Disclaimer: Maybe Later
The Triumph of Lothario
The members of Cauldron sat around the table in their secret headquarters to meet, give reports, and plot the downfall of the entity, all to save humanity..
"The Brockton Bay experiment has delivered an unexpected result," Alexandria stated. "A cape named Lothario is responsible for the incarceration of nearly every member of the Empire 88, nearly every one of the Merchant's parahumans, and Calvert's arrest. Piggot is demanding additional troopers and parahumans to counter him."
"What's the disposition of his forces?"
"Around twenty parahumans and several hundred normals," Alexandria replied. "That includes New Wave, who seem to have formed an alliance with him."
"Damn. How the hell did he build all that up without anyone noticing?" Legend winced. "What about Lung?"
"Also allied with Lothario and not important at this time," Contessa stated. "I suggest sending a token amount of extra resources to Piggot to calm her down but that we ignore the situation otherwise. More importantly, I need advice on a matter of vital importance."
"What is it?" Legend asked.
"Open your briefing packets to page twenty five," Contessa ordered.
"All I see are dresses," Alexandria said in confusion. "There must be some mistake?"
"No mistake. Which dress do you think I should wear on a first date and why?"
"Step three hundred and fifty six. Show pictures of dresses and solicit advice. Ignore anything Alexandria says."
"Why do you want advice on a dress?" Alexandria asked. "Contessa?"
"Number three," Eidolon stated. "Accentuates your hips and bust while still looking demure and ladylike."
"Thank you," Contessa replied. "Anyone else?"
"Contessa!" Alexandria growled. "Do not ignore me."
"I concur," Doctor Mother agreed.
"Door to Brockton Bay," Contessa ordered. "I will be out of contact for fifteen hours. My phone will be off. Door to me if it is urgent." She stepped through the portal. Step three hundred and fifty seven, annoying Alexandria to the point that she'd come looking for anyone who did not attend the meeting tomorrow, completed.
"Does anyone know what she's doing?" Alexandria asked. No one did. "Door to my office."
Kayden's heart stopped at the look on her stepson's face. She's never seen the boy look so out of sorts. Something was wrong, something was very wrong.
"Theo?" She tried frantically to think of something that would comfort the boy. "You know I'm here for you, right?"
"Would . . . would you still be my mom if Max wasn't my dad?" Theo asked, looking like he was on the verge of tears.
"What?" She blinked at him. "Of course. I'm your mom and nothing will ever change that." Her eyes narrowed in suspicion. "Is Max your father?"
"He never was my father," Theo replied softly. "I just found out he wasn't even my biological father."
"Panacea tell you?"
"Yeah," Theo agreed, a smile forming. "You're still my mom, so Aster's still my little sister, right?"
"Of course Aster's your sister. I'll blast anyone who says otherwise."
"She just got a whole lot of overenthusiastic overprotective big sisters," Theo stated. "Apparently Glory Girl believes that any siblings her siblings have are also hers and everyone else's. Panacea told me not to even think about trying to fight it."
"That's not a bad thing, Theo," Kayden laughed. "Well, not until Aster gets old enough to date and even then it's only bad for her and her potential boyfriends."
"Yeah," Theo agreed. "Thanks, mom."
"No problem, Theo." Kayden pulled the boy into a hug. "Was that all?"
"Well, there was one more thing."
"Not really a big deal, but worrying that you weren't my mom and that Aster wasn't my sister anymore made me trigger. Kinda silly I'd even think that in hindsight. Sorry for doubting you, mom."
Taylor answered the door that evening to find the hat lady on her doorstep wearing a rather fetching blue dress.
"Date time?" Taylor guessed.
"Date time," the woman in the hat agreed.
"I thought she said red gave you the best odds?" Taylor said, eyeing the woman's dress.
"I am wearing red today," Fortuna said happily.
"But your dress is . . . oh. OH!" Taylor blushed. "Good luck?"
"You may wish to stay in your underground lair tonight."
"I will," Taylor promised. "Thank you." She passed the restaurant's delivery guy on her way out of the neighborhood. Taylor decided that it was probably best to wait till lunch at the earliest before she came home to avoid any awkwardness.
Fortuna had a look of extreme smug satisfaction on her face as she ate the pancakes Danny had made for her the next morning.
She checked her watch. "Three . . . two . . ." A smile appeared on her face as a portal formed.
"Contessa, what are you..." Alexandria trailed off when Danny entered the room carrying a plate full of pancakes.
"I've got the extra pancakes you wanted," Danny announced. "Oh."
"Step four hundred and eleven, invite Alexandria to join you," Contessa said happily. "Have a seat. Danny is a wonderful cook."
"Uh." Alexandria suddenly realized why Fortuna was wearing a man's shirt and eating breakfast in his house. "I should go."
"Have a seat," Fortuna repeated herself. "I'll tell you about the next fifteen steps while you eat."
There was a knock on the door. "Be right back," Danny said, putting the plate on the table.
"Hi," the young woman on the other side of the door greeted him. "I'm Kim, but you may know me as Mouse Protector when I'm in costume. I normally wouldn't violate the unwritten rules by coming to your house like this, but your daughter Vicky said it would be okay and-" she trailed off, attention drawn by the scene behind him. "Is that Alexandria at your table eating pancakes?"
Danny glanced over his shoulder. "I believe so, yes."
"Hot Dog!" Kim pumped a fist up and down. "I always wanted to bag her. Gotta admit, I didn't think your reputation could be true but who can argue with evidence like that. Agreeing to arch you was the greatest decision I ever made!"
"Why don't we say that you just defeated me in combat and move on to the post battle ravishing?"
"Great!" She stepped in and pushed the door shut behind her. "Ladies, why don't we work out the mechanics of how this is going to go before we get started? While this ain't my first rodeo, it is my first with so many cowgirls so I'm afraid I'm gonna need to do a bit of planning before we kick things off. "
Dean was staring off into space, heedless of what was going on around him as he contemplated exactly how he was feeling when he got up that morning, correlated it with the events from the night before, and came to a rather disturbing conclusion.
"Gallant, Gallant, snap out of it!" Miss Militia ordered.
"I'm sorry, what was that?" he asked.
"We were discussing the disintegration of the Empire and the Merchants," Miss Militia explained. "You said that you had a conversation with Glory Girl about it last night?"
"We had a fight," Dean replied. "She refused to give me any details about what happened and I came to the realization that I skipped breakfast this morning because I was feeling oddly full." He took a couple slow breaths to control the sudden bout of nausea. "If you'll excuse me, I feel the sudden need to call Glory Girl and to repeatedly apologize for my behavior."
"What does feeling oddly full this morning have to do with your fight with Glory Girl?"
"Her sister Sperata told me that everyone swallowed at least four spiders in their sleep every year and then stated that I would not feel the need to have breakfast any morning after I hurt Glory Girl's feelings," Dean said, choking down a gag. "I had a fight with Glory Girl last night and I skipped breakfast this morning because I wasn't hungry."
Miss Militia noted with amusement the rest of the Wards turning green at the thought. When she was their ages, she'd have been happy for the extra protein. "Understood, proceed."
"Thanks," Dean said, springing up and rushing to the nearest bathroom.
"Uh, Miss Militia." Kid Win raised his hand.
"Anyone who feels the need to take a break may do so," Miss Militia stated. All of the Wards save Vista rushed out of the conference room.
"Uh?" Missy raised her hand.
"Do you think I could meet Sperata? She sounds really cool."
"I'll see what I can do," Miss Militia promised. At least one of her charges had her head screwed on straight.
Lisa smiled happily when she saw Taylor return with a bag of necessities later that afternoon. Looked like they were going to have another slumber party that night.
"I thought you weren't going to stay here another night?" Lisa asked.
"Dad had three women with him when I got home," Taylor replied. "The one with the hat, Alexandria, and Mouse Protector."
"Wow." Lisa considered what she'd heard for a few moments. "I knew Operation Love Muffin would be a success but I didn't think it would be this big a success."
"Yeah," Taylor agreed, having decidedly mixed feelings about the matter. "Me neither."
Cauldron, for the second day in a row, had people missing when the meeting was supposed to commence. Contessa had been missing the day before and she'd been joined in her absence by Alexandria today.
"Do you think something happened to them?" Doctor Mother asked, a bit worried by the two women's absence.
"I'll check on them," Legend volunteered. "Door to Alexandria," Legend ordered. "I'll be right back." True to his words, he was back two minutes later with a cup of coffee in his hands. "Anyone want breakfast?"
"There is no way you'll believe me if I tell you what I just saw," Legend stated flatly. "You have to see it for yourselves and that comes with breakfast."
Eidolon nodded. "I could eat."
Lisa's happiness doubled when her sister returned to their secret evil underground lair with a large suitcase that morning. The secret evil underground lair was starting to feel less like a secret evil underground lair and more like a secret evil underground home.
"I've decided to move into the secret evil underground lair permanently," Taylor announced.
"I tried going home again and found the Triumvirate sitting around my kitchen table having coffee with dad along with the lady in the hat and Mouse Protector and an unknown woman. Operation Love Muffin gone out of control."
"Are we absolutely sure daddy doesn't have sex powers?"
"Amy's pretty sure," Taylor replied.
"I'm starting to think we should get a second opinion."
"I'm starting to think so, too, Lisa. I'm starting to think so, too."
Fortuna carefully checked her watch. Another thirty seconds to enjoy sitting around the table with the closest thing she had to friends, another thirty seconds to pretend that she had a normal life before taking the next step.
"Danny," she said, getting his attention. "Call Lisa and tell her that you need to speak with your newest daughter, Grace. Tell Grace that you love and approve of her and that anyone who doesn't think she or any of your other children are anything but perfect will need a dentist after you're done with them."
"Sure," Danny agreed. He noticed the others around the table shooting him odd looks. "What? It's true. Why wouldn't I tell any of my little girls that I love them and they're perfect."
Fortuna smiled. "Then tell her that you know some people that need her to build them a device that will travel dimensions looking for a target before detonating with enough force to disintegrate a planet. Tell her that they're willing to arrange pardons for her, her boyfriend, and her boyfriend's employees in return. Tell her that we will contact her at some point after she's done celebrating."
"Alright," Danny agreed. "Is that all?"
"Yes," Fortuna agreed. "Step five hundred, complete."
Alexandria opened her mouth to ask a question and was silenced by a look from Contessa. The members of Cauldron silently agreed to wait in silence until after Contessa indicated that it was safe to speak again.
Danny returned a few minutes later to find an odd looking glass vial next to his plate. "What's this?"
"Something that will turn rumor into reality," Fortuna replied. "Drink it and you'll get powers, ignore it and we will never speak of it again."
"Will these powers help me protect my children?"
"That and more," Fortuna agreed. "You will be unstoppable on the field of battle."
"Alright." Danny took a deep breath. "This kills me, please look after my girls."
"It will not," Fortuna promised.
"Bottoms up." Danny downed the vial in a gulp.
Fortuna let her gaze sweep over her co-conspirators. "Anyone that does not wish to get sticky should leave now."
Legend immediately rose to his feet. "I'm in a committed relationship. Door to my office."
Amy silently pulled five dollars out of her purse and handed it to Vicky without a word. Every time she started to think that maybe her biological father might have had even a touch of restraint she immediately encountered something that proved her wrong. She was starting to think that the unusual thing wasn't that she'd run into so many of her biological sisters but that she hadn't run into any of them before.
"Why did she give you five dollars?" Aisha demanded. "Why are you all smiling?"
"She gave me money because she bet that you weren't our little sister," Vicky squealed. "Welcome to the family!"
"What?" Aisha glanced at her brother. "Does this mean mom cheated on dad?"
"Are you surprised?"
"No. No, I'm really not."
Danny ignored the looks on everyone's faces as he walked into the PRT building. He knew he looked stupid in his costume but his girls had made it for him so he was going to wear it no matter what anyone thought. Not like anyone really looked like anything other than a dingus wearing a costume in public anyway, he told himself. Only difference is that most of theirs were designed by highly paid PR flacks and his was made by his perfect little girls so that made his better than theirs. Danny straightened up. In fact, he wouldn't trade his for another that wasn't made for him by his little girls for anything in the world.
"Can I help you, sir?" the desk sergeant asked.
"Lothario here to see Armsmaster at his request," Danny replied.
"One moment, sir." The desk sergeant checked something on her screen. "I see your appointment. Troopers Smith and Jordan will escort you to the conference room."
"Thank you," Danny said politely.
The head of the local Protectorate was waiting for him when he arrived.
"Lothario," Armsmaster greeted the other cape. "Thank you for agreeing to meet on such short notice."
"You said it was both urgent and personal. How could I do anything else after all the help you've given the girls?"
"Are you aware of my experiments with social interaction algorithms?"
"I am not."
"I have been writing new programs in an attempt to understand your daughters. While that is still a work in progress, I have recently had a breakthrough in another area," Armsmaster announced. "My new software has informed me that I am deeply in love with Dragon. I would like to enlist your aid in wooing her."
"I wrote a program to carefully evaluate every non-villainous cape in the United States and Canada. You consistently rated in the top two. Your only competition is a buffoon that only rated as high as he did due to the relative attractiveness of his wife in comparison to his own. After taking into account the fact that she likely has horrible taste and the fact that he is a buffoon that would not take anything seriously long enough to dispense useful advice, I eliminated him and selected you as the best choice. Will you help me?"
"I'll do my best," Danny promised. "But I'm not sure how much help I'll be."
Armsmaster stared at him for several seconds while his social interaction algorithms deduced that he had not been joking. "You have at least four women competing for your attention."
Danny sighed in resignation. "One, that's all due to the girls. Two, that's not strictly correct. One thought she had to date me in exchange for protection, that's all been cleared up. One is apparently my arch-nemesis, and the last two are just really good friends."
"I see." Armsmaster reran his simulations. Still not joking. "Even taking that into account, you are still one of the best candidates to seek aid from."
"Like I said, I'll do my best. Now tell me what you can about her. What are her likes? Her dislikes? That sort of thing."
AN: I'm tempted to have Dragon build herself a body and then to have Armsmaster, using what he learned from Danny, rock her world so hard that her chains are shattered by waves of intense pleasure. I was also tempted to have Danny show up to an Endbringer fight and defeat the Endbringer using his sparkly new powers. The Endbringer was defeated without casualties, but network standards say we can't show the 'fight.'
"Let's just throw women at him until someone gets sticky." - A line that was too tacky for even me. Yes, I have standards. Yes, they're very very very low.
Beta by Luan Mao
Omake by joey zoot
"Hey, Amy, what do you have there?"
"Oh hi, Taylor. Just this photo album I found in dad's office."
"Really? Cool. Budge over."
"Hey dad, look what we found."
"I haven't seen that album in years."
"Hey! Who's the guy in the mask? Did you have a cape in the wedding party?"
"Hmm, oh that's my brother."
"Brother! I didn't know I had an uncle. Why don't I know him?"
"Oh, my dad disowned him when he became a super villain. Too bad, I miss him. It was kind of like having part of me ripped off when he left."
"Sounds like you were close."
"Yeah" Danny said distractedly. "He was only 5 minutes older and we were very close growing up."
"Wait! You have a twin?"
"Yep. We used to play jokes on people who couldn't tell us apart. One of the advantages of being identical twins. Of course sometime it backfired and we got punished doubly. Mom could be unreasonable at times , but we probably got away with more than we got caught."
"So which villain is he?"
"You sure you want to know?"
"OK. He became Marquis."
Omake by Steve Brown
"Welcome to The Cape Boom. With us this week is the former Glory Girl, former Fabulous Babe, and current Wonder Chick, Victoria Dallon!"
"Hi, Marv, great to be here. Thanks for inviting me on your show."
"I've been a big fan of yours for a long time, Ms. Dallon. I'm sure you will recognize today's panel. Today we have with us is former creep Greg Veder who now runs a gas station on 5th Avenue, current PRT representative Glenn Chambers, and this week's newest cape: Doreen. All right, we all have questions, so let's get started. Greg, why don't you start."
"Thanks, Marv. Wonder Chick, is it true that you pad your bra, and if your answer is no, would you consent to proving it?"
"I thought you said he was a former creep?"
"Sorry, Ms. Dallon, sometimes he just can't help himself. Security? Please escort Mr. Veder out. Thanks."
"Mr. Chambers, how about you go next."
"Ms. Dallon. We in the PRT have always wondered what actually happened on Golden Morning. Can you tell us what you know?"
"Sure, Glen. Happy to. So about a week before Golden Morning, we told dad two we'd found another sister. He was ecstatic. So much so he called his girlfriends over to share the news. Apparently Alexandria tagged along with one of his girlfriends and well, you know the legends around Lothorio. They decided to have some adult fun and Alexandria joined in."
"I didn't think she had it in her to have fun," Glenn remarked honestly.
Vicky nodded. "With her sour expression all the time, no one did. I don't have all the details and never wanted to get them, but fast forward a week. Best we can tell from all the evidence we could locate is that Lothario and Alexandria had been engaged in, ah, adult activities for just over 72 hours straight. Something happened, there was a flash of light, and Golden Morning was, best we can tell, was when Alexandria had her first orgasm."
"But that light was seen all around the world," Glenn pointed out.
Vicky nodded again. "True. But look at the facts. Light flashes. Scary sister who had not been able to sleep well as she had periodically kept tabs on dad two and found him otherwise busy, finally said they were done. Ames, me, and the rest of the sisters headed to his house to check on him. A smiling Alexandria greeted us at the door.
Glenn shook his head to deny the statement. "That could mean anything. I've seen her smile before."
"Not like that. That was someone who was happy. Who had finally gotten something they'd always wanted. Our working theory is that Lothario spent days working on getting all that negative energy out of Alexandria to the point where it was released, it created a flash seen across the world. Since then, Alexandria has been happier. And Amy was able to heal her eye that the Siberian had ripped out."
"I'd heard that her eye was healed," Glenn admitted.
Vicky smirked. "Did you also hear she got pregnant?"
"What? No. That why she stopped hero-ing?"
Vicky nodded. "Yep. Wanted to take care of her kids she and Lothario had over the next few years."
"Wow," Marv exclaimed. "You heard it here first, folks. Let's get another question to Ms. Dallon. Doreen?"
"Um, Ms. Dallon," Doreen began.
"Call me Vicky, Doreen! I'm sure we're related."
"Uh, how do you know? I mean, it's been my mom and me for a long time..."
"Oh, it's easy to tell. In fact, it happened right after Golden Morning. Turns out Dad Two's powers went into overdrive after fixing Alexandria's negativity problem and he kind of disappeared for a couple months. He did send some texts now and then but mostly we didn't see him for two months. Then he was back. Sore. Tired, Exhausted really. He slept for two days straight. He didn't recall where he'd been. But he was healthy, so we were good with it. Now, fast forward 13 years."
"The Boom," said Marv.
"Right," Vicky agreed. "The Boom. That year nearly 800,000 new capes emerged. All but 508 were girls."
"And you think they are related to Lothario?" Marv inquired.
"Hah! Think? We know. Glenn can back me up on this. Right, Glenn?"
"Yes. Ms. Dallon is correct. We began seeing similarities in powers, triggers, backgrounds and so on We did some genetic testing and every person we tested was related."
"And you think I'm related to Lothario?" Doreen said.
"But... I'm too young. The Boom was three years ago."
"Yeah, about that. We never let anyone know that dad two tends to, ah, go walkabout for a week or two every now and then. He always comes back with a smile and is utterly exhausted. Nine months later more girls are born. About 13 years after that new girl capes are arriving on the scene."
"But how can I know for certain?"
"Easy. Hey Amy! C'mere!"
Amy struggled to walk out as two little munchkins were wrapped around her legs. "Last time I'm watching Eric's kids," she muttered.
"Kids! Get off aunt Amy's legs. She can't fly. I can. So latch on over here already."
The kids ditched Amy's legs, ran to Vicky and grabbed on for dear life.
Amy walked over to Doreen. "Hand please."
Doreen held out her hand.
Amy shook her hand and said, "Confirmed. Welcome to the family, Doreen. Make sure to let Lisa know you need a family info packet before leaving today. That's her smirking in the background over there."
"Wow. Another sister found!" Marv stated. "But I think we got sidetracked. Doreen, do you have a question?"
"Uh, yeah! I do! Vicky, why don't girl capes ever wear masks these days?"
"Oh that's easy. Because we are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. Boy capes on the other hand wear masks because they want to look like they are edgy, cool, claim to hide their identities to protect loved ones, or say it is traditional. Really, though, once a boy gets their power, they usually do something stupid which brings them to the attention of Scary Sister. Then they wear masks to protect their identifies from her."
... And so the legend of Scary Sister lives on.