Volume 20!

Levi was ready when Kraken surged forward. He caught his brother by the shoulders and used all of his strength to shove him back down on the bed, heard the floorboards crack. "Kraken," Levi hissed, "let's think about this. Just give it—a moment."

A low growl emanated from Kraken, and Levi took that as his cue to back up. Glaring, Kraken had his fingers clawed into the mattress. "Leviathan," he said slowly, clearly trying to contain his rage, "Everything. Explain everything."

"Volt is going to bring all of HQ to VillainCon," Levi replied. He licked his lips, and looked down at his feet. "He said that he would lock them all up and leave Capitalia to us."

Hearing Kraken's disbelieving scoff, Levi glanced back up. Kraken's jaw was set. "And people call me the stupid brother."

Levi flushed red at that, his lips parting. He waved around, trying to find the words. "It could work, Kraken! It could—"

Kraken stood, holding his palm up which effectively silenced Levi. "We have to warn everyone."

This time, it was Levi who growled. "You've got to be kidding. Those assholes? We don't owe them anything."

He watched with surprise as Kraken completely ignored him and strode out of the room. Levi quickly followed, jogging to keep up with his his lip, he watched Kraken's broad back as they went into the kitchen. Kraken didn't acknowledge him, stopping at the table. Suddenly, he gripped the edge, his knuckles going white. The wood bowed. "Fuck. Leviathan." He exhaled, shaking his head.

Going to him, Levi stood at the other side of the table. "We'll salvage this, Kraken."

Kraken let out a sharp laugh. "Oh, no. Not you, Levi. You're staying home."

"What?" Levi snapped, but before he could get another word out, the table that had been sitting between them was suddenly flung to the left, crashing against the wall. In the next moment, Kraken was in his space, shoving him up against the wall, elbow to his neck. Levi gasped for breath, eyes wide as he looked into his brother's furious gaze.

"You. Are. Staying. Home." Kraken dug his elbow in to accentuated each point, and Levi gasped, clawing plaintively at his brother's wrists. He could see the slow inky tide of black overtaking Kraken's eyes, his skin turning green.

"Don't shift here," Levi begged with a strained voice. "Please Kraken, calm down. We're no where near the ocean."

He watched as Kraken gulped and panted. "Say it, then."

"I'll stay here."

Nodding, Kraken released his hold and backed away. "I won't be long."

A spike of fear hit Levi's chest, and he grabbed Kraken's arm. "If you tell them, they'll know it was you who told Volt about the time and location."

Silently, Kraken stared back at him. "Well, if that happens…" Sighing, he rubbed the back of his neck. "I did tell him, Levi. Even if he wasn't Volt, I still should have checked into his background before saying anything."

Oh, fuck. Now Kraken was going to blame this on himself. Levi did not do well with martyrs acting on his behalf. "Let me come—" he started to say, Kraken shot him a dark look like he was planning on plastering Levi to the wall again, so Levi held his hands up. "Or stay here with me, Kraken."

Instead of replying, Kraken just shook his head and pulled his mask from his belt.

"I'm sorry about Volt," Levi said softly.

Kraken put the mask on, which hid his expression—if it had changed at all. "I don't have time to think about that fucker right now Levi, but if he knew any better right now, he'd be shaking in his goddamn boots for making a fool out of me."

His voice was gruffer than usual. Almost like he was suffering hurt feelings. Levi felt even worse. Kraken was a big baby when it came to feelings. "You kind of liked Jupiter, didn't you?"

Turning from Levi, Kraken said, "Ain't got time for this, little brother." With that, he left through the back door, disappearing into the dark.

Levi waited for about five minutes. And then he went to get ready.

o-o-o-o

This wasn't a smart plan. Maybe it also wasn't a dumb plan. It was a plan.

It was a course of action, which Levi felt moderately apathetic about, but he had some expectation that it could successfully solve some of his problems. Or it would spawn new ones, but he was already used to that, so—he wasn't worried.

He crouched on top of the roof of the bookstore. He had missed his shift that evening, a shift he had promised Troy he would go to. At the strike of the hour, he watched as Troy left the building through the back alley, phone to his ear. Levi didn't pause-he stepped over the ledge and plummeted to the ground, but landed softly. Ahead of him, Troy walked slowly, cursing and staring at the screen of his phone before tapping the call button again.

Levi's lip curled with amusement, feeling his phone buzz in his pocket. He followed, keeping to the shadows and out of the light of the lamp hanging over the alley.

Even though he was confident in what he was doing, he was hesitant to cross that final line. In fact, as Troy neared the street, Levi thought about how he still had a chance to turn back. But there wasn't an alternative, as far as he could see.

"Triton."

Troy froze, his shoulders going rigid. He turned, looking over his shoulder. Levi saw his gaze flicker with recognition. "Leviathan…"

He closed the distance between them some, but kept away by a few wary paces. Levi opened his mouth, ready to give a whole speech. "Look," Troy said over him, "I was meaning to find a way to contact you, about the kiss and everything."

Levi's eyebrows rose. "...What?"

Troy held up his hand. "See, I'm with this guy now who I really like, so we can't keep having those kinds of run-ins, you know? Not that it wasn't hot, or anything, but this guy—"

"Triton." Levi's hands curled into fists. He clenched his teeth.

"And, well, he's new to the whole superpowers thing, so I want to be there for him." Troy chuckled, and rubbed the back of his neck. "Not that we've promised to be monogamous or anything—" His smile faltered at that "-but I think he'll come around, so I don't want to be messing with other people, you know?"

"Troy."

Troy's jaw snapped shut.

Levi stalked towards him, and saw how he hunched a little into his fighting stance, but Levi just scoffed and stopped a half a foot away. Without saying anything, Levi reached up, and pulled his mask away.

And watched as the blood drained from Troy's face.

Levi moved with one fluid movement, pressing himself up against Troy's broad chest, making himself small and clutching the front of Troy's shirt with his hands. "I'm so sorry," he said with begging voice.

He wait for one taut moment, air gone from his lungs. He pictured Troy ripping away from him, shoving a fist into his gut, knocking him over. He imagined Troy taking off into the air, headed for HQ so that he could bring an entire army down on Leviathan. In that moment, Leviathan felt fear.

But then, he felt a tentative hand press against the small of his back.

He looked up with wide eyes and pouting lips. "It got so out of control, Troy-when I met you in the bookstore, and figured out who you were. I didn't know what to do, and I—"

With his other hand, Troy cupped a gentling palm against Levi's cheek. Levi had to admit, he was getting better at the calm, heroic mug. There was a light in his eyes, bright and full of what Levi could only label as responsibility. He was looking down at Levi like he was responsible for him.

Levi quelled the eye-roll.

"It's ok," Troy rumbled. His face was flushed. Levi suspiciously detected a bit of arousal in all of that heroic responsibility. He also took note of how tightly Troy was holding him now.

"Leviathan," Troy said, like he testing it out. His hand slowly rubbed down Levi's back. "You're Leviathan."

Levi was now close to wanting to run away. He had expected anger. He had expected Troy to reel away from him, betrayal etched on his face. Not… this. Levi couldn't even put a word to it. It was like Troy was pleased. Which did not make sense at all. But Levi couldn't worry about that. Hell, this would just work more in his favor.

"Yes, I am," he said. "And I'm worried about my brother, Triton."

Troy looked confused for a moment, and then he replied, "Kraken."

Levi nodded.

"He's going to be at VillainCon."

"Volt promised that he wouldn't capture Kraken tonight, but I'm still worried the other villains will want a more violent revenge than Kraken anticipates," Levi replied. "If they ever come after him…"

Eyebrows furrowing, Troy caressed Levi's side. "They won't escape HQ."

"But if they did."

"You want me to get HQ to call off the raid," Troy replied.

Levi waited. Troy looked down, at Levi's chest. He fingered the collar of Levi's leather coat. "I always thought you looked really sexy in this thing. Made me want to fuck you in it."

Despite everything, Levi felt a shiver run up his spine. Those words had been said with an edge, and maybe Troy wasn't as fine as he was pretending to be. Not that Levi minded, if the dark promise behind those words might come to be. Licking his lips, Levi pushed that thought aside. "Troy," he pleaded, "this is my brother."

Troy drew in a long breath, and frowned. He stared at Levi with an appraising gaze. Finally, he said, "And what would I get in return?"

This was a little closer to what Levi had been expecting. "Anything," he said immediately.

"Quit being a villain."

Also expected. "Of course," Levi said with a sweet voice. If anything, villains are always happy to lie.

At that, Troy smiled wryly. Levi was a little taken aback when he then bowed his head to press his lips against Levi's, and then even more so when he confidently forced entry with his tongue, gripping the back of Levi's head to keep him steady as Troy did what he wanted. He bit Levi's lip as he pulled away, and then locked gazes with Levi. "You'll have to come live in HQ for awhile, so that they know you're serious."

Levi nodded. But he couldn't dispel the sense that this was happening too smoothly. He knew he didn't have time to be questioning that, but it was troubling. "You're taking this better than I thought you would."

"Yeah," Troy replied with a smile. "Me too."

"I thought you would be more surprised."

"Well, I guess I should be. But now that I know, everything makes a lot more sense." Troy grinned wolfishly. "Like the attitude you gave me when we met."

Levi was lost there for a moment, in that clear blue gaze. There was a knowing amusement there that made him apprehensive, but his focus was broken when he felt his phone buzz.

He pulled it out, and stared at the screen as Troy said, "so you were ignoring my calls, huh?"

It was Rage. Levi gripped the phone, a snarl curling on his lips. He stepped away from Troy, and brought the phone to his ear. "What?"

"Since when do you and your lovely brother arrive separately to a party?" Rage's languid voice did nothing but make Levi want to hurl his phone at the brick wall of the alley.

"I don't have time for this."

"Wait, Leviathan."

Finger hovering over the end call button, Levi then chose to bring it back to his ear.

"You should know, the party has moved locations."

Ice washed over Levi. Had he taken too long? He waited, heart thundering, for Rage to continue.

"Not easy to do with so many villains, but we figured it out. Anyway, the main event has also changed. Seems we have a traitor to eviscerate."

He said it with such glee. Levi wanted to rip his throat out. "Don't let them touch him, Rage."

"Well, that depends on you, Levi. Don't get me wrong, I love a good cat and mouse game, but only for so long. And only if I know that I get the mouse in the end. I was hoping you would be my date."

Working his jaw, Levi looked down at the ground. "...that can still happen."

"Can it?"

"Where are you?"

There was a low chuckle. "I'll text you the coordinates."

Levi bit his lip and hung up. When the text came, he quickly scanned it and then shoved the phone back into his pocket.

So there was a wrench in his plan. He hadn't expected the villains to rally so quickly and change locations, or even if they did… were they able to do it without HQ noticing?

Levi turned back to Troy. "Is HQ watching the villains right now?"

Troy cocked his head, stuffing his hands in the pockets of his jacket. "Leviathan…"

"It doesn't matter." He was already walking away, putting his mask on and bouncing into a full out sprint. Nothing would matter, not HQ, not getting away, not if the villains hurt Kraken before Levi could do anything about it. He could only hope that Rage kept them at bay.

He heard Troy keeping pace with him. "What are you doing, Levi?"

"Kraken is in trouble." He turned his head to look at Troy. "Please do this for me, Troy. Please make sure HQ doesn't come for the villains."

Troy stared back, and the after a moment, he nodded. Levi watched as he suddenly lifted from the ground, and headed up into the sky. With him gone, Levi could focus on running as fast as he could to the desert surrounding Capitalia.

o-o-o-o

It was a gigantic, abandoned airplane hanger, lit up bright from the inside. There was nothing but darkness and sand surrounding it.

Levi's body was actually aching by the time he reached it. He had never run so hard and so fast in his life. But when he saw the hanger rising up in the distance, he slowed down to catch his breath and gather himself, wondering what he was going to find on the inside. If Kraken was dead or tortured in there.

He could hear the party, and thankfully no screams. Just loud obnoxious boasting and cackling like there always was with VillainCon. Closing in slowly, he was aware of the robotic sentinels standing guard in the sand. They scanned him, but didn't raise any alarm.

At the large front entrance, there were a couple of villains standing in a circle, drinks in their hands. They looked up when Leviathan approached out of the darkness.

"Well, well, well," one said. There was no hint of danger in his voice.

Levi smirked, hiding his fear. "Icepick."

The man who had spoken raised his drink. "I was wondering if you were coming, Leviathan," he said, then moving to take a sip.

Still unsure what to make of the situation, Levi looked past him. "...my brother?"

Before Icepick could respond, a heavy hand clapped down on Levi's shoulder. He jerked around to find Rage standing there in the costume he wore at these events, when he couldn't walk around as a giant lizard monster. It consisted of an expensive tuxedo and a simple white eye mask. Rage smiled smugly at Levi, his eyes narrowing with amusement behind the mask.

"Kraken is chumming it up with some old buddies, Levi. Why don't you spend some time with me?"

Levi's lips parted. "You lied to me?" he hissed.

The hand on his shoulder clenched warningly, and then Rage was herding him deeper into the crowd. As they walked, that hand moved down until Rage was holding Levi around his waist. He leaned over to speak in Levi's ear. "Yes, are you surprised? I'm surprised your brother was able to pass off that ridiculous lie about HQ hacking our communications."

Levi's eyebrows pinched. Kraken hadn't told the truth? ...The villains believed something Kraken made up? But then… "How did you know he was lying?"

Laughing softly, Rage nuzzled against Levi's temple. "As shocking as it is, your brother confides in me."

Well, there was a lie Levi would never fall for. Kraken hated Rage. Levi struggled against Rage's hold, trying to scan the crowd for his brother. 'Kraken?'

He felt a ripple of anger. 'Kraken,' he said, 'I'm here, so get over it. I revealed myself to Triton, he's promised to stop HQ from invading'

There was a pause, and then: 'Are you sure?'

'Yes! Where are you?'

'Here.'

Levi looked up and saw his brother through the crowd. Kraken stood there, eyes narrowed at him.

Smiling with relief, uncaring that Kraken probably wanted to throttle him, Levi tried to jump forward, only to be jerked back. "Not so fast, little Leviathan."

He spun around at Rage. "You're pathetic. You understand that, right?"

Crossing his arms, Rage only looked mildly put upon. "Pathetic? I suppose it could be called that." His lip curled. "But I can't stand to lose, Leviathan. And I'm a villain, so I don't really care about being a good sport and all that." He reached out, pressed his palm flat against Levi's chest, and then slid his hand up to grip Levi's shoulder. "Was me having other partners really the only reason you ran away?"

Levi brushed his hand off. "You understand possessiveness, Rage. You feel it and want to bind me by it. Well so would I."

Rage closed the distance between them. "So, if I promised fidelity?"

For a moment, Levi was actually impressed. He never imagined Rage would bow on that front. He was too fond of catching new partners. But Levi's feelings for him had never burned brighter than temporary lust, and it was too late to build that to anything more. "No, Rage," he said. "Not even then."

Rage's expression hardened, but then he looked past Levi's shoulder, and his lip curled into a cruel smirk. "Kraken, why don't you tell Levi how it would be to his advantage to marry me?"

Stepping up next to Levi, Kraken looked pissed as hell. "We're going."

Levi nodded, but then Rage caught his arm again. "Kraken. We talked about this."

Immediately, Levi realized there was something he was missing. He looked between Kraken and Rage, trying to gauge was their tense expressions meant. 'What's going on?'

'Nothing you need to worry about.'

Levi thought back to when he and Volt had caught Kraken meeting with Rage. 'You're hiding something from me, Kraken.'

Rage chuckled, breaking Levi's concentration. "Enough of that," he said, "I want this all out in the open. Kraken, I want you to tell your brother that it's best to be with me. Now."

At Rage's confident tone, Levi jerked his head back. There was no way Kraken was going to follow and idiotic order like that. He was more likely to launch at Rage, which Levi wouldn't be too thrilled about either.

But that didn't happen. Kraken was standing there, glaring at Rage, his hands clenched into fists. Worried, Levi took his arm and started to pull him towards the exit. If Rage was causing him this much anguish, than Levi would have to find a more permanent solution for ending things. He wouldn't mind sparing with Rage in their monster forms.

As he and Kraken made their way back to the hangar door, he could hear whispering among the other villains. Well, more like quiet jeering. He was used to it. He had wanted their respect, but now he just wanted to get Kraken and he out of there. The crowd parted easily enough.

But Rage followed them, swung around to block their path. His eyes were blazing. "If only you knew, little Leviathan. If only you knew what I knew. Then you wouldn't cherish your brother like that. You would certainly come to me."

"Shut the fuck up," Kraken said, knocking Levi's hand away so he could take a threatening step towards Rage.

Rage smirked. His gaze moved to Levi. "I'm not the one you should be looking at with such loathing, darling."

Levi could have easily dismissed him. He could have written this off as another weak attempt by Rage to drive a wedge between he and Kraken. Levi could have walked away. If it weren't for the way Kraken was standing there, face red, teeth clenched, and clearly hiding something.

But he didn't get to ask what. Through the crowd, he heard someone shout, "Kraken, Leviathan!"

People shifted out of the way, and then Levi felt his stomach drop. Pushing through, wearing his fake villain outfit, was Volt. He was grinning as he walked up to them, and dropped a friendly hand down on Kraken's shoulder. Kraken, frozen for only a moment, tried to step back, but Levi saw the way Volt tightened his grip.

"Well," he said breathlessly, "I have to say, I don't know what I was expecting."

Levi narrowed his eyes. Had Troy been able to stop HQ? Was this the precursor to hundreds of heroes crashing down into the hangar? But if Volt was going to insist on carrying out this farce… Levi figured it was best to play along. "And what were you expecting?"

Glancing around, Volt shrugged. "Excessive spending," he said finally, laughing. "I thought you guys would be trying to one up each other, really put on a show. Not just standing around drinking beer and talking about that one great heist before their careers went downhill."

"You guys?" Rage cut in, his voice dry.

"Oh, are you still here?" Before Rage could splutter a response, Volt turned his head to Kraken.

Maybe Volt really was an idiot who couldn't read the signs, or maybe he was choosing to ignore them. But Kraken could not have looked any less open to affectionate touches if he was a hissing cat. And yet, Volt still sidled up to him, touched his shoulder, touched the small of his back. Leaned in to say, "I only wish there was dancing at this shindig."

Levi couldn't stop it. Kraken's eyes had widened and he snarled as he shoved Volt away.

The someone rueful smile on Volt's face as he stumbled back told Levi everything. He knew that Kraken had found out. And he looked sad. But that expression passed in the blink of an eye, and he was laughing. "Alright, alright," he said holding his palms up. "No dancing."

Rage snorted. "So, you're after Kraken." He looked Volt up and down slowly. "Well, good luck on that, anyway."

Volt shot a smile back and then turned to Kraken again. "Well at least journey down the buffet table with me?" He had said this pointedly, holding his hand out for Kraken.

'Just go' Levi said to Kraken, 'It could be important.'

Kraken set his jaw. Levi couldn't imagine what he was feeling at that moment. Volt was Kraken's arch enemy, had been for decades. To have had Volt pretend to be someone else, to earn Kraken's trust and come into his home-and Levi didn't even know what they had done when he wasn't around-well, like Volt had said. It had been a gamble to do that to Kraken, and Levi doubted it had paid off.

But Kraken stepped forward. He avoided Volt's hand, brushing past him, but he did head over to the long buffet table at one side of the hangar. Levi watched them. Volt was saying something to Kraken, who looked ready to commit mass genocide.

"It's not surprising," he heard Rage say.

Crossing his arms, Levi looked at him. "And what does that mean?"

Rage's smile was slow to spread. His eyes were hooded. "Volt, correct? You've brought a hero into our midst."

"Rage…" Levi replied warningly, glancing around to make sure no one was listening.

"And there he is, following along after Kraken like he always does." Rage brought his glass to his lips, and took a thoughtful sip. "I suppose he feels like he owes Kraken something."

Levi despised that Rage was able to make him curious. "And what does that mean?"

For once, Rage's expression seemed to lose some of his humor. He was staring hard in Kraken's direction, as if mulling over something. Finally, he sniffed and looked back at Levi. "For a long time, I figured there was no point in telling you this. It wasn't my business, anyway. But now I can see that you need a clean break from Kraken if you're ever going to join my side."

Something deep within Leviathan stirred. Something warning him.

He took a step back from Rage, as if by instinct.

Rage noticed, chuckling. "I mean, I hate to break up such a beautiful relationship, but you two don't need each other. You're not exactly the twins you were supposed to be." He cocked his head at that. "Have you ever thought about what your twin would have been like? Your Kraken?"

Levi shook his head, retreating even more. Even if he had ever thought about … that, he would never talk about it with Rage.

He shivered as he felt that ancient thing within him uncoil.

Gaze burning, lip curling maliciously, Rage matched him step for step. "Or perhaps you wouldn't have existed at all?" he said with a silky voice, "maybe you're some spare Leviathan used as a band-aid until the next set comes around and sets everything to rights?"

"No!" Levi felt his teeth sharpen. Scales roll along his spine.

Rage stood taller, eyes flashing. "I'm not your enemy, Leviathan. Hell, it's not like I would ever have wanted to fuck your psychotic predecessor, so that all worked out in my favor. But I think you should know the truth."

Surging forward, he grabbed Leviathan by the collar, and pulled him close. "It was Kraken, Leviathan. Not some hero, not even another villain. Kraken killed him." And then he turned his head, pointing towards Volt. "And he did it for that man."

The serpent creature, the thing that was Leviathan's life blood, it knew that Rage was speaking the truth. Levi could feel it reel back inside him, thrash as it finally recalled how Kraken had strangled Leviathan, strangled him until there was nothing left.

It made no sense. For Volt? The creature screamed, the creature thought Kraken is the abnormal one. Kraken—killed me.

A roar escaped Levi's lips, one belonging to a monster he was still shifting into as the sound reverberated against the walls of the hanger. The ground suddenly sped away from him, his bones rapidly growing and moving, his legs melting away and his body expanding and lengthening. Villains scattered out of the way. He broke through the roof.

Looking down in the rubble through a haze of confusion and the rage the creature was pumping into him, Leviathan found his target. The man who had murdered him.

Kraken stood there, looking up at Leviathan.

For a brief moment, as Leviathan came crashing down with wide open jaws, he thought he had seen acceptance on his brother's face.

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(a/n) 7/21/14 yo yo yo i've decided to go back on my word and so levi will not be ending next chapter~ woo~