HFU Post 3 takes place in a coffeeshop at an unknown location where Louis, also known as Acidspitter, is mourning over his breakup with Seraphim. He was once a member of Hero Force where he met the angel and had fallen in love with her. He had once gained his acid-spitting superpower after being affected by radiation in Hawaii but he was later taken in as an incubus, though he never knew why he was given that role. Because of their relationship, Seraphim had gradually lost her divine powers and that included her 'divine beauty'. While she was still incredibly gorgeous, she was now only as brilliantly beautiful as a human could be and didn't have that supernatural beauty bestowed by heaven. While he still loved her and was attracted to her, no matter how she looked, he was a mere mortal man with the weakness of any man and he couldn't hide his disappointment and surprise over her change. It was then that she broke up with him and asked him to leave. At the coffeeshop, a thief breaks in with a gun and threatens the barista. He uses his acid to melt the gun and then knocks out the criminal. The barista falls into a swoon and wants to kiss him but he refuses, stating that he's taken even though he's officially not with Seraphim. He leaves the coffeehouse and tries to call his friend, Hero Plus One, but is unable to connect and thinks he might be out of range.
INTERLUDE: AN OLD FLAME
In a coffee shop, a young man broods at a small table in the back corner. He holds a cell phone in his hand, and on the screen is a picture of a lovely once-angel in a white jumpsuit, with the Call button beneath it. His thumb hovers over that button for a long moment, before pulling back as he sighs.
Barista: Here's another coffee for you, sugar.
The young man grunts, but does not look at the barista. He does his best not to look at attractive young women if he can help it, because his instincts urge him towards seduction.
The barista stands there a moment longer, than walks away. Lou lets out a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding, then sips his coffee. It's his third cup since he's been here, and he hasn't paid for any of them. Such are the perks of being an incubus. Like oozing a ridiculous amount of sex appeal. It was some kind of pheromone or something, he wasn't sure, but his body certainly didn't hurt things. Where he'd once been lean and lanky, becoming an incubus has bulked him up into a statuesque paragon of chiseled muscle. Of course, those who were jealous of how he effortlessly attracted the attention of women often called him rude things, like 'musclehead', 'roider', and oddly enough, 'powerplayer', though he had no idea what that meant.
He looks at the image of the once-angel on his phone a bit longer before setting the phone down on the table again.
He drinks more of his coffee. He doesn't need to; ever since becoming an incubus, he hasn't been subject to bodily needs, like food and sleep. Even clothing; like most demons, his body maintains a constant inner heat that is comfortable in any temperature. Which is a good thing, given that he has no money for clothes besides the ones he's wearing: leather boots, jeans, and an open denim jacket, all scuffed and ragged, with several holes.
An incubus is expected to seduce mortals, after all, it's what they get paid for, but Lou refuses to do so, remaining faithful to Seraphim. So he is poor and homeless, and technically on the run from hell's tax collectors, though they usually don't bother with him. Honestly, he's still not quite sure why or how he was even chosen to become an incubus to begin with; it was some very odd circumstances, but apparently had something to do with having slept with an angel.
Lou had just been a barely adult teenager infatuated with a gorgeous woman, especially since he could french[Ext 1] her without her mouth melting.
That's the other thing. Ever since an encounter with radiation in his native Hawaii, he had developed a superpower, if you want to call it that. His saliva is acidic. Taking the moniker Acidspitter, he had joined up with Hero Force as a junior member, despite his singularly unimpressive abilities. It had put rather a damper on his love life though, until Seraphim. He still had no clue what the angel had seen in him, but she had loved him...maybe still does. He hopes. She left heaven for him, and gradually lost her powers.
Including her aura of heavenly beauty. THAT had thrown him for a loop...
Some time ago...
Lou: Hey, Sera, you-- Whoa!
Seraphim is actually wearing clothes. Just a fluffy white cotton robe she scrounged from somewhere, rather than having a dress of divine light. But not only is the light-dress gone, so is her natural glow of divine gorgeousness.
Seraphim: Louis, I...
She bites her lip.
Seraphim: Do you still want me?
He's always hated his name, Louis, yet has grown to love it on Sera's lips. And he does still want her. He loves her, even, despite their relationship having started out as infatuation on his part.
But he can't hide how surprised and yes, somewhat dismayed, he is at the loss of her supernatural beauty.
Oh, she's plenty beautiful still, like a supermodel or close to it, but not divinely so.
Lou: Yes, Sera. Always.
He puts his hands on her shoulders and leans in to kiss her. Even without her angelic invulnerability, he can still kiss her, as his incubus abilities let him 'turn off' his acidic saliva for romantic or sexual purposes. She turns her head away from his kiss though.
Seraphim: Don't pity me. I can see that look in your eyes.
Seraphim: Don't. Please don't.
He wants to say that he's just a man, with mortal weaknesses. He wants to say that he loves her, even if she looked like an old hag (which she certainly doesn't). He wants to say that he values her inner beauty far more than her outer beauty, even though he greatly admired the divine beauty she has now lost.
It's all true.
But he can't say it. Words have never been his strong suit.
He just repeats her name, his gut clenching at the desolate look in her eyes. She pulls out of his arms and turns around.
Seraphim: Go away. Please.
He stands there helplessly for several seconds, but she doesn't move, and finally he obeys.
In the coffee shop, Lou lifts the mug to his lips again, only to find it empty. When had he finished it? He shrugs and sets it back down, glancing at the barista, who is busy behind the counter and hasn't noticed yet. She'll probably give him a refill in a minute, strutting over here on those long, shapely legs--
He wrenches his gaze away. The worst part is, Sera is right. Although he still loves her, in his clumsy, mortal way, he is shallow enough that he wants her divine beauty back. And he wants other beautiful women. He doesn't know how much of this is his own male libido and how much is his incubic nature, and truthfully, it doesn't really matter.
Barista: Hi, welcome to-- eek!
Lou barely registers the barista greeting a new customer, but then looks up at her sharp squeal. A man is standing on the other side of the counter from her, leveling a gun at her.
Criminal: Just open the cash register, nice and easy, lady, and there won't be no trouble.
Barista: Er, er, er, yes, let me just, er...
The girl is hyperventilating but doing her best to obey. Lou sighs and gets to his feet.
Lou: They do say girls like a guy who knows how to handle a big gun.
The criminal swings towards him, gun tracking his direction. His eyes widen briefly, then narrow, at the bulky young man with a garishly purple mohawk and punk chains dangling from various parts of his denim getup.
Criminal: Don't get any big ideas, funny man.
Lou doesn't bother responding, but toggles the acidity of his saliva to maximum and then spits. A glob arcs through the air to sizzle onto the gun's barrel, instantly melting it. The criminal jerks in shock, dropping the gun.
Criminal: What the hell--?
Lou: Funny you should say that.
He's already crossed the distance between them - being an incubus gives him a peak human physique, more or less - and clocks the guy to the ground in an unconscious heap. He's glad the gun hadn't gone off. He had gotten the thug's attention first, so that if it DID go off, it wouldn't have been in danger of hitting anyone but him. Incubi are immune to pain, though they are still somehow aware of bodily damage, and heal rapidly, in addition to being very hard to kill, so Lou isn't worried about sustaining any damage himself.
Barista: My hero!
The girl is swooning into his arms, and he reflexively catches her, unable to keep from noticing how very warm and soft her body is as her lips pucker up. He brusquely rebuffs her however, after that split-second of weakness.
Lou: I'm taken.
He practically flees the coffee shop, striding down the street with his hands in his jacket pockets. Fortunately, he had remembered to snag his phone, so he still has that. After putting a few blocks between him and the coffee shop - stridently keeping his eyes on the ground, so as not to notice any attractive women around - he steps into an alley and pulls out the phone again, this time pulling up an image of a young man about his age, with the identifier of 'Ratty'. Ben hates that nickname of course, but despite that, Lou and Ben had bonded during the short time that they had both been on the Hero Force team. They had both been young guys with small-scale powers, feeling dwarfed by the big-league heroes around them.
Funnily enough, they also both have immortality in common. Lou from his incubic nature (presuming he isn't killed by external means of course), and Ben due to his 'perfect' lycanthropy, which includes incredible regenerative capabilities that keep him in his prime.
Of course, Lou is now on his own, while Ben is the celebrity Hero Plus One, and the literal poster boy for the premier team. It's thanks to Ben that Lou still has his phone bill paid every month, given his pennilessness.
Still he hasn't talked to Ben in a while, and he would like to check up on him...and ask him how Sera is of course. He thumbs the Call button--
--NUMBER IS OUT OF RANGE--
Lou: Aw, hell, have they gone on some interdimensional jaunt again?