LM ran out of the alley and into a full crowd of laughing, talking people. He transformed into Capernaum without any hesitation and he felt safe.
He tapped a random crowd member – a goth chick with too many lip piercings.
She looked at him with her overly kohled-up eyes and muttered, “whatdoyouwant?”
“Where’s the nearest hospital?”
“blinkedifIknoworcare.” She maneuvered away from him and managed to somehow blend into the group.
LM stood there and watched the others pass him by.
I could ask someone else, but I have a bad feeling I’d get a variation of the same answer.
I’ll just find it on my own.
It is a hospital.
It can’t be that hard to find.
Raven returned to Missy’s room.
He returned to Missy’s side and everyone in the room faded away. All of their noise and talking vanished as he took her hand in his again. “I am here, Missy. I am here.”
“You’re back fast.” Ambrose patted his back. “Are you okay?”
“I hardly know, sir. She is alive. She is not going to die. She will awaken.” He swallowed hard. “What if she cannot remember me? What if she has lost her ability to speak? What if she blames me for what happened to her? What if her mind is damaged and she is incapable of loving me? What will I do?”
Robin came over to Raven and punched his arm. “Don’t sweat all that small junk. You two have faced worse stuff before and survived.” He shrugged. “I ain’t seein’ why this’ll be any different.”
“It is different because—” Raven bowed his head. “—this time it is my fault. I should have run faster. I should have pushed myself harder. I could have caught up to her if I had just run a little faster. Just a little faster.”
“Stop.” Ambrose put his hand on Raven’s shoulder. “You’ll make yourself crazy thinking that way. Besides, that doesn’t matter. You saved her, didn’t you? You rushed into fire, literal fire, to save her. You let your clothes get burned and ruined—-”
“Please do not remind me of that. I had nearly forgotten that terrible experience.”
“Oh for cryin’ out loud!” Robin said. “The holes weren’t that freakin’ big.”
“But they were there. My knees jutted out with every step. I could see my knees. Everyone could see my knees. My knees were utterly exposed. It was terrible.”
Robin scoffed. “Oh, yeah. Your knees were just oh so horrifyin’ they made little kids cry and dogs howl.”
Raven blanched. “Do you really think so, sir?”
“I think this conversation just took a turn to the stupid. I’m gonna go take a walkabout before I punch your face.”
Barbara moved closer to Ambrose.
Robin took her hand. “Come with me. I need sensible conversation and I sure ain’t gonna get it from these two idiots.”
“Hey!” Ambrose said. “Who are you calling an idiot?”
“Mostly Raven, but if you want the title all that much, go ahead and claim it.”
Ambrose folded his arms across his chest. “You don’t have to take Barbara with you.”
“Uhhh, duh? You two are glompin’ each other with your eyes.”
Ambrose looked offended. “That isn’t even possible.”
“Yeah, whate’er. I know what I’m seein’. Come on, Barbara. Let’s get away from the freakin’ hot hormone king.”
Barbara smiled at Ambrose. “Don’t worry, kitten. I’ll be right back.”
He unfolded his arms and his expression softened. “Be careful.”
“Dummy.” said Robin. “What you think is gonna happen? We ain’t even gonna leave the floor.”
“All the same, be careful.”
Barbara’s expression was nowhere near hard, but it found a way to soften too. “I will.”
Ambrose watched Barbara head towards the door.
The way she carried herself.
The movement of her body as she walked.
I am not innocent.
I know how to bring pleasure to a woman.
I know how to bring her pain and grief.
I know how to be completely selfish.
What will I give Barbara on our wedding night?
Who will I be? The man I am now? Or the man I used to be?
Will I make her happy?
Robin and Barbara left the room.
She is so innocent.
Will she let me touch her?
Will she let me inside?
What if she refuses?
What if she looks at me and sees nothing desirable? I know I look good naked, but what if she doesn’t agree?
What if she doesn’t want me?
What if she never wants me in that way?
What if she insists on a two bedroom marriage?
What will I do?
Ambrose smiled at Raven. “We really are a couple of worrywarts, aren’t we?”
“Although, I think I might be worse than you.”
“What of Robin?”
Ambrose chuckled. “He’s the absolute worst when it comes to worrying. But I guess I can’t blame him. If I were in his place, I’d be the exact same way.”
“That most certainly is true, sir.”