It started with a group patrol around the city.
Aizawa had told them that the patrol was going to be an easy thing. Something simple. The time of day had the lowest crime rates, the parts of the city they were in only had reports of low lifes like purse snatchers and drunkards. Each group even had a pro hero tailing them, one that would only intervene when things went haywire.
Despite all of that, nothing- absolutely nothing- ever went ‘easy’ for Midoriya ‘problem child’ Izuku. Izuku almost felt bad for the people stuck with him in his patrol group. The second they all saw that jewelry store explode into shards of expensive rocks and stones was the second that he knew it wasn’t going to be, quote unquote, ‘easy’.
The poor folks in his group were the explosive Bakugou Katsuki, (pun totally intended), Kirishima Eijirou, Asui Tsuyu and Shinsou Hitoshi. The pro hero following them was Present Mic, who was up on the roof tops like some off brand guardian angel. Izuku was pretty surprised that it wasn’t Aizawa trailing behind them, or Recovery Girl, what with his record.
The villain isn’t one that Izuku recognises. Hasn’t been on any news stations, on any newspapers, nada. That means it’s a new one, and they don’t know his quirk, which is a major downside. As both Bakugou and Kirishima jump on in to try and rangle the villain, Asui bounces away to go to crowd control. Shinsou keeps back with Izuku, even if the way he’s worrying his lip means he wants to jump in.
“What’s the plan?” Shinsou asks him.
“We don’t know what his quirk is,” Izuku replies, “and it doesn’t seem like he’s going to give it away. That could be bad.”
“Then it’d be best to end this as fast as we can. We don’t have time to wait around.”
Izuku nods. Tells him he knows. Digs his shoes into the ground. Lets the electric feel of One for All rattle through his bones and jumpstart his heart into playing an all new beat. Shinsou and him share a single look before he’s off like a rocket, joining Bakugou in Kirishima’s place as the redhead falls back.
The villain doesn’t have a quirk he’s willing to show, but he does have more bombs clinging to the belt of his black bodysuit that Izuku thinks should be allowed. He voices this to Bakugou the second the villain begins lobbing them at anyone- and everyone- only for Bakugou to return his words with a sneer. Izuku can’t count how many times he looks back to see Asui catch another bomb in the nick of time, before tossing them back up to Bakugou.
Izuku watches as Kirishima moves to help Asui with the bombs, watches as Shinsou gets in position to use his quirk. In the meantime, it’s just him and Bakugou, working like a well oiled machine.
“A real wonder duo,” the villain snarks. “Almost mistook you two for a real hero shitshow. Too bad you’re both terrible-” The rest of the sentence is drowned out by a far too brash attack by Bakugou, which only gets the blond thrown back into the rubble. Izuku jumps back in to cover for him, throwing punch after punch.
Izuku doesn’t know what to call the villain, but only something icky could stand to match. There’s another bomb thrown, this one at someone- someone stupid, if Izuku might add- standing out of any of their reaches. Bakugou’s back up, so Izuku tears away to go after it.
One for All tears at his legs as he forces himself faster. The person is a girl, phone out and ready to take the picture of a lifetime. A journalist, Izuku recognises, someone he’s bumped into once before while out with All Might. He knows that she’ll do anything to get a story. She’s done it before, he has no doubt that that’s why she’s here again.
His hand wraps around the dark cylinder that is the bomb, but there’s not enough time to chuck it back to someone. Instead, all he can do is wrap himself around it and control the blast. The thing about the bombs is, they aren’t strong enough to kill him, but they’re strong enough to make his ears ring and send him sprawling. The journalist isn’t moving. She still has her phone out and- he’s pretty sure- she’s turned her attention from the villain to Izuku.
“Midoriya Izuku,” she says. She’s probably not going to cut this out of the footage when she turns it in to put on the news. “We meet again.”
Izuku doesn’t need his real name on the news. His hero name, sure. His real name, hell no. If there’s one thing he knows, they won’t put swearing on television. Maybe. Hopefully. Would they just blur it out? Could he put in a request to blur out his name? He takes a quick chance, and he responds.
“Well shit,” Izuku groans, “if it isn’t little Miss Debbie Downer.” He gets to his feet and sways. Ouch. He’s going to have a headache. Is he bleeding? Probably. His entire head hurts.
“Not very professional, are we, Midoriya?”
“I took a bomb that I didn’t need to. Because you couldn’t listen to my pals over there.” Oohhh, things are getting heated in Aisle Four. Is Izuku okay? He feels wonky. “Can you get out of the way? So I can do my job?”
“I’m doing mine too. I need to get the scoop.”
“Get it later.” Izuku walks away from her, before picking up the pace into a jog. Jog, jog, jog. He didn’t realize the fight was so far. No, that can’t be right. The fight was closer. Stupid. What’s he doing, messing up distances?
He hops back into the fight without a word, but he feels like he’s doing worse. Stupid, he repeats. What is he doing? Izuku goes to throw a punch, but his fist slides through the air beside the villain’s head, rather than at. He doesn’t have enough time to retract his mistake, not when the villain roughly grabs Izuku’s wrist.
Izuku doesn’t scream, but the second the villain’s hand wraps around his wrist, his mind explodes. Not literally, Izuku isn't dead. But his headache increases tenfold, his body just aches.
He hears Shinsou shriek from behind, “LOSER SAYS WHAT?!”, before the villain’s head snaps forward and Shinsou is on his shoulders. Izuku tries to take this as his chance to pull away, but something's wrong.
The villain blinks once in surprise, before saying, “Wha-” His eyes haze over, Izuku finally tears free of his grasp-
And then the whole street explodes in a flash of white, and Izuku’s world fades away to black.
The very first thing Izuku feels when he comes to is a sharp sting in his cheek and a low hum of pain dancing through his body. The first thing he hears is Bakugou's shriek, calling for him to wake. The second thing he feels is the bite of cold metal seeping into his body, the second thing he hears is Asui's nervous croak. In the background, Kirishima chitters out scolds to an irate Bakugou. Shinsou's not so oddly silent.
Izuku opens his eyes. The bright lights burn themselves into his brain, sending him reeling. He grits his teeth, and through them he moans, “Everything hurts. It's like I just got fucked over by a truck, then tossed into a ring against All Might.” He shuts his eyes tightly, pulling up his hand to cover them more.
“Yeah,” Bakugou snarks, “we know. We all felt the same exact fuckin’ thing. Get your sorry ass up so we can figure out what the fuck is going on.”
Izuku doesn't get to get up on his own. In the end, it's Shinsou who forces him to his feet by grabbing his hand and hoisting him up. The pain recedes little by little and Izuku breathes.
“Is everyone here?” Izuku asks, looking about with hazy eyes. “Everyone okay?”
Asui has a nasty mark on her face that Izuku is sure will develop into a bruise sooner rather than later. Bakugou is scratched up, from being thrown around like a rag doll. There's dried blood coming from his nose, but it looks to have stopped. Kirishima's fine. Not a scratch, not a mark, not a problem. Shinsou keeps flexing his wrist. It can't be sprained, broken. Possibly just sour. Izuku doesn't feel much pain anymore, so he reckons he should be fine.
But, when speaking of here, Izuku can't reckon shit. The whole place is grey, granted they're all different shades. The walls are a light, tiled grey. The four large trapezoid doors are silver. The hallway is the same color as the walls, same as the ceiling, but the ground is a shimmering metal color. Grey, grey, grey. All of it is kind of freaking him out.
“Does this mean we're missing?” Izuku asks. Since I'm not exactly sure where we are?”
“Probably, kero,” Asui says.
“I guess my name is going to be on the news after all.”
“ Again,” Bakugou scoffs.
He turns his attention to the hallway. It's not all that long, but it's not short either. They make it to the end regardless of the hallway's length, but not before Izuku begins asking questions upon questions, trying to gather answers.
“Where are we?” Izuku starts off. “Where’s Present Mic? Or the villain? Did you guys see the white flash too? Why was I the last one to wake up? I'm pretty sure I was the first one to pass out, so that makes no sense... All of this is really weird, in all honesty. Do you think it was the villain’s quirk that brought us here? It’s pretty likely, maybe some kind of teleportation quirk… It’s odd that it was just us five though. I’d think that at least one of the civilians would be with us too-”
“SHUT UP, FUCKING DEKU--”
Izuku steels himself up for Bakugou's explosions, moving his hands up to block his face--
It turns out he doesn't need too, because the explosions never come. Whatever swear was just about to roll off Bakugou's tongue dies off. Everyone's eyes go to his palms.
“Where the fuck is my quirk.”
Kirishima tenses up like he does whenever he ‘stones up’, as Kaminari called it once. “Mine’s not working either,” he says after a second. “Our quirks are gone.”
Izuku tries to power up too, while Shinsou attempts to use his own quirk on Kirishima. “Gone,” they say at the same time. All of the boys look to Asui, who only shrugs.
“Mine’s a mutant type quirk, kero,” she croaks.
“THIS IS FUCKING RIGGED!” Bakugou waves his hands around wildly in place of his explosions. When they nearly nail Kirishima in the face, Izuku reaches up and takes them into his own.
“Calm down,” he starts to say. Bakugou’s hands are warm, radiating a familiar heat that used to scare Izuku away. If his hands are warm, then that means… “Our quirks, they’re not gone!” Izuku chirps. “They’re just… not happening.”
“What,” Shinsou drawls.
“Kacchan’s hands are warm, you know? The only time they haven’t been warm was when Aizawa-sensei erased his quirk!”
Kirishima and Shinsou just kind of stare at Izuku, not really understanding. It makes him worry his lip, makes him shy away. A small memory from middle school pops up, but Asui crushes it under her fist when she plops it into her flat palm.
“I get it,” she says, “but I can’t really explain it either. They’re there, just not really working.”
“Exactly!” Izuku steps away from Bakugou, a pleased smile on his face. Bakugou only has on a tomato red blush, eyes cast down and mouth pressed into a thin line.
“That’s cool and all, Midoribro, but it doesn’t really solve our biggest problem,” Kirishima says.
“I know,” Izuku says, downcast. “But it’s something. That something makes me feel better.”
“Can we keep walking or are we gonna stop to have a tea party?” Shinsou deadpans, ignoring the last part of Izuku's statement. He motions for them to keep moving, which only results in Bakugou getting up in his face.
Asui, Kirishima and Izuku all share a look and continue on their way to the end of the hallway.
The end of the hallway brings exactly two things. A black monitor and a large semi-circle type machine.
“Like a portal,” Kirishima comments about the machine, “from the old hero comics I used to read. Could it be our way out?”
Izuku gives Kirishima a shrug and walks up to inspect the monitor. He sees Asui do the same, but with the supposed portal. He runs his hand around the edges, looking for something to press. There’s something on the side of it, which he clicks.
The screen blinks to life, gleaming a nice ice blue. A keyboard of the same color fades into existence below. With unbridled curiosity, he watches the screen load into something other than a solid color. A white buffering circle appears and Izuku waits with it.
In the meantime, he looks to Asui. She’s chatting with Kirishima about something, pointing to a slit in the side of the ‘portal’.
“What do you guys see?” Izuku asks.
“Keyholes!” Kirishima returns.
“There’s five of them,” Asui explains. “I think that’s how it’s powered, kero. Once all five keys are in, maybe it’ll work?”
“Like I said! It’s probably our way out!” Kirishima exclaims. “Aw, cool, you got the computer on!”
“Did he?” Asui asks, making her way over to Izuku. “Looks like it’s password protected…”
Izuku hums. “What could the password be-”
Bakugou’s voice pierces through the calm atmosphere the trio has, making them all turn. “WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO, MIND FUCK?!”
“Nothing! I didn’t do shit!” Shisou replies.
“BULLSHIT-- WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT--”
“Hell if I know!”
Instead of entertaining the thought of helping Asui, Izuku abandons his task and let's her take over. He breaks into a sprint. Without One for All flickering around him, he's so much slower. Earlier morning runs with Iida, though, make him faster than middle school him. There's footsteps coming from behind him. Probably Kirishima. Running makes the hallway feel just that much shorter, and in no time, they're both facing an open door, the other two in their crew, and some kind of monster. Izuku doesn’t take time to try and inspect the outside world. Instead, the monster draws in all of his attention.
The monster is an ugly mash of pastel pinks and yellow-greens, pulled together with a neon green tie. Izuku doesn't hesitate to jump in and attack, to make up for the other two's lack of movement. He might be quirkless now, but he was quirkless before. He's had enough time to learn the ins and outs of survival, to learn how to fight without something backing him up like a safety net. Bakugou jumps in too, the second his eyes catch a look of Izuku.
The monster doesn’t roar as they leap in. In fact, it says: My word! It’s lips don’t move, and it really doesn’t seem like anyone else heard it but Izuku.
Izuku falls back, eyes wide. Bakugou does the same. Nice to know Bakugou knows how to follow, not just lead.
“What did you just say?” Izuku asks, hoping what he heard was fake.
“I didn’t say shit-”
“I’m not talking to you, Kacchan.”
I said, my word. That was incredibly rude of you two!
That's creepy. The voice isn't in his head, but it's still there . “I’m sorry?” he tries. “You kind of scared us.”
Did I? I’m sorry too, then.
“No worries,” he says smoothly. “Do you live here?”
“Who are you talking to, Midoribro?” Kirishima asks. Izuku waves him off.
Shinsou blinks. “What the fuck. When I signed up to be in UA’s hero class, this wasn’t in the contract. I’m not prepared for shit. 'Specially not this shit.” That commentary wasn't needed, but it connects with Izuku on a spiritual level.
Must hit Kirishima the same way, because the redhead remarks: “Same.”
The monster continues in it’s oddly soothing, gravely voice. No, I just came for dinner!
“We don’t have anything to give you, though…”
No worries. The monster grins, showing off it’s sharp, yellowing teeth. It’s because you’re the main course!
Okay. Okay. Izuku thinks it’s time to call a quick record scratch to catch his breath. Him and four of his friends are in god knows where with a green and pink monster who looks like he just came out of a paint shop who wants to eat them?! Shinsou was right. What the fuck. The record starts to play again, but Izuku’s not really ready for it.
The monster reaches out and snags Izuku’s hair, pulling his face all too close to it’s teeth. Panic swells in his gut. It’s never a good thing when Izuku panics. “Your breath… smells,” he chokes out, grinding his teeth. His eyes wander and water. No one behind him is moving a muscle.
I think I’ll eat you first, it sneers.
“Okay,” Izuku breathes out, “okay.” He sees something glimmering behind it’s tie. He reaches out to grab it-- The thing beneath it’s tie sways--
The monster moves it’s hand at lightning speed, smashing Izuku’s head into the gray walls.
Izuku screams as his hand wraps around freezing metal.
He hears so many versions of his name being called out. Midoribro! Midoriya! Midori! Oddly enough, he thinks he hears a lone call of Izuku, but that's an oddly outrageous thought.
With the key in one hand, Izuku yanks. His other hand goes up to claw at the beast's. “Let me go,” he grits. The beast roars, but Izuku fights. “Let me go!” His feet kick, his head pounds, the key in his hand burns.
Is he crying? Maybe. Possibly. Probably. Yeah, okay, he is. So what?
He hears Kirishima- of course it's Kirishima- call out next. “Let him go!” he yells. “He didn't do anything!”
Shinsou comes after, but it's quieter, only for Izuku's ears. “Give me the key. You're going to be okay.”
Is Izuku dying? Maybe. Possibly. Probably. Yeah, okay, he's just overreacting. So what?
Izuku does as Shinsou says. Let's his fingers fall limp, let's the key drop down into Shinsou's awaiting palm. The beast roars again, Izuku's head smashes against the wall again, Izuku screams again, again, again.
Bakugou screams out for Shinsou to run, run, run- Izuku's head is doing circles, why is it always him? No one's doing shit, Izuku's going to die, Izuku can't breathe.
The stomp of Shinsou's feet echoes off the walls. It goes faster and faster, but everything's going faster to Izuku. Doesn't the world go slow when you're dying? Everything inside of him is pushing and pulling, tugging at invisible stitches Izuku didn't know he needed or had. Stomp, stomp, stomp-
The monster roars. Izuku and it are moving now, too. That means it's going after Shinsou, but the others have to have a reason for Shinsou running away. Izuku's got to do something then. Izuku has to stop the stupid monster before everyone gets themselves a spot in the grave besides Izuku's already engraved stone.
With might he didn't know he possessed, Izuku brings his leg up and grins as he hears it connect with the monster's grassy green chin. It roars- what happened to it's civil speech? It yells. It cries out with the rage of a hundred men.
If Izuku wasn't dead before, then he's one hundred percent dead now.
There he goes, into the wall again. There's not even any dents in the wall. How hard is the monster hitting? Into the wall, into the wall, into the wall!
Is he dead now?
Feels like i-
Oh, we're mixing it up now. Into the floor Izuku goes!
It's more of a drop, rather than a thrust. The hand from his head disappears.
Izuku wrenches open eyes he didn't know he shut.
The monster… is gone.
Let him repeat. What.
He turns his head, ouch, ouch, ouch, fuck, ouch, and looks to the room with the monitor and 'portal’. Asui's rushing his way, but behind her stands Shinsou, hand over one of the many key holes.
Asui reaches him and pulls him up in her lap with panicked speed. “What the hell, Midoriya? What were you thinking?”
“Make sure Shinsou doesn't die- shit-” He grabs his head and hisses, jolting himself up in pain. “Make sure you don't die- Kacchan and Kirishima too- What did you guys do?”
“It was the key!” Kirishima calls. “Thought it was odd that we found a key and keyhole to match… Thought they could go together?”
“Good thing they did, dumbass. Otherwise you'd be dead,” Bakugou throws in, from where he stands by the doors. The one that opened for the monster is still wide, showing off the outside world. Bakugou moves to attempt to close it. Doesn’t seem to be working out all that well.
There's another groan, and he pulls himself up to his feet. “I feel dead. I think actually dying would be a step up.”
Kirishima shrieks and slaps his shoulder. “Don't say that!” Izuku only tilts his head in confusion, prompting Kirishima to continue. “You almost did die. Er- probably, at least, but still! It scared the fuck out of us, dude. I wasn't the only one who heard you scream, was I?” Asui voices her agreement. The other two, standing at opposite ends of the hall, give it as well.
Bakugou pushes down the door and starts a steady jog to Izuku and their rag tag group. Shinsou only walks, leaving the key behind him.
“I’ve never heard you scream like that,” Shinsou says.
“I’ve known you for… since we were fucking kids,” says the blond, throwing in his two cents. “You’ve never… Not like that. Never like that. You’ve yelled, you’ve cried out-”
“He did it one other time, kero,” Asui remarks offhandedly. “When Bakugou was kidnapped on our camping trip.”
“No,” Bakugou tries to deny.
Asui shakes her head. “He did. It was terrible. He called out your name. I almost didn’t hear it. I wasn’t close to where you all were. But his scream was just that loud. The others told me about it too, kero. Those that were actually there.”
“Sorry,” Izuku replies. He bows his head, but then decides to just sit down. “I was emotional. I won’t say that I didn’t do it. I’m not a liar. But I’m fine right now. Not dead or dying or anything. I’m good. Okay?”
“Okay,” Asui chorused.
“Okay,” both Kirishima and Shinsou muttered.
“Aight,” Bakugou hissed.
“Follow the leader, Kacchan!” Izuku whines. “Don’t think out of the box!”
Bakugou shoots Izuku two middle fingers. Izuku only grins. Asshole, he knows they’re both thinking. Dumbass. Jackass. Smartass. All of the words fit with both of them. Through the pain, Izuku only smiles.
Shinsou breaks the silence by taking Izuku’s head into his heads and inspecting the damage. “We still don’t know why we’re here,” he says, forcefully making Izuku look left, right at the doors. “We need to figure that out. Along with where here is.” Izuku squints at the doors. Something’s different about them. He swats Shinsou’s hands away and stalks down the hall. “Midoriya-? Hey-”
“What the hell?” Izuku asks. “That wasn’t there before.”
“What wasn’t there before?” Kirishima asks him.
“That.” On the door that Bakugou just shut sits an engraved “1”. Beside it is a depiction of a key. It throws Izuku’s mind into overdrive. “Each door must have it’s own key that we have to collect, kind of like levels. The last key might be like a boss battle? I think that everytime we insert a key, we automatically win. Which means that if this is like a game, then getting all the keys is the objective, so the portal has to bring us home! But there’s only four doors, and I think we already completed one? Can we open it? We should try, who knows how long we’ll be here, and starving to death is the last thing we need. Plus, we really need to find medical supplies. A few of us are already injur-”
Bakugou growls and shoves him aside, going to undo his earlier actions of closing the door. “There’s no use mumbling about it. Just gotta fuckin’- do,” he grunts and shoves the rest of the door up, “it.”
The world behind the door is the same as the world inside. Monotone greys, metals, silvers. The only thing added is the two pairs of bunk beds and a couple of boxes. Shinsou pulls at one of them and opens the top.
“MRIs,” he says.
Kirishima raises a brow. “What?”
“Meals ready to eat.” He goes to the next box, says the same. The third box brings a small first aid kit, which gets tossed over to the redhead beside Izuku. “That’s it for the supplies. We should patch up and hit the hay.”
“There’s only four beds,” Kirishma points out.
“Someone will have to share," he says, "and it’s not going to be me.”
“Not gonna be fuckin’ me,” Bakugou throws in.
“I don’t mind sharing-” Asui tires.
“Ah, don’t worry about it! I’ll share with Midoribro and make sure he doesn’t die during the night. You’re cool with that, right dude?”
“I’m fine, Kirishima-kun,” Izuku starts off, “but alright. I don’t mind. Just… Bottom bunk, okay? I’d rather not fall off.”
With that, Izuku faded into the background as well as he could. He sits down on the bunk that he claimed. It’s the bottom one of the bunk closest to the door. Shinsou’s sleeping on the top bunk, and Asui and Bakugou took control of the other. Izuku watches as Bakugou pastes a bandage over his nose, as Kirishima worries over both Asui and Shinsou. After a bit, Bakugou ends up moving over and taking up the empty seat beside him.
“You gotta get patched up too, dumbass.” There’s a wet washcloth in Bakugou’s hand, which he brings up to wipe off the crusted blood on Izuku’s temple. Izuku tenses for only a moment, before leaning into Bakugou’s warm touch and letting him take the wheel.
“Thanks, Kacchan,” he mumbles. Izuku lets his eyes shut. He didn’t realize how tired he was.
“You owe me one, ya fuckin’ nerd.”
Bakugou’s hand is in his hair, Izuku’s not sure if it’s for bandages or what. It feels nice though. So Izuku doesn’t try to pull away. He keeps his eyes shut. He melts.
Izuku drifts away.