Chapter 13 – Out of Phase
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Jessica stood frozen outside the store for a couple of minutes before biting the bullet and also entering the store…

Only… she didn’t enter the store to aid Mirio in any way. Being unable to tell Mirio the truth only left her with one option – cock block the shit out of Mirio’s purchasing of a ring.

Mirio had already selected a ring by the time she entered the store but with a few critiques concerning Christine’s likes and dislikes, Jessica ensured that Mirio spent the rest of the day searching for a suitable ring.

Every single time Mirio found a ring, necklace, or bracelet he liked, Jessica’s head was directly over his shoulder, whispering critiques into his ears that would turn the diamond into just another rock.

When Mirio found a ring that was even perfect by her standards, Jessica started crying on the spot, yelling like a newborn child until they were both chased out of the store.

Jessica was beyond embarrassed at having to use such a tactic but the ring was truly perfect… so perfect in fact, that she would swing by the store later to purchase it herself.

Critiquing the merchandise was one thing, but Jessica’s antics were beginning to affect the business so the Jeweller had no choice but to kick both her and Mirio outside.

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Mirio and Jessica exited the store and began walking home along the main streets.

What was that about?” Mirio asked angrily.

I just didn’t like any of those rings…” Jessica murmured while keeping her head down so Mirio couldn’t see her eyes.

Despite everything else she said inside the store, the only part she didn’t fake was the tears. It was taking everything out of her to not tell Mirio about Christine and Dr. Strange.

Actually, the only reason she kept Christine’s secret was that the matter was a bit more complex than she initially thought…

At least, the way Christine explained the situation last night, Jessica got the feeling that it was also tearing Christine apart to choose between a charismatic kid (Mirio) and a successful but arrogant man (Dr. Strange).

Thinking about the matter deeply, Jessica also realized that there was only one safe choice in this case – Dr. Strange.

Mirio was obviously delusional and even if he made up for it with charisma, it could not erase all the demerits that would come with dating a kid who probably had no prospects for the future.

Oh well…’ Jessica thought a bit happily ‘If she doesn’t love Mirio… I don’t mind keeping him for myself…

MUAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA….

Mirio frowned as he spun around to stare at Jessica who was laughing maniacally in the middle of the street “Jessica… you okay?

Jessica paused when she heard Mirio’s voice and sheepishly walked towards him, taking his hand into her own while blushing up a storm.

Crazy people…’ Mirio thought, sighing for the hundredth time of the day.

Just as Mirio was about to come up with a reasonable excuse to ditch Jessica, a ring on his phone caused him to pause as he placed it at his ear “Hello…

You found something?” Mirio asked, genuinely surprised that Brian had discovered anything at all.

Sure… I’ll spend the night there with you guys… I didn’t really wanna go home tonight anyway…

Mirio hung up the phone and scooped Jessica into a bridal carry as he began to jog “Your father discovered something… he wants us to spend the night there…

Jessica was more than willing to acquiesce to her father’s wishes and it was getting pretty late with the sun about to set.

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Two hours later, Mirio and Jessica sat comfortably around the hotel table with Brian and Alisa about to eat a home-cooked meal.

Mirio and Jessica had arrived an hour ago and had since taken a bath to wash away the sweat and grime accumulated throughout the day.

Actually, Mirio was the one with the grime since Jessica only lazily snuggled into his arms as he dozens of blocks to the hotel.

Seeing that everyone had taken their proper seats around the table, Brian was the first to reach for a dish of sliced hams, placing it inside his plate and passing the dish to Alisa, who passed it to Jessica and then Mirio.

Just like that, the dishes were passed around and everyone took whatever they liked. The loving family atmosphere of everything brought tears to Mirio eyes as he recalled his own father and mother, who always believed he could be a hero no matter the difficulty of his quirk.

By the time all the dishes had been passed around, Mirio’s plate was filled with everything but mostly vegetables since he had gotten used to eating them to retain his strong body.

So…” Brian started the conversation between bites “Excited to see what I found?” he said smugly, wiggling his eyebrows to show Mirio that it was an impressive discovery.

Mirio shrugged, though he was obviously excited “Anything that can get me back to normal I guess…

Jessica and Alisa just sighed since they still retained the stance that Mirio was delusional and Brian was even more delusional than Mirio.

Brian would always keep a trailer with his mobile lab nearby to search for anything ‘impossible’. That was actually why Alisa fell in love with him in the first place, Brian was always a dreamer.

Alisa's eyes brightened as she remembered something “So I have exciting news…

Everyone’s brows quirked since Alisa rarely had any exciting news to share.

Jessica groaned a bit because exciting for her mother was walking in the park, having a bird shit on her head and clamoring about how it’s ‘good luck’.

That was the last time Jessica went to parks with her mom, now… they usually just walked around the parks entirely.

I finished the book…” Alisa bragged and directed a thankful gaze at Mirio “I also decided to split the proceedings three ways: Jessica’s bank account, Mirio’s bank account, and charity…

Jessica’s and Brian’s eyes widened because they didn’t really expect that the book would be worth anything, but obviously, it was worth something if Alisa opened accounts for it.

Alisa had written children’s books before but at most she would sell a thousand copies and that was nothing worth mentioning in the scope of things.

I don’t care about the money… I don’t even have an account…” Mirio commented between bites “Besides… I didn’t give you a lot of important details so I only came up with the idea… not the content… The book is yours for all intents and purposes…

No…” Alisa disagreed, standing from her chair and walking around the table to give Mirio a hug… the type of huge reserved for a son-in-law “I always wanted to write books… and I have, but it was mostly children’s books… Your idea was brilliant and I just built around the concepts that you explained to Jessica… Although I believe you are delusional… that book, in some ways, is your superhero origin story…

Mirio choked back a couple of tears when he realized that she was right – every hero should have an origin story, and he didn’t have an origin story in the Universe as yet…

Maybe, he would never have an origin story in this Universe because he was no longer interested in being a hero.

The gravity of not becoming a hero had only begun to weigh on him over the past few hours when he decided to marry Christine.

Love had a way of making you re-examine what mattered the most.

Honestly, Mirio knew that marrying Christine was not a matter of love, even though he loved her…

Marrying Christine was a matter of not losing the last piece of himself… the piece that respected women as much as he respected the fact that a hero should always smile.

However, now that he thought about it… marrying Christine was also a way for him to let go because at some point, he had matured enough to realize that should he ever become a hero, Christine would always be in danger from his enemies, especially in this world without many heroes.

Marrying Christine was a way to mature beyond becoming a hero and putting his family, or rather, his soon-to-be family, first.

As if she could tell what he was thinking, Jessica’s face grimaced but just as she was about to say something, Brian hopped from his seat with a cleared dish and gestured for Mirio and Jessica to follow him.

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So… while I was digging around in your DNA sequences…” Brian explained, coming to a stop in front of a huge monitor that showed Mirio’s DNA strands “I found something truly amazing and so obvious that we shouldn’t have missed it in the first place…

What is it?” Mirio and Jessica asked simultaneously.

Look at this recorded image and tell me what you notice…

Mirio examined the image carefully and noticed a couple of strands of his DNA detaching and floating around aimlessly.

Why is it just floating around?” Jessica asked curiously since she knew DNA shouldn’t behave so erratically.

Exactly…” Brian nodded, patting Jessica’s head a couple of times “It just floats around your body because it doesn’t exist in the same plane as your body… I looked at this confused for days until I remembered what you said about this ‘Quirk Tingy’ Uhmmm…

Permeation?

Yes… That!” Brian agreed quickly and with excitement “Those strands of your DNA is what makes you – you… It usually remains locked into your body but it's phasing through your body as if it cannot un-permeate itself… what I am trying to say is – everything that is supposed to be there, is there… the only problem is that not every part of your body is in the same ‘state’…

Mirio frowned since Brian did indeed make sense… maybe, some parts of his DNA structure had not un-permeated since he arrived in this Universe, but it was still a part of his body so he wouldn’t die.

I have to take this in tomorrow… then I will be assigned the next case… this was one of the trickiest…” Brian murmured causing Mirio to go on high alert.

In? Where?” Mirio asked, raising his voice unconsciously.

Yeah…” Brian replied, confused “I work for SHIELD remember… I am the one in charge of studying you… I thought you knew that…

Mirio’s eyes widened at Brian’s admission because he didn’t know that.

Seeing the look on Mirio’s face, Brian could guess that he was not told and grew equally as startled as Mirio “Mirio… you should have been told but the mere fact that you weren’t and still allowed me to conduct tests means you need to be more vigilant… for people like you, your DNA is important so never let someone you don’t know get access to your blood…

Mirio nodded since he had indeed been too lax in his pursuit of answers.

Finished with his explanations, Brian escorted Mirio and Jessica out of his room and agreed to explain some more about SHIELD tomorrow.


Author’s Name: The_Young_Flash
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