Summary: There's a killer on the loose, and in order to bring him to justice, Static and Gear need to enlist the help of…Hotstreak! Will eventually be SLASH!
Rating: PG-13, maybe R in later chapters. For those who have read my other works, this should prove to be one of my shorter fics.
Warnings: disturbing themes, a little language.
Category: Mystery, Angst, Romance
Disclaimer: I don't own the boys—WB and DC comics owns them. I'm just borrowing them for now ;)
Author's Notes: my first foray into Static Shock fan fiction! Please be kind…;
Chapter 1: A New Alliance
April 16th, 9:30 am. Dakota Penitentiary
The guards were even more jumpy than usual. Then again, it wasn't very often when a high-profile inmate receives a visit from someone like this. The armed officers of the maximum security prison straightened up as the warden, a tall, thin, graying man escorted the esteemed quest through the necessary checkpoints. The visitor was stripped of anything that could have possibly been a weapon. The warden sent him an apologetic look, saying that given the types of inmates, they couldn't be too careful.
The visitor was finally led to a separate room, and took a seat in front of a counter with a thick glass pane, understandably bullet-proof. There was a telephone receiver to his left and he watched and waited patiently. On the other side of the glass, a door opened, and an inmate wearing the orange jumpsuit uniform was led in, his hands handcuffed in front of him.
He was a handsome man, make no mistake, with his sun-kissed skin, well-toned muscles from hours of intense workouts, and an easy stride like a cat on the prowl matched perfectly with the cat-like grin on his face, and the longish flaming red hair. He took his seat opposite the visitor and waited as the handcuffs were removed. He picked up the receiver on his end and leaned forward conspiringly.
The visitor mirrored his actions, and stared him down, his dark eyes meeting the inmate's green orbs that shone like polished jade.
"Well," the inmate said, "Static Shock, to what do I owe the honor?"
"Hotstreak," the super hero said, "I see doing hard time hasn't changed you much." Static had matured since his early years—now he was taller, stronger, had better usage of his powers, and, as many female fans had noticed, he had grown, if possible, more handsome. The uniform he was accustomed to wearing was still the same, with a few helpful alterations thanks to his "partner in crime" Gear.
"I can still whip your ass in a fight, make no mistake of that," the redhead sneered. Hotstreak's attitude hadn't changed so much, either. He was still impulsive and prone to frequent fights once the embers of his temper were stoked. Though he had grown his hair out, and was in the process of growing a goatee, he still looked the same as he always had. Just now, he had that satisfied smirk on his face, and he had become much smoother in talk and manners.
Prison had in fact changed him more than even he knew. After the second Big Bang, through some weird twist of fate, he and Ebon had separated and retained their earlier abilities. Ebon later went on to be a crime lord, yet was now doing time in a California prison, and was also given the cure for the Bang, so now he was no different from his fellow man.
Hotstreak had kept his powers on the other hand, and offered, in exchange for an early release, that he be used as a part of a scientific study. No one objected, and scientists had been able to learn a lot from his cooperation.
Now, however, Hotstreak would find himself cooperating in a different fashion.
"Hotstreak," Static said again, his voice strong, resolute, and smooth, "I…We need your help."
"My help? Well ain't that somethin'…"
"You've heard about the Dakota Destroyer, haven't you?"
The red-head looked bewildered for a moment. "Yeah, I've heard some things. Why, what's the deal?"
"We can't find him."
"And I'll somehow be able to help? How? I've been in here since I was 18, I'm 25 now…"
"Twenty-six…your birthday was yesterday," Static corrected.
"Was it? Oh, wait…you're right. See," he leaned his head against his knuckle, chuckling mirthlessly, "No one visits anymore, so I forget some things."
"But you've heard about the Destroyer," the hero pointed out.
"All I know is what the newspapers know—and that's all any of us know in here!" Hotstreak countered. "If you have any leads, go ahead and follow them. I can't help you."
"Yes you can." Static sighed and hung his head, disbelieving what he was about to say, "Hotstreak, we've heard from the various police files that the Dakota Destroyer is a serial killer, whose methods and cruelty rival that of Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, and the Unabomber combined. He's dangerous, and has a vast knowledge of the underworld."
Hotstreak ran a hand over his face and sighed through his nose. "I'd like to help you—no, really, I would—but I haven't been on the streets in eight years, and too much has changed. All the old haunts are probably long gone."
"The old station is still there."
"Seriously? God, that takes me back…" he leaned back in his chair, running a hand through his hair. "It still being used?"
"Mostly by homeless people and runaways. It's sort of become a half-way house to freedom for some."
"Freedom, yeah that's what it used to be about. Then we had to steal to get what we needed…But you don't want to hear about that, do you?"
"Not really. I want to know one thing: will you help?"
"I still don't know how I can help."
"You know him."
"The Destroyer—you know him personally."
"I do?" he looked confused, and it wasn't such an unflattering look on him. "Since when?"
"Guess who?" Static looked a little sly and gave Hotstreak a knowing look. The redhead grimaced and groaned.
"Oh HELL no…You're kidding."
"Wish I was."
"Well how the hell did he get out of the clink?"
"Your guess is as good as mine—from what I'd heard, he had been killed in a fight."
"That's what I heard too—either he escaped or was killed, I dunno which one, though." The inmate leaned forward. "And you can't track him down? That's weird. Wait, he's got a brother doesn't he?"
"Adam Evans," Static assented. "And he has no idea, and wants nothing to do with the investigation—he's got a family now, and doesn't want them caught in the crossfire."
"Can't blame him. But yeah…and you've talked to the other Meta-humans? The rest of the old gang?"
"All of them. The only one who seemed to be the most help was Teresa."
"Oh. So her real name's Teresa? Huh, didn't know that."
"What," the hero said with a smug grin, "Don't keep in touch with your old buddies?"
"If I did, I wouldn't be sitting here, breathing. So," he balanced the phone between the crook of his neck and stretched his arms behind his head, "You think that because I know him, I'd help you find Ebon and bring him to justice?"
"That's the original plan."
"Why should I?"
"Because I can get you parole."
Hotstreak straightened up and looked serious for the first time in a long time, "Don't kid me, Static—can you really promise me this?"
"I can pull a few strings; maybe even get you out early."
"You were supposed to be in for twenty years, right?"
"You can be out of here in a year."
The news stunned him and he stared out into space, obviously thinking about it. It didn't take long. "I'll do it, on one condition."
"And what's that?" Static knew him well enough to know that whatever he was going to ask wasn't going to come cheap.
"You let me out to help you, and I need to be totally free—no jumpsuit, no handcuffs, all about trust here."
"You haven't given me much of a reason to trust you."
He feigned an innocent expression. "What? I've been a good boy…"
"Mm-hmm, and I bet that what some of the other guys in here say, too." He said with a humorous smile.
Hotstreak's expression hardened, "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Nothing," he answered quickly. "Understand that if this is to work out, you need to know that if you try anything—and I mean anything—you'll be spending more time in here than twenty years. The state is giving you a second chance, and I'm giving you a second chance. Don't screw this up, Francis."
The redhead saw how serious the situation was. He hung his head and let long wisps of red hair fall into his eyes. He closed his eyes for a moment, then opened them quickly.
"Deal—you call the shots, I follow the rules."
"And I can hold you to that promise?"
"Hell, if it means I get out early," he grinned like the Cheshire cat, "You can hold me to anything."
Dakota Penitentiary, 11:44
Static smirked as he watched Hotstreak put on his old clothes. The redheaded young man was struggling to fit into the same clothes he had worn as a teenager, the classic red shirt now faded and two sizes too small, and he had no need for a belt for his pants anymore.
"I didn't think I'd gained that much weight…" he muttered. Static crossed his arms and leaned against the doorway, smirking triumphantly.
"Everybody gains weight after high school—haven't you ever heard of the freshman fifteen?"
"Freshman fifty by the looks of you," Hotstreak shot back, visibly smarting from the verbal blow. "What have you been eating?"
Static rolled his eyes. He had expected this. If Hotstreak couldn't fight him outright, the least he would try was annoy him. Their agreement included refraining from physical battles. Which meant that verbal battles were left wide open. The superhero, though he hoped and prayed that this 'hot-head' wouldn't be too much of a pain, knew that whatever happened was inevitable.
"Healthy foods—which is what you'll be having from now on until we find the killer."
"Health food? You're kidding right? You expect me to eat rabbit food?"
"Would you rather be eating the same things you've been eating since you got here? And besides, Gear's not too bad of a cook."
"Marvelous," he said sarcastically, finally able to fit into his khaki pants. "So I'm going to be living with Batman and Robin from now on. Oh, everyone's gonna love this."
Justice League Watchtower, 12:35 am EST
"I still think this was a bad idea," Gear said later. Hotstreak had returned with Static back to the Watchtower of the Justice League, had eaten, showered and went to bed without event. Safely locked away in his room, he posed no more a threat than a basketful of cuddly puppies on Christmas morning.
Static took off the mask and placed it on the table in front of him. "I agree Rich, but what else are we going to do? Not even Bruce knows what's going on—and he's the world's greatest detective for God's sake!"
Richie Foley was hard at work, as usual, on Backpack, version 6.0. Like the two superheroes, their equipment had also evolved along with them. Backpack was now able to do things fifty years ahead of its time, thanks to the genius of its maker. Richie had taken off his helmet once he thought it was safe, and was twisting a screw inside the mechanical device.
"Ebon's gotten craftier, I think. Somehow, I just don't think he has the capability to do these crimes," he said, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose.
"He's got the rap sheet," Virgil Hawkins pointed out.
"This is true, but he's never actually killed anyone. I guess that's what's hard to believe. And he doesn't exactly strike me as the type of creative guy to do those things he does to his victims."
"Yeah, I know what you mean—creativity isn't one of his strong suits."
"So do you really trust Hotstreak?"
"We have no choice—who else knows how Ebon's mind works? The two of them were conjoined for God knows how long, so…"
"You think that they may have shared mental data?"
"Maybe—it's my theory."
He also had other theories, but they would have to wait until Hotstreak was awake. For the time being, all they could do was wait.
Please Read and Review!