“Guys!” Henry burst into Pat’s garage, where Beth, Yolanda, and Rick were hanging out.
“What?” Yolanda asked, surprised at the redhead’s sudden appearance.
Henry took a deep breath. “I went to the hospital to visit my dad, and Jordan Mahkent was in the room. I read his mind, and I found out he’s Icicle.”
“What?!” Beth, Yolanda, and Rick exclaimed.
“Yeah,” Henry agreed. “Wait, where’s Courtney?”
“Oh, God,” Beth started, eyes wide. “She’s on a date with Cameron now.”
“Cameron? Cameron Mahkent ? Are you serious? We have to go find her!” Henry said, eyes wild.
Yolanda put her hands up. “Calm down for a sec. Courtney can take care of herself and Cameron’s really nice. I doubt he would hurt her.”
“I’m not taking that risk. You’re driving, Henry,” Rick said, walking toward the telepath.
“Are you just going to barge in and fight Cameron? What if he doesn’t have his father’s powers? What if he’s not even evil?” Yolanda tried.
“Do you even have a plan?” Beth questioned.
Henry shrugged. “Elementary, my dear Beth. Improvise, of course.”
Beth and Yolanda simultaneously rolled their eyes.
“Do you even know where they are, Sherlock?” Beth said teasingly to Henry.
Henry froze and realized he did not. “No, I don’t.”
Beth and Yolanda exchanged a look and sighed. “Okay, she’s at the diner. But we’re coming with you,” Yolanda said.
“Fine by us,” Rick said. “Come on!”
The four got into Henry’s car; Henry in the driver’s seat, Rick in the passenger, and the two girls in the back. Beth pulled out her phone and opened her private chat with Yolanda. Thankfully, Henry has enough control over his abilities and did not read their minds anymore.
Beth: I think we should just hang back when we get to the diner.
Yolanda: Definitely, I just wanna see how this all plays out.
“Guys, I’m concerned too, but don’t you think you’re just acting too protective?” Yolanda tried to reason.
“Not at all,” Henry said nonchalantly, keeping his eyes on the road. He was willing to fight Cameron Mahkent if need be, and he didn’t need to be a mind reader to know that Rick would, too.
“Okay, but when you get there, don’t declare that Cameron’s dad is a supervillain, okay? Just think of a smart way to get Courtney away to explain everything to her, okay?” Beth warned.
“Okay, I will. Don’t worry, Beth, I know what I’m doing,” Henry assured his best friend.
Meanwhile, at the diner, Courtney and Cameron were enjoying themselves.
“So, how are you adjusting to Blue Valley?” Cameron asked, genuinely interested.
“Oh, I’m doing just fine. I’m used to the fast pace of California and the big cities. But the small town is pretty nice,” Courtney explained. That, and there weren’t any supervillains in California , she thought. “But my mom loved growing up here, she always told me stories about her childhood here. She actually met Pat here.”
Courtney nodded. “Yeah, they both shared the last banana split they had here that night.”
Cameron smiled. “That sounds really romantic.”
“Yeah, it does.”
Cameron took a deep breath. “I really like you, Court. Would you be interested in-”
His words were cut off by another voice. “Courtney!” Henry exclaimed, walking up to their booth. Beth, Yolanda, and Rick were in a booth a couple of feet away, watching.
“I hope he has a decent plan,” Rick noted.
“Me, too,” Yolanda agreed.
Back at Courtney’s booth, she said, “Henry? What are you doing here?” while looking at him and Cameron. Cameron looked very confused as well.
Henry sent a quick glare toward Cameron before turning back to Courtney. He needed to say something that would convince her to leave the table without raising any red flags for Cameron. So, he said “Courtney, I love you.”
“Oh my god,” Yolanda placed a hand over her eyes and shook her head. “That’s the best he could do?” This plan was doomed from the start.
Courtney was very confused. “What?” She knew that Henry considered her family, but why is he saying that?
Meanwhile, Cameron was confused and surprised. Henry King loved Courtney? He didn’t even know that they were friends.
“You shouldn’t be here with Cameron Mahkent , you should be with me,” Henry said. Of course he didn’t mean that romantically, and Courtney knew that. He just needed her to get up and come with him and the rest of the team. If he could mess with one Mahkent tonight, he would take that chance too.
“He’s an idiot,” Rick said, back at the trio’s booth. “That’s his plan?”
Beth, who was sharing a slice of pie with Yolanda, said “I told him that he needed to be careful. How is this careful?”
“Henry…” Courtney trailed off, not sure what was going on. Why was Henry acting like this?
“Come on, Court,” Henry pleaded.
“Woah, hold on,” Cameron spoke up. He really cared about Courtney, and he was sure that she felt the same way about him. He wouldn’t dare do anything to hurt her. Besides, there was no way she had feelings for Henry King, no matter how popular he was, right?
“Listen, Mahkent, I don’t trust you, and I am not afraid to fight-”
“Okay, that’s enough!” Courtney exclaimed, standing up and pulling Henry. “I’m sorry, Cameron, I’ll be right back.” She looked around and saw her friends sitting at a booth in the corner. She held onto Henry’s arm and walked over to the booth, missing Cameron’s sad and confused look behind her as she walked away.
Courtney sat down next to Beth and Yolanda while Henry took the seat beside Rick.
“What the hell is going on?” She asked.
“Jordan Mahkent is Icicle” Rick whispered. “Henry read his mind.”
“So we came here to tell you so you would know that you’re on a date with Icicle’s son. And imagine my surprise that you didn’t even tell me!” Henry said, offended.
“Because you would get all over protective and I didn’t want you to scare Cameron off! But instead, you declared your love for me in front of him, and now he probably thinks I don’t like him!” Courtney shot back. “Wait, Jordan is Icicle? Oh my god, my mom works for him!”
“Can you tell if Cameron has his father’s powers?” Beth asked.
Courtney shook her head. “No, I haven’t noticed anything.”
“I can try to read his mind,” Henry offered.
“That’s what you should’ve done to begin with,” Yolanda grumbled.
Henry focused on Cameron’s mind and rifled through his thoughts. There were a lot of thoughts about Courtney, some not so nice thoughts about Henry that may be well deserved, and some about his family.
“No, he doesn’t know anything about any powers.”
“So he’s a good guy?” Courtney asked, hopeful.
Henry sighed. “Yes, he is.”
Courtney smiled. “Great! Well, I’m going to enjoy my date, and we can figure out what to do about Jordan tomorrow.”
“Have fun!” Beth said cheerfully. Courtney returned her smile and went back to Cameron’s booth.
Cameron lit up when he saw that Courtney came back.
“You came back!”
“Of course I did. I’m sorry about that, sometimes Henry and Rick can be over protective of me,” Courtney explained.
“Is that why he’s glaring at me from their booth?”
Courtney looked back, and sure enough, Henry was glaring daggers at her date. “...Yeah.”
“Oh,” Cameron was glad that Courtney had great friends who were willing to look out for her. “So you and Henry….?”
Courtney caught on. “No, no, we’re just friends. We’re practically siblings. You’re the one I wanna be with.”
Cameron sighed in relief and smiled. “You’re the one I wanna be with, too.”
“Hey, do you wanna order a banana split to share?” Courtney asked shyly.
Cameron smiled. “Yeah.”
Back with the rest of the JSA, the four of them decided to hang around for a bit and ordered four hot chocolates.
“Stop glaring at him, Henry,” Yolanda said, lightly kicking the redhead’s leg under the table. “You too, Rick.”
“Fine,” Rick grumbled.
“Awwww, they’re sharing a banana split! That’s so sweet,” Beth gushed.
“You’re into that kinda stuff?” Rick asked in what he hoped was a nonchalant tone.
Beth shrugged. “Yeah, it’s simple yet romantic. Plus, this diner is adorable, it’s the perfect place for a date.”
“Huh,” Rick said, making a mental note. I wonder if Beth would ever consider sharing a banana split or a milkshake with me one day , he thought, looking at her softly.
Henry overheard Rick’s romantic thoughts about Beth and in turn glared at him, but with less intensity. He trusted Rick far more than he trusted Cameron, but still, Beth was practically his sister.
Yolanda smiled at Rick and Beth’s interaction. Rick really cared about Beth, and he didn’t do a good job at hiding it. She thought they were both rather oblivious, Then she noticed Henry’s glare toward Rick, and kicked him again to get him to stop.
“So, all in all, I think it could’ve gone worse,” Yolanda noted, taking a sip of her hot chocolate.
“Yeah. At least Courtney and Cameron look happy,” Beth responded.
Rick shrugged. “As long as he’s the perfect gentleman and not an evil supervillain, I’m happy for Court.”
The others agreed and tried to enjoy their night. Yolanda had to endure Henry being an overprotective brother and Rick making heart eyes at Beth, but deep down, she was glad to be here. It was a good night.