Everything was a blur after the van crashed, killing the greatest evil in my life. I know that’s a strange line… but it was true. I wanted my life to be small, my villains to be like him, just awful people. I wasn’t cut out to be a superhero, even if I had the powers to do so. I just wanted to live my life like a normal girl, to love my girlfriend, to love my new family, to worry about how taxes worked with a youtuber income and getting to class on time.
Which is why when the questions kept coming, when people asked me to step up and become a hero, I said no. Everyone was shocked, the media had a tantrum. It was what people did with powers, the done thing. But I wasn’t people, I was Elsie. Just Elsie, no mask, no spandex. Then they forgot about me as the next big story rolled around. New Zealand, a fox girl thief and giant robots.
Still, I hated that my life had been picked apart and examined by millions of people. Everyone expressing their own views on what I should do with my life, usually via Twitter or Reddit. Comments sections on my videos were the only safe place for me, my fans adamantly defending me. Some went to battle out in the wilds of twitter too, which I appreciated… but shit, even the fact I had fans was nuts. Could my life calm down for like two fucking months. Please?
“Only took like two weeks for them to forget you,” Brook grumbled, leaning her head against mine as she looked down at my phone. We were sitting on the couch, me with the local news app open, and there was not a single article about me.
“There’s still an article there about my old family trying to get Lethargy thrown in jail,” I pointed out.
She’d taken a lot of flak for that. Heroes didn’t usually go around killing people anymore, at least not when they could help it. Right wing media hated her at the best of times, and now they were trying to paint the shot she’d taken as deliberate, rather than being sheer luck like the OMR report said.
“She’ll be fine,” Brook smiled, kissing me on the cheek. “Don’t worry about her. I swear Petra has threatened to ruin anyone who tries too hard with that line of bullshit.”
“True,” I sighed, leaning into her.
Petra was definitely a force to be reckoned with. When I said that heroes didn’t usually go killing people… well, during the battle she ended up killing the two emerged she’d been fighting outright, while my mum had frozen the metal guy almost solid. It had put the guy, whose name was Panzer, in intensive care. He still hadn’t left it, something about his metal powers and getting frozen had done a number on him. I couldn’t find it in me to be very upset. No, even that was a lie, it made me happy.
The brawl had turned into a battle after that, with Lethargy evacuating everyone she could as the enemy backup arrived and clashed with my mum and future-mum. They took them all down eventually, but the fight damaged the intersection where they fought to the point where roadworks were still going on there.
The whole shitstorm had reminded me of how much I didn’t want that to be my life. Even mum and Petra got over-examined more than usual in the media for the uncharacteristic brutality they displayed during that battle. They both had normally amazing records with keeping fatalities low during the brawls they got involved with.
My phone went off with a notification, pulling me out of my reverie, and I idly flicked over to discord to see who was bothering me.
Scrambled Stephanie: hi… Cetri? You there?
Cetri: Yup, sorry um… new phone who dis…? :P
Scrambled Stephanie: yeah… haha. It’s me… Torus. Or it was… or something. I don’t know... this shit confuses me
Scrambled Stephanie: hehe
Cetri: NO WAY. Nice!!
Scrambled Stephanie: this is totally your fault. I went down the biggest rabbithole ever after you sent that story
Cetri: I can see that xD. You always were a memester, steph ;)
Scrambled Stephanie: AAAAAAAAA It’s not just the name change either! I’m not like, as lucky as you were to emerge or anything, but there’s this group. They are run sort of like a part of the omr but different. I don’t really know how they work, but they have these crazy new ways of doing hrt with emergence-tech and stuff and I’m one of the people who got into the program while they ramp up. It’s so cool!
Cetri: Really? With the OMR? My mum… my new mum, she works for them. How uh, good is this new hrt?
Scrambled Stephanie: cool! Gratz on the new mum :). I sorta saw you on the news… like, a lot… uh anyway…… yeah it’s not as good as a full transformation, but it changes things up way more. Like bones and stuff. They said their aim is a full one hundred percent transition, but they need people who understand how the tech works and stuff, which is hard cos no one fucking does.
Cetri: I… might actually know some people. I think I’ll tell them about it
Scrambled Stephanie: whoa, someones got conneeectioonns now. Dayum
Cetri: I know Mystrix Pallas ;) You know, not to brag or anything…
Scrambled Stephanie: you literally just did bragging
Cetri: Ohhh oops. She’s really nice tho
Scrambled Stephanie: hehe. Well… any way I was just like, messaging to say thank you. I was pretty awkward back then but you helped and yeah. My life is so much better now
Cetri: I know the feel steph. Life is way better now too
Scrambled Stephanie: I’m still early….. But like, what is happening now already is so good
“It’s really cute that you helped her,” Brook murmured, watching the conversation over my shoulder.
“You’re really cute,” I told her, brain firing on autopilot.
She gave a laugh. “Flatterer.”
“Do I get a reward?”
Another laugh and a roll of her eyes and she was leaning towards me, our lips meeting in a kiss that was just as amazing as our first and all the ones since. Gosh I loved her. Having her just, press herself to me like this, needing and wanting me... it had my heart hammering in the best possible way.
“Wait,” I gasped, breaking the kiss for a moment. “Let me say bye to her first.”
“Fine,” she grinned, without backing off. I hard to sort of lean to the side and type out a quick message.
Cetri: Sorry Steph, I gotta go! My girlfriend wants to make out! Haha
Scrambled Stephanie: gay! Hehe. Have funnn
As soon as she saw the goodbye sent, she was pushing me down into the couch again, humming happily all the way down. She’d gotten more insistent lately, or… toppy? The memes called it topping anyway, I wasn’t entirely sure. She’d been hesitant with me initially, like I’d suddenly decide that I didn’t want her… which was silly, but yeah, also understandable. Either way, having my taller girlfriend press me down into the couch lips-first was heavenly.
A throat cleared, sending Brook fumbling backwards and her cheeks into furious firey warmth. I felt no such embarrassment, I trusted mum not to make too much fun of us. “Hey mum!” I grinned.
“Girls,” she said, amusement dancing in her ice blue eyes. “Elsie, I have good news. One of the OMR psychs just got a space free in her schedule, if you’re interested?”
“Yes please!” I said, my heart jumping. I was nervous about going to see a professional, if I was honest. So much to dredge up, so much to work through… the task seemed monumental. But this meant a potential future where I wasn’t completely fucked up inside, so I was also pretty excited.
“Good, I’ll let them know,” Petra said with a regal nod.
“Oh, by the way!” I exclaimed, before I could forget. “You know that trans organisation? The one run by people from the OMR or something?”
“Transgender Future,” she smiled, looking confused but intrigued. “Brainchild of a certain pain in my ass and her girlfriend.”
Oh wait… that’s right. I remembered something about Vulptrix and Nightbinder starting something like this. It was all over the news and stuff for a while, again with the right wing having a frothing tantrum over it, spittle flying everywhere.
“I spoke to someone who’s one of their guinea pigs for the new treatment they are coming up with, and she said they were having trouble getting the emerged tech working the way they want it to, and I thought about Maddy and that mage…” I said, trailing off as I gave her a hopeful look. “Since like… people are saying that stuff is magic…”
Her expression was thoughtful, fingertips alighting on her chin as she regarded me. “I am a busy woman… but I have spoken to them yes. Vosa is an extremely capable woman in the arts of magic. Perhaps something can be arranged with my new accomplaces.”
That was good news. Hopefully with Petra keeping an eye on Maddy, she could keep her under control.
“That’s what I was thinking!” I said excitedly, wiggling around on the couch until I was sitting up and able to lean forward. “So do you think they will help?”
“I was going to have them work on something else, but if it matters to you, then I’ll move their focus,” she told me, with just a slight glance in mum’s direction. “I may… be able to help myself, if I have time. I am somewhat knowledgeable in that field.”
“Okay, yeah,” I nodded, still eagerly. If I could call in a few favours with my mums to help people like me, I was happy to do it. Wait, future mum. Yeah.
Mum’s hand reached up to land gently on Petra’s shoulder. They shared a look, one I couldn’t figure out the meaning of. I felt almost embarrassed to be witnessing it, there was a whole lot of depth there.
I turned away instead and snuggled in against Brook. Snuggling against my girlfriend was something I would never get tired of.
“We’ll go get the pizzas ready,” mum said after a few moments, and I looked up to see them heading towards the kitchen. Right, yeah… it was movie night. Mum and I had expanded our mother-daughter ritual to include Brook and Petra, and I loved it. Having a family and girlfriend that actually loved me was… well, pretty much all I had ever wanted in life.
“I am not used to someone being that chill about finding their daughter pressed into the couch by another girl,” Brook whispered into my ear. “Usually I have to grab my clothes while dodging a broom or something.”
I couldn’t stop myself kissing her if I’d tried. We were in the gross PDA stage of our relationship anyway, we were allowed to do things like this.