wildlittleminx: (Default)
"Holy...!"  Liz sat back, away from the library computer screen and glanced furtively to the left and right.  Good, no one seemed to hear or care about her verbal outburst.  With another look around the room and a swift look up at the clock, the teen pulled her chair closer to the computer screen to view the online photo and read the words beneath it.  <lj-cut>

Yes, that was him alright.  Warren Peace.  Son of Baron Battle himself, and hadn't Liz heard some of Tony's people mention that name once or twice a long time ago?  Baron Battle's son.  Well, when he said his father was in the slammer, he was right about that.  Three consecutive life sentences, damn. 

Son of a master villain and a "A super hero  Of course, this just keeps getting better and better."  Great, just great.  So, did he take after his father or his mother?  By the sound their conversations together, he might have taken after his mom more than his dad, but she couldn't be sure.  "So where does that put me?"  She continued to read, and then began doing research into Warren's fathers' history as well.

Shit.  Liz closed the window, and deleted the recent history, wiping the computer clean of any passwords, cookies and pages she'd opened in her search, then wiping the keyboard and screen clean of her fingerprints with a tissue.  Maybe she could tell him that she wasn't feeling well tonight, make an excuse for him not to come over.  He'd been doing that lately, coming in for early morning coffee or late night talk. 

'I can't tell him the truth' she thought to herself, gathering up her notebooks and making certain her area was clean before heading out the library door.  'What the hell do I say?  No Warren, it's not the fact that your dad's a villain and a murderer that has me scared.  It's the fact that your mom's a superhero.  Superheroes do superhero stuff like catching badguys.  Badguys like casino and museum thieves.  Like me.'

"But that isn't exactly fair to him."  Or her either for that matter.  He was someone she was actually growing to like.  A real man - boy - guy her own age who liked her just for who she was, or rather, who she tried to be.  And it was easier actually, having him around.  She didn't get the urge to go out and test herself against security systems , didn't get that itch for an illegal adrenaline rush by pitting herself against bank safeguards or PTZ infrared cameras, security guards.  She actually enjoyed simply being normal for a change.  Enjoyed being with him.  

'What the hell do I do?' she tried to come up with an answer as she strolled home in the early evening light.  Confessing was out of the question. 

Best bet?  Do nothing for now, except for watch and be aware.  Hero or villain, Warren just made her life a whole hell of a lot more complicated.  'I knew he was trouble when he was standing outside my door.  Knew he was trouble when he was standing in my living room in that tight leather jacket.  I knew it, and I knew it, and what the hell am I going to do now?

Date/Time: 2011-02-21 08:00 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wartheflame.livejournal.com
Warren was completely unaware of his neighbors troubles. But then he was unaware about who exactly she was. Had he known that, he would have had quite a lot to think about as well.

But he didn't know. She was just a girl his own age, living alone, and was nice to talk to. Not to mention that she was absolutely gorgeous.

He'd gotten his place in order now, gotten all the furniture built, everything unpacked, all the little things fixed. And, after having called a number that Liz gave him, he'd gotten himself a job. Part time, Friday and Saturday night, bouncing at a local club. So far it worked. While Warren might be young, he was both tall and well built, and could give people a look that spoke of pain and bodily injuries if they gave him troubles. It had been cool so far, though. He'd mostly had to diffuse situations before they came bad rather, and having to send overly intoxicated people on their way. And deny entry to people too young. People his age.
And, he was getting to practice keeping his powers in check on this job, and not let his temper run away with him. So far he had succeeded. The day he failed he would probably be without a job.

But tonight was not a Friday or Saturday night. Tonight was a Sunday night, and Warren was at home. The day had passed peacefully. He'd had his nose in a book for most of it, as was in no way uncommon for him. But as the sun began to set, he was getting restless, a clear sign that he'd been too physically inactive that day. He looked over at the weights he'd made room for in a corner of his bedroom, by the window. Hmmnoo, not what he was in the mood for.

He wondered if Liz was home. She probably was. He'd learned that she didn't do that much, outside of the daily stuff that everyone needed; work, getting food... And of course her nightly runs.

He made up his mind, and changed into sweats. Black, of course, as most of his wardrobe tended to be, even if the hoodie was mostly grey now, washed out as it was. Then, running shoes on and his hair tied back and out of his face, he stepped outside his apartment and took the few steps needed to cross the hall to Liz's door, and rang her doorbell.
Date/Time: 2011-02-21 21:20 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wildlittleminx.livejournal.com
No, not going to answer the door. No, not going to listen to the doorbell. Liz resisted the juvinile urge to put her hands up to her ears. Not going to - damnit. She twisted her head, looked over toward the door from the small windowsill she had folded her legs up and on, where she'd been staring out at the city and attempting to hack the latest of her pre-paid wireless phones. Wasn't hard all in all, and the fact that it was pre-paid meant that she didn't need a phone plan, didn't leave a trail of billing receipts. More importantly, she could dump this one and grab another phone in a few months and no one could trace her whereabouts.

Please, please Warren don't make this any harder than - ok. Ok. "I'm coming!" She called out, lowering her feet to the floor. Placing the tiny screwdriver down on the coffee table, putting the pieces of the phone beside it and unplugging the soldering iron from the wall, Pepper thought of hiding her project in the bedroom but said 'hell with it' instead. Padding over in stocking feet, Liz took a glance out the eye hole to be certain she knew who it was - and of course it was who she thought; then began the long process of unlocking the front door.

Still, just as she couldn't hide herself away from his presence at her door, she also couldn't hide the smile from slowly blooming over her face at the sight of him standing there. He was just so trouble, trouble, he is so much trouble... and I like it

"What's up?" Sweats instead of jeans? Had he been working out?
Date/Time: 2011-02-21 21:41 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wartheflame.livejournal.com
He listened to the sounds of all those locks opening. He'd gotten a little bit used to it by now, just enough to not be completely shocked by it.

He returned her smile when she opened the door, glad to see her. Friends didn't come easy for him, and he was happy to have found one here in this new city so soon. And, she.... Yeah. Looked good. "Hey," he said, just standing there with his hands in his pockets. "I'm going for a run. Thought I'd see you wanted to come along." A run, as in a normal run. No jumping from rooftop to rooftop. Ground-level. But, if she did come with him, she might be able to convince him to go over some obstacles. She probably wouldn't even have a hard time convincing him.

Date/Time: 2011-02-21 23:05 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wildlittleminx.livejournal.com
It took her a moment to understand what he meant. "A run? Along the ground you mean?" She mentally shook her head. "Oh yea. Yea! Sure, I'll go with you! Come on in." Of course. Soon as she decides to cool off the friendship a day or two, he comes up with ideas like this.

Ushering him inside, she began re-locking the doors behind the two of them. Leaving her latest pet project on the table for now, she went through to the bedroom to get changed.

Her own sweats were a dark grey, and her sweatshirt the same color. Her hair was swiftly braided and tucked down the inside of her sweatshirt, her converse sneakers were tied securely to her feet, her housekeys were tucked into the inside front pocket of the shirt and she was ready to go.

"Ready if you are."
Date/Time: 2011-02-21 23:30 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wartheflame.livejournal.com
"Yeah, along the ground. You know, like normal people." He grinned as he stepped inside. Funny, but as it had turned out she had a knack for getting him to grin.

Of course he spotted the phone on the table, and wondered what she was up to. She was obviously a girl of many talents, he'd figured that out. "Your phone break or something?" He asked when she came back out of the bedroom, and he started moving to the front door again. That was a yes, he was good to go.
Date/Time: 2011-02-21 23:47 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wildlittleminx.livejournal.com
"That?" She waved it off as they hit the front door. "Consider it an upgrade. I'm just making it a little more efficient."

Leaving all thoughts of the phone behind, she followed him down the stairs after locking the door, chatting as she went. "Do you normally stretch out at the beginning of your runs, or after your muscles warm up?" She was curious, leaning against the building wall and stretching her hamstrings.

"And how far are we going to - hey, where you going? Hey, wait up, wait - Warren!" She was off like a shot, clearing a small garbage can as she ran to catch up with the young runner.
Date/Time: 2011-02-21 23:57 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wartheflame.livejournal.com
That should answer her question, as Warren had set off in a leisurely jog. "I don't really like to stretch a lot in the beginning of a run or workout session," he said when she caught up. "I usually save most of that for the end." He'd make sure he got warmed up, and do some light stretching to really loosen up. But that was it.

He didn't really know where they were heading or even how long a run he'd want this to be. He had been learning his way around now, but an aimless run could help him learn to find his way around even better. "Shouldn't there be a park nearby here somewhere?" He asked after a few minutes. Grass and gravel was always more pleasant to run on than asphalt.
Date/Time: 2011-02-22 00:33 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wildlittleminx.livejournal.com
"I understand. I like to stretch out a bit, then stretch out when the muscles are good and warm, after about twenty, maybe thirty minutes of working out. Keeps me from pulling a muscle."

She was jogging near Warren now, her legs moving side by side with his. The only time her feet didn't hit the pavement when his did was when she leaped over something, or bounced up onto the wall in a cat leap to hang for a moment before dropping back to earth and racing to catch up with him. The occasional wall-spin also kept her footsteps from matching his.

"There is! This way, come on." With a teasing smile, she speed-vaulted over a fence, and was running down a side street. "Man, things look different from down here. Hold on." She paused, looking left, then right as she jogged in place.

"Ok, got it. It's only a few more blocks down!" It wasn't a large park, not by any means. A nice expanse of trees, several swings, a few slides and a bunch of childrens' playground equipment, and a large sandbox filled the center of the grassy area. That was surrounded by park benches and waste barrels. A basketball court was in the background, and concrete paths criss-crossed through the park as well.

And by that time of the evening on Sunday, all of the parents and small children had already left. All that remained were a few teens over on the courtyard playing basketball, and one guy riding around the sidewalk on a skateboard and trying to do jumps.

"Well, here it is." She gasped as they drew near. And then with a laugh and a burst of speed, Liz vaulted a bench, rolled and did a backflip, ending up with a running jump to reach the top of the swing. Hanging there a second, she let herself fall, flipping in the air to land on her feet in the sand.

"Did you bring a basketball, or do you want to swing with me?" She attempted the innocent look, ruining it with a wink.
Date/Time: 2011-02-22 00:47 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wartheflame.livejournal.com
He watched as she played around, finding obstacles and possibilities in the cityscape. He had to admit that it looked like a lot of fun, and she had a freedom in her movements that he lacked. Although, he could sort of feel it anyway, if he thought back to the days when his preferred method of traveling was by skateboard.

The further they went the more Warren picked up the pace, going faster as his heart-rate increased and his body grew warmer than it already was. He didn't sweat much, a pyrokinetic rarely did, not when his body thrived on warmth and had no risk being damaged by it. Not as far as he knew, anyway. He hadn't had to worry about a fever since he was twelve.

When they came to the park, Warren looked at that guy on the skateboard and felt a tug of nostalgic longing. Why did he ever give that up? He could pick it up again, though. Maybe.

He laughed as Liz attacked the swings and slowed down, walking the last few paces to her. He shrugged and turned his pockets inside out, an over-the-top apologetic expression on his face. "No basketball, sorry.I'll remember it next time."
Date/Time: 2011-02-22 02:33 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wildlittleminx.livejournal.com
Nudging him in the shoulder, she cocked her head toward the skateboarder. "Where's yours?" She knew that look, knew it well. Knew it too well on her own face, like those times she'd go by a computer store.

"Or maybe we should get you one? It's easier to put bring up the stairs than a bike." It was so easy to relax with him, so easy to smile with him and not feel she was putting on a front. It was refreshing and fun, once she got those 'he's trouble' thoughts out of her head.

"And since you didn't bring a basketball, I guess we're going to have to play, um, another... ah. Wow. So, wanna work on some of those free-running moves? I can show you a couple things if you want." Was it too dark to blush? Elizabeth sincerely hoped so.

Date/Time: 2011-02-22 08:02 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wartheflame.livejournal.com
He laughed, or more like chuckled softly. "It's been a while since I was at it," he said, leaning on the frame of the swing set. "So it's in the attic of my mom's house. Just got busy with other things, you know? When I wasn't studying I was working." And occasionally fighting for his life.

He watched the skateboarder slide down the railing of some stairs leading to a lower section of the park. Maybe he should get himself a new board, as a birthday present to himself. But money was a bit tight. Maybe, though.

He nodded at her suggestion, completely missing her blush. "Sure. We're in a good place for it, right?"
Date/Time: 2011-02-25 22:29 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wildlittleminx.livejournal.com
Yea, this place is better than most actually." She gave the area a critical once-over again before making that final nod yes.

"First thing we have to do is to work on your landing and rolling ski-yea, like that." She laughed. "Looks like you spent some time in the gym yourself. What about this though, try when you tuck your head in? To roll from one shoulder to the opposite hip, diagonal down your back. Like this" She rolled once, came out of it with a slight jump on her feet.

"This way you don't put much of your weight down the center of your spine, see?" She went through landing and precision jumping skills the same way. Taking her time as the park grew darker and the basketball players went home with their ball. Talking him through the basic and some of the advanced vaulting techniques, she never realized how deep the shadows got and how the streetlights began lighting up the park rather than the skyline.

"What about a cat-jump? No, lets wait on that for a while." She felt sweaty, wiping the grass stains off the knees of her sweatsuit and trying to pull the grass out of her hair.

"We can work on wall runs and that sort of thing later on if you want, but I guess it's getting kind of late."
Date/Time: 2011-02-28 18:55 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wartheflame.livejournal.com
Warren had a good sense of how to move. His time at Sky High hadn't been for nothing, and hadn't only been dealing with his powers. These were new movements she was teaching him, though, but he did catch on quickly. That's not to say that he didn't stumble here and there.

He'd taken a seat on the concrete stairs when she called it a night. She was right; it had gotten dark a long time ago. They'd beet at this for hours, though how many hours wasn't too clear. Warren had lost track, and didn't have a watch on him It had been a rather long time, though, considering the burn he felt in his muscles, and he knew that he would have his aches and pains come morning.

"Yeah, definitely more stuff like this later." He'd had fun! But enough was enough, at least for the night. He his shoulders a bit and then got up to start to stretch. It was still a run or walk to get back home, but it wouldn't do to get all stiff now. "You know you'll never be rid of me now, right?" He grinned and brushed some stray hairs out of his face. His skin and hair were only slightly damp, as he didn't sweat much.
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 22:50 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wildlittleminx.livejournal.com
Her answer was to toss her hair back over her shoulder and laugh. Climbing those steps to where Warren was sitting, Liz sat down and leaned in against his knee. "Never get rid of you, huh? I may have shown you a lot, but I haven't shown you everything" she added a wink "Yet. And we still have a little way to go before we start doing all this on the rooftop of 5 and 6 story buildings."

"Have to learn to run before you can learn to fly you know." The way he twisted his body, the way he would fall back and jump back up, just the way he moved all spoke volumes to her as she had studied him copy her moves. He'd had training. Natural talent too, that was obvious. But somewhere along the line someone had taken him in hand and given him lessons, lessons he learned very well.

"I would suggest a jog home, nothing too fancy to practice the vaulting, just to keep our muscles warm. And after that" Her stomach rumbled. "I'm all for ordering Chinese and just chilling out for a while. Hey, do you like Chinese food?"
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 22:52 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wartheflame.livejournal.com
"Hey, why do you think I'm saying you won't get rid of me? You keep on teaching, 'cause I'm definitely gonna get this stuff down." Because it was damn fun! And further down the line, if he picked up heroing for real, he was willing to bet that it was going to come in handy. Really, why didn't Principal Powers and Coach Boomer get people in to teach the students this at Sky High?

He got to his feet and did a few more simple stretches, and then joined her in a jog towards home. "Used to work at a Chinese joint." Long enough to even learn Mandarin. And hadn't he once said that he used to bus tables back in school? "So I say that there's Chinese and then there's Chinese. But yeah, I could go with that. It's been a while."
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 22:55 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wildlittleminx.livejournal.com
"I'm warning you, I can be a harsh teacher" She bobbed her head up and down a few times to accent her words. "You're going to have to learn city routes, and I'll wake you up late or get you up early - we will have to go to different parks around the city. I really don't want other people catching on and trying to copy us. Or even worse, interrupting our time together."

Or, as in her case, videotaping them. It would be just like some dumbass to put their stunts up on youtube or something. And then where would she be? Seen by security experts that were probably hired to watch out for just that sort of thing. and then? Whisked off to some foreign country under Tony's guidance again. Screw that. She had her freedom, she'd earned her freedom. She was going to keep it.
"Well then" Oh good, he'd vaulted that garbage can like a pro! Liz quickened her jogging pace to catch up with him after watching him ahead of her for several yards. "I'd say that it's up to you to chose the food tonight. I've heard that the Mint Cafe is good, and the Silver Dragon isn't bad either."

"And I don't have cable, but I do have an old TV and some DVD's if you want. Or we can go to your place and just relax and read."

Up, over a railing, back and forth down a flight of stairs, and then a leaping vault over a parked car and she was crossing the street, just ahead of the young hero-to-be. The streets were mainly deserted, cars parked for the night now in this part of time.

"Cut through the parking lot, and up the back stairs to the apartment? First one to the top wins ... something?"
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 22:55 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wartheflame.livejournal.com
"I'm used to harsh teachers." Like the kind who might drop a car on unsuspecting students on their first day of high school. Though he might still mind of she tried to drag him out in the crack of dawn, unless he'd yet to go to bed. An early bird he wasn't.

He grinned widely as he ran. That fence right there was too high to leap right over, but he could swing himself up and plant his feet on the top. Then he launched himself forward in a leap, tucked his head in and rolled shoulder to hip when he landed, and smoothly got to his feet to keep running.

He thought he'd be able to get them some good take-out. A good proprietor should be able to recognize when a customer actually knew the food in question, and not hand out some Americanized stuff instead of the good stuff.

"First one up gets the others fortune cookie!" With that he was off, sprinting. He was fast, had a good physique and had stamina to last. But she probably still had speed over his. He shouldn't be far behind, though.
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 22:57 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wildlittleminx.livejournal.com
"Not my fortune cookie, oh hell no!" His longer stride was pulling him out ahead of her, and as quick as she was he made it to the fire escape first, jumping up and grabbing the bottom rung to pull the ladder down and begin climbing up to get to the fire escape stairs..

But I cheat!" She thought to herself, veering off at an angle and putting on a burst of speed. Liz hit the wall at the corner, made a near-ten foot wall climb then twisted at the last minute, flinging her body back towards the fire-escape. She reached out, her hands clenching tight as her body circled over and came to land not even six feet in front of the athletic teen behind her. Giggling loudly she sprinted up the stairs in front of him, only to be hauled back and pushed against the brick building wall as he grabbed her and pulled her back to him.

"Cheater!" She yelled out loud between gasps of laughter. "Cheate-you cheated!" then she was right behind him, hugging onto his waist and slowing him down as he went up two stairs at a time to the top, the two of them trampling up the metal steps.

Leaning against her window, she had to stop for breath as she pointed at Warren, doing nearly the same thing while facing her at his. Her smile was wide, and her eyes were sparkling bright by the light of the streetlamps. "I think that's a tie."
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 22:58 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wartheflame.livejournal.com
"Cheater?!" It was with a mix of a pant and a laugh that he protested, scrambling op to the stairs, playfully fighting her all the way. "Look who's talking!" Because wall-climbing like that when he yet didn't know how to, that had to be cheating.

How they managed to make it to the top without falling down and landing on the ground in an aching pile of arms and legs would forever be a mystery. But make it they did, standing there and catching their breaths. And Warren, who not long ago hadn't had a single friend and hadn't been willing to talk with hardly anyone, could not for the life of him get that grin of his face. She? She was so much fun, and so easy to be around. And, with her face flushed and dark eyes glittering, so damn beautiful.

"Alright, so we both get a cookie." He probably would have handed over his winnings anyway, had he won the race. "My place this time?" So hers were neater, that was for sure. But his wasn't that bad, at least not at the moment. Two days earlier, before he'd gotten his laundry sorted out, now that had been another matter.
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 23:00 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wildlittleminx.livejournal.com
"I think we both deserve a cookie, don't you?"

At the suggestion of his place, she nodded, her concentration torn between listening to him, and pulling a thin, strong piece of slightly flexible metal out of a crack above her window. Bending it back and forth, she began to slide it in between the upper and lower window panes, angling her body to get a better grip on both the metal and the wood frame. This also just happened to obscure what she was doing from Warren until she bobbed her head once hard, and tugged on the metal. the window flew up, unlocked within seconds, and she turned her head back in his direction to reply.

"Your place, twenty - twenty-five minutes good? I could really use a long soak in the shower." The metal shard went sailing into her bedroom, followed by one sneakered foot at she began to bend herself down and slide through the window into her bedroom.

"I'll see you then!" With a wave, she was through to the other side, her window coming back down with a thump and a click as she relocked it from within.
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 23:01 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wartheflame.livejournal.com
What she did right there? He didn't see exactly how she did it, but that looked like she picked the lock of her own window. ...well, practical skill to have, he supposed. But not really a common one. Oh well.

He waved in acknowledgment and went in through is own bedroom window. Time for some proper stretches and a shower. Music first, though. With it getting late, and him winding down after exercises, he skipped the normal rock and metal, and loaded up a playlist on his computer with stuff like Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Neil Young. A few lit candles here and there, and a relaxing feeling settled over the apartment as Warren got to his stretches.

A few songs later - and he knew that he was cheating massively and would pay for it in the morning - he stripped and headed to the shower. Sure, Liz said she was going to take a bath, but he still didn't know how long it would take until she came knocking on his door. He did have fairly good timing, as it turned out. He'd at least gotten his jeans on when his doorbell rang and Liz entered his home, though he was still bare chested, barefoot and dripping water. He was also on the phone, ordering a bit of this and that from a Chinese restaurant that he'd quickly looked up on the internet, speaking in Mandarin as he did so. They weren't going to be lacking food, that was for sure, and even if Liz hadn't said what she'd like there had to be something in there that suited her, with all the things he ordered. And the rest Warren would just have for lunch the next day.
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 23:05 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wildlittleminx.livejournal.com
"You didn't have to jump out of the shower just for me" she observed with a wry grin as she came through the door looking at him. "At least get a towel for your hair, I'd hate to have you catch cold on my account!" She said it softly, not to interrupt his phone call. Was that Chinese he was speaking? Warren spoke Chinese? Whatthehell? Blinking, she turned her eyes away from the half-naked, wet and dripping (he should really put some clothes on, he should know that he looked way too good without a shirt!) man to the room behind him.

The place did look a lot better with him living here, Liz decided, staring around the renovations he'd made. Ever since she'd met him, she'd held off on exploring his home without him there. She could have, his locks were terribly out of date and easily picked - but it was a honor thing with her. Some things you just don't do, and breaking into a friend's apartment, even just out of curiosity? Was one of them.

"I love the couch." The leather looked soft, the color went well with the bookcases. And the candles gave everything a subdued, soft glow. Ooh, and he had a computer, and was that - internet!! Her eyes gleamed, a quick predatory stare that she only realized she was doing after she'd been staring at the computer screen for almost ten seconds.

No, no no no NO! Too much temptation, too much... it would be sooo easy to just pull her own computer out of the bedroom closet where it was hidden and pirate his signal to... no. Damn it!

"I don't know what you're ordering, but it all sounds delicious" Now she was at the bookshelves, looking over the authors and titles. Anything to keep her eyes off the computer, and anything to keep her eyes off the man.
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 23:06 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wartheflame.livejournal.com
He actually blushed a bit at her comments, though since he was still on the phone there wasn't much he could do about it. Thankfully he was soon able to hang up, and to go and fetch himself a shirt. When he came back out from the bedroom he had a towel draped over his shoulders, and his hair wasn't dripping quite so much but was definitely messier.

Warren did own a lot of books, and they didn't seem to follow any theme or genre. While most were beat-up looking paperbacks, subjected to wear and tear from being hauled around in his bag (and some even looked a bit singed), some were leather-bound, old-looking things, maybe not worth a great deal of money but definitely more than the paperbacks.

"I think we're getting the good stuff," he said, running his fingers through his hair in an attempt to make it at least a tad less messy. The lady on the phone who had taken his order had sounded nice enough, so he had hopes for the food. "Want anything to drink?"
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 23:07 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wildlittleminx.livejournal.com
She had her finger out and running down the well-used binding of a paperback when he approached her, her eyes intent on both it and it's neighbor.

"Drink? Sure, what do you have?" He'd be too young to have alcohol on hand, so it would probably be milk or soda? Did he drink soda? It was almost too much to ask him if he drank tea, and the caffeine in coffee would keep her up for hours longer than she needed tonight. After all, she did have work tomorrow. In the afternoon yea, but still it was work.

Of course she could have avoided all that if she had taken some more of Tony's money with her when she left, but the same loyalty that had her staying out of Warren's apartment when he wasn't there was the same loyalty that kept her from stealing from her former guardian. She took only what she had saved over the years, and much of that was also stashed away under loose boards in the closet, along with the computer, her real ID and passbook, a few more illegally gained museum pieces, and anything else she could think of that tied her to her former life.
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 23:09 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wartheflame.livejournal.com
He was not too carefully working out a tangle in his hair with his fingers. It was probably about time for as trim, had been a while.

"Tea, coffee..." Yeah, apparently he did have tea. Lapsang souchong. Trust him to prefer his tea to taste of smoke. "I think I have a couple of beers stashed away." Yeah, he was too young to buy alcohol, but he did look older than he was. Sometimes he got away with it. He didn't drink much, though.

He watched her going over the titles of his books. "You know, if you find something you want to read, go ahead and borrow it." The ones he was currently reading himself were either in his bedroom by his bed or stashed in his bag. Yes, he tended to have at least three going at the same time.
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 23:11 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wildlittleminx.livejournal.com
"Mmm, tea I think. Or milk maybe? Some teas have caffeine don't they? Don't want anything to interrupt my sleep tonight." Ah, he had his clothes back on, thank goodness. It had been getting harder and harder to concentrate on keeping her eyes on the bookshelves.

She let her fingers fall away from the binding of the book, turning and leaning back against the bookshelf to watch him. "And I'll save the borrowing until after we eat. Too hungry to concentrate on what I want right now."

She cocked her head to the side, then was away from the bookshelf and heading toward the kitchen area right behind him. "Want me to help getting out plates? Do you have plates yet?"

"And if these are for me to borrow, what are you reading right now?"
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 23:12 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wartheflame.livejournal.com
"I do have plates," he said, and meandered into the kitchen area. Not that he usually bothered with plates when it came to take-out. He didn't go to get those out right away, though, but rather started to rummage around in his cupboards. Ah, there it was. Since Liz didn't want anything that would keep her awake, he thought that maybe the red tea that his mom had insisted on stuffing into one of his bags would do the trick.

"Right now? I've got a couple of chapters left on 'Let the right one in', am somewhere in the middle of 'The case of Charles Dexter Ward', and have just picked up 'The wee free men' by Terry Pratchett." So, new horror, old horror, and comedy. Quite a mix.

He put the kettle on, found a beer for himself, and finally got those plates out along with a cup for her tea, and chopsticks to eat with. He'd just drink straight from the bottle.
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 23:14 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wildlittleminx.livejournal.com
She didn't remember seeing the titles in the bookcase, and the books weren't anywhere in the rooms, either on a table or where the computer was, so they'd have to be in his bedroom. "Let the right one in, that was made into a movie, right?" She'd remembered seeing something about it. Something about a vampire who was a child?"

"Terry Pratchett? Excellent! Do you like Neil Gaiman too?" He had already done everything for her, and she tried to figure out something she could do or say to keep the conversation going. Fortunately, that was when the doorbell rang. Liz reached into her pocket, pulling out a crumpled twenty dollar bill. "Hope this is enough, I have more next door." At his unbroken stare she added "For my half of the bill. Just, just take it ok? I know how hard you work. You can buy me something later if you want with the money, but I really just" The doorbell rang again, keeping her from having to finish up an awkward conversation that she seemed to be having alone, as he was simply continuing to look at her with that intense and slightly annoyed stare. Turning her back on Warren, she was at the door and opening it, and taking a huge armful of paper bag, heavy with food. And still her back twitched, imagining his eyes on her back. It was not a pleasant feeling; he had the hard dark stare of a cop, or a criminal.

With a big smile she was backing away from the door so that he could come forward with the food and give the delivery girl her money.
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 23:15 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wartheflame.livejournal.com
"That's the one." He remembered something that it was even made into two movies, but he wasn't sure. Either way, one or two, he hadn't seen any. But he did like the book. "And yeah, Gaiman's good. Though I'm mostly into his comics." There were a few titles in his bookcases, though. American Gods. Good Omens. Coraline. And, the charming little picture book Blueberry Girl. No, his collection of books didn't make much sense.

And then they came to the eternal question of who was going to pay for dinner. Why was it always like that? He'd taken the liberty of ordering, and ordering a ton. It seemed only logical to him that he'd pay for it all. Of course Liz had to have different ideas. Well, she wasn't going to take no for an answer, was she? That didn't stop him from a somewhat disproving stare, though. Mainly because he was so good at it, and it was fun to see that even this confident free-runner was affected by it.

It was true, Warren Peace did have a slight cruel streak to him. But only a small one.

Well, can't have the poor delivery girl be made to stand around when she had work to return to. She looked Chinese, maybe she was the daughter of the owner? Either way, he gave her a brief thanks for the service in Mandarin, and gave her a decent tip on top of the cost for the food.

Plates were probably going to be needed for this, he concluded. It really was a lot of food. "Grab the plates from the counter, will you?" Him, he went and finished making the tea. A whole pot, while he was at it. He was going to have a cup as well, beer or not.

"Hey, did I tell you?" He asked as he carried the pot, cups and his beer over to the table. "A friend of mine from back home showed up in town."
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 23:19 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wildlittleminx.livejournal.com
"No you didn't tell me that a friend from home showed up." Almost without thinking, her eyes skittered around the room to see if someone were hiding in the shadows. Of course they weren't, it was just her initial reaction to the news. Liz lifted the plates, grabbing serving spoons while she was at it and brought them over to the table where the food had been placed. Man it all smelled so go.

"And you didn't tell me that you spoke Chinese either. Keeping secrets, huh?" She gave him a wink with her words, just teasing. "I see how you are." She had to smile then, cheerfully as she realized what a true hypocrite she was. Expecting him to tell her all when she kept herself so hidden away. Picking up one of the paper packages that contained chopsticks inside them she scrunched up her nose and put the package above her top lip - a makeshift mustache.

"Come now" She said, German accent loud and Hollywood-fake. Teeeelll me more, Warren. Ve have zees vays of making you talk!'
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 23:21 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wartheflame.livejournal.com
"Layla. She used to date my best friend until recently. Now she's looking into a college here." He hoped that she would move to the city. He missed his friends, after all.

He had to laugh at her antics. "I speak Mandarin because I started working at a Chinese restaurant before I started high school, and had been running errands for them even before that, and the missus there didn't speak a lot of English. I guess I just picked it up over the years." He started going through all the packages, loading up his plate as he went. This was going to be good. "Here. Try the Char Siu," he said, pushing a box over.

"As for my other secrets... Try asking, I just might answer." Or he might not. There were so many things he shouldn't talk about, not only for himself but because there were always a risk he'd blow the covers for his friends and acquaintances. That was just how the Super-society worked, and there was a reason why most supes mostly connected to other supes. Not just because of the things they had in common, but also because it was simply easier to talk.

Still, they were within his own four walls now, and he was more comfortable and relaxed here. So when he saw a candle going out he had to stop himself from getting up and relighting it with a flame from his fingers.
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 23:31 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wildlittleminx.livejournal.com
A girl. From his past, dating his best friend. Right, not that this complicates things at all. Elizabeth sat in silence, slurping up lo mein, and nodding as he spoke.

"Wow, this is spicier than I'd thought it would be." Liz stood up and headed to the refrigerator. "Think I'm going to have that beer after all." Hot tea and hot spicy food? Not so great for her tongue or taste buds. A nice cool beer on the other hand? Might just do the trick. "You want another one?" It was more a rhetorical question really, as Liz was intending to bring more than one back no matter what. There were a couple still left in there, and Liz closed the door with her elbow, bringing two back to the table. Setting one down near him, she continued around to her side.

"So she's checking out the colleges around here? I hear there are some good ones on the north side." Was his friend a hero or a villain? Or just a normal chick like her? Liz had been deluding herself into thinking that Warren had no past, like she had no past. Like she didn't want to have a past rather. She twisted the cap off the beer and took a sip. Ah, much better.

"Ok, we'll start with the easy stuff. You got any brothers or sisters? What's your favorite color? What do you like to watch for cartoons on Saturday morning TV? When are you going to let me brush your hair?" Ok, that last one was an accident, a matter of her thinking out loud and she colored up, automatically reaching for the tea cup to have a drink and try to pretend she didn't actually say that.

HOT! Ow, ow ow - Liz reached for the beer bottle with her other hand, tilting her head back and gulping back a few swallows. Classy Liz, she thought to herself, wiping her face with the back of her hand. Real classy.
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 23:33 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wartheflame.livejournal.com
He'd barely started on his beer, and apparently he didn't have a problem drinking that piping hot tea between bites of food. "Yeah, I told them to not spare the spices, and make it as it should be made." Obviously, he was used to food like this.

Then she started to rattle off questions. He was about to rattle answers right back, when she came to that part about brushing his hair. That's when he completely froze, staring at her like she had suddenly grown a second head. ...did he really hear that right? However, judging from her own reaction, she hadn't intended to say that. By the time she had collected herself somewhat, Warren had gotten over his shock and was chuckling quietly. He set his chopsticks down, reached for his beer and took a sip before he got to answering.

"Nope. It's just been me and my mom. My favorite color is red, and I like watching Invader Zim." He paused. Another sip from his beer, and he was downright smirking when he went on. "And maybe after dinner."
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 23:35 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wildlittleminx.livejournal.com
Wow, that was a genuine smile there, right about the time he said 'mom'. He really loves her. Liz had to stop and think, did she even really love her parents? Well, not in that 'I'm going to be a good girl and do whatever you tell me to' way. But there was caring there, kind of a love. From a distance.

Close up though? No way, her mom was too over-religious and submissive and her father was way too old-fashioned military and restrictive for her. It's probably why she hadn't gone back to see them in years, not even when her dad died. Looking up his obituary and printing it out, saving it to keep? Not the same.

"I like the old classics, you know, Bugs Bunny running from Elmer Fudd, the Roadrunner, things like that. Always felt bad for the Coyote though. All those toys and he couldn't catch one little non-flying bird. Haven't had cable in a while, so I'm not sure they're even on TV on Saturday mornings anymore."

Oh, oh damn. He had to add that, didn't he. Liz raised her eyes from her food, catching the look on his face. Aw, damn! Only thing left to do? Plow on ahead. "Next question. Do you know any other languages, other than Mandarin? And hey, isn't there a couple different Chinese languages? I'm trying to remember."
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 23:36 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wartheflame.livejournal.com
He really did love his mother. That was one of the reasons he hated his father so much; all the grief and sorrow he had caused her. And kept on causing her. The Super-world had yet to regain its faith in the Peacemaker. When it had been at its worst, some people had said that it had been the Peacemaker's fault that The Baron had gone off the deep end. At best, people thought that an empath like her should have been able to figure out what was going on before things got really bad.

"Yeah, there are a few," he said on the topic of languages. "Mandarin is the most common, though. And also the only one I know." He'd never had a reason to learn any other languages, and it was hard to motivate him if you didn't give him a reason.

"Next question?" He'd try to turn the tables eventually, and fire his own questions at her. Because really, he knew way too little about this girl that was somehow starting to slowly but surely worm her way into his everyday life. Wake up, shower, eat, look for more work, read, work if it was a Friday or Saturday night, check to see if Liz was up for some company.
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 23:50 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wildlittleminx.livejournal.com
"Oh I don't know, " she tried to catch some dim sum between her chopsticks, failed, and tried again. "I know how tall you are" She leaned close and peered at his face, then leaned back with a nod "And I know what color your eyes are."

"I know that you love your mom, and that - in spite of the way you scowled at me earlier? You have friends. I know you work out, and that you've had some sort of defensive or martial arts training. I know that you're multi-lingual and you aren't a stingy man by nature. You like skateboards and you are really intelligent although you dress like a ruffian."

"And the fact that you know both Terry Pratchett AND Invader Zim? Makes you so much cooler than other guys, as well as someone who likes to relax on the weekend. I know that you're very private, and that you play fair whenever you can. You're a good man Warren. One that I actually kinda like."

"And I know that you have messy hair, so there!"
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 23:52 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wartheflame.livejournal.com
Well then. Didn't she have him down to a tee? And with those compliments, he was fighting a blush. Come on, a kick-ass, cool and bad-ass pyrokinetic couldn't very well be caught blushing, could he? "You missed the fact that I play the guitar," he mumbled, taking a larger gulp of beer and pointing over to the corner of the room where an old acoustic was resting against the wall, half-hidden by a bookcase.

"And yes, have a go at making my hair less messy later if you really want to." There was a smile there, as he poked his food with his chopsticks. What was going on here? He wasn't used to this, and thus felt a bit out of his element. "So is it my turn to ask questions now?"
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 23:57 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wildlittleminx.livejournal.com
"Oh, I saw the guitar. I just didn't know if you really played, or if you were trying to learn. Do you sing too?" If she could get him to sing for her, maybe he'd forget about asking her questions? No, not likely. Liz sighed inwardly, preparing herself to try to be as truthful as she could without giving away secrets, one's she'd hidden for way too long. She didn't actually want to lie to Warren, but there were just some things that would be safer to... safer to - ah hell. She finished off the last of her tea and reached for her beer.

"I'll brush your hair if you play for me, how does that sound? And - well, it's only fair. But I'm warning you, no questions about my weight, you understand? That's not allowed."
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 23:58 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wartheflame.livejournal.com
"Yeah, I play. And in the privacy of my own home, sure, I sing a bit." He shrugged. Even his friends back home didn't know that. They knew he played, but not that he could actually sing. And they definitely didn't know he wrote songs. Maybe Liz would be the first beside his mother to learn that.

"Seems to me that you're getting the good end of the deal there. You asked to brush my hair, and now you want entertainment as well?" Really, Liz? Did that seem fair? Anyhow, as he wasn't the least bit interested in her weight, he started with his own string of questions. "Favorite music? Worst bad habit? What's your family like?"
Date/Time: 2011-03-06 23:59 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wildlittleminx.livejournal.com
"Hey wait, I only offered to brush your hair because you'd just got out of the shower, and it'll get all tangled and if you sleep like that you'll... " She broke off, laughing, almost coughing. Funny how easily the beer was starting to go down.

"And I think we're both getting the good end of the deal. After all, do you know how many guys' who's hair has been under these fingers lately?" She waved her fingers in the air, chopsticks clacking away. "You are getting a good deal too, you know." She leveled an eye on him, attempted a serious look, then broke it herself by grinning widely.

"And we can just talk if you want. I don't mind, really." If he was sensitive about his playing, she probably shouldn't push him. Tucking a stray hair back behind her ear, she contemplated his questions.

"Favorite music? Rock and roll. Not this new stuff, and not death metal or songs where the singer just growls or screams, but real songs. Songs that say something. Songs that mean something. So yes, I also like that whole rock ballad thing too. As to my worst bad habit? Oh man" I've never met a lock I didn't like, she wanted to tell him, just to see the look on his face.

"I can get addicted to the internet, it's why I don't have a computer up in my apartment. I start reading and researching things and I lose all trace of time. I would lose my job, I've forgotten to eat before, I - and no, it's not internet porn! That's not what I mean. But the places you can go, the things you can get into... " She shook her head firmly, setting down her chopsticks on a now-empty plate.

"No, way too tempting for me. I could get into far too much trouble with my own computer."

"And my dad's dead and I don't have anything to do with my mom. Haven't since I was about fifteen and ran away from home the last time. I don't have any sisters but... but I have an older... brother. He's, ah. He's a dork, and really stubborn, and I haven't seen him in almost a year. He's busy, and I just don't live his lifestyle." Not anymore.
Date/Time: 2011-03-07 00:00 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wartheflame.livejournal.com
Personally he did have a thing for classic bay-area death and thrash metal. But, like with his taste in books, his taste in music was also quite varied. But it tended to need to have guitars in it.

He ate a bit more as he listened to her, and realized that he probably was going to bring the guitar out from its corner. And that he just might get personal and sing one of his own songs. He did ask a couple of sort of personal questions there, didn't he? At least her answers were personal. Maybe he'd ought to give something back?

"So you've been away from home since you were fifteen?" Which was how many years? Four? Five? She was about his age, right? "What have you been doing since then?" She'd been in Europe, he knew that.
Date/Time: 2011-03-07 00:13 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wildlittleminx.livejournal.com
"See, I was home-schooled. Graduated at fifteen. After that there didn't seem much point to sticking around the house and pretending to be their little girl when there was a whole world out there to explore." She shrugged, looking down at the plates as she picked up hers to take back to the kitchen, pausing at his side to reach for his if he was finished.

"I was able to get to Europe, and I backpacked for a while, doing this and that to keep going, learning languages, seeing the sights. Had a lot of fun, a lot of not-so-fun too. Finally decided to come back here and get a real life." The dishes she had went into the sink with a clatter, and automatically turned on the faucet handle, spraying them with rapidly heating water. It was automatic for her, almost a compulsion. If there were dirty dishes? Wash them.

"There you have it, my life in a nutshell. Hey, you want to pass me that spoon?"
Date/Time: 2011-03-07 00:15 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wartheflame.livejournal.com
He was finished, and did hand his plate over. "Hey, you don't have to do that." The protest was more or less automatic, and didn't even make her pause. So he just went along with it, packing up the remaining food and tidying up the table, bringing everything to the kitchen area. Serving spoons to the sink where Liz washed them, and the food into the fridge. It was almost horribly domestic, somehow. It was weird. But that didn't stop him from grabbing a kitchen towel to dry the plates once she was done with them. "What makes living and working here more real than seeing the sights of Europe?" He had entertained thoughts about crossing the Atlantic, himself. Apparently he had family in Europe. But that was on his father's side, and he wasn't so sure he really wanted to meet them.

When they were done cleaning up, he gestured for her to take a seat on his couch. Him, he made a detour to the bathroom to fetch his hairbrush, and then to pick up the guitar. He gave her the brush, and then took a seat on the floor in front of her, the guitar in his lap. He spent a minute tuning it, whether it needed it or not. "Anything in particular you'd like to hear?" The only idea he had was one of his own songs.
Date/Time: 2011-03-07 00:53 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wildlittleminx.livejournal.com
"No, I didn't. But it just doesn't seem right to use your dishes and leave a mess for you alone to pick up later. Especially since I can help you do them now."

"The difference?" She wasn't looking at him, she was concentrating on getting some of the sticky food residue off the plate. "Oh, you know. The idea hitting a convenience store at 3 AM to get a coke and a candy bar if I wanted to. The idea that... you know what? There probably isn't much difference. I just wanted to come home, that's all. Back to the States. I may go back again someday, I just - well. Yea." Wow, if that wasn't a cop-out on conversation, she didn't know what was. She took a quick glance to the side to see if he was listening intently, and his eyes were on the silverware he was drying. Good, so maybe he wouldn't notice much if she changed the subject?

"I was young and the world was wide" she quoted. "I'm not so young, and the world isn't as wide, or as warm as I thought it would be back then. That's all."

Slowly her fingers separated his hair into locks, and she carefully began to brush out each one, sliding her fingers down his hair as she went. "I don't know about you, but I'm not in the mood for something hard or fast right now. Sing me something different?"
Date/Time: 2011-03-07 08:10 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wartheflame.livejournal.com
Those red streaks in his hair? Either he'd very recently dyed them, or they actually were that color for real. But they couldn't be, could they. Not with that brilliant red color. Actually, they were. After his powers had manifested for the first time, those streaks grew out, like a mark. He didn't know if other pyrokinetics had similar marks, or if it was just him.

Something not hard and fast, she said. Something different. He hesitated for a moment, feeling her fingers in his hair. It felt too damn nice. Then he sighed and started to play. Seconds later, he started to sing. Low. Slow. Almost musing.

"Help me, Lord, I thought I found it. Just like a dream turned out all wrong. Don't feel the same madness about me now. Don't feel the hurting when I'm gone."

His fingers were sure, hitting the chords with practiced ease. It was his melody, his song. His words.

"Don't feel the wonder or the sweetness. Don't feel the aching need to share. Don't feel the way I feel without you girl. Just the flowers in your hair."


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Elizabeth Silver

November 2014

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