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Daydream Believer

Discussion in 'Non-Pokémon Stories' started by The Teller, May 2, 2018.

  1. The Teller

    The Teller King of Half-Truths

    Why hello there! This is a story I've been working on for Camp NaNoWriMo last month. The basic premise is that it's a collection of daydreams and fantasies dreamt up by the narrator, so every chapter besides the first one is not based in reality. However, if you think of it like a TV series, each pair of lovers in each chapter is "played" by the same "actors," as daydreams about your crush are wont to be. The entire story is rated PG-13 mainly for language, so keep that in mind. Hope this is to your liking, and enjoy!

    Chapter 1

    It was early in the morning when I sat down in the small lecture hall for one of my elective courses. Well, “elective” being rather subjective in this case, since I had little to no choice but to sign up for this course due to a lack of more interesting and valid options. Still, I was always a good student, so it wasn’t like I was fearing failing the course. And besides, if I hadn’t taken this course at this specific timeslot, I wouldn’t have met him.

    Well, “met” being rather subjective in this case. He happened to coexist in the same classroom as I did, but we never spoke.

    Darting my eyes as far to the left as I could make them, I saw him enter the room. I darted my eyes back to the front, just in case someone were to catch on. Ah, the perfect crime. I then darted them back to where I knew he would sit down. He always chose the same seat. Careful analysis on my part revealed that he probably didn’t know anyone in the class. Evidence supporting this claim was the fact that he didn’t talk to anyone seated next to him. Contradictory claims could be made that it was nine in the morning and thus no one would feel like talking to anyone, much less want to be in a boring class that no one probably wanted to major in. I’d like to think, though, that if I had friends in class with me, no matter what time of day it was, I’d want to talk to them. He sat down in the chair I’d predicted and I moved my eyes back to the front.

    Here were the things I knew about him: he wore clothes, breathed the same air as I did, took the same class in the same university at the same time as I did, wasn’t missing any arms, legs, or fingers, didn’t talk to anyone in this particular class, had hair, no visible piercings, owned a book bag, a notebook, a pen, a textbook, and was capable of feeling cold, due to him wearing a jacket once the weather got cold. In other words, I knew nothing about him. I didn’t even know his name. It would be kind of hard to try to Facebook stalk someone when all you knew about them was what they looked like and what school they went to. It was a big university and all, plus this was assuming that he had a profile on Facebook at all to begin with. There were a few things I could infer, though. His hair was actually brown, and it didn’t look like he dyed it that way. He typically always wore jeans. His shirts were usually tees, and he only ever wore one jacket. I did get a peek one time when he was especially bent over and discovered that he wore boxers; at least, he wore boxers that day. They were plaid. I never got a good enough look at his teeth, but I could assume they were all there, and I’d like to think that they were sparkly white. If that was true, then I could assume that he didn’t smoke as well. He was constantly never completely clean-shaven, though he didn’t grow his facial hair out to a full beard and moustache. His clothing made it hard to tell for sure, but I was pretty sure that he was in relatively good shape. At the very least, he wasn’t obviously fat, nor was he obviously on steroids. He had a rather big nose, at least bigger than some of the other guys in the class. When he took his jacket off, I could see some arm hair.

    Again, these were just assumptions of his looks. I didn’t know one thing about his personality. These, too, I would assume in my mind. He was intelligent and had a plan. The fact that he was here in college would support that. His clothing and his hair would suggest that he wasn’t some feminine guy studying theater, nor was he a douchebag who spends all his time in the gym. He was just a normal guy. He had friends, they just weren’t in this particular class. He was The Nice One in the group. He had some interests similar to my own. What they were, well, the fun would be in finding those out. He was definitely attractive. I wouldn’t really use the word “hot” since he wasn’t like a model or anything. He wasn’t “cute” either. The best word I could think of was “handsome.” He was definitely “husband” material, and I was always aware of the fact that I had skipped “boyfriend” and went straight to “husband.” I felt like if I asked him out on a date, by the end we’d already be past the honeymoon phase and stuck squarely in the “mundane routine” phase of a long-term relationship. And the weird part is, I wanted that.

    Sometimes in class, sometimes in my dorm room, I would close my eyes and daydream. He and I would be there, and a psychologist would have a field day interpreting what I would come up with.
  2. The Teller

    The Teller King of Half-Truths

    Okay, so not all of these chapters are gonna be long. When writing, I was more concerned about getting an idea out and more words down on paper than making especially long chapters. That's just how NaNoWriMo works. Anyway, looking over today's chapter, I remembered that I did include some blunt sexual innuendo throughout the story, so that's also the reason why the story is PG-13. Shouldn't be anything worth bumping up the rating (considering all I got away with in Tale's Comics Presents! without needing mod approval), but if it does, then let me know. Enjoy!

    Chapter 2

    The sun was going down and we were on the beach. It was deserted, save for us and the waves, and the unseen seagulls shrilly calling in the near distance. It kind of reminded me of a location shoot for a Prize Puzzle on Wheel of Fortune, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s exactly where my mind took this scene from. The implication was that there was a fancy resort on the other side of the beach, though sometimes it’s more of a secluded area that only we know of. He and I were slowly walking down the beach, hand in hand, occasionally walking close enough together that we bump shoulders, and then we act like it was a funny accident when we both know that it was not. He was wearing cargo shorts, the same kind that he wore when the semester first began and the weather permitted it. He had some oversized belt looped around his pants. He wore sandals and I could see that there was some hair on his toes to go with all that hair on his legs. His nails weren’t manicured and I strongly suspected that he would bite them off when they got too long, if only he could be so flexible. He wore a button down shirt, and again I strongly suspected that Pat Sajak wore that exact same shirt during one of those end credit segments and I don’t want to think about this line of thought any longer. The shirt was a nice baby blue hue, and I could smell the cologne he had on him. He knew which cologne I liked and wore it that day because our holiday getaway was coming to a close, plus I suspected that he was trying every trick in the book to turn me on without me knowing it. It was only natural, then, that I wasn’t exactly wearing a modest amount of clothing. “Beachwear” would be a good term to use, something I seemingly always had but never wore (or remembered buying in the first place). This time I had an enormous sunhat on because I’m wacky like that.

    “Aw hey, that cloud looks like a cloud!” he said, pointing upwards, voice full of wonder.

    Before I could register what he had said, I looked up. There were no clouds in the sky. Also, I finally registered that what he had said was stupid, but also that I was quite possibly stupider.

    “Jerk,” I said, laughing, shoving him away.

    He laughed too, clearly proud of what he had accomplished.

    “What? Don’t you see it? It looks exactly like your ass after I’m done destroying it,” he replied, scooching closer to me, unable to hide his grin and barely able to form that sentence without laughing.

    I jerked my head away from him in an over-exaggerated manner. I would have rolled my eyes if I knew he would’ve seen it.

    “Oh, that one. The one that looks like a pencil tried to go through a vice grip…and failed?” I responded.

    “Vice grip is right,” I heard him mumble under his breath.

    “What was that?” I said, pretending like I didn’t hear it.

    “I love you,” he replied, changing the subject.

    We both knew we were just joking with one another. The constant laughter coming from both of us was proof of that. We walked a few more steps in silence, just appreciating the moment, the atmosphere, each other.

    “It’s a VERY big vice grip,” he said.

    Before I could shove him into the water, he had already broken out into a full sprint, laughing gleefully all the way.

    “Get back here so that I can vanquish you in the holy waters!” I screamed, running to catch up.
  3. The Teller

    The Teller King of Half-Truths

    Not much to say. I enjoyed writing this one the most, I think. It's totally not Mass Effect, you guys! Seriously! Ah, whatever. Enjoy!

    Chapter 3

    He and I walked side by side down the narrow corridor, guns locked and loaded and resting in our hands, pointing down and to the left. Our metal shoes clanked loudly against the metal floor, and we stepped in unison. This was the result of our training. Years and years of extensive and grueling training, but I wouldn’t have traded it for the world, since it was at training camp that we both met. Coincidentally bunking together, it really didn’t take much for us to hit it off and become fast friends, and unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for us to move beyond “just friends.” Sure, our platoon friends made fun of us at first, but they didn’t mean much by it. They would’ve made the same jokes if one of them had gotten a girlfriend within the same military base as well. We both rose quickly within the ranks, completing one harrowing mission after another. It, perhaps, helped that one of us was a psychotic lunatic with godlike sniping abilities, and the other was like a parent figure, making sure to reel the lunatic in with no-nonsense, grounded reasoning. We balanced each other out. Our superiors were only too willing to pair us up constantly, even when the situation didn’t necessarily call for it, as long as we kept delivering excellent results.

    If only people stopped remarking that we started to look REALLY similar to one another, almost like twin siblings or whatnot.

    “So how come the Commander always seems to know when we’re planned for a beach planet vacation when he summons us for an extended mission?” he asked rhetorically.

    “Well, maybe our mission is to kill margheritas, one at a time, on that one planet? The one where all the rock formations are naturally lubed? You know the one…”

    “I KNOW.”

    I laughed. Somewhere deep in that rugged interior, he was laughing too. He just wouldn’t allow me one little victory, seeing him smile.

    “It could be,” I added, trying to egg him on.

    “It isn’t,” he replied, not taking the bait. “Must be pretty bad though, if he’s calling on us.”

    “He just doesn’t want us to get rusty.”


    I glanced over at him. He wore unique armor, much like I did, though his looked different than mine. His had a black and crimson red color scheme to it, focused more on bulky defense capabilities, definitely looking a lot blockier than mine did, though I did appreciate that the designer still carved rock hard abs onto the design, even though it didn’t need them. His “battle helmet,” which still sounds ridiculous no matter how you say it, was clipped onto his belt. Naturally, this meant that I would tease him all the time about thinking with his “lower head.” He always appreciated it, even though he only showed it by slapping me upside the head. I could tell he was laughing on the inside. Very deep inside. His pants were also very heavily armored. He couldn’t perform the kind of acrobatics I could in my suit. This was why I was such a good counterpart to him.

    My armor was more streamlined, looking more like a full body wetsuit than a football uniform. My role was to move about fast and hit with lethal accuracy, and his was to shoot things with wild abandon until they died. Of course, a stationary target was an easy target, so part of my role was to protect the poor guy, which I did with gleeful aplomb. Shields, healing, buffs, I did them all. With both our specialties combined, we were an unstoppable duo.

    We entered the command deck and the surrounding staff saluted us.

    “Commander,” he said.

    The commander turned around from where he was looking at, which appeared to be a hologram of a nearby planet, and greeted us.

    “It’s about damn time you two showed up. I won’t have this entire ship go down because you two couldn’t keep your mouths off each other for two damn seconds.”

    “I said we were shooting for three!” I interjected playfully.

    The commander was having none of that. He turned back to the hologram.

    “We just received a distress signal from one of our supply ships on the other end of Eon Echo V,” he explained.

    Eon Echo V was the incredibly large gas planet in front of us. Political control of the planet was still up for debate. And by “debate,” I mean “planet-wide war involving at least a dozen different species.”

    “We’d send somebody we like even less than you two to assist, but with the Vacteshnein fleet bearing down on us right now, we need all available hands here and now to fight them off us, so you both will have to do. Depart immediately. Expect heavy resistance.”

    “Roger that, Commander,” my better half said.

    I could tell without looking at him that he was thinking ‘Please don’t say it, please don’t say it, please don’t say it…’

    “See, I told you he loves us,” I said in a quieter voice (but probably not quiet enough for the commander to not hear me).

    I said it quick enough that he couldn’t even elbow me in the side in time to stop it from happening. For what it’s worth, the commander acted like he didn’t hear me.

    “Let’s go,” lover boy said, grabbing me by the arm like a child and dragging me away, sounding thoroughly done with my shenanigans.

    He was laughing on the inside, though. I just know it.

    We walked down to where our ship was docked.

    “Sometimes I wonder how you even got to this rank to begin with,” he said.

    “I shoot 12% gooder than the next leading brand.”

    “ANY respectful commander would’ve shot you in the head and got a medal for it.”

    “And be rewarded with some generic soldier who shoots 12% less gooder than me? He’d be court-martialed!”

    We boarded the ship and started her up.

    “All systems cleared,” I said.

    “We’re heading out,” he replied.

    As we exited the Capital Offense, we were immediately greeted with laser fire.

    “Hang on!” he said.

    Piloting our ship with grace and beauty ill-fitting that handsome face of his, he guided us through the battlefield without sustaining too much damage.

    “Divert energy from rear weapons to…!”

    “It’s already on shields! I think I’ve been in a hostile space warzone once or twice before!”

    “I will TURN THIS SHIP AROUND if I have to!”

    I silently walked back to where he was seated.

    “Daddy, no,” I whispered.

    That was it. The final straw. In the middle of a deadly firefight out in outer space, outnumbered thousands to one, the pilot in charge of my survival cracked and started laughing. He couldn’t stop. Granted, he was still maneuvering the ship far better than I could have. It was like a second nature to him. But he was forming tears in his eyes.

    “You are such…” he gasped out, in between laughter, “a ****ing…(hahaha!)…moron…!”

    Pretty soon, we exited the warzone and didn’t have to worry about being attacked anymore.

    “Oh, it gets me SO horny when you save our lives from an imminent fireball explosion,” I said, seductively.

    I draped a hand over his shoulder, sliding it down to where his right nipple would be if he weren’t wearing body armor.

    “Do you just live outside reality all the time or what?” he said.

    “Not all the time…” I said. “If I did, I wouldn’t have met you.”

    ‘Good save,’ I thought.

    “What a good save,” he deadpanned.

    He looked at me and I smiled my widest smile. We leaned in and kissed. He smiled back.

    “You’re SO lucky that you’re hot,” he said, piloting the ship closer to the rendezvous point.
  4. The Teller

    The Teller King of Half-Truths

    Hi, everyone! Here's the next chapter. Hope you enjoy!

    Chapter 4

    We were sitting in the kitchen. We both had the day off. The dog was lying on the floor, too tired to want to play, but desperately wanted to play. She was probably remembering all those years gone by, running around the house, causing havoc wherever she went, destroying everything, and us, her masters, chasing after her, laughing and shouting all the while. She would make anything turn into a tug of war, probably because she won every time.

    On the kitchen table was a whole stack of papers. All of them official. All of them needing attention. All of them requiring attention from us that we just didn’t want to give. Tax papers, insurance, stock notifications, bills, the works. We had put it off until the last minute, as we do every year, and we were now suffering the consequences of our actions.

    “It’s your turn to do the dishes,” he said.

    “What? No it’s not. I did them yesterday.”

    Clearly we were both looking for any excuse to not have to do this any longer.

    “No, I did them yesterday AND the day before. YOU said that you were too tired yesterday to do them, so I did them instead.”

    “I don’t remember saying that.”

    “You did.”

    “Are you sure? I think you’re just trying to trick me into doing the dishes again.”

    “Do them.”


    There weren’t a whole lot of dishes to do. We must have been very desperate to put this off as long as possible, possibly even longer. Towards the end, I ended up getting a tiny bit of water on my shirt. Clearly this was a sign.

    “I’m going upstairs to change,” I said.

    “Uh huh,” he replied.

    He was playing on his phone.

    I walked upstairs. I thought about what we had discussed earlier. Did we really need to plant a tree in the backyard? Of course not, but did we really want to plant a tree in the backyard? A big tree, too. Not a dinky little shrub. Was this a luxury we could afford? I mean, yes, it was. That’s why we were discussing it in the first place. But would we have enough emergency money left afterwards, and would we really appreciate the tree after the first week or so? I mean, we had lived here for several years now, so I don’t think we had any plans on moving anytime soon, but still.

    Was it time to repaint the outside walls of the house? Should we suck it up and do it ourselves or hire someone out? The asphalt on the driveway could use a new coat, but then again, it could always use a new coat. That tree out front needed its dead branches clipped. The lawn mower needed gas. Was it time to take the cars in for a checkup? When was the last time I went to the dentist? Went to the doctor’s? Was Pogo all caught up with her shots? Did we make enough money to stay within the same income bracket as last year? How much money can we afford to put away into our retirement plan?

    I walked into our bedroom and took off my shirt, threw it into the dirty clothes basket, and walked to my dresser. Magically, he was behind me, kissing my shoulders.

    “Heh, aren’t those forms due in a few days?” I asked.

    “Well, we already missed the mailman today, so we have allllllllll day to finish those,” he replied.

    “And it’ll take you allllllll day to work your mathematical magic on them while I watch Mike & Molly reruns.”

    He pushed me onto our bed.

    “Just admit you got water on yourself just as an excuse to get shirtless for me.”

    I looked up at him and grinned. No, I hadn’t, but I wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth. And besides, he was wearing my favorite getup. Despite the both of us being in our 40s now, he had somehow managed to retain his youth and looked like he was merely in his early 30s. He had that five o’clock shadow going on, his hair was an absolute mess, I’m pretty sure his stained Coney Island t-shirt was from the dirty laundry basket, his…MY sweatpants that he was wearing…well, okay, there wasn’t anything particularly special about them, but the fact that he was wearing them was still a turn on somehow.

    He climbed onto the bed, on top of me. We locked lips again, and his hands made their way from my waist upwards. And then Pogo trotted into the room, panting madly. It seemed she was convinced that it was play time and she was the center star.

    “Pogo, go!” he said, waving his hand to shoo her away.

    She whined a little and then let out a bark. Then she smiled again. Then she pounced in place, as if anticipating a sudden chase around the house, the yard, the neighborhood, perhaps the world. He and I both grinned. Sexy times would have to wait for a later date. Even if we threw her out and closed the door, she would just claw at the door and whine until we let her in, and it was incredibly hard to try and be intimate with one another when you’re constantly hearing whining and barking coming from the other side of the door and also wondering if you’re going to have to replace that door sometime soon because all the scratch marks have finally taken their toll.

    He got up off the bed and Pogo’s response was to leap back up her feet and bolt downstairs.

    “Come on. You can at least chase her around the backyard without your shirt on,” he said.

    I chuckled.

    “Admit it. You tampered with the sink so that I would get water on my shirt so that I would have to take my shirt off, and you colluded with Pogo so that you would try to convince me to spend more time shirtless in front of you by means of playing with her,” I replied.

    “I will not confirm this suspicion of yours.”

    His smile said otherwise. I got out of bed and went downstairs with him.

    “Maybe you should take your shirt off when we get outside, just in case Pogo tries to jump on you and gets mud all over it,” I suggested.

    “But the ground’s too dry for mud. At most, I’d get some dried dirt on…”

    “And your pants, too. You just washed them. We don’t have the money to do a load of laundry every time you get a speck of dirt on them.”

    I could tell he was trying to keep a straight face, and was quickly losing that battle.

    “And, y’know, maybe your underwear, too…”

    He cracked and laughed. I noticed the wrinkles around his eyes, made from years of me attempting to get him to break down into fits of laughter. I’d say it was a success overall.

    “Get out there and play with the damn dog,” he said, pointing at Pogo, who was already at the sliding glass door and alternating between looking at us slowly come down the stairs and the infinite expanse that was our tiny backyard. He also started to pull off his shirt, to which I couldn’t help but to smile at. “That’s all you’re getting,” he said.

    I slid open the door and Pogo bolted out.

    “We do need to check with the vet that she has all her necessary shots,” I said.


    “And that may cost us the tree.”

    “I know. Pogo! Get the rope! Go get the rope! Get it! Go on! Get it!”

    Pogo ran for her favorite knotted rope toy like her life depended on it.

    “We’ll be fine,” he said.

    “I know,” I said, looking back at him.

    I know. We’ll be fine. As long as we got each-
  5. The Teller

    The Teller King of Half-Truths

    Hello! Time to tick everyone off again with slightly off misinformation and rushed research! I hope that's your thing. Enjoy!

    Chapter 5

    I was shaken out of my reverie by the sounds of students standing up. Class was over, it seems. The professor didn’t seem to notice me spacing off again, at least. I started to pack my things when my sixth sense started tingling and I felt the presence of someone standing next to me. I looked up and saw him. It immediately started feeling very hot in the room. Was I blushing? Was I already beet red? Did he already know everything?

    “Hey, I saw the Genji keychain,” he said, motioning to said keychain equipped on my backpack. “He your main?”

    It took a split second for me to register what he had said. Then I had to stammer out an answer.

    “N-no. I, ah, I actually, um, I usually play as Mercy, but I’ve been trying to get the hang of Ana ever since she came out.”

    He grinned. Something seemed to be going through his mind.

    “Our team needs a dedicated support player like you. Last guy wanted to go berserk every chance he could get, just to get those Play of the Game moments. Tried abusing her Caduceus Blaster after using Valkyrie. The rest of us died because the other guys just had a team of Bastion and McCree.”

    “Yeah, I’m…not the best when it comes to offense, so I usually go with support.”

    And then I realized that I had failed to respond to his request. Shoot, the moment had already passed! It was too late to bring it up now! I’d look like an idiot!

    “So you’re already in a team then?” he asked.

    “Ah…no! No, I, ah, I only really do random matchups. I don’t really have a dedicated team I belong to.”

    “Great! You’re hired.”

    “Wait, what?”

    I let out a nervous chuckle. Was he being serious?

    “Yeah, man. We’re kind of in a bind and this way, if you suck at it, I can at least tell you in class to stop playing with us, rather than recruit some random person online and have to shoot him an email saying to stop pestering us and having to wait several days for him to respond.”

    Okay, that was way too blunt.

    “Gee, you sure do know how to recruit a loyalist,” I said in a sardonic tone.

    And THEN my brain caught up with my tongue and realized what I’d just said. Shoot! I’ve insulted him! Now he’s never going to want to talk to me again! I blew it!

    “Ah, ****, man,” he said. “I didn’t mean it like that. I’m sure you’re a great Mercy!”

    I somewhat hesitantly agreed to join his little brigade. I didn’t want to disappoint and have him not like me. Not when I’ve been given this rare opportunity to spend any amount of time with him.

    We walked out of the lecture hall, talking some more. I learned that he mained Reaper, which was why he was worried that I mained Genji. We talked about Overwatch some more, our funny stories from playing it, our gripes, our favorite things about the game, and so on. Then the conversation steered towards other topics. I was acutely aware that I had another class to go to, but it wasn’t a huge deal if I missed it just this once. I wondered if he was also missing a class just to talk to me some more?

    I learned that he was majoring in business management. He wanted to run his own company some day. When I asked what kind of company, he said he didn’t know yet. When I suggested that he had a potential ego problem and a lust for power, he said that he would buy my silence. I replied that, with my student debt loans, I could easily be silenced with a large sum of money. Then I wondered if I just admitted to being a gold digger. He seemed to think it was funny, anyway.

    He asked about my major. I said I was still undecided. He didn’t seem to think that that meant I was lazy or stupid. He said that some people take a little while longer to find out what they want to do than others. I know my academic advisor said the same thing, but hearing it come from him somehow felt a little more real to me.

    We talked about football. When he asked if I was attending any of the university’s games, I told him that I don’t really follow “our” team. He said he didn’t either, which was a relief. I said that I followed my hometown’s team, which wasn’t a big team or anything. He seemed surprised to hear about my team. Then he said that HIS hometown team was the rivals to my team. Naturally, this led to us smack talking each other for several minutes. But it was all in good fun.

    We talked about what we were watching. When I brought up Iron Fist, his smile brightened. And when I talked about just how bad it had gotten, he was quick to jump in with agreement. This led to talking about Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, and Daredevil, and The Defenders, which ultimately led to talking about the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War movie, as well as the recent DC movies. We talked about which ones we liked, which ones we disliked, what our favorites were, all that good stuff.

    Finally, we made it to his dorm. He turned to me.

    “So do you want to, like, come in for a little bit?”

    I must have looked surprised to him, because he continued with a little bit of fluster in his voice.

    “I-I mean, you don’t have to, you know! I just, well, I, um…”

    He looked around, and then back at me.

    “So, um…do you, like, wanna go out sometime? Like, you know, go out?” he stammered.

    If I didn’t look surprised before, I did then. Wait, was this really happening?

    “I, uh…,” was all I got out.

    He chuckled.

    “We’re both not really good at this, are we?” he said.

    It was my turn to chuckle.

    “No, I guess not.”

    “You still haven’t told me your answer.”

    “I’m getting to it! I have to build suspense, you know.”


    I let his word hang there in silence for a few moments longer as I made a thinking face.

    “Well, I suppose you won me over with that twenty minute talk we just had that was the entirety of our shared conversation together. Sure, yeah, why not!”

    He looked elated and I know I sure was. He leaned in close, primed for a kiss.

    I was shaken out of my reverie by the sounds of students standing up.
  6. The Teller

    The Teller King of Half-Truths

    And now for something completely different. I know. Shocker. Enjoy!

    Chapter 6

    “Ya think this is gonna work, boss?”

    I typed furiously on a keyboard, putting my last minute finishing touches on the program. I, we, were taking a lot of risks by doing this, so I didn’t want to leave anything to chance.

    “I know you think that’s a loving term of endearment,” I replied, not looking up from the keyboard, “but the last guy who worked for me also called me ‘boss,’ and then he tried to stick dynamite under my car. And arsenic in my barbecue ribs. And nitroglycerin in my lube.”

    “Sounds like he was a riot.”

    “So excuse me if I don’t take kindly to ‘boss,’” I finished.

    He walked up next to me.

    “So, uh…was he your ‘business partner’ AND bedroom partner?”

    “Why? Is someone jealous?”

    “NO, I was just curious!”

    “I need you to be keeping lookout,” I replied back, very sternly, and very annoyed that he was once again thinking with his penis during a mission.

    “Sorry, dear,” he said, and walked back to the lookout point.

    “And for your information, I never slept with the guy. He was about as trustworthy as Lying Lenard, and half as cute.”

    “Good,” I heard him mumble to himself.

    I finished typing up the last bit of code on the computer. Everything was all set. The information we purposefully leaked should have reached the police by now, which meant that it would have reached Swallowtail as well. Sure, he would know it’s a trap immediately, but the dangers of not stopping our threat would be too much for him to ignore. We were also banking on him underestimating us and coming alone as well. If he came with any of his superpowered allies, the whole thing would be a wash, and we’d be out of some serious cash, credibility, and maybe even freedom.

    I picked up my stun baton and walked over to where my partner stood. Despite us having recently gotten together, he hadn’t chosen to change his outfit yet to resemble something more like mine. This was probably a smart move. It meant that our enemies who weren’t law-abiding citizens wouldn’t target either of us to get to the other. Still, it was like not changing your Facebook status to “In a Relationship” after you already agreed to start seeing each other regularly. It signals something.

    It wasn’t like he wasn’t something to look at, however. His form-fitting outfit gave me a perfect, unobstructed view of his tight ass, and when he faced me, his impressive bulge was always there to greet me as well. For some reason (though I think I know why), he had the fabric covering his stomach chiseled to resemble abs. It’s not like he didn’t have abs underneath there. He just wanted everyone to know, I guess. His protective shirt, the thing that was the only thing keeping him alive in certain situations, only came in very short sleeves, apparently. I’d told him many times to start wearing long sleeve clothing, but I knew that he wore this particularly to show off more skin to me. When a savage wolf bites him on the arm and he gets rabies and bleeds out, I won’t be the one to say “I told you so.” Though, I would, admittedly, be rather upset if that were to happen. Around his wrists were gauntlets, each concealing a contracted blade. It was exactly the same thing as in Assassin’s Creed, though he never admitted to that, saying he came up with it all on his own. I know he wasn’t a criminal mastermind of the highest caliber, but he could at least try to come up with a more convincing lie. Around his waist was a utility belt. He at least knew how to use that in creative fashion. Bullets, knives, gas, pistols, and other assorted goodies were packed in there. Around his neck was the most important thing he could have right now: night-vision goggles. Considering my M.O., it’d be stupid otherwise for him not to have them, though he should be having them on right now. It was still a new practice for him, and I hope it’s not something that’s going to get him killed someday.

    “Goggles on, meathead. It’s about to go dark,” I said.

    “Aw, but I like looking at you,” he replied, putting his goggles on.

    Now that I think about it, the nonstop flirting might also lead to us both being killed as well. Anyway, I wasn’t much to look at, which was the whole point. A simple black skinsuit, thermal-regulated to withstand the cold and the heat, a utility belt that had some of the same goodies that he had in them, but with some more specialized treats mixed in as well, and a tight hood of sorts that I pulled up over my head to hide my hair away in, though the hood didn’t cover my face at all. My face itself was covered in black face paint. It was a shame that I couldn’t wear a full head mask, but thanks to my powers, my face has become a lot more sensitive to the touch lately. Painfully so.

    “I’ll look a lot nicer when I’m $500,000 richer,” I said.

    “And naked.”

    I chose not to respond to that. Also, the dollar amount might seem low, but that’s how we always came out on top. Take bits and pieces out of the pie, and eventually you’ll have the whole pie. And if you do it slowly enough, no one will even realize that it’s not your own pie. And besides, how better to play the mind games than when you make everyone think you’re only worth less than a million dollars’ worth of trouble? It stops the big wigs from sending in their heavy hitters on us, that’s for sure.

    I reached out my hands and concentrated. Slowly, the lights around us started to dim. I didn’t want them to go out completely, but I did want them considerably darker. The darkness has always been my playing field, and I aimed to use every advantage I had.

    A flash of him in bed, in the dead of night, with all the lights out, wearing only the night vision goggles, hard as a rock, and beckoning me to come closer. The lights started glowing brighter. A memory. A pleasant one at that, but still not the thing I should be thinking about right now. I pushed the memory out of my head and concentrated again, and the lights dimmed once more.

    He put on his best game face, that’s for sure. I coached him on how to do it. He didn’t like it at first, when I suggested that he use his “dumb muscle” look to his advantage, but eventually he saw its uses firsthand. Also I had sex with him. That probably helped change his mind, too. Soon, Swallowtail should show up and we can put our plan into action. He stayed out in a supposedly “open” area, on the roof of a tall building, whilst I hid in the shadows of a connecting, even taller building. My other powers would assist me. His would assist him, and Swallowtail would have no powers to assist him. In no time at all, I heard the faint swooping that could only belong to a superhero trying to be covert. I looked down and saw Swallowtail land in front of him. A slight problem presented itself. Swallowtail was also wearing night vision goggles. How did he know to wear those? Was he that prepared? Did he know of our plan already? Was it time to abort?

    No, bailing now would tip our hand and reveal a lot of secrets I had no intention of giving away. We stick to the plan and adjust when needed. I remained hidden.

    “So you’re the one who set up the virus bomb and sent us the message,” Swallowtail said. “I have to admit, bone crusher, that this doesn’t seem your type.”

    “Awww…you turn one guy’s bone to dust and it sticks with you forever. When are you gonna let that go? And what’s wrong with trying out new things? You should try it sometime, you stick in the mud. It’ll do you some good.”

    “THE BOMB.”

    “Ha, that? I bet if I said I kidnapped some dweeb and forced him into building one for me, you wouldn’t question it for a sec. MAYBE, just MAYBE, I ain’t so dumb after all! MAYBE I learned to not expect to hold up a bank and get away with it just because I’m super strong!”

    Good. Keep talking. My power of presence voidance kept me from being “seen” by Swallowtail’s sixth sense. Have you ever just “felt” somebody standing right behind you, staring at you, despite them not making any noise whatsoever? My power dampens that feeling, so I could be standing right behind someone, ready to stab them in the back, and they would never know unless I blared a car horn first. In addition to this, I also had the ability to see in the dark, hence my own lack of wearing night-vision goggles, my M.O. revolving around operating out of complete darkness, and my compadre needing to wear them for this trick. Of course, part of the reason this plan was so risky was because it revolved around Swallowtail, and by and large the ultra-conglomerate of superheroes he belonged to, not associating him with me, and for Swallowtail to not put the pieces together. I guess I had perhaps built up a small reputation for operating out of the shadows, so this kind of gimmick we were implementing right now could be figured out with enough smarts. Was it my fault that I was so good at these types of things?

    “You’re still too dumb to have done all this,” Swallowtail said. “Who’s your puppet master, meathead? You can tell me now, or you can tell me after I break every bone in your body.”

    “Haha! Luchador the Luchadora tried that one out on me before. Wanna guess how that one went?”

    Still the weirdest rogue vigilante we’ve ever encountered. Luchador was a hulking mass of muscle and rage, and also a transwoman. No one was ever sure if they should take her seriously or not, only to wind up in the hospital soon after pointing and laughing. Lover boy down there was one of the few to take her seriously, and with my help, we were able to escape her clutches to live another day.

    “Fine then, breaking you piece by piece it is,” Swallowtail said.

    He assumed a fighting stance. He would have the speed and agility advantage over my partner, maybe even stop the bomb from going off, but it looked like he still hasn’t figured out that I was here and helping.

    Time to help the big boy out.

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