The elemental sat atop the mortal’s workbench, watching in awe the carvings and trinkets xe made. From small statues of stone and wood to toys for, as the mortal explained, xir siblings’ children. The elemental barely understood most of what the mortal spoke, but ze would not have changed it. The mortal gave zem a comfortable place to rest, bundled in blankets before the burning hearth. Even though ze was no larger than a house cat, the mortal cared for zem all the same as though ze was a being of xir size..

“Okay, okay. Here’s my final offer. I’ll give you a massage for 25 million dollars, and 69 cents.”

“Okay, first of all, I don’t even like massages-”

“How can you not like massages??”

“And second of all, why are you like this as a person??”

“I want large quantities of money for a relatively low labor cost.

“What could be more interesting than a thousand drunk, rich assholes scrambling to prove their moral worth by doing nothing productive at all?” xe says dismissively about the charity gala “I hate undercover work.”

“On the plus side,” teases xir partner “you get to murder the worst of them after this. If we don’t break cover.”

“You talk a big game,” says the vigilante, leveling xir sword at the hero’s throat “But are you really capable of the follow through?”

“What is this?” says the hero, raising a hand to lightly grip the blade “Why are you threatening me?”

“You said that we were in this together, no?” the vigilante presses the blade more firmly against the meat of the hero’s palm “But I’m starting to get the feeling you’re lying. About all of it, about everything. And I want to know why. Who are you, hero? What is it you’re really about to do?”

“Heads up,” says the vigilante to the superhero “I gave out your number to a friend.”

“You’re passing out my information now?” asks the hero. That’s… not something-

“[X] is a good person.” says the vigilante, who has never said that even about [hero] “I trust xir.”