RECAP: Leviathan has been brought to HQ under the guise of 'Levi'. Troy believes that Levi has just developed new superhero powers, however Volt has discovered who Levi really is. Volt confined Levi in his room for the night, but Troy still came to visit him (not knowing who Levi is). Levi seduced Troy to convince him to help Levi leave.

Volume 17!

"What do I need to do to make you like me?"

Levi sighed, flopped his arm over his eyes, and turned his face away from Troy. "You're asking that now?"

His body ached, which was satisfying. At least Troy was good for one thing. So far, he hadn't been living up to expectations in the 'escaping HQ' department.

"Well," Troy pouted.

"Well what?" Levi was starting to suspect that this post-coital cuddling was going to continue far longer than was necessary. It didn't help that Troy was wrapped around him like a goddamn snap bracelet.

Hurry it along, Levi, hurry it along.

He stretched out, and then nuzzled closer against Troy's broad chest. "I like you well enough," he purred, "You're very cute."

He flicked a tongue out, licking a rogue droplet of sweat off Troy's skin. Salty.

"But you don't like cute."

Seriously? Troy was grating on Levi's nerves. Stroking the ego of one's lover is expected, but his constant whining-

Troy shifted up onto his elbows, hovering over Levi. "Just don't sleep with any villains, ok?"

Levi's face went slack. "What?"

"Well, I know you like assholes, and you can't sleep with humans anymore. Villains are the assholes of the superpowered world."

Lip curling, Levi couldn't help but let out a breathy laugh. He reached up, and wrapped his arms around Troys neck. He did present a nice view, all muscled bulk and tan skin. Levi pulled himself up, enjoying the heat from Troy's body.

"Are you telling me there's a whole army of super strength bad boys out there ready to show me a hard time?" Levi said, licking his lips.

A shadow fell over Troy's face. "They would seriously hurt you, you know," he said, sliding his hand down Levi's back. "Is it so bad, being treated gently?"

Levi's eyebrows pinched together with amusement. "You're honestly telling me you've never gotten the urge to shove me over a table, rip my pants off and just go at it?"

He may have felt a slight sadistic joy at the blush on Troy's face.

"No," Troy said adamantly. "I've never, ever wanted to be rough with any—"

Levi cocked an eyebrow. "Anyone?"

"Well," Troy replied. There was... " Sighing, he dropped his head against the crook of Levi's neck. He mumbled something.

Levi rolled his eyes. "This isn't high school, just tell me."

"There's this villain..."

Fixing his gaze to the ceiling, Levi's lips thinned. "Oh?"

"I had this dream once where we just totally went at it, just fucked hard and destroyed the room we were in, and he was just panting and losing it under me."

Levi's mouth ran dry. "You don't say."

"But I could never treat you like that," Troy continued, looking up at Levi with earnest eyes.

What a fucking sweetheart. Levi could have strangled him. "So, this villain..."

"Oh, you know, Leviathan."

Oh. You know. Leviathan.

Levi couldn't control the bout of giggles, his body shaking, and he dropped away from Troy, landing on the soft pillows. If he were Leviathan, Troy would have given him the hate fuck he wanted, but no, he was poor, sweet Levi to this idiot.

Just. Perfect.

"Anyway," Levi said, swallowing down his laughter, "It's gotten pretty late..."

Troy stared down at him. "Were you really serious about that?" Brushing a strand of hair away from Levi's face, Troy sighed wistfully. "Can't let you leave, Levi. It's not safe yet."

"What?" Levi snapped, "but—I—what?"

Troy kept smiling at him.

Scowling, Levi rolled to his side, giving Troy the cold shoulder. He had just played cute and accommodating for no fucking reason, seduced Troy into fucking him for nothing!

Levi glanced up from the corner of his eye. Troy was still observing him, an indulgent smiled plastered on his face.

Ha. Well. Maybe it was time for both of them to stop underestimating Troy's ability to be an asshole.

"""""

Troy herded Levi down the hallway, one arm draped around Levi's shoulders, and his nose pressed against Levi's hair. "What do you like for breakfast?"

"Coffee," Levi replied. He was still stuck on how easily they walked out of his room, Troy hadn't pressed any buttons or anything on that keypad. Had Volt even locked him in? Levi bristled at the thought that he had been left in an open room the whole time.

Ignoring the looks and smirks of the assorted heroes, Levi kept his eyes open for Volt when they entered the cafeteria.

He was sitting with Dee and Firea, talking loudly and laughing even louder. When his eyes hit Levi, however, there was a passing shadow. Levi supposed then wasn't the time for petty victories, but Troy draped all over him must have been a blow to Volt.

"Hey," Troy nodded to them, pulling out a seat for Levi. He sounded nervous.

Volt appraised him. "And what did you two get up to last night?"

"Look," Troy replied quickly, "I know you said that we couldn't share rooms, but I just really didn't want him to be alone!"

He really was too sincere. Levi's lip curled, he may have felt a slight twitch of his deadened conscience—something he had so happily let atrophy—and he crossed his arms with a cough.

"I see," Volt said. He was smiling a roguish grin, but his hard eyes were set squarely on Levi. "Being around us heroes sure is scary, huh?"

"Why would it be?" Levi replied, "I'm a hero too, right?"

Volt's grin widened. "Yes, very true," he said. "And I was thinking we could do another test run, really stretch those new powers of yours."

"I'm up for it," Firea added, taking a sip of tea. Levi mentally scowled at her. He also outright scowled at her. She smiled back. "Wouldn't it be fun to find out what you can do, Levi?"

"Guys..." Troy said ineffectually. Levi placed a hand on his shoulder.

"That sounds like so much fun," he drawled.

"Who knows," Volt said. "Maybe we'll find a hero persona for you while we're at it."

Levi eyed Volt with growing irritation. How long was he planning on dragging out this farce? Until Levi slipped up and exposed himself to everyone? All of Levi's powers were telling, there was no way he could use them.

"I could make my debut when you all attack VillainCon," he said suddenly, and Volt narrowed his eyes.

"No way—" Troy began to stutter, "No, you're not fighting. You can be like Dee or something, a librarian or—"

Levi turned to him with a curled lip. "A librarian?"

"You like books, right?"

"Stop trying to keep him in the kitchen," Firea cut in.

Troy flushed red, and dropped his gaze. But he kept his arm slung around Levi's shoulders. "It's not that," he said, "That's not what I meant." He pulled Levi closer. "I just don't want him to get hurt."

Frowning, Levi looked away from Troy. He caught Volt staring at him with a dark expression, one that clearly said he's too good for you and Levi just smirked. As if Volt could ever make him feel guilty. And what was so great about Troy and his precious sensibilities, anyway?

Not that it mattered. Levi couldn't believe he was allowing himself to get sucked in. None of this meant anything, he wasn't going to be a hero fighting at VillianCon. If he ever managed to escape, then there wouldn't even be a VillianCon. He would warn everyone from going.

Still... it could be entertaining to wipe that achingly sweet expression off of Troy's face.

"I've had my fill of books," he said, his eyes narrowing with anticipation. "And you're right, I have all these new abilities. I should really test them out."

Volt considered him, and then shook his head with a smile. "That's very admirable, Levi, how easily you're taking this in stride."

Shrugging, Levi matched his stare. "Well?"

A long sigh escaped Volt's lips, and then he pushed himself to his feet. "Well," he said in agreement. "Let's put you to the test."

''''

Now it just seemed like they were showing off.

Levi was standing in yet another arena, different than the city scape and the sand pit. This one was more practical, the size of several football stadiums, and spread out through the entire length were enormous square pillars that reached up to the dome ceiling.

"Don't be scared," Troy breathed against his ear. He was standing behind Levi, hands clasped loosely to Levi's hips.

They were wearing matching outfits.

Deep blue spandex body suits. At least they weren't bright orange. But still, matching.

"I'll try not to be," Levi replied drolly, tugging at the sleeve of his suit. He missed his leather. His sartorial choices had always been intricately planned, so that he would look as cool as possible. Not for vanity's sake, of course, he just had to combat the image of shredded, unrecognizable outfits that Kraken usually left them with.

"They'll go easy on you," Troy murmured, pressing a kiss against Levi's temple. "Nothing to worry about."

Pursing his lips, Levi allowed Troy to continue petting him reassuringly. He observed the arena from their spot on a platform high above. As the rules were explained to him, he and Troy had to find their team's flag, and then make it to the other side of the arena before Volt and Firea did.

Fighting was allowed.

Despite the circumstance, he did feel a tendril of excitement in his gut. These arenas at HQ were... fun.

"You just make it to the other side," Troy continued, "I'll handle the rest."

Levi smirked. "Okay."

There was a loud gonging, and Troy stepped up next to Levi, and bent down as if he was about to participate in a track race. Snorting, Levi couldn't help but smile at the determined look in his eyes. He really wanted to win.

Not that Levi felt too inclined towards losing either, not against Volt. So why the hell not, he leaned down too.

He could see Firea and Volt, down several yards, poised to start too. Volt turned to look at him, and Levi snarled. "Troy," he said, glancing around. Troy must have seen the look in Levi's eye, because he shot him a grin and wink. Levi nodded.

The second gong rang out, and Levi jettisoned off the platform. He landed on the floor of the arena with a soft thud. The other three could fly, so for fairness sake, it was decided that Firea had to be grounded as well. He saw her land, but he was already moving, sprinting through the columns.

Sensing an electric tension in the air, he pushed up against a pillar just as a thunderbolt crashed from the sky. He looked up to see grey, flashing clouds swirling, covering the entire ceiling. The room darkened, and he pushed away from the column, moving forward.

Racing along, he started to pick up speed, as well as confidence, which may have been a bad idea. Just as he passed a column, Firea swung out from behind him, and landed a solid blow to his chest. He flew back, and slid across the ground, coughing. Hearing footsteps, he looked up just as Firea leaned down to grab his jaw. "Hello little Levi," she said, her lip curling.

Grimacing as ridges grew along his spine, he thanked the gods she was in front of him. He subdued the monster, and glared up at her.

"Now, now," she said, tapping his face. "No need to give me that look. I just want to talk to you while the boys are occupied."

He grabbed her wrist, and fought the urge to dig his nails into her skin. She knelt down, and stared straight into his eyes. "Careful," she said quietly, and then suddenly his palm was burning. He let go with a hiss, and stared down at his hand. His skin was blistered and red, but it quickly regenerated.

"You heal fast," she said, as if she was commenting on the fucking weather. Levi glanced up at her with narrowed eyes.

"Now, see," she continued, "Triton doesn't heal fast. He really feels his wounds before they go away. He gets hurt."

"I hear people learn from pain," Levi replied.

Letting out a light breath, Firea's cold smile froze over completely. "You really are a snake," she said, "Got your fangs sunk in deep." Grip tightening on Levi's chin, she jerked him closer. "You listen to me, bastard, he's a sweet, gentle guy. If you don't like him, then don't fucking string him along."

Before he realized it, Levi's hackles were raised. "You just want him yourself," he snarled.

There was a flash in Firea's eyes, and then she leaned back on her haunches. "So you do like him," she said flatly. "Or you just like having a toy." Snorting, she shook her head. "You really lucked out, with this whole baby hero thing. It's almost too perfect to be a coincidence. He thinks you guys are fucking soul mates because he awoke your powers or some shit."

Levi blinked at her. That was... terrible news.

Slicing out a hand, he caught her in the ribs. She fell back, wheezing. Levi was on his feet in the next instant, sprinting away. He heard a roar behind him, and ducked behind a pillar just as a fireball blasted by.

"Little Levi," Firea cooed. He could hear her footsteps nearing him. "That hurt. You really know where to hit."

Inching around the pillar, Levi trotted down several rows lengthwise. The air was still heavy with static, prickling against his skin. He hadn't heard any fighting. He looked up, but all he could see were the clouds.

There was a flash, the roar of thunder. When the clouds lit up, he could see the faint silhouettes of Volt and Triton. So, they were dueling up there. Levi was a little disappointed that he couldn't watch how Troy fared against Volt. They probably were evenly matched strength wise, but Volt had been fighting for much longer than Troy.

...not that Levi was worried.

He glanced around the pillar, the row was clear. He jogged at a swift pace, keeping his eyes peeled for the neon orange of the flag, and his ears open for Firea's footsteps. This would be the perfect situation to kill her and make it look like an accident, he thought idly.

He felt a sudden chill, the hair on his arms standing up, and realized it was drizzling. Cracks of thunder were sounding off in the distance. "Firea," he said quietly.

There was a chuckle. "Observant too," came Firea's voice, she must have been right around the corner of the pillar. "You really are meant to be a hero."

"Is that all it takes?" Levi replied.

He heard nails scraping along the pillar, and then Firea was there. "No," she said, "But it's a start."

"Are you trying to convince me of something?"

Appraising him with a smile, Firea took a measured step forward. "I'm just hoping you have at least one redeeming quality behind that self-satisfied, pompous smirk of yours, because it's really fucking embarrassing that Troy chose you over me."

"How flattering," Levi replied, matching her movement with a step backwards. "You like my smile?"

She snorted, shaking her head. "You're really amazing."

"Can't help it if that idiot has bad taste." Glancing to the side, Levi wondered if he could make it to the next pillar without being scorched to a crisp.

"Idiot..." Firea replied, and she's suddenly gone again. Levi jerked around, looking for he, but the row was empty. He took off, running as fast as he could for the other side of the arena.

Maybe he shouldn't have called Troy an idiot with so much disdain.

He could hear her running, she must have been almost parallel with him. He pushed himself harder, and then he saw it. The flash of orange at the top of a pillar ahead of him. The flag.

Picking up momentum, he bit his lip, and planned his ascent. He altered direction by a few degrees, jumped, slammed into the pillar, and propelled himself away. He hit the opposite pillar, repeated the action, and quickly made his way upwards.

Skidding on to the top of the pillar, he glanced skyward, still saw no trace of Volt, and then headed for the orange flag waving in front of him. He reached for it, when he heard a thud from behind him.

"I'm impressed," Firea said. "Really."

He turned around to look at her. She was standing with squared shoulders, fireballs swirling frenetically in her palms.

"I was on track team in high school," Levi replied.

The corner of Firea's lip curled upwards. She advanced on Levi, the fire in her hands crackling from the drizzle.

Breathing in deeply, taking in the moist air, Levi prepared himself. He really was handicapped without his powers, not to mention he was supposed to be an amateur. But Firea didn't seem intent to charge him, so he waited.

"The thing is, Levi, I'm not the only one who cares about Troy. All of HQ is his family. The only reason you were greeted so warmly is because he likes you," Firea said. "Do you understand that?"

Levi swallowed, his tongue feeling like sandpaper. He slid a foot back. "What—" he said tightly, "Are you saying I should be afraid because he might throw a tantrum?" He could only imagine what it would be like to have all of HQ against him. "You want me to cut ties with him, right?

"Only," he continued, "I've tried, yes? But that stupid puppy won't stop sniffing at my ankles, got it? He just keeps following me around like a hopeless teenager, no matter how I treat him, no matter what I tell him. So you go tell that to the HQ family, tell them to reign him in, because I absolutely don't give a fuck."

Levi could see when he crossed the line. Firea's eyes flashed, and she was running forward, arm drawn back, poised to lob a fireball at him.

With no intention of becoming a Leviathan filet, he swirled around and sprinted for the flag, clasping it in his hands without stopping. If he could just hop his way from pillar to pillar all the way to the other side of the arena, maybe he could—

There was a roar behind him, and intense heat, but then something hard crashed into him and he was falling over the edge of the pillar, but he didn't hit the ground either. Troy did. With Levi clutched in his arms.

Pushing away from Troy's heaving body, Levi skidded back on his ass, and just stared. "This is too much..." he said.

He could see the charred, melted skin on Troy's back, the spandex completely burned away. That... hero had taken the fire for Levi, and then absorbed the impact of falling off the giant pillar.

Groaning, Troy shifted to his elbows, his hair falling down around his face. "You okay, Levi?"

"Shut up," Levi hissed without thinking. His eyes were glued to Troy's injuries.

Troy looked at him, a small, weary smile on his face. "Don't worry," he said, "It won't look like that forever."

This must have been what a crisis of faith was. Levi was feeling bad. And he felt even worse after Troy spoke those words, his heart clenching painfully. He looked away for a moment, running his tongue over his chapped lips, and then crawled towards Troy. "Does it hurt?" he asked in the softest voice he could muster.

"A kiss might make the pain go away," Troy replied, sitting up with pained movements. His smile was the ghost it's charming self, but he held out a hand to Levi.

Levi exhaled. It had to be someone else, not Levi, not Leviathan, who slipped pale fingers into Troy's grip, and moved into his gentle hold. A villain wouldn't bow his head to press a comforting kiss against Troy's forehead. And yet, Levi did, kneeling there with Troy sitting below him. Levi was careful not to touch Troy's back, resting his hands on his broad shoulders.

"We can still win," Troy said lightly, coughing, and then nodding towards the flag several feet away.

Levi stared at him with a frown. "There's nothing to gain by it," he said finally, and then kissed Troy again, this time on the lips. He could feel Firea standing behind him, just from the heat emanating against his back, and as he kissed Troy, kissed his temple, Levi opened his eyes to see Volt in front of him.

Volt's eyes were trained on Troy's back, and then they jerked to Levi. Levi almost flinched at the staggering anger behind them.

"Levi," Troy mumbled, breaking Levi's concentration. He leaned back, but Troy caught him by the hips. "I like it when you're nice."

Levi closed his eyes. And then he pulled away from Troy's grip, getting to his feet with a fluid movement, but he staggered. He felt drained, weak. He stared down at Troy, wiping his mouth and backing away. His gaze fluttered back up to Volt, and then to the side. He wanted to laugh. So much for making sure there wouldn't be any grudge.

"Levi?" Troy asked, his eyebrows pinching together.

Shaking his head, Levi took another step back. "I can't—" He thudded into something, and looked up to see Volt.

"Triton," Volt said, "You should rest in the infirmary. You—" he looked at Firea, "—take him. And next time, show a little discretion with that trigger finger of yours."

Nodding, Firea stepped forward, his lips in a thin line, to grab Troy's arm and help him clamber to his feet. He was healing, Levi could see that, but it was slow, and Troy kept grimacing with each step he and Firea took. Finally, Firea gently counted to three, and then they were flying up towards the platform.

"So, you managed to get my cousin charbroiled."

Levi turned around to scowl at Volt. "No, more like your lovely Firea wanted to turn me into cinders." He smirked. "And she still thinks I'm poor, innocent Levi. So, how exactly are murderous tendencies like that acceptable for a hero?"

Considering him silently, Volt crossed his arms over his massive chest. "What can I say, you just seem to bring it out in people."

Levi snorted. "Do I?" he said with the curve of his eyebrow. "Really hateful, am I? Then why am I still walking around free? Why haven't you locked me up?"

This seemed to bother Volt more than anything else. He turned on Levi, grabbed his wrist, and jerked him forward. "I keep asking myself the same question, why do I let this villain play my cousin like a goddamn puppet."

Grinning, he pulled Levi closer. "But then, I think, maybe it's Troy who has you dancing, Leviathan. You looked awfully cute comforting him like that."

Levi's blood ran cold, fangs growing in his mouth. "Shut up," he hissed. His eyes clouded, turning the monster's inky black.

"Are you planning something, Levi? Or are you just scared? What happens when he finds out who you are?"

"I'm not scared," Levi breathed.

Shoving him away, Volt laughed. "No?" he said, "Should I just tell him, then?"

Levi paused, staring at Volt with wide eyes. If Troy found out—hell, if any of them found out, Firea especially, he would be dead.

"I didn't think so," Volt said. "So, you're just going to keep playing the good little boyfriend, maybe even put some fucking effort into it."

"Why?" Levi snapped, "Why? Don't you care about Triton? Why would you want me to string him along?"

There was a hardness to Volt's smile. He just shook his head, not responding to Levi's question. "Go home, Leviathan," he said, "I'm sure your brother is missing you."

Levi stared at him. "What?"

"Go home," Volt repeated with a shrug. "You're not a hero, you don't belong here."

Levi couldn't believe it. He narrowed his eyes, his shape returning fully back to human. "Just like that?" he said quietly.

Giving him a rueful smile, Volt nodded. "Just like that."

''''

Most of the drive was mired in a heavy silence. Troy— was healed, apparently, but his terse reply to Levi's asking about it was odd. Levi set that aside. He was too wrapped up in wondering what Volt had planned to really pay attention to how Troy was acting, but his scowl deepened with each sigh from the driver's side of the car.

"What?" he snapped.

"I just don't understand," Troy replied, his voice dangerously close to a whine, "Why would Volt let you leave? He promised me—"

He stopped, gulping, and then shot Levi a nervous grin.

"He promised you what? To keep me locked up for you?" Levi replied with a bored tone. This was beyond ridiculous.

"Don't make it sound like that!"

"Would you grow a pair?" Levi hissed, "I swear to god, it's exactly what you meant. You wanted to prevent me from leaving, just say it. Heroes are so fucking— they never just admit when they want to do something selfish. They have to cloak it in all this bullshit about what's right and good."

There was silence from the other side of the car. Levi shut his eyes. He was an idiot.

"Yeah?" Troy said, sounding a little lost. "You kinda... Do you have something against heroes?"

"I do not."

He did, he really, really did. First there was Troy, who required babysitting. Not fun. Then there was Volt, who was playing games. Levi usually could find enjoyment in games, but since he wasn't quite following Volt's train of thought, he didn't know the rules.

Chuckling, Troy let out what must have been the umpteenth sigh. "Ok," he said, "Maybe I've been a little... clingy."

Things were pretty dire when Levi started missing Rage. Right about now, that asshole wouldn't be trying to find a deeper understanding of his feelings, he would be telling Levi that it was marriage or Kraken's life. And then Levi would have sliced his throat open. Somehow, Levi figured that dealing with Troy required a little more delicacy.

"But I... really like you, Levi," Troy continued. "I think you're fun to be with, which I guess makes me a masochist."

"Is that a comment on my personality?" Levi replied wryly.

Troy gave him a crooked smile, but didn't say anything.

Turning his back out to the window, Levi wondered about the grin on his own face. It was certainly easy being with Troy, humoring him and... spoiling him. Levi frowned. It sounded like he was talking about a child. He did not want to be with a man-child.

"In any case," Troy said merrily, "You'll come back, right? I mean, you do have these new powers, and we don't really know what they are—"

"It's not important," Levi cut in sharply. "I don't care. I don't want to find out."

Troy shot him an odd look. He probably shouldn't have sounded so adamant. It would be only natural to wonder what his powers were. "I just mean, I don't want to be a superhero," Levi said, "So... it doesn't really matter."

He just wanted to make it home.

"You don't care..." Troy said, "Ok. And you don't care about me."

Closing his eyes, Levi kneaded the bridge of his nose. "It's impossible."

All of sudden, loud country music started blasting in the car, and Levi jerked back in his seat with a hiss. "What the—"

He looked over at Troy, who was staring out at the road with hard eyes, his mouth set in a stubborn line. What, so he was just going to drown out Levi so he wouldn't have to hear it? How childish was he?

"I like this song," he said, looking over at Levi.

Levi stared at him, then reached for the dashboard. Troy slapped his hand and he retracted it with an open mouth. "Don't," Troy said firmly. He seemed content with just listening to the infernal country music for the rest of the drive, ignoring Levi completely.

Sighing with frustration, Levi crossed his arms. He glanced at Troy, and Volt's words echoed in his head. "How's... your back."

"Fine."

Well, this was going to be hard. "I'm sorry," he said finally.

"For what?"

That was it. Levi shut his mouth. He couldn't do this, he couldn't humor Troy.

'''''

Levi crashed through his front door, the knob bouncing off the wall. "Kraken!" he screamed, "We're leaving! Now!"

Stomping around the duplex, he lifted books, set them down, picked up a picture, and set it down. Useless things. He would leave them. "Kraken!"

"Quit your yellin'!"

He turned around to see Kraken standing in the hallway entrance, towel wrapped around his waist, water dripping from his usually wild, brown hair. "Where the fuck have you been?" he said, stabbing at Levi with his finger, "What the fuck do you mean we're leaving?"

Grabbing his arm, Levi started shoving him back down the hallway. "That's not important, let's just say I messed up in a huge way, ok? Now it's your time to be a big brother and help me clean up this mess."

"What?" Kraken replied stupidly, "Now hold on!" He dug his heels into the carpet, and gripped Levi's wrists, holding him steady. "You have to tell me what happened before I can fix anything, yeah?"

Levi stared into his brother's stupid, idiotic brown eyes, and it suddenly hit him that he was finally at home, not at HQ, not surrounded by his mortal enemies. A low, tired whine escaped his throat, and he ducked against Kraken's solid chest. He felt buff arms wrap around him, and he sagged pitifully in Kraken's grip.

"Shit, Leviathan," Kraken said, and Levi winced at the waver in his voice, "You were missin' for two days, and you didn't— where have you been?"

Levi gathered himself, and opened his mouth. "I—"

There was a knock at the door.

"Fucking really," Kraken muttered, dislodging Levi from his chest. Levi instinctively grabbed Kraken's pinkie like the useless baby he was, and followed Kraken to the door. Kraken twisted the knob, and swung the door open. "What?" he snapped.

"Oh—" Volt said.

Levi gawked. And so did Volt. Specifically, he gawked at Kraken, whose towel was slowly slipping down his waist.

"What?" Kraken repeated. "What do you want?"

Volt slowly looked up to Kraken's face, and blushed. "I, uh—" He paused for a moment, and then his eyes were warm and amused. "I'm Vick. I'm a friend of Levi's."

Eyeing him with a curled lip, Kraken scratched at his chest. "This one of your men?" he asked Levi, "I told you I don't want em' coming around here."

"I'm just a friend," Volt interjected quickly, holding his palm up. His eyes were glued to Kraken's fingers rubbing against his chest. He licked his lips and looked at Levi. "Right?"

Still frozen in place, Levi just stared. Volt was at his home. This was more terrifying than when Triton showed up at his house, but Volt... he was dressed in a nice suit, his hair slicked back, he had obviously put thought and effort into his appearance. Why was he doing this?

"Right?" Volt said again, with a pointed tone. "And you invited me over, didn't you?"

"I did..." Levi murmured.

"That's right," Volt said with a nod, slipping past them to walk into the house. "And here I am."

He stood in the living room, turning around once, observing the room, and then his eyes fell on Kraken again. "Won't you introduce me, Levi?"

Levi felt sick. "Uh," he said, "This is Ken, my cousin. Ken... this is Vick."

"Ok," Kraken replied with a shrug, ignoring Volt's outstretched hand. "Look, if there's no problem—" he said to Levi specifically, "—I'm missing my game."

"You like football?" Vick cut in, "I like football."

Kraken looked at him. "Uh, yeah, ok," he said. He plopped down on his Lay-Z-Boy, towel now failing almost entirely at it's job. Clicking on the tv, he glanced up at Vick, "Don't stick around too—"

Already sitting down on the couch, Volt grinned at Kraken. "Which team do you root for?"

"What?" Kraken said, cocking an eyebrow. He looked over at Levi, and then back at Volt. "Grab me a beer from the fridge and I'll tell you."

"Sure," Volt said, standing up. He brushed by Levi without even acknowledging him, like he wasn't even standing there.

Levi quickly strode to the Lay-Z-Boy, and knelt down next to Kraken. "Look—"

Kraken was laughing. "Was that human aiming for you?" he chuckled, flipping the footrest out, and leaning back. "Doesn't really seem like he would go for your hoity-toity literary type."

Levi closed his eyes. "No, Kraken, I need to tell you—"

"Kinda acts like he wants my cock, don't he?"

Kraken had said this distractedly, punching at his remote and cursing under his breath when the television switched to a cooking channel. Levi just stared at him, with dawning horror. That stupid, idiotic brother of his had said it as a joke, but—

"Here you go!"

Levi jumped to his feet just as Volt lobbed a beer at Kraken, who caught it and popped the tab. "Thanks, bro," Kraken said, tilting his head back and gulping down the drink. A droplet of golden beer slid down from the corner of his mouth, running over his stubbled chin, making it's way down his neck.

"No problem," Volt replied with a happy sigh. Levi looked at him, and saw that he was staring at Kraken like Kraken was a fucking lightening rod. Or whatever it was that got Volt's rocks off. He looked ready to pounce, right there in the living room of Kraken's and Levi's duplex. He glanced over at Levi, still faintly blushing, and shook his head.

"This is really great," he said, "Thank you, Levi, for letting me in."

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(a/n)

So, Leviathan! won runner up and judge's pick for most humorous over at SKOW, so thanks to who ever nominated and voted!

thanks to round about parker for beta'ing! :)