“Excuse me miss, could you possibly watch my daughter for me?”
She came out of her shock, giving him a look of confusion. “Sure.”
“Thank you Miss.” He lifted his daughter over the counter and into the arms of the teller who sat down with her.
“Hey man what are you stupid?!”
Ebisu felt the gun poke into his back and he gave another sigh. He was almost a blur of speed as he moved, twisting around and grabbing the barrel of the gun, the metal disintegrating in his grasp and slipping between his fingers in a fine powder. His other hand came around balled in a fist, catching the robber in the jaw and sending him flying back, a dazed look on his face. Ebisu pinned him to the floor with a foot on his chest and grinned down at him, pitching his voice low enough that only he could hear. “Look at me, boy.” He ordered and the man managed to focus on him. “I was the Red Wolf of Damocles and making my daughter cry is the last thing someone should ever do.” Terror registered on the man’s face. Retired or not, Ebisu’s history of super villainy proceeded him.
“I…I…I’m sorry, I’ll leave, please, let me leave.” Ebisu put more pressure on his chest.
“Don’t ever do shit like this again and if you ever, somehow, make my daughter cry again there will be nothing that can save you. Get up, apologize to my little girl and get the hell out of here.” Nobody else knew precisely what was going on. Ebisu’s tone hadn’t risen, not wanting to scare his daughter any more than she already was. Ebisu removed his foot, ready to do worse to this man if he forced it but the now much wiser coward got up apologized and ran like a bat out of hell from the bank. Everyone clapped and his daughter pushed out of the woman’s arms to get to her father.
He went to her, eager to comfort Branwen. Nothing hurt quite like seeing his daughter or wife cry. “Shhh, you know I’d never let anybody hurt you Branwen, everything is alright.” She was already calming but still, the only thing keeping him from chasing that man down was Eva. He had promised her long ago he’d never be who he once was again and he’d never risk what he had, not for anything in the world. He hoped she wouldn’t be upset he told the man to run but he couldn’t look at him another second and knew his daughter would feel better faster if the man wasn’t around.
Ebisu’s next stop was the ice cream shop where he bought his daughter a cone to help her feel better. He was a lot calmer now so went to the store to get the things Eva needed. Branwen seemed more at ease, back to her cheerful self and he was glad the experience wouldn’t scar her. He worried about what she might think when she learned about his past, about how many banks he had robbed, how many heroes he had defeated, and just how terrifying he really was. His phone rang as he finished getting Branwen buckled into her seat and he smiled at Eva’s name.
“Hello love.” He answered.
“Are you two okay? I was told our bank was nearly robbed.” Her voice was a mix of worry and anger.
“We’re fine baby, Branwen got scared, but I handled it.”
She was silent for a moment. “You didn’t seriously hurt anyone did you? I mean not that I’d blame you with Bran there.”
“Nah, I just scared the jerk, dropped my villain name, and made him apologize. I think he broke the record for person to run from me the fastest.”
“Ebisu.” Even though she was reprimanding him, he could hear the laugh in her voice.
“I promise, we’re fine. I was just about to head home and get dinner started for my perfect wife.”
She smiled again, her heart warming at how constantly sweet he was. “Thank you Ebisu.” She loved her work as a cop and it had been her life before him. Now, she was always excited to get home. She would have never imagined a man who was once a super villain could be such an amazing husband and father, but she felt incredibly lucky. He warmed her heart especially since they had their daughter Branwen. She could see it in his eyes the day Branwen came into the world that she was instantly a big piece of his heart and that he’d do anything to make sure she was always safe and happy.
“Just hurry home for me. Branwen and I miss you.”
“Alright, it wont be too long.” They hung up and Ebisu headed home. He got Branwen set up with some of her toys then began cooking, sticking his head into the living room every now and then to make sure she was okay. She was a good girl but she had a little bit of his mischievousness at times. It amused him, but only when it didn’t result in Branwen getting injured.
Eva grabbed her sweater and left the minute her shift was over, waving at everyone she passed as she headed out. Even though she knew Ebisu and Branwen were safe, she wanted to see them for herself. The smell of food hit her nose when she walked through the front door and she could hear Ebisu talking to Branwen as he got her set up at the table. He raised his head and smiled at her when she walked in, meeting her halfway across the room to give her a kiss.
“How was your day?” He wrapped his arms around her, smiling lovingly at her.
“My day? What about you guys?”
“Oh you know,” he lowered his voice, “villains taking out villains.”
“I don’t know, what you did was pretty heroic.”
He chuckled. “My poor reputation.”
“Silly, I love you.”
“I love you too.” He gave her another kiss then let her go so she could check on Branwen and they could sit and eat.
Eva was relieved Branwen was okay. She could only imagine how scared she had been. When they were finished eating, Eva took her to bathe and get in her pajamas and pick out a story while Ebisu cleaned up.
Branwen was definitely herself as she playfully took a bath. Eva giggled as she made attempts to wash her. It was the weekend so there wasn’t any hurry to get Bran in bed so Eva was completely patient, letting it go at her daughter’s pace. Getting pajamas on her was much faster after the bath was over because Branwen was eager for her story. She was eager to hear one of the books she had checked out from the library. They had barely started when Ebisu joined them, sitting at the end of the bed while Branwen and Eva were cuddled at the head of the bed. She had picked a chapter book so it lasted until little Branwen was out for the night. Eva kissed her head, carefully moved out of bed then marked their place. “Goodnight sweetheart.” She whispered, leaving the room with her husband.
“Want to take a shower with me?” Ebisu asked as they made their way down the hall to their room.
“Sounds good. I think I need one.”
Ebisu lifted her, making her giggle as he carried her to their bathroom. He lowered her feet to the floor and she started undressing as he got the water adjusted. “Hey, that’s my job.”
“Well maybe if you were faster. Getting slow?”
“You wish.” He slowly took the rest of her clothes off, letting his fingers run over her exposed skin as he did it. He grinned at her goosebumps and pressed light kisses to her lips, down her neck, and over her shoulder.
“Ebisu, get undressed silly.”
“Sorry, you’re just so beautiful I forgot.” He pulled back, tugging his own clothes off, handing her into the tub and then stepping in behind her. “I’m not slow by the way, you can ask that bank robber.”
“I probably will once he’s captured. The bank cameras caught his face, so I was told.”
“Mmhmm, idiot didn’t even wear a mask. What an amateur.”
“Few villains put as much thought into what they are trying to do as you did. However, that certainly is a high level of stupid.” He began kissing Eva again, pressing his lips randomly across her skin. “I think you had ulterior motives when you invited me to shower.” Her voice was filled with amusement as she spoke. She felt him grin against her skin before he moved to rest his forehead against hers.
“You’re a hard woman to resist in clothes. It’s near impossible when you’re naked…I did just want to shower before, but please indulge me now. I need you.” Her face heated and he smiled again. “I love you Eva.”
“I love you too.” She gave into him, trying to be as quiet as possible despite the fact their daughter was sleeping. She never wanted to endure the nightmare of Branwen hearing them and going to investigate what was happening. Ebisu made being silent an onerous task with how good he always made her feel, but she still did her best. Ebisu came with a shudder and a loud moan of his own. Wanting to just enjoy the feeling and being in there with her he just stood there awhile, holding Eva who was still breathing heavy.
“Ebisu.” She prompted softly.
“The water is going to get cold baby.”
He laughed, rubbing their noses. “That’s okay, cold water’s invigorating.”
“Maybe to a villain.” She teased.
He let out another laugh, pressed a kiss to her lips then lowered her so they could wash. He dried her when they got out, wanting any excuse to touch her, then dried himself and carried her to bed and cuddled close to her. “I love you, Eva.”
“I love you too.”
“It’s the weekend, let’s take Branwen somewhere or have a date night or both. I could get Myles to watch her.”
“Isn’t he still a hero?”
“On break, he injured his shoulder saving a woman from an explosion. Fell out of a window and used his body as a buffer so she wouldn’t get hurt. He has his apprentice doing all the work until he heals up.”
“How did you find that out?”
“He called me bored.”
“Poor guy, his favorite villain retires and now he doesn’t know what to do.”
Ebisu had laughter in his voice as he said, “Well we’ll give him something to do, take care of our little girl so we can go out on a date.”
“That would be really nice, a date tomorrow then we’ll make Sunday a family day.”
He gave her a long kiss. “Let me shoot him a text before we get too relaxed.” Ebisu found his cellphone and wrote out a text. He wasn’t too anxious about the response so he simply set it back down and cuddled up to Eva in bed. Neither was too incredibly tired but most nights they enjoyed just cuddling and talking until they fell asleep.
In the morning Ebisu had several texts from Myles, all indicating he was interested and wanting to know more about when and where. He didn’t much feel like talking, but he decided just to call so he wouldn’t have to check his phone during breakfast. As soon as Myles answered Ebisu said, “As soon as you can get over here would be great. She’s an easy kid and I really want to show Eva a good time today.”
“You know it’ll take me no time at all.”
“Use your car, no need to further injure yourself because you were in a hurry.”
“Alright, alright, be there soon.”
“So?” Eva asked.
“He’s coming.” Ebisu sat down at the kitchen table. “How do you feel about spending time with a superhero, Melody?”
“Sounds fun. Can we beat up bad guys like you did?”
Both Ebisu and Eva chuckled. “Maybe when you’re older, sweetheart.” He wondered how she would feel about her ex super villain daddy, if she would be scared or fascinated. He had to admit, he sometimes missed the uniform, the mask, and even the action, but he wouldn’t trade it for anything.
They ate breakfast and hungout with their daughter until they heard Myles knocking at the door. Ebisu got up, wanting to greet his old adversary himself. “Ebisu, looks like married life if suiting you well.” Myles said as he walked in the door. A family picture caught his eye and he walked right over to it. “Aw.”
Eva entered the living room now, Branwen right beside her. “This is Branwen, Branwen, this is Myles.” Just as Eva finished the introduction Branwen ran to Myles.
“You have to tell me all your stories, please.”
“Of course little one. It will be a good way to pass time.”
“Try not to make me too evil.” Ebisu said, lowering his voice so only Myles could hear him. “I mean, I did beat you up a lot.”
Myles slapped him on the back, nearly jolting Ebisu forward. He hadn’t forgotten how strong Myles was, not after being on the receiving end of his fists. He gave a chuckle. “You know you were my arch nemesis, I’d never speak ill of you. I mean what a challenge.”
“And remember, don’t tell her the Red Wolf was me. I want to have that discussion with her myself.”
“You have my word. You two just have fun and stay out of trouble.”
“Hey, trouble finds me, not the other way around, at least these days. If you need anything, just call.”
“Awe, how cute, the Red Wolf is such an adorable dad.” He turned to Eva. “You have my word, your daughter will be safe and we’ll have a blast.”
“Just don’t hurt yourself, Branwen has Ebisu’s penchant for mischief.”
Myles chuckled. “Then today will be more fun than I anticipated.”
Eva smiled as they walked out. “I really like him.”
“He was my favorite to fight against.”
“It’s nice you two can be on such good terms.” She said as they both sat down in the car, Ebisu in the drivers seat.
“It’s probably because we respected each other even back then.”
“You should let him actually hangout with us sometime.”
“I’m a little afraid something will slip out before I have the talk with Branwen…I really want it broken to her gently.”
“She’ll still love you Ebisu. She’ll probably be proud you gave it all up when we fell in love and have stayed on this path because you now love both of us so much.”
“I hope so, going back wouldn’t be worth losing the two of you.” Eva changed the topic to something happier as her husband drove. Today was date day and she didn’t want him stressing.
She gave him a sweet, touched smile when they pulled up to the place they first met. “Ebisu.”
“What?…oh…oh that’s right we met here.”
“Yeah, you totally forgot and so happened to bring me here.”
He winked. “Totally.”
“If I remember correctly I was trying to arrest you.”
“In the middle of a fight and I bravely rescued you.”
“The first step to you being a hero.”
He chuckled. “Come on, let’s walk around.”
They got out and he went around to her, letting his arm slide over her shoulders to pull her close. One of his favorite memories was of the first time he had seen her. He had been fighting another villain, a guy who thought to best the Red Wolf, when she had pulled up in her cruiser. She had had her gun in her hands and had been yelling at them to freeze. His opponent had attacked her and he had saved her. He fell for her the moment their eyes met and he hadn’t known what to do with himself. “Houston to the Red Wolf, are you there?” Eva waved her hand in front of his face and he grabbed it, pressing a kiss to her fingers.
“Sorry, just thinking. You have no idea how much meeting you has changed my life. I never even thought of getting married or having kids or being normal.”
“You’re far from normal.”
He chuckled. “You know what I mean. The day I met you I had to know you and I did whatever it took to get close to you.”
It was her turn to laugh. “I remember, you robbed a bank, returned the money with an anonymous letter, followed me home like a puppy, bought me flowers, and finally took off your mask. What was it you said again?”
“Now you know my face so now you can arrest me anytime, but please give me one date before you do.”
“That was impossible to say no to, its what really made me fall in love with you. It showed how important being around me was to you”
“You mean more and more to me every day. I don’t think I could breathe anymore without you and our daughter.”
She kissed his cheek. “Taking me here was so sweet. I’m glad you did.” The couple continued walking and talking until Ebisu received a text. It was pictures, one of Branwen then a few others of things they were making together. Below the pictures was another text, “she wanted you to see” He messaged back, telling Myles to let their daughter know they thought her buildings were cool then they decide to leave. Ebisu was ready for the next part of their date day.
Eva’s heart did a little dance when he pulled into the parking lot of the large mall and she leaned over to kiss him, making him let out a little chuckle. “Are you taking me to all of our firsts?”
“Maybe or maybe I just want you to think I am.”
They got out and made their way inside, his arm once again around her shoulders. The mall housed an ice skating rink surrounded by different stores and even a couple of arcades. Their first date had been here, on the ice and in the arcade, the whole day was just them running around the large mall until Eva was exhausted. “So, ice skating, arcade, food, or wandering around? I’ll do whatever you want.”
“I say arcade since it also has food then ice skating. You can show off all your moves like last time.”
“Last time I was trying to impress you.”
“Well it worked.”
The arcade was a little busier today than he had hoped, but it was still fun to be back here with Eva. It was music to his ears when she would laugh and when they decided to eat, the food was actually a little better than last time. They let it digest a little while they talked before heading over to the ice skating rink and renting themselves each a pair skates. Eva was excited to watch him again, especially since the ice rink only had a few people in it besides them so they really had space to do what they wanted.
“I still got it, told you I wasn’t slowing down.” Ebisu said when they stopped to take a break.
“Alright, I admit, you’re still just as amazing as then.”
He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her into him. “I’m more amazing because you’re here.”
“I mean it.”
“You’re way too sweet. Are you sure you used to be a villain?”
“I’m beginning to wonder.”
They were about to head back out onto the ice, Ebisu wanting to dance with her when they were interrupted. “Red?” Ebisu turned, letting out a little sigh at the man approaching them across the ice. “It is you.”
“Oh, hey, long time no see.”
“Small world.” The man’s eyes moved to Eva. “And who is this?”
“Eva, Tarren and Tarren, this is Eva, my wife.”
“Wife? Really? Amazing.” Tarren said, surprised. “Sorry, I used to be this guys second.” He held out his hand and Eva shook it.
“The press used to call you his wolflings.”
“I know, embarrassing right? Wow, married and not in prison, what a small world.”
“We’re kind of on a date.” Ebisu said, giving Tarren a look.
“Oh, my bad. It’s just I thought you were locked up or dead or something.”
“I just gave all that up…I live a different life now.”
“Hm, well, I guess I’ll see you around.” Tarren walked off, but tension still hung in the air.
“Ebisu, why so tense. He was trying to be friendly.”
“I know I’m an ass for saying it, but I don’t trust him, especially since I’m sure he still gets into mischief. I don’t want to hang around him.”
She smiled, giving him a kiss. “I think you could be good even if he is still bad. More importantly, maybe he isn’t.”
“Well then I’ll be nicer next time, but today is our date day. I don’t care who sees us out I want this to just be us.” She kissed him again then rested her head on his shoulder. They were soon back on the ice, not quite ready to stop completely yet.
They stopped when they were both hungry, quickly turning in their ice skates then heading over to the food court. “What would you like my love?”
“Whatever you want.”
“What about you?”
“I want one of those mushroom cheddar burgers.”
She smiled, making his heart dance. It wasn’t a surprise he had given up villainy for her. “It’s a wonder you don’t get fat.”
“The food’s just too afraid to try.”
They went and got her food first and she found a place for them to set while he ordered his burger. He kept glancing back at her, making sure she was safe. After seeing Tarren, he was on high alert. He knew Eva would tell him it was alright, but he had spent years being the best of the best and being on alert was just instinct.
Eva noticed, smiling at how adorable and caring he was. Even though he had tried so hard to win her over, even she hadn’t expected back then that he’d make such a wonderful life partner. Her phone went off so she checked it, smiling at the fact Myles was sending more pictures of what they were doing. Since she was just waiting at the table she decided to text back “she looks so happy, thanks again. You don’t have to keep sending pictures though. We trust you” She closed her message then went back to the pictures, admiring what an adorable little girl she had.
“What has you looking so happy my love?” Ebisu asked as he sat down next to her and she showed him the picture of Branwen.
He grinned, giving a chuckle. “Myles already has her ready to fight crime.” Branwen looked cute with the sheet tied around her shoulders and the mask he knew Myles had helped make sitting on top of her head.
“It looks like your old mask, but pink and black.”
“The Pink Wolf. It’s got an adorable ring to it. It’s kind of perfect, bad guys won’t know what to expect.”
Eva’s laugh had butterflies brushing his insides. It was so beautiful, like music, so full of her love and joy that he couldn’t help but lean over and kiss her. “What was that for?” She asked.
“For being so perfect.”
“I am pretty amazing.”
“More than you know. You’re my hero Eva.”
“I mean it, you saved me from my old life.”
“And in return I’m living a fairy tale so we both won.”
Ebisu was relieved there was still no sign of his old partner when they finished their food. He checked the time. “I’m sure Myles wont care if we look around the mall. I did tell him I wanted to make a day out of this.”
“He does seem to be doing well with Branwen. All he wants in return is to be able to come around. You should really give him that. I think it would be fun.”
“If he’ll give me more days like today sure, we can even let him come with us on family day tomorrow I suppose.”
“I bet he’d really like that. You’re so sweet.”
“Only for you two.”
They walked at a leisurely pace around the mall, Ebisu letting Eva pull him into any store that caught her attention. They wound up in a toy store and he chuckled when she got caught up in the action figures. “Oh look, there’s one of Myles.” She said quietly. “Do you think we should buy one for Bran?”
“Then I’d have to look at him every day.” Ebisu’s voice was full of false exasperation. “Branwen might try beating me up with him.”
Eva giggled. “Ebisu, stop, you dork.”
“Well if you want her to get that, then I’m getting her that.” He pointed at the giant stuffed animals and went over, picking up a huge unicorn. “She can beat me up with Myles and suffocate you with Mister Rainbow here.”
“It’s the perfect name for a unicorn.”
“Alright then, deal.”
They purchased the action figure and stuffed animal before finally deciding to go home. They were both excited to give them to their daughter. Also, while they loved getting out for a date, they missed little Bran. It felt weird being away from her, even just for a day. Myles was surprised they were back when he answered the door. “You could have stayed out longer.”
“We found gifts for Branwen. We were too excited to wait.” Myles smiled and moved so they could enter their home.
“Presents?” Branwen asked excitedly, still in her hero cape and mask.
Ebisu pulled out the unicorn from behind his back. “Meet Mister rainbow.”
Her little face lit up as she hugged the stuffed animal. “I love it!”
“I have something for you too.” Eva said, causing Branwen to gasp with excitement.
Eva showed her and Myles smile grew wide. “You guys didn’t?”
Ebisu shrugged. “It was Eva’s idea and I guess if she’s going to be idolizing any hero, it might as well be you. Even if you’re clumsy enough to injure yourself.”
Myles slapped him on the back then pulled him into a headlock. “I’ll make sure she does you proud, just send her my way once she graduates high school.”
“Let me go before I disintegrate your pants.”
Myles chuckled and released him. “Afraid I’ll win.”
“You’re just lucky I’m retired.” He fixed his shirt. “Also, we wanted to know if you would like to join us tomorrow on our family day. Since you’re going to be babysitting when you’re not fighting crime.”
“Am I now?”
“Of course.” He turned to Branwen. “Hey sweetie, would you like Myles to be your full time babysitter?”
“Yes!” She said excitedly.
“See, Myles and you know you can’t just go disappointing my little angel.”
“Low blow, Ebisu, but I’ll do it.” Myles laughed and leaned down, lowering his voice. “Are you sure you’re retired?”
The following day was just as amazing as that had been, even with the extra company. Ebisu had been reluctant to let his old adversary in his life but it seemed like it just might be a really nice new chapter for them. He could now have a date night worry free and little Bran seemed to adore Myles. There still wasn’t any sign of his old minion either which was good by Ebisu planned to stay vigilant, at least for awhile. He knew better than to just take at face value Tarren would just leave them alone. A good villain made plans before doing something and Tarren had always been intelligent.
~ The End