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Fire Breathing Villain: Dragon! (Or: Izuku is a Hero, but his father isn’t)

Chapter Text

8:43 AM, Shizuoka prefecture,

It was a warm and bright Saturday morning and Bakugou Masaru was enjoying brunch with his long-time friend, Midoriya Inko.

It had been some time since he had seen the woman - he was stuck in a seemingly endless torrent of paperwork, so the reprieve was much appreciated. Not to mention Inko's own busy life - being a single mother and all.

Masaru had met Inko during their first year of high school: they had been in the same homeroom class and had been paired together for a group project. They instantly hit it off - Inko was just about as nervous and kind-hearted as she is today, Masaru, however, was far more reserved in his teenage years. While their relationship remained mutually platonic, that didn't stop Mistuki, who became Masaru's girlfriend in their third year of high school, from being jealous of how much time they spent with one another. This was quickly cleared up when Inko revealed to her that she had been dating Hisashi for a few weeks. Mitsuki was baffled but quickly reconciled with Inko, and the pair soon became friends.  

They, of course, attended each other's weddings, as best man and bridesmaid respectively. Inko called him the minute she found out she was pregnant, and vice versa, when Masaru learned of Mitsuki's pregnancy. They brought their children over to each other's houses regularly, and the boys quickly became friends. They would chase each other around the house with their figurines, sometimes the parents would play a villain and the kids would be the heroes. He didn’t get to spend as much time with the boys as he would have liked – his job as a detective left him little free time. The instances where he would spend time with them were some of the greatest moments of his life.

He should have seen the signs - he should have seen how horrible a person Hisashi really was. He should have warned Inko about the shady people he often saw the man talking to when he left for work. The trust and respect he held for the man blinded him to his true nature. Because of this, Inko and Izuku had been hurt, gravely so… 

Masaru shook his head; best not to dwell on the unchangeable, both of them were alive and well now, that's what matters…

 


 

Twelve years ago – Izuku: age four. Two weeks after Izuku's visit to the quirk doctor. Izuku was sleeping soundly upstairs, oblivious to the argument unfolding beneath him. Hisashi had been on a business trip overseas and had just arrived home.

"You mean to tell me my son doesn't have a quirk?" Hisashi’s voice was cool and calm, but the rage and disbelief in his tone was clear.

"I-I'm sure he has a quirk, perhaps the scans were wrong-"

"They're specialists, Inko, they'd never be wrong!" Hisashi pinched the bridge of his nose, features contorting in rage.

"But there was that case a few years back where a child who was thought to be quirkless - he even had the pinky bone - suddenly displayed a healing quirk! He could only heal mortal wounds, so he'd never been able to discover he had a quirk until then! Perhaps Izuku is like that boy..." 

"That's wishful thinking, Inko, a one-in-a-million chance."

"Regardless if he has a quirk or not, Izuku doesn't deserve anything less than our complete and total love and support!"

"Inko, don't you understand? This society has no use for people without quirks! What in the hell can he do that'll contribute?!"

Inko was crying now, glaring at her husband with malice.

"There are plenty of roles Izuku could play in this world of ours - you don't need a quirk to do anything!"

The arguing continued until Inko’d had enough – she stormed upstairs and crawled into bed with Izuku, wrapping her arms tightly around the boy, sobbing into his hair. 

"I'm sorry, Izuku..."

 


 

Two years later – Izuku: age six.

Satou Asahi, a rookie police officer on his last patrol of the day. It was late afternoon, around 5 PM, when he started hearing shouting over the radio show he was listening to. He turned the volume all the way down as he neared the house, placing his car into neutral on the other side of the street, two houses down. 

A tall, dark-haired man stood in the doorway of the home, he had jet black hair and wore a crisp black business suit - he looked somewhat familiar to the man, but was too far away to make out any details. He was arguing loudly with a shorter woman with elbow length – green hair (it shouldn't surprise him; his girlfriend had a serpentine tail instead of legs, but still, not exactly a commonplace hair colour). He assumed the two to be married, as they stood in the doorway of the house. 

"Don't do this!" Another man called - blonde-haired with thin, black glasses. Bakugou Masaru: a well-respected detective, his quirk allowed him to forcibly get a truthful answer out of someone once he asked them a question. His quirk began to lose effectiveness after a few questions but could regain it with a certain wait time. The wait time depended both on the length and amount of questions he asked, but was generally around an hour or so after five questions, though he rarely needed to ask more than five questions. He had quickly gained the favour of his colleagues, and they would often go to him when a case started to go stale or was becoming too large to handle without calling in federal agents. Asahi himself had met the man on numerous occasions but had never worked with him. 

"Hisashi, he’s your son goddamit!" He shouted.

What angered and shocked Asahi was the state of the child – he was maybe five or six, with a similar hair colour to his mother, unconscious and bleeding from the head. The boy was tucked beneath his father’s arm, his clothes ragged from an obvious struggle. 

Asahi reached for the walkie-talkie in his car, reported the situation and location, and hastily exited the car, drawing his stun gun. 

Several of the neighbours had exited their homes to investigate; one woman reached for her phone – presumably to call for the police, while her husband called an ambulance. 

“GET OUT OF MY WAY.” The man roared, his rage emphasised by the small tendrils of smoke escaping his lips. 

A fire-breathing quirk?! This could get much worse much faster than he thought. 

“Sir! Just put the boy down and we can- “

Suddenly, Hisashi dashed out of the doorway and past his wife. Bakugou tried to intercept him but was shoved to the ground, Midoriya using his own son as a makeshift battering ram. 

Asahi couldn’t take a shot – the man would likely shield himself with the boy, so he instead opted to shoulder barge the man, staggering him, and whipping him right in the temple with his handgun.

Hisashi grunted, fixing his deep green eyes onto Asahi. He opened his mouth and Asahi rolled out of the way just in time before the hedge behind him caught alight. The man's quirk wasn't as strong as Asahi had feared, but it was still a fire quirk, one of the most dangerous and unpredictable of all quirks, he couldn't afford to underestimate the man. 

Bakugou came up behind him and grabbed the child from Hisashi's grasp, and Asahi was finally able to tackle the man. He forced him onto his stomach with his face in the grass and quickly handcuffed his hands behind his back. 

Mrs Midoriya was sobbing, clutching her child for dear life. Shit, he completely forgot about the kid! 

"Ma'am, is your son alright?! Is he breathing?" He shouted. The woman checked the boy over and nodded, before burying her face into the boy's neck. Bakugou had an arm slung protectively around the woman's shoulders, and shot Asahi a grateful look. 

Asahi had never been more thankful in his life to hear the wail of police sirens - he wasn't sure how much longer he could hold the raging demon of a man beneath him. 

The car screeched to a halt behind him, and he heard footsteps rapidly approaching. 

"Shit! There's a fire, get the fire department!" A female officer called to a neighbour. The elderly man obliged, retrieving a phone from his pocket and dialling 119. She then proceeded towards the three people huddled on the lawn. 

"Give 'im here, Satou-Kun." Another officer called, Kurokawa-san, he recalled. 

"Careful, he's got a fire-breathing quirk." Asahi advised.

"That's why we brought the new anti-quirk handcuffs." The man replied, kneeling down to handcuff the man. 

"Get your fucking hands off me!" Midoriya roared, setting the patch of grass below his head alight. 

"Shut up, Hisashi! If I had it my way you'd be six-feet under for the shit you pulled just now, but I suppose prison will have to do." Bakugou growled, hugging Hisashi's and the boy tightly. 

Together, Asahi and Kurokawa-San hoisted the man off of the ground and made their way to the car. Thanks to the anti-quirk handcuffs, the most Hisashi could do against his captors was to thrash about and blow smoke from his nostrils. 

"Why...? Why would you do this, Hisashi?" The green-haired woman called, now upstanding, confusion and anger as clear as the tears on her cheeks. 

The bastard had the gall to laugh. "Why? I was doing us a favour, a useless son would do a great dishonour to his family - I was simply saving us the trouble."

It took all of Asahi's willpower not to punch the bastard then and there. 

They loaded the man into the car and told Kurokawa-San and the other detective to take him back to the station, while Asahi took everyone's statements. He made his way back over to the woman and placed a hand on her shoulder.

She turned to him then, tears in her eyes, and simply said: "Thank you." 

Bakugou-San was upstanding, holding the boy bridal style. "It's Satou, right? Thank you, so much, for what you did back there."

Asahi smiled, "just doing my job, cleaning the scum outta the streets." 

The ambulance and the fire department arrived a few moments afterwards, the paramedics rushing for the young boy, and the firemen for the hedge. The fire had almost completely died down, but it was nearing the Midoriya's house and the neighbour's car, so they set to work immediately. Asahi explained the situation to the paramedics, while Bakugou and Mrs Midoriya entered the ambulance with the child. Asahi made his way over to the pair. 

"Here's my number," he handed the woman a sticky-note, "call me when he gets out of the hospital, if you ever need anything, or if you hear from Hisashi again. I'll be in touch" 

"Th-Thank you... I'm Midoriya Inko, by the way." The woman extended her hand. "And thank you again for what you did." 

Asahi took her hand, "I'm Satou Asahi, and there's no need to thank me."

"Do you have another sticky note? I'll give you my number" 

After that exchange, Asahi returned to his car. It had been a long day, so Asahi was going to return to the station, give his statement, text Inko to check up on her, and then get drunk off his ass. 

Chapter Text

Shizuoka prefecture, Bakugou residence, two hours after the Hisashi incident.

“Oi, mum, where’s dad?” A six-year-old Katsuki calls, sitting impatiently at the dining table. It was a bit later than their usual dinner time, nearly 7 PM, and his dad always texted or called when he was going to miss dinner.  

As if on cue, he hears the home phone begin to ring, and his mother stops stirring the rice to answer the call.

“Oh, Masaru! Where the hell are ya? Katsuki’s - woah, hang on – what?” Katsuki looks on in wonder as his mother’s usual stern expression morphs into one of utter horror.

“He what?!” His mother covered her mouth with a hand, taking a quick glance at her son before retreating to the bathroom, closing the door behind her. Katsuki didn’t know what to make of the situation; he rarely saw his mother flustered, let alone looking as horrified as she had a moment before…

Just what the fuck had happened?

He could hear the muffled conversation, with the occasional exclamation. Katsuki sat at the table in utter confusion, when suddenly, his mother exited the bathroom, rage and horror palpable.

"Katsuki, we'll get takeout tonight, we need to get to the hospital right now." 

Katsuki froze. "The hospital? Did dad get hurt?" 

Mitsuki turned off the stove, removed the pan from the hotplate and stored its contents in a plastic container. "No, dear. It's Izuku - he's... He got hurt, really badly."

"Izu-chan got hurt? Did he break his arm or somethin'?" It was no surprise that Izuku would get hurt, the boy was always climbing trees and running around like a headless chicken. 

Mitsuki looks at her son sympathetically, "Oh, honey... I wish he had..." 

 


 

One week later, Shizuoka Prefectural Children’s Hospital, Izuku, age six. 8:34 PM.

Inko was… overwhelmed. That was as best as she could describe it; he vocabulary simply didn’t have the words to place how she was feeling. A mixture of rage, regret, betrayal, fear, sadness and relief.

Inko sat beside Izuku’s hospital bed, the boy had been in a comatose state for the past six days, though the doctors assured her that there was no permanent brain damage, and he would make a full recovery within a few months.

Though, she nearly had another panic attack when the nurse told her that Izuku needed stitches to his left eyebrow area, and he also needed a section of his upper right skull glued back together.

The doctors assured her that his comatose state was the body’s way of conserving energy to focus on healing. He had responded to verbal cues, which meant he wasn’t in a life-threatening situation, but they would still continue to monitor him until a few days after he woke up.

The head doctor – whose name currently escaped her - had asked if she would be returning home, and Inko gave the man a firm “no” in response. He was completely understanding, and provided two comfortable fold-out chairs and a temporary bed on the other side of the room. She had only left the boy to go to the bathroom, get some fresh air and coffee, ad when Masaru visited with an extra serving of whatever the Bakugou’s were having for dinner that night.

A nurse had just completed her daily check-up on Izuku; Inko was delighted to see the boy was now providing small but noticeable reactions to auditory and sensory stimuli. The nurse left Inko to her thoughts, the woman holding her son’s hand in a firm but comforting grasp.

‘Why hadn’t I noticed? I  knew  Hisashi harboured distaste for the quirkless, but I thought he grew out of that… How could he hold so much hatred for someone based on a silly little thing like being without a quirk? And to have almost murdered his own child?! I guess you really don’t know anyone… No, don’t you dare cry, Inko! I’ll wallow in my regrets later, right now my son needs me to be strong for him…’

“Midoriya-San? May I come in?”

Inko turned her head, and saw a man with a suit, holding a bouquet of flowers. The man sported close-cropped chocolate-coloured hair and bright hazel eyes. He was holding another bag – it looked like a takeout bag.

“Ah, um, Asahi-San, was it? It’s good to see you.” She smiled warmly, rising from her seat and shaking the man’s hand firmly.

The man glances at Izuku, before calmly approaching. Whether or not Izuku could actually hear him at the moment was unclear, but he wanted to make himself known just in case; the boy would be frantic if he woke up to see an unknown man in his hospital room.

He placed the flowers – an arrangement of violet and yellow Chrysanthemums as well as some white Hydrangeas – into the glass vase by his bedside. He turned, facing the boy.

“Good afternoon, uh...” How embarrassing, he didn’t even know the kid’s name!

“Oh, his name is Izuku.” Inko supplied.

“Right; Good afternoon, Izuku, I’m officer Satou Asahi, I was first on the scene when your father… Ah, anyway, I’m just going to wit with you and your mum, if that’s alright.”

The man did just that, pulling up another fold-out chair from across the room, and placed it next to Inko. It was then that he opened the take-out bag, producing two muffins.

“I bought a muffin for you, if you’re hungry. It’s probably cold by now though.” He said sheepishly.

“Oh, you didn’t need to do that! Thank you.”

“It’s no trouble, really. You’ve had one hell of a week, Midoriya-San, I’m just trying to make it a little bit easier for you.”

“Inko, call me Inko.”

The pair sat in a comfortable atmosphere, chatting about the events that had just unfolded, Izuku’s condition, as well as a bit about their own lives, such as their quirks and their jobs.

Asahi revealed that he had a vision-enhancement quirk; he explained that it was primarily helpful in night operations, but his overall vison, including his peripheral vision, was far superior to the average person’s. He mentioned that it was a quirk he inherited from his mother’s side, her maiden name was Takao - “Taka” meaning Hawk.

Inko gave the details of her own quirk – how she could pull small objects to herself. She admitted it wasn’t nearly as powerful as her grandfather’s quirk, but it was helpful in domestic situations, like picking up items she’d dropped when she was pregnant with Izuku and found bending over to be  quite difficult. That last statement made Asahi give a hearty laugh.

Soon, almost an hour had passed, and Asahi took his leave, stating that he needed to return to the station, as they were a bit understaffed today. He said goodbye to the pair, promising to return soon.

Inko glanced over at the flowers the man had brought, her minimal knowledge of flowers providing the basic meanings of the bouquet: Get well, neglected sorrow or love, and purity. Inko smiled, resting her head on her arms. 

Inko sat in a comfortable silence with the boy before suddenly her phone rang. She jolted upwards, her head raising from its perch atop Izuku’s bed. She must have dozed off! She checked the contact – Masaru, and the time – 6:00PM; almost two hours after Asahi had left.

She rubbed the sleep from her eyes and quickly answered the call.

 “Hey, Inko, you holding up?”

“Yeah, I’m okay; well, about as okay as one can be in this situation…”

“Izuku hasn’t woken up yet, I take it?”

“No, he hasn’t. The doctors say he should in a day or so, since the trauma wasn’t that severe.” Inko allowed herself a moment of hope; she needed all the optimism she could get.

“You mind if we bring Katsuki over? Mitsuki and I don’t want to crowd Izuku’s space more than we already have but Katsuki really wants to see you guys…”

“Ah, I’m sure Izuku would love to have Katsuki over here with him, shall I pick him up?”

“No need, we were out anyway so we’re nearby.”

“Alright, then, see you.”

She hung up the phone, turning to Izuku. “Did you hear that, Izuku? Katsuki will be here soon, maybe he’ll bring one of his action figures for you?” Izuku breathed forcefully for a moment, but gave no other indication of consciousness.

Inko waited patiently for Katsuki to arrive, seeing the boy turn up with Mistuki and a plastic bag full of various items.

“Good evening, Mitsuki.”

“You’re so formal, Inko. I brought the brat, sorry to cause you any trouble.”

“You? Never. Izuku will be overjoyed.” Mitsuki matched Inko’s smile; she just barely caught the look on Katsuki’s face. Pain? Regret?

Mitsuki knelt down and gave the boy a quick warning, before ruffling his hair and exiting through the door. She would wait outside until Katsuki left.

“Hey, Auntie.” Katsuki mumbled, not impolitely. He shuffled forward, climbing onto the foldout chair. He turned to Izuku, gave a short greeting, and then turned back to Inko.

“Is he still asleep? Mum said that Izuku has been asleep for a week – shouldn’t he be awake by now?”  Katsuki innocently asked. Inko resisted the urge to flinch.

“The doctor says he should be awake sometime tomorrow,” Inko paused, and decided to change the subject.

“How has school been, Katsuki? I heard you aced the pop quiz you had this morning.”

“Yeah, of course I did!” He puffed out his chest in pride, before slouching back down.

“Everyone keeps asking me about Izuku, but they don’t really seem to care about him… It’s more like they’re just asking s they look like a nice person.”

“People do that quite often, dear, it gets pretty annoying after a while, huh?”

“Yeah, they really piss – ah, make me really mad.” Inko giggled at the boy’s momentary slip-up, probably the first time she’s laughed all week.

“Oh, I thought Izuku would get bored, sitting in here all day, so I brought some of my action figures for him to play with…” Katsuki admitted, sounding almost embarrassed. “But he’s asleep, so…”

“Thank you, Katsuki. I’m so glad Izuku has friends like you.”

Katsuki flinched, and then he did something Inko never thought he’d do again: he teared up. “I-I’ not a very good friend… I bullied De-Izuku – we all bullied him, because he doesn’t have a quirk! I called him a useless Deku, and now he’s in the hospital because his dad was angry he doesn’t have a quirk! I'm just like he was!" Katsuki shoutued, looking at Izuku with sadness in his eyes, “I’m sorry, Izuku…”

Inko was shocked: Katsuki had bullied Izuku? There was no mistaking how aggressive the boy was, and she did catch Katsuki curse at the boy a few times, but for him to have ben outright bullying him? Not to mention that the prideful child had not only confessed to the act but to have apologised? A wave of rage flowed through the woman when she heard him mention “Deku”; a name her ex-husband used quite frequently when addressing his son. But she couldn’t stay mad at the boy – not when he was so clearly remorseful.

“I’m sorry, Auntie! I know you’re probably so mad at me but I just wanted to apologise… I’m so sorry, Izuku, I won’t ever call you “Deku” again…”

“Katsuki, I am angry,” the boy flinched. “But I won’t stay mad at you: if you really do want to be friends with Izuku, than I think you should. He's never had any friends aside from you and it’s clear that he admires you, even if you did bully him.” Inko placed a reassuring hand on Katsuki’s shoulder, and he looked up at the woman.

“Just promise me you’ll look out for him, will you?”

The boy nodded. He reached into the plastic bag and handed Inko Izuku’s DS, along with his various Pokémon games along with “Sonic Rush” and “Mario Kart”. He gently placed Izuku’s All-Might and Eraserhead figurines next to him, and then brought out a brand new notebook, with a set of gel-pens.

“S-since I ruined Izuku’s other notebook I wanted to give him a new one, he can do his drawings and make his notes about heroes in here…”

“You really are a kind soul, Katsuki.”

“Yeah, well, don’t go makin’ a fuss about it, I just did it because my mum made me.”

A white lie, and they both knew it. Inko went along with it anyway, to spare the boy’s pride.

Inko squeezed Izuku’s hand, smiling at Katsuki.

Izuku squeezed back.

 

Chapter Text

Shizuoka prefecture, Aldera Junior High, Izuku, age six.

“Ah, Midoriya-Kun, welcome back – and Bakugou, too. I was just about to start class, take your seats, please.” Izuku’s teacher second-grade teacher called as the two boys entered the doorway, Izuku flinched as twenty-two heads swivelled around, their eyes searing holes into the boy’s skull.

Katsuki prodded him with a finger, and mumbled: “Don’t sweat it, Dek- Izu; if anybody gives you shit I’ll blow ‘em up.”

Izuku muttered a quick “Thanks, Kacchan” before scurrying to his seat behind the blonde.

It had been about a month since Izuku had been discharged from the hospital. The doctor told him that he would make a recovery within the better part of six months, but to tell his mother immediately is he started vomiting, experiencing recurring nausea, if his headaches weren’t being helped by painkillers or if he found it difficult to think or speak for an extended period of time. He hoped none of those things happened to him; as nice as the doctors and the nurses were, it was nice to be back at home and at school.

Izuku doubted he’d need to hide behind Katsuki nearly as much as he did previously; they were nothing compared to the monster he’d been living with. The monster that raised him. The monster that tried to-

“Midoriya.”

His head snapped up, broken from his trance, “Sorry?” Gosh, he hoped he hadn’t been muttering.

 “I’m going through roll call, you’re not in trouble, pal.”

“Oh.” His face burned in embarrassment, and he heard a giggle pas through the classroom.

Katsuki gave him a look, but said nothing, instead opting to glare daggers at anyone and everyone who he made eye contact with. Izuku found comfort in that, as ironic as it was. 

At least some things never change.

“Is it true you were in the hospital?” One of his classmates asks after the lunch bell rings. Izuku had been crowded by most of the class almost instantaneously, the children forming a tight ring around his desk. The teacher had stepped out when a senior had asked for him, leaving his students to do as they pleased.

“Why were you in the hospital, did you hit your head?”

“What was hospital like? I heard it smells like old people.”

“That scar looks so cool! Did you get in a fight?”

“If it was a fight, it was clearly against someone way stronger” One boy joked, causing another ripple of giggles.

“You missed so much school, I hope your grades aren’t affected.” One girl says – he recognises her as Akagi, the resident stuck-up teacher’s pet. Her tone could be mistaken for genuinely caring, but kindness requires a conscience and a sense of human decency – Akagi lacked both. She was, as Katsuki would put it, “a total bitch”.

“Uh...” Izuku started before a familiar face parted the crowd.

“Oi, you lot’re crowding my desk, piss off!” The students parted like the red sea.

“Bakugou said a bad word! I’m telling teacher!” Akagi joked in a mocking voice. She was quickly silenced by Katsuki’s quirk – a series of miniature explosions, little more than a few crackles and pops, but enough to nearly light the girl’s hair aflame.

“Kacchan!”

“C’mon, Izu. Grab your shit.” The blonde took the boy’s arm

“Kacchan!”

“What!”

“You really shouldn’t swear so much, it’s not good.”

“I’ll swear as much as I want to Dek– Izu!” That was the second time Katsuki has slipped up. He was doing better than Izuku expected.

 


 

 

“For God’s sake, Katsuki, it’s Izuku’s first day back at school and you’re already in the principal’s office…” Mitsuki growled, glaring at her son.

“I-It’s okay, Auntie, Kacchan was just sticking up for me! They were being really rude–”

“Izuku, sweetie, it’s because you keep defending him that crap like this keeps happening – he keeps thinking he can get away with it!”

The door to the office opens, and there stands the principal, clad in a suit and tie, with modified sleeves for six thin, insectoid arms. His bug-like wings flitter as he crosses his arms, and one of his antennae twitch.

“Ah, Mrs Bakugou, I’ve been expecting you. Please, come in. Three of his arms gestured for the pair to enter. “Young Midoriya, you can leave now; I’m sure your mother is waiting for you.”

“A-alright. Um, see you later, Kacchan.” Izuku waves awkwardly and spins on his heels, scurrying down the corridor.

The trio shuffled into the office – it was darker than in the hallway, though still bright enough to see clearly, as the principal’s quirk made him more sensitive to light. They sat down on opposite ends of the man’s desk, and the principal folded the top four of his arms, leaving the lower pair resting on the table. The independence of the appendages will never cease to creep Katsuki out.

Katsuki, even at his age, knew when he was in deep shit, and opted to keep his mouth shut. He also, to his credit, recognised the difference in authority between his mother and the school faculty – getting suspended or expelled from school would become a serious issue when he is old enough to apply to U.A.

“You have made a very nice friend, young man; I’m glad you’re getting along with someone here. I had been made aware of your anger management issues when you first arrived at this school, and I recognise that your mind is still young and developing. However, I cannot condone violence. Although Mrs Akagi didn’t suffer much physical damage – aside from some burnt hair – it would be most troublesome if incidents such as these were to continue.” It was then that he pulled open a draw to his left and placed a manila folder onto the desk, closing the drawer and facing Mitsuki.

“Mrs Bakugou, your son is an excellent student – his grades are almost always perfect. As a teacher, I couldn’t be prouder.” Katsuki allows himself a brief moment of pride, before remembering why he was here.

“In saying that,” the man turns to Katsuki “something needs to be done about that temper of yours.” Katsuki scrunches his nose but stays silent.

That’s when Mitsuki speaks up, “we’ve – his father and I – have actually considered speaking to someone about it. I myself have a bit of an… issue with anger management and I saw a professional about it from when I was six until I was eleven. Friends and family say I’ve mellowed out quite a lot.” Katsuki gulped.

“I’m glad you’ve been considering professional help – most parents don’t consider stuff like that until it’s far too late – but I’m hoping it doesn’t come to that.”

“Now, young Bakugou, I’ve already asked Miss Akagi about what happened when I met with her parents earlier, but I’d like to hear it from you.” He turns to Mitsuki, sheepishly, “the girl has a reputation for being a – what do the kids call it? A snitch? Teacher’s pet? Whatever the case, she tends to over-exaggerate to make herself look better, which I have spoken to her about.”

Mitsuki blinks and then nudges her son with her elbow.

“My side? Izu had been in the classroom for all of ten seconds and people were already talking shit– “

“Katsuki.” His mother hissed.  

“–Talking bad about him. Giggling and gossiping like it was a freaking mother’s group. It got to lunch and everyone had crowded around his desk and was bugging him about his scar. I got real mad, okay? People were joking about the damn thing, crowding his space and he looked about ready to cry, so I pushed ‘em outta the way and grabbed him to take him outside.”

“His scar?” The principal asks, flabbergasted, “why would people make fun of him for a scar? Plenty of kids have them. One of the teacher has an eyepatch!”

“Katsuki has told me that Izuku has been getting bullied relentlessly – for nearly two years! As bad as it sounds, maybe his classmates were just used to picking on him?”

“It’s mostly my fault,” Katsuki interjects, startling his mother and his principal alike. “I bullied Izu too. But I’m not gonna do that anymore – I don’t wanna be like him.” The two adults shared a look, knowing exactly who he was.

“So, anyway,” Katsuki continues, “that bi- that TP got right in his face, and I got really mad. I don’t know what she’s told you but I didn’t set her hair on fire – my quirk didn’t even burn the ends.”

“Hm, yes, I noticed her hair was mysteriously intact. She was ranting and raving about how she’d need to cut it, so I didn’t even bother to examine it properly.” The principal admits.

Mitsuki scrunches her nose, “this girl sounds like a real hassle.” The principal nodded his head.

“You’ve come a long way, young man. I cannot reiterate how proud of you I am. If you ever do need to speak to someone about your anger, or if this bullying continues, my door is always open. Now, about your punishment: the will be no punishment, but I advise you to work on that temper – at the very least, try not to vocalise it. Toning down the cursing would certainly help, too.” The man stands, prompting the Bakugou’s to do the same. He extended his hand.

“Thank you for your time, have a nice night.”

“Thank you, you too.” Mitsuki shook the man’s uppermost right hand. The par left shortly afterwards, only to find Izuku and Inko sitting outside.

“Izu? Auntie? Why’re you out here?”

“Hey, Kacchan…” Izuku stood, a worried look on his face.

“I’m not getting suspended or getting detention if that’s what you’re gonna ask.”

“Really?”

“Well duh, I didn’t do anything wrong, I was sticking up for your sorry ass.”

“Katsuki, the principal literally just asked you to cut down on the swearing!”

She couldn’t stay mad at the boy for long, as Izuku pulled the blonde into a hug. Inko gives Mitsuki a look.

“Oi, what’s this for?” The boy says, clearly flustered.

“Thanks, Kacchan.”

“Anytime, Izu.”

 


 

Shizuoka prefecture, Aldera Junior High, three weeks later, Izuku, age six.

Izuku sat at his desk, Katsuki had turned his chair around to eat his lunch with him, the usual routine. Akagi had, in fact, been called into the principal’s office once again to discuss her “superior attitude”, and had since been avoiding the boys at all costs. She glared daggers at them from across the room.

The rest of the class had quickly caught on that Katsuki had gone from Izuku’s tormentor to his “knight in shining armour” as one girl put it, and wisely backed off. That didn’t mean they stopped bullying him, though, they just got smarter about it – subtler. He doubted it would ever stop; he was quirkless – different, and people just love to hate what’s different to them. His mother, Mitsuki and Masaru alike ingrained that into his head.

Still, though, he was grateful he had Katsuki. He had told him about how his father treated him, and how he clearly displayed his dislike for him even before the attack two months ago. Katsuki vowed that if he caught anyone treating him, or any other quirkless person, for that matter, the way Katsuki himself had previously treated Izuku, he would “beat the fuckers senseless” or “make them rue the day they crossed him.” His response varied depending on his mood.

“Kacchan, I’ve nearly filled that new notebook you gave me.” Izuku says as he uses his chopsticks to place a ball of rice into his mouth.

“What, already? How much do you write in those things?”

“I don’t just write in them; I draw in them to! Also, my handwriting isn’t that neat so it takes up a lot of space…” He admits.

Katsuki scoffs, “I know, how can you even read the shit you write?”

“Kacchan.”

“What.”

“You swore.”

“Wow, sorry mum.” Katsuki scowls, but not in such a way that Izuku feels threatened.

“I’m just saying if your mum catches you swearing– “

“Yeah, I know. Just shut up and eat your food.” The boy places a baby corn cob into his mouth.

Izuku smiled. He had a family who loved him. He had a friend. What more could he ever want?

Chapter Text

U.A High school, Classroom 1-A, Izuku, age fifteen.

It was the end of their first week at U.A, but Izuku couldn’t seem to shake the “new school” sensation – that, and being taught by quite a few of his childhood heroes, has kept him in a constant “fanboy” mode.   

Uraraka – the brunette with the anti-gravity quirk who he’d saved during the entrance exams, and Iida – the energetic, glasses-wearing boy with engines protruding from his calves had quickly befriended 

It was surreal – Izuku was living the dream, and while they were taught the basic subjects: English, World History, Mathematics, Geography and Japanese literature, there were so many more unique and interesting classes. While other High Schools would be doing normal gym, U.A. students would train their bodies and their quirks against dummies, robots and each other. The Hero course would undertake a mandatory First-Aid examination, where they would receive certificates that labelled them as competent first aiders (that would need to be renewed every twelve months). 

Izuku was fascinated by the independence their teachers allowed them during their fitness classes – they could practice gymnastics (to improve flexibility and overall agility), play sports like tennis and volleyball with other students and sometimes the teachers (to improve hand-eye coordination and critical-thinking), or they could use weights or the treadmill to train their muscles and endurance. This was all without using their quirks; unless, of course, the quirk was physical (four arms, a tail, etc.), then the person was asked to limit the usage of such appendages as much as possible.

The class was surprised when Katsuki made an offhand comment about how “quirks are physical abilities too; you could have the greatest quirk in the world, but if you don’t have a healthy body you’re practically useless.”

The class stared at the boy like he’d just dropped from space.  

“Kacchan is actually really smart,” Izuku had explained to the class, “despite his violent nature he’s an honour student at heart – top scores all around.”

Katsuki had lightly slapped Izuku on the back of the head for that comment but had continued on with his exercise.

Katsuki, to his credit, was far more subdued than he was ten years previous. He was still a ball of rage, but now he had the common sense to know when and where it was appropriate to, as he would put it, “fuck shit up”.

His swearing had actually worsened after he started seeing a therapist at the tender age of seven; his mother said it was a by-product of managing all of the innate anger the boy had. “Whatever works” Mitsuki had once said.

The boy had progressed from weekly appointments to bi-weekly appointments by the time he was eight, and his attendance had dropped to once a month sometime when he was nine. Now he saw the man every other month, though the man assured it was hardly necessary. The therapist – a kindly old man with a quirk that allowed him to see emotions as a colour – was one of the few people Katsuki didn’t want to strangle. He even admitted to respecting the man one afternoon.

He’d come a long way from the violent, highly aggressive elementary-schooler with a hair trigger he once was.

He still had his occasional outbursts, of course, but he hadn’t had any fits since he was eight. They never spoke of that day, Katsuki was utterly ashamed and horrified of it.

Izuku still had the scar on his arm.

Izuku had heard people describe Katsuki as “rude” and “brutish”, but he never truly grasped how he must have come across to others until one woman who lived on Katsuki’s street compare him to a vicious dog that roamed the neighbourhood. Mitsuki had backhanded the woman across the cheek and swiftly left with the two boys.  

He could ascertain a similar image was being built up by their fellow U.A. students, particularly those in class 1-B just next door. He would hear things whispered about the boy when they travelled from class to class – how he was rude, arrogant, boastful, and various other things Izuku would not like to repeat.

Class 1-A, for the most part, could see past his violent nature and have made genuine connections with him – most notably Kirishima, Kaminari, Sero and Ashido. Izuku had said as much to his mother and Katsuki’s parents, who were beyond proud – Katsuki himself blatantly refused the notion of having a friend other than Izuku, but they all knew otherwise.

The class was currently in the dorm’s common room for dinner on a Saturday evening and had somehow arrived at the topic of childhood stories. Todoroki made it clear he wouldn’t participate – and though the class was disappointed, they didn’t press him. Izuku wondered what had happened to the boy that made him so unwilling to talk about himself, but decided that was a question for another time.

Currently, Ashido was telling them of a story that had happened quite recently – a young girl had chased her around a local park because she thought she was made of cotton candy. The class laughed, and Ashido says the girl only stopped chasing her when her father handed her some actual cotton candy – the apologised profusely to Ashido, before swiftly leaving with his daughter.

Uraraka shared a story of how when she’d first gotten her quirk, she had made close to everything she touched float – one morning she’d somehow ended up outside her parent’s house and had made the neighbour’s car float. The car had suddenly dropped – almost completely totalling the thing – worse yet, Uraraka’s parents ended up needing to pay the neighbours for the damage. 

A red-faced Sero admitted that his favourite fictional superhero was (and still is) Spiderman, but not just because of their similar abilities. He recounted how one afternoon when he was ten, he’d wanted to “be like Spiderman” and had tried to swing from a one tree to another at a local park – he ended up breaking his right arm and his left ankle, and because he couldn’t use crutches (due to the broken arm) he’d been placed in a wheelchair for nearly two months.

Dark Shadow volunteered a story – much to the annoyance of an embarrassed Tokoyami. A younger Tokoyami had tried to climb a tree to “hang out” with a sparrow and her babies, but the second branch he climbed had snapped, and he fell face-first into the mud beneath him. His mother had been furious with him but patched him up anyway.  

Izuku volunteered to go next, and Katsuki gave him a warning look. Izuku told the class of how when he and Katsuki were younger, he was at Katsuki’s house for a sleepover, and Izuku had woken up in the middle of the night to see a spider dangling on its web just a few centimetres above his face. Katsuki snorted.

“Mitsuki – Kacchan’s mum, then had to explain to the police that, no, I was not being murdered horribly, but that I’d just been scared by a spider.”

“Who is even scared of spiders? The ones in Japan are harmless.” Katsuki spoke, arching an eyebrow at Izuku.

“Nah, man, spiders freak me the hell out.” Kaminari spoke up. Koda gave a firm nod of agreement. Mineta just shuddered.

“There are worse places to encounter spiders, and while the ones here don’t bug me too much – ah, pardon the pun – I sure as heck wouldn’t like to meet one from the Amazon” Yayorozu chimed in.

Katsuki snorted. “I was probably afraid of ‘em when I was like, two.”

“What are you trying to say, Bakugou?” Mineta asked, clearly offended. 

“I’m not scared of spiders anymore, are you fucking deaf or what?” Katsuki growled. 

Izuku’s response came naturally, after years of playful teasing.

“Oh, like how you aren’t ticklish anymore?”

He immediately regretted his decision. The entire class collectively broke out into laughter, Ashido cackling madly beside a fuming Katsuki.

“IZUKU!” The boy sprung up.

“I’m sorry!” Izuku had never gotten out of a chair faster in his life.

The next five minutes were overtaken by Katsuki chasing Izuku around the common room. Uraraka and Kirishima had literal tears in their eyes, while Ashido and Kaminari were outright crying from laughter. Jiro was holding her stomach as if she’d vomit, and Izuku thought she might be, if not for the quiet giggles escaping her.

“Fuck you, Izuku!”

“Kacchan I’m sorry!”

Izuku launched himself over a couch and behind a surprised Todoroki, using him a human shield.

“Save me, Todoroki-Kun!”

“Oh my God oh my God I think I’m gonna pee! Outta the way!” Ashido barrelled out of the common room and towards the toilets, laughing and gasping all the way.

The chase only stopped once a frustrated Aizawa-sensei stormed into the room, captured Izuku and Katsuki with his tape, and told them to shut up – he could hear them from outside the dorm.

Once Katsuki had stopped trying to flay Izuku alive, the group resumed their story-telling.

 


 

U.A Academy, U.A Cafeteria, Izuku, age fifteen.

 

The following day, when Katsuki walked through the door with Izuku, class 1-A erupted into giggles.

Kirishima made an odd gesture – reminding Izuku of what little kids did to imitate a monkey – bending his arms so his elbows were far out from his torso and his hands were just under his armpits. He wiggled his fingers, and it was clear he was having a playful jab at Katsuki. 

Izuku stifled a laugh; he didn’t plan on being murdered today.

Katsuki walked up to the table holding the majority of his classmates and clearly (and rather loudly) stated: “I hate every single one of you. Go die.”

Ashido was the first to crack. She had just taken a mouthful of water and seemed to be seriously regretting her decision – water dribbled down her front as she giggled and she tried to swallow the liquid, lest she spit it right into Sero’s lunch, who was sitting across from her.

It backfired, and she ended up choking on the drink, coughing and giggling madly.

This, of course, caused the entirety of the class to break out into laughter, while Katsuki just rolled his eyes and stalks off to grab his food. Ochako reached over the table and handed Ashido a pink handkerchief – where the girl keeps them is one of the many mysteries of the universe.

Tokoyami was silently dying of laughter beside Sero, hands covering his face and shoulders bouncing. He almost looked like he was crying, if not for Dark Shadow’s poor attempts at containing his (?????) laughter.

(‘Wait, is Dark Shadow even a male? I mean, I assume so, considering the voice and the way everyone addresses it, but for all I know it could be female or non-binary or God knows what else. I’ll have to ask Tokoyami-Kun about it later.’)

Izuku turned to go get his food and sit down when he noticed all of the students within earshot were staring confusedly at the commotion. Izuku flushes in embarrassment and promptly retrieves his lunch from the Hero Lunch Rush and sits down at a table with Todoroki, Katsuki, Yayorozu, Jirou and Tsuyu. 

Katsuki flips Ashido off – with both hand, no less – which only makes the girl giggle more.

“Oh my God, Kacchan I’m sorry.” He apologises for what was probably the hundredth time. 

“Fuck you, Izuku.”

“Hey, at least I didn’t mention that time with the duck–"

“Don’t you fucking dare.”

Izuku giggles – he would definitely need to tee class about that one.

Chapter Text

Midoriya Inko was furious.

No, furious didn’t begin to describe how she was feeling.

She’d only felt such a feeling once before; when her late husband had tried to kill his own son. Inko didn’t have the vocabulary to describe the bubbling, all-encompassing rage she was experiencing. 

Revolted, perhaps? Sickened? 

Well, it’s a start.

Inko had decided to surprise Izuku and make her way to the U.A sports festival after the cavalry battle – Masaru and Mitsuki both had to work, but had helped her pay for the ticket. Inko would cheer on Katsuki in their stead; he was practically a son to her anyway. 

She had arrived, handed her ticket to the one of the three Ticketmaster’s – an elderly gentleman, purchased a bottle of water from the canteen (she’d brought sandwiches), and proceeded into the Stadium. She had asked a member of the staff if she would be allowed into the section where the students sat, and the woman said she was, but only for a few minutes, though. 

Inko wormed her way out of the large group of people entering the stadium and to a less densely populated area. She made her way up a stairwell and down a hallway; Inko didn't know what to expect when she arrived at the stands but continued on nonetheless.  

She didn’t expect this.

 


  

Twenty minutes earlier – U.A  Sports Festival Stadium, Izuku, age fifteen.

While Inko was walking the halls, looking for Izuku, she saw her son walking alongside a boy with dual coloured hair – red and white, and what looked like an old scar covering a good portion of the left side of his face. 

Inko would wait until Izuku had finished his conversation – the boy didn’t seem particularly hostile, so perhaps he was simply a classmate offering advice?

The boys stopped outside the stadium, in a secluded area. Inko was beginning to get curious, and though she hated eavesdropping, she couldn’t help but listen in on what the boy had to say.

“Be honest: are you All Might’s secret child or what?”

Inko gaped.

Izuku was in a similar state of confusion.

“E-excuse me?” Izuku asks, perplexed.

“You and he have similar quirks, and he is obviously very fond of you, so, spill, are you and he related somehow?”

“Are you serious?" 

Inko almost felt offended at the accusation. Doesn't this boy know anything about quirks?! There's a small, but not impossible chance that a child will develop a quirk totally unrelated to their parents' quirks, and, in Izuku's case, this was precisely what had happened. 

"Are you implying my mother was unfaithful to her husband?" Izuku's tone grew sharp, defensive, but never lost the confusion. 

The boy sheepishly nodded, suddenly very interested in the pavement below. 

"No, he’s not my dad.” He states flatly. “But I sure wish he was if that answers your question. Did you bring me out here to inquire about my parentage? You could’ve asked in the change rooms.” 

“No, I didn’t, I was merely curious.” The dual-haired boy pauses for a moment before continuing. “Have you ever heard of a quirk marriage?”

Inko’s stomach dropped – a quirk marriage was a horrid, traditionalist abomination that should have been outlawed the instant quirks first appeared. They were arranged marriages formed based on two people's quirks, and often both parties had little to no say in the matter. They weren't even real marriages, as there was no love involved, merely a combination of power. 

It only worsened from there, when the boy began to explain how he and his three siblings were products of such a marriage. His father (whom Inko later learned was actually the Hero Endeavour) had essentially raped and physically as well as psychologically abused his mother and forced her to take care of each of the children – until the boy (Todoroki, she guessed, unless he used a different family name from his father), was born. He was exactly what Endeavour wanted, so he trained, abused, and moulded him into a teenage soldier; he’d never been allowed to make friends, socialise with his siblings, or leave the house until he arrived at U.A. 

Inko wanted to cry. 

"Did he - did he do that to you?' Izuku asked, gesturing to Todoroki's scar. 

The seems surprised by the question, raising his hand to his face, gently touching the damaged skin. 

"No, this was my mother's doing, she had been broken over and over again by that man, and one day she finally snapped..."

Izuku looked at the boy in sympathy, for he too had been scarred by a parent - physically and psychologically. 

Todoroki continued on, explaining the purpose for all of this torment. It was so superficial it made Inko want to scream. So petty – a childish endeavour.

“He wants me to become the number one Hero; to surpass All Might, which he can’t do. So by extension, I need to surpass you, Midoriya, because you pose a threat to my ambition. I am more powerful than you, but I get the feeling you will not be surpassed so easily. And I will do that without using my left side – the quirk I inherited from him. I will become the Number One Hero without using his power.”

‘Left side? His power? Does Todorok-Kun have two quirks?’ 

Izuku’s response almost sounded rude, but Inko supposed that’s what he was going for.

“Just to make sure I heard that right, you think that you’re just going to rock up to this tournament, stroll through it and win using only half of your power? I’m going to tell you here and now, that’s not going to happen.”

Todoroki froze, stoic expression beginning to morph to anger. 

“I don’t mean to be insensitive; believe me, my father was just as horrible, but even by doing what you want to do – to become a hero using only your ice quirk – you’d still be playing right into his hands. Don’t you have any ambitions of your own?”

“What do you mean? My ambition is to become a hero without using his quirk–” 

“That’s exactly my point!” Izuku interrupted. “You said Endeavour wanted you to become the Number One Hero, right? You’d still be doing precisely what he wants you to!” The boy shouted. 

Inko had to cover her mouth to stop her from gasping – never in her life had she seen Izuku this angry! 

Izuku stepped closer to Todoroki, his previously passive expression replaced with one of coldness – eyes narrowed, lips pursed, eyebrows furrowed, green eyes glistening with determination. 

God, he looked so much like Hisashi it made Inko want to cry. 

“If you think that you can beat all of these students by using only one part of your quirk, you’ve got another thing coming.” Todoroki looked ready to reply, but Izuku continued before the boy could get a single word in. 

“I’ll admit, you are stronger than me – much stronger – but unlike you, everyone in this tournament is going to give it 110%, and no matter how strong you think you are, using only 50% of your power will only get you 50% of the way.”

“You don’t understand what I’ve been through!” Todoroki snapped – Inko could feel the drop in temperature even from where she was standing. “You’ve been blessed with a powerful quirk and a happy life, what right do you have to criticise me?” 

It took all of Inko's willpower not to walk right up to the boy and slap him - as horrid as his childhood may have been, he either has no regard for what others are going through or simply hasn't reached the level of mental maturity to realise he isn't the only one with issues. 

“What right? I have every right – you’re going to completely half-ass this tournament out of spite. No matter how mad you are at your father, you are disrespecting each and every person at U.A Academy with an ambition that isn’t even yours.” He was right in Todoroki’s space now, unwavering.

Izuku took a deep breath to calm himself, clenched his fists, and exhaled. He took a step back.

“You want to know what right I have? Fine, I’ll tell you. Let’s just say we share a common hatred of our fathers.”

Todoroki looked puzzled but stayed silent. 

“My quirk didn’t appear until recently – in my last year of middle school, actually.” He started.

Todoroki blinked as if he’d been struck.

“How is that even possible?” The boy asks, perplexed.

“It’s kind of a long story, but you know how some people don’t realise they have a quirk until they’re in a life-threatening situation? Well, unfortunately, it didn’t make an appearance when I was six; it appeared when Kacchan – Katsuki – was attacked by a villain with a gelatinous, slime-like body. I don’t entirely know how, but my quirk appeared just then, if only a small fraction, and I managed to stave off the villain until All Might arrived…”

Todoroki blinked again but nodded.

“My… Father…” He spoke the word with venom, something Izuku only did when speaking of Hisashi. “Was one of those ant-quirkless assholes - hell, he was even a part of one of those anti-quirkless groups – so imagine his outrage when he discovered his son didn’t have a quirk. I had the pinkie toe joint and everything!”

Izuku’s face reddened, and Inko recognised the expression as his “about to cry but don’t want to in front of people” face. It broke her heart.

“My mum tried to convince him that maybe I did have a quirk, that perhaps I was like that Killer-Catcher duo that only discovered their powers when they witnessed their parents being murdered – and that the circumstances for my quirk to appear simply hadn’t come about…” Izuku paused, and lowered his voice, seemingly realising he was speaking very loudly. 

“By the time I was six, it was clear – or at least to him – that I was quirkless… He didn’t like that at all. He came from a very traditionalist – and frankly, quite sexist - family, they were all about “bringing honour the family” and “raising a son that would be useful to society”. So one afternoon when I was six years old, and my mother had left the house with a friend to get groceries, he tried to kill me.” 

The horror on Todoroki’s face was evident, and Inko felt the temperature drop yet again; she noticed frost forming on the boy’s right arm. 

“That man had a fire quirk too – he could breathe fire. He didn’t get the chance to roast me alive, though, because my mother had returned earlier than expected. Kacchan’s dad had helped her with the shopping.”

Izuku paused, gathering himself. 

“I don’t actually remember what happened afterwards – I'd been knocked out... He’d knocked my head repeatedly against the kitchen bench.” 

Izuku pointed to the long, white scar running down from his scalp and cutting into the end of his right eyebrow – splitting it in two. Izuku had likened it to an upside-down corn fork when he saw it in the mirror one morning. 

“The doctors easily stitched my eyebrow up but had to glue various other parts of my skull back together. I was in the hospital for a few weeks afterwards.” He explained to an increasingly horrified Todoroki. 

“I’m not telling you this for sympathy – I’m telling you this so you can put yourself into perspective. You aren’t the only one with problems – and I know you’ve experienced horrors most people couldn’t dream of, but you need to understand that different people confront and deal with their problems in different ways.”

Izuku stepped forward and placed a tentative hand on Todoroki’s shoulder – the brief moment of panic and the tensing of the boy’s shoulders made Inko wonder if he’d ever been touched in a way that wasn’t harmful. 

“Please, Todoroki-Kun, don’t live your life trying to do things he’ll hate – that’s just obsessing over him, and it will ruin you psychologically. Don’t set out on a quest for revenge, either – if everyone lived by “an eye for an eye” there’d be no more people left on Earth." 

Todoroki stared at Izuku, awed by the boy. 

“You need to stop looking at others as merely an opponent, but as people who’ve loved something, are afraid of something, and have lost something – as people.”

Inko felt a wetness on her cheeks – she was crying. Her son – who had gone through his life thinking he was weak and worthless and useless was now using his own trauma to help someone else in need. Saying she was proud would have been an understatement.

Izuku squeezed Todoroki’s shoulder and stepped away, now smiling.

“I’m here for you Todoroki-Kun; make no mistake, when we walk onto that field, we will be opponents, but an opponent doesn’t always have to be an enemy.”

The dual-haired boy gave a bitter chuckle – it held no humour. He looked Midoriya right in the eyes.

“Seems like we’ve both got some serious daddy issues, huh, Midoriya?” 

 


 

 

Present time, U.A Sports Festival Stadium, Izuku, age fifteen. 

 

After hearing what Todoroki had to say, it took all of Inko’s effort not to run up, hug the boy, and assure him it would all be okay.

Inko’s motherly instincts kicked in to high gear, combining with her hatred for cruelty and senseless violence, and she set out on finding that flaming bastard and giving him a piece of her mind.

Was this a good idea? No, in all honesty, this was probably the worst decision Inko could make, but if she could help that boy in any way, then she would. 

She had failed Izuku, she would not fail Todoroki. 

Inko supposed that the only reason Endeavour hadn’t been imprisoned already was because of his job – as horrible as a person as he may be, Inko couldn’t find it in herself to fully hate the man. He had saved countless lives and had upheld the peace for many years; children and adults alike looked up to him in a similar manner they might regard All Might.

Inko made her way into the stadium, stalking the halls for the flame hero. Fate smiled upon Inko’s noble task, for when Inko was about to climb a flight of stairs, she saw him. The woman straightened her clothing, took a deep breath, and stormed right up to the man.

Though the man was about half a metre taller than her, Inko would not waver. She approached the man, and called out, using her most innocent tone. 

“Excuse me, Endeavour?”    

The man spun around, looked the woman up and down, and scowled. 

“I don’t have time for an interview, move along–” 

A harsh slap to the face silenced the man immediately. The sound echoed in the empty hallway.

“You, sir,” Inko began, employing her meanest and angriest tone, “are a despicable, disgusting person, and if you didn’t spend your days saving lives I’d have you imprisoned until the day they put you in the ground.”

The fire "hero" chaged his shocked expression into a withering glare. He opened his mouth to speak, face reddening in rage, before being interrupted. 

“...But, mark my words, Endeavour," The woman gave a glare of her own, speaking with a venom she never knew she possessed, "the day you retire from your Hero work, you should expect a visit from the authorities. With such a petty ambition, it’s a wonder you’ve survived this long.”  

The woman swiftly turned and stormed away before the man could get a single word in.

Inko climbed two flights of stairs and turned three corners before she decided that the man had not followed her. She decided to look for a directory – Inko would personally wish her son good luck if it was the last thing she ever did.

 


 

What the actual fuck just happened.

Shouto had been stopped by Bakugou after he’d tried to make his way back to the stands with the rest of his class – the aggressive blonde had heard their entire fucking conversation.

Bakugou – to his credit, promised he wouldn’t share Shouto’s story, so long as Shouto kept quiet about Midoriya’s until he decided to tell the rest of the class. Shouto had agreed, of course, and continued on his way towards the stands, when he froze.  

His father was walking down the hallway in his direction.

He hadn’t noticed him – the man was studying the various posters on the wall as he passed them, and Shouto had gotten good at hiding from him.

He ducked behind a corner, but when he heard a feminine voice address his father, he peeked around the corner.

That was when he saw the woman – short, wearing a teal t-shirt and black skirt with deep green hair backhand his father across the cheek. She insulted him, called him out for his bullshit parenting, warned him to expect the Police to come knocking when he retires from Hero work and swiftly leaves. The green-haired woman scurries up the closest stairwell and is quickly out of sight.

It would seem the woman – who looked oddly similar to Midoriya – had overheard his story, and was clearly appalled.

Todoroki smiled, silently thanked the woman, and slinked off towards the stands.

Chapter Text

Hosu General Hospital.

Tenya would be lying if he said that he wasn’t in pain. 

He lay in his hospital bed, both of his arms in casts and slings – not to mention the various other bandages and Band-Aids – with a headache only slightly less painful than being hit by a truck. That wasn’t where the real pain was coming from, though. 

Never in his life had Iida Tenya felt so ashamed. 

He had recklessly pursued the Hero Killer: Stain all by his lonesome, putting himself in a ridiculous, life-threatening amount of danger. The Hero Native was due for a full recovery, at the very least.

But he had put two of his classmates in the hospital in the process.

Tenya glanced over to Todoroki, who was reading a newspaper provided by one of the nurses and then at Midoriya, who was typing something onto his phone.  

When they weren’t being treated by the doctors and nurses, the three boys were criticised and lectured by every pro Hero in the know, not to mention their own parents (sans Todoroki’s; for whatever reason his mother was unavailable, but one of his siblings did drop by one afternoon. Tenya would be lying if he said he wasn’t interested in knowing more about his dual-haired classmate). But mixed into their berating was congratulations – for minimising injuries and casualties, for capturing the man who’d hurt so many people, for creating a decent strategy on the fly, and for, y’know, not dying.

Tenya made it clear to each and every person that it was Midoriya and Todoroki who had not only come to his aid but had been the ones to formulate and execute a plan and put particular emphasis on the fact that it was Midoriya who figured out The Hero Killer’s quirk.

Midoriya would get embarrassed every time, and would always add in an excuse like “It was life or death and I was terrified”, or “It was still stupid to go rushing in there like that!”, and good Lord can this boy just learn to take a darn compliment?!

Tenya closed his eyes and gave a long exhale – not quite a sigh. They had been in a comfortable silence for quite some time, only interrupted by the nurse - whose name currently escaped Tenya – asking his routine questions; aside from that, he didn’t force any small talk. The whole ordeal had shaken them all up psychologically, so a reprieve from socialisation, however brief, was much welcomed.

“You shouldn’t sigh, Iida, you’ll let all the happiness escape.”

The sudden childish remark from Todoroki startled Tenya into laughter.

Todoroki pursed his lips, “I’m being serious.” He began, “the more you sigh the more happiness escapes from you.”

“That’s just superstition, Todoroki-Kun.” Midoriya stated, unable to keep the amusement from his voice. “We sigh to “re-set” our breathing patterns – they loosen our lungs and keep our breathing flexible. If we keep breathing the same way, our lungs deteriorate and become ineffective in gas exchange. That’s also why we yawn – or partly, at least – it’s all to make sure our breathing patterns don’t stagnate…”

Todoroki blinked as if he’d been struck, and his expression changed to what could pass as a smirk.

The nurse regarded Midoriya in what looked like pride – probably surprised that a teenager held any sort of interest in the inner workings of the human body.

“Oh! Sorry, I’m rambling again, aren’t I?” Midoriya rubbed the back of his neck and smiled sheepishly.

“It’s quite alright, Midoriya! I find your mutterings to be quite insightful, actually! I, for one, have learned something today.” Tenya assured, then wincing in pain when he tried to move his arms.

“And we’re not even at school,” Todoroki added with a smile.

The trio erupted into giggles, and then that comfortable silence returned once again. The nurse took that as his opportunity to speak.

“Well, it seems like you boys’ll be leaving Hosu general any day now, judging by how well you’re recovering,” the man began, clipping his pen back onto his clipboard. “I’ll leave you be, for now, one of the other nurses will come check up on you at around 6 pm; you’ll also be having dinner at that time. Are there any books or magazines I can get you in the meantime?”

“I still have today’s newspaper, so I’m all set,” Todoroki replied politely.

“I’ll take a Hero magazine – any issue will be fine, thanks.” Midoriya piped up.

“I can’t really do much reading…” Iida lifted his casted arms. The nurse understood.

“Very well, then.” The man gave a quick bow before leaving the trio to their own devices.

Iida sat back, spine flush against the wall, contemplating. The world as they know it would be forever changed – The League of Villains and their Nomu, The Hero Killer: Stain… Nothing would ever be the same again.

The average person would feel disheartened by that fact – but not Tenya. Not the students at U.A Academy; they viewed this sudden change as an obstacle to overcome – a hurdle in a race – rather than an impregnable wall.

The world was full of monsters and murderers, psychopaths and madmen – but amongst all that calamity are Heroes: Pro Heroes, law enforcement, medical staff, teachers…

This wasn’t the end, but the beginning. No matter how bleak the situation, they would continue to uphold the values of society until their last dying breath.

‘Jeez, I’m really starting to sound like Midoriya-Kun…’

 


 

 

U.A Academy, U.A Cafeteria

It took all of Katsuki’s effort not to stand up and fucking strangle that Class 1-B bastard. Katsuki tried to recall the guy’s name – mostly so he could put him on his “people to blow up” list. He was blonde, and a total asshole with a serious inferiority complex.

‘Am I describing the guy with the copy quirk or myself?’ Katsuki pushed the thought down in favour of sending a withering glare at the other student.

“Huh? What are you staring at, spiky hair?” The boy sneered at Katsuki, and if it weren’t for Kirishima’s subtle side glance he would have stood up and socked the boy on the spot.

“You 1-A students think you’re so much better than the rest of us,” he continued. “Just ‘cause you’re in the top class doesn’t mean you’ll become top heroes. Do everybody a favour and knock yourselves down a couple notches – or are us lowly class-B kids to ordinary for you?”

“Well, that’s obvious.”

‘Black hair, big bust, Yayorozu? Fuck, maybe I should pay more attention to names’.

“Though it is certainly more likely, I can guarantee you that not everyone in 1-A will become top heroes. I don’t see why you have such a need to put us down – it’s not very hero-like at all.” She elaborated, now upstanding, her tone was serious and straight-to-the-point, Katsuki had to at least respect her “no bullshit” attitude.

The blonde bastard laughed, gesturing to Katsuki. “You say I’m not acting heroically? You’ve got this fucker in your class! Hypocritical much?”

Much of the cafeteria was now intently listening in on their conversation. Katsuki had no doubt many of the other students shared similar views to this idiot.

He knows because looking into that blondie’s eyes transports him back to his five-year-old self – angry at the world because it didn’t stand up to his warped expectations. Angry because his best friend didn’t have a quirk, he was weak, he held him back-

No, he did not. He raised you on a pedestal so high he completely disregarded himself. He endured your torture, your hatred because you were so angry and you didn’t even know why-

Katsuki’s fist clenched around his trousers – he was shaking in rage. When did he stand up?

“What, got something to say?” The guy turned his face upwards so he was literally looking down his nose at Katsuki.

“Back off, jerk.” The earphone-jack-for-earlobes girl with a surprisingly stylish bob spat.

“You realise you’re only making it worse for yourself, right? Walk away, Monoma-Kun.” Round-face – Uraraka - spoke.

“Yeah, what the heck is your problem, man?” The human-embodiment-of-Pikachu asked.

“You heard him,” another guy (presumably from 1-B or even the General department) spoke up – his skin was a faded yellow with a leathery texture, and his eyes were orange – ‘fuck that’s creepy’, “you all think you’re so great because of your damn exam scores. Well, you know what? Screw you guys!”

“You in particular are extremely up yourself,” one girl chimed in, ‘when the fuck did she get there?’

“And what about that grape-haired pervert in your class? How the holy hell did he make it into 1-A? The exams were clearly rigged.” She continued, sending said pervert a withering glare.

Katsuki agreed with her, but that was beside the point.

“By the way - Bakugou, was it? – do you get some kind of satisfaction by beating people up? Or are you just the type to step on everybody else’s throats to climb the ladder? Even in the sports festival – the girl with the anti-grav quirk, whatever her name is – you were totally relentless. How could you be so cruel to someone so fragile?”

‘Fragile?’ Katsuki recalled his fight with Uraraka – brutal, for both parties. Katsuki was still shocked by how strong she was. Maybe her body wasn’t unbreakable, but her resolve? It’d take a nuke to take that girl down.

“Yeah, you can’t do that to a girl!” Yellow-eye spoke.

Katsuki barked a laugh, startling the surrounding students.

“I’m sorry, whose fight were you watching? You mean to tell me that you look at that- “

Katsuki gestured to Uraraka, startled by the attention, “-and you see weakness? You lot’re even more fucked in the head than I thought. I gave 100% because that’s exactly what she was doing. Giving any less than my all would have been the cruellest thing I could have done, simple as that.”

“Wow, Baku-bro! So manly!” Shitty-hair – Kirishima – punched his shoulder, ‘is that mean to be a friendly thing?’

Katsuki ignored him, turned around, and walked out of the cafeteria – he wasn’t particularly hungry anyway, and he feared that if he didn’t leave ASAP he’d get too out of control and he’d have another fit-

‘No. No, never again. Not after what I did to Izuku.’

As Katsuki exited the cafeteria, he didn’t see the look of awe, gratitude and strengthened resolve plastered on the girl’s face.

 


 

 

Location classified, League of Villains’ tavern base.

Silence fell in the already quiet villain’s bar, as a tall, dark-haired man entered the establishment. He pulled up a stool next to a shorter, stockier man, and asked for a drink – shochu on the rocks

Kurogiri stopped polishing the glass he was holding and began to pour the drink. Kurogiri was surprised, to say the least; no one expected the man to return to Japan so soon. Or at all, really; they were under the impression he’d died until about a month ago. All for One had filled them in on what the man and his little band of “purifiers” had been doing.

The man was a long-time business partner with the League and had connections all over Japan and China, as well as some minor holdings in South Korea. “A natural-born businessman,” All for One had called him when he introduced the man to the higher-ups of the League over fifteen years ago. He had been an invaluable source of intel across Japan, and his Yakuza connections helped keep the authorities off their asses when one of their members slipped up. The man’s quirk wasn’t as powerful as some of their other members, (not to say his quirk wasn’t powerful, even the most basic fire quirk is very unpredictable and dangerous), but the man knew his way around a gun, at least.

It was a surprise to everyone when the man was imprisoned eight years ago – All for One was most displeased, but his interest in the man held strong. It would seem his Yakuza associates still valued him greatly, for a few months after he was admitted, he was broken out of prison, had his death faked and received some minor facial reconstruction before receiving a whole new identity and being shipped off to China.

The Fire-Breathing Villain: Dragon debuted just a short two years after he appeared in China, with some pretty high-tech gear and a few sidekicks to help him along. He only killed the quirkless or those whose quirks could be considered “useless”. One such example was his third victim, Bai An Bao, an eleven-year-old girl from Beijing, whose quirk allowed her hair to change colours; her hair was white from birth, and depending on her mood it would change colours. The Dragon had slaughtered her in her own home, taken a few valuables and swiftly made his escape – all while the girl’s father was trapped in the backyard, helpless.

As Kurogiri passed him his shochu, he couldn’t help but wonder.

The man was clearly very intelligent – he had the sense to make each of his earlier crimes appear as “robberies gone wrong” by roughing up the location, disabling other witnesses, and stealing any valuables. This only worked for a few months, however, as the police soon caught on to the pattern. He still stole from wherever he killed but made that the last priority – though what he did with the valuables was most curious; he would give them to his associates to cover the costs of whatever “job” they were undertaking at the time, which was most unusual for a Yakuza.

Midoriya Hisashi was no ordinary Yakuza, though.

The man nodded in appreciation and began to sip the liquid with delicacy. His gaze flicked around the bar, eventually settling on Kurogiri himself. Kurogiri was a hard man to scare, but the Dragon’s gaze was most unsettling.

A low buzz was heard, and the Dragon broke eye contact to pull his phone from his black blazer. He clicked his tongue, typed a quick reply to whoever had messaged him, and put his phone away, taking another slow sip of his drink.

“It’s quite the place you have here, Kurogiri.”

The ambient noise of the bar had ceased once more at the man’s deep, metallic voice. Rumour had it he’d permanently altered his vocal chords so his voice could be untraceable

“Yes, it is, when that child isn’t throwing a tantrum.” They both knew who he was referring to. Shigaraki Tomura, who was currently out doing whatever the man did in his free time. Probably killing someone, Kurogiri supposed.

“Kurogiri, how would you feel about helping me out a little? I have information for you in return, of course.” The man asked, downing the last of his shochu.

The shadow villain looked up, startled. “It’s odd for you to request assistance from anyone other than Eclipse or Gunmetal.” He considered the request for a moment, before answering, “I would need to ask my superiors, but I’m not opposed to it.”

The grin on the man’s face would surely terrify a lesser man.

“I’ll return with the details, should your superiors approve it. Good to have you aboard, Kurogiri.”

With that, the Dragon stood, bowed, and made his way out of the bar, closing the door behind him.

Chapter Text

Nakajimaen Noen Café, Shizuoka prefecture.

Midoriya Inko was having a great morning; the weather forecast predicted sunny skies for nearly the whole week, there was a sale on various foods at the grocery store, and most importantly, she had finally been able to catch up with her long-time friend, Bakugou Masaru.

The man had been busy with work at the detective agency, and Inko didn’t want to intrude (though Masaru always insisted that Inko never had or would intrude), so she waited until he had a day off to ask him out to brunch. Her new neighbour thought she was going on a date when the man showed up at her door; Masaru and Inko laughed about it the whole way to the café they were heading to – a highly-rated café not too far from Inko’s residence.

She spent the morning rambling about silly little stuff: the neighbour’s dog who kept digging in her side of the garden, the stupidity of one of the characters in the weekly drama she watched on TV, how one time she confused the salt for the sugar and put two teaspoons of the stuff into her tea… Masaru spoke of his experiences at work – avoiding gruesome cases, for Inko was very much a squeamish woman - and instead opted to rant about the new recruits, how one woman who - he named A, for security - reasons was so straight-laced and by-the-book you’d think she’s living by an instruction manual. He spoke of another one of his subordinates – K, he nicknamed her - being her polar opposite, and had nearly been fired for being so reckless, but had ultimately teamed up with the aforementioned detective and had solved the case. 

The young waiter approached, handing Inko her breakfast muffin and Masaru his eggs on toast. They heard the elderly man behind Masaru crack a joke to his middle-aged daughter, causing the pair to giggle.

And then all hell broke loose.

The glass door to the café swung open so hard the doorknob made a dent in the wall and the glass of the door shattered. There, a man stood at the entrance to the café; the material of his bodysuit suit seemed to be a mixture of latex and Kevlar, dyed a deep vermilion. The design of the fabric looked almost like armour – scales. The man’s abdomen was a reddish-orange hue with horizontal plating. His head was covered in some kind of a metal helmet; it was shaped almost like that of a lizard, with slits covered by tinted glass where his eyes would have been. The helmet matched the colour of his suit perfectly.

Three small vertical lines were evenly spaced across where his mouth would be, and there was a curved line underneath the cheekbones that ran across the upper cheek and under his nose, stopping at a circular joint just in front of each of his ears. Could, perhaps, the helmet open at the jaw?

There were several small, cylindrical canisters – no larger than an iPhone – strapped to his belt. They looked like air horns, with a narrow, funnel-like object protruding from each of them.

And then she saw the guns. 

Inko knew nothing about guns – she never bothered to learn - such a small device was capable of dealing out so much death. She despised them. There was a scoped, black handgun that was strapped to the man’s left thigh, a similar weapon in his outstretched right hand, this one without a scope.

He turned to Inko, and she felt her heart stop.

The man stared at her intently, and Inko likened it to someone confirming the identity of someone they've only seen online...

'Wait, what if he's somehow hacked some server and he's found out about Izuku's family and he knows I'm his mother?!' Her thoughts came in fast and jumbled.

“Shizuoka prefectural police, drop your weapon!” Masaru had stood up, flashing his detective’s badge at the man, reaching for his stun-gun. 

The man swiftly aimed his gun-

-and fired.

Inko screamed.

 


 

Satou Asahi was sitting calmly in his car, waiting for the light to turn green; a new recruit – Tsunemori Akane, was sitting in the passenger seat. The woman was clearly anxious, it was her first shift on the streets, after all. The girl’s quirk, “Calm”, was pretty straightforward: it allowed her to release hormones that could calm anyone within a 200-meter radius – so long as she herself could keep a level head. She was often called into hospitals and even a few prisons to deal with difficult patients.

They were on their first patrol together – they had worked together previously, but that was all within the confines of the station.

The man offered her a doughnut – the woman looked about ready to laugh at just how stereotypical the man was being when chatter erupted on the car’s police radio receiver.

“This is dispatch, all available officers to 11-21 Hatori Honcho Aoi-Ku, we have a 417 at Nakajimaen Noen Café! Repeat: all available officers to 11-21 Hatori Honcho Aoi-Ku, we have a 417 at Nakajimaen Noen Café!”

“Son of a –” Asahi dropped the doughnut.

“Oh my God.” Tsunemori gasps. “A gunman? In Japan?”

The receiver crackled to life once more, the news even more disturbing. “Shots fired! Repeat, shots fired at the location! All available units to Nakajimaen Noen Café, we have a 417! Code three!” 

Asahi picked up the receiver, “Wilco, dispatch; Satou and Tsunemori en route.” 

Tsunemori flicked on the sirens, as per instructions, and Satou sped down the intersection and past a roundabout.   

“Sorry kid, I’m afraid we don’t have time for the rookie treatment.” The car veered sharply to the right, speeding down a laneway.

“It’s okay, jut drive, Mr Satou.” The woman’s grip tightened on her seatbelt.

Cars moved left and right to let the officers pass, and Asahi spotted another police car come onto the road from the left.

Asahi felt dread in the pit of his stomach – this was too similar to the Midoriya case nine years ago… He shook his head, physically clearing his mind. God help him if he starts dwelling on that psycho son-of-a-bitch right now.

“Shit, I hope we get there in time…” He mutters, pressing the accelerator a tad closer to the floor.

 


 

“Please, don’t hurt us!” The woman who had been sitting behind Masaru wept, clutching her elderly father close.

Masaru was down; he had been shot in the shoulder. Inko supposed the man hadn’t wanted to kill him, as a lethal shot would have been easier to make at his distance.

The man strode up to Inko, and knocked her to the ground with a harsh strike to her temple.

“Inko!” Masaru grunted but cried out in pain when he tried to move.

The man never spoke, simply waved his gun at anyone who moved. He shot a woman in one of her feathered wings, and smashed another man’s head against a table; he seemed to have a hardening quirk because it was the table that broke, not the man’s skull. Still, though, the man was unconscious, due to the sheer force and the angle of the impact. The attacker turned and shot a woman in the leg – she had a reptilian appearance, with claws and a blade at the end of her tail. Inko realised with a start that the man was disabling people whose quirks could cause him trouble. 

One of the two cashiers spoke up, a man with four arms, “look, man, if it’s money you want, just take it! Leave us alone!” The attacker turned and seemed to consider the offer. He pointed his gun at the register, and then to a large handbag clutched in the arms of an elderly woman. The woman threw the bag to the cashier and he emptied the contents, opening the register and stuffing it with notes and coins. 

Laying on the ground, Inko could get a closer look at the attacker – he wore black boots with three toe-like protrusions, they were likely metal, and the toes were sharpened into claws. Inko gulped.

The man picked up one of the customers – a well-built gentleman with blue skin and a single, curved horn on his forehead, and pointed to one of the tables with his gun. He then motioned to the door.

“You want me to – to barricade us in here? Are you fucking–” The man received a sharp blow to the head with the butt of the gun, causing several screams. “Okay, okay man. I’m doin’ it”.

The assailant grabbed a woman by her ponytail – which was actually a bundle of snakes, and shoved her towards another table, prompting her to help the man barricade the entrance.

How brutish. Inko would have voiced her opinion, but quickly remembered her situation. She looked over to Masaru – the man was startlingly pale, the hand that clutched his shoulder was now dyed red with his own blood. She looked up at the attacker, with pleading eyes.

“Please… Just let me stop the bleeding. He’s no use to you dead.” The attacker seemed to consider this for a moment, before nodding. He turned, heading towards the door, grabbing another man on his way.

Inko rushed to her friend, removing her cardigan and carefully wrapping it around the man’s shoulder, cradling his head in her hands.

Inko nearly wept with relief when she heard the familiar sirens of a police vehicle come near. Someone must have called the authorities when they heard the gunshots.

She heard the man click his tongue in annoyance – he acted as if he wasn’t in any danger at all, like the authorities were little more than a minor inconvenience, like a stubbed toe. 

Whispering erupted from the other end of the café, and the man made his way over, kicking one of the customers – a teenage boy with tentacles for arms, right in the sternum. A horrible crack erupted from the scene – one or more of the boy’s ribs had certainly been broken.

He cried out in pain, and fell face-first onto the floor, curling into the foetal position. The teenage girl next to him – a sister, judging by the tentacle legs, was at his side immediately. 

The screeching of tires and shouting broke Inko’s trance. Help had arrived – and plenty of it, judging by the amount of commotion. Just what was the man’s purpose, attacking such a public place as this?

It was then that the man drew his second gun, only for Inko to realise it wasn’t a gun at all – but some kind of a scanner; what she thought was a scope was, in fact, a small screen. He pointed it at a blonde woman by his feet, said woman screamed and curled in on herself, shielding her head.

There was a five-second wait before a high-pitched ‘beep’ erupted from the device. He moved onto the next customer, and the next, and the next, until he arrived at a young girl in the hold of her mother, perhaps seven or eight - the pair were cowering just a meter away from Inko.

The scanner didn’t beep. 

The man chuckled menacingly – the sound sent shivers down Inko’s spine. It was metallic and filled her with a crippling sense of dread. It was inhuman – but Inko thought of herself as a rational person; perhaps it was some kind of voice scrambler, the type the villains used in those Western television shows.

The man grabbed the young girl by the collar of her baby blue dress, the girl’s mother reached out, her quirk elongating her arms, but she was quickly knocked aside by a sharp kick to the shoulder.

He towered over the girl, and he raised his left hand. The girl flinched, shielding her face, expecting to be beaten – but instead, the man pressed a button on the left side of his jaw, just in front of his ear. The part of the helmet covering his mouth retracted, disappearing behind the metal covering the edges of his jaw. Like the mouth of a python, the remaining jaw of his helmet unhinged, revealing his sneering mouth.

“Die, qurikless scum”. 

Inko nearly had a heart attack on the spot - those words reminded her of that day ten years ago...

No one could have been prepared for what happened next.

A plume of smoke escaped the man’s lips, and he roared, sending a torrent of fire towards the child.

Her scream will haunt Inko until the day they put her in the ground.

A horrid smell erupted – melting and charred flesh. Everyone was screaming. Those who weren’t were sobbing or vomiting. Or a mixture of the three.

The girl’s short black hair was incinerated instantaneously, as was the collar of her dress. The flesh bubbled and melted from her face like butter faced with a blowtorch. Inko vomited after seeing the girl’s eyes melt – the mucus dribbling down her melting skin.

She dropped to the ground, clawing at her face, which only further spread the fire. Her hands were now charred and blackened. 

The man let loose another torrent of fire, igniting the girl’s hunched back.

Another horrible, throat-tearing scream.

It was then that the table in front of the door splintered and was kicked aside, revealing a short police officer resembling a rhinoceros, flanked by two others. Relief struck Inko like a slap in the face when she saw Satou Asahi, Taser and baton in hand, standing in the doorway.

“Police! Drop your weapon!”

They all rushed in, and the assailant grabbed one of the cylinders strapped to his belt and aimed it at the officer. A burst of flame erupted from the device – it was a miniature flamethrower!

Inko quickly used her quirk to pull the device from the man’s hand before anyone else was burnt. The flame only heated the man’s uniform, the ivory of his horn taking the brunt of the attack, but he stumbled backwards, knocking into the two officers behind him. 

The villain turned to her, but instead of shooting her dead like she expected, he raised his left wrist to his mouth and spoke into it.

“Kurogiri! Get me out of here!”

Before the officers could gather themselves, darkness erupted within the building. A black hole forming right before Inko’s eyes. 

The man turned to the cashier, “The bag!” He roared. The cashier threw the bag of money, and a dark, shadowy arm reached out and grasped the attacker’s upper arm, drawing him into the darkness. The shadows collapsed in on themselves and suddenly, they disappeared. 

Chapter Text

U.A Academy, U.A Dormitories, present day.

 

Ochako was ecstatic: Aizawa-sensei had given the class a day off. The class was suspicious, questioning if this was some kind of a test – to see if what they did in their free time was productive. He played it off as him getting some time to mark and get some actual sleep, but the class saw through the façade – he genuinely wanted his class to have a break, especially with the holiday training camp rapidly approaching. He even gave them permission to watch some movies on the dorms’ TV, so long as they could agree on a movie and not start a fight. The man’s gaze lingered on Bakugou, with that statement.

So now Class 1-A was piled in the dorm’s common room, everyone in casual, comfortable clothing, currently picking out a movie. They had waited until 9 AM to have breakfast, instead of the usual 6:30 AM, and had breakfast as a class. Iida had flicked onto the local news station for background noise as they decided on the film.

Most of the picks were American films: Present-Mic had recommended they check out some American titles, both to get a grasp of Western culture and to strengthen their understanding its dominant language. It had been narrowed down to three movies, all of which were regarded as classics in American culture: “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” (after completing the previous movies, of course), “Jurassic Park” and “Jaws”. 

Ochako herself was leaning more towards Jaws – to the surprise of much of the class. She wasn’t too keen on a lot of horror movies, but she’d heard great things about Jaws and wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

As her classmates continued their debate, the urgent tone of the distraught newscaster caught his attention.

“Hey, guys, quiet down a sec, something’s going on,” Midoriya called, turning up the television’s volume. When his classmates finally quieted, they were horrified.

The newscaster stood in front of a café – she didn’t recognise the place. She glanced at the corner of the screen showing the location – Shizuoka prefecture. 

“Earlier this morning, about half an hour ago, twenty-five people were held captive by a Villain in the Nakajimaen Noen Café; eye-witness descriptions of the assailant place the Villain as none other than the Fire-Breathing Villain: Dragon, or “Lóng”, as he’s known by the Chinese public. He, and his two accomplices “Eclipse” and “Gunmetal” –”  

At the mention of the two accomplices, two images overtake the screen. On the left, captioned “Eclipse” is a grainy image – clearly a zoomed in shot from security footage of some kind – of a woman in her mid-twenties. Her upper face is covered in... 'Bandages?' Her barely visible eyes were a deep, royal purple - with long, jet black hair tied into a high ponytail. Her shoulders and neck were covered in intricate, swirling markings, 'tattoos, perhaps?'

The picture on the right showed Gunmetal; a stocky man with sharp features and deep, metallic skin, its colour likely being the reason for his nickname. He looked to be in his early-to-mid thirties, but looks can be deceiving. He was completely bald, with thick, black eyebrows. His eyes were deep set and cobalt blue.

 “– have evaded the Chinese government for close to a decade; they leave little to no physical evidence at each scene, making it difficult for detectives to form a case. It has become clear to the authorities that local triads and villain groups are assisting the trio.”

The two pictures disappear, and the young anchorwoman returns – she has a quirk that turned her fingers into microphones, so she spoke into her index finger instead of an actual microphone.

“The man’s criminal history is extremely disturbing: in China, he was known to hunt down quirkless people or those whose quirks he deems as “useless” or “unnecessary to society”, and kill them by means of burning them to death. So far, the man has taken the lives of over seventy people.”

A collective gasp ran through the group. The temperature in the room dropped, Ochako turned to see Todoroki half covered with frost, wearing a similar expression of horror. Bakugou blinked as if he’d been struck, while Midoriya, who was sitting next to him, was slack-jawed.

'Seventy people? Not even Stain had killed that many people! And now this monster is in Japan!'

“The Villain: Eclipse’s motives are not entirely dissimilar to the Hero Killer: Stain’s: she hunts down “false Heroes” – men and women who use their influence to gain more income or get special privileges – and kill them. Whereas Gunmetal seeks out military officers, as well as ex-military officers, and kill them. It is unclear why he has chosen to target the military, but, regardless, each individual is to be considered extremely dangerous. We will bring you more information regarding the Villains as the situation develops.” 

Ochako stiffened – her horror morphing into rage and disgust. The Hero Killer: Stain… That monster had affected their world so drastically… 

“It would seem Dragon’s macabre motives have not changed, as just this morning, this Villain has taken the life of eight-year-old Akiyama Nina. One eye-witness has bravely volunteered to describe the tragedy.”

The camera shifts to a dark-haired man with red-rimmed eyes and four arms, he wore a tattered uniform, presumably one of the cashiers.

“…The man approached me and pointed what I thought was gun to my head, but it was, in fact, some kind of a scanner. It beeped whenever he pointed it at someone… Everyone except that poor little girl…”

He pauses and takes a shaky breath. “The guy picks her up, knocks her mother to the ground, and then he– “ Another pause. “He breathed fire. He burnt that poor little girl to death and… He… He called her “quirkless scum” … I’m sorry, I can’t– ” He turned from the camera.

“Dear God…” Tokoyama whispers. 

Ochako covers her mouth with her hands, speechless.

“And as if this tragedy couldn’t get any worse, the Villain managed to escape before the authorities could make an arrest. Witnesses report that Dragon had called for “Kurogiri”, a known member of the League of Villains, to retrieve him, via a portal that materialised out of thin air, according to witness reports.”

“The League of Villains?!” Iida exclaims from next to Ochako.

“What could they possibly gain from this?” Momo ponders, horrified.  

“Quiet down guys! The reports still going on!” Mina shouts, quieting the class once again.

“…There were several injured; among them are Akaashi Kei, Kageyama Yukio, Ryuuzaki Yui, and Midoriya Inko, who, thankfully, sustained minor injuries.” 

Ochako instinctively grabbed Midoriya’s hand, giving it a comforting squeeze.

“Fate was not so kind to these three: Kusanagi Rei, who sustained a gunshot wound to her left wing; Moriyama Yuu, a cashier of the café, sustaining a gunshot wound to one of his arms, as well as local detective Bakugou Masaru sustaining a gunshot to the shoulder.”

Bakugou lets out a choked noise, his body snapping upright in shock. 

“Oh my God… Masaru…” Izuku whimpers.

"Detective Bakugou, Mr Moriyama and Mrs Kusanagi have been rushed to the Intensive Care Unit at Shizuoka Prefectural Hospital."

“Baku-bro, we need to get you to the hospital now!” Kirishima stood, followed by the rest of the class. 

“But how?!” Kaminari asks.

“I’ll use my ice.” Todoroki offers, now upstanding.

“I-I’ll call my bird friends to help!” Koda – whom Ochako had thought was mute – spoke up. 

“You… Don’t need to do this…” Bakugou started but was quickly cut off. 

“Bakugou, you are our classmate, and as much of an ass as you may be, your father is in the hospital and I’ll be damned if you aren’t there immediately.” Ochako stood firm, and soon the whole class was backing her up.

Together, they raced out of the common room. Iida sped ahead to inform Aizawa-sensei, not giving the man enough time to reply as he dashed forward, ensuring the halls were clear, not wanting anyone to be caught in the stampede.

They reached the U.A gates in record time.

Todoroki formed a concave, shield-like object with his ice, and two small, plane-like wings on each side. The object was big enough to fit the whole class. Koda, as promised, summoned what may have very well been all the birds in the prefecture, and asked them to grasp the sides of the structure and fly them to the hospital. Once everyone was aboard, Ochako used her quirk to make the structure weightless. Momo apologised for not being able to produce anything on such short notice, but Midoriya assured her that her moral support was more than enough. Bakugou held Izuku’s upper arm for dear life but stayed silent.

Their ascent was shaky, but they made it into the air and out of the school with little difficulty. More birds arrived, but when there was no more room for them to grasp, Todoroki created two vertical beams and connected them with a horizontal one. The birds grasped on to the ice, and Iida fired up his leg engines. 

Soon, they arrived at the hospital; the students rushed in, and they hurriedly asked the blue-haired receptionist where Bakugou Masaru was being treated. Startled by the volume and desperation of the children, she instructed them to head to the ICU, and wait outside, where they would find the man’s wife and Katsuki’s mother, Mitsuki. 

The class sped down the halls, dodging nurses and patients until they reached the ICU; they slowed, noticing a clearly distressed woman pacing back and forth with a phone to her ear. She had short, spiky blonde hair – and with a start, the students realised this was Bakugou’s mother. There were two other figures – a dark-haired police officer, and a green-haired woman – Midoriya’s mum? Both were sitting down, in a similar state of distress. 

The blonde woman turned and gasped. “Katsuki! Izuku! Answer your phones! Fucking hell!” She wrapped both boys in a fierce hug.

Well, it’s obvious where Bakugou got his foul mouth from. It was then that the woman noticed the crowd in front of her, awkwardly standing in the middle of the hallway. She approached the group, a weak smile on her face. 

“You guys must be this idiot’s classmates, eh? I’m Bakugou Mitsuki, Katsuki’s mum – sorry he’s such an asshole, he gets it from my side of the family.” She admitted sheepishly. 

The class exchanged greetings with the woman, and then the timid green-haired woman approached, looking around at the students; she looked rather intimidated.

“A-ah, hello, I’m Midoriya Inko, Izuku’s mum, it’s nice to finally meet you all, Izuku speaks very highly of you.” She smiled warmly, and Ochako relaxed instantly - she could tell by the posture of her classmates that her gentleness had a similar effect. 

The woman then wrapped her son in a warm hug. The woman was visibly shaking, and she had a minor wound on her head. This did not go unnoticed by Midoriya.

“How long have you been here, mum?” The boy asked, pulling away.

“I came as soon as I heard, about twenty minutes ago.”

“He’ll be alright, Inko, he’s a toughie.” The man assures her, placing a hand on her shoulder. ‘is this Midoriya’s dad?’ Ochako wonders. He held little resemblance to Midoriya, but perhaps he just took after his mum a lot? 

“Asahi! It's been a while.” Midoriya approaches the man and shakes his hand. Asahi turns the handshake into a hug.  

“Hey, kiddo, long-time no see; still as formal as ever. I wish our meeting were under better circumstances. And Katsuki, you’ve grown some, you holding up, pal?” The man places a firm hand on his shoulder.

The boy grunted, “Yeah, I guess.” 

The man didn't seem to take any offence from the gruff reply. 

The man turned to the class and offered a greeting as well, “where are my manners, I’m Sergeant Satou Asahi, a family friend.”

‘So, not his father… But the two families seem very close, so where was Mr Midoriya?’ Ochako brushed it off; she could wonder about that later. 

It was then that a doctor exited the room, startled to see a crowd around the entrance.  

“Mrs Bakugou?” The man asked, clearly intimidated.

“Yes, that’s me.” The woman made her way over to the man, nervous.

“Your husband will be fine, ma’am. If not for the efforts of Mrs Midoriya here, he would surely be in a much worse state. He’s lost a lot of blood, but he’ll pull through.”

A sigh escaped them all; the man would live! Mrs Bakugou thanked the doctor, and he returned to the room.

“Well thank God for that.” Asahi sighed, sitting back down on the chair. 

“How did you all get here, anyway? Surely you couldn’t have walked.” Mrs Midoriya asked.

The class exchanged glances. Iida was about to reply but was interrupted by another voice.

“Bloody hell, you kids, you can’t just run off like that!”

“Yes! That was very reckless of you all!”

The entire class froze. 

They turned to see their homeroom teacher, Aizawa and their Principal, Nezu, marching up to them. Nezu sitting on Aizawa’s left shoulder in the folds of his bandages.

“Um! Aizawa-sensei, we can explain– ” Momo started. 

“It’s alright, students, we heard what happened.” The principal interjected, being placed gently on the ground by Aizawa. 

“No part of this is alright but sure,” Aizawa replied.

The class parted like the Red Sea, and Aizawa-sensei made his way over to the trio, Nezu still sitting calmly atop his left shoulder. 

“Good morning; I’m Nezu, principal of U.A Academy, and this is– “

“Aizawa Shouta, A.K.A Eraserhead, your children’s homeroom teacher.”

“Bakugou Mitsuki, sorry for my asshole son.”

“Midoriya Inko, it’s a pleasure.” 

“Officer Satou Asahi, a family friend.” 

“Weren’t you one of the cops at the scene?” Aizawa asks the man. 

“Yes, indeed I was. But I’ve known the Midoriya’s and the Bakugou’s for nearly a decade, and they are very dear friends.”

“Must’ve been a hell of a thing to witness, are you holding up?”

Mr Satou shrugged, “Part of the job I s’pose…”

Aizawa-sensei pursed his lips but decided not to press the matter. He turned to his students, then, “If you guys needed a ride, the school could’ve provided a bus or something, there was no need to go running about like that. But, no harm done, I guess. You let me know you were leaving campus, at least, which was smart of you. I have a duty-of-care for each of you, so I need to go with you the next time you decide to do something like this.”

The teachers continued to chastise the students, the parents included, before eventually the students were called to leave and return to school. Midoriya and Bakugou were granted permission to stay until it got dark, where they would need to return to the dorms as well. They could return when Masaru awoke, and Bakugou would be allowed to stay at his mother’s house that night if he wished.

Each student said their goodbyes and they left to return to campus. Ochako boarded the bus; its occupants had settled into a respectful silence, which only subsided when they neared the school gates. 

‘Midoriya… Bakugou… Please get through this okay…’

 


  

Location classified, League of Villains’ tavern base, 7:43 pm.

 

"I appreciate your assistance, Kurogiri." Dragon sipped his shochu, typing something on his phone, "you'll be delighted to know that your services will no longer be required."

The shadow Villain perked up at that, "Oh?".

Dragon smiled, "my dear associates will be arriving in two week's time; the Japanese military has increased the border security, so their arrival has been delayed." The man emptied his glass, placing it gently back on the coaster. 

Kurogiri took the glass and refilled it. "Gunmetal and Eclipse aren't exactly ones who blend in easily, so their delay was inevitable." 

"Indeed - however, I think I'm going to let things cool down for a while, so their absence actually works out in my favour."

That was most peculiar; for as calculating and precise as the man was, Dragon preferred to complete his missions in quick succession, giving the authorities little time to react, and even less time to form a case against him, before he'd move on to another area - wash, rinse, repeat - until he decided to move to a different country entirely. He had actually been conducting covert operations in Mongolia for about two weeks prior to arriving in Japan - Dragon had brought him up to speed while they prepared for their attack on the Nakajimaen Noen Café. His associates have not been as active, given they only joined his "cause" three years prior, but they had already gained reputations as crazed murderers. 

"When I first became The Fire-Breathing Villain: Dragon, I created my pattern of killing in such a way that after I've hit a few towns it will become clear to the authorities where I would be heading next, as well as who would be my next targets." 

Kurogiri looked at the man quizzically. "Wait, so all that was intentional?"

"Why of course - even before I became a Villain to the public, I have spent my entire life as a Yakuza - as did my father, and his mother and father before him. I was trained by the best." 

"Family business, then? Interesting..." 

"Yes, my family has been in the crime business for generations. My great-grandmother and my great-great uncle actually founded the Yakuza I am a part of; she was a ruthless woman, which was the only reason her male subordinates never spoke out against her gender..." The man sipped his shochu, sending another message on his phone. 

"But, I digress. After my second string of murders, I changed up the times, locations, and expanded my list of targets. I began to kill people with quirks - though, I assure you, those people would not have made a difference in society in the slightest." 

"That must have thrown a major monkey wrench into the authorities' predictions." Kurogiri mused, polishing an expensive bottle of foreign wine. 

"Indeed it did..." He chuckled. "the poor bastards didn't know what to do with themselves when they learned I'd "expanded my horizons". That was my goal from the very start, actually, but I never came across anyone particularly useless during my first two killings, so I had no reason to venture outside of killing the quirkless." 

"Every move you've made has been calculated and pre-meditated - a remarkable effort, on your part..."

"You seem to be leading on to something, Kurogiri." 

"Yes... There were several other potential victims left in China and Mongolia, yet you chose to return to Japan; why is that? Some part of a larger plan?" 

The Dragon emptied his glass, and chuckled. "Put simply, I've heard some remarkable things about my son. I got curious." He added with a shrug. 

Kurogiri was taken aback at first but quickly remembered that the man had married Midoriya Inko and had fathered Midoriya Izuku fifteen years previous. 

"Yes; Tomura and I have had a few run-ins with the boy - he shares your intelligence and strategical strength, not to mention his incredible quirk..." 

"Precisely - he has a quirk. I only tried to kill him nine years ago because I thought he would never manifest one - let alone one so powerful." Kurogiri tapped Dragon's glass, a silent inquiry into whether he would like a refill. The Dragon shook his head. 

"I saw his fights at the sports festival - such destructive potential... He would make an excellent Villain..." Dragon mused, mulling over an email.

"Don't get too ahead of yourself, there; you still have to fulfil your mission, after all." Kurogiri was unsure how to behave around the Fire-Breathing Villain; he was a dangerous sociopath, that was certain, but he supposed the same could be said about himself. He was speaking about his son with what sounded like pride - as if he hadn't tried to smash the kid's skull in less than a decade previous. 

"I think I might like to test his power for myself..." 

"You intend to fight him yourself?" Kurogiri inquired, incredulous. 

"Hm... I haven't quite made up my mind... I will use this time to mull it over - perhaps I'll send some of my insubordinate Yakuza associates his way- "

His sentence was cut off by the ring of a mobile phone - The Dragon reached into his blazer pocket to check the caller ID. A smile formed on his face - Kurogiri had heard his subordinates refer to it as his "baby-eating smile". 

"Ah, Oshiro, good timing, I was in need of information." 

Chapter Text

Satou household, Shizuoka prefecture. 

It had been approximately three days since The Fire-Breathing Villain: Dragon had launched his attack on Japan – but unlike all of his previous killings, there has been silence ever since.

Well, not entirely.

There has been a considerable spike in violent crime recently – originally, authorities and journalists had chalked it up to The league of Villains gaining more momentum and members, but Asahi was beginning to have his doubts. These crimes weren’t being committed by your run-of-the-mill social deviants; minor criminals don’t coordinate serial murders or elaborate kidnappings, nor did they have the resources to attack police precincts head-on.

The Japanese government has been growing increasingly concerned about the rise in illegal gun possession, manufacture and distribution. Asahi vaguely recalled a police raid a few months previous, where a person’s rural estate had been raided, on suspicion of importing and selling illegal drugs – it would later become clear that the illicit substances were the least of the police’s worries. A search of the basement revealed a stockpile of guns; they were mostly pistols of a low calibre, but authorities also counted three shotguns and two assault rifles.

Asahi never did find out what happened to the guy and his three accomplices, but for possession and distribution for arms for a profit, not to mention the several kilograms of drugs, Asahi suspected that they might even serve life sentences.

Gun crimes have seen a steady decrease since the law placed in 1958, and the several amendments limiting gun usage in Japan. Somehow, though, the criminal underworld has either imported or manufactured hundreds of guns with dozens of varieties. The U.N had remained confident that, with the arrival of quirks, gun usage would plummet globally…

Asahi sighed deeply, pinching his nose.

He’d always seen guns as simply tools; not good nor bad, just a thing to be used by different people. Often, though, a gun was wielded with malicious intent rather than for enforcement of the law or self-defence.

His thoughts drifted to Masaru – not for the first time that evening. The man was still recovering from his shoulder wound – most people would call that a lucky break, but the joints are some of the most complex parts of the body and can easily cripple a person for life if they’re not taken care of properly…

Why didn’t he kill him?

Judging from Inko’s story and what he could gather from the other witnesses, Dragon was only two meters away from Masaru, so a headshot would have been simple. But he instead opted to merely disable him – albeit very painfully and with a strong likelihood of permanent damage.  Did he spare Masaru because he fit the bill of what he considered “useful” to society?

Asahi had heard some troubling things – that people actually agreed with Dragon; that people who don’t have quirks don’t have a place in society. Anti-quirkless sentiments had been building up for as long as quirks have existed, almost completely replacing other forms of persecution, like racism. Asahi was disgusted with them all. Dragon kills people for a living – sparing no one on his list, not even the children.

Even more disturbing, the bastard had a fire-breathing quirk! Asahi couldn’t imagine what kind of thoughts were running through Inko’s head when she had to watch that monster burn a nine-year-old girl to death. Asahi himself found his thoughts drifting to Izuku, and how if Asahi had arrived even a few seconds later, Inko would be without a husband and a son… If Inko and Masaru hadn't have been yelling at the exact moment he had his radio tuned to a lower volume, he would have passed the house by without a second thought. 

The two men’s quirks were almost identical, and though Dragon’s quirk was far more concentrated, it had a shorter range than Hisashi's…

'But what if the two were one in the same? What if Midoriya Hisashi had somehow faked his death? No, what was this, a spy movie? C’mon, Asahi, there are billions of people in the world, it makes sense that there would be similarities between quirks…'

Asahi noticed his left leg shaking – a nervous tick he’d never been able to shake, pardon the pun – and made a conscious effort to still it.

'Either way, I can't entirely rule it out... There are several quirks that could allow Hisashi to appear dead - not to mention the all the crazy drugs out there.'

A quiet knock at the door nearly gave Asahi a heart attack, and the door to his office opened to reveal his six-year-old daughter, Kaori.

"Daddy, I had a nightmare..." Her shoulder-length black hair obscured most of her face, but Asahi suspected she'd been crying.

"Was it the monster with the big horns again?" Asahi asked gently, referring to Kaori's recurring nightmares featuring a creature she'd seen on TV by mistake. Poor thing had been so frightened by it she'd burst into tears on the spot.

"Mhm... Mommy won't wake up. I'm scared..."

He chuckled, knowing his wife could sleep through a nuclear bomb, and stood. "C'mere, I'll tuck you in."

"Can you stay with me until I fall asleep?"

Asahi had to work the morning shift, but how could he resist those beautiful brown puppy-dog eyes?

"Sure, sweetie," he picked her up, and she latched onto him like a koala, "and if I see that monster with the horns, I'll knock him into next week."

A soft giggle was his reply. Asahi switched off the table lamp, and gently closed the door to his office.

 


 

U.A Academy, U.A cafeteria

 

Izuku was mildly concerned.

Well, actually, he was completely horrified, disgusted and enraged; there was a new Villain in Japan, he’d injured his mother, shot and hospitalised the man who was basically his uncle and killed a nine-year-old girl in cold blood. The fact that he had a fire-breathing quirk almost identical to his late father didn’t make the news any easier to hear…

That wasn’t his current issue, though.

Izuku had noticed Class 1-B glaring at Katsuki when he entered the cafeteria, but when he neared their tables they quickly turned away, suddenly very interested in their food.

“Kacchan, what did you do?” Izuku finally asked.

“What’re you talkin’ about?” Katsuki turns his head, a riceball held between two chopsticks.

“Why is Class B glaring at you like that?” he elaborated, and then glanced over at his tablemates – Uraraka, Tsuyu, Todoroki, Iida and Kirishima. “Should I apologise, or…”

“Oh, that’s right; you, Todorki and Iida were all in the hospital when it happened.” Uraraka started, and Izuku sent a worried glance over to Katsuki.

“Oh gosh, did you start a fight?”

“Why is that always the first conclusion you come to?”

“Because I remember you winding up in the principal’s office more than a few times.” Chuckles erupted on their table.

“Hey, I was defending you, dumbass.”

Iida spoke up, then, “Regardless of your motive, you need to work on conflict resolution techniques that don’t involve blowing people up!”

“I never actually blew anyone up, you know,” Katsuki stated as he popped a baby carrot into his mouth.

“Bakugou-Kun wasn’t in the wrong the other day, Midoriya-chan, I assure you.” Tsuyu said, getting back on topic.

“Yeah! What that Monoma guy said was totally uncalled for!” Kirishima continued. 

Katsuki’s eyes narrowed in rage, but otherwise, his expression was calm as he chewed on his rice.

“Oh, he's the one with the copying quirk, right?” Todoroki asked.

“Yep, he’s a total douchebag too," Kirishima answered. "The guy started having a go at us for no reason! Saying things like “you 1-A kids are so full of yourselves”, and then some of his classmates joined in and started straight up harassing Bakugou.”

“What were they saying?” Izuku asks, now understanding Katsuki’s rage. 

“This one girl basically told him he was a cruel person for not going easy on me in the sports festival,” Uraraka starts tentatively, “and how his personality isn’t heroic in the slightest...”

“I don’t need some blonde dickhead to remind me I’m an asshole,” Katsuki interjects, startling everyone, “I know I am, but it’s not like I can help it.”

Everyone shot Izuku a quizzical look, but no one pressed for information.

“We all know you’re not as bad of a guy as you seem, you totally shut him down when he trash-talked Uraraka; heartless people don’t stick up for others, after all.” Kirishima slapped Katsuki on the shoulder, and that seemed to be enough to lift Katsuki’s spirit. 

Iida adjusted his glasses, “it sounds to me like Monoma-Kun has a serious inferiority complex.”

“Damn straight,” Katsuki said.

Izuku just giggled, nudging Katsuki with his elbow, "you really do have a heart of gold, eh, Kacchan?"

"Fuck off." 

Chapter Text

U.A Academy, U.A Dormitories.

 

Izuku flopped back onto his dorm room’s bed and sighed deeply. 

The whole country was on the fritz – the Fire-Breathing Villain: Dragon had really thrown a monkey wrench into the works. Just when the dust had settled – just when people were beginning to pick up the pieces of their lives in the aftermath of The Hero Killer: Stan’s rampage, yet another murderer has arrived to wreak havoc on the Japanese public.  

In response, U.A Academy had postponed the Hero Course’s much anticipated holiday training camp – the staff couldn’t risk endangering their students by sending a group of students (who had already been targeted by Villains) into a secluded forest with a few pro heroes, while the nation was being overrun with Villains. Simply increasing manpower would do no good; the attackers would hold the element of surprise, or they could take hostages. Though it was devastating to miss such an opportunity, the staff assured the students that the training camp would take place during the following school break 

But of course, that wasn’t the only reason for the rise in security nationwide.

Yakuza.

Gangs of criminals that ranged from your run-of-the-mill social deviant to complete psychopaths who murdered and kidnapped for money. Or for fun. They bribed government officials and prominent businessmen, they tricked store owners into paying them for “protection”, forced citizens to vote for whoever the Yakuza were fond of during election seasons, they smuggled and distributed illicit drugs, handled black market organ trafficking, weapons trafficking…

And human trafficking.

Yakuza had been on a steady decline since the ‘80’s, but it would seem that The League of Villains making their move, combined with Stain and Dragon’s appearances, started a chain reaction of crimes the likes Japan hadn’t seen since in decades.

It was bad enough that Yakuza still existed, but for groups to so blatantly make their existence known must mean that this rise has been happening for some time. Izuku recalled an analogy a newscaster used a few nights previous: ‘Yakuza are like cockroaches; if you see one, it means your home is already infested.’

That and the fact that everyone hates cockroaches.

Class 1-A had been asked to stay on campus for an additional few days before they could return home; something about police questioning.

It made sense – 1-A had come face-to-face with the League on several occasions – not to mention Todoroki, Iida and Izuku’s unexpected encounter with Stain himself, along with Shigaraki and Izuku’s confrontation in the mall just a week prior…

Izuku seemed to attract monsters like a magnet. He expected to come face-to-face with Villains when he was a Pro-Hero, not a fifteen-year-old student!

His life so far was something straight out of an anime – tragic childhood (complete with a dead parent), the classic “underdog” story; constant, grueling battles (physical as well as emotional); enemies and adversaries becoming close friends; his various inspirational speeches (now that he thought about it, he probably did sound like several of the characters from ‘Fairy Tail’)… You could put this crap in ‘Shounen Jump’!

Izuku supposed he was lucky his life didn’t mirror something darker, like ‘Hellsing’; he didn’t think he was ready to take on an army of Nazi vampires…

Izuku had been in contact with Asahi frequently; checking up on him, his wife Misaki, and their daughter, Kaori. He’d face-timed them just a few hours ago – Kaori was home with the flu, so Izuku cheered her up by telling her some stories of his time at U.A (leaving out cursing and mentions of blood, of course). Asahi was tight-lipped when it came to the Dragon case – but that was more so because of the government’s reluctance to reveal information. Corrupt police officers had been discovered in the police force all throughout Japan; some were Yakuza, some hailed from minor Villain organisations, while others were just average people who let their authority get to their heads.

He hadn’t had the chance to visit Masaru since the time he and Katsuki visited him two days after he had been admitted – the man was barely conscious, thanks to the morphine, but it was good to see him nonetheless. Recovery Girl had made a surprise visit later in the afternoon, and after exchanging greetings and gifting Mitsuki some sunflowers, she used her quirk to heal as much of Masaru’s shoulder as possible. The healing Hero had used her quirk to mend the skin of his shoulder – leaving no stitch marks or any kind of wound that could possibly reopen, had almost entirely mended the fractured bone just beside the bullet’s entry point, and had healed the external and internal bruising. Masaru would still need to remain in hospital to allow the doctors to perform some final checks and to set up a rehabilitation course, but the young nurse assured them all that he would be discharged within a week.

Izuku nearly cried on the spot, and if not for Katsuki’s stubbornness, Izuku suspected he might have too. They thanked Recovery Girl profusely before she promptly left – likely to return to her home and get some rest.

Now Izuku didn’t know what to do – he’d just cleaned his dorm room and had finished the homework some of his teachers had set. Izuku wouldn’t describe himself as a hyperactive person, but he was starting to get restless.

He could tell the rest of the class were in a similar state – the group chat that Ashido had created earlier in the year was going wild with messages. Some of his classmates’ messages were requests for sparring partners (mostly Yayorozu, Iida, Todoroki and Uraraka), while other people (namely Kaminari, Ashido and Sero) were just sharing memes. 

Izuku chuckled at a particularly hilarious image Kaminari (who had renamed himself to “Calamari Danki”) had sent, before sending a quick reply to Sato; he’d asked for volunteers to test out his cupcakes and give constructive criticism. Not that it was needed – the guy cooked like a God, but Izuku would keep that to himself, he liked free cupcakes.  

 


 

 

Akita, Takenaka Household,

 

“Mister Takenaka?” Gwen called to the healing Hero, who was furiously typing on his phone, “the car has arrived. It’s an hour-and-a-half drive to Akita Airport, for a one-hour flight to Tokyo, sir.”

He looked up, “Ah, thank you, Miss Fujimoto, I’m not very good with technology...” The man admitted sheepishly. He turned to the entrance of the secluded Takenaka household. “Big sis? Time to go.”

A muffled, feminine yell was his reply. The man then began packing his luggage into the trunk of the car. 

“Will you be accompanying us, Miss Karanamori?” The brunette asked, turning to her.

“Yes, sir; Reiji and I have constructed a detailed case file on a separate matter of utmost urgency – it involves one of the students at U.A Academy.”

“Ah yes, that Yakuza fellow, I almost forgot…” The man stepped away from the car, a sorrowful look displayed on his usually cheerful face. “It’s just… Horrible. 

“Indeed – I’ve met a lot of monsters in my time, but this guy takes the proverbial cake.” Gwen shakes her head, changing the topic.

“Reiji will be driving us, sir. You and your sister should get some rest -  you’ll be needing it for when we arrive at U.A Academy.”  

“Very well, then. Thank you, Miss Karanamori.” He gave a short bow, before heading up towards the doorway, likely to call for his sister once more.

Gwen turned her attention to her surroundings – it was dark and cool – as it should be at 11 pm. The house was separated from the road by a long, cobbled driveway and thick foliage, and was surrounded by a tall wooden fence. The house itself wasn’t overly grand – the two rarely had time to visit, given their busy schedules. The structure was elegant and traditional; much like the siblings themselves. Gwen could never live out in the country – the Wi-Fi was far too slow for her liking, that and all the bugs.

A shuffle was heard from the doorway and she looked up to see both siblings emerging from the house, luggage in tow. She directed them towards the car – a sleek, black Sedan with slightly tinted windows. Not much to look at from the outside, which is precisely the reason she had bought it.

Gwen made her way to the passenger side of the car, and once she was inside, she connected herself to the car through her quirk – “Interface”. her quirk allowed her to “communicate” with vehicles, and, on occasion, she could completely overtake a vehicle’s mechanics, and could steer vehicles without even needing to be inside them, given she was at minimum thirty meters from it. She often used her quirk to track where a car had been, using references from Google Maps and the cars’ internal tracking mechanisms, or for assisting in police chases b diverting cars.  

Gwen almost felt like a part of each car she interfaced with – it was a damn shame her quirk was limited to vehicles, though, and couldn’t be used on computers; that would help along their investigation quite a lot.  

Reiji flicked on the radio, and once everyone was settled, he put the car into reverse and sped out of the long driveway. 

Chapter Text

U.A Academy, dorm common room.

“Wait, what?" Kaminari cackled, barely able to get the words out between his laughter. “Bakugou, how'd you manage that?” 

“Fuck you, Izuku!”

“How adorable!” Yayorozu cooed.  

Izuku turned his phone towards Todoroki to give him a look at the image Masaru had just sent him: a four-year-old Katsuki covered in whipped cream. Katsuki had somehow made his way onto the kitchen bench and retrieved a can Mitsuki had previously used but had not yet returned to the pantry. By the time Mitsuki returned, Katsuki had emptied almost the entire can (which had been almost completely full just a few moments previous) and now held a striking resemblance to a crumbled snowman.

Masaru had not been discharged from the hospital, but Recovery Girl's surprise visit certainly helped him along. Mitsuki had found an old photo album while she and Inko were cleaning the house the previous afternoon, and had immediately brought it to Masaru. The last twenty minutes had been taken up by Izuku sharing said photos with with the class. 

“Look at this one!” Izuku called, turning his phone towards Uraraka next to him. 

It depicted a five-year-old Katsuki and Izuku climbing a tree. Or, attempting to. Izuku was clinging for dear life onto the lowest branch, while Katsuki hung upside-down by his legs off of a branch nearly three meters in the air. He looked absolutely horrified, making it clear he didn’t plan to be hanging like a bat. 

A sudden, loud series of knocks on the common room door startled them out of their laughter

Curious as to who would be knocking at their door at eight p.m., Iida stood up and made his way to the door; he opened it, revealing Aizawa and two professional-looking strangers, a bald, stocky man and a slim brunette woman. Both sported black business suits, the woman holding a clipboard and the man holding a large briefcase. The woman’s hair was cut in a neat bob, and the man wore thin-rimmed glasses, and they each appeared to be in their early thirties. Aizawa stepped into the room, eyes sweeping the area with urgency, before finally landing on Izuku.

“Midoriya, come with me.”

“Um, okay?”

Katsuki gave him a look. ‘What the hell is all this about?’

‘I don’t know! I’ll text you later.’ He mouthed back. Izuku stood, confused, and padded over to Aizawa, where he was lead out of the common room by the two strangers. As they entered the hallway, he noticed a familiar figure mother leaning against a wall, fidgeting nervously. 

“Mum? What are you doing here?” He called, incredulous.

“Ah, Izuku!” She scurried over to the boy, grasping the strap of her cross-body handbag for dear life. “These people just turned up at the house earlier this morning, saying there was something urgent they needed to discuss, but would only do so when you were present.” 

“That’s right, this is highly classified and rather shocking information, but it directly involves the both of you, and it puts you in serious, immediate danger.” The man adjusted his glasses as the woman lead them into the staff meeting room. 

Izuku’s mother looked about ready to have a heart attack on the spot.

Izuku was in a similar state of disbelief – not because of All Might or the Principal, but because of the two Heroes just behind them.

“Good afternoon, Young Midoriya.” All Might greeted warmly, he too looked nervous. “You must be Mrs Midoriya; it’s a pleasure. My name is Toshinori Yagi, though I ask you to keep my identity a secret.”

His mother looked flustered but answered politely. “Please, call me Inko. Izuku speaks very highly of you, Toshinori-San.”

The female agent cleared her throat, “Let us introduce ourselves; my name is Karanamori Gwen, Deputy Director of the Japan branch of Taskforce K. My quirk, "Interface", allows me to connect with vehicles and control them, as well as track their location and any inbound/outgoing communications." She bowed her head in greeting, before continuing. "Unfortunately, the director couldn't meet with you today, so I'm, here in his stead."

'A quirk allowing someone to connect with vehicles? Fascinating!' Izuku made a mental note to ask her about the details later.

"Masaoma Reiji,” the man begins, shaking Aizawa's hand, before moving on to Izuku and his mother, "Senior member of Taskforce K. My quirk, “Hear no Evil”, allows me to determine whether someone is being truthful – when someone lies, their speech becomes... Blurry. Imagine being underwater and hearing someone shouting at you from above it. I can still understand them, but it becomes very clear when someone is lying to me.” The man adjusts his glasses.  

“Our organisation was created to track, capture and sentence murderous criminals - we are a worldwide organisation working in tandem with local authorities as a subsidiary of the United Nations," Karanamori explains. 

Aizawa blinked at the woman; clearly, this was news to him.

"Taskforce K? Never heard of it. Must be pretty underground."

The principal spoke up, then. "Indeed, Aizawa; these people have been sworn to secrecy of the highest degree. Their organisation deals with matters of international security, after all."

Just when he thought his life couldn't get any stranger! What was this, Men in Black?! Are there aliens Izuku doesn't know about? Well, probably not the ones are shown in sci-fi movies, that's for sure. There's got to be some kind of bacterium or some other lifeform out there...

Izuku didn't notice he was muttering until his mother gently placed a hand on his shoulder. He jolted, and his face flushed. The agents looked completely perplexed, so his mother clarified, "it's a nervous habit, he can't really help it."

The male Hero made his way over to the pair, then; he shook both of their hands, and then approached Aizawa, giving a similar greeting. “My name is Takenaka Daiki, and this is my elder sister, Mayu.” Mayu gave no verbal greeting, instead, she bowed deeply to the trio.

“I’m sure you’ve heard of us,” Daiki started, “we’re the pair the public refers to as the ‘Killer-Catcher Duo’. It’s a shame we couldn’t have arrived here earlier, maybe we could’ve finally taken down Stain…” The regret was clear in the man’s voice. 

"You may not have caught Stain, but you saved a whole hell of a lot of people in Russia, Takenaka," Masaoma assured him.

Takenaka Daiki was dressed in a crisp white dress shirt and black trousers, his black belt held surgical scissors, a combat knife and a flashlight – all things to aid him in the field. If not for the bright red armbands displaying a white cross – the universal symbol for a medic – he would look like your everyday office worker.

Izuku knew better – Takenaka Daiki was a renowned and revered healer. His quirk, “Back from the Brink” allowed him to heal what would usually be a fatal wound. The catch? He can only heal mortal wounds. The man had tested his ability on several patients with terminal illnesses, like cancer, but to no avail. He has also tested his quirk on patients with afflictions that could become fatal, but left the person in no immediate danger, like asthma, receiving similar results. Set aside all of that, the man had saved hundreds of lives across the world. He spent his free time visiting hospitals and disaster zones; he’s a naturally kind and charismatic man who was infectiously positive. 

His sister, however… 

Takenaka Mayu was dressed in a similarly simple – a black tank top, beige sweatpants and a pair of simple brown sandals. She wore a black belt of her own, but instead, it held two swords – a sixty-centimetre katana and a thirty-centimetre wakizashi (a shorter “companion sword”); their scabbards were a deep royal blue and were intricately decorated with raised, swirling designs. She was visibly muscular and could probably break Izuku’s neck in her sleep. Izuku couldn't help but notice her prominent scars - one scar ran horizontally across her left bicep, ran from the underside of her chin up to her left cheek, just shy of her right eye. Most startling of all, was a scar that looked fairly recent, which almost wrapped entirely around her throat. 

Izuku didn't want to dwell on how she'd gotten that one. 

Mayu’s demeanour was almost opposite to her younger brother’s; she had a distinct air of despair and rage about her, was, admittedly, pretty awkward. Mayu’s quirk, “Sixth Sense” allowed her to not only detect murderous intent but also to sense when a person has recently murdered someone. This made her extremely valuable in the field, aiding local authorities in hunting dangerous criminals. Understandably, she never really got the chance to develop proper social skills, as she'd spent most of her teenage and adult life surrounded by some of the most horrible people alive. When Mayu wasn’t hunting murderers, she was assisting the police in lesser matters until they were ordered to their next location.

Izuku recalled the first and only TV interview the siblings ever did, which aired only a few months previous, in which Daiki advocated for the importance of mental health and how important it is to correctly diagnose someone. “Not all healing is physical, you see, there’s a psychological element to it as well. The human brain is much more complicated than most people realise; physical health is important, but we need to take just as much care of our psychological health.”  

All Might was still Izuku’s favourite Hero, but the Takenaka siblings were pretty high on the list.  

Karanamori looked over at All Might, and she cleared her throat once more.

“Ah… Right.” The man stood, looking over to Izuku’s mother. This… may surprise you…” he said before steam erupted from the man and he began to shrink down until he had morphed into a gaunt, sickly-looking version of himself.

Inko gasped, a hand on her chest.

Izuku glanced over at Karanamori and then Masaoma, seated beside him. ‘I thought only the teachers at U.A, Gran Torino, Recovery Girl and Detective Tsukauchi knew of All Might’s condition! Well, they are from the government, so it kind of makes sense…’ Izuku thought. 

And then the man coughed blood.

“Oh, goodness!” His mother covered her mouth, skin losing all the colour it previously had. Izuku worried she might faint. 

“I assure you, Mrs Midoriya, this is completely normal for him.” The principal said, sipping his tea. 

Izuku passed the man a handkerchief.

All Might wiped away the blood from his lips and explained everything about his condition, (though he didn’t mention how he had given Izuku his quirk, Aizawa, the Takenaka siblings and the two agents were present, after all) the man made a point of needing to speak to Inko privately afterwards. His mother, as expected, was very understanding.

The principal had placed nine cups of tea around the table, and they all took their seats; the principal at the head of the table, the agents directly adjacent, Izuku and his mother sat opposite one another, while All Might sat beside Izuku, Aizawa scooted in beside Izuku’s mum and the Takenaka siblings sat beside Aizawa and All Might – Mayu sitting next to All Might and Daiki sitting beside Aizawa.

“Right, now that that’s out of the way…” Masaoma began, placing a large briefcase on the desk, beside Izuku. Izuku’s teacup wobbled, but didn’t spill – ‘jeez, how heavy is that thing?’ 

The large man opened the briefcase, revealing several manila folders, stapled sheets, photographs, newspaper clippings, videotapes, and various other materials.

Karanamori stood, retrieving what seemed to be a USB stick from the breast pocket of her black blazer, and threw it across the room. The device stopped mid-air at the end of the table, three thin legs similar to a camera tripod extended and landed at the end of the table. A holographic image was projected out from the device – about as large as a standard television screen and in high definition. It was a screenshot of a newspaper article published ten years ago of the arrest of Izuku’s father, Midoriya Hisashi. 

Aizawa and All Might sat bolt upright; clearly, this was news to them.

“Just to make sure we’re on the same page, we’re going to go over the basics of what happened ten years ago. Is that alright?” 

“Fine.” Izuku managed – his tone was probably rude, but he couldn’t find it in him to care at the moment.  

Thankfully, the woman took no offence and pressed a button on a clicker used by University lecturers, and the screen switched to a video clip – a news report. 

Izuku recognised the woman as the local newscaster, and she was clearly distressed. Karanamori sat down, and clicked another button, playing the video.

The video began with the local newscaster, a woman in her mid-thirties with feline features – including small, black ears, a tail, and bright, slitted, yellow eyes – and then switched to a younger Asahi, who gave a rundown of what happened. Once he finished the story, the video switched to the newscaster once more, before she assured the audience that the man would be put to trial as soon as possible. She wished the viewers a safe afternoon and signed off. The video ended there. 

You could hear a pin drop. He glanced at Aizawa, wearing an expression of shock and horror. All Might sported a similar expression. Rage burned in both men’s eyes. The Takenaka siblings looked similarly enraged, but lacked the surprise evident on his teacher’s faces – they must have seen all of this already. 

Izuku felt a burning sensation in his right hand, and when he looked, he was startled. Somewhere during the video, Izuku had managed to crush the ceramic teacup, spilling the tea all over his hand, and leaving several cuts. 

“Uh, sorry about the cup, Principal.”

“I-it’s quite alright, young Midoriya.” He replied, offering a napkin. Aizawa passed along some bandages, while All Might delicately plucked out the pieces of ceramic.

His mother looked close to tears, cradling her teacup in both hands. “No offence, but just what was the purpose of showing me that? What is this about, anyway?” 

Karanamori answered her by clicking her clicker once more, shifting the screen to another newspaper article, published just one year after the previous.  

The headline read: “Riot in Gifu prison leaves 12 dead.”

Izuku tensed. Clenching his bandaged hand.

The woman clicks again and another video clip is played.

There stood a man in his early forties with striking blue hair, standing outside of Gifu Prison, a crowd of curious civilians gathered behind him. 

“I stand here before Gifu prison in Nagoya, where a sudden riot among the prisoners has claimed twelve lives – among them were three guards; Nagai Kuro, Hashimoto Akio, and Ikeda Taro, and nine prisoners. Most notably, Midoriya Hisashi, who was admitted just 8 months ago on the charge of attempted murder–” 

The video skipped a few seconds – the clip only displaying the relevant information, it seemed, before it resumed. 

“It would seem that tensions were high among the prisoners, as two prominent Yakuza groups had recently been abolished, with authorities making over forty arrests in just three weeks. These same prisoners were at the centre of the riots; with Midoriya being a prominent member of Shinrin, he was among the first to perish…” The clip skipped forward again. 

“Six men were brutally bashed to death before guards could break up the riot. Mr Hashimoto, the first responder was killed at the scene, sustaining a gunshot wound to his head, while Mr Nagai and Mr Himuro, along with the other three prisoners, later died of their injuries. It is unknown how the prisoners acquired these weapons, but–”

The clip ended mid-sentence, and Izuku felt All Might sit back in his chair, clearly disturbed.

Karanamori shakily stood, smoothing the fabric of her skirt.

“I’m sorry about this, Mrs Midoriya, young Midoriya, but I’m afraid we’re just going to get straight to the point. It would seem that Midoriya Hisashi did not, in fact, die in that prison riot. He faked his death and escaped to China.”

Izuku stood abruptly. 

“What?”

His mother sobbed.

Chapter Text

Previously:

 

“I’m sorry about this, Mrs Midoriya, young Midoriya, but I’m afraid we’re just going to get straight to the point. Midoriya Hisashi didn’t die in that riot, he faked his death and escaped to China.”  

Izuku stood abruptly.

“What?”  

His mother sobbed.

 

U.A academy, staff conference room. 

 

“We know this because our spies within the Yakuza he was a part of, as well as our informants in China, have told us so.”

Izuku sat down, hard.

“Hisashi was – Yakuza?” The horror in his mother’s voice was evident. 

All Might placed a hand on Izuku’s shoulder, giving a comforting squeeze.

“Yes; Yakuza are among the worst of all criminals. Some of them commit smaller crimes – but still things that can cripple someone for life – extortion, robbery, fraud, assault, etc. Those are the ones that can be easily caught and dealt with. The kind of group Hisashi was a part of, though…” Masaoma trailed off, unsure of how to proceed.

“It's called Shinrin – “forest” - the Yakuza ran in Hisashi's family. Many of his lower-ranked associates have been imprisoned – almost all of them serving a life sentence or multiple.” Karanamori explained, and Masaoma handed her a sheet of paper. The woman began to read from the paper, “Distribution, possession and manufacture of illicit substances, robbery, assault, illegal possession, manufacture and distribution of arms…” 

Izuku’s stomach dropped. He never considered how extensive the criminal world was outside of Japan – Shigaraki Tomura and The League of Villains, The Hero Killer: Stain… They were horrible people, but Yakuza were something else entirely...

“…murder, attempted murder, organ trafficking… And human trafficking…” Karanamori lowered the sheet – clearly a document she’d been exposed to before, but the disgust and horror in her eyes was unmissable. 

Human trafficking? Oh God…”  

“These are the major crimes committed by Hisashi’s associates – some have warranted execution, many of them happening here in Japan, while others have been shipped back to China to face judgement for their crimes committed over there. Most of them, however, have been sent to South Korea for trial.”

‘Oh, that’s right – China carries out capital punishment too.’ Izuku recalled a world history class from a few weeks prior when they focused on crime and punishment across the globe for the week. 

“Wait, back?” Aizawa-sensei questioned.

“Yes; many of this Shinrin’s members were of Chinese and/or Korean origin – they were mostly illegal immigrants – so they were transported back there for due punishment,” Karanamori explained.

Masaoma nods, “I hate to say it, but many people of Chinese or Korean origin or ancestry who have moved to Japan end up becoming yakuza. They’re not treated as genuine members of society, they spend their lives as outcasts, exactly the kind of people Yakuza groups are looking for.”

“I… Never realised how bad it was…” Izuku felt like a fool – of course the main components of the Yakuza wouldn’t be full-blooded Japanese! People just love to be racist, after all…

“I don’t know a whole lot about politics, but… Isn’t execution kind of… Rare?”

“It is, only people who have murdered someone are executed, and even then it’s generally restricted to those with multiple victims, or If their crimes were especially… Gruesome.” Karanamori trails off.

“Unfortunately, Hisashi meets that criteria.” Masaoma pursed his lips, unsure of how to continue. “When the authorities catch him, he’ll surely be executed.” 

The man removed two manila folders from his large briefcase and placed them on the table

“I need not remind you that this information is not to be disclosed except for at our discretion. There are agents that perform vital work for the government listed in these documents, and their lives would be in serious danger if word got out.” Masaoma warned. He turned to Karanamori and seemed to reconsider, and then added, "there can be a maximum of four people in the loop - people you trust." 

'Kacchan, Mitsuki, Masaru and... Asahi? No, he's probably already been made aware of the situation, given his prior history... So, Detective Tsukauchi, then? Sounds about right; there are no four people I trust more.' 

Each occupant gave a firm nod.

Masaoma passed the folders to Principal Nezu and Izuku’s mother.

“Those documents are identical; we thought it best for both the family and the school to have a copy of the information. It’s a simplified rundown of the organisation’s reign of terror. The group is comprised of mostly Japanese, Korean and Chinese criminals, and have what could be considered a headquarters in all three countries.” 

“Now, I’m going to show you some security footage taken from Gifu prison of the riot that supposedly killed Hisashi. If you’ll please pay close attention.”

The woman clicked her clicker, and a slightly grainy security feed appeared on the screen – it was security footage of the prison cafeteria. Karanamori clicked again, and the footage played.

The feed started out relatively normal, the prisoners arriving and retrieving their meals from the prison chef and shuffling off themselves into their little factions. Izuku noticed two of the tables had significantly more people than the others – the two conflicting Yakuza groups, he guessed.

One of the men sitting at a table by the window stood, as did several others sitting at various points around the cafeteria. Something flew across the cafeteria and hit one of the Yakuza members in the back of the head – food, probably. The man stood up and stormed over to the other table, picking up one of the members who happened to be laughing and pulled him out of his seat by the collar of his prison jumpsuit. From there, things escalated pretty quickly, and an all-out brawl had begun. Izuku heard a ‘click’ and the video paused. 

“Notice the men who stood up before the riot? We believe that the action was some kind of signal to another prisoner to throw the food. It’s a rather smart tactic, actually: use the aggression of others to your advantage, to carry out your will.” Karanamori said. 

She clicked her clicker and the video un-paused. A man Izuku knew all too well was seen sprawled over a table, blood pooled beneath his head. He saw another man get tackled by a blue-skinned prisoner and was promptly stabbed in the throat, while another prisoner was flung against a wall. One brave prison guard stepped in to try to contain the violence. He had a Taser and a what looked like a dart gun, but he was quickly overpowered. Eight more guards entered the scene, each carrying a dart gun – one guard had a tentacle-like tail that held a gun of its own. They began shooting the prisoners. 

The darts must have held some kind of sedative because the rioters quickly began to fall unconscious. By the end of the video, the few rioters and left standing and those not involved in the riot had their hands raised in surrender.

The clip ended there. 

“Now, the man you saw, sprawled over one of the tables? That wasn’t actually your father; one of his associates, a Yakuza member who has only recently come into police custody, had a very powerful quirk – he could take on the appearance of any person, so long as he absorbed enough of their DNA, usually by ingesting their blood.”

Izuku shivered, he’d encountered someone before who could do horrible things after ingesting blood – Hero Killer Stain – the memory wasn’t a pleasant one.

“Another one of his Yakuza associates – who, again, had not yet been caught by the authorities, had the ability to manipulate the visible light spectrum and create a refraction field, rendering him almost invisible. However, some of the cameras of the prison were in poor condition and in need of maintenance, so he was easily missed in the footage. They helped Hisashi escape the prison via a series of tunnels that had been dug by previous prisoners in attempts to escape. Six guards were arrested after the fact, as they had been helping the prisoners make their escape, and had a hand in starting the riot.”

“You said “had”, what happened to those men?” Nezu questioned. 

“The ones who helped Hisashi? They were executed a few months after the breakout, on charges completely separate. The guards and a few other Yakuza received anywhere from forty years to a life sentence for their crimes.”

Masaoma passed several files around the table – containing the identities of all the arrested Yakuza members, as well as their quirks – while Karanamori continued speaking.

“Our intelligence suggests that Hisashi and his associates had escaped Japan via a cargo ship headed for China, and, judging by the news reports, it would seem he’s had some help from local Triads in repositioning himself in a seat of power in the criminal world.”

Izuku felt his stomach drop.

“How do your… informants, know that this information is reliable?” All Might questioned, speaking up for the first time since the meeting began.

“DNA testing has confirmed that he’d been hiding out in at least twelve supposedly empty warehouses, as well as three high-rise buildings, each time on the penthouse floor.  

Izuku was confused at first, but then it sunk in.

“The local triads had been helping him,” Izuku said, voice strained.

Karanamori nodded. “But it seems he caught the attention of one the larger groups, which explains the penthouses.”

“Please remember that this is just stuff we could gather from a few crime scenes – a couple areas the local police had raided. God only knows how intricately this ran…” Masaoma said.

Izuku wanted to cry.

His father had survived, and had spent the past nine years as a Yakuza! Izuku didn’t want to imagine the atrocities he’d probably committed in that time…

“We understand this is a lot to digest, so we’ll talk more tomorrow when you’re ready. Just know that the Takenaka siblings, myself and Masaoma are here to help the authorities catch your father. Principal Nezu has decided it would be best for you and your mother to remain on campus; U.A Academy is locked down tighter than half the prisons in Japan, so you’ll be safe from conventional break-ins.”

“I’ve already alerted Cementoss, he should be nearly done creating your temporary home.” 

Izuku’s mother smiled gratefully, tears in her eyes.

“We’ll have some officers drop by your house to pick up essentials, and we’ll have a guard posted nearby in case Hisashi decides to make a move.” Masaoma stood, closing the briefcase.

“We’ll be cooperating with police forces in both Tokyo and Shizuoka to get a better idea of if, when and where Hisashi will appear. I’ve already taken the liberty of speaking to Detective Satou Asahi, and I’ll inform every officer to keep him in the loop.”

Izuku, now upstanding, made his way over to his trembling mother. He grasped her hand, and she squeezed tightly. Izuku suspected the only reason she hadn't broken down in tears was the sheer shock of the situation. That's what was keeping him from being a sobbing mess, at the very least. 

"I'll make sure the public doesn't find out about your relocation, Mrs Midoriya; the last thing we need is every villain in Japan knowing you're here at U.A." Nezu assured her from his perch on Aizawa's shoulder - 'when did he get there?'

A large, comforting hand was placed on Izuku's shoulder. Izuku turned to see a determined All Might standing beside him. 

"I swear to you, Young Midoriya, Mrs Midoriya, I will not let that man hurt you ever again."

 


 

U.A Dormitories, U.A Academy, Izuku, age fifteen.

 

Izuku hadn’t returned to the dorm common room. Which was weird enough if he’d let them know he wouldn’t be coming back and just went straight to bed, but Katsuki hadn’t heard anything from Izuku in nearly two hours.   

Though he would sooner impale himself than admit it, he did care for the green-haired idiot; though he certainly wasn’t as helpless as he once was. 

‘Did you seriously just figure that out?’ 

Katsuki sat at the desk in his dorm room, his right leg shaking, a nervous habit Katsuki didn’t even know he’d had until his dad had been put in the hospital. He’d begun his homework – because, despite popular opinion, he did give a shit about school – but soon realised he couldn’t concentrate at all.

He had texted Auntie Inko but had received no reply. He had sent another text to his dad, but his confused reply told him that he too had no idea what going on. His mum texted him a few moments later, and told him not to worry, and that she’d call them.

Not even two minutes later, Katsuki receives another text from his mother, explaining how Inko wasn’t answering her phone, nor was Izuku.

‘Well shit. What the fuck had happened? I’m probably just overreacting. Izuku forgets shit all the time, maybe he got questioned by the police and went straight to bed? No, that doesn’t sound like him at all…’

Katsuki sat up with a start – was he seriously muttering?! He spends way too much time around Izuku.  

Izuku’s text tone startled Katsuki, and he immediately grabbed his phone, unlocked it and began reading the message.

 

        <Izuku>

            Kacchan please come to the staff meeting room I just found out something horrible and I need to tell you. Please hurry

What?

Chapter Text

U.A. Academy, U.A staff conference room, 10:53 p.m.

 

Izuku sat, silently hunched over on his chair, tears streaming down his cheeks. 

His mother sat close by, in a similar state of horror, disgust, and dread. Everyone, sans All Might, had left them in peace. Lunch Rush had dropped by with some food just as everyone was leaving, which had since remained untouched.

A deflated All Might sat between the two Midoriyas, arms wrapped around the pair, unsure of how to respond.

Hisashi is alive. He’s alive and he is a Yakuza who has done horrible things to people. He wanted to know more, wanted to know what he’d done so he could find him and–

‘Do what? Beat him up? Kill him? No. No, I will not. Because going outside of the law only encourages other criminals and vigilantes to do the same. As much as I want to pay him back for all the pain he’s caused, I won’t do it. I can’t do it.

Because doing so would make me just like him.’  

He couldn’t let himself succumb; he would stay strong – for all the people he cares about, and for all those who care for him.

If he did, he’d be a hypocrite.  

He’d seen it happen to Todoroki during the sports festival – how angry he was. At his father. At himself. How weak he felt. His pain. His sorrow. He connected to him – with his sense of seemingly endless isolation; with his trauma. Izuku had also seen his resolve – how determined he was to surpass All Might, and by extension, Izuku, and rebel against his father by any means necessary. Even if it meant being alone his whole life.

It was only by slowly chipping away at the wall he’d built between himself and the world, and by forcing Todoroki to look at himself from another person’s perspective that Izuku finally got through to him. Convinced him that there were other ways to live his life. He dragged him out of his father’s shadow – or, at least, enough for Todoroki to continue the journey himself.  

He’d seen it happen to Iida after his brother was paralysed by Stain. He’d seen the guilt and the sorrow and the anger bubbling to the surface and Izuku did nothing to help him. Iida had dug himself into a pit of darkness and rage and it was only when he was teetering on the edge of death that Izuku was able to bring him back into the light. Only then could Izuku convince him that revenge wasn’t the answer – that justice would prevail.  

He’d even seen it in Katsuki.

He’d seen how his unbridled rage and unkempt pride had turned him into a bitter, narcissistic child with a hair-trigger temper. He knew the anger wasn’t his fault – an entirely neurological issue, but Katsuki recognised how he let his pride ruin the only real friendship he’d ever had. Katsuki had become a ticking-time-bomb of negativity. His negativity festered, building up until the dam broke and he lashed out – at Izuku. 

Katsuki had sworn never to do anything remotely harmful towards Izuku, lest he leave him with another scar. Another stay in the hospital. He shut himself off from Izuku, and when they were about ten, they had stopped talking to one another entirely. It was only when Izuku convinced Katsuki that he didn’t hate him, that it was okay, that he wanted to continue being friends, that Izuku forgave him, did Katsuki finally open back up.

He hadn’t left his side since.

Izuku closed his eyes and took a deep, shuddering breath. He felt his mother reach over All Might’s lap to grasp Izuku’s limp hand in an effort to keep him stable – or perhaps it was a gesture to comfort them both. 

All Might adjusted his posture to allow both Midoriya’s to lay more comfortably. It was unclear how long they would stay like this.

For now, all Izuku could do was cry – and mourn the victims of his father’s cruelty.

Izuku blinked.

‘No, he’s not my father. Well, biologically speaking, he is my parent, but a father doesn’t degrade, belittle and eventually try to murder their child, stage their own death to escape prison, and then illegally immigrate to China to become a freaking crime boss.  

No, a father is understanding and kind, a father teaches their kid to walk and talk, a father loves, respects and values his child, along with his partner.’

Midoriya Hisashi was no father to Izuku.

The closest thing he’s got to a father would be Masaru or even Asahi.

No, that wasn’t right either. They were like the cool uncles who took him to the park and got him ice-cream, the kind of guys that could come over uninvited and never impose. 

“All Might…?” He muttered, greatly startling the man, along with his mum.

“Yes, my boy?”

Izuku smiled, “Hisashi was a horrible person. An even worse parent… Is it okay if I think of you as my dad instead? I mean you do a better job than he ever did…”

He heard a sharp intake of breath beside him.

His mother chuckled lightly. “I don’t plan on marrying you anytime soon, Mr Toshinori, but I’d be okay with that.”

The man was silent, and for a moment Izuku thought he’d pressed too far, but then he felt the man’s arm tighten around his shoulders.

“I… I think I’d be okay with that too, Izuku.”

 


 

 

Location classified, League of Villains’ tavern, 8:43 p.m.

 

“The fucking Takenaka siblings are back in Japan,” Dragon growled, hand clenched around an empty glass of shochu. His phone was on speaker, and one of his many informants within the police department, Inspector Oshiro, was on the other end of the line.

Kurogiri looked up from the bench he was polishing, “Is that so? Damn, that pushes our plans back significantly.”

“Not if we kill the eldest, Mayu, sir. She’s the one with that insanely powerful quirk; if we can take her out, the brother isn’t much of a threat.”

“Hm, I agree, Oshiro, but that in itself is no easy feat. Her quirk will be difficult to overcome...”

“I know, boss, just throwing ideas around. Oh, there’s one more thing…” There was some shuffling on the other end, probably Oshiro handing over the phone to someone. 

"Ah, good evening, Midoriya-San," a new voice began - Superintendent Yamaguchi. "As Oshiro said, we have some interesting news for you."

"I'm listening." 

"Do you remember that officer who arrested you ten years ago? Satou Asahi? Well, not only is he a sergeant now, but it turns out he's been recruited into the "Anti-Dragon Squad". We've got a few of our guys recruited as well, but they'll need to lie low for a while, Satou's starting to suspect a rat." 

The deep, metallic chuckle that erupted from Dragon's throat could send demons running. 

"Oh, how I wouldn't love to see that son of a bitch dead at my feet." 

"There's more, sir. Bakugou Masaru has been discharged from the hospital and has started taking on some of the Yakuza, namely our group. He and some of his co-workers arrested Kagari, and Jeong, Zhu and Makoto..."

"Tch, I knew he'd be a thorn in my side... I should have killed him in that café."

"Why didn't you, then?" Kurogiri asked, intrigued. 

The man paused and then sighed. "Sentimentality. Emotions are a real pain. We used to be good friends... I won't make that mistake again... Yamaguchi."

"Yes, sir?"

"Keep me up to date - any and all information, no matter how trivial, gets sent to me. Understood? I want to know where they go, what they do, who they speak to, relatives, friends... Anything."

"Yes, sir!"

Chapter Text

U.A. Academy, U.A staff lunchroom, two days after Izuku and Inko learned of Hisashi’s role in the Yakuza.

 

Yagi sighed, dejectedly leaning back into the sofa.

His cheek still stung from where Inko had slapped him.

He figured they wouldn’t take it well, but it was still pretty disheartening…

Yagi held his face in his hands – now they knew the truth, and they were all one step closer to reaching their goal.

So why did Yagi feel so horrible?

 


 

 

Half an hour previous, U.A. Academy, U.A. Staff conference room.

 

Yagi had contacted Izuku, and together they agreed they needed to come clean to Inko and Bakugou. It was poor timing, but they both realised that they couldn’t keep the cat in the bag for long, especially from those closest to them.

Inko was going to strangle him.

Could he blame her? No. He’d do the same if it was his kid.

Bakugou would probably feel angry and betrayed – his best friend had kept such a huge secret from him for so long…

But, alas, it’s clear Izuku needs as much support as he can get right now, and the two people closest to him don’t have the slightest clue how to help.

So, about half an hour ago, Izuku had messaged Katsuki and Inko, requesting their presence immediately.

Bakugou had arrived at the staff meeting room not even five minutes after Izuku’s request, Inko following soon behind. The poor woman looked exhausted – ‘damn U.A and its ridiculous amount of stairs!’

They had all shuffled into the room, and that’s when Yagi shifted into his smaller form, which confused and startled the hell out of Bakugou. He explained his condition to the boy, leaving him borderline horrified. Inko looked confused as well, but for an entirely different reason – she already knew of Yagi’s injury, so why was she summoned here?

Izuku and All Might sat down next to each other, while Inko and Bakugou sat opposite them.

Izuku took a shaky breath, and then he spoke, “So, you’re probably wondering why we called you both here.”

“Is… Is it something else to do with your dad?” Bakugou asked with a surprising amount of gentleness.

“No, but, um…” He glanced at Yagi, “I haven’t been entirely honest with the both of you.”

“Izuku, you’re scaring me, please, just tell us what’s wrong.” Inko wrung her hands together nervously.

Izuku glanced at Yagi once more and sighed.

He told them everything.

Izuku recounted every significant event all the way back to when he was first attacked by the slime Villain. Yagi pitched in a few times to reword what Izuku had said or to add in any information he had forgotten (which was very rarely). He described the origin of Izuku and Yagi’s quirk, and that Yagi himself was once quirkless.

Yagi pitched in, explaining how League of Villains was likely being headed by All for One; he also mentioned that the only people who knew the whole truth about One for All aside from its current users were Nezu, Gran Torino, Recovery Girl and Detective Tsukauchi.

Izuku moved on to speaking about Gran Torino, and how he used to be the previous holder of One for All’s sworn friend, explaining that his control over his quirk (and lack of broken bones) could be attributed to his training.

Then he moved on to his troubling encounter with Shigaraki and told them the truth about why he’d been targeted I such a public area.

By the time he’d recounted everything, Inko and Bakugou sat in a stunned silence.

Bakugou is the first to speak.

“Izuku, what the actual fuck.”

Izuku flinches but stays silent.

Inko covers her face with her hand, slouching in her chair.

Yagi opened his mouth to speak, “I, um, I understand this is a lot to take in- “

“Don’t you fucking start.”

The hostility in Bakugou’s voice caught Yagi off guard – he’d heard him speak when he was angry before, of course, but nothing like this.

“So, you’ve basically been lying to us about your quirk for what, a year now? What else aren’t you telling us?” Bakugou snapped.

Yagi almost scolded the boy, before noticing Inko had left her chair. Confused, Yagi turned to his right and promptly received a harsh slap to his cheek.

He supposed he deserved that.

“Mum!”

“How dare you.”

“Mum, please –”

“You do understand how much danger you just put my son in, right?” Yagi’s blood went cold. The shock and anger were prevalent in Inko’s tone, but she wasn’t shouting. Perhaps that’s what made it so much worse.

“Yes, I know.” He clenched his fist; he did know.

“So all the times he’d come home with bruises and gashes, that was your idea of “training” him?”

“I… My apologies, we should have told you sooner.”

“Damn right you should’ve!” Bakugou shouted, now upstanding. He turned to Izuku, “what, do you not trust us enough?”

It was hard to miss the way Izuku’s eyes teared up.

“That’s – that’s not it at all! There was just so much going on, I guess I just got caught up in all of it.”

“Caught up? Are you kidding me? That’s kind of an important thing to gloss over, Izuku!”

“How could I have possibly explained it?” Izuku rose from his seat, face reddening.

“You could have told us the truth, you idiot! You basically lied to us about your quirk! We could have helped you!”

“I have to agree with Katsuki on this one, Izuku; it was foolish to hide the truth behind your quirk from us. Even more so for you to receive a quirk at all!” Inko spoke, voice raised but not quite shouting.

“That’s easy for you to say!” Izuku yelled back, “You two have always had a quirk! I never did, I shouldn’t even have one!”

The regret on Inko’s face was clear.

“I was offered a chance to help people, to become a Hero – someone who inspires others, so of course I’d do it! I couldn’t be who I am today without this quirk!”

Bakugou opened his mouth to speak, but Izuku cut him off.

“I do trust you, with my life, in fact. But I put off telling you because this is precisely the type of backlash I was expecting. Neither of you would understand, how could you?” He finished bitterly. “He was right… Quirks really are everything.”

“That’s not true, Izuku! You can be whatever you want to be, you don’t need a quirk.” Inko tried to reason with him but was quickly shut down.

“I reiterate, neither of you can possibly understand the fullest extent of my reasoning. Despite desperately wanting to be a Hero, I was not meant to have a quirk. An opportunity presented itself, and I took it. Whether you agree or not is irrelevant, it was my decision.”

Yagi felt a swell of pride in his chest, but it was quickly beaten down by guilt.

Because no matter what Izuku said, this was all on him.

“Izuku…” Yagi started, unsure of what to say.

“You know what? Fine, whatever.” Bakugou turned to the door and walked right out.

Izuku sat down, hard, shame plastered over his face.

“I… I respect your choice, Izuku. I’m glad you’re sticking to your decisions. This just – I think I need some time to process all of this.” The woman bowed lightly, before she too made her way out of the room, leaving Izuku and Yagi in silence.

 


 

Shizuoka prefecture, Fuji Police station, 8:43 p.m.

 

“Hey, Yamaguchi!” Asahi called, jogging across the pavement of the carpark to his colleague.

"Oh, hey, Satou, what's up?" The man looks up from his phone, probably about to make a call.

"I've got some files I'd like you to look over, just to get a second opinion before I submit them to the chief." He waves his arm holding a manilla folder. "Oh, were you about to call someone? Sorry to interrupt."

"It can wait," the man says politely, depositing his phone into his trouser pocket. "Ah, that reminds me, I've got some material I need to give to the chief as well, and for you, actually, it's all in the car." He gestures for Asahi to follow, so he does.

Asahi crosses the break in the carpark and reaches Yamaguchi's car, a black Toyota Camry. The man unlocks his car and opens the back seat door. It was empty.

Asahi looks quizzically at the man. He simply smiled. "Sorry about this, Satou."

He didn't hear the footsteps approach until it was too late.

A sharp pain entered Asahi's consciousness, and everything went dark.

Chapter Text

Keio Marina, Shizuoka prefecture, 11:25 PM

 

Dragon studied Satou with a curious gaze. Just one encounter – just one arrest had changed this man’s life forever.

How foolish he was.

He should have just done what was required and then left the Midoriya’s alone for the rest of their lives, never to speak to them again.

Like everyone else had.

Well, that was a lie – the Bakugou’s had stuck around – surprisingly enough. He was under the impression that Katsuki was more interested in getting Izuku to take his own life than forming a friendship with him. 

Times change, he supposes.

Satou had been unconscious for about three hours now – Yamaguchi had drugged the man after Shayu had knocked him out. Both men were now guarding the small structure – previously a tiny public bathroom for the convenience of people visiting the marina, which has since been renovated into one of Shinrin’s many holding cells.

The man was tied to a chair in the middle of the room – a few dim, fluorescent lights illuminating the area.

Satou’s head was hung, chin touching his chest as he slumbered. His hands were firmly tied behind him, but not so they would lose circulation.

Instilling a false sense of security – that perhaps the Yakuza weren’t as skilled as to properly tie his hands, would actually make the kidnapped victim more cooperative.

It was unlikely, however, this would do any good; Satou was a lawman, and an incredibly righteous one at that.

This would be troublesome. He’d ordered Yamaguchi to stay with him for a few hours – the man was confused but complied, taking a seat in the corner nearest to the door. Yamaguchi had always done his own thing, which was completely fine because Dragon was no dictator, but the man has forgotten his place. That and he had unintentionally uprooted a few of his fellow informants with his police work. Informants that could have stayed hidden easily. He had busted a deal between Shinrin and a pharmaceuticals company which would have greatly benefited both parties if Yamaguchi hadn’t accidentally spilled the beans to his superiors).

He had no real use for Satou – Dragon knew the man would sooner skin himself alive than give so much as a hint of his work. He could play the family card, but that was too troublesome.

No, this was merely a ploy to rid his organisation of Yamaguchi, something his second-in-command and cousin, Fujiwara Chokichi, had suggested. The woman had a straightforward, but fabulous quirk – “phantom pain”. She gladly disciplined her insubordinate underlings by subjecting them to pain without physically harming them.

Dragon would kill Yamaguchi himself, but he had better things to do.

Like cleansing this country of those who do it harm. The homeless (provided that they wouldn't contribute even if they had a job, in which case, Dragon has employed several of them), the drug addicts (again, provided they would be productive if they stopped using. Oshiro, in fact, was a former heroin addict.), people whose quirks would not benefit society - people who would not benefit society. 

The quirkless, in particular. 

Yamaguchi paled at Dragon’s smile, even further at his deep, resonating chuckle.

What a productive week this would be.

 


 

Satou household, Shizuoka prefecture, 7:45 AM.

 

Misaki hung up the phone. This was the fifth time this morning she’d tried to call her husband but to no avail. Not being at home in the morning wasn’t new for Asahi, but he always called or texted to let her know if he’d be working late or going out early.

She has heard nothing from him in nearly twenty hours.

Panic was beginning to set in – her mind racing to horrible conclusions. If Misaki had legs and not a tail, she suspected she’d be pacing around the kitchen by now. She had called the front desk at the station a few minutes previous, but the young receptionist seemed as confused as she was. The young woman told Misaki to try calling again while she called Tsunemori, Asahi’s partner, and would try to get in contact with Superintendent Yamaguchi.

Misaki was trying not to let Kaori catch on to her worry – quickly making her a lunch and packing her school bag. Her daughter, however, was more perceptive than Misaki had hoped; she was her father’s daughter, after all.

“Mummy? Why are you sad?”

“Hm? I’m fine, Kaori. Your dad isn’t answering his phone, that’s all.” Asahi had quite the record of missing calls, so it was a believable excuse.

“Daddy is bad at answering phones.” Kaori giggled, happily munching on her cereal.

“Indeed, he is…”

 


U.A Principal’s office, U.A. Academy, 4:32 pm.

 

“You mean-?!”

“I’m afraid so, Toshinori… It would seem that Satou Asahi has gone missing.”

Yagi clenched his jaw, fists curling.

“Shit.”

“That about sums it up. I’ve contacted the Takenaka siblings – they had spoken with the detective beforehand – and have already deployed. I’ve alerted his co-workers, his wife, his partner, and the Chief Inspector. I couldn’t reach the superintendent, however…”

That caught Yagi’s attention.

“That’s odd,” Yagi starts, “What’s his name? Yamaguchi?”

“Yes, and, more troubling, the last sighting of Satou was by a receptionist, directing him to said Superintendent. He apparently had some files he needed to be checked before submitting them to the Assistant Commissioner.”

Yagi’s stomach – or what’s left of it – dropped.

“Where is Yamaguchi now?”

“Dropped off the map, it would seem.” The man stared into his empty teacup before he looked up. Black eyes met blue, a silent conversation passing between them.

“So he could be Yakuza too? Shit, why now?”

“It seems the aim of the game for Villains is to kick us while we’re on the ground. It doesn’t matter to them if we’re frothing at the mouth or bleeding out – they’ll do just about anything to get what they want.”

Yagi sat back in his chair, contemplating.

The League of Villains, Stain, and now Shinrin… Why Izuku?

There was so much hatred, so much pain, so much darkness in this world, so why did it suddenly grow a mind of its own and target Izuku?

No, he knows exactly why.

You can’t have darkness without a light – and Izuku’s light was blinding. He was filled with so much light, so much hope, so much love. He’d lived in Hell for a good portion of his childhood, and had been thrust back down into the depths when Shigaraki Tomura had begun his personal crusade against him. Dragged deeper again when Stain of all people had attacked, and nearly killed him and two of his friends.

But he remained so bright. He was so kind, so willing to help. He was far from perfect, but saying he was proud of Izuku would have been a serious understatement.

Yagi closed his eyes, just barely containing his rage.

It was only when he’d opened them that he realised he’d shifted into his larger form.

“We will find Satou, Toshinori. We will find him and bring Sinrin to its knees once and for all.”

Yagi nods, renewed strength coursing through him.

 


 

Keio Marina, Shizuoka prefecture. 4:32 pm

 

Asahi gasped as the man before him landed another firm hit on his cheekbone.

He had woken suddenly a few minutes ago – he couldn’t tell for sure when, the thin, high-up windows offered little information to his surroundings, but he guessed it to be mid-afternoon, judging from the light outside.

The tall, gruff man had sauntered over and demanded answers. To what? Asahi had no idea. He had simply growled and punched him in the cheek, nearly sending him careening backwards.

He hated to be that person, but the man looked Korean, immediately setting off red flags. His sudden awakening in an unknown area, him being knocked out at Yamaguchi's car…

This was Shinrin’s doing.

Then the man had a bright idea – to specify what the fuck he was asking of Asahi.

“Your files on the Dragon case, give them to me.”

Wait, what.

Asahi gave the man a genuinely bewildered look – so this wasn’t Shinrin? A look of horror struck the man’s face, realisation dawning on him like a new day.

A growl of annoyance sounded somewhere in the room, and another person came up from behind Asahi and struck the large man in the face. The man was standing directly behind Asahi’s chair, so his face was unseeable, but he expected the presence to be the man’s superior, as he immediately backed down.

“You cretin! You were supposed to be discrete about it!”

A woman.

Asahi wasn’t sexist, he knew full well that women could be just as monstrous as men, but the loud, feminine voice caught him off guard.

She placed her hands on his shoulders, and squeezed, hard. Her nails dug into Asahi’s shoulders, he wouldn’t be surprised if she drew blood. She felt her lean down, her head just behind his own.

“Good afternoon, Sergeant.” She spat the last word – a clear disdain for authority. “I’d love to chat, but I need to deal with my imbecile of a subordinate.” She released him from her grasp, and quickly covered his eyes with what seemed to be his tie.

Smart.

He heard two pairs of feet exit the small area. Asahi strained to listen – he was familiar with the Yakuza’s… Cruel treatment of the insubordinate.
It was custom, for an insubordinate Yakuza to cut off the end of their own pinkie finger; usually of their non-dominant hand. The act was supposed to instil discipline and submission to their superiors. They would then need to have a faux finger moulded and attached, as a partially missing pinkie finger was a clear indication of involvement with Yakuza.

He wasn’t prepared for the bloodcurdling scream that erupted from the man outside.