I remember the early years with fondness, grief, and no small amount of embarrassment.
The three of us were boys. Weird, stupid boys with more power than sense and the worst taste in food.
It’s amazing that Doc hadn’t just thrown us to the wolves and been done with us.
(That’s not a pun about Alvin, by the way.)
We were high on the adrenaline, the thrill of being young and being heroes and making a change in the world. We fought bad guys, foiled their schemes, wrapped them up for the authorities to deal with, and went on our way as if there were no repercussions.
Joy made us see that things weren’t nearly so black and white. We grew and we learned and–
–and Leanne arrived just in time to see everything begin to crumble.
No field trip today. Which is just as well. I’m feeling chatty: I’ll talk, but not about what happened.
What happened can’t be changed, why talk about it?
“I know a Simon,” I begin, taking charge for once in these sessions. If she’s surprised at all, it doesn’t show on her face.
“He’s Al–uh, Silverfang’s boyfriend. Shit,” I stutter, uncertain. My identity–neither of them–isn’t a secret, but the same cannot be said of the rest of my team.
It’s hard to keep track of who knows what.
Well, it was. There’s less to keep track of now.
“I know who Alvin is,” she assures, simply, and gestures for me to continue.
“Yeah, so, Simon. Alvin’s boyfriend. I used to think that was hilarious because of the chipmunks. You know, all they were missing was a Theodore. But then I thought about it more and I realized that’s weird because aren’t the chipmunks brothers?”
The words flow out of me too quickly for her to answer, not that there’s much of an answer to give.
“And why is it called Alvin and the Chipmunks anyway? Isn’t Alvin a chipmunk, too? It’s kind of redundant. Then again, I guess Alvin and his two brothers isn’t exactly catchy. Though it’s still pretty shitty considering it’s like saying oh, hey, you two we don’t really care about you. Just do some backup vocals for Alvin. Now he’s the real money maker.
The chipmunk, not the real Alvin. Al is basically the trashiest person to ever live. I swear one time I found him eating pizza he fished out of a dumpster. And you’d think what with the whole enhanced sense of smell that’d put him off, but it was an entire free pizza that someone tossed out because it was also a proposal pizza.
And who does that? Who thinks–oh, hey, I’ll propose marriage via pizza what could possibly go wrong? I mean, the eating dumpster pizza thing is still fucking gross never mind that it had still been warm in the box and untouched, but I already knew that about Al so it’s not like I was too surprised.
But the proposal pizza–the pizza proposal?–that’s just. And it wasn’t even any of the fancy toppings, either. Just pepperoni. Like, shell out for some gourmet chicken or whatever. Honestly, who does that?
Then again, if it were up to Al, he’d do a pizza proposal. Or, you know, try to. Except I’m pretty sure that even Al knows that Simon’s too classy for a pizza proposal. Joy would definitely shut that shit down before it took off. Nothing but the best for her baby brother. Never mind that they started dating before she joined the team.”
“Yeah… Simon’s older sister…”
I fucked up.
There are only two women on the team. Were. Jaguar and Anachron.
One of them is a reformed cat burglar (pun, annoyingly enough, intended). The other is a time traveller that has already disappeared.
Neither of them are public with their identities. Not that it would matter for Leanne.
Shit. I fucked up real bad.
I should have just kept talking, the silence is really fucking conspicuous.
“… I’d at least spring for multiple pizzas, if I were going to do a pizza proposal,” Simone says, slowly, as if the silence had a function to let her consider such a hypothetical and not a complete fuck up on my part.
Still, I take the out for what it is, and continue my word barf.
“Right? And pepperoni wouldn’t have worked, anyway, because Simon’s a vegetarian…”
By the end of the session, my throat feels sore from talking about absolutely nothing and I only slipped up the once.
As a parting gift, Simone tosses me a bottle of water–which I do catch–and, considering there’s not hint of it on the news the next morning, does not pass along valuable intel about still-wanted felon Jaguar.