Ed was bored.
He sulked around the manor, hands jammed in his pockets and a frown set heavy on his face. There was nothing to do. Wilford and Dark were off on a ‘business deal’ (a date), the Googles and Bing were in their shared office working on upgrades, the Host was currently live on air, Dr. Iplier was at his job at the hospital, the Jims were on some big news story, Bim Trimmer was at his studio, King was out frolicking with his ‘subjects’, and the Silver Shepherd was off fighting crime in the city with Jackieboy Man. He was alone, and he was bored.
Somehow, Ed managed to loop back around to his own room, his mood growing sourer with every second that ticked by. Usually he himself had something to do; running a business wasn’t exactly easy, especially in his line of work. But his had been doing wonderfully lately; there was no need for him to step in. Sighing heavily, the cowboy stepped into his room and promptly collapsed face-down on his bed, letting out a long, drawn-out groan. He shifted until he was lying on his back, uncaring when his hat fell off, and watched the ceiling fan spin in a lazy circle.
What could he possibly do to entertain himself?
Ed scanned his room with dull eyes, seeing if he had anything to fulfil his needs. Gun cabinet, desk, bookshelf…He sat up, propping himself up on his forearms when he spotted what was hanging loosely off his bookshelf. He raised an eyebrow. Why the Hell not. I already embrace most stereotypes. A grin slowly formed. And Silver is due home relatively soon…
With that thought in mind, he grabbed his lasso and headed to the backyard.
Ed was waiting when Silver came home.
He had been practicing since he walked outside, preparing for the moment Silver flew overhead. Well, as overhead as the exhausted hero could get; he usually couldn’t manage much height after a long day. And to Ed’s luck, he spotted Silver hovering only ten or so feet off the ground, perfectly in range, a few miles out.
The cowboy ducked behind one of the many trees on the outskirts of the yard and waited.
Within no time Silver came hovering over the backyard, seemingly fully intent on just flying straight through his window and collapsing into bed. Ed stifled a laugh, then reared his arm back, preparing for his throw. He waited, as patiently as he could with excitement racing through him, for Silver to come perfectly into position, then threw.
He had to admit, he had damn good aim.
The lasso wrapped around Silver’s torso, and Ed pulled, cinching it tight and pinning the hero’s arms to his body. He let out a delighted laugh. He was expecting Silver to panic and struggle, which he certainly did. What he wasn’t expecting was the feeling of his aura washing over him, and then suddenly the end of the rope he was holding was looping around his wrists in a messy yet sturdy knot. His arms were yanked above his head, and Ed found himself dangling from a tree branch, feet a good six inches off the ground.
Now, Silver was still caught in the other end of the lasso, and he came rocketing to the ground, cape wrapped around him like a cocoon and struggling wildly. He never quite made it to the ground, however; he was stopped short, rope biting painfully at his skin even through his costume. In fact, he was the weight that suspended Ed off the ground. Both of them hung from the tree like twin Idiot Piñatas™.
Silver continued to struggle, his movements causing the rope to dig into the skin of Ed’s wrists, making the cowboy wince. “Ow! What the fuck, Silver!”
Silver stopped struggling (not that he could do much anymore anyways; in his previous movements he’s managed to get his feet tangled in the rope as well, so now he was suspended completely upside down), and he lifted his head. “Ed?! What the Hell?!” He shifted again, head going limp.
Ed winced again. “Stop fuckin’ strugglin’, Silver!” He instinctively kicked his feet, scrambling for any sort of purchase, of course to no avail.
Silver tensed, realization dawning on what little of his face Ed could see through the mask. “You…you lassoed me! What were you thinking?!”
Ed hissed through his teeth, clenching his fists. “I don’t fuckin’ know! I was bored, and you’re any easy target! Literally!” He sighed. “Can you get us down? I’d rather not stay here until King comes wanderin’ back in from wherever he prances off to.”
Silver closed his eyes, going limp in their bonds. He levitated a little bit, then immediately dropped, jarring Ed and making him yelp. “No! My hands are stuck in my cape, plus, you know, the rope you looped around my wrists and torso, and I’m too tired to even hover, let alone fly over this goddamn branch!” He kicked his feet in frustration, only succeeding in getting them more tangled. “Fuck!”
Ed let out a pained laugh. “Never heard you swear before, Silver! It’s a good look on you!”
Silver shot him a withering glare. “I have to call Jackie. He’s really our only option. So shut up, unless you don’t want to get out of this.” Ed obediently clamped his mouth shut, glancing upward at his wrists and sucking a sharp hiss of air when he saw how red and rubbed raw they were already. About a minute later Silver let out a sigh of relief. “There. If he got the message, he should send back a reply soon.”
Ed raised an eyebrow. “What did you do?”
Silver stared at him through narrowed eyes, seemingly debating if it was worth the effort to explain it to him or not. “As ‘superhero’ egos,” he started slowly, “our auras are wired differently. We may not be powerful enough to manifest them, but we can still use them. Jackie and I set up a communication system via aura back when we first started working together. Speaking of which, he should –”
Silver was cut off by a high-pitched whistle piercing the air, making Ed’s ears pop. It only lasted about ten seconds, but it was still long enough to have Ed twitching, on the verge of pain. “What the fuck was that?!”
Silver grinned. “Jackie. He’ll be here soon, but apparently Anti is, and I quote, ‘living up to his glitch bitch title and refusing to stop fucking with the kitchen appliances.’”
Ed gave a disbelieving huff. “You got all that from a ten second whistle?”
Silver shrugged. “Shorthand.”
The cowboy kicked out again, glancing back up at his wrists. “So what do we fuckin’ do in the meantime?”
“Well…For starters you can tell me why the fresh Hell you thought it’d be a good idea to lasso me!”
Ed rolled his eyes. “I told ya! I was bored!” He clenched his fists again, feeling his pulse pound against the rope. “This is your fuckin’ fault. You didn’t have to panic like ya did.”
The hero’s mouth dropped open in shock. “My fault?! You lassoed me! What were you expecting to happen?!”
Ed bristled defensively. “I don’t know! Certainly not gettin’ strung up in a tree with you!”
“In other words, you weren’t thinking. Of course.”
“What is that supposed to mean?!”
Silver rolled his eyes. “Ed, no offense, but you’re not exactly the smartest person on the block. I’m not calling you stupid, per se, ‘cause not everyone can run a…a business, if that’s what you call it, but you just…you don’t think, at least not thoroughly.”
Silver’s words only made Ed bristle more. “What do you have against my business?”
“Are you serious?! You’re a child trafficker, Ed! You can disguise it all you want with fancy, vague titles, but that’s what you do! Everything you stand for goes against everything I believe in! It makes my skin crawl!”
Ed flinched. “Jesus. Could ya be a bit more harsh there, Silver.”
Silver glanced away, letting his head dangle limply as he stared at the ground. “Sorry. But I’m not gonna take it back.”
Ed sighed, dropping his head back to stare up at the sky, ignoring the rivulets of blood beginning to run down his arms. “Okay. I do get what you’re sayin’, Silver. What I’ve gotten myself into…it’s not for the light of heart.”
Silver shook his head. “You’re a criminal, Ed. Do you realize that? It just…it feels wrong to me. I can’t understand why you would do it, let alone build off it.”
Ed was disturbingly quiet, festering something in his mind. When at last he spoke, his voice was oddly soft. “Would you turn me in?”
Silver’s jaw dropped, eyes going wide. “No! No of course not, why would you think that?! I may not agree with your occupation nor your distinct lack of morals but I wouldn’t betray you like that, or any of you guys!” He paused. “You’re family. I wouldn’t do that to family.”
Ed opened his mouth to reply, but then suddenly something was dropping out the sky in front of them, and then Jackieboy Man was hovering in front them, grinning like mad with his hands on his hips. “Hey guys! Need a hand?”
Ed snorted, cheeks flushing as he twisted his wrists, ignoring the spike of pain. “Cut the shit and get us down!”
Silver offered the other hero a smile. “Please?”
Jackie snorted a laugh, still giving them a shit-eating grin. “Fine, fine. But you’re goin’ t’tell me the story of this little scenario later, right Silver?”
“Sure, just get us down!”
Jackie’s eyes began to glow a brilliant green, and then seconds later a bright beam erupted from them, sheering through the rope easily and shooting off through the trees. Ed and Silver both dropped unceremoniously to the ground, Jackie cackling above them. Ed bounced back up, quickly loosened the ropes around his wrists and stripped them off, yelping and spitting curses all the while as the torn and bloodied skin was aggravated further. “MOTHER FUCKER!”
Jackie stopped laughing, drifting closer with his arms dangling and his legs curled up a bit. He gently grabbed one of Ed’s hands. “Ooooh, that looks bad. How long were you two hangin’ there, anyway?”
Ed snatched his wrist away, shooting the Septic a glare. “Nothin’ I can’t handle. Besides, Dr. Iplier’ll be in soon.”
“He’s not here? Do you guys want me to go grab Schneep?”
“Nope! We’re good, but uh…could I get a little help?” Both egos turned to face Silver to find him still on the ground and smiling sheepishly. Rope was still wrapped firmly around his body, pinning his cape around him like a cocoon and further trapping his arms. Jackie immediately backflipped back through the air, resuming his laughter. Even Ed chuckled a little. Silver’s face grew a bit more panicked. “…Guys?”
Jackie took a moment to collect himself, limbs dangling like he was lying on his back on a table. “Sure buddy! Want me to use my lasers again?” He offered a cheeky grin.
Ed was pretty positive Silver paled beneath the mask. “That’s not necessary! Just loosening the lasso will be fine, thanks!”
“Lasso, huh?” Jackie drifted closer, following Silver’s command. “This story keeps getting’ more interestin’ by the second!” He helped Silver stand, then righted himself, hands back on his hips. “Welp, I’ve gotta blast! When I left, Marvin was gettin’ attacked by the coffee machine, JJ was battlin’ the microwave, Robbie was cowerin’ in the corner, Schneep was shoutin’ nonsense in German, and Chase was getting’ eaten by the refrigerator. Who knows what state the house’ll be in in the five minutes I’ve been gone!” He turned to Silver, pointing a finger in his direction. “And you better have this whole story ready t’spill tomorrow!” Silver gave a thumbs up, and then Jackie was gone, shooting back off in the direction he came.
Ed raised an eyebrow. “Energetic fucker ain’t he?”
Silver laughed. “You have no idea. Jackie isn’t even the worst of them. The one time Anti got his hands on coffee Jackie had to call me in to help with damage control.”
Ed snorted, then turned to the other. “Well, we may not agree on most things, Silver Shepherd, but…we’re still both a part of this crazy, bat-shit family.” He offered a hand. “Truce?”
Silver grinned, shaking Ed’s hand in return, though subtlely avoiding his wrists.