Reverse tossed a paper bag on the sofa, the contents spilling out on the floor as it bounced on the couch like a lame eel. Cans of soda rolled across the ground, skittering under the couch, discarded and forgotten.
“We left for two hours,” Boboiboy muttered, removing his shoes by the door. “Somehow you managed to blow up the supermarket’s dessert aisle.”
His albino brother shrugged, his oversized sweater shuffling as he threw himself on a beanbag chair. If Boboiboy didn’t know any better, he would assume that he was hiding a cat under that coat. It was something he would certainly do, if he didn’t kill the poor thing first.
Sighing, the brunet swivelled to close the house door, the hinges creaking as it turned. As the door obscured most natural light, his eyes squinted as he caught two moving figures outside their porch, both clad in green, silver and gold.
Oh, they must be joking. Were they really stalking them?
The door was a sliver from closing. Suspicion rising, he swung the door open abruptly, and the figures were gone.
He turned to Reverse, who had already settled down, sinking into the softness of the beanbag. His twin was entranced in his world of the internet, eyebrows furrowing as if he was irritated by the pestering enemy. “I think they’re here.”
The red-eyed male sunk further into the beanbag, the sweater making him seem like he had no neck.
“Goddammit,” he drawled, yawning. “I was about to take a nap as well.”
“I’ll just deal with this myself,” Boboiboy said quickly. “This won’t take long.”
Reverse’s eyes darted up to his younger brother, doubt plastered on his expression as his fingers remained on his screen, his eyebrow raised.
Boboiboy snorted. This wasn’t the first time Reverse didn’t trust him to handle enemies alone. In fact, if it happens, it would seem amusing rather than infuriating. There was an unspeakable humour that originated from someone sharing your face who would doubt you to the extent where they no longer trusted you to handle a coffee machine alone.
The older twin murmured a few choice words under his breath, mostly directed to the godforsaken station while releasing puffs of air, cheeks puffy. Pocketing his phone in his sweater coat, he stretched his limbs and headed towards the door, craning his head outside to inspect the situation.
“I think you’re just paranoid,” Reverse declared after a good thirty seconds of searching. “Don’t worry. They can’t do anything to us.”
Boboiboy frowned, but he could see no one as well. A soft wind flowed by, brushing their hair sideways. Some of his caramel hair got into his mouth. He would have to get a haircut soon.
He sighed in exhaustion. One of these days, his past was going to kill him. Literally. His hand made its way towards the doorknob, and Reverse acknowledged that he would relax for now. The albino turned his head to and ventured inside the house, ready to catch up with a minutes’ worth of lost Instagram memes.
Why won’t they just leave them alone? (It could be the fact that they’re villains, but other than that, eh…)
The wind picked up its pressure, and it grew increasingly difficult to close the door. Eyes widening in late realization, he abandoned the door and shot towards Reverse, arms throwing out to him in defence—
A pink projectile crashed into the house instead, tackling the albino, and sending him through walls. It decimated the front of the house, sending debris flying across the area. Boboiboy was pushed back due to the shockwave, but as soon as he recovered, he turned to see a massive hole in the wall and dust.
“REVERSE!” he screamed. His watch flickered to life, and his clothing was replaced by yellow, the beak of his cap facing the front.
Electrical current surging through his body, he sped off towards his brother’s location. Air gushed on his face and body, but his cap remained firm on his head.
What should I do?
What can I do?
Why won’t I go faster!?
Think, dammit, think!
His footsteps stuttered to a halt, sparks emitting from his skin and dust around him stirred up. He was in the middle of the road, eyes falling on the carnage before him. It was an unfair battle, four against one.
A pink emblem emerged below Reverse’s footing as a sapphire blue dome materialized, immobilizing him and rendering him motionless and defenceless. Darkness leeched from his shadow, rising as tendrils that restrained his limbs.
“HEY!” Boboiboy screamed. He thrusted his arms out and twin electrical swords materialized in a burst of lightning, feet planted and ready to charge.
“Wait!” Yaya screamed. “We’re not here to hurt you! We’re your friends, remember?”
Boboiboy’s murderous expression faltered. She wasn’t wrong, and he never gave them a proper farewell.
“He influenced you!” Ying stabbed her finger at Reverse. The dome and crest broke apart, and Reverse was brought to his knees, shadows around his neck and arms. He was heavily wounded from the surprise attack, and his previous injuries were still fragile from healing.
The brunet’s heart clenched. This was the moment where he feared, where he would be forced to decide.
Don’t they know what he did? Boboiboy’s eyes fell on Fang, who had his arms crossed, his eyes somewhere else. His fists around his handle tightened, fearing the worst.
“Where’s Sai and Shielda?” he forced out, the shadow of the bill obscuring his furious, teared eyes.
“They left to TAPOPS after they found you,” Ochobot explained, hovering into view from Gopal’s side. “Getting our powers back was simple. Theirs wasn’t so easy.”
His eyes scanned the situation. Reverse was in no condition to fight, especially with them as the enemy. Gopal would be there to counter any sudden attacks—providing he had the guts—and Fang? He was an unknown variable. Yaya and Ying were self-explanatory.
He knew he wasn’t able to fight all of them. Not at once. Ochobot would be there to summon any backups, and he knew he couldn’t bring himself to hurt them.
Fucking think, you dumbass of a brain!
This would be the last trump card to use.
He laughed internally, the irony of the situation conflicting like knives. “You really think you got the right person?” He couldn’t recognize his own raspy, satanic voice. It was something he found on Reverse, not himself.
His nails dug into his palm, the handle of the blade cutting into his fingers. He allowed his cap to disappear into air, his clothes returning to a regular black shirt and jeans and white bleed into his hair.
“Then you’re stupider than I thought.”
* * *
Behind Gopal, Reverse’s eyes widened as he realized his brother’s plan. He struggled to break free, but his bones were—once again—broken. His knees were sore on the road, the skin scraped and bloody due to the rough texture. With Boboiboy occupying his mirror form, he would be forced to change into his form as well.
This time, Boboiboy didn’t give up the control. Reverse’s hair darkened to brown, his pale skin regaining colour and his eyes dulling to caramel. He was barely conscious, his vision was blurry, but he could still see what was going on.
Fang knew what was going on. He had to tell them. He can’t just sit here and let Boboiboy take his place! Why won’t that stupid alien say anything?
“I’ll go with you,” Boboiboy said smugly, completely out of character. “As long as you leave Boboiboy on Earth. I have no use for him anyway.”
He held out his hands light-heartedly, as if he was conversing over a cup of coffee. Reverse felt the binds around him loosen, and he collapsed forward to the floor, but that Indian boy caught him just in time.
“Serial killer, Reverse,” Fang said steely, eyes cold, “you’re under arrest for committing countless homicides and sabotaging with the station’s operations. You have the right to remain silent.”
Boboiboy snorted, his scarlet eyes rolling in distaste. As soon as Fang finished his sentence, Yaya cuffed Boboiboy’s hands behind his back and held him by the shoulder, calling out to Ochobot to create a portal back to TAPOPS.
Fang took over for Gopal, carrying Reverse bridal style and stepped back.
“I’ll take care of Boboiboy on Earth,” Fang said. “You guys return first. I’ll catch up later.”
The others nodded, trusting the ravenette teammate to handle the predicament. The group of three, not including their captive, walked through the gold-rimmed portal, and the interdimensional gateway sealed shut.
As soon as they were out of Earth, Fang shifted Reverse for a better holding position and summoned a falcon, just large enough for a rider and an unconscious person. He set Reverse on the back, careful not to worsen his wounds and set off to the skies.
Where is he going? Reverse’s voice was trapped in his throat. The shriek of the winds became incoherent, the scorching sun dull. He was losing every sense of reality piece by piece.
All he could think of was his brother.
His stupid little brother, who was a cry baby, and had just sacrificed himself for him.
His eyelids no longer listened to his command. Like a curtain closing after a show, they lowered, and his world was overtaken by black, and a dreamless reality.