Disclaimer: I do not own Tiger and Bunny... no matter how much I may wish otherwise...
What a joke.
What a sick and twisted joke this whole mess was.
Yuri had known that Wild Tiger had inherited his father's legacy, had inherited Mr. Legend sense of justice and heroism, from the very first time he had crossed paths with Wild Tiger as Lunatic. During that first fight, Yuri had caught a glimpse of who his father used to be, and for a moment, Yuri had been intrigued.
Heroes nowadays were a mere mockery of what they once were. Even in the academy, would be heroes are taught to focus on getting points rather than helping people. It was rare to find anyone who still clung to that outdated sense of hypocritical justice. So Yuri had done a little research on the mystery that was Wild Tiger.
Then, suddenly, everything made sense. Wild Tiger, the only hero to care more about the people rather than his points, had stated (in several interviews) that his role model was none other than Mr. Legend himself.
What a sick and twisted joke.
It was as if Mr. Legend had been reborn in the form of Wild Tiger. Yuri would never be able to escape from his father's shadow, and yet Yuri felt a sense of relief build up inside of him. Yuri had found it, found Wild Tiger, a way to test if his justice was really right after all. Each of their battles, every time they crossed paths, it was a test. A test to see whose sense of justice was right and if Lunatic had ever been caught, then Yuri and his justice would have failed.
Then it happened. Mr. Legend's record had been broken, and Yuri was smart enough to realize that it was all Tiger's doing. Certainly, Tiger's partner Barnaby was a capable enough hero (as capable as any academy that taught mockery could be) but Tiger had done most of the heavy work. With two heroes working on the same score, it had only been a matter of time until Mr. Legend's record had been shattered, but this begged the question: why had Tiger done that?
Tiger had made it quite clear that helping people took top priority in his sense of justice (all the property fines against Tiger was proof enough of that) however he wasn't selfless enough to not want to get any recognition. Once Tiger and Barnaby started working together (actually working together), Tiger had jumped in ranking from second to last to fourth place, and Tiger had been damned pleased about it too. So there must have been a reason to Tiger's sudden behavior and Yuri was determined to figure it out.
What a sick and twisted joke.
It appears that Tiger had inherited more than just Mr. Legend's sense of justice. Tiger was also losing his powers, and what's worse is that no one seemed to notice, not even Tiger's partner. Yuri had noticed, every time they exchanged blows, Yuri had noticed. Where Tiger would have once jumped from roof top to roof top, now he made it half way across before whipping out those damned wires to make it the rest of the way.
So it came to no surprise to Yuri when Tiger suddenly retired from the hero business. The same could not be said to Tiger's partner and fellow heroes. They were in such a state of shock that Lunatic was able to kill off several more criminals before they got their act together. This didn't mean that Tiger's sudden disappearance didn't affect Yuri.
It festered in Yuri's mind like a rotting corpse. Would Tiger succumb to the same downward spiral as Mr. Legend had? Would Tiger lose himself to alcohol and push the blame on the people around him? Tiger had a daughter didn't he? Would she suffer just like Yuri had to suffer? Would this damned cycle repeat itself?
Yuri had to find out.
This is why Yuri found himself standing outside a rather homely looking house, in a rather quiet town that was just a few miles outside of Sternbild City. It had surprised Yuri to find out that Tiger had two houses under his name, with all the fines he had to pay it was a wonder that he could afford two houses.
The door was answered by an old lady that Yuri assumed was Tiger's mother. He introduced himself to her and asked in Tiger was in. She seemed surprised but let him in none the less. Tiger was sitting in the living room couch; he was wearing a rather nice business suit and was in the middle of tying his tie when he noticed Yuri standing in his living room.
"What are you doing here Justice Petrov?" Tiger asked, jumping to his feet with a surprised look on his face.
"I came to see how you were doing. It must be hard to adjust to a normal life after being a hero for so long," Yuri answered with a calming smile on his face. Tiger on the other hand panicked, rushing over to Yuri side and placing a hand over Yuri's mouth while Tiger glance frantically around the room.
"Shh! My daughter doesn't know that I am, was, a hero," this actually surprised Yuri. Just how long was Tiger planning on hiding this from his family?
"Sorry, I didn't know," Yuri said as he peeled Tiger's hand off his face. Tiger had enough sense to look guilty at his invasion of Yuri's personal space.
"Um, if you don't mind me asking, how did you find me?" A desperate attempt at changing the topic by a desperate man.
Yuri smirked a little in response, "Kotetsu you've been in and out of my court so many times, that you've become a legend by most of the legal aides."
"Is that so?" Kotetsu answered with a little nervous laugh.
"It is," Yuri answered with a fake smile while he carefully glanced about Kotetsu house, "and you didn't answer my original question. Have you been adapting well?"
Kotetsu seemed happy about Yuri's inquiry but Yuri felt himself frown at the half empty vodka bottle sitting innocently on the living room table. Yuri knew from experience that just because everything looked ok, it didn't mean that it was. That single bottle was damning enough in Yuri's mind and he could feel the heat rush to his skin, just begging to be used. Yuri held back, Kotetsu mother had already seen him, and Yuri could not afford to get caught now.
"Actually, it was a bit of a challenge for me," Kotetsu confessed, completely unaware of the sudden change in Yuri's face, "there was a lot of things I had to get used to."
"It sounds hard," Yuri said with a fake sympathetic look on his face and Kotetsu smiled in return.
"Well it was, but I got used to it," Yuri felt his rage burn at that blatant lie.
"So quickly? It's only been a month since you retired and I thought you of all people would never quit as a hero," if Kotetsu heard the challenging tone in Yuri's voice he gave no indication of it.
"Well, I guess it's because I never really quit as a hero," this statement was so unexpected that Yuri wasn't sure what to make of it, "I mean sure, I won't get to run around in cool costumes with my nickname and all; but that doesn't mean I'll stop helping people."
"What do you mean?" Kotetsu smiled.
"I'm going to be a police officer, it may not be as flashy as being a hero but I will be helping people and isn't that the definition of being a hero?" Yuri was stunned.
"Are you certain you'll get accepted?" Yuri asked, not even sure why he was grasping at straws here.
"I already I have. Mr. Maverick wrote a letter of recommendation for me and it told the chief at the police station here everything about my situation. He was kind enough to understand my situation but had me go though police boot camp to make sure I didn't kill myself by accident, I officially start working next week."
"But what about your powers? Are you going to be fine without them?"
"How did you," Kotetsu looked surprised and suddenly a little suspicious, "I'm not sure who you heard that from, but I'll be just fine without them. That's what the whole boot camp thing was for, to get me used to fighting without my powers."
"I see," Yuri could have slapped himself for that little outburst; Yuri didn't need Kotetsu getting suspicious of him here. He needed to make a quick retreat before Kotetsu became even more wary.
"Well I'm glad to see that you're doing well," Yuri said with another fake smile on his face, "I have to return to the city now. Who knows how much work will be waiting for me when I return?"
Kotetsu laughed but that suspicious look in his eyes didn't fade away. Kotetsu walked Yuri to the door, and thanked Yuri for stopping by. Yuri gave another fake smile and made an empty promise to come back and visit him later, Yuri was only too glad to get into his car and drive away, his mind was already reeling with confusion.
Was it really that simple? Was Kotetsu really able to save himself by grasping on to some ridiculous notion of heroism left behind by Yuri's father? No, it shouldn't have been possible. Kotetsu was like Mr. Legend in every way, even up to the point where they both lost their powers. Yet, Kotetsu had chosen to move on with his life, and Yuri's father had not. So then what was the difference? What had separated Kotetsu from Yuri's father? Was one simple decision really all it took to save Kotetsu, was one simple decision all it took to doom Mr. Legend?
If it was, then where did that leave Yuri and his actions as Lunatic?
What a sick and twisted joke this whole mess was.