Mom says "Hi"
Roleplaying Log: Mom says "Hi"
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Superman recruits Firestorm into the Justice League

Other Characters Referenced: Poison Ivy
IC Date: February 15, 2019
IC Location: Skies above Metropolis
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 20 Mar 2019 18:33
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

* * *

When many people think of heroes they often time attribute them to certain areas of the world. The Spider-Man is thought to menace Queens while the legend of the Batman instills fear in the criminals of Gotham. As such, it would seem to be a logical assumption that the Man of Steel - so well associated with Metropolis — has territorial predilections and might doggedly seek to interrogate new powered individuals in order to explain 'how things work' in Metropolis.

It's a logical assumption but it is also a flawed one. The Man of Tomorrow believes in an individual's right to be their own person and to value someone's desire for privacy. To do good — if they are good — in their own way and not in his.

Superman had wanted to speak with Firestorm for more than a week but thought it impolite to hover above the city awaiting the young hero to appear and then pounce upon him the moment that he materialized. A bout two hours ago Clark Kent happened to be exiting a grocer's when a group of people outside were pointing at the flaming contrail overhead.

"Hrm," he had said to himself and taking his groceries home before changing. Superman entered the heavens above Metropolis and moved to join Firestorm. Parallel with the ground his right hand is stretched out before him, hand open, his course sending him through the distance across Firestorm's line-of-sight.

It might be hard to see at a distance, but the Man of Steel rolls slightly in the air and reaches upward with the hand that isn't before him to wave. His trajectory slows and he moves in a wide half-circle to make an unhurried but unmistakable approach.

* * *

Superheroing is difficult to pull full-time when you've got other things to balance on your plate of daily life. The spring semester hasn't started yet, but when you share a hero identity with a physicist and have a mother who's concerned about how you do at school, especially in just entering college, then the time spent until then isn't all free for fun and games. Ronnie feels like he's had to learn more about chemistry and physics in the past month than he'd ever managed to grasp in high school, except that it's not only been for preparation of college level courses so much as actually having to possibly put such lessons to use.

He knew that getting superpowers wasn't going to be such a simple matter of figuring when to put them to use, but the very nature of his unusual abilities required so much…learning. And yet he knew he couldn't be so cavalier when it came to using such power, especially when it involved manipulating molecules, the very structure of objects and atmosphere!

His talk with Doctor Strange had been a while ago, and despite the important name drops and the prospect of being a part of something more, the Sorcerer Supreme's words had struck a chord with the young hero. "When anyone changes things it leaves certain signs behind," he'd said. Maybe those signs were negligible to the naked eye, but it left a deeper impression in how much of a responsibility Firestorm had to carry on his shoulders.

You've been doing a little better in remembering those formulas, Professor Stein offers, the voice in his mind that only the flame-headed hero can hear, even if he replies vocally himself. "They're a real headache, Prof," Firestorm replies, smirking as he soars on, both fists ahead of him as though punching a path through the air. It's been relatively quiet today, but he keeps his eyes peeled anyway while he takes the long circuit about the city for one last round before heading home. Movement ahead catches his eye and he squints. "…wait, did you see that?"

I'm not sure I- Oh! Ronald, isn't that…

"Superman..!" Firestorm blurts, pulling back from his own flight path to slow as the caped superhero waves and heads towards him. Hovering there, Firestorm lifts his own hand in an uncertain wave even as his expression wars between glee and surprise.

* * *

Superman slows as he grows closer and his outstretched arm pushes downward to his side. Concurrent with this action he shifts from a horizontal to a vertical position the last few inches to a social distance closed as if he were being tugged forward though the air.

"Hey," Superman replies in a casual way the edges of his lips expanding into a welcoming smile, "Sorry if I'm interrupting your night," Kal-El says, "but I wanted to thank you. Poison Ivy told me a little about her run in with you and that you were able to piece together the damage at the arboretum."

"No one was killed and the damage was undone. That seems like a total win — Glad to have you looking out for us….F—" Lips purse slightly as if he were going to finish the word but he hesitates, uncertain, and blue eyes affix on Ronnie with an unspoken question and a twinge of embrassment.

* * *

"Ohhhhmanohman it's really him..!" Firestorm murmurs under his breath as he watches Superman close in. Calm down, the professor suggests, although Ronnie can sense the knowing smile that comes with it. Oh. Right. Superman's talking to him!!

"H-hey…! Interrupting- Oh, no sir! Not interrupting anything at all!" Firestorm sputters, laughing awkwardly as he waves his hands about. "About the… oh, oh right! Yeah, that. It was nothing! I mean, I wasn't even the only one there, honestly, but uh, you know, was in the neighborhood an' just thought I'd check it out."

He bounces his fists off his sides anxiously as he tries not to trip over his words, although he's a little surprised that Superman had apparently heard firsthand from Poison Ivy. As the veteran hero pauses and, of all things seems even embarrassed to have forgotten his name, the younger blinks and then chuckles a little, feeling a bit more at ease. "Firestorm. And I'm glad to help! And super glad to meet you, Realman- err, no, wait, swap that around." He scratches the back of his neck, a sheepish grin tugging at his face.

* * *

Superman gives an easy-going smile, "Firestorm," he repeats the name, giving a faint shake of his head to his own faux paus, and then an understanding look at Ronnie trips over his own words, "don't worry about it," he politely waves off the sheepish look, "We all get tongue-tied its just 'one of those things'," he says mildly sing-songing 'one of those things' as if it were just part of being alive.

He doesn't so easily dismiss the notion that 'it was nothing', "It sounded like a bit more than nothing," Superman replies with sincere praise, "One of the things I struggle most with is trying to do what I need to do and to leave things relatively in order. Forgive my pun, but Ivy's been a thorn in people's sides for years and so — credit where credit is due — alone or not to come out of a situation like that without any injuries and without the building collapsing — it means a lot to me."

Kal-El's transitions, "There's a group of us who keep in regular contact just in case - well; In case there's an emergency too big for one of us or just in case someone has a rough day and needs to bend the ear of someone else who may understand the challenges they'd face. If you're at all interested I think we'd all benefit from having you working with us." There's no high-pressure sale. No noble call to action. Just an offer of mutual support and understanding.

* * *

Firestorm hunches up his shoulders in the beginnings of a shrug, not quite releasing it as he hears Superman out. It's weird to think that someone like Superman is here telling him he did a good job, thanking him, even! But maybe that's why it's all the more meaningful to hear it. His smile eases into something more natural but no less eager. It's really hard to take this whole conversation calmly when you're talking to someone like Superman, but it's also nice to find out that he's actually pretty easy to talk to.

"It means a lot to me, just hearing that," he says, finally relaxing his posture a bit. He lifts his head as Superman continues, brows lifting, those blazing eyes of his widening as he picks up on what the Kryptonian is getting into. Firestorm's smile broadens. "That…sounds awesome. If this is what I think it is, I… I would honored to work with you all." He pauses. "Wow, that sounded so cheesey out loud," he mutters before shaking his head. "Point being-! If you'll have me, I'm all for it!"

* * *

Superman's good-natured smile intensifies a bit at the excitement, "Great," He replies candidly, "and thank you," for honoring him, "but really we're all in this together. There's no reason we wouldn't want you involved."

"Have you had dinner?" Kal-El asks, pause, there's a flicker of question to his expression, "If you have the time — we can grab something. And forgive me if I seem like I'm prying," he raises his hands, palms out, at either side of the 'S' sigil on his chest, "but you seem like a nice guy. I wouldn't mind grabbing something to eat and learning more about you — starting with what you'd like to eat." If he eats? Kal-El considers this but doesn't vocalize it. It seems like a weird question to ask someone you've just met.

* * *

Professor Stein is perhaps the only one so vividly aware of just how precariously contained Firestorm's excitement is over the whole matter. It's nice to see that the lad's learned to try keeping a more professional head about things after his meeting with Doctor Strange, but he wonders just how well Ronnie can hold up.

The question that Superman asks next is a curve ball for the both of them, the momentary confusion on Firestorm's face echoed in the person of his mental passenger. "Huh?" The expression the other wears really doesn't help clarify, at least until Superman offers more in explanation.

Ohhhhmyg- Superman is asking me o— Okay wait no that's weird but —

Ronald, Stein interjects with a deliberate clearing of his throat.

"Yes! I mean no! I mean- Auuuuuugh," Firestorm blurts, running his hands down his face. Rewind, take two! "Haven't eaten yet, but uh… yeah! Cool! Dinner and stuff! Yes Prof, I should call mom and let her know I'll be late…" Prof? Who's he talking to?

* * *

Superman doesn't seem overtly alarmed by what seems to present as schizophrenia nor a statement that Firestorm might need to call his mother. The Man of Tomorrow tries hard to not make people feel self-conscious about their physical or mental states particularly if those states do not present an immediate harm to others.

He is, however, naturally curious, "It's an open invitation," Kal-El says, "If not tonight then another night that's more convenient," His tone not at all off-put by a potential conflict, "for everyone." Mothers and, "Including 'Prof'," profs both, tgeb adding "Are they…" his voice trails creating a beat of silence that longs to be filled.

* * *

Firestorm certainly doesn't seem alarmed by it. He does however blink at Superman feeling the need to add some clarification to the invitation. Grinning, he waves a hand, the universal 'everything's fine!' gesture.

"No, no- tonight's fine! Although I think my mom'd get a kick out of having dinner with Superman. The professor's already…" He trails off, head tilting a bit at the open-ended sentence Superman leaves to be finished. "Are they…? Er… Well, mom's back home in New York, and the professor lives inside my head."

I'm certain that could have been explained a little better, Stein notes dryly.

Firestorm smacks his forehead with a hand, huffing a sigh. "Ugh, yeah, that just makes me sound like I'm crazy. It's… Well, it goes back to how I even became like this so maybe I should just tell you over dinner." Because if you can't trust Superman, then who can you trust??

* * *

Superman's look turns vaguely quizzical at Firestorm calling himself crazy and then breaks the look with a friendly chuckle when the young man calls himself crazy, "Well, you've got me interested," Superman admits a faint tension beneath his eyes.

Can Firestorm detect he's being scanned? Subtle fluctuations to the strain of Superman's eyes changing his perception. Looking deep into Firestorm's tissues on a molecular — perhaps atomic — level as his brain processes the information between the tick of a second.

It's a visible shift in expression but so fleeting most would not even detect he had worn it for a half-second.

"Make the call, I'll find us a place that's not crowded. What do you like?" He drifts backwards a half-pace and turns his head. Scanning the city and assessing the wait-times at every restaurant within a quarter-mile east of their position.

* * *

What does Superman see? Does his extraordinary vision reveal the true nature of two beings fused into one? Can he detect the self-contained radioactivity or the unusual energy entwined into whatever strange make-up of the matrix that Firestorm now embodies?

The fiery-headed hero doesn't seem to notice the brief lapse from Superman, or at least not give it much thought. He grins crookedly, nodding. "I'm good for anything so long as there's meat." Watching as Superman looks about, not realizing that the man's working out wait times just at a glance, Firestorm pulls out his cellphone and flicks through a few screens to bring up his mom's number.

"Hey mom! Yeah, I was just- Okay, uh-huh. Professor Stein's with me. Listen, gonna be kinda late. Got invited to dinner with- get this, you won't believe it. Superman. -I know! It's crazy- I'll, okay, yeah. I will. Got it. Love you too."

He smiles sheepishly at Superman as he ends the call. "Mom says hi, she's a big fan. Also pics or it didn't happen."

* * *

Superman blinks bringing himself back to the present moment as Firestorm hangs up the phone. The Man of Steel gives the young man an endearing smile, "Tell her I said hi," he said as if the idea of having to call home before staying out late was not off putting, "Sure." He then adds to 'pics or it didn't happen'.

There's a slight shift as Superman's hover pulls him forward and to Ronnie's side so he can snap a picture of them together, "First serious," he says squaring his jaw as the first picture get snapped, "Now casual." He relaxes and just gives the camera a very human smile. He'll do 'silly' too if its wanted. Superman making a funny face in the way your dad might.

"So you're a carnivore," Superman observes when they've finished, "Okay. Double burgers it is." and he re-orients himself slightly in the air and motions for Firestorm to follow, "So, tell me more about the professor…" He asks as they fly away towards dinner.

END

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