Izuku knew something had gone wrong when he saw the scowl on Kacchan’s face. The twisted upper lip and glare looked like they belonged to Todoroki, not his timid firecracker.
The biceps and ripped pecs molded to that scandalous tank top would have been confirmation enough, but the true deciding factor had to be Kacchan’s hands. Free of their wrappings and perfectly kept, one clung to a water bottle and the other held the strap of a work out tote. Izuku almost wondered if he was staring at a bad replica or someone’s idea of a cruel joke.
The eyes though—he knew those eyes.
“Kacchan?” Izuku asked, staring up at the face watching him back. He felt the ground under his back and grass tickling the back of his neck over the collar of his shirt. “Is that you?”
“Did you hit your head or something?” Kacchan asked, dropping his bag near Izuku’s shoulder with a heavy thump. He squatted and reached down to tug on Izuku’s tie, yanking it hard enough to untuck it from its place under the vest. “And what’s with the stupid get up? Since when did you own a suit?”
Izuku frowned at the fearless red eyes and found himself looking away from the gaze first. Hiding his discomfort, Izuku glanced around, seeing a field of grass in the dim light of the evening. He didn’t recognize the location. A practice field perhaps? “Where are we?”
“Shit, you did hit your head or some bullshit,” Kacchan said, standing. He dug around his pockets to pull out a cell phone. “You were training alone again or something equally stupid, I bet.”
“I’m fine,” Izuku said, instincts kicking in. Wherever he’d been sent, it wasn’t home. Which meant he should probably keep things simple for now: Just him and Kacchan. He sat up and got to his feet before grabbing Kacchan’s wrist. He tugged it lightly to the side to pull the phone away from his face and forced a friendly smile. “No need to call anyone.”
“Now I know you hit your head hard enough that I should call someone,” Kacchan said, glaring straight at Izuku’s hand. The fierceness of it sent a curious shiver down Izuku’s spine and he got the urge to test the waters and kept his hold. Kacchan didn’t move, but ordered: “Let go, Deku.”
Izuku lifted both hands in a surrendering fashion, curious despite himself. Is this what his own Kacchan would be like if he hadn’t been collared so young? Or were there other factors at play in this world?
Either way, Izuku couldn’t fight the bubbling urge to break this one in, too.
“Hey, Kacchan,” Izuku said, eyes darting around the empty training field. He was definitely on a campus of some sort. Taking a second glance, he noted Kacchan’s bag had a school logo on it: U.A. The Hero School. Now that was interesting. Izuku asked, “How long have we known each other?”
“Too damn long,” Kacchan answered, looking back at his phone. “You still haven’t answered yet. What the hell are you doing out here alone in the dark? I already know the answer is something stupid, but humor me.”
“That part seems the same then,” Izuku said, laughing as he looked to the side. Things were starting to come together a bit clearer and they were still alone. That was good. “You never have liked me very much.”
“And now you’re just being weird,” Kacchan said, lowering his phone.
Good. Izuku didn’t need more people arriving before he’d gotten a good idea of the situation. Or a better one. With Kacchan at a Hero School, Izuku could take a pretty good guess where that trinket of Hatsume’s had sent him. Kacchan kept watching him, but there was a hint of worry sneaking into that irritated look.
Now that was different.
“Did something happen or what?” Kacchan asked, dropping his phone hand entirely to his side. He looked around, shifting from one foot to the other with a growing sense of unease. “And where’s your usual entourage of dorks?”
“Not a clue,” Izuku said, leaning back on one foot as he searched around the grass. He must have taken the trinket with him when he warped, which meant it had to be around here somewhere. He just needed to find it, click it, and throw this lovely new toy through the warp before he followed. Easy. “I think I might have dropped something, though. Could you help me look for it?”
“No,” Kacchan said, the worry dropping entirely. Instead, he looked insulted Izuku had asked him to do something. “Go find one of your other little playmates to do your—”
“Bakugou! Where have you been man?” Someone yelled across the yard. Izuku didn’t recognize him and he was positive he’d have remembered someone with spiked red-hair that atrocious. The new comer continued jogging, calling out as he went. “Movie night is about to start and we’ve been waiting! I thought you were coming right back from the gym…”
The stranger slowed to a stop as he approached. He zeroed in on Izuku and immediately dropped into a defense position, the skin on his arms hardening into offensive spikes.
Kacchan tensed, and his guard went up so subtly Izuku was almost impressed. He shoved his phone in his back pocket and hissed, “Shitty Deku’s back at the dorm, isn’t he?”
“Yup,” the redhead returned.
“Okay then,” Kacchan said. He turned on his heel and held a hand up. It sparked to life with a fire that Izuku hadn’t seen since they were eight. “You’ve got two seconds to drop the mask and tell us who you really are before I blow it off and we find out the hard way.”
Izuku’s heart skipped a beat. He felt the grin spread and laughed. “I would love to see you try.”
It got the desired results.
The explosive force that rocketed out from Kacchan’s palms were not the small firecracker like bursts from when they were children, but instead a brilliant display of death.
Izuku almost regretted taking that away from his friend oh so many years ago if this is what it could have been.
He rolled to the side, careful to avoid grass stains on his pants. The heat and flame burst above his head, whipping his hair to the side with the force of the explosion. Almost. He almost regretted it. Izuku had taken that power away to destroy any chance of precisely this moment: Having that amazing Quirk aimed at him.
“So help me if this is Toga again, I’m going to strangle Deku!” Kacchan yelled, signaling for the redhead to cut Izuku off as he went left. “That idiot needs to hold onto his blood!”
“Yeah, but if it was Toga, wouldn’t she be bothering Midoriya instead of us?” The redhead asked, throwing a punch. Izuku fell back and blocked with his arm, wincing as the other’s spikes cut through his shirt. He’d have to be careful of that. “Or she’d be flirting by now. This guy’s just quiet.”
“This guy is also right here,” Izuku said, darting back and away from the next swipe. Kacchan threw another explosion and he barely got out of the way. The blasts were short and controlled, aiming more to guide and corral than damage. Kacchan was holding back for some reason, though Izuku could take a guess why. He really needed to find that damn switch! “But as fun as this is, I have more important things to be doing.”
Like getting home and stringing Hatsume up on a rack for giving her stupid invention a hair trigger!
But speaking of his favorite trinket maker, Izuku really should put one of her better inventions to work.
“Hold still!” Kacchan shouted when Izuku made a sprint for it.
He ran as fast as his training would allow, but Kacchan easily kept up as he used his blasts to propel him ahead (that was a neat trick, too). Izuku felt the smile spread as he tugged his favorite pair of gloves out of his pocket. Slipping on the black fabric, he continued forward at full speed, even after Kacchan put himself in the way of his path to catch him. That worked in his favor.
“I think we should end this,” Izuku said, catching Kacchan off guard by not stopping. The other moved to knock him to the side, but Izuku was faster. He grabbed Kacchan’s wrist and pulled him forward to put his other hand on Kacchan’s throat. The gloves did the rest and his childhood friend’s counterpart came to a dead stop under his hold. “Much better.”
“Bakugou!” The redhead yelled. He came to a stop at the side, but didn’t get closer, showing a sense of caution Izuku wouldn’t have expected from that stupid face. “What did you do?”
The answer? Very special gloves.
The one on his left held a charge that canceled out Quirks upon impact for the duration of exposure—he had no idea how Hatsume got it to work, but she did wonders when she put her mind to it. His right glove? Similar in the vein that Izuku didn’t know how it worked, but it paralyzed anyone that it touched. Both had the disadvantage of requiring contact, but they were hardly Izuku’s only trick up his sleeve.
But that was information for Izuku and not his two new little playmates: “I think I’ll keep that to myself. Now if you don’t mind, I would rather much like to be alone with Kacchan.”
“Stop calling me that,” Kacchan grunted, his body trembling as he fought the hold of the gloves. His fingers twitched, showing an impressive strength.
Izuku bit his lip. “Let me guess: Only one person is allowed to call you that?”
“I’m going to kill you,” Kacchan said.
Some things really were universal.
“I can not wait to break you,” Izuku said, almost sighing.
The redhead snarled, his Quirk activating on nearly his entire body. He shifted down, ready to charge in anyway. “One last chance to let him go!”
“If you take a step closer I’m going to break his neck,” Izuku bluffed. He moved to place Kacchan in front of him like a shield, twisting Kacchan’s arm behind his back and refusing to let go of the other’s neck. He squeezed, choking Kacchan enough that he gagged. He grinned over his shoulder with a shrug. “I don’t need a new toy that badly.”
Izuku heard his own voice yell across the yard, knowing quite well he hadn’t been the one who shouted it. To make the evening more entertaining, it appeared that Izuku’s double had decided to arrive.
What poor timing.
Someone wearing Izuku’s face had Kacchan pinned by the neck.
Seeing fingers around Kacchan’s throat brought back more bad memories than Izuku wanted, but seeing someone wearing his face restraining Kacchan turned the sick, nauseous feeling into pure rage.
“Let him go!” Izuku yelled, feeling One for All awaken. It sparked against his skin, reacting with his own emotions and ready to go. He threw his hand out, readying a Delaware Smash and glad he’d had the sense to grab his new gloves when he spotted Kacchan’s explosions in the distance. “Right now!”
The doppelgänger focused on Izuku, his face taking on a look Izuku had only seen in the mirror; calculating. His eyes darted to Izuku’s gloves and back up to his face. “And what exactly are you going to do with that?”
“Test me and find out,” Izuku answered, looking for the best angle to send a shot that would cause the least damage. “Let Kacchan go. Now.”
“I’ve got this, Deku,” Kacchan said, his limbs trembling. The fake-Izuku’s grip didn’t look the least bit strained, which meant something else had to be going on if Kacchan was struggling so much to break free. “As soon as I get free, this guy is dead. So don’t get in my way.”
The fake glanced at Kacchan with a fond smile that set Izuku’s teeth to gritting before he squeezed tighter, digging his thumb against Kacchan’s Adam’s apple. “He really is cute. I can see why you like him despite the attitude.”
“Let him go,” Izuku said again. He wanted to scream “Get your hands off him” but had to remain in control. Losing his temper wouldn’t do either of them any good.
“I had a feeling my goody-two-shoes counterpart would be disappointing, but this is a bit much,” the fake said. He glanced around the grass before looking at Izuku again. “Look at all that hesitation in that shaking finger of yours. It’s like you don’t even want him, but that’s fine by me.”
The fake yanked Kacchan’s neck back, manhandling him in a way that looked far too easy and wrong. He kissed the side of Kacchan’s cheek and laughed. “I’ll be more than happy to take this off your hands.”
Izuku flicked his finger, sending the first Delaware Smash straight at that monster’s face.
Not expecting the hit, it slammed straight into the fake, knocking both him and Kacchan apart from each other. Free from the hold, Kacchan used his Quirk to put distance between him and the Fake, while the other took the full brunt and rolled in the grass a good distance away. He caught himself on the third roll and sprung to his feet.
He wiped the blood away from his nose and stared at Izuku with wide eyes as the electric feeling of One for All continued to hum, ready and raring to go for another hit as Izuku readied his fingers again. He looked at the gloves again and hissed, “That wasn’t from the gloves was it?”
Izuku frowned, looking for Kacchan and Kirishima as they moved into position. The other students should be coming with the teachers any minute, so they just needed to stall. “What are you talking about?”
“That was a Quirk!” the other hissed. His entire form turned dark, eyes and face radiating a viciousness that made Izuku’s body crawl. The fake tightened his gloves on his hands, yanking hard on the back. His voice came out in a hiss. “Are you telling me that in this Universe I have a Quirk?”
“This universe?” Kirishima asked, lowering his arms a fraction. “Dude, what are you even talking about?”
“Shut up,” the fake said, not even sparing Kirishima a look. His expression flattened into something blank, but it was easy to see the other teen was seething on the inside from his gaze. Izuku swallowed as the stranger glared straight at him. “I refuse to believe the universes would be so cruel to unevenly distribute something that important.”
“So, this guy is out of his mind, right?” Kirishima said, taking a step back as he looked between Kacchan and Izuku. “Because he’s not making any sense.”
“I told you to be quiet!” The fake yelled, using a tone that sounded like he was used to telling others what to do. Commanding. It sounded so weird coming out of Izuku’s mouth; he’d never had that much authority. “None of this concerns you.”
“It does if you’re attacking my friends,” Kirishima said.
“I don’t know if you noticed,” Kacchan added, his fists sparking. “But you’re not in a position to order us around, buddy.”
“For now,” he said.
As he readied to move, Izuku did the same. However, when he moved his leg back to get into a sprinting position, he heard a small click beneath his foot. Keeping his eyes on the Villain, Izuku leaned down to pick up the small metallic box that had caught under his shoe. On a small screen, there was a countdown running in red in small letters. When it hit “zero” a gust of wind spiraled behind him, shaking his hair and he saw the eyes of the other three in the field widen.
The fake was the first to run forward, yelling “Don’t move!”
Izuku hadn’t planned on it, but an invisible tug grabbed him around the waist and yanked him back, pulling him into darkness.
He watched the Fake scream “No!” before he was engulfed and the world disappeared.
It came back to light just as quickly as Izuku slammed into the ground, a crunch in his hand as he reflexively squeezed on landing. He rolled to his knees and opened his hand, wincing at the crushed contraption in his palm.
“Oh, this isn’t good,” Izuku said, looking around the room.
He got to his feet and took in his surroundings: A large bedroom—easily three times the size of his dorm room—that was divided into a “sitting room” portion on one side with an elegant couch and chair set opposite a widescreen television, while the other half had a four poster bed and a fainting couch along the wall with the window. The room itself was neat and clean, with framed artwork on the walls and various art pieces displayed with plants.
He closed his fingers around the device pieces in his hand and swallowed. He was definitely not at home at U.A.
“Izuku?” A timid voice asked, soft and quiet. It sounded hesitant and scared, two things that should never be associated with that voice. “Is that you?”
Izuku turned around, seeing an open door that looked like it led to an ensuite bathroom. A person with familiar blond hair stared at Izuku, confused with wide eyes. His hands were wrapped tightly in white bandages and the stranger tugged on the edge of a loose strand as he stared. While he still looked healthy, his thin form had none of the bulk or muscle Izuku was used to seeing. The teenager looked downright tiny compared to what he should look like.
Those eyes though—there was no mistaking them.
And they were terrified.
Izuku’s own eyes watered as he covered the lower half of his mouth. “Kacchan.”
You guys having fun? Because I am. I love Mirror Universes. Whether it’s the original Star Trek Mirrorverse, The Negaverse from Darkwing Duck, or Shattered Glass from Transformers—there’s something infinitely entertaining about a universe where all the good guys & bad guys have switched roles and moralities.
In other news, I almost rewrote a bunch of the last chapter. Apparently sticking Deku in a vest and tie makes me want to write him super posh…almost too posh. But instead I’ve just decided to own it and make it an ongoing part of his character because why not (and making Deku suave seems to be a trend in the Villain Deku AU these days, so it works).
Last but not least - I changed the title. Apparently “Universe Gate” is a Stargate thing, and I was like “Oops.” so I changed it to “Warp Gate” since that’s Kurogiri’s official Quirk name and it’s at least in the same fandom. It also makes more sense when I explain that thing later. So uh, thanks for reading! XD
Izuku skidded to a halt in the filthy grass and gaped at the empty space where the portal had opened and swallowed his counterpart. He sucked in a breath and whined, grabbing at his own hair. “That stupid brat! Was that the trade off? In this universe I get a Quirk but to balance it out I’m a complete idiot?
“What moron just stands there like an idiot when the portal starts to tug you in! He should have jumped forward or something!” Izuku yelled.
He kicked the ground and released a growl of aggravation. This wasn’t how things were supposed to work. Izuku—the proper Izuku—should have been the one to find Hatsume’s latest Warp Gate and gone home. In no universe should his moronic counterpart literally trip over it.
Izuku sucked in a breath, raising his hands to follow the movement. “Calm down. Even in the depths of your anger you shall be in control, mature, and maintain a sense of class.”
“Yeah, you’re failing at all three of those right now by being a freak that mutters under his breath,” Kacchan said, interrupting Izuku’s thoughts. “Now do you want to tell us what just happened and where the hell Deku just went or do I need to break your face first?”
Izuku turned over his shoulder, staring at the alternate Kacchan. Even back in the day when his own firecracker was at the height of his rebellion and attempting to go through with his threats of “I’ll kill you for this”, he’d never been this crass. After years of calming down and accepting his lot in life, albeit it reluctantly, Izuku had gotten rather used to Kacchan’s good behavior.
At first the threatening demeanor and sense of danger this new Kacchan emitted had been cute and promised a fun future challenge, but right now Izuku was tired, frustrated, and he’d had enough of it.
“Kacchan, I highly suggest you stop talking before I make you,” Izuku said. He crossed his arms and went back to staring at the last spot the warp gate’s portal was in. If he was lucky, his counterpart would press the button again and appear in the same place Izuku had been dropped off. If that didn’t happen, Izuku might have a problem on his hands. “I’ll play with you later, but right now I need to think.”
“Bakugou!” The redhead yelled, dashing behind Izuku and tackling Kacchan as the other teen made a move. Izuku turned his head to see the redhead restrain Kacchan from behind the arms with a panicked look on his face. “If you actually kill him, we won’t find out where Midoriya went!”
“Let me go! I’m going to rip his stupid face off!” Kacchan yelled, tugging forward. The redhead activated his Quirk, bringing back the sharp edges and dug his feet into the ground. Kacchan’s hands continued to spark as he struggled in the hold. “Kirishima!”
“Can’t do that,” Kirishima (whoever he was) said, grinning and leaning back. He looked over the struggling Bakugou’s shoulder and said to Izuku, “But it would be really nice if you stopped pushing Bakugou’s buttons and started to make some actual sense, starting with explaining where Midoriya went. Or why you look like Midoriya. That’d be good to know, too.”
“I feel no obligation to answer those questions,” Izuku said, discretely feeling the outline of his vest pocket without uncrossing his arms. Confirming that his escape route was secured he threw his hands out in a disarming manner and smiled. “Unless you wanted to answer a few of mine first and we could trade information? You’re not the only ones a bit in the dark here.”
Kacchan shoved Kirishima off of him with a firm strike from his elbow. The other winced but let go. Izuku held his ground even as Kacchan got into his space, shoulders squared and using his bulk to intimidate like a common brute.
“How about you start,” Kacchan said. He grabbed Izuku by the sides of his vest and yanked him up with both arms. “Where’d Deku go?”
Izuku rolled his eyes back and gently grabbed Kacchan’s wrists with his hands. His gloves worked their magic and Kacchan froze in place, the recognition widening his eyes. “You probably shouldn’t let your anger cloud your judgement if you’ve already forgotten I could do this.”
“But!” Izuku said, cutting him off. He lifted Kacchan’s pliable arms off his shoulders and held them out. “Since my ticket home just went poof with your friend, it is suddenly in my interest to play nice. So I will if you do. How’s that sound?”
“Sounds great!” Kirishima said. He put himself in between Izuku and Kacchan, acting like a dim moderator and skillfully removing Izuku’s hands from Kacchan’s wrists. “Let’s just all stay calm.”
“A good plan,” a deeper voice said.
“Aizawa!” Kirishima said, standing up straight.
Izuku recognized that man: Eraserhead. He’d only had the privilege of seeing him in person once, but that greasy hair and strained eyes were unmistakable. One of the most elusive Villains in history, Eraserhead stuck to the dark and remained fairly under the radar. To the best of Izuku’s knowledge, he wasn’t even a suspect for his most heinous crimes as Eraserhead had no interest in taking credit for his work. More often than not, he let his loudmouthed and flamboyant partner Present Mic steal the glory.
But that was back home.
“And what would all of my students be doing out here causing a ruckus after curfew?” Aizawa said, eyes raking over Izuku and the other two before they landed on the patches of charred grass that were left in the wake of their brief scuffle. “Because you’d better have a good answer for me if it had to drag me out of bed.”
In this world, the monster you never wanted to meet in a dark alley was a school teacher for wannabe Heroes.
Izuku had thought seeing Kacchan in this world was jarring, but it had nothing on seeing Eraserhead. At all. He was just standing there, wearing a weird scarf with obnoxious yellow goggles around his neck. The surealness of it almost had Izuku pinching himself.
“What’s wrong with Midoriya?” Eraserhead said, turning that studying gaze toward Izuku. Even as a supposed “Hero” in this world, it held a sense of intimidation that inspired a gut, fear reaction. Good or not, this person was strong. Eraserhead looked at Kacchan and let out a sigh of resignation. “Please tell me you two aren’t fighting again.”
“This little shit isn’t Deku,” Kacchan said, throwing a thumb over his shoulder. “He’s just wearing Deku’s face.”
Kirishima perked up and said, “Yeah! The real Midoriya was here a minute ago though, but he picked up some box and opened a portal to another world and disappeared!”
Aizawa blinked, slow and calculated. Izuku could feel the annoyance come from the man despite his static expression. “Repeat that with more details.”
“I can explain!” Izuku said, holding his hand up. He clapped his hands together and put on his most polite smile. He channeled every inch of his societal training and went for appeasement. Keeping Eraserhead on his good side might be critical if he wanted to get out of this with the most benefits. “My name is Izuku Midoriya, and I’m from a parallel universe. Unfortunately my presence led to a bit of miscommunication which resulted in the fight you may have heard earlier. My counterpart, your Midoriya, activated the warp gate I used to get here by mistake and I’m fairly certain he’s in my world.”
“Now the asshole starts talking,” Kacchan said, crossing his arms and glaring. “Perfect.”
“He asked more politely,” Izuku said, smiling brightly at Kacchan. It hurt, having not needed this particular expression in a while but it had the desired effect when Kacchan immediately looked away. Izuku placed a hand over his chest and bowed forward ever so slightly to Eraserhead. “I am more than happy to cooperate in the meantime while we hopefully await his return or figure out how to speed things along.”
“Sure you are,” Eraserhead said.
He wasn’t fooled by the polite act in the slightest.
“Let’s take this inside,” Eraserhead said. The scarf around his neck sprung to life and Izuku barely had the chance to step back before he found himself restrained and lifted high in the air, arms bound tight at his side. “My students may be hot headed, but even Bakugou wouldn’t start a real fight on school grounds if he didn’t think you were a threat.”
Izuku dropped the smile, letting it fall into a scowl. His gloves wouldn’t do much good against an object, and Eraserhead was smart to keep Izuku at a distance.
“We’re going to talk,” Eraserhead said. His eyes narrowed, complete with the promise of suffering if he failed to do anything but cooperate. “And you’re going to tell me everything I want to know.”
The scarf squeezed tight around his chest and Izuku gritted his teeth.
He might need an actual plan if he wanted to get out of this.
Kacchan and Izuku stared at each other for what felt like an eternity; Izuku too stunned to say anything and the alternate Kacchan growing more and more confused with each passing second.
“Izuku?” Kacchan asked again, speaking up. His shoulders dropped and he played with his pinky finger, rubbing the heavy bandages. “What are you wearing?”
Izuku glanced down and tugged out his plain loose t-shirt and looked further down spotting a pair of loose shorts and his red sneakers. Aside from his support gloves, he hadn’t thought much about what he’d been wearing when he jumped off his balcony and sprinted to the training field where he saw Kacchan’s explosions roaring.
The fake-Izuku had been wearing a suit or something, hadn’t he? No wonder Kacchan looked confused. But that wasn’t important right now.
“Quick question,” Izuku said, looking around the room again. “Where are we?”
“Your bedroom,” Kacchan said, voice hesitant. He crossed his arms and folded in on himself before glancing to the side and back at Izuku. “Is…is this a new game?”
“My bedroom?” Izuku asked, looking around the room again. This place looked like it belonged in Yaoyorozu’s house, not Izuku’s tiny apartment. And it was so neat and clean and not at all like anything Izuku would claim as his own. Or explain why Kacchan had been in the room’s attached bathroom. “Why are you here then?”
“Because I’m not allowed to leave the room without you,” Kacchan said. Izuku felt something sink in his stomach and he felt his hand twist into a fist. Just what did that other Izuku do to make Kacchan this cowed? As he thought over the implications, Kacchan’s confusion slowly morphed into something much more frightened. He took a step back and held his hands up. “Was that the wrong answer? I don’t…I don’t know what you want. You always tell me the rules first with a new game.”
Izuku looked at his fists and back to Kacchan before sucking in a breath.
“No! There’s no game! I’m sorry, I’m just trying to wrap my head around what happened.” Izuku immediately dropped his fist and held his hand up to wave it back and forth. “I’m not the Izuku you think I am! I’m from another universe.”
Kacchan dropped his arms and his expression turned much more familiar as it settled into confused irritation. “What?”
“It’s complicated,” Izuku said, digging his hand into his hair. He held out his other palm, revealing the broken pieces of the metal switch he’d crushed. Kacchan reached over and plucked one of the pieces out and frowned at it, turning it over to look at the back. “There was another me wearing a vest and a tie and—”
A heavy knock on the bedroom interrupted Izuku.
“Midoriya, are you in there?” A voice that sounded suspiciously like Todoroki asked through the door.
Kacchan’s eyes widened and he looked at Izuku. He shoved the metal piece back into his hand and grabbed his arm to throw him toward the bathroom door. He hissed, “Hide” under his breath.
Izuku stumbled, but scrambled for the bathroom door all the same. It might be foolish, but he couldn’t help but want to trust Kacchan. He slid inside and closed the door almost all the way, leaving just enough space that he could watch the room through a crack.
“He’s not here,” Kacchan said, voice raised. He grabbed the edge of his sleeve and breathed in adding, “Sorry.”
“What do you mean he’s not there?” The door rattled as the Todoroki double attempted to open it. “Unlock this.”
“If it’s locked, he’s not here,” Kacchan said again. “Like I told you.”
Izuku held his breath as he watched and took a step back when he heard a click from the door. It pushed open and he caught a glimpse of metal as this world’s Todoroki pulled a key out of the lock.
“Where is he?” Todoroki said, walking straight past Kacchan. He stood in the center of the room, glancing around. He wore a long sleeved black dress shirt with dark slacks. His hair and eyes had the same two-toned look Izuku was used to, however the scar on his face was distinctly absent. Izuku held his breath and stayed as still as possible, hoping Todoroki didn’t check hiding places. The double spoke with a snarl in his voice and with a look of disgust that reminded Izuku of Endeavor. “He’s not at Hatsume’s lab, or waiting for me in the mudroom, so there’s only one place he would be before a job: Here. Where is he?”
Izuku covered his mouth to hide the shivers as Todoroki moved into Kacchan’s space, every inch of his lean figure threatening and intense.
“I told you that he’s not here,” Kacchan said, straightening up into something more like Izuku’s own Kacchan. There was a confidence there that he hadn’t been able to muster up when it was just Izuku in the room. Kacchan looked away from Todoroki. “And I don’t know where he is. You think he tells me things?”
Todoroki clicked his tongue and grabbed Kacchan’s chin, revealing dark burnt skin that had purpled and wrinkled. The scars stretched far into his sleeve and covered the entirety of his hand. Todoroki squeezed, digging his thumb in hard to Kacchan’s cheek and yanked the head back to face Todoroki. “Don’t try that with me. We all know you’re his favorite little pet. Midoriya tells you everything, so answer the question and tell me where he’s hiding before I start to get angry.”
“One, he always tells me things after he does them, not before. And second: Toy,” Kacchan said. He smacked Todoroki’s hand away from his face and narrowed his eyes. “I’m not his pet, I’m his toy. ‘A collector’s item’ as he put it. I think he might be upset if you did something to ruin my mint condition, don’t you?”
“One of these days he’s going to be finished playing with you,” Todoroki said, leaning in. He flicked Kacchan in the side of the head with his burnt hand and laughed. “And then we’ll see if you can keep up that bravado.”
“As if I’d be so lucky,” Kacchan said, laughing under his breath.
Todoroki shook his head and looked around the room one more time. “If he comes back here before I find him, tell him he’s late.”
“Got it,” Kacchan said.
Todoroki spared him one last half glare before he marched back out of the room. Kacchan waited for the door to shut and for the lock to click back into place before he moved over and sat on the couch, shoving his face into his hands.
Izuku inched out of the bathroom, walking up behind Kacchan with slow steps. He clutched the pieces of the switch to his chest and breathed out. “I don’t think I like this world very much.”
“You’d better get used to it if that thing is how you got here,” Kacchan said, pointing at the broken pieces. He picked up the sliver of metal he’d had earlier and flipped it over. He pointed at a small symbol of an eye on the corner. “That’s Mei Hatsume’s brand and she never makes the same invention twice, not even for Izuku.”
“Awesome,” Izuku said, his shoulders dropping. “Just what I wanted to hear.”
“We’re both so dead.” Kacchan slumped onto the couch, falling onto his back. He covered his eyes and groaned. “Go back to that beginning part when you were trying to explain you’re from another universe. We’ll just start with that and see where this goes.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Izuku said.
He dropped into the chair across from the couch and told Kacchan everything he knew so far, ignoring the twist in his gut every time he saw the bandages on Kacchan’s hands or thought about Todoroki’s snarl.
Whatever it took, there was no doubt now: He needed to get back home.
Villain Deku uses a garrote as his weapon of choice because they’re freaking cool and two of my all time favorite anime characters use them (Walter from Hellsing and Chocolate from Sorcerer Hunters).
This chapter got a little exposition heavy, but I’m still pretty happy with it. Action comes next time! I hope that you’re there and thanks for reading! :D
Izuku stared at his gloves in their place on the evidence table just too far out of reach on the other side of the room along with his vest, tie, and his garrote.
Thankfully they didn’t find the hidden pocket in his vest, securing his last resort get-away should it come to that, but he hoped for civil negotiations first. He didn’t spend years teaching himself etiquette and poise to compensate for his lack of a Quirk to jump across a table and smash a button in his pocket like a two-bit lackey.
“I would like to state for the record,” Izuku said, keeping his smile polite instead of condescending. “That I did not start the fight in the field, nor did I make my counterpart press the button on that Warp Gate.”
“It’s been stated,” Eraserhead said, standing on the other side of the interrogation table. To his left was the infamous Present Mic, sporting a rather tacky mustache and all the fashion sense of a rock. Izuku noted that general relationships seemed to remain in tact in this world. Eraserhead stared Izuku down and narrowed his eyes. “Start talking.”
Izuku glanced at Kacchan and his classmate with the red hair and looked back to Eraserhead. While he would usually lie through his teeth, in this particular case honestly might actually get him home faster:
“I was waiting for an associate in my dear friend Mei Hatsume’s lab, the wonderful genius who invents most of my support gear, when I noticed the Warp Gate on the table. A few years back, Hatsume managed to recreate the famed Black Mist’s Warp Gate in a box, it was quite the achievement and a treasured piece of support gear.
"However, she can be a bit odd and has a very strict policy of never making the same invention twice, which by the way means I hope you will treat my things with care as they are irreplaceable, and I was rather curious as to how a second one came into existence.
“I picked it up to inspect it, which in hindsight might have been foolish as she wasn’t around to supervise, and one of her other inventions let out a shrill timer. I jumped, pressed the button and found myself falling out of the Warp Gate into your field,” Izuku said, holding his hands out. “It looks like instant travel within the same universe was just her first step and she’s moved on and broken the barrier between worlds.”
Eraserhead continued to stare. “And you immediately came to the conclusion that this Gate could send people through Parallel Universes upon waking?”
“Mock if you like, but I know for a fact there is only one Kacchan in the world and that the lovely blond standing over there is not mine,” Izuku said, nodding his head toward the blond in the corner. Izuku considered him for a moment and smiled. “However, he is also very much Kacchan, which led me to the parallel universe theory. A Kacchan that’s not my Kacchan means he must be someone else’s.
“I merely confirmed my suspicions when I saw my own double run up,” Izuku said. He paused and shrugged. “And considering who made the device, this isn’t the weirdest thing that could have happened.”
“And you believe that our Midoriya is now in your world,” Eraserhead said, sighing inside.
“That seems to be the most likely case,” Midoriya said.
“Are you buying this?” Present Mic asked Eraserhead.
“Not entirely,” he answered.
“Me either, but what we do know from Bakugou and Kirishima’s accounts is that Midoriya picked up a box, a warp gate similar to the Villain Black Mist’s appeared, he was sucked into it, and now we’re stuck with this lookalike,” Present Mic said, pointing his finger at Izuku rather rudely. Eraserhead crossed his arms as he leaned back in his chair as the other spoke. “Which is a problem.”
“I know,” Eraserhead said.
“So how are we going to help Midoriya?” Kirishima asked. “I’m pretty sure our Hatsume doesn’t know how to make a Warp Gate.”
“Do we know a Hatsume?” Kacchan asked, looking at Kirishima with a scrunch of his nose as he thought.
“Pink hair and fought Iida in the sports festival,” Kirishima answered. Kacchan continued watching Kirishima with a blank look. Kirishima smiled wryly and said, “The girl who makes all of Midoriya’s support gear, like his costume upgrade and new gloves.”
“Oh, right,” Kacchan said, nodding to himself. “The goggle chick.”
Izuku laughed, holding a hand over his mouth. “I’m starting to wonder if there’s a universe out there where Kacchan can remember people’s names.”
“You shut up and I told you to stop calling me that,” Kacchan snarled, glaring right back.
“Kacchan is Kacchan,” Izuku said. He tapped a finger on the table, taking this moment to appreciate Kacchan’s muscles in the better lighting. “I’ll call you what I want.”
“I am going to—”
“Bakugou,” Eraserhead said. “Calm down.”
Kacchan went back to glaring and crossed his arms.
“How do you know Bakugou in your world?” Kirishima asked. “You were saying some weird things out in the field.”
“We’re very close,” Izuku said, closing his eyes and thinking of his own who was probably quite lonely being trapped in their room. His poor Kacchan would be so bored until Izuku could return to play with him. Thinking of fond times, Izuku hummed under his breath. “We’ve been pretty much inseparable since we were children, so much so that we even live together now. He’s my adorable firecracker.”
“You said that I didn’t like you when you first showed up,” Kacchan said, eyes narrowed. “Why the heck would we live together?”
“You don’t have to like someone to be close,” Izuku said, leaning back. He licked his lip and laughed. “Our relationship is pleasure on my end and necessity on yours. Us Quirkless humans really do need to stick together when it comes to the dangerous world we live in.”
“Quirkless?” Kirishima asked.
Izuku watched Kacchan’s hands, appreciating that healthy skin and firm grip that had turned to fists. Young Izuku had no use for hands like that, but the older one had a few ideas for them. “About eight years ago, he suffered a rather unfortunate accident that resulted in third degree burns on his hands, including his palms. I’ll spare you the gory details, but the short version is the scarring was so severe he lost the use of his Quirk. No sweat glands, no nitroglycerin, no explosions. Effectively, Kacchan became as Quirkless as I am at the tender age of eight.”
The room turned oddly quiet, which fit rather well in Izuku’s favor as he remembered that wonderful summer oh so long ago. His first real step toward his current career choice, and one of his favorite memories.
Izuku to this day had still never heard anyone scream the way Kacchan had.
“The other me’s a loser, good to know,” Kacchan said, walking over to the table. He slammed his hand on the surface leaning in toward Izuku. “But my Quirk works just fine, and if you pull any bullshit like you did earlier, you’re going to regret it.”
“I doubt that, but noted,” Izuku said, unable to stop the smile.
“Okay, so the other me here is like a mobster or something and works for the Todoroki family because our dad works for Endeavor and we just came with him because my mom works overseas. I hang out with Todoroki and help him make strategies and sweet talk people apparently because making friends seems to be a universal truth for me. But Kacchan and I still have trouble with our relationship because we always do.
“And Mei Hatsume makes all my gear, just like she does in my world, only she has total free range to do whatever she wants which means she makes weird things like Warp Gates and Quirk Erasing gloves and things like that.
“Which means if I want to go home, I need to get her to fix this Warp Gate and—”
Kacchan shook his head as he watched Izuku pace back and forth between the couch and the bed. “It’s like you never learned how to keep your thoughts in your head.”
“What?” Izuku asked, stopping his mental recap. He rubbed the back of his head and laughed. “I was mumbling again, huh?”
“You do that a lot?” Kacchan asked, massaging his hands through the bandages. They looked stiff and uncomfortable and Izuku tried desperately not to stare. “Because I can tell you Izuku does not. Everything he says to other people has been calculated for the most efficient results before he speaks.”
“To other people?” Izuku asked.
“He doesn’t have much of a reason to keep the act up around me, so he doesn’t,” Kacchan said. “Getting to watch him fall apart in private is pretty much the only perk to being his favorite toy.”
“You’re not a toy,” Izuku said, gripping his fists. “He talked about my Kacchan that way, too—like he was a thing and not a person. It’s awful.”
The accusation in the tone was hard to miss. Izuku swallowed and waved his hands in the air. “The one in my world? I mean. He’s my friend. Kind of. We were friends when we were little, and then he got a Quirk and I didn’t and we stopped seeing each other. But we’ve been getting along better since high school and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t hate me any more.”
“I get it,” Kacchan said, voice still unnaturally soft. He pointed a finger up, stretching the wrappings and sighed. “I don’t need the whole life story.”
“Sorry,” Izuku said, scrunching in on himself. “I guess this is still sort of overwhelming?”
Kacchan grunted, rubbing the back of his neck. Izuku’s eyes watched the movement, distracted by the bandages again, but this time he was caught. Kacchan dropped his other arm over the back of the couch. “You keep staring at my hands.”
Izuku dropped his arms and nodded. “Sorry, I just. What happened? Did you hurt yourself?”
Kacchan narrowed his eyes. “Does your Kacchan still have his Quirk?”
“Of course,” Izuku said, something heavy settling in his chest. He read between the lines, but didn’t want to believe it. He stared at the bandages and asked, “Don’t you?”
“No,” Kacchan said, eyes narrowing. He held his hands up, curling his fingers in, though they didn’t go all the way. Izuku recognized the signs of muscle contracture and he felt nauseous. “Thanks to you.”
“The other me,” Izuku whispered. He didn’t want to know this. Izuku didn’t want to know that there was a version of him out there that would hurt Kacchan like that. No one loved his Quirk more than Kacchan. To take it from him on purpose? Unthinkable. Izuku sucked in a breath. “What did he do?”
Kacchan turned away from Izuku and sat properly on the couch. The shape of his back was far, far too small and thin. He looked like Izuku did before he trained with All Might; defeated.
“When I was seven, I began training my Quirk in earnest,” Kacchan said, slow and thoughtful. “I started to work my small crackling fires into legitimate explosions, but sometimes they were too big. By the time I was eight, I was still struggling with controlling the intensity.”
Izuku remembered his own Kacchan going through that. It’d ended up with a lot of burnt trees out in the woods and Izuku had loved watching him.
“I used to try and practice by going between large explosions and tiny ones, and for fun, I used to light firecrackers with my Quirk,” Kacchan said. “They were small and I had to work very hard to only light the fuse.”
“One day, you came over to play and brought me a package,” Kacchan said, he raised his head and looked over his shoulder. “You wanted to watch me set them off because my Quirk was cool. I didn’t think anything of it and I wasn’t going to complain about free fireworks.
“I should have known better,” Kacchan said, looking back at the blank screen of the television. “You were always jealous of my Quirk, but I never thought you’d go that far.
“I still don’t know what you did to them, but when I went to light one, you yelled ‘Boo’ in my ear and I released a bigger explosion than I wanted. It lit the firework in my hand, but they weren’t normal ones. The burst was too large and the fire afterward lingered much too long. They’d clearly been tampered with.”
“Oh, no,” Izuku said, covering his mouth.
“As it turns out, I’m only immune to my own explosions.” Kacchan laughed and held his hands up in the air, the back of his knuckles toward Izuku. “My hands were burned down to the muscle and really, I’m lucky the explosion didn’t blow my hands off entirely. Afterwards, I was in too much pain to move and you didn’t bother to go call for help, so by the time someone found us, the damage had been long done.
“I keep them wrapped because you don’t like looking at the scars.”
Izuku was torn between being devastated for the Kacchan of this world and furious beyond belief at his double for doing such a horrific thing to the most important person in his life.
The feeling overwhelmed him and he had to take a few steps back to sit on the edge of the mattress. Izuku pulled his knees up and struggled to breath as the room blurred through a watery haze.
“Are…are you crying?” Kacchan asked, turning over his shoulder.
Izuku couldn’t stop the tears and he held himself, vowing that he would make this right somehow. He’d never forgive himself if he didn’t. “I’m sorry. I’m so, so, sorry, Kacchan.”
The couch creaked on the other side of the room. A few moments later, Kacchan’s bandaged fingers made their way into Izuku’s hair.
“Who knew you could be such a crybaby?” Kacchan asked, petting his head. The motions were far too soft and gentle. The one who had suffered the most was soothing Izuku and he hated that he leaned into the touch. Kacchan said, “I don’t have to worry about you at all, do I?”
“Never,” Izuku said, looking up and meeting Kacchan’s gaze.
“Good to know,” he said, smiling back—warm and sweet and so foreign on a face always so full of scowls.
Izuku’s heart skipped a bit.