Title: Let Me Help You Author: galactic-vagabond422 Characters: Lordes Gutierrez, Blueline (OCs) Timeframe: Set in @greyjedi125 's excellent RPG Marvel Heroes: A New Breed sometime after the events of the game. Genre:Romance Rating: PG-13 Summary: A young woman finds her hero in dire straits, in need of help. Though he refuses, she insists. He saved her, now it was time for her to help him. Disclaimer: Marvel and related properties are the property of Disney. It was a late night in the city that never sleeps but one person was going to, she had an 8am class and she wasn't going to miss it. Lordes Gutierrez, daughter of the local bodega owner and all around good guy Ernesto, was tucked up in bed getting some much deserved sleep. She'd just finished closing up the shop, letting her father head off early. The light from the street lamps fell on her books on management and accounting. Real page turners those, but it was what she was studying. While her passion was ballet and dance, she loved her family, and the little store that they ran. Her father came from Puerto Rico with nothing, and now he was a store owner and fixture in the neighborhood. She wanted to keep the store alive, keep it running long into the future. It wasn't always fun, but it's what she wanted in her heart. Though she hadn't given up dance entirely. She was startled awake by a deep resounding clang, and the hiss of an alley cat. She wasn't usually a light sleeper but the noise was so close that she had to wake. Carefully she looked out the window, her heart racing. While her father might be respected, that didn't stop thieves and thugs coming around and trying to hustle her father for money. She'd had her own run-ins with the unsavory characters. Her hand shook just a little as she looked down from the second story to the back entrance to the bodega. In the dim light of the bulb over the door she saw a familiar figure. It was a man, slumped against the stoop of the back door. Even from here she could see the blue hoodie, and blue bandana, her eyes widened. It was him, the hero, the azure guardian, the protector of the downtrodden, Blueline. He seemed injured, or messed up. She'd never seen him like this, slumped against the wall barely moving. She sprang out of bed and made her way down stairs. Opening the door to find the bandana hero huddled in the corner. "Blue?" She asked looking down with an arched brow. The young man looked at the latina Emma Watson standing before him in pajama pants and a t- shirt. "Oh," The hero started to stagger to his feet. "Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you." He leaned heavily against the wall. "I'll…" taking a step he nearly fell over, Lordes was there to catch him. "You're not going anywhere." She said looking at his chest, a mess of blood with bullet holes and knife slashes. The blood shined a little in the light, it was fresh. "What happened." She said trying to guide him back inside. "It's nothing, I'm.." he made a weak attempt to pull away from her but her grip was stronger. Though she did get a good look at his back. Yet more bullet holes, and blood, this sweater was barely hanging on his frame. "No you're not, now come on." She tugged on him a little harder and he stumbled a little falling against her shoulder. He was stubborn, but it came from a place of care. He didn't want to bother anyone or be a nuisance, but made it difficult to try and take care of him. It must have been some fight, she'd seen him roughed up before, found him on the back stoop of her family's store but nothing like this. As quietly as she could she brought him upstairs to the simple apartment she shared with her father. "Where's Aegis, or Psion, your partners?" She asked, opening the door to the bathroom. Blue was silent on the matter, he was off doing his superhero thing, alone. Turning on the light she could see the grime and dirt on the side of his face, along with some dried blood. "Look at you, you're a mess." Gently she moved a lock of dark blonde hair from his eyes to behind his ear. Her hand brushing along his cheek and down his bandana, coming away with a black smudge. "Aren't I always." "Ai ai ai," she said shaking her head. "This is no time for jokes. You need a shower and sleep." "No, I'm…" He made a move for the door with all the grace of a newborn deer. "Just stop...stop Azul," she put her body between him and the door, blocking his exit. She knew him, he would fight but he would never lay hands on her. He wouldn't try and push her away. "Just stop, you've helped me, you've saved me, now it's my turn to help you." Blue looked at her, just like her father, won't take no for an answer when it came to helping him. As she stood in the doorway, he could see his blood lightly staining the side of her clothes, the side he leaned against her. "Sorry...for making a mess." He said looking at her and gesturing to the red stains. She looked down a little surprised that she'd gotten that close to him. She must have been so wrapped up in getting him inside she never considered, or even thought about him being...Her heart started to race just a little. "It's fine, I'll just use some peroxide." She looked away trying to hide the darkening of her cheeks. "Not the first time I've had to clean blood stains." It wasn't, mostly from his old hoodies, or the last time he left a bloody mess in the store. "There's towels under the sink." She stepped out, closing the door as she did. Behind her the door locked. Did he really think she would try and peek? She bit her lip just a little at the thought. Blue on the other side of the door hung his head. He was tired, worn down, that last fight took a lot out of him. He still wasn't sure what he was doing but he knew he shouldn't be here. Though it wasn't as though he could back out now. Turning on the water he left his shredded bloody clothes on the tiled floor. Dirt grime and everything else washed off of him in the warm shower. As he grabbed the bar of soap he felt the butterflies in his stomach. He was using someone else's shower, using their soap. It felt wrong and it made him question everything. Without really thinking about it he grabbed the first shampoo bottle his hands came across. Only realizing once he started lathering that it was likely Lordes's. Unless her father was a fan of fruit infused and scented shampoos. Lordes, made sure to hear the shower running before she walked away from the door. She gave her now bloodstained pajamas a good scrubbing with peroxide and cold water wash before hanging them to dry. While changing her clothes she looked through her dresser for things that might fit the hero currently showering in her bathroom. The lamp on her desk that had seen better days provided all the light she would need. The hero stood taller than her, was broader than her. She should be rifling through her father's old clothes but she didn't want to wake him, on the off chance he was in his room and not sleeping in the store room. She found a pair of yoga pants and an oversized sleepshirt, it would do for now. Blue carefully opened the door, dressed in his same ratty clothes he came in with. He tried to step quietly but Lordes was right there waiting for him, leaning against the wall. "Hola Azul." she said quietly, not looking up from her phone. "Thanks for the shower." Blue replied, keeping his voice quiet as well. She looked up to him, seeing his hair long and wavy with a little curl falling just between his eyes. Her eyes followed down seeing his dingy clothes. "Change into these." She said pushing the shirt and yoga pants into his arms. Once again he was in no place to argue, and he was so exhausted he didn't even feel like putting up a fight. In a haze he was pushed back into the bathroom and began to change. Lordes's heart skipped a beat as she watched him start to take off his shirt. She saw just a bit of his abdomen. Parts of him she'd only ever seen flashes of through the cuts in his clothes. There was a moment of temptation as she thought of staying, of watching him. Listening to her better nature she did close the door letting him change in peace. It was only a few moments later that the hero in blue came stumbling out, the light catching in his wet hair and in the pink shirt dotted with white and rose colored love hearts. On her the shirt was baggy and loose. On him it was a little closer to his frame, his arms almost on full display as the sleeves rode up to his shoulders. The dark spandex of the yoga pants showed off his legs strong and just slightly muscled. He looked to her with a smile, she could always tell when he smiled. It was the way his eyes would crinkle a little, that slight twinkle in his brown irises. "How do I look?" His voice sounded tired, his eyes upon closer inspection were drooping and bloodshot. The man needed sleep. "You look great." She stepped closer to him feeling a pit in her stomach. He was here, standing before her in all his glory. No one else was here, not Aegis, not Psion, not anyone. It was just them. He stepped towards her only to lose his balance and find his back resting against the wall. She moved closer to him, putting her hands on his chest before she even realized what she was doing. His body was warm, just a little damp from the shower. She looked up to him searching for some sign, some signal to stop. He never gave one. She stepped a little closer moving her hands up to his broad shoulders. Again he didn't move but looked at her with a hazy gaze that made her heart want him more. A little closer and she could feel his chest against hers, feel it rise and fall with his breaths. Slowly she moved her hands up his neck running her fingers through his hair. Taking a deep breath she smelled her scented shampoo on him and she could feel herself start to melt into him. His arms remained at his sides, making no attempt to stop her as she pressed deeper and deeper into him. There was a part of him that knew he shouldn't be allowing this, he should stop it, but he was just so tired, and it had been so long. So long since anyone was this close to him, since anyone ran their hands through his hair. He let himself be lost in the moment looking down at her with a bit of need in his eyes that he hadn't intended to be there. Lordes's heart was pounding in her chest as she looked up at him. Getting slightly on her toes she craned her neck up. This would be a perfect moment, a perfect kiss, if something wasn't in the way. Her hands moved further up brushing against the knot of the bandana. She wanted it off, to see him for the first time, to kiss him with nothing between them. As her fingers tightened around the fabric, Blue snapped into action, the haze of his exhaustion and emotion disappearing in an instant. His hands wrapped around her wrists, not so hard to leave a bruise, but harder than he would have ever wanted. She yelped in shock as he pulled her hands away from him. Slowly he brought her hands away from him, subtly pushing her just a bit back. He was silent as she was now only two steps away from him, but it felt like an ocean between them. "Sorry." Was all he said as he let go of her hands. "It's ok, I shouldn't have…" She pulled her hands close to her chest. "No, I shouldn't hav...I should go." He took a single step towards the stairs. "No, no please...please stay." Her voice cracked with emotion. She reached out to grab his wrist but held back the aftershocks of him laying hands on her still resonating through her. He looked to her, her warm brown eyes pleading with him. He knew he should leave, it had gotten too far already it was time to leave before it got worse. But, his mind was clouded, old memories, and old feelings were roaring back with a vengeance. "I do need to sleep." He moved into her room, giving her view of his rear 'JUCY' printed across it. "I'll sleep on the floor." He said, turning to see her covering her mouth. "You alright?" She just nodded her head, unable to open her mouth for fear of laughing. Though she did have to agree. "Ok," the Azure Guardian laid flat on the carpeted floor closing his eyes and starting to sleep. Lourdes carefully stepped over him and climbed into bed. As she settled in she looked over the edge seeing him bathed in the light of the street lamp. "Do you need a pillow?" "I'm good." He answered with his trademark caring, self sacrificing tone. It didn't stop her from grabbing one of her pillows and dropping it down onto his face. "You didn't…" "Just take it." She huffed rolling over so she didn't have to see him out of the corner of her eye. Blue settled down resting his head against the pillow and closing his eyes, falling quickly to sleep. It had been a long day...and even longer night. Lordes couldn't sleep, her heart was still racing. He was right there, right on her floor. She looked over her shoulder and he was still there. This wasn't just another one of her dreams. She could remember the first time she met him. A dark alley in the middle of the day, a burly thug had grabbed her wrist threatening her with a broken beer bottle. He wanted her jewelry and her wallet, both of which she was about to give to him. Until out of nowhere this blue blur crashed into the mugger. After it was all over he looked at her with a smile, even though his shoulder was bloody from the beer bottle the thug drove into it. He seemed unaffected by the crushing blows the other man put on him. "You alright?" He asked in that gentle caring tone. From that moment on, she couldn't help but feel a little warm in her heart thinking of him. She was too ashamed to admit it to her friends, but she had a crush on a hero, and maybe, just maybe, he liked her back. She thought back to the moments leading up to now, the shower, the closeness they enjoyed if even for a moment. Her frustration smacked her in the face as she recalled the moment everything changed, the moment she tried to remove his mask. Her mind was flooded with what ifs, what if she didn't try to do that, what if she just held him close, what if she just kissed his chest. The frustration grew as more fantasies danced through her mind. It was so close, the moment was there she could feel it. A tear ran down her cheek, it felt like this would be the only time she would have him like this, that he would be this close to her. And it all slipped away from her. She rolled over shutting her eyes tight, hoping against hope that he would still be there in the morning, that she could get another chance. All she wanted was another chance.