Billy winces as his key scrapes in the door lock. He pauses, key half-out of the doorknob, and listens very carefully. The heater's on, but otherwise there's no noise. The key comes out the rest of the way without making any more noise, and Bily's halfway across the living room when the kitchen light clicks on.
"Front and center," his mother yells from the kitchen. "And you better have locked the door."
Billy double-checks just to be sure. The door is locked. "Yeah, I did." He trudges into the kitchen and sits at the table before his parents can point him to a chair.
"What time is it?" his dad asks.
"The time," his mother says, her arms crossed.
Billy looks at the microwave clock. "Twenty past one."
"And you were supposed to be home?"
"At midnight." Billy looks down at the table. "I have-"
"Was there a superhero emergency?" his dad asks.
"Did you have to save someone from a mugging?"
"Were there space monkeys? Terrifying space monkeys?"
Billy cringes. "Okay, Mom, you don't get to quote that."
"As I was home at curfew, I'll quote what I want."
Billy looks to his dad for help. His dad shakes his head. "Yes, ma'am."
"Although," Billy's dad says, "given your extra-curricular activities, were there space monkeys?"
"Okay." Billy's dad looks at Billy's mom, and she nods at him. "All right then, kid," his dad says. "Tell us what kept you out an hour and twenty minutes past your curfew."
"Actually, it was seventeen after when I came in," Billy tries. He shakes his head when his parents just stare at him. "No go, huh?"
"No," they say in unison.
"Okay." Billy taps his feet on the floor and his fingers on the table top, and then he takes a deep breath. "Teddy wanted to go for a walk after dinner, and we lost track of time."
"And?" his mother prompts.
"And nothing," Billy admits. "No villains, muggings, or space monkeys-terrifying or otherwise."
"Nothing?" his father asks.
"Not a thing." Billy doesn't have to look up to know that his parents are looking at each other again. "We just...forgot."
"You forgot to call your parents?" his mother asks in her, 'oh, nice try' tone.
"Yes," Billy answers.
"You, a teenaged superhero who is only allowed to be a teenaged superhero because of loving, understanding, patient parents, and you forgot to call?" his mother asks.
"We lost track of time," Billy tries again.
"Son," his dad does not sound at all amused. "There must have been a clock somewhere in all of New York City for you to check."
"We were just..." Billy feels the blush flare over his face. "We got-"
"You're grounded," his mother cuts in before he can finish. "You dad and I have already taken your Xbox and your Play Station out of your room."
Billy considers arguing, but his mom's jaw is set, and his dad isn't even close to smiling. "Do I still-"
"We're going to allow you to keep going with the team," his father tells him, "but that's with the understanding that you'll be in by curfew."
"Barring any major disaster that would make the news," his mother adds. "Deal?"
"Deal," Billy agrees and breathes out slowly. "Anything else?"
"No dates with Teddy for two weeks. If he wants to come over and hang out, that's fine, but you don't leave the house with him unless you're both in costume." Billy's mom raises her eyebrows at the face he pulls. "We could go for three."
"Two's good," Billy says quickly. "I can work with two."
"Thought so," his dad stands and gestures towards the stairs. "Off to bed, kiddo."
"Yes, Sir." Billy stands and kisses both of his parents on the cheek. "Can I get online for a little while?"
"Sure," his mom says. "And say hello to Teddy."
Billy flushes a little. "I will."
"Good night, son."
"Night." Billy walks out of the kitchen, takes the stairs two at a time to his room, and opens his Adium with a click. Teddy's on, and Billy writes:
It's a few seconds before Teddy responds:
Billy thinks about it:
Wicced: totally could have been worse
Wicced: no x-box
Wicced: no playstation
Wicced: no dates
Hulk3.0: no dates???? C'MON.
Wicced: dude you wanna get into it with my mom??
Billy grins when it takes Teddy a full minute and a half to write back:
Hulk3.0: yeah no i wont be doing that
Wicced: thought so
Hulk3.0: so...you want me to sneak over? ::wink::
Wicced: i'll leave the window open
Billy logs off and walks over to his bedroom door. He listens without opening it, and all he hears is the house settling. Ten minutes later, Teddy's at his window, huge scaly wings curving around his back.
"You said the window was going to be open," Teddy whispers when Billy lets him in.
"Sorry," Billy answers in a whisper of his own. "Wanted to make sure my parents wouldn't hear you."
"What'd you tell them?" Teddy stands in the middle of the room and adjusts his shoulders as the wings shrink away.
"Nothing, but they know."
"Dude, you've met my mom."
Tedddy stands completely still, and then he shudders from his shoulders to his knees. "Ugh. Yeah. Ew." He shudders again. "Okay, double ew, because now I can't stop thinking about it."
"Gross," Billy says and shudders himself. "Okay, let's talk about something else."
Teddy steps over to Billy and backs him to the bed. "Or we could make out for awhile."
"All right," Billy says, and grabs the front of Teddy's shirt to pull him down to the bed. "But we have to be quiet. If my parents hear us, we are so totally dead."
"No problem," Teddy says with a grin that Billy knows not to trust. "If you didn't make enough noise to get found out in that bathroom, you'll be quiet enough not to wake up your folks."
"Dude, seriously, we're talking about my mother. The scary one. With bat ears."
"No we're not," Teddy kisses Billy's throat. "We're making out."
"Oh, yeah, that."
Teddy chuckles and kisses Billy properly on the mouth. "Thinking about your mom now?"
"Didn't think so."
Billy smiles into the next kiss.