JD awoke in a sweat. Not a cold sweat, like he had a bad dream, but a warm, almost seductive sweat. He couldn’t pull the dream along with him aside from some flashing imagery. Pale cheeks blushing as his dark fingers brushed against them. Soft lips that parted with heavy, needy breaths and the sound of his own ragged breaths were the last vestiges of the dream as it passed into oblivion with the sunlight.
He brushed off the dream and shuffled his way through his morning routine. Finishing with his breakfast he grabbed his book bag and was ready for the first day of senior year. A knocking at the door announced the arrival of his neighbor, who was also his best friend. Marc opened the door himself, not waiting for JD to answer, his light brown hair tousled into some mockery of a style and his thick rimmed glasses gave him the appearance of an overslept dork. Despite both wearing the same uniform, JD appeared suave and well kempt in comparison.
While Marc only had one friend, JD had droves. He was popular, good with all his classes, and excelled at sports. Girls fawned over him, and boys argued over who was his best friend. No one really noticed Marc unless JD was actively talking to him or about him. While this would probably bother most best friends, Marc was secure about being JD’s “best” best friend, and also perfectly satisfied to take a back seat to JD’s popularity. He watched it all happen in front of him content to just be there.
They walked to school for nostalgia’s sake. JD had his license and even had a car, but some late summer days just needed to be enjoyed by walking to school. Their conversation centered on other first days of school. It progressed from there to reminiscing about the last year, and soon the conversation moved on to college plans. For the first time since becoming friends, their plans differed. JD was already accepted at State College and Marc was still choosing between several out-of-state offers. This was their last first day together.
They moved on to talking about the first activity of the school year by the time they reached their lockers. “I guess they used to call it a ‘Sadie Hawkin’s Dance.’ Encouraging girls to ask the boy they like instead of sitting around and hoping the guy will ask. I saw it in the old yearbooks,” Marc mused out loud.
“I don’t care that it changed, I mean, being inclusive is a given in this day and age, but they could have come up with a better name for the dance than, ‘The Inclusive Party.’ It just makes every other activity sound ‘exclusive.’ Either way, you gonna ask someone?” JD raised his eye brow suggestively to Marc.
“Dude, you know I am not ‘out.’ You’re the only one who knows and I am not prepared to ‘out’ myself in the first month of senior year,” Marc sighed. “Besides, I’m only going to take photos for the yearbook committee. I’ll probably leave before the DJ takes his break.” With that declaration Marc locked up his locker, and turned towards homeroom only to be stopped by JD’s other best friends.
“Hey, JD, what’s up?! I didn’t see your car,” Dylan asked.
“Yeh, man, don’t tell me your mom grounded you, or some shit,” came from Connor.
“No way!” JD protested,” Just felt like taking a walk with Marc.”
“Who? Oh! Oh yeh, Marc, hey man didn’t see you there,” Dylan clapped Marc on the back apologetically.
“No problem, D.” Marc accepted the apology, and also the fact that it would happen again.
“Ugh, ‘The Inclusive Party?’ Who put this flyer on my locker?” Connor made a disgusted face, “Why do we gotta include the gays anyway? Maybe they could just get their own party.”
“Yeh,” Dylan chimed in, “and crown a drag queen!”
Marc gave JD “that” look and walked away to homeroom.
“C’mon, guys. Y’all are being crude. Grow up; you got no right to hate on others.” JD shook his head and walked to homeroom as well.
Dylan and Connor both hung their heads and followed their friend into homeroom. The bell rang, attendance was taken, and schedules were handed out while the announcements were made. JD shot a text message to Marc:
JD: Sorry about them. You know they’d probably think differently if you told them.
Marc: It’s not my job to teach tolerance.
JD: Someone’s gotta do it.
Marc: Not it. Besides they’d forget and you know it.
JD: It’s weird, I got the powers, and you got the curse.
Marc: It’s a power to me. How else could I get all those photos of your heroics?
JD: Every super hero needs their own press.
Marc: Show off
As the bell for first period rang the group separated to their own classes. After school JD, Dylan, and Connor had football practice, and Marc went for marching band practice. The first week settled into a boring rhythm for the seniors.
At least during the day, at night JD became the local super hero, poorly named by his community as “Vigilante.” And Marc, followed behind taking the pictures that would make headlines the next day. This routine started in freshman year, first with just breaking up a couple of fights, or retrieving kittens from trees. As JD gained more control over his powers, super strength and flight, he got more adventurous with his crime fighting. Marc helped him design a costume and create the ever useful gadgets all super heroes needed. Before long they were not just kicking ass in the classrooms, they were kicking it in the streets.