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Independence Day (IC)


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Lulu shook her head as she wiped away tears with the ball of her hand. "It's alright; that's what we have therapists for, right?" She chuckled ruefully as she fetched a box of Kleenex for the two of them. "Ah'm sorry that things aren't so great at home for you either, ah guess." She pointed as her temple and shrugged apologetically as she sat down next to Judy. "Anythn' you'd like to talk about?" 

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"What is there to talk about?" asked Judy softly, legs folded up under herself as she sat on the bed. "Ah have made some of the best friends of mah life at Claremont; people Ah knew for sure cared about me for who Ah am, not for who my Daddy is. I almost..." But then she'd already told Lulu that story. "But Ah never should have come there. Not...not secretly, anyway. Maybe Daddy would have had to keep it secret from the country, but not from...not from everybody else. There was only one reason to do that, and that was his shame over what was hidin' in our family tree." Her eyes glowed slightly as she spoke, an echo of the rainbow within. "And Ah know Ashley thinks the same thing, that it was a crying shame, but what can she do about it? She can't tell the world without telling the world everything. And anyway, Ah...ah asked her not to." 

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Lulu sat in silence for a while after Judy spoke, letting the weight of the words sink in. After a few moments, she finally spoke. "Even though our lives were...very different, in a lot of ways, there are two things we have in common. We both had to grow up real fast...and we both had parents who chose what was best for them instead of best for us." She grinned a crooked grin. "Pretty sh###y club to belong to, ah guess, but at least we're in here together, huh?"

 

The redhead reached out and took Judy's warm hand in her own. "And ah really mean that; if you ever need me, for anythin', ah will come a-runnin', you hear me? As long as ah've got breath in my body, ah'll come." She pointed up towards the sky. "Even if ah need to borrow a spaceship. Hell, steal. Ah'd steal one to come getcha."

Edited by Heritage
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Judy shot a look up at the sky, hanging onto Lulu's hand as they spoke. "You're a good friend." As she spoke, her eyes glowed faintly with rainbow light as she looked at Lulu. "It's not fair how things are sometimes, but we just have to make the best of it, Ah guess." She ran her free hand through her shortened hair for a moment, then said, "That's what my parents would say, anyway." She smiled tightly, then added, "Sometimes the things we want we can't have. That's just the way it goes." 

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"Ah know we don't always have a lot of say over what goes on in our lives, but we ain't helpless, neither. We're a pair of badass bitches, pardon my French." She let go of Judy's hand, stood up up and sighed. "So are they comin' here, or do you have to go this extraction point? 'Cause ah'd be happy to give you a ride or hell, even fly you anywheres you need to go. Ah can make it so no one sees us, too." She shrugged.

 

Then a thought hit the young redhead, and she clapped her hands together. "Oh, and one way or another, before you go, ah've gotta give you a taste of my Aunt Beulah's homemade shortbread! She sent a box last week and it was so good!" She dropped down next to Judy again and waved her hand, and a plate of buttery cookies and a tall glass of ice-cold milk appeared on the floor on a silver tray. "There you go! Ah think ah made a good match, on account of all the research ah did on the subject." She grabbed a cookie and stuffed it in her mouth, and proceeded to make some very emphatic happy sounds. "Mmm....nailed it!"

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  • 3 weeks later...

The girls ate, something Judy could only really do in Lulu's presence and something she still enjoyed, even as she knew to do it in moderation. Judy was obviously nervous, jumping occasionally at the noises the house made, but seemed to be more relaxed by the time they'd finished. When they were finished she sat quietly for a moment, then seemed to come to a decision - taking out her phone and tapping quickly, then holding it between her hands. "Ah...Ah'm not going to just sit around like a lump. If you really think you can get me out of this house," she said to Lulu, her voice getting intense, "Ah can show you where one of my pickup points is. It's still a while before Ashley's flight gets here but it's better than just...just sitting around doing nothing. Ah've already done enough of that in mah life." 

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Lulu nearly spat up her milk with excitement as she vigorously nodded her head. "Yeah, yeah, absolutely! Ah mean, ah can make us invisible, but we'd still show up camera, so maybe add a change of clothes and some sunglasses. Ah got more than enough liftin' power with my TK to fly us out of here, and ah fly quiet as a church mouse." She made a low swooping gesture with her hand,

Edited by Heritage
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  • 2 weeks later...

Judy was enthusiastic about the idea, and soon nearly anonymous in a borrowed sweater and sunglasses as the two of them disappeared together out Lulu's bedroom window. Their destination was an apartment in Freedom City, one that (by Judy's telling) Ashley had rented outside of the Secret Service's purview so there'd be something off the books if she and Judy ever needed it. _She's pretty worried about a lot of things,_ said Judy with a mental tone that admitted she was pretty worried about a lot of things too - just not always the same things, _so she always likes to have a backup plan, especially when dealing with superheroes._ She shot Lulu an apologetic glance at that, then admitted, _She used to be one, you know, she's not just...not just judging without looking._

 

The apartment turned out to be in Lincoln, evidently the worst neighborhood where Ashley was willing to even consider putting a member of the First Family, the sort of place where Lulu was able to put them down without worrying too much about security cameras. Judy took a moment to look around, picking out the building from the alley where they'd landed across the street, and said, "Ah've never had a chance to come to a place like this on my own," softly. It wasn't a bad neigborhood by any stretch of the imagination, but with its faded brick buildings and strip malls, it was definitely on the working-class side of town. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Lulu waved a dismissive hand and scrunched up her face a bit. "Ah, this ain't nothin'; there are parts of Mobile that look way worse than this." Nevertheless, she reached out to take her friend's hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze as they walked over to the building. Meanwhile her ESP was doing a rapid scan of the whole area, looking for possible threats.

 

"So do you have keys, or do ah need to pop the lock?"

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"You can do that?" asked Judy, eyebrows shooting up. "With your powers, or...well never mind, it doesn't have boobytraps or anything, it's just a regular mundane apartment." She stood back to let Lulu work, looking around to keep an eye out for passersby. "That way it doesn't attract any attention from any super-catburglars or something. Which Ah don't think makes much sense since everyone's a bird, even the bad guys, but what can you do?" She shrugged, adding, "Did Ah ever tell you Ah met the Raven?"

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"Well, technically..." Lulu stopped and shook her head, looking a bit embarrassed. "Y'know what, there's an easier way." She stood with her hands at her sides as she extended her senses beyond the door to see the position of the knob and latches. Once she knew where they were, it was easy to find them again with her TK, and with a few clicks, the door swung open on it's own.

 

The redhead gestured towards the door with a smile. "After you, ma'am. And no, ah don't think you told me that one."

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The one-bedroom apartment turned out to be almost too mundane on the inside, with the sort of generic decorations and furniture that looked rather like something out of a catalog. "There's bottled water and shelf-stable food in the kitchen," said Judy, walking in and sitting in a green stuffed hair, curling her feet up under her legs "Ashley had to make sure anybody who was sheltering with me would be all right." She fiddled around with what looked like a box on the table, turning on what eventually was a big, heavy emergency radio. "Ashley used to know her, back when she was costumed. Not the new Raven, or the one who's coming to school with us this fall, the old one from when we were kids." Judy smiled and said "She actually reminds me just a little of Ashley, but Ah don't think she likes hearing that. Sometimes people find someone they think is going to be close to them, but it doesn't work out." She blinked and stared at the radio, falling silent. 

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Lulu fetched a bottle of water from the kitchen, then moved to sit near Judy, sliding another chair across the room with her TK to do so. She placed it at a right angle to her friend's, so that she was close enough to be with in easy reach, but not too close to crowd her, tucked her legs under herself, too, took a sip of water and rested her eyes.

 

"Ah'm right here if you need me, hon," she murmured.

Edited by Heritage
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"Ah think Ah tell you mah problems enough," said Judy thickly, scrubbing her hand over her eyes. "So how are you and Adam?" she asked. "Are the two of you...you know?" she asked, coloring slightly under her tan skin. "Do you think it's gonna get serious?" 

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Lulu cleared her throat and got a little pink herself. "It's, uh, it's pretty, pretty serious. Ah will, however, spare your delicate ears the details." Then she sighed and smiled. "And... he's takin' me to meet his folks on Thanksgiving. We're drivin' over together." And then she sighed again, like she was slipping into a happy dream.

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"You two are real sweet together. Ah'm happy for you. And Ah am sure a boy that sweet must have good parents, too, so Ah'm sure it'll go well. Look for a Bible when you're in their house," she said, "Ah bet you'll find one even though they're scientists." Judy bit her lip, shifted in her seat, and for a moment it looked like she was going to bring up Leroy before she said, "Ah really want Micah to ask me out," she said, her voice coming all in a rush. She blushed again and looked away, curling her finger in her hair.  

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