1965-08-09 - Everyday Heroism
Summary: Sometimes you save Earth from an army hellbent on destruction - and sometimes, you get Whiskers the cat safely down from the top of a very tall tree. Steve and Tigra tag-team to achieve this little win.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
tigra steve-rogers 

In the annals of history, heroism tends to be gradiose. Stopping a train from flying from the ended tracks, reversing the sinking of a ferry-boat, even averting world crisis by routing an entire army hellbent on destroying the cradle of Earthly civilization itself.

And then, sometimes, they're little things. Giving a helping hand across the street, buying someone a meal, or making sure that the chase for a ball into a street is stopped well before the taxi screeches to a halt.

Today, Steve Rogers is definitely working on the latter. He's already shimmied halfway up a rather large and established oak tree on the fringes of Central Park and he grunts as he pulls himself up onto the first available and sturdy limb. Below, a little girl in a corduroy jumper knuckles at one eye and sniffles. Her cheeks, blotchy from weeping, lift in a tentative smile at the sight of the blond man scaling into the greenery.

Yep, you're thinking correctly. There's a cat stuck up in this tree. Very high in this tree. In the uppermost limbs — and little Lacy wants her Whiskers back.

Everyone thinks it's a full-time job. Wake up a hero. Brush your teeth a hero. Go to work a hero. Not true. Or so someone once said. Helping a little girl with a cat in a tree definitely counts as a heroic moment. Tigra's been making her way through the park, enjoying the chance to to be someplace organic within the concrete jungle, and having caught a familiar scent, works her way towards the tree in question. On spotting the girl, she zeroes in, approaching and taking a knee next to her. "Is your big brother stuck in a tree?" she asks with a twitch of her tail.

A few leaves drift down from above where Steve's knocked them loose. He dares a look down to make sure that the little one in her jumper is still present and pauses — oh, that's Miss Tigra, tail and all. He allows himself a small smile and then peers up into the canopy again. He's about forty-five feet up now and still another fifty-odd to go. Whiskers is a mrowling ball of black farther up.

Little Lacy sniffles once after running her bare forearm under her nose. She's probably around six or so, sporting a pair of black pigtails and brown eyes made lustrous by shed tears. "No, not my brother. Whiskers." She points a finger towards Steve and his efforts. "Mister Rogers is going to get her. She climbed the tree and won't come down." She looks Tigra over then and gets shy even as she does so, knees locked and torso rotating. "…you have a tail too?"

The tailed one glances up at the tree, and where Steve is making his way towards Whiskers, idly judging distances. She could handle it, she thinks, but best to let Steve have it unless he asks. She clicks her tongue softly in Whiskers's direction, hoping to be calming. "I do have a tail," she says with a smile for the girl. She drapes her tail in her hand and holds the end to the girl. "Would you like to pet it?"

|ROLL| Steve Rogers +rolls 1d20 for: 17

Nodding wordlessly, Lacy reaches out a small and soft-palmed hand. She runs it along Tigra's offered tail and the guileless smile lifts her tear-splotched cheeks into little apple-roundings.

"It's very soft," she says shyly yet again. "Why do you have a tail?" Her eyes rise to look at Tigra's face and there's no fear within, simply innocent interest. If anything, the tigress is her imaginary friend come to life!

Above, Steve clambers on. He carefully places each sneakered foot as close to the main trunk as possible. Rotten limbs are a real risk, even this late in the summer season. Whiskers lets out another plaintive meow from where she clings.

After a stroke or two, Tigra will twitch the tip of it at Lacy playfully. "Well I'm a cat," she says matter of factedly in answer to the question. "So of course I have a tail." She glances up the tree, watching where Steve and Whiskers are, hoping neither will fall. "How old is Whiskers?"

|ROLL| Steve Rogers +rolls 1d20 for: 10

The tail-flip is enough to make Lacy jump in place, momentarily startled, but she recovers well and giggles, her hands tucked under her chin.

"The same age as me," and the little girl holds up two hands, six fingers offered up. "She's my best friend." Most solemnly, she informs Tigra of this. "I just wanted to walk her." Lacy's face begins to crinkle up again as tears gather at her eyes. "She got stuck."

Whiskers looks down at Steve…and just glares. Who the hell are you, sir? The man mutters under his breath to himself as he sees that it'll require a goodly extension if not outright jump up to the next limb, one that's not very sturdy-looking. The memory of the sobbing child below is more than enough goading to make him crouch and then leap, making the limb beneath him vibrate.

"Ohh, six, huh? Well, be all grown up before you know it, won't you? Do you often take her for walks?" Tigra asks, trying to keep a straight face. She hears the leap and looks up to watch the Captain in action. "I can get up there easily if you want me to," she calls up to him, not expecting Captain America to -need- the help but perhaps wanting the help.

|ROLL| Steve Rogers +rolls 1d20 for: 1

Steve whiffs it. Even Captain America is not perfect when it comes down to brass tacks. The limb he reaches for is rotted into the core of the tree itself and certainly can't handle the weight of a sturdily-muscled supersoldier. His eyes go wide as he feels gravity pull both him and his handfuls of wood down abruptly.

"No," Lacy admits even as she wipes at her face again, trying to be brave for her new friend. "I wanted to because it was nice. A car scared her." Ah, must have been a taxi beeping at both child and cat. She looks up into the tree as a series of sounds precedes Steve whacking off multiple branches on his way down — thwack, "Oof!", thunk, "OUFF!", whump — there's just enough time for someone agile and daring to dive for the man before he thumps down upon the grassy turf below.

High above, Whiskers is sooooooo not impressed.

A nod in understanding from Tigra. "Well, you know—" woops, hold that thought. Sounds like the tree might have been a Nazi sympathizer. Or maybe a Communist. Probably a Communist, hiding in plain sight, just waiting to drop an American hero on his star-spangled backside. Without hesitation, Tigra lunges forward from her kneeling position, sommersaults and comes up just under Cap, ready to catch him in in arms both fuzzy and strong.

Lacy has her small hands to her cheeks in an imitation of her mother's own reaction to surprise — mimicking adults and all, y'know.

You bet that tree was a Communist. A branch smacks Steve across the plane of his shoulder-blades and sends him into a rolling tumble that's certain to plant him spine-first upon the ground. Thank goodness for Tigra! Instead of spongey and mostly-unforgiving earth, he lets out a quiet whuft as he lands slung across a pair of furry, striped arms. A little bit of flailing as panicked reaction catches up to the reality of a sudden and painless halt and he looks over up at her.

"Whew," he finally says with a little laugh, looking mildly abashed. "Thought I was in for a bruise or two. Thank you, Miss Tigra." Nothing to catch at her furred skin, seeing as he's wearing a simple t-shirt and jogging pants — must have been why he was out at the Park in the first place.

"But of course, Mr Rogers," Tigra says in response, standing up to set him back on his feet. Not that she's in a huge hurry to do that, mind. She gives Lacy a quick smile. See, nothing to worry about here. "Let me have a try up there," she suggests. "Hopefully Whiskers'll see me as a friend."

Once back on his feet, Steve brushes bits of bark from his palms and from his pants. He winces once as he rolls his shoulders. Lacy looks between him and Tigra with tear-filling eyes. The man is quick to kneel down at her level and give her a warm smile. He's not a pro at speaking to younglings, very much used to commanding super-powered adults, but he'll give it the old college try.

"You hear that, Lacy? Miss Tigra is going to go help Whiskers! Did you see how fast she moved?" The little girl with her ponytails nods silently, her hands folded into her jumper at her waist. "I bet that Whiskers will like her more than me. See her tail?" Lacy nods again, her expression brightening noticeably. "I don't have one of those," he informs the little girl most seriously. It's enough to entice a hesitant giggle from her. His smile deepens and then he looks to Tigra, giving her a firm nod. Have at, tigress.

High above, Whiskers yowls again. EXCUSE ME, I AM STILL STUCK.

"I bet one would suit you, though," Tigra says to Steve, about a tail. "Can't help but imagine it'd be red white and blue, though," she murmurs. She looks up at the yowling with a grin. I'm coming, Beany-boy!" And with that she leaps up lightly onto a branch, catching it with her hands and flipping up from it to a higher one, hooking on with knees. Once that far up, she starts to climb the trunk proper, digging in lightly with her claws and making short work of the height as she closes in on the cat in distress.

Steve's brows lift at the idea. Him? With a tail? Red, white, and blue, even. It's enough to make little Lacy giggle again and he looks to her, half-hiding his smile as if it's some goofy secret between them all. Both of them then watch Tigra scale the tree with far more natural grace than Captain America could ever manage.

Whiskers gives the approaching tigress a far more considering and wide-pupil'd look. Wait. Human? Not human? Another cat-but-not? The queen-cat hisses quietly before putting her ears forwards again. Back the black cat scoots, towards the trunk of the tree, and then tries to reach out for the next thin branch above.

She gets closer, and sees that Whiskers is getting a litle nervous, Tigra slows down her approach. She continues to move, but does so slowly and steadily, trying to keep her tail still, and not showing her teeth when she quietly says, "Hi there, Whiskers. Let's get you home, okay?" She holds out a hand towards the cat, extending a finger for sniffing by way of introduction.

Lacy takes a side-step closer to Steve and rests a hand on his shoulder. It seems small in comparison to his build and he glances from it and to her again with another small, more private smile. She continues to watch Tigra's efforts high above in the tree. His eyes return there as well and a little wish for success crosses his mind where he kneels beside the young girl.

The black cat pauses in reaching for the flimsy branch above her as the hand is offered out. She goes back to sitting, turning her head owlishly left and right, before reaching out. Tiny nostrils flare and whiskers fletch as she sniffs at the lightly-furred fingers. A small 'prrt' is heard and the lightest touch of a cold, wet nose. Then comes the reach of paw and she pat-pats at Tigra's thumb without claws as if it were a toy. Bap-bap. She still comes no closer. The breeze riffles the leaves around them.

As Whickers bats lightly at Tigra's finger, she scoots up a little bit higher, drawing a foot up to a higher perch as she feels the breeze through her fur. She reaches out a little further, spreading her fingers. "C'mon, kiddo," she murmurs to the cat. "Your human's worried about you. Let me take you down so you can take care of, why don't you?" She keeps her voice soft and steady, trying to be calming to the other feline.

The queen-cat appears to listen even as she's grabbing at Tigra's thumb with paw pads as if to pull it closer. She probably wants to nibble on it, yum. The playful behavior ceases as she rises to her feet. Her back lifts into a friendly arc and her fluffy fail lifts in greeting. More whisker-fletching, the tines long and silvery and probably her namesake. She bunts her head against the spread fingers - bonk-rub.

Now we're making progress, Tigra thinks to herself, lightly rubbing the side of Whiskers's head, letting the cat get comfortable with her scent. "There we go," she murmurs encouragingly, leaning in a little closer. "May I pick you up?" she asks, moving to try to take a gentle but firm hold around the cat's torso.

"I think Miss Tigra's almost got her," Steve murmurs to his little shadow down below. Lacy nods, gone silent and watchful as the young often do when uncertainty holds them in place.

Whiskers makes a small sound of surprise when she feels Tigra's hand slip around her side, but merely looks rather than turning into some shrieking banshee of fuzzy indignity. She allows herself to be picked up and goes not limp, but obligingly relaxed in the tigress's grip. There's a good bet that Whiskers is at least half Ragdoll.


"There we go," says the feline with thumbs in approval, bringing the four footed one in close and bracing her against Tigra's torso. She then starts down the tree carefully, going about ten feet down to get clear of some branches, and then dropping the rest of the way, landing in a crouch with both hands protectively around Whiskers. "Tada," she says, standing and holding the feline out to Lacey.

"Whiskers!" The shrill name almost echoes as Lacy darts over to take her cat from Tigra's outstretched hands. The cat, now purring up a storm, definitely goes Ragdoll over the little girl's shoulder and begins to knead upon the jumper. Steve rises to his feet and looks to Tigra.

"Should have had you go up there in the first place," he comments, grin bright and amused. Don't tell him…but he's already got a shiner forming from where his face bounced off a thicker branch on the way down.

Also don't tell Bucky. The razzing will be never-ending.

Tigra is quite happy to let Lacy take her friend, pleased to see them reunited. "I think Lacy would be happier staying at home," she offers as a suggestion. "Going for walks, that's more of a dog thing, really." Awww at the kneading. Happy kitty. "Well, I'm glad I came along and could help when I did." She reaches up to trace a circle around one of her eyes. "Got a bruise forming, there. Want me to help come up with a story about HYDRA agents?"

Lacy looks up from petting her cat heavily. "Yes, Miss Tigra," she says most dutifully. "I'm going to keep Whiskers inside now. Trees are not safe for her! Not at all. Bye!" And on that note of incredibly short attention span, zoom — off goes the kiddo with cat lolling contentedly to be jounced in the jogging pace.

Steve is currently gently pressing about his eye and wincing, his expression moderately dismayed. "Must have hit a branch on the way down…" he grumbles. Ouch. Yep, touching there stings. "Yeah…probably should come up with something." He half-smiles ruefully. "Someone's going to ask eventually and I can think on my feet, but I know one person who can out me in a heartbeat if I try and make something up."

And that'd be Mister Barnes.

Tigra grins and shakes her head as Lacy and Whiskers dash away home. That's a happy ending she'll treasure. The grin turns more affectionate and amused as she looks to Steve. "Well, maybe you saw some youngster practicing boxing, and offered to go a few rounds. He got lucky, slipped one in on you." Her tail swishes in amusement as she ponders stories.

Steve laughs and shakes his head. He rests his hands on his hips and looks around the Park idly, as if scouting to see if anyone saw him biff it down the rungs of branches. Thankfully, it appears that only Tigra and Lacy saw it and the youngling never really understood just who ended up helping her fetch Whiskers.

"Barnes would call me out on that. A youngster getting past my guard? I'd never hear the end of it." He sighs and chuckles quietly again before looking back up at Tigra. "I think I'll just have to bite the bullet and tell everyone that a branch broke." His broad shoulders rise and fall, shrug.

"Oh, you let him by your guard," Tigra counters immediately, clearly thinking fast on her feet. "You opened yourself up, see if he knew enough to catch the openign and take advantage of it, and he did, and he did, but came in harder or faster tha you expected, thus bwomp," she says, miming striking her eye. "And if Barnes threatens to spill the beans on it, well, we'll still his arm and not give it back until he recants." Cats are mean.

"Steal his arm?" That's enough to make Steve bark out a laugh. "I don't think Barnes would let me borrow his arm, much less allow it to be stolen. You talk about a man who can lay a hit," and he points knowingly at Tigra. "I don't think there's anything in the world that would make me risk a punch from him over that arm."

The tinkling sound appears from beyond the fencing of the Park proper and the Captain zeroes in on the small truck. He looks back to the tigress almost expectantly. "I know it's not an even exchange, catching me verses ice cream, but I'd be happy to buy you a cone?"

"See, that's why we'd get it together. One of us to distract or tangle him up and the other to go for the arm. And once it's off, away we go!" She tilts her head, hearing the sound of an ice cream truck, and then grins back to him. "I think that would be quite the fair trade, actually."

Tigra's plan for the theft of the vibranium arm makes Steve muffle a laugh behind rolled lips.

"I think I'll just suffer for my inability to spot a rotten branch. However," he continues after jerking his head towards the small white truck parked near to the curb, " — if I find any reason to remove his arm, I know who to call in. You've already got a plan." As he begins to walk over, he glances back at the tigress. "Vanilla?" It's a perfectly standard guess at her favorite flavor.

"Well naturally," Tigra says, falling into easy step with him, though with more hip rolling. "I"ve been told more than once that I have a disarming personality." Now surely all of that wasn't a set-up just for that pun. Surely it wasn't. "Sounds good to me," she says cheerfully of the ice cream.

"Miss Tigra, I may not buy you your ice cream because that pun was flat-out terrible," the Captain informs her most gravely as they approach the vehicle. However, he relents with a smile at her and orders up two cones, one vanilla and one cookies-and-cream. A bill or two is exchanged and both get away without any unnecessary questioning by the man serving up the goods — mostly because there's a line behind both heroes now and he's got scoops to pack.

"We'll go walk in the Park and enjoy our cones. Too nice to stay inside on a day like this." Besides, Steve has to use the calories somehow, even if simply breathing is going to burn through them like wildfire.

She takes a lick of the ice cream, smiling incorrigibly at the reaction her pun gets. "Hopefully without there being any more cats up trees or anything," she says, about a walk in the park. "So how you doing, Steve? Getting your head around this crazy modern era yet?"

"I learn something new every day," the man admits, walking down one of the paths now with cone in one hand and the other in the pocket of his grey sweatpants. "Wrapping my head around it, sure, but it doesn't mean that I can't be surprised. Like…optical disks. What on earth? I have a coworker who dabbles in electronics, so I shouldn't be shocked at what appears on the streets and in popular culture these days."

Someone jogging on the grass nearby notes Tigra and stares so hard that once out of sight of both tigress and Captain, they run into a tree. Whop.

"Optical disc?" Tigra asks, with a tilt of her head, not familiar with the term. "'Co-worker?' You?" SHe's trying to envision him in an office ala the Man in the Grey Flannel Suit, and it doesn't click, not at all. Her tail gives an amused flick at something she hears.

Steve nods benignly. "Coworker," he repeats. "I do go into the office when necessary and shuffle paperwork, just like a lot of the regular folks out there." Non-supersoldiers, clearly. "An optical disk is apparently something you can put information on…somehow…and then put into a machine and…you can access the information." The Captain doesn't have a good idea of how these work either, apparently, but he doesn't seem too bothered by this state — it must be common enough.

"I follow," she says on the subject of office and paperwork. Makes sense that there's records and stuff to deal with. She then looks thoughtful, considering the disk. "I'd love to know how that worked," she says after a moment. "If it's 'optical,' I assume it's not like there's a record needle. WOnder if it's like microfiche or something, just stored on a disc?" That makes a bit of sense to her, she decides with a nod.

"I'd have to ask my coworker," the Captain admits, giving Tigra a commiscerating glance. He works at his ice cream in silence as they walk and then gives a small sigh. "It's nice to accomplish something simple like that. Getting a cat out of a tree. Sometimes, it's the little things."

Even if someone's got a shiner in the end.

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