A/N: The ficlets featuring Holly and Gabe began as sort of fun when I was meant to write a contemporary fantasy story for my friend, Vicki, featuring Cambions. They're a sort of precursor or side stories to the main story, which I haven't begun yet. Gabe will be the main character for the main story, but his best friend Holly didn't want to get just a minor part, so in part these ficlets are also a way of appeasing Holly's vanity. I hope that when you guys read these ficlets, you will learn to love the characters as much as I have, even if they are filthy mouth, obnoxious, violent, pervy, snarky brats. The first ficlet is, as you'll see, the way that Holly and Gabe first meet way back when. It's set in a fantastical contemporary setting wherein humans (or Normals) are aware of the Supernatural creatures (or Übers) around them. The term "Über" is taken from Nietzsche's concept of the "übermensch". For the reasoning behind my choice in using that as a base, read here (http : / / relativuslima./index.cgi?boardinfo&actiondisplay&thread5), where I wrote down my reasoning and also cited a few paragraphs on the "übermensch" theory from Wikipedia. Anyway, now that's over with, on with the story! Hope you enjoy it.

Calex


Mama didn't like him going outside by himself, said that it was dangerous, wasn't safe for him. He didn't understand the look he saw in her eyes when she said that, and he didn't like it. And he'd always been a difficult child, according to his father. Well, he didn't see why he couldn't go by himself, the other kids did it. It wasn't like he was still a baby. He was already ten, a big boy. So when his Mama wasn't looking one day, he snuck out of the garden and just walked. The air felt sweet against his face, fresh and wild and natural as Gabriel breathed in, feeling the rays of the sun bathe him in light and warmth.

He walked quickly towards the park, where he knew there was a playground and other kids his age. He'd always wanted to go, but his Mama wouldn't let him, said he shouldn't be around the other boys. It was dangerous. He didn't know why everything was so dangerous and just couldn't agree with her especially when he saw kids going by their house on their bikes and skateboards, or just walking and running with their parents, siblings, friends. Gabriel wanted that, the freedom that they seemed to relish in, and he believed that if you wanted something bad enough, you had to grab it. So that was what he was doing while his Mama was busy on the phone, carefully crossing the street and entering the park.

It was bliss. All that greenery and kids and things to do, and Gabriel knew he could spend hours just wandering but that day he had a very specific goal in mind. So with that, he went in search of the playground, which wasn't actually that hard to find. He also felt a little smug at his achievement. He told Mama he was big enough, that there wasn't anything to worry about. He got to the park and the playground safe and sound, hadn't he? Not even a peep of trouble anywhere, though he didn't understand why trouble had to peep. He was of the mind that trouble would just hit you between the eyes, would give you no warning. And apparently, he was proved right.

There were a couple of big boys by the slides, and they didn't look particularly friendly. But maybe that was because they were pushing a pretty little thing around like bullies. Gabriel felt a flash of indignation at that. Gentlemen didn't treat ladies that way, it was wrong! If there was one thing his Mama had always taught him, and something he'd never neglected to follow, was that ladies had to be treated right. And she was such a pretty little thing, too, even Gabriel could admit it. He might think that girls were icky and had cooties, but he could admit this one was pretty. Shoulder length bright red-blonde hair and big brown eyes in a face that was almost doll-like. She was small and dainty and looked awfully vulnerable against the bigger boys. And the little girl was getting shoved around, and getting a stick thin arm yanked about. Well, Gabriel wouldn't stand for that.

He squared his shoulders and walked forward, shoving at the closest boy as he reached them. Hard. The boy grunted and whirled around, mean eyes narrowing at Gabriel from his lofty height of four inches taller. Gabriel thought they must be around twelve or something, and if he was scared, he didn't show it to them. Bullies didn't deserve your fear, or at least that was what his Daddy always said. The boy grabbed Gabriel by the front of his shirt and dangled him up, but Gabriel didn't even flinch.

"What do you want, pipsqueak?" the older boy growled menacingly, but Gabriel just glared.

"You're not to hurt girls," he said, defiantly. "That's what my Mama says." The older boy snickered, looking at his friend.

"You hear that, Johnny. His Mama says we're not to hurt girls. What do you think we should do?"

"Oh just shut the brat up, Mark" the friend said, dismissively. "I'll deal with the other one."

"Whatever you say," 'Mark' said, and just as he was about to punch Gabriel, Gabriel did something his Mama told him to do if someone attacked him. He kicked him between the legs. The boy howled, crumpling to the ground and cupping himself, moaning in pain. 'Johnny's' eyes widened, then he glared at Gabriel.

"You're going to get it, you brat." He shoved at Gabriel, sending the slighter boy flying. Gabriel did let out a cry as he landed hard on the ground, because that hurt. His eyes watered, but he refused to cry because only babies cried and he wasn't a baby. But the big boy was already on his way towards Gabriel again and Gabriel could only stare up in fear, trying to brace himself for a punch or something, eyes screwing tightly shut. But instead, he heard a high exclamation, the sound of flesh hitting flesh and a dull thump. He opened his eyes to see that 'Johnny' was out cold on the ground and that the girl was cradling her hand, making a face.

"That hurt," she said, succinctly, only it wasn't a she. Despite how pretty that face was, Gabriel couldn't mistake that the voice was decidedly not that of a little girl's. The gi-boy glanced up and grinned at Gabriel, showing small, perfect teeth and looking infinitely more pretty now that Gabriel knew he had decked the big, older boy. Gabriel didn't care if the she was actually a he, but he thought he knew what the grownups kept talking about when they said "love". "I'm Holly."

"Eh?" Gabriel stared at the pretty, wondering if maybe he got confused again because even if he had a girly face and a girly body and a girly name, he could've sworn that the other boy was, well, a boy. But Holly was a girl's name, wasn't it? "So you are a girl?" Holly looked a bit put out and his/her bottom lip jutted out a bit.

"No, I'm a boy. Holly's not just a girl's name."

"Is too," Gabriel said immediately, and watched as Holly scowled. "I don't know any other boy Hollys and all the Hollys I know are girls."

"Well I'm not a girl," Holly repeated, firmly. Then he cocked his head to the side, studying Gabriel curiously. "Who're you?"

"Gabriel."

"Gabriel?" Holly wrinkled his nose a bit. "And you made fun of my name? Huh. Can I call you Gabe instead?"

"Gabe?" Gabriel repeated, hesitant. He tried out the name again. "Gabe. I… I guess?"

"Great!" Holly beamed as he skipped, skipped over to where Gabriel was and hooked an arm through the taller boy's. "Let's be friends. And get out of here before those two get up again, kay?"

"Okay," Gabriel agreed, bemused. He looked at the still fallen older boy and then back at Holly in admiration. "That was a pretty good punch. Where'd you learn to do that?"

"My brother," Holly admitted cheerfully. "I can teach you, if you want."

"Okay!" Gabriel agreed, immediately. And thus began a long and rather tumultuous friendship.