The Perfect Plan, Part 3: Worn Down

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(October 2nd)

“Alright, this is officially the worst month ever.” Amber didn’t even bother to remove her suit, she just collapsed across the couch.

“Worse than May last year?” Lucky asked. He’d attempted to reach the couch, but had given up halfway across the room and settled for lying on the floor, staring up at the ceiling.

“Second worst.” Amber amended. “It has to stop soon, right? It’s been a month.”

“There’s another month until the wedding itself.” Nadia pointed out. She and Jhim were sitting at the table, playing cards. Ash wasn’t even present, having dedicated himself to patrolling while the others rested. “Do you have any threes?”

“Go fish.” Jhim replied, before nodding. “So, let’s see. Eleven heists in one month. Think the pattern’ll hold?” He glanced down at his hand. “Any nines?”

“Fight you for them.” Nadia quickly shuffled her hand, as did Jhim. Each drew a card. “Seven.” She considered the question while Jhim’s face fell. “Also, you’ve never been to a wedding, have you?”

“Four.” Jhim sighed, tossing his nine across the table to Nadia, who took it cheerfully. “And I’ve been to several weddings. On Sayleen. In the Sayleen style.” He shrugged. “Organization is rather easier when everything is predetermined based on the Family, position, and relative status of the bride and groom. You just work your way down a checklist.”

“That would be nice.” Amber sighed. “I think I’ve seen Wave about three times this month. Why does Ecchs get all the romance?”

“You two should get involved in the bachelorette party.” Lucky suggested. “That would let you spend time together.”

“Okay, a, no.” Amber leaned far enough up to fix Lucky with a frown, the collapsed back. “And b, Ecchs isn’t going to let superheroes be part of his wedding planning.”

“Um.” Lucky managed.

Amber sat up again, more slowly this time. “Um?”

Lucky bit his lip. Amber’s frown grew larger. “Um?” She repeated. “That did not sound like ‘I agree, Amber’. That sounded much more like you changed your mind about saying something very quickly.” Lucky glanced around the room, to find that Nadia and Jhim were watching him avidly, as Amber continued. “You’re in the bachelor party.”

“Ecchs demanded that Josh plan it!” Lucky protested. “I’m still friends with Josh! He asked for my help!”

“And you said yes?” Nadia asked incredulously.

“Sure. I thought it would be fun.” Lucky shrugged helplessly. “Besides, Phil was the one who worked on it first.”

“How was his planned party?” Jhim wondered.

“Esoteric.” Lucky answered. Everyone paused a moment, imaging what sort of a bachelor party Phil might throw, and winced. While their minds were consumed by the possibilities, Lucky took advantage to stand up for himself. “Anyway, I know that Ecchs is our hated rival, and all that, but he’s also technically a business associate that we’ve been working alongside for years. Besides, he invited us all to the wedding. It only seemed fair.”

Amber started to open her mouth to speak, and Lucky overrode her quickly. “Also, it meant that I could convince Josh that the bachelor party can’t have any heists in it. Because I can’t take part in a heist.”

Amber considered this. “So fewer crimes for us to fight?”

“Hey, I’m doing my duty as a superhero by helping plan the doc’s party.” Lucky said, the picture of innocence.

“Hmm…” Amber muttered. “I like that. Maybe we should talk to Ada. She doesn’t have any supervillainous friends in town, does she?”

“Every supervillain in town works at Malefico.” Jhim pointed out.

“Yeah, pretty much. I think she asked Nightshade to do the honors.” Lucky said.

There was a long pause. Finally, Amber said, “And I thought Phil planning a party was a scary concept.”

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