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“We were supposed to be partners. We were supposed to defend the Earth together!”

Two man stand across from each other in a fierce thunderstorm. One in black, the other in orange. Though the black one’s face is obscured by a shroud, the deep frown is more than enough to show the sheer betrayal that he feels.

“Everything changed when my city burned.”

“We are supposed to be better than them! That’s why we don’t kill and they do!”

Hours earlier, a nuclear bomb was detonated in Metropolis, instantly burning it to the ground. Millions of people were incinerated or torn apart by the blast. To top it off? The trigger was Natsu’s heartbeat. Her own adoptive brother killed her and set off the bomb… admittedly the feat toxin in him made him see her as the one being that could easily kill him, but that’s beside the point by now. Torn apart by grief, Shouyou Hinata stands in Gotham where he found the one responsible and tore his heart out.

“You would’ve done the same thing if you were me!”

“No. I’m not so naive to believe that murder would bring me closure.”

Standing on the edge of the crater
Like the prophets once said
and the ashes are all cold now
No more bullets and the embers are dead
Whispers in the air tell the tales
Of the brothers gone
Desolation, devastation
What a miss we made, when it all went wrong

With an inhuman scream, the short alien finally breaks down. Tears stream from his eyes as he finally realizes what he’s going to have to do. He has to fight his partner. He has to fight the only remaining link between him and humanity.

He lunges forward. He’s going to fight hand-to-hand on this one. No powers but his own strength. It’s the only way that feels right to fight the crow.

Tobio Kageyama is equally torn up about this revelation… but he has to make his partner see that he’s going too far. He does his best to shut down his emotion like he has so many times before. In this moment, they are not childhood friends and long-time allies Shouyou and Tobio. They are Sunman and Crowman. Two superheroes forced to fight by a great tragedy. If the world survives this it might become the next great tragic opera someday…

Sunman may have strength but Crowman has cunning. He also has much better hand-to-hand combat skills since he’s been honing them since childhood. Sunman knows this well. Still, it would be a grave injustice to simply end the fight with a blast of heat vision or cold breath. They’re supposed to be equals, right? Then let them fight as equals!

Crowman knows there’s only so much that his reinforced kevlar armor can absorb. It’s best at dealing with bullets or knives, not blunt-force trauma like punches. Especially not from a superhuman being from space. He does his best to keep some distance between them. He has better reach with his long arms and legs, so if he can keep from being hit, he won’t have to worry about getting hurt. He’s able to get in several good punches and kicks, digging in with studs on them made from kryptonite.

Blood spatters from the tears in Sunman’s costume. It hurts but of course not nearly as much as having to fight the one person he thought would always be there for him. He has to close the gap. Recklessly he leaps to Crowman and manages to catch him off-guard by the sheer recklessness of the attack and lands a hit. Crowman spits blood and some teeth. Undoubtedly there’s fractures and internal hemorrhaging, too. He’s knocked to the ground but glares up at Sunman.

Crowman is glad he wore his latest suit with the ability to block out pain. He’s able to get up and continue fighting. He doesn’t care if he has to die to save his partner. Damn it, if this is the only way to bring back the Shouyou that this world needs then he’s going to do it!

“Damn it Shouyou! You know this is wrong so why won’t you stop?!”

“Shut up! You don’t know how I feel!”

Crowman knows he can’t take another hit. He begins to throw crow feathers, lined with kryptonite as he runs down the street. He has to fight from afar. There’s still a chance he might get through without dying, right?

One of the feathers hits its mark, slicing open Sunman’s cheek. Blood pours out and he screams again.

Watching from the edge of the circus
For the games to begin
Gladiators draw their swords
form their ranks for armageddon

The world is watching as their two most respected heroes duke it out in the streets of stormy Gotham. Live news feeds come in from helicopters hovering around and shining spotlights on the battle. Everyone stares in disbelief.

How on Earth could these two ever come to blows? They might bicker but it never comes to serious physical fighting like this. Something fundamental has broken and now all they can hear are screams of rage from Sunman and desperate panting from Crowman.

He knows he can’t keep it up. He’s losing too much blood and everything is beginning to swim. He stops running and keeps on throwing feathers. Each one misses dreadfully. He’s too dizzy to aim. He puts up his fists to guard as best he can as he launches a leaping roundhouse kick to his partner. He connects, slamming Sunman face-first into the side of a building.

Sunman wipes the blood pouring from his nose. He knocks Crowman down and prepares the final attack.

I'm nuclear
I'm wild
I'm breaking up inside
A heart of broken glass
Deep inside
The abandoning child

A vicious curbstomp ends the battle. He had only meant to knock Crowman unconscious to fly him to the nearest hospital to recover… but the sickening crack tells him he used much more force than required.

He falls to his knees. What has he done…? In the span of a few hours he has murdered Natsu, millions of civilians and now… his partner.

When he began to develop his powers in school and began seeing through people, who was there to bring him back from his panic attack? Tobio. When he learned about his extraterrestrial origins, who was there to remind him of his humanity? Tobio. When he thought that he was alone in his fight for justice, who was there to offer his help? Tobio.

The only reason that today he can even be Sunman, legendary superhero and modern-day god? Tobio.

Shrieks erupt from everyone who watched the brutal brawl. Someone they thought to uphold truth and justice without killing… just killed. He didn’t murder a supercriminal that may have gone on to murder more possibly justifying the action, no, he murdered his partner who swore to take down those supercriminals by his side.

If he could kill his own partner, what’s to say he can’t kill them, anonymous strangers?

Crowman may have gotten in some good hits but he’s far from critically injured. He picks up the corpse of Crowman… no, Tobio Kageyama, and takes off to the stormy skies.

Standing on the edge of the underworld
Looking at the abyss
and I'm hoping for some miracle
To breakout to escape from all this
Whispers in the air tell the tales
of a life that's gone
Desolation, devastation
What a mess we made, when it all went wrong

He can’t face his comrades-in-arms now. He doesn’t know if he could ever face them now, having broken his oath to never kill. Instead he goes somewhere familiar. He flies to the forest behind their childhood homes and then to the treehouse they built together decades ago. He lies Tobio’s body against the tree in his usual spot.

Everything has been kept clean and intact. There isn’t even dust, dirt or leaves… this must be Tobio’s doing. Even all these years later he’s made sure to keep up the treehouse immaculately. Even with his hands full of criminals and living a double life, he’s had time to come here and clean.

His eyes fill with tears anew. Tobio might seem rough and uncaring to most but Shouyou knows better. It’s a mask he wears to hide just how sensitive he is. After all, who would fear or respect a sappy superhero? How could he face down dangerous supercriminals if he showed how afraid he was of what they could do?

He cries and cries until he’s run out of tears to shed. How could he do this to his partner?

I'm nuclear
I'm wild
I'm breaking up inside
A heart of broken glass
Deep inside
The abandoning child

“Damn it Tobio… I…”

His voice is weak and shaky. The blood has already begun to clot and cake on his skin and suit. Some of it is Tobio’s.

“We… You… Y-you… You were right…”

He sits beside the corpse of his partner in his usual spot. At first Tobio hated how touchy-feely Shouyou was. He had an image of coolness to keep up and cool people didn’t have crybabies hanging off of them! That was middle school. Everyone seemed to be grouchy in middle school. Shouyou insisted on sticking to Tobio’s side like glue and eventually he grew to not only tolerate it but crave every single moment. Shouyou felt so warm, so safe… Even when he had his panic attacks, Tobio stayed beside him. He refused everyone else.

In college it became Shouyou’s time to soothe Tobio. His parents were killed in cold blood by a common street thug. Though he did his best to hide his hurt, Shouyou knew he needed someone.

They needed each other, like the day needed the night. They filled in each other’s weaknesses and pushed their strengths ever higher.

“I… I… I promise to do better…”

He presses the black man’s glassy sapphire eyes closed. He brushes away the caked blood but he knows better than to remove the cowl. There won’t be anything pretty under there.

“G-g-goodnight… Tobio…”

I'm nuclear
I'm wild
I'm breaking up inside
A heart of broken glass
Deep inside
The abandoning child