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A Hero Like You!

Chapter Text

"Izuku, what do you think of katsudon tomorrow?"

Izuku turned to his mommy, no longer distracted by the All Might figurine he brought with him. He bounced around the best he could restrained in the shopping cart. "Yes! Yes, YESSSSS!" He exclaimed. This was going to be the best birthday ever! He was getting his favorite food, and his mommy just ordered an All Might cake! He was so excited! "Yeah! Yeah!!" He continued. His mommy was the best! She chuckled, attempting to calm him down with a "now, now,". She didn't mind when he was excited. She told him she liked seeing him happy because it made her happy too. So he continued bouncing around in the cart while his mommy picked out the ingredients. They checked out, and headed to the car. Izuku helped his mommy with the bags because he was gonna be a hero when he grew up, and he liked helping people. His mommy chuckled when he tried to lift some of the heavier ones, and told him he'd have to wait a little longer for those. She floated them instead. Izuku grinned. He couldn't wait to get his quirk! Both mommy and dad's are so cool!

They hopped in the car, and headed home. He didn't remember falling asleep, but he woke up to his mommy telling him that they were home. His mommy helped him out the car, and held his hand as he made his way past the fountain in the roundabout and up the huge stairs. Everyone who visited always complements his mommy about how nice and big the house was. His mommy always simply responded that dad had a good job.

Izuku squealed as she opened the door. Tomorrow was gonna be super awesome! He'd turn four, and have cake and katsudon and maybe he'd get his quirk too! After all, his bestest friend Kacchan had gotten his already - a whole year early! He hummed in excitement and bounded up the huge stairs to his room as soon as he finished helping unload the groceries. Dad still wasn't home yet, but he said he'd surely make it for his little party. Naturally, he had to pick the perfect outfit - it wasn't everyday his dad came home! Maybe even this time mommy and dad won't argue and Izuku wouldn't have to hide! Izuku giggled and chose his favorite All Might hoodie. He knew it was perfect! It even had the little hair tufts on top! He ran back down the stairs, and into the kitchen to show his mommy. He didn't get a chance to though, because she was on the phone with someone. Her face was scrunched up. Izuku frowned a little. His mommy only made that face when she talked to dad. "You did what?!" She paused. "A quirk specialist? He's not even four yet!" She hissed. Another pause, and then a sigh. "Sure whatever. No, I'll take him. Next week? Yeah okay. Mmhm. Bye." She calmly floated the phone down, and sighed deeply. His mommy did that a lot. He carefully stepped into the room and gave her a hug. "Mommy I'm gonna help you with dinner!" He told her. She laughed and hugged him tight. He loved mommy's hugs.

The next day, Izuku woke up to the smell of pancakes. And his mommy giving him a huge grin. "Happy birthday sweetie!" She said. Izuku jumped out of bed. "Thanks!" Dad was back! He jumped around and bounded down the stairs to his mommy's laughter. Sure enough, there was dad, standing over the counter. "Dad!" Izuku yelled.

"Hey kid!" He smiled. "I was hoping to surprise you - how'd you know I was here?"

Izuku giggled. That was a silly question. "Because! Mommy doesn't know how to cook pancakes! Besides, you told me!" He said. Dad ruffled his hair. His mommy could do a lot of things, but she could never make perfect pancakes.

They both sat at the table together, and Izuku told him about school. Dad asked if he'd got his quirk yet, but he shook his head no. He told him that he's already four today though, so it'll probably be soon! His dad gave him a strange look and nodded his head. "Happy birthday, by the way." Dad said. "Thanks!" Izuku beamed. They finished breakfast, and mommy came downstairs and gave Izuku some extra money. "Go have a good time, okay?" She gave him one of her extra special mommy hugs, and told him that by the time they got back, it'd be time for dinner.

Izuku had a fun time at the duck pond with his dad, and got to pet a duckling too. After, they got ice cream, and Izuku even got to put sprinkles on his! Dad said he had a surprise for him, so they hopped into the car once more. The drive was a little long, and Izuku fell asleep. When he woke up, there was a huge grey building up ahead. Izuku read the signs: 'Musutafu Medical Center' Izuku was confused. Why was he here? He'd gotten over his last cold weeks ago! His dad shushed him as he ushered him into the building, onto the third floor, into a waiting room, and finally, an empty doctor's room. "Dad?"

"Hm?" Came the reply.

"Why are we here?"

"You'll see," he replied nonchalantly, not once looking up from his magazine.

The doctor entered the room right then - a funny short bald man with yellow goggles and a huge mustache. He examined Izuku, and left the room, not saying much. When he returned, Izuku nearly fell out his chair.

"He has no quirk." The doctor said.

His dad finally looked up from his magazine. "Excuse me?"

"I said, he has no quirk." He repeated. "See here, is a bone quirk-users don't have as a result of hyperprogressive evolution..."

The words flew over his head. He didn't even realize he was back home until his mom saw his face and picked him up. "Izuku! Sweetest, what's the matter?" She questioned. Izuku shook his head and demanded to be put down. She set him down and he immediately ran into the living room, wanting to be alone. He wished he hadn't...almost immediately he could hear the muffled voices of his parents arguing. He was hoping they wouldn't do that - especially not today! It was his birthday, and it was supposed to be a happy day... Izuku sniffled and wiped his eyes on his sleeve before donning a big smile, just like All Might. He'd go into the kitchen and smile and then his mommy would be happy and his dad would stop yelling and they'd eat dinner and have cake and-

"I thought I told you not to bring him today." His mommy hissed, eyes closed and fists balled. Izuku scrambled out of sight. This looked worse than normal.

"Look, I know you're upset he's quirkless, I am too -"

"THAT'S what you're worried about? Not that you ruined your own son's fucking BIRTHDAY?" His mommy was scary when she was angry, even if she wasn't often. "Do you know how much he was looking forward to this? All because this was the first birthday you'd actually BE HERE FOR?! Did you even try comforting him? Did you even see his face?!"

"You better watch your damn mouth," his father sneered. Izuku flinched when he took a step towards his mommy, towering over her. Something about this fight seemed worse than normal. "You know full well I work hard so you can have all the extra nice things and raise the kid in comfort - don't go talking about how I'm not here-"

"Where."

"What?" He hissed.

"Where. Do. You. Work." Mommy hissed back.

"Taiko Insurance-"

"No you don't Hisashi! I've been there, called there, even wrote! They have no records of you! You come home late - if at all - drunk and smelling like another's purfume! Sometimes strange, ruffed-up men show up on our doorstep! Hisashi, I KNOW you're lying to me, just fess up what you're really doing so we can work through this togeth-"

"WHAT does it matter what I do?! All you do is sit at home anyway! And with a kid that can't be half useful anymore at that!" He jabbed his finger at her chest, pushing her back.

"Kid? Useless?! Hisashi he's-"

It all happened so fast. First his mommy slapped away his finger, then there was a loud 'pop' and she was on the ground.

His father towered over her menacingly. Just like a villain. Izuku's eyes widened as he saw steam come out from between his teeth. But his mommy would not relent. She was determined to make her point. "...he's our son." She said defiantly, an uncertain fire in her eyes.

Suddenly, his father's face contorts with rage. Izuku's feet move on their own - he has to protect his mommy! She's always there for him, it's his turn to be her hero!

"Not mine!" His father growls as the flames leave his tongue.

"IZUKU!" He hears his mommy scream.

He screamed as he felt a jolt of searing pain down his back. His mommy was crying out and calling him, but he felt sleepy. And hurt. Vaguely, he felt his mom patting out something hot, but he wasn't sure. His father just stood there, and told him to go into the other room. Izuku shook his head. He wanted to be with mommy! Instead, his father yanked him up, wrapped a cloth around his waist, and plopped him onto the couch. Izuku saw his mom barrel out of the kitchen and punch him in the face. Startled, Izuku ran into the library. He didn't want any of this! He squeezed his tiny hands over his ears as much as he could, but the arguing was too loud. He heard lots of screaming. Banging. More screaming. He couldn't take it. He needed to get away. His parents didn't notice him run out, and as he passed, Izuku saw mommy using her quirk with some of the cute patterned kitchen knives Izuku picked out for her birthday.

Once he was out the door, he ran along the sidewalk. They didn't really have any trusted neighbors, so Izuku just ran and ran, until his energy started to wear off, and the pain in his back was catching up to him. He didn't know how far he ran, but nothing around was familiar to him. He could see the vague outlines of a small playground in the distance. 'Lucky,' he thought to himself. He made his way to the park and began climbing the steps to the slide. However, the sound of muffled sniffing made him look underneath him. He entered the crawlspace, and found another little kid. He couldn't see much - there was only one dim streetlamp on this street - but he could see the yellow All Might hat they wore. It looked old and tattered, but well-loved. Izuku could relate - he was still in his All Might hoodie after all, however singed. "Hello?"

The other kid started, surprised at his voice. "You're not supposed to be here without an adult," he said. The other kid looked about ready to run. "No, wait! It's okay!" Izuku sat down. "I promise I won't tell!" He sighed. "I'm not supposed to be here either..."

The other kid raised an eyebrow. "Why?" They asked.

Izuku peered over. "Why're you?"

As the kid wiped their nose a sleeve rode up, and Izuku was able to spy a small bruise on their wrist. He sighed. His mommy always says talking about your feelings makes it better. And right now, his chest was tight. He wanted to cry, but didn't feel like it. "Well," he started. "I ran away,"

"Why?" The kid asked.

"Because mommy and dad are fighting real bad," he mumbled. Suddenly, it was a lot harder to talk than usual.

"Did he..." the kid didn't need to finish the question. Izuku nodded, becoming even more aware or his back. He felt something streak down his cheek.

"I don't understand! Dad isn't supposed to be a villain! Both he and mommy have cool quirks and are supposed to be nice to each other! L-Like heroes!" He wailed. All of a sudden, all his tears came out. The kid, who was listening to him intently, got up and awkwardly patted his head.

"Yeah," they said, sitting back down next to Izuku. "I ran away too..." it was just above a whisper, and after that, they didn't say anything else. Izuku stopped prying then and turned the attention to the hat - it was limited edition! To his surprise and delight, the kid talked quite a bit about the favorite hero. They both talked for quite a while before what looked like the kid's mother came along. She had short brown hair and a uniform. Izuku said goodbye, and it wasn't until after he realized he'd forgotten names. Oh well...

He probably really should head home, but he wasn't looking forward to it... his back really hurt now, and now his leg was too...

"Hey kid!"

Huh? Izuku looked up but he didn't see anyone.

"No, down here!" The voice said again.

Izuku looked down and almost yelped. At his feet was a talking head! Izuku stood frozen in shock. The head at his feet popped up from the ground, thankfully taking a body with it. "Darn," the head - no, person - said. "I thought that'd be more approachable!" Izuku really wanted to go home now. "Ah, okay, lets start over!" The person set down a tattered and leaking grocery bag and stuck out a hand. He didn't seem to mind he was missing one shoe and half his shirt. "I'm Yagi Mirio!" Izuku wasn't really supposed to talk to strangers, especially weird strangers, but this boy didn't seem too much older than him, and he was really, really tired. "M-Midoriya Izuku..."

"Well, Midoriya! Why are you out so late? Wait! You're injured!" Just Izuku's luck, he spied his mommy running frantically along the opposite sidewalk. "Mommy!" He yelled for her. "Izuku! She exclaimed, running over to him. "I was worried sick! Are you okay? Lemme see - wait, who's this?"

"Hello madam! I'm Yagi Mirio, and I saw him crying so...!"

"... hm." She looked like she was thinking hard about something. "Young man, where are your parents?"

"Eh?!" Yagi looked around. "Dad was here just a moment ago..."

"Ah! There you are!" Behind them, a tall, lanky man with oversized clothing and unruly blonde hair huffed and set down more grocery bags to wrap the other boy into a hug. "Mirio! I keep telling you to stop disappearing like that!"

"But dad! I saw a kid and he was crying!"

It was then the man really noticed the two beside him. He let out a quiet gasp when he saw his mother. He opened his mouth to say something, but decided against it. "...goodness," he said instead, now taking note of the blood and burns. "How about we all have dinner at my place...you two look like you could use some help-"

"Ah, I couldn't be a burden-"

"You won't."

The man and Izuku's mother held eye contact for a wile, both battling it out to have their way. Izuku let out a quiet sigh of relief when his mom eventually relented. "Fine," she said. Izuku didn't want to go back. He didn't want to see his father-not now anyway, he was confused and hurt and extremely tired.

Turns out, it was so much so that he fell asleep in his mommy's arms.

Chapter Text

When Izuku awoke, he was met with dim lights in a small but classy apartment. It had a little bit of a foreign touch to it - the blanket draped over him was a map of the USA. He looked around. No one was in the room with him, but he could see a small glass of water on the coffee table at his feet. The last thing he remembered was falling asleep to his mommy's quiet chuckling.

"Ooh are you awake?"

Izuku jumped, almost spilling his water. He turned around to face the boy he met yesterday. "Are you feeling better now? Want some more water? Some cake?"

"...cake?" Why cake?

"Today is my birthday!" He said.

Izuku's eyes widened. "Me too!"

"Really!?"

Izuku nodded frantically. "Yeah! I was supposed to have cake when I got home after dinner and..." the events from hours earlier replayed in his mind. Suddenly, he didn't have the strength to stand. He sank back onto the couch. How did any of this happen? Why was his father like this? Was he always mean? Izuku never saw him much... he was beginning to be angry. This wasn't fair to him, or his mommy -

"Hey, hey,"

Izuku looked up. The boy - Izuku remembers - Yagi climbed onto the couch with him. He slowly wrapped his arms around him. "Happy birthday," he said. Izuku felt tears well in his eyes. "I know it wasn't the best - actually it's maybe the worst - but it's over now, and me and dad will protect you from whatever happened...and your mom too, she seems nice. So! Let's celebrate the last bit happily! And your next birthday will be really fun!" He stood up suddenly, and donned a bright smile. "Because we're here!" He then shot off into another direction. Izuku laughed. He was still sniffling, but he didn't really feel like crying anymore. Somehow, he believed in Yagi. He was wiping his eyes dry when Yagi appeared back in the room, holding two party hats and two plates of cake, all balanced precariously. He set the cake down, and plopped a hat atop Izuku's curly mop of hair, and then the other on his own head.

"Here!" He said, handing Izuku a plate of cake. It was chocolate. His favorite.

"Thank you, Yagi-san" Izuku nodded.

Yagi's eyes widened. "Ah! No problem! But you can call me Mirio! Honorifics make me nervous sometimes..." he trailed off.

"...well then you can call me Izuku,"

"Well then Izuku! Happy birthday!"

Izuku nodded and smiled. He caught sight of the clock. 11:58. Only two more minutes until the day was officially over. Until his birthday was over. Wait.

"H-Happy birthday to you too, M-Mirio!" Izuku quickly managed to get out, stumbling over his words. 11:59. 12:00. Ah. He just barely made it...

"Thank you!" Mirio grinned regardless, stuffing his face with cake. Izuku followed suit, giggling at Mirio's crooked party hat with wild blonde hair sticking out from under.

Bam!

His mom came in through the door, holding a huge box, taped up furiously. On top the box was a plastic bag, and some papers. Behind her was the man he saw earlier, holding another huge box and a small container. "I'm here!" He called.

"Dad!" Mirio called. "Mommy!" Izuku exclaimed.

"Hello Izuku!" His mother called out to him. "How are you feeling?" She set the boxes down by the door before taking off her shoes and heading over to the two boys.

"Better," Izuku nodded. It was actually pretty amazing when he thought about it - he felt completely fine! He actually forgot he was injured until his mommy asked. He'd remembered the events when talking to Mirio, but he was paying attention to his parents in his memories, not what happened...

His mommy sighed in relief. "That's good." She let out another sigh. "I'm afraid we can't go back to the house just yet. When I went to go find my phone, everything was turned upside down. Like a tornado hit. I don't want you in danger, and Mr. Yagi offered to let us stay here for a while, okay? Just until I find a job," She explained. Izuku nodded. Somehow, he was actually glad it turned out this way - Mirio seemed fun to play with. Mirio seemed to have a similar idea.

"Ooh! Ooooh!!" He bounced on the couch. "You can sleep in my room! It'll be like a sleepover!"

Izuku nodded with a small grin. "I can show you my room and we can play heroes and-"

"Not now, Mirio my boy," the older man - Mr. Yagi, called after them. Mirio peeked his head around the corner at his dad. "It's late. You can show him your room, but after the both of you need to go straight to bed."

"Okay dad!" Mirio called, already at the door to his room now. He went in, and Izuku followed, noting the familiar All Might nameplate on the door. Inside was really...bright. It was very foreign to him - he figured that blanket on the couch belonged on this bed. "It's... interesting?" Izuku tried.

Mirio chuckled. "My dad likes American things, so I have a lot of stuff like this. I don't mind though! I think it's cool! He told me he'll take me to his old house there one day!!"

Izuku's eyes widened. "His old house?"

Mirio nodded. "Yep! He was born there! He moved over here when he was my age though, and grandpa only visits here," he pouted. Izuku looked around. It was a really cozy room. "That's cool," he replied. "I don't really know my grandparents,"

Mirio sighed. "That's okay. I don't know my biological parents either."

Upon Izuku's raised eyebrow, Mirio continued with a chuckle. "I'm adopted," he shrugged.

"But you guys look related!" Izuku sputtered.

"Really?! I'm glad!" Mirio grinned as he pulled out the trundle bed and a spare pillow. Izuku saw on the desk he had a couple of hero figures. "You like heroes too?" Izuku asked.

Mirio nodded. "Yep! I'm gonna be one when I grow up! The greatest hero!"

Izuku smiled sadly. "That's cool! I know you'll be a great hero, especially with your quirk"

Mirio curiously peered at the other boy as he handed him some spare pajamas. "What's wrong...if you don't mind me asking?"

Izuku shrugged. He didn't know if he should tell. He didn't understand, but he know the knowledge was what set off the fight between his parents in the first place... but this was Mirio. He hadn't known him long, not even for a day, but it already felt like they were best friends. He took a deep breath. "I'm...I'm quirkless..." he let out quietly. "That's the reason dad was mad, it's all my fault!" He was crying again. "I used to be excited to get a quirk because I wanted to be a hero too!" He half expected Mirio to throw him out or something, since he was useless according to his dad. He'd just take up space and-

"-problem!"

"Huh?" Izuku didn't catch that. He'd been mumbling again.

Mirio chuckled. "I said it's no problem!" He laughed at the incredulous expression on Izuku's face. "All that matters is that you want to do it right? Nothing is impossible!"

"But I can't do anything!" Izuku sniffled out.

Mirio seemed to think a moment. "You know Eraserhead?"

Izuku nodded. He was a lesser-known hero, only recognized by those who were really into heroes - like Izuku. "Yeah, he can cancel out people's quirks,"

"Bingo!" Mirio snapped. "See, while their quirk doesn't work, both him and the villain have to fight without them! So basically, quirkless!"

Izuku gasped. He hadn't thought about it that way. Mirio tousled his hair. "So you can be a hero too!"

Izuku felt more tears well in his eyes, but this time, they were happy ones. "Well then, I want to be a hero too!" He declared.

"That's the spirit!" Mirio exclaimed. "Hey! I got an idea! Why don't we make a book of all the heroes, so you can look at their skills?"

Izuku gave an enthusiastic nod. That was a great idea! "I already have some markers in my bag! Because I like to draw them!"

"That's great!" Mirio disappeared through the floor, returning with a small red canvas bag labeled with a neat 'IZUKU' he grinned, remembering his mom help him write it. His normal writing was much worse. Izuku rummaged through it, eventually finding his notebook and pencils. The first few pages were already scrawled on with notes, so he carefully tore those out.

"What should we call it?" Mirio asked.

"Hero analysis for the future!" Izuku replied.

Izuku and Mirio wrote the title as carefully as they could, helping one another with the spelling for certain hard words. Some of them had to be crossed out or erased. Of course, the first entry was on All Might. Mirio was able to give Izuku some cool firsthand knowledge too! He said he'd seen a couple of fights up close, and he'd take him to the next one. They both stayed up, excitedly exchanging information and ideas, until the book was nearly halfway full.

_____

Of course, this meant they were dead tired in the morning. Mr. Yagi and his mom scolded the boys for staying up late, but were relieved they got along so well. After all, Mr. Yagi had told Inko last night about how despite him being outgoing, Mirio had trouble making friends. Inko replied that Izuku wasn't much different- he only had one friend.

Toshinori sighed. He hadn't seen Inko in years...not after that. Inko seemed to catch his mood, shot him a sympathetic glance, and mouthed the word 'later'.

Both boys were too preoccupied with trying to wake up their motor skills to properly eat breakfast to notice anything. "What's got you boys up so late anyways?" Toshinori asked. Mirio yawned, and rubbed his eyes. Izuku gave up trying to find the straw in his juice box and slumped onto the table with a sigh. "We made a hero book." He said.

Inko raised a brow. "A hero book?" Izuku nodded his head slowly on the table. Mirio yawned again. "Yeah, so he can be a hero," he explained. "Ah, okay..." Inko replied. She wondered if Izuku told him yet.

"If you finish your breakfast and do your homework, we can go shopping this afternoon. I need to pick up the groceries you garbled, my boy," Toshinori offered. Like magic, Mirio perked up, gaining all his energy back. "Really?! Can Izuku come too?" He asked. The man lifted an eyebrow in question at Inko, who shrugged. "Sure, if he does his too," she told him. Mirio grinned. "Yes!" Mirio hooted. Izuku was a bit confused. "What's so great about the store?"

Mirio turned to him and leaned in close. "Sometimes I get to see villain fights up close when I go with my dad," he whispered.

Izuku's eyes widened and he too shot up, bouncing in his seat. "Yeah!!! Let's go finish our homework!!" They bounded out of the room, breakfast only half-eaten.

Inko chuckled. "Does he know?"

Toshinori smiled. "Yeah. While I'm out Aizawa or Sato usually watches him.

"Sato?" Inko questioned.

"Yeah, he went to a different hero school, and we only met because he keeps begging me to be my sidekick," he chuckled.

Inko rolled her eyes. "Good luck to him then," she laughed. She turned back to the table, gathering up the dishes, before she was stopped. "Sit down and rest a bit, will ya miss busybody?" He chuckled. "I know you must be stressed, so I let you cook breakfast. But rest is important too, especially after what happened," he finished, looking to her wrists. They were healed up nicely, but they both could see the faint outlines of matching scars. Inko sighed. Cooking and cleaning had always been her stress relief. That's probably why she did it so much, actually. Her marriage stressed her. Hisashi was never around, always messed around, and refused to acknowledge Izuku as his own son - despite wanting one for ages, he changed his mind right after she got pregnant it seems. She'd told Toshinori all this last night on the way back to the house - he refused to let her go alone. She guessed after she what she went through a little rest couldn't hurt. So she sighed in defeat as she let go of the dishes, and let her friend do the work.

"You can sleep on my bed if you'd like..." he awkwardly offered. She laughed at him. He was still the same Toshi - bad at personal interactions. "I'm fine on the couch." She replied. She'd gotten used to it after all - waiting to see of Hisashi would call. Toshinori shrugged and finished the dishes. "You sure?" He asked on his way out. Inko nodded with a smile. She'd rest, and then go out looking for work. The prospect of actually being able to do something again was thrilling to her, and she couldn't wait! Laying down on the couch, she daydreamed about all the interesting jobs she could get now that she didn't have to worry about strangers showing up at the house while Izuku was there alone. She was asleep faster than ever.

_____


Toshinori was in the kitchen taking inventory when the two boys ran back in. "Hey dad we're ready!" Mirio called. "Did you guys shower?" He asked. "Yes!" They replied in unison. "Okay! Let me go get my wallet," he shut the fridge and got his wallet off the table in his room before scrawling out a quick note to Inko he left in the kitchen.

"Ready?" He called. The two boys were already toeing on their shoes. He chuckled and put on his own before heading out the door, holding both Mirio and Izuku's hands in his own - they bet both prone to running away in excitement. It wasn't until they were well aways from the house that he remembered to ask the important question. "Wait, did you guys finish your homework?" Thankfully, they both nodded. "It's a little messier than usual though because I'm still kinda tired," Izuku told him.

Toshinori hummed. "That's why you shouldn't stay up if you don't have to." He explained. Mirio giggled. "But daaaad! Izuku wants to be a hero so we need to figure everything out!" The man raised a brow. He didn't know what they need to figure out, but if it helped them achieve their goals and they were having fun, he guessed it didn't matter much. He almost falters when he saw the mischievous glint in Mirio's eyes. "Hey dad,"

"Hm?"

"Guess who Izuku's favorite hero is?"

"Who?"

"ALL MIGHT!" Moth boys yelled. "I wanna be a cool hero that saves people just like him!" Izuku explained. "Me and Mirio are gonna be like him!"

As Izuku pumped his fist in the air, he could see the damaged skin from his scar when his shirt rode up a bit. Toshinori gave a heartfelt grin. He was so proud of his son for helping this boy. He seemed to have completely forgotten the horrendous night before. He was also happy that the boy was as enthusiastic as he was, despite his position Inko told him about. Toshinori knew from personal experience how hard it could be sometimes. "Hm, how about we grab some ice cream on the way back?"

Both boys cheered at the suggestion. He chuckled again. "And Midoriya my boy! I happen to work as secretary for All Might - maybe I can get you an autograph?"

Izuku looked like he was about to cry actually. "Yes please! Thank you!!" He managed to choke out.

"Anything for the two future number one heroes," he winked. Izuku grinned back.

When they finally reached the store, both Mirio and Izuku were saddened to discover no signs of any villains. By the time they'd finished shopping and headed into town for ice cream, both Mirio and Izuku were quite disappointed. Mirio shot a look at his dad walking closely behind them. He'd had to stop holding hands to carry the few bags they had, and was at the moment preoccupied with watching the streets. So Mirio leaned in. "Sorry," he whispered. "It's okay," Izuku reassured him. "I'm sure next time something will-"

BOOM!

All three turned to look at the source of the noise. Toshinori saw a huge lizard-like creature rise up out of nowhere and bumble throughout the streets. Mirio and Izuku however, were both hastily pushed out of the way by a strange man with neatly styled green and blonde hair before they got to see anything. When they looked back up, the strange man was gone, along with Toshinori. A huge piece of rubble landed where they once stood though, very luckily away from the abandoned groceries on the ground. People were running frantically around. Mirio and Izuku gathered the bags before taking cover. Not too far that they couldn't watch though. "Lucky!" Mirio and Izuku both exclaimed. Izuku was elated! His first real hero fight! Live!!

Wait... "where's Mr. Yagi?" Izuku asked. Mirio shook his head sheepishly. "He uhm, gets lost in crowds easily." He explained. Technically not a whole lie, right? "He always comes back to where he got lost when the crowd clears though, so we should be fine!" He finished. Izuku nodded. "That's silly," he giggled. "But okay," they turned their attention back to the creature just as none other than All Might appeared. With a resounding laugh, he took care of the villain before they could destroy anything else. The creature quickly shrunk down into a person before falling over in a huff. 

"Not to worry citizens!" He boldly exclaimed. "For I am here!" He laughed before jumping off the building to help the police arrest the villain. By the time All Might finished filing his report, the crowd ad cleared some. "Woooow!" Izuku beamed. "That was so cool!!"

"Right?" Mirio agreed. "Now we gotta head over to where dad got lost," he laughed. Izuku followed, still grinning. When they got back, they found him profusely thanking the man that had pushed them out of the way. "Who's that?" Izuku asked.

"The one that saved you," Toshinori simply responded. Mirio narrowed his eyes but didn't say anything. Instead, he handed the bags back to his father. Izuku did too. "Thank you my boy." He grinned.

"Now, how about that ice cream?"

_____

When Inko awoke, it was already past noon. She'd missed her alarm. Well, at least she was well rested. She went to the kitchen to get some water when she saw a small yellow note on the fridge. Laughing, she peeled it off. Toshi was as bad as ever at writing. She barely deciphered the message that he took the boys to the store. Chuckling still, she headed out to start her late day. She grabbed her laptop from the open box she'd brought back, and did her best not to look at the sealed one. It was good she looked at it anyway though, because the papers lying on top reminded her of much more pressing matters than finding a job. She'd start that bright and early tomorrow while Izuku was at school. She looked down at the papers. 'Kyogi Rikon'

She got out her pen.

_____

"I'm here!" Toshinori and Mirio called upon opening the door. Izuku giggled. It was a strange greeting, but he liked it. "Me too!" He yelled.

"Welcome back!" His mother called. She came from the kitchen holding her phone. She still had on her reading glasses too. "Did you have fun?" She asked. Izuku nodded. "Yeah! And we even got to see All Might mommy! Can you believe that?" He bounced around. She chuckled, sending a glance Toshinori's way. He just gave a slow and sheepish shrug in response. Rolling her eyes, she headed back into the kitchen.

"We brought back the katsudon from yesterday, so if you're hungry I can heat it up," she told the boys. Mirio shook his head. Ms. Midoriya was real nice, and he really liked her food, if breakfast was anything to go by - but he was still full from his popsicle. He looked over. Izuku seemed just as disappointed.

"Relax boys! It's still early! Why don't you go out and play. I'm sure by the time you come back in you'll be hungry," Toshinori told them, setting the bags on the counter.

Mirio and Izuku ran all the way back to the park to play.

_____

"I have a sidekick now," Toshinori announced once the boys headed out the door. Inko paused her writing to look at him over her glasses. "Really now?"

"Yeah. Sato." He replied. "He goes by Sir Nighteye,"

"Hm," Inko hummed.

"Not many know him because he refused to do much until he achieved his real goal,"

"Working with you?"

He nodded as she laughed. He was glad she was able to - he always did hate seeing her sad... he turned away as he felt the color run to his face. Clearing his throat, he continued. "He uhm, kinda saved Mirio and Midoriya today," he explained. "Can see into the future."

Inko smiled. "Well isn't that useful," she flipped over the last page of papers.

"What're you doing?" Toshi asked.

Inko looked up. He could tell she was trying to look nonchalant about it, but he'd known her long enough to know that she was upset.

"Ah," she replied. "Divorce papers." She let out a shaky sigh. "I actually had these hidden away in Izuku's room for the longest time..." she made a couple of more graceful marks onto the page before neatly placing it into a folder. "I guess deep down I knew it wouldn't last," she shrugged. "I - I did love him once y'know?" Toshinori nodded. That much he knew. "It's just that, I don't know when, but I think I fell out. Maybe it was after I got pregnant and he started being distant. Maybe I never liked him as much as I thought in the first place," she felt tears prick in her eyes. Oh great, now she was crying. "I kept thinking maybe if I stayed, I'd grow to love him again, and even if I didn't, that Izuku would have a dad. It's just...he kept getting worse, Toshi!" She balled her fist, hanging her head to cry while her hair hung over her face. "He'd come home, drunk, or obviously ruffed up, or - god - once he came home with a bottle of wine and some woman's undergarments!" Toshinori winced. That was a lot to go through. "In the end, especially after yesterday when he actually dared to hit me - I realized that I'd basically raised Izuku on my own anyway, and I may as well get a divorce like I wanted." She laughed bitterly. "The thing is though, I'm so frustrated with myself because even though he's a despicable person and I can't bring myself to fully hate him like I should. In fact, I feel almost grateful at times. He gave me pain and suffering. Everyday was hell. But he also gave me Izuku." At this point, she braced herself and looked up.

Toshinori moved toward her. He opened his arms wide. She gave a grateful smile and walked over to him. She layed her head in his chest, and felt more than heard him sigh as he relaxed and wrapped his arms around her. "It's okay," he said. "Pardon my meddling, but I think it's okay you feel that way. I know how much you love Izuku. And I know you aren't excusing what all he's done. It's fine if you can't hate him. What's important now is your happiness. If you feel filing a divorce is best, then by all means, file it," he finished.

There was a pause, and Inko stopped crying. Toshinori could feel her cheek rise a bit in her small smile. "Thank you," she said at last. "Thank you for - for everything really." She chuckled lightly. "You're always appearing to help people out even out of costume, huh?"

Toshinori laughed. "I guess it's my nature."

Inko sighed. It felt nice to finally get everything off her chest. She didn't really have anyone to talk to about her problems anymore. Her parents didn't call much after she announced she was getting married to that man. She could imagine her mother now, wagging her finger scolding her. 'I told you so,' she'd say. And outside of a few friends from the neighborhood. And even they weren't that close. Being able to reunite with an old friend who understands her was a blessing.

Toshinori was just grateful he'd been able to help her.

"We're here!" Two voices called from the foyer. Thank god the kitchen had a small partition. He started and Inko hastily pulled away, drying her eyes for the last time. She gave her friend a grateful smile before going to pop in the leftover food into the microwave. Both boys bounded into the kitchen, covered in mud. Mirio was missing half his clothing. Izuku had a small scratch on his cheek.

"What, what happened?" Toshinori questioned.

"We were chasing a beetle but we fell into a stream and then Mirio accidentally activated his quirk when we fell and then when I tried to help him the beetle flew in my face and I tripped and fell into the stream and got scratched by a branch!" Izuku explained. Goodness, he could talk a mile a minute, Toshinori noted.

"As long as neither of you are hurt. Wait are you?"

Mirio rolled his eyes and Izuku giggled. "No!" They chimed in unison. Toshinori noted they did that a lot. He smiled down at them, ruffling some of the dried dirt from each of their hair. "Why don't you both go get cleaned up before dinner," he told them. They nodded and headed off. Toshinori swept up the floor and foyer while Inko fixed the plates. It was all very comfortable.

When the boys got back, Toshinori put a bandaid on Izuku's cut, and they all sat at the table to eat. Izuku was thrilled to have his mom's katsudon, even if it was from yesterday. Mirio however, seemed like he wanted to cry. "Is this the magic of a mom's cooking?" He asked. Toshinori was startled, looking to Inko in apology, but she was laughing. "Is it that good?" She asked. Mirio nodded, stuffing his mouth. Toshinori had already told her about his situation as well. Izuku laughed at his friend. "No, silly! She's just good at cooking! And she does it all the time! She even taught me some stuff!" He said proudly.

"Really?" Mirio asked.

Izuku nodded. "Yep!"

Mirio turned back to Inko. "Mrs. Midoriya will you please teach me too?" He pleaded. "I wanna make awesome food too!"

"Hey, what's wrong with my food? I'm hurt!" Toshinori joked. Mirio sheepishly took a sip of juice. "Yeah...but hers is better" he said. Toshinori gasped, and Inko laughed some more. "It's okay, I'll teach you all how to cook," she playfully nudged Toshinori. Izuku clapped. "Yay! We can all learn together!" Mirio nodded. "It's okay dad, I still like your cooking,"

Toshinori laughed along. Yeah, he thought. This was comfortable.

Chapter Text

Mornings, Izuku soon found out, were hectic. Usually, his mom would leisurely walk him to kindergarten, or take the car if they were late. But now, between Mr. Yagi going to work, Mirio going to school, and his mom having an interview, a lot was going on. His mom combed his hair while he ate breakfast after he got dressed. Mirio sat at the counter, swinging his legs.

"What school do you go to?" Izuku asked as his mom gave them both lunch boxes before ushering them out the kitchen. "I go to Dagobah! It's a private school not too far from here!" He explained. His dad had told him that lots of hero kids went there, because of the top notch security. Knowing his overprotective dad, it'd only make sense to send him there. "Woah! Cool!" Izuku said, taking his schoolbag from Mr. Yagi. "You go to elementary next year right? Maybe when I go we can go together!" He told him. Mirio smiled and took his bag, complete with extra clothes from his dad too. "Maybe we can go to the same one! I still have one year left, so we can see each other!" It'll also be fun to finally have an actual friend in school, but Mirio left that part to himself. Toshinori helped the boys into the car, while Inko checked over to make sure everyone had everything.

They dropped off Mirio first, and Izuku next. The interview was in the city, so their last two destinations weren't as far apart. "Excited?" Toshi asked.

"Nervous," she chuckled, checking for the umpteenth time she had her résumé in her folder.

"What's it for?" He asked.

"Accounting manager for a hero agency, actually," she told him. "I'll be managing the finances for city repairs and minor events I think."

"Sounds fun," he teased.

"Oh, shut up, you know I like math."

"Oh I know," he replied.

"Ah! Here's my stop up here!" She grinned.

Toshinori pulled into the front loop to let her out. "Good luck on your interview!" He called, giving her a thumbs up. She returned it, and headed in with a grin. Toshinori headed to his own agency. Today would be long filled with paperwork, seeing he finally decided to take on a sidekick.

_____

Mirio sat down in his seat. He didn't necessarily like school. He didn't hate it, but he wished he had friends. He wasn't bullied or anything, it's just that people saw him as weird and a little silly, so while they didn't single him out, they tended to exclude him from a lot. He wondered how Izuku was doing. He couldn't wait to get back home.

_____

Izuku was humming as he put his things in his cubby when he was bonked on the head. "Hey, Izu! Where the heck were you all weekend?" When he turned around, a blonde spiky boy stood in front of him.

"Oh hey Kacchan!" Izuku greeted, a little nervously. He felt like the scar on his back was suddenly a little heavy. His mommy was telling him this morning not to say too much about what happened. Not like he wanted to in the first place. Mirio and Mr. Yagi were really helpful in making sure he wasn't sad, but now that he was away and had time to think, he was still a little upset. He should probably talk to his mommy after school.

"I was, uhm, at a friend's house?" Technically not a lie. The other boy raised an eyebrow. "You have friends?" He asked. Two other boys snickered as they joined the conversation. Izuku didn't really know them all that well, but they started hanging out with Kacchan a lot nowadays. Probably because his quirk made him cool.

"Whatever," he said. "Hey, get your quirk yet?"

Izuku paused. He had a feeling...he shouldn't tell Bakugo.

_____

Mirio told his teacher where he was going, before leaving school. Some of his classmates were going to a new arcade, but they hadn't invited him. He thought about asking to come along, but they'd already left in their excitement. He didn't feel like waiting for his dad to come pick him up today either, so he packed up and left school. He hummed as he kicked a rock along the sidewalk, gazing at the cluttered beach in the distance. Sometimes when he was sad, he'd go there while he waited for his dad or someone else to come pick him up. But he wasn't going there today, so he skipped along the sidewalk, careful not to accidentally sink into the ground. He really needed to get a handle on his quirk already... he rounded the corner to his destination only to be met with a rather unpleasant sight. Izuku was standing in front of another boy like a shield, while three other boys were snickering in front of them. The ringleader held up his hand. It sparked and flickered a couple of times, but Mirio still wasn't able to get there before Izuku was caught in a small blast. Huh. Kid had a strong quirk. Mirio ran to Izuku to help him up. "Izuku! Are you okay? What's going on?"

The three boys left, sniggering. The fourth boy hadn't been caught in the blast thanks to Izuku, but he didn't leave before telling Izuku to stay out of his business. Mirio frowned as he helped Izuku up. Luckily, it didn't seem like he was especially hurt, just dirty and a little scuffed.

"Thanks," he said.

"What happened?" Mirio asked.

Izuku sighed. "Kacchan found out I'm quirkless." Was all he said. Mirio helped brush some of the dirt out his hair. "He said that someone like me could never be a hero, and that I was useless," Izuku rubbed his eyes. Mirio frowned. Ouch. What is it with fire quirks? He glanced down at his friend's glassy eyes. He knew Izuku was probably trying not to cry. Mirio gave Izuku a tight squeeze. Like his dad does when he's sad. "Don't listen to him okay?" Mirio began. "You can do anything you set your heart to! I know you can do it! Just because you don't have a quirk doesn't mean you're useless! That's the same as telling someone who can wiggle their ears that they're gross!" Izuku let out a weak giggle at that. It was oddly specific, but it helped. At least a bit for now. "I believe you can be a hero Izuku," Mirio encouraged. "Thanks," Izuku said, pulling away to wipe his face in his sleeve. "I believe in you too," he replied. Mirio grinned. "C'mon, lets go back to finish that hero book!" Izuku nodded.
_____

Mirio and Izuku had already blazed through the first volume of their hero manual, but the second one was taking a little longer, as most of the heroes were already recorded, and they usually had to wait for someone new to show up. They were sitting on the couch in front of the TV trying to look for new ones on the news when Izuku spoke up. "Why don't we look at some past heroes too?" He asked, seemingly more to himself. Mirio nodded. That was actually a pretty good idea! "Yeah! Let's go to my dad's computer!"

Mirio got his dad's laptop with permission, and logged on. They spent quite a while looking at past heroes, and jotting them down, when they came across a forum thread. It was titled 'Where is Lady Quantum?' Izuku and Mirio clicked on the thread. It was a little strange, seeing how recent it was in comparison to the other past heroes they researched, and the fact that while most of them retired or got hurt to end their career, this Lady Quantum character simply vanished. Apparently she hadn't been around long either - only about a year or two. They couldn't find a ton of photos either - just a lot of blurry and faraway images, with one exception. It had been the most recent, taken at the heat of battle. Though still a bit grainy, they could see the resemblance to a spacesuit in the costume. It was a little on the classic side, streamlined and spandex. It was white and silver, with red gloves and chunky red combat boots. She had a silver toolbelt and a helmet that looked to be a cross between a motorcycle helmet and an astronaut helmet with two little points that looked like antennae. The visor was chrome, so they still couldn't see the face. She stood in front of a group of rough-looking guys kneeling in pain, with a hand outstretched.

All the forum replies gave hefty explanations for why she went missing, tracing down minor crime syndicates the villains she took down were involved in. It was even harder because she was apparently an underground hero.

"Wow," Mirio murmured. "This is like a mystery..."

Izuku nodded, lost in thought. "I feel like all these explanations are wrong..." he shrugged. They both worked on a separate entry for Lady Quantum, trying to solve their new mystery.

_____

Toshinori just finished helping Mirio and Izuku with their homework for tomorrow, and walked into the living room to find Inko staring at her computer.

"What's up?" He asked, taking a seat next to her at on the couch.

She sighed, and closed her laptop. Looking at her hands, she continued. "It's just that almost none of the jobs have contacted me back yet," Toshinori raised a brow.

"It's been a month, Toshi," she explained. "The one that did reach out did so just to tell me I wasn't selected."

"The closing period ended a week ago for most of them though," Toshi commented. "Just relax, give it some time,"

"But my savings won't last forever, and I don't want to mooch off you forever - Mirio can't keep sleeping on that trundle and you or me on the couch, and oh god the price of extra groceries -"

"Inko." Toshi interrupted.

"Huh?"

"It's fine," He said. "You guys aren't a burden. Honestly, you do more than I ever did around here," he chuckled. "The only way it was relatively neat around here when you first came was because Sato cleaned up the day before." He shrugged. "And Mirio told me the other day that Izuku forced him to take turns sleeping on the bed,"

Inko let out a short breath through her nose. Yagi saw as she sank back into the couch to stare at the ceiling, lost in thought. Toshi watched her with a fond smile, and wondered if now was the time to ask the question he couldn't all those years ago.

"Would you..." he trailed off. Nerves. Again.

"Hm?" She asked, jerking out her thoughts.

It's now or never, Toshi told himself. Looking down at the edge of the coffee table, he continued his question.

"Would you like to go get lunch tomorrow?" He finished quickly. When he didn't get a response, he looked up to see Inko scrunch up her face. Oh no, did he mess up? "Ah, it's okay if you don't want to! I uhm just thought, uhmm-"

"I can't," she said with a sympathetic look on her face.

Toshi nodded. He'd been hasty to ask her out only a month after she had a bad fight with her husband, and they weren't even officially divorced yet and-

"I have a meeting with the lawyers to finalize the divorce," she replied. Upon seeing her friend's panicked expression, she couldn't help but laugh. He looked like a deer in headlights. "I'm free this weekend though!" She said as she stood up.

Toshi nodded slowly. "I know a good café downtown," he suggested. "I could get Aizawa to babysit - he hasn't seen Mirio in a while and keeps bugging me,"

Inko laughed. Patting his shoulder, she left to go to the kitchen. "It's a date," she told him with a wink.

_____

Izuku and Mirio sat at the table, across from a kid they didn't know. His messy purple hair stood out in weird directions, and he was awfully quiet. Izuku could hear Mr. Aizawa snoring softly from the living room. He'd went to sleep as soon as his mom left with Mr. Yagi. He'd been told that his name was Shinso Hitoshi, but that's all he really knew. Mirio wasn't much better. He told Izuku that he was Mr. Aizawa's nephew, but apparently he's never seen him before. Neither one of them even knew what his quirk was. Izuku was determined though. He'd make friends with this boy yet! They couldn't go outside because Mr. Aizawa said it looked about to rain and he wasn't going to deal with any colds.

"Hey wanna play a game?" Izuku asked.

Shinso shook his head no.

"Aw come on!" Izuku pleaded. "It'll be fun! You don't even have to talk in this game! In fact, if you talk, you lose!"

Mirio looked over at him. "Wait, are you thinking what I'm thinking?"

Izuku nodded excitedly while Shinso looked over at the two in confusion.

"Pictionade scrabble!" They exclaimed in unison, high-fiving each other.

Shinso followed them into Mirio's room, where the two boys pulled out the pictionary cards and a scrabble board. Shinso listened as they both explained the rules to their strange concoction of the three games excitedly. He was still confused half the time while playing, but they didn't make fun of him, and he didn't have to talk, so that was okay, he guessed. He was playing some weird rendition of chess against Izuku with Mirio as the referee when his uncle appeared in the doorway.

"Lunchtime, kiddos" he said.

They all carefully stepped over the game and followed him into the kitchen. The three sat down at the table after washing their hands while Aizawa fixed them their plates. Apparently Izuku's mom had made them all sandwiches, even Shinso. Izuku bounced in his seat as he waited for Mr. Aizawa to pass out the plates, his and Mirio's carefully labeled. Izuku's didn't have tomatoes, and Mirio's had extra mustard and no ketchup. All the sandwiches were neatly cut into triangles with the crust removed. Aizawa chuckled as he looked at it. "She's still doing that, huh?" He mumbled to himself, sitting down with the kids. Izuku slowed down eating his sandwich to watch him. He looked kind of like he'd fit into the crowd that would come by at random to his old house. His mommy told him to not talk to them and go to his room whenever they dropped by looking for his father. He frowned.

Aizawa seemed to read Izuku's mind, because he caught him staring and raised a brow. Izuku flushed a bit before taking a slow bite of his sandwich and looking away. He was staring again not too long after though. With a roll of his eyes, Aizawa lifted the cup of tea to his lips. "If you're wondering about me kid, I'm friends with your mom." He deadpanned.

Izuku's eyes widened. Mirio seemed just as surprised. "You know Mrs. Midoriya too?" He asked. Aizawa chuckled. "Yeah, though I haven't seen her for a while..."

He put down his cup to face two wildly curious faces and a another with a vauge sense of interest. "She was a good friend of mine and Yagi's during high school."

Izuku nodded, taking another slow bite of his sandwich. So that's why.

Mirio, however, almost fell from his seat. In high school? His dad went to U.A. for high school. The bestest school for heroes! If Izuku's mom went there too, then that meant she was training to be a hero... he looked over at Izuku, who was happily munching away on his sandwich. He didn't tell him his dad was All Might, and was forever feeling guilty for keeping it a secret, but perhaps Izuku was doing the same; it'd be multiple levels of ironic for them both. Surprisingly too, Izuku didn't ask about Mr. Aizawa - he'd graduated from U.A. in his dad's class too, meaning he'd have a hero license. Mirio was puzzled Izuku didn't ask. 'Hmm,' he thought, turning back to his sandwich.

Just then, the doorbell rang, and Aizawa was up from the table to answer it. Mirio could hear his dad laughing with Mrs. Midoriya. He smiled. He was glad his dad was laughing so often nowadays. He guessed his curiosities could wait for a bit.

Toshinori and Inko stepped back into the kitchen, drenched in rain. "You should've seen his face!" Inko laughed.

Aizawa rolled his eyes. "You always forget to check the weather,"

"Luckily Inko had an umbrella with her,"

"You're hopeless," Aizawa answered.

"Hey!"

Inko laughed as she headed to the kitchen. She greeted the three children before straightening up some of the mess the four made. Aizawa began gathering his things as well. "Thank you again for watching them, Aizawa," she said. He shrugged. "No problem. They behaved well,"

Inko nodded. "Care to stay for dinner?"

He shook his head. "Gotta go drop Shinso off home, maybe some other time though. It'd be much needed to catch up." He replied, side-eyeing the scars on her wrist.

Inko saw him and gave a curt nod. "I'll see you then. Thanks again,"

He shrugged. "Anytime."

Toshinori walked him to the door, followed by Mirio and Izuku, who were talking to Shinso. As they headed out the door, Aizawa smiled as Shinso waved his new friends goodbye with a soft "see you later,".

_____

"Did you boys have fun?" Toshinori asked.

Mirio nodded. "Yep! I refereed epic chess with Izuku and Shinso, and we played pictionade scrabble, and watched the news, and drew pictures!"

Izuku hummed in agreement. "At first I was worried that Mr. Aizawa would be mean and scary but he's really nice!" Izuku babbled. "He even told us how you were all high school friends!"

Inko's eyes widened as she turned around.

"He told you we went to U.A. together?" Toshinori exclaimed.

"Mommy you went to U.A.?"

"You didn't know?" Mirio gasped at Izuku, who shook his head.

"I was, ah, in the business course?..." she replied.

Ah, Mirio and Izuku looked at each other. That made sense he guessed. Aizawa hadn't necessarily said they were in the same class - Mirio jumped to conclusions. Izuku hummed before his eyes widened again. "Wait..." He began. Inko could see the cogs turning in her son's head. "If you three went to U.A., were you all in the business course? Somehow I can't see Mr. Aizawa there..." he thought aloud.

Toshinori sighed. Mirio looked to his dad, but Toshinori shook his head. Maybe...another time, he thought. He knew Mirio hated keeping the secret from his friend, and Toshinori himself wanted to tell the boy, but he felt things like this needed good timing. He couldn't just blurt it out now. Inko chuckled as she ushered the boys out the kitchen to go clean up their games.

Toshinori could hear Izuku drilling Mirio for answers before they started playing in the living room. He turned to Inko. "Should I tell him?" He asked her. She sat down next to him. "I think that would be best. Though how, I'm not sure. And the timing..." he nodded in agreement. "Ugh I hate keeping secrets," he sighed, slumping over. Inko chuckled. "You've always been surprisingly good at keeping them though,"

"Except from you," he pointed out.

"That's only because you became a stuttering mess!" She laughed. "Aizawa had to tell me how you got nervous talking to girls,"

"No, it's because you were just good at people-watching! You knew exactly how to blackmail everyone in our class and three classes down! People swore out you had a mind-reading quirk," he laughed.

Inko grinned. "People are just easy to read. Especially when you're close to them. I found you and your quirk out after you broke your arm during internships," Toshinori watched as she laughed, suddenly serious.

"Aizawa lied."

"Huh?"

Inko may be good at people-watching, but Aizawa was probably the world's most convincing fibber.

"I didn't get nervous talking to girls," he replied. "Not like that, anyway. I..." he looked down at his hands. "I was always a mess because I liked you," he finished quietly. Inko's eyes widened slightly.

"Really now?" She said. "I had- I had no idea,"

Toshi nodded, feeling the blush rush to his face at the confession. Inko looked behind him quickly before turning back to him. "I'm sorry if this is out of line... but do you want to go see a movie next weekend?" She asked, biting her lower lip. Toshinori, at a loss for words, just nodded slowly. Inko cleared her throat.

"I don't want to seem like that type of person - I know it's a bit hasty after what happened, but you really helped me a lot and I like being around you and-" she caught herself and took a deep breath. "What I'm trying to say is, Toshinori, will you go out with me?"

Toshinori's brain finally caught up with him. Wait, what?

"...that's my line," he snorted. Midoriya Inko, always one step ahead of him.

"Is that a yes?" She asked, raising an eyebrow.

"It's a definitely," Toshinori agreed, smiling up at her.

Chapter Text

They fell into a comfortable little routine: on the weekdays Toshinori would drop off Mirio and Izuku to school, then he and Inko would head to the city for both their jobs. The divorce was long since settled, with Inko in full custody - and Hisashi had actually been jailed on account of abuse and neglect. Inko had been elated to discover she'd been chosen for her top choice of job- the very first one she'd applied to. Inko and Toshinori would meet each other for lunch, and pick both boys up from the park near Izuku's school.

Perhaps having such a stringent and comfortable routine was why when Izuku caught a cold one day, Mirio felt like a bandaid had been ripped off.

He sat at his desk, slightly slumped over. There were only two hours left in the school day, but he felt like the world was ending. He won't be able to walk to Izuku's school and hang out until his dad got off work - he was at home with Izuku. He'd have to wait for Ms. Midoriya, and today she would be getting off a little later than usual. The day wasn't even over yet and he was already dragging his feet. He sighed as he headed out of the locker room. Today they'd be doing gym. Mirio hated gym. He decided that apparently the fate was out to get him when the teacher announced a small physical exam. He followed the instructions to stand in line only to hear a bit of conversation pick up behind him. Two of his classmates were talking about a TV show from last weekend.

"And then he picked up the hat and was like pashaa!" Mirio turned around to see the first boy striking a dramatic pose.

"Yeah but then it fell off again when he swung on that vine across the cavern," the second boy playfully punched his friend in the shoulder. Mirio took a silent breath.

"What about when that monkey gave it back though?" He asked.

"Ooooh! Yeah! I remember that part!" The first boy said. Mirio grinned. Maybe today wouldn't be so bad after all.

"Hey speaking of which, my mom said I could stay up a little later to watch the sequel -"

"Yeah! I saw it too!" The other boy interrupted. Turning around a little more, he asked. "Did you see it Yagi?"


He nodded. "Yeah! I watched up until the part where he almost slipped off that cliff! It was really funny," he giggled.

The other two boys laughed along. "And then he turned around and-"

"Wait no don't spoil it! He said he only saw up to that part,"

"What really?" His classmate gasped. "How come you didn't finish it! It was almost over!"

Mirio rubbed the back of his neck. "Ah, well the news special came on so I switched channels," he explained. He and Izuku liked to watch other shows too, so they'd been watching that cartoon. But even an exciting adventure story couldn't pull them both away from the chilling fight between All Might and an illusive fog villain. Especially since they couldn't go see it live- Ms. Midoriya had made them help clean while his dad was out. Besides , he liked making sure his dad was okay. Of course, his classmates didn't know that. So not knowing, they said:

"Yagi you watch the news?" One exclaimed.

"That's for grown ups though! It's so booooring! What do you even watch?"

"The hero segment..." Mirio answered.

"Ooh, that makes sense. You always talk about how you're gonna be a hero," they laughed.

"Aren't your parents heroes?" He asked them.

One shrugged. "Yeah but they're not really popular and I get embarrassed seeing them in costume. I'd never wear anything stupid like that!" He giggled, crossing his arms into an 'x'.

"I don't really have a quirk good for hero-ing," the other replied. "How useful is being able to spit foaming bubbles?" He too giggled, copying his friend.

"I mean, maybe?" The first boy chimed in. "Like if Yagi actually becomes a hero by always falling into the floor then you can too silly!" They both nearly fell laughing. Mirio chuckled along before turning around. So the same old, he guessed. He knew they didn't mean to hurt his feelings, and he knew starting out that his interests were a bit unique, and he definitely knew he needed to learn to control his quirk... but it still stung. He let out a breath, relieved for once the teacher called out his name.

_____

"Achoo!"

Izuku sneezed again. Sighing, he sat up on the bed. He wiped his runny nose before sneezing again. Everything ached, and he was miserable. He didn't even realize he was crying until Mr. Yagi came barreling into the room. "Young Midoriya, what's wrong?" He asked. Izuku would've laughed at the look of bewildered worry in the man's sunken eyes had he not been sick. So instead, he just shook his head. Mr. Yagi sat down on the bed next to him. "I made you some tea, it might help. You want me to bring it in?" He asked. Izuku shook his head. He was tired of staying in the bed! Mr. Yagi picked him up gently and headed to the kitchen. After sitting him down at the table, he handed him his tea. Izuku sipped it. It was nice and warm. He gave a small smile.

"Better?" Mr. Yagi asked him. Izuku nodded before sneezing. A tissue was held to his nose as he blew. When he was done, Mr. Yagi threw it into the trash and washed his hands. Izuku watched quietly as he began preparing dinner. He glanced at the baggy jacket he wore. His mom had worn that yesterday...

Drinking the last bit of his tea, he blurted out a question that had Mr. Yagi nearly drop the freshly chopped vegetables on the floor.

"Are you dating my mommy?"

"Ah, yes..." he wiped his hands before sitting at the table with Izuku. "I hope that's okay?" Inko had told him that she'd tell him, so he hadn't said anything.

Izuku nodded. "It's okay. It's actually very nice. If you said you weren't I was gonna ask if you could," he leaned down on the table. "Mommy was always tired all the time and sighing so much," he said. "But now since we came here she's always smiling. Even when she's worried. And when she's sad you can dance with her again,"

Ah, so that's probably how he found out. Inko had been cooking dinner with him once when she accidentally cut her finger. Toshinori caught her looking at her scars again, reliving that horrible night. He'd took her hands and twirled her around the kitchen as a distraction. By the end, they were both a laughing, breathless mess. Izuku and Mirio had apparently been spying, and then Mirio probably excitedly told Izuku all about what his classmates talked about in school.

Izuku yawned. "And I like it when she's not sad," he finished. Toshinori nodded.

"I don't like it when she's sad either." He replied.

Izuku sighed. "That's good. Then it won't be like last time." The last part was just a little whisper, barely audible, but Toshinori had heard it nonetheless. His heart nearly broke. He could only imagine what Izuku was feeling. A part of him was glad Hisashi had been locked away - he had a feeling if he saw him in the streets, the jail would have to have two extra cells. "Do you want to talk about it?" He asked. He didn't want to press if he wasn't ready.

"Mommy said that he's gone to jail now," he said. His words were a little muffled from laying his cheek on the table. "I..." he trailed off. Eventually, he sat up completely. "I feel kinda bad for being happy." He said.

"At first I was sad, and confused, but when I woke up again I was angry. Mommy always does a lot for everyone and he didn't even come to the house. I was wondering if it was my fault, because he got mad that I was quirkless in the first place, but then I was angry that he was worrying about that even though it was my birthday. Mommy told me he was finally going to come this year and I was happy even if I knew they'd just probably end up arguing and he'd leave again." He sighed, slumping once more. "So now... I feel like he got what he deserved. He wanted to hurt people like a villain, so he gets to go where villains go. I don't feel any sort of connection to him anymore - except anger sometimes." He sneezed, and Toshinori wiped his nose. "So I like to avoid talking about him to mommy because he's technically my dad, and mommy always told me to be respectful to adults. Except I'm not sure this applies in this case. Either way, I'm a little ashamed that I'm angry like this. Mommy told me that hate is a strong word but I kinda hate him a little."

Toshinori waited until he was finished, listening intently. When he was done, he rubbed Izuku's head. "It's okay. Honestly, between you and me - I hate him a little too," he winked at Izuku, who unfurrowed his brows and let out a short giggle.

"What he did was definitely not okay, and I'm so sorry this had to happen to you," he told him. He saw Izuku press his hand to the scar on his back. "I'm glad you're here now though, and talking about it. That's important." Izuku nodded. "It's okay to be angry - they're your feelings, and they're valid. And in all honesty, just because he's your father doesn't mean he's your dad."

Toshinori could see Izuku's eyes get glassy. "Well, I'm still a little mad but I'm glad I'm here," he said. Toshinori grinned at him.

"I'm glad you're here too."

Izuku opened his mouth and let out a sob before climbing out of his chair and walking to Toshinori. He picked him up and held him in his lap, rubbing his hair. Izuku was getting tears and snot on his shirt, but he couldn't care less if he was honest.

After a while, Izuku's crying simmered down to a few sniffles. Toshinori patted his back. "I'll let you in on another secret," he began. "Tomorrow we can take a trip to my job - maybe some heroes will happen to be there." He winked. Izuku wiped his nose on his sleeve. "Really?!" He asked.

Toshinori nodded.

"That sounds good," Izuku said before yawning. Toshinori let him sleep.

_____

Mirio kicked the at the dirt in front of the school. Most of the other kids had gone home already, and he'd even finished helping clean the classroom. Sighing, he squatted down and watched some ants crawl along the pavement. They all...looked the same. They fit in with each other - looking for food like all the other ants.

When he heard the familiar rumble of his dad's car, he felt like he could cry. He practically ran over and jumped in. When he was situated, Ms. Midoriya took off. "How was your day?" She asked. He could see the corner of her smile in the rearview mirror.

"It was fine," he lied.

Inko knew that tone anywhere. It was the same one Izuku used to assure her his classmates didn't treat him badly for being quirkless. "You sure?" She asked, raising an eyebrow.

Mirio hummed absentmindedly. "Mmmhmm,"


"I hope you know you can tell me anything," she urged.

Mirio nodded. "...yeah,"

Hm, Inko thought. "How about we make a quick stop off at the store? Your dad texted me on the way back asking me to bring some more tea."

Mirio nodded and they continued to ride in silence.

_____

When Izuku woke up, he was feeling much better. He still sneezed a little, but nothing was achey and Mr. Yagi even told him his fever was gone! He was led into the kitchen to see him still cooking.

"You feeling better sport?" He asked, grinning down at him. Izuku nodded.

"Can I help?"

He seemed to pause in thought for a bit before replying. "How about you rest for a bit more?" He asked gently. But upon seeing Izuku's pout, he continued. "Ah, well I suppose you could set the table..." he suggested. He didn't want Izuku to overwork himself just after feeling a bit better, and he didn't want germs getting into the food either. Izuku seemed to think this was a fair compromise, and scurried off to the bathroom to wash his hands.

When he came back, he set the table and climbed into one of the seats. Mr. Yagi had said his mommy and Mirio would be back really soon, so he decided to wait for them. In the meantime, he was drawing pictures. Mr. Yagi peered over his shoulder. "What'cha drawing?" He asked.

Izuku grinned as he held it out. "This is me," he said, pointing to the figure in the middle with a mess of green scribbles for hair. It was surprisingly detailed for a child his age - he even drew his freckles. "And this is mommy," he pointed to a similar figure, with long eyelashes and a bun. "And this," he said, moving his fingers to the other parts of the picture. "This is Mirio, and this is you!" He beamed, clearly proud of his creation. They were all holding hands, and there was a rainbow and a sun with a smiley face in the background. There was also a box labeled 'jail' in the distance with a figure scowling angrily and a stormcloud above it, and Izuku thought it was hilarious. Toshinori's heart swelled at the picture. "It's amazing! Can I hang it on the fridge?" He exclaimed, ruffling Izuku's hair. Izuku giggled. "Yes, it's a present! But I gotta finish it first! My red pencil broke and I can't finish my shoes." Toshinori looked closer. Sure enough, one of what he assumed were Izuku's favorite pair of red shoes were missing.

"Oh in that case, there's a pencil sharpener in my room. You can just grab it off the desk and bring it in here," he told him.

"Yay!" Izuku hopped off the seat and walked down the hall. He stopped in front of the door for a bit - he's never been in here before...

Turning the handle, he was met with a more sleek version of Mirio's room. Izuku noted the maps of various countries on the wall, as well as a mug that had the letters 'NYC' on it. Izuku marveled - nearly everything was black, white, silver, or red. It was much smaller than he was used to at his old house...but it was still really nice. He fully entered, passing his mommy's laptop on the workdesk and making his way to the other end toward the nightstand. He found the sharpener not on top of the desk but in a drawer, and was about to head back out when something else in the drawer caught his eye. In the near back of the drawer sat an old photograph. Izuku pulled it out and stared at it. It was a photo of what looked like a younger All Might, Eraserhead, and three others Izuku didn't recognize. One wore a silver motorist helmet and a black spandex suit with silver boots. The black visor of the helmet had two red cartoon eyes with eyelashes. The second one was a woman that looked vaguely familiar. She had on a more traditional style hero ensemble, and her long dark hair was pulled into a semi-bun. The other figure had on a huge...helmet? Izuku didn't know if that was the best way to describe it. It looked like a huge smiling cartoon head. He looked more like a mascot than a hero. Eraserhead wasn't wearing his goggles for once, and looking closely, Izuku noticed that he looked a lot like Mr. Aizawa...

"You alright in there?" He heard Mr. Yagi call from the hall.

"Yes!" He yelled, hastily shoving the photo back.

_____

Mirio finished shopping with Ms. Midoriya, and was standing outside of the line while she paid for the tea. He was idly looking around when something caught his eye. It was a claw machine! They sometimes had them in the front of the stores. Mirio had seen it already too - it wasn't the machine that caught his eye, but what was inside of it. Going closer to press his face against the glass, he saw the cutest stuffed yellow bear he ever did see. He wanted it. Checking the price, he was relieved to see it only cost a dollar. Reaching into his pocket, he fumbled around, taking his hand back out. 'Good' he thought - he'd have two chances. 'Unless they take lint and old mints,' he grinned.

His first try was an absolute failure - the claw didn't even touch the thing! The second time, however, Mirio was much elated to find the claw not only touched the bear, but picked it up as well! He watched in excitement, face plastered to the glass, as the claw carried his prize over... over... ov-

It stopped. The claw released and dropped the bear, square on top of the edge. Mirio looked on in dismay. Maybe if he shook it a little, it'd fall over into the chute...

"Nope, don't shake it." He turned around to see Ms. Midoriya hand him the bag of tea. She grinned at him before kneeling down and sticking her arm up the chute. Mirio watched wide-eyed as she snaked her arm up and grabbed the bear. She brushed it off, and handed it to Mirio, who was now more interested in her arm than the bear. It looked almost unnatural, how she bent her arm.

"Thank you! How'd you do that?!" He asked excitedly, hugging his bear. Inko chuckled "I'm what they call double-jointed."

"Woooaah! That's so weird!"

"Yeah, gross right?"

Mirio froze. "Ah, no! I didn't mean-"

"You're fine! That's just what a lot of my friends always said about it. I'd twist my arms and legs around during stretching or sports festivals and everyone would scream and groan," she chuckled at the memory.

"Oh..." Mirio nodded.

"You see, at first I was sad. I felt like I was weird and gross too - but then I realized I was just unique! I could do something 'weird' that they couldn't! I was proud of my skills after that. They even came in handy when I was in high school!" She finished.

Mirio looked up at her in wonder. Her weirdness helped her in high school? In U.A.?! Maybe he'd be like that too...

"Ms. Midoriya?"

"Hm?"

"Can...we go sit in the park?"

"Sure thing"

They both got situated in the car, neither one speaking on the way to their local park. Inko left the bag in the car and followed Mirio as he lead her to the short hiking trail. Spotting the small stream, Inko figured this was probably where he and Izuku often came to play. She decided to follow suit as Mirio sat down on the bank, heaving a huge sigh.

With his face in his knees, he began talking. "All the kids in my class think I'm weird," he started. "I want to be their friend but they always make fun of my quirk, like today when we had gym and they laughed and said I wouldn't become a hero," he sniffled. "They're not doing it to be mean...it's just that they don't realize it hurts my feelings!" He sniffled again, trying his best to hold back the tears. "It just that, they all have control over their quirks and I still don't even know all about mine! Like today I fell through the floor twice during the physical exam and almost got a demerit for using my quirk. But I didn't mean to..." The dam broke. A part of Inko's heart crumbled as she watched Mirio sob into his knees, trying to finish whatever he was saying in between hiccups and sniffs.

"I just," sniff. "I just want to be a heroooo," he wailed. "It's not fair that I got a weird quirk I don't understand! I hate having to bring three extra outfits to school everyday, I hate having to be extra careful about being happy or excited because I might sink into the floor! I hate not having friends at school!" He cried. It was all coming out now. He'd never told anyone because he didn't think his dad would really understand, and he didn't want to seem mean and ungrateful to Izuku.

Inko sighed. "C'mere," she said, pulling him into a tight hug. "I understand how you feel - going through school like that must be tough," she rubbed his hair. "But look on the bright side! Maybe you're having trouble with it because there's more to it than you know! Who knows, maybe you actually have a really powerful quirk, and that's why it's so hard to understand." Mirio rubbed his eyes.

"Really?"

Inko nodded. "I know most hero kids don't start training until they're a year older than you, but I think in this case, I can see if your dad or Mr. Aizawa can do something,"

Mirio looked up at her. "Do you think that'll help?"

Inko grinned. "As long as you guys don't do any harsh fighting for now I think it's a good idea. Though,"

"Yeah?"

"Don't try so hard to fit in. It's always the best option to be yourself. And I'm not sure if I have the right to say this, but if someone makes you sad, maybe it's best to tell them," she said with a forlorn sigh. Mirio nodded, taking her hand and giving it a squeeze. She looked down at him a chuckled. "Besides, you'll always have a place with us! And the bear too - it looks like you," she winked. Mirio gasped as he looked at his now tear-stained bear. Its tuft of yellow fur on its head stood out in odd directions. The round eyes had glitter in them, and the red ascot was slightly longer in the back - sort of like a cape. Mirio grinned. She was right. From now on, he'd continue trying his best! He had his dad, and Izuku, and Ms. Midoriya, and maybe even Mr. Aizawa and Shinso, even if they laughed at him too sometimes. And maybe Nana too -

He laughed as he skipped alongside Ms. Midoriya back to the car.

_____

"We're here!"

Izuku rushed to the door. "Where were you guys! You took forever!" He bounced around.

"Hello Izuku!" His mommy picked him up to plant a kiss on his cheek. "You feeling better?" Izuku nodded, giggling and squirming to be back down. "Yes! Mr. Yagi gave me some soup and made me take a nap! Then I woke up and had some tea and colored!" He leaned in to whisper. "And he said he'll take me to his job to see heroes too!" Inko didn't know why he was whispering, he'd clearly wanted the both of them to hear. She laughed and shook her head as Izuku and Mirio ran around each other in excitement.

"Oh! And also I told him thank you for dating you and to also keep doing it!"

Inko sputtered and nearly dropped her bag. She'd totally forgot to tell him. She felt horrible!

"Ah, I'm sorry for forgetting to tell you...so much was going on, I-"

Izuku shook his head. "No! That's fine! I like it! You guys should date forever and I can stay with Mirio all day!"

Mirio furiously nodded. "Yeah! That's a great idea!" He ran into the kitchen, followed by Izuku, and a slowly reddening Inko.

"Hey dad!"

Toshinori looked up from setting the table. "Why hello son! How was school-"

"Can you and Ms. Midoriya like date forever? I wanna live with Izuku and she's a nice lady who makes good food and lets me stay up late even when you tell me to go to bed,"he jumped around. "And she said that I can start hero training early!" Mirio beamed. Izuku had stars in his eyes. "Really?!" He too turned to his parent. "Mommy! Mommy! Can I start early too? Can I?!"

Toshinori nearly dropped the plate. Both kids were running around the kitchen laughing, circling around Toshinori and Inko. Looking over, he spotted Inko with her hands on her face, barely masking the furious blush. He cleared his throat, feeling the familiar heat of his own cheeks. "I, um, don't see why not?" He slowly answered. Inko snorted at his awkward response, face still red. Izuku and Mirio high-fived each other.

"Yeah!" They whooped.

"But we'll still have to see about that hero training..."

It took Inko nearly twenty minutes to calm herself and everyone else down so that they could just finally eat.

Chapter Text

Interestingly enough, Izuku was by no means a morning person. Mirio, however, was. And despite staying with him for quite some time, he still wasn't used to his loud bumbling first thing. Mirio was a little better adjusted to Izuku's morning grumbling, but he still tended to forget to be a little quieter.... especially on days like this.

"Izuku! Wake up! Wake up!" He jumped on the bed. Izuku rolled around, cracking one eye open. "Mirio stop," he groaned.

"But today's the day!" Mirio exclaimed. He could see Izuku try and processes what that meant in his half-sleep state. Then he could pinpoint exactly when he finally figured it out, judging by the light in his eyes. He jumped up, excited (not surprisingly, once Izuku was up, he was up).

"I'm gonna go get ready!" He hastily rolled out the bed and headed over to the closet (his clothes have long-since been moved out of the box and into the closet), where he grabbed his carefully planned outfit from the night before. It was, of course, his favorite All Might hoodie. It's definitely seen better days, and a corner near the back was singed, but to Izuku, there was nothing else more fitting. Mirio opted for a red and white polo with blue buttons ("we match now!" He'd told Izuku).

Showered and dressed, they headed into the kitchen. Both Mr. Yagi and his mommy liked to get up early too, so Izuku wasn't too surprised to see them both cooking breakfast.

"Good morning boys! Have a good sleep?" His mommy asked. Izuku nodded.

"Yes! I got up early today too!" He sang as he ran to gather the utensils. He left the plates for Mirio - he was only two years older than him, but he was a bit taller and could reach better. Mr. Yagi chuckled as he tossed something into the air in a pan. Izuku's head fwipped around. "Mr. Yagi! What was that!" He asked as he excitedly tried to peer up at the stove. Mr. Yagi grinned as he flipped it again. "Pancakes!" He said.

Izuku's eyes widened. Mr Yagi knew how to make pancakes?! He was so happy! Humming, he skipped over to the table to sit down. Mr. Yagi fixed the plates and his mommy poured the orange juice. They all gave thanks for the food and ate. Izuku was pleased to find that they were the best pancakes he's ever tasted in his life. Mr. Yagi even let him get seconds, much to the displeasure of his mommy.

When breakfast was finished and the kitchen cleaned, Izuku and Mirio waited patiently on the couch while Mr. Yagi got ready for work. Izuku always found it strange he carried such a huge briefcase, but Mirio said he'd probably explain why when they got there. They all piled into the car, waving see you later to his mommy.

"Mr. Yagi, will we get to see All Might?" Izuku asked.

Mr. Yagi chuckled. "Most definitely, my boy"

Mirio giggled. His dad told him about what was actually happening today, and Mirio was elated to find he didn't have to keep the secret from his friend anymore!

Izuku asked what seemed to be a million and one questions the entire way to the hero agency. When they finally arrived, Izuku was only quiet because he was so blown away. He was actually here! All Might's hero agency! He marveled at the huge sturdy wall posted with guards, and the booth Mr. Yagi had drove up to. Mirio giggled again - Izuku probably startled the guard in the booth where his dad had to scan a card. Poor man just wanted to eat his sandwich. Izuku practically vibrated in his seat as they drove through the double gates and into the parking garage. It took forever to find a space, but luckily they didn't have to walk very far to the elevator. Izuku was muttering to himself about how cool this all was, and kept flipping through the pages of his newest edition of the hero book.

When they finally arrived to the main building, Izuku watched as Mr. Yagi scanned his card again and got into another elevator, where he scanned his card again and pressed a button on the top floors. The glass elevator took off, and Izuku pressed his face against the glass to watch all the heroes bumble about on each floor. When the elevator stopped, they were all greeted by a familiar face. Two, to be exact.

"What the fuck." Came the deadpan voice of Mr. Aizawa. Izuku peered closer. He was wearing normal clothing, but he somehow had the signature goggles of the hero Eraserhead dangling around his neck. Izuku's eyes widened. "Mr. Aizawa! Are you Eraserhead?" He asked. He heard Mr. Yagi sputter in surprise, making an attempt to apologize to the other man.

"Yeah, why?" He quirked an eyebrow. Izuku just shook his head. "That's so cool," he whispered. He almost missed Shinso holding onto Mr. Aizawa's hand. Izuku waved. "Hi!"

Shinso nodded at him. "Hi," he said with a quiet smile. He yanked on Mr. Aizawa's hand, and the scruffy man bent down. Shinso whispered something into his ear, and Aizawa nodded. "Since obviously today is bring your kid to work day I'm leaving Hitoshi here with you guys and going to the archives for a while." He raised an eyebrow in challenge at Toshinori, who just laughed and ushered them all out of the front of the elevator. "Why I don't see how that'll be a problem! Though I have something to talk about privately with these two first, so meet me in about twenty minutes at my office-"

"HEEEEEEEY,"

"...fucking hell"

"Aizawa!"

Izuku giggled as he peeled Mr. Yagi's hand off his ear. Not that that helped anything - he had one hand on both his and Mirio's ear (more ears than hands it seems). He watched as a lanky man with a funny mustache and the whitest teeth Izuku ever saw approached. His dyed blonde hair was gelled up a mile high and Izuku could see his own reflection in his gold sunglasses. His shiny leather jacket had a load of patches on it, and one of his bulky combat boots were untied. Present Mic! Izuku marveled.

"Yo! I haven't seen you in like forever!" He shouted. Aizawa winced.

"God I wish that was me,"

Toshinori laughed. "I saw you last week!"

Mic rolled his eyes. "Not you, obviously! I'm talkin' about lil' Mirio!" He grinned and tousled the boy's hair. "You always let Aizawa babysit! I wanna play with him too!" He pouted. Izuku and Mirio both giggled.

"And who do we got here?!" He exclaimed, peering at Izuku excitedly.

"Go on and introduce yourself, my boy!" Toshinori encouraged.

Izuku jumped up and down. He hadn't even took three steps away from the elevator and already met two pro heroes! "H-Hi!" He stuttered a little in his excitement. "My name's Midoriya Izuku! I wanna be hero when I grow up!"

"Ah! That's cool! I see you must be Mirio's friend then?..." he trailed off, quiet for once, looking at Toshinori for answers. Mirio laughed. "Yep! We're bestest friends in law!"

"...in law?" Aizawa questioned.

Izuku nodded. "Yeah 'cause he's dating my mom!"

All three adults were silent before Mic broke out into boisterous laughter and Aizawa desperately tried to hide his snickers with his free hand. Toshinori, red-faced, was trying to shut them both up.

"wwwWWOOOOAAHO!" Mic shouted. "Who's the unlucky lady?" He teased Toshinori.

Aizawa grinned. "I bet Inko asked you out first too," he said, crossing his arms.

Toshinori loosened his tie. "I, um, yeah..."

Mic turned to face them both. "What?! You got back in touch with Inko and didn't tell me?" His expression looked close to a pout.

Aizawa rolled his eyes. "The brat said his name was Midoriya, you dimwit."

He paused for a moment. "Wait, you knew too?"

Aizawa shrugged. "I've babysat a few times, figured it out on my own."

"Inko wanted to keep everything on the quieter side...?" Toshinori offered. "A lot happened, you'd have to get her to tell you herself. It's not my story to tell," he explained.

Mic nodded in understanding. "It's alright, I get that you guys wanna keep it on the DL." He shrugged. "But!" He continued. "That still doesn't excuse you from not bringing in the lil lad lately! I haven't seen him in forever! You even let Shouta babysit!" He reached down and tackled a giggling Mirio in a huge hug.

"That's because last time I asked you I came home to a brownie explosion in the kitchen and glitter paint on the TV." Toshinori explained.

"Still!" Mic complained. "I can't survive without seeing my favorite nephews!"

"Plural?" Aizawa questioned.

"You're not excused either Shouta! I haven't seen Shinso before today in too long! And now that - what's your name again, kid?" He asked.

Izuku perked up. "Izuku!" He told him.

"Yeah! Now that Izuku's here I have three nephews that I'm gonna see by next weekend whether you two like it or not!" He moved to grab all three of the boys in another huge embrace. Shinso seemed used to his antics, but both Mirio and Izuku were giggling widely. Toshinori laughed.

"Okay, okay, fine. I'll let you babysit next weekend. Now, if you'll excuse us!" He bowed and ushered Mirio and Izuku towards a hallway. Izuku waved at Shinso, knowing he'd get to see him a little later. Just before he rounded the corner, he caught a glimpse of a familiar-looking cartoon on the back of the hero Mic's jacket.

_____

Izuku and Mirio both sat on the plush red couch in a huge office. Izuku frowned as he gazed out the huge wall-length windows overlooking the city - he couldn't believe he'd forgotten to ask for both heros' autographs earlier! Mirio reassured him that there'd be a time later, but Izuku was still a bit disappointed. He'd had questions too!

"You're so lucky your dad works for All Might," Izuku told Mirio.

The other boy shrugged. "You get used to it after a while," he replied. "Especially when you see them out of hero costumes and goofing around like earlier,"

Izuku nodded. "I guess... Mr. Aizawa can be kinda normal at times. I just can't believe my mommy knows these people too! She didn't even tell me!" He pouted. "Hey do you think she knows All Might too?"

"Um-"

Just then, Mr. Yagi came back into the office, holding three bentos. "Sorry, the line was long," he explained. He set the food down carefully on the glass table, tucking a napkin into the front of Izuku and Mirio's shirts. They ate in comfortable silence for a while, and when they were finished, Izuku helped to clean up the mess. Mr. Yagi sighed and turned to him. "Now young lad, I have something very important to tell you, and you have to promise me to try and not tell anyone else, ever." He said with a serious face. Izuku nodded, expression matching. "Promise." He said, holding out his pinky. He didn't know what for, but it must be important - Mr. Yagi was so serious!

Toshinori couldn't help the small chuckle at the gesture - it was undeniably cute. He grinned and wrapped his pinky around Izuku's. "Good." Standing up, he said "I really don't think there's a good way to explain it, so I'll just show you," he headed over to his huge briefcase, and pulled out a folded up patterned...something. Midoriya couldn't quite make it out. Mr. Yagi headed to the private office bathroom. Izuku turned a questioning glance to Mirio, who seemed to be super excited about something. Soon enough, Mr. Yagi emerged from the bathroom wearing a baggy version of what seemed exactly like All Might's hero suit. Before Izuku could question why, there was a puff of smoke, and All Might himself, in all his glory, stood right before Izuku.

He fainted.

_____

When he woke up, Mr. Yagi - no - All Might was sitting in the chair across from him alongside Mirio. "w-w-w-what?!" Was all he managed to stutter out. How? He had so many questions!

All Might laughed. "Well, I was actually in the middle of a gruesome battle with a villain by the name of Toxic Chainsaw when I discovered I can change forms! This way I can actually conserve energy for when I need to use my quirk - and just in the nick of time too! That fight was literally a day after I'd adopted Mirio, and I was just barely staying out of the media's sights!"

"Woaaaah!" Izuku beamed. "Mirio! Your dad doesn't know All Might! He is All Might!"

Mirio nodded. "Right! I really wanted to tell you so bad! I hope you're not mad,"

"Well, I wish I could've known 'cause it's so cool, but I know that heroes have secret identities for a reason, so..." he shrugged. He remembered the fight with Toxic Chainsaw. Well, not remembered, but it was a video he made his mom play on repeat. "Also that explains why your hours are so weird!" All Might nodded. "I have regular patrol shifts, but a lot of times I get called in out of the blue,"

"And that's why I get to see uncle Aizawa and Hizashi!" Mirio finished.

A phone rang on the office desk. "Speaking of which, duty calls boys! Be good until I get back, okay?"

Both Izuku and Mirio nodded, and waved goodbye to All Might as he picked up the phone and left the office. Izuku turned to Mirio. "Who knows?"

"Well, Uncle Aizawa and Uncle Hizashi knows-"

"Hizashi?"

"Oh! Present Mic!"

"Oh!" Izuku felt a phantom pang on his back. It was weird meeting such a nice hero with a name like that... The nice lady his mommy had taken him to said that if he felt stressed, to color and talk to people, so he furiously shook his head to will the thoughts away, focusing instead on Mirio.

"I think Shinso knows too, though the first time I actually got to interact with him was when he came over,"

"Do all the heroes know?" Probably not, he assumed.

Mirio shook his head. "Nope! Only his friends, who all have offices on this floor actually - and it's actually kinda weird to see Uncle Aizawa during daytime-"

Before he could finish, the door opened again. They could see the flutter of All-Might's cape as he left from talking to another figure in the doorway. It was an older woman with dark hair pulled into a messy half-bun, holding a stack of games, and accompanied by Shinso.

Both boys lit up at the sight of her. "Nana!" They shouted in unison. Wait...what? Izuku and Mirio looked at each other. "How do you know my nana?" He asked.

Izuku gasped. "That's 'cause she's my nana!"

The woman laughed boisterously. "Relax boys! I'm both of you guy's nana!" She sat the games down on the table and rushed in to give them both a crushing hug. Izuku was always a bit overwhelmed by her hugs - she was so strong! "Hey Mirio! How's my favorite little Might?" She gave him a high-five. Mirio giggled. "I'm not little anymore nana! I'm six!" He held up seve-six fingers. She laughed. "Sure, squirt,"

"And I haven't seen you since forever! I'm totally gonna kill Inko when I see her tonight," she tickled Izuku before taking him into her lap. "I can't believe she didn't tell me what was going on!" She gave Izuku a softer, gentler, hug, her face in his curly hair. "I'm so sorry I couldn't be there for you,"

Izuku hugged her back. "I missed you," he told her. He hadn't seen her since he had turned three! The last time was actually at his birthday 'party'. He wondered if his mom convinced him to finally come because nana wasn't there...

"So I guess you know heroes too Izuku!" Mirio exclaimed.

"What? No, not till now!" Izuku shook his head.

Nana sighed. She knew this day would come eventually. She mentally cursed herself. She'd just barely convinced Inko not to tell Izuku about her friends' identities - there was no place for children in heroics. There was barely place for adults in heroics. If only...if only she'd been stronger - sucked up her grief, maybe...maybe she could've prevented this whole situation, maybe she could've protected Inko, and Izuku. The poor child had gotten a scar goddammit. And it was all her fault, because-

"Hey nana?" Mirio asked. "Are you okay?"

She nodded, forcing a smile back onto her face. She still held onto Izuku. A part of her felt that if she let go, she'd never see him again. "I'm okay," she told them. "Just thinking." Turning to Izuku, she began,

"You know how I went overseas?"

"After my birthday?"

She nodded. "Mhm. I was fighting."

"Yeah...'cause you're a boxer right? That's what you do?"

"Hmm." A pause. "Well yes, and no. I box, but not professionally. I'm actually a pro-hero, Izuku. Well, was is more like. I don't do much anymore."

"A pro-hero?..." Izuku slid off her lap to look at her face.

"Yeah." She nodded. "I was a hero named AllStar"

"AllStar!" Izuku exclaimed. He knew of her! She was one of his mommy's favorite heroes, even if she was elusive. In fact, Izuku doesn't think he's ever seen any recent photos of her, nor any earlier ones. They were all set around the same time.

"I used to train Mr. Yagi." She explained. "I took a break from heroics to work in social services," she explained. "I told your mommy not to tell you about me, because I didn't want you to get hurt. I'm sorry." She held his hands. Izuku looked especially pensive. Mr. Yagi and his nana were both someone he was close to, and Mr. Yagi was All Might, so he kinda understood. But he was getting increasingly upset with people not telling him things. Especially his mommy! He wished he could all the way understand, instead of just kinda. He frowned.

"Thank you for telling me," he said, taking his nana's hands. "Where's Pa?" He asked. Thinking back, he didn't come to Izuku's last birthday. He watched as his nana's face did something funny before she smiled again. "I'm sure he's fine...he's...no longer with us, but he's okay." Izuku nodded, unsure of her cryptic message or what she really meant, but if he was fine, then...

Shinso sneezed. Izuku started and Mirio nearly fell off his perch on the arm of the couch. Shinso did something erratic with his hands Nana didn't understand before frowning deeply. "......sorry," he whispered, looking at Nana. She smiled at him. "No worries! This is supposed to be a fun day anyways! Here, why don't you three go look through those games and decide what to play?" The three boys nodded and sifted through the games she brought, while she headed off to the main desk to make a call.

"How about this?" Izuku asked, holding up monopoly. Mirio groaned. He hated playing monopoly the most because he almost always lost from spending all his money too quickly. Shinso snickered, and gestured to another box. Clue. Mirio groaned again. He took that back, he hated clue the most. Especially with Izuku - not even the adults could match his hyperspeed analytics, and he'd usually win in the first twenty minutes. And whenever they played with Shinso, they'd always tag-team and win together. No one knew how they communicated their information, even uncle Aizawa - the only one that ever came close to beating them - said he didn't know how they did it.

Eventually they decided on uno. Izuku tried to deal the cards at first, but he gave them to Mirio when they kept slipping out his hands. So Mirio delt instead.

"Wow, it's still amazing that we're surrounded by all these heroes! I can't believe your dad is All Might!" Izuku said.

"Mirio nodded. Yeah. He still won't tell me what his quirk is though. It must be even more super top secret," he pouted.

Izuku nodded. "And I can't believe you knew too Shinchan!"

Shinso smiled at the nickname. Glancing quickly at Ms. Shimura, he shrugged. "I figured you knew because you lived with him,"

Izuku pouted. "No," he seemed to think of something before getting an idea. "But I did find something interesting yesterday, but you have to promise not to tell, like ever."

Mirio nodded "promise"

"Okay,"

"No you have to promise Shinchan!"

Shinso rolled his eyes. "Why? It's not like I have anyone to tell, and I'm pretty sure Uncle Sho already knows whatever you're about to say," he said.

"What do you mean nobody?" Mirio frowned.

Izuku shifted uncomfortably and Shinso sighed. "I don't talk to anybody. Ever. I don't have friends outside of you guys."

"What? Why?"

"Because my quirk is scary."

Before Mirio could question him, he continued. "I...my quirk is a villain quirk," Mirio could see Izuku get a bit defensive, out of the corner of his eye. Like he wanted desperately to say something but didn't want to cut across. "I can control people with my mind if they talk to me." He said matter-of-factly. "All the kids at school say that it's scary, and a villain quirk. They don't talk to me, so I don't talk to them either. Not that I really care anyways." Izuku seemed to relax a bit. "When I become a hero and they're in trouble I'm not gonna bend backwards to save their asses."

Mirio gasped. "Shinso!"

Izuku giggled and organized his previously forgotten cards. Shinso grinned and did the same. "Uncle Sho says it all the time and he said he doesn't care," Mirio groaned again, but he was inwardly relieved that Shinso seemed okay with his situation. He figured Izuku probably helped him through it sometimes during his third visit to their house - when he said something to Izuku quietly before Izuku froze in surprise. Mirio remembered him locking himself in the bathroom and only letting Izuku in after like an hour. When they both came out, Shinso started talking a bit more. 'Gosh,' Mirio thought. Hero kids sure did have a ton of problems!

_____

In the end, Mirio won two rounds of uno before Izuku got a winning streak for five rounds, and beat out by Shinso for the last. They actually did end up playing clue, but only because Nana suggested they all play on teams - with Izuku and Shinso split apart. Which...was a mistake apparently. The game ended up drawing out four hours, and the stalemate of rumors only ended with Mirio "dying" and switching pieces. In the end, Nana gave up, much to Shinso and Izuku's dissatisfaction. Turns out even on opposite teams the two boys worked together - in the yellow envelope, there were three people cards, two rooms, and no weapons.

"You guys play dirty!" Mirio pouted.

"Sorry, Mirio, we don't make the rules!" Izuku giggled. Mirio stuck out his tongue. Izuku laughed harder.

Nana watched as Shinso moved his hands around again. Sign language...? No, she was well-versed in both JSL and ASL. She watched as Izuku giggled and signaled back, not missing a beat. She raised a brow as even Mirio joined in (though he was a little sloppy, and said some of his words aloud too). Hm. Interesting. They must've come up with their own system then? She vaguely remembered Aizawa saying something about him not talking to people he didn't know well.

Nana grinned as she looked down at her phone. It was nearly time for Toshi to return. "Hey boys!"

"Yep?" Mirio replied.

"I'm gonna call in pizza. You want anything?"

"Ooh! Yay!" Izuku called. "Can I have cheese and pepperoni?"

"Me too! But with jalapeños!" Mirio replied. "Shinso wants to know if he can have just cheese." He added.

"Roger!" She said, and punched in the number to her phone.

Mirio watched as she headed away to make the call. "Wait, we're you gonna tell us something Izu?"

"Oh yeah!" Izuku remembered. "I was wasn't I?"

Shinso snorted. "Typical..."

"Hey!" Izuku gasped. "Anyways, yeah! I actually found something really weird yesterday!"

"Ooh what?" Mirio questioned.

"A photo! A really old one! Mr. Aizawa was there, and Mr. Yagi was there... well their hero forms anyway. But then! There was this cartoony mascot-like thing, and then a biker? And also another lady that seems really familiar-"

"Wait, cartoony thing?" Shinso asked.

Izuku nodded. "Yeah! And actually, it looks a bit like the thing on the back of Present Mic's jacket,"

"Oh!" Mirio snapped his finger. "That cartoon mascot thing is probably Mic - he showed me it once! He said a lot of American DJs have heads like that so you can't know who they are!" He shrugged. " I guess it was hard to fight in or something? I know a lot of heroes went through several costume changes,"

They all nodded. "That's true...hey wait, costume changes?" Izuku mumbled.

"That biker looked kinda like Lady Quantum - the silver toolbelt!"

"Lady who?" Shinso asked.

"A missing mystery hero!" Mirio explained. "We're trying to figure out what happened to her!"

"I've never heard of her before?" He stated flatly.

Izuku nodded. "She's an underground hero, so she's not very well known."

Shinso raised is eyebrows. "Oh. Well maybe Uncle Sho knows something? I mean, I could ask..."

"That's actually a great idea!"

"Maybe he knows what happened too!"

_____

Aizawa stood in the doorway, dressed in his hero ensemble, complete with his capture gear. Izuku got to ask him questions about his quirk and gear, to which the hero actually happily obliged (as long as he didn't tell anyone). Mr. Yagi had just gotten back to end his shift, and Shinso had already gone home an hour ago, silently promising to bring an answer for his visit next weekend.

Mirio sat on the couch. "But what about after your shift?"

Aizawa glanced up from his post at the doorway. "Kid, it'll be breakfast by then."

"Drats," Mirio said.

"Aw maaan!" Izuku pouted.

Aizawa chuckled. "I'll be over for dinner next weekend, ya squirt. I was only here during daytime because I was behind on paperwork."

Mr. Yagi came out the bathroom, fully transformed back into what Izuku and Mirio dubbed his 'civilian form'. "Ah, today was so long too," he said to his friend. "A shame,"

Aizawa rolled his eyes. "I slept through like eighty-five percent of it,"

Nana laughed. "It was really only long for you because you had a full day's patrol where nearly nothing happened!"

Toshinori sighed, and picked up his stuff from the office desk, double-checking to make sure everything on his to-do list was done. He'd just gotten confirmation about his new sidekick, and had to send in a final signed agreement before it was official. It was taking longer than usual because Sato worked at a different agency. 'Hopefully by tomorrow things will be sorted out,' he thought. He took up his briefcase and followed Nana out the door.

_____

"We're here!" Toshinori, Izuku, and Mirio called.

"I can't believe you're still doing that," Nana murmured.

Inko walked back in, planting a chaste kiss onto Toshinori's cheek before giving both boys a hug. "Welcome back!"

"Why hey there Inko," Nana cracked her fist jokingly.

"N-Nana? What are you doing here?"

"I thought I'd surprise you! You didn't really think I wouldn't fly back the first chance I got after telling me what happened? Which, by the way, I'm mad about - you should'a told me what was going on in the beginning!" Nana huffed. Inko chuckled.

"Thanks for worrying about us. We're fine now,"

Nana softened and wrapped Inko into one of her most crushing hugs yet. "Anyway if Toshi ever does anything you don't like call me and I'll kill him for you,"

"Thanks mom," Inko rolled her eyes.

Nana gasped in mock offense. "Rude! I'm only ten years older!"

"Also, you met me first! I'm your beloved trainee! Why am I getting killed?"

"Because you're a dimwit sometimes Toshi. Besides, I like Inko better. She's my favorite child,"

"I'm calling social services, this is unequal treatment of children,"

"I am social services,"

"Checkmate Toshi!"

"Dangit!"

All three of them were laughing hysterically as Inko ushered them into the kitchen. None of them noticed the boys sneak away into the back of the apartment.

_____

"Sooooo," Izuku trailed off

"Yeah..." Mirio nodded.

They both stood in front of Mr. Yagi's door, apprehensive to enter without permission. Neither wanted to be on the receiving end of a tag-team lecture if they got caught. Eventually, they decided to turn the knob together, and entered the room anyway.

Mirio's already been in here several times, and liked to hang out with his dad here. He just has to ask first because his dad says he has to 'childproof the room' or something. He walked a couple of steps before tripping over an old discarded tie and nearly falling face-first into a small ring of keys. He guesses he should have listened. Izuku was a bit more light on his feet, and cautious in his step. Eventually, they sneakily made their way to the dresser, and Izuku opened it to reveal the photo.

It was a photo of Uncle Aizawa, Uncle Hizashi, his nana, his dad, and the biker he'd assumed to be Lady Quantum.

"Hey...that's my nana!" Izuku quietly exclaimed. He had more time to look at it now, and he had a less fuzzy memory of his nana's face too - he'd just pieced it together.

"Wait..." Izuku peered into the background. There was confetti strewn about, and Izuku could make out the blurry "U.A." Logo in the background. Mirio helped him read the characters for "congratulations" on a banner somewhere. Mirio pointed to a card in his dad's hand. "Do you think this is at graduation, when everyone got their licenses?" He asked. Izuku nodded. "Probably. It's a graduation photo with his teacher and all his friends,"

"Where's your mom?" Mirio asked.

Izuku shrugged. "She said she was in the business course. This is probably a photo of the hero course students?" He speculated. Flipping the photo over, he found neat writing on the back. It looked like his mommy's - she was probably the one taking the photo. Mirio read softly.

"To my dearest friends, thanks for the amazing years at high school! Here's to hoping we all find our place in the wide world, as heroes helping anyone in need - including each other. Love you guys forever! (And special thanks to Gran Torino for the photo!)"

...

Izuku and Mirio put the photo back silently, then headed back to their own room. Mirio closed the door, and Izuku sat on the bed, staring at the wall. They both sat in silence before Izuku finally piped up, a string of incoherent mumbling before speaking aloud. "They all knew the reclusive veteran hero Gran Torino, and AllStar trained your dad. My mommy wrote on the back of that picture like they were all gonna be heroes-"

"Are you sure that's your mom's?"

"Positive," Izuku nodded. "I've only ever seen my mom write the kanji for love like that. She said it was a special word so she gave it special attention."

"Hm..."

"So logically... mommy is Lady Quantum,"

"You think she didn't tell you for the same reason as nana's?"

Izuku shrugged. "Probably.."

"This is so wild,"

"Yeah. Wait, I actually have a way to check! You know that taped up box she had when I first came here?" Mirio nodded. "I bet her costume is in there," he said.

They headed into the living room, slinking by the kitchen where the adults were still fixing dinner. They spotted the box easily in the corner, and made to open it. Inside were stacks of papers. Most of them Mirio recognized as old bills, and some medical records. There was no costume in sight. Izuku's eyes lit up when he did see a flash of silver though. Grabbing the item, he pulled it up. Both boys were disappointed to discover it was just a simple scarf. He'd seen his mommy wear it to fancy parties before. They closed the box, and settled on the couch to record their findings in the hero book. Flipping past Eraserhead and Present Mic's signatures, they began working on an updated entry for Lady Quantum. Izuku was positive it was his mommy, but he didn't have any proof...and their quirks seemed different too...

Mirio wasn't so sure.

"Boys! Dinner time!" Nana called out.

"Okay!" They replied, finishing up the new entry.

_____

"A gala?" Inko sputtered.

"Ah, well, yes. I was wondering if you wanted to go with me?" Toshinori explained. "It's the annual heroes' ball. I usually show my face there and then leave because I only really know Mic."

"Won't you be in your All Might form though? What will people say?"

Toshinori bit his lip. He hadn't thought about that. "Well, I only have to give a short speech, so I could go as Toshinori the secretary, change and give the speech as All Might, and then revert?"

Inko hummed. It's been a while since she's been to a ball. "It does sound fun..."

"Aw, go ahead, I can babysit" Nana urged.

Toshinori shook his head. "It's a family event, so I was thinking of bringing the boys. They need to get out more,"

Izuku and Mirio peeked up from their dinner. "Ooh really!" Izuku squealed. "A hero ball!"

Mirio whooped. He'd only been once or twice, usually his dad went alone and Mic came over (the glitter on the tv had been their failed attempt at a mini gala).

"When is it?" Inko asked.

"It's actually in two months. I just wanted to give you a heads-up." Toshinori replied.

"Sounds good. I can go," she smiled. Toshinori smiled back at her. Maybe the gala this year wouldn't be so bad.

"Speaking of heroes," Mirio started. "When do I get to start training?" He asked.

Nana frowned. She didn't like where this was going. "Mirio, most kids don't start training until they're seven or eight,"

Mirio sighed. "I know...but I still don't really know about my quirk and if I wanna be a hero I gotta learn how to control it first,"

Toshinori frowned. "Did you get in trouble for clipping through the floor again?" He'd have to talk to the teacher again if that was the case. It really wasn't his fault, and he didn't like Mirio being punished for it.

"No...well almost, but no." He slumped in his chair. "All the kids laugh at me sometimes..." he said quietly. Ah.

Nana sighed. "You know, you don't have to do hero training, you could do simple quirk training instead-"

Mirio shook his head. "I'm gonna do hero training because I wanna be a hero!" He explained.

Nana glared at Toshinori. He'd disagreed with her stance on keeping away information from the kids, and told Mirio about his hero-ing early on. Now too, he'd encourage his dreams. Nana thought it was dangerous, but she couldn't tell someone how to raise their child. Not after that.

"Mommy! Me too!" Izuku added. "I wanna start too!"

Nana whipped her head to face Inko. Izuku now too? He was only four! What was his quirk anyways? She hadn't even seen him in a while. "Don't you want to wait for a bit?..." she suggested.

Izuku shook his head. "No, I gotta start extra early because I don't got a quirk,"

"Don't have," Inko supplied.

"Don't have," Izuku corrected.

Nana turned to face Inko in astonishment. She pursed her lips and nodded solemnly. "Well, Izuku-"

"I think you'll make a great hero, Izuku." Yagi cut across, eyebrow raised in challenge at his mentor. She glared at him as he kept talking. "I'll ask Aizawa about training. He said Shinso kept bugging him about having to get a leg up on the physical quirks. Maybe you and him can gain together Izuku," he suggested. Izuku's eyes lit up.

"Yesss!! Thank you so much! You're the awesomest!" He exclaimed.

"I can train you Mirio, and I think Mic is an expert on accidental quirk use - he can help." Toshinori watched as his son sported the widest grin he'd ever seen, and felt his heart swell. Yeah, he'd help these boys no matter what.

_____

Izuku and Mirio were so elated to start their training next weekend with Aizawa and Mic, they could hardly get to sleep. So they both lay on the bed and trundle, talking about all the fun new things they'd get to do instead. By the time they actually did get to sleep, it was near morning.

Downstairs was a different story. Nana was still at the house, getting filled in on the details of her two students and friends' lives. She'd already cursed Hisashi's entire existence ten times, and was all raged out. "I'm so, so sorry," she told Inko at the end of the story.

Inko shook her head. "Don't apologize. It's not your fault."

"No, I should've seen the signs- how he was never around, how you and Izuku never talked about him, how-"

"Nana, its fine,"

"No it's not!" She cried. "If-if I hadn't left, he wouldn't have gotten the chance to hurt you! If only I'd stayed by your side with a smile like I'm supp-"

"Nana!" Inko stopped her. "You don't know that. Hisashi was a dick - he'd probably have done it anyway. And," she paused. "And I'm learning now that it's important to take care of your own health too. You lost your husband. You shouldn't force yourself to stay in the country where you met him, and be tragically reminded of him all the time. If you needed to go back to your parents, that's more than okay. Take care of yourself Nana. Please." Inko could feel her own eyes get glassy as she watched a tear streak down Nana's cheek.

"I just wanted to go home for a bit. Eat my mom's home-cooked Thai food... I missed you guys though, and I'm glad you're doing okay."

Toshinori nodded. "We're glad you're okay now too,"

Nana peered at him. "Don't think I'm done with you though mister," she wiped her eyes. "What was that stint you pulled at dinner?"

"That was actually my idea," Inko supplied.

"What?"

Toshinori sighed. "I want to support them in their endeavors. I don't think it's quite fair to tell a quirkless child they can't be a hero, especially if they're this passionate and motivated to actually do it," he raised an eyebrow at Nana. Inko smirked, catching his drift.

Nana sighed in resignation. She had a feeling she wouldn't change her choice, even if she knew her husband would die and she'd probably never get to see her son again. "But he's so young..." she really didn't want anything to happen to either one of the boys, but especially Izuku. He's already been through too much for his age.

"Oh don't worry," Inko laughed. "You can be sure I'm not gonna let them do any hard brawling until they're older,"

Nana brightened a little at that, and ran a hand through her hair. "I'm so proud of you two," she grinned. "All grown up and responsible, helping out the next generation. Invite me to your wedding,"

Inko and Toshinori sputtered, both turning multiple shades of red. They didn't deny it though.

Chapter Text

Izuku bounded around the corner, nearly tripping over his own feet. Though he didn't fall, he did run into Mirio, who stumbled and dropped his swim goggles. "Sorry!" Izuku said, regaining his footing.

"No problem," Mirio chuckled.

They met Mr. Yagi at the door, dressed in sweats and holding the bag full of towels and snacks for the evening. "Ready?" He asked.

"Yes!" Both boys chimed.

They piled into the car, and headed out. When the familiar building was in sight, Izuku couldn't help but feel a rush of excitement. Mr. Yagi helped them both out the car, and they headed into the building. At the circulation desk, they were met with Mic and Aizawa.

"Ready?" Aizawa asked. Izuku nodded. Mr. Yagi gave Aizawa a list, which he promptly folded up and gave back. "Stop trying that. He's fine...dad," he rolled his eyes as he took Izuku's hand and started down the hall. Izuku skipped beside him in relative silence, though Aizawa could tell he was trying his best not to talk too much - he knew the man liked his quiet. Aizawa didn't think the kid knew he didn't mind his rambling though. He was an interesting kid.

When they arrived at the room, Aizawa swiped his key card and pulled the handle. Izuku whooped and rushed in, doing a clumsy cartwheel across the floormats. Aizawa allowed a small smile to grace his face for a moment as he watched Shinso upstage him. A month ago, he would've been over Toshinori's house, just recovering from his bout of rage at the man who'd married Inko. He was glad he was in jail and out of Inko and Izuku's life - he didn't deserve them. At all. They'd moved onto a different conversation soon enough though:

"Look, I know he's quirkless and has to work ten times harder than everyone else, but he's still so young! Can't we wait at least one more year?"

Inko Midoriya heaved the sigh of the century as she leaned against the kitchen counter, face in her hands.

"Look lady." Aizawa shrugged nonchalantly. "If you really wanna, I can start next year. Or two years. Or even there years later. I won't stop you - you're his mom and you know him best. You have a right of say in this." He quirked an eyebrow.

"But," he continued. "I want you to ask yourself what Izuku would want."

Inko relaxed at this, and with a groan, consented to having him train. Hearing Shinso would be there as well helped to ease her nerves a bit. Not to say she wouldn't keep a close eye out.

Aizawa clapped his hands, signaling their training has started. Excitedly, both boys ran over to the chalk table to cover their hands. Izuku tried his best not to play with the chalk - he'd gotten in trouble the first day for making a huge mess. Grinning, he followed Shinso to the balance beam.

It was still low to the ground, and a bit wider, but Mr. Aizawa had said that was normal for beginners. Izuku didn't know that, but guessed it was okay. In fact, he didn't know his training would be gymnastics of all things either. But his mommy said it was the safest option, and he heard Mr. Aizawa tell Shinso that the balance and concentration needed for it would help him learn how to control his quirk.

Izuku snapped out of his thoughts as he heard Mr. Aizawa snap his fingers. "No, balance Shinso. Balance."

Shinso was attempting to do a cartwheel across the balance beam. He fell off a couple of times, but then -

"...I did it" he mumbled to himself in surprise. Turning to Izuku, he laughed. "Izu, I did it..."

Izuku ran over to give him a high-five. "Ooh! Awesome!" He grinned. "Hey can I try that next? Pleeeease?"

Aizawa shook his head. "Nope, not until you get a solid grip on cartwheels first." His resting stern face softened ever so slightly at Izuku's pout. "Here. Shinso, you keep practicing while I help Izuku for a second, okay? Don't try and cartwheel again if I'm not watching. Just ten sets of 10-15-10 jumps. Okay?" Shinso nodded.

"Alright," he said, turning his attention to Izuku. "Let me see your cartwheel."

Izuku nodded and did as told. It was almost perfect, but he could never get both his feet completely off the ground.

"Hmm," Mr. Aizawa mumbled. He knelt down by Izuku and looked him in the eye. "Both your feet have to come off the ground"

Izuku nodded. He knew that already though. For some reason, even if he wanted, he couldn't figure out how to do it. His feet just...stayed there. Maybe aside from being quirkless he couldn't do simple things like this too? Maybe it was like Kacchan said, that he was stupid and useless and-

He felt a hand on his head. Looking up, he saw a rare smile, along with knowing eyes on Mr. Aizawa's face. "It's okay kid. I believe in you. You'll get it."

Shinso gave a tiny smile as he watched his friend and uncle talk. Izuku looked like he was near tears. That was understandable though, he concluded. It wasn't often that Uncle Sho delt out genuine compliments. Shinso could always tell he was proud of him without saying anything, but even still, when he actually said it...

Shinso felt like Izuku needed that. He grinned as he snuck a cartwheel on the beam anyway.

_____

"YEAAAH!"

Mirio flinched and fell into the pool. Good thing it wasn't the deep end - his dad would've killed Uncle Hizashi.

"Hisashi! What did I say about doing that?" Toshinori groaned as he helped his son out the pool. Maybe he made a mistake in thinking Mic would be the person to school Mirio in quirk control.

Hizashi grinned deviously. "You said not to do it when we were by the deep end. We're at the shallow end right now."

"Hizashi I will beat you,"

"Not in that form you won't," he snickered.

Mirio giggled as his dad powered up. "No but maybe in this form," he bellowed.

Hizashi let out a shriek before jumping into the pool. "Okay, okay! Sorry, won't do it again...maybe"

Toshinori rolled his eyes as he glanced at the door. He hoped Izuku was doing alright. Aizawa had told him he was having a bit of trouble with some of the movements. Unlike Inko, he encouraged Aizawa's tactics. Gymnastics was a great way to train them for the agility and speed needed to combat more physical quirks. Aizawa also suggested swimming for Mirio - he'd said that being able to control himself in water would help with being able to control himself during phasing. He'd said that control in situations where you're suspended and kinda floaty were the key. Thank god for Aizawa - he should probably become a teacher someday. Toshinori grinned as he watched Mirio practice his kicks with Hizashi, a huge smile on his face.

Hizashi was actually a pretty good teacher when he calmed down a bit. Mirio followed his movements without a problem. "Think you're ready for the real deal?" He asked.

"You bet!" Mirio responded.

"Okay, follow my lead." He moved against the wall. "Now, I want you to put your arms out front like you're holding onto the wall. And then, kick off real strong and kick your feet!"

"What about the arms?" Mirio asked, mimicking the movements he'd seen his dad do.

"That's not till later son," his dad chuckled as he joined them in the pool. "For now, just focus on the feeling of kicking and controlling your direction with your hands."

Mirio nodded and pushed down his goggles. With a strong kick, he launched himself off the wall. It felt...nice. Almost like his phase form, but a tad more...solid. Which was odd because he was talking about water. He could feel the calming sensation of flowing with the water, and for a moment, felt like he knew exactly what he was doing. He had to stop to come up for air though. But before he did, he had a thought. 'What if I just relaxed all my muscles and shot up to the top?' So, he went slack, and sure enough, bobbed right up to the surface of the water. 'Yeaaah!!' He thought excitedly. Maybe that was something he could use in his quirk! Giggling, he swam back to the other end.

"You did a fine job Mirio!" His dad hugged him. Mirio laughed.

"Hey wanna know how to tread water?" Hizashi asked.

"YEAAAH!"

"Oh no, you're influencing him," Toshinori laughed.

"YEAAAAAH!" Hizashi bellowed.

_____

"Did you see!" Izuku bounced around. "I did it! I did it!"

Aizawa nodded. "That you did." He waved Shinso over. "Izuku, you practice your cartwheels over the week and when we come back here I'll let you try out the beam." He stood up and chalked his hands. "Now, we're gonna do something new."

Izuku and Shinso glanced at each other before turning back in anticipation. "New? Is it a backflip?" Izuku asked. Mr. Aizawa smirked. "Kid you just barely got a hang of doing cartwheels, and Hitoshi - you fell off the beam when you thought I wasn't looking. What makes you guys think you're ready for backflips? No, we're going to the pit."

Both Izuku and Shinso grimaced at the critique, but followed him across the expansive room nonetheless. They both never came to this end before, but they knew what was in it. The Pit.

Contrary to most four-year-olds, and despite Izuku's previous trepidation, both of them were insanely excited to finally formally meet The Pit. The Pit was a set of two huge gaping holes in the floor, filled to the brim in old and worn foam blocks. They were like dingy beige and navy sponges - the kind you use in stuffed animals, only bigger. The first one was under the front of the platform with the bars, and the other was at the end of the long trampoline.

Aizawa glanced at the clocks. They had an hour left before he'd have to start preparing for his shift. He sighed as he stepped up the foam mat staircase onto the bar platform. "Now, watch me closely." Jumping up to take the highest one in his hands, he kept his legs together in what he called a pike, and gently swung back and forth. After a while, he swung more forcefully, and used the momentum to land himself in The Pit. The boys watched as Aizawa mildly struggled against the foam squares to get out of The Pit. Shinso was better at stifling his giggles than Izuku.

_____

Mirio gracefully cut through the water, swimming forward to flip over to his back. Hizashi whistled. "Toshi, he's a natural!"

Toshinori nodded as he watched his son play around in the pool. He'd picked up just about everything they taught him quite quickly, and already had the backstroke down in a matter of minutes. He's yet again thankful for Aizawa's suggestion. It was better than whatever they were doing before. It was only his second time swimming and he was just floating around.

"Think he's got a handle of his quirk yet?" Hizashi asked. Toshinori opened his mouth to speak, but whatever he was about to say was interrupted by Mirio shooting forcefully out of the water. Hizashi tried to keep from laughing at the startled look on his face. "Not-Not quite," Toshinori replied.

Mirio swam up to them. "I accidentally used my quirk again," he pouted.

"Hey hey hey, kid! It's alright! We're all here to learn!"

Mirio nodded at his uncle before blowing bubbles into the water. His dad splashed him, and Mirio splashed him back. Uncle Hizashi screeched as he was caught in the crossfire. "Hey!" Mirio giggled. "Let's get him!" Hizashi agreed. "You and me - Present Mic and number one hero Mirio against All Might, STAAAAART!"

Mirio giggled as his dad made a huge splash with his hand, sending a delicate wave their way. Mirio laughed as he tried to dodge the wave, and splashed back. Uncle Hizashi shielded him from another wave before tragically 'dying' a heroic death.

"Are you guys training or playing around,"

Immediately, all three turned to face the new voice. Aizawa stood in the doorway, glaring at them. His stormy look would've actually been intimidating if he didn't have two four-year-olds hanging off his hips, sucking on brightly colored icees.

"Aizawa, that's not a healthy snack," Toshinori grumbled. He and Aizawa were complete opposites when it came to food choices. Aizawa didn't seem to realize that cup noodles weren't substantiatal nutrients. Aizawa called him a "filthy vegan health nut" and a "fool" in response. He and Inko had to be extra sure all the food was prepared in advance when he babysat - not that he bothered to hide the empty packets of chocolate cookies and gummy worms he always seemed to conveniently "just happen to have" on him.

Aizawa rolled his eyes and set the two boys on the ground. "They worked hard today so they deserve it,"

"You say that every week,"

"I get results every week. Anyway, back to the more important matter - are you all actually doing anything?"

Hizashi helped Mirio towel off before joining the others. "We are! It's just a bit...slow?" He supplied. Aizawa narrowed his eyes before sighing. "Whatever, I don't care." He took Shinso's hand, and began retreating. "I'm gonna be late to my shift so I'm leaving. See you next week," he called as he passed through the door. Hizashi ran up to steal Shinso from Aizawa, who was clearly not pleased. They both walked out arguing.

"Bye!" Izuku and Mirio waved at them.

"How was practice?" Mirio asked. He did this every week. Little did Mr. Yagi know, Izuku and Mirio spoke in code half the time. Mr. Aizawa seemed to notice, but said nothing of it. If anything, he was amused and proud. At least that's what Shinso said. Izuku immediately causer the meaning, and grinned. "It was cool! I got to go to The Pit today! And I nailed my cartwheel! Not much else though," he shrugged.

Mirio nodded. So Shinso still wasn't having any luck getting info out of Uncle Aizawa... oh well. They'd find out eventually. Mirio turned to his friend. "Hey Izu! Wanna see something cool?"

Izuku nodded his head furiously, nearly dropping the last bit of his icee (his whole tongue was blue - Inko was gonna have a fit). " I wanna see!" He exclaimed.

Mirio laughed. "Watch this!" He dove into the water and swam a little less than halfway across the pool and back. He surfaced to Izuku's glittery eyes. "Wow, that so cool!"

Mirio grinned. "Yeah! It's really fun too! Maybe sometime I can teach you too!"

"That'd be awesome!"

"It would be indeed! But now we should get back home to your mommy, yeah?" Mr. Yagi told him. Mr. Yagi helped gather their things, and powered down before heading out. The three of them left the building playing a speedrun of I-Spy.

_____

Mirio kicked his feet from under his seat. He was a big boy, so he helped strap Izuku into his carseat. He grinned back at Ms. Midoriya through the rearview. "Ready?" She asked.

Izuku didn't particularly mind grocery shopping, as long as he got to help with the bags and ride in the cart. Mirio though, loved it - Ms. Midoriya would tell him all about ingredients and interesting food facts, and she even let him push the cart! He looked forward to their grocery trips every other week. Today, they were going to try making takoyaki, but were still looking for an interesting side. Izuku was watching his mommy read labels when there was an announcement over the loudspeakers.

"Attention shoppers! A metahuman has initiated an assault! All customers are to begin evacuating immediately!"

Inko frowned. Toshinori was indeed on patrol, but most likely he wouldn't be able to handle it this time - she'd went to another store across town to get a few missing ingredients... just her luck! Tossing the container aside, she moved to lift Izuku. She hoisted Izuku up and - he was stuck. Confused and in near panic, Inko saw the store empty out in the corner of her eye. Looking down, she finally found the problem - his shoelace had gotten caught in the cart somehow. She hastily tried to undo the knot, but with no success. "Izuku, we're going to have to leave your shoe," she winced as she pulled off the red shoes - his favorite pair - and finally lifted him out of the cart and took Mirio's hand. "C'mon boys! Stay close, and if you see anything, tell me immediately!" She instructed as she rushed ahead. Everyone else had already left, and she was in the back of the store too. Damn.

Careful not to knock Izuku off her hip or lose Mirio, she wove through the isles to the front. Luckily, some heroes apparently happened to be nearby, and seemed to have already gotten the situation under control. Inko sighed in relief as she beheld a figure in handcuffs and sturdy rope. If he weren't sitting on the floor, Inko estimated he'd be about 8 feet tall. As if that alone weren't intimidating enough, he was fully adorned in metal spikes, and seemed to have claws and fangs. The heroes were talking to the police.

She huffed as she set Izuku down. "When they clear out, we can get your shoes," Izuku nodded, understanding. He looked on at the scene in awe. Inko gave a trembling chuckle - still not over the adrenaline, but amused at her son's enthusiasm of having been so close to a hero fight. She was well on her way to finally exiting the store and getting the kids to safety when she heard the villain laugh at her.

"If you all think you're safe, you got another thing coming."

That was all she needed to hear. She picked up the pace, but not before she heard the screams. From outside, a figure in black leather rushed into the building. It was a woman with what looked like pitch black smoke for hair. Inko couldn't see her face, but as soon as the villain turned her head, Inko knew she meant trouble. Luckily for them, there was a second exit nearby - if she could make it there-

CRASH

Inko's superior reflexes just barely saved the two children from being crushed under rubble. She urged them away from the crumbling ceiling, only to find the exit destroyed. There was another crash. Inko frantically looked around. She was losing time, and she wanted nothing more than the get the two boys to safety. Maybe if she found something heavy, she could break the windows-

Another huge crash, accompanied by a huge tremor. The heroes were scurrying about, attempting to track the female villain who, miraculously vanished. Oh! Inko looked to the doorway - it was cleared now that the newest assailant disappeared. Unfortunately, so did the villain in chains somehow. Inko could hear him somewhere in the store. Steeling her face, she picked up both boys. Oh well, she'd have to risk it. Just as she'd neared safety again, a final explosion resounded throughout the store, accompanied by the sound of pipes bursting. Inko watched in dismay as the only remaining exit crumbled before her. The heroes failed to notice they were still trapped, still struggling to find the (now two) missing aggressors. The police were trapped under debris. Inko gritted her teeth as she heard the infrastructure begin to crack.

The smoke villain manifested in front of her. "It's been fun, too bad for your kids though. 'Tis the fate of those under Hades sometimes." She smirked as she vanished yet again, leaving behind a faint trail of glittering smoke. Inko could see the building begin to crumble in the back.

Izuku and Mirio, now much over the excitement and now in near panic, watched as the building slowly came down around them. The two heroes were nowhere in sight, and the scary spiky one was trashing the store. Izuku desperately wished he was older, then he'd be an actual hero that could help his mommy. Until then, he'd have to be smart. Grabbing his mommy's phone out her bag, he called Mr. Yagi.

"Hello?"

"Mommy's in trouble," he started crying so he handed the phone to Mirio, who also started crying.

Luckily, that was all he needed to hear. "I'm on my way," he said, hanging up.

The rubble was falling slowly, so they all got to work trying to dislodge the debris from the exit. His mommy even used her quirk to make it go faster. Just then, things got surprisingly worse. The falling ceiling suddenly gave way, and Izuku watched in horror as everything around him instantly fell apart. He and Mirio clung together, crying, expecting the worse.

But it never came. Izuku cracked open an eye to be faced with a miraculous sight. His mommy stood in the center of a crumbling infrastructure, hands outstretched. All the falling debris, the knocked-over shelves, the missing spike villain, even the ceiling - were floating in midair as if time were paused. Everything rapidly began converging into a loose vortex, and then into a tight circle. The force from the spinning objects gave way to a strong breeze, nearly whipping away the scarf and sunglasses his mommy had hastily adorned. The two heroes, finally taking note, began helping Izuku and Mirio. They weren't needed anymore though, because his mommy then picked up those rocks too. All the material swung around in its circular pattern. Mirio watched in awe as the path steadily tightened, and both he and Izuku held onto the wall the best they could as other objects got pulled in and deformed. Mirio watched as a register flew in, instantly eroded and shredded into scraps. By this point the circle was the size of a beach ball, and interestingly enough, the mass darkened to a deep purple. The faint pink glow left the individual objects in favor of intensifying and covering the entirety of the darkening mass. It was the size of a fist now, and Mirio watched the villain get spat out, with a few rocks. It rapidly shrunk to a tiny speck, and then - pouf - there was an explosion of glitter. Mirio put some in his pocket.

All Might came crashing in the moment Ms. Midoriya collapsed on the ground. He scooped her up, and wrapped a kitchen towel from off the ground around Mirio and Izuku's heads. "Try not to say a word," he instructed. Scooping them both up too, he lept into the air.

Izuku and Mirio could hear the faint click of shudders as they headed to the hospital.

_____

Mirio held Izuku's hand as he stared down the door. He could feel Izuku's palms sweat. He was probably just as stressed as he was, if not more. Mirio clenched his teeth. The scene from just before was intense and stressful, and he was thankful he actually made it out, thanks to Ms. Midoriya - a true hero. However, the trauma from the event prior did nothing more than solidify his dreams of becoming a hero. If he could control his quirk, he could help people in situations like that. Looking at Izuku, he could tell he had a similar thought. Mirio kinda wished he could also hold his dad's hand, but even if they were in a hero-friendly hospital, in a private ward, he still didn't want to cause a scene. So he held fast, joining Izuku in rocking back and forth on the balls of his feet. Soon enough, an older lady stepped out. She took one look at the three of them before tutting. "Relax boys, she's fine! I can't believe you called me all the way over here from the school!" She fussed.

"So mommy's okay?" Izuku asked. The woman nodded. "Thank goodness..." he said before breaking out in tears. The woman urged them all into the room, where Mr. Yagi gave Izuku and Mirio a crushing hug. Izuku could feel the tears roll off his spandex. Izuku then immediately ran over to the bedside. His mommy slowly opened an eye before coughing. Izuku thought her breathing was funny. "...h-hey, Izuku," she mumbled. Izuku cried again as she stroked his cheek. "Shhhhh, it's okay. I'm okay."

The woman from earlier ruffled his hair. "She's fine dear! Just overexerted herself. She'll be good to go after she rests up. Her quirk is very powerful, but she hasn't used it much. She's out of practice." She turned back to his mommy, who was now peacefully asleep. "But I swear, you two are too familiar with getting busted up!" She chided.

"Huh?" Izuku wondered.

"Oh? Did she not tell you?" She winked. "I'm known as Recovery Girl-"

"T-the support hero?" Izuku gasped.

She nodded. "Mmhmm. Your mommy here was always in my office. Especially around exam time. I can't believe even after graduation I have to do this - I should just live with her," she fussed. "Her poor hands... and your back too, that's too horrible to have happened to such a sweet young child," she tutted.

"How did you know about that?" Izuku asked, playing with his mommy's fingers.

"Who'd you think healed you two? Otherwise it would've taken forever for those burns to heal!"

"Oh...thank you,"

Izuku began to climb into the bed with his mommy, helped up by Recovery Girl. Mirio got a bit closer and lay his head on the bed, hoping she didn't mind if he held her hand. He was really glad she was okay...

Toshinori watched as both Mirio and Izuku fell asleep around Inko. He ran his fingers through his hair, thankful they were all okay. If anything happened...As All Might, he couldn't live knowing he hadn't been able to save someone. As Toshinori Yagi, he couldn't live knowing what were basically the three most important people in his world were gone.

Recovery Girl turned to face him. "The police reports came in while you guys were waiting." She said.

"Oh?"

"Yes. Apparently the spike villain confessed to being a member of a crime syndicate called Hades, lead by the woman who got away. We weren't able to get much else out of him though."

Toshinori nodded, not much else on his mind other than relief.

_____

"No," Toshinori chided. "You need rest, I can do this!"

Inko rolled her eyes. She couldn't believe she was being held hostage like this. She knew the limit of her powers, but she also knew she was totally fine. And yet, the three of them wouldn't leave her alone, even though she was out of the hospital two days ago. "This is the last day I'm going to let you three worry about me like this," she sighed as Izuku and Mirio ran out the room to get her some water. Toshinori grinned a crooked smile as he sat on the bed.

"You know I care about you right?"

Inko sputtered and blushed. "So...?"

He laughed. "That means I get to worry about you,"

"But I'm fine! I swear!"

"Okay, I promise this is the last day,"

"Finally!"

"For now,"

Inko's groan was cut off from her inevitable laughter.

Chapter Text

Izuku held onto Mr. Yagi's hand as he made faces at Mirio. Mirio giggled and made faces back. They totally weren't paying attention to the, as his mommy had said, "very important task at hand". Namely, suit shopping. Eventually Mr. Yagi was able to get them to focus on said task. It wasn't hard to figure out what Izuku liked. After all, he was used to wearing fancy clothing, and felt right at home going through the styles and designs. He rather quickly decided on a kiddie suit that was turquoise with white lapels and black buttons. He wanted to match with his mommy and Mr. Yagi, so he chose a red clip-on bowtie. Mr. Yagi went with a red and white suit with black detailing, to match with Inko's red floor length dress. Mirio took the longest though. He wasn't necessarily unused to these types of clothes, but didn't wear them as often as Izuku or his dad. He was having trouble deciding. He was thinking of going with a standard black suit, not wanting to be made fun of, but seeing Izuku and his dad made him feel a bit more adventurous. 'Hm' he thought as he looked through the displays. Grabbing a couple, he headed into the dressing room.

Izuku watched Mirio head in, and wandered off to find some socks. Mr. Yagi told them that they were in the VIP section of the store and were free to wander about as long as they could see a store assistant. Izuku skipped over to the wall with the socks. Grabbing the last pair of some rather interesting red ones, he turned to head back. He tripped over some pants laying on the floor though, and his socks went skidding under a display rack. Immediately, three different assistants came running over. "Oh my goodness! Sir are you okay?"

They helped him up off the floor. "Yes, thank you!" Izuku said, remembering his manners before escaping to go after his socks. Under the rack he found his socks...but something else too. Or more like, someone. He immediately recognized that hat.

"Ah!" He exclaimed. The other kid seemed to recognize him as well - Izuku could see their eyes go wide. They pulled him into their hiding place before putting a finger to Izuku's lips.

"Shhhhh!" The other kid hissed. "He'll hear you," he explained. He rubbed his red eyes and took off the hat, stuffing it hastily into a bag. Izuku watched in wonder as his hair fell down from under the hat, still a bit messy. It was red on one side, and white on the other.

"Woah, your hair is so cool," he whispered.

The kid shrugged. "Most of my siblings have hair with two colors. I'm just the only one with a split."

"I'm Midoriya Izuku!" He replied, remembering introductions this time.

The other kid hesitated for a bit before replying. "I'm...Shoto. Todoroki Shoto."

"So, Todoroki," Izuku whispered. "Why're you in here?"

"Well..." Todoroki paused. "My parents are taking me to an event soon, and I need another outfit. To match," he explained.

Izuku cocked his head. That wasn't what he was asking... "Are you okay though?" He tried again.

Todoroki took a huge breath and let it all out in a whoosh. He wiped his eyes again before turning to face away from Izuku. "Yeah..."

Izuku scooted a little closer. "Is... is it the same?" Todoroki seemed to catch his drift, and he gave him a slow, small nod. "My mommy said that you should tell people when they make you sad," he said. He didn't know what was going on, but he wanted to help.

Todoroki regarded him for a brief moment of wonder. "Your dad let you talk to him like that?" He whispered. Oh. Izuku was having a fine time pushing Hisashi out of his mind, replacing all his bad memories of him with good ones from Uncle Hizashi instead. But Todoroki looked so hopeful...

"No." Izuku answered, a little curt. "I never said anything to him actually,"

Todoroki mouthed an 'oh' before nodding. "Yeah, that doesn't work for me either. If anyone says anything he gets mad and uses his quirk. He's always yelling at my mum. Most of the time it's about my quirk."

Izuku gasped. "Is his name Hisashi?"

Todoroki shook his head in confusion. "No...its Enji."

"Oh. He just sounds really familiar. He used to yell at my mommy all the time too. That last time we met, remember, was about my quirk. Or quirklessness actually..." he finished, a little sad.

Todoroki hummed as he looked at Izuku. He was a little different than last time. Scratch that. A lot different. For one, he wasn't covered in burns and blood. His mossy hair curled freely from his head, no longer matted with grime. He was still wearing expensive limited edition hero-themed clothing though. Todoroki felt kinda bad that he was so relieved - they both came from similar backgrounds.

"What's your quirk?" Izuku suddenly asked.

Todoroki grinned. "I don't have one."

Izuku also smiled. "Really?"

Todoroki nodded. "I'm glad I don't have one because if I did, mum said my father will be meaner." He explained.

"Your dad sounds like a villain," Izuku mused.

Todoroki shook his head. "No, he's...yeah." He crossed his arms. "And he's not my dad."

Izuku nodded. He understood. Todoroki scooted closer. "Where's your dad? Is he still mad?"

Izuku wondered how to answer this. "Probably, but I don't know. We don't talk." He decided on. "And, he's not my dad," Izuku grinned. Todoroki smirked back at him, finding solstice in the rejections. It felt sorta like a promise to him, that things could get better. After all, Izuku was sitting here smiling radiantly at him. He felt like he could maybe smile too. So he did.

His happiness was short-lived though, as he could hear his father stomping about, most likely coming to find him. He sighed and crawled out of hiding. He hoped he could see Izuku again soon someday.

"Bye-bye Todoroki!" He heard Izuku whisper as he ran away.

Izuku watched as his new friend gave a small, barely-noticeable wave before rounding a corner. He hoped he would be okay...

"Izu!" A voice called. "Where'd you go?"

Izuku got out from under the rack to see Mirio's relieved face. "Oh thank goodness," he said, moving in to hug him. "I couldn't find you - why'd you go under there?"

Izuku thought. He'd tell Mirio later. Perhaps. "I dropped my socks..." he replied.

Mirio cocked his head. "Ohhh, okay. Anyways, look!" He held out his arms to strike a pose. He was wearing the same design as Izuku only it was green and light cream. He too wore a red bowtie. "Wow!" Izuku exclaimed. "Mirio that looks awesome! And we match!"

"Right?" Mirio nodded happily.

They both hopped around in the line as Mr. Yagi payed for their items. They both made sure to say thanks, and helped carry the bags.

_____

Inko stood in front of the mirror, fussing with her hair. She'd normally put it in a bun for events like these, but a heros' ball seemed a bit more extravagant than the garden parties and small galas she put on. Maybe she'd do an updo? It was no use though - her hair was straight, but just as thick as Izuku's, and none of it seemed to want to follow directions. It would help too if she knew exactly what she was trying to do...'I should look up a reference picture' she thought as she headed across the room for her phone on the bed. Sitting down, she perused through reference images for an idea.

"Wow I didn't invite any royalty to dinner!" Toshi exclaimed in mock surprise.

Inko looked up, her face heating up. "Neither do I," she replied.

Toshinori grinned as he moved across the room to wrap her in a hug. Inko followed suit as he began to sway slightly. As they danced around, she couldn't help but grin. This was such a stark contrast to what she was used to. She didn't try and push the memories away, but she was all too happy when she didn't have to think about them. Every time she cooked, or typed, or even so much as drew with Izuku and Mirio, she would glance at her scarred wrists. The therapist said she was getting better, but she wasn't so sure. But now, she felt like even if for a moment, she could not worry about all that. Being wrapped up in such a gentle embrace by Toshi's toned arms was a contrast that was all so comfortable for her.

"What were you doing on your phone?" He asked.

She chuckled. "Oh, I was looking at hair references for inspiration," she replied.

"Ah," he nodded. "You mind if I...?" He trailed off, gesturing to her hair. Inko shrugged.

"Sure I guess!?"

Toshinori grinned and lead her to a chair for her to sit down. Inko only felt him thread his fingers through her hair a few times. "Done already?" She asked. He nodded.

She turned to the mirror only to be faced with an intricate half-updo, the flyaway hairs somehow arranged to look elegant and intentional. "...wow," she breathed out. "This really is amazing,"

Toshinori smiled wide. "You like it?" She nodded. He laughed and made a motion like he was wiping his brow. "Phew," he said. "That's a relief."

Inko rolled her eyes. "Oh c'mon, you're so dramatic!"

He shrugged. "I noticed you wear your hair half up most of the time, and I wanted to make sure you were comfortable," he explained.

Inko giggled. "How considerate,"

Just then, the two adults could hear padded footsteps down the hall. Nana was probably done helping Izuku and Mirio get ready. Inko was always thankful for Nana's help... Izuku was a hassle to get ready sometimes - he never wanted to get his hair combed. He'd squirm and cry and it'd be a festival of tears. When Nana did it though, it was over in two minutes sans the waterworks.

"Mommy! Mr. Yagi! Look!" Izuku exclaimed, bounding through the doorway. His hair was carefully styled back, held there with a thin, barely-visible black hairband. His red socks stood out against the turquoise of the suit, and Inko quickly noticed that they were hero-themed. Specifically, All Might themed.

"Oooh! Look at my baby boy!" Inko laughed. "Very handsome indeed," Toshinori agreed.

Izuku giggled. "Thank you mommy! You look very pretty too! You too Mr. Yagi! Even if your clothes are baggy" He smiled as he ran up to sit in his mommy's lap.

"Me too!" Mirio laughed and ran straight into the room, followed after by a very tired Nana. Toshinori grinned as he watched his son climb into the chair with Inko.

"Ooh! Look at my little man! Very stylish," she smiled. "Hm... matching outfits, added spunk of hero socks on this one, and let's se...oh! Two-color striped socks on this one...hm I'd say..." she pretended to think. "Ten out of ten!" She proclaimed as she began tickling them both.

Both boys laughed furiously as they struggled in getting away and behind the safety of Toshinori's legs.

Nana softly chuckled as she watched. "You all best behave, you hear?" She warned the boys. They both nodded. "We will!"

They all headed out to the car, checking to make sure they packed Toshinori's extra suit - the red one he'd actually planned on wearing. They waved bye-bye to Nana and pulled off. When they were close to the city, Toshinori spoke up. "Now, can you guys remember the plan?"

Izuku nodded. How could he forget the super secret plan? "You're gonna go in as All Might and give a speech and me and Mirio and mommy are gonna go get dinner!" He recounted.

"And then you're gonna change and meet us at the restaurant and we'll all go back together!" Mirio finished.

Toshinori nodded. "Yep. That's the plan. Good job,"

The two boys high-fived each other. "Yeah!"

"Hizashi is rubbing off on them," Inko commented.

Toshinori sighed. "Don't I know it,"

_____

As he stood backstage, Toshinori paced around. He'd changed into his All Might form in the car, finally filling out his suit. He wasn't really a fan of the hero gala's tactics to idolize only the top heros...he felt everyone did their part, and needed to be honored accordingly. He did his best not to frown as Present Mic (who was most always the MC for the event) loudly welcomed him to the stage, followed by deafening cheers and hollers.

_____

"Hey mommy look! Can I get that!" Izuku asked as he ogled a dessert being carried over to the next table.

"Dad always says that you shouldn't eat dessert before dinner," Mirio told him.

Ms. Midoriya nodded. "Mirio is right Izuku. Besides, we're going to eat cake at the banquet, and you don't want to spoil your appetite,"

"But Shinso said he gets to eat dessert first all the time!" Izuku complained. Mirio giggled. Uncle Aizawa, Shinso, and Izuku all had what Uncle Aizawa had called a 'high metabolism' - meaning they all processed 'carbs' quickly. Mirio didn't fully understand just yet, but he figured that's why Aizawa didn't worry much about his diet.

"I'm pretty sure that's not what he meant dear," Ms. Midoriya replied.

Izuku pouted as he looked over the menu. After a bit of deliberation, Izuku and Mirio both decided on chicken nuggets.

"They're dino-shaped!" Izuku gasped when their food arrived. He gave thanks for the food and reached onto the plate. "Ah, ah!" His mommy shook her finger. "Go get a napkins first, you don't want any mess"

Izuku pushed down off his seat as his mommy and Mirio watched him. He headed over to the counter with the extra napkins. Izuku was surprised to find a girl his age wiping down the counters. She was about Izuku's height herself, and could just barely reach over. He really wanted to know how a kid his age managed to get a job. "You work here?" He asked her. She started and looked over at him, her long brown hair falling around her shoulders.

"No..." she began. Soon enough though, she broke out into a grin. "It's my aunties' restaurant! They make me wipe the counters when I get bored and give me candy after," she explained.

"Woah, you have two aunties?" He asked. "No fair!" Izuku didn't even have one auntie.

The girl nodded. "Yeah, Right!" She beamed. Wiping her hands on the front of her dirty pink shorts, she stuck it out. "I'm Uraraka Ochaco, by the way!"

Izuku awkwardly took her hand. It was really soft despite her apparent habit of manual labor. "M-Midoriya Izuku!"

"Nice to meet you Izuku!" She grinned. "Say, you're dressed really fancy, where are you going?"

"A heros' ball!"

"No way!" She gasped. "How'd you get in?"

"Uhm...connections..." he trained off, not really knowing how to properly explain. Uraraka shrugged, not seeming to mind the vague answer. "That's cool. When I grow up I'm gonna be a hero, and then I can go too," she proclaimed.

Izuku beamed. "You wanna be a hero too?"

"Yep!"

"Me too! I wanna be a top hero and save a lot of people from villains! I started training but I still don't know what my costume is. But maybe soon? I don't know. I want to be kinda like All Might! Hey, maybe we could both go to U.A. together! I'm going there with my best-friend-in-law," He babbled excitedly.

Uraraka giggled. "You're funny," she switched to drying the counter. "Say, I come here sometimes. Like every third Saturday or something. We should meet up to design our hero costumes!"

"Yeah! I'll ask my mommy!" He grinned.

Uraraka smiled as she waved goodbye and headed back to the kitchen. Izuku grabbed the napkins and headed back to his table.

"Made a friend?" His mommy asked him.

"Yep!" Izuku nodded. "Her name is Uraraka and she gets candy from her aunties for wiping counters! She told me she was gonna be a hero too! She said I can come back to hang out soon, can I?"

His mommy chuckled before nodding. "Yes, you can. As long as Mirio and I or Mr. Yagi can tag along,"

Izuku nodded and happily munched on his food. Both he and Mirio made quite the spectacle of trying to steal each other's fries. When they were near finished, Mirio perked up. "It's dad!" He exclaimed, pointing to the door. He watched as his father noticed them, and a huge grin spread on his face. He'd already changed suits, and the baggy All-Might sized one was replaced with the bright red one from the store. He looked really tired at first, but amazingly not anymore. "Dad!" Mirio exclaimed as he neared the table.

"Hello sport," he chuckled, leaning over to give him a hug. He made sure to give one to Izuku too, and Ms. Midoriya a kiss on the top of her head. "How're my favorite people doing?" He asked.

Mirio giggled. "Fine! Are you gonna eat dino-nuggets too?"

"Ah, I'm afraid not! I had dinner there already,"

His dad opted to sit beside Inko and across from Izuku as the three of them finished their food. When they were all done, Izuku and Ms. Midoriya went to go talk to the diner owners just to make sure if the impromptu play-date was okay. Mirio and his dad met them again at the door, and they all piled into the car to head back to the banquet. Izuku and Mirio excitedly talked about all the heroes they'd get to meet.

Eventually, they pulled into the valet parking, and hopped out the car. All four of them were varying levels of thankful they weren't "big-ticket celebrities" and could introduce themselves as simply associates and friends of All-Might. They headed over to their assigned tables. Just like everything else, they were arranged by hero rank, wrapping around the room and against the walls. Because neither Inko nor Toshinori were booked as heroes, the group's table was the very last one. This wasn't necessarily a problem though, as the tables wrapped in a circle, meaning that last was right next to the first. Izuku and Mirio eagerly claimed the seats closest to table number one. Izuku did his best to discreetly observe the heroes in table one - there sat a very pretty lady with long snow-white hair. Next to her sat a boy with red hair and a scowl on his face, a similar-looking boy with white hair, and a teen girl with white hair and red streaks. All four of them were picking around at their salad in front of them, save the woman (who was actually eating). Izuku's eyes widened. They looked familiar...

"Hello?"

Izuku started. He'd been caught staring! The pretty lady was smiling kindly at him, chuckling lightly.

"Izuku!" His mommy chastised him. Turning to the woman, she quickly bowed her head. "Ah, I'm so sorry about that. He's really curious about heroes,"

The woman laughed. "Oh it's no problem at all, I'm glad he's excited. My name is Rikka by the way, though you may know me as Lady Ice." She explained.

"Lady Ice?" Izuku beamed. "Can I get your autograph? What villains do you like fighting the most? Can you-"

"Izuku," Inko warned.

Mirio watched as the woman - Rikka - laughed. He wanted to ask some of the same questions as Izuku, honestly. He wondered why she didn't give her full name...

Just then, a shadow loomed over the two tables. Mirio watched as Izuku flinched ever so slightly from the increase in heat, and as The nice woman's smile disappeared. Mirio looked up to find an intimidating man stand over the two tables, face aflame. Both Izuku and Mirio knew who it was. Only one hero, the number two to be exact, had that sort of presence. Endeavor. Mirio was excited to get the chance meet a top hero from a rival agency for the first time. However, he though it better to save his questions - he was quite puzzled as to why Ms. Rikka was frowning. Or why Izuku was too for that matter. Mirio assumed he'd be ecstatic! Following his line of sight, Mirio noticed a small boy, about Izuku's age, standing awkwardly behind the flame hero. His hair was a neat split between red and white, and he was staring down at his hands, refusing to look up.

"...who are you?" Endeavor asked, quirking an eyebrow.

Midoriya Inko was firmly against making split decisions about people. But somehow she was willing to forget this personal moral as she felt the subtle anger bubble in her chest. Maybe...maybe he didn't mean it that way, she rationed. Taking a deep breath, she nodded at him. "Midoriya Inko, pleasure to meet you." She quirked her own eyebrow. "And you are?"

"Endeavor is fine."

Inko smiled sweetly and leaned over the table, maintaining eye contact, and refusing to back down. "I'm sorry, I didn't catch that. If you could kindly repeat it?"

"...Todoroki...Enji," He narrowed his eyes. Inko nodded, relaxing back in her chair.

"Ah, I'm Toshinori Yagi, nice to meet you," Toshinori tried his best to diffuse the situation. He knew from observation that Inko was a force to be reckoned with, and he didn't want anyone having to learn that the hard way tonight. Maybe later, but not now. He gestured to the two boys. "This is my son Mirio, and M-Inko's son Izuku." He rubbed the back of his neck. He still really wasn't sure how Izuku wanted him to address him, and he wanted to avoid making him uncomfortable at all costs. The boy didn't seem to notice his slip-up, thankfully, though Inko giggled. Upon the mention of Izuku's name, the youngest Todoroki immediately ceased fidgeting with his hands to peer at Izuku.

"Hey Todoroki! I didn't know you were coming!"

"...me neither," he simply replied.

"You two know each other?" Inko questioned. Izuku shrugged.

"He was at the store when we were getting suits!" He explained.

"How wonderful!" Rikka grinned. "Shoto, why don't you go sit with your new friends?" Her suggestion sounded more like a request to Inko, and she caught the hint of something familiar in the woman's eyes. She wouldn't pry though. Not now at least. Shoto Todoroki was never happier or more relieved at his mum's "suggestion". They all rotated seats, with the adults now closest to table one. Todoroki moved his chair in between Izuku and Mirio and happily sat down.

"I didn't know you had twin siblings!" Izuku grinned, giving Todoroki's hand a quick squeeze under the table. Todoroki gave a small smile in thanks. "Yeah. Fuyumi's the oldest, she's 15. Daiko and Daizo are 10. I didn't know you had a ... brother either?" He finished.

Mirio and Izuku glanced at each other. Then Mirio shrugged. "I guess you know now?" He tried. Todoroki raised an eyebrow, but didn't comment on it. "So," he began a new topic. "How are you here?" He hoped that wasn't too...forward.

Mirio grinned and leaned in. "My dad works with All Might,"

Todoroki's eyes widened. "Really? That's my favorite hero!" He whispered.

Mirio gasped. "Not Endeavor?"

Todoroki shook his head. Izuku followed suit. "Endeavor's lame," he explained in a hush. Todoroki giggled at his proclamation. Mirio gazed on in wonder. What? Before he could ask, Izuku spoke up again. "Hey Todoroki, what school do you go to?" He asked.

"I'm homeschooled," came the reply.

"Oh really?"

"Yeah, my father thinks I'll get the best education that way." He scowled. "I really don't like my tutor though, she's too...meh," he finished, not willing to finish.

"Ah..." Izuku replied.

"Yeah. I'm happy because my mum said I'm going to private elementary soon though,"

Mirio nodded. "Homeschool sounds kinda fun though - I could see you everyday Izuku!"

"Oh yeah! That'd be awesome!" He agreed.

Todoroki furrowed his brow. "Don't you...ever get tired of seeing each other though?"

Mirio and Izuku shook their heads vigorously. "Nope! I don't really have friends at school anyways," Mirio explained.

Izuku sheepishly agreed. Leaning in, he explained. "Me too. The only person I talk to is Kacchan but he always teases me and then blasts me with his quirk," he whispered.

Todoroki's eyes widened. "That's not nice,"

Mirio shook his head. Izuku just shrugged.

Todoroki hummed as he finally took the first bite of his salad. "Well, me and my big sister are like that too. She's really nice, and knows all the good corners of the house,"

"Both my brothers are kinda mean sometimes though. They tease me about my hair. Daiko says he's the best because his hair is mostly pure white so he always gets things from mum. They mean well though." He finished.

Izuku hummed. "That's interesting..." he trailed off.

Todoroki shrugged. "They're fun to play with at least," he offered.

"Don't they get in trouble for teasing you?" Mirio asked.

"No, my father says that if I wanna be a hero, I gotta learn to take criticism."

Mirio narrowed his eyes. Yeah, he wasn't feeling the flame hero much anymore. He didn't know the whole story though, so for now he was content hogging little Todoroki with Izuku.

"You wanna be a hero too?" Mirio asked him, leaving his train of thought behind.

Todoroki nodded, grinning. "Yeah. I wanna be like All Might," he whispered.

"Me too!" Izuku and Mirio sung in unison.

They sat and happily talked among themselves, only stopping to talk to Present Mic, who dropped by to give Mirio and Izuku a huge slice of cake (he actually went back and got a third for Todoroki, prompting Mr. Yagi to jokingly question how many kids he had). All three kids were bummed that they eventually had to part ways, and seeing the Todorokis lived rather far, they couldn't set up weekly playdates. The three eventually settled for seeing each other every year for birthdays and the banquet.

_____

Mirio pulled the blankets up to his nose. It was his turn sleeping on the bed, and he gazed at his yellow stuffed bear on his dresser, illuminated barely by the nightlight across the room. For some reason, he couldn't go to sleep. Sighing, he tossed and turned in the sheets. Maybe Izuku was still up? Mirio opened his mouth only to sigh again. What if he was asleep? Mirio didn't want to wake him. Why couldn't he go to sleep in the first place?

"Hey Mirio?"

Okay, so Izuku was still awake.

Mirio shifted so he was facing the trundle. Izuku had his back to him, and was curled in on himself. Mirio suspected he was crying. "Yeah?" He replied gently.

"I was just thinking of how you said we were brothers,"

"Oh! Sorry if that made you uncomfortable...I didn't want anyone prying why you live with us - I know you prefer not talking about ...what happened..." Mirio explained.

He saw Izuku shake his head slowly. "No, that's fine. I had a bad dream...and then I was thinking how it'd be nice if we were actually brothers,"

"...I think...that'd be nice too," Mirio agreed. "Are you okay?"

Izuku said nothing, but turned to face him. "Can...can I sleep with you?" He looked almost scared to ask.

"Of course," Mirio responded, lifting his blanket to let Izuku in. Izuku grabbed his pillow and settled down next to Mirio. He didn't say anything at first, but he eventually spoke. "...hey Mirio?"

"Hm?"

"I was just thinking,"

"Yeah?"

"...about why Todoroki doesn't like his father."

"Oh yeah, why is that?"

"..."

"Ah, it's ok, you don't have to tell me!" Mirio explained. He didn't want to make Izuku uncomfortable. But Izuku shook his head.

"Todoroki told me as long as the other adults don't know, things won't get any worse, so I wanted to tell you. But you gotta promise not to tell anyone else though, okay?"

Mirio nodded, quirking an eyebrow. "I promise."

Izuku sighed. "Well, Todoroki's father is like mine." Izuku stated simply.

Mirio's jaw dropped. "Wait really?"

Izuku nodded. "Yeah. He said he was hoping he didn't have a quirk so he'd leave him alone like his older siblings."

"...is he okay?"

Izuku shrugged. "That's what I was worried about. For now, he is I guess. But being quirkless is rare so..."

"Does he know?"

"Yeah. I told him. He already knew about my father, that's why he was looking at you weird when you said we were brothers,"

"Really? How?" Mirio questioned.

"Remember how I was hiding in the park the day you saw me?"

Mirio nodded, and Izuku continued. He shuddered thinking of that horrid day, the one he couldn't help but relive from time to time in his sleep. Like today. "I met him there. He ran away from home because his father was raging and got picked up by someone before you came,"

"So he saw you?"

Izuku nodded. "And you already know it was then again at the clothes store. That's why I was under the rack,"

"Oh,"

"Yeah."

"I really hope he's okay,"

Izuku nodded. "Me too. I guess we'll find out on our birthday next year?"

Mirio solemnly nodded. There was a pause before he spoke up again. "Hey Izuku," he began.

Izuku turned to face him. "Yeah?"

"I'm glad you're here,"

Izuku smiled. "Me too,"

Neither one of them had any issue falling asleep after that.

Chapter Text

Mirio sat in his seat, watching the teacher walk into the classroom. As usual, he was by himself, semi-longingly eying his classmates talk to their friends. The school year was nearly over, and he'd only managed to talk constantly to about two people, and even then they were in another class and they weren't all that close. He sighed, before remembering Ms. Midoriya's words of encouragement. He grinned as he watched the teacher clap her hands.

"Attention class!" Everyone snapped to attention. The teacher grinned. "I have some rather exciting news for you all. I know it's the end of the year, but we have a new student joining us today! His family just moved here, so please give him a warm welcome!"

The class cheered. It was always exciting to see a new face. Especially at this school, where rich and hero kids usually only went. Mirio perked in his seat. Maybe it'd be a cool and flashy kid with an equally cool and flashy quirk? Or maybe a hero kid he could talk about his goals with! The class chatter was interrupted when the door slid open again.

In stepped a timid-looking kid with messy black hair. He had pointed ears and fidgeted with his hands, refusing to look up at the rest of the class. The teacher urged him to introduce himself. "My name is... Amajiki...Ta-Tamaki..." he said, although Mirio suspected half the class didn't even hear him. "He's so plain," he heard someone whisper. The teacher pointed to the empty seat in the back of the class, and he quickly scurried to it, eager to be out of the limelight. A few students tried to talk to him, but apparently they had trouble hearing what he was saying, and quickly gave up. Classes returned to normal after, and all chatter of the new kid died down within a couple of days. It wasn't until a few weeks later that attention was brought back to him.

Mirio stood in front of his cubby, rummaging around looking for where he stashed his homework. Two kids next to him started up a conversation about heroes. Or more like disagreement. "I'm telling you! It's a hat!" One kid tried to explain. The other furiously shook her head. "No! It's a wig! What hat looks like that?"

The first boy groaned. "Hair doesn't do that though?" He reasoned.

The girl huffed, and turned to face Mirio. "Hey Mirio! You're a hero nerd right? Is Present Mic's hair a wig or a furry hat?" She asked, rolling her eyes. Mirio chuckled. So that was the issue. From the corner of his eye, he could see Amajiki perk up slightly. He seemed like he was trying his best to say something, but no one could hear, and the two kids arguing didn't even notice him. Mirio saw him sit back down with a tremble in his lip.

"Heyyy, Mirio!" The girl snapped.

"Oh, sorry, I got distracted," Mirio shrugged.

The girl rolled her eyes again. "So do you not know?"

Mirio grinned and shook his head. "Oh no, I know." Smiling devilishly, he continued. "It's actually his real hair."

Both kids' eyes went wide. "But that's impossible!"

Mirio laughed. "I saw him at the hero's ball last month - he had his hair in a big bun. It's really long and soft!"

"He let you touch it?" Both kids crowded him. Mirio simply nodded. He decided to settle for that answer rather than explaining Present Mic was actually his "Uncle" and babysitter. Or that he knew his hair was soft because he liked braiding it.

Luckily both kids didn't question why he was at the ball in the first place. He guess it had something to do with the fact that the boy was giggling about the idea of him popping up through the floor of the party uninvited. Mirio shrugged. He was about to head back to his own desk when he noticed Amajiki had his head down on his, covering his face. Mirio frowned and sat in the desk in front of him. "Hey," he said. No response. Mirio tried again. "Hey, Amajiki,"

Amajiki looked up slowly, as if he couldn't believe anyone would actually talk to him. Mirio got a good look at his face then, and yep. He had been crying. He furiously wiped his eyes dry and cleared his throat. "...what,"

Mirio grinned at him. "Did you know that?" He asked.

"Know what?"

"That Mic's hair is his actual hair," Mirio elaborated.

Amajiki nodded slowly. He couldn't believe Mirio was actually talking to him! He hasn't been here long, but from what he heard both in and out of his class, Mirio was pretty popular. Sure, they tended to laugh about his quirk (Amajiki still didn't know what it was), but they talked to and about him a lot nonetheless. Amajiki couldn't help but wonder if he wanted something from him. He was so boring and plain, no one else talked to him unless it was for that reason. At least at his old school they didn't. Amajiki suddenly remembered that Mirio had actually asked him a question, and was still waiting for a reply. "Yeah, I read it in a magazine once..." he trailed off.

Mirio's eyes widened. "Really? You read hero magazines too? That's way cool!"

"Yeah, doesn't everyone here?"

Amajiki watched as Mirio shook his head. He almost looked a bit sad for a second, but it was so short he decided he'd imagined it. "No," Mirio said.

"But isn't like everyone here heroes' kids?"

"That's what I say!" Mirio exclaimed. "They talk about their parents sometimes, but nobody is really into heroes like that!"

"Weird," Amajiki commented. "At my old school heroes were all the rage."

"Yeah," Mirio shrugged. "Maybe because they're around heroes so much they're not that interesting? I don't know. It's so hard sometimes, because I like talking about heroes and I wanna be one when I grow up. But no one else wants to here,"

Amajiki's eyes widened. Mirio had trouble talking to people? But he seemed so popular and outgoing! "Are you a hero kid Mirio?" He asked, remembering he'd mentioned the heroes' ball.

Mirio stiffened a bit before answering. "My uhm, my dad works at All Might's agency," he explained. It was the truth. He just conveniently left out the bit that his dad was All Might.

"Woah, that's so cool!"

Mirio grinned and leaned in, motioning the other closer. "Hey I'll let you in on a secret," he started. "Mic is actually my babysitter and that's actually how I know about his hair,"

Amajiki's eyes widened even more. "You're so lucky!"

Mirio laughed. "Hey wanna come over next weekend? I think he'll be over then!"

_____

Izuku wrung his hands together as he stepped off the bus. He looked around quickly before standing off to the side, avoiding everyone. Currently his class was taking a fieldtrip to the museum, and while Izuku was normally super excited to go, he was preoccupied with avoiding everyone. Or more like avoiding a certain someone. Kacchan kept asking questions about where he went last month - the time he was at the ball. He also kept questioning why he hasn't been at the park as often. Izuku really couldn't lie to him (he'd know he was lying instantly), and he also didn't feel like putting up with his friend's teasing.

Actually, Izuku thought. Was Kacchan his friend? Mirio had been quick to label him as an acquaintance, but Izuku felt like that was too distant a term for their relationship - they'd known each other far too long, and in the beginning, Izuku had absolutely no problem calling him his friend. Izuku sighed and trailed behind the group, barely looking at the exhibits. His life'd become so...complicated.

"Oi! Deku!"

And apparently it was about to get way more complicated. Izuku pretended not to hear. Kacchan was attempting to whisper anyway.

"Hey! I know you hear me! Deku!"

Izuku turned his attention to the front. A Kacchan whisper wasn't much of a whisper anyway. "Yeah?"

"You still haven't told me why you keep ditching the park,"

"I go to the one closer to my house," he explained. He'd told him that already.

"Bullshit," he hissed. "The school sandbox is better! You shouldda stayed," recently Kacchan had taken to saying that word after Izuku mistakenly muttered it, and despite Izuku telling him it was a bad word, continued using it. Izuku kinda felt like he should apologize to Mr. Yagi for that. It was quite the man's bad habit of muttering English swearwords in exclamation.

Kacchan's two "friends" joined in on the conversation. "Bakugo is always wondering where you are," one started.

"Yeah he said it was boring withou-ow!"

Izuku saw Kacchan kick the boy in the shin. "Shut up, I never said that! Stop putting words in my mouth!" He growled. Izuku took a step back as he watched his hands spark.

"I keep telling you Kacchan," he began cautiously. "I don't live at my old house anymore. It's kinda far to come all the way to that park when there's one around the corner from my new one."

Bakugo scowled. He still wasn't answering his darn questions! He still didn't even know why he moved for pete's sake! Izuku just kept deflecting. He felt like something happened, and it kept gnawing at him. Thinking for a moment, he asked another question. "Does it have to do with that man that picks you up? My mom said that's not your dad,"

"Ooooh" his lackeys chorused.

"Shut up!" He hissed.

Izuku shrunk in on himself. Uh-oh. He didn't want to tell - he'd get teased more, and he didn't want to bring his mommy into his, er, social challenges.

"Izuku?" Came a tinkling voice. Izuku recognized it immediately. He barely had time to turn around before he was entangled in a rough embrace. Thank the heavens for Uraraka Ochako.

"Uraraka!?" Izuku exclaimed. "What are you doing here?"

She grinned as she hopped up and down. "Oh wow! We went on a fieldtrip because this exhibit just opened up yesterday and we're learning about it in class!" She only stopped hopping to hold both his hands. "I can't believe I got to see you!"

Izuku nodded. "That's amazing!"

"Uraraka?" Two girls walked up to see what was happening.

"Oh hey guys!" She grinned. Puffing out her chest, she waved to Izuku. "May I present to you...Izuku Midoriya!"

Instantly, both girls' eyes widened. "Uraraka? You mean the Midoriya?!" Uraraka nodded. "Yep!"

"Oi, Deku! What's the heck going on?"

Izuku didn't know much himself. It must have been a sight, him standing awkwardly with a confused look on his face. "I...what?" He muttered. Uraraka just laughed. Her two friends began crowding him.

"Ochako told us how you went to the heroes' ball last month!" One gushed.

"Yeah! How'd you get in?" The other asked.

"She also told us you two see each other some weekends, and that one time, Present Mic came to pick you up!"

"Yeah she said he called you 'Mini Might'! What's that mean?"

Izuku's head spun. There were so many questions! All of which he couldn't answer! Not directly anyways.

"What the heck Deku?!" Kacchan joined in on crowding him too. "Is that where you went?"

Izuku slowly nodded, trying to formulate his answers. "I went because my mommy knows someone who works for All Might. He got us reservations," he began carefully. "That's also why Mic comes by sometimes. And he knows I want to be a hero so he gave me that nickname."

Uraraka and her friends nodded, understanding. Kacchan and his lackeys look confused. Why would a quirkless kid get encouraged like that? Maybe Mic didn't know. Kacchan narrowed his eyes, and Izuku could see he still wasn't satisfied.

An adult dressed in the colors of Uraraka's school came running over shortly, and reprimanded them for running off. Uraraka reluctantly joined the rest of her class in a line by the door, and waved to Izuku. Hopefully he'd get to see her again soon! She wasn't often at the restaurant, and her aunties explained her family couldn't always pay for their phone, so he rarely got to play with her. When he did though, it was always exciting. She had a fun quirk and Izuku was always coming up with new ideas for her using it. They liked to think of it as another form of hero training. Izuku headed back to his own class's line, thankful they were arranged alphabetically. He could almost feel Kacchan's anger radiate back towards him.

They finished the next exhibit without any event or problem though, and soon Izuku was back in his seat on the bus. As he was getting off, a teacher pulled him aside. "Hey Midoriya, your, um...father?" The teacher seemed unsure. That was fair. He didn't think anyone outside of Bakugo's mom has ever seen or heard of him. Izuku's eyes widened, and he felt the color drain from his face. The teacher continued, oblivious. "...he called, and said he won't be able to pick you up today because his shift at work is running late. He wanted me to let you know a Mr. Aizawa would pick you up today." Wait...What? Izuku let out a huge whoosh of breath he didn't know he was holding. Mr. Yagi was the only one who could've sent that message. The teacher was probably confused and thought he was his father.

"Okay," he told the teacher, a small smile returning to his face. He was so relieved he wouldn't have to face his father again. Izuku frowned. How was it that villains didn't necessarily scare him, but the very idea of that one man did? The lady his mommy takes him to talk to sometimes told him that that would happen and it was okay, but Izuku still didn't like it. Kacchan always said being scared is for babies, and Izuku was a big kid. He sighed. Maybe he'd talk to Mirio later. He'd always help when he had nightmares about him. Izuku decided then to change his line of thought. The teacher had called Mr. Yagi his father...Izuku grinned. He...really didn't mind that actually. He skipped as he imagined if he actually got to call Mr. Yagi dad, just like Mirio.

Izuku held onto the straps of his backpack as he approached the bench in front of the school. He wasn't really surprised to find Kacchan there - his mom takes her sweet time getting to places. Izuku's mood dropped as he steeled himself for callous remarks and degrading comments when he sat down. Luckily his lackeys weren't there. Then the teasing was worse. As soon as he sat down, and the teacher was out of sight, Kacchan turned to him.

"So Deku, you went to that fancy party, huh?"

"Kacchan I already told you my mommy knows people."

"You're lying,"

"Am not,"

"Are too!"

"Am not!"

"Are too!"

"Are too," came a tired voice.

"Am not!" Bakugo automatically retorted. It wasn't until he noticed snickering that he looked up. Looming over him was a scruffy-looking man with dark circles around his eyes and long black hair. His cheeky grin irked him for some reason. In fact, Bakugo was about to call out the man for being creepy when Izuku lept up from the bench and hugged him.

"Mr. Aizawa!" He grinned.

"Hey kid," was all he said. From behind him stepped a boy with hair rivaling both Izuku and 'Aizawa' in messiness. "Hey Izu," he said.

Izuku grinned even widener. "Shinchan! I didn't know you were coming too!" The other boy shrugged. "I decided to tag along."

The man turned his attention to Bakugo. "You got a ride?" Bakugo glared at him. He just sighed and turned around. "Suit yourself then," Aizawa took a hold of Izuku and Shinso's hands and headed for the school gate. He couldn't make it very far though, because suddenly, a very loud woman with wild blonde hair and lots of dark makeup stepped in front of him.

"Who the fuck are you?!" She asked, completely ignoring the three kids in her presence. Izuku could see Bakugo grin, and he sighed, knowing that meant one extra word in his repertoire. Obviously his mom knew he was impressionable, and didn't swear around him to avoid his learning bad words. Not anymore though.

"What?" Aizawa deadpanned.

"I said, who the fuck are you!"

Aizawa raised and eyebrow. "Who the fuck are you," he retorted.

The woman looked taken aback. "You need to tell me who you are before I call this boy's mother," she threatened. "Let go of his hand!"

Aizawa sighed. Looks like he'd be late to his shift tonight. "Izuku, Shinso, go sit back down for a bit."

The two boys nodded and headed back to the bench. Aizawa turned back to the woman. "You can call her, she already knows I'm coming. And I'd appreciate it if you could stop yelling. Also, watch your fucking language."

The woman narrowed her eyes as she pulled out her phone. "We'll see about that. What's your name?"

"Aizawa."

"Aizawa what?"

"Just Aizawa."

"You don't have a first name?" She questioned over the ring tone from her phone speaker.

"You won't need it."

"Oh I'll need it alri-"

"Hello?" Inko's voice sounded from the phone.

"Yeah, some strange man is trying to pick up your kid. Looks real suspect too,"

There was some frantic rustling heard, followed by something falling. "Oh my god! Is Izuku okay? Did he hurt him? Did-"

"Inko it's me," Aizawa said.

The noises stopped. A pause. Followed by bubbling laughter. "Aizawa is that you?"

"Yeah," he grinned, even if he knew she couldn't see him. This wasn't the first time this'd happened in fact. More laughter from Inko. "Mitsuki? Thanks for telling me. But it's okay, he told me he was coming" The woman's shocked expression nearly grabbed a snort from Aizawa. Nearly.

"You know him?" She asked. Since her and Inko got to know each other from a PTA meeting they both happened to be late for, Inko was the only one she'd ever seen pick up her son. She hadn't made much mention of the father, but she knew she was married, and saw him briefly pass by at a tea Inko invited her to. Then again, they weren't that close, and she hadn't spoken to her in months, so maybe something changed.

"Oh, well if you say so," she shrugged. "Just trying to make sure."

Inko chuckled. "Aizawa is actually a longtime good and dependable friend of mine. Thank you for your concern though."

"Mhmm, I'll call you again soon," she said, hanging up. She put her phone away and held out her hand. "Let's start over then. I'm Bakugo Mitsuki, and that's my son over there. Nice to meet you."

Aizawa stared at her hand. Slowly, he took it. "Aizawa." He stated.

"Still no first names, eh?" She shrugged. "Ah, no matter."

Izuku watched as Kacchan's mom stopped yelling at Mr. Aizawa to reach for her phone. He hope they got cleared up soon. He really wanted to get home. And he was getting kinda hungry. Shinso, realizing another person was there, slipped into using sign language. "Did you practice the roundoff?" He asked excitedly. Izuku knew he was referring to last week's training session. Izuku and Shinso both could cartwheel flawlessly, and so Mr. Aizawa introduced roundoffs to prepare for the long-anticipated backflip.

"Yep! I went to the park with Mirio after school yesterday and practiced with him and Mr. Yagi! We ended up mostly playing tag though," he responded.

"I've been practicing too. I wanna hurry up and do the showy stuff," he smiled. "I almost got it too! Wanna see?"

Izuku nodded. Bakugo watched the exchange, none the wiser. For some reason the wild-hair kid got up off the bench and did what looked like a cross between a cartwheel and a flip. Izuku clapped. "Shinchan that was so cool!" He gushed, no longer using his hands. The other kid, Shinchan - no Shinso - Bakugo guessed, made another series of erratic hand movements. Bakugo didn't understand why he just didn't freaking talk.

Izuku watched Shinso intently, learning about his day, and how he didn't like Bakugo at all. Izuku was glad only they understand each other. Eventually the topic returned to heroes and hero training, and he asked if Izuku mastered the roundoff yet. Izuku just shrugged. "I think so! I can land it about seventy-six percent of the time," he signed, boasting. His mommy had even helped him calculate the exact percentage.

"Ooh! Really? Can I see?" Shinso asked. Izuku grinned and hopped off the bench. Placing his feet into position, he attempted a roundoff. Unfortunately, he lost his footing in the landing, and slipped. Shinso helped him up, brushing off his scrapes. "Are you okay?" He asked. Izuku was about to reply when he made the mistake of looking back at the bench. Kacchan was doubled over in laughter. Finally catching his breath he caked out. "Hey Deku! Nice useless fail there!" He snickered. Shinso narrowed his eyes at the boy.

"Hey why don't you try then?" Shinso suggested curtly. And out loud. "See how easy it is,"

Izuku gasped, but Bakugo just rolled his eyes. "Yeah whatever," He knew he could do whatever they did twice as well. After all, he was the best, right? He got into start position and did a near-perfect roundoff. Except he suddenly felt really weird right in the middle of it, and messed up his footing. He landed square on his butt, and it hurt. The quiet kid was unfurrowing his brow, giving way to a cheeky smirk. Izuku was looking back and forth between him and Bakugo in amazement. Bakugo glared daggers at him though, and the excited awe was quickly replaced with another, unreadable expression.

"Not so easy, huh?" Shinso questioned. He nudged Izuku before signing again. "So this is the one, huh?" He frowned slightly as he watched Izuku nod. He hated the fact Izuku had it hard at school. In fact he hated that all three of them did - Mirio included. He felt like if they just all went to the same school everything would be alright. He was pulled out of his thoughts by Izuku's own unusually tentative signing.

"I didn't know you knew how to control your quirk!"

Shinso nodded. "Yeah, somehow. I actually learned how when I was really concentrating on asking Uncle Sho for an extra scoop of ice cream for like the tenth time after he told me no. It just kinda...happened."

Izuku grinned a little. "That's amazing Shinchan!"

Shinso smiled at him. "That's the real reason I came to see you...I wanted to tell you in person,"

"Ooh," Izuku said aloud, watching Mr. Aizawa walk back towards them. All the while he could sense Kacchan's silent fury aimed at him. He was thankful he wouldn't have to deal with him soon enough...

"Hey kids, time to go," Aizawa sighed. "Say goodbye to your friends," he added. Shinso knew he didn't mean it. "Piss off," he told Bakugo quietly. "Freak!" He exploded back. Shinso smirked as he watched Bakugo trip again. Izuku didn't see this though, and was wondering why Mr. Aizawa was chuckling to himself.

_____

Mirio grinned as he watched Amajiki play dinosaurs with Izuku. Much like Izuku and Uraraka's regular playdates, he and Amajiki usually visited each other on alternating weekends. Amajiki had long since gotten over his awe everytime Mic or Nighteye stopped by, but he still felt a bit enthused nonetheless. It was sometimes a bit hectic, especially since both Mirio and Izuku had hero training, but they somehow made it work - after all, Ms. Midoriya was more than happy to learn that Mirio had made a friend at school.

Toshinori peeked at the scene as he passed by, smiling as the three boys played along happily. He found Inko in the kitchen, preparing a quick snack for the children. Washing his hands, he began helping out.

"I can do this much you know," Inko chuckled.

Toshinori smiled at her. "I know... I just felt like helping."

"Thank you," she replied.

They worked in silence for a while, simply enjoying each other's company. When everything was nearly about done, Inko spoke up again. "You know...I kind of feel like Cinderella." She said softly.

"Really? How so?" He asked.

She gave a playful grin and shrugged. "I don't know. It's just sometimes I feel like us moving in was like putting on a glass slipper,"

Toshinori laughed. "Certainly when you put it that way, then I feel like Cinderella too!"

Inko giggled. "Really now?"

Toshi nodded as he moved to hold her hands. "Yes. I feel like I'm dreaming. I get to do things like help you cook, or hold your hand, or-" he gave her a quick peck on the nose. "Or do that," he finished.

Inko laughed. "We're both Cinderella," as they lazily swayed around the kitchen holding hands, Inko watched Toshi's dorky smile and silently hoped to herself that the glass slipper would stay on this time.

_____

Izuku cried as his mommy zipped up his coat. "It's too hot!" He whined. His mommy frowned as she flipped up his hood.

"Izuku dear, we're still inside. When you go out, it'll be colder, and you'll feel better." She explained.

Izuku only wailed louder. Inko sighed. They'd gotten up early to go check out possible schools for Izuku to transfer to, one that was less far away. They'd gotten up very early, and Izuku, in addition to not being a morning person, had a nightmare the night before and really didn't get any sleep. Mirio ran into the living room. Taking Izuku's hand, he placed something in it. An ice cube.

Toshinori came running out the kitchen after him. "Mirio! I told you to leave that - oh" Toshinori saw Mirio was only trying to help, and he smiled as he tousled his son's hair. Lifting Izuku up, he headed outside. "I'll meet you guys at the car," he explained. Inko and Mirio nodded, gathering their things. When Toshinori took Izuku outside, he stopped crying. "Are you okay now?" He asked gently. Izuku nodded his head, his only sounds a few sniffles. Toshinori hummed a soft tune, and leaned against the car. He was glad it wasn't snowing just yet - but it was getting to that point. He figured first snow would be in a week or two. He wasn't looking forward to the snow, but he was anticipating spending the holidays with his friends and family. Toshinori glanced down at Izuku, who was now peacefully asleep at his chest. Inko and Mirio came out the door then, and they all headed to the car.

When Izuku (and Mirio too, surprisingly) woke up, they were in front of a sizable, state of the art building. Mirio recognized it instantly as his old preschool. Izuku, now somewhat property rested, marveled excitedly at the building. "Woah! It's huge!"

Mirio grinned. "It's my old school!" He explained.

"Really?!" Izuku exclaimed. "Hey mommy! Mr. Yagi! Can I go here?"

Toshinori chuckled. "If you like, sure,"

"Let's be sure to check the others out too dear," Inko reminded them.

"Is this a hero school too?" Izuku asked.

Mirio nodded. "A lot of hero kids were there. More rich kids though," he explained.

Izuku hurried to hop out the car, following Mr. Yagi to the entrance. They were met by a nice lady with very droopy fingers and ears.

"Can I help you?"

"Ah, yes actually. We're here for a tour. We should be on the list under Yagi,"

"Oh, I see. Hold on, let me buzz a guide."

Soon, a clean-cut man was beaconing them over from the end of the main hall. Izuku happily followed, ignoring the statistics and achievements the tour guide rattled off in favor of Mirio's stories about specific locations. He even showed him his old classroom! Izuku beamed. He was sure to have a fun time in this school!

When they finished the tour, Izuku expressed that he'd already made his decision, and that he wanted to come here, and didn't need to see the others. His mommy made them all go see the others anyway though, and always asked lots of questions. In the end though, Izuku got registered for his first choice, and they even ordered the uniforms for next year.

On the way home, they stopped off at a food stand to catch lunch, and sip some hot cocoa. Mirio burned his tongue, and complained the whole ride back. When they finally stepped back into the house, Izuku and Mirio both threw off their coats and hats, and tossed the gloves into a messy pile. They were about to go play when Mr. Yagi called them back in to straighten up their mess. Mirio groaned, but they both followed directions, and neatly hung up their coats. Just as they were finishing, Ms. Midoriya poked her head out the kitchen. "Come look at what came in the mail!"

Izuku and Mirio hurried to the kitchen. "What is it?" Mirio jumped up and down. Ms. Midoriya chuckled at their antics, handing them each an identical pale blue envelope. Mirio tore his open right away, while Izuku preferred the extra second to get the letter-opener. They were both delighted to find the foiled inside of the envelope held an equally as shiny card. The writing on the front was in cursive English, so Mr. Yagi and Mirio helped Izuku read it. Luckily, the inside was in Japanese, and Izuku could more or less read that with minimal help. It read:

You're invited!

You are cordially invited to Todoroki Shoto's 5th birthday! Come celebrate five wonderful years January 11th at the Musutafu Ice Castle. RSVP before December 30th! Hope to see you there!

Izuku grinned as he read the letter. It would be the first time since the heroes' ball he'd get to see Todoroki! Of course, his mommy let him use her phone to call him sometimes, but he usually didn't answer right away. Apparently the Todorokis are always "really busy". He grinned at the scribbled "thanks" near the bottom of the card.

"Hey Izuku, look!" Mirio called, holding up an RSVP card. Izuku peered into his envelope to find one of his own. "Let's fill these out now!" Izuku suggested.

"Good idea," Mirio agreed. "Wait here," he hopped off his seat and skipped to his room. Stepping over the game of extreme chess from last night, he made his way to the array of pens on the desk. Hm... it was a fancy card so... "Aha!" Mirio mumbled as he found what he was looking for. Heading back out the room, he handed a pen to Izuku.

"Mirio, this is a great idea! Matchy-matchy!"

"Right?" He grinned. Izuku took the pen and began filling out his form like Mirio. Inko couldn't help but giggle as she watched them - Mirio had brought in a pair of blue glitter gel pens. "Hey Toshi, you should fill out all your documents like that from now on," Inko teased as Toshinori re-entered the room.

"Huh? Oh," he chuckled. "I wish! I bet it would be a lot more exciting that way." He scratched his chin. "Actually...now that I think about it, I could've sworn I saw Mic use a gold pen once..."

Inko laughed. "He would,"

"Speaking of Mic, is he still coming over next week for the festivities?"

Toshinori nodded. "Yep. Aizawa and Shinso are too. And Nana of course. And Sato."

"Todoroki isn't?"

Toshi shrugged. "He didn't reply to the invite. I'm assuming he barely let this birthday party pass - I think he doesn't like parties. I only ever see him at the heroes' ball...he's always so gruff,"

Inko hummed in thought. "That's disappointing, I was hoping little Todoroki could come."

Toshinori nodded. "Yeah, the boys would've loved that."

"Oh! But Mirio also mentioned wanting to invite his new friend from school! And I think little Uraraka may come so,"

"A full house." Toshinori finished with a laugh.

"Tell me about it," she chuckled. "The only other no-show is Mitsuki, but they're visiting their family out of town." She grinned at him. "You better help me make the food! I can't show up to a potluck empty-handed...especially seeing I live here!"

"You bet!"

_____

Izuku giggled as Mirio let him put a reindeer headband on his head. "See! Now we match!"

"Won't we stand out? What is no one else has decorations?" Mirio worried.

Izuku held his hand. "It's okay! If they don't have any, mommy got extra! And if they don't wanna, it's still gonna be okay because we're matchy!"

Mirio's smile returned. "Okay,"

Just then, Mr. Yagi waltzed into the room. Both him and his mommy were wearing identical red velvet outfits with a wide black belt. Mr. Yagi was also wearing a hat, and his mommy had on a huge red bow. "Yay!" Izuku squealed as he ran around the two adults. "We're all themed!"

Mr Yagi chuckled and finished setting the table. The first to arrive was Mr. Sato. He arrived early, and insisted on wearing his full reindeer getup, complete with bells. Izuku and Mirio liked Mr. Sato because he was always so funny - a contrast to what Nana liked to call a "boringly normal appearance". They both didn't see him very often outside of the TV fighting alongside All Might, even though they trained at his own private agency. He sometimes came over, but it was mostly for business matters. All in all, they didn't see him much, and were both excited he showed up.

Toshinori laughed as the three of them sat around and told absurd knock-knock jokes for a while before Sato joined them in the kitchen. Inko tried her best to shoo him out, but he insisted on helping, saying he had to leave early on hero business, and this was the "least he could do". The three of them joke around for a bit, and the boys colored in the living room quietly. The doorbell rang again soon after, and both boys were elated to find Mic in the doorway. "HEEEEY!!" He screamed.

"HEEEEEEEEY!!" Izuku and Mirio screamed back, twice as loud.

"Oh god," Inko groaned as she shut the door. She eyed the huge box in his hand suspiciously. "Hey Hizashi. What you got there?" She asked.

Mic shrugged sheepishly. "Oh hey Inko! Oh this? It's nothing...much,"

Toshinori came to greet him, took his dish to the kitchen, and ushered him into the living room. "I thought we specified small trinket gifts only, so everyone is on equal footing," Inko tutted. Hizashi grinned "yeah but this is a combined gift. So therefore it's two trinkets."

"Trinkets?"

"Yeah...er...items"

Inko rolled her eyes as he set the gift away in a corner next to other wrapped presents. He was always impossible when it came to kids. Plus he was lucky enough to have gotten Izuku and Mirio on the secret santa assignments.

"Uncle Hizashi!" Mirio exclaimed. "I'm glad you made it!"

Hizashi ruffled Mirio's hair. "Wouldn't miss it!" He grinned. "Hey..." he said, looking back in between him and the kids. "We match!" He said, gesturing to his over-the-top reindeer sweater.

Izuku giggled as he pressed the button on Hizashi's very bright sweater. It lit up and made jingling noises. "Hold on," he said, running out of the room. When Izuku came back, he was holding another reindeer headband. He took down Hizashi's bun, letting his long hair spill over his shoulders. He placed the headband on, and stepped back to admire his work. "Now we do!"

"That's perfect! Thanks Izuku!" He laughed.

Sato came out the kitchen to greet Mic, and they spent a while competing for the kids' laughter. They tied for best jokes, and Mic barely won in their impromptu game of charades. He had to leave soon after, and gave both boys a hat and mittens. Mirio's was yellow and had bear ears and paws, and Izuku's was white with bunny ears and paws. They thanked him for the gift and gave him their hand-decorated mug. He grinned and ruffled their hair before slipping out the door.

"It's a shame he couldn't stay longer," Inko sighed.

Toshinori nodded in agreement. "He's busier than me sometimes, I swear. I think it's because his quirk is so useful. Being able to see the future is pretty useful."

Inko hummed and resumed chopping up vegetables.

When the doorbell rang again, Aizawa and Shinso stepped in to find Hizashi mid-chase in pursuit of Izuku and Mirio. Both boys were laughing wildly and had huge fluffy red and brown sweaters on. All three of them wore headbands with antlers and ears, and Hizashi had a squeaky red clown nose on. When Toshinori emerged from the kitchen, he saw that he was dressed near-identical to Inko. "...did I miss the memo?" He asked.

Inko laughed. "No, you're fine!" She took the sparkling cider from Shinso and set it aside. "Besides, we have more."

"Oh, joy," Aizawa deadpanned. Shinso opted for a green elf hat (complete with ears), instead of the antlers, and joined in the fun. Aizawa ended up tormenting them all in an impossible game of twister, in which he specifically targeted Hizashi. Shinso laughed at him a lot because whenever he fell over he would squeak his nose.

When the doorbell rang again, it was Nana. She opted to join Toshinori and Inko in the kitchen, despite the protests of Izuku and Mirio. "I'll come back out when you guys are playing nice," she teased, looking pointedly at Aizawa, who only shrugged and spun the wheel. "Right foot on purple,"

"Shouta there is no purple!" Hizashi whined.

"Oh really? My bad. Guess we'll have to make do. Find the closest purple thing and put your foot on it."

Nana laughed as Hizashi groaned. "Hey you two! Need any help?" She asked Inko and Toshinori as she walked into the kitchen.

Inko rolled her eyes playfully. "Nana, please! Go sit down, we're alright"

"Everytime you come over you always want to help us do chores," Toshinori chuckled.

"It's because you guys are so clueless about basic stuff that I have to do that! Like," she gestured to Toshinori. "Look at you! I know you're not about to give your guests, wife, two sons, and cat that plain side dish!" She shook her head.

Inko sputtered. "Wife?" Nana nodded.

Toshinori chuckled. "I'm more worried about our 'cat'."

"Oh that's Aizawa," she explained. Inko and Toshinori burst out laughing.

Nana chuckled with them, before embellishing the side dishes. "Kids these days!" She bemoaned jokingly.

Inko left Nana and Toshi to work the kitchen for a bit while she checked on the guests, passing out small glasses of sparkling cider. Just as she handed out the last couple, the door rang again.

"Hello Ms. Midoriya!"

Inko grinned. "Why hello Uraraka! Welcome!" It was always a pleasure when the little girl was around, even if her energy often rivaled Izuku's. She gave a quick bow before she skipped to where the rest of the children were. Inko finished welcoming her aunties, gratefully taking the homemade desserts from them.

"Thanks for this Runa, Izuku loves your baking," Inko chuckled. The woman laughed heartily.

"Does he now?"

Inko nodded. "He does. Mirio too - it's so troublesome getting them to eat dinner first if I bring some home!"

"See, Emi! I should've brought salad too!" She playfully elbowed her wife.

"We've already got you covered," Inko laughed. The three of them headed into the living room, met with Mic still playing with the kids. Toshinori was just headed in too, and he and Inko took a seat by Aizawa on the edge of the couch. Taking a sip of his cider, Aizawa gestured across the room. "Doesn't he ever get tired?"

"Hm?" Inko asked. Looking over, she saw Mic attempting to walk, holding Izuku and Shinso under his arms, all while Uraraka and Mirio clung to his legs. All five of them were laughing and screaming. "Oh," she grinned. "I honestly don't know,"she shrugged. "I swear, he's a kid magnet."

"Maybe it's because he's got a ton of siblings?" Toshinori offered. Aizawa shrugged. Probable. He was just glad it wasn't him that was covered in a bunch of screaming kids. He preferred quieter games.

"It's amazing to see Shinso like that though," Toshinori commented. Aizawa nodded. Until he met Izuku and Mirio, he was always so quiet. Now, thanks to his friends' support, he got a lot more confident and outgoing. Granted, he was the only one not actually screaming, but Aizawa couldn't help but grin as he saw him happily talking to Uraraka.

The last to arrive was Amajiki and his dad, who both apologized profusely for being late. Toshinori assured them they were okay, and offered them some refreshments. Amajiki took a little cider and joined Mirio by a stack of board games. "Amajiki!" Mirio exclaimed. "You made it!" He jumped up and gave him a crushing hug. "Hi Mirio, hi Izuku," he greeted them. He shyly gestured to the other two kids. "Hi..." he trailed off, looking at the ground.

Uraraka jumped up and shook his hand. "Hi! I'm Uraraka Ochako!" She beamed. "And this is Shinso!" She explained, gesturing to the other kid, quietly still sitting down. He nodded at him. Mirio clapped Amajiki on the back with a huge grin. "Hey guys! This is my friend Amajiki! He has a really cool quirk and wants to be a hero too!"

Amajiki blushed at the enthusiastic introduction. Ever since he told Mirio he wanted to become a hero too, he wouldn't stop telling the world about it. He was glad he didn't tell him he was the inspiration behind it. Izuku grinned, took his hand, and sat him down. He watched as the quiet boy, Shinso, made erratic hand movements with a somewhat excited expression. He was confused as he saw Mirio stare at him intently before smiling and nodding, and even moreso when Izuku returned the hand movements, albeit more enthusiastically. Uraraka leaned over, and quietly explained it to him. "Shinso doesn't like talking very much, so he uses a special hand talk only Izuku understands. Mirio does too, but he said he's not as good at it, because he uses his hands to talk normally and gets confused sometimes. Oh! And apparently Mr. Aizawa can a little too!" Amajiki nodded. He didn't know who Mr. Aizawa was, but he could understand not liking talking. Personally, he liked to avoid it with people he didn't know well - it made him nervous.

Playing along with the other kids gradually eased his nerves though, and pretty soon he was quietly joking around with Mirio and the others. He didn't even notice when his dad tried to call him over.

Eventually, everyone settled down for a couple of games. Unsurprisingly, Shinso and Izuku won sharades. They played scrabble and a couple rounds of bingo before eating dinner and singing a couple of songs with the kids. They were just finishing taking pictures and about to open gifts when the doorbell rang. Inko and Toshinori glanced at each other. They weren't expecting anyone else...

Toshinori went to go open the door.

"Hello," The youngest Todoroki said as he bowed slowly and respectfully. He couldn't see his face very well in the dim evening light, but Toshinori thought the young boy's eyes were rather red. And he was a bit sniffly. Maybe the cold? It was snowing after all. His mother gave a slow, graceful nod. "Hello Mr. Yagi,"

"Ah! Mrs. Todoroki! What a pleasant surprise!"

She nodded. "I'm sorry on my husband's behalf, he couldn't make it...the other children too..." she trailed off, patting her son's head gently

"Oh, no worries! I'm glad enough to see you two here," he assured her. "I'm sure Izuku will be thrilled," he ushered them inside, taking their small gifts to place with the others.

Todoroki toed off his shoes. It was his first time at Izuku and Mirio's house, and he slowly took in his surroundings. It was nowhere as big as his house, but Todoroki knew it was only meant for about two people. It was nicely furnished, and quite modern. A fresh contrast to his own more traditional home. He peeked into the living room, and was immediately almost tackled by Izuku. "Todoroki! You came!"

He nodded, and let a small grin show, already feeling happy and relieved just by listening to Izuku. He suddenly felt a poke in his cheek. "Woah cool! You have dimples!" Todoroki turned to find a girl he'd never seen before.

"I'm Uraraka Ochako by the way! I can make things float! Hey wanna see?!"

Mirio wrapped Todoroki in an excited hug as soon as Izuku finished. "Hey Todoroki!"

"Hello," he said. Izuku offered him some juice, which he took hesitantly before heading further into the room. He was met with what looked to be a sleeping Present Mic, currently having his hair french braided by a kid about his age. Sitting beside him on the floor was another kid with black hair sipping on juice. "Hey Shinchan!" Izuku called. The kid braiding looked up, and made a series of weird gestures with his hands.

Mirio threw an arm over Todoroki's shoulder. "This is our technically-but-not-really cousin-in-law, Shinso Hitoshi!" Mirio explained. "And this is my friend Amajiki!" He gestured to the older boy. "Shinso, Amajiki, this is Todoroki Shoto! I met him at the heroes' ball, but Izuku knew him way earlier!" Shinso nodded.

"Is it okay?" Shinso signed to Izuku. Izuku nodded before signing back. "Yeah, it's clear! Only if you feel like it though!"

Shinso nodded. "I will. It's not that hard anymore because I can kinda control my quirk now. And I talked to Uraraka, so..." he paused. "I think I'll be fine. I may just talk like this for a bit still though. It's easier. And comfortable."

Izuku nodded. "As long as you're comfy!" He grinned. Shinso finished the braid and hopped off the couch. Sensing a pause in the braiding, Mic took off his headphones and cracked open an eye. "Why if it isn't little Todoroki!" He exclaimed. "How'ya doin'!?"

Todoroki normally hated loud noises, and the first time he met Mic at the gala he'd gotten startled, but now his exclamations were welcome, and somewhat amusing. "Hello," he bowed.

"Oh god they're multiplying," grumbled a tired voice. Todoroki watched as a man with stubble and a baggy black sweater plopped down on the couch next to Mic. He had his black hair pulled into a messy bun, and looked just about ready to fall asleep. Todoroki felt the only reason he wasn't scared of him was thanks to the comical elf hat he wore, resembling Shinso's. Mic jabbed the man in the side. "Aizawa you came all the way to the other side of the room,"

"Booo, Shut up," he jabbed him back, but Hizashi only laughed.

"Why are you booing me? I'm right!"

"You know what, I'm leaving." He got up from the couch, but not before discreetly leaving behind a couple of peppermints for each kid. They all gathered to play a couple of board games while the adults talked. Uraraka held up her peppermint next to Todoroki. "Woah!" She gasped. "It matches your hair!" She giggled before plopping the entire thing in her mouth. He grinned slightly. Uraraka was funny to him. As they set up the next game, Mirio groaned. "Noooo, not Monopoly!"

Uraraka pouted. "Why? I like monopoly! I get to be the person on the horse!" She squinted. "By the way I always call that one and you can't have it!"

Mirio shook his head. "No you can be that one. It's just that Izuku and Shinso don't play fairly,"

Amajiki giggled and Izuku wrinkled his nose. "Hey! That's not true!"

Shinso snorted before making some more hand movements. Izuku laughed at Mirio's pout. "Just because we know how to make things work in our favor isn't our fault," he finally mumbled.

Todoroki arched an eyebrow. "How do you cheat at monopoly?" He may not have played a lot of games in his house, but board games like Chess and Monopoly were always open to him. Mirio shrugged. "They're telepathic, I swear!"

Uraraka stuck her tongue out. "Whatever! I'm gonna play the horse. C'mon?" She finished setting the board and they got started. Surprisingly, Todoroki ended up with the most properties, but unsurprisingly, Shinso and Izuku had the most money. Uraraka was the one sent to jail the most often, Amajiki stayed in jail for ten turns straight, and Mirio had to pay the most fines. They called the game as a tie, and joined the adults for the gift exchange.

By the time they finished, everyone was tired and full. Amajiki was asleep on the couch next to Mirio, and Uraraka and Izuku were fighting sleep. Shinso and Todoroki were the only ones really awake, but Shinso still opted to snuggle into Aizawa's side. Toshinori and Inko saw each guest to the door, making sure Izuku was awake to see Uraraka off. Aizawa took Shinso home, and Mic left with them. Soon enough, it was only Todoroki left.

"Hey I just remembered!" Izuku exclaimed. Todoroki glanced up at him.

"Remembered what?" He asked.

"I put some cider in the freezer!"

"What?" Who does that?

Izuku giggled, seeing his confused expression. "It was too hot so I put it in there to make it colder." He explained. He headed to the kitchen, and Todoroki followed. When the reached the safety of the kitchen, Izuku suddenly became quiet. "Are...you okay?" He asked.

Todoroki was puzzled. Izuku must have seen his face, because he immediately began explaining. "Um, you looked kinda sad? When you and your mommy came in first?"

Oh. He was talking about that. Todoroki watched as Izuku got out a step-stool to reach the fridge. Todoroki frowned. Izuku was sometimes so mature for his age - and at times like this he was reminded that he was only four. Todoroki himself was only about to turn five, but he felt his circumstances drove him to be different. Less playful. He refused to imagine Izuku's past situation. He didn't deserve what happened - he was such a great friend to him, even if he didn't know him all that well. 'Yet' Todoroki told himself hopefully.

He sighed. "I think I have a quirk." He explained, simply.

Izuku nearly fell off his stool. "What?! Does he know?"

Todoroki shook his head. "No, only mum. She told me not to tell."

Izuku hummed. "So what are you gonna do now?" He plopped two cups in the microwave.

Todoroki hummed, thankful Izuku didn't ask what his quirk actually was. Granted, it didn't fully manifest yet - he only felt hot and cold. "I'm gonna try and keep it a secret." He replied. "At least until I have to use it to get into U.A."

Izuku nodded. "I think that's a good plan." He handed Todoroki a cup of cider. Todoroki accepted it gratefully. They both headed out of the kitchen, and not wanting to disturb Mirio's sleep on the couch, sat on the floor by the coffee table to color. They had apparently missed the last train, so his mommy was calling their chauffeur to come get them. Todoroki was kinda happy he didn't have to go home just yet.

_____

Izuku bounded around the corner for the tenth time, nearly tripping on the threshold to the kitchen. Toshinori shook his head. He really should get that fixed - he didn't want Izuku tripping and hurting himself anytime soon. Or ever for that matter. Inko laughed as she chased Izuku into the room and around the kitchen table.

"Noooo!" Izuku scream-giggled, brandishing his foam sword.

Inko, wrapped in a hot pink bedsheet toga, raised her own foam sword. "I'm the god around here! I'm gonna curse you!"

"Fear not! I've come to save you!" Mirio yelled as he lept into the room. He took the foam sword from Inko and turned it toward her. "You're cornered!"

Izuku grinned as he raised his sword. "And I'm a secret prince! I have magic powers!"

"And I'm a wizard so I'm gonna curse you!"

Inko dramatically slumped onto the floor. "Oh no...defeat by the hand that holds my own sword! I shall perish! Oh nooooo I'm meltiiiiiing," she groaned out as she slumped on both the boys, pushing them to the floor.

"Mommy noooo," Izuku giggled. Mirio laughed as he struggled to roll from under Ms. Midoriya.

Toshinori grinned as he watched the scene unfold before him. Grabbing an oven mitt, he joined in. "I, the great warlock necromancer of the north, hereby revive you!" He exclaimed. Inko grinned as she stood up, freeing the boys.

"Oh no! There's two!" Mirio giggled.

"Run!" Izuku exclaimed. They shot out of the kitchen, screaming and giggling as the two adults chased them around.

By the time the two boys were worn out from running, Toshinori had already finished their lunch. They all sat down together at the table in joyful silence. When they were done, Izuku and Mirio helped tidy up before heading out to color. Inko told them that if they played quietly she'd take them to the big park down the block. She grinned as she watched them excitedly run off.

"They play so well together,"

Toshinori nodded. He was elated Mirio had found such a good friend, and happy Izuku did too - Inko had told him her suspicions on his bullying at school. She didn't know who exactly, but she knew something was up. Toshinori was glad the house was a safe place for him. He grinned at her as he placed the last dish on the drying rack. "I'm glad too," he replied.

Smiling, she wrapped her arms around his waist. He returned the gesture, content to just hug her like this. Unfortunately, their solstice was interrupted by the sound of a doorbell. Toshinori grinned apologetically as he let to to answer the door. Inko stuck out her tongue playfully as she followed him.

At the door was none other than Nana, holding a huge basket of old clothes - many of which were old hero costumes. Out of the corner of his eye, Toshinori saw Inko recoil a little at the sight of a certain familiar super-silver fabric. "What's going on?..." she asked, confused.

Nana laughed. "Remember how I was mad Mic got Izuku and Mirio as his gift exchange partner?"

Toshinori laughed, remembering how upset she'd been upon finding out Mic had nabbed her spot. Nana rolled her eyes at him, and continued on into the house. As soon as Izuku and Mirio saw her, all promise of playing quietly was disregarded. Inko grimaced as she watched Izuku jump over the coffee table and Mirio vault over the couch - she'd asked them to play quietly because with their hero training, in combination with their naturally hyper personalities, they'd both taken to doing casual acrobatics, and she didn't want them accidentally getting hurt. She wondered briefly if Aizawa had the same problem with Shinso.

"Hey boys!" Nana exclaimed, putting aside the box to pick both the boys up. She spun around with them in her signature crushing hug and sat them down. Izuku, being a little dizzy, stumbled into Mirio, who just giggled. "I've got a surprise for you!" She said.

Mirio hopped up and down. "Oh! What is it!"

Nana winked. "You'll see. First let me see what you two have down in your handy hero guidebooks!"

Izuku happily obliged, and took her hand to lead her to his and Mirio's room. Nana carefully stepped over the toys strewn across the floor and sat on the bed while Izuku rummaged around a box. It was a worn cardboard box that had his name hastily written on it, but Nana also spotted a new dresser with the drawers labeled 'Izuku' and 'Mirio' in glittery stickers. She assumed the box was left over from wwhen Inko and Izuku first moved in. She hummed as she eyed the toys on the floor. They'd have to get a new place soon huh?

Mirio watched Izuku pull out the latest edition of their hero guide. Not many new entries were made recently, but Mirio knew that whenever Nana came over, she always had something new and interesting to add! Mirio got an idea.

"Hey Izu?"

"Hm?" He paused as he flipped through the pages.

"Why don't we ask Nana about Lady Quantum?"

Izuku beamed. "That's a great idea! I don't know why I didn't think of it before!" He exclaimed.

Mirio nodded. "Me too! It's so simple!"

Izuku flipped away from his blank page and to the most updated entry for Lady Quantum. "Hey Nana?"

"Yep?"

Her eyes widened as Izuku showed her the entry. She'd...never seen that one before, even if she'd seen the contents of this book. Maybe it was closed off? Her suspicions were confirmed when she spotted the two paper clips on the edge of the page. Hm.

"Do you know this hero?" Izuku asked.

Nana paused. "Hm," she said at last. "You two know I taught at U.A., right?"

Mirio nodded. "Yeah! Dad said only for a year though,"

She nodded. "I was an assistant teacher for a little less than a year before deciding I preferred informal mentoring and straight hero work better." She explained. "I left just as your dad came in, and decided to mentor him. Of course, I met a lot of his frien-er- classmates." She continued. Izuku and Mirio sat next to her on the bed. "This character here," she pointed at the comically childish illustration of Lady Quantum. "They were in Toshi's class. I didn't actually mentor them, but we talked a lot. We're-we were good friends."

"So..." Mirio trailed off.

"Who are they?" Izuku finished.

Nana simply shook her head. "I'm afraid I can't do that boys!"

"Awwwww maaaan!" Izuku and Mirio groaned.

Nana laughed. "Oh, c'mon! Get up! You're gonna turn into Uncle Hizashi at this point!"

The two children giggled as Nana tickled their feet. "Now, I know you two have your hero designs in here somewhere?"

Izuku and Mirio both lit up as they showed her the page with their designs. Nana chuckled - they were both rather...interesting. "Okay! Now for the surprise!"

"Yaaay!" The screamed as they followed her back into the living room.

_____

Inko adjusted her scarf again as she waited for Toshinori to return. Nana had pushed them both out the house, telling them to get some free time for themselves. Inko half suspected she just wanted to spoil the boys without her chastising. Inko grinned as she spotted Toshinori's tousled hair as he rushed back to the bench she sat on.

"Hey. Thanks for waiting," he grinned. She shrugged.

"No big deal. Thanks for getting snacks," she snickered as she remembered him running off to chase the food truck down the street.

He laughed. "No problem,"

Inko bit into her korokke, happy for the heat of the food to warm her face.

"Good?" Toshi asked. Inko nodded, content to just munch on her food. Toshi, luckily, seemed to have the same idea. They both sat in comfortable silence, enjoying just each other's company. When they were finished, Inko found herself leaning in Toshinori's side, and him playing in her hair. She grinned. It was comforting.

"I can't believe I we got kicked out of your house," Inko commented. "Not that I can complain though, she chuckled, snuggling more into his side.

"Our house," Toshinori corrected.

Inko slowly sat straight up. "Sorry?"

"Our house," Toshinori repeated. "I mean, unless you're not comfortable with that then of course-"

Inko laughed giddily as she settled back down. "Indeed. Our house," she agreed.

"But I can't either," Toshinori continued. "I swear at this point when they get admitted to U.A. Everyone will think Nana is their actual parent..." he complained.

Inko giggled. That certainly was...true. Interesting way to put it though. She hummed, thinking of if Izuku actually managed to get into U.A.-

"What's wrong?" Toshinori asked.

"Huh?"

"Your nose is doing that scrunchy thing where you're thinking of something important," he explained.

"Oh," She didn't even notice. "It's just that you mentioned U.A. and I just started thinking."

"Izuku?"

"Honestly, the two of them. I'm confident Izuku has the skills to keep up with classwork in the hero courses...but the entrance exam is no joke..." she sighed. "And with how close Mirio and Izuku are now, I can only imagine how he'd feel if Izuku isn't there with him then," she finished.

Toshinori nodded. He understood. Both boys literally referred to each other as brothers now. He could only imagine how devastated they'd both be if Izuku couldn't immediately get into the hero courses. He'd actually thought about the situation on occasion, as well as a solution...

Inko interrupted his thoughts. "And I know what you're thinking." She sighed again. "I know you, and so I know you probably thought of this situation even before I did... and wanted to use that." They both knew what she was referring to.

"But I don't want that to be a reason you go through with it. I'm pretty sure you were already decided on Mirio beforehand anyway. Don't use any frivolous reasons," she playfully tapped his knee. "Besides, I'm confident Izuku can at least make it into the hero classes during the tournament!" She grinned.

Toshinori laughed. She knew him so well. "The tournament was no joke either!"

Inko rolled her eyes. "That's only because you were in it, dummy! No one could beat you! It was impossible for first place all three years you were there!" She laughed.

"But you were the one to nearly snatch my title third year!"

"Yeah, but I had tired myself out from having to use my quirk at full power the entire time,"

"The crowd went wild over your black hole"

"Yeah," she laughed. "I think that was the point I decided to change my hero name from Singularity."

"Really?"

Inko nodded. "I wanted everyone to know I could do more I guess. But I still liked space. And math."

"I think that was a good choice."

"Yeah. Too bad my records don't match up,"

"What do you mean?"

Inko laughed. "I always forgot to actually officially change it - Singularity was listed in my hero records and official documents, but no one outside of officials knew that," she frowned. "Speaking of which, I haven seen much about what happened that one time."

"At the store?" Toshinori questioned.

Inko nodded. "I know I was an underground hero, but it was still rather odd."

Toshinori looked away shyly. "I may have gotten All Might to ask people to keep quiet about it,"

Inko looked up at him in happy surprise. She hadn't expected him to consider doing that. Of course, considering her reasons for going quiet in the first place, the fact he'd protected her identity was a relief. She hummed, laying her head on his chest. "I never did tell you exactly what happened before I went awol did I?"

Toshinori had his suspicions, and heard the gossip from his classmates, but he'd wanted to hear her side, directly from her, himself. "No," he said.

Inko nodded. "So..."

Chapter Text


Inko sighed as she sat on the couch in front of the TV. "Izuku! If I have to yell for you to come over here one more time-"

Mirio didn't even get to finish his accusatory "ooooh" before Izuku was in his mom's lap. Not willingly though. His arms were crossed. "I don't wanna!" He quietly complained. Inko picked up her comb and...

He was gone again. This time followed by Mirio. Nana walked into the living room. "Having trouble?" She asked.

Inko groaned. "Izuku hates getting his hair combed, this isn't even the worst of it,"

Nana grinned. "Then watch and learn." She called Izuku and Mirio back into the living room. She couldn't help but chuckle at the hero costumes - it'd been a nice craft between the three of them while Toshi and Inko got some time out. Of course they were elated to find that it'd be made of old actual hero costume materials. Naturally they both wore them around a lot. Nana watched as Izuku flipped back his hood, reminding her of the task at hand. "Here, come sit." She said. Izuku hopped up next to her on the couch and she flipped on the TV. Handing him a lollipop (much to Inko's dismay), she picked up the comb. Inko watched in amazement as Izuku's hair got brushed and combed in under five minutes. "You gotta distract 'em," Nana winked.

"Thanks," Inko grinned.

"No problem! Now I gotta run - call me if you need anything!" She said as Inko saw her out. Chuckling, she headed back into the living room. Nana was always busy, yet she always made time for them. She sat on the couch to watch the boys as she checked her email. She had today off on a rare occasion, but that wouldn't stop her from being astute.

"Woah cool! Did'ya see that?!" Mirio exclaimed. Izuku nodded, eyes still on the screen. They were both currently watching the hero segment's replays of the top ten hero fights of last year. Which was made sense, seeing the new year just started. They'd already gone to the shrine together, but it still felt like late December most of the time.

Inko sighed as she refreshed her inbox. So far she hadn't heard anything from the Todorokis... not even confirmation for the RSVP. In fact, even in the news the number 2 hero didn't make the same number of appearances. She furrowed her brow as she tried to place what happened. She didn't miss little Todoroki's tears, or Mrs. Todoroki's fidgeting when they'd arrived at the party last month. It was getting closer to the 11th soon too - she wondered how she'd approach the subject with Izuku and Mirio.

She distracted herself by watching the program with the boys. On occasion, she'd narrow her eyes. She could've sworn she'd seen the woman who attacked them in the store a while back a couple of times. Hm.

When the program was over, she grabbed her keys and handbag, and joined the excited pair of kids by the door. "Hey hey!" Izuku bounced around. "This time I'm gonna beat you at monkey bars racing!"

"Not if I can help it!" Mirio giggled.

Inko had the day off, so she'd told them she'd take them to the park and out to eat while they waited for Toshinori to get off. Both Izuku and Mirio were happy to spend time together with her. Making sure they both had their scarves and mittens, the trio headed out the door. Inko held both boys' hands as the two skipped alongside her. When the got to the park, Izuku and Mirio immediately jumped on the monkey bars, trying to see who could get across first. Inko found it impressive Izuku could stay up there for so long in the first place, seeing he was only four, but she assumed that was thanks to Aizawa's hero training. Izuku was a pro at barre apparently.

Izuku triumphantly jumped down from the bars. "Tah-dah!" Mirio jumped down after him.

"Okay that's just this one time! I'm gonna win next time!" He laughed as he ran around the jungle gym. Izuku giggled and chased after him. "Wait!" He exclaimed. "I have a better idea!" He grinned.

"Ooh! What is it?" Mirio questioned.

"Look," Izuku said as he headed for the merry-go-round. Mirio hopped on as Izuku began to turn it around. When it was spinning, Izuku climbed up on the bar and held his hands out in front of him. Mirio laughed as his cape flew in the wind, untucked from inside his coat. "Woah cool! You're flying!"

Inko sat and watched the boys in peaceful silence. She'd grown so used to their little routines and time together. She grinned as her phone rang. "Hello?" She answered.

"Ah, Ms. Midoriya?"

"Speaking,"

"Oh thank goodness!" The voice on the other line sighed out. Inko recognized it as her co-worker. "I'm deeply sorry to call you on your personal phone on your day off," she began. "But I was wondering if you happened to have a copy of the approval emails you sent out yesterday. Our intern seems to have...er, lost it."

"Oh, sure thing. Hold on a bit please," Inko replied as she sent one last glance at the two boys playing, and turned her attention to fishing her tablet out her purse.

Izuku giggled as Mirio hopped off to spin the thing faster. They were both so absorbed in their game that neither noticed the appearance of a familiar face.

Bakugo watched as Izuku played happily on the merry-go-round with an older blonde kid he'd never seen before. For whatever reason, they both wore capes, Izuku's teal one blowing in the wind from being turned around. Bakugo scowled. Izuku had told him he didn't come to this park anymore. Why was he here now? He ignored his mom's instructions to stay put while she went to the bathroom and walked over to the merry-go-round.

"Oi, Deku!"

Immediately, Izuku turned to face him, his look of surprise turning to something else. The other kid paused too, frowning at him. Bakugo frowned right back. What was his problem? Bakugo watched Izuku look around briefly before sighing in relief.

"What?" The other kid said.

Bakugo rolled his eyes. "Who are you?"

"I'm Izu's big brother, what do you want?" He asked, narrowing his eyes.


Bakugo' eyes widened slightly. Since when did Izuku have a brother? "Did you... wanna play with us Kacchan?" Izuku asked.

Bakugo turned up his nose. "Like I'd wanna play with a pair of quirkless losers." He crossed his arms. "And don't call me that!"

"Hey! Mirio's not quirkless!" Izuku retorted. He backed away when Bakugo's palms sparked. Mirio stepped in between the two. "And even if I was it wouldn't matter,"

Bakugo narrowed his eyes, but the sparks faded away. "Whatever Deku,"

Mirio seemed to relax a little, but stayed standing where he was. "If you don't wanna play with us why'd you come over here?" Mirio questioned, raising an eyebrow. Bakugo made an amusing expression that looked a cross between a scowl and a pout. He didn't say anything though, and opted for a gruff huff before heading back to sit on the bench to wait for his mom. Mirio let out a whoosh of breath and turned to Izuku.

"...thanks," Izuku murmured.

Mirio shrugged. "He needs to be nice. Why do you still be friends with him?" He questioned.

Izuku sighed. "I don't know. We've known each other for too long I guess. He's really the only person who talked to me before he got his quirk. I think maybe...sometimes he doesn't mean to come across mean?"

Mirio frowned. That last part seemed like a question Izuku was asking himself. In all honesty, Mirio felt Bakugo just really wanted to know what was going on with Izuku, and who he was, if anything Izuku tells him about school was to go by. Thank god they were on break, and that Izuku changed schools. Even if Bakugo was somewhat concerned, that didn't justify his relentless bullying.

Inko looked up from the tablet, done with sorting out the intern's mistake. She hadn't seen or heard the confrontation between the kids, but she did notice their expressions. They seemed to be discussing something quite serious...

"What's the super secret convo about hm?" She asked with a grin when they decided to head over. Izuku bit his lip and glanced at Mirio, who pointedly looked away from Inko. "Um, hero stuff..." he offered quickly. Inko raised her eyebrow. Izuku and Mirio were both terrible at telling lies, but they sure were surprisingly good at keeping their secrets when they wanted to. So Inko didn't press - they'd tell her when they were ready.

"Why don't we head over to the diner then? It's almost time for Toshi to get off anyway," she suggested. Both kids seemed to love the idea, and excitedly held onto Inko's hands as they walked back to their house how get Ms. Midoriya's car. They were well on their way to the diner when Inko's phone rang. She glanced at the caller ID with a chuckle. "Hello?" She answered. For good measure, she held the phone a couple of inches from her ear.

"HEEEEEY!! Inko have you any idea where Shouta is?" Hizashi asked rather loudly.

"No I haven't actually! Did you try Toshi's?"

"Yeah! but I didn't get him! He might be in the middle of battle or something. He doesn't answer his phone unless he knows it's important."

"Oh?" Inko always found it amusing Toshinori used different ringtones for each of his contacts. She never figured that might be why - so he could easily tell who was calling and decide to answer it when he's preoccupied. She and Hizashi brainstormed on some ideas on how to reach Aizawa while Mirio and Izuku looked on. Mirio turned to Izuku and began signing. It was kinda awkward doing it without Shinso around, but he really needed to talk to Izuku, who still seemed kinda down.

"Are you sure you're okay?" He asked.

Izuku nodded slowly. There was a long pause and finally, a sigh. "A lot of times the things Kacchan says hurt my feelings..." he began. "Sometimes...sometimes, like when he does his explosions, I think about my father, and how he said a lot of the same things about not having a quirk."

Mirio frowned. He knew Izuku didn't like talking about the subject. "Oh," was all he said, giving Izuku leeway to change topics.

Izuku seemed to pause again before he gave a small smile. "...Thanks for stepping in. Every time Kacchan says mean stuff I get sad but then I remember what you said, and that I have people who support me!" His bright smile returned. "You told me I could become a hero too!"

_____

Toshinori flipped through the papers in the thin black file Aizawa had tossed over to him. In his All Might form, he had to take extra care not to crinkle them, giving cause to Aizawa laughing at him. Presently, the two of them were in the agency's basement archives, searching through last year's logs. Toshinori put the file back before rifling through the rest.

"Try under 'underworld?' Maybe." Aizawa suggested.

A few minutes passed before Toshinori groaned. "Nope. Why can't the agency just use a digital database?" He complained.

"Hackers can get information easily. Breach of privacy. This way is harder. Not foolproof though..." Aizawa said with a smirk. After all, technically the two weren't supposed to have access to this section of the archives.

Toshinori switched off and let Aizawa have a go at sifting through the files. Presently, the two were searching for information on an elusive underground crime organization Aizawa had been trying to track down. The agency had bid him let them alone, as they had no direct evidence of being involved in anything outside of petty thievery, and there were more pressing matters they wanted Eraserhead to attend to. But if anything, Aizawa was nosy. Not maliciously, he just liked to know what was going on around him. He was also a firm believer of getting his job done right. That meant no villain left unscathed.

"Goddamnit," he grumbled to himself. He was loosing sleep over this. He had his hero shift start in three hours. He could be sleep-

"If all they do is steal, why're you so interested?" Toshinori questioned. "Won't the agency just send another underground hero after them in time?"

Aizawa shrugged. "Maybe so." He closed the file cabinet and moved on to the next. "But, they're still operating under the assumption that this is just a ring of inexperienced thieves."

"They're not?" Toshinori raised an eyebrow.

"Maybe they are. But why then would they all operate like underlings?" Aizawa grabbed another black file, made a face, and tucked it under his arm. "The only reason we know of this group in the first place is because some fuckup who slipped and mentioned he was part of a group during interrogation. I saw the footage. He looked like he'd piss himself after that. Like if his boss found out he'd literally be dead. Lone criminals who lie about being part of a group don't have that reaction. He didn't even mention the name. Just that he wasn't alone." He explained. Tucking another file under his arm, he continued.

"We tracked the group down to a location thanks to the forensics team and planned a bust, but nobody was there. Only thing left was a fuckin' carved symbol of a demented skull with three eyeholes in one of the doorframes. Since then we've noticed an increase in petty crime by villains with that tattoo. I wanna crack down on why this group is sending their minions to petty crimes where they know they'll be caught."

"That is kind of suspect," Toshinori offered.

Aizawa scoffed. "No shit, Sherlock." He pulled out another file, and after he seemed not to find anything else, he headed over to the studytable where Toshinori was seated. "What are those?" He asked.

"Records from all the tattooed villains from the past year. I gave up looking for org names. Apparently there were some crimes during the day that I didn't apprehend."

Toshinori hummed as he grabbed a file and looked through it. Nothing stood out about anything, until he reached the second page. "Did they always work in pairs?" Toshinori asked.

Aizawa shook his head. "No..., but I'm seeing a recurrence in the brief mention of an accomplice. The minion is always captured and the accomplice always gets away though...that's...odd. Never saw this at night."

Toshinori nodded. "Is the accomplice a minion too?" Toshinori blushed when Aizawa snickered. He wasn't as well-versed in villain politics.

"Probably not if they're the type of people to escape like that," he said. He jotted down a couple of notes from the files in his locked journal before putting them back and relocking the file cabinets. The two heroes scurried through the metal door before the security system kicked back in.

"That was close," Toshinori grinned as he stared at the locked door.

Aizawa shrugged. Could be worse. Toshinori had a feeling this wasn't the first time he's snuck in there.

When they both reached his office, Aizawa immediately crashed on the couch. "Wake me in two hours when my shift starts," he instructed. Toshinori didn't even get to say okay before Aizawa was pleasantly asleep.

"Alrighty then!" He said as he filled out the paperwork for the hero license renewal. He glanced at his phone to check the time, and discovered he had a ton of missed calls. All from Hizashi. He unlocked his phone and opened up his messenger.

[hey Hizashi, what's up?]

[oh, FINALLY!!! (๑•ૅㅁ•๑) I've been trying to reach you for ages!]

[sorry, I was busy...]

[yea I figured. It's okay. Is Shouta around?]

[asleep, but around.]

[oh. Well I locked myself out of our apartment (-v-;) and forgot where he put the spare key...so when he wakes up just ask him for me please!!!]

Toshinori sent him a checkmark emoji before shooting Inko a text and locking his phone.

_____

At the diner, Midoriya and Mirio waited patiently for their slice of cheesecake. Inko had told them that since they'd not complained about eating their veggies, they could split some cake. When Runa came holding the plate, both boys whooped in excitement. "Now, now!" Runa playfully chided. There's plenty to go round. When she returned to the table to hand out napkins and silverware, she also handed both Izuku and Mirio a small box.

"I'm so sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but little Uraraka's family's business is really struggling right now. They had to move to a smaller house in another city, so I doubt if you'll be seeing her much anymore. I would give you their new number, but their phone is off at the moment."

"Oh my," Inko said. "I wish them the best!"

"I'll try and tell them. Emi's out helping them move, so I can go through her. Izuku, Mirio," she said, turning to the boys. "She wanted you two to know how great of a friend you each were. She told me last week to give you these when I saw you next. I wasn't expecting you two to come in before Saturday, so I had them in the back."

Izuku and Mirio nodded. "Thank you..." Izuku said. He could feel the moisture in his eyes. First Todoroki, and now Uraraka? Why did everyone leave? With a hug and a sympathetic smile, she left.

Inko moved to the other side of the booth, and gave them both a tight hug. "Shhh, it's okay baby, it's gonna be alright." She understood that Izuku was closer to her, and it'd hit him hardest.

"Mommy why're they leaving?" He asked through sniffles.

"Huh?" She questioned.

Izuku nodded. "First Todoroki, and then Uraraka-"

"Todoroki?" Mirio questioned.

Izuku nodded. He'd been around for enough of his mommy's garden parties to know that you responded to RSVPs.

"Aw, baby!" Inko hugged him alongside Mirio. "The Todorokis are probably just busy. Mr. Yagi also said Enji doesn't like parties like that. They probably cancelled and forgot to tell. Both his parents are heroes after all, remember? They have a lot on their plates. And I'm pretty sure that little Uraraka didn't want to leave."

She let go of Izuku to look into his eyes, and handed him the small box. "She made sure to let you know how much you mean to her. So don't cry okay? I'm sure you'll get to play with both of them soon enough."

Izuku nodded as Mirio and his mommy both gave him another hug. He turned to take a bite of his cake, deciding that he'd open the small glittery box after. Somehow it wasn't as sweet as he remembered it tasting.

Chapter Text

Izuku was out shopping with Mr. Yagi at the mall. Currently they were browsing through gym mats, because Izuku accidentally tore his at home practicing some sequence Aizawa was teaching him. Toshinori thought it was inevitable - it'd gotten old and worn from use - it was only a matter of time. Izuku himself couldn't help but be a little surprised at his reaction - he wasn't mad in the least. In fact, he kept telling him how proud he was for working so hard. Just thinking about his words made Izuku feel warm inside. He grinned as he scanned over the mats. "Hey what about this one?" He asked.

"Heavy duty?" Toshinori raised a brow.

Izuku laughed. "Well yeah!"

They bought the mat and were pleasantly making their way back through the mall when Izuku spotted a jewelry shop. He didn't even notice he was staring until Toshinori questioned him. "Something catch your fancy?"

Izuku shook his head. "Not really...just. The rings are pretty. And I've seen that logo before," he shot a wry grin at Toshinori, who started and blushed a bit. "So you saw?"

"More like Mirio snooped and then told me but yeah," he explained sheepishly. Last year for their second consecutive joint birthday, they'd decided to play pranks on the adults. Mirio switched out all the contents of their drawers for that of their closet, and Izuku had reversed the direction of the chairs and bedsheets. Mirio had actually found the rather fancy box then. "Are you gonna do it?"

Toshinori nodded. "Yeah. I felt it wouldn't be right to do it without talking to you first though,"

Izuku scrunched his nose. "That's a lame excuse,"

Toshinori balked. "What?"

Izuku just giggled. "I'm just joking! Honestly though, me and Mirio have been waiting for ten million years for it to happen!"

"So... you don't mind?"

Izuku shook his head. "I'm sure Mirio wouldn't either," he paused for a bit, standing still by the exit. "As long as I finally get to call you dad," Izuku said, nervously rocking on his feet. His phrasing was joking, but Toshinori could see the seriousness in his eyes, and the unspoken questions in the underlying tones of the sentence. He smiled wide.

"Nothing would make me happier"

Izuku grinned, knowing it was the truth.

_____

Izuku stood in front of the mirror in the bathroom, looking himself over one last time. He grinned at his reflection - the crisp white uniform of Dagobah elementary looked just as prestigious and elite as the rest of the school. Just then, there was a loud banging on the door.

"Izuku please, I need to use it really bad!" Mirio complained from the other side. Izuku rolled his eyes as he went to unlock the door. "Why didn't you just phase through it?" He asked.

Mirio grinned as he hopped into the bathroom and reached under the sink. "You know how dad gets when I mess up my clothes," he offered. Izuku chuckled. That was true. Mirio had long since mastered his quirk, but that didn't mean his clothes still didn't get destroyed in the process. Izuku narrowed his eyes.

"Hey, didn't you have to use the bathroom?" He questioned.

Mirio giggled. "Yeah to find the hair gel -" he looked around. "Where is-"

Izuku waved the bottle in his hand. "This?"

Mirio thanked Izuku as he handed him the bottle. When Izuku's hair fell back in his face even after he'd brushed them back, Mirio held out his hand. Izuku immediately recognized the glittery pink space-themed hairclips Uraraka had given him three years ago. "Thanks," he said as he clipped his hair back and out of the way. Back when he had transferred to his new primary school, some of the kids had made fun of him, but others thought they were cool. He hadn't made any notable friends per se after he transferred, but he didn't have to deal with Kacchan's bullying any longer, so he figured that was a plus. Mirio was right in the fact the kids there didn't focus on hero work and quirks though - they weren't a subject of interest until the once-a-year quirk training that he'd been conveniently sick for.

Now that he was finally in elementary, he wondered if he'd be able to make some actual friends that talked about more than how much money their parents made. Mirio had said he doubted it, but Izuku had confidence. Besides, if not, Mirio would be there too - even if he was two grades above him.

"Boys!" Inko called. "Come get breakfast!"

"You better hurry if you don't want to be late!" Toshinori followed.

Mirio put the gel away and tucked his hair into a bun. He'd been growing it out lately, Izuku noticed. He smirked. "Race you to the kitchen," he said, immediately taking off.

"Hey! No fair! I'm still doing my hair!" Mirio replied with a laugh. He chased Izuku down the hall to the kitchen, but Izuku was already way ahead of him, and had already taken the last apple juice box by the time he made it to the kitchen. Mirio pouted as he swiped an orange juice instead.

"Losers weepers," Izuku giggled. Mirio groaned as he sat at the table. His dad and Ms. Midoriya had already eaten it seems, and were both drinking coffee. Izuku handed Mirio a plate, and they quickly ate before heading out.

Inko couldn't contain her smile as she watched Izuku head off to his first day of elementary. "Have a great day! I'm proud of you!" She called out from the car. She saw Izuku wave back at them, red-faced with Mirio's arm slung around his shoulders. She grinned and snapped a quick picture before Toshinori pulled off.

The two boys headed to school together, and Izuku immediately noticed a lot of people waving and greeting Mirio. Mirio smiled and waved back, yelling out that his brother was at school now too. Izuku waved back at all of them shyly. Mirio didn't have many friends here, but a lot of people sure did know him. Izuku hummed in thought as he walked to the auditorium for the opening speech. "Tamaki!" Mirio called.

"Hey Mirio, hello Izuku," the boy greeted.

"Hello!" Izuku replied. He grinned at how little he'd changed from when he first met him. The speakers sounded again, interrupting Izuku's train of thought. Following the announcement, Mirio gave Izuku a tight hug and words of encouragement before heading off to find his class. Izuku chuckled. He felt they were all a little overexcited - it was only elementary! He found his own class, and after all the formalities, found his classroom and seat. It was in the back by the windows and cubbies. Izuku cursed his position - he'd had a habit of his mind wandering off too much if he sat close to the window. He preferred to sit near the front so he could focus more. He sat down and leaned on his desk. He was one of the first ones in the class, so he settled for watching as the students filtered slowly in. He had made the decision to try and talk to the people he sat next to, but none of them seemed to have come in yet. He was peacefully gazing out the window, when he heard his name being called softly.

"...Izuku?"

Izuku turned around, and his eyes widened.

"Todoroki!" He grinned. He hadn't seen or heard from his friend in too long. He was so glad to see him doing alright - well, as alright as he could be, he guessed, glancing at the faded red scar over his face. He'd ask about that later, 'in private' he thought. Todoroki seemed to know where he was looking and glanced away quickly. He said nothing before sitting down right next to Izuku.

"That your seat?" Izuku questioned, the grin returning.

Todoroki nodded silently, putting his things onto his desk.

"Lucky!"

"Yeah," Todoroki nodded. Izuku breathed an internal sigh of relief when he saw the corners of Todoroki's mouth quirk up ever so slightly. The teacher walked in, and after introductions, they started class.

_____

Inko grinned as she looked down at her phone. Toshinori had been texting her about his troubles escaping the press to find somewhere safe to power down. Inko herself was having trouble escaping her office - she'd proven herself very capable, and over the years had been promoted to quite the important position. As a result, she was facing escape from countless co-workers and interns asking her questions or for instructions. Or both. Her phone rang and she happily answered. No one disturbed her when she was on the phone.

"Ah, yes I'm on my way!" She heard Toshi's voice on the other line, followed by a muffled chorus of "Wait! All Might!" And a huge rush of air.

"Finally free?" She asked jokingly.

Toshinori sighed. "Yeah. I'll meet you at our usual space?"

Inko laughed. "Yeah. See you there in five?"

She hung up, and ducked out the far staircase that lead out the back of the building. She normally took this way on particularly busy days, and apparently today was one of them. She walked through the alley and back onto the street. Just as she emerged, she noticed a burly man with silver hair turn away from the alley she'd come from. Hands in his pockets, he turned to go back down the other end of the street. Hm. Inko thought. That was strange. Gripping her purse, she hurried away from the alleyway, and made her way to the quiet little coffee shop she and Toshinori had made a point to meet up at every lunch break.

"Hey," she said as she sat down at their usual table.

"Hey," Toshinori greeted, putting down his menu. "I already ordered your drink by the way,"

"How'd you know if I didn't want something new?" She teased.

Toshinori looked alarmed. "Ah, did you? I'm sorry, I just thought-"

Inko put her finger to his lips. "I'm just joking silly," she giggled. "Thank you,"

They ordered their food and enjoyed the usual pleasant conversation. Toshinori's phone buzzed, and he chuckled at the screen before showing Inko. It was a photo of Aizawa sprawled out on a plush looking mattress. The caption read:

[looks like he likes it!!! \( ° ▽ ° )/ ]

"So he ended up getting it in the end?" Inko laughed. Toshinori nodded. Mic had been agonizing over buying a new bed for their shared apartment for weeks - Aizawa was very picky about his mattresses apparently.

Inko hummed before taking a sip of her tea. "Do you think we should get a new one too?"

"Oh? Did you need a new one?"

Inko shook her head. "No...I mean like just one. A big one."

Toshinori's eyes widened. They'd shared a room, but not a bed. "Uhm, sure if that's what you'd like," he grinned nervously. He could feel the red in his face. Inko giggled as she held his hand under the table. "We should probably get new ones for the boys - Mirio's ten now, and I'm sure they're both getting tired of sharing the trundle."

Toshinori doubted they minded the sharing, but he did agree they were both getting older, and would need larger spaces of their own soon. "That sounds like a good idea." He thought for a bit. Their current apartment didn't have any extra rooms for that though. "I think that would mean we'd need more space though..." he trailed off.

Inko nodded. "That's certainly true." The would most likely have to buy a bigger house. "Seems like we'll be having a housewide meeting tonight, then" she laughed. Toshinori stared down at the table, lost in thought. Just as Inko was about to question his odd turn of behavior, he spoke up again.

"Could...could we make that a family meeting?" He asked.

"Huh?" Inko questioned, noting the furious blush creeping its way back to his face. Surely that small change in wording wouldn't be enough to warrant such a red face, right?

"I mean" Toshinori continued, looking Inko in the eye. "Can we make that a family-wide meeting?" He heaved a sigh, and seemed to steel his resolve on something.

"Inko." He began.

"I tell you everyday, but I hope you know that I really love you. I like being around you, and helping you do housework, and doing cartwheels in the park with you and Izuku, and listening to you talk. I like how you're strongwilled and determined and kind and sarcastic. So I want to be able to keep telling you I love you. Every day. I want to be able to be there - for you and Izuku, because I'd be honored to call him my son too. So Inko,"

He got out of his chair to kneel on the ground in front of her. "If you'd have me, will you marry me?" He asked, finally pulling out the ring.

Inko was sure even if there had been lots of people in the little coffee shop, she wouldn't have been able to pay them any attention. She felt the moisture coming to her eyes, and, overcome with emotion, only croaked out a soft but firm "yes" before pulling him up into a hug.

Toshinori grinned as he held her tight, kissing her hair as she cried. When she finally put on the ring, it fit perfectly.

_____

Izuku stood up from his desk and stretched, happy to finally be able to have lunch. Todoroki seemed to have the same idea, gathering his bento from his cubby. Izuku waited for him at the doorway. "What made you come to this school?" Izuku asked. Simple icebreaker.

Todoroki shrugged. "Hero kid school. Most of my siblings went here." Izuku nodded.

"Why'd you come?" Todoroki returned.

"Mirio went here,"

"Oh."

They were silent for a bit before Izuku timidly spoke up again. "So...did he find out...back then?"

Todoroki really wanted to never bring that topic up, but he knew in his heart that he probably needed to talk to someone about it. Izuku had been his best friend in the short time he'd known him. He owed him that much, he figured. "No... he still thinks I'm quirkless." He began.

"So you do actually have one?"

"Mmhm," Todoroki nodded. "He doesn't know. I try and train it when he's out doing hero work on the weekends and I'm by myself. My siblings don't even know. The only one who knew was my mom. She...helped me a lot." He sighed. "I'm sorry for not contacting you three years ago. I really wanted to, but..."

Izuku didn't press him, and just walked slowly alongside him in silence. "That week...my mom got sent away." He stated simply. Izuku stopped walking to face him.

"What? Why?"

Todoroki took in a shuddering breath. "That week, since I was already turning five, he thought he knew for sure that I was quirkless. He didn't know that mom lied to him about the doctor exams, and that I actually had the exact quirk he was trying so hard for. He didn't care to be there anyway." He scowled. "So because I was a failure, he wanted to try again."

Izuku's eyes widened. "You mean-"

"Yeah." Todoroki sighed. "He wanted another child."

Izuku scrunched up his face. "That's horrible!"

Todoroki nodded. He remembered his mom yelling and running out the room one night. Since then, he'd let her sleep with him in his room. He was only four, and it was the best he could do at the time. "She eventually couldn't tolerate his actions anymore. I just happened to be in the room at a bad time." He clenched his fists. If only he hadn't been in the room when his mom had a breakdown, she wouldn't have poured water on him, and she wouldn't have been taken away. Maybe if-

His thoughts were interrupted by Izuku hugging him. It was warm and comforting, and he felt a tightness in his chest. Maybe he could learn to cry again. He certainly felt like it now. When he's calmed down, Izuku let go. "I'm sorry you had to go through that. It must've been really tough for you." He purses his lips.

"But you don't have to worry anymore because you're back! We can get trough this together, okay?"

Todoroki bit his lip. "Promise you won't tell? My big brothers say that father will get angry if people know..."

Izuku scrunched up his face. He really thought maybe an adult should know, but he wanted foremost for Todoroki to feel comfortable. So he just nodded.

Todoroki nodded back silently, and followed Izuku into the lunchroom. Izuku decided to forgo his decision to make new friends today, and instead just sat with Mirio and Amajiki. Mirio had been more than elated to see Todoroki again, seeming to understand when Todoroki just murmured he'd had 'family issues'. Thankfully Amajiki didn't ask any questions either. The four of them ate lunch together, the mood steadily improving thanks to Mirio and Izuku's ambient chatter.

_____

The boys glanced at each other as they sat in the backseat of the car. Aside from asking about their first day, and being excited to have little Todoroki back, both adults were suspiciously silent. "I wonder what happened," Mirio whispered.

Izuku nodded. "They don't seem mad..." he whispered back.

When they were finally home and settled in, Inko instructed them to take a seat. They did as they were told and watched in confusion as the two re-emerged from the kitchen. Izuku immediately noticed the matching silver and red rings. Mirio did too - if his sudden whooping was anything to go by. Soon, Izuku and Mirio were both running around in excitement.

"I guess we really don't have to worry about anything in the approval department," Inko laughed.

Mirio turned to Izuku. "Izu! Now we can be legal brothers!"

Izuku hugged him, followed by Toshinori and Inko. Pretty soon, all four of them were crying, and even when they'd all settled down, nobody could keep from smiling. Especially the two kids, who high-fived each other.

Inko chuckled as she sat back down. Toshinori followed, putting his arm around her shoulders. "Now, now, there's still some things we have to get settled first." She started.

"Like what?" Mirio questioned.

"Like moving, for starters," Toshinori explained.

Both boys' faces fell. They didn't want to change schools, not after their friends were there! They'd told them as much and were met with gentle chuckling. "Relax, we aren't moving too far. We just wanted to find an actual house so everyone could have a little more room!"

Mirio sighed in relief. "So are we gonna go look at houses?"

"Yep! This weekend probably." Toshinori answered. "We also wanted to know if you'd like to help plan the wedding."

Izuku and Mirio both nodded. "Yes!"

"This was the best first day ever!" Izuku whispered to Mirio.

There was a banging at the door, and Inko barely opened it all the way before Nana stumbled in. "I can't believe my kids are getting married!" She exclaimed. Inko laughed as Nana practically declared she'd be in charge of the bridal shower, and planning. Not long after, Mic showed up with a very pretty card from Aizawa. He'd tried to take off, but the agency wanted him on an important case, and it was too short-notice. According to Mic, he was 'super duper triple-threat pissed'.

_____

During class the next day, Todoroki was puzzled to find Izuku in such a good mood. Todoroki paused. Izuku was normally very happy, at least following the first time they met...today was different though. Todoroki copied the class notes extra neat just in case Izuku needed to see them later - he doubted he was actually paying any attention in class. He'd actually once caught him doodling his name in the margins of his notebook gleefully instead.

When class was over, he turned to face Izuku, plopping the notes down on his desk. "What happened?" He asked.

"Huh?" Izuku peeked up.

Todoroki felt his mouth quirk up just a little. "You seemed distracted. Did something good happen?"

"Oh!" Izuku blushed. He fiddled with his hands for a bit. "Well, it's just that my mom is getting married soon,"

Todoroki raised his eyebrow. Izuku looked like he was bursting at the seams. He probably really wanted to talk about it, but didn't know if Todoroki wanted to hear. Of course he did. So he pulled his chair closer, propping his hand on Izuku's desk. "To?" He asked.

"Mr. Yagi of course!" He grinned, bouncing in his seat. "They got engaged yesterday and the wedding is gonna be later this year!"

"That's exciting,"

Izuku nodded. "Yeah, I'm real happy 'cause this morning I got to call Mr. Yagi dad, like I've been wanting to for a long time."

"You wanted to call him that?" Todoroki straightened in his seat.

Izuku nodded. Between the two, being able to call someone dad probably meant much more than to others. When Izuku told him he wanted to call this man 'dad', Todoroki instantly understood. Maybe not from experience, and he certainly had a bit of trouble imagining it, but if what he remembers from that one party three years ago holds true, he could get a faint glimpse of it.

"Yeah. Mirio isn't in our same thing, but he never had a mom before so he kept calling my mom 'mom' this morning even when he didn't want anything. It was kinda funny," he giggled.

Todoroki nodded. He was glad Izuku had found his place. He supposed if it was anyone else, he'd been jealous, but somehow Izuku's babbling only filled him with hope, and determination. He felt a small grin make a home on his face as he listened to his friend talk.

_____

"Oooh, look!" Mirio exclaimed as he opened a closet door to reveal a walk-in. Izuku squealed and ran in.

"There's so much room! I could live in here!" He exclaimed excitedly.

Inko chuckled. "I would hope not,"

They'd been out house-hunting for a couple of weeks, but none really stuck. There'd be always one thing they didn't like about it. Last week it was a broken back door, busted siding, or overbearing neighbors. The week before, it was a squirrel infestation, too-small kitchen, or pretentious neighbors. And the week before- well, they just haven't been having much luck.

So seeing the current house, they were only waiting for something to come up. So far, it's been too good - a nice big kitchen, spacey rooming for the boys with a conjoined bathroom, a beautiful master bedroom with a big window and velvet curtains for the parents (complete with a master bath), two guest beds and baths, a living room, dining room, and even a bar, pool, and a mini-theater slash gameroom. It was a relatively big house, but not unreasonably big. A decent neighborhood, and priced in range. With their current jobs, they weren't worried too much about the price though. So far, too good.

"Well, what do you think?" Toshinori asked Inko. They'd just finished the tour, and found no problems.

"...is it haunted or something?"

Toshinori glanced at her to find her completely serious. He couldn't help but laugh. Inko rolled her eyes.

"I'm just saying, it's perfect, but that's the problem,"

"Hm? Maybe the neighborhood?"

Inko shook her head. Their neighbors seemed nice enough.

"Um, excuse me," the realtor interrupted.

"Hm?"

"If you're looking for a drawback, I'd say the only real one is the lack of kids in the neighborhood. A lot of parents complained about that. Also, the gameroom needs to be re-wired after a storm blowout a while back, and seeing the cost of this house already, a lot of people didn't want to do extra." He paused. "But you guys said cost wasn't too much of an issue though, so,"

Inko nodded. Mirio and Izuku always did have a bit of trouble making friends at school, and she'd been a tad worried. She'd hopped they'd find company in the neighborhood kids. She supposed though that since Todoroki was back according to Izuku and Mirio, that it would be okay for now. She turned to Toshinori. "Well if it's seriously not haunted I want to buy this house asap," she joked.

Toshinori laughed and nodded.

Mirio and Izuku followed them back to the study while the realtor set out some paperwork.

"I like this one the best," Mirio said. Izuku nodded in agreement.

"We can visit each other's rooms 'cause the bathroom, but we still got our own!"

"Yeah!"

_____

"Shouta! We should get a house!" Mic exclaimed from the couch.

"No." Aizawa shot down from in front of the fireplace, where he was currently getting his butt handed to him by Shinso and Izuku in chutes and ladders.

"Boo!" Mic shot back. Mirio giggled from his place on the couch next to him, fiddling with the braid Mic just finished on him.

Inko, Nana, and Toshinori all came from the kitchen to settle in the living room with everyone else. Their small impromptu house-warming party was complete.

Nana kept saying how cute their family was with their eccentric uncle and doting cat, much to Aizawa's annoyance. It certainly didn't help that he was currently sprawled out on the floor, with both Izuku and Shinso laying on his sides.

_____

Toshinori sat in his office, glancing at the clock. It was almost time for him to go home, but too often would a villain or some mandatory paperwork show up last-minute. Just as he stood up to start gathering his things, there came a knock on the door. "Looks like paperwork today," Toshinori groaned to himself. He really did wish someone had told him about that part of being a hero. He doubted it would have changed his mind, but the principle...

"Come in!" He called.

In walked a tall man with black hair and wide inquisitive eyes. Toshinori recognized him as the agency detectives' newest intern. "If you're looking for All Might, I'm afraid he's left already," he politely told him. After all, All Might's "shift" ended twenty minutes earlier than his, just to avoid suspicion. The intern shook his head though.

"No. I was actually looking for you, Mr. Yagi." He stated simply.

Toshinori raised an eyebrow. "Me?" He asked. "What for?"

The intern opened his mouth to speak before smacking himself on the forehead comically. "Ah, shoot! I messed up my first job already! I'm so sorry!" Moving across the room, he took up Toshinori's hand. "Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm the newest intern for the agency detectives, Tsukauchi Naomasa."

Toshinori laughed and shook his hand. "Pleasure to meet you,"

Tsukauchi gave a firm nod before he continued. "But as I was saying, I know you're aware of the fact that villain activity has seen a drastic uptick recently."

Toshinori nodded. It wasn't that unusual this time of year though. Just a bit more than expected.

"Well, activity has reached a record high, and a lot of agencies - even ours - are pressed for heroes for smaller incidents. Of course, there's no need to worry, as it's nothing the police can't handle."

Toshinori nodded again. He knew all this already, so why-

"Unfortunately, one of those petty incidents included the blowing up of a prison. There were few casualties, and expectedly a lot of injuries, but only a few escapes. One of them," he fished out a photo and set it on the desk. "Was this man."

Toshinori's eyes widened at the sight.

"Midoriya Hisashi." He whispered.

_____

Toshinori drove home in silence. He'd have to tell Inko and Izuku. According to Mr. Tsukauchi, they had no reason to believe he would be after them specifically, it'd be best to give them a heads up to avoid crossing paths, if his volatile nature in prison was anything to go by. Toshinori sighed and dialed his fiancée's number.

"Hello?"

He couldn't help but smile, if just a little, at hearing her voice.

"Hello," he returned. "I have some rather unfortunate news I believe you'd do well to hear. I'll tell you as soon as I get home." He explained.

"Hm. Sounds serious!" Inko replied. "I'll see you when you get home. We can discuss this after dinner perhaps,"

"Mnn" Toshinori agreed before hanging up.

When he reached their house, he parked the car, and was immediately greeted by Izuku and Mirio, who both rushed up to give him a crushing hug. He grinned and returned it, ushering them inside to get washed up and ready for dinner. He didn't know what they were doing previously, but whatever it was, they were both covered in leaves and dirt.

After dinner, the family sat at the table expectantly. Inko had told the boys Toshinori had some news, but the three of them had no idea what it was. Toshinori took a breath and recounted what Mr. Tsukauchi had told him.

"So you're saying," Inko began. Izuku picked up on the slightest tremble in her voice. "That Hisashi is currently MIA? No one has caught him yet?"

Toshinori nodded slowly. "Mr. Tsukauchi was dispatched to track him down. The other two escapees were imprisoned for mur-er-more serious charges," he glanced at the boys before continuing. "So since he's only on record for petty thievery and domestic abuse, they assigned him the task." None of them missed the sarcastic emphasis he'd put on the word "only".

"What are you suggesting we do?" Inko questioned, placing her hands in her lap. "Frankly, we moved already, and I see no need to actively run away,"

Toshinori shook his head. "I just wanted to give you all a heads-up in case you see him while out and about. I doubt you will though. Mr. Tsukauchi recommended you report it to the police if you see him, and don't approach. Here-" he fished a business card out of his pocket. "He has his number here, we should probably both add it to our address list,"

Inko nodded, and punched the digits into her contacts. Toshinori glanced down at Izuku, who'd been quiet the whole time. "Izuku, are you okay?" He asked. Izuku nodded slowly.

"I think so..." he trailed off.

"Are you sad?" Mirio asked.

Izuku shook his head. "No...and I'm not scared either. I don't think. It's just..."

"Strange?" Toshinori offered.

Izuku nodded. "Yeah. Kinda strange. I don't know how to feel about really. I just know I'd rather not see him."

Toshinori opened his arms, and Izuku hopped off his chair to go to him. Toshinori wrapped him in a warm embrace before he began talking. "That's okay. He probably won't cross your path anytime soon, and if he does, I'll rush right over to get 'em, alright?" He reassured him. He heard Izuku giggle.

"Okay," he pulled back. "Thanks dad,"

_____

Todoroki watched in puzzlement as Izuku let out yet another sigh. This was the second day in a row he'd been like this. Todoroki thought at first maybe he was having a bad day and didn't ask him about it, but he was the same today too. Todoroki purses his lips. His friend sure did have a tendency to show his emotions openly - he could practically read the kanji on his face, if they existed.

"What's wrong?" He asked after class.

Izuku sighed. "Hisashi escaped prison," he stated simply.

"Really?"

Izuku nodded. "Mmhm. And they didn't find him yet."

Todoroki hummed. "Is he gonna...come for you?"

Izuku shook his head. "No, he wants nothing to do with me, I'm sure."

Todoroki nodded. That was a relief. They really were flipsides of the same coin. He doubted his own father cared much for him aside from social capital now that he knew he was "quirkless".

"Well, that's a relief." He said. Izuku gave a small smile.

"I guess. Dad says it's gonna be okay, and he won't hurt us, so I'm not gonna worry too much,"

"You've been worrying this entire time," Todoroki reminded him. Izuku's mouth quirked up as he giggled.

"I guess you're right. I'm blaming my mom," he joked.

Todoroki smiled. Izuku turned to him. "How about you?" He asked.

Todoroki shrugged, his small smile falling. "Father still won't let anyone see mom." He frowned. He'd wanted to go see her, but instead had been blamed for the incident. His brothers had believed it, and stuck to either avoiding or taunting him, but his sister didn't, and fended them off most of the time. He dreaded the day she left for university, because he'd be stuck in the house with his brothers. "But my sister gave me this," he showed Izuku his new phone.

"Ooh really?" Izuku marveled.

"Yeah. She said she wants me to be able to reach her if something happens while she's away."

"That's good then," Izuku nodded. "Hey! That means I can call you from my mom's phone! Here's her number. You can text her if you need me!"

Todoroki grinned again, and saved the number to his phone.

 

Chapter Text

Todoroki listened to the chatter of his classmates as he walked to the classroom. It wasn't that he was necessarily eavesdropping, just that they were normally loud. 'Now even more so it seems,' he thought to himself. He guessed it was only natural, seeing that tomorrow would officially be the last day of the semester. Todoroki's mood dropped the closer he got to his classroom. He really didn't want to be held prisoner in his own home for any extended period of time. He thanked the heavens his father thought he was quirkless - he could only imagine what his summer "vacation" would be like if his father knew of his so-called perfect fire-ice quirk. Which brought up another problem. How in the world would he practice his quirk? His siblings were in middle and high school, so they got back home later than he did. With them no longer in school, he'd lose the tiny sliver of practice time he had. Sighing, he slid open the classroom door. He made his way to his seat and settled in.

"Todoroki!!"

Todoroki started. Izuku was pouting right in front of his seat, checks puffed out. He didn't see him when he came in...he must've come in just now. "I'm sorry, what?" He said, blinking.

"I saw you in the hall and I've been calling out to you but you didn't answer!"

"Oh, sorry." Todoroki shrugged apologetically.

Izuku grinned. "That's alright. You seem...thinking"

"I seem thinking?" Todoroki chuckled.

Izuku scratched his head. "Argh! You know! What's the word..."

Toshinori grinned at his friend's antics. Apparently he'd been in the habit of learning English lately, and was experiencing what he said his dad called bilingual confusion. So sometimes he'd forget words in Japanese and have to pause for a bit. Todoroki decided to help him out. "You mean contemplative?" He suggested.

Izuku laughed. "I was gonna say lost in thought, but I guess that works too,"

Todoroki grinned, ignoring the looks from his classmates. Both he and Izuku had a habit of using more advanced vocabulary, and both of them were into heroes - naturally they'd attained nerd status and were only talked to when someone wanted either Mirio or homework answers. They'd both learned to ignore the stares, and Mirio made them promise to tell him if they started being mean. Even though Todoroki fit in more being the son of a top hero, people stopped asking him about it after he'd ignore them. So naturally, they'd talk more to Izuku, even occasionally inviting him places. But they all still seemed content to talk about personal jets and caviar than about heroes and studying to the two boys in the back of class. Soon enough, they both agreed (and with Mirio and Amajiki too) that they weren't gonna be friends. Todoroki sighed. It was so hard to find a good friend. He considered himself lucky he found Izuku.

"Hm," he started. "I was just wondering about what I'd do over break."

Izuku pursed his lips. "Ah,"

"Yeah. I'm gonna be stuck at home with the old man," Todoroki sighed again. "And I won't be able to practice my quirk"

Izuku nodded in understanding. Todoroki had told him what his quirk was a while back, and he agreed it wasn't something you could practice in the secrecy of your room with others in the house. "Hm," he started. "How about you come over on the weekend then! Me and Mirio have hero training then!"

Todoroki's eyes widened. "Hero training?"

Izuku nodded. "Don't worry - it's not intense - well it is, but not like that type of intense."

Todoroki hummed. That could be an option. "So I'd get to train my quirk with you?"

Izuku shrugged sheepishly. "I think you'll actually be with Mirio."

"Why?"

"Well my condition isn't necessarily suited to his training," he explained.

"Oh, right. Sorry," Todoroki said as he glanced at his hands.

"It's no big deal," he said with a shrug. "Uncle Aizawa is really tough but he's kinda in the same boat. I have a lot of fun training with him and Shinchan. I think they understand me a lot. Even though Uncle Aizawa can be really unforgiving sometimes,"

"Really?" Todoroki asked. Izuku nodded.

"Once I had to stay past training time for three hours until I mastered this one move where I had to flip off the beam." He chuckled at remembering. It hadn't been then, but it was always funny remembering now. Aizawa had been patient, but stubborn.

The bell rung, and Izuku hurriedly scrambled to his seat as the teacher started class.

_____

Mirio bounced around in his seat, hardly paying any attention to the lessons. Amajiki just giggled at him. "You're lucky you can control your quirk now," he whispered to him.

Mirio grinned. "Hey I can't help if I'm excited!"

"About?"

"About the fitting! Mom's gonna go look for dresses today, and I get to be there!"

Amajiki nodded. That did seem very exciting.

"Mirio," the teacher warned. "Is there anything you'd like to share with the class?" It sounded more of a subtle threat than an offer.

Mirio however, wasn't the kid to be intimidated though, and excitedly announced that he was going with his mom to look for dresses. The classroom erupted in laughter, and the teacher let out a long exasperated sigh before resuming the lesson. Mirio didn't care though, and doodled in his book.

_____

Izuku held onto the straps of his schoolbag as he listened to Mirio tell him about his day. Usually they'd stay a bit after to clean up the classrooms and exchange their stories, but their mom had told them Nana would pick them up today, so they wouldn't need to wait around. Sure enough, there she was, at the gates waving to them. The two boys rushed over and greeted her with a hug that she returned full force. "You guys ready?" She asked.

"Yes!" They both nodded.

Nana chuckled. "Good. But first I have someone I want you to meet,"

_____

The doorbell rang for the fifth time in a row. All three of them could hear it echo through the apartment.

"You sure it's the right one?" Izuku asked. Nana chuckled.

"Positive"

Both boys shot glances at each other - whoever lived here either wasn't at home or really didn't wanna be bothered.

Suddenly, the door snapped open with such force, Izuku could feel the flyaways his hairclips didn't secure blow away from his face. "I am very happy with my television thank you very much-" the sentence was cut short. In the doorway stood an older man. He looked around Nana's age, and his brown hair was heavily laced with grey. Izuku immediately noticed he had very big feet.

"What the hell?"

Nana rolled her eyes. "Language please?"

They were motioned into the house, and the man set Mirio and Izuku down at a small table, and set out some microwaved taiyaki for them both. Mirio and Izuku both marveled at the small abode - some of the wall was peeling, and the chairs were definitely old. Nonetheless, Mirio shrugged and happily ate his treat. Izuku slowly nibbled at his, still looking around. Nana leaned on the counter, shooting off a quick text to Inko to call when she was ready, and grinned at something on the mantle in the next room.

The man tutted and shook his head. "You," he said as he pointed to Mirio. "I haven't seen you since you were like, what? Two? How old are you now lad?"

"Ten!" He raised his hand up high. The man narrowed his eyes.

"Mmhmm. And you," he moved his accusatory finger to Izuku. "I've never seen you a day before in my life yet I know precisely who's brat you are,"

Izuku gulped and shrunk into his seat. He glanced at Nana, who seemed to sense his distress and came over. "Oh relax! You know how they are - busy all the time!"

"Oh shush, I know they forgot about me." He waved her off. She just rolled her eyes.

"Since you obviously don't know proper introductions I'll just do it," Turing to the boys, she explained. "This pleasant old man here is your parents' other mentor, Gran Torino."

Instantly, two pairs of eyes widened. Izuku practically jumped on the table. Mirio nearly fell out his seat. "You're Gran Torino?"

"Ah, so you know?" He asked.

Izuku nodded. "Dad told us that when he was in U.A. you were his homeroom teacher-"

"-and that you instilled an innate fear in him. Whatever that means," Mirio finished.

Gran Torino sputtered as Nana cackled behind him. "You were pretty rough with him," she grinned.

He furrowed his brow. "Oh come one, he turned out fine, didn't he? Top hero and all. Married...with kids..."

Nana grinned. "You know you're proud of 'em," she teased.

"No I'm not! I have half a mind not to show up at all. Heh, that'll be embarrassing." He leaned back in his chair. Nana punched him in the arm playfully. "If you really didn't care, you wouldn't have their wedding invite framed and on your wall," she retorted. The kids giggled as he fell out his seat.

"Anyways, what's your name kid?" He asked Izuku, effectively turning the conversation away from himself.

Izuku grinned. "Midoriya-Yagi Izuku!"

"Wow, fully accepted the name already," he grinned. "How old are you?"

"Seven!" He held out seven fingers to prove it.

"Quirk?"

"Ah..." he trailed off. Mirio scooted his chair closer unconsciously, and Nana held a tight smile. Gran Torino looked around the room, wondering what the hell was up with the suddenly tense atmosphere.

"Uhm," Izuku started, unsure. "I don't have one..."

"Oh so what? You're quirkless?"

Izuku nodded slowly.

"Oh," he rolled his eyes. "I though it was like instant death or something, with the way you guys were acting."

Izuku looked so surprised, he barely had time to stifle a laugh. "I'm saying it's no biggie, kid! People are either born with 'em or they aren't! Simple! Why even To-"

Nana cleared her throat. "Izuku was probably nervous - he told me he got teased a lot at his old school,"

Gran Torino hummed, before turning to Izuku, his face dead serious. "Listen here kid. The world is what you make of it. If being quirkless is gonna get in the way of doing whatever it is you wanna do, then you go right ahead and do it anyway. Find your own way. People are gonna have a fit either way you do your thing, so pay them no mind, got it?"

Izuku nodded, a grin forming on his face. Mirio clapped his hands together. "Well that's good because we're both gonna be top heroes!"

"Yeah!" Izuku exclaimed as he gave his brother a high-five. Torino nearly choked on his taiyaki. He sent a questioning glance to Nana, who sighed and shrugged.

"That's what they're dead-set on doing, apparently" she explained. Torino grinned. "You hate it?"

She shook her head furiously. Glancing at the two boys, too absorbed in their own conversation. "I'm proud of them for their determination! I'm just..."

"Worried?"

"Yeah," she sighed.

"They'll be fine, after all, if idiot Toshinori made it this far, I'm sure they're more than capable. Besides, that's so far into the future, not even Nighteye's gonna see what happens."

"Oh so you know about that too?" She smiled.

He winked. "Oh I know a lot of things."

"Hey kids!" He called. The boys paused talking for a bit to give him their attention. "You doing training I hope? He asked. Most hero kids start at age 7 anyway. He glanced at Mirio. His quirk had nearly given Toshinori a heart attack on several occasions in the beginning.

Both boys nodded. "I started when I was four!" Izuku announced proudly. Torino raised an eyebrow.

"Oh really?"

"Yeah! Dad said so I can get extra time training to put me on an even level"

"Hmm. And you?" He asked, turning to Mirio.

"Six! I got my quirk down too! See!" He phased his hand through the table and back out without any problems. "Dad's teaching me how to do my whole body at once now!"

Torino grinned. "That's a relief. Toshinori teach you too?"

Izuku shook his head. "Uncle Aizawa coaches me. He said it was a good idea since me and Shinchan are gonna be fighting without flashy physical quirks,"

Ahhh, so Aizawa was training him. He grinned. He remembered from his days teaching at U.A. that the man was driven. He was always on top of his work, and knew perfectly well how to make use of his quirk, and strategically fight on par with the rest of his class. He had no doubt Izuku was in good hands. Mirio on the other hand... oh well. Maybe he'd pop in sometime. He paused.

"Wait, who's Shinchan?"

"Oh! He's like our cousin!" Izuku not-really explained.

Nana laughed. "At this point he's effectively Aizawa's kid. His name is Shinso Hitoshi, and his parents have high-demand, frequent-travel jobs."

"Sounds complicated."

Nana shrugged. "Maybe. But he seems to like his parents well enough. They're just not close I guess."

"How's living with Hizashi going for him?" He asked.

Nana gasped. "You knew that too?"

"I told you! I know a lot. Besides, unlike the rest of those ungrateful children, Hizashi actually texts me. Sometimes."

Nana laughed again. "I guess it's going fine,"

"Yeah, they're all lovey-dovey!" Mirio giggled.

"Oh?" Gran Torino replied.

"Yeah, Shinchan said one time Uncle Aizawa wouldn't get up and make breakfast until Uncle Hizashi gave him a kiss!"

Gran Torino chuckled. High school crushes really were everlasting, it seems.

_____

Aizawa groaned for what seemed to have been the eighth time in the past five minutes. He got up from the couch in Toshinori's office to sit right in front of his desk, placing a thin stack of papers down.

"I don't get it."

"What"

"This mysterious group - that I still don't have the name of, mind you - has apparently ceased activity!"

"I thought last week you had a lead?" Toshinori questioned.

"I thought I did. Turns out it was a fluke. Crime was from ages ago, when I first started looking. Must have skipped over the file or something." He sighed as he flipped down into the seat. "This is really bugging me," he slid further down in the chair.

"I can tell," Toshinori chuckled.

"They're planning something, I know it-"

"HEEEEEEEEY!!!" The door to Toshinori's office flew open. Sometimes he wondered if the two ever even used their own offices.

"Oh god," Aizawa complained, sliding even further down the chair. Mic, still dressed in hero gear, ignored his complaints and slung an arm around the edge of the seat. "Why're y'all still here doing work?! We're supposed to go shopping today!" He exclaimed.

Toshinori grinned. "Yeah, but I wanted to make sure everything was settled first,"

Hizashi rolled his eyes. "You guys are no fun,"

"No you're just too much," Aizawa told him.

Hizashi stuck out his tongue. "That's not what Shinso, Izuku, and Mirio say!"

"Yeah well you're a kid like them so you guys fit well together." Aizawa quipped with a smirk.

"Hey!" Hizashi pouted, but didn't miss Aizawa take his hand.

"Besides, it can't be that hard to look for a suit, can it?"

_____

Inko stared at herself in the mirror of the dressing room. She probably should head out... the others were waiting to see her try on the first dress. But she couldn't help it. It wasn't like she hadn't worn one before - she had. And she'd been excited too. She was too busy being infatuated with Hisashi she'd missed the warning signs - her mother's cautioning, his advice to pull away from her family and friends, the isolation... she shook her head. Honestly speaking, she was a little nervous about being married again. But she also felt confident in her choice to say yes. She loved Toshi - different than Hisashi. She didn't feel tied down when she was with him, or worrying about him leaving and never coming back. Or coming back indecent or dunk. Standing in the mirror, the white dress made her feel less like a fairytale princess, and more of a queen who knew what she wanted. She grinned wide. Yeah. She wanted this. She smiled even wider when she was met with loud cheers and a couple tears as she stepped from out the dressing room.

"Wooow! That's awesome mom!" Mirio exclaimed.

"Mom! You look so pretty!" Izuku exclaimed, rubbing his eyes. Inko smiled softly at him and knelt down. She wiped his eyes and kissed his forehead. "Thank you baby,"

"You get in on this too," she grabbed Mirio into the hug. "Thank you both so much, I love you both," she felt her own eyes start to water.

"What, I don't count?" Nana complained. Inko laughed as she pulled her into the hug too. "Of course! I love all of you!"

"Okay, okay, now go try on the next dress!" She urged. Inko grinned and took the next dress back into the changing room.

_____

"Okay I was wrong. This is very hard." Toshinori groaned as he stepped out from behind the dressing room curtain.

Aizawa snorted at the ill-fitting suit, and Hizashi outright cackled. "You look like a fuckin' scarecrow," Aizawa snickered from behind his hand.

"Yeah except jacked," Hizashi added.

Toshinori rolled his eyes. "Yeah, no shit"

Aizawa waved him off. "Oh c'mon, just admit you've got a weird body type."

"I knew I'd have to get it custom-fitted. I didn't think I'd have to get it tailored from scratch!"

"How do you find suits for the annual hero gala then?" Hizashi questioned.

"I don't worry too much about the fit, and it's usually a bit baggy just for comfort's sake. But I don't want to look ill-fitted for our wedding!"

"Just pick a style and get it made - it'll be easier." Aizawa shrugged.

Toshinori nodded. That really was the best option now. He looked through some of the designs. "Ah," he said with a grin.

"Found one you like?" Hizashi asked.

Toshinori nodded "yep,"

_____

By the time Inko and the boys got home, they were pleasantly surprised to find that Toshinori was already at home, and nearly done with dinner. This worked out because they'd been to a grand total of seventeen stores looking for the perfect dress, and both her and the boys were exhausted.

"We're here!" They called, toeing off their shoes in the foyer.

"Welcome home!" Came Toshinori's voice in reply. Inko made her way to the kitchen. Toshinori greeted her with a quick hug and kiss before returning to sautéing something in a pan.

"Smells good," Inko grinned.

"Thanks," he replied. "How was it today?"

She hummed. "Long, but in the end I found the perfect one," she leaned on the table, watching him cook.

Toshinori grinned. "That's good then. I'm sure Nana had a blast,"

"Oh she sure did," she laughed. "Izuku wouldn't stop crying, and Mirio couldn't stay still. It was so bad I caught him jogging in place when I came out once."

Toshinori chuckled. "Yeah, sounds about right,"

"What about you?"

He shrugged. "Didn't necessarily find anything per se, but I did at least settle on a design,"

"Well that's, progress"

Toshinori laughed. "Guess so,"

_____

Izuku and Mirio sat in the living room, finishing up the last of their homework. "I'm sooo tired," Izuku said as he finished the last of his maths.

Mirio nodded. "Me too," he put his pencil down. "But it was fun!"

Izuku agreed. "Mom looked really happy. I'm glad."

"You know how mom and dad look at each other sometimes?" Mirio asked. Izuku nodded. "That makes me happy, because I know both of 'em have been through a lot."

Izuku grinned. "Yeah. I'm also happy I get a new brother!"

Mirio giggled. "Me too!" He was so happy not only to have a mom that he knew cared for him, but Izuku too. He probably didn't realize it, but Izuku helped him through a lot, and was his best friend. He was proud to call him his little brother. He didn't really know how to express all this in words though, so he just hugged Izuku.

Izuku hugged him back, understanding exactly what it meant.

_____

Izuku tugged at the lapels of his crisp white suit. He really did hope he wasn't  sweating too much. He didn't feel moisture, but he sure was jittery, and he'd hate to mess up the rose-patterned bow tie and silk pink shirt. He didn't even know why he was so nervous - all he was doing was throwing petals on the ground. Wait, what if he tripped. Izuku groaned and flopped on the lounge chair.

"Get out your head, Izuku." Shinso chided him. Izuku looked up at him.

"Shinchan, what if I fall?"

"You won't,"

"But what if I do?"

"And I'm telling you, you won't!" He rolled his eyes.

"What's going on?" Aizawa asked, poking his head from a magazine in his spot across the room.

"Izuku thinks he's gonna fuck up,"

"Watch your fucking language kid,"

"Sorry," Shinso rolled his eyes, and Aizawa narrowed his.

Izuku giggled. "Dad's gonna get both of you, ooooh" he taunted.

"Dad's gonna get who?" Mirio asked as he literally rand into the room, followed by Gran Torino, and a crash. "Oops," he nervously laughed as he scooped the scattered magazines up. "Dad's gonna get you too," Izuku giggled.

All morning, Toshinori pleaded with them to be on their best behavior - they were having the ceremony in a rather fancy garden lodge. Inko had promised to take them on the skyline ride if they did, after all.

"Don't worry kid, I won't tell," Gran Torino winked. Mirio let out a huge sigh of relief. "I'll say Aizawa did it."

"Hey!"

_____

The wedding went on without a problem, much to everyone's relief. Izuku didn't trip while throwing the petals, and Mirio was the world's best ring-bearer for the day. It was really small, with only a few co-workers and close friends. Amajiki was there, but Izuku still couldn't get in touch with Uraraka. He was a little down about it, but his mom let him wear his clips, so he felt better. Todoroki was also there by virtue of his sister and a white lie on her part.

Izuku and Mirio sat with the other kids at a smaller table during the reception. They all ate happily, and both boys were excited to get to know Todoroki's sister better now that they knew she was nice. And as promised, their mom let them go on the ski line ride with Present Mic as supervision. This proved to be a problematic decision on Inko's part, as all three of them would shake the cart, and Inko nearly had a heart attack thinking they'd fall.

"Woah! Let's go do that again!" Mirio exclaimed when he got off.

"Ye-"

"Nope, not today," Toshinori interrupted.

"But daaaad!" Mirio whined. "It was so fun!"

"Yeah! We went real high up like we were flying!" Izuku added.

Toshinori chuckled and shook his head. "Maybe another time boys, lets go see off our guests."

Izuku and Mirio reluctantly followed their father to the lodge entrance, and saw off their friends. When Todoroki was leaving, he quickly glanced around to make sure no one was watching, and then made a quick little ice sculpture in the shape of a bunny, and handed it to Izuku.

"Woah! This is so cool!"

Todoroki gave him a small grin. "Yeah. I'm still grateful you asked if I can come over during vacation. I'm glad I wasn't in the house all day. And it really helped me get time to train my quirk properly."

Izuku giggled. "You don't have to keep thanking me!"

Todoroki shrugged. "I'm just glad. Though," he narrowed his eyes. "I still can't believe you left out the part that Mirio trained with All Might, and Present Mic,"

Izuku grinned sheepishly. "Well, I guess I didn't think to mention it, I kinda just know them from their names because I see them so much!"

"That's fair, I did the same with mom."

"How...is she, by the way?" Izuku asked hesitantly.

Todoroki sighed. "She said she doesn't want to see any of us. My sister keeps trying to persuade her, but she can't see her so it's hard. I write to her every Sunday, but she never answers my letters. I don't even think she reads them," he shrugged. "My brothers still hate me because they think it's my fault. Especially Daiko."

"White hair?" Izuku asked. Todoroki nodded. "He was close to mom because he looked most like her. He also didn't have father's quirk so," he sighed. "It wasn't great before, but I miss when she was here. Now my sister is the only one there, and I feel kinda selfish for missing it. It felt more secure. Especially hiding my quirk, I feel like every day is a landmine," when he finished, Izuku took both his hands.

"That's okay,"

"Huh?"

"Wanting to feel safe isn't selfish Todoroki!"

Todoroki looked at his feet. "But-"

"And it's not your fault, no matter what your father says, okay? I want you to remember okay?"

Todoroki heaved a sigh. Izuku was probably right, but it was still a weight on his chest. It'd probably be there for a while, he figured. Just then, his sister came back in the hall to pick him up and head home. They'd have to change before heading to the station. As Izuku waved to his friend, he didn't miss the soft parting words.

"...you can call me Shoto, please"

Izuku grinned. "You can call me Izuku too!"

Chapter Text

Mirio woke up early, to the pleasant smell of something good wafting through the house. Immediately, he ran into Izuku's room to shake his brother awake.

"Izuku wake up we got pancakes!"

Izuku tossed around in his mountain of blankets and groaned. After all this time, he still wasn't a morning person. But the prospect of pancakes was promising...wait.

"Wait what day is it?" He asked, slowly sitting up. Mirio could see the gears start to turn in his brain. "It's our birthday silly!" He giggled, playfully giving him a light punch in the arm. Izuku's eyes widened.

"Really?"

Mirio nodded with a wide grin.

"Happy birthday!"

"Happy birthday to you too!"

They raced downstairs to the kitchen, and said good morning to their parents who, sure enough, were fixing a small breakfast of pancakes. The stack had a ton of raspberry syrup and sprinkled whipped cream, and there were three sparkler candles in each of them.

"Oooh!" Izuku marveled, crawling into his seat.

"What kind are they this year?" Mirio asked.

Inko grinned. "Apple cinnamon with raspberry drizzle," she told them. Each year, she and Toshinori would collaborate to create a new "gourmet" pancake recipe for the boys' birthday. In the beginning, Inko only picked out the recipe - she was terrible at cooking pancakes - but over time, she had gradually helped more with the cooking part. Toshinori was still the main chef though.

Izuku grinned wide as he watched the candles spark. Both he and Mirio always looked forward to the surprise flavors. Toshinori handed them each a fork and knife while Inko encouraged them to eat and poured some juice.

"Mmmh!"

"Good?" Toshinori asked.

Both boys nodded enthusiastically, and Izuku attempted to say something with his mouth full, but thought better of it. He finished chewing and gulped down his food. "It's delicious! Even better than last time!" He got out before resuming eating.

Mirio simply nodded in agreement, taking a gulp of his apple juice. Toshinori raised his eyebrow. "Even better than triple chocolate double fudge?" He joked.

They nodded. "It's sweet but not too sweet," Izuku started.

"And it's got a soft feel to it. Like-" Mirio continued.

"Fluffy!" Izuku finished.

Inko laughed and ruffled both of their already terribly messy bedheads. "Well I'm glad!"

"Happy ninth birthday Izuku! Happy twelfth Mirio!"

"Thank you!" They replied in unison, both grinning ear to ear right before asking for seconds.

_____

The training room was a familiar place now, and the smell of the chalk powder on his hands was a familiar and inviting presence. Izuku grinned giddily as he clapped the excess chalk off. Even still, he couldn't help but play around in it, if even just a little. He wasn't ever the only one either - Shinso stood across from him at the basin, a small barely-there smile on his face as he sifted his fingers through the powder. Normally they'd get chided for dawdling so long at the basin, but Aizawa had left for the bathroom briefly, so they had a bit of extra time to mess around.

"Mirio and Todoroki totally missed out on the chalk," Shinso commented. Todoroki wasn't here today, because it wasn't quite break yet, but it was coming up pretty soon.

Izuku grinned, nodding. "Yeah. Arguably the best part of our training,"

Shinso snickered and clapped his hands against the side. Izuku noticed a spot noticeably darker in his hand - like a bandaid was recently ripped off but there was still a bit of sticky residue.

"What happened there?" Izuku asked.

Shinso immediately knew what he was talking about, and glared at the offending chalk residue. He gave a heavy sigh. "I got into a scuffle at school," he started before pausing for a bit.

Izuku watched him. In a way, Izuku thought Shinso was kinda like Todoroki. Both of them were pretty quiet, and liked to keep to themselves. Both of them tended to hide their quirks due to possible repercussions. However, Izuku knew them both well enough to know they were vastly different. Shinso tended not to care about what others thought, and Todoroki unconsciously tended to structure his life around it. Shinso could be sassy and downright defiant at times, and those close to him found him sarcastic and brutally honest. Todoroki was stubborn and driven, and he'd preferred to fight his fight behind the scenes rather than outright direct confrontation. Because of this, Todoroki often took his time opening up - if at all - and Izuku more than often was forced to watch him fight his battles alone. Shinso, on the other hand, was more vocal about his problems, and he never hesitated to tell Izuku at least about what exactly was on his mind, and why he was so pissed off.

And that's exactly what he did. Scrunching up his face, he rubbed at his hand. "Some jerk at school thought it'd be funny to make some rather...unfortunate suggestions on what I should use my quirk for." He shrugged. "I was gonna punch him in the face but I'd get in trouble for that if the teacher and his friends saw, so I settled for accidentally knocking over his lunch. I got scraped by his knife as I knocked it."

Izuku raised his eyebrow. "I thought you said you were above petty revenge?"

Shinso shrugged. "Usually. But the girl at the butt of his jokes was a bit rattled. I couldn't just let that pass without consequence now could I?"

Izuku grinned at him. "Like a true hero,"

"Yep," Shinso grinned back.

Izuku and Shinso both started at the addition of a new voice in the room.

"Why are you still at the chalk basin! Get over here and start your warmups. I'm adding twenty minutes to the class."

_____

Izuku crossed his arms and sank further into his seat. He should've known the cellphone last birthday was preparation for...this.

"I don't wanna go!" He frowned.

Mirio laughed nervously. They were almost there. "It's alright Izu!"

"No," Izuku outright cried at this point.

Inko sighed. The therapist had warned her back when they visited regularly that Izuku may have a couple of issues regarding parting ways forcibly. But Inko figured she'd anticipate it anyway - both boys were practically blood brothers at this point. Mirio didn't seem too thrilled about not seeing Izuku at school either; they'd grown so used to going to the same school. Toshinori shot a quick glance Izuku's way before returning his eyes to the road. "Izuku, it's going to be okay, alright? Nobody is going to be mean to you, they've been nice so far, right?

"And you have your phone so you can text Mirio during lunch. Think of this as an opportunity to make new friends! And even if that doesn't work out, you always have Todoroki, right?

Izuku nodded, rubbing his eyes. He neglected to remind them that Todoroki wasn't in his homeroom last semester, and that they'd both been miserable - Izuku because he didn't have a private jet to brag about, and Todoroki because he refused to talk to anyone about his five-star vacation to a top resort hotel over the break.

"Besides," Mirio added, mussing up Izuku's hair and dislodging some of his hairclips. "Our schools aren't that far apart"

_____

Izuku waved goodbye to his parents and Mirio, and trudged to his school. He found his way to the class roster, and a wave of relief crashed over him. Todoroki was in his class this year. He supposed he felt a little bad for being clingy, but he wasn't used to not having Mirio around. After all, he'd been a constant presence since the ... incident. He supposed it wouldn't be that bad. It'd be like when he was in primary, he murmured to himself. He was in the middle of mentally chiding himself when he heard a familiar sigh. Todoroki was standing next to him, the sense of relief Izuku felt earlier reflected in his eyes.

"Hey," Izuku smiled at him.

"Hey," Todoroki replied. He didn't comment on Izuku's red-rimmed eyes, and in return, Izuku didn't on the bandage on the back of his hand.

_____

Amajiki groaned. "I'm gonna be in a different homeroom,"

Mirio grinned and rolled his eyes. "Oh c'mon! You're next door! You sound like Izuku, can't everyone just let me go to school? Even mom and dad almost made me late trying to take pictures!"

Amajiki quirked a smile. "Well junior high is the last step before U.A."

Mirio nodded. "That's true. We got a lot ahead of us,"

"Sure thing," Amajiki agreed.

_____

"And then I countered and missed, and got thrown," Izuku explained through his lunch. Apparently Aizawa was teaching him and Shinso actual martial arts now that they've become adept at gymnastics and general acrobatics. Todoroki could see the effects - Izuku was super graceful and purposeful in his movements (when he wasn't a nervous wreck) and he had lightning-speed reflexes. Todoroki himself could see the improvements his own training had - he'd refused to use his fire, but his ice was coming along beautifully. He could even absentmindedly regulate his body temperatures. Of course, his father knew nothing of this. No one did. As far as they knew, his breaks from school were spent doing homework and studying with the alternating number two in class. This explanation went somewhat okay with his father, despite finding out beforehand that the alternating number two was the kid of All Might's secretary. He'd told Todoroki to study with him hard to solidify his place at one, so there'd be no "alternating" in his title. So Todoroki took his homework with him, and he and Izuku would work on that first. As long as Todoroki continued to bring home good marks, he didn't care to find out what he actually did at Izuku's. After all, the only way a quirkless kid like him could succeed in life would be in studies. He was told he's lucky the media didn't find out, since they'd instead continued to operate under the assumption that he'd gotten both parents' quirks solely from his appearance, and didn't show it due to the laws surrounding minors' quirk usage. Todoroki used to scoff at how the tabloids were so ironically spot on, for once. He wondered for a bit what it'd be like if his father knew, but each time he thought about it, his speculations got progressively worse. Maybe it was because his home experience in real life was too? Though in the end he decided he'd rather take a harsh beating to the knuckles by ruler for not recalling his fifteens times tables fast enough than thrown against a wall in a brawl. 'That's something to think about for later,' he thought.

Turing back to Midoriya, he caught the tail-end of the story. Apparently he'd lost in a judo brawl to his friend Shinso.

"I bet you'll win next time," Todoroki encouraged.

Izuku grinned. "Yeah, maybe!"

"I'll help you,"

"Oh really?"

"Yeah." Todoroki gave a small grin. "Just because it's quirk training doesn't mean I still don't learn the basics,"

"I guess that's true," Izuku giggled. "So whadd'ya learn then?"

Todoroki shrugged. "Basic stuff. Combat stance. Breathing. Lots of concentration."

"Hm. Sounds boring," Izuku halfheartedly teased.

"It's funny how you guys don't have physical quirks but are still always moving around. Do you ever break?"

"Well we do stretching for cooldown but it's mostly flexibility training."

"Huh. Interesting."

"How's it going for you?"

Todoroki thought. Obviously he didn't have the same amount of training time as Izuku and Mirio, but he'd trained himself beforehand, and was also a fast learner to boot, so he'd say he's come pretty far. "Okay I guess," he shrugged again. He wasn't used to the go-at-your-own-pace style teaching from All Might and Present Mic, and was forever taken aback by the lack of harsh reprimand. "It's nice. Sometimes it seems slow though."

Izuku laughed. "Mirio says he gets exhausted. Last week he finally figured out how to phase his whole body somewhat. That was a ride"

"Yeah, I'm just not used to the pace I guess. It's not bad, it's just...different. My father isn't exactly um..." he trailed off, but Izuku knew exactly what he meant.

"That's okay," he said.

"I'll get used to it. I'm not ready for moving too fast when forming ice anyway."

Izuku frowned. "You're not using your fire?" Izuku already figured from Mirio's stories of practice with Todoroki, but Izuku wanted to hear it from Todoroki himself before he brought it up.

"I don't wanna be like him."

"You're not though,"

"Maybe," Todoroki started back on his long-forgotten lunch. His entire reason for existing centered around having the quirk he did. He wasn't going to give his father the satisfaction of him using his fire when he became a hero. All the pain and suffering his siblings and mom had to go through for the sake of that man finding that stupid quirk. He wouldn't give him justification for his actions. If he was still the failed quirkless kid, and then later the failed ice quirk kid, his father would never see any positive results from his actions. Todoroki liked to think that this could teach him a lesson.

They ate the rest of their lunch in silence, each lost in their own thoughts.

_____

As the two brothers sat in a small ice cream parlor, Izuku decided he liked Mirio being in junior high, just as much as Mirio did. Their parents had decided that Mirio has a cell phone, and was old enough to go about by himself now, and as long as Izuku stuck close by, he could tag along too. Mirio often opted to take the early train to school in the morning now, with Izuku in tow. They'd get off and Mirio would walk Izuku to his school, seeing it wasn't too far, and then to his. More often than not, Amajiki would meet them on the way too. Izuku liked going to school with Mirio because they'd often go on little adventures to and from school. Once, they'd even been able to see a hero fight from the train window on the way. Most of the time though, Izuku was content to just hang out with his brother after school, like now.

"Hm, I like blue the best," Mirio said, licking the sprinkles off his ice cream.

"I like blue too," Izuku giggled. "But I think red is the best,"

Mirio grinned, and handed the cashier her change. Izuku held onto his brother's hand as they walked down the sidewalk, joyfully eating their quickly melting treat. They took their time - after all, they didn't have to be home until five, and six if they called and explained they were going to be late. When they were done, they ducked into their favorite hero shop. It was a quaint little shop near an alleyway, and was only visited by about two people at a time. It seemed pretty old, and had all manner of cliché and over the top merch, but the two boys loved it nonetheless. In fact, they'd often come here and look around for new shop additions, or Izuku would find an interesting new fact or upcoming hero to add to the journals he was (still) keeping. Needless to say, they spent a lot of time here.

Izuku grinned at the All Might memorabilia on the walls. He'd want a poster if he didn't already have them all. Mirio looked between him and the poster before giggling. Izuku pointed at the poster and whispered "I heard All Might doesn't like socks on his bed,"

Mirio pointed at another and whispered back. "I heard he likes to call his kids sport when they win at bingo,"

They both snickered together. It was a fun little secret that the two could keep together, and it filled them both with a little pride knowing that their loving dad was in fact the All Might. Of course, the store clerk grew fond of the two boys who faithfully frequented his little hobby shop, and would often surprise them with little trinkets. That seemed to be the case today, as he handed both boys an assortment of hero-themed stickers on the way out. Izuku was pleased to find not only the majority All Might-themed, but an assortment of rarer and lesser known heroes as well. They thanked the clerk and headed home. A normal day for them it seems.

Or at least that's what they thought. Izuku was too busy rambling on about the availability of lesser known hero merch to notice a patch of uneven pavement, which he promptly stumbled on, losing a sticker sheet in the process. Lucky for them it fluttered away from the streets, but it instead went into an alleyway. Mirio and Izuku glanced at each other before gazing back down the alleyway. One of the main rules for being out and about by themselves was to not go down alleyways.

"It can't be that bad, right?" Izuku asked, gazing at his stickers. "I don't see anyone."

"It's not too dark either," Mirio knew how much Izuku wanted those stickers. They were rare after all. "Here, I'll quickly go and get 'em and run back. I can see them too - they're right there by the dumpster. Just keep an eye out, okay?"

Izuku nodded. "Okay."

Mirio sucked in a breath and skidded into the alleyway. He was right - it really wasn't dark, but he wasn't supposed to be here. His dad always said it was dangerous. "Aha!" He whispered to himself as he grabbed the stickers. He was just about to make his way back to Izuku when he heard a whoosh of air. It was faint, but he'd heard it anyway. Dashing behind the dumpster, he tried to be as quiet as he could. The whooshing turned out to be a woman in a black, purple, and green catsuit, with spiky black hair and green goggles down the alley. Mirio could even catch the hint of fangs past her red lipstick. There was a faint wisping of smoke at her feet as she flipped open her phone. Mirio sighed in relief. She must have been a hero if she was dressed like that. Though Mirio thought it strange there'd be a hero he and Izuku didn't already know about. He didn't even remember seeing her at the U.A. Sports festival at all. Maybe she was from a different school. He was about to reveal himself when she turned around. Mirio stifled a gasp. Okay, that was not a hero. The back of her catsuit was cut out, showing a collage of tattoos. Mirio was instantly drawn to the one of some winged creature. Heroes were allowed to get tattoos (Mirio knew because Present Mic had two full sleeves), but they had to cover them up if it was more than two in the same area. Something about promoting public image, Mirio remembered Uncle Hizashi had told him. If she were a registered hero, her suit wouldn't allow for that display. And if she wasn't a registered hero then...

"You get it?" She asked the person on the phone. "Okay, meet at the scheduled rendez-vous." She hung up and - pouf - was gone in an instant. Mirio stayed in place for a heartbeat before scrambling out and running back to Izuku. He was smart enough to get from view when he saw Mirio flinch. "What happened? Are you okay?" Izuku frantically asked, paying little mind to the stickers handed to him.

"Yeah," Mirio panted out. "I. Just. Saw. A weird lady."

"What?"

"Yeah, she was wearing a hero-ish outfit but she wasn't a hero."

"How'd you know?"

"Tattoos."

Izuku nodded thoughtfully. They were just about to get going when an explosion rang out across the street. Both boys moved their hands from shielding their eyes to find slowly setting rubble, and a blasted storehouse. The old storehouse used to be a restaurant before it got shut down, and afterwards, people used it to dump off old junk. Izuku wondered why on earth someone would blow that up. Mirio suggested it was a simple fear tactic, since the building itself didn't really hold any significance. They speculated for a while as the dust cleared. Soon, a bulky man with huge hands, a ton of piercings, and beach-blonde dyed hair appeared from the ground. Unsurprisingly, two heroes showed up soon after to stop the carnage - the newly established Thirteen and the up-and-coming Midnight.

Izuku and Mirio excitedly watched as the two heroes and villains duked it out, Izuku fervently mumbling and scribbling notes in his journal and Mirio providing somewhat helpful side commentary. The hands villain had a pushing quirk, where he could compress the air around him, which wasn't any help to Midnight's quirk. Thirteen had him cornered at one point before black smoke gathered around the rubble. Instantly, the woman from before materialized on top the rubble. "Look! That's her!" He pointed out to Izuku.

"She really wasn't a hero then," Izuku agreed.

The fight picked up from there. Izuku noticed that hands villain was oddly skilled, like he'd honed his quirk for some time or something. Usually villains in streetfights were clumsy and easily caught. His dad said that the harder fights were usually out of public eye too, unless the villain had a particularly difficult quirk. It also wasn't helping that the smoke lady fell into difficult quirk territory.

Mirio watched earnestly as Thirteen successfully sucked the smoke villain into their finger, just as Midnight found an opening and knocked over hands guy. She was just about to put him to sleep when Thirteen yelped and the smoke somehow leaked back out, and both the hands villain and the smoke was gone. Izuku and Mirio were watching the police arrive at the scene for questioning when they both felt the ground disappear beneath them. Izuku frantically looked around. Did the villain get him?

Mirio breathed out a sigh of relief at who he saw. Their dad had scooped them up from the crime scene in full costume. Both boys relaxed before tensing again. Uh-oh.

"Do you boys have any idea what time it is?" He asked slowly.

Izuku swallowed. Definitely uh-oh.

"Um," Mirio offered. But their father's jaw was firm set.

"Its eight-fifty." He continued. "We've been calling and calling, and not only did you not answer your phones, but you didn't let us know if you'll be late beforehand either. Neither of your uncles, nor Nana or Gran Torino knew where you were, and your mother and I were worried sick."

Izuku grimaced and Mirio fixed his gaze on his dad's cape instead of his face.

"And finally I get a call from work for backup, only to find it's along the path you two take back home?" He held them tight as he angled himself for a landing.

"And I find you two doing what?"

"Watching hero fights," Mirio and Izuku mumbled together.

"Exactly! And why is that a problem?"

More mumbling. "Because you and mom said we can't without an adult,"

"Precisely. Unless you are actively caught in an incident, do not stay and observe it," he landed on the roof of his hero agency. "It's dangerous and you two could get hurt," he explained with a heavy sigh. He knelt down and looked them both in the eyes. "I understand you both love watching hero fights, and that in of itself isn't bad. But you need to listen and be safe by following directions."

Izuku shuffled his feet and Mirio's lips were drawn into a thin line. Toshinori gave them a huge hug before he continued with another, heavier sigh. "Now, I want you to understand that I'm not angry with you. But I'm very disappointed."

Both boys shrank and mumbled out apologies before following their dad to his office. After he got changed and powered down, they all headed home. Inko gave them a similar reprimand before announcing they were grounded for a week, and subway privileges were revoked for an equal period of time. The movie they were gonna all go out to see was also cut, and it was decided that they'd stay home and work on homework with Uncle Aizawa instead. Izuku and Mirio groaned as they got sent to their rooms to freshen up for dinner. Izuku pursed his lips as he set his things down. He shot a glance at his journal. Hey, at least he got some more info...

_____

Izuku threw another piece of popcorn at Mirio, who phased it through his mouth. It landed on the floor, and Shinso grabbed it and popped it into his mouth. "Five-second rule," he shrugged. Aizawa groaned. "Hitoshi please, stop doing that. It's not good for you."

"Uncle Hizashi does it all the time. He says the germs can't get it in five seconds."

"Germs don't have time limits,"

Izuku groaned as he finished up his homework.

"Aw, suck it up kid, you shouldn't've gotten caught,"

Izuku stopped groaning to pause at the fact Aizawa chided him for getting caught, of all things.

"But it wasn't on purpose!" Mirio complained. "It's not fair!"

Aizawa moved to look him in the eye. "Mirio we were all worried so much for you two. When your dad called me asking where you were, Hizashi nearly had a heart attack. You can't do stuff like that without telling someone what's going on. Even as a pro hero you have reports and paperwork and communications to do that."

Mirio nodded and sighed at his offending homework, wishing he was out with his parents at the movies.

Shinso scooted closer to Izuku on the couch. "I bet you don't regret watching that fight though,"

Izuku giggled. "Nope! I got a whole lot of new info on Midnight and confirmed a couple of hypotheses I had. Also I got these," he pulled the stickers from out his hero notebook on the coffee table. "They're rare! I almost didn't get 'em too because Mirio-" instantly he clamped his mouth shut and Mirio whipped his head around to stare at him. Shinso raised a questioning eyebrow as both of them slowly turned to gaze at Aizawa.

"Hey, I won't tell if you don't do whatever it is you probably did again," he raised his hands.

Izuku nodded. "Okay, thanks." Their parents didn't know about the alley. "So anyways," Izuku continued without missing a beat. "Mirio had to go into the alleyway to get them and we saw the villain up close!"

"Oh?" Shinso grinned. "Did she get you?"

Izuku shrugged sheepishly. "Well actually it was just Mirio who saw her. It was the smokey lady! And she didn't notice him at all so she showed up and disappeared!"

"I'm surprised you didn't run up and ask a bunch of questions," Aizawa commented. "I heard she was dressed similar to a hero, with gear and everything."

Mirio nodded. "Yeah, I almost did! But luckily I figured out she was a villain beforehand,"

Aizawa raised an eyebrow. "Oh? How so?"

"Tattoos," both boys said at once. Aizawa narrowed his eyes. He knew his coworkers would probably laugh at him, but he didn't give up the investigation from a while back. "You remember what kind?" He asked slowly.

Mirio nodded. "There was a huge one of some sort of winged monster! It looked foreign,"

So definitely not yakuza with stereotypical dragon tattoos, and certainly not the tattoo he was looking for. It still piqued his interest though. "You remember how it looked?" He asked.

"Yeah draw it out so I can see," Shinso grinned. Mirio groaned. He kinda wished Izuku saw too - after all, he was the artist of the family. But he got out a scrap of paper anyway, and did his best to reproduce the creature he saw. He finished and held up his drawing.

"Oh," Izuku said.

"That's a harpy!" He and Shinso said at the same time.

"A what?"

"It's Greek," Shinso explained. He tended to read historical fiction books on his own during lunch, seeing as he never made any friends at school.

Mirio nodded, his mouth forming an understanding "o". Aizawa simply watched on. Izuku stared at the drawing. He himself wasn't particularly fond of Greek mythology, but he knew quite a bit about it from exposure. In fact, aside from Shinso, the only other person Izuku thought had any interest in it was his biological father.

Aizawa grabbed some of Izuku's popcorn and plopped it in his mouth. "That was it? You know heroes can have up to two tattoos," he said before leaning back into the couch to turn on the TV.

Mirio shook his head. "Nope! He had a whole bunch! Her whole back was covered! That was just the one I thought was the most interesting!" Mirio explained. Aizawa nodded. She was most likely part of a small gang or something. It wasn't necessarily unheard of for those types of things.

"Oh?" Shinso asked, intrigued about the prospect of guessing more mythological creatures. "What else was there?"

Mirio put his finger to his chin and thought for a while. "Hm, not much else I remember," he shrugged. "There was a snake, I think?"

Aizawa tuned out the kids' conversation while he idly flipped through the channels. He eventually settled on some drama he remembered Hizashi was keeping up with. When he finished, he was amused to find an attempt at a complete reproduction of the back tattoos.

"Are you sure that was there?" Izuku asked with a frown.

"Yeah," Mirio quipped. "Besides, I was there and you weren't so-"

"Well I think the skull goes here-" Shinso interrupted.

"Shinchaaaan," Izuku groaned. Their argument was effectively dissolved as Mirio giggled and added a couple of circles in some corner. Aizawa' eyes caught onto one at the base of her neck. A three-eyed skull.

"This was there too?" He asked him. Mirio nodded. Aizawa narrowed his eyes. Looks like he'd be busy tonight.

_____

Shinso sat next to Mic back at the apartment. Uncle Sho was getting ready for his shift tonight, and Shinso could hear the familiar bustle of him getting his gear together. He leaned on his Uncle Hizashi's shoulder. When Aizawa came out again, he pointed his finger at Hitoshi. He and Hizashi both knew what it meant when he put his hair up during a shift. "Nope, no questions. Classified." He moved his finger to Hizashi. "Yes, I'll be safe. Don't forget to close the blinds."

He left without further word, and after his normal rounds, made his way to the explosion from earlier that week. He arrived at the scene, and took a hiding place amongst the rubble. He didn't doubt his hiding skills - after all, he'd not only been at this for a while, but his grey scarves were actually a tad reflective, and enabled him to camouflage brilliantly with his surroundings.

He waited around for a while. Groaning internally, he checked his gauntlet watch for what seemed to be the hundredth time. 3:45am. His shift would be over soon. He applauded himself for doing his regular rounds extra early to allow time for this little stakeout. He was thinking about whether or not Hizashi put Hitoshi to bed at a reasonable time when he heard a subtle flush of air. He peeked around from hiding to see a woman across the rubble. She didn't exactly look the same as the woman from the security footage, and something about her suit seemed off, but it was far away, and she still had a puddle of smoke around her feet. From the extra smoke materialized the escaped hands villain from before. He saw her lips move, and gingerly tapped the audio device in his ear. Instantly he was rewarded with the muffled audio from across the room. "She said she recovered it but there wasn't anything when he talked to her."

"And I'm telling you that she did. I was there!" Came the gruff voice of the hands villain.

"Whatever. We don't have it so it doesn't fucking matter if you saw it or not. Look around. It's probably here somewhere."

Aizawa narrowed his eyes. So this was a different woman. He watched as she squinted in his direction, and slowly approached. Aizawa held his breath and felt the adrenaline pick up. He'd prepared for a fight, but he wasn't exactly looking for one.

She slowly approached before bending over and picking something off the ground about twenty feet from where Aizawa was hidden. Aizawa thought it looked like some sort of serum. The hands villain approached her after being called over. "Found it." She said simply. "This place gives me bad vibes." The hands villain nodded and turned his back to Aizawa, giving him perfect view of not only the three-eyed skull, but a three-headed dog tattooed on his upper forearm. "Will we cooperate with them on this one?"

The woman shrugged. "Maybe. We got something they want, and they got something we want, it checks out."

"What if they don't hold up?"

"Destruction. 'Tis the fate of those under Hades."

There was a soft pouf, and both villains vanished. Aizawa narrowed his eyes as he glanced at his watch. He guessed he was going to be staying up in the morning.

_____

Toshinori grinned at his friend, splayed out on his desk. Again. He apparently didn't get much sleep in the morning. "Just go to bed!" Toshinori chided him. Aizawa grumbled and shifted over. "Five minutes,"

"Go to your own office!"

"Too far,"

"Why'd you come here first then?"

Aizawa groaned. "Fine!" He sat up and stretched. "I just got here not too long ago - I got new info on my group."

Toshinori arched an eyebrow. He knew Aizawa was still working on that on the side, but it's been a long while since he'd started, and up until now, the group had been quiet. He hopped this wasn't another false alarm. "Really?" He said.

Aizawa nodded. "Yep. Thanks to your observant troublemakers too,"

"What?"

"Yep, Mirio saw the smoke villain's tattoos - the exact one I've been looking for. Hit the jackpot too. Hands villain had one when I did my stakeout yesterday, and I also found out there's somehow two smoke ladies. They're higher-ups too, judging by the fight. And I even got a name."

"Really now?"

"Yup," he said, popping the "p". He leaned back in the chair with a satisfied grin on his face. "It's Hades."

"Why'd they blow up the old warehouse?" Toshinori asked.

"Not sure. I think they needed to recover merchandise."

"But no one ever goes in the old warehouse, why would they need to blow it up?"

Aizawa shrugged. "Safety measures I guess. Unless," he sat up straight in his seat.

"Unless?" Toshinori prodded.

"Unless they needed to mask evidence!"

Toshinori laughed. "I can literally smell the gears turning in your head. Are you sure you're not related to Izuku?"

Aizawa rolled his eyes and made his way over to Toshinori's office couch. Pulling out his infamous yellow sleeping bag Shinso had given him last year, he held up three fingers. "Wake me up in thirty. Text Hizashi I'll be home then too please,"

Toshinori, again never got a chance to reply before Aizawa was knocked out, stone cold and asleep on his couch.

_____

"Ahhp, no you don't," Inko used her quirk to pull Izuku back by the collar of his uniform towards her as she walked down the sidewalk. Mirio giggled at his brother, who was craning his neck to struggle and see the heroes battle out a minor villain a couple of streets down.

"Mom can we please?" Izuku asked, still looking over. Inko shook her head.

"I'm sorry Izuku, but you and your brother have a doctor's appointment today and I'm not going to reschedule it again."

Izuku groaned as they moved out of earshot and the sounds of the fight died down. Mirio looked over at his brother. They both had a rather dangerous hobby, and he knew mom didn't like it one bit. Dad was a bit more lenient, but that wasn't to say he actually allowed it either.

The doctor was a standard checkup, rather than a specialist that Mirio saw twice a year about his quirk, so needless to say, it went without a hitch, and ended rather quickly. The boys were applauded for keeping in good shape and health though.

Seeing as they had left school a little early and still had time before dinner, Inko stopped off by the river to let the boys play around a bit. She found a nice spot and cracked open a book.

Izuku and Mirio took to practicing a couple of stretches, and tried to out-cartwheel each other. Inko chided them not to roughhouse around too much as to dirty up their uniforms. They were playing tag when Izuku noticed a familiar wild head of hair. "Shinchan!" Izuku called. Mirio noticed too and started frantically waving at him. Izuku saw him squint and then grin as he made his way over to them. Inko greeted him warmly before returning to her book.

"What are you doing all the way over here?" He asked them.

"Doctor's," Izuku answered.

"Oh"

"What are you doing here?"

Shinso rolled his eyes playfully. "I go to school around here, silly"

"Really? This is where your school is?"

"Well not right here, of course, but yeah. Near here."

Just then they heard a shout and the three of them looked to find three students around their age pointing at them. They all wore the same uniform as Shinso, who sighed as they approached.

"Why the sigh?" Izuku signed. Shinso talked a lot more, but that didn't mean he didn't still prefer their signing.

"They're intent on getting me to use my quirk for their own purposes," he explained. It was usually stupid stuff, and somewhat harmless, if not embarrassing for the victim party. Shinso still always refused. He wouldn't use his quirk for anything other than heroics. He'd told them that, but each time they'd either laugh or outright ignore him. It really got annoying sometimes.

"Woah Shinso! You didn't tell me you you were friends with kids from Dagobah!" One kid gushed.

"Woah Shinso, you didn't tell me you had friends," another kid teased.

Shinso rolled his eyes and turned his back to them. Izuku raised an eyebrow. "Not very nice, huh?" He asked.

"It's whatever. Doesn't get to me anymore,"

Izuku frowned. Contrary to his cool and easygoing demeanor, Shinso Hitoshi was a short fuse. Izuku knew he didn't get worked up like Kacchan, but he was very adamant about doing things properly, and didn't tolerate disrespect. Izuku felt that was instilled in him by Uncle Aizawa. The small huff he let out was a tell that Shinso was on the verge of getting upset.

"Wow Shinso, so you walk home?" Izuku asked aloud in an attempt to derail the teasing. He didn't even use his nickname he'd given him.

If Shinso noticed, he didn't show it. Instead, he just shook his head. "No, Uncle Hizashi usually picks me up because Uncle Sho is paranoid. He just got stuck at his job doing..." he shot a quick glance at the other three kids. "doing overtime today." Izuku and Mirio nodded, knowing exactly what he actually meant.

His phone pinged, and he snickered as he shot a text back. "That was Uncle Sho. He texted me literally five minutes ago."

Izuku groaned. "I hate when they're like that,"

"They're just trying to make sure we're okay," Mirio offered.

Shinso nodded. "You guys have a dangerous hobby after all."

The three kids' eyes widened. "Dangerous hobby?" One asked.

Izuku shrugged. "He's probably talking about hero-watching,"

"Hero-watching!" The second kid asked.

"Yeah," Mirio shrugged. "We go and watch the fights in the city a lot of times"

"Oooh! That is dangerous!" The third said. "Anyway, you guys must be rich! Only people with money can go to your school,"

"Or hero kids," another offered.

"Um," Mirio eloquently replied.

Izuku wasn't much help either. Yeah they were more than financially comfortable, but they weren't rich, like Todoroki. They sure were hero kids too, but it wasn't like they could say that. Shinso stifled a snort as the two struggled to answer.

"It's complicated," they both eventually settled on. They'd got to saying that a lot lately. Shinso rolled his eyes. He could see Izuku, but Mirio of all people should have more skills in handling questioning. Especially considering his dad was a whiz at avoiding the press. "What they mean is they have connections," Shinso supplied.

"Oh, okay. So you're not rich,"

"Oh no, they have money,"

"Shinsooooo," Izuku complained as he playfully punched his friend in the arm.

"Anyway," he said turning to the three kids. "Don't you have somewhere to be?" Shinso asked them, trying to make them go away. The first kid stuck out a tongue, but they backed off nonetheless. "You gotta tell me later how to meet people from Dagobah!" They called as they headed back. Once they were gone, Shinso let out a sigh of relief. "Good riddance,"

Izuku and Mirio laughed. Inko came up to where the boys were then, none the wiser to the conversation she was out of earshot for, and offered to take Shinso home, since it was apparently on the way. He gratefully accepted, and the two brothers were elated to exchange stories about their schoolday with their friend as they dropped him off.

_____

Inko sat next to Toshinori on the couch, listening to him recount the events of a somewhat comical brawl with a water-quirk villain earlier that day. She leaned on his side as he talked, listening to him while the boys cleaned up the last bit of the kitchen.

"And then Aizawa told me he wished I'd slipped! He's so rude sometimes," he laughed. Inko chuckled.

"So he was in your office again?" She asked.

"Yeah. I feel like he and Hizashi forget they have their own."

"I remember once I walked in to drop off some paperwork you forgot at home and saw them frantically cleaning up a vase they'd broke while your were on patrol," she laughed.

"That was my favorite plant too!"

She laughed. "So I'm guessing they're both doing well at work?" She saw them often outside of the office, but neither really discussed what happened at work. Hizashi would recount battles to Mirio and Izuku when prompted, but they both didn't talk much about office life on their own.

Toshinori nodded, wrapping his other arm around Inko's shoulders. "Yeah. It's always an adventure with those two," he started. "In fact, you know that group Aizawa told you he stole documents about,"

"The one that's been inactive?"

Toshinori nodded. "Yeah that one. He actually got a real lead. Since yesterday, he hit the ground running."

"Yeah?" She asked.

"He's keeping most of the info to himself but he said he wants to plan a bust soon."

"He moves fast,"

Toshinori laughed. "Yeah."

Chapter Text

Inko sat at the coffee shop, waiting for her husband to arrive. She glanced down at her watch. Last she heard, he'd gotten a call about some villain that looked like an idol and could create mirror images of himself. Still, it wasn't like him to be this late. She frowned and decided to go ahead and order. She ordered for Toshinori too just in case. The food was just arriving when the bell on the door chimed, and Toshinori stumbled through, completely out of breath. As he sat down, Inko could see he had a split lip and a bandaid on his forehead.

"Tough fight?" She asked, raising a brow.

Toshinori nodded as he caught his breath. Inko grinned. He must have ran here in his powered-down form. "Yeah," he started. "He kept purposefully putting civilians in danger, and it was literally trying to save people in two places at once," he chuckled grimly.

"But you did it," Inko grinned.

Toshinori returned her smile brightly. "Of course!" He laughed.

"Really now,"

"Well, Sr. Nighteye helped," he added. "A lot."

They ate amongst laughter and comfortable conversation, and all talk of the battle before was forgotten. Both parents were sure it'd be brought up again at home though, as the boys undoubtedly heard of the battle by now. It's not like Toshinori minded though - he lived for the brightness in their eyes as he retold how he'd defeated a villain just as much as he did for saving lives.

Inko had a VP position now, and was recounting the tale of yet another intern flub-up when his phone rang. He was about to silence it, but Inko giggled and encouraged him to answer. "It might be something important," she told him.

"Hello?" Came the familiar voice on the other line.

"Hey Aizawa! What's up?" Toshinori didn't question the lack of caller ID. Aizawa was prone to changing his number every so often. He'd normally just text his important contacts though.

"No, I didn't change my number. I'm stuck out shopping. This is Hizashi's mom's phone"

"How-"

"It just felt like you were thinking it. You guys are really easy to read. Well. Except Inko. Anyway, shut up. I got some news."

Inko watched as his face slowly became serious. He nodded a couple of times and made a few affirmative noises before hanging up the phone.

"Is he alright?" Inko asked.

"Yeah. He was just letting me know that the villain I caught earlier was rather...special. He said he may need me to come in tonight,"

"Oh," Inko pouted. "So you won't be there for dinner?"

"Unfortunately," he sighed, brushing Inko's bangs out her face, her round cheeks puffed out. He couldn't help but grin at her. While dress shopping for the hero gala last year, Inko noticed that she could no longer fit her clothes as well, and became concerned about her weight. She'd tried going on diets and working out, but nothing changed. The final nail on the coffin was when she'd went to the doctor and discovered that she was perfectly healthy, and just naturally inclined to put on pounds as she got older. She'd been dismayed, but with the combination of reassurances from Toshinori, her kids, Nana, Hizashi, Aizawa, and even Gran Torino, she'd stopped worrying too much about it. Besides, Toshinori told her each day he thought she was beautiful, and it didn't change just because her face got chubbier. If anything, he thought it was cute.

"Maybe if all goes well, I'll catch the tail-end of it," he offered. Inko smiled and held his hand as they paid for the food and left the cafe.

"Hopefully! Tonight we're having stew,"

_____

"Ow!" Izuku flinched as the needle poked his finger again.

"You alright?" Nana asked. Izuku nodded. "Here," she said as she handed him something small and silver.

"What's this?" Izuku asked.

"It's a thimble," Nana explained. "You put it on like this," she showed him how to put it on, and Izuku was pleased to find he got poked way less. Nana was teaching him how to sew while Mirio helped mom cook in the kitchen.

"That's an excellent whip stitch," Nana pointed out. Izuku beamed. "Thank you!"

She grinned at the boy poking his tongue out the corner of his mouth as he concentrated on stitching up the ribbon eleastic to the gym slipper he'd torn during training.

"Tah-dah!" He said, proudly showing off the fixed shoe.

"Great gob!" Nana laughed as he slipped it on and cartwheeled around the room. "Yay!" He giggled. "It's fixed!"

Mirio came in to tell them dinner was ready, and they ate and cleaned up accordingly. Mirio and Izuku were disappointed at first that their dad was going to be late and couldn't eat with them, but Inko promised they chould stay up late to greet him when he came home if they went ahead and got ready for bed.


Inko and Nana were lounging on the couch in the living room when they heard the door open. "I'm here!" Toshinori called. Inko could tell by his voice that he was a bit tired.

"Welcome home!" She called back. When she got up to greet him, her face fell. Toshinori looked more than a little tired. Something was wrong.

"...is everything alright?" Inko asked. Toshinori was a bit surprised at Nana's presence, but he gave Inko a quick hug and hung his coat on the rack.

"Hm, I'm okay if that's what you're asking," he grinned but it didn't reach his eyes. "The questioning went way better than expected too, in fact."

Nana crossed her arms. "But?"

Toshinori rubbed the back of his neck. "I think you guys will want to sit down for this,"

Inko followed him and Nana to the couch, where he sat down with a long sigh.

"So?" Nana prodded.

"Well, technically this is classified information, but I feel like it's imperative that you two know," he started. "The villain we captured wasn't talking at first, but Aizawa threatened to punch him, and the prospect of his face being touched seemed to scare him so much he opened right up," he recounted. It would be almost comical, if not for what happened next. "He told us he's part of the gang Aizawa was tracking down for the longest time,"

"The one he got a lead on last week?" Inko asked. Toshinori nodded.

"Yeah. He had the tattoo and everything. I don't think he was expecting to get caught - he'd mentioned that his superior thought now was actually Hizashi's shift."

"But Hizashi was out to visit his parents,"

"Exactly. Apparently Aizawa had gotten close to the detective that I befriended a while back, and told him about the investigation when he was caught sneaking into archives again,"

"Who, Tsukauchi?" Inko asked. He'd been at their holiday party last couple of years actually.


"The detective was there when they arrested him and saw his tattoo, and emailed Aizawa. He must've somehow been checking it on Hizashi's mother's phone, because he called me right after."

"So tonight was the actual questioning then," Nana supplied.

"Yeah. Like I said, he opened up. Apparently Aizawa's little "gang" is actually an infamous underground crime syndicate named Hades. No one could track them down because not only do they erase their activities fairly well, but they use aliases, and don't get involved in the petty terf disputes most crime rings get busted for. According to him they only take "big jobs," too. Aizawa said that they probably don't often act on their own, and instead take commission for tasks from other groups."

"So, you guys figured it out. Why the long face?" Nana questioned.

Toshinori sighed. "Well," he paused and stared up at the ceiling. Eventually he looked Nana in the eyes. "When Aizawa asked him about it, he was surprisingly tight-lipped, even with the threatening. But we were able to get out that there was a group that called themselves the league of villains they were commissioned by."

Nana gasped. It couldn't be...

Toshinori's grim face furthered her suspicions.

Inko frowned. "What does that mean?"

Toshinori look over at her. "Remember when I first told you about my powers?" She nodded. "So you know the story of One For All. What I didn't mention was the counterpart, All For One. Nobody heard of him since his last battle, and we haven't had any trouble, so we assumed it would only make sense he was dead by now - he was around when One For All was first around after all. I didn't think to mention it because it wasn't relevant at the time. I'm sorry,"

Inko shook her head. "No, I understand. I don't think I would've thought to mention it either to be honest. So, do you think he's still out there or something? With what you told me about One For All, I'd think he'd be like a million years old by now. It wouldn't make sense."

Nana shook her head. "I'd dismiss it too honestly, and it may not even be All For One, just somebody with his ideals, or a similar quirk, or something."

Inko furrowed her brows. "Then why..."

"His famous last words in that historical battle were something along the lines of creating a league of villains to destroy One For All, and seize power," she explained. "It's uncanny that there'd be a small and unknown group of villains using that name."

"Aizawa doesn't even know the full story either, but he still commented on the odd name," Toshinori added.

"So what? You're gonna go after him? If he's truly this All For One character, he's probably just as - and if not, more - powerful than you! What if you get hurt?!" Inko exclaimed.

"She's right, Toshi. And we don't even know if it's actually him. It could be something else. Uncanny coincidence, maybe." Nana followed up.

"All the more reason to catch him now," Toshinori replied. "Aizawa already planned a bust for tomorrow night."

"So soon," Inko said.

"They probably already know we got him, and and Aizawa said it's already a matter of time before they move out. We have to get moving asap. He used the fragments of information the villain gave us, and put his psychology minor to good use - he figured out what he thinks is the base location."

Nana hummed in disapproval, but said nothing. Inko stared at him, her jaw firmly set. "But?" She supplied.

Of course she knew there was more. "But," Toshinori began. "The agency can't know about All For One and One For All, so they still think it's Aizawa going after some petty crime ring, and won't lend us ample support. He managed to convince a few other underground heroes, but that's about it. I...I agreed to go too,"

"Toshinori-"

"I know, but I'm sure it's nothing. Maybe me just being paranoid. But I have to make sure. It's my duty as a hero and the inheritor of this power."

"I know, dear." Inko said with a hefty sigh. "Just don't forget that it's your duty as a father to stay here and stay safe," she reminded him.

"I will," he assured her.

"Okay, so we don't know exactly who. Do you know why they're being commissioned?" Nana asked. Toshinori shook his head.

"We still don't know what for, but Aizawa suggested the possibility of power and connections - it seemed like they're well-known and feared by other gangs and crime rings."

"So there's you, Aizawa, and a few others?"

"Yeah. We may be able to get a few more, though. We're hoping."

"Hm, not likely. Especially considering this is independent of the agency and they're not getting paid for it."

The room was silent before Inko spoke up. "I'll go," she offered.

"Sweetie, you need an active hero license to use your quirk like that," Nana reminded her.

"Oh I know," she nodded. "But if it's one thing I learned being both a mother and a wife to my family, it's that you can never be too prepared. I go to renew it every two years. It's still current."

Both Toshinori and Nana gawked at her with open mouths. "But I thought..."

"I have no intention of being a hero again. I...like my life now better. It was fun of course, but I don't want to be out everyday sacrificing my life when I have a family I care about, and since I'm not OP like you," she teased, pointing a finger at Toshinori.

"Inko, wait-"

"I have more experience dealing with these types than you, dear. I was an underground hero too, remember? I know what I'm doing. I'll go pick up my suit from the costume archives at my old agency tomorrow."

Toshinori tried arguing again, but it was no use. Inko was stubborn. It didn't help that Nana joined in too. In the end, he had two new party members and a whole lot more worry on his face. Nana had left, promising to meet them tomorrow evening in Aizawa's office, and Toshinori headed upstairs to say goodnight to the boys. They were both asleep on the floor in Mirio's room, new scribblings in Izuku's hero journal. He tucked Mirio in, and picked Izuku up to carry him to his room. The journal dropped into the carpet with a soft thud, and Toshinori rolled his eyes at the irony of the page it flipped open to. He'd recognized those red boots.

_____

Three rings. Four. Five. Okay, good. Five is an excellent number. Sato finally picked up his phone. "Hello?" He called. From the other line came his colleague's voice.

"Hey. How's it going?" Toshinori asked.

"Hm. As good as can be, considering I have a meeting in ten. What's going on?"

There was a sigh, and finally Toshinori spoke up. "Sato, I have a question-"

"No," he quickly said before hanging up. His breath hitched. He wasn't using his quirk, but it was nonetheless a part of him - It wasn't like he could turn it off using some switch. Instead, he'd get more accurate than normal gut feelings. He twisted his hands in his lap. Something about Toshinori's tone of voice set him on edge. He suddenly felt really bad. He glanced down at his desk. One, two, three, four, five. He counted mentally as he lined up his pencils. Fourteen, fifteen, he counted as he color-coded his paperclips. Seventeen...wait no, he couldn't have only seventeen thumbtacks! Where are the other eight? He glanced under his desk - no. He was going to calm down. He felt his eye twitch. Instead of opening his cabinets to find the missing items, he instead took out this week's papers, immediately flipping to the funnies. Humor was always an excellent distraction.

_____

Inko stared at the silver toolbelt in her hands. She hadn't worn this in over ten years...

She put it on, glad she'd made the suit out of spandex. Looking at her reflection one last time, she headed out the small private bathroom and into Toshinori's office. She set her civilian clothes on the table, choosing to leave her biker helmet tucked under her arm and headed over to Aizawa's office. She wasn't in it often, so she was still a bit surprised at how lived-in it seemed. Or maybe it was just messy. She didn't have time to really think about it, because soon after, there was a knock on the door. Nana walked in, fully costumed. "Alright, we're all here," Aizawa announced. The words sent a familiar shot of adrenaline through her veins.

He explained the plan, and introduced them all to the two volunteers - an invisibility quirk and a stun quirk. Both pretty useful for covert operations. They solemnly headed out the agency, following Aizawa out to the parking garage.

"Soo," one of the volunteers said. The invisibility quirk. "Haven't seen you around. What's your name?" He asked with a cheeky grin, running his hand through his wavy black hair.

"Lady Quantum," she stated simply. "I'm not from this agency." She followed up. She didn't want anyone trying to dig up any information.

The man raised a brow. "Oh? Which one?"

Inko pursed her lips. The man frowned shortly before smiling again. "Not talkative, eh?" He flashed a straight row of pearly whites. "It's cool, it's cool. What'd you say to getting to know each other over a glass of fine wine? I bet you'll talk then," he winked.

"I think I'm good, thank you."

"Aw, c'mon! We could even go to a movie after if that's not your thing, or maybe-" he raised his brow and Inko internally groaned.

"Hey, hey, hey now!" All Might interjected, inserting himself in the rapidly decreasing space between Inko and the man. She stifled a giggle as he kept the man engaged in a decidedly one-sided conversation, effectively cutting off his unwanted advances. Inko slipped on her helmet, not before sending off a quick look of gratitude.

They piled into Tsukauchi's black work van, All Might still in the middle, much to the man's dismay. They parked a couple of blocks away, and piled out of the car.

Aizawa made sure everyone was aware of their roles, before heading off with the two volunteers. "Good riddance," Nana whispered to her. Inko chuckled. "Good luck," she whispered back as she ran off to take her place by the exit with Gran Torino (who'd been accidentally informed of the mission and insisted on tagging along). Toshinori gave Inko's hands a quick squeeze before heading to his station, leaving her to head to hers.

They all stood still with baited breath around the huge traditional-style home. Nana and Gran Torino at the secret back entrance to prevent escapes, Aizawa and the two volunteer underground heroes at the forefront to enter through the side entrance, Inko in the bushes at the front gate, Tsukauchi in the van, monitoring the radios and communications, and Toshinori on the roof of a nearby building for backup and damage control.

"Remember," Aizawa said. "Our goal is to get to the leader first and with minimal conflict. Once we have the boss and his immediate underlinings, we'll move out."

Sounds of affirmations sounded over their small ear radios and Aizawa gave the green for the operations. It seemed to be going smoothly. Aizawa and the other two heroes were sneaking through just fine, avoiding conflict by good stealth and an occasional necessary stun. Using the snippets of conversation he'd heard while slinking about, Aizawa managed to piece his way to the room of interest. Unfortunately, they were soon caught in a scuffle with none other than hands villain, who's huge hands protected him from the light of the stun. The ruckus attracted a fair amount of attention, but they were all apprehended in a short while. "Looks like we'll have to abandon stealth for speed at this point," Aizawa said before taking off down the hall.

As he turned the corner, he was faced with more minions. He didn't have any trouble with them, but there was a lot of them, and they were losing time - he'd heard sounds of struggle on Nana and Gran Torino's end. "Go on ahead! We'll hole them off!" One of the heroes shouted. Aizawa gave a quick nod and shot around another corner. "Well, well," he heard, before he was flipped around and onto the ground. In front of him, black smoke materialized into three women, all somewhat resembling the woman Aizawa saw recover the vial. One of them was spot on, and rest seemed a bit off. "Triplets?" Aizawa questioned.

The three women giggled, and poofed in and out of smoke form, pushing him into walls and onto the ground. Aizawa could see the decorative golden door just behind the three assailants, and looked around for something he could use.

"It's no use," they giggled. "No one confronts Hades and lives."

"Well, I am," Aizawa said, flipping open a vent he spied on the ground not too far from him. He used his scarves to create a draft, dispelling the smoke when they tried to get close to him. "I see ranged combat isn't your thing," Aizawa mocked as he knocked one of them out. He was able to land another solid hit, effectively immobilizing another. The last one - the woman he'd seen at the rubble - remained. "You really should've planned this for a different day, you know." She grinned. "We have visitors today,". Aizawa narrowed his eyes as she formed into smoke again. He moved to use his scarves again, but was instead met with a foot to the back. He fell to the floor with a thud. Rolling over, he grabbed hold of the woman's foot and pulled her down, only to be met with a cloud of smoke. He stood up again, but was forcefully knocked to the wall again. The woman appeared once more, holding a pair of daggers in her hands. Aizawa frowned. This was getting dangerous. He carefully avoided a flurry of well-placed stabs, and attempted to use his scarves to immobilize the villain. Unfortunately, she saw through his moves, and charged him. He reached into one of his pouches and pulled out a smokebomb, but his arm was nicked before he could throw it. It went off in a corner, and Aizawa was slashed across his chest. It just barely grazed his skin, but he wasn't about to waste time playing around. "Backup one, requesting service" he called out, dodging attacks from the villain. There was a whoosh of air, and Inko was in the room, her red jet-powered boots puffing out a small cloud of smoke. "Backup one ready for duty," she replied. The villain barely saw what hit her before Inko was on top of her. She disappeared, but she didn't re-form. "Thanks," Aizawa nodded.

Inko helped him off the ground, and they kicked in the door. Instead of the boss, what they found was a room full of intense-looking underlings. The smoke woman appeared again in the back with a smirk before disappearing once again. Inko and Aizawa did their best to hold them off, but not only did they all have rather difficult quirks to deal with, more kept flooding into the room. It was only a matter of time before secondary backup was called.

All Might crashed into the room, much to the dismay of the villains there, who weren't expecting him to be on a night shift, much less here. Their combined efforts were rewarded with a bit of silence, until in came crashing a new hoard. "Must be their guests" Aizawa commented , noticing the lack of color scheme and fighting finesse in the new wave. There was a huge explosion, and a chunk of rubble came crashing down as the ceiling started to crumble. "Looks like they're blowing up the building guys," Tsukauchi informed them through the communicator. "Yeah, no shit," Aizawa mumbled. Another huge blast, and the floor fell through. Inko let out a cry of pain as she tried to stand. She shot a glance at her leg. Yep. Definitely broken. Making a quick splint, she shakily stood up. Looking around, she saw Aizawa laying face-down, blood spilling onto the floor. She didn't know where it was coming from, but it looked bad. She made to run over, a quick shot of pain going through her leg. She grabbed a broken post and fashioned a makeshift crutch. She had to get to Aizawa so they could evacuate the room. But before she could reach him, a third blast rang out, and the ceiling fell down in one piece. It never hit though, and Inko saw Toshinori hoisting it above his head. "Get Aizawa and evacuate the room!" He grunted out. "I'll try and finish this up!"

Inko nodded and limped along the floor, using her quirk to float Aizawa out the room and into the main hall. It was a dark corridor and no one was around. She frantically limped into the next room, settling Aizawa down gently and calling for medical help from Tsukauchi. It was no use though. Their small communications devices were fried from the blasts. She snatched it out her ear, and used her cape to bandage Aizawa's head wound. There was a slow clap. Inko looked around, but only found a shadow of a figure in the tattered doorway behind her, enshrouded in darkness.

"Well done to All Might. I expected nothing less of him, unfortunately for me. Too bad for Eraserhead though. Oh well, he put up a good fight. Next to no one has fought my Fates on equal footing for so long. And you," Inko gasped as the figure stepped out.

"Are far too skilled at this for it to have been ten years. Am I right Lady Quantum? Or should I say, Midoriya Inko?"

Standing in front of her, in a crisp black, purple, and green yukata, was Hisashi. Inko felt her breath catch. "You were? You were-" Inko stuttered.

He rolled his eyes. "Yes, even then I was a villain. You were surprisingly gullible actually, always ready to believe people are good," he took a step towards her. "The only reasonable choice you made was to keep your own last name. You were surprisingly adamant about that." Another step. Every fiber of Inko's being was screaming to run, but she couldn't bring herself to. She was frozen in place, the color drained from her face. "I made over two-hundred and fifty million dollars a year. You never questioned it - where I get my money..." he took a final step towards her. "why I married you," his grin was sinister. "It wasn't for love if that's what you're wondering," he snickered. "It's that brat Izuku's fault y'know. He was supposed to be the perfect combination of our quirks. He should've had an explosion quirk. You could've kept up with your delusions if he had it. And by the time you realized anything, it'd already be too late. I'd already have him working for me."

Inko balled up her fists, feeling the waves of anger rise up. "Don't. Ever. Talk about Izuku like that," she hissed.

He only grinned wider. "Aw Inko, I'm just stating the truth. It's no matter now anyway - I made some rather interesting friends, and I don't need a sidekick kid." He paused for a bit, looking her up and down. "What do you say? Help me kick this bastard's ass and you can come along with me. We can raise our son together-" The waves of anger suddenly gave way to a blinding rage. Inko dropped her makeshift crutch and rushed forward to land a solid punch in Hizashi's face. Inko felt no pain, no fear. Only anger.

"Son?" She scoffed, towering over him. "SON?!" She lifted him by his collar, his feet dangling off the ground. Another solid punch. "Don't you dare call Izuku your son! You lost that right the moment he was born! I don't want to hear his name out of your filthy lying mouth!" Hisashi made to throw a punch, but was misdirected and countered, resulting in a punch in the mouth. He scowled as he spat out a bloody tooth. Didn't this woman have a broken leg?

Inko stood firm across from him, pure rage radiating from her. Her fists were held up in a boxing stance - ah. Hisashi spied the band on her finger. The force from her punch had ripped a hole in the old material. "Expensive," he thought with a frown. So Inko wasn't miserable and alone as he'd thought. He felt his eye twitch. How was he replaced? "Who's the guy?" He asked through gritted teeth.

Inko looked confused before she noticed her torn glove. She smirked at him. "A real man, and a true hero,"

Hisashi growled, shedding the top half of his tattered yukata. It didn't come as a surprise that his entire chest, back, and arms were covered in tattoos. On his back was the image of several skeletons, three winged creatures, a three headed dog, a mirror with flowers, and a hoard of zombies. Most notable was the hyper realistic three-eyed skeleton, wearing a black toga on his chest. The ribs lined up with Hisashi's own, and down his arms ran the image of skeletal ones. Inko thought they made him look like a skeleton himself. The sinister grin he gave her did nothing to ease this look. He snorted steam out his nose. "Oh really? I wonder what that hunk of a man is gonna do when you don't come home tonight." He rushed at her with newfound speed, knocking her to the ground. Inko was beginning to feel the ghost of a pain in her leg, but she wasn't done yet.

"I could say the same about your friends!" She yelled as she flipped him over, punching him in the nose. She heard a gruesome crack, and as Hisashi threw her down, blood came streaming out his nose.

"You fucking bitch," he hissed, wiping his nose.

Inko spat out blood from her split lip onto the ground. "Don't talk about yourself like that sweetie," she goaded.

He roared, green fire pouring from his mouth. Inko flinched, but she didn't back down. He landed a hit to her torso, but she grabbed his hand and flipped him over. He kicked under her feet, knocking her off balance and sending her crashing to the ground. She gasped out as pain shot through her leg. She used her quirk to throw rubble at Hisashi, who incinerated it all with a roar. He charged at Inko again, and she braced herself for a burst of flame as Hisashi sucked in a huge breath. There was a huge crash, and Hisashi was launched across the room. When the dust cleared, Inko saw the dignified figure of All Might.

"You sir, are going to be the one not coming home tonight," he said. Inko shuddered. She'd never heard that much venom in his voice.

Hisashi stumbled up from the ground, and made to breathe out another burst of fire. All Might used the wind pressure from his punch to dispel it, and used his other hand to deal the finishing blow. Hisashi fell to the floor with a thud.

"Is he..." Inko trailed off.

Toshinori shook his head. "Unfortunately not. I just knocked him out," he rushed over to her. "Are you alright?" He asked, fussing over her. "I'll be fine, she told him. Let's go catch up with the others," Toshinori nodded as he slung Aizawa over his back, and hoisted Inko up in his arms. They made it outside, and Aizawa and Inko were received by the emergency services Tsukauchi had requested. Inko's vision began to blur as she lost consciousness. The last thing she saw was Toshinori smiling brightly down at her, telling her that everything was gonna be okay.

_____

Toshinori jogged over to Tsukauchi, still stationed by his van, instructing a couple of his interns to handcuff the unconscious villains. "God this is so much easier now that I'm an actual head detective," he grinned at his friend. Toshinori chuckled. "Yeah, I'll bet," he said, sending a glance at his phone. He hadn't checked since his call with Sato, and he was greeted with a flurry of incoming messages on his too-bright screen. The first was actually from Sato, a simple one liner.

[Whatever it is you're about to do, don't do it (-᷅_-᷄) ]

Toshinori chuckled at the emoji. "Where's everyone else?" He asked. Tsukauchi squinted. All four of our underground heroes are unconscious and in medical care. Gran Torino and AllStar were supposed to meet me here five minutes ago,"

Toshinori narrowed his eyes. That...didn't sound good. "I'm gonna go check by the entrance," he said. Tsukauchi nodded. With the speed of One For All, Toshinori took off back to the entrance. He was relieved to find that the two heroes' holdup were the remaining lot of what Aizawa had called the "guests". Toshinori raised his brow at the mass of villains already knocked to the ground.

"I'm guessing these are a commissioning gang's members?" He asked, as Gran Torino knocked the last one out. "Still got it," he chuckled to himself, a bit out of breath.

"Yeah, most likely," Nana replied. "We're not sure who though. No one's said anything,"

Three more men stumbled out of the bushes, and Nana handled them easily. "The funny thing is that they're not trying to run away like the others. They keep charging us," she explained. There was a crash, and Toshinori and Gran Torino occupied themselves with immobilizing a crowd of Hades members attempting to escape. From behind him, he heard Nana yelp, and disappear with a whoosh.

"What happened?" Toshinori asked. Gran Torino dodged a knife. "No idea, but you should probably go help her - I'll hold them off here." He grappled the knife by the hilt and tossed it aside, using some appliance wire he'd ripped from off the house to tie up the villain. Toshinori nodded, and flew off in the direction of his mentor. He found her on top of a nearby parking garage.

"LEAVE! NOW!" She shouted at him, leaning on a pile of rubble before throwing up blood. Toshinori winced. "Let me help you-"

The look in her eyes frightened him. "No you don't understand - you need to leave immediately!" She pleaded.

"She's right, you know." Toshinori turned around. From across the rubble from the quick and previous battle stood his mentor's attacker. Dressed in a clean black suit, barely touched. Toshinori narrowed his eyes.

"All for One,"

"Why aren't you a smart boy," he commented, immediately rushing Toshinori.

If anyone were to ask him what happened during that fight, he would honestly say he couldn't remember. The two of them fought brutally, exchanging punches with too much power. Toshinori felt blood and bile rise up in his throat, as All For One stumbled back. Toshinori wobbled on his feet, vaguely aware of a growing pain in his side. Just as his nemesis charged him, he channeled the true power of One For All. He felt the embrace and encouragement of all his predecessors, and the pure concentration of power flow through his veins. His eyes glowed, and he met his enemy's punch with his own, sending All For One high into the air. He crashed down, bleeding out and unconscious. Toshinori checked him. No pulse. Immediately, he ran over to Nana.

"It's over now. I've defeated him," he told her.

"Good," she softly choked out. "Hey Toshi?"

"Hm?" He asked her, gently moving to pick her up."

"I want you to know how proud I am. I know Aizawa is going to blame himself when he wakes up. Tell him that without him, All For One would've destroyed us all." She gave a frail cough. "Tell Mic and Inko I'm glad they're doing what they want and that they're happy, and tell Gran Torino that he needs to stop being so fucking crabby, and to watch over my kids." Toshinori could feel the tears flowing freely now. "Tell my kids that I won't be able to see it, but I know that they'll make the best superheroes in the history of Japan. They can't give up, even if it gets hard. Give them my cape." A stream of blood trickled out the corner of her mouth, and she did her best to block out sleep. She had a lot to say, damnit! If Toshinori would stop running for five seconds-

"And I'm especially proud of you, for following your heart, for saving the world, for saving your family." She patted his cheek and closed her eyes. Toshinori put her down on a medical stretcher. Nana slowly cracked open her eyes. Huh. When did she get here? No matter. She just wanted to sleep. "I'm...proud..." she got out. "And if you ever see him, tell him I'm sorry. That I still love him." She whispered, like a forbidden secret. The machines in the ambulance started beeping frantically, and the EMS personnel immediately clapped the defibrillators. There was so much yelling, and mayhem, and-

Toshinori passed out.

_____

Hizashi sat on the couch, scooping ice cream directly out of the tub. Izuku and Shinso were on either side, quietly following his example. Mirio opted for stealing some of Izuku's occasionally. The four of them idly watched some B-list drama, not bothering to actually pay attention. Shinso and Hizashi were both accustomed to Aizawa's late hours, and didn't expect him to be home until after five in the morning. However, he'd told the two about the bust, meaning he was to be expected back before then.

Hizashi nervously glanced at the clock. Six-thirty. He frowned. The kids really should've been asleep, but they refused, and had been particularly difficult in that respect. In the end he'd let them stay up, but he could see how tired they were. Izuku nodded off and started awake, nearly dropping his spoon. And Shinso stared into space, blinking slowly.

"You sure you don't want to go to bed?" Hizashi asked.

All three of them jolted awake, shaking their heads furiously. "No," they said.

"I wanna see Dad before he has to go to work tomorrow," Izuku yawned.

Mirio nodded. "And mom said she was gonna be back late too because she was doing some extra work,"

Shinso frowned. "Uncle Sho said All Might was with him so he'd get done early," he rubbed his eyes. "Why isn't he back yet?"

Hizashi frowned. Even by normal standards this was super late for Shouta, who he knew hated being late. He's been worried since past twelve, but it was almost time for the day heroes to head to work and he still wasn't back. He bit the edge of his spoon absentmindedly as he ran through possibilities of what happened. Surely nothing too bad, right? If something happened he would've called by now, right? He startled as his phone loudly rang from the other room.

"That's Uncle Sho's ringtone," Shinso commented with a grin. Hizashi smiled back at him. "Yep!" He got up off the couch to pick up his phone. "Hello?" He answered.

There was a pause, and then. "Ah, Mr. Yamada?"

Hizashi's blood ran cold. "...yes? Speaking,"

"Oh, good. This is Tsukauchi. Um," there was a pause. "I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Mr. Aizawa is currently in the hospital, along with a few, er, others. I'll text you the address." Hizashi thanked him and hung up, immediately rushing out of the room to grab the kids. The way he charged into the room with a yell, startling awake the three drowsy kids would've been near comical if not for their current situation.

"Where are we going?" Izuku asked, tugging on his jacket.

Hizashi pursed his lips. "To go see your parents," he said simply. Mirio frowned. Something about Uncle Hizashi's voice didn't sound right. They all piled into Hizashi's gaudy red convertible, and drove off.

No one wanted to believe where they were when they arrived. The fancy car drew a couple of looks, but this hospital was known for its security due to its reputation for housing heroes, so nobody questioned him. If they weren't in such a rush, someone probably would have asked why he had so many kids with him. Hizashi checked in.

"Name?"

"Yamada Hizashi. Here to see Aizawa Shouta and the ones brought with him not long ago,"

The nurse raised an eyebrow. "I'm sorry sir, but that's a restricted floor. I'm afraid you'll have to wait for him to wake up to give you his permission," she said, taking the sign-in sheet away from him.

"Wake up?!" Hizashi groaned and ran his hands down his face. Even in his state of panic, he knew he couldn't out the kids, nor Toshi or Inko. "No you don't understand, we need to see him." He settled on.

"Sir, you need to follow procedure," the nurse frowned. "Now if you don't calm down and wait patiently, I'll have to call and have you and your children removed from the premises."

"That won't be necessary," came an old and steady voice. Hizashi looked up to find Recovery Girl, followed closely by Tsukauchi. She motioned for them to follow her, Tsukauchi giving the nurse a specified list of who could pass.

"Is-"

"He's okay," Recovery Girl assured him. He let out a huge breath. It was when she shot a sad glance at Izuku and Mirio that Hizashi went back to holding it. "He's only asleep right now. He was knocked out for a bit. No brain damage. He'll be awake in a couple of hours."

"Oh! Then is da-I mean All Might in there with him?" Izuku asked her.

She patted his head. "You can relax, Izuku. I know your father's secret identity. I know you too, in fact."

"What?"

She gingerly tapped his back, right over his faded scar. Oh. He hadn't even thought to question how he healed up so quickly.

"So is dad there?" Mirio asked, cracking open the door. He didn't see him. Or mom for that matter. "Where's mom?"

"Your mom is okay too," she said. Izuku and Mirio looked at each other.

"Is she in the lounge room?"

She slowly shook her head, leading them down the hall. Hizashi made to follow, but she waved him off, telling him to go in with Shinso and wait for him to wake up. They came to another room, and Izuku and Mirio were met with their mother, eating noodles in a hospital bed. Her hair was down and frizzy, and her leg had a cast and was in an elevated sling. She grinned wide as she saw them walk in.

"Recovery Girl! Oh thank goodness! I haven't seen anyone since I woke up next to these noodles! What's going on-" her eyes found her sons, looking up at her.

"My babies! Come here!" She waved them over. Izuku sniffled as he made to hug his mom.

"What happened to your leg?" They asked, climbing into bed with her.

She sighed. "Don't get mad, okay?"

"Huh?"

She nodded to Recovery Girl, who opened the room closet to take out a suit. Izuku and Mirio gasped. They knew that costume!

"Mom-"

"This whole time-"

"You're Lady Quantum?!"

She nodded. "Used to be. Not anymore. I stopped being a hero around the time I learned I was pregnant with Izuku. I liked it, but underground hero work is especially dangerous and I wanted to be what I thought at the time was a proper mom."

"That's silly," Izuku said with a giggle.

Inko smiled. "Maybe," she said. "But I also realized that I liked learning. I always did like math,"

"And now you get to do both!" Mirio nodded

"Well, I guess VP of a hero agency's damage control accounting office will do that for 'ya," she winked.

"Is Toshinori done with his report yet?" Inko asked suddenly. "He hasn't been in here yet."

Recovery Girl grimaced as she put away Inko's costume and made her way to the bed.

"Ms. Shuzenji?" Inko asked again.

"Toshinori is, unfortunately, in critical condition at the moment-"

"What?!" All three of them exclaimed. Recovery Girl held up a finger, and pushed Inko back down onto the bed.

"He took a massive force to his vitals, Inko. He's been in surgery for two hours now," she finished. "You can't see him right now."

"But right before I passed out! I-I saw him!" Inko cried. Recovery Girl patted Inko's head. "Shh, I know. That was before his last battle. When he gets out, I'll call you," she said, handing the two terror-stricken boys a lollipop before leaving the room.

"...what really happened?" Izuku whispered.

"I-I'm not sure," she said, hugging her children tighter. "I mean, Aizawa needed help with an important bust and-" Inko paused. There was that too. Way too much happened over the course of a night. "I think it's best if I explain from the beginning." She began.

"Okay," Mirio said.

"Uncle Aizawa was tracking down a nasty group of villains for some years," she said. "The group that lady from the store was part of."

"Lady from the store?" Izuku asked. "When I lost my shoe?"

Inko nodded. "I wouldn't doubt it if you didn't see her - she was in her smoke form until a quick flash at the very end." She explained. Mirio sent a quick glance at his brother. She couldn't mean...

"Anyway, he got an anonymous tip and was able to track down the lady during a stakeout. Mr. Tsukauchi and dad helped him during an investigation yesterday,"

"That's why he was so late?" Izuku asked.

Inko nodded. "Both your dad and Uncle Aizawa knew about my secret identity. I actually was in their same class at U.A., not the general department. Anyway, he got a lot of good information from the questioning, and planned an operation. So since he really needed extra people to go get the villains, I went. Dad, Gran Torino, Nana, Mr. Tsukauchi, and two others came too."

"You went to be a hero again mom?" Mirio gasped.

"Yeah. I'm glad too - I ended up having to save your Uncle. Twice."

"Really?"

"Yep." She nodded. "But ah," she paused, pursing her lips. "As it turns out, I had to face off the leader alone for some time."

"Is that why your leg is like this?" Izuku asked.

"Well, I broke it when the floor fell through before-"

"You fought a boss villain with a broken leg?!" Mirio exclaimed.

Inko blushed. "Ah, yeah..."

"That's amazing mom!" Izuku exclaimed.

"Was it the hands guy?" He looked pretty strong, and he was with the smoke lady before," Mirio asked.

Inko shook her head. "No...it was actually," should she tell him? Yeah, probably, she decided. He deserved to know. They both did. "It was actually Hisashi."

Izuku's eyes widened. He didn't say anything for some time. Mirio thought he was thinking. "Is that why there was a spike in villain activity that time - a distraction so he could escape without having to worry about being caught or worried about? Because all the other heroes were so busy?"

Huh. She hadn't thought about that. "...maybe," she said. Izuku frowned. "I knew he was a bad person but..." he glanced at his mom's leg. "I never expected him to be an actual villain," He lay his head on his mom's chest.

"Hmmm?" Inko hummed, running a hand through his tangled mossy curls. She didn't tell him about what else Hisashi had said. She set her lips into a straight line. she described some of the battles for them, to bide the time and serve as a distraction while Toshinori was under. Inko was surprised at how little Izuku cried - she could tell he wanted to. Knowing her son, it was probably because he didn't want her to be any more worried or upset than she already was. They fought sleep for a while, but all three had busy nights, and it was only a matter of time before they dozed off.

"HEEEEY!"

All three of them jolted awake. Hizashi had entered the room with Shinso in tow, both sporting red rimmed-eyes. "You guys awake?" He asked as he approached the bed. He lacked the bounce in his step, but he shot the three of them a wide grin nonetheless. He and Shinso gave everyone a hug before taking a seat by the bed.

"Well we are now," Inko sent him a tiny smile. "How's Aizawa?"

Hizashi repeated what Recovery Girl had told him before. "He woke up, and immediately fell back asleep," he sighed. The nurses told us not to disturb him. "I guess it's for the best. He hasn't been getting sleep recently anyway. He told me what happened up to the point when he knocked out, thanks for saving him,"

Inko nodded at him. Shinso looked at her leg. "Is that from that lady?" He asked quietly. She shook her head, and recounted the events from last night. "Technically I'm not supposed to be telling you this because it's top secret, but I don't see a problem with telling any of you, so as long as you keep quiet it should be fine," she finished.

Hizashi shrugged. "I understand. In all honesty, part of being a hero is keeping secrets at this point,"

"Yeah except it's not really that secret because our family knows," Mirio pointed out. He was right. Their little found family was a ring of secrets from the outside world, but not really with each other. Shinso giggled at that. "Speaking of which, where's Nana?" Inko asked. Hizashi shrugged. "Not sure. I've been in the room with Aizawa the entire time. I heard something about Gran Torino, but I was half asleep so I don't remember what it was. I was actually wondering if you knew about everyone else. Toshi too,"

Mirio looked down at his hands, and Izuku stifled another sniffle. "He's, ah, under the knife now. They said he took major damage." She managed to get out. Hizashi's eyes widened, and he threw his head into his hands. He moved to give them all another group hug, joined by Shinso. "I'm sorry," he said. Inko nodded. Izuku let out a wail, and soon all of them were crying and hugging.

Hizashi was asleep in the plastic chair in the corner of the room with Shinso snoring softly against his chest when Recovery Girl entered the room. She gave them all a beaming smile. "Wakey-wakey!"

"Is dad okay?" Izuku and Mirio asked in unison. Recovery Girl chuckled giddily.

"You bet!" She unfolded a wheelchair from the closet and wheeled it over to the bed to help Inko into it. Hizashi went over to help too. "Fourteen hours in surgery and two and a half more asleep. He's souped up on pain meds, so he may be a little loopy, but he's there."

"Oh thank god," Inko choked out, crying into her hands.

"So the surgery went okay?" She asked.

Recovery Girl sighed, her smile falling. "Well, it was a success in saving his life. We almost lost him twice. In the end we had to...we had to remove half his stomach, his left lung and just barely were able to save both kidneys. There was too much damage to do it all, and even with my quirk we couldn't salvage that." She explained.

They were all silent as they headed down the hall to Toshinori's room. When Hizashi opened the door, Inko let out a small gasp. Toshinori was usually lanky in his powered down form, but now he looked almost skeletal. Izuku began crying again at the sight of his obviously not well father. He slowly opened his eyes, turning toward the noise. "Well if it isn't my favorite heroes," he giggled.

"Dad!" Mirio exclaimed. "Are you okay?"

"Don't die!" Izuku sobbed out.

Toshinori strained to sit up, and fell into a coughing fit that ended in him spitting out blood. Izuku cried harder, and Mirio was furiously tapping his feet and wringing his hands. Recovery Girl handed him some tissues. "Not yet! Stop moving so fast! You always move too fast!" She chided. "Your left lung is gone, so until you heal up, you're going to have to take it slow to get used to the new levels of oxygen!"

"So will he still be okay?" Inko asked, her voice trembling.

"He will, in the long run. As long as he's not too reckless with his powers." She sent a subtle glance at Mirio, but Inko caught it.

"What do you mean?" Inko asked.

"Well, he will no longer be able to use the full extent of his powers, due to his injuries. I'd suggest, er, youth training," she said, a look in her eye only Inko understood.

Inko wheeled over to put a hand to his cheek. "I'm so glad you're okay," she told him. He moved his hand over hers, smiling sappily. "Me too," he giggled. Inko chuckled. "I only broke my leg a little, silly" she told him.

"Still," he said. He stared at her for a wile, a soft dopey grin on his face, oddly contrasting with his sharp features and sunken eyes. He moved to gaze lovingly at his two sons, who immediately climbed into the bed to give him a hug, as gently as they could manage. "I'm glad all of you are safe," he said softly before dozing off.

The next day, he woke to his family sleeping in his room. Blinking awake, he tapped Inko on her shoulder. "Hey...you should sleep in your room. That's probably not good for your neck," he suggested. Inko stretched, and rubbed at her cast. Toshinori noticed the lot of blue and red scribbles and sparkly stickers. "Probably," she said.

Gran Torino burst into the room, using a pair of crutches. "Toshinori ya blasted fool! I told you to follow her, not fight her battles! Why I'll kick your butt into next week as soon as you get up out that bed! We both will!" He yelled, not even fully in the room.

Toshinori grimaced. "I fought her battle because she couldn't," he said quietly.

"What?"

"When I got there, she was pretty beat up. She told me to run, but..."

"Toshinori. Who exactly did you fight?" He asked, suddenly serious.

"Him."

Inko gasped. "It was really him?"

He nodded. "Luckily he was defeated in the end."

"You sure?"

"Yeah, I checked his pulse and everything."

Both Inko and Gran Torino let out a sigh of relief. "So if that's the case, she probably hasn't woken up yet. She was fighting him without OFA."

Toshinori hummed, a vague memory of lots of panic and beeping machines. His head ached. He remembered her telling him something...

"Unfortunately, I'm going to once again have to be the bearer of bad news," Recovery Girl sighed sadly as she entered the room.

"What do you mean?" Inko asked.

"Shimura Nana was pronounced dead on arrival," she told them. The room was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. No, no! This couldn't be-

"Nana's DEAD?!" Mirio wailed, shooting up. Izuku was trying to say something but it was all reduced to garbled mumbling as he bawled again.

"I-I'm afraid so," she said.

Inko cried into her hands, and once again the room was filled with tears.

_____

Izuku, Mirio, and Shinso all missed a week of school - they were staying over with Hizashi for the time being, and while Shinso normally did anyway and his school was close, Hizashi couldn't take them all to school. Aizawa was discharged first, and he immediately filed for a leave from his hero duties. It took a bit of adjusting to a day schedule, but he spent his time looking after the kids. He really felt bad after hearing the news. If he'd just let the case go-

"Ow!" He complained. Hizashi had just flicked him on the forehead.

"It's not your fault," he told him. Aizawa narrowed his eyes.

"How-"

"It's written on your face!"

No it wasn't. Aizawa knew he was notoriously hard to read.

"Yeah maybe to some," Hizashi refuted his thoughts. "But I've known you for a long time, and I know when something's bugging you," he explained. "Anyway. If anything, I'm sure Inko and Toshinori are thanking you - not only did we take care of the nemesis of All Might, but that stupid bastard too,"

Aizawa frantically ran a hand through his messy hair. He could feel the beginnings of a panic attack setting on. "Maybe, but people got seriously injured! Hizashi, someone died!"

Hizashi got up to go hug him. "Shouta." He started. "I know, and that's really unfortunate - for all of us. We all loved Nana, and the boys are distraught,"

Aizawa let his head fall on Hizashi's shoulder. "But listen up," he continued softly. "Think about what would've happened if we didn't catch him now? In the future, he'd be even more powerful - hell, we didn't even know the enemy of All Might was even still alive! He could've continued out whatever dastardly plan he had cooking up, and we wouldn't even know until it was too late."

Hizashi pulled back and planted a soft kiss to Aizawa's lips. "Please don't beat yourself up, you saved us Shouta." He wiped a tear from under Aizawa's eye. "You're my hero, and I love you," he said. Aizawa looked up at Hizashi, who was gazing down at him tenderly. He'd meant every word he said. It didn't stop the sadness, but it helped ease the guilt. He leaned into Hizashi's chest, and the other mumbled sweet nothings into his hair as he calmed down.

_____

The next to be discharged were Inko and Gran Torino. The latter had only suffered a sprained ankle, and had healed up pretty quickly thanks to the youthful heroine. Inko's leg had been shattered, but that too was fast at work healing with the help of a couple of kisses. She was instructed to stay off it for a couple of days, and used a crutch to get places. Mirio and Izuku loved staying at their Uncles' place with Shinso, but they were understandably worried about their mom. They were more than happy to go back to their own house with her. It was hard for everyone. Izuku wouldn't stop crying - everything reminded him of Nana. Mirio hardly sat still before, but now it was nearly impossible. He'd even accidentally used his quirk a few times. Inko tried her best to put on a strong front for her children, but when she was alone, she'd often find herself crying. Sometimes she didn't even notice she was doing it.

_____

Toshinori sat up in his bed, Izuku quietly coloring next to him while Mirio read a book. They were going to school again, thanks to Inko's leg being completely healed. Her job gave her paid leave without asking too many questions. As far as they were concerned, they'd left for a quick vacation overseas and she'd broke it mountain biking.

Recovery Girl came into the room a couple of times, and the three of them were happy to discover he'd be discharged tomorrow. Toshinori was thankful. It'd been a month already. The doors opened again. Not to the nurses, but to someone else.

"I thought I told you not to do it," Sato frowned. He nodded to Mirio and Izuku, who waved at him. Toshinori shrugged. "I saw it late," he replied.

Sato narrowed his eyes. Taking his hand, he looked him over. "You would've did it anyway," he sighed.

Toshinori chuckled. "Probably."

"How're you feeling," he asked.

"A lot better. My coughing got a lot less severe, though they said I'd have it for the long run. I can't do hero work for more than five hours a day to avoid strain, and I've only got one lung now,"

"Wow, you're still thinking about hero work?" He asked, incredulous.

Toshinori shrugged. "Well yeah, I'm the symbol of peace, I can't just-"

"Toshinori. You almost died." He balled his fists. "You can't do hero work anymore." He glanced at Mirio. "I'll help you with what you need. I'll-I'll take Mirio as an intern -"

"No," he interrupted, raising his hand. "The world needs me. I can't leave just yet. Not like this. Maybe someday, but not now."

Sato clenched his fists and steeled his jaw, before briskly leaving the room. Mirio and Izuku stared after him, wondering why he'd only mentioned one of them. Toshinori hummed. "Izuku, could you go to your mom and Recovery Girl in the hall? I think I might need more tissues soon,"

Izuku nodded slowly, noticing the full container of Kleenex on his way out.

"Hey Mirio," Toshinori began, once Izuku had shut the door.

"Yes?" The boy replied.

Toshinori glanced down at his hands. "You know how I told you I got my powers late, right?"

"Yeah," Mirio nodded.

"Well...that isn't exactly true. I was given this power." Toshinori took a tiny breath and explained One For All. "And I want you to know that since the beginning, I was planning to pass it to you. And not just because you're my son. You're such a hardworking youngster. You've got what it takes to wield this power, and I trust you to do good with it." He sighed. It got a little harder to steel his decision when he met Izuku - he's more than fit too. But he'd already settled beforehand. Sato knew this too. Mirio listened intently, waiting for him to finish. When he was done, Mirio spoke up.

"Well I think you should give it to Izuku," he simply said. Toshinori blinked.

"W-what?" He coughed out. Mirio handed him a tissue.

"I'm thankful for the opportunity, and real proud you chose me but..." he tilted his head. "Honestly, I feel like Izuku would be a better fit. I'm not sure why... it just seems right, I guess" he finished with a shrug. "I mean, don't get me wrong! It'd be super cool to get your powers too on top of my quirk, and if I was still like seven I probably would've said yeah. But I'm happy with the quirk I have, and wanna be a hero that can save the world with my own unique quirk. I used to be a little ashamed of it to be honest, and would've done anything to change it, but one of the first conversations I had with mom changed all that. I'm proud of it now, and I wanna show it off," he shot his dad a goofy grin.

Toshinori raised a brow. Really, now? He hadn't known all that. He grinned. "You're a really good big brother, you know that?"

Mirio giggled, and returned to his book. Toshinori waited for his other son to come back into the room.

_____

Izuku sat on the bench outside, watching his mom talk with Recovery Girl about something or the other. He groaned and sunk into his chair. He'd left his hero notebook at home, and even if he had it, he'd already finished the entry for Lady Quantum (a.k.a. His mom) and made the proper revisions to the one for Recovery Girl. Maybe he should just head back into the room. He groaned again. Mirio and Dad were probably talking about big-kid things. After all, Izuku was only ten. Mirio was technically a teenager next year! And-

"You're mumbling," came a tired voice. Izuku looked up to see Shinso staring him in the face from the seat next to him. He was so startled, he fell out the chair. Shinso snickered at him. Izuku glared at him, but Shinso only shrugged. "You startle too easily," he said.

"Nuh-Uh!" Izuku pouted. "It's not my fault your eyebags are scary!" Shinso laughed. They both knew that Shinso hardly ever slept. Sometimes he'd wake up to Aizawa's night terrors, and sometimes to his own dreams.

"I wish I could just not sleep," he said.

"Nightmares?"

Shinso shook his head. "Uncle Sho gets nightmares. I get...weird dreams. Like sometimes they're terrible and I just really wanna wake up, but it's not exactly scary. Just."

"Weird," Izuku supplied.

"Yeah," Shinso nodded. "So, did the nurses kick you out for worrying too much again? I'm pretty sure no one wants to mop up any more tears."

"No," Izuku scoffed. "I think Dad's talking to Mirio about big kid stuff," he said.

"Ooooh," Shinso smirked. "Uncle Sho already told me all that," he bragged. Izuku knit his brows together. That? What was that? Shinso rolled his eyes. They talked for a bit more before Shinso left with Aizawa, who'd stopped by to see Toshinori. On the way out, he'd told Izuku his dad was looking for him.

"...yes?" Izuku poked his head into the room. Toshinori grinned at him.

"C'mere boy," Izuku made his way over to his dad. "Wanna know what we were talking about?" Izuku nodded, and Toshinori told the story of One For All a second time that day.

Chapter Text

Mirio pulled on his socks, glancing at his brother on the couch beside him. He held his favorite pair of gym shoes in his hands, gazing at the bright red thread.

"Hey," he said.

"Mmn," Izuku acknowledged him.

Mirio frowned. He knew why Izuku was so down. "I miss her," he said with a sniffle.

Mirio moved to give him a hug. "Yeah, me too," he told him. "I wish she could be here and chase us around the room, or help you hot glue the spaceship charm back on your hairclip, or to help me with my Japanese homework," he said. He felt Izuku nod.

"But dad said she did what she wanted, and that was to go saving us and the world. She'd understand, but remember what she always said?"

Izuku nodded, wiping his eyes. "You mean that time I was playing around and fell out the tree into the pool in our backyard?" He asked with a tiny smile at the fond memory.

Mirio gave returned his grin. "Yeah, and also that time where I tried to avoid doing chores by hiding and using my quirk and popped out naked from the ground. I hit my head on that same tree,"

Izuku giggled. "She told us to always keep smiling," he answered. Mirio nodded. Even though they were sad, they'd keep moving forward, memories of her keeping them strong. She was an ancestor now, but she'd be watching over them still.

_____

Inko's head shot up at the sound of the doorbell. They weren't expecting anyone today...

"I'll go get it," Toshinori offered. She nodded and returned to reading her magazine. When Toshinori returned, he wasn't alone. Aizawa stood with him, a brown paper bag in his hands. "Apparently, Izuku left his uniform blazer at the office," Toshinori explained.

Inko smiled at him apologetically, but Aizawa only shook his head. "It's no matter. You can't blame the kid. He's been a bit... frazzled lately. We all kinda have," he explained.

Well that was certainly true. Even aside from Nana, Sato and Toshinori were in the middle of a cold war, and the hero training now took place in Aizawa's personal dojo he'd rigged up in his office, or in their gameroom-turned-workout room, or on some secluded beach. They'd took a break from heavy work and heroic activities (both kid and adult) for a while. They'd only just started back a month ago. Aizawa sat down and set the bag on the table.

"You look more tired than normal," Inko told him.

He shrugged. "Haven't been getting much sleep with the move," he said.

"Move?" She asked.

He stared at her for a second, confused, before his eyes widened. "Oh, sorry. I thought I'd told you. Hitoshi is moving in with us," he explained.

"Really?" Toshinori asked. "Did something happen?"

"Not really. His parents just realized it's probably better in the long run - his dad got promoted last year, and they're usually gone now for months at a time. It's more practical this way."

"Is Shinso okay?" Inko asked.

Aizawa nodded. "Oh yeah he's fine. He has a pretty good relationship with his parents. It's not like they hate each other or anything. And I'm pretty sure if he didn't enjoy hanging around me or Hizashi my sister would've quit her job by now." He explained. "They always make sure to video or text him when they can too."

Inko nodded. "Well that's good then,"

"Yeah," he agreed.

"But is that the only reason you're not sleeping?" Inko pressed him. Aizawa grimaced. Damn, Inko was too sharp.

"Nightmares," he settled on.

"About that night?" Toshinori asked him.

Aizawa shrugged. "Sometimes."

"Do you know why?" Inko asked. He slumped into the couch.

"Not really. Hizashi said it's because I feel guilty but I'm not sure,"

"You feel guilty?" Inko raised an eyebrow.

"I guess. I feel more useless than anything, so maybe that's also a factor," he added.

Inko frowned. "Well I hope you know that's not true,"

He sighed. As he caught glimpse of a certain joke housewarming gift, he let his head fall into his hands. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry," he kept saying. Inko let out a gentle hum and went to hug him.

"You have nothing to be sorry about silly!" She told him.

"We should be thanking you," Toshinori joined in on the hug.

"There's something all of us wished we did differently, or that we could change," Inko began. "But instead of looking back, we have to move forward with confidence,"

"She said you'd blame yourself. She wanted to thank you, actually. She said she'd always be proud of you, and you made the right choice, trusting in it." Toshinori added.

Aizawa nodded through his tears. They all cried, and laughed. They reminded each other of important things she'd told them, and lessons they'd learned together. They reminisced on their school days, and being reprimanded by their mentor.

"Man, did Hizashi regret pulling that prank!" Inko giggled, tears in her eyes.

Aizawa rolled his eyes, red and puffy. "Oh please, he didn't even learn his lesson,"

"Yeah he pulled the exact same one the next week," Toshinori added.

Aizawa snorted. "He's such a dumbass," he grinned. Inko smirked. "But you love him," she teased.

Aizawa groaned. "Okay fine, I love him. There." He looked at her, a look of "happy now?" In his face. Inko only grinned harder.

"Enough to marry him?" Inko asked.

"Yeah, I-what?" He asked, eyes wide.

"What indeed?" Toshinori asked.

Inko rolled her eyes as she moved to lightly tug at a dainty silver chain around Aizawa's neck. Aizawa, defeated, pulled out the necklace from under his shirt. Sure enough, an intricate silver and gold band was hanging from the chain.

"What? Really?!" Toshinori exclaimed. "Congratulations!" He playfully clapped Aizawa on the back.

"Congrats," Inko nudged him.

Aizawa bit his lip, feeling the blood rush to his face. "He proposed yesterday evening," he explained. "I wanted to keep it under wraps for a while, especially considering the fact the press is looking for the reason Hizashi took a break," he explained.

"Understandable," Toshinori nodded. "So," he said, jumping onto the arm of Aizawa's seat. "When's the wedding?" He asked playfully.

"...early next year," he answered.

"Oh my god my wittle bwother is getting mawied!" Inko pinched his cheek. Aizawa swatted at her hand. No use. Inko was always stronger than him. "Stooop you're embarrassing me," he groaned. Inko rolled her eyes. "In front of who, your shadow?"

"Besides, consider this payback for the teasing you gave us when we got together," Toshinori added, patting his hair. Aizawa groaned again, but he still couldn't stop the grin spreading on his face.

_____

Izuku tugged on a pair of pink velvet socks before heading to the bathroom to fix his hair. Mirio was already there, brushing back his hair into a neat, gelled, ponytail. "Have you seen my clips?" Izuku asked. Mirio pointed him in the direction of the counter bin they put their hair things in. "I asked you not the throw them in there!" Izuku groaned. "Last time my favorite spaceship one got broken!"

Mirio shook his head. "It wasn't me! Mom came in here yesterday while you were doing your homework downstairs and reorganized everything!"

Izuku sighed. That did certainly happen. "Did she move the pins too?" Mirio nodded, and then giggled as his brother groaned again.

When they were finished, they both admired their reflections. Izuku quite enjoyed his mint-colored suit with pink-trimmed lapels. His glittery pink space clips he'd kept in top condition all these years were a perfect match to the holographic pins Uncle Hizashi gave him last year for his birthday. Mirio wore a dark brown suit with mint green lapels and pink pinstriped socks. His ice-cream patterned bow tie completed the look.

"Stylish," Inko laughed, snapping a quick photo. "Uncle Hizashi would be proud!"

"Mooom," Mirio laughed. "Why're you in here taking pictures?"

"Yeah! I'm not a baby," Izuku pouted. Inko laughed.

"Maybe. But you two will always be my babies! She laughed."

_____

"Back so soon?" Toshinori laughed. Inko grinned.

"I've been banned from taking pictures, and my digital camera was nearly confiscated,"

Toshinori grinned at her. "Guess we have to stick to candids now," he joked. Inko laughed.

"Their outfits get wilder each year," he laughed. "You look amazing, by the way," he told her. She blushed and giggled, twirling around in her teal sequined sheath dress. "Thank you," she told him. "You know," she started, walking toward him. "You look rather handsome too,"

He looked shocked. Inko tutted before giving him a chaste kiss. "Oh stop with that look! You are!"

Toshinori was feeling a bit self-conscious after...what happened. He was never really buff, despite his hero work, and in his powered down form was always normally lanky - just more toned than normal. But after the surgery, his metabolism changed to account for half his stomach missing, and he'd lost a lot of weight. With Inko's help, he'd gained some of it back, but maintaining it was a bit of a difficult adjustment. He sighed.

"Thanks," he said eventually. Inko could tell he was unconvinced. Oh well, she'd still keep telling him everyday. He'll get it eventually. Just like she did.

_____

Todoroki breathed out a sigh of relief as he spied his best friend waving wildly at him. Before elementary, their only chance at seeing each other for sure was the heroes' banquet. But even now when they went to the same school and saw each other nearly every day, Izuku never got any less excited to see him here.

It wasn't like there weren't any other kids here either - Izuku could've very much talked to the other kid around their age on the far side of the room. Todoroki always thought his hand movements seemed familiar somehow. But Izuku seemed content to talk to Todoroki, and Mirio did too.

He slid from his seat at his usual table and sat in between Mirio and Izuku, as usual. His sister gave him a quiet wave, seeing him look somewhat happy. Everyone else took their normal seats, and as per the usual, Enji scoffed at Toshinori (now even moreso), Inko quietly assulted him with angry stares and backhanded compliments, Toshinori and Fuyumi tried to diffuse the situation and turn the conversation back into pleasant territory, and the twins kept to themselves and their phones the entire time.

"You're so lucky," Todoroki said as he savored the icing on his cake.

"Huh?" Izuku asked.

"You get to wear nice outfits," Todoroki said, gesturing to his suit. "Every year you two have something different,"

"Didn't you say you go shopping every year too?" Mirio asked.

Todoroki nodded. "Yeah, but it's always the same boring black or burgundy suit. When mom was still here it was red one year but that's about it," He licked his fork again. "Once I told father that I wanted pink socks and he made me wear black ones all month,"

Izuku frowned. He knew well of Todoroki's love for fashion. It was yet another thing the two of them shared. Just like only Mirio knew he tied his tie the way he did on purpose as a statement, Izuku knew Todoroki's favorite colors were pink and white.

"Well that's not fair," Mirio frowned. The two other boys nodded.

"Well, my hero suit is gonna be pink just because of that so I don't care about the socks anymore," he grinned. Izuku giggled.

"It's gonna be pink?" Izuku asked him.

"And sparkly," Todoroki deadpanned. Izuku and Mirio burst into giggles imagining Todoroki's neutral face in a bunch of pink glitter. "I'll make it work, you'll see," he said to them, a small smile forming on his lips.

_____

They were home again at last, after an especially tiring night. Enji refused to back off Toshinori about always showing up after his hero boss gave his speech. What sort of secretary wasn't there to take notes? Inko snorted. If only he knew.

"Tired?" Toshinori asked her, handing her a glass of water.

"Yeah, thanks" she said, taking a long sip.

"You don't have to protect me all the time," he chuckled.

Inko huffed. "True. But I don't like him."

Toshinori raised an eyebrow.

"Plus I'm still getting sketchy vibes on that story behind his wife suddenly leaving."

"You say that every year,"

"Yeah, I do. One of these days though, I'm gonna find out what happened,"

Toshinori grinned at his wife. She really should've listened to Gran Torino and became a lawyer.

_____

"What if I fall, oh my god," Shinso suddenly whispered, eyes wide.

Izuku snorted. "Oh how the turntables," he said, referencing Mic. Shinso sucked his teeth and pushed Izuku off the couch. That did nothing to stop the other boy's laughter though, and Shinso sunk further into the couch of the lounge.

"Hey I found it!" Mirio said, loudly bursting into the room.

Shinso looked up in his hands. In them was a rather beat up basket with exactly three petals in it. Shinso made a show of dramatically collapsing onto the couch.

"Hey maybe he won't get mad if you put them down evenly spaced," Mirio offered, genuinely trying to help. Izuku started giggling wildly again and Shinso wondered if he'd be let off the hook. Probably not.

"...why?" He asked.

"Apparently they got knocked around by a squirrel because Uncle Hizashi left it outside by mistake during set up this morning," Mirio told him. "And the rest of them are trampled over, people thought they were just on the ground. It is a rose garden after all,"

Shinso frowned. What's he to do now?

"That's right!" Izuku exclaimed, shooting up from the floor. "It's a rose garden! So there's gonna be roses right? Let's just pick the petals off those!"

Shinso grabbed his hands. That was a perfect plan!

"But this is a public garden," Mirio reminded them. "You can't just go around picking flowers. We're gonna have to pick two or three petals from lots of different flowers."

"What about the colored ones?" Shinso asked, remembering the midnight blue petals.

"I have markers in my bag," Izuku told him.

Well...it'll have to work. "Okay. I'll get the white ones." He offered.

Izuku nodded. "I can get the peach ones and Mirio you can get the white tea roses!"

"There were different types?" Mirio asked. Izuku nodded and headed off.

"Wait!" Mirio ran after him. "Which ones are the tea roses?" He called. Shinso chuckled at him as he ran past and followed Izuku.

"Well, don't we look suspicious," Izuku asked, patting his bookbag. Shinso nodded in agreement and plucked a few petals from where he was standing. In actuality, it wasn't really hard for them, seeing they've been trained in stealth since they were like four. Shinso absentmindedly wondered how Mirio was doing. They were just about done when a park guide approached them. A foreigner. Well technically, they were the foreigners seeing the solution to Hizashi wanting a fancy extravagant ceremony, and Aizawa wanting one no one would know about was to go overseas.

"Did you lose something sir?" The man asked Shinso. He froze. What did he say? He looked over to find Izuku, but he wasn't there.

"Um..." he tried. "I, not...er," he tried. What was help again in English? He really should've paid more attention when Uncle Hizashi tried to teach him some English.

"We're fine, thank you!" Came Izuku's voice.

"We were helping my brother...find...his, ah...clips," Mirio lied. Izuku nodded enthusiastically, pointing to a random hairclip.

"Ah, okay. Let me know if you need help with anything. I'll be at the circulation desk at the welcome center across from the venue hall," he replied. Shinso didn't understand what just happened, but the man left as Mirio turned to address Izuku. "I got my roses by the way. It was so hard! I got beat up by a squirrel, and had to start over twice because I had the wrong rose!" He complained to Izuku.

Izuku grinned. "You always make things so difficult for yourself,"

"No I don't!" He laughed, switching back to Japanese as Izuku brushed the dirt off his brother's suit.

"Shinso your cowlick is showing," Mirio told him. Shinso sighed. One thing after another. It'd took him two hours to tame his hair this morning. He cursed his mom's hair genes.

"Well there's no time for that!" Izuku exclaimed. "We literally have fifteen minutes before it starts!" They stuffed the rose petals into the backpack and ran back to the main building. Back in the lounge, Izuku whipped out his markers and proceeded to color.

"Mirio..." he said, looking back at his streaky work. Shinso frowned. They needed dye. "Can you grab some alcohol from Gran Torino?"

Mirio pouted. "You know he's not gonna do that," he said.

"I'll go," Shinso volunteered. He looked at the clock. Five minutes. He headed out the lounge. Luckily he had no trouble locating Gran Torino, or the champagne. They were in the same place.

"Hey Gran!" He called. Gran Torino turned to him.

"What's up kid?" He asked him.

"Can I have that?" He asked calmly.

Gran Torino froze for a quick second before going a bit limp and nodding slowly. Just as he handed the glass to Shinso, Inko showed up.

"Oh thank goodness! I've been looking for you dear! Here," she said, handing him a basket of perfect petals. Shinso stared at it. What.

"I saw them scattered on the entrance. I ordered a backup just in case, so I pulled it out. Here." She said, placing it in his hands. She furrowed her brows as she spotted the flute in his hands. "Not yet dear," she chided him as she used her quirk to float it away from him. He nodded as he sped away, releasing his quirk when he was a good distance away from Gran Torino.

When he got to the room, he was met with a giggling Mirio and a pouting Izuku. "Did mom tell you?"

"Yeah," Shinso nodded.

"Wow," Mirio got out.

"Wow indeed," Toshinori said, walking into the room and eyeing the mess they'd made.

_____

Fortunately for everyone, the rest of the wedding went on without a hitch, and both Aizawa and Hizashi were none the wiser to what was later dubbed the great petal fiasco.

Shinso didn't fall, and Izuku and Mirio were excellent ring-bearers.

"Welcome to the married life," Inko nudged Hizashi as they sat at their table.

"Har, Har," Aizawa said.

"Inko, would you like some cake?" Toshinori asked.

"Sure! Thanks," she nodded.

Hizashi stared as Toshinori left the table. "Shouldn't we be the ones doing that?" He asked.

"What do you mean?" Inko asked him.

"I mean? Is he-"

"Hizashi, he's more than capable of going to get cake. The man still does hero work for god's sake."

Hizashi's shoulders slumped. "I know...I just get worried,"

Inko grinned sadly. "He hates it when we walk on eggshells. We had to have a conversation with the boys early on because they wouldn't stop worrying," she explained.

"It's true that he has new needs we need to adjust to," Aizawa explained. "But he's still the same Yagi."

"Enough about that," Gran Torino dismissed them, sitting down at their table with a fresh flute of champagne. Inko rolled her eyes. "When's the honeymoon?"

"Aren't you supposed to be watching the boys?" Inko asked, arching a brow.

The man shrugged. "Izuku won't stop asking the receptionist at the main desk questions about quirk logistics here. Apparently some heroes were made with the help of freak accidents and not just quirks," he explained over his glass. "They'll be there for a while,"

Inko groaned. Oh god.

Aizawa narrowed his eyes as Hizashi boisterously laughed. Still, nobody missed the way they intertwined their fingers atop the table.

_____

Mirio took a swig of his water. Today was the day. The grand archway of the infamous school loomed over him. "Ready?" His dad asked. Mirio nodded giddily, bouncing on his feet nervously.

"Yep!" He said.

Toshinori gave him a pat on the back. "You'll do great. Don't worry about it too much, okay?"

Mirio nodded, and headed into the building. Toshinori watched his son retreat, the feeling of pricking in his eyes. It seemed like only yesterday he was still trying to learn to control his quirk. He could only imagine what he'd accomplish moving forward.

"Toshinori? My goodness! Is that you?" Came a familiar voice. Toshinori knew exactly where to look. Down.

"Hi Nedzu," he said.

"Fancy meeting you here. Except not really because I already knew," he laughed. "No matter anyway. Come have tea with me, I need to talk to you," he said. Toshinori nodded and followed him.
_____

"MOM! DAD!" Mirio shouted as he rushed into the house with Izuku, both clutching the mail and nearly tripping on the landing.

"Woah, woah! Slow down!" Their father chided them.

"No running in the house, remember?" Inko chuckled.

"What's all the fuss about?"

"Tell 'em Mirio!" Izuku bounced up and down.

Mirio sauntered into the room and proudly placed a simple letter onto the table. "Look,"

Inko's eyes widened at the envelope, and she burst into tears reading the contents. Toshinori rushed to go hug his son and Inko let him do it all of five seconds before she was crying and fussing all over him.

"My baby is going to U.A.!"

"Yeah! I did it mom!"

"Now aren't you glad Aizawa yelled at you about Japanese homework this entire time? You wouldn't have been able to enter the honors program if you didn't" Toshinori joked. Mirio laughed. "Maybe.."

"It's the last year they're doing it too!" Inko told him. "I heard somewhere that they're moving to be more inclusive of the non-hero courses and are only going to have a single exam for everybody next year,"

Toshinori nodded. "Yeah. I heard somewhere too that you're gonna have to do some remedial training," Toshinori teased. Inko rolled her eyes. "Oh leave him alone, he's gonna be fine,"

"The best," Toshinori grinned at him. Mirio beamed.

"Yeah! I'm gonna have a hero brother!" Izuku exclaimed.

The four of them all laughed and hugged.
_____

Bakugo Katsuki stared at his reflection for the tenth time. "Fucking finally," he grinned to himself.

"Watch your goddamn language boy," his mom commented as she passed the room.

Bakugo rolled his eyes. Like she really cared anyway. That was more for his softie of a dad. He turned to head into the kitchen to grab his breakfast.

"Wow! Finally made it, huh?" His dad grinned at him. His son's sneer didn't stop him from tousling his spiky hair.

"Ugh, stop dad - my hair's already shitty thanks to mom's stupid genes!" he complained. His dad laughed and sipped his coffee leisurely. Bakugo, on the other hand, wolfed down his meal and proceeded to head outside. His mom tackled him by the door to give him his lunch, and take a very blurry photo of her rather irate son.

Finally outside, he took the bus to his school. It was far away, closer to the more well-off neighborhoods. He'd worked his butt off this past summer to take the entrance exams though, and while even he had to admit it was insanely hard, here he was. He got off the bus at his stop and walked the rest of the way. He'd say he couldn't believe it, but this was him, and he was the best, so naturally, it made sense. He read the sign over again anyway though.

Dagobah Junior High

He made his way through the opening ceremony, and found the classroom numbering board, pushing people out of the way to see his name and classroom. Once he got what he needed, he headed off, ignoring mumbling of how he was so rude or this or that. He found his class and took his seat, thankful it was near the front of the class. He couldn't see the board clearly from the back. He pulled out his things and set his feet on the desk, comfortably waiting for class to start. Naturally, no one bothered him.

"Awww man!" He head someone complain loudly. Right behind him. He scowled. It was the first day and he was at an elite school he'd worked hard to get into to ensure better chances of him getting into U.A. in the future. He was genuinely angry but he wasn't stupid, if his grades had anything to say about it. He'd just let it slide. For now. Unfortunately for him, the girl right behind him didn't notice his annoyance at all, and kept with her complaining.

"I didn't get into the class with them again," she complained. Her friend laughed at her.

"Oh come on silly! You know that even if you did they wouldn't talk to you," her friend teased.

"Yeah, but I could at least look at them up close!" She groaned.

"You guys didn't get in either?" A guy's voice.

"Nope," the girls replied in unison.

"Tough luck," he replied. "I was in their class last year." To Bakugo it sounded like bragging. He turned around slightly to quietly watch as half the class flocked over to the boy speaking.

"Whaat? You were in a class with the diamond duo?" Someone asked.

"Yep." He said coolly.

"Did you talk to them?"

"No..."

A chorus of disappointed 'aw's resounded across the room. "But, I ran into them out in town once and we went to the arcade together!" He said. "Mirio and Amajiki were there too!"

"The the upperclassmen too?!"

"Yep!"

"I heard he got into U.A.!"

Bakugo scoffed. Yeah no shit. Going here will do that for you-

"His counselor is mine too and he said he's on the honors program!"

"I heard he turned down a recommendation from All Might!"

"Whaaaat?!"

"Well he didn't say anything about that-"

"Apparently Present Mic gave them those keychains," one girl commented.

Class started when the teacher walked in, but whoever this diamond duo was, Bakugo was definitely about to find out.

_____

"Uuuugh," Izuku groaned. Their first class had just ended, and it seemed it'd be a repeat of the last three years, even if now was his first day of junior high. Word had somehow gotten out that he was the son of All Might's secretary, and kids flocked to him and Todoroki, asking about which expensive clothes they liked and how to get access to the exclusive hero gala. Izuku wished the people at his school were less superficial. At least he wasn't at home still. His parents made a fuss about it being his first day of junior high, and an even bigger fuss about Mirio taking taking the early admissions test for gifted students and getting accepted into U.A.

He still had one more year of junior high, and if his grades dropped, he'd have to take the regular admissions test, but knowing Mirio, he didn't think that was gonna happen. He was glad too that his dad wasn't gonna let them get in on recommendations either. In fact, he'd told Mirio before he started preparing for the test last year that he would never do recommendations, so don't ask. Izuku sighed again, wishing he could hurry up and get into U.A. too.

"Back at it again with the long sighs," Todoroki quipped. Izuku grinned and rolled his eyes.

"What's this? Shoto? Making jokes?"

Todoroki playfully hit Izuku's head with his binder. "You say that every time,"

Izuku giggled and rubbed his head, re-adjusting the clips in his hair. His phone buzzed, and he giggled again at a short text.
"Mirio just finished his school visit and got a surprise,"

Todoroki looked at the photo. It was a blurry one of Mr. Aizawa in a yellow sleeping bag, and Present Mic gathering papers off the floor. It looked hectic, and Todoroki was glad he wasn't there.

"Wow he has to deal with uncles even at school now," he said with a smirk.

Izuku nodded. "Yeah. I told him I knew and he's mad he was the only one who didn't,"

"You knew?"

Izuku nodded. "As you already know, I'm nosy. A lot of times mom and dad aren't the quietest people when they're talking either, so I just kinda... pretend I gotta go to the bathroom and stand in the hall or something,"

"Mr. Aizawa taught you well,"

Another text came, but neither of them saw what it was because a thumb was obscuring the view.

_____

Bakugo sat down in a corner, content to eat lunch by himself. He was very much disturbed anyway by a kid with stone gargoyle wings. He recognized him from his class. Apparently his cousin was "super definitely gonna go to U.A." Bakugo rolled his eyes as he sat down next to him.

"'Sup?" He asked. Bakugo glared at him.

"'S'cool. I was shy after I transferred too,"

Okay, that was interesting. Bakugo legitimately thought he was the only one to pass the exams. He scrunched his nose. Shy his ass.

"Scholarship?" The kid asked. Bakugo stared at him, but jerked his chin in a nod.

"Me too," the kid said. His smile exposed four sharp fangs.

"Why're you here? I'm sure you can't be a hero with a form like that?" Bakugo asked, referring to the way he walked to the table. He didn't seem strong at all.

"Absolutely not!" He shook his head. "I'm here because they have enough money to have a great acting program," he told him. He looked like he was about to keep talking, but the cafeteria erupted into a hushed excited chatter. The other boy rolled his eyes. "They're here," he said.

"What, that stupid group they were gossiping about earlier?"

"Yeah. The diamond duo. They had the top grades in all of elementary and are both hero kids. Well, technically one is the son of All Might's secretary, but yeah. Everyone wants to know them so they can get a free pass to the hero gala," he said.

"But aren't most people hero kids?" He asked. "Why don't they just show up with their shitty parents?"

"Because it's a social thing and they'd much rather show up with the son of number two than with number forty-seven," he chuckled.

"What the fuck," Bakugo scoffed. The boy shrugged.

"I'm not sure they even know what's really going on either," he said, motioning to the two boys timidly trying to circumnavigate the cafeteria. Bakugo squinted. They both did stand out. One had a clean split in his hair and the other had a wild mane of curly green hair with pink clips in it. Wait a second.

Both boys turned to stare at him. Or more like one did and the other confusedly glanced between the two.

"Fucking Deku?!"

_____

Todoroki glanced over at his friend. Someone had stolen the keys to the roof, and the teacher didn't have a spare on hand, so they couldn't eat lunch there like they'd have liked to, and were forced to eat in the cafeteria. But ever since that staring contest, Izuku had been oddly jittery. Like, Mirio-level jittery.

"Izuku, what's wrong?" Todoroki asked him when the last class was finally over.

Izuku sighed. "Remember when I told you about Kacchan?" Izuku asked.

Todoroki nodded. That was a while ago. "Your old bully? Yeah,"

"Well, that was him,"

Todoroki's eyes widened. "Really?"

Izuku nodded. "I'm not ready to deal with even more attention," Izuku complained.

Todoroki stared at him. He wasn't worried about Kacchan himself apparently. He'd gotten over the bullying long ago. Todoroki felt the corner of his mouth tick up. "You can sue the teacher who spilled the beans in the first place," he said.

Izuku scrunched his nose. "Then it'll be even more noisy!" He complained. Todoroki rolled his eyes.

"God, what are you gonna do when you become a top hero?"

"Ignore the press,"

"Like All Might?"

Izuku chuckled. "Yeah." He wished so badly he could tell Todoroki about his dad's identity, but he'd keep the secret properly, like he was told to.

"All Might my ass," came a disgruntled voice.

Both boys looked up to see a spiky blonde in the doorway, a scowl on his face.

"What do you want, Kacchan?" Izuku asked. The other boy looked taken aback by Izuku's brazen attitude, if only for a second. The scowl was back full force as he stomped across the room.

"Don't fucking call me that," he hissed.

"Don't call me Deku then," Izuku stared at him. They reached an impasse, and Todoroki grabbed Izuku's bag. "Izuku. We're gonna be late," he said. Izuku sighed and thankfully took his bag. They both headed out, followed by angry eyes.

_____

It went on like this for some time. Izuku and Bakugo would fire quips back at each other, sometimes with Todoroki. Mirio had learned of what was going on a week or two later, despite being two grades above, and wasn't happy at all. When Bakugo attempted to push Izuku during gym one time according to Todoroki, Mirio had enough. He waited for Bakugo after class.

"What do you want?" Bakugo asked. "Here to stick up for your baby brother?" He jeered.

Mirio smirked. "Actually, I was here to kick your ass but that's a thought," he nodded.

Bakugo shut up after that, but Mirio saw he desperately wanted to say something. "Why're you so set on messing with Izuku?" He asked. A genuine question.

Bakugo sneered. "He's a quirkless loser-"

Mirio cut him off. "What's your real reason?" He asked. That seemed to throw Bakugo off, surprisingly. They stood in silence. "Think about it. I want you to tell him your answer," he said before walking away, both boys quietly seething.

_____

When Izuku got home that day, he was greeted with a rather excited dad on his hands.

"What's going on?" Izuku asked.

"Aizawa just told me the results of your latest exam," he said. "And while you could use more improvement in judo, your other training is top notch," he said.

Izuku rubbed the back of his neck bashfully. "He said that?"

Toshinori nodded. They both knew Aizawa wasn't one for praise. "Your physical is also in top shape!"

Izuku's eyes widened. "You don't mean?..."

Toshinori nodded. "Get ready for an action-packed weekend," he said.

Izuku grinned and punched the air. "Yeeaaaah!" He exclaimed.

"Watch out, people are gonna start thinking you're Uncle Hizashi with that yelling," he joked. Izuku laughed as his dad ushered him into the kitchen.

"Now eat this," he said, plucking a strand of his golden hair.

"...what?!"

_____

Mirio looked up from his game to see Izuku stumble into his room. His brother flopped on the bed, and Mirio paused his game to put down the console. "What's up?"

"I'm gonna puke," Izuku complained.

"Why? Are you sick?" Mirio questioned.

"I ate Dad's hair," he said.

Mirio paused. "What?" He said, bursting out in laughter.

"Nooo don't laugh! It's not funny!" He said, trying to suppress his own giggles.

"Don't puke on my bed! I just changed my sheets!"

"Maybe I should and then tell mom you forgot,"

"You wouldn't,"

"Hey look at the time, gotta go!" he stuck out his tongue and ran out the room, trailed close behind by Mirio.

_____

Todoroki got up from his seat to head over to Izuku's. He considered himself lucky to be in the same class as his friend again, but he was on the other side of the room. He wasn't surprised to find Izuku nearly passed out in his chair. He'd been like that for a week now. According to him, he'd started with the last preparation segment before he took the U.A. entrance exams in a couple of years. Todoroki himself found that he was spending more time training too, even if All Might was there less. Izuku had come to join him and Mirio, and often they'd spend their time at the isolated trash heap at the beach. They may have to move soon though - it seemed like someone was cleaning it.

"Lunch?" He asked. Izuku perked up.

"Can't I just sleep?"

Todoroki scrunched his nose. "You need food to function properly," he told him. Izuku puffed out his cheeks. "You can sleep after if you still have time,"

They were able to head to the roof this time, and settled in smoothly. After they peacefully ate their lunch, Izuku scribbling away in his hero notebook, Todoroki listened to his class recordings while Izuku rested his head in his legs. "Wake me up for class, okay?" He asked. Todoroki nodded.

He was actually a bit surprised Izuku didn't wake up, even with his earbuds in. They were both very light sleepers, and startled easily.

"What the fuck?" Came the disgruntled voice. Todoroki frowned slightly. Bakugo. And his two friends. One was a gargoyle quirk and the other was a liquid control quirk. Todoroki stared at them.

"You're in our spot," one of them said.

Todoroki blinked. Was he? Nobody said anything about spots.

"Hey halfy," he barked. "Tell Deku to wake his ass up so I can have my spot,"

Todoroki glanced around. There were plenty of other places to sit, and he really didn't want to wake his sleep-deprived friend. "You can have this spot tomorrow. Izuku is sleeping right now." He said calmly.

Bakugo scowled and Todoroki tried not to flinch when he saw sparks from his hands. He didn't like fire quirks. "Or, you and I can go at it, since you like to complicate things," he said. "I'll beat you and take your spot,"

"What if he tells the teacher? We'll get expelled!"

"Nuh-uh! Bakugo singlehandedly raised our entire class average! Do you really think the teacher that got a raise from him is gonna expel him?"

"Shut up!" Bakugo hissed. He jabbed a finger at Todoroki. "Let's go. What's your quirk?"

Todoroki pursed his lips. Bakugo's eyes widened. "...don't tell me,"

Izuku stirred, and blearily opened his eyes. "...what-"

"Both of you don't have quirks?!" Izuku grimaced. Todoroki stretched out his feet. Izuku's ad already told Todoroki of his, ahem, "apparently dormant strength quirk", so both of them knew this wasn't necessarily true. "What's it to you?" Izuku asked.

"And you're still trying to be a hero?" He questioned, eyeing the notebook on the ground. His fists sparked.

"Not trying to be," Izuku said as he stood to stretch. "Going to be. I'm going to become a top hero." He began gathering his things. "You can have the spot, but don't mess with Shoto. I hope when we meet again in U.A. ... we can be friends at least," he gave him a small smile. Bakugo walked over to him, and plucked the notebook from his hands. Narrowing his eyes, he flipped through the pages. He paused on an entry for himself. An updated entry. There was a long list of weaknesses. Instantly, he snapped it shut, exploded it, and threw it over the roof.

"No use in keeping a journal full of fuckers with quirks. Too bad you won't be able to add yourself to the list," he spat. "Stop being so fucking useless and go into a profession that doesn't care about quirks. Or better yet," he grinned. "You could just jump off the roof and hope for a quirk in your next life,"

Izuku took a deep breath. He'd promised Aizawa when they started martial arts that he'd use his training for good. This was really pushing it. Todoroki tensed and looked down.

"Don't talk about death lightly," Izuku hissed back. Bakugo didn't flinch, but he was genuinely surprised at the shorter boy's venomous tone. "Don't talk about death like you've experienced it." He shot a glare as he clicked his teeth and angrily left, followed by a sullen Todoroki.

When they reached the pond below, Izuku was relieved to see that the journal was still mostly intact, even if it was waterlogged and a bit charred. He fished it out, and lay it down to dry. The two boys sat quietly there for a while.

"Are you okay?" Both he and Todoroki asked at the same time. Todoroki was relieved to find a bit of light returning to his friend's eyes.

"You first," Izuku said. Todoroki just shrugged. His father kept pushing him to apply to the top STEM schools, and he was under a lot of stress to be the top student again. He was already getting called useless at home. He didn't need this here too. It gets kinda hard not to believe it. And he was having a bit of trouble trying to mask the U.A. entrance exams as one of the other ones for the STEM schools. "Same old," Todoroki said with a sigh. "Nothing too new," he said, glaring at the very much new bandages on his knuckles. "You?" He asked.

Izuku stared up at the sky. "I thought about her. My nana. How she gave up her life protecting people." Todoroki nodded. Izuku had told him his nana passed away in a hero fight a couple of years back. He didn't know what the fight was for or who was involved, but he knew it happened. He'd been there to console Izuku when he was grieving. "I think Kacchan has what it takes to go to U.A." He said.

"Really? Him?"

Izuku shrugged. "Yeah. I'm not sure about the hero part though. Maybe he'll learn while he's there," he said. Todoroki hummed in thought.

"Maybe. Maybe we'll all find out why he hates you,"

"Maybe."

The class bell rung, and they both rushed off to avoid being tardy, Izuku's dripping hero journal leaving a trail of water in their wake.

_____

Shinso looked at the ice cream stand longingly. "God I wish I could just quit hero training and eat all the junk I want," he said.

"Really now?" Izuku asked, quirking a brow.

"No." He replied. "But that does look tasty,"

Izuku nodded. "I haven't had ice cream in a while too. Mom and Dad are normally strict about the diet but now mom is even moreso to make sure Dad's okay."

"I'm gonna binge on cake when I go to U.A."

"Can I come,"

"Of course, you're automatically invited. VVIP,"

Izuku and Shinso snickered as they passed the stand. They'd both been granted permission to hang out sans adults since they were both junior high students now. Usually Mirio came along too, but he was finishing up a project at Amajiki's house. They were walking under a bridge when there was a rumble, and a low slosh. Both boys stopped in their tracks. "Did you hear that?" Shinso signed. Izuku nodded in response. Looking around, they saw nothing. That didn't stop the uneasiness they felt. Izuku motioned for Shinso to follow him as he hastily made his way under the bridge. Shinso was right behind him before there was another rumble and a gag. Izuku turned around and was faced with Shinso gagged and struggling in a mountain of slime.

"Shinso!" Izuku shouted. He ran closer to the slime, and clawed at it. No use - it just slid back into place. Shinso choked. There was no choice. Izuku pulled back his arm and-

"Texaaas smash!" He yelled, punching the slime. The air pressure was enough to blow the slime away from Shinso to pull him out. Izuku couldn't feel his arm though. It wasn't broken, thank god. It was very red and sore though. Shinso climbed out the sinking pile of slime.

"Thanks," he huffed out. "Are you alright?"

Izuku nodded, rubbing his arm. "Just sore. It'll probably be better in a couple of days."

"That's some quirk you found there," he said.

Izuku tried to smile. He'd told Shinso the full-ish story with permission from his dad, but he avoided talking about it.

"Why don't you ever talk about it?" Shinso asked. "If I suddenly had a flashy quirk I'd be so excited,"

Izuku frowned. "I guess...because it kinda feels like I'm betraying you guys," he said. "A part of me still kinda wants to be the first quirkless hero..." he sighed.

"Oh." Shinso looked at Izuku with a grin. "You're not though. Betraying us I mean. Uncle Sho was so excited when he found out honestly. And it's not like neither of us don't have quirks either." Shinso picked up his things. "In my opinion, you're still the quirkless hero. Uncle Sho always said that people who work hard to get something always have a different mindset than those who've had it from the start. So even if we both have quirks, and you have a flashy physical one, we both come from a background of struggle and disadvantage. It's made us stronger, and work harder." Shinso grinned at him, giving him a playful slap on the back.

Izuku cocked his head and stared at the ground before smiling. That's true! And if he hadn't worked so hard, he would've never gotten his new powers in the first place! "Hey wait up!" Izuku laughed as he bounced after Shinso.

"Also, call your dad," Shinso grinned.

Izuku shot off a quick text. His dad was on duty now, and it was a minor villain, so it wouldn't matter enough to call, right? Izuku didn't even know where it was now - all the slime had leaked away somewhere.

Izuku found out exactly where twenty minutes later.

"What's going on over there?" Shinso asked, squinting at the growing crowd across the street.

"Looks like a hero fight," Izuku said, immediately heading over.

"You're gonna get in trouble again," Shinso teased him. He didn't stop him though, just followed him.

"Not if they don't find out," he said with a giggle. Shinso rolled his eyes. Izuku's parents were gonna be sooo mad at his uncle.

"Oh," Izuku said with a frown. He recognized the villain.

"Is that sparky-chan?" Shinso asked. Izuku squinted. Sure enough, Bakugo was smack in the middle, struggling for his breath back. There were several heroes on the scene, all seemingly at a loss of what to do. Izuku glanced at the time on his phone - five, on the dot. His father was off duty ten minutes ago. He bit his lip as the heroes continued to struggle. Bakugo freed himself a little, but was instantly overtaken once more. Izuku clenched his fists. He really didn't like Bakugo, but Izuku sure as hell wasn't gonna just let him die. Heroes are for saving people! Before he could even think, he rushed onto the scene. Shinso called out for him, but he didn't hear. His left arm was less sore, but it still hurt a bit to move. He rushed the slime. It lashed out at him, but didn't manage to hit him. Izuku skidded around the villain. Ah. He saw now. Skillfully dodging attacks from the villain, he spun around and threw one of his binders at the newfound weak point. It hit his eye, and immobilized him just enough to allow Bakugo to break free. Izuku felt relief only for a moment before he was instantly entangled in slime. It was all down his throat, he couldn't breathe, he-

"TEXAS SMAAASH!" Boomed a voice. Instantly the slime dissipated. Izuku felt a few drops of rain before he stumbled and nearly fell to the ground. All Might caught him just in time. Izuku winced. He'd be grounded again for sure.

Bakugo took the water he was offered by one of the pros and watched from the sidelines as All Might snatched up Izuku and placed him back in the crowd. To anyone else, it seemed like a normal All Might gesture. Bakugo knew Izuku though, and he had an odd expression on his face. Like this wasn't the first time it'd happened. He seemed oddly familiar with the hero. Bakugo scowled. He guessed it made sense - he was now the son of the top hero's secretary after all.

When the heroes were done fussing over him, and the news crew left after All Might, Bakugo sighed and trudged off in the direction of where he saw Izuku leave. On his way, he quietly thought of Mirio's words. Why was Izuku so annoying? He knew he wasn't the only one who thought he was lame, right? He heard talk of how he was a nerd and no one talked to him until they found out about his dad. So why was this bugging him. His thoughts were cut off as he spied his target ahead on the road.

"Hey dumbass! I wasn't asking for help!" He yelled before turning back around.

"Yeah, fuck you too sparky," Shinso muttered.

Izuku grinned. "He came to say thanks I guess,"

"That's twisted."

Izuku shrugged. "It's Kacchan. I have confidence he can change."

"You're so nice. I'm gonna throw up," Shinso deadpanned.

"Ew gross!" Izuku laughed.

Shinso fake-gagged and Izuku playfully pushed him away.

"Young man, you're in big trouble," he heard his dad say.

"Oh shit," he and Shinso whispered.

Chapter Text

"Relax, will you?" Amajiki complained to his friend standing next to him.

Mirio stood next to him, tapping his foot, clenching and unclenching the pole on the train. He was giddy with excitement. Who could blame him? Today was his first day at U.A. after all. Amajiki sighed, but Mirio didn't miss the small smile on his face.

When they reached their stop, the two made the rest of the way to the school, taking extra time to stand at the archway. Mirio paused to snap a photo to send to Izuku.

The opening ceremony and finding their classroom wasn't hard at all. In fact, it was surprisingly normal. Mirio found his assigned seat and set his things down, waving to Amajiki across the room. His shy friend just nodded at him. As he watched the students file in, he grinned wide. Everyone in this class was here because they wanted to be a hero too! He could make friends here! The desk beside him stayed empty though, even as the teacher walked in. Just as the pro hero Vlad King was opening his mouth, a girl with long blue hair threw open the door.

"SORRY I'M LATE!" She yelled out with an enthusiastic bow. "I had the wrong classroom! Can you believe it! I was just sitting there-"

"It's okay, go take your seat please," Vlad King said.

She pouted at not finishing her story, but she followed the directions nonetheless, and took her place in the empty seat next to Mirio.

"Hi!" She whispered. "I'm Hado Nejire, nice to meet you!"

"I'm Midoriya-Yagi Mirio, nice to meet-"

"Hey what's your quirk? Is it your hair? Because it's really long! I think it'll look really cool short! Hey what if-"

"Ms. Hado!" If you can't keep quiet I'm going to have to ask you to leave,"

Mirio sunk into his chair, and Hado grimaced. "Oops," she whispered.

Mirio scrawled something on his paper, and passed it to her. She grinned at it and nodded enthusiastically.

Join us for lunch?

_____

Todoroki's feet felt heavy as he approached the huge wooden gate in front of his house. In all honesty, he really wished he was back at school. At school he had Izuku, and he could mindlessly do schoolwork and didn't have to worry about studying or appearances or his father. He entered the security code on the keypad and the gate opened. He sighed as he walked through. He didn't call that he was home, and headed straight to his room, careful to be as quiet as possible to avoid being noticed. His sister was in the hall though, and saw him anyway.

"Oh, you're back?" She smiled at him softly.

He nodded at her.

"It's no need to sneak around. He's out late on overtime today."

Todoroki breathed out a quiet sigh of relief. It was basically postponing the inevitable - Todoroki knew he'd ask if he'd finished studying for the STEM schools' entrance exams before he even said hello. He also knew his sparse moments of freedom with him gone would be spent studying so that he could honestly say that he did when asked. Lying was always met with physical punishment here. That wasn't to say he couldn't at least procrastinate for a bit though. He followed his sister to the kitchen.

"Need something?" She asked, patting his head.

Todoroki shook his head, smiling a rare smile at her. He hardly ever did that when he was home, but his sister was nice, and he really loved her. She wasn't big on physical affection, and like him and all his siblings, she was emotionally detached at times, but she made a point to be there for her brothers. And especially him.

She shrugged and put on an extra cup of tea water anyway. Todoroki sat at the kitchen table and kicked his feet. As far as his house went, this was peaceful. He hid his grin in his sleeve as he leaned on the table. His sister chuckled and handed him a cup of tea.

"How's school?" She asked, sitting at the table and cracking open a folder.

"It's okay," he said as he sipped his tea. "Bakugo broke the cold war to get angry about Izuku wanting to go to U.A." He said. Since the slime villain incident two years ago, Bakugo hadn't took to terrorizing either of them. He just stayed with his group, and they stayed with theirs. It wasn't until their homeroom teacher announced their future plans to the class that it started up again. In the end, both Izuku and Bakugo were escorted out the classroom and into the principle's office. Todoroki knew Izuku only evaded and never threw any punches, but he got in trouble anyway for verbally goading him on. Todoroki still didn't know if it was entirely unintentional. He sipped his tea again.

"The teacher told the class where we wanted to go and-" he froze. Whoops. He was so comfortable here with her he just...let it slip. It wasn't the first time this happened, but it was the first time he couldn't cover it up effectively. His sister was dense, but she wasn't stupid.

"Oh? You want to go to U.A. too? I know your favorite thing to watch is the news, and how you perk up every time All Might is on, but are you really sure? Aren't the two of you quirkless anyway?" She asked.

"Shoto's gonna try U.A.?" Came a tired voice.

Shoto grimaced. Daiko.

"Oh you're awake?" Fuyumi asked him. He ran a hand through his white hair. Todoroki clicked his tongue. He always was jealous of his brother's hair.

"Yeah. You should've woke me up though. I was in the middle of studying for my medical exams," he said with a sigh. He scooped up his sister's tea and took a hearty sip. Todoroki stared at the doorway. Waiting. "Where's Daizo?" He asked.

Daiko rolled his eyes. Out of the four, he was the most expressive. "He's out with his friends again," he said, doing air quotations around the word. "Ever since I got accepted into medical school last year, he stopped talking to me for some reason."

Fuyumi nodded. "Yeah, I noticed. I actually asked him about it. I thought maybe you had a fight. You two were always so close, it's strange seeing you apart."

"Well not to him apparently," he scowled as he sat down, handing his sister back her tea. "He said I was selling out for wanting to be a doctor. Apparently it's too respectable for him. He'd rather smoke and run around the city clubs with those biker friends of his," he said.

Fuyumi frowned. "He's angry about that?"

"I honestly don't know what he's angry about. If I'm being honest, I doubt he does either," he said, running a hand through his messy white hair again. Todoroki watched. Hair. Daizo had red hair.

"Hair," he mumbled.

"What's that?" Daiko asked him. Todoroki shook his head. "It's nothing." He sipped his tea.

Daiko grinned at him. "Awww, c'mon! Don't be like that! I heard you were going to U.A."

"He said try," Fuyumi corrected him over her glasses.

Todoroki shook his head. Both his brothers had stopped bullying him long ago with Fuyumi's help, but they weren't exactly on friendly terms. Todoroki didn't even mean to tell his sister!

"Shoto, he already heard, you may as well tell him."

"I promise I won't tell the old man," Todoroki grimaced.

"Well...I wanted to apply to the school," he told him.

"See, I told you he'd be a hero!" Daiko grinned triumphantly at Fuyumi. Todoroki's eyes widened.

"What?"

Fuyumi smiled at him apologetically. "Daiko always said you'd wanna be a hero, even if you had no quirk." She said.

"Why? As a joke?"

Daiko shrugged. "Maybe Daizo did, but I'm not really sure. It just seemed like it. Intuition."

Todoroki frowned. "It's gonna be hard. Without a quirk I mean. I heard the entrance exam is a beast," he grinned.

"I'm well aware,"

Fuyumi frowned at the tense atmosphere. "Shoto, he's just giving advice,"

"Like the time you advised me to walk into a doorway of tape, or the time you and Daizo advised me to jump off that tree that 'wasn't so high'" he retorted. Daiko and Daizo really were brain and brown, respectively.

His brother grimaced at the memories. "Listen..." he started. "I know you're probably not gonna believe it, but I'm really sorry about our childhood. Me and Daizo...we really hated father. And Daizo always said you were gonna be the favorite kid. Even if you didn't have a quirk. It was something about the way he smiled to himself when you gave him your grades, or something. I don't think you saw because he'd always be beating your knuckles, and Fuyumi pointed out that you were friends with a kid connected to All Might, and we put the pieces together. We were mad at you for allowing him to accomplish his dream of winning against his rival, even if indirectly. Even though you didn't know. Every time you brought back a top score, we'd pull...a prank." He sighed, and looked Todoroki in the eyes. Both of them. "I'm honestly sorry we put you through that. And the time away from Daizo helped me talk more with Fuyumi to realize my mistakes. I'm not trying to make excuses or ask for you to like me, but I want to give you the apology you deserve, and to own up to my mistakes. I could've made your life less of a personal hell, but I made it worse because I was selfishly focusing on my own. I'm sorry Shoto."

Todoroki stared at him. That's...not at all what he was expecting. He knew he felt a lot of emotions, but he didn't know what any of them were. Tearing his eyes from his brother's gaze, he headed to his room. Sitting on the bed, he took out his phone and dialed a number.

"Hello?" Izuku called from the other line.

Todoroki could feel his breath even out just hearing the voice of his only friend.

"Shoto? Are you alright? Hello?"

"I'm here."

"Oh! Okay! What's up?"

"I'm at home."

"...did something happen?"

"My father isn't home yet, not really. ..Well my brother apologized for everything he's done and I'm not sure how to feel about it." He explained.

He could hear Izuku shift on the other line. Knowing him, he was probably thinking. "Hm...I think that was noble of him to give you an apology. But you don't have to feel forced to accept it...I mean an apology won't erase the past. But I'm glad he did anyway." He told him. Todoroki nodded. He thought so too. He thanked Izuku and hung up. Putting his phone away, he headed back to the kitchen.

_____

Shinso really wished people got the meaning of earbuds. Even Hizashi knew better than to disturb someone with them in. In fact, especially Hizashi - he got cranky when they dared to disturb him. Unfortunately, not only did he have the misfortune to run into his classmates when he had a rare excused absence from school, he had to deal with his earbuds being yanked out.

"Hey! Shinso!" One boy yelled, still holding his earbuds. Shinso never bothered to remember his name. Same for the girls next to him. "Fancy running into you here! We're going to the arcade to meet up with some friends, you should come and bring your dagobah friends!"

Shinso rolled his eyes as he took back his things. "No thanks,"

"Aww c'mon! It'll be fun! We're all gonna be high school students once the summer is over! We may as well have fun now! We're going to the arcade too! I know you like games, right?"

Shinso in fact, loved games. He was actually playing one on his phone before he was so rudely interrupted. "Hm, no." He said, stuffing the earbuds back in. "You should go back to school too,"

"They probably aren't friends anymore," one girl muttered. The other girl nodded. Shinso rolled his eyes again and watched them retreat to the other side of the train. He wouldn't have to deal with them anymore anyway - his stop was just announced. He stood up with a small sigh, and gathered his things. He didn't miss his chance to send a triumphant smirk at the three kids as he stepped off the train though. Izuku, still in his dagobah uniform, was there to warmly greet him.

"What're you so pleased about?" He asked him.

Shinso grinned and shrugged, returning Izuku's customary hug. "No reason. Will you believe me if I said I'm happy to see you?" He asked. Izuku rolled his eyes.

"Sure Hitoshi, whatever"

"Izu you're so mean!"

Izuku laughed and playfully pushed Shinso, who slung an arm around his shoulders in response. They walked the rest to their destination just like that, laughing and playing around to mask their growing nerves.

Reality hit when they got there. The archway of U.A. wasn't alien to them - they'd been there for Mirio or their uncles, but never alone like this.

"This is it," Izuku said with a weary smile. "Our defining moment,"

Shinso just nodded. As they began to head in, Izuku turned as he heard a voice call to him.

"Shoto!" He grinned. "I thought your test was scheduled for later?"

Todoroki slowly shook his head, Shinso noticed only after glancing at his arm around Izuku. "I...was able to get an early seat for my other exam today, so there's no longer any schedule conflict." He explained. Izuku beamed at him.

"That's awesome! Then maybe we can all be together and-" he slipped on some loose gravel in his excitement, face-planting into the pavement, bringing Shinso down with him. Or, he nearly did. Todoroki hid his grin by looking away from the scene. Izuku was hovering five inches from the pavement, Shinso frozen mid-trip.

Bakugo walked by, pausing for a second to furrow his brow in frustrated confusion. He rolled his eyes and left, stomping into the building.

"Hi Izuku!" Came a cheery voice. Todoroki watched as the girl pulled Izuku up back into standing.

Instantly, Izuku's grin appeared, matching the brightness of the glitter in his trademark hairclips. "Uraraka!" He exclaimed, letting go of Shinso to hug her. She giggled and hugged him back.

"You still have the clips!" She said.

"Of course! They help keep the hair out my face while I study and train,"

She grinned at him. "Perfect! Oh my! Hi Shinso! Hi Todoroki!" She greeted.

"Hey," Shinso returned.

"Ah... hello," Todoroki offered. He didn't really know who she was. He felt like he should, but he was notorious for forgetting faces. And names.

Uraraka grinned knowingly. "You don't remember, do you?"

Todoroki shook his head.

"It's okay! We met at Izuku's folk's holiday party once when we were like four. We were friends then, so I'm just gonna say we're all gonna be friends again here!"

"If we get in," Shinso offered

"When we get in," Izuku corrected.

They all followed the announcement of the speakers, disappointed at being separated in assigned seats. Izuku reluctantly found his next to Bakugo, and tried his best not to grimace in embarrassment at his uncle's horrible jokes on the stage below. He couldn't hold his grimace when he got busted for muttering by a familiar tall kid in glasses though.

_____

"I'm guessing you don't remember me either," Shinso addressed Todoroki, meeting him at the gate. Todoroki slowly shook his head.

"I'm Shinso Hitoshi," he said. "Ring a bell?"

Todoroki's eyes widened. "You're Izuku's training partner." He said. Shinso nodded.

"You always left training so early, I never got to talk to you," he said. "You probably never noticed me either," he said.

"Sorry," Todoroki offered.

"No need. Do what you need. Live how you like." He shrugged.

"Aw, shit. You fucks here too?"

Shinso and Todoroki turned to face a very disgruntled Bakugo. He didn't look so much upset as he did frustrated. Like he wanted to avoid anyone associated with Izuku.

"Yeah I'm here. You wanna do a cartwheel, sparky?" Shinso called. Todoroki thought the grin on his face was a bit scary.

Bakugo spat, and marched right up to stand in Shinso's space. "Don't egg me on, Freud"

"What you gonna do? Blast me?"

"I'm gonna kick ass in the exam. Better stay out my way, or I'll kick yours too. Villainous quirk or not," he hissed.

"Well at least I don't have a villainous attitude," Shinso retorted.

"Shut up or both of you will have a villainous removal from the exam," a voice told them. Eraserhead, in full costume, arrived on the scene to pop Shinso on the head with a folder before turning to address the crowd of students with instructions.

_____

Izuku nervously tugged on the hem of his gym shirt as he joined the crowd of students at his assigned gate. He hadn't seen any of his friends since the start of the written exam, and was beginning to grow nervous. He glanced up from his red sneakers and looked around, breathing a sigh of relief when he spotted Uraraka's short brown hair. "Hey-"

"You there! You were about to distract that girl over there, weren't you? Judging from your school uniform earlier and your regular appearances at the gala, you're probably thinking you could just waltz in without taking this seriously!" Izuku was thrown off from his erratic hand motions, but didn't miss the snickers in the crowd. Izuku grimaced. Okay, maybe he'd let her be. He had to be serious and focus on his own progress. Present Mic entered to announce the rules, and Izuku was comforted by the small wink the hero threw at him over his glasses. He could do this!

_____

Okay, maybe he could, but boy was this hard. He still wasn't used to properly using One For All for anything other than basic punches - his progress in the quirk use department had been painfully slow, despite the passed time. He'd tried to do a roundhouse kick last year and broke his leg. Apparently the wild and free technique of using it and the practiced precision of his training from Aizawa were in constant conflict. He was hoping to learn to find a balance when he went to U.A. but for now, he was instructed not to use it unsupervised. So he relied on nifty tricks and using his environment to his advantage to take down robots during the exam. He was a bit slower at progress, but he could tell he was almost at enough points to pass. He dropped to the ground from the rig he'd set up to be nearly knocked off his feet with the force of a huge rumble. Looking up, he saw the biggest, baddest, robot the exam had. The zero-pointer. Izuku stood still and and watched as everyone ran away. The exam was almost over, and he had one point left! Only one point! He turned to his rig. It required him to trigger it, so he'd have to stay here. He could just avoid the zero-pointer if needed. Hopefully it didn't destroy his contraptions-

"Someone!" He heard a voice call. Uraraka!

"Help...me," she called weakly. Izuku frantically glanced around and found her, wedged under fallen rubble. In the distance, he heard the rumble of a one-pointer, heading his direction to set off his trap. He only needed one point to meet the qualifiers, and here was his chance just bumbling toward him. He didn't think twice.

Passing glasses guy, he ran to meet Uraraka. He couldn't lift the rock off - there was no time. He channeled his energy into his body, and shot up off the ground, punching the zero-pointer with the maximum power of One For All. He didn't even register the pain until after Uraraka saved him from the fall with the last of her energy.

_____

Bakugo grinned as he cornered another robot. He'd already met the mark for the exam, but boy was he having fun blowing things up. He hadn't necessarily been able to do much of that lately. Just as he was about to deal the finishing blow though, a wall of ice shot up, knocking the head off the robot. Bakugo watched as Todoroki nimbly slid through, riding the ice he just obviously made.

"Sorry!" He shouted nonchalantly.

Bakugo scowled. So the bastard wasn't quirkless after all. Shinso jogged by shortly after, a spare pipe in his hand, and followed by three staggering students, all with powerful emitter-type quirks. Bakugo glared at him. Shinso raised an eyebrow.

"Wanna be part of my army?" He called.

Bakugo huffed and blasted past him. He wouldn't fall victim to that fuck's quirk a second time.

_____

Shinso groaned as his headset was pulled off his head. "Uncle Sho, I said I'll clean my room! Just lemme finish-"

"Not that, brat." Aizawa grinned at him as he handed him a letter. "They already know we live together so they didn't waste a stamp. You get your rejection letter early," he teased. Shinso rolled his eyes.

"Where's-"

"HEYYYY! Did my listener get his letter yet?!" Hizashi yelled.

"Oh. There he is," Shinso grinned as his uncles sat next to him on the couch. He ripped open the letter and read it slowly.

"Holy shit," he said with a huge grin. "I got in! To the hero course!" He left a voicemail for his parents as Hizashi buried him in excited hugs, and Aizawa patted his head with a grin.

_____

Todoroki snuck into his sister's room. He knew she'd still be up, reviewing student profiles. He was proud of her for becoming a school counselor figure.

"Hey," he said quietly.

She looked up from her folder. "Hey," she smiled. "What's up?"

Todoroki shook his head. "I um...got the letter." He said. "Daiko put it on my bed this afternoon before father checked the mail."

"Oh?"

He nodded. "Can..."

She grinned at him fondly and nodded. She left the room, leaving Todoroki to stare at the envelope. He'd already been accepted to the STEM schools he'd applied to, and he couldn't hold off making a decision forever. His father would only believe he was struggling to decide amongst them for so long. Fuyumi returned with a sleepy Daiko. There was no trouble in getting him from Daizo - the other twin hardly even lived at home anymore. The other Todorokis rarely saw him.

"You got your letter?" Daiko asked.

Todoroki nodded. "Thanks for that," he said. "I'm gonna open it now," he told him. He watched as Daiko registered what he'd said, slowly breaking into a wide grin. He and Shoto couldn't - no, wouldn't - forget the past, but Daiko had made an effort to be there for him this time. They still weren't close, but they weren't enemies. He was touched Shoto wanted to let him in on this personal moment, the opening of his very important letter.

Fuyumi motioned for him to open it, and he carefully used a letter-opener to pry up the flap. The plain white letter was unfolded and placed on the table. Todoroki had to read it twice. Then twice again.

"What's it say Shoto?" Fuyumi asked.

"I...I got in," he said, a hint of awe in his voice. "To the hero course," he finished.

Both his siblings congratulated him, as enthusiastically as they could given they were to be quiet to avoid waking the man of the house up. A good thing he snored - they were failing rather miserably at that.

Todoroki got them quieted down soon enough though, and his sister voiced the question they all knew had to be asked.

"What are you going to do about father?"

Todoroki frowned. "I'll probably have to tell him. Hopefully he'll let me go and not pull me out and force me into another school."

"You are quirkless after all, it would seem like a waste of effort to him, I'm sure." Fuyumi replied. Todoroki pursed his lips.

"Well...that's not entirely true." He knew he'd have to tell them eventually. He was worried Fuyumi would be disappointed he didn't trust her with the knowledge, but he was terrified Daiko would turn on him again knowing what his quirk was. But he had to do it.

"Shoto?" Fuyumi questioned, confusion blatant on her face.

Todoroki sighed deeply. "I have a quirk. I've had one this entire time and I didn't tell you guys because I didn't want father to find out. When I was out studying during breaks, I was actually out training. That's how I passed so easily I guess," he explained. When he finished, he was met with silence. He watched his siblings expressions morph in the dim light. Fuyumi went from surprise, to sadness, then neutral. Daiko went from confusion, to anger, and surprisingly, to warm understanding. Todoroki let out a breath.

"I'm sorry-"

"Don't be," Daiko smiled softly at him. "I wouldn't have told either. Let me guess. Half cold half hot?"

Todoroki nodded.

"Okay, new plan. Shoto, don't tell father until he gets back from work in the evening. I'll go to register you in the early morning so he can't do anything about it without looking like a douche in public. Fuyumi, can you call Mrs. Midoriya-Yagi to have Todoroki sleep over tomorrow night? You can tell her Shoto needs a break from all his entrance exams and acceptance letters being over finally."

Fuyumi nodded. Todoroki stared at his brother.

"What?" He shrugged. "We're in this together now!"
_____

Izuku sat in front of the television, idly scrunching a stress ball. Todoroki and Bakugo had already gotten their acceptance letters last week, and Shinso had actually gotten his the week before. Izuku had one week of school left. If he didn't get his, then...

"Whatcha doin'?" Mirio asked, plopping down onto the couch next to his brother.

"Just watching tv," Izuku replied with a shrug.

"A drama?" He asked with a chuckle. "Really?"

Izuku actually paid attention to what was on. "Oh. I guess so," he said.

"You're worried about the entrance exams, aren't you?" Mirio asked.

Izuku sighed and threw his head back. "Yeah. I know I probably passed the written exam, but I also know I didn't pass the physical one. I was short one point."

Mirio ruffled Izuku's hair. "I'm sure you'd get into the general course then! That's more than enough!" Mirio laughed. Izuku glared at him. Why was he laughing? And he was doing that giggly one where he knew something Izuku didn't!

"What's going on..." Izuku asked him suspiciously.

"Izuku!" His mom called from the hall. "You have a letter! It's from U.A.!!"

Inko came bounding into the room, clutching a partially opened letter. His dad followed after, just as excited. "Go on, son! Open it!" He encouraged. Izuku's hands shook as he opened the envelope. The letter brought tears to his eyes. He hadn't gotten enough points to be placed in the hero courses. He could enter the general course, just like Mirio had said. He was about to head to his room to be alone, but Mirio tugged on his sleeve. "Wait Izu! Look inside!"

Izuku peered down to find a small silver object in the envelope. As soon as he placed it on the table, he was met with his dad's face. When the hologram was over, he found fresh tears in his eyes, from happiness this time.

"You did it!" His dad told him with a grin. Izuku could only nod, and moved to hug him. His mom and brother joined it too.

He did it!