Midoriya didn't do his errands that day.
"Sir, he's getting bullied. I don't know about you, but I'm very sure that it's bad for children, especially at his age, to be told that he's going to end up as a villain."
The previous day, when Midoriya picked Shinsou up, Shinsou said that his classmates took his pencil, and when Shinsou tried to take it back, they broke it and told the teacher that it was Shinsou who was taking their pencil. Guess who the teacher blamed. The child with the brainwashing quirk, of course. Said he shouldn't use his bad quirk to do bad things, and that things like this were what made people into villains.
That word. Shinsou hated it. Villains were people who hurt others for no reason. Shinsou wasn't a villain. He didn't want to be one. He never wanted to be one.
"Look, the entire class said it was Shinsou's fault, Midoriya." The principal sighed, "I understand that the teacher shouldn't have called him a potential villain, but if everyone says that Shinsou is wrong, then he's wrong. It's the majority."
"The majority is wrong! Look, I raised that kid. Myself! I know him! He wouldn't want to do anything wrong. You think he would take someone else's pencil when he has his own, and without asking for permission!? He's trying his best to be perfect given his circumstance, and I don't think having all the kids bring him down is good for him." Midoriya growled.
"I can get speak to the kids. But you know how kids are. You're quirkless. You know exactly how bad kids can get. I'm sorry Midoriya, but there's nothing we can do. They're all toddlers. We can't punish them for being influenced by their surroundings." The principal shook his head.
"Then can I talk to the kids myself?" Midorya asked.
"I… think we can arrange that. But if you try to defend Shinsou, it won't last. I've been taking care of kids for so long. Once you leave, they'll pick on Shinsou again. It would be better if he learnt to stand up for himself. It might be better to homeschool him - "
"That's the problem. I have school. I can't. This is the only place near my school and home that is affordable. At the very least, can you try to stop them from physically hurting him? I'll talk to him myself later."
The principal sighed. Midoriya was stubborn. Very stubborn. He was old. He would never be able to win an argument against the twelve year old. Midoriya himself went to that preschool before. He knew Midoriya was quirkless, and seeing the timid child finally standing up for himself warmed his heart. That was the only reason he allowed Midoriya to enrol Shinsou for a lower rate that was within the boy's price range. (Yes. He knew that Midoriya ran all over the neighbourhood to run errands for people. He never thought that he adopted a child, and was surprised.)
Midoriya was picking Shinsou up when he found a woman picking up another boy who was staying behind with Shinsou.
"Toshi! How are you?" Midoriya grinned. Shinsou had turned four a few montgs ago, and Midoriya could see the huge improvement that he had with his quirk. Apparently it manifested early, but the actual workings of the quirk only just came to him, and they were working on giving Shinsou conplete control over his power and finding the limits of it.
Shinsou merely frowned, and slowly grabbed Midoriya's hand. "You okay Toshi?"
"Mom! That's the weird one that controlled me!"
Midoriya frowned. He had been training enough with Shinsou so that he wouldn't use his quirk by accident, and Shinsou was so good with it that he only used it when he wanted. Only when he was scared or threatened that he would unintentionally activate it.
"Toshi, what happened?"
"I'll tell you what happened, young man. That freak brainwashed my child! Such a villainous quirk, why is he here?!" The lady, who Midoriya assumed was the other kid's mother, screeched.
"Excuse me, I would prefer if you not call him a freak!" Midoriya snapped.
"I didn't even use my quirk." Shinsou muttered. "He pushed me, then started yelling that I controlled him."
"No! I bumped into him by accident, and he made me give him my bag." The other boy whined.
Midoriya growled. This kid was getting a bit to much for him.
"Kid, did Shinsou say anything to you?"
The boy nodded, crying into his mother's shirt.
"Did you reply?"
The boy shook his head.
Midoriya let out an angry "tch".
"Look, brat! And you! Listen up as well!" Midoriya growled at both mother and child, "His quirk is response based. If you don't reply to him, he can't control you."
The child's eyes widened.
"And Toshi has been training his quirk day and night to control it, so don't you dare accuse him of doing it by accident either!"
Midoriya poked his finger into the child's chest. "You know, lying is bad. This reflects very badly on you, and your mom."
The mother tried to protest, but Midoriya's aura flared up. He had been learning to do that for a long time when he encountered another vigilante called Stendhal. Instead of being scared, he found it really fascinating, and had prompt questioned the bewildered vigilante on how the heck he did that. Stendhal ended up giving the child some pointers, before they ended up parting ways.
Both mother and child froze in place, scared stiff of the menacing aura right in front of them. Shinsou clutched Midoriya's leg, scared of what was going to happen.
"You leave Shinsou Hitoshi alone. You lay a single finger on him. You. Will. Regret. It. Understood? And it's very rude of you to call a child a freak simply because of his quirk." Midoriya hissed. "Say that again, and I will get you in trouble with the police for quirk discrimination, got it?"
The mother and child both nodded, and she picked up her child before leaving.
Midoriya reigned in his anger, before turning to Shinsou, who was still scared and clinging to him.
The toddler let go of his leg, and Midoriya scooped him up.
"Am... I a villain?"
"You'll never be a villain Toshi. You never even used your quirk." Midoriya ran his hand through Shinsou's hair. "You're a hero. My brave little hero, okay?"
Shinsou nodded, "You're my hero too! Eraser Head is second! You're first!"
Midoriya was internally screeching in happiness that his little brother thought he was a hero.
"Yep! I'm your hero! If you ever get into trouble, I'll save you for sure! So never give up, ever. Okay Toshi?
Shinsou smiled and nodded.
"You like that cat cafe, don't ya? Come on. Let's go there for dinner. I'm sure Snowy and Sherry miss you already."
"Snowball! The white cat is called Snowball! And the orange one is Cherry, not Sherry!" Shinsou protested.
Midoriya just chuckled as the two boys walked away from the preschool.
Midoroya's threats had... a larger impact that he thought. The child that once lied avout Shindou never bothered him again, but there had been several more incidents when other children picked on him and Midoriya had to deal with the idiotic parents who thought their children were angels when they were in actuality demons.
Midoriya didn't care that he had to scare the wits out of adults and children alike in order for them to leave Shinsou alone. He didn't care if his actions seemed like a villains to other people. If he had to, he'd happily burn the entire world to keep Shinsou safe.
There were rumours starting to spread that he had a demonic guardian that would protect him if anyone were to lay a finger on him.
Except that everyone in the neighbourhood seemed to think that Shinsou had somehow summoned the demon and it had possessed the "poor helpless quirkless Midoriya Izuku", using him as a vessle.
Midoriya really wanted to snort. Humans were just so, so, dumb and ridiculous sometimes.
But he didn't. There were consequences.
Everyone now stayed as far away from Shinsou as possible, scared that the monster would come after them. Word of Shinsou's quirk had also spread, and more and more people talked about "the purple brainwashing monster that had a pet demon right on a leash".
And every single time Midoriya entered his classroom, everyone (except Bakugou. Bakugou was laughing at Midoriya's expense the entire time while also being very internally confused) kept saying exorcism prayers and holding crosses and all sorts of random items.
One kid was apparently on a different page from the others, and threw garlic at him. And salt.
It was annoying. Very annoying. His bullies sometimes asked him questions. If Midoriya played nice, they bullied him. If he talked back at them, they screamed that he was possessed and ran. He also had countless people come up to him to ask if he was okay, did he want ginger tea to expel the demon, etcetera. And apparently no one questioned his connection to Shinsou, thinking that he had no idea who Shinsou was or that he was possessed.
Midoriya was fairly sure it was that it was the dumb parents that made it up. They hated Shinsou and his quirk. They were scared of the child's guardian, and upon finding out he was quirkless? Bam. He was possessed by an evil spirit.
It. Was. So. Dumb.
And the people that believe it all? Also dumb.
Why the heck was everyone so scared of Shinsou? He was a nice kid, perfect, if anyone asked Midoriya. Shinsou just wanted to help, make friends, be a normal kid. But no. He naturally had pale skin and eye bags. His hair seemed to defy gravity and was fluffed up for no reason. (Midoriya really liked it. It was so damn fluffy. So much fluffier than his own. Shinsou said otherwise.) He was kind, nice, polite, had perfect manners, never interrupted people when they were speaking, and never lied. (He hid his wounds and the bullying, but that was something else all together)
Shinsou was practically like a kitten begging for positive attention, and everyone just kicked him away cause he was different. Midoriya would indulge him, but both of them knew it wasn't enough. Midoriya was the only positive influence in Shinsou's life, and Midoriya knew it wasn't healthy for the toddler.
It got worse. Apparently, his father was a villain too. How coincidental. Inko didn't know about it, but when Midoriya went home one day to find his house in flames, he had panicked and barged into his home. Apparently, his father came home, talked with Inko, realised that she hadn't outrightly abandoned Midoriya for being quirkless, and had gotten angry.
There were eyewitnesses who saw the fire breathing villain stomping around, and Aizawa and Yamada, who just happened to be the closest heroes to the scene, managed to apprehend him. They had no idea what or how the villain was connected to anything, just that he was burning houses, and when they caught the villain they left to let their statements get taken.
But the damage was already done.
Midoriya had to practically beg Shinsou to stay with the principal of the preschool for a few days while the entire matter was sorted out. Shinsou didn't want to leave, but Midoriya promised that he would visit him every day until he managed to fix the entire situation. He didn't want to be seen with Shinsou. That would just complicate the entire matter, cause then everyone would say Shinsou brainwashed him and set the house on fire or something. It was better if Shinsou stayed incognito to the government for the time being.
Inko technically owned the house, and had already paid for electricity and water for the next few years, and since she was dead and his father was a villain, the house was put under Midoriya's name. However, her savings and money came from Hisashi, who apparently provided for her, so that had been confiscated by the government. Midoriya, who was thirteen, at the time, had outrightly refused to go into an orphanage, and practically told everyone that he was capable of taking care of himself.
No one wanted to argue with the quirkless kid. They didn't really care either. They left him to his own devices, and just provided enough money for food. Everything else was swept under the rug. Midoriya was fine with that. He didn't want government people in his home anyway. Shinsou would still be safe with him. He was capable of providing for them all.
He did have to end up working a lot more in order to pay for his own education as well. Apparently the government thought that Midoriya ate a lot or something, cause the amount provided was way too much just for food. There was enough for him to pay at least half his own school fees, so while Midoriya didn't have to work that much more, it was still very, very annoying that they just agreed to let a kid live on his own just because he was quirkless. The discrimination was that bad.
Midoriya was very much considering just studying ahead and getting out of junior high early, but both of them agreed that doing so would make him stand out and it would end up being much more dangerous for them both if anyone found out that two kids were practically living on their own.
"Ok. You're telling me that this villain killed people, burnt a few houses, we caught him, and now there's a child living on his own."
Nezu nodded. "Yeah. Apparently, the kid had specifically said that he didn't want people checking on him because that would just draw more attention to him. They didn't specify his age, just that he was a teen. Maybe he isn't that young. We can't pursue this anymore unless you want to take it up with orphanages and all the officials, and while I say that it's wrong to just let him live like this, doing any more might make it more dangerous."
Aizawa just sighed. This was just getting better and better. Sarcastically.
The vigilante he used to chase was appearing a lot less often, and Aizawa was hoping that maybe he realised it was too dangerous and was trying to cut it out of his schedule slowly. Hopefully.
He had a very, very bad feeling, that things were going to get a lot more messier.
Midoriya was very, very tired. Studying, working, everything. Shinsou was always doing his best to try and help out, sometimes helping run a few simple calculations, or grabbed his stuff when he needed it. Apparently, after Midoriya had to fix a few people's ovens and toasters a few times, people had realised he was good with machines.
Some of his neighbours paid him to fix their doorbells, or vacuum cleaners, or whatever broken devices they possessed. The large ones, like kitchen appliances, were easy to fix. Phones, were not.
He often had to squint at all the cables before Shinsou just shoved a magnifying class between the device and his face, holding it steady to that Midoriya could easily grab the one red wire out the dozens of wires that littered the inside of the device. This person tried to repair it on their own, and had done a horrible job. The wires were all over the place, they were all connected wrongly, and seriously, why the heck was the home button connected to the battery directly without insulation or a transformer? They were literally asking to be electrocuted. Idiots.
Shinsou just hummed and grabbed the screwdriver for Midoriya when he asked for it. Midoriya took it, prying out a few more of the insides of the phone before he set about fixing them.
Yeah. Midoriya was tired. And mad. But mostly tired. Not just physically. Emotionally and mentally. He understood, but he couldn't accept it. Why Shinsou? What did he do wrong? Why was it always him or Shinsou that was in the wrong when they were the victims? Why couldn't he stand up for Shinsou without having ridiculous repercussions? Why couldn't Shinsou live a normal life when he was literally the sweetest person in the whole entire world?!
Midoriya Izuku realised one thing.
They may be not be the ones in the wrong.
But if the whole world says they're wrong... were they really right?