Author: Gothic-Romantic99 PM
It's Talon's sixteenth birthday and Ferret is the only one who remembers.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Romance - Talon & Ferret - Words: 3,135 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 2 - Published: 06-17-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6062175
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own Static Shock.
Author's Note: I decided to write another Talon/Ferret friendship fic. I haven't abandonned my other one (Broken Mirrors) which is two chapters from being finished. I just need to stop being lazy and get to work on it. Anyway, this was just a plot bunny that's been in my mind for some time now, so I decided to finally write it before continuing on with my in-process stories. It's rated for a few dark/death images, but other than that there's not much to warn you about except sweetness.
I hope you enjoy!
Talon pulled her hair up into her signature ponytail. She sighed at the reflection in the window pane, resenting the woman who stared back at her. She was a young woman, ready to seek out a potential husband, but there were so few who would want her now. The girl now at the ripe age of sixteen wanted to knock the lights out of the person who invented the phrase, "sweet sixteen."
Were she allowed to return home she may have found truth in those words as she sat at a table in her favorite restaurant with her family and select friends surrounding her. Her boyfriend would sit in the chair next to her holding a small box wrapped in gold paper. Her nails, having just been done at the local salon, carefully tore the paper and opened the lid to find a fine, gold chain with a diamond heart attached at the end. She would then hug her boyfriend while the waitress brought the vanilla cake with chocolate icing to the table. Her mother would light the candles and her grandmother raise the camera to her eye for the shot. The party would sing the birthday song in Spanish. The last note would release from their lips the same time as the air from hers. The crowd would applaud and the cake passed around. She would enjoy the first bite then go around the table and receive compliments from those admiring her. At the end of the night she would thank them all for their kindness and glow in the thoughts of having enjoyed another birthday.
It was her sixteenth birthday. Her party would have been nowhere as extravagant as the quinceañera her mother and grandmother threw her the previous year, but it would be something more than sitting alone in an abandoned detention center. It was just another day to remind her of everything the big bang stole from her.
Talon broke out of jail two weeks ago and was now hiding from the superteens. She had been traveling by night only, taking only what she needed to survive. Ever since the big bang she never used her real name. Even when she was arrested the deformities she was stuck with masked her features and DNA enough that no one could identify her. Her family either did not want to expose their daughter, or they pretended not to care when her face appeared on the nightly news. It was her own choice to run away. Out of her own fear and shame she needed to escape and find help on her own. That help came in the form of the shadow master.
She planned to escape to the city almost an hour ride from Dakota. Her lack of transportation and likelihood of being caught if she travled through the air, she discovered walking while the night hid her to be the best decision. The news of an independent researcher who lived in that city recently reached the streets of Dakota. Supposedly this man discovered a possible cure for the bang babies. However it seemed that ethics were keeping him from testing the antidote on humans just yet. Talon planned to offer herself as a volunteer.
But for tonight, a night that celebrated sixteen years since her birth, she found herself sleeping in another one of Dakota's condemned buildings.
A tiny candle proved to be the only light in the room. Talon found it hiding in a rugged desk left behind in a room she assumed used to be a superior's office. Ebon was the only one who had been locked away in the building and he rarely spoke of his past.
Hotstreak was kind enough to light the candle for her before he went out for the night. Talon wondered what he saw in those desperate women who found themselves attracted to the pyro. Perhaps it was the dangerous man persona, if only they knew how sensitive and insecure he was beneath the skin. Talon smiled at the thought of the night she saw him break down into tears when he thought he was finally alone. Talon mistakenly made a noise and stirred the fire-starter. He stammered at first, but she had already seen the tears lining his cheeks. Hotstreak sighed and shared with her, one of the few he actually trusted, that he just read in the newspaper that his sister was in the hospital with a rare disease he knew too much about. He lowered his eyes to his knees as he remembered the time he was placed in a hospital when he became chronically ill in his early childhood. He was certain the doctors tested his sister and she was considered free from the gene defect. It turned out that tests were not always accurate. Talon fell in love with Hotstreak that night.
Over the next three months she found herself drawing closer to the pyro. It was not until Aqua-Maria came in the picture did the woman often mistaken for a harpy step down. Through her growing friendship with the aqua nymph, Talon found herself cheering on Maria's relationship with Hotstreak. She never mentioned her feelings to Hotstreak.
Talon nearly shrieked when a shadow moved against the wall. She turned around making the flame flicker and sway before returning to its original position. She squinted her eyes and watched as the shadow narrowed and transformed into the figure of a meta-human she had recently become quite fond of, she even admitted to him being her best friend, second only to Aqua-Maria.
The lanky bang baby stopped just two feet from the bird-woman awaiting her permission to speak or move closer. Talon smiled one of her rare friendly grins that were reserved for very few. Ferret happened to be one of these lucky few.
"Talon," he said before pausing.
Talon sat down on an old couch ridden with teeth and claw marks most likely created by rats. She patted the empty seat beside her. Ferret watched her for a few seconds before accepting the invitation.
"I—" Ferret began as he sat down. Talon eyed him closely, noticing a blue paper bag in the boy's hand. He put the bag on the floor and turned to look at the woman way to beautiful to be in his presence. Talon leaned against the backrest with her head turned to face Ferret. He bent down and picked up the bag. He reached his hand inside and pulled out a chocolate cupcake. "I know it's not much, but since today is…your birthday."
He winced at the startled whimper beside him. He looked to find Talon staring down at her hands.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't…"
"No, no, it's okay," Talon said taking hold of the cupcake.
"Wait," Ferret said reaching into the bag again. He brought out a pink and white striped candle and placed it in the center of the dessert before placing the bag back on the floor. He pulled a lighter out of his pocket and brought a flame to the wick. The candle lit up Talon's face, the one feature she could not bear to look at anymore. Ferret resumed his cross-legged position on the couch. Talon stared at the flame for nearly a minute. "Make a wish," Ferret said.
"You're not going to sing?" Talon asked looking up at his face.
Ferret raised his hand from his knee and said with a smile, "Nah, I'll spare you my hideous voice."
Talon chuckled. The sound brought a smile to Ferret's face. Not once could he recall hearing an authentic laugh coming from her mouth. "It's just tradition," she said. She held the cupcake in her hands and closed her eyes. Usually she wished for petty, material things that her upper middle-class family could afford for her birthday. Now there was only one wish that pounded through her mind since the day of her transformation. She opened her eyes and blew out the candle in one quick breath. A thin line of smoke floated above the blackened end of the candle.
She smiled at the boy whose face was now masked by the darkness. Ferret smiled in return, Talon momentarily forgot his eyes were arranged to see in the dark. It was a trait common through most of the bang babies, the strongest being among the Night Breed, Kangor, and Ebon. However no one save Kangor knew of Ferret's fear of the dark, or more so what lurked in the shadows. It was a truth he discovered too many times, many of the instances leaving him with many more bruises than he could count.
"Thanks," Talon said before raising the cupcake to her lips. She brought the treat from her mouth and split it in half the best she could without spilling too many crumbs on the couch. Not that the mess mattered for the rats would return soon to claim their dinner. She handed the smaller half to Ferret who ate most of it in one gulp. Talon slowly nibbled at the edge. The frosting tasted spectacular, a taste she had been denied for eight months.
"So, whatchu wish for?" Ferret asked before finishing off his half.
Talon swallowed then said, "I can't tell you that, it won't come true."
"Superstitious?" Ferret asked with a laugh.
Talon shook her head. "Not really, I just really want this wish to come true."
Ferret raised his eyebrows for a second then returned them to their normal state. Most looked at him as a joke. Even before the big bang caught him in its rage he was always the boy to be teased about his size, the last to be chosen for sports, the guy always sitting home alone on a Friday night. His extreme height and lack of weight, despite how much he could eat, made him clumsy. The big bang may have done wonders for the likes of Static, Hotstreak, Ebon, and Shiv, but his powers did nothing to cancel out his flaws. He did how ver find it much easier to move on four limbs instead of two.
Kangor gave him the name after realizing how much his new friend reminded him of his favorite pet from his childhood. Ferret found the nickname offensive at first, but when he discovered the endearing reason for Kangor's name he stuck with it, going so far as to change certain aspects of his personality to better fit the mannerisms of the animal. It was a name he now wore with pride.
Talon finished the cupcake and let her head rest against the worn cushion. Her eyes drifted over to Ferret and a smile covered her face.
"Thanks," she said. "You were the only one nice enough to care about my birthday."
"No problem, anything for a friend," Ferret replied.
"I'm lucky to have a friend like you." Teresa closed her eyes and leaned her head on Ferret's chest. The male meta-human widened his eyes and his cheeks turned pink. He found himself unable to breathe and speak. His trembling hand gently touched and stroked Talon's shoulder. Her smile widened and she nuzzled her head against Ferret's neck. He closed his eyes and rested his chin on Talon's head. Her scent was that of vanilla bean lotion and a touch of jasmine deodorant mixed with the recent chocolate icing on her breath.
"I don't want to move," Talon managed to say in her comfort.
"Me either," Ferret replied. He lowered his lips to Talon's head and gently kissed her forehead. She smiled knowing he meant nothing by it.
"I didn't want to think about my birthday, but you made me," Talon explained. Despite the warmth she pulled away to look into Ferret's weak eyes. "You made it something really sweet."
"Hey, it's sweet sixteen," Ferret said with a nervous laugh.
Talon nodded. "Well it's almost your sweet seventeen." She poked Ferret in the stomach. He stifled a laugh for fear she would tackle him to the floor and begin a tickle assault on him. Not that he would mind too much.
"Not for another four months," Ferret replied.
Talon shrugged. "I know, but there's nothing wrong with planning."
Ferret smiled again. He grabbed the bag off the floor. "Well now it's time to open your present."
"You got me…you shouldn't have, Ferret," Talon squealed. For a second she almost felt as though she were the innocent teenager with a clean criminal record she used to be. If there ever was a cure she wondered how she would pass lie-detector tests when they asked about her criminal history. At least the authorities possessed so little of her true identity that there was nothing on her record.
"I wanted this birthday to be extra special," Ferret said.
Talon parted the edges and looked into the bag. There was some kind of cylinder sitting in white tissue paper at the bottom. She reached inside and brought out the thin tube that contained some kind of blue liquid.
"What's this?" Talon asked switching her view from the gift to Ferret, then back.
Ferret smiled, "I know what you wanted for your birthday, so I got it for you."
"But what is it?" she asked eyeing the liquid.
"The answer to your wishes."
Talon lifted her face and stared into Ferret's glowing eyes. He held somewhat of a mischievous grin.
Ferret realized she was having a difficult time answering so he figured he would spare her the effort. "You know the rumor about that guy who's making a cure?" Talon nodded. Ferret's grin increased. "I sought him out two nights ago and he sold it to me." Talon's eyes widened. That explained why Ferret seemed to be missing for the past week. Ferret continued, "He said it worked on the mice, but not sure what would happen to a person. Also told me to never mention his name to anyone…incase it doesn't work, you know." He paused then added, "Or makes you worse."
"This must've cost you a fortune," Talon gasped.
Ferret waved his hand down. "It's nothing. Wasn't my money anyway."
Talon smiled and cradled the vile in her hand. "It's beautiful." She lifted her eyes and smiled at her dear friend. "I can't thank you enough."
"Of course I'm not sure what it'll do," Ferret explained. "So I don't know if you want to use it just yet."
"What else can we do?" Talon asked. "The government's not going to allow him to use it on people." She turned away from Ferret. "Besides, I don't want them to ever figure out who I am."
"That's not what I had in mind," Ferret said standing up. He walked over and knelt down in front of Talon. Her eyes burned with questions. He touched the container. "You see, when I bought it. There's two doses in there, enough for two…if you want, I can try it first." Talon gasped. "If it hurts me you know not to use it."
"No!" Talon shrieked. "I can't let you get hurt, not for me."
Ferret placed his hand on top of Talon's. It was now her turn to tremble.
He caressed her face. "There's no one else I'd rather do it for."
"Ferret," her voice weakly spoke.
Ferret pulled the vial away from Talon and pushed the top off with his thumb. He measured out exactly half, pouring it into a dirty, red, plastic cup he found earlier that day sitting out in the street. Talon watched with sorrow displayed on her face. He closed his eyes and gulped down the chemicals. He dropped the plastic cup by his feet and sat down, leaning against the couch.
Talon moved down to sit beside her friend. Her hands placed themselves around Ferret's cheeks. Her lovely eyes, the one thing the big bang could not destroy, stared into Ferret's soul. So many times he was branded a coward, useless, or used for grunt work. She and Kangor were the only ones who knew the extent of his character. There was a force that pulled her closer to him.
Ferret let himself fall backwards and allowed his left cheek and nostril touch the cool surface of the floor. It smelt of must and forming mold. Talon placed herself on the floor beside him, laying on her side. Ferret turned over to face her.
"What are you doing?" Ferret asked.
Talon put her finger on Ferret's lips. "If anything happens to you tonight, I want it to be special for you too."
"It's your birthday, you will know tomorrow if there's a cure," Ferret said.
Talon shook her head. She grabbed the tube and downed the liquid before Ferret had a chance to stop her. She tossed the empty vial against the wall and watched as it shattered.
"You didn't have to," said Ferret.
Talon smiled. "But I want to." She took hold of Ferret's hand. "If there's any chance of making me better, I want it. Anything is better than being a monster."
"I don't think you're a monster," Ferret replied as he stroked Talon's hair.
"And you're a prince," she whispered in his ear.
Ferret's eyes now could see nothing but the woman lying beside him. Talon wrapped her arms around Ferret's back and pulled herself closer to him. She closed her eyes and brought her lips to meet his. Ferret put his hand behind Talon's head and parted his lips to take in her full kiss.
Talon smiled. "If you asked me yesterday, I never thought I'd have a good sixteenth birthday. She grasped both of Ferret's hands. "And you gave that to me." She closed her eyes and fell asleep in his arms.