Hey, I'm back! I know I pretty much abandoned my last fic, and I'm sorry about that. I don't really see myself finishing that story, to be honest - I made a bunch of mistakes in it which I don't think I can fix, and I've moved on to other ideas since then.
... And here are those ideas! Instead of spamming this place with a bunch of short stories, I've decided to just publish them all as chapters in this fic. Some of the chapters in longer stories may not be consecutive (sorry), but I'll make sure to name chapters so you can tell which ones are connected to others and which ones aren't, using 'part 1/2/etc'.
There's sort of a main theme going on here (identity/discovering onself), but chapters labeled 'Identity Crisis' aren't necessarily related.
I'd love to hear any comments and (constructive) criticism you guys have for me!
Three days had passed since Scoops found out her identity, and he still wasn't out of questions. He was asking them before school, after school, during her battles, sometimes even during recess around their classmates, and he still. Wasn't. Finished. When he said he had a million questions, it seemed that he really had meant it.
Eventually, Becky had just decided to dedicate an entire Saturday to finishing up the questions he had for her. She refused to answer any more of them until then (much to his frustration), and when the day came, she took him to her hideout so they could be certain that no one would overhear them.
Scoops was already sort of familiar with the main control room, but the reality of the situation - he was inside WordGirl's secret hideout and finally able to get the full inside scoop and also the first reporter to do so in the city - still left him a bit stunned. He slowly took in the hideout as he wandered over to a seat, trying to memorize every detail as if he would never get the chance to see the ship again.
Despite the fact that Scoops had seen his friend transform into WordGirl twice now, watching her casually take off her helmet and set it down on the ship's giant control panel still sent a jolt through him. He blinked a couple times, willing himself to merge the city's beloved alien superheroine and his good friend in his mind.
The two people did eventually unite into one, and that person was saying something and looking at him expectantly.
"Oh, right!" Scoops said, opening his notebook frantically and flipping through to find the next blank page. "So, uh - how long have you been able to use your freeze breath?"
"Since Miss Power arrived here and taught me about it," WordGirl - no, Becky - (oh, this was confusing!) replied instantly.
"Speaking of which, was Miss Power from the same planet as you?"
"I think you've asked me this before, but… no, I don't believe so. Lexiconians have word powers and tend to wear the planet's official colors, and Miss Power displayed neither."
"Have you ever been to Lexicon, Bec - ugh!" Scoops stopped and, frustrated, tried a different question. "What should I call you, Word - Beck… y?"
That earned a lengthy pause. "Whatever you want," she answered finally. She shrugged, glancing from her discarded helmet to her friend's face. "I'm not Becky pretending to be a superhero, and I'm not WordGirl pretending to be a civilian. They're both me."
For the first time since the day Becky had revealed her identity, what she said wasn't immediately met with another question; looking up, she saw that Scoops was staring at her with a perplexed expression, like he had been a few minutes ago. Then his eyes widened for a moment, just before he dissolved into laughter.
"What?" she asked, confused at the outburst.
"You – all this time – it was you," Scoops said, struggling to get words out between laughs.
"… Yes?" Becky said, raising an eyebrow. She watched him quickly stand up from his chair and start to pace back and forth.
"All of those times when you were so set on figuring out where villains would strike next – I just thought you were interested in journalism! And the prank you pulled on me after Whoopsie 7 – that was you – I mean, actually WordGirl, who is you, but I thought it was just you in a costume, but it - it was! Hah! This is amazing!"
Becky listened to her friend's enlightened rant with growing amusement. He started pacing faster, at one point dropping off his notepad on the control panel.
"And all those years that you dressed up as WordGirl for Halloween - that's why you always refused to wear the helmet, because that was the actual WordGirl outfit and… well, no wonder you used to win like, every year. Isn't that cheating?" She shrugged, but he took no notice, as his mind had already moved on.
"And… oh, that's why you were so offended when I said that WordGirl gets tricked by villains easily. I just thought you were secretly a super-fan, or something. Which didn't make any sense, because you never went to your brother's fanclub meetings… was it weird, having your brother be the president of a fanclub about you? I guess it would be kinda weird."
She opened her mouth, ready to respond to his question, but another thought popped into his mind and out of his mouth before she had the chance. "And that vocabulary bee a year or so ago, that you got second place in because you couldn't define the word 'perfect'… you failed on purpose, because of me." Stopping in front of his chair, Scoops let out an overwhelmed laugh. "Wow."
Becky felt a fresh wave of annoyance wash over her at the memory. "I still haven't quite forgiven you for that," she muttered.
"Sorry," he said. But the apologetic look on his face was quickly overridden by confusion. "And… the talent show. How were you onstage as Becky and WordGirl at the same time?"
"I wasn't," she said. "I helped out your act between poems. That's why I kept disappearing, remember?"
"Oh…" Scoops furrowed his brow in concentration, trying to recall the events of that stressful day. "That's right, you did keep disappearing. Gave me quite a scare each time I turned around and couldn't find you." He sat back down, notepad still forgotten on the control panel. "So, Tobey doesn't know your identity?"
Becky snorted. "Of course not."
"Does anyone else?"
"Nope. Which is why you have to keep this a – "
"So, you haven't told Violet?" Scoops interrupted, brow furrowing in a disapproving glare.
"Well…" She shifted uncomfortably in her seat. "No, no I haven't."
"You should tell her, Becky." He sighed. "Heck, she should've been the first to know. You two have been best friends since… well, forever."
"I know, Scoops, I know," Becky said, suddenly defensive. "I've wanted to tell her for a long time, but every time I tried, I… I would get interrupted, or I couldn't bring myself to do it…" She glanced at her helmet, still lying unzipped on the control panel. "I will, though, someday."
"Okay," Scoops said, unconvinced. "But you should do it soon, so that she doesn't find out by accident. Finding out a secret this big about you from anywhere besides you… well, that would hurt her a lot, and I don't want - I mean, I'm sure you wouldn't want her to be hurt."
"Of course not," Becky said quietly. Uncomfortable with where the conversation had gone, she racked her brains, trying to think of something, anything else to talk about. The topic that immediately sprang to mind was one she was even less willing to pursue than the current one - unfortunately, the words were already out of her mouth by the time she realized what she was saying. "Do you remember when you were talking about who you thought WordGirl could be?"
"Uh… which time?"
"That one time? When you - oh, never mind." It was too late now, she supposed - might as well just get it out there. "YousaidyouthoughtWordGirlwascute."
Scoops took a second to process what she had just awkwardly blurted out. "I… oh! Oh, right, I did say that, a while ago." He paused. "Well, nearly all of the kids in the city have had a celebrity crush on WordGirl at some point. That's what happens to superheroes." He shrugged and picked up his notepad again, oblivious of the crushed feelings of the girl in front of him.
Becky forced a laugh. "Right, I... I guess that's true."
"So, my friend is WordGirl," Scoops said, echoing his statement from days before. He flipped through his notebook once more and sighed contentedly, then looked up and grinned at her. "Wow."