CHAPTER SIX
APRIL

     Monday morning came with mild temperatures for summer. April had only just finished her breakfast when she saw it was nearly time for work. She rushed to get her teeth brushed, then put her brown hair back in a high ponytail and combed her feathery, blonde-highlighted bangs to the right. She hurried to grab her car keys, then headed out the door. A black short-haired cat was rubbing against the front tire on her car, giving a faint meow while holding its tail in the air. This greeting came only as a reminder to April. She quickly stepped back inside to grab the bag full of cat food for her hungry companion. After filling the dish for the now content feline, April set the bag of food just inside the door and hustled to her car.
The morning was lovely with blue skies and a warm breeze. April would have liked spending the day at home, but her new job at the little café usually proved to be an interesting one, though at times quite fatiguing.
     When she arrived, she parked her car and didn’t hesitate to go inside. Charming white chairs and tables with a somewhat less charming manager were all there waiting for her. Her manager had her wavy chocolate and caramel colored hair down, laying nicely behind her shoulders. She was dressed similarly to April in a pink outfit with a plain white apron over the front. The outfit was cute, but April always felt like the aprons could use some ruffles or lace.
     “The tables by the window over there need to be wiped down. We’ve only got a short time to work before opening so you better do it now,” April’s boss directed from behind the counter as she got things in order there. April wasted no time and walked to a room in the back to find a dish cloth. “You’ll probably have to work the register today and serve, so be ready for that. Do you need any refreshers or do you remember how to work it all?” she asked, seeming to be in a bland mood.
     “I’m good!” April called out in reply. She then walked out from the backroom to the tables and got to work cleaning, first pulling the chairs away so nothing fell from the tables onto them.
     “I took care of the cleaning that Whitney conveniently forgot to do,” griped the manager as she wiped down the countertop. “It took me like five whole minutes just to get the coffee stain off the floor when it would have taken her less than one to bend over and wipe it up when it happened,” she complained further. April didn’t say a word but did look at her while she talked to show she was listening. “It’s just so annoying. I do all the work and she still got to be a manager before I did for whatever reason! Ugh, it just ticks me off.”
     “You’re a manager now, though,” April said optimistically. “Um… I’m all done. What else needs cleaned up?” she asked once her boss had composed herself.
     “The door needs to be cleaned. There are some sticky little fingerprints near the bottom from where a kid decided to play with the glass,” she replied. “Oh shoot! I forgot to make sure we had enough bananas!” she suddenly recalled.“Those stupid splits have sold like crazy since we added them to the menu.”
     “Isn’t that a good thing?” April asked, a confused smile creeping over her face as she got supplies for clearing the window of its smudges and smears.
     “Yes for the business and no for me, because it makes no difference in my paycheck but I have to make them and they’re not as fast as a sundae. Plus we constantly have to run and get more bananas,” her boss replied in agitation.
     “Well I can run and get some if we run out today,” April offered.
     “Hah, WHEN we run out. That would be great, hon,” her boss said, sounding pleased for the first time all morning.
     “So Melissa, how are things with Jeff right now?” April asked, trying to steer her manager’s mind off of work.
     “So-so. I feel like he’s been dragging his feet a bit lately,” Melissa replied.
     The two carried on with light conversation until it was time to open up shop. Another employee, Lucas, arrived just in time for his shift. He was a skinny man, wearing glasses and a cap over his blond hair. The mens’ uniforms were different, but he looked nice in a blue shirt and khakis.
     “Sorry I didn’t get here sooner ladies. My air conditioner just decided to give out and I finally gave up on fixing it myself,” he explained as he walked in. The sound of the entryway’s jingling bells were a welcoming tune.
     “Ooooh, sorry, Lucas,” April said sympathetically and almost cringed at the thought.
     “Well today’s actually a better day than most for it. At least I’m not melting,” he replied before heading into the back to get his work apron.
     When the customers starting dropping in, Lucas tended the cash register and helped make up beverages. April took orders while Melissa filled them out, whipping things up quickly in the back for April to serve. It started as a slow day for the café, but as lunch hour was approaching they got a much more steady flow of customers coming in and out. The iced coffees and cold treats were still very popular despite the day being cool for summer.
     A young man came in, seeming at first a bit timid and unsure where to stand in the nice establishment. He wore jeans and a dark blue shirt with black and white bands at the end of the overly-long sleeves. His hair was brown and his eyes light green. His eyes exhibited a sort of feebleness. He was quite scrawny and his skin seemed a bit pale but his mood was just fine and he lit up when he saw April.
     “H-hi April!” he said and beamed with a beautiful smile. April finished setting down drinks at a near table then went over to see him.
     “Oh, hi Lance!” April greeted and gave a slight smile in return.
     “I um, heard you got the job here, so I thought I should come congratulate you in person. I was going to come last month but it kind of got put off,” he said, twiddling his thumbs. Meanwhile, Melissa had handed Lucas an order, while she took a moment to peek in on their conversation from afar.
     “It’s okay. Thank you,” April replied pleasantly.
     “Um, I also heard you guys have banana splits now?” he asked, rubbing the back of his neck nervously.
     “Yes! Did you want to order one?” she asked and he nodded. “Would you like to take a seat while I grab you a menu?”
     “Ah-I don’t need a menu, I’ll just take the split. Thanks, though,” Lance replied politely.
     “Okay, let me just take your order at the register then,” she said. Melissa went into the back and pretended she hadn’t heard a thing. April got his order all set and smiled. “I’ll go fix one up,” April said as Lance sat at a table in the corner. Lucas took over the register again and April went around back to get to work.
     “And who was that nice boy you were talking to?” Melissa asked as April got out a dish for the banana split.
     “Who? Lance? He’s a neighbor boy from a few houses down,” she answered casually, filling the dish in her hands with ice cream.
     “Seems like that boy has a thing for you,” Melissa commented.
     “What? No!” April protested.
     “Did you see his face? And his mannerisms? And the way he kept his eyes on you even while he was taking his seat?” Melissa asked with her eyebrows raised.
     “I can’t even recall a guy ever taking an interest in me,” April remarked, topping the finished banana split with chocolate syrup and two bright red cherries. “Not to mention Lance is only seventeen. Not happening,” she pointed out.
     “You’re twenty, right?” Melissa asked and April nodded her head, then turned to the side and put a fist against her hip as she looked at Melissa. “Three years is nothing. And it won’t be that big a difference once he’s in college, honey,” she stated.
     “Mm, no. That’s too big of a gap for me to feel comfortable, even if we were both in our twenties. I’d rather be with someone my age. I have to take him his order now,” April commented, excusing herself from the conversation and heading out from the back to take Lance his order. She approached him cheerfully, simply ignoring Melissa’s claims and moving on with her day. “Here you go!” she said as she set the dish down in front of him.
     “Thanks. It looks delicious!” he said with a smile and at the same moment, the sound of jingling bells signaled another customer had come in.
     April turned around to greet the customer, but froze up and remained silent when she saw him. He was finely dressed—on his way to work, she guessed. He was tall and carried himself well. He glanced over at April with a smile that seemed to get just a bit wider when their eyes met.
     “Um… April?” Lance said and she immediately caught herself staring and snapped her attention away from the stranger.
     “Ah-sorry! I just spaced out a moment there,” she said and Lance gave a quick and light laugh.
     “No problem,” he assured her.
     “I’d better get back to work,” she said and hurried along to clean up a table for the new customer while he was still ordering something up front. She felt strangely nervous, an uneasiness seemed to sweep over her but she wasn’t completely sure why. She just found this man to be somewhat unsettling. Of course, deep inside she couldn’t deny what she felt in that instant.
     She finished wiping the table down and carried the tray that had been sitting there to the back. Her shoulders stiffened up as she passed by the stranger.
     “Oh good, you can set that tray aside and help me by making up some coffee.” Melissa said as April stepped into the back room. She paused and took a good look at April while she set the tray down in the sink. “Are you all right, girl?” she asked with concern.
     “Huh? Yeah! Just fine,” April assured her.
     “All right then… Just making sure I hadn’t made you too uncomfortable. ” Melissa teased lightly. “Here, come help me with this,” she requested. The two prepared the man’s order and April carried it out to him.
     “Here you go, sir!” she said with a careful smile as she set his food on the table for him.
     “Thank you very much, miss,” he said with a carefree smile back at her.
     “No problem,” she replied cheerfully, relaxing now on the outside but still feeling a bit nervous. Something about him caught her off guard when she first saw him, but she pushed on and her workday went smoothly.
     When the man had finished his meal, he left a nice tip and went his way. From the entrance of the café, he took a turn to his right, walking until he found a quiet place outside with no sign of people. From there, he pulled up his sleeve to reveal a device, which he used to teleport away. After returning to Mainframe, Demitri set things to teleport him into the building where his next meeting would be taking place. Once ready, he teleported down. He was off to another busy day but was happy he was able to make time for a stop by the café.
     Meanwhile, Scott was at the comic book store, browsing over the most popular comics of superheroes. He was observing art styles from the covers and considering the sort of jobs those heroes had. One thing that began to standout to him was that they never had to look for trouble, trouble always found them. Realistically, the opportunity to fight crime or save the day just didn’t happen within Scott’s peaceful neighborhood. Even when something was amiss, Scott would only hear about it through the news. He never found himself present at the scene of the crime. It seemed like so much work to find trouble through Mainframe, but then again he knew Demitri filtered through it to find the safest jobs possible. Scott liked that they were helping out, but hated that they couldn’t do more. He felt anxious about what they had recently discussed—this new possible member and her ability to enhance their powers. Maybe, just maybe, they would start taking on some real action once she joined the team. But when would Demitri decide it was time for her to be a part of it? That’s what was really eating at Scott.
     “Hey, Scott!” Jason called as he walked into the store. “I saw you from outside and thought I’d come in. Buying something?”
     “Nope. Just browsing,” Scott replied and stuck his hands into his pockets.
     “Kay, cool,” Jason replied, then caught sight of a comic that took his fancy. “Can you believe some of the art in these? Puts ours to shame,” he commented as he picked the comic off from the shelf.
     “Well they’ve also been studying art and drawing like, a whole lot longer than we have, but you already color like a pro!” Scott said and gave Jason a shove with his elbow.
     “Hey!” he grinned but behaved himself while inside. “Well I guess we are better than most of the kids at school. The guys, at least. Angela has some mad skills,” Jason remarked.
     “Yeah, she is pretty good. Think she’d wanna help with Comic Book Hero?” Scott asked.
     “Maybe,” Jason supposed. “Oh yeah, who is the new girl in the comic?”
     “Uh, don’t really have a name for her yet. I’ll think of one when she becomes a member of the team,” Scott replied, glancing around the shop and shuffling his feet up and down on the hard gray carpeted floor.
     “And when will that be?” Jason asked, setting the comic book he had picked up back on the shelf in front of them. Scott only made a face and shrugged. How could he say, what with the character being based off of April?
     “So do you just make this all up as you go?” Jason laughed.
     “Pretty much,” Scott replied just as his cell phone started ringing. “Hold on a sec,” he said, pulling his hands out of his pockets with his phone in his right. He answered to his mother who was wanting him home soon. He wrapped up the call quickly.
     “That was my mom, I’ve gotta go,” he explained, tucking his phone back into his pocket.
     “Eh, we can always talk some other time,” Jason shrugged.
     “Yep. See ya!” Scott bid him farewell as he departed and began a brisk walk for home.
     When the evening crept in Scott went for his usual nightly run, though only Demitri accompanied him this time as Matthew had other plans. Demitri stood at Mainframe’s monitors, typing, reading and listening while Scott walked around base.
     “Scott, throw your helmet on fast and follow me!” Demitri commanded, quickly entering coordinates for the teleport and putting his own helmet on.
     “What is it?” Scott asked, his heart already picking up a bit. He didn’t dillydally in obeying orders, but he did have to satisfy his curiosity.
     “Building collapse,” Demitri replied, opening the teleport and stepping inside. “Part of it’s still standing but no saying for how long. A man’s trapped inside and can’t get through the debris,” he explained as Scott hurried in with him. “Careful!” he warned just as he triggered the transport and the two appeared on scene standing next to the man. He was still on the emergency call but found himself dropping his phone in shock of their sudden appearance.
     “Where did you- what are you!?” the man stuttered out.
     “Is anyone else trapped inside?” Demitri asked hastily and the man shook his head, though still in astonishment.
     “Demitri, how’re we going to break through these walls without making the rest of this place collapse?” Scott asked, glancing around at the unstable walls and ceiling. He realized the risk of using his powers to blow through the walls was too great to try.
     “We’re not breaking things down, we’re teleporting out! Now take this guy and teleport him to Mainframe!” Demitri commanded and Scott set his C-Cuff and grabbed the man’s arm, whisking them both away to safety. Demitri remained just long enough to make sure from what he could see that no one else was inside, just in case the man had maybe missed them, then Demitri teleported back and joined Scott and their rescued person.
     “I really need to use my head,” Scott said, smacking himself in the forehead.
     The man with them stood awestruck and speechless at the great establishment that was Mainframe, bewildered by how they arrived there. Demitri got right to setting a new destination just outside of the crumbling building. The teleport lit up as always, and Demitri dragged the man inside with Scott tagging along behind. The three appeared a safe distance from the rubble. What remained standing was now rapidly falling in. Demitri looked down at the man they had rescued.
     “Tell them you got out safely but don’t mention what you’ve seen here tonight,” Demitri told him and the man fearfully nodded. Demitri and Scott then teleported back, leaving the man behind. The two walked in, taking their helmets off.
     “What if he squeals about us?” Scott asked with a little concern.
     “What if he does? It won’t matter either way. I doubt many, if any, would even believe him,” Demitri remarked.
     “I guess that’s true,” Scott mumbled. “So, that went fast, anything else planned for the night?” Scott asked.
     “No, I’m not feeling up to filtering through anymore calls, so I think that’s it,” Demitri answered.
     “That was fast. Okay then,” Scott said, then went to the wall on his right to hang up his armor. “Soooo…have you met the new girl yet?” Scott asked.
     “Hm?” Demitri looked at him and wondered a moment before catching what he had said. “Oh, April? Yes,” he answered and joined Scott in wrapping up for the night. He took off his armor and cape and hung them up.
     “So what’s she like?” Scott inquired as he pulled off his armguards and mounted them, taking his C-Cuff and hooking it on around his arm.
Demitri shrugged and thought about it a moment. “She seems nice but I didn’t really talk to her.”
     “Why not?” Scott asked, then sat on the floor to take off the armor from his legs. He still wasn’t able to do that while standing as Demitri could, and it also took him longer to suit up and remove his armor, as evident by the fact that Demitri was already done and he wasn’t.
     “I thought I’d just handle it in a more natural way. I think it would be better to strike up a conversation with her after she’s seen me a few times,” Demitri explained.
     “O-kaaaaay. So do you just visit her at work or what?” Scott asked as he finished mounting the last of his armor on the wall.
     “Work. I just plan on making stops there for lunch on the days she works,” he replied. Seeing that Scott was finished undressing, he went to Mainframe’s controls to shut things down for the evening.
     “Think I could come sometime?” Scott asked eagerly.
     “I suppose,” Demitri replied as the bright lights went down and the room was lit only by the glow of the monitors, until Demitri had the teleport set for Scott and its blue light came in a beam. “Will next Saturday work for you?” he asked Scott as he was entering the teleport.
     “Yeah! What time?” Scott inquired.
     “I’ll text you,” Demitri replied and Scott gave a nod okay.
     The two then said their goodnights and departed for home. Scott first, followed by Demitri.

 

*  *  *  *  *

     A couple days later, Demitri returned to the café. He was dressed as nicely as usual but with his sleeves rolled up and without a tie or suit jacket in an attempt to keep cooler on the blistering summer day. His C-Cuff would have been visible on his wrist but he kept it concealed with his powers, although he could have always passed it off as a large watch.
     The café was having a particularly slow day. April brought him his order, setting it down slowly and glancing Demitri over while he was distracted with receiving his meal and iced beverage. When he had the things settled before him and glanced up, April stood with hesitance a moment before she thought of something to say.
     “Um, it’s good to see you again, sir!” she said in an almost forced way, as though she were having trouble speaking. She had recognized him from the last time he had dropped in and was a bit surprised to see him again so soon. “Um, ah, I believe you were here the last time I was…working,” she added showing a hint of nervousness.
     “Yes. April, right?” Demitri replied calmly.
     “Uhm, yeah. I don’t remember telling you, tho-oh!” she hid her eyes behind her hand then dropped it down to her side as her shoulders slumped down with it. “Nametag! Doh! Totally slipped my mind,” she said as a slight blush appeared on her cheeks.
     “Hah, you’re fine,” he replied with a smile.
     “Well, I wanted to say thanks for the tip you left last time. You really didn’t have to do that, but I did really appreciate it!” April said gratefully then her eyes suddenly widened and she put a hand by her mouth. “Ah! Not that I’m hinting for that again or anything! Don’t take it the wrong way!” she clarified and Demitri laughed lightly. “I’m sorry, I’ll let you eat now!”
     “I don’t mind,” he assured her, smiling but trying not to laugh any further as he took a sip of his beverage. April ducked away anyhow, slinking into the back room. Once out of sight from customers and her boss Whitney, she leaned her head against the wall and deliberately bumped it a couple times before giving a groan.
     I need to stop talking to customers… she thought to herself, her face now bright red from embarrassment. Demitri, on the other hand, was quite happy that she had brought up a conversation. The more they talked, the closer he got to bringing her to Mainframe and expanding his team, although he did try to keep from getting too antsy, unlike Scott.
     April avoided coming back out as long as she could, but when another customer was ready to order, Whitney peeked in back and gave her the task of fulfilling it, also directing her to clear off the tables afterwards.
     Demitri had just finished and April saw him stand up and reach for his wallet. She casually walked by, pretending not to notice him now to avoid the feeling of embarrassment she found herself with earlier.
     Demitri went on his way and got busy with his usual week. But for April, when she left for work, all she could think about was the things she had said to Demitri. She played them over and over again in her head, wishing she had phrased things differently. There wasn’t anything wrong with what she had said, but she thought on it all the same, over thinking things to the point of regret.
     When Saturday came and the hot afternoon swept in, Scott received a text from Demitri saying to meet him at “the usual place” in ten minutes. Knowing he meant Mainframe, Scott hurried to get his C-Cuff, phone and some money. He turned on his television, locked his door and pulled down his blinds to be extra sure no one would see him. He then teleported to Mainframe to find the lights were still off and no one was there yet. He checked the time on his cell phone then sighed. Guess I’m a few minutes early he thought, then went over to see if he could figure out how to turn on the lights. He glanced over the large monitor’s screen. The smaller screens around it were all turned off so the glow from that screen was the only light Scott had. “Ughhh…how do you work this?” he asked himself out loud. It had symbols he didn’t quite understand on the keyboard and on the screen. Do I touch something on the screen or type on the keyboard? Uhhh…maybe I should just wait for Demitri…
     “You’re early!” came Demitri’s voice suddenly from Scott’s left, causing Scott to flinch.
     “Eesh! Even when you’re not invisible you’re sneaking up on me!” Scott yelled.
     “Haha, sorry about that!” Demitri laughed. “Do you need some help?”
     “Hm? Uh, yeah! I don’t know how to get the lights on,” Scott replied.
     “No problem. Let me show you how real quick,” Demitri said and walked over to the monitor. “See this crescent moon in the top right of the screen?” he asked while pointing toward it. “Think of this as a sleep mode. When we’re done for the night you have to go into a file on Mainframe, then press this when it pops up on the screen. And when you want to turn everything back on…” he explained, then he pressed the moon on the monitor and the lights and other monitors came on. “...you just press the button again!” Demitri finished and the moon on the screen disappeared.
     “Okay. Thanks for showing me!”
     “Sure. I actually should teach you how to work Mainframe. Matthew knows some of the basics, but I should run you through it all just in case anything ever comes up and I’m not here to do it,” Demitri said. “But for now, how about getting something to eat?” he suggested with a smile.
     “Yeah!” Scott cheered in agreement and Demitri set their destination.
     “Leave your C-Cuff here. We can get by with mine alone for this,” Demitri instructed so Scott removed it from his forearm and set it on the floor underneath his armor.
     When the two setoff they appeared in a place that wasn’t quite what Scott had first expected. He quickly remembered though that they couldn’t simply teleport straight inside the building or it would stir up too much commotion, so they were in a tight squeeze between two yellowish-colored buildings. The area was very pleasant, though the temperature was almost as hot as it was in Scott’s hometown.
     “Let’s go,” Demitri said and led the way out from the buildings and down the sidewalk.
     “How long of a walk is it?” Scott asked, just out of curiosity.
     “The café’s just around the corner,” Demitri said and Scott suddenly felt anxious to arrive and darted ahead.
     “All right!” he exclaimed as he ran around the corner, but in his hurry ran right into April’s young friend, Lance, almost knocking him over.
     “Scott!” Demitri yelled.
     “Sorry. Sorry!” Lance apologized once in a soft voice then a second time more clearly to make sure he was heard. Scott was backing up and only just realized what had happened.
     “Ah, sorry man! I didn’t see you!” Scott said while holding his hands up in front of himself.
     “No, don’t-I mean, it was my fault, sorry,” Lance said timidly while glancing down at the sidewalk beneath them. He was somewhat uncomfortable with eye contact. Scott paused a moment while looking at him, noticing his paleness and that he was beginning to shake.
     “Hey, are you all right?” Scott asked, tilting to the side slightly and squinting his eyes as he looked more carefully.
     “I’m fine. Sorry again,” Lance said without even glancing their way as he went straight off the sidewalk and onto the road. He then hurried across and went his way while Scott crossed his arms and raised his eyebrows.
     “Try not to run ahead like that next time,” Demitri commented as he walked around the corner ahead of Scott.
     “Did you see that guy? He didn’t look like he should be out. I hope he wasn’t sick or something, ‘cause I really don’t want to catch anything,” Scott said as he began walking behind Demitri.
     “I’m sure he was fine,” Demitri said. “I’m pretty sure I’ve seen him in the café before. He was just as pale then. Probably just doesn’t get enough sun,” he presumed, then they came to the entrance of the café. “After you,” Demitri said as he held the door open and Scott walked under his arm to get inside. Scott looked around at the employees.
     “Where is she?” he whispered as he noticed there was no sign of April.
     “Shhhh. If you mean April, she’s probably not here,” Demitri replied. “But we’re here for a treat, not to meet with anyone, right?” he reminded Scott as they made their way to the counter.
     “Riiiiight,” Scott agreed with a somewhat sarcastic tone of voice. The two came to a halt at the counter where April’s boss Melissa was working.
     “Are you two ready to order?” Melissa asked.
     “Umm…well I need to see a menu because I don’t know what my options are yet…” Scott said, glancing up at Demitri.
     “I’d like one of your iced coffees and if you could get us a menu to look over with that, that’d be perfect,” Demitri said.
     “Sure thing,” she replied, handing Demitri a menu that had been sitting on a small stack off to the side. “We’ll give you the receipt when you’re all done. I’ll send someone over with your drink in just a bit,” she assured him, then went in back while they got themselves seated.
     “This café does things differently than the places I usually eat,” Scott commented as they sat down and he placed his elbows on the table. Demitri glanced at his elbows and shook his head slightly.
     “Here, pick whatever you’d like,” Demitri said as he handed him the menu, though Scott paused when he noticed Demitri was seemingly without his C-Cuff.
     “Demitri,” Scott whispered, glancing toward those working to make sure they weren’t eavesdropping. “Where’s your device? I mean your C-Cuff,” he asked in concern.
     “Oh, it’s right here,” he replied, pointing at his wrist. “Invisible, but still present. No worries,” he quietly assured him.
     “I wish I could do that,” Scott said then held the menu up in front of his face, blocking all other things from his vision. “Hmmmmm…” he hummed as he glanced over the desserts. “I think I’ll get a hot fudge sundae. Those sound good.”
     “Whatever you want,” Demitri replied. A waiter soon came to take their order while dropping off Demitri’s iced coffee. “Thank you, sir,” Demitri said as he took it. “He would like a hot fudge sundae.”
     “All right,” the waiter said then left. Scott put his arms back on the table and slouched over.
     “Man…” he moaned. “I was really hoping I’d get to meet April today.”
     “Why’s that?” Demitri asked with the hint of a smile while stirring his coffee with a straw.
     “I dunno, I guess I’d just like to know her before she joins the team,” he answered as he sat up a little straighter.
     “Mmhmmm,” Demitri responded then took a sip of his beverage. “So Scott, how is your comic coming along?” he asked, casually changing the subject.
     “Good! My friend Jason and I finished what would basically be the second book if it were published. And by finished, I mean it’s fully colored and posted on the site. We’ve also got a few pages of the next chapter drawn. Jason still has to color those while I work on drawing the rest,” Scott replied. “The only bad thing is that not many people are reading it yet,” he added.
     “That’s okay. Don’t despise a small start. The important thing is that you enjoy making it,” Demitri told him.
     Scott gave a shrug. “I guess,” he replied.
     The waiter came with Scott’s sundae and the two took a moment to stop conversing and thank him, then as he left Demitri resumed discussion.
     “So what are the character names again? I haven’t read it yet but I know you were saying something about hero names,” Demitri inquired.
     “Yeah! Well, mine is Valor. I thought it sounded cool, so I went with it,” Scott began, becoming a little more animated as he explained.
     “Yeah, that’s a good name,” Demitri agreed.
     “And then Matthew is Force. ‘Cause…you know, force fields,” Scott pointed out.
     “Right,” Demitri replied. “So what is mine, then?”
     “Your name is King, since you’re the leader and all,” Scott said then waited to see if Demitri seemed to like the name okay.
     “I see,” Demitri said and looked down at his cold beverage. “So tell me,” he began then glanced back up, “how would you feel about actually using those names?”
     “What do you mean?” Scott asked, leaning in a bit.
     “Well I was thinking, we have the costumes, we have the job, why not have heroic names as well? You would be surprised at how many people ask for a name. It would be nice to have something to tell them, don’t you think?” he quietly inquired then took sip of his coffee.
     “Wait, you seriously want to use my names?” Scott asked excitedly. “That would be awesome!” he exclaimed, then quieted himself when he realized he was getting loud. “Sorry! …Is it okay that we’re talking about this here?” he asked in a whisper, glancing around to make sure no one was listening.
     “It’s fine right now,” Demitri replied with a smile. “Anyway, I am serious. We’ll practice calling each other by those names while we’re on duty.”
     “Okay!” Scott cheerfully agreed then got back to eating his sundae, which had started to melt.
     “Oh hey, I’m buying for today, just so you know,” Demitri said with a wink as Scott got to the bottom of his dish.
     “What? Man, I wish you had said something about that earlier! I would’ve ordered more. I don’t mind spending your money,” he said bluntly and Demitri laughed. Scott grinned as he took his spoon around the bottom of the dish to scoop out the last bit of ice cream. “I wonder what Matthew’s gonna think when I tell him we’re using the names I came up with!”

Copyright© 2020 - Beyond Remnants - All rights reserved