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Avenger Assembled

In His Den

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Wesley was on his way back from a very successful gig in the early morning hours of one warm Freedom City spring. He'd done an entire garage band tonight, the Screaming Skulls having decided to celebrate their first record sale with a joint tattoo of their skull-faced, flaming-headed logo across their backs. The guys in the band had paid well for their matching tattoos, even the ones who'd needed to borrow money from their moms. Ah, to be sixteen again and full of dreams for the future. He stopped at a red light just as he got onto the interstate from Grenville, leaving the suburban bedroom community behind him. He was just pulling onto the highway proper when Avenger spoke to him from the seat next to him. "Wesley. You wanted to talk."

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It's times like these why anyone would wanna go professional, Wesley think as he pulls out of the driveway, I can set my own hours and I get to pick the good customers. The drive is smooth until he gets on to the highway. When Avenger speaks Wesley steps on the brakes, hard. He's glad it's late enough that there's no one behind him. "Man, how did you get there," he exclaims.

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"Quietly," replied Avenger, his voice implacable and flat. "Was in the area," he added, a trifle more sociably. "Saw you. Knew you wanted me." He shot Wesley a look, keeping the impetus to talk on the other man.

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Wesley continues driving, "Yeah I wanted to talk." He sighs, "You remember that night we fought the vampire and the demon and whatever that lady was?" There is a long pause, Wesley assumes Avenger remembers the night vividly, seeing what happened to him. "Well, I have the ability to see what's alive, but when I tried to take a peak at that demon guy (he wasn't alive or dead, by the way), you were close to him and it appeared that you were something like him, on a lesser scale."

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"Well." Avenger was eerily silent for a long moment before reaching behind his head to unhook his hockey mask. The ski-mask underneath came off with just one pull, revealing a shockingly beautiful face underneath. The growly-voiced, mad-eyed Avenger turned out to be a beautiful man with soft red lips and deep black eyes, his face soft, delicate, and lovely. "Let's discuss this like adults, shall we?" he asked, the refinement in his voice making a parody of Avenger's rants. "So you found some connection between myself and the vampire elder?"

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Wesley is a bit taken back by Avenger's beauty. A bit of silence passes before he speaks again, "Well, I didn't mention the vampire, unless he was a demon too. No, when I scanned the Necro-King or whatever it was, I caught a glimpse of you too." Another short passage of silence passes. Wesley sounds a bit disturbed, "So are you like a demon? Or a vampire? Or a vampire demon?"

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"That's a very personal question, Wesley." Jack ran his fingers over the dash, his hands still wrapped in Avenger's tight, battered motorcycle gloves. "But it takes some courage to ask, too, under the circumstances. It's night and we're in a confined space. An evil vampire, or a demon, could kill you here simply for asking." He turned his head and looked at Wesley, his eyes flat. "It would be protocol, don't you think? If a superhero exposed the secrets of something like that, the natural impulse of a monster would be to kill you." How am I supposed to communicate this to Wesley? "Fortunately, I am...not like that. If you have questions about my species, Wesley, I'd be happy to meet you during the day in any church you'd care to name." He drummed his fingers on the dash, a bit of nervous energy Wesley hadn't seen from Avenger. "I'd like to think I've established my credentials as trustworthy. Is it going to be a problem for you, working with someone who isn't like you?"

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Wesley's hands tense around the steering wheel and stares straight ahead as Avenger talks of what he could do at the moment. He calms down when Avenger assures him that he means no harm. "Nah, I trust you. I just wanted to know what you were and if you had like any special needs." An awkward pause, "I mean like blood or brains or flesh or whatever." Another pause, "If you don't, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to stereotype you."

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There was a note of humor in Avenger's dark voice as he spoke. "Appreciate it. Not an offer I receive often. Will be fine." He hesitated, just a moment, before speaking again. "Prefer to keep personal business personal. Hence the mask. You understand?"

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