The first meeting between Reborn, self-proclaimed greatest hitman in the world, and Midoriya Izuku, literally the worst person to exist, goes just as well as anyone would expect.
It's in Namimori's local police station of all places.
Never did Reborn ever think that he would end up here—not for himself of course—but because one of Tsunayoshi's Guardians actually being caught by the police for once. Which is a miracle in itself really. To make the situation even worse though, it's Hibari who happens to be glaring up at him from the other side of the bars. He resists the urge to shoot himself in the head.
How on earth? What kind of monster did the police recruit in the last year to be able to ensnare Hibari of all people?
"Oh! Um... That person would happen to be me, sir."
Did he just say that aloud.
"Yes, yes you did."
Is he going crazy.
"Sir? Are you okay? Or do you need..."
"I'm fine!" Reborns shouts in a fit of paranoia.
He coughs into his hand and adjusts his collar.
"I'm fine," he repeats, more saner and calm than in the last minute. Reborn turns to the officer who addressed him and goes still at the sight of a boy—a mere boy?—standing nervously nearby, fiddling with the clipboard in his hands. Hands that appear to be scarred beyond repair—damage that even Sun Flames can't heal. He momentarily wonders of the causes before his gaze focuses in on the boy's face.
And he blinks.
Lots and lots of freckles dot the boy's face as if his skin is the night sky. It gives him the appearance of being more innocent than he seems (if what he claims is true) and his mop of green hair is somehow even more unruly than his own student's. His uniform is almost three sizes too big as it engulfs his small frame and is rolled up dozen of times at the hems. The tie is atrocious by itself.
This is the person who caught Hibari red-handed?
"You've got to be kidding me," he says.
"I must assure you, sir, I never joke around." The boy smiles widely.
He doesn't even look a day older than fifteen!
"I'm actually nineteen, sir."
How is he still reading my mind.
"For one of the top dogs in your line of work, you shouldn't be letting your expression betray your thoughts."
"Sorry, you're too old for me," the boys chimes, holding out the clipboard. "Now could you please sign here? Hibari-san's presence is terrifying my colleagues, rendering them unable to function properly."
Later, Reborn learns the boy is Namimori's youngest officer.
Midoriya Izuku—nineteen years old as earlier as claimed, one hundred and seventy-one centimetres tall, blood type: O—is a literal phantom. He has the general necessities to legally exist in the system, but everything else pertaining to his life before joining the Namimori Police Force draws up a blank. There's no records of his education. No confidential health files. Nothing. Hell, from what Reborn has seen, the boy doesn't even have close enough relations in the town for somebody to question this oddity.
He's here yet not quite in the sense people would consider normal.
Reborn plans to exploit this.
But some kind of higher being might hate him when a chance occurrence throws a wrench in his plans because Hibari is in jail for the fourth time this week.
It's only Wednesday.
How does this keep on happening.
"I don't know, sir." Midoriya shrugs, not all that bothered by this turn of events. "Maybe it'll stop when he eventually learns not to attack people or damage public property?"
"Do you have a death wish?"
"Of course not! How would I protect the town if I were a pile of ash?"
"Maybe, you could take your own advice and stop taking Hibari off the stage."
"But then he'll know that nobody will ever try to object his actions, sir! And as an officer, I can't overlook that!"
Oh, sure. You were fine with me waving a gun around and shooting my student but you're not fine with Hibari knocking out a dozen people. What... What kind of logic is that?
"You tell me."
Great. Just great.
Midoriya pushes the customary clipboard into his face. "It's okay, sir. Just like always, sign here and pay the bail at the reception," he cooed like an overbearing mother.
Reborn does just that and swivels on his heels, grinding his teeth together in irritation.
One day, Midoriya Izuku, just you wait—I'll find out your secrets.
"I look forward to whenever that may be!" the boy calls from the cell room as Hibari emerges a few moments later, appearance disheveled from his time of being apprehended.
The school prefect scowls slightly before setting his face to its default expression, walking completely past Reborn and the receptionist (who amusingly scrambles out of their seat to push themselves in the corner furthermost away from Hibari).
To anyone else it might've caused a stir, but this kind of scene has only increased since Midoriya started work here.
The same justice-driven and righteous Middoriya Izuku who hasn't reported Tsunayoshi and his friends to higher authorities thus far.
Reborn could get used to calling the young man an accomplice of some sorts.
The first time they don't converse inside the station is not a momentous occasion. Instead, thanks to the Ten Year Bazooka, the mystery surrounding Midoriya Izuku only seems to thicken.
(Nine-year-old Midoriya Izuku is a sight to behold, Reborn supposes. A sniveling mess of a child who could give Lambo a run for his money.)
"U-U-Um, sir? Do you know where I am?" squeaks the child, fiddling with the scorched hem of his shirt so much like how his current (future?) self does with that damned clipboard.
"No," is all he says, hoping he can get out of the situation quick. Only forty seconds have passed by and it seems that the young Midoriya won't be stopping the waterworks anytime soon. But then again, he was already crying before he arrived—so here's to Reborn hoping it wasn't a situation too dangerous that the child was pulled out of. The scorched hem doesn't say much, so he asks, "Hey, kid, what happened to your shirt?"
"My f-friend, Kacchan... He did it..."
"Oh?" Reborn's lips curl into a smile. He might not be able to squeeze information out of Officer Midoriya easily, but with this clueless child? He could. "And how did this Kacchan do that?"
Young Midoriya rubbed furiously at his eyes in a futile attempt to appear less helpless. "With his explosions..."
(If Reborn does have a penchant for knowing people who in turn attract explosive people he swears he will eat his fedora.)
"Really now? Could you tell me the details?"
"But Mama said I shouldn't talk to strangers."
Ugh. Such childlike rules are meant to be broken.
Three more minutes.
"But we're talking right now, aren't we?" The boy hesitantly nods at his claim. "So, that means we're not strangers anymore right?"
"Great!" Reborn exclaims in a feigned act of cheerfulness. "Well, my name is Reborn and you are...?"
The young boy shuffles his feet slightly and looks at the ground. "Midoriya Izuku, um, sir," he whispers.
I already know that.
"Now could you tell me about Kacchan?"
And it's like a flip of a switch. The apprehensive expression on nine-year-old Midoriya's face clears away, and instead, it's replaced with a wide grin and a twinkle in his eyes. "Oh, oh! Kacchan's amazing, Reborn-ojisan! His Quirk allows him to make his sweat combustible and he can do a lot of cool things with it! Like flying, blowing up things, fireworks, and, and, and... he can burn people." His tone transforms from lighthearted to downtrodden in a matter of seconds, and once more, there is a dark look on the boy's face. "Mama says I shouldn't be hanging around so much nowadays, especially since he's easy to upset... But I don't care! Kacchan will be the greatest hero ever, and when I get my Quirk, I can fight alongside him... one day," he explains the last part quietly.
Quirks? Heroes? What is this kid going on about?
"One day?" he parroted in confusion. Young Midoriya's quasi-present-future self was terrifying enough, but now there's some kind of other side to him Reborn doesn't know of?
"Yeah. One day... Maybe when I'm no longer Quirkless."
He says 'Quirkless' like it's a bad thing, Reborn notes down mentally.
Thirty-five seconds left.
"Reborn-ojisan?" The boy tugs on the leg of his pants.
"What is it, kid?"
"Do you think I could become a hero?"
A cloud of pink smoke obscures his vision until arms flapping about from within dissipates it. And there he is. The man of the hour, present time nineteen-year-old Midoriya Izuku has returned.
"—how was your trip to the past, Midoriya?" he finishes.
"Ah! Hello there, Reborn, sir!" The young man scrambles to his feet and gathers up his composure, his face distressed. "It was... very enlightening, to say the least," he says.
Midoriya makes an odd hum of agreement, eyeing the clock atop a pole nearby. "Yeah, it was. But I really should be getting back to patrol, so if you want, I can tell you about my travels later!"
(Nineteen-year-old Midoriya Izuku is troublesome, just like his past self, Reborn supposes.)
(Belatedly, he also realises that Midoriya might be dead in the future, and as a result, the bazooka's effect rebounded and swapped him with his past self.)
It may have taken a whole year and a half, but finally, Midoriya Izuku's wall might be starting to crumble.
Ironically, Hibari is the one who drags Midoriya to the Sawada family's doorstep one day—by the ends of his collar no less.
"I found him loitering," is all the prefect gives for explanation before disappearing to god knows where and leaving Midoriya standing awkwardly.
(Tsunayoshi takes the new addition to his house as any other person would. "Really?!" he screeched exasperatedly a few moments after he spotted the police officer drinking tea in the kitchen. "Do the people never stop coming, Reborn?"
The aforementioned hitman decides to take a page of Midoriya's book. "You tell me."
The mafia-boss-in-training screamed into his pillow.)
Midoriya Izuku is taking the situation too calmly. His mask is back on again, taking the facade of a law-abiding police officer and not some little brat that knows more than he should. It irritates Reborn to no end. The way he fits in so easily with the rest of the family is too natural to be normal. Lambo and I-pin are practically fighting for his attention in plain sight with fists and grenades being exchanged. Any stray shot that head his way—Midoriya dodges as easily as breathing. Only somebody with prior training or connections to the underworld would be able to observe a fight between two child assassins and not be fazed. Instead, he smiles at the spat as he shares idle chatter with Nana and (a profusely sweating) Tsunayoshi about international food exportation of all things.
Reborn tries to inject his own two cents in the conversation, but Midoriya always cuts off with a sharp glance.
Stop doing that.
"Could you please kindly fuck off?" the officer half-whisper-mouths, mindful of the children in their immediate vicinity.
Emphasis on the might be here.
Midoriya Izuku is far from being a possible addition to the Famiglia.
There are many reasons why Reborn thinks this.
For one, Midoriya is a police officer—and a damned good one at that if his record with Hibari somehow manages to increase on a weekly basis. And he takes his job seriously, no matter how mundane the task at hand is. Hell, the boy will even piggyback an old lady over the crossing if it means making traffic flow smoother; he goes around the streets of Naminori, delivering packages of odd shapes and sizes, never complaining about how being a mailman isn't in his job description; and possibly worst of all, he has tabs on the comings and goings of the town.
Even more so than Reborn himself.
Midoriya knows Namimori like the back of his hand, in both a literal and metaphorical sense. He knows about the antique shop carefully hidden by layers upon layers of Mist Flames that even Reborn didn't notice until the young officer pointed it out. He knows about Reborn's secret stash of weapons (among other things) dotted around every square metre of the town. He knows about the hidden lab Irie and Spanner set up months ago beneath the local shrine with Vongola's help.
He knows about Sawada Tsuanyoshi, the future Decimo, and his Guardians.
Which brings Reborn to his second point.
Midoriya knows about Vongola.
How and why is beyond his understanding of the space-time continuum he was blasted through a few months ago, courtesy of a freak with wings and an avid eater of marshmallows.
All that he does know is that Midoriya knows about a lot of things a simple police officer shouldn't know and would've spilled to international authorities ages ago.
(But the fact that he hasn't already puzzles Reborn to no ends.)
And his third, and final, reason as to why he thinks Midoriya Izuku is far from being a possible addition to the Famiglia is because of the young man's whimsical ways.
One moment, he can go from smiling brighter than the sun to being down in the dumps at the snap of a finger. At times, he can be an oblivious bastard not careful with his words or a self-sacrificing idiot with no regards for safety. Vongola doesn't need somebody who isn't on guard at all times, and even though Midoriya isn't quite an open book, from the pages Reborn has already read—he can safely claim that if the officer did decide to take action...
... He would be at the end of the world laughing with a clipboard in hand.
(Reborn purposely forgets to include the state of Midoriya's hands to his inner monologue because no ordinary person would have such superficial scars in the first place.
The fact that they are weathered and healed doesn't make his conscience feel any better.
They are still scars.
Scars like Midoriya's aren't normal. They are not supposed to chronicle tales of strife, struggle and destruction. They are meant to be permanent marks of foolishness in the underworld. To him, scars are not just old wounds. But scars like Midoriya's aren't inflicted unless he's hiding something dark under that bright facade of his.
Donning the mask of a fool.)
The blank musings of a boy still lost is not revealing in the wider scheme of things.
Reborn looks at him funny when he starts to mutter.
Actually, scratch that.
Everyone in Namimori looks at him funny when he starts to mutter.
Back home, it was a common enough occurrence for people to ignore, but here, there's no way to be possibly exposed to a metaphorical bandage being ripped off in everyday life.
Reborn's student, that Sawada Tsuanyoshi, looks like he'll go into cardiac arrest every time Izuku starts talking. And the boy's friends aren't any better. (All of them, to a degree, have learnt to stay away from the nice, young policeman who'll dissect you bit by bit with words.) His days are filled with curious or wary stares when he walks about, checking that the town is still calm and free of adversity.
(Unbeknownst to the subject himself, but instead known of by many others, Officer Midoriya is Flame Active.)
(The lingering streams of blue wisp that trails after him as he patrols is a sure sign; his muttering only seems to reaffirm their beliefs.)
(His Rain Flames do not grant tranquility—contradictory to their passive nature—but it strikes terror into the hearts of all those that hear his voice.)
(Officer Midoriya isn't a normal person to be able to draw up such power without warning.)
(His smile closes him off from the rest of the world, strangely enough.)
Izuku knows he shouldn't be here.
He shouldn't be Midoriya Izuku, the professional Hibari capturer of Namimori.
He is—was—Midoriya Izuku, the up and coming hero of the people—Deku.
What is somebody in his shoes supposed to do when they go to sleep one night and wake up in an entirely different town (or universe?) for that matter?
Look for a way home?
He snorts whenever that idea crosses his mind. As far as he knows, there is only one way to accomplish that. And he's quite fine living out his new life without having to meet the man who claimed to be a god in some alternate future.
And there's no denying it, police man Izuku and the hero Deku are one and the same.
And One For All is not in his possession.
Which created a lot of problems at first because how are you supposed to explain the unexplainable?
Quirks, in this world, don't exist.
(He doesn't know if there an equal existence to it, but he does know Namimori isn't as ordinary as it seems on paper. There's a child running around with grenades and firearms in his hair, there's a little girl who's bald and can destroy a steel wall with one punch, there's another boy (older than the earlier mentioned children) who might be his world's equivalent of a seer and psychic, and a group of of middle schoolers who will be heading the next generation of organised crime's biggest group.
How and why he has explicit knowledge of this world's inhabitants and its inner workings is something he considers a ridiculous side-effect of being spiritually transported to another dimension.
What is this life.)
It eventually became easier to live without the reassuring thrum of One For All prickling beneath his skin. He still remembers the regimen he completed four years ago. Izuku mainly focuses his training on his legs to get an edge on Hibari escaping. And Hibari himself can't come up with a reason how Izuku manages to bring him into the station every time. A shoddy imitation of a 5% punch to the solar plexus is enough for Izuku to knock the wind out of the boy and lead him away in handcuffs without much fuss. Being the only person within reason who can catch the Disciplinary Committee leader is something he gathers a reputation for.
This is why he accepts Reborn's olive branch of friendship—because he desperately needs a voice of reason and somebody he can smugly flaunt (read:shove) his omniscience onto.
Reborn is great.
He's like a terrible amalgamation of Kacchan, Todoroki, Aizawa-sensei, and Sir Nighteye, all rolled into one person. But perhaps he's not to quick to anger, distress, or tire out, and isn't as analytical as much as Izuku wants the man to be.
Acting like an asshole in front of the man is second nature. Acting cheerful is easier than hitting Gran Torino during his first year of high school. Acting disturbed is the easiest thing he's ever done.
A trip to the past rattles that cocky attitude of his.
Because even if it was nine-year-old Kacchan screeching in his ears, the child is still Bakugou. His childhood friend.
Because for a measly five minutes, he was finally home. The only place he's ever felt comfortable around.
Because he came to the realisation that he misses everything and everyone he didn't mean to leave behind.
All Might... His friends... His mother...
" How was your trip to the past, Midoriya?" Reborn asked the minute he returned.
He blinks up at the man, slightly bewildered. "Ah! Hello there, Reborn, sir!" Izuku scrambles to his feet and gathers up his composure, forcing his face to scrunch up. "It was... very enlightening, to say the least," he says.
"Oh, really?" Reborn's tone is anything but something that says, 'I believe you.'
Izuku made a choked sound of agreement, eyeing the clock atop a pole nearby. "Yeah, it was. But I really should be getting back to patrol, so if you want, I can tell you about my travels later!" he lied, running off into the sunset. Once he made it far enough; out of sight, he came to a stop and hunched over his knees, cupping a hand over his mouth to keep the bile down.
He felt sick.
He is sick.
Homesickness is not a disease that can be cured in five minutes.
Midoriya Izuku, nineteen years old, became a hierath from that day onward.
Life in Namimori is great, he supposes.
Here, he is not suffocated by the expectations to be the best.
Here, being normal is accepted.
Standing out of line is not.
Not matter the time or place, he notices, people will never change.
Maybe that is what forces him to change his daily patrol route to pass by Namimori Middle School.
And maybe that is what makes him see the suspicious black car parked outside the front gates. After making a quick phone call, he can already imagine Hibari stalking over... and there he is.
"Good morning, Hibari-kun!" Izuku greets cheerfully.
"Omi—" he cuts himself short. "... Officer Midoriya," the boy reluctantly responds with a dip of his head.
"Did you come to investigate this vehicle too?"
"Do you see that number plate?" Izuku points at the aforementioned object, eye-catching in colour. "That's the kind you usually see in Europe, specifically, Italy. They're simple to identify, so you should always keep a look out for them when you go around town, okay? There's been a lot of foreign cars being ferried here from the west lately."
He waves the prefect goodbye and goes on his way, seemingly acting like he doesn't think much of the strange presence of the car.
(And maybe he wishes Namimori was more quiet.)
With his morning patrol done, he returns to the station with a wide smile on his face and says good morning to whomever isn't a zombie living on caffeine. He seats himself at the front desk, in full view of anybody who might pass the station's door, and gets to work filing menial reports. The clatter of clicking and typing fills the air around him and he eventually gets lost in words. Tanaka-san's cat was recently lost, the Watanabe family is on holiday until March, the local candy store just closed recently but there are reports of a potential trespasser, old man Kawahira hasn't made a move ever since he last saw the elder man, a suspicious couple just moved into the apartment block a few streets down...
He scribbles something down on a scarp of paper, soon shoving it into his pockets.
"I need to make a house visit, Yawaguchi-senpai!" he calls out to somebody in the back offices. Not expecting a reply, Izuku logs off the computer and checks his attire once over.
The only contract killer Izuku has ever met is Reborn, so he doesn't know how outsiders will think of him when he comes knocking at their door.
He walks and walks and walks, and eventually comes to a stop outside Asakari Condos.
"This is the right address," he mumbles seemingly himself. "Isn't it, sir?"
First there is the sound of silence.
Then there's echoing footsteps coming from a nearby alleyway.
Slipping out of the shadows, there walks Reborn, coming nearer by the second. "Of course it is, do you doubt my intel?" asks the hitman.
"No, I'm just worried where you got the information from in the from."
"I paid a very good deal."
"That's not reassuring."
"Look, are we doing this or not? Because I'll be glad to walk away from this mess scot-free, but then you'd be caught in the crossfire and I can't just let that happen to an innocent. It's not... It's not what Vongola stands for."
So he's had a change of heart. I didn't think he'd be so bold as to admit it himself though.
"Yeah," he replies with a nod. "I need some superhuman muscle backing me up anyways."
"I thought you were strong?"
Izuku laughs. "Not as much as I'd like to imagine, sir."
Together, they walk through the glass sliding door and enter the foyer. On the way to do whatever they can to stop foreign influences from harming civilians. The gun attached to his side is just for show, as is so the handcuffs. Izuku's fists and feet can do the talking instead if everything goes to hell.
How have you been?
Me? I've in good health, don't you worry.
I've made sure to eat healthy, just like you taught me. Out here, in Namimori, the town where I'm living now, has cheaper prices than the store we used to got get groceries from every Sunday together.
... Hahaha, sorry for sounding a bit stiff. I just never imagined that I would be writing a letter, addressed to you of all people, in this day and age. Can't say anybody else would, either. But in Namimori, everything's so backwards. For one, there's this boy, just a few years younger than me, who goes around attacking people recklessly because they irked him in some way.
Since arriving here, I've had to apprehend the boy a grand total of seventy-three times. Normally, such behaviour would warrant dictatorial actions, but I let it slide. He's just a kid after all...
Oh! And every single time, this quasi-child-teenager-adult-man bails him out. His name's Reborn.
He's a hitman.
Mother? If you're reading this, please don't freak out about what I'm going to tell you next.
Reborn and I are friends.
Don't worry, I'm still a hero in spirit—in fact, Reborn has been helping me with cleaning up some of the more suspicious persons that Hibari
(the boy I mentioned earlier) doesn't sniff out. I think he's changing his ways after some kind of life-changing event that included a one week light show around town.
... I can't write anymore.
I... I hope you're smiling as you read this.
I miss you.