Image copyright (c) 2016 by L. Graf
Volt Sisters #1: So Much for Downtime
You would think with all the parks and such in Gotham and Metropolis, that GypsyLynx would be able to find a calm patch of greenery to rest and mentally recharge. As a nature healer, she needed that sort of downtime for her own sake, but didn't want to stray too far from the cities and the inevitable emergencies that required her skills. The parks that she'd found, however, tended to be teeming with heroes, villains, Ivy's plants, Brainiac's minions, Circe's beasts, Queen Zazzala's drones, and so on, and so on.
Thus, she took to the rooftops, and the various roof gardens that were scattered hither and yon. Sadly, today seemed to be one of those days where even those were not a peaceful haven, and she finally settled in a lovely little roof garden in Chinatown that only had one occupant.
Of course that lone occupant was a teenage heroine who appeared to have been crying recently. Better a crying teenager than a raging adult, however - their problems usually were a bit easier to handle, and didn't leave her worrying as much about her own safety.
Despite the fact that the girl appeared to have functional flight wings, Gypsy set down carefully on the small roof, making sure she was just a bit out of arm's reach. She was less worried about the girl lashing out than the she was worried that her arrival might spur the girl into doing something suicidal that even her wings couldn't pull her out of.
With a mental sigh, Gypsy did something that she hated doing, and tried her best to resemble a Terran feline basking in the sun. Various people had called the pose "catsprawl" or "flatcat", and she knew she looked ridiculous as she lay sprawled, eyes closed, on the roof ... but that was sort of the idea. While she loved basking in the sun, she really disliked people thinking of her as some overgrown cat. (She swore she would do something rude to the next person who offered her catnip!)
Sure enough, the quiet sniffles from the girl soon turned into watery giggles. Gypsy swiveled one ear towards the sound, and cracked an eye open. Her voice was mellow and dreamy-sounding as she spoke. "I may not be related to the cats you have here on Earth, but I have to admit they have the right idea about basking in a lovely sunpuddle to unwind. It feels divine on these old bones."
Now, which of those tempting conversational lures would the young one go for? The fact that she was hinting that she wasn't from Earth? The fact that she called her bones old, when she appeared to be in her 20s or so? Neither? Both?
The inelegant snort that came as a response proved that typical teenager response won out over mere curiousity. "Right. you're not THAT much older than me."
Gypsy slowly turned her head to the side, still sprawled. A light breeze had sprung up and she took a moment to try to blow a long strand of red hair out of her face before she gave it up as a lost cause and answered. "Actually, my people were very long-lived, and, as a healer, I also know how to reverse and delay some of my own aging processes. I'm ... hrm ... about 537 or so, when I convert it over to Earth years."
"Were? What happened to your peop- Whoa! 537?! No way!"
Gypsy shifted until she was sitting cross-legged on the roof, still careful to give the girl some space. "Brainiac happened to them. And yes, 537-ish. Years get kind of fuzzy when you spend so much time traveling from planet to planet, as many of them have some very varied methods of measuring time, and some vastly different planetary rotation schedules compared to my world ... or yours." She leaned back, bracing her arms behind her and turning her face to the sun. There, she'd broken the ice while still keeping it mellow and low-pressure. The teen would either keep the conversation going or not, as it suited her, but at least she no longer looked on the point of tears.
"Brainiac is quite the home-wrecker, isn't he?" The girl's voice was bitter as she ran a hand through her short, spiky white hair.
"Homes, families, cities, entire worlds and the races contained on them. It can be pretty hard to wrap your brain around it, especially since it is hard to "get" something with that different a mindset from your own. I used to really hate him, but hate can only propel you so far before it twists you all out of recognition. Now, I just want to stop him from causing yet more harm and destruction."
She could see the girl biting back on several heated comments, and guessed that hatred still seethed in the teen. To difuse and divert, she added. "Folks call me GypsyLynx, by the way."
Good manners, or at least good habits, had the teen responding. "They call me DarkVolt." She bit her lip, then burst out, "And Brainiac split my twin and I up. I HATE him!"
"I'm sorry about you and your twin. Do you want to talk about it? These ears will hear as much or as little as you want them to hear." Gypsy swiveled her ears around, making a silly face at the same time.
This drew an unwilling-sounding giggle from DarkVolt before the teen stared down at her hands and the small arc of electricity now forming between them. She stared as if mesmerized, then drew a deep breath.
Good going, Mree. Now she's either going to shout at you or zap you. Either way, you can kiss your afternoon downtime goodbye. Mentally talking to herself was a bad habit that Gypsy had picked up during the centuries she had spent planet-hopping. However, that was better than doing the same thing out loud -- at least, it was if she didn't want to be locked up in an asylum! She'd heard about how these humans housed those they believed to be insane, and she had ZERO intention of getting anywhere near such a place, thankyouverymuch!
DarkVolt's shoulders sagged and the electricity dissipated. If Gypsy's ears had not been as good as they were, she'd have had to strain to hear the low-voiced comments. "My twin is a villain now." She looked up, torn between defiance and fear, as if expecting the worst, and her voice got louder. "There, I said it. She's a villain! And we're twins! We're supposed to be the same! That's what identical twins ARE! So everyone's acting as if it is all my fault! They're expecting me to crack and go evil too!"
Gypsy blinked, then calmly replied, "Well, that's certainly silly of them."
Clearly, that was a new reaction to her news, and one that the girl clearly didn't didn't know how to handle. "But, they- ... I ..."
"You'll find that "they" have just as many wrongly-held beliefs as right ones. So will you, especially if you listen to them. So, indulge an old lady and tell me what happened. After, I'll explain why I think their expectactions are silly, deal?"
Volt Sisters #2: Troubled Teens
"Kyra and I are identical twins. Or, well, we were identical." DarkVolt bit her lip. "Um, I'm Kyla Volt, by the way. Anyway, we used to do everything together, and folks couldn't tell us apart. But then things started changing. She started wanting to hang out with a rougher crowd, and we started arguing a lot -- we never used to do that. Kyra said I needed to lighten up and stop being so squeaky clean."
"Then one day she was caught breaking into someone's locker at school, and got detention for a week. The only problem is, that she claimed to be me when they caught her, so it was my name on the detention slip." Kyla took several deep breaths before she continued, her dark eyes bleak as she stared down at her fisted hands.
"We had a horrible fight as she drove us home from school that night. I accused her of getting me detention so she could go hang out with her new friends without me hanging around trying to keep her out of trouble. She accused me of turning into a boring snob that didn't know how to enjoy life anymore. The longer we argued, the more wild our accusations became."
She swallowed heavily, before continuing. "We were both so distracted with our argument that we didn't notice we were in the middle of a HIVE infestation until it was too late. They were stealing exobytes, security guards, heroes and villains were trading fire with them, and it was a huge mess. The next thing I know, the car was hit with ... something." She hesitated a moment, then took several tries to get the next part out. "They - ... They say I was flung from the car during the crash, while Kyra was left trapped inside."
"The exobyte canisters that hit us in all the chaos may have saved our lives, but they also split us apart. We both ended up with electrical abilities, but, as Kyra says, I got the 'pretty goodie two shoe wings', while she ended up becoming a "part-metal maiden" from the explosion debris that ended up merging with her body."
Kyla's tone momentarily took on the flat inflections that Gypsy often heard in the highly traumatized. "She said that now that we looked so different, maybe folks would stop pushing her to be so much like me, and took off. I hear she's hanging out with greed demons and the like now."
"I HATE these powers! I don't want to be some wimpy healer! And I know Kyra and I could have worked things out if we'd had more time! I wish --" She broke off, and hunched over, breaking into heart-breaking sobs.
Gypsy slid over to sit beside her, and simply held her while she cried. Sometimes the hardest part about being a healer was knowing when to simply let a caring touch start your work for you.
Volt Sisters #3: Taking In a Stray
As she held the sobbing teen, some instinct caused Gypsy to activate her healing gifts. After over five centuries at healing other races, she was adept at running some rather in-depth medical scans, and she'd heard rumors of a few less-than-stable exobyte transformations.
Her insticts were unfortunately accurate once again. Kyla's control of electricity was weak and erratic, and she would never be a powerful meta powered hero. Perhaps the exobyte suffered some damage in the explosion that blew open the canister before hitting the teen. Perhaps it was Kyla's own unwillingness to become an electricity-based hero. Or ... perhaps it tried to change both twins at the same time, and they each got a partial transformation? An interesting theory for another time, and one she couldn't investigate further unless she had a chance to also examine Kyra, or "Snark Volt" as she was calling herself, as if to taunt her "DarkVolt" sister.
It was a shame that after the upheaval that acted as the death blow to the sisters' relationship, they ended up stunted powers on top of it all. Then again, with the Kyla's teenage scorn regarding being a "wimpy healer", maybe it was for the best?
But what would she do instead? Gypsy would have to think on various options she could suggest, while she got to know Kyla better. Call her a meddler if you like, but her nurturing nature was not going to let her sit by and not help this girl.
As if on cue, Kyla slowly started getting her crying under control, and Gypsy felt a slight stiffening of the girl's shoulders. Correctly interpreting the signal, Gypsy dropped her comforting arms, and slid away just a little. Humans, especially hormonal teenaged ones, tended to be a bit uptight about personal space and comforting touches.
She went back to soaking up the soothing sunshine while she waited for Kyla to speak.
When Gypsy had arrived on the roof, most of her attention had been focused on the troubled teen sitting in a miserable huddle. Now, she took an extra glance around the rooftop so as to give Kyla a bit more time to pull herself together without feeling like she was being stared at. She tilted her head a bit to stare at an overstuffed backpack sitting next to a bench, then turned her head to look at Kyla with a raised eyebrow as the girl cleared her throat.
"I- IwaskickedoutofmyhouseandnowIhavenowheretostay." Kyla's face was a mixture of defiance, shame and pleading desperation.
"Kicked out?! Some humans do NOT deserve to have anything to do with the rearing of children." Gypsy snarled, then calmed her tone a bit. "Tell me what happened, while I try to figure out some safe options for you." She was 99 percent certain that Kyla was a "good kid" through and through, but she needed to make sure before she put any plans to find the girl shelter and help in motion.
"After Kyra and I changed, and Kyra took off to be with her new 'friends', Dad packed up and left. Just packed his stuff, and walked out the door, leaving me alone with Mom. Mom-" She gulped, then forged on. "Most of the time Mom blames me for Kyra's leaving, for Kyra's change, for Dad's leaving, for the accident ... even for Brainiac, some times. When she isn't blaming me for everything wrong, she's pretending that nothing is wrong. Kyra is just 'going through a rebellious phase' and will be back 'any day now." Or worse, she thinks I am Kyra, and badmouths 'Kyla' for leaving."
Kyla clenched her fists, then continued in a small voice, shame making her shoulders and her wings droop dispiritedly. "I finally couldn't take it anymore, and shouted at her I never knew from moment to moment how she was going to react to me. That this wasn't my fault, and that I need her help. She- she told me I was a horrible child, a horrible sister, a horrid daughter and lots of other stuff. She even accused me of making up the detention story just to shift the blame. Then she kicked me out. She told me not to bother coming back unless I had Kyra and Dad with me."
"She's right. I should have just accepted my detention quietly, and not argued with Kyra. Then we'd all be one happy family still. It IS all my fault!"
Gypsy's voice was gentle, but firm. "Hey, no more of that. It is NOT your fault, and I repeat what I said earlier. Some humans should NOT have anything to do with the rearing of children. Period."
Kyla looked as if she was about to defend her parents, but Gypsy continued talking, catching and holding the girl's eyes. "When horrible things happen, folks can act a bit strangely and not all can cope well with them. Kids tend to be pretty resilient, thankfully, since, when adults fail to cope, it is the kids that suffer the most. Your dad simply refused to deal and walked away. Your mom, well, she checked out mentally - most likely she feels powerless, and as you're the only one she had left, she decided it was easier to blame you than anyone else. Again, NOT your fault!"
"Now, do you have any other relatives in the area?" A mute headshake to Gypsy's question was the only response, as Kyla struggled to keep from crying again.
"Mom's not the only one feeling powerless! Everything is just so out-of-control!" Kyla grabbed hold of her head and shook it, hands clenching in her spiky white hair.
"Oh!" Gypsy's exclamation caused her to look up in confusion.
The mentions of "power" and "control" had sparked a thought in Gypsy's mind, and she held up a finger, asking for a moment while she chased the stray thought down.
Power, control ... Lanterns! It must have been close to 50 years ago, on some planet whose name she now forgot, when she had healed a very badly wounded member of the Lantern Corps. She had refused payment, and he had insisted that the Green Lantern Corps owed her a debt. This wasn't quite what he had in mind with that promise, however, so all she would do is make the Lanterns aware of the girl, so they could see if she would suit as a recruit.
"I may have a long-term solution for some of your problems, but I need to check in with some folks first. In the meantime, there's no sense trying to involve Social Services or the like." (There was no disguising the flinch that Kyla gave at the mention of that organization.) "They're overloaded with too much right now due to all the chaos, and as a metahuman, they're likely to try to pawn you off on another group. Some of those groups are less than reputable, and I don't want you scooped up by Lexcorp for their metahuman study." Gypsy couldn't control her shudder as she mentioned Lexcorp. Some of the stories she heard about his experiments made all her fur want to stand on end, and she wasn't easily frightened!
"For the short term, my place is not only bigger than I need, but I'm also rarely there. You're welcome to crash there for now. I can also check in with the authorities, so they know where to find you in case either of your parents comes to their senses, but I'll make it clear that you're welcome to stay with me for the time being. I've built up enough renown around the city that they won't quibble with me taking a minor under my wing. Speaking of which, how old are you, anyway?" She paused, finally letting the girl get a word in edgewise again.
Kyla flushed. "Sixteen. Technically able to file as an emancipated teen in Metropolis, but I have to prove I can support myself. I wanted to go look for a job, but without a place to stay, and an adult guardian ..." she trailed off, biting her lip. It was clear that her pride had her wanting to pass up the "charity" of a place to stay, but that she'd had enough time on her own, and enough intelligence, to not quibble when she knew that she desperately needed a helping hand.
"Don't go fretting the job quite yet. Let me check and see if my idea pans out, and that you suit them and they suit you." Gypsy grinned, but wouldn't explain that cryptic statement any further as she led Kyla back to her Metropolis lair.
Volt Sisters #4: Loose Ends
Kyla made a bit of a face at the brightly-colored Playhouse bed when Gypsy showed her where she could sleep.
"Sorry, Kyla, I know it may seem a bit loud, but it was a cheap spare bed. And I nap-tested it myself after I bought it to make sure it was at least comfortable. It definitely beats sleeping out in the streets or on a mattress on the floor of some crowded shelter."
Kyla flushed, then rushed on. "I know. Please don't think I'm not grateful for what you're doing ..."
"S'ok. I sort of flinched and squinted my eyes the first time I saw it, too. I keep meaning to redecorate, but there have been too many other distractions and priorities." She tilted her head a bit as she saw Kyla biting back a question. "I don't mind questions, you know. I don't bite ... much." She grinned teasingly and swiveled her ears for effect.
"I get the idea that you're really busy, which makes me wonder why you chose that rooftop ..." the teen said hesitantly.
"Well, originally I'd been searching for somewhere green to take a bit of a breather and that rooftop was the best I could find at the time." Gypsy answered truthfully. Best to start as she intended to go on, and make sure that Kyla knew she could expect truth from her instead of comforting platitudes.
"I'm sorry, I rui-"
Gypsy waved her hand and spoke reassuringly. "Easy, Kyla. Let me finish. I may have arrived there because of that, but I'm. Hrm, how would you say it on this planet? Oh, yes, I'm "wired" to help folks. My people believed that a true healer is one who heals hearts as well as bodies, and I've carried that belief with me everywhere I go. Before you think it is all one-sided, it helped me, too. I haven't made many friends here, yet, and you feel like you could become one."
Kyla flushed at the praise, then blurted out. "Thanks. It is just that, well, that rooftop garden was pretty formal and fussy, and you seem that you'd like something more wild." She belatedly clapped her hand over her mouth. "That came out sort of wrong, I mean something less fussy, not implying something based on the catlike look."
A purring sort of chuckle came from Gypsy's throat. "I know. You don't have the sort of vibes coming off you that some humans do, thinking I am little better than a wild animal. It happens, and they're not really worth my time. Anyway, back to the subject at hand, it was the closest I could find to nature without either being in the middle of a war zone, or heading out into the country. I never know when I'll be needed, so I try to stay within either Gotham or Metropolis for speedier response time."
Kyla's face brightened at the thought of being able to do something for the lady who was helping her so much. "Have you ever been to the north end of the hydroelectric dam here in Metropolis?"
"I have passed by the front of it before," Gypsy said with a slight frown. "But I don't remember seeing much greenery."
"Behind and to the sides, there are some steep hills leading down to the water. There are trees and bushes and such left to grow however they want, without all that formality they have in Chinatown." Kyla offered excitedly. "I think it would be perfect for you! Folks tend avoid it due to how rugged it is. That's where I slept last night, though I kept worrying that I was going to slide down the hill and into the water."
"Thanks, Kyla. I really appreciate it. I'll be sure to check it out. I really need my nature recharge times, and they're getting harder to find these days. Hopefully heroes and villains alike will continue to leave that area alone. It is one thing for them to break the mass transit systems. It would be another to interrupt the power that all factions in this ongoing battle need in their everyday lives."
Sensing that the teen could use some quiet time to herself, she left Kyla to get settled in at her place and headed into Midtown Metropolis. She wasn't going to get any more downtime with her brain now spinning with ideas, so she might as well not only check out the area that Kyla had mentioned, but also to start tying up a few loose ends.
Business before pleasure, of course, Gypsy thought as she entered the Midtown Metropolis Police Department. A quick query as she entered referred her to a "Mister Conlon" who was serving double-duty manning a desk, as well as selling gear to random heroes.
"I'm selling ..." the fresh-faced man in a suit began. She could tell from his tone and the look on his face that he had said his spiel far too many times, and was heartily tired of it.
"Pardon the interruption, but I'm not buying. They told me I should speak with you to file a report on a homeless teen that I found."
"They're a dime a dozen these days with everything going on. Give her this pamphlet on local youth shelters, and hope that she not only follows through but that they have room for her." He pushed a pamphlet across the desk to her, then started to turn away, clearly dismissing her from his mind.
She slid the pamphlet back towards him. "Thank you, but it is a bit more complex than that. I'll try to be brief, since your time is valuable, and I can then provide further details if needed." Gypsy hurriedly added, forcing the man to turn back to her. "She's a 16-year-old heroine, thanks to the accident that happened when she and her twin were transformed. The twin's gone villain, the dad's walked out, the mom's mentally checked out, pinned all the blame on her, and kicked her out of the house. I can and will give her a home at my place until something better can be arranged."
"That's good of you, but the shelt-" he began with a frown, only to be interrupted.
"Sir, we both know the shelters and Social Services are overloaded. They're also not well-suited to handling depressed teenaged metas. There's a real danger that she would fall through the cracks, or that Lex Luthor would get his hands on her by bribery or deceit. We do NOT need him experimenting on any more metas, much less a vulnerable teenage girl. Add in that the twin is tangled up with greed demons, and keeping a decent but impressionable teen out of harm's way is a Really Good Thing."
Those last two points thawed the petty bureacrat's demeanor quite a bit. "Good points. So, if you're going to take her under your wing, erm, paw, erm ..."
Gypsy waved off his fumbling for words. Now was not the time to get her fur ruffled if she wanted to have this fellow helping, rather than hindering her efforts. "I'd rather not get charged with kidnapping. I'd like to leave my contact info, and her name with you, just on the unlikely chance that one of her parent's comes back to their senses and tries to pull her back into that toxic household. Having Metropolis's finest solidly on my side if that happens, so they can be stalled until she can file for emancipated minor status could be the saving of this girl." There. Often the local police resented the heroes and villains tromping all over their jurisdictions, so the fact that she was coming to them and politely asking for their assistance might soothe a few ruffled feathers and make it easier to get the assistance she needed.
"Gotcha. Let me take down the information and start the word spreading through the other precincts right away! And, um, sorry about the paw-thing, ma'am."
Gypsy then headed to the other end of the station, where she'd heard that the Green Lanterns were recruiting. Once there, her cat-pupiled green eyes widened in surprise as she saw a familiar face. "Drisch! I was going to stop in to see if they could pass a message to you, and here you are!"
"That's Recruiter Dri-" the Green Lantern paused in mid-word. "Well, Mreeannallyrr Prrrtan, as I live and breathe. Have you been hiding yourself in stasis for the last few decades? You don't look like you've aged a single day since you saved my life out in sector 2816! What brings you to this embattled planet?"
Gypsy blinked rapidly to counter the sudden sting in her eyes. After the destruction of her world by Brainiac, there were few beings in the universe that had ever bothered to learn her full name, and fewer still that remembered it. It had been many, many long years since she had heard it uttered by a friend.
Thus, it was with the greatest respect and appreciation that she responded, "My apologies for the informality while you're on duty, Recruiter Drisch." She gave him a smile and a respectful nod of her head. Chivying hotheaded humans into wielding the power of Will was likely not an easy task, and those standing near him needed to know that he was deserving of her every respect. "The promotion suits you, I must say. As to what brought me here, I arrived here rather by accident, but I have stayed due to Brainiac. And, I, um, stopped by to cash in on that favor."
"If it is within my power and doesn't conflict with my duties, I will be happy to aid you in any way possible, my lady. I owe you my life, after all." he returned gravely, and ushered her into a currently unoccupied office where they could speak more privately.
Once the door was closed behind them, Gypsy got down to the purpose of her visit, "I've found a talented teenager in need, and I think she would make a good Lantern."
"I can make no promises. We have selection criteria, and many hopefuls lack the proper Will to finish their recruit phase. We also tend to want them to have reached adulthood first, as this is a difficult path to walk." He tilted his head and clopped his protruding tusklike teeth together. "But you know all that, and you never struck me as being the sort to make frivolous or unreasonable requests. Another of your hunches?"
Her own laugh was rueful as she spread her furred hands wide, careful to keep her clawlike nails retracted. "Yes, another of my infamous hunches. I'm not asking for preferential treatment for her, just that someone meet with her and see if she would suit your needs as well as I think she would -- and that you folks would suit her needs as well." Quickly, she outlined what Kyla had been through and what she viewed as some of the girl's main strengths and weaknesses.
Drish listened attentively, then responded, "Considering that, if not for one of your hunches, two Lanterns would have died that day instead of just one, I would be honored to at least meet this young human. I trust your hunches and your judgment."
Gypsy's eyes brightened at his response, but she replied gravely, "I am most appreciative. Since you are so busy here, and I do not wish to get her hopes up unduly after what she has been through recently, how about if I make dinner for us at my place after you are done your shift tomorrow? I remember enough of your dietary preferences that I can put together a meal suitable for our three races. Until and unless you decide to recruit her, all she will know is that an old friend of mine is visiting for dinner."
Drisch bowed. "I fear I will end up deeper in debt to you, as I remember quite fondly your cha'veth stew."
Gypsy laughed. "I may have to get creative on the ingredients on such short notice, but I'm good at improvising in the kitchen!"
Kyla was the only one of them that was surprised when, after dinner the next night, Drisch not only invited her to become a Green Lantern recruit but also offered to personally mentor her.
Gypsy merely grinned and winked, "It was all because of the cha'veth stew, right?"
Volt Sisters #5: Twins
"I guess you want your space back after all." Kyla stared down at the dishes they were cleaning up now that Drisch had left. While her face was partly hidden by her pose, her entire posture spoke of her conflicted feelings.
"Nonsense! I'm enjoying having you here," came the immediate reply. As the teen looked up with a "Yeah, right" sort of look, Gypsy continued, "No, really. You're well mannered and amazingly housebroken for a human teenager. You're pretty good about cleaning up after yourself. You give me someone to chat with, instead of me just talking to the potted plants all the time, too!" She injected a note of teasing into her voice as Kyla's face continued to wear a troubled frown. "So, what's really bothering you?"
After several long seconds, as Kyla debated on several responses, she blurted out, "You're not just giving me a place to stay so you can make sure I don't turn out like my sister?"
Gypsy flicked a couple soap suds from the sink at Kyla. "Pffft! If I thought there was true danger of that, I'd not have let you into my home. I'd not have invited my old Lantern friend over. And he most definitely would not have recruited you for the Green Lanterns." She then decided that full honesty was the best way to go. "Yes, I asked him over here as a favor to me to see if you'd make a good Lantern. But that's all. He knew, and I knew, that if you didn't suit, that was all there was to it. He'd not have recruited you if you weren't what they were looking for. I did this not for me, to get rid of you, but for you, in hopes that it would give you a few more options regarding your life. To give you a feeling that you had something under your control instead of feeling you had to be a healer due to what the exobytes dropped on you. Options are good, options are a happy thing. Besides, I'd rather you not leave here for a while."
Kyla's face was a study in confusion and surprise at that last comment. "Why not?"
"As mentioned before, I like your company. Also, it isn't safe for you to live on your own until you've got a bit more legal status protecting you. Even then, I'd rather you were somewhere safe until you were a bit more settled with the Lanterns or we can help you find a safe place to call your own. Lex Luthor is using some very shady means to grab metahumans to supposedly study their powers, and, I've heard some truly Bad Things about what happens to them. And, well, your sister's so-called friends may also try to use you to keep her in line. It won't hurt for them to know you're being watched by myself and the Lanterns, and thus aren't as vulnerable and as tempting a target. I may be a healer, but I am also a grumpy old redhead, and they'll think twice about messing with me." Gypsy grinned, showing off a mouthful of very pointed teeth.
Kyla's face seemed to crumple in on itself at the mention of her sister, so Gypsy shooed her to a chair at the table. "Sit. The dishes can wait. It is time for the promised talk about twins, in hopes that maybe you'll be able to let go of some of that guilt and worry that I know you're still lugging around."
"Forget everything you've been told by "them" regarding identical twins. It doesn't matter if "they" were parents, other relatives, friends, teachers, what have you. Just forget it all and please listen for a few minutes."
"All that being an identical twin means is that you start out sharing the same looks and genetics. Yes, when you were very young, you likely had very similar personalities, due to your closeness and how you shared pretty much everything. Eventually, however, differences in your personalities should have started to appear, even if you still did pretty much everything together."
"But why ...?" Kyla burst in.
"I'm getting to it. It usually starts with little things. A simplistic example would be a breeze on a hot summer day. One of you gets cooled by the breeze and feels refreshed, creating a positive link in your mind between good things and breezes. The other has the breeze blow dust into her eyes, making her even more hot and irritable. So she doesn't think so well of breezes. Something that basic and simple can change your mood and outlook a tiny bit. Even such tiny little things add up over time. And think of any time you were separated for whatever reason - maybe one got sick before the other or one of you ran errands with one parent while the other was with the other. Each of you had different experiences, and even if you told each other all about it afterwards, it wasn't quitethe same as truly experiencing it firsthand."
"Very tiny, little things, like grains of sand, start building you into unique and distinct individuals. As time went on, I bet you started liking or disliking different things, as well, based on all those tiny little individual changes."
Kyla bit her lip and nodded slightly, "She- She used to hate doing household chores. Since Mom always assumed that if she saw one of us doing the chores, we both were, I usually did them so we'd not get into trouble." Her tone turned bitter, "Mom and Dad were big on punishing both of us when one of us got into trouble, too."
"I'm guessing that, as you got older, Kyra kept acting up more and more as rebellion for your Mom trying to force you to be perfect clones of each other, and you kept trying to keep the peace while covering up for her."
The teen blushed, which was all the confirmation that Gypsy needed.
"So, you have two teens that have started growing in very different ways. And there is nothing wrong with that. Even your sister's acts of rebellion weren't anything horrible or unforgivable, I am betting, or you'd not love her as you do. But, you're human teenagers, and that makes for quite the emotional roller coaster due to all the chemical changes your body and brain are going through thanks to hormones. At the best of times that makes for some rocky moments, even between twins. But you didn't have the best of times. You already had a sister that was coming to resent you because of the expectations of others. She wanted to be an individual instead of just someone's twin. It was easier to blame you, than to blame everyone who lumped you two together as a single unit. Just like it was easier for your Mom to blame you for the split in the family, rather than taking a closer look and realizing that, as a parent, she had to take responsibility too."
"Then the accident happened, and you both changed, and it all came to a head before you two could properly talk it out. While your sister still worries about you, she allowed herself to be lured by the words of greed demons. She wanted to be valued, and they convinced her that she was deserving of taking anything and everything that she wanted to take. A part of her regrets that choice, but the other part of her revels in it."
"I didn't tell you all that about her!" Kyla exclaimed, confused.
Now it was Gypsy's turn to bite her lip. "Well, I sort of ran into her today on my way back here from shopping for ingredients for dinner and we talked --sort of. I hadn't told you sooner because we got immediately busy on dinner, and I didn't want you upset when our guest arrived. So, now, I'll tell you all about it."
Volt Sisters #6: Just Call Me Skippy
Created: 2016-06-27 12:55:42
Last Modified By: Niami Denmother
Last Modified on: 2016-10-27 07:32:12
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