned over to reach for him, “Ah know a good doctor tha’ makes house calls.” She offered blue eyes deepinging with empathy. He was the kinda man that liked tweaking girls pigtails it seemed, but that was just fine by her, lord knew he was pretty enough to forgive a little tug. And if people were listening...well that didn’t mean a darn thing. She was her own woman and here her reputation was her own. There were too many people and too many cultures to mind who thought what of her beyond her own self. As long as Belle could keep looking herself clear in the eyes every morning..well that was all that mattered.

“Tha first one seems ta be more for the experience than the food.” Belle smiled not shooting it down, just commenting. After all for her food was love, family, care, all wrapped in a delicious package.

And a tub of Crisco.


The offer of a meal of a dragon actually had her recoiling in horror, “Why? Why would ya do that to em-” Her horror transmuted into sadness; who was she to talk? Her race still hunted and killed sharks and whales after all. “Those poor things…”

‘Haven’t seen before..’

“Well how about that than.” Belle smiled “Show me something breathtaking.” Belle winked “And I’ll take care of the food.”

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