Quest straightened her shimmery white capelet as she prepared for the most uncomfortable, most annoying, least fun part of being a super heroine. Press conferences.
“Relax, you’ll be great,” her PR manager Jean-Paul said. “The city loves you. You saved the day, again I might add. Everything is going to be okay.”
“And Darkmatter thinks I’m the optimist,” Quest muttered.
“Get your heroic tuchas on stage before I carry you on,” Jean-Paul threatened. Quest went. She wasn’t a super-genius for nothing.
The announcements went fine, she could run down the details of Darkmatter’s latest plot and rattle off hotline numbers and donation information in her sleep at this point. It was the question and answer session she dreaded. The press, led by her ex will-they-or-won’t-they, Brian Bradson, had an unfortunate tendency to divert from the topics she could answer easily. If they stayed on target, she’d be fine, but they always veered into messy personal matters. Especially since she told Brian she didn’t think he was being smart with his choices. Putting himself in danger and taunting her nemesis just to get rescued when it went horribly awry was no way to build a relationship.
“Quest! Quest! Over here!” called a plucky young reporter. Quest privately thought all newspapers had a quota of plucky young people that had to work for them.
“Yes, you, young man,” she said, nodding at him instead of pointing. When you could and sometimes did lift semi trucks with a finger mounted gravitation reversal ray, pointing was more than just rude.
“What do you have to say about the recent photos leaked of yourself and the as yet unidentified woman in an… interesting pose?”
She knew what he was talking about of course. The media had been trotting out pictures Brian’s photographer Charlie took of her checking Dacia for injuries since she told Brian the answer was solidly ‘no’. They looked a lot more intimate than it had been.
“The young lady has declined to approve her name being shared with the media, and has made a full recovery from the injuries I was checking when those photos were taken. Next question.”
“I didn’t actually mean those,” the kid said. He held up a tablet open to CapeWatch.com and a shot that made Quest’s gut drop. She was hugging Dacia, the shorter woman resting comfortably against her chest, arms at the small of Quest’s back. “These were released last night.”
Quest’s cheeks burned. “My personal life is just that. Personal. Next question.”
“Does this mean you’re coming out as a lesbian?” shouted someone at the back.
“No. I’m not currently identifying as lesbian, however my stance on the basic human right of all, regardless of sexuality or gender still stand. Next question.”
“What about the rumors that this woman is the infamous villain Darkmatter?” Brian called and suddenly the crowd’s roar was a mutinous whisper. Quest would be willing to bet it hadn’t been a rumor until just now. Of course, Brian knew Dacia and Darkmatter were the same person, he’d been there when Quest talked her down once and the hazy gloom that surrounded her dropped enough to see her face.
“I’ve already said I won’t be betraying her identity to the public media, Mister Bradson,” Quest said with a glare, “and you of all people should know I have no problem talking about Darkmatter. You’re the one who printed the words, and I quote “Quest spends so much time talking about her nemesis, it’s no surprise she has yet to be seen with a boyfriend or husband, it would be the rare man who could tolerate that level of infatuation with another man.” End quote. Make up your mind Mister Bradson.”
Brian blinked, his face growing dark. Then the sky grew dark and roiling clouds appeared in the previously sunny sky. Darkmatter dropped down from one like an acrobatic drop of rain, and slapped a canister from Brian’s hand.
“GRAB IT!” she howled, her powers forcing her voice into a tinny reverb that echoed oddly. “HE HAS TETRAMINE!”
The crowd broke from their panicked freeze to dogpile the can of Quest’s only weakness. The ordinarily harmless chemical could make Quest… dangerous. Uncontrolled. Darkmatter had used it once. Only once. She knew where the lines were, even if she claimed to like coloring outside them. Nobody wanted a repeat of that, though, so when her shadow-minions lunged at the can, it was locked down. She sauntered over to Quest.
“Sorry to interrupt your little show,” she sneered, the androgynous tone somehow catching the sarcasm. “But nobody fucks you over but me.”
“Dac-- Darkmatter,” Quest sighed. “I’m tired. Can we do this another day? I just… I just can’t right now.”
“Alright,” Darkmatter agreed. “Tomorrow. Tonight, go home to your little girlfriend and make the most of what time you have. Muahahahaha!”
As Darkmatter vanished in a mist of gloom, Quest rolled her eyes.
“What did Darkmatter mean, girlfriend?” a reporter asked. “You said you’re not a lesbian! Are you bisexual?”
“Let’s just say I’m questioning,” Quest sighed. Her supervillain girlfriend was going to get an earful tonight. “Thank you for coming, no more questions.”