So guys, what do you enjoy better? V's point of view, Hotstreaks, or dyu wanna see more of Richie? I honesty love them all lol And I'm sorry for the late chapter, but I've been debating how much to post and I've been having a hard time work/school/life wise C: But I hope the length makes up for it C: I originally didn't intend for this story to go on so long, but uhh...whoops lol Also, I don't feel like I'm done with this chapter, but it's been long enough and I feel bad not updating it C: So here's this one, with a strange cutoff lol Annndddd a weird first person drabble from Gears POV that I felt fit pretty well.
Breaking the Peace
Static immediately shorted out the bugs and cameras in the room when he filed in after Richie. Gear gave a short, grateful little nod at the gesture and sat down on the edge of the bed. Hotstreak was in his own room to give Richie and Virgil some time alone. Virgil flung his back roughly against the wall and slid to the ground hands lacing over the back of his neck. Richie watched him, eyes narrowed in sadness, "Talk to me V." Before he'd been kidnapped he'd noticed the hero cracking, but now it was almost like he was shattered.
"I don't even know myself anymore Richie."
Richie could hear the warnings in the logical part of his brain categorizing his friend's mental health and he shut them out, "What happened. I've been kidnapped before and I've never seen you this bad."
Static sighed heavily, his voice shaking as he calmed his nerves, "I feel so numb Rich, when I first found out who kidnapped you I was so angry. If Hotstreak wasn't there I could have killed someone. It didn't happen...but I was close...so close. I'm scared."
Richie got up and sat down next to his friend, "Virgil, you've been my best friend for years and I love you like family, and you need to do what you need to. But you know I'm always here for you right?"
Virgil didn't bother to hide the tears as his mind screamed, 'What if you're not?' Voice nearly a whisper Virgil looked down, "I don't think I could take it if I lost someone else close to me."
"And you do an amazing job making sure that doesn't happen." Richie paused and chose his words carefully, "But you can't save everyone V."
…... Gear …...
The Gears in my head were always turning. An endless rhythm in my brain that refused to leave me in peace. At first, the churning between my ears was nothing but a whisper, but it had gradually increased in pitch to become a hurricane, filling my every waking moment with thought process, knowledge and answers. Always with the answers.
There wasn't a question my brain would allow to sit unanswered. If I could solve it, I would, if I couldn't – well that hadn't happened yet.
I've always assumed I had some semblance of technopathy. When I was assisting Batman with a time travel device I left him stumped on more than one occasion. In fact, I was overtly aware of the caution he had for me. He'd caught me alone in the halls of the watchtower once, which I suspect was no coincidence, and asked me questions I would have rather left unanswered.
There was no use lying to him; he had years of experience and instinct that my knowledge could never topple or hope to match. He asked a simple question, "What's on your mind?"
No one had asked that in years; I let out a sarcastic bark of laughter and planted my feet, "On which plane of mind? I can think about more than five things at once, not including the planes I reserve for rationale of decision." I wasn't bragging, merely stating a fact.
My tone was the same as it had always been, but Batman based his trade on the way he dealt with people and he'd sensed something inherently 'off' about my flippant statement, "Are you alright?"
I'd stopped, removed my glasses and rubbed my eyes before replacing them, "It's getting more and more difficult to separate logic from empathy." Exhausting really.
He pressed, "What do you mean?"
I sighed and moved my hands to my pockets, "More often than not I'm finding myself mimicking sympathy for an opponent when quite honestly, I feel nothing. The logic in my brain is overruling my emotions."
This made me a threat. He took two paces in my direction and stared me down, "If you found yourself lacking sympathy when a man's life was on the line, then what?"
I met his gaze evenly, not a hint of hesitation in my voice, "That would depend on the practical outcome," his eyes narrowed and he looked on the verge of action as I finished, "but as it is, Virgil wouldn't see too kindly to that course of action, thus it will never happen...so long as he's still around." It was impossible to read the Dark knight standing before me; there was no doubt in my mind that in a fist fight, hell any fight, he would win. But in a battle of wits; he looked wary.
He was silent for a long time before he said, "If that ever happens, call me. I'm giving you a chance that you shouldn't have, but not for you, for Virgil. He cares about you."
I looked down, "I know."
"If it matters, I appreciate the honesty" It was hard to tell if he was being serious or sarcastic. But then, I don't think it really mattered. Even if I hadn't said anything, he would have noticed anyway. I was the smartest person on the planet, while not the greatest detective, and that was enough to put me at the top of his watch list. He of all people knew how effective knowledge could be.
Either way, Virgil wasn't going to find out. The intelligence in my head was practically a shout, there was so much to do...but I'd lied to Virgil. I hadn't called my parents to let them know I was okay, because it simply hadn't crossed my mind. The need to emotionally attach myself with those around me wasn't nearly as strong as it should have been, but all the convoluted psychological reasons for why I wanted to stop killers still remained. And as far into the future as I could see, which was really quite far, It wasn't going to be changing anytime soon.
Hotstreak laid out flat folding his arms behind his head. For once he'd been caught and he wasn't behind bars. The criminal part of his mind considered his friendship with Virgil to be extremely beneficial for once, but now he was stuck under the surveillance of the man working a job he didn't necessarily want. The emotional part of him he was just beginning to discover was thrilled that Virgil was grouping him in the 'friends' category and was starting to enjoy doing what was right, at least by his standards, and his entire being wanted this killer dead.
Maybe this feeling was the part of Static he had never understood? The intense need to help someone you would never know. Realizing this, Hotstreak was beginning to see why the hero looked so lonely and detached. Maybe he was getting too worn down always giving and never getting anything back.
Sitting up enough to see Static open the door, the hero snapped his fingers, the electrical discharge frying any and all delicate circuitry in the room. Relaxing a bit more now that he knew he wasn't being watched, Hotstreak stared back up at the white ceiling and asked, "You cool with the geek?"
Static nodded and flung himself down on the bed parallel to Hotstreak's with a grumble, "There's always more to do." The CIA had decided that Static was the best guard dog the metahuman could have and made sure they were staying together. The next day they would get their field assignments and CIA partners.
"We'll be fine." Static knew Hotstreak hadn't been thinking ahead when he'd formulated that sentence and Hotstreak would never know how grateful he was that he'd used the word 'we'. Some of the anxiety leaving his chest, Static took a risk in telling him, positive he'd get a fist in the face but too tired to care, "I talked to the Captain; Captain Burns. I got him to clear your record if we're successful in catching this guy."
Hotstreak wasn't sure how to react to that information, "...What? What does that mean?"
"You know what it means Francis."
Hotstreak felt a small ripple of anger that Static hadn't even asked him if that's what he'd wanted to begin with and hissed, "That's not changing anything."
Static sighed and sat up taking the change of clothes the CIA had provided and headed into the restroom to shower, "Do what you want with it Hotstreak, all it is is some marks on paper."
It was a minute before Hotstreak could hear the drone of the shower and the silence around him helped to clear his head. Static hadn't actually done anything. He wasn't even implying that he should change his behavior, all he was doing was giving him a chance. Four months ago and he might have blown a gasket if Static had even hinted to influencing his life, let alone actually done it. But something inside of him had changed, and he knew he wasn't ever going back.
It wasn't even set in stone. First catch the guy, then deal with all the shit that follows. Good plan Francis.
Patting himself on the back for a 'logical conclusion well done' Hotstreak only felt a buzz of irritation by the time Static padded back into the room shaking the water from his hair. Pushing back his dreads with his hand, Hotstreak was once again struck with fascination for the rugged beauty he had. Years of fighting and being beaten had toned his muscles in a way that no gym ever could, and the tight black tee curved over his chest in a way Hotstreak knew didn't accurately show his strength.
Francis would have blushed if he could when Static caught him staring, "What?"
Turning pointedly away Hotstreak mumbled, "Nothin'"
Static beat down a grin and decided to lighten his mood, "The agents wanna know what we're made of, so they're having us spar with their faculty's personal trainer to make sure we have what it takes and they know what we've got."
Francis sneered, "Fucking insulting."
Static laughed, "Oh I agree, but at least we get to kick their asses and it's legal."
Face molding quickly from disgust to excitement Hotstreak's eyes held mischief, "I'd love to put those suits in their place."
"Speaking of all this, it's been a while since we fought, you up for some sparring tomorrow?"
Hotstreak intoned, "Oh hell yeah. I bet I can still kick your ass. No cheating either."
Static snorted, "Whatever hothead."
Static and Hotstreak were both sluggish and slow from the hellish time their alarm went off to walking down the hallway, crumpled piece of paper in hand as navigation to the gym. Not wanting to spare energy on speaking, both were silent even as they reached the gym. Only two other people were in the room when they got there, an older man lifting in the back, headphones jammed in his eyes, and one waiting on the far side, supposedly there for the same reason they were.
Both felt the same unnerving anxiety standing uncertain in an unfamiliar place, but neither would ever admit it. Minutes passed and two others showed up, both standing close enough to the stranger that they had to know him. Maybe not well, but they were grouped together nonetheless. They whispered amongst themselves, glancing in their direction a few times. All three were male and not much older than they were. All wore comfortable work out clothes.
About a minute after they were all assembled around the sparring mats, a middle aged man entered, his voice shattering the unbearable silence, "Good Morning! It's nice to see you all prompt and early. I like that." Folding his hands behind his back he nodded toward the duo, "Virgil and Francis yes?"
Francis snarled, "It's Hotstreak."
The greying man didn't miss a beat, "Virgil and Hotstreak, these three are Simon, Lenny, and Jordon." The one that had been there before them, Lenny, seemed particularly focused on Hotstreak, hair short and blonde, his eyes pale blue. Nodding to Simon, a tall Hispanic with dark focused eyes, he gestured at the mat, "If you would Simon...Virgil? I want you to go at it like this is for real, obviously no serious or lethal attacks will be tolerated."
Virgil took a deep breath and stepped onto the mat, flexing his hands as both fell into a defensive crouch. Static had to work to keep from instinctively flexing his powers, but it wasn't so difficult that it broke his concentration. A couple of years ago he would have haphazardly flung himself at his opponent, but now he had experience, and experience taught him to wait and watch. Plus, he knew nothing about this stranger, and this man might know everything about him.
Simon shifted his weight, a small warning before he flew into action. Whipping his fist in a fast arch toward his head, Static knocked the blow aside, taken by surprise by his sheer speed. He was as fast as he was.
Sliding his feet into a more secure crouch, Static began blocking and learning, eyes narrowed in concentration. By the tenth punch it clicked. His forearms numb from blocking, Static clenched his jaw and ducked his next jab, throwing Simon off balance, but only so slightly. Spinning his leg in a sideswipe, Simon skirted backwards from the assault and dodged, Virgil's window of opportunity closing.
Using his hands for support, Virgil recovered quickly from his failed attempt and dove, closing any breathing room Simon might have had. Simon threw his arms up to block what he thought was an uppercut, but was caught off guard as Virgil braced himself and slammed his head into his nose in a headbutt. Simon let out a pained yelp and stumbled back. Before he could fall Virgil gripped his arm and jerked, throwing Simon to the ground with him perched on his back, his arm at an uncomfortable angle between his shoulder blades.
The man in charge nodded, "Good, let him up." Virgil released his arm and stepped back, even holding out a hand to help. Simon hesitated, his nose dripping blood down to his chin, before he accepted, eyes unreadable as he wiped blood on his sleeve.
Virgil let his gaze wander to Hotstreak, breath coming faster than normal, and was mildly surprised the metahuman was so focused. But it helped to see a small triumphant grin on his face at his victory.
The man gave Simon an order, "Get cleaned up and be back." Addressing the final two he asked in a chipper tone, "Hotstreak, you're up; Who's next?"
The intense looking blonde stepped up, hand rubbing his neck as he nodded toward Hotstreak, "I'll have a piece'a you."
Hotstreak's signature grin streaked across his face, "Bring it bitch."
Lenny's only outward appearance of excitement for his sparring partner was a small tilt of his lips as he fell into a fighting stance. Hotstreak curled forward like a panther, his arms out at his sides palm up as he mocked, "Show me what you've got."
To Lenny it looked like Hotstreak was all talk and no action, his stance broken and full of openings, but Static had seen Hotstreak fight a thousand times before, and he noticed the tightness in his spine and the twitch of his fingers that proved he meant business. Hotstreak was probably one of the few loudmouths whose bite was occasionally worse than their bark.
Lenny wasn't nearly as loose, his style uniform and structured as a textbook example, but he still struck first. Lunging into a left jab, Hotstreak caught his punch and pulled him out of his stance. Lenny's breath hissed past his teeth as he maneuvered into a new position, falling into a right kick to his midsection.
Putting space between the attack, Hotstreak threw himself back at his opponent, but Lenny was quick and back on his feet prepared before Hotstreak could take the opening. Both exchanged furious blows, sacrificing speed for power.
Hotstreak took a hard right to the face and another to his midsection as he instinctively doubled over. Lenny took a step back, sure he was done. He took another, cautious step back as Hotstreak straightened, wiping blood dripping from his teeth with raucous laughter, "Is that it? I was nervous for a minute there, but if that's all you've got...I've got nothin' to worry about."
Eye twitching in anger, Lenny flew back into action, surprised when Hotstreak matched all his moves with ease. Catching him by the forearm Hotstreak grinned and yanked him into a sharp jab to his stomach. Wind knocked out of him, Lenny fell gasping, down for the count.
Turning around Hotstreak crossed his arms and returned to Static's side, "Guess that's that."
The man in charge looked down at his shoes for a moment and then nodded to Jordon, "You and Hawkings." Static watched the casual brunette take his stance and just wait. Unsure If he should attack first, Static waited a moment before throwing caution to the wind in lieu of something more exciting. Using the martial arts he'd learned from a teacher he'd been casually referenced to by Bruce, or rather Robin, Static took the offensive. Leaning heavily towards kicks and dodges, Static clearly had the upper hand, and Jordon was overwhelmed.
Hoping in vain he would get a better workout going all out, Static grew bored with the lack of challenge and swept his feet out from under him in a low kick and straightened, "Who do you have that's a challenge?"
The middle-aged man cracked an amused smile, "That is our best," As he spoke, Static's first opponent walked back to the mats, "But now I'd like to see you spar against Hotstreak."
Hotstreak chuckled, "About fucking time."
Static snorted and faced Hotstreak, the routine-ness of it all falling into place. This time Static struck first. Both flew at each other with lightning fast fury, neither landing a blow and neither leaving the other breathing room. But it wasn't long before Hotstreak's superior hand to hand experience started to win out over Virgil's speed.
Static fell back into the defensive, blocking and dodging with speed Hotstreak still couldn't match. Without their powers in a fist fight, Static knew he couldn't win, but his mouth tightened into a grim smile. He was loving it, and more than a little proud of himself for lasting as long as he was. Last time Hotstreak had overwhelmed him in under five minutes. Now they'd been going for a steady ten and he still wasn't gasping for air.
Their fight continued only shortly after Virgil began to lose his edge, Hotstreak moving in close to knock him off balance and send him to his back. Planting a foot on his chest and pinning him to the floor Hotstreak let out a bark of triumphant glee, "I win again!"
Panting Virgil relaxed into the matt and shrugged, "Sure Hotstreak, but give me full use of my resources and I will beat you." Hotstreak's grin didn't leave his face as he helped him back up to his feet, the agent foreseeing their fights nodding in consideration, "Excellent display, though both of you are lacking in any proper form."
Static wiped sweat from his forehead and chuckled, "It's not like either of us had much in teachers," as a side note he mumbled, "though GL keeps promising me when I get into the League that he'll train me."
The man nodded and checked his watch, "For future reference, you can call me Agent 8, do what you will until noon while I process your evaluation. We'll meet back here at 12:03, sharp."
After Agent 8 left the room Hotstreak raised a brow, "On schedule much?"
Lenny was back leaning up against the wall, but his appraising stare hadn't changed since he'd entered the room, "He's a military man, they're all like that."
Static turned towards him, "So you're not military?"
Lenny lifted his shoulders in a shrug, "Nah, though most people say I'm uptight like em', I'm a civilian, same as you."
Static raised a brow, "Where from?"
The blonde laughed, "Wouldn't you love to know." Static frowned slightly as the young man stepped closer, "But I will say this, don't get discouraged only cause I know everything about you."
Hotstreak found himself side to side with Virgil, "Is that a threat?"
He grinned, "No. Just a fact." Turning, he added, "See ya after lunch."
The one who'd sparred against Static, Simon, turned to follow him but added lightly, "He's a arrogant ass, but really not that bad of a guy. Sorry about his behavior."
Hotstreak bared his teeth, "Don't apologize idiot." His words were sharp, but his tone was light enough than Simon smiled, trailing behind the cheerful blonde. Jordon kept to himself and left separately, eyes dark in frustration as he stared after his colleagues. He hunched his shoulders and ducked around the corner, his eyes tearing away at the last moment.
Static and Hotstreak had some difficulty finding someplace they could find food, and more than a little trouble making it back to the gym,but they managed to find their way back to the large, steel room and both were more than a little surprised they weren't late.
Agent 8 arrived a minute before his scheduled time and started speaking on the dot, "Simon and Lenny, you're both assigned; Jordon, you're getting reassigned to another group." Jordon frowned and stood, leaving the room before Agent 8 even finished speaking, but there was nothing in his posture to betray his thoughts. Lenny grinned, triumphant, and Static couldn't help but compare it to the flash, so sure of himself. Simon cracked a grin and folded his arms as Agent 8 continued, "I insist that you get to know each other well, that is before you're forced into combat or the field. I'd think everything would be a lot less stressful if you at least trusted each other as partners." That being said, he followed in Jordon's footsteps and left the four alone in the room.
Hotstreak shrugged, "I don't really care about either of you."
Static slapped his shoulder and finished the movement by crossing his arms, "At least pretend you give a shit Hothead."
Francis rolled his eyes and eyed the door, desperate to leave and go do anything but this. Lenny's smile hadn't faded, his lips peeling back from his teeth in a knowing smirk, "That's right, aren't you even a bit curious about our powers?"
This spiked Hotstreak's attention, "Powers?"
"Psh did you think they would bother leaving regular humans with two metahumans? That is what you call yourselves isn't it?"
Static shrugged, "Call us whatever you want; you already seem to know everything about us-"
"Which is creepy," Hotstreak interrupted.
"-How about you enlighten us about yourselves."
Lenny held up a palm, "I freeze stuff; naturally I was interested in you Hotstreak."
Simon spoke up before Lenny cut him off again, eyes darting to his partner as he did, "I have invisibility. But unless I was really trying to hurt someone or steal something, I don't see how useful it is. It's not like I can keep the enemy from hearing me."
Static mused, "You're a quiet fighter, it's just naturally in the way you move. No doubt you've never been caught while invisible."
Lenny smiled, "True, lightning rod."
Static frowned, "I'd pick a different nickname, but I guess we'll be seeing a lot of you from now on."
Lenny folded his arms over his chest, "I'd hope so, this is what they pay us for."
Hotstreak cocked a brow, "You get paid?" Glancing at Static he lifted a hand in a casual gesture, "You're gettn' jipped V."
"Gee thanks for the burst of motivation." Rolling his eyes as Hotstreak lost interest in the conversation and drifted away, Static turned as well, "I'll see you later then."
Their new partners left in another direction as the two metahumans struggled to find their room again in the convoluted mess the pentagon called a base. Absently, Static wondered if it was set up like this on purpose, but let the thought go as they came across their door.
Hotstreak hissed, "Finally, if I get lost again I'm going to melt a wall."
Down the hall, just around the next corner, Jordon leaned, eyes shadowed as his head and shoulders rested against the wall. He listened for the sound of the door closing, his eyes narrowing, his emotions somewhere between tumult and dark excitement. Reaching into his pocket his fingers found the indentions in the keyboard and spelled out a clear and simple sentence, the receiver unknown, an untraceable number, "What doth the Lord require of thee..."
Kicking off from the wall he turned back to the inner confines of the base, a new message lighting the screen, "You will sow but you will not reap."