LNH: Hungry, Hungry Sabertooths! #39: "But You Can't Pick Your Sister's Nose"

Drew Nilium pwerdna at gmail.com
Sat Feb 13 20:48:05 PST 2021

Issue #39: "But You Can't Pick Your Sister's Nose"
A tale of a long-tailed Cat in a room full of rocking chairs


Catalyst Lass cowered. Or possibly cringed? Maybe she was groveling. Not sure.

She realized, on some level, that her brain was spinning in this loop to keep
her from *completely* freaking out, because right now the entire roster of
*both* Brotherhoods of Net.Villains was battling right outside the single-
person bathroom she'd hidden in and it was all her fault and she was making it
worse-- *nnnnnngh* okay so groveling worked, tho she was also *definitely*
holing up...

A loud voice crackled somewhere overhead. An angry god come to destroy her for
her hubris? No, it was the PA system, speaking just four words: "LET'S TAKE

Cat was standing up with her hand on the doorknob before she realized it and
jerked back, falling onto the toilet with an "oof". As she sat there, she heard
the din of battle pause, then the rapid beat of many feet... fading...
fading... gone.

She just sat there, listening to her own breathing, for she wasn't sure how
long. Then, the doorknob started to turn. She froze. Her breathing got louder.
The door creaked open...

It was her sister. It was Hell Catalyst. "Stand up," she said, holding out her
hand. "You're not done yet."

Catalyst Lass let out a shuddering breath, her pounding heart slowing down a
bit. She reached up, took her sister's hand, and climbed to her feet. "I'm..."

Hell Catalyst pulled her up against her body in a tight hug. "I know."

Catalyst Lass stiffened... then melted. She started sobbing, long and loud and
hard, and her sister held her, halfway thru the bathroom doorway, until she had
cried herself dry.

They sat down on one of the empty benches lining the lobby walls, Hell Catalyst
pulling a spork out of the upholstery and tossing it away. "Talk to me."

"I..." Catalyst Lass swallowed, eyes red and puffy. "She's... what if she
doesn't... what if she does and *I*'m just making her... what if she...!" She
squeezed her eyes shut and let out a huge yawn, heavy emotions bursting out of
her lungs.

"Cat." Hell Catalyst squeezed her sister's hand. "I get it. Everything with
Romantic Innuendo and the Valentine's Ball shook your confidence, *real* bad."
[LNH v3 #3 - Footnote Girl, window-shopping felt figurines of Doctor Who
companions on Etsy]

"Y-yeah, but..." Catalyst Lass hiccuped. "But it's been *months*. I should be
*over* it."

"*Cat*." Hell Catalyst sighed, squeezing her sister around the shoulders.
"That's not how it works and you know it. If it were anyone else, you'd say,
'Sitting around just thinking about your pain doesn't fix it, and that's all
anyone's been doing for months.'"

Catalyst Lass sighed, shifting, sitting up straight, staring at her heads. "How
do you do it?"

"Know what you'd say? Well--"

Catalyst Lass nudged her sister with an elbow. "No, silly." She ran her hands
thru her hair, straightening it out. "You weren't born with our powers. How do
you use them without constantly doubting yourself?"

Hell Catalyst straightened herself, looking out thru the window at the lovely
blue sky. "Like you said, I wasn't born with our powers. I know what doubt is
like. But..." She looked her sister in the face and smiled. "With you supporting
me, I overcame that doubt, learned from it - figured out when and why I should
trust myself. You've never learned that - never had to."

Catalyst Lass gave her a small, brave smile, then dropped her gaze to her shoes
and sighed. "And maybe I never will..."

"Hey." Hell Catalyst bumped her sister's shoulder with her own. "You may be in
the school of hard knocks, but you're an A+ student. You can do anything you set
your mind to - I know, I've seen it."

"But... the Ball, that was all totally wrong..."

Hell Catalyst put her hands on her sister's shoulders, made her look up at her.
"Because you were denying what you knew was true." She gave her a knowing smile,
a raised eyebrow. "About yourself, and about someone else."

Calayst Lass's ears burned, and she looked away, but she was smiling. "...I
didn't say that."

"You didn't have to." Hell Catalyst let go and pushed herself to her feet. "Now,
when I catalyzed everybody out of the lobby, I think I saw Token Girl getting
pulled along by the crowd. Maybe you should go and make sure she doesn't get
clobbered by a net.villain, and maybe talk to her about a couple things the way."
She offered her sister her hand.

"...I guess I should, huh." Catalyst Lass took it, pulling herself up. She wiped
away the last of her tears. "Thanks, sis."

"Hey, what's found family for, huh?"

Catalyst Lass smiled. "Yeah." She turned toward the door, adjusted her costume,
squared her shoulders, and walked out of LNHQ.


Drew "d'awwww" Nilium

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