Word count: 1,000
Warnings: Some language
Fandom: City of Heroes/Sunday 9s
Characters: Lapis Lizard, Winged Vixen, Heat Lightning, Doc Rayvn, Emerald Flames, Epsilon Omega, Frozen Pyro in speaking roles. And some other folks.
Timeline: Takes place after "Aftermath, Part One".
If you've read the previous fics, you know who these people are and what's going on. If you haven't, you might want to go read them first, 'cause this will make lots more sense after you read the other ones. Check the Memories section, under "CoH Fiction" in my LJ info.
Copyrights 'n stuff: The City of Heroes universe is copyright Cryptic Studios/NCSoft. The individual characters of the Sunday 9s were created by their players. I created Heat Lightning, Boneshatter, most of the NPCs, the shard and all of the Aligned and their concepts.
Comments welcome, as always. And let the train wreck begin!
"Thank God that's over with. My head's killing me," Doc Rayvn grumbled. He waved off Emerald Flames' attempt to cast a heal on him. "Let's just get back to the warehouse and get cleaned up."
"Yeah, then get back to interrogation."
Doc looked at his teammate. Flames was as full of energy as ever. "Are you sure you're 'straight-edge'?" he asked. "You've been through hell today and yet you're hyper as a two-year-old who's had cake."
"No sugar for me," Flames grinned. "But – hey, looks like we've got visitors."
They'd reached the warehouse, and saw a taxi pull up. "No, it's just Lapis," Doc said. "He takes up half the car by himself."
"Eh?" Flames looked in the same direction as Doc. Sure enough, a second taxi was parked near the warehouse. "No, not that one. The other one."
And out of the taxi Flames originally meant stepped an older couple of Middle Eastern descent, and a younger woman who had to be their daughter. The young woman's clothes were nothing out of the ordinary; the parents wore nice clothes that made Doc think of people coming home from church.
Descending from the roof were a bunch of the Sunday 9s 'lowbies,' Lektronic in front, holding assorted Clockwork parts.
Also approaching, by means of superleaps, were two large, powerfully built people in casual clothes that did nothing to hide the fact that they were superheroes. That and the odd hair colors.
"What's going on?" Doc mused. "Y'know, that woman's hair is almost the same as Heat's – "
He and Flames looked at each other, realizing something, and they both broke into a run.
~ ~ ~
"Heat?" Vixen said, as she exited her side of the taxi. "There's some people coming..."
Ray looked in the direction Vix pointed. "Crap," he muttered, then bit his lip. If he weren't so tired he wouldn't have said that.
"Ray!" his mother called, and she landed, making the ground shake. She wasn't fat, just... large. Almost eight feet tall and as proportional as an athletic woman of that height could be. Her hair was a lighter shade of green than Ray's, and she'd left it loose this time. She wore a pantsuit, because skirts were problematic when a woman towered over most other people.
Ray's dad landed right beside her. With dark blue hair and built like a brick bunker, even a casual suit didn't disguise what his occupation was.
Ray wasn't sure what to say. He hadn't expected them in town for any reason – had someone called and told them he was in trouble? It was mortifying to think they might've come out here just for that.
"Ray!" Jamie's voice called. He turned to look, and saw her and a couple who must be her parents approaching – and her father, in particular, scowling at all the heroes in sight. And at the moment, there were plenty of those.
Ray was suddenly very aware of his sooty hair, the fire-blackened parts of his costume, and how he must look like something the dog had dragged out from under the porch. Standing next to Lapis like this, Mom'll probably say I need to eat more, he thought.
"Hello, everyone! We're Ray's parents," his mom said, and waved cheerfully. "I'm Ramona and this is Alan. Looks like you've been busy!"
"He? He is your boyfriend?" Jamie's father shouted. "A fat blue lizard?!"
"Hey!" Lapis shouted back. "I'm not fat!"
"Not him, Dad," Jamie said, exasperated. "Ray! The one with... the green hair."
Naturally, everyone turned to look at Ray, who desperately wanted to be anywhere else right about then.
~ ~ ~
"So it's agreed," Epsilon Omega said by private comm channel, "we don't say a word to the rest of the team about what happened."
"Right. Just that we spoke with Countess Crey and apologized for arresting one of her employees."
"Exactly. They'll never let us forget about it otherwise – hang on, what's going on down there?"
Ep was flying and Frozen Pyro leaping, but both could see a gathering of people outside the warehouse's entryway.
"Looks like the 9s, some heroes and some civilians," Pyro commented.
"Man... whatcha wanna bet the civs got upset because someone landed on their car?" Epsilon chuckled. "Or maybe one of our big guys got tired of a civ pushing him out of the way."
"I don't think so." Pyro landed close to the warehouse and decided to finish his approach on foot.
~ ~ ~
"No daughter of mine will marry a mutated freak of inbreeding!"
"We're not freaks, and we're not inbred, you bigoted – "
"Bigoted? Ha! Just because I don't want my grandchildren to have three eyes and tails?"
"Dad, I told you, that's not him!"
"I know, but if you marry this spike-headed twig and have his babies, they'll likely end up like that!"
Lapis snarled, a deep menacing warning, as Vixen held him back from charging Ray's girlfriend's parents. Boneshatter looked uncertainly around the scene. Most of the 9s looked like deer caught in the headlights, except Lektronic, arms full of Clockwork parts, who might've wanted to say something but now appeared nervous about jumping into the parents' fight. Ray just sighed and let his shoulders go limp. Maybe he was still shot up full of drugs back in the hospital and this was all a really, really bad dream.
"Mr. Najjar, I'll have you know that there have been no genetic malformations in our family tree for the last century," Ramona Jeffries said, arms folded across her chest. "Which is more than most families can say in this day and age, even with modern medicine. However, it's irrelevant because your daughter isn't a mutant."
"I should hope not!" Khalid Najjar retorted.
"Which means," Alan Jeffries picked up the thread of his wife's talk, "that she couldn't marry into our family anyway. We have standards."
If Jamie's parents had been heroes of any sort, Vixen later thought, something would've combusted right then and there.