tagSci-Fi & FantasyI Promise You 01

I Promise You 01


*Whoever said 'it takes two' didn't run away fast enough*

(Thanks from many plus Shawhollow for the edit)

Lydia Davies was hanging out after work with several of her co-workers from her mother's boutique when she saw this cute guy that she'd helped with some lingerie shopping a few months back. He'd been awkward in a cute way, shy yet determined to find something for the woman who had everything. She was now curious if any of the two women at his table (along with the three guys) were the recipient of his gift.

"Hey...Ryan is it?" she asked . She remembered his name; Ryan Ferris with his dark grey eyes, thick, tossed black hair, clearly well-muscled physique – yum-yum.

"Hi Ms. Davies," he smiled back. It was nice to see that he was sharp enough to remember her but,

"Lydia," she corrected. "How did your selection work out?"

"Selection?" one of the men asked. Ryan looked highly uncomfortable but for some reason she wanted to keep this boy on edge.

"Yes, I own Leather and Lace on Park Avenue," Lydia informed the table. It was clear that none of the men at the table knew of the place but the women did.

The older of the two women at the table covered one of Ryan's hands with her own – definitely possessive and definitely not the One.

"Is that an S&M store?" one of the guys joked.

"It is a lingerie store," Ryan responded quietly but with authority.

"A high end lingerie store," the possessive woman clarified. "Ryan, were you picking a gift up for someone we know?"

"Oh, it was months and months ago," Lydia interjected. "I swear he barely looked old enough to be in the store." That brought a moment of silence to the table and from Lydia's little group of girls as well.

"This is a little birthday celebration for Ryan," one of the male co-workers spoke up. "We don't get him coming into the office much. Ryan is a stay-at-home kind of guy."

"Oh," Lydia perked up; Ryan had been pretty closed mouth about his background or what he did, "What is it that you do Ryan?"

"He's a graphic designer/artist," the possessive woman answered leaving Ryan unhappy. He was definitely a very private individual and it was an indication of his affection for the gift's recipient that he'd come to her store to pick something out.

"Are you any good?" Lydia asked Ryan. While he shrugged noncommittally, his eyes spoke volumes of for his pride and confidence.

"He's one of our best," the second woman informed her. Lydia translated that over to be 'the best'. "Still he insists on living in this rundown loft in Red Hook. I swear, half the time I go down there I expect to find his place broken into, him dead, or ending up being raped."

"Seriously Tonya?" Ryan asked somewhat alarmed.

"No," Tonya laughed, "after that first time no one has ever bothered me."

"First time?" Lydia was intrigued.

"Oh, the first time I showed up to drop off some work a few of the local wildlife decided to give me some attention. Like a flash, Ryan showed up and they couldn't run away fast enough," she regaled the group.

"Huh?" one of the guys wondered; it must have been the first time most of them heard this story.

"He came running out with nothing but sweat pants and a scowl. He demolished five guys as if they were nothing – I mean broken bones, screams, and grown thugs crying like little babies. I've never been bothered since. In fact, I've seen them scatter when the cab drops me off," she gushed.

"Ryan, are you some kind of ex-military?" Lydia inquired.

"No," he muttered, "I went to a rough high school."

"Where?" the third guy guessed, "Afghanistan or Iraq? Hell, if I knew you were athletic I'd have tried to talk you onto my Urban League Baseball team."

"I don't do competitive sports," Ryan admitted.

"How about one-on-one?" Lydia teased him.

"Excuse me?" Ryan answered.

"How would you like to go out on a date? Consider it a birthday present," Lydia propositioned him.

"Thank you very much but I'm not dating right now," Ryan evaded and Lydia was a little hurt.

"Go on dude," one of his buddies said, "you aren't seeing Hot Dog Girl anymore so what's holding you back?"

"Hot Dog Girl?" Lydia mused.

"Yeah, our monk, who has shown no interest in women since we've known him ... for three years now, suddenly starts talking it up with the girl who works that hot dog cart on 42nd street," the guy told everyone. Only Lydia seemed to note Ryan's smoldering anger.

"Well, we go down one day when Ryan is actually at the shop and he notices she's reading some book by a Polish guy and they get to talking ... in Polish," he grins.

"Yeah, I know, who would have thought Ryan knew Polish. Still, I don't think much of it until a week later I stop by and there's Ryan talking to the girl and Ryan doesn't say much but according to her they've been out a few times to some nice clubs and she's all bubbly. They stay serious until a month ago when – BANG – she says he's pulled a vanishing act. She wants to know if he is doing okay."

"What happened, Ryan? Do you feel like talking about it?" Lydia gently prodded.

"Not really," Ryan moped.

"According to her they are talking like they always do then he suddenly he pops up, looks around and beats feet down the street, never to be seen again," the mouthy friend keeps going on. "So Ryan, what happened?"

"I'm trying to live a normal life," Ryan muttered then stood up abruptly. "Thanks for everything guys, but I should be going." The older woman came around the table one way and Lydia came around the other, catching Ryan right outside the door.

"Ryan," Lydia got out first. He stopped but didn't turn around.

"Ryan," the other woman said, "do you want to talk about it?"

"Melissa," Ryan sighed, "talking about this isn't going to help. Its...fuck it. It is never going to change."

"It won't change if you stop trying," Lydia interjected.

"You have no idea what you are talking about," Ryan replied as he turned and regarded both women.

"Seriously, spend one more day at the office. Go out on one date with me. What have you got to lose?" Lydia challenged him.

By giving him an extra work day she was hoping to buy off the older woman and it seemed to work. Ryan stared down at the ground for about thirty seconds before looking at Lydia.

"Fine, but don't say I didn't warn you," he warned. Lydia grinned; it was a little more work than she was used to for getting a date but hopefully he was worth it.

Three Weeks Later

Ryan had turned out to be a wonderful catch. He didn't talk too much about what he did but he seemed to have been everywhere and seen all kinds of things in his short life. He was patient; maybe a bit too patient, but there wasn't anything he was afraid to try, be it food, entertainment, or less travelled parts of the city.

Lydia decided that date number seven was enough stringing things along. Ryan was definitely heterosexual from all the reactions she was getting off of him and he seemed eager enough so after dinner tonight they were going back to her place to 'watch some Blue Rays' which if he managed to do after she changed into 'something more comfortable' she'd nominate him for sainthood.

The entrees had just arrived and Lydia was savoring the wine Ryan had chosen when Ryan gave a start. For a twenty-one year old he had developed quite a refined pallet.

"Ryan, is there a problem?" Lydia inquired. His eyes remained riveted on the door, angry and electric.

Lydia followed his gaze to the door where a woman with flowing black hair, large sunglasses and a lavender trench coat walked into the restaurant, her gaze locked with Ryan's. She strode toward their table like she owned the place. Ryan rose up, his fists clenched and his jaw set.

"Ryan?" Lydia said in a more guarded manner.

"Hello ... Ryan," the woman greeted Ryan in a too familiar style. She seemed somehow old yet vibrant and young at the same time. She took a seat uninvited and sat down. "So, who is your little friend?" That stung Lydia and she felt like biting back.

"The woman I am here on a date with is named Lydia, 'S'," Ryan snarled as he sat back down.

"She seems awful frail for someone of your energy ... Ryan," the woman spoke as if Lydia wasn't really there, on her date, at her table.

"How about you two have this discussion tomorrow afternoon ... when Ryan isn't on a date with me whoever you are?" Lydia snidely commented to 'S'.

"Accept my advice, Lydia," the woman regard her, "you aren't up to the task. He is far more than you can handle ... I would know." Ryan shot up.

"That's it. Step outside," Ryan snapped.

"Oh come one ... Ryan. Your date had a real night planned for you. You should see what she has laid out on her bed to surprise you with," the woman gloated.

"Bitch!" seethed Lydia, "You were in my apartment?"

"She's ready and willing to put out for you Ryan. So was that little vendor whore. Do you know she'd bought a box of condoms that very morning?" 'S' kept prodding him.

"Outside or I'll put you outside," Ryan seethed. Lydia smelled ozone.

"You are still so impetuous," the woman smiled as she stood. "Very well; I wouldn't want you to make a scene." Ryan started to storm to the door then stopped, stared at the woman then walked over to Lydia and put a protective arm around her.

The woman shot Ryan and Lydia a dark look then led the way outside. Once out in the open, Ryan turned to Lydia.

"You have to get out of here and let me deal with this," he insisted.

"This is our date and we can deal with this together," Lydia stated.

"Oh," the woman laughed. "You've known him what ... three weeks? I've known him since he was twelve. We've fought and bled together. You have no idea what his potential is – what he is capable of." She started walking down the sidewalk and Ryan and Lydia followed. Lydia had a sinking feeling when she turned into an alleyway and Ryan fearlessly followed.

The woman walked half way down then turned and shed her glasses and trench coat. Her skintight costume was made of a synthetic compound more valuable than diamonds and available to only a select few. Lydia turned and hit Ryan with an open-hand to his chest.

"What the fuck! You could have told me your crazy ex-girlfriend is Lady Suprema!"

It is one thing when you learn your current interest's ex has a bigger bra size, or is taller, or runs marathons in their spare time. It is another to learn that his ex is the MOST POWERFUL BEING on the ENTIRE PLANET! Lady Suprema had been the most dominant super-heroic type being for almost fifty years since the death of Valiant. Five years ago she had beaten the most powerful group of super-villains to ever threaten the Earth.

"Stand back," Ryan warned Lydia. Sparks began arching off of him to the walls around them. Lydia jumped back right before a lightning bolt rent the heavens and struck Ryan, caused his body to glow in a blinding light then dissipated. When the spots cleared from Lydia's eyes, Ryan was gone and Storm Surge stood in his place.

"Oh crap," Lydia whispered. Now everything made sense. Five years ago, when a massive villain alliance threatened the world, Lady Suprema had gathered up heroes from across the globe, including a teenager called Storm Surge. He had fought and proven to be quite a valuable ally to the other senior heroes and heroines.

He'd also paid a high price. Not all the villains had been captured. One, Phoebus Sanguine, had located Storm Surge's parents and slaughtered them in a very graphic and gory manner. That is what welcomed a young Storm Surge when he came home from celebrating the victory. After that, he had been made the ward of Lady Suprema and the two had been inseparable until ... a few months ago.

"You can go now," Suprema told Lydia.

"No, I want to know what's going on here and particularly if you actually waited until Ryan was eighteen before you started screwing him," Lydia shot back.

"None of this is your business," Suprema glared.

"I am none of your business either, 'S'. We are done – over – broken up," Storm Surge declared.

"You are confused Storm Surge and I'm willing to wait for you to come to your senses," Suprema said with absolute conviction.

"I've had enough," Storm Surge growled. Lighting arched around his arms and the clouds over the city turned dark and storm charged.

Lady Suprema looked highly aroused by the upcoming struggle; Storm Surge less so.

"Don't do it Ryan," Lydia pleaded, "she'll pummel you."

"Once that was the case, but not anymore; I need to show her that now," Storm Surge promised.

"You are the perfect one for me, Storm Surge. I love you and you love me. I don't see why you are running away from what we have together," Suprema reasoned.

"I'm not some lost sixteen year old kid anymore Suprema; I want to live a more normal life. I want to breathe and you can't wrap your head around that. You fucking wouldn't let me grow up!" Ryan screamed at her. He panted from the rage and emotional turmoil. "Meadowlands," he demanded. Lydia wasn't sure the vacant area across the Hudson had to do with anything.

"Meadowlands," Lady Suprema agreed. "It is about time you learned why you can never go back to a normal life once and for all."

"I'll drive," Lydia declared.

"I fly," Ryan told her . Storm Surge was a kind of really, sorta famous – Master of the Elements, Wrath of Nature kind of guy.

"My date damn it!" Lydia put her foot down. "I think I deserve an explanation and I plan on getting one." Ryan looked torn but finally nodded his head in acceptance. Lady Suprema huffed and floated up into the air.

"Don't keep me waiting Ryan and Lydia," she threatened then took off faster than the eye could follow.

Ryan changed back into 'street' clothes before leaving the alleyway and they quickly made for her car. Before they got in, Ryan stared at Lydia intently.

"You have no idea what you are stepping into. She's not all that stable and ... let's just say our relationship puts a whole new spin on complicated. I'm not sure I can protect you."

"Why are we going then?" Lydia questioned.

"She's going to keep sabotaging my life until I stop her. Any person I get close to, she drives away. She threatened to demolish my home in Red Hook, ruin my clients, destroy my place of work, you name it. I can't keep living like this," Ryan sighed.

"What do you plan to do then?" Lydia worried.

"There is no law enforcement agency that can handle her and I doubt any hero will side with me – she's a living legend, so I guess I'll fight her," he answered.

"Ryan, she's the most powerful being on the planet. She is going to slap you around," Lydia stated the obvious.

"I'm more powerful than I let on but ... I know. I'm either going to beat her or she's going to kill me because I'm not going to live another night like tonight; I'd rather die," Ryan rumbled. All Lydia could think was this had to be the most epic break-up of all times. After all, who could intervene? Anyone capable was dead or in prison and the police had better things to do that be squished in a super-battle.

They were racing over the bridge when an idea occurred to Lydia.

"Is there a mutual friend you could call on to help out?"

"Her last friend was Clockwork and they'd been friends since the seventies. He died in the Thangus Demon War five years ago, sacrificing himself to seal the rift. Since then I've been her only friend and vice versa," Ryan explained.

"I'm a Nova-class sentient which means I'm essentially immortal. Lady Suprema is the only Terrestrial Super-Nova I'm aware of and most Novas can't stand up to her. Only one came close and that was Crown of Flames. He almost took her out but she beat him in the end," he told her.

"Ummm ... did this affair start before you were eighteen?" Lydia asked.

"None of your business," Ryan stated calmly.

"Did she take your virginity?" Lydia persisted. Ryan looked to her and smiled for the first time since Lady Suprema arrived.

"Lydia, I became a super-hero when I was twelve. By the time I hit high school I was scoring like mad. I flew, it never rained unless I wanted it to, and I looked kind of what I look like right now."

"Oh ... point. You come across as so shy at times, sort of innocent," Lydia mused.

"That would be the secret identity Lydia. If I run around acting like Storm Surge everyone will treat me differently and I want to live a more normal life. I'm not giving up being a superhero, but I like dating you, and going to movies and walking in the park," he pointed out.

"And Lady Suprema doesn't want to do that?" Lydia inquired.

"No, she would rather watch the Earth-rise while having sex on the Moon, or walk to surface of Mars holding hands and putting stones into orbit. Occasionally we would fly out past Saturn to catch old radio wave broadcasts of things that happened when she was younger."

Lydia had no good answer to that one. She had hoped to surprise Ryan with the Ghana Dance Company in the Village on Sunday afternoon. Now she felt kind of silly until she thought about that fact that her kind of fun was what he was craving. In a way this made it more her fight than ever. What she could actually do about it was another matter.

They didn't say anything until they pulled off the highway and coasted into the darkness of abandoned warehouses and marshland. It was a lonely place to have a fight but that was probably the point.

"Do you ... people often fight out here?" Lydia asked.

"If you mean do we super-types fight here, then yes, but normally 'Meadowlands' is a code word for taking the fight out of the city. Lady Suprema can topple skyscrapers and shoot planes out of the air. I can flash-fry the power grid or summon an eighty foot tidal wave. Us fighting in a populated area would be very bad," he explained.

"Normally when we go to the Meadowlands we actually calm down enough to not fight and figure another way to resolve issues," he added, "but that's not going to happen tonight. One way or another, this ends here."

"Can you tell me why she is so obsessed with you? Not that you aren't attractive, but damn this seems a bit extreme."

"I can't go into that," Ryan answered then, "Pull over there." Lydia pulled over to the side of the road in the middle of nowhere and Ryan jumped out. By the time his feet hovered inches off the ground he'd become Storm Surge once more. "I would really appreciate it if you got the hell out of Dodge now."

"Stay or go, it doesn't matter to me," Lady Suprema lilted as she came out of the darkness maybe ten meters off the ground. "This won't take long and he's coming home with me when we are done." Storm Surge didn't scream, or shout, but he did charge. For an instance Lydia was afraid that Suprema had goaded him into a rash action but she should have known better; Ryan was angry but he wasn't berserk.

They dodged and weaved, trading punches and blocks that crackled with energy and crack of thunder. Inevitably she hit him but while he staggered back in the air, he didn't tumble and when she came in for more, he countered and landed two telling blows of his own.

"Holy Crap," Lydia whispered, "he might actually stand a chance."

Ten seconds later Lady Suprema landed a powerful roundhouse to Storm Surge; rocketing him to the ground and leaving a deep furrow in the earth. She charged after him once more, but Lydia saw a lightning bolt arch out of the hole. It didn't stop her, but it slowed her down so that when she reached the lip of the furrow, she met Storm Surge's fist and it was her turn to go flying.

Once more they took to the heavens, trading glancing blows and shooting eye beams and lighting strikes until once again Lady Suprema seemed to tire of the game and blasted Storm Surge to earth. This time, the impact threw Lydia off her feet and caused a tidal wave of dirt to rush out in all directions. Lydia heard her car alarm go off.

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