Disclaimer: none of the characters are mine, but belong to their respective owners (except for Big Red – she is mine).
It was New York City, it was night, and the Punisher was patrolling the streets. Technically he did not have to: Spiderman was also out, but he was fighting the Green Goblin, so the Punisher decided to keep on at it (not that he needed a reason to do so either).
As he drove around, he saw a young woman out on the streets, alone. Though he was an avenger (but not an Avenger, mind you), Punisher did not approve of evil, but normally he left such women alone, unless they got in his way. Tonight, however, was relatively slow (because no one wanted to be caught between the Green Goblin and Spiderman), so he decided to confront her instead.
As he approached her (on foot, rather than on wheels), the young woman, however, whirled around and glared at him in a very hostile, unfriendly way.
“And who are you?” she growled.
“I’m the Punisher,” the vigilante stated the obvious (or not).
The woman’s eyebrows rose. “You make puns? A stand-up comedian? Interesting. Big Red, you feeling okay? Some kindly stranger offered to lift our spirits with laughter!” she yelled into the darkness, from where the Punisher could now hear the sounds of retching.
“No, Faith!” came an equally loud reply. “I’m not. The last time I felt this poorly was a long time ago, and Circe, of all the people, was involved. Curse her!”
The Punisher began to belatedly realize that he probably made a mistake. Those two probably were not hookers, just a couple of sorority students or someone like that, having a late night out on the town. NYC had those as well. His instincts were telling him to leave them to their misery, but he could not let them have the last word.
“I do not make puns, I punish people for their crimes,” he growled.
“Really?” Faith’s unseen companion growled from behind him, very loudly.
The Punisher whirled around, only to see two massive fists slam into him before he could twitch.
“What do we do with him now, Faith?” the giant vampire growled.
“Hm,” the Vampire Slayer looked thoughtful. “Big Boss Willikins sent us here and GG was- is a nutcase, but he did deliver. I have an idea.”* * *
Later that night (or rather, that morning) the Green Goblin (also known as Norman Osborn and the Iron Patriot) arrived in his latest hide-out, having been unable to defeat Spiderman in a fair combat again. This, as always, put him into a foul mood of his own, so when he saw the Punisher, stripped naked, hogtied, and with 5-inch green letters painted on his chest, forming the words “I’m the Punisher, I make puns!” he didn’t believe it at first.
Then the Punisher saw him and began making noises. Well, he was trying to make sounds, but the gag in his mouth prevented him from being coherent, yet it was enough to persuade the Green Goblin that this was real.
“You know, Punisher, we don’t get together as often as we should,” he said brightly as he pulled out a couple of pumpkin bombs and a portable buzz saw out of his bag. “Let’s fix that, shall we?”
PS: Spiderman came just in time and saved the vigilante from a session of some very gruesome torture. But the blow to the ego was just as bad.