"Matt, you're next," Zach instructed.
Matt grinned, turning his attention to the flame that he'd split off of Fliss' original flame. He was tempted to get fancy with it and show off a little, but even Matt knew that one shouldn't play with fire. Instead, he hurled the flame toward the target, like a pitcher might throw a baseball. His aim was spot-on, and it, too, sizzled into steam.
"Awesome!" he shouted, triumphantly. "I can't believe I can do that!"
Outside the barrier, Cas was bouncing on her toes, clapping enthusiastically. It was only too easy to be infected with Matt's cheerful enthusiasm. Dani, on the other hand, was huddled in on herself, since they were still on the receiving end of the downpour Matt had inadvertently called down on them. She, personally, was hoping the practise would come to an end pretty soon.
"Your turn, Lucas!" Matt called to his brother, who took up the challenge, flinging his own little ball of flame at the globe of water. Though his aim was a little off, he waved a hand in the air to guide the flame back toward the target, and it, too, sizzled as it hit the target. It was almost too easy.
"Impressive," Fliss complimented him, though her focus was set on holding the fireballs together as they were manipulated. "Zach, your turn. Then we'll call it a night?"
"It's okay," Zach replied, waving away both the globe of water and the last remaining flame with a wave of his hand. "I think you've got the idea," he said. "Matt, could you turn off the rain showers, and Lucas, maybe you should dry the girls out a little?" he asked. This wasn't part of the test, but if the more they practiced using their abilities, the better they'd get.
"Dry them out?" Lucas echoed, uncertainly.
"We're all linked in, you should be able to push the water out of their clothes," Fliss pointed out. "I wouldn't recommend heating the air, though. Steam burns."
"Push the water out of their clothes?" Lucas echoed again, unsure just how he'd do that, but it was probably just a matter of directing a flow of air.
In the meantime, Matt was staring up at the sky, brows furrowed in concentration as he tried to make the rain stop.
Fliss shrugged. "I don't know," she admitted. "I've never had a problem getting wet, I run hotter than everyone but Dad so I dry out quick."
Cas raised her hand. "Maybe Fliss should dry us out and you guys pay close attention to how it's done?"
"But Fliss just said that steam burns," Lucas pointed out. So, wasn't using heat out of the question?
"I can't get it to stop!" Matt admitted, scowling up at the storm clouds above them.
"Maybe they should step into the circle," Lucas suggested. At least, that way they wouldn't get any wetter.
"Can't Lucas disperse the clouds?" Dani suggested. "Rain falls when the moisture builds up too much to stay up, as far as I know. Separating the water droplets should fix it, right?"
Zach was reluctant to suggest anything just yet, wanting them to figure it out for themselves, as much as they could, but he didn't want Dani or Cas catching cold either. "Give it a try, Lucas!" he called over encouragement. Rain was not one of the elements under his control.
"I'm not sure how, but I'll try," Lucas agreed, gazing up at the sky, his wings unfurling at his back. And then, he was off the ground, white wings carrying him high above them, where he disappeared momentarily into the clouds. Whether or not he was still linked to the others, the clouds above them started to disperse, the rain slowing to a drizzle before it stopped all together.
"Damn, that's sexy."
And evidently Fliss didn't care who heard her compliment her boyfriend these days. Rubbing a hand over her hair, she turned to concentrate on Cas and Dani, that strange connection to Lucas, Matt, and Zach enabling her to warm their clothing, remove the water from them, and send it down to be soaked into the ground at their feet.
"We need superhero names," Matt mused aloud. "Like Ironman and Torch and Black Widow, but names that work for us," he suggested, watching with envy as his brother soared downward through the sky to touch down beside Fliss. "We need uniforms, too," Matt mused further. "What kind of superhero goes to battle in jeans and a hoodie?"
"We aren't superheroes," Lucas pointed out, folding his wings back onto his back.
"I'm going to break the connection," warned Zach, once Fliss had dried Cas and Dani's clothes.
"We're superheroes in training," Matt corrected.
"If - if - they let us get involved," Fliss said thoughtfully, "Miranda will probably make something up for you guys. I mean ... I kind of already have a suit." Because living with fire everyday made clothing particularly susceptible to the rigors of PMS, for a start.
"More like when," Matt said with a frown, all too aware that his age might be a problem. "But we're a team, right? All for one and one for all and all that?" he asked, looking around.
"That's the Three Musketeers, Matt," Lucas pointed out.
"Technically, there were four of them though," Matt argued.
"All in, or no one goes," Fliss said, despite her own eagerness to stick it to Hydra. She could be patient, despite how it seemed to everyone else. "You guys okay?" This was directed to the other girls, who were moving to join them as Zach dropped the barrier.
Dani nodded. "Toasty warm, thanks."
As the oldest among them, Zach could have vetoed Matt and Fliss' sentiment. He had originally intended to volunteer himself, before Fliss and Lucas had summoned them here. He had honed his own abilities long ago and didn't really need their help, but it seemed they needed his. "Agreed, all of us or none of us," he told the others, as he moved closer to Dani.
"Sorry about the rain," Matt said, slinging an arm around Cas' shoulders, claiming her for his own.
"It's my own fault for having a soggy boyfriend," Cas answered Matt impishly, hugging her arms about his waist. She looked about the little group. "I'm guessing we're done for the night? Because Mr. Bennett is going to ride you like hogs tomorrow, I'll bet."
"What a fascinating mental image," Dani commented with a grin, nudging her shoulder to Zach's.
"I never made it rain before," Matt said in his own defense, relieved Cas wasn't mad at him and was warm and dry again.
"We should all probably get a good night's sleep," Lucas said. He had a feeling Rufus wasn't going to go easy on them in the morning.
Zach's hand found Dani's, his fingers tangling with hers. "See you all in the morning, then?" he asked the others. None of them seemed to want to take Cas' remark literally.