It's bordering on early evening in Little India but it's busy with much in the way of foot traffic to be found as people wander to the various stores and restaurants that line either side of the street. Selina is one of the pedestrians, the need for something to do bringing her here of all places. Dressed casually, she seems comfortable, almost as if she belongs here, her body allowed to slump slightly at the shoulders and even along her spine, that being uncommon for her. Her face, still slightly swollen and bruised, is a bit more made up around her nose and eyes where the worst of the discoloration and puffiness is although that should escape the notice of all but those who know her.
Coincidence is the heart and soul of Gotham, and it sometimes borders on the ridiculous. Those who walks its streets are rarely surprised by mundane synchronicity. Ted Grant, known to some as the the hero Wildcat, also walks along the streets. Out of costume, is a gracefully aging man of imposing stature. He holds several bags of groceries that prevent him from entirely seeing where he is going, and he has not yet spotted the familiar face directly in his path.
Ted isn't the only one who doesn't notice as Selina's busy looking at a sari shop after having her eye caught by a stunning black and silver one that's proudly hung on display, it being an item she seriously considers buying for a while. The impulse to divulge herself soon passes, though, and she's turning away to find an escape from temptation. It has her turning right in front of Ted who gets bumped into hard unless he moves, her expression going rather aghast regardless of if the impact occurs or not. "Damn...oh, I am so sorry," she semi-wails in apology, her eyes going wide and then even wider as she realizes who her victim is. "T...T-Ted?"
Ted is a solid fellow, so the unexpected bumps jostles him but not much else. Unfortunately, one of his bags slips and he scrambles to keep it from falling. A few moments of frantic and probably amusing acrobatics later, his bags are firmly held to his sides. He turns to look at the bumper, probably to tell them off, but stops short as he hears his own name. A grin spreads across his face as he recognizes the woman. "Selina! Had a feeling I might run into you while I'm in town, but I damn sure didn't expect it to be so soon. How ya been, kitty cat?"
"Oh God," Selina breathes out before ambushing her old friend with a hug, not bothering to even think about how he's already having difficulty keeping the bags he has in his arms from dropping. Coupling the embrace with a fond kiss to his cheek, Selina makes the fact that she's happy to see him well known before she steps back and grabs for one of the items he holds. "Let me help you with that," she says with a smile. "So are you in town for a visit or are you actually sticking around for a while?" There's a faint vibration to her voice when she speaks now, a little purr that sounds remarkably like the real thing.
Ted, of course, is just as glad to see Selina, and his grin speaks volumes. "Oh, you know me. Can't be tied down. Been in New York too long, so I'm opening a gym here in Gotham. Maybe see if we can get some of these street kids doing something productive." His grin turns slightly vicious. "Works like a charm. They come to learn how to fight, leave with a little more respect for the sweet science. And who knows, maybe I'll wind up training another little punk kid who winds up in a costume one of these days."
"Oh that's wonderful to hear. And I'll be sure to come by for some sparring matches with you. Been getting sloppy lately. Maybe you can teach this kitten a few new tricks, hmmm?" Bouncing the bag in her arms to get it a bit more controlled, Selina watches him curiously before shrugging. "There are many kids here who need to be taught that. Lots of bad things have been going on in Gotham. They could use a mentor like you. Uh...so where are we taking these," she queries, indicating the grocery bags with a faint nod given to the one she is in possession of.
"Got a loft set up a couple blocks that way," Ted says, nodding in the direction he was walking. "Yeah, I noticed your nose job, babe. What'd I tell you about dropping your guard?" His tone isn't unkind, but this is one of his students, however unorthodox her training. "Should I ask how you picked that up, or is this one of those things I'm better off not askin' about?"
Turning towards the indicated direction, Selina giving a flourish of a hand to him, asking him to lead on with it. Being turned as she is, Ted might not notice how she winces over the fact that he, of all people, noticed her face. Time to switch to a better brand of foundation. "I know but she moved so fast," she laments to her old teacher who gets her to blush when he reminds her of her lessons. "Just pissed off the wrong person, I guess," she drones on in answer, hoping that he'll leave it at that without trying to press her for more details.
"Heh," Ted chuckles. "I know what that's like." He starts walking down the street towards his loft. He doesn't notice Selina's wince, and is rather oblivious to the fact that it may have been more tactful not to mention it. "Speed is an asset, but you can beat with technique. Either way, you come on down to the gym sometime and we'll go a few rounds of one-on-one, see if this ol' cat can teach you a few new tricks." His smile turns into a smirk at that.
The tactlessness Ted exhibits is something Selina has gotten used to years ago but she must've forgotten just how abrupt he can be if her grimace is any hint. "Okay. And...how about you cook me dinner so we can reminisce about old days? Can pick up a bottle of wine on our way to your place." There's that smile, a grin that is cat-like and even impish for how playful it is, touching at the corners of her mouth as well as her eyes. "And you can fill me in as to if you have a woman in your life and everything else. Been ages, after all. You owe me a whole lot of gossip."
"Well, how could I turn down such lovely company?" Ted asks, chuckling. "You got it, kitty cat. Actually, I happen to have some Themysciran wine at the loft. Good stuff. I try to keep a bottle or two with me, when I can." He grins at her, letting his eyes rove her form briefly before returning to the path in front of him. "And you can let me know what's been going on with you, and if I'm gonna have to an angry man knocking on my door tomorrow." The words are perfectly innocent, but the amused and half-joking tone behind them calls other things to mind.
Selina giggles a bit and leans in, trying to softly bump her shoulder against his without knocking him into anything or anyone else that might be passing by them. "Themysciran wine? I don't believe I've ever partaken in that kind but I'm sure it is positively lovely if you enjoy it." As she's watched she puts a bit more of a sway to her hips, an intentional taunting of the older man. "You don't have to worry about another man just yet," she promises sincerely afterward. "I have my eye on someone and maybe...maaaaybe he has his on me as well but it's not official, yet." Shrugging, Selina goes quiet, her smile fading.
Ted laughs as she bumps him, going all playful. She knows his weakness, too, and his eyes are drawn to those swaying hips as he slows just enough to let her overtake him for a moment. "You are a certifiable menace, Selina Kyle. And trust me, don't nobody make wine like folks that've spent a couple thousand years perfecting the art. Never fails to make for a good night." He drops the subject of boyfriends for now. It's one of those topics that makes it real easy to lose the mood. After a few more minutes of walking, he points out a nearby building. "That's the one. My loft is on the top floor. Makes for easy roof access." Another chuckle.
Of course Selina knows Ted's weakness, it being something she was clued into many years ago as she observed him, his fondness for members of the opposite sex a trait he never could quite conceal from his pupil. The phrase 'certifiable menace' startles her and causes her to falter, her footfall slowing only to then stop entirely by the time they get to his home. Casting a smile in his direction, Selina leans in to whisper softly into his ear, "I probably should add a few...touches. You know. The kind women like to find in a man's apartment." Stepping back, Ted is allowed to go first, it done to give herself time to shake off the concern his earlier turn of phrase caused to well up in her belly.
Ted shivers lightly at the touch of her warm breath, and shakes his head with an amused smile. He doesn't reply immediately, but leads her towards his building. He lets them in, and heads up several flights of stairs. There's no elevator, of course. The building isn't classy enough for that. But as he sticks his key into the door of an apartment on the third floor, he opens the door to reveal a tastefully decorated loft that seems sort of out-of-place in the kinda grimy Gotham neighborhood. "Be it ever so humble," he says with mock humility. "I call it a place to crash." One wall is dominated by a bigscreen TV and various entertainment devices. A punching bag hangs from a ceiling hook in the corner. The couch looks overstuffed and comfortable, next to a threadbare armchair. "
It's by no means a penthouse like the one Selina herself lives in but it's so very much to Ted's liking that it doesn't matter, the loft rather home-like to her even though it's the first time she has been here. "I love it," she compliments honestly, her smile now back and in full force. The bag is set down and is removed of what it has been carrying although that goes a bit slowly as she's giving the apartment a more thorough appraisal at the same time. "It about makes me ashamed of my own home because of how overly-lavish it is by comparison." Chuckling, she looks at her former teacher, he too getting a looking at, this one coupled with an expression that is part fondness and part sadness. "I had wondered if I'd ever see you again, Ted. You suck at that whole staying in touch thing, you know?"
"Part of my charm," Ted replies glibly, moving to the kitchen area to put away his groceries. "I'm still with the JSA, since Alan and Jay restarted the team after ol' Wes Gibson passed. God knows how many times that brownstone's been on the news." He finished putting things away and turns to face her. "Hard to teach an old cat new tricks, Selina. But it's damn good to see you."
Even though she confessed to being attracted to someone old feelings just can not be shunted off to the side easily and soon Ted will find himself hugged from behind with Selina's arms wrapped around his neck, her fingers laced together at the same level as the base of his throat. "I wish I had paid attention to the New York news more. Would have been nice to know you were alright." A sigh washes warmly over his nape before he's released and Selina steps around him, her eyes cocked to the side so she can look him in the face. "It's good to see you too. So. Enough mushy crap, hmm? What does a girl have to do to get herself a glass of wine?"
Ted just chuckles quietly, enjoying the closeness as she hugs him. A minute later, she walks around, and he grins. "You sure you wanna feed me that line, kitty cat? Got all kinds of replies, you know." He flashes that same old good-natured lech's grin, and turns to a small wine rack near the fridge, with a single bottle in it. He grabs it, and gets two glasses from the cabinet. "Get ready to be impressed," he says, popping the cork and pouring a modest amount in each glass. Like so many other things, Ted doesn't squelch when it comes to drinks.
Reaching over, she takes the tip of her index finger and taps him on the tip of his nose, a fondly-teasing gesture from Selina. "Oh, I know you have many replies. Lines and excuses, too. Most of which are believable, even." The way he pours the wine for them is observed curiously and then she takes a glass which is sipped from; pleased by how good the wine is, Selina's eyes go wide as a smile peers from around the edge. Good indeed if that reaction's honest. "It's wonderful," she admits, her head nodded slowly a bit. "Now I'm truly impressed Ted. Who knew you had so much class?"
Ted just grins and sips from his own glass. "Hey, ain't nobody classier than Ted 'Wildcat' Grant. Besides, I still remember my first bottle of this stuff back in the 40s, got it from a real classy lady. Remind me to tell you the story sometime. I've tried to always have some on hand since then. Damn expensive stuff, too. Greedy Amazons," he grumps. "Guess they figure if they're gonna have men drinking their wine, they're gonna make us pay for it." He shakes his head again. "Anyway, I believe we have some catching up to do. How ya been?"
"It's your fault for deciding to spend your time with them," Selina points out with a roll of her eyes. "Bet you go there for more than the wine." Not that the Amazons are exactly known for bedding down with men often, usually doing so only in hopes of having daughters and all that, but with Ted being a charmer like he is he probably could talk every single one of them out of their panties. When asked about herself Selina backtracks, trying to decide just what is safe to tell and what isn't, the majority of what she'd love to tell him falling into the second category. "I've been busy trying to raise money for my foundation which usually includes having to go to too many boring functions to try and gather donations. I swear this city's mostly populated by greedy, cat-hating monsters." Shrugging, she crosses one arm around herself while lifting her glass with her other hand, the red liquid within it drank from deeply.
"Never trust anybody who don't like cats," Ted says sagely. "And you're leaving something out, but I ain't gonna pry." Ted's pretty familiar with Selina's moods, or he used to be (having even then had trouble not watching the young woman who would become a world-class seductress), and he's got a lot of experience with people hiding secrets. But he trusts his former pupil. "Remind me, and I'll send you a nice check on your next donation drive. Perks of knowing the smartest people in the world? They're real good at turning a dwindling nest egg into a modest fortune. Good thing, too. Can you see me washing cars to make a buck?"
Selina looks up and then down, blushing which is a pretty damn good indication that Ted hit that right on the head. Yes, she is keeping something from Ted. A lot, in fact. "You know I wouldn't keep things from you if it wasn't necessary. It's more for your protection than mine." Or at least that is what she would like to think that's the case. Once she gets that out she finishes her glass and holds it out, asking for more of the wine poor Ted has such difficulties getting. He wants to talk about difficult subjects then he can be put out a bottle or two in Selina's opinion. The subject of the check has her blinking as well as the mention of his fortune, yet another surprise for his student. "I am so very glad you're doing so well for yourself, Ted. And...thank you. I'll keep you informed."
"I ain't no Lex Luthor or Tony Stark," he says, pouring her some more wine and topping off his own glass. "But I got enough that I don't need to worry about working. Don't know how many years I got left, but retirement's a lot longer for me than it is for those other suckers I used to knock around the ring." His eyes go to a trophy case across the room, holding a pair of boxing gloves. Then he turns back to Selina and cocks an eyebrow. "I'll take your word on it for now, pussycat. But you know I'm here for you, if you need me."
"I know, Ted. I know. I am grateful for that. And remember that I have your back, too." Selina sets her glass down once it's refilled and she angles her head so she can look around the kitchen, her back turned to a counter which she leans against, her hands brought up and behind her a bit to brace herself against it. "Mind if I help you cook, Ted? Could use the distraction." Selina's usually moody but not this moody, yet another thing he'll notice despite the time they've been apart. "Got...man woes. Which suck," she explains although doesn't elaborate further than that, letting him ask questions before doing so.
"Sure," Ted says, setting his glass down. "There's a pack of steaks in the freezer, or there's some stuff in the bottom I bought today for curry." He goes to a cabinet and starts pulling down vials of spices. "Man woes, huh? Guess that's the chick version of 'girl troubles'. So, who's the punk I gotta slam into a wall until he wakes up and realizes what he's got in front of him?"
"Curry sounds good. I'll chop the vegetables for you." Not knowing where his kitchenware's kept, Selina lets Ted get her a knife plus whatever will be needing cut. Definitely not a nosy guest who goes through cabinets and drawers. When Ted asks who the guy is she has to think, knowing this is one area she can't be honest about. "He's no one you really want to mess with," she points out as she smiles, that being over what might accidentally become a jab to his pride. An accidental one but a jab just the same. "We care for each other but right now there are some circumstances which are keeping us apart for now but it doesn't stop him from confusing me in the process."
Ted turns and looks at her skeptically. "You remember who you're talking to, right? I've been tangling with some of the nastiest people to walk the earth since before you were a gleam in your momma's eye." He opens a drawer and pulls out a knife, passing it to Selina. "He the one that gave you that sore nose you're trying to hide?" Ted's battled his fair share of females, but a man hitting a woman in anger, especially his old student, just don't sit right with him.
Selina grins, the posturing from Wildcat expected as is his assumption as to it being the man in question who did it to her. Wanting to soothe any growing ire before it gets too out of hand, it's the subject of her face she touches upon first. "No. He'd never hit a woman. I actually got hit in the face by another woman...young lady. Not sure how old she is, actually but yes. It was not him so you do not need to play white knight and ride off to visit your vengeance against him." The fact that he'd ask that means a lot to Selina as the protective nature he shows...well, she doesn't get that from people often, save from one other, so it's a nice change. The vegetables are gathered and rinsed off before she gets to work, Ted's sous chef getting down to brass tacks. "I know you're a good fighter, Ted. Don't get me wrong. I just get the feeling that he might be your match if not your better." "Only ever met a couple fighters I'd consider better than me, and I trained them," Ted mutters, turning on the stove and getting back to food preparation. His tone is actually kinda proud. Despite his pride at his fighting prowess, Ted is also a teacher, and every true teacher loves to see his students surpass his own mastery. An idea sort of half-formed into his head, as he dimly realizes that he has another former student in Gotham, but the suspicion doesn't fully form and passes quick enough. Ted's not a detective, really. "Well, if you don't wanna tell me, I guess I'll have to let it go for now. Can't expect a woman to spill all her secrets, can I?" He flashes another smile, a touch boyish despite his physical age.
"Oh yeah. Who would those fighters be, hmmm?" Selina has heard numerous stories from Ted so probably could figure it out on her own but she'd rather hear it out of the cat's mouth than play guessing games which she'd probably lose in. As Ted says he'll refrain she leans over to hug him, careful of the sharp blade she has in her hand when she does. "You know that you're one of the few people I dislike hiding things from but it's for the best, truly. And I promise that I'll tell you as soon as I'm able." The onion she was working on dispatching and turning into a coarse mince starts to burn her eyes which makes them tear up, that getting her to groan. Hopefully he won't think she's about to cry.
"Well, Black Canary's one," Ted admits. He places an unusually chaste kiss on her head before she releases the hug. "Girl's damn good. I'm still a better boxer, but she just might be a better fighter. The other one, well, he likes his privacy, and I ain't got no reason to betray a confidence like that. He might be better, but it's hard to tell. He don't much like a fair fight. Prefers to use tools." He shrugs. He does notice the tears, but he also sees the onion and decides not to comment either way.
The tears eventually dry once the onion's properly dealt with and she has a chance to step away, the fresh air helping to get the sting to clear her eyes. "Next time you're chopping the damn onion," she says with a light laugh. Black Canary's name has her nodding after that and then she blinks, stopping in mid-step, the approach of the cutting board halted. Tools. That kind of narrows that down some but with a lot of heroes resorting to using gadgets as well as sneaky tactics in combat, she might be able to make an educated guess but it really wouldn't be fair if she were to be able to guess correctly. Not with how Ted has been so sweet when it comes to letting her have her own secrets. "I see. Well, they must be excellent fighters indeed, Ted."
"Pretty damn good," Ted agrees, waving her over to the stove. "Boosts your fighting cred when you can tell people that you were the one who trained them to fight. Well, I wasn't the only one. They both had more teachers than just me, but I might leave that part out when I tell the stories." He grins again. "'Course, just keeping up with Jay, Alan, and Carter gets me a lot of cred."
Selina nods. "I must be a disappointment to you, then," she laments sadly. "And I'm sorry if I am." Taking a moment to grab her glass, Selina begins to go through the cupboards now, mumbling under her breath while looking for wherever it is he keeps pots and pans, this done in tandem with drinking some more. "Okay. I'm lost. Where the hell do you keep your cooking gear," she asks, grunting almost in a perfect, albeit subconscious, impersonation of Batman.
"Hey," Ted says, turning towards Selina. He reaches out to place a hand on her shoulder. "You ain't a disappointment, and don't let me hear you calling yourself that again. Not everybody's calling is to fight, and I ain't gonna demean those who are called to other things. Much as I love a good tussle, even I can see the world might be a damn sight better place if everybody put their energies in things other than violence." He releases her and turns back to his tasks. "Third door to the right, bottom shelf," he says in reply to her question. He tosses a wink at her and adds, "Besides, there's other things you're the best at, ain't there, pussycat?"
"Are we going to be cooking rice?" Two pots are grabbed and handed up, a larger one for the curry and a smaller one on the off chance Ted wants to serve it on rice as is per tradition. His reassurance rings in her ears as she does, it helping to make her feel better. A much needed ego boost after having gotten popped in the nose like she had. "Am I...oh. The best at? I guess there are things I am good at but the best?" Ted has her rather humble tonight, a far cry from the cocky woman she normally is. "I am good at fund raising. And flirting but I don't think I need to remind you of that, do I?"
"Heh heh," Ted chuckles, a warm and knowing sound. "Yeah, rice is good. I can claim I'm eating healthy. You'd think a guy with nine lives would get some slack, but nooo, Jay's always going on about how they do me no good if I use them up with cardiac arrests." Despite his words, Ted's tone is just as warm talking about his old friend as he is talking about his former students. "And you definitely still got the charm. Make an old man's blood race."
"Nine lives. Hey, mind sharing a few of those with me? Think I could use some extra with how my luck has been going." God, how she wishes she was just joking when that was said but she is all too serious despite the levity she attempts to say that in. With the pots handed over she's not sure what is left for her to do so Selina takes up space against the counter again, letting Ted work his culinary magic while she gets herself something more to drink. "Charm is part of what I do. Have to woo money out of the wealthy in order to be able to save the wild cats," she points out.
"You oughta look up a few masks," Ted grunts as he concentrates on his culinary masterpiece. Or just a serviceable dinner. "Animal Man's usually up for those kinds of events, and I know how a costume gets attention and opens pocket books. Maybe Vixen, if you want someone with stunning cleavage, so you two can go at them as a matched set." He doesn't bother trying to stifle his snicker. "Life's dangerous, Selina, but don't think you gotta face it alone. You always got at least one friend."
Selina blinks but then snorts, trying to feign ignorance. "Why would I need a mask and a costume for, Ted," she asks while looking away, this gettign close to the topic she has been keeping from him. "It isn't like I need to. Not a hero like Wonder Woman or Batgirl is, after all." Trying very hard not to panic, she turns one of her stunning smiles onto her friend, trying to distract him from any more questions.
Ted, of course, was referring to matched sets of cleavage, so he is understandably confused by Selina's sudden denials of an accusation he didn't make. He shrugs it off, though. "Oh, I think you got a little hero in you, kitty cat." Being Wildcat, he is absolutely unable to resist adding, "Want a little more?" He does follow up with his original train of thought after grinning a tad smugly. "You got issues, kid. Don't we all. But I don't think its as much of a stretch as you want to believe to see you all gussied up a skintight suit, outlining every curve as you run through the night.." he trails off, apparently becoming lost in his mental vision of the scenario.
Mouth opening, Selina almost nips at Ted proverbially, the urge to snap at him curbed when she sees that look. Oh, how she knows it well. The distant look to his eyes, the expression on his face. For a cat he sure is a dog and then some but, for as lecherous as he can be, she finds it rather endearing. "I'll start the rice," she murmurs, speaking quietly as to not interrupt whatever visions are dacing through his head. Rice is found and then it along with water are measured out and then set on the stove.
It takes Ted a moment to snap out of his daze, but his pleased, slightly goofy grin remains. "Almost feel like I need a cigarette," he mutters. "If I smoked. Anyway, how does the esteemed Miss Kyle feel about setting aside a day next week to show an old alleycat around town? I've been to Gotham before, a couple times, but I never get to do the tourist thing, you know? It's always dark alleys and abandoned warehouses down by the docks."
There's a quick glance at the floor and then back up to his face, Selina getting the giggles when he mentions feeling like he needs a smoke. "Uhm, wow. Was it that good? Dare I ask what you were imagining, my dear?" The request gets her to nod quickly as well as hug Ted. "I'd love to. Don't let me forget to give you my number so you can call me when you're ready for it. Can show you the sights, introduce you to some people perhaps. Now, how about we get dinner finished? I'm hungry and at the rate we're going it'll be three in the morning before supper's done."
"I think I'll keep this vision my little secret," Ted replies. "Alright, alright, it's almost done anyway. Keep an eye on this while I set the table." He runs through the mental checklist: wine, exotic food . . need candles. This is how Ted's mind works even when he's trying to be innocent. "And it'll be great. Finally get to see what you do in this town, when you could be living it up in New York with ol' Wildcat." Another roguish grin, and he's off to set the table.