ASH: LL&DD #2 - Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?
Dave Van Domelen
dvandom at haven.eyrie.org
Mon May 14 13:37:55 PDT 2007
The cover shows Doctor Developer in semiformal attire, sitting at a
restaurant table and surrounded by shadowy and vaguely menacing figures. The
cover copy reads, "NO ESCAPE?"
Coherent "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?"
Comics | ADY | AWFUL __ __ LL&DD #2
Presents an |__ |__ & | \ OCTOR | \ EVELOPER copyright 2007
ASHistory Tale: |_/ |_/ by Andrew Burton
[August 12, 1996 - Chicago, IL]
It was Saturday morning.
To be exact, it was a perfect Saturday morning. According to the clock-
radio on the bed stand, it was well after ten o'clock. The golden glow
streaming through the window was pleasantly warm on his face, not too bright
either. The warm, soft skin of a familiar body pressed against his front and
under his arm was the final touch that made the morning perfect.
It was the perfect moment that you wished could do on forever...
"Cam?" the warm body whispered.
...which upon realizing it was a perfect moment ultimately meant it
would be brought to an end.
"Yes?" Cameron McKay, known to the world as Doctor Developer, and to a
select few as Deedee, replied in an equally hushed tone.
"I need to go to the bathroom," Jennifer Blair, known to the world as
Lady Lawful, and currently filling the role of "the warm body," replied in a
regularly toned voice. After a second of inaction on Cameron's part,
Jennifer began to shift and move her arm. The latter action caused a
rattling noise, whose source was a locked pair of handcuffs: one loop around
her wrist and the other to one of the slats in the headboard.
"I need to go to the bathroom," she said, "and I don't want to break
Cameron nodded. "Gotcha!" He reached around and pressed his left thumb
against the cuff around Jennifer's wrist. One small beep later, and the
ratchet mechanism within the cuff released. Once free, Jennifer moved with
superhuman speed, leaping off the bed and bolting for her bathroom, slamming
the door as she entered.
Cameron let out a small, contented sigh and rolled back onto his back.
The moment had not been completely ruined. There was still something almost
magical about lying in Jennifer's bed. He could still feel the warm spot
where she'd been a moment before, and with it came the promise that she would
be back to warm it again sometime soon. Maybe they could keep it warm
together all day. After spending a tedious week tracking down The Clanking
Replicator and an explosively busy Friday night stopping him from taking over
an auto plant, spending a day relaxing didn't seem like too much to ask.
The sound of the bathroom door interrupted Cameron's thoughts. As it
opened, Jennifer padded out, wearing an over-sized button-up shirt...one of
his own, actually. Though Cameron would have preferred her wearing nothing,
the shirt left enough of her exposed that he didn't feel right complaining.
Jennifer stopped by the door, crossed her legs, leaned up against it, and
It wasn't as if she were looking at anything. The squint was a look
Jennifer got on her face when she was trying to remember something. Phone
numbers and people's names often brought on the squint.
"Did I tell you dad it taking mom to Paris for their anniversary?"
Cameron shook his head, "Not that I recall." If this was some kind of
girlfriend test, he was most certainly going to fail. He didn't think she
mentioned it before, but he couldn't remember. The bottom few unbuttoned
buttons on her shirt wasn't helping his memory any.
"Forty-second anniversary," Jennifer said. The squint was easing off,
but there was an undercurrent of something else on her face. "They flew out
last night, and they've got a lay-over before hitting New York, then Paris."
"Has you mother ever been to Paris?"
Jennifer didn't answer his question. "They're laying over here in
Chicago," she added, "and I told them we'd have dinner with them. And, no,
mom's never been to Paris."
"You what?" Cameron choked.
Jennifer stepped away from the door, and crawled back onto the bed until
she was nestled in the crook of Cameron's arm. She leaned her head against
his shoulder and let out a small sigh. "Mom's been asking, and Dad thought
it'd be a nice send-off. It'd mean a lot to me...."
"Why do they want to meet me?" Cameron asked, earnestly confused.
Jennifer's mother had been the original Lady Lawful. Her father had been one
of the early pioneers in applied Violation Physics research. Neither of them
were the types to want to associate themselves with an ex-super-villain like
himself. It made no sense.
"I think it has something to do with the girl you're engaged to marry,"
It made perfect sense.
"I don't know," Cameron hedged.
"Please?" Jennifer asked in her sweetest, squeakiest voice. She
suddenly shifted, moving so that she was ultimately straddling Cameron's
waist. "I can make it worth your while, Deedee," she said, trying to sound
"Worth my while?"
"Mmm-hm," she nodded. Jennifer leaned closer, so she was whispering in
his ear. After whispering her promise, she sat back up, smiling down at
Cameron's goggling eyes. "Do this for me, and I'll do that for you."
It was a foregone conclusion that he was going to dinner with Jennifer
and her parents, despite any disputing statements from him; he realized that
at some point he would have to meet his wife-to-be's parents. Jennifer,
cunning heroine that she was, knew it as well, but her offer did sweeten the
deal a good bit all the same.
"You do realize that offering...well...that in exchange for something
could be misconstrued as prostitution," Cameron said, "I was under the
impression super-heroes didn't break the laws."
Realizing she'd won, Jennifer rolled off of Cameron, and reset herself
against his arm. "We've been known to bend the laws for the greater good,"
she said. Without warning, Jennifer jokingly nudged Cameron in the ribs with
her elbow. "Besides, would you rather be complicit to prostitution while
we're engaged," she asked, "or the victim of extortion after we're married?"
* * * *
[March 29, 1973 - Detroit, MI]
"I know I'm getting older, but I swear the thugs are getting younger and
younger these days," Tinker Tom smirked. The half-dozen thugs standing
around the room all chuckled at the joke, save for one.
"Sorry about that, sir," Dante McKay grumbled. He stepped forward and
grabbed his son's hand. The just-turned-five-year-old stumbled slightly as
he was pulled away from the super-villain. "My old lady had a thing, and
told me to watch the kid. Come on, Cameron."
Tinker Tom waved a hand. "Leave the boy be," he said. Dante stopped
and after a moment, released his son's hand. Tom stepped closer to Cameron,
kneeling when he was close. "So you're the rugrat your dad's always talking
about?" Tom asked, almost rhetorically. Cameron didn't answer the question,
he was too busy taking in Tinker Tom.
In his prime, Tinker Tom had been one of the great legends of the
highway. Thick locks of hair, navy blue coveralls, and a fast car were the
three traits that when combined best described Tinker Tom. Time had greyed
his hair and faded the rich hue of his coveralls, but to those who knew his
reputation he was still a sight to behold.
Cameron McKay had never heard of Tinker Tom, outside of his parents'
cryptic references to "the boss," but there was something about the man who
knelt down to look at him that struck deeply with Cameron.
"I heard you took apart a toaster," Tom said with a slight smile.
The memory of the toaster incident broke through Cameron's reverie. He
glanced back at his father, who was strangely enough smiling. He hadn't been
smiling during the spanking.
"Go on, Cam," Dante said with a nod, "Answer the question."
Slowly, carefully turned back around. His answer started with a slight
nod, then finished with a quick, "Yes, sir."
"Did you get in trouble?" Tom asked in a hushed whisper.
Cameron nodded again. "Got a spanking."
Tom's face broke into a wide, toothy smile, and with no warning he
reached out to ruffle Cameron's hair. "The same thing happened to me when I
took apart my dad's pocket watch." After a moment, Tom stood back up, still
smiling. "I think we have a new recruit, men. Cameron McKay, welcome to the
* * * *
[August 12, 1996 - Chicago, IL]
Jennifer had three kinds of dresses by his count. The first type, which
Cameron dubbed "gowns," were long flowing affairs that she wore to formal
occasions. She had two of these, one red and one white. He'd seen her wear
the red one at a New Year's party at her museum; the white was only something
in her closet. The second type of dress, the kind he dubbed "slinky," was
his favorite type. She had two or three of those, each one black and clingy;
they were the kind of outfits she wore to clubs or when Lady Lawful needed to
go undercover somewhere. The third type of dress, which he classified as
"dresses," were the kind she wore most often; she wore then when they went on
picnics, to luncheons, and apparently to dinner with parents.
"How do I look?" Jennifer asked. She spun around, letting the peach
dress flare out slightly below her hips. The question, Cameron knew, wasn't
entirely from vanity. Jennifer typically resorted to such questions as a
tactic of distraction.
Cameron looked her up and down.
"I wish you were wearing one of the little black ones," Cameron let out
sigh, "but you look good. You always look good."
"My, but you know how to make a girl feel special," Jennifer said with a
wink. She stepped closer to Cameron, extending her hands out to pull him up
from the couch, where he was slumped. "You know, my parents are going to
love you. Don't be so gloomy." Jennifer leaned forward to give Cameron a
quick peck on the nose.
"I've told them all about you, you know," Jennifer continued. She
guided Cameron's hands behind her back, and then moved her behind his. "Dad
really wants to meet you." She nodded in reply as soon as Cameron's eyebrows
rose. "It's true! I told him about your research with super-plants, and he
was really impressed. You two are going to have a lot in common."
It wasn't her father that Cameron was concerned about. Sure, every
future son-in-law worries about his future father-in-law. That's natural.
His more immidiate concern was his soon-to-be mother-in-law super-hero
meeting her soon-to-be son-in-law ex-super-villain. "And your mother?"
Jennifer chuckled nervously, and gingerly chewed on her lower lip. Her
cheeks flushed very slightly. After a second of looking guilty she smiled.
"Mom'll love you too. She just needs to get to know you. Once you meet
her," Jennifer assured her fiancee, "everything will be fine."
"That," Cameron said flatly, "would be ideal."
"Yes," Jennifer nodded, "Now come on, or we're going to be late."
The two released each other. Jennifer disappeared into his room for a
second, returning with her purse. Cameron was waiting for her by the door,
car keys in hand. The two stepped outside into the warm, summer evening,
walking side-by-side toward Jennifer's two-door car. As Cameron opened the
passenger-side door, Jennifer looked up and shook her head.
"You know, as nervous about meeting mom as you are, if I didn't know
better, I'd think you'd been one of mom's enemies, and not mine." Cameron
chuckled as he pushed the door shoot. He let out a small whistle as he
circled around the front of the car, hoping Jennifer continued to think he
* * * *
[August 1, 1974 - Detroit, MI]
Tinker Tom's hotrod, Betty Rides, was a complex machine, which is why
Cameron McKay loved working on it with the older man. There were some parts
of the car he understood from working with Tom on it: he understood the
hydraulics behind the brake system, he'd seen the gears that worked when you
turned the steering wheel, and he understood that a car engine needed
sparkplugs to ignite gasoline. There were parts of the car even he, a six
year old, could operate: he knew how the horn worked, how to adjust the radio
to pick up the stations Tom liked, and he even knew the combination of
pressing radio presets to open the secret compartment within the driver's
side door panel.
As much as he loved working on Betty Rides because she was a great car,
Cameron even more loved spending time with Tom. Tom was one of the few
adults Cameron knew in his life who seemed to have more answers than Cameron
had questions. Unlike easily-exasperated teachers, asking Tom question after
question about how Betty Rides or one of the other machines Tom used worked
only resulted in detailed explanations, never sighs or snarls. Cameron
hadn't told anyone yet, but he was as sure a six year old could be that he
wanted to be just like Tom when he grew up.
Asking Tom questions, however, depended on on Tom being around, which
was something Tom hadn't been for several minutes. He'd vanished when
someone knocked on the door to his garage, and had yet to return.
Cameron carefully turned himself around on the stool where he was
standing, looking down into Betty Rides's engine. Part of his care came from
not wanting to fall off, but another part didn't want to scratch the electric
blue paint job on the car. After getting his bottom planted on the stool,
Cameron slowly slid himself forward and onto the ground.
Just as his feet touched the ground, Cameron head voices coming back
into the work area. One was Tom's, but there were a couple of others he
didn't recognize. Neither of the unknown voices sounded too pleasant, and he
could hear a bit of anger in Tom's voice.
"I quit working with you guys a long time ago," Tom spat out. "You have
no right to expect any help from me. The only reason I don't kick you...."
"Please, Tom," the taller of the two newcomers said with a laugh, "try
to kick us out. After tonight, I could use the laugh."
Tom grunted a reply. The taller of the two stood about a head over Tom,
but he was much more muscular. He was wearing a large backpack that reminded
Cameron of Betty Rides's engine block, and the pack seemed to be connected to
the strange looking gloves he wore on each hand. He looked like some
combination between a football player and a steam shovel to Cameron.
As they got closer, Cameron realized there were actually three unknowns.
The steam shovel was one. There was a woman who was walking next to him, who
wore a similar, but smaller backpack. She and the big brute wore similar
outfits: heavy boots, black overalls, white T-shirts, and the full-sized,
metal masks that Tom wore when he needed to weld something.
The third unknown, who Cameron couldn't see too well, was another woman.
It wasn't until the big brute dropped her on the ground that Cameron *could*
see her too well. Once she was on the ground, though, Cameron recognized
her. He knew the red vest, goggles, and blond hair: it was Lady Lawful.
He'd seen her picture in the paper a few times, and even once in-person at
his school. There was, however, something missing; the belt Lady Lawful
normally wore was around the waist of the lady dressed like the big brute.
"Yo, Tom," the brute said as he turned away from Lady Lawful, "I didn't
know you had a kid."
Tom's eyes goggled for a moment, but he quickly recovered. "This is
just one of my henchman's kids," Tom said, using his grumpy voice, "Small
hands come in, well, handy sometimes." Tom stepped up to Cameron, and put
his hands against the boy's back. "Okay, Cameron, time for you to go home."
"Not so fast," the brute said. He was frowning, glaring at Tom. "No
one's leaving until we do. Me an' Wanda need to arrange some travel plans,
and until we do, we're all going to chill out here. So both of you, get
* * * *
[August 12, 1996 - Chicago, IL]
Outside of La Caverna del Blocco, June and Wilson Blair waited.
Technically they were early, but that didn't make much difference. They
still had to wait. In La Caverna's defense, though, the patio furniture set
in the small alcove meant they were comfortable while they waited.
"We should go on in," Wilson said. "We can get a table, or we could
wait at the bar. Do you feel like pina coladas?" he sang both quietly and
June grinned back at her husband. In their forty-two years of marriage,
between his deep, brown eyes and terrible sense of humour, Wilson always knew
how to make her smile. Even in the most trying times, he knew exactly what
"Why don't you go on in, dear?" she said. She reached out and squeezed
his hand. "I want to wait for Jenny."
Wilson nodded, returning the squeeze. "Then so do I," he told her.
"Nonsense. You go on in."
Wilson grinned and shook his head. "I'm enjoying the view," he
answered. June glanced over her shoulder and saw a mall with a half-full
parking lot. Turning back around, her gaze met Wilson's. She blushed when
she realized what he meant.
"You old romantic."
"Careful who you call 'old,' Pot," Wilson said with a small grin. He
reached his hand across the table, and squeezed June's hands where they were
resting. She smirked.
"Careful yourself, Kettle," she replied. For the next few minutes, the
two sat in silence, enjoying the summer evening together, until June's sight
focused on a couple walking across the parking lot. "There they are." June
and Wilson stood up as the other pair of their party stepped onto the
"Jenny!" June welcomed her daughter.
"Mom. Dad," Jennifer replied, stepping closer and embracing both of her
parents in one, large hug. After a moment, she stepped out of the hug.
"It's so good to see the both of you," Jennifer said, beaming, "You both look
"You don't look half bad yourself," Wilson said.
"Is this Cameron?" June asked, looking past Jennifer.
Jennifer nodded and stepped back. She took Cameron's hand, and pulled
him foward. "Mom, Dad, I want you both to meet Cameron McKay."
"We've heard a lot about you, Cameron," Wilson said. He offered his
hand, and the two shook. "Jennifer had a lot of good things to say about
Cameron rolled his head from sholder to sholder. "Jennifer's very
kind," Cameron replied, never quite making eye contact with Wilson.
"Yes, she is," June said, saying more than she actually spoke. She
stepped forward and took Cameron's hand, giving it sudden squeeze. Shocked
by the grasp, Cameron looked at June. As their eyes met, June's widened.
"It's nice to meet you, Mrs. Blair," Cameron said. Jennifer let out a
small cough. "I mean, Mrs. Hartworth-Blair."
"The pleasure is all mine, Cameron."
* * * *
[August 1, 1974 - Detroit, MI]
June Hartworth-Blair, in the guise of Lady Lawful, watched as Arc
Wielder paced back-and-forth across the garage floor. Wanda, meanwhile,
seemed quite content sitting on he edge of a work table, dividing her time
between filing her fingernails and admiring the golden Enhancement Belt
around her waist. Not that the belt would do her any good; as far as she
knew, Arc Wielder was only super of the two. Aside from the Arcs and Lady
Lawful, the only two people in the garage were Tinker Tom and a young boy,
whose name she had yet to hear.
Tinker Tom was a known variable. As Lady Lawful, she'd had a few run-
ins with him in the past. Tom was a hotrod maniac, always committing car-
themed crimes. The years had been pretty good to him, though not as good as
the years treated her, thanks to the Enhancement Belt. His hair was silver
now, he was a bit thinner than she remembered, but he still looked like he
could mastermind a criminal enterprise or two.
The boy made him look a bit like a grandfather as well. As far as she
knew, Tom never had children. Kidnapping wasn't something he did either.
Whoever the boy was, though, he didn't seem to be afraid of Tom. Despite the
Arcs' looming presence, Tom and the boy seemed to be enjoying themselves
working on Tom's car.
Arc Wielder suddenly stopped pacing, letting his final walk across the
room lead him over to Tom. Seeing the brutish villain approaching, Tom
helped the boy off the stool and sent him over to a work bench.
"Tom, where do you keep the food 'round here?" Arc Wielder asked.
"I don't," Tom shrugged. "There's a diner around the corner where I
eat, but I don't keep anything here, tends to spoil when you get locked up."
He glanced over at Lady Lawful. "I learned that lesson the first time she
threw me in the slammer."
Arc Wielder looked over at Lady Lawful and sneered. "This diner," he
asked slowly, "they open this time of night?"
Tom checked his watch, the double checked by looking at an electric
clock plugged into the wall. It was just a bit after nine. June felt a
small pang of concern, wondering if the boy's mother would be worried about
him being out so late.
"They should be," Tom answered, "You want me to run out and grab some
grub for us?"
"Yeah," Arc Wielder nodded, "grub sounds good." He glanced around the
room for a second. "Take Wanda with ya."
Tom shook his head. "You think I'm going to rat you out or something?"
Tom asked. He wiped his hands on a rag, and shuffled over to the bench where
the boy was waiting. "There is honor among thieves, you know."
Arc Wielder followed Tom to the bench, stepping around Tom and putting a
big, meaty hand on the boy's head. To his credit, the boy didn't flinch away
from the move. He was far more stoic than either Tom or June, both glaring
daggers at the silent threat. "There may be honor," Arc Wielder said, "but
that don't mean I trust you. Wanda goes with you."
By the time Tom said, "Fine," Wanda had hopped off her perch and Arc
Wielder's hand was off of the boy's head. He brushed past Tom, walking over
to Wanda. "Just give me a second." Tom put his hand on the boy's back and
gently guided him closer to June.
As the two got closer, Tom started to talk: "Cameron, have you ever met
a super-hero before?" The boy, Cameron, shook his head, never letting his
gaze leave June's. "This is Lady Lawful."
"Hello, Lady Lawful," Cameron mumbled.
June smiled as much as the circumstances allowed and replied, "Hello,
When Tom continued talking, June got the impression he was speaking more
to her than Cameron. "I've got to go out for a bit and pick up dinner," Tom
explained. Dinner seemed to strike a chord with Cameron, and he looked up at
Tom. "I'll be back in a few minutes, okay?"
"Do me a favor, 'til I get back. Keep an eye on Lady Lawful, okay?"
Cameron turned back to look at June.
"Good, good. Remember, super-heroes are wily. I'm trusting you to make
sure she doesn't get away. Can you do that, Cameron?"
Tom looked at June, right, square in her eyes. There was a look of
desperation in them that June had never seen before. She knew Tinker Tom
well enough to know that he could have probably slipped out any time he
wanted. Whatever his connection was to Cameron, it was strong enough that
June was certain that his actions were asking what his words could not.
June crossed her arms in front of her chest and glared at Cameron. "Now
I am pretty much stuck," she said, trying not to sound overly dramatic.
"Especially if your little goon squad's making sure I don't go anywhere."
* * * *
[August 12, 1996 - Chicago, IL]
If Cameron had believed in fate, he would have definitely believed it
was working against him. After about an hour of small talk, dinner, and
relaxing enough to believe that neither of Jenny's parents were planning to
hire an assassin to ensure their daughter didn't marry him, disaster had
struck in the form of abandonment. Not the total and complete kind, but
temporary and complete was bad enough.
Wilson Blair had remembered he needed to put money in the parking meter,
and had gotten up to take care of it. Jennifer had decided she wanted to
walk with her father, and had gotten up to go with him. Cameron, however,
had known both were flimsy excuses to both secretly pay for the meal and make
sure the meal wasn't secretly paid for, respectively.
It didn't really matter. No matter the reason, their departure had left
him alone at the table with June Hartworth-Blair, the first Lady Lawful.
Cameron did his best to avoid inspiring any conversations by staring down at
his lap. His plan worked for a grand total of fifteen seconds.
"What ever happened to Tom?" June asked.
Cameron looked up at her. She had gotten older since the first time
they'd met, but her eyes were still as warm and sharp as he remembered them.
"He," Cameron started, "He died back in eighty-eight, of natural causes.
He's buried in Detroit. I mean, I know he's not from there, but he said
Motor City was his home more than any where else." Cameron looked away from
June. After a second, he looked back and asked, "So, you remember me?"
June nodded. "I wasn't sure of it until I shook your hand, though," she
replied. Without missing a beat, June continued, "Tell me something,
Cameron, and tell me honestly," she leaned closer. "Why Jenny?" That was
the question he'd been dreading all night, longer if he counted the few times
since proposing when the question would gnaw at the back of his brain. "Is
this some kind of twisted projection thing?"
Cameron shook his head. "No, ma'am," he replied. "I love Jennifer, I
promise. I didn't realize the two of you were related until she showed me an
album." Cameron paused. "I mean, I knew you were Lady Lawful and I knew she
was Lady Lawful, but I didn't put it together..." he trailed off.
"Maybe that's a good thing," he finally continued. "If I had known, I'd
have been too ashamed to get to know her. I don't know how I could ever tell
her that, apparently, taking Lady Lawfuls hostage is something I've been
doing since I was a kid." He stopped for a moment, before he asked, "Are you
going to tell her?" When he was finished, he looked up at June, whose eyes
were twinkling in a way that he'd seen before. Except, it wasn't June's
eyes, but Jennifer's. He knew that twinkle.
"Do you really think you held me hostage?" June asked. Cameron nodded
awkwardly. "You were, what, five years old then?"
June didn't say anything for a second, but her expression was much
softer than it had been when she first started speaking. "Just answer my
question," she said, "Why Jenny?"
Cameron let out a sigh. "Aside from I love her?" he asked.
"That, at least, is a good start," June answered.
* * * *
[August 2, 1974 - Detroit, MI]
True to his word, Cameron never took his eyes off June. He switched
from standing to sitting on the ground after a few minutes, but he never let
his attention waver.
For the most part, June tried to match his concentration. She stared at
Cameron, making faces some times and other times asking him questions.
Whether or not he understood the gravity of what was going on, June wasn't
certain, but from a strictly academic standpoint, the boy seemed to have a
solid understanding of villainy.
"So," June asked, "are you Tom's sidekick?"
Cameron shook his head.
Again, he replied with a shake.
"Are you one of his 'minions' then?"
"He's recruiting awfully young these days," June replied, "How did you
"My dad, but he's in jail now," Cameron said.
June wasn't sure how to reply to that. There was always a nagging voice
in the back of her head when she locked up criminals, telling her she was
sending someone's child or parent to jail. The consequences of heroics
extended beyond the hero and the villain. Looking at Cameron, she suddenly
felt the full weight of that truth on her shoulders.
Somewhere back in Chicago, by this time of night, there was a beautiful,
blond-haired baby asleep in her crib, put there by a kind, loving father.
Neither of them realized that mother and wife was being held hostage in an
old garage. Somewhere in Detroit there was a mother, probably worried sick
about her son being out so late...she hoped there was a mother anyway. June
didn't even want to imagine what it would be like if Jennifer, her baby, went
missing after dark.
June swallowed, trying to relax her through enough to ask, "Does your
mom know where you are, Cameron?"
June was about to say something in reply when Tom burst into the garage,
running in through the office area. He didn't stop until he was next to Arc
Wielder. "Arc," he said between breaths, "they got her."
"The cops," Tom explained, "They got Wanda...shot her...I tried...to get
her back...but she passed out...outside." He pointed back toward the
offices, which was all Arc Wielder needed. He took off toward the door, and
as soon as he was gone, Tom bolted over to June. As he moved, Tom quickly
unzipped his coveralls and pulled out June's Enhancement Belt. "Here," he
said, offering the belt to her, "Can you?"
June didn't hesitate. She nodded a quick affirmation, and snapped the
belt around her waist. As soon as the buckle clicked, she felt the belt's
powers coursing through her body. "What about you?"
"I'll be fine if you take care of them," Tom said.
June looked at Cameron. "What about him?"
Tom nodded. "Don't worry about him," Tom said, "I'll take care good of
him." Tom got Cameron to his feet and guided him toward Betty Rides. "If
it's the last thing I do, I'll make sure nothing happens."
* * * *
[August 12, 1996 - Chicago, IL]
Jennifer and her mother slipped out of La Caverna del Blocco ostensibly
to let Cameron and her father haggle over who paid for dinner. If Jennifer
had to lay odds on who would end up paying for dinner, she would have gone
with her father. Not that Cameron was stingy, just that her father had a way
of always out-politing people. Long ago, Jennifer decided that it was a good
thing that her father worked on the side of good, because she was sure he
could beat any hero just by assuring them he wasn't offended that they tried
to stop him but he really did need to launch a doomsday weapon.
Secretly, or not so secretly if her mother's smile meant anything, she
wanted a few moments alone with her mother. Despite every assurance she gave
to Cameron, there was a part of her that was worried her mother wouldn't
approve of him.
"Cameron and I had a lovely chat while you were out with your father,"
June said easily. Jennifer nodded, hoping the parking lot lights were dim
enough to hide her blanching cheeks. Once they reached June and Wilson's
care, June turned to look at her daughter. "Are you absolutely sure you want
to marry him?"
Jennifer felt her throat tighten. There were at least a dozen arguments
she'd thought of for marrying Cameron, each one based on his most attractive
attributes: dependable, sweet, smart, financially secure (she wouldn't delve
too far into that one), he loved her, she loved him, and so forth. As she
opened her mouth to debate those reasons, the only word that came out was,
To Jennifer's surprise, her mother broke into a broad grin. "That's
what I wanted to hear," she said. With no warning, she leaned forward and
hugged Jennifer tightly.
"You..." Jennifer stammered, "You're not going to try and talk me out of
June raised an eyebrow. "Do you want me to talk you out of it?"
Jennifer shook her head. "No. No! I just thought...Cameron was
worried you would...and I..." Jennifer stopped and inhaled deeply. "Thank
"He really does love you, Jenny," June said, "and no matter what he's
been in the past, if he loves you, and you love him..."
"...then I don't think there's much more a mother could ask for." June
paused for a moment, then grinned for a moment. "Well, there's always
grindchildren, but one thing at a time."
"Yes, one thing at a time. We've got our entire future to think about
that," Jennifer added, "I just want to get through the wedding first."
Before either woman could say anything else, Cameron and Wilson exited from
La Caverna, and walked toward their respective dates. When they were close
enough, Jennifer called out, "Who got stuck with the check?"
Cameron smiled brightly, but it was Wilson who spoke, "I must be losing
my touch, because your fiancee somehow managed to outsmart me and cover the
check." After a moment, Wilson cast Cameron a sideways glance. "My credit
cards will work again tomorrow, right?"
"Yes, sir!" Cameron nodded, still smiling. June let out a small bark of
laughter, blushing when the other three turned to look at her.
Using the moment to his advantage, Wilson slipped ahead of Cameron and
hugged Jennifer, kissing her on the cheek. "Now that we've got a villain in
the family, I'm going to have to rethink all my fatherly strategies. Do you
know where I could get a cheap death ray?"
Jennifer hugged her father again, and said her goodbyes. After a few
minutes of hugs, handshakes, and promises of phone calls, the two couples
broke apart. Wilson and June drove away, toward their hotel. Jennifer and
Cameron, his arm around her waist, waved until the car disappeared into
"I think that went well," Cameron said.
Jennifer smiled and nodded. "I told you it would," she reminded him.
"I should never doubt you," Cameron added as they began walking back to
"Such a smart boy," Jennifer teased. "First I teach you to be a good
guy, and now I'll teach you to be a good husband."
Cameron hummed. "Well, I'm not completely a good guy, yet," he said.
Before Jennifer could ask, he whispered into her ear her a reminder of their
deal if he came to dinner. When he was finished, she let out a melodramatic
"Yes," she admited, "so I'll get back to teaching you to be good guy
tomorrow. Tonight, you get to be...naughty."
Cameron smiled and whispered, "Excellent."
If you thought this series already jumped around in time, you ain't seen
nothing yet! Be here for LL&DD #3, "First to the Future!"
If John Chricton (Farscape) and Samantha Carter (Stargate) had a
daughter, and she had a son with Rodney McKay (Stargate), and that son
married Harley Quinn (Batman: the Animated Series), their child would be
Cameron "Doctor Developer" McKay. All the brain of the geniuses and all the
quirkiness of the psychopaths. Truth be told, I suck at coming up with
names. In this whole story, June and is the only name that's not borrowed
from a television show. Even Arc Wielder was inspired by my remembering the
time MacGyver used jumper cables, a car battery, and (I believe) a quarter to
build an arc welder.
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and more, go to http://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/ASH !
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