Crystalize

Painkillers are a wondrous thing, they can make it possible to completely ignore minor injuries. More serious injuries did require more painkillers and that always came with the potential to develop an addiction. Certain heroes have been known to pop painkillers like vitamins, or even give themselves morphine shots before a fight. There are two types of heroes that develop an addiction, those who can get away with it and those who can’t. The ones who can get away with it were the ones with healing factors, the ones that would be fine in the morning. The ones who couldn’t get away with it were the ones that wouldn’t heal, that wouldn’t be fine in the morning, but would still get up and go fight. Like an athlete they eventually break down never to don their cape again. Metaphorically of course, capes are stupid for anyone not invulnerable.

Jace didn’t heal, and wouldn’t be able to get away with a painkiller addiction. A fact that he was very aware of, so he did his best to prevent it from happening. Even if that meant requesting minimal painkillers when in the hospital again. This time he was suffering from a broken arm, three shattered ribs and a good-sized third degree burn. The shattered ribs weren’t his fault, the arm and the burn totally were. All in all he was in a shitload of pain, and that little button to dose his system with morphine was really tempting.

There was a knock at the door. This hospital wing was used exclusively for the treatment of heroes. The nurses and doctors were all heavily vetted, and lived in a complex guarded by heroes. They also didn’t usually bother to knock before entering a room, it could also be one of his team mates, but they also usually didn’t bother to knock. Jace wasn’t wearing his mask, so he didn’t particularly want to invite just anyone into his room. On the other hand someone just making it into this wing of the hospital was a good reason to trust them.

“Come in.”

The door opened to reveal two people on the other side. The guy in front had a total men in black thing going on. He was in an expensive suit and was wearing a full face featureless black mask. Jace couldn’t remember any heroes that dressed like that. The man did a quick survey of the room before stepping back into the hallway and letting the girl walk in. He must have been a bodyguard or something. The girl also didn’t look like any hero Jace knew, or had heard of. She was of average hight with long blond hair about thirty-ish. She wore a simple white domino mask, not the kind for hiding her identity, but that kind that was more of a formality; an identifier that she was a hero. She certainly wasn’t dressed like a hero in a white blouse, jeans, and tennis shoes. Around her neck was an intricately worked leather collar.

“Hi, my name is Clarissa. How are you feeling Flashpoint?”

“I could be a lot better, but the beds are nice here.”

“You heroes are all the same you know, I can see how much pain you are in. Your in the damn hospital, drop the macho act.”

“Just because I’m in the hospital doesn’t mean I’m off the clock.”

“I suppose it doesn’t. Look I’m here because your team thinks that they might have and inter-dimensional issue to deal with, and want to be at full strength.”

“Sounds nasty. What can you do?”

“I can heal you, do I have permission to do so?”

“I thought there were only like five healers on the planet.”

“There are eight of us actually, now do you want to be healed or not?”

“Sure, lets do this.”

Clarissa pulled a chair up next to the hospital bed and sat down. She reached out and grabbed his burnt hand. It took her only a few moments to remove the bandages and grab his exposed flesh.

“Holy crap, that’s incredible.”

The moment she touched his exposed skin the pain in that spot vanished. The lack of pain expanded from that initial touch to cover his whole hand, then arm. It extended to the rest of his body with speed. It didn’t just wipe out the pain from the burns and broken bones, all of the aches and tweaks that his body had accumulated in his eight years as a hero, were simply gone.

“Do you want to get married?”

“I bet you say that to all the girls.”

“Only my fiancé, but seriously damn this is amazing.”

“You’re going to make her jealous.”

“I work with a supermodel, who wears a skintight partially transparent bodysuit. My fiancé is surprisingly cool with it.”

“Why does she wear that anyway?”

“Damned it I know, I haven’t have the courage to ask her. How long will this take anyway?”

“About fifteen minutes give or take.”

“Wow, how have I not heard of you before.”

“Overwatch goes to a lot of trouble keeping me safe, so I would appreciate it if you don’t talk about me when you get out of here.”

“I guess that explains the bodyguard as well.”

“Yes, Overwatch issue metahuman bodyguard. Guaranteed to keep me safe at night.”

“What’s he do anyways?”

“That one? I don’t know. They have a rotation, I only know the powers of two of them.”

“Seriously, you don’t even know the powers of the people guarding you?”

“I know all of my guards are as strong as a team, if not stronger. Thats all I need to know. What about you?”

“What about me?”

“What are your powers, no one can quite decide how they work exactly.”

“Oh it’s simple enough, I compress all gas in a certain area into a crystal. I can choose how large the area is. This creates a vacuum that causes a vacuum hammer. The atmosphere crashes in to fill the space, creating a bright flash of light, heat and force.”

“So that explains why people were finding crystals all over you fight scenes. You know the prevailing theory about you power is explosions where ever you damn well please.”

“My power is kinda random explosions, just inverse.”

“How do you do it? Balance your personal life with being a hero, I mean.”

“Honestly, I’m not sure. Now that I do it full time things are easier, the whole day job crap was making it difficult. Why are your powers don’t seem like they would lend themselves to those kind of problems.”

“I don’t have any trouble with the balancing, my girlfriend on the other hand…”

Clarissa trailed off. Jace just laughed.

“Sorry, I can’t help with that. So I guess that means you won’t be taking me up on my proposal? Good thing, my fiancé might have been a little upset.”

A little bit of small talk later and Clarissa pronounced Jace in perfect health. He was too, when she walked away none of the pain came back. He felt eight years younger.

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