ASH: LL&DD #1 - Swing of Things

Dave Van Domelen dvandom at
Sat Apr 14 15:32:08 PDT 2007

     The cover shows Lady Lawful and Doctor Developer walking through a
typical megamart.  Deedee looks a bit nervous, and is sweating as he pulls at
his collar.
 Coherent                                                  LL&DD #1
 Comics          | ADY | AWFUL    __        __             "Swing of Things"
 Presents an     |__   |__     &  | \ OCTOR | \ EVELOPER   copyright 2007
 ASHistory Tale:                  |_/       |_/            by Andrew Burton

     "Tell me something about yourself, Deedee," Jennifer asks.
     It's not a simple request.
     "Like what?  What do you want to know?"
     She shrugs.  "I don't know.  Tell me anything."
     She nods.  "Anything."
     Her face falls slightly, looking a bit irritated.  She's cute when she's
frustrated.  That's the first thing I ever really noticed about her.  She
gets this look on her face that's adorable.  It's this weird mixture of
irritation, determination, and a dash of pleading.  Her eyes kind of narrow,
she purses her lips, and her head tilts just a bit off its axis.  It's cute.
     "Okay, don't answer.  Let me think."
     "Don't think, just blurt out the first thing that comes to mind," she
     "I hate going shopping with you."
     Not okay.
     I know that look.
     "Well, that's certainly something," she frowns.
     "It's not what you think, though, and it is only grocery shopping."
     "Only grocery shopping?"
     "Why grocery shopping?"
     "Because we always, always go to the Uberstore."
     "What's wrong with the Uberstore?"
     "They sell other stuff besides groceries."
     "That's why we go there.  It saves us having to go all over town."  She
raises an eyebrow.  "Why don't you like it having other stuff?"
     I feel my face blush.  We've been dating...I guess you'd call it that...
for over three months, and there are times I still feel like a pervert around
her.  We've seen each other naked dozens of times now.  She's seen me in the
shower.  I've seen her on the toilet.  We've folded each other's laundry.
This shouldn't be embarrassing.
     Big sigh.
     One more big sigh.
     "It's distracting."
     Distracting is probably not the right word.
     "Yeah.  I mean there you are...probably looking as gorgeous as you
always do...then we walk past the hardware section, or the electronics, or
toys, or sometimes even the crafts, and I get this great idea for a deathtrap
to put you into."
     Swing sets are my weakness.  You take any normal swing set, multiply it
by two, and you've got enough raw materials to rig a restraint device that
would hold someone with up to ten-times normal strength for an indefinite
amount of time.  I've got an entire CD-ROM full of traps designed solely from
swing sets; each design is cross-referenced to model number of a swing, so I
could build one just by ordering a couple of sets from a catalog.
     Deep breath.
     "I'm a super-villain for goodness sake.  I, I *should* take
the entire store hostage and build my death trap, because that's what a good
super-villain would do.  It's very..."
     "Distracting."  She's smiling.
     That's not entirely odd.  Jenny's not very unusual, but as a super-hero
dating a quasi-reformed super-villain, she's probably considered a bit
eccentric by most standards.  Although, she's probably not as eccentric as
someone who keeps a CD-ROM full of swing-set-to-deathtrap designs.
     She shifts closer to me, patting my shoulder.
     "My poor, evil mastermind."
     It's obviously somewhat mocking in nature, but she's not wholly making
fun of me.  Jenny's a great super-hero, which means she has an acerbic
streak.  It's not that part that defines her, though.  She's got more empathy
and compassion than a horrified crowd watching a bus filled with nuns being
dangled off the edge of a cliff.  Sarcastic remarks are her way of
identifying and rationalizing the unusual without hesitating.  If she were
really upset with me, she wouldn't have turned her shoulder patting into a
one-armed hug.  Her head wouldn't be resting on my shoulder.  My head might
not be resting on my shoulders.
     "I don't mind clothes shopping with you."  This is true. "Malls aren't
as bad as an Uberstore.  They partition better."
     Another squeeze.
     "What about you?" I ask.
     "What about me?"
     "Tell me something about yourself."
     I can feel her chuckling next to me.
     "Turn about is fair play," I point out.
     "I didn't think super-villains played fair."
     "Quasi-reformed super-villains try to play fair."
     "Something about me?  Anything about me?"
     She shifts away, so I can see that there's a twinkle in her eyes.
     "I'm not sure if this counts, but okay."  She looks away, but not before
I can see a slight blush in her cheeks.  "I've been thinking, since mom and
dad moved, and I've got an entire house now, I should really start acting
like a homeowner.  Fix it up a bit, you know."
     "What did you have in mind?"
     She turns back to look at me.  The twinkle in her eye is still there,
but there's something else about her look.  I had seen that look before.
"Just normal homey stuff.  Maybe a swing in the back yard.  What do you
     What do I think?  I think I'm an as much a bad influence on Jenny as she
is a good influence on me.


Editor's Notes:
     This story is set some time in the mid to late 1990s, within a few
months either way of the fourth segment of Time Capsules #9.
     "Uberstore" should actually have umlauts over the U and o, but they
don't come through well in ASCII-7, and I try to keep things as newsreader-
friendly as possible.  :)


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