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Millenium Mall

A summer afternoon in 2021


Charlie had learned a lot during his first year at Claremont. Time travel, juggling life with the rest of the Raven Family and life at the academy, and of course his own unstable little group that he had got together to deal with Casanova and his crew.


Last time they'd met? Cas had tried to brainwash Muirne. Something had to be done about it, and well... not like the rest of his friends knew of his relationship with the headmistress.


Charlie, Muirne, Leon and Luke were at the Millenium Mall, at a burger joint, sitting around a table. Just hanging out, talking. He hadn't been able to get a hold of everyone, but this should be fine, right?


Lowering his burger after a bite, he finally asked the question he'd wanted to ask.


"So... y'know that whole New Young Freedom thing that Casanova's got going? How about we start our own team?"

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Muirne quietly picked at her food as the others around her ate. She was... Angry. And sad. And a lot of things. Casanova had used her against her friends, turned her against them and then gotten away with it. She'd seen him the day after and had barely managed to avoid transforming and attacking him. She was pretty sure someone had noticed given she'd still ended up partially transformed.


She took a deep breath to calm herself before her mood showed, she didn't want to spoil the lunch. She still wanted to spend time with the others, it was just hard when she knew she'd fought them.


Muirne took a large bite of her burger to distract herself just before Charlie asked his question and inhaled the piece, causing her to splutter as Aoife practically instantly responded with a resounding



Muirne saved herself from death by burger by transforming her throat to shadow, and forgot to turn it back before responding. "What brought this on?" She winced at the sound of her voice and quickly got rid of the shadows.

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Of course Luke was furious with Cas and with the  fact that despite everything that had transpired he was still around at school. I mean freakin' mind controlling Muirne. The thought was enough to make his blood boil. Then again, that was definitely no reason to waste a good meal. In fact, the young was going through his burger and fries at breakneck speed, as usual, after all the appetite of a teenage dragon were pretty hard to sate (not that it was much better before he discovered his true nature though).


During the past few days, he had done his best to stay close to his girl, after all, as infuriating as it might have been for him, she definitely got the worst end of the deal being subjected to that creep influence. He was sitting close to Muirne and had planned to go on a date after their were done with what Charlie had to say.


Speaking of which. Chaz had asked him to call Leon too. Sure why not. His roomie was a friend and he was sure that he could help with the Young Freedom situation (besides, it was not like Leon had any love for Cas and his gang himself).


He wasn't sure about the reason of the meeting, but truth was, he wasn't totally oblivious to the possibility of it being to form a new team.


"Yeah, let's to this." He had replied enthusiastically at Nevermore's suggestion. 


"Hey you are ok?" Luke turned to Muirne after her colorful response, although worried, he would have to admit that emphasis had made him chuckle a  little.


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Leon chewed on his burger in silence. Luke had told him Charlie had asked for him to come, but he wasn't sure what the older boy wanted. Leon's suspicious nature was rearing its head. He had been watching Charlie ever since he'd arrived and hadn't said much to him either. Actually, outside of passing him in the halls and few shared classes, Leon tended to avoid him. He couldn't even say why.


On 8/26/2021 at 5:38 AM, RocketLord said:

Lowering his burger after a bite, he finally asked the question he'd wanted to ask.


"So... y'know that whole New Young Freedom thing that Casanova's got going? How about we start our own team?"


Now that stopped Leon as he was about to take another bite. He glanced over at Muirne as she choked on her food for a moment before clearing her throat... literally. He hadn't been worried about her, if she'd really been in danger Luke would respond before anyone else could think to.


Leon didn't like Cassanova from day one. And while he hadn't gone out of his way to cross the annoying little snot, he had tried to mess with him behind the scenes. A report mysteriously turning up blank after being turned in, credit card info being leaked, his tires being jacked while off campus, or other little things he could call on favors from his old life for. But nothing that couldn't be easily (though time wasting) to fix and couldn't be directly linked back to him or his friends. Leon smirked to himself and set his burger down.


"I don't know, I'm not usually a 'team' person. Running with one or two friends or family is one thing, but an honest-to goodness team?" Leon shook his head. "Don't get me wrong, I don't the little worm any more then any one else here." He paused and regarded Muirne, then looked back at Charlie. "Though I'm sure there are those that 'dislike' him more then others."

Leon picked up a couple fries and ate them.

"That said, what's the pitch?"

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Charlie took another bite of his burger while he waited for the responses. Luke was all in, Muirne choked and Leon seemed hesitant about the whole idea. Yeah, alright, that's fine. Sorta as he figured, then. Minus the choking on burger.


Once done chewing, he placed it down, then held out his hands and started counting on his fingers.


"1: Luke probably already told you, but we've scrapped with Cas and his crew in the past." That one was directed at Leon. "We won first time, second was more a draw, and honestly, if we're gonna have a shot against them we gotta be more organized."


"2: The first time was reported, Cas was given a second chance. Nobody seems to care that he mind whammied Muirne, so somebody's gotta be in on his deal. If we can't trust the teachers, then we gotta trust each other."


"3: Cas does not get to just walk away from doing things to Muirne like that. We might've worked together to take out those bad guys, but there's no way I'm letting that go."


Charlie paused and looked at Muirne, then around each other, before his serious face faded and split into a grin.


"Besides, the three of us works well together, and Luke's told me that you're good in a fight, so how about we see how that goes?" The last part was, obviously, directed at Leon.

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Leon ate a few more fries as Charlie counted off his reasons. As much as he was reluctant to agree, he had to admit the boy wasn't wrong. Muirne and Luke were friends, and if he'd been there the other times they'd scrapped with Cas's crew he'd have had their backs without a second thought. He took a long sip from his cup as he mulled it over, trying to seem indifferent as he did so.

He glances over at Luke and Muirne, frowning a little. They weren't family like Robert and Elizabeth, but he couldn't just let them face off with a jerk like that again without him. Besides, it did sound like it would be fun.

Picking up a couple more french fries he paused in thought, then pointed them at Charlie. "Who else do you have lined up for this? I mean, I know I'm good, but you don't seem like the type to put all your money on one bet."

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"Yeah... plus it's nhot jhust that..." Luke added as he chewed through the last bite of his burger.


"I mean, I definitely want to stick it to Cas..."  Although admittedly it was annoying to think that Cas got that idea before they did.


"But it's also cool to kick ass when you are with friends." He grinned. Not long after his eyes shifted toward his girl. *Or with something more than that.*  He smiled softly.


"And the way I see it, we are stronger together anyway... " Yeah compensating each other's weaknesses.


"I'd have probably burned down the whole museum if it wasn't for you people..." He shrugged, yeah, luckily his friends and a now free from Cas's influence Muirne had managed to make him reason.


"It'd be like bein' in a gang." Yeah not exactly. "I mean to do good though."



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Muirne stewed for several long moments as Charlie listed reasons why they should team up. She liked working with them, and wasn't fond of the idea of letting Casanova do whatever he wanted but wasn't sure where to draw the line as to what to do. If she'd listened to Aoife she would have hunted him down like a prey animal through the campus, and if it'd been Luke or someone hit by him she couldn't say she probably would have.


And why should you not deserve the same revenge? He is the same as Dougal just weaker, and you hunted him as he deserved.


Dougal was different, he killed and enslaved my entire village. My family.


Do you think he wouldn't do the same thing given the chance? Besides, you didn't answer my first question.


There are others who who can help to stop him, it's not just me. And... It's just me.


That's a shit reason.


Muirne scowled into her drink, the shadows which she'd covered her throat with dancing around her body agitatedly until the settled over her mouth and throat again, her voice ringing out without her will. "I'm in. Let's get some bad guys." She hid her surprise at the words, pretending that she'd planned on that as Aoife radiated smugness even as she wrested control off of Aoife and stored the power into her well.


She'd remember this.

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"Got a few ideas," Charlie responded to Leon, while fishing out the last of his fries from the wrapper. "But a bunch of the people I considered don't seem to be at the school this year. Besides, I've learned not to plan too much."


Charlie chewed thoughtfully on the fries while Luke and Muirne agreed. He raised an eyebrow at Muirne's words, or maybe her voice, but let it go. At least for now.


"Yeah, it is cool to kick ass with friends," he agreed with Luke, shaking his head. "I kinda wanna keep that in mind, y'know. We're doing this to protect people while working together. And sure, part of that means keeping an eye on Shields and his team, but that doesn't mean that we're gonna become some kind of Casanova Revenge Squad. Can't be all about vengeance, right?"


He paused for a moment for flourish, then added.


"So... what do you think we should call ourselves? I kinda wanted to go for Young Freedom, name's got history, but Cas and his gang are kinda ruining that."

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Leon nodded thoughtfully as Charlie talked. He wouldn’t be surprised if Luke and Muirne agreed quickly, but he didn’t want to look too eager.


He looked over at his roommate and cocked an eyebrow. “I ask again, what did that museum ever do to you?” He teased.


When Muirne’s shadows started spreading he elbowed Luke to calm her down. Luckily she seemed to regain control of herself. Leon glanced around, but no one was reacting so he relaxed a little and picked up his cup. 


When Charlie started talking about names he leaned back in his chair and sipped his drink. “Alright, I’m in.” He said casually. “But only if we call the team Paper and his Amazing Friends.”

Leon grinned, obviously trying not to laugh.

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Luke raised his head from the lunch that he was still enthusiastically devouring to give Muirne a bit of a worried look, as he saw the shadow dancing around her. It felt like... she was somewhat wrestling for control against it. A matter that perhaps they will need to discuss. Not at this moment though, there was no need to bring the argument in front of everyone else, especially if it was something that his girlfriend wasn't that willing to comment about. Quietly he offered her his hand if she wanted to squeeze it from under the table.


He shrugged when Chaz mentioned their missing companions, after all he had already seen people come and go at the school and while he was surprised at first, he had realized by now that the life of a superhero in training was an unpredictable one and that anything can come up at any time. 


The young man chuckled at his roommate teasing.  "I mean, too much learning stuff all in one place, it's unnatural." He joked back.


"Yeah definitely, we are freackin' superheroes after all not Cas babysitters." He nodded at Chaz's words. "Plus, I mean, we can't let him define us, or how we are gonna go with our future." Yeah and indulging petty revenge by abusing his powers was definitely something he was proud about from his pre-Claremont life. 


"No way!" He playfully shoved Leon from the  chair nearby. "I mean, Dragon's crew could be nice though." He grinned. "What about Defenders though? Or Guardians?"



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  • 2 weeks later...



Muirne pondered the question of names and the matter of Aoife's wrestling of the shadows away from her. Quietly, she took Luke's offered hand.


"Should we include 'Young' in our group name? We aren't exactly old after all." Muirne looked down at her burger, taking a few more bites. "Besides it gives us an easy way of advancing the title as we get stronger and older."

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"Man, we can't go with Paper and Friends," Charlie shook his head, holding his hands up. "Everybody's just gonna show up with scissors if we do that."


At least they were all getting into the idea of making an official team. Kind of like he had seen during that future trip...


"Sure, putting young in front of team names seem to be a whole thing, anyway. How's Young Guardians, then?"

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“Ha, ha.”

Leon shot Charlie a look as he recovered from Luke’s shove.

“If I had a dollar for every time I heard that joke. I wouldn’t have had to start stealing. I mean, I probably still would have, but I wouldn’t have needed to.”

He clarified off-handedly.


15 hours ago, RocketLord said:

"How's Young Guardians, then?"


Leon was quiet for a moment as he seemed to think on Charlie’s suggested.

“Ya, okay.”

He nodded and grinned.

“I think I can work with that.”

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  • 2 weeks later...

Luke gently squeezed Muirne's hand. He was there for her, plus she was stronger of whatever darkness dwelt in her, that he was confident about.


"Dunno, doesn't it make it sounds like we are kinda of noobs?" Luke shook his head, looking thoughtful. Admittedly though, they were scrubs at the superhero business, but it was not like he was ever gonna admit it.


"I mean a battle name should be kinda scary, I mean put fear in the heart of our enemies, yadda, yadda, yadda." That was perhaps more of a 'gang' name idea though, admittedly.


"Plus we are all badasses here." He grinned, turning to face his girl.

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