“Thank you for coming – please come again soon!” The waitress waved after the foursome as they left the Pyramid Lounge.
“She was friendly, considering we only had one glass of water each!” Gladiator said, looking back and smiling. Stealth, Parrot Girl and Crimson Songbird walked behind him, but couldn’t get him out of the way in time as he crashed into somebody walking into the lounge.
“Owww!” declared the red-head with a wince, before noticing with whom she’d collided. “You? Again?? Here??? Who are you? Walking-Disaster-Man?”
Gladiator was taken aback. “I’m sorry, Miss. Have we met before?”
“Oh come on. I’m not stupid. I’d recognise those baby blues anywhere. And those muscles. And that cute smile. It’s me, from earlier – Rage! You threw me over your back.”
“You must have me mistaken with somebody else, Miss.” Gladiator was flustered.
“Not. Miss. RAGE!” Rage declared with a face like thunder.
Gladiator noticed that she was now wearing different clothes; a tight-fitting blue silk dress and a pair of short ankle boots. “Sorry. I’ve been here with my friends all evening.” He lied.
“I’ve just heard you say you’ve had one glass of water each, and it’s only just gone ten. Please don’t lie to me…” Rage noticed the three others were standing directly behind Gladiator, instantly recognising another one. “Oh. I love those glasses.” She said, to Crimson Songbird.
“Thank you, but if you’d please let us through, we have a bus to catch.”
“Oh yes. Sorry.” Rage’s face radiated with a warm smile. She looked at Gladiator. “I must have you mistaken for someone else. I do that all the time.” She gushingly moved out of their way so they could leave the building.
“She knows who you are, Green Gladiator” Viridian said in Gladiator’s mind as the Stealth Gentleman touched his shoulder.
“No kidding!” Gladiator said aloud, causing Rage to furiously glare at him. “No, not you!” he said after her, as she stormed away. He watched as she walked into the lounge, and then turned again, only to collide with somebody else entering the building.
“Oof!” Declared the gruff-sounding gent who had also not been looking where he’d been going. “I erm do apologise.” It was Raymond Reide. “You. All of you. Here. Together. What on Earth erm are you up to?” He smirked.
“We’re moving on.” Gladiator said, without even bothering to apologise in return. Parrot Girl put her arm around Gladiator’s and pulled him away from Reide, toward the exit. Crimson Songbird waited back while the Stealth Gentleman then walked passed the Superhero Controller. Then Crimson herself walked by without saying a word.
“Such an erm friendly lot of people in this town.” Raymond said as he thrust his jacket over to the cloakroom attendant whilst glaring out into the street. He looked back at the attendant and smiled. He then walked into the Pyramid Lounge, admiring the decor.
Outside, Gladiator quickly turned to look at the entrance before looking back to his three colleagues. He noticed a bright blue light in the corner of his eye, but blinked a couple of times and it went away. “I can’t believe that!”
“I know. Here of all places. What was Reide thinking?” Parrot Girl asked.
“No, not that – me walking into the two of them like that. I’m so clumsy!”
“Don’t worry about that,” Crimson Songbird said, with a grin. “That woman – she seems to like you. How do you know her?”
“I don’t.” Gladiator said, his cheeks burning. “And it’s so embarrassing how we met. And then just now! Like that. I don’t believe it.”
“Love makes us fall apart, my friend.” Stealth said, now joining Crimson Songbird with a smile as he patted Gladiator on his back.
“And she still knows who you are, Green Gladiator.” Viridian once again spoke into Gladiator’s mind.
“I don’t think I’m bothered about that.” Gladiator replied, this time in his thoughts only. “I may not be a superhero for much longer anyway, so it doesn’t really matter.” The link to Viridian ended as Stealth Gentleman moved his hand away.
“Cheer up!” Crimson said cheerily. “Let’s make this into a proper night out! Drink away all of our miseries and misfortunes. Leave the world to itself for tonight, and forget everything to do with super-“
“GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME!” A familiar voice shouted from inside the Lounge’s entrance.
“You know that you aren’t welcome in here, Miss.” the bulky doorman said, without emotion as he carried Rage in front of him, his arms curled under her shoulders, holding her aloft. Rage swung her legs in frenzy but she couldn’t get herself free. “I’m just doing my job and putting you out.”
“I’ll put you out as soon as you put me down.” Rage answered back. “NOW PUT ME DOWN!” She swung her right leg up just high enough to clip Gladiator’s left shoulder with it. He spun around quickly just in time to see the doorman drop her to the ground, where she landed with a graceless thud.
“Woah!” Gladiator said to the doorman. “You can’t treat her like that!” The doorman stared at Gladiator blankly, turned and returned into the building. Gladiator helped Rage up. “I’m sorry about that.”
“It wasn’t your fault this time,” Rage answered, having difficulty putting weight onto her right leg. “I’m sorry for kicking you just now. I didn’t mean to do that.”
“I know.” Gladiator smiled, holding her up on her right side until she could stand unaided once again.
“My knight in shining armour!” Rage gushed, looking into Gladiator’s eyes.
“We’re going to get going,” Crimson Songbird said, feeling the awkwardness of the whole situation. “Are you coming with us, G?”
“Yes. Just a minute!” Gladiator looked back at Rage. “Why don’t you join us?”
Rage looked at the three heroes who were patiently waiting. “Thanks, but no. I’m having an awful night, so I think I’ll just go home and call it a day. Thanks, anyway. Besides, I’m sure we’ll meet again.” They all watched as she hobbled off and got into a waiting taxi.
Gladiator looked back at Crimson Songbird who was grinning broadly yet again. “She likes you.” Crimson repeated. “And you her.” Crimson poked Gladiator in his stomach as his cheeks reddened once more, and she hooked her arm around his. “C’mon, let’s paint this town the same colour as your face!” She teased.
Gladiator smiled, and quickly glanced between the Stealth Gentleman and Parrot Girl, noticing once again the flash of blue light. “Let’s go and have some fun!” he said, and the group set off walking toward Mid’s Main Street. “I think we all deserve it!”