(A/N: So…I noticed there were a couple of questions about those fake tits. Probably more that didn't ask me personally so I figured I'd just give a summary of the answer I gave anyone who did ask me. True, the fake boobs weren't actually necessary for this story, but I do have further plans for them, the logic Mindy used to get them, and the person who…well…put them in her. It'll make sense, I promise, it just won't happen in this story.)
Mindy crossed her arms, still slightly annoyed at not seeing what Dave had been doing earlier. It was rather ingenious so she couldn't actually be mad at him for it. Hell, part of her was proud of him for thinking that far ahead. "Where did you learn to fight like that? You've obviously worked on your defense."
Dave smirked, in reply. "First rule of Fight Club."
"Oh kiss my ass, Dave!" Mindy retorted. "Stop trying to be all mysterious and shit and just answer the fucking question."
Dave raised an eyebrow. "Who trained your dad?"
There was immediately and very pregnant silence. "…second rule of Fight Club…"
"Yeah, that's what I thought."
Mindy made a face. "You know what? I wasn't going to ask this, but since you're being such a cocky bitch, um…why don't you have any facial hair? That's probably the most obvious way to change your appearance."
Dave's eyes narrowed, as he looked at his former partner, who was currently sporting her own cocky expression. "…it grew in patchy…"
"Did it even grow in patchy?" Mindy teased, getting up so she could pinch Dave's cheeks. "I think your face is as smooth as a baby."
Dave did his best to glare at Mindy's tone, as he was swatting away her hand, but it was such a ridiculous situation that he couldn't help but to laugh. "God, I missed you."
There was an immediate disconnect between Mindy's brain and her body. Her body was grinning like an idiot, while her mind was telling her to stop it, over and over. She might have even giggled. Why did him saying that have to make her so damn happy? To make things even worse, Dave was obviously trying not to react to her…well…reacting like a girl. A quick change of subject was needed. "Anyway…you live in California now, so…what brought you back here?"
"Well…" Dave started, with a smirk. "This is going to sound cheesy as fuck, but…I came to look for you."
Mindy's gave Dave a skeptical look. "Oh I'm so calling bullshit on that. You didn't cross the fucking country just to find me."
Dave sighed heavily, his smile remaining. "And…it's not the first year I've tried either. I've tried the past 2 years around this time as well."
"Around this time of…" Mindy found herself pondering out loud, before it sunk in. "Oh Dave, you can't be that sappy…"
"I wish I could deny it." Dave chuckled. "For all I knew, you were dead though. It just…seemed appropriate. Though the more I wasn't able to find you, the more it became more of a…yearly ritual than trying to actually find you."
Mindy's face fell. "Yeah…my dad would always take me out or do something really special for my birthday. When I was locked up, it was such a different…atmosphere, I guess, that it didn't really hit me, but once I was out I just ended up getting really…depressed. So I usually just took it off. I figured…New York would be fine for one fucking day, you know? This year I just kinda said…fuck it, stop being such a pussy and went out anyway…" Once again, Mindy tried not to let things get too dark and added, "Not to mention I was being stalked all week and I was looking forward to ramming something, preferably spiky, up my stalker's ass."
"Oddly enough…you aren't the first girl to accuse me of stalking her." Dave then thought about it. "The weird thing is…so far you've all been technically right…"
Mindy rolled her eyes. "Glad I'm just another in a long line, then. So…if you were really coming all the way over here for my birthday…" Mindy suddenly beamed. "…where's my gift?"
"What makes you think I have a gift?" Dave replied. "I thought you might be dead, remember?"
"Stop being such a fucknut and giving me my damn present!"
Dave chuckled as he reached behind him into one of the pouches and pulled out a folded piece of paper. "Fine, here."
Mindy eagerly took the gift and unfolded it. "Geeze, Dave. You didn't even wrap it for me…" Once again, she had to reprimand herself for getting so 'girly' as she read the contents on the paper. "It's a…copy of Chris's autopsy report?...Ha! That's awesome!"
Dave smirked as he saw Mindy's reaction. "Stole it from the coroner when they were out. I thought you'd like it. You know how he died?"
"From what I heard, some orderly pillowed him to death after H-Day. They think it was the mother of one of the kids he killed or something. So many of them wanted to kill the fucker and admitted it, that there was no way to know which one did it."
Dave's smirk faded. "Pillow, yes. Orderly, no."
"Then who-?" Mindy caught Dave's expression which cut her off, cold. "…Dave?..." Mindy's face was the definition of confusion. She'd seen his face when he thought he'd killed Chris, he was mortified. In fact, he was calling the fucking police to save him. Dave killing him just…didn't make any sense, but the admission was right there on his face. "…why…?"
"…He'd won, you know. The moment my dad got arrested for me, he'd won. I was going to hang it all up. I promised my dad and everything. It was over. But then Chris had to go and kill Dad anyway and rub salt in the wounds. It was fucking over! I wasn't just quitting , I was getting the fuck out of New York altogether. I was only staying for the funeral! Then Chris could have done whatever the fuck he wanted and I'd have stayed out of it. But that wasn't enough for him…he just couldn't accept the win and let me fucking be! You were locked up…I just…he'd gone after someone who was locked up before. I didn't want to take that chance…"
Mindy's jaw dropped as she realized exactly what Dave was saying. "You…killed Chris…for me?"
"Chris was a sick fuck…there was no way I could…take his word that he'd leave us alone if I didn't let him die. You gave me my life, the least I could do was return the favor and make sure he couldn't hurt you anymore."
"Oh Dave…" Mindy sighed, a sly grin appearing on her lips. "That might actually be the most awesome birthday gift I've ever gotten. In fact, I think I'm kind of turned on right now."
"Psh! Fuck you." Dave said, laughing. Mindy joined in, though they were laughing for two completely different reasons. Dave, because Mindy was still making jokes, and Mindy, because she wasn't actually joking that time. But eh, she was glad he was laughing. She really wasn't digging his morbid mood swings.
"I'm going to hang this up!" Mindy said, excitedly hopping up and going over to one of the racks on the wall and hanging up the report. She was fully aware that as she was stretching up to do so, her skirt was not exactly covering what it was supposed to be covering. "Dave…are you looking at my ass?" She asked, without looking back.
Dave snapped out of his pondering and looked up. "Well…I wasn't…"
Mindy looked back at Dave, sporting a coy grin, when something caught her eye on the hand that Dave had left ungloved since he showed her the wrist shooters. "Dave, did you get a tattoo?"
"Actually…" Dave began to unclip some of his belts. Once he'd undone enough of them, he slipped off his top. "…I might just have a little more than one…"
"Holy…" Mindy gasped as she saw two things immediately. The first was that he wasn't kidding about the effort he was putting in the gym, his muscle definition was insane. The second was that his arms were almost literally covered in tattoos. Mindy rushed forward to get a closer look at them. They appeared to be a series of intricate tribal designs. "Dude…seriously? I figured if you were going to get inked it would be a little more…meaningful or something."
Any amusement was immediately wiped away by the look on Dave's face. It wasn't the first time this night that his expression had been absolutely wracked with guilt, but there did seem to be something else to it. There was definitely something more to those tattoos than there appeared to be. Dave took Mindy's hand and made her finger trace one of the more prominent designs. Mindy found herself slightly distracted because…well…Dave's arms were pretty damn impressive, even without the tattoos, but then she caught on to exactly what Dave was doing. The 'tribals' weren't actually tribals at all, they were very warped letters. They were just so warped that you wouldn't be able to make it out unless you knew the 'font'. As Dave led Mindy's fingers across the letters, she finally made out what it spelled.
Mindy found that she couldn't look away. Now that she could read it, she could see just why the designs seemed so intricate. There were more names than she could be bothered to count, in various sizes. The Silver Beetle, Colonel Stars, his dog, Sophia, even that dumbass who jumped off the building with metal wings he hadn't tested beforehand, his arm was covered in the names of dead superheroes. When she looked over to his right arm, most of the names she didn't even recognize. Then she saw 'Katie Deauxma' and possibly the names of those 4 kids that Chris killed, they looked familiar.
It was when Mindy looked up at the complete and total guilt on Dave's face that she was able to connect all of the dots. It was easy to get that the left arm was superheroes and the right arm was civilians. At first, she thought it was a memorial to everyone who died, but there were names like Katie's who wasn't actually dead…but she could easily see that from Dave's perspective, they might as well be. He'd put permanent reminders to himself of every life Kick Ass's influence had either ended or ruined. They weren't memorials…they were…weights… She could read it all on Dave's face. He looked…broken. She could tell then that Dave had been wearing a mask. A mask very similar to the one she usually wore. The mask that makes them appear to be all normal and witty and happy, like they weren't affected by seeing all their loved ones killed in front of or because of them.
When Dave had been talking about how he'd moved on and went to college and formed a better superhero identity for himself, Mindy had been envious. She'd thought that maybe because he'd come into being a hero on his own accord instead of being raised into it that maybe he'd had a chance to grow up normal. But the reality of the situation was that he was just as fucked in the head as she was, they were both just really good at hiding it.
Taking a deep breath, she looked over to the tattoo that had initially caught her attention. It looked like a spiky bracelet around his wrist. The name she read there, didn't surprise her in the least, it read 'JAMES LIZEWSKI'. Of course there was one name she hadn't seen yet. There was another name on the inside of his wrist and as she turned it over she saw the name she'd been expecting.
(A/N: Yeah, I know this kind of went all over the place, emotionally speaking, and that was actually on purpose. I figured the two of them would be emotionally all over the place. Believe it or not, despite the emotional fucked upness going on right now, the next chapter will finally be the entire reason I initially wrote this story, and the smut will come…no pun intended. Um…yeah…I think I had more to say but I got nuthin right now, so yeah, let me know what you think.)