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 Henna Stains, Sat, February 18, 8PM // closed
Sensate
 Posted: Jan 2 2018, 12:49 AM
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The biting cold didn’t stop Reva from heading up to the roof each night like clockwork. If she didn’t have a job that night, or wasn’t dragged out by ‘co-workers’ for some mischief, Reva took sundown as her cue to climb the fire escape upward. The little thief already lived on the 18th floor of the kitchy little Court Street apartments in Brooklyn but Reva had a spot all her own up on the roof. Her apartment was a jumble of emotional residue and too large for her to comfortably meditate unless she wanted to shut herself in the closet.

She didn’t want to shut herself in the closet.

Her meditation tent hung down from the underside of the building’s water tower perched like a dark, silent sentinel on the roof, strewn with heavily pigmented aerial silks. It was only accessible by climbing, full of colorful blankets to combat the freezing New York winter and little else. The outside canvas was covered in small painted hand and foot prints, shiny, sparkly trinkets, beads, braided string... It was a bit of a crow’s nest and that’s what Reva called it.

Her crow’s nest.

The blankets inside had been handwoven, chosen because the emotions attached to each brightly pigmented strand and fiber were miraculously calm and pleasant. The small camping lantern hanging from a tie in the center cast a warm glow in her cozy space, illuminating the hands, feet, and sparkling trinkets painted and sewn onto the canvas respectively. Reva was sat comfortably in the swaying structure and had been since the sun had set. Her legs were crossed comfortably, one rested on top of the other. Her palms were delicate folded over each other, the bottom pressed lightly to her stomach. Her dark eyes were closed, the lantern causing her lashes to cast long shadows over her cheeks as she focused inward.

The joys of empathy.

Reva made an effort to keep her own emotions at least tidy. It made identifying and separating her own far easier when they became tangled with others. It was a side effect of her mutant ability that the Jordanian had not yet managed to control without extensive meditation. Meditation and focus. A henna cone was balanced on a tin plate in front of her awaiting Reva to finish. Her ‘tattoos’ had begun to fade and typically the girl faired better when she had a means of filtering outside influences. Logically she knew some henna wasn’t going to make much of a difference but Reva also felt firmly that belief in a thing made a thing.

She believed and so her own superstitious nature allowed the runes of her childhood to work.

The fact that they distracted her marks was entirely irrelevant, but the thought must have crossed her mind because the little thief smiled as she opened her eyes. “You know, I can feel you coming, yes?” she asked. There was a familiar presence very close by and Reva smirked. She had not told Ben much when they’d parted ways. Only that she tended to prefer heights and if he wanted to find her, Brooklyn wasn’t that big.

“Miss me already?”

Scarlet Spider
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Scarlet Spider
 Posted: Jan 2 2018, 03:13 AM
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Foolish. Ben at this very moment was feeling foolish. When he'd parted ways with Reva a week ago she'd been vague, of course, he wanted to see her again but instead of getting a number she'd seemingly blown him off. Ben had taken it as a challenge, it had at least felt like one.

Except by the third night of looking he felt like a stalker, he'd done this very thing before. Followed where he wasn't wanted, invading someone else's space- The fourth and fifth nights he avoided Brooklyn like he was trying to avoid capture. The sixth (and he told himself final) night he'd found the tent on accident, Reva had not been there, Ben had only been crossing the roof to head to a higher building, but he'd seen it there full of handprints, and it seemed like it could have been the place. Except there had not been a little thief teasing him from inside of it, so he left it alone.

He'd told himself he was done with it, he was acting like a crazy person. So he made other plans, he dressed nice to go with some of the kids that were heading into the city. They'd probably get turned away at the door for the terrible fake ID's that they had, but Ben usually got into places pretty quickly. When the venue they'd chosen ended up being a rooftop bar just a few blocks away from Reva's building that had a booze-free eighteen and up night, Ben realized this was the foolish mistake he'd been making. He didn't really want to dance- and well there went the girls putting their purses in the middle of their little dance circle and losing themselves to the music. "Hey I'm going to get out of here." Ben told the student that was supposed to be the designated driver, who apparently was just the driver because there was no drinking involved. "I got a friend who lives a couple blocks over, I'm going to pop in and say hi, I think I might just get a cab home, so you aren't waiting on me."

The guy smiled at Ben, gave him a pat on the shoulder and told him to have a good time. He actually kind of wondered if maybe he was not really as hated around the mansion as he made himself out to be. Sure he'd been- Well he'd been his old self, but there were plenty of people who didn't know him then but knew him now. There was no need to wallow the way he had been lately, either way, he headed around a corner and after making sure there were no cameras or witnesses he just shot a web to a nearby building and swung himself away into the night. Thankfully he didn't have to go too far, if this was not the place there was another building a block and a half down that he could go look-

His boots crunched across the rooftop, but he paused as he noticed the light within the tent. If it was not Reva, then he was sadly going to surprise someone, even if it was she may have been trying to give him the slip by not expecting him to find her. "Good thing I was not trying to sneak up on you." A few quick steps and he was within distance to just quickly climb up to the support holding the hanging tent, attach a web to it and slowly lower himself down so that he could peek right into her tent.

"Miss me already?"

Shit what was he supposed to say to that? He was suddenly nervous because she was pretty and he didn't know if she wanted him to miss her. "I'm surprised you didn't harass me for how long it took me to find you." For a second he debated joining her, but the tent looked sturdy enough for two, so he easily slid himself inside as he tried to stay balanced so he wouldn't rock the tent. He carefully cleared himself a seat, gently setting aside the blankets so he wouldn't get his dirty boots all over them, before reaching out to balance the little plate and the cone of henna on one of Reva's knees. Crossing his own legs, he ended up just smiling at her, "You come here often?" Okay cheezy pickup lines were not the best thing, but he could not help the grin that spread across his face as he struggled not to laugh at his own dumb joke.

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Sensate
 Posted: Jan 6 2018, 04:25 PM
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The mediation was a nightly ritual that allowed Reva to organize her emotions into something manageable. Sorting through the muddle of what was hers and what she had simply accrued during the day was always fun. Emotions manifested to the young thief like ribbons and string and unknotting them could be....tedious. It was a hell of a sight better than leaving them messy. Feeling things that weren’t even hers to begin with was usually awful but, occasionally, Reva was glad for it.

Like now. It made it impossible for anyone to sneak up on her, whether they were trying to or not.

Her dark eyes, so dark they were black in the dim lighting, danced at the sight of the spider-boy. She appreciated that he was careful not to track all of his outside-ness into her cozy tent. There was something devious in her grin as she watched the Scarlet Spider settle. “I would not harass you, Ben. I just figured you did not want to find me. Or you were particularly stupid.” Reva could not help but tease him, a playful ribbon of cerulean unwinding from her core to weave around her. Too bad only she could see it, it was quite pretty.

“I come here the nights I’m not picking up strange boys from rooftops,” she fired back, returning to her meditative pose. “My mutant powers don’t come with handy bungee cords that shoot out of my wrists. I have to do regular maintenance on mine.” Reva reeled the pretty blue ribbon back in, along with the murky strands of self-consciousness that had tried to sneak out while she was speaking.

Ben’s emotions were... distracting. He seemed... Conflicted and Reva had to clench her hands into fists to keep from reaching out and creating some sort of order out of the knotted, tangled mess that was making her stomach tense up. “Would you please, relax?” she asked. “I’m an empath. Your feelings are,” Reva paused trying to come up with a word in English, “Sharp.” The hurt.

“I’m almost done in here. If you do not mind waiting a few minutes we can hang out after?” There was a touch of hope in her tone. It had taken him a week to find her, and now that Ben had finally arrived she didn’t want him to run off again just because she was a superstitious mess.
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Scarlet Spider
 Posted: Jan 8 2018, 05:11 AM
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"I wanted to find you." Ben surprised himself with his own honesty, he'd wanted to find her but he'd been slow because he was worried. "It's just that the city is bigger then you seem to think, it took time, but I got here eventually." He could not help, but grin, the teasing banter between them was picked right back up like she'd snapped her fingers and made it so. Weirdly as arrogant and as prideful as Ben could be, he didn't take her teasing to heart instead he was just amused more than anything. Ben was looking for a moment where he could turn the tables on her and return the playful fire.

He made a face at the way she mocked him, "Good thing I've got them too, or else your nosedive would have taken a nasty turn." It was actually easy to feel better about looking for her when Reva was so quick to tease. He'd opened his mouth to speak but shut it with a clack of teeth when the pretty girl before him asked him to relax, he didn't realize he was being weird- Oh she was an empath. There was no helping the instant flare of guilt that hit him, he had enough issues with his own messy emotions, so he felt guilty that he was making Reva uncomfortable. Shame was a feeling that Ben was intimately familiar with and as he suddenly felt the need to look anywhere but into the thief's large dark eyes, he could not help but wonder if he was going to fuck this up too. He'd been happy the other night before Kaine showed up, and he'd liked that feeling. "I'm sorry, I'll try."

Ben could try, he kind of owed each of them at least that much. His eyes flicked to her as she spoke again, a tiny part of him worried that she would just ask him to leave. Except she wasn't, it was only a request for a few minutes, "I can wait." It was definitely a load off his mind when she asked him if he minded waiting, "I'll just hang out over here and try not to be..." He trailed off, he was still uncomfortable about the way that she'd said sharp like his feelings were something that hurt her somehow. So he didn't say it, but as she returned to her meditation (or trying to at least), Ben decided to try it for once. It had been suggested that Ben try meditating, but he'd always just thought it was stupid. Anyways it would have been weird for him to just sit there staring at Reva awkwardly while she tried to find her inner zen or whatever shit that David was going on about at the school. So he put his hands on his knees and closed his eyes, while he didn't know too much about meditation he understood that he really was supposed to try and clear his mind.

It didn't work the first five times, every time that he tried to clear his mind something else popped up. So far it had just been an exercise in how best to remember that he was a colossal fuck up, but he was trying. Trying partly because he wanted to impress a pretty girl and partly because he didn't want to be a mess anymore... he did not want to be sharp anymore.

Instead of trying to clear his mind and failing anymore, he shifted his focus to happier thoughts. He thought of Reva's face from a moment ago, all dark hair and doe eyes, thought of the feeling of being perched upon the highest point in the entire city. He always felt so far away from all of his problems when he was up high in the city, he'd just scale a building and leave all his drama on the ground floor. Here with Reva, he could capture a bit of that feeling, the breeze up where they were and the soft swaying of the tent with the city noise below them. It seemed oddly intimate, sitting in the tight space with a girl he hardly knew where it appeared to be miles away from the rest of the world.

He did actually feel way more relaxed, he'd been so wound up and worried before but actually just taking a moment to breathe had been nice. Opening his eyes, Ben blinked against the light before finding himself very confused, "Erm- What are you doing?"

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 Posted: Jan 8 2018, 03:35 PM
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Yes, he had gotten there eventually, hadn’t he?

The truth was Reva had not expected the Scarlet Spider to find her at all. Brooklyn was a large burrow and its apartment buildings were all the same. She had personally made an effort to locate one of the taller apartment complexes and secure a small flat near the top. She’d simply hoped luck and fate would be on her side and Ben would know her particular rooftop when he found it. It was rather distinctive.

If he looked, he’d eventually locate her and Reva was decidedly glad he had.

Despite the murky mess around him, Ben’s colors were vivid and beautiful and exciting. If he could just to peel away the layers of unhappiness that dimmed the very heart of him Reva imagined he would be quite the unstoppable force but plenty of people lived caged in emotional prisons of their own making and never figured out how to unshackle themselves. She could theoretically step in but any alterations she made to Ben’s emotion state would be impermanent. She’d do more harm than good if she started tearing through his feelings like wrapping paper.

Still, as Ben settled down to attempt meditation, Reva couldn’t help but giggle. “I don’t meditate like you’d expect she said quietly, laughter coloring her tone. “I am empathic. I can see how others feel and often by the end of the day I’m more them than I am me. Sitting quietly like this helps me sort everything out again.” As she spoke, Reva peeled her top off folded it into her lap. Her henna runes had faded though their outlines still cast ghosts on her skin. They needed touching up and Reva got to work drawing quietly on herself, tracing the old outlines as she felt Ben’s mood shift.

And then she was smattered with his bewilderment. “I’m re-applying my focus,” she answered with a laugh. The henna was drying on her arms on her collar bones at her throat and sternum, her fingers making short work of the familiar sigils. “They’re really not anything but I grew up in a very superstitious culture... This is only one of the many things that stuck. Feel like tracing the one on my shoulder. It is the most difficult for me. Painting upside down and backward.”

Grinning, Reva handed Ben the cone and twisted around fluidly so he was stuck with a view of her back. She pulled her long black waves away from her shoulder with a small peel of laughter. “Or you can make a run for it,” she offered, glancing back over her shoulder. “Just remember. Touching my skin comes with some fun surprises.”
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Scarlet Spider
 Posted: Jan 9 2018, 11:35 PM
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It was nice to have reshifted his own brain a little bit, focusing on the things that made him happy helped do that. So while he had a new calmer attitude, there was nothing that could have prepared him for seeing Reva suddenly sitting there shirtless and painting herself.

While Ben had gotten a good look when he realized that he was staring he politely looked away. "Your focus?" He took one more quick glance because seriously it should have been illegal to go anywhere with cleavage like that. "Oh you mean they help you focus your powers?" Ben didn't know much about how other peoples powers worked but he knew first hand how easy it was to change someone's behavior if the superstitious little gypsy felt like they helped then they would merely with the power of belief. By the time that she asked if he wanted to trace the rune on her shoulder, he'd remembered his manners and was able to look at her in the face without his eyes wandering.

"Yeah I can try, I won't promise that it will be perfect, but I think I can manage." The tiny little cone felt like it would have exploded everywhere if he touched it too hard, but nimble fingers shifted it around until he felt like he had control of it. "A run for it? I'm not that stupid." His free hand lifted to the rune free shoulder, placing his large warm palm over the muscle that stretched from her neck to shoulder. Before Ben could ask what she meant about touching her skin his thumb was ever so gently rubbing back and forth, such a tiny thing but unbelievably joyous. For a few moments Ben couldn't understand where the sudden euphoria had come from, one moment he was smiling but the next he was just so goddamn happy that he didn't know what to do with himself. He wanted to giggle, wanted to just wiggle his butt in his seat or do a happy dance.

Ben Riley could not remember a time that he'd ever been this happy.

It was like he was high, just endorphins flooding into his system as the hand holding the little cone of henna finally set to work retracing the symbol that Reva had on her shoulder. Ben did not have an effortless time of it, he wanted it to look nice and not like a five-year-old still unable to color inside of the lines had done it. When he was finished Ben just beamed, a bright smile on his face as he looked at his own handiwork. Leaning forward it was easy to just dip his head so that he could speak softly to Reva, "There you go," Whispering like he was afraid anything louder was going to ruin this moment, "I have one for you, another protection glyph." Lifting the hand he had on her shoulder he brushed the hair away from the nape of her neck, long silky strands sliding through his fingers before his other hand brought up that cone once more.

An outsider might have thought that the little spider symbol that he carefully drew on the soft patch of skin under Reva's hairline was stupid, or maybe they would think he was just some possessive caveman trying to state a claim... But this was the spot where Ben always felt his spider sense first, the little tingle at the base of his skull that would spread down his spine. If the other runes were for protection or control, then Ben wanted this one to stand for that sixth sense, something to keep the little thief out of danger. Maybe it was childish, but his first thought as he finished and pulled away to look at his design was that he really did like this one, he wanted to keep her around. "There you go, all set." He handed her back the henna but couldn't help the pleased smile on his face, "Now you've got the best protection of all."

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Sensate
 Posted: Jan 13 2018, 06:03 PM
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Reva did not have a mutation that gave her any offensive ability but with the right bra and a little confidence she acquired a skill that was more useful than any eye laser or sonic scream. She couldn’t help but level a grin at Ben and his sudden interest. “These marks are just superstition but I’ve always felt better with them. Like I carry bits of home with me. I know it’s silly.” Reva answered honestly despite how absurd it sounded. Doodling on her skin was childish but she had always taken comfort in the simple habit, letting the practiced motions sooth her just as much as the meditation.

Handing the cone over to Ben, Reva watched as it was lost in his larger hand. So he wasn’t going to bail... “Just making sure,” she teased. Reva was full of delightful energy, a need to move around and do something but she stilled under Ben’s hand, sucking air in through her teeth. While she was projecting her happiness Ben’s hands were giving her a front row seat to his emotional turmoil. Something had him emotionally fractured but, with steady contact with her skin, his mood was influenced. She could feel it lightening, brightening, and smoothing out.

There was something cozy and overwhelmingly nice about lifting someone else’s mood.

The cute boy behind her finished the glyph she’d requested and when Ben spoke, Reva shivered at the feel of his words on her skin. “Another glyph? Ok. I trust you. But if you draw a dick on me I will throw you off the roof.” It was a threat that didn’t have much weight to it, considering Ben made a lifestyle out of jumping off of roofs. Reva sat patiently in front of him, radiating her joy until it was all that was being returned in kind, a sort of feedback loop of emotional happiness strung between her and the Scarlet Spider.

When he was finished, Reva spun around to face him, all smiles and large eyes, and humming with energy. She wanted nothing more than to run her fingers over the drying paste to figure out what Ben had stained her with but didn't want to ruin it. "Thank you!" Reva brushed her dark hair back from her face, her cheerful words were accompanied by the flighty little mess of a thief tossing her shirt out of the tent. "Let’s go, pretty boy." Laughing, Reva followed after her top, nabbing hold of one of the brightly colored aerial silks to help slow her descent to the rooftop. “Night’s young. We’ve got plenty of time to make some bad decisions.”
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Scarlet Spider
 Posted: Jan 15 2018, 12:51 AM
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"I don't think its silly," Ben offered plainly, he was doing a lot of things that he thought were silly just a few months ago... like therapy. All that really mattered, in the end, was that the thief made sure she was alright and was not getting caught or injured.

Actually the thought of Reva getting hurt caused his stomach to flip, she was a dumb little thing who jumped off of buildings for fun, but that didn't mean that Ben wanted her to get hurt. He knew that he would not always be around to save her, but he also knew that maybe he was just an idiot for thinking about it. There was just no explaining that weird little flare of hope, Ben had just instantly taken to Reva.

Now all he could feel was her happiness, the distinct joyful buzz that Ben thought he'd never get enough of. There was just such a lack of happy feelings in his life, he wanted them, but for so long he'd help himself away from any sort of joy because he felt like he didn't deserve it. He was doing good now though, he was working hard to make sure that he was not that piece of shit Old!Ben anymore, he was a whole new person with a new outlook on life. He wanted to be happy, and his mood had been so much better lately... "You could try to throw me off the roof," He told her, still whispering so close to her skin. "But I promise, no dicks unless you ask for one." He always thought that drawing dicks on someones face at a sleepover was so childish, but Ben didn't even believe that his words could be misconstrued at all, he really was talking about drawing on her skin.

When she spun around to face him again, he thought that all that happy was going to just fade away because he was no longer touching her. Instead, he was once more struck by how pretty she was, dark, mischievous eyes seem to twinkle right at him. He wanted to touch her again, wanted her to just keep looking at him with that smile that went straight to his insides. "Wait come back!" His fingers grabbed for her but she was already leaping out of the little tent, he had a feeling that he was going to end up chasing her all over the city if she had her way. "Why do you keep running away?" Worrying that he was too heavy for one of her silks, Ben just flicked his wrist to shoot a web to the support beam so that he could easily swing himself down. Long legs easily made up the distance between him and the thief that he was chasing, grabbing her hips as gently as he could he spun her around. He didn't know what the reason was, but one of his hands lifted so that he could sink a hand into her thick hair, urging her to tip her face up to meet his,"Hey, did you want to go see the bridge like I promised you? We didn't get a chance to last time..." He dipped his head, bringing their bodies closer. He'd completely invaded her personal space, but even though she didn't have a shirt on his hands didn't wander, the hand on her hip stayed there.

"Can I kiss you?" He'd learned his lesson the hard way, but strangely at this moment he was not thinking about everything he'd failed at before, he didn't have any weird or broken-hearted feelings at all. Instead, all he really felt was a slight twinge of nervousness, and a growing desire to just kiss Reva until she was breathless

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