Totally Spies Porn Story: Firecracker Chapter 1

Totally Spies Porn Story: Firecracker Chapter 1

Beverly Hills High School. Perfection condensed into a single building. Its students were all of the highest caliber, doing everything they could to excel in their chosen fields. A few were meaner than others, and existed outside of the perfect throng of course. Mandy was one, using her power, money, and female ‘asssets’ to trick boys (and a few girls) into doing her bidding. But she wasn’t the only one by any means. Every school had its rough cases. And this one was no different.

Donna Ramone grunted as sweat poured down her body, clothed in a thin tank-top over a black sports-bra and a pair of short shorts. Her muscles rippled as her fists tore into the punching bag in front of her, slamming into it with more than enough force to render a grown man unconscious. Actually, they HAD done just that on several occasions.

Alex watched from the other side of the bag as she held it steady, very glad she’d never wound up on the receiving end of Donna’s fists. She’d come close when they first met, but thankfully the brutish woman had decided against pounding her face into a pulpy mess.

“That’s some swing you got there.” Alex commented as one particularly heavy punch nearly pushed her off her feet through the bag. Donna grinned and hunched over, panting heavily as the sweat rolled down her body.

“Nothin’ like a good workout.” Donna panted, wiping her forehead with the back of her gloved hand. “You sure you don’t wanna take a couple swings Firecracker?” She asked companionably. Alex smirked at the nickname, but didn’t comment. Donna had given it to her because, as she’d put it, ‘she looked docile one second then exploded the next.’

“Nah, I can’t afford to get all sweaty, I’m meeting my friends after this.” Alex replied.

“Come on, I just wanna see what you got. See how much bite there is behind that bark.” Donna stepped back and gestured to the punching bag.

“Well… one couldn’t hurt.” Alex smiled and stepped up to the bag, putting her fists up in front of her. Donna moved around the bag to hold it as Alex wound up her punch and threw her fist forward with all her might. Her fist hit the bag… and glanced off, barely moving it.

Alex blushed when Donna started laughing. “Wow… my little sister has more force than that.”

“Hey, punching isn’t my thing.” Alex grumbled, shaking out her fist. “I’m more of a kicking person.”

“Kicking eh? Let’s see one of those then.” Donna got back behind the bag and grabbed hold of it. Alex lowered into a full fighting stance, her foot scraping against the ground as she centered herself.

She whirled with lightning speed, her well-exercised thigh lashing out. Her foot slammed into the bag with enough force to knock it back, sending Donna flying to the floor on her back. Donna stared at the ceiling in shock as Alex rushed to her side and knelt down.

“Oh my gosh! I’m sorry! Are you okay!?” Alex exclaimed worriedly. Donna blinked, staring up at her.

“That was amazing!” Donna sat up, her eyes staring into Alex’s with a newfound respect. “Damn, you got some legs on you. You could stop a charging bull with those deadly weapons.” Alex was blushing furiously and rubbing the back of her neck.

“Awww… stooooop…”

“I’m serious Firecracker, what do you do to keep that kinda shape? I’ve never seen you in the gym. Are you a superhero or something?” Donna pushed herself to her feet, eyeing Alex appreciatively.

“Ehehe… or something…” Alex’s blush deepened even further.

“Tell me, have you ever considered taking those legs pro?” Donna wrapped one arm around Alex’s shoulders companionably. She still stank of swear after her long workout, but Alex wasn’t about to say anything.

“Pro? As in what?” Alex asked confusedly.

“Friendly competition. You know, winner take all. I bet you could whoop them all if you wanted to.” Donna told her seriously. Alex cocked one eyebrow, staring up at her. She wanted Alex to fight for prizes? She was pretty sure that was illegal… but wrestlers did it all the time, and she said it was just a friendly competition.

“Sure… I mean it’s just a friendly competition for fun right?” Alex asked.

“Nothin’ but fun.” Donna smiled and slapped her on the back, nearly shoving her off her feet. “Swing by my place later tonight and I’ll take you down to where it’s happening. I gotta hit the showers right now.” She turned to leave.

“Alright, I’ll see you tonight.” Alex called and waved after her tough friend. When she was gone Alex turned to leave the gym, jamming her hands into the pockets of her blue-jeans as she made her way toward the mall and the Groovy Smoothie Shack where Clover and Sam were probably already waiting for her. Indeed they were, looking up when she entered.

“There you are.” Clover smirked. “What’s the hold up? You’re delaying a very important shopping spree.”

“Sorry. Donna wanted to talk to me about doing something t…” Alex stopped suddenly, remembering. “Oh gosh… I’m so sorry you guys, I completely forgot tonight was our official Spider-Man 2 party. I just made plans with Donna.”

“Don’t sweat it Alex.” Sam smiled gently. “I think it’s good that you’re making more friends at school. You can’t pal around with me and Clover ALL the time, we all need our own private social lives too.” Alex smiled. She was right, Alex had never quite been the most popular girl in Beverly Hills High outside of her closest friends. She’d spent the first half of high school stuck behind soda machines.

“You talk like YOU have a social life.” Clover grinned teasingly, earning a sharp glare from Sam.

“My point is, go ahead with Donna. We can catch the movie another time.” Sam concluded.

“Awww thanks you guys!” Alex ran around the table and wrapped both of her friends up from behind in a tight hug. “You’re the best! Now let’s go buy some useless stuff we have no reason to want!”

“Now you’re talking.” Clover grinned and pushed herself up from the table, followed by Sam, who was still sucking idly on her smoothie. “Come on, there’s this new little shop right beside KB Toys that looks totally wicked!” Clover darted out of the shack, running through the mall while her friends followed more slowly.

The day was spent shopping for absolutely nothing. Wasting the day away until the sun began to move down toward the horizon. Alex looked up through the skylight overhead, seeing the sun going down. She turned to her friends. “Sorry girls, I have to go meet Donna soon. We were going to go to some kind of event tonight.”

“Sure, we’ll catch the movie tomorrow.” Sam replied.

“Definitely. Clover, you mind if I borrow your car?” Alex asked, putting her hands in front of her pleadingly. “Pleeeaaase?”

“Yeah, sure. I’ll catch a ride home with Sam.” Clover pulled out her keys and tossed them to Alex.

“Thanks. See you girls!” Alex caught the keys and ran off, making her way to the garage where she searched for a good twenty minutes before finally finding Clover’s car. She climbed in and took off down the street toward Donna’s house, growing more excited by the second. She’d never done anything like this before, and especially not with someone like Donna.

She pulled up outside Donna’s house shortly. It was a pretty tiny place compared to the mansions that made up the rest of Beverly Hills. Even the driveway looked small, not even looping back to the street again. It was just a straight line up to a small two-car garage. She’d never known Donna was so poor…

She made sure to put on the parking break before walking up to the door and knocking. Her heart was racing, though she wasn’t sure why. It was just a small competition with a friend. It shouldn’t be THAT exciting.

Donna pulled the door open and looked her up and down. “You’re wearin’ that?” She smirked.

Alex blinked and looked down at herself. It was just a plain pair of blue jeans and a sleeveless black blouse with a pair of thick leather biker boots. “What’s wrong with the way I’m dressed?” She asked curiously.

“Come on, we gotta get you spiffed up.” Donna pulled her inside and practically began yanking her clothes off. “I’m not walkin’ in there with the Pretty Girl of Bev High.”

“Sorry…” Alex blushed lightly.

“Here, try these…” Donna pulled open her closet and started flinging clothes at Alex over her shoulder. Alex quickly slipped them on, turning to look at herself in the mirror. The wore a black sports bra underneath a dirty T-Shirt with a Pentagram on the front, but had the star portion replaced by a heart. On her legs she wore a pair of rugged looking loose-fitting blue jeans, and a faded red bandana was wrapped around her forehead. On her arms she had a pair of thick blue pads that covered her wrists. She kept her biker boots.

“Wow… I look… dirty.” Alex commented.

“Ya look the part.” Donna put one arm around her shoulders. “Come on, let’s get goin’.” She turned to leave, closing and locking the door behind her before heading toward the driveway. She stopped when she saw Clover’s bright-pink convertible. “Hot damn, Firecracker…”

“I thought we could go in style.” Alex smiled, walking up beside her. Donna looked over at her with an appreciative smile.

“Suits me. I’d like to see them all piss themselves with envy.” Donna leapt over the driver’s side door, landing easily in the passenger’s side and leaning back with her hands behind her head. Alex climbed into the driver’s side the normal way and started the car.

“You’ll have to tell me where to go.” Alex said as she pulled out of the driveway. So with Donna’s occasional directions, they glided down the street in Clover’s convertible until Donna suddenly yelled for her to stop. The tires screeched on the ground as Alex slammed on the breaks, bringing them to a stop beside a small alleyway entrance where several scruffy and dirty looking people watched them curiously.

“Whoa… it’s like stepping into another world.” Alex climbed out of Clover’s car, sticking the keys in her pocket. “I never knew there was anything like this in Beverly Hills.”

“‘Course ya didn’t.” Donna remarked, walking around the car to join her. “Image ain’t about how little riffraff there is, it’s about how few people know about it. Come on, we gotta sign you up.” Donna grabbed her wrist and pulled her into the narrow alley. They emerged into a fairly large area flanked by buildings on every side with only two alleys providing access. It was large enough to comfortably contain two hundred people, though there were significantly fewer than that mulling about tonight.

Donna pulled her toward a small wooden desk set up against the wall, behind which a man with dark brown hair but a silvery goatee watched them with sharp, calculating brown eyes. “Donna, it’s been quite a while. You finally gonna step back in the ring?” He smirked.

“No such luck for you.” Donna replied coolly. “I’m signing up Firecracker here.” Donna put an arm around Alex’s shoulders and pulled her into plain view, as she’d been cowering behind Donna before. “She’s gonna be the next Donna ‘Destroyer’ Ramone.”

“There’s only two other people signed up tonight. And both of ’em would love to get a hold of a… person like her.” The man’s eyes swept up and down Alex’s body in a very disturbing manner. Alex could practically see him drooling. She wrapped her arms nervously around her torso, but Donna jerked her out of that quickly.

“Sign her up anyway.” Donna stated.

“Alright. Her loss.” She man shook his head and scribbled something onto his book. Donna grabbed Alex and pulled her away from him into the crowd of people.

“What did he mean…? You guys wouldn’t let them… er…” Alex trailed off, not wanting to say it.

“It’s anything goes.” Donna replied. Alex gulped. “Don’t worry, just put ’em in too much pain to care about that.”

“You said this was a FRIENDLY competition…” Alex whined softly.

“It IS friendly, just… don’t let it get TOO friendly.” Donna told her.

“Last call for bets!” A man shouted over the crowd.

“Knock ’em dead Firecracker.” Donna slapped Alex’s back, sending her stumbling into a small circular area in the middle of the alley. Alex’s eyes widened when she saw two men emerging from the crowd as well, both built like tanks with arms as thick around as Alex’s waist. They both looked at her confusedly, then exchanged a glance and a malicious grin. Alex gulped as the announcer beckoned her forward, looking around at the three of them.

“Okay, only way to win is to knock your opponents unconscious. Anything goes. Last man… person…” He corrected himself with a slight nod to Alex. “… standing wins. We have Muscleman,” He gestured to the one on the right. “Bonesaw,” he gestured to the other, then looked down at a small note that was passed to him from the crowd. “And… Firecracker.” He gestured to Alex. When he was finished with that he looked Alex straight in the eye. “Good luck.” He turned and ran out of the circle of bodies created by the spectators.

Muscleman and Bonesaw exchanged a grin, then they both turned on Alex at once. Alex backed away from them quickly. “Okay boys… let’s keep this friendly and nice okay?” She asked.

“Oh we wanna be real friendly girl…” Bonesaw grinned.

“Not what I had in mind…” Alex gulped again. She gasped as she backed into one of the spectators.

“Hey! Get back in there!” The man shoved her back into the circle toward her two opponents. Alex stumbled off balance, looking up just in time to see the two muscle-bound brutes bearing down on her.

She leaned back to avoid their grasping hands, leaping to her hands and bringing her feet up to slam the toes of her boots into the jaws of both opponents. She completed the flip and landed easily in a crouch, watching the two large men reel back holding their jaws. There was no more lust in their eyes when they turned back to her, just raw anger.

“Um… I’m sorry?” Alex grinned sheepishly. The men growled and lunged at her again, but she rolled to the side and darted away from them quickly. She tried to break through the crowd and get away, but they threw her back in again, this time slamming her to the ground on her back. “Hey! Come on, I don’t wanna do this anymore!”

“Too bad, we got you ’till you pass out.” Bonesaw grabbed her arms, holding her down while Muscleman walked up in front of her with a malicious grin on his face. “You shouldn’t have tried to challenge us girly, we happen to like feisty women.” They both laughed darkly.

“Come on Firecracker!” Alex blinked and saw Donna yelling from the crowd. “I know you can fight! What are you waiting for!? Do it!” Alex stared at her. She was right… what was Alex doing? She wasn’t some helpless little girl in a dark alley. She was an international spy, trained to bring down terrorists with her brains AND her brawn.

“I hope you’re not a newbie, girl.” Muscleman grinned as he got on his knees in front of her.

“Let go of me!” Alex brought her legs up and slammed the heels of her boots into Muscleman’s eyes. He screamed and fell back, but Bonesaw didn’t even have time to react before she rolled up and slammed the toes of her boots into his eyes, sending him back with a pained scream. Alex put her hands on the ground and flipped to her feet, moving away from them.

The crowd watched in a stunned silence except for Donna, who was whooping at the top of her lungs. “Go girl! Show those muscleheads what a ‘girly’ can do!” She shouted. Alex smiled at the encouragement as the now-blind brutes pushed themselves to their feet. Alex charged forward and leapt into the air, whirling and slamming her foot into Bonesaw’s jaw. He collapsed to the ground, but she’d barely landed before she leapt again, this time at Muscleman.

He managed to regain his sight just in time to see her coming. Her foot flashed like lightning, slamming into his face with the repetition and force of a jackhammer. It lasted only a few seconds before she landed in front of him, but one more backflip kick with both boots to his jaw sent him hurtling straight to the ground. Alex landed in a crouch, looking around to see both her opponents lying on the cold pavement.

For a few moments the crowd stood in stunned silence, staring at her like she’d just accomplished an inhuman feat. Alex stood up, afraid there would be a riot or something until Donna pushed through the crowd and ran up to her, grinning. She grabbed Alex’s hand and thrust it up high.

“THIS is the next ‘Destroyer’!” Donna yelled to the crowd. Finally the crowd showed some emotion, some cheering, some cursing that they’d lost their bet. Alex’s eyes swept the crowd, seeing a grudging admiration in the eyes of most, and others with an enthusiastic grin on their faces. Even a few whistles and hollers erupted from the crowd.

It was exhilarating as Alex looked across the crowd, her fist raised in triumph over her opponents. She never knew just how great victory felt. Not by a fluke, not because of some judges. Her own strength and Donna’s encouragement were the only factors here. The feeling followed her away from the crowd, with Donna pulling her out of the combat circle. Before she knew it they were in Clover’s convertible on their way to Donna’s place.

“I gotta say, you really surprised me.” Donna said appreciatively. “I had a feeling you could win, but you whipped them like it was nothin’.” Alex blushed slightly, a broad grin plastered across her face.

“Just a lot of practice I guess.” Alex replied.

“Well, here. Something to make your first victory even better.” Donna said. Alex looked over at her curiously, seeing her holding out a wad of cash. “I was the only person to actually bet on you.”

“Whoa…” Alex took the money in one hand, being careful to keep one eye on the road as she examined it. “There’s gotta be a few hundred dollars here.”

“Six hundred, actually. Including your victory prize.” Donna grinned. Alex blinked and turned to stare at her in amazement. “There’s a reason people come to these things. The kind of cash you can get from it is well-worth the risks.” Alex smiled slightly, shoving the cash into one of the pockets in her jeans. She was feeling pretty good, though a nagging doubt still clouded her euphoria. She dispelled it quickly. Sure it was dangerous, but so was her work with WOOHP.

She pulled up outside Donna’s house and climbed out of the car with her, walking up to the door. “Well, this has been pretty fun. I’m glad you brought me along.” Alex said as they stopped at the door.

“Who said the fun’s over?” Donna grinned slyly. “There’s plenty more cash to make and fun to be had. Hell, there’s another fight tomorrow night if you’re interested.” Alex quirked one eyebrow, intrigued. She was sure she’d be fit to fight again by then… but was this really something she wanted to make a regular occurrence? It was technically illegal… and she could be seriously hurt.

“Hey… you said anything goes. Does that include foreign objects?” Alex asked.

“Of course. Why, you got a sword or somethin’?” Donna smirked. “Remember that KILLING your opponents is discouraged.”

“Nah, nothing like that.” Alex replied quickly. “I’ll do it. I’ll be here tomorrow night at the same time to pick you up.” Alex waved and turned to leave.

“Take care of yourself Firecracker.” Donna waved after her and turned to go inside. Alex climbed in the convertible and made her way home, humming a lighthearted tune to herself even after she pulled up and skipped inside the large mansion. She didn’t know why she was in such a good mood. She felt like a movie star or something. Hearing those people cheer for her… it had been wonderful. Well, perhaps she could wow them even more tomorrow.

She made her way up to her bedroom and turned on her TV, popping in a DVD of the first Spider-Man movie. She pulled her clothes off as it played, realizing that they actually belonged to Donna. She would have to return them to her at some point. Tonight she was tired though. So she walked to her closet and pulled it open, looking back at the TV as she reached for her nightgown.

She jumped when a box tumbled out of the closet. “Oh shoot… my emergency gadgets.” She knelt down to pick them up and put them back in the box, but she stopped when she saw two Zipline Bracelets sitting on the floor. She stared down at them, then turned to watch Peter Parker web his way around a wrestling cage in the movie. “Hmmm…” A grin spread across her lips and dropped the bracelets on her nightstand, putting the rest of her gadgets back in the closet. She would have a big surprise for the audience tomorrow night.

The night passed as normal and she awoke the next morning, rested and ready to face the world. She got dressed in one of her normal outfits and made her way to school, where she found Sam and Clover hanging out in front of the main entrance talking.

“Hey Alex.” Sam exclaimed when Alex approached. “Did you have fun with Donna last night?”

“Yeah, lots.” Alex smiled. “She’s a really great person when you get to know her a little bit.”

“Wonderful for Donna.” Clover smirked. “So are we still on for the movie tonight Alex?” She asked. Alex paled, she’d completely forgotten about her movie-date with them when she agreed to fight again. “I’m guessing from your expression that the answer is no.”

“I’m really sorry girls… but I made more plans with Donna tonight…” Alex said apologetically.

“Hey, no sweat. The movie will be in theaters for a long time.” Sam replied.

“No, don’t wait for me. You two go ahead.” Alex said. “Don’t let me ruin your fun because I’m doing something else.”

“We’re best friends Alex, we wanted to go together remember?” Sam asked.

“I know, but I don’t want you two to keep waiting for me. Really, go ahead. I insist.” Alex said. Sam and Clover exchanged a curious glance, but Alex walked up to them and slung her arms around each of their shoulders. “Come on, please?” She gave them the widest eyes she was capable of.

“Alright fine… but we are still going to the mall today aren’t we?” Clover asked. Alex bit her bottom lip nervously. “Is that a no?”

“I have preparing to do…” Alex said softly.

“It’s no biggie. We go to the mall together EVERY day, missing one day doesn’t make a difference.” Sam said.

“Thanks Sam…” Alex smiled. After that the bell rang, and they all had to rush to their respective classes. Alex was suddenly not feeling so good about going to the fight with Donna tonight. She never blew off her best friends, and now she’d done it two nights in a row. She felt like the biggest heel ever… but she couldn’t change it now.

After school let out she left the school with Sam and Clover, walking toward the parking lot. “Hey, Clover… would you mind if I borrowed your car again?” Alex asked sheepishly.

“Where are you taking it?” Clover asked.

“Um… out…” Alex replied.

“Clover, give her your car. We’re both going to the movie anyway, you can ride with me.” Sam stated. Clover grumbled and waved her acceptance. Given that Alex still had the keys she didn’t really have to ask, but she wasn’t about to take her friend’s things without asking.

“Thanks Clover, I’ll drop by your place later tonight to give it back.” Alex promised.

“Yeah yeah.” Clover waved her off and walked to Sam’s convertible without another word. Alex exchanged an apologetic glance with Sam before turning to head for Clover’s car, reaching into her pocket for the keys. She would have to make it up to them somehow… maybe she could treat them to a nice dinner tomorrow. If she got half as much tonight as she got the night before, she’d be able to buy them a computer or something if she wanted.

Alex made her way home and locked herself in her bedroom, pulling out one of her spare WOOHP uniforms and a set of paintbrushes she’d thrown aside after giving up on her art class. She wasn’t the best painter in the world, but how much skill did it take to paint a bodysuit black? She spent much of the day doing just that, adding a few red splotches like fireworks before hanging it up to dry.

She did the same with the boots and gloves, then painted little fireworks on the black bandana she wore to her karate classes. She looked up from her work when she heard the phone ring. She grabbed the receiver and put it between her cheek and her shoulder so she could continue her work. “This is Alex.”

“Hey Firecracker, just wonderin’ when you were coming. You’re runnin’ kinda late. The fight starts in thirty minutes.” Donna said. Alex blinked and looked at her clock in surprise.

“Ah! Sorry! I’ll be right there!” Alex slammed the phone down and quickly changed into her new black and red Firecracker suit, pulling the bandana on to complete the ensemble. For good measure, she slipped a Zipline Bracelet onto each wrist before running out of the house, jumping into her car to race toward Donna’s house.

When Donna opened her door and saw her she gave her a really strange expression. “Who’re you supposed to be?”

“Uh… Firecracker.” Alex blushed. Donna blinked, then grinned and let out a barking laugh.

“I like. Let’s get going.” Donna grinned. Alex smiled back and they turned to leave the house, making their way to the same alley Donna had brought her to the night before. There were more people here tonight, milling about and talking among themselves. When Alex approached several of them just stopped and stared at her.

“They’re staring at me…” Alex noted.

“Word travels fast. Nobody’s ever won their debut fight, especially against two men triple their size.” Donna grinned. “You get to the starting circle while I go sign you up and place my bet.”

“Are you betting on me?” Alex asked.

“Who else?” Donna winked and turned to make her way through the crowd away from her. Alex smiled and pushed her way through the crowd to the center of the small alley/arena. There were three people already waiting there, but none as big as the bruisers she’d faced the night before. One woman who was sitting on the ground sharpening a long dagger with a rock looked up at her.

“You the new girl?” She asked with a smirk. When Alex nodded she climbed to her feet, looking her over. “You look like some kinda wannnabe superhero.” She laughed. “What, did you get bitten by a radioactive ninja?” Alex decided not to dignify that with a response. Don’t sink to their level… that was her plan. She was just here to have fun, not make enemies. “You’re mine, coward.” The woman stated plainly.

Alex remained solidly silent until the announcer moved to the middle of the circle, holding up his hands. “Tonight we have another free-for all. Anything goes, last person standing wins it all.” He stated before he started ticking off the names of the participants. Some used their real names, others used pseudonyms. He gestured to each of Alex’s opponents in turn. “Benjamin Cranker! Deathstrike! Kathryn Armstrong!” At the last name he gestured grandly to the woman with the blade, who was still staring at Alex.

“And in her second fight since last night’s stunning debut! Firecracker!” He gestured to Alex grandly, and the entire audience made noise. It was hard to distinguish what noise they were making, but to Alex at least some of it sounded like cheering. “Good luck to all of you.” The announcer turned to run out of the circle as the participants leapt forward to attack each other.

Within seconds the roar of the crowd turned her attention to one particular combatant, who’d just knocked out another with a hefty wooden baseball bat within the first ten seconds of the match. Alex whirled in time to see Kathryn’s blade arching toward her back, so she leaned forward and kicked one leg up, slamming it into her wrist.

“Agh! Damnit!” Kathryn yelled as the blade arched into the crowd. The audience members dove to get out of the way lest they be impaled. Alex stood up straight and whirled in a furious kick, but someone grabbed her from behind, yanking her out of it and holding her arms out to her sides.

“Agh! Hey! Let go!” Alex struggled to free herself, but the second attacker held her tight. Kathryn grinned and walked up to her, holding a different blade in front of her. “No fair!”

“What do you think this is, a wrestling match?” Kathryn grinned and raised the blade over her head. “All’s fair!”

“Fine!” Alex bent her wrist sharply and slammed her finger onto one of the buttons on her bracelet. A thin wire shot out of it, embedding itself into the wall beyond the spectators. Another button pulled her toward the wall, avoiding Kathryn’s stab and slamming the man who’d been holding her onto the ground, knocking him unconscious. He let go in a moment, and Alex withdrew the zipline as she rolled to her feet.

“What the Hell is that?” Kathryn demanded angrily.

“Anything goes, remember?” Alex smirked. Kathryn growled and charged again, but Alex fired her zipline higher up on the wall and jumped, being pulled up onto the wall above the heads of the spectators. She set her feet against the bricks like she was standing on it, hanging from the zipline.

“Get down here you coward!” Kathryn yelled furiously.

“Come get me!” Alex raised her other Zipline Bracelet and fired. The line wrapped around Kathryn’s legs and tightened, yanking her off of her feet and dragging her along the ground toward the wall. Kathryn yelled in surprise, scratching at the ground desperately. The crowd roared with laughter as she was pulled off the ground upside down, dangling in the air like a trapped rabbit.

“Put me down you coward and fight me like a woman!” Kathryn screamed.

“Put you down? M’kay.” Alex pressed the release on her bracelet. Kathryn screamed as she plummeted toward the ground head first. The impact knocked her unconscious instantly. The crowd was going wild, shouting congratulations and, for those who’d bet on her, victory praises. Alex couldn’t stop a grin from spreading along her face as she walked down the wall, supported by the zipline until she reached the ground and drew it back into her bracelet.

Donna ran up to her when she reached the ground, throwing her arms around her. “You did it Firecracker!” She laughed joyously, picking the smaller girl up and swinging her around. “Man, that was awesome!” the crowd around them was roaring with laughter and excitement. Alex herself was so full of adrenaline it felt like she would explode. They were all cheering for her. All this celebration was for her…

Finally Donna put her down with an ear-to-ear grin on her face. “Where did you get those wires?”

“Oh… just something I cooked up in my spare time.” Alex lied with a grin of her own plastered on her face.

“Whatever. Come on, let’s get our money.” Donna turned and pulled her through the crowd. Several people patted her on the shoulder and said ‘congratulations’ while others gave her dark scowls, as if they wanted to put a knife in her back right there. They approached the man at the betting counter and Donna slammed her palm onto it. “I think you know what I want good man.”

The man behind the counter shook his head and whistled. “I gotta admit Donna, you know how to pick ’em.” He looked at Alex appreciatively as he held out a rather large wad of cash. “She’s almost as good as you used to be.”

“Almost buddy, almost.” Donna smirked and turned to leave the circle, letting Alex follow behind her on her own. She flipped through the wad of bills on their way through the alley to the car. “Damn, this is a Hell of a haul… not as much as I used to get though.” She smirked.

“Can I ask you something?” Alex asked as they reached the convertible.

“It’s still a fairly free country.” Donna climbed into the passenger’s seat.

“If you were so good at this, and you loved it so much, and you got so much out of it… why did you quit?” Alex asked as she climbed into the driver’s seat and turned the ignition. Donna looked over at her, watching her pull away from the curb and drive down the street.

“Didn’t have much of a choice.” Donna smirked and looked back to the road. She reached down and rapped her knuckles against her knee. “Police raid of one of our fights last year. Took a cap in the knee and got a stay in the hospital before they shipped me off to juvie.” Alex flinched as she pulled up her pant leg, revealing a rather large scar on her knee. That explained why she always sat out gym class. “I don’t move so well anymore… but that doesn’t mean I’m done with the biz.”

“Police raid…” Alex muttered softly, suddenly not so sure she wanted anything to do with this ‘biz’. “Does… does that happen a lot?”

“Not really, that was the only one I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been going to these things since I was twelve.” Donna pulled most of the bills out of the wad she’d been given and held them out to Alex. “Here, your share.” Alex took it silently and shoved it into one of her suit’s pockets. “You alright Firecracker? You look kinda pale.”

“I’m fine…” Alex shook her head. “Just… thinking about Sam and Clover.” She lied quickly, not wanting her to know she was having second thoughts. She’d taken Alex under her wing, she couldn’t start second-guessing herself now. “We were supposed to go see Spider-Man 2 tonight.”

“Oh, well ya wanna go? My treat, for being such a good sport and getting me all this cash.” Donna winked.

“Sure… that sounds nice.” Alex smiled slightly. They turned toward the theater and made their way to it to see the movie. They made it inside without incident and took their seats. Donna crossed one leg over the other, one thigh touching Alex’s as they waited for the movie to start. Alex pretended not to notice, holding her popcorn in her lap and staring at the screen.

The movie started and ended seemingly minutes later, though Alex found it difficult to concentrate on it. What was she doing? She was breaking the law, and using top-secret WOOHP technology to do it. Still, there was something about this life… something more exciting than saving the world. She wasn’t sure what it was, but it filled her with feelings that she’d never known before. The thrill of victory, the pride in earning it with nothing but her strength and skill, the excitement of doing something forbidden… it was all so intoxicating.

As they left the theater Donna slung one arm around her shoulders. “I’m glad ya brought me here Firecracker. This was a pretty nice night.” She looked up at the stars. It had been a good movie, but Alex had the feeling she was talking about more than that.

“Yeah, it was.” Alex smiled back as they approached Clover’s convertible. “What made you think I was able to fight…? I mean, you only saw one kick.”

Donna shrugged as they climbed into the car. “That was a damn professional kick. You don’t get a kick like that without being able to kick some serious ass. I’m glad I decided not to fight with you, you woulda mopped the floor with me.” Alex blushed as she started the car. She didn’t think she was all that good… but then she had won both fights so far.

They drove in silence to Donna’s house, where they both climbed out of the car and walked slowly up to the door side-by-side. They stopped at the door and Donna looked over at her. “You wanna grab a bite to eat before you go?” She asked. Alex blinked as her stomach grumbled at the mention of food. She hadn’t eaten since lunch.

“Uh…” Alex blushed. “Sounds good.” Donna smirked and gestured for her to come inside, pulling her leather jacket off and throwing it to the couch as she passed. Alex closed the door and followed Donna through the small, disheveled house. The place was a pigsty, something she would expect a bachelor to live in rather than a teenage girl.

“So, where are your parents Donna?” Alex walked over to the couch and pushed some clothes aside so she could sit down.

“Hell if I know.” Donna replied. “Dad doesn’t come around much. He basically just pays the bills.” She walked back into the living room with a plate in her hand, on which a sandwich and potato chips rested. Alex took them with a grateful smile and started eating, watching Donna settle onto the couch beside her, sitting on top of a small pile of clothes.

“What happened to your mom?” Alex asked.

“Died.” Donna replied simply. Alex bit her lower lip.

“I’m sorry…” Alex murmured softly.

“Don’t be. It’s not like you did it.” Donna leaned back on the couch, staring at the ceiling while Alex ate her sandwich. The bread tasted a little stale and the turkey a little dry, but she wasn’t about to complain. She never knew Donna didn’t have her mother… was that why she was so tough all the time? Or was that just the way she was?

“What do you think, Firecracker?” Donna asked. Alex looked over at her confusedly.

“Think of what?”

“This life so far.” Donna swept her hand in a grand arch. “Money up the wazoo, fighting for it all, earning it all. I know you enjoyed the fighting… I saw it in your eyes.” Donna stared at her, her eyes boring deep into Alex’s.

“It’s… exciting.” Alex smiled slightly. A grin spread across Donna’s lips as she nodded.

“Tell me about it…” She said.

“It’s like… it’s all my doing. Everything else I do I have to answer to teachers… or bosses… or partners… or my mom…” Alex lowered the plate to the coffee table with the half-eaten sandwich and looked over at Donna. “When I was in there fighting… it’s like I was… free. No rules, no purpose, no reason… just doing.”

Donna sat up and leaned closer to her, a sharp smile on her lips. In her eyes Alex could see a tinge of satisfaction… and a bit of something else… understanding? Or perhaps lust. “It’s a great feeling, isn’t it? That kind of freedom and power.”

Alex nodded. “It is…”

“I don’t know what it is about you, Firecracker.” Donna said softly, her eyes narrowing though they never left Alex’s. “Everything seems so strange in your eyes.” One of Donna’s hands reached up to touch her cheek, as though she would reach into her brain and pluck the truth out.

“Well, I’ve never done anything illegal before…” Alex replied softly. “It’s still kind of… weird.”

“Wanna break more laws?” Donna scooted closer to her with a grin. Alex knew what she was doing, she knew… and she didn’t care. In fact, she found herself craving it. She’d never done anything like this before… any of it. This whole week was full of new experiences. Her brain knew they were bad. They were illegal… evil… immoral… wrong… and oh so exhilarating.

The following morning found Alex lying in Donna’s bed, a layer of sweat clinging to her body under the sheets as she stared up at the ceiling. Donna slept beside her, sprawled out across her side of the bed. Alex wasn’t sure if this was wrong or not. But it felt so right… and Donna had done so much to bring her such great feelings. How could it be wrong?

She pushed the blanket off of her body and climbed out of bed, approaching the open window through which the first beams of sunlight were beginning to filter. The wrapped her arms around her bare torso, watching the sun peer up over the horizon as the cool wind brushed pleasantly over her heated skin.

“You look like you’re thinking too much.” Donna said from behind her. Alex turned to see the tough girl sitting up in bed, smiling at her slyly. “Something wrong?”

“No… nothing wrong.” Alex gave her a genuine smile. Despite all her doubts, she felt pretty good. “But I should get home and get ready for school.”

Donna nodded. “Maybe you should. Bring a change of clothes next time will ya?” Donna winked. Alex couldn’t stop a blush from creeping across her cheeks, though she nodded and smiled back. She turned to pull on her black Firecracker outfit, knowing she still smelled of sweat and sex, but she would have time to shower when she got home to her clothes.

“I’ll see you at school.” Alex waved and left, taking Clover’s convertible home. She pulled up outside the house and rushed inside, sneaking past her mother’s bedroom to her own, where she peeled off the bodysuit and flung it aside before grabbing a change of clothes and heading into the shower to wash up. She didn’t relax until she’d washed herself thoroughly of the telltale smells that gave away her all night excursion.

When she was satisfied she was clean she emerged and got dressed in one of her normal outfits, throwing her Firecracker suit in the closet. By now it was already close to school time, so she grabbed her books and turned to rush toward the front door.

“Alex?” She heard her mother call from the kitchen.

“Sorry mom, I’m late, gotta jet!” Alex ran outside and hopped in Clover’s car, pulling out before her mother could give chase. She wasn’t sure why she wanted to avoid her mom, but she really was running quite late anyway. She approached the school and carefully parked, heading up to the large double doors that opened into their school. She stopped and leaned against the wall to wait for her friends.

She tapped her toe worriedly on the ground when the bell rang. It wasn’t like Sam to miss school… did something happen to them while she wasn’t there? Nah… they could take care of themselves.

Relief washed over her when she spotted Sam and Clover racing up the sidewalk to the school entrance. “Sam, Clover, you’re never late! What happened!?” Alex exclaimed worriedly. Clover came to a stop in front of her, glaring angrily.

“I had to call Sam to come pick me up at the last minute because SOMEONE didn’t bring back my car!” Clover shouted in Alex’s face. Alex gasped and put her hands over her mouth. She completely forgot she promised to give Clover’s car back last night… how could she be so stupid?

“Clover, calm down. It was an honest mistake I’m sure.” Sam said, putting one and on Clover’s shoulder. Clover was undeterred however, holding up her hand.

“Keys. Now.” Clover spat robotically. Alex jammed her hand in her pocket and held up the keys, which Clover snatched out of the air.

“I’m sorry Clover…” Alex reached for her, but Clover batted her hand away and stomped through the large double doors. Alex bit her lip and turned to Sam, who gave her a slight comforting smile.

“Don’t worry about her Alex.” Sam said. “She’s just a little touchy, she’ll be fine.”

“Yeah…” Alex sighed. Sam squeezed her shoulder comfortingly.

“Come on, we’re already late for class.” Sam pulled her inside the school, dragging her down the hallway toward their first class. Alex felt like a heel again. How could she have forgotten a promise to her best friend? She never forgot anything so important before. Was it the fights? The thrill? Was it corrupting her judgment? Or was it something else?

She hadn’t figured it out by the time school let out and she walked away from the large double doors, realizing she had no ride home. She stopped by the flagpole out front, sighing and looking around for someone to give her a ride. She spotted Sam and Clover walking away from the building, but Clover still had a furious look in her eye that Alex didn’t want any part of.

So she sighed and leaned against the flagpole, looking around for anyone else, but none of the faces around her seemed friendly. They all passed her by on their way to their own cars or the street to walk home. They filed past her, none taking notice of her until the school became completely empty. Other than Sam and Alex, she hadn’t seen any other friendly faces. With Sam and Clover always at her side, she’d forgotten how unpopular she was… how alone she was without them…

“Hey, Firecracker.” Alex looked in surprise to see Donna sitting on her bike on the street, the engine humming underneath her. “You look like you could use a ride.” She smirked and revved up her engine.

“Sure… I could use a lift home.” Alex smiled and walked over to her, throwing one leg over the back of the bike behind her. She wrapped her arms around Donna’s waist to keep herself on the bike as Donna took off down the street, speeding up quite a bit. “Um… aren’t we going over the speed limit?” Alex called over the rush of wind.

“Yup!” Donna shouted back gleefully. Alex squeezed her waist tighter as they weaved through traffic. Alex expected to slam into something, but Donna handled the bike like a pro, moving through the cars like she’d been riding her entire life. Finally Alex began to relax, and enjoy the sharp wind and the excitement of breaking yet another rule. Why was being bad so damn exhilarating?

“Wooohoooo!” Alex clung with her thighs and threw her arms up as they passed between two cars. Alex could’ve sworn one of them was Sam’s convertible, but she wasn’t sure. Oh well… she wasn’t on their best side right now anyway. She could understand their being mad, she would just give them space and time to cool off. Then everything would be fine again…

It turned out she was wrong. The more space she gave them to cool off, the more distant they became to her. When she finally did try to talk to Clover, she got brushed off for her trouble. What was the big problem? Well, at least she still had Donna and the fights to help keep her life stable. And the fights had only just begun.

This went on for two full weeks. Night after night she fought, gaining victory after victory. It seemed like there was no one in Beverly Hills who could stand up to her combination of WOOHP training and technology. She thought she would get tired of it, but the thrill never ended, and with Donna betting more and more each time, their cash prizes only kept growing.

Her relationship with Donna seemed to be changing though. It had started as something Donna suggested to break rules and have fun, but these days their lovemaking had become a nightly occurrence. And somehow it felt more… tender as time wore on. More than just fun… was she falling in love with Donna? This new world in which she found herself was so exciting… she felt so alive. And it was all thanks to her.

It was two in the morning, and she was once again buried in Donna’s bed sheets, lying against the tough girl with her head on her shoulder. They were both sweating and panting slightly, and Donna had her arm around Alex’s shoulders, holding her close. Alex felt comfortable in that embrace… secure.

“You know, firecracker.” Donna said, staring at the ceiling. “After tomorrow night we’ll have enough money to blow this place.”

“Leave Beverly Hills?” Alex looked up at her in surprise. Donna looked back.

“Well yeah. This place is strictly small-time as far as street fighting goes. The big bucks are in Vegas.” Donna replied. Alex blinked, staring up into her eyes. “You wanna make the big bucks don’t you? Besides, you’re not being challenged here anymore.”

“I guess… but my mom would worry if I just vanished.” Alex said. “Plus Sam and Clover…”

“Well it’s up to you if you wanna leave.” Donna shrugged. “We can stay here and make a few bucks a night, or we could go to Vegas and hit the jackpot in two weeks flat.” Alex stared up at her, her cheek still resting against her shoulder. Leave her friends and family? Drop out of school? This wasn’t like having fun… this was running away from her entire life.

But… the thrill beckoned… “I’ll do it.” Alex said softly. Donna grinned and squeezed her shoulders.

“I knew you were like me, Firecracker. Tomorrow I’ll hook us up with a more comfortable ride to Vegas… and right after your fight we’ll blow this Popsicle Stand.” Donna told her. “We’re moving onto bigger and better things, you and me.” Her hand caressed Alex’s shoulder as she closed her eyes, still smiling. “You’ll see…”

Alex snuggled against her shoulder, staring at the wall beyond. She was going to do it… she was leaving her old life. Sam, Clover, mom, high-school, WOOHP… all of it. For what? Money? Excitement? Donna? She didn’t even know… but her heart wasn’t as heavy as she figured it should’ve been. She was looking forward to it actually.

The next morning she opened her eyes to find herself alone in bed. “Donna?” She sat up, looking around the clothing-strewn bedroom. She pushed the blanket aside and stood up, walking to the bedroom door to look into the hall. She spotted Donna talking on the phone, wearing her the red leather outfit she typically wore to school.

“Yeah, thanks bud. I owe ya one.” Donna hung up the phone and turned around. She smiled when she saw her. “Hey Firecracker, our ride’s all set up. By midnight tonight we’ll be on our way.”

“Sounds good.” Alex smiled wistfully. “Well, I should get ready to go to school.”

“Why bother?” Donna asked.

“I want to say goodbye to Sam and Clover at least.” Alex replied. Donna stared at her for a moment, then gave her a smile.

“Sure, I’ll drive you.” Donna replied. So Alex nodded and headed into the bathroom to take a quick shower. She emerged fully dressed and ready to go, but she stopped to scribble something on a piece of paper. Donna’s bike got her to school in plenty of time, where she jumped off and turned back to Donna.

“Wait here a minute while I talk to Sam and Clover.” Alex said.

“I’ll be waiting.” Donna sat back on her bike’s seat, cutting the engine and looking around. Alex sighed and walked toward the school, spotting Sam and Clover leaning against the wall beside the double doors. She cleared her throat and approached them, walking tall and proud.

“Hey.” Clover said sharply.

“Hey…” Alex replied coolly, looking back and forth between them. She tried to play it cool, but she broke down and slumped her shoulders. “Look girls, we should talk.”

“Yes we should.” Sam replied, fixing her with a searching gaze. “We should talk about what’s been going on with you lately. You spend all your time with Donna. Your mom said she found your last biology exam, and you didn’t even do it. Plus she said you haven’t been home in a week. She would’ve called the cops by now if we didn’t tell her you were still coming to school.”

Alex blinked, unprepared for Sam’s speech. “Well… things happened…”

“WHAT happened?” Sam asked. Alex bit her lip and reached into her pocket, taking out the small note she’d written.

“Look, I don’t know if I should explain… but I’m leaving tonight.” Alex told them.

“Leaving?” Sam asked. Alex nodded and shoved the note into her hands.

“Give this to my mom when you get the chance…” Alex said softly. Sam grabbed her wrist firmly and held on. Alex looked up at her face, seeing the emerald green eyes staring into hers with a mixture of worry and anger.

“Alex, what is going on? You can’t leave, you have school and your mom and… y’know.” Sam hesitated to mention WOOHP in such a public setting.

“Yeah. I think that girl has gotten to you. Turned you into some kinda criminal like her.” Clover glared past her at Donna, who was watching them carefully.

“This is my choice. Not hers.” Alex replied.

“Well you’re making the wrong one!” Sam shot back.

“Let go of me!” Alex tried to pull away from her, but Sam held on, trying to pull her toward the school.

“You’re staying in school Alex!” Sam shouted. She yelped in surprise when Donna put her hand on her chest and shoved her back roughly, sending her up against the wall. Alex stumbled and fell to the ground when she suddenly found herself free from Sam’s grip.

“Hey!” Clover marched up to Donna, staring her down. “You don’t touch my best friends! And you give us Alex back right now!”

“I didn’t ‘take’ her! Maybe you just had no idea who she was!” Donna cracked her knuckles, glaring at Clover. They were the same height, but Donna seemed to tower over the blonde prep girl. “Now back off!”

“Make me, you brute!” Clover growled, clenching her fists and getting up in Donna’s face. Alex jumped to her feet and jumped between the two girls, pushing them apart.

“Enough! No fighting!” Alex looked back and forth between them sternly. In a moment her gaze settled on Clover. “I’ll miss you Clover… but I feel like this is something I have to do.”

“Why!?” Clover screamed.

“I don’t know!” Alex screamed back. She could feel tears building behind her eyes. “But I just have to do it! Maybe I’m trying to prove something to myself… maybe I want to do something new for a change… maybe I’m just tired of everything here. I don’t know… but I have to go.” The barely contained tears began to run down her cheeks as she met Clover’s gaze.

“Alex, please.” Sam walked up to them, rubbing her back where she’d connected with the wall. Donna had a lot of upper body strength. “Don’t do this. We need you… your mom needs you… and you need an education.”

“I would say I’m sorry Sam…” Alex said softly. “But the strange thing is… I’m not.” She stared into her redheaded friend’s eyes. She didn’t blink, and her tears had already dried. “I’ll come back when I find out what I want to go for… what it is I need.”

Sam stared at her, tears beginning to run down her cheeks now. “Alex…” she gulped and put one hand on Alex’s shoulder, squeezing it lightly. “Take care of yourself… and come back soon…”

“Okay.” Alex nodded, then pulled Sam and Clover into one giant hug. “I’ll miss you girls.” She felt Clover and Sam wrap their arms around her tightly, squeezing her until she pulled away from them and turned around. “And… give the note to my mom please Sam…”

“I will.” Sam replied. Alex nodded and walked away, with Donna walking right beside her. She was careful not to look back as she climbed on the bike with Donna, not relaxing until they took off down the street away from the school. The goodbyes were done, as hard as it had been… all that stood between her and Vegas now was one more fight.

The rest of the day was lost to the wind, nothing more than time wasted in her wait for a new life to begin. Soon enough, they climbed in the blood-red convertible Cadillac Donna had bought for their trip to Vegas, and headed down to the old back alley where the fights were held.

She was greeted with mixed cheers and scowls depending on whether they’d been betting on her or not. That old exhilarating feeling came back as she pushed through the crowd, letting Donna move away to sign her up and place her bet as Alex pushed her way into the middle of the crowd. She saw only one opponent tonight, a man with broad shoulders and rippling muscles. He wore only a loose fitting pair of slacks, bare-chested and barefoot. He was holding a staff in one hand, leaning against it.

“Lemme guess, Bruce Lee?” Alex smirked.

“Funny.” The man stood up straight and gripped his staff in both hands. “I hope you’re as good as they say. I need a challenge.”

“Any more clichs you wanna throw at me before we start?” Alex asked disinterestedly. The man smirked, but remained silent.

Alex remained silent as well as the announcer walked out into the circle, looking back and forth between them. “Alright, everyone place your bets. The increasingly infamous and undefeated Firecracker versus the also undefeated Tanchi. Remember, corpses are frowned upon.” He glared at Tanchi warningly. “And good luck to both of you.”

As the announcer left Tanchi lunged forward with lightning speed, swinging his staff into her face. Alex lurched to the side, but the staff slammed into her stomach, doubling her over it before hefting her off the ground and hurling her through the air. She hit the pavement hard on her shoulder, rolling to a stop several feet away.

“Urgh…” Alex lurched to her feet as quickly as she could to avoid being considered unconscious and losing the match. She shook her head clear of the fog, turning back to her opponent. He was smirking confidently with his staff at the ready.

Alex dropped into a fighting stance, trying to block out the whooping and hollering from the audience around them. She moved forward slowly, ready to act in an instant. Tanchi held his ground, gripping his staff in the firm but loose grip of an expert.

Alex lunged suddenly, whirling with a kick that could decapitate a small animal. But her thigh slammed into the staff, raised by Tanchi. Her leg wrapped around it, throwing her off balance while her opponent gripped the staff with both hands and brought it to the ground hard. Alex screamed in pain as her knee was driven into the concrete by all of Tanchi’s bodyweight.

“Hang in there, Firecracker!” Donna’s cry from the sidelines was the only thing that kept Alex from blacking out from the pain. It felt like her leg was split in half, but still she groaned and pushed herself up, trying to keep all her weight on her left leg. She was almost defenseless without both of her legs…

“You’ve got guts girl. Most ‘kickers’ give up after I snap their leg like a twig.” Tanchi smirked as Alex turned to face him, limping painfully. Alex crossed her arms up in front of her face.

“Come finish me.” She beckoned him onward with her index fingers. Tanchi leapt forward and brought his staff up in a wide vertical arc. Alex pressed the releases on her Zipline Bracelets, flinging the razor-thin wires forward. They both wrapped around the wooden staff on its way down to her head. She yanked her arms outward and reeled in the lines.

The razor-thin wires cut through the wood easily, slicing the staff into three pieces, two of which collapsed to the ground harmlessly at her feet. Tanchi stared in shock at the remains of the staff in his hands, distracted long enough for one steel zipline to crack like a whip against the side of his face.

“Aagh!” Tanchi howled in pain and lurched away from her. He collapsed to his knees, holding one hand over his right eye. Blood began to seep through his fingers as several people ran out to help him. Still, the announcer walked out and grabbed Alex’s hand holding it up in victory.

“Firecracker wins!” He shouted. The roar of the crowd was as usual split between those who voted for her and those who voted against her. She didn’t care about that anymore though, what mattered was Donna’s grinning face as she jogged up and wrapped her arms around her stomach.

“We’re gettin’ outta here!” Donna lifted Alex and spun joyfully. She set Alex on the ground hard, making Alex wince as her wounded leg touched the pavement. Donna didn’t notice. “Come on, let’s get our money and get going.” Donna wrapped Alex’s arm around her shoulders and helped her limp away from the fighting circle.

Alex looked back at Tanchi lying on the pavement. Blood was leaking through his fingers and dripping to the ground. It was the first time she’d caused that kind of damage to someone before… and for some reason, she didn’t really care. Was that right?

Donna collected their money from the betting agent and they turned to leave through the alley, with Donna practically carrying Alex by now. Her knee was aching like nobody’s business. She could barely stand it.

“My leg feels like it’s on fire…” Alex whined painfully.

“Here, let me look.” Donna set her on the hood of the blood red convertible and pulled her right boot off. Alex winced as she raised the leg of her jumpsuit up over her knee. Donna hissed when she saw it. “Looks dislocated… it’ll be fine, I’ll just set it here… but it’ll hurt like hell.”

“Okay…” Alex closed her eyes, feeling Donna’s hands grip her leg firmly. A swift yank and a crack sent a wave of pain coursing through Alex’s body, erupting from her throat in a strangled scream. She collapsed back onto the hood of the car, panting and trying to block it out. Thankfully, it only lasted a few seconds before beginning to dissipate.

Donna smiled slightly and picked Alex up in her arms like a child, carrying her around to the passenger’s side. Alex stared up at her as Donna set her on the seat and buckled her seatbelt, putting the boot on her lap. Donna walked around to the driver’s side and turned the ignition, starting it with a roar.

“We’re leaving now…?” Alex asked softly through her pain-induced haze. Donna smiled back at her and nodded.

“Yep. Say goodbye to the old school life, we’re moving up in the world.” She pulled away from the alley and took off down the street, toward a new life and a new adventure. Alex had left her compowder at home for the first time since joining WOOHP… she wouldn’t be needing it anymore. And through her pain-induced haze, Donna looked like an angel carrying her forward in life for the first time.

Was that what she wanted all along? Progress? Something beyond the cycle of beating an endless stream of megalomaniacal villains and failing term papers? Was that what she would find in Vegas with Donna? She could only hope…

TO BE CONTINUED

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