There are a number of things that wake people up in the morning. There are the usual ones, such as the alarm, a parent yelling or having to pee. These are the mornings when we’re forced out of bed, roused from our sleep by unpleasant sensations that start our day a certain way. Then there are the pleasant ones, such as the smell of crispy bacon and freshly brewed coffee, and the warm carress of a lover’s hand on the cheek.
Titiana LeClaire is one of the lucky ones. She feels warm hands brush through her hair as she begins to come to. The smell of breakfast, the aforementioned bacon and coffee, and something else…something fruity…
“Good morning,” are the first sounds that waken her brain wakens and her eyes open. Above her is the face of her girlfriend and boss, Susana Linnet, the owner of the apartment and bed she is lying in and the owner of the Cosplay Cafe.
This is an unusual morning, not filled with swearing and wakening to the sounds of Susana fighting with her staff over the phone, sending wake up calls to the lazy bones waitresses who staff her morning shift. Today is also interesting, because Susana, who is probably the best chef Titi ever met, also never cooks.
“There you are,” Susana says, her breath tickling Titiana’s cheek, following by a peck on the head. “Wake up, birthday girl.”
“Wha-? I thought we said we weren’t celebrating birthdays this year!”
“Enjoy your breakfast in bed, and tell me if you feel the same afterward.” Susana isn’t her normal prickly self. She looks freshly showered: her hair is still damp, and her fruity shampoo is pleasantly strong this close to her.
Titiana notices the tray resting beside her hips and the lovely breakfast prepared for her. A bacon and veggie omelette with fresh herbs, a small, yet very fragrant coffee and some sliced fruit.
Her senses begin to flood her all at once… it happens like this some mornings, and other times it comes more naturally. Ever sense birth, she has had unnaturally powerful senses, being able to smell and see far more powerfully than normal people.
It takes a moment for Titiana to regain her heading, to put things in the right place and sort through the strong and overwhelming senses.
Susana: Everything alright, love?
“Just the usual, sweetie. You know how it is for me.”
Titania finally returns the wake-up kiss, then reaches for breakfast
Breakfast is delicious, as usual when Susana actually decides to cook herself.
Susana: I have to be there for the morning shift, but I’ll come back after lunch. Reggy is going to cover for me so we can do something nice today.
Titania: I’ll wait right here and look forward to it. Oh, I’m going to build up such expectations!
Susana: Didn’t you have some meeting for Red Capes at 10:00 AM that you were bitching about a few nights ago?
Titania sighs: Technically, I do, yes.
Susana slips out of her apron, which she hangs on the door handle to their bedroom. She then fishes through her magnificently large closet for an outfit. “Wouldn’t want the whatever it is you’re saving go unsaved.”
Titania: But it’s not like I’m the only heroine in the group that can do a photo op. Like Rose Thorn! The things she did at that collapsed building two weeks ago… she should get some time in the spotlight!
Susana: Isn’t she the one that has the lisp?
Susana slips out of her casual clothing, which she allows slide to the floor. A shiver runs down her bare back as she puts on a button up blouse.
Titania: A shame I’m pinned under this breakfast and can’t help you with that.
Susana smiles over her shoulder before finishing dressing, slipping into her pantsuit. “It’s alright, Titi, I’ll make do with your lusty glances.”
Titania: Well, I need to keep you warm somehow….
Susana slips into her coat and then disappears into the bathroom.
Titania enjoys breakfast
The powdered sugar in the fresh berries extra delicious as she polishes off the entire plate. Her “hyper-metabolism” as Susana called it could handle twice that, but would require a bit more resting to recover from.
Susana comes out, her hair brushed and her contacts in and ready to go. “I’ll call you when I’m free. Good luck, and happy birthday. Twenty-eight is not old. Complain after you hit your mid-thirties.” Susana, who is thirty-six herself, maneuvers in for a quick goodbye kiss.
Titania holds her close and makes sure it isn’t too quick
Susana lingers for a few moments and then pulls away. “Go save the puppies or fish or whatever today’s charity event is all about.”
She waves as she leaves the room.
Titiana listens to her as her heeled shoe footsteps click down the wooden hallway to the front door. Her hearing is still good enough to listen to her open the door, exit, lock it and walk mostly down the apartment’s hallway before leaving her sensory range.
A small alarm begins to beep — Titi’s wristwatch. It’s jogging time.
Titania sighs and puts the dishes away, then gets dressed for exercising
Her hair is currently spraying in all sorts of directions, a sort of wild blond fuzzball growing on her head. There’s also the imprint of her watch on her cheek — apparently she wore it to bed again, and Susana took it off her when she turned.
All this becomes a thing of the past once she hits the streets on her path to the park.
It’s a lovely morning, probably high 50’s, with a bit of a chill breeze, but bright and clear.
Titania muses on what a perfect day it is for jogging
The jog through the park is not long, perhaps a mile in total. There are other joggers there as she runs down the dirt path.
Titania nods amiably to them as she passes them
She always receives a lot of attention as she performs her morning tradition, and a few times a week she often receives compliments or date offers, which she obviously politely declines.
Rarely can anyone keep up with her, however. She used to run with a local soccer player, who stopped showing up one day, probably due to his season ending knee injury. However, over the course of the last thirty minutes, she feels watched a bit more than usual. She does not see anyone, and hears only the normal sounds of people exercising or taking their dogs out for a walk.
Titania will vary her route a bit, see if she’s still got the same feeling
Titiana continues, and instead of taking the right fork to the pond, she takes the left fork to the playground, which she usually only sees on her way back around. It is wide open and doesn’t leave anywhere to hide.
Titania keeps a close eye out for anyone watching her
Titiana doesn’t notice anyone but a few joggers who do not seem to be following her.
Even with that sneaking suspicion, nothing out of the ordinary occurs as she finishes her laps through the park.
On her way out of the park, she smells the taco truck parked a block away on the other side of the park. It must have driven through here with its windows open and tacos a cooking, because it smells delicious.
Her watch beeps.
9:15, just about time to head back and clean up for the charity event.
Titania: No breakfast tacos for me today, I guess. That’s a lot of cream cheese in them anyway.
she heads home to clean up for the meeting
As she’s jogging towards the street where she turns west towards her apartment, she… (roll defense)
…narrowly avoids running directly into a woman around the corner. The shock of her sudden appearance causes the woman to make a little shriek and drop the bags she had been carrying.
Titania: Oh no! Here, let me help you with those.
“Hi Ana,” the woman says in a small voice. The name tugs at her memories, her alias for the B-Cups. The voice is familiar too, timid with a hint of allure, a siren’s voice. She doesn’t even need to look up from her crouched position picking up the bags, to recognize the voice of Belle Dias, a former teammate and member of the all female hero group, the B-Cups. She looks a bit more mature,
She looks a bit more mature than the sixteen-year-old Spanish wild child she once was. Her hair isn’t down to her knees anymore, cut more sensibly to her shoulders, and she isn’t wearing her costume, a lowcut black one piece with enough slits in it to give all but the most daring jailbait warnings.
She has raven black hair and pale skin, and is jeans and a coat. Titiana cannot honestly remember the girl not wearing something completely scandalous at all times.
She’s also still cute as all hell and probably still a complete tease.
Titania: Belle! What a wonderful surprise! It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
“You remember me,” she says meekly, her voice a bit on the edge. Her heart is still beating swiftly, perhaps too swiftly for an idle bump in with an old friend. “It’s been two years since I left for the Avenging Angels.”
Titania shrugs and smiles: What can I say? They were good memories.
Belle smiles, her cheeks flushed from the cold. Her accent is less thick than it once was, the Spanish influences wearing thinner, making her more understandable, and possibly more alluring. “Are you—running? Maybe you would like to have tea with me to catch up?”
Titania: Yeah, just my morning jog. I’m busy today, but I’d love to catch up soon. I know! Give me your phone number; I’ll give you call once my schedule clears up.
The color in Belle’s cheek warms her features as she nods. She pulls a card from her purse and hands it to Titiana in exchange for her groceries. “It was…lovely to see you again, Ana. I missed you most of all from La Umbra. Please call me soon.”
Titania: Soon as I can, I promise!
Her hair is still damp as she fits into her bodysuit. Her blond hair takes so long to dry, and time runs short as the meeting draws nearer.
She goes down to the garage where she parked her convertible 2012 VW Beetle. The drive to the conference is not far, but it’s across the other side of town. The traffic is light by the time she pulls into the general event parking with her hero license plate concealer reads a false number.
Her long jacket conceals her harness and bodysuit as she makes her way through the back entrance where she is greeted by the Red Cape events coordinator, Eloris Mitchell, a flamboyant, yet strangely straight celebrity from the local newscast.
“Ahh, Hyperia my dear, you arrived in the nick of time.”
Titania: Just like a hero should, right?
Eloris: That is true! Always right, always on time. It is good that you remained consistent today. It is rumored that the billionaire media mogol friend of yours is looking to donate before tax time and is only here because of you.
Eloris: The teleprompter contains your speech. Just read and look good for everyone and when they bring out the plank, just snap it in half with a good punch.
Titania: Same as always, huh?
Titania: Oh well, guess I’ll just be happy there’s time to put on shows like because no one really needs my help right now….
Eloris: The hero worshiping rich eat it up and feel very generous knowing the wonderful heroes of this city have their back. Without them, we could not fund the insurance that keeps the individual heroes from bankruptcy.
Eloris winks and gives her a pat on the back as he guides her to the stage.
The speech this time contains all the usual fluff pieces and ass kissing it usually does, also making references to just about every city saving her save for the press nightmare that is Captain M.
The last note in her speech is so sappy, it makes her a bit uneasy.
A couple of men carry out a large plank of wood, thick enough to give anyone pause…aside from superstrength toting heroes.
Titania reminds herself that this is all for a technically good cause, and that she did sign up for this voluntarily
The word is spoken, and the board shatters into a spray of splinters across the stage. This is followed by a rousing applause.
“Thank you, Hyperia. It is always wonderful to have you here. Our next speaker has been off the grid for two years, serving as a tactical unit in western continental Europe fighting against the forces of Sod, who took control of Switzerland and used its neutrality to forge a weapon so powerful, it took the combined might of the NATO forces and a select group of heroes to bring down his tyrannical rule. It brings me the pleasure to welcome back, our very own, Lovely Lynx.
For a second time, the beautiful lolita countenance of Belle Dias, this time in her black satin bodysuit, now marked with NATO badges and a cute black beret on her head with the crossed star on it greets the eyes of Titiana LeClaire.
Lynx meets Hyperia’s gaze for a moment, her too green eyes so sharp they are startling, before she smiles and walks towards the podium. The absolute confidence that Hyperia remembers is all there now, the meek eighteen year old girl all but vanished in the persona of her heroic figure.
Titania gives her a thumbs-up
“Hello press, hello citizens of Borderline City,” she says, her voice thick with authority. “I am glad to be here this day. As you know, my unit suffered devastating losses in the final battle with the dictator Sod. Although I returned months ago, it is only now that I can speak of my experiences at war with the most vile of evils, as one of two survivors in the Avenging Angels.”
In the back, Hyperia’s watch beeps. It is nearly noon. Does she stay for the rest of the speech or head back to the cafe?
not going to leave my girlfriend hanging on one of the few days she’s in a good mood
As Hyperia is about to leave, she hears it…
It’s a whisper… a whisper on the wind… but it holds her there for a moment.
Does she ignore it and continue, or stay?
I’ll look back at the stage, see if something’s happening
Lovely Lynx is delivering her memoirs, and the crowd is entranced.
Eloris is sitting in a chair behind her, but no one else is there but the staff.
Titania whispers “Sorry” and keeps going.
Hyperia feels a thin bead of sadness as she leaves, but as soon as she leaves the general vicinity of the amphitheater, it evaporates and is gone as if it had never been there.
She goes and enjoys a wonderful day of shopping for presents with Susana.