A collaborative effort by CrypticCollaborator and delta7447
I woke up alone. There was a note on Helena’s side of the bed, written in her messy handwriting.
Morning, sweetie! Meet me at the cafe down the road. ♥
So I got dressed and headed over. I generally needed a good shot of caffeine to get me going in the morning, so I probably would’ve headed over there anyway.
As I stepped inside, I was surprised to see Helena in normal clothes. No Super Latex at all.
“Good morning, beautiful,” she grinned as I approached her table.
“Good morning. Uh... aren’t you...?”
“Oh, the Super Latex? I decided to not wear any today.”
“Well, I’m gonna be getting more and more powerful Super Latex articles, and normalcy will soon become a distant memory. Heck, the Goddess just gave me a leotard that lets me teleport. That’s kinda crazy, right? So I wanted to do this one last time before... I dunno, ascending to godhood or whatever.” She giggled.
“Is The Goddess okay with that?”
“She may be a hedonist,” Helena explained, “but that doesn’t necessarily mean constant sex. Sex is hardly the only pleasure in the world. There’s also the little, simple things, like enjoying a cup of coffee at your favorite cafe with the love of your life.”
I nodded. She cleared her throat and subtly gestured with her head at the table. It took me a moment (since I was still a bit groggy), but I realized I didn’t have a coffee. I looked down at the table and saw a fifty-dollar bill.
“My treat. Get whatever you want.”
“Money won’t be of any use to me before long,” she said with a shrug. “May as well get rid of it one way or another.”
I ordered a 30-ounce rainbow frappuccino, a multi-layered drink with varying temperatures ranging from ice cold to almost boiling. I had noticed it on the menu several times, but the price tag of nearly $20 kept me from ever considering it. But, since Helena was paying and she wanted to get her money spent, I figured it was worth a try. After receiving the colorful, highly-caffeinated monstrosity and tipping the barista with the remaining $32, I sat down. My drink immediately caught Helena’s eye.
“Perhaps I was a little overindulgent,” I said with an awkward chuckle. “I made the barista’s day with the tip I left, but I’m not sure I got something drinkable in return.”
Helena laughed, then realized I was serious. “Oh god, that’s right, you always get black coffee! This is a whole new world for you, isn’t it?”
“Quite--just like the whole Super Latex thing. I’m certainly not used to spending more than a dollar for a cup of coffee, let alone eighteen. You know, if you want to get rid of your money before ascending beyond the need for it, then maybe you should find a charity to donate to.”
“Charity... I hadn’t thought of that! That’s a wonderful idea!”
Helena smiled and put her hands over mine.
We held hands for a couple moments, then Helena wistfully commented, “Y’know, you’ve changed a lot since our college days. Remember that time that we went on that roller coaster? You were so scared, I had to drag you to the ticket booth kicking and screaming. Now, you’re not scared of anything!”
“I wouldn’t say that...” I insisted, but I could feel myself blushing from her compliment. “I stand by not riding that roller coaster, though. It was awful! We could have died!”
“Don’t short-sell yourself. You’re brave, and you’re smart, and you’re the best girlfriend a girl could ask for!”
That only made my blush harder! Trying to change the subject, I replied, “So, what’s your plan for the end of this? Are you going to stick around The Goddess’ realm or are you going to live here on Earth?”
“Why, The Goddess’ realm, of course! But Earth is really nice, too. It’d be so cool to come home once in a while. I’m torn, really. What about you?”
“Uhh...” I admit, I hadn’t thought that far. “I guess I’ll just be an FBI agent. At least until I retire at 57. We’ve got a mandatory retirement age, you know.”
I blinked. “Well... once I have the time, there’s a lot of stuff I want to do. For one thing, I really want to get back into painting.”
“Oh yeah! I still have that painting of Manhattan you made hanging up in my apartment! I’m surprised you didn’t have any of your work in your apartment, actually.”
“I just haven’t had any time,” I admitted sadly. “This job takes a lot out of you.”
Inside I knew that wasn’t entirely true. Even on vacation, I was notorious for thinking more about case work than relaxing.
Helena smiled. “When I’ve finally become one of the Goddess’ companions, I’ll ask her to let you come to her realm too! Time here doesn’t pass there, so you can take vacations however long and however often you like to work on your art! How about that?”
“That... that would be lovely,” I replied.
We sat there in silence for a moment before Helena spoke up once again.
“Katie, I just... the main reason I invited you here is because I wanted to say that you mean a lot to me--a lot more than just a really, really good fuck buddy. I just thought it would be more appropriate to say that now than while we were still in bed together.”
“You mean a lot to me too, Helena. It’s amazing, the sort of things that happen to reunite people. Almost makes me want to believe in fate.”
“Oh? You don’t think that’s what this was?”
“My first instinct is to say no... but recent events have forced me to reconsider what I do and don’t believe to be possible.”
“I think our being reunited was fate, actually,” Helena replied. “Fate is a powerful force, but it’s not immutable.”
“Meaning the likes of you can change it?”
“Me, The Goddess, even you.”
“Yeah. Even if you’re just a human, you still are perhaps the strongest-willed and most determined person I know. I dare say that’s one of the reasons why I love you.”
She paused, surprised at what she had said.
She stammered, “I-I’m sorry, was that too forw--?”
I opted to simply lean in and kiss her, which stunned her for a long moment.
“I love you too, Helena.”
That night, I couldn’t sleep. Without really knowing why, I reached for the bottom drawer. Inside, there was a fresh set of oil paints, never opened. I had bought them for myself almost four years ago. I set up my easel, canvas, and palette and got to work.
The craft came back to me quickly. The familiar hand motions, the familiar shades, the familiar images rising up in my mind just waiting to be put on a canvas.
At 4:00 AM, I called it a night. I took one last look at my work. It was an angel, ascending to heaven.