Part 3 – Crash and Burn.

It was seven o’clock in the morning and Adelaide was the only one up. This was not unusual, she was a light sleeper, not exactly helped by the fact that both of her parents snored loudly. She’d got some sleep, in fact technically speaking she still was asleep. Still, she did not feel good.

The coffee machine lay dormant on the side. Adelaide felt like she should be able to reach it and… you know… do whatever it was you did with coffee machines to make them make coffee. She wasn’t really thinking straight.

Suddenly, Adelaide became aware of a distant knocking sound. The door was down the hallway from the kitchen. She wondered whether she would be able to stand up and walk the short distance to the door. Her legs dismissed the idea as pure madness, but she managed to haul herself to her feet and trudge down the hall.

Lee was standing outside, grinning. Adelaide stared at him, suddenly incredibly aware that she resembled something that had just crawled out of the pits of hell.

“What,” she said. It was a sentence that would have continued with ‘are you doing here’ had Adelaide been able to summon the mental strength to force out the rest of it. Instead she lapsed into a confused silence.

“Hi,” said Lee cheerily, crossing the threshold despite the terrifying gatekeeper, “just thought I’d crash here for the next two days, if that’s cool with you.”

“What?” It seemed the only appropriate word for just about anything, “Why? What do you mean?”

“Francis’ parents have friends over,” Lee explained, “and they need the spare bedroom. I told them it would be fine to come live with my new friend for a few days.”

“New…”

“Friend, yeah. Considering we just joined your team of heroes or whatever.”

“Shut the front door.”

“No need to be rude,” Lee raised his hands in the air, “I can just go if you want.”

“No,” Adelaide enunciated slowly, “shut the front door.”

“Oh right.”

They went into the kitchen. Adelaide slumped into a chair and then watched in wonderment as Lee turned the coffee machine on.

“You look like you could do with a stiff drink,” he said. She nodded lethargically and he laughed. When the machine had finished he handed her a mug of coffee and went to sit next to her.

“How the hell am I going to explain this to my parents?” She murmured.

“Do they know about the whole team thing?”

“No I was told not to…” Adelaide stopped herself, “I didn’t think they needed to know.”

“Right,” Lee said, “so just say I’m a visiting friend who needs a bed for the night because… because his parents are moving house. The beds are in transit.”

“Right,” Adelaide nodded, “that might just work actually.” She looked at Lee from the corner of her eye. Now that she was feeling more lucid she recalled something he’d said earlier. “You’re not taking this whole team of heroes thing very seriously by the way. It could be quite some commitment.”

“How am I supposed to take it seriously?” He smiled and spread his arms languorously, “A girl from off the street came to the house and randomly suggested it to us. I know Francis took offence but that’s because he’s a prickly guy. What exactly are a bunch of teenagers going to do? Help old ladies to cross the road?”

“Well,” Adelaide shrugged, “that might just be it.” In all truth she’d been thinking about what agent Price had said and she couldn’t really fathom what they would be able to do anyway. The whole fighting crime thing had really grabbed her, but what crime would they fight? She watched Lee for a few seconds. He seemed cool with all this, which was good. He seemed cool with everything to be fair.

“What can you do anyway?” She asked.

“My abilities revolve around my thought patterns and mental state,” Lee replied, “I have minor psychokinetic abilities.”

“Say what now?”

“I can move stuff with my mind.”

“Right. Got it.”

“I’m also telepathic. I can read thoughts from a short distance.”

Adelaide froze. Very carefully she put the empty mug of coffee she was holding back down onto the table. Then she folded her arms across her chest.

“Oh, don’t worry,” Lee chuckled, seeing her discomfort, “I would never consider reading my host’s thoughts. That’s bad manners. Besides, talking and mind reading at the same time? Sounds like too much hard work.”

“Ha,” Adelaide laughed along nervously, “that’s good. I’m glad. Listen Lee I’ll be straight with you. The only spare bed we have in the basement. It’s not really that great down there. There might be a little… ambient damp.”

“Doesn’t bother me,” Lee stood up, “thanks for all this. Don’t worry about food by the way, I’ll head into town and buy myself something. I’ve got some money.”

“Oh good,” Adelaide nodded, “well, I’m just going upstairs to change. I can show you the basement when I get back down. If my parents come down tell them that story from earlier and hope like crazy they’re feeling unsuspicious and charitable.”

“Cool.”

Turning Adelaide moved, with increased vigour in her step thanks to the coffee, up the stairs towards her bedroom. Her head was spinning. Lee had just… turned up. They weren’t even really friends yet and he’d just come in off the street into her house. A more suspicious person would have thought he was here to abuse her offer of teammate-ship, or whatever you called it. Adelaide wasn’t stupid, but she liked Lee. He seemed… really laid back. Really laid back. Which raised the question as to how he’d fight crime.

The whole fighting crime thing was beginning to seem more and more far fetched the more she really thought about it. Adelaide entered her bedroom and sat down on the bed with a sigh. Three people seemed a bit few, but where on earth was she going to find any more super-humans? Francis had been the only one she knew, even then only vaguely. Lee had come as a pleasant surprise. She doubted she’d luck out like that again. And when they were all together, what would they even do?

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