Everyone had returned to RoninÃ¢Â€Â™s base, prepared to rejoice and relax after all the bedlam of late. Music was played, delicious food and fine wine were served, and there was much rejoicing.
Flame and Sunburn, seeming to have struck up a friendship, stood in one corner, having another battle-of-the-mini-flame-people. Flame seemed to have conjured a flaming dragon to combat SunburnÃ¢Â€Â™s army of little flame-knights. Jack sat on a barstool, his thoughts as far away as the woman he loved.
Ronin tapped his glass with a fork.
Ã¢Â€ÂœAhemÃ¢Â€Â¦Ã¢Â€Â He cleared his throat. Ã¢Â€ÂœI propose a toast. To all the fun weÃ¢Â€Â™ve had together, and all the madness weÃ¢Â€Â™ve survived.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœAmen.Ã¢Â€Â Jericho said before downing his glass.
Ã¢Â€ÂœTo Darklight.Ã¢Â€Â Jack added.
Ã¢Â€ÂœTo Darklight.Ã¢Â€Â Sunburn repeated, suddenly very solemn.
Ã¢Â€ÂœTo Starbright.Ã¢Â€Â Haze added.
The entire cabal of supers agreed. Ã¢Â€ÂœTo Starbright.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœTo love.Ã¢Â€Â Chromium voiced, his deep basso echoing inside the base, gazing into HazeÃ¢Â€Â™s eyes. JackÃ¢Â€Â™s shoulders fell.
Frost took a seat next to Vandal. Ã¢Â€Âœhey, Vandal, mind if I, uh, sit here.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœÃ¢Â€Â¦Why not.Ã¢Â€Â Vandal said, much to FrostÃ¢Â€Â™s surprise.
((Bonus Director's Cut material follows:))
Ã¢Â€ÂœSo, uhhhh, that was fun, eh?Ã¢Â€Â Frost said, kinda nervously, approaching Vandal.
Ã¢Â€ÂœUm, yeah, sure. You have a twisted sense of fun, ya know?Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœI know, but lifeÃ¢Â€Â™s better like that, dude. Sometimes you just gotta hang loose. Heh, you just gotta chillÃ¢Â€Â¦ Sorry, I canÃ¢Â€Â™t resist.Ã¢Â€Â Frost shrugged.
Ã¢Â€ÂœYa know, youÃ¢Â€Â™re not so bad for such a cold-hearted guy.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœHa! See, I told you. Bad puns are inevitable.Ã¢Â€Â
The beginnings of a smile appeared on VandalÃ¢Â€Â™s face. Ã¢Â€ÂœYou want a drink?Ã¢Â€Â Frost asked her, Ã¢Â€ÂœLemme get ya one.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœYeah, sure. Um, apricot brandyÃ¢Â€Â¦ on the rocks.Ã¢Â€Â
Frost grinned, popping ice cubes out of thin air into a glass he pulled off a shelf from the bar. Grabbing a bottle, he poured the glass, then another one for himself. Ã¢Â€ÂœFor you, mademoiselle. Heh, I like French. Anyways, to us!Ã¢Â€Â He toasted, Ã¢Â€ÂœWe make a pretty good team.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœThat we do. To us!Ã¢Â€Â They clinked the glasses together, and each took a drink, happy and content.
Ã¢Â€ÂœWe still have a slight problem.Ã¢Â€Â Sunburn said, pointing to a TV that showed all the heroes still wanted for arrest. Ã¢Â€ÂœWeÃ¢Â€Â™re all criminals.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœWell, we were a pretty good team, IÃ¢Â€Â™m sure if we work together we can clear our names.Ã¢Â€Â Haze suggested.
Ã¢Â€ÂœNot a bad idea.Ã¢Â€Â Jack added, liking where this was going.
Ã¢Â€ÂœWell? Are we all in accordance? Should we all join forces?Ã¢Â€Â Chromium said, asking the question on everyoneÃ¢Â€Â™s mind.
Ã¢Â€ÂœYes.Ã¢Â€Â Haze chirped.
Ã¢Â€ÂœHeck yeah.Ã¢Â€Â Frost added.
Ã¢Â€ÂœSure.Ã¢Â€Â Sunburn said.
Ã¢Â€ÂœFine.Ã¢Â€Â Vandal grumbled.
Ã¢Â€ÂœAllriiiiiiight!Ã¢Â€Â Jack whooped.
Ã¢Â€ÂœWell Okay then.Ã¢Â€Â Chromium said, nodding his head contentedly. It felt good to be part of a team, especially with such powerful and trustworthy allies. He looked around at each of their confident and happy faces, sure that their combine power could clear their good names. Except...
Chromium looked around. Ronin was gone. As was Jericho. In fact, Flame couldnÃ¢Â€Â™t be found either.
"This ain't good." Sunburn whirled his head around the base.
"Guess they couldn't resist the bad side." Vandal concluded.
"Should we go looking?" Jack asked.
"..." Chromium thought about it. "Nah. They've helped us plenty. If they want to be left alone, I can hardl blame them. Besides we've got plenty more work to do just clearing our names....but I can't think of anyone else I'd rather do it with than you guys."
Atop the roof of the museum, Flame stood like a stoic statue of solidarity. A Ã¢Â€ÂœfreakÃ¢Â€Â like him would bring nothing but madness and chaos to the assemblage of friends gathered around below. Flame jumped down to the street below. Time to relocate and start anew, as much as a lizard man like himself could.
Elsewhere, Jericho and Ronin sped away in JerichoÃ¢Â€Â™s car, eager to get as much distance between themselves and Mission City as possible.
Ã¢Â€ÂœCanÃ¢Â€Â™t believe they didnÃ¢Â€Â™t see us skip out.Ã¢Â€Â Jericho said.
Ã¢Â€ÂœEh, theyÃ¢Â€Â™ll realize soon enough.Ã¢Â€Â Ronin replied, picking up a toolbox to start building some more natural replacement legs.
Ã¢Â€ÂœIt was fun while it lasted.Ã¢Â€Â
Ã¢Â€ÂœThat it was, Jer. That it was."
"So what now, boss man?"
"We do what we always do, Jeri. We relocate, we start fresh, we lead a life of debauchery and crime...and we improvise."
"Wouldn't have it any other way." Jericho concurred, putting fresh clips in his desert eagles.
The two friends sped away in the back of the car, leaving their old lives behind, and moving onward into the brand new day of tomorrow.
((Don't woory continuity huggers, I've worked this out with the neccessary parties.))
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