Static's foot bumped into an empty can and it skittered away into the looming darkness of the subway sending metallic clangs echoing down the abandoned tunnels. Static panted and cursed internally; someone would have heard that, and this was no time to be drawing attention to himself. Keeping one hand to the wall to guide himself through the darkness and another on his side, blood squished from between his fingers and soaked into his clothes in glittering black. Static grunted through his teeth and fell back into the wall. Sliding to the ground, Static let a small cry escape his lips when he fell to the ground. He still couldn't see anything farther than ten or twelve feet in the gloom and there wasn't any signal getting through on the shock box.

Distracted by his pain, he barely noticed when a laugh echoed from the darkness on his right. He grit his teeth and turned toward the sound as three punks in hoodies sauntered forward, blending from shapeless outlines into wicked, grinning ghosts. Static took his free hand and weakly clenched in into a fist, forcing power into his palm enough to cast light and send sparks dancing up his arm.

The man closest to him laughed, identifying him as the man who laughed before, "Well, what do we have here? If it isn't Static Shock." Static narrowed his eyes and bit back a gasp, "Stay away from me." It came out sounding more pitiful than he'd hoped and the man stepped closer until he was looming over him, "Why would I do that? Do you have any idea the shit you've caused for me? Do you!" At his last words, he kicked toward Static's chest. Static used his remaining strength to roll out of the way and shoot lightning toward the man. He ducked and Virgil felt strong arms snake under his arms. His breath was coming in shaky gasps as they jerked him to his feet.

The man hissed, "I'm gonna make you pay, Static." As he spit his name he kicked him in his side where he'd been stabbed. Virgil screamed and the other gang members let him fall to his back. He stepped on his wound and blood welled around his shoe while Virgil let out a choked scream, and the man carried on wistfully leaning into Static's side, "So even mighty super heroes bleed…I wonder if they can die?"

He lifted his foot to slam it back down into his stomach, but a deep voice from behind him stopped him in his tracks, "I wouldn't do that if I were you." Static recognized it and looked behind his tormenter to see flame red hair and glowing golden eyes; Hotstreak. The man jumped and fell away from Static, back toward his two henchmen, "H-H-Hotstreak!"

"Yeah, now that you know who you're messin' with; scram! You guys make me sick." His eyes narrowed dangerously and his fists glowed with the promise of violence as the men scrambled back into the dark. Static's breath was coming fast and shallow as Francis kneeled next to him, his palm lit with fire to survey the damage, voice laced with it's usual edge but it bordering on concern, "You really got in it deep this time, didn't you?"

Static choked, "What do you want Hotstreak?" Francis raised an eyebrow and asked sarcastically, "Is now really the best time to be pickin' a fight?" As he finished his sentence he put his arm under his shoulders and propped him up, snaking his other arm under his knees and hauling himself to his feet with Static in his arms.

"What are you doing?" Static asked helplessly.

Francis shot back, "What do you think hero? Savin' yer stupid ass!"

Static tensed and groaned as a spike of pain shot through his side, and Hotstreak's pace quickened almost unnoticeably. Now that the stress and adrenaline of defending his life was wearing away, Virgil felt himself slip into unconsciousness.

Hotstreak took him back to his temporary place in the subway and set him down. Taking his shirt and jacket off, Francis could see that the damage was pretty bad. He'd seen stab wounds before, and it looked to him like he would have been okay if those thugs hadn't come along and made it worse. Francis focused and lit his fingers so there was no fire but they were hotter than a red hot iron. Hovering his hand over the wound he grumbled to him, "This is gonna hurt like hell, so hang tight." Pushing his hand to the wound, it made the sick sound of burning flesh and the smell was the same as Francis remembered. Virgil instinctively arched away from the pain and a desperate scream clawed its way out of his chest. Francis cringed and held him down while he finished cauterizing the wound.

After he finished with that, he did his best to clean up the blood and dress his wound. He was about to back away when his eyes lingered on Static's mask…should he? Hovering his hand over his mask, Francis thought about, watching warily, like Static would wake up and send a 6,000 volt of electricity through him at any second. A couple of minutes passed and Francis backed away feeling stupid. Why did he care anyways? But after ten minutes with nothing to do but stare at dirty subway tiles and feel curious, he found himself leaning over the other metahuman with a hand under his mask. Francis bit his lip and pulled it off, half expecting the world to end or something; unmasking superheroes just didn't happen.

Hotstreak mentally gasped as the person he saw beneath the mask; Virgil Hawkins. Hesitating to make sure he was right, Francis replaced the mask and sat down away from him. People always said he wasn't very smart, but now that he thought about it; Virgil as Static made so much sense. Ebon had almost caught him once before, but somehow Virgil had escaped. That was the closest he knew of anyone discovering his identity. Now that he knew, Hotstreak found himself intrigued by Static even more than before. He had always beaten him up in school, picked on him, harassed him, whatever you like, so why hadn't the other bang baby gotten revenge? There was no doubt that Static was stronger than him, no matter how much he wanted to deny it. He could have beat the tar outta him on multiple occasions, but he'd just let him go so the cops could take him.

Hotstreak thought on that until the other metahuman woke up. He never left in case Static woke up while he wasn't there, but he walked around and used subway cars as target practice to pass the time. The next day, Static groaned and put a hand to his head muttering, "Why do I feel like I've been hit by a truck?" Francis walked over and sat down on an overturned newspaper stand, "Who knows, maybe you were, in the shape you were in last night."

Static shot awake and automatically tried to sit up, "Woah, woah, calm down!" Francis held him down and added, "If you move too much you could open up your wound again."

Virgil considered that and relaxed, now that he was coherent and he was grasping the situation and not reacting out of habit, "Why would you help me?" Wincing a bit, Static put a hand on his side and took deep breaths while the pain from his recent movement quelled.

Hotstreak crossed his arms, "Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have helped you if those assholes hadn't been there."

Static studied him and asked, "Why?"

"I may be an ass, but there's a line and you don't cross it." Pausing slightly he continued, "They crossed that line."

Static stared at him and accepted his answer, not sure how to carry on conversation with someone he'd never taken the time to talk to before, so he asked a neutral question, "What time is it?"

"4 something last time I looked." He glared at Virgil for a long time until he started to get uncomfortable, "Why don't you ever fight back?"

Virgil made a face, "Excuse me?"

"Why don't you ever fight back, you know, when those punks push you around?"

Virgil frowned and threw back sarcastically, "I do fight back, in case you didn't notice, what between stealing cars and causing mass panic."

Francis scowled deeper if that were possible, "I'm not talkin' about Static, I'm talkin' about Virgil."

Now Static was paying attention. He felt the icy numbness crawl up his arms when you realize you're in deep shit, "What did you say?"

Francis' temper momentarily flared and he jumped up, his hands tightening into fists at his sides, "So I looked under your mask, what of it?!"

Virgil stiffened and then said cautiously, "You know who I am." It wasn't really a question. He knew francis had a temper and he didn't want to get on his bad side when he could barely even sit up.

Francis drawled, "Yeah."

"What're you gonna do about it?"

Sitting back down, Francis crossed his arms again, "I don't care. What did you think I was gonna do?"

Static eyed him, "Well, you could tell Ebon and the rest of the metahumans and then I wouldn't even be safe in my own home anymore."

Francis shouted, "I ain't gonna tell that freak! He can find out for himself!"

His voice reverberated in the empty tunnel and an uncomfortable silence followed his outburst and Francis looked at the floor, "Oh. Well, thanks, I guess." Virgil went back to staring at the ceiling and he answered his question, "Why do you care what I do?"

"You're Static, and you just let those jerks in school push you around when you could beat those idiots to dust without even trying!"

"So I should be like you? I should just beat the crap out of anyone that even looks at me sideways or says something the way I don't like?"

Hotstreak glared and shouted, "Hey! It ain't like that!"

Virgil shrugged, "Whatever. I've never been much of a fighter before. If that changed all of a sudden, it would draw attention to myself and then the connection between myself and Static would be just that much easier to make. Plus, if I started getting in fights, my pops would totally freak."

Francis scowled, "Who cares about that! If I were you I never would've taken shit from those guys!"

Virgil looked over at Hotstreak as a hint of surprise hit him; it almost sounded like he cared. Virgil felt suddenly selfconscious as he cleared his throat, "Um, you got a cell phone or something?"

Hotstreak raised an eyebrow, "What for?"

"My pops and Richie are probably freaking out about now. I should let them know I'm okay."

"I ain't got anything like that."

Virgil snorted, "I'd think you would, with all the stuff you steal."

"Pshh, I just do that for the thrill, there's no thrill in having a phone with no one to call."

That spiked Virgil's interest but he let it slide, he wasn't about to set off one of Hotstreak's tantrums when he couldn't fight back.

"Say," Francis asked, "I don't really remember cause I was in it deep for setting the bleachers on fire, but weren't you not at school for a couple of months?"

Static stared blankly and then it hit him, "Oh! Yeah that. I went to this other prestigious school for like, geniuses or something for a while, but I left."

"Why?"

"Well, they weren't really my type for one thing, and for another, their principal wanted to capture me and experiment on me."

"Oh. That's sucks, I guess. So, you must be really smart then."

Virgil shrugged again and put his hands behind his head, "I don't feel smart; Richie's the smart one. I guess I can figure stuff out if I need to, but I dunno, I like being Static so much more."

"I'm not good at that academic stuff. Mom always said I was an idiot."

Virgil frowned, "Your mom said that?"

He hesitated, "Yeah, but it's not like I care, I haven't seen her in years."

Virgil wasn't really sure what to say, "Sorry man. You're not stupid though."

Hotstreak snorted, "Don't give me the 'you just need to apply yourself speech,' I hear it all the damn time."

Virgil said seriously, "That's not what I was gonna say. I fight you all the time and you're good because you're smart. It doesn't matter if you suck at math or science in real life if your smarts are somewhere else."

Francis squirmed and looked away, uncomfortable with where the conversation was heading and decided to turn the topic back towards Virgil, "Whatever happened to your girlfriend? I noticed that you two don't hang out anymore."

"How'd you notice that? Well, yeah, we broke up." When Francis stayed quiet Virgil kept going, "She doesn't know I'm Static, and it's better this way. I've already dragged her into my problems more than once. She doesn't deserve that."

"Yeah, Aquamaria and I were okay for a while, but I screwed that up big time. I always screw it up."

"Sorry man. At least she's happy now; she wanted to be human again."

Francis absently rubbed his neck, "Yeah I know."

Virgil looked back up at the ceiling and asked, "So how bad was it?"

Francis looked back at Virgil, "What?"

Pointing to the bandages Francis realized what he was talking about, "Oh, ahh, it was pretty bad, but I stopped the bleeding, so you should be alright to move around in another day or so."

"How do you know how to do this?"

"Hangin' around gangs all the time, you get around."

Virgil acknowledged that and watched Hotstreak stand up and walk to the edge of the platform and jump to the rails, "Don't move or nothin', I'll be back."

Virgil muttered, "Yeah sure."

The rest of the day and the next passed with too many instances of awkward silence and every time the conversation drifted toward Francis he would dodge any questions he asked with questions of his own. By the next afternoon Static was up and walking around, but he seemed to be in pain while he did.

Francis watched him sit down with a pained hiss, "Hey man, don't push it."

Static shot back with an irritated edge, "I'm fine."

He snorted sarcastically, "Sure you are." Looking him over he decided to ask, "Who got you anyways?"

"What? Who stabbed me?" Anger flashed through his eyes and he folded his hands between his knees while he hunched forward, "A nobody. I was distracted, and he took his chance."

An emotion crossed through Francis' eyes that Static couldn't identify and he asked, "It must've been one hell of a distraction. I find it hard to believe that some mugger got the best of you."

Anger laced his voice again, "Well, believe it." Now Hotstreak was interested even more than before. It was hard to get under Virgil's skin, but something had, and whatever had happened and almost cost him.

Before Hotstreak could push him, Virgil asked, "So what's it like being able to control fire?"

Francis folded his arms and leaned against the wall answered sarcastically, "Well, it's like being able to control fire." Virgil frowned and he said seriously, "I don't sweat or get hot anymore and I never need a sweatshirt."

"Seriously?"

"Yeah seriously."

Static grinned and laughed, "Man that is so cool! No pun intended. God knows how many times I didn't feel the heat on a hot summer's day. You've got like, your own personal climate control."

Hotstreak looked a little surprised, "It's not that cool." Static's grin didn't fade as Hotstreak asked, "How'd you first find out about your powers?"

"Funny story. I woke up to get ready and my covers attacked me. And when I walked into the bathroom the lights went on without me flippin' the switch and my dad's razor turned on when my hand got too close. Needless to say I wanted to test it out. I went to the junkyard and started throwing cars."

Francis actually looked a little sheepish, "I woke up in the hospital on fire and my first thought was to go destroy some stuff. I think you know what happened after that."

"I think all of Dakota knows what happened after that."

Virgil and Francis exchanged nondescript stories for a while and the next day, Francis woke up to see Virgil testing his powers. An electric shield circled around him and sparks shot up his arms. His eyes took on an electric purple and he pulled his power back in with a clam exhale. Talking to himself since he didn't know Francis was awake he commented to himself, "That felt good."

Francis asked, "What felt good?"

"Have you ever not used your powers for a really long time? It's like sitting for too long and having to stretch your muscles out after they get all stiff."

"Really? I wouldn't know. The only time I don't is when they have me on meds and when I'm sleeping."

Virgil moved to pick up his shirt and jacket, "If it's one thing I understand about you, it's the feeling you get when you let loose. Nothing like it in the world."

Francis crossed his arms while Static redressed himself, cringing at the dried blood, "You? Let loose?"

"Ha. Don't think I haven't. Have you ever sucked the energy out of a high voltage power line? That was a trip."

Static pulled out his disk and it opened into a circle before he dropped it. Before it hit the ground, he sent a surge through it that made it hover just over the ground and he hopped up.

Francis frowned, "Just so you know, this doesn't change anything!"

Static smiled, "I wouldn't have it any other way. Don't think I'll go easy on you next time you pull grand theft auto."

Francis yelled after him as he whizzed down the subway tunnel, "Don't even think about it!" Watching Static leave, Hotstreak felt an uncomfortable void in his chest. "Shit." Francis kicked a pipe and it flew into the opposite wall with a noisy clatter.

Static called Gear as soon as he was within signal, "Richie, are you there?"

Almost immediately he heard him shout into the other line, "Virgil! Holy Crap, where have you been!" The worry was barely concealed beneath his surprise.

"I'm okay Rich. Meet me at the gas Station and if it's possible, could you call my pops and let him know I'm okay?"

"Yeah man! I'll be there in like…15 minutes."

Virgil made it to the gas station and waited on the old sofa they had moved there last summer. It wasn't long before Gear bust in through the door in his Rocket skates out of breath.

He threw his arms apart and shouted breathlessly, "Oh my God, V! Is that blood?!"

Virgil stood up. But not without wincing and said slowly, "Calm down Richie. I'll tell you everything. Did you get in touch with my dad?"

Richie smacked himself in the helmet, "Oh! Yeah man, I let him know. He's glad you're okay; you were gone for a really long time. I was just downtown looking for you. Why didn't you call earlier?"

Virgil sighed and sat down, "Lemme start from the beginning. I followed the Joker into the old Subway station-"

Virg! You followed the Joker…ALONE?!"

"I'm not done yet Rich, save your concerns for the end." Richie frowned and crossed his arms but otherwise remained silent.

"As I was saying, I followed him and caught him trying to use the old tunnels to get underneath a building to set a bomb. I tried to call you for backup but there wasn't any signal down there, so before they could get away with it, I attacked them and drew their attention to me. I ended up getting in a one on one fight with Joker and that guy scares the shit outta me. I was so preoccupied with him that I completely missed Shiv.

"He stabbed me and Joker didn't see me as much of a threat anymore, so while he wasn't looking, I disarmed the electrical pulses that would set off the bomb. Before he could finish me off, I ran. Luckily I was faster than they were on foot and they gave up, which is lucky for me, cause I didn't make it very far; I lost too much blood and I couldn't keep my powers up long enough to fly.

"Some random punks decided to take advantage of the situation, but before they could cause any permanent damage, Hotstreak showed up and scared em off. After that he helped make sure I didn't bleed to death and helped me until I was strong enough to leave."

"I'm sorry Virg, did I hear that right? Hotstreak helped you?"

Virgil looked tired, "Yeah, I know. I couldn't believe it either. But he wasn't so bad; he didn't try to take me out even once."

"Well, at least the guys got morals." Taking off his helmet he asked, "Why did you want to meet me here and not your place?"

Virgil made a face, "Look at me Rich. Do I really wanna walk into my house looking like this?"

Richie looked him over again and grimaced, "Yeah, You've got a point." He grabbed a long sleeve shirt and some pants he'd left at the base and jumped back onto the disk he used to fly, "Let's get back to my place."

Worried, Richie asked, "V, are you sure you're okay to do that?"

Virgil reassured him, "I made it this far, didn't I? Come on, I wanna get home."

Finishing pulling the shirt over his head, Virgil rang the doorbell and the door swung open a little more than 5 seconds later. Sharon's eyes went wide and she threw hers arms around him, "Virgil!" Stepping back with her hands on her hips she shouted with tears in her eyes, "Do you have any idea how worried I was! Where were you?!"

Stepping inside with Richie close behind him, Virgil looked past Sharon to his father, "Hey pops, Sharon, I'm really sorry I worried you. I was umm…" He put a hand in his hair and realized that he hadn't bothered to come up with a story...a good one anyway.

His father looked relieved and frustrated, "Son, why don't we sit down and you can tell us what's been going on."

Virgil shared a look with Richie and said, "Alright pops."

Sitting down away from his father and sister who was busy wiping away tears, somehow feeling a guilty responsibility for anything that happened to him, Virgil sighed and said to Robert, "I gotta tell Sharon pops."

He watched him carefully said back seriously, "If that's what you want Virgil."

"Tell me what?" Sharon almost whined from over-stress.

Virgil blew out a deep breath and leaned on his knees forcing the words out of his mouth, "Sharon, I'm Static."

A small hysterical laugh escaped her and she blurted, "No way, don't lie to me Virgil."

Virgil rubbed his eyes, fighting a growing headache, and held his hand out with electricity dancing around his arm and hand in small purple sparks, an electric halo forming around his hand as he closed his fist and shut off the flow of energy.

Sharon's eyes widened and she whispered, "Oh my god. You really are Static."

Virgil was tired and he didn't bother letting her take this in and jumped right to the meat of it, "I was running down the Joker and in the fight I got stabbed by Shiv. I got stuck in the subways, but I had help and couldn't make it back here until now."

Alarm crossed both their faces, and his father asked urgently, "Are you okay? We should get you to a hospital."

Virgil stood up with some effort and said, "Yeah Dad, I'm fine. I heal faster than a normal person, but I'm still tired. I have a headache and I'm starting to feel a little stiff, so I'm gonna go and take a nap if you don't mind." Walking over to the staircase Robert nodded and looked to Richie as Static vanished up the stairs, "Go with him and make sure he's alright."

Richie nodded and said, "Yes, sir." Following Virgil up to his room, he could hear Robert and Sharon talking quietly. She was going to have a lot of questions, and Richie was glad that he wasn't there to deal with it.

Watching Virgil flop down as gently as he could with a stab wound, Richie sat down at his desk and leaned on his knees, "So, you need anything V?"

Mumbling half asleep he answered, "Mmfine. Tired."

"Mind if I stick around for a while?"

"No." Richie watched his friend fall asleep with irrational concern. He knew if V was going to be having any problems, they already would have arisen, but he could help it as his mind recalled pages from a medical dictionary he had read a few months ago. It caused him unreasonable stress and panic, so while one part of his mind did that, he focused the other part on solving various math problems and another on mentally rereading the dictionary. It was tedious, but it made him feel better.

Even as he was thinking about all that, a thought crossed his mind. Now that Hotstreak had helped V, would anything between them change?

so this was originally sort of a one shot that I felt like making, but I kinda like this stupid little story, I think I might ressurect this sucker C: Review and tell me when they get OOC : I HATE that and I'm trying really hard D: