Children of the Atom
Episode Eleven, 'That's What Kids Do'
Nate sighed as Irene sat mock-casually next to him on the street bench. "Hello, Irene."
Ever since that incident two days ago, she would not leave him alone. She spotted him in the street; she'd walk up next to him and try to talk to him about it. Always asking questions about how he did what he did. She could not take a hint.
"So…are you ever going to tell me what's going on?"
"No," Nate said firmly. "You'd just tell everyone else, like the blab you are."
Irene looked hurt. "What makes you think that?"
The fact that you're a reporter, and you were looking for a story in me. "Look, just drop it, all right?"
"Nate, I don't give up that easily." Irene insisted. "I'm not going to tell anyone. What do I have to do to convince you of that?"
Nate paused, and then said. "Buy me a coffee cake from Starbucks."
She grinned. "No problem," and then dashed to the store. Nate stood up and walked away. He'd seen the tray was empty. Nearby, Rachel was in a small indie clothing store, looking at a cute green top. He nudged her shoulder. "C'mon. Let's leave."
"Why? What-oh. Irene again?"
Nate nodded. "I don't want her to come back and see me in here."
"It doesn't become a Summers to hide from their problems," Rachel sighed, "but all right. The others are all going to find this hilarious. We stop a supervillian, but you run from a reporter."
"I don't trust that she will do nothing," Nate insisted. "And besides, it could hurt her if she knew."
"Well, that's flattering." Rachel scowled.
"TJ's mom got killed along with her dad years ago, and she wasn't a mutant. All because she threw her lot in with the wrong people."
"You can't stop people from making their choices," Rachel insisted as the two of them left the shop. "Besides, aren't you a super hero? She could be, like, your Lois Lane or something."
Nate laughed. "As if. She's not interested in me that way. She just wants to play reporter."
"Well, it's not play nurse, but-"
"Oh, come on!"
"OH MY STARS AND GARTERS, TALIA JOSEPHINE WAGNER, WHAT DID YOU DO TO YOUR HAIR?"
TJ winced. "It's just a dye job-"
"IS IT PERMENANT?"
"Semi," she said weakly.
Beast groaned. "You look like Oliver's mother."
"What'd you say about my mom?" Oliver stuck his head out. "Wow…TJ…that hairstyle makes you look…"
"I was going to say like some pop star, but that works too."
TJ grinned triumphantly. "See? It's the style!"
"Just promise you are only going to extend your bad decisions to your hair," Nate sighed as he and Rachel walked by.
"Even so," Beast sighed, "here's your image inducer so you can go to school. You can plug in that…that hairstyle to your appearance if it suits your fancy. And don't overdo it; it's supposed to make you look normal, not like a swimsuit model."
TJ grabbed it out of his hand, and started punching in keys, trying to order her appearance. She had seen a few cute boys around town…
"Well, I'm going out for a meal," Oliver said, coming out of his room. "There's a good burger place downtown. Rachel, do you want to come?"
"Sure," Rachel said, immediately turning around to dash outside and follow him out the door.