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Can't Fight the Moonlight

Chapter Text

It had been two weeks since Izuku Bakugou had told his family about his quirk. Surprisingly to Izuku, everyone had taken the information rather well, even his explosive older brother. Nobody looked twice anymore when Izuku used his powers in the house, even when he sprouted fins, scales, and a tail at the dinner table. It was just the new norm in the Bakugou household. 

Izuku sat in front of the freezer, an intense look of concentration etched upon his face. For the past few hours, he’d seated himself on a chair with the only company being his notebook, which he absentmindedly wrote in with his free hand. The other hand was curled into a tight fist. Currently, the refrigerator was off-limits to anyone in the house, at least until he was finished with what he was doing. Extremely stiff and sore, his hand burned from being in the same position for so long. If his hand moved in the slightest, it would be disastrous, because then Izuku would have to redo this entire thing. 

However, it had been long enough, so it wouldn’t hurt to check on his project. 

Very carefully, Izuku used his free hand to open the freezer. When he saw that his gift was in one solid piece, he closed the door once more and let his hand relax. Just to get the blood running through it again, he opened and closed it several times for good measure. 

Without warning, someone’s footsteps sounded from behind him, and Izuku had to jump to block the perpetrator— his brother, Katsuki— from jostling the fridge with his roughness.  “Don’t touch the fridge!” He spread his arms to encompass the refrigerator’s bulk. “My gift’s in there!” Katsuki looked incredulous at the statement, and Izuku’s eyes became theatrically wide. “Don’t tell me you forgot, Kacchan!”

“Of course I didn’t, you shit!!” Spoke Katsuki in his normal voice, which was the equivalent of yelling. “LOOK! I got them a freaking card, see?!” Nearly crumpling it in his grip, Katsuki held out a light-purple envelope for emphasis. 

“Okay, put that away— Mom will be home in an hour or so.” If Katsuki didn’t lower his voice, their dad would certainly stop his own work to see what was going on, and then both of their surprises would be ruined. 

“Don’t tell me what to do, you shrimp-ass!”  

Izuku had an insult that was just as creative the tip of his tongue. However, it was at that moment that Mitsuki opened the door. 

The switch was immediate. 

“Hey Mom!” Izuku greeted with an enthused smile, no longer on the brink of verbal war with Katsuki. When he crossed the distance from the kitchen to the foyer, his grin was infectious, and Mitsuki couldn’t help the smile that spread on her own face at the sight of her sons, even though Katsuki still wore that perpetual pout. 

“Happy anniversary, honey!” Masaru nearly sang, coming from behind to sweep Mitsuki up in a hug and spin her around. The gesture nearly melted Izuku’s heart, while Katsuki turned away in distaste. 

When they parted, Masaru asked her: “How’d you get off work so early?”

“Heh, I’d say you sound a little upset about that, Masaru.” She joked. “If you must know, some of my coworkers overheard about our anniversary coming up, and they convinced my boss to let me out early today.”

“No kidding.” Masaru’s face was impressed. “That guy’s a stonewall.” 

“What about you boys?” Mitsuki shifted her attention to her sons that had been standing in the foyer the whole time. “How’re you doing?”

“Great!” Was the response from her youngest, and Izuku’s eyes widened as if suddenly remembering something. “Wait, actually I have something for you and Dad. Stay here!” Then he skittered back into the kitchen. 

The moment Izuku left, Katsuki shoved something rectangular in his parents’ faces. After registering that it was an envelope, as the object was so close in her face, Mitsuki took it, but not before Katsuki barked out, “Happy anniversary.” 

With the craftsmanship of the card, it looked to have come from a store, although both Mitsuki and Masaru could clearly see bits of residual glue here-and-there and smudges of ink around the fancy-looking calligraphy— evidence that it had been handmade. Katsuki braced himself for the collective glomp from his parents and allowed them to say their thank you’s. At least they hadn’t gushed over the fact that it was him who made the card. 

Izuku came back no less than a minute later, his own gift in tow. He was wearing his pleather gloves to carry it, so it was easy for Mitsuki and Masaru to guess that whatever he was holding was made of something watery.  

Izuku grinned from ear-to-ear, as he uncovered his present: an ice sculpture. “Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad!”

With the little fractals of light beaming through all sides of it, it gleamed like crystal, rather than the ice it was. Consisting of two frozen lilies, they framed a heart in the center, which had his parents’ names and wedding date embossed in blocky lettering. It was frillier than anything Izuku would’ve thought to make, but he always went overboard when it came to gifts. 

Additionally, if the looks on his parents’ faces were anything to go by, his efforts were more than worth it. 

“Izuku.” Mitsuki took the frozen piece with careful fingertips. “I thought you couldn’t freeze water.”

“I-I kind of did. And didn’t, because it wasn’t me freezing the water. I just kind of shaped it, and then I waited for it to solidify.” Izuku clarified, the tips of his ears reddening as he spoke. It wasn’t that he couldn’t freeze water; every time he tried, the strain left him with a tremendous headache. “It actually took a while before I could get the shape just right with my hands, and even the lettering was difficult to do…” He trailed off. “You can kind of see where I got a little sloppy on the heart, but at least I could fit everything there, right?”

“Who cares about the letters? This is amazing!” Mitsuki grabbed Izuku in a one-armed hug, mindful of the ice sculpture in the palm of her hand. 

“I’m gonna have to agree with your mom right there, kiddo. Wish this was actual gemstone so we could keep it forever, but we’ll have to settle for the fridge for now.” Masaru laid a hand on Izuku’s back, also wary of the delicate gift that could shatter if he wasn’t careful.  

“Quick,” Mitsuki urged, “Take it before I drop it or something.” Holding the ice out in one hand, she allowed it to float from her grasp and into Izuku’s, who went back to the kitchen to return it to the fridge. 

“Speaking of all these gifts... “ Masaru pulled two golden tickets from out of nowhere. “I have something for you too, honey.”

“What is it?!” Mitsuki asked, curiosity shining in her eyes.

“A table for two at the Heroes’ Lounge!” Masaru said grandly, handing one of the tickets to her. “Turns out my coworkers wanted to make our anniversary special too.”

“The Heroes’ Lounge?!” Izuku gasped, his voice carrying over from the kitchen. “Isn't it impossible to get a reservation for that place?!”

And he was right. As a hotspot for Tokyo’s rich and famous, the waitlist was infinite. A month guaranteed a small table in the back; two weeks, and an individual would be lucky to stand in the lobby all night long. Additionally, its namesake held true for the amount of heroes that frequented the restaurant, who typically got priority over the richest of customers; and even the small-name heroes had a difficult time getting a table there. 

“Shit.” Mitsuki pouted; she could only imagine how many hoops Masaru and his coworkers had to jump through to get them those tickets. “Now you’re making me feel bad that I didn’t get you anything.” 

“That’s really okay, honey. I know how hard you work.” Although both of the parents had well-paying jobs, it was Mitsuki who spent the most hours at her job and away from home. “In all honesty, the greatest gift of all would be if you enjoyed yourself tonight.”

At that statement, Mitsuki threw herself at Masaru in a tight hug, and he returned the embrace. 

“I think I remember why I married you, Masaru.” Mitsuki said through the hug, completely and utterly grateful for the man she called her husband. “I’ll be ready in fifteen minutes.”

Twenty minutes later, Masaru and Mitsuki had donned themselves in their best evening formal wear. Paired with a tie, Masaru wore a white shirt and dress pants. The click-clacking of heeled-shoes from the other end of the room alerted Masaru to Mitsuki's arrival, and he removed his glasses once or twice to make sure he was seeing correctly. 

“Honey,” Masaru breathed when his wife stepped into the kitchen. “You look absolutely stunning.”

Mitsuki was dressed in a satin, floral midi-dress, which had been last year’s anniversary gift from her husband; with the piece being so fancy, she had never gotten the opportunity to wear it until now, but it surprised both of them at just how flattering it was. 

“Don’t sell yourself short either.” Chided Mitsuki, playfully elbowing Masaru as she strode past him. “You’re the resident fashion-expert.” Then she turned to her sons, who were just finishing their dinners at the dining table. “We’ll be back by twelve, so have your asses in bed before then.” Everyone knew who that statement was directed at, so nobody dared to argue. 

“Behave boys.” Were Masaru’s final words before he and Mitsuki were out the door. 

“See you later!” Izuku waved, and Katsuki turned back to the living room after the door was shut. Absentmindedly, Katsuki paged through his homework for a while, mentally scoffing at all of the problems he’d completed. Too easy. 

Come to think of it, the house was strangely silent, which could only mean one of two things: first, Izuku could’ve already snuck outside through one of the windows and was already halfway across the shitty bay. If not, he was probably concocting some sort of  experiment with his powers. There wasn’t any noise coming from the kitchen or bathroom, so Katsuki crossed that off his mental list. That only left their bedroom unchecked, which was where Izuku probably was, and, if he was in their bedroom, then there wasn’t much he could do. Still, not knowing what kind of shit Izuku was getting into at the moment was wearing on his nerves, because the brat wouldn’t be doing anything as long as Katsuki could help it. 

Much to Katsuki’s utter surprise, Izuku actually was in their bedroom, seated in a chair with his notebook in one hand and a pen in the other. His younger brother looked puzzled when Katsuki barged through the door like an enraged bull, the veins on his forehead ready to burst. 

“You’re not leaving this shitty house tonight— at all! Got that?!” Katsuki stated with finality.

“That’s...already what I was planning to do, Kacchan.” Izuku said slowly and carefully. "I'll be asleep in a bit."

Katsuki gave him a look, like he didn’t actually believe him, because Izuku never, ever went to bed early. But when Izuku turned back down to his notebook, as calm as calm could be, it seemed like he was telling the truth. When his parents weren’t home, it was Katsuki who made the rules, and he expected those rules to be followed. 

“Still, if I see you by the front door tonight, don’t expect me to be freaking nice about it.” After having spoken that last sentence, breathing in the near-toxic fumes of their bedroom, Katsuki’s face curled up in disgust. Whether or not it was the week-old yogurt in the corner of the room, the surplus of gym socks that littered the floor, or Izuku’s shrimpy self (does that shitface even bathe?), something smelled absolutely rotten. 

A cold feeling settled in Izuku’s gut like liquid-ice when he noticed Katsuki reaching for the window. “W-What are you doing?!”

“Opening these piece-of-shit blinds.” In the blink of an eye, Izuku’s face had gone from calm to frantic. 

“WAIT NO!!” Arm outstretched, notebook and pencil discarded on the floor, Izuku made a jump-tackle at the last second, right as Katsuki released his hold on the roller-blinds. A meter away from his target, Izuku missed, and his back hit the floor with a thump. From behind closed eyelids, Izuku could feel rather than see the cool light that streamed through the window, and he dreaded what was to happen next. Hoping against all hope that the blinds hadn’t been opened, Izuku cautiously cracked open one green eye from his place on the floor, and then the other. 

What met him was the face of the full moon. 

Katsuki, being Katsuki, had attributed Izuku’s jump to the floor as his little brother just being a dramatic little baby who couldn’t handle some cold air. Except, after he’d opened the blinds, Katsuki found Izuku simply laying on the floor. If he didn’t know any better, he’d say that Izuku looked catatonic. 

“Oi! Izuku! Get off the floor, dumbshit!!” Katsuki kicked him once, then twice for good measure, but Izuku just stayed in place, staring up at nothingness. At a closer look, it appeared that Izuku’s pupils had expanded to their limits. Paired with the small grin, the expression he wore looked absolutely disturbing. 

“Hehehe…hehehehehehe…” Izuku sniggered, the smile on his face gradually widening. “HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE…”

“What the actual—“ Katsuki’s next words were cut off by the bottle of water that shot at his face from the other side of the room. It failed to hit him by a few centimeters and slammed against the wall with a thud. 

“YOU LITTLE ASSHOLE!!!” Raucous laughter sounded from the floor.

“You little asshole—“ Izuku mimicked, swaying as he rose into a standing position. “Hi I’m Kacchan, and I have anger issues ALL the time wike a wittle baby girl.” Several raspberries punctuated the statement. 

An angry Kacchan was a very dangerous Kacchan— vicious as a rabid bear and the scourge of Musutafu’s bully population. His continual anger was one thing, but there were few things that sent Katsuki Bakugou into a truly vicious rage. 

Such examples are: insinuating that Katsuki has anger issues, insulting Katsuki’s manliness, and calling Katsuki a baby. Izuku had done all three of these things, and, if the seething look on his brother’s face or the crackling palms were any indication, Izuku was toast. 


Izuku, even under the influence of the full moon, still retained his sense of self-preservation. He knew a threat when he saw one, which is why he barely dodged the incoming right hook by a hair’s breadth. 

At the shock of being near-punched, Izuku screamed a bloodcurdling screech, and Katsuki had to cover his ears at the sheer volume. Nobody— sans a certain voice hero— should have been capable of producing such a noise. Still screaming like a a banshee, Izuku ran out of the room, arms flailing alongside him. 

Meanwhile, at the Heroes’ Lounge, Mitsuki and Masaru had finally gotten seated at their tables and had just ordered their entrées when Mitsuki’s phone started ringing. 

She picked it up with the feeling that it was either Izuku calling to ask what shirt she needed ironed for tomorrow; or it was Katsuki, who was going to exaggerate something Izuku had done with his quirk again. Much to her chagrin, it was the latter of the two. 

“MOM!!” The furious voice of Katsuki yelled into her ear. “IZUKU’S ACTING LIKE A PIECE OF SHIT!!! I’M GOING TO KILL THE FISHFACE AND FREAKING MAKE HIM—”

“Did he find the Red Bull?” Red Bull was a forbidden substance in the house, which only Masaru drank when he pulled all-nighters. Each can was hidden in a different location, far, far out of Izuku’s reach. The one incident that Izuku found and chugged the entire stash was an instant that everybody had purged from their minds— at least until now. 


“Maybe try his notebook.” Mitsuki suggested. 

“WHAT?!” Katsuki barked. 

“I think there’s one about himself that Izuku keeps somewhere. It’s probably your best bet right now, shit-for-brains.”

“Where the hell is it?!” Footsteps and sloshing sounded from the hallway, which were getting closer and closer as he spoke. Red eyes flicked to the doorway, seeing nothing but empty space. “Before he tries to drown my ass!!”

“I don’t know! Look in your room...” Then she added. “...If you can find it through the mess.”

“That’s where I am, you—“ 

“KACCHAN!” Katsuki’s sentence remained incomplete. He didn’t know when Izuku had showed up in the doorway, but he looked absolutely affronted— more affronted than he’d ever seen Izuku in his life; consequentially, that affronted look morphed into an expression of pure furor, Izuku's hands curing into tight fists. “Are you insulting Mom?!” 

For once, it was Katsuki that actually looked like he’d been caught with not one, but two hands in the cookie jar. Evidently, he had forgotten who he’d been trapped with in the first place— Izuku, his fish of a little brother, who knew no limits when it came to defending his family, even in his current state.

A sizable globe of water snaked into the threshold. 

Oh shit.

“EAT MY RIPTIDE YOU HEATHEN!” Kastuki ducked to avoid the oncoming blast, scanning the floor as he dodged. Like the explosions that the blonde had at his fingertips, those water-blasts really did hurt, which was why even Izuku pulled his punches during their spars at the beach.

“What just happened?!” Now his dad sounded a little worried. “Nothing too bad honey. Apparently, Izuku found the Red Bull again.“

“Ah—“ Said Masaru, like that explained everything. “Poor Katsuki.”

YES! POOR ME!!” Katsuki rolled to the side to avoid another projectile. 

There were quite a few of Izuku’s notebooks among the mess that covered the floor. Hero Analysis for the future #11, Hero Analysis for the future #12... Partially concealed by Izuku’s duvet was another notebook. Its cover was nondescript, but, if Katsuki had to guess, that was probably the fabled Izuku-notebook. 

Another blast of water shot towards Katsuki. And another. And another. All of them left dents on the wooden floor. 

Through the series of attacks, he was able to grab the notebook, while his other hand lit up threateningly. Thankfully, the hallway was clear as Katsuki dashed towards the adjacent bathroom, slammed the door shut, and locked it before slumping to the floor in relief. 

Immediately, he flipped open the book. 

Kacchan, if you’re reading this, get out now! Read the first page. 

STAY OUT OF MY BOOK!! I MEAN IT!!! There was a very angry caricature of Izuku on the second page. 

Please? The third set of pages had a very sad looking doodle of a kitten. It was a reasonably good drawing, cute enough to convince their dad and possibly their mom to close the book if they’d been the ones to hold it, but nothing would deter Katsuki from his life-or-death quest for knowledge. 

There were diagrams, drawings, observations, and Katsuki would admit that, if he’d taken the time to read through them all, there were some pretty decent theories on the inner-workings of Izuku’s quirk. However, he could only afford to skim over each page in hopes that he’d find out whether or not sudden-psychopathy was included in Izuku’s powerset. 

When it didn’t come to cleaning their room, Izuku was very well-organized, and there was a whole section dedicated to the drawbacks of his quirk and the possibilities of how to fix them. Within seconds of flipping through the section, Katsuki found what he needed. 

Full moon: Looking at full moon causes a loss in consciousness; not sure what happens in the meantime, except that I become very crazy, angry, excitable, or all of the above. During this time, abilities also fluctuate.  

In the entire time he’d been locked in the bathroom, Katsuki had forgotten that the call was still active. Putting the phone back to his ear, he was grateful that his mother had remained on the line for so long with her similar level of patience, and he coughed to show that he was listening. 

“Katsuki— how’s Izuku’s…caffeine high?” Mitsuki put an emphasis on the last two words. 

“IT’S THE FREAKING FULL MOON!” He yelled very loudly into the mouthpiece. From the restaurant, Mitsuki had to hold the phone away from herself at the ear-splitting volume of her oldest son. 

“What? Full moon?” The woman’s voice was baffled. “You’re talking bullshit right now.”

“Do I sound like I’m joking to you!?” Katsuki bellowed, unamused by his mother’s snark in such a serious situation. “Apparently it’s happened before, and he goes psycho like a shitty fish-werewolf or something!”

“Can it be fixed?” Mitsuki inquired smoothly. 

Lasts until moon disappears. 

“NO! IT CAN’T!!”

There was a beat of silence before Mitsuki started again. "You opened the window, right?” Katsuki gritted out a yes. “Then, if I’m not mistaken, it was your fault that Izuku saw the moon in the first place. So now, you’re going to sit tight, shitface, take care of your brother, and if either of you are seriously injured when we get back—“ Mitsuki paused. “—your gym membership is toast.” The conversation ended then and there. 


Outside the door, Katsuki could hear Izuku doing who-knows-what from downstairs as he hummed the Mappy Arcade theme song very obnoxiously. Having left the Izuku-book back upstairs, he crept down the staircase on the balls of his feet, scanning each room for the Jekyll-Hyde terror that his brother had become. 

Katsuki had just passed his dad’s workroom and was almost in the living room, when the last voice that he wanted to hear spoke up from behind him. 

“Hey. Hey, Kacchan.” Izuku called, pupils still unnaturally wide. Paired with the ear-splitting grin he wore, he looked absolutely insane. “Hey, hey Kacchan.”

“WHAT?!” Screamed Katsuki. 

“Water!” Katsuki was met with several liters of water, a great deal of it landing in his open mouth. He gagged and spluttered, while more laughter rang from Izuku’s end of the room. 

“You—your face looks so funny, Kacchan!” As water dripped off his hair and down his face, Katsuki made it a resolve for when Izuku finally got out of his shitty episode: his ass was grass, and Katsuki would be the very explosive lawnmower. 

Forget the gym membership.

Katsuki charged. 

No time like the present, right? 

A chase ensued between the two brothers, where Izuku lead Katsuki through the entirety of the house. Izuku bounced from couch-to-couch, laughing the entire time as Katsuki tried and failed to grab him. Of course this only sent Katsuki further and further into a seething rage, every lunge that he made for Izuku becoming increasingly erratic. 

“Stay still so I can kick your ass—“ A grab, a miss, and a taunt. “—YOU LITTLE F—“

Stopping in his tracks, Izuku comically gasped, cutting Katsuki off before he could voice his profanity. “THAT’S A BAD WORD!!”

Green eyes became glossy. “W-why would you say that, Kacchan?”

“CAUSE I FREAKING CAN! THAT’S WHY!!!” Was the instant retort. 

Izuku’s face scrunched up, shifting from peach to a very angry red. From the kitchen sink, which had been left running by Izuku himself, he summoned yet another globe of water over his head. His arms were poised to launch it at Katsuki, ready to make him pay for all the vulgarities he’d said—

When Katsuki landed a Charlie-horse on his shoulder.

Focus lost, Izuku’s control of the water abruptly ended, and the orb splattered onto him and the surrounding furniture. Still, that didn’t stop him from dashing off into the kitchen to resupply himself, uncaring of what would happen next. A flash of light later, and Izuku shifted into his aquatic form, falling to the floor with a splat. 

“HAH!” Katsuki grinned triumphantly, marching back into the kitchen to switch off the sink. “Try to shoot me with water now!”

Undeterred, Izuku shuffled forwards on his stomach in the direction of the sink that had just been turned off; but when the repetitive motion irritated skin and scale too much, he settled for the closer refrigerator instead, because there were plenty of liquids in the fridge for him to use. 

“Oh no you don’t!” A yank on his tail, and the targeted fridge was out of reach. Izuku gripped the floor with webbed hands, but they slipped off the tile much to his dismay. Katsuki then pulled him off the ground, carried him from the kitchen, and deposited him on the couch quite harshly. 

Katsuki turned on his heel, wanting a reprieve from Izuku’s lunacy. However, another, long scream made him stalk back to the living room— at least to get Izuku to shut the frig up. 

“KACCHAN!!” Izuku wailed, tail swishing up and down against the arm of the couch. “Foooooood…”  

What the—“ First attempted assault and now mood swings; if the night wasn’t already weird enough, then Izuku’s sudden change in demeanor really threw off Katsuki.

“I’m sooooooo hungry.” He bawled. “And I feel kinda weird— like my mouth is really dry, and—and my ears feel weird too.” Izuku grabbed onto one of the ears that had changed with the rest of him. 

He didn’t know what Izuku would do if he did or didn’t get food, and Katsuki didn’t care at this point; but there was also the possibility that his brother would start that horrible screeching again. 

Katsuki grit his teeth, settled on what he’d do next, because maybe, just maybe, some food would placate Izuku’s scaly ass. 

A minute later, Izuku was happily munching on a bag of tuna flakes. With gusto, he tore through the bag in a flash and demanded another one…and a drink. 

Turns out, if you give a fishboy a bag of tuna, he’ll ask for a juice box to go with it. 

Crossing his arms on the opposite couch, Katsuki had several more bags of tuna situated next to him (the Bakugous bought dried tuna flakes in bulk), along with a dozen juice boxes. When Izuku finished one and requested another, the blonde would chuck it at him none-too-kindly. The shit he still did for his fishy-ass brother. 

“Kaaaachan…” Izuku whined. 


“I don’t like cranberry juice. I want the tropical one instead!” Green eyes were pleading. 

“Too bad! Cause that’s all we have, and I’m not going back in the kitchen to look for a different flavor!” Katsuki settled himself further into his respective couch to get his point across.

“But I really, really waaaant it! Give it now!” 

That was the final straw for Katsuki, who— with a cranberry juice in hand— marched right up to Izuku and shoved the juice box in his face.

“No!” Izuku flailed on the couch, using his arms to keep both Katsuki and the juice box at bay. 


“NO!” With the insidious juice box inching ever-closer, Izuku went from squirming to full-on thrashing, using all the strength in his body to scoot away from Katsuki. 

For one final time, Izuku reached to block the juice box. 

Elbow hit face, and the two brothers recoiled. 

“STUPID SHITTY ELBOW!!!” Katsuki jumped backward from the hit, juice box entirely forgotten. A hand flew up to his cheek, meeting tender skin. The hit had struck his cheekbone, and it hurt— a lot. “I’m going to the bathroom to see what you did to me, and if so much as one scale of yours is off that shitty couch…” He left the threat hanging in the air. 

Izuku didn’t say a word, but he looked ready to cry as he curled into himself as much as possible. 

Good. Katsuki huffed. At least Izuku remembered who was in charge now. 

By the time Katsuki returned from the bathroom, where his face was thankfully not bleeding, Izuku had fallen asleep, a finished cranberry juice box clutched in one hand. 

The entire time he’d been transformed, Izuku had remained relatively dry, so why the frig wasn’t he changing back? Since this had already happened to Izuku before, Katsuki reasoned that this might also be part of the whole full moon thing. It was nothing to pester his parents over like a crybaby again; they could deal with it when they got home. 

For now, flicking off most of the lamps, it was time that Katsuki got some well-deserved rest. 

But, if Izuku woke up again—

Katsuki fumed, aware of the fact that he’d be spending the night on the couch. It wasn’t that it was uncomfortable; he simply preferred his own room. Still, he couldn’t leave a crazed Izuku to his own devices. He’d probably flood the whole house if he could. 

After shoving the leftover stockpile of food he’d gathered onto the floor with an arm, the blonde pulled a spare blanket over himself, and he was just about ready to go to sleep, when Izuku started tossing and turning— more precisely, he was shivering. 

Frig. Wasn’t he cold-resistant or something? Katsuki thought, suddenly irate again. 

Yet, he wouldn’t be able to sleep with knowledge that there was motion from somewhere in his line of vision. Even if his eyes were closed, it would just be plain freaking annoying. 

With irritated reluctance, Katsuki slinked out of his warm blanket cocoon and headed back upstairs to retrieve another duvet for his brother. 

He threw the blanket over Izuku and tucked it into both sides of the cushions so he wouldn’t have to pick it up off the floor, because he wasn’t planning to get up once he went to sleep himself. Within minutes of being covered, Izuku snuggled contentedly into the sofa. 

Similarly, Katsuki plopped on his own couch, pulled the blanket over his shoulders, and closed his eyes, letting sleep overtake him. 

Awareness came back to Izuku in bits and pieces. The pounding in his head registered first, and his whole body felt as if it had been sent through a meat grinder. As per usual, his legs felt like gelatin— the half-fridged kind that didn't keep its shape—so, the last thing he’d try to do would be walking for a while or even standing for that matter. There was also a sharp pain in his right shoulder, like someone had punched him. Hard. 

“Uugggggghhhh…” He knew what had happened: Katsuki opened the window in his room, and he’d blacked out then and there. He wanted to go back to sleep so desperately, but the sunlight that pierced through his eyelids prevented him from doing so. 

“Morning, sleepyhead!” Masaru greeted cheerfully. 

“Well, well, well…” The voice of his mom started. “Look who finally decided to wake his ass up. By chance was there anything you forgot to tell us, shitface?”  

What did his mom even mean? Everyone already knew everything about his quirk, like the water control, the fins, and— oh, right. 

“The moon!” Izuku shot up into a sitting position, an intense wave of vertigo pulsating through his skull. Truth be told, in the time leading up to the full moon, he had no clue on how to even broach the subject. Hey guys, I act like a freaky lunatic once a month. No, I’m not on drugs; it’s the full moon, even if WebMD says otherwise.  No matter how he worded it in his head, it was just plain weird and embarrassing. 

Regardless, he should have told his family in the first place so at least they would’ve known what would happen to him and why. “I’m so sorry guys! I was supposed to tell you when I told you all about my quirk, but I completely forgot.” His face grew frantic. “I-I didn’t do anything horrible, did I?” 

“I think you scared Katsuki half-to-death—” Mitsuki gestured to the side. 

“SHUT UP!! I WAS NOT SCARED ONE BIT!!!” Katsuki’s volume sent another wave of pain throughout Izuku’s head. 

“That’s why you were on the phone with your momma for half the night.” Teased Mitsuki. Masaru stifled a laugh at the comment.  


“Riiiiiight…” Mitsuki drawled smugly. Then she turned her focus to Izuku, ignoring the other fuming teen behind her. “So this happens every full-moon, Izuku?” 

“Yeah.” Izuku breathed. “I-I actually was supposed to try going all night shut in my room, because I have a hard time sleeping on full-moons now. Kacchan opened the window though, and you know what happened.”

“And you don’t remember anything?” She asked, genuine interest in her tone. 

“Not really.” He admitted. For the past couple of times he’d blacked out, Izuku could barely recall what he’d done. Sometimes, he could remember sensations, like the feeling of using his powers or having his legs merged into a tail. Emotions were another thing. Exhilaration, frustration, outrage— all of them left a faint taste on his tongue in the morning. 

Right now, he tasted cranberries. 

“Well you’re even more demanding when you’re cuckoo-for-freaking-Cocoa-Puffs! Pain in the ass...” Katsuki interrupted. Izuku caught the splotch of purple on his older brother’s cheek, and unconsciously he brought his hand up to his own. 

A pang of guilt surged through Izuku, because he knew with certainty that he’d been the one responsible for that. 

“Kacchan.” Izuku turned to Katsuki. “W-Why didn’t you hide or something?”

“Because you would’ve set the house on fire or some shit, and don’t apologize either.” Katsuki gruffly responded. “By the way, did you know you don’t change back until freaking sunrise?!” The fact that Izuku would have a wobble in his step for a while today almost made Katsuki feel pity for him— almost. 

"Yeah," Mitsuki interjected. "You were sound-asleep when you changed back."

Huh. He hadn't known that. Izuku would have to write that down later when he got the chance. Remembering something else on the forefront of his mind, Izuku decided for another topic. “How was the Heroes’ Lounge?”

“It was wonderful! They had just about any kind of food you could think of—you would’ve loved it there, Izuku!” Said Masaru with an enthused gesture. 

“Were any heroes there?” As a hero fan, Izuku just had to know. 

“I think we saw one or two actually…” Masaru put a hand up to his chin in thought, wracking his mind for the hero knowledge he gained from Izuku’s muttering around the house. “There was Gunhead, and I think we saw that guy with the jeans on his face—Best Jeanist!” 

“You know,” Spoke Izuku, sinking back into the cushions. He was just about ready to fall asleep again. “When I’m a pro hero, I promise you that I'm gonna take us all back there someday.”

"Now you're making me feel guilty about wanting to video-tape you on the next full moon, Izuku." And Mitsuki had to admit that Izuku was a little too selfless sometimes. 

"She's right." Masaru slung an arm around his wife. "We could get a pretty penny on Quirkiest Home Videos if you wanted." Despite the fact that Masaru was completely joking, an angered 'It was not freaking funny' came from Katsuki's end of the room. 

"Don't worry." Mitsuki waved off any of Izuku's further worries, even though he knew she wouldn't (unless he did something particularly funny). "We won't; we'll keep them for ourselves. Just go to sleep now, Izuku." And Izuku took that as his cue to close his eyes. 

Full moons took a lot out of Izuku. From the overuse of his powers, to the extended time in his aquatic form, and the emotional overload— it all left him exhausted.

Thankfully, even with the knowledge that he had a quirk that rendered him so volatile, unhinged, and then so tired and feeble-bodied afterwards Izuku could rest easy.

Because, with his family behind him every step of the way, he would never truly be alone. 

Chapter Text

The next full-moon incident was, of course, a month later. Where Katsuki had a dentist’s appointment, Mitsuki thought it would be okay to take the car, seeing how there wasn’t much traffic on the road that day. However, it seemed like every resident in Musutafu had their car out on the drive back, which was why Mitsuki and Katsuki were stuck on some highway not even a quarter of the distance to their home. 

Worse yet, it was nearly nightfall, and they’d left Izuku home alone. Scratch that— home alone with Masaru, but he didn’t hear anything if he was in his workroom. Either the walls were really, really thick, or he was just selectively deaf. Mitsuki and Katsuki agreed it was the latter. 

Crap. They definitely needed to book it home, because if a crazed Izuku caught Masaru unawares, neither Katsuki nor Mitsuki wanted to imagine what would happen.  

Meanwhile at the Bakugou residence, Masaru was hunched over his latest project: a dark blue jumpsuit with silvery accents. The material was a little thick and hard to sew through, but, he would rather lose his job, give up his license as a fashion designer, than hand in a piece with one stitch out of place. Picking up one of the silvery needles that were set right next to the spray bottle he’d recently purchased, Masaru set to work on the shoulder pads, weaving the needles through the fabric with the utmost possible care. 

He didn’t even turn when a crash sounded from behind him, followed by a thud— then several bangs, like the entire animal population of Tokyo Zoo was running a marathon through the house. Only when the noise got close enough did Masaru set his needle down, lunge for the spray bottle with blinding speed, and fire several shots at the human cyclone that had found its way into his workplace. 

Izuku didn’t even make it halfway across the room before he fell like a domino. 

Face-planted on the floor and tail curled up at his side, it seemed that Izuku wasn’t very happy at having been caught by surprise. With his mobility all but gone, the most Izuku would do for the remainder of the night would— 

Water and plastic blew in all directions, the force from the miniature blast knocking Masaru’s glasses askew. Some sniggers rose from the floor. 

This was going to be a long night. 

 In the past hour-and-a-half, the traffic hadn’t moved a bit. 

Katsuki leaned towards the driver’s seat and honked the horn several times in succession, earning plenty of beeps from other cars (and a rude gesture or two) in response. “Cut that out, you brat.” Mitsuki swatted away her son’s hand. 

Not only did Mitsuki worry about how Izuku and Masaru were doing at home, but she was very, very bored. 

“I’m playing music.” Her tone left no room for argument as she switched on her CD, letting the eighties’ rock tunes fill the silence. 

“Guns N’ Roses?” Katsuki scoffed, making his displeasure at his mother's taste in music apparent. 

“It’s my car, shitface. If you don’t like it, you know where the door is.” Walk home in the freezing cold, or listen to cringey eighties’ music. 

Katsuki had no choice but to go with the latter. 

 Izuku, Masaru discovered, became a completely different person under the full moon. For one, Izuku’s maturity level had plummeted to that of a four-year-old’s since the night began; his mouth wouldn’t stop running every toilet joke, tease, and bait-joke in the book. Then he just wouldn’t quit giggling; not that Izuku’s laughter was a bad thing, it was just that Masaru needed total silence to concentrate on what he was doing. 

Masaru allowed himself a grin, setting down the pencil with a small clack. Hopefully, this would keep Izuku’s attention for a good while, at least until Mitsuki and Katsuki were home. 

Another thing Masaru had noted was the fact that, despite his lack of legs, Izuku tried his hardest to get into everything and anything. He’d taken to shuffling across the floor, trying to propel himself with his tail. Masaru had found Izuku with a very large bottle of grenadine and had stopped him before he could chug its contents; he also used his powers on food coloring (food coloring!), and had painted a good portion of the kitchen in reds, blues, and greens like some macabre Jackson Pollock painting. Masaru would have to clean that later; but, if one thing was for certain, this version of Izuku was just like a little kid.

“Hey kiddo,” Masaru started, carrying an old-looking box into the living-room. Izuku was wrapped in an obscene amount of blankets on one of the sofas. Since it appeared that Izuku was thoroughly enjoying the warmth of his blanket cocoon, Masaru was glad that he hadn’t tried to escape as of yet. 

“Hehehehe…” Izuku giggled, green eyes staring off into oblivion. “Hey Dad…I kinda feel like a wrap right now. Am I a wrap?”

“Yes, Izuku, you’re a wrap— a very funny wrap. Maybe you’re a roll, or a bun instead...” He trailed off. Currently, Masaru had his back turned towards Izuku, trying to figure out how to hook up the box to the television. As it hadn’t been used in years, Masaru hoped it still worked, because he’d be rather disappointed if it didn’t. 

“Ah!” When he plugged in the last of the wires, the television’s monitor went from black to blue. “It works!”

“What is it Dad?” Asked Izuku, black pupils comically wide with curiosity. 

“You’ll see in a minute.” Without further ado, Masaru let the cassette player swallow up the tape he’d fixed. No way that Izuku would sit still for two-decade-old movie promos, so Masaru would have to fast-forward them all. 

“—so sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!” One fanfare later, and the final commercial transitioned to movie. Izuku had been draped across the couch when The Little Mermaid began. With the entirety of his attention focused on the movie, it was like he was watching the film through new eyes. As the introductory tune began, Masaru seated himself beside Izuku and let him use his shoulder as a headrest.

And why couldn’t he relax if Izuku was doing so too? 

After all, no one was too old for a classic. 

 In the time that Mitsuki had turned on her CD, the traffic had let up— just a little—and it was now stop-and-go, as opposed to the ever-more-wonderful stop. At least now they could turn on some actual heat, because the car had been freezing not two minutes before. 

“The frig? Why isn’t your father answering?” Mitsuki hissed, clutching the phone like a vice. A spike of anger coursed through her when the dial-tone sounded for the umpteenth time. “He always answers!”

“Cause Izuku’s probably done something to him by now— like tie him up or blast water at his freaking face!!!” 

“Shut up, shithead!” Preferring to deal with problems as they came along, Mitsuki wasn’t the type of person who worried too much. However, as much as she wanted to think that Masaru had everything under control like he always did, a crazed Izuku was a wildcard, and she didn’t want Masaru to over-stress if Izuku became too much. 

It was Schrödinger’s Cat, but with a fishier, crazier Izuku and a Masaru who didn’t quite know how to deal with him yet. Everything was fine until proven otherwise, the mom reassured herself. 

Mitsuki’s train of thought was broken when Katsuki began the CD again. “What?” 

“Nothing.” She waved off the explosive teen. “Go back to your corner.” 

 Completely certain that Izuku’s attention was on the movie, Masaru had left his spot on the couch at one point to clean up the kitchen. He’d just finished giving the countertops a good scrubbing from the food coloring and had even made a quick dinner for his wife and Katsuki, when a sob sounded from the other room. 

Dropping the rag he held, Masaru returned to the living room to find a tearful Izuku. With all the blankets he'd been wrapped in bunched up on the floor, Izuku sat upright, bright green eyes fixated on his tail. 

“Izuku!” Exclaimed Masaru, who hadn’t expected Izuku to break out in tears at any point during the night. No longer focused on the movie, he turned to the older man. “What’s wrong, kiddo?” 

“I can’t find my legs!” Izuku cried out, distress clear on his features. “Where’d my legs go?!” 

Although Masaru knew the answer to that question, he didn’t quite know what to say to comfort his son, so, instead of replying, he slipped off his shoes and sat next to Izuku again.   

“I don’t like this quirk at all. I don't want it!” Izuku nearly shouted. “I-I just want my legs back.” 

Something in Izuku's words left him dumbstruck. Masaru knew that his son wasn’t currently right in the mind, but, he believed that it was indeed Izuku who spoke, albeit from his subconscious. Although Izuku’s quirk was quite strong and versatile, perfect for his dream career in heroism, there were some evident drawbacks to Izuku’s quirk. 

But whose quirk didn't have one? Even Masaru's quirk, Oxidizing Sweat, made his wrists strain and his ears ring each time he clapped his hands together. With Katsuki's quirk, it was probably much worse. But the difference between theirs and Izuku's quirk was that he had to live with his quirk and its drawbacks—such as the loss of mobility on land, the struggle of walking after changing forms, and, of course, the loss in consciousness during the full moon— on a constant basis. 

Masasru and Katsuki chose when they activated their quirks, while on many occasions Izuku didn’t. 

If Izuku had insecurities about his quirk, they were never expressed, but, now, so very vulnerable, Izuku readily voiced his fears. Masaru would need to rectify them, because maybe by some chance Izuku would remember this night and let go of any self-doubt he had for good. 

And Masaru knew just the way to do it. 

“Hey, Izuku.” Said Masaru in a happier tone-of-voice. Izuku perked up, intrigued by his dad’s sudden change in demeanor. “I got a story for you. It’s kind of like The Little Mermaid, but it’s better, because there aren’t really any bad guys in it. Wanna hear it?” He cleared his throat before proceeding. “Once upon a time, there was a quirkless boy who wished for all the world that he had a quirk. He didn’t care what kind of quirk it was, as long as he could use it to help people.”

Beside Masaru, Izuku listened raptly, a curious hunger for more of his father's story showing through widened, black pupils.

“One day, he woke up to find he had an amazing, flashy quirk, but, whenever he touched the water, he couldn’t walk.”  

“Kinda like me?” 

“Yeah Izuku. Kind of like you.” Then Masaru continued. “And the boy was sad, because he knew that he couldn’t help people if he couldn’t walk.” 

“That’s horrible.” Izuku sniffed, wiping his face with a scaly arm. “What happened to him?”

“I didn’t finish yet.” Masaru put a finger up. “Although the boy’s quirk was very special, he also had another gift or two that helped him very much…”

“Like what?” His tail flicked up-and-down in anticipation.

“First, he was smart— smarter than all of the other heroes combined—so, eventually, the boy found a solution to his problem. Second, and this was the most important gift of all, was that the boy never, ever gave up, even when all odds were against him and everything seemed impossible— because he knew that his quirk was as much a part of him like the rest of body.” 

"I promise you, Izuku, that when you wake up tomorrow morning you’ll have your legs back, okay?” By the time Masaru finished his story, all of the tension had seeped out of Izuku's body, any last ounce of energy sapped away by his emotional outburst. Staring at the television through half-lidded eyes, where the movie's end credits had been rolling for a good while, Izuku's head listed to the side, and Masaru took him by the shoulders with a gentle hand, leaning Izuku against him.

Soon enough, the rest of Izuku's body followed, tail stretching out across the length of the couch, and he went slack in Masaru's warm hold. Snuggling further into his father’s side, the weight of his arm added an extra sense of comfort and security for the exhausted teen. Combined with the fact that both of his eyelids felt like lead weights, it wasn’t long before Izuku fell into a deep, peaceful slumber. 

When Masaru looked down, Izuku was curled up at his side and fast asleep. 

Somehow, against all logic, Masaru had a feeling that Izuku had gotten the message from the story he'd told.

When Katsuki and Mitsuki arrived back home, everything was completely quiet. Better yet, the entire kitchen was spotless, where the only things that littered the table were a few covered plates. Mitsuki pressed a hand to one and smiled. The plate was warm, meaning that Masaru had even made them dinner while caring for a moonstruck Izuku. 

No way Mitsuki would pick a fight with her husband for not answering the phone if he'd been doing so much while she was gone. Sometimes, he was an absolute lifesaver. 

Flicking on one of the lamps, she stepped into the living room. 

The sight that greeted Mitsuki nearly melted her heart.  

Side-by-side were Masaru and Izuku, sleeping as if there wasn’t a care in the world. Izuku was in his fishy form, but, snuggled up against Masaru’s shoulder, the look on his face was as contented as could be. 

It was absolutely adorable, Mitsuki internally gushed.  

And she needed pictures of it. 

A minute later, and Mitsuki had her two cameras at the ready: a Polaroid and a digital. It was decided that the Polaroid photo would go in her wallet, while the digital one would go in a frame or album when she found time to print it out. 

After taking the photos, she turned off the lights and shooed Katsuki upstairs with his dinner, leaving Masaru and Izuku to their rest. 

Masaru didn’t awaken until before sunrise; Izuku was still curled next to him, an arm thrown around Masaru. Someone had covered them both in extra blankets— likely Mitsuki, if Masaru had to guess. Although Izuku had reverted back to his usual form, he was still deep in slumber, if the slow, even breaths that brushed against Masaru’s arm were any indication. 

He shifted, mindful of Izuku’s head as he pulled the blanket a little further over himself. Closing his eyes, Masaru settled back into the cushions, letting the blissful unconsciousness take him once more.

“Dad…Are you awake?" Masaru nearly was asleep again when Izuku spoke up, his voice a low, groggy murmur. 

"A little bit now." Admitted Masaru, and it took Izuku a minute or two to formulate the words he wanted to say through the fog that clouded his mind. 

"I think I remember what you said to me last night, and I know I was stupid... but I really appreciate what you did.”

“You weren’t stupid, Izuku." Masaru soothed, running a hand through his son's soft, green curls. "You were scared, and the moon just made it worse."   

"I don't think I'm upset anymore..." Izuku hugged his father tighter. He could barely recall what he'd been upset about in the first place, the uncertainty, fear and distress threatening to swallow him whole. Thankfully, his dad had been there, and had replaced the darkness with something brighter— something hopeful. "...and I feel better now...So just... thank you."

They were both drifting off, rays of sunlight filtering through the blinds. Since neither Mitsuki nor Katsuki were up yet, they both could catch a few more hours of sleep.

"I’m always here to help you, kiddo." To make sure his children were happy, safe, and successful, Masaru believed it to be his most important job. Knowing that he'd helped Izuku, had succeeded in his work, Masaru could rest easy. "And I’ll do it again and again for you.”


Chapter Text

For one Katsuki Bakugou, incident number three had begun during one of the most inopportune moments: in broad daylight!

It was four-thirty in the afternoon, he and Izuku having left school a little later than usual. Both Masaru and Mitsuki knew that their two boys would be a little late coming home. This time, Katsuki had been the first to notice the full moon hanging in the bright blue sky, and he didn’t even have to glance behind him to know what Izuku looked like. 

“Hehehehehehehehehehehehehe…” The dopiest smile was plastered on Izuku’s face. 

Thinking quickly, Katsuki dialed his dad, pressing the buttons more harshly than he should’ve. He would surely bring the car if Katsuki asked.

“Hello?” Answered the voice of Masaru Bakugou. “Katsuki? Is that you?”

“Of course! WHO DO YOU THINK THIS IS?!” 

“What’s the problem, kiddo?” Everyone usually texted nowadays. For Katsuki to call, Masaru had a feeling that the reason was urgent. 

“THE FULL MOON CAME EARLY, AND IZUKU’S GONE FREAK-O ALREADY!!” Katsuki bellowed into the phone. “I’m not dealing with this shit tonight— AT ALL!!!” Then, ever-so-politely, he asked. “Could you please bring the car?”

“Well, since you said please…” Knowing Katsuki’s penchant for anger, Masaru quickly rectified the joke. “I’m kidding— I’ll be there in five. See you boys!” Masaru then ended the call. 

During the span of that conversation, Katsuki had forgotten the most important thing: Izuku himself. His brother was already halfway across the schoolyard by the time Katsuki realized that Izuku had slipped away, running towards the street near the school’s entrance. Katsuki gave chase, shoving aside anyone in his way. He was certain that he’d get in trouble for that later with the teachers, but he didn’t care, because there were more important matters at the moment. 

Izuku disappeared somewhere near the barriers that separated school from road, and Katsuki skidded to a halt. Red eyes darted from left to right, searching for anything out of the ordinary. Nothing across the road, nothing in the field, and nothing by the—

A scream erupted from the inside of the school building, followed by the ringing of the fire alarm. Without a second thought, Katsuki dashed back through the school entrance and into the crowd of people who were fleeing in the opposite direction. 

The entirety of the student-teacher body ran past Katsuki, paying him no mind as he plowed through the fray. In less than a minute, the hallways were vacated, and the school was completely silent, save for one oddly insistent noise— like that of shaking metal. 

As Katsuki went deeper into the school, the sound became louder, gradually rising in pitch. 

Almost in sync, water burst from the walls, the contents of every last pipe breaking through the drywall and spilling onto the tiles. There was more water running somewhere in the school—Katsuki could hear it— which was where Izuku probably was. He stepped forward, liquid seeping through his shoes and each stride making a splash. Within thirty seconds, the noise had grown much, much closer. Sounding similar to the gushing waters of Niagra Falls, Katsuki knew that it wasn’t his imagination, and that there was a lot of water somewhere nearby. 

Only when he rounded the corner did Katsuki find the flood, or the flood found him, sweeping him off the ground before he could even blink. 

 Driving up to the school, Masaru stopped short when he saw the crowd that had gathered around the entrance. No way he’d be parking at the sidewalk, since there were so many people gathered there, but where were his sons?

He’d have to ask after he found some place to park.

Katsuki didn’t know which way was up or down, the loss of his footing having taken him by complete surprise. He’d also been submerged for the past twenty seconds; so, if Izuku drowned him either knowingly or unknowingly, Katsuki would maul him. As the blonde was busy planning twenty different ways to beat the ever-loving crap out of Izuku, a shadow barreled towards him, gripped him by the uniform, and hefted him onto a locker: it was Izuku in full fishy form. 

“Kacchan!” Izuku gleefully smiled, and Katsuki would’ve almost believed it to be genuine if not for the fact that Izuku had seen moonlight. The wave had stopped in place, looking like a large cube of water from an outsider’s perspective. Now, not only would Katsuki have to find a way to sneak Izuku out of the school without getting caught, but now he’d have to carry the shit the whole way to the car— drenched!

Izuku was dead meat when they got out of this. 


The statement made Izuku cackle, swimming around in happy circles and looking more pleased with himself than he’d ever been. “I destroyed them all… BIG BROTHER HAS BEEN BLINDED!!!” Then green eyes widened in realization, and Izuku straightened up once more. “WAIT— you’re the big brother!! CAN YOU SEE KACCHAN?! CAN YOU?” Izuku waved his webbed hands around. 

“Of course I can see, you shitty nerd!” Katsuki swatted Izuku’s hands away, and he sunk beneath the water dejectedly. As fast as it had left, a new spark filled Izuku’s eyes, like another idea had crossed his mind. 

“Wanna swim?” Bubbles of water punctuated his question. 

“NO!! I do not want to swim!!”

“Why not?!” Izuku visibly deflated. 

“Because A: it’s freezing, B: you’re freaking insane right now, and you don’t even know it; and C—“ His arm shot out towards the red and blue lights that flashed through the nearest window. “THE FREAKING COPS ARE OUTSIDE WAITING TO ARREST OUR SORRY ASSES!! DO YOU WANNA GET ARRESTED, DEKU?! BECAUSE I SURE AS HELL DON’T!!”

“I’m not a deku…” Whined Izuku pitifully.  

“Then prove it, you shit, because we’re getting out of this place whether you like it or not!” Katsuki didn't have the raw analytical power that Izuku did, but his battle instinct and ability to think on his feet were both second nature. If Izuku was out of commission for the time being, then Katsuki would need to use his own wit and grit to make the plans for them both.

Because if they were caught, the consequences would be far worse.

Okay, Masaru really regretted not coming to the school and dragging Izuku to the car himself. From the account of some students he’d come by, he learned that the school had flooded, and, by the way the flood started, everyone suspected it to be the work of a quirk. Masaru could clearly see the water that had overtaken the first two floors of the school from his position on the ground, and he took a moment to wipe his glasses to make sure that he was seeing correctly, because that was a lot of water. 

On top of that, twenty minutes ago, a police car or two had gathered around the front entrance of the school. Currently, there were about eight of them, and, if he heard correctly from some of the passerby, the pro heroes would be arriving soon enough. 

Izuku definitely was in there, and presumably Katsuki was too. If he knew his sons, they probably were searching for a way out of the school. It wouldn’t do any of them well for Masaru to try and sneak into the school himself and subsequently get arrested. Unfortunately, the most he could do was sit in the car and wait to see as to whether or not they’d come out in handcuffs. 

In the case that Katsuki and Izuku were arrested, he was sure that it wouldn’t go on either of their records, as Izuku wouldn’t remember anything the next morning and Katsuki hadn’t done anything wrong, but it would be a very, very long night for all involved. 

Actually, Masaru thought when his eyes caught onto a roll of duct tape hanging out a lone grocery bag, maybe he could do something else. 

It was dark by the time Katsuki finally convinced Izuku to flood them up to the roof, and, with a suspicious-looking pink gas wafting through the first few floors, it was the only viable option. The number of police officers hadn’t increased from its previous amount, but there was definitely a pro hero or two on the scene (and likely stalking around the building). 

Now they were toast. If they weren’t toast an hour ago, then the heroes hallmarked the fact that the brothers were now a special brand of toast that was both rotten and burnt to a crisp several times over. 

“Shiny…” The flashing police lights mesmerized Izuku, red and blue casting his face aglow. 

“PAY ATTENTION!” Katsuki snapped, bringing Izuku’s attention back to him. No way Katsuki would be seeing in the dark. Izuku would have to be their night vision, as only he could see through the blackness. “Okay, where’s the shitty car at?”

Bright green eyes searched the ground below the school building, and Izuku went ramrod stiff in the water he still controlled when he zeroed in on something unseen to Katsuki. “Kacchan, I can see Dad!! He’s sooooo tiny right now.”




“No, there!” A finned arm pointed in some general direction.

“You’re not helping us at all!”

As Katsuki was about to turn back, something on the ground flashed orangey-yellow. His eyes widened, because there was only one other person who could make those kind of explosions. There was another explosion and another; so their dad knew that they were trapped in the school and was giving them his position with his quirk.  

Roughly estimating, Katsuki knew that their dad was a good two-hundred meters away. He had a solution that would get them both over the barricade, undetected in the darkness; it was a long shot that would push his lungs to their limits, stupidly brilliant, and audacious enough to work. However, the heroes on the ground wouldn’t be saving them if they failed (their quirks weren’t suited for high-up rescues). But, if Izuku and Katsuki didn’t escape, then this incident would be on their permanent records, and, if they had so much as a smudge on their permanent records, they wouldn’t be able to apply to UA. 

“Izuku,” Katsuki grinned. With the way both rows of teeth were displayed, his smile was far too wide to be considered sane. “Wanna swim?”

“Yeah!” Izuku cheered. 

“Then we’re gonna swim right to Dad. How about that, shitface?” An excited smile grew on Izuku’s face. 

“Okay, then here’s what we’re going to do…” If the word ‘hero’ slipped from his throat, then the plan was done for. Also, Katsuki noted: a bribed crazed-Izuku is a cooperative crazed-Izuku, and what better bribe for his fishy brother than swimming? 

“That guy dressed in black—he's a special cop...” Katsuki pointed to the ground where the pro hero was. “We’re going to wait for that special-looking cop to come into the school, and, when he does, it’ll be swimming time.” 

It took a while before the black-clad hero stepped into the school.

The instant he was no longer visible, Katsuki and Izuku were off into the night. 

Masaru was standing outside the car when he saw the oversized globe of water floating through the sky. Izuku and Katsuki both had to paddle to stay afloat in their impromptu escape device; although Katsuki, being the weaker of the two swimmers, had to cling to Izuku’s arm to stay in the bubble, while Izuku occasionally flicked his tail fin. When there was no more chance of injury, Katsuki dropped from the bubble and took a greedy breath of air, relishing in the way that it filled his lungs. 

Another moment, and Izuku also fell to the ground, along with his bubble of water, but Masaru caught him before he could hit the asphalt, getting a hearty soaking in the process. Viridian eyes got a good look at his face, and Izuku erupted into giggles at the sight. “Hehehe…cool octopus costume, Dad.” 

Masaru had put a sweatshirt over his face; only his ash blonde hair and bespectacled eyes peeked out from the neck-hole. Katsuki looked at him, absolutely incredulous, and the older man argued that, “You can never be too paranoid…” before tossing another sweatshirt to Katsuki and demanding he wear it likewise. Additionally, the front plate (and presumably the back one) were wrapped in an excessive amount of duct tape. In a flash, Izuku was comfortably stretched across the trunk, since the normal seats were likely to irritate the dorsal fin on his back. He didn’t even have to tell Katsuki to get in the car, as he was already buckled in the passenger seat and ready to go. 

A screech of tires, and they were off. 

 Eraserhead gawked at the sheer amount of water that filled Orudera's hallways, sloshing from side-to-side and stagnating in place. Obviously, this had to be some child’s prank, and whoever did this had been very meticulous with every last security camera having been pummeled into a nonfunctional state. However, in the case that it was an actual villain, the hero could easily erase the quirk and kick the crap out of said villain. It would be an easy job. 

When the water decided it was time to obey the laws of physics once more, the Erasure Hero didn’t have enough time to dodge, and, within moments, he was thrown onto the school’s steps from the force of it. Either the culprit had given up, or the quirk strain had become too much for the very sorry individual. No matter, whoever was responsible for this would get a nice, long talking-to, courtesy of the Musutafu Police Department. 

A sweep through the school provided no results, so, not only had Eraserhead shown up for nothing, but he was drenched to the absolute bone. Currently, he was standing on the rooftop, his only source of light coming from the bright moon that hung in the sky. The trail of water ended where he was, yet, it was like the culprit had disappeared into thin air. 

In the distance was a retreating Jeep, driving like its life depended on it. If Eraserhead didn’t know any better, with how the car was driving without its headlights on, he’d say the occupants might’ve been doing something less-than-legal, like making an esca— 

Well then. 

“Detective,” Erasherhead droned into the earpiece he wore. “I think our mystery vandal just gave us the slip by means of vehicle. Yeah, looked like some sort of Jeep. Could you send someone after it before they get to the highway?” 

“Sure thing, Eraserhead-san!” Came Detective Tsukauchi’s voice from the other end of the communication device. Two of the many police-cars pulled out from the sidewalk.

Aizawa decided that he didn’t get paid enough for this crap.

The Baku-mobile had gone from zero to sixty in the past thirty seconds. In the short timespan that they’d been on the road, Masaru had broken several traffic laws: first, he ran two stop signs, triggered a speed camera, scratched his and someone else’s car, and went at least forty miles over the speed limit— all while in a school zone. Still, the flashes of red and blue that he thought he saw from behind only made him drive faster, Katsuki gripping the oh-shit handle for dear life and Izuku whooping in delight when they ran over yet another speed bump. 

No, they weren’t running from the cops or pro heroes, nor were they resisting imminent arrest. As far as anyone knew, this was a nice, leisurely, family drive that Masaru had taken his sons on in the spur-of-the-moment for some quality father-son bonding time, and every traffic law he’d broken as of yet was just a result of the bulky sweatshirt that partially obstructed his vision. Nothing suspicious or illegal going on here, even as Masaru swerved into a deserted parking lot and cut the engine. 

When Masaru pulled the sweatshirt off his face, Katsuki took that as his cue to do the same. 

They stayed in the parking lot for a good half-hour, breaths heaving and hearts beating wildly in their chests. With such a close brush with the law, both Masaru and Katsuki still reeled from what had happened back at the school. Izuku, meanwhile, had already dozed off in the trunk, his soft snores being the only noise that filled the silence. 

“Katsuki…” The look on Masaru’s face was absolutely dark. “I think we can both agree that this will never get back to your mom.” 

Katsuki nodded wordlessly. He didn't want to imagine what his mother would do if she found out.

All the blonde knew was that their asses would be hanging from mantles by the time she was done with them.   

“Good.” Like the flick of a switch, the usual smile Masaru wore returned in an instant, and he started up the car again. “Who wants ice cream?” The mention of ice cream brought Izuku back to wakefulness. 

In less than two hours, they'd destroyed public property, used their quirks in public, fled the scene of a crime, and had driven with covered license plates and no headlights. If they’d been caught, all three of them would’ve spent a night in a less-than-cozy jail cell, where, not changing back until morning, Izuku would’ve been the worst off. 

Therefore, ice cream was the most brilliant idea that the father-son trio had all night. 

So nobody, not even Katsuki, protested against it.

Chapter Text

In the wake of the Orudera flooding incident, everyone got the week off while the building underwent repairs. However, that didn’t stop every last student from being called to the principal’s office at least once during the span of that week. 

Unfortunately for the Bakugous, the call-in was alphabetical, which meant that Izuku and Katsuki were among the first to be interviewed. That accounted for forenames too, which was why Izuku had been the first out of the Bakugou siblings to answer a series of questions from the detective that had been sent to their school. 

“Hello,” The detective greeted Izuku with a smile. His hair was pitch-black, and he wore a beige trenchcoat. For the most part, the detective looked pretty normal, friendly even, but, in a world of quirks and powers, looks were always deceiving. “My name is Detective Tsukauchi, and I’m here to ask you some questions about what happened at the school last week.”

“Hello, Tsukauchi-san.“ Izuku ended his sentence with a polite bow in his seat. After scooting back towards the desk, he became quiet, playing with the straps on his gloves beneath the table. He couldn’t act scared or fidgety right now, not when his chances of getting arrested had increased astronomically. Be simple, don’t blather, and don’t freaking stutter either—Kacchan had drilled it into him continually while the first group of students had their turns. Even his dad, who had brought them to the school for their obligatory interview had told both of them to say as little as possible. 

As much as Izuku respected the law, he couldn’t afford to slip up, not when his blunder could affect his entire family.

Be simple and admit to nothing. Izuku repeated the words in his head, taking a deep breath and pushing down the fear that made his limbs feel like leaden dumbbells. 

But Izuku had to know something first— that no one had been harmed by his hand while he'd been moonstruck— otherwise he would worry over the unknown, and the resulting guilt would swallow him whole. “B-before we start, could I ask if everyone made it out okay?” He mentally slapped himself for not keeping the stutter out of his voice. Much to Izuku's relief, the detective seemed to pay no mind to his nervousness. 

“As far as I know, there were no injuries.” Save for a certain Erasure Hero’s pride. He very much looked like a wet-cat after control of the flood had been released. “Now, I know you’re quirkless, as it says here on your file, Bakugou-kun.” Tsukauchi glossed over the sheet of paper he held. “Is that correct?”

“Well, I do have the toe-joint, sir.” Truth. Tsukauchi’s quirk signaled, but it wasn’t an actual answer to the question he’d asked. No matter, one could not have a quirk with an extra toe-joint. 

“Have you ever gotten in trouble at school before?” The detective shot off his next question. 

“No.” Was the instant reply, and Izuku wasn’t lying about it either. 

“What about your brother, Katsuki?” Perhaps he’d been too blunt with that question, judging by the way the kid had tensed at the mention of his brother. 

“No offense meant, but I don’t really see what that has to do with the investigation, Tsukauchi-san.” Izuku responded evenly, trying to maintain a respectful façade. “Could I ask another question, detective?”

“I don’t see why not.” At the mention of his brother, the younger of the two Bakugous had completely clammed up. Maybe allowing him to ask some of his own questions would make the kid let down his guard enough to benefit them both.  

“W-What actually happened…at the school, that is?” Detective Tsukauchi regarded him with an odd look at the statement, so Izuku felt compelled to clarify. “I was there, but I really don’t know all the details, because— because it's all real hazy to me.“ 

His dad and brother hadn’t even given him the full story, but going on what he remembered—with the many, many holes throughout Orudera’s halls, the several classrooms that were still waterlogged, and the emptied swimming pools— Izuku had an inkling that the particular incident could be ranked as one of the more wild ones. The accrued damage spoke for itself, he supposed, and, despite the fact that he’d broken all of the rules Kacchan had given him, Izuku wanted answers where he could still get them. 

“Long-story short, someone flooded your school, and we don't know who did it." Tsukauchi informed. "Water-control is fairly common, yet no student in Orudera has a water quirk, which is why we're asking students if they saw anything that could help us."

Except him, Izuku's mind supplied, but that was something that the detective would hopefully never know. "I see. So who did they send in to apprehend the suspect? Guns would be too much against a minor, and I don't think cops are known for their quirk prowess."

Much to Izuku's surprise, Tsukauchi didn't seem to be offended by the statement, a flicker of a smile crossing his face at the observation. "We actually sent two pro heroes inside—called them in specially for their non-fatal quirks." 

Amid the phantom sensation of swimming through the school hallways, Izuku could faintly recall a pink mist that someone urged him to flee from—probably Kacchan— and some other black-suited man that Izuku vaguely recognized from somewhere. If he'd been cognizant, he would have immediately been able to tell who they were. 

"That's...actually pretty smart..." Izuku said absentmindedly, too busy wracking his brain for memories that simply weren't there, to gush over the fact that there'd actually been pro heroes at his school.  

At the blank look on the boy's face, it dawned on Tsukauchi that Izuku really knew next to nothing about what had happened, and it was probably a better idea to move on to the next student. Just to be certain though, Tsukauchi would ask him directly, as his quirk never failed him.

"Okay Bakugou-kun." Izuku's head snapped back to attention. "I just have one last question for you, and you’re set to go, alright?” Tsukauchi took a moment to consider what he'd ask. “Were you inside the school at the time of the flood?” 

It took a few seconds of Izuku shuffling in his seat before he finally answered.

"...No.” The answer was a half-truth, and the abrupt shift in honesty brought Tsukauchi's gaze back at Izuku with renewed interest. Back hunched inwards, the Bakugou-kid looked less like the inquisitive student he'd been not even thirty seconds ago and more like a withered leaf, ready to blow away under the slightest gust of wind.  Though, before the detective could call him out on the partial lie, Izuku spoke up once more. 

“...I-I don’t remember...” Truth. But there was a tinge of something else alongside that answer. Tsukauchi just didn’t know what it was. 

Timid and anxious and jittery, the younger of the two Bakugous didn’t look like the criminal type. Automatically, his quirklessness ruled him out as a possible suspect, because nobody without a quirk could've controlled the water in such a way, but his story didn't seem to make sense, like the fact that he could barely remember what had happened.   

Faintly, Tsukauchi wondered if the next Bakugou would be as anxiously shy. 

“Hello there,” Tsukauchi repeated the friendly introduction he’d done for Izuku: a wave and a smile. However, unlike his green-haired sibling, Katsuki didn’t seem to buy it at all, if the permanent scowl was any indication. “Don’t worry, Bakugou-kun. This will only be fifteen minutes at most, and then you’re free to go. Sound good?” Then he added. “I’m Detective Tsukauchi by the way.”

The bow from the other seat’s occupant was short and curt, like the principal’s office was the absolute last place that the eldest of the two Bakugou siblings wanted to be. Though, Katsuki lounged in his seat like he owned it, suggesting that he’d been to this room many times in the past. 

“Okay then, some of the teachers said they saw you going into the school when the alarm went off. What exactly were you doing instead of evacuating with the rest of the student body?” 

“Looking for Deku!” Truth.

The unfamiliar name made the detective raise an eyebrow. “Deku?” 

“Freaking Izuku— you just interrogated him!!” Katsuki threw his hands to the door behind him. 

“Could you tell me what your quirk is?” 

“Explosions.” Katsuki huffed like it was obvious. “You already knew that though, cause the school has all of our shitty quirk files!”

Unfazed by Katsuki's use of foul language, the detective wasted no time in firing off his next question. “By chance, do you know anybody with a water quirk?” 

“Do I remotely look like the type to have friends outside my house?” It appeared that both of the Bakugou brothers had a similar penchant for dancing around his inquiries. But Katsuki’s rhetorical question rang with truth, as there had been an incident several months ago when two students that had once been known for hanging around Katsuki got suspended for discrimination against Izuku’s quirklessness and using their quirks against him. It had been kept under wraps by the school, but apparently Izuku had nearly drowned as a result of the students’ carelessness. Afterwards, they were never seen around either of the Bakugous again. 

“How did you get out of the school?”

“Izuku got us out.” Truth. 

“Your brother is quirkless." Although his posture didn’t change, Katsuki’s face had turned a very deep shade of red at the detective's words. Sure, Izuku had been quirkless no less than six months ago. However, because only the Bakugous knew about their youngest family member's change, no one else treated him any differently than they had where his quirklessness was known, and as Orudera's sole, "quirkless" student it was hard for Izuku not to be viewed as something less. People were cruel like that. 

For the detective to throw back in his face the one, single thing that Katsuki had all-but forgotten— something that he'd accrued many, many detentions for in defense of his younger brother and a condition that wasn't even his in the first place— it made him absolutely furious, and the blonde felt the urge to punch something hard. 

Pretending not to notice Katsuki's shift in mood, Tsukauchi continued. “That flood covered two floors of the school at any one time. When we sent the heroes in, it started moving at the speed of an average car. I’m not too sure any student without some kind of water-based quirk could’ve gotten out of the flood, especially while dragging another person along.”

It was logical, and Katsuki could see where the detective was coming from; but because Izuku had lacked in something once before, people tended to underestimate him. In the years before he gained his fish-like abilities, Izuku had been a very proficient swimmer, outshining even the largest, mutant-quirked kids with his swimming talent. 

Katsuki was certain that, whether or not Izuku had used fins or legs, he could've carried them both through the flood. 

“Tch... Izuku’s a strong swimmer. Lucky he saved my ass.” The truth in those words rang loud and clear. After that, Katsuki refused to say anything else on the matter of Izuku, switching between glaring at the wall to glaring at the detective when the blonde thought he wasn't looking. What Katsuki had said was truth, but his answers contradicted the ones that Izuku had given.

Izuku wasn’t in the school, didn't even seem to remember that particular day, but he’d helped Katsuki escape from drowning. 

He was there, and yet he wasn't. 

With the scant amount of students he’d interviewed so far, the Bakugou brothers had acted the strangest when asked about the flood. By all means of logic, there was no way that Izuku could’ve taken part in Orudera’s flood, as no one without a quirk could have possibly controlled vast amounts of water like that, and the manner in which the pipes were broken suggested that the water had exploded from the metal. Furtheremore, without solid evidence, Tsukauchi couldn’t accuse either of the brothers of involvement in the school flood, and, with every security camera destroyed, the probability of finding the culprit was close to a zero. 

There was something else, another factor at play; Tsukauchi just didn’t know what it was.

And the Bakugou brothers were at the center of it all. 

Back at the police station, as Tsukauchi was finishing up the last of his paperwork for another case, one of the detectives burst through his office. Tape in hand, the cat-headed Detective Sansa proclaimed that the investigators had discovered footage from one of the security cameras at Orudera that had still been functional, but everyone else had yet to watch it, since the case was under Tsukauchi’s jurisdiction. 

As Tsukauchi mulled over the prospect of this new evidence, wondering what kind of information the tape would reveal, a knock sounded from his office door. Opening it, he was pleased to find that it was none other than Yagi Toshinori, Tsukauchi’s long-time friend and famous pro hero, All Might, who was dressed in an ill-fitting shirt and jeans.  

“Hello there, Detective.” Said Toshinori as he stepped into the office.  

“Toshinori-kun?" Not that he wasn't a welcome surprise, as it was always nice to have a friend drop by, but hadn't he been three districts away earlier today? "What brings you by?"

Toshinori scratched the back of his head, not bothering to hide the sheepish grin on his face. “Can’t a friend drop by for a visit?” It was evident that he was visiting for something other than a simple hello. “Actually, there’s a cold-case I’ve been rather interested in that the detectives made a breakthrough with. Do you happen to know anything about it?” None-too-subtly, his eyes slid to the tape that was clutched between Tsukauchi’s hands.

"The Orudera Middle School Flood?" Asked Tsukauchi while he pulled out another chair for his friend. Toshinori took it, made himself comfortable at the opposite side of the desk, and soon the two were sitting face-to-face. 

"That would be the one, Naomasa." 

Why would a big-time hero such as Toshinori want anything to do with such a small case— a case without a culprit, no less. Out of the sea of bigger and badder fishes in comparison to some of the usual cases and missions that Toshinori took, Orudera's flood was a mere minnow. Additionally, Toshinori wasn't one to involve himself in a case unless either the greater good was at stake or it was of personal importance.  

"I didn't want to come forward until there was evidence, but I think I might know who did it." Toshinori spoke up over the detective's train of thought, seeming to know what he was thinking. The blonde pointed to the mini-television situated in the corner. "Could we?" 

The detective complied, bringing the television closer to them and flipping on its switch. Popping the cassette in the VCR, Tsukauchi fast-forwarded the tape until they reached the time of the incident. The footage from the rooftop was grainy, but the figures were unmistakable— undoubtably, those were the Bakugou siblings using the floodwater to propel themselves over the police barricade, but Izuku looked severely different. Fins and scales covered his body, and where legs were supposed to be was a large fish-tail. 

“So that’s how they escaped…” Tsukauchi spoke, not bothering to hide his awe at the surprising, new revelation. “...And it looks like Bakugou Izuku has a quirk after all.” And if the detective had to guess, since Izuku had appeared completely normal during his interrogation, then the transformation aspect of Izuku’s quirk must be a water-activated one. Thinking back, the youngest Bakugou had also worn gloves when they’d met, which suggested that he was actively and purposefully hiding his quirk. 

“Naomasa,” Toshinori coughed, flecks of blood dotting his fist. “I actually met young-Izuku before. He has a rather strange condition…” Tsukauchi raised a brow at the cryptic statement but waited for his friend to continue. “He was a late-bloomer— didn’t manifest his water-quirk until a few months ago. One of the drawbacks of Izuku’s quirk is that the full-moon makes him regress into a raging mess for the whole night, and he can’t remember anything he does the next morning. On any other day of the month, he's a very good kid...” 

Suddenly, Tsukauchi remembered something that Izuku had told him during their interrogation. “I-I don’t remember…” Turning to the calendar on the wall, the detective scanned for the date of the flood. Realization dawned as he spotted the little full-moon icon beneath the previous Tuesday, and everything made sense. Izuku was physically in Orudera, controlling the flood, but, sent into a frenzy by the full-moon, he hadn't been there mentally. Ultimately, since the full-moon was an outside factor that was completely out of his control, Izuku couldn't legally be placed in the wrong for his actions, because he hadn't done them of his own accord.  

“I thought I told him to stay out of the moon from now on.” Toshinori sighed, rubbing a hand down his face. “I guess accidents happen. What are you going to do with the information, Naomasa?”

If Izuku were discovered to have manifested a quirk so late in life, Toshinori didn’t want to imagine how the public would react. Pressing charges against the Bakugou family would bring a great deal of unwanted publicity to the issue of Izuku’s sudden quirk manifestation, so their lives would be cruelly and mercilessly uprooted. With Tsukauchi's help, the secret of his own quirkless status had been scrubbed from existence, every last physical and digital piece of evidence having been shredded or destroyed. The only remaining evidence proving of Toshinori's former quirklessness were the extra joints on each pinky-toe. 

Inevitably, the Bakugous would have to arrange something similar for Izuku. 

And Tsukauchi knew that as well. Besides, why bring attention to a case where nobody had done anything wrong in the first place?

(However, there was a rather-suspicious string of traffic-related incidents that occurred that same night…save for a photo of a Jeep with a license plate covered in duct tape and two figures with sweatshirts pulled over their faces, there was no proof that it that it was the Bakugous who’d done it.)

A scuff against the desk brought Toshinori back to focus. Before him was the tape, the only footage that connected the Bakugous to the Orudera Middle School flood— and the sole piece of evidence that proved of Izuku's hidden quirk. 

Destroy it. Was unspoken between them. 

Naomasa smiled, like he hadn’t just handed over some crucial evidence, and Toshinori took the tape with a grin of his own, gratitude shining in his sunken, blue eyes. 

Once he said his goodbyes to the detective and was far out of sight of Mutsutafu's police station and its many security cameras, Toshinori powered up into his hero form. With the lightest squeeze of his hands, the cassette instantly cracked under the force of his quirk, plastic shards scattering across the pavement and rolls of film bursting in every direction. Discarding it into the nearest dumpster with a clang, it was certain that no one would look twice at the destroyed cassette tape that was broken beyond repair, indiscernible from the rest of the refuse. 

Powering down and stepping out of the shadows, Toshinori felt a satisfied smile spread across his face. Izuku's secret was safe for the time being, as were the rest of his family members.

With the origins of his quirk being less-than-natural, Yagi Toshinori was a man of many secrets, so why wasn't Bakugou Izuku, whose own abilities had manifested eight years late, entitled to his own? Destroying the tape was the least Toshinori could do for young-Izuku, who still needed time to grow alongside his quirk.  

After all, although their circumstances were completely different, Toshinori had been in a similar situation once before. 

Chapter Text

Incident number four happened much the same way every other incident happened. 

Except the Bakugous had guests. 

It was a pandemonium. Absolute pandemonium.  

Masaru stalked through the house with a rag and cleaner, scanning the walls for the slightest hint of dirt, mold, or dust. Mopping the floor with an excessive amount of force, Katsuki scrubbed at the tiles, especially the ones filled with grime; and Izuku was in the living room, vacuuming the rug with all the strength in his arms, which was quite a bit since he’d been tagging along with his brother to the gym more and more. In the center all the chaos was Mitsuki Bakugou, who—as she furiously filled the sink with powdered cleaner— barked orders at the other occupants of the house. 

Like any normal household that is about to have guests, it is customary to procrastinate the pre-guest cleaning to at least two hours before the expected arrival of the guests, and the Bakugou household was no exception. Such was the origin of what the Bakugous effectively dubbed “The Pre-Guest Cleaning Frenzy,” which was the butt of many jokes long afterwards. 

Usually it was Masaru who was in charge of cleaning the house, as he was home the most out of the two parents, but the guests that were to arrive were none other than Mitsuki’s sister, her niece, and her nephew. None of the men understood why Mitsuki got so worked up over the state of the house if it was already so clean. She didn’t care about anyone else’s opinion of herself, so why fret? Maybe it was because they really didn’t have too much company, or that the one particular guest was quite close to Mitsuki. 

Nonetheless, everyone was breaking their backs to make the house absolutely spotless. 

By the time they were finished, not a single speck of dust remained, and Masaru had all but disappeared, much to Izuku’s and Katsuki’s disbelief. 

“Where are you going, Dad?” 

Masaru had a mannequin in one arm and a six-pack of Red Bull in the other. “The workroom— I’ve recently taken on a large workload from the support company, and I need to get started as soon as possible.” Then he kicked the mannequin into the workroom and chucked the Red Bull beside it. 

“Wait, you mean you asked for more work to do?! That’s really freaking stupid!” Katsuki couldn’t believe how dumb his dad could be sometimes. 

“You’re not going to stay out and see Aunt Echijo with us?” Izuku asked with those big eyes he got when he just didn’t understand the how or why. 

“Nah, I’m getting some big compensation for the overtime, maybe even enough for a vacation—like Hawaii or Fiji or something like that.” For Izuku, especially with his water-based quirk, the idea of a beach-vacation brought a great deal of joy to him. He always wondered what it would be like to swim through crystal clear waters among colorful coral reefs and sea-fauna. 

Maybe he could take a waterproof camera to show everybody how pretty it was underwater or take someone with him (granted, Izuku would make sure that whoever was with him had the proper scuba gear equipped). What if he got a surfboard and—

“Oh— and Izuku! Don’t forget what tonight is.” Masaru said through the locked door, tearing Izuku from his fantasies. “Tell your aunt I said hi though.” 

A while later, the doorbell rang, signaling the arrival of the guests. Mitsuki went to the front door, an over-eager Izuku at her heels. He always loved getting guests, especially family members. Mitsuki couldn’t say the same for Masaru when it came to her sister. At least they wouldn’t be bickering if they were separated. 

“Mitsuki!” Exclaimed her sister, Echijo Kossori, as she stepped through the front door. With the same blonde hair and rust-colored eyes as Mitsuki, Echijo nearly looked like her identical twin. The only differences between the two sisters were that Echijo’s chin was a little more pointed than Mitsuki’s, and her hair was styled in a bob-cut. “You haven’t aged a day.” And it was true—Mitsuki’s Glycerin quirk kept her looking perpetually youthful. 

“Shut up. Neither have you, Echijo.” Echijo’s quirk, Ethylene, had no effect on her appearance, although she could ripen any fruit if she held it for a while. “Now come here, sis.” Mitsuki beckoned her sister for a hug. When they parted, Echijo immediately noticed the shock of green hair that belonged to her youngest nephew. 

“Izuku!” Echijo gushed. “I can’t believe how handsome you are!” The comment made Izuku blush, and, before he could even blink, he was swept into a bone-crushing hug by his aunt. “Look how much you’ve grown!” 

When Izuku was released from his aunt’s hold, she peered into the other room before asking him. “Where’s Katsuki?” 

“Maybe upstairs or something, Aunt Echijo.” Quite honestly, Katsuki wasn’t the type to stand at the door and greet guests, arguing that it was “awkward as shit,” or something along those lines. 

“I’ll get the shitface.” Said Mistuki much too low for her sister to hear when it registered that her oldest son was not standing politely in the foyer with Izuku, and she strode past her son and sister to retrieve the more explosive child. 

“Oh well, I have something for him if he can get his stubborn behind downstairs. Maybe I’ll just give you his gift...” Echijo trailed off, and the joking comment made Izuku smile. “And I have something for you too.” She whipped out a bag that Izuku hadn’t realized she’d been holding and plucked out a rectangular thing that was neatly wrapped up, so neat that Izuku had to take a moment to admire his aunt’s gift-wrapping talent. 

“Come on! Open it!” At his aunt’s insistence, Izuku carefully undid the gift wrap, pulling out another rectangular something: a notebook. The cover was a rich brown, an intricate pattern etched on the front of it with Roman lettering beneath it, and it had the distinctive smell of leather. 

“Wow... Is this real leather?” Izuku ran a finger across the surface, marveling in the smooth, supple texture. 

“Yes it is! And see those little ties? You can use it to add more pages when you run out.” Echijo pointed to where the pages were bound together. 

“How—How’d you afford this?” Izuku stammered, still reeling from both the craftsmanship and the quality of his gift. “Thank you so much, Aunt Echijo, but I thought real leather is expensive.”

“Well, I was in Italy on business, and I saw the notebooks; and I remembered how much you love to write, Izuku.” She waved him off, the mannerism reminding Izuku of his own mother. “It was nothing.”

“Momma!” A high-pitched voice interrupted before Izuku could argue how it was very much something. “Can I say hi to Izu-chan now?!” Both aunt and nephew turned to the owner of the voice, meeting the large, round eyes of Echijo’s daughter, Periuko Kossori. 

“Sure! Izuku, say hi to Periuko!”

“Hi Izu-chan!” His cousin all-but squealed. “I’m Periuko!”

“Periuko-chan!” Izuku started very cheerfully, eyes drawn to the blue flower-clip in her hair. “I like your hair-clip. It makes you look so pretty.” At the compliment, a similarly wide smile blossomed on the four-year-old’s face. 

With hair that was closer to platinum blonde than Echijo's, Periuko had a round face and eyes were a light shade of blue that didn’t swirl like her brother’s did, Izuku noticed. Even though the last time he’d seen Periuko was when she was a baby, he had a feeling that her quirk was a little different than her brother’s, unless she hadn't manifested it yet. 

“Thank you, Izu-chan!” Exclaimed his cousin, bouncing up and down on her feet. “Momma bought it for me. Wanna see my lion?”

“Sure.” Periuko took a moment to retrieve her rather-large lion plushie from a duffel bag. When she finally had it, she held it up proudly. “I named him Goldie.”

“An English name? You must be very smart Periuko!” The comment elicited a series of giggles from Periuko. 

A stomping unlike that of a herd of elephants signified the arrival of Katsuki, Mitsuki following behind him (threateningly). He stopped to assess the scene before him, rusty eyes landing on a short figure that had completely escaped everyone’s notice. 

“Why is Kondaku standing in the shitty corner?!” Were the first words that came out of Katsuki’s mouth when he stepped into the foyer. Izuku turned his head, and, true to Katsuki’s statement, was Echijo’s oldest child, Kondaku, nearly pressing himself up against the wall. Izuku hadn’t even realized he was there. Had he been using his quirk the whole time? 

Mitsuki gasped at the sight of her niece and nephew, as—like Echijo with Izuku— she was surprised at how much her sister’s children had grown. Except, last time they met, she recalled Kondaku being a little less meek and a lot more outgoing. The least she could do was pull both kids in for a hug and drag them into the kitchen where it was much warmer and roomier. 

When everyone had gathered at the kitchen table, Izuku decided to introduce himself to his other cousin, even though he was aware that at least Kondaku was old enough to have remembered meeting him. “Hey, Kondaku-kun!” He said in a happy tone-of-voice, much like he'd done for Periuko.  

“Hello Izuku.” Said his cousin. Nine years old, Kondaku looked just like Echijo with his ash blonde hair and lightly pointed chin. The only difference between the two was that Kondaku’s eyes were a dark, vibrant, almost-swirling shade of cobalt that roiled like foggy clouds— a trait that he’d inherited from his father, along with his quirk. 

“Did you have a nice trip?” Izuku asked in an attempt to break the ice. “I love roadtrips, because it’s fun to watch all the cool sights go by as you drive.”

“I didn’t actually drive...” The nine-year-old’s shoulders slightly hunched inwards. “...My mom did.”

“I know that, Kondaku-kun!” Izuku laughed, imagining how absurd it would look if someone as young as Kondaku, or even himself, was at the driver's wheel. “I can’t even drive yet, you know, but I can’t wait. Cause I’ll be able to visit every beach when I finally have my—“

Their conversation was interrupted by a rustling from behind them, followed by a highly theatric gasp. “MITSUKI!” The sound was so shrill that nearly everyone jumped in their seat. “What are all these?” Echijo asked, not even trying to mask the mixture of puzzlement and disgust that were prominent on her face. In her hands were twenty liters worth of dried tuna flakes: Izuku’s dried tuna flakes. 

“Those are katsuobushi flakes, Echijo.” Mitsuki simply said, ears still ringing from the dulcet sounds of her sister’s voice. 

“Why do you have so many of them?” 

“Cause we make miso soup a lot.” A lie. Izuku burned more calories than the Bakugous could keep up with through simple meals. The tuna flakes were filled with enough proteins to replace what Izuku lost by swimming in the bay, they were relatively cheap, and they kept him satisfied. However, Mitsuki couldn’t just say that outright, as it would raise even more questions from her sister. What would Echijo say if she learned that her formerly-quirkless nephew had spontaneously developed a quirk?

“Well don’t you know how bad these are for you? They’re not even organic!” 

At that, Echijo threw the ten bags of precious fish-boy feed in the nearest trash bin. Simultaneously, Mitsuki and Izuku felt as if their hearts would stop. Izuku clenched his fists. 

“Momma! Look!” Periuko shouted, pointing at the sink. There were several little spheres of water floating above it, shaking wildly in mid-air. 

“Hold on, sweetie...Mommy’s showing your auntie how to clean right now!” Echijo sing-songed, having returned to her cabinet inspection. 

Mitsuki, Katsuki, and Izuku turned their heads to the sink, all surprised to see the miniature globes of water floating above it, and Izuku didn’t drop the water until Mitsuki kicked him from under the table and Katsuki punched him in the shoulder. 

“Guuuuuuuuys…” Izuku hissed through clenched teeth. “...My tuna…” 

He hadn’t lost control like that since he’d first gotten his quirk, but the sight of seeing his favorite snack being mercilessly thrown into the trash made his head spin and his heart rate skyrocket. 

When Echijo returned from her cabinet-cleaning session, she was carrying several weeks worth of groceries under each arm (and the straws! Because the woman had explained to the room that straws cause wrinkles). 

“Okay, what is it, Periuko-chan?” Echijo asked sweetly, getting a brand-new garbage bag for her haul. Katsuki tightly gripped the back of Izuku’s shirt to keep his powers from going haywire again as the food disappeared into the trash-bag. The only consolation was that most of the food had been put into a clean bag, so, if and when Izuku would heist it, it would still be safe to eat. 

“It’s gone now.” Periuko frowned. “You missed it Momma. There was water floating above the sink and going like this.” She waved her hands in circles to demonstrate what she’d seen. 

“Really?” Echijo gasped, putting her hands on her cheeks in a theatric manner. “Maybe the house is haunted…” She spoke, striding up to the kitchen sink. “...Or maybe you just saw the dirt on the walls.” 

“Okay Momma...” 

At least Kondaku hadn’t given any indication that he’d seen Izuku’s slip-up, because Echijo would certainly take her son’s word more seriously. He simply stared into the glass of juice he’d been given, a bored, if not morose, expression on his face. 

Izuku was inclined to ask what was wrong, concern rising up in his chest at the sight of his cousin so very sad, when Katsuki unexpectedly hoisted him up from his seat. “Kacchan?!” Izuku squawked, feet barely touching the floor as he was dragged out of the room. “W-What are you doing?!“

“Taking you out of the shitty kitchen before they start the girly-talk.” Said Katsuki, who only relinquished his hold on Izuku when they were out of earshot of everyone else.

“Girly-talk?” Izuku’s head tilted to the side, curiosity temporarily replacing the concern he felt for his cousin. What exactly was this…girly-talk that Kacchan spoke of?

“Like dresses, shoes, and shitty things like that.” 

“O-Oh! There goes my worst-case-scenario.” Izuku laughed nervously, wiping the sweat off his brow. He hadn’t even realized there was a sheen of sweat on his forehead until the beads of it were rolling down the side of his face. Something about this girly-talk felt absolutely ominous. 

“Come on, Izuku!” Katsuki made to drag Izuku by the arm, further away from the kitchen, before his mom and aunt started taking about… whatever it was that women talked about. Well, he didn’t want to know, and he didn’t want his brother—who could be too naïve for his own good—to be subjected to it either (and subsequently scarred for life). 

“Hold on a sec.” Izuku twisted out of the death-grip and turned back towards the kitchen. “I’m gonna ask Kondaku and Periuko if they want to come too. I want to ask them about their quirks.” 

“Get back here, you nerdy piece-of-shit!” Katsuki called to his brother’s retreating back. “You’re gonna freaking regret it!”

Izuku slowly and cautiously peeked his head back into the dining area, expecting to find his mother and aunt talking about foot-blisters, pantyhose, or something similarly frightening. He was relieved to find that the topic of conversation was the Kossori family’s new house in some fancier prefecture, which Echijo was showing pictures of from her phone. Kondaku was still in his seat, simply sitting in place and keeping quiet, while Periuko was glued to an electronic tablet that appeared to be half her size. 

“Kondaku. Periuko,” Izuku called quietly, so as to not disrupt his mother’s and aunt’s conversation. “Wanna come to the living room with Kacchan and I?”

Periuko was running through a selection of children’s eBooks, not turning her head when Izuku called to her. His eyes caught a few of the titles, like The Long Journey of Mister Poop, Monsters Eat Whiny Children, and Quantum Physics for the Tiny Tot. Faintly, he wondered who was in charge of buying her books. With all her attention focused on the tablet, Izuku counted her out. Unlike his sister who hadn't given any indication of hearing him, a look of consideration had grown on Kondaku’s face at Izuku’s invitation, and it utterly surprised the teen when his cousin rose up from his chair and followed him to the living room without a word. 

“So…” Izuku asked once they were seated on one of the couches. And when had it suddenly become so awkward? “What’s your quirk again? I think I forgot.” 

“My quirk is called Shadow Runner.” Answered Kondaku. “I can become a shadow when I touch them and use them to move faster. I can also hide in any shadow I want.” To demonstrate, Kondaku went over to the couch’s side and stuck his leg into the shadow it casted. 

At the contact, his entire body vanished. 

Vanished wasn't the correct word—it was more like the whole of Kondaku's being had completely melted into the dark, as at Izuku's feet was a Kondaku-shaped silhouette protruding from the couch's shadow. 

“Wow!” Exclaimed Izuku, thoroughly impressed with Kondaku’s quirk.  “Can—can you talk like that?”

Kondaku shook his head. He then proceeded to use the trail of shadows along the wall to pop from one side of the room to the next, reappearing in corners, beside the ceiling lamps, and just about anywhere that was connected together by shadows. At one point in his show, Kondaku was moving so fast that Izuku had hard time keeping track of him. 

Katsuki, who had pulled his phone out at one point or another, was absentmindedly paying attention to the display of quirk from his side of the room. Suffice to say, he was also impressed. 

Kondaku reformed back where he had first disappeared at the side of the couch. With the far-off look in his eyes and the way his words came out in a jumble, to those who knew of Izuku's muttering habit, it was evident that his mind was going a-mile-a-minute as he thought of the many applications of his cousin's quirk.

Izuku's thoughts left his mouth at frightening speed, unintelligible to the other two occupants of the room. Looking to Katsuki for help, Kondaku wondered what was wrong with Izuku. His other cousin didn't seem to be fazed in the least, more annoyed than anything else. Was it something he did, or was Izuku sick? 

Noticing his cousin's distress, Katsuki set down his phone, also at his wit's end from Izuku's latest mutter-storm. One deep breath and a shout of "NERD!!" and Izuku flew up from his seat. 

Startled at Katsuki's volume, Izuku flailed around before righting himself once more. Upon realizing that Kondaku had fallen victim to his latest series of mutterings, Izuku made to apologize. "Sorry Kondaku-kun. I was just thinking about how amazing your quirk is and all the things you could use it for. Does Periuko have the same quirk?”

“No, but she’s expected to manifest any day now— at least that’s what the doctor said.” And that was that on the short-lived topic of quirks. 

“Kondaku…” Started Izuku again after a long beat of silence, fighting to keep his tone even in the very awkward atmosphere. “What do you do for fun back home?” 

“Nothing really.” Kondaku admitted blandly. “My mom just gives me and Periuko her tablet when she goes to work.” 

“You don’t have board games, books, or anything in your house?” 

“Just my schoolbooks I think and a few toys for Periuko. Sometimes I read on the tablet when Periuko isn’t using it, cause mom isn’t home a lot.” That was quite blunt, but it upset Izuku greatly to hear that coming from Kondaku. 

“Do you even go outside?!” If not for the adventures he’d taken with Katsuki in the woods around their elementary school, the games of make-believe on the playground, or the endless rounds of tag on the beach, Izuku didn’t think he’d be the person he was today.

“Not really.” The admission made Izuku feel close to fainting. “I go to school though, and Periuko has a nanny who takes her places sometimes after her school is done.” 

Outdoor adventures were the lifeblood of the Bakugou siblings, and the mere fact that his cousins—especially Kondaku— almost never left the house except for school made Izuku want to vomit, and he hoped his incredulity wasn't showing on his face. It probably was. 

One last question: just to make sure the Kossori siblings were not completely deprived of all things happy and joyful; this would decide it. Therefore, Izuku asked very slowly and very carefully. “Do you even use your quirk around the house?”

Kondaku looked thoughtful for a moment, which felt like the longest moment Izuku ever faced in his life. “I used to when my dad visited and we played spies together cause we have the same quirks, but he has a new job now—a see-ee-oh I think— he doesn’t visit a lot anymore." Finally, his cousin answered. "So no.”

“AAAAAAAAAaaaaaaAAAAAAAA—“ The scream lasted until Katsuki hit Izuku on the back of the head. Hard

“What the actual shit, you shitty deku??!!” If Katsuki had said those words any louder, then both his aunt and mother would both come into the living room, equally angry at the blonde's foul mouth. Kondaku had fled to the other couch from the volume of Izuku's scream and was currently enamoring himself with the pills on his socks. 

“Kacchan, we gotta take Kondaku to the beach!” Izuku gripped his brother by the front of his shirt-collar. 

“But the moon, you shit!” Katsuki gave him another hard swat on the head, sending Izuku back into the cushions. “Do you even look at the calendar anymore, or do you just want us to be subjected to your shit-fits?”

“NO—no! I don’t care; didn’t you hear him? Kondaku just told me that he and Periuko never go outside!! Do you know how horrible that would be if you could never go outside again?!” 

“They’re inner-city preps! Of course they never play outside!” Argued Katsuki. 

“But that’s awful! Can't we do something for them?” Izuku begged, but his brother did not relent. “Please, I never ask you for anything like this, but I think they’re really miserable!”

“And that’s my problem, why?” 

“Kondaku just told me that he doesn’t even use his quirk!” Katsuki stilled at that. The blonde, with such an impressive quirk, never went a day without setting off some explosions, even if they were tiny as could be. Likewise, Izuku always used his quirk for everyday things, from washing the dishes to cleaning the floor. There was also the fact that he’d sneak off at least once a week to circle around the bay in his aquatic form, while Katsuki would be sent to monitor him. Otherwise, Izuku would be jittery and restless until he swam— like he had to use his quirk, get the excess energy out of his system. “Besides, we’re supposed to be heroes someday, and heroes help people!”

“Fine, fine, enough of your gooey crap!” Katsuki conceded at last. “But we can’t take Periuko, cause she’s a snitch— she’ll report everything back to Aunt Echijo, and she’ll make her get pissed at our asses. Then Mom will have to deal with her mouth.”

“Makes sense.” If Echijo had turned around a split-second earlier, his secret would’ve been outed on the spot, thanks to Periuko. “I’ll get Kondaku.”

“Stupid bleeding heart…” Katsuki groused once Izuku could no longer hear him. 

“Kondaku!” Izuku sprung off the couch. “Come quick! Kacchan and I want to show you something amazing!”

“What is it?” The enthusiasm from Izuku roused his curiosity. 

“It’s outside, but you have to be fast.” 

“Okay?” Kondaku said as he slipped off the couch, going to retrieve his shoes. 

“Mom,” Izuku called as he stepped into the kitchen. “Kacchan and I are taking Kondaku on a walk.”

“Can you take Periuko?” Asked Echijo. Periuko was seated beside her, Goldie in one hand and tablet in the other. 

“S-Sorry, Aunt Echijo...” Izuku wrung his fingers together. “...but it’s a little far, and we don’t want Periuko to get tired.” 

“Alrighty then— have fun boys!” Echijo smiled with a dainty wave as the trio stepped out the door. 

“Be home by dark.” Was Mitsuki’s thinly-veiled warning. 

Katsuki, Izuku, and Kondaku had just left the house when a clatter sounded from behind them. Collectively, they turned towards the source of the noise—an opening window—only to see a sheet rope thrown down from it. Deftly slipping out the window, Masaru jumped to the ground, not needing the sheet rope until the journey back. 

“Uncle Masaru!” Exclaimed Kondaku quite loudly, and, for the first time the whole day, there was a genuine smile on his face. 

“Shhhhh!!” Masaru hushed him, looking back and forth in a paranoid manner. “You gotta be really quiet, cause I’m on a super-secret mission, Kondaku-kun…” He whispered conspiratorially. 

“Really?” Amazement shone in his swirling blue eyes. “Like a spy?”

“Yeah kiddo— Operation Desert Soba.” 

“But there’s food in the house—“ Izuku pointed out. 

“Nope— “ Masaru refuted. 

“Seriously are you avoiding—“ Katsuki was in disbelief. 


“Can you please bring back some tuna flakes?" Asked Izuku pleadingly, the memory of his fish-feed being dumped coming to mind. "They all got thrown out.” 

“Yes on that one, Izuku. Anyway, what are you kids doing outside?” Masaru had to know. 

“We’re taking Kondaku to the beach!” Was the happy answer from Izuku. 

“Did you bring the child leash just in case?” The older man pointed none-too-subtly to the sky. With nightfall coming soon enough, he didn’t want Kondaku to be endangered. 

“No, and we’re not going back to get that stupid thing, because Aunt Echijo will see it!” Katsuki absolutely refused to be seen holding that.  

“Child leash?!” Izuku went red in the face, mortified at the idea of him having to wear such a thing. “When did you guys find the time to get me a child leash?!”

“Well, I made it for these types of situations, kiddo. Modified would be the correct word, but I think it will get the job done.” Having reinforced it with stronger rope beneath its plush outer-shell and nearly remaking the whole thing from scratch to fit Izuku's frame, Masaru was rather proud of the project he'd made in the spur-of-the-moment. “Just be careful, alright? Oh! And Katsuki! Keep an eye on the other two for me, will you?” A nod of assent and an, "I will, Dad!" and they were off again. 

Soon enough, the three boys arrived at Dagobah Beach. Kondaku didn’t understand why his cousins had brought him to a junkyard. Though, both Izuku’s excitement and Katsuki’s lack of fear put him at ease, because it couldn’t be so bad if his cousins were okay with it. After helping Kondaku over the garbage-barrier, the three made it into what was the Bakugou brothers’ quirk-practice area.

"This isn't really a beach... kinda looks more like a junkyard..." Kondaku decided to voice his thoughts. The walls of junk towering over them made Kondaku very uneasy, as if the hordes of metal would come crashing down at any moment. "Isn’t it kind of unsafe to be here?”

“Kacchan and I come here all the time so we— I mean, he can practice his quirk." Kondaku didn’t seem to realize Izuku’s slip-up. “It’s perfectly fine.”

“I saw a cleaner beach a little farther down.” He hugged his arms around himself, feeling smaller amid the mountains and mountains of trash. “But if you say so…”

“Besides, it’s the best place for the game we’re going to play.”

“And I’m betting all my yen that he’s never played it before—” Katsuki snarked, knowing exactly what game Izuku was going to force him into. It was a childhood favorite, the root of many good memories for the brothers. 

“Kondaku," Izuku announced, pumping his fist into the air. "We’re gonna play heroes!” 

“But you’re quirkless.” Kondaku ever-so-helpfully pointed out. 

Though it was no longer true, Izuku's face fell at the statement, but the game wasn't for him anyways. “That doesn’t matter, because you have a quirk, and there are lots of shadows for you to use here. There weren’t any hiding places on the clean beach, remember?” This was the perfect opportunity for Kondaku to get more comfortable with using his quirk. 

“Okay then, how do we play?” Kondaku seemed slightly interested— a positive sign in Izuku’s opinion. Perhaps they were finally getting their cousin out of his thick shell. 

“Two of us will be the heroes, and one of us will play as the villain. The heroes’ goal is to either tag the villain, or take away whatever he’s holding, okay? You can use your quirk as much as you want, because that’s what makes the game fun.”

A hint of a smile crossed Kondaku’s face. “Can I be the hero?”

“Sure!” Izuku grinned. 

“So… which one of you’s gonna be the villain?” Kondaku sure had a knack for asking the right questions. 

“Kacchan will, and you and I need to steal this—“ Izuku took off one of his gloves and threw it to Katsuki, whose lips curled in disgust when it landed in his hands. “—super weapon from him.”

That was Katsuki’s cue. 

“I... am the Exploding Villain…” His words came out in a grumble. Everything in Katsuki’s posture suggested that the last thing he wanted to do was play pretend, especially while holding a foul-odored glove the entire time. Without warning, two bursts of heat, not unlike hot flashes, overcame Katsuki, and they were over as fast as they came. He turned to the culprit, who didn’t look guilty in the least and even had the gall to glare at him. 

Play along was Izuku's message. 

If he didn’t, Katsuki would probably never hear the end of his mouth. 

Channeling his inner-villain, Katsuki held his hand in the air and set off a few explosions. “I AM THE KING OF EXPLODO-KILLS!!” The other hand contained the glove. “And with this super-weapon of doom, I am going to take over the world!!” His declaration was followed by maniacal laughter.

“After him, Kondaku-kun! We need to stop that horrible villain!” Izuku pointed to Katsuki, who had leapt up onto a washing machine. “I’ll distract him so you can tag him, alright?” He ran forward, hoping that his actions would prompt Kondaku to follow. 

Instead of running straight towards Katsuki, Kondaku ran in the opposite direction. Dipping his foot into the shadow, he vanished, just like he’d done back at home. 

Both brothers looked back and forth, scanning the beach for their disappearing cousin. A crunch of glass sounded from behind Katsuki, and he only needed to scoot out of the way to avoid Kondaku’s grab. 

“Good try, Kondaku!” Izuku called from the other end of the beach, impressed at how much distance Kondaku had covered in such a short amount of time. Again, Kondaku melted into the darkness, but he didn’t go for Katsuki, instead reappearing beside Izuku. The King of Explodo-Kills was nearly mocking them with his disinterested stance, not even bothering to watch behind him. 

“Okay Kondaku, see that wall of garbage?” Spoke Izuku in a hushed voice, pointing to a tall pile of garbage that casted a sizable shadow. “Can you hide in there?”

Kondaku nodded. “Then I want you to wait for Kacchan there, and, when he comes, grab him...” Once more, the nine-year-old melted into the shadows, and, with the hope that he'd followed the request, Izuku began another charge towards Katsuki. As anticipated, once Katsuki had registered that Izuku was attempting another tag, it appeared that his competitiveness got the better of him, and so he dashed right towards the place where Kondaku (hopefully) was lying in wait. 

Nearly a second after Katsuki ran beneath the very tall trash heap, two small hands wrapped around his arm, and attached to those arms was Kondaku.

After a beat or two where it looked like Kondaku didn't quite know what to do now that he'd tagged his cousin, Katsuki grunted out a, "Good job," and the nine-year-old released his hold. 

Katsuki was well aware that he'd been running into a trap, known it the moment Izuku had gotten back on his feet, but he wasn't going to play with a nine-year-old the same way he sparred with Izuku. Not only was that low, cruel even, but it would destroy what little confidence Kondaku had for himself.  

"That was amazing, Kondaku!" Izuku gushed as he rejoined his brother and cousin. "You were like 'surprise!" And Kacchan was like 'huh,' and then you won!" At the praise, Kondaku broke out into a grin, the grin soon morphing into a light, bubbly laughter. When the laughter died down, Izuku offered a fist for a fist-bump, which Kondaku readily returned. 

They celebrated their victory, Kondaku especially reveling in the win, until his eyes fell onto a glassy, pointy object on the sand. 

“IS THAT A DRUG NEEDLE?!” Kondaku screeched, jumping into a shadow at the sight of the half-broken syringe. He reformed a few meters away from the offending object, eyeing it with fear. “I THOUGHT YOU SAID THIS PLACE WAS SAFE!!”

Shoving Kondaku out of the way, Katsuki blasted the needle to smithereens. “There! Now it can’t hurt you anymore! Now why the hell are you crying about a broken needle?"

“I read that some medicines can go through your skin, and—and that needles can kill you.” 

“Not by looking at them you little shit!!” 

“But I don’t wanna get needle-touched." The other blonde sniffed. "Cause they have AIDS and hippa—hepatitis and other bad things in them."

“Who the actual frig teaches your science class?” Katsuki growled more to himself than his cousin. “Freaking rich kids and their shitty rich-kid prep schools…”

Since it was apparent that Katsuki wasn't helping much to stave off Kondaku's tears, Izuku took the initiative to calm him down, laying a hand on the nine-year-old's shoulder and speaking in a calm tone. “Kondaku, you can only get sick if you prick yourself with the needle, but that only happens if you’re not careful and if the person who used the needle is already sick themselves. I’m sure that Kacchan will explode any more needles if he sees them, alright?”

At those words, satisfied with Izuku's explanation and the promise to rid the beach of anymore needles if they found them, Kondaku didn’t look so frightened anymore. “Now who wants to start the next round?”

 So far, in the amount of time Echijo had been at the table with Mitsuki, it was Echijo who had managed to retain full control of the conversation, talking about her oversized apartment, bemoaning the fact that she had to drive the Audi because the Maserati stood out too much, showing off her travels through what felt like ten-thousand pictures…of herself, and allowing Periuko to sing along to two entire Kidz Bop albums. Not that it wasn’t endearing, but the four-year-old had yet to grow into her voice. Though Mitsuki loved her niece very much, she had to resist the urge to plug her ears each time Periuko hit a high note. 

What was extra cringey was when Echijo decided to join in. 

Needless to say, shit was getting awkward fast. 

“Where’s Masaru?” Asked Echijo during her fifth hour into her stay at the Bakugou residence after the last song had ended. 

“Work.” Was the monosyllabic response from Mituski. 

“You mean that room over there?” She pointed to the wooden door that was in her line of vision. “Was he the one who cleaned the house?” 

Mitsuki felt her eye twitch at the inquiry. Ever since her sister got a job at her husband’s firm—no spousal preference there— Echijo thought she was the cat’s ass, so she also believed that she had the right to make as many snippy comments about Masaru and his (well-paying) job as she pleased.  

“We all did, Echijo.” Said Mitsuki much-too-smoothly, the slightest hints of venom dripping into her voice. She knew an insult when she heard one. If she started in on Echijo’s husband and his home-attendance track-record, the conversation would quickly devolve into a husband-insult free-for-all before ending in a brawl. It was better to keep her relationship with her sister in-tact for now. 

Just when Mitsuki thought that Echijo had finished running her mouth, she proceeded to ask yet another, extremely-intrusive question. "So where'd Izuku get that scar? You know, the big one on his leg." If not for Periuko's presence, Mitsuki would've started screaming, either at nothing or at anyone she could. 

Of course there was nothing malicious about that inquiry, as Echijo very much loved Izuku and Katsuki, but she had absolutely no right to go pointing that out—at all. In addition, any answers would lead to more questions, and those questions would lead down a rabbit-hole that was better left untrodden.  

“Tell me about that anti-wrinkle cream again, Echijo…” Mitsuki shamelessly changed the topic, and instantly her sister’s hands flew up to where she thought her so-called wrinkles were. 

Mitsuki loved her sister and enjoyed their conversations, but she could be a say the least. 

Thankfully, Echijo took the bait, hook, line, and sinker. 

So far, Katsuki, Izuku, and Kondaku had played five rounds of ‘heroes’ with Kondaku winning all but one of the games. Izuku and Katsuki switched the position as villain each round, and Izuku was surprisingly nimble when he was the one being chased. 

Still, it filled Izuku’s (and even Kacchan’s) heart with joy at the sight of Kondaku’s face lighting up each time he succeeded in his quirk proficiently. A little self-esteem went a long way, and, with each round, Kondaku got more bold in the maneuvers he performed through the shadows. 

They played heroes until the sun had set beneath the water, as Kondaku would get lost in the dark unless there was some light for him to step back into. 

Katsuki was poised to leave the beach with Kondaku in tow, when a familiar, manic laughter rang out from behind him. 

“Hehehehehe…” Izuku swayed back and forth, a twisted smile covering his face as he stalked up to his brother and cousin. “I AM THE FINAL BOSS VILLAIN: TORPEDO!!” He had his fingers clenched, ready to call forth his power. “AND I AM GOING TO DESTROY EVERY LAST PIECE OF GARBAGE COVERING THIS BEACH!!!”


Izuku screeched at the top of his lungs. 

“Sure, let’s go with that.” Don’t use your quirk, don’t use your quirk, don’t use your— 

“AAAAAAAAAaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAHH!! THE DRUGS GAVE HIM A QUIRK!!!” Many, many globes of water flew behind Izuku, much too great for Katsuki to count. Kondaku quivered behind him, and Katsuki situated himself in front of his cousin protectively. 

“BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM—“ Kondaku’s blue eyes shone with tears, and he had to cover his ears at the sound of water against metal.

“Kondaku!” Katsuki barked; he was looking at the nine-year-old with an urgency that hadn’t been there before. “See that shitty streetlamp? You can hide there— GO!! NOW!” 

At that, Kondaku melted into the shadows, fleeing towards the safety of the street. 

Back at the Bakugou residence, Mitsuki and Echijo were playing a sisterly round of poker— with neither of them counting cards or trying to peek at each other’s hands, because that would certainly be cheating— when Mitsuki’s phone rang from her pocket. 

She set the cards down and quickly answered it, an inkling of dread welling up in her gut; there was no doubt as to who it would be and why he’d be calling. They’d stayed out far too late, and now the full moon was hanging lowly in the sky. 

“MOM!” Katsuki yelled into the phone, crashes and loud bangs audible in the background. 

“Brat.” Mitsuki hissed, keeping her voice to a whisper. “Didn’t I tell you to come home early?”

“We were teaching rich-boy how to use his quirk— it was Izuku’s idea!” Katsuki shifted the blame, not wanting to be at the receiving end of his mother's ire. “He’s safe, but he thinks Izuku’s on drugs.”

“Son of a bitch." Mitsuki muttered. "Just keep him on the beach for now. I’ll be there soon.” She needed to grab something first. 

“Echijo.” Her sister was peeking underneath Mitsuki’s poker cards when she turned around and put them down none-too-sheepishly when she realized that Mitsuki was looking. “I’m gonna get the boys. Apparently they’re stuck at the beach.”

“Is that a child leash?” Echijo pointed to the oversized, green child leash that was poorly hidden behind her back, the end of it clearly visible and dragging across the floor. 

“Child leash? I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Mitsuki played ignorant. “Drinks are in the fridge if you and Periuko need them, television and remote are in the livingroom, and there’s a bathroom by the workroom.” She didn’t look back to see if her sister had heard and rushed out the door. 

On her way out of the house, Mitsuki noticed the sheet-rope that had been left hanging out the window and felt the urge to face-palm. Masaru could be so melodramatic. 

She made it to the barrier separating road from beach in record time. As she scanned the piles of garbage for a path to climb over, she noticed something amiss beneath one of the lamps: a silhouette curled in on itself— a moving silhouette to be precise, which was none other than her nephew. 

“Kondaku!” Mitsuki ran towards her nephew, skidding to a stop when her feet met his shadow. Even though Kondaku couldn't feel the weight of her steps as he was, she moved out of the way out of force of habit. “Get out of the shadow before the light turns off, please.”

With much reluctance, the inky blackness reformed into her nephew. “Aunt Mitsuki…” Kondaku said through tears, standing upright. “What’swhat's wrong with Izuku? And why does he have a quirk?”

Really, she had no clue on how to explain to her nine-year-old nephew the current situation without giving the away the Bakugou family's biggest secret, so she didn't answer the question. “I’m actually here to stop Izuku before he hurts himself or Kacchan, okay?”  

“But your quirk isn’t good for fighting.” Sure he was correct, but did Echijo or her husband, Kagao, ever teach this kid tact? "You could get hurt too..."

“You’re right, Kondaku-kun, but that's unim—" Beepbeepbeepbeepbeep!! The noise prevented her from finishing her sentence. Whipping her head around, Mitsuki was surprised to find a familiar, black Jeep rolling up the side of the road, and the window opened to reveal none other than her husband, a dozen bags of takeout in the seat next to him. “Masaru!” 

At his wife's frazzled appearance, the full-moon hanging over the bay, and the Izuku-leash white-knuckled in one of her hands, Masaru could only guess what she was doing outside. “Ehehe… So I take it things went south at the beach?” 

“Yeah. Could you take Kondaku home?” Nearly leaning into the passenger window, she spoke much too lowly for her nephew to hear. “It’s the least you could do for ditching my ass when we had company!”

But it was Echijo. He mouthed. “Okay honey, I’ll get this kiddo home..." Masaru then whispered. "...And I promise to be your buffer later.”

"Kondaku-kun!” Masaru said with a grin. “Wanna hear the story of how I helped your cousins escape a faction of rogue spies?”

The awe-filled look on Kondaku’s face was enough of an answer for Masaru. 

“It’s classified information, so you can’t hear it unless we’re in a secure location.” Masaru stage-whispered, which only amplified the nine-year-old’s excitement. “Come on!” 

At the prospect of hearing such a thrilling, action-packed tale, Kondaku eagerly climbed in the backseat. 

“Be safe Mitsuki-honey!” Masaru shouted as the car disappeared into the neighborhood. 

When the Jeep was out of sight, Mitsuki made to climb over the nearest heap of trash. 

Katsuki and Izuku were in a stalemate. Each time the blonde got too close, Izuku would fire a slew of his water-globes at him. And Katsuki couldn’t really fight back with his explosions, not when he could potentially burn Izuku with one wrong move. The most he could do was keep Izuku cornered in one spot until extra help arrived.

So Izuku rotated between firing off his water at garbage and Katsuki, cackling madly as he did so. There was another shadow in the corner of Katsuki’s vision, much too tall and feminine to be Kondaku. 

A sharp, cutting gesture signaled for Katsuki to keep his mouth shut as Mitsuki cautiously slinked around the never-ending piles of trash. Something was clutched in-between her hands, and, although Katsuki couldn’t tell what it was through the dusk, he could feel the cunning intent that emanated off of Mitsuki. 

Straight-tackling a frenzied Izuku was ballsy, but Katsuki knew with certainty that, if anyone could pull it off, it would be his mother. 

He needed to distract Izuku.  

“OI!! SHITFACE!!!” Katsuki shouted, waving his arms all around. “YOU LIKE GARBAGE?!!! HERE!!” He pulled a candy wrapper out of his pocket and held it up so Izuku could see it. “LOOK AT THIS!!” 

Instantly, his brother’s face whipped towards him, gaze latching onto the piece of plastic in his hands. 

“NOnonoNOnOnoNOnoNO your gonna make the beach all dirteeeeeeeeee!!!”

Katsuki dropped the wrapper, letting it flutter harmlessly onto the sand. Izuku screeched another ear-splitting war cry and summoned more water before himself. It twisted stretched in the air as he formed it into the desired shape. Squeezing his eyes shut and uncaring of the pain that would follow as a result, Izuku curled his gloved fingers and froze the hovering water into a large, icy broadsword. 

Grabbing it from mid-air, Izuku staggered forward, shockingly fast despite his lack of coordination. He’d used his freezing power, and now he would pay the price, as a sharp, terrible pain pulsated throughout his skull. There were two Kacchans in vision, blurring together and apart and making his head spin, and, since he couldn’t tell which one was which, he swung his sword at them both. 

Katsuki had needed an explosion to propel himself forward to avoid one particularly close swing from Izuku. Running from his brother who carried a weapon that was at least two meters tall— how had this become his life? 

Hidden behind one mountain of refuse, Mitsuki was fifty meters away, waiting for her chance to strike. Katsuki just needed to lead Izuku to her without getting either of them sliced, maimed, or impaled, so the plan would go as follows: taunt Izuku some more until he gave chase, destroy the shitty sword-of-doom, get to their mom, and let her take care of the rest. 

Reaching around in his pockets, Katsuki smirked when he felt the crinkle of several more plastic wrappers. At the sight of not one but several pieces of garbage, Izuku's expression became even more feral, and, when Katsuki loosed the wrappers from his hold, he almost thought he saw smoke coming from his brother's ears. 

Blinking past the squiggly lines that danced in the corners of his vision, green eyes were able to pinpoint which Kacchan was actually the real Kacchan. With the final vestiges of his sanity all but gone, the smile on Izuku's face widened to a manic degree. Cornered in the space Kacchan had been chased into, this time Izuku would make his brother pay for his terrible litter-bugging atrocities. 

And he would've done it, if it weren't for his mom who barreled into him with the force of a tank. 

At the surprise of being tackled, the sword fell from Izuku's grasp, and Katsuki blasted it into a million icy shards when it hit the ground. 

Whether it was due to the shock of being charged and pummeled to the sand or the confusion of the something being looped around his chest and shoulders, Izuku didn't have the chance to fight back. When the leash buckled with a click, and with the full knowledge that he'd lost the final round of 'heroes,' Izuku dropped to the ground in defeat. 

“Hi Mommeeee.” Said Izuku with a wry grin, delirium evident on his features. Mitsuki, however, was in no mood for any of Izuku’s games, real or metaphorical, for the time being. 

“Don’t give me that face, Izuku. You could’ve done this any other time, and I wouldn’t have given two shits; but no, you had to do it with guests!” Although Izuku wouldn’t remember the conversation, there was something extremely cathartic about nagging him for Mitsuki, especially after the day she had. “I don’t care if you’re on full-moon, moonshine, or your father’s disgusting Red-Bull, but, when we get home, your ass is in big trouble, mister!”

“Could you act more like a television mom, Mom?!” Katsuki yelled from the side. 

“Shut up, shitface!” She snapped, holding the Izuku-leash with an iron grip. The plush-handle made it feel like less of a rope, and more like a stress-ball. “You’re lucky I haven’t reamed you yet for letting him go outside!”

“Moooooooooom,” Izuku whined. “Stop pulling the leash so hard!”

"NO!" Mitsuki and Katsuki shouted in unison. The latter recoiled in disgust upon realizing what he'd done. "Now get your ass up or you'll be dragged home."

Masaru was waiting at the window when Mitsuki arrived with Izuku in tow. Sheet-rope at the ready, she secured it to the chest-piece of the Izuku-leash, and he was pulled through the window before he could even screech. 

To prevent any of the (pearl-clutching) guests from hearing a moonstruck Izuku’s mouth, he was given a very large, industrial-sized bag of tuna flakes that Masaru had purchased when he’d left the house. It kept him busy, Izuku quietly munching away while Katsuki stayed in the workroom with him. 

The leash remained attached to his foot until Izuku dropped to the floor from the resulting food coma. 

 Much to Izuku’s complete and utter joy, when he came to, he was in the comfort of his bed. 

He never felt so grateful for his down comforter, its plush warmth and weightiness ebbing away the pain from his moon-frenzy. This time, his head hurt more than usual, and Izuku had to wonder what he’d done to earn such a migraine. Well, that was a problem he could solve later once he got out of bed, but, for now, sinking deeper into the blankets, Izuku felt as if he could stay here all day, and maybe he would…

...if that insistent foot-tapping would stop. 

Blinking his eyes open, it was discovered that the source of the noise was his mom, who was standing at his bedside. "Wha—what time is it?"

"Ten thirty-eight." Mitsuki deadpanned, but, when Izuku paled at those words, she had to correct the joke she'd made. "I'm kidding, Izuku— it's only eight-thirty."

"Heh. Good one, Mom." As per usual, Izuku's voice was low and woozy, a usual thing that happened after each full-moon. “Did they find out?” 

“Nah.” And at that, she plopped right down beside him. 

“What about Kondaku?" Izuku really hoped that he hadn't done anything too terrible last night. "He was with us when I blacked out.”

“He’s fine. Your father got Kondaku to be quiet for the rest of the night with some spy stories of his. He’s not talking about it to anyone else, so that’s a plus.” 

“Yeah." Izuku sighed, relieved that no one had gotten hurt and that his secret was still safe. "I think he really likes spies.” 

“You’re a good kid, Izuku, but can you not do that next time?" The usual ferocity in Mitsuki's eyes was nonexistent. "Kondaku had two more days here.” 

“I know, and I’m really sorry, Mom.” Izuku apologized. “But I wanted Kondaku to have some fun before he left. Didn’t you see how sad he was?”

“You could’ve waited, shithead.”

There was a long moment of quiet between Mitsuki and Izuku, and it seemed that the mom was lost in deep thought until, without warning, she bursted into laughter. Izuku stared, wondering what had overcome his mother, but he didn't have to wait long to know the reason for her sudden surge of giggles."I-I'm sorry Izuku. It's just that I was thinking about how funny it would've been if I wasn't so angry last night." Mitsuki spoke once she found her voice again.

Her chest heaved, and she had to wipe a tear from her eye as she remembered what had happened the previous night. "You were literally chasing Katsuki with an ice-sword and screaming at the top of your lungsyou should've seen his face... and your face too!" So that's why he had a migraine. 

Green eyes caught the slightest hint of movement against the wall at Katsuki’s side of the room, and Mitsuki followed Izuku’s gaze to the silhouette of a certain someone trying to poorly camouflage himself beside a lamp.

“Kondaku.” Mitsuki said sternly. “Mind getting your ass out of that shadow, please.”

The shadow didn’t move. 

“We know you’re there.” Would he tell his sister? Or worse, Echijo? 

Kondaku popped out of the darkness at Izuku’s bedside, landing next to his feet. Wide-eyed, and with his deep blue eyes roiling like ferocious storm clouds, the panic on his face was clear at having been caught. “I was just pretending to be a spy! I didn’t mean to hear anything— really Aunt Mitsuki!” Then Kondaku asked meekly, “Is—Is Izuku alright?”

“He is now, but I don’t think you’ll be able to play outside again until later. You need to let Izuku rest for now.” 

“Oh…” Kondaku then turned to Izuku, eyeing him with a new curiousity. "So... you have a quirk now?”

Izuku and Mitsuki exchanged glances. He’d definitely heard them talking about it, and Kondaku wasn't stupid. No use hiding it, Izuku supposed. 

“Yeah. Wanna see it?” Kondaku nodded, and Izuku flicked his hand, the water in the glass beside him streaming up into the air. Using a finger, he guided it in circles around the room before sending it back into its cup. 

“Cool...” He breathed. “Aunt Mitsuki, can Izuku use his quirk next time we go to the beach?”

She took a second to think it over, and the response sent his face alight.

“I don’t see why not.” 

When the next game of heroes began, Izuku was chosen to be the villain. This time, Katsuki brought an All-Might action-figure to be the "super-weapon," since he didn't want to carry around an odorous glove again when it would be his turn to play as the villain. 

Each team went to their respective ends of the beach, but, instead of Izuku sprinting off to hide like the previous rounds they'd played, he charged straight to the edge of the beach, holding the toy in one hand and summoning water with the other. 

"OI! IZUKU!" Katsuki barked, dumbfounded at his brother using his quirk before their cousin—a quirk that was supposed to be a secret. "ARE YOU STILL CRAZY? WHAT THE FRIG?!"

"Oh, right." Izuku paused in his motions. "He knows, Kacchan!" 

"How the hell did he find out!?" 

"I wasn't exactly subtle!" Izuku shouted from the opposite end of the beach, his orbs moving with him when he threw out a hand. "Didn't he see me with the moon?"

"Yeah, but I told him you were on drugs!"


"Well you acted like it!" 

"Can we play now?!" Kondaku piped up, and the brothers ended their bickering. 

 Izuku made a show with the water he controlled, swirling the orbs around him in fake-menace. "I am the Water Villain: Torpedo!"

Without the influence of the full-moon, Kondaku couldn't help but laugh at his cousin's villainous introduction. In addition, it was a new and interesting challenge for him to play against Izuku's water-quirk, even with Katsuki's help. 

What was even more surprising was when Izuku dove into the water to escape Kondaku and Katsuki as they surrounded him. However, when Izuku didn't come up for air, Kondaku became fretful once more. Was Izuku going crazy again like last night? Did he hit his head on a rock?

But Katsuki didn't seem worried at all, only irritation showing on his face. "CHEATER!" He bellowed, and something shifted underwater at the insult. "GET OUT OF THERE NOW!" His only answer was an All-Might action figure that was chucked near his head. "OI! THAT'S NOT EVEN FUNNY, DEKU!!"

A head of green hair bobbed up from the water. With the mirthful grin on his face, Kondaku was certain that it was Izuku, but a few things about him were slightly different, like the funny-looking slits on the side of his neck, the black and green things on his shoulders, and the way his clothes had completely disappeared. 

"You're a fish?" When Kondaku finally noticed the large tail fin that had replaced his cousin's legs, it was more of a statement than a question. 

"I guess. Really haven't even come up with a name for my quirk yet." 

"Howabout cheater-fish?!" The remark made Kondaku giggle.

"Hey!" Said Izuku indignantly from the water. "Whose side are you on?"

Kondaku pointed to the taller blonde, earning a pat on the back for the right response. Well, they technically were on the same team. 

For the rest of the Kossoris' stay, the three spent any free moment that they could on Dagobah Beach, with Katsuki and Izuku entertaining Kondaku with their respective quirks, or giving suggestions to their cousin how to use his own. Each time they returned, Kondaku would show off some new trick that he taught himself to the other occupants of the house, earning beaming grins and applauses as his reward.  

By some stroke of luck for Mitsuki, Masaru and Echijo were acting...cordial—well, as cordial as those two could be, talking stiltedly about fashion; and, while it was Masaru's livelihood, it was something both her husband and sister could enjoy. Plus, they wouldn't be fighting if she and Periuko were sitting at the table the whole time.  

Really, Kondaku had grown on both Izuku and Katsuki and vice versa. It was obvious in the way that Katsuki had readily tagged along to the beach the second time around— and the time after that one too— and how their cousin would continue to hang around them long after their beach-excursions were over. 

When it was time for the Kossoris to depart, Kondaku was still quiet, but there was something to be said about the frown that was no longer there. 

Neither he nor Katsuki were heroes yet, but if the feeling they got after helping Kondaku was what being a hero felt like, Izuku and Katsuki couldn't wait for the day. 

Chapter Text

“What are you doing?” Mitsuki asked her son on the next full moon night. He had an array of duct tape, zip ties, and rope gathered next to him.

“Restraining myself.” Izuku said simply, as if it were the most normal thing in the world. “Wanna help me with the rope, Mom?”

“Sure thing, Izuku.” With a few loops and knots, Mitsuki had the rope secured. 

“Thanks, Mom—Oh, and don’t forget to zip-tie my arms and legs together!” Izuku added, wincing as the zip ties were pulled just a little tight. “These were the best zip ties I could find.” After everything was finished, Izuku pushed against the bonds, just to make sure he wouldn’t be moving for the rest of the night.

“Now what?”

“I guess you can just leave me here until morning. Maybe move me away from the sink, the tub, and the fridge so I don't do anything with the liquids.” It took about a minute or two, but, with a little extra help from Katsuki, Izuku was comfortably seated in the corner of the living room, and, as day turned to night, no one blinked twice when Izuku’s demeanor shifted from Jekyll to the full-on Mr. Hyde that greeted them during full moons. Now the Bakugous could leave Izuku until dawn with no added worries in the meantime.  

Turns out, Izuku escaped the zip ties, burnt through the duct tape, and unraveled the rope, but no one actually realized any of this until Katsuki smelled the burning plastic. The trap had lasted for an hour at best. 

“OI! MOM!” Mitsuki peeked her head out of the bathroom, toothbrush in hand. “THE ASSHOLE ESCAPED!!!

To make things even worse, the front door was wide open, so it was no guess as to where Izuku might’ve gone. 

Katsuki’s shout also alerted Masaru to the new development, who had already slipped on a coat and had another in hand for Mitsuki. If Izuku could flood a multi-story school, who knew what he’d do with an entire bay at his fingertips. So they wouldn’t have to drag him the entire way home, the Bakugous would also need the car. 

Once everyone was prepared, keys grabbed and coats donned, they were out the door in an instant. 

Something was amiss in Musutafu. 

First, someone had messed with the traffic lights at the turn to the Dagobah neighborhood, as the circuit box nearby had been pummeled open, and so the only color they showed was green. The culprit had run away before anyone could get a good look at his face, but the sole witness who spotted him reported green hair and manic, manic laughter. Another woman who had been walking her dogs along the beachside reported a figure with the exact same features. When he ran too close to her dogs, they barked at him, and, much to her utter surprise, he barked right back at them before running back the way he came.   

The culprit’s path of destruction included any and all kinds of litter. Battered, melted, and, most notably, thrown right back at one litterbug who’d been caught red-handed by the trash-destroying vandal, the methods of disposal were quite creative to say the least.

And his trail ended right at the pier. 

Naomasa Tsukauchi stood at the edge of the dock, staring down at the murky waves. If he was right, and the culprit was who he thought it was, then he was basically untouchable until he reemerged. Just before he turned back to his police vehicle, his eyes caught onto a trail of water that looked a little more distinct than the rest of the waves. Moving at a very high speed, there was a large, fishboy-shaped silhouette that was heading eastward, barely visible through the darkness. 

Grabbing the phone in his pocket, Tsukauchi decided that now would be a good time to call Toshinori, because the detective would have no luck here. 

But since the road was in perfect view of the bay, perhaps Tsukauchi could follow his trail anyways.

So far, the Bakugou family’s Izuku hunt yielded neither hair nor scale of their youngest member. 

From the Jeep, they followed the trail of destruction and smoldering hunks of trash that were scattered here and there. However, the garbage ended right before the fishing pier, so there was no telling as to which direction Izuku had went. Either Izuku had taken to the bay, or he was somewhere else entirely. Collectively, they wished that they’d invested in that tracker bracelet that had been on sale. Although it would get lost in Izuku’s transformation, it would’ve been much better than grasping at straws like they were currently doing. 

“What? Is this like the fifth time that Izuku’s pulled this shit?” Katsuki groused from the backseat, keeping his eyes peeled for his very crazy younger brother. 

“Yep.” Masaru responded from the driver’s wheel; turning his head from the road to Katsuki, he didn't even realize that he was driving on the wrong side of the road. “Except this time might be a little more of a—“ 

“Masaru, the road!” At Mitsuki's scream, the car screeched to a halt, and Masaru was shocked to find that he was nearly a meter from crashing head-on with another, white car—a white car with a set of unlit, red-and-blue lights atop its roof that were barely noticeable through the dark. 

Instead of stopping to arrest them, give them a ticket, or even so much as beep at them, much to the Bakugous’ surprise, the car simply swerved around the blackened Jeep and went on its way. When it was finally out of sight, Mitsuki turned to face her husband, face painted with rage. “Did you not see that the car was a police car, honey?” 

“Are we arrested?” Asked Masaru, his own aggravation seeping into his tone. "No, no we’re not. And guess what? Izuku isn’t here...”

“No shit, Sherlock!” Mitsuki bit back, voice increasing in volume.

“Just tell me whose idea it was to go this way again, Mitsuki?” Masaru spoke much lower than his wife. 

“Not mine!” Mitsuki spat, raising a hand in frustration. “But I was stupid enough to agree with you! Shouldn’t you know your way around the neighborhood better than me?!”

Masaru looked around at the unfamiliar scenery that was illuminated by their headlights and scowled. The lack of response only further enraged Mitsuki as she deduced the obvious. 

"We're lost, aren't we!?" Then she tried to grab at the steering wheel, but Masaru tilted his shoulder in her path, preventing her from reaching it. "If you're not going to take this seriously, get out and let me drive!"

"I am taking this seriously." Masaru enunciated through gritted teeth, tightening his grip on the steering wheel. "If I weren't, then we'd all be home in bed allowing Izuku to wreak havoc." He blocked another one of Mitsuki's lunges for either the wheel or the keys. "And I like driving." 

"Yeah...and you're doing a great job of it, honey..." Said Mitsuki sarcastically as she moved back into her seat, having given up for the time being. "Why don't we go find the policeman and have him let us know how your driving was, because I'm sure he'll give you a standing ovation if you—"

“SHUT UP YOU GUYS!!!” Katsuki interjected in a bellow, completely fed up with his parents' spat.

Surprisingly, the outburst had the intended effect on the husband-wife couple, and they stopped their fight completely, stunned silent by the interruption. “Look! This place doesn't even lead to anywhere. There’s a dead-end sign down that road! SEE!?” He pointed to the yellow sign that was barely visible in the distance. “And how can I— a freaking thirteen-year-old— have a better head on my shoulders than two freaking grown adults?!”

Fights between Masaru and Mitsuki were a rare occurrence. Whenever they happened, they were over quickly. If Izuku were here, he would’ve already gotten the two to apologize, would’ve stopped the fight before it even began. But Izuku was the reason they were fighting in the first place, more out of worry than actual anger.

"I don't give a flying crap if you fight later, but we need to find Izuku FIRST!" With both of his parents' attention on him, Katsuki continued. "Dad! If you let Mom be the navigator, you can keep driving, alright?" The idea didn't sound half-bad to either of the adults, so both Masaru and Mitsuki nodded seriously in agreement. "NOW APOLOGIZE!!!" The blonde shouted, insistent in a way that was so Izuku-like, yet so unlike his brother at the same time. If his mom and dad were still mad at each other by the time they found Izuku, any plan that the Bakugous would come up with would ultimately fail. 

Several 'sorry's,' hugs, and promises to always watch the road on Masaru's behalf later, and the couple was no longer angry at one another. 

With that, Masaru made a U-turn, heading in the same direction that the police-car had gone. 

Izuku zoomed through the water, powerful tail fin propelling him at speeds that his legs could not.

Once Izuku had swam further out into sea, garbage transitioned into forests of seaweed, and hidden in that seaweed was a myriad of interesting sea-fauna. At the moment, he was chasing after a school of fish to see how many he could catch in-between his scaly hands. Though he was faster, the fish were much smaller and therefore more difficult to grab, so, by throwing his hand back, Izuku could bring any fish to him if he so chose; but that ultimately ruined the fun of the game.  

Breaking through the surface of the water, he took a moment to admire the full moon in the sky. Framed by stars, it was even more shiny and even more beautiful than it could’ve been, so he floated there on his back for a while, simply staring up at the brightened orb in the sky. 

Only the smell of food brought Izuku back to focus, and, at the scent, his stomach gurgled. Now that Izuku thought about it, he was quite hungry. Despite that they couldn’t follow him beneath the water, Izuku really wished his dad, mom, or Kacchan was with him, because they always had snacks. But, whatever Izuku was currently smelling, it was very buttery, rich in flavor, and, as he took a deep breath, he could almost taste the undertones of garlic that complimented the dish so very well. 

So succulent, so utterly delectable, just the mere scent of this mysteriously mouthwatering meal made Izuku drool. 

Decision made, he dove beneath the waves once more to follow the source of the smell. 

Toshinori's arrival was punctuated with a large shockwave, Naomasa's police cruiser shaking and creaking from the force of the landing. 

Powering down before getting into the passenger seat, Toshinori gave a simple nod in hello before turning to his detective-friend. “What’s the damage so far?” 

“Petty vandalism, attempted assault, several noise complaints, and disruption of the peace, just to name a few.” Said Naomasa, smiling grimly. “As of now, he’s actually…in the bay, eastbound, which is why I called you Toshinori-kun.”  

Additionally, the detective's truth-seeking quirk was unfit for dealing with a fish-boy gone wild.

“Speaking from personal experience, Izuku's a bit tricky.” The hero paused contemplatively, thinking back to a previous occasion where he had to fight the young Bakugou. “Tricky might actually be an understatement…” Toshinori said more to himself than his friend.

"Well, so far, he's been keeping towards the shore." Naomasa stared out into the bay, eyes searching for the fish-boy who had long-since disappeared.

"In my personal opinion, we should just keep following Izuku's trail, so our job is to really be the first to respond to anything he does. That way, his quirk will stay a secret." 

"Right." Agreed Naomasa. 

"And it will be less paperwork for everyone." At Toshinori's joke, another smile—this time real—spread across the detective's face. 

Izuku glared at the imposing building that towered above him. Right now, it was the only thing separating him from succulent, buttery goodness, the aroma having led him to this point. 

With a light motion of his hand, he raised a column of water from the bay, enough to allow him to get close enough to its balcony. Not wanting to shoot himself onto dry land, his tail fin moved in light, controlled motions towards one of the tables that was closest to the edge. 

None of the patrons of Chez Aragosta noticed how the sea level had risen several meters, too immersed in their meals to even think of turning their heads, nor did they notice the green-haired fish-boy spying on the whole restaurant, cacophony of fragrances tempting him to jump from his wave and snatch all the dishes in the room for himself. 

Bright green eyes scanned the posh, seaside restaurant, searching each plate for the meal that emitted such a delicious smell. From a little behind Izuku was one table, and, when he turned his head, the smell was stronger than ever. 

There! On the plate, was what Izuku had been looking for the whole time. Framed by colorful vegetables, the tantalizing dish looked more beautiful than he imagined it to be. 

However, if he lunged for it now, then the man sitting before it would definitely see him.  

So, like the hungry predator he was, Izuku decided to wait for the perfect moment to strike.

The lobster-cycle went as follows: first, the man at the table would turn his head from the table to take a sip of his drink or something. Izuku would use the split-second in-between to nab his scrumptious seafood prize; when the man noticed that his food mysteriously vanished, he would take his anger out on both the waiters and patrons, accusing them of never having attended to his table in the first place, and threaten legal action unless he got a brand new lobster free of charge. This provided enough time for Izuku to happily consume his catch from the safety of his water-column, so, by the time he was finished, the next lobster would have already arrived.  

The sixth instant was the final straw. 

With his quirk being the ability to move each eye separately and swivel them up to four times further than the regular human eye, the man kept one eye on his current lobster at all times, the combination of anger and hunger leaving him ready to blow a gasket. However, he couldn’t reach his drink without turning his head, and even with the swiveling ability of his eyes, taking a sip of his drink would require the man to take his eye off of his newest lobster for one measly second. 

He would have to be very, very quick. 

A hearty gulp of his drink, and he was back to his lobster in a flash. 

The man stared. 

Izuku stared back, lobster in hand. 

With its many scales, fins, and lust for all things seafood, there was only one type of thing that the creature before him could possibly be. 


All of the other restauranteurs whipped their heads in Izuku’s direction, noticing the columns of water that were under his control. 


It was then that Chez Aragosta erupted into total panic, some screaming, some flailing, and others fleeing. 

In the midst of the chaos, Izuku took the opportunity to raid every table, tipping them over with streams of water and targeting the shellfish especially.

Able to see the large column of water from several kilometers away, the Bakugou family’s Izuku-hunt was looking up. Unfortunately, the three couldn’t reach said water-column, as the only obstacle standing between the Bakugous and Izuku was a very fancy-looking seaside restaurant. 

There were screams coming from the restaurant, so it was no guess that Izuku had found his way inside and was wreaking havoc among the patrons. Some people were running to their cars, while others were on their phones and presumably dialing the authorities. Among the crowd, the word ’shark’ was the most prominent; so on the off-chance that the police didn’t come, animal control would probably arrive instead, locked-and-loaded with tranquilizer darts, tasers, and painful restraints. 

They needed to get Izuku out of there, before someone actually did show up— and quickly. 

But there was someone guarding the entrance— a bouncer with a very obvious mutant quirk. The Bakugous would be hard-pressed to get past the eight-foot bouncer, who would probably throw them out before they could get through the doors and then also call the cops on them. Mitsuki and Katsuki were at a loss, having no idea as to how they could bypass such an individual.

Meanwhile, Masaru was outside the car— and rifling through the trunk from what the two could guess from the sound behind them. With a slam of the trunk, Masaru was back with some brightly-colored somethings in hand. 

“Put these on, guys.” He threw Mitsuki and Katsuki each an orange safety vest. “As long as you’re wearing one of these, you can get into anywhere.” After donning his own vest and waiting for Mitsuki and Katsuki to put theirs on, Masaru broke into a run, gesturing for his wife and son to follow. When they made it to the entrance, out of the bouncer’s view, Masaru stopped them short.  

“Follow my lead you two.” Masaru whispered, his stride changing from that of a very frantic dad to a man that looked like he absolutely owned the place. “OUT OF THE WAY!! OUT OF THE WAY!!!” Masaru thrust his arms apart, cowing the crowd with his authoritative presence. Neither Mitsuki nor Katsuki thought that Masaru could ever reach that kind of volume, but they trailed behind him with similarly confident strides. “SHARK REMOVAL CREW COMING THROUGH!!!” 

A chorus of cheers and hollers rang through the restaurant when the three Bakugous bursted into Chez Aragosta. Like Masaru had said, with their official-looking safety vests and unbridled determination, no one called any of them into question. 

“Now!” Masaru shouted over the commotion, all of the remaining restauranteurs’ attention centering on him and his ‘crew.’ “Somebody tell us where the shark is.”

“Over there!” A perfectly-manicured nail pointed towards the back end of the restaurant. Beached on the marble tiles was Izuku, piece of lobster half-in, half-out of his mouth. Gut swollen, it was apparent that Izuku had stuffed himself to the brim. At the sight of the other three Bakugous, he instantly perked up; however, he could not get himself to move due to the excessive amount of food he had eaten.

Mitsuki closed the distance, lifting Izuku into her arms bridal style before going back to join Masaru and Katsuki. “We have the shark!” She announced to the whole restaurant. If possible, the resulting cheers were twice as loud as the first round. 

“Aren’t you going to set it free?” A voice asked from the sidelines once the applause had died down.

“No!” An angry man butted in, who happened to be the one that had his lobsters stolen. His eyes were moving every which way out of sheer anger. “Make the beast pay for what it did! It stole all my lobster!”

“That won’t be happening, folks…” Mitsuki addressed the whole crowd. “The shark will be going back to our...facilities so it can never harm anyone again.” A very long, tense silence met the Bakugous at that response, and the occupants of the restaurant were now eyeing them skeptically. 

“Wait a second!” Someone from the back piped up. “They’re not a shark removal crew— they’re shark sympathizers!” Then there was a large gasp, before an accusing hand pointed in their direction. “They must be sharks themselves! After them!”

And that was the Bakugous cue to run, each carrying a different segment of Izuku with them. 

However, they couldn’t get outside due to the bouncer who was blocking their escape with his bulk, opting to run up a nearby staircase. When the bouncer made to grab for them, Katsuki lit off an explosion in one hand, threatening but harmless, and the larger man backed off. From all the jostling, Izuku looked sick. “Don’t you dare vomit, you ass!” 

The upstairs area, a VIP section, was empty for the most part, the one barkeeper trying to make himself look as small as possible at the sight of the livid trio carrying what seemed to be a very dangerous and equally-crazy fish-shark-whatever. 

Mitsuki noticed him though, and, with all the rage of a mother-bear, she charged straight to the counter, slamming both hands on the hardwood. “Emergency exit!! Where is it?!” 

“M-Ma’am…” He shook in place but raised a hand to point towards the window facing the bay. “...There aren’t any, cause you see that window? It’s blocked... so could you, your party, and your shark please leave the facility?” He continued, still stammering. “U-Umm...the cops are on their way now I think.”

“Who’s th’ shrk?” Izuku groaned, still nauseous from his feast. “I’m—I’m notta shark, you guys…”

True to the barkeeper’s word, the telltale sirens of the police sounded from outside the restaurant, followed by the flashing of reds and blues. Two sets of footsteps sounded from behind the Bakugous, prompting Mitsuki to rejoin her family.  

“Shark removal crew!” The newcomer said from behind them. Wearing a balaclava, the man was buff, huge biceps nearly ready to burst through the shirt he wore. If the bouncer was strong, then this man was an absolute monster. “You wouldn’t mind if we see your licenses?” The three Bakugous stood stock-still, staring wide-eyed at the mountain of a man. “Impersonating a public service officer—police, hero, or animal control—is a crime!”

Unlike Toshinori, the detective wasn't wearing a mask; the balaclava, in fact, had been Toshinori's idea, because anything he did as All Might got media coverage whether he wanted it or not. This time, if All Might received media coverage, then so would Izuku Bakugou, and, if it got out that Izuku had manifested his quirk right before his teen years, then the Bakugous' lives would ultimately be ruined. 

Katsuki recognized the black-haired, trench-coated detective from an earlier brush-in with the law; but if the detective also recognized Katsuki, he gave no indication. He flashed his badge nonetheless. "Tsukauchi Naomasa: Musutafu Detective Agency."

Masaru, Katsuki, and Izuku had avoided jail once, yet, cornered by two men with unknown quirks and with having to carry Izuku around, the Bakugous would be hard-pressed to escape this time. The three Bakugous who were still cognizant were just about to turn themselves in—because the heroes would surely come after them if they resisted, and their sentences would be much, much harsher—until another voice spoke up, and it came from the absolute last person that anyone expected. 

“EVERYBODY!!” Everyone started at the volume and pitch. It was the so-called shark: Izuku Bakugou. “I HAVE SOMETHING TO TELL YOU ALL!!!”

The detective and masked man both raised a brow, while the Bakugous only held Izuku tighter to them. Still, Izuku shifted in the hold to face Toshinori and Naomasa, bright, green eyes gleaming mischievously. 

“I’m…” He raised a webbed hand and curled his fingers very, very tightly. The grin on his face grew wider and wider, nearly pulling his cheeks apart with how hard he was smiling. “...gonna—”

Everyone who knew of Izuku’s abilities, Toshinori included, blanched when they finally realized that he was up to something. 

“—TAKE THIS LOVELY FAMILY HOSTAGE!!!” Izuku threw a hand forwards, and the sound of breaking glass was the last thing everyone registered before the family of four was swept away in a large tidal wave, Izuku's crazed laughter getting fainter and fainter as the Bakugous were all swept further into the bay. 

Toshinori and Naomasa stared dumbly out the broken window, water dripping off of their garments. 

Just. What the heck?

“Should we just…let them—” Naomasa didn’t even get the chance to finish his sentence before Toshinori leapt out the window in the direction that the Bakugou family had went. 

“IZUKU!!” Katsuki bellowed, treading water and searching around for the extremely unhinged fish-boy that was his brother. At the calling of his name, Izuku popped his head out of the water, a gleeful smile on his face. Their mom and dad were there too, treading water just the same and none-too-pleased about the situation. Despite the low temperature, the water around them was warm, likely because Izuku was using his heating power to keep everyone from getting hypothermia. Now, how would they get back to shore? 

Through the darkness, the Bakugous could see something barreling towards them at high speed in mid-air, and it was very-much shaped like a human. When it hit the water, the resulting splash scattered the Bakugous, though they weren’t separated for long. Faster than any of them could blink, the buff man from before had all of them in his hold, and not too far behind him was a very angry fish-boy— angry at both having lost the chase and having his family stolen by the masked officer. 

In another bound, they were brought back to the parking lot of Chez Aragosta and deposited onto the ground, the detective waiting for them with several pairs of handcuffs. The other, masked policeman had leapt back into the bay, but the Bakugous were all handcuffed and lead into the police cruiser before they could see the ensuing battle behind them. 

“Izuku!” It was Masaru who noticed the extremely large wave reaching out from the bay. If Tsukauchi noticed their distress, then he didn’t show it.  

“Izuku?” The detective asked, playing clueless. 

“Yes.” Said Masaru very factually, trying as hard as possible to hide his nerves. “An Izuku is a very special, intelligent, and unique breed of shark. They’re nocturnal creatures, which is why you don’t see them in the day.” Masaru went on, not knowing that Tsukauchi’s quirk was at work while he spoke. “They’re also the only recorded species of fish to ever display their very own quirks— very dangerous.”

“Yeah!” Added Mitsuki from beside him. “We had to do what the shark said, cause it was a talking shark—otherwise it would’ve eaten all of us!” She grabbed Katsuki in a big bear-hug, feigning distress and stroking his hair maternally. “And my poor, poor baby— I don’t know what I’d do without him if that horrible shark had gotten to him!” Like Masaru, she had no idea that the detective had already seen through their lies, but, by the end of her act, Mitsuki had managed quite a few crocodile tears. 

“Well that certainly sounds like a frightening situation. I guess my friend and I were wrong about it after all." The detective then proceeded to say something that sent the whole Bakugou family into yet another shock. "You can go home now if you want."

“Wait what?”

"Since you were all under duress, none of you can or will be charged." Any other detective or officer would've been remorseless on the Bakugou family, making them spend a night in jail at the very least, but this was a very special case. “You're all free to go—after I undo the cuffs of course.” 

Naomasa unlocked Mitsuki's cuffs first, followed by Masaru's, for a reason of his own. Curiously, the detective wondered, if Katsuki had recognized him, so, as Naomasa unlocked the last set of cuffs, he resolved to ask: “Didn’t you have a brother, Bakugou?”

A widening of the eyes, before his face switched back to the usual glower. “Yeah. What’s it to you?”

“Just wondering." The detective began once more as he slipped the handcuffs in his trench coat, Katsuki's back turned to him. "Wasn’t his name also Izuku?” 

“No!" Katsuki whirled back, a surge of both anger and fear welling up in his gut. "It's Deku! DEKU!!" 

“Oh,” Tsukauchi laughed. “Guess I was mistaken."

It had taken a while, but Toshinori had been able to wrangle Izuku from the bay. 

In the split-second that Izuku had stilled to taunt his opponent, the pro hero had Texas Smashed him into the air, caught him mid-fall, and brought him back to land. Barely conscious, he blinked around, finally realizing the absence of his family. 

“NNnnnnn—“ Green eyes were blown wide open, suddenly frantic, but he didn’t even get a chance to raise a hand, cuffs closing around his scaled wrists with a resounding click. He triggered his heating power in an attempt melt off the restraints, but, to no avail, only a trail of steam was produced; and Naomasa had to retract his hold from the metal cuffs. “…d’nt take me…” He whimpered, the words all but tumbling out of his mouth; Izuku’s black-green tail was floundering all over as he tried to wriggle out of Toshinori’s hold. “…to—to jail…”

"You're fine, boy." The voice came from the masked man who held him. It was calming and vaguely familiar, the way the man spoke, and Izuku almost thought that he knew this masked man from somewhere. "The only place you're going is home." So, ending his futile struggle, Izuku went limp in the man's arms, all fight gone for the time being. 

Once he’d been wrapped in a blanket, Izuku had fallen right to sleep. 

“So what do we do with him, Toshinori-kun?” Naomasa asked, his eyes on the fish-boy curled up in the back seat of their cruiser that was snoring softly. “I don’t think he’ll be a very happy camper if he wakes up again, and, since you’ve met the Bakugou brothers before, it would be suspicious if you brought him back home as yourself.” He also added as an afterthought. “We also can’t have anyone else help us. Loose lips sink ships in the police force.”

“I know that already, Naomasa.” Agreed Toshinori, who had powered down. “Trust me, he’s not waking up anytime soon.” 

“As for how we'll get Izuku home, I think I have an idea…”

Izuku had been laying on the sand for a good half-hour before he heard the footsteps coming his way. His eyes were open, staring at the passing clouds, when a familiar figure came into his line of vision, all toothy smile and sunken blue eyes. 

“Toshinori-san.” Izuku said with a faint grin. He hadn't seen the emaciated man since before he told his family about his powers, so it was a welcome surprise to see him once more. 

"Izuku-kun." Toshinori returned the greeting. "You look like you could use a hand." 

"Yeah." Despite the cold weather, half of the reason Izuku hadn't gotten up was because of his weakened legs, which meant that he probably had spent a lot of time in his aquatic form last night. The other half was because he simply lacked the will to get up from the sand. "That would be great actually." 

After Toshinori helped him to his feet, he teetered a bit before standing straight. Looking around, Dagobah Beach was relatively unchanged since the last incident, and even his longest joy-swims—including the ones he took while moonstruck—never rendered him so exhausted afterwards. “For some reason, I don’t think I was beating up garbage last night.” 

At that, the gaunt man gave a hearty laugh, then paused in thought as if remembering something. “Have you been cleaning the beach like I asked?"

Izuku nearly fell over at the question, expression suddenly frantic. "Yagi—I mean Toshinori-san...I'm so, so sorry." He floundered, grabbing his head in distress. "Really, I completely forgot!”

“No big deal there, Izuku." Toshinori said with a calming motion of his hands. "But you definitely have the muscles for it now, and I bet you could do a lot of heavy-lifting, even without the help of your powers.” The sleeves of his T-shirt couldn't hide the outline of muscles that hadn't been there when Izuku first got his quirk.

“You know, being a hero isn’t all about the quirk." The other man's voice pierced through Izuku's thoughts. "Ingenuity, physical strength, and analytical skills are all crucial to refine as villains get stronger and stronger." 

“Well, I go to the gym four times a week if that counts for anything, and I spar a lot with my quirk." 

“Excellent— keep up the good work then!" Izuku nodded determinedly, the praise bringing yet another smile to his face before Toshinori ushered him out of the beach. “Now get going, boy. Your family’s probably worried sick about you by now!”

Fretful and anxious and worried, the Bakugou family had no choice but to go home after the detective had let them go. If the Bakugous had stayed any longer, then they would've been inclined to charge both of the policemen for Izuku once they'd caught him. With their unkempt hair and purple-bagged, bloodshot eyes, it was clear that nobody in the Bakugou family had fallen asleep after they had gotten home. And they couldn't—not when they didn't know where Izuku was. 

So Masaru, Mitsuki, and Katsuki were all preparing to retrieve Izuku from the police station (which was the most likely place he’d be) when a knock sounded from the door of the Bakugou residence. Since Katsuki and Masaru were busy carefully loading some of Katsuki’s nitroglycerin into capsules, it was she who got up from packing the artillery bag to answer. 

(No, no, the artillery bag was definitely for a pyrotechnics show they’d be doing later, with the nitroglycerin tablets being used as party poppers— just with a little more bang. Meanwhile, those dozen or so Molotov cocktails would be lit off for a really satisfying ka-boom, and not as a distraction or anything. Also, balaclavas were all the rage these days. Wasn’t that law-abiding police officer wearing one too? 

Anyhow, the Bakugous were just going to peacefully march into the Musutafu police station and kindly ask for their lost child. Nothing to see here, so move along.)

She removed her balaclava off her head, lest anyone think she was about to do something illegal. It wouldn’t do any good to get caught preemptively, would it? The fact that she was nearly dressed in all-black was enough of a red-flag as it was. 

Opening the door, the person on the other side was among the last Mitsuki thought it would be.  

“Izuku!” Leaning against the doorframe was Izuku, his legs slightly quivering beneath him. The shout alerted Masaru and Katsuki, who almost dropped the capsules out of shock.  

“Why are you all dressed like…” He looked past her to his brother and dad, garbed in similarly-black outfits, who were both shoving some suspicious, green bottles with cloths on the top out of sight. “Nevermind. I’m just glad to be home.” At that, he launched himself at his mother in a hug, which she readily returned. 

“And we’re glad to have you back, shitface.” Mitsuki replied over Izuku’s shoulder, who relished in the feeling of her warmth. 

“We were all really worried about you, kiddo.” Masaru spoke as he came up to the doorway, grateful to have Izuku back home, and, when Mitsuki let go of their green-haired son, Masaru gave Izuku a big bear-hug himself. 

“How’d you get back here?” Katsuki asked after Izuku had been released from their dad's hold, voice gruff but inquiring. 

“I-I don’t know, Kacchan.” Izuku admitted. The detail about Toshinori was unimportant for the time being, so he didn’t mention that. “I just woke up on our beach.” 

“Lucky shit. We were almost arrested trying to get your scaly ass back home.”

“What?!” Izuku questioned, startled at Katsuki's comment. “How much…happened last night?”

"A lot, Izuku. A lot." Said his mom. "But you probably slept better than any of us after you escaped." Because the last they'd seen of Izuku until now was him raising a gigantic tidal wave against the policeman with the extreme strength-enhancement quirk.  

“HAH!” Masaru's uncharacteristic cackle interrupted the conversation. “Bakugous two, coppers zero!” Turning his head very, very slowly to Mitsuki, she was looking at him with a glare that could melt steel. “I mean, always follow the law, boys!”

“Great job, Dad!” The displeased shout came from Katsuki. 

Both Masaru and Katsuki were forced to tell Mitsuki about the flood at Orudera, Mitsuki making sure that no detail was spared. Even when she learned about the hero part, Mitsuki found herself laughing as Masaru retold the final part of their story with wild arm-gestures and a lopsided grin. 

After the night they'd had, with everyone ready to keel over, Mitsuki didn't even have it in herself to get mad. So, when Masaru finally ended his tale, everybody—save for Izuku, who already had enough rest for the night—went straight to bed. 

The next time Izuku went out to swim in the bay, he noticed something new at Dagobah Beach, mainly the pickup truck parked next to it. While passing by, he realized that there was a note attached to the end of the trunk— a note addressed to him. 

Peeling it open carefully, he smiled when he found out who it was from: Toshinori.  


I’ll bring the truck back each time you fill it. Remember what I said about quirks— try to rely on your body, instead of your power. 

It might help you in the future. 


That evening, when Katsuki went down to check on Izuku, he didn’t need to help his brother out of the bay. Instead, Izuku was dutifully carrying the rubble, piece-by-piece off the beach and into the pickup truck parked beside it. 

His muscles burned and ached by the time he was finished for the night, having lifted things that were much too large and much too heavy for him, and the trunk was only a third of the way full by the time night was upon him.

Many times afterwards, Izuku cut his joy-swims short in lieu of removing the trash from the beach. 

It was slow, taking a good four days to fill up the trunk the first time, but, as his muscles acclimated to the task of manual labor, the process became faster, easier even. And so, with his strength ever-growing, Izuku eagerly took to his work like a fish to water. 

Toshinori’s truck came and went like clockwork, and when Izuku had been wondering what to do with the larger pieces of trash, short of pummeling them into smaller pieces with his quirk, his answer came into a sort of yoke with a chain attached to it, which Toshinori had presumably left for him. Attached to it was another note, saying he could just leave the biggest objects near the trunk and leave the rest to the older man. Did he have some kind of strength-enhancement quirk or something? Izuku wondered briefly, before turning to yet another pile of trash. 

Admittedly, Izuku did cheat a little with his quirk— only a little— to push the water out away from where he stepped while he grabbed the rubble around the shore, as he didn’t feel like transforming mid-job, nor did he want to slice himself on the sharp, pointy objects that could be dangerous when he climbed back to land after a swim. His tail nor his legs needed any more scars. 

Oftentimes, his mom, dad, or Kacchan would meet him with a protein bar and a bag of tuna flakes. On other occasions, they'd help him by picking up the little things he missed and clear the trash piles with him. Toshinori never said that he couldn't have help, right? Plus, Izuku enjoyed the company. 

A little after a month later, there was a large patch of clear beach that hadn't there before. There was still a long way to go, trash stretching as far as the eye could see.

But, at the sight of the job well-done, Izuku couldn't help but feel satisfied. 

Chapter Text

They had found him along the seaside, Masaru and Mitsuki, the two leaders of their tribe. 

Green wisps of hair like a forest in spring, the baby stared back at them with a pair of even-greener eyes on a roundish face that was dotted with tiny, tiny freckles. 

He wasn’t weak nor deformed, which was the main reason that cruel, unforgiving parents abandoned their children. In fact, his face was filled with color and the glow of health; but, judging by the lack of wetness on the seaweed he’d been wrapped in, the baby had certainly been left here for quite some time. So the two had to wonder. 


As Masaru held him close, the baby having calmed down not even minutes ago, the silvery pendant looped around his small neck dangled litlessly. Mitsuki, who’d been beside him, had their own son, Katsuki, in her hold. 

No one adopted, not even in the more-civilized places like the kingdom that was nearby. People took pride in their bloodlines, their children, so anything less would be taboo. 

But Masaru and Mitsuki were never ones for following those kinds of rules.   

Because something about this baby— Izuku was his name, inscribed on the medallion on his neck, the surname entirely unimportant— had drawn them to him, had set their hearts aflame with something indescribable but maternal and paternal in nature. 

And leaving him on the beach to die: it was wrong beyond all else. 

Therefore, the Bakugou name was gently wrapped around him like a warm, gentle blanket. And, as bright green eyes stared at the parents, they couldn’t help but be mesmerized by those eyes— eyes that seemed to contained nothing less than a world. 

The Bakugou Tribe was overwhelmed with excitement and joy, because their leaders had brought two children into the world. 

(As was what they were told.

No midwives had been present for Katsuki’s birth, as the tribe had none, and the tribe respected their leaders enough to give them privacy.

The incriminating medallion had been hidden somewhere far, far out of reach of anyone.)

Two boys, Katsuki and Izuku, who would someday grow into strong men, powerful leaders, and protectors of their tribe. 

No one questioned Izuku’s green hair and eyes, lest they invoked the ire of their leaders. Besides, there were plenty others who had outlandish features unlike those of their parents. 

So the tribe celebrated joyously until the moon had disappeared from the sky. 

Izuku and Katsuki rolled about on the ground, like a pair of wolf cubs at play, uncaring of the dirt and grime covering their bodies or getting into their garments. The goal of this rough-and-tumble game was to pin each other down, which was a typical way for tribal youth to test their strength against one another.

It had been during one of these play-fights that Izuku had pinned Katsuki. The blonde, not one to lose, struggled against Izuku’s hold with all the strength in his little arms, and his wrists, encircled by his brother’s hands, pushed doggedly, a pressure building up in his palms as he did so. 

Building and building, the pressure in Katsuki’s hands only increased the longer their game progressed; and it wasn’t until he heard a loud pop that Izuku suddenly stopped, clambering off of him. 

“Kacchan!” Izuku exclaimed, grinning widely. “Did you see that?”

The blonde had felt it, actually. 

Izuku pushed off of Katsuki, wonder filling his bright green eyes. “Do it again! Do it again, Kacchan!”

So Katsuki thought about that sensation he felt when Izuku had him pinned, focused, and— poppoppoppoppop—

Another set of crackling pops filled the air, sending the air alight and leaving a sweet, lingering smell in the air. A pleased grin spread across Katsuki’s face that matched that of his brother’s.

“That’s so cool, Kacchan!” Izuku gushed. “Let’s go get Mom and Dad!”

And the two were off, Katsuki’s palms crackling all the while.

At the emergence of Katsuki’s power, the village launched into yet another, clamorous celebration. 

Katsuki stood tall and proud for someone of his age and height, showing off his power for all to see. He always loved being the center of attention, basking in the limelight whenever the opportunity arose. 

Izuku was by his side, eyes filled with such pure admiration that Katsuki couldn’t help but make his explosions bigger and bigger, feeling a swell of something in his chest when his brother’s grin got even wider.

Then and there, Katsuki may have been on top of the world, but he couldn’t wait for the moment that Izuku would also join him with an ability of his own. 

Another year, and Izuku had long-since passed the age of presenting. 

No one said a word to him about it, not even his parents, who’d taken the fact that their son was powerless with calm acceptance. They hadn’t treated him any differently, their unconditional love providing some semblance of relief in the wake of such terrible news, and even Kacchan had proclaimed that they were still going to be the best leaders no matter what. 

The rest of the tribe, however, was a completely different story. 

People no longer treated him like they did Kacchan, with smiles and friendly greetings. He still got to sit in the highest chairs at celebrations and feasts, but when they thought Izuku wasn’t looking he could feel their scrutinizing, disapproving gazes on his back. Whispers of useless trailed behind him wherever he went. 

Izuku’s standing in the tribe hadn’t changed; he and Kacchan would still be leaders someday. 

But his place in the people’s eyes had. 

So Izuku hid inside the weapons-hut, where no one could find him. Devoid of people, most of the Bakugou Tribe no longer used conventional weapons (why use weapons when you had powers?), except those whose powers weren’t so good for combat. Though people preferred their powers, at least everyone had some degree of skill with a blade or spear. Even Izuku was quite proficient with a bow and arrow. 

There was all manner of supplies inside: ropes, sticks, pointed rocks, gears, metals, and a vast array of tools. There was also a pile of books and scrolls in the corner, untouched for some long while. 

Creeping over to the corner, curious, Izuku picked up a random scroll, unfurled it, and began to read. 

As time went on, the stigma of being the only powerless kid in the Bakugou Tribe had mostly faded. 

Still, the weapons tent remained his haunt when he was feeling low or not performing his daily duties. Usually, Izuku was tasked with menial chores, things that not even the weakest nor the least proficient in anything would want to perform. He wanted to hunt with Kacchan and the others, but he was not allowed even with his knack for tracking and strategy. But, despite this, Izuku respected his elders, so he did each chore with utmost diligence. 

In his time spent in the weapons-hut, Izuku learned great deal about weaponry.

With fervor and zeal, he’d eaten up those texts, rereading them when it suited his mood. Along with the books on weaponry, Izuku also enjoyed the books on nature, botany, and medicine. He probably knew more than any other kid of his age should, seeing as he was one of the few children who could read. In fact, his knowledge had saved a life one time, Izuku having stopped another child from downing a handful of poisonous berries. 

A particular book had really caught his interest, bound with leather and much newer-looking than the rest. It spoke of riches and gold, of quests and journeys, of monsters and heroes and a magical sword of legend— the sword of One For All. Izuku stayed in the hut until he’d finished the book, excitedly shoving it into Kacchan’s arms sometime shortly after. 

For several weeks afterwards, Izuku had buzzed with exhilaration, unable to keep the smile off of his face. The tale had been unlike anything he’d ever read. Only a chapter in, and Izuku had already deemed the book to be his favorite, and he resolved to reread it when he found the time.  

He knew it was fiction, knew it was just a story. 

Then again, weren’t all stories rooted in truth?

Izuku had never thought of adventure before, the closest thing to adventure being the times he went to the neighboring kingdom with his dad and mom and Kacchan. But now, the idea of quests and adventures filled him with excitement. 

Because he wanted to be like the character in his book— a chevalier who always saved the day with a smile. 

He wanted to be a hero. 

Putting his knowledge to use, he built, he experimented, face absolutely glowing when his modified spear made its mark or when an arrow landed true. 

Simple weapons were easy enough— a matter of tying rock to stick or attaching string to bow. Metal was another thing of its own, inaccessible to Izuku— that is, until he’d convinced Kacchan to help carry a large enough rock and flatten it into something that barely resembled an anvil but would get the job done. He never asked what exactly Izuku needed an anvil for, just grumbling for him not to freaking burn his ass, and Izuku was thoroughly thankful for his silence, because Katsuki was one of the few who still cared for him. 

With the tribe’s store of metal— unused like most of the stuff in the tent— he made a sword shortly afterwards, and, like the anvil, it looked like it wouldn't work at all, the blade too wide and the point to round because he hadn’t had a mold to work with. That was fine for Izuku, though, because it wasn’t meant for any kind of fighting or hunting.

(Under the blanket of night, when no one but him was awake, he would swing his stump of a sword at imaginary monsters, he would slash it through the darkness. 

He would practice and practice and hope. 

Because dreams simply don’t disappear. )

Of course, there had been times when some of his weapons didn’t work, and Izuku had gotten a thorough scolding from his parents. With the eyes of the tribe watching his every move, Izuku still wasn’t allowed in the parts of forest where the wild animals roamed. 

So Izuku tested them along the seaside, where barely anyone but him went. As a matter of fact, the beach was a secondary hideout of Izuku’s— a place where he went when the air of the tent felt too stuffy or its walls too confining. 

But, for those who didn’t know its waters, the seaside around the Bakugou Tribe was quite dangerous. One could step into the water for a few meters, the shallowness of it providing a sense of deceptive security. A little further forwards, and there was a very deadly drop-off. 

Another area around the tribe’s edges led down into the water, as it was attached to a cliffside. There was a barrier that was built around the place some while before Katsuki was born. 

For such dangerous waters, though, they teemed with all sorts of life. Their abundance was marked by the fact that no one in the tribe had the proficiency to fish. 

Rocks poked through his leather boots as Izuku climbed to a suitable vantage point, hand-made harpoon in hand. With a very long rope attached to a very stubborn rock, he’d be able to pull anything he caught from the water without actually having to go in the sea. 

Fish swam around each other in a graceful dance, just begging to be caught. Izuku could barely see them under the meager starlight, but any light was better than nothing. 

Holding his breath, Izuku readied himself to throw, short body so very tense. The prospect of results, of proving himself, drove him forwards. 

He threw. 

And the rope grew taut in an instant. 

That night, just when Katsuki was ready to go search for his brother, Izuku returned with two sizable fish in each arm. 

From then on, Izuku slowly went from Izuku the Useless to the Izuku whose hauls impressed many an elder. 

Katsuki was a testament to the Bakugou Tribe’s strength and power, his raw fighting ability unmatched among even the strongest teens in the tribe. 

Izuku, however, was something new, showing— even with the lack of power— that one could rise above their weakness, could be strong in a different way. 

Katsuki might’ve been Katsuki the Unbeatable, Katsuki the Strong. 

But Izuku had earned himself a name of his own— he was Izuku the Clever. 

Raised as twins by Mitsuki and Masaru, Katsuki and Izuku celebrated their coming-of-age celebration— their thirteenth birthdays— in the spring. 

With music, dancing, and foods and drinks of all sorts, the tribe had even brought confections from the Musutafu Kingdom just for the occasion. 

So much noise and light and sound, and Izuku couldn’t help but feel a little dizzy, both from the excitement and just a little sensory overload. 

Then the drums had started to beat, which was when the real ceremony had begun. 

Katsuki’s necklace was partially beaded with stone that was red like his eyes. Woven in-between were countless wolf teeth to represent his strength and ferocity, two traits that earned him much praise. 

A clamorous roar from the tribe as the blonde stood tall and proud, and Izuku couldn’t fight the smile that spread across his own face at the sight of how positively strong his brother was.  

Adorned with jade, Izuku’s necklace was lined with blackened shark-teeth, and he couldn’t help but wonder what they’d meant until his mother and father praised his innovativeness, his tenacity, and will to never give up. 

Another round of cheers from the tribespeople, just as loud as Katsuki’s, and Izuku rose to his feet. 

For the first time in what had felt like forever to Izuku, the people were cheering his name with a renewed sincerity, his dad and mom grinning proudly and fondly beside him and Katsuki as the four Bakugous stood before their tribe. 

For the first time in what had been a very long while, Izuku felt happy. 

Spring melted into the summer months, and with it came many new changes. 

First off, Izuku was allowed to hunt with the rest of the tribe’s teens, which included himself, Kacchan, and some others with relatively strong powers. His weapon of choice was a crossbow he’d made, while his mother carried a spear. By combining his tracking skills with Kacchan’s and his mother’s fighting abilities, the party produced many successful hunts. 

The tribespeople now looked to him for knowledge and weapons, and Izuku eagerly gave all that he could, sometimes going out of his way to help others. In fact, the whole tribe now knew how to fish without being taken by the waves (except, for some odd reason, Katsuki’s attempts at spearing hadn’t gone so well, so he just stuck to hunting). 

It was nice for Izuku. 

Alongside Katsuki, Masaru and Mitsuki were certain that he’d be a fine leader someday. 

Then, quite suddenly, Izuku had shifted back into his old skittishness. It had especially jarred Katsuki, who’d gotten used to his brother’s recent, more-jubilant personality. 

There was also this haunted look in his eyes, that Izuku couldn’t hide no matter how much he smiled or distracted himself with some task. Katsuki knew Izuku best, and he was surprised that his parents hadn’t brought it up yet, because they certainly would’ve noticed by now. They probably did. 

Well, whatever was wrong with Izuku, Katsuki would find out what it was. 

He always did.

It was on a moonlit summer night that it happened. Something that would stick in Katsuki’s memories for as long as he lived.

Izuku skulked from their tent, his steps stiff and awkward like the giants from lore. 

It was this lumbering that awoke Katsuki, who groggily untwisted from his pile of furs to yell at Izuku to get his ass back to sleep. 

Except Izuku wasn’t in the hut any longer. 

When Katsuki finally realized this, he immediately sprung up from his bed, on Izuku’s trail like a wolf in hunt. 

It was after a while that Katsuki had realized that Izuku had brought him to the cliffside that was mostly cordoned off, the decade-old gates being rickety and weatherworn. Still, that didn’t stop Izuku from pushing the gate aside, shuffling feet nearing the cliff’s edge.

No matter how loudly or angrily Katsuki called his name, he didn’t turn, didn’t look back at the sound of his voice. The other teen simply leaned further and further over the edge. By then, Katsuki had begun the charge for him, and, finally— finally— Izuku looked back to him. But, as Katsuki soon realized, his eyes were glazed and unfocused, seeming to look through him rather than at him.

Belatedly, Katsuki realized that Izuku wasn’t the one in charge here, and, it was at the exact moment that the blonde had reached for him when Izuku staggered on his feet, and, in an instant, he was sent falling over the face of the cliff.

“IZUKU!” Katsuki screamed in vain, watching as his brother disappeared beneath the waves; and he watched, waited, hoping against all hope that his eyes were betraying him and this was just some horrid nightmare that was simply too vivid— too real.

He didn’t have to wait long for something else to happen, as there was a flash of light beneath the water. A large, black tail attached to a vaguely humanoid silhouette was left in its wake, breaking the water only once it before it disappeared for good. 

So it was that— that thing— that had killed Izuku. 

The answer had finally dawned on Katsuki.

But he didn’t scream, didn’t curse, simply opting to sit at the cliffside until someone found him there, staring blankly into the rising sun. Absentmindedly, Katsuki felt the wetness on his face as one of his parents tried to comfort him, and another hand carded itself through its hair.

On the outside, Katsuki looked positively broken as he let himself be led back to the tribe.

Inside was another story, where a spark had been lit, and, when the time was right, that spark would grow into a fire, and that fire would grow into a burning blaze, consuming all in its path until he finally got justice for Izuku— justice for his brother.

The pounding in his head was the first thing that Izuku registered, followed by the smell of food and then the sound of footsteps against a floorboard. 

Except, the huts in his tribe did not have floorboards, and neither the gait of his parents nor Kacchan ever sounded like the steps he currently heard. 

Opening his eyes to unfamiliar surroundings, a cabin of some sorts, another surge of pain lanced through his head. Now that Izuku realized it, he was in the kind of bed that the kingdom’s people used, complete with a plush down quilt and sheets that were just a tad scratchy. 

Watching him was an older man with deep, sunken blue eyes and a gaunt, gaunt figure.

A short silence passed as one considered the other before Izuku finally asked, “Where— Where am I?”

“You’re in the Yueii Guild Compound.” The man answered without missing a beat.

“Yueii?!” Izuku positively blanched. Yueii was a fabled guild of warriors who were responsible for dealing with dangers that were too large for single men alone. The location of their compound was a strict secret, and how Izuku had managed to find it was a question that even he didn’t know the answer.

“Yes, Yueii. Anyways the name’s Yagi, Yagi Toshinori.” Then the man paused in thought. “And who might you be?”

Izuku thought for a moment, deciding to just be honest with his first name. “Just Izuku… Izuku is fine.” Another question then sprung to his mind— because, if he was in Yueii, then where was his tribe? “Anyways, how did I get here in the first place?”

“I found you last night on the beach, sound asleep…” That wasn’t the complete truth, though, as Yagi had found the boy wide-eyed and sobbing— and completely different-looking to boot! What he was crying about, the former hero didn’t know, but something about Izuku’s wails and cries had really been heart-rendering. “You really looked like you needed a little help, so I brought you back to my house.” 

There was another long moment of silence, Toshinori examining him for something, and what the man said next nearly made Izuku’s heart burst from his chest.

“You’re from the Bakugou Tribe, aren’t you, boy?”

The statement hung in the air, and Izuku resigned himself to his fate of telling the truth.

“W-What gave it away?” He asked nervously, so afraid that the blonde would spill his mouth. 

“First of all, your accent— it’s a bit different than the commoners from here or the Musutafu Kingdom.” His eyes fell on the beads around Izuku’s neck before he continued. “And only the tribespeople wear these kinds of things.” Yagi gestured to his beads. “Anyone could spot you from a mile away.” 

No, only leaders— future leaders included— wore the ceremonial beads. 

This was no ordinary boy, so the blonde man had to confirm his suspicions. “Tell me, young Bakugou, what is a boy of your status doing so far from home?”

A sharp inhale.

That was when the floodgates finally opened. 

He told Yagi about the scales, the powers, and everything that had happened. That he’d been powerless his whole life, ostracized by his tribe until just recently, and how frightened he was. 

Izuku didn’t know why he’d entrusted his greatest secrets and his greatest fears to Yagi, but the older man sat and listened -not an ounce of scrutiny or judgement in his eyes- sitting at his bedside until the younger of the two finally passed out from exhaustion. 

Toshinori had went to Shuujenzi not long after Izuku had fallen to sleep, the healer’s home a stone’s throw away. 

Good friend and a powerhouse of knowledge, the aged woman always had a cure or answer to any problem. 

He told her of the boy he’d found on the beach, strange case that he was, and how he had taken him into his home.

“What you’ve found is a young merman, Toshinori.” Shuujenzi spoke from her seat. 

Merman? He’d never heard of such a thing. 

“Yes.” She nodded factually, and the man had then realized that he’d spoken aloud. “And it seems like he doesn’t even know.” The confusing phrase caused Toshinori to raise a brow in puzzlement, though he let Shuuzenji continue. 

“How— “ Toshinori breathed. “How is it possible for one of the heirs of the Bakugou Tribe to be a merman?”

The following answer wasn’t pleasant for either of them. 

Now, Toshinori remembered; he remembered how Izuku had spoken of a mother and father and brother with such love and conviction that even Toshinori could feel it from the boy’s bedside.  

Certainly, his family would accept him back with open arms, even with the revelation. 

The rest of his tribe, however, would be a completely different story. 

Merpeople were unknown to many, their existence being no more than a story long-forgotten, but if someone in the tribe knew, called Izuku out on his heredity, he’d certainly be killed for a number of reasons. 

Mainly it was because they were often confused with sirens, and, although merpeople had always stove to live in harmony with mankind, sirens often did the opposite, as they were bloodthirsty and incapable of basic thought or morality.

Worse yet, the entire Bakugou family would be disgraced, cast out, or tried— tried for the crime of having a heart. 

So perhaps the fact that Izuku had run away was more of a blessing than the teen had realized. 

Izuku, Toshinori learned, was a very helpful young man. He’d offer to help whenever possible and would even ask if he needed him to find some food before reminding himself that Toshinori got his food from the nearby village. 

Toshinori offered him a place to stay at the cost of his continued work, and Izuku graciously accepted. Along with the simple house chores he did, the blonde would set him to the fields so that they'd have a little extra food in the winter. 

They settled into a routine, and, as the days went on, Izuku would try to use his water powers more and more. 

He was powerful—Toshinori had to admit— more powerful than he realized. Combined with his creativity, Izuku would definitely be a force to be reckoned with with the proper training. 

The young Bakugou also liked books. Actually, liked wasn’t strong enough of a word. 

Because Izuku had absolutely balked at the sight of Toshinori’s collection— several large shelves filled to the brim with an endless array of texts— his favorites being long, poetic epics and tales of heroic battles of yore. 

(And if a new tome showed up in Toshinori’s collection every once in a while, Izuku would never know.)

Under the cover of one starry night, Izuku admitted to Toshinori of his dreams of becoming a hero, his ambition to save and protect, and how he hoped he could use the resulting honor to take his place amongst his tribesmen once more. 

If Izuku needed a point in the right direction, Toshinori would see to it that he would and could fulfill his dreams.

(The sword of One For All was in need of a new wielder anyways.) 

It was no secret between the house’s two occupants that Izuku cried in his sleep. 

What from, Toshinori could only guess, but he supposed it was best to leave him be.  

His moon fevers were always worse, if not more heart-wrenching to the man, as Izuku’s sobs rang through the night. He’d cry for his mother, father, and brother until he’d finally tire himself out, falling into a fitful slumber once the exhaustion finally hit. 

Shuujenzi had taught him how to deal with the crazed merman— all Toshinori had needed to do was douse Izuku with water to render him immobilized. Yet, during the nights where Izuku found himself in a haze, Toshinori could hardly stop the aches in his own chest that he got from watching the young boy scream his throat raw as canisters of water shook all around him while he tried to wriggle his way back in what he thought was the direction of the ocean. 

Still, Toshinori tried his hardest to comfort him, large hand carding itself through soft, green curls, and, eventually, Izuku would fall into a fitful rest.

A bonfire blared high, high into the night, so large and bright that Izuku felt the urge to cover his eyes. Flutes, drums, and all manner of instruments rung from all around him. The cluster of shadows against the tents and tree-lines looked like a congregation of shadowy monsters, as dozens of feet pounded to-and-fro in an almost-violent dance— Izuku felt the wild energy of his tribe from all around him as they moved along with the tempo. 

His dad, mom, and Kacchan stood above him, and Izuku couldn’t discern any of their features, save for the blurry whites of their teeth. Trying to join them, he rose to his feet— or, at least he tried— falling back to the hard dirt. There’s a sudden clarity in Izuku’s mind— of the fact that he can no longer move, and, looking down and finding a black-green tail in place of legs, he discovered the reason. Every manner of weapons glinted in the firelight, circling ever closer to him. All the while, Izuku would be rooted to his spot in the center of this maddned tribal dance.

At least his mind gave him the mercy of awakening before it ever happened. 

For the umpteenth time since he’d run away, Izuku awoke in tears.

In the time he stayed with the man who found him, Izuku had learned more than he could’ve dreamed. 

He learned all manner of subjects— subjects he didn’t even know existed— with medicinal science being his personal favorite. Arithmetic, history, literature, and music were among the other several, his store of knowledge matching up to some of the nobles that Toshinori had met. 

Yagi had even introduced his friend, Aizawa, who was a former warrior himself. It had been Yagi who had taught him the way of the sword, while it was Aizawa taught him how to fight with and without his water powers.

He was rough and ruthless and brutal as a teacher, and Izuku was often covered in bruises by the time training had finished. But, at the end of the day, Izuku returned through Yagi’s door with a smile on his face. 

Izuku had muscles now, and just the tiniest bit of stubble on his cheeks. He was taller, too.

Faintly, he wondered how tall Kacchan was.

For now, though, Izuku was happy to be where he was.

Even if the absence of his family left a hole in his heart.

Two years, and Izuku could barely recognize himself.

Two years, and Yagi had finally told him of the darkness that threatened the lands. 

Two years, and Yagi had given Izuku something of which he could only dream.

He would take this burden, carry it to the badlands, and use it to defeat the forces of darkness.

Then, and maybe then, would Izuku find himself worthy to return back home.

Three years had passed, and neither Katsuki nor Masaru nor Mitsuki had ever truly gotten over Izuku’s death. 

Although he wasn’t theirs by blood, Izuku had always been their son from the moment they plucked him from the seaside. The parents never told Katsuki the truth, and they never would, not until they all finally healed. 

Why ruin the memory of a brother so loved and cared for? It would only send them all into greater grief. 

Katsuki had been thrown back into his duties. No one had allowed him to grieve for too long, not when the tribe would need a strong face to guide them forwards. His elders had told him this time and time again, and, quite frankly, the blonde was getting rather sick of it. 

He’d heard rumors, gleaned from eavesdropping on his parents and their advisors, but, something far outside the tribe— something dark and dangerous— was threatening to throw the land into ruin. 

On nights where he couldn’t sleep, he’d stare into the ceiling of his tent and wonder if this dark thing had been the same thing that had dragged Izuku to his death. Just the mere memory of the creature sent his palms alight with uncontrollable light and heat. 

So, when Katsuki had asked to go and kick the living shit out of this thing, he was surprised when his parents said no. 

Still, that wouldn’t stop Katsuki. 

Nothing ever did.

Katsuki’s journey was going as well as one would hope. 

He’d ran out of food two days in, and, in spite of his hunting prowess, the blonde was hard-pressed to find any sort of animal in the forest he was currently trekking in. With clothes that were a tad too tight, the last time they were in use being the last time he and Izuku had been to the Musutafu Kingdom, it was safe to say that this adventure was going horribly..  

Oh, and Katsuki was lost, which made his journey twice as fun. 

By the time his stomach had begun to eat itself out of hunger, he’d happened upon a small pond— a small pond with fish inside. 

Katsuki wasn’t one for fish, no matter how many Izuku brought back or offered to him. Now, however, anything looked like prime feasting. 

He didn’t know how Izuku did it, but, if his brother could fish powerless, than so could he. So, with all of the force he could muster, Katsuki launched a spear into the water, sending up a small splash of water, but nary a fish. 

He growled. 

“Hey!” Another voice piped up, footsteps sounding from behind him. “You’re not gonna catch anything like that.”

It was another boy, about his age if Katsuki were to guess, red, spiky hair sticking up in all directions and a blinding, sharp-toothed grin.

“Who the frig are you?” Katsuki inquired. “Were you following me?”

“Following you?” The redhead tilted his head, not seeming to pay mind to the blonde’s crackling palms. “I just heard screaming, and I followed it here. Anyways, my name is Kirishima. Kirishima Eijirou.”

“Bakugou.” Katsuki brusquely returned. 

Without warning, red scales bloomed across his arm, his hand morphing into a claw. Then, with blinding speed, the other teen thrust his hand forwards into the water, proudly holding up his catch to the blonde before throwing it to his feet.

“So, where are you heading, Bakugou?” Kirishima asked.

“None of your business, lizard-arms…”

“I’m a weredragon actually. Pretty handy cause I can fly, so I know the area really well.” The redhead paused, as if considering something. “Are you lost?”

“NO!” Katsuki vehemently denied. “I AM NOT LOST!”

Kirishima was the human-dragon equivalent of a really happy puppy— annoying, naïve, and too cheerful for Katsuki’s liking— and, despite his numerous attempts at telling the weredragon to get lost, Kirishima ended up sticking around. Additionally, the navigational help came in real handy, as well as the added bonus of aerial travel.

(And Katsuki would never, ever admit—not even to himself— it but the company was rather nice.)

Somewhere along the way, they ran into some others— a pair of similarly lost friends. The first one was Uraraka Ochako— a bubbly girl with the ability to make things float. The other was some sort of knight from a high-ranking noble family, judging by his armor. Capable of running as swift as an autumn wind, Iida Tenya was his name.

Everyone, Katsuki had learned, was on the same, exact quest: to defeat this dark thing that threatened their lands, reap the honor and rewards, and return home in triumph. And Katuski was certain he could do it alone, certain he could do it blindfolded. However, an extra set of hands (or six hands, to be exact) never hurt.

And maybe, just maybe, he’d find his brother’s killer. 

Katsuki had his beads out proudly, their display sending a message for others not to mess with him or his crew. 

“Hey!” Gasped Uraraka, skidding to a stop. Eyes fixated on a poster attached to a building, her face was not amused in the least. “They got my nose wrong!” True to her word, the nose in the picture was long and crooked, nearly reaching the edge of the poster. 

“Who the hell cares.” Grumbled Katsuki, displeased at how easily the others could get distracted. “What did you even do?”

“I stole some food.” She said offhandedly. “And my clothes.” Then she gestured to Iida. “Oh! And his clothes too!”

“Uraraka!” Iida scolded a tad too loudly. “I thought you said you paid for those!”

“I did.” She replied, finally noticing the group of royal guards that were headed their way. “Just not all of it— now run!” 

They ran, royal guards not far behind them. 

Ultimately, it had been her fault for not paying attention to her surroundings, but she hadn’t even realized that she had collided with the cloaked boy until he had fallen to the ground.

Bits of jade peeked up from beneath his collar, barely visible from beneath his cloak, along with the tips of jagged shark-teeth. Faintly, the arrangement reminded her of a certain angry blonde’s necklace, and she couldn’t help but stare at the boy whose face had become beet-red. 

Beneath his cloak were several old scrolls, some of them having fallen to the pavement. He scrambled to fit them all back into his cloak; then he stared up at her with bright green eyes, managing to stutter out an awkward, “H-Hi.”

Offering him her hand, which the boy took with the grace of a gentleman, he smiled, apologized profusely, and turned back in the opposite direction to where the guards had been. 

What a strange boy, thought Ochako, royal guards ignoring her and her group completely in lieu of the boy who had disappeared into the city.

Strange boy indeed.

Yet again, Katsuki found another addition to his ragtag group in the form of a runaway prince— Shouto Todoroki— a prince who had the power of fire and ice at his fingertips.

He didn’t talk much, but, when he did, it was simple, curt, and sounded just the slightest bit prissy. 

“Half-and-Half.” Katsuki growled. “You trying to tell us a poem or what?”

“He says its unbecoming to speak like a commoner.” Supplied Kirishima from beside them. 

“I’ll show you commoner right in your face—“ Katsuki was positively red.

“My point.” Said Todoroki, narrowly avoiding a swipe from Katsuki. 

“Easy on the new guy!” Interrupted Kirishima, who not-so-subtly sidled in between them. “Now, Todoroki, what did you say?”

“I said it looks like a storm is coming.”

A chorus of ‘oh’s’, and then everyone collectively blanched. 

“Maybe we’ll get to land first?” Uraraka added hopefully, but she couldn’t disguise the slight wobble in her voice. 

“No.” Todoroki shook his head. “This sea is too large, and the nearest island is another half-day’s journey.”
“I could fly us all out!” Offered Kirishima, though his smile wavered just a bit. The black-grey clouds were too far upon them already for the redhead to try and risk carrying them all out. Additionally, the boat would likely be destroyed in his transformation. 

“Look guys!” Uraraka shouted over the downpour. “Another boat!”

It was a small rowboat, smaller than their sailboat, a tarp protecting its contents and rickety wood making it seem as if the boat would fall apart at any moment. Stranger yet was the fact that there was nobody in the boat and that the boat appeared to be moving on its own. 

Before any of them could comment on the weird, tiny boat that floated alongside them, another wave threw the crew across the sailboat and nearly swept them overboard. 

Like the waves had stopped around them, the boat stilled in tandem. Thinking quickly, Todoroki pressed a hand to the water, froze a large circumference of ice around them, and added a tall ice-canopy for good measure as added protection from the rain. Though the waves thrashed tumultuously around them, they refused to cross the small wall which he’d formed, which meant that something —or someone— else was at work. 

Cautiously, the prince peeked over the boat, eyes widening a fraction when a dark silhouette flitted to the area’s frozen edge. The dingy rowboat moved in turn.

“Guys.” Todoroki spoke, remembering his simpler dialect. “There might be something underneath us.” He looked towards the gravity-user. “Uraraka.”

She looked like she didn’t want to do it, half-scared of what she would bring upon her friends and half-upset, because whatever was with them had managed to save their lives. But, at the behest of the others, Ochako had no choice but to concede, and, with a wave of her staff, she formed a connection with the thing. 

She saw it struggle beneath the water, madly flipping its tail but to no avail. Still, the rowboat continued to follow.

Everyone waited with bated breath as Uraraka dragged her catch out of the water, dropping it onto the boat with a thud.

Its tail was nearly pitch-black with a smattering of green scales here and there, and the top half of its body was human with some fish-like features interspersed, though it was nigh impossible to see its exact facial features due to the darkness of the ice canopy that Todoroki had made. As suspected, it was indeed connected by the shoulders to the other boat with a sturdy rope. 

“M—Maps!” It (he?) screamed, frantic eyes flitting to-and-fro, like he didn’t even realize that there were five other people on the boat with him. “My maps!”

Right before anyone could burst into action, a webbed hand raised into the air, and, in an instant, a miniature tidal wave swept itself over the boat. Those whose bodies were intended for land held onto the sides of the boat for dear life, and, when the water had dispersed, both the boat and the fish-like being had completely disappeared. 

Once more, the waves crashed into their space once more, but not before Todoroki proceeded to add another layer of height to the ice wall. Satisfied with his work, he situated himself back into the boat.

“What just happened?” Asked Kirishima, staring into the direction where that strange creature may have vanished.

“Dunno, but I stole one of his maps out of his boat.” Uraraka held up the scroll she'd swiped prove her point. Iida took it from her hands and unfurled it, glossing over it before handing it back to her.

“Great thinking, Uraraka! This map will take us straight to the badlands!”

A chorus of cheers rang throughout the boat, yet the air around Bakugou was heavy and tense.

“Siren.” Stated Bakugou, red eyes piercing into the space where the creature had been just minutes before. “That siren killed my brother.” 

The change in mood in the party was instant. Everyone stared. Kirishima, Iida, and Uraraka looked shellshocked; Todoroki, meanwhile, still wore that constant impassive expression that would’ve pissed Katsuki off in any other moment, but, if one would look close enough, there was just the slightest bit of sympathy in those mismatched eyes of his.

“I— I don’t know what it did to Izuku, but it led him to the cliffs at my tribe.” Katsuki’s voice was quiet, lacking its usual bolster. Fists were clenched tightly in his lap. “I want to kill it, even if it’s the last thing I do.” The finality of that statement hung in the air for a long, long while.

“Bakugou.” Finally, it was Todoroki who spoke. It was a poor attempt at consolation, but it was the least the prince could do for one of the few people he dared to consider his friends. “If this siren had these maps, he’ll be headed the same way as us.”

“I have a feeling this isn’t the last time we’ll see him.”

It happened when Izuku had least expected it. 

He had been close, so close to the badlands, but far from any source of water, save for the large stream that flowed beside him, not large enough to swim in, but sizable enough that he could catch some fish or take a drink if need be.

That was where Kacchan had found him.

“Freaking finally got you— slithery piece of shit!” Both palms were alight at his sides. Kacchan’s red eyes looked at him with such burning fury, and it was then that Izuku realized, here in the clearing lit by the dusk, he wasn’t simply looking at his brother anymore— he was looking at a warrior.

“Just let me go.” Izuku held out both of his hands placatingly. “We don’t have to fight.”

Unbeknownst to them both, the full moon was high in the sky, covered by clouds, but that wouldn’t last for long.

“Lousy asshole siren! You thought you’d be able to outrun me forever.” Katsuki sneered, closing in on the other teen. The blonde was now standing so close to him that Izuku could feel the heat emanating from his palms. “I've been waiting for this, you know that!? Been waiting to freaking kick your ass back to the hole you slithered out of.”

“I refuse to fight you." Izuku, despite the fear that bubbled in his chest, stood his ground. "There’s no honor in fighting a helpless individual.”

Fist struck face, and Izuku stumbled backwards from the impact.

“Helpless?!” A kick. Another stumble, yet Izuku didn’t waver. “You weren’t so helpless when you drowned and killed my brother! I bet you love killing people in your free time, you piece of shit, which is why you're gonna see what happens to murdererous assholes like you!” A final hook sent Izuku tumbling to the ground.

“Wha— “ Izuku didn’t even have time to finish his sentence when he gazed into the bright light of the full moon from his spot on the ground, the buzzing of the moonlight filling his veins without his permission and clouding any semblance of rational thought. 

“The fu—“ 

Everything happened at once. Water bursted up from the river, destroying trees, rocks, and even the ground around them; everyone else had been knocked off their feet, as they had been lying in wait to help Katsuki if he needed it; and the mysterious teen let out a long, drawn-out cry of terror.

Even beneath the hood, Katsuki could see that the eyes of his opponent had changed into something wild and feral— and was that fear? The previously calm figure was heaving, shoulders hunched and breathing heavily. Water swirled around him, lashing out at any who dared to go near. Todoroki retaliated with his ice, but that was quickly melted and assimilated into their assailant’s water stores.

Katsuki also tried to break the siren’s defenses with a few explosions, but that only served to disperse the water for a short amount of time.

Yet, despite that fear, despite the barrage of attacks from the others who had jumped into action, his opponent only seemed to have eyes for him.

“getawaygetawaygetawaygetaway—“  He was now crying profusely, cries shifting into sobs before becoming all-out wails. Why? None of the onlookers knew, but Uraraka swore she could hear something like— “K-Kacchan— Kacchan will kill me first…”

Another lashing of water tentacles had the party of four leaping backwards. However, by using his water to draw the others away, Izuku had thinned out most of his defenses, which is how Iida was able to land a speed-powered kick into his side and break his concentration for an instant— an instant that was just long enough for some water to soak through the cloak of the wild-eyed boy.

A flash of light lit the clearing, and the strange boy unceremoniously fell to the ground.

The group stared in shock, as this was the same boy who had saved them from death on their seaward journey.

“A merman.” Uraraka breathed. She’d only read about them in her father’s old tomes, and the pages were wet and worn from old age. Being especially fascinated with those, she had committed what she had known about them to memory.

“Not a siren?” Inquired Kirishima, who was at a loss as to what to do now that their assailant was beached on the ground.

“Siren’s are immune to the full moon. Merpeople are not.” Added Todoroki with his usual bluntness.

“Well, what do we do?”

Kirishima had just barely finished his sentence when Katsuki barged through them, lifting his spear to the merman’s chest, but the merman wasn’t even looking at any of them, not even registering the weapon meeting his skin. Vivid green eyes seemed to stare through everything and at nothing all at once, tears still falling in thick rivulets.

“I can’t go back…” He sobbed, the gills on his neck contracting with every shuddering intake of breath. “…I can’t go back…” 

Then his feverish eyes landed on Katsuki once more, renewing the merman’s terror. “You— You can’t see me! Cause— cause they’re all gonna kill me…” He sniffled, trying but failing to make himself as small as possible. “…Mom…Dad…” 

Another shuddering breath.


The spear, which had been poised to kill, fell limp at Katsuki's side, dropping harmlessly to the ground.

Katsuki's chest filled with a sick mixture of terror and disgust at the thought at what he was about to do not even mere seconds before as he studied the face of the teen who lay at his mercy. Vivid, green eyes looked were so much greener than he had ever remembered, a head of curls as familiar as they had ever been framed a scaly face and webbed ears, and, even through the darkness of night, there was still enough light for Katsuki to make out that smattering of freckles which had always been a constant on Izuku’s face. 

“Izuku!” Katsuki gasped, falling to his knees at the side of his brother— a brother who had been missing for nearly four years.  What he was doing in the form of a merman, Katsuki didn’t know, nor did he care. What mattered was that Izuku was living, breathing, alivealivealive—

For a split second, it seemed the merman had a moment of clarity, as he locked eyes with Katsuki. Feverish green eyes searched red for something—satisfied with whatever it was that they had found—before rolling backwards, the bliss of unconsciousness finally claiming the merman.

The others had been watching what had transpired between the two and had gathered around them once they were completely certain that the merman—Izuku— was unconscious for the time being. Katsuki’s eyes had a glossy sheen to them but no one spoke a word of it. Instead, they watched as the explosive blonde situated the merman at his side and wrapped him in his fur cloak, allowing him a little more comfort as he slept.

Kirishima had shifted into his dragon form, prepared for a fight that had ended just as quickly, and laid himself around the pair for his own rest. Uraraka, Iida, and Todoroki took that as their cue to get into the circle, pressing against Kirishima’s side, as the weredragon offered a great deal of warmth during the chilly nights.

With a rumbling breath, Kirishima laid his head down and went to sleep. 

For the others, however, sleep was neither a thought nor a possibility, as they were all shocked from the events that had just transpired.

So they waited there together, the young merman situated between them until the full moon dipped beneath the horizon and the sun came up, which was when a flash of light nearly blinded them.

In place of the unconscious merman was now a young boy— not too much older than themselves. Peeking out from his collar were a set of beads that Katsuki would recognize anywhere. Not a word needed to be spoken among the party members, as everyone awake and present knew the implications of this. Katsuki had told them himself, but there had not been one ear in the kingdom that had been spared from the dreadful news from the neighboring Bakugou tribe about one of the young heirs falling into the ocean, never to return. Yet here he was before them, heart beating in his chest and breathing soft, airy breaths.

All along, the second heir to the Bakugou tribe had been alive.

All along, Izuku was alive.

When Izuku came to, he wasn’t sure if he was dead or alive. 

Last time he was awake, Kacchan had been mere inches from killing him and— 

Cautiously, Izuku opened his eyes and stared into a set of completely unfamiliar faces. 

“Hi! I’m Uraraka!” Started the first one, a girl with a brown bob-cut.

“I’m Eijirou Kirishima.” Piped up the boy with the spiky red hair and neckerchief.

“Iida Tenya of the Iida family!”

“Shouto. Shouto Todoroki.”

Izuku’s head was still pounding from the full moon fever he must have had, the set of new faces swimming before him. But, still, he managed a greeting. “I’m Izuku. Izuku Bakugou.”

“Hey!” Uraraka piped up. “We got another Bakugou traveling with us too! Katsuki get over here!”

“K-Kacchan?!” Izuku spluttered, suddenly more nervous than nauseous, and he sprung up; because if Kacchan was here, then so was everyone else who was out to kill him and then—

Izuku didn’t even realize he was tripping over his feet until the ground was closing in on his face.

But not before a strong hand halted his fall and hauled him up by the shirt, shoved him to the ground, and kept him rooted in place.

“Sit down, freaking Izuku!” And Izuku couldn’t help the whimper that escaped his throat. All the while, he searched for water, any water, that he could use to swim and sink and hide.

“Can you just calm your scaly ass down, Izuku? I’m not trying to hurt you, so just freaking stay put and listen.” Then he remembered what Izuku had been saying in his haze—why he'd been so scared in the first place— so Katsuki repeated his statement for good measure. “I’m not going to hurt you…”

That seemed to relax Izuku for the most part, as he was no longer squirming in Katsuki’s grip. “Mom and Dad are still grieving, you know that?” Then another question sprang to the forefront of Katsuki’s mind, one that had burned throughout the whole night. “Just… Just how are you a merman?”

Izuku stiffened in his grip, but gave Katsuki his answer regardless. “I’m pretty sure I was born that way. I don’t know how, but, I’m pretty sure if Mom and Dad found out, they wouldn’t really miss me anymore…”

There was a look the blonde gave him, as if Izuku had grown a second head (or another fish tail), and Katsuki growled like he'd just said something really, really stupid.

“The frig are you saying, dipshit?! ”Katsuki used his other hand to swat the back of Izuku’s head, but there was no malice behind it. “Of course they want you! Did you know Mom still visits the cliffside everyday?! And Dad sleeps in your tent all the freaking time! Do you know how long they’ve mourning your stupid ass?!” Then Katsuki brought him face to face, forcing Izuku to look into those red eyes of his. “Do you know just how I’ve been? I was planning revenge on your killer the whole freaking time just to find out it was you, so get your head out your ass before I drag you back home by your freaking fish tail!!”

The tears started falling once more, and, before Katsuki could protest, Izuku wrapped his arms around him in a bone-crushing hug. “D-Do you know, Kacchan, how much I wanted to come home so, so badly, but I was just so afraid. And—” Izuku’s words were spoke together in a jumbled and incoherent mess.

Katsuki didn’t know how long he allowed Izuku to stay like that, but when he rose there was a wobbly smile on his face; and those green eyes shone with something that Katsuki hadn’t seen in such a long, long time, not even since they were children, and it made him smile too.

Because those eyes— those eyes of Izuku’s were shining with hope.

Sometime later, the party of five— previously four— were off again, and Izuku fit into their little group as if he had always been there. He was smart, funny, and apparently well-traveled from what Uraraka could learn, and he had a lawless streak a mile wide (but not as wide as hers).

“You stole maps from the royal palace?!” Asked Uraraka, something akin to wonder (and was that jealousy?) painted across her face. Katsuki and Kirishima grinned, while Iida looked positively scandalized.

“U-uh, yeah…” Izuku shrugged like it was no big deal. “I guess I did.” 

“I remember that.” Said Todoroki. “My dad was pretty up in arms about it. Refused to say he was bested by a teenager.” 

The prince quirked a grin. “It was pretty funny.”

The statement sent the whole group into varying degrees of laughter, and Izuku couldn’t help how warm he felt, despite the chill of the badlands.

It is uncertain as to who dealt it the final blow, but, if one thing is for certain, they won.

Somewhere along the way, the group of five had met some more people headed to the same quest: a frog girl, a couple of bandits, and even a warrior princess had made their way into their party. By the time they’d reached their destination, they were a good twenty people strong. 

Twenty children. Twenty souls. Twenty victors.

And Izuku couldn’t have done it without the people who’d guided him on his way. The beads on his neck were a testament to that, as was the sword in his sheath.

Izuku and Katsuki laughed heartily, as if it were the first time they had laughed in ages. Even though dirt and grime and blood covered their faces, a feeling of airiness filled their chests, and they weren’t the only ones.

For the first time in two centuries, sunlight lit the badlands once more.

Everyone couldn’t fit on the back of Kirishima’s dragon form, so with a bunch of group hugs and a promise to meet again Izuku waved them off. It would be a long trek back to the ocean, but from there it would be a straight shot back home.

Izuku was sixteen— nearly seventeen. 

He leapt into the ocean, uncaring of the treasures in his hold. 

They’ll be fine, he supposed, as everything attached to his being dissolved and his body shifted into his other form. 

Izuku knew the coastline better than he’d ever known, had swam it more times than he could count. 

Making a sharp turn, his tail pumped him forwards in a familiar, northward direction. As he swam faster and faster, it feel like his heart was the compass that’s leading him, not the stars that shone above him. 

The ache in his chest had waned, a new tumult of emotions bubbling to the surface. 

Because with everything that had happened, Izuku was finally going home. 

When Izuku had finally made it to shore, he noted that the seaside looked just the way he’d left it. The rocks scratched against his skin and scale as he hauled himself from the ocean. 

A flash of light, and Izuku had returned to his regular form, wobbling a little on the rocks as he rose to his feet. 

Before setting off on the familiar path into the tribe, Izuku reached into his rucksack, relieved that everything was still there.  

Panicked, confused, and angered whispers rose from all around him. Izuku’s legs still shook, but not from the transformation, each step further into the tribe sending his nerves alight with a fear that he thought he’d forgotten. 

This was his tribe, but, here he was, dressed like a foreigner, face concealed, and completely unrecognizable to all. He wasn’t ready, and he doubted he’d ever be, because— with the fins and scales and powers— he wasn’t truly sure what his parents would think of him now. 

Masaru and Mitsuki heard the first cries of “invader” from two of the boys that had grown up with Katsuki and Izuku and had thought it to be another one of their pranks. 

However, when a series of crashes and bangs rang out from the direction of the seaside and the two had come running back into the tribe completely soaked, they didn’t hesitate to grab the weapon nearest to them and dart from their tent and towards the ocean, Katsuki not far behind them. 

He was a shortish, stocky figure. Face and hair covered by a hood, only the outline of his face was visible— a roundish chin and hair that was somewhere between green and black. 

Yet, the most noticeable feature about him was the water he wielded, orbs of water floating around him like bubbles of soap. 

He seemed to realize their presence, hooded gaze darting to the weapons in his hold, before he suddenly froze. Now, the hooded man had seemed to have become conflicted, looking between the three Bakugous who had gathered before him and the ocean behind him. Like a spring, his shoulders were coiled and taut, and, despite how obvious it was that he wanted to flee, something kept him rooted to the sand. 

“U-Uh.” He started. And neither Masaru nor Mitsuki had expected his voice to have such an airy quality to it. “Sorry for the intrusion, D—err, Chief and Chief Bakugou. I-I was just passing by.”

“Did you have to attack our sentries?” Asked his mother, one arm akimbo at her hip and a spear in the other.

“They attacked me first.” He responded, rubbing an arm with one hand. “I guess— I guess I’ll be going now.” With that, the man turned back and began making his way to the ocean, dispersing his orbs as he went. However, before he could allow the waves to claim him once more, the voice of Mitsuki stopped him in his tracks.

“Wait!” She spoke, and Izuku couldn’t help but listen to his mother’s command. “What are you really here for? We don’t normally get visitors in our tribe.” His mom was too sharp sometimes. 

The man didn’t answer, instead reaching into his cloak, and Mitsuki might have jumped him had he not began to speak.

“For the tribe— two years worth of food.” He let a large bag drop from his rucksack that must have contained more gold than the Bakugous could ever dream of seeing in their lifetimes. “And here—“ The strange man pulled a long sword from his belt, which glowed unnaturally in the noonday sun, and let it fall to the ground. “—is the sword of One For All. Give this to the heir of the tribe, as he is more worthy to wield it than I.”

Katsuki wan’t sure what Izuku was thinking, staring at the younger in sheer disbelief. How Izuku had acquired that sword was a mystery to him, but, if one thing was for certain, it was that Izuku had earned it. Katsuki resolved to give it back to him later.

“And lastly—“ The two became aghast, when the man reached for his collar, prostrated, and allowed a set of familiar jade beads to shine true. “I-I would be forever in your gratitude…” He said wetly, voice having betrayed him. “…If you would have me once more as your son.”

There were dots of wetness on the sand, and Izuku realized that he had been crying. He'd been doing that quite a lot lately, but with everything that had happened he couldn't bring himself to care. Belatedly, he felt a gentle hand tug on his hood, revealing his face for all to see, and he couldn't help but start at the twin gasps that resounded. Izuku didn’t know how long he spent there, letting his tears fall onto the sand, but, when he looked up, he gazed into the faces of his parents, eyes glossy but wearing a matching set of smiles.

“Izuku…” Spoke Masaru, almost breathlessly, like a ghost stood before him. And really, wasn’t it true when he’d been dead to the tribe for nearly four years? “You’re— it’s really you…”

A strong set of arms hoisted him from his position on the sand, wrapping themselves around him before the arms of his mother also joined them.

“Y-You guys…” He sniffed. “…I missed you guys so, so much… I-I just didn't know how I could come home when I was like—“

“We know, Izuku… “ Masaru interrupted, pulling away from the hug to let Izuku wipe the tears from his eyes. “We know.” 

A long beat of silence passed between them as the Izuku processed the revelation. 

“Kacchan told you?” Asked Izuku, eyes questioning yet accepting of that fact. 

“Just what we needed to know. But you’re still our son, Izuku. And you always have been.” Masaru ran his hands through Izuku’s curls once more. “Nothing will ever change that.”

And that was how Izuku was welcomed back into his tribe, a joyous celebration marking both his arrival home and the victory that Katsuki and himself had shared.

The celebration lasted for nearly a week among the tribesmen, days spent feasting and nights spent dancing. Even some of the friends he had made with Katsuki had found their way into the tribe at one point in the celebration to dance the night away.

Adventures came and went, Izuku supposed, with dangers and disasters popping up like blades of grass in the spring. Maybe he’d go on another someday, next time with all of his friends in tow.

Family, however, was an immutable refuge and a warm beacon in the darkness. They had been waiting for him here this whole time with open arms and a lifetime of love to give him.

His mother’s protectiveness, his father’s laughter, his brother’s confident smile. Oh how Izuku had missed it all!

A warm sensation swelled in his chest, and he couldn’t help but smile. Because as he watched them smile and laugh and dance, Izuku realized that he was content.

Izuku was home.