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Snapshots: The Lives of Helen and Bob Parr

Chapter Text

"We have a...situation…shipping warehouse downtown…reinforcement needed…"  

Mr. Incredible's police scanner is cutting in and out, and he quickly grows frustrated with the malfunctioning device. But he manages to make out the address, and races downtown to see what he can do to help.  

 After a traffic jam that was definitely beyond his control, he arrives on the scene, only to find a group of handcuffed men being herded into police cars. A few reporters are lingering about, trying to get a sound bite from the person who helped nab the criminals.   

"This is Karen Samuels reporting for Channel 5, and I'm here with a superhero that we’ll hopefully be seeing a lot more around Municiberg lately. She has just incapacitated no less than five wanted felons!”   

Mr. Incredible peers out of his rolled-down window, frowning at the scene from the back. They were supposed to have been his felons.   

“...This lady seems to be able to stretch herself into any form, and her abilities have effectively taken down the criminals in question tonight. Miss, do you have any comment about what just occurred here?"   

"I'm just happy that I was able to get here quickly enough. This city depends on the authorities to keep it safe, but every now and then, extra assistance is required. I'm just here to help."  

 "Well, your efforts are definitely appreciated after your actions tonight. Thanks so much, um…?"   

"Elastigirl."   

"Well, there you have it, folks! Solid proof that the Supers of our society continue to make the world a better place. Thanks, Elastigirl!"   

Mr. Incredible gets out of his car, and is immediately approached by an officer whose name he can’t remember at the moment.   

"Hey, Incredible. You can see that we're all finished up here. What a woman, eh?"   

"Yeah. Please excuse me, Officer."   

He makes his way over to the unfamiliar heroine, who is straightening her red boots.   

"Nice job," he says in way of greeting. "I would have gotten here quicker, but I was somewhat tied up."    

Elastigirl looks up, and he sucks in a breath, because she is a woman indeed.   

There is a split second between his compliment and her reply, during which his eyes trace over thick auburn hair, bangs that don’t quite hide a pair of glittering brown eyes, and a spandex-clad form with curves and dips in all the right places.  

Mr. Incredible forgets both of his names.   

"Yes, that does happen," she replies lightly, a Southern lilt to her voice, and he thinks he might melt right where he stands. "Though I suppose that tonight your abilities were somewhat unneeded…Mr. Incredible." The use of his moniker is accompanied by the raising of an eyebrow.   

At first he’s thrown by this stranger knowing who he is, but with a puff of pride, he remembers that he’s, well, famous. As if sensing this thought of his, her rosy lips curve into a smirk, red mask shifting with her expression. Good God.   

Mr. Incredible clears his suddenly parched throat. "Um, right. Good job tonight, again. I suppose I'll see you around…?"   

Elastigirl tilts her head at him with another quirk of the lips -- not exactly agreeing but not disagreeing, either -- and her dark red hair bobs up and down with the motion. Without warning, she turns around, bends into a spring, and leaps atop the six-story warehouse.   

He lets out a low whistle as she slings herself over the rooftops, heading in the direction of the dying sun.    

Chapter Text

Mr. Incredible has just handcuffed some burglars to the piping of a roof. A now-familiar figure waits on the sidelines, watching him work. She's not just for decoration, though -- she knocked out two of the jewelry crooks right before Mr. Incredible arrived on the scene.

Always one step ahead of him, it seemed. He’d be furious if he weren’t so damn infatuated these days.

"I think we're done here, Elastigirl."

"We? You're forgetting who took out most of them, Incredible."

"Of course. My apologies. How can I make it up to you?"

"How about dinner?"

His clever response halts in his throat. He was not expecting this request; he had been aching to ask her out for a while, but she would never say yes. Or so he had previously thought.

Mr. Incredible clears his throat and attempts to keep up his end of the playful banter.

"Tempting. I'll have to check my schedule, though. A man like me has priorities, you see."

In response, she quickly stretches her arm across the five foot gap between them, clipping him in the shoulder. He pretends to wince, but the punch feels feather-light through his steel-strength super suit.

"Clear it. I won't wait long,” she retorts, flashing him that trademark smirk. He’s more than happy to oblige her request, and they make plans to meet at an Italian restaurant uptown later that night.

Elastigirl exits in her usual fashion, leaping off of the roof in a graceful arch, and Mr. Incredible can't take his eyes off of her receding backside.

Chapter Text

They're standing close together in an alleyway, discussing the news. Recent events have propelled Supers into a bad light, and Congress is debating a new bill that could force Supers into hiding.

"What if they approve it? That means no saving anyone,” Mr. Incredible says, the worry lining his face managing to show through his mask. “Our entire lives are intertwined with our jobs -- with our duty. What will this mean if we can't do what we're meant to?"

"Relax,” Elastigirl soothes, sounding more assured than she feels as she looks up at him with gloved hands on hips. “There's no way that it will pass.”

“I’m not so sure,” he grumbles.

“Making Supers go away doesn't eradicate the villains,” she reasons. “If anything, pushing Supers out of the picture will make the crime rate skyrocket."

They are standing close enough that a spring breeze whips her shoulder-length hair in his face, with a few strands threatening to escape from her headband.

"I know that, and you know that. But do the stuffed shirts know that?" Mr. Incredible’s voice drops, hopelessness seeking into his tone.

"We've just gotta stay strong. Whatever happens, we can still do our part. We'll just have to be…discreet." Her southern accent strengthens with these last words, her internal worries surfacing slightly.

Elastigirl puts one hand to his broad shoulder, stretching a bit to reach around his large frame. He looks into her brown eyes, searching for comfort. He hopes, beyond anything, that they will not be forced to go into hiding.

He is suddenly overcome with a fondness for the woman in front of him. She would stay with him, right? Even if he couldn't be...super anymore? He doesn't know if he could take it if she left. Elastigirl has become a part of him, and he doesn't want to lose her.

Mr. Incredible decides to express his feelings in the first form that comes to mind.

At first she gasps in bewilderment; after all, he did not warn her. But soon she’s responding with enthusiasm. Her lips are soft, and they know what they’re doing, which promptly causes his stomach to jolt in need. His large hands find her impossibly slender waist, with a voice in the back of his head reminding him not to grip too firmly…but she is Elastigirl, and her body seems to yield to his without effort.

After a moment, she drapes her long arms around his neck, pulling away with a sigh of contentment. The tension in the air is diffused, making room for this new emotion.

"It's about time," she says, one eyebrow raised. Without reply, he moves to kiss her again.

Chapter Text

He meets her in the park one Friday evening.

Elastigirl is lounging on a bench, her auburn hair glinting like a copper penny in the fading light. She's wearing the ever-present red mask, but is dressed in civvies; a short sundress that shows off her toned arms.

Mr. Incredible drinks in the sight as he approaches, marveling at the fact that no matter how much good he has done in this life, he must have done even more in the past one to deserve such a woman.

Elastigirl smiles up at him, and he lets out the breath that he didn't realize he'd been holding in.

"On three?" she asks. "Alright," is his slightly nervous reply.

1, 2, 3, and the masks come off.

"Nice to meet you,” he quips, reaching out a palm. “I'm Bob Parr."

She grins and shakes his hand, her brown eyes somehow even wider and more beautiful without the disguise. "Helen Truax."

It's the sweetest combination of letters that Bob has ever heard. He rolls the name around in his head, savoring the importance of the moment. He knows that it is dangerous for Supers to take a relationship this far, especially with recent events, but he trusts her.

Hell, he'd do anything for her.

"I...I love you, Helen," he blurts.

Her face shifts into a look of surprise. Then it softens, her expression reflecting his own.

"Would you believe that I love you too, Bob?"

Chapter Text

Elastigirl hates wearing regular clothes.

Wearing civvies means confinement. It means no using powers, no freedom, and no hero work. One unconscious stretch of the neck, and the shoulder of that new blouse is ripped. Infuriating. She might as well get used to it, though; the Anti-Super bill looks like it's going to pass.

Helen Truax rather likes wearing regular clothes.

Wearing normal clothes means meeting Bob Parr for a drink. It means taking the time to walk slowly rather than leaping over rooftops. It means taking a break, thinking about what she really wants from her future.

Currently, the clothes enable her to push a cart down the grocery aisle, looking for coffee to stock her small apartment. She touches the sides of her face, rubbing her unmasked eyes. Helen hasn't been sleeping so well. Perhaps she should abstain from watching the news right before she goes to bed.

She feels lonely all of a sudden, and decides to swing by Bob’s. Collapsing in his arms will take away some of the stress that she feels in her flexible bones, and she'll feel at home.

Chapter Text

Helen takes her time preparing for tonight’s date. It's a special one, because today is her and Bob’s one-year anniversary.

She removes the curlers and flattens her bangs down, frowning in the mirror. Why can't her hair cooperate for once? It finally lies flat, and she smiles at her reflection, satisfied.

Helen has a tingly feeling that something special will occur tonight. She just hopes that it won't be an emergency duty call; they’ve had enough dates interrupted by a selfish villain who couldn’t hold his horses until the next morning.

Grabbing her purse, she heads to the Italian restaurant that they’re now regulars at.

A short while later, Bob, per usual, can't take his eyes off the woman sitting across from him. Softly curled hair, bangs falling into her eyes, a red low-cut blouse. One would think the shirt would clash with her hair, but it doesn't, not at all.

She looks...stunning, Bob thinks, trying for a better adjective but coming up blank.

Helen raises her eyebrows at him, clearly expecting an answer to whatever she just asked him.

"Sorry, what?"

"I said, do you want to look at the wine list?" she says with a shake of the head, clearly aware of his gawking.

"Oh, right. Yeah, let's order."

The waiter comes and goes, finally leaving them in peace.

"You left some things in my car the other day," Bob says nonchalantly. He slides a black gift bag across the table, and Helen gives him a puzzled look.

"Why’d you go through the trouble with a bag for a lipsti-?"

Her sentence cuts off with a gasp as she discovers something else in the bag.

Helen's lipstick is there, yes, but it’s a black velvet box nestled against the tissue paper that gets her attention. She pulls it out and opens it, eyes widening.

Bob takes her hands from across the table, feeling more nervous than he has before any television appearance or magazine cover interview. But one glance into her eyes gives him strength enough.

"Helen, would you please do me the honor of becoming my wife? I don’t have a great speech prepared or anything, just that...I love you, and we belong together," he states simply.

Her brown eyes are soft in the candlelight, and she blinks once to hold the tears back.

Finally. Helen has waited so long to find someone who gets it. She has needed someone who can fulfill her every need, be it physical, mental, or emotional. Someone who can let her be herself, but also complete her. Someone who can keep up with her, but take care of her when she can't be strong. Someone as special and super as she is.

That someone is Robert Parr, arguably the strongest man on earth in every meaning of the word.

Steadying herself, Helen replies, "Yes.”

At a loss for words, Bob slides the ring on her finger, the beauty of her face brightening the dimly lit room.

“It's about time,” she adds. There's that smirk.

Chapter Text

Helen is watching television, eyebrows furrowed in deep concern. The late night news brings awful tidings, and she slumps deeper into her shabby sofa, absentmindedly pooling into a pile of limbs. Her eyes quickly fill with tears from what she is seeing despite her best efforts.

"…Another suit has been filed by victims of the train accident. Incredible's court losses are costing the government millions… "

It had been debated over for months. But was it the real deal this time?

"…Tremendous public pressure and the crushing financial burden of an ever mounting series of lawsuits are provoking the government to initiate a superhero relocation program..."

Could it truly be over? Everything that she had worked so hard for; that they had fought for. How could thousands of saved citizens not count against the word of a few ungrateful instigators?

"…It is time for their secret identity to become their only identity. Time for them to join us, or go away…"

How could the public so quickly disregard all that the Supers had done for them?

"...The supers will be granted amnesty from responsibility for past actions, in exchange for the promise to never again resume hero work…"

Helen feels her heart shrinking, shrinking. Everything that she is and believes in revolves around hero work. Without her duty, there is nothing.

Except…

Bob must be seeing this, too, and Helen can only imagine how he's reacting. She pulls herself up, extending one arm across the room for the phone.

Helen hesitates for a moment before she dials, thinking of the two stable elements in her life: Bob, and hero work. At least, there had been two. The latter is slipping away from her, but Helen hopes that Robert Parr will always be there for her.

She looks at her engagement ring, deciding that she knows he will be. She dials his number, preparing for the conversation.

"What?"

Not even a hello. It's bad, she thinks.

"Bob. It's me. I guess you've been watching the news?"

"Have I been...? Yeah, I have,” he spits out, “And Helen, I'm freaking out."

Helen can only hope that he hasn't broken anything important.

"Bob, honey, calm down,” she replies, knowing that she must sound on edge herself. “It's gonna be all right. Do you want to come over?"

There's silence for a moment, and he lets out a sigh.

"Of course. I'll see you soon."

Helen hangs up the phone with one hand, switching off the television with the other. She leans against the tiny kitchen's wall, tears finally falling as she thinks about what she can do to fix the situation.

Things won't be the same anymore, that's for sure. The future can’t be anything other than horrible, but at least she and Bob will face it together. Helen knows that they can take on anything that challenges them. She grimaces at the thought of hanging up the cape, so to speak, of being forced to get a job in the private sector, of settling down...

But with the help of each other, they’ll survive.

Chapter Text

On one rare quiet evening, Bob is watching television with the volume turned low as Helen buries herself in a book. But before long, he finds himself watching his fiancée.

Her auburn bangs have fallen into her eyes as she concentrates on the book, and she’s absentmindedly tugging her bottom lip between her teeth. A worn pink bathrobe masks her body, but Bob has seen what’s underneath enough times by now to fill in the blanks. He doesn’t have to exercise too much imagination to remember her shapely thighs, or the way her waist curves in almost preternaturally at times, even when she’s not stretching...

And he can’t help but wonder.

“Bob, what is it?”

He startles, caught. “Um...nothing.”

“You were staring at me because of nothing?” Helen’s lightly accented voice is playful, inviting. She sets the book down on a side table and tucks a lock of hair behind one ear.

Bob swallows, because even the way the Georgia transplant forms certain vowels has the ability to make him lose control.

They do this a lot, this flirtatious song and dance that inevitably ends up in heated, passionate lovemaking. But Bob actually has something else on his mind tonight; if only he could find the words to adequately express his curiosity without causing offense.

She’s still looking at him -- this woman who, somehow, he will have the privilege of marrying before the month is out -- and he feels the urge to share what’s on his mind. He already regrets what he’s about to say next, wishing he could speak with more eloquence than the average teenaged boy.

“I was thinking about you, and your body, and, um, the way it looks when you’re stretching, and then when you’re not, and...”

Helen cuts his mumbling off, an amused glimmer in her eye as she attempts to guess his thought process.

“You’re wondering why I don’t just ‘stretch’ myself into having a better body all the time? Make myself taller, or have bigger b—“

“No. NO!” he booms, and she looks a bit shocked.

“It’s not that at all. I was, um, curious about that, yeah, but it was more like...you’re so perfect now, your body is so beautiful now,” he emphasizes, “And I wondered if that’s a shape you...chose, or whatever.”

Bob squeezes his eyes shut, embarrassed to be revealing an inner thought that couldn’t possibly be seen as anything other than objectifying.

He is startled when Helen’s lips cross the small room to meet his own, the rest of her quickly following suit. When she pulls away, settling beside him on the couch, she’s giving him a wide smirk. But he can see a light blush coloring her cheeks, too.

“That’s very flattering, honey, but I can assure you, this,” she gestures at her robe with one graceful hand, her engagement ring glimmering in the dim light, “Is all real.”

A shiver runs down his spine at this affirmation. Not that he’d really thought she was pulling one over on him or anything, but still, it’s nice to know.

“Right,” he musters.

“It takes energy to use one’s powers,” she continues. “You know that. I’d have to exert 24 hours a day. It’d be exhausting.”

Of course, he thinks. Idiot.

Helen leans in again, her next words whispered as she snakes both arms around his massive torso. “There are so many things I’d rather be doing with that time.”

And then it’s he who cuts her off with a kiss.

Chapter Text

“Robert Parr, will you have this woman to be your lawful wedded wife?” the priest is saying, but Bob is mostly distracted by the pissed-off vibes radiating from his future wife, who, by the way, looks absolutely smoking in her silky white gown and veil.

“You're late,” Helen says through gritted teeth. “When you asked me if I was doing anything later, I didn't realize you'd actually forgotten. I thought it was playful banter.”

She is, of course, referring to his lack of time management skills. After a typical afternoon of fighting crime together, he’d jokingly asked her out, then she’d bounded off to get ready for the nuptials, while he’d...gotten distracted.

It’s not his fault that so many people need saving all the time, okay?

“It was playful banter,” he insists, half-listening to the priest going on in front of them.

Helen finally turns to him, chocolate eyes narrowed. Briefly, he considers that this angered expression does nothing to detract from her beauty. “Cutting it kinda close, don't you think?”

He throws one of her favorite phrases back at her. “You need to be more...flexible.”

No dice.

“I love you, but if we're gonna make this work, you've gotta be more than Mr. lncredible,” she mutters, suddenly sounding a little too worried for his liking. “You know that. Don't you?”

“...So long as you both shall live?”

Recent word from up above indicates that the Superhero Relocation Program will be passed in the next few weeks or so; Supers will be forced into hiding, and the government will sever all support for future legal representation and damages. Bob knows that hard times are ahead. But he’s strangely at peace with the idea of this next adventure, his most important one yet: marriage.

“I do,” Bob says, answering them both.

“I pronounce this couple husband and wife.”

They share a brief but impassioned kiss as their small group of wedding guests bursts into cheers and applause, and just like that, the storm in Helen’s eyes has cleared.

“As long as we both shall live,” she whispers, her voice laced with affection. “No matter what happens.”

“Hey, come on,” Bob laughs, putting his worries about the future aside for the time being. “We're superheroes. What could happen?”

Chapter Text

"Come on, Dash, you can do it!" Bob claps his hands in front of him and holds his arms out, hoping his son will take his first steps towards them.

Little Violet, now three, didn’t walk until she was about a year old, but Bob has a good feeling about Dash, who at only nine months is far less shy and timid than his sister.

Dash stands hesitantly and teeters for a few seconds before losing his balance and falling forward. He starts crawling to Bob instead, who chuckles and catches him before easily moving the toddler back over to where he started.

Helen, who’s just finished feeding Violet, watches on from the kitchen, one hand brought to her lips in amusement. Violet’s quiet attention is also on her brother as she curiously peers over from atop her high chair.

Bob tries again, wiggling his enormous hands. "C'mon, baby, come to Daddy!"

Helen rolls her eyes. Her husband could be ridiculous at times. And ridiculously cute, if she’s being honest, but that’s neither here nor there.

"We should bribe him," Bob exclaims, finally getting up and searching through the cabinets.

Two pairs of eyes, one brown and one blue, follow the strong man’s progress. "Bribe him? With what, Bob?" Helen frowns.

"Do we still have any of those cookies you made?”

“No.”

“Or Cheerios?”

“No.”

“Hell, anything. I just want that kid to walk!"

"He's only nine months, honey, he's not going to magically start walking," Helen sighs, but decides to lend her eager husband a hand anyway.

Dashiell Robert Parr had been born in an impressive two minutes and twenty-two seconds. It could have taken much less time due to Helen’s elastic, er, capabilities, but she didn’t want the doctor to die of shock, so she forced herself to slow down the process a bit. She’d already made that mistake with her firstborn, who entered the world after about ten seconds as Helen’s natural instinct to stretch took over amidst the pain. Thus, Rick Dicker was required to get involved and erase more than a few memories at the hospital.

Helen doesn’t want to think about what having your mind wiped does to a doctor’s technique.

Anyway, Bob could be on to something here. Helen walks down the hallway towards the nursery, quickly stretching one hand over the edge of the crib to snatch up Dash's favorite stuffed animal, which happens to be a cheetah. She turns the light back off as she leaves the room, the toy in tow.

Back in the kitchen, Helen gracefully lowers herself to the floor, a few feet away from Dash. She dangles the plush by its tail in front of her son. "Come on, Dash! Look, it's your favorite," she tries.

The baby simply stares at her, so Helen moves the stuffed animal in front of his face, continuing to talk in a high pitched voice as she makes a series of funny faces.

Now it’s Bob’s turn to roll his eyes. “Honey, you’re doing it again,” he says.

It had always worked with Violet. But before Helen can retort, they notice Dash is babbling cheerfully and pushing himself back up onto his tiny feet. The rest of the Parrs watch, wide-eyed, as he wobbles in place for a few moments before carefully moving one foot in front of the other.

Helen stands up and holds out her arms with a grin, waiting to catch the toddler.

"Dash, baby, come here," she coos, heart pounding in excited anticipation.

Dash continues slowly making his way towards his mother, with her hesitantly backing away to keep him moving. The baby grows more confident with each step, and then he...disappears.

Bob blinks in confusion as his wife lets out a gasp. “Bob, w-what just happened?”

Bob grimaces. They couldn’t have two children with the power to turn invisible, could they?

“Bob!” Helen says again, panic in her eyes.

But then they hear a giggle from down the hall. The two Supers rush to the nursery to find their pint-sized son, well…

Dashing around the room.

Stunned, they stand together, tracking the small boy with their eyes as he sprints from one end of the room to the other. Each burst of movement causes the colorful posters on the wall to flutter; Dash appears to be moving almost at supersonic speed, which would be impossible under the usual circumstances, but...

“He has powers,” Bob yells excitedly, missing his wife’s less-than-gleeful expression. “Yeah, baby!”

Helen, with her short hair now looking rather windswept, draws in a long breath through her nose. She’s undeniably proud, yes, but a small part of her had hoped that their second child would be...normal. They already had their hands full with one kid turning invisible at every opportunity, not to mention the amount of times Bob has slipped up, each incident causing them to move yet again. Dash having powers simply adds to the challenges on Helen’s plate.

She forces a happy smile on her face, mentally bracing herself for the exhausting days that surely lie ahead.

Oblivious to Helen’s inner turmoil, Bob lets out a loud laugh at the sight of their son zooming around the small room in a blonde blur.

Startled at the sound, the toddler finally stops, wobbling in place as he tries to regain solid footing but is not out of breath in the least. Helen quickly extends an arm, scoops him up and smothers his face in kisses before she can help herself.

Bob’s face splits into an enormous grin. "Great job, buddy," he commends, and again, Helen catches a glimpse of the future.

From here on out, she knows she will be the bad guy, constantly combatting Bob’s encouragement as their kids come into their full powers. Like their parents, they’ll have to suppress their abilities in order for everyone to stay safe. Helen only hopes the kids all understand why it has to be that way. Bob barely understands as it is.

Dash smiles and starts squirming in Helen’s grasp, holding his chubby arms out for Bob. Helen hands him off and walks back over to the living room to check on their eldest.

"What are you doing?" Bob asks when he sees his wife moving their wedding photo to the top shelf. “Violet never caused any trouble when she started walking.”

"Dash can’t just walk, Bob,” she snorts. “He can run. It's only a matter of time before something gets broken.”

God help them all.

Chapter Text

This year, Bob and Helen find themselves at the dreaded annual 4th of July neighborhood barbecue, because they need to assimilate, dammit, and unfortunately that means mingling with nosy suburban housewives and their equally annoying husbands.

Dash and Violet are with a sitter so the Parr parents can have their hour of (non)fun, and though they’ve just arrived, Helen -- who is about six months pregnant for the third time -- is already desperately counting down the minutes until she can get out of the stifling heat, park herself in front of a fan and forget the whole holiday even exists.

It’s Independence Day, sure. Unless you’re a Super, in which case the laws of freedom do not currently apply, but thank you for asking.

After a round of quick introductions, Helen watches as Bob is whisked over to the grills by a pack of aforementioned husbands. Not long after that, a trap closes around her, too, as a group of women fawn over her rounded form.

“How far along are you?”

“Have you and Robert picked out a name?”

“...Oh!”

Helen has swatted away an uninvited hand from her midsection. “Sorry,” she says innocently, not sorry at all. Undeterred, the wives continue with their commentary.

“My gosh, Helen, you’re glowing!”

“Actually, she looks a bit sweaty, doesn’t she? Would you like to sit down, dear?”

“Helen, you’ve got to try Dr. Smith’s Magic Stretch Mark Cream -- it worked miracles after I had my Elsie. I’ve got some at home if you want me to bring it by one day,” one woman says helpfully.

Helen lets out a short laugh, finally getting a word in. “That won’t be necessary,” she replies, perhaps sounding a little more cocky than she’d intended. Elastigirl, getting stretch marks? She resists the urge to eyeroll.

But the group is staring at her, and Helen realizes her mistake. Of course they don’t have any idea. God.

“Um, because, I’ve already bought some,” she fibs. “I’ve got several tubes, actually. Can’t wait to try it out.” She gives a nervous laugh.

Some of the women exchange a look. “Helen, dear, you haven’t been applying it already? You really should have started as soon as you found out you were--”

That’s enough. “Listen, I don’t really think that’s any of your business,” she sneers, directing a glare at the petite blonde woman who’s just spoken. “I’ll have you know that it all turned out perfectly fine after my first two children, who, by the way, would never be so rude as to meddle in someone’s personal life the way you all are.”

Silence.

“I’ll thank you to keep your opinions to yourself,” she finishes.

With that, Helen leaves behind the group of slack-jawed ladies and storms off towards Bob, who doesn’t look like he’s having any more fun than she is.

“Let’s get outta here,” she says through her teeth, and he follows her lead, no questions asked.

Chapter Text

Helen slowly peeks around the corner, always one to proceed with caution, unlike some people. It appears she has found the containment room, but the scene unfolding before her eyes is very different from the one she’d witnessed on the security cam.

“They're alive?” she hears Bob mutter. And then he’s grabbing a coughing, gasping blonde woman, holding her tight in his arms with relief written all over his face.

But that’s not right; he should be hugging Helen.

With a sinking feeling of inadequacy, half of her realizes that this gorgeous woman is the source of the single white-blonde hair that she found on Bob’s suit. That her silky voice is the one Helen overheard on the phone, that she is the person Bob has been spending his days with, away from their home, away from the kids, away from Helen--

This platinum-haired woman, who has hard angles and straight lines in all of the places Helen has curves, and even from the side, a face that could probably get her on the cover of a magazine without the help of a mask and superpowers.

For the first time in her life, Helen feels herself shrinking, rather than the other way around.

The other half of her understands that this woman is working for the enemy, and so could simply be a pawn, and at least part of the reason Bob is in trouble...or was, rather. He’s not looking very imprisoned at the moment. (She’s glad to see he’s in one piece, because when she murders him later, she wants it to be a fair fight.)

Helen steps into the doorway of the room, the clack of her high-heeled boots on the polished floor giving her away.

The blonde gasps, yanking away from Bob. “Helen?” he yelps, and the woman in question knows she must have rage written all over face.

To her credit, the stranger looks flustered. She smooths down her skirt suit, stammering, “Hello. You must be Mrs. Incre--”

THWACK.

The stick woman goes down quickly thanks to Helen’s well-placed punch, even from fifty feet away, and she gives a snort of satisfaction. Too easy.

Unfortunately, Bob grabs Helen’s gloved fist in his palm before she can take another swing, and the action brings her this much closer to exploding in anger at him.

“She was helping me to escape,” are the first words out of Bob’s mouth, and Helen narrows her eyes.

“No, that's what I was doing,” she grounds out, noting that he still has an expert hold on her extended arm, and very much wishing that he would release her.

He starts to rein her in, a trick that she should have seen coming.

“Let go of me!” Helen yells, “Let go, you lousy, lying, unfaithful creep--!”

He’s silenced her with a kiss, which is just so unfair, because that means he isn’t listening to her at all, and even if he wasn’t shacking up with that beautiful blonde, he still lied about getting fired...

...But also, he’s kissing her deeply, as deeply as if she’s the love of his life and he’d thought her dead, or something, kissing her like he had in the old days, back when they risked their lives fighting the forces of evil day in and day out, and there was never a guarantee of a tomorrow...

Bob pulls away, and when she looks in his shockingly blue eyes, the rational part of Helen recalls that her husband had been gazing at the other woman with gratitude, not lust. It’s enough to calm her down slightly. Still, if only he weren’t so stupid sometimes, then they wouldn’t even be in this mess right now.

“How could I betray the perfect woman?” Bob says, deep voice like honey, and Helen is torn between wanting to punch him with all of her limbs and to kiss him again.

Instead, she manages to summon the appropriate amount of ire.

“Oh, you're referring to me now?” Helen retorts, splaying one hand against her chest.

He ignores this. “Where are the kids?”

Before Helen can answer that, oh, they’re hidden in a cave somewhere on the island, because again, their father is an idiot, the blonde pipes up from her place on the floor.

“They might've triggered the alert,” she tells the couple.

Helen’s eyes widen beneath her mask at this new information. “What?!”

“Security's been sent into the jungle. You better get going,” the woman urges.

“Now our kids are in danger?!” Helen exclaims, already racing to the door.

“If you suspected danger, why'd you bring them?” Bob accuses, keeping the pace with his wife, both of them leaving the woman in their dust.

For God’s sake. “I didn't bring 'em, they stowed away,” Helen yells, her anger bubbling over, “And I don't think you're striking the proper tone here!”

Seriously, she is so going to kill this man once they get out of here. That is, if something else doesn’t kill them all first.

Chapter Text

“Bob.”

“I’m fine.”

Bob.

“I said, I’m fine. Can we just go to sleep?”

Helen glares at her husband from where she stands at the side of the motel bed. Between defeating Syndrome and the Omnidroid, not to mention their house getting destroyed by an exploding jet, it’s safe to say that she would like nothing more than to put the whole day behind her, too. But there is business to attend to.

He’d hid it well while they were changing out of their suits, squaring away the motel room and putting the kids to bed, but she recognized the trademark look of pain dancing across his face when he thought she wasn’t looking. Now, after a quick inspection, there’s no way around it: Bob has a dislocated shoulder, and he can’t exactly stroll over to the nearest hospital.

“Honey,” he tries again.

Helen gives him another once-over, pursing her lips. “You know you have to let me,” she sighs.

Bob scowls at her, but the battle is lost.

Helen carefully peels the shirt off of his broad shoulders, careful not to hurt him further. She then extends her arms to wrap around his shoulder like a roll of gauze in order to get a proper grip. Once her limbs are bound in place, she gives a quick jerk, popping his shoulder right into place with a loud crack.

Most people wouldn’t be able to pull off such a feat, but his wife has moves that most people could only dream of. Now, he thanks his lucky stars, and not for the first time.

Bob lets out a breath, releases the pillow he had clung to, and clutches his shoulder. Good as new.

“You did great today,” he tells her after a beat. But she avoids his eyes, busying herself with the first aid kit on the nightstand.

He frowns, because this is very different than the show of confidence she had displayed right before they’d leapt into battle.

“What’s the matter?” he asks, knowing the answer as soon as the words are out of his mouth.

“The kids, Bob,” she sighs, fiddling with a button on her pajama shirt. “Today was really too close for my liking. I don’t think we can keep doing this.”

“It’s...still illegal. We probably don’t have to,” he offers.

“Like that stopped you before,” she snorts.

Bob thinks for a moment. How could they let their children be themselves, while protecting them from, oh, jail?

“We could set rules for them!” he booms. “You know, boundaries. No hero work after dark.”

Helen shakes her head. “You know that doesn’t make sense,” she says with an apologetic smile. “Look, we’ll talk about it later. I need to finish up here.”

She isn't done yet, because Bob also has a nasty laceration on his right arm, when the Omnidroid managed to get him between his glove and his sleeve.

"I have to stitch it," Helen says, and Bob gets the feeling that she’s answering some other thought in her head.

She takes a few steps closer to inspect the wound. It isn't that bad, but it’s pretty deep and Bob knows she’s right. She grabs the proper supplies from the kit, but he’s not thrilled that she’s curtailing their conversation. He makes a mental note to bring it up again the next day.

"Lie down," she commands, moving to rub some disinfectant over the wound after he scoots down on the bed. “This might hu--"

"--I know, it's alright, do what you have to." Bob holds in a groan as she treats the wound, thinking that it didn't used to hurt this much in the old days. Helen’s hands are steady and confident; she’s done this a dozen times and though it’s been a while, it’s also like no time as passed at all.

"Done,” she finally announces, inspecting her handiwork.

"Thank you," he grumbles. Her pleased smile makes his heart squeeze. She wraps her arms around his torso and hugs him carefully, and he leans his chin on her auburn hair. They stay like that silently for a few moments until she yawns audibly. It’s been a tough day for the both of them.

Carefully, she lies down next to him. They lock eyes for a little while, wordlessly communicating until her eyes drift closed. Bob watches as she falls into a heavy sleep, exhausted from the day’s events. She looks much younger without the crease of worry in her face.

For the first time in a while, he feels tired and safe enough to sleep. His body sags, eyes drifting closed as he follows his wife into slumber.

Chapter Text

It’s all very familiar. Mr. Incredible arriving on the scene, revved and ready to save the day. Bystanders poised, waiting for the hero to put a stop to evil. Cue the epic action scene.

But...this time is different. This time, there’s more at stake. He swallows his emotions and files them away in a lockbox, to be accessed and dissected later. Or never.

“Wait here and stay hidden,” Bob tells his family during one final quiet moment in the RV, before the inevitable chaos begins. “I'm going in.”

He slips out of the driver’s side, noticing with a huff that his wife has followed him.

“While what?” Helen protests. “I watch helplessly from the sidelines? I don't think so.”

Bob is reminded of a particularly bold interview Elastigirl gave some fifteen years earlier, and how the media used that line as a pull quote for just about every mention of her thereafter.

But that was then.

“I'm asking you to wait with the kids,” he reasons, not really answering her question.

Helen’s brown eyes narrow beneath their mask, and Bob sighs, kicking himself for thinking it would be an easy fight.

“And I'm telling you not a chance,” she fires back. “You're my husband. I'm with you -- for better or worse.”

Does she have to bring their vows into this? Jeez.

“I have to do this alone,” he tries.

Well, that was the wrong thing to say.

“What is this to you? Playtime?” she snaps, voice rising in pitch.

“No.”

How can he make her understand? A ball of dread forms in his stomach at the thought of putting his insecurities out in the open. There’s still so much they have to discuss, and this is definitely not the place for it.

“So you can be Mr. lncredible again?”

Helen’s sneered words hurt a bit more than they should, but Bob remembers that his hero complex is what got them tangled up in this mess in the first place, so really, he deserves it.

“No!”

She’s fully exasperated now, clearly struggling to read him, but he keeps avoiding her gaze.

“Then what? What is it?”

“I'm not…” He can’t say it.

“Not what?”

Bob hangs his head.

“I'm not strong enough,” he mutters, haunted by the still-too-fresh memory of thinking his entire family had perished in that missile attack on the island. The mere thought of never getting to see his children grow up, of never hearing Helen’s laugh again, or seeing the loving look in her eyes when he does something right...

He says none of this out loud, of course.

“Strong enough,” Helen repeats, dumbfounded. “And this will make you stronger?”

“Yes. No!” he replies frantically, unable to form the right words and missing the mark again.

That's what this is?” she asks, eyes widening as she absorbs the first part of his hurried response. “Some sort of workout?”

“I can't lose you again!” he finally roars, and Helen’s mouth falls open.

“I can't. Not again. I'm not...strong enough.”

The last words of this admission are almost whispered. There’s a beat of silence, and his heart nearly stops as he waits for her response.

How funny that his power is super strength, and yet when it comes down to it, he can’t manage anything but utter emotional vulnerability.

And then Helen, his sweet Helen, the elastic love of his life, is tilting his broad chin up with one gloved hand.

He realizes that, like him, she’s been awake for at least 24 hours. Up close, he can see that her normally lively chocolate eyes are rimmed with dark shadows. But most importantly, they’re pooled with sympathy and understanding.

Bob is shocked when she pulls him in for a kiss, mirroring his own impulsive action in the containment chamber, and he tries to silently transmit an apology. An apology for lying, for sneaking out, for dooming them all, for being insufficient in every sense of the word…

She breaks the connection too soon.

“If we work together,” she says, her tone much too forgiving, “You won't have to be.”

“I don't know what'll happen,” he mumbles, still feeling inadequate.

“Hey, we’re superheroes,” Helen replies, throwing his words from their wedding back at him.

“…What can happen?”

Chapter Text

"Honey, are you ready? We'll be late for the party," Bob impatiently calls from the living room.

Simon Paladino, known to most as Gazerbeam, is hosting a formal dinner party for his 40th birthday. It’ll be the Parrs’ first night out since Violet was born, and both of them are eager to spend some quality time with other humans who are over the age of six months — and get to catch up with a few of the friends they’ve started to lose touch with since the Superhero Relocation Act.

"Almost!" Helen calls back.

“Well, Vi’s asleep, and the sitter will be over any minute now,” he informs her.

No answer.

After a few more minutes of silence, Bob rolls his eyes and heads toward the bedroom.

“What’s the...?” he begins, trailing off when he sees his barefoot wife standing in front of the full-length mirror, prodding the sides of her black dress with a frown.

Whoa mama, she looks great. With more than a little effort, Bob draws his attention from Helen’s form to the pile of rejected dresses lying on the bed.

"Having trouble with the clothing?" he asks, nodding at the mess as he straightens his own cuff.

"I need to buy new clothes," she sighs, turning to inspect her backside in the mirror. "I'm huge."

Bob eyes her up and down before he can help himself. Okay, his wife’s hips and, er, bottom have widened a bit after giving birth to their daughter. But if anything, she just looks sexier now. She’s already lost the baby weight around her tummy, too, even though they haven’t exerted themselves on a mission in ages. Maybe it’s a perk of being Elastigirl. He’s not going to question it.

In fact, the slim black dress she’s currently wearing fits her just a little too perfectly. Without the cover of the loose button-down shirts she’s taken to sporting these days, he can see that her waist is still tiny enough that if he put both hands around it, his fingers would meet.

In short, she looks as incredible as the day they met.

"You look great," he manages, trying not to ogle.

She whirls around, her newly-bobbed hair swishing from the momentum.

“I look fat,” she disagrees.

Bob thinks this is perfectly ridiculous. His dressed-up wife looks so good that he’d like nothing more than to skip the party and remind her that she’s the most stunning person he’s ever known.

These days, even with the bags under her eyes from sleepless nights, the often mussed-up hair and the baggy shirts, his wife has never seemed more attractive to him. While they haven’t been intimate in quite a while -- he’s been respectfully keeping the distance after reading up about the effects of childbirth on women, not wishing to hurt her further -- it doesn’t mean he hasn’t wanted her.

But Helen doesn’t seem to realize this. He has to say something.

And so he matches her glare, fists at his sides. “Do you have any idea how beautiful you are?”

This throws her. “What?”

“It’s taken every ounce of control I have,” he growls, slowly nearing her, “Not to touch you constantly.”

“Bob…” she squeaks at the sudden look of possessiveness on his face.

“I thought seeing you pregnant was bad enough,” he continues, inching closer, “But now you’re so damn tempting that I have to take a cold shower every morning.”

Helen blinks once.

Then she smirks. “That explains your shorter-than-usual showers lately.”

“Well,” he grins back, finally close enough to grasp her backside, “Now I can get my revenge.”

She gasps as Bob brings her in with a forceful yet gentle tug.

“Simon will have another party next year,” he mutters, closing the final millimeters between them.