Hero X Villain
HERO X VILLAIN
Nic shivered and opened his eyes. He curled up in the hospital bed and pulled the thin blanket further up so it covered his shoulders. That was a little better, and soon he was warm enough to maybe fall back asleep. It felt like maybe 2, 3 in the morning, but he had no idea. The time wasn’t available for him. He exhaled and accidentally tugged against the restraint. Nic’s breath hitched and he forced his eyes shut again as he adjusted his position on the bed.
About a year ago he’d been a hero, one of the League. They’d never really treated him like one. Nic thought he’d do the right thing and help people. Sebastian Crane saw Nic’s powers and thought the hero would make a perfect super weapon. Head of the Order of Darkness, extremely rich from a million different enterprises both legal and illegal, and the villain known as Emperor. Yes, really, the man was that flavor of evil. It was sexy, to be honest, and the man cleaned up well when he wasn’t wearing his stupid fucking costume. Unfortunately, Nic really had no reason to appreciate him, especially when Crane stood at the foot of his bed, which Nic just realized he was doing at three in the fucking morning.
Nic jumped as he felt the man’s presence, and within a second the light flicked on. He squinted and blinked, shielding his eyes with one hand. Crane laughed, a low chuckle in his throat as he slowly walked over to the side of the bed. “Good morning, sunshine,” Crane said. Nic blinked again and he caught a glimpse of Crane’s watch. Ah. It wasn’t three after all, it was five in the morning instead. He didn’t feel any better about that.
“Good morning,” Nic said quietly. His first month in captivity was mostly spent on him being beaten, shocked, and confined in a pitch black cell. He’d caused nothing but trouble as Crane figured out how to keep his abilities under wraps so he couldn’t escape. His notes on the computer had plenty to say by now.
Shape-shifting. Reality manipulation. Immortality and cell regeneration. Self sustenance; energy creation? Powers are innate.
That was only a small bit of one very large document spanning the last twelve months. It was all Nic had managed to catch a glimpse of. By now Crane probably knew more about him than he did, which likely wasn’t difficult. Nic didn’t know as much as he might have liked to. It didn’t matter now. His life wasn’t in his own hands anymore.
“You’ve lost weight over the last few months,” Crane said as he gently tugged on the sleeve of Nic’s shirt. He was dressed in emerald green paper scrubs, given to him fresh from the bag after his shower only six hours before. Nic blinked again and nodded. He didn’t have to respond to that.
“I know you want to go back to sleep, but you can’t today,” Crane said. “I have a lot of tests for you, Nicholas.” Nic had no idea why he had to say it like that. It kind of weirded him out.
“Okay,” Nic said. He wasn’t going to fight it. There was no use in fighting anymore. He sat back and watched as Crane beckoned in the doctor and the nurse. They were nice enough, and they both had an excellent bedside manner. Nic didn’t know their names. He supposed that was intentional.
“Get me a liter of blood,” Crane said. “One of our men has been shot.” Nic bowed his head and said nothing. He reached up and rolled up his sleeves as well as he could with his limited mobility. Crane’s eyes seemed to bore into him as his fingers pulled at the paper clothing.
“We’ve got him, sir. I know you have other business to attend to.” Nic felt relieved as Crane walked away with only a nod. He could pretend he was just in a hospital now, and not imprisoned within a special medical bay within a hidden fortress. It wasn’t a convincing lie, but he told it to himself all the same.
They took his blood, he passed out, and when Nic opened his eyes again he had no idea how much time had elapsed. He blinked and sat up slowly, dizzy. There was a drip in his arm, big bag of saline pumping hard. That was always fun. Nic curled up to calm the dizziness and sleepiness joined in. He dozed off and slept for what felt like an hour, and then he felt a hand gently tug on his foot.
Nic opened his eyes and looked up to see the nurse. She smiled at him. He felt something inside him yearn for something he couldn’t place. The nurse quickly changed out his empty bag of saline for a new one. Nic waited to see if she would come back after that, but the light in his room dimmed and he finally lie back down. He slept several more hours after that and dreamt all the while.
Nic could feel sand between his fingers. He pressed his hand in and felt the grains rush up to meet his skin. The heat of the sun coated the glittering brown and gold. With a child’s laugh he rolled over and the brown and gold gave way to pure black.
The black sand beach stretched on forever, the lapping sea clear and the far away grey and steaming. It was beautiful and it glittered in the sun like onyx and diamonds. Nic was an adult, a man of olive skin and brown hair, his eyes green as jade. He could see himself in the water. He recognized himself for the first time in a year, if this was still who he was under all the misery.
Nic lifted his head and looked out over the grey waters. A quiet realization came over him then. He sighed