Best Friend For Hire, Entry 193

“James, we have to talk!” exclaimed Portentia, signing furiously as she spoke the moment I arrived home. “What’s the matter?” I asked. “The matter? What would be the matter? It’s not like I’ve been waiting two weeks for the date you promised only to find out that you went out with her instead as soon as you were free.” I hadn’t exactly meant to agree to a date, but I wasn’t going to deny that events could be interpreted that way “You promised her a date, James? I really don’t understand you.” stated Alma, disappearing the moment I turned to reply. “Umm… I think I hear my daddy calling. Better go home!” exclaimed Aaliyah as she turned to the door. She barely took two steps before turning back around and asking as she signed “By the way, why are you in your hoodie?” I really needed to learn sign language, so I could sign with Portentia as well. “Oh. I was getting frustrated waiting, and thought I might bump into James if I was out on patrol.” she admitted. “What happened to your other outfit?” asked Aaliyah. Portentia fidgeted as she said, “I sorta lost part of it when Maxine hit me with a missile.” Aaliyah face-palmed before replying “You’re not supposed to let missiles hit you, silly. If I were you, I’d ask Mila to print you a new outfit. See ya!” Portentia gaped as the tiny girl walked out the door. “Was she being serious? Mila can do that?” asked Portentia after grabbing my hand with both of hers.

I shrugged and asked “Mila, are you capable of printing a superhero outfit for Portentia?” Mila’s avatar appeared on the nearest mirror as she said, “Oh, master. I would have no idea what you’re speaking about, though I do have a design in my database for Calamity’s outfit, strictly for cosplay purposes, of course. I think Portentia would be able to fit into it if she wished to cosplay as this city’s greatest superhero.” I smirked and asked “Are you saying she’s not the only one?” Mila shrugged before saying, “If there are, none have been successful enough to catch my attention, but I don’t claim to know everything.” I really loved Mila’s personality, and I was sure Portentia appreciated how Mila was not only signing with her avatar but displaying text of everything said as well. “Please, get started with it!” begged Portentia, grinning now. “I’ll put off going on patrol until after my date with James.” she continued. Mila frowned before replying “As you wish, but don’t let the master forget he still owes me a date as well, though I’m not quite ready for it.” Portentia was gaping again as she said, “You’re going on a date with Mila? James, why didn’t you tell me!?” I wasn’t sure where to begin on that note, not wanting to go into any details about the circumstances. “Ugh. Now I’ll really have to show you that I’m more fun.” declared Portentia as she suddenly dragged me toward the door. “I wouldn’t be too certain.” stated Mila, though she had to know Portentia couldn’t catch it, not with her back to the mirror.

I pulled Portentia to a stop, so I could ask “Are you sure you want to do this right now? I’m not entirely certain that I’m even done babysitting Aaliyah for the day.” I pulled out my phone to check my schedule and found that “job” finished barely a minute ago. “She’s gone, so you must be. I have to grab you before you promise ten other girls dates before me. You’re not forgiven for giving Alma a date first.” complained Portentia. I then explained “Actually, I owed Alma a dress, since one of hers was ruined when she was helping me.” Portentia stared into my eyes as if trying to divine the truth in them. Apparently finding my reply believable, she grinned and told me “Sorry! I should’ve known better than to have doubted you. I’m still questioning this date with Mila. How is that even supposed to work?” I shrugged and said, “I have no idea, but she cornered me into it. Mila’s extremely bright.” Portentia nodded and pulled me forward again as she said, “I know! I’ve spent enough time watching Jarod and her talk to realize that they’re amazing.” Oh no. Was she interested in Jarod as well? I didn’t think the twins would take well to competition. “So… what do you do with Jarod?” I asked her. “Just hang out and talk about ways to stop Maxine, really. I’m not into him, if that’s what you’re worried about.” she assured me. Oh. Lovely. As flattering as having a beautiful girl interested in me was, I was too confused about Alma to seriously consider another, even one as gifted as Portentia.

“Why are we walking?” I asked, more to distract her than anything. “Sorry. Are you cold? I can’t really help with that. I don’t get cold, so I generally don’t think about it.” she explained. “No. I dressed for the weather, when I left this morning. I merely meant that we could be taking my car.” I told her. “I don’t have one of those either, so that’s not the first thing that comes to mind. I have borrowed Mila a few times when she’s free. You don’t mind, do you?” she asked. I laughed and said, “No, not at all. She needs to be kept entertained, so she doesn’t end up finding trouble.” I still felt a bit uncomfortable knowing that Mila hacked into satellites. Portentia hugged my arm and said, “Thank you! You wouldn’t believe how difficult hiding the fist off Maxine’s machine was. If not for Mila, I wouldn’t have managed getting it all the way here.” I actually could imagine and was fairly certain that I wouldn’t have managed to lift the thing, given its size. Portentia was another girl that physically surpassed me by a large margin. “Mila, could you give us a lift?” I asked after calling her on my phone. “Of course, master. I would have offered, but you two seemed quite happy to walk.” she claimed. I hung up and told Portentia “Mila’s bringing a car.” She nodded and said, “I know. I was watching.” I still felt awkward at times around Portentia. I didn’t know how to handle her flirting any better than I knew if I went too far trying to accommodate her, when I remembered to try at all. Even now, I occasionally didn’t think about her being deaf.

“So what do you have planned for this date of ours?” I asked. “Huh? You don’t have anything planned?” she replied. I sighed and told her “Of course not. I didn’t realize we were doing this today.” She shrugged and said, “I guess I just thought you’d have done some planning already. You had two weeks. Don’t worry though. Let’s just go down to the triangle and roam around.” The triangle? “Sorry, but I’m not familiar with that area. What’s ‘the triangle’?” I asked. “It’s a bit of a slum, really. I’ve been trying to clean up the streets some now that Maxine’s not keeping me busy. Since you don’t have plans for us, I figure we might as well check if anyone needs some help today.” claimed Portentia. I found myself wondering about her idea of a “date”. I wasn’t precisely experienced myself, not with most of my “dates” being with one girl, but I hadn’t heard of a date in a slum for the sake of helping people before. “Sounds fun.” I told her, making her grin. Portentia truly had an enormous heart that guided her actions, and I wasn’t against helping her altruism. I just hoped that her antics wouldn’t get her in trouble with the law. A life sentence would be far different for Portentia than anyone else, assuming the police managed to catch her. Bullets couldn’t stop her, and I had doubts about tasers as well. The military had far more weapons at their disposal though, and I could see the National Guard getting involved if things went too far. She’d be lucky if she avoided ending up in a lab at that point. I put such worries aside as my DB5 pulled up beside us. I’d keep her out of trouble for today at least.


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