Meanwhile, on Butterfly’s date…
Simon: “Come on, Asia, don't be like that. I'm not trying to be disrespectful. I'm just sayin', you can't just change who I am because you're some kind of superhero.”
Asia: “But you're hurting people when you steal from them. Don't you understand, Simon, you're hurting people.”
Simon: “It's a little stress, a little inconvenience. It's not hurting them.”
Asia: “Stress raises cortisol levels, which have drastic consequences on metabolism, oxidant levels, and healing in the long term. Come now, you're the one who wants to become a doctor, you must know this.”
Simon: “Hey hey hey, keep your voice down. Nobody up here needs to know about my day-self.”
Asia: “You don't even wear a mask, silly.”
Simon: “Still. Besides, if you succeed in changing me I'll lose you forever.”
Asia: “And what on earth does that mean?”
His face sweet on hers, his hand on her cheek, she looks upset.
Simon: “You only like bad guys. Every villain in town knows it.”
Asia: “I hate how you say 'villain'--ironically, like it's some kind of joke cartoon thing.”
Simon: “Asia, they think you're a softie. I know it's compassion. I know that's different.”
She looks angry, just her face.
Asia: “Do you? Or are you simply taking advantage of me? Because one of these days I may tire of saving dirtbags who don't clean up.”
Simon: He looks hurt, and looks away. “Dirtbag, huh.”
He's looking over the edge, she's leaning forward, looking stressed.
Asia: “I'm sorry. I'm--we're having some problems back at base, and I'm not sure who's telling every monster in town how to find us. I could never forgive myself if I'm responsible. I'm--”
Simon: “Afraid that I'm the weak link.”
Asia: “Yeah. My teammates would hate me if they knew I was...involved...with you.”
Simon: “'Involved.' What are we, anyway? You say we can't date until I clean up. But what is it we're doing, going to movies together, these nighttime hikes, the card games, the texts, your big cute eyes--”
Panel 6, she's in his arms, her back to his chest.
Asia: “It's not platonic.” Pause. “Tell me, please. Are you selling out my friends?”
Simon: “Are you selling out mine?”
Asia: “What do you mean?”
Simon: “You didn't know? Pot-smokers with superpowers, vandals, thieves, murderers, doesn't matter if they're evil to the core or just kids making mistakes--they're all disappearing lately. I've lost two partners in the last three months, had to call off three big heists. And when I checked? Turns out they're not ending up in prisons. They're just gone.”
Asia: “What on earth do you...is it...wait. Fermi. Does Scythes mean anything to you?”
Scared, new panel
Simon: “Where did you hear that name?”
Asia: “From someone we...I don't...I don't know.”
Simon: “Look, if you're talking about them, we're all--we're all doomed. I wasn't going to say anything--I thought you knew--but--I'm going to give you a list, okay? I'll text you everyone who's disappeared, and you can follow up or whatever you do. Maybe your team can stop them, and if you can't, maybe you can find out who's next.” Pause, Simon: “And Butterfly?”
Panel 8, she's turning around, ready to put her wings back on and fly off.
Simon: “I think we should take a break.”
Asia: “From what? We're not dating until you fix your life, remember?”
Simon: “I know, but--”
Asia: “Don't be scared, Simon.
Panel 9, he's alone and she's flying off, but her words are in the air.
“You be good, and I'll take care of you.”