8/28 Suspenders

Visuspect, the local “villain” of Greenpark City, was currently directing his robots in setting up a statue of himself in the center of the nature park. Moving his finger dexterously across his tablet, he ordered the large drones carrying the ten-foot-tall stone structure to set down one end and tilt it until, finally, it stood upright in his chosen spot.

And of course, that was when StrongArm decided to show up.
“Stop, villain!” The “hero” screamed in his usual, overly-campy tone.

Visuspect sighed deeply and moaned to himself, “Here we go again…”
Pressing a button on the side of the tablet, he sent the robots into “Defensive Mode.” Fifty glowing eyes changed from blue to red and swung to stare menacingly at the brightly-colored StrongArm. And without further adieu… StrongArm started destroying Visuspect’s robots.

And, of course, that reporter woman decided to get a closer look at the action. So when her “hero” finished with the robots and moved on to destroying his statue, Visuspect was forced to use one of his personal body-guard-bots to protect her…
By jumping between her and the flying stone debris.
Because he, like an idiot, decided against assigning a guard-bot to the woman last week. And the moron who designed these bots — and who was that again? Oh, right, him — designed them to only guard one target at a time!

When StrongArm spotted him, he immediately yelled, “Get away from her, you fiend!” before charging at him like an enraged bull.

With no options left, and tired of playing this game, Visuspect screamed, “STOP, YOU IDIOT!”
Caught off guard by the usually-silent villain’s intensity, StrongArm did stop.
But Visuspect wasn’t done.

“I’ve seen it a million times, but I still can’t believe how STUPID you are! Do you have ANY idea how much destruction you cause?! I jumped in front of Sonia to SAVE her from YOU, you moron!” He took a few deep breaths. StrongArm was too shocked to interrupt, “That’s all I EVER do! Save people from their idiotic excuse for a hero! Why SHOULDN’T I get a statue?! After ev-!”
“Excuse me?” asked a melodious, feminine voice from behind him.
Visuspect turned, still breathing heavily from his anger and near-death experience.

Sonia was the reporter most known for covering StrongArm’s heroic deeds, so this wasn’t the first time she’d seen her hero’s arch-nemesis. However…
Was she… looking at his… suspenders???
No, she wasn’t just looking at them…

… She was pointing at them…!

“Lyle?”


… Oh, shit.


Workers were scurrying left and right, typing away at computers; papers were lying in organized piles on every desk; every space exuded the scent of cheap coffee.
And in one corner… Beautiful, dark curls bounced…

What was he doing? Why did he think this was a good idea, again? He didn’t stand a chance with her!
But he’d come this far…!

Gathering what little courage he had left, he approached his doom.

“Excuse me. Miss?”
She turned. Golden eyes…! ❤ “… Yes?”

“I, um…” Couldn’t back out now! “I just wanted to say — I really admire, uh… how much you… you care. About the people in this city.”
“Oh, um… Thanks?”
“…”
“…”

‘Can’t back out now, can’tbackoutnow…!’
He held out the bouquet he bought down the street — he should’ve thought this through more, whatwashethinking?! — and sealed his fate:
In the most suave voice he could manage, he attempted to say “Do you want to go out with me?”

But in his panic, what actually came out of his mouth was, “Do you wanna — be mine?”


His entire being froze.
What did he just say?
… What  did he just  say !?!

She was staring at him — oh, god, she thought he was a creep — Oh, God, he WAS a creep! What did he just-?!

“Uh, who are you?”
Every single thought left his brain and he — the idiot — answered truthfully, “Uh- Lyle.”
“…”

For about ten seconds, they just stared at each other, until-
“Are those… wrenches?”
“Huh?”
She pointed. “On your suspenders.”

… OH, GOD, WHAT HAD HE DONE!?!
He seriously came here still dressed in his costume?!

He couldn’t even speak. There was no way his panic wasn’t showing by this point.
And then…
She smiled.

“They’re cool. I like them.”

… She.
She didn’t recognize him.

And now…


… And now she did.
“That’s you, isn’t it?”

“Uh…
… Yes…?”


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