Phoebe wasn’t usually called on Hero League missions. Sometimes when they were super important, President Kickbutt would ask her mom and dad to come out of retirement temporarily, but this was the first time Phoebe had been called alongside them.
When she heard the plan she understood why, an attack on the Villain League headquarters? That required every possible supe, not children, of course, but Link had been called back from Hong Kong and President Kickbutt was even letting her daughter Simone go. In fact, Phoebe was pretty sure she’d never seen this many superheroes in one place before. For most of them, the plan was simple, attack from the front and don’t get hit too hard. There were other complexities, battle strategies involving the Z-Force, but none of them involved Phoebe, she wasn’t even sure that any of them involved her parents, despite their being called out of retirement.
Even though Phoebe wasn’t sure of the plan, as the fight in the middle of the Villain League entrance hall escalated, she was pretty sure it was working. The Hero League did seem to be wining, but it was hard to tell, and that didn’t mean the fight was easy. Despite the sheer numbers of the Hero League and the surprise attack, the Villain League certainly wasn’t sparse in members and they did have the advantage of their defenses.
No one on either side seemed to be getting seriously injured though, as much of a curse as a blessing considering it meant everyone, on both sides, could keep fighting, there were just too many on either side for anyone to focus their attacks solely on one person long enough to do damage. Phoebe would shove a person away, send a blast towards whatever weapon they have, and then be forced to move on to the next villain lest they get the drop on her.
Then she was shoved by an energy blast into a frozen Link… a Link who she had definitely not frozen.
She melted him and be blinked gaining his bearings. “Phoebe? Max! He’s here.”
Phoebe nodded as the two were forced apart by the ebb and flow of the battle. Max. She hadn’t even considered her twin would be at the Villain League, though really, she should've. After he had left, well, they hadn’t heard much, and they certainly hadn’t heard that he was part of the Villain League. Phoebe had always assumed that he had found some lair somewhere with Colosso and was figuring it out from there. Nora had assumed he’d died and Chloe had started to forget he had ever existed. Phoebe didn’t blame her, considering Max’s basement had been turned into a training room, and all photos of him had been removed, his existence in the Thunderman household was solely based on her memory; they didn’t talk about him either.
But now he was here, in the same building as her, and they were on opposite sides of this fight, and it didn't change anything, it couldn't change anything. Maybe this could be the opportunity to see her twin again, but she couldn't risk the Hero League's plan for that opportunity... she wasn't even sure if she wanted it, so she did what her family had been doing for months: avoid the topic. She didn’t know where Max was in this fight, but if she did she would go the exact opposite direction. If she saw someone being affected by telekinesis that wasn’t hers, she moved away, melted and frozen weapons that she didn’t recall affecting, she skirted around. If she saw him, she had to deal with the truth of the situation, not just skirt around it as they'd been doing for months. Seeing him fighting heroes cemented his decision, cemented his allegiance in this battle, cemented the fact that she was expected to fight him and, if Phoebe was honest with herself, she didn’t know if she could.
In the crowded fight, avoiding someone wasn’t difficult but soon the fight was no longer crowded, whatever the Hero League had planned had worked because the heroes gained the upper hand, and the villains started dropping, and as they felt threatened some started fleeing, others fought harder resulting in some of the heroes dropping.
Then Phoebe saw him, across the room, battling with Tech Rider. She hadn’t wanted to see him, she tried to focus on something else, the villains but there were so little left now that she couldn’t just effortlessly join a fight, there was nothing left to distract her.
He looked terrible, of course, anyone would look terrible after an ambush, and considering his Villain University sweatshirt and pajama pants he had just gotten out of bed when the ambush occurred, but other than that he looked bonier than he had when he had left. The bags under his eyes were more pronounced than they had ever been at home. Then he looked over at her and raised his eyebrows, she could almost hear him "Some Hero League sending a teenager to a raid."
Some Villain League only having a teenager to protect it, Phoebe thought rolling her eyes.
Then she felt the tug in her gut, her thundersense screaming danger, danger, danger. She had had to stop to watch Max, and she was still watching because she didn’t have a fight to distract herself with, but Max did, he had a fight but he was distracted and she could hear the thump from here as Tech Rider got the upper hand and Max fell to the floor.
“Max!” She was heading over there before she could stop herself. It was an instinct to try and check on him, and then she met an arm.
“Come on, Phoebe, it’s over, we go home now.”
“But, Max!” Surely, he hadn’t seen him.
“I know, come on, let’s go.” He had seen Max?
“But he’s hurt.” She tried to get past her Dad, to see Max, what if he was dead? He couldn't be dead, surely Tech Rider didn't have it in him.
“No, come on Phoebe.” Hank started pushing her back, and with his super strength, she couldn’t resist much.
“But, what if he’s—”
“He’ll get checked over, same as the rest of the prisoners.”
“Why are you acting like this?” Phoebe’s feet were no longer touching the floor, her father was not looking at her, just moving her through the crowd of superheroes. “Just let me see him!”
“He could be dangerous Phoebe, you can visit any of the prisoners once they’re in Metroburg Super Jail.”
“He’s unconscious and he’s my brother!” Some of the other heroes were watching, a few looked like they wanted to intervene, who knows on whose behalf.
“Thunderman, just let her see if the boy’s alright?” It was Silver Eagle, their old teacher.
“No!” Hank insisted.
Phoebe squirmed and finally just used her telekinesis to get free, but by now Max was surrounded by Hero League doctors and the Z-Force member who would take him to jail when he was physically ready, because right now whatever Tech Rider had done to him meant he wasn't physically ready, and she couldn’t see him, she couldn’t tell if the doctors were saying that it was hopeless or if it was just a scratch, and she couldn’t get to him because Hank had her by the shoulders again, dragging her away, ignoring her yelling, the looks from the other supes.
He pushed Link aside who’d stepped in to suggest that maybe Thunderman let go of his daughter.
He didn’t let her go until they were in the car and he was driving. Barb had sat down next to Phoebe, promising that they’d get an update on Max soon, that he would be fine, but Phoebe wouldn’t believe it until she could see it for herself.
And in a few days, she would be able to see him, in the hospital before he was taken to Metroburg Super Jail. He would refuse to talk to any of them, didn’t even let Hank in the room, but he was okay and that was all that mattered to Phoebe.