He turns. Standing there is another little boy who looks an awful lot like him, sandy brown hair and knobbly knees and skinny wrists.
"Hello." The other boy cocks his head. "I'm Steven."
"I'm Marc. How did you get in my room?"
Steven shrugs. Marc does so as well, then gestures for the other boy to join him by his bedside table, occupied by stacks of comics and action figures that have fallen over, plastic joints bent strangely and limbs akimbo. He doesn't often get company.
"Wow," Steven says, approaching. His eyes widen and his voice lowers to a reverent whisper as the voices of those given to wonder are wont to do. Marc glances over, thoroughly enjoying the other boy's reaction to his Captain America figurine. "It's vintage," he says. He's almost as proud of the nice word as he is of the toy itself. "It belonged to my dad, but you can borrow it if you want."
Steven smiles. His eyes are half-moons, cheeks still chubby with childhood innocence.
Steven visits occasionally, but the occurences are rare. He's not around when Marc takes his first job, or when he dies, or when he comes back to life and pulls on a well-washed white mask and starts running around the town and beating on the people who harm the travellers of night. Marc almost forgets but Steven makes a reappearance and despite his newfound status and wealth still somehow remembers and recognizes Marc.
"It's been a while," he greets.
"Who are you?" Marc asks, tilts his head, except it's not Marc, it's three in the morning and he's still Moon Knight.
Steven chuckles. "Am I really that forgettable? Steven Grant," he reminds the masked one. A flood of memories invades Moon Knight's mind, and for a moment he's Marc.
Not for long. Soon he's Moon Knight again, perched on the railings of the balcony on the 20th story of some building, speaking to a millionaire who doesn't know Moon Knight.
"Steven Grant," he intones. "I am Moon Knight. Protector of the night traveller. Avatar of the Lord Khonshu. The seeker of vengeance. Marc Spector is dead."
Grant, to his credit, takes it in stride. "All right, Moon Knight. Heh, that rhymed."
Moon Knight waits.
The man clears his throat, looks down a bit. He's wearing only a striped bathrobe, shirt, pants, and slippers, and it's winter.
"Go back inside," instructs Moon Knight. "It is cold."
"Yeah, yeah. All right. See you around, Marc."
Moon Knight waits a moment before leaping off the rails, draft catching his cape as he spread-eagles. Below him, awaiting his landing is an alleyway, a dumpster filled with old china and broken wine-glasses.
Moon Knight gets home and pulls off his armor, leaving Spector to lick and wash his wounds. A bullet grazed his ribcage on the right side. A knife wound on his lower left arm. Both superficial.
Who is he, asks the divine Khonshu. He makes it sound like a statement.
Marc makes a noncommital gesture of some sort. His eyes never once lift from the ground. "I used to know him."
When he wakes up, everything is white, but his clothes are all wrong. Everything is wrong. Too many people. And where is Lord Khonshu?
Someone comes along, presses something into his palm. Holds it up to his mouth, and he's too tired to refuse. Too tired to do anything, really. He can't help but take it and hope he receives direction from Lord Khonshu soon.
He doesn't. No one helps him, no one aids him and he is more lost than when he first was rescued by Lord Khonshu. Instead he is hurt, drugged and put through what seems like torture. Father, why have you abandoned me?
"You're me," Marc says.
"No," insists Steven Grant. "I'm Steven Grant."
"We're the same person."
"No, Marc. We really aren't."
Jake has taken being the alternate identity of another person well, or at least as well as one might take it. They speak in private, away from his friends (friends! part of Marc cries) and come to an understanding. Jake is sly and understandably so, but willing to work things out.
"It's my money anyway, isn't it?" he asks, smirking.
"I suppose it is."
Moon Knight visits Steven. He says nothing, just stares. His cold eyes display no traces of emotion, save for the slightest hint of mirth at some joke no one else could laugh to.
"I was there for him--" starts Grant, but he's interrupted.
"No, you were not."
"Marc?" Grant asks hopefully.
Marc pulls down the hood, peels
off the mask. "Yeah."
Steven nods. "All right."
"We are the same person. You're just as Marc Spector as I am."
Grant shakes his head, just like last time. "No, Marc. Not like that at all. I'm Steven Grant. I'm me."
Marc stays silent for a bit, then continues. "Look. I need...I have to do a few things. I need you to lie low. Stay out of the way."
Steven nods again. "I can do that," he replies. Marc hesitates, then clasps Steven's shoulder. "Thanks," he says, then pulls his headpieces back on. "Safe night."
"Take care," he hears faintly.
He's in Grant's apartment. He's not sure why.
It's well-decorated. Grant's got good taste, or at least knows someone who does. Someone else, probably.
He cautiously sinks into the soft downy sofa. It feels like sitting on a cloud, like what he's sitting on is lighter than air.
Marc Spector's head falls forward, eyes closed. He is sleeping, but not for long. It'll be Moon Knight's turn, soon.
Above him, Khonshu watches.
Marc's apartment is dark, sparsely furnished in all shades of brown. The pipes are rusty, the mattress has a spring or two poking out that's given Marc almost as many scrapes as Black Spectre.
Removing his suit jacket, he tends to his cuts. His gloves are soon tinged with red and he discards them, finding a new pair and pulling them on. He sits in his old chair, hunched forward, head resting in his left hand disinterestedly.
"It's just you and me now," he says to empty space.
No one replies.