Mako's Message: Hello everybody! (Hello Dr. Makokam!) Sorry about how long this took to get out. I had some complications that haven't gone away, but I've become aware of them so hopefully I'll be able to compensate for them better and get back to at least a chapter a week.

As for THIS chapter... Mindy was talkative. And I've been kind of in a weird mood lately, as those of you I talk to have probably noticed, so Mindy kinda ended up being Little Miss Fanservice in this chapter. I'm almost ashamed of that. ALMOST. I actually cut back on some of the comments because I thought they would just be too much. But I spent all day hammering away at this and I'm pretty sure it's typo free(or damn close) for once, so I'm rather happy with this. Hopefully you'll all enjoy it, and find at least one thing that really stands out, if not many things.

Until next time.

Well, today was one of those days. Well, not one of THOSE days. Just one of those days where I wonder if everything really happened in one day. I guess it just makes up for the fact that I spent most of yesterday sitting on my ass.

Which, by the way, totally threw off my sleep schedule. Since I slept most of the day and didn't really do anything I couldn't get to sleep until after four in the morning. Dave and I usually pack it in at two at the latest on weekdays. That's when the bars close so we're able to catch any trouble from the just released drunks on our way home, but the odds of running into any trouble later than that is too slim to be worth it. By 2:30 even the lowlifes of the city are either in for the night or passed out in an alley or park or something.

Anyway, point is I ended up sleeping in way past when I normally get up. I didn't get up until Dave was ringing our bell. Must have taken me awhile for that to wake me up too because I had three texts from Dave asking if I was even awake yet. I started to grab a pair of shorts before going to let him in, but I knew Marcus wasn't home, and it occurred to me at the last second that I could have some fun. So I answered the door in just a t-shirt and panties.

Got a great reaction from Dave when I opened the door. Not the kind of reaction I was hoping for, but the odds of Dave just taking me right there in the living room are pretty much nill, so I didn't exactly have my hopes up.

But my just-out-of-bed look definitely got a reaction out of him. He couldn't figure out where to look. He obviously didn't want to look at me, but he just as obviously didn't want to NOT look at me. And I know I caught his eyes flicking down to my legs a couple times.

I swear I've never felt sexier in my life. In fact, I think this is probably the first time I've ever actually felt sexy. Every other time anything like this happened I was either a bundle of nerves or embarrassed. The closest was when we soaked in the tub together, but I was still nervous as hell about that and too worried about him rejecting me to try anything.

Now I know where we stand though. More or less. Hell, Dave's seen me naked. Well, mostly naked. Topless. And he knows how I feel about him and hasn't done more than push me to arms length. So since I know...well, I'm 99% sure he's not going to stop talking to me because of it, I can tease and tempt him all I want as long it doesn't get us in trouble.

I stretched a lot more than was strictly necessary.

I got some orange juice and made an english muffin and ate it leaning back against the counter before telling him I was going to go get changed so we could go jogging. I didn't close my door, not that it made any difference since he stayed in the kitchen, but I liked the idea that he COULD have come in. I even took my time changing in the hopes that he'd come to see what was taking so long.

He probably figured that's what I was doing though, since he didn't even ask why it took me so long.

Jogging was fun too. It was kind of a race at times, since I was always trying to be in front of him. I wouldn't have minded being behind him, but his jogging clothes don't provide as nice a view as mine do.

I wanted Dave to come back with me, but he'd already jogged to my house, so once we got to his apartment he was ready to call it quits. I tried taunt him into doing another lap, but he said he had things to do and he needed a shower so that was a bust.

Don't know what he has to do. It's fucking summer and he graduated so- ew. I just realized he might have meant Riley. Ugh.

Anyway, when I got home there was a very angry Angela waiting for me.

I could tell she was pissed as soon as I saw her, but it took me a second to realize why. I hadn't talked to her since I was captured.

I was going to apologize to her but she started yelling at me first. She sent me a bunch of messages that I never responded to, even after Dave told her what happened and that I was okay, which was one of the main reasons she was so pissed. I checked my phone and I got her messages, but my phone never told me I had them. I mean, each of the messages showed as being unread, but I never saw a notification that I'd gotten them in the first place. And I was busy with other stuff so I didn't bother checking.

I've only been on the receiving end of Angela's rage a couple times, but I learned the best way to deal with it is to just let her rage. She wears herself out pretty quickly and forgives almost as fast once it's out of her system.

After about ten minutes she calmed down enough to tell me what exactly it was she wanted, "We need to do something for Jessi's Birthday."

And that was like a bat to the face.

I took a second and thought back to last year and counted up the days and realized that Jessi's birthday HAD already passed. Fortunately, Angela already had a plan. And any other day I might not have been up for it, but I was still kinda high on Dave's reaction to me so when she told me to, "Go put on something cute," I didn't question it.

After I showered and changed she told me we were going to go meet Dillon at the park and he was going to take some pictures of us to send to her. Which turned out to actually be kind of fun. Knowing Jessi would appreciate it, I made sure he got a few shots of me perched up on the playground equipment or in a tree. I even let him take a couple that I hoped Jessi would REALLY like. I mean, it was supposed to be a birthday present for her after all right? And I was still feeling good and felt like flaunting it.

And I could also give a copy or two to Dave. Not the same picture of course, that wouldn't be fair, but one of the ones I didn't send to Jessi.

A lot of the pictures were of me and Angela together of course, and we took some of each other with Dillon and of him by himself too. He's still with Lexi, surprisingly, but we know Jessi kinda liked him too so we still tried to make him look all studly and shit. He's grown a bit, he's almost as tall as Angela now, and filled out a little too, but he's still kinda small for a boy his age.

It was probably the closest to "normal" I've ever felt. I could almost see it not being so bad. Except that I had a feeling that that was a high point of being "normal" and that otherwise it'd be mundane and boring. And why would I want that when I can be extraordinary and making a difference while I'm at it?

...I think I just figured out why Angela has been so dead set on being a super hero with us.

Anyway, then we decided to go get some pictures of Marty and Todd too, because they were her friends too. Not close friends, but friends.

There was a moment though when I thought she was getting a little TOO flirty with them. I actually had to pull her out of Todd's lap at one point, saying, "Down girl." Not that I think Marty wouldn't enjoy it, hell, he's been having fun playing the field as well, but Todd has been kinda hopeless as far as I know. I wouldn't want Angela to get his hopes up. I mean, if she actually wanted to DATE one of them I wouldn't mind, but she's gonna have to look outside my circle of friends for her next boy toy.

That and knowing two of my friends had fucked would just be weird.

Then Angela wanted to go get pictures of Dave and Riley.

I kinda wanted my next meeting with Riley to be in private, but this would be a good way to test the water and if it turned out I needed to have a private talk with Riley, then I would have a private talk with Riley.

I knew Dave worked that afternoon, so I figured we'd just go to NYBC and we should be able to catch both of them. And we could get ice cream.

Riley was working and totally crushed when we got there, so we just sat down to wait while she worked her way through the line of people. It took her almost a half hour, but eventually it was just us and she looked at us and said, "Okay, before I let myself calm down, do any of you want ice cream?"

We said "No." and she let out this huge breath of air and almost collapsed against the counter. Then she pulled out a wet steaming rag and started wiping down all the counters and asked, "So what brings you in then? Dave doesn't start for another half hour."

Angela said, "We came to take pictures!" and Dillon held up his camera.

Riley said, "Oh, no, seriously? But I look like crap right now."

If Riley looked like crap I've never looked good a day in my life. In fact, she looked kinda like I do after a light work out which is usually when I feel like I'm looking my best.

Then she asked, "What are the pictures for?" and we explained about sending Jessi a bunch of pictures for her birthday. Then she said, "Oh, well in that case I can sit for some photos. We doing group shots or individuals?"

Dillon said, "Both."

She said, "Okay, just let me straighten my hair out and then we can do pictures before anyone comes in. Hopefully."

While she was gone Dillon started setting up one of the tables so we could all sit around it, and then Dave came in. He seemed surprised to see us, and I got an idea I couldn't resist.

I ran up and jumped into his arms. He caught me bridal style and I yelled for Dillon to take a picture.

I am allowed to have fun and be silly if I want. Blow me.

Dave just looked at me and said, "Really?" but he let Dillon take the picture.

Riley came out just after he snapped it, and she smirked at us then put her hands together and brought them up to her mouth and looked at Dave and said, "Clock in early. Please?"

Dave said, "New guy didn't show?"

And Riley said, "No, he didn't. Little flake. Not sure if I'm mad about that or not though. Not like I could have trained him or anything today, but since he wasn't here I couldn't have him scoop for me or even fetch more toppings."

He said, "Yeah, I'll clock in early." Then he looked at me and said, "Okay, you have three seconds to get down or I'm going to drop you."

I just smiled back at him and didn't move.

The son of a bitch dropped me.

Not like I fell on my ass or anything. I caught myself no problem. But it's the principle of the thing so I punched him in the back anyway as he went into the back to drop off his stuff.

While he was back there, Riley came around and leaned back on the counter between the stools and Dillon started snapping photos of her. That's what Dave came back out and said, "So what's going on?" and we explained about the whole pictures thing.

Dave was all for it and Riley waved him over to take a picture with her, and she wrapped herself around him and posed with him like this and that and it kinda made me want to punch her.

Instead I jumped on Dave's back and had Dillon take a picture of the three of us.

Dillon only managed a few pictures like that before Angela jumped in Dave's lap too.

After a few more pictures Riley said, "Okay, let's give poor Dave a break and do some of just us girls."

So we got around the table and she posed us, and as stupid as I felt I couldn't deny they looked good. And she always made sure I was at the front. I don't know if she knew about Jessi's feelings for me, or if it was just because I'm the smallest of us, but she also always had herself at the back, and she kept giving us compliments so it was hard for me to stay mad at her for being all over Dave.

We tried to be quick but thorough, since Riley said the place could get swarmed under at any moment. Once we decided we had enough photos we ordered some ice cream. Riley insisted on making them though, which I thought was weird since she was so busted before and Dave was there now. And I was also kinda disappointed because Dave always loads mine up with extra stuff. Then she rang the order up and I paid, and she scribbled something on the receipt before handing it to me.

She circled my order, which had been price adjusted to a penny, and drew an arrow to where she'd written, "Super Hero discount." Now, Dave will load up my order and give me extras, or even bump me up a size, but he's never given me my ice cream for free.

I looked up at her and she just winked at me before disappearing into the back.

Some people came in then, so Dave had to take care of them, but I gestured that we needed to talk asap as I left.

We went over to Dillon's house to start looking over the pictures and pick out the ones we wanted to send. When his Mom saw us come in she said, "Uh oh, should Lexi be worried?"

Angela leaned over the railing of the steps to see into the kitchen and said, "Yes Mrs. Maxwell, she should be very worried. There's not going to be an innocent part of him left after we're through with him. You might want to put on some headphones for the next hour or so."

Dillon's face went completely red and I actually froze in shock..

Then his Mom said, "Oh my. Should I be worried?"

And Angela said, "Oh no, not at all. We'll take good ca-" and that's when I grabbed her around the neck and covered her mouth.

I said, "We're going to be perfect little angels. Nothing to worry about at all."

Then his Mom said, "Hmm. Now I am worried."

And then Angela bit me and I let go and smacked her upside the head and said, "What the hell is wrong with you?!"

And she said, "What? I'm never gonna miss an opportunity to stick it to that bitch. I just wish I could see the expression on her face if she heard we double teamed her boyfriend."

"I don't!" Dillon said, "She didn't like that I was spending the day with you two in the first place!".

Angela kinda froze, and said, "Oh, right. Sorry about that Dillon. Don't worry, your Mom probably wont tell her Mom I said that." then when we got to the top of the steps she looked back down the steps then came up and said, "So, in all seriousness, has she given anything up to you?"

Dillon blushed again and started sputtering.

Angela grinned and said, "Well, don't worry, you're a good guy. I'm sure you'll get some once she she stops being a stuck up bitch and pulls that stick out of her ass."

Dillon turned so red I thought his head was actually going to explode.

When we finally got around to pulling the pictures off his camera, I asked her, "What is your problem with this chick anyway?"

And then she just looked at me and said, "You don't remember her?"

And I had no idea what she was talking about so I said, "No. Should I?"

She shook her head and said, "I guess you wouldn't. Don't worry about it. It's between me and her anyway."

I still have no idea what's going on between them, but the few times I remember seeing her, and the one time we actually spent time together at the park, she didn't give me any shit so whatever it is can stay between them. I have enough enemies as it is.

So we looked through all the pictures, and we liked a lot them. Way more than the initial "one of each of us, and then a couple group shots" idea Angela had. Dillon didn't mind, but he said we could only pick twenty four pictures because he only had eight photo sleeves. Turns out they'd been planning to put these in a binder and decorate it. I felt kinda stupid cause I thought we were just going to print them out and put them in an envelope with a card.

But once I started thinking bigger I thought, "Why not get a real album?" or "Why not print some out as full pages?"

Dillon said that he didn't have that much photo paper and getting more, especially in 10 by 8, would cost a lot. Obviously he and I have a very different idea of what "a lot" is so I offered to pay for it and Angela said she could chip in as well.

Then he said, "Well, if you don't mind spending the money, I know where we could get it professionally printed and bound."

Angela asked how much that would cost, and he said it depended on how many pages it was, but as long as we kept it reasonable it should be under fifty. So of course I said to go for it.

So then we sat around his computer playing around with formatting for an hour or so.

Before we finished I got a call from Uncle John, saying the real estate guy had called him back and wanted to show us that building I liked tonight. So I gave Angela thirty bucks, told her not to skimp on it, and excused myself.

Dillon caught up to me in the hall and told me not to worry and that he'd delete all the pictures of me. I liked that he remembered that, but I remember feeling like maybe I'd been a little too harsh after that, and I've been in a good mood all day so I told him he could keep them as long as he didn't post them on online or anything.

I had to hurry home and change before I could meet them though, since we were going to pretend I was his niece so we had to be there before the realtor got there and if I was his niece he probably wouldn't let me wear what I was wearing.

I managed to get there about ten minutes before the realtor, so we were able to take a quick stroll around the area. Turns out it's not quite as bad as I thought it was going to be. It looked like a few people had the same idea I did and the place was starting to pick up. Or people were hoping it would at least. Some of the buildings were still old and abandoned, and I know at least one was demolished since the picture of the building we were there to see was taken, but others looked new or at least newly renovated. One of them was actually kinda busy. If we get the place renting it out might actually be good a idea. Having a business on the first floor might actually make people pay LESS attention to it. Especially seeing someone go into the building.

Speaking of which, the building itself is pretty solid. Concrete not brick. The door to the steps is on the outside at ground level, but it's set about four feet in so that's good. The floor of the second floor was rotten though. There was a broken window nobody fixed. But I was going to have to replace the floor anyway. The part that used to be a ballet studio was smaller than I was expecting, but the wall between it and the next room can be knocked down which should give us plenty of room. It also has a divided locker room. Not that I don't enjoy sharing a bathroom with Dave at the safehouse, but if all of Justice Forever is going to be using this place then that'll come in handy. The ceiling in the ballet studio is also two floors high, but the next room's isn't, so I'm thinking we could knock out the whole wall and build a loft area or something.

One of the smaller studios on the fourth floor looked like somebody had been squatting in it. It brought back some memories I'd almost forgotten. It almost made me feel bad about having to boot them out, but if I get this building then I can't have squatters. It's bad for security.

The rest of the fourth floor looked fine though. Just some minor renovations to make it rentable, and those can wait until I'm ready to rent them, if I even decide to do that. The first floor is definitely going to get rented though.

I wonder if Atomic Comics is looking to branch out?

Anyway, it looked like I was right and the place could be about the best spot I'll find, so we made them an offer. Five thousand less than they were asking, considering the renovations we'd need to make. After the floor on the second floor and the squatter on the fourth I think the realtor was grateful our offer was as high as it was. I would have gone lower but I really want this place. If they make any sort of counter offer I'm gonna take it. If they stay at their asking price, I'll look around a bit more and then go back and see if they've changed their mind. If they haven't and I haven't found any place I like at least almost as much for less, I'll take it. But I think they want this place sold, and judging by the realtors reaction to floor I'm guessing he hasn't shown this place in awhile, so I bet they'll make an offer.

John asked if I wanted to stop and get something to eat since it had gotten kinda late by that point, but I passed. I could still make it home in time for dinner with Marcus if I hurried and I want to tell him about today. He loves hearing about me doing stuff like the picture thing. I also want to ask him some questions about the heart thief and the related murders. It's always good to get him in a good mood before asking about work stuff.

So, today was pretty good. Which was a nice change. Hopefully it stays that way for a while.

Knock on wood and shit.