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Charlie's eyes widened. “...Me?”
“You.” Lori's – Black Alice's – eyes narrowed at the redhead, a deep rage burning underneath them. With a rush of arctic air, Killer Frost had left the crumbling structure, abandoning a fight she knew she had no chance of winning. Taking Black Alice head-on was about as smart as putting a wasp in your own eye, and she had the experience to know it.
So now it was three superpowered teenaged girls, alone in a building that would soon collapse. A wrathful Black Alice, a dumbstruck Misfit, and a thoroughly confused Terra.
“Why? What did I do?”
Alice sneered, and her costume changed yet again, discarding the greek symbols and gold armor for a sleek, streamlined black costume, that of Nightshade. A casual wave of one hand opened a massive, swirling gate of eddying shadow, a black, sucking entrance to who-knew-where. “Go in.”
“Misfit... who... who is she, again?” Atlee crooned as she looked from Alice to the portal, then back to her friend. She was lost in all of this, understanding none of the significance of Lori's presence. She didn't know that she and Misfit had... history.
“She's... my sister,” Charlie whispered, carefully stepping out around the other girl and towards the portal. There was no use resisting – Black Alice could find her anywhere on earth, steal her power to teleport and then use it against her. Compliance was, truly, the only option.
“Half-sister, skank,” the goth girl growled, turning to follow Charlie as she stepped into the portal. She paused momentarily, glancing back at Atlee. “See you around.”
The breath was nearly sucked from Charlie's lungs as she tumbled out of the churning black gateway of shadow. Odd, considering her primary powerset, but forms of super-travel not caused by her tended to make her a little... squeamish.
The two teens were back in Misfit's apartment, now – pale green wallpaper half-applied, empty ice cream cartons on the table, socks strewn about the floor. It was obvious enough. Charlie slowly turned once she stepped fully inside, holding one hand to her stomach as she watched Lori step through the portal, the swirling darkness closing up behind her. A few seconds later, that sleek black outfit faded away as well, leaving Black Alice in her usual outfit of a black half-shirt, and baggy black cargo pants.
“Are you... what are you going to do to me...?” Misfit whispered, taking a few steps back. Attacking Lori was useless, unless she could seize this moment of weakness, when the other girl wasn't carrying a powerset. She'd have to be fast, though... very fast.
“What do you think I'm gonna do? Kill you?” Lori allowed herself a little grin before her pale features turned back down into a snarl. “I should. I should do it for your slut of a mom!”
Charlie huffed and threw her eyemask down onto the couch. “My mom's dead, Lori. She got freaking blown up.” The redhead closed her eyes for a brief moment before taking a step towards Alice. “I get that you're stronger than me, you're stronger than anyone. You could make Superman say uncle. But I'm not going to stand here and let you say that. I always hated you – now I know why. You're a cruel, thoughtless, hateful person.”
“This isn't about strength!” Alice shouted, stepping forward to meet the other girl and giving her a forceful shove. “This is about you ruining my life!”
“How the hell did I do that? What did I ever do to you?!”
“Your mom f***ed my dad!”
There was a long period of silence. Lori's hands balled up into strained fists, and Charlie stood dumbstruck. She had always wondered exactly... how, they were related. When the chemists at the Dark Side Club said that she and Lori were related, it had been as big of a shock to her as anyone else.
“I asked my dad if...” Lori took a deep breath, carefully straightening her back. She had to make sure she utilized the extra inch of height she had over Charlotte. “If he had any other children, besides me. It... took a while. He didn't want to tell me, he was hiding something. I...” Black Alice turned away for a moment, a look of shame coming over her face. “I used Wonder Woman's lasso of truth on him, to get a confession.”
Charlie successfully stifled a gasp with one hand. “What did...?”
“He had an affair with your mom a year after I was born. He wanted to elope with her, but she left him before they did. Ran off when she found out she was pregnant. When my mom found out... she fell into depression, and drugs. That's why... that's why she died. It's your fault.” Lori looked up and stepped forward again, grabbing Charlie by the shoulders and squeezing her. “It's your fault! If it wasn't for you my mom would still be alive! My dad would still be happy!”
Charlie struggled, pushing back and sending Lori skittering across the carpet with one hard shove. “How is that my fault? Because I was born? At least you have a living parent!”
“So do you,” Lori glared. “But you can't have him. He's mine!”
“I don't want him!” Misfit teleported out of the way of another enraged charge by the goth girl, bouncing behind her in a puff of violet smoke. “I found a new family! I... I found Oracle! I found Atlee! I don't want your dad!”
An intense red glow came over Lori's eyes as magical energies began to fill her. “You still ruined my family... you made me the way I am, just by being born. You ruined my life...” the girl began to slowly grow, slender muscles starting to bulge and ripple as her already-light skin growing into a pale, chalky color. Streaks of black surrounded her eyes, and her hair started slowly growing into a thick black mane. “...And I am gonna frag you so fraggin' hard for it!”
Misfit's eyes widened suddenly, and she bounced out of the way of another charge with a soft purple puff. “Lori, or... Lobori... please, listen to me! There was nothing I could do about it, do you think I wanted something bad for you? I can't help how I'm born, dammit!”
Her next bounce was too slow, as a thick white hand closed around her throat, holding her aloft and starting to carefully squeeze. “You could've! You ain't even sorry, ya stupid slitch! I'll never stop hating you!”
Charlie's eyes watered from the pain, gasping as she was slowly crushed by a girl who could currently punch out Superman. “Lori, I...” she groaned, a long, strained whine escaping her lips as her lungs struggled for air. “I... am... sorry... all I want is for you to be... happy...!”
“You're... you're lying! You just don't wanna die, ya fraggin' dame! All of you are the same, you'll say anything to save your own skin!” Those eyes. Those bulging crimson eyes – they didn't even belong to Lori. The rage inside of them was that of a far greater being, and Black Alice was losing control.
“Lori... please... don't – >kff< – do this...!”
Alice's eyes widened as her grip began to slip. Widened with... fear, or despair, or rage, Charlie couldn't honestly tell. But her body began to slowly reduce in size, her hair and eyes starting to return to normal. “Why did he have to be with her...?” she whispered softly as the frenzy subsided and her powers faded. “Why did he ruin our family?”
As Charlie's legs slowly settled to the carpet beneath her, she leaned in to wrap her arms around the other teen. She truly was sorry for what had happened, what was happening now. Lori didn't deserve this, even if she had handled the situation poorly, and Frost had escaped as a result. “I'm sorry,” she whispered. “I wish I could make it better.”
“You can't... and you'll never be able to.” Lori sniffled and pulled back, her big, dark blue eyes moist with tears. “I still hate you.”
There was a flash as Misfit's powers were suddenly robbed, and a blast of violet energy. Black Alice was gone – but Charlie was still alive.
The hulking figure grunted suddenly, jerking awake from a previously deep slumber. Dreams of dismembering smurfs were washed clean, and now he was back in his hotel room in Jump City. Barbara writhed sensually in his arms as he jerked awake, and her hazy green eyes were now gently opening to gaze up at him.
“What is it, czarnian?” she whispered lazily, draping one arm over his broad back and pulling herself a little more tightly against him.
“Not sure... indigestion'r somethin'. Feel fine now though.” Lobo took a deep breath and suddenly found his breath caught – one long belch later, and a satisfied grin came over his face. “Much better. Think that was it. Just a good gas-blast and the main man's good t'go.”
Barbara Ann Minerva rolled her eyes, waving one hand in front of her face in a helpless attempt to disperse the fumes. “You are a repulsive creature at times, you should know.”
“Sure I know, toots. Don't change nothin'. Anywho, better get some clothes on – the others are waiting for us in Metropolis I think. Prob'ly already late. Guess it was true that cats sleep all day, here I was hopin' ya'd wake me up.”
Cheetah allowed herself a small smile. “I'm sure we'll make it there in time for the fun to start.”