2.17 - Uncertainty
Leona flew around, but it wasn’t as joyful as usual. She simply couldn’t enjoy the sun or the wind blowing through her hair, between her feathers. She went into autopilot so to speak after setting a plot home. The phone vibrated when she arrived home, shocking Leona out of her semi-trance.
She circled down to the copse quickly. When she reverted her form, Leona bawled, hopping barely over the wall, she crossed the yard and went into the condo. Quinn was walking from the kitchen back to her room, wearing shorts and a tank. She nearly dropped her soda when she saw how red Leona’s face was. Leona dropped into a couch, sobbing softly.
She saw the Police pulling off with Sarah arrested in her mind. Reliving the moment when Sarah protected her made her cry even harder. Thinking about how the officer had treated her, cuffing like that enraged Leona.
“Oh… shit…” Quinn gasped and firmly pulled Leona up and over to the living room’s couch. She pulled Leona’s head into her lap and started stroking her hair, rubbing her back. She held Leona as she cried for a long fifteen minutes. When the tears subsided, Quinn took a deep breath. “Do you want something to drink? Your throat’s probably a bit raw after a good cry... “ She continued to pet her hair and Leona wailed softly, shaking her head negatively. Her sister continued to hold her. “Okay, sis, you just let it all out. You know I live to drink in the lamentations of pretty women,” she half-hearted quipped.
After a long time of being held, Leona gradually started to explain what happened with Sarah, the mistake she’d made. She particularly railed at the police out in Junker, how horrible they were, and how bad the camp seemed to be. She cursed the restaurant staff who sold them out. She could have avoided all the unpleasant events if only she’d returned Sarah to the compound. And then she spoke about Black Angel, that she was still appearing in visions, all to tempt her to do bad things with her powers, or worse to do them for her, which meant surrendering.
“I don’t want that! No matter how horrible this situation is, no matter so much I hate her parents for doing this to her!” Leona wailed, clinging to Quinn, her eyes red and her sniffling uncontrollable.
“Well, maybe you should’ve told them you were an Angel and God was pissed off at them,” Quinn said, “but you’re too good a girl for that,’ she whispered and just held her sister. “Still, it sounds like she’s still okay for now.... She stuck by you on the strength of your friendship with her, right?”
“Look, don’t worry about Black Angel, or whomever, you tell her I’ll kick her butt if she doesn’t keep away from you. As far as everything else goes, like Mom says, maybe all you can do is have faith in Sarah, yeah?”
Quinn held Leona on. “You just let me know when you need me to let you go, okay?”
“All that came of this was I got her into trouble. All my dreams were destroyed by that restaurant’s staff… and I think I over tipped them. I spent everything I had. Those awful boonie junk cops! I probably got a bad mark on my superhero record now. Stuff like that, doesn’t happen in the comics I love.” Leona sniffled. “The world is messed up and complicated. They… they said I should stay out of their airspace.” Leona pouted, glaring, crossing her arms.
Quinn pulled her arms open and started to tickle her merciless. “I know it’s way complicated!” Quinn said as her nails flitted up and down Leona’s sides and across her belly.
Leona scowled and pouted at first and laughed and squirmed. She didn’t want to laugh. It was coercion! But it worked. “Lamentations of pretty women? I guess you always know how to cheer people up, sis.” Leona laughed and hugged Quinn. She was probably referring to her superhero form, but it still boosted her self-confidence a little.
Quinn had stopped tickling and got up. “Okay, let me fix you something to eat, you relax, okay?” She gave Leona’s hair a last pet before shooing her off. She dashed to the kitchen. A few moments later she returned with a bowl of canned chicken noodle soup. It wasn’t the best thing, but she’d changed the color. It was more red. When Leona tried a bite, she realized she’d added sriracha sauce to it. It wasn’t half-bad. Spicy chicken soup. She offered a can sugar organic soda to help soothe Leona’s burning tongue. Goonie got the sodas in bulk, so there always were tasty healthy sodas in the home.
Leona ate, alternating between the soup and soda. Quinn asked, “Do you want me to feed you?”
Leona smiled at her, laughing. “I’m alright, sis. I was only physically beaten up a bit earlier.” she enjoyed the soup even though it was spicy. She repositioned so she’d be sitting against Quinn. The warmth comforted her more. When she was finished she set the spoon down and lay against her with a sigh. “Thanks Quinn. I’m sorry I’m so sad right now.”
“Pfft, no problem. Just relax, sis,” Quinn said quietly, gently wrapping her arms around her sister and cuddled her. “If you need anything else, let me know. I’m totally going to use you as an excuse to start slacking.” She chuckled.
Leona smiled up at Quinn quietly. Nature didn’t make sisters like Quinn, only love did.
They sat together, watching television for a while until Goonie came home, pulling into the spot in front of the house. They could hear it and peeked out the living room window by the sofa. When Goonie came in, she opened the door with a jaunty greeting, “Hello girls, are you having a good day?” she asked. Soon after she spotted Quinn’s face and Leona’s position in her lap and quieted. “Well, it seems someone’s day was a little less than great.”
Goonie moved over and knelt by the couch and added herself to the hugging. “Shh,” she said. “Don't’ say a word, just listen to our hearts beating for you, Leona lose yourself in that rhythm.”
Leona smiled gratefully having shed all the tears, she thought, but enjoying the warmth of both of them hugging her, the dam she’d carefully repaired exploded and she bawled again. It didn’t last as long as before. Soon she was smiling wistfully. The three cuddled, and Goonie took over for Quinn for a little after a bit while Quinn went off to the bathroom to shower.
“So,” Goonie opened, “Do you want to talk about it? Do you need another ear, or do you need someone to remind you of how awesome you are?” She asked Leona with a bright smile.
Leona giggled softly. “All of the above, I guess. Did you check the news at work today?” Leona asked, letting a little pride show.
“I heard there was a brave superhero who charged into a burning refinery to bring some lousy crooks to justice… that was you?” she asked with a knowing smile.
Leona giggled and hugged her. “Who else?” She smiled up. “And there was a big power armor thing! It was like something right out of my comics… I heard they were starting to really make them, but I’d not seen one until today.” She stuck out her tongue. “It takes something like that to fight me properly! He was kinda scary and it was really exciting, but I couldn’t keep my heart from pounding with excitement the whole time!” She giggled. “So that all went pretty well. I really shoulda gone back for that one thug, but I think he was arrested with the rest. The room wasn’t totally wrecked up.”
“I was a little banged up, or more… tired after that one. Kinda like I was for a moment after collapsing the crane on itself, but a little more this time. Anyways, what wasn’t a success was going to see Sarah. I tried to be as frank with her as I could… and as honest and good about it.” She told Goonie about the situation.
“But it wasn’t enough… I treated Sarah to dinner, thinking she’d been eating some awful stuff in there. We talked and she doesn’t know my secret identity. I thought it was best to reassure her as Aurora, and told her I wasn’t an angel. Even so I thought it would help give her some hope.”
“So those cops in Junker are the meanest I’ve met outside Ruffino. I guess the more north you go, the stranger people get.” Leona’s lips twisted.
“Well, those were small town cops. They tend to be really big shits in their little toilet towns,” Goonie said softly, her language a little shocking. In her own way, Auntie was just as anti-authority as Quinn. “They get off on bullying people and an operation like that probably brings big money into the town. They probably donate to causes. It’s likely they give to the police too. Why don’t you start really investigating them? It was just to check on Sarah and make sure she was alright, but what if they’re actually doing something wrong.” Goonie smiled and picked up Leona’s chin.
“Can you let Auntie Goonie prepare you a filling dinner? How about a nice stuffed chicken breast?” she suggested.
Quinn re-entered in a bathrobe. “How about some buffalo tenders?” Quinn’s voice lilted as she signaled Leona to start crying.
Leona giggled. “I like the buffalo chicken idea better.” She smiled, looking at Quinn with a little laugh. She didn’t understand why she wanted her to cry… maybe so they could cuddle more on the sofa. She shot her a whyfor look when saying she wanted Buffalo Chicken would be enough.
Goonie laughed and stood up, putting a hand on her hip, putting her other one on Leona’s head. “You should be struggling to surmount your foes, not looking for chicken handouts,” she said, suppressing an obvious smile. “But, all right, you scrooge. My girls have been having a rough week. I’ll go get some pale chicken parts marinating.”
Soon after, Leona and Quinn sat to a hearty meal, starting to feel a little better. There were hand-battered tenders coated in spicy buffalo sauce with fresh-cut french fries, cooked in their air fryer, so they weren’t oily. They tasted so good. It all did. Leona nommed happily. When the meal was done, Goonie and Quinn talked about their less eventful days. Quinn volunteered to do the dishes, and Goonie spoke, “ Do you feel a little better? Maybe a bath would finish things off nicely.”
“I think that’d be wonderful.” Leona smiled. “I don’t know if I need one, but… do I stink from all that stuff I did today?” She asked with a giggle. “You two are the best family I could ever have, Mom, sis… thank you.”
Quinn walked over and tousled Leona’s hair with her hands still all sudsy. Leona yelped and shrieked.
“Well, you certainly need it now. Probably there’s a little grease in those suds.” Quinn laughed.
“Awww… I’ll take a bath. I get the message. I stink!” Leona laughed and jumped up.
“Well, you’re no spring field,” Goonie said, “but you’re not the Detroit Locker Room, either.” She winked at Leona. “Go ahead and get undressed and I’ll get a bath running for you. I’ll make sure it doesn’t overflow so take your time getting ready in your room.” Leona rushed off and Goonie patted her backside as she ran up to her room.
Leona undressed in her room and giggled. She was looking forward to the bath. They made her feel extra feminine and they were luxuriant. She looked at herself in her room’s mirror, hoping Black Angel never appeared in it ever. She examined her body, wondering if she was more feminine these days… if her body was nicer. Had she gotten any prettier? She cupped her breasts. They were round and more full than she’d last looked, so maybe it was her imagination, but…
The door opened, and Goonie stepped in. “The bath’s going. Are you ready?” Leona’s face turned red and redder.