Almost a nobody in the eyes of the hero system – but to the acclaimed hero Hotshot he is a nemesis, an archenemy... and someone whom he vowed to take down in his own flaming hands. That was the thought process of hero Hotshot through every battle that he had with his foolish enemy. It was a strangely regular pattern, too. Every Monday at 9 A.M the two would fight over some inane activity that Villain was doing and the battle would last until both were tired and hungry.
Strangely enough, the villain seemed to have a talent at misdirecting Hotshot’s rage. The hero ended up never even noticing that he was no longer fighting the tuxedo'd villain until he fully took in the scenery of a café or coffee shop. And oddly, it wasn’t too frustrating when he noticed it most times. To his confusion, the villain always paid for both his and the hero’s drinks and even treated the barista well instead of stealing the drinks or worse.
The public was seemingly right when they described Villain as the opposite of his namesake and it frustrated Hotshot when he would break laws or do vigilante actions against corporate criminals because it proved that Villain WAS in fact a villain in the eyes and definition of the law. But as what he was doing seemed to do more good than other heroes' actions, more and more of the public was against his arrest. He has done an extensive list of damages from public and private property upwards of tens of thousands of dollars but no one but Hotshot and the mayor seems to consider that worthy of putting him away. So when it came to trying to find the elusive villain it was left entirely to the young collegiate as he struggled between his government given heroic job and his social life and all that came between.
Currently Hotshot was putting another colored thumbtack on his map of the city. He documented the battles of his nemesis, be it between him and the scrawny villain or another hero. Yesterday, the day he returned home was with an easily forgettable hero called Jackrabbit and so it was mapped with a differently colored tack than if he were to fight Hotshot. Hotshot kept such a close eye on the locations of battles to see if there seemed to be some sort of pattern. Occasionally, there seemed to be some foreknowledge on to things happening at the locations where he and Hotshot seemed to hold some of their battles and it didn’t seem normal… if it was once or twice where that seemed to happen he would be able to brush it off, but it was a constant occurrence!
A sinkhole opens up suddenly? Oh, no problem! Villain and Hotshot were fighting there so nobody got hurt! Villain sets fire to a nearby building and breaks into a nuclear power plant? Oh gosh! At the same time he did that there was an overheating reactor so the responding firetruck were just. In. Time. It doesn’t end there and for each time Villain just happened to do an evil deed in a seemingly random location, a great disaster was prevented. It was making Hotshot’s overly theorizing brain go insane as he struggled to find a pattern or a reason to each of the steps that Villain took.
The only relief that Hotshot had from the constant stress of his hero job was his best friend. A very, very pale guy who shared the villain’s name… Villain. He constantly reminded the young hero of his adversary but always denied the accusations of being said person. Hotshot glanced to his Xbox and briefly debated on whether or not he should log in to play a game or see if Villain was on… Nah, he’s still got a essay to finalize. He’ll focus on that first, and if it wasn’t too late in the night he’d hop on to talk to Villain for a few hours while playing something.
Villain, meanwhile, was just arriving home from a long shift at Hotshot’s Nana's café, a popular place called Towering Treats. A very fitting name considering that there were several individual cafés stacked on top of the small store and seemingly overnight every few months, the café would grow by a floor with a familiar storefront from across town... but nothing was ever done about it.
That was in itself a very interesting story to tell, but right now Villain was more focused on the relief of coming home after a long Tuesday. He slipped out of his reflective purple tap shoes and set them preciously beside his civilian shoes in front of a stuffed shoes rack. The rack held more tap shoes, all in varying stages of wear and tear.
Villain tried to not even spare them a glance as he slid into his house slippers. It's not that Villain refused to look at them! He just… didn’t focus on them as his eyes passed over the once-shining representations of their own shade of the rainbow. Instead, he walked straight to the comfortable leather couch in his sizeable living room and turned on his Xbox.
He had planned to play a big group battle with his friends in a game they wanted to play all together, so they scheduled for a time when they were all free to join in on call and in game. Villain signed in to his account and turned on his mic for a flood of invites to the already open group call.
With him now joining, the group call was almost at max capacity with eight out of the ten people limit. Villain frowned when he remembered why exactly there was one person missing from the group. His longest known friend Minty had gone with her family on a full day shopping trip, and everyone was bummed about it. Her being out shopping means that she isn’t there to play their newest game with everyone.
How dare they, her family, interrupt their game session? Who did they think they were? Villain teased internally as he joined the call and was greeted by a chorus of greetings and a random kazoo. They were all excited to play an open world rpg that Minty found, so her not being there was a bit of a bummer but... they could all show her the ropes tomorrow, so it’s not all bad!
After an hour of getting used to the controls, getting lost and FALLING off the side of the map – much to the dismay of one and to the laughter of EVERYONE else – they all finally got used to the world enough to finish the tutorial. They were finally able to get through a few of the game objectives, jump through to new islands and FINALLY figured out how to change their weapons. After they all decimated a huge fire based creature, Villain laughed to himself.
“What’s so funny, Villy?” Came the kazoo tainted question that still held annoyance from over the mic.
“Ah, I was just thinking, uh, the monster reminded me of Hotshot. And... I thought it’d be kind of fun if he were to join us?” Villain knew what they were all going to say. They knew that he was going to say that, after all. But what do you do when your group of friends for years doesn’t like your very best friend?
“Come on guys-” “Three.” “He’s not that bad!” “Two.”
“Why don’t you try to not tease him just for once? You know he’s shy!” Everyone knew that was utter bs, but Villain couldn’t just not defend his friend... even if it was from his other friends just being purposefully annoying.
“One.” And with a finite tone and a snap of fingers over the mic, a message popped up on his screen with Hotshot’s screenname saying that he just signed in and the notification chimed through his microphone.
“Uhm... is it okay if I invite him into the call?” Villain trailed. If his friends all didn’t want him to, he wouldn’t. Because they were his friends too and what they wanted matters just as much.
“No, no, no. It’s okay! Invite him in!” came the laughing kazoo, “Inviting the devil is always the right path to take.” Now, Villain would’ve gotten upset if that was a jibe at Hotshot’s overly aggressive fire-based powers but obviously it wasn’t, it was just a slightly twisted joke about what he knew was coming.
Once Hotshot had joined the party, a cheer of greetings rose from the chaotic group. Rising above the cheers came the kazooing cackle “Speak of the devil and he devil shall appear!” before laughing through the kazoo.
“He’s not the devil!” Villain defended. This was the routine, no matter how full the lobby was.
“Hey - oh... is... the gang all here?” Hotshot drags out when he sees the number of people in the chat.
“No~” Drags a sigh from over the mic, Floss, obviously rolling over in sorrow onto his back from the mattress squeaking through the chat. “The most heinous, dastardly, AWFUL thing happened to drag Minty away~ Socializing and family shopping! The HORROR!” The rest of the group included their wails of agreement while Hotshot awkwardly chuckled into the microphone.
“So, Villain, I-” “Hotshot! Hotshot!” “Hm?” “If you were a zombie – but like, an aware zombie, would you try to get help from humans for a cure or just hide until they find one?”
“I don’t - what?” He was confused, “uh, I guess I'd try to help get a cure?”
“See, I knew it folks. You’re just gonna die man. They’ll pop you like gum.” Hotshot was in the claws of Villain’s friends now. No amount of his defensive pleas would stop the flurry of questions that only seemed to arrive whenever Hotshot tried to talk to Villain. Suspicious...
“Hotshot! Why isn’t a female Daddy Long Legs called a Mommy Long Legs?” “I-”
“Hotshot! How many times can you turn before getting dizzy?” “A... lot? Villai-”
“Hotshot, wait! Why are hotcakes used as a measurement of time in America?” “America? I-”
“Hotshottttt! How does a ship in a bottle get in the bottle?” “I know! They fold it! They-”
“Course you would know, that’s kinda nerdy, Mister Jock~” “I’m not a j-”
This time, Hotshot interrupted himself rather than be interrupted. Yeah... he kind of was a jock...
And with that, they all jumped back into the rpg game and now, with a brand new player to lead around, they all felt way more over powered than they were – barely being level 3 themselves. All the while they showed him the ropes, they ran between Hotshot and Villain’s characters and kept interrupting the mic and purposefully throwing themselves off the sides of the floating islands to respawn and do it again.
Villain was running around them all desperately and asking for them to stop bullying Hotshot and to keep playing the game so they could get to the next island. After a few more minutes of the teasing questions, Hotshot must have had enough because he cleared his throat and spoke up.
“Hey, Villain. I – uh - I could only hop on for a bit... So... I have to go. I have practice early tomorrow... I’ll see you tomorrow.” And without waiting for anyone else to respond Hotshot had signed off right after saying that.
The rest of the group started laughing and joking until Villain – who was more than slightly annoyed – sighed.
“Don’t you all think that that was a little mean?” Villain had expected Floss or one of the others to rag on him like usual, but when Plague had genuinely gotten angry at him was a surprise.
“So was he, Villain. He joined our group chat and he was surprised it was a group chat.” She started. “Besides, we were including him in the conversation. It’s not like we were ignoring him or anything. We weren’t being rude to him.” Before Villain could speak, Floss interrupted the friend’s coming rant to question Villain.
“Why do you always choose Hotshot over any of us? You have literally known Dieter and Minty longer than all of us – Hotshot included! So why is he above everyone else to you?”
“w-well, not really. I don’t! - I just... want you all to get along.” Villain muttered in defense before another sigh left his lips, leaving him emotionally drained.
“It’s kind of hard to get along with the guy who-” Plague was interjected by Branch’s nervous chuckle and promise to start ‘trying’ to be nicer to Hotshot. This was followed by an angry yell from Plague who quickly disconnected without another word. Dieter was then called by his mother and had to leave. Willow’s younger siblings had run into her room and taken over the microphone and remote – so she left too.
Floss and Coddle both had a group assignment they had to complete for a shared class and having been playing from Floss’ console they signed off rather than procrastinate further on it. And with most of the others leaving all at once; Villain, News and Branch all agreed that this was probably where the group call should end for the night. With hesitant farewells, they all left their collective consoles and decided to do whatever it is they do before they went to bed.
Villain stared down at his glass table for a few minutes, letting his eyes focus from the shine on the thick pane to the brightly colored area rug underneath. Why did he keep trying to force the friendship between Hotshot and the others? They’re not going to understand why it’s so important to Villain and it seems like all Plague wants to do is make sure Hotshot never forgets that she hates him. And it sucks! Villain hates seeing the people that make up his whole world go from being civil to actively hating each other throughout the years.
If Villain could just somehow find a way for them all to like each other as much as the civilians like him, there would be no problems about anything. But the world already has things that are too easy for him, so this must be one of the unchangeably difficult parts in life. Disappointingly enough...
Villain sighs into his pressed palms before brushing both hands through his fluffy hair in frustration at the thoughts racing through his head. Villain’s circling thoughts were interrupted by the loud obnoxious yell of an anime character – it was his special notification tone for Hotshot, that way he never missed a message. When Villain opened his phone, it was indeed a message from Hotshot. Due to his size, it was difficult for Hotshot to type the messages out on his phone's small keypad and this usually led to his messages being quite funny when he sometimes wrote sentences that ended up being as incomprehensible to Hotshot himself as it was for others to read. And he's the one who wrote them!
‘Hey. Sorrey. didnt mean to make it akqward.’ The first message read, before a quick second message appeared with a correction.
Villain is a small-town small-scale nothing in a formal suit and face mask. Almost a nobody in the eyes of the hero system. But to the acclaimed hero, Hotshot, he is a nemesis, an archenemy and someone whom he vowed to take down with his own flaming hands.
Hiding not just his own secrets, but the secrets of his best friend and the truth to those around him takes a toll on this teasingly kind guy in a world only recently changed by a surge of powers into an otherwise normal world. With these powers comes fire and floods, loss and pain and change and what can even be worse than all, memories... whether they can be forgotten is still up to debate, and that is why Villain fears them most.
This will have more serious themes in the future and is intended for young adult audiences 16 years and older.