Halloween’s a scary Bish. You know what’s scurrier?
Thinking you left your phone back at the League lair when you’re about to steal a smooth multimillion in government funded prototypes from I-Island.
“What do you mean, you think you left it in the getaway submarine?” Shigaraki snarled at Twice.
The schizophrenic cloner aggressively patted his skintight costume.
“I AirDropped Toga a video and I dunno, I’m not sure if it’s on me or if it’s still in my seat. This outfit doesn’t come with pockets, okay??!”
Dabi scratched his haystack hair. “Twice, wasn’t Toga in your lap the whole way here?” he asked.
“Uh-huh,” said Bubaigawara.
“Sure was,” Toga chimed in.
“Then why didn’t you just show her a video on her own cell? Why AirDrop her anything?” Dabi inquired.
“It’s cuter when I communicate in emojis,” Twice confessed.
Dabi rolled his eyes. The consequences of dating a teenager he guessed. Toga lifted Jin’s mask up and locked lips with him with a resounding smack!
“Only on the internet. Real life Jin’s so much yummier!” she purred.
The League of Villains had made the voyage to I-Island for the nth time and their resident artillery fanatic, Spinner, had a Shopping List of sorts he was looking to check off.
Of course, since they were errrr, famous on I-Island – this mission called for a subtle approach.
So, they were coming to the island as themselves.
They stood in a line a mile long next to the docks with other fans and island visitors - as none other than themselves. Reg-u-lar citizens.
Tomura would file this mission under one of his more laudable strokes of genius. Why would they need to disguise themselves or go to the lengths of drilling though the bottom of the island (Heist 11 – not to be mentioned) when they could just waltz in?
All around them people were dressed up as the League – they were that known for their heists on the island. And why shouldn’t the League its actual self not be invited to join in the ‘cosplay’ on the one night of the year it was permitted?
It was too much of a potential trick/treat to pass up.
That being narrated, Tomura hated the protracted line they were in. Would they never reach the damn check-in with its plump security guards and bag inspection? He’d just go over the plan with his team in the meantime.
“Whatever. Do you have a watch? Something you can synchronize so we don’t fuck this up?” he asked Twice.
“I’ve got soft tape! And FISTS!” said the cloner, mock punching with said fists.
Shigaraki drew in a deep breath and looked out at the island’s horizon where, somewhere, their sub was anchored offshore.
“I hate my life. I hate it. I thought I was starting to like it. But now I’m back to hating it.”
Toga hugged Twice’s waist with her waist and chuckled.
“Don’t sweat it, Shiggy! Jin can be my buddy for the mission!” she crowed to their leader. Her intentions were less than pure.
Shigaraki shook his head.
“No. I’m separating you. Toga, you’re with Spinner. You’re gonna help him sneak into the Vaults. Dabi will provide a distraction fire in Warehouse 8. Twice will use clones to further divert and confuse the security teams on the ground since we can’t infiltrate their Control Room this time. And I will dissolve a backway out for you and Spinner once you have what we came for.”
He’d explained this back at their penthouse but dammit if he didn’t have to spell everything out in Alphabet Soup for these fucktards.
Speaking of soup, or pasta – his own cell phone went off.
It was Mustard asking if they were still in line.
“We are. Don’t call back again. They might have a way to hack into our frequency,” Tomura groused.
“Hack. Isn’t that like a term from the tech Stone Age?” asked Toga.
Dabi had a question too, about Shigaraki’s ringtone. “Is that Bitch Lasagna?” he asked.
Tomura inhaled and found his peace in playing Monster Maker 7 on his handheld gaming system and cold-shouldering the others.
That is until Toga swiped said gaming system from him to show it off to Twice and Dabi.
“See, he was lookin’ up vids before we hit the island too.”
It was more Pewdiepie, gamer extraordinaire and Lord of Youtube.
“Huh – ‘Only Real Gamers Can Watch’ – fitting,” said Dabi, checking out the video title.
When Toga pressed play she and Twice couldn’t really follow the English or at least the Swedish English accent but Dabi could.
“I don’t care about your Vietnam stories – have you tried going to Molten Core with only four healers? Tch - I don’t care!”
“That’s a good one. I’m tellin’ that to my old man next time I see him,” he commented.
“Together us gamers are strong. For too long we have been oppressed by these groups. Everyone is against us. But we are the toughest, most hard-working, most vigilant, most powerful group on the internet. If we all – together – will rise up, we can defeat anything. We can take over the world. We can create the gaming utopia that we all want to live with!”
“Is this your daily affirmation or something?” Dabi asked Tomura.
“Shut up! It’s satire!! HANDS OFF MY 3DS!!” Shigaraki yelled.
Shigaraki rested the Nintendo 3DS from the blood quirk user and glared at his friends. Antics and commonplace quibbles broke out amongst the four of them the final hour and a half through the line. Spinner stayed out of the quartet’s BS. He was secretly glad Mr. Compress and Kurogiri were at their base, creating a false trail for the heroes trying to track them down.
Dabi, in spite of his ominous duster, didn’t get frisked too much at the check point. But Toga had to relinquish her many, many, pointy objects.
From knives to needles to axes – Himiko Toga had a plethora of armaments that would make a corsair blush. Blessedly, security endured her disarming sequence with differential indifference – to them she was just another overzealous fan in a Toga getup.
Tomura was the only other one who got stopped during the bag check. Apparently, the mace canister attached to his keychain wasn’t allowed on the island’s premises.
He told them it was for creeps and stalkers (really he just didn’t like crowds) which prompted them to simply look at him for a long period of time like he was the definition of what he’d just said. Which – alright, his trench coat was only a marginal step up from his hoodie but c’mon!
With his splintered finger nails, getting the cursed canister off the main link was virtually impossible. He decayed it while the gatekeepers weren’t looking and pretended he’d chucked it in the nearby trash can.
Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
After an epoch had passed – a super uneventful one at that – the League was emitted onto I-Island as guests.
They had their badges and everything.
“I wanna ride the rides!” said Toga.
“Me too!” joined in Twice.
“FOCUS!” said Shigaraki. “We are here to steal various weapons like the Re-atomizer and the Begone Again Off-Again Quantum Death Ray. I can’t tell what they do from how they’re named but Spin says we need them so we’re here to procure them, is that explicitly understood?”
He received nods that he doubted the authenticity of.
God help him.
“Alright. Everyone knows their roles, correct?”
“Good. We’ll meet back up at the wall west of that churro cart at 2300. I’ll radio ahead so Mustard knows where to pick us up.”
They split. Toga going with Spinner. Twice wandering off to wherever he needed to be to scramble the I-Island forces when the time came. But Dabi hung back before treading to Warehouse 8.
“I heard some of the baby heroes from U.A. are here. I know you did too,” he voiced to Shigaraki.
“If you run into your little brother you don’t have to torch him, what do you want me to say?” Tomura grumbled.
“That we can have fun,” Dabi grinned a hellish grin and Shigaraki returned it.
These past few weeks had been stressful on the League. All Might kept interfering with their business and Tomura’s head – and they hadn’t even gotten to use the tank in a month!
As long as the League wasn’t caught by the Law, they were free to stir up as much delivery as they desired on this, the official Night of Mischief.
Before he and Dabi parted, Shigaraki asked him something that had been nagging at him in the queue. “Quick question: how do you know English?”
Dabi, Touya in another life, shrugged.
“Enji didn’t like the American. S’what he called All Might. So, I took up the country’s language in middle school.”
Shigaraki nodded and began to leave. Dabi pursued him.
“How do you know English?” he asked the rot quirk user.
Shigaraki walked away from him faster.
“Is it because of the Pewds?” Dabi asked.
Tomura was already past the third All Might gift shop and the Ferris Wheel.
“You can’t hide from your shame, Mophead!!”
I-Island was half Research & Development Heaven, half stellar-to-shabby housing for the people doing the researching and developing, and half X-Games meets whatever overpriced vacation destination you see advertised every summer on TV.
In short - it was 50% better than all the other scientist populated live-in islands out there.
Last time she was here it was daytime and Toga got to sunbathe on the beach while the boys ran amuck on the theme park side of the island, literally burning down the log ride while they were on it.
Sure, they were almost captured because Himiko had dozed off on the warm sand in her school marm disguise but she’d piloted the helicopter around to meet them after hijacking it from the helipad in her soldier disguise…….eventually.
Just not at Something-Something-Oh-Hundred. Why did Shiggy hafta use military speak on their heist missions anyways? Did it make him feel like he was in a big action movie or some such?
At least the flume ride group picture had turned out nice. In it, Spinner was firing at the island police in the log behind them, Dabi was dabbing, Twice was flashing a Yakuza gang sign he learned while they were ‘working’ for Kai, and Tomura had a massive case of derp face that was sure to make anyone crack up.
That’s probably why he rotted the photo. It was a good thing Himiko had snapped a pic of the pic on her phone before it got deteriorated.
She’d sent a copy to the League but don’t tell, Himiko told all her teammates. Shiggy would spoil something if he found out. Like their cells – or their necks.
“Wow Spinner, look at how popular you are!” Toga exclaimed.
The lizard man flicked his transparent third eyelid (nictitating membrane in Nerd) and considered the dozens of Spinner cosplayers clogging the island’s streets. From body paint to homemade prosthetics for FX makeup, Spinner was the clear-cut favorite in the eyes of the public out of their band of revisiting bandits.
Toga suspected it had something to do with his enthusiasm and clever methods of infiltration. Security footage of him scaling laboratory ceilings without any rappelling gear and using former stolen items to help him steal new items had leaked online. And now Spin had a following.
People loved a rebel on Halloween. Especially a - morally questionable - and factually sticky-fingered one who was still on the run.
Spinner’s scales got a shade darker around his cheeks and Toga giggled to see his blush.
“You should talk to some of them. Ask if they’re impressed by your ‘makeup’,” she teased. She brushed the back of her fingers across his blush, the nails clacking on the scales.
He wrinkled his beak at her and checked out a particularly ratty purple wig a fan of his sported.
“You got more nerve than they do y’know? I’d wager the police on the island think this is an insult,” he muttered.
“Huh-ho? Getting upset on the behalf of the boys in blue? I thought you were cold blooded like me.”
Toga pranced alongside him, nose in the air. Spinner would’ve been content to ignore her until an open compact with a powder puff inside was shoved in his face.
“What’s this for?” he asked.
“To touch up your self-lies. Also, you’re blushing.”
Toga never quit when she was ahead. How and why Jin fancied her was a damn mystery to Shuichi. He flicked his tongue out at the girl in a low hiss.
“Smart alek. Just for that I’m not letting you have the Siren Syringe. It’s an invention that can draw out poisons even after they’re injected deep into the blood stream. But that’s not what it has to be used for. I’m going to dismantle it and I’ve decided I’ll let Moonfish play with it instead of you.”
Toga rapidly changed her tune from cocky to pouty to indignant but in a cocky and pouty way.
“No fair, Spin! Can’t you just man up and take a joke!”
She brandished her manicured claws at him which had nothing on his rough and thickened nails made for climbing. And for pulling the triggers of anti-tank rocket launchers.
“Okay. Moonfish gets to keep it,” Spinner revised.
Hello (Psycho) Kitty beat at his chest as they walked, with blows his quirk-based mutation mostly absorbed.
“He’s in Tartarus right now! What’s he gonna do with it?!” Toga railed.
They soon came upon the entrance they were going to use to get into the island’s underground Vaults. A metal door covered in electric fencing attached to a shed that was on the outskirts of the island. Inside should be the power generators used for the more defunct laboratories as well as a few forgotten adjoining corridors.
If the blueprints they had back at the lair were anything to go by.
“Hey, we’re here,” Spinner announced.
His talons made short work of the electric chicken wire and Toga used a nail file to pick the padlock and, because she was ticked, impale the print verification touch screen –
Weren’t those numbnuts at the front supposed to have TSA’d her?
This island’s security SUCKED ASS!
“Uh-oh,” said Shuichi.
“What do you mean it’s a bust?” Tomura demanded into his cell’s receiver.
He heard Spinner reply on the other end with exasperation and no small hint of embarrassment. It would appear that the generators had been moved and the corridors their weapons expert had planned to use to get to the Vaults were blocked up with cement.
Pro Hero Cementoss and the I-Island P.D. had been waiting for the villains too, to make matters extra annoying.
Fortunately, Spinner and Toga did the smart thing (it’s been known to happen) and fled them. They melted back into the Halloween crowds with what must have been frustrating ease for the heroes.
“I’ll contact Mustard. We -” he began.
“Wait,” Spinner interrupted him. “There’s some sort of expo going on near the battle arena. This night might not be as busted as I thought. Me and Toga’ll look into it and call you back. Hang tight.”
Tomura was bumped into by a brawny civilian before he could return his phone to his trench.
I HATE crowds!
The big guy was dressed like Shigaraki. Clay hands molded over his arms and shoulders. A dollar store quality fake mole glued to his chin and contacts that looked like blocky discs of red – like the butt end of a crayon – more so than authentic irises.
“Your costume blows,” said Obviously Not Shigaraki to Shigaraki.
Tomura removed his Father to get a better look at the dead man.
“Excuse me?” he asked.
The forgery, the gall and tawdry insolence from a fraud, a copy, a slanderous - !!
The uniform-clad island police parted the crowd. Heroes like Cementoss and Dragoon used their height to canvass numerous masked and painted faces and pick out those which were suspect.
“You there. Yes, you in the hoodie. Would you please come with us, sir.”
The phony was selected from the masses. Shigaraki, who’d been reaching for him, clamped his open corpse-creating digits into his palm. A bear trap deprived of a meal.
“What the hell for?” the fake asked, hostile.
“Please cooperate sir, we just need to verify you’re not Tomura Shigaraki.”
“With a thumb print,” Cementoss added.
“Kay. Which thumb you want?”
Obviously Not Shigaraki indicated his many grey Play-Doh hands and smiled like he was being cute.
What a fuck weasel.
Tomura sneered and plunged into a press of people (desperate times call for distasteful measures) and was able to lose the authorities in the throng.
The good guys weren’t just going after Shigarakis – they were starting to crack down on others dressed as the League as well. Sifting them apart from their fellow guests and trying to find the real deal – that good kush, if you will. And shit was escalating. A Mr. Compress got restrained by his own magic scarves, a Toga was cemented to a slushie machine, and a Twice was chased into a fountain and maced.
Tomura, aside from missing his own mace, knew he needed to find his idiots. And find them quick.
The ‘Lift Off Expo: The Next Generation Will Build Our Future’ was located next to the ornate Colloquium Gardens, an outside area where academic seminars were normally held.
While nowhere near as ostentatious as the gardens themselves, this strip of beach being used by teens, twenty-somethings, and a couple of grade schoolers to showcase their latest inventions was still a sight to behold. Gleaming robots that did your homework for you, the self-replicating Forever Donut, and a neon orange yoyo that could capture things better than Eraserhead’s steel alloy enforced and demon possessed cloth.
The brightest of the youngest minds the world had to offer were quirky, in the original sense of the word, and Spinner could envision infinite uses for their gadgets that had something adults tended to grow out of: imagination.
“So this button turns the rollerblades into a flamethrower and this one ejects the wheels into spinning discs capable of decapitating a man at a hundred yards?” he clarified.
“I mean you could. But I’ve been using them to knock drones out of the sky,” said the pinkette with the Steampunk goggles. She leaned in and whispered to Spinner so the other Expo entrants couldn’t hear. “My rivals like to try and get a sneak peak at my babies.”
Spinner darted his tongue out in irritation. “Curs. Freeloading fleabags,” he tutted.
“I know right?” said Mei Hatsume.
Spinner had never met any of the scientists he stole from but he’d overheard some of them talking in a break room once – while he hid in a ventilation shaft.
Boring stuff really. About the stress that they might miss their kid’s volleyball match if they didn’t finish writing down test results for subgroup B, or how they never had time to work out anymore, or mini interrogations regarding who forgot to refill the coffee pot.
But this girl with the salmon colored dreadlocks was vibrant and buzzing with energy. She didn’t make coy wisecracks at his expense either which made her a step up from Toga in attitude.
Where was Himiko anyway?
Spinner spun his head around, his quirk allowing him to move and see at a wider range than most of the more human looking humans. The shapeshifter was gone.
Well, she had had to listen to Shuichi talk to close to ten young inventors about their equipment and by Gearhead Number 3 had already been rocking back and forth on her heels, disinterested yet restless.
She’d find ways entertain herself. Some of them might even be, although certainly illegal, less frowned upon since it was Halloween.
“Does this belt do what I think it does?” he asked Mei.
“More!” the pinkette said with a grin.
Dabi was the only villain following the plan at this critical point. Although he was unenlightened to the fact. He leaned against Warehouse 8 and crossed his arms over his chest, waiting for Tomura to text him to begin the pyre portion of their heist.
That’s how the heroes-in-training stumbled upon him.
“Iida! Slow down. We’ll make it to Mei’s showcase but first we have to become un-lost.”
“Let him go, Round Face. If he wants to get a Charley Horse from being in a hurry, he can.”
“Kaaaachaaan. We promised we’d go together.”
A tall high schooler with calves as thick as tree trunks turned the corner while his female friend clung to his arm, trying not to drop her I-Island balloon. She was being drug, almost off her feet, but Squats & Cardio didn’t seem to notice.
Only – wellwellWELL! if it wasn’t the League’s short-fused, ill-chosen kidnap victim/recruit.
Bakugou Katsuki rounded the corner with his classmates. Like them he was in his official hero costume. A missed opportunity in Dabi’s opinion, given that it was Halloween.
But he’d come as himself (for a mission) so who was he to judge?
“And we are. Support Chick said she’s gonna show off her crap again to us once we get there. We’re her pals or whatever. Who cares if we’re late?” Katsuki asked.
Did the brat always walk in a grumpy bowlegged slouch? It was somehow worse than Shigaraki’s occasional raptor hands and penguin shuffle.
“I do,” said Four Eyes, Iida, administering Katsuki a glare through his glasses.
“Clearly,” Bakugou commented with a smirk.
Four Eyes must have something for Support Chick.
Dabi was beginning to crave popcorn since he was watching a Teen Drama unfold when the brat took issue with him being an innocent bystander.
“You,” he said to Dabi, voice flat and expression pitiless. “Find something else to look at.”
Shigaraki had said he could have fun. That is - he’d alluded to it.
Dabi’s staples stretched as his lower face became all teeth. He didn’t stop leaning on the warehouse or uncross his arms. Bakugou Katsuki stepped up to square up all on his own. Dabi didn’t have to make a single physical move.
The flame quirk user remembered that this junior hero had been a handful. Machismo radiating off him like a nuclear plant with a leak - the punk hadn’t changed.
“Feelin’ big and bad from being dressed up like a villain, huh?” asked Katsuki.
“Bakugou-” the girl, Round Face, warned.
The teen TNT stick stepped closer to the human Zippo lighter.
“Maybe I should kick your ass since I’m dressed up like a hero?”
Dabi wasn’t going to go there -
But since the kid didn’t seem to recognize the man who’d pulled him throat first backwards through one of Kurogiri’s portals, why the fuck not?
“Are you a hero? I thought you were a 3D Anime Girl Mouse Pad with grenades instead of boobs.”
Iida grabbed Katsuki by the wrists as he lunged at Dabi demanding that he, “DIIIIIIEEEEEEEE!!!!”
The Hall Monitor put his calf thrusters in reverse even as the brat’s dynamite blasts drove him forward so that they skittered in place, remaining inert-ish. However, it was a stalemate Iida could not ultimately win.
So he swept Bakugou’s legs out from under him and sat on him after he hit the pavement.
Muffled howls and growls resonated through the ground and were surprisingly decipherable to those not eating tarmac.
Once Katsuki finally thrashed and gnashed his way through the majority of his tantrum, Iida let him up. Round Face dusted him off but was stern.
“Calm down,” she told him. “We can’t get thrown out for starting fights. It would look super bad for U.A.”
Iida laid a hand on Bakugou’s shoulder.
“Breathe, Bakugou. What Would All Might Do?”
Katsuki shrugged Iida’s hand off.
“We saved the island last year. They can let me fight this guy.”
There was battle lust in the kid’s wide insane eyes. The villain’s own gaze stayed cool and half-lidded.
“What for? Hero,” Dabi taunted.
He still hadn’t moved a muscle.
Bakugou looked proud of himself for dredging up such a flimsy excuse. He cocked his head to the side as if the snider his snarl, the more formidable he’d be. Which was damn silly of the brat.
Pomeranians with rabies don’t frighten Dabi.
“You got me, kid. But hold up.”
Dabi waltzed across the one-way street from Warehouse 8 to Warehouse 9, his coattails drifting in his wake.
“Ahhh shoot, wouldja look at that-” Dabi pivoted, and stared into Katsuki’s enraged face, completely deadpan, “Now I’m jaywalking.”
Katsuki barreled toward Dabi who sidestepped him like a professional matador. The moron crashed through the wooden panels of Warehouse 9. Dabi was just sad the hole he made wasn’t shaped like his silhouette like in the cartoons. Katsuki was acting childish enough.
When obstinate twerp emerged from the wreckage he didn’t get the chance for a second charge at Dabi because Round Face bitch-slapped him.
Dabi would hang this moment in a gilded frame in his Hall of Memories.
A Blessed Image.
Sign of the Cross.
Katsuki floated off his toes and would’ve floated into space if Round Face hadn’t kept him anchored by grasping a loop on his cargo pants. She briefly passed him to Iida, then set about freeing her ‘I Survived The Skelenator’ rollercoaster-themed balloon of its tassel – and tying said tassel to Bakugou’s leg.
Katsuki looked like a limited-edition memento. Like an event pen or those sequined headbands from Disneyland.
“ROUND FACE!! THIS AIN’T FUNNY!!”
If only the rest of the League were here to see this.
Iida tried to apologize for his classmate as if it were his responsibility to, like a parent or something.
“Sorry about him. He’s just-”
“High-strung?” Dabi asked.
Iida, mature to a fault, merely nodded. He and Round Face said their awkward goodbyes to him, stilted, due to Bakugou’s cursing, and Dabi was compelled to continue his loitering much to his chagrin.
He didn’t have to decay in the tedium for too long because Tomura texted him. Dabi preferred their walkie talkies and earpieces but since they were pretending to be visitors this time around it made sense to use phones.
We’re made. The authorities know we’re here and are searching for us. Toga and Spinner couldn’t get to the Vaults. Meet back at the churro stand ASAP!
“So much for Operation: Treat Ourselves,” Dabi grumbled.
He texted Shigaraki back.
Recipient: Hand Joke
Dabi paced next to Warehouse 8 until he got his answer.
At a kiddy Expo. You think you can collect him for me?
An expo…. a showcase! Maybe he and the brat could have a ‘rematch’. Dabi responded to the League’s leader.
On it, Boss.
The villain meandered in the direction the teenagers had left in. He’d meet up with them at their buddy’s science fair. Possibly ruin it for them. Dabi hadn’t got to set Warehouse 8 on fire and he wanted to set something on fire!
With nitroglycerin sweat surely a lot of Katsuki was flammable.
“They don’t form a suit or exo-shell but my babies are synced with each other so the user can operate them simultaneously without fear of them getting in the way of one another.”
“You got a gizmo that can make people like that? My teammates are a sack of braindead kittens at times.”
Spinner was decked out in a surplus of Mei’s support items and had to say – the girl had a brilliant head on her shoulders. He wasn’t even gonna take it off when he jacked all these.
He could definitely use the duel beams attached to the Bolider – a laser equipped orerry that could unfold around a person as if they were the sun in a giant metal solar system lineup was just what he needed for next month’s bank job.
Hell, he might be able to get into the Vaults tonight if Lady Luck stuck with him. He grinned as he checked the control pads and listened to Hatsume talk about the details of her items.
“Remarkable,” he commented.
“Glad you think so. The companies are notoriously stingy when it comes to new talent.”
The engineer grimaced at the two or so sponsors probing their slice of beach for their next big pay day. Something they could package and sell. The teens who’d been invited to showcase their talent were vying for the meager attention whereas the actual kid kids who’d come had forsaken trying to pitch their projects and were splashing in the ocean under the stars.
Spinner tilted her chin up with a claw.
Toga thought she was the only charmer in the League – please!
“Mei-chan! We made it!”
Arriving down a sandy path lit by carved fruit Jack-O’-Lanterns – pineapples, and watermelons, and such – were Mei’s friends.
“Hi guys! You came!” she exclaimed, hugging Iida and then Ochako.
“Of course we came, Mei-san. We’re here to celebrate your inventions,” said Iida.
He took an instant anti-shine to the Spinner cosplayer with her. The Class President didn’t like how the reptilian man had been leering when they crested a dune and spotted them.
“Where’s Bakugou?” asked Mei.
“Um, er, he’s -” Ochako began.
“HEADS UP!” came a shout above them.
Bakugou towed his weightless body down the balloon tassel, arm over arm. He put his hand out and waited expectantly for a high-five from Uraraka. Mei laughed.
“Did you come with a barcode?”
“Can it, Support Chick! Round Face, don’t leave me hanging.”
Shuichi repressed a groan at the line. If he didn’t know any better, he’d guess that the three of them had had a run-in with Dabi. It would be enough to catch the contagion that was his humor.
Uraraka high-fived him and Bakugou landed on his feet like an agitated feline but – at least – not a braindead one.
“You extras hit the dirt.”
Or perhaps Spinner was wrong.
“We’re in sand,” said Iida.
Bakugou was aiming his hands at a shadowy figure striding across the beach to join them. The boy had good eyes in the dark – Spinner wondered if it was training or quirk-based.
“We meet again! Oh, what’s up Spin?” Dabi greeted them.
Shuichi’s fellow League member looked like the cat who got the cream – or a cat that was about to eat the canary. One of those.
(Spinner made a mental note to not think another cat related metaphor until after Christmas.)
“Me, myself and I,” Dabi responded to Bakugou. The air began to shimmer with heat – like the inside of toaster with the lever pulled down.
Shuichi caught a couple of blue sparks itching around his teammate’s sutured fingers. Thankfully, the teenagers seemed to think the heat wave came from the boy bearing his arms.
Dabi had been on edge ever since his father had saved him after being concussed in a turf war during the past summer. He needed a brawl and the U.A. kids, now seniors, could certainly supply one.
But that would cause Trouble with a capital T. Much more than the tiny troubles with their lower-case t’s Himiko was surely spawning somewhere on the island.
“Dabi, meet Mei Hatsume. She’s the mastermind behind the most impressive support items I’ve ever seen.”
Dabi put out his hand so he could put out his hand to shake Mei’s.
“Is Dabi what you’re goin’ by tonight? Like Spinner over here,” Mei asked, amused by them keeping their ‘code’ names.
Bakugou pointed one of his ‘die’ palms directly at the side of Dabi’s skull. Uraraka attempted to yank his arm away but he wouldn’t be budged. He shoved her away before she might anti-grav him. The look he was giving Dabi went beyond their tussle at Warehouse 8. Like he could smell the danger coming off the fire quirk user.
He might not recall me but he recalls something, Dabi thought, pleased.
“Watch where you point that,” he challenged, not warned, with an arched brow.
It was Mei who grabbed Bakugou’s grenade grieved arm and broke the tension.
“When was the last time you had these upgraded? They’re chipped to hell and back. Tcch! Unbelievable.”
“Let go, Support Chick.”
“You call these gauntlets? They’re a travesty! Let me tinker with ‘em and they’ll be better than ever before. That’s the Hatsume guarantee!”
“OI!” Bakugou yelled as the gauntlet Mei had a hold of was wrenched from his limb. Not to be deterred he aimed the opposite arm at Dabi who ducked behind Spinner.
“Coward!” Bakugou accused.
Dabi laughed as he looked over Spinner’s left shoulder, then his right, the Blasty One’s hand tracking him. Iida got in on trying to restrain Bakugou with Uraraka and Spinner was in the middle of the madness. The sticker on the flat of Shuichi’s wrist had a lightning bolt next to a button. Moving Spinner’s hand to the brat’s chest, he pressed the support item's button - there was a fizzle and a BUZZ.
Bakugou was hit in the neck with two wires and mildly electrocuted.
“Hmm, built-in tasers. Sweet.”
Spinner rolled his eyes. “Dabi-” he started to admonish him but Bakugou came forward after ripping the wires out with a growl. Dabi puppeteered Spinner’s elbow this time and pressed the button on that support item. Much to Mei’s dismay.
“No, it’s backwards!” she said right before an Ashido pink mist spurted out of a duct and buffeted Dabi in the face.
Dabi rubbed his eyes furiously and coughed.
“Is that ‘crud’ a he-needs-a-hospital crud?” Spinner asked.
“It more of an oopsy-daisy crud. And a it-took-me-six-months-to-locate-those-ingredients crud. It disorients your enemies to make them easier to capture.”
Spin patted Dabi’s back while the smoker coughed.
“It do any harm?”
Spinner didn’t want to have to be on a nurse shift for Dabi once they returned to the lair. The bastard was shit at being ill or injured and had no ability when bed-bound to accept dubious bedside manners with any amount of grace. Mei looked insulted.
“No. I want my items to save heroes and catch villains. That’s it.”
“That makes one of us,” said Bakugou, caged somewhat by Ochako and Tenya.
Spinner liked that she wasn’t a sadist. It was a change of pace. Stupid but admirable.
“You’re a doll.”
“She begs your pardon,” said Iida.
Bakugou was nearly loosed. Shuichi nodded to the jetpack type device hooked to his spine and gestured to the rest of the support items he was covered in.
“Can I take these for a, ah, spin?” he asked with a wink.
Mei giggled and Spinner took that as a yes. A few switches flipped and boosters fired and he lifted off into the air. He wobbled a bit but got the hang of it after a moment. Soon he was shooting out over the ocean, cackling with glee.
“He’s taking off with your gear,” Bakugou noted.
The scouts and agents who’d snubbed her at the Expo noticed Spinner and the Hatsume brand he was covered in. Mei knew she’d eventually get patents and be successful. She worked too hard and too much to not know it. But genius was exploited at her age more so than rewarded. She’d change that even if she had to be commercial in her ventures.
“He’s the ‘repeat customer’ type. He’ll be back.” She shrugged, unconcerned. “Besides, where would he go? The tech he’s equipped with can’t stay airborne that long and we’re on an island. More publicity for me.”
Bakugou retrieved his gauntlet from her and ignited his quirk.
“I’m going after him.”
He crackled up into the sky, buoyed by his explosions. Mei called after him.
“Mind my babies! I can have them self-destruct if I want but you shouldn’t be near them if they do.”
Iida sighed and turned to Uraraka.
“We should follow, Ochako. He might need your help with a landing. And I can keep up with them on the shore.”
Ochako let him give her a piggy-back ride so they could utilize his speed. The girl from the Support Course winked at the Class President.
“Iida, let’s hang out later, yeah?”
He wasn’t as MJ smooth with the ladies as criminal Spinner. He stammered.
“S-sure. Bye for now.”
Twice had made his clones like Tomura said. They were a rabble of former Yakuza he remembered the dimensions of - plus a middle-aged tourist matron from the island whom Twice overheard screaming to speak to a manager. They would instigate a diversion for the security teams no problem.
But then Jin had his mask snatched by a grabby toddler seated on his father’s shoulders. Was this why Shigaraki didn’t care for crowds??
The dad returned the mask to him before he could split, although not before the chubby Vandal gummed said mask and it became wet with drool.
By the time Twice was at his spot near the rollercoaster again, his clones had scattered. You needed to give them their purposes fairly soon. Or else their autonomous asses would wander clear off.
It took some coaxing, coercion, and putting the tourist mom in a headlock but he got them all into line eventually. An actual line too. Like troops in front of a drill sergeant.
“Okay so, you guys get the plan, right? You go out there. And you just start doing stuff.”
A Yakuza clone lifted his hand.
“What kind of stuff?”
“Any kind of stuff.”
Another clone, Soramitsu, made chewing sounds under his burlap bag.
“I’m gonna EAT the churro stand!” he wheezed.
Twice fired two enthusiastic finger guns at him. “I like it! It’s tired, bold.”
“I’m GONNA EAT THE CHURRO STAND GUY!” Soramitsu declared wanting more approval.
“The terrifying sequel! Will I pay to go see it? Absolutely!” Twice praised.
One Yakuza, the 120% Done one, Hekiji Ten-something – he rubbed his temples in vexation, eyes closed as always and asked, “Am I permitted to construct a barrier around the children in the ball pit, thus sending the parents belonging to them into a state of distress?”
“Can I go into the ball pit and stab everything in there with my crystals before you construct your barrier?” Yu Hojo in turn asked Hekiji.
Hekiji almost opened his eyes he was so impressed.
“And up the state of distress to one of turmoil? I believe that would be satisfactory.”
Both duplicates looked to Twice who nodded sagely.
“Very unacceptable, gentlemen,” said the contradictory clone maker. “Any more questions?”
This time the surly tourist mom raised her hand and Twice strolled over to her in the ranks, arms crossed behind his back.
“How’d you get my measurements, you outrageous hooligan?”.
Twice sniffed with disdain and about faced, arms still crossed.
“That, madam, is on a need to know basis, y’know? It wasn’t because you were in front of me while we were waiting to get in. If that’s what you were thinking.”
Twice about faced after his about face.
“NOW! What’s your plan of attack?”
A tinkling giggle came from behind Twice. Two petite palms shaded the eye holes of his mask.
Twice spun around and swept Toga up into his arms. Jin shooed his clones away with windshield wiper motions.
“To battle! Get lost! Scram! Do your duty for your country!” he yelled.
He hugged Toga who kissed him over his covered lips, making him whine.
“You gotta watch telling people the truth like that right after you say you won’t,” Toga teased. “Mr. Fort Knox.”
Jin yanked his mask up to his nose and kissed Himiko properly.
“I can keep secrets,” he said huskily.
His girlfriend grinned and as per usual it looked so
“Don’t tell Tomura I’m not sticking to the plan.” She leaned close to his ear and whispered, “I’d rather stick to you.”
Things were getting steamy even if it was Halloween. Literally steamy. A man just flew across the shallow part of the coastline evaporating the brine as he chased after someone laden in support items.
Shigaraki thought for a moment the scene reminded him of a previous one. Wherein an insolent porcupine, having said no to joining his gang, instead chose to soar through the night sky towards his friends with his rocket booster hands like a glitching game avatar. Looking cool and absurd all at once.
But no – it couldn’t be the same porcupine.
Although the prickly hair outlined by the moon……. and that distant cursing…….
Shigaraki bumped into somebody this time. It doesn’t count as rude if it’s been done more often to you. Those are the rules.
“Are you alright?” asked Izuku Midoriya.
He’s looking me in the eyes. How is he looking me in the eyes??
Where did his broccoli haircut go? Is All Might even remotely okay with his yet to be adopted son sporting a side shave???
Tomura didn’t know whether to be offended that the next One For All had asked him, the next mega villain, such a demeaning question or if he should take major issue with the fact that the squirt was as tall as he was now.
Fucking growth spurts.
“Don’t touch me,” said Tomura, as if little (now big) Deku had run into him.
He was prepared to get around the teen hero and exit his vicinity with an air of evil and a touch of mystery. Then he accidently stepped on Dark Shadow.
A demon with glowing sclera and a ferocious, snapping beak descended upon him. Tomura tried to rot it – but his hands went through it.
It was the prehistoric times come again. He was going to perish via Hell Pterodactyl.
“Heel!” Tokoyami, the Jet Black Hero, commanded.
Dark Shadow, buffer and more nightmare-inducing at night hissed not in a snaky sort of way but in a
demon bird of prey sort of way.
The manifestation, poised over Shigaraki like a tidal wave, retreated to its master’s side. And Tomura, leaning back like he was in a limbo competition, tried not to let his knees knock together out of fear.
“Sorry about him. He used to be more of a nuisance to control but I’ve been training with very qualified heroes. We’re both stronger now thanks to them.”
Tokoyami blinked, owlish, and noted Shigaraki’s bent position.
“You can stand up now,” he told him.
Deku was about to add to the conversation, something middle-of-the-road and conciliatory if Tomura remembered their long talk at the mall correctly, when a blonde joined them.
She was as dressed as the former One For All, Nana Shimura. Which made Tomura realize with a start, that Deku was dressed as All Might.
From their body language, he deduced they were a couple.
Wasn’t that not allowed since his grandmother had been a mother figure to All Might? Where were the police?
But the more Tomura thought about it this less upset he was.
Deku had a yellow headband with plastic pieces serving as his signature All Might cowlicks and the cape looked all wrong on him. It was too large and if Tomura had to guess, the genuine article. Toshinori would easily have let Deku borrow a vintage cape of his for Halloween.
Probably even let him keep it.
The girl was wearing rubber kitchen gloves that went up to her elbows and her hair, although in Nana’s classic bun, was far too long, and again, blonde.
But they both looked like a pair of young adults enjoying the innocence of the holiday without remorse. Deku, All Might’s protégé and Melissa Shield, daughter of a world-class scientist, were costumed as their favorite heroes in spite of being the personal heroes of many already.
“Your Shigaraki costume is fantastic!” Melissa complimented him.
Tomura’s mouth went dry. What, really, do you say to that?
We stole your dad’s Extend-Da-Shock-Net last month. Thanks for dressing up as my Nan.
Deku inspected Shigaraki’s ‘costume’ as well. The skin between his eyebrows puckered.
“Yeah it is,” he said more to himself. “Real accurate.” The concern mounted from the One For All heir apparent. “Hmmm….” he muttered.
“Will you join us for our photo? We’re missing a Shigaraki,” Melissa invited.
Behind them, in front a marble flight of stairs leading to the Genealogy Hall of Study and Advancement in the Field of Quirk Origins, was a group of high schoolers. Shigaraki recognized some of the other side kicks his League had fought as being from Class 1b. They were there dressed as well-known villains whereas several from Class 1a, including Deku and Melissa, were dressed as Pro Heroes.
“I’d…..loath-ve to?” said Shigaraki.
He didn’t need Deku getting suspicious. The All Might wannabe was looking at him like he could X-ray his soul if he squinted hard enough.
“Excellent!” said Melissa.
And Tomura was led towards the stairs for a group photo.
Dabi zig-zagged around I-Island in a spun-out haze. He’d never been high before. Hung over? Check. Shaky with nic withdrawals? Double check. (Low tar is for quitters.)
“Maybe I should quit….” Dabi mused.
It was something Twice had been niggling him to do anyway. So his lungs didn’t wind up matching his carbonized skin. The notion only now struck him as reasonable since he could just trade his smoking habit for whatever this was.
He felt great.
The sidewalks were neon and flag poles sang to him. Their Barbershop Harmony was superb. A ten out of seaweed. Give them a Granny.
Or was it a Grammy?
That gold idol dude the upper crust celebs liked to worship.
Dabi tripped his way over to the island’s fairgrounds. He won every game. The Ring Toss at the bottle stand, the Basketball aisle thing, the Duck Row shootout, that fish hook one with the kiddy pool, and Skee Ball.
He dunked a particularly foul-mouthed clown into the Dunk Tank.
Soon he was loitering by a lamp post, a killing of ticket rolls gripped in one hand and a gold fish baggie complete with a live gold fish in the other.
“Your name is Dinner cuz I’m having you as an appetizer later. You want to be grilled or sashimi-ed?” Dabi asked the ticket rolls, then realized they weren’t the fish. He lifted up the baggie and consulted the gold fish.
“Well?” he asked.
The gold fish made silent fish gulps in bubble-filled chokes of despair. His eyes cried chibi tears that Dabi knew were invisible in the water. It made him regret his statement.
“I wouldn’t do that to you. You’re a good boi and your name can be Gold Digger. I’ll steal a fish bowl and put it on the bar at home. And make Kurogiri take care of you. Don’t cry, GDiggy,” Dabi told his prize.
A tug at his duster’s sleeve caused Dabi’s gaze to drop to waist level. Two Japanese boys about eight or nine were down there. They were dressed as Endeavor and Hawks and each had filled candy buckets.
“S’cuse us, mister. But are you gonna use those?” asked the pint-sized Number 1 Hero. His plastic flame beard with its pulsing glow-in-the-dark rave necklace crap gave Dabi unpleasant flashbacks.
“Listen here, Troll-” Dabi began.
Toga and Twice never made it to a secluded make-out spot. They were mobbed by fans of their God Tier Cosplay who wanted to meet them. When the police and heroes came by the public shamed them for not letting paying island guests dress up as villains on Halloween and have a bit of fun.
So, to stay better protected from the authorities, who circled the crowd, waiting for them, Jin and Himiko were signing autographs.
Twice, naturally, signed his name twice.
They took selfies with their fans. Toga held fake knives to her fans throats for a lot of them. The props were fake but the homicidal urges were real.
At some point the pair were asked by a shipper when they were getting married.
Which prompted Twice to relay, acerbically, that Toga had already proposed. Just not to him. And Toga had to recount the story about how the League had once put her in charge of the Treasury and she had blown all their funds on capsule toys. Shigaraki was so angry he couldn’t even look at her and chose to disintegrate Dabi’s sofa in an effort to remain calm.
Therefore, Toga had broken out one of the Sailor Moon rings from her Vending Machine Haul, and got down on one knee in front of their leader.
“Shigaraki Tomura,” she’d said. “Or Tenko Shimura. Whoever the fuck you are. Can I spend my life making it up to you? May I ask for your hands in marriage?”
There was a time when Shigaraki would’ve destroyed her for that. But Toga was so like his impertinent younger sister now that while the other League members struggled to contain their hysterical laughter at the scene, Tomura retaliated with a raised eyebrow.
“You couldn’t handle me,” he’d responded, before extracting his left hand.
The fans at I-Island thought that story was funny even though Jin was still salty so Toga brought up the story about when he’d screwed up.
Twice had been in charge of their getaway vehicle after a political assassination and what did he pick? A frikkin’ multi-colored hot air balloon. They’d crash landed into a nearby forest and Kurogiri had been knocked out. They couldn’t slap him awake no matter how hard they tried.
Their only option was to hoof it to the freeway some miles down a mountain
Tomura hadn’t wanted to get up from the wreckage. He wasn’t injured – just depressed. Dabi wrapped him in the shredded tatters of the balloon and drug him along the forest floor while he stared at the sky, belligerent and numb.
When he’d hit too many tree roots he finally walked with the rest of them. The League made it to the freeway when they realized the smoldering basket of the balloon had started a forest fire. The League’s second to date. “Twice did it,” Dabi announced. And they’d Ubered back to Tokyo.
More stories were told and the crowd cheered and laughed at them. An American fangirl recognized the yin and yang merch necklaces they wore that had the Venom X.O.X.O. stamp on them. They informed her they’d seen the band in concert on five and a half separate occasions.
“What happened to keeping secrets?” Twice loud whispered to Toga.
“They think we’re not us,” Toga whisper whispered back. “Doesn’t count.”
“You two should visit the Tunnel of Love,” said a fan. “It’s got scary drops and a heavy metal rendition of Careless Whisper.”
“But no gunfire,” Toga sighed.
“Heroes, give me smiles – BIG smiles – not that big. Except for you All Might. Villains, ooh, you’re fiendish. Give me wicked. You’re so naughty! WORK IT!”
Shigaraki would shake hands with the photographer after this.
Who gave a spit if he went to Tartarus?
Mostly Tomura presented a stressed frown to the camera lens. He sometimes took selfies with Himiko but she wasn’t on any social media outlets. You couldn’t be as a wanted criminal. She kept them on her phone to look at them. Like they were precious.
The League’s social life consisted of mainly themselves and they only had themselves to blame. But if Shiggy was honest, he’d never liked giant group photos anyway.
They made him feel awkward. Out of place.
He always knew which expressions to make in pictures with the League – even if they were bad ones.
“Alright. The grand finale. Everyone get in character!” the photographer shouted.
The students of U.A. each gave a dramatic pose that was endemic of the hero or villain they were pretending to be.
Kaminari, dressed as his favorite hero, Selkie, did a cute pose. Shinsou, dressed as Eraserhead, did his Totoro smile, and Momo, as dressed as Fat Gum popped a piece of bubble gum.
Fukuseiwan, as a genderbent Miruko – thighs on fleek, chambered his leg for a kick.
And so on and so forth.
On the villain side: Testutetsu, dressed as Muscular, flexed. Ibara, dressed as girly Overhaul, put her gloved hands out. And Neito Monoma, dressed as All For One, with a bald cap on, hovered both his arms near his classmates, prepared to steal some quirks.
Deku pulled Melissa by her middle, close to his side. She put bunny ears over his head.
“Shigaraki! Grab Deku’s neck like you’re at the mall,” the photographer suggested.
“But he’s All Might,” Tomura protested.
“It’s meta,” the cameraman countered.
Shigaraki closed his fingers around Izuku’s neck, being careful to leave the forefinger hiked above his flesh.
Tartarus could wait.
The camera shuttered.
“On point. Dazzling! I’m dead. I live!” said the photographer as he photographed.
And then this odd side quest was over. Kinda.
“Thank you so much,” said Melissa.
Izuku touched his throat where Tomura’s chipped nails had been less than a minute prior. Phantom memories and current warnings going off in his head.
“Yeah. Thanks. Umm, hey – I wanted to ask -” Deku said, looking at Tomura.
“I have to go. The police are after me for being dressed as Shigaraki which is dumb because I’m not Shigaraki.”
Deku kept staring at him as he blended into the crowds. He rubbed his neck and tried to get rid of a foreboding feeling he just couldn’t shake.
Giving life advice to children is not what it’s cracked up to be.
For instance – did you know they question you when you say things like Heroes are for pussies?
And then they ask what a pussy is?
“Listen, punks – it’s a shit or be shit on world out there. You gotta be prepared,” Dabi educated.
“No buts. You need to know who is full of it and who isn’t full of it.”
“Who’s full? And what’s it?”
“It’s a figure of speech. Listen. We live in a society. A society that means dick.”
The two boys gasped because he said the word ‘dick’.
“Exactly. It’s effed. We have to change that. And to do that we can’t expect people to do it for us. You want your ticket rolls? Get some yourselves!”
The trick-or-treaters were not grateful for Dabi’s imparted wisdom.
“You’re being a bum-bum hole,” said the miniature Hawks.
“Me?” Dabi asked, aghast.
“Uh-huh,” the Endeavor said. “You should give us your tickets if you’re not gonna use ‘em.”
Another pair of gasps.
The kids pouted and called him out for being taciturn instead of being collected and badass.
“You’re nothing like the real Dabi! He’s tons cooler! He can control Nomu like High-End!” Hawks reprimanded.
“But Endeavor’s coolest. He beat High-End!” baby Endeavor added.
“He wasn’t meant to!” Dabi rasped.
Tomura convened with Spinner as his weapons specialist landed next to the churro stand. Not only had Shuichi eluded Lord Explosion Murder but he’d used the tech he was ‘testing’ to get the most valuable thing they’d come for.
Just as planned.
He called Mustard to let him know that Operation: Treat Ourselves was an unparalleled success.
“Bring her ‘round,” said Shigaraki. Mustard asked something. “I don’t care. Park in the Marina.”
Tomura ended the call. He and Spinner didn’t have to look far to find Toga and Twice. The pair were now wearing If Lost, Return To shirts and sharing cotton candy.
“Yo, boss!” Twice greeted. “My clones caused a bunch of distractions. One even got their picture taken with you over by that science-y building.”
But it was irrelevant.
“Twice do you know where Dabi is? Spinner says he got tagged by some pink aerosols. The weakling.”
“He’s over there, hashing it out with some kids,” said Toga, pointing out their pressure cooker.
Dabi was indeed, bearing down on a couple of children like they owed him money. Tomura didn’t have time for this.
“Jin, help me with him.”
“And that’s why you should never trust magicians in a card game. They will cheat you right out of your underwear,” Dabi lectured.
The two boys he was enriching were fed up with his high ramblings.
“Look man, we just want to get one of those High-End stuffed animals that are 200 tickets, okay?” the kid dressed like Enji he told him.
Dabi rumpled his hair.
“Ah yes. From underground labs to a carnival trophy. Tomura’d get a kick outta that.”
“A kick out of what?” Shigaraki asked as he joined him.
“Have a Snickers, Dabi. You’re not you when you’re high,” said Twice, giving him said chocolate bar.
“Like the Ring commercial,” Dabi mumbled. He peeled back the wrapper of the Snickers but didn’t consume it. “These boys want a High-End plush.”
Tomura’s face scrunched up. A scientific marvel – an abomination – and they make a toy of it…
Shigaraki was about to launch into a monologue. He did those now that he was a seasoned villain. But the child in the Hawks costume yoinked Dabi’s tickets off him, and he and the Endeavor tore off laughing.
“PUNK BITCHES!” Dabi yelled after them. But they yelled “TRICK OR TREAT” back and well, it was high time they left. No pun intended at Dabi’s condition.
Incredibly, Toga and Twice convinced the rest to go with them on the Skelenator.
Spinner was lackluster. Tomura couldn’t hold onto the rails so he held onto himself. (What else was new?) And Dabi had a blast.
“I didn’t even get sick!” he bragged as they exited the ride.
It was the drugs talking. He Who Suffers From Motion Sickness hurled on a stand of Endeavor merchandise. The shop owner was pissed.
The authorities were screening people at the docks and airfields. So the League got creative.
Tomura pilfered some bandages from a haunted house and turned himself into a mummy. Toga bought a heroine costume and went as a short Mt. Lady. Dabi got a Dracula cloak from another haunted house and a mascot head of the Jet Black Hero – he made for a very tall Tokoyami. And Twice – Twice pulled out a Deadpool mask he’d had all along and put it over his regular mask.
Spinner didn’t need to convert his cosplay. He was the most popular guy on the island.
He abandoned the support items made by Mei at the security gate. He wasn’t keen on them self-destructing. But he was able to smuggle what they’d journeyed here for. A prototype developed by Dr. David Shield. And on the cusp of perfection.
Mustard wasn’t at the Marina but he surfaced close to them in their raft offshore. He opened the hatch to the submarine.
“You’re thirty minutes late. Where’s my churro?” he asked.
Twice gave him a Snickers.
If the blank sockets of a gas mask could poison.
“Next time. We’re moving out. Well done team,” said Shigaraki. Tomura didn’t do evil laughs so Himiko preformed a muwahahaha in his stead.
Her guffawing echoed in the metal water coffin longer than any of them would’ve liked.
Hawks and Endeavor patrolled the streets of Tokyo. Halloween had caught on more in Japan in recent years and the heroes weaved through an authentic All Hallows’ Parade.
“Stay sharp. Reports say she was sighted not too far from this location,” Enji told the Number 2.
Hawks put away his phone. He’d been on the sosh meeds and scrolled past a pic of a Dabi cosplayer ‘accidently’ vomiting all over a bunch of Endeavor souvenirs only to scroll up.
The parade had inflections of native Japanese culture. Many people were dressed up as Oni and other mythical characters. Usually the spring festival in Toyohashi was where you went to see those. Not Tokyo in October.
A group of people in a High-End costume, operated with parade float hydraulics and HD realistic, (we’re talking some Jurassic Park ish) stalked into their foreground.
The barbarous land leviathan was sheets of rippling black velvet muscle or at least appeared so, thanks to ingenious animatronics and glossy fabric. Its eye slits flared bright beneath its hood.
The…..person inside Hood had mocked him when they fought. The words more than the memory of bruises, broken bones, and desecrated flesh haunted him when he slept.
“B-boring. A-aren’t ther-e any stronger-er her-roes?”
A truth jumbled by a clumsy but nonetheless intelligent tongue. That was the problem. Now that All Might had retired, what remained was Enji as the pinnacle of hero-dom in Japan.
And he bore this knowledge with a trepidation he’d not known in his younger years or ever.
Nearly being massacred by a sock puppet stitched together from lost souls and imbued with a Yokai’s invincibility had forced him to reevaluate. Sense had literally been thrashed into him.
He started with his family. Where he should have started from the beginning. The noise of slurped up noodles would never be the same for him now. And his prodigal son who’d sicked High-End on him in the first place……
He was roving around with a ‘team’ of rogues called the League of Villains. Clichés and poetic irony abounds.
“Break a leg out there! But don’t go kickin’ the bucket!”
You deserved it, a part of him whispered inside. A part that sounded a lot like High-End but less garbled.
“I hate Halloween,” Enji said.
Hawks didn’t comment on the uncharacteristic terror that had encompassed Endeavor for a second when he stood stock-still. The usually larking Wing Hero remembered their fight with High-End as well. He preferred not to dwell on it.
“Oh, look, they’re giving out free candy corn!” he said, trying to be upbeat.
Neither the Number 1 or Number 2 saw the persona non grata standing on the ledge of a building overlooking their street.
She watched them from the shadows. Her mouth twisted into something between a smile and a frown. It kept twisting like a Chinese parade lion. It couldn’t decide what it wanted to be.
She had work to do.
Tomura sunk down behind the bar counter to the floor at the League’s hideout. While his fellow villains celebrated Spinner’s theft or went off to bed, he stayed to task.
He texted an unknown number.
I have it.
He unrolled the mummy wrappings. He was reminded too much of when he used to wear bandages on his arms. When he hid his suicide attempts. He needed to bury the past. Like he buried All For One.
He very much needed some of the brandy Kurogiri had stashed on the shelf above him.
Once the League had this score. It would all work out.
He got a text back.