by Usagi Anami (兎あなみ)
Nighthawk stares at the monitors on the walls, the brightest things in a dark room of wires and gears. The drone of electronics, the click and clack of cogs and the hiss of steam resonate through the air. The screens display the names and medical statistics of every member of the Young Justicars – Sylph, Blazes, Android, Bestial, and The Jackal’s Daughter – except for him. The screens flicker and a smaller screen displays the microscopic machines coursing through his teammates’ veins.
“Admiring my handiwork, I see,” says a low, cool voice behind him.
“There’s nothing admirable about what you do, Slain,” Nighthawk growls, face furrowing behind his domino mask.
“I’d watch that tone if I were you, unless you’d like my little devices to eat your friends from the inside.”
“Sir? Paper or plastic?”
Gary Stuart blinks and looks at the bag boy before him in mute astonishment. The bright lights of the supermarket, the glossy linoleum floor, the sting of annoyed customers behind him, and the generic pop music playing over the intercom seem, for a moment, grossly unfamiliar. The secret lair of Slain vanishes into the labyrinth of his mind.
“Um, paper, please. And, uh, don’t bag the comic book.”
When Gary gets back to the parking lot, his son Doug is too engrossed in his Nintendo DS game and whatever garbled rock is blasting into his earphones to look up. For reasons unknown to him, Doug has tied his hair into four tiny pigtails.
At least he hasn’t asked about getting a tattoo, Gary thought. Not yet, anyway.
He drops Young Justicars #340 into Doug’s lap. The tip of Doug’s tongue pokes out and the stylus in his hand moves over the DS screen more and more quickly.
“You’re welcome,” Gary sighs. He adjusts the rearview mirror, squints at the crow’s feet beginning in the corners of his eyes, and shakes his head. He imagines he can feel the hair getting ready to grow out his ears.
“The first thing I expect from you, Nighthawk, is for you learn how to express your gratitude. I could have already destroyed those worthless friends of yours with the push of a button, and I assure you that anything less than your complete obedience will end their lives.”
Slain’s gloved hand touches Nighthawk’s face. He flinches for a moment but does not resist when the fingers grab the edge of his domino mask and pull. His face stings when the adhesive is torn from his face.
Nighthawk’s fingers work quickly and stiffly as he peels the spandex from his skin, his eyes closed and his mouth a hard line. One minute later his black uniform lies piled around his feet.
“Where are we going? We’ve been going down this way for like fifteen minutes…”
“Ah,” Gary glances at his son before realizing he has no clue what street he is on. “Well…”
“You’re hopeless, Dad. You want me to call Mom?”
Gary shrugs and Doug opens the glove compartment and digs though insurance papers and ancient cigarettes to find their cell phone.
Gloveless, Slain’s hands are cold and smooth. They linger, feeling every toned muscle in his white flesh, catching and pulling Nighthawk’s nipples. Nighthawk shivers and Slain laughs.
“You will learn to like this,” Slain whispers, pushing Nighthawk against the metal wall. Slain reaches down and cups Nighthawk’s cock, dexterous fingers coaxing him to hardness. Nighthawk tries to pull back but finds himself pinned. He bites his own tongue hard and digs his nails into his palm, but his cock still stirs to life, still throbs and pulses, still trembles and spurts in Slain’s hand.
The garage door opens a quarter of the way and stops. Gary curses, steps out of the car and forces the door up manually. When he gets back to the car Doug is frowning.
“Did you forget my Young Justicars?”
Gary points to the comic, which lies next to Doug’s feet. Doug disappears inside the house, leaving Gary with the car and groceries. He leans against the car and lights a half-disintegrated cigarette he has dredged from the glove compartment. He rolls his shoulders back and stands with his heels together. He smiles for a moment as Slain, inscrutable as shadow, draws forth a kindred darkness in a less and less reluctant Nighthawk.