Disclaimers: These guys aren't mine, they don't belong to me, worst luck, so don't bother me.
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Note: Once again, Ms Liebowitz had nothing to do with this, though I'm sure she'd do a fabulous job should she decide to take on the assignment in the future.
Duck and Cover Again
"I can't believe you talked me into this again." A pause, an angry pause. "I can't frigging believe it."
"I didn't talk you into anything, Junior; you lost the bet fair and square."
"Something in your throat, Wing?"
Okay, 'Wing had a point; Arrow had seriously cheated with that last hand of five card stud. Not that it mattered.
"Gentlemen?" They were interrupted by Annie Liebowitz standing in the doorway of the make-up area, doing everything but tapping her foot in impatience.
A glance at Nightwing and Red Arrow nodded to the photographer, who was once again donating her time and talent for a good cause. The previous Superhero nude calendar had done so astoundingly well that a follow-up was being prepared. The money raised would go to various good causes, the rights would be gifted to a few favored charities in perpetuity and a ton of money would be raised for hospitals, orphanages, Habitat for Humanity, world hunger and a slew of other areas in need of help.
Arrow walked over to the set, a simple and standard paper background with a large log placed to suggest the idea of a forest setting augmented by some projections of trees. Costume in place, bow and quiver ready for use the photos were snapped, relit and reshot. The winner, a photo of Red Arrow caught in supposed mid-aim at something to his left caught him in profile, his left leg positioned to keep away an X rating.
"Okay, my man, your turn." Nightwing was standing in costume, mask in place but clearly not happy about the situation. "C'mon, you're holding things up. Aquaman just got here and he has that hour limitation thing."
"I didn't sign the release yet."
"So sign the damn thing. It's not like your goodies haven't been flashed all over the internet, m'friend."
That was so the wrong thing to say. "Okay, sorry, but dude—it's not like your nekkid this time, right? You're in full costume, no one can see anything. I mean more or less, right?"
His only answer was a filthy look and a muttered oath.
Annie spoke up, wanting to save the shoot and get on with things. "I don't want to rush you, but we really have to move along here. I know you're not happy about this but we're already twenty minutes over schedule so if you don't mind..." She gestured toward the set which was prepared for Nightwing; an abstract cityscape. He reluctantly entered. "Thank you. Now if you could fire off one of those jump lines or whatever you call them, I can get an action shot of you swinging into the shot. Just be sure that you position yourself so that..."
"I know, okay?"
Line shot, he did as asked, arching his back, thrusting his pelvis, hair blown back and sucking in his stomach,—not that he needed to. One knee bent, one leg behind him in classic pose.
"Okay, makeup? Touch up on his left thigh."
It was done.
"All right, let's try, um, let's try you jumping into the scene. Make it look like you just repelled down a building or something and you're just landing. I'll try to catch you a few feet before you actually hit."
"Fine." He did it,. The high speed camera caught him in perfect form, toes pointed, legs locked together for a stuck landing three feet above the floor.
Annie wasn't pleased. "It's just not...I don't know. It just isn't working for me." She stopped, thinking for a minute then brightened. "Okay, I think I've got it..."
Three months later the calendar was sold out three hours after it's release date, a second, third and eventually seventeenth printing flew off the shelves.
There were the expected complaints from various pundits complaining about another bout of supposed heroes flaunting their bodies, baring all. Being naked in public. They were—if you didn't count the perfectly painted full body makeup of each uniform to fool the eye into thinking the men were naked as the days they were born.
September featured Nightwing standing in a shower, face turned up, eyes closed as water cascaded down, washing away the full body paint, leaving only what God blessed him with at birth partially revealed.