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#and whoever wins will grin like gremlins at whoever lost when they see them
fanthing-dragonchild · 9 months ago
Training and Rules
First, Previous. Ao3
Word count: 1107
Warnings: some talk about combat, hallucination and hypnosis, implied past trauma, implied shitty parents
"Oh dear!" Patton exclaimed as soon as he saw them. "What happened to you two?"
"We got mugged," Roman frowned. "Can I borrow a shirt?"
"Of course! Did you get hurt? Who did this?" Patton asked while leading them upstairs. He got out a beige sweater and handed it to Roman before letting him vanish into the bathroom to get changed and cleaned up.
"We're not hurt, they had knives but didn't use them. Only threatened us with them. They were kids, shorter than us!" Remus complained. "And now they're sitting in the bakery across the street eating cake from our money!"
"And the policeman who saw it didn't do anything!" Roman added through the door.
Patton sighed: "Yeah, sadly that's what it's like around this part of town."
"What do you mean by that?" Remus asked.
"There's a reason most people from uptown call the kids from here street rats. The kids around here don't have anything to do, most families plagued by poverty and sooner or later most of them fall into a life of crime. Either for money or just entertainment. Most people also believe that stealing from rich people isn't a real crime and that all people from uptown are rich bastards. So, they probably chose to rob you because they knew that they wouldn't get in any trouble."
Roman came out of the bathroom again, wearing the way too big sweater.
"So, you're saying they aren't actual street kids?" he asked.
"Probably not. There luckily aren't many of them anymore. But even my nephew disappears for hours a day, according to my sister, and she has no idea what he does all the time. Just two days ago he came home with bandaids over all his fingers and won't tell her what happened."
Remus thought about the bandaids over the fingers of their muggers. He decided not to mention them. He wasn't sure if Roman had even noticed them.
"Anyway," Patton said and put on a smile, "let's go up to the roof so we can train."
They climbed up the fire escape to the roof where among a broken sun lounger Patton kept a box of training equipment, from weights over boxing gloves and tape to a pistol with paint bullets that they had never used before.
The roof wasn't big so Patton made them run fifteen rounds to warm up.
"Can me wrestle today?" Remus asked slightly out of breath.
"If you want to," Patton shrugged. "Sure. Just make sure to establish the rules first."
"But in combat, there are no rules," Roman said. "That gremlin jumped onto my back to get me on the ground because it was his best bet."
"Well, there's a big difference between you and that kid. You're going to be a hero one day. Heroism involves kindness. Otherwise, you can just be vigilantes instead. That kid had no interest in being kind and didn't care if he hurt you. That's why he will never be a hero unless he changes his ways," Patton said. "Professor Logic can stab at me or shot at me but I won't do the same. Psyche can try to hypnotize me, Sleep can poison me and make me hallucinate but I will never resort to those things."
"So we have to follow rules in combat but they don't?" Remus frowned. "That doesn't sound fair."
"It's not," Patton agreed. "And you don't have to follow the same rules I do if you don't want to. But as long as I train you I want to make sure that you are good enough to be able to and still win."
"Where are you going?" Roman asked.
"I'll be right back, I just have to fix a hole in my armour and I'll do that while you're sparing."
The twins glanced at each other.
"No head hits?" Roman suggested.
"Okay, and whoever gets the other onto the ground for five seconds wins?"
"Okay, sure. But don't you dare jump on me!"
Patton went down to his apartment again grabbing his body armour and the things he had bought to fix it before stopping. He had noticed the way Remus' eyes had widened when he had mentioned Janus coming home with bandaids. Maybe those kids were still at Miss Cho's. Maybe he could see if maybe Janus was there.
He went down to the shop again and looked through the front window.
There were no tweens in the bakery and none on the street either.
Patton wished there would've been someone. Even if it had been Janus, he would've rather known than not. Then he could've tried to do something about it. Help the boy get back on the right path.
With a sigh, he went back upstairs.
Remus and Roman were rolling around on the ground, each trying to hold the other down.
Patton took a seat to begin working on his suit and made sure to keep an eye on them to give tips now and then and a few times to tell them to calm down when they seemed close to accidentally injuring each other. He had never received any combat training himself.
Most things he had learned via Youtube and trial and error.
His first months of being a hero hadn't gone well.
Though the worst had been Logic, even if he had no powers as opposed to Psychic and Sleep. He also always worked alone except for thugs.
The way he had looked at Patton once he had realised he had powers. Like he was a treasure served to him on a silver platter.
"I'd love to do some tests on you one day, darling."
The sentence still sent shivers down Patton's spine.  It had sounded too close to how they had talked to him.
He shook the thought off and concentrated on his breathing until it was even again.
It would do no good to think about that now.
"Five! I win!" Remus exclaimed with a wide grin.
Roman scoffed. "Whatever. Just get off. You're heavy."
Remus grinned proudly even if he was heaving for breath.
"Very good, Remus!" Patton praised and watched Remus light up even more. He had made the experience that both twins reacted strongly to praise. He doubted their parents praised them a lot, so he had made it his responsibility. "You too, Roman. You held him off for quite a while."
"Still lost," the boy grumbled and rubbed his shoulder.
"You're technique is getting a lot better, kiddo. Remus still has more stamina. If you focus on that I'm sure you'll be able to win soon."
Roman's face lit up slightly.
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