Midoriya had no idea how long he and Shinsou had been kept trapped in... wherever they were. His captors, for some reason, decided to cuff his hands behind his back, so he couldn't hug Shinsou or comfort him as easily anymore. He also had... a few more cuffs added to his original one. It was insanely hard to pick a bunch of locks behind his back while his arms were being restrained in a horrible position and he was bleeding.
Yeah... Midoriya was pretty sure he had quite a few busted ribs. And maybe a dislocated shoulder. And most of his blood was on the ground.
But his most primary concern at that point in time was Shinsou. He supposed it was his own fault, really. Getting stabbed a few times and kicked a lot was... very, very painful. Midoriya didn't want to risk even letting a single sound out, lest they do what they said and turned their attention and attacks on his little brother who was way too young to witness such a cruel act.
Midoriya dissociated. He had done it by accident once when he was bullied when he was younger, and had learnt how to tune out every single bit of pain he felt. He avoided feeling anything. He was fairly confident that unless the villains decided that somehow, he was bloody enough, Shinsou should be safe from harm.
He realised too late that Shinsou had ended up dissociating as well.
The first time seeing Midoriya get beaten up had shook Shinsou right to the core, but seeing that familiar spark, that fire burning in his brother's eyes, filled Shinsou with a soothing feeling that everything would be alright.
Seeing those familiar emerald eyes lose their light and will was too much for the small child.
Izu wouldn't give up, right?
But seeing those eyes go dark for so, the spark that burnt bright long gone (even if it was temporary) .. it was too long for Shinsou. He couldn't take it.
Shibsou felt something snap in him. He curled up in a ball, pressed his face against his knees, and never made a sound.
When Midoriya finally shook himself out of his dissociated daze, he coughed out more blood, before calling out for the curled up child softly.
Shinsou didn't respond.
Calling out again, louder this time, Midoriya didn't expect Shinsou to just... stay completely silent and still.
After carefully scooting over to get closer to the smaller child, the first few days, he was able to snap his little brother out of it. But it kept taking longer, and longer, to do so, until Shinsou no longer responded anymore.
Midoriya was panicking internally, not knowing why this had even panicked in the first place, before it all clicked into place.
He had unintentionally done this to him. His selfish method of dissociating to escape the pain had broken something in Shinsou, and he had done the same to escape his own pain.
I should have just taken the pain head on instead of running away. Midoriya thought, as he carefully picked at his cuffs while carefully sitting beside the smaller child who was completely silent and unresponsive.
This is all my fault.
It had taken him a long time to pick those damned locks.
But he had finally done it.
Midoriya rubbed his arms as the cuffs fell off, onto the ground.
The door was still locked, and he still needed to work Shinsou's cuffs off, but he could make it. They could make it out. Then he would have to make this entire ten months up to his little brother, for not getting him back sooner.
Midoriya popped his shoulder back into place, wincing as pain shot up his body. Damn. He quickly went over to Shinsou, carefully cradling the child's arm in his hand as he set about picking Shinsou's cuffs.
Shinsou blinked as the first cuff fell to the ground with a clatter. He felt his arm being held by something... warm. He looked up, breath in his throat as Midoriya picked the other cuff off. He blanched as his eyes trailed down to the sheer amount of blood that drenched the boy's hoodie, before he snapped his head in the direction where his older brother once laid. He didn't know what to think before the sound of metal hitting the ground caught his attention and he felt something scoop him up.
"Come on, Toshi. Let's get out of here."
Midoriya hastily picked the lock with one hand, and the cell swung open. He raced past several rooms, the smaller child clutched tightly in his grasp.
He wasn't letting go of Shinsou any time soon, not when he finally got him back. He scowled internally as he felt Shinsou's ribs press against his hands.
Dammit. When was the last time he was fed?!
Shinsou tried to push the sick feeling back inside him, pressing his face to Midoriya's chest as he ran. He tried to ignore the feeling that they were leaving a very, very, bloody trail behind them, and resisted the urge to throw up from seeing so much blood.
They had to get out first. Shinsou wasn't going to do anything that may hinder that.
Midoriya was pissed off.
At this stupid villain base, at the men who took his brother, at the villains that injured and starved his brother, and even more at himself for even letting this happen in the first place and making this horrifying experience even worse for Shinsou.
"This place is a maze." Midoriya hissed under his breath, kicking a villain in the chin when he had been unfortunate enough to cross paths with the angry vigilante. Apparently, everyone was on break or something, but there were still people patrolling. Not in large groups, luckily, so Midoriya was able to easily knock them out before they could call out for help, though Midoriya was very aware of the trail of red he was leaving behind him.
I'm probably gonna suffer from anemia later.
Midoriya raced past a door, before something caught his eye and he backtracked.
The security room.
Based on his internal clock (Which in his opinion was highly inaccurate) they probably had an hour max until someone checked on them. He needed to figure out how to get out, and find a way to get rid of the highly probably hoarde of villains that might try to stop them.
He quickly pushed the door open, punching the guard in the face as he entered the room. He started tapping away on the monitors, cringing internally when the alarms started blaring loudly. Midoriya didn't make any movement, but he distinctly felt Shinsou jump slightly as he clutched the smaller child to his chest, trying to comfort him as best as he could as he worked.
Shinsou was clutched Midoriya's shirt, trembling, and Midoriya growled as he brought up the map of the entire seven story building and committed it to memory while searching for the jamming signal at the same time.
I mean, they are villains that evaded pro heroes for long. They probably have a jamming signal.
Aizawa was in the middle talking to his homeroom class about proper hero conduct when Yamada popped his head into the classroom.
"Hey, Eraser, you mind stepping out for a second?"
Aizawa sighed, and put his pen down, and with strict instructions for the rest of the class to behave, he followed Yamada.
"So, Nezu was keeping an eye on the villain broadcasts..."
"Akatani and Shinsou are out."
Yamada passed over his phone, and pressed the video to play. Aizawa stared at the screen as he heard what looked like to be the skipping around between different security cameras.
"Where the heck are they?"
"I don't know!"
He saw Midoriya race down a hallway while carrying the purple haired child, gulping when he saw the red trail left behind by the green hooded vigilante that he was certain was not ketchup. He growled. Midoriya was already beaten up enough. He admitted that he watched the broadcasts while he was marking papers, keeping tabs on how they treated the vigilante as he went on his patrols. He brushed it off as being able to know where he was injured and how to treat him, but that wasn't entirely true.
He was worried, dammit, and he knew that the damned, stubborn, hard-headed child was just making his own injuries worse.
You hypocrite. You would do that too.
Aizawa pushed that voice at the back of his head away. He sighed internally as he watched Midoriya kick a villain in the face, before jumping off the wall and smashing another away.
"Oh, for gods sake. Wait why are you still broadcasting!? Cut the feed!"
Yamada spoke up, "Nezu recorded it. He had a few speculations of where this location is, and he tried to trace the signal. A few minutes later, we managed to figure out where the signal came from, and we received a distress signal from the same location. He believes that Akatani disabled the security or something."
"Are we sending anyone there?"
"We still have an hour left of school, so no. But Hawks, Best Jeanist, Kamui Woods, Mountain Lady and Endeavor are reported to be heading there."
Aizawa heaved a sigh of relief, before he heard the last name.
Midoriya quickly hopped off the chair and raced out, grabbing the very conveniently placed knife that was left on the table. He already memorised the map of the area, and gods, it was gonna take some time to get out, even without interruptions. He couldn't exactly jump down seven stories. He could on his own, but not when Shinsou's safety and wellbeing was his utmost priority.
He was somewhere in the middle of the building, and Midoriya raced off to find the staircase. He was lucky enough to manage to avoid a few villains while he made his attempt to escape, but it was incredibly annoying and Midoriya could feel his strength oozing away like the blood that stained his hoodie and ran down his chest.
He bit his lip and pushed on, ignoring his protesting muscles that felt like they were being torn apart.
They probably are. They did cut me up a lot.
But dammit. How could anyone, anyone, be so cruel as to let a child see all this. Even Midoriya wouldn't wish any of those idiotic kids in Shinsou's preschool to see any of this.
And of all the people that had to experience it, it was his dear little brother. The sweetest, kindest, best child in his opinion.
He cradled Shinsou with both hands as he kicked the door to the staircase open, leaping down the stairs three at a time.
They'll be out soon.
Midoriya would make sure of it
There was a missing kid.
He was sure if his Shouto was the one missing, he would be able to bust himself out. Damn kids.
Many different hero agencies had been trying to trace the broadcast that plagued all the digital devices that everyone owned. Phones, televisions, laptops, people had no choice but to avoid them at all costs unless they wanted to watch a guy in a hoodie get slashed apart and kicked all over the place with a small child watching and struggling in his own chains.
They finally traced it. Several hero agencies that specialised in hacking and tracing had finally detected the signal, as well as a distress call. Even Nezu had confirmed it.
And now, he, and several other pro heroes were investigating.
What was pissing him off the most was how jittery Nishiya was. He was literally hiding behind Hawks, trying to keep as far away from him as possible.
"Endeavor, you might want to put that flame out." Hawks grinned, pointing to the flame hero's fist that was on fire.
Enji brushed the winged man off.
They had stuff to do.
"This is the place, huh?" Hakamata muttered, as they walked up to the ten story industrial looking building that looked like it may fall apart in an hour or so.
"Yep." Takeyama replied.
Loud screaming, things breaking, and utter chaos could be heard from the the outside. Fire was blasting from one of the upper floors, there were some people lying on the ground, with broken windows clearly showing they had jumped out or had been kicked or pushed out. Villains were streaming out of the building slowly.
"Wasn't he stabbed!?"
"He's the one we caught! He was stabbed a lot!"
"He's a monster!"
They didn't even seem to register the fact that there were heroes.
"We got him pinned!"
"For gods sake! He has a knife!"
"Why is he still standing?!"
The heroes looked on in utter confusion as the villains screeched.
Hakamata quickly grabbed the fibres of the villains that he could easily reach, binding their clothes together. Together. Nishiya and Takeyama took down more villains and restrained the remaining villains as Enji and Hawks stormed the building. Enji burnt up quite a few villains and Hawks was doing everything he could prevent as many villain deaths by burning, somehow preventing the entire building from breaking on itself and trying to figure out just what in the blazes, very literally, was going on.
"Dammit. Earthshaker is down! Flare was taken out on the upper levels! Phantom is knocked out!"
Hawks immediately grabbed the man who was yelling into a phone.
The villain dropped his phone in a hurry.
"Who were you talking about and what is going on?" Hawks growled, his wings spread out menacingly, though they were much smaller than before.
"We have guards on every floor! Flare is the fire wielding head on the seventh, Earthshaker is the head of the sixth and Phantom is the head of the fifth! We have an escaped prisoner that is wrecking havoc!" The villain gulped as Enji glared at both Hawks and the villain, "I only know there are a few more guards and -"
They were interrupted by a yells of "holy shit!" and "Get out of the way!" over the phone.
The villain froze up, and Hawks knocked him out, seeing as he wasn't going to say anything else.
Villains poured through their corridor, and Enji and Hawks both looked at the staircase that led from the upper floor to their level. They froze up, feeling a ridiculously, pressurising aura flare out, and gulped as a figure emerged.
They weren't expecting it to be a person, covered in blood, carrying a child, walking out, leaning against the wall and panting. The figure spat out a mouthful of blood, wiping his mouth with his sleeve, before glaring at the villains. A knife was in his hand, and even though he was just holding it, not even in a menacing manner, they still got the feeling that this kid knew how to use it.
Hawks and Endeavor.
Sure, they were heroes, but no doubt that while Hawks was probably nice enough to let him pass with Shinsou (He did accidentally crash into the winged hero once a few years ago. He was nice enough by Midoriya's standards), Todoroki Enji would probably try to burn him to a crisp. Vigilante, villain, it didn't matter to him. They "broke the law" and thus, they'll burn, either to death, or in hell.
"Akatani?" Hawks hesitatly asked. He was going to be honest, he liked the vigilante. The kid never used a quirk, as far as he could see, tell, or heard, so he was safe from illegal quirk usage laws. His constant claims of "self defence", and give that he taunts the villains into attacking before striking back also kept him safe and not on the illegal side of things.
Seeing the poor kid get kicked around on live television ignited a flare deep in his gut. Something he couldn't really recognise.
Now, seeing the kid once more, after so long, covered in so much blood that Hawks suspected to be the his own, made Hawks much more sick than he had ever felt when he was a hero. He'd seen blood. He'd seen murders. But only just managing to figure out that the vigilante was a child, just a kid, from his initial attitude, his posture and stance, and how scared he seemed right now with the only thing driving him being the much smaller child in his grasp, Hawks felt his mood plummet.
Enji was well on his way to plunge his hand forward, his fist burning, before Hawks managed to swat the fist away. Midoriya advance, taking advantage of Hawks actions to leap off the railing and continue down the hallway behind the two heroes.
"You! What are you doing?!" Enji roared. "That was a vigilante!"
"In case you haven't noticed, he has a child with him!" Hawks grumbled, "You can't use your fire unless you want to end up severely injuring or killing them both, and that has consequences!"
He didn't need Enji to find out his interest in the vigilante clad in green. As far as he knew, none of the heroes had any contact with him, save for Eraserhead a few years back, but that was a given seeing as they both were underground fighters. An underground hero with a non-offensive erasure quirk and a vigilante who ran around with support items (which were probably self made) and knives, and who was probably no older than eighteen.
"Look, Endeavor, I know he's a vigilante and he's technically a law breaker, but right now, our priority is that purple haired who has been missing for ten months. And I don't know about you, but that very vigilante you tried to burn to a crisp had gotten him out of that cell. So I think I'd rather let him get the kid out." Hawks turned to Enji.
At the very least, he didn't focus on Midoriya who had reached the end of the hallway behind them and seemed to have gone downstairs, as far as Hawks could tell.
Though Enji was very, very pissed off that he didn't managed to burn anyone.
Hawks turned around to chase after Midoriya, with Enji right behind him.
When Midoriya was on the second floor, he knew that something was very, very wrong.
His senses felt... off.
All his senses were working perfectly fine but... he felt as if in a second everything he could see and hear would disintegrate into nothing.
He could feel his heart pounding in his chest. He could feel Shinsou's heartbeat. He could feel the tremors of footsteps, both his own and others. He could hear screams and yells. He could feel the fire, the heat, on the upper floors, spreading downwards.
He could smell his own blood. Shinsou's too.
Midoriya could smell Shinsou's fear.
Anyone else's fear, a hero's, a civilian's, a villain's, a child's, Midoriya would have acted on it.
A villain, he would just walk up to them, telling them that they shouldn't harm people before knocking them out.
Civilians, he would ignore, but let his presence, his aura, linger, reminding them that yes, he was quirkless, but he was by no means weak.
Heroes... he would just use that to motivate them to find his little brother.
Children, he would just ramp it up and make them fear him, just to protect Shinsou.
But when the fear came from his dear little brother himself?
Midoriya wanted nothing more than to wish he had a quirk at this point in time. Something strong, something destructive, just only to be able to get out of this hellhole fast than he could with just muscles. He was already tired, but he was pumped with anger and adrenaline and his so very desperate need to get out of there before either of them could be hurt anymore.
He wasn't afraid of getting hurt, or dying. Not if he could keep his brother safe.
But he knew that if he fell into his bad habits again, dissociated one more time, left Shinsou all alone one more time, this time with the confirmation that no one will come for him, the thought of being left all alone, once again, like he had been abandoned five years ago, didn't sit right with him. It would break him.
And to Midoriya, the very thought of it felt like his heart was being torn into shreds.
Then the villain in front of him had the galls to fire a gun right at Shinsou, who Midoriya was carrying close to his chest, instead of at him. He managed to shift in time, the bullet grazing his shoulder and adding to his impressive amount of blood spilling injuries.
And Midoriya Izuku saw red.
Nishiya, Takeyama and Hakamata were very, very confused.
Villains kept streaming out of the building, and they seemed even more terrified by whatever was in the building that of the heroes outside ready to knock them out and bring them in.
Screams of "demon" and "monster" filled the air, and while Nishiya, Takeyama and Hakamata were all pro heroes and knew what they should be expecting when they accepted this job, they were very, very, wary of the so-called monster that had the villains scrambling like a bunch of idiots.
And they would be very, very, disappointed when they saw the vigilante, the one that was reported by police officers and heroes, to have an unknown quirk and was very well known for traumatising villains directly to repent or rehabilitation (honestly, though, it made all their lives easier).
If not for the fact that Akatani, as they knew him, felt absolutely murderous.
All of them were frozen as Midoriya growled at them, holding up his knife threateningly.
"Hey...you okay?" Nishiya asked, trying to calm down the boy who by his size and stature, couldn't be older than twenty but gave off an aura like he had fought off the worst of the world and won.
At least he tried.
Hakamata knew that he could restrain the boy easily with his quirk. Except he was hesitant to do so.
Being restrained, he might struggle, hurting both himself and the smaller child in his grasp.
And that wasn't considering the amount of blood that trickled off the vigilante, staining the ground red with every drip.
Being restrained by fibres, of all things, was going to hurt a lot.
And Hakamata did not want to hurt the boy any more that he already had been treated for the past four days. Most pro heroes never went through something in their entire lifetime and career, yet here was a kid, probably a teenager, doing everything in his power to protect a child.
Nishiya extended his quirk to try and restrain him, but the vigilante was good with that knife. He slashed through Nishiya's bark, hissing, "Get out of the way! Leave him alone!"
His eyes were wild, unseeing. It was almost as if he didn't see the pro heroes for who they were, but villains. People that he had to fear instead of those that could help.
He cared enough about the child to try to attack what he thought was a threat, and at this point of time, they really wished that they had Kayama and her sleeping gas, to knock him out and bring the child in peacefully.
They didn't expect that Midoriya, as injured and tired as he was, to suddenly appear in their faces, dodging Nishiya as he acted on reflex, evaded Takeyama as she grew to her giganteum size in shock and sliced through the fibres that Hakamata had tried to use to grab his clothes, before racing past them, out onto the road.
They blinked, as more villains spilled out, followed by a fiery roar that belonged to none other than Enji.
"Endeavor! Stop it!" They heard Hawks yell, as Enji raced after Midoriya and Shinsou in a heat filled rage, even though he looked like he had gone grocery shopping in the rain. Hawks tried to follow, but before he managed to get out of the building, he was tackled by a few villains. He wasn't hurt, and easily shook them off, and grumbled as the sprinklers in the building continued splashing water all over the place, taking out the fire slowly and drenching poor Hawks who shot out of the building to shake the water off his wings.
"Well... shit..." Nishiya cursed.
Midoriya raced past people, swerving around passers-by and dodging around others.
His senses were messed up. His eyesight was blurry. Sometimes he could see what was front of him, sometimes he couldn't. He couldn't see the road in front of him, or the traffic light that he had almost ran into. He could see the umbrella of the diner two streets away, or the bird that perched in a tree.
His nose was picking up all sorts of smells ranging from lavander from the perfume shop he just passed, or the burnt tyres on that car that passed by, or the tangy smell of blood that probably covered his entire being at this point.
He was hearing too much, too little. He couldn't hear his heart pouding. He could hear what seemed like to be a cat crouched in an alley. His footsteps were heavy. The bicycle that raced past him sounded more like an annoying muted ringtone.
It had that be some random villain's quirk. He mused, as he let his feet lead the way.
He was panicking, for sure. He could hear footsteps echoing behind him. Footsteps that were heavy, pounding away. They were laced with malice, forgoing all sense of stealth, just with the intention of catching him and putting him down like a rabid animal.
He didn't know, couldn't tell who was chasing him, but Midoriya wasn't about to give up now. Not when he was finally getting Shinsou out of that hellhole he had been forced into. He couldn't fail him again.
He'd rather die.
He let his instincts guide him, guide him to the safest place that was known in his subconscious. He didn't know where he was, and he knew he was following that very irrational burning gut feeling, but it had never been wrong and Midoriya was really hoping that he knew what he was doing. Where he was going, he didn't know. He just hoped that he wasn't presenting himself, or more importantly, Shinsou, to the villains, or running like a headless chicken into some kind of ambush.
He saw himself run under a blue structure that hung over his head. He sensed people, many people, and a building beyond them.
He heard a sharp sound pierce the air, and the distinct feeling of something rumbling beneath his feet sent Midoriya into an internal panic. He raced past the gate, slowing to a halt as he wrestled control back, turning around to figure out what was going on.
Metal shot up in front of his face, inches away from clamping him and Shinsou in their metallic jaws, slamming into the blue structure and fitting in perfectly as he heard locks snap into place.
And all Midoriya wanted to ask was where the heck was he?!