“I’m fine.” He said, brushing the dust from his knees. “Don’t worry about it, it’s not like I have a bullet proof body, or anything.”

“Hey I’m–”

“Oh, that’s right. I don’t.”

“Look, Passive-aggressive Man, I’m sorry, OK?”

The super hero stared down the floating, caped, crusader before him. He sighed heavily and looked off into nowhere. “Like I said, I’m fine.” He crossed his arms and didn’t look at the levitating villain before him.

Destructor crossed one arm under another and held the bridge of his nose between his thumb and finger. This guy was seriously ruining the mood. Couldn’t he see this was his moment? His entire life had built up to this second, and all that was left was this manbefore him. His friends lay strewn about the city, buried under rubble, torn in two or shot out into space, doomed to float among the cosmos for all eternity.

The others had been stronger, why was this one so hard to destroy as well? He knew all it would take was a flick of his finger, but for some reason he felt unease… or was it guilt?

He floated towards the man-with-the-stiff-upper-lip, arms reaching outward. “Dude, it was a total accident. I’ll buy you a new suit.”

“What’s wrong with my current suit?”

“Nothing, I–”

“You don’t like it?”

“No it’s just–”

“I knew it. You hate it. I don’t care though, at least I don’t look like a walking toaster.”

Destructor turned to face a series of windows next to him. His metallic pauldrons and helmet reflected in the sunlight, a dark slit where he gave himself vision burned a brilliant red.

“That or some shitty Powerrangers knock off.” The hero added.

That hurt more than the laser vision or the flurry of punches ever had. He sunk his head and shoved his hands in his pockets.

“I mean, like, it’s cool,” the hero said. Then added under his breath, “I guess.

“What did you say?” Destructor asked.

“Nothing.”

“You really think I look like a toaster?”

The hero threw his head back and laughed hard, arms still crossed. “No no, you definitely don’t look like a toaster. I definitely wasn’t tempted to call you KitchenAid man when I first saw you.”

Destructor felt his heart sink again. He thought he looked pretty cool. In fact, he had added years to his plot simply because he hadn’t gotten the suit right. He wanted it to be perfect, and thought it had been up until this moment.

“I guess I didn’t think about that…” Destructor reasoned.

“I’m not surprised,” the hero said. “Don’t worry about it though, I can’t really expect much from a ‘villain’–” he put the name in air quotes, “with the name ‘Destructor.’ ”

Destructor felt a lump in his throat and gulped hard. He cleared his throat and tapped into what little mettle he had left.

“It matters not –” he begins but his voice cracks, he clears his throat. “It matters not, your words do me no harm, and I’ll be rid of you now.” He raised his hand, index and middle finger protruding towards Passive-aggressive man, pointing at him with sinister implications.

“Oh, I suppose you’re going to shoot your death ray at me? Real original. Death ray. Where did you come up with this stuff? Villainy for dummies? It’s like you went up to a six-year-old and asked them what they’d do.”

“Well, I-I-I…”

“I-I-I-I.” The hero said in a mocking tone. “A villain with a stutter. What’s next? A fear of heights?  Are you lactose intolerant as well?”

Destructor felt tears well up in his eyes, visions of the playground bully flashed across his consciousness. He instinctively made for a move to his pockets, to give PA man all the lunch money had.

“I just–”

I just–” the hero mocked again. “Whatever, I’m done.”

“But what about–”

“I’m fine, go ahead and blow up this city. See if I care.”

He was given permission, the last vestige of hope for the crowd of people looking over the two duelists had been thrown to the wind. Passive-aggressive man walked away from Destructor with indifference. All of the sudden, he didn’t care for what he was doing. And,God, how could he have chosen a suit that resembled so closely to a kitchen appliance.

“Y-y-y-your an asshole!” He called out to Passive-aggresive man. The hero didn’t turn around, and simply shrugged his shoulders.

Destructor finally broke down, he held his face in both hands and sobbed with deep, shuddering breaths. He floated to the ground then turned and ran amidst the tears, his cape billowing in the wind behind him.

The crowd cheered, slapping PA man on the back and singing his praise. He stopped and turned back towards the area where the two men fought. People became silent, waiting for the winner’s speech that would bookend the fight that had saved the world.

He looked out among the people, eyeing each and every man and woman in the streets. “Destructor is defeated.” He shouted, his booming voice echoing in the silent streets. “I really enjoyed the part where you guys helped. Especially that part where you all stood there watching while the League of Defenders was destroyed.” His emotions were vacant.

Super helpful. I’m glad I helped you guys, cause you’re all not completely worthless. Totally worth saving.”

With that final comment, he turned and continued to walk away, leaving behind him the perpetual silence.

The crowd frowned, and after a time a man said, “I kinda wish Destructor would have vaporized him.”

“Yeah,” another added. “What an asshole.”