Seven Deadly Sins.
Warren growled as he launched fireball after fireball at Will. The younger hero kept dodging out of the way and hovering nervously. He was trying to apologize but Warren’s eyes were on fire and all he could see was red.
“W’ren, I’m sor—”
“How could you do that to me?!” He demanded angrily, sending a river of flame at the younger hero. “Just because I wouldn’t hold your fucking hand!”
“I didn’t mea—”
“I trusted you!”
“Warren… I’m sor—”
This time his fireball managed to singe his opponent’s hair.
The two boys’ legs were tangled together as they lounged on the couch in the Strongholds’s den. They were supposedly watching some inane Disney movie about superheroes in spandex but both of them were half-asleep. They had been rough-housing all afternoon and now it would have taken a nuclear war to get them moving.
“Is this okay?” Will asked sleepily, gesturing with his chin at their entwined legs.
Warren grunted in response, eyes slipping shut as he finally succumbed to sleep.
“Warren, would you like to stay for dinner?” Josie asked pleasantly as she watched him begin to pack up his gear.
The flamethrower blinked in surprise. “Uh… no thanks… I really should get home and start on my Mad Science lab… beams and rays yanno…”
His stomach took this opportunity to grumble loudly in protest.
“Nonsense!” Josie exclaimed, steering her son’s best friend into the dining room and pushing him down into a chair. “Steve made too much for just the three of us anyway. Besides, you look half-starved all the time.”
Warren blushed and Will snickered at him.
“What?” Will demanded when Warren glared at him. “It’s true!”
Steve entered with platters of food before Warren was able to burn off his best friend’s eyebrows.
“Bon appetite!” He grinned, shoveling into his own food with relish.
Will and Josie followed suite, happily devouring the rather excellent smelling food. Warren fidgeted with his cutlery awkwardly.
“Go ahead!” Josie urged him. “It’s good. I swear that it isn’t poisoned.”
Warren bit his lip.
“Go on W’ren.” Will agreed. “My dad’s a great cook.”
Steve glowed with pride while Warren threw caution to the wind and began to shovel the delicious food into his mouth. He cleaned his plate in minutes and flushed deeply at the look of surprise on the Strongholds’ faces.
“Would you like some more?” Josie asked faintly.
“Yes please.” He replied quietly.
Warren snuggled as far into his sleeping bag as he could; trying and mostly succeeding to get as comfortable as he could on the floor of Will’s bedroom. The younger boy was already comfy and half-asleep in his own bed.
“Can I switch off the light?” He muttered sleepily.
“Sure,” Warren sighed.
“Good night W’ren.”
The two boys were silent for a few moments. Their breathing wasn’t quite even yet and neither of them seemed able to get to sleep.
“Your parents are awesome.”
“What?” Will asked blearily.
“Your parents are awesome.” Warren repeated.
“Oh yeah… no duh,” He stretched and flicked on the light, both boys wincing as the sudden illumination flooded the room. “Why?”
Warren sighed and curled in on himself. “I’ve never been allowed to eat so much before in my entire life.”
“Really?” Will asked in surprise.
“Yeah… wish they were my parents…”
“Night Will.” He replied weakly, rolling over and away from his best friend.
Warren swayed slightly as he walked towards the booth that Layla and Will were sitting at near the back of the Paper Lantern and his vision swam. He nearly dropped the tray of food he was holding.
“You’re working way too hard,” Layla commented as he set down her shanghai noodles and chicken-fried rice. “You look absolutely exhausted.”
Warren rolled his eyes and set down Will’s plate of chicken balls and sweet ‘n sour pork. He placed the tiny tray of fortune cookies between them.
“She’s right W’ren,” Will commented. “You should stop taking such long shifts. You’re going to burn yourself out.
“I need the money.” He stated simply as he walked away.
Will gasped as Warren started running his fingers up and down his thigh during Mad Science. He turned to stare with incredulity at his best friend.
“What the hell are you doing?” Will hissed.
“Stronghold!” Mr. Medulla cried from the front of the room. “What I am telling you about the seven deadly minerals to superheroes is far more important than anything Mr. Peace could
possibly be imparting to you at this very moment.”
Will nodded meekly, trying to ignore the deft fingers that were calmly undoing the button of his jeans and unzipping his fly. “Of course, Mr. Medulla. Won’t happen again.”
Warren frowned and wrenched his hand out of Will’s grip, restraining himself from scorching the other boy. Will’s eyes were wide and round.
“What?” He demanded with a raised eyebrow. “You thought just because I let you sleep with me means I’m going to let you hold my hand?”
Will blinked owlishly, eyes slightly wet.
“I still have some dignity left, Stronghold.”
"But you *have* to be the one to do it, Lash! You're the one with girly hips!"
Speed shook his head to himself as he flipped his way through his eighth grade yearbook. He had looked ridiculous back then. He had been short and tubby and he had a crew cut! He had been pathetic looking back then.
He flipped the page and smiled fondly at the image of young Lash. The other boy had rather freakishly long hair when they were 13, it brushed his collarbone and it was constantly in his eyes. He had also been very thin and almost girlish when they were in junior high. He had been very testy about that fact too…
“But it’s only one night.”
“But you promised!”
Lash glowered at the larger boy. “Just because I said I’d be your date for the Hallowe’en Dance does not mean that I agreed to be a girl!”
“But you have to be the one to do it, Lash! You’re the one with girly hips!”
“I’m not a girl!” Lash’s eyes were wet with hot, angry tears.
The skinny boy stood and grabbed his backpack, preparing to leave his friend’s bedroom. His hair fell into his eyes and he brushed it away in annoyance.
“I know you’re not,” Speed soothed, tugging the backpack out of his friend’s hand and gently taking his hand. “It’s just that my mom already made the costumes under the assumption that I would be going with a girl.”
The smaller boy wrenched his hand free. “So now I’m just your last resort?!”
“No!” Speed exploded, grabbing Lash in a tight, crushing embrace. “I like you! I asked you because I want to go with you!”
“Then why do you want me to dress like a girl?” The other boy asked softly.
Lash blinked at him with confusion.
“It’s just that my mom already made the costumes and she worked so hard. I don’t want all that work to go to waste; especially since she started sobbing about never getting any grandchildren when I told her that you were my date.”
“So will you do it for my mom?” Speed asked hopefully.
Lash sighed and relaxed against the larger boy. “Okay.”
Speed grinned when he flipped the page. There they were at the dance. Speed was dressed as a Matador; complete with mustache, dorky hat and flashy red cape. Lash was a rather adorable senorita complete with flower in the hair, tight off the shoulder blouse with fake breasts and a red, ruffled skirt. In the picture Speed had his arms wrapped lovingly around his date, wrists resting against his hips while Lash blushed shyly.
“I had fun that night.”
Speed started at the slight weight of his fiancé suddenly pressing against him. He smiled and wrapped a strong arm around his frail figure, tugging him closer.
“I don’t think I ever told you.” Lash stated honestly. “But I had fun that night.”
“Me too.” He grinned and placed a warm kiss against his lover’s cheek. “Let’s have some fun tonight too.”