I ended up not attending school for the following morning; instead seeing the doctor about my wrist who insisted I get a full exam from her. I left doctor Park’s office with a 3d printed splint for my sprain and doctor’s order not to put weight on it for a while.
On the way back, I saw Kickback who gave me off training for a few days after telling me how proud she was of my performance against Mr. Impaler. Well, she didn’t call him that. Using his real name; Matthew Frost. Apparently the guy was a really asshole with a history of domestic violence and was pissy his ex had put a restraining order on his ass.
So in the end, I sat through a debrief until Kickback let me go with a reminder not slack off on my guardian related studies.
With everything that had happened, I arrived at school shortly after the start of lunch break. I quickly got my platter from the line and joined the others; Jacklyn, her boyfriend and Kenzie were still at our now usual table by the cafeteria service counter.
“Hey, are you okay?” Jacklyn asked, staring at my splint.
“Yeah, I just sprained my wrist on patrol yesterday.”
“I saw the fight, that was brutal.”
“Yeah, it’s on the internet.” She said before stealing her boyfriend’s laptop and showing me a video which I noticed was from my Cape-wiki page. It wasn’t an official DDA sponsored video like the fight with the Rogues had been, but a cellphone camera. “It got like a bajjilion hits.”
“Damn” I muttered, impressed that people thought I’d done well. Although I really hoped that my mom wouldn’t see it… Even though we were getting along a thousand times better than before, she would have freakout if she saw me there.
“One hell of a takedown.” Bradley said.
“Tell me about it, my head still hurts and Kickback reminded me that my mask isn’t cheap to replace.” I said, looking his way. I noticed that his arm was gone. “What happened to your arm?”
“It’s in the shop, sensors were going nuts.” He answered, really casually.
“Nothing too major?”
“No, it was just weird; like I had ants in my arm.”
His answer surprised me. I didn’t know that cybernetics let you feel things.
The rest of lunch went along well, with me just studying the DDA handbook and stuffing food in my mouth until the bell rang.
“So, do you have any plans of tonight?” Jacklyn asked me as I got my stuff in order and ready to get to class.
“That depends on Kenzie.” I said, looking toward her.
“I got one last patrol tonight and I’m up to date.”
“Oh alright. Guess I’m free then.” I said, looking back at Jacklyn.
“Awesome. Want to hang out at the mall and then my place?”
“Sure, that sounds good.”
“Alright, see you at the curb?”
I nodded and we went our separate ways, with me and Kenzie going to our class while she and her boyfriend to theirs. The afternoon itself was nothing short of routine. Well almost, I had to explain the cast to a few people; telling them the half truth that I’d fallen, omitting the murderous misogynist.
“Sooo I’m wondering; when I’m done tonight, do you mind if come over your place for the night?” Kenzie asked once the last class of the day was over with. .
“Of course I don’t mind, I told you; you’re always welcome at my home.” I answered. She nodded and I got an idea; I took out the rope around my neck where I kept my keys and took one out, placing it in her hands. “Here, you can have this.”
“Aren’t you going to need that?”
“I have a spare at home, that one just opens the building’s main door, I’ll just come in by the back. The apartment’s front door will be unlocked.”
“Alright then.” She said, she leaned in closer and we shared a peck. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” I said with a smile. “And hey, now you don’t have to climb through my window for late night cuddling.”
“That’s true. And good, I don’t think I can survive pulling that stunt again.”
“Don’t you ever dare do something that dumb again.” I said with a laugh.
“I promise you I won’t.”
“You better be honest here.”
I gave her a kiss, more than a pec this time, just for a moment savoring the feeling brought forth by our lips meeting again and again. There were people around, but I didn’t care anymore.
“Alright, I better go before I pass out from lack of oxygen.” Kenzie said, breaking off. “See you later!” She gave me a quick hug.
“Later.” I said.
She and I went out, she saw the DDA car and went toward it while I looked out for Jacklyn and Bradley, finding them quickly enough.
“So, how do we get there?” I said, coming up to them.
“My dad can drive us.” Bradley offered.
He took out his phone and gave his father a call. It only took about fifteen minute for a dark green pickup to pull over on the curb, the old rugged-looking guy driving it waving at us. Jacklyn and Bradley went in and I followed them.
Although I didn’t spent much time with him, it was Bradley’s dad was a cool old guy, clearly somewhere in his late fifties. He was just kind of full of love and life, singing along to some old songs playing on the radio and telling jokes.
After about fifteen minutes of car travel, Mr. Cooper, dropped us off at the mall saying he’d pick us up in an hour and a half for dinner.
“You guys don’t mind if I go to the cybernetics guy first?” Bradley asked.
“Oh course not.” I said.
He went ahead and Jacklyn and I followed him.
Hidden in the corner of the second floor was a small shop for cybernetics I’d never noticed. The three of us went inside and the owner, who had his own cybernetic arm, brought us into a minuscule clean room, taking Bradley’s black arm and reattaching it to the stump where a socket was waiting. The moment it reconnected, Bradley just went tense like he’d been hit with a huge jolt.
“Are you alright?”
“Yeah, just standard unpleasantness.” He said, slowly moving his robotic arm about. I made a mental note to looking information on cybernetics when I’d get home.
“Mind if I get something to eat at the food court?” I asked once we were out of the cybernetics shop.
“We’ve got dinner in an hour.” Bradley said. “I know it wasn’t explicit, but you’re invited…”
“Yeah, don’t worry, I’ll be hungry again by then.”
He gave me wide eyes for a moment.
“It’s a divergent thing.”
“Are there a lot of those things?”
“Just the nugget in our brain, the lower need for sleep and our inherent sterility.” I said with a shrug. “But food wise, I eat six meals a day now.” Thankfully
We went to the food court and I bought a few spring rolls in a paper bag from the chinese shop so I could eat while we walked. The three of us mostly window shopped for a while, none of us really had money. Well, I actually had Kickback’s credit card, but I didn’t put anything non-essential on it.
In the end, we walked out of the mall with only a pair of bags, one of which was snacks and the other contained a few discounted clothes Jacklyn had bought. As promised, Bradley’s dad to pick us up an hour and a half after he’d dropped us off.
Just as Jacklyn had said, Bradley lived next door in the same duplex. His house was the reverse floor plan of hers. Ms. Cooper was waiting for us in the kitchen where she handled the last bits of dinner prep. Like her husband, she was somewhere in her fifties.
Bradley just seemed stunned to see me devour my plate of meatloaf and potatoes at record speed before politely asking for another serving, which Mr. Cooper happily provided.
Once dinner was over, we hid in Bradley room and got to play video games all evening, Bradley and Jacklyn taking turns kicking my ass at just about everything. All the while being happily lovey-dovey. They weren't too shy about getting in on that PDA action. All and all, I have to admit that Jacklyn and Bradley were pretty darned cute for cishet folks.
It was such a normal, mundane thing to hang around with friends that I didn’t even think about the threat of Kaiju leaning right around the corner...