tagFirst TimeHero's Start

Hero's Start

byBriarReiAmor©

"Happy Birthday!"

Elizabeth White smiled as the birthday cake was set in front of her. Despite there being only three people including herself celebrating it with her, she wouldn't change anything. Ordinarily, there would be four, but her father couldn't make it because of work. That was fine though. Mr. Young and her mother were enough. Tears of joy clouded her vision as she did her best not to cry.

"Make a wish."

Obeying her mother's request, she made a wish before blowing out the candles. An applause greeted her as she was handed a knife to cut the cake. After cutting out three slices - one for each person - she took her first bite. The sweet taste of vanilla filled her mouth as she hummed in pleasure. Nothing could beat her mom's homemade cakes. Mr. Young was of the same thought as he made his own noise of enjoyment. After they had their fill of cake, making sure there was still some left for her father, it was time for presents.

Her first gift made her groan in embarrassment. Inside the box was a plushie of her favorite hero, Legend, which made everyone chuckle at the sight. Her blue eyes glared at them in betrayal. She wasn't a kid anymore. She was 18 for crying out loud. She had outgrown such things. Not that she would throw it away. It was a plushie of Legend and it would be rude to get rid of her father's gift. She wasn't keeping it because she liked it out or anything.

The next box she opened was obviously her mother's. Pulling out the recipe book, she skimmed through the pages. Ranging from simple snacks to extravagant meals, it had every meal her mother ever made. With these recipes, she could make them on her own when she was in school. The thought of leaving home made her teary eyed and she disguised it by hugging her mom.

Now that she had opened two of her presents, there was only one left. Mr. Young smiled as he handed over the last box which she took eagerly. She wondered what he had gotten her this time. All his previous attempts at gifting had been quite hilarious: a gym tote, a makeup kit, a medical textbook. He clearly didn't know what to get her and just got anything he thought she would use. She was surprised her parents hadn't helped him pick something considering how much they loved to talk about her when they thought she couldn't hear them.

Tearing open the package, she was stunned to see what was inside. Seeing her expression, Mr. Young's smile fell. Before he could say anything, however, she said, "This is too much. I can't accept it."

"What is it?"

Her mother gasped as she saw her pull out a silver watch before sharing the same uneasy look. It wasn't one of those cheap watches you could buy in the store for a few dollars. In fact, she knew that they didn't sell this kind of watch. She had seen it once before and it had been on Legend's wrist. It was a hero only watch and she was no hero. Bitter resentment threatened to bottle up, but she forced it down as she gave it back to Mr. Young.

"Please take it back."

Instead of taking it, he pushed it back into her hands. "No, take it. It would give me piece of mind to know you're wearing one of these."

"I'm no hero. I don't even know if I'm allowed to wear one."

"It's fine. I called in a favor and they said it would be fine."

Still unsure what to do, she looked to her mother who gave her a helpless shrug.

"Thank you so much Mr. Young."

"Here." He took the watch out of the box. "Let me put it on."

Relinquishing her arm, she watched as he placed the watch on her wrist. The feel of metal rubbed against her skin and she brought it up to her face to inspect it once he finished. It was strange seeing a hero exclusive watch on her wrist. The painful longing to be a hero gnawed at her heart, reminding her of her long since discarded dream. She didn't notice the looks the others gave her and each other.

Her mother stood up saying, "I'll take these dishes to the sink."

"I'll help."

She only just stood up when her mother shook her head. "I can do it. Besides, I think Mr. Young has something to say to you."

Confused, she sat back down as her mother disappeared from view. Under her watchful stare, he coughed uneasily into his hand as his blue eyes darted around the room. It was so strange seeing him so uncertain especially since she knew who was. Sure, right now he was Mr. Young, her personal trainer, but, for everyone else, he was Legend, the greatest hero ever. Seeing how different the two personas were, she sometimes forgot they were the same person.

"I want to let you know how proud I am seeing you grow up to be a strong woman. It seems only yesterday that you were this tall." He made a motion at his knees.

"Mr. Young!" She covered her face with her hands to hide her embarrassed expression. Did he have to bring that up? It was so embarrassing.

His only response was to laugh. Removing her hands away from her face, she pouted which only made him laugh harder. Unable to stay upset for long, she found herself smiling at him.

Then he stopped to cough into his hand. "Sorry, I got a little sidetracked." His jolly expression was suddenly replaced by a serious one. "What I am about to tell you is extremely important. You mustn't tell anyone."

"I understand."

"I plan to retire in a few years."

What? The greatest hero ever was retiring? "You can't."

"I'm getting old and there are plenty of aspiring heroes to replace me."

"You're not that old."

He laughed. "It cheers my heart to hear you say that." She gave him a smile. "Do you remember what I told you when you asked if you could be a hero?"

The reminder stung. She remembered that day as if it was yesterday. The day her dream of being a hero was crushed because she was part of the majority without superpowers.

"You said there were other ways I could help. That's why I'm studying medicine to become a doctor."

"What if I said you can become a hero?"

Her chair clattered to the ground as she abruptly stood up. She wasn't sure what expression she was making or should be making. After years of finally letting go of her dream thanks to his advice, he was going to say that to her when he had been the one to say she couldn't be a hero. Seeing the variety of emotions crossing her face, he stood up, towering over her, and placed his hands on her shoulders.

"I told you once that you couldn't be a hero, but things change." She couldn't find the words to describe how she was feeling. Despite how hard she had been trying to not cry today, she felt tears streaking down her face. "I want to make you my successor."

Huh? She strained her neck to look up at him. What did he mean?

He didn't say anything right away, only helped her into her seat that he had picked back up. It was only when he was back in his seat that he continued. "As I said, I'm planning on retiring, but I want to have someone continue my legacy. The past ten years proved that person was right in front of me all along."

"I-I don't understand."

"Superpowers are a strange thing. There's so much we don't understand about them. Some are born with them and others miraculously gain one. My power is one that can be inherited."

She opened up her mouth to speak, but no words came out. Feeling dumb, she closed her mouth, but couldn't wrap her head around it. A power that can be inherited? Did he mean his children can inherit? What did that have to do with her?

"I inherited this power from my predecessor. She saw in me what I see in you. Someone who was born without power, but has the heart deserving of it."

Everything was going too fast for her. She was feeling faint. The next thing she knew she found herself on her back on the ground with Mr. Young standing over her.

"Just like your mother."

"W-what happened?"

"You fainted." He helped her sit up slowly. "Your mother had the same reaction you did when I explained this to her."

"Y-you told her."

"Of course I told her. You were a minor when I thought of it and had to ask for your parents' permission."

"This is too much. Being your successor. A power that can be inherited. I can't..."

"I understand. It's hard to believe, but I must ask: will you be my successor?" When she didn't answer right away, his earnest expression changed into an uneasy one. "Oh, right. It's kind of sudden and it has been years since you talked about being a hero. I understand if you don't want to-"

"I want to." She stood up. "I want to be your successor."

Seeing her determined look, he stood right up with a smile. "You never cease to amaze me." Suddenly, his smile wavered as he looked away from her. "There's the matter of transferring my power however." When he didn't say anything, she made a motion for him to continue. "It requires you to take in my DNA."

"You mean like a blood transfusion."

"Er, no." He coughed again. "It means having sex."

At first, she couldn't comprehend what he meant. It was only when her mind finally processed the word sex did she react. Hiding her red face with her hands, she wasn't sure what she wanted to do. Part of her wanted to run screaming or claim he was pulling her leg and another wanted to ask if there was another way to transfer the power. She didn't even have a boyfriend. All attempts to get a date resulted in frightened boys running away from her. She knew they had done something, but what she didn't know. Now her hero was proposing they have sex. She wasn't sure if she should be mortified or flattered.

He was several years her senior - she didn't know how old he was and never thought to ask - and had probably had all kinds of women throwing themselves at him. That wasn't including the other heroines he worked with like Lady Midnight and Miss Ivy. She wasn't blind to the fact they were considered the most attractive heroines. There was also the little matter of her crush she had desperately tried to destroy beneath her heel. What if he found out how she would fantasize how he would confess his undying love for her?

She shook her head, trying to dislodge such thoughts. It wasn't the time to think such silly thoughts especially when the focus of such thoughts was right in front of her. Thankfully, he didn't realize where thoughts were going though he seemed to be just as embarrassed as she was about the topic. She wondered how he thought about the whole thing. Did he find the whole thing disturbing? Did he think of it as only a way to transfer power? It was impossible tell.

"Does, er, it have to be sex?"

"Well, no." She wasn't sure if she should be relieved or disappointed. "It is the best way however. Do you know the biology of heroes?"

"No? Just because you have superpowers doesn't mean your body isn't any different from a regular person."

"That's what the government wants everyone to think. The truth is that having a superpower affects certain parts of your body like your libido."

She stared into Mr. Young's face looking for the possibility he was joking. Who had ever heard of such a thing? It sounded like something from a porno. When his serious expression didn't subside, hers changed into one of horror. He wasn't joking. How come no one said anything? Were there others things about heroes that were different from the average person? Did doctors know? What about villains? Did that mean they had the same issues?

"Elizabeth, you need to calm down." Without realizing it, she had been on the verge of fainting once again. His hand was rubbing circles on her back. "Take deep breaths. In. Out." Following his instructions, she breathed in and out. Once he was sure she was going to pass out, he pulled away. "Better?"

"Y-yeah. S-sorry."

"No, it's a lot to take in. I want to give you some time to think it over. If you don't want my power, I understand. It's completely up to you."

His words continued to haunt her for the next few weeks. Her parents grew concerned as she chose to seclude herself to her room instead of talking to them about what happened. It wasn't fair of him to offer when she had thought of giving it up. She desperately wanted to be a hero, but at what cost? He only explained that her body would change, but what of the mind? Would she mentally be the same? What about him? He had mentioned that he had inherited the power from someone else. Did he have to go through the same experience? She had to know more.

It was only when the school year was finally over did she decide to go see him. Her parents allowed her to drive to his home by herself, but told her to let them know right away if anything happened. Not really paying any attention to them, she agreed easily and went to confront him. He didn't answer the door right away and she ended up waiting for several hours in her car. Seeing how he brightened up at the sight of her despite being covered in blood and cuts made her heart ache. Despite the fact she hadn't called to let him know she was coming by or even talked to him since their last conversation, he acted as if nothing had changed. It made her hate how she had reacted.

He was quick to let her in and told her to wait for him in the living room. She listened to him disappear into his bathroom and the sound of running water confirmed her suspicions. Unsure what to do, she glanced around his room and noted that it was quite simple; something she hadn't expected from a famous hero. Everyone had speculated that he must be living a life of luxury since all heroes were paid by the government who authorized their hero work and being the top hero would mean lots of money. Then again, staring at the fan letters posted on the wall, it was more like Mr. Young.

Unable to contain her curiosity, she stood up to explore the place. She made her way down the hall past the bathroom to stare into any open doors. Some doors were closed and she didn't dare open them. Who knew what lay beyond them? It was when she reached one room where she couldn't stop herself from entering. The door hadn't been closed all the way and it took a simple push for her to see that it was his bedroom. Stalking towards the bed, she threw herself onto it and sank into the soft covers. With a sigh, she rolled over onto her back and stared at the ceiling.

Now that she thought about it, the house seemed far too big for one person. Most of the rooms she saw had been devoid of anything and the ones that did have anything were so sparse. It must be lonely for him.

Sitting up, she noticed that he had put out a change of clothes next to her. Even though she knew it was wrong, she lifted his shirt to her face and breathed. The salty scent of sweat greeted her. He mustn't have done the laundry recently and she wondered if he had exercised in these clothes. She could imagine him running out for his morning run and sweat running down his chiseled form. It reminded her of the times when they would jog together and he would share encouraging words while maintaining her pace. So lost in her thoughts, she almost missed the sound of a door opening. She turned towards the door in time to see Mr. Young come in clothed in only a towel.

Water dripped from his still wet, blonde hair to the floor, but her eyes wasn't focused there. They were busy devouring the sight of his naked torso. She had never seen him without a shirt on before and it was quite a memorizing sight. It was impossible to not notice the bulging muscle under his skin tight superhero outfit, but, without it, he didn't appear as massive. He still looked like he could break her if he wanted to. There was no doubt about that except the numerous scars that marred his form seemed to betray his vulnerability. After all, if he was supposed to be invincible, he wouldn't have scars would he?

"E-Elizabeth?"

Realizing she had been ogling, she looked down into the shirt she was still holding. "S-sorry. I was curious about what your house was like and couldn't help myself. It's really nice and-"

"It's fine. Really. I mean, well, there's no problem."

An awkward silence filled the void as neither could find the words. Elizabeth kept her eyes firmly down, unable to bring herself to look up at him. She could imagine him staring at her with wide eyes, thinking how weird she was acting. It wasn't like there was a good reason for her to be in his bedroom holding his shirt. Oh god. What if he thought she was a pervert? She would never be able to face him ever again.

Such thoughts about why she was there were indeed circling through his head, but that wasn't what occupied him the most. He wondered if her showing up meant she decided to take him up on his offer. While he was eager to finally have someone to pass the torch, he was nervous at how to go about the next step. Sure he was about the same age when his own teacher chose him, but it wasn't exactly the same. She hadn't watched her student grow up for the past ten years from an optimistic young child to a thoughtful grown adult. It was as if he was taking advantage of his sweet disciple. He had also been an orphan.

He remembered how mortified her parents were when he had explained the details to them. They had even wanted to ban him from ever seeing her again and it was only when a government official got involved did they relent. It didn't mean they were happy, but they understood that once she was 18 - he didn't want to attempt any younger; he wasn't a pedophile even if it felt dangerously close - she could legally decide for herself. When she hadn't agreed immediately, he felt he had made a mistake and regretted ruining their relationship. Now she was here and he had absolutely no idea what to do.

"I, uh, think you need these." She held out his clothes to him while choosing to look everywhere, but him.

"Thank you."

Unable to stand it any longer, he grabbed his clothes and rushed back to the bathroom. The moment he was gone, she chose to slam her face into the sheets and scream out her frustration. This wasn't going how she planned it. Then again she hadn't really thought about what she was going to do once she met up with Mr. Young except talk. Maybe it had been a bad idea. If she left now, would he be upset?

She didn't get a chance to implement her plan when he returned fully clothed this time. He found a spot on his bed and sat down with his back towards her. "So...I suppose you want to talk?"

"Yeah, I guess."

Neither spoke, waiting for the other to continue. When it was clear the other wasn't going to say anything, they both opened their mouths.

"Mr. Young-"

"Elizabeth-"

They didn't get to finish their respective sentence upon realizing the other was trying to speak. A brief period of silence followed, but it was quickly dashed.

"Perhaps I should go first."

"I think that's a good idea Mr. Young."

Clearing his throat, he said, "Have you thought about what I said?"

"Yeah. I do want to take up on your offer, but what does it mean for me?"

"I don't understand."

"Would I still be me?"

"Of course. Why would you think-oh." He turned away to cough into his hand in embarrassment. "You think, what I said, ah geez, I messed up." She watched as his hand combed through his spiky, blond hair. "The thing I said about libido doesn't apply to us."

Now she was confused. Her expression reflected her thoughts and she let him know so.

"If you're born with superpowers, then you will be born with a heightened libido. For those who obtain their superpowers in other ways, it doesn't work that way which includes my own."

"Then we don't have to have sex."

"Well, the thing is, all heroes are required to take a sex ed class." Not liking where this was going, she could only listen to what he had to say. "You will have to have sex with a current or previous hero." Seeing her horrified look, he continued, "It is for the safety of everyone involved. As you know, most heroes are those born with powers and, as such, there is a need to teach them. However, the same could be said of villains so it's important for all you to gain experience by those who can guide you."

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byBriarReiAmor© 1 comments/ 3380 views/ 2 favorites

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