Archive for sidekick

What You Can Buy for a Penny

Posted in Fiction, Vampirony, writing with tags , , , , , on February 23, 2013 by vampirony

At half past ten, Nick gave up on the idea of sleeping in his comfy bed in his parents’ house as reward for a night full of mare. He kept flipping over onto his side and scribbling notes on what needed to be done to fix the office up. As he’d left Bellevue, he’d seen the police cording off the construction site next to the Hyatt. Something about some pretty extensive vandalism, bordering on criminal.

The only thing criminal was the fact that he couldn’t sleep for all the notes rolling around in his head. Sidekicks apparently don’t get to rest easy; always more kicking to do. He let out a mighty groan and got up out of bed, bracing his elbows on his knees, head in his hands. He didn’t need to count the twelve pages of notes he’d taken, the last of which read: “Find fire department rated architect to construct fireproof room.”

Sophie couldn’t expect all her clients to be as well behaved as Jesper, who no one was really saying what had happened to. He was in that wooden crate, probably in some gargoyle form like Lucy had been. As grotesque a form as it might be, Jesper had saved Sophie’s life and that made him good peeps in Nick’s book. It touched a nerve, the way he’d come to her aid, and while Nick was grateful his new boss with her substantial payroll wasn’t out of commission, it gave Nick a pang.

He grabbed his notebook off the nightstand and wrote: Flowers for Morena. Then he promptly scribbled it out. What do you get for the perfect woman who dispatched a vampire with you? Flowers seemed trite or presumptuous. And either way, he’d either offend her by treating her like a girl or pick the wrong ones.

Flowers were a trap, anyways. It was never about the thought. It was always execution and Nick already knew his execution stunk. He was barely able to control his staring around her, he had not a single action star move in his whole body, his only redeeming qualities were his ability to duck on cue and to read and retain ancient books full of crazy. While Morena’s martial expertise didn’t exactly emasculate him, it did put him in a rough spot of how to get her attention in a good way. Food wasn’t something that she took much notice of, his bike, well amateur hour there. Clothes weren’t a strong motivator for her either judging by her own attire. The only thing he seemed to do to make her smile was crack jokes and make self-effacing statements.

He sighed. Girls always liked the guy that made them laugh but they never wanted to be with that guy. But there was no way he was going to ever be able to do more of that Frog Brothers, Death Dealer crap they’d done last night. Not without fainting halfway through.

No, the best he could hope for was the sidekick, but not Robin or Shadowcat or even Rick Jones. He didn’t have the nerves for that. But he could make vichyssoise. Red and green was not his style but tails and a perfectly cooked beef wellington? He could aspire to that.

Look out, vampires, Sophie just got her Pennyworth.

Now, if he wasn’t going to sleep all day, he might as well go see a man in a fatigues jacket about a fireproof room.

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Somewhere along the line although he couldn’t place it, Nick remembered mention of some comic book store in connection with Lucy. And that henchman of hers would likely be a daytime guardian of hers, wouldn’t he?

Nick made Fremont by noon and had to knock on the door for ten minutes before he heard bolts snap, chains crackle, and a final latch pop and the corrugated metal door swing open revealing the disheveled mastermind of their deliverance blinking bloodshot eyes up at him.

Nick’s smile withered under acid glare.

“Whaddaya want? We’re closed.”

Nick realized that he must’ve woken the poor guy up but still, he didn’t expect to be completely unrecognized. “Hi, I…well…I’ve been thinking of some mods…and after this morning…I thought maybe…”

The guy widened his stance. “Oh, right. This morning. Yeah that was, like…” he rubbed his eyes before crossing his arms, “Six hours ago. Not like anyone would want to reward himself with sleep after that perfectly executed campaign.”

“Yeah I suppose not.”

Nick got the glare loud and clear.

“Look, kid, I’m sure you went home and cried on your huge pillow and then couldn’t sleep because you were too scared but trust me, it’s better to start with sleep in the daytime for this to pass over. My advice? A couple of shots of Nyquil and some chamomile tea and you’ll be in lala land.” The guy yawned and then began shutting the door, “Geez, civilians.”

Nick grabbed the edge and cut his hand. “Ouch! Just gimme a chance. I have a whole list. I want to be better prepared next time.”

That perked the guy up. “Next time? What makes you think there’ll be a next time?”

Nick had to stop and think. Because the book had a ton of other entries? But he wasn’t about to tell this guy about Sophie’s journal. So he settled for: “Things always come in three’s, right?”

The guy raised an eyebrow. “You already had three vampires last night.”

“Not three bad vampires.”

The guy took in a deep, thoughtful breath before exhaling it out of his mouth hard. “Alright. I suppose I could take a look at this list of yours. If you’re so intent on sticking your nose in it.”

“Great,” Nick said, and made a step forward only to meet the guy’s hand flat on his chest  holding him back.

“Not so fast. Give me the list. I don’t have time for garlic necklaces or Super soakers filled with Holy Water.”

Nick handed his twelve page vampire preparedness manifesto over and watched the guy purse his lips, nod, and then laugh in something more of a cackle. He was even more stunned when Ritterreiter stretched out his hand and shook his, “Come on in. You can call me Greg. And this list is wicked.”

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