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Chapter 1

Soft white clouds rolled slowly, lazily across the sky, as Katsuki took in his surroundings, just as lackadaisical. Now that they were third years, Katsuki had been paired with Yaoyorozu on a training patrol with Aizawa. The class had been broken up into pairs of two and were each taking turns patrolling with the various teachers from UA. And… while it was a good thing the city was so peaceful… he was bored out of his goddamn mind.

He had no idea why he was with fucking Yaoyorozu of all people, on top of it, but he didn’t really mind much. If it had to be anyone out of his shitty classmates, he was glad it was one of the least annoying people possible. Much better than stupid Deku or the shitty four eyes.

Katsuki just didn’t understand why he was paired with someone who’s quirk was creating things . He destroyed things. Obviously he’d worked with her before; they’d only been in the same class for three fucking years.

And boy had they improved over the years at UA. In their third year, the spots for the top three were rough competition. He and Todoroki were constantly fighting for third while Momo and Deku held second and first respectively.

No one had quite expected Momo to be in the top three, but he knew. She was got in UA on recommendation just like the hot cold bastard. She was number one in grades and was an excellent strategist. Her quirk was extremely versatile and useful in many different situations. Momo was an adaptable hero, which was great kind of hero to have. She’d made leaps and bounds in combat situations as well, learning to wield the kinds of weapons she could produce from her body. Katsuki knew from personal experience that her hand to hand combat skills were nothing to scoff at.

“Bakugou?” A soft voice interrupted his musings.

He spared a glance in her direction, acknowledging her concerned expression.

“What’s up, Ponytail?”

“Are you alright? You’ve been spacing out since we left…”

“It’s fine. Just bored.”

Aizawa grunted behind them. “You shouldn’t have that kind of attitude while out on a patrol, Bakugou. That’ll get you in trouble.”

“Yes, sir,” Katsuki relented, knowing not to argue with his teacher of three years.

Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. People out walking dogs, going window shopping, entering and exiting cafes… just a normal, everyday kind of day. This was to be expected and it’s what most heroes faced while doing regular patrols. It’s what heroes wanted to see on patrol. While Katsuki found the everyday happenings of their city beyond boring, he still wanted the citizens to have this kind of peace in their day to day lives.

That’s what they were there for, after all.

Suddenly, Aizawa stopped.

Momo was immediately in hero mode, ready to create something should they find themselves in need. Katsuki listened and watched for any signs of trouble. Aizawa had years of experience over both of them, and it was clear something was amiss.

It was faint, but they could hear shouting from somewhere further off. Police sirens and dogs barking assaulted them as they broke into a dash towards the commotion. It was critical for pro heroes to arrive on the scene as soon as possible, offering assistance to their police forces.

As the trio rounded the corner, they were met with the sight of a large, beast like man being shot at by officers. He roared, deep and guttural, causing windows in the nearby buildings to shake. Several individuals dressed in all black rode atop the man, shielding themselves from the gunshots as best they could.

Katsuki held off on just exploding in. That was something else he’d been working on the past few years. Unlike his first year self, he didn’t just jump ahead anymore. The situation needed to be assessed - quickly - before any actions were taken.

“Are those cloaked figures hostages?” Momo murmured next to him.

“No,” Aizawa pointed out. “They’re all wearing some sort of matching uniform. Most likely some sort of weird activist group or something.”

He could easily walk in and negate the beast man’s quirk, but he was leaving things to the two students, to give them the proper experience.

“Alright. No hostages. Then-”

They heard a quiet crying sound. One of the men atop of the beast was holding a small figure in their arms, keeping them from squirming loose.

“Do they have a child!?” Momo whispered, enraged.

In a split moment, Momo saw the legs of the beast squat, as if to move. Thinking quickly, she made a dart and a tracking device, rushing in ahead and shooting it into its body just as it’s strong, muscled legs launched him and his companions from the site and atop one of the rooftops further away. There was no way the police - nor the heroes - would be able to keep up. Their unit wasn’t one on high mobility.

“Good thinking, Yaoyorozu,” Aizawa praised her. “Quick, make the locater so we can track them. If they’ve got a kid against their will, that’s not ideal.”

They quickly hopped in a police car, the rest of the forces joining in, as they sped off towards the location the device signaled to. Aizawa quickly contacted reinforcements from nearby, believing this to be a bigger operation.

“Midnight was thankfully patrolling nearby with Earphone Jack and Invisible Girl. They should be arriving on the scene shortly after us.”

Momo felt a bit more at ease, knowing Kyouka would be on the scene of the bust as well. Not being able to help it, strategies and possible plans started pouring through her mind. She knew that, while Tooru and Kyouka were excellent for stealth and recon missions, the brunt of the work would be hers and Katsuki’s. Aizawa and Midnight would be good at subduing any quirks, but when it came to hand to hand combat… Katsuki would have to be careful.

If they found themselves in a small, enclosed space, his quirk could prove disastrous. However, she had faith in the rambunctious boy. In fact, she wasn’t even sure she could consider him a “boy” anymore. They were all 17 and 18 years old and he had learned to control his quirk significantly. No longer would he simply rush into combat given the chance; he would make sure they were safe before unleashing hell upon the criminals.

“You got any plans in that big skull of yours, Ponytail?”

She brushed off his bristly words, knowing them to not hold negative meaning. “Yes. With Kyouka and Tooru coming in, they should be able to do some recon for us. Once we understand the situation, Midnight and Eraserhead should nullify any quirks or aggressive criminals. Once we’re in, if anyone makes it past those two, we’ll take them out and leave them to the police and retrieve the child.”

“Sounds good to me… Let’s beat some bastards.”

Arriving on the scene, the building they pulled up to was dank and seemingly abandoned. Gray stone and concrete rose high, and it seemed almost like an abandoned parking complex or some sort of deserted apartment building. There were no windows and iron stair wells led upwards on the outside of the gray walls.

They waited until they saw the floating gloves of Tooru bouncing alongside Kyouka and Midnight. Kyouka brought Momo in for a quick hug before turning to her task. Hagakure made work of heading inside the building, being given an earpiece made swiftly by Momo. Kyouka inserted an ear jack into the walls…

“There’s five of them. They’re whispering… they sound panicked. Tell Hagakure to be careful of the third story… That’s where they’re at.”

“Good work,” Aizawa grunted as Momo reported to Tooru through their headpiece. “We only know the one guy’s quirk, but he’d be stupid to use it in a rundown building like this. We don’t know the other four-”

“There’s another. I hear a kid crying. That’s six total.”

“Got it.”

They waited some time before Kyouka announced, “Invisible Girl is approaching the third floor. Any updates?”

“She only mentioned a lot of garbage everywhere, going up the first two floors,” Momo reported. “This place must have been abandoned and they’ve been holed up here for a few months.”

“Shhh,” Kyouka hushed them, listening intently. “She’s… I think she’s making her way back.”

They waited a solid ten minutes before Tooru made her way out of the building, flipping on the visibility of her suit Mei programmed for her.

“They’ve got some shady stuff going on in there, you guys. They’ve got a little boy - probably five or six years old - and he’s crying up a storm. They were fighting a lot about how they’re gonna get out.”

“So, obviously they know we’re here.”

Tooru gave a thumbs up, since no one would be able to see if she nodded her head. “I didn’t get a read on all of their quirks. The one big guy, their leader I’m guessing, is really hairy.”

“That’s that beast guy we saw earlier,” Katsuki grumbled.

“Yeah. One guy was kind of glowing - just making light out of his body. The others seemed like their quirks aren’t mutative. I couldn’t get much other than that.”

“Anything about the boy?” Momo worried.

“Yeah, they kept saying stuff like ‘we can’t lose him at any cost’ and ‘it took so much getting him in the first place’ and junk like that. I definitely don’t think he’s there willingly…”

“Okay. Other than the beast fucker,” Katsuki snarled, “the other bastards seem like a bunch of side character pipsqueaks who don’t fucking matter. I say we send in Midnight, get her to put these fuckers to sleep, grab the kid and head out. No need to drag this shit out any longer.”

Momo actually found herself agreeing. “Alright. Let’s move in.”

The four of them quickly ascended towards the third floor. The police force waiting for their signal that the villains were ready to be arrested, lagged behind.

There were no doors or windows in the complex; simple open archways and gray concrete. It seemed to be a building under construction when the funds got cut, simply being left unfinished and forsaken.

Midnight released her pheromones, while Aizawa and Bakugou wore masks Momo made for them. They heard the sounds of several bodies dropping onto the floor. Two female voices rose from the inside, shouting in surprise.

Aizawa quickly dove in, negating the first woman’s quirk. The other woman, a tall spindly thing with frazzled red hair glared, seemingly ready to attack.

Momo dove in, sending a quick and efficient chop to the back of her neck, knocking her out cold. Bakugou was on top of the other woman in seconds, the whole ordeal not even taking thirty seconds.

Momo looked over to the corner, a small boy cowering away from them all. He had messy light brown hair - likely ungroomed for some time. He wore dirty, tattered clothes and he looked too skinny for her liking. Two wet streaks disrupted the dirt on his face, leaving him somewhat muddy. His green eyes, shining with tears, met hers… and she nearly melted. She approached him, lowering herself to his level and maintained their eye contact.

“Hello,” she greeted him with a smile. “My name is Momo. I’m a hero.”

His eyes brightened and widened. He reached out a hand to her and she took it. She sat there with him for a moment, calmly.

“What’s your name?”

He looked at her, shyly, before saying, “Itsuki…” His voice was small and crackled somewhat, as though from disuse, and Momo felt upset as her heart twinged.

Katsuki made his way over, uncharacteristically placing a hand on Momo’s shoulder. “We’re getting you out of here, kid. These jackasses-” he winced at Momo’s intense glare, “these jerks won’t be bothering you anymore. Let’s get him out of here.”

The police swiftly entered the building, apprehending the villains and dragging them away. The students were all congratulated by their teachers and the police force. Itsuki only allowed Momo or Katsuki to pick him up to take him out of the building, throwing a fit when anyone else approached him.

The three of them sat off to the side, Momo cradling the small boy as Katsuki told him all about how great being a hero was and responding kindly to Itsuki’s enthusiastic questions. It was an endearing sight and Momo couldn't’ help but smile as she pet through the boy’s unfortunately dirty hair.

After some time, and after most of the ruckus had died down other members of the police approached the teen heroes and the boy in between them.

“We need to take him in for questioning and for child services… He’ll need to be investigated and we’ll be searching for his family.”

“Of course,” Momo agreed, ready to hand the boy over.

"No!" The little boy screamed as the protective service officers began to grab him. "No no no!" Momo's heart clenched as he clung to her shirt. "Momo! Please! I don't wanna!"

She looked to Katsuki, a seemingly bored expression on his face. But his eyes betrayed the hurt and conflict whirling around his head. She could tell he was already defensive over the boy he’d spent the last hour bonding with.

She raised a hand to the police, stopping them.

"Please, you're scaring him."

She knelt down to him, sweeping the boy into her arms.

"It's alright, Itsuki. It's going to be okay."

Bakugou came up and ruffled the little boy's hair. "Yeah kid, no need to freak. They'll make sure you're safe and put with good parents."

"No!"

One of the workers looked pleadingly at the two of them.

Momo relented swiftly. "What if we come with you?"

The little boys tears stopped and he brightened somewhat. He nodded to her and clung tighter against her chest.

"Seems he's pretty attached..." one of the workers commented.

Momo started following them, laughing lightly. Katsuki kept close behind her, suddenly feeling protective of the woman and child.

He could figure the kid had been through some shit. He didn't know what, exactly. The detectives would figure more of that shit out anyway. But the kid was scared out of his mind. He was surprised he was taken with him and Ponytail at all.

Katsuki spared a glance at the young woman he’d been partnered with for the day. He couldn't entirely blame the kid though, thinking on it. She was calming and motherly; always had been. Where he was involved, however, was a mystery to the young man.