Nic barely flinched as a fist rapped on the door of his quarters. "Come in," he granted without raising his voice.
Ivara opened the door slowly. She hesitated then, wondering if her task was just. Her Superior had his elbows on the escritorio and appeared to be staring intently over the parte superior, arriba of his open laptop at the imágenes taped to the wall. He wore the same outfit as he had worn that morning at practice: dark red sweats and nothing more.
Ivara could see the marks that were etched in Nic's back, light scars on his pale skin. She was reminded of the markings that decorated her own body, the violeta tendrils swirling around her limbs and torso. Ivara felt a connection with her Superior in this way: they both were cursed to carry around the scars of their pasts.
"Are tu going to just stand there, o did tu come for a reason?" Nic asked.
Ivara took a spilt segundo to collect herself before beginning, "I have something I need to speak with tu about." The leader let out a groan before swiveling around in the chair to face her, arms crossed over his chest. "What is it now? más trouble for the team, I suppose with our luck."
"Actually, it's about Superior Titanium."
This got Nic's full attention; he sat forward. "I'm listening."
"I-I think he's been stealing Reverse from Dr. Xian's lab."
"BLAZE!" Jace ran into the room, nearly knocking into Ivara. "Seeker- he- went after- Ti," he informed between pants.
Nic was on his feet and headed toward the door in a división, split second, pulling on a coat, and shouting an order over his shoulder. "Fliers, with me. Jace, get the others and prepare a cot."
"Got ya now, Tess."
"In your dreams," Twan's daughter responded. She let up on the gas the slightest. Chance's car pulled off the ramp just in front of hers. He drifted with the momentum, and Tessa took her opportunity. She sped up and rammed into the race car, sending him spiraling into the railing.
"Ha!" she cheered as her car crossed the finish line, first place flashing on the screen.
Chance stated at the screen as he made fifth place. "Who taught tu to play like that?"
Tessa shrugged, a grin on her face. "Who's next?"
"Me!" Blade volunteered from the arm chair.
"You wanna play?" Chance asked, offering his controller to Alek. He shook his head, reluctant to take his arm from around his girlfriend's shoulder. Tara accepted the controller and snuggled closer to Alek. He grinned and kissed the parte superior, arriba of her head as the race started.
It was the first time in awhile he had joined the group while they relaxed, playing games, and chatting about nothing of great importance. It was gratifying, and though he would miss regularly sparring with Nic, taking Jace and Ivy to swim in the bahía while Sounder barked at them from the pier, the boxer, boxeador occasionally leaping into the water to registrarse the fun, Alek was glad he would get to be around the other heroes-in-training. He felt it was where he belonged.
Chance glanced up from his place on the floor where he sat cross-legged watching the race as Alek accidentally kicked him as he coughed into his sleeve.
"You okay?" the tawny-haired boy asked. Blade suddenly tensed and turned he red eyes toward the Russian. "I smell blood," she announced, already standing to make her retreat as the overwhelming scent taunted her.
Alek doubled over coughing and all eyes turned to him. When he pulled his arm back, it was spotted with blood.
Tara's eyes widened. "Alek!" she cried as he slipped off the sofá onto the floor on his knees. His shoulders shuddered with each cough, blood staining the carpet. Tessa and Chance kneeled beside him, unsure of what to do.
In the chaos and shock no one noticed when the hooded man suddenly materialized out of thin air until he had already jabbed the syringe into Alek's shoulder. "Catch him," Seeker instructed as the sick boy let out a final wheeze and collapsed into his teammate's arms.
Nic suddenly charged into the room, Emily and Ivara on his heels.
"What did tu do?" The fire-caster demanded, suddenly five inches from the assassin, steam rising off his clothes.
"Injected him with an anesthetic before he coughed his lungs out," Declan answered infuriatingly calmly. "I suggest we get him back to base before he wakes up."
Nic's nostrils flared as he suppressed his rage. "Help me get him up," he ordered. Chance and Tessa stepped back out of the way as Emily, Nic, and Seeker knelt to lift the limp boy.
"My car's outside the Gotham zeta," Declan informed. They led him toward the tube. Ivy made a mover to go after them, but back peddled as a fiery eyed brunette stepped in her path.
"I'm going with," she stated. Ivara opened her mouth to argue, but realized she would not be able to dissuade her, and nodded. She turned and sprinted after the others, Tara right on her heels.