Deathblow had a raging headache. This time, it wasn’t from getting punched out by the Splendid Star.
Deathblow, currently going by Nathan Blosk, had a raging headache because he drank way too much and partied way too hard.
He opened his eyes, and saw nothing but swirls of lights and colours. Nathan definitely appreciated the cold floor, but his neck was killing him. He managed to pull his upper body up, and rested against a convenient sofa back. He held his head like one held an egg when it was half broken, but couldn’t let the eggy part fall out before it got to the bowl.
Nathan Blosk, better known as Deathblow, was a villain. He had a menacing sounding name, but he wasn’t a big-time villain or anything. He’s been in the biz for just under a year. Yet, Splendid Star, Stardust City’s shining jewel and beacon of hope, always managed to find him. Burglaring a jewellery store? Check. Trying to sneak into the Stardust Museum? Check. Swiping the latest iPhone at an Apple store? check.
Deathblow managed to escape most of the time. But he couldn’t help but feel Splendid Star was going easy on him. After all, she was a superwoman, with all the powers that one could possibly want. Super strength, flight, x-ray vision… damn, if only he had x-ray vision for yesterday’s party. Instead, all he had was one blow: one hit per day that could harness his full strength, before it got weaker rapidly. Just one strong punch a day, a few medium ones, and then normalcy.
“Stupid Splendid Star,” Blosk thought out loud.
“Whaa-huh? Who iz der Splhendid Schtar? Not–hic–me!” A voice. An extremely drunk and slurred one.
Blosk’s head turned instantly. He also regretted it instantly, for pain jolted in every part of his head. He managed to take in the features of the woman lying right next to him. She was in a fetal postion, her face barely visible. Her long, brown hair was a mess, and covered her face almost entirely.
Blosk thought, which was extremely difficult when his head felt like an egg that’s about three-quarters of the way broken. No way. There’s absolutely, completely, utterly, totally, no way.
His thought was cut short, however, when the woman started to heave. Blosk knew what was coming. He quickly stood up and rushed to the kitchen to grab a plastic bag. Besides the aforementioned egg-head, Blosk managed to find one. He stuffed it in his pocket, and tried his best to prop the lady up. He hung the plastic bag on her ears, held his breath, and closed his eyes.
The ensuing scene was definitely not pretty. It also didn’t smell very good either. The retching noises? Certainly unpleasant. Blosk held her up, ensuring that she didn’t fall back down, only opening his eyes once in a while to confirm that she wasn’t choking on her own vomit.
When he determined that it was done, he quickly chucked the vomit bag out, and brought her to the nearest bathroom. She was in barely any condition to stand, so he propped her against the (surprisingly clean!) toilet bowl. He sat down, his back against the bathroom door.
Blosk looked at her half-glazed eyes, her face now slightly uncovered. He noted that she looked familiar.
A few minutes passed. More minute passed. Gradually, both of them got more and more awake. The woman mimed a glass of water, and Blosk gave her one.
She gurgled, and spat. Then she spoke.
“Er, thank you. I might have choked on my own vomit if you didn’t help me out.”
“No worries. Just what any good citizen would do. Say, do I know you from somewhere?”
They looked at each other intently. The lady’s eyes shone with the light of recognition, and
“Oh my god, are you… Nathan Blosk?” she actually squeaked.
The squeak triggered something in Blosk. He knew that voice from somewhere. A high school class, perhaps?
“Oh my god. You are Samantha Star? From high school!”
As recognition dawned upon them, so did the memories and unanswered questions that always accompanied these sort of things. Star propped against the toilet bowl and Blosk with his back to the bathroom door. It wasn’t the most typical of circumstances, but who could blame them?
They talked about everything. About their lives after graduation. Which colleges they ended up in. Were their current careers the one they wanted when they were teenagers?
A nagging doubt gnawed on Blosk’s mind. He was hungover, yes, but he had heard Samantha Star say something about Splendid Star not too long ago. Honestly, it’s not even two plus two to figure out that maybe, just maybe, Samantha Star might have had some inspiration in her superhero name.
So, he asked.
“Samantha. Are you Splendid Star?”
She paused. She looked directly at him. She might have been regurgitating her dinner just moments ago, but there was a sudden steel in her expression.
“Nathan. Are you Deathblow?”
The two were at an impasse. Seconds went by. A minute. The tension was palpable, and could be cut even with a blunt butter knife.
Then, Blosk laughed. He chuckled first, but it turned into a guffaw. And Star followed suit.
“What. The. Hell,” Blosk said. “My greatest enemy has been my high school crush all this time?”
“Greatest enemy? Puh-lease. Not even my superfans will know that you exist, Deathblow,” she said. Then, she blushed a little, when she realised what Blosk had said. “Wait, high school crush?”
“Yeap. We weren’t close or anything, but well… you were a star. A shining star even in high school. And look at you now, the shining star of our city.” Nathan smiled a sad smile.
“Look, Nathan… I kinda knew you were Deathblow all along.”
“Of course. What can’t the Splendid Star do?”
“It’s not like that! I just… kinda knew from all the time I spent watching you in high school. Like, how your walk looked like. Or how you sounded. Or how you would try to steal from a teacher’s office or something,” Star smiled a little. “And then, I’ll find out that it’s for something stupid like recovering a friend’s confiscated rubber band ball or something.”
Nathan Blosk and Samantha Star were quiet now. They held each other’s gaz. They saw a little bit of themselves in the other’s eyes. A quiet agreement was formed, right there and then, on the white, tiled floor of a bathroom.
“So, now we know each other’s identity. And yours is definitely way bigger of a secret than mine,” Blosk said.
“It is. But I know you. You aren’t Deathblow because you want to do bad things. There’s something else behind that villainous persona of yours,” Samantha said. “And so help me god, but I won’t let you go down that path.”
Blosk stayed still. He couldn’t think of a reason not to tell Star.
He was rudely interrupted as a barrage of knocks came on the door.
“JESUS CHRIST DUDE! ARE YOU DONE ALREADY? I NEED THE BATHROOM!” An angry voice rang out from behind the door.
Both Blosk and Samantha jolted straight up. They looked at each other, and laughed. Blosk opened the door, apologising profusely to the man. When the man saw Star with him, his anger dissipated a little, and instead gave Blosk a quick pat on the shoulder before rushing in.
Blosk felt a warm hand slip into his left. He turned, and saw Star looking up at him.
“Deathblow, you aren’t getting away from me that easy.”
“I’m not, Star. But… your breath still stinks, so maybe another time?”
This time, Blosk felt a warm hand slap his back. This time, it hurt really, really bad.