Disclaimer: No More Heroes belongs to Grasshoper Manufacture and Suda51. Kyle belongs to RedemptionWarrior.
A/N: This is a story for the Anti-Cliche and Mary-Sue Elimination Society. If you are not a member, you will be completely lost, so I suggest either skipping this story or catching up on our C2. Not much else to say except that my co-author and I hope you enjoy!
Insert Double Character Development Here
Chapter 1 - Introduction
Kyle was feeling bored. It was a seemingly slow day for the Society and he was feeling the awesomeness withdrawal after a binge of Mobile Fighter G Gundam and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann...again. Still, it was time for his shift in the Monitor Room, so he forced himself to sluggishly trudge over and do his job. After collapsing into one of the chairs, he pulled out his music maker to play something calming. He relaxed to the music, just letting the slowness of the day drag him along without resistance.
However, some minutes later, the computers picked up a Sue's signal and sounded the alert. Annoyed at the interruption, Kyle's attention honed in on his task. He shut the alert down and tracked the signal's location. With that figured out, he frowned at the readings he got. He opened a communication line to one of the leaders.
"Hey, Michael. I've got a Sue ranked at level 3. Who's available to take it?"
The response came back shortly, "Most of the rookies are out on training assignments. You'll have to get one of the more experienced Agents to do it. Let's see here."
As the Chief Agent looked over who could go, Willie sauntered into the Monitor Room. Kyle looked in his direction and blinked before turning back to his communicator.
"Michael, is Willie available to send?" The Agent looked a bit confused as the reply came.
"Yes, he's currently open for missions. Why, did he just enter the Monitor Room?"
"Yeah. I'll send him out ASAP." The conversation ended as Kyle hang up. He then turned to the new arrival, who had figured out what they had been talking about.
"There's a new Sue that's been detected?"
Kyle nodded. "How quickly can you get ready?"
"What's the Sue's level?" Willie asked.
"Currently, it's a level 3, but the readings seem to indicate that it's started to approach level 4." Kyle informed the fellow Agent.
"Is that all? I'll deal with it right now." The darker Agent scoffed as he headed into an open portal. Kyle blinked a bit before shrugging it off and keying the monitor's watch system to follow Willie. It wasn't long before his fellow Agent had found the Mary Sue. He commented to himself as he watched.
"What kind of weapon is that? Does she want to lose? Willie's not even taking her seriously. Whoa, what are his razors made out of? They cut that thing to pieces in a few strokes. She's panicking now...good, good, she surrendered. Wait...Willie, what are you..." Kyle got to watch as his fellow Agent incinerated the helpless Sue with his Hellfire.
The portal opened again and Willie stepped out of it like nothing happened. However, Kyle was now pissed for having witnessed that act of cruelty. He stood up from his chair and got in the other Agent's way.
"What the Hell, 'Hero'! She had surrendered! There was no excuse for that kind of merciless death!"
"No excuse? She was a Sue. No other excuse necessary." Willie replied, as calm and casual as you please.
Kyle's body tensed up, his hands curling into fists and his face took on an angry frown. And then he exploded with that anger. "That's your reasoning?! You're a psychopath!"
"Yeah, and I've been in this club for, what, years now, and you haven't realized this? What rock have you been living under, you self-righteous ass?" Willie then sighed and turned away, walking towards the door. He then swayed to the side to avoid the punch Kyle sent his way. He turned back and scoffed dismissively.
"Enhanced instincts, asshole. With all the rage coming out of you, I could see that punch coming a mile away. Anyway, what's the problem if I kill some soulless, worthless pieces of creative en-" Willie was then cut off by Kyle's other fist slamming into his face, sending him crashing into a wall. Kyle's music maker device activated from where it was left on the Monitor Room's computer. It was playing Travesty, a song from the final battle of No More Heroes 2.
"You hypocritical bastard. You could have ended up like that too, or have you honestly forgotten your own origins?" Kyle stated. No answer emerged from the cloud of smoke. "He couldn't be really so weak that I could take him out with one hit, could he?" The Agent wondered aloud, his frown changed slightly to a more thoughtful one. Like a bullet, a metal spike coated in flames shot out of the smoke. Kyle diverted its flight path with a simple flick of his head, sending it crashing into the wall to his right.
The smoke cleared, revealing Willie standing, mostly unharmed and with many more spikes surrounding him. "Alright, now you've made me angry." He flicked his arms forward, sending the spikes barreling towards Kyle. Said Agent just looked angry again as he raised both arms up with palms facing his now foe. The spikes diverted around him, plowing into the wall behind him. Willie paused for a second before renewing his attack from a different angle.
"Spikes couldn't do it, so how about this then?" He snapped his fingers, igniting a powerfully intense bonfire around Kyle. "Feeling the heat, you jackass?"
The fountain of flames mostly hid Kyle from sight for a few moments. However, a slight movement could be seen and then Kyle dispersed the fire with a wave of his arm. Willie got this look of realization as the Agent he faced started cracking his knuckles.
"Fire equals Thermal Energy...riiiiight." Like it was a cue, Kyle surged forward to try and slam a glowing fist into Willie's face. Said Agent slid out of the way with ease, countering by launching some of the wall's bricks. His opponent couldn't correct his posture quick enough to defend against them and got hurtled into the opposite wall. "Ha ha, you got stoned!"
He found Kyle right in his face, driving a jab into the left side of his torso. Willie had felt it coming, but Kyle's Accelerator was too fast for him to act on it. The jab was then followed up by Kyle spinning around Willie's side as he flinched from the blow and drove a kick into the back of Willie's knee on the same side. Incidentally, due to the increased speed, Kyle's blows had far greater power behind them. Anyway, as his opponent was slowly folding before his eyes while still charged up by his Accelerator, Kyle slammed both hands into Willie's back as open palms, launching him forward a little bit and skidding to a stop on his front.
As his use of Accelerator was making him hungry, Kyle stopped it with a sigh. However, when he did, a somewhat large dome of Metal covered Willie. Apparently to ward off physical blows, it was covered in spikes that were short enough to have no way around them, but long enough that contact would cause severe damage. Apparently, Willie was protecting himself until he got his second wind.
"Ow, damn it! Those blows hit like sledgehammers! That bastard, I'm really going to make him pay!" He slowly stood up, his outfit changing into larger black armor and a katana attached to his back. Then, with absolute deliberateness, Willie drew the enchanted blade from its sheath, flinching as it took its price of an ounce of his blood. "Kyle's the honorable and/or moral type. He'll try to break through my dome to get at me. When he does, I'll kill him with this."
However, he was underestimating Kyle's mood. Anger and Rage are good ways to ensure that Kyle won't show mercy on his opponent. In other words, if he gets pissed, don't count on Kyle fighting fair. Willie only got a couple seconds of warning as a powerful slam of feet and the sound and rumble of explosions headed his way as Kyle declared, "Blasting Quake."
"The ground?!" Willie expressed in surprise before he used magic to lift himself and the dome into the air. It only exposed him for a split second before he used more Metal to make his protection a full sphere. Using Air magic to not suffocate inside his barrier, Willie sighed with relief before he started ranting, "What the hell! I would have been vaporized by that attack! That asshole honestly just tried to kill me! I never knew he had it in him."
Kyle merely looked unimpressed at the floating spiked ball that protected Willie; however, before he could attempt to penetrate it to get at his foe, Tash came running in. She'd take one look at the floating Metal sphere and all the damage to the room before shouting.
"What the bloody hell is going on here?!" With one of the Leaders there, Kyle shook his head and took a deep breath to calm himself. Willie took a hesitant look outside his protection by opening it a crack. With Tash looking peeved and his opponent calming down, the darker Agent grumbled as his armor and katana disappeared.
"Damn it, I wasted an ounce of blood for nothing." He then spoke louder to say, "Kyle started it. He was getting in my face for doing my job."
"It's not your job to be a merciless psychopath! She surrendered, damn it!" Kyle spat back.
"Shut up, both of you!" Tash shouted in return. "I don't particularly care who started it or not because it's quite obvious that the two of you were going into this with intent to kill! Therefore, I am counting this as a strike on both your records."
"What?! But I was defending myself!" Willie exclaimed, his face red with indignation.
"And he killed a defenseless Sue! How is he not out yet?!" Kyle shouted in return.
"That's why he's getting the additional strike. Besides, he has two, you have one, and you were on the offensive first. Now then, my real reason for coming was to give you a mission Willie. There's a level 6 Stu in the No More Heroes fandom."
"Sweet," Willie replied, beginning to calm down. "I'll be able to go on a nice mook-based murder frenzy to get over this. Or am I not allowed to do that anymore?" he asked, sarcasm practically dripping from his lips.
Tash sighed. "You'll never change. But regardless, you're taking Kyle with you. No arguments."
Willie's eyes widened, and he began to sputter. "Wha-bu-but he tried to fucking kill me!"
"And he's a murderer! I can't work with him!" Kyle looked equally shocked.
"I said no arguments! Besides, considering Willie's…circumstances and the fact that you were justified, Kyle, I'm giving you both a second chance. If you two can actually get along AND accomplish this mission without killing the Stu, I might consider clearing your records. Now get going!" With that, Tash stormed out of the room, clouds of steam almost visible from the back of her head.
Willie looked at the door for a minute, and then sighed. "Well, might as well get this over with. The sooner we do this, the sooner I can get back to no-strikes. About time she thought about forgiving me for the head thing." Willie opened his Plothole Generator and activated it, opening the swirling vortex. He stepped partway in, then turned to Kyle. "You coming, jackass?"
Kyle stared at Willie's face, then muscled him aside as he entered the Plothole, not saying a word. As Willie followed suit, the Plothole closed behind them.
-Anti-Cliché and Mary-Sue Elimination Society-
The sun rose on Santa Destroy, a town which had recently entered a new era of violence and insanity, much to the joy of the populace. Following the defeat of Rank 1 UAA assassin Travis Touchdown, the new Rank 1 immediately began a takeover of the UAA. All current members were stripped of their positions and either rehired as office workers or simply killed, allowing for a new, fresh crop of powerful assassins to take their place. With the matches televised, money was flowing in to the town like never before, all thanks to the mysterious challenger who had appeared out of nowhere. While most only knew him as Mr. Rank 1, those in the UAA knew him as Atticus Breakdown.
-Anti-Cliché and Mary-Sue Elimination Society-
In the center plaza, near the defunct Pizza Batt headquarters, a swirling vortex of energy opened as a sullen Willie and Kyle walked out, saying nary a word to one another as the vortex closed behind them.
"All right, where is this Stu bastard? We need to get to him as quick as possible." Willie muttered under his breath, glancing around the area. Kyle looked at him with barely contained frustration.
"Why, so you can kill him as he squeals for mercy? Go right ahead. The Society would be a much better place without you murdering all over the place."
"Oh, go find a thesaurus. Hearing you say "murderer" and "psychopath" all the time is making me want to kill you, and I really don't need any more incentive to do so."
"Hmph. Go ahead and try."
"Are you tempting me? Why I ought to -"
"Gentlemen, please. How do you expect to defeat me if you can barely exchange two words?" a smooth voice asked, its dulcet tones washing over the Agents. They turned quickly, and knew instantly that they'd found their target.
The man behind them had long chestnut brown hair that descended to around mid-back. His tanned skin was smooth and unlined, and his purple eyes glittered with insight. He wore a suit of such immaculate whiteness that it seemed a second sun and a necklace of the purest gold. His half-open lips revealed the merest glimpse of pearly-white teeth. Even without the absurd number of descriptive adjectives in the previous few sentences, his identity was obvious.
Yes, even obvious to the Agents as they stood there while trying to shield their eyes from his suit's shine. Atticus Breakdown merely kept his smug grin as he continued speaking.
"Like my outfit? It makes it so easy to kill someone. Forcing them to shield their eyes and cower before I dispatch them. What a wonderful feeling." To anyone in the audience who hasn't figured it out, this guy's almost as psychotic as Willie.
"Hey, you're the narrator! You're supposed to be impartial!" Said Agent snapped at me. By his side, Kyle shook his head and sighed.
"Great, two narrators for one story. At least we don't have to worry about the fourth wall here, it seems."
Atticus never lost his grin as he replied, "What fourth wall? Anyway, to prove yourselves worthy of dying by my hand, I offer a challenge to you."
Both Agents looked at him with expressions that promised him pain, lots and lots of pain. However, he merely shrugged it off by saying, "You wouldn't be the first ones that stain my suit with blood, although you two both probably have no idea on how hard it is to get blood stains out of white clothing. Anyway, the challenge is this. You will both enter into my United Association of Assassins..."
"That's United Assassins Association, you asshat!" Willie burst out while drawing his razors. He'd only get a warning of what almost happened to him when the clang of metal on metal rang out. A small, ornate throwing knife dropped to the ground and Kyle was standing in front of him.
"Well well. Seems your colleague here is the better fighter of you two. In any case, I'm the one running the show, so I can name it whatever I want. Now, if you've finished your childishness, I'll continue," The tone Atticus took with Willie was beyond condescending. Then, he cleared his throat. "As I was saying, you will both enter into my United Association of Assassins and share rank 11. Then, you will both work your way up to number 2. Once you've cleared that, then I will fight you. Deal?"
Kyle solemnly nodded his consent, the Stu clapping his hands together before Willie could give his input.
"Excellent! I'll be kind and arrange all the paper work! Oh, unlike that con artist Silvia, I am far more generous with whoever enters my UAA so no need for any entry fees!" He gave them a small bow before suddenly disappearing into thin air.
Willie was not happy, "What the hell, you pompous ass! I didn't even get to give my opinion on the matter!"
"And who just saved you from being impaled through the heart by a dagger?" Kyle countered without even turning around. "It's not like we had much choice. You would have tried to kill him, thus probably got one more mark on your record, AND I would have lost this chance to clear mine!"
"Then why didn't you try to fight him? You could keep up well enough, it looked like!" Willie yelled at his current partner.
"Because he's an assassin and wouldn't likely have hesitated to use you as either a shield or target practice in attempts to get through my defenses." Kyle stated in a matter of fact tone.
"Well, I don't have to like it," was what his fellow Agent grumbled as the truth of it sank in. With a sigh, he spoke up, "Argh, this sucks ass! I'm going to miss my Sailor Moon reruns!"
"That's your priority?" Kyle deadpanned. He shook his head before starting to walk away.
Willie called after him, "Hey, where are you going?!"
The other Agent replied over his shoulder, "To get a place to live until we're done with this bullcrap!"
Kyle was well down the street before Willie realized it and thus had to hurry to catch up. When he was about even paced with his fellow member of the Society, he started saying stuff out loud to cheer himself up.
"On the bright side, I'll be able to slaughter hundreds of mooks without mercy! After all, it's part of the game mechanics that you have to kill all the mooks before you can move on to the next part of the area. Oh, this is going to be so much fun!"
Interestingly, Kyle ignored his companion as they came upon a somewhat rundown two story motel. They could barely make out that it was called the "No More Heroes Motel". Upon reaching the front desk, Kyle started exchanging words with the clerk before pulling out his Paycard and handing it over. The process didn't take more than a few minutes before he was handed the keys to an apartment and his paycard. Thanking the clerk, Kyle gestured for Willie to follow him.
They headed up the stairs and spot the ever so helpful exclamation point that indicates where they're to live. Willie paused outside the door.
"Hey, I recognize this. If I'm not mistaken, this is the door to Travis's apartment!"
Kyle unlocked the door with a shrug and then opened it. Inside the apartment, it was obvious that someone had lived there and that no one had yet bothered to clear everything out. There were many luchador masks on the walls and several shelves and bookcases holding scale models of girls from a Show-within-a-Show anime. An open door to the left of the entrance showed a bedroom and to the left of that door was a bathroom. A light with three prongs, each with a lamp, hung over a comfy-looking red chair. Behind that and off to the right was a mini-fridge. There were signs of a cat having lived there, but the cat itself didn't appear to be.
"Well, we're here. Now, we should probably start planning-" Kyle began, only to be cut off by the sound of metal shattering glass. He turned, and saw Willie flicking what appeared to be nails at various points in the room, causing miniature glass shards to drop to the ground. "What are you doing?"
"Destroying the hidden cameras." Willie responded, his voice indifferent.
"And how did you know there were hidden cameras?"
Willie shot him a look. "If you're actually about to tell me you thought I was just a blood-crazy goofball, I will have lost all respect for you. Not saying much, but still."
Kyle gazed at him with a measuring stare, and then nodded. "I figured as much. So you guessed that Mr. Breakdown isn't as fair as he's claiming to be and used air manipulation to confirm it?"
Willie finished flicking the last of his nails at a point right above the bathroom door and nodded. "Yep. Now we should be good. So, do you have a plan in mind?"
"I do. The basic premise is this; we cannot work together as it stands."
"Agreed. So you want to split the fights so we see as little of each other as possible?"
"Exactly. We each get two fights and then switch off. You get 10 and 9, I'll get 8 and 7, and so on until we get to Atticus. Considering how powerful he is, we'll probably have to fight him together."
Willie sighed in resignation. "Fair enough. The less I have to see of you, the better. Speaking of that, dibs on the bed."
Kyle blinked at him. "Just when I begin to see your hidden depths, you pull something as childish as that?"
"Look, I'm a simple man, with simple needs. Blood, anime, and not sleeping on a place probably covered with records of Travis's porn viewing. There's no TV in the bedroom, so you're getting the chair."
"Correction, I'm getting the bed. You owe me for getting me a strike."
"Well you owe me for trying to kill me!"
"Because of you killing a helpless victim!"
"Oh, if you bring that up again I will-"
"Boys, boys, settle down," a calm voice rang out. It sounded like a woman, or perhaps a girl nearing womanhood, standing at the door. Willie shook his head in frustration.
"If I get cut off one more time, I swear heads will roll. Now who might you be?" he asked, turning around, before stopping dead. The girl standing at their door had blonde hair and blue eyes, an image of delicacy that matched the bizarre cross between a Gothic Lolita outfit and business suit she wore. No other description was necessary for her, as all present instantly recognized her as Margaret Moonlight.
Kyle stood, his eyebrows seemingly heading up to his hairline. "How did we not recognize her voice?"
"Too busy caught up in our own problems. But that doesn't answer the question of why are you here?" Willie responded, never taking his eyes off of the musical assassin.
Margaret's poise was undeterred. "I am your Fight Coordinator for the duration of your stay. Our marvelous leader, Atticus Breakdown, has sent his most loyal servant to watch over your journey."
Kyle blinked a few times, his breath coming hard and fast. "That bastard corrupted one of my favorite characters in the game? He'll pay for this."
Willie, on the other hand, looked thoughtful. "I'm not quite sure, actually. Hang on." Willie quickly strode over to the door, gently shoved Margaret over the threshold, and closed the door behind them. "It's alright, Miss Moonlight. There are no cameras in here."
Margaret's response was immediate. She let out a breath of relief and looked at the two gratefully. "Thank you. If I had to pretend to worship that philistine any longer I would have gone insane."
Kyle's breathing slowed as he processed the current development. "Wait, you were pretending to be converted? I figured that the first thing the Stu would have done would be to suppress the wills of all female characters."
Margaret nodded. "Normally that would be the case, but we're all aware of this place's lack of a Fourth Wall. Everyone who was not killed by him during his takeover merely feigns acceptance in order to avoid death."
"I see. Would you like to stay here, then?" Kyle asked. Willie gasped, and immediately began making X-shapes with his hands, something they both ignored.
The smile Margaret gave was truly beatific. "It would be my pleasure." No sooner were the words out of her mouth did Willie grab her by the shoulder and turned her to face him.
"Think about this for a minute! Just because he can't see into this apartment, he'll realize that you're staying here! He will find out that your subservience is an act, and if we fail, he will kill you! Are you willing to take that risk?"
Margaret looked him in the eye for a moment and then smiled once more. "I greatly appreciate the concern, but I have no fear of death. I assumed the façade of an adoring fan not to save my own life, but to take his. Almost a day ago, I realized it was worthless. Were it not for your arrival, I might have taken my own life. We all know that I am an assassin. There is either death or honor in my world, and I would gladly take the former to maintain the latter."
Willie looked at her for a moment, then sighed. "Well, you certainly are what you seem to be. Alright, I'll go make sure there are no cameras in the bedroom and bathroom for you." Willie then stalked off, leaving Margaret and Kyle, for all intents and purposes, alone in the room.
"Huh. Willie's actually accepting that you take the bed."
"I believe he respects me. Not so much you."
Kyle shook his head. "I can live without his respect. He's like Bad Girl, an unrepentant, sadistic psychopath!"
"Bad Girl had a lot of pain. Maybe he's not any different?"
Kyle looked at her, before looking down. "I saw some other aspects to him, but the end result's the same. He's just a psychopath."
Margaret shrugged. "Believe what you want. The two of you will have to work together at some point. Atticus is a monster."
"What makes you say that?"
"Because yesterday, I saw him butcher Alice Twilight."
Kyle's face took on a look of horror as he heard those words, almost failing to notice Willie walk back in. "You're all set," he said, offering Margaret his arm. "Allow me to show you your room."
"Thank you," she responded, "but no need for aid. I do believe I can walk on my own." With that, she made her way into the bedroom, closing the door behind her. Willie looked at Kyle, taken back by his horrified expression.
"I'll paraphrase something from the movie Braveheart. 'The Author tells me he can get me out of this mess, but he's pretty sure you're screwed."