I Can Be Your Hero, Baby
"Can we turn the radio down? I have a headache." Cindy shielded her eyes from the sun that was streaming in through the car's front window.
Libby turned the dial so that the music was barely audible. "Late night?"
"I think I got about four hours of sleep. I finally finished the flashcards, but by that point I remembered I still had chemistry homework. I hate thermodynamics."
"That bites." Libby opened the center console and pulled a pair of black sunglasses out. Cindy took them appreciatively.
"Thanks. Hey, do you want to come over after school? Soccer's been cancelled due to flooding on the field and I don't have to teach this week; we could study for the psychology quiz and hang out; I don't have Judo until six."
"Sounds good…wait, today's Tuesday, isn't it?"
She sucked air through her teeth. "I kinda promised Sheen that I'd come over to his house this afternoon. I'm sorry."
She groaned. "Libs, what do you two even do together? Watch 'Ultralord?'" No response came from the driver's seat. "Libby…you don't. Tell me you don't-"
"He watches 'Next Great Fashionista' with me; it's the least I can do. Besides, it's not that bad once you get into."
"Oh my gosh, you drank the nerd cool-aid!"
"Everybody likes super heroes! What girl doesn't want a spider-man to her Mary Jane?"
"Libby, that kind of thinking only plays to the 'damsel in distress' card that portrays women as being nothing but incapable pretty faces for 'big strong men' to save. I am no helpless heroine!"
"That is true. Of course, I've always thought of you as more 'Susan Storm' from the 'Fantastic Four', what with your blond hair, superior intellect, egotistical genius and all. You even have your own villain with a vendetta against you."
She chuckled. "I suppose that fits. Who's the 'Doctor Doom' in this situation?"
She watched as a sly smile broke out over her friend's face. "Eustace."
"Strytch? He's the son of a gypsy witch in a metal mask?"
"I mean the movie 'Victor Von Doom!' Rich guy. Hates Reed/Jimmy. Likes you-"
"Hold on now; he does not! He just…uses me. Besides, in the movie she dated him. I would never-"
"You went with him to his boarding school's winter formal."
"LIBBY! I thought we agreed not to talk about that!"
"That doesn't mean it didn't happen."
"He went over my head! It's not like my mom would say no; she was ecstatic that someone of that social standing would want to go with me."
"Yeah… but it was worth it to hear about him getting fresh in the limo and you kicking him in the-"
"We are not having this conversation right now! Just please don't say anything about it around the guys. I really don't need Jimmy finding out, especially now that we're…"
"Yes; now that you're what?"
Cindy didn't answer. Libby glanced at her. "Do you guys even know what you are?"
"That is to be decided at a later date. Namely after Saturday."
"Oh yeah, what did your mom say about that?"
"It is fated for disaster. She called it an obligation, Libby. "
"Well, all you can do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best."
"You make it sound so easy."
"Girl, I'm used to disaster! I'm dating Sheen, aren't I?"
The day could not end soon enough for Jimmy. He couldn't believe it was only Tuesday. Almost all of his teachers were cramming a test in the lesson before the break. He liked a little academic challenge, but come on people!
As he made his way to the parking lot, making a mental note of the evening's assignments, Carl and Sheen ran up to him.
"Hey Jimmy," Carl said tentatively, "Can you do me a favor?"
"What is it?"
"Will you give me a ride to the airport next Monday?"
"I suppose so…"
"Huzzah! Thanks Jim; Elke's family flies into town that day. Mr. and Mrs. Ekberg are staying with friends of the family, but she gets to come hang out with me while they talk to the llama breeders."
Oh, of course. "That's great Carl."
"Hey I've got an idea." Sheen started jumping up and down. "We can all come and hang out with you two."
Carl's face fell. "Yeah I guess so, or we could not do that and…not do that."
They walked through the gate to where all the students parked their vehicles.
"But it'll be fun Carl! We can go for lunch and-"
"Sheen, the last time you were here all you did was ask her about what Ultralord is like in Sweden. It was annoying."
"Yeah Sheen, it was weird for everyone."
Sheen was about to continue the argument, but at that moment he saw Libby unlocking her car and ran up to her.
"Hey, Statue of Lusciousness!"
"What did I say about calling me that?"
"Only in private?"
"Yes… mean NO Sheen, not at all!" Cindy smirked at her from across the hood.
"Oh well! SO anyway, how would you like to hang with Elke next week?"
"SHEEN!" Carl yelled.
"The blond chick with the accent? I don't know…"
"When is she coming?"
Jimmy tried to intervene. "Sheen, I think they probably want some alone-time."
"Carl, think of it this way: when she first gets here she'll want to do dumb girl things, like shop and sight-see, but if you wait until later to be alone you will get a romantic evening out of the deal."
The whole group stared at him, their jaws agape.
"Sheen, that is…actually…pretty smart."
Cindy let out an overly-dramatic shocked gasp. "Sheen said something intelligent? I'm pretty sure that's the fourth horseman on the apocalypse. Everyone to the bunker!"
"Ha-ha Miss Hilarious, you are just jealous because for once I surpassed you in smartness."
"Right now I'm just impressed you know the word "surpass" and used it correctly in a sentence."
"I don't have to put up with this. Let's go Libs!" He tried to open the back door to her car, but found it remained closed. He used all his physical strength to try and pry the door open, until Libby hit the 'unlock' button, when the door flew open and Sheen fell to the ground.
"Pardon me oh genius one." Cindy walked over to where Jimmy parked the hovercar.
"Is the alarm disabled?"
He came up next to her. "What makes you think I'm giving you a ride home?"
"My delightful personality and charming disposition."
"Nope, that's nope it." A mischievous smile spread over his face.
"Jimmy, I've had a very stressful day and my head feels like it's about to split in two. Please just let me in the stupid thing."
"Nothing a little pie can't fix."
"You've been hanging out with your dad too much."