Stepping out of Wit's End, Willow flinched somewhat at the light which had begun beating down on him. Though he was wearing a mask, with shaded lenses, as well as gloves to cover the exposed flesh of his hands, the shift in lighting was enough to cause discomfort. "Your aversion to the light fucking sucks, Willow," Shade muttered as he leaned closer to the boy, and slapped his arm.
"Shut up," the young mutant protested, "I have like a million attack points, I need to be balanced, somehow," he commented, returning the favour as he slapped the creature's shape, in turn. "Besides, you're the one who acts all emo, all the time."
"Dude, without me, you'd literally be emo! I'm the one who makes us edgy!" Shade retorted, crossing his arms with a huff, "and what would you be without a devil on your shoulder, huh?"
"Stable," Willow returned, without a moment's pause. He proceeded to walk down the plaza, Bob closely following as the boy casually worked on the image in his sketchbook. It was a mask, measurements and several smaller details written out alongside the appropriate section.
"Hey," Shade snapped back to attention, after Willow had raised his eyes towards the crowd surrounding them, "isn't that our favorite little shit?" The creature pointed forward, at a smaller child in the distance.
This young boy was Micah Barns, a child who had gone through much in the world of the Deviants, just as many others had been forced to endure. As his younger life had been filled with turmoil and loss, Micah had taken it upon himself to escape as much of the negativity as he could. Eventually running from the same orphanage Willow had been a part of, Micah found himself trapped in the Deviant compound.
No way out, and a slight aversion to the idea of joining the DRM, Micah lived out everyday in a similar manner. He would wake up, search for his next meal, depending on if he was able to find something to last him more than one day. Keeping his sleeping place a secret to everyone, even to Willow, it gave the young boy a sense of security, and somewhere he knew he could go should things go awry.
Every day seemed to hold an expectation to Micah. Wake up, find a meal, avoid the sun, and avoid those that liked to pick on and bully the poor boy.
Today he hadn’t been so lucky. There weren’t many that picked on him in the way of adults, but the small number of Deviant children that found a home in the compound, found that throwing Micah around and causing him strife was a fun way to pass time. It was true that those children were probably picked on as well, but Micah was alone. The one person he called a friend was Willow, who he purposely avoided every few days, usually after he had endured beatings from the other children.
Micah couldn’t fight back. Even if he could, the boy wasn’t sure he would. With his Deviant Gene being night based, the boy had his powers only under the light of the moon and the stars. And with the inhibitor chip, this made it so that he hardly had any powers at all.
Sitting on a run-down bench, ignoring passersby and the dirty looks some gave, he held a wet piece of cloth in both hands. It was clear to anyone that he was cleaning his face, but look closer, and he was cleaning a blackened eye, and a few other cuts and bruises that adorned his skin. He didn’t notice Willow at first, as most of his attention was on the rag and his bruises.
"Holy shit, boy," Shade hissed, "doesn't that just make you so mad, you want to stab a pregnant bitch in the stomach with a fork, and just twist that shit!?" The creature cried out, turning to Willow as he began shaking the mutant boy.
"...you need help," Willow offered with a sigh, "but also, yes," he agreed, seeing Micah on the bench. It was frustrating, in a way, when the smaller child kept the beatings he had endured a secret. The boy was too kind for his own good, and knew full well what Willow would do to those who, in Shade's words, 'fucked with Willow's bitches'. "Micah," came a soft voice as the pale skinned mutant approached the younger teenager, a gloved hand resting at Willow's hip. "Did you walk into a really aggressivly swinging door?" Came a joke from the mutant, his head tilted. With large, obsidian eyes hidden behind the obscurity of his shaded lenses, one could not note his visage beyond Willow's mask, but considering his voice, a smirk was likely what remained plastered on his features. "And does that door want be turned into a puddle, stuffed in an envelope and mailed to their mom?"
"Fuck yes! I love that, let's do it! Yes!" Shade shouted dramatically, "let's fucking do that.., I don't even care if he actually walked into a door. Let's melt someone!"
"Don't let people walk over you," Willow continued, sitting next to Micah on the bench, an arm gently wrapping itself around the smaller boy's shoulder.
Hearing Willow's voice, Micah felt a sense of relief wash over him. Willow, albeit a somewhat odd friend, was one of Micah's closest friends, and really one of his only friends.
"It's not uh- Yea! It was just a door. I didn't see it closing and I walked right into it." the boy explained, an obvious lie, but a cover-up nonetheless.
"Last week I fell, but this time I promise it was just a door." Despite the boy's best efforts, the bruises and scratches on his face and arms could definitely not be caused by a simple door.
"I, I'm not letting anyone walk on me." Micah was partially telling the truth this time, he was never physically walked on, not by anyone. Suppressed and beaten, that was another story.
Micah had his fair share of secrets, and the identities of the children who always picked on him was one of those secrets. He never once wished harm upon them, despite what they would do to him almost every day. Everyone in the compound struggled, and Micah figured these other kids had their fair share of struggles. Micah didn't want to have anyone solve his problems for him.
"I'm alright Willow, it's fine." he continued as he leaned into Willow while holding the rag over his blackened eye. "