Genre: Romance&Hurt/Comfort
Characters: Dave L. & Mindy M.

Mako's Message: This holiday really snuck up on me so I had to pull an all nighter to get this finished. I was thinking about putting this in with Precocious Crush, but was worried about writing things that might end up conflicting with each other down the road. Also, if I did this I wouldn't have to stick the same style and could be a little more…dynamic with my narrative. Anyway, enjoy the story and hope you have/had a happy Valentines Day!

So many couples, so little time.

It wasn't something most people realized, but Valentines Day was a day of opportunities for every two bit mugger in the city. Well, to be more specific, it was Valentines Day night that provided them with hundreds, maybe even thousands, of couples out and about looking for a little privacy.

Those happy couples weren't the only prey tonight.

Since Kick-Ass made his debut five years ago, the number of costumed vigilantes had skyrocketed. While some died and some just quit, there were enough new ones that there were easily fifty operating in New York City at any one time.

One of them was was perched on a fire escape, watching over an alleyway between one of the most popular restaurants and a parking complex. Her legs dangled over the edge as she sat on the railing, her cape folded under her butt to provide some slight protection against the cold hard metal. Her eyes peered out from behind her cloth mask, watching yet another couple stroll down the alley, too involved in each other to have noticed a mugger if he was standing right in front of them.

Fortunately for them, but not for her growing boredom, no one leapt out at them demanding their money or their life.

Honestly, she knew that they would pass through the alley unmolested. In the three hours that she'd been sitting there, she hadn't seen one mugger. Actually, she had, but he had spotted her not long after she had arrived and he'd vacated his ambush spot. Twice after that she spotted people who looked like they were looking for easy money, but the first of them was careful and looked up at the rooftops before settling down to wait and kept moving as soon as he spotted her. The second wasn't so careful, but he still spotted her(with her bright indigo ponytail it wasn't hard) and ran before anyone came down the alley.

She was tempted to conceal herself better, but she knew that if she did she'd be intentionally putting people in danger just for the sake of relieving her own boredom. She still thought about it.

What made it worse was that looking down at all the happy couples made her feel alone. It wasn't even that she felt like she needed to be with someone, it was just that there was someone she wanted to be with, but couldn't. She'd hopped he'd be with her this night, at least as her partner in crime-fighting. Though she wouldn't have minded if they were one of those happy couples she'd watched walk by.

He, unfortunately, was wrapped up in college papers that his double life had allowed to pile up to an unreasonable degree, so he was spending a few weeks out of costume. Even if he wasn't, their relationship was strained, at best, at the moment and she doubted he'd want to spend any time with her "like that".

And of course she had to go down that line of thought because now she wanted to work out some aggression stomping on parasites even more.

A chill wind blew through the alley, making her shiver. She considered wrapping her cape around herself, but she knew that her suit was thick enough to ward off the chill air and for the most part and that the cold metal would reach her skin much faster without the extra padding.

She'd planned to watch over the alley until midnight, which was still over an hour away at this point, but her patience was wearing thin. With all the other costumed heroes around she was sure all the other hot spots were covered(she'd already had to shoo away two other vigilantes) so leaving this spot would mean wandering the rooftops. Taking up a patrol route wasn't something she'd normally be against, but taking to the roof tops, with their less than adequate wind screens, was not something she was looking forward.

She decided to end her role as a mock-owl at eleven instead. She was tired, and cold, and bored, and it wasn't like she didn't think someone would take her place soon. Besides, no new predators had shown up to stake out the alley anyway so it was likely safe for the rest of the night.

Another couple started down the alley. She watched them as well, not really knowing why since she knew the alley was safe. She watched them, and as she did, she could almost see herself in her. Happy, smiling, in love. The guy looked around, but only at ground level before the girl pulled him against one of the walls where they started making out. And kept going from there.

"Oh fuck this SHIT," she said before running up the fire escape to the roof. She crossed the roofs to the parking complex where she had left her own car. She dropped into an alcove where she'd stashed a gym bag with some spare clothes in it before stripping of her wig, cape, and suit. The cold air was invigorating for the few seconds she was left in her panties and tank top. The change had taken less than a minute, the most difficult part being getting the tight fitting suit off in the first place, but Hit Girl had successfully vanished. As she picked up the bag and headed into the building and to her car however, a predator finally found some prey.

She wasn't short, not anymore, but she wasn't tall either, even for a girl, so when the large man came up behind her, it wasn't hard for him to lift her off her feet and slam her onto the trunk of a car. "Oh, you picked the wrong girl t-" she started, but was cut off as spasms and pain rocked her body from the tazer the man had pressed to her shoulder.

When she awoke, the first thing she noted was that she was cold. The second thing was that when she moved she felt the skin of her thighs scrape against the rough concrete floor of the parking lot. The third thing was a voice, she was still a little to out of it to understand what was being said let alone recognize the voice. She felt hands on her next, and she slapped them away. The voice repeated a sound again and again as the hands tried to grab her again, she tried to slap them away again only to have her arm caught at her wrist. She suddenly recognized what the voice was saying; her name. She finally got a look at her attackers face, "Dave?"

"Yeah, it's me. You're okay. Well, you will be, once the effects wear off."

"What are you doing here?" she asked weakly.

"No time for that, let's get you to your car first," he said, helping her to her feet and then bending over and pulling up her pants(so that's why she was cold), before hooking his arm behind her legs and lifting her into a bridal carry. She curled against his chest as he carried her to her car. She enjoyed the feel of being so close to him, the smell of his hair, the sound of his breath, the feel of his skin. Her body hurt too much for her to do much else.

When he reached her car he said, "Keys?"

"Left jacket pocket" she said, and she felt him rest her on his knee as his hand fished in her pocket for the key. He found it and she heard him unlock the door.

After opening it he asked, "Can you stand? Should I put you straight into the car?"

The truth was she had been capable of standing by the time they were halfway to her car, "I can stand," she said. He carefully set her on her feet in front of the open door and she stepped stiffly into the car. He shut the door for her as she buckled herself in before walking around to the drivers side.

She looked over at him as he started the ignition, "You beat my record."

"What?" he asked, confused.

"That's three I owe you now. The most you ever owed me was two," she smiled weakly as he realized what he was talking about.

"I'm sure you'll have plenty of opportunities to save my life in the future," he said, backing the car out of the space and heading down the exit ramp. It was true. There would likely be several chances for her to save him in the future, after all, they'd saved each other dozens of times by now. This was just the first time one of them had gotten three saves ahead of the other.

She sat back in the seat, not moving, just watching him as he drove them out and onto the streets. "What are you doing here?" she asked again

He quickly looked at her before focusing back on the road, "I thought that you might like some company. I was getting tired of books and computer screens anyway. You told me where you planned on staking out, so I figured I'd meet you. I was worried I'd be late," he smiled at her, "Guess I was just in time."

She grinned at him, "Guess that makes you my big damn hero."

He smiled at her again, but only for a second before turning back to the road.

"I miss you. I want us to be close again," It was long, long, over due, but now was as good as any time.

He didn't respond, staying focused on the road.

She wondered where he was taking her, but it didn't take her long to figure it was to her home.

When they pulled up, she couldn't wait to get out of car. The silence was killing her. She walked to the door, limping slightly, and had her hand on the knob before she remembered her house keys were on the same ring as her car keys. She turned to go back for them, only for Dave to be a few steps behind her; keys in one hand, bag in the other.

She looked at the ground, "Thank you"

He stepped up beside her and unlocked the door. The house was dark and empty, Marcus actually out on a date, "Uh, if you don't mind," he said, "I'd like to finish the job of making sure you're okay."

She had no idea what he had in mind as she was perfectly alright at this point, if a bit achey, but she stepped into the house and gestured for him to enter as well, "You are always welcome in this house."

He stepped inside and she shut the door before walking up the steps to her room. He followed along behind her, sitting on the chair at her desk while she sat on her bed and started removing her shoes.

"So…" he started and trailing off. She looked up, shoe half off, waiting for him to finish, "How did that guy get the drop on you?"

"I let him," she shrugged, "I knew he was there, but I had to wait for him to actually try something before I could beat him. I just wasn't expecting him to have a FUCKING," she ripped her other shoe off, "tazer!" she threw it down.

"Be more careful. Please,"

"I know. I should have been. I was just frustrated. I wanted to hit someone."

She hated that he was keeping his distance from her. She could remember a dozen times that they'd sat in this room in more intimate positions. Half of them before she even cared about it.

Finally she just said it, "Will you please just come over her and sit next to me? You're making me uncomfortable sitting over there like that."

He complied and sat next to her on the bed, though still further away than she wanted. The closer he was, the more she hated every little inch separating them. She scootched herself over so her side was pressing up against him. His arm was pinned between them though. He was carrying her so nicely only half an hour ago, why did he have to get so cold now? She reached around an pulled his arm around her, he got the hint and held her gently. She snuggled against him and said, "thank you."

He didn't know if she was talking about what happened back in the garage, or if she meant putting his arm around her, but he said, "You're welcome," anyway.

"Are you okay?" she asked, turning her face towards him.

"Yeah. Yeah, I'm okay."

"I miss you."

"I know."

She knew it was stupid, but her heart has pounding in her chest, he was right there, closer than he'd been in ages, even in costume, and it was fucking Valentines Day goddammit.

She kissed him.

He flinched back at first, but then started to return the kiss. Thank god.

She turned her whole body towards him, bringing her knees onto the bed and underneath her as she pressed into him, kissing him more fervently. They started to tip back on the bed and he tensed. He took his arm from her and started to push himself away and she stopped, though her fingers grasped at his shirt, holding him to her. She pressed her forehead against his collar bone and half whispered, half gasped, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. That's enough"

He seemed to relax and she nuzzled against his neck. They finally fell back onto the bed, she partially on top of him. His hand idly stoked her hair as she curled up next him.

So close, yet so far.

She had already made two spontaneous decisions today, no reason not to make a third, she closed her eyes and said, "I love you." She was about to leave it at that but said damn the consequences, full speed ahead, "I love you more than anyone else in my life. I feel a connection to you that I've never felt with anyone else. You get me. You see what's beneath the surface. You know what makes me tick. And it makes me want to die because I'll never be good enough, but I still love you. I love you, and I don't ever want to lose you."

There was a beat of silence before he said, "I know."

It wasn't what she wanted to hear. Hell, she didn't know what she did want to hear, she just knew that she DID NOT want to hear that. She could feel tears asking to be let out, but she refused them. She was not going to cry.

"I love you too."

Her eyes shot open and she lifted her head to look at him. He kept his eyes closed and his face pointed towards the ceiling. She smiled anyway, a big stupid, idiotic grin, and wrapped herself around him.

It wasn't much, but it was enough for now.