Author's note: Hey there all you rainbow cloud believers! First things first, HAPPY SINGLES AWARENESS DAY! (For those like me who celebrated this instead of Valentine's Day. Not for people like Field Empathy who has a boyfriend. *glares*)
Field Empathy: Valentine's Day should be Singles Awareness Day. It would mean fewer ridiculous love songs. Besides, we (that is, my boyfriend and I) didn't do anything out of the ordinary or give each other pointless gifts.
Me: Yeah, they were playing stupid songs about love in between classes at our school (except for the song the played by Bruno Mars who I LOVE!)
Field Empathy: To counteract that, I was singing 'Gives You Hell' in the hallways.
Me: which is ANOTHER song that I love! Also, FE, why not you tell them about that one-shot you published on here?
Field Empathy: You just did, so there's no need to... (It's called 'Aphrodite', if anyone wants to bother with looking it up)
Me: It could technically be considered fanfiction for this story, but there's no category for my story on the site... So she posted it on here with my permission. Also, for those of you who would also like to write fanfiction for this story, you have to get my permission and let me read it first before posting it. Otherwise, I'll have to report you, or whatever it is you do on this site.
Field Empathy: You practically begged me to write it once I started...
Me: That's because it was SO GOOD! So if you like this story, go read hers! (It's her first story on here as well, so it shouldn't be too hard to find.)
Field Empathy: Moving on... Your readers are probably more interested in what they came here to read...
Me: True... ON WITH THE STORY! But first a warning, there might be adorableness between Owen and her brother towards the end!
Field Empathy: *Face palm*
October 20, 2012
11:27 p.m. PST
About a mile outside of Rossville, Washington
My head's is still spinning. I didn't even do anything. Some hero I am. After Alecia teleports us back, we change into civilian clothes and go straight to the other base, where I meet Vortex and Richard's dad. Again.
The first words out of my mouth are, "Is there any way I can get a motorcycle?"
Vortex looks thoughtful. "Do you wanna custom build one?
I'm skeptical. "You know how to?"
Vortex laughs. "Nope, I'm an attorney. My friend, who's a genius, can help you build one."
"How will I pay for it?"
"Don't worry about that. We can talk about it once we set up a meeting."
"Can we just meet here tomorrow morning or something and talk about it? I don't want to be a charity case."
"Fair enough." Vortex concedes. "We have the money to just give you one, but I suppose that it'll be best if you're involved with your own equipment. It works out, actually, because tomorrow I don't have to be in the office until twelve."
"Okay." I tell him, figuring that it's just best to go with the flow. "Can I go home now?"
"Yeah. Meet here at eight." Sprint says, coming up behind us. "We can all talk in the morning."
I insist on running home, and I manage to stop a burglary on my way there. At least I did something useful today. But still, I'm strangely happy. I actually joined up with Rossville's elite. Some of whom happen to be my best friends.
I don't really dwell too much on it; I'm still recovering from Death and incredibly tired. I morph my clothes into pajamas and go right to sleep.
October 21, 2012
2:13 a.m. PST
I wake up to someone shaking my shoulder. I strengthen my mental firewall before opening my eyes, preparing for a fight.
It's Griffin. His eyes aren't glowing either, so I guess he's not planning on hurting me.
"What do you want?" I growl. "I was trying to sleep here."
"You think I couldn't see that? And besides, I need to talk to you." Griffin explains, sitting down in the swivel chair by my desk.
"It's about Dad, isn't it?" I ask, not even sure if I want to know this time.
"He's thinking about hiring a new assassin. Some ghost lady that goes by the name of Death." I tense up a bit at the mention of the name. Griffin doesn't appear to notice. "I don't think he fully realizes what he's getting into."
"Does he ever think before getting into this kind of stuff?"
Griffin's red eyes flash with anger. "Of course not. He's insane enough to survive, though. This time, on the other hand, I'm not so sure."
"Why, because Death nearly killed me and according to Dad, I'm too powerful to be killed?"
Griffin's eyes widen just a little bit. "So you've met her. In that case, you know how powerful she is." He spins around aimlessly in my chair. "Problem is, a regular, mortal soul endowed with supernatural powers at least three times stronger than ours, can't end well. She's mentally unstable."
"You think I couldn't tell? I was actually dead for some time because of Death. The only reason why I survived was because Speedster came along and-"
"Which is why I'm telling you." Griffin states, cutting me off. "I swear, by the time I turned twenty, nothing mattered to me anymore. You're one of the last things I still care about, and I'd like to keep you alive."
"But why do you care about me?"
"That should be obvious. You're my sister. I risked myself to save you, if that says anything. I hate Dad and I hate my job and I hate who I've become, and I swear, that's like the only emotion I can feel anymore. I can tell why some evil sorcerers don't practice and just decide to live a normal life. Destruction is all you do." Griffin's not making much sense, but it's the most he's told me since Mom died, so I hear him out.
He falls silent for a minute. "You're not making any sense." I tell him irritably.
"I know." he says sardonically. "I stopped making sense a long time ago."
"Could you try to make sense, then?" I glare at him. "Frankly, you never made sense to me."
Griffin laughs. It isn't much, but it sounds genuine. "Whatever you say, Teen Archer."
I glare at him, but it's also kind of hard to since I've never heard a genuine laugh from him before. It's always just been sadistic cackles, never laughs. "I hate that nickname."
"It's accurate." Griffin points out. "You're a teenager, and an archer."
"I know, but it reminds me of Mom."
Griffin winces, even if only slightly. "Yeah, but that's probably a good thing. Her legacy should live on, somehow. Between the two of us, Mom was my favorite."
I nod and mumble "Mine too. I can see why you wanted me away from Dad, so that I wouldn't turn into a younger female version of him... right?"
"Yeah." Griffin sounds cynical. "What would the world do with two Hunter Juniors? I stayed with Dad, and look what happened. At least one of us is honoring Mom. Just be careful around Death, okay? And the society, for that matter." With that final set of instructions, he teleports away without a sound.
October 21, 2012
8:26 a.m. PST
About a mile outside of Rossville, Washington
How much longer am I gonna have to wait! He said to be here at eight and it's now nearly eight thirty! I start pacing back and forth in the main room of the base when I hear a door open.
"Sorry for being late, just had to get something, or should I say someone."
I turn around to see Vortex walking in, half carrying, half dragging a guy in his mid-teens, just a little shorter than himself, who looked completely overwhelmed. "Uh, who's that?" I ask, pointing at the guy Vortex had brought with him.
"Not sure yet, but I'm sure we'll find out when he wakes up." Vortex states, acting like this occurrence is completely normal to him. "I did see him use superpowers last night, though, which is probably why he's kind of out of it."
"What is it about Rossville that makes so many heroes show up here?" Sprint muses, pulling his mask back over his face.
"No idea, but he's hyperventilating. We need to get him to calm down."
"Then why did you take him here?" Richard asks, sounding incredulous. "I'd freak out too, if it was my first time here."
"No kidding." The teenager mumbles. He runs a shaky hand over his close cropped, light brown hair.
"You don't look too good." Vortex says to the teenager.
"Yeah, and I feel worse," he agreed. "Look, I've known I've had superpowers for like half my life. This was the first time I used them for a long period of time, though, and I think I might throw up." He admits. His eyes are light brown, opened wide and unfocused. Sprint deposits a trash can next to him less than a second later. "Thanks." he says, even though it's pretty obvious that he's embarrassed. I look him over, just to get an idea of his appearance. About six feet tall, average build, clean shaven with freckles, and lightly tanned skin. His hair and eyes are light brown. He could pass for a younger, less athletic version of Vortex.
"What's your name?" I ask, feeling a need to attach an identity to him.
"He doesn't have to tell you." Vortex interjects. "He just met you."
"I'm Eric." He tells us, almost immediately after Vortex said he didn't have to. "Eric Hugh."
"I'd say 'nice to meet you', but the circumstances aren't the best." Richard says.
"No kidding." Eric mutters. "Can I go home?"
Vortex walks up to Eric. "Have you ever had any kind of training with your powers?"
Eric sighs. "No, and I don't really plan on being a hero, either."
"Don't you think that you could help more people like you did today?" Vortex asks, trying to sound encouraging.
"Yeah, but I'm not exactly the hero type."
"What are you, then?" I ask, becoming rather annoyed with him. "The villain type?"
"No." Eric replies, his expression hardening.
"Well then, what are you?" I ask, pointing at him. "If you haven't noticed, there's a pretty clear line drawn."
"I have no idea what I'm supposed to be!" Eric counters, gripping the edges of his chair tightly. "I can't be good, I'm not evil, what side can I choose?"
"You don't have to pick yet." Vortex tells him. "And you-" he turns to me. "it's probably best that you don't put him on the spot like that. It's been a rough night for him."
"Fair enough." I agree, stepping back. "But aren't I obliged to be irritable after a near death experience and only having a few days to recover?"
"Yes, but have some sympathy for Eric. He's probably had a night that was almost as bad."
"Plus, you're irritable all the time!" Richard argues, slightly glaring at him.
"Yeah, well you're annoying all the time!" I banter back.
"I'm sorry, but are you two dating?" Eric asks, seeming incredibly uncomfortable.
"No." Vortex says simply as me and Richard send eye daggers at Eric. "But I can see the sexual tension between them, too."
"What 'sexual tension'?" I ask, practically in a growl. Turning my glare so that it's directed at Vortex.
"You do know how incredibly obvious it is, right?" Vortex says with a laugh,
"You know what? I don't need a custom built motorcycle, so I'm just gonna leave!" I say, turning to leave, but before I can make it to the door, Vortex grabs my arm.
"You're not leaving that easy." He says in a joking manner. "I know you want a motorcycle, but I can understand if you want to just be carried by Speedster all the time."
"Motorcycle it is." I declare immediately, not wanting them to think I like being carried by Richard, which I don't... I think...
"Thought so." Vortex grins triumphantly, snapping me out of my reverie. "What kind of motorcycle do you want?"
"Don't really know that much about motorcycles honestly, but if it's navy blue with gold detailing, that's good enough for me." I state bluntly, not really sure what else there is to say. "Just one thing though, where would I keep it?"
"You can just keep it in the city base, I guess. I have something in mind that's just your style."
"And what would you know when it comes to my style?" I say incredulously.
"I can make a few educated guesses, judging by your clothing. Something maneuverable with a lot of hiding places. Anyway, I just need to set up a meeting with the guy who can build your bike."
"When will that be?"
"About three days. Until then, you'll just have to deal with not having a bike." Vortex explains. I respond by pretty much growling at him. "In the meantime, I'm gonna go question Eric to see what else I can learn about him."
"And I'm just gonna... go..." Sprint says lamely as he starts backing away towards the exit. I roll my eyes and start walking towards the exit on the opposite side of the room when I feel an unnatural gust of air. "I'm going with you!" Richard calls, probably doing his best to get out of another awkward confrontation.
"Why the hell would you think I'd want you to?" I ask, glaring at him, but he just ignores me and walks over to the door and holds it open for me. I give him a skeptical look, but notice that he seems anxious. He probably doesn't want to stay here with Vortex or go with his dad, so I'm his last option. Great. I groan as I walk over to the door and grab Richard by the ear, dragging him along with me.
"Hey! That doesn't mean drag me out by my- ow!" He yelps as my grip hardens just a bit.
"Do not pick me up and carry me, got it?" I snarl, still dragging him by his ear.
"Why not? It'll get us home faster." Richard states, which I have to admit is true...
"Because! I don't want to give your dad and Vortex the wrong idea about... us..." I say in slight disgust. "Besides, I'm not as helpless as you seem to think I am."
"Keep pinching my ear and I'll run you all the way through town before dropping you off at your house." Richard threatens.
"You. Wouldn't. Dare." I say in practically a growl, my grip on his ear tightening with each word and causing him to yelp in pain again.
"Try me." He taunts, a lopsided smirk on his face. I shoot him a withering look, but release his ear.
I immediately realize my mistake as Richard's smirk widens. He picks me up and takes off before I can protest. "What the hell?" I yell at him, my arms immediately going around his neck, for balance purposes of course.
"Having fun?" Richard asks me, smugness in his voice.
"What do you think?"
"I think that next time, you should consider the consequences before dragging me around by my ear." He explains, smirking down at me.
"I'm seriously uncomfortable with you carrying me. The fact that Vortex said there's 'sexual tension' between us does not help."
Richard pauses. "I'm not sure how to respond to that."
"You could put me down." I suggest hopefully, but I know that it's not likely since Richard is currently running at some crazy speed.
"Not a chance." He shot back. "I'm having way too much fun with this."
"And by that, you mean...?"
I feel him shrug. "I dunno."
"Well, that really helps clear things up." I drawl sarcastically. "Are we there yet?"
"Do you want whiplash?" Richard asks sarcastically.
"Are we there yet?" I ask again.
"Yes! Geez." Richard bites back, decelerating before coming to a stop in front of my window. I scramble out of his grip and slap him upside the head before hoisting myself into my room.
"Ow!" He whines.
"Serves you right." I tell him. "Next time, don't run me all the way across the city without my permission." Richard glares at me, then takes off running in the opposite direction.
October 21, 2012
2:28 p.m. PST
I'm walking out of the house, heading to the library so I can get my homework done. I pick up the sound of police sirens in the distance. I start to run towards the sound, trying to find an alleyway where I can hide in while I morph my outfit into civilian attire. As I get closer, I see that our city's local bank is completely surrounded by cops and that there aren't any alleyways close enough for me to hide in. Guess I'll have to sneak in first then find a bathroom. I start looking around to see if there are any blind spots that the cops aren't covering, but there aren't any. There's too much noise and chaos for me to think straight. I start considering just running in through the barricade and risking my civilian identity. I sprint about a block back morph my clothes into my superhero costume behind the cover of a building, muttering a spell to make the nearby traffic camera short circuit before I do.
A black blur races by me. I'm aiming a trick arrow at them before I even register what I'm shooting at. It's a girl, a little bit younger than me, wearing a jet black unitard, a black mask that covers the top half of her face, from the bridge of her nose up, black knee high combat boots, and black gloves with a red stripe on the wrists.
"Crap." She mutters, seemingly indecisive.
"What have you stolen?" I lapse into my Russian accent, only to disguise my voice.
She shifts uncomfortably, despite her obvious skills in escape. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is the same thief that we tried to track yesterday. "One hundred dollars." She mumbles sheepishly, almost as though her conscience is bothering her. I'm only more confused. What kind of master thief purposely steals just one hundred dollars?
But no matter. I push my thoughts aside and tell her, "Return it."
Her mouth pulls itself into a scowl. "And get arrested?"
I'm really not in a good mood at this point. "But it doesn't belong to you."
"It's not like they were using it."
"What were you going to do with it?" I ask incredulously.
"That's none of your business." she snaps, clenching her fists. She turns to run. I let my arrow fly.
She turns back, her eyes narrowing in concentration as the arrow passes right through her.
I frown, taking out another arrow, one that dishes out knockout gas, and shoot it at a wall. I step back, letting the cloud spread as she panics for a second, before falling to the ground. I wait for the gas to clear before heading over to her.
Before, I might have gleefully searched through her belongings and ripped off her mask before leaving her to lie in an alleyway. But I'm not The Psycho anymore. That life has faded into something separate from what I am now.
I turn and look behind me to see John, or Envision, standing there with a look of shock on his face. "What?" I ask, a sense of slight annoyance in my voice.
"You took her down within a minute when I couldn't even catch her." He states, sounding amazed that I was able to do what I just did even though I 'don't have powers'.
"I had knockout arrows. It honestly wasn't that hard." I then proceed to pull out some rope from my utility belt and begin to tie up the girl I just caught.
"So she can't phase through your rope, because you tied her up?" John asks sarcastically.
"No. This is special anti-power rope that blocks out all meta-abilities." I explain, slightly annoyed that he couldn't just infer that. I quickly tie up the girl before turning to face John again. "Let's get her back to the base before she wakes up."
"Great idea! Just one problem, I can't carry both of you there, and you still don't know how to get to the base." John retorts. "However, I can always just call Speedster and ask him if-"
"No thank you. And besides, don't your powers allow you to make other things fly or turn invisible?"
"Sadly, I can only make other things invisible, but I can't make other things fly." John explains.
"Now what?" I groan, collapsing my bow. "She won't give the money back, either."
"You sure you don't want me to call Speedster in? It'll save you time." John offers again.
I start thinking it over. Unless I want no credit for catching the thief, I'll have to let John call in Richard. Plus, it's not that bad being carried by Richard. Gah! What am I saying? Or... thinking...
"Sooo... are you and Speedster dating yet?" John asks suddenly, a smug expression on his face.
"What the hell do you think?" I ask, sarcasm practically radiating off of me.
"I'm gonna take that as a yes!" John cheers enthusiastically.
"No! Were you not just listening to what I said? I hate him!" I yell, though I know my last statement isn't really true.
"So you don't want me to call him in so that you won't get any of the credit for catching the thief? That makes sense."
"That knockout gas doesn't last forever, so you take the thief and tell Speedster to meet me here on your way there." I instruct. John complies, picking up the thief and carrying her over his shoulder as he starts his journey towards the base.
He must have called Richard, because about two minutes later, Richard shows up and, without even asking, picks me up and starts running.
"Can you stop it?" I demand, digging my elbow into his chest.
"Stop what?" He asks teasingly, a smirk spreading across his face.
"You know what I'm talking about." I say in practically a growl. His smirk only widens and he falls silent, his eyes glinting with mischief. At that moment, Richard jumps over something. I scream, my grip around his neck tightening until my head is right next to his. His grip around me, in turn, tightens so that it's not like I'm hanging from his neck.
"Having fun yet?" His voice sounds right in my ear. He's not even winded! What the hell!
"What do you think? Is it really all that hard to let me move under my own power?" I'm past exasperated with him.
"No, but this is way more fun."
"For you maybe!" My voice is lost in the wind.
"Besides, if you didn't like it, I would be dead."
"Fair enough." Well, maybe I wouldn't kill him. Just rough him up a little.
"So you do like it when I carry you around like this!"
Crap. "Did I say that?" I respond as coolly as my position will allow me to.
"Pretty much." He declares, his smirk widening. I can tell that he's won. I'd like to go bang my head somewhere, but the only available surface is Richard's shoulder. So I control myself.
I hang on sullenly until he decides to stop in front of the base. John's waiting for us, and he starts laughing when he sees us- at first he's just snickering, but as Richard puts me down and helps me regain my footing, he's practically rolling on the ground, although I imagine it would be hard to do that while carrying a barely conscious thief.
"Anything else to add?" I ask him, breezing by him into the base. John notices their captive stirring, and quickly rushes into the base before the girl can see what the outside looks like.
"Richard seems to like taking his swell time getting here when he's bringing you, doesn't he?"
"He does it to annoy me as much as he possibly can." I say, sliding my glare over to said Speedster.
"Sure he does."
"We are not dating! Let it go!"
"Why? I finally found a way to annoy you without fail!"
"I have duct tape in here, Mr. Invisible. Don't push me."
"You heard me!"
There was a tiny groan from the tied up form, and we all fell silent, quickly rushing into the interrogation room.
The silence was quickly replaced by panicked struggling and some very creative cursing.
"Calm down!" John pleaded. "We're not going to hurt you!"
"Oh, like hell. You freaking tied me up!"
"Just so that you couldn't get away!" John tries to explain, but it seems like the girl doesn't believe him.
"Then what are you going to do to me?"
"We just need to ask you a few questions." John tells her.
"Like who are you working for?"
I share a look with Richard, and we both leave the interrogation room to stand guard outside. The back and forth yelling fades into muffled shouts, and I breathe a sigh of relief. "I wonder if this is what we appear like to everyone else when we're fighting?" I ask Richard out of boredom.
"Nah, you yell louder."
"And you sound angrier."
"And I'm usually not tied up."
"And I'm usually not trying to convince you that I'm not trying to hurt you."
"True. Chances are, I'd hurt you."
"If you could even catch me."
The yelling comes to an abrupt end. "I wonder who won." I muse aloud. Richard shrugs.
About two minutes later, the girl comes running out. Richard picks her up, runs off, and comes back in about ten seconds, before she has a chance to process her surroundings.
"Dude!" Richard yells at Envision the moment he returns. "Why'd you do that?"
"Well, I couldn't just keep her here!"
"She robbed a bank! Twice!"
"We aren't the police! We couldn't just hold her captive!"
"You could at least give us a little warning!" Richard shoots back, frustrated.
"Please tell me that you at least figured something out." I cut in, feeling a need to break up their argument before it escalated.
"I did. This girl goes by the codename of Silhouette. She doesn't work for anyone."
"She says that she's never hurt anyone, ever."
"That's it?" I ask, disappointed.
"We did take her captive. It is kind of off-putting."
"Whatever." I grouse. "I'm going home. I have an essay due tomorrow."
October 21, 2012
8:33 p.m. PST
I look up from my unbelievably boring homework and check the time. I'm itching to go out as a hero again, but if my grades slip, Lord Mart and Lady Jane will probably make me come down into the living room all night so they can 'supervise' my homework efforts. It only happened once, in eighth grade, and I'm not eager to repeat it.
Griffin appears next to me and looks over my shoulder. "Historical significance of music in the twentieth century? Fun." He says, his voice practically drowning in sarcasm.
"Yeah. 'Fun'." I agree, kinda happy to see him again. "To what do I owe this surprise visit?"
"I'm going to keep you informed about Death. If we ever get in the position where you need to tell the heroes the information, you need to tell them the truth about you being The Psycho when you were eight."
"But that would mean I'd have to admit to killing all those people! They'd never trust me again!"
"We're the kids of The Archer and The Hunter. If anyone has a complicated family history, it's us. They can't hate you because our dad forced us into training to be assassins as soon as we could walk."
"What if they do, though? I would have lost every last one of my friends like that!" I'm beginning to realize how much I rely on other people. My father would be disgusted by this.
"Relax, we don't know if you'll even have to tell them. But I need to give you all the information on Death that you can."
I just nod, not really feeling very talkative right now, as the memories of my encounter with Death begin to surface again.
"First off, you need to know that Dad did take her as an agent. The agreement right now is that she works for us until we can figure out how to give her a body again. Dad can rally hundreds of evil sorcerers for the project. But so far, he's only trusted me enough to actually help him. Right now, we have just some spells on her that bind her to Dad. She has to take direct orders from him, and she can't kill him. I couldn't undo the spells, even if I wanted to, and honestly, I think it's safer to have her contained in some way. At the same time, she's getting power from the spells, I have to feed them energy continuously, I'm like at half power."
"Then why don't you do the same thing I did and switch sides?" I ask bluntly.
"I can't. I got bullied into choosing evil when I turned twenty, and now I can't go back. And besides, I'm bound to Death just as much as she's bound to dad. I can't do anything to harm her without killing myself, and in any case, I'd just get targeted by the four elements." Griffin's getting more and more agitated as he says this.
"Then we'll just have to figure something out later, but I promise that I'll try to find some way to get you out of this." I say, placing a sympathetic hand on his shoulder and giving him a small smile. He picks me up suddenly and hugs me.
"You have no idea how much I hate everyone I work with. You're the only person who knows my identity that I don't hate." I hug back, relishing the moment, and noticing how much taller he is compared to me. I'm never going to catch up with him at this point.
He puts me down, and checks the time. "Well, I was supposed to be in Mongolia ten minutes ago, I should get going." He gives me a quick kiss on the cheek before vanishing off to his destination. I stand there, surprised at all of the sudden affection and wondering what the heck he was supposed to be doing in Mongolia, of all places.
So that was chapter 10! I told you Owen and her brother would have some adorable sibling bonding time at the end, didn't I?
Field Empathy: Is anyone ever scarred by sibling bonding?
Me: And by that you mean...?
Field Empathy: You didn't need to warn anyone!
Me: But what if they over-obsessively fangirled/boyed and got a heart attack from the scene's adorableness?
Field Empathy: I'm not going to entertain that as any kind of possibility in this or the next life.
Me: It could be possible...
Field Empathy: If a close relative of yours died from fangirling/boying over this story, I offer my condolences.
Me: We basically aren't responsible. Anyway, thanks for reading! Please leave your ideas for possible mini plots in a review since I have no idea what will happen next and also tell me what you thought of the chapter and how I could make it better! Thank you for reading, bye-bye Rainbow Cloud Believers!