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Agustin and Brice had always hated each other.
It started from the moment the twins were travelling home from the hospital. They were sitting in their
car seats when Brice began to cry, wanting his diaper changed. Agustin took this as a challenge, and
they were soon both screaming, trying to be the loudest. It was on that day the battle of the brothers
It was their sixth birthday when the next major incident occurred, revealing their unique abilities.
Their parents had always had their parties on the same day, and it was then Irene and Mike discovered
their sons were different than the rest of the world.
It was time to open presents, and Agustin was claiming he needed to go first because he was the
oldest. Brice then argued he was only three minutes younger, and Agustin clenched his fists. “I’m still
older!” he screamed.
The ground surrounding Agustin suddenly caught on fire, the blades of grass crumbling to ash. The
other kids ran away in terror, their parents following closely behind. Mike and Irene stared in horror at
Agustin, whose hands were now engulfed in bright orange flames.
Instead of running away, Brice’s expression grew dark, and he took a step forward, his eyes
narrowing. Ice started spreading from underneath Brice’s foot, killing the grass as it snaked its way to
Agustin. Mike snapped out of his stupor and stepped in-between the boys, ordering them to stop.
Brice suddenly gasped, and the ice melted away, leaving the ground wet. Agustin’s fire diminished
with the blink of an eye, and the brothers sank to the earth, their bodies trembling.
It was found later the twins were mutants, human beings with unique abilities. Only one out of a
eight-hundred thousand people had the gene that gave them these strange gifts.
Years passed, and the brothers’ hate for each other grew deeper. They fought every time they saw
each other, and the anger spurred their powers. When they were sixteen years old, the two left their
parents’ home, and went their separate ways. Agustin was approached by V.I.L.L.I.A.N., an organization
that helped upcoming villains as they attempted to dominate the world. Soon, he was the deadliest
villain anybody had ever seen. Brice was also approached by S.U.P.E.R.H.E.R.O., an organization that
tried to prevent villains from taking over the world. Brice was the only hero that Agustin had yet to
Still, even though the brothers hated each other and were trying to stop each other, they had
promised their mother they would come home for the holidays.
One year, the nineteen-year old twins arrived on the doorstep of their parents’ house on Christmas
Eve. Agustin had grown tall and muscular, with fiery red hair and a charming smile that could swoon
any woman. He was cheerful and a delight to be around, but when it came to dominating the world, he
was an expert. He currently had a brilliant plan that would disable the government, leaving Agustin take
control and rule the world.
Brice was slightly taller than Agustin, with a gangly form and a dark appearance. He hardly ever
spoke, and the only reason he joined S.U.P.E.R.H.E.R.O was to keep his brother from doing whatever he
wanted. Once his brother had been defeated, he was going to find some quiet hut in Alaska and spend
the rest of his days there.
Like usual, their mother was ecstatic to see them. She watched the TV and knew what her sons were
doing, but she pretended they were still children and pulled them into the house, words swiftly flying
out of her mouth. Their dad looked up from the newspaper, flashed them a smile, and joined his wife
in the conversation.
The worst part was dinner, where Irene forced the twins to talk. Maybe she thought it would help
with the global situation at hand—nobody really knew what went on in that woman’s head. She first
asked Agustin if he had a girlfriend.
“I do, actually,” he replied, taking a large bite of the mountain of mashed potatoes sitting on his
plate. “Her name is Delilah.” “Oh, tell me all about her!” Irene said.
“Well, she’s pretty, funny, really sweet, sarcastic…did I mention pretty?”
“She sounds wonderful.” Irene smiled and turned to Brice, who was poking at his green beans with
his fork. “Brice, what about you?”
Agustin snorted, and Brice jerked his head up, glaring in his brother’s direction. “No,” he murmured,
then returned to poking his vegetables. Irene tilted her head at Mike, silently encouraging him to start
Mike cleared his throat and set his fork down. “So, Brice, how are things going these days?” he asked,
propping his elbows on the table and folding his hands. “I hear you’ve been spending some time in the
Caribbean.” Brice shrugged, finally stabbing the beans and shoveling them into his mouth.
Agustin sighed and crossed his arms. “Brother, do you not see your parents are trying to talk to you?
Or have you spent so much time by yourself you’ve forgotten how to interact with humans?”
The room went silent.
“Agustin,” their mother hissed. “I’ve told you several times—this is an insult-free zone.” Agustin
shrugged and leaned back in his chair, mischief glistening in his eyes. “I was simply stating a fact,” he
said, carefully watching his younger brother.
Brice had visibly tensed, and his muscles were coiling underneath his skin. The temperature had
dropped a few degrees, and ice was beginning to appear at the tips of his fingers. He suddenly stood
up, his fork loudly clanging against the table.
“I’ve got to go,” he said, casting a savage glare at Agustin. “Brice, wait,” Mike called, but Brice had
already stepped out of the dining room, heading to the front door. Irene kicked Agustin with her foot,
her eyes narrowed. “You go and apologize right now!”
Irene kicked him harder this time, and he stood up, cursing her under his breath. He threw his
napkin aside and hurried after his brother, more scared of his mother than anything else.
He stepped out the door and saw Brice, leaning against the side of the house, his shoulders
trembling and his breath ragged. Frowning, Agustin approached him, being sure to make some
noise so he wouldn’t startle his brother. He really didn’t want an icicle poking out of his chest.
“Brice, are you ok?”
The younger man’s eyes opened, and Brice jerked around, taking several steps back. Agustin
froze, seeing ice had formed over Brice’s face and seemed to be digging into his flesh.
“What the heck are you doing to yourself?” he asked, horrified. Brice turned his gaze to the
ground, and a few seconds later, the ice had evaporated, revealing the red marks on his skin.
“It’s not like you care,” Brice said, yanking the rental car keys out of his pocket and turning to
march towards his vehicle. Agustin scoffed and followed Brice. “I don’t, but I would like to know
why you’re purposely harming yourself with your powers.”
Brice reached the car and flung open the door, fixing to crawl in and drive away. Agustin grabbed
his brother’s shoulder and whirled him around. “I’m not letting you leave without telling me,” he
Brice shrugged him off, but he looked a little more hesitant this time, as if he was starting to think
Agustin actually cared about his wellbeing.
“I’m having problems controlling my powers,” he quietly admitted. “I didn’t want to hurt Mom and
Dad, and I couldn’t hold it back, so I left. If I feel pain, it usually subsides. That hasn’t been working
though, so I guess I’m going to have to switch to…more forceful methods.”
Brice sounded exhausted, and Agustin wondered how long this had been happening, how long his
little brother had been struggling. He knew Brice had always been able to withstand a lot of pain when
he saw a kid, but how long could he withstand this? And what did he mean when he said he was going
to have to switch to more forceful methods?
“Have you told anybody?” Agustin asked.
“I had to tell my girlfriend,” Brice muttered. “I wanted to break up with her because I was afraid I was
going to hurt her. She didn’t believe me when I said I had found somebody else, so I ended up telling her
the truth.” Agustin could hear the pain in Brice’s voice—he obviously cared about this girl, and it had
hurt him more than anything to leave her.
Agustin touched Brice’s arm, and the younger man glanced up, slightly confused. “I know someone
who can help,” he said. “Meet me in Chicago on Wednesday. I’ll text you the details. Until then, keep
what you’re doing. Please don’t switch to any kind of more forceful method.”
Brice looked shocked, but he nodded. “Ok.”
Agustin stepped back and watched as his little brother crawled into the car, revved the engine, and
drove away, leaving him there in the dark.
What exactly just happened? Agustin thought. Did I seriously just help my archenemy?
No, a part of him whispered, a part of him he’d never seen before, you just helped you’re brother.