A stormy night, and a mission gone wrong ...
The superhero team of Sundown, Holiday, and Beacon is planning a quiet night -- Ryan and his partners are all happily in love, and nothing’s threatening the world except John’s experiments with creative cake recipes. But Ryan’s worried. Because Holiday’s sorcerer’s powers keep growing stronger. Less controlled. More unpredictable. Maybe even more than human.
But when a sudden deadly mission threatens John’s life, Holiday’s new abilities might be the only way to save him ...
Contains superpowers, an earthquake machine, tea, hurt/comfort, and also comfort sex in a very large bed.
Holiday at this point woke up enough from drowsy submissive post-sex bliss to whisper, “I feel incredible,” which made them both exhale and grin, at each other and at him. “I needed that, I think ... thank you.”
“You never have to thank us.” John bit his shoulder lightly, not leaving a mark. “We kinda like it too. Oh, hey, listen to that storm. I guess you could say the weather ... mist you, too.”
“You’re the actual worst,” Ryan informed him, and ran a hand along his back: loving every line and plane of well-honed muscle.
“It could’ve been worse,” Holly said drowsily. “He could’ve said something about practicing ... restraint.”
“Remind me,” Ryan muttered into Holly’s hair, “why I love you both.”
“Because you do,” Holly said. “Sometimes I wonder ... no, never mind. I don’t really. I know you do. You both do.”
“You wonder why I do.” Ryan sat up. Poked at Holly’s shoulder until both his partners sat up too. “Why we do. You don’t know?” He hadn’t said enough, done enough, over the years? Hadn’t made that commitment vivid enough to fill the holes in Holiday’s wounded lonely heart? “We love you because we do. Because you’re you.”
“Because,” John put in, arm around Holly’s shoulders, “you look at us and smile and we both want to toss you into bed and then also buy all your books. Ever.”
“I love you both,” Holly said. “I trust you. You know I do. We should talk.”
Ryan winced. So did John: a sneaky flash of apprehension racing across grey eyes.
“I broke our mirror.” Holly waved fingertips; glass perked up and mended itself, obligingly. “I teleported us in here. I lost focus over Tokyo. Ryan’s not wrong to be worried.”
“I didn’t say I was,” Ryan said.
“I’ve been thinking about it,” Holly said. “About me. Scaring you.”
“You don’t,” Ryan said this time, and John said it too: voices mingling, overlapping, reinforcing. “You don’t.”
“No, sorry, not like that -- not me precisely, but the --” Holly broke off mid-sentence. Glorious hazel eyes went even wider. “Something’s wrong.”
“Not with us! With the -- the world, the earth --” Holly stared at them, flung a hand out, tried to catch a catastrophe in thin fingers. “You can’t feel -- no, it’s too soon -- but it’s not soon enough, I should’ve known earlier --”
“What’re you feeling?” John, with all that Army-honed practicality, kept a hand on Holiday’s shoulder but didn’t try to interfere. “You can see something?”
“I should’ve --” Holly’s hand shook. “We need to be in San Francisco -- the earthquake --”
“Fuck.” Ryan needed to get up, needed to move, needed his suit and all attendant heroics -- but Holiday needed him here, needed an anchor, face gone pale and eyes seeing something beyond this room and their pillows -- “Holly. Talk to us. How soon?”
“An hour? Maybe. I’m feeling ...” Holly’s gaze got even more unfocused. “It’s not natural. Those ripples ... it’s like echoes, and they’re wrong, it’s not supposed to happen ... a machine ... it’s screaming ... everything feels twisted up and it hurts and something’s burning and my hands are ... they aren’t ... I’m not here ...”
“Holly!” Ryan grabbed that hand -- thoroughly here, solid if cold, and he refused to think about whatever the last words had meant -- and squeezed. Hard. Then, when that did not appear to be working, pinched pale skin. “Holiday. You’re here. We’re here.”
John shook him, less gentle now. “Holly. Come on, kid, come back, you can see us. Look at me. Like that, that’s good, keep looking. At me. Please.”
“I --” Holly blinked, fought for breath, focused on them. “I -- yes. That ... I don’t normally see anything that sharp ...”
“You can see the future,” Ryan said. Evenly. Carefully. Processing new developments.
“No. Not ... no, I don’t think ... I’ve had a ... a sense of what might happen, consequences, sometimes ... only lately ... but this isn’t ... this was different.” Holly was shaking now, head to toes. Still naked, still lovely, but any arousal lingering in their bedroom had dwindled in the face of shock. “Something I was feeling ... the strings ... it’s like a music note, but out of tune ...”
“Reverberations.” John stroked his hair, his back; some of the shaking eased. “Okay. So it’ll be an earthquake. About an hour, you said. And not natural. A machine.”
“I wish I’d seen more.” Holiday poked toes at a blanket; John pulled it up and over him, over them. “I used to know more. When I was undercover ...”
“Don’t,” Ryan interrupted. “You stopped for a reason. Don’t think like that.”