Author: AnonyMPC

Title: Relatively Powered #4: "Just Dropping By, Part 1"

Summary: Two wannabe superheroes, a brother and sister, powered by incest! Tabby reflects on the past as the pair set out to meet an established heroine.

Keywords: mf, inc, 1st, cons, superhero, scfi

Previously, in Relatively Powered: Alex and Tabby are two not-so-ordinary teen siblings. Not only are they in witness protection because supervillains want their dad, but they've also been becoming far closer than siblings should be... sexually close. But when they discover that acts of unprotected incest give them superpowers, their whole lives change. They've just taken down one of the famous Menace... and almost died in the process. But to their surprise, once he was defeated the monster didn't turn into Menace's well-known alter ego... turns out it was somebody neither of them had ever heard of before.

Relatively Powered by AnonyMPC (mf, inc, cons, superhero, scfi)

#4: "Just Dropping By, Part 1" (Additional Story Code: 1st)

"So, Tabby, who's the guy?"

I leaned into the mirror, applying lip gloss, and looked back at the reflection of my sister who asked the question. Sally was watching me, lying on my bed, right under my poster of sexily brooding Tom Felton, a handheld game, unfortunately unused, in her hands. I frowned, which made me notice my furrowed eyebrows and become briefly paranoid about whether they were tweezed evenly. They looked okay, but when I made certain expressions, I wasn't 100% sure. "What guy?" I asked.

"The guy you're going to see."

"I'm not going to see a guy," I told her. "I'm going to the library."

"Right," she said, full of sarcasm. She didn't buy it. "But who's the guy you're really going for?"

I rolled my eyes in disdain to try and convince her she was imagining things, that I didn't have any hidden agenda, I was just going to the library for school. The problem was, she was right... I was hiding something. I wasn't even going to the library at all, except to use as a spot to teleport away from. And the only guy was... our brother. So it wasn't exactly a date. We'd been secretly superheroes for a few weeks now. Nobody in our family knew, which was the reason for all the subterfuge. "What makes you think there's a guy?"

"You took a shower, and you're putting on lip gloss and you're all excited. For your date."

"It's not a date," I said. You don't date your brother. "It's just a project."

"Sure. What's the project in... French class?" She opened her mouth and stuck out her tongue, wiggling it around like she was sloppily kissing some invisible guy. "The library's got a check out section, but not a make out section."

"There's no making out!" I insisted, but the very thought made me flush. It was crazy, he was my brother... you don't think about making out with your brother. You don't get your heart jumping just from imagining it. But then, you don't have sex with your brother either, and Alex and I had been having sex a lot.

That was mostly because of our powers. I was a superhero. My brother and I both were, with a selection of different powers between us. So, we had to have sex. I guess that makes my superhero name, Taboo, pretty appropriate. That's how we first got the powers, through taboo sex, and we had to recharge them that way, too. That wasn't the only reason we did it... otherwise we never would have started. It's just every step leading up to it felt so good... wonderful in fact. Even if it was wrong, sometimes you just have to go with the feeling, you know? Before we learned about our powers, I just couldn't say no to him, for some reason, when he wanted to fool around... and after... after, we were doing it for a noble purpose. Like the previous day when we took down a rampaging monster that looked just like the much more famous rampaging monster Menace. We probably saved a lot of lives that day... if we stopped having sex now, stopped being heroes, it'd be practically irresponsible.

We almost did, though. Stop, I mean. We almost died, when our powers ran out prematurely. And I got really hurt, even before that. As though reading my mind, Sally looked up at me while I dropped the towel to put on my t-shirt. "Does that hurt?" she asked. I could see her staring at the back, so I turned to look at it in the mirror, the long ugly bruise running from one side to the other, just under my shoulders and just barely covered by my towel. It was a purpley color, darkest around the middle.

"A little. It looks worse than it is."

"Yeah, but when you fell down the stairs it must have hurt a lot, right?"

"On the stairs, I fell on the stairs," I corrected her. That was my story and sticking to it exactly was important. "I didn't exactly go tumbling down a whole flight. I just hit my back on the top one."

"But it hurt?"

"At the time," I said, trying to sound blasé about it. And it worked. Sally didn't seem worried about it anymore. I had enough about people freaking out about it. That's why I didn't tell Mom and Dad, they would have wanted to take me to a doctor. I told Sally though, because she caught me touching it and wincing shortly after we got home. I swore her to secrecy. The only other person who knew was Alex, who was there at the time I got it when I was flung into a concrete pole. He really freaked out. In fact, that was the reason we almost stopped being heroes....


"It looks worse than it is." I'd said the same thing to Alex, right after getting back home, as I changed out of my costume in front of him.

"Wow, I hope so," he said, looking at my naked back, for once with no sexual interest. If anything, he seemed contrite. "Because that looks painful as hell."

"It's not bad," I said. "I mean, it was, but when I'm Powered up it doesn't hurt much." Except when you touched it. I pulled on my shirt.

"You could have broken your back..." he pointed out. I shrugged. That hurt a little too. "What were you thinking jumping on him like that?"

"Well, what was I supposed to do? I tried teleporting you away and it wouldn't work." Actually, to be honest, I'm not 100% sure I did. It all happened so fast and it was kind of a blur. "If you prefer, next time I'll just let the monster strangle you to death."

"There isn't going to be a next time," he said, pouting a little. "We're not doing this anymore. We're out of the hero biz."

"What?" It was crazy, absolutely crazy. He had to talk me into this, and now he wanted to pull out?

"You got hurt, Tabby!" he snapped, like it should have been obvious. "You could have died."

"We almost died," I pointed out. He shrugged, like that was unimportant. "Come on, we can't quit... this was your dream!" Ever since we were kids he wanted to be a hero. One of my earliest memories was watching him mixing together Pepsi, Sprite, Root Beer, and Lucky Charms in the hopes that it would turn out to be a secret formula that would give him powers. It didn't work, but it tasted better than you'd think.

"Yeah, but... it's not worth it if you get killed. Do you have any idea how much that would destroy me?"

And I did. I could see it in his eyes, how much that had spooked him. He cared about me, so much, more than I could believe. I already knew he'd give his life for me, and that was incredible enough, but now he was willing to sacrifice his own lifelong dream just to keep me safe? I've never felt so special in my life. My heart felt like it was going to fill the whole room, and I felt dangerously close to crying, I was that overwhelmed. I also knew that he wasn't just saying the words, he meant it, he'd quit for me, and although he'd never admit the possibility I was scared he'd probably resent me for it later. Not a lot, maybe, but even a little was too much.

That's why I had to do it. "Too bad," I said, swallowing up my feelings and trying to sound tougher than I felt. I felt like... well, just for a second, like I wanted to fall into his arms and kiss him and keep kissing him as long as he'd let me. "You don't get to decide for me. I can help people, and I didn't really get hurt. I'm going to be a hero, and you can either come along and be my partner, or you can let me do it alone." After I said it I had a moment of doubt... what if the reason he wanted to quit was that HE was too spooked about almost dying? "If you want to quit because you're scared for you, okay. But don't use me as an excuse."

"You... want to keep going?" He could hardly believe it.

I smiled. "Of course. It's not like we're that much safer here. We've already got super criminals trying to kill our family." That was an exaggeration, although not much, because more likely we'd be kidnapped rather than killed, to force our dad to give up secret government weapons research. "We were going to take them down, remember?"

He shook his head at me in wonder, but I could see the little edge of his lips curled up into a smile. "You're crazy," he said.

"It must run in the family." I hit him on the arm playfully. "Besides, there's no way I'm letting you make us quit right when we get to my strong suit..." He tilted his head quizzically. "The investigation. We've got to at least try to figure out how that guy who wasn't Menace became Menace, right? We don't know even know if the guy's a victim or monster." We dropped him off at the police station with a note, but from what we heard that night, he was released shortly afterwards. The guy said he didn't remember anything, and we certainly couldn't provide proof he was what we said. We could have handled that better. "I figure, since we can't find the real Menace, we go interview his daughter, see if she has any insight." The smile was open now... I'd changed his mind, we'd be staying heroes. "You wanted a team-up, right?"


After I slipped my bright yellow t-shirt on, I dropped the towel completely. I was already wearing my CoreWear panties, but the shirt was long and covered it from view... anyway, I don't think my sister would have recognized them for what they are, especially since they didn't have the super-cling of CoreWear in Tight mode. That done, I stepped into my closet and pulled out a pair of long white slacks, tight but only coming down to halfway down my calf.

"You're wearing that?" my little sister asked in disgust.

"What's wrong with it?" The truth was, it didn't really matter... it was just something to put on until I changed into my costume. But I didn't think it looked bad. It was light, bright and suitable for spring, flattering while still being casual and not trampy at all.

"Nothing's wrong with it. But it's not... hot. And if you want to nab a guy, you've got to look hot." She brightened up. "I'll help!" she offered, cheerily, leaping to her feet. "We'll get something really sexy. A skirt... something really short. That'll throw him off balance, every time you move he'll be hoping to catch a glimpse of what's underneath."

I shook my head, but was unable to stop myself from grinning. It was cute that she wanted to help, but boy was she barking up the wrong tree in this case. "I'm not wearing a short skirt," I told her. "And what do you know about sexy? You're twelve." And luckily, she didn't dress any hotter than I did... jeans and t-shirts were her most common school outfit, although now that it was summer, she wore shorts a lot more.

She pouted at my doubt. "I know sexy. I watch TV." I grinned anew. "Besides, the other day I was voted 'Sexiest Girl' in my school."

"By who?"

"A few of the guys in my class."

A shiver of fear went through me. "Like, how... you weren't... doing anything, right?"

"Of course I was doing something... we all were..." Uh oh. "We were posing in the library, and the guys voted." I relaxed. If it happened in the library, it probably really was just kid stuff. Pretending to be models and walking an imaginary catwalk, maybe. For a second, I was worried she was, like, flashing them or something. My little sister was only twelve, which is a little young, but the days when everything starts to be about boys creep up on you when you don't expect it. I didn't want her to grow up too fast... and I certainly didn't want her to make the same mistake I did.

"Okay," I said. "But, be careful. You know guys will sometimes say anything to get you to do something for them, right? They can be very convincing..." There was a pang, and I thought back to my first time having sex, back in Crash City, with a blonde boy in my grade named Zach.


He was my first love... okay, the first love that I thought had any possibility at all. The first love I can remember was a kid on Malcolm in the Middle, and there were plenty of other celebrities, not to mention guys closer to home who were out of the question because they were way older, not to mention... other reasons. And of course even when I noticing boys my own age I was still totally obsessed with Tom Felton, from the Edward Twilight movies, even to the point of downloading that BBC series he was in when he was younger, about British Spore kids hanging around London. But Zach, with his short blonde hair and swimmer's build and piercing blue eyes, was the first guy I was in love with who looked like he might love me back.

And for a time I thought he did. He said he did. That's why I gave him my virginity, on my bed, in my room... not this room, and not the bed my sister was just on, but in Crash City, our apartment, an apartment that no longer exists.

I can still picture that room clearly, every picture on the walls and my mirror, (including plenty of Tom Felton, but also friends, family, other planets, anything that caught my interest and I thought was beautiful). Almost all of those pictures are gone now, abandoned in the ruse that we were dead, supposedly in storage for if it ever became safe to be ourselves again, but I don't even need them... I can visualize where they were. Which is probably why that place was the first one I teleported to, although with the slight complication that the building no longer existed and so we appeared several stories above the construction site of what they were building to replace it.

That room was where Zach kissed me, not for the first time, but for the first time that we didn't have all our clothes on, and then went on to do more. At first, Zach and I were just doing homework in my room, working on an assignment together about the structure of plant vs. animal cells. I was doing most of the work, but I didn't mind, he was cute and funny and sweet, and was glad we could spend time together. We'd grown close over the summer, and school had just started up again but we hadn't had much alone time, before now, and I felt on top of the world. Of course, I was also nervous... not just of being with a boy I really liked, but also because I wasn't supposed to have boys in my room, not alone and with the door closed. But nobody else was home. Mom and Dad were taking Sally (Lucy, then) to a baseball game, Alex was hanging out with friends and likely to be gone for hours. It didn't make me feel any better, though, because games get rained out or cancelled, and my brother could drop by at any moment, and I could get in trouble.

He persuaded me to put the books aside and just talk for a bit, on my bed, and then we didn't do any talking, he just looked at me, deep into my eyes, while in the background a Taylor Swift song was playing, and it felt like he was looking right through me, seeing my soul. "What?" I asked, finally unable to take the tension anymore, worried that he was staring at something that was wrong with me that he'd just noticed.

"Nothing... it's just you're so beautiful." What girl doesn't melt a little when a hot guy says that, right? I blushed, and looked away, and somehow he had slid close enough to touch and direct my chin back. "Don't look away, I want to see your eyes." So I looked back at him. "Do you ever feel like you're in... like, the perfect moment? Like your whole life's been leading up to one instant, and you didn't realize it until you were right there?" I didn't say anything... my mouth opened and closed a few times, but I couldn't think of anything to match that. And, more importantly, he was leaning forward. He was about to kiss me on the lips. We'd kissed before, but it was always brief, experimental, with a bit of a laugh behind it, like we were still mostly friends, only just pretending at being boyfriend and girlfriend, goofing around, playing with fire. When his lips touched mine, I thought, this wasn't playing anymore, this was fire. Tentative at first, and then another followed, bolder, longer, and this one I lost myself in completely, he was pushing backwards and I found myself on my back, with him on top of me. I'd been sitting cross-legged, but had untangled myself and my legs intertwined with his and I was very conscious of his hands, under my shirt. I was okay with that. When they unbuttoned my jeans and started sliding under my panties, that's when I broke away a little.

"Are you sure we should..." I considered myself respectable, you know, not the kind of girl to jump into sex... up until a few weeks earlier I thought I was going to save myself for marriage.

He looked into my eyes and said, "I've never been more sure of anything in my life. I want you. This is the perfect time, can't you feel it?"

"I've never..."

"I know," he said softly. "Neither have I." Bullshit, but I believed it at the time. "But I want to... I'm in love with you, and right now the only thing I want in this world is to be closer to you. Don't you want us to be closer?" I did, more than anything just then. He'd never said "I love you" before. Neither had I. So I let his hand slide in, rub around my slit, not going inside, missing my clit entirely, more of a grope than anything, probably the one area where he wasn't especially smooth, but I hadn't had anything better then and wasn't picky, I was already wet and he kissed me again, and that was all I was thinking about, that, his tongue, and the swarm of butterflies in my stomach. "See, I can tell you want it too." And I did. I let him pull off my shirt, and then he pulled off his, and I looked at his smooth, fit body. He played baseball and basketball... didn't make the football team, but just barely. He looked good.

Soon we were making out, me in my bra and panties, and him in his boxers... and then my bra came off, and he kissed my nipples like he was worshipping a goddess. I could feel the hard, warm lump in his boxers.

"We can't," I said again, but it was weak, and he sensed that, and kissed my neck. He pulled back, then lifted my legs up on his shoulders, and pulled at my panties, looking in my eyes, waiting for my permission. I gave it, silently, and off they came. He slid to the side and pulled off his boxers. He was hard... smaller than I thought he'd be, since I had seen porn and that gives you a bit of a warped perspective, but he had nothing to be ashamed of, and his dick bounced around as he moved like a happy puppy about to go for a walk.

"You want to hold it?" he asked. I was curious. I grabbed it... it was warm, so warm, and it seemed to move on its own. "You want to suck on it?" That request made me make a face. It always sounded disgusting, and I never understood how girls could do that. "Come on... lots of girls do it."

"To you?" I asked.

"No, but to my friends."

I shook my head. "I'm not comfortable with that... at least not yet." I let go of him.

"Okay... but we are going to do it, right? Make love?" He directed me as though it was a foregone conclusion, moving my legs in front of him and spreading them apart, and I let him.

"You know it's illegal, right?"

"If I have to break the law to express my love for you, then send me to jail." He was closer now, and I could hardly believe it was happening. It had moved so fast... last year at school we were just classmates, then friends for a while, and now, as of a few weeks ago, we were a couple. Or so I thought, even if nobody else knew. I guess that means we weren't actually a couple, because we hadn't made it official by telling others. I wanted to, but he wanted to wait, said he liked it better as a secret between us and he didn't want to taint it by involving all his friends and my friends in our lives. And now he was about to put his hard penis inside of me and take my virginity, become my first, the one you remember forever. I'd always wondered about sex... no matter how much you read about it and see it in movies, and even touch yourself, it doesn't quite tell you all you need to know. It's one of those things only doing it explains. Would it feel wondrous and magical? Would it hurt? Would I feel it when he came inside me?

That thought stopped me short. This wasn't just a fantasy where I could play with that thought while I squeezed my thighs together, it was reality. "Wait..." I said. He didn't, he slid his cock against my crack, and I saw a glistening drip fall, and that scared me even more. Some memory of sexual education class came back, a teacher saying that some sperm even come out with precum, and that alone can get you pregnant. I slid back a little, and repeated. "Wait... we need a condom."

"It'll be okay," he said. "I don't want anything to be between us. I love you, and I think... you love me, right?"

"Yes, I love you..." The first time I'd said it. It felt really good to say it, even though it was hard to get the words out. "But... I'm not on birth control," I said. That gave him a little bit of pause for consideration. "Please. I don't want to get pregnant, at least not right now."

"You can't get pregnant your first time," he said.

I should have known it was a line, but I had faith in him... I thought he was just misinformed. "You absolutely can. And it's the worst time for me." That was a lie, on my part, but I thought it was a little white one. I was close, but still a few days out, and it certainly wasn't safe. "Please. You have to. There's a bowl of condoms on a shelf in the kitchen." One of my mom's little quirks, she told us in no uncertain terms that she didn't want us to be doing anything sexual, but that if we did, we should be protected.

"No, I've got one," he said, and fished around in his pants until he found his condom. He pulled it out, the shiny foil packaging catching the light, and considered it like he wasn't sure he should. "Are you sure you don't want to risk it?" he said. "For our first time, it would mean so much."

"Then we should put off our first time. At least until I get on the pill. And it takes about a week after that before it's safe."

He looked between the condom and me, and then tore it open. I guess he didn't want to wait. With practiced ease, he slid it down his dick, and then pulled himself on top of me, and I felt the head of his dick pushing into my hole, straining it, and then... a sudden shock of pain, like something inside me had torn. I cried out. "It's okay," he said softly. "It's okay, baby. I've got you. I've got you."

It hurt, but I didn't really have any option... he was on top of me, bearing down on me, and pushing in and out, and I'd have had to hit him to get him to stop. The pain was all that was on my mind, and shutting my eyes so tight that he wouldn't see any tears, and I remember thinking, "If it was so meant to be, why would it hurt?" But I let him continue, and soon the pain faded, and it did actually start to feel good. The sensation of him thrusting into me, filling me with a part of himself, felt like our souls were touching. I couldn't feel the condom at all. The feel on his lips on my cheek, even the feel of his sweat as his body rubbed against mine, all of it felt like it was good, natural.

It didn't last long. Just as I was really starting to enjoy it, and think that I might be approaching a different level of enjoyment, I felt his whole body tense up with a sudden rigidity. I looked at him and his face became a mask of what looked like pain, and then he collapsing on top of me, breathing heavily. It was over. It wasn't everything I'd expected, but I still felt special, loved, glad that I'd passed some new threshold in our relationship, one I knew would last until the end of our lives...

No such luck. It was my first time, but it was no longer a good memory... because almost every time I thought about it, it got tangled up with another memory, another moment, just days later...


I was walking to school, and as soon as it came into view, I saw something else, something that bothered me. Zach, laughing with Wendy Burns, a new girl I didn't like, leaning up against one of the handrails of the stairs going up to school. One of Zach's guy friends, Brian, was there too, but she was clearly laughing with Zach, and put her hand on the back of his neck, playing with his hair far too familiarly. Consumed with rage, I walked up to them, smiled my sweetest smile, and said, "Hi."

Zach looked at me blankly, not smiling at all, although he did pull away from Wendy, just a little, as he said, "Oh, hi."

"What's up?"


It was like our earliest conversations, back when we didn't have much in common or know what to say to each other. I tried agian. "So..."

"Oh, right, you need my half of that assignment," he said, almost coldly, then looked to Wendy, gave her a genuine smile, and I swear the bastard's eyes twinkled and said, "Listen, I need to deal with this, Wendy... I'll see you in class, okay?" She nodded, waved, and took steps backwards before turning and going inside. His friend also withdrew, but only to a nearby wall where he pulled out his Handy and started texting.

Zach dug into his bookbag and gave me some drawings of different cell types and close-ups of different structures he did for our science presentation, the one we'd been working on when he convinced me we should go all the way. That was the majority of his contribution, drawing the cells. "Here you go."

I guess I didn't get the hint. "So, we doing anything later? Maybe go out?"

"Uh, no, I think I'm going to be busy. For, like, the next couple weeks. I'll let you know."

It was then I got it. No guy's busy for a few weeks when his girlfriend's asking, not when they just had sex. Unless... "What... did I... do something wrong?"

"No, you're great. But you know, I don't think a relationship is going to work out, not the kind you want."

"But... but..." I lowered my voice so only he could hear it. "I gave myself to you."

"I know. And I appreciate it. But don't make a big thing of it. It didn't mean anything to either of us. You wanted it, I wanted it. It was just one of those things. Biology, you know?"

"It meant something to me..." I said, the tears starting to flow.

"Come on... don't get emotional. You always knew that you were more into me than I was into you..." I did not know that, at all, he made me feel special like I was the most important girl in the world. Maybe I was deceiving myself, but I was also deceived. "You used sex to try and win me over... I'm not trying to call you a slut or anything." That's exactly what it felt like he was calling me. I didn't jump him or anything, he persuaded me, although it took me weeks to accept that was the way it happened. For a while he had me actually thinking that he was never really interested and that I'd done everything I could to tempt him. "It's just what girls like you do. I mean, don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it... but I just don't think we connect." I felt like I was going to die, right there, and that it couldn't get any worse, but it did, when he said, "We can still be friends, in school... I know who to call on when I need help with an assignment, right?"

I wiped my eyes, and he looked a little uncomfortable for a second, and then slung his bag over his shoulder and went to talk to his friend while I just stood there, processing how all my dreams for the future had just shattered. Worst of all, I could hear them talking, just barely. I don't think they were trying to let me hear them, I've always had pretty good ears. Their words were faint but clear. "How was she, anyway?"

"Not bad. I've had better, but not bad, if you can get over listening to her babble on."

"She let you in the rear hatch?" He grinned, thinking he was clever.

"No, I didn't try. She wouldn't even let me cum in her mouth..." More like I hadn't even let him put it in... although if he'd been really insistent, I would have.

"Lot of girls don't like the taste..."

"...and she like made me wear a rubber when I fucked her, so..."

"Shit, that just means she's scared of getting pregnant. They're even easier to convince for anal. She looks like the kind of slut who'd take it in the ass. Should have given it a shot, bro."

I couldn't hear any more, because another bunch of students passed by chattering, but I didn't really care. I wasn't even trying to listen, they happened to be talking just loud enough for me to hear, and I was frozen in place, trying to decide what to do next. I was supposed to go to school, but my body just wanted me to turn around and run home and pretend to be sick or something. Especially if the alternative would mean walking past them. Finally, when I felt the other people pass by me going inside, I knew I couldn't run, I caught my breath, stemmed the tears, and joined the flow.

Before I got to the doors, Zach stopped me, and gave me the winning smile he'd used so often on me before. "Hey, baby, wait..." I stared at him. "Look, about what I said before... I don't know, I was a jerk. The truth is, I've never felt like this before, and I guess I just got scared. It got too real for me. Do you think we could talk about it, maybe after school? You could come to my place?"

I looked over his shoulder and saw his friend Brian, watching with a huge grin on his face, and I knew that for all Zach sounded convincing, it was just another ploy, to get a little more. I pulled my backpack off my shoulder and swung it at him angrily, but I didn't connect. Zach danced just out of the way and Brian cracked up. I didn't take another shot, just grabbed the door handle and went inside. He wasn't worth it.


I shook my head to shoo away the memory, and the hurt associated with it, although for a fleeting moment I knew I could have been swept along to the school by my powers. For all that I hated him now, I learned an important lesson from Zach. Guys will say anything to get what they want. And once they've got it, you learn what you really mean to them. Sometimes I wonder if Zach came to my funeral. The fake one we had when we went into Witness Protection, I mean. I know they videotaped it to watch the crowd for the people after Dad, but Mom wouldn't let us watch it. I hope Zach was there and that he realized what a jerkhole he was.

"I don't do anything," my sister insisted again, after my warning. She said it like I was badgering her, but really I was just looking out for her. "But trust me, I know exactly how much I can show, without really showing anything." That worried me a little, but I put it out of my mind as I remembered again that she said it was the school library. "I know how to be sexy... if I wanted to be. And what you're wearing now doesn't cut it." She abandoned my closet and started to dig through my dresser, where she pulled out a long t-shirt and looked at it for a second. "Hey, isn't this Alex's?"

I felt my cheeks burning. "It must have slipped in with the laundry," I explained, and then snatched it out of her hand. "Anyway, I'm not going for sexy." And she had no business digging through my stuff anyway. I swear, I was this close to teleporting her into her own room. Luckily, that was the only way she risked discovering my secret identity... my costume was safely hidden.

"You should be... if you're going on a date, you should always be going for sexy."

I felt like pulling out my hair. Or maybe hers. "It's not a date!"

"And it never will be, with that attitude." She stared at me, like she was looking right through me. "I know you, this is some guy you're hung up on and he doesn't even know you feel that way." She pulled out some soft short shorts. "Here, if you don't want to go with a skirt, try these. These shorts will still have his eyes focused on your legs and butt. You could accidentally drop a pen and bend over while he's watching. It'll cling to your bum."

"I'm not wearing anything other than this, because this is not a date." I said the words slowly, hoping it would get it through her thick skull. "Got it?"

"Fine," she said, and got this evil little gleam in her eye. "You know, maybe I'll go to the library today too. I mean, I like books."

She barely read school assignments. Outside of the Edward Twilight series I don't think she's ever cracked a book without being forced. But that wasn't why she was suggesting it, she was trying to get on my nerves. The problem was, she was just infuriating enough to tag along solely in order to prove me wrong. "You're not going to the library," I warned her. I say 'warned' because the "or I'll make you regret it" was pretty implicit in my voice.

"Why not?" she asked with exaggerated innocence. "I mean, if it's not a date?"

"Because I don't want you tagging along and bothering me when I'm trying to do work."

"I wouldn't bother you. And if you don't let me, I'm going to tell Dad you're interfering with my attempts to enrich myself, and he'll make you take me."

"Don't you dare Lucy!" I snapped. "I mean Sally."

"Ha-ha, you used the wrong name," she taunted. "You have to put a dollar in the jar." She sidled up beside me and looked at me in the eyes, but through the mirror. "I don't see what the big deal is. Just admit there's a guy you like."

Sometimes, she was just impossible to dissuade. I sighed, and decided I'd have better luck letting her think she won. "Okay. There's a guy. But I don't want him to think I'm too eager, and I don't want anybody to know I like him, okay?"

"I knew it!" Sally smirked a victory smirk.

"So you'll leave it alone?"

"Of course." Not two seconds passed before she asked. "So, who is he?"

I let out a groan of frustration. "If I promise to tell you later, will you leave me alone for now?" I could make up something, given a little time.

She grinned. "Deal. But remember, a promise is a promise."

"Only if you keep up your end." She danced away from me, then grabbed her handheld game and, finally, left me alone to finish getting ready.

On my way out I ran into Dad. He was putting his briefcase by the door, getting ready to leave himself. I'd been jogging down the stairs from the second floor, but the moment I saw him, I slowed, my smile faded.

I don't know why. I love Dad, really. We used to be really tight. Alex was always close to Mom, and with me it was Dad. We both liked science, and back when we lived in Crash City on clear nights we'd sometimes sneak up to the roof of the building with his telescope and look at the stars, or check in and try to see one of the monitoring stations on the Moon.

But it seems lately I can't look at him without being a little mad. I guess it was because, when you get right down to it, he was the reason we all had to leave our lives behind. And now, probably, he was the reason we had powers. That was what we'd guessed, anyway, because nothing else made sense... that he'd accidentally brought something home from work that contaminated us. He works with all sorts of top secret stuff, stuff he can't even talk about with his family.

I guess the powers were a good thing... and even moving, well, it had its good points. That didn't matter, I still felt... maybe mad wasn't totally the right word. Disappointed. I used to think he was perfect, but he'd screwed up and put us all in danger, and, to accidentally expose us to something from work? Irresponsible. So of course I was disappointed in him. And I was mad too, not for what he'd done, but just because he wasn't perfect.

I wasn't actually hostile to him, usually, but I pulled away, and I didn't smile instantly when I saw him anymore. "Hey Sunshine," he said, seeing me.

"Where you going?" I asked flatly.


"But it's a weekend." Another reason I was mad, I guess, he always seemed to put work above everything lately.

"Sorry, honey, they need me." He checked his tie in the mirror, then looked up at me. "You're going to the library?" I just nodded. "You want me to take you? It's on my way."

"No," I said. Then, trying to keep the sneer out my voice but not doing very well at it, I added, "If you can't trust me to go somewhere on my own I might as well use the Boyds. It's what they're there for, and they'll have to wait outside for me anyway."

He looked a little hurt, and part of me felt guilty at that. Another part was glad. "You know it's not about trust, right? I just want you kids to be safe."

"If they know we're here, or can find out, we're never safe," I pointed out, although that wasn't necessarily true anymore. We had powers, we could defend ourselves. "And if they don't, treating us like prisoners isn't necessary." Logic sometimes worked on Dad. It seemed pretty logical to me.

"I know you guys hate it. Hey, you never know, maybe they'll bust the guys after us and we can all go home." But I knew he didn't believe it, he was just saying it. "Going to come say goodbye?"

I went over to him and gave him a hug...he was still my dad, and I still loved him. Maybe my hug was a little less enthusiastic than his, but it was genuine. "I just hope the Boyds stay outside," I said. "You know how hard it is to make friends here when I feel like I'm being watched all the time."

"I'll let them know," he said.

It was actually only one Boyd. Mark, who was a little cute if you liked much older guys. Boyd wasn't really their real name, but it was their cover identity... they were assigned to pretend to be our Uncles and give us rides to and from places where we could easily walk or take the bus (or I could now teleport!). He arrived a few minutes after Dad's ride, and I left with him. He talked to me a little, which normally I don't mind, but this time it meant I had to lie and make up stuff about the project I was going to work on. So I kind of just pretended I was in a bad mood and answered in the shortest way possible. Poor guy, he probably thought I was pissed off at him or something.

At least this time, a ride was better than walking. I chose a big reference library, not the nearest one, so I could wander around for a while and convincingly get lost inside. One of the cool things about my teleportation power is that I thought I could tell if somebody was following me, and it didn't seem to be the case this time. The first couple weeks we were here, we had that kind of excessive protection, but by that day they were just, like, obsessed about giving us rides to or from places. I guess so they could check for somebody following us. But they'd leave us more or less alone once we were actually there. So, after walking through the library long enough to convince myself it really was safe to pull a disappearing act, I ducked into the washroom, where I knew nobody was going to follow me in. Once I was sure nobody was in there, I teleported back home.

Unless I'm teleporting somewhere in the immediate area, the process always starts with a memory of where I'm going, or somewhere near to it... the more emotionally charged, the better. I don't know why, it just makes me lock on to the location. I've tried places I remembered but that didn't have much emotional attachment, and I can usually go, but it takes a lot longer, a lot more concentration. I have to remember all the details of the place, instead of how the emotion felt. Once I'm locked on I can choose to redirect where exactly I'm going, within a certain distance. I was going to my brother's room, so any memory from our home would lock on close enough to hop right to the room, but for some reason the one that came to mind took place in the laundry room...


I actually like doing laundry. It's weird, I know. In Crash City I never did, because you had to go downstairs into the smelly old room the whole building used, and too often all the machines were already taken so you'd have to either wait around or go back up. But when we moved to Cleveland and got our own washer and dryer, I liked it. Firstly, because there's no chance of anybody else screwing up and washing the wrong thing the wrong way and ruining one of my favorite outfits. Mom's usually pretty good but she's done that a few times. But there's also something very relaxing about sorting and, after, folding, and while waiting for it to be done, I often took a book with me and read.

I never would have admitted it to anybody at the time, but there was a reason I read my book down there instead of waiting upstairs. At a certain point in the cycle (the spin cycle), it started to vibrate, and if you leaned against one corner of the machine... well, let's just say it felt really, really good. Better than a shower massager.

But there's also the fact that my brother's bedroom is attached to our laundry room, in the basement. That means I usually don't dare enjoy the spin cycle when he's home, but I enjoy other things about him being there. I always liked hanging out with him, even before we started doing anything sexual and discovered we had powers. Sometimes when I was washing clothes, if he heard me out there and he wasn't busy, he'd come out to talk. I liked that. Since the government faked our deaths, I didn't have nearly as many friends as I used to.

This time, the door to his room was closed, and had been since I'd started the latest wash cycle. I already had one load finishing up in the dryer, while one was washing. I was reading, rereading actually, the second book in the Edward Twilight series, Starseed. When I put the load in, I was at the part where Isabelle's friend Jacob revealed he was a Spore Kid, that he'd been seventeen for longer than she'd been alive, and had already zoomed past a hundred pages to where the East German skinhead mystics tried to rape Isabelle and steal her virginity. You remember, that climactic moment where it looks like all is lost, and Edward returns to save her, just in the nick of time? That's when the spin cycle kicked into gear.

I was wearing a short skirt, and my bare thighs were already squeezing together as I visualized them pinning her down helplessly, forcing a kiss on her and then pulling her pants down and away as she cried, helpless to resist. I knew the moment was coming and was getting hot anticipating it, and when the spin cycle kicked on, it was like it was fate. Alex's door was still locked, and so I decided to risk it. I hopped off the folding table and pressed the front of my skirt up against the side of the intensely vibrating machine while I read.

I chewed on my bottom lip while the waves of pleasure, and, occasionally, a little bit of pain, ran through me, making my pussy feel like it was caught in the same type of arousal spell as they used on Isabelle, spreading outwards over my whole body, and I felt helpless to resist.

Then, suddenly, I heard the doorknob turning.

It seemed to take an impossible amount of strength to do, but somehow potential fear of embarrassment won out over the need for pleasure, and I jerked myself back a step just as the door swung open and Alex stood there, a little surprised to see me, like he didn't know I was there. "You okay?"

"Yeah, why?" I thought for sure my voice was shaking.

He pointed at my face, though. "You're all flush." I couldn't see it, but I could sure feel it... it felt like all the blood in my body was either in my face, or down below.

"I'm fine," I said. "It's just hot in here."

He nodded, and then headed upstairs to use the bathroom... that must have been the reason he came out in the first place. While he was gone, I took a few deep breaths to calm myself, and then noticed that the dryer had stopped while I was enjoying the spin cycle.

Well, that was one way to get my composure back. I put my book on top and opened the dryer door, and then bent over to start pulling clothes out. I heard Alex coming back down the stairs, and for a while, I thought he'd just went directly into his room again, but when I turned back, I saw him just standing there, looking at me. "What?"

"Nothing," he said, a little too quickly. I kind of gave him a squint-eyed stare. "Just that skirt you were wearing is awful short. I can see your panties when you're bending over."

The blush that I'd just managed to work down returned. "It's laundry day," I said, turning away. "It was the only thing I had clean." Suddenly paranoid that he'd see through my lie, I added, "Or at least the first thing I found. Anyway, you shouldn't be looking."

But of course, the truth was, part of the reason I wore it was the hopes that he might look. The skirt was too short to wear at school and maintain a decent reputation, but here, I was safe. It was like a little game, to tease him, let him look, even when I knew he wouldn't do anything... or thought I knew, anyway. I never dress like a slut out in public, and certainly try not to act like one, but it was kind of fun to pretend when I was at home, and what with barely being noticed at school, it felt good to know somebody, a guy, was secretly checking me out... even if it was my own brother. It gave me a little thrill to know I could have that effect on somebody that should be absolutely indifferent towards me, and I guess I got to like that thrill. Eventually this little game would cause me to give him a handjob, and once that door opened, more was inevitable, but at the time, it was just a game and a boost to my ego.

Usually Alex was a bit more subtle about it and actually tried to hide that he was looking, instead of pointing it out. But today, maybe because I was still turned on by the sexy book and the vibrations, it made me feel absurdly glad that he did, even if I had to pretend otherwise. In fact, he stood there, maybe even continuing to watch, as I returned to gathering my clothes from the dryer.

Eventually, he spoke again. "Hey, Tabby, you wanna play some Hypercube with me? All the other people on Black Freighter right now are kind of douches, and it's not as much fun playing solo."

"I don't know," I said. The pirate game wasn't my favorite, but I kind of wanted to be talked into it anyway. Like, if he really wanted to hang out with me, he'd try to convince me, right? "I was thinking of getting a jump on some homework. I've got a presentation due next week and I haven't even chosen who I'm doing it on..."

"So? You've got a whole week," he said. "What's the assignment, anyway?"

"We have to deliver a profile on a Powered personality and talk about how they affected the world, along with an essay."

His eyes lit up and he grinned. This was pretty much his forte. "I've got the perfect idea. I had an assignment like that last year, only mine was just the essay... I did mine on Little Miss Menace. You can do the same thing."

I scowled at him. "I'm not going to cheat and just copy your assignment."

"Who said anything about copy? Besides, I don't have it anymore... it was on my computer back in Crash City." Now it was his turn to scowl a little. It's been months, and he was still pissed that he wasn't allowed to take it. But the expression soon faded. "I'm just saying you could take my idea... do your own work, of course, but the idea's gold. See, I talked about how Little Miss Menace is effectively a Spore Kid, even though she's not subject to any of the laws, and whether that was unfair and set back civil rights, or has been helpful in changing people's perceptions over the years. My teacher loved it, because everyone else was talking about ones who saved the world or defeated communism and shit, the stories everyone's heard a million times before. Hell, I probably even have some videos you can use for your presentation."

"Maybe," I said. It was a good idea on its own but I still worried it might not be right for me to use it. Shouldn't I come up with my own idea? "I'll think about it." As an afterthought, I added, "Thanks." He was trying to help me out.

Alex shrugged, like it was no big thing. "So, what do you say, wanna be my mate?"

"What?" My voice came out in a squeak

"In Black Freighter. I'll be Captain, naturally."

"Oh. Um, maybe after I finish folding all this?"

"Oh no," he said suddenly, mock-outraged. "Not this..."

"Huh?" I followed his eyes to the top of the dryer, where my book sat.

"Don't tell me you're reading this crap AGAIN..."

"It's good!" I insisted.

He rolled his eyes. "It's like girly wet dream material." He took a step forward. "Give it here..."

I instinctively made a grab for it first before he could. If he opened it and saw the part I'd dog-eared... well, he'd consider himself proven right, even though that was just a small part of the book. And he was insufferable when he thought he was right. "No," I said. "You'll only make fun of it."

He reached around me, tried to pull it off me, while I bent down into something like standing-fetal position to protect it, feeling his arms wrap around me, pressing in my boobs. "I just wanna see," he said, continuing to paw, while I took a step back, into him, my butt hitting his groin for a second.

"No!" I said again, and let out a shrill, giggling squeal as his hands went for my sides, lightly playing on the skin above my hips, where I was ticklish. "That's so unfair," I said through a gasped breath after I elbowed one of his hands away.

"I wouldn't have to be unfair if you'd just give it up..." One of his hands came in for what I thought was another tickle, but instead slid around my belly, and I trapped it there with my own arms while his other hand seemed to reach overhead to grab at the book... and closed on my boob directly, this time. A squeeze... accidental, it must have been, because he withdrew again and squeezed somewhere else, somewhere safer.

Stomping around, I knocked over my laundry basket with my foot, and then fell on my knees and he was half supporting me by the shoulders for a second until my flailing feet found a spot they could get leverage, and I pushed backwards.

It must have caught him off guard, because he dropped me and I landed on the floor... not painfully, but I curled up in a ball, protecting my book. "Big mistake," he said. "Your sides are wide open..." And he started tickling me mercilessly and I squirmed and laughed until I thought I couldn't breathe and I might pee my pants. I kicked at him, not with full force, but playfully, and then I realized I no longer had a good grip on my book. He snatched it up in that moment of inattention, and stopped tickling. There was no way I was going to give up that easily. I latched onto his legs instead and pulled them together as he tried to step away. He fell too, but grabbed onto his doorknob to slow his fall, but for a second he couldn't do anything at all and I crawled over top of him to try to grab it back.

It was then I realized two things... firstly, that our crotches were right on top of each other, and secondly, that he had a huge bulge in his pants. I didn't mean to do it... or at least, I didn't consciously think about doing it, but rubbed my panties on the bulge for a second, just a second, and he seemed to freeze up.

"What the heck is going on down there?" I heard from the top of the stairs. It was my sister's voice. I looked at my brother, his eyes wide, and then leaned forward just a little more to pull the book out of his hands. I guess he was too distracted to hold it tight.

"Nothing..." I said, towards the stairs, and slid back, off Alex, and onto my feet, then looked up the stairs. Mom was there too, with a concerned expression on her face. "He's just being a jerk, trying to steal my book." That seemed to satisfy them, and they moved away. Alex lay on the floor, staring at the ceiling.

I wasn't really mad... it was just playfighting. I was excited, more than anything, that somehow I'd gotten that big a reaction from him, and I felt like I was going to burst with nervous energy, almost giddy, really. Like I'd just accomplished a little bit of magic of my own. So that's probably why I made a point of gathering up my clothes in the laundry bin off the floor right there in front of him, bending down from the waist. Let him suffer with it, when he couldn't do anything about it.

"Sorry Tabby," he said finally, while I was bending over in front of him. "I was just goofing around... I guess I got a little carried away." I looked back. He was sitting up, getting a good view, but trying not to be obvious about it. Just like I was trying not to be obvious about the fact that I knew he was getting a show.

"It's okay." I gathered the last of my clothes, picked up the basket, and took it upstairs, completely forgetting about my second load that had ended already and still needed drying. "Look, I need to finish up, but if you still want to play later... let me know, okay?" He nodded.

I told myself I was just talking about the pirate game.


The memory of those feelings set and fresh in my mind, I felt my spatial awareness sense kick in, where I suddenly had some idea who was where in our house. It's really hard to describe what it's like. I don't actually see the place, I see like... a spinning 3D map of the place, with brighter blobs where something's moving. Except it doesn't really spin, it's more like I see it all at once, from every angle, and I just can only focus on one spot at a time. That's how I could tell nobody was following me in the library... there were no suspicious blobs ducking behind the stacks when I looked back, for exampIe, or in the bathroom. And likewise, I could tell now that nobody was in the laundry room, and only one person was in Alex's room, sitting on what must have been the bed, and moving pretty quickly. I locked on to a point beside him and gave a little mental oomph, and suddenly, I was there, in the room, and could see for myself.

Of course Alex was the one sitting on his bed, staring at the TV screen. In his hands was the stylized H-shaped Hypercube controller. His fingers raced over the buttons, almost too fast to see. I could see he was playing Special Ops, one of those war simulators, where you try to capture key positions while killing as many on the other team as you can, either playing with the Americans with Powered agents, or the Soviets with magic. As I watched, he racked up points for shooting somebody in the head... somebody I didn't even really see for more than a second as Alex made the shot in mid-air while power-jumping between buildings.

"You're cheating?" I asked, hating my voice as I said it. I don't even know why I made such a big deal out of it. I mean, I know it's just a game, and it shouldn't bother me, but it does. I wish I could be more laid-back about things, but it's just not who I am.

"I'm not cheating," he said. He didn't seem surprised. He must have looked over when I came in, but just too fast for me to notice. "I'm just faster than they are." He also must have caught my skeptical look on my face, or guessed it, because also he defended himself, "Oh, come on, for all you know, I'm playing against a bunch of Spore Kids. I mean, actual ones, not just using the body type like I am." They were the smallest and fastest, the few times I played that game with Alex, that was what I chose, even though he said it was inaccurate because very few Spore Kids actually participated in warfare, at least not ones that looked twelve. Something about a treaty against child soldiers. What did I care, though? I just liked moving around fast. Alex usually played Monsters... hard to kill but they were slow and I guess a speed boost doesn't help them as much.

"And who's in the lead?"

"I am," he admitted, grinning sheepishly.

"It's just if I knew you were just going to use your powers for this, I wouldn't have sucked you off this morning." He'd asked me to come down and "service him", just to be a jerk, but I didn't mind. We were both awake all night, because we're among the Powered that don't need to sleep, at least while we're charged up, and I spent about half of the night in his room, where there wasn't as much risk of our parents coming out and noticing a light under my door, but I eventually went back to my own to read and give my bed the slept-in look. Shortly after sunrise, he sent me a text, and I teleported down in my nightie mostly to smack him about how he asked. But after he apologized, it turned out he really did want me to service him. He wanted me to give him super-speed instead of his flight and strength, a change which would require him to cum inside my mouth, and, well, I decided to be a nice sister and give him what he wanted.

I could still vividly remember the feel of his hot thing in my mouth, and the sounds he made when he groaned and shot off inside me. It's kind of fun to be able to make somebody else do that. It was embarrassing, but I think I was even starting to like the taste of his cum. When we first started it was a little too bitter, but that seems to have gone away, and it tastes a little like tinned almonds. Salty, but nice. This last time I even let him go off near my lips instead of the back of my throat, and let it sit on my tongue a bit before swallowing. I made a disgusted face anyway, of course, so he wouldn't think I was a total slut, but I liked it. Certainly tastes better than the condom did back when we tried that.

"Not just for this," Alex insisted. "For our meeting." He'd had the same excuse the previous night, that since speed was what helped us against the Menace knockoff, it might help against the real Menace's daughter if there was some kind of misunderstanding. "I've been conserving... I haven't really been using much of it at all." He got hit with a rocket launcher (or maybe it was a fire spell), and died. Instead of waiting to respawn, he left the game. "I was just killing time, really, until you got here. Already got the medal I was going for."

Well, that was all right, I guess... even though I knew it wasn't really me he was waiting for, it was a chance to go out, it felt good to be the thing somebody was waiting for. I teleported our costumes out of the lock box Alex got, and handed him his. I watched him as he took off his shirt, admiring, just a little, his lean but well-muscled body. I always thought he looked good, but he seemed to be getting better and better, like he's a celebrity on TV. I think it's the powers, they automatically tone up and work away flaws. I hoped it was doing the same for me, but even though I thought my body looked more or less the same, I haven't had a zit in weeks. And I was a lot more confident in myself in general. And I thought nothing of undressing in front of him anymore... I just pulled my pants down and my shirt off, and kicked them under his bed before getting in my Taboo outfit.

I'd changed my costume. Right away, after what happened the day before with the fake Menace. I took Alex's advice, advice I should have taken all along, and instead of a bodysuit, made it a two-piece (or six-piece, if you count the gloves, boots, utility belt, and mask). The design was mostly the same, except I'd changed the logo. Again, more of Alex's advice... I used a Japanese symbol meaning "taboo". "Forbidden", or "prohibited", technically. It looked a little like a face, with two almost starry things for eyes over a mouth, and a body, except one with three legs. Or two legs and a penis, which I guess was appropriate.

That made Alex and I match, because he'd chosen to use Japanese writing on his, too, although he had to use two characters to make up the name he chose. I worried that maybe using Japanese kanji was inappropriate or pretentious, considering we're not Japanese, but I liked that we matched. We were partners, we should have something in common. His costume was dark and mine was more colorful, so without some kind of unifying theme, nobody would know we're together. And I wanted people to know that.

The mask, with a blonde wig attached, was the last thing I put on, and it's what really made me feel like I was changing my identity, instead of just pretending. Before that, I was just plain old Tabby in a costume... after, I could convince myself I was somebody else, Taboo. Even more than the powers, that mask and wig made me feel stronger and more confident. I guess because people can't see my eyes, and, although I can see through my side of the mask, it feels like there's a screen between me and the world, like I'm not really in danger, it's just a TV show. At least until somebody throws me into a pole. "Ready to go?" I asked when I was done, flipping my fake blonde hair over my shoulder. But of course I knew he was, because it always took me longer to put my costume on than Alex. It's not a fair comparison though. Alex doesn't have to worry about centering his logo over boobs, or tying up his real hair in a bun so none of it peeks out through the mask.

"Ready when you are." He reached out his hand for mine, for easier teleportation. I took it and summoned up another memory, one from a couple years ago, when we still lived in Crash City... a memory that still made me feel ashamed when I thought about it, but that's why it worked. Again, the best memories involve a strong emotion. Passion, fear... even embarrassment.... Luckily, the only time I ever saw Little Miss Menace in person was a memory that had plenty of that last one....


I was twelve... or maybe I was thirteen, I don't remember the exact date. It was during the school year though, and we were on a field trip to the symphony, which I was actually looking forward to. A lot of people think orchestral music can be stuffy, but really, I find it powerful and beautiful, and uplifting. The bus ride? Now that was stuffy. Beautiful? Not so much. The shocks were bad so the bus jiggled too much and I was starting to feel a little sick, which made me start thinking about being sick, which made me feel even more sick. And I wasn't even with my friends, I was got stuck sitting with this Vietnamese kid who barely spoke any English, so I couldn't even talk and distract myself till I felt better.

"Oh my god, I can't believe it, that's sick." I looked over and saw Tara Mitchell one row back and on the other side of the bus. She had a tabloid in her hands, I don't even know where she got it. Her mom was a hairdresser, I think, so maybe she stole it from her shop for something to do on the bus. If only I'd thought that far ahead. I peered at what I could see on the cover. There was a picture of Queen Elizabeth (the photo from the sixties of course, before she became a recluse), with fake red eyes, and a caption: "The madness of Queen Liz: A Succession Marriage planned..." The rest of it I couldn't read because it was bent against her lap.

"What's sick?" I asked, hoping it would distract me from the ride. I wasn't one of those royals watchers, although her grandson, the Prince, was cute as heck, and what girl doesn't dream, at least a little, of being a princess? Not to mention that there's just something about English accents, you know? A guy talks in one and it makes my legs all wobbly.

Tara looked up at my interruption in a little bit of surprise. We weren't like, enemies or anything, but we didn't talk much, either. I was a bit of a nerd, and she was... okay, let's try to put this nicely... book smarts weren't her strong suit. Attracting boys was. She was really pretty with long blonde hair and she had boobs already, they were practically falling all over her. I envied her, a little.

But gossip united girls of all stripes. She tapped one finger on the page. "This says the Queen wants to force her children to get married."

"Grandchildren," corrected Mary, one of Tara's friends at the time. I liked Mary, and, in fact, in my last year in Crash City, before everything went to hell, we grew to be pretty good friends, though at this time we just had a sort of wary, distant respect. She was smart too, although she tried to hide it among her friends... she feared the 'nerd' label.

"Whatever," Tara said, not really caring about the distinction.

"Why would she do that?" I asked.

"'Cause she's crazy."

Mary elaborated. "Cause when Harry got stuck in that Muslim girl's body? The government ruled he can't take the throne anymore." Right. I remembered that even before she explained. His original body was now dead, and the British Parliament ruled that he was legally a different person and outside of the line of succession. Not that he... she was likely to be King anyway... or Queen. Charles would be next next, then William, and that assumed the Queen was going to give up the throne at all. She only appeared under a veil, but whatever had happened to her face, she would never become too old to rule. Neither would Harry, though, since he was stuck forever in a Spore Kid's body, so maybe that was part of the Queen's reasoning... if she steps down in a hundred years, she'll have known Harry longer than any of the legitimate heirs.

Tara was aghast, though. "So the Queen wants them to get married... and have children together! They're brothers!" This was all just trashy gossip, of course, probably made up to sell newspapers. It hadn't happened, anyway, and the Queen never made any public statements about it, it was always anonymous sources reporting. But we were twelve, so we took it seriously. And sometimes I wondered if it really was a plan, to produce a dynasty of immortals as a royal family, but the Queen abandoned it after Harriet's sexting scandal.

I took it a little TOO seriously at the time, though... "But they're not actually related at all, genetically," I pointed out. "So it's not like it's actually incest." Just because I loved being correct, even if it's just technically correct.

"It's still sick! And worse, she's an Arab and a Spork!"

I was a little annoyed at her casual prejudice... I didn't call her out on it, but it probably made my voice sharper than was polite when I asked, "What does that matter? They can marry over there." If they pass some sort of brain development test, but at least that was more reasonable than here. And the girl's body was like fifteen or sixteen and the prince was in his twenties when his mind went into her body, she almost certainly would pass and be allowed to marry. She could even marry a girl, if she wanted.

"Yeah, but they grew up together..." She focused on me, and I swear, her eyes narrowed. "I mean, you've got a brother.. if you found out one of you were adopted, would you suddenly think it's okay to date him?"

"No, of course not..." I said. And neither of us were adopted anyway, so it was a stupid question.

But I guess I didn't answer emphatically enough, or I took too long to actually think about it. Or maybe Tara was just vicious and didn't like me challenging her earlier. "Oh my god, you totally do," she cried in malicious glee. "You totally want to make out with your brother."

Not my face was getting really red. "I do not!" I didn't!

"You do so... look, you're blushing..." Of course I was blushing! They were teasing me! A few of the other girls around were staring and giggling, open-mouthed. "You LOVE him."

"Of course I love him!" I started.

But before I could add the part about loving him because he's my brother, and that's it, not being "in love" with him, another girl chimed in with, "Oh my god, she admitted it!"

And that shut me up, my face was burning and I felt like crying and I wanted to defend myself but the words just wouldn't come out. I could see our teacher at the front of the bus standing up to see what all the fuss was about. Could you imagine if they told him that I'd said that I wanted to make out with my brother and it got to my parents? Or to Alex? I sure could, at the time. I was petrified.

Luckily, I was saved before that happened. By Little Miss Menace, in a way, but, really, by my friend Janine. We sat together a lot, but today she was sitting a few spots ahead of me, having taken the opportunity to sit beside the guy she liked (that week) when she saw the open spot beside him. With her glasses and frizzy hair and no boobs most guys didn't really notice her, but she desperately wanted them to. Still, she must have noticed my plight, because a little later, we locked eyes and I gave her a silent 'thank you' for what she did and she smiled knowingly.

What she did was point out the window, which was a bit of a feat considering she had an aisle seat. The guy she was sitting beside (I can't remember which guy it was, it was too long ago and she changed crushes like the weather) was pretending to be asleep, until she leaned over his lap and supported herself on one hand between his legs, pointed out the window, and exclaimed, "Look, everyone... it's Miss Menace!"

Nothing gets the attention of a busload of kids like a celebrity sighting. Everybody rushed to one side of the bus so quickly that it almost tipped over. Even I did, in the midst of my embarrassment... even the Vietnamese kid did, and I don't think he knew what we were all looking at.

I thought I wasn't going to see anything at all, but finally a gap opened up and I saw her... just a glimpse, dressed up that day in a frilly pink and white corset dress, and one of her fancy old-style hats, and of course, the parasol, which covered her face and made some people doubt it was her for the first few seconds, even though... who else carries a parasol in on a sunny day? But eventually we caught sight of her golden skin, or her hair that looked like Christmas tinsel laboriously-styled into curly ringlets. "What's she doing here?" somebody asked as we passed by.

"She must be going home. She lives on this street," Mary revealed. "When I first moved here my Mom took me on one of those 'Powered Guided Tours.'" A second later, she pointed. "Look, there it is." It was an old style building made of brown bricks, looking a little like a small hotel that was refurbished into a house, on the corner of a street. It was thin, but a couple stories tall, with a walk-up steps leading from the sidewalk to the door. I got a good look at it before our bus driver announced on the intercom that we should all retake our seats, and our teacher, who had been caught up in stargazing like the rest of us, backed him up.

That was the talk of the whole bus for the next few minutes, about whether she had just come from a fight, or a meeting with the Headliners, or what, or gossip on her love life, and a thousands of other conversations that people have right after seeing a celebrity. It was during that where I caught Janine's eye and she smiled at me as I mentally thanked her for the distraction when I needed it the most.

I spent the rest of the trip worrying that they'd bring up the previous subject again and start teasing me, but they didn't. Thank God we were middle schoolers with short attention spans. They must have forgotten it... but I wouldn't, not for a long time.


The memory alone almost made me feel like blushing again, like the teasing was still going on. I hate that even a silly memory of being teased has so much power over me... but now at least it gives me power too. When I remembered being teased on that street, in some ways it brought the Powered part of my brain right there, and I saw the spatial view of the same location, and the house of Little Miss Menace. What I noticed immediately was that there was a lot of activity out in front of her place. Not just the foot traffic of a weekend, but a crowd. Instead of appearing directly there, I redirected and took us to a rooftop across the street and took a closer look with my real vision.

Media. Of course. There must have been twenty people there, waiting outside her door. Waiting because she wasn't there with them, there was nothing actually happening, just a lot of people with microphones or cameras, waiting. Some were filming, but they were filming a lone reporter talking with the house in the background.

"What?" Alex said, looking all around us in the air. "Where are we?" I told him I could take him to her doorstep, and didn't have time to warn him about the change of plan, so I just pointed. "Oh," he said. "I guess we should have thought of that. Her father went on a rampage..."

"Not her father..."

"As far as they know it is. So she's the natural person to interview."

"So what do you want to do?" I asked. "We could just blow this off... maybe go do something else instead." I was still thinking a little about the memory that brought us here. Imagine what those girls would have thought if they found out I was now having sex with Alex almost every day... they'd assume Tara was right and that I really was in love with him.

Alex considered the media in silence for a couple seconds. "Do you know if she's actually in there?"

I closed my eyes to better access my spatial sense, and sent it inside. "I think so," I said finally. "There's someone moving in one of the rooms. Someone else lying on something." I couldn't be any more specific than that, not without actually going there.

"How about just taking us inside, then?"

I stared at him. "You mean, like... break in? Uninvited?"

He shrugged and waved towards the door. "Just to like, the area right inside the door, the.... what's the word...."


"Yeah. The foyer. We'll call out, politely. If they don't answer, we'll leave a note. If you have good intentions, it's not really breaking in... it's just... dropping by. "

I didn't like it. But I did want to meet her, and ask our questions. It was kind of a risk doing this during the day, when our parents might wonder at where we were, but we didn't want to barge in on a famous hero in the middle of the night. We'd already gone to all this effort to set up an alibi and get away, it would be a shame if it was for nothing. And ever since that report I did, I kind of admired her a little. She didn't hide, she was open about who she was, walked the streets in her Menace form, dressed in wild, provocative outfits, setting her own fashion... like she was telling the world, "I'm different, but I don't care if you accept me, I'm going to be who I want to be." You have to respect that. "Okay," I agreed. "Just into the foyer." I had a feeling I was making a big mistake, but I surrounded us with my purple lights, and pushed us to our next location.

Inside, it was pretty, and bigger than you'd expect for a brownstone. There was a long, curving staircase that went upstairs, and a number of stuffed chairs and couches against the wall running alongside it, sort of Victorian style, although I don't know if they were actual antiques, and there was a wallpaper in faint cream colored with some kind of abstract design, and some big lamps hanging, not from the ceiling, but the corners of the room. Nobody was in sight, but we could see openings to other well-decorated rooms and another hallway.

"So, are you going to call out?" Alex whispered.

"Me?" I looked around nervously. "I thought you were going to!" It was intimidating, I already felt like we were trespassing.

"It would sound better coming from you... less..." He didn't get a chance to find the word he was looking for.

A siren blared out, so loud and sudden it made me jump. "Unauthorized entry detected, Foyer." A cool, mechanical voice said. I heard Alex swear... I turned around, looking for any cameras that detected us.

"Don't move," someone said. This voice was more human, male, although with a little bit of an accent. Did we somehow get the wrong place entirely?

I didn't find the camera, but I saw something else... a sort of floating hemisphere that had separated from the corner, one of the things I thought was a lamp. It had a long, menacing-looking barrel that telescoped out of it. A gun of some kind, clearly, but the technology behind it could be anything. "We are authorized to use deadly force against intruders."

This wasn't how I pictured this was day going to go....

To Be Continued...
Next Time: Just Dropping By, Part Two!

This story is free to share and distribute so long as no money is charged.

The Letter Column

It's time for our letter column! Here, I'll post mail direct from (volunteering) fans, and answer questions for all. Just one letter this time around...

Bullet writes:

So far I'm loving the series. I'm definitely hoping for someone to translate it to art. I know a guy who'd be perfect, but it's damn near impossible to get him to do anything.

I love how there are threads of actual history woven through though. It's plausible that if the Roswell crash happened in a densely populated city there may have been ramifications such as an infection(?) of alien DNA, and if this happened during the cold war Stalin's paranoia would have forced him to find a way to counter the "powered" (though the American government was arguably equally paranoid, so he may have had good reason).

I'm kind of curious how Rasputin would fit into your universe- although he supposedly died 30 years before the Roswell crash it's well known that he had a knowledge of the occult, so it's not impossible.

Then there's the various monastic orders- The Templars, The Illuminati, the Stone Masons, the Skull and Bones Society, and those are just the ones that get talked about, who knows what others lurk in the shadows pulling the strings of the puppets.

Last on my incredibly long rant list- I was just kind of curious, do you happen to play DC Universe?

Thanks! Although obviously I'd also love to see it translated into some kind of comic, I doubt it'll happen, because it seems like, unless you're one of those super-fast whizzes, it requires a lot more investment of effort to draw a comic than to write a story for the comic. And writing a story is work enough! So I don't hold out much expectation of somebody deciding to do that work for somebody else's story.

As for the Roswell crash, although the story may not have made it entirely clear, that still occured as it did in our world. It's just that in the Relatively Powered world, there were two crashes in 1947... One was the Roswell crash, full of Greys (or as they're called in this universe, Greymen), and the other was a Plejaran (they're sometimes called Venusians in the UFO lore, and look very humanlike) craft that crashed into a major city, as the result of some kind of conflict between them. They couldn't cover up the Plejaran crash, and so the Roswell crash eventually filtered into common knowledge as well, especially following other alien incursions and conflicts that took place on or near Earth as a result of that conflict.

Rasputin himself probably doesn't figure into the history any differently than our world... although he was certainly something the Soviets researched heavily when they went all ultra-occult. Though you never know, he could be out there. Similarly for the secret societies... they certainly exist, and certain ones were very interested in gathering the new secrets of science and magic, but because they tend to be secret by nature, we won't know much about what they've been up to unless there's a story about it.

And finally, no, I don't play DCU online... I find that I can't get into MMORPGs, because they'd be too much of a timesink... I mostly play games that I can duck in and out of to just play a quick game and then forget for weeks or month, rather than having to keep investing time in.

And that's it for this issue's letter column! Next issue, we continue the story and finally get to meet Little Miss Menace in person. They always say "Never Meet Your Heroes"... will they learn the truth of this advice? Find out! Hope you enjoy it!

And if you liked this installment, please provide feedback:

Note: If you want your feedback to be answered within the Letter Column of a future issue for others to read, please include a request to that effect and include a name you'd like to be called by. Your e-mail address, if you provide it, will not be published. This is completely optional, it's just for fun, to give the series a more comic-book vibe, and it will allow me to respond even if you don't want to give an e-mail address. If you don't specifically request this, your mail will be answered privately (again, assuming you provide a reply-address).


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