A curtain flutters against a sudden breeze.

"What are you doing here?"

"I came to see you."

"If anyone sees you here, it'll be hell for both of us."

An arrogantly arched brow. "Oh? And why is that?"

"Because you are a villain, remember? I'm sure everyone else in Maxville does, considering you tried to blow up their most prominent superhero family last week."

A small smile. "Tell me Stronghold doesn't need to be taken down, at least a bit."

"He's my friend. What if the kids had been home?"

"You would have warned him. You always do."

A resigned sigh. "What will it take for you to stop?"

A lowered gaze. "I won't stop. I can't stop."

"I love you. You know that, right?"

"I know. I don't deserve it."

A step forward. A hand brushes a cheek. "You used to."

A face turns away. "Those days are long gone."

A hand drops. "Maybe."

"I'd better go. Wouldn't want to tarnish your reputation."

A frantic grab, stopping a retreat. "Kiss me. One time, one more real kiss before you do whatever it is you're about to do."

"What makes you think I'm about to do something?"

"I've known you too long. I can read you."

A challenging stare. "And what are you reading now?"

"Fear. Whatever you're going to do, you're afraid of it."

A head shakes in denial. "You don't know what you're talking about."

A distance closed, a body embraced. "Stay with me."

"I can't. You know I can't."

"I know you won't."

"Are we really going to go through this again? You're a hero, I'm a villain."

"We can both retire. We can be normal."

A thumb caresses lips. "Normal doesn't exist for us."

"It can."

"It can't." A kiss, light and tender, and a forlorn sigh. "I don't know how many more times I can leave you."

"I don't know how many more times I can watch you leave me." Hands grip wrists in one final plea.

A kiss, fervent and passionate. "We have to let each other go."

A nod, and wrists are released.

A curtain flutters against a sudden breeze…


A phone rings.

A click, and the TV illuminates.

"The body of Jessica Donham was found today at the Maxville Dam. Officials are unsure at this time as to whether or not Ms. Donham's death is in any way related to the attempted freezing of the Maxville Dam, a feat that—had it been successful—would have proved tragic for citizens as far away as Chicago. There has been no word on the whereabouts of the super villain Winter, who officials believe was responsible for the attack."


"I'll call you back, Layla."

A jaw clenches as a man is flooded by pain and sadness.

A phone is hung up.

A click, and the TV blackens.