Disclaimer: I do not own Tiger & Bunny. I write this fanfiction for personal use only and make no profit from it.
Author's note: What makes Yuri Petrov tick, really? Here are some of my own personal explorations of his character.
lu·na·cy /ˈlo͞onəsē/ noun: insanity characterized by intermittent periods of clear-mindedness, originally thought to be related to the phases of the moon.
"Though this be madness, yet there is method in it."
William Shakespeare's Hamlet
The room was lit only by the cold light of the computer screen, reflecting dimly from the surface of the desk and from waves of light, ashen hair.
A man lay slumped in the desk chair, one arm dangling over the arm rest and the other sitting curled in his lap, fingers curled loosely around the edge of a garish face mask.
The sound of gentle, restful breathing came softly from the man's lips, a soft quietness, contrasting sharply with the man's loud, aggressively patterned bodysuit.
Yuri Petrov slept in Lunatic's clothes.
Hands swept through the items in the cosmetics case, plastic and glass rattling and clanking in their wake.
"I was sure I had another pot of concealer spare," he muttered. "Where is it?"
Upending the case, containers clattering to the floor, Yuri's eyes swept through the chaos, looking for the characteristic design on the lid of the concealer he used. It wasn't there. He had ten minutes until he was supposed to leave for the courthouse.
He was going to be late. There was nothing for it.
Turning back to the mirror, he picked up the finished pot of concealer from the bench and scraped at the bottom with the applicator brush. The brush left more product behind than it picked up. He applied as much from the brush as he could before using his little finger to swipe up the very last traces of concealer and applying that. The coverage was still not sufficient, however he picked up his foundation and applied it over the top.
He rushed to the wardrobe and quickly changed his clothes: his only pair of jeans and a zipped jacket with a large hood. If he shadowed his face with the hood and didn't look directly at anyone, he would be alright on his trip to the pharmacist.
He noticed he was still wearing his court shoes on the way out the door. He hesitated for a second, considering – but he had no time, he was running late – so he continued on his way.
At the checkout, the person in line behind him, a woman with wheat-yellow hair and sharp grey eyes, noticed his shoes and smiled at him.
He smiled back briefly, his expression bland, and turned around and gritted his teeth. Better that she noticed his shoes, he supposed, than paid too close attention to his face.
Yuri, you must not allow yourself to be distracted.
Of course not, my Lord.
You must not succumb to the temptation to torture these criminals. Their deaths must be quick. You are my messenger – you know that any pain you inflict on these individuals in their lives would be a paltry shadow of the pain they would receive in hell. If you would truly dispense justice, you will make their journey a short one. The longer they remain in this world, the longer the time that they are not suffering as they should, the longer they have to corrupt and hurt others. Life in this world is often too easy for these folk. It makes it hard for them to repent.
My Lord, I know. I have sent many to jail only to see them return to my court within months of their reentering the world. True repentance is rare.
Then you understand what must be done.
Yes, my Lord.
The makeup was fooling no one, Yuri knew. The flat, even appearance of his complexion was not realistic. Despite years of practice and his best efforts, it was always obvious that he was wearing makeup – it simply could not be avoided when he needed to wear so much to cover the burn. Why wear such heavy makeup, and why leave so much of his hair untied at the front, if not to cover up something he was ashamed of, something on his face?
When Yuri was mad, whenever he thought about his father, whenever he found himself disappointed and frustrated with the human race, sometimes his vision went a little strange. The world would shimmer, like a hot road on a summer day, and things would go a little green.
Surely when you got angry, you were supposed to see red.
He'd had no idea what that meant, no idea that he was even a NEXT (like his father!) until the day that he'd confronted his father, had seen the flames in his hands, had seen them burning someone else.
And yet even then, he must have had some limited control over his powers. Because when his father had gripped his face with that burning hand, there should have been much more damage than there was.
His whole face should have burned. He should have lost his eyes. His hair should have ignited, the fire spreading to his clothes, sticking to his skin, crackling and cooking as it went.
After all, that was what had happened to his father.
And yet, he had only a limited palm-shaped area of tight, shiny, red skin, completely restricted to his face.
He would never forget the smell.
Sometimes, Yuri half-hoped that someone would make the connection. Power corrupted, he knew, and if he was allowed to continue for too long, he might be tempted to do something really bad. Even he should not be exempt from judgment.
Every morning, fastening his tie, he would see the pattern and smile to himself.
He'd named his alter-ego Lunatic, because he was almost sure he was one. Logically, he could understand that the voice he was hearing – the visions of his father – were products of rage and guilt, self-justifications of his thoughts, of his actions.
Much as he liked to think that he was a rational and fair person, especially during his daily life, he knew that his actions as Lunatic were the result of emotions, overpowering and strange.
He knew that the best justice was impersonal, objective. And he really did try.
But at night, when he saw reports of the ladykiller on television, when he saw that people were being hurt again by their fellow man, rational thoughts flew straight out of his mind.
The man could have been jailed, rehabilitated, made to see the error of his ways. Even if the chances of successful turnaround were slim, surely it was his duty to make sure the effort was made.
But really, Yuri felt, it was better if the man just died.
Yuri uncrossed his legs and leaned back into the couch. He sipped his tea contentedly, enjoying the sweet taste and the warmth of the mug in his hands.
On the television, they were doing a report on current research into the ability of honey to assist in healing burns.