Fire and Ice: Part 4

Everything hurt. My back, my head, all ribs and muscles were as much on fire as he was. My own blood dripped slowly to the ground, a small gory puddle below me. From where, take your pick. The cut on my eyebrow, the slash at my arm, the multitude of other wounds on my body. All from him.

This is my fault, this is all my fault. I let my guard down, a wall I had built up to almost two decades crumbled from his touch, from his smile, those damn soul crushing eyes. I convinced myself we were friends. That he would actually come to like me, maybe fall for me as much as I did that first battle. I was an idiot. I still am an idiot. And now here I was about to die.

“Get up!” He yelled, fire flickering up his arms and legs. The anger in his eyes was like brimstone. Every step he took forward singed footprints that trailed behind him, black and smoldering.

“I said get up and fight me!” My brain was telling my whole being to just lay down, accept my fate. I’m a stubborn son of bitch though, and with shaking legs I faced him, nails digging into my palms. Liam was just as banged up as I am. Covered in blood and bruises already turning purple, he snarled.

“Come on, fight me! Fight me you bastard, take the first shot!” He pelted fire balls at my feet. I just stepped back at each one, soon hitting the wall. I bit back a groan, eyes shut tight. Finding my voice with a raw throat, it just came out.

“Just kill me…” I whispered. I opened my eyes again. Some of the flames covering him were gone, his eyes softening.

“What?” He asked almost as quiet as me. All the rage in me finally surfaced.

“Don’t give me that. Don’t try to act sympathetic all of damn sudden. I know what you are! We both do! You’re a ticking time bomb finding excuses to kill me, well here you go! I’m all yours! Just kill me and get it over with!” I spread my arms staring him dead in the eyes. They were still a warm brown, and I hated I still melted under them. I wanted him gone. I wanted him out of my life. He was never going to see me as nothing but a bad guy. He was the hero. I was the villain. And I was going to let him vanquish his villain.

Liam didn’t move, snuffing everything out on his body. I stepped forward and shoved him hard in the center of the chest where I know it would hurt.

“Stop being so noble for one fucking second! Kill me! Just fucking kill me! You wanted a fight so just bash my head in, roast me alive, do something! Just-!” I pushed him again and again, weaker than the last, not even bothering to bite back the soft sob I let out. He grabbed my arms, keeping me in place. I stopped fidgeting, seeing spots from how much pain I was in through blurry eyes.

“Justin…” He stared at me, one hand sliding over my cheek, wiping a tear away. I furrowed my brows at him.

And then I felt warm. I felt heat radiate my skin, ricocheting inside my bones, soothe my muscles. Because he was kissing me. Liam the fucking Scorch Mark was kissing me.

The cut on my lip stung from the pressure, but I didn’t care. I could barely feel it. There were only a few things I was focusing on. His lips on mine, hand on my cheek, the curvature of his body against my own, his busted nose running blood across my jaw and down my neck. I raked my hands through his hair, tugging at it. It was smooth against my fingertips, covered in ash and cinders.

This wasn’t a kiss anymore. This was support. We clung to each other because both of us understood, admitting it or not, that the other was the only one that kept us grounded. He was my anchor, so I didn’t soar off. I was his life raft, so he didn’t sink to the bottom.

I had to breath, but I didn’t want to pull away. The moment we do, then the kiss is over. We are back to being enemies. We are back to fighting and putting up appearances. Just a second longer. That’s all I needed, a second longer.

Liam had different plans. He pulled away for air. The only sounds I could hear was our panting. I felt his racing heartbeat against my chest. I wondered if he could feel my own, just as fast as his. We looked at each other, a mix of confusion, want, anger, sadness, affection was dancing across his irises, and probably in mine too. He realized the same conclusion I did. This can only be one kiss. One moment that had to be forgotten.

And then we heard sirens. Neon red and blue flashed onto our clothes from the windows. Liam turned his gaze to the cop cars. No, no, please, not yet. He looked back at me.

“I…” He didn’t even get a chance. Policemen busted in, weapons raised. Their screamed orders came deaf over my ears. I just raised my hands, no attempt at using my powers. Soon, I sat in the back of an armored car. The chains chaffed against my wrist, but I was numb to it. All I noticed was the muffled praise Liam was getting from the commissioner a few yards away. He caught my eyes, face still and hard despite the damage. I looked away as hot tears threatened to fall.

And then the doors slammed me into darkness.

Fire and Ice: Part 3

I was once again somewhere I hated to be. Cooped up in a high-end prison cell, with technology to stifle my powers. But since the first mutated freak every prison has a system like this. A quick pickpocket for a guard’s key card and a couple roundhouse kicks I could escape without breaking a sweat. But this was a good place to rest for a moment. The latest fight between the daring flamethrower and myself ended…rough.

I sat up from my bed, feeling every joint and muscle scream I should sit back down. I hobbled over to my mirror, leaning hard on the sink underneath it to hold myself up, checking to see if the damage faded.

It did not.

A black eye was still present, along with a bruised and slightly swollen nose. Scratches ran across my cheekbone, scabbed over and red. I brushed some fingers over a busted lip, wincing at impact. I was in no shape to try and bust out, powers or not. I needed to rest, for a week or so.

“Does it hurt?” I turned quickly, regretting the fast movement immediately as my neck was pulsating in anguish. Liam stood there on the other side of the plexi glass. I chuckled through the pain, standing up fully and walking away from the sink. I couldn’t let him see me so weak. If he could hold himself up, then so could I.

“Oh don’t fuss over me. I’m just worried if it’ll leave a scar. This is the money maker you know.” I made a gesture to my face. Liam’s wasn’t any better, similar cuts and purple bruises littered that masterpiece. Ignoring the sudden regret in my chest at hurting him, I pointed to them.

“And you should pray that you get healed up good as well. Won’t be on that many tween magazines with a crooked nose,” I said, sitting down again when I couldn’t continue to stand.

“I never thought I would wish for a permanent facial disfigurement until now…” I laughed as much as my ribs would let me. He cracked a smile. A real one. Not one for photos or news reports, a genuine smile. I ignored the skip in my heartbeat, saving that image in my head. When I close my eyes I wanted it plastered across my dreams.

“Why are you here anyway? You don’t seem to be the one to gloat about beating his arch nemesis.” I crossed my legs, leaning back with my arms propping me up.

“Well I couldn’t gloat even if I wanted to, considering how you almost killed me…”

“Oh I almost killed you? I’m sorry I guess I just imagined in my dastardly haze where you used the force of your fire to hurtle a billboard at me!”

“That was self-defense! You were about to rain down the might of Mt. Everest on top of my head!”

“Only after you sent what I can only describe as the rushing wave of an erupting volcano towards my ass!” I could see him seizing up, about to yell at me more. There was a flicker of something in his eyes. Sparks danced in the corners. Literal sparks. I sat up more. No powers were supposed to be working in here. Not in a single corner, especially not anywhere near me. He stopped himself, pinching the bridge of his nose, rubbing his temples.

“Damn,” I mumbled. Liam looked up at me again, clearly forgetting I was there for a moment.

“You tell no one about that.” He pointed a finger at me.

“As if anyone would believe me. Now, answer my question. Why are you here?” I asked again. He sighed, raking a hand through his hair.

“I’ve never…met someone like me. Sure I’ve fought the occasional mad scientist or evil billionaires but, not another person with powers. I want…” He sighed again. I widened my eyes, realizing what he’s trying to say. At least what I hoped he was saying.

“Is Scorch Mark lonely?” I let out a quick snicker, but my pain seemed to fade from those words. Liam liked my company. He liked my company. He scowled at me.

“After talking with you in my house I realized I never could really relate with anyone else. I’m just asking for some back and forth. You do this, I might be able to reduce your sentence. Deal?” He asked. I couldn’t believe it. Here I thought I would have to convince him, kidnap him, hell even brainwash him if I got desperate (not for that long, only a couple days) just for him to look my way as something more than a threat. Yet here he was wanting to gossip and hang out with me. I blinked and let out a wide, excited smile meant to be a smirk.

“Deal.”

 

Fire and Ice: Part 2

Liam Chester, aka The Scorch Mark. Scorch Mark was a bit much, but I liked the name Liam. It fit him, sweet with some air of authority. I was planning to use his name to find out more about him through the black market, but a quick Google search revealed everything for me. No secret identity and with a movie star smile he was more of a celebrity than a superhero. Something for this city to fanboy over. I thought this defeated the purpose of the anonymity of people like us but it’s not like I’m any better.

The information I found didn’t surprise me. Born and raised in Haven City. Two loving parents. Cute little upbringing. A bit happier for an origin, but if one of us had to have the tragic backstory I fill that spot perfectly. But that’s for another time. All I wanted was his address, which also wasn’t hard to find. The biggest house with a security like Fort Knox made sense for someone like him.

I kicked my feet up onto the coffee table, flipping through another sleazy magazine with him on the cover. ‘Red Hot Star!’ in bold letters under an obviously posed photo of him. As goofy as it is, seeing him full body in an-we’ll call interesting-version of his suit was doing something for me.

The front door opened, the sounds of girls screaming, and camera flashes follow suit. The door shut again, and a heavy exhausted sigh. My chest clamped tight. I knew that sigh. I peeked my head up, gazing at him from behind the couch. He hadn’t notice me, just ran slender fingers through his hair, slinging his jacket off. I quickly tried to gather every new detail about him and store it away permanently. Moles speckled onto his arms like beautifully messy paint splatter. A scar running across his shoulder, faded from time, too small to be from a fight or battle. I wanted to run my lips down it, nibble at every mole. I wanted to see more.

I kept my eyes locked on his figure, but as I heard a zipper being undone, I panicked. My wish was coming true WAY too soon. I wasn’t above being a peeping tom or some weird pervert, I welcomed new titles, but with my pounding heart and my nerves and the fact that it was not going to happen like this, I just straight up panicked.

“What are you doing!?” I practically screamed, shot up more, revealing my torso. Liam snapped his body to me, holding his pants up with a fraction of a second left. His eyes bulged. My eyes bulged. I was about to see him in his boxers.

Holllly hell I almost saw him naked.

“What are you doing!?” His yelling broke through my wandering dirty thoughts. I looked up at him, putting on my usual scowl.

“Waiting for you!”

“You’re supposed to be in jail you creep!” He buckled his pants up again. I stood up.

“Well I’m out, supposed to be or not.” He eyed me up and down angrily.

“Were you trying to see me nude?!”

“Who gets undressed in their living room!?” I saw the flare in his irises right before the larger flare in his hands. He stepped towards me.

Well this didn’t go how I planned.

I raised my hands in defense, getting ice ready just in case.

“Woah woah Sparky! You said you don’t come to fight, right?” He paused, lowering his attack stance slightly.

“Well this time, neither am I. I just wanted to um…say uh…”

“You just wanted to say what?” He flamed out, crossing his arms. He has dropped his act for the most part, a goody two shoes who’s too tired to act all smiley. He wasn’t as simple as I thought he was before. He was sarcastic with a snide to his voice. And I might be the only one he shows this to. I wanted to be the person came home to after a long day with that voice. Someone to rub his knotted shoulders and tell him everything is ok as he ranted. I wanted to be the one he showed his real side to.

Lost in my daydream I realized I still hadn’t given him an answer. And once again, because my perfect spontaneity just killed itself apparently, I went to the first thing I thought of.

“Hi?” Hi. Hi. I broke out of jail into his house with hours of waiting for him and what came out is fucking HI!?

“Hi. You’re under arrest.” He stepped closer to me again.

“Wait! Wait! Wait! We’ve both fought and talked so much, we don’t even know any names, either of them. Shouldn’t mortal enemies at least know something about each other?” Liam turned his head down, forehead creased in thought. I blinked nervously. This could go either way. He could give me ten minutes. He could kick me out. He could kick my ass. He could give me a chance and have a heartfelt moment to moment that lasts all night. In my dreams maybe.

As I tried to swallow my heart Liam turned his gaze towards me. I quickly placed a cocky smirk on to shield my anxiety. He sighed and stuck his hand out reluctantly.

“Scorch Mark. You aren’t getting my real name.” Too late honey, but I won’t burst his bubble just yet. I grabbed it, warmth beating against my chilled skin.

“Freezer Burn.”

Fire and Ice: Part 1

Many villains will do wickedly bad things for a purpose. A tragic backstory, monetary gain, a warped righteous sense of morals, the standard motivations. But I never had any of that, nor have I ever wanted any of that. Villains have no code, no boundaries. They get to do whatever they please and go along their merry way without any hang ups or binding connections. And it’s a damn good time doing it. I could never be a hero. Ever since I gained my powers when I was little I’ve loved running that cold fear down a person’s back. Just the thought of their frozen state as they gazed at me in pure horror sent me all giggly. Cold and frozen things weren’t new to me. I had ice powers. Destructive, deadly, and gorgeous.

I was sending a wide spread panic into my new city, or a more fitting name, my new target practice. I’ve turned four already into giant ice cubes and now I was going to bring it up to number five. To think, twenty years old and already about to break a supervillain record!

I was finishing up the mindless doodles I had blasted with sleet into the front of a bank, ready to ice skate my way downtown, when I heard it.

“I would stop that if I were you…” I rolled my eyes. I should have known. It was my fault for not expecting a “protector of the city” in at least one place I blanketed cold. Almost every town has one of these spandex doofs. Another goody two shoes superhero to try and lock up the insidious bad guy. He even had a cliché phrase to start this whole charade.

“Wow, that certainly changed my ways. I WILL stop because I soooo want to be like…” I turned around to face my competitor and did something I never in a billion eons thought of doing.

I paused, and I ogled. He wasn’t like anything I had seen. He had this mature swagger about him, a stiff and straight stance, the natural aura of power. He was confident, a presence that could send hope into hearts of millions and fear up the spines of any threat or terror. It was every superhero shoved into one poster child for the extraordinary, for the brave, for the protectors of mankind.

And holy shit he was hot! Honey brown eyes that almost melted a heart that was frozen over years ago, framed with shiny dark hair swept back to reveal a soft complexion under a sharp and sculpted jaw. All was set off with red lips that even from this distance I could see were plump and so bitable.

“…you,” I finished, finding my voice again. For a split second he seemed to stumble, confused by my reaction. He gained his bravado again, hands on his hips, chest puffed.

“You are not welcomed in Haven City!” He bellowed at me. I gave him a once over. If it wasn’t for that ridiculous getup he was wearing I would be drooling over that firm and tight body. But seriously, matching red pants and jacket with obnoxious, orange stripes? Why can’t superheroes choose the subtly of villain’s costume? While he was a walking fire hydrant I stuck with something classier. Blue leather trench coat, monochromatic under shirt, hair slicked back with a slight spike. Simple, elegant, but still makes clear my powers.

I regained myself as well, noticing in his fumble he placed his hands a bit too high on his sides, coming closer to the top of his ribs. To mask the livewire that was my nerves I resorted to sarcasm and chuckled darkly.

“No shit, Sherlock. Unless you’re the city of Stockholm Syndromed citizens I doubt a villain who’s freezing their asses would be welcomed. Oh, and uh…nice chicken wings.” I copied his pose mockingly and laughed again when he readjusted himself, obviously embarrassed. He hid the slip up as best he could from the cowering hostages I trapped in ice.

“I do not take kindly to your attitude. I’m giving you a chance to leave, I don’t want to fight.” He stepped closer to me, the face a scolding parent would give a misbehaving child sat on his own.

“Yes, you do,” I smirked stepping closer as well, “Heroes need to fight for the fame poor hapless fans cities like these give you.” I gestured to the scared onlookers. Something in his eyes flickered that I had never seen before on a hero, especially a young one. Shame. Doubt. Fear. Like I had confirmed something that held him awake at night and maybe even believed. I didn’t want to admit myself the mixture of vulnerability and confidence was making him more infuriatingly attractive, however I couldn’t lie to my body the way he was trying to. The hero cleared his throat.

“One more chance. Leave. Now,” He jerked his arms down, sparking two large fireballs into his palms. I looked down at them and snickered, at myself this time. The chance of not only finding but falling for my literal opposite could only happen to me. He, though, took my little jovial moment as another taunt against him. A flash of anger seeped into his eyes, the orbs becoming hotter. I went a few paces back, charging my powers, feeling the stark chill come to my fingertips once more.

“Be gentle, this is my first time,” I said coyly. I watched as red flushed up to his cheeks, briefly stopping. But he gained his composure and the fight began.

He fired one attack after the other. I swung my own right back at him. They collided in the air and diffused themselves as fire met ice. A splash of water followed suit. I sent a wave of icicles sharp to the point at him. He ducked away from them with ease. All shattered into a few disregarded cars.

As he got up I ducked behind an overturned bus. I conjured a large ball of ice in my hands, ready for the right moment. I got up to a crouch when a sphere of what I can only describe as lava rocketed into the bus. I jumped, falling back onto the street, and observing the damage the young super had made. All that was left was a burnt side of a building and a singed gaping hole right through the center of the vehicle.

I was stunned for a moment, quickly realize the intensity of his powers. This wasn’t just fire he had control of. This was every force of nature that could destroy miles of land, all in his fingertips. I knew I couldn’t defeat him one on one.

So, I had to play dirty. I emerged from behind the bus. My ice ball careened towards him. He countered with ease behind a small circle of fire. While he was distracted I created more icicles, hovering in the air. They were not over him, though. The super watched in horror as I let them fall over one of the citizens I had trapped. She screamed, trying to pull her frozen legs free. The hero being the hero, never one to let a bystander die, reacted quickly.

When he rushed to her, I made my move. Pounding attack after attack against his back, I sent waves of icy metric tons where he couldn’t fight back. He stumbled and grunted at each impact. The icicles continued to fall. Her screams becoming louder and louder. The hero seemed about to crash to his knees. I smirked, ready to land my finally blow. I let an enormous ball of sleet form above him, ready to send my distraction away. But before I could even make a move to drop it, he slammed his fists into the asphalt with a loud roar.

I didn’t know what happened at first. All I saw was a flash of orange. Then I was sent hurtling and onto my back several feet away from him. All the frosty damage I had done to the area was now melted. The icicles were gone. The sleet was gone. Every bit of ice I had created was gone. In the entire city. The. Entire. Fucking. City.

The hostages and other citizens were all unharmed. Wet and covered in ash, but in one piece. The only sounds were soft footsteps and the drips of water into puddles.

I groaned and sat up as much as could with being thrown to the street like ragdoll. While everything inside me ached, I watched as the hero stood, gazing at his hands. He panted heavily and walked over to me tall and in a quick pace. My attacks left no damage. I looked up at him, his warm eyes piercing into my cold stare. There was something behind them. Something…darker. A sense of uncontrolled and unbridled fury he could almost bury with the fear that flickered inside him too. Almost.

I had underestimated him. He was stronger than me, more powerful than me, protected this whole city because he could, and he did it every day. He wasn’t invincible, but that didn’t make him weak. It just proved that he could do the implausible, because, for him, nothing was impossible.

I raised my arms without hesitation. I had lost fair and square. I’ll let him haul me off to jail where I would escape. My original plan was to get out and head to the next town without looking back. Now, I was going to stick around. He wasn’t a common pretty boy superhero. He was a threat, a rival, an equal. I knew this wasn’t some school yard crush anymore.

I was going to make him mine, himself and that darkness. And if that meant committing a thousand crimes for him to notice me than so be it.