“Nobody fucked with White Tiger,” Prometheus said, drink in hand as he sat at Shade’s bar. “Of course, I didn’t know that, then. That’s why the world always needs new superheroes.”
“To give the mentally ill a beating?” Anne asked. She sat a couple seats down — far enough so that she didn’t have to converse with him, but close enough that she could chime in when she felt like it.
“To mess with people a wiser, older man wouldn’t.” Prometheus said, “What the hell’s wrong with you?”
Shade tried like hell to hold back a smile; she failed. Anne was getting real sassy when she talked to superheroes, and Shade loved every second of it.
“I’ve been listening to your stories, Prometheus,” Anne said. “You fought a guy called Sad Clown. You’re telling me he wasn’t even a little depressed?”
“Every bad guy has their reasons for being bad,” Prometheus said.
“You literally beat up a guy called Schizo.”
“The papers gave him that name,” Prometheus said, “not a licensed thera–“
“You’re clearly bad at acknowledging mental illness, but what about the No-Armed Bandit?” Anne yelled. “He had no arms! And you punched him! That was undoubtedly a douche move!”
Shade held back tears of laughter. People almost never called Prometheus out on his bullshit.
Prometheus gave a condescending smile.
“Anne,” he said, “We all have those one-off Z-list Rogues we’re not proud of. If you were a superhero like me, you might understand.”
“My IQ is so high.” Anne’s voice leaked rage. “I think I understand.”
“You should do something with that!” Prometheus said. “Make something of your life. Have you ever thought about taking the Superhero Exam?”
Anne literally gagged.
“Don’t knock it. Look at me! I took it. Now I’m rich, famous, and even a little bit heroic.”
“I just need you to confirm something for me,” Anne said. “You’re completely unaware that all of those things are what make you such an asshole?”
Prometheus pitied Anne. No matter what insults she threw his way, he figured he should talk to her when he could. His example could really do her some good.
“I own a lot of businesses,” he said. “No one helped me get where I was. I had to–”
“My God,” Anne said. “The asshole is spreading. It’s gone from his asshole all the way to his mouth. Someone call the CDC! Evacuate the building! It might be contagious!”