I am all about stories where the hero and villain know each other very well and were once friends, but I could deal with it being used another way.
What if instead of being used for drama, for wistfulness and pleas to join the other side, it was more like the hero looking over a battlefield going Seriously, who does she think she’s kidding, she’s been using the same chess strategy since we were seven or the villain picking a headquarters in a specific climate because she knows the hero hates hot weather or deciding Send in some forces to round up all the copies of his favorite poet’s work, that’ll tick him off.
Or most of all them still having inside jokes with each other.
#the forces on either side wear uniforms the color that the other one cant stand #makes sure to stop the import of their favorite candies. like all other food and stuff can pass. just not THOSE candies #’DID YOU KIDNAP MY CAT?!’ ‘Yeah. He’s a sweetheart. Can I keep him?’ ‘GIVE ME BACK MY CAT.’ ‘Yeah ok.’ #sends cat back with a bow and ‘next time don’t keep your key in the same place you did when we were room mates dumbass’ #’Ma’am…the enemy has sent over a…a turkey?’ ‘…That mother fucker HE WAS SUPPOSED TO NEVER MENTION IT AGAIN. THAT’S IT. SEND HIM A FUCK#ING GOAT HE’S TERRIFIED OF THEM