Overlooking the smoldering city, the two legendary titans of justice stood. Paused in their selfless works, they allowed themselves a brief respite from their struggles.
"With Ultra-Loser and his latest Secret Society of Punching Bags in Tights safely in custody," the dark-cloaked hero's gravel voice spoke, "I suppose you'll be riding the next cloud for home."
"Not that I don't enjoy our time together," the alien powerhouse said, "but yes. I try to be wherever I'm needed. I just wish we could convince more misguided souls to use their gifts for good, rather than just beating on them and jailing them."
"They made their choices and earned their punishment," the more grim of the pair said, the smoky breeze tugging at their billowing capes. "I'd say we've sufficiently quelled the chaos here to satisfy even your overdeveloped sense of responsibility."
"You're one to talk," the superhuman smiled. "You've collected more cuts in the last hour for you-know-who to tend than I--"
He was interrupted by a rapid electronic tone from his belt. Both men recognized the beeping.
"League communicator," the dark warrior said with an arched eyebrow. "Mine's quiet, though."
"Curious," the superhuman said, lifting the device to his ear. "Hello? Wha--? Ma? How'd you get this number?"
His dark comrade-in-arms snorted, barely able to stifle an uncharacteristic laugh.
"I'll have to have a talk with her about...Dinner? Well, you know I love your cooking, ma, but we still have so much to do here. It's really not a--What? You see us on the news..."
"Busted," the dark hero whispered.
"We're just taking a breather, ma. There's really no telling...Yes, ma. Yes, ma. No, ma'am. Yes, ma," he said, sounding exhausted as he lowered the communicator.
"Oh, very impressive," his dark companion said, shaking his head.
"Don't sound so smug," the alien immigrant said, handing over the communicator. "She wants to talk to you."
"What? But I--"
"Hello, ma'am. Well, I...no, ma'am," he said with a sigh. "Yes, ma'am."
The dark hero handed the communicator back to his larger friend.
"Dinner's at seven," the dark warrior grumbled. "Roast beef."
"Not so easy to turn her down, is it?"
"I don't have a lot of practice with mothers."
"Because, you know, my parents were killed when--"
"Really?" the superhuman asked. "This again? We know. We all know."
"Hey, I didn't grow up with a bunch of super-powers to make things any easier."
"No, only several billion dollars to--"
"You think I wouldn't have traded that to have my parents back?"
"Of course you would've," the alien said. "Just like I would've traded my powers for mine."
"Oh, are we making this a contest?" the dark hero asked. "At least you grew up with parents."
"Lost my whole planet."
"Happy life, adoptive parents..."
"Billionaire, surrogate father..."
"You still have a mother...and stable relationships."
"Whole planet," the powerhouse repeated, "and you're only as alone as you choose."
"So glad we're not competing or anything."
"Of course you are. I'd be winning," the alien hero said, smiling as he began to rise into the air. "Casual dress."
"Yeah, I'll have to let you-know-who know I'll be out of town. Hey, will your cousin be there?"
"I know she's young, but she's...mature."
"What's your point?" the floating man asked, the smile gone from his perfect face.
"Oh, come on...you've seen her. She may seem young in Earth years, but back on the homeworld, she'd have to be legal, right? I mean--"
"Stay away from my cousin," the superhuman said before launching himself skyward.
"Yeah, yeah," the dark hero mumbled, stalking off toward the smoke and shadows. "Like you're going to do anything."
His communicator beeped.
"Hello?" he rasped.
"I can still hear you," the superhuman warned.