The Brave and the Bold: Damage and Air Wave
A Simple Date
Now that their nerve-wracking first few dates are over, Grant Pratt (Damage) and Ilyssa Jordan (Air Wave) are finally comfortable enough with each other to have a nice, relaxing, simple date. But can Grant be blamed if he fears the worst might happen when two teenage super-heroes go out on a date? Young love is hard sometimes!
Grant Emerson — no, his name was Pratt now, and it had been since he was adopted by his real parents a year and a half ago now; man, who knew it was that hard getting used to a last name? — had faced many, many dangers as Damage alongside the Junior JSA. Nothing, though, could have prepared him for this.
“And, furthermore, I was a D.A.,” said Larry Jordan. “That’s district attorney, son. You cause my granddaughter so much as a hangnail, and I will find a way to put you in prison for a very long time. Am I making myself clear?” If there was one thing that Larry took seriously, it was the well-being of his granddaughter, which was why he was giving this speech again, for the fifth time.
“Clear as imported crystal, sir,” replied Grant Pratt. This was almost frightening, the whole be-good-to-my-granddaughter speech, and it hadn’t lost its power, either. Maybe he should’ve asked Jason Todd for help with dating. Well, then again…
“Grandpa, stop it. You’re scaring him,” said Ilyssa Jordan, coming down the stairs. Since it was to be a casual date, she was dressed in snug black jeans and a nice-fitting green turtleneck.
“You know that I only have the best of intentions,” Larry said. He could tell by the way that Grant and Ilyssa were eyeing each other, for lack of a better word, it would be best to leave.
“Remember: nine. On the dot,” Larry added, leaving the two by themselves.
“Hey, you,” Ilyssa said to Grant, sitting next to him. “What do you got planned to wow me tonight? And don’t worry about Grandpa; his bark is far worse than his bite.”
“Well, I was thinking that we do something simple,” Grant replied. Ilyssa thought about that, then beamed as she got an idea.
“This should be simple enough,” Ilyssa said, getting up and going to a chest. After some rummaging, she pulled out a thick, powder blue blanket.
“Oh?” Grant said, raising an eyebrow.
“Yeah, I know this great spot we can go to,” Ilyssa said, pulling Grant up off the couch.
After some walking, Ilyssa led Grant to a secluded spot in the forest near her home in Portland, Maine. The ground was fairly dry, and the early spring weather was fairly nice, if a bit chilly.
“We shouldn’t have to worry about interruptions out here,” Ilyssa said, spreading out the blanket, then lying down on it.
“I love you.”
“You better,” she said. “Come and lie down. We’ll keep each other warm.”
Grant did so. The nervousness of their first meeting and their first date a month later was more than gone; it was like it never existed. (*) He sighed at the feeling of Ilyssa snuggling against him.
With the air filled with the fragrance of new flowers and the sound of songbirds, the moment was peaceful, perfect. Such was the power of this moment that the two lovers fell asleep, Grant holding Ilyssa in his strong arms, and Ilyssa nestled against his body. The only warmth they needed was from the contact of their bodies and their young love for each other.
Several hours later, Ilyssa lazily opened her eyes. The feeling of being held by Grant was nearly indescribable. It was comforting, warm, and completely amazing. She shifted her position slightly so she could face Grant. The boy was still asleep.
“I love you,” Ilyssa whispered in Grant’s ear, then pressed her lips against his. The response was delayed, but wonderful.
“Hey,” Grant said, breaking the lock of the kiss. It was starting to get dark, and Grant remembered what Larry had said. “Wanna get going? We have a curfew,” he added.
Ilyssa shook her head. “Not yet. I like having you hold me,” she replied with a pout.
“Whatever the lady wishes.”
“Well, the lady wishes for a kiss.”
And they did, drinking of each other deeply, as if drinking from a very rare, very fine wine. Grant shivered during the kiss, but not from the cold. No, he shivered at the sensation of Ilyssa moaning into his mouth. It took quite a bit of willpower to break this one.
“We… should really get going,” Grant said.
Ilyssa nodded. She couldn’t speak, since she was still riding that wave. It took longer getting back, which was understandable, since their legs felt like jelly.
The two sat on the porch when they arrived, and once more Grant held Ilyssa in his arms. Ilyssa was curled up against him, her head resting on Grant’s right shoulder.
“You know, your heartbeat is very soothing,” Ilyssa said, placing a hand on Grant’s chest.
“I could say the same thing about the smell of your hair.” For effect, Grant ran his fingers through Ilyssa’s hair.
“I love you,” they whispered to each other, just loud enough for the other to hear. The two then shared another kiss. It was hotter, longer, and just more than the previous ones. They actually shared their breathing.
Ilyssa was the one who pulled away first, tugging Grant’s lower lip as she did so. She moved in closer and nibbled playfully on the lobe of Grant’s right ear.
“That… that was amazing,” she murmured.
“Mmmhhh…” Grant could feel his desire building, its pressure leaving with a sigh.
“We should go inside. It’s getting cold, and dark,” Grant said, regaining his senses. Ilyssa nodded and wrapped her arms around Grant, who shifted the way he had his. And he carried her inside, placing her on the couch, then followed suit.
“God, you’re beautiful,” Grant commented. For the third time today, he was holding on to someone who loved him and whom he loved.
“Tease…” she replied. And the two fell asleep once more, embracing each other like lovers should.
The air had this coppery taste to it, and it felt almost greasy. The sound that could be heard was hollow. A scorching heat was carried on some kind of breeze. And darkness hung against everything, except for two people.
Damage never thought he’d ever be in this position, almost prone on the ground, his left arm providing little support as he held his right up for defense. And it wasn’t as much the position he was in, but why. He was being attacked.
He was being attacked by Ilyssa Jordan, the heroine called Air Wave, and the girl that he loved.
But at the same time, it wasn’t her — not with that feral look on her face or the predatory motions to her movement.
“I know this isn’t you, Lys. Whatever it is, you have to fight it — for us!” Damage pleaded. He didn’t want to do what had to be done.
But she was giving him little choice. She raised the length of metal she wielded, ready to deliver another blow.
Damage caught the pipe. This battle wasn’t just taxing him physically, but emotionally as well.
“Please, I know that somewhere in there, you are you. Fight this. I know you can,” Damage pleaded, getting to his feet. Air Wave snarled at him. With tears starting to flow from his eyes, Damage attacked.
The powerful punch landed soundly, and with enough force to send Air Wave through the air. She landed with a sickening crunch.
“Oh, God, no!” Damage yelled, frantically hurrying to where Air Wave was.
“Grant…?” Air Wave asked weakly. Whatever had gained hold over her was now gone.
“I’m here, baby. Don’t worry, I’m here,” Damage said, still crying.
“Grant, I’m cold… and I’m tired.” Her breathing was labored and weak. Damage removed her cowl and took her into his arms.
“Shh, shh… Don’t say that, baby. Save your strength,” Damage said, rocking back and forth slowly.
“I can’t feel anything, Grant… I can’t feel you…”
“I’m so sorry. I am so very sorry,” Damage said, weeping.
“Gran’, I love you.”
After exhaling those words, she didn’t draw in another breath.
“Baby? Lys? No. No, no, no, no, no!” Damage cried out. He held the limp and lifeless body tightly, crying. It only lasted for a minute, maybe longer. But to Damage it seemed like an eternity.
Finally, he laid the body down for the last time. He slowly rose to his feet, tears still running down his face.
A searing pain tore through his chest the moment he stood tall. It caused him to fall to his knees, prostrate on the ground. Something within him had died along with her. He crawled over to Air Wave’s body and leaned over it protectively.
“Ilyssa!” Damage screamed to the heavens, blowing himself up. He wouldn’t survive this one. Over the explosion, a hollow laugh sounded.
Grant Pratt shot up in bed with a start. His skin was cold and wet, and he was breathing heavily. He had to look around before he realized he was back in his own bed again, and that it had all been a terrible nightmare. His simple date with Ilyssa had ended peacefully a few hours ago, and everything was normal. But the horrible feelings from the dream were still there.
“God, that was so real,” Grant said to himself. He tried to go back to sleep, but something was preventing it. He decided that there was one thing to do. He went downstairs, picked up the phone, and dialed the one number he would never forget.
“Hello?” was the groggy reply on the other end.
“Lys? That you?”
“Grant? Do you have any idea what time it is?”
“Sorry, but have there’s something that I wanted to tell you.”
“OK, go ahead.”
“I love you.”
“You called me at three o’clock in the morning to tell me that you loved me?”
“I should be angry, but I’m not.”
And when both Al Pratt and Larry Jordan came downstairs in their respective homes in Calvin City and Portland, they each saw their respective children on the phone with the other. It didn’t help that they had both fallen asleep, still holding onto the handsets.