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As before, the dramatic shift of scenery left Leviathan surprised and shaken.  He stood frozen for a long minute while the others tried to console an unpredictable and somewhat cruel reality-warper. 

 

I have so many questions.  Is he dating another god?  They have schools?  Was he just out with some poor mortal girl who might not know that she and her entire family should probably be terrified for their lives now? 

 

Probably best to not voice that one.  Instead, Leviathan inquired about the matter at hand.  Hesitantly, he asked, "S...so...will you, ahh...fix the city now?  Will you turn everyone back?  Like you promised?"

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"How can you be so selfish?" demanded Quirk, glaring at Leviathan. "My life is ruined! This is the worst thing that's ever happened to me!" Focusing on Punchline, he went on, "I don't wanna date some stupid 4-dimensional, that's like you dating a goldfish. I just want somebody to like me!" Teenagers really could whine when they wanted to.

 

"You're right to be angry," said Monsoon suddenly, her mask down over her face. "A broken heart hurts. But if this girl broke your heart, you're better off without her," she agreed with Punchline. "But for now, forget her. What could she give you that you couldn't do yourself?

 

"Lots of stuff," muttered Quirk. He was still fuming, but it sounded like all the diplomacy was breaking through. "Maybe I don't need a stupid girl to be happy..." 

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Punchline chortled. "Don't knock it 'til you've tried it, kiddo; I've dated plenty of goldfish, and you'll never find a better listener." He paused, considering. "But they're lousy cooks!" He reached over and gave Quirk a playful noogie. "Don't let yourself get bent outta shape by some dame, buddy. You're still young, still growing into yourself. Now's more a time for self-discovery than anything else. Find out who you want to be before you starting thinking of locking lips with someone who might not be so into who you become." He gave the extradimensional godling a wink, then spread his arms. "In the meantime, life's a roller-coaster; just try to enjoy the ride!"

Edited by Sophistemon

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After an incredulous stare, Leviathan's pent-up worries and frustration bubbled over and finally outweighed his fear of this all-powerful boy.  Part of him saw his impulsiveness spiraling out of control even as it happened and tried to rein in his anger, but he could only remember the look on Edge's face when he was forced to rejoin his father. 

 

"I'm being selfish?  Are you serious right now?!  We really saw some stuff in here, Quirk!  Today wasn't exactly fun for us either, and unlike you, we didn't ask to be here!  You extorted us into helping you by essentially holding tens of thousands of people hostage; you had the goldfish watch over your own sister, without warning us that she might make us relive the most painful parts of our past.  And we're still the lucky ones, because unlike half of Freedom City, we're not stuck as little felt toys!  Now we played your game just like you wanted, and I'm just heartbroken that your date didn't go as planned, but you've messed with a lot of lives today.  It's time for you to hold up your end and fix this.  Put all those innocent people back as they were!"

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That earned Leviathan a hard glare from Quirk - and at first he thought that was all that had happened. Until everyone's eyes opened wide with alarm, staring at him, and he realized his mouth wasn't opening. His mouth was gone. 

 

"Hey." Edge looked at Leviathan, and then back at Quirk. "Hey, c'mon, I'll make you a deal. If you send him back to Freedom City, and you fix up his face, I'll teach you everything I know about girls. I had to figure everything out for myself when I was as old as you look, and it wasn't fun." The last part wasn't actually true, but there was no need to dwell on it right now. 

 

"Okay, fine, but I'm not sending him anywhere till I hear something useful." Leviathan's face was whole again. Quirk took a seat and retrieved his sister from Mark, dandling the latter on his knee as he sat on one of the benches behind the toy shop's counter. Grumpy teenager or not, he seemed to like the baby. "Just for the record, by the way, it was my sister who did the doll thing, so don't go blaming me for your problems, Wishes-He-Was-Gigantosaur." 

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Leviathan's sudden forced silence elicited a surprised guffaw from the clown, who soon erupted into a peal of cackling laughter. "Out of everyone here," he wheezed. "He shuts you up!" Tittering madly, Punchline took a step away from Quirk and held his sides in with both hands. "It's too much," he hooted. "This entire thing is too, too much!" He chattered his teeth and spun in a slow circle, taking in the surroundings, and then zeroed in on the teenage divinity. "Me next!" he crowed. "Do me next! Something classy, like a donkey's head! That's straight out of Shakespeare!"

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As the conversation continued, Bonfire continued to struggle finding his place in it. He wasn’t really sure what to say, it felt like any action at this point would make things worse. So, it was best to simply let the conversation happen for now, let them speak, get involved when necessary. So, probably pretty soon.

And the moment came just as soon as he’d expected, with Leviathan finally having enough of everybody’s antics. This was the time to get involved, try and defuse what was happening. He let Leviathan finish, then took a step forward, trying to project some sense of confidence.

 

“Guys, this entire thing is getting a bit heated, and trust me, I kno-“

 

And then, Leviathan’s mouth simply disappeared. So much for that. Also was a way to defuse the situation, that was true. Bonfire stepped back again, Edge seemed to be able to handle this so far. Instead, the capnokinetic’s attention went towards the clown, nudging him with his elbow, and adding a whisper. “Not now. Can do that in FC.”

 

Almost seamlessly, he flowed over into the conversation between Edge and Quirk, inserting a few comments between the silence. “If you need anything for a presentation, let me know. Smoke’s versatile, can do anything up to a body in size.”

 

“Oh, and if you need other tips, tell me. Not entirely unexperienced either. “

Edited by olopi

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Leviathan slapped his hand across his blank, smooth snout in shock.  Even after Quirk replaced his mouth, he couldn't speak.  The giant beast, usually so self-assured with his power, seemed to take on the posture of a child himself.  He slunk back into the shadows of the toy shelves, well and truly cowed.  The day had apparently come full-circle, back to the same fear he felt when Quirk first brought them here.

 

He could only hope that Edge was as smooth as he was attractive.

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