“You’re nervous.” Sarah gave Katherine’s hand a reassuring squeeze. “What’s wrong?”
“My parents told the rest of the family about my powers this morning.” Katherine grimaced as a thousand scenarios of what would happen when they went inside her family’s house played out in her mind.
“Were any of them particularly opposed to the idea beforehand?” Sarah asked as she turned Katherine to face her.
“My Uncle was one of the people who supported a registration so that they government had everyone’s name and word on file. He was quite vocal about it last year.” Katherine looked towards the door and shook her head “It doesn’t matter I guess. There’s nothing we can do about it now.”
After they had rung the doorbell their phones buzzed as a text came through on the team chat. It was Lily with a picture of a turkey that looked like it had been thrown in volcano with the caption “In case anyone was wondering how Thanksgiving at the base was going. Long story short Wizard burnt the turkey with a spell and Orpheus is going to get a new one while Tank keeps chasing Wizard away from the rest of the food with a spatula. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.”
The girls were laughing at the thought of the big man swatting at the smaller man with a spatula when the door opened. “What’d I miss?” Katherine’s sister, Loraine, asked. Katherine showed her the text and she barked with laughter.
“What’s it like in there?” Katherine asked her sister once they had finished laughing, instantly sobering the conversation.
For her part Loraine brought back the levity with a coy smile “I think they were more surprised about your girlfriend here than anything else. I’m Loraine by the way, since my sister doesn’t remember to do introductions.” Loraine stuck her hand out to Sarah who shook it and introduced herself.
“Sarah Hammersmithe, it’s nice to finally meet you, Loraine. I’ve heard a lot about you.”
“All bad I hope.” Loraine smirked
“Yep all bad.” Katherine responded and pushed past her sister into the house.
“I think you might have broken her.” Sarah told Katherine as she moved to join her. Loraine was grinning madly.
“Little Katherine is telling jokes. This might just be the best Thanksgiving ever.” Loraine hugged her sister from behind.
Orpheus touched down in front of the base with a new turkey and entered to find a most peculiar sight. Wizard was being held upside down by Tank while Sage and Lily were rolling around with laughter. “I’m not going to burn the cranberry sauce. At least let me help with that.”
“No, I don’t trust you to spread butter at this point let alone prep cranberry sauce.” Orpheus stated as he floated past Tank and began preparing the turkey. As he worked several tendrils of darkness formed and went back to cutting the vegetables they had been cutting before Wizard had tried to “help”.
“Come on…” Wizard insisted.
“Wiz-kid you lit my counter on fire.” Orpheus poked the scorch marks on the counter. “This stuff isn’t flammable and you still lit it on fire. Stay out of my kitchen and preferably every kitchen, ever.” Tank let Wizard down and raised his spatula in a threatening manner. “Hey Tank, that’s not my spatula right.”
“Of course not, I brought my own.”
“I couldn’t find a giant novelty spoon.”
Sage opened his jacket pocket and pulled a spoon from it that looked like it was made for someone three times his size “I got mine.” Sage exclaimed proudly. Orpheus sighed and thumped his head against the counter.
The questions had come almost as soon as they had all sat down for dinner and Katherine had done her best to answer what she could but she didn’t know as much about other superheroes’ personal lives as some of her family expected her to. They peppered her with questions about who was dating who and what various heroes were like in person.
“So where are your other friends?” Katherine’s mom asked. She hadn’t waited for anyone else to stop talking but everyone had out of politeness as soon as she spoke.
“Jane is back home with her family and Orpheus and Lily were hosting for Sage and them.” Katherine answered and didn’t think anything of it but noticed that the others were staring.
“We knew Sage was running the thing you were in but we didn’t realize that you could be having dinner with him. That could have been a once in a lifetime experience.” Katherine’s father pointed out.
Katherine laughed a little to herself and then realized what they must be thinking. To them Sage was an elusive all-knowing figure who almost never left his mountain. Yeah, he taught the courses they took but they probably assumed those were prerecorded, which they were. They didn’t know that Sage visited at least once a month for dinner. “We kind of see him all the time. He comes by every month.” She admitted.
Her father let out a low whistle and followed it with a joke “What do I have to do to get a super power?”
Cook had intended to hold off on going after his next target for a while but the timing had been too advantageous. Iron had just strolled into the bar and sat down next to him. There was a bowl of peanuts between them and all it took was a few drops of beer snuck into the bowl under the pretense of looking for one to eat for his power to kick in. Into the peanuts he poured his sadness and depression. The beer he had added would amplify the feelings and Iron’s status as a renowned hero would make sure that his drink was always there for him.
The other patrons, a couple of college kids trying to forget the rapid approach of exams, paid the two no mind as they sat drinking. “To the fallen…” Cook started a toast that the previous Tank had made a tradition.
“the lost…” the bartender continued.
“and the alone.” Iron finished and downed his drink. Cook followed suit and the bartender refilled both their drinks.
The college students left eventually, the call of their beds too hard to resist, but the two men stayed until the bartender made them leave. As the two men stumbled out of the bar they wore very different expressions. Iron’s face was sullen and his steps were those of a man who the world had beaten. Cook wore a smile.