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Snippet #2820676

located in Barden, VA, a part of the wicked game, one of the many universes on RPG.

Barden, VA

A city of heroes and villains that is tired of both.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cerys Day Character Portrait: Dhani Batra
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CERYS DAY
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artemis | hex: #857c78
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DHANI BATRA
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paladin | hex:#b85c9e
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Cerys frowned as the woman called Dhani “Paladin”, trying to remember if either of them had mentioned their aliases. She was pretty sure they hadn’t. “Dhani,” she said, her voice low, “Something doesn’t feel right.” The guards came into the room before she could elaborate. “Come on, move it you two.” One of them said, but they didn’t move to immediately cuff them. They didn’t even seem to be paying too much attention. An idea came into Cerys’ head, something dumb, and something she might just regret, but something that also might just work. She’d need to be quick. She glanced at Dhani, shooting him a quick look that she’d hope he understood. Quick as lightning, she fished one of their phones out of their pocket. It was locked, but she tapped into the emergency call mode, and dialled out one of the few numbers she knew by heart. Aaron.

Hoping the call would stay active, she slipped the phone back into the pocket, and turned back to Dhani. “Come on then, grandad, let’s not keep the nice gentlemen waiting,” she said, a little louder than normal in the hope the phone would be able to pick up her voice, with the slightest nod to Dhani.

Dhani nodded when Cerys said something didn’t feel right. He agreed, there was definitely something fishy going on. They didn’t get a chance to discuss it, however, before some guards came into the room. They didn’t seem to be taking the two of them very seriously, which Dhani knew they could use to their advantage. Cerys shot him a look, and Dhani knew he only had a split second to think of a plan, and it had better do the trick of distracting the guards long enough.

“It seems like the floors would get slick in here, doesn’t it?” Dhani played it up like he was talking to Cerys, but really he was trying to discern which of the guards she was targeting. He wasn’t entirely sure what her plan was, but he knew what he was going to do would help her either way. With a shrill shriek, he dramatically “slipped” on the damp floor, reaching out to grab the guard Cerys wasn’t actively pickpocketing to “catch himself.” Dhani was pretty sure he was big enough and had enough momentum to take both of them to the ground, and he was right. “Oh my god!” He yelled, as he “struggled” to untangle himself from the guard so he could get up, “I’m so sorry.”

It didn’t take long for the guards to right the situation, but it was long enough. Dhani smiled at Cerys when she nodded- brief and subtle, but it gave her the message that he understood. “Man, you guys should do something about that flooring. Maybe change the tiles?” He was speaking a bit louder than normal too, but hopefully not so much that he’d raise suspicion, “Or get your prisoners slip resistant shoes or something.”

Thankfully, Cerys knew the elaborate and dramatic form that Dhani’s distractions tended to take, otherwise the distraction could have thrown her too. It worked, with both guards seemingly oblivious that one of them had been pickpocketed. “Or maybe you just need to learn to distribute your weight better, Paladin,” she said. “Sorry about him.”

The guards seemed to remember then why they were there, cuffing them both and leading them back to the cells. Cerys kept waiting for the guard leading her to put his hand in his pocket for his phone and knock the call off, either inadvertently or deliberately. But he kept one hand on Cerys’ shoulder and the other on her cuffs, making sure she couldn’t run… and that he couldn’t knock off the call. She managed to keep a straight face as they led her and Dhani back into their cell, taking off the cuffs. But the minute that the guards left the cell, a triumphant grin took over her expression.

“You okay, Dhani? You hit the floor kinda hard back there,” she said, just in case the guards happened to still be listening outside the door. “I need you to know, though, that I fully intend on telling Aaron all about your clumsy ass in intricate detail.”

The moment Cerys used his hero name, Dhani was pretty sure he knew what was happening. “We’re not all compact and close to the ground, Artemis.”

The guard in charge of Dhani kept an extra firm grip as they walked back to their cell, almost as if bracing for another fall the entire time. There was a natural nervousness there, as if he was sure they would get caught any moment. Dhani trusted Cerys to his core, but there would likely be big problems for them if they were caught, or if this call was cut short. This was, very likely, their only real hope.

“I didn’t hit my head too hard,” He said with a smile, “I’ll be good as new in no time thanks to my powers. I’d worry about the guard.” He rolled his eyes when she said she was going to tell Aaron about his fall. “If that makes you happy, Care bear.” He reached out to playfully muss up her hair before settling into one of the beds in the cell, a little sore from his fall. He’d be all healed up in no time, he knew, but he had taken that fall a little harder than he’d intended. The things he did for Cerys. He was tired, but very proud of her. He shot her a grin, she deserved that much, at least.

Cerys rolled her eyes as he called her “Care Bear” again, the childhood nickname making her smile despite herself. She playfully scowled at him as he messed up her hair, but followed him over to sit on the other bunk. She shot him a grin back, but something he’d said, or almost said, earlier, was once again lingering in her mind.

“Sooooo… what’s up with you and Icarus?” She asked, making sure she was out of arm’s reach as she said so. “Before you ask, I wouldn’t say it’s that obvious. But you two sure have been sharing a lot of glances across the room. And also you called him “Att” earlier. So, come on, spill.” Her tone was deliberately light and playful; both because that was their dynamic, and because she wanted Dhani to know this wasn’t coming from a place of judgement. The lines between hero and villain were becoming more and more blurred; and besides, Icarus wasn’t even the worst of the villains. He wasn’t even the worst of who they were working with.

When Cerys asked about what was up between himself and Icarus, Dhani’s shoulders stiffened. This was it, he’d have to explain himself and look like a terrible hero. But she didn’t sound judgemental, and it was Cerys, she knew him, she knew what kind of a person he was. He didn’t need to be defensive. So he shrugged, “Honestly, I’m not even sure.” That was true, “We met before,” He gestured around the confines of their cell, “All this. It wasn’t much, but I guess it was enough.” He sighed, looking Cerys in the eye, “I really like him, though.”

“It’s probably clouding my judgement a little, but he’s a good guy, Cerys. And he gets it, and you know how hard that is to find, especially when,” He paused, a little abruptly. The dating pool for a gay superhero was very shallow, and the last person Dhani had considered he might have a chance with was far too related to Cerys for him to attempt to pursue anything. “I just feel like it might be stupid if I keep acting like nothing’s going on there, especially after all of this.”

Cerys knew Dhani as well as, if not even better than, either of her brothers. So she could tell that he was telling the truth. The villain meant something to him, she could tell that much. And it couldn’t be easy for Dhani. Cerys’ dating field was technically wider, but it was hard dating as a hero. In some ways, maybe it was easier to date another super, even if it was a villain. At least then they didn’t think they should be destroyed just for being different.

At the comment about not wanting to act like there was nothing going on after all of this, Cerys glanced down towards her hands, raising an eyebrow for the first time. She wasn’t going to judge anyone for that. She kept telling herself that she was going to tell Aaron, that she would finally do it; and every single time, she bottled it, afraid of destroying something good. They were a good team. He was one of her best friends. Risking that seemed crazy.

“You should go for it, Dhani. I think… this,” she said, mimicking his gesture around the cell, “is going to kinda smash the whole villain hero divide. I mean, I’m assuming that the whole thing isn’t going to actually make things worse and that they’re not like… I dunno, beating the shit out of each other right now. We don’t know what’s going to happen next, so you should go for it.” She raised an eyebrow. “And if you start any bullshit about me needing to follow my own advice, I swear to god,” she warned, laughing a little.

“Just know I’m thinking it, then.” He smirked and laid back on his bed, “Really though, Cerys, life is too short not to take risks and find love if you can find it,” He paused, pointing vaguely in her direction without looking to make sure he was pointing at her, “Obviously we’re both strong and independent and don’t need anyone in our lives, but it is nice to be loved and wanted.”

Cerys was like the little sister he’d always wanted, so he tried to be good and kind and fair with her, “All of this will just be history one of these days, but you know you deserve to live your life now, too.” He crossed his fingers behind his head, staring intently at the ceiling- as if he were trying to make sense of whatever patterns he could see there. If they got out of this place, if he survived this, he knew he needed to go for it with Att. He’d denied himself a chance to really love someone romantically for so long, and this could very well be his last chance.

“Hey, Cerys,” He said, after a moment of silently contemplating his life choices, “I love you.” He wanted to make sure she knew that, and had a deep and burning need in his chest that he’d just had to say it. “I don’t think I tell you enough, but I do.” She was really the only person on the planet that knew him as deeply as she did- she knew about almost every facet of his life, and he appreciated her more than he knew how to express. He had hope that the others would find them and get them out of there, but he also knew that every moment in that cell could be his last.

She laughed as he joked about them not needing anyone, but it being nice to have someone. He did have a point on that front. And with Dhani, it wasn’t just nonsense platitudes either. He’d known exactly what she’d gone through and why the idea of love and relationships frightened her. It had gone so wrong the last time, but he knew that. She trusted him and trusted his take on it more than probably anyone else in the world.

“God, have you been reading YA books again?” She teased as he made the comment about it all eventually being history. She knew he was right, but actually working up the guts to make a move or say something would be a different matter altogether. But she also knew that Dhani would be there to either support her and help her out, or give her a kick up the ass and find some way of orchestrating things so she literally had no choice. They had their separate lives, now, so sometimes she almost forgot how willing they were to drop everything and help the other out.

She smiled as he told her he loved her. It was something they’d always said when they were a little bit younger and a little bit dumber, when they needed reminding that no matter what, they had family, and that family wasn’t just about blood. “Love you too, Dhani. I don’t know where I’d be without you, honestly.”

“You’d be dead, for sure.” Dhani quipped, remembering one too many times where he’d had to heal her up when Cerys was still learning the ropes. He turned his head to look at her, “I’m really proud of you, you know. Helen would be, too.” He knew that would be a little touchy, but he didn’t know if anyone told her recently, or ever. “You’ve been saving my ass recently. You’ve really grown into a great hero.”

“And YA books are great, by the way.” He added.

Cerys laughed as Dhani reminded her she’d probably be dead. He wasn’t wrong, she’d gotten herself into a few major scraps that he’d gotten her out of and then had fixed her up afterwards, while also giving her advice on how to not get into such trouble next time. She looked back down at her hands as he reminded her that she was proud of her, her smile slipping a little as he mentioned Helen. Everything she did, she did with her sister in mind to try and make her proud. She wasn’t sure she would ever live up to her sister’s memory, but she could try. She tried every single day.

His comment about YA books pulled her from her thoughts, and she laughed. “I’ll have to get some book recommendations from you when we get out of all this.”