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.
Thinking up how things are different on the Mirror side is fun, especially since I’m trying to avoid a “It’s exactly the same, except they’re evil” scenario. Hah. It’s more like a “How would things organically change if people’s motives and end goals were different?” and while I’m sure my interpretations are different from other folks, it’s fun to figure out—especially since I want to keep basic relationships the same (mostly, obviously there are some exceptions).
Fate just has it in the cards for certain people to meet up. Much like apparently it’s fate I’ll continue to write Mirror!Izuku more and more posh. *squints at him* Heh. *clears throat* Thank you so much for the awesome feedback and I’m glad you’re still reading!
“Not that this interrogation hasn’t been lovely,” Izuku said, tapping his fingers on the table. He’d grown bored since Kacchan and his little friend were dismissed back to the dorms after the first round of questions. Izuku was more than ready to get this whole thing moving along. “But seeing as my counterpart has yet to push the button on the Warp Gate to come back in the past two hours, I think it’s safe to say he’s either not going to or has been prevented from doing so in some way.”
“And what would prevent him?” Eraserhead asked, staring Izuku down over the table. After subjecting Izuku to a miniature interrogation within the interrogation concerning his garrote and gloves, the older man hand only grown more and more suspicious of Izuku’s nature. He wasn’t wrong to be so, but it did put a wrench in the gears. Eraserhead leaned forward, his piercing gaze refusing to waver. “Is there something he should be worried about?”
“Nothing in particular,” Izuku said, speaking a half truth. It all depended where he landed. Izuku had as many friends as he did enemies, so it was all a coin flip when it came to the health and well being of his double. Shame he needed to feed Eraserhead something less incriminating: “But when I landed, the Warp Gate remote in question landed quite a distance from me. I had trouble finding it, so he might have the same issue.”
“So what all that comes down to is we can’t do much more than wait can we?” Present Mic said, putting his hands on his hips. “We can contact a few scientists though and see if we can’t find more information on Warp Quirks and that sort of thing, but that’s still a lot of waiting on our end.”
“Agreed,” Eraserhead said.
Izuku raised his hand, hoping this was his chance to gain some ground. If he was going to stay in this universe for a while, he might as well make the best of it. “And what will you be doing with me in the meantime?”
“You’ll be contained until further notice,” Eraserhead said, getting up from his chair. “To be frank, I don’t trust anyone who carries a garrote like that to run around free.”
“I have already explained those tools are to defend myself,” Izuku said, putting his hands on his chest. “I don’t know about my counterpart, but I don’t exactly live in a safe neighborhood.”
“A garrote is designed to murder people that requires planning and forethought,” Eraserhead said, not a shred of sympathy on his face. “It’s not a self defense weapon.”
Izuku breathed out; another tactic then.
“Don’t you think that decision is still rather harsh? I would like to remind you again that I did not start the fight in the field. Your students threw the first punch, so to speak, and I have done nothing to deserve imprisonment since I arrived. I feel as though I’m being wrongly accused,” Izuku said, placing his hands on the table. He pushed the righteous anger to the forefront, holding back the sneer as much as he was able. “I’m sure detaining someone without due cause is illegal, even here. Is it not?”
Eraserhead’s face didn’t so much as twitch; he held his ground.
“Squirt’s got a point,” Present Mic said, scratching his cheek with a finger and putting all his weight on one leg. He tilted his head back as he hummed. “Keeping him in a cell until we get this all sorted out might be a hasty decision, especially if he really hasn’t done anything wrong.”
Izuku held his breath as Present Mic and Eraserhead stared each other down. Any sudden move would break the tension and he needed all the edge he could get. Present Mic had always been the more annoying one to deal with, but right now Izuku would take it.
Showing he was as whipped in this universe as the other, Eraserhead’s shoulders dropped and he spared Izuku a wary glance. He held up his hand with three fingers raised. “I have conditions.”
“Naturally,” Izuku said.
“One, you are never to be alone. You will be accompanied by at least two others from this academy at all times, even in the public showers and restrooms. No exceptions.” Eraserhead dropped a finger. “Two, you will not be armed. Your weapons will remain with me until we find a way to switch you with our Midoriya, at which point I will return your things.”
“Fair,” Izuku said, gritting his teeth as Eraserhead dropped his second finger. “And the third?”
“You may have private time after curfew, but you will consent to having the door locked,” Eraserhead said. “Is that understood?”
“It seems perfectly reasonable and I consent,” Izuku said, whispering the “For now” in the back of his head. There could be worse conditions. He glanced at the table with his beloved support gear and cleared his throat. There was one key point to all of this that he’d rather keep on himself, just in case. “May I at least have my vest back?”
Eraserhead picked it up and threw it back at Izuku’s face. “Knock yourself out.”
Izuku slipped it on, feeling the heavy weight of his last resort sitting comfortably in his pocket. At least one thing went in his favor this evening. “Thank you very much. Now then, I don’t suppose you two are going to be my chaperones, are you?”
“Nope! I know just the two for now, though!” Present Mic said, holding up his finger pointed at the ceiling. ”Follow me to the dorms!”
Izuku stood from the chair, feeling the tingle in his legs as they woke from their sleep, and crossed the room to follow Present Mic and Eraserhead out of the room. He kept his head held high as they crossed the lawn and past the various buildings in the famed U.A. grounds. It looked close enough to the school Izuku had seen from outside the gate, but who knew how much this school differed?
As they reached the mass of buildings that made up the dorms, Present Mic opened the door and escorted Izuku inside.
When they entered the lobby, Kacchan spotted him immediately (they always did have a sixth sense for each other that warmed Izuku’s heart) and growled, causing the students that had gathered around him and Kirishima to jump. “What’s that loser doing here?”
“He’ll be staying in the dorms with you all until further notice!” Present Mic yelled, throwing his arms out. “So all of you play nice!”
“I take it Kirishima and Bakugou have filled you all in on what happened?” Eraserhead asked the group of students. They nodded and Izuku found himself picking out familiar faces in the line up, starting with Iida and one of the Yaoyorozu children last, though they all felt as off to look at as Kacchan did from time to time. Different. Eraserhead pushed his hair back. “Good, because I don’t feel like going over it again. This is Midoriya. He is to be accompanied at all times by at least two of you. No exceptions, even in the restrooms. Is that clear?”
More sheep-like nods followed.
“Great! But just to keep things fair, we’re going to have you guys rotate on a schedule,” Present Mic said. “First up on babysitting duty is Yaoyorozu and Todoroki!”
“Todoroki?” Izuku asked. He would have noticed if someone like that was in the room—there. Hidden behind a rather large fellow with multiple arms sitting on the couch was a familiar white-and-red-haired boy. He stood up, revealing the upper half of one side of his face severely burned. Izuku swallowed and clapped his hands together to hide his shock at the scar marring his features. “Forgive my staring! I was just so excited to see my dearest friend in this universe, I lost myself a little.”
“Dearest friend?” Todoroki asked, eyes widening and looking dumbfounded.
Izuku looked at him and glanced around the room as their expressions morphed in various states of confusion. Izuku focused on the important one: Todoroki’s were overpowered no matter what universe you were in—Izuku had a gut feeling on that one.
You always made friends with the powerful ones.
(Or you broke them—Izuku wasn’t particularly picky though the first was almost always more beneficial if you could manage it.)
“You’re looking at me like I’m crazy,” Izuku said. He walked across the room, knowing full well everyone’s eyes were on him—Including Kacchan’s. He took Todoroki’s healthy hand in his own and asked, “Did we not grow up together here?”
“No,” Todoroki said and pointed at Bakugou with his other one, also healthy and unburnt. “He’s the only one Midoriya knew prior to attending U.A.”
“I see,” Izuku said, swallowing. He patted the back of Todoroki’s hand and laughed. “Well, either way it is a pleasure to meet you and I hope we can get along as well as I do with your counterpart back home.”
Todoroki nodded slowly, unsure and pliable.
If he was going to be stuck here, Izuku might as well have some fun while he was at it. With so many toys to play with, how could he do nothing less?
Izuku stared at his reflection, fiddling with the tie with a growing sense of frustration as he tried to force it into place the way a tie was supposed to look. No matter how many times his father had explained, or his mother showed him, nothing ever seemed to get this one piece of knowledge into Izuku’s head. He grunted in his attempts, shoving the fabric around trying to fix the knot.
After talking about their options, Kacchan had suggested they go see Hatsume in person to see if she’d fix the Warp Gate for the sake of curiosity in knowing that it was broken before she could use it. Since Todoroki was the only one who’d be looking for Izuku, and it was clear he’d already left for his job tonight, this was the best time to go.
Kacchan came up with the plan to dress Izuku up like his counterpart and would guide him to the lab, hopefully going unnoticed by everyone else in the building.
Izuku dropped his hands, glaring at the stubby mess his tie had ended up in. His pout looked back at him in the mirror, ever increasing as he spotted Kacchan’s amused smile over his shoulder. “Are you sure they’ll think I’m the other me?”
“Trust me,” Kacchan said, taking a step closer. He reached up and grabbed the ends of Izuku’s work, pulling the fabric out and bringing the tie back to step one with the loose silk around his throat. With a few swift moments too fast to follow, he tied it for Izuku, straightening the knot and making sure it sat properly under his collar. Kacchan brushed Izuku’s hair behind his ear with a gentle touch and an amused smile. “You’re close enough.”
“I hope this works,” Izuku said, straightening his vest and fighting a blush. He was already embarressed he changed in the bathroom when it became obvious that Kacchan was just going to sit and watch. After all that, the clothes felt alien and weird and there was no room for him to store his support gloves. Kacchan had suggested leaving them in the room, but Izuku didn’t want to leave them behind just in case he got to go home straight from the lab. As such, he had to fold them tightly and put them in a small satchel he’d carry with him. “I really need to get back and make sure the others are okay.”
“I’m sure they’re fine,” Kacchan said. He had changed clothes as well while Izuku hid in the restroom. He now wore a slightly more casual outfit than the oversized t-shirt he’d had on before with skinny jeans and a form-fitting long sleeved shirt in red. “And you shouldn’t have to worry about anything until we get to Hatsume. As long as you walk with purpose and frown, no one should stop us.”
“No one’s going to greet us if we see them?” Izuku asked, tugging on his collared sleeve. He frowned at the expensive-looking cufflinks and sighed. “What do I say if they do?”
“We’re going to take a fairly deserted route,” Kacchan said. He pinched his nose and stepped back. “We’re going back through the kitchens. At this hour, even the servants have turned in so we shouldn’t see anyone. If we do, it won’t be anyone who’d want to talk with you. Relax.”
“But if I do need to act,” Izuku said again, running through all the ways this could go wrong in his head. He fiddled with his tie, tugging on the end of it. Izuku was in a different universe with a meek Kacchan and a frightening version of Todoroki. What if he ran into someone else that the knew? How should he act? Was the Izuku of this world as horrible to them as he was Kacchan? Izuku needed information! “What should I do?”
“Be polite and tell them you’re busy with a nod toward me and a smile,” Kacchan said, voice low. He dropped his head, pushing Izuku’s hands away and to his sides. Kacchan picked up the tie and fixed it back into it’s proper place, tucking it under his vest and securing the tie clip to his under shirt. He sounded tired, like he had before when he told Izuku how he’d hurt his hands. “Trust me. They’ll shut up and leave without question.”
“O-okay,” Izuku said, trying to look anywhere than at Kacchan who was much too close. He could feel the other teen breathing and his heartbeat picked up. “I’ll do that.”
“I’m glad we understand each other,” Kacchan said. He stepped back and reached down to grab Izuku’s small satchel with his gear. Izuku moved to take it but Kacchan shook his head. “You wouldn’t be caught dead carrying something if I was with you.”
Izuku’s opinion of his counterpart continued to plummet.
“I am so going to punch that other me when I see him,” Izuku said, mumbling under his breath. When they reached the door, he grabbed the handle and tried to turn it. It wriggled, but didn’t budge. “Right, Todoroki locked it earlier.”
It shouldn’t be too hard to break open. Izuku wouldn’t even need five percent of his Quirk for that.
He didn’t get the chance.
“I’ve got it,” Kacchan said. He leaned his elbow on the door and grabbed the handle. Kacchan grunted hard as he lifted, moving the door up an inch on its hinge. He wiggled the handle back and forth as he continued to push the door up and in. Izuku took a step back as he worked, until he was able to yank the door back. Kacchan grinned, proud as he stepped back and pulled the door open and tapped the still locked handle. “Old houses, old locks. You just need to know how to work them.”
“That was so cool, Kacchan!” Izuku said, running back over. He looked inside the lock mechanism on both the door side and the wall side and licked his lip. “How’d you figure out the right angle to get the door back enough to get around the bolt?”
“Practice,” Kacchan said, looking away. He rubbed his arm through his sleeve and bit his lip. “I have a lot of free time some days.”
Izuku looked over his shoulder and touched the door handle. “If you can get the door open, why haven’t you left? I’ve gotten the impression you don’t want to be here.”
“I was waiting for the right moment,” Kacchan said, catching Izuku’s eye with a thoughtful stare. “Not much point in escaping the room if I wouldn’t make it past the front lawn and to the street, is there?”
“I guess not,” Izuku said. He put the horrible thoughts of his counterpart aside and focused on Kacchan in front of him. Izuku gripped his hands into fists. “I swear, as soon as we get this Warp Gate fixed, I will help you out of this house and somewhere safe.”
“I know you will,” Kacchan said. He put his hand in Izuku’s hair and brushed his fingers back. Izuku shivered under the gentle touch, hating how much he liked it. The heavy gauze around Kacchan’s hands tickled as his hand reached the base of his neck and moved back to the front. “Come on. Let’s not waste any more time. Your friends are waiting, right?”
“Yes!” Izuku squeaked. Kacchan snickered and took a step back, throwing out an arm to indicate Izuku should lead the way. He did so, trying to fight off the embarrassment. It wasn’t his fault! Kacchan was never that kind or intimate and Izuku had been caught off guard. He took his first step into the hallway, expensive shoes pinching his feet and back forced straight by the suspenders under his vest. “Let’s go.”
Kacchan closed the door behind him, holding the bag near his thigh. He stared at the door handle and whispered. “No turning back.”
Izuku gathered himself and held his head high. He had two goals now: Get home and make sure no one dared to lay a hand on this Kacchan again.
Our Posh Mirror!Izuku needs to stop being a pain. He won’t tell me his plans. :P Whereas on the other side, Mirror!Katsuki won’t shut up. Heh.
My brother is to blame for Mirror!Kirishima. It was his idea and I’m using it. Ha ha. Speaking. One day I’ll stop loving the idea of Izuku being jealous of Kirishima, but that day is not today. HA.
“I can’t believe you’re from another universe!” A brunette exclaimed, standing next to Iida. Her eyes were wide and she moved her hands up and down. “Do you know anyone else in the room? What are our counterparts like?”
“I know a few of you,” Izuku said, glancing around. Which was true, though he had a feeling they expected him to know far more names than he actually did. “Aside from Kacchan and Todoroki, I mean.”
“Who!” The girl said, practically inviting herself into Izuku’s space. “This is so exciting.”
Kacchan kicked the table next to him and licked the back of his teeth. “If they’re all assholes like him, do we even care?”
“We won’t know unless we ask, now will we?” She said right back.
Izuku sensed the tension in the room and clapped his hands together, trying to stay somewhat peppy to match her energy. He had to play nice here. These were a bunch of bratty U.A. Hero wannabes that clearly were expecting him to be some variant of the same. He could play that roll if he needed to. “I do know a few of you!”
“Such as?” Todoroki asked.
“Well, to start I know Tenya Iida,” Izuku said, pointing at the other teen in glasses. He was one of the few people in the room who seemed to have a similar nature to his counterpart, which made him a safe place to start. “His family does freelance work and the Todoroki house has hired him from time to time.”
“I’m working as a teenager?” Iida said, he adjusted his glasses and scowled. He made a wide, active drop of his arm in the air to punctuate his sentences and proceeded to be loud. “That’s against school policy! What sort of delinquent have I become in your world?”
Izuku retracted his earlier thought.
This Iida was nothing like the soft spoken mercenary that Izuku shared company with from time to time.
“Oh, oh! Do you know me?” A blond said with frilly clothes and a sparkling smile. Izuku noted the rather large support belt around his waist. The young man put his hands on his chest and grinned. “I’m sure I shine as brightly in your world as I do my own!”
“I’m sorry, but you don’t seem familiar, no,” Izuku said.
Though the other boy did remind him of someone, however. He didn’t think there’d be any harm just yet in mentioning them.
“The only person I know who,” Izuku paused, “shines as much as you do would be Red Riot from U.A, and even then I only know of him. I haven’t met him personally, but his reputation precedes him. Is it similar with yourself?”
“Naturally,” the blond said.
The others in the room ignored him, a few rolling their eyes, which meant that the true answer was “No.”
Izuku crossed the smiling teen off his own mental list as well; there wasn’t much point in paying attention to people who didn’t matter.
“Hey!” Kirishima yelled. He pointed at Izuku and stuck a foot on the table. “You said you didn’t know who I was earlier!”
“I don’t,” Izuku said, tired of repeating himself.
“But you just said you knew who Red Riot is! That’s me!” Kirishima shouted again, pointing at his own chest.
“You are Red Riot,” Izuku said, almost choking. He hadn’t actually known Red Riot’s civilian name. The showy ditz had barely made a blip on his radar aside from a laugh and he pretty much went exclusively by his Hero title. Izuku looked at the redhead again and squinted trying to see the similarity in their faces—there was something there in the eyes. He asked, “Is red your natural hair color?”
“Uh, no. Why?” Kirishima asked.
“Because Red Riot’s hair is black and straight,” Izuku said, holding his hands up near his head and pull them down to mimic the style he’d remembered seeing. “So far I’ve noticed that physical appearances have been the same between counterparts, which is why I wanted to be sure.”
“I guess he never dyed his hair then,” Kirishima said. He looked at the table and curled his lip in confusion. “And you said he shined like Aoyama?”
“Yes, he’s pretty famous for being obsessed with beauty,” Izuku said, struggling to think of what he knew about Red Riot. He’d caught a glimpse of him once or twice while staking out the school, but he was mostly from a distance and surrounded by onlookers. “Rumor had it he was ashamed of how ugly his Quirk could look, so he overcompensated by being as fashionable and well kept as possible. It paid off, because his good looks and charming personality make him quite the darling favorite of the school.
“He’s constantly surrounded by riots of red faced fans,” Izuku continued. “Thus the name.”
“But he’s still at U.A., right?” Kirishima asked, face paling slightly. “A hero?”
“I would assume so,” Izuku said. “I don’t actually know much about him. I’ve never even seen him use his Quirk before, thus again, why I didn’t recognize you as him.”
“Wait,” the brunette said. She crossed her arms and leaned forward again, her bangs flapping around her face. “You don’t keep tabs on other students or Heroes and their Quirks? Like with detailed notes and things?”
“No,” Izuku said. Everyone in the room, Kacchan included, had gone quiet after that statement. A few look downright shocked and he felt rather uncomfortable under the scrutiny. “Why would I bother with that?”
“You really are from another world, aren’t you?” The brunette said, putting her hands on her hips. “Wow.”
Izuku struggled to keep up his act as the barrage of questions continued. Half of them he didn’t know and the other half required a few tailored lies to keep from revealing his personal occupation.
Worst of all, Kacchan had turned his back on Izuku to talk with the redhead in the corner. He hadn’t bothered giving Red Riot a thought in his own world, but this one might need more attention if he kept touching what belonged to him.
The halls in the mansion were quiet but Izuku heard each and every one of his own footsteps loud as day from the click of the dress shoes. Kacchan remained a stoic and quiet figure behind him—which felt wrong on so many levels Izuku didn’t have words for it—save for the occasional direction to turn a corner when they came to a corner or divide.
“Are we close yet?” Izuku asked, keeping his voice low. He scratched at the side of his shirt under the vest, rolling his shoulder where the suspenders caught on it. He had no idea how his counterpart wore such restricting clothing. How was he supposed to move in this? “We’ve been walking a while.”
“It’s a big house,” Kacchan answered. “Take the left at this next junction. The back door to the kitchen will be the third one down.”
Izuku found the door as instructed and pushed it open gently. The lights were off in the dark room, surrounded by stainless steel. Izuku almost dropped his jaw at the sheer size of it. This looked like a kitchen that belonged in a five star restaurant, not a house. The clean and polished surfaces looked almost clinical and Izuku’s skin itched stepping inside. The unfamiliar territory set off warning bells in his head, even though it was just a kitchen.
Kacchan put a hand on his back and pushed gently. “Keep walking.”
Izuku took a step and proceeded slowly and kept his hands close to keep from touching any of the surfaces. Pots, pans, and all sorts of various cooking utensils were everywhere. They swayed lightly in the air conditioning and he just knew knocking one over would bring a maid running.
When they reached the halfway point he heard a soft “Sorry.”
All the hairs rose on the back of Izuku’s neck and his Hero training kicked in as he threw himself back and into a metal prep table in time to watch the knife slash the air where he’d been. He saw furious red eyes next and threw his hands up to catch Kacchan’s wrist as he flipped the angle of the knife at the handle and went for another stab.
“What are you doing?” Izuku’s arms trembled as he held onto Kacchan who had put all his weight into pushing down with the blade toward Izuku’s neck. “Kacchan!”
“I’d say it wasn’t personal, but it is,” Kacchan hissed. He didn’t have the bulk of Izuku’s version but he made up for it with speed. Kacchan swiped his leg into Izuku’s hooking the back of his heel into Izuku’s ankle. “And you’ve got to die.
Izuku kept hold of Kacchan’s wrist as he stumbled back, barely avoiding the trip until Kacchan threw himself forward. They both hit the floor and rolled into the prep station, knocking off a pot. The knife flashed again and Izuku had had enough.
He activated One for All at five percent and flipped them both, slamming Kacchan into the ground hard enough that he lost his hold on the weapon. The knife slid across the floor and Kacchan groaned, head spinning from the fast motion.
While he was disoriented, Izuku grabbed his wrists and held Kacchan’s arms behind his back, straddling him at the thighs. He breathed heavily and said, “You just tried to kill me.”
“What the hell was that? How’d you throw me so easily?” Kacchan asked, eyes wide. He squirmed, trying to move his arms, but Izuku’s grip remained iron. “How are you doing that? There’s no way you’re that strong!”
“I have a Quirk,” Izuku said, One for All still activated. “Why’d you try to kill me?”
“You have a Quirk?” Kacchan asked, eyes looking around as he focused on that statement instead of answering the rather important question. “How is that fair?”
“Kacchan,” Izuku said. He slowly released his Quirk when it became clear Kacchan had stopped struggling, but didn’t let go of his grapple hold. “I thought we had a plan. Why?”
“The only two people who know where Izuku went are you and I,” Kacchan said, dropping his head to the floor. “If I killed you, they’d think he was dead and the other one would be trapped in the other universe with no one to even think of looking for him.
“I was so close,” Kacchan said into the floor, body still. He whispered, “Why can’t I ever win?”
“Kacchan,” Izuku said, throat swelling. He didn’t let go but he understood in a morbid way. “I—”
“Midoriya!” Both Kacchan and Izuku looked behind them as the kitchen door thew open, revealing a furious Todoroki. He spotted the two of them on the floor and his shoulders dropped and he pressed the side of his palm into his temple. “Please tell me you didn’t blow off a job to play with your stupid toy.”
Izuku had no idea how to answer that.
Oh hey. Look at that…an update! All I can say is I’m glad I allowed these chapters to all be short when I started this thing. Heh.
Thanks for reading! XD
Izuku collapsed onto the plain bed in the empty dorm room. The white walls and dull, brown furniture were stifling in their utter blandness, but beggars couldn’t be choosers—because at last Izuku was finally alone and didn’t have to keep up the peppy, friend act.
He covered his eyes with one arm and used the other to tug off his tie. Izuku had hoped they’d put him in his counterpart’s room so he could learn more about his double, but that had been vetoed by Kacchan and the teachers.
That and they had added extra locks on the windows and doors that no one wanted to go to the effort of removing once the Izuku from this universe returned.
If he did.
Izuku wasn’t sure he liked the idea of there being two of him running around. Two Kacchan? Wonderful. Izuku knew he’d have many a daydream about that scenario carrying him to sleep, and plenty of plans to make it a reality. But two Izuku? Not so much. His counterpart may have a Quirk, but Izuku had taken down bigger than him through conversation and good planning.
It’d be easy enough to make sure there was only one of them running around in the future.
But those were later thoughts.
Izuku wanted to take out his portable Warp gate and double check that the battery hadn’t been drained, but he had a suspicion he was on camera. Nothing in the room indicated as much, but you could never play it too safe.
Best to keep it hidden away until he was sure.
After he settled his thoughts, Izuku moved to collect the pair of sleep clothes he’d been provided with. He changed into them, shoving aside his disgust for the cheap fabric, before folding his clothes and placing them on the side dresser. Izuku crawled under the covers on the small mattress, knowing that getting some rest would be good for him.
The emptiness of the bed, however, made it difficult to sleep.
Kacchan’s soft breathing had always been better than any lullaby and Izuku missed the warmth of his over-heated body nearby, keeping the blankets cozy.
Izuku rolled over, shoving the blankets over his head and counted to ten. However bad off he was tonight, he was sure that Kacchan suffered alongside him, albeit a universe away.
Surely his timid firecracker missed Izuku as much as Izuku missed Kacchan. He had to. Hatred aside, Kacchan hadn’t exactly been alone in some time either.
It was better to be with someone you disliked than alone.
Izuku had seen this second version of Todoroki before from behind a bathroom door, but now that he was staring right at him the differences were even more pronounced.
Todoroki’s expression still reminded Izuku of Endeavor—pinched and trying to remain a blank slate, but his displeasure seeped through anyway. The lack of his scar was even more pronounced now that Izuku could see him clearly and it made the color of his eyes stand out less. The suit and tie, too, looked out of place on his friend and made him appear much older than he should.
Thankfully his hair was at least the same.
“Well?” Todoroki asked, throwing his hands up. Izuku stared at the burns covering both hands and tried not to linger too long on them. Todoroki continued to be unamused. “Where have you been? You weren’t in your room with him when I checked a few hours ago and now you’re in the kitchen doing who-knows-what! I don’t want to know the details about what new game you’ve got cooked up now, but what do you have to say for yourself for the disappearing act?
“We were planning this job for five months!”
Izuku had no idea what to say.
What would the other Izuku do? Did he blow Todoroki off for missions often? Was he punctual? The guy wore a vest and tie so he couldn’t be too improper. He spoke well, too. Izuku’s double didn’t seem like the type to miss an appointment, let alone one he’d been putting that much effort into planning.
Kacchan was no help, either, staying quiet and glaring at the floor.
“Hey!” Todoroki shouted, a tiny flare of fire from his Quirk sparked near his eye. “I’m talking to you! Answer me.”
“Screw it,” Izuku said.
He activated One for All at five percent and grabbed the nearest prep table. He lifted the stainless steel piece of furniture and swung it hard, throwing it at Todoroki. When the metal left his hands, he grabbed the back of Kacchan’s shirt and dragged him up off the floor.
Izuku hissed, “Time to go!” and switched his grip to Kacchan’s wrist.
He sprinted for the door on the other side of the room. He heard the sound of Todoroki’s ice blocking the table, like he knew it would and breathed out, running faster. Izuku kicked open the kitchen door on the other side of the room, listening to Todoroki shout, “Get back here!”
Izuku burst into the hallway with Kacchan and kept sprinting, One for All powering his movements.
“What was that?” Kacchan yelled, stumbling on his feet as he struggled to keep up next to him as they ran down the hallway. “Was that supposed to be a plan?”
“I don’t really do plans!” Izuku shouted, half speaking the truth. He still planned things, he just didn’t get past one or two steps before he put them into action and winged the rest these days. Izuku tightened his grip on Kacchan’s arm and kept moving. “I’m more of a yell and smash kinda guy!”
Kacchan cursed, his breath heaving and when he tripped Izuku yanked him forward to throw over his own shoulder. He weighed next to nothing and Izuku tried not to focus on that as he kept running.
He didn’t hear ice or fire crackling behind him, but it was only a matter of time.
“Where’s the nearest outside wall?” Izuku asked.
“Why?” Kacchan wheezed, clinging to his back. “And how are you doing this? Is this really a Quirk?”
“Midoriya!” He heard screaming from behind him, with more emotion than he’d ever heard from Todoroki—even at his most passionate. “Stop!”
“Outside wall, Kacchan!” Izuku yelled, taking a sharp turn at the next hall.
“I don’t know! Just go into any room!” Kacchan smacked Izuku’s back. “They’ve all got windows.”
“Good enough,” Izuku said.
He turned into the first door he saw and shut it behind him. He dumped Kacchan on the floor next to him and said, “Cover your head!”
Izuku pulled his fist back, focusing One for All into his fist and rammed it straight into the plaster on the wall with the window. He yelled, “Detroit Smash!” as his fist smacked into the wall. It exploded outward, taking out the structural beams and all, including the frame of the window. The glass shattered and Izuku took a step back as he saw the hole he’d made.
“Shit,” Kacchan whispered. He looked at Izuku and then the wall. “You can do that!”
“Let’s go, Kacchan,” Izuku said. He picked the stunned Kacchan up, ignoring the “Wait, wait, wait!” his companion yelled. Izuku carried him bridal style as he jumped out of the hole, dropping the second story into the grass on the ground level below. “Which way’s the street?”
Kacchan clung to him, eyes wide and breath still heavy. “We were on the second floor.”
“Never mind,” Izuku said under his breath. “I’ve got this.”
He sprinted for the fence and used his strength to break open the gate. Izuku kept running down the street until they were a good two blocks away before he ducked into an alley. Out of sight, Izuku continued running until he was in the depths of the back areas of the city.
“Okay, I think we lost him,” Izuku said, still holding Kacchan. As he dropped his Quirk, he noticed that his best friend’s double still remained relatively light, but now he could feel the way his grip dug into Izuku’s muscles. He winced and asked, “Are you okay, Kacchan?”
The blond regained himself and kicked, throwing himself away from Izuku. He hit the ground and scrambled back, standing and pointing. “What the heck was that?”
“I got us away from Todoroki,” Izuku said, rubbing his hands together. “I know this puts us farther away from our goal of Hatsume’s lab, but I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be able to fool your Todoroki into thinking I was his Izuku.”
“Not that part!” Kacchan shouted. He dragged his hands down his hair and Izuku stared at the bandages once more. “The wall! You lifted a table and threw it! You destroyed that wall! What the heck is your Quirk?”
“Enhanced abilities,” Izuku rattled off. “Like super strength, speed, and flexibility.”
“That’s terrifying,” Kacchan said. He took a few steps back and leaned against the nearest wall. He slumped to the ground in the alley behind the building and groaned. “What are we going to do now? We have no money, no identification, Todoroki’s angry, and anyone who sees you is going to sell us out.”
“Ah,” Izuku said. He took a seat next to Kacchan and put his hands in his lap. “We’ll think of something.”
“Well,” Kacchan said, staring at Izuku out of the corner of his eye. “At least you can punch things.”
“Yes,” Izuku said, laughing under his breath. “I’m very good at that.”
It didn’t help him get home, but it was something.
Mirror Izuku decided to cooperate, so here we are! An update. :D
I was also going to wait a little later to introduce a certain trio of Mirror characters, but I decided—why not? Now’s a great time to drop them into the story. Ha ha ha.
Thank you for reading. :3
“What do you think you’re doing?” Kacchan asked, crushing his drink box. Izuku set his lunch tray across from him without a care. Kacchan slammed his fist on the table. “Go somewhere else.”
“But I missed you,” Izuku said. He set his elbows on the table and rested his chin on the back of his fingers. “Or well, I miss my Kacchan dearly—but you’re not so bad, yourself. It doesn’t hurt that you’re the closest I’ve got the real thing!”
“I don’t care,” Kacchan said. He shoved Izuku’s tray into his elbows. “Get lost.”
“He was going to have to sit here anyway,” the blond with electrical powers said. He sat next to Kacchan and nudged him with his elbow. “Because we sit with you during lunch and we’re assigned his watch today.”
“He’s got a point,” the pink girl said, sitting on Izuku’s other side. His second chaperone snickered at Kacchan’s displeasure and threw her hand in the air. “Let’s all play nice, Bakugou!”
“All of you losers can go away!” Kacchan yelled. He pointed at Izuku’s face, red eyes narrowed. “And take him with you.”
“It’s not that bad, is it?” Kirishima said. He patted Kacchan on the back and Izuku felt a finger twitch at the contact. Izuku would have smacked it away, but the idiot was defending Izuku’s presence. “It can’t hurt to get to know him a little bit.”
“I know enough,” Kacchan said. He stabbed the food on his lunch tray and shoveled a bite into his mouth. Izuku could smell the burst of spices as the food was disturbed and scrunched his nose. He never did figure out Kacchan’s affection for things that burnt his tongue. “What are you staring at now?”
“You like spicy food, too,” Izuku said. He tilted his head in his finger cradle and hummed. “You’e so alike and so different—is it the same with me? Am I anything like your Deku?”
“You’re both annoying,” Kacchan said. His loose shirt hung open enough to reveal the pecs underneath and Izuku crossed his feet at the ankle. Kacchan licked his lip. “That sure hasn’t changed.”
“So I had a thought,” Izuku said, dropping his hands. He pulled over his tray and split a piece of meat in half. “Is it cheating if you date an alternate version of your beloved? They’re still technically the same person, with possibly the same soul and heart, but is the fact they’re from another universe enough to considerate them an entirely separate person, like a twin?”
“Oh, that is a tough one,” the pink girl said. She crossed her arms and pressed a finger to the side of her lip. “It would make sense you were still attracted to them, since they’re so close, but wouldn’t they still technically be a different person? So it probably is cheating if you don’t like, talk about it with the original first.”
“So it’s all good if you get permission?” the blond asked. “That would make sense to me!”
“What do you think, Kacchan?” Izuku asked, tapping his foot against Kacchan’s shin under the table. Even though his trousers he could feel the extra bulk of his muscles. It wasn’t quite as nice as his slimmer Kacchan back home, but he wouldn’t deny the indulgence while it was there. “Is it cheating?”
Kacchan kicked his leg back and scooted his chair over toward Kirishima. “Why do you even care?”
“Because you’re adorable,” Izuku said, popping a smile. “And I’m wondering if my Kacchan would be jealous that I thought you were as handsome as he is.”
“Wait, hold up,” Kirishima said, leaning across the lunch table. He dropped an elbow on the table and leaned over Kacchan, invading his personal space. Kacchan didn’t care and leaned back as he kept eating. “Is there something going on between you and Bakugou in your world?”
“I did mention before that we were inseparable and lived together,” Izuku said, helping himself to a bite of rice. “But that might have been too subtle to truly get across our relationship. We also happen to share a room.”
“So you’re roommates,” Kacchan said. “Big deal.”
“With one bed,” Izuku said. He put his bowl down and reached over to poke Kacchan in the forehead. “I’m sure you can put the rest together yourself.”
“So many images just popped into my head that I did not want,” the blond said, mouth dropping open. “Wow.”
“Huh,” the pink one said. She looked between Izuku and Kacchan and said, “I can kinda see it. Izuku does really like Bakugou, now that I think about it.”
“There is nothing going on between Deku and I and there never will be,” Kacchan said, slamming his hands on the table. He stood, knocking into the table as he went and grabbed his half eaten food and bag. “I’m leaving. Don’t follow me or I’m introducing your face to my Quirk.”
He stomped away, leaving the other three at the table with Izuku alone.
“I think you embarrassed him,” the blond said. He crossed his arms on the table, watching Kacchan’s back as he stormed out of the room. “Who knew he got flustered so easily?”
“I did,” Izuku said. He drew a circle on the table and licked the side of his lip. “It’s fun to get him worked up.”
“I think ‘mean’ would be a better way to describe it,” Kirishima said. He turned back to his food and ignored Izuku for the rest of the lunch hour.
However, he didn’t chase after Kacchan, which was a win in Izuku’s book. He went back to his meal, happy that Kacchan was still as emotional as ever under that calm surface. It was so easy to press his buttons Izuku had no doubt he’d have some fun with his new toy before he went home.
But it didn’t stop him from wondering how his favorite was doing all alone without him.
“You didn’t happen to grab the bag with my gloves did you?” Izuku asked.
The noon sun shone over them as he and Kacchan walked down the street. The vest hung over his arm with his tie and he reached up to adjust the hat that hid his distinct, green hair. Kacchan had stolen it when he wasn’t looking. Izuku wanted to return it, but by then the deed had been done.
Kacchan followed a foot behind—likely from habit—and shook his head. “No, it’s still on the kitchen floor unless Todoroki took it.”
“That’s what I thought,” Izuku said. He crossed his arms and ignored the growling of his stomach. “It’s okay. Hatsume can make another pair when I get home. I’m sure she’s made like six upgrades by now anyway.”
“Where they important?” Kacchan asked, voice low.
“Sort of?” Izuku said, looking over his shoulder. Kacchan looked—it was hard to describe his expression. Discomfort came the closest. “Nervous” would also be a good fit, and neither suited Kacchan. “They help focus my Quirk, but I don’t need them to use it.”
Kacchan tugged on his sleeve, before shoving his bandaged hands in his pockets. “Alright.”
Izuku slowed his walk so he was side by side with Kacchan. The other flinched but didn’t move. “This world’s Hatsume is back at the Todoroki mansion we just broke out of, right?”
“Not exactly,” Kacchan said. “She has a mobile trailer in the corner of the property that she uses as her lab. Hatsume doesn’t operate out of the main building. There’s too much risk one of her ‘babies’ will destroy a wing of the house.”
“Which means if we wait for things to cool down, we could go back later and only visit her lab without having to go near the main house?” Izuku asked to clarify.
Kacchan nodded. “Sure, but it doesn’t solve the problem of what we’ll do with ourselves in the meantime. Todoroki’s got a short attention span, but you’re his best friend and now officially rouge. We could be waiting a month or a year before they drop the security back to normal.”
“That could be a problem,” Izuku said. He turned the cufflinks on his shirt collar back and forth. Izuku turned one over and noted the metal looked real. He asked Kacchan, “How much do you think these would sell for?”
“Not enough for a month,” Kacchan said. He stared at them for a moment before looking back up. “We can’t sell them anyway. That’s one of Izuku’s favorite pairs.”
“You want to kill the guy and you’re concerned about selling his things?” Izuku asked.
“If he’s not dead? Yes, I care about making him mad when and if he comes back,” Kacchan said.
Izuku stopped fiddling with the cufflinks and went back to concentrating on where they were going. The city around them was bustling with people like his own, though none of the faces seemed familiar. “We need a place to settle for the night and plan. Do you know anywhere we can go?”
“No,” Kacchan said. His face twisted in familiar frustration and his shoulders curled in. Izuku wanted to hug him. Kacchan mumbled, “The only places I’m allowed to go are Todoroki’s mansion and school. Sometimes I’ll go shopping with them, but I’ve never been to this part of the city.”
Izuku was going to punch his double a hundred times.
At eight percent power.
“What we need is help,” Izuku said, focusing back on the task at hand. He stopped and looked around at the block, grinning to himself when he recognized the area. “Come on. I know just where to get it!”
Kacchan yelped when Izuku grabbed his wrist and pulled, picking up his pace as they walked down the street. There was no need to jog, but Izuku felt the excess energy and frustration build up. The run would be good for the both of them.
“Where are we going?” Kacchan asked.
“You’ll see!” Izuku said, grinning.
They jogged for another ten minutes before dropping back into a walk when Kacchan couldn’t catch his breath. Seeing Kacchan winded after such a short jog was—it was adorable.
Izuku felt like dirt but Kacchan’s panting face as he leaned over, hands on his knees and face red from the exertion made him look almost helpless. Between the two of them, Izuku was the strong one.
It felt nice and he couldn’t help but glance at Kacchan’s pink cheeks as they walked the rest of the way for another twenty minutes.
“We’re here,” Izuku said, stopping in front of familiar gates. Kacchan grabbed the back of his borrowed dress shirt, body freezing. Izuku felt the tremble in his hand as it clutched to his clothes. “Are you okay?”
“Why are we here?” Kacchan asked. His eyes looked panicked and he grew smaller as he hunched over, half hiding behind Izuku. “This is U.A.!”
“It’s still a Hero School, right?” Izuku asked.
“Yes! Full of Heroes!” Kacchan shook him hard. “We shouldn’t be anywhere near here!”
“Why not?” Izuku asked. “If you need help, you should get a Hero.”
“Not when we’re Villains!” Kacchan dropped Izuku and clutched at his hair. “We haven’t been charged with anything, but they know it’s us! Do you know what they’ll do to us if they find us here alone without Todoroki’s protection?”
“I don’t know,” a sly voice said from behind. Izuku jerked when Kacchan grabbed his arm, ducking behind him. He looked over and stared at a red head with familiar turquoise eyes. He wore the standard U.A. uniform and scratched the back of his neck, clicking his tongue. “What do you think we’ll do to you, pet?”
“That’s mean, Dabi. You shouldn’t call him that,” a girl—no, not just any girl—Himiko Toga said, crossing her arms. Her long hair fell around her shoulders and she put her hands on her hips. She too, was wearing the U.A. school uniform. She looked to the side and covered her mouth, glancing at Kacchan with a tiny smile. “Even if it’s true.”
Izuku dropped his arms at his side. Kacchan had explained the illegal dealings and the awfulness of his counterpart but Izuku hadn’t put it together all the way in his head for what that truly meant—he was a Villain in this universe.
That meant Todoroki was a Villain, too.
And Kacchan was a reluctant Villain.
If Dabi and Toga were going to Hero school that meant—
“What game are you playing now, Midoriya?”
“Shigaraki,” Izuku said, turning around. He stared at the older boy wearing a third year uniform U.A. uniform. The hand-mask on his face was as absent as the scar on this universe’s Todoroki’s face. His chapped lips and wrinkled skin remained and his eyes were intense as ever as they stared Izuku down. “You’re a Hero student.”
Shigaraki took a step closer to Izuku and leaned over to look him in the eye.
They held each other’s gaze for a full minute before he backed up and said, “You’re not Midoriya. Who the hell are you?”
“Oh, thank you,” Kacchan said, dropping his forehead into the crook of Izuku’s neck. His breath sent a shiver down Izuku’s back and he swallowed at the sensation. Kacchan exhaled. “We’ll explain if you buy us lunch at the cafe down the street.”
“Dabi’s paying,” Shigaraki said.
Toga burst into laughter at Dabi’s barked complaining and Izuku stared at Shigaraki, wearing a curious, but kind smile.
Izuku matched it and said, “My name is Izuku, but you’re right—I’m not the one that you know.”
“This is going to be a long lunch,” Shigaraki said, shoving his hands in his pockets.
“You said it,” Izuku said.
I am taking so many liberties with Shigaraki, Toga & Dabi’s ages, but I don’t really care: I wanted them to be U.A. students too much. I guess technically that means they’re aged down for this fic (or at least Dabi is, who is supposedly in his early 20’s, since we don’t know how old Tomura and Toga are and they very well could be in their late teens), but whatever, it’s close enough. As far as this AU is concerned, they’re 3rd Year Students. :P
Second, there’s a headcanon (and possibly canon if the foreshadowing turns out to be actual foreshadowing and not red herring distractions) I’m very fond of that I can’t help but include. You’ll know it when you see it. :D
Moving on. Let’s get on with the story~ I’m really happy with how this chapter turned out! Thanks for reading!
Izuku bit the edge of his finger as he watched Kacchan fight Todoroki in afternoon practice, struggling to keep his racing heartbeat in check. He crossed one leg over the other to help control his desires and breathed in.
The two of them clashed against each other in a sea of fire and ice that made such a pretty picture it looked fit for a painting in a prestigious gallery (or on Izuku’s wall at home). He wished he’d had a camera of some sort to record it, but he’d left his phone on the table in Hatsume’s lab. He glanced at his babysitter to the right and considered the pink girl: She looked like she might have a phone on her.
“Excuse me,” Izuku asked. She grinned at him and he pointed at the action on the field. “I would love a photo of that, but I’m afraid my only recording device is in another universe. Would you mind taking a shot or two for me? I’d love to print it out later.”
“I bet I know what for, too,” she said, winking. She elbowed Izuku in the side and winked. “If I ever see Bakugou’s counterpart, I won’t rat you out. No worries.”
Izuku forced himself to blush and rubbed the back of his neck. “Much obliged.”
She pulled out her phone from her pocket and centered the fighters on the screen, taking a small video clip. “We can get stills you like later.”
Izuku returned to watching the performance live, putting his hands behind his back on the sidelines. He hadn’t been permitted to participate—despite reminding them he was fully trained in combat, albeit it only the martial arts—but Eraserhead had been adamant Izuku watch from the sidelines.
“I still don’t trust you,” he had said, glaring at Izuku from the corner of his eyes. “Be satisfied you’re permitted to be bored outside instead of locked in your room.”
Izuku wisely chose to leave the conversation there.
“Are they always like this?” Izuku asked, keeping his voice light. “They’re rather passionate with their training.”
“Of course!” the girl said. She grinned and clicked off her phone, putting it back into her pocket. She flexed her arm and patted her muscle. “We’re here to be Heroes. It’s all or nothing! Villains don’t slack, so we shouldn’t either.”
Izuku could contradict that statement—he knew more than one Villain that could use a little extra practice in their schedule or a boost in motivation. But that was knowledge best kept to himself.
“Of course,” Izuku said.
“So what are you studying for?” The girl appeared genuinely interested behind those dark eyes. “You go to a regular high school, right?”
“I attend a private academy with Todoroki and Kacchan,” Izuku said.
He’d worked hard to convince Todoroki to beg his parents for the money to pay for it, too. Izuku didn’t want to think of all the night’s he’d spent as a listening ear to his friend sob over the unfairness of his parents and being the youngest child, but it’d paid off. One simple “It would be so nice to go to school together” at the right moment had worked wonders. Todoroki had even sprung to pay Kacchan’s tuition because Izuku had asked so very nicely with the promise that the three of them would be the best of friends.
Izuku went back to watching the two attempting to maim each other on the practice ground. “After high school is over, Todoroki and I are planning to pursue further education in business. I believe Kacchan is still undecided, not that it matters too much what he picks.”
“Why is that?” she asked.
“Because I’m all Kacchan needs,” Izuku said. He leaned back on his heel and smiled. “Whether he wants a career or chooses to freeload off of my future earnings, either is fine. I’ll be more than happy to support him as long as we stay together.”
“I see,” she said, slow and ending with a nervous swallow. She nodded and went back to watching the practice rounds, crossing her hands over her hips. The girl shifted from one leg to another before she nudged the electric one. “Wake up, Kaminari. You’re up next.”
“I’m up!” the blond said, jerking straight from his slouch. “I wasn’t asleep.”
“Sure you weren’t,” she said.
Izuku chuckled politely at their antics for the sake of appearances and inwardly cheered that his babysitters would swap out when they switched places with the others on the field for practice.
As he expected, after the first round of matches wrapped up, the pink girl and the electric boy were relieved from duty by two other students. Izuku had been hoping for Kacchan and Todoroki to test the waters, but he might have to be patient.
“Hello, again,” the brunette said, smiling with her bright round cheeks. Izuku hadn’t caught her name, but she was friends with his counterpart. Next to her stood the Iida of this world, whose focus remained on the new matches starting up on the field. The girl pulled off her helmet and set it on the bench behind her. “We’ll be with you for the rest of the evening.”
“Aizawa believed half day shifts would be less of a burden since you are required to be watched at all times,” Iida added, dropping his arm in a swift chopping motion.
“I can’t tell if it’s flattering or not he thinks so highly of my skills,” Izuku said. He scratched his cheek and helped himself to a seat on the bench now that Kacchan no longer was in view. The other had gone to the opposite side of the field and stood behind a rather broad and tall boy with a face mask covering the lower half of his mouth. Izuku hated being patient. “Should I wish to do someone harm, it’d be rather foolish to do so with so many capable people around who could thwart me.”
“I dunno,” she said. She dropped onto the bench next to him and scooted close. “One person can do a lot of damage if they put their mind to it. The Izuku I know never backs down, so I’d assume the same applies to you.”
Izuku folded his hands in his lap, leaning back. It was odd to hear such praise about himself.
“Not that you’d do that,” she said, elbowing him in the side playfully. “Izuku is Izuku and he’s got way too big a heart to hurt anyone. Aizawa will see that, I’m sure.”
“I imagine he appreciates your faith in him,” Izuku said, turning his smile soft.
The girl blushed and looked away and he noted that for future reference. She wasn’t the strongest person in the area, but her Quirk could come in handy for a fast escape if he could convince her to help. Izuku made a note to remember her name the next time he heard it.
“Let’s hope he comes back soon, though.” Izuku said, closing his eyes as he leaned against the wall. He thought of his own Kacchan all alone in the room, hoping that a maid or someone remembered to make sure he was fed. Perhaps he’d up his food rations when he got back. Seeing Kacchan with more weight was rather nice. Izuku tilted his head back and opened his eyes, spying down the row to catch a hint of blond hair. “I’m feeling rather homesick.”
“Don’t worry!” she said. She turned her hands into fists and knocked her knee into Izuku’s as she leaned closer. “We will definitely get you back home!”
“I know you will.”
And if their plans didn’t work, Izuku would find a way himself. He was going to get home no matter what it took.
“Pass me another napkin,” Izuku said, holding his hand out. Dabi pushed over the small napkin dispenser and he yanked one out and went back to writing with his borrowed pen from Toga’s bag. “What I wouldn’t give for my notebooks right now.
Shigaraki, Toga, and Dabi being Heroes in this Universe changed everything.
Izuku kept writing, keeping track of everything that Shigaraki had said when Izuku asked about his time in the Hero program at U.A. after their introductions were complete. “There’s so much stigma in the world about how some people believe if you have a certain type of Quirk, you can’t do things like Hero work. I have a classmate whose Quirk is mind control and everyone told him that he was only suited for Villain work, but he’s working hard to prove them wrong every day and you being a Hero in this universe only supports that!
“I’m ashamed I never thought of the benefits of your Decay Quirk! It’s only been used in an aggressive, violent fashion around me so I fell into the same belief patterns that it wasn’t suite for anything but destruction,” Izuku said, continuing to split the page.
Toga’s disguise Quirk and Dabi’s fire were easy to see in Hero work since disguises always came in hand—despite the needed ingredient—and he saw Todoroki and Endeavor use fire in Hero work all the time, but Shigaraki’s Quirk was terrifying in a different way that he’d associated with death too much to think of the other potentials.
Izuku grinned onto the page and kept writing. He exclaimed, “But you can do so much more with your Quirk! You can free captives who’d been tied or chained up with ease, you can destroy weapons and disarm Villains, and even just the nature of your Quirk creates a natural defense line.
“No one would get close to you if they knew what you can do within touching range,” Izuku bit his lip and wrote faster. “The mental factor alone gives you a huge advantage and…is something wrong?”
The third year trio stared at him, all eyes wide and mouths half open. Shigaraki looked like he was in pure awe, Toga breathed harder than usual and bit the nail of one finger, and Dabi had both brows raised high over his eyes.
Kacchan ate a mouthful of curry and leaned on the table. He tugged on a strand of Izuku’s hair, wrapping it around his finger in an almost-flirty manner. “This Izuku hasn’t learned how to keep his thoughts in his head.”
“I always wondered what Midoriya’s thought processes were like, but now I wish I didn’t know,” Shigaraki said. He crossed his arms on the table, fingering a straw back and forth. “The words just keep coming.”
“I got a little carried away again,” Izuku said, pulling all his napkins over. He dropped his pen on top of the stack and put his hands in his lap. “Sorry. I know my muttering can get annoying.”
“It’s alright,” Shigaraki said. He put his straw on the table and cleared his throat, free of scratch marks. “We should get back to the original topic, though. It’s getting late.”
“Right,” Izuku said. He tugged the first napkin he’d started writing on out of the bottom of the stack and placed it on top. A small drawing of the Todoroki house and yard was scribbled on it and he pointed at the small trailer. “I need a way to get into that trailer without getting caught so I can convince Mei Hatsume to either fix or recreate the Warp Gate she made so I can go back home and stop the other me from hurting anyone.”
“Well you certainly sound like quite the little Hero, don’t you?” Toga put her elbows on the table and dropped her chin in her hands. Her long blond hair fell over her shoulders and she grinned, showing off her large canine teeth. “I’d pay to see that fist fight. Nothing’s better than watching two adorable boys duke it out.”
“Your crush is showing,” Dabi said. He put his hand on Toga’s head and shoved it on the table. “Get it under control.”
“He doesn’t mind,” Toga said, giggling. “Anyone should be happy to have a girl as cute as me crushing on them.”
Izuku blushed and looked down at the table and away from her adoring face. Toga was much cuter when she wasn’t threatening to slice people open with her knives. Dabi looked much better too, without a trace of his burns or stitches. Shigaraki, too, had a healthier appearance and more weight.
He compared them to the Shigaraki he’d met at the mall and the others he’d met under such horrible circumstances. They were miserable, angry, and confused. Tired. Izuku looked over these alternate versions one more time, his chest twisting.
These three looked good and so very happy, teasing each other and playing at the table.
“Are you okay?” Shigaraki asked.
“I’m fine,” Izuku said, sniffing. He reached up and rubbed the corner of his eye before laughing. “I was just thinking how nice it would be if the versions of you three that I knew could be this happy, too. Maybe they wouldn’t have hurt so many people if they realized this is a future they could have had.
“I know that sounds weird, but it’s relieving in a way.” Izuku breathed in and exhaled. “You three aren’t that different from the ones that I know, and I see similarities. The same goes for Kacchan and Todoroki that I’ve met in this world. For whatever reason, you chose to follow a path my versions didn’t and focused on a different part of yourself to nurture.
“Maybe if I can find that little sliver of goodness in them, I can reach it and help it grow so the darkness they chose to follow fades away,” Izuku said. He put his hand on the back of his neck. “Heroes are supposed to save people and stop the Villains. Most of the time that means using force and locking the Villains away where they can’t hurt anyone. I know that there are some evils that just can’t be stopped in any other way, but a part of me wants to hope that they can be saved, too, if the right person reached out to them.”
Shigaraki relaxed his shoulders, gracing Izuku with a soft smile that stretched his chapped lips in an expression that he could only describe as comforting. Izuku had never been able to picture Shigaraki with such an expression and now he was seeing it in person.
“Talking with you, I think I feel the same way,” Shigaraki said. He reached over and put his hand on Izuku’s head with one finger raised. He ruffled the strands and leaned back in his seat, staring at his palm. “If the Midoriya that I knew had even a fraction of your kindness, I think the world would be very different.”
“Enough sap!” Toga shouted, throwing her hands up. “Let’s make a plan! We need to trade these Izuku back as soon as possible. Because if this is the one his world is used to, they’re super not ready for the one we know.”
“Agreed,” Dabi said. He cracked his neck back and forth. “Which is why you should be glad I’m here.”
“Oh, no,” Kacchan said, rubbing between his eyes.
“Don’t give me that look, pet,” Dabi said, slamming his hand on the table. He leaned forward and said, “I’m your ticket to an easy solution and that’s a fact. You give me the leftovers of the machine, I’ll walk in to Hatsume’s lab and ask her real nice to fix things—using my Quirk if I have to—and walk right back out and hand it over to our misplaced Midoriya here. Easy.”
“How can you just walk in?” Izuku asked. He stared at the table, narrowing his eyes together. “Kacchan said the security is intense.”
“I’m starting to think you’re not as bright as your counterpart,” Dabi said. He laughed and threw his hands out. “I live there. Who the hell would dare try to keep me out of my own house?”
“You live there?” Izuku asked, eyes wide. Dabi’s teal eyes stood out more as he grinned and a thought slammed into Izuku.
There was no way.
“I’m a Todoroki, aren’t I? Just because I’m the shame of the family doesn’t mean they kicked me out,” Dabi said. He laughed and leaned back in his chair, throwing an arm over the back. “I’ll have to stop in and tease my bratty baby brother while I’m there. I bet he’s falling apart without his favorite personal assistant to coddle him.”
“Who—who’s your brother?” Izuku asked, breath picking up. There was no way that the Todoroki back home knew this. He’d have said something during all those confrontations with Dabi. There was a mistake and they weren’t related. Maybe Dabi was adopted in this world. Dabi looked at Izuku like he was an idiot and he gritted out, “Humor me.”
“Shouto,” Dabi said. “Who else?”
“Just checking,” Izuku said, filing that information away for later. He didn’t know if Todoroki knew Dabi was his brother or not, but there was no way that would go well when he did find out. But to tell him, Izuku had to get home first. He straightened and put the shards of the broken switch on the table. “So you think you can get this to Hatsume?”
“Piece of cake,” Dabi said. He reached over and dragged them over, dumping them in his pocket. “You’ll be home in no time, though if you really want to be a Hero, you’ll keep Midoriya over there.”
“But then I’ll be missing my favorite eye candy!” Toga shook Dabi’s arm. “He has to trade back! I need at least one of them!”
“No you don’t!” Dabi shouted back.
The two of them fell into playful bickering. Izuku felt rotten for finding out a truth about Dabi before Todoroki could, but he had hope now that they had a working plan.
“This is a bad idea,” Kacchan said, folding his arms on the table. He glared at Dabi and hugged his elbows tighter. “Just you watch.”
“I’m sure it’ll be okay,” Izuku said, breathing out. “You’ll see.”
It had to be alright.
And if their plans didn’t work, Izuku would find a way himself. He was going to get home no matter what it took.
Whoo! It’s time to get some more familiar faces in here. I’m taking a few liberties (what else is new?) but it should be fun. :D
Thank you as always for reading!
“Aizawa!” A voice called out.
Izuku turned away from his babysitters and saw a skeletal man in a garish, ill-fitted yellow suit trot toward Eraserhead. Uraraka and Iida continued packing up the equipment form the training session, paying the newcomer no mind aside from a glance and a smile, alerting Izuku to the fact this was a familiar face on campus.
The stranger came to a stop in front of the tired looking teacher, a grin bright on his long face.
Aizawa straightened and shot a look at Izuku before shifting to stand between the man’s line of sight and Izuku. Kacchan, as well, dropped what he was doing to look at the new visitor and Izuku with a concerned look.
“Yagi, I see you’re back,” Eraserhead said. He tensed, pulling up at his scarf. “How was your trip?”
“Eventful and too long. I have missed all of you the past week,” the man said. He walked around Eraserhead and looked over the training field. “How have the students been and—why is Young Midoriya wearing a suit?”
“That is something I need to talk with you about,” Eraserhead said. He grabbed the other man by the arm and dragged him toward Kacchan. After a few hushed whispers, Kacchan rolled his eyes back but seemed to agree with whatever had been decided. Eraserhead called across the field and informed the students that they were finished for the day and turned to the new stranger. “Come with me.”
“Who was that?” Izuku asked Uraraka. She looked confused and he pointed at the yellow suit still within sight. “The man with Eraserhead.”
“You don’t know?” she asked. Uraraka looked at the thin man’s back as the teacher dragged him away. She shot up and put her hand over her mouth. “Oh! That’s right. It might be different in your universe.”
“What might be different?” Izuku asked.
“Don’t tell him,” Kacchan interrupted, covering Uraraka’s mouth with his hand. She glared over her shoulder and he let go and dodged before she could touch him with her fingertips. Kacchan huffed and glared at Izuku. “It’s none of his business who that is.”
“What harm would it do? I’m sure this Deku has met his counterpart,” Uraraka said. “He just wouldn’t recognize him because of well—what happened.”
She looked away from Kacchan as he glared harder, twisting his hand into a fist.
“Do not tell him,” Kacchan repeated. “He doesn’t need to know.”
“Don’t take this the wrong way, Kacchan,” Izuku said, licking the side of his teeth. He put his hands together and gave him his best winning smile. “But he appeared to be a teacher of some sort. I’m sure if Uraraka doesn’t tell me now, I’ll find out soon enough as it is.”
“He does have a point,” Iida said, focusing on the conversation after packing up the last of the equipment.
Good old Iida. Izuku could always rely on him in a pinch.
Kacchan’s Quirk sparked in his clenched fist, drawing rising smoke. He snapped his head toward Izuku, narrowing his eyes and shooting him a glare so intense Izuku shivered.
“So?” Izuku prompted. He tested his luck, touching the top of Kacchan’s arm. It stayed for approximately half a second before Kacchan smacked him away. That fiery attitude continued to be delightfully entertaining. Izuku wanted to keep it and break it in the same breath. “Who was it?”
“All Might.” Kacchan grabbed the front of Izuku’s vest and yanked him closer. Their breath mingled as Kacchan hissed. “If you go near him, I’ll kill you.”
Kacchan shoved Izuku away hard enough that he tripped and hit the ground. Uraraka yelled at him, but Kacchan stomped away and ignored her scolding.
Izuku stayed on the ground, his knees too weak to stand back up.
Kacchan had said “All Might.”
“Do you two have a place to stay tonight?” Shigaraki asked. The group stood outside the small diner, their stomachs full and the evening in full swing. “I doubt Dabi is able to get your device fixed today and you can’t go back to the Todoroki mansion.”
“He’s right,” Dabi confirmed. He scratched the back of his neck, leaning on the wall near the mouth of the alley. “Even if I drop this off to Hatsume today, there’s no guarantee she’ll finish tonight. It took her a month to build the last warp gate.”
“A month?” Izuku asked. He held the side of his head and winced. “I can’t stay here a month.”
“Sure you can!” Toga said. She grabbed Izuku’s arm and hugged it to her chest, dragging him over. “You can stay with me! I’ve got plenty of room.”
“Don’t stay with her,” Shigaraki and Dabi said at the same time.
“Neither of you are any fun,” Toga said. She looked over Izuku shoulder and let go of his arm, holding her hands up. She put her hip to the side and giggled. “Now there’s a scary look.”
Izuku followed her gaze and bit his lip when he saw what caught her attention.
Kacchan narrowed his eyes further and looked away. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t steal him from you. We all know how codependent you two are,” Toga said. She shrugged and giggled, spinning on her back heel as she threw out her hands. “I’ll just borrow him for a few minutes. That’s all I need.”
“We can ask one of the professors if you can stay at the school,” Shigaraki said, redirecting the conversation. He rubbed the side of his neck, moving his palm up and down. The gesture reminded Izuku of a less painful version of his neck scratching. “My father is the headmaster and I’m sure he’ll understand if we explain the situation.”
Kacchan crossed his arm and trembled. “That guy gives me the creeps.”
“Because you’re a bad guy,” Toga said, snorting. Dabi snickered under his breath, agreeing with her. Shigaraki sighed, but didn’t correct Toga when she added “He’s supposed to be scary to you.”
“Who’s your father?” Izuku asked. “And why would he scare Kacchan?”
Shigaraki paused his hand on his neck and tilted his head. “My old man is the greatest Hero to ever live. He retired due to an injury, but his Quirk still works, which is why Bakugou is so wary.”
“In other words, Shigaraki’s old man is taking things easy but he could still kick ass if he had to,” Dabi added. “But no worries, pet. He only goes after actual threats, not lackeys like you.”
Kacchan grabbed Dabi’s blazer and yelled, “I’m not a lackey!”
“Sure you’re not,” Dabi answered.
“You don’t know shit,” Kacchan said. He let go and shook his hand, frowning at the displaced bandages. He tightened the gauze and fixed them, turning away from Dabi. “Whatever. If we get thrown in jail, it’s your fault.”
“It won’t be like that,” Shigaraki said. He poked Dabi in the shoulder, sighing. “Stop riling him up and let’s get going. I want to catch my father before he goes home.”
“Okay, okay,” Dabi said. He looked at his watch and held a hand up. “I need to get going anyway if I want to see Hatsume today. He picked up his school bag and flung it over his shoulder and walked backwards. “I’ll call you later to let you know how it goes, Shigaraki.”
“Thank you,” Shigaraki answered.
“About time,” Kacchan said.
“Are you coming with us or going home?” Shigaraki asked Toga.
“Home!” She said, throwing her hand up. She held the end of her blazer sleeves in her hands and groaned. “I’m already super late and my parents will totally ground me forever if I stay out all night again. Text me with any updates!”
She dashed off the opposite direction from Dabi with a skip in her step and her school bag swinging.
That left Izuku and Kacchan alone with Shigaraki.
“Shall we go?” Shigaraki asked.
“Sure,” Izuku said. He perked up and fixed his hat over his hair. He was curious about what sort of person Shigaraki’s father could be. As far as he was aware, the man was dead in his universe. “I look forward to meeting him.”
“He’ll like you,” Shigaraki said. He pulled out his phone and started a text message, followed by three or four more. “And don’t worry, Bakugou—I’m sure he’ll be more understanding to your…situation than Dabi is.”
Kacchan huffed in place of answering.
Neither Izuku nor Shigaraki pushed him for more and the trio walked back to the school. Shigaraki continued texting his father with the situation and to let him know that Shigaraki was bringing two guests. When they arrived at the school, Shigaraki swiped his badge to get in. A Hero Izuku didn’t recognize came around the corner and waited for a call from the security office before confirming Shigaraki’s permission to let them in.
The main campus of U.A. was familiar and Izuku saw that it was laid out exactly the same as his own version of the school—minus the dorms. They made it to the headmaster’s office in good time and Izuku relaxed. As much as he wanted to get home, he was feeling tired after all the running around.
He could use a nap in a bed, even if it was in the nurse’s office.
Kacchan latched onto the back of Izuku’s shirt, his breath picking up as they walked in. Izuku followed Shigaraki, giving Kacchan a comforting smile over his shoulder. “We’re going to be fine.”
“You don’t know that,” Kacchan said. He whispered harshly, “And don’t let that guy touch you.”
“Why not?” Izuku asked.
Shigaraki interrupted their conversation by knocking on the door twice and opening it. “Father?”
“Come in, son,” a deep voice called. Izuku felt a chill go down his spine, but he couldn’t place why. The voice was so familiar but he couldn’t pinpoint where he’d heard it before. “I want to meet these new friends of yours.”
Izuku followed Shigaraki into the headmaster’s office and saw a man stand up from behind the desk. He looked older, with half-lidded eyes and messy, dark hair. A large burn scar covered his neck the entire way around like a high collar, creeping up to the sides of his cheeks.
His gaze was warm, but calculating. It put a hesitation in Izuku’s step and his gut started to wriggle uncomfortably.
Something felt off and maybe Kacchan was right to be so scared.
“Father, this is Izuku Midoriya from another universe,” Shigaraki said, putting his hand on the side of his neck. He rubbed it and lifted a finger. “Like I explained in the text.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Midoriya. My son says you’re much more pleasant than your counterpart, which I imagine everyone appreciates,” he said, laughing under his breath. He walked around the desk and sat on the edge on the front. “I hope we can help you get home any way that we can.”
“Thank you, sir,” Izuku said. Kacchan continued trembling violently behind him, twisting the fabric of his vest. He looked over his shoulder, unsure of why he was acting this way. Izuku looked back Shigaraki’s father and swallowed. “May I ask who you are? I don’t think I’ve met you before in my world.”
“Oh! Forgive me,” the headmaster said. He chuckled and put a hand to his chest. “My formal name has been lost to time, I’m afraid, but my Hero name is still good enough. You may call me All for One.”
One for All sparked without permission, sending a bolt of dread down Izuku’s spine.
“Did you…did you say All For One?” Izuku asked, feeling his own skin tremble. Kacchan’s grip ripped the fabric of his vest. Izuku grabbed his other hand to stop the shake. “As in the man who can steal Quirks?”
“That sounds like we’ve met,” All for One said. Shigaraki shot Izuku a look with a raised brow. All for One tapped his finger on the desk. “Do I look that much different in your world?”
All for One.
Flashes of the fight in the Kamino Ward come to mind and Izuku takes a step back. His Quirk itched under his skin, screaming as it stood next to its counterpart, unable to tell the difference between this alternate version and the one that they had met before. Knowing who this man was made things all too clear why he felt the urge to sprint out of the room.
The man in Kamino had been decrepit and falling apart and he’d been more powerful than anyone Izuku had ever seen next to All Might.
This man appeared healthy and young.
What could he do against someone who still couldn’t use more than twenty percent of his Quirk?
“Are you alright?” the man asked with far too much kindness in his voice. “You look ill.”
“I’m going to throw up,” Izuku said.
He turned on his heel and ran out of the room.