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Lone Star

Date Patrol! Action and Romance! Two Heroes Unite!

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Mad Dog was driving towards Midtown, his long jacket whipping in the wind behind him. He hoped he wasn't already late. The clock ticked towards nine o'clock- their scheduled meeting time. He sighed beneath his mask. After taking a quick look to see if there were any cops around, he kicked it into high gear. But then he remembered that superheroes should be role models...and he reluctantly slowed down. What if some kid saw him speeding? What impression would he leave on his young mind? He almost laughed, but decided to keep within the speed limit. Gregory pulled into the parking lot of Denny's, where he was going to meet her. He adjusted his mask and jacket. Stay cool, buddy.

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In a window booth at Denny's, Gossamer sat maskless in her silver-and-blue protective jumpsuit, sipping her coffee as she waited for the waitress to fill the two Thermos she’d brought along for the evening. They were the big ones with shoulder straps she used to use on long walks in Vermont in the fall, back wehn she was still in Harvard.

Goodness, I haven’t done that in a long time! I wonder is Greg would like that sort of thing?

An order of Moon Over My Hammy to go was tempting, but she figured patrolling on a full stomach might be a bad idea, and grease stains would be murder to get out of her jumpsuit, so for now she stuck with her coffee and buttered English muffin. Seeing Mad Dog pull into the parking lot on his Harley, she smiled and eagerly motioned for him to join her.

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Gregory walked in the Denny's, the spikes on his jacket glistening in the moonlight. He grinned beneath it, and walked towards her table. He felt pretty good about tonight. Hopefully something interesting would happen on patrol. He sat down in the booth, taking a seat across from her. "Hey there, gorgeous. Nice night, huh?" He motioned the waitress over and ordered two scrambled eggs. "Sorry, I woke up kind of late. Didn't eat that much today."

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"Hey there, gorgeous. Nice night, huh?" He motioned the waitress over and ordered two scrambled eggs. "Sorry, I woke up kind of late. Didn't eat that much today."

It was the first time Estelle had ever seen Greg in his full costume, all the leather, chains and of course the dog mask, and it was rather odd; what worked well for scaring criminals in dark alleys looked positively bizarre plunked down in a booth at Denny's. Despite herself, Gossamer had to cover her mouth for a moment to suppress a giggle.

Oh dear, I suppose I should say something. :oops:

She leaned over to give him a quick hug, then smiled.

"It’s vdery good to see you again, Mad Dog. Please forgive me, but seeing you in this...well, brightly-lit environment, you look..." She struggled to find the right words, so as not to in anyway hurt his feelings. "That is to say, I think the effect is quite different than what you had in mind."

She offered him her most encouraging smile.

“But by all means, eat; I’ve got hot coffee to go coming for us as well.â€

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"I realize I may look strange in such a family friendly environment. Perhaps even out of place. But it's to protect my identity. Maaaaybe I should've just came in my civvies...sorry. I feel silly now." Mad Dog said as he took off his leather jacket. He looked only slightly less menacing, a black T-shirt with a dog mask. "Is that a little better?

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"I realize I may look strange in such a family friendly environment. Perhaps even out of place. But it's to protect my identity. Maaaaybe I should've just came in my civvies...sorry. I feel silly now." Mad Dog said as he took off his leather jacket. He looked only slightly less menacing, a black T-shirt with a dog mask. "Is that a little better?

Estelle nodded vigorously. "Oh yes, much! Only...will you be able to eat under there? Perhaps we should take our food to go and then find a nice dry rooftop nearby."

She really felt for Greg; she had it easy, seeing as her identity was public knowledge, although there were other risks involved as well. Determined to make the evening work out as well as possible, she signaled the waitress to come over so he could place his order.

Their waitress, one 'Dolly' according to her nametag, was a real pro; she guaranteed herself a good tip from Estelle when she addressed the two of them as if nothing could be more normal than serving two heroes in full costume. Of course with this being Freedom, maybe it wasn't her first time!

"Good evening, sir, and what can I get for you this evening?"

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"I'll have two eggs and two pancakes, the eggs scrambled to go, please. And some milk in a styrafoam cup if you'd be so kind. Thanks very much." He smiled at her from beneath his mask as he handed her his menu. As the waitress walked away, Mad Dog turned to Estelle. "Yeah, we ought to find somewhere where I can eat without being...watched. Sorry again, I really should have just come in my civilian clothes." Mad Dog looked around and saw a few people looking at him. He waved politely.

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Dolly happily took the vigilante’s order and his menu, as well as adding an Egg Beaters Denver omelet to go for Estelle, then headed back to the counter.

"Yeah, we ought to find somewhere where I can eat without being...watched. Sorry again, I really should have just come in my civilian clothes."

Gossamer reached across the table and took one of his gloved hands in her own. "No, look, it's fine; I don't have a lot of experience in this area either, so we'll both just have to take things a step at a time."

Deciding to change the topic, the blonde heroine scooted a bit closer to Mad Dog, a bit of a twinkle in her eye.

"So what do you think; start closer to the river and work our way out, or begin in the Theater District and work out way in?"

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Mad Dog quickly stole a kiss on her cheek, and grinned madly. :D"You choice, Goss. You know Freedom City probably better than I do. Besides, it should be the ladies choice." He squeezed her hand gently as he sat back down. He was really looking forward to kicking some criminal butt with her.

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"You choice, Goss. You know Freedom City probably better than I do. Besides, it should be the ladies choice."

Gossamer snorted and nearly spit up her coffee. "Hardly, MD; I've spent most of my life in either the Hamptons or at Harvard. And here I thought my snooty patrician accent was a dead giveaway." ;)

Dolly arrived with the two large camping Thermos with their leather shoulder straps. "Ah, thank you so much, Dolly!" She hefted one and sloshed it a little bit. "Plenty of crimefighting juice in these! Though I suppose bathroom breaks could present a problem..."

Setting her jug o' coffee a side, Estelle returned to considering their activities for the evening.

"Well, I think we should start near the river first, so that as we work our way northeast we'll be heading back towards home."

She pulled out a laminated tourist's map of Freedom, which she'd already marked up in a few places with Post-It notes and wet erase markers. A thin golden thread pointed at the far western edge of the Fens, which was at the far edge of the map.

"Perhaps we can plot a route...along here..." The hair kinked itself in a few places as it overlaid the map, marking the route in shimmering light. "And that way, we end our quest here, at Emily's Cafe near Broadway. They're open all night on weekends, and have the most amazing blueberry muffins you've ever tasted!"

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Mad Dog grinned at her. "Sounds good to me, gorgeous." He quickly got up from the booth and scooted next to her. "We'll need to recharge after our patrol. I hope we run into some real supervillains- I've only really encountered one, and he wasn't even a big-leaguer. Which ones have you fought?"

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Mad Dog grinned at her. "Sounds good to me, gorgeous." He quickly got up from the booth and scooted next to her. "We'll need to recharge after our patrol. I hope we run into some real supervillains- I've only really encountered one, and he wasn't even a big-leaguer. Which ones have you fought?"

At Mad Dog's sudden arrival on her side of the booth, Gossamer involuntarily shied away from him slightly, shifting over a bit closer to the wall; she liked Gregory quite a bit and clearly the feeling was mutual, but he seemed to be moving a bit quickly for her taste. She turned to face him and sighed.

"MD, I'm just as excited about this evening's activities as you are, but we need to take things one step a time. And we need to be very clear that our first priority of the evening is doing our jobs; taking pleasure in each other's company is all well and good, but..." She gently laid a hand on his shoulder. "Please remember that I just got out of a whirlwind romance from which I'm still recovering; if we rush things, if either of us pushes too hard, we can break something that hasn't had a chance to grow."

She indicated the other side of the booth with an apologetic nod.

"So I'm asking you, politely and with respect, to please return to your seat; this is only our second evening together, and despite your many charms I'm not quite ready to be so cozy."

Estelle smiled sadly, and then brushed her hair out of her face, a truly unnecessary gesture left over from her pre-heroic days.

"As to villains I've fought, it's mostly been alien invaders and thugs in powersuits; no one truly impressive, I’m afraid."

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At Mad Dog's sudden arrival on her side of the booth, Gossamer involuntarily shied away from him slightly, shifting over a bit closer to the wall; she liked Gregory quite a bit and clearly the feeling was mutual, but he seemed to be moving a bit quickly for her taste. She turned to face him and sighed.

"MD, I'm just as excited about this evening's activities as you are, but we need to take things one step a time. And we need to be very clear that our first priority of the evening is doing our jobs; taking pleasure in each other's company is all well and good, but..." She gently laid a hand on his shoulder. "Please remember that I just got out of a whirlwind romance from which I'm still recovering; if we rush things, if either of us pushes too hard, we can break something that hasn't had a chance to grow."

She indicated the other side of the booth with an apologetic nod.

"So I'm asking you, politely and with respect, to please return to your seat; this is only our second evening together, and despite your many charms I'm not quite ready to be so cozy."

Estelle smiled sadly, and then brushed her hair out of her face, a truly unnecessary gesture left over from her pre-heroic days.

"As to villains I've fought, it's mostly been alien invaders and thugs in powersuits; no one truly impressive, I’m afraid."

"My apoligies. I got a little ahead of myself there." Mad Dog blushed in embarrassment and moved back to his side of the table. "I'm sorry, Goss. I really....just wasn't thinking. Anyways-" He tried to brush back his hair and gain his composure. He tried changing the subject. "I've really only fought a few villains, but no big names. I fought some kind of alien guy with Avenger once, but other than that, just thugs near where I live. It's so often you hear about superheroes fighting the big villains, but I try to fight the ones that no one notices- the gang members, the thugs that break into other's houses. It's my own way of giving back, or trying to at least."

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"My apoligies. I got a little ahead of myself there." Mad Dog blushed in embarrassment and moved back to his side of the table. "I'm sorry, Goss. I really....just wasn't thinking. Anyways-"

Gossamer shook her head and waved a dismissive hand, happy to move forward with their dicussion and plan-making.

"I've really only fought a few villains, but no big names. I fought some kind of alien guy with Avenger once, but other than that, just thugs near where I live. It's so often you hear about superheroes fighting the big villains, but I try to fight the ones that no one notices- the gang members, the thugs that break into other's houses. It's my own way of giving back, or trying to at least."

The blonde heroine nodded, impressed with Greg's dedication.

"Good for you! I myself have been a little too reactive in my heroic activities, waiting to hear the call, as it were. That's one of the many reasons I was happy to meet with you tonight."

At last the rest of the food arrived in styrofoam containers in plastic bag; Estelle offered Dolly her debit card, firmly holding up her hand against any possible protests. "If you want to pay next time, that's fine; I have no secret identity to lose, so I have no problem using my card tonight."

Once she'd signed for the food and coffee (providing their waitress with a generous tip), Gossamer beamed as she rose out of the booth, grabbing her things with golden strands.

"Shall we?"

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"If you insist. However, I'm totally covering the next date. No questions asked, alright?" Mad Dog grinned sheepishly at her. "I mean, it really should be the man's job to be a gentleman and pay for the meal, but you don't seem like the type that goes for double standards." Mad Dog rose from the booth, dusting off his spiked leather jacket. "Lead the way, m'lady!" he said proudly, putting both of his arms at his waist in what he hoped was a heroic stance. If there was one thing cooler than going on a date with a superhero, it was kicking ass on a date with a superhero.

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"If you insist. However, I'm totally covering the next date. No questions asked, alright?" Mad Dog grinned sheepishly at her. "I mean, it really should be the man's job to be a gentleman and pay for the meal, but you don't seem like the type that goes for double standards."

Gossamer shrugged. "I don't mind a little gentlemanly behavior from time to time; it makes me feel all special and ladylike." ;)

"Lead the way, m'lady!"

After stopping to thank Dolly again for the wonderful service (no differently than she would the maitre d' at a five-star restaurant), Estelle stepped out into the night and strode over towards Mad Dog's motorcycle, once again weaving her hair into a golden helmet as she slung her hiker's Thermos full of coffee over her shoulder.

"Do you have panniers to keep the food in? I don't want to risk dropping anything on the street."

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Mad Dog pulled out two Tupperware containers, and moved their food into them. "I gotcha covered." He got on the bike, and ignited the engine. It roared to life, and he let her get on the back of his bike. "Hold on tight, Goss!" he said before he kicked off and sped towards the Fens.

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Once the food was safely tucked away, the blonde heroine eagerly climbed on the bike behind Mad Dog, gripping him tightly around the waist with both arms. Her jumpsuit kept her nice and warm, and would offer excellent protection in case (god forbid!) they had any sort of mishap; it also wrapped around her body like a leather glove, of which Mad Dog was soon very much aware.

"Hold on tight, Goss!"

"Okay!" She had to shout over the deafening roar of the Harley, and squeeled with delight as they rode off into the night. God, this was fun! She felt like a kid again, enjoying each sensation like it was fresh and new; she loved the way her and Greg's bodies moved together on the turns, and the speed, the sound, and the vibration all swirling 'round in her belly.

Out of the blue, she pumped one fist in the air and yelled, "We are going to kick some ass! Whooooooo!"

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MD smiled as she wrapped her arms around his waist. He couldn't help but notice how tight her jumpsuit was, and how it felt against his back. Ohmygodsoawesome. MD thought as he took a turn. After a little bit of driving, they arrived at their destination. He parked his bike in an alley, and hopped off. As he helped Estelle off of the bike, he removed a large metal chain from the side pouch and chained it to a bike rack. "Gotta make sure no one steals my baby. That's a titanium chain, right there. They'd have to get a power saw to cut through it." MD adjusted his mask, and looked at Estelle. "Damn, you look good!"

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"Gotta make sure no one steals my baby. That's a titanium chain, right there. They'd have to get a power saw to cut through it."

"Damn, you look good!"

Clearly flattered, Estelle shrugged and dimpled as her golden helmet unfurled and poured down her shoulders in a shimmering cascade. "But of course!" She chuckled somewhat self-consciously. "In all seriousness, though, thank you; your outfit flatters you as well."

The blonde heroine thoughtfully considered Mad Dog's bike, easily hefting it with her hair like it was made of papier-mâché. "Are you sure it's safe out here?" She indicated the rooftops with a nod. "I could carry it up there and leave it fairly far out of reach, though I'd still suggest chaining it up as a precaution."

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MD attached the chain. "Just let me live with my little dreams, Estelle." MD said with mock sadness in his voice. "But thank you. I think it combines intimidating and sexy myself." MD turned around, showing her his backside, and flexed a bicep. He turned around to her, and grinned. "So, would you like to get this patrol started?" MD said as he stood in a heroic stance. His jacket flowed a little in the wind, and he cut quite an impressive figure, his leather outfit reflecting the moonlight.

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"But thank you. I think it combines intimidating and sexy myself." MD turned around, showing her his backside, and flexed a bicep.

Gossamer laughed. "Oooh, very nice!" She cracked her hair like a whip for humorous emphasis.

"So, would you like to get this patrol started?"

"Actually..." She grimaced apologetically as she sent long golden tendrils towards the Harley. "I was thinking we should eat first!" Plucking out the Tupperware, she shook her head in dismay. "After all this talk off how good we look in our tight-fitting outfits, now I want to stuff my face. But not down here..."

Suddenly Mad Dog found himself wrapped up in a thick coil of hair as smiling Gossamer adopted a melodramatic liftoff pose with one arm thrust skyward.

"Up we go!"

Additional tentacles shot out to grab the wall of the nearest building and the pair was soon scaling the structure while Estelle hummed the old Freedom Friends theme, arm still thrust in the air.

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Mad Dog's heartrate rose as he was lifted off the ground! "Woah Nelly!"he shouted as the ground was suddenly below his feet. "Gossamer- this has to be like, the coolest thing ever." As she climbed up to the rooftop, he smiled at her. "You rock pretty hard, Goss."

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"You rock pretty hard, Goss."

This time her cheeks went bright pink, but she did her best to keep her composure. "Well, thank you, Mad Dog. To be perfectly honest, you haven't seen me 'rock' until I'll you've seen me with a Gibson in my sweaty little hands; you may actually have to be seated for that."

Once on the rooftop, she gently set down her date for the evening as she scouted about for a cleanish spot for their late breakfast.

"Over there doesn't look too bad."

Using her hair as a giant broom, she swept an area free of rubbish and debris, knowing she'd need to take a slightly longer shower than usual this evening.

Ah well, these small sacrifices are more than worth the cost.

Taking a seat on a irregular outcropping, Estelle quickly laid out their food, which see did very effectively with so many limbs at her disposal. With a happy sigh, she took a forkful and chewed it serenely, then said in her best Homer Simpson voice, "Mmm...cholesterol."

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Mad Dog raised his hand in a "metal" fist. "Now that I have to see. I used to play bass in college, but I'm largely out of practice. How long have you been playing?" Mad Dog asked as he watched her unpack the food. "And as awesome as the hair is, that will take some getting used to!" he said as he took a big bite out of his pancakes, washing it down with a swig of milk. "Seriously though, you do have cool powers. I know this is kind of soon to say, but Estelle..." Mad Dog said, clearing his throat. He put on his best "surfer dude" voice. "Not only are you a babe most bodacious, you are also radical and extreme to the max!" He coughed loudly. "Sorry, the nineties were really rough on me."

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