Richie hurt. His back hurt, his neck hurt and his legs hurt. He just plan hurt! Fighting villains was definitely Virgil's thing. Richie got knocked around a lot more then Virgil did. He was always taken out first and then Virgil saved him. It was ridiculous at this point. Not that it was a bad thing to be rescued, but Richie wished it happened less often.

A lot less often.

He could feel Aquamaria's hold still, and it felt nasty. She may have been human at one point, but now she was more like a gel, a condensed water. He could feel her slick body all over him. It made him feel really sick. Then Virgil's hand brushed his shoulder, "Rich? You okay man?" Richie ignored him and shook out his hair as he pull off that stupid helmet! He was so close to just making a visor instead of the damn helmet. Virgil touched his shoulder again, annoying the genius.

"No! I am not okay! I'm hurting everywhere, I'm covered in Maria goo and I swear there's a bruise on my back! I AM NOT OKAY!" the great Static Shock cowered back from his friend of twelve years, his partner of two year and hispartner of four months. Richie had snapped five times in their whole existence.

The first was when some bully in pre-school took his favorite book. Virgil could still hear Richie screaming when he thought back on that day. He was sure that bully had stopped his book-stealing ways after that. The second was worse… Richie had had a brother. An older one with red hair and blue eyes. The guy had been Richie's idol, until he'd died in a car wreck. Richie had cut down everyone who talked to him or looked at him. Nine year-old Richie had made three teacher's cry, two of them were male. The third had been their first big fight. They had been older at this point. Thirteen, if memory served, and Richie had discovered his sexuality. He'd also made-out with Francis. Virgil had never been more jealous. The fight had been quick, but Virgil had never seen Richie cry that much. The fourth had been the small spat they'd had before Richie became Push. That had been a smaller snap, but it was still on the list of five. The final time had been right then. Virgil could never guess when Richie would snap or what could set him off. It seemed random until he told you the reason.

Almost nothing could set Richie off, something was bothering him. Virgil just had to get it out of him. Virgil slid up behind his boyfriend and nuzzled his neck lightly, "Rich… what's wrong?" Richie spun around and pushed Virgil away.

"I'm sore! Did you not listen to me! You'd think they'd just attack you, loose and be done with it, but NO! They have to shoot me down first! How many bruises do you have!?" Virgil blinked. Richie had bruises? Since when? He'd never seen any. Then again, he'd never seen Richie naked. Virgil ran his hand through his hair.

"Um… none?"

"EXACTLY! None! Because you don't hit the pavement like I do! You've never had Hotstreak hold you down! Or Talon drop you! Has Shiv ever caught you with those hands of his!? No, because you would have flinched!" Virgil had, Richie just didn't want to see it, "I've gotten his whole arsenal! Do you know how many video games that guy knows!? More that ME! ME! It's sick!" Richie stormed into the fixed up bathroom for a shower. Virgil groaned and rubbed his neck.

Sometimes Richie would calm down on his own and be happy and cheerful in a few minuets. Other times he'd hold on to that rage and annoyance for days. You could never tell. Richie was odd like that. If he told you, then he was calm, if he didn't… well, not even Sharon on PMS scared Virgil that much. Richie could make Ebon sit in a corner when he was mad. Hell, he'd put Hotstreak in his with that temper. Richie was not a nice person when angered, riled, or… sad…

Virgil's eyes snapped open, he hadn't felt them close. Richie was sad. He wasn't mad, he was bothered by something and on the verge of crying. That was the only explanation. That's why he'd stormed off, he didn't want to be seen crying.

Virgil ran to the bathroom. The door was cracked and the shower running. Virgil could hear the light sobs and stepped in without much restraint. Richie's lack of clothing went unnoticed as Virgil slid his arms around the other boy. Richie fought for a moment, but quickly stopped and turned into Virgil, his face buried in the other's chest. Virgil held the other close.


A muffled noise came from the blonde. Virgil pulled back, "Don't go." Virgil felt a cold burst at the base of his spine and it ran to his heart. Please don't let him know, "Don't go with the League…please?" Virgil gave a soft smile and pulled Richie closer.

"Come with me?" he could feel Richie tense, "Come with me and then I won't be leaving." Richie let out a growl and pushed Virgil away.