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dS snippet: "Sunlight and Superpowers"

Title: "Sunlight and Superpowers"
Fandom, Pairing: due South, pre-teen RayK/Stella
Rating: G
Challenge: Originally inspired by the "Superpowers" Challenge over at ds_flashfiction. Actually written for ds_snippet's Challenge 85, prompt: sunburn
Length: 300 words
Notes: Beta'd by the esteemed omphale23. These characters belong to Alliance/Atlantis, I just feed them when they follow me home.
Summary: Who wants to leap over a tall building in a single bound, anyway?

The sun beamed down on the playground like a death ray. The little kids' monkey bars were too hot to touch, never mind climb. Ray and his friends crouched in the shade under the trees, panting. The city’d shut off the hydrant, and Mr. Nowicki yelled he’d tan their hides if they opened it up again.

It was too hot to play, too hot to even think straight.

Petey kicked things off by wishing he could fly. Pretty soon all the guys were pitching in, coming up with superpowers. Super-strength. Invisibility. Mind reading. Chris topped them all by wishing for x-ray vision so he could see what was under girls’ clothes. Everyone took a minute to think about that one.

Ray found himself drifting in the sudden, sweaty stillness. He scratched at the peeling sunburn on his arm, remembering his last dance lesson with Stella, the way she smiled at him as they moved together to the music. The way her smile slipped away when he missed the turn and stepped on her foot.

So when Petey asked what superpower Ray wanted, he blurted out the truth.

“I wanna be able to turn into somebody else,” Ray said.

The silence that followed wasn’t the good kind; it was the kind where everybody was thinking he was some kind of freak. Ray covered up as quick as he could. “So if the bad guy tried to fly away, I could turn into Superman and catch him, or if there was some treasure hidden underwater, I could turn into Aquaman and swim to it.”

The guys agreed that was a cool power and let him off the hook.

Fred Astaire, John Lennon, James Bond, Joe Namath. He’d be whoever it took to put a smile on Stella’s face and keep it there.

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
j_s_cavalcante
Sep. 17th, 2008 02:16 am (UTC)
Awwwwwwww! and again, Awwwwww! I love pre-teen Ray SO MUCH.

And it's so him to slip up and tell the truth there. So him.

*hugs him*

*and you*

keerawa
Sep. 17th, 2008 01:36 pm (UTC)
*hugs back* You and me both, JS! Ray's gotten really good at preparing for and covering up his little slips of truth by the time we see him in canon.
luzula
Sep. 17th, 2008 07:05 am (UTC)
Oh, Ray. This is so him. And I like the "death ray" thing in the beginning.

Also, identity really is your theme. : )
keerawa
Sep. 17th, 2008 01:37 pm (UTC)
Death Ray! identity really is your theme. God, it really is. This much self-knowledge is frightening. I looked through my WIP folder last night, going, "Oh look. Identity themes again. And he's lying about it."
luzula
Sep. 17th, 2008 02:38 pm (UTC)
Hee. I say go with it. : )

I don't think I know what my theme would be...Of course, nature always crops up in some way in my stories, but I don't know if that's really a theme.
keerawa
Sep. 18th, 2008 01:42 am (UTC)
Hmmm. Off the top of my head, I'd say that your focus is on the web of relationships among and between people. Romance, family, friendship.
luzula
Sep. 18th, 2008 08:57 am (UTC)
How are you so insightful? Yeah, I think that's it. Even more so when I look at my WIP folder.
malnpudl
Sep. 17th, 2008 07:46 am (UTC)
I'm with JS on the Awwwwww! Lovely heart-tug.
keerawa
Sep. 17th, 2008 01:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks Mal!
ichthusfish
Sep. 17th, 2008 07:12 pm (UTC)
Aww.. that's just beautiful. Sweet with a twinge of sadness kind of way. And at such a young age too. Can totally see this :)

*pulls RayK into big hugz*
keerawa
Sep. 18th, 2008 01:43 am (UTC)
Yay, you see the sadness! Thank you, icthusfish, snippet-writer extraordinaire.
brigantine
Sep. 18th, 2008 05:05 am (UTC)
Aww, kid!Ray seeing himself as not good enough for Stella, and wanting so hard to please her that he's willing to not even be him.

He's already our woobie!Ray. *smishes him*
keerawa
Sep. 18th, 2008 05:48 am (UTC)
The whole class issue just makes it that much harder for him to ever feel worthy. We have planted the seeds of extreme woobieness. Thanks, brig!
nos4a2no9
Sep. 19th, 2008 01:44 am (UTC)
Awwww, wee!Ray! Wonderful snippet, K - I loved the sensory details of the heat and the sunburn on Ray's arm, and what you were able to show us about him in that moment where he answered the question honestly.

Also, we can add this one to the pile about identity ponderings. It's such a Ray answer, and it's fabulous.
keerawa
Sep. 20th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it, Nos! Ray's just so damn malleable, you know?
(Deleted comment)
keerawa
Apr. 6th, 2011 01:35 pm (UTC)
RayK is pretty damn tragic, isn't he? Thanks for all the feedback, princessofg!
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )