Devon has a secret. As secrets go, it's a pretty big one and hard to explain, if quick to say.
Devon's secret is, quite simply, this: he's a superhero. Only, Devon likes to say that he's a person who occasionally possesses powers that should, technically, not be possible for a human being to have - and that he uses these occasional powers to save people from evil masterminds.
Not that there is a lot of them, these days. Evil masterminds usually don't pass on the evil gene to their kids - and in most cases, they are too busy being evil to find girlfriends, much less reproduce. Whereas the special powers Devon has are pretty much a genetic thing.
Devon didn't really have a dramatic discovery of his powers, like most others with similiar abilities as him do. He didn't set his house on fire or wreck a car just by trying to open the door. In fact, nothing happened for so long that his parents were afraid no powers would develop at all.
Then one day when he was twelve, Devon discovered a kitten stuck in the tallest tree in the neighborhood, mewling in terror, and Devon was suddenly hovering between the branches in front of it. He'd reached out, settled the kitten in the crook of his arm and floated without trouble back down to the ground.
He set the kitten down and stood under the tree, trying to float back up, until the kitten has wandered off and Devon was shivering slightly from the cold.
The argument that waited him at home was stalled by Devon explaining what had happened, and though his parents were obviously disappointed he couldn't hover whenever he wanted to, it was obvious they were relieved that he was showing some sign of powers.
And well, after that first time, potentially dangerous situations keep occurring, and Devon keeps discovering that he can do different things to stop them, not just hover and rescue kittens from trees.
One of the problems he discovers pretty quickly is that because his power changes depending on the situation, he needs to be in shape and be ready for anything. It takes him a while to figure out the perfect training program, but once he has it down, he discovers he really likes the exercise. It's fun and since his powers are only there occasionally, it isn't unnaturally easy.
The other problem is the fact that he isn't supposed to tell anyone about it. The secret identities are there for a reason, but Devon doesn't really have a secret identity, he just avoids the chance for people to ask about his name, and he didn't really feel the need to tell anyone. It wasn't as though it was a career. Then Ellie tells him her brother has started calling him 'Captain Awesome', and he didn't start telling people that they had been saved by Captain Awesome, but the name just kept appearing on the lips of those rescued and those he was there to stop anyway.
He's engaged now, though, and his parents are disappointed that Ellie doesn't have a power, but they've given him the go-ahead to tell Ellie about everything anyway.
He'd just hoped he'd get a chance to actually tell her, except now he finds himself saving Chuck, Chuck's girlfriend and John Casey from Leisel VanHoff, and Chuck isn't all that great at keeping things from his sister.
Leisel's an evil genius that has been under careful surveillance for a while now - but she's been quiet, and the rules say Devon needs an actual devilish scheme to stop. There's no preempting the evil allowed.
Devon doesn't really notice Chuck and the others at first once he gets there. The chairs they're tied to are facing the giant screen and Leisel is standing in front of them, the start screen for the game thankfully still in place. There's no one brainwashed yet.
Leisel is explaining the brilliance of her plan, and Devon hears a small noise of surprise from one of the chairs as the flickering of the television screen is noticed. The magnetic force had made every piece of electronic equipment Devon had passed by overload. He's glad he was out of the apartment when his power came to life. Of course, the electricity required for Leisel's mind control video games is probably large enough that Devon will need to actually touch the electronics to destroy it.
Devon sneaks up on Leisel fairly easily, engrossed as she is in her gloating. Devon makes the mistake of looking at the hostages though - the would-be first victims of Leisel's mind control - and without thinking goes, "Oh, that is not awesome."
"Devon?" Chuck asks, sounding thoroughly confused. "What are you --?"
Leisel's cackling drowns out the rest of the sentence.
"Oh Captain Awesome, you're just in time!" Leisel says with glee. "You're so lucky I hadn't started the game yet! Now you can join in too!"
My real luck is that your henchmen are robots, Devon thinks. Henchmen complicate the job, but the magnetic force should've dealt with them already and Leisel - well, Leisel is an evil mastermind. All that plotting has made her scrawny.
Devon glances at where Chuck, Casey and Sarah are strapped to their chairs - but it's not like he can't do anything just because he doesn't want to reveal himself to them. Leisel doesn't try to run away from him, just continues smiling smugly at him, apparently not yet realizing that this is it for her. "Leisel VanHoff, the UPC has decided you need to be stopped."
"Where are my henchmen?" Leisel says just as Devon reaches out, twists her arm up behind her back. "What have you done to my henchmen?"
"Overloaded," Devon says, and she really is tiny. He can keep her in this position with one hand, the other reaching out for the control panel she's standing next to. His fingers barely make contact before the magnetic force fries the entire system.
Devon shields his eyes from the sparks that go flying, and he hears the hiss of the electric bonds of the chairs as they release Chuck and the others. For a moment he thinks this is really it, that this is all it took, and then he hears the sound of one of the electric cables snapping.
Devon looks up in time to see the loose cable head straight for Chuck - Chuck who is too busy untangling himself from the now dead electronics of the chair to realize the danger he's in and get out of the way. Devon's power is adaptation, so he's not surprised when he finds himself holding Chuck in his arms before he even realizes he let go of Leisel.
"It's actually you," Chuck says, dazed. "You really are Captain Awesome."
"We've got her," Casey calls out. Devon's surprised when Sarah and Casey come over, Leisel's hands tied behind her back and Sarah has a gun trained on her. "Woodcomb, you're coming back with us."
Devon nods and thinks that's a good idea - he needs to know what kind of people Chuck's gotten himself involved with.
They make him wait by a table at Orange Orange, all of them - even Leisel - disappearing into the stockroom. Devon's about to text Ellie that he met some old friends and will be late, even though it's only five, but then he remembers about the magnetic force. His powers always take longer to disappear than they do to appear.
Chuck shows up after not too long though. "Does Ellie know?"
"No, there were rules," Devon says at once. "But now that we're getting married, I'm going to."
Chuck nods and then glances back towards the door where Sarah, Casey and Leisel still haven't come back out from. "You can't tell her about this when you do. Casey wanted to threaten you, he still will, so don't be surprised if he corners you - but, the thing is, I work for NSA. It's important for our cover that you don't tell anyone."
"NSA?" Devon asks, thinking about the Chuck he knows. Chuck, who didn't notice the couch had been replaced until Ellie had pointed it out three weeks later. "You?"
Chuck looks momentarily offended then seems to remember that being Ellie's boyfriend means Devon knows a lot of things about him. "I'm a consultant for the NSA. Casey and Sarah - they're like my team."
Devon nods, because he understands the need to keep identities secret and consult work makes more sense. Consults usually don't get that much field work. "Does that mean that Sarah isn't really your girlfriend?"
Chuck blushes and glances to the storeroom. "Yes. We -- she -- they needed a cover."
Devon grimaces. "Sorry, bro."
"No, it's good." Chuck says as he smiles a little. "It's surprisingly okay. Sarah has this thing you need to sign though, so we have to wait before you can leave." Devon raises an eyebrow but nods. They're both silent for a moment, and then Chuck goes, "So this superhero thing, it's real?"
"Yeah," Devon nods. "It's a genetic thing. Both my parents have a power."
"So what's yours? Specifically?" Chuck asks. "I mean, you fried the entire system that Leisel was working on and you reached me pretty quick - Sarah said she'd barely heard the cable snap before you were there."
"It's not specific," Devon admits. "It's an adaptation thing. The power that'll save the situation is the power I get."
"That's...pretty awesome," Chuck grins and Devon grins back. "So you're like Los Angeles' very own superhero? Whenever there is evil to be defeated, you get called?"
"Chuck, please," Devon says, "There are cops now. I just get called in for the evil masterminds."
"Wow, I feel like my consulting job is way less exciting now." Chuck's lips quirk in a way that lets Devon know there's something he's not telling him. That everything really isn't as they seem, even now. "Consultant vs. superhero, I think deciding on the best frozen yoghurt flavors would be way easier."
"I don't know, Chuck," Devon says seriously, as Sarah appears from the back room, a pile of papers in her hands that Devon can only assume is a confidentiality agreement of some kind. "Pretty hard to choose between Half Baked and Cherry Garcia sometimes."
Sarah, to her credit, looks only slightly confused as she places the papers on the table in front of him. "I encourage you to read through them, Devon, before you sign anything. You can take your time; Casey will be here until you done. If there's anything you wish to ask, just ask him. Chuck and I are supposed to be on a double date with Morgan and Anna, and that was five minutes ago, so we have to go."
Devon glances at Chuck for a moment, but Chuck's grinning wide, like the fact that Sarah and him have to pretend to be a couple really is alright. "Have fun," he tells them, and waits until they're almost at the door before he adds to Chuck, "Don't do anything I wouldn't do, bro."
"Have fun with War and Peace, dude," Chuck shoots back and the door closes behind them.
Devon glances at the stack of papers and looks up at where Casey is leaning against the wall watching him. Casey makes a vague threatening growl of 'get on with it'.