“You’re so amazing.” the villain slurs. Xe’s been exposed to a high dose of something, and it’s [Hero]’s job to figure out what “Just, I’m so amazed. You’re so cool.”

“Thanks. Hold still so I can draw blood.”

“I mean it You used to be- you were a villain, right?” says the villain, grabbing zir by the wrist “I remember you. The person who trained you- worked with my parents. I remember you. When you were small. Ey hurt you so badly and you became so good. It’s amazing.”

“Am I really the only one that’s told you you can do what you want?” asks the hero sadly “That you can be whoever it is you want to be. That this isn’t your only choice?”

The young villain swallows and takes a step away.

“Wait- I don’t want you to go. Please-” says the Hero, reaching into xir utility belt. [Villain] can’t help it, xe tenses up, waiting to be struck, but all the hero pills out is a flat piece of cardstock. “This is my number. You can call me, okay? Anytime.”

“[Hero] is dead.” says the villain, looking at the civilian arrogantly “Walk away. No one will come to your aide for being such a fool. Not anymore.”

The civilian draws a shaky breath, and steps closer. No one will save xir, xe knows, for something that’s xir own fault. Not anymore. But someone has to do something.

“I don’t hate you.” says the hero “I don’t hate anybody. Kind of my shtick.”

“I’ve done so many awful things…” moans the defeated villain, lying bleeding “I’ve hurt so many people.”

“You were scared. You- you did what you thought was best for yourself.”the hero smiles gently “Not everyone can put themselves behind everyone else, you know. That’s why there are so many villains to a hero.”

“Xe has neurological problems. Xir memory is- fractured, at best, Like a glitchy autosave feature. We became friends-” the villain looks away “we became friends because xe offered to listen and promised not to write anything down for later. So I could talk to someone who wouldn’t be able to use it against me. It was- is- the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me. Look, [hero], think of me what you want. But I cherish xir.”

“I’m impressed by your fervor. Your belief. But do you really know what being a hero is about?” asks the villain to the young hero, holding the hero tightly by the jaw “I did. Did they tell you that? That long ago, I was one of you. Let me tell you, you’re not doing what you think.”

‘Seems like we always stand on opposite sides of the playing field” says the now-villain, once-hero. “It’s a shame. Maybe we could’ve changed something together.”

“Are you still pretend to be morally righteous?” snorts the now-hero, once villain “I always hated that about you. Accept it, you’re greedy, selfish. You’ve fallen.”