Author's note: And this is the end of this story. So let me know how what you thought. Please, please let me know what you thought. It's rough, not getting any feedback at all. Only a few people even read this, which makes the lack of reviews even rougher. So gimme something here. Any feedback is appreciated.


The past month has been rough. Martha kept trying to cheer me up, but it didn't help much. Achilles tried, too, in his way; his way is suggesting I sleep with him. I might have taken him up on it, actually, if I didn't feel so lousy. I've spent entirely too much time lounging around in my underwear watching bad daytime TV. I've even started putting on some weight from all the crap I've been eating. The weight gain is what's finally driven me out of the house. I refuse to be the west coast's fattest superhero. I won't be LA's answer to that guy in Wisconsin.

Jogging around the city like this . . . I'd forgotten how much I really missed LA. It's not that it's a good city for jogging – San Fran's got it beat all to hell on that front – but it's my city. It's been two years since I lived here, but all those memories are coming back. I'm already feeling better.

I spend the whole day jogging around the city. Being a superhuman has its benefits. For one thing, I don't sweat; most supers do, but I actually lack sweat glands. That basically goes along with being a human rubber band. It takes a lot more to tire me out, so I actually can jog for hours. If I ever entered a marathon, I'd win easily; of course, that's why superhumans aren't really counted in marathons.

Still, I do get tired eventually, so I finally stop at a nice restaurant I know of. I'm glad to see it's still there. It's not the best food in the city. But I always loved this place. I used to be a bit of a regular here. I wonder if they remember me.

"Hey, people!" I shout as I walk in. "Look who's back!"

"Holy crap!" the bartender – his name is Danny – says. "Susan! Welcome back!" Yep, they remember me.

"Where ya been?" one guy asks.

"The place wasn't the same without you," a waitress says.

"I was actually up in San Francisco," I say. There's some booing and hissing, and I grin. "I know, I know. But the superteam I was with moved up there, and you know they would've been helpless without me."

"I guess we can't argue that," another guy says.

"I thought your team broke up a while ago," Danny says.

"We did. But I'd already fallen in love by that point." There's some aww-ing at that.

"You're breakin' my heart, girl!" one man, who's actually happily married, jokes. "We're supposed to be together, and you know it!"

"So, you and the lucky guy moving back here?" the waitress asks.

"Actually, it was a girl," I say. "And, uh, we broke up."

"I'm back in the game!" the married guy says.

"Shut up, Chris," the waitress snaps. "Can't you see she's upset about the break-up?"

"It's OK," I say. "I know he's only joking. Besides, with how many people I've dated, it makes sense to assume this break-up was like all the others."

"How long were you with the guy- or girl, you said?" the waitress asks.

"Almost two years," I say. "Gimme a beer and some wings, and I'll tell you all the tragic tale."

I'm a little surprised at how good it feels to talk about it. Maybe it's just the company. Being surrounded by friends makes it a lot easier. As the evening goes on, people come and go, but the sense of acceptance stays. I never really found this in San Francisco. I guess maybe I never really looked for it, but still, that city was my home for two years, LA was my home for most of my life, and it's hard to beat that sort of history.

Finally, I decide to head out. It's gotten pretty late, but I'm not tired. I haven't felt this good in over a month. I take to the rooftops, stretching from one building to the next. An explosion gets my attention. It's only a couple blocks away – I get there in less than half a minute. I see a guy stumble out of a jewelry shop filled with smoke. He's coughing, and I'm pretty sure he was the one that set the fire. The fact that he's wearing an ugly brown costume that I'm pretty sure is just pajamas, along with metal gloves with wires attaching them to a backpack, and a helmet with more wires, tells me that he's some lame would-be supervillain. But I suppose I shouldn't jump to conclusions.

"Hey!" I shout as I get to the ground. "What's going on?"

"Uh. I just, um." He's stuttering. Seldom a good sign.

"Were you trying to rob this place?" I ask.

He gets a panicked look, but then some realization dawns on him, and he gets cocky. "Yeah, I was," he admits. "What are you going to do about it? Uh, bitch?"

Oh god, this guy's an idiot. "I'm going to beat the crap out of you and leave you for the cops," I tell him. "Who should be here soon anyway."

"Beat me? Ha! Not likely! With my power pack, I'm invincible! How are you going to beat me, when I can do – THIS!" He extends his arms and fires an energy blast at me. I easily flex out of the way, and I give him a smirk. "Um. OK. Well. I'll just keep trying."

He blasts again, and again, I easily avoid it. I could keep this up all night, but he's damaging property, so I should probably put an end to it quickly, so I extend my arm out to punch him. He falls down, but it feels like there was some sort of energy field that gave him some protection.

"Oh crap," he says. "I've gotta get outta here!" He gets to his feet and aims his fists at the ground, then starts blasting. I wrap my arm around him as he rises into the air, and I wrap myself around a lamppost to keep him from carrying me with him. His blasts have enough thrust to make my arm a bit sore from holding on, but luckily, I don't need to hold on for long. I use my free hand to reach up and pluck the helmet off his head.

Yep, that cut off his gloves. I lower him to the ground and pull off the backpack and gloves, too, just to be on the safe side. And the cops are right on time. But they're not alone. Some Asian guy in a black and yellow costume rides in on top of one of the cars. "Hey there!" he says as he jumps down. "Excuse me, but I need to ask who you are."

"I'm Elastic Woman," I reply. I stretch my arm out to shake his hand while he's still several feet away, just to make my point.

"Oh my God!" he says excitedly. "You're Elastic Woman? Oh my God! It's such an honour to meet you! I am such a huge fan!"

"It's nice to meet you, too."

"I'm Friction," he says.

"Oh, yeah! I read about you. You started showing up a while ago, right?"

"Yeah, nine months ago," he says proudly. "But, I mean, I've lived in LA for basically my whole life, so I've been reading about you since you showed up. You're basically the reason I'm a superhero."

"Well," I say, a little embarrassed by all the praise, "it's always nice to be appreciated." I just hope he doesn't have some creepy shrine dedicated to me.

"Hey, my wife would love to meet you," he says. That's a bit of a relief. "Would you want to come over to our place for dinner tomorrow night?"

"Sure. That sounds nice."

"Great! Oh, um, by the way, I don't want this to sound weird or anything, but, are you seeing anyone? Because my brother-in-law's getting over a pretty big break-up, and I was thinking that if you're not seeing anyone, then maybe I could invite him over, too."

I hesitate. It's been a month. I'm not sure I'm over Leslie yet. On the other hand, there can't be any harm in meeting the guy, right? "Yeah, what the hell," I shrug. "Go ahead. The more, the merrier."

"Great! I'll see you tomorrow night then! Oh, let's swap numbers, we'll work out the details tomorrow, OK?"

So there it is. One day back in LA proper, and I've got friends, action and a date. It all feels comfortable. Right, even. I never really got any of this in San Francisco. All I had there was Leslie. I hate not having her any more, but I'm happy to be back home. For the first time in over a month, I feel content.

All right, LA. Elastic Woman is back!