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Trouble for a Hero

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“It is an issue. I know you are doing your best, Aizawa. But the dean said that another fight about quirks will have Hitoshi expelled, and that’s unacceptable.”

Aizawa shifted his phone from one hand to the other, then to his shoulder as he dug through the back of his closer. Dress shirts. He was certain that he had dress shirts.

“You and I both know that he is too smart for an alternative school, and if I am honest I think your son's behaviour could lead to villainy if he could be the leader of the other problem students.”

Aizawa had worn dress shirts before, he knew this, in his old life. His old life. It felt- not as though he was the man he was six months ago stood on the other side of a foggy mirror but more like the mirror was cracked, his reflection unrecognizable even to himself. No matter how hard he searched for whatever sense of justice and simple self confidence that the man had possessed, he had always come up empty.

“This is a key moment for you to step in and make sure he keeps his mouth shut and his fists at his sides for the rest of the year. There are only a few months left- this is an achievable goal Aizawa.”

He had worn a dress shirt at his trial. The surreal feeling of all those eyes on him, the stiffness of the collar, the scent of it’s unfamiliar starch, Hitoshi sanding to the side with red worried eyes, the fringed court AC was his best excuse for the nearly uncontrollable shivers that wracked his body, the way the judge hd said their names.

“Aizawa are you listening to me?” Inko Midoriya sounded worried. She always sounded a bit worried, and Aizawa didn't know if he could claim all the blame on that front but it seemed likely.

“Miss Midoriya. I’ll do my best. I will talk to him.” He finally dragged out a dress shit that seemed semi-ironed and shrugged it on, feeling alien and nervous.

Inko sighed and let him go after wheedling a promise from him to check in with the school on Monday and see if Aizawa could smooth things over. He didn’t think that was the best plan- gods knew he looked nothing like a respectable father- but he felt certain she had some form to fill out and the more Dad things he did the better it would go for her.

He finished with the last button, fiddling briefly with the collar and trying to remember what it was like when he was ten. He got into fights, sure, but it didn’t seem as big of a deal back then. Was it because Hitoshi’s quirk was so different? Was it because these schools weren’t legislated like pro schools? Was it just easier back then, the rules and expectations for children more lax?

“Hitoshi, come tell me if I look okay,” Aizawa called through the half-open door to his bedroom. He listened as feet pounded noisily through the apartment, and then Hitoshi burst in, a giddy ball of energy.

“I can’t believe you’re actually gonna do it!”

“We had an arrangement, young man.” he raised his eyebrows in mock seriousness. “I go on dates with creeps from the internet, and you stop fighting at school.”

“A true hardship for both of us,” And it was hard to tell if Hitoshi was being sarcastic or serious but for a sparkle in his eyes. When did he become so clever? Aizawa reached out and messed up his lavender hair, a sudden wave of fondness and sorrow washing quickly over him. Christ, he was too old for this shit.

Hitoshi eyed him critically, and he hoped suddenly that the kid had outgrown his penchant cat ears and small childrens’ shows. He’d be the creep from the internet if Hitoshi demanded he add anything from his collection to his father’s getup.

“You look like-” his voice broke so suddenly and thoroughly that Aizawa found his heart racing as though someone was going to hurt him and only he could stop the threat. “-like you did when they sent you to prison,” He finished in a whisper. Mouth dry, Aizawa unbuttoned the shirt and flung it. He forced a smile onto suddenly stone lips.

“Less formal, then. Show off the gun show?”

“Grossssss!” Hitoshi wailed, scrunching up his nose and pushing him away. Aizawa let himself be pushed out of the room, through the hall, and out the door with barely enough time to wave to the babysitter and grab his coat.

“Have fun!” Hitoshi called brightly. “I hope she’s really cool!”

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It was a dark street. A dark street and not a dark street in the nicest neighborhood. There was already trash on the ground. It was not the nicest neighborhood so no one was apt to look around too much or too long because, well. That was how you ended up dead. And it would be your own fault. It was a dark alley on the wrong side of the tracks and there were about a hundred reasons why it took an entire day for someone to notice that there in the middle of the sidewalk, glittery with frost, was a severed human hand. Just the hand. Just the left hand. Lopped off neatly at the wrist and no other signs of a struggle. An aesthetic gloved hand, but again, bad neighborhood. Gangs. Violence. A specific insignia on a glove was not unexpected.

Yagi Toshinori groaned and scrubbed a gloved hand over his chin that was to hollow for his own taste. A severed hand in a troubled area and 24 hours of lead time lost because no one had even noticed the thing, bloody spray and all, sitting flush center on the damned sidewalk.

Yagi Toshinori wasn’t a drinking man, but days like this he thought that maybe he could be. He got out his notepad, pushed the sense of futility from his mind, and started cataloging details. There wasn't much he could do like this.

------------------------------------------

“So what is it that you do,” Uwabami purred, eyes flitting purposefully over Aizawa’s body. He kept his sigh more subtle than her once-over, which wasn’t much of a challenge. This was not going well.

“I’m a bouncer at a nightclub. The U.A establishment?”

“I’ve heard of it. A bouncer,” The glee in her voice made Aizawa want to shrivel up in his upholstered seat. He could practically hear her scratching another notch in her bedpost, and it wasn’t the worst idea, really, whispered six months of aching loneliness and half a bottle of expensive red wine. He could let the rich lady take him home, he reasoned, not like it was a big deal- certainly to her it wasn’t so what was the harm?

Eighteen months was an awfully long time to wait before jumping into situations designed to hurt, Aizawa reasoned, this couldn’t possibly count as self-sabotage, he was overthinking it, maybe he was afraid? If that was the case then he had better get this one night stand on the road because he didn’t like living with fear, with the unknown, feeling helpless was the worst thing he could think of for himself and he had been trapped six months, a lifetime, especially when you’re ten, and let’s not think about all the time the watch wasted because they thought they had caught their murderer and he was rotting in a Coldridge cell, and-

“Aizawa?” Uwabami leaned in, fox eyes suddenly concerned.

No. Aizawa couldn’t do this. Maybe- maybe if she hadn’t actually cared. Maybe if she had been an absolute monster, he could. He sighed, realizing that he hadn’t drawn breath in a stupid amount of time. Time to extricate himself, and not be mean about it. She didn’t deserve that.

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The second hand was in a coffeeshop. A nice coffee shop, in downtown area near the theatre district. The hand had carefully manicured nails, was severed precisely at the wrist, and bore the exact same mark but in a tattoo as the first hand. The actual marks were different. There were more of them and they felt somehow wilder to Toshinori.

The barista who opened the shop had called the watch station in hysterics, and even now hiccupped out the occasional sob as Toshinori listened to her story. She didn’t recognize the hand, but she had found it in the center of the bare wooden floor when she unlocked the shop at 5:00 AM that morning. The lead time was less, not that it mattered. He still had nothing to go on. The marks were like nothing he had ever seen before. Nothing he had ever seen before and there seemed no obvious connection between this hand and the previous one.

And if there was going to be a third then Toshinori felt certain detectives from the inner city would be called in and his chance to solve this maddening puzzle would be gone forever. He flipped to a new page of his notebook and tried very hard to notice every little thing he could about the coffee shop, the hand, and the weepy barista in front of him.

------------------------------------------

Hitoshi hovered in the doorway for a second too long, and Aizawa immediately inspected his knuckles, his elbows, expecting to find signs of a fight and an impending call from the school or, worse, from Midnight.

But Hitoshi just seemed hesitant.

“The thing is, dad, I really want to punch this one kid. He’s mean. Not to me, but there’s this boy without a quirk and he picks on him all the time. It’s not fair.”

Aizawa tucked a bookmark into his book and held out his hand for Hitoshi’s phone. This had, horrifyingly enough, become a routine. It would start when Hitoshi watched a rom-com. The little terror was incredibly good at ‘just finding’ them on the computer, and Aizawa didn’t want to admit that he had no idea how he was pirating them. But he was certain he was. So he had watch one of these (he deleted the ones rated R and patted himself on the back for good Dad Things but he didn’t dare tell Midnight about any of it) and then she’d get thoughtful. He could almost time it- she’d think about it for a day or so, and then tell him about some jerk child she would go fight, unless Aizawa felt like making the same deal he made last time?

He cursed himself for ever agreeing to go out with Uwabami (in his defense she was really, really attractive) in the first place. One deal turned into three, turned into low-level harassment from a ten-year-old.

He scrolled down the page, reading quickly.

“I don’t know, Hitoshi, you know how I feel about the detectives. And 38 is a little old.”

He visibly relaxed.

“You were nervous because this is a man,” Hitoshi said flatly.

“Hitoshi-”

He wanted to nip this in the bud. He didn’t deserve to grow up with any of the hangups that he did. (Though now that he thought about it, it was probably too late for most of them. Still. He had to try.)

“You know one of my favorite things about you, kid?”

Hitoshi shook his head.

“You’re incredibly observant. You put things together that most other people would never connect. I love that about you, Toshi.”

He finally stopped hovering and perched on the arm of Aizawa’s chair.

“And you’re right, Toshi, I would be nervous going out on a date with a man. It’s...not something I’m used to, and sadly this is a city where it could get me killed, and you know that.”

“But that’s wrong!” Hitoshi blurted, in the same tone in which he called out the bully he wanted to fight. In that moment Aizawa was so unbelievably proud of his son that he thought his heart might burst.

He focused on that, and not the that, yes, as plain as he had put it, he could get killed. Followed home by thugs. Questioned ‘too well’ by the police. blacklisted from any job he ever wanted. Hitoshi shunned. It was too much, he- “You’re damned right it’s wrong. It’s completely unjust, and there are a number of ways we could change it. Ideas?”

Hitoshi frowned. “We could hurt all the people who would kill you. We could hurt them first.”

Aizawa suppressed a laugh.

“Or we could show them that I am nothing to hate: nothing to be afraid of.” Aizawa appraised the dating profile in front of him. The man had laugh lines and had been out of the closet with his family since he was 18. Someone completely different from him in every way. An officer of the city, devout, and...proud of who he was.

“They should be afraid of you,” Hitoshi whispered.

Aizawa pretended not to hear and held out his hand. “Don’t beat up that bully, and I’ll go out with this man.”

They shook hands.

------------------------------------------

Aizawa walked quickly, settling his thoughts into the nothingness of his moving feet against the pavement. It was a practiced nothingness, something that he had needed since his days in the training he had to be a bodyguard, since his days of running into certain danger, since his time spent as a bodyguard, since his time spent protecting her. Shino. There always came a point where fear was useless, and the best thing to do was to move decisively and be in his body instead of his mind.

It was a date, he chided, not fucking combat.

But he continued to move quickly, and he almost missed the severed hand lying there in the middle of the street.

Aizawa’s jaw dropped. He stared at it stupidly for a second, then pulled out his phone to call the police. Some small secret part of him was grateful to miss his chance to publicly go on a date with a man, but mostly he was transfixed by the limb oozing blood with its lifeless palm turned up to the full moon above.

“Hello, police?”

Chapter Text

Four AM was a subtle hour. It crept up, identical to its twin three AM in every way but for a very slight pressure behind his eyeballs. Shota Aizawa reeked of banana daiquiri (spilled on him at an unfortunately early hour of his shift), had managed to bloody a knuckle breaking up a fight, and had deflected no less than five young women with questing hands and the thin guise of drunkenness to excuse their behavior. He was so done with this day, his eyes ached along with pretty much everything else. He had ditched his city watch date in favor of talking with some guy from the the school about his son who had been accused of something again.

And now it was four AM and he was stowing the last drunk into a waiting cab, pretending he couldn’t smell the fake fruit and sparkly rum on his t-shirt, and hoping that Nezu wouldn’t have any extra tasks for him before he fled the nightclub.

Aizawa stood up from the cab just as a very nice very new car rolled up to the U.A establishment. A tall dark figure, nose and mouth hidden behind a plain black handkerchief, emerged from the car. Her eyes ran quickly over Aizawa, the cab, and the darkened doorway.

“Fetch Nezu.”

Aizawa bristled at the command, but it was late and he just wanted to go home.

When Aizawa brought his boss out front, there were two more bandit-bandana’ed thugs standing there and between them a man in a black suit sharp enough to cut glass, red silk tie gashing down his chest, and eyes like -ugh- diamonds overpriced headphones sat on a strange bright yellow hairstyle. Aizawa crossed his arms and noted the black leather driving gloves he wore even while being chauffeured, the obscenely stylish leather shoes, and the slight drape of his suit jacket where a weapon was almost well-concealed.

“Nezu, your man is trying to kill me with his eyes. Make him stop, please.” Said the man in the suit.

Nezu whacked Aizawa in the shoulder and he reluctantly fixed his eyes on the ground.

“Can I give you a tour of the place?” Nezu asked, gesturing broadly at the converted warehouse that had somehow wound up cool enough for loaded twenty-somethings and an assortment of quirk socialites to line up around the block in anticipation of drinking, dancing, and if Aizawa was very lucky, not vomiting anywhere near his shoes.

Suit’s eyes slashed holes in the wooden crossbeams, the thick layers of faded posters and rusty staples texturing the walls, the wolfhound done in neons above the door, the ratty edges of the stool Aizawa sometimes got to sit on while IDing well-dressed brats through the door.

“By all means.”

Aizawa trailed reluctantly behind, watching the bandit-thugs sweep the perimeter in a way that looked disturbingly military. Suit gave the bar a cursory glance, then frowned at Emi cleaning glasses behind the bar.

“There will be uniform changes. Skin sells, or so I hear.”

Aizawa growled and stepped towards the suit. Emi looked up, worried.

The man in the suit raised an eyebrow. “Man, you smell like a 19-year-old sorority girl about five seconds from lying and telling her hookup it’s her first time trying anal.”

Aizawa took a deep breath and counted to five. “Emi over there makes a mean banana daiquiri, Suit. We don’t have a reputation for under-serving here and sometimes-”

“-I didn’t ask for your life story, Muscle. And ‘Suit?’ Show some respect .”

The thugs in the corner, especially the one who had ordered Aizawa around earlier, were now paying entirely too much attention. It made him nervous, and when he was nervous he-

“Listen asshole, I don’t know who you are or why you’re looking at the Yeuuie establishment like it’s the prize you’re gonna take to the spring formal, but you don’t know the first thing about-”

Nezu pushed him back. “Aizawa, Yamada bought the club. I, ah, took out a loan I couldn’t repay so we decided that I would….retire early. It’s a win-win!”

“Congratulations,” Aizawa growled back at his now former boss.

Nezu headed for the door at a brisk pace, pulling on his coat and patting down his natural coat, “I’ll leave you to it.”

Unbelievable.

As the door closed behind Nezu, Aizawa stepped in until he was toe to toe with the suit and hissed, “Listen, Yamada, all I see is a bully who doesn’t know what the fuck he’s doing.”

Oh no. Suit smelled good. Suit smelled like rich tobacco, fine leather, aged cognac. After a night of smelling like bad decisions, there was a small piece of Aizawa that wanted to just stand there and breathe the man in. He was suddenly even more furious than he had been at the idea of forcing Emi to dress in anything she’d find uncomfortable.

The suit -Yamada- met his gaze unflinching.

“Man, I would be surprised that you don’t know who I am, but you clearly didn’t get hired for your brains. So here’s what’s going to happen-”

Yamada closed two or three inches more of the personal space Aizawa had invaded. It took every ounce of willpower Aizawa had not to step back.

“-I am going to make you an offer you can’t refuse.” He said it like it was supposed to mean something, but it didn’t, and frankly it was four AM and Aizawa was sick of this well-dressed fuck and his maddeningly nice smell.

“Good luck, you weird loan shark. The only thing I want from you is for you to go fuck yourself.”

Hizashi Yamada stared at him, mouth slightly agape. “No, I, mean, that’s - come on, Marlon Brando? What part of ‘make you an offer you can’t refuse’ do you not get?”

Aizawa was completely lost, but he didn’t care. Time to double down. Insulting the prick in the suit was actually doing wonders for his mood. “What part of ‘go fuck yourself did you not get? Or do I have to spell it out for you?”

Things happened very quickly after that. Aizawa noticed Emi shaking her head at him from behind the bar. The next thing he noticed was the side of a pistol flashing up at his face. Next, a sharp crack, white hot pain where his jaw was supposed to be, and he was suddenly sitting on the ground. A thug stood over him, and Yamada wasn’t even trying to hide the smirk on his face.

“You’re fired.”

Chapter Text

YOU CANNOT SAVE HER
YOU CANNOT SAVE HER
YOU CANNOT SAVE HER
YOU CANNOT SAVE HER
YOU CANNOT SAVE HER
YOU CANNOT SAVE HER

Aizawa stared at his phone. An unknown number. Shivering in the predawn chill, jaw aching, he tucked the phone away and began walking again. This was definitely what he needed after a long shift and accidentally insulting the head of the “Yamada fam”.

Sweat slowly trickled down past his upper lip, ever so salty as he breathed in, deep and steady, the heavy barbell moving smoothly through the air. Six AM. The sunrise, watery and dim like all other sunrises, had found him in the gym, moving fluidly and methodically through lifts that took all of his focus. Aizawa put the barbell down, muscles shaking with effort.

”Come on you big baby.” Shino laughed, tugging on his hand. Aizawa pushed his lower lip out petulantly, only for Shino to tug on his hand harder.

“What if I want to wait out here?” He mumbled back trying to get his hand back from her grip by waving it around.

She shook her head, “I am not going into the hideout alone. I need your quirk if something goes wrong, you promised you would help me with this one!”

Aizawa sighed, knelt, and held out his hands making a simple step. Shino vaulted from his hand and up the wall in one sinuous motion she pulled herself onto the windows ledge. He watched her easily open the window with some diamond tipped weapon, she was not afraid to do what was right. Shino was a hero when she was on the job. The danger put a sparkle in her eye, lightened her steps, made her every action intention and filled with justice. Never mind that this- breaking into the hideout of villains to try and stop things before the police even considered- was the antithesis of what he stood for, everything he was by day. He’d throw it all away in a heartbeat when they emerged victorious and were heroes.

He picked the barbell back up, muscles screaming for him to stop.

”Aizawa, we have to keep him.” Her hands were holding onto the small infant, with a tuft of purple hair.

He knew he should say something, but his tongue was heavy and he found himself looking vacantly across the room. Attention snapping back to her face when he realized he had been staring at other empty bloodied cribs.

“I will be at your side, for more than anything. We can be heroes and I know you want to keep him safe.” He says.

What was he saying? They couldn't just take a kid they found illegally in an abandoned building looking like they were trying to recruit potential kids with quirks- oh this kid was going to have a quirk. They were going to be a handful. Aizawa could feel his world tipping outside his control. He didn't know what to say because he didn't want to ruin the spark of justice there, doing something right that if he didn't would put a wedge between them forever.

“We need to get the supplies for him- her- them? Them don't we?” He asked moving closer to the newest member of his family. The share a laugh before hearing a groan from a few of the men that they dispatched before finding the infant.

A callus breaks on one hand, and Aizawa swore reflectively as the skin tore away. He put the barbell down. He was made of jelly, and his stomach had gone full circle from tearing itself apart to numb detachment. He sighed and walked on wobbly legs to the locker room.

YOU CANNOT SAVE HER
YOU CANNOT SAVE HER
YOU CANNOT SAVE HER
YOU CANNOT SAVE HER
YOU CANNOT SAVE HER
YOU CANNOT SAVE HER
YOU CANNOT SAVE HER

With a sob Aizawa flung his phone against the wall, then finished breaking the skin on the rest of his knuckles by punching the locker nearest to him.

Mind blank, he laced on running shoes and with the last ounce of self preservation he possessed he put the phone back in his pocket before heading out the door to start jogging down the cold and empty streets.

His body ached as the kilometers piled up and the sun rose, muscles protesting at every step. Slowing to a walk when he reached the beach, he looked over the ships, commercial, shipping, and pleasure alike, bobbing gently in the waters. Aizawa felt his legs give out a split second before they actually did, but there was nothing left in him to stop it.

The world went dark.

His mouth filled with blood and a faint light could be seen flicking over his living room. Hitoshi must have left one of his movies going. He heard a noise from the kitchen and moves to see that he crossed the threshold to be bathed in light he sees someone sitting at his table wearing a hospital face mask. He can see the figure destroying and creating the world around him, since when did someone sound like they were in a horror movie? The mask changes to something more ornate something everyone knew.

“Hello, Eraserhead.” Said the figure in his kitchen his voice sonorous and serene, “You are in a terrible place aren't you? Ex-vigilante found and brought before court, his son one false move away from the fate he feared, and months have gone by but your wounds are just as fresh as the day Mandalay was killed.”

Aizawa couldn’t see a smile but he felt certain that he was being mocked.

“Trouble comes along.” Aizawa muttered, hands in fists. He knew the stories, children's stories to tell at night with a flashlight tucked under your chin. Command for the underworld only seconded by the devil himself. Leaving his influence all over the city his group marked and often leaving a trail of corpses.

The man before him smiled beneath the mask, and it was unpleasant. Something of a snake there something cold and calculating.

“Do you know who faust is, Eraserhead?”

He nodded no longer trusting his voice.

The figure paused and shook his head gently, “You’ve never seen the godfather but you know faust.”

Aizawa’s mind raced at the villains ease. Something else to- the prick in the suit with his gloves, “Yamada has your influence.”

Overhaul clasped his hands together, “So there is a brain in there. This is going to be a revers faust.”

Aizawa spat the blood from his mouth- how had he forgotten it was there? And realized that Overhaul had grabbed his phone and watched as it started knitting itself back together.

“I need something, and you will get it for me. You are different Aizawa. You have so much wasted potential it’s staggering. I want you to change that. Stop hiding.” Overhaul rests his hands on the table, “Almost sounds like I’m a life coach.” He looks directly into Aizawas eyes, “I am not.”

“What do you need?” Aizawa asked as he watched the figure at his table pick up the phone and tap out commands.

Overhaul looked up and adjusted his mask to compensate for a smile, suddenly looking ordinary and happy in the soft light, “No argument? You really are at the end of your rope, aren’t you?”

“About to hang,” Aizawa agreed.

“This is going way better than I thought it would. You hero types are usually just terrible to ask for help. Looks like you are willing to bend some rules for keeping a promise to other heroes.”

“She’s dead now,” He said softly.

“Which brings us back nicely to what I need from you! The last thing Shino Sosaki was trying to steal before she died was someone who was going to change the world a girl named Eri, Shino a suckler for lost cases. I want the girl returned to one of my associates but you will get the drop off in time.”

“Shino? Is this connected with her murder? Can I find out who killed her?”

Overhaul ignored him, the kitchen breaking around him when he next spoke. “You have thirteen days to do this. I grant you my freedom, my gifts, my influence, but if you fail in this task I will take everything.”

Aizawa had a sense that he had asked all the wrong questions.

The figure stands up holding out a pair of goggles and a scarf out his hand. “Do we have a deal?”

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Yagi Toshinori decided that he wasn’t a detective. Not even close. No, a better job title would be ‘finder of things on the ground that should not be on the ground’ and he had just found another.

“Mr. Aizawa?”

Lying in a crumpled heap, the man looked vastly different from when Toshinori had met him over a severed hand two days ago. Those remarkably full lips were relaxed, almost falling open, and without the man’s dark eyes peering out from under stormy eyebrows Toshinori felt like he was allowed to stare. Aizawa’s hair spilled from its ponytail over his forehead. Salt encrusted his skin- he must have been out for a morning jog.

There was no justice in the universe. This was a fact that Japan’s hard pavement had beat into his head the moment he donned the uniform, but at this moment he knew it in his bones. It wasn’t fair that Aizawa was all solid planes and trim curves, shoulders and lean muscle, and it wasn’t fair that his black t-shirt rode up just enough for a peek at chiseled abs and a thick happy trail that suddenly held all of Toshinori’s attention.

There was no justice in the world, and no justice for Yagi Toshinori. He averted his eyes, dead-ended the train of thought that mainly involved licking the salt off all that warm skin, cleared his throat, and radioed for an ambulance cart to come by.

He shook Aizawa’s shoulder and the man finally stirred. Ice prickled at Toshinori’s spine as Aizawa reached a hand up to push hair out of his eyes. On the back of Aizawa hand was faint bruising, muddy against his skin, in distinctly tattoo-like marks.

Marks he had seen three times before.

Chapter Text

Officer Giran eyed the stack of bills Midnight set on his desk. He made an approving nod but no move to count them. Instead he went for another cigarette.

Jiro supposed she should be flattered that Hizashi had trusted her to take the weekly bribe to the police. She was ladder-climbing Like the mob was some great career path, and Jiro was marching step by painstaking step towards the top. It wasn't a bad thing, no, but she had been doing this for years since before she finished high school, and it seemed like she was as high a rank as she could go.

Out of force of habit when Giran conveniently dropped his lighter she went through his phone, and his computer. Hearing the small conversations of the poor progress he was making to cheat on his wife. Jiro decided that she would have someone make sure he succeeded, and that someone else found out about it. No such thing as too much leverage.

Jiro saw something more interesting on his computer.

“I saw a new face the other day, when I was passing by.” she said deliberately casual.

“Oh?” Giran stuffed the bribe money in his pocket.

She taps her finger against her lip keeping attention away from her earphones jacks as she reels them in, “A detective I think.”

“Must’ve been that detective - eh everyone calls him knuckle duster. Here's the odd thing about him though, he some hot shot from out of town, shows up on important business but they won't tell the rest of us what’s going on.”

“Bureaucracy, right?” Jiro smiled, insides screaming. The knuckle duster, and they hadn’t known!

“See you next week!” Giran called as she left the office.

------------------------------------------

Shota Aizawa sat on the couch nursing a beer, staring vacantly at the television while Hitoshi played with his phone next to him, There was a strange bandage on his hand covering his arm that felt like they were becoming less cloth and more of something else as the hours passed, or maybe that was his imagination. He had punched the gym lockers with his right hand, he was sure of it, and even if he hadn't it wouldn't explain how far the bandages went.

He gripped his beer slightly too hard, and he couldn’t concentrate on the show they were watching at all. Something about teenage werewolves, only there were no werewolves to be seen, just bad CGI teeth and silly makeup jobs.

When the detective (same guy as last time, what was his name? Yaga? Yage? Yagi?) had decided that Aizawa was alright, he had been driven home and collapsed into his bed for most of the next day. He had been woken by his alarm to go to work- he hadn’t thought to remove that alarm and the thought of no more work to go to was suddenly weighted and painful- and that’s when things got weird.

He had reached over to the alarm and the bandage on their wrist turned it off. Which was impossible. He must have dreamed it, or he had suffered a concussion from the fall.

His phone’s screen was pristine, even though he had hurled it against a locker and smashed the screen beyond recognition, and he had turned off his imagination with his mind.

“Dad, what’s this one?” Hitoshi waved his phone at him.

Aizawa squinted taking his phone. The psychic cat? That was new. He tapped the little icon, some tiny little cat sitting under almost a wifi signal, then suddenly his phone trembled in his hand. The screen went dark, then glowed warm when he pointed it at Hitoshi. He heard murmuring, like a crowd muffled by furniture in another room he tapped the screen.

He sees more than he is telling. Little Hitoshi.

The voice sounded horribly familiar and as if the phone was on fire Aizawa let it go and it clattered on the ground. Hitoshi picked it up, frowning.

“Why did you do that?”

Aizawa looks at Hitoshi’s face seeing if this was a trick, “You didn't hear anything?”

Hitoshi shook his head and handed the phone back to Aizawa. It started trembling immediately, like something had startled it, and as he swung his phone around the room it began whispering. He felt it in his bones, in his mind, and he found himself walking to garage before he knew what he was doing, his hands shaking with an eagerness he didn't understand.

Inside Yawara’s old training duffel bag he finds some old bandages, looking identical to the ones on his hand. His phone screeched like the dead as he picked it up. It felt like coming home, he grips the bandage in his palm, it felt like something slotted into place inside him, like some empty spot he didn't knew he had was suddenly soothed.

The phone quieted. Aizawa almost jumped back as the bandage melted into the one that was already on his hand, he swears under his breath and then checks his hands movement. Everything seemed like it was going to work just fine.

He stepped back inside the house and Hitoshi looked up at him, concerned. Behind him on the screen, a backlit teenager opened his mouth and fangs grew, the the screen cut to another teenager whose eye opened wide with shock at seeing the monster his friend trusted had now become.

Aizawa nodded to the kid on the screen. What was happening to him?

------------------------------------------

Jiro turned a specific corner and with the help of her quirk scaled the wall to an electrical box connecting to it. Denki, insouciant nerd that he was, had started calling them spawn points and soon the adults adopted the term to try and fit in.

These spawn points were available to be any sort of transportation or back up call. Denki was connected to the system and unstoppable. He left ways to contact him throughout the city, “Hey I need a transport.”

“Which spawn point?” Denki asks from the other side of the phone connection.

“Need space to the ward.” She responds, “And hurry jamming way!”

“Done and d- That is not my name!” Denki says, “Your lights should be ready soon.”

Jiro jumps down her mask still covering half of her face she gets to the electrical motor bike and starts to catch all the right lights in the city.

There she was in the ward, listening to the shopkeepers clack down metal latticework covering their doors. The air swimming with rush hour traffic and radio chatter. Orange sunlight lit her path. Green fluorescent light spilled onto the sidewalk as she pushed her way into a tiny shop, bells jingling at the door.

Realistic plastic flowers and colorful Russian dolls were all around her, and it was not in a cute romantic way, bright, cheery and carefully bundled for your purchasing pleasure. This was a jungle and marriage, the plastic leaves being a depth of green that could never be achieved naturally, doll eyes appearing to be watching your every move. Plants from the tropics with dolls of discordant colors around their vases, dripping plastic ivy’s woven into the support beams disappearing into the AC duct above. Other assorted knick-knacks were around the store as she walked in.

“May I help you?” A voice calls from the back.

Jiro was transfixed by the heavy smell of plastics, leather, fresh cut sheet metal, and mystery. Transfixed by all the plants and dolls around her all in a small shop in an industrial zone. Transfixed until a woman in a white business suit stood in front of her with perfectly done eyebrows, jet black eyes and hair popping all the more with the suit and her makeup, and they popped like daggers launched straight into Jiro’s heart.

“I don’t usually see your kind here.” The woman said softly, settling onto a stool behind the shop counter. It was a good opening move, she knew who Jiro was and she knew that Jiro knew her as well. Hey eyes made a blatant study of Jiro’s mask, crisp suit, and heavy combat boots.

Jiro tore her eyes away and learned onto the counter, focusing on using physical space to make herself seem more imposing and less starstruck, “I was told to get flowers for a funeral. Three caskets.”

“My condolences.”

“Yamada said to get them at a real flower shop-” Jiro watched for some reaction to the name and sure enough there was the tiniest glimmer of something in that perfect face. Anger, chagrin, venom?

“-so here I am.”

“Oh, I like you already.” The woman says already back to smiling.

Jiro had expected a chill reception. She was completely unprepared for the way the woman smiled, the way her entire face lit up and her lips quirked unevenly, the way her voice seemed genuinely fond for an instant.

“You are something different.”

Jiro blushed, like some fuckin highschooler all over again, suddenly grateful that the Yamada mask his at least part of her face.

“I’ll cut you a deal.” The woman continued in completely businesslike tones, “I’ll give you flowers for a funeral as grand as you kind need, in exchange for a dinner with me later tonight.”

“No deal.” Jiro’s tone was equally dry.

“Oh?” The woman blinked.

Jiro smiled twirling her earphone jack around her finger to give her something to do, “I don’t go out with anyone whose name I don’t know.”

And there was that smile again, all creating, generous, delighted. The woman held a slender hand out, “Momo Yaoyorozu.”

Jiro shook, the leather glove registering the warmth of Yaoyorozu’s hand, “Kyoka Jiro.”

“A pleasure.” Yaoyorozu beamed, and Jiro could have sworn that she started to see some quirk use as she did.

------------------------------------------

The gun range was dry, dusty, a slash of heavy rocks below clear blue sky outside the city. After days of holding up inside, with a mountain of tedious job applications the crisp air felt wonderful. Aizawa got out of his truck at the same time a plain sedan rolled up.

This time around, Hitoshi had hardly needed to convince Aizawa to date someone else from the internet. Incredible as his son was, he was a ten year old and Aizawa was getting desperate for grown up conversation. He had spent days alternately applying for jobs and searching for the girl Eri, and he was getting nowhere on either.

A little shorter than him, and the sedan driver left their car, they were waving to people who were already at the range, then waved at Aizawa. His heart soared then sank a little further, this was another officer. He wanted someone like this but- there was his own past and the truth would come out sooner rather than later.

“Aizawa right? My name is Naomasa.”

Naomasa had a pleasant grin, and a plain but nice face. Was all dressed up in his uniform that was hidden under his tan trenchoat and hat still.

How did Hitoshi find these people.

“Nice to meet you.” Aizawa said.

They set up next to some apparent friends of Naomasa, and Aizawa could tell that Naomasa was disappointed for a second that he didn't need to be taught how to shoot.

Despite his initial irritation at Naomasa’s almost too happy demeanor, inappropriate attire, and the fact that he was an officer. Aizawa had to admit he was fun shooting with the man. Relaxing a little, for the first time since the disastrous final night at UA club.

Naomasa told him some improbable but highly entertaining stories about recent run in with small time villains and vigilantes. Aizawa deciding to switch the subject talks about some of the drunken people at the bar along with some of the funnier fake ID’s he had seen and he found Naomasa’s laugh extremely flattering.

Aizawa leaned against their lanes wooden rail after finishing off his round, hardly aware of the smile on his face. Naomasa heads over to where he was standing, carefully placing away his gun in it's proper casing.

“This has been a nice time.” Naomasa says with satisfaction seeping into his voice. A few of the friends look over from the other lanes to see them glancing at them, they hadn't done anything they didn't need to send a report back to his boss or anything.

“I was thinking we might grab something to eat after this. I know a place that will put a sparkle in your eye. Not that you need that Aizawa. Sharp shooter like you.” Naomasa winks as he rubs oil up and down the barrel of his gun. More than proper gun care, with long smooth strokes with an unnecessary twist at the barrel’s tip.

Aizawa felt a blush creep over his face, was Naomasa doing this on purpose? Or did Aizawa just really really need to get laid? He almost bites his lip before speaking, “That sounds nice.” He hesitated for a moment, then continued, “Let me just text the babysitter and let him know.”

“You are a parent? Send them a tanks from me for letting me steal you away fro a drink.”

Aizawa let out the breath he had been holding, “I’ll thank him for you, yeah.”

Naomasa kept up the complete overkill for cleaning a gun that was clearly kept in top condition, but Aizawa was hypnotized by the smooth repetitive motions of Naomasa’s hands and slightly flustered and flushed when Naomasa finally decided he was done cleaning the piece.

They walked back to the fenced-off gravel parking lot. Naomasa deliberately followed Aizawa to his truck, the crowded him close to it, completely out of sight from the rest of the range.

Aizawa had to do something before he lost his nerve. Aizawa pushed his hand flat against Naomasa’s chest.

“I need you to know something.” He said, his eyes boring into Naomasa’s, “I saw the wave, and you have told me about your stories, so please don’t lie to me.”

Naomasa stilled.

“Which precinct are you with, and are you still in active duty?”

“Head office, some people say that I’m the backbone of it. Always on the right side of the law.”

Aizawa stifled an internal scream. He was from the head office! He was someone who dealt with all sorts of problems, and the last thing he needed was something to tarnish his reputation.

He scrubbed his hands over his face and tries to think of the best way to explain himself, “Look Naomasa. I really like you. But I have to say that because I do really like you it wouldn't be fair for me to do this. Not to you, or to my son. I’m sorry.”

Naomasa nodded, and then before Aizawa could react he closed the distance between then and pressed his lips to Aizawa’s. He was blushing as much as Aizawa thought he was, his lips were soft, and then he moved back.

“I knew about your record. If you were one step away from being a hero, you might want to think on what's holding you back. It’s not so bad to play it by the book.” Naomasa smiled, “Things are good, great even. So if you ever change your mind, please give me a call.”

He gives a polite bow and a tip of his hat, then walked away.

Chapter Text

The sun set as Aizawa drove away from the range back towards the heart of the city and he thought it was maddeningly fitting for his dying spirits.

The car came out of nowhere, no lights, no warning, just the sudden slam of metal against metal and the screeching protest of the truck’s brakes as it jolted off the road and into a ditch. There was a moment of shock, cold water dumped on his entire world, adrenaline roaring through his veins with urgency. Aizawa got out of the truck, entirely too mindful of his gun safely in it's case under the seat. The bandages on his hands coiled and uncoiled as four men backlit by the setting sun rushed at him.

Aizawa fought them with all the frustration and rage that had been simmering in him since he saw Shino’s body lifeless on the floor. He fought with a helplessness and hopelessness wrought by losing his partner of justice, his job, his identity. He fought like a devil and soon two of the attackers were on the ground, one out cold from a particularly nasty backhand and the other curled up in the fetal position gasping for breath. If they had laid hands on him even once, he hadn’t felt it.

A new figure moves in front of the car as Aizawa turned around. They reach down to their side and pulled out a small firearm. He stepped towards Aizawa deliberately and raised the gun and fired.

A sudden pain hit Aizawa in the shoulder and sent him off balance, his powers not giving him an advantage anymore the others capitalize on the act. A second shot fired while he was off balance and hit him sending him down on the ground one of his attackers grabs him by the back of the hair and smalms his face down into the ground. HIs head was throbbing and his senses dulled from the pain he could just make out their voices.

“He looks new, this should have been easy!”

“Agreed, if this is what one can do we should re-consider attacking Yamada, or reconsider our strategy.”

Blood dripped from his nose to the hot asphalt, one of the suited figures leaning over him tugging at the bandages on his hand. They glance between themselves then the one who shot him nods and turns away back to the car. They grab a briefcase and the contents inside. They start to try and rip and pull the bandage off his hand, he feels some cold steel rest for a second before pressure is applied.

It saws back and forth changing places and angles trying to cut apart the bandage that was covering his hand he lets out a scream of agony but that earned him a punch to the side of the head. He watched them butcher his hand still trying to fight them off until they pull away from him after giving him another few hits while on the ground.

It shouldn't have been possible. He should have passed out from the pain as he felt his hand almost separate from his wrist, he weakly clutches at the bleeding appendage shocked at being attacked. Something snapped in Aizawa.

More animal than human he surged off the ground, muscles quivering, blood dripping down his chin from where he had bitten his tongue, from where his had had been injured. He gives out a wild haymaker to send the man flying.

With a feral scream, Aizawa launched himself at the man who had the gun. They grappled for a minute, slippery with Aizawa’s blood, until the man kicked Aizawa away and scrambled for the car. Aizawa wasn’t fast enough, dizzy with blood loss and shaking from adrenaline, and the man burned squealing rubber and then he was gone.

Dazed Aizawa picks up part of the bandage that was on the ground, and limped towards his truck. From a hazy distance he knew he was driving, and then slumped into the wheel, eyes closing, foot still heavy on the gas pedal.

------------------------------------------

“I can’t believe I am helping you.” A cranky voice echoed out, “Though that fight was decent I have to say.” The voice dropped, conspiratorial, “You moved like a force of nature, what was I telling you about wasted potential?”

There was a lightness to his wrist and Aizawa couldn’t open his eyes.

“You could be a hero, that drive and that power-” Aizawa felt something tug at the bandages then his eyes bulged open as there was a blinding pain. He tried to see but tried to wipe his face as hot blood spattered his face, “-There we go. Good as new. I will expect some thanks for that.”

A gloved hand brushed through Aizawa’s hai and he sighed into it. The hand paused, resting lightly on his temple, “Ten days left, and I don’t think you are trying. Now wake up.”

Aizawa managed to open his eyes, the rising dawn was gentle on his face. His back hurt, he supposed from sleeping in his truck all night, but when he moved he felt fine. A quick glance to his hand and the blood splatter, there brought the evening’s nightmare roaring back into his mind. Dried blood caked across his chin when he moved. Bile rose in his throat.

He looked at his left hand, the bandages were still there and it looked faintly like some had grown. Under the bandages he could see faint white scars, old and smooth. He wiggled his fingers.

“I’m not a very good villain, I don’t really know how to show my gratitude to someone like you. So, thank you.” Aizawa felt a little silly talking to himself, but his body was glad to be healed up again.

As he started up the engine put a thought in his head. He knew next to nothing about the men who just tried to kill him, but they knew he had powers. Aizawa remembered the hand in the street and shuddered thinking what could have happened to him. There were more like him, and Yamada was on their hit list.

He had ten days, no leads and only person who could believe him, let alone have a fraction of the force necessary to make sure Aizawa didn’t end up dead. They were the head of one of the worst gangs that the police were after. A man Aizawa in no uncertain terms, had told to go fuck himself.

Aizawa groaned and whacked his head gently against the steering wheel. The horn sailed softly. Aizawa without moving just sighs in agreement, “Mood.”

------------------------------------------

This was a mistake Aizawa realized as his sneakers deposited some grime on the polished wood floors of the complex. A few members of the group looked up from tables and desks as he walked by, or peered through open oak doors. He could feel a few of them circling behind him but kept pressing forwards.

The one from where he used to work, one of the few members to wear their bandannas approached him, “Hello there, sir. Are you here for something?”

Aizawa felt his face heat up, “I need to speak to Yamada.”

“Really?”

Aizawa felt that she did an admirable job of not rolling her eyes at him.

“Hey Jammingway, please take care-“ She waved a gloved hand at Aizawa, “-of this.”

Bright yellow hair spiked out with a black lightning bolt walked over to the pair. He looked Aizawa up and down then Aizawa found himself landing sharply on his tailbone being blown back his muscles contracting suddenly from an electric shock.

Time to do this the hard way.

Once a block away from the complex, he gave a quick glance around. He was both pleased and insulted that no one had followed him, then started to scale the nearest building. After the beating, workout, and fight his body should have been screaming at him but it seemed as wrong as ever, so Aizawa hardly cared.

Some thirty feet in the air one of his hand holds came loose and it was that quirkable bandage which grabbed onto the next hand hold. He remembered what happened when his powers were removed and shuddered. He wouldn’t wish that on his worst enemy. Which, was in part why he kept climbing. He had to get to Yamada.

The noon sun cut pale and chill on his eyes as he surveyed the rooftops. The complex was three building away and there didn’t seem to be any obvious way to bridge the gap and get onto the roof. He smirked, and looked down at his sneakers he then glanced back to the power lines and that smirk turned to a smile.

He looked at the distance between the building and the top of the power line tower and jumped. He landed with some grace on the wooden pole and looked down, glad that so many people always failed to scan or look up. They never think the attack is going to come from up there. The rush of adrenaline cracked a giddy grin onto his face, and as he took a breath already stepping onto the wire and he was silently laughing as he made his way quickly to the roof intended. This had to work. It absolutely had to.

------------------------------------------

The thing about weed in the city is it always had a history intertwined with it's history. Some claimed it to be choking roots, and others claimed it to be a sense of clean freedom. Only thing that could be agreed on was the police hated it and lumped it's users together. One type of bored housewife who toked up after dropping the kids off at their swimming lessons, another holding edgy seances in their basement and tweeted about them afterwards.

Jiro threw off the dress shirt she had been wearing all day and tried to figure out what other shirt was perfectly pressed. They were all pretty good. Yamada’s underbosse's has only the best, and laundering was definitely on the list. She grabbed the closest and in a moment of rash hope grabbed a tie that wasn’t the usual black, it was a different color. The color of Momo’s lips.

Weed wasn’t hot on the streets, not like other drugs. There were no reef wars over weed, no bodies found in the morning over it. Hell, Jiro had heard of police officers confiscating it to share it with a few squad members later.

Weed was established. Illegal, yes, but there was no flair to it. No risk, and an entrenched market that disliked change as much as they disliked looking bad in front of their neighbors.

And Momo? Infamous, the way Jiro has one day hoped to be, the way Yamada was. She was making, no creating a real name for herself and her crew. Jiro once asked Hizashi why they didn’t have any dealings with them, and Hizashi scoffed. Said the money was beneath them, he was in this for the adventure not the pharmacy.

At the time she had accepted the explanation easily enough. She had been jockeying with a few other members of the staff some of the rockiest and high reward jobs they had.

But after meeting that woman, Jiro was less certain. It felt more like Hizashi’s blunt dismissal was the admission of defeat more than anything. He was giving up on a fight he thought he couldn’t win. Jiro guessed that if she was able to know for certain how much money Momo and her group were bringing in it would be difficult due to the police, special agencies, and even some of the other gangs it would quell her nerves. Though when she thought about it she never heard of any of them getting caught. It was intriguing.

Their date that night was in the country away from the big shows of the city, she smiled to herself shrugging on her jacket. She found herself grappling with the mutually exclusive Desiree’s to spy and to just enjoy herself.

------------------------------------------

Hizashi punched Aizawa square in the mouth when he walked through the door to his office. Pain bloomed on his face and yet the first thought that entered Aizawa’s mind was how glad he was that the blood running down his split lip couldn’t ruin a shirt that was already destroyed.

“I fired you, remember? Who the hell do you think you are to show up here anyways?” Yamada said, scanning the hallway behind Aizawa.

Aizawa held up his left hand and spat blood aiming for the mobsters shiny leather shoes, “You are in grave danger Yamada. Someone is trying to kill you and I’m the only one that can stop them.”

Hizashi’s lips thinned to a flat line. He pinched Aizawa wrist with two fingers like touching him was distasteful, and looked over the bandages that were on his hand for a long beat. Finally he flung the hand away and strode to the window.

“Lots of people try to kill me all the time. I’m pretty good at making sure they don’t.”

Aizawa followed him, mouth dry, “This time is different. They are targeting people with… quirks. And they have something that removes them and not like what I can do. They are going to cripple your fighters, and leave them as one of the severed hands found on the street. When they attacked me I heard that you were next.”

One of the members walked into the room, Aizawa was sure he glanced back when Hizashi checker the hall behind him. There wasn’t anyone there. This had to work, Hizashi had to believe him.

“Let them try.”

“They are bringing an army.”

“You may not know this but I have an army.”

“When they use their gun, you will have a bunch of college dropouts with minimal practical fight experience. Wishing they had their quirks.”

“How the hell did you survive then?” Hizashi clung the question out, his eyes still looking over the jagged skyline.

“I’m better than them, you stupid loudmouth! I bet I could fight all of your underlings and come out on top. So why don’t we test this?” Aizawa snarled. What was he doing? Yelling at Yamada wasn’t going to work.

Hizashi lets out a dramatic laugh but his tone remains mirthless, “As much as I would love watching my men beat you to a pulp, I’m not pulling any off for a joke like you.”

“This is serious! Why don’t you believe me? I’m here to help!” Aizawa clung his arms wide, the sudden motion having the kid by the door move forwards ready to taze him again.

Aizawa attempted to run a hand through his hair, his hand stopped by the tangles. He gave a quick noise of impatience and stomped his foot, “You know what Yamada? Fuck you. I hope they do manage to kill you at this point. No you know what? I hope they manage to take away what makes you strong and powerful, I hope they take your quirk, and I hope I see it so I can punch you right in you perfect fucking teeth.”

Aizawa sounds around and made for the door. The member almost apologetically, blocked the exit.

“What was your name again?” Hizashi asked still looking out the window.

“Shouta Aizawa.” He said, glaring daggers into the eyes of the slimy yellow haired mobster in front of him.

“Shouta. At some point we are going to discuss the fact you only read books and apparently don’t watch television. Though men like you don’t just appear, you always have something to do.”

Aizawa shut his eyes. He was running out of time, he was going to have to do this alone wasn’t he?

“Find some person and return them to a different person.”

Hizashi turns, and loosens his blood red silk tie at his throat, “I won’t ask what you bargained with. To give up though, that’s just rude.”

Aizawa struggled to keep a poker face while Hizashi stepped closer. His mind was reeling that the guy in front of him had the balls to try and make a bargain with the thing that gave him his newfound burst of power.

“But, I do find the timing interesting. What is your plan?”

“They know of your quirks and they are coming for you, but they don’t know that you know, so we will want to keep that advantage. We will need every last one, I think. Now I’m not saying use you as bait, but you say you are tough and I’m willing to believe it.” Aizawa punctuates the fact by rubbing his injured chin, “If we can draw them out we can turn the tables.”

Hizashi nodded.

“And in exchange, you will want my connections, and manpower to find this person of yours.”

“They were kidnapped, and we know quite a lot to the right people. I’m sure you know every move made in the area.” Aizawa mentally high-fives himself for switching from offensive insults to blatant flatterly.

Hizashi made an approving sound.

The yellow haired mobster by the door coughed quietly.

“Sir, if you Aizawa close to you it would raise suspicion. We are your men one and all, but it will be a short time until everyone knows why he is here. Then everyone watching will know then the odds are… not good.”

Did he make them call him sir? This changes everything. Hizashi turned from measuring Aizawa with his eyes lingering for almost a split second to the yellow haired mobster.

“I take it you have a solution then, Denki.”

“You're not going to like it.”

“Today seems to be full of things I don’t like.” Hizashi’s eyes were back on him, more the gun oil on his shirt, or the red scratches from rolling in the ground with mystery attackers, or the holes torn in his jeans.

“Tensei…” Denki found himself faltering for words, “Tensei left not to long ago. If this man were to seemingly replace him. When people found out there would be no loss in advantage.”

Hizashi clenched his jaw so hard Aizawa could see the muscles ripple, and the one who suggested the plan was completely still.

“Aizawa, please tell Denki how our first interaction went. You do remember?”

“You showed up at my job, made an obscure movie reference and insulted me, so I told you to go fuck yourself. Then you fired me from my job and then one of your goon pistol whipped me.” Aizawa shrugged. Wondering to himself who was Tensei?

Hizashi turned on him, “It’s the Godfather! You just busted out of mice and men like it’s no big deal, but you never seen-“

“Why is it such a big deal?” Aizawa asks interrupting Hizashi.

“What kind of hipster wonderland do you think we live in? I’m serious please explain-“

“The kind where I keep the law and help improve society, You parasitic mobster!”

“Your mother-“

Before they’d argument escalated Denki coughed to remind the pair that he was still in the room, “It’s an efficient solution sir, or do you have a better idea.”

Hizashi glared at Aizawa who willed himself to back down. Aizawa would not open his mouth and ruin this chance, and regret it for the rest of his life.

“Fine.” Hizashi agreed turning to walk to his desk, “But I don’t want to spend any more time with him than I have to. Denki- wait, fuck me.”

“Sir?” Denki asks his eyes going wide thinking he misheard.

Hizashi gives out a small harsh laugh, “I almost asked you to do something that I didn’t want to do but remembered an age difference. So I have to do everything around here myself, and you are going to stand guard of this room until I have an all clear.”

Aizawa could see over the bandanna masks Denki’s ears go pink and Aizawa’s stomach did a few loop-de-loops when he realized who Tensei was.

“Thank you Sir.”

“Just go.” Hizashi said casting a stern glance to Denki, one that could cut glass if you tried hard enough, “I have to make it convincing for the illusion that Aizawa here is my new bit of fluff.”

He thought of the fact that either way his life was forfeit, then Aizawa found that he just didn’t care about a few bruises left on him, he looked at Hizashi who was walking over, “Do your worst.”

Hizashi pulls a handkerchief out of his jacket and wipes at the blood and grime on Aizawa’s neck cleaning it off, he rolls his head back slightly and thinks twice before really moving the split lip. Hizashi moves in closer.

He smelled just as good this close as he did at their last personal encounter, he tugged Aizawa close with an unexpected familiarity. Aizawa’s stomach did a flip. Hizashi’s mouth was sure, and expert, working red lip marks into Aizawa’s skin with ease. Lips pressed against the soft skin under his jaw, teeth dragged across his adams apple. Aizawa felt his skin heating up just as he realized how this was feeling to him. It didn’t really hit him until a hot circle sucked onto his clavicle. He closed his eyes and concentrated on breathing normally. He was not going to be appearing flustered to the head of the mobsters.

Hizashi pulled away after an unknowable amount of time, leaving Aizawa with a dull aching necklace. Hizashi was already walking back unceremoniously to his desk, he raps on it twice and the door opens behind them.

“Come with me Aizawa.” Denki says beckoning him closer.

And without another word the pair left the office. They walk down a long hallway with gorgeously wide but impractical windows, and intricate wood paneling. Aizawa her some sounds of training and swordplay, but otherwise the building was quiet.

The silence between them was incredibly awkward.

“Yamada will keep his word and we will find your missing person.” Denki said softly, for an almost punk looking gangster who was told to stand outside instead of giving a stranger a neck full of hickies. It was incredibly polite, “We have a locker room down here with the showers. And I’m sure I can find you something... cleaner to wear. If you're hungry Torino was going to do a run to get food for people.”

Aizawa blinked, “That sounds really nice. Thank you.”

“Showers are in there. I’ll leave clothing in the main room, and you can ask us anything. Some of us are complete assholes but no one draws blood or uses quirk inside the compound unless directed.” Denki gestures go Aizawa’s hand, “Looks like you don’t need to get more of a support item. And- welcome to the family.”

------------------------------------------

The first thing he noticed upon stepping into the locker room was the extremely well stocked first aid station by the front door, but there were also a selection of candies and sweets there as well. He planned to raid it for something for his lip and went slack jawed at the amount of heavy hitters and unknown substances there were. Enough to earn felonies for every member of Yamadas family.

There were bandages but his phone didn’t care about these ones, he takes another glance at the medicine and decides to close the box.

The water pressure was sublime, and Aizawa closed his eyes while dried blood, dust, gun oil, and sweat sluiced off his body. He felt strangely safe. Here in the belly of a beast that strong armed the entire legal system to bow to their whims. A beast that pushed aside whichever rules he didn’t care to follow, undisciplined and archaic.

A beast now also know to be worryingly good at an art only valued by hornet teenagers. It was ridiculous but the feeling persisted.

He put on the clothes that were laid out for him a black t-shirt saying he was a fan of the cleansers, and jeans that were a little too loose on him. Clean and not in any pain for the first time in a long time he left the showers and followed his nose to the scent of food. He finds himself opening the door to a dining hall and sees it's half filled and everyone in attendance looks at him. The man who went to do the lunch run, Torino? He offered him some food to eat and a spot to sit. Both which Aizawa took and tore into his food happily.

Midway through the meal suddenly Yamadas voice could be heard from what must have been the public announcement system, “Hey Denki can I get you for a second?”

Aizawa looked up and his brow furrowed before he almost dropped his spoon into his meal. A mobster pretending to be a cowboy looks over at him, “Well I do have to say, I love the look on their faces when they realize that’s it’s not an announcement system.”

They continued to turn to face him, eventually straddling their own chair. Aizawa couldn’t see his face due to a mask but he could see the head tilt, a kind of lewd one over that made him want to punch the cowboy, or run very far away and very quickly. Instead he settled for another bite of food, “And how often does he scream for you?”

A mean chuckle. Aizawa replayed the question through the lenses of dating Hizashi. He sucked in a bit of air slightly embarrassed, then decided that playing jealous wasn’t the worst idea.

The cowboy looks at the rest of the table, “Whenever he damn well pleases.”

Aizawa’s hand was already making it's way up his neck, he hadn’t thought of what was showing. Wasn’t he the piece that picture of the insecure lover? He quickly thinks through what he should do, then leans in to play the part.

Chapter Text

Aizawa fidgeted.

“Just say it, babe.” Hizashi drawled. He inched closer into Aizawa’s personal space and Aizawa resisted inhaling another whiff of that stupidly intoxicating musk that hung around Yamada all the time apparently. Smelling him was too creepy, he was not going to sink to the other mans level.

Aizawa met Hizashi’s sharp eyes and gave a wan smile.

“Sorry, pet.” Aizawa relished the small wince from Hizashi, “Fine her name was Shino and she worked for the law but outside of it. She was brilliant at it, she had saved a lot of lives especially with some more of her friends back in the day. She was the heart of that adorable group.” Aizawa found himself smiling a little. Shino had been so singular. So incredibly terrifying, dangerous, and curious. Larger than life. Talking about her while this man leaned in close and pretended to want him was a strange sort of subumilition.

“Pussycats? I had their help on occasion.” He sees the small look and explains, “Only things that fit in their moral code. Some of us do have hearts you know.”

Aizawa heard the confession in Hizashi’s gravel tones, it was his real voice. Not the sharp way he spat endearments at him regardless of whether anyone was listening or not. He didn’t want to think about it with Hizashi’s lips quirking so close to his own, Hizashi’s voice buzzing in his ear. Aizawa focused on the very expensive looking trim around the room instead.

“She hears word of a job that needed to be done, I heard he talking about a million facts over the phone. She didn’t want me to know about it, I knew it had to be her favourite kind of job. A dangerous one.” He licked his lips suddenly dry, replaying the moment, “I found her corpse on the tiled floor of this lab, I got a call from a friend That this was a dangerous job. And things weren’t looking good from a strange number.”

Aizawa kept looking at the embellishments on the ceiling, “She- it wasn't yet cold. There were signs of a struggle. I-“ His voice cracked and he was embarrassed to be like this in front of Hizashi, “-I didn’t know if I should call an ambulance or-“ He took a Whaley breath to calm himself, “She didn’t have what she was looking for.”

“Do you know who hired her for that one?”

Aizawa shook his head, “She his her records well, if she got caught she wanted someone to be able to take care of Hitoshi.”

Hizashi nodded and looked over to the door, one of his men were already there, “I want all information on this missing person, where that lab is and what is going on here. Who had any interest in the work from the lab, any technician there was on, anything and everything.” Hizashi descend his hand possessively on Aizawa’s knee. His thumb idly running along the inseam of the borrowed jeans. He made it look natural, like he wanted to be doing it, like he didn’t care who was watching. It took amazing effort for Aizawa not to remove the hand on his knee.

They left. Aizawa took a deep breath and leaned over to exhale just against Hizashi’s ear. The hand on his knee turned to a death grip, Hizashi shivered like Aizawa has electrified him, then his head whipped around to Aizawa.

Prepared for the incoming glare, Aizawa smiled.

Hizashi deflated.

“Yamada sweetie.” Aizawa said putting his bandages hand over Hizashi gloved one, “It makes me uncomfortable when you touch me. I really don’t like it.”

Hizashi’s face shuttered, “Everyone can tell. Honey

“Look I’m sorry I’m not as talented as pretending to be into random men like you are.” Aizawa knew he crossed some line by the way Hizashi’s nose wrinkled, “I’m sure I’ll get better with practice.”

“You had better.” Hizashi growled rising to his feet taking Aizawa with him, “If this plan fails because you can’t play gay for five minutes. I’ll kill you myself.”

“In your dreams, sugar.” Aizawa hissed, pushing until the two of them were chest to chest, “Now honestly, all I really want to do right now is to go home to my son and pretend that none of this nightmare-” He gestures vaguely at Hizashi with his left hand, “-ever happened.”

“Listen to me, you bigoted, fuck!” Hizashi said, and Aiawa reeled. Bigoted? “You will not go home to- well not even your own kid-”

Aizawa slapped him. Hard. Hizashi grabbed his wrist with a death grip like steel and keeps talking, close enough for Aizawa to feel the man's breath on his cheek.

“-you want your kid caught in the crossfire?”

Aizawa frowned. He didn’t want to admit that the prick had a point, but his wrist was also starting to hurt and the missing night of real sleep was starting to catch up with him.

“Fine. I’ll just leave her a note and pick up some stuff. Is that acceptable, love?”

Hizashi nodded and released his wrist. As he walked away, Hizashi grabbed his ass and squeezed . Aizawa yelped, flushed bright red, and fled the room to the sound of Hizashi yelling but nothing like what he heard to summon people, “And start showing more skin when you are dressing yourself! Or I will dress you.”

Aizawa wanted to scream.

------------------------------------------

Yagi Toshinori fussed with the collar on his jacket while he pushed down a wave of nerves. This would be fine. It was better to try and fail than to never try at all. This would be fine.

Shouta Aizawa’s porch could use a paint job. There were many things to showed that someone lived there. A large chair next to a small set of furniture designed for kids with a few action figurines around it. Under the larger chair was a set of baseball mitts and a few books.

Toshinori knocked on the door and fidgeted with his jacket once again.

When detective Kuroiwa had told him he was off the case, Yagi had been upset. Understandably so he thought. He’d been the one dogging the streets, collecting evidence, sifting truths from witness interview after witness interview, ordering tests for the severed hands. There was no justice in any city really, he reminded himself, not even enough to let him see the fruits of all his labor.

It had taken a while to find the silver lining, which was if he asked Shouta Aizawa to coffee it wouldn't get him fired. Unless a select few found out, of course.

Aizawa squinted in the afternoon sunlight, and Yagi catalogued the circles under his eyes. The split lip. Geff swallowed- and the ridiculous number of hickeys ringing his sculpted neck.

Aizawa stood there for a second, a half filled duffle bag in one hand, and a tank top in the other.

“Toshinori Yagi, right?”

Toshinori couldn’t tear his eyes away from Aizawa’s neck. He nodded. Aizawa shifted awkwardly, and set the bag and shirt down.

“Did you need something? Is there any progress on the case?”

Toshinori finally forced himself to look Aizawa in the eyes, “I… just wanted to let you know that I’m off the case. Should the police contact you again, it will be with detective Kuroiwa.” Toshinori was starting to turn away when he closes his eyes for a split second and completes the task he came here for, “Here is my card, though. If you should ever.”

“Oh.” Aizawa tried to hide the confusion in his voice. Looking down at the card like he didn't know what to do with it, he missed the second glance to his neck, “Okay, uuh. Thank you for telling me.”

Toshinori gave a plastic smile and turned to walk away. He willed himself not to run. No justice. Not in this city. No justice at all.

------------------------------------------

Aizawa continued to feel like screaming. He was almost dizzy with exhaustion by the time he finished writing the note for Hitoshi and drove back to the complex he was almost swaying on his feet. Hizashi saw how he looked.

“Shouta-”

“Aizawa.” He tried to interject but Hizashi kept going.

“-You need to sleep. I don't want to see those designer bags under your eyes. Sleep until you don't need the beautyrest.”

Aizawa wanted to argue the point but he didn't have the energy for it. He nods and heads to the room Denki brought him to.

He continued to feel like screaming as he feet sank into a deep rich carpet. He looked at the bed that was physically too soft for anyone to logically sleep on. The man had more pillows on the bed that Aizawa had in his house. He walked over and poked one feeling his hand make it to the center of the pillow he shook his head and saw the couch in the room.

“Thank god.”

He sits on the couch ready to pass out and looks at the bed. What if someone came in and saw he wasn't on Hizashi’s bed. It would be easy to perpetuate their fake relationship, there were more pillows that physically permitted for the space.

He leaned back on the couch and wondered if he just took a nap there, but what if he slept through to the next day? Would Yamada care? Would he prefer it? Another thought came into his mind that would be hard to forget, what if he was in the bed and Yamada liked it and started spooning him in the night. Spooned by a mobster in a forest or ornamental pillows and he nearly lost it.

He started laughing from everything that had happened. Shaking his head he laid down. Sighing the couch, he could actually stretch out his legs on the piece of furniture. It smelled like Hizashi, and Aizawa was too tired to pretend that he didn’t really like that. The man might have been the walking symbol of everything he hated, but damn if he didn’t smell incredible.

Aizawa wondered why the couch smelled like Hizashi. Did he forgo the bed and sleeps on the couch? Would he cuddle with Aizawa in the middle of the night? He wouldn’t, would be?

Aizawa gave one last thought to move but sleep won the battle as he finally drifted off into nothingness.

Chapter Text

Borrowing transportation was one of the first things Jiro taught new and even some of the older recruits. Not everyone had a way to easily get into the systems of the electronics but Jiro used her quirk and Denki could sing to any electronic system to make it work for him. Though that didn't matter to Jiro now while she was taking care of the ignition and soon the sleek stubby sports bike was purring beneath her as she rode out of the city.

Yamada had not been pleased to learn that Detective Takeshi Kutoiwa, the knuckleduster, was back in the city’s streets. Which would have been fine, but he had ordered Jiro to take care of it so that he could focus on some ‘pressing business’ he couldn't tell her about.

Jiro loved Yamada fiercely. Jiro respected Yamada, but there was a limit to how much of a job she could do without resentment clawing at her throat.

As the city started to fade away and the moon rose into sky, Jiro wondered if this was it. Serve beneath Yamada, and for the rest of her like do all his work so he could take the credit? Hd didn't even realize he did it. Jiro was so quick, so efficient, guessed his mind before he even knew what he wanted. She’d become a third eye and he never even questioned his new sight.

The audacity of the man.

She hated it as much as she wanted that kind of arrogant and deeply patriarchal power, the confidence Yamada had in keeping the whole city’s underworld in line.

The moon glowed lopsided behind a sprawling monster of a country manor house. Ivy crawled innocently over marble statues gleaming in the darkness of the yard. A strong black fence and dainty trees and bushes kept most of the manor free of views from the street.There was a collection of cars, gnarled willows curled by what Jiro thought was probably a duck pond. When she cut the engine, Jrio could hear an aggressive bass line thumping from inside the well-lit mansion.

The door opened wide as she approached and yellow light spilled across the cobblestones.

“You found the place, good.” Momo called, stepping through a set of columns to give Jiro a hug that consisted of a light and ghost of press of her expensive formal wear against Jiro’s riding leathers. Jiro felt tenser than before. She didn't know if her quirk or her mind was playing the trick on her but the bass beat in her chest.

“What is the racket?” She asked as she followed Momo in.

Momo waved her hand and showcased the rest of the main hall, “My alumni are throwing a party. They will be at it all night. They were trying to get some other groups to join them, can you imagine?”

The main hall was enormous. Momo led her up a set of grand stairs, through a long hallway, turned, through a library silent as a tomb. Then to a sitting room with plush couches from the last century it seemed, and the curtains tied open to let the moon's light pour in. Lavender incense had the last tendrils of smoke curling up from it's holder, all set on a plain chest instead of an end table. It was a bit odd but-

“Well?” Momo smirked with ruby lips, then gestured to everything around her. She was a glowing figure in pristine white, in a matching manor deep in the green countryside with friends that Jiro would have never imagined her to invite over. She had never been more intrigued.

“What do you think?”

“I think-” Jiro unzipped her jacket, “I think it has been a miserable week and it's good to get out of the city.”

“Then I have a plan. No talk of the city the whole night. No of this, ‘so what do you do’ nonsense, nothing about the traffic, or the new buildings or anything to do with the city” Momo held out a pinky, her eyes sparkling.

Jiro laughed and pinky swore. This was an entirely perfect solution to her earlier dilemma. “And what will we do if one of us messes up?”

“So you’re a rule maker.” Momo cried, “You need to operate in parameters to operate in, Kyoka Jiro?”

Jiro stepped closer to to Momo with all the swagger she could muster, “It’s not that.” She paused to ham it up, “I just want to know what kind of... punishment to expect.”

Momo’s laugh was bubbling around her, “Fine. If either of us messus up, we have to go hang out with the rest of the class members downstairs.”

“All or nothing, huh?”

“All or nothing.” Momo smiled and sat down on a couch, rich and burgundy and only a little frayed, then gestured with ring-encrusted fingers at a hookah tucked beside the table, “It seems predictable to ask, but do you smoke?”

Jiro sat down on the ottoman. She looked out the window at the stars of the countryside. Jiro felt wild, free, like this night could be anything she wanted it to be.

“Sure.”

If this was an attempt to get Jiro to mention the city by way of Momo’s work, it wasn’t going to work.

She watched Momo pour water into the glossy glass basin at the bottom of the hookah, then expertly pack a mix of orange shisha and weed into the bowl. She fiddled hoses, foil, coals, then lit them with a zippo that proclaimed, “Enji Todoroki.” A burning police badge with the motto, “Burn down evil.”

Momo’s face glowed warm in the lighter’s brief fire. Jiro thought she could see the faintest smirk at the irony of the lighter. Momo looked over and Jiro had to say something.

“This piece is beautiful.” Jiro gestured to the hookah and was trying to force her nerves to calm down, “Where did you get it?”

“Many years ago I studied my quirk. I apprenticed for a man who knew my power but never gave credit-” Jiro’s stomach flip-flopped because, oh, she knew the song and dance, “-and he had many things that he wanted made. It was supposed to teach me.”

Momo paused to inhale through the pipe with a rising ribcage and relaxed lips. She paused, eyes flicking briefly up to meet Jiro’s, then exhaled an unfurling blossom of lazy, thick smoke.

“Some of the people loved what I made under his guise, and would often send their compliments or small token of gratitude thinking gifts would help with prices. They did not. The man had no energy for anyone but himself, so one day I made this and decided to keep it terminating our relations. So I suppose his failings are my gain.”

Jiro took the pipe, still wet with the inside of Momo’s mouth, and pulled in sharp orange and clinging weed all at once. She let it sit in her mouth, the smoke damp and thick, then breathed a dense and swirling cloud.

“So he should have been more briable you mean?” She asked combative.

Momo hummed.

 

“He should have seen the world for more than himself I think. You get farther in life like that. Never see beyond your own desires-” She trails off for a second wrapping the hose around a finger, “We… disagreed on a few other things, so I left.” Momo took a long pull on the hose.

Jiro would have been caught in a reverie, thinking about Yamada and what she needed, except for the sudden closeness of Momo, close enough that she could feel the warmth from her lips, and Jiro leaned into it.

This was bold and abrupt, really, but it was somehow refreshing to skip the song and dance of getting to know this stranger, save it for later, or maybe never and so Jiro parted her lips. Waxy lipstick melted into her. She breathed in the rush of smoke that Momo shotgunned. She pulled Momo’s quick tongue in as well, greedy, until at last she pulled back to tilt her head and breathe silver smoke in an exultant nimbus.

Momo was there at her exposed throat as she gazed heavy-lidded at the moon, sharp teeth against soft skin, then soft lips suckling against the flesh of her earlobe.

Jiro shuddreed.

Time collapsed. At first the kiss was a playful back and forth, testing limits, language, a quick shove of tongues, the barest hint of teeth. Jiro’s lower lip pulled into Momo’s mouth until it stung, Momo’s tongue a hot pulse she sucked in. Lavender, orange, and weed smoke floated around Jiro as her mouth sank into the spaces Momo allowed her.

They separated and the moon glowing brightly behind Momo, and the woman was flushed and blinking.

“I, um was going to cook dinner. Are you hungry?”

Jiro loved how Momo’s voice hitched, how she pressed a quick finger to her lip as if to make sure she was in one piece. Feeling warm, hazy and relaxed Jiro stood and offered a hand to Momo.

“Do you want help in the kitchen?”

Momo nodded, and Jiro followed her downstairs.

------------------------------------------

Aizawa woke up, disoriented for the second it took him to remember where he was. Someone had covered him with a blanket. In the grey silence of the room he could sense another person, their quiet rhythm of sleep, he squinted at the bed. Empty. He looked around and realized that there was a Hizashi shaped mass curled up on the carpet by his feet.

A strange parade of affection marched through his chest as he tried to make out details of the sleeping mob boss in the dark. Just the sliver of a brow, a shoulder defined by the outside streetlight, nothing tangible. Nothing that gave Aizawa a single insight into the man with the ridiculous bed who preferred to sleep on the couch or, apparently, on the floor.

Aizawa shut his eyes and tried to will himself back to sleep. He hoped Hitoshi was okay. He was starting to imagine that he would be able to find out who killed Shino, the thought of bringing them to justice. Then a cellphone buzzed.

Yamada stirred, a sudden intake of breath and heavy with sleep he moved to his phone pushing hair out of his eyes he grumbled into the phone and stood up. Aizawa pretended to sleep while the man shrugged on his clothes. Then he left, the hallways bathing the room in a pale light for just a second. Clear- headed and calm in a way he hadn’t been in a while Aizawa got up to follow him.

Yamada’s form blocked the skeletal lights on the way down to the basement in arrhythmic flickering gaps. Aizawa kept his footsteps completely silent as he followed. Two floors away he stopped.

At the bottom of the spiralling rounds of concrete and ironwork, there was a man slumped in a metal folding chair. The industrial light was stark, its shadows sinking eye sockets and burying hollows of cheekbones in the small huddle of members waiting by the chair. Not a single one of them wore their masks. Aizawa’s stomach dropped when he noticed that detail.

Yamada didn’t look at the man in the chair. He turned his back on him and Aizawa heard the hiss of a match and then smelt sweet musky smoke from a cigar that one of Yamada men lit from himself. That was the most illumination in the room. Another cigar was lit and handed off to Yamada. Hizashi turned around and his face being illuminated by the cherry of the cigar and ghosted by the fluorescent light behind him. He looked like a monster in a shirtsleeves and he smiled, veiled in smoke with death on his teeth.

Aizawa watched, hypnotized, and without hesitation stepped in and broke three of the man’s fingers. Screams echoed in odd harmonics up the stairs.

“That.” Hizashi said at last, his voice was low and threatening, “Was for the family members you hurt.”

The man was sputtering, “I didn't kill any of your family! I will-” the mans babbling and shouts were cut off by Hizashi slapping him hard enough to draw blood.

Hizashi stepped back and waited for the man to compose himself. Aizawa suddenly realized that he was biting his own lip and leaning over the railing. Appalled, he moved back into the shadows. This Hizashi was terrifying. This Hizashi was a knife, maybe a scalpel, all dispassionate cruelty and meance. All Aizawa had seen up until now was a more or less grumpy man who was quirk to snark back, or order his family around. This made sense. This was a shark in bloodied waters. This was his element.

“You did, I can tell the cuts made by your brats and pathetic attempt of a family, and eal blade work. Though nice job trying to say that it was Stendhal!”

Hizashi pulled long and slow on his cigar, examining the shaking man below him, eyes completely obscured by the harsh shadows.

“I brought you here to correct some misinformation you somehow gained. Though first I want you to know that my family means the world to me, and importantly to them”, Hizashi circled his hand quickly to include the family present, “These members were close to the departed. They have requested some comfort. I am going to oblige them.”

The next bit was quick and awful. One by one, the gathered family members stepped in and hurt the man in the chair. Screams, blood, at one point the crunch of bone, but Aizawa watched Hizashi. Hizashi watched his family, mental notes on the choices they made, to see how brutal or warranted it was. Did Hizashi watch him so carefully? Or had he been written off as a nightclub's bouncer, hired muscle that had caught some fame with the this part of the dark world.

When the violence was over Yamada rejoined the tableau. The person was coughing up blood so Yamada knelt, patted them on the back and looked them in the eye.

“What you need to understand is that you will never get away with anything like that, and you need to stop trying. Someone lied to you, told you that this family was made of ordinary men and women. We are not, but you are, and unless granny helps you, I don't know if you would survive another session like this.”

They made a whiny sound and Yamada turned to walk up the stairs before Aizawa had the chance to start moving. Aizawa froze, and Hizashi looked at him with eyebrows raised. Then he walked past him, Aizawa followed him back up the stairs. They didn't speak.

When the two of them reached the bedroom, still and dark and undisturbed, they paused in the doorway. Aizawa looked at the bed, the couch, and the spot on the floor where Hizashi had slept at his feet.

“I need some air.” Aizawa found himself mumbling. Hizashi looked away quickly disposing of the cigar with an untasteful look, “Do you want to join me?” Aizawa asked.

Hizashi met his eye, something uncertain in the calculations Aizawa was starting to identify there, “Do you actually want me to join you, or are you saying that so it doesn't look like you are fleeing my presence?” There was something about the blood splattered on Hizashi’s shirt that encouraged honesty.

“I want you to come.” Aizawa had the words out of his mouth wholly with innocent intentions, before he realized what he said the two of them were trying to contain a chuckle against the door frame like thirteen-year-olds.

“Fine by me.” Hizashi grinned.

Aizawa dressed quickly, then paused to look at Hizashi, “Your shirt.”

Hizashi looked down like he completely forgot about the blood, peeled out of it and put on a clean shirt, “So where do you want to get this fresh air?”

Aizawa smiled, “Take a wild guess. Suit.”

------------------------------------------

At one AM the UA club was a swarm of shriek swaying drunks showing a lot of skin and flashing a lot of cash. Aizawa didn’t recognize the new bouncer, but a glance from Hizashi got them in the door and Aizawa found himself gripping onto Hizashi’s arm as they elbowed their way through the crowd.

The din was nearly unbearable and Aizawa felt old for the first time in a while. Apparently the Shiketsu screamers were playing in the club and then they weren't screaming into the microphone they were pounding bass, and every young body in the place was thrashing to their animal cries.

“I still don't understand apart from recruitment purposes why they like these kids.” Hizashi grumbled, “I think it's the only reason they are popular.”

Sure enough when Aizawa swept the room he spotted little gaggles of people he spotted from the base, people sticking out because a few too many scars or muscles to mark them as part of the general crowd. Aizawa beckoned Emi over, and when she gave a glance she stopped midway through a beer pour and gave him a hug across the bar. Aizawa was relieved to see that she was still wearing the same headband as earlier. Her barbacks were dressed like they worked at Ketsubutsu establishment, but Emi was just as she always had been. He smiled.

“What’ll you have?” She murmured close, above the din and Aizawa said back in the same barkeeping tones.

“More than some ari apparently. Whatever the suit is buying.” He then watched Emi’s face move through the motions of disbelief to concern to reprimand.

Hizashi gestured, and soon Aizawa was staring at a small tumbler of amber whisky. Of course. He tamped down on his immediate irritation. They had gone a full hour without screaming at each other, and Aizawa wasn’t about to ruin it by telling Hizashi that his taste in booze was pretentious. Hizashi held up his glass, “To whatever this is.”

Cautiously Aizawa clinked his glass against Hizashi’s. The liquid felt warm in his throat, and it tasted like campfires under star speckled skies. Okay. Maybe pretentious was the wrong word. Aizawa found himself relaxing, in spite the frantic music, the crowd, and the way Hizashi;s thigh was slotted against his own.

“So why don’t you sleep in your bed?” Aizawa yelled in Hizashi’s ear.

“I can't believe you let a ten year old pick out your shirt!” Hizashi yelled back glancing at the cats on the shirt.

“I love this shirt first fuck you. And second you are dodging the question.” Aizawa says and Hizashi’s response was to bring his glass down to the table and close his eyes, Hizashi had peculiar features and unless you were looking for them Aizawa realized, they were easy to miss.

“The bed is too soft. You clearly held the same opinion, Shouta.”

Aizawa nodded. This wasn’t going well, was it? What was Hizashi’s problem? He was cool and in control when smashing an old mans face in, but a grumpy pile of nails whenever Aizawa tried any type of question. He copied Hizashi, letting the expensive liquid set fire to his belly all in one swallow, and then sat there in awkward silence. The club thumping around then, still pressed close in the overcrowded space. Hizashi gestured again and two more whiskeys appeared, accompanied by a worry glance from Emi.

“Hizashi.” Aizawa said close into the mans ear. He realized how rarely he spoke the suits name, “It seems like everything I do pisses you off.”

Hizashi looked shocked for a millisecond, before replacing it with his usual dour expression of mild disapproval.

“What did I do?”

Hizashi barked a laugh at him, then stared vacantly at the bottles in front of him, “Is this the part where I finally get to grill you on how you don’t know movies but you’ll pull obscure book references out of your ass like anyone will even get them?”

Aizawa frowned, “Well you only got the one I pulled anyways. So I don’t see your point.”

Hizashi fixed him an icy stare.

Aizawa relented.

“Look, I’ve always been a bookworm, but when I was in prison there was nothing else. The library was my lifeboat.”

You were in prison.” Hizashi said, a question in his voice and Aizawa’s heart sank. Hizashi had written him off as cheap muscle. He hadn’t looked into Aizawa’s background, hadn’t found out that he worked as proper security for almost a decade, taught self defence classes, or the small private bodyguard business he held for some time. Hizashi didn’t have any idea how much it was messing with him to be this close to the lawless killers, that he fought against his entire life. Hizashi hadn’t thought he was even worth a cursory background check.

“I’m going outside,” He murmured, setting his empty glass down. Why did that bother him? It shouldn’t. Four days ago he hadn’t known who Hizashi was.

Aizawa sagged against the bricked exterior of the UA establishment’s back patio. What an awful idea this was. He imagined leaving now, and just walking home. Glancing into Hitoshi’s room where he slept like a tiny belligerent log when he finally fell asleep. Himself crawling into his own bed, forgetting any of this had ever happened. He imagined the hours being attacked by the people who attacked him and sighed. Brushing his hands against the growing bandage on his arm. There was no going back was there?

Aizawa looked out to the busy part of the city, the neon lights still reflecting off of the windows nearby, he didn’t have much time before Hizashi came out following him, looking vexed. Aizawa slumped even further against the wall and saw that Hizashi took up leaning on the rails close by him. Whistling a little tune, and Aizawa found himself hypnotized by the man’s mouth, the slight hollowing of his cheeks, the way he pursed his narrow lips to push sound away from him.

“Tensei insisted on the bed. To this day I’m not sure if he genuinely preferred that marshmallow deathtrap, or if he did it for one of his endless mind-games with me.”

Aizawa blinked. Hizashi stopped whistling and looked at Aizawa he holds out a half filled cup as a peace offering.

“I trained with my father when I was younger, I helped him with self defence classes before being shipped off to a boarding school,” Aizawa said, then took a sip of the offered drink, “And in school I had this friend. He liked kissing me and I guess I liked it too. We fooled around a bit and then one day he got kicked out and I didn’t.” Aizawa swirled the drink around in his cup, irritated that he was even bringing this up. This wasn’t fucking therapy- not two hours before he watched this man break fingers like it was a household chore, And you liked it, a traitorous thought whispered someone deep within himself.

“Prison… made me think of that again. I hadn’t you know. Um, before that, I had my partner in crime Shino and we had Hitoshi to look after, and it's easy to go with the flow. I was very close to her. In some ways I still am.” He trialed off and distracted himself by passing the drink back to Hizashi and taking in the view in the distance. When at last he let himself look, Hizashi was frowning the glass resting on the rail as he stared off into nothing.

Aizawa snatched the glass back with quick movements, smiling when Hizashi finally noticed that it was gone. He moved away when Hizashi reached for it, that caused the blond to glower. This felt familiar, like they were finally back on solid ground. Aizawa relaxed, grinning, and waved the drink out of the shorter mans reach. Hizashi tried to reach for it and Aizawa rolled his eyes, and before they knew what was happening. The pair of them here nose to nose, fighting over an almost finished drink.

Laughing Aizawa held up and swirled the drink around. Then all of the sudden Hizashi’s mouth pressed warm and fun against his, Aizawa dropped the drink in surprise. Hizashi caught it and finished the last bit of the drink still inches from Aizawas face. Aizawa found that he was shaking,

“I guess it’s no surprise that someone like you plays dirty,” He spat, a sour taste in his mouth even as he said it.

Hizashi’s jaw dropped, then his face shuddered back to it's usual blank frown. He not so carefully placed the cup on the railing. Neither of them spoke. The moment dragged on. Aizawa willed himself to stop shaking, to not think, to not run as far away as he possibly could.

“I’m done here. Tomorrow we try baiting the attackers. Be ready.” Hizashi said stiffly, then turned heading back inside.

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The kitchen was cold and expansive and there was some kind of ornate tile backsplash with a modern theme to it if Jiro tried to describe it. Momos hands were sure, practiced, elegant as the stretched dough for the pasta maker, but Jiro’s mouth was eager for more contact.

They soon fell to whacking each other with flour stained hands as Jiro interrupted cooking with kisses.

“Do you want to starve, you villain?” Momo laughed as Jiro wrestled her hips away from the counter so she could more easily grab at Momo’s butt while kissing her breathless.

“No! I don't want to die out here in the countryside, a city kid like me?” Jiro adopted desperate tones but Momo’s eyes lit up at the word ‘city.’

“Oh that does not count.” Jiro said with a huff, “And I thought I was the one for rules?”

Momo lowered her eyes to the pasta she was pushing through the machine, “I just like to win Jiro. You should know that- I really like to win.”

There was flour smeared across one high cheekbone and her shirt was half-unbuttoned and Jiro was entranced by the way Momos wristed moves as she held a pot under the sink and waited for it to fill. She crowded in, reached behind her to turn off the tap, put the pot to the side. Then with a satisfying yelp from Momo, Jiro picked her up and set her on the counter, Dizzying minutes passes, Jiro’s hands warm around Momo’s waist, both caught up the slide of invading tongues and muffled sighs, escalating into sharp tugs of teeth against warm lips, an intimacy of nearly shared breath, Jiro’s hands sliding farther up Momo’s back. Jiro heard rather than saw Momo’s fingers scrabble against the counter. They knocked over a knife block and a dozen sharp silver blades spun over the counter and danced on the floor.Jiro registered their spill as a series of snapshots in her peripheral vision. Her lips were flushed, warm, vibrating.

“You,” Momo pulled back, her voice husky and tender, “Need to sit at the table and let me actually cook you a meal. This is not his I envisioned this evening going.”

“Should I be sorry?” Jiro asked, impertinent, getting a sharp whack on her backside as Momo turned red in response. She padded over to the table obediently to watch Momo move around the kitchen like a purposeful malestrom.

Dinner was delicious, as good food eaten while high can only be.Jiro hadn't known that the texture of pasta could matter, but it did. This handmade stuff was incredible. They talked, continuing with the game of no ‘city talk’. They talked of what they did for the festive seasons, of childhood pranks and hated school teachers. Of past journeys and dream vacations. The moon had tucked itself demurely behind thick rain clouds by the time Momo walked Jiro out to her borrowed motorcycle. he leaned in for a slow kiss in the late night chill.

“We must do this again soon,” Momo said.

“A second date? Let me see about renting a U-Haul,”Jiro gave a shit eating grin and Momo laughed.

“I’ll pick us out some cats. Seven is a good number, right?”

The sound of Momo’s laughter stayed in her ears as she sped down the empty country highway back to the city, back to all of her problems and all her frustrations. She tried to keep it all in her head, tried to recall precisely the way she tasted, tried to make the dream last for as long as she could, which meant when she stopped in front of the smoldering wreckage of their base, she was truly unprepared.

Chapter Text

Some sort of sixth sense screamed that everything was wrong here, but Aizawa only started sprinting the minute the white van pulled up alongside Hizashi. The door opened, a gloved hand thrust a pistol out at Hizashi and shot.

The sounds should have boomed but was deafened by a scream in the dead night air, Aizawa winced at the noise.

Hizashi moved unnaturally to the side, then lunged forwards and whacked the gun into the air. It clattered onto the pavement as Aizawa got there the van door opened.

The mysterious attackers in their dark clothing were back and poured out of the van, as another van stopped, then a third. Hizashi gave a piercing whistle that was almost as bad as the noise he heard from the attackers before. The windows shattered behind them as Hizashi’s family started coming to his aid. Some half dressed, others confused to who they were fighting but were raising fists and preparing quirks as soon as they realized what was going on.

Aizawa glanced at the streets entrance to see a detective cruiser was parked there blocking off that exit. He didn’t recognize the broad figure leaning against it, but his heart sank anyways, and then the fight lept into existence like a fire off a match. Quick brutal movements and the sounds of quirks and guns going off. There were bodies on the ground, Aizawas fists were red with other people's blood but he only had eyes for Hizashi.

The man moved like a human tornado, hurling a gun into the face of an oncoming attacker, then chasing it with an elbow pounding into bloody bone, turning with one fluid motion to fling the man’s heavy body into the next, blocking punches and sending men to the ground with bone-shattering cracks. But there were so many of them.

And then Aizawa saw the case that fell from one of the attackers hands. Aizawa cleared the distance between them almost having Hizashi’s quirk used on him but without fear or a thought to it Aizawa grabbed Hizashi’s sleeve, shouting and pointing, “Thats our man!”

Hizashi loudly relayed the command for them to focus on the man with the case but it was too late, they were lining up their shots. They fired and the family members crumpled, easily being overpowered by the remaining police forces, their quirks not working. Having relied so much on them for fighting their practical experience was a bit out of style.

Aizawa and Hizashi were shot at, Hizashi pushing himself forwards and taking a few of the shots for Aizawa. Hizashi gasped, and Aizawa was suddenly holding the man up by his sleeve as he sank to the ground. These ones were different lined with something that felt like it was eating away at him, dizzy with pain and vomit rising in his throat, Aizawa reached into Hizashi’s suit and pulled out the gun he knew was holstered under the arm. Warm with body heat, a heavy weight as he hefted it in one hand unwilling to let go of Hizashi in the other.

Aizawa saw a figure in white join the outskirts of the fray ready to properly join the fight, Aizawa was too focused on the one trying to stop any advantage they had. He shot and the bullet passed striaght through the attackers head. They had a moment to take in the fight.

“I-” Aizawa gasped, “-fucking told you so!”

Hizashi hit him weakly, and Aizawa saw that the mobster was hesitant to use his voice. Though in the silence that followed for the second. Both sides realised who had the power. They were on almost equal terms.

The figure Aizawa saw before quickly covered the distance between where he last saw him and Hizashi in the ground, he was looming over Hizashi, the helmet’s focus solely on the man on the ground, blind to everything else.

“You!” Hizashi said, and Aizawa expected a fight but Hizashi stayed still.

The hero of the police placed their hand at their side drawing and cocking a gun and went to fire. Aizawa hardly realized he had half sobbed and half let a raw scream come from his throat, “No!”

His bandaged hand was extended was letting the thick bandages fly free. They raced towards Hizashis prone form being pulled closer the bullet still making a bone shattering crack, followed by a surprised shout from the hero and a painful gutteral sound from Hizashi. Aizawa found himself crouched over Hizashi’s body frantic, watching the man try not to squirm or move from the pain. Aizawa was watching the blood spread fast, too fast over Hizashi’s white shirt. He pressed his hands to the wounds.

The wounds that were suppressing his quirk were not as bad or as deep as the other one but Aizawa had to move them. He looked over to where the hero was starting to stand and felt Hizashi pull on his arm looking back Hizashi was grabbing onto the bandage that was around Aizawas wrist. He nodded and ripped off some of the bandages they started to work differently, almost plainly. Aizawa panicked and moved closer to Hizashi looking him over and the bandages move to his heart accord.

The battle was subsiding as well, some of the family were trying their best to take out whoever remained. Some were already starting to nurse their wounds, check on those who were laying on the ground, and the gun that had been suppressing them being taken away by the fleeing enemy.

Thats when their base blew up.

Coughing, Aizawa swept Hizashi up in his arms and ran as fast as he could. The air was hazy with smoke, concrete dust, the foul smell of used explosives, heavy shouts, alarm, confusion. The sound of trained fighters running low on adrenaline. Aizawa unlocked his truck by pure reflex, hefted Hizashi onto the bench with care as he could but still the man let out a groan, he nudged in next to him and started up the truck driving away.

Hizashi stirred almost ten minutes later he looked around and asked, “Shouta, where are we going?”

Aizawa blinked, he was halfway home already, and he thought to himself. You know what? Fuck it. He rested a hand on Hizashi’s hip. The bandages inching towards any wounds Hizashi had.

“I’m taking you home tough guy.” Aizawa gave the hammiest wink he could and glanced away from the street long enough to see Hizashi roll his eyes and sag into the bench a little more. Aizawa’s bandaged hand is slowly removed as he goes back to focusing on the road.

The night was dark and deep and his little house was dead silent when he pulled into the driveway. He helped Hizashi into the darkened house and eased him onto the couch. He then went to check on Hitoshi, there he was, tiny head and tousled and blankets rumpled around him. A few cat plushies were also peeking out of the blankets and some had fallen to the ground.

Aizawa could have cried just then. He walked softly into his room and laid a kiss no his forehead. A bit of blood stayed, tacky against his skin, when Aizawa pulled back.He mumbled something in his sleep. Heart aching Aizawa closed the door.

Hizashi was exactly where he left him on the couch breathing shallowly. Aizawa knelt the bandages already moving closer.

“What do you need?” He murmured. Hizashi was so pale, so still.

“You got a sewing kit, darling?” Hizashi smiled with bloodless lips.

Aizawa ran to the garage, grabbed what he needed and sprinted back inside. He went beside Hizashi preparing everything he needed. The man was either desperate or too full of himself, “That is not how you tie a knot.”

Aizawa fumbled with the thread but found time to glare at Hizashi. The mans shirt was off, tossed in a bloody heap somewhere on the other side of the room. His wounds bleed sluggishly, not enough to be worrying anymore, but really, not great or comforting either. The wound gabed in an unsettling way across the side of the mans ribs.

“Is too, Tiger taught me.” Aizawa muttered, trying to calm his nerves enough to do it properly. Hizashi helped push the skin closed while Aizawa pulled through with the thread, new blood welling up with every puncture. Aizawa was trying to focus on what he was doing but the silence was damning, “I could drive you to a hospital you know.”

“No.” Hizashi barked and Aizawa swore the man almost grabbed his wrist to force him to pay attention.

“It won't heal clearly! You’ll have so much scar tissue!”

“You worried about ruining my dashing good looks? How sweet.”

Aizawa shook his head and finished stitching. Antiseptic, a well applied bandage pad made of shop rags and duct tape, and they were done. Hizashi tried to take something out of his pocket to start going back to work but Aizawa took it from out of his hands and ignored the protest that ended in a small groan.

“I’m getting you some orange juice.” Aizawa declared taking the phone into the kitchen. He grabbed some painkillers while he was there, wishing Hizashi’s first aid kit was still in one piece. He was making his way back to Hizashi and felt foolish the man was already looking a bit better but that did not stop Aizawa.

He knelt down beside Hizashi and keenly hands the painkillers to Hizashi along with the drink speaking cheerfully, “You have to replenish your blood sugar.”

Hizashi downed the glass anyways.

Aizawa here in this softer moment found himself reaching out to smooth the deep furrows on Hizashi’s brow. He chewed on his lip, staring vacantly at the bloody clothing flung on the floor. There was so much he needed to know. Where was everything coming from and going from, would his quirk have any other effects that could harm him from use? He realized he was still gently stroking HIzashi’s forehead while Hizashi held perfectly still.

Hitosh’s door creaked open.

Aizawa stood abrupt to catch him in a hug and swung him around while he yelled, “Dad! You’re home!”

Aizawa grinned and hefted him onto his hip. Then hastily wiped the blood off his forehead. He didn't seem to notice- he was too busy looking at Hizashi while he stared warily back.

“Who are you?”

“A… A friend of Aizawa’s” Hizashi said uncertanily, like he didn't know how to act around children. He probably didn’t. Aizawa suddenly had the worst idea. With a grin that no doubt looked impish he set Hitoshi down.

“Toshi, I need a shower. Get Hizashi anything he needs. I missed you.” HE messed his hair up even more than it already was then abandoned Hizashi to the care of his ten-year-old son. He bit his tongue to keep from laughing at Hizashi’s openly horrified face.

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Aizawa finished off towelling his hair and peeked back into the living room. He blinked. Hizashi was sitting up, and Hitoshi was leaning against him, showing the older man his sketchbook and telling him about each and every single cat he drew. Hizashi nodded periodically, asking questions about some of it. A plate of pop tarts rested on Hitoshi’s knee, hal-finished, and Aizawa felt a now familiar twist in the pit of his stomach as he watched them.

“You, back to bed. You have school tomorrow.” He said, ushering Hitoshi back to his room. He gave his son a hug, a kiss, and closed the door. Hizashi watched him from the couch. Aizawa suddenly felt nervous.

“We head out in the morning Hizashi said, closing his eyes, “I need to make sure my group are following procedure, and then we need to go after the investigation unit.”

“The whole unit?” Aizawa repeated.

Hizashi nodded giving a small sound of acknowledgment.

Aiawa shook his head, the small swell of tenderness he had been feeling a moment ago for Hizashi was replaced by the even more familiar sense of irritation.

“Fine, whatever. Let’s get you to bed you cryptic son of a-”

“The couch is fine.”

Aizawa grit his teeth, “The couch is not fine. You got shot. There is a normal bed with a normal mattress twenty paces away and your dumb ass is getting in it.”

They glared at each other, and Aizawa was about to give up when Hizashi threw his hands up, “Fine.”

He attempted to stand and staggered. Aizawa was under his shoulder albeit awkwardly but in a single second. This close and he was dizzy, drunk on the way Hizashi smelled underneath the smoke, blood and antiseptic. Or perhaps, he whispered to himself, because of all that smoke and the blood. He froze He could still taste the drink on his tongue from UA earlier, he felt the memory of HIzashi’s lips on his own.

A long minute passed, standing there in his own living room holding Hizashi up.

Then Hizashi laughed like something broken, like a record suddenly being scratched, like waves crashing against the sky, like gravel helplessly turning to sand. This gave Aizawa a moment of rare clarity. Hizashi’s cagey behavior and persistent grumpy moods, the way he took any excuse to touch him then withdrew into sullen silence. That he fought fiercely, fearlessly, but could barely look Aizawa in the eye/

What a complete and absolute idiot. It took one to know one, didn’t it?

Aizawa pulled Hizashi in and kissed him.

He was slow to respond, but like a tidal wave Aizawa felt him surge long before teeth scraped over his tongue, before he reached up to set a hand against Aizawa’s jar. Aizawa sighed into the kiss.

 

They did an awkward stumble back through the hallway, lips warm and insistent, wet tongues, desperate little noises that Aizawa pretended he wasn’t making. HIzashi snarled into his mouth as they tripped backwards and Aizawa fumbled with a dornob at his back, dragging them inside with an arm hooked over Hizashi’s shoulder and his tongue buried in his mouth.

The back of his knees hit the bed and Hizashi pushed him down to his elbows. Aizawa looked up at him, a dark figure backlit but the lights of the hallway, heart beating a million miles a second, panting through suddenly flushed lips.

“Come on Suit, you scared?” He whispered, reaching out to grab Hizashi by the belt loops, pulling him in close until he was standing between Aizawa’s knees.

“Or is this a bad time to play gay? You are injured.”

At that Hizashi grabbed Aizawa by the nape of the neck, pulling on his hair until Aizawa looked him in the eyes instead of the crotch.

“You are acting like a piece of shi.” He murmured, a hopeless sound in his voice, fingers pushing into Aizawas hair.

“Takes one to know own, Hizasshi.”

“Your bedroom talk sucks balls.” HIzashi grumbled.

“Would you like that? It would shut me up, wouldn’t it? Choking on your dick?” He was glad it was dark, because his face was suddenly boiling, his stomach an overpopulated butterfly sanctuary.

Hizashi was quite above him, shirtless and bloodstained, a wounded predator.

Aizawa slid from the bed to his knees, hands still on Hizahi’s thighs. The grip on Aizawa’s hair tightened. Hizashi spoke in a voice that was low and strangely fragile, “You really want-”

Aizawwa ran his hands up to Hizashi’s ribs, reading the scars there, the warmth, the strength, “Yeah.” Aizawa breathed. Yes he wanted. HE promised himself at a later time he would figure out exactly what he wanted. If that was even possible.

“Aizawa, I-” Hizashi’s voice cracked, “-I have something to tell you.”

“You want to thank me in advance for blowing your mind?” Aizawa grinned up at him and ran a hand over the growing bulge in Hizashi’s pants.

“My mind isn’t in my pants Shouta. Interesting anatomy fact just for you.”

“You could have fooled me.” Aizawa smirked, unzipping Hizashi;s fly, heady with the sensations. The weight of Hizashi’s cock in his hand, the way his his damp hair stuck against Hizashi’s thigh, the hot feel of velvet skin against rough fingertips.

Hizashi’s scoff turned into a gasp as Aizawa dragged his tongue slowly, deliberately, up his dick. Hizashi swelled and stiffened under Aizawas mouth. He made a soft, needy noise that shot straight to Aizawa’s groin. Aizawa dragged his lips across the tip. Then, barely containing a laugh, he switched angles and sucked gently on Hizashi’s balls. Aizawa swallowed him down, while Hizashi made a gargantuan effort to stay still.

“Should have known that a… a mouth like yours would be- ah- good at this.” Hizashi said, his hands finding their way into Aizawas hair again, gentle eager. Aizawa made an agreeable noise in the back of his throat, intent on wringing more of those noises out of Yamada, his mouth a slow rhythm along his length. Hizashi groaned at that, delighted, helpless, sagging finally against the bedroom wall for Aizawa to press him into it with forceful hands on his sturdy hip bones.

At that moment there was a sound of breaking glass and a childs scream. Then before Aizawa or Hizashi could even move. They heard the sound of tires screeching away.

And then silence.

Chapter Text

Jiro coughed, remnants of the explosion’s foul smoke clinging to her lungs and stinging her eyes. Her family members lay in hepas on the ground, Hizashi was nowhere to be seen, and off in the hazy distance a hulking figure in detective uniform watched the chaos through the hellish smoke from the blast. A rage rose inside Jiro as she suspected who the figure was, like a furnace heating up, slow steady, then red hot and unstoppable.

She moved closer and remembered all the great times with her family. The family that tried their best to take care of her but starving artists didn’t often have that much. She remembered laundry that hung on the line, flapping lazily in a hot summer wind. She remembers hiding her hair with bandana that had to go past her ears.

There in that part of the city they were not allowed to show their differences but they were allowed to live there. They all had their roles in the community but the children like her sometimes liked to look out over the edges of the rails to the city out there. She went from the safety of that home to the streets, to the small pockets of people like her, to a desperate attack on some suited businessman. Left bleeding from the ears on the pavement, Jirous teeth bared in defiance.

The raids was were all that started.

To sum it up, little children with quirks or powers or at that time parents. They got snatched for crimes they would never commit. Though Takeshi Kutoiwa would pick those who could work for his bosses boss. Then once he chose those kids were gone forever.

Years later when Kutoiwa was a newly- minted detective, Jiro was a murderer and a junior member of the Yamada family. She loved being able to use her quirk and she loved her newfound family, even when sometimes they fried their brains a bit. Hizashi took care of the younger ones with tales of what they could do if they set their heart to it. He taught them to be strong, gave them teas with a bit more of an adult drink to it but they tried to drink it still. Hizashi gave them hard-boiled advice with pragmatism ingrained there. The family reached out to her too, she remembered how much she wanted to earn their love thinking it was that.

She felt like she could Love Hizashi. He was a puzzle to be picked apart, completely devoted to their ideals and yet. Sometimes they still wondered what it was like to fit in with the rest.

Though everything was exciting and new, in those days.

She had been training her quirk with others, sent off to a smaller summerhome to learn the basics, and then she ‘found’ some items to help her quirk and growing powers. Her support items, and a physical addetitive of her trained weapons mixed to be able to blend in with her choice of music at times. There in the small illegal wearhouse she never noticed Kutoiwa’s own weapons and masked outfit. Not until she turned around. Then the smell that had been nagging at her made sense, the grates of the wearhouse smelled of bleach.

Sobbing and retching, she almost abandoned the outfit, she just pushed past it and stumbled into the sunlight. Her world upside down.

And now he was here, standing shrouded in a fog of a blast that had once destroyed her home. Jiro found herself sprinting towards him. Knife in hand, before she even realized she was doing it. She knew he made it to this power without using any quirk, and he hoped he remembered her. Kutoiwa saw her coming, fired thee time, Jiro went into a small roll forcing part of the road up to block the shots then sending that as a shield to cover the rest of the distance, barely containing a derisive laugh. She pushed into him her hand covering the vulnerable part of her elongated lobe her goal to connect with the target and end their torment on quirked kids like her.

He pushed her out of the way sending her into a painful roll, she uses her earphone jack to shake up his stance before pushing back in accepting the trade of blows He managed to clap her painfully in the ear even though she held up her arms to block and she let out grunt of pain. Though her earphone jack connected to him and she released the sound that was her enraged heartbeat.

Both went down, him gurgling out his life’s blood, her swearing and her vision swimming struggling to stay conscious. She heard him die, heard him fall completely silent, muscles lax and lifeless. Then a relief flooded through her veins.

He was dead and she was still there, winching at the pain, holding her head, and the thrill of the kill running through her. He was dead and she was alive. Denki appeared, out of breath, his bandana bunched around his chin quivering with effort small sparks still ricocheting off of him. HE also looked like he had been crying.

“Get me to a safe house Jammingway.” Jiro managed. He bobbed his head going to the nearest vehicle overloading it's system and taking it for his own as Jiro moved closer to the car. Getting the opposite side and taking care to buckle in she knew Denki wouldn’t leave unless she was buckled in. There was a noise and she rested her head against the side as Denki drove away out of the city barely feeling the small blood trickle down the side of her head.

She woke up again in one of the small backrooms of a music shop, the front for some of their smuggling operations the metal of the instruments were able to hide more than a few things during scans. Denki had put a bandage on the side of her head and Jiro heard the early morning birds start their chorus.

“I wasn’t there for the attack.” She said.

“You killed the knuckleduster.” Denki said, his tone was subdued as he had made himself become used to. Though there were still some times when there was some undercurrent of excitement, adoration. Jiro was never sure with Denki, she watched him chew his lip, he looked completely drained. Despite whatever happened in the attack she felt almost proud for him not going over his wattage limit.

“Killed him dead, Jammingway.” and if there was satisfaction in her voice, she earned it.

Denki moved into the kitchen area of the back rooms, rummaging through the cupboards. Jiro rolled her eyes, knowing what he was searching for. Denki insisted that every single safehouse be stocked with these tube chips he liked. They were really spicy and they dyed your tongue bright red, your fingers too and if you were not careful sometimes your clothes. Despite losing a shirt to the snack Denki was an addict to them.

“You want some?” He asked, popping one into his mouth. She shook her head and got out her phone.

Hizashi wasn’t answering. Typical, and the fact that it was just expected, that Hizashi wouldn’t answer his phone for his up and coming commander, just after their base was blown up and their family scattered to the winds. All of this made Jiro suddenly very very angry again, but this time the anger mixed with sorrow and grief. With the way she wanted things to be be, but instead getting spat on by this disappointing reality.

Just below Yamada in her phone contacts was Yaoyorozu.

Jrio watched Denki enjoy his junk food, noting the tear tracks down his sooty face, the way he just took huge gulping breaths every now and then like he had to remind himself he could. She thought about the knuckleduster, dead by her hand, she finally avenged the lives of all of the children who had not been as lucky as her, She closed her eyes and remembered the huge moon, the taste of Momo;s lips, the thrust of her tongue, the way she spoke cooly and calmly of her own past of the people who used her,

She hit call.

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“The police, the detective, and the chief of police?” Aizawa was aware he was now screaming, but his son was gone and he was afraid and furious. His mouth still tasted like bitter pre-cum and impossibly he felt that somewho his decision to get on his knees for the most infamous mobster in the city was the reason why Hitoshi had been taken, He felt horribly guilty and responsible. He just wanted to break something. Anything.

“And here I thought you’d approve because of the uniform.” Hizashi said trying to lean over to put on his shoes wincing at the movement.

“Ah yes, a hypocrite, enforcing laws he does not follow.” Aizawa spat. He towered over Hizashi seething, “Just the sort of ex-boyfriend I should have expected. I don’t know what is wrong with my brain.”

“Too much reading.” Hizashi suggested.

“You can fuck right off!” Aizawa snarled.

There was a moment of silence. Hizashi stared at him, all inscrutable sharp edges, Aizawa guessed it was still his move, then, in this stupid argument they’d started the minute Hizashi mentioned he had a good idea of where Hitoshi had been taken.

Aizawa sighed and looked at the ground slowing his own breath, “Stop provoking me. I know you feel guilty, but trying to make me punish you for something neither of us could have predicted isn’t going to help him.”

“Aiza-”

“You boasted you had a powerful family. Make them find my son. I am going to file a report and handle things from the right side of the law. As long as I know that you are out there breaking as many fingers it takes to find Hitoshi I will be okay. Can you do that?” Aizawa clasped one of Hizashi’s hands in both of his own.

Hizashi nodded meekly and headed out the door. In the driveway, he paused, the turned.

“I don’t deserve you.”

HE said it like it was a fact, an observation a warning.

“Yeah you don’t/| Aizawa said, trying to keep the tumult from his voice.

Hizashi vanished into the night and Aizawa turned, mulling over the new information hr had from Hizashi’s phone, and how easy it had been to lie to the man. He smelled like Hizashi, he tasted the man still, and was buzzing with a strange combination of aborted arousal and absolute panic.

He knew he what he wanted to break, and it was Tensei Iida’s entire face, or maybe he’d let Hitoshi do it. Knowing he had gone too far and trying to talk to himself of even letting his son se how starved for vengeance and power he was at that moment. Aizawa also vanished into the night.

------------------------------------------

Yagi Toshinori was tired, He’d had the late shift on the beat and just finished putting on pyjamas. His bones ached. He hated to admit it but he was still upset at losing the only interesting case he had for months- anything to do with what he now knew was quirks was strange. Almost beyond comprehension powers. Nana used to tell him he was wasted on the streets, that he was too smart for the daily grind of parking fines and loitering complaints, he had secretly agreed but even the smallest bit of justice had to be done. Publicly, though he repeated how lucky he was to be serving the people anyway he could. Hoping to be a symbol of justice.

He sank slightly into the Yagi shaped impression in his armchair and flipped on the television.

He saw Chief of police Tensei Iida was giving a press conference, all square angles and pristine armour.

“There has been a problem in our city for long enough. I feel, at this moment what we must do to take care of everyone we can to look to the police and at worse military help.” Iida looked down at whatever paper he had in front of him, “It is a little thing.” and here he paused, for the words were familiar to all who listened, All who remembered the Enji attack a few years prior, Yagi found himself reciting the words with Iida, “yet from one spark an entire city may burn to the ground.”

“My fellow citizens, it is common knowledge that there are these groups of individuals that have been known to have superhuman abilities and if we do not continue to rise above them then they will keep a this city held hostage for too long-” and here the screen flashed to the mobster Hizashi Yamada leaving a glossy car with other members around him, his body half blurry from the impromptu use of the camera, “-and we should not live in fear. No citizen ever should.”

There were pictures of men in suits, and men with masks, similar to what Iida could be seen sporting around. Then everyone saw footage of them fighting the Yamada family and other superhuman factions. The footage shifted to see Detective Takeshi Kutoiwa was shown watching the chaos from a safe distance. Yagi was suddenly wide awake. Who was shooting the news footage?

Yagi was distracted as a young woman in the family gear came into the shot. She moved fast, and the uimage was grainy around her but Yagi saw her move closer to Kutoiwa and Yagi had no idea of she was quirked or just trained well as she got the best of Detective Kutoiwa, he blinked as he saw the man be murdered on screen.

The screen cut back to Tensei Iida.

“Citizens, the quirked humans are among us. No one is safe until all the quirked people who killed this good man, this detective of our fair city, this brave man. Not until they are brought to justice. We need to be able to be save our people first.” Iida spoke directly to the camera, to Yagi, to all of them.

“This is our battle. Do not let your spirits falter. Have faith in you police, no level of authority, in any feild is abovehaving a quirk. No person could be immune from this. I promise you pease and wish to stand as a pillar of peace and hope. We will keep the world safe!”

The footage ended. A nother newscaster leaned forwards and began to offer there analysis in an excited chatter. Yagi turned him out, mind reeling. Kutoiwa was dead, and the police wanted to stop out a whole section of people. If there was a moment for Yagi Toshinori to step up, actually be incorruptible in his devotion to the people. To what both sides needed, someone born quirkless to be given a quirk, this was it.

------------------------------------------

Jiros tongue shoved deeper into Momo’s mouth. It came back bitter and malevolent, dragging a moan out of Momo in Jiro’s small studio apartment. She sucked Delilahs bottom lip into her mouth, just on the painful side of firm. Momo took the opportunity and explored, took inventory, took possession.

Jiro shuddered and Momo was there, clever mouth beckoning her on, tongue flickering over her own tracing hungry over the edge of her mouth, wet warm and dark with secrets. Jiro bit back and Momo hissed into the sting, and shoved a skinny thigh between Jiros legs and Jiro arched into the sheets. With every single exquisitely trained muscle begging for action, for hard work, for sweat, for hours of fucking and the rushing cliff of orgasm pushing agonizingly closer until she was off it and into the static of pleasure beyond.

If Momo was the flame between her legs then Jiro was the moth, dazzled with adrenaline, endorphins, no sleep, and her blood pumping red at the fully justified murder coursing through her veins.

Momo pushed her into the mattress with one skilled hand thrust in, the sensations overwhelming, lips a gentle contradiction at her neck as fingers slid and throbbed inside her.

Jiro gasped.

Momo pulled out and pushed up onto one elbow a small devious smirk growing on her flushed face, “Impatient are we?” Momo went to teasing Jiro. Teasing, delighted and Jiro canted her hips and rolled a sharp little hysterical sharp, against the smooth surface of Momos thigh. Momo kept smirking and let Jiro grind.

Jiro locked heated eyes with her and they were suddenly at war, both flushed and urgent and absolutely willing to fight, scratching nails and too tight grips. Then Momo slapped her. Jiros cheek reddening and stinging she growled and rolled them until she had the shopkeeper pinned beneath her.

Momo put her arms around Jiro’s suddenly tense shoulders and wriggled. Perky aggressive raised nipples. The barest hint of rib. Ticklish pubic hair and soft skin. Jiro closed her eyes. Shuddered. The way Momo’s body felt against her own was almost enough to push her over, but that wasn't what she wanted. Not yet, at least.

“Tell me what you need.” Momo demanded. Her voice was steady, controlled, but Jiro could hear the storm beneath. She wondered if this was what that man had seen in her. The raging tempest of screaming bottomless desire. Momo’s hand was cool against the skin she had just slapped, and Jiro sort of wanted her to do it again.

“I want to make you happy.” Momo said.

So Jiro rolled them again and let herself fall open, her strong callused hands encouraging against the smoothness of Momo’s ass.

She brought Momo’s left hand towards her mouth, sucked with agonizing slowness over each finger, bit gently on her knuckles, bit harder against the purple veins of her wrist. Momo watched, hooded black eyes entranced, her breath halting completely every time Jiro touched her and Jiro wondered what it felt like. If it felt like anything at all.

Suddenly hot with jealousy, Jiro moved the marked hand to her own breast and arched back.

“Fuck me,” She commanded. Momo laughed a harsh animal sound and complied like the order was the only thing she had ever wanted. The push of Momo’s hand against her chest, the pulsing frantic fighting of all her other muscles, against vulnerability, racing it, skittish and hypnotized, Jiro fixed on slick fingers thrusting into her, the way Momo’s elbows and knees forced her legs farther apart, the way she bucked and carried Momo up with her as those fingers crooked inside her to push screaming pleasure into her body.

Something unspoken whispered through the room and Jiro found herself pressed into the mattress as Momo pushed herself up and took a nipple into her mouth and sucked, hard, then bit.

Jiro fought it, bucked up, her muscles desperate with the effort to no avail. Momo’s mouth covered the curve of her breast with teeth marks. Jiro gasped, greedy, flexing and fighting and hungry for more. Whatever quirky power Momo had summoned held her there, Jiro looked at the ropes and bonds gently keeping her there it was more the charm of the other woman but, still, struggling. Jiro felt raw. Momo’s mouth bit and sucked at her sternum, fingers still thrusting in and out of Jiro, wet and urgent, an overwhelming counterpoint to the distracting pain of sharp teeth on her chest. Jiro could scream. Momo pulled her fingers free and Billie trembled.

Momo’s smile was predatory and Jiro found herself shaking as Momo pushed her legs further apart, then brought her mouth down to velvet agony against her clit.

“Fuck, Momo,” Jiro panted, hands coming instinctively to curve against Momo’s skull, fingers catching in her short black locks.

Momo’s tongue was insistent on the flushed arch of her clit, and Jiro’s hips twitched with every lick Momo offered.

A short hot stripe up Jiro’s perineum was a crack of dry wind, the tell of a storm, a torrent. Then Momo’s teeth rasped the barest of threats against the plump flesh of Jiro’s clit and suddenly Jiro was over the edge, muscles shouting, pleasure gathering like slow electricity through her veins, dimly aware of the way Momo wrapped her arms around her thighs and pushed the hot length of her tongue through the wave of Jiro’s orgasm to draw another out of her agonized and sensitive flesh. Jiro sobbed, came again like the sharp flash of lightning immediately after overwhelming thunder, and then fell silent and still. This gave Momo time to free her from the small bonds that held her there.

Momo slunk up her body, once again a warm slender human instead of a goddess. One of creation, creating something in her. Jiro wrapped her arms around her and shuddered, mouth attempting through trembly kisses along Momo’s neck to communicate just how amazing it all had felt.

“So did you win?” Jiro finally asked with a rough voice, echoing their earlier conversation.

“You still owe me a second date,” Momo said and soon the two of them were giggling, naked, exhausted in Jiro’s bed, ignoring the soft sound of rainfall as the cities timid sun crept over the horizon. Smelling sex and feeling nothing beyond the pleasant throb of her own blood in her veins, Jiro fell asleep with Momo curled against her. The Yamada family could wait. This, right now, was what she wanted.

Chapter Text

There was an animal inside Aizawas chest, clawing to get out. A feral howl of rage he disdained at the best times and just barely held at bay at the worst. His feet hit the pavement one after another, a sure and predatory lope. His lungs full of the city, his territory, his turf. His claim was ahead, perhaps more specifically this was a challenge from new to old, a dominance of something embarrassingly primal, whatever it was Aizawa felt it in his heart, in the pulse of his blood. He wanted his prey to pay for this, to have blood and so much more, he wanted Tensei Iida to stop breathing, and that force under Aizawa skin howled for freedom.

His phone buzzed and he saw a contact name made of arrows. The number was arrows, it was irritating to Aizawa but the texts under it annoyed him more.

*Spit or swallow?*

Aizawa tapped back, *NOT YOUR BUSINESS*

*OOO Iida will want 2 know!*

Aizawa considered blocking the number doubly so when Iida was mentioned. He picked up his pace again, climbing up to the rooftops and getting closer to his goal by the minute, The moon faded into morning light, the dawn was going to be his, the armour that Iida practically wore had not a single scratch to it yet.

The ‘Team Idaten’ headquarters that were beside the police area had a wide grounds, with official police vehicles were parked as silent as death, and Aizawa stalked across them just as quiet. He began climbing up to an open window high above, suddenly and painfully grateful for the climbing lessons that Shino had given him when he first started helping her with her work.

The only thing Aizawa could hear was the creek of his boots against the glossy marble of the empty hallways, and then a door swung open. A golden light cut across the darkness and a well-oiled voice said, “Come in, Mr. Aizawa, what took you so long?”

His left hand curled and uncurled a fist, he stepped forwards into the light. The office was huge, open and had grand suits of armour, plush chairs. Framed portraits of ‘heroes’ from the past generations, a few bookshelves on the back wall. The man that sat behind the generous oak desk put down the little black book he had been skimming. Aizawa met his eyes, The same as the ones that shot Hizashi as the other mans house.

“Your hunt is a fairly weak cover for the bloody revenge of a jilted ex-lover.” Aizawa rasped holding the other mans eyes.

“Do you even have a cover, Aizawa?” Tensei asked lightly.

“Where is my son?”

“We’ll get to that.” he made a dismissive motion with his hand, “But first I want to know what you are going to do once Hizashi gets sick of tapping that-” Tensei paused to scan Aizawa head to toe, “-which will probably be soon. You are not his type.”

Aizawa felt himself flush.

“We’re not- where is my son?”

Tensei stood and peered up at Aizawa.

“He is safe. In face I would say if anything he is bored. Our crayons are not up to his standards, or cat videos apparently. Happy? I have a theory Aizawa, I think you’ll like it.” Tensei pulled out a small badge and offered it to Aizawa. He shook his head.

“Can we not do this?” He growled.

Tensei sighed.

“I should have expected you not to play ball. But first, this theory of mine. Hizashi is a criminal mastermind. He is the kind of man whose crime is his way of life- the air he breathes, if you will. I can understand it is not all his fault, but for whatever forsaken reason he is fucking you. A peacekeeper. A man who tried to uphold the law. The best bodyguard in Japan, on this side of the law at least. You had a spotless record until Shino died, and I was even in your corner thinking you are innocent.”

Tensei put away the badge letting it click back into it's place.

“Which tells me he does not know what you are. Which then tells me,” Tensei moved closer to Aizawa stepping up from his desk, he met Aizawas gaze with glitter and ice, “That you are in love with Hizashi and he is not in love with you.”

Aizawa’s heart was about to pound out of his chest and before he could stop himself he said, “I’m not- it’s- thats rather reductive.” That was something he instantly regretted the tell could be seen from outer space. In the following flush of embarrassment he found himself reaching out and punching Tensei in the face, spittle spraying on the floor as Tensei gave a silent gaso trying to deny his pain.

Triumphant, bathing in the aborted gaso, Aizawa stepped in to hit again, only to be flung to the floor by the wretched music that now made up his every nightmare, beating along his bones, boiling his skin, soundwave after soundwave writing agony along his limbs.

He fell. The sound was so close he could feel it in his teeth, his eyeballs, he would crack into a million pieces, he heard his own rough voice screaming and Tensei was above him, a dark knight with a smug grin on his (depressingly attractive) face.

An organ grinder stood behind him.

Aizawa felt like his teeth might crack from how hard he was clenching his jaw, pain a steady rhythm beating through his body. He saw Tensei reach into the drawer of his desk and pull out a small knife. Aizawa was dragged into the room just down the marble hall. The next moment Tensei was reaching into his mouth with a sure grip on his tongue and Aizawa was gaggin, the next moment Tensei gestured towards someone else in the room who was terrified and curled away from the sight.

Aizawa tried to focus on the world around him forcing it to come back to him through the haze

“- all come from her, you complete idiot-

The next moment his tongue was being severed from his mouth and he couldn’t think, he couldn’t think and then there was silence.

Dragged and dropped to the street again landing against one bruised hip, a simple pain he embraced in the absence of this dizzying unreality of this whole situation. Outside in the now rain he was drenched to the bone, he could hear the birds beginning to call to each other, and he could taste the gushing hot coppery blood that was falling thick from his mouth, spilling down his neck, so fast, so much. An overpowering pain, fresh and bright in the absence of any other pain he felt leaving his body as the music faded.

He hoped Hitoshi would be okay without him.

Aizawa knew he was strong, but he was only a kid and he felt a detached kind of grief that he wouldn’t be there to protect him. To see him grow up. He blood joined the grimy rainwater silucing between the pavement. He felt relaxed, a vessel empty of the pain inflicted upon him and grateful to be nothing more than a hollow shell. He would be gone soon, he knew this. He felt faint. He felt euphoric. He let it all go, opened his hands from their tight grip on the world, felt rain patter softly onto his palms, and embraced the dark.

As if from a great distance, he watched a figure in white stop in front of him on the street. She knelt down, staining her white suite immediately with his blood. She frowned and pulled gently are her arm which had a bandage spooling out of it. Then Aizawas eyes flickered as she pulled something out of her pocket shielding it from him or from the rain he couldn’t tell as she pried open his mouth and her her murmur.

“You can still do great things.”

The next few moments of consciousness had a hazy quality to them. He felt her pick at his tongue despite the blood then his eyes rolled back as he felt something hotter than his own blood in his mouth.

He saw the womans hands move closer to his own face again, Aizawa let his head loll to the side and saw one of Yamadas family members the one who gave him a greeting with the other boy at the complex. The woman in white stood up, “If we need Hizashi crawling, we’ll collar him with his Shouta. If we don’t- well. I’m curious to see where this one's loyalties lie after this is all over.”

Yamadas family member lit a smoke taking a drag watching Aizawa with sharp eyes, then blew a fog over the dark room he somehow ended up in. He remembered being moved now, that fog ate his world. Static, like a television almost tuned between the bands of hissing nothing a desert like place he could have recognized. The salt spray of the sea, and the pure static snow.

Then it was the early morning. Clean dawn light warm on his face. He wasn’t bleeding out. He wasn’t in any pain at all in face, and when Aizawa brought a hand up to his mouth he noticed that his knuckles had healed.

Though his tongue was still gone.

He shuddered off that sensation. He would deal with it later, even the idea of thinking about it made him panicky. After he had found Hitoshi. And Eri, and who it was, a small girl with blonde hair, and if the power of the music or anything similar was derived from the girl he understood why it had to be away from Tensei. Though now he had seen the power in action twice there was no way he would let her remain with anyone else. Aizawa wondered if someone took the kid after returned would the contract be void.

It wouldn’t be good enough to put things back only for Tensei to take back immediately. To complete this contract he would have to take down the hero as well. Now Aizawa was just thinking on how he had not bargained what his worth is for this task at all.

Aizawa started to take in the room, looking left across a white pillow on the cot. He was in a basement of a sorts. The air was warm. He was sweating. The woman in white his savior, was pouring a small vial of something into a mostly full decanter of some booze. Two glasses were set next to it, a small vase of stunning purple plastic flowers. He closed his eyes again and feigned sleep as she straightened the blankets over him and placed a small glass of water next to the cot.

A door creaked open, heavy boots crossed the room.

“It’s done Momo. The adults have said they want to help and pledge loyalty to you for the next generation of real heroes. Together our forces united we can go to that hero office offshoot of the police and take them down once and for all. It- it’s what Yamada should have done anyway, instead he was sending us to look for some kid…” Jiros voice trailed off.

“The fact that it was easy to merge tells me that this was the right decision. Your family now will survive this, with your leadership and a strong purpose to guide them.”

“I guess so.”

There was a long silence in the room, some shuffling of papers to break any silence, “I’m going to find Hizashi. I need to tell him it’s over.”

“Jiro I would rather you did not.”

“I owe him the honesty.”

“Seems like the last remnants of loyalty. Or is this another betrayal?”

“I wouldn’t-”

There was a small hiss. Aizawa wanted to open his eyes but knew he had to keep them lightly closed, his breathing regular. The room was so warm.

“Fine. But be back here tonight, love. I wouldn’t celebrate without you.” Momo’s voice sounded pleased now. Then the door creaked shut and Aizawa was alone.

He moved silently, on feet that felt capable of running over power lines once again. The basement’s one window showed him a tidy alley and the morning sun. The smell of vegetation filtered gently in from whatever was upstairs. The air felt a fever on his skin. He gulped water from the utility sink in the room, then examined the small vial of liquid left below the sink. Poison. He hesitated for a moment. Then he poured out half the booze and replaced it with water. The color didn’t change, but he was worried that if he poured out any more it would. Momo wouldn’t drink from her cup- she would never know- and perhaps Jiro would be strong enough to survive it.

He got back to bed and closed his eyes. Then he waited.

He thought he would have to wait through an entire day and that idea filled him with dread, but at some point Momo came back giving him some tea that gently pushed him back into an overheated unconsciousness.

Chapter Text

When Aizawa awoke he was covered in a thin layer of sweat and the room was dark. He waited a long while, but everything was silent. Using his cell phone as a flashlight he explored the room. There was a small camera on a shelf. The most recent video on it showed the younger kid, Jiro, whose life he had hopefully just saved. She was sprinting, during the attack on home, and the camera became staticky around her when she used her quirk. Then when focus returned to the camera she was killing a detective, Aizawa put the camera back. He tried the door. Locked.

He closed his eyes and recalled the feeling of trying to find the quirk imbued item. Nothing but he heard the high pitched noise of something charging. There. A cell phone, unregistered, filled with coded texts from blocked numbers. He looked at the window and found in another sweep of the room some hard plastic rectangles pushing back the small lock. Pushing the window open and barely crawling through it he gasped in the cool air of the alleyway.

Moving over in the back alleys he then saw the girl on the ground sprawled across a puddle, her bandana bunched around her neck, lips paler than what he remembered. Aizawa felt for a pulse, and breathed a sigh of relief hoisting her over a shoulder as gently as he could.

Now what?

He hadn’t though this plan through, if it even was a plan. Home was to of the question. Yamadas place was still gone or being quariented by the firemen. His workplace seemed like a stupid idea.

Then he laughed, or attempted it, but a strange strangled sound left his mouth instead. Horrified, he nearly dropped Jiro’s body. In the panic of the moment he had actually forgotten that he had a stump of flesh in his mouth instead of a tongue. He tamped down on the swell of grief and fear that followed that realization. That was going to complicate things, wasn’t it?

-------------------------------------

Yagi Toshinori lived in a small ground floor apartment, a well kept garden and a mostly empty mailbox that he kept clean of junk mail. When he opened the door he wore a bathrobe and an expression of complete disbelief.

Aizawa gave a shrug using his normally tall stature along with the mass of the unconscious young lady to force his way inside.

“Mr. Aizawa what in the world-” Toshinori sputtered, setting his cup of tea down on the counter and looking in horror at Jiro. Aizawa set her in the easy chair by Yagi’s television, he gave a quick envious glance to the tea while he pulled out his phone tapping his message in notes.

PROTECT HER. IF SHE DOESN’T WAKE UP TAKE TO HOSPITAL PLEASE

He held the phone out to Yagi who furrowed his brows, “Why can’t you-”

Aizawa made a frustrated noise before opening his mouth at Yagi who blanched.

“What happened?” He looked at Aizawa with desperate eyes, for a second Yagi looked like he was going to shake his head and deny Aizawa. Send him and the burden away.

Jiro groaned gently, sat up, and then vomited all over Yagi Toshinori’s floor and the issue had to be shelved.

“She- she’s the one who killed the knuckleduster!” Yagi gasped as Aizawa steadied Jiro with a strong grip on her shoulder. He could only shrug at the statement.

“Bastard had it coming.” Jiro spat ou, shaking she leaned into Aizawa then realized who it was, “Oh it’s you. Want Jamming way to get you out of my face again? Gonna say something instead of laughing?”

Aizawa was hiding a strangled laugh at the girl and tapped out, Can’t really do that Iida took care of me. And then he opened his mouth.

She blinked, slowly calmly, and nodded. Aizawa felt the deep rage in the back of his mind subside a bit but he was already typing out what he needed to say- type next, He has my kid. Surprised me and I have to save Shinsou

“Just fucking great. You went to Tensei? They know we know? This day could not get any shittier.”

She was still paler than usual, her skin ashen and Aizawa realized what an effort she was making just to stay lucid. Abruptly, he got up and started rummaging through Yagi’s fridge. He found milk and poured a glass shrugging at the owner of the apartment still gently reeling from it all. Aizawa felt a bit strange suddenly stripped of the ability to be polite and communicate civilly, but the part of him that was a tense ball of anger and fear at Shinsou being gone. Yagi stood frozen on the spot, watching the two of them.

In spite of it all Yagi found himself rubbing the girls back as she downed the milk.

“So Momo poisoned me once she had what she wanted.” Her voice was completely flat.” Aizawa nodded, she looked away and tried to shrug away Yagi’s hand, “Then you found me.”

Aizawa nodded again. Later he might explain that he saved her but right now he didn't have the time. He had to find Shinsou. He tapped out another message, Where is Yamada?

Jiro barked an ugly sort of laugh, “Last I heard he was strategizing alone in his safehouse. You must be an exceptional, friend, Aizawa, because he’s working his ass off to find your kid. I’ll give you his address but Shouta-” her voice broke off, and she spent a long moment chewing her lip and frowning into the middle distance.

“-Tell him I don’t think he is weak. Tell him I regret ever speaking to Momo Yaoyorozu. Tell him-” She took a deep breath, “-Tell him I am sorry.”

Aizawa nodded, and reached out his hand. She shook it with a firm grip and then looked away, “You should also tell him that his group- his family they need a leader right now. They’re scared and directionless. They would have accepted me, but I’m no good to them right now.”

Aizawa’s heart gave a little pang. She probably would have been an exceptional leader. He turned to Yagi and started typing again, Heroes are corrupt. Trust no one. Sorry for involving you. Need to find Shinsou now

Yagi frowned dragging his hand down his face with a sigh defeat, “I am only doing this Aizawa because you said heroes are corrupt but you were a hero tonight.” He gestured to Jiro who was letting her eyes close and try to sleep off the worst of the feelings, “I know also of your record and I have a gut feeling that this is going to go well. Best of luck Shouta Aizawa. Give it a plus ultra.”

Aizawa gave a nod wanting the man to really keep that short but the sentiment was nice. He was out the door a second later going to find his son.

-------------------------------------

The wind picked up as he traveled, whipping strands of dark hair into his eyes and pushing him towards the ground far below. A storm was coming.

The address that Yagi texted him from Jiro. He belonged to an abandoned radio station that Yamada apparently owned it was a good place for a safehouse, all weathered bricks and faded paint chipped away by the years. The sort of place with small windows on all sides, open to the sun or the rain as it were, and Aizawa was certain Hizashi saw him coming.

He felt like a rubber band on the verge of snapping.

Where is Shinsou?

He flung the photo into Hizashi’s face as he opened the door. Then the mobsters brow wrinkled in confusion, he grabbed the mans hand and stuck his fingers in his mouth. Hizashi let out a small shriek and pulled them out like he had been burned.

His eyes searched Aizawas face, both burning with rage and sorrow equally. Aizawa could have sworn grief from this man but he was not ready to accept that just yet, “Iida?”

Aizawa grunted and wiggled his phone at Yamada again.

“Nemuri Kayama has him. She is a hero supporter, upstanding person. It is not far from here and the police schedule changes in three hours. We’ll go in then.”

Why not now?

Hizashi spun the small laptop on one of the desks to face Aizawa. Security footage of a group of nine well armed individuals, and a few others from the hero agency with that quirk stopping case. All of them were lounging in hallways of the mansion.

“We’ll need the confusion. Trust me Shouta. We have to do this right- we won’t have a second chance.”

So they waited.

---------

Rain pattered on the metal roof of the warehouse, it sounded like a loud artillery that made Aizawa more tense than he had been, as if that was even possible. Hizashi out of the corner of his eyes watched Aizawas movements in between glances of the weapons and ammo list he was going over for the third time.

Aizawa paced.

Hizashi couldn’t help but force himself to look away from Aizawa but back to the papers when he had a different number. The room felt small, strange, like they were the only people left in the entire world and these four walls were the entirety of that world.

The rain somehow got louder.

Aizawa paced.

Hizashi recounted and got the different number again and he was furrowing his brow at the numbers.

Ten whole minutes had gone by. Aizawa felt like he might scream. He tapped at his phone for a minute, deleting and rewriting until he held his phone out to Hizashi.

What did you want to tell me that night?

Hizashi looked away from his papers patting his pocket for a smoke lighting it quickly taking a long drag, “I was the one who hired Shino for that job. I was an idiot for listening to Tensei, it all spiraled out of control from that one mistake.He bit his words out and couldn’t look Aizawa in the eye, “I didn’t know why he wanted it, or that she had a quirk. I was a fool.”

The minutes crawled by and wind battered the windows in a mindless staccato. Aizawa watched Hizashi as if from a great distance, all the while the man turned his back and leaned over the desk to pore over a floorplan of some sort. Aizawa looked at the worn texture of Hizashi’s leather gloves and jacket. Aizawa stepped closer, watched the quick deliberate movements he made as he shuffled papers to a new configuration.

Aizawa looked at him like a puzzle, a new answer to the grief and confusion lodged in his heart, a response to the things in himself he could only satisfy with violence. No matter how much he wished for graceful acceptance for everything miserable and wrong in his life, there was a part of him that seemed to be always screaming (Shino, misimporisment now Hitoshi, now his missing tongue, now the lies of omission fed to him) and in front of him was a mans whose life and trade was built on this quasi violence and brutality. While Hizashi wasn’t responsible for Aizawa’s misery, not really, but he thought he was.

The mans desk was covered in plans to rescue Aizawa’s son and he wouldn’t turn around as the minutes dragged on.

Now he was tapping ash into an overflowing ashtray, now jotting down some note on the map in front of him. He still smelled incredible. Aizawa wished he could have hated him. It would have made everything easy. He was the bad guy, plain and simple. Hizashi had lied to Aizawa, been shitty and dishonest with his feelings, barely even managed his feelings, tried to get Aizawa to play punisher, withheld information to keep him close, beat an old man to within an inch of his life, and-

-acted decisively, followed no one’s authority but his own, -kissed him to get a half finished drink,

-kissed him with a paper-thin excuse to hide behind, -wanted to hide,

-was here with a plan to rescue Aizawa’s child, ignoring his entire gang, putting his life on the line, taking on entirely too much blame for a mistake anyone might have made, checking his weapons for the fourth time and had lost track of the cigarettes, the man was frantic, he needed atonement for sins he hadn’t even really committed and completely ignored the sins he should have felt awful about. This fucking idiot of a man and his stupidly sharp eyes and the way he smelled and the tense, purposeful lines of his body.

Aizawa found he was clenching and unclenching his fits/ He was torn between punching Hizahi, and bending the man over the desk at the very minute.

If Hizashi was such a bad guy, was Aizawa really such a hero? Looking back on his past they both had flaws but, they both tried to do some right things.

Hizashi stopped moving, but did not turn around, not when Aizawa had peeled off his dress shirt, nor when he had unbuckled his belt and flung it away, not even with Aizawa’s hands tracing a rich conflict of textures- thin warm lips, the smooth column of tendons along his throat, a soft undershirt worn so thin Aizawa could feel the nubs of nipples through the weave.

He didn’t turn around with Aizawa’s teeth rasping across the back of his neck, hands underneath his shirt, traveling along the scars and curves and bone edges. Aizawa felt the invitation there, in the unyielding body he pushed against, that Hizashi would speak that language of violence with him, knew it as well as he knew breathing, could and would listen to hours of Aizawa speaking in blows of grief and rage, would be as an embassy to him and normalize it, validate it, speak it back and initiate Aizawa into the tribe with feral joy.

“Go on, Shouta.” Hizashi murmured, still bowed over the desk of plans, maps and blueprints. Aizawa compiled as e manhandled him onto the narrow bed in the corner, pushed him into the mattress with one hand firm on his throat and the other firm on his dick through his pants. Hizashi twitched with an aborted motion as Aizawa continued to pin him to the bed with a hand slotted over his windpipe, thumb kept against his carotid.

The brief involuntary noise he made, as Aizawa choked him with no resistance was awful.

There was something of relief on his face though, and he struggled to take off his pants while Aizawa held him there and watched his face grow red. Hizashi’s cock was noticeably interested in what was going on, which made Aizawia smile with all his teeth.

Aizawa finally released Hizashi’s throat to take off his own clothing.

“I like you better now that you can’t talk garbage.” Hizashi wheezed, the lie both combative and terribly tragic. That never stopped him from leaning up to nip at Aizawa’s lips, harsh, painful. Aizawa let him worry at his mouth, barely reacting until Hizashi’s tongue shoved in and flicked against the stump where his tongue should have been. It felt disgusting, and Aizawa shuddered, coming alive at the sudden wave of fury that coursed through his body, rocking his hips down against Hizashi and finding delicious friction and the shocking heat of Hizashi’s dick heavy against his abdomen.

Hizashi’s hands clawed their way into Aizawa’s hair, Aizawas teeth sank into the meat of Hizashi’s shoulder, Aizawa snarled and Hizashi sighed, obliging, stretching a hand down to pull at Aizawa’s cock.

Aizawa realized that he had a real problem. Well, two real problems. The first was that he had very little blood with which to think, he was dizzy with arousal and a kind of howling animal rage that pooled like liquid fire in his belly.

The second was that while all he wanted was to bury himself in the blood hot body underneath him and pound his fury into Yamada until he couldn’t think of anything at all, the goody-two-shoes in the back of Aizawa’s mind also really needed to tell Hizashi that he had never done this and shouldn’t they talk about it first, before he fucked him stupid in this current mental state of tension, rage, and want?

Hizashi’s hand, slowly and surely jacking him off, was not helping.

With the most pathetic little sound he had ever made in his life, Aizawa rolled to the side and fumbled for his phone. He struggled to focus on typing while Hizashi continued to tease at the hard length of his dick, insistent, obnoxious.

SUIT I WANT TO FUCK YOU BUT I HAVE NEVER DONE THIS

Aizawa watched Hizashi flush bright red, leaving the scar that ran down the side of his face shockingly white. The blush seemed somehow raunchy on the face of a hardened gangster and it made his stomach flip-flop.

DO YOU NOT BOTTOM OR?????

But Hizashi didn’t read this second line because he was rummaging under the bed, then shoving lube and a condom into Aizawa’s hand, bringing his lips filthy and close to mutter in Aizawa’s ear, “You want me to talk you through it?”

Aizawa tossed his phone over his shoulder, then nodded with a crooked grin.

“Then give me your fingers, Shouta, and let’s see if you’re any good without that mouth of yours.”

It seemed like hardly any time at all passed, then, while Aizawa floated on a hazy cloud of lust watching Yamadas flushed face as he finger-fucked the man into deeper shades of crimson, slick knuckles sliding into him with minimal resistance, enjoying the way he just barely held back a whine when Aizawa added a third finger.

“Fuck,” Hizashi almost whimpered.

Shouta grinned like a shark. He was a bit smitten with the way Yamada had tensed up and rattled off a blue streak of curses when Shouta had crooked his fingers and pressed just so.

He liked making this man come undone. It felt, and with Yamada this was not the first time Shouta had noticed this feeling, like sublimation. Every bit-off moan Yamada made eased a howl of anger lodged in Shouta’s now useless throat.

He grazed that spot again with teeth teasing Yamadas earlobe, and was rewarded with an arched back, hands digging like claws into his arms, his mother and his heritage receiving no end of harsh criticism and unfair accusations from Yamada.

“Enough, Shouta, just fuck me already,” Hizashi said, but his cock was stiff and leaking so Aizawa shrugged and kept going, keeping an excessively slow rhythm. Hizashi whined then, a frustrated mess, hips coming up to take Aizawa’s fingers. Aizawa was delighted. He pressed a chaste kiss to Hizashi’s forehead and finally went to go find the condom. Hizashi’s breath caught when Shouta’s fingers withdrew.

“Fuck you, Shouta,” He complained, and Aizawa flicked one of Hizashi’s nipples and nodded, yes, fantastic, what a great idea.

“We’re gonna have to teach you sign language, huh,” Hizashi said.

Aizawa felt something like the tip of a knife in his heart at the implications there. The affection that flooded every nerve ending of his body took him by surprise.

He pushed into Yamada with one fluid slide, biting his lip at how damn tight he was, he didn’t want to compare , but- and then Hizashi was yelping, “Fucking fuck, Shouta, that was the straightest thing you have ever- fuck, give me a minute-”

Aizawa froze. He watched Hizashi take shaky shallow breaths.

“You’re too big for that bullshit, fuck balls do I look like a porn star? Don’t answer that.”

Aizawa managed to kiss apologetic little circles around Hizashi’s neck, but he was quivering from the effort of keeping still and not dying an (admittedly wonderful) swift death by way of his dick exploding.

“Okay, you can…”

Aizawa continued to hold completely still. He was quickly realizing that his favorite thing in the entire world was a needy, impatient Hizashi beneath him.

“No, really,” Hizashi admonished.

Aizawa felt his own pulse in every inch of his being, head to toe, but mostly in the bit of him that was deep inside Hizashi, and he waited.

“Aizawa, fuck, just-- !” And then Hizashi began moving instead, expression desperate and irritated, hips rocking up in tiny little beats, angling until his ankles clenched their bones against the small of Aizawa’s back and only then did Shouta let himself move.

For a second he thought he would come right on the spot, from the way Yamada tipped his head back and hissed, the way he felt hot and slick, clenched around him. The frantic tension deep in his bones came roaring back. Aizawa’s hands found grips along Hizashi’s sides as he slammed into him like inevitability, like a hunger, like a force of nature, like desperation. Hizashi’s voice hitched mid-growl when Aizawa found a particularly good angle.

Aizawa buried his face in Hizashi’s neck, fucking him with every fiber of his being electric and pulsating, feeling Hizashi groaning acceptance, fingernails digging bloody furrows down his back, thighs high around his waist, tension rising like in a hot swell through Aizawa’s body. It left him dizzy and frantic.

He put a trembling hand on Hizashi’s cock, some small part of his mind proud for even remembering it existed in the dizzying prescience of his own finish. Hizashi growled his approval as Aizawa fisted his cock in a vague counterpoint to the movement of his hips. Hizashi’s teeth bared like a threat. Aizawa heard a warning squeak of overburdened springs from the bed as he thrust into him, but Hizashi gasped out a demand for more. So Aizawa grabbed desperately at any shred of restraint he had left and pounded him into the bed, staving off orgasm for as long as he humanly could, until Hizashi was slick with sweat and his muscles were trembling and the insults spewing from the mobster’s mouth were more nonsense than actual words. And then Aizawa was coming, all choking sobs around the space where his tongue should have been, hand clinging to Hizashi’s cock and lips quivering as he emptied into the sturdy body beneath him.

Hizashi moved his hand off as Aizawa came, and within a few moments followed after, sudden heat and thick liquid adding to the slick of sweat between their bodies.

For a long minute neither of them moved. Then Hizashi laughed with a newly roughened voice and canted his hips to the side to scoot out from under Aizawa.

“That was okay, I guess, for a first-timer,” he said with undisguised satisfaction thick in his voice, wobbling like a colt. Aizawa shot a hand out, grabbed him by the wrist, and looked at him with as much desperation as he felt he could live with showing on his face.

Hizashi paused.

“You’re joking.”

Aizawa shook his head and didn’t let go of Hizashi’s wrist. He was still feeling aftershocks of orgasm course through his body and Hizashi still smelled like the best drug he had ever tried. The mafioso groaned.

“Fine. But only for a minute.”

Then he lay back down on the tiny bed and Aizawa dragged him closer, throwing a heavy arm across Hizashi’s sweaty, hairy chest and nuzzling into the crook of his neck.

He felt extremely content.

“Aizawa, I swear by Overhaul....” but then Hizashi trailed off, and ran a hand through the salt-stuck hair on Aizawa’s brow. Aizawa pressed his lips softly to Hizashi’s, could feel both of their pulses still racing, and smiled.

“O-o-o-kay, shower,” Hizashi said stiffly and stood. Aizawa was pretty certain an entire minute had not yet passed. Something he would have to work on, apparently. He watched Hizashi walk over to the tower’s bathroom, suddenly worried, what if he had overdone it and hurt him? He forced himself to relax. The man had survived a gunshot wound to the chest.

He felt grounded in a way he hadn’t in far too long. The rain still drummed around him, but instead of making him tense he felt soothed by its steady background noise, comforted by nature and time and the predictability of the universe in this moment.

Hizashi’s cellphone began ringing, but there was no way Hizashi would hear it over the shower and the rain. Aizawa fished through Hizashi’s clothing and retrieved it.

“Hizashi? You have to come get the kid right now, there’s no time!” Jiro sounded frantic. Aizawa put the phone on speaker and then texted Jiro, frantic, his heart suddenly going off the rails, suddenly nauseous with worry.

JIRO DONT HANG UP ON HIZASHI TELL ME WHAT TO DO

“Aizawa- oh, right, okay, come now, we have like five minutes, they’re taking her away again, the plans have changed and Martin is up to something.”

I WILL BE THERE

“Good, okay, come quick, we have no time!”

Aizawa dressed, heart still racing, stole a handgun from the desk, and hopped back onto the powerlines before he even thought about waiting for Hizashi.

No. He couldn’t risk waiting, and he figured Hizashi would catch on soon enough. He texted as he flew, telling Hizashi about the change and asking him to come as soon as he could. Aizawa hoped they wouldn’t need an ace in the hole but he somehow felt better, knowing that Hizashi and the rest of his arsenal wouldn’t be far behind.

-----------------------------------

Jiro waited for him one building away from the Kayama’s mansion, peering out from under the eaves. She still didn’t look completely well, but she wasn’t quite as near death’s door as she had been back at Yagi’s place.

“Tensei showed up ten minutes ago, they have a car out front, this is our shot.”

WEREN’T YOU DEALING W THE STUDENTS? HOW R YOU HERE? Aizawa typed.

“I already did that. I have three squads on the watch, four securing checkpoints for us in the nearby neighborhoods, and some of our elites are tailing Momo. So then I came here, especially since Hizashi wasn’t answering his phone earlier.” She drawled the last part, looking Aizawa up and down with an expression that was both accusatory and smug. Aizawa thought that, given her recent behavior, this was some serious ‘glass house homeowner throwing stones’ bullshit, but he decided not to go down that path.

YOU’RE A HELL OF A LEADER.

“I know,” Jiro said softly. Sadly, even.

PLAN?

“I take point. I’m faster, I’ve fought hero fuckers before, and your boy doesn’t know me. You back me and split the minute you get him. I’ll draw their fire.”

Aizawa nodded, and the two of them turned towards the rooftop when all of the sudden a small soggy figure in a white hoodie jumped down off the roof and under the eaves.

“Aizawa!” Hitoshi whispered, ecstatic and drenched, and clung to him. Aizawa’s jaw dropped, and Jiro had a similarly stupefied expression on her face.

“How?” Jiro asked, incredulous.

Hitoshi peeked out at the Student from under Aizawa’s arm. “They looked away for a minute, so I ran, and then they argued about shooting guns at me, so I climbed up and went through a small space so they couldn’t follow me and then I heard you talking about Aizawa’s friend Hizashi so I came here.”

Jiro blinked. Aizawa couldn’t stop a smile taking over his face. He didn’t let go of Hitoshi.

“Good thinking, kid,” Jiro congratulated.

The rain ran in sheets in the open air, and night was falling. Aizawa realized that he had to finish this, he had to do this now. He might not get another opportunity, and Hizashi was safe, and he was -he was-

Irredeemable , a voice whispered. Head over heels for a monstrous criminal with the emotional intelligence of a hagfish, no job, no tongue, no justice, and if he didn’t get that fucking device now he might never get a shot at fixing any of those things.

You can’t fix people what is wrong with you , the voice insisted, but Aizawa thought instead of Hizashi throwing away his gang to save his son, of Hizashi opening up to him at the bar, attempting to snuggle even though he clearly hated it, and he thought that maybe that was okay. Maybe Hizashi could redeem himself. He just wanted to be there for when that happened.

He had to try for Hitoshi, at the very least. The voice of self-doubt and criticism inside him could not fault him that.

He hunched over his phone.

HITOSHI+JIRO GTFO. I GO FOR TENSEI. I’M GETTING THAT GIRL. JIRO GET HITOSHI TO SAFETY. HITOSHI, I LOVE YOU. I AM PROUD OF YOU.

Hitoshi was confused, but Jiro nodded, and held out her hand for Hitoshi to take it.

“Come on kid. You’re almost in the safe zone, let’s do this. Do you like spicy chips? We also have dry clothing. Let’s scoot, and your dad will take care of this.”

Hitoshi nodded, worry flashing over his face for a second. Then he put on a brave face and took Jiro’s hand.

“Okay, let’s go.” Jiro closed her eyes and then the both of them went into a darker part of the alley to be ready to disappear. Aizawa stood there for a heartbeat, feeling completely alone. Then he found a powerline next to the Kayama mansion’s third floor and flickered into that space.

-----------------------------

And it felt almost too easy. Aizawa dropped behind the man with the device strapped to his chest, and choked him out almost before the other police and heroes with their creepy masks could turn around. The rest of them were down on the ground, unconscious or dead he wasn’t sure, within a couple of minutes, and then Aizawa was back on the powerlines with the heavy ancient device strapped to his chest. He had almost stolen a mask too, but decided that the practical joke his heart desired would probably end up with him dead so he had better not.

It was night and the rain had slowed to a monotonous drizzle.

The holding place wasn’t far, but Aizawa was fairly certain he was right- if Tensei stole the girl back, then the precepts would lord it over him and he would be his vassal once more.

He had an idea.

Chapter Text

Aizawa tapped out a long series of texts to Yagi Toshinori. He carefully omitted the students from the conversation, aside from thanking him for saving Jiro’s life. That wasn’t the point, and hopefully Yagi’s heart would be in the right place and he would save all the organized crime stuff for after it was over, when the hero’s corruption had been stamped out and Toshinori had been awarded medals, promotions, his own squad, whatever the hell it was that police officers wanted.

Aizawa reminded Yagi of the corrupt part of previous heroes like Koichi, removed by Tensei less than a year ago now, a younger man who had good intentions but more often for the wrong people, and while that bout of corruption had been stopped by internal investigations, Aizawa alleged that the previous snake had simply been eaten by a much larger and more venomous one when Tensei came to power.

There was a seemingly infinite 15 minute pause before Yagi replied. Aizawa tried to think of backup plans while he waited, but every last one of them involved his hands stained with blood and the bodies of too many men on the ground around him. He needed this watch officer to be honorable, for this to work, for his own hands to stay (relatively) clean.

When Toshinori finally did respond, he asked for proof. Aizawa grinned at his phone.

He told Toshinori to show up at the orphanage connected to the old training academy, he told him about the crime, he told him who would be there to attempt to commit it again, and he told him about the tortures done to him without jury, without sentence, without law.

He almost offered up his own missing tongue as evidence, then thought better of it. This wasn’t, actually, about him.

Yagi sent a simple reply: YOU OWE ME ONE

-----------------------------------

Jiro undid the electronic lock at the new safehouse’s gate quickly, easily. The kid at her side seemed more excited than scared, and Jiro was relieved. Crying children were not her specialty, but Shinsou seemed calm and alert and ready for anything.

Denki was there, and within a few moments the two of them were trading instagram handles and arguing about cartoon characters. Jiro felt like an alien, a little bit, but was glad the kid was occupied. She went to check on her squads, trying not to think too hard about the one she had sent after Momo.

She knew she should be mad. But all she really felt was hollow. Momo had turned her against Hizashi, and then immediately stabbed her in the back to guarantee that the old students fall into complete chaos. But really- what Momo had done to her was exactly what she had done to Hizashi. It was all horrid, sure, but perhaps whatever line Momo drew between personal life and her business meant that the things they had done, the things she had said, still meant something. That’s how it was for her and Hizashi, and if Jiro was honest with herself, she knew that trust was barely a word in her vocabulary. It didn’t really affect the rest of her feelings. And she wasn’t sure how to feel about that.

To be quite honest, if there was anything concrete Jiro felt at that moment, it was disappointment, deep in her bones, lying like sludge at the core of her being. Disappointment in herself, maybe, but more than that, that the world had shown her its face and that face was a monster’s face, grotesque and petty and doomed.

She pushed it all aside. There were decisions to be made and operations to coordinate and in the background Denki was telling Shinsou about the ghost on Mirio the wall phasing man and Jiro decided to wait and think about this terrifying philosophical shortcoming she had later. Much later. Maybe never.

----------------------------------

Naomasa laughed when he understood Aizawa’s intent, the deep belly laugh that Aizawa had enjoyed so much on their one, short-lived date not too long ago. He flashed hand signals and his good hearted group took up positions around the perimeter of the academy and heroes orphanage.

“Aizawa your timing could not be better, with the heroes proclaiming corruption his new enemy, never mind the Yakuza,” he grinned, eyes darting down to Aizawa’s left hand.

IT IS PRETTY GOOD.

“My men, well, they’re not so uptight about the law sometimes. But they’ll feel some satisfaction with making things right. They’ll tell their friends. And the good remaining boys, well. We’ll pass into legend.”

MAKE SURE THEY WAIT THO. THIS COULD GO EASY.

Naomasa shrugged. He had that fancy revolver out again, twirling it mindlessly as he peered out into the dark, rainy night and dreamed a triumphant future.

Aizawa saw them first, some metallic masks glinting where raindrops slid off in small sudden twinkles. Tensei stalked out from behind the five or six of them standing there in their dark garb. Aizawa smiled. Nothing to hobble him in this fight. He didn’t want to admit how thirsty he was for the hero’s blood, but he did start up an internal litany begging him to just fucking try something right there and then.

A long moment passed, the masked heroes agents sizing up the supposed corrupt cops lining the walkway up to the museum, calling insults and spinning their rovelvers in a theatrical fashion.

Aizawa had eyes only for the hero, who was about to give some kind of order to a subordinate when, behind him, Yagi and a squad of officers stepped out of the night. Tensei drew up, tense, and the two of them spoke, Namonsa becoming more and more agitated.

Aizawa grinned. Toshinori had handcuffs out now, and was reciting citizen’s rights as he cuffed Tensei. The heroes agents fidgeted, then one by one gave up their weapons and were taken in by the officers. The group left. Quietly.

Yagi strode up the marble steps to where Namonsa and Aizawa stood.

“I just wanted to inform you that you are in violation of the city’s code right now- no citizen can loiter on property after an institution’s closing hours. Please clear the area.”

Aizawa had a sudden spark of brilliance. He got out his phone and then showed it to Namonsa.

ON THE DL- THE OFFICER IS A FAN OF TALL MEN ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE LAW.

“That so?” Namonsa said, mouth slanting into a smile. He shot his gang a few more hand signals, and the vigilantes and police melted into the dark, nattering to each other about which bars they would hit now they their night’s plans were cancelled.

“Officer?” Namonsa called, taking long strides to catch up to the man. “This may be a bit forward, but I can’t help but wonder- what time you be getting off shift? And can I perhaps take you out for a drink then?”

Yagi stiffened. But none of his men were around.

“It’s going to be nine AM, you sure about this?”

“A good conversation’s worth waiting for.”

“What makes you so sure it’ll be a good one?”

“Oh, I just got that feeling.”

“Well…”

“You won’t regret it.”

Aizawa watched them leave, Yagi bent close to Namonsa’s ear, Yagi fussing with the zipper on his rain jacket.

He went to a small alcove and looked at Eri and brought her out waiting to make it until morning, when the academy came to life and someone would discover her back just where she got taken from, and then do something -anything- clever to make sure she would never be stolen again.

Hizashi would probably show up any minute now, also.

He yawned. The static on the edges of his vision was getting louder, and then Chisaki was there, perched on the commemorative statue from a century before.

“So the real question is, did I win or lose here?” Asked Chisaki.

Aizawa shrugged. He had done the task required of him.

“I mean, okay, the girl is safe with her family again, but your tongue is missing anyway. I’m not thrilled.”

Chisaki frowned, then static swallowed the world, and he was standing in front of Aizawa.

“I suppose the best part about this is that Shino’s true killers will get justice done by the same system that put you in prison for six months. The same system you spent your life (so far) upholding. I wonder how that will feel for you?”

Gold eyes appraised him.

“The obvious thing to do would be to return your tongue to you. Fuck the false heroes, am I right?”

Aizawa held his breath.

“So I propose another trade! I guess I could reference Faust again, but really, you’re just my bitch now. No point in pretending,” Chisaki shrugged thin shoulders. “But I don’t know that you mind either, Aizawa. You’re a walking bundle of wasted potential. You need me.”

Aizawa snorted.

“So what do you say? I make sure you don’t fucking squander the abilities you have, and you get a tongue back? I think Hizashi would definitely be in favor of the deal.” The bastard Chisaki flashed a shit-eating grin.

Ah.

Hizashi.

Aizawa hadn’t actually decided on it, but, there was a large part of him that longed for a return to the status quo. The thing where he was a bodyguard for the rich and political, where he knew what right and wrong were by knowing what the law was, where he just had to worry about Shinsou.

Hizashi complicated things.

Did he make Aizawa happy? He didn’t know. He made him feel more than he had in far too long. Irritation, impatience, affection, a desperate sort of yearning, lust for violence, hell, even plain lust. Hizashi pushed him off his moral center, constantly, left him unbalanced without even knowing he did it.

Comparing Hizashi to Shino was a shitty thing to do and yet Aizawa did it constantly (well, the minute he had realized he had a thing for Hizashi, only a little over 48 hours ago, though it felt like ages) and he hated that he did. Was this healthy? Would Hizashi be good for him? By the numbers, no, absolutely not. But in his heart Aizawa wasn’t sure. He wasn’t sure he knew what good was, any more.

He had sort of assumed that Chisaki would not return his tongue to him, and he had decided to take Shinsou back to his home in the countryside, get a job there, hope school worked out better for her, start over, be good, be lawful, focus on the things that mattered most to him. Walk away from Hizashi, from the kids, from the city and its shitty weather and shittier legal system.

Be a new person, be a diminished person, a man from whom too much had been taken for him to find the energy to struggle any longer. Care for Shinsou and start again. Keep it all very simple. Very neat.

But if he had his tongue back? If he could have all of whatever this was back? Did it change things so much?

He stared into the cloudy predawn sky. He wasn’t sure he knew what to do with the part of himself that longed for violence, for self-determined rights and wrongs, for justice via one man’s will imposed upon everyone else’s, for making people do what he wanted through fear and intimidation.

He thought of Denki, quiet and kind to strangers. He thought of Jiro. Momo. She wasn’t gone, and Jiro wasn’t necessarily forgiven. He thought of Hizashi sleeping at his feet, grinding his teeth and refusing to give any real indication that he wanted Aizawa. Of The Heart app, Shino’s voice whispering strange truths through the wires, the strange scarves that seemed to shift the balances of reality all around him. The way Hizashi had snarled like a wild animal and clenched around him.

Did he really want the status quo? A reality where his losses did nothing but force new challenges on him for every sad day he was left alive on this planet? Or a reality where his losses somehow were transubstantiated into otherworldly power, where the people he trusted most were hardened criminals of the Yakuza and some vigilantes?

The sun was coming up now, bird chirping, new light peeking through dark rain clouds, a light wind whipping at the academy’s flags all around the courtyard.

Aizawa held out his hand for Chisaki to shake.

The gold-eyed man grinned, then, flashing what should be a smile under that mask and a level of unhealthy excitement that definitely meant strange things in Aizawa’s future.

He guessed he’d welcome it.