A/N: So yes sorry to have kept you all waiting, but school and health took a giant hammer to any sort of life, even on the internet really, over the last few months but here is the next chapter finally! I discovered 3rd person is easier for me to write in so yeah POV change but that's about it .-. I got this chapter done quicker than I anticipated! So here it is!


Don't Judge Me

"Jude. Jude are you still there?" Izzy kicked her feet up on the chair opposite the one she was sitting in and set her cellphone on the table, turning on speaker phone in the now empty house. "Jude!" She yelled at the phone.
"What?"
"Good, just checking to make sure you haven't died from shock or anything." She sighed.
"But. Did you seriously just say that you were Firecracker?" Jude said on the other line and Izzy knew him well enough so that she could imagine clearly what he was doing. Sitting at his desk, probably, with his nose wrinkled and running a hand down his face as he tried to comprehend what he'd just been told by his best friend.
"Correction, my dear. I am still Firecracker. I think I'm far too young to retire, don't you think?" She grinned and let out a little laugh.
"Isabel. This is serious. You can't just…what if you get hurt or something? Jesus Christ." Jude snapped.
"Whoa." Izzy slid her feet off the chair and leaned closer to the phone on the table. "That's not what I expected you to say, Judey. I mean…I thought you'd be excited for me! I'm doing something worthy! And what are you doing, huh? Sitting there judging me for it!" She hissed into the phone as she picked it up, switching off the speaker phone feature and beginning to pace around the kitchen with the phone pressed to her ear.
"Iz..."
"No, Jude. Why do you care if I'm out there getting hurt? I'm helping people! Stopping people from getting killed!"
"Can't you do something else?" Jude questioned her.
"I can't do something else." Izzy groaned in annoyance and leaned against the sink, closing her eyes as she continued explaining. "I'm in. Really in. I'm…helping people bring down the one of the worst guys in the whole city. Can't you at least pretend to be happy for me?"
"I'm happy for you, Isabel. Really. Happy that you think you've found your purpose and all but…I won't be happy if I have to fly up there for your funeral." There was silence on both ends of the line now as the two teens let the words that had just been said soak in. "I'm sorry, Iz. I'll…I'll call you when I can actually fucking think of anything to say that won't make me sound like an ungrateful ass or whatever you think I am."
"Jude, wa-" It was too late though, because he'd already hung up the phone. Izzy ran a hand through her hair and looked down at her cellphone before setting it on the kitchen counter and stomping off.
"I'll fucking show him, then. I'm not stupid and I can take care of myself." She mumbled to herself as she stomped up the stairs and slammed her bedroom door. She emerged from her room a few minutes later by climbing out the window, decked out in all her gear and with the wig on her head.
She shook her head as she walked down the alley to the main road, trying to shake the echo of Jude's words from her head. "I won't be happy if I have to fly up there for your funeral."

"You won't have to fly up here for anything, Jude. Believe me." She whispered to herself as she began walking down the road, headed towards the city. She didn't mind the walk, especially when she had so much on her mind. It helped calm her down. Besides, if it couldn't help her get calm, it would let the thoughts sink in more and make her angrier even. Maybe that would be better.


Once in the city, Firecracker stepped off the sidewalk and ran across the street. Waving at the car that had let her pass, she kept on walking. Looking around as she went, patrolling the streets that were surprisingly calm despite how crowded they were. Suddenly, the girl tilted her head and looked up at the sky and a frown appeared on her face as a drop of rain hit her in the middle of the forehead. "Great. And on the day I forget an umbrella." The superhero rolled her eyes and started walking faster as the rain started to fall. She rubbed her arms as she slipped into the nearest alley and glared at the passing civilians that had been lucky enough to bring their umbrellas or rain coats. She would be so unlucky as to have to costume that already clung to her, the rain wasn't helping there, and had no sleeves so her bare arms were being pelted with rain.

Headlights flashed on behind her and she whirled around, one of her boots catching the edge of a recycling bin and kicking it halfway across the alley. With an annoyed sigh, she wrapped her arms around herself and stomped off toward the car. Squinting through the rain, she could see the familiar red and black paint job and a small smile appeared on her face.
"Red Mist." She nodded at him through the halfway open passenger side window.
"Firecracker. How's your shower?" He looked her up and down from his spot on the driver's side seat.
The smile quickly turned into a frown as the red-wigged hero narrowed her eyes at him. "Are you going to let me in the car? Or did you just turn on the lights so I could come over and admire the paint job on your tool mobile?" She snapped at him.
"I was thinking about it, but the seats are leather. And it's Mist Mobile. Not tool mobile." He mumbled the last part as he rolled his eyes and reluctantly unlocked the door.
"My boots are leather and you're lucky you don't have one of them up your ass yet." Izzy mumbled to herself as she made a mental note to unbookmark Red Mist's website from her browser when she got home. Flicking a strand of the soaking wet wig out of her eyes, she opened the door and climbed inside the car which was a welcome change from the pouring rain outside. "Can you turn up the heat?" She stuttered as her teeth started to chatter and she kept rubbing her arms.
"I guess."
She waved her hands in front of the heating vents in the dashboard and smiled bigger. "Thanks. You really could have just been an asshole and left me out in the rain so…" She fell silent.
"And leave a soaking wet superchick outside? Nah, it's every nerd's dream I think." He looked at her out of the corner of his eye and smirked as she sank back further into her seat.
"Do you think you can drop me off at the bus station?" She turned to his with wide eyes after sitting in silence for a few minutes and fighting the blush that was threatening to show on her face.
"Not up to walking home? I can always drive you."
"And give away my secret identity? Yeah right, asshole." She scoffed and rolled her eyes. "Bus station?" She asked again.
He stared at her for a second, deciding if he should just kick her out into the rain or act the role and drive her to the bus station to catch a ride home. After a few seconds, he faced forward again, started the car with an annoyed grunt, put it in drive, and took off down the alley.
The girl leaned her head against the window and watched the buildings pass in blurs of lights and colors as the other superhero put the pedal to the metal and drove almost too fast. She reached a hand up and pulled the knot on her mask to make sure it was still tight enough and straightened her wig as the car came to a stop in front of the bus stop where several people were waiting.
"Bet they didn't think they'd be getting to ride the bus with a celebrity, huh." Red Mist joked as the waiting people squinted at the car, trying to see if it was really who they thought it was inside.
"Hm…thanks for the ride, Red." Firecracker mumbled as she looked out the front window nervously.
"Are you going to get out now?" He asked her.
"Huh?" She turned and looked at him, confused for a second. "Oh! Right." She felt her face turn red. "Right. Get out and wait." She grinned. "Yeah, I totally am. I just…" She leaned across the seat and planted a soft kiss right on his lips. Pulling away, she blinked at him for a few seconds as his cheeks went a little red and she felt her own cheeks heat up. "Like I said. Thanks." Then she turned and opened the door, stepping out to stand and wait as the bus approached from the other end of the street.
Red Mist rolled the window down and looked as if he was about to say something for a second, but decided against it and sped off down the street again.
Staring off down the road at the disappearing lights from the Mist Mobile, Izzy sighed and patted the side of her wig. Getting the feeling that attention was on her, she turned her head and raised an eyebrow at the teen girl who was holding a camera phone almost in her face. "What?" She leaned her head back away from the girl.
"Was that Red Mist in that car? That was his car, right? Oh my god, Firecracker. I ship you two! I started an online blog about you two and wait until all my friends hear about this and…" the girl launched into a rant as the superhero's face got redder and redder. "-I mean, you both wear red it's just…hey! Hey what are you doing with my phone!" The teen yelled and the other's kept watching as Firecracker grabbed the cellphone from the girl's hand and hit the center button, effectively stopping the recording.
"I hope your phone automatically saves videos, sweetcheeks." She hissed as she handed the girl her phone and joined the older civilians that were climbing onto the bus that had arrived.


As soon as she climbed back into her bedroom window, the first thing Isabel did was peel off her wet costume and change into dry, warm pajamas. Making her way downstairs in pants and a t-shirt, she saw that she was still the only one home. Assuming that Dave was at Katie's or maybe one of his other friends' houses, she decided against calling him. So, the dark haired Lizweski girl walked to the kitchen and picked her phone up off the counter where she'd left it. There were two missed calls, two voicemails, and three texts.
The first one call and voicemail were from Jude. "Izzy. Isabel. I know you're there…Okay maybe you're not, but that's not the thing. I didn't mean…fuck. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings or anything. You're just my best friend. Wait I don't mean 'just my best friend', you know what I mean. But I just don't want you hurting yourself or others or other people hurting you. Don't make me drive my ass up there, Isabel. Just…call me back when you get this, alright? Be careful." Izzy bit her lip nervously as she listened to Jude's message. She didn't want to fight with him and hell, she'd be more concerned if he wasn't telling her to keep her ass safe and be careful. She made a mental note to call him back as the second voicemail message started.
"Firecracker." Isabel flinched as Hit Girl's voice started on the message. "I guess you left your phone at home while you went on patrol or something, right? Dumb move, but I guess that can be expected. I guess we'll just have to text you if we need you. I can't really say what we need. People might be listening." And the message ended as suddenly as it had started, leaving Izzy to nervously bite at the nails on her left hand as she hit the red 'end call' button and walked over to sit at the table to read the text messages.
"Where are you?" and "You're still not back?" read the text messages from the obviously annoyed purple haired little girl.
"Make sure you call me back, or I'll think you got murdered. Or fell in a dumpster." was what the more recent of the three text messages said, and it had been sent from Jude.
With a sigh, Izzy stood up and walked back upstairs to call Jude back. Just as she entered her room and was about to hit the call button, a call came through.
"Hello?" Izzy answered and looked around her room with raised eyebrows.
"Izzy." Jude said in a relieved voice on the other end of the line.
"Jude! I was just about to call you!" She sighed.
"Did you just get back inside?"
"Yeah, I was out on patro- How did you know I was out?"
The other end went quiet.
"Jude, I swear to god." Izzy sat down at her computer chair and frowned.
"Well, Max's cousin was up in the city today with her parents and she called him a few minutes ago flipping out and…well you better check the internet." He said slowly and almost as if he were expecting her to explode.
Opening her laptop and going to google as quick as she could, she typed in 'Firecracker' on the Google search. "Fuck!"
"What? Did you see?"
"No, just I haven't made it enough and when I type in Firecracker, it still comes up mostly images of fireworks and a few websites of where to buy them before the actual link to my fansite. My fan need to step it up."
"Isabel, I swear to god."
"Alright alright, hold on let me search the other thing!" She entered her other search option into the search bar and as soon as the results page opened up, her mouth dropped open when it showed the most recent news. "Oh my god."
"I know right?"
"Tell Max I'm going to kill his cousin."
"I doubt he'd like that."
"The bitch works fast." Isabel growled as she closed her laptop.
"So…"
"I was thanking him for giving me a ride to the fucking bus stop and now people are going to lose their shit and oh my god I'm going to die." She groaned and rested her forehead on the desk.
"Don't be dramatic, Isabel."
"I'm not being fucking dramatic. I'm going to get my ass kicked." She whined into the phone.
After a few more minutes of whining, Jude finally got tired of it and hung up the phone. This left Izzy to sulk for the rest of the night and cast the occasional glare at her laptop from out of the corner of her eye as she tried to focus on the TV and await the imminent angry phone call.