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The Rooftop Castle on the DuTemps Building. Friday, July 26th, 2019. 7:04 pm

 

As first dates went for Casey Blankenship, this was the first; sure, she 'dated' Tim Krieger freshman year back in Colorado Springs, but that was mostly holding hands at Summer Bible Camp. She hadn't dated at all at Claremont, and despite the efforts of her sorority sisters, she'd yet to date anyone at FCU.

 

But something about this new website intrigued her; just knowing your date was, well, different, somehow made everything much easier. She scanned the 'Men Looking For Women' listings in a matter of seconds, but only one listing really caught her eye. This Morgan, though...

 

Messages were exchanged, a date was planned, somehow. Casey didn't want her date to feel uncomfortable, and they both flew, so she blurted out the one rooftop she knew in Freedom that combined an amazing view with a garden. A quick phone call to a simply delighted Daphne assured her that it would be 'totally fine' to meet her date on top the DuTemps Castle in time to eat while the sun set.

 

Having no idea how normal people dated, the blonde powerhouse announced she'd bring the food, which thrust her into Martha Stewart mode; by 7pm, she had two folding chairs and a collapsible table set up, with a red and white tablecloth and a big wicker picnic basket. Since her date knew she was a hero, Casey opted to skip her glasses and wear her hair down; she'd picked a dark blue party dress she really liked, and did her best to not check her watch every five seconds, as she sat in a chair with her long legs crossed.

 

Spoiler

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Edited by Heritage

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Morgan flew through the air reminding himself of exactly what he'd signed up for. Honestly? he'd posted his profile expecting it to sit there in internet oblivion where he would inevitably forget about it. And then someone messaged him about it. Cute girl? Flyer? Yup.  All good signs. Not to mention highly unlikely to be a villain in disguise. he'd tried to be open and upfront with the prospective date in messages, hoping this wouldn't wind up being an elaborate setup... Last thing he needed was to be Super-Punked...

 

While his mind turned to potential horror-stories of heroic-community dating and the problems inherent therein, his wings took him up to the location he'd GPS'd out, flapping to gain altitude and catching an updraft to gain more. When he actually looked at the place where he was meeting his date? He was more than a little awed. Sure, he'd seen the place while flying about, but actually looking at it and heading for it with intent to land was another thing entirely, right?

 

When he landed in the courtyard, he made sure his suit was on right. Nice (and modified for the wings) business-casual suit in black with a white shirt. Why? because it never hurt to dress well, and it helped that he kept thinking 'just like going to a bar. Just like going to a bar' over and over to keep his nerves from fraying. Then he looked around, eyes catching on the table, basket, and the girl sitting on one of the chairs.

 

"Miss Casey, I presume?" he asked, letting the echoes of divinity carry him through with as much confidence as possible. he wasn't anywhere near as smooth an operator as some he'd heard of, but if there was one thing Morgan could always be confident of? It was his strength of personality.

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Casey was so distracted by nerves that she didn't even sense Morgan's approach, no mean feat given her acute hearing and vision. Pleasantly caught off guard, the lovely young woman smiled and rose to her feet, nearly six feet tall in her two inch heels.

 

"Yeah, hi! You must be Morgan." She strode over to the winged man, much more handsome in person, and gave him a firm handshake. "Very nice to meet you! Uh, come on over and have a seat!" Excited and filled with nervous energy, she actually began to glow softly, a faint golden light she wasn't even aware of in her state. "I, uh, I wasn't sure what to bring," she said uncertainly looking over her shoulder. "Do you like hot wings?"

Edited by Heritage

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"Indeed I am! Morgan Belial King, in full. Or Nephilim. Some shorten that to 'Neph.' Please don't blame me for the middle name. it was mom's contribution." he said, smiling wide and shaking her hand in turn. "Nice to meet you, too. In person, anyway." he nodded and took a seat as comfortably as he could, leaning forward slightly before back. his own reasonably tall frame letting him rest his wings on the chair back with a bit of work and positioning. "I probably wouldn't have been any better. My ability to cook extends to 'follow the video or recipe to the letter' and usually 'recipe' includes 'instructions on the back of the box.'" he said, chuckling a little. "I love hot wings. I especially love wings where, after I eat them, I can't feel the roof of my mouth. Or my tongue. I love spicy food. I love regular food.... pretty much the only thing I can make for myself is gumbo, which is easy because it's basically 'anything soup' with rice in it."

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A visably relieved Casey opened up the picnic basket. "Oh, I am so glad to hear that!" Then she paused and covered her mouth, looking slightly embarrassed. "Okay, so, funny story. I'm not really much of a cook, so I decided to go and pick up the wings." She reached into the basket, and pulled out a large paper bag with the 'Hooters' logo on the side. "Now, I've never been to Hooters, but my dad always swore by them; 'best wings in town', he'd say. And my mom always gave him crap for going there, and he was like, 'no, no, it's fine, it's not as sexy as they say it is, blah blah blah'." As she said this, Casey continued to set out the various food containers, Chinet plates, plastic cups and a roll of paper towels, then she stopped and held up five fingers.

 

"Five people asked me to come and join the 'Hooters family'; three servers, an assistant manager and the store manager." She sighed and shook her head. "So if journalism doesn't work out, I've got that to fall back on." Casey shuddered dramatically. "So creepy! Okay, so we've got thirty hot wings: ten Hot, ten 9-1-1's and ten 3 Mile Islands. Plus we've got Bleu cheese dipping sauce and a six pack of Sam Adams." She shrugged. "Nothing but class! I hope that's okay."

Edited by Heritage

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"Nothing beats lager for putting out mouth-fires." he said, nodding as though spouting sage wisdom. "I've got zero problem with picked-up food. It's what i eat ninety percent of the time. The only real question I ask is 'where to go for variety.' One can only eat takeout Chinese so often. Which is why I'm glad I found a Thai place, a Vietnamese place, a Mexican place, and an good old fashioned sandwich shop within a few days of moving here. That and a good bar via my friend Emily. "i'll let you decide who gets what, since you brought the food, yeah?" Worst case, in Morgan's mind, was they part ways at the end of the night and she could hit him up for dinner on him as friends.

 

He pondered for a few moments before continuing, "Journalism, eh? Interesting. Not my thing, personally, but I went into computer science to get certified for technical support, so I don't exactly have room to talk. I don't think I'd have the disposition to be a proper journalist. That and can you imagine me trying to read the news on a cable channel?" he asked, grinning. " It'd be hilarious, but nowhere near practical in my case. What drew you to journalism as a career path? Thinking of setting up newspaper of your own? Or just doing the freelance thing? or are you going more for doing journalistic research and announcing news on T.V.?"

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Casey frowned and shook her head as flipped open two beers with her nails, a trick that dropped jaws back at her sorority. "Mmm, nah," she answered as she handed Morgan a beer. "I mean, if I'm perfectly honest, the romantic thought of writing for a major metropolitan newspaper is still there, but traditional newspapers are dying." She raised her beer in salute. "To the coffee-stained hacks of old; may their typewriter ribbons never run dry!" She took a swig with a minimal grimace before continuing. "No, no on-camera stuff for me; I hate to say it, but I'm too pretty to be taken seriously. I'm thinking me and my Tascam will probably go to AP or Pacifica, and see the the world."

 

The athletic blonde set aside her beer and began to pile hot wings on her plate. "So how about you; are you going to stay in tech support, or do you have other plans?"

Edited by Heritage

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He saluted with his beer when Casey offered the toast to old-style journalists. Then he shrugged to her question. "It pays for my hobbies, and my investments pay for the bills. I could just as easily get by without the job, but I didn't want to just sit about and do nothing. It allows me to work from home and it's a lot better than customer service. Worked that in a call center while I was going through school. First day I came in? They told me I wasn't allowed to 'wear costumes to work.'" he said, chuckling. "I told them they were free to try and take them off if they'd like, but the medical bills would be sent to their legal team. Now, at least, I get the sense I'm actually helping people rather than smoothing over problems ala 'customer retention' practices."

 

"I'd say something to the contrary of you being taken seriously because you're too pretty, but I can spot a trap when I see it." he said with a grinning. "Instead I will simply say that I'm sure you could make it work if you wanted to do it. As for 'other plans?" He pondered for a moment. "Well, this kind of IS my 'other plan.' Came here from Minnesota. Seeing the world is a good goal, though. It'd be nice to see some of the fantastic views of the world." With his own beer going, he piled some of the wings onto a plate as well, trying to think of how to eat them without getting sauce all over his hands and possibly his face... And failing. It always happened unless he tried to eat them with latex gloves, and that just looked odd.

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Somehow, Casey was able to eat her wings and not get her face or fingers dirty, but closer examination revealed super-short bursts of speed and a wad of red-stained paper towels that suddenly appeared in her lap. Once she realized she'd been 'caught,' she shrugged and cringed.

 

"So I maybe use my superpowers frivolously from time to time? I don't know anyone who doesn't." Grabbing some more wings (wow, this girl had an appetite), and now allowing the occasional smudge of sauce to remain, she continued. "Mm, working from home makes a lot of sense when you put it that way! We're so lucky we live in a world with so many options! Just ten or twenty years ago, you would've been screwed!"

 

Yes, Casey was cursing a bit more these days; blame her sorority sisters for that.

Edited by Heritage

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"Oh, trust me. I know. When I was ten, it was 'take your child to work day' at my dad's firm. I could not sit in those office chairs. Ever." he said, grinning. "But yeah, everyone uses their powers frivolously every now and again... Well, the powers that one CAN. I fly to and from most places when I'm not in the mood to take my time or deal with traffic lights. And I've been asked to help friends move no fewer than three times because I can lift a couch- one-handed and fly it out the window rather than down three sets of stairs. And then up fifteen floors when we get to the new place." Thank you, Emily, for that wonderful experience.

 

"I remember one time, a woman was out on the 15th floor balcony, right? And there I was, holding up a sofa waiting for my friend to get to her apartment and open the balcony doors into the living room, and this thing was not small. It was one of those long sofa things. Had to hold it careful-like 'cause it was a reclining sofa. After that I just made repeat trips back down to the moving van and brought stuff up. The old woman just stood there with a cup of coffee looking at me like I was the strangest thing she'd ever seen." he said, doing an impression of confusion, approximating the face on the old woman he of whom he spoke. With that done, however, he began eating as well, enjoying the hotter wings while savoring the milder ones he could get his hands on and trying to keep his hands as clean as possible but not obviously stressing himself over it. "So, no judgement from me. All us with powers use 'em, and not always for the 'betterment of society' but because it's just more convenient not to have to walk down stairs, or wait for the elevator."

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Casey took another swig of her beer, feeling nothing, then moved on to the 9-1-1's, and had yet to tear up or break a sweat; she was handling these wings like a boss. "Mmm, spicy! So, have had a chance to do anything, like, heroic yet? I know sometimes it can be hard to take that first step and put yourself out there. I imagine even moreso since you can't hide behind a secret identity if you screw up."

 

The mouth on this girl! Did she kiss her mother with that thing?

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"Nah. I've mostly been getting settled in for a while, and trying to establish a presence first as someone who CAN help. It's been a bit, but there's just so much to do here as opposed to back home, I've just been trying to figure out HOW to step in and help without potentially stepping on anyone else's toes, yeah? If I screw up? Well, I'm only 'human.'" he said, laughing. Half-human or no, he wasn't perfect. He put a couple of the spicier wings on his plate and dug in as well. Gotta love the burn. "Whoo, yeah. That's the good stuff. If I had sinus problems they'd be gone now. How 'bout you? I feel like I'm probably the slow-goer in this, since I'm only just getting in on this, but I'd love to hear some of your exploits if you're up for it?"

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Suddenly Casey got a little pink in the cheeks as her natural tendency towards humility clashed with her desire to impress a cute guy; she shrugged awkwardly and waved a hand vaguely in the air, which looked kind of adorable.  "I mean, I've been doing this since I was in high school, so I have a...few notches on my belt." She cleared her throat and fiddled with a napkin. Her discomfort was obvious; this was not 'humble bragging', but an old-fashioned girl trying to minimize her accomplishments. "I, uh, once helped save the President-"

 

The blonde heroine shook her head and waved her hand dismissively. "It was a team effort, really...there were a few of us there, at the time. You know, protecting him..."

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Morgan smiled wide at the description of Casey's noted exploit. "Hey. As a very wise novel character once said? 'All your life, people will try to take your accomplishments away from you. Don't you go and do it for them.'  Granted that was about a young girl who was interested in math, so take it for what you will. Gotta love the original Sarah Harding. You helped protect an important political figure. That is nothing to scoff at, even if it was a team effort." he said, He was impressed. he'd known people did this kind of thing young, but... Well, when he was young he wanted to turn flying into a career somehow. Or somehow turn his Hellfire into a commodity. Or be a professional wrestler... Any way one sliced it? Heroics were a 'if only' kind of situation for him.

 

He ate his chicken happily, relishing the burn of the hot sauce mixing with the flavor of the meat. "So!" he said, wiping his face a bit in an effort to not have said sauce all over it while he tried to talk, and taking the initiative to change the subject, since it seemed she was uncomfortable with the idea of sharing her exploits. "Out of curiosity, what brought you to my profile page and made ya think 'this guy, let's see how it goes?'" he asked. "I mean, I took a look at yours and you seemed like a fun person to know with the ability to fly being a plus. I'm genuinely curious about the 'girl scout' thing, 'cause the only exposure I had to them growing up was cookie sales, but a friend of mine was involved for a few years and she told me all kinds of fun things she did with her group."

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