The Power of Friendship

Ao3 Link

The battle raged. The world’s greatest heroes and most terrifying villains faced off in an all out brawl in which, at long last, one or the other would triumph once and for all. The fate of the world hung in the balance of their battle today.

Daniel slid back under an assault from the Scorpion. His minions were on the ground around him, disintegrating into motes of darkness, and now Daniel and the other Golden Boys had him surrounded. But he was formidable, tail-whips moving faster than they could see, and his defence was impenetrable.

“He’s only got two tails!” Marcus called out, breathing hard. “He can’t attack all of us at once—surround him!”

The Golden Boys nodded, leaping into position in a circle around the Scorpion. He laughed at them. “Fools, you think this will work?”

“Get him!” At Marcus’s command, all six of them leapt at the Scorpion, who smirked and hunched forward.

In a slash, he span his tails around in a circle, striking all of them and sending them to the ground.

“Ah…” Daniel said, rubbing his arm as he sat up. His shirt was disintegrating into green particles. The Power Gems rendered the Golden Boys invincible, but after enough abuse their armour started to take a beating.

“Try again,” Marcus said, as, shirtless as a team, they all stood. “That was just a fluke. He…”

The Scorpion suddenly reared, struck with lightning bolts from above. “Get him,” a voice said. “Quickly.”

The Golden Boys moved, leaping on him and grabbing him, one on each limb or tail. Together, they unleashed their purifying power with the Scorpion in their grip, and shone with the inner light of justice as they freed his heart from evil.

As his scorpion gear vanished, they were left holding a naked and now not-evil man, who they carefully moved over to the side of the room. Daniel looked up and smiled as the leader of the Magical Six came over to them. Daniel wondered if he used magic to let that shirt cover him without riding up in battle. There was certainly a lot of thigh on display. “Don’t underestimate any of these guys,” he said to them. “They’re dangerous.”

They nodded their agreement, and the battle picked up again. Daniel lost his boots when he got in between Cabin Boy and the bone guy, who hit him with his sceptre and had Daniel flying into Cabin Boy, who he was not planning on having a face-to-loincloth meeting with, but there it was. “Sorry,” Daniel said as he got up.

“No problem,” Cabin Boy smiled at him. “I’m Pax.”


Cabin Boy—Pax nodded, jiggling a lot between his legs. “Let’s get him.”

They did, working together with their knives flashing, managing to get the guy into a corner with the help of the other Golden Boys. Daniel got to use a move he’d practiced but never tried out for real—a horizontal spinning kick and he took bone guy in the face with, knocking him into a pillar and following up by tossing a knife into his crown, which cracked. “Was that…one of my moves?” Cabin Boy asked.

Blushing a little, Daniel nodded. “When I got my powers, I…watched all of your YouTube videos.” And all of…everyone’s YouTube videos. He’d been a bit nervous that he wouldn’t live up and had wanted to do his best.

“Wow, that’s flattering. I’m flattered. In a platonic way. I’m taken. You understand.”

“I wasn’t…” Daniel blushed crimson, and nodded. “I understand?”

The bone guy shouted and pushed them all back in an explosion of power that had him crashing into Cabin Boy’s chest, his hand on a pec, which he squished by accident. By accident!

But Cabin Boy just set him right and they went about fighting back the bone guy, which eventually took the whole rest of the Street Smart Gang and the other Golden Boys before they knocked him out.

“Who was that?” Daniel asked, wishing the floor wasn’t so cold.

“The Sea King,” First Matey told him, looking Cabin Boy over for injuries. “He was never big news, and he was before your time.”

“Can we do the history lesson later?” One of the Alley Knights asked, shifting uncomfortably, a few pieces of his armour missing and providing a window onto his chest. “We’ve still got…oh, damn.”

The Lady of Fear was there, smiling cruelly at them. The twelve of them readied weapons, and she raised her hands.

Daniel didn’t remember most of that part of the battle after, only that when it was over, all six Golden Boys were down to their magic briefs, the Street Smart Gang was mostly in tatters and the Treasure Team had come over to help too, and the One Who Comes Back gave Daniel a hand to help him up, standing from his position between Marcus’s legs. “You good?”

“We’re okay,” Daniel panted, smiling at his hero. “Thanks.”

“It’s a good thing she got bored,” he said, looking at the spot where the Lady of Fear had disappeared. “Or else we might have been screwed. Or at least so says Sully,” he added, pointing to one of his team. “I think we could have taken her.”

“I think you’re a dumbass,” Sully pointed out.

“Hey…” Simon tugged on Daniel’s arm, looking worried. “What…happens if we get hit hard enough like this? We don’t have much…armour left.”


“We’ve never…gotten that far,” Marcus admitted, looking down. “So let’s just try not to get hit hard enough, yeah?”


“Hello, Golden Boys. Nice to finally meet you in person.”

Daniel froze, and they all turned to face their archenemy, the Puppetmaster. “You!” Marcus shouted, pointing. “You’re going down. Right now!”

“I should like to see your attempt.” He was an attractive, tall man with regal features and long hands.

“They won’t be attempting alone,” the One Who Comes Back said, and all around the Puppetmaster, weapons were drawn.

The Puppetmaster smirked, and raised his hands, a dozen puppets appearing, ghosts of past villains the Golden Boys had fought together. “Very well.”

“We just have to take him down and then it’s the King of Nothing,” Marcus said, looking over to where the original six Golden Boys were fighting the King of Nothing and his partner on the dias, power flashing through the room. As they watched, the Aegis stood, thigh muscles rippling as he faced down an onslaught. The Golden Witch was distracted duelling Lady Death. The Fencer and the Golden Prince were tied up by the King’s partner—literally. His leather straps had them both bound in an X, struggling to break free. “Let’s get it done so we can help them.”

The fight with the Puppetmaster was just as harrowing as Daniel had always feared it would be, leaving all of them in nothing but scraps of armour, but between them all they managed to cut the strings on all his puppets, leaving him alone, backing him into a corner. “Please,” he said. “Spare me…”

The leader of the Alley Knights cut his head off, and the Puppetmaster fell to the ground.

“Whoa!” Marcus said, stepping forward. The Golden Boys didn’t kill. “You didn’t have to…”

The Alley Knight, left in just his cup, nodded down at the body, which was disintegrating into darkness. “He was never really here. Just a puppet like the rest. Did you notice his friend disappear before? His real body is probably deeper in the castle somewhere. Once we’re done here, we’ll…”

On the dais, the King of Nothing snarled in frustration suddenly, leaping into the air and staying there, his coat flaring out. He was shrouded in a veil of darkness, and in what looked to Daniel like the same process that transformed them into the Golden Boys, his clothes flew away and the dark formed into a short top, connected to short shorts by suspenders, and leather boots. He seemed to have found makeup, and he vibrated with a power that kept him hovering in the air. “Congratulations,” he said, sneering. “You’ve the privilege of meeting my true power!”

“Well, shit,” the Golden Archer said, putting his hand out. “Careful, everyone!”

There was no time to be careful. Power lashed out from the King of Nothing, and all six of the original Golden Boys fell to the ground, armour shattering.

“We have to help!” Marcus said, starting towards them.

“You can’t!” the leader of the Magical Six said, reaching out to stop him.

“Helping the defenceless is what Golden Boys do!” Marcus shouted. “Come on!”

Marcus was right, and the Golden Boys went, leaping in front of their fallen predecessors without a thought for anything but protecting good from evil. They held hands in front of the King of Nothing’s attack, forming a golden shield in front of their new friends, because no power on earth was stronger than the power of friendship.

But the shield cracked, and with it so did the Golden Boys’ armour, and all six of them were blown back, landing in a pile with the others, stripped of everything. And their Power Gems shattered, leaving them as…nothing.

“And this is where your power of friendship gets you,” The King of Nothing sneered, approaching them at a slow walk. “In a pile in front of me, where you belong. Now, I will extinguish you from the world, rid myself of your menace, and usher in a new ear of despair!”

“No,” Marcus said, disentangling himself from the naked Gold Knight and standing, shaky, to oppose the evil king. “We won’t let you.”

“And how will you stop me?” The King of Nothing laughed. “You have nothing. No power, no armour, nothing.”

“We have our friends,” Marcus said. “We have each other.”

“He’s right,” Daniel said, standing as well. One by one, all of them did, facing down the king no matter what they had. “We’ll never give up. And we’ll never lose to you!”

“Someone like you will never defeat us!” Hugh agreed, shaking.

“Not as long as we’re together,” Al said.

“Not as long as we have our friends,” Trevor added.

“Because…” Simon didn’t sound as nervous as usual, and he didn’t stand behind Daniel this time. “Because we’re the Golden Boys! And you’re nothing!”

“I’m your king,” The King of Nothing said, stepping closer and raising his hands. “And your executioner.”

“Get out of his way!” the Gold Archer shouted from behind them. “Without your armour…”

“We’re not backing down!” Marcus called, the King of Nothing’s power rising to a shout in the throne room. “We’re the Golden Boys—we stand up to evil no matter what!”

“No matter what!” The rest of them shouted along.

The King of Nothing smirked. “Henry.”

Leather straps came out of nowhere, tying them all up, lifting them into the air. The king’s partner stepped forward, silent as they struggled to free themselves from the grip of his power, held in place by the merciless straps. “Let us go!”

“No,” The King of Nothing said, raising his hand, a black smoke appearing, swirling around, growing larger. “I shall devour you in darkness and despair, and make you mine.”

“No!” Marcus shouted, but there was nothing they could do, the mist grew and grew, the others were out of commission, and there was nothing to stop it get closer, and closer and heavier, and stronger and darker and…

And it stopped at a golden light, roiling back. “What?” the king demanded.

That was a good question, Daniel thought, looking around for the source of the light. “There!” Simon said, pointing up.

Above them, above each of them, was a glowing source of light, a golden gem.

“But…I destroyed them!” the King of Nothing shouted, taking a step back.

The gems floated down, one to each Golden Boy, and as it passed by Daniel’s face he saw himself reflected in it, in his armour, smiling. The gems proceeded lower, stopping between their legs. Where, with an eruption of power, the Golden Boys were enveloped in radiant light, lifted up, the leather melting away as if it wasn’t there. Daniel felt warm power flow over him, inside him, cascading across his body in waves of iridescent justice. From the new Power Gem emerged streamers of light that wrapped around his waist and between his legs, forming a large green bow that then burst into a million raindrops of light, leaving Daniel in a pair of tight golden briefs with a green waistband, the Power Gem set into the front.

His new armour.

Daniel felt ten times as powerful as he had before as he landed, awash in a gold glow, and saw his friends in their new uniforms as well. They smiled at each other. “This is awesome,” Daniel said.

“Yeah!” Marcus agreed, but he turned to face the King of Nothing. “But there’s no time to celebrate—let’s get to work.”

All six Golden Boys turned, faced their enemy, who sneered at them. “You think some new power is going to stop me from annihilating you?” he demanded, raising his hands again. Pure darkness formed there, prepared to strike.

“You’ll never defeat us!” Marcus shouted, and he leapt at the King of Nothing, the others following suit. They fought him, hit him, pushed him back, until he staggered, his top ripped, one suspender snapped, his shorts sagging. “Get him, guys!”

“I don’t think so,” the King of Nothing snarled, darkness and shadow dripping from his fingers. He was covered in dark, and is threatened to drown out everything. “I will destroy you. I will destroy everything!”

“No darkness can stand against the light of friendship!” Marcus told him, and he released his power, the others following suit, until the room was a duel between the King of Nothing’s dark and the Golden Boys light, pressing against each other, fighting for supremacy.

It wasn’t enough—the King of Nothing’s power started to exceed theirs, pushing them back.

Until Daniel heard a voice. “Come on, guys! We’ve got to give them our power—the Golden Boys are our only hope!”

Daniel chanced a look over his shoulder, and he saw all of them, all the original Golden Boys, the Treasure Team, the Street Smart Gang and the Magical Six, linking arms, power floating around them in waves of light, and directing those towards the six of them, towards Daniel and his friends.

Daniel reached out and grabbed Simon’s arm on one side, Marcus’s on the other, knowing instinctively what to do. The Golden Boys grabbed hands, making a chain, amplifying their power.

Daniel had never felt this way. He felt so warm, so connected to his friends, so powerful. He was going to explode with all the power and friendship that was entering into him from behind as the others all gave over what was left of their power to the Golden Boys, making them their last hope. The power that was flowing into the six of them surged, pushing them all to their very limits, until, all at once, it exploded out, the gems on the front of their armour shining brilliantly and sending out six pulses of white light. The Golden Boys were overcome with the feelings of friendship and love that the power gave them and they cried out as a collective as the six beans of light coalesced into one, firing into the King of Nothing, searing his darkness, slashing through his despair.

The King of Nothing screamed, Henry hurrying to his side—but to no avail. Nothing could stand against the power of friendship given radiant form. With twin shouts, both of them succumbed to the light, disintegrating into motes of blackness that were purified and became golden. The whole castle suffered the King’s fate, collapsing around them in cascades of light and hope.

When it was all said and done the castle evaporated, and they were left standing there in the park, all of them together, the veil of darkness lifting from over the town. All the other boys were stark naked, giving up the last of their power having taken away their remaining armour. But it didn’t matter, because evil was vanquished.

Exertion catching up with them, the Golden Boys transformations dropped all at once, their new Power Gems falling to the ground and leaving them just as skyclad as their new friends. “We…we did it!” Marcus shouted.

They cheered, all of them, and Daniel hugged Simon and Marcus hugged Daniel and Hugh hugged Marcus and Trevor and all hugged all of them. The other guys were all hugging and cheering and laughing too, and the hugs got closer and merged together until all of them were hugging each other in one big hugging pile, pressed up against each other, laughing, collectively unconcerned with what was touching what as they celebrated their victory. There were no boundaries among friends. There was no hesitation among friends. And currently there were no clothes among friends, and that was okay with them. They’d rid the world of evil today; pants could come later.

Exhaustion started to catch up with them and they ended up laying and sitting in the grass, leaning on each other or in each other’s laps or laying right on top of one another or holding hands, just laughing and enjoying life and looking up at the clear blue sky, and at the light of hope that was shining down on them all.

Daniel had never felt more at home, more powerful or more loved, than he did that afternoon. And he had never been more certain, laying there, surrounded by friends in a world free from despair, of the one thing he knew for absolute certain.

There was no power on earth stronger than the power of friendship.



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