We made it to the ship. We made it OK except for one little problem – the Dazzler’s jetpack sputtered and died halfway to the Falklands. Luckily, I was able to catch her and carry her the rest of the way to the ship.
Oh yeah, did I mention that I’m basically her personal guard and protector now? OK, so maybe I’ve had a little run of bad luck with my partners. I know complaining about it is pointless, but it’s not like I deliberately tried to hurt them. Well, maybe except for Juggernaut. The jerk.
Anyhow, Professor Xavier gave the edict that I must finish the race with my partner in order to win. OK, big deal right? Except my friend here seems to have some kind of deathwish. She wants to pet the dinosaur, she wants to taste the maybe poisonous fruit hanging off the tree, she wants to sing to the giant gorilla because music tames the savage beast, she wants to run and jump off the cliff full speed before trying the “on” button on the jetpack. Fortunately, it worked.
Unfortunately, it sputtered and died.
Was it sabotage? I don’t know. All I know is that I swooped down and just grabbed her arm before she made a big wet splat into the ocean. Rescuing people sure is fun.
Oh by the way, that was sarcasm. I don’t know if you can tell or not, but I really don’t consider myself a woman of action. I know some of the imbeciles involved in this race keep thinking I’m some kind of an intergalactic gladiator or something, but let me assure you that there is quite a bit of difference between hauling some freight fast and far across a sector and strapping on a leather thong and hitting some guy with a laser trident.
As if any of that stuff is real anyway.
So, we make it to the ship in relatively one piece and immediately Dazzler starts hopping up and down to go fight the pirates and I’m like “No way, we’re doing something safe.” I’m not getting her shot in the back by Barnacle Bill. So she starts moping that her father never let her fight pirates and he never let her sing and she just goes on and on and I’m like WTH? Eventually, I persuade her that with her singing talents, we’ll easily dazzle (ha ha, get it? Ugh) the audience.
So it’s about show time and Dazzler’s just sitting there moping about her father and her failed relationships with her boyfriends Lance, Dirk, Fabian, and Longshot and I really didn’t think of her as a diva, but then there she is refusing to go on stage. Fabian? Seriously? I thought Lance and Dirk were bad enough. And then she’d go on and on about Lance’s manly hairy chest and the chain he used to wear.
Finally, finally I coax her onto stage. The crowd was cheering and she was acting all sheepish and shy but then when that music kicked in, she rocked the house. She sang all kinds of songs and dazzled everyone with burst after burst of bright energy from her hands. She even went old school and sang a disco song while roller skating through the audience, between tables and around the cocktail waitresses. I am not afraid to admit that she was pretty awesome.
When her show ended, the crowd jumped up with roaring approval. Getting three positive reviews from this crowd will be easy. The crowd kept cheering but Dazzler didn’t go back on stage for an encore, she just slid past me and walked out into the starry night.
I quickly chased after her, grabbing two glasses of wine off a waiter’s tray along the way.
“Congratulations,” I said as I handed her one of the glasses. “You did great. We’ve definitely got the challenge in the bag.”
“If only my father could see me now,” she sighed sadly.
“I’m sorry that your father’s dead and you’ve never reconciled with him.”
“Oh, he’s still alive, he’s retired in Hoboken,” Dazzler replied.
“What?” I couldn’t believe her. “What the fracking frell is with you and all of your angsty crying?”
“Well my life’s never been easy,” she replied. “It’s been tough trying to make a career out of singing, modeling, acting, being an aerobics instructor, being an X-Man, being the herald of Galactus… Lance was always there for me, but he never understood me you know?”
“Oh my God, just stop it with the emo crap already,” I threw my arms up. “It’s been done already, and much better by others.”
“What do you mean?”
“Uh hello, how about Spider-Man?” I asked. “He’s always worried about his Aunt May and her health, and paying the bills, and his job at the Daily Bugle.”
Dazzler looked confused. “What are you talking about?”
“You know, Peter Parker is Spider-Man and he’s always worried about his personal life?”
“What?” Dazzler laughed. “No, Peter’s not Spider-Man, he takes pictures of Spidey for the Bugle.”
“You don’t remember when he unmasked?” I asked. “It was a whole big event, apparently.”
“I dunno,” she shrugged.
“Did everyone just forget all of that stuff about him one day? You know what? Whatever, it doesn’t matter. The point is, you’re a super hero with some cool powers. You don’t need to mope around all day grousing about your personal life. Be happy. Have a little fun you know.”
“I wish I could,” she replied sadly. “If only Dirk could be here now.”
“What, did he move away to Jersey City?” I asked.
“No, he got eaten by and alligator in the sewer,” she replied.
“Oh my God!” I screamed. “That’s it! I can’t take it any more. Get the frack back to your room and just sit there until the ship hits port. I don’t want to fracking hear you anymore. I can’t stand your lame whining!”
Dazzler responded by throwing her drink in my face.
“Oh, no you didn’t,” I gasped angrily as I wiped the wine off with my hand.
“Shut up, bitch,” Dazzler growled. She grabbed my glass and threw the contents in my face as well.
“Bitch,” I said. “It is on.”
I slapped her across the cheek, she slapped me back. I slapped her again and she responded with the same. I then punched her and she punched me back so I grabbed her hair as she tried to claw my eyes with her nails. I was surprised to get leverage on her, but I used it to throw her over me. She went sailing over the railing and just barely managed to grab it.
“Oh my God!” she screamed.
“I got you!” I grabbed her arm. “Whatever you do, just don’t look down!”
“Oh God! I don’t want to get chopped up in those propellers!”
“I said don’t look down!” I yelled as I tried to get a grip on her arm.
“Oh God, now there are sharks swimming all around!” she wailed. “I don’t want to get eaten by sharks!”
“I got you!” I started to hoist her arm, but she slipped and almost fell but I grabbed her wrist at the last second.
“Oh God, now there’s some sort of sea creature eating all the sharks!” she yelled. “I don’t want to get eaten by a sea creature!”
“Stupid death wish,” I muttered as I hoisted her back onto the deck.
“Oh God, thank you,” she said.
“No problem,” I shrugged.
“I still owe you this though.” She hauled off and punched me in the face again.
“Bitch!” I punched her back and she grabbed my hair so I tried to push her face away with my nails. She shoved me and I stumbled back, and then we both tumbled into the pool.
She pulled me up out of the water and slapped me again. I grabbed her and tried to shove her under the water or tear her dress or something. She grabbed me and tried to tear my dress as well.
We heard laughter and applause. Dazzler and I stopped and looked up. All around us, people were looking at us and cheering.
“This must be part of the show,” one man said as he clapped.
“It’s like a Dynasty tribute!” another older woman said joyfully.
I looked at Dazzler and she looked at me. I grinned and gave half a shrug. She giggled and threw her arm around me.
“Thank you, thank you,” she laughed. “I hope you enjoyed the show and the rest of your stay on the Caribbean Princess.”
The crowd clapped and moved on to other forms of recreation as I stood there speechless. I finally looked at Dazzler and shook my head laughing. She grinned and half shrugged back at me. I laughed, she laughed. It was cathartic.
We then enjoyed the rest of the cruise and quickly made it to the Hellfire Club with no more incidents.
And Dazzler only tried to kill herself ten or eleven times along the way.