Author's note: It's been so long since I've put something up on this site! This story is on FicFun right now, but that's been overrun with really badly written smut so I'm pasting it here. It's not really good, I'm not sure if I intended it to be good or not. Definitely needs some editing. Feels like a badly written anime. But I'm having a lot of fun writing it. Happy to contribute to the waste on the internet.
Never Heroes: Origins
Three loud knocks startled him so bad he almost choked. Toothbrush still in mouth, he jogged toward the origin of the noise. Hardwood floors and dirty socks made a bad combination and he nearly slipped as soon as he stepped out of the bathroom. Traction regained, he shuffled into his bedroom. Littered with dirty clothes, thrown bedding, books, garbage, and toys, it was like an obstacle course. Something sharp and painful connected with the ball of his foot. A loud yelp escaped between his lips and the toothbrush; he swallowed some of the frothing toothpaste and started coughing.
Another three hardy knocks on his window reminded him of what he was doing. Despite still coughing, he took the remaining two steps to his window. Curtain pulled back, he unlocked it and slid it open. Standing on the slanted roof that was outside his second-story window was a female looking a bit annoyed that it took him so long to answer.
"What took so long? Jesus, Chip! Put a shirt on!"
Chip thought to frown at the remark, but ended up ignoring it. Instead, he said, "Hey at least I'm awake this time, Emily." Whatever her response was going to be, he didn't care. He leaned to the side and looked to see who else was in his driveway. He count two others, on their bikes and ready to go.
"That's true. Otherwise we'd be here all day," Emily said. When he said nothing – in fact, he hadn't even moved since he'd first greeted her – she followed his line of sight. His glazed over eyes were focused on her friend, Sarah. The intensity of his gaze couldn't be fully seen by Sarah, but it was close enough to Emily that she read it loud and clear.
The fist that had been pounding his window decided to strike him on the top of his head. Fortunately his toothbrush had been placed back in his mouth, otherwise he probably would have cut a hole in his tongue. "Ow! What the heck!" he grumbled.
"Shut it and get dressed," she ordered, somehow more calmly than she had anticipated.
Without hesitation he did just as he was told. He bounded through his room, this time avoiding the pile of Legos that caused him great pain earlier. Skidding through the hallway, he reached the bathroom once more. The toothbrush was placed inside its holder without being rinsed. A comb was picked up from the vanity top and hurried through his hair. It made little difference.
Back into his room, he picked a dirtied shirt off the floor and tossed it on. As he struggled to get his last arm in the sleeve he shoved his feet one at a time into a pair of beat up sneakers. Feeling ready to go, he maneuvered his way back to the window.
Emily didn't wait around. After he opened the window to his room back up and she saw that he was dressed, she carefully made her way to the edge of the roof. He could hear the sound of her leaping down with practiced ease as he shut the window. It didn't take long before he joined her, shuffling down to the edge of the roof and then jumping down to the storage shed nearby. For the first time in years, he slipped; the moment his foot touched the shed's roof he lost his balance and tumbled face first off of it.
Not a good start to the day, he thought to himself as he struggled to get back to his feet.
"Gonna get yourself killed doing that, kiddo," an older man said. It was his dad, poking his head out from the shed. Based on the gas can, the assumption was made that the lawn was about to be mowed. "You know we have a front door, right?"
"Yeah, sorry dad," he mumbled as he brushed off the dirt that embedded itself into the fabric of his shirt.
His dad merely frowned, confused about the apology. "You kids gonna be here for dinner?" he asked.
"Probably," Chip answered. It didn't sound very engaged. Not that it was intentional, it was just early in the morning for him and he'd just rocked his noggin. His mind was more focused on getting to his bike and remembering the combination to the bike lock than whatever his dad was saying.
Once the bike was unlocked he was walking to toward the driveway where his friends were waiting. "Alright, well do me a favor and don't get the cops called on you again. Got it?" his dad asked.
"Sure thing, dad," Chip said, again not truly engaged in the conversation.
"Don't worry about it, Mister C. We'll make sure he stays out of trouble," another boy, Doug, said with tone of confidence.
"I'm pretty sure you're what got him trouble last time, Doug," was all Chip's dad had to offer.
"What can I say? I'm a rowdy kid," Doug said.
The conversation was over; Chip's dad gave a small laugh and a wave before disappearing back to the shed. By this time, Chip had officially joined his three friends on the curb just near the cul-de-sac he called home.
Without thought he positioned himself close to Sarah. One look around and he realized someone from their usual group was missing. He asked, "Where's Walter?"
"Saturday school," Emily answered, uninterested in giving any more details into their friend's absence.
"Again?" Chip questioned. It was punctuated with a small laugh. It wasn't as though he was laughing about his friend being trapped in school, which to them felt more like prison than any education establishment. No, he laughed because it was odd that the most well-behaved and calm spirit of his friends somehow managed to land himself in Saturday school twice in one month.
Emily, who typically didn't care much for conversation or pleasantries, mounted her bike and was quick to get peddling away. Sarah was next, followed by Chip and then Doug last. The four of them didn't worry about traffic, and spread out wide across the street. This part of town was nothing more than middle-class families; a typical suburban paradise with neatly trimmed lawns and a car in every garage. Basketball hoops rested near curbs and the occasional soccer mom would jog by, her ears plugged by headphones connected to the latest smartphone.
Chip eased his way next to Sarah. It was natural for him, as though some invisible force had drawn him there. It had always been that way. Since the first day he met her, when he was the new kid in town with his TMNT backpack and mismatched Batman lunchbox, he felt a pull that he couldn't explain. It wasn't love, because he was certain he was too young, naïve, and inexperienced to know what that was. No, it was something unexplainable. She was approachable, personable, warm, friendly… he could list a million words, but never have it make sense.
Still, he was old enough now to know that her friendship was starting to mean more to him than anyone else's. He was changing, she was changing, and thus their bond was bound to change, too. He had hoped that as they grew, so did their relationship. Whatever it took to push it along, he would do.
His voice sounded foreign to his own ears when he said, "That dress looks really good on you." Instantly he felt his ears and cheeks burn red. Embarrassment? Probably.
The smile she gave made all gears in his mind grind to a halt. She giggled lightly at the changing color on his face and said, "Thanks!"
"Disgusting," he heard Emily say behind him.
"She wore that dress on Tuesday, you dork!" Doug said. His voice was a tad harsh, but Chip ignored it. He didn't have the cleverness to come up with an excuse or comeback, anyway.
"Are you saying I don't look good?" Sarah asked. It was spoken in a venomous tone but her smile held a cunning smirk. As Doug was behind them, he couldn't see her expression. Chip saw it perfectly however.
"No comment," was Doug's answer. He then sped past them, rocketing at a speed that made him nothing but a blur.
An intersection was a few feet ahead, and Doug was ready to fly through it. He hit it at about the same time as a car was crossing. Both he and the car slammed on their brakes; the vehicle skidded to a halt mere inches from him.
The driver leaned out the window and asked, "Are you alright?!"
Emily yelled, "Watch where you're going, dumbass!" as she peddled past Doug and successful crossed the intersection without any issues.
Sarah was behind her and shouted, "Sorry!" to the driver.
A dumbfounded and startled Doug slowly got his bike moving again. Once his feet were moving he was quick to catch up to the others. Chip was the last to cross, and as he did he offered a smile and a wave to the driver. The gentleman behind the wheel gave a confused half-wave in return.
As he heard Emily and Doug start to yell at each other – something about how stupid he was for rushing, and how much of a brat she was for not warning him – Chip decided to slow his pace. Sometimes, he would just hang back and observe his rowdy group of friends.
Chip never wanted to be the kind of man that looked back on his life and wish he had appreciated the people and moments as they happened. He wasn't innocent enough to believe they would always be together and that childhood was eternal. Twenty years down the road he wanted to be satisfied with how he lived his youth. One day, they wouldn't be kids anymore. These bike rides would be a memory, these streets a faded line in their hearts.
"Hurry it up, Chip! You getting fat or what?!" Doug yelled back toward him.
He kicked it into overdrive.
Their destination was but another ten minutes away, a trip that was done mostly in silence. They weaved around cars in the road once they got out of the suburbs and into the town proper. No one paid them any mind, all the faces of this small town well aware of who the kids were.
Once they reached the sprawling park that was rested in the middle of town they slowed down. There was one location they always congregated to. A freshly painted brown gazebo stood out amongst the open field. Trees acted as the backdrop, isolating them from the busy streets just on the other side. A rocky path covered in overgrown brush led to the river that they had spent many hot summer afternoons swimming in.
Arriving at the gazebo they found several other bikes already parked there. Other kids from their class often came to the same spot. They had no trouble hanging out with them, but never called them "friends."
Chip had resolved to ignore the others that day, but wasn't given a choice when something crashed into the back of his head. A football ricocheted so hard it landed about ten feet away. Angry, he spun around and found himself face to face with a kid named Kyle.
"What the heck was that for?" Chip asked as he rubbed the back of his head. He had to make sure it wasn't bleeding.
"Don't be a pussy, Chip," was all Kyle had to say as he went to retrieve the ball.
Emily was never one to let someone besides her get away with bullying Chip. She made that very clear to Kyle when she ambushed him as he bent down to pick the football up. A heavy stick, about one inch thick, was brought down onto Kyle's head hard enough it broke.
As Kyle slumped over, his buddy Mike tried to get revenge by attacking Emily. She dodged his haphazard swing easily enough. She taunted him; Chip didn't hear exactly what it was she said. Instead, he was more interested in ensuring his bike was locked up. The last time he failed to do so, one of the other kids ran off with it. He wasn't in the mood to deal with that on this cloudy Saturday.
In fact, he wasn't in the mood to deal with much of anything. He should have asked his friends if they just wanted to stay in, maybe play some video games or watch a bad horror movie. There was food at home, if it rained it wouldn't matter, and he wouldn't have to talk to pretend to be social around people he really didn't care for.
Well, I care. I don't want anything bad to happen to anyone, but I don't actively seek out ways to make their life easier. Especially when they're busy making mine a living hell, he thought bitterly to himself. Being in this sour of a mood wasn't doing him any favors. He was flustered and unable to figure out his bike lock. Having been beaned in the back of the head just set him off and he couldn't get over it.
Frustrated, he turned toward the scream just in time to see the football approaching once more. All he could was duck, throw an arm up, and prepare for impact. It never hit. A "thud" reached his ears but no pain. He opened his eyes to find his vision blocked by a garbage can lid. Following the arm that held the lid, he discovered a familiar face at the other end.
"Walt! I thought you had Saturday day school!" Chip said, his voice betraying both his surprise and excitement. Walter turned to face him; he wasn't smiling, yet there wasn't a frown, either. All Chip could see was the black eye that covered Walter's left eye. He asked, "What happened to your face?"
"Ran into a door," Walter answered. Before he could saw another word, he dropped the garbage can lid. The football was in his hands next; he picked it up and punted it toward the river. He watched in satisfaction as Mike scurried toward the water to retrieve it.
"Mean you ran into your mom's nasty right hook," Doug said. He had slinked in silently, so far unaffected by the fighting that broke out around him.
There was no chance for Walter to say anything. Kyle took issue with the newcomer and charged Walter aggressively. Kyle attempted to tackle Walter right at his knees, but Walter merely sidestepped. Kyle ended up on his face in the soft grass, inches from someone's bike.
Chip watched Kyle as he casually rolled from his stomach to his butt then sat up. As Kyle rubbed the dirt off his chin and lips, Chip asked, "You wanna try having some sort of chivalry?"
"That a challenge?" Kyle asked, his lips curved into a half grin.
Chip didn't verbalize an answer. Instead, he located two decent sized sticks; he swung one up and down to see how it felt. Deciding it was good enough, he tossed one to Kyle. As Kyle stood, Chip heard Sarah huff and say, "Really? Haven't you guys outgrown sword fights?"
"Yeah just beat the crap out of each other with your fists and call it good," Emily added. Obviously, that was not what Sarah meant.
Chip, despite his desire to appease her every desire and whim, was still a kid on the inside. Swinging around sticks and pretending they were fighting in a sword duel was still one of the most joyous things he could do on the weekend. He could give it up later. Or, maybe never – it was hard to say with him. He still read comic books, still watched cartoons, still built Legos and could sing the theme song to Megas XLR. As much as he understood growing up was inevitable, he wanted to cling to those childish things as long as possible.
The moment Kyle was on his feet, Chip swung his stick at Kyle's ankles; Kyle dodged by jumping up. From the corner of his eye, Chip caught the sight of Sarah retreating away from them. She wasn't about to sit by and watch them get hurt. Chip didn't have time to call out to her; Kyle swung as hard as he could and Chip barely got his block up in time.
Both put all their might behind any attacks. There was nothing more than pride on the line. The rest of the group wasn't interested enough to participate. While Chip was focused, he was still listening intently to the voices of his friends. He'd always had his ears tuned that way. Maybe it was a desire to feel connected, even if he wasn't part of the conversation.
He heard Doug ask, "Skipping Saturday school?"
"What are they going to do? Call my parents? No one's home anyway," Walter answered, his voice even and refusing to betray whatever emotions might be lurking beneath the surface.
"And what's really going on?" Doug pressed.
"What do you mean?"
Wherever that conversation was going, it was interrupted when Kyle let out a horrific yelp of pain. Chip's stick had made contact on the lower part of Kyle's calf. A piece of his flesh was ripped when the stick punctured the meat. Despite the cry and the fact that he was hobbling along, Kyle tried to take another swing at Chip. It was easily dodged.
Chip said, "I hit you, Kyle!"
"Didn't!" Kyle claimed as he used his shoe to rubbed the blood away. The movement caused the small piece of flesh to wiggle about.
"Then why is there blood on my stick?" Chip challenged. He held up the dirtied fallen tree limb to reveal a splotch of blood near the end. Kyle, defeated and wounded, decided it was best to just sit down.
A sudden gust of wind distracted Chip long enough for Kyle to leap up. He grabbed Chip around the waist and tossed him to the ground. As both tumbled around, Emily decided she had enough. She grabbed Kyle from behind and yanked him up. With all of her might she slammed him onto the ground. Using her right knee she pinned him there. One arm was locked behind his back so he even though he struggled he couldn't get free.
Chip was over it. Uninterested in continuing his spat with Kyle he found himself searching for Sarah. When his eyes finally found her, he discovered she had traveled quite a distance from their group. Not only that, she was on the ground, knelt to what appeared to be a grown man.
Concerned, he called out, "Hey, Sarah! What's up?"
His feet were already moving toward her. Yet he wasn't as quick as Walter, who sprinted by him with that incredible speed of his. Chip was only a little more than halfway to her when Walter had already made it. Instantly, Walter had turned around and shouted, "Someone call for help!"
"Why?" Mike asked, having just arrived back from retrieving the football. Soaked, he wasn't able to run over like the rest had.
Emily, worried more about Sarah than whatever Kyle might do, let him go. That was Kyle's cue to leave. The sight of Kyle rushing to his bike and taking off prompted Mike to do the same.
By this time point, a heaving and out of breath Chip arrived by Walter and Sarah's side. The first thing he noticed was blood – and lots of it. It seemed to pool around the man that was resting face-first in the grass. Chip had never seen so much in his life. The sight caused his body to freeze; he felt his fingertips grow numb from hesitation and his knees lock up. His hands were forced into fists as a way to gaining control over his adrenaline filled body.
Emily was next to arrive. Chip watched as she joined Sarah, knelt next to this strange man. He shook his head; he had to focus on this stranger, not what his friends were doing. What was this man wearing, where was he hurt?
Well, first of all, he's wearing armor so that's a bit weird, Chip thought to himself. Indeed the man was clad in what appeared to be heavy metal armor, colored in chipped paint of red and shimmering gold. There was no movement from the armor, making Chip assume the man was probably dead. Yet no one bothered to check; they were all probably just as afraid of him. Any grown man wearing armor was probably crazy.
Another gust caused them to wince as their eyes were pelted with a cold air. When the opened their eyes, before them stood another man, towering over their tiny bodies, his face concealed by a metal mask and his armor dinged and dirtied.
There were no words exchanged. This stranger produced a sword which was rammed in a flash through the body of the man on the ground. All of the kids jumped back, terrified by the sight. Just to ensure the man was dead, this newcomer removed the sword and stabbed the body one more time.
Silence invaded the area. The cheerful chirps of birds and the rustling of the trees were the only sounds heard. Each child held their breath as they felt the eyes of the murderer on them. Each waited to see what the next move was, who was next to die. Being frightened into stillness was a sensation that hit each to their core and no one could shake the feeling.
Suddenly, another burst of air, this was strong enough to physically push them. Chip felt something wet touch his cheek and he tossed his arms up to protect himself. Someone screamed – he was certain it was Sarah. Eyes wide open at the sound, he hurriedly looked for her. She was fine, now on her feet but not hurt. A warm, sticky and moist sensation on his forearms caused his eyes to turn there. Gore peppered his arms. Pink flesh, deep red blood, and something white covered him. Vomit threatened to rise from his stomach but he held it in.
Revealed to be behind him was a man in a priest's robe, his hand outstretched as he effectively ended a life. Now with two dead before them, the children felt their hearts race as fight-or-flight mode kicked into gear. Apparently, for each one of them, it was fight.
So much so for Emily that she nearly charged. Walter was quick to snag her by the waist and anchor her in place, or else she might have been the next to die.
Chip was the next to react, as he snatched up one of the discarded, bloodied swords and pointed it toward this priest. He wasn't sure what he was thinking – or if he was thinking at all. His body seemed to move without thought.
Unperturbed by a child with a weapon he could barely hold, the priest ignored the wordless threat. The priest's eyes were focused solely on the man in red and gold armor. Terror was painted on the expression of the priest as he beheld the body.
"We have failed... I have failed..." the priest mumbled. Lightly, he placed two fingers upon his own forehead and closed his eyes. This lasted but a few seconds before they reopened. He turned to Sarah and said, "The last to offer him hope. Thus, the one to inherit my failures."
As he shifted to approach her, Chip planted himself firmly between the two. "Don't get near her!"
"The one to inherit his sword? It must be fate that we ended up in a new Kingdom," the priest said. A long, tense moment passed as the priest did nothing but watch each slight twitch Chip made as he assessed him. Finally he said, "You are just a child, though. No matter. It must be the will of God. I grant you the powers of eternal light and the sacred duty of my life."
There was no light show or sounds. The priest raised his hand up and appeared to pray for a quick five seconds before he slumped over. Sarah, overcome with a wave of energy, also crumpled. Chip dropped the sword and caught her before her head could smash into the unforgiving earth.
"What the fuck is happening right now?" Emily asked. No one bothered to mention her use of language.
A dozen soldiers barreled through an invisible barrier with a gust, and each kid had to scramble to get out of the way. Most of the soldiers were injured and they were followed by enemies that chased after them. A fierce battle erupted and each man focused solely on killing the one before them. None were taken aback about arriving in a strange new world.
Chip focused on getting Sarah out of there and immediately advised his friends, "We should get moving!" No one argued, but no one could easily obey. The slashing of bodies, swinging of heavy swords, and chaos of a battle meant they had to focus on not getting sliced. Chip, aware of the situation, attempted to use his sword to fight off a few the stray swings that got to close to them. That was the best he could do.
Sometime during this scuffle, the cops were called. Perhaps they were alerted the first time one appeared. Either way, about half a dozen police officers dashed across the open green way of the park, their hands at their guns just in case. Shouting at the "LARPers" to put down the weapons and break it up, the cops clearly had no idea what they were walking into.
Of course, none of these armored soldiers listened. When one swung their weapon at an approaching officer, a half a dozen guns were firing relentlessly at the group. None of the bullets hit a single target. All of the lead projectiles were dropped inches before striking a person. Panic hit everyone after that, no one sure what exactly had just happened.
There, in the middle of it all, stood Sarah, her hands outstretched between the two groups. Through her new found powers, she stopped the entire battle with a simple gesture. Guns and swords both fell to the ground just as she wished. All of the soldiers in red and gold did not hesitate to drop to a knee, as though bowing to a god.