The villain and the hero are fighting. Again.

“Want to go to Starbucks with me?” asks the hero’s sidekick.

“Fuck yeah,” says the villain’s sidekick.

“My ability to give you the attention you require is… suffering, I know.” says the hero “I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine,” shrugs the sidekick “Just means I’m closer to being an independent hero!”

“Well, the sheer amount of interest [Villain] in showing you is quite concerning. So! from here on out, I will be a better mentor!”

“Right.” says the sidekick, who is supposed to join [Villain] and xir sidekick for dinner in two hours “Sounds great!”

“People keep forgetting that I used to be a hero, once,” says the villain “I suppose it doesn’t matter, though. Not after everything I’ve done.”

“No.” says the vigilante “It doesn’t. All you are is a monster now.”

“Ouch,” the villain pouts “You don’t love me anymore? C’mon, beloved. Don’t you miss me?”

“You stopped being my spouse the day you took up your new name, [Villain].” says the vigilante, deadpan “Just like you stopped being a hero.”

“People are always afraid of meta’s like me,” says the civilian “Say we’re dangerous. Say we’re one wrong step from becoming some kind of- super villain, or what have you.”

“[X]. Put down the gun.”

“Exactly!” laughs the civilian “Exactly! I don’t need to be a meta to be dangerous. I just need fifty bucks to buy a gun. That’s it. Don’t you get what’s happening here?”

“Give me back my fucking sidekick!” the hero yells “Like seriously, [Villain], what the fuck!”

“Absolutely not!” the villain responds, affronted “Xe is my youngest now.”

“Really? What’s xir name?”

“It’s a work in progress! We’re going to go to Disneyland!”

“Oh my god!” the hero yells “You kidnapped my sidekick!! I want xir back!”

“If you didn’t want xir to get kidnapped, maybe you should be a better parent!” the villain counters.

The crowd of onlookers below is very confused.

“Now, you listen to me, okay? No one is going to die here.” snarls the hero “We’re all going to be okay.”

They’re not. The hero is bleeding and there’s some kind of pain coming from deep in xir chest. But giving into despair won’t save anyone.

“Follow me, okay?” says the hero, aiming for lighthearted. The civilians nod, and stagger to their feet.

One more thing. Xe can do this one more thing.

“Anyway, as it turns out I’m not legally allowed to adopt you unless I know your legal identity.” says the villain, holding up a legal pad “So.”

“I’m not taking off my helmet.” says the heros sidekick “And I’m also not going to be adopted by you!”

“Okay, but consider- I’m an excellent parent!” says the villain excitedly “Look at my sidekick!”

The villain’s sidekick is sitting down on the ground, holding xir head with both hands. Xe is Done. What the fuck, [Villain].

“[Hero]’s going to be so pissed I adopted you first, it’s going to be great. Do you like sushi? We could go to Disneyland Tokyo for a weekend to avoid [Hero]’s big temper tantrum.”

“Is [Villain] for real?” asks the hero’s sidekick.

“Yes.” says the villain’s sidekick “Like, distressingly serious. I hope you don’t have parents because you have a new parent and ze is very pushy about being the best.”