The following is a complete work of fiction.
This is my first City of Heroes Fan Fiction. If you are not a person who knows the City of Heroes MMPRPG, some of this story may not make sense. However, like my X-Universe Fan Fictions, I have written enough background into the story that I believe it is accessible to anyone who likes science fiction and comic book worlds.
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City of Heroes - Book 1
Awakenings - Chapter 9
"How are you feeling?" Demonicalle plopped down beside me as I looked out over the city. It was kind of ironic that I was sitting in the cleavage of a stone statue of Galaxy Girl. It was the closest I ever wanted to get to a woman's breasts.
"A bit lost," I mumbled.
"Lost? You bring down a superadyne lab, are confirmed as an empathic healer, and you've been granted level one security clearance; and you're feeling lost?"
"Just a bit," I sighed, laying back. At least big stone boobs were comfortable to lie on. "Not to mention, we'll probably get fined for being up on a public statue like this."
"They'll get over it," she laughed, "Heroes perch on the statues more often than pigeons."
Demonicalle looked at me, tilting her head as an ironic smile curled her lips. "So, are you going to tell him?"
I blinked out of my moment and looked at her. "Tell who, what?"
"Tell Urioch you're in love with him?"
I swallowed. I was pretty sure Magdalene knew. I knew Amanda knew. I hadn't thought it was so fucking obvious. "What makes you think that?"
She shrugged. "Well, you're as queer as a three dollar bill. According to Doctor Perrin, most empathic healers first unleash their powers when faced with losing a loved one. Add two plus two, and usually you get four."
I sighed, tucking the costume back in the box. "So I'm in love with my roommate. It doesn't do me any good."
"Why? Urioch's an alien. Anyone he'd fuck would be cross species anyway."
"I'm not going there, Calle. What if he isn't interested? I'd ruin the friendship."
Demonicalle stretched her legs. "Okay, are you going to tell him you're gay?" She flashed me a fanged grin. "No pressure, I just need to know how many layers of secrets I'm keeping, y'know?"
"Probably... when I'm ready." I shrugged. "I'm not likely to bring anyone home, but that'd be a bad time to bring up the subject." I stood up. "Thanks for checking on me, Calle. I'm okay."
Demonicalle stood up. "Oh, that's not all I'm here for."
"Since the muscle-bound elf is laid up for another couple days of tests and observation, and your team mates haven't gotten their clearance yet, Brawler told me to take you out, teach you how to have fun, and not let you come back until you've had some." Her grin was anything but innocent.
"We're going whoring?"
She laughed. "Not exactly. We're going clubbing. It's about time you learned that Capes know how to party too."
I groaned. "You're kidding, right?"
"Nope, you're my date for the night. I promised I'd have you home safe and sound by dawn."
"You're saying there are super hero clubs?"
Nodding, she looked at her watch. "I'll pick you up at eight. Nothing worth doing starts before nine."
"Where are we going?"
"Pocket D, it's the best club that doesn't go into the extreme scene."
I snorted, taking to the air. "I get the safe club, huh?"
She shook her head, calling up at me as I headed home. "I wouldn't call it safe. Having a hot item like you with me, I'm certain it won't be."
Demonicalle smiled at me as walked from the King's Row tram station. Stopping in an alley, behind a non-descript delivery truck, she looked over my clothes again. "You'll have no problem attracting attention, hot stuff."
I rolled my eyes. "It only took an extra hour to get ready, Demonicalle. I wasn't sure you'd ever agree with the clothes."
"This is your coming out party, Jason. The look is just as important as the attitude. Wall flower won't work." She reached the roll-back handle. "Pay attention to which way we come in, Jason. The club is a little 'weird' and if you leave from the wrong exit, you may show up someplace you really don't want to be."
"The club is in the back of a truck?"
"The truck is just a portal," Demonicalle explained as she rolled the back up.
"This is kind of like the Cauldron, huh?"
Demonicalle laughed. "In the same way a fun house is to an Adventure Park!" Taking my hand before I could think of a good excuse, she hefted me into the truck. "Come on, Jason. Time to live a little."
It looked and felt like a truck, at least until the cargo door rolled shut. Then, like the flick of a light switch, we were standing in a hall. The place reminded me of a huge warehouse, but the pounding beat in the distance made it clear we weren't in one of those. "This is so much bigger than the outside!"
"We aren't actually in the truck; that was just a portal. No one really knows exactly Pocket D is. The doors move every so often to keep the place secure."
"Sounds like a lot of trouble for a hero club," I grumbled as we got closer to the music. We hadn't even seen anyone yet.
"When you're on your down time, kicking back, getting a little blitzed, the last thing any of us needs is an attack. Could you imagine someone like Urioch trying to fight while drunk?"
"Urioch wouldn't get drunk," I retorted.
"Don't be so sure, Jason." Demonicalle grinned, looked beyond me, and then pushed me against the wall. "Careful."
A guy blew past us, slowing just in time to keep from smashing into the far wall. "Sorry!"
"Hey!" Demonicalle yelled at the wobbling hoverer. "No flying under the influence! Call for an escort!"
"I'm fine, Horny." He looked over Demonicalle's rather exposed figure and grinned. "I can still fly you where you'd want to go." He smelled like a beer keg.
"Buzz off," I answered, wrapping my arm around her waist. Okay, girls didn't do anything for me, but somewhere inside there was an alpha-male chomping at the bit. "She doesn't need a guy who has to loosen up in order to get it up."
He puffed up like a steroid junky and floated higher. "Say that to my face, pretty boy."
Floating up to meet him, I looked him in the face. "Buzz. Off."
"Boys," Demonicalle laughed, leaning against the wall, "as enjoyable as it is to watch testosterone fly, I'll make up my own mind." Blowing me a kiss, she pushed from the wall and turned on her heel. "Come on, hot stuff. We have a party to get to."
I huffed at the blow hard and landed beside Demonicalle. Her hand slid back to grip my ass. I did my best not to squeak. "Sorry about that."
"Actually, it was cute." We got around the corner and suddenly the room opened up to a huge space. We were on the upper level, where there were pool tables, games, lounges, a bar or two, and then below there were some dance areas separated by more seating and lounging areas. There were suspended dance areas with no way to get to them, unless you could fly, pounding music, light displays, and dozens of people having a great time. Demonicalle smiled. "Jason, welcome to Pocket D."
"Damn," I breathed, watching as a woman wearing nothing but flames danced in the air with a guy who looked like he was made of smoke. I turned around, trying to take it all in. As we got to the bar, my attention was riveted on a hot, shirtless guy with brown hair, goatee, glowing green eyes, a chest to die for, pierced nipples, and bull horns. He must have stood seven feet tall. He was laughing as two of the swishiest examples of gaydom I'd ever seen were trying to convince him to let them determine if he was a bull in more ways than horns. I nodded at one of the worshippers. "Is that guy's hair really neon pink?"
Demonicalle cringed. "Don't go there, Jason. Whatever you do, please, just stay the way you are." She looked at the guy with pink hair and the other one with plum, and shook her head. "They're members of the Pink Posse. Even superheroes have their outspoken subgroups. They're the 'pride' members of Paragon's superhero community."
"Is the big guy a member too?"
"Taurus?" Demonicalle laughed. "No, though he'll fuck anyone willing to try him out. Male, female, human, or not."
I nodded at a couple of guys sitting in one of the lounges. One was a huge, lumberjack looking guy in a partially unbuttoned, plaid shirt with the smaller guy sitting between his legs, his head back on the big guy's shoulder with his eyes closed while they chatted with another guy and a woman. "Who are they?"
Demonicalle narrowed her eyes and scrutinized the group. "That's Damage Control. They're a privately funded group working for Crey and under contract with Paragon. They all have fire powers and work mostly as paranormal fire fighters. The big guy is Infernotech, and the smaller one comfortably seated in his lap is Backdraft. They're talking with Heart of Flame, the red head you wouldn't be interested in, and Immolation, a reformed FireThorn."
Straight couples, gay couples, lesbian couples, humans and non-humans were everywhere. Out, about, and unabashed, everyone seemed to just be who they were without apologies. "That is so cool."
Demonicalle tapped my shoulder, and I turned to the bar. "Put your hand on the scanner, Jase."
I frowned at her, but did as I was told. The computer beeped. The bartender came over and eyed me. "You're under age, kid."
"He's a newbie, Stan. Death's Head was just promoted by Brawler."
Stan smiled. "Congratulations!"
"You're still going to be dry while here, full security clearance or not."
"You're such a rules monger, Stan." Demonicalle shook her head. "I want a chocolate martini."
Stan nodded, and looked at me. "You?"
"Uhm, virgin pina colada?"
"You got it."
Demonicalle smiled at me. "Don't worry, Jason. Not all the bartenders are so prudish."
"I don't want to drink, Calle. The buzz in this place is distracting enough." I looked around at the people cutting loose, having personal moments, and generally having a good time. "I'm an empath, remember? I'm not so sure I won't get drunk by association."
Demonicalle laughed. "As long as you get to keep the hangover, I'll be happy to do your drinking for you."
I frowned at her. "Thanks a lot, Calle."
"My pleasure," she teased, taking her drink as Stan set it on the bar. I took my own drink and sipped it while I tried to figure out what I was supposed to do. Was I supposed to shadow Calle all night? Was I supposed to strike out on my own? Did I want to meet someone? I was lost in my thoughts when Demonicalle squealed. "Night Ass! What are you doing here?"
The guy who had just hefted Demonicalle up, and had his hands gripping her ass in ways that only someone who'd been there before could do, was just drop dead gorgeous. Black hair, strong jaw, wide shoulders, and muscles everywhere in just the right proportions to stand out in the tight, black t-back he was wearing. He even had a heroic smile. "Looking for someone hot and bothered to spend some time with."
Demonicalle slid out of his grip and turned to me. "Night Marauder, meet Death's Head. Death's Head, this is the guy with the best ass in Muse." I knew Muse was a group Demonicalle had been a member of for a while.
Marauder laughed, putting out his hand as he shook his head. "I swear she was a gay man in a past life. She is the most ass obsessed woman I've ever met."
"I wouldn't know," I mumbled, shaking his hand. Had he caught me staring? Had I really been staring?
"Yeah, right," Demonicalle snorted, sliding her hand back and getting a firm grip on one of my cheeks. "NM, if Death was in Muse, you'd have a run for your money in the ass department."
"Oh really?" Marauder's eyes lit up with the challenge. "Do tell."
"I am not going to do an ass comparison, Calle. Don't even think about it." I slid out of her grip and grabbed my drink. "My ass isn't up for grabs." The last thing I wanted to do was stand around while Calle scored the hottest, human looking guy in the place. "I'm going to mingle."
"Later, hot stuff," Demonicalle called, as she turned her attention back to Night Marauder.
I wandered down to the main floor. The place was huge. I wasn't sure how long I moved quietly from bar to bar, switching to water after I'd finished my first drink, and watched as more heroes arrived and enjoyed themselves. I didn't have gaydar. I never had. The fact that I kept to the shadows, watching instead of participating, probably contributed to my feeling out of place. Everyone else seemed so confident and sure of themselves. At one point, I caught sight of Demonicalle shaking it on the dance floor. I gave her credit; the girl could move. I leaned against one of the columns and watched as she danced with partner after partner without breaks. I wished I could be that free.
"She's pretty amazing."
I looked behind me to find Marauder standing only a foot or two away, sipping at his something on ice. Looking back at Demonicalle, I nodded. "Yeah, she's cool."
Marauder stepped closer, practically against my back, as he watched her. "Why aren't you out there? Demonicalle said you're here to party."
"Haven't found a partner," I replied, realizing I could feel his heat through my shirt. I closed my eyes and just let it wash over me. What was it I was feeling? Curiosity? Interest?
He smelled so good as he leaned in close to my ear, inhaling deeply. "Calle's right. You have a great ass." I swallowed. What was he doing, getting my scent? "Want to dance?"
I didn't remember saying yes, but we ended up on the dance floor, grinding away while my brain just went into automatic. I wasn't sure what it was, maybe it was his sexual confidence, or just the fact he was interested, but as his desire grew, so did mine, and not just by the fact that I could feel a thick piece of desire brushing against me as we danced.
Marauder had me pressed against one of the back pillars, chewing at my neck, when I realized his shirt was pushed up to his pecs and my hands had been exploring every inch of his heroic proportions. "Fuck," I gasped as he tweaked one of my nipples through my shirt.
"That's an idea," he chuckled huskily into my neck. I shivered, and he slowed down, pulled his lips from my neck to look at me. "You've been with a guy before, right?"
I nodded. My tongue was three sizes too big for my mouth. I couldn't even form words.
"Good," he grunted, pressing back in so that he could get to my mouth, "I don't like being anyone's first."
I moaned as he kissed me. My brain was melting, or at least was oxygen deprived. Most of the blood in my body had descended below my belt. Brian never kissed me, not once. Two years being his butt boy, and I hadn't even gotten a kiss. "I'm supposed to go home with Calle," I mumbled as he pulled back from the kiss.
"Want to stop?" I shook my head. Stopping was the furthest thing from my mind. He nodded toward the back corner. "Come on."
I followed him, confused by what was happening, and stepped into a back room before he locked the door. The room wasn't very big, had a sink, and a toilet, and what looked like a bed.
"Gotta love Pocket... sound proof, fire proof, fairly damage resistant... everything a paranormal pairing would need," he commented as he peeled off his shirt, tossing it at the sink as I got an eyeful of tanned, taut, smooth flesh.
I turned about, a bit disoriented, and was suddenly aware that the sounds of the club were almost gone. I finished my slow spin and my eyes returned to his perfect, exposed torso. God. I wanted to chew on those nipples. He must have read my mind.
"Go ahead, kid. Enjoy yourself."
I feasted like I'd been starved. Maybe, in a way, I had been. I chewed, rubbed, touched, tasted, licked and kissed everyplace I could get to, lost in the euphoria of hot, sweaty flesh. I had a few moments of lucidity as I sank to my knees while he unsnapped his jeans. He hadn't been wearing any underwear, and his musk was like a drug. I stared at him, and the long, hard, veined mast that he pulled out, and was drawn in like a moth to a flame. He moaned as I started tasting him, and his fingers ran encouragingly through my hair. "Yeah. That's it."
I lost track of time as I strove to get more and more of him in me. At some point his fingers had stopped caressing my hair and were digging into my skull as he thrust and grunted out how good it was. I wasn't listening to the words. I was riding his emotions, following where they led, getting closer and closer to the edge as he moaned and sighed his way to a leg shaking, body wracking release. All I could do was swallow or gag. I swallowed.
Marauder pulled me off my knees, kissing me, exploring the tangy taste of my mouth as his hands slid inside the back of my pants. He wasn't going to stop. He wanted me. "Fuck, Demonicalle," he whispered into my ear as his hands kneaded my ass. "Let's make this an all nighter."
I flinched as he brushed my hole. That jolted me out of my sexual frenzy. The ass kneading had been great, but I didn't want that. Not yet. I felt him pull back. I shuddered. "I can't."
Slowly, carefully, he pulled his hands out of my pants and held my hips as he looked at me. I didn't know what he saw, but he tapped down his lust like a lion tamer would make a great cat go back in its cage. He was still hornier than hell, but he wasn't going to go anywhere I wasn't ready to go. "Okay, kid."
A part of me wanted to, just because he was willing to stop. It made him a hero to me. "Sorry."
He kissed me, causing my knees to go weak. Pulling back, he let me go and reached for his shirt. "Don't apologize, kid. It was great." He nodded at my waist. "You might want to clean up before we head back out."
I hadn't even realized I'd flooded my pants. "Damn." I think I turned five shades of red.
Marauder waited while I did my best to get clean, smiling at my embarrassment. Before he opened the door, he slid his hand behind my neck and pulled me into a last kiss. "Don't be embarrassed, kid. I think it's cool you can get off just giving a blow."
I think I was red all the way to my toes.
We made it back to the lounge and Marauder got me another drink while I sank onto the couch. Suddenly I was tired. Handing me a diet coke, he dropped down beside me, his arm across the back of the couch, and he looked about. "It looks like another wave has arrived."
I nodded, sipping at my coke. The place did seem busier than before we'd slipped into the back. I just sat there, watching, feeling comfortably sated and a little sleepy. It was about a half hour of sitting there, talking about nothing important, when I noticed that Marauder's attention was returning more frequently to the dance floor. I followed his gaze. There was a woman with long blond hair, model body, eyes that were best described as smoky, moving slowly to the tribal beat that was pounding from the speakers. Marauder's libido was coming back out of the cage, and it was hungry. Their eyes met, and I knew he'd found someone to make it an "all nighter."
Marauder stood up, looking at me for a moment. I wasn't changing my mind. He shrugged and leaned down. "You know how it is, kid. Any hole in a storm"
It felt like he'd just kicked me in the gut. I looked away. "Yeah... I know how it is." I watched him work his way around the floor and slide into sync with the smoky blonde. I really didn't feel like watching the foreplay. I'd just been the appetizer. Leaving my drink on the table, I found Demonicalle upstairs, playing pool. I waited until the eight ball disappeared, and then touched her arm. "I'm heading home."
Demonicalle looked up at one of the clocks. "It's only one, Jason."
I shrugged. "I'm used to school hours, Calle. You don't have to come. I can fly back to the tram without an escort."
"Fuck that," she snapped, putting her pool cue away. "Let's go."
The ride back was quiet. I really wasn't in the mood to talk. I just wanted to go wash. I think I wanted to go puke. As we got off the tram, I looked across the street at Cygnus Medical. "I'm going to check on Urioch."
"Jason, are you okay?"
I smiled. "Yeah, just too much fun for one night." I forced a smile. "Thanks for my 'coming out' party, Calle."
"We'll have to do it again when your whole crew is cleared."
I nodded. "That's a promise."
Demonicalle kissed me on the cheek and looked up for the next tram. "I think you can cross the street without my help."
I leaned against the wall, near the window, and listened to the heart monitors and neuro-scanners beep and chirp quietly as Urioch slept. His heart beat was so different from mine. Of course, he had six chambers in his heart, where a human had four. His injuries weren't as pronounced as they'd been a few days ago. I hadn't been able to reproduce the healing effect I'd done back at the warehouse. At least not for the doctors. Amanda said that was normal. I moved beside the bed and stroked his bruised cheek. I wanted him home.
I closed my eyes and tried to find that place behind my heart where the power had come from. He was still alive. He hadn't been taken away. "Thank you," I whispered, knowing God would listen if he felt like it. A tear slip down my cheek as I reached inside and opened the lock. It didn't hurt like it had before. This time I knew what it was. Opening my eyes, I watched the faint green-white radiance flow down my fingers and spread as it reached his cheek. My cheek began to ache, but as I watched, the bruise on his faded. I let the light fill the space between us, all the time wishing I'd been at the club with him. With Urioch, I never felt like a hole.
I smiled as Urioch lay on the couch, reading the Fabio covered romance I'd laughed at. The doctors had been amazed at his recovery. I supposed I was too, but it wasn't a mystery to me. I was just glad he was home. "What do you want for lunch?"
Urioch looked up from his book. "Anything fresh. They do not know the meaning of the word in the hospital."
I laughed. "Salad it is."
I was getting out the grape tomatoes and chopped onions as Urioch came into the kitchen, setting a brown paper wrapped box on the table. "I talked with Brawler this week"
"Yeah?" Popping open the container, I tossed a handful of tomatoes onto the salad.
"I have asked to become your partner."
"What?" I spilled the onions all over the counter. Partner? There were so many meanings to that word. My heart was in my throat.
Stepping in, Urioch helped me try to clean up the mess. It really wasn't necessary. Once my brain started working again, I just grabbed all the spilled shit with my thoughts and dumped it in the disposal. "If Brawler were to sanction it, would you consider me to be your mentor?"
I looked back at him. He was serious. I looked at the floor. Would I "consider" him? Hell yeah, I would. The problem was that there was still a little issue we hadn't covered. Taking a breath, and let it out slowly. "Before I answer that, there's something you should know." I looked up, knowing I had to be looking at him when I said it. "I'm gay."
Urioch looked at me, a blank expression on his face. All I could feel from him was a mild sense of confusion. "How would your gender preference influence your answer to my question?"
I shrugged. "I wouldn't want you to be uncomfortable, or be embarrassed by what people would think of you having a gay sidekick."
"I am not concerned with other's opinions, Jason. I am only interested in yours."
I stared at him, trying to get any read at all. I couldn't even get a blip. I looked away for a moment, trying to figure out if I was relieved or let down. "I can't think of anyone I'd rather partner with." If only he knew in how many ways I meant that. Could I really live and work with him and not fuck it all up?
"Then I will convince Brawler to sanction my application."
I had to pull my gaze from his; I could just fall into the depth of his eyes, and I couldn't trust myself if I did. I shifted my attention to the package on the table. "What's that?"
"Something to start your career with, and a thank you," he replied.
I ran my fingers over the paper for a few moments before I ripped off the paper, and saw the Icon logo on the box. I pulled off the lid, and saw an envelope resting on carefully folded grey cloth. I picked up the envelope and pulled out a simple card which read.
"Dear Jason. Congratulations upon earning your security clearance. In order to help fulfill my promise, I had this made for you. No hero can succeed alone. Your friend, Urioch."
I grinned, blinking back a few tears as I pulled out the costume. It was the design Janet helped me come up with when we were fucking around with ideas. I never thought I'd actually be able to afford it; at least not from a place like Icon. I'd expected to live with spandex. "Is this elastisteel? That shit is supposed to be bullet proof!"
Urioch nodded. "It provides thermal protection, electrical insulation, and impact resistance." I learned later that he was quoting the informational packet that was under the costume. "The cloth is puncture resistant, resistant to abrasions, cuts and most acids."
I just held it in my hands, as close as I could bring it to me without clutching it to my chest, and stared at the cloth. Why the fuck did I always have to cry? I wiped my cheeks with the back of my fist before braving to look back at him. "I guess you don't want me to die any time soon."
I felt a blip then, but only a blip. His expression revealed nothing. "I have lost too many friends already. I would prefer to keep my remaining friends alive; when possible."
I wanted to give him a hug, but just forced as sincere a smile as I could muster. "Well then I'll just have to stay alive for a while." I shrugged, embarrassed with myself. "I can't keep my part of the bargain on the whole potential thing if I were to get myself killed."
"No, you could not," Urioch agreed.
I'd been through the "sidekick orientation" during the parole program. I knew that a mentor-sidekick partnership had to be made official, sanctioned and registered by Freedom Corps. Still, standing in Freedom Plaza, registering as Urioch's sidekick, it seemed surreal to me. Vows and oaths. They might as well have asked me to love, honor and obey. Hell, love was the only thing that wasn't mentioned in the oaths. Impulse, Tar Patch, Hon'Dah, Blaize, Onyx, Demonicalle, Brawler, Lady Magdalene, Mrs. Patterson, and Amanda witnessed the "union". At least I was in a nearly indestructible costume, and not a dress.
Demonicalle laughed as she gave me a hug. "At least you'll have something worth looking at after twelve hours of patrolling and stake-outs."
I frowned at her. "I think even Urioch will become an eyesore when I'm sleep deprived, Calle."
She rolled her eyes at Brawler. "At least you don't have to look at his ugly mug every day for about a year."
"I don't remember hearing you complain," Brawler growled, smiling at her. He extended his hand to me, and I took it. "Congratulations, Jason."
I let go as he looked over me at Urioch. "You have your hands full, Urioch. I'm still not sure he's house broken yet."
I shot Brawler an evil look, but Urioch put his hand on my shoulder and squeezed. "I can attest to the fact that Jason is well versed in the proper standards of personal hygiene."
"That's a big help," I grumbled, moving around to let Impulse hug me. Janet was nearly vibrating with excitement.
"I'm so jealous I could spit." She let me go, laughing. "You get an Icon costume, security clearance and a mentor before the rest of us finish parole."
"I'm sure you're turn is coming, Impulse. I've just been nearly dead more often than the rest of you."
Onyx snorted. "That, I hope, won't become a habit."
"You and me both," I smiled. Onyx and I never really clicked, but she was cool.
Blaize gave me a disgusted look. "Man, I feel like I should be throwing rice!"
"Don't go there, Blaize." I raised a warning finger and eyed him threateningly.
He put up his hands in mock fear. "Don't act all queer-queen on me, bro. If you start Z-ing I'm going to have to hurt you."
I laughed. "Not in this, or my next, life time."
"Good. I'd hate to see you end up in the Pink." He shuddered. After I'd seen a few Posse members at the club, I'd looked them up in the Super Hero Group registry. I'd printed out the stuff, along with information on a dozen other groups, and brought it to the dinner the guys had for me the other night. I came out, and then warned them if they gave me any grief I'd sick the Posse on them. Blaize didn't stop laughing for a full ten minutes.
"Give up black and white for rainbow colors?" I tried to imagine myself in a deep purple outfit with my hair tinted lavender and the skull on my chest blended in reflective rainbow hues. It was just all wrong. "I'll pass, thanks."
Lenny grinned. "Where's your pride?"
I looked down, noting that in addition to hugging my ass, Janet's design put my 'pride' on display pretty well. "If you've missed it at this point, Len, you need to get your eyes checked."
"Ewwww... text only mode, text only mode!" Lenny clawed at his face before pulling me into a hug. "It won't be the same doing CS without you."
"I'll keep in touch." God. I felt like I was leaving home. "Losers Unite, right?"
Blaize put out his fist, and everyone bumped our fists calling out, "Losers Unite!" We laughed, before I realized I needed to go before I started crying.
"I think we've got patrol, or something." I shook hands or hugged my way out of the Freedom Corps building with Urioch. I stopped to look out at the plaza. A few people were wandering by, tourists, and a couple pointed us out to their children. I nodded at them. "They're looking at us."
Urioch looked at the kids, who were staring across the plaza at us. He smiled. "Let us take off slowly, Death's Head. Give the children something to remember."
Contrary to what Jawbreaker had told his minions back in the alley, not all Capes could fly. Of my parole program team, Battlement and I were the only ones who could. Urioch extended his arms out to his sides, energy flaring from his hands, and he ascended in a slow, graceful arc over the dome. I followed just behind and to the right, not sure if I should make a move like Superman did in the movies, or just fly like I normally did. Urioch's was the showier power. Not to mention, he looked every inch the hero in his liquid armor. I just flew up behind, arms out just a little, fists clenched, and hoped I looked half as heroic as he did. I barely heard the excited wows rise up from the kids, and I smiled at the thought they'd be recounting my first flight as a hero to all their friends back home.