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Noticing Things

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Frantic noticed lots of things. Not that anyone actually noticed this.

Most things he noticed were small things like the way someone's cheek twitched or how eyelashes stuck together when a person blinked. Sometimes he noticed big things but it was the small things that he noticed because they happened so fast. Frantic got bored easily. That was one thing everyone knew. He was also easily entertained. Combined with just how fast he moved when he did anything at all, it wasn't that surprising that Frantic noticed little things. Big things just happened a little too slowly for his liking.

Frantic noticed things about all his teammates. He noticed how Concierge scrunched her nose just the slightest bit when she frowned. He noticed how Gadget Gal would always just slightly brush her hips when she walked and swung her arms, or how Impresario did indeed get annoyed with his mama more than the others thought because he furrowed his eyebrows a lot when she was mentioned. He noticed how Muscleman dug his fingers into people's hands when he shook them, and he noticed how Tim's pupils shrunk when he was about to go Sumo. He even noticed how Hotwire would pucker her lips together before she spoke, but what he noticed most of all was how Prock sometimes wasn't in the exact same spot as he had been an instant before. Prock didn't have superspeed, or at least Frantic didn't so. Did he? No, Prock didn't have any powers. Except there was that one time that they found out he was immune to mind control, and that one time the old German guy said Prock had a power but that didn't count because Prock didn't actually have powers...right?

But there was also the time that they'd had to destroy all those Impresario copies and Prock showed them that weakness thing in the HIPPIER. Frantic was sure he'd seen an icon of Prock's face on there. Why would Prock have something to counteract his abilities in a worst case scenario if he didn't have any abilities to speak of?

Maybe it was a ray to dumb him down?

Huh.

"Prockprockprockprockprockprockprock!" Frantic zipped around the corner and found the leader of the Awesomes sitting in front of the TV with the news on. He was on his phone and appeared to be frustrated with something. When Frantic hurtled into the room yelling his name, Prock shouted and jumped, tossing his cell phone into the air by accident. In a flash Frantic had caught it. "Is that Muscleman's sister?!" He halfway squeaked in surprise, catching a glimpse of the screen before Prock snatched it away.

"She won't stop sending me pictures! At this poing I think it's considered harassment," Prock groaned, flopping back onto the couch.

"Oh." Frantic blinked a few times. "Right, I have a question!" He exclaimed, pointing a finger up triumphantly at having remember why he was there. Prock sat up a little straighter at this.

"Is it anything stupid?" He asked warily.

"Nooooo! It's about you!" Frantic stated gleefully. Prock was definitely confused now.

"Well, what is it?" He queried curiously, halfway drawing out the 'well'.

"Do you have any powers?" And here Prock froze, his eyes wide open and his body completely tense. Frantic noticed this but chose to keep talking instead, explaining why he thought Prock might have powers in a rather long, drawn out speech. Somewhere in the background he noticed how the other Awesomes all filed into the room, coming to sit around the TV as well. It appeared they'd heard Frantic's question and were curious as well, since they listened intently and quietly. Mostly he noticed how Prock never moved the entire time Frantic was speaking. By the time he was done talking Prock was still frozen in some sort of stupor. "Prock?" Frantic asked.

"W-what?" Prock unfroze slowly. Then he began to speak very quickly and said in a rush, "Oh, no! Nope, no powers! Just regular old Prock, plain old me nope no why would you ever what make you won...der..." At this point Prock seemed to have noticed that the rest of the team was staring at him. He rubbed his hands together with a meek chuckle and hunched his shoulders like he was trying not to be seen. "Aha...ha...hhhuh." Then there was silence. After a few seconds, it was broken.

"Do you?" Hotwire asked cautiously from across the room.

"Um, maybe?" Prock responded quietly, like he was asking the others to answer it for him. Concierge had pulled out a tablet at some point and was tapping away.

"The only known ability you have is that you are unable to be mind controlled," she started, looking up and locking eyes with Prock. "Are you hiding something?" Again, there was silence.

"Nobody except Dad and I know," Prock began softly after a long period of fiddling with his hands, "and it's kinda lame, but I can freeze time for ten seconds."

A moment later, a whole chorus of swears echoed Prock's words, ranging from the standard "Holy shit!" from Muscleman to the more extravagant, "Son of a shit-eating harbor-bombing nuke-riding Nazi!" courtesy of Gadget Gal. For once, nobody questioned her.

Concierge chose the more civilized route and challenged him immediately. "Prove it."

Prock sighed and muttered, "Might as well get it over with."

Not a single Awesome heard him say, "Stop," and not a single Awesome saw him get up, walk to stand next to the TV, and whisper, "Start." They did see the drop of blood trailing its way down Prock's face when they saw he'd moved ten feet in less than the blink of an eye.

The room was mostly quiet when Prock sniffed and wiped the blood onto his sleeve. "That's why I don't do it very often," he explained. "After ten seconds, it starts to really hurt."

The Awesomes exploded with questions then, causing Prock to shrink back and hold up his hands defensively. "But if you can stop time, why can you only stop it for ten seconds?" Impresario wanted to know.

Tim agreed and contributed, "If time stops doesn't that mean there is no time?"

"How long have you been able to do that?" Hotwire asked in shock.

"Why didn't you tell us?" Gadget Gal badgered.

"Quit it guys!" Prock shouted, hands balled into fists at his sides as he glared at them with a clenched jaw. At his command the other superheroes quieted down. Groaning weakly, he leaned heavily on the wall behind him and slid down it into a sitting position. "I don't know how long I've been able to do it. I don't really know and I never wanted you guys to know because it's a weird, useless, good for nothing power. I..and my dad told me I could never tell anyone about it. He said it wasn't normal and it wasn't useful. He was right. I can't do anything useful with it."

"I knew you had a power after that whole Turfenpeltz thing, but I never guessed what it was. And you know what? It's amazing," Hotwire smiled and came to sit beside him, placing a hand on his shoulder. "Don't believe what your dad says about it." In response he gave her a halfhearted smile.

Concierge was at it again with her tablet and spoke up a moment later. "Prock, do you know what that power makes you on the government scale?" She asked incredulously. At this Prock shrugged, glancing up momentarily. "It would rank you at a ten or above, possibly at the same level as your father or Perfect Man. There are no other known chronokinetics on the planet." Prock's head shot up and he jumped up instantly. He strode over to her and reached for the tablet, which Concierge passed over willingly.

"Oh my God," he breathed, hardly daring to move. "This has to be why my dad didn't want anyone to know about it. But...I still don't get it. Stopping time for such a short period can't make me that powerful... Can it?"

"Maybe you can't stop time because it's a weak power," Tim pondered. He grinned as he hit upon an idea. "Maybe it's because you're literally stopping time for the entire universe!"

One by one, the faces of the Awesomes lit up as they came to grasp just what Tim was insinuating. "Hey, the kid may be right!" Gadget Gal cried, snapping her finger. "Did you ever consider the extent of how far you could be stopping time?"

Understanding dawned on Muscleman's face last, just after Frantic. Muscleman flashed Prock a wide grin and an enthusiastic thumbs up when he glanced around the room. Frantic squealed and sprinted in circles around the couch, yelling, "OMG! OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!"

Finally, a large smile spread over Prock's face. "Thank you, guys," he said. "You...you're awesome." Muscleman stood then, coming to stand next to Prock.

"We got your back, buddy," he declared, thumping his best friend on the back, eliciting a shout from the smaller man. "Whoops," Muscleman cringed. "I kinda forgot for a second you don't have superstrength like your dad."