“Shit,” snaps the villain. The child giggles and drops another spoonful of applesauce on the floor, much the villains annoyance.

“What. Is going on? Exactly?” asks the hero “That is… a small human. A very small, child-like human.”

“God, do you ever shut the fuck up.” groans the villain. Ex-villain, the hero corrects belatedly, gotta get used to calling xir that “I have a kid now. That’s all.”

“Ze doesn’t look like you.”

“Ass.” the villain- ex villain- wets a paper towel, probably to clean the applesauce. The hero wonders if ey should help. Ey doesn’t think the villain would like that.

“No, really.” says the hero earnestly “What’s happening? Where did you get zir? I can help you.”

“Why did you leave?”

The once villain looks up at the hero bitterly “What is that supposed to mean? You’re always on about how people can change-”

“Yeah but you, you were dedicated to your cause, to the league, or whatever- And you just left? It doesn’t make sense.”

The villain(?) shoots to xir feet defensively, prepared to yell- but, a clattering sound draws both their attention to the bedroom door. A little face peers out.

“Sweet thing,” cooes the villain, rushing over to the child “Did we wake you?”

“I don’t trust you. I don’t like you. I’m not willing to let you live at the end of this, are we clear? Unless you shape the hell up, I’ll kill you.” hisses the vigilante to the supposedly reformed villain “No matter what [Hero] says.”

“I knew there was something I liked about you,” says the once-villain “You’re much more decisive than [Hero] is.”

“I’m a good person.” says the new-hero “And good people don’t kill people.”

The human trafficker xe’s tying up glances at xir nervously “Has any one told you you look a lot like [recently retired Villain]?”

The hero sniffs and eyes the trafficker “Good people don’t kill people. I’m a good person.”

The villain gazes at the late-heroes children discerningly “You’ve all heard horror stories about me.”

They nod.

“You’ve head worse about CPS and metas, right?”

They nod, again.

The villain nods “Your choice, then. Monster you can kill, or structure you can try and bear.”

‘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.”

“I need you to tell me if I’m going too far.” says the hero

“Eh?” grunts the vigilante

“I was- I was a villain, once. I hurt a lot of people. I’m trying to be better and it isn’t easy.”

“You do remember i kill people?”

Yeah, obviously that’s a hard no. but you don’t, say, taser them in the head and permanently impair their brain function.”

“It doesn’t have to be heroic.” says the hero

“Eh?” grunts the vigilante, flicking blood of xir fingers.

“I’m not special. No heroes are. You don’t have to be good enough, [vigilante], just, Exhaustion, pettiness, spite, hatred. These can all be emotions that motivate a hero. You don’t have to be heroic, your reasons don’t have to be heroic. Just your actions.”

The vigilante eyes them. The hero sighs, frustrated “I know you think you’re stuck because you were raised a villain, and this is the best you can do, but,” ze continues “you can be a hero. A good one.”

“If I didn’t hate you so much, I probably would’ve fallen in love with you back there. Thanks. For saving my ass.” says the hero, offering the ex-villain a hand up “Don’t think I won’t still spread your guts like peanut butter on the concrete if this is a sham, though.”

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world, love. You’re a bit rougher than the other heros, I like that.”

“You aren’t the only one who comes from violence.”