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Over a Chestnut Coffee Table

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There wasn’t a particular occasion for Freddy Freeman to be at the Bromfield house, as the current day at Fawcett city was as normal as it could ever be. But despite his wondering thoughts, Freddy was never one to refuse an offer to spend time with a good friend.

Mary most definitely qualified as someone like that; qualified and then some. A compassionate soul with an idealistic mindset and inquisitive perception made Mary a person Freddy absolutely cherished his time with. 

He was sitting with her right now, right on the carpet of the Bromfield’s living room in a manner that was both quaint and charmingly child-like. What stood between them was the Bromfield’s chestnut coffee table, as well as a porcelain tea set and small food platter. His crutch laid leaning on the crouch as both of Freddy’s legs were underneath the table while Mary’s kept hers criss-crossed for the most part. 

Mary had insisted on serving tea when she invited Freddy over, which Freddy didn’t particularly oppose to. He wasn’t as fond of the drink as she was, but he found the gesture to be rather sweet. So who was he to say no?

“Does it taste good?” asked Mary at a casual moment. 

Freddy’s eyes were affixed on hers after he took a sip. “You bet, Mary.” He put the cup back down on the saucer, “Why wouldn’t it be?” 

“Just asking,” Mary admitted. “Am I not allowed to ask how good my tea making skills are?” 

“Oh, you are,” Freddy assured with an offhand grin. “But you know, if we’re allowed ask things here, can I ask about something else?” 

“Depends on what it is,” Mary answered, grabbing what looked like a scone from the food platter. “But go ahead, Freddy.” 

“Is Billy going to get upset that we’re spending time without him?” Freddy inquired curiously. Suddenly, his tone shifted into a more lighthearted direction that was best used for the act of joking. “I mean, Billy’s said a few times that he doesn’t think you should be alone with a ‘bad boy’ like me.” 

For added effect, he popped the collar of his white button-up to seem tough. (Despite the only effect that had was making him look like Elvis Presley.) 

A light chuckle escaped Mary’s lips as she rolled her eyes, “I don’t think so, Freddy. Billy’s across the country on ‘League Business’ or something.” She lifted her hands up to make obvious air quote motions. “I’m sure he won’t mind you me hanging out.” 

Freddy nodded his head in agreement, “I hope so, because I don’t mind either.” 

A mutual laugh was shared between the two of them, the act being emphasized with eye rolling and head shaking. 

When Freddy finished his snickering, he continued with his words, “But you know, if you ever feel bored, we could always just say the magic words…” 

In all honestly, the idea seemed very tempting to Mary. But even in mortal form, there was a part of Mary that told her to always do what was right and never take advantage of certain privileges. That part of her was commonly called morals. 

So in response, she shook her head, “Assuming you mean the ones that aren’t ‘please’and ‘thank you,’ then yes, we could. But I don’t think the Wizard would approve if we used our powers in that way.” 

“I know,” Freddy informed. “But it’s just a thought.” He glanced outside to a window for a moment, taking in the cloudless sky that stood above the Fawcett City skyline. “It’d sure be great to have a reason to fly today…” 

Mary knew what he was talking about, but not just, but as well as how he was feeling. Or at least, she knew why he would feel that way. 

Flying was one of the best perks to being a Champion of Shazam. With the million things there was to love about it; from the feeling of weightlessness above the clouds to the wind flowing through one’s hair, Freddy had absolutely fallen in love with it. He had learned to crave that feeling of freedom more than necessary, which some could see as a bad thing since the act of simply muttering ‘Captain Marvel’ was literally a breath away for him.

But Mary knew why he would love flying so much. Outside of his heroic life, what Freddy was left to revert back to involved crutch and a lame leg. Mary knew that she and Billy often felt uncomfortably grounded after reverting back from being the Marvels, but at least they could run, walk, and jump. Freddy couldn’t do any of that. 

He was much more grounded than any of them could be. There was a reason why Billy had brought injured Freddy to the Wizard after getting injured all that time ago. He wanted to save Freddy no matter what the cost, but even after giving Freddy the power to run at the speed of sound and lift a bus above his head, he would still be restricted to a life with a crutch and leg brace.

And reverting back to his mortal form after being Captain Marvel jr. for so long would only remind Freddy of that to a great extent. 

Mary’s thoughts had collected themselves by this moment, which allowed her to finally speak. She wanted to say something intellectual, therefore, she said: “It would be nice, Freddy. Most definitely.” 

“But I agree with you,” Freddy replied. “Wouldn’t want to get on a Wizard’s bad side anyway.”

“But if there’s trouble at any time soon, you know what we’ll have to do,” Mary reminded, winking at Freddy just slightly. 

He chuckled lightly and nodded his head, “Of course, Mary. Like nothing else.” Eyes affixing down to his cup, Freddy decided to get a refill from the tea pot. He reached over to the pot and took it in his hands. Once his cup was filled, he put the pot back. 

“Can you pass me a lemon?” Freddy asked, motioning over to a small bowl of lemon wedges that was closer to Mary. 

“Sure,” Mary agreed. She took the bowl and handed it over to him. 

“Thanks.” Taking a wedge in his fingers, he squeezed a portion of the fruit’s juice into his filled cup. However, as he did so, Freddy heard the sound of Mary making a slight yelping noise. 

“Hey!”

Freddy looked up and immediately, he noticed a small lemon juice stain on her blouse. She didn’t seem mad, but more humoured, as a more playful expression happened to be taking her face. 

“Sorry, didn’t think that’d happen,” Freddy apologized quickly. Putting the wedge down, he searched the coffee table for a spare napkin. But before he could, a few droplets of lemon juice squirting towards Freddy ended up distracting him. 

“Ahh!” Freddy exclaimed. He looked up once more to see Mary with her hand extended over the coffee table and a now squeezed lemon wedge in her grasp. 

Like her, he was just as humoured and playful, “No fair, Mary!”

In response, she only chuckled, “What? You got me first.”

Thinking quickly, Freddy knew he had to retaliate. Looking back to the bowl, Freddy’s mind told him to grab a lemon wedge and toss it at Mary. At this moment, Wisdom of Solomon be damned.

“Hey! Now you’re the one who’s not being fair!” Mary was pleasantly shocked at first, laughing as she searched for something to recompense with. A scone with a small bit of jam on it seemed to suffice. “I’m getting even!” 

Launching it with might that was luckily not backed up by the Strength of Zeus, the pastry flew towards Freddy. 

On reflex, Freddy ducked as quickly as possible. Therefore, the scone flew from Mary’s hand, past Freddy’s left ea, and all the way to a lamp sitting near the Bromfield house’s window. 

A loud crashing noise killed the mood instantly and replaced Freddy and Mary’s shared expressions of amusement to sudden looks or surprise and fear. 

“Uh oh…” Mary muttered in dread. 

Freddy was about to respond, but before he did, the sound of Mr. Bromfield from the house’s kitchen came down the hallway and into the living room. 

“Mary! Are you kids okay in there?” 

“Uhhh… everything’s good, daddy!” Mary responded quickly. 

“You sure?” came Nicholas Bromfield’s voice once more.

“Yeah!” Mary claimed, looking over at Freddy in hopes that he would come up with a explanation if her father were to enter the room. 

Luckily, he did.

“Blame Billy?” Freddy offered. 

“Billy’s not here!” Mary reminded in a whisper.

“Then blame Billy when he gets back?”