He had let himself feel love, once.
Had let himself look lovingly into the ninjas eyes. Hold him close as they cuddled under blankets, telling each other stories of amazing feats and everything they could do and plans for the future and places they could run away to. Run away together.
He had taken Camo up to the Bombshelter’s roof one night, looking for stars in the cities haze. Camo had done the same once, taking him out onto the country dojo’s steps. He had definitely shouted out into the night, telling the world that Anti-Bravoman would take it all on. That Anti-Bravoman would be the best hero in the world. That no one could best him.
But Anti-Bravoman was no more, a name that was not even a whisper on the world’s tongue.
Everyone adored “Bravoman.” Bravoman needed no lover; he was aloof and above it all, and would never let his feeling compromise his mission.
But as the commander laid in the army cot at night, he could still feel the phantom fingers in his hair, their tips brushing against his face and down his back, the soft touch of lips against his forehead. He mouths that shattered promise, that he would never let Camo go.
Anti-Bravoman would never let him go.
But he was Bravoman now. Bravoman never made a promise. Bravoman has a world to rescue. Carefully placed puppets to fight, to make himself seem and feel superior. Bravoman has no time for the romance of a ninja he never gets to know.
The imposter rolls over in his cot, squeezing his eyes shut as he tries to will the world away.
Love was overrated.