NOT THE LAST CHAPTER.
Previously: Leviathan and Kraken attend VillainCon where Rage informs Levi that Kraken had been the one to kill the previous Leviathan. Overtaken by the sea monster's fury, Levi attacks his brother.
Rage looked awfully smug when he laid out that bit of information, hadn't he, Levi thought to himself has his jaws closed tight around his brother.
His brother, who was no longer a giant oaf human but rather a slimey gigantic sea beast by that time, twisted a tentacle around Leviathan's snout in turn, tightening fast just to be a dick about it. Well if that's how you want to play.
I don't want to fucking play, Kraken snarled in his head.
It made sense that Kraken killed Leviathan. He was an idiot, an idiot who couldn't be trusted to remain loyal to the bonds of brotherhood or whatever. And the dead Leviathan had been the cool one in this whole operation, that was obvious. So instead of getting his own twin, a man in his image who he would feel closer to than anyone else in the world, Levi was stuck with this brother-killing moron.
Leviathan roared. Well, he gurgled. He had some pretty raw seafood wiggling around in his mouth, after all.
He knew he couldn't beat Kraken one-on-one, so maybe he would just suffocate the both of them together on this waterless land. That way, a new pair of twins would be born, and this whole stupid farce of a life would be over. The beast inside of him snarled in approval of that idea, whipping around Levi's soul as it urged him on. Crush Kraken. Kill Kraken. End this!
All of the villains seemed to agree-egging Levi on from their small ant-like place on the earth. Some friends. Kraken had helped a lot of these guys at some point or another.
Not that I care about Kraken.
Leviathan was supposed to be revered. He wasn't some greasy scientist who accidentally stumbled into the right atomic waste dump. He wasn't a rock that was hit by a meteor that had come from the ass of some alien. He was a god. He carried the blood of the sea, the rage of a million different lives meant to cause destruction and misery. (Well, destruction and misery to sailors, but that was a bit limiting).
He hated how this all turned out.
Obviously it was Kraken's fault. Rage said so.
His older brother was thrashing about, squeezing but not hitting. But see, that was the kind of moron he was, squeezing a jaw that held the teeth that were piercing into his gross octopus skin.
Why did you do it?
Let me go and I'll tell you!
The fury that coursed through Levi was not his own, but rather the monster controlling his every action. The lack of air was also making his dizzy, angry, and confused.
He decided to toss Kraken onto some of the villains. They scattered like cowards as Kraken fell against the side of the warehouse, crushing the wall beneath him. Leviathan followed, ready to slice his teeth through Kraken's heart. The idiot was just lying there like the main course, his tentacles lamely waving in the air but not going after Levi. Why was he not doing anything?!
Leviathan had half a mind to use the Serpent's Eye on him, to force him to kill himself. Wouldn't that be fun?
Don't call me that.
There was shouting around them, booming explosions and flashing lights. Leviathan ignored it all. He could only see his brother laying there in the rubble, suffocating.
Oh. There were heroes everywhere. Buzzing around and being heroic. Capturing villains. Well, that wasn't important. Killing stupid Kraken was important.
Leviathan arced down, his jaws wide open. Something blurred past him with a shouted "No!" and then instead of Kraken he was faced with Volt's crackling palm.
Receiving a full jolt of electricity to the nostrils was not fun. Leviathan reeled back with a high keening sound as his brain tried to reboot from the pain. Volt didn't give him the time. Hands gripped his scales, and another shock tore through him. He shrieked, whipping his tail back and forth as he tried to retreat but Volt was latched on to him.
"Just change back already," he yelled.
Hell no. Changing back was not the plan. Changing back in the middle of enacting revenge on his moron brother would be just another notch in a long list of failures Levi had suffered during his lifetime. At the very least, he should be able to murder his fucking brother.
To make things even more comical, he could see Kraken struggling after them, and swatting at Volt, who did not seem to find it funny at all. "Would you stop?" he yelled, all the while sending another electric jolt through Leviathan. "I'm trying to save him!"
Were they working together?!
Leviathan howled, rising up to his fullest height, scales rippling as he wildly searched for a target. Anything to inflict pain on would do, because frankly he was about to lose consciousness.
Volt flew from his perch but found another, grabbing onto one of Leviathan's spikes. "Triton, get your ass in gear, I can't handle both of them!"
From the corner of his eye, Leviathan saw Triton dash into view headed for Kraken. No no no! Leviathan was the one who was supposed to kill Kraken. No one else!
He dived, but Triton was too fast and Leviathan's skull collided with the cement.
"Oof, that had to hurt," he heard Volt mutter from somewhere. Idiot flea.
Leviathan slammed his claws down in pure frustration, his vision going hazy. What he could see where many heroes surrounding he and Kraken. There were no villains anywhere. Just those stupid fucking heroes with… their stupid fucking tranq guns.
Volt walked in front of his vision. "You might wanna change back now, so you don't die."
Shit. He had a point. Passing out now while transformed would mean suffocating. The last thing Levi saw before he did lose consciousness was his brother in human form getting shot by a tranq gun as he tried to reach Levi.
"So the manacles keep them from transforming?"
"The drugs keep them from transforming."
"Then the manacles…"
"The manacles keep them from ripping your balls off."
Engh. Leviathan was waking up to the voices of Triton and Volt. Not exactly chirping birds… well, similarly aggravating.
He was on a chair, he surmised. Wrists bolted down to the armrests, feet shackled to the legs. He kept his eyes closed, quickly trying to absorb all the information he could. The room was cold, and yes...there were drugs in his system. He couldn't tell what they did besides obstructing his transformation into Leviathan, because most of his faculties seemed to be in fully working order.
"Well…" That was Troy, his voice troubled. "Is it really necessary?"
"Is that a real question?" Volt.
"I dunno, do you want Kraken waking up to this?"
Silence reigned the room for a moment, and then Volt sighed. "There's no helping it. He'd dent the walls before listening to reason." His voice was dripping with affection and it was disgusting.
Which is how Levi gave himself away with a grown of contempt.
"I see you're awake," Volt said, now amused.
"Levi!" Levi opened his eyes just as Troy fell to his knees beside him, and cupped his cheek with a gentle palm.
Levi snarled. "Do not touch me."
For a moment, that seemed to have its intended effect. But then a spark of defiance Levi had never seen before flashed in Troy's eyes, and he stroked his hand down to Levi's throat, his fingers fanning out over Levi's chest.
Well this is fantastic.
He heard a grunt in his head. It's your fucking fault.
His lip curled, but otherwise he hid any other reaction. Is it? Is it my fault? I don't recall being the one to murder my brother.
Well you fucking tried, didn't you.
It was odd with the beast asleep inside of him. None of the rage coursed through Levi's veins, just annoyance. Couldn't even do that.
Oh for fuck's sake.
Levi wanted to grin. That was the tone Kraken used every time Levi sulked over a ruined lobster dinner before inhaling the whole meal within minutes.
"They're talking to each other. Kraken, I know you're awake. Look at me." All of Volt's teasing humor was gone from his voice. He had knelt in front of Kraken, hands on his knees, and was staring up at him imploringly. "Would you fucking open your eyes?"
All of a sudden, Kraken's head jerked up. He snarled at Volt.
Volt smiled. "That's better." He rose slowly, and stood over Kraken. He looked at Levi, and then back again. "Now that I have both of your attention, it's time to explain how things are going to be."
"We're all gonna be one big happy family?" Kraken replied.
"Is that what you want?"
If looks could kill, Volt would be dead, and Triton and Levi would be collateral damage. It was heartwarming to see such unadulterated rage emanating from his brother. Levi even almost forgot for a moment that he had wanted to murder the idiot.
"Because," Volt continued magnanimously, "if that's what you want, I would be happy to grant it. And I think Triton would be too." Troy nodded at that, and Levi ignored him. "You both would be released under our supervision, put through a rehabilitation program, and eventually granted amnesty."
"And we walk?" Levi droned.
Volt's lips quirked. "No. You do not walk. You and your brother live here at HQ with me and Troy, was that not clear?"
He was confident...but he had said that to Levi, and not to Kraken. Levi would love to see him act so smarmy towards the object of his embarrassing, sappy affections.
"And you can't try to kill each other," Troy added. He was so, so earnest.
Levi ignored him again, and stared up at Volt. "Did you really care about a raid on VillainCon, or was that purely for our benefit?"
"I had a few plans in motion," Volt replied, "Ideally, the situation would not have ended with you trying to eat Kraken, but nevertheless, I am satisfied with this conclusion."
Levi glanced at his brother. Kraken's face was red, his jaw clenched, and he was glaring down at his knees. Maybe he was trying to shift… idiot. But then he suddenly exhaled and looked up at Volt. "Fine."
For his part, Volt looked surprised. "Fine what?"
"Fine, we will do your fucking program."
"You don't speak for me," Levi hissed.
We'll talk later.
Levi almost rose his eyebrows at Kraken's definitive tone. Pretty arrogant to assume Levi was doing any kind of obeying anymore, not with what he knew. I don't really feel like talking to you ever again.
"HE WAS MY BROTHER!"
If he hadn't been tied to a chair, Levi would have fallen back in fear. Kraken had twisted towards him, the shackles straining, his chest heaving. "He was my brother. Not yours. He was not you, you did not know him. You have no fucking right to be angry."
Levi was so shocked, he could feel tears threaten to fall. Mindless of Volt and Troy's presence, he hissed back, "By that logic, if he's not my brother, then neither are you."
Kraken's eyes widened. "You're mine," he growled. "I raised you from a fucking tadpole, you're mine."
Levi was stumped. The monster wasn't speaking to him, wasn't telling him what to do. Who did he owe loyalty to? Wasn't it Kraken who had denied him the chance of meeting his real twin? And wouldn't that twin eventually be born into a world without Levi? All because Kraken had committed the ultimate sin…
Why did you do it?
This time, Levi's question wasn't full of blind fury.
Kraken stared at him. Then he looked up at Volt. Because of him.
Before Levi could let out a bellow of pure frustration, suddenly his mind was filled with images.
A shipping liner at the docks. Men running from the ship as smoke rose into the air. On the deck, Kraken was lifting entire containers and tossing them into the sea. Unnoticed by the villain, a young Volt was crouched behind one of the containers and leaning around to watch Kraken. He went through several false starts before emerging from his hiding place and declaring, "Kraken, that is the property of Capitalia. Stop what you're doing."
Kraken did indeed stop, letting one container drop with a loud crack. "Haven't I seen you before?" he asked with a grin.
Volt looked momentarily ecstatic before clearing his throat. "We—I am a junior member of the Hero Alliance. Volt. I mean, my name is Volt."
"Junior member, eh?" Kraken crossed his arms over his broad chest and gave Volt a once over that made the hero blush red. "They send you here on your own?"
"They didn't send me! I was following—" If possible, Volt's face got even redder.
Kraken's eyebrows furrowed, and then slowly recognition dawned. "You're that kid who keeps bothering me. You get a new costume?"
"I was promoted," Volt replied weakly. "Listen—"
"No." Kraken waved his hand dismissively. "Go save some other villain's soul. I ain't buying."
Levi watched as Volt clenched his hands, and then took a fortifying breath. "Well I'm not selling. I came here to duke it out with you, Kraken. And to bring you back to HQ!"
A slow grin spread across Kraken's face. "Well, looks like someone's finally grown a pair."
Volt lifted into the air, raising his hands as electricity crackled around them, but he seemed hesitant to do anything further. It was Kraken who suddenly dashed around one of the shipping containers, jumping on top to sprint towards Volt. He took a flying leap into the air, his fist cocked. Volt swerved out of the way, flying higher, and Kraken's hit landed on the ship's deck, denting the surface. He didn't even swing around to look as Volt shot a thunder bolt at him, he just scrambled forward, snarling when he was nearly struck.
Levi watched all this with a weird detachment, knowing it had happened decades earlier. Mostly he was thinking how much he was gonna mock Volt for being such a lovesick puppy that he wouldn't even aim right.
It was odd that Kraken hadn't transformed yet. He was right there at the ocean, and even Volt's electricity wouldn't do much to his monster form in the water. The running around and dashing at each other looked a whole lot more like playing than battling. And when Levi really focused on Kraken's face, he realized that's what it was. There was the same amused, entertained spark in his eyes that he got when Levi was small and being trained to fight.
But Kraken was behind a container when it happened.
Leviathan rose from the water, teeth gleaming in the light, his serpentine eyes locked on Volt.
No, Levi thought, please tell me you didn't kill him to save Volt. I can't watch that.
He received no answer from Kraken.
What he did hear was Leviathan say, What the hell are you doing to Kraken before lunging forward, jaws open, at the flying hero. Volt had been so focused on Kraken that he hadn't noticed the sea monster—didn't see as those teeth closed around his middle.
There was a sharp crack and Volt screamed.
"Leviathan," Kraken shouted, still laughing a little. He lept onto one of the container and held a palm up. "C'mon, let him go."
To come back as a full-fledged hero another day? The jaws tightened a little more, and Volt whimpered. He placed his hands along Leviathan's snout, and shot a pure desperate jolt of electricity. With a roar, Leviathan started shaking his head.
"Fuck," Kraken muttered. He jumped again, grabbing onto one of Leviathan's spikes, and shimmied his way up to the head. "Hey, you bastard," he said, stroking Leviathan's forehead. "He's just a whelp, fun to play around with."
Leviathan's eyes narrowed. No.
Before Kraken could respond, Leviathan made a sudden dive for the sea. He was going to drown Volt.
Kraken slid down and found a foothold between Leviathan's teeth. Just before all three super-powered beings slipped under the water, he started to pry Leviathan's jaws apart.
It hadn't seemed so fucking serious, Levi heard Kraken say sadly in his ear. In the moment, I just figured Levi was feeling pissy, and didn't want a stupid hero slaughtered for it.
The ocean was almost placid for a brief moment, and then Volt erupted from the surface, arm cradling his wounded middle as he flew towards the city. Not a second behind him, Leviathan slickly followed, his eyes gleaming maniacally as he roared. Kraken was still holding onto a spike, slapping Leviathan's scales repeatedly and yelling, "No!"
The puzzle pieces started to fit into place for Levi. He knew this scene all too well. The panic in Kraken's voice—only it was usually Levi's voice—the rapidly disappearing shoreline.
Leviathan was obsessed. He stampeded over cars, his tail whipping into buildings as he followed Volt.
I don't know why this time...out of all the times...he kept following, Kraken said sadly.
Clearly any trace of Levi was gone, and all that was left was Leviathan on the hunt. Maybe it was the lack of oxygen, but the sea creature's movements became more and more erratic. Kraken was screaming in full fear then, pleading with Leviathan to change back into his human form.
Finally Leviathan just stopped and fell to his belly, his head crashing on the concrete. Kraken jumped off and ran to Leviathan's eye. You asshole!
The monster took long, useless breaths, wheezing.
I should have just let him eat the fucking hero.
Levi could see Volt floating limply a few yards off, half hidden by a bus. His eyes were wide, his face pale.
"No, no," Kraken started to whisper, pressing his face against Leviathan's side. He wasn't mobile like Levi when transformed—something Levi had never considered. He would never be able to drag Leviathan back to the water like Levi had done so many times for him. So there, in that memory, Levi watched his predecessor die a slow death as Kraken kept begging for him to change.
That was so stupid.
Levi knew he wasn't able to hide all that he was feeling from Kraken. Although he had wanted to sound coldly unimpressed, his entire core was hurting from hearing the pain in his brother's voice as Leviathan died.
Kraken sounded weary, but not broken. Of course that memory wasn't fresh to him. I don't know what set him off. I'll never know. It could have been the one time he slipped, and the monster got control.
Levi closed his eyes. I'm sorry you lost your brother.
Instead of words, Kraken responded with something more basic: all that he felt towards Levi. The endless fear of losing him too, the love he had for him. The guilt for turning their duo into a joke, but only because he wanted to keep Levi out of real danger, and the desperate need to keep anyone else away from their family.
And to think Levi had almost eaten him.
He heard Kraken laugh in his head. Fat chance on that, buddy.
Levi's lip curled with amusement. He finally realized that Troy and Volt were no longer in the room. Well, I got us into this mess too.
They both tested their manacles, cursing when they felt the hero metal bite against their skin. Levi tried slipping his slimmer wrists through while idly saying, so Volt was a total nerd.
Never met such a boy scout.
Ha! The wrist thing didn't work and Levi snarled with frustration, slamming back against the chair. For someone holding a torch since forever, he sure is treating you like shit.
There was no answer, and Levi glanced at Kraken, who met his eye. You really telling me he's had a boner for me since then?
Well...I used a less crude euphemism, but yes.
"Huh." Kraken had spoken aloud, a bemused look on his face. He then grinned at Levi. Something must run in our family, getting all these dumb ass heroes drooling after our asses.
Levi rolled his eyes, but didn't refute it. Certainly, my ass has come in handy.
It was his turn to grin at Kraken. They just love the idea of sticking it to a villain, something I enjoy using against them. Troy especially is easily manipulated. You should try it on Volt.
Although the idea of Kraken manipulating Volt seemed incredibly farfetched.
Before Kraken could answer, the door to the room slid open and Volt and Troy walked inside. "So," Troy said, "is uh...everything worked out between the two of you?" Volt didn't speak, but rather just stood there, his gaze moving from Kraken to Levi and back again.
"Yes," Levi replied. "Does that mean we get to leave?"
Volt quirked a smile. "It means we move forward with rehabilitation."
"Oh, joy," Levi said wryly. He felt Kraken about to rile up again. Don't. We'll devise a plan later.
They're gonna fucking brainwash us!
You don't have a brain to wash, Levi replied.
He heard Kraken snarl just as Volt said, "Now, none of that. You two can't be keeping secrets from us while you go through this process."
"And what is the process?" Levi said.
"Troy and I act as your sponsors as you take several courses in morals and ethical living."
Well that sounds incredibly boring. "And you just keep us here as prisoners without a trial?"
Troy knelt down beside him again and placed a hand on his knee. "Think about this Levi, you just pass the classes, prove you're redeemed, and you won't be a villain anymore. You could live here with me and your brother… Remember, you promised me that you'd quit?"
Levi eyed him, annoyed that the promise was coming back to bite him the ass. His plan hadn't even worked anyway.
"What do you get out of being a villain anyway?" Troy continued.
"Enough." Volt pulled Troy back and then snapped his fingers. The door slid open again and several masked heroes walked in with tranq guns. "We can't expect them to be open to this right now. We'll let them rest and get back to it tomorrow."
"You gotta be kidding me," Kraken growled. "Those toys can't take us out."
"In your current state, they'd slow you down." Volt replied as two of the men came forward to undo the shackles. "And you're sitting in the heart of HQ, Kraken. Don't think you can escape."
His last words sounded almost desperate. Levi stared at him, trying to figure out what his game was. The idea of Volt actually believing Kraken or Levi would give up their villain identities to play housewives to a couple of villains was laughable.
There was a shout. Kraken had thrown his guard out of the way and moved faster than anyone else to slam Volt against the wall.
Recovering immediately, Volt used his superior speed to slip out of Kraken's hold, spinning around and shoving Kraken forward chest first.
Levi was about to jump to help, but Kraken hiss wait, and he paused, the guards grabbing both his arms.
Volt's front was pressed up against Kraken's back, his arm around Kraken's throat, their muscles straining. Hmm… Levi thought, amusement starting to seep in. Maybe Kraken was a fast learner, considering the way he was curving his ass towards Volt's crotch.
If he really was doing that on purpose, it was impossible to tell from his face which was contorted with anger. "Get the fuck off me," he snarled.
Behind Kraken, Volt looked delightfully conflicted. He licked his lips, eyes trained on Kraken's mouth. But then he tightened his hold a little and said, "You will do this."
"Like fuck I will."
Oh how he sounded like that young Volt. Levi almost pitied him, but there another puppy-eyed hero in the room who required his attention. Troy was staring at him, as if trying to figure out where Levi really stood. "They could argue like this all day," Levi said calmly.
Troy nodded. "Volt. Let's just get them to their rooms."
Levi almost smirked. Too easy
Volt backed away from Kraken with annoyed huff, wiping his hair from his forehead. He looked honestly frustrated. With a whirl of his fingers, he got out of the way as the guards surrounded both Kraken and Levi. "Take them to their rooms. Don't let them spend too much time together."
Led out of the room, Levi followed obediently until they reached the living quarters that he remember from his previous jaunt into HQ. The first door slid open, and the guards indicated for Kraken to enter. He came to a full stubborn stop and crossed his arms over his chest. "Hell no. Not without Levi."
"It's fine," Levi replied. "They're heroes. Besides whining at us about the power of good, they won't do anything too tortuous…"
Kraken still looked annoyed and hesitant but he sighed in defeat, and entered the room. The door closed behind him.
Further down the hallway, they reached what Levi surmised was his room.
"I'll take it from here," he heard from behind. It was Troy walking towards the group. The guards nodded their understanding and left the two of them, but only after Troy directed Levi into the room with a hand at the small of his back.
Even before the door closed, Levi approached Troy with a small smile, and wrapped his arms around the hero's neck. "Well, it's been a long day," he purred.
Troy just frowned at him.
Levi didn't let his expression falter. "And now you boys have us all locked up," he said, his voice low and promising.
Reaching up, Troy pulled Levi's arms away and stepped back. That was… a new reaction.
"Things have changed, Levi," Troy said.
Demeanor shifting entirely, Levi crossed his arms and quirked an eyebrow. "Oh? I suppose they have, considering you promised to keep the heroes away from VillainCon, and yet here my brother and I am, captured by you idiots."
Troy smiled tiredly. "Are we really the idiots?"
Levi knew a flash of anger crossed his face at that.
Stepping forward, Troy just looked down at Levi without touching him. "Without me and Volt, you and Kraken would be facing the Heroes' Council. You would be found guilty of villainy and sentenced to a life in the cells. If I hadn't brought the heroes, you two would have killed each other."
With a sniff, he passed around Levi but stopped at the door. "Even if you don't want to, you're going to do this. You and Kraken." He left. His words lingered—and also what he hadn't said, but clearly meant:
You both belong to us now.