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Ice in my Veins, Blood in my Eyes

Chapter Text

Shigaraki calloused hand wrapped around his elbow. “Damn,” he rasped, “Don’t push yourself, Eraserhead.”

Gray sprouted on the dark jumpsuit like a sakura blossom. The fabric, skin, and muscle flaked away. The underground hero gritted his teeth and slammed his foot onto the villain’s, kicking away into the air. He landed and his arm tensed as he touched the ground. The exposed muscle throbbed.

Unfortunately, there was no time to rest. A buff man with a mask similar to Gunhead's charged with a strong left punch, a maw of teeth snapping on his hand. His quirk resembled Deidasomething from That Anime That Shall Never Be Spoken Of. He pivoted and deflected another pair of villains, who fell but stumbled to their feet within seconds. The trio of thugs surrounded him and he cursed under his breath, narrowing his dark eyes.

“Isn’t this different from your usual job?” Shigaraki said from nearby. Eraserhead could hear the childish smirk in his voice. “Out of your league?” League. Ha. Who knew villains made puns.

An alienesque person lunged and promptly got trapped in his pale capture weapon. In the meantime, Gunhead’s doppelganger and his pals closed in. His veins pulsed with the heat of battle as he shifted his stance. They wore smirks and raised their fists, jumping and aiming for his head. In a flurry of kicks and punches, they were knocked unconscious. He overestimated them. He rose to his feet and glared at Shigaraki through his goggles.

“By the way, hero,” he said, “I’m not the final boss.”

Thump. Eraserhead craned his neck to behold a…what was it? It was a huge, dark monster, that’s what. Its wicked yellow beak cracked open to reveal a set of sharp canines and a long slithering tongue, not unlike Venom.

Oh god.

He was facing a beast. God help him or he was fucked.

He activated his quirk, despite the nagging feeling that it wouldn’t make a difference. The beast raised a thick hand and brought it down to his face. Pain exploded around him and washed everything in a crimson waterfall. He hardly registered his goggles clattering nearby. The ground shook and his capture weapon hissed as he raised it. But it would do nothing for the inhumanly strong hand that shoved him onto the cement, nor the painful weight that settled on his lower back. ‘Zashi’s voice whispered that he would’ve loved it had it been him. Fucker was right.

Meaty fingers dug into the exposed muscle on his arm and he bit his lip. His students couldn’t see him show weakness. They couldn’t.

His arm bent backwards like a measly twig and blood spurted from his cracked lips. His head shrunk in on itself like Thirteen's black hole and he prayed, prayed that it would end with him and not the kids.

Then the…the beast grabbed his other arm and snapped it the same. Tears rolled down his cheeks, catching in his rough stubble, and he felt hard bone jutting out of his skin. His lip was a soggy, bloody mess, unable to be chewed up any longer. He bit his tongue. Warm wetness filled his mouth and he squeezed his eyes shut, black spots swimming beneath his eyelids.

The beast seized him, yanking his hair and pulling him up and his neck cracked sharply. He stared through a red haze in the direction of dull water. It was water, right? Warm, thick liquid down his face and mingled with the salty tears. He could vaguely see Shigaraki moving towards three child-sized shapes.

The students. His students.

He glared at the Shigaraki-shape and his eyes warmed familiarly with his quirk. Asui-san croaked, he could hear the pure terror. At least she wasn't dead. The warmth in his eyes quickly became burning and hot tears filled his already blurry sight.

Shigaraki hummed a mocking tune and his shoes scuffed the ground as he approached the beaten and bloody Eraserhead. “You really are something, huh? Too bad you have to die.”

Eraserhead opened his mouth to tell the students to RUN! Stay away from the plaza! You’re too young to die so go! but the beast gripped his head again and he could only start the first word before the rough of the ground rushed to meet him.

I’m sorry, ‘Zashi. I promised to be there until the end, but I couldn’t. I love you. I love you so damn mu--

Chapter Text

Day one. Shouta wasn’t there.

Hizashi ran a hand through his blond locks, staring blankly at the empty spot at the small kotatsu. The empty spot that was supposed to seat his beloved husband. Maybe if he stared hard enough, he would appear, in all his scruffy glory.

“Pa.” Hitoshi’s voice sounded frail, like porcelain. “He-He’s not… he’s not coming back.”

“I know,” he said hoarsely. His hands fell to his lap. “Maybe if I had co—”

“Don’t go there. There’s… you didn’t realize. No one did.”

Hizashi pushed his rice bowl away. A small gray tabby jumped up, sniffing the abandoned food. Tears welled in the corners of his eyes and he exhaled. “But I should’ve known when he didn’t complain. He sends cat pictures a lot, you know that. He didn’t today, a-and that should’ve set off… set off red flags!”

“You think I feel any better? I did algebra while Dad was… I was doing fucking algebra!” He could feel Hitoshi’s signature glare. “Then Ectoplasm-sensei said there was an emergency. No one knew what it was. You at least got to fight those bastards. I was doing fuckin’ algebra.”

“Hitoshi…” He looked at his son. His hair stood like wisps of smoke, tangled much like Hizashi’s own. His eyes sparked with anger and he wore the mask of grief like a second skin. He slipped off his cushion and beside his son, wrapping his thin arms around him. “We can… we can do this.”

“We can try,” he whispered, curling into the lanky man, burying his head into his chest.

They stayed like that for a while, sobs wracking both their bodies as they clung to each other. Hizashi’s tear-stained shirt stuck to his body, but he didn’t care. In those moments, he didn’t care about anything but holding his son. He was never letting him go.


Day two.

Hizashi and Hitoshi stayed within each other’s sights all day, saying nothing on the wet eyes and mussed hair. When he collapsed for the umpteenth time, Hitoshi was there with soothing hands and calming words. Well, when he didn’t join him with enough tears to fill the ocean. Hizashi had never seen his son cry that much since they adopted him.

It made it hurt all the more.

Nemuri-chan invited herself over with steaming chicken pot pie, Hizashi’s favorite American dish. He mumbled “Itadakimasu,” hardly tasting the juicy chicken sliding down his throat.

Through broken sobs, he poured out to her. She didn’t interrupt like Hitoshi, nor did she inject her own opinion. She simply listened with the food growing cold beside them. “Nemuri-chan, why?” he whispered. “Why the fuck did he have to go?”

“I don’t know,” she replied. Her eyes flashed. “But these villains won’t see next year. I swear on my whip.”


The air was heavy with the stench of death. Small bodies—students’ bodies—littered the ground like a grand painting of red and gray. Thirteen laid in pieces around the plaza, destroyed by her own quirk. Everyone was gone, it was only Hizashi and Shouta left.

A beast, black and writhing and bulging with muscles, clutched his husband’s faintly struggling form in its grasp. Its maw, full of jagged teeth, opened in a roar that shook the ground and chilled his bones. “Come save him.” Its cruel voice wound up Hizashi’s legs and spread across his body. “A second try, a second fail.”

He stayed rooted to the ground, fear coursing through him like dark adrenaline. His heart dropped into the abyss, a thud echoing in its place.

Its long tongue flicked like a snake that found its prey. “Oh, you can’t? Pity.” The horrible monster raised its arm and Hizashi could see its muscles tense, one by one, as it tightened its grip around Shouta’s torso.

He bolted up in bed, sweat-drenched clothes clinging to him. Shouta’s utterly terrified scream rang in his mind and he sat there, grabbing Shouta’s pillow and shoving his face into it. It was just a dream, it was just a dream, it was just a dream.

It wasn’t, Shouta was still gone, and day three was much worse.


Day four.

The cats knew something was wrong before, but today they seemed to realize that their favorite person wasn’t coming back. Shinwa went into one of her famous yowling fits, this one lasted all day. Loki meandered aimlessly around the house, the blank stare awkward on his dark and scar-littered face.

Hizashi stuffed earbuds in and stayed curled on the couch all day.


Day six.

A scream startled Hizashi from a not-sleep. Hitoshi.

He hurtled down the hallway, bare feet slapping on the floor, and burst into Hitoshi’s room. He glared, searching for an intruder. There was none, only his son sitting ramrod straight, face pale and hands shaking. Hizashi flicked on the light and wrapped him in a tight hug.

“They came a-again.” He hadn’t dreamed of his last foster home in almost a year. “Worse. I-it was worse. They said...they said they were gonna ta-ake me back because...cause he’s gone.” He shuddered, a sob wracking his bony frame. Hizashi rubbed his back. “I screamed, I screamed and no one came to...to help. Th-they...hurt. Hurt more. Lots.” The broken boy flinched violently. “Said bad...horrible things abou-about D-Dad.”

Hizashi stayed there until Shinwa started her food rant.


Day seven.

Tensei-kun visited.

It wasn’t any better.


Day eight.

He still woke up, turning in bed for good morning kisses. Then he cried himself back to a stuttering sleep for an hour. He still fell down walls, shaking with gasps and sobs when it was too hard. It happened a lot; everything reminded him of Shouta. Candid pictures hung on the wall, his toothbrush collected dust in the bathroom, a spot from a juice pack stained the hardwood floor in the kitchen.


Day twelve.

It still hurt like hell. He was still gone.

Nemuri-chan had forced Hizashi and Hitoshi to attend therapy. Her name was Nakamura Suzuki. Hizashi didn’t know if it was her quirk, but soon he was vomiting words like the Problem Child that Shouta...that Shouta always told him about. As Hitoshi so kindly pointed out, he’s too easily trusting.

“It’s like I’m hovering with my head barely above water,” Hizashi told her that day. “Sometimes, my head is clear and I… I can breathe. Other times, the water is pouring into my mouth and I can hardly breathe. It’s drowning me and I can’t believe he’s gone and it hurts and…” he trailed off, burying his head into his slim hands. It still hurt. Shouta was still gone and he couldn’t do anything about it.

Nakamura-san rubbed soft circles into his back as he cried for the umpteenth time, murmuring quietly


Day fourteen.

He stared at himself in the mirror for the first time in two weeks. Was it even him? Sure didn’t look like him. Did he normally wear make-up to cover heavy eye bags and blotched skin? He rubbed his forehead, sighing heavily. Today would be hard.

But he could do it.

Besides, Hitoshi was gonna be in his class. Mineta Minoru had pulled out. “I didn’t sign up for dying!” he had said to Nedzu. “There are ladies in other industries.” Thank god the principal didn’t always act like a psychopath and slipped Hitoshi in. Not that his son didn’t deserve it.

His phone went off, singing a jaunty tune. He dismissed it and sighed again. Time to face the students who watched his husband die. God help him or he was fucked.

Chapter Text

The sky was dark with spatters of stars, hardly visible from the twinkling streetlights of the city. The moon hovered low, waiting to return to the earth's depths. Few people walked the streets, their pattering footsteps gunshots in the silence. In the Midoriya household, everyone slept. The furnace hummed lowly, warming the house throughout the somewhat chilly night. Inko laid on her side, both hands tucked under her cheek. She snored softly, blissfully unaware of her surroundings.

Izuku tossed and turned, whimpering and letting out soft cries. His green hair laid slick against his sweat-drenched skin and his hands trembled as twisted memories flashed through his head. His eyes shot open, hazy and wet as he scrabbled for a grip on his All Might Silver Age blanket. The boy didn't move for a while.

A quick glance at his clock had tears welling once again in his eyes. "Dammit," he whispered harshly. "Too early."

Two weeks. It had been two weeks since it had happened, and he still had nightmares. He could never remember the dreams. He often wondered if it was a hidden mercy, or if it was worse to lay in the dark, terrified and shivering, with no recollection of the nightmare.

Kicking the covers off, he rubbed his eyes and groaned. Like the other times, he wouldn’t be able to fall asleep. He might as well update his hero book—since starting at UA, he had learned so much about his teachers as heroes and as people and he still had new information to add.

Eraserhead's only additions were tearstains littering the page, and "I'm sorry" scrawled repeatedly in messy kanji. He hadn't touched that page for a week.

He stumbled to flip the light switch and his room lit up like All Might's smile. Falling into his desk chair, he grabbed Hero Notebook 14.

His mother's alarm played its song about an hour later, at 5:30. A soft knock at his door not too long after startled the teen out of writing his current entry. "How long have you been up?" she asked.

He bit his lip. "N-not long, okaa-san," he lied. He couldn't worry her more than he already has. He couldn't risk her taking him out of UA for good. No, it was better if she knew then bare minimums.

Silence. Then, "Okay. Do you want me to heat some onigiri for you?"

"No thanks. I'm not hungry." He hadn't been eating much past the necessities.

(Why should he? If he had stepped in, Aizawa-sensei would be in his home, eating a breakfast of his own. Maybe he even had a family to enjoy it with.)

"Izuku..." He could imagine her tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. "You need to eat. You can't be a hero if--"

"I know," he interrupted, twirling the pen in his hand. "I'll have some, I don't know, taiyaki. Okay?"

"...okay. I love you."

That brought a faint smile to his face. "I love you too."

An hour later, and it was time to go back to school. Izuku couldn't repress the shiver. Looking into the mirror at his own haunted face was hard. Throw in his classmates' matching faces and the pitiful stares from passersby, it would be tough.

But he could do it, right?

 

No, no, no! Oh, god no. What was he thinking, taking public transit? Stares burned into him from all sides. Whispers hung in the air. Fingers jabbed in his direction.

"See that uniform? He's from UA.” He had half a mind to shove the damning uniform into his bag.

"Kami, poor child." He clenched and unclenched the small exercise weight in his hands.

“His parents still let him attend that school?" Izuku could hear the utter incredulity.

"I wonder if he was in the attack itself." He tried to ignore that little detail, thanks.

Having had enough of the chatter, he put away his weights and pulled out his earbuds. Soon, the soothing voice of Iwasawa Masami drowned out the harsh whispers.

 

What the actual hell? Did reporters get a kick out of interrogating traumatized students? Dodging yet another inquisitive journalist, Izuku was about ready to pull a Kacchan.

"E-excuse me," he muttered, slipping past an older man. "I have to get to class, please and thank you." He ducked in between two people from Tokyo Today.

They still bombarded him with questions.

"What is it like, returning to school after this horrible tragedy?"

"Are you from the hero course?"

"Are you planning on withdrawing from UA High?"

"What is your opinion on security at the school?"

The school gate loomed a mere couple feet from Izuku, but with the news in his path, it may as well be a river. He gritted his teeth and shoved his way through. Wasn't it illegal to interview minors without parental consent? Breathing a sigh of relief, he darted through the gate. The reporters clamored behind him, most likely preying on other students.

Izuku trudged down the vast hallways, his thoughts consuming him in the silence. It was his first time back at UA after the attack, as strangers oh-so-helpfully pointed out. What would class be like? Uraraka saw it too, would she be like him and fake it? Who would be their homeroom teacher? Had anyone left? Who stayed? He had heard rumors of at least one of his classmates withdrawing. It wasn't Kacchan, was it? Kacchan was too strong to withdraw.

He halted in front of the huge door for 1-A. Usually, he could hear his classmates from halfway down the hall. Kacchan cursing up a storm, Jirou-san teasing Kaminari-san, Iida-kun berating everyone (with love, of course). Today? It was simply a low murmur, hushed whispers. Well. Kacchan's whisper wasn't a whisper, per se, likewise with Iida-kun. Iida-kun tried, though.

Izuku heart beat like there was no tomorrow. No wait. When he hadn't been sure if there would be a tomorrow, his heart had just...stopped beating. At least that's what it had felt like. At the moment, his heart was simply beating fast. His hands trembled as he reached for the door. "You're the Deku that can do it." He whispered the mantra, his hand resting on the cool metal handle.

Taking a deep breath, he pushed it open.

And promptly skittered back out, the door slamming harder than he had thought it would. He winced. They definitely knew he was there.

Then he took another inhale. "You're the Deku that can do it."

He shuffled back in, head bowed. The floor was very interesting. Plain, but interesting.

"Deku-kun?"

It was blue, he noted, and his shoes squealed like car tires if they skidded against it. God, that was a horrible noise. Poor, poor Jirou-san whenever it, unfortunately, happened.

"Midoriya-kun, it is not polite to ignore a classmate. Are you feeling alright?"

Huh. There were no tiles on the floor. Orudera had tiles. Granted, the floors were also--oh, there's his desk that he just walked into. Ouch.

He fell into his seat and blinked at Uraraka-san hovering above him, Iida-kun peeking over her shoulder. Uraraka-san's fingers pressed together, a nervous tic he had noticed earlier. Iida-kun's thick eyebrows were furrowed and his worry blaringly obvious.

"I'm fine, Iida-kun, Uraraka-san. Don't worry about me." I'm okay. It's okay. Nothing to be concerned about.

Fake it 'til you make it, right?

Chapter Text

How did he even make it to the 1-A classroom? Hizashi had spaced out after his morning meeting with Nedzu. His words still circled in his head like vultures.

"Tomorrow morning, UA will be having a schoolwide memorial for Aizawa-san." Nedzu leaned on his elbows, paws pressed together.

A memorial.

For Shouta.

Of course.

"It's too early," he wanted to scream. "Wait. Please, just wait."

But Nedzu was right when he said waiting would make it less of an impact on the students, especially those outside 1-A.

1-A.

The class that had witnessed--

The class he was supposed to teach.

God, he couldn't do it. He couldn't. How had Nedzu and Nemuri and Tensei convinced him in the first place?

No, no, no, no, no.

Not this classroom.

The class where he had first met Shouta, the class where he had first kissed Shouta.

The bleak UA walls, up to the brim with memories--the fucking memories, don't remind him, don't remind him--were closing in.

No, no, no, no, no.

He was Present Mic. Nothing ever got him down in the dumps. But he was also Yamada Hizashi, grieving husband and just a human.

Like so many other times, he stumbled to the nearest wall, feet catching on thin air. He collapsed, breath coming and going in ragged pants.

No, no, no, no, no.

He missed him. It hurt, it fucking hurt. He was gone, and he wasn't coming back. Hitoshi would only have one dad at his graduation.

His fingers went tap, tap, tap on his pants.

The cats wouldn't have their person, and Hizashi...

His head buzzed, shrinking in on itself. His headphones weighed down on him. Someone was sobbing as if their heart had been ripped from their body. Oh. It was him.

"Sensei!" Two thick arms wrapped around him. The smell of fresh cologne filled his nostrils.

Hizashi stumbled to his feet and wiped the drool off his face with the back of his hand. "'M sorry," he slurred, leaning heavily on Tenya.

"Yamada-san." The vaguely informal use of his name startled him. The familiarity was nice but Tenya was usually strict about names at school. "Let us enter the classroom. Perhaps the other students may be able to help."

That, or they'd make him feel guilty again.

Tenya guided him into the room. It became glaringly silent, the murmurs cutting off almost immediately.

"They're grieving too," Tenya reminded. His head was bowed and Hizashi could tell he was fighting the tears. Oh, the poor boy.

He swallowed the lump balling in the back of his throat. He could be strong, he could. The blond made his way to the front, Tenya hovering at his side. He leaned against the podium.

"H-hi."

Silence.

Great start. Amazing. Brilliant.

"I'm your new homeroom teacher."

Asui croaked, staring at her desk. Oh yeah, she had been there.

He exhaled slowly. "I'm sorry," he burst out. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I...this shouldn't have happened."

There was another pregnant silence. Ojiro's tail flicked in the aisle. Wind rustled the tree leaves outside.

"It wasn't your fault, Mic-sensei," Kirishima finally said, rubbing the back of his neck. His bright hair, normally perfectly styled, had many stray hairs. "It isn't manly to blame yourself for things out of your control." Out of the corner of his eye, Hizashi saw Midoriya jerk at the student's words. As if Kirishima was speaking to him.

"But I..." Nakamura-san's words rang through his head, reminding him to not blame himself because it wasn't his fault. He bit his lip.

Tokoyami glared at his desk. "Their souls were black as a midnight sky. There isn't a light sharp enough to penetrate the darkness."

"He's saying that nothing could've changed the outcome," Shouji rumbled. "Don't beat yourself up over it."

"I..." He laid an arm on the dark wood of the podium, gripping it tightly. "You guys are so strong. I wasn't even there yet you guys are pushing through it."

Midoriya drew his gaze up from his desk, painstakingly. inch by inch as if it were a chore. A mask hovered in his eyes, cracked and broken too much for a child. "Not everyone is as strong as you say, Mic-sensei," he rasped. Hizashi had to strain to hear him. "But neither are we weak like Mineta-kun. We're still here, aren't we?" His voice cracked. "I-if you were weak, you wouldn't be here." Midoriya bit his lip. "You...you're strong too, maybe stronger because you probably, maybe, knew him better." His fingers shook visibly. "T-teachers and all."

Hizashi pursed his lips, tears threatening to fall. Hitoshi stared at Midoriya. His son's eyebags seemed to have deepened during his speech. "Midoriya-kun, that's--"

"Initiate group hug!" Ashido yelled, shooting up from her seat behind Aoyama. Dark mascara ran down her face. Oh, poor girl.

She flew at Hizashi, wrapping her arms around him. Uraraka followed close behind, dragging Hitoshi and Midoriya with her. The greenet seemed to not care about the lack of an answer from Hizashi. The voice hero stood there, frozen, as the students of 1-A bombarded him. Kirishima shoved Bakugou to the front, Shouji and Kouda followed rather slowly. But, they were all there.

They pressed against him like a cocoon of warmth. Leather clung to his chest as some of the closer students' tears slid down their faces. He wrenched a hand out from the cramped space and awkwardly pat Hitoshi, who had curled up on his left by Tenya. He pouted, sending a pointed look at his father, then burrowed his head back in his dark jacket. Hizashi continued to play with the wispy strands of violet hair.

After a minute, Bakugou slipped away. "He--Aizawa-sensei--was more than a goddamn friend, wasn't he? And Sleeping Beauty here isn't just some random fucking extra that you decided to pat on the head and twirl his gravity-fucking hair?"

Hizashi blinked. He had been figured out rather quickly. He supposed he hadn't been too discreet. "Um, yeah." He wiped his sweaty hands on his jeans as the students stepped back, forming a loose circle around him. Hitoshi didn't move. "He was..." Pause. Breathe. "Sh-Shouta was my husband. Hitoshi is our--m-my?-- son."

"I'm still both of yours. Don't be stupid."

Shouto, who hadn't joined the hug (ouch), muttered something under his breath that was suspiciously close to "I knew it" and Midoriya being All Might's son? Wh..?

The class' next reaction cemented the thought that they weren't perfect.

Hagakure squealed. "That's so cute." Her uniform hardly moved.

Uraraka hummed, a shaky smile plastered on her face. "Yup."

Crackle.

Bakugou's hands were clenched into fists. "Those fuckers. They'll pay for what they did."

"..."

"Bakugou-kun! Vengeance is not the attitude of a hero." Tenya smacked the air. "In this case, however..." His eyes flashed behind his glasses. "Aizawa-san will be avenged."

Hizashi's mouth opened and closed like a flabbergasted polar bear in the Sahara desert. "You guys..."

Sero rubbed his forearm. "Are...are you guys sure this okay? I mean, provoking the League is probably the stupidest idea our class has ever had. If Aizawa-sensei couldn't do it...h-how could we?"

Sero's words hurt. He didn't mean for them to hurt, but they did, even if it was true.

Kouda had a rare scowl from his spot beside Bakugou. "We won't be preyed on like that again. They'll be whimpering in their sleep about terrifying rabbits," he signed furiously, Bakugou translating with a hell of a lot more swears.

(Hizashi would know, his quirk affected his hearing long before he was an adult. How Bakugou knew sign language, though? That was the real question.)

Uraraka pumped a fist in the air. Yaoyorozu's eyes hardened and Jirou's earphone jacks rose into the like vipers waiting to strike. Electricity fizzled around Kaminari.

"Those fuckers won't know what hit 'em." That was fully Bakugou.