No one could see it because of the mask, but Cat clenched his eyes in utter concentration. What he did was a demanding task, a straining task. One single mistake would ruin it all. His effort would have been for naught.
He ignored the sweat ticking down his face as well as the numbness in his fingers. The pressure of his teeth grinding together was so fierce that one would think they would break into powder. But he had to keep going. He had to carry on. This was going to be his finest hour.
That fire-breathing turtle jerk was going down!
He would be remembered for this triumph. His dad would be so proud of him, if he ever had one to begin with. Whenever someone saw him, they would stare at him in awe, knowing that he was the guy who got things done. Today was the the day he made it to the history books.
Maybe someone would even make a movie about him?
But then, as he jumped, he realized too late that he had miscalculated the distance! Why now? Now of all time?! It wasn't fair! He had worked too hard, endured too much!
But fate was cruel.
Cat fell down the pool of lava.
"... Dang it..."
Cat sighed. He was so annoyed that he was THIS CLOSE to simply throw his handheld console out of the window of the abounded apartment's bedroom. He had been soooooo close! If only he had finished that level, he would have had a world-record high-score in Mario Infinity.
... Oh well, back to work.
He checked the time. If his sources were to be trusted, then the Bald Eagles would arrive 10 minutes-ish from now. He lifted the curtain, adjusted the binoculars function build in his mask's eyes and looked down the neon-light illuminated snowy streets.
After eight minutes, the bunch of bald young men in light-brown leather-jackets could be seen. They entered a little greengrocer.
Inside it was Mr Khan about to sell a paper-bag with chestnuts to a young blond woman, but dropped it as he realized who had entered his little shop. The blond one recognized the bald men as Twilight's newest hate group as well, and decided that she didn't really need those nuts anyway as she ran out, leaving both the bag and the money she had paid for it. the Eagles paid her no mind. She was not the one they had come for.
"Please..." Mr Khan took a quick glance at his son's cricket-bat he had left in the shop by accident, considering whether it would be a good or terrible idea to attempt to defend himself. Then he realized that they were five against one, and he was in his 50s. "I don't want any trouble. You can take whatever you want, but-"
"Hear that, boys?" One of the Bald Eagles said. He was head taller than the others, looked like he was in the beginning of his twenties and he was wearing yellow shades. "The fat Mussie here thinks we came to steal his junk!"
The others began to snicker.
"Let me tell ya, Mussie..." The Eagle leader grabbed Mr Khan by his collar and slammed him up a wall, making some of the boxes with cakes fall down the shelf. "The day I need to stink of garlic and burn flags while wearing a fez? That's the day I might consider robbing ya! But me and my boys aren't criminals and thieves, you dig?"
Mr Khan decided to nod, not provoking the young man. But he couldn't help but wonder if anyone really said you dig nowadays.
"No, we came because your shop is a biiiig problem for us Twilighters. For all Americans, actually. It's threatening our holiday spirit. You dig?"
"... Wh-what are you talkin-"
"It's god damn Christmas in a few days from now, and your shop don't have nothing! No Christmas decorations at all! Not even a god damn Santa sticker on the window, for Christ's sake! Not good! Your lack of Christmas spirit is damaging this neighborhood. You dig?"
"What?" Mr Khan's eyes widened and his jaw fell as he realized what this was all about. "But... But I don't... I don't celebrate Christmas."
"Let me at him, Al!" One of the bald young men cracked his knuckles. "Let me at him!"
"Easy, Joey. Easy now." Al, the leader of the Bald Eagles, pulled something out of his back pocket. Khan gulped as he realized that it was a folded switchblade. "Now, me and the boys, we are good Americans. So there's freedom for all, including scum like you. But in America, we celebrate Christmas, dammit! And now I have to make an example out of you so all the other Mussies-"
Seemingly out of nowhere, someone dressed in green kicked Al, making him loose his grip on Khan and trip. The elder man ran to his counter to find cover as Cat had entered the scene, armed with his son's ball bat.
"Holy crap, you guys are so bald!" Cat pointed at a almost accusing finger at the slightly stunned Eagles, who then pulled out their own knifes. Except for the one called Joe who had a steel chain. "Why call yourself Eagles, when you look more like Mr Clean? You should be the Mr Clean gang. You know, because you're BALD!"
"There is absolutely no hair on your head! It's gone, all of it!" Cat moved shiftily as he was assaulted by the bald boys. They were practically stumbling over their own feet compared to him. "There isn't a word that can stress how freaking bald you guys are!" The lack of space in the store didn't bother the masked hero that much. In fact, he used it to his advantage as he dodged the knifes and moved his slim figure around he selves, then attacked by shoving the bat in the stomach of one of the Bald Eagles, taking out his wind. "Baldies! Cue-Balls! Chrome-domes!" Joey with the steel chain tried to strike Cat, but that backfired as Cat grabbed the other end of the chain, pulling the young man close enough to headbutt him so hard that he passed out. Then swung the bat knocking out a few teeth at another Eagle. "If I had any wax on me, I would scrub your scalps with it so you could look at each others reflection and then realize how gosh darn bald you are!" Cat then turned his attention toward the only Bald Eagle left standing... who decided that it would be unwise to stay and fight, so he ran out of the shop.
"Man, Bald Eagle my butt." Cat stretched out his whole body. "More like Bald Chicken." Cat looked at the three bald men who lied on the floor. One had ran away. Meaning that one was-
"Ah, there you are!" Cat turned around and saw that the leader Al had gotten back on his feet. He looked peeved. "Almost forgot about you. You want some more?"
"You made a biiig mistake crossing me!" Al made a gruesome smile as his lips began to... get longer?
"Wow, really?" Cat tilted his head as the now transformed Al was about to jump him. "Little too much on the nose if you ask-"
The half-man-half-bird Al stroke a feathered fist right trough the glass wall, attempting to punch a hole in Cat. Cat slammed the bat at the back of Al's head, only for it to splinter. Al looked like it annoyed him more than it hurt as he tried to stab Cat in the head with his razor-sharp beak.
"I do hope your not referring to yourself as the Birdman, cause that names occupied."
Apparently, making that crack was a mistake as it seemingly peeved Al off enough to land a punch in Cat's stomach. Any other person with a standard pain threshold would have been unable to move after the force from that mutated strong left. Not to say that Cat was unaffected. After all, he could feel that it was a good thing he had a light lunch.
Before he could get up and REALLY do some actual fighting, Al was already towering above him.
"You may be a big time superhero or whatever..." Al made a satisfied birdsmile. "But I actually got me powers! What you gonna-"
Three in a row did the job.
Al's eyes became as big as teacups as he fell to his knees while making a loud long cry similar to that of a parrot with sore throat.
Cat got up, then made a fourth kick. This time on Al's beak, finally knocking him out.
"I guess I could make a nutcracker pun but... NA!" Cat dusted off his tux. "Mr Khan, you mind calling the police?"
Khan came up from his hiding place. "Um... I already did."
"Good, then someone should be here any minute now. Even if those scumbags had been paid to come as slowly as possible, thn they have to arrive eventually and then they can't ignore this mess." Cat stretched out. Then, he began to tie up the Bald Eagles, just in case "Sorry about the mess. You alright?"
Mr Khan looked at his greengrocer. Everything was a mess.
"No. No I'm not. Not that I'm ungrateful for you saving my life. thank you very much."
"Don't mention it." Cat stuck a hand inside a jacket and took out a couple of dollars. Then, he searched the goons jackets, found their valets and gave Khan the money. "No enough I guess, but-"
"Oh, I couldn't-"
"Yeah you could!"
Khan looked at the many products that lied around on the floor and the broken windows.
"... I suppose I could.." He somewhat hesitant took the money.
"Seriously... Are you going to be okay?"
"... I doubt it. Sometimes, it seems like everyone in this country hates me and my family. No matter what we do, we aren't American enough, it seems. Makes me wonder why I even bother."
Cat didn't say anything. Khan had a darkness over his face. More than anger and sadness. Not even hate. It was... bitterness was not the right word, but something like that.
"..." Cat was about to leave. He had to, as masked heroes weren't accepted by the law in Twilight.
But, before he did... He wasn't sure if it would mean anything for Khan... Then again, it wouldn't hurt.
"Jab log aapse naainsaaf pesh aarahehe he, isee me shaanthi paao, ke Allah sab dhekne vaala hai,"
Khan dropped the broom as he was about to clean up the mess.
"... ruko..." He looked at Cat with a suprised look on his face. "... ruko... tumhe urdu maaloom hai?"
Cat shrugged. "Haan, kuch kuch. Chaacha ne sikhaaya."
Mr Khan hesitated, then decided that had HAD to ask. "...Us mukut ke undhar... tum Pakistani ho?"
Cat giggled. "Hehe. TUMHE jaan-na hai?"
And then, Cat left.
"My mom is going to freak out!"
Joey, Bill, Ted and Al were inside a holding cell at the police station. They weren't in a good mood, especially Al who had to wear a magic-negating collar so he wouldn't transform. It itched.
"Relax, boys. Relax!" Al sad with a reassuring voice. "Your parents won't hear a thing about this. Good ol' Al here got it covered. I know people, and we will be out of this joint in no- wait, what's that?"
The sound of broken glass could be heard from the cell's only window. Then, an envelope was thrown in.
Ted picked it up and opened it. Inside it was a couple of photos of...
"... what the... No WAY!"
"What's up, Ted?" Joey picked one of the photos as well... and his jaw would have dropped to the floor if it had been long enough. Bill and Al studied the photos too. Al who had been calm and collected mere seconds ago almost had a heart attack. Bill was utterly confused. It couldn't be... yet, the photos proved something else. Despite the hair and the dumb little hat, it was clear that it was Al who was on them.
All four of the Bald Eagles looked up the window and saw Cat's smiling mask. "Hope you like the pictures! Especially you, Al! After all, your parents were sooooo proud of you that day! The day you became a man."
"Wait..." Joey looked at one of the photos of Al. "Are you saying that Al is... is... is-"
"Jewish!" Cat giggled hysterically. "Also, his real name is Ariel!" He nodded toward the leader of the Bald Eagles who looked like he wanted nothing more than shrinking to the size of an ant. "Happy Hanuka!" And then he left the window, leaving them alone in the cell once more.
"Um... guys?" Al looked at his friends who stared back in a less than friendly way. "It's... It's not like that. I'm, ah... I'm not a-"
"Damn Jew. Making us look like fools, eh?"
"Think you're real funny, ARIEL?!"
"You know guys, I always found it weird that his nose was so big!"
Al gulped. "Guys, it's not my fault my parents-"
"Your people killed Jesus, kosher-face!"