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Fix the World

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Yuuri stood at the top of the tallest building in the city, both arms leaning on the railing of the balcony he occupied, his posture relaxed.  Far below him cars the size of ants moved, brightly lit, along the roads that crisscrossed the ground. Above him clouds swirled, a storm brewing.  

Yuuri looked up at the sky, the energy of lightning gathering in the lines of his palms and beneath his fingernails as soft rolls of thunder in the distance tugged at his chest.  A raindrop fell, a dark spot on the cement balcony by his feet, and Yuuri quietly considered dispelling the storm before shaking his head, turning back to the city.  

Let it rain.  Gloom was befitting of the overlord of the world.  

The skies opened up and Yuuri turned his face to the clouds as rain hit the ground around him, water running down his cheeks and dripping off his chin.  He closed his eyes, letting the water soak into his hair, his clothes.  

“Brooding again?” a voice said from behind him, and Yuuri turned.  In the doorway and safely out of the rain, his lieutenant, his partner in crime, his best friend, stood with his arms crossed.  

Yuuri sighed softly.  With the pouring rain around them, it was a little hard to hear.  He took a couple of steps closer to the door back inside. “I don’t brood , Phichit.” 

Phichit raised one eyebrow, leaning against the doorframe.  “Oh, sorry, I guess it’s just gloomily staring out over the city you conquered, thinking about rainbows and unicorns?”  Yuuri frowned, and stepped inside, absently shaking his head, spattering water.  

Phichit grimaced.  “Sorry to interrupt your definitely-not-brooding.”  

“It’s fine,” Yuuri mumbled, rubbing at his face, pushing away his fatigue.  Even the energy from the storm feeding his power, glowing deep in the core of his soul, couldn’t completely dispel the deep exhaustion that had sunk into his bones.  

“I came to tell you that the prisoners are here,” Phichit said casually.  

Yuuri looked up sharply. “What?”  Phichit nodded, grinning, and Yuuri smiled shakily back.  “Thank you.”  

“I won’t take credit for it,” Phichit laughed.  “They’re waiting downstairs for you whenever you’re ready.”  Yuuri glanced back outside at the pouring rain and nodded.  

The wind picked up as Yuuri closed the door behind himself, the rumbling thunder growing louder.  Yuuri waved a hand over his torso and all the rainwater that had soaked into his clothes evaporated, condensing on the ceiling.  

“Lead the way,” he said to Phichit.  Phichit nodded back, and the two supervillains made their way down to the first floor of the tall building, and then to the basement.  

Phichit stopped just at the bottom of the stairs, and then said in a low voice, “I’ll leave you here, if that’s alright.”  

Yuuri nodded seriously.  “Yes, of course. I’ll see you later.”  Phichit gave him a tiny, nervous smile, and then disappeared back up the steps.  

Yuuri took a deep breath, composing himself as he faced the basement door. He had to be focused, cold, impassive.  Any emotion he showed could be used against him. And anything that could be used against him was a weakness. Yuuri had learned that a long time ago, the hard way.  

So he had to be strong.  He had to be evil .  

Yuuri squared his shoulders and pushed the basement door opened, letting it slam shut behind him.  There was only one person in the room, a man standing against the wall not facing Yuuri, his hands clasped behind his back, the silver cuffs around his wrists gleaming in the low light.  

Without turning, the man said, “You feel like shit.”  

Yuuri almost frowned, and then shook his head.  He could not get distracted.   “You are the leader of the resistance against me," he said after a moment, perfunctory.  "The man who goes by Flip."  

“That’s me.” The man turned.  Yuuri gazed at him, his heart thudding in his rib cage.  ‘Flip’ was younger than one might expect for the leader of a resistance, not much older than Yuuri, and although he had bags under his bloodshot eyes and his silver hair was greasy and unruly, he was still unfairly handsome.  

They stared at each other for a long moment, neither one willing to give in first.  Finally, Yuuri broke. “Viktor,” he said quietly, stumbling only slightly on the painfully familiar name, and he was rewarded with a flash of surprise across Viktor’s face.  

“Yuuri,” Viktor replied.  “It’s been a while.”  

Yuuri paused.  “It has.”  

Viktor let out a long, slow breath.  “You could take these cuffs off,” he said just before the silence between them became awkward, lifting both his arms to stare down at the silver bands on his wrists.  “It’s not like they’re doing anything anyway.”  

Yuuri’s lips twisted into a frown.  Even from across the room, he could feel the field of the cuffs grating at his power, wearing the edges thin.  But the way Viktor’s abilities worked had always been a little different.  

“You know I can’t take those off.”  Yuuri’s voice didn’t sound like his own anymore.  “It would be a security liability.”  

Viktor pressed his lips together.  “I held out hope, you know,” he whispered, his voice breaking.  “For a long time. Months .  Even after everything that happened, everything you said…” he trailed off, smiled bitterly.  “Everything I said, as well. To be fair.”  

Yuuri resisted the urge to close his eyes, but memories of that night flashed through his mind anyway.  The disagreement that turned into an argument that turned into a fight…  

“I had hoped you might come back.”  Viktor smiled humorlessly. “I guess it’s kind of the other way around now, isn’t it?”  

Yuuri dared to step a little closer, and was almost surprised when Viktor didn’t… attack him?  Hit him? Lean in and kiss him?  

“I was surprised, when I heard,” Yuuri murmured, and out of the corner of his eye he saw Viktor shiver.  “I was surprised that you , of all people, would be in charge of a rebellion.  You were always such a stickler for the rules.”  

“There are no fucking rules,” Viktor spat in a voice like barbed wire, and Yuuri lurched back a little, surprised for some reason by his fury.  “Not since you did the thing you always said you would never do.”  

Yuuri’s eyes widened angrily.  Viktor met his glare with one of his own.  He looked five seconds away from leaping at Yuuri.  Yuuri gritted his teeth. “I think we’re done here,” he started, turning away.  

Faster almost than he could register Viktor was at his back, dangerously close.  “You know I can feel you, right?” he whispered hoarsely. Yuuri froze.  

“Yuuri, I can feel your fears, your insecurities.  Your regrets. I know you don’t really want to be here.  Please, Yuuri, let me-”  

Yuuri’s left palm flexed, sparks of electricity dancing between his fingertips.  

“You wouldn’t shock me,” Viktor said, and Yuuri could hear the twinge of uncertainty in his voice.  Yuuri turned and found himself nose to nose with Viktor, close enough that he could feel Viktor’s cool breath on his cheek and see his own reflection in the dark pupils of Viktor’s eyes.  

“Yuuri,” Viktor whispered, sounding for all the world like a broken man.  

Yuuri stared at his reflection, at his slicked-back hair and strong jaw and cold eyes.  At the flush on his cheeks and his parted lips. He exhaled.  

“Yuuri,” Viktor said again, soft and plaintive, longing, and then Yuuri was kissing him.  

Viktor’s lips were soft, sweet, and something deep in Yuuri’s chest cracked and shattered.  Viktor gripped tightly to both of Yuuri’s arms, his fingers digging into Yuuri’s skin. Yuuri choked back a pathetic whimper before running his fingers through Viktor’s soft hair, heedless of the static.  The feeling of Viktor’s chest pressed against his, drinking in his kiss like air, was horribly, achingly familiar.  

The touch of Viktor’s fingers, trailing up his arm to cup the back of his neck, jolted Yuuri to his senses.  He jerked away, stumbling against the wall and gasping. Viktor gazed after him with wide eyes, his cheeks red, hair standing on end.  

“No,” wheezed Yuuri, fingers anxiously tangling together.  “No, no, we can’t, we shouldn’t, I shouldn’t have-”  

Viktor stepped forward again, lifting Yuuri’s chin with his fingertips.  “Yuuri…” His eyes darting across Yuuri’s face, probably taking in his ruffled hair, the faint shadow of a scar across one cheek.  

“Yuuri, it doesn’t have to be like this,” Viktor whispered.  “We can still fix things. Fix the world.” He reached out and took Yuuri’s hands in his before turning them palms up.  Yuuri stared down at his hands, trembling.  

“Please, Yuuri,” Viktor pleaded.  He sounded like he was at his breaking point.  His fingers were clenched and white against the skin of Yuuri’s palms, nails ragged, the skin around the cuticles torn.  

Yuuri jerked his hands away, looking up.  “Things can never go back to the way they were.”

Viktor stared at him before his chin dipped, bangs falling over his eyes.  “Of course,” he murmured. “I see.”  

Yuuri nodded slowly, kept nodding as he backed away, struggling to regain control of himself.  “You are in my custody,” he said, amazed that his voice didn’t tremble, break. “You will remain locked up until further notice.”  

Yuuri expected Viktor to protest, to say anything , as he opened the door he had come through.  But Viktor just watched him with sad, wide eyes, his lips pressed together, until Yuuri closed the door behind himself and locked Viktor back in.  

Phichit was waiting for Yuuri at the top of the stairs, his phone in his hands, but Yuuri could tell his friend wasn’t really paying attention to the social media feed on his screen.  Phichit looked up as soon as Yuuri closed the second basement door, and took one look at him before opening his arms. Yuuri glanced around to make sure they were alone before melting into his friend’s embrace.  

“Oh, Yuuri,” Phichit sighed, rubbing Yuuri’s back as Yuuri buried his face in Phichit’s shoulder.  

His body trembled.  He didn’t cry.  

Supervillains didn’t cry.

***

Days passed, then weeks, then months.  

Yuuri didn’t visit Viktor in the basement again for as long as he could resist, ten days after Viktor had been captured.  The first time he went back Viktor refused to speak to him, and stayed curled up against the wall of his cell until Yuuri left him alone.  

Yuuri tried to focus on the world, on what he wanted to do for the world, rather than the man he had once loved that was locked in his basement.  

But it was hard, harder than Yuuri had ever anticipated it would be.  Even with Phichit at his back, even supported by the supervillains left that had agreed to help him control what he had gained, Yuuri felt weak.  Vulnerable .   

And that was something the ruler of the world should never be.  

It was a rainy Thursday, perfect for Yuuri’s superpowers, when everything came to a head.  

Yuuri wasn’t afraid, hadn’t been afraid for a while, to walk out in the open.  After all, he was the ruler of the world. It would be an unspeakably stupid move to attack him.  

“Yuuri!” Phichit shrieked, pushing Yuuri off the sidewalk they were walking on and into the street just in time to avoid a man with flames spilling through his fingers swinging both fists at his head.  Yuuri’s heart stopped for a moment as Phichit was engulfed, even though he knew his best friend was more or less fireproof. Around them civilians screamed, fled.  

“Yuuri, get out of here!” Phichit yelled, struggling.  Yuuri clenched his jaw and called the power of the storm to his fingertips.  Around them the rain, already falling steadily, turned into a downpour that dowsed the man’s flames.  

Yuuri stalked forward, lightning crackling at his fingertips.  Phichit stepped back, his eyes wide, and Yuuri surged forward before pinning the man against a building.  Electricity swelled in the pit of his stomach, energy crackling along the lengths of his arms.  

“You want me dead?” Yuuri hissed, his fury burning bright and hot, and relished in the fear he saw in the other man’s eyes.  “You want me and my lieutenant dead? You’re going to have to try harder than that.” And then he let the power within him loose, lightning crackling around them, rain pouring down as the wind whipped it nearly sideways.  

“Yuuri!” Phichit might have shouted.  

Yuuri pressed closer, his lips pulled back in an ugly snarl.  “Please,” the man whimpered. “Have… have mercy.”  

Something in Yuuri snapped, and he shoved the man away from him, static making his fingertips tingle.  With effort Yuuri reigned in the power of the storm raging around them, tucking the energy deep within himself until the wind had died down and the rain had slowed to a drizzle.  

“You disgust me,” he spat, and then grabbed Phichit’s arm and pulled him away.  

“Yuuri,” Phichit whispered once they had speed-walked about a block.  

Yuuri ignored him, shoving his clenched fists into the pockets of his long coat.  Phichit seemed to get the message, although when they got back to where Yuuri had set up base after taking over the world he saw Phichit give him a worried look before disappearing.  

On autopilot, Yuuri let himself into the basement and walked slowly down the steps, his chin lowered.  When he got to the bottom he sat down and rested his hands on his knees without sparing a glance at the door in front of him.  

His hands were trembling, his palms wet with rain and streaked with ash.  

Despite what the world said about him, Yuuri had never killed anyone.  But those hands had come close.  

Yuuri closed his eyes and let out a shuddery breath.  He remembered what Viktor had said to him, months ago.  It doesn’t have to be like this.  We can still fix things. Fix the world.  

Yuuri swallowed hard.  Stood. Stepped forward.  

He unlocked and pushed open the door of the basement, the door that led into Viktor’s cell.  The other man, the hero, perked up from where he had been sitting with his face buried in his bent knees.  

“Yuuri?” Viktor said, an odd note in his voice.  

Yuuri made eye contact, nodded slowly.  “Alright, Viktor,” he said. “Let’s fix the world.”  Yuuri turned to leave.  

He left the door open behind him.