EmberFreespirit t1_iu7tivj wrote

In the first moments they thought that perhaps some foolish rookie had dared infringe on their territory. Chunks of concrete swirled past their face barely brushing the tips of their nose. The winds were more like gales- hurricane force- and they could see windows peeling apart leaving nothing more than a steel framework for towering buildings and even that seems to crumble.

And then a citizen smeared in blood, chunks of glass sticking out of their arm and back, threw themselves at the villain's feet. That was new. The fear they'd come to expect wasn't present here, just a frantic desire for survival.

It was difficult to tell what the citizen was asking through the sobs and the gales. Perhaps they were begging for mercy- that wouldn't be so out of the ordinary. But no. They were begging for something much greater. Salvation. They looked up then, and saw their Hero.

Their Hero was beautiful as always. Not pretty- captivating. Like a sunrise, like a train wreck, like something that could never be ignored. Their cape whipped and the wind, the day was in the eye of the storm. Screaming, crying, incomprehensible and devastated all at once.

The Hero was deadly as always. Not deadly like a gun, or a knife. No, deadly like a poison, like radioactive energy, like the Rays of the Sun that would burn you where you stood. The winds whipped around them with no Direction, No Control. Nothing like their usual self. They had always been kind of the point of foolishness but this was something different.

They were crying.

The Villain stepped into the air easily oh, and the world itself seemed to warp to accommodate them as always. They made their way forward with wind pressing ever harder against them but it could not press them back.

Then they broke out into the center of the storm.

Everything was still. Everything was quiet, except for a high heart broken, keening- something more akin to a wild animal than to any person in their own right. They reached out. One heartbeat, two. The Hero did not flinch away.

“What’s gotten into you?”

The Hero does not respond at first, not until the Villain draws them into their arms, gently, like a child, and they bury their nose in the warmth of the Villian’s scarf, scratchy and dull.

“You love this city, don’t you?”

“They hate me. Every one of them hates me.”

“Why do you think that?”

The Hero dissolves in sobs against them, the winds abating as their rigid body goes limp, nearly falling from the sky.

“Every day, letters. Voicemails. Hundreds of them. I do my best for them, do what they want, what they need. Fix, save, protect, anything. I would die for them.”

“I’ve got you.”

“And they-! Every day they tell me how much they hate me, how much they want me to die. Everything I’ve done wrong, ever, again and again and again and again and-!”

“I’ve got you.”

They moved slowly, like defusing a bomb. It didn’t make the journey downwards any easier. Didn’t make the faces, blooded, sneered in hate borne of fear, any easier, but they did.

“You’re doing wonderfully, darling. You did everything right.”

“I can’t do anything but *fail*.”

“Just breathe. It’ll be okay. I’ve got you.”

“I can’t do this. I can’t do this anymore.”

They slipped away, down into their bunker, door disappearing behind them, the Hero never looking up, not until they’d tucke them comfortably on the couch, tea beside them. The Hero offers a watery smile, with they return with a kind one of ther own, then leave them to doze.

Slipping into their office, they shut the door, double-checking it’s locked. They pull up their communications, a few contacts that will shortly be deleted, and send off one short, final message.

Operation Soulbleed is a success. Final Payment en route. Cease all communications.

Flipping open the news, they let a small smirk play out across their lips at the scale of destruction. Their foe out of their way, permanently an ally, and a scale of destruction greater than anything they could accomplish.

It was a good day to be a villain.