A shorter chapter, for now. Life is hectic, to put it short. The writer's block is strong with this one... kudos to those who get that reference. Heh.

Apparently in my specific college, in the last semester, you have to take an On-The-Job Training or an Internship at a certain company of your choosing for 3 months at a minimum. So that's been hectic and nerve-racking.

Warning: There is a certain dark theme in a certain part of this chapter.

And using a title word from an upcoming movie... ONWARDS!

Disclaimer: I do not own The Incredibles. As if that wasn't obvious.

The way he was sitting near the bed, leaning against the wall, with his hands crossed on his raised knees deeply reminded Violet of how she used to sulk in her room in misery. Then again, being a teenager was a nightmare. But Buddy was not exactly a normal teenager, and he was not sulking in misery as a teen should. He was just staring at the case.

The case that was currently resting on an armchair that was conveniently placed beside the bed, on the opposite side of Buddy's position. This meant that his stare was caught by the three young individuals who were currently trying to relax on said bed.

Violet didn't know what she was so worried about. It wasn't as if the former villain was looking at them. Just their general direction.

Somehow that reasoning did not make the situation any better.

Even Dash was having a hard time watching the TV. The boy just couldn't focus his gaze on the screen. His eyes almost constantly flickering the almost still form on the wall. Violet even noticed her brother occasionally twitching before remembering his mother's words to not 'poke the bear'. In a manner of speaking.

Jack-Jack had no subtlety whatsoever with his eyes blatantly fixed on the Pine, blabbering words as if to catch the older boy's attention. Violet lost count as to how many times she had to hold her baby brother back from crawling to the edge of the bed, clearly trying to reach the subject of his interest.

Whether Buddy noticed the attention he was getting or not, Violet was frankly too cautious to assume he wouldn't react violently to physical interaction.

"Jack-Jack!" Violet whispered as loud as she could.

Her baby brother immediately turned his attention from Buddy.

"Stay." Violet made sure she had her strict face on, something that usually made Jack-Jack laugh more than anything. That didn't happen, however.

Instead... "Buh-bee."

Violet swore her heart skipped a beat, and she was not imagining Dash straightening up all of a sudden.


"Gugh!" Buddy's sudden cry startled the siblings, though Violet managed to maintain her facade. Dash turned his neck so fast Violet would've scolded him for nearly giving himself a whiplash if she wasn't so tense.

When before he was just sitting quietly against the wall, now Buddy clutched his head as if he was having a very painful headache. And before Violet could say anything, he stood and shook his head.

Violet made sure her brothers were close to her, which they were. She noticed Dash slowly positioning himself beside her.

'Good.' She didn't know if she was fast enough to raise a shield if Buddy went violent, but she would try. He didn't seem as focused as he had been during the fight with the police.

Suddenly, Buddy opened his eyes and turned towards the three other occupants of the room.

"I need air."

He didn't give them time to respond before pulling the door open.


The couple was sitting by the pool when Buddy came out of the motel room. He tried to walk towards them, to explain, to say anything. But his body froze. He couldn't move despite how much the desire was there.

They looked so exhausted, just sitting there, slumped. And so...

This wasn't how he had pictured them, even though he knew superheroes had their own real identities. But he always- he often needed a reminder of how...



Yes, that was the word he was looking for. He was reminded of how these people, with all their powers, were people. Like he once had been. Just an ordinary kid.

It felt so wrong to see them like this. Buddy didn't understand how or why but it did. Yet he understood, somewhat, what they were going through. He knew those looks well. Too well.

He didn't want to be there. He didn't want to see them like this. It would've been so much easier if he had still been the villain. He would've been so happy to see them wallow in their misery if he was still Sy-

Buddy flinched.

He needed to talk to them. He needed to tell them how serious this was. They read the files but reading about the events and experiencing the actual disaster were two different things. And there was no chance he was gonna let him out just to prove a point.

'As if you have a choice.'


"What are we gonna do?"

Bob sighed as he slumped in his seat beside his wife. He couldn't think properly. With everything that's happened, the utter downfall of it all, he needed more than a day to think. But his family didn't have much time.

"I don't know." His words were uttered such defeat.

Helen wanted to help him in any way she could but to do that they needed to find the solution first. And so far, they were coming up with nothing.

"Maybe Dicker will find something?" His words didn't come out as optimistic as he wanted.

"Dicker is done, Bob." Helen pointed out with a strict tone. The reality of their situation truly dawned on them the moment those words were uttered.

This wasn't like when Supers were deemed illegal because then they had had help from the NSA to adjust to civilian life. But this time, they had nothing and after two weeks they would be forced to leave the motel and try to survive. With what little they have.

"Any thought we have about being Supers again is fantasy." Once again her words brought another sore subject.

'Things were just going well.' Bob thought. Dicker did say that Supers were just being considered to be made legal. The chances had been minimum but it had been there.

"One of us has gotta get a job." Helen reminded.

Bob immediately became agitated. "One of us?"

His words weren't meant to hurt her, Helen knew. Bob's frustration was the result of another issue he had been dealing with.

"You did a long stint at Insuricare."

"Hated every minute of it."

His obvious whining tone was not lost as Helen smiled in understanding. Her husband had told her the truth of how he had been forced to work.

Bob hadn't had much of a choice. He had needed to provide earnings for his family, despite how corrupt his boss had been.

"I know it was hard on you. Maybe it's my turn in the private sector and you take care of the kids-"

Bob interrupted. "No, I'm doing this."

Despite her genuine offer to help, Bob couldn't bear to have her work like that. Granted, she may not work at Insuricare, specifically, but even then he had been morally challenged.

The decisions he had been forced to make left emotional scars. On more than one occasion it was either make someone else's life even harder than his or watch his own family be miserable. Despite how many times he had managed to get away with actually helping, he still had to make tough decisions now and then.

He didn't need to look at Helen to know she was concerned.

"I need to do this." Bob firmly said. "Do you know where my suit and ties are?"

It didn't take a second before Helen immediately spoke. "Burned up when-"

"The jet destroyed our house." They both finished.

Helen chuckled. "Yeah."

Bob weakly smiled.

"AGH!" Bob and his wife startlingly turned.

They immediately saw Buddy standing not far from them, eyes clenched shut, teeth gritted, one hand gripping his head. Bob immediately became alert when the boy opened his eyes with a screaming expression of panic.

Helen instantly stood and moved to approach Buddy before he met her halfway. "Open it."

Those words instantly brought a wave of dread into the married couple.

"No." Helen's stern answer, coupled with her fierce look, could have worked on Bob. Yet it didn't faze Buddy, more afraid of what might happen than caring for the morality of his situation.

"You don't understand-"

"There haven't been any-" Helen was immediately interrupted.

"Then WHAT do you think THAT was?!"

Their hearts ached as they saw Buddy with genuine raw terror in his eyes.

"At the table?! When-" Buddy stopped, raising his shooked hands to his face before taking a deep breath.

"Look..." The boy was practically begging, without any care that they had once been enemies. "Look... I... I know- I know that it's not the most effective method. It's not, I know that. I do. It's just... It keeps... It stops the problem from getting bigger. It keeps him..."

He gestured a shaking hand to his chest as if frightened of what was inside.

The boy Bob remembered would never have struggled to make the words come out of his mouth. But this wasn't the same Buddy Pine he knew. This was the Buddy Pine that had gone through hell and back. And Bob would even say that the boy was still going through that hell.


He had tears in his eyes. Genuine tears. With his frightened look, Helen couldn't stop herself from thinking of her children. How they would deal with this kind of problem. But that was the thing, they didn't. They had loving parents. A real family.

Buddy had endured 15 years with practically no one. And now he was forced to deal with his problem. He had found a way to deal with it but in the worse way possible.

'They didn't even care to think about what might happen to him. How it would affect him.' That was the thought that went through Helen's head.

The suits, as Bob tend to call them, often forget that just because they were supers, didn't mean that they weren't people. They had feelings. They had issues. They can get sick.

They needed help from time to time.

And they weren't indestructible.

But the higher-ups, as Rick would have called them, didn't even hesitate to agree with Buddy's idea of a 'failsafe'.

Helen couldn't, for the life of her, see how this sort of 'failsafe' could've been approved. But it had been. And it made her sick.

It was the same as putting a shock collar on an already sick dog.

"Buddy." The boy turned to the woman. Helen had genuine sadness in her eyes as if she didn't want to utter the words she wanted to say, so scared of how he would react.

But she did because she had to. "We can't."

Buddy's stomach dropped.

They didn't know. They didn't understand. He needed to convince them, he had to.

Just as Bob saw Buddy about to argue, he heard a clicking sound. He wasn't the only one as Helen immediately became confused at the sudden interruption.

The three instantly became alert, watching their surroundings.

Immediately they saw a glimpse of a person approached them from the parking lot. Or, as they noticed again, two figures.


"So... are we going to... talk about it?"

This time, it was Dash who asked the question.