Meredith felt the gentle kiss on her throat as she lay in bed, the covers snuggled up about her, keeping her warm and comfortable. She turned and found her husband cuddled up against her from behind. The scent of his Irish Spring soap let her know he had returned from his late-night outing and showered before joining her in bed. They embraced awhile, enjoying one another's bodies and then lay snuggled together, their arms enfolding one another comfortably.
"How was your first night out in your new persona?" she asked in a quiet, husky voice that revealed how much she had enjoyed their recent bout of passion.
"Great," he nuzzled the top of her head with his lips, kissed her hair and snuggled in closer. "Stopped three burglaries of different types, one rape, two drug deals and found a young teenage girl running away from home and after talking to her, convinced her life on the street wasn't exactly what she thought it might be."
"Sounds like you had a busy night," she smiled up at him and their lips met for a few more moments of shared pleasure.
"Yup. Had to go to several police stations and fill out reports, too. That's something I've never had to do before. Got a few more to attend to this morning."
"That's because before everyone always knew you and knew they could count on you to appear in court to testify, or at least that your written affidavit testifying to the veracity of the statements you made to the police as you surrendered your captured suspects in each case could be trusted by the courts so you wouldn't have to be there."
He chuckled openly at her statement. "You sound so much like the law enforcement professional you now are. How's your new job coming along?"
"Fine," she stretched beneath the covers and then pulled herself in closer to his body, nestling her head against his chest. "Been busy lately with investigating a series of bank robberies where an unknown male, approximately five-foot-nine to six-feet tall, wearing a green camouflage jacket with a hood walked into the banks during slow periods and brandished an automatic weapon, most likely an AK-47 from the descriptions given by the bank employees. No leads so far, but Evan and I are working hard at finding someone who knows something useful."
"Evan?" he asked, his head lying gently on top of hers.
"Mmmm? Oh, Evan Robertson. He's my partner in this case. We got assigned together the other day so we could cover more ground and hopefully find this bank robber faster before he actually hurts someone."
They lay quietly for another ten minutes, enjoying one another's closeness, before Meredith glanced at the clock and sighed.
"Looks like I need to get ready for work." She stretched once more and leaned close for one more kiss before she threw back her covers and headed for the shower.
After Meredith dressed she went downstairs and found breakfast and coffee waiting for her. Thankfully Marshall knew what she liked to eat and had prepared a light meal of one split English muffin with cream cheese - the low calorie variety - toasted and waiting on a small plate. Next to it was a fresh peach, sliced in quarters. Meredith sat in the chair before her food and took a sip of her coffee first.
"Mmmm, delicious. I think I must be the luckiest wife in the whole world. Who else has a husband who stays out all night catching criminals and then comes home, ravishes his wife and makes her breakfast before she goes off to work?"
"I wouldn't want you feeling cheated by my not being next to you all night while you slept." He leaned over her and their lips met briefly before she took a bite of her muffin.
"Will you be free for lunch today?" he asked, taking the seat next to hers and beginning in on his own breakfast, four link sausages, two eggs over-easy, hashbrowns and whole wheat toast, lightly buttered. He didn't have to watch his calorie or cholesterol intake the way she did.
"I might be. Depends on what happens with this bank case. If we get anything concrete it could get exciting, but I wouldn't count on it, so what did you have in mind?"
"I thought we might check out that Indian restaurant two blocks down from your office. I know how much you love Indian food."
"Oh, I heard about that place. Everyone at work raves about it. Must be the best in town. Yes. If I'm not busy collaring a suspect I'll meet you there - or you could come by the office so I could introduce you to everyone before we go to lunch?"
"I like that idea better. I have yet to meet everyone you work with, so sure, about eleven-thirty? Is that too early?"
"Maybe. Better make it twelve-fifteen. That should give me enough time to do some investigating and get back to the office. If I'm running late I'll call you and we can meet at the restaurant, okay?"
"Sounds like a plan to me," he smiled around a bite of sausage and egg.
"What do you have going this morning?" she finished her last bite of sliced peach and wiped her lips with her napkin then pushed her chair back so she could leave.
"Getting into character and heading to a few precincts so I can fill out the required paperwork and be a recognized entity in this city's night-life."
"Ah. Well, good luck. Make lots of friends on the force so you won't have any problems when the police arrive to pick up your arrests."
"That's something I have to work on. This new persona isn't as easy-going as the 'old me'. I've decided to be a tad more surly, like Darknight, so the cops know as well as the criminals that I'm not someone who treads lightly on crime."
"Well, remember you have to work along with these cops. Don't make anyone angry with you too soon, all right?" Their lips met for their good-bye kiss and Meredith headed out the door. Marshall finished his breakfast and then went downstairs to his new "lair" so he could get dressed in his "working clothes".
At the first precinct house he visited everyone - police, suspects in handcuffs, visitors and those filling out one type of complaint or another all stopped what they were doing and looked up at this costumed man as he entered. He was used to being stared at, but the looks he was getting at this moment were different. Before it was mostly idol- or hero-worship or out-right awe, while this was more along the lines of "What the hell is that?" It didn't bother him; he had grown a thick skin toward too many things long ago and knew the looks he received were warranted, seeing as how he was dressed in a way the vast majority of people would never consider and looked pretty menacing.
He walked up to the police sergeant sitting at the main desk and waited patiently while the elderly woman in front of him finished talking to the sergeant. The woman kept glancing over her shoulder at him and he smiled before remembering that no one could see his smile in this persona. That was an odd feeling. Always before people were relaxed by his smiling face and the familiarity of who he was - the national if not global symbol of justice and protection against evil - the protector of mankind. Now he noticed how much more nervous this woman had become since he walked up behind her, as though she was afraid he was a criminal and she might be his next victim. Not a good feeling, but he sighed inwardly, knowing this was one more item he would have to get used to.
"Can I help ya, bub?" the sergeant tapped the pencil in his hand rapidly on the blotter before him as he looked up, not realizing that the woman had left.
"Oh, sorry, sergeant," he smiled once again and mentally kicked himself. This not having his face showing was going to be harder to get used to than he thought, but at least his smiling put him in the correct mood for dealing with people like this policeman before him, who had no idea who he was.
"I need to fill out a few reports on criminals I apprehended last night as well as the City-wide Police Assistance Authorization for Supers."
The sergeant looked up at him, his expression telling Solar Eclipse he'd seen a lot of fly-by-night-wannabes filling out the same forms only to never be heard from again or worse, being heard from when the report came in about their deaths when attempting to confront criminals outside of their realm of expertise. The grizzled veteran of the police department stood wearily from his desk and turned about. He walked only a couple of steps to the filing cabinet behind him where such forms were kept. As he opened the third drawer down a shot rang out from down the hall. The sergeant and everyone else in the lobby of the precinct house turned to see what was going on. Those with experience in such matters knew it couldn't be good. Guns weren't fired off inside the police department except under situations of duress.
Loud footfalls and heavy breathing sounded down the long corridor and a man appeared, a Glock nine-millimeter, police issue, clutched in his right hand. The look of fear on his face said it all, he had wrestled with a police officer or detective, taken the cop's department-issued weapon from him and shot, possibly killed, the policeman. Now he was trying to make his escape and hoping nobody else got in his way. He obviously wasn't used to anything quite so drastic. The fear evident in his face and body as he ran made him the most dangerous person in the precinct house at that moment.
Solar Eclipse turned so his body faced the sergeant's desk, giving the appearance that he wasn't paying any attention to the fleeing felon. As the gun-wielding felon came close enough to this unknown masked man Solar Eclipse shot his left arm out straight behind him. The extended gauntlet struck the felon in the forehead, knocking him to the ground unconscious. Solar Eclipse bent over, retrieved the Glock from the now limp fingers of the man at his feet, stood up straight and handed the weapon by two fingers only, butt first, to the sergeant whose face held an expression of "How the hell did you do that?" The police sergeant accepted the weapon from the masked man before him and Solar Eclipse simply said, "Am I going to have to fill out a report on that one, too?"