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A pair of fics first posted anonymously at Goddess-in-Green's tumblr. I'm just coming off of anon.

Even the residents of the Underground City beneath Lane 5 know Welcome to Night Vale belongs to Fink and Crannor.



Carlos' hand

"It's not a happy story, Cecil, but if you really want to know," Carlos sighed. "I was 18. I'd been powered for a year, year and half, and just about to graduate from High School. The local magical team were college-age or in their twenties at least, and much better known than I was. Supposedly, they got their hands on a prophecy or something that identified this powerful magical talisman and I supposedly matched the description of its guardian." He rubbed his hand. "One of them got me alone and 'questioned' me about its location." Carlos looked away. "He... the guy that grabbed me broke all the bones in my hand, trying to get me to talk. Even though I honestly didn't know a thing about what he was looking for." He shivered. "The rest of his team showed up that evening, just in time to see me break the guy's nose. Apparently, the guy had been late for a team meeting. So, he got healed by their healer right away, but I had to beg and apologize before she'd agree to help me. I left for college the next week, and I've never gone back." He paused. "But, Cecil? Part of me wonders if there really was a prophecy or an item... or if his team just claimed there was to cover for him and excuse his actions." He glanced over at Cecil. "The next time I transformed, I became The Outsider instead of... who I was before. And that's where I got my name."



A Carlos College Snippet

The Outsider tilted his face up, enjoying the feel of the rain. Moments of quiet like this were always nice.

Unfortunately, quiet moments gave him time to think.

His final exam of the semester was done, no more classes or labs 'til next semester. The labs themselves would be closing soon, sending researchers, grad students, and teachers home for the holidays. Even the dorms would shut this year to save the school some money.

Leaving Carlos with no place to go.

Well, that wasn't completely true. He could go home. Take the chance to visit with his parents and relations. Heaven knew they would be glad to see him, and were possibly expecting him.

He rubbed his hand, broken bones long since perfectly healed.

Going home also meant entering the territory controlled by The Magisters.

Carlos shivered. It might be cowardice, but he didn't want to face that magical team again. Ever.

"If you think it's cold out here, Outsider," a voice called, "you should probably move inside or at least out of the rain. You've been sitting here for a while."

The Outsider fell backwards, barely managing to keep his head from slamming into the concrete roof. "Ow."

Gentle, gloved hands helped him up. "Ah, sorry. I'm used to people sensing my magic. I keep forgetting you can't, Carlos."

"You do have a very distinctive presence, Anna." He glanced up at the semi-retired Magical Girl. "So, what's up? Is there a monster to fight?"

"Nothing so serious, for once. I was walking by here and saw you." She shrugged, "Turned out in my favor, I've been meaning to ask what you're going to do for the holidays."

Carlos looked away, not wanting Anna to see his face. "I'm not sure. I want to go home, but..."

"But?"

"The Magisters. I live in the area they're active. Our last meeting wasn't exactly pleasant," he muttered.

Anna hissed a sigh. "I've heard of that group, and not positive stories. If you've had a bad encounter before, you probably should avoid them now. The rumors I'm hearing are worrying. Especially for solitary or newly powered Magical Guys and Girls, but nothing concrete." She shook her head, bobbed hair swaying. "But never mind that now. Since you're not comfortable going home, how about joining us at the gym?"

Carlos blinked. "Won't I be intruding?"

"Nope. Yasmine promised to come, since she's moving back home now that she's got her degree. We've got a couple Magical People we've know, mentored, or helped coming, as well as some of their students and non-magic support staff or allies." Grinning, Anna added, "It's a good way to stay involved, even though Jake and I are mostly retired from monster fighting." Her voice turned serious, "Plus, there's a chance someone will know of a person or group willing to give you a better combat education."

"Jake is-"

Anna interrupted, "I know Jake's teaching you boxing. I know you're good at boxing. I've seen you in the gym. But your skills, Outsider, don't lend themselves to spontaneous spell creation or other feats of magic. You need a wide variety of tricks and fighting styles in your arsenal to keep your opponents from countering all your moves. It'll make your life easier in the future."

The Outsider thought it over, eyes absently tracking a car on the streets below. "Alright. I'll learn some other fighting styles."

"And you'll come to the gym for the holidays?"

Carlos laughed. "Yes, oh pushy Anna, I'll come."

Anna flashed him a bright smile. "Good. We'll see you then." She hopped easily from the roof, dropping down to the streets below.

"Well, now I know what to tell Mama as why I'm not coming home for the holidays," muttered the Outsider, as he waved to Anna.

End

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