A/N Heeeyyyy guys! I'm finally back again! Sorry I'm late (again), I have so much work on my plate and SATs and PSATs and all that crap, but I promise I'm still trying my best to update! Hope y'all like this chapter!
3 years later...
"Tonight on Death City News, channel 5: our city's hero has done it again! Just this morning, the evil villain who goes by the name 'Soul Eater' attempted to rob the Death City National Bank!"}
The reporter at his desk disappears and the tv screen cuts to an image of a white-haired boy with crimson eyes, dressed in a black suit and small hat and black polished shoes, taken from the view of a security camera. He runs out of the smoking vault that had been exploded with an arsenal of bombs and seared at the edges around the circular metallic door. The bank itself had been empty and destroyed by the blast. The alarms are flashing on and off against the black and white screen, but its wail is muted on the television. The white-haired boy dressed in sleek black and a white mask that shields the top half of his face has a large burlap sack filled to the brim slung around his shoulder. He glances around the room with a smirk, then runs out of the bank and out of the camera's view.
The announcer comes on again: "He nearly succeeded, had it not been for the city's famous hero, the Pigtailed Princess! This courageous young girl, with her wondrous powers, stopped this evil bandit and returned the money safely to the bank and helped put this heinous criminal behind bars!"
The scene cuts to a video recording of a girl with pigtails and a black eye mask that covered the area around her eyes and wrapped around the top half of her head as well. She wore a school girl's outfit: a white button-up top and red tie hanging from her sky blue collar with a blue miniskirt and black spandex covering her legs, all with a fluttery silver cape and white boots. She gives a soft smile to one of the cops and acknowledges the camera as she hands over the sack of cash to the bank owner, who then shakes her hand vigorously as the camera zooms in on her earnest face. She's surrounded by a large crowd and the flashing of other cameras behind her. After the bank manager thanks her profusely, she gives a modest wave to the fans around her and leaps into the sky, soaring off into the distance and above the tall city buildings while the recorder follows the trail of her cape behind her. The image then changes to the scene where the white-haired masked villain was being handcuffed by the police and shoved into the back of a cop car with a sour look on his face.
"Of course, this is not the only time the Pigtailed Princess has struck! This is only one of the many times she has stopped the even Soul Eater in his malicious deeds! We thank you, o' great heroine! For saving this city and keeping it safe from any -"
He shuts the television off abruptly, glaring at the empty and darkened screen with a bitter look on his face. The infamous villain Soul Eater, now undressed and in his regular clothes, sits on his beaten couch with his legs up on the coffee table that is topped with junk and empty wrappers of eaten food and old newspapers. On each newspaper is the ink picture of his all-time nemesis. The main protagonist of practically any superhero story in this whole goddamn city, the girl he despises with all of his being: the Pigtailed Princess, whom he had a fateful encounter with on his second attempt to rob Death City's First National Bank just three years ago, right after obtaining his powers. Soon after, it became a ritual for them: he shows up and breaks into some jewelry store or bank, she finds him and stops him and jails him, he breaks out anyways and the vicious cycle repeats itself.
From their constant banter between each other since they see each other on a regular occurrence he's been able to guess a few things about her: she's the one known to save babies from flaming buildings, he's the one who tries to snatch big money, she makes the headlines daily and somehow has time to hide her identity, while he gets tomatoes thrown at him and gets booed whenever people see him in his super villain outfit, which are thankfully not his actual clothing, he's a natural loner while he guesses that she's miss perfect and is surrounded by a barrage of friends, despite her alter ego as a super hero. She probably lives in some mansion in the richer part of Death City. He lives in the lower east side, stuck in a dingy little apartment that has nicks and rips in its wallpaper, dirt-ridden wooden floors and dank rooms. Her life his probably perfect. His is filled with trials and tribulations. He didn't even want to get into detail about how and when his parents found out he had powers and abandoned him three years ago, either.
He could argue that she was on the receiving end of 'better powers:' she's got super strength and is able to lift up at least a ton, invincibility to practically anything including bullets (though he knows she's got a weakness, but he has yet to figure it out), the ability to fly at a decent speed, and super smarts. He can argue that he got the short end of the stick from that stupid demon guy. All he has is laser vision, his own ability to fly, his own form of super strength and, of course, his super good looks and charm. Apparently this is not enough to get a decent amount of cash in this city. As much as he'd rather not dight, he's gotta make a living somehow.
Soul slumps over on the couch, miserably realizing that his stomach is growling. Today, he's thankful that he's able to afford a small meal since his stealing never really gets him anywhere. Getting a job is also out of the question, since, in his regular life, he's notorious for being a delinquent among schools, which subsequently means that no one wants to hire him.
Sometimes when he wasn't plundering or breaking into heavy-doored vaults, he spends his lonely nights soaring slowly above the blurred city lights and eventually perch on Death City's tallest building without getting noticed, just staring out into the distance. This night he contemplated on doing so, right after he got something to eat at the local convenience store. Arguably Red Bull and Doritos isn't enough to sustain a healthy diet, but he doesn't care about his body.
Soul forces himself to rise off of the couch. His body his achy after powering through the maximum prison they always put him in, but he always prevails in escaping anyways. The police never really cared to keep him in jail since they knew that she'd end up putting him back in there anyways. Making sure that his outfit is tucked away in the bottom drawer of his clothing shelf, he grabs his keys and heads out the doors of his crammed, dilapidated apartment complex on the 7th floor. The perk of being on a high floor was that he could easily fly out his window and into the night without being noticed, but he always made sure to keep his powers hidden unless he was in costume.
The night is chilly and crisp outside. Soul pulls his jacket hood over his head with a small shiver and crams his hands in his jean pockets. The smell of gasoline and exhausted and desperation hang faintly in the air as he passes the multitude of people on the busy sidewalk of Death City, slowly shouldering his way towards the convenience store only a few blocks down. He purchases his junk food quickly and hurries home. This time, he treats himself to an old and stale salty pretzel to ease his disappointed spirit. When Soul is about a block away from his house he ducks into a dark alley. There, he makes sure he pulls his hood over his head to protect his identity, and wills himself to fly. With the bag of food in one hand and his other hand in his pocket, he soars off quickly to his building. He always leaves his window open and unlocked because he knows that there will be a point in time where he's too lazy to walk.
Soul lifts his window open and floats inside, landing next to the couch. He pulls back his hood and sets his goods down on the table, returning to his previous position before he left with his pretzel in hand. He flips open the television, knowing that nothing good would be on, and watches it anyways. The first channel he has is the news. Of course, usually the only thing they'd show is the weather, followed by an over-peppy and over-exaggerated reported about how the Pigtailed Princess saves the day again. As he flipped the tv on he sourly discovers that he missed the weather just five minutes ago. On his screen is a pre-recorded video of blonde-haired adversary soaring across the sky from a camera view down below with a triumphant smile on her face.
The tv screen immediately goes blank afterwards. He decides that he doesn't want to watch it after all. He wanders over to his drawer and opens the bottom one, revealing his outfit. It was his only suit, so he decided long ago that he didn't want to be referred to as 'the-super-villain-in-jeans-and-a-hoodie' man and instead wore this suit. Whenever he decides to use his powers even when he isn't up to doing anything bad he wore it just in case to protect his identity. He changes quickly. With his groceries in hand, he flies out the window and into the star-speckled night to enjoy his meal elsewhere.
A volley of bullets fly past her head. She grits her teeth and dodges above the top of a streetlamp as a black van swerves across a busy intersection with the blaring horns of oncoming cars following it. The back doors of the van swing open forcefully again, and two men appear from within the car with AK-47's and empty rounds at their flying target who was speeding right above their van. She zig-zags across the sky and continues her pursuit without even flinching. A boy on a seemingly flying skateboard soars next to her at a high speed. "Are you okay?" the boy on the skateboard hovercraft asks. He's dressed in a black suit with cartoonish and round skulls sown into the top of his shoulders.
"You know I'm impervious to bullets, Kidd," she answers. "But it's still annoying me. Do you think you can take out their guns with one of those bombs?"
Death the Kidd reaches for the bulky black belt around his waist, filled with small push-activated bombs, stun grenades, little knives, and a grappling hook. Unlike her, he doesn't have the power to fly so he had to find his own means of transportation. Even though he's one of the minor heroes, not known by many, he is gifted with the extraordinary ability of being able to make practically any technological gadget with his extreme smartness and know-how. He designed his hovercraft from his old black skateboard. He even made his own homemade twin pistols and everything on his belt.
"Don't underestimate me," he grins. Kidd pulls a grenade and rips the pin off with his mouth, flinging it to the street below. It soars right in the back of the open van, startling the two men. The flying girl cringes as a sharp explosion rips throughout the streets. The van skids a bit, but then keeps going. The bomb had only taken out the two in the back, but it didn't have enough power to take out the driver as well. It makes a sharp turn and veers into the next street over, disrupting other cars and causing more traffic.
"You over did it a bit, but that's good anyways," she says as they turn to where the van had gone.
"YAHOOOO!" a screechy cry yells from above them. The girl looks up and sees a figure cloaked in all black, wearing a long black scarf that shielded the bottom half of his face, leaping from one rooftop to the other. He turns around while running and pulls down his scarf, revealing a bright smirk underneath. "THE GREAT AND MIGHTY BLACKSTAR IS HERE TO SAVE THE DAY!" the spiky blue-haired ninja shouts and pulls up his mask again.
BlackStar is known as Death City's number one ninja. Blessed with extreme agility, deadly accuracy, and strength like no other, he has so much potential in easily becoming one of the greatest heroes in all of the city, if it weren't for his super ego. If he can finally swallow his pride and stop ranting to each enemy on how great he is, then maybe he'd finally be able to catch one for himself. But for now, he resides in the Pigtailed Princess's shadow, fighting alongside her.
"You're late," the blond deadpans flatly.
"Greatness shows up on his own time!" he cackles, until he accidentally rams himself into a pole and falls behind.
The girl sighs and keeps flying with Kidd next to her. "Do you think I should take out the tires?" Kidd asks.
"Nah, leave it to BlackStar. He'd get pissed if we didn't give him any action anyways," she says.
"If we wait then they'll get away with the jewels!" he retorts.
"Don't worry, if that happens then I'll just keep chasing them."
"AHAHAHA! THE AWESOME STAR HAS RETURNED!" the ninja announces as he finally manages to catch up with a large pole-shaped dent in his beaming face.
"Do us a favor and take out the wheels!" she orders him.
He grins. "Right away, Princess!"
He slips a ninja star from his pockets and whips it towards the street below. It lands perfectly in the side of the rubber tire, right besides the axle. The tire deflates immediately. The driver loses control of the vehicle, swerving uncontrollably and finally tipping over on its side after veering to the left. The street it is currently on continues on for 20 more feet or so until it splits left and right, leaving the sliding van on a crash course with an apartment complex.
The girl picks up her speed and rushes towards the unstoppable upside-down van. On the sidewalk directly across is a frail old woman, seeing the van as it slides towards her but unable to get out of the way in time. The blonde girl lands right in front of the elderly woman on the sidewalk and positions herself to brace for impact, holding both hands out forcefully in front of its path. As the van nears, she glances behind to give the fearful woman a reassuring look. She steps out with one foot as the van skids into her, using her super strength and all of her might to stop it. With a metal screech, the van slows against her push and manages to force her feet a few steps back and nearer towards the old woman, who was cowering with her walker.
The vehicle gives one long lurch forwards along with a metallic groan, then settles back down against the pavement, only a few inches on the sidewalk. It wobbles back and forth with its roof dented on the ground, and then stops. Kidd and BlackStar land next to her as she rips off the broken driver door, and a man in a ski mask spills out from the driver's seat upside down with a sack that lands on the ground in front of her feet. The contents of the bag spill out onto the sidewalk as the man lands face-first into the concrete, too dizzy to fight back. Money bills and rare jewel necklaces sprawl out from the mouth of the bag and litter the floor.
The heroine turns to her comrades with a smirk. "Told ya we'd do it."
Star's too busy admiring the jewelry while Kidd's eyes are planted on the street behind them with twitching eyebrows. "Yes we did but..." he gulps. "We've made such a mess out of Death City's perfect streets!"
The girl sighs. She slaps the ninja's hands away as soon as she realizes that he's reaching for some cash. "You can't take this, idiot! It's not ours!" she scolds.
Star frowns. "Can't I take just one? There are so many in there anyways!"
She shakes her head sternly while Kidd rants in the background about how symmetrical and beautiful and unscathed the street used to be until the van caused a small level of destruction.
"Not even a small jewel?" he whines.
"I said no!" she counters. "Don't you even think of the mission when you're on it?"
"The only thing I think about is the reward we'll be getting at the end!" he chortles.
" - And this car is too left, and this car is too right, and this line is uneven - " Kidd continues to mumble to himself as he stares out into the street.
"That's not the point, BlackStar. A hero is all about doing what's right and asking for nothing in return," she informs him.
He pouts with the likeness of a bratty child. "Well that ain't fair! We should get at least money when we do this!" he complains.
" We'll need a carpenter, a painter, and an organizer for this whole intersection!" Kidd announces to her. "We can start by removing the traffic, and then the - "
"That's the city's job, not ours," she reminds him.
Police sirens wail in the distance. "The police are here. Should we leave this guy here?" Star asks, motioning to the still-unconscious man from inside the vehicle.
She nods. "Yeah, they'll take it from here. That's our cue to leave." She grabs onto the ninja's arm and Kidd brings out his hovercraft skateboard, and they soar up into the air and off away from the crime scene, right before the cops swarm the area.
"So, how did we do this time Maka?" Kidd asks.
The flying girl, whose real name is Maka Albarn, a 17-year-old high schooler, is also known as the city's heroine the Pigtailed Princess. Every person with any powers would relate her powers to the likeness of Superman's. Since she has a myriad of abilities, she is considered the cream of the crop of Death City heroes, adulated by citizens. However, not everyone is keen with her heroism. As the hero, she is often targeted and despised by other villains and bad guys who are extremely envious towards her advantageous superpowers and seek revenge. She doesn't really blame them, though. She'd be jealous if someone had such powers other than herself as well.
"You guys did just fine. Kidd, you got a bit too distracted by the mess. BlackStar, you can't be selfish after completing a mission," she says.
"What?! How are we selfish?" the ninja complains loudly. "We're the ones who are doing all this work and we don't get anything!"
"That may be the case, but it's what a hero does," she reiterates. "As a novice, you should still know this."
The blue-haired boy huffs and crosses his arm as they soar over blurred traffic lights and distant cars, maneuvering their way around tall skyscrapers. "So what else is there to do tonight? Ain't there any better job than stopping some jewel thieves?" he asks.
Kidd chuckles. "I find it amusingly ironic how, no matter how many criminals we manage to put in jail, there are always more in their place."
Maka sighs discontentedly. "Ain't that the truth," she mutters. "I hope there isn't any more things to do. I've gotta go home and start studying for tomorrow's test."
Star offers a disgusted look and a scoff. "You're always like that. We always end the nights short because you always hurry off home!"
"Hey, school is as important as saving the city!" she counters.
"Now, now. Since Maka's the leader she can leave. If you want to keep going then you do that on your own," Kidd admonishes.
"Since when was Maka the leader?" he retorts.
"Well, I am and strongest," she offers.
"I would've been the strongest if it weren't for your stupid superpowers!"
"That still doesn't mean you can act like an ass!" she deadpans.
"Well that doesn't mean you can keep rubbing your powers in my face!"
"What are you talking about?! I can't help if I have these powers!"
"You wanna fight right now?!"
"You do realize you'd lose, right?"
"Hold on, both of you!" Kidd shouts above their rising argument. He sighs as their started eyes turn to him. "You two always act like bickering children. Won't you just stop competing with each other and make up for once?"
They both fall silent. The cityscape from below suddenly transforms into the suburbs, with lined up houses and clean-cut lawns and sidewalks. It's the outskirts of the city itself, but many people also live in the surrounding suburban neighborhood. Including the Princess herself. She lowers her path slightly, coming towards the ground closer. She can't be seen, even though the neighborhood is quiet and everyone is seemingly in her house. Kidd follows her into a patch of wooded area behind on of the houses. She lands and lets go of Star's sleeve. "You two can keep going if there's anymore action. I'm retiring for the night," she tells them.
"Are you sure you don't wanna come with? I mean, the night's still partially young. It's only eleven pm," Kidd frowns.
"Nah, it's okay. I'm tired too. I wouldn't be of much use anyways," she smiles softly.
Star exchanges a glance with Kidd and he shrugs. "Alrighty then. See ya tomorrow," the ninja shrugs.
BlackStar mounts Kidd's skateboard and they both take off into the night, soaring away while Maka watches them leave. She hunches her shoulders over and leans down with exhaustion. She's had enough action for one night. Being a heroine and a straight-A student at the same time requires more than just casual studying.
She loosens the buttons of her silver trench coat and unties the mask from around her eyes. She obviously can't waltz into her house all dressed up in her outfit, so she always has a back-up plan. Maka ducks to the ground and peeks under the foliage, grabbing in some leaves. Her regular outfit was hidden among the bushes. She glances around to make sure that she hadn't been followed, and quickly changes. When her hero outfit is finally off, she neatly folds it and tucks it under her arm. She dons on her regular school outfit - a yellow sweater vest, white undershirt, red plaid miniskirt with green striped tie - and trots from the shade of the canopy of trees towards a fenced-in backyard of a normal, suburban house. One last time, she glances nervously over her shoulder to make sure that absolutely no one had witnessed her changing in the middle of the woods. Even though she had been doing this for about 3 years, she's never hesitated to be paranoid.
After clearing her suspicions, she strides from the backyard and onto the porch of the house's back door. All the lights are off inside the house. She bends down to the doormat and slips out a shiny silver key and unlocks the door to her house. Safe in her own home at last. She flips open the kitchen light and ventures inside. The house is completely quiet. At least there would be no distractions while she did her homework and studying. She walks past the dining room and into the living room where there's a set of stairs leading up to the second floor. She slips into her room quickly after darting up the stairs, careful not to make any noise and shuts the door with a soft creak.
The next morning...
The shrill beeping of an alarm clock blasts away in his ears, jolting him upright on his bed at six in the morning. In his dank apartment, the sun peeks through his window as he rubs the sleep from his eyes and grumbles. Since he can't afford his heat bills, he's forced to sleep under a pile of bedsheets and blankets and old clothes. Soul lets out a loud yawn and slips off of his bed absent-mindedly, sulking as he prepares for his first day at his new school that he had just transferred to after he was expelled from his last school for "cutting so many classes that he might as well not be there," as his former principal had pointed out harshly.
For breakfast, he runs to the mini-mart convenience store for whatever muffins they have in stock. He arrives thirty minutes late with traces of chocolate muffin crumbs on his jacket, takes his seat in the very back left corner in hopes of not getting noticed. The teacher forgets to introduce him completely and doesn't even notice his presence. None of the other students seems to care either, but eye him suspiciously as he makes his way down the aisle of students. He gives them nonchalant side-glances and continues. But one glance seems to strike him the most. As he catches the eyes of two, mossy pupils gazing at him curiously, a chill runs down his spine. He's seen those eyes before.
He pauses to absorb her gaze. The blonde-headed girl darts her eyes back to the front of the classroom quickly where the teacher is continuing his lesson. Her hair is in pigtails. She's wearing a yellow sweater vest and red-plaid skirt. Soul resumes his walk but keeps a steady, suspicious gaze on her. He swears that she looks eerily familiar.
Soul shakes his head with disbelief. He denies the thought and makes it to his seat, adjacent to hers. There's no way in hell she'd be here. There are probably a million girls who look like her in Death City anyways since her look isn't original enough to stand out. As his first class drags on, he keeps a steady gaze on her.
As the bell rings and he finally rouses, the class gathers their belongings and heads to their next class. He slowly stands up and pushes his chair back in the desk, absently listening to the ubiquitous chatter.
"Hey! What are you planning on doing this Saturday night?" one of his classmates asks her friend.
"Oh, nothing. Wanna hang?" she responds happily as they walk about of the classroom together.
The pigtailed girl bends down to scoop up a pencil that she had dropped before, not taking notice in his staring. She perks her head up suddenly and smiles. Two boys are waiting for her at the doorframe. A boy with strange blue hair, wearing a beanie and a another boy with black hair and golden eyes wave at her. "Are you coming, Maka?" the blue-haired boy asks.
She smiles. "Yeah! Hold on!" She says as she grabs her book and trots towards them. Before she leaves, she swivels her head to acknowledge him with curiosity. Soul freezes. She offers him a bright and friendly smile, then ventures out the door with her friends.
He cocks his head at her as she leaves. Strange, he thinks. He can swear that it's the voice of his enemy.
A/N: I know, there are probably a lot of grammatical and spelling errors throughout the chapter, but that's because I edited a bit and just wanted to get it out for all of you guys! Hope you liked it! Please remember to drop a review of what you think!