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Little Brass Buttons

Chapter Text

Hikari Aimoto had never had problems in the past making friends, laughing and talking with strangers as if she'd known them forever. Though, standing amidst class 1-A of UA, she felt her nerves start to get the best of her. The rest of the class introduced each other, little groups already forming and talking, while Hikari was alone.

"Hey! Hey, I like your hair! What's your name?" Hikari turned to the sound of the voice, spotting a girl with brown hair and a boy with vibrant green hair. She recognized his name from the angry blond boy yelling at him - Deku. However, she hadn't caught the brunette's name. "M-my name's Hikari, and thank you! W-what's yours?" She shifted her gaze to Deku for a moment, smiling at him. "Yours is Deku, right? I-I think I heard the angry kid calling you that..."

The brunette laughed a bit, putting a hand on Izuku's shoulder. "That's Deku all right! Or Midoriya, if you wanna use his actual name. The angry kid is Bakugo, and I'm Ochako! I thought I should come talk to you, since you were standing all alone. It's time to make new friends, isn't it?" Hikari let out a small laugh, nodding. She couldn't help but feel less nervous - Ochako's enthusiasm seemed to rub off on her. "O-of course! I have a little trouble making friends nowadays, so I'm glad you two came over here - I-I was a little nervous to go introduce myself to everyone. A brand new class i-is a little overwhelming, you know?"

This time, it was Izuku who nodded, agreeing with Hikari's sentiment. "Y-yeah, I feel kind of the same! I'm really pumped, but there are a lot of new people I've gotta meet in this class-" Izuku was cut off by a shuffling sound, and a thud. A voice from the floor said, "Oh, you're all here. Take your seats, then." Hikari, curious, glanced up to the front of the room only to see a man in a sleeping bag rolling to the teacher's desk. That must be their teacher, though...why was he in a sleeping bag?

"I'm Eraserhead. I'm teaching your homeroom." Hikari knew the name sounded familiar, but in an odd way. Yes, she knew that he was a pro hero and she had obviously heard of him, the same time, there was something...he reminded her of someone, but the memory was just out of reach.

Suddenly, a sharp piercing sound rang through Hikari's head. She winced, letting out a pained yelp and grabbing the sides of her head. "H-hey, Hikari, are you okay?!" Izuku asked, leaning down and setting a hand on her shoulder. Ochako did the same with a worried expression. "W-what happened?!" "I...m-my head...hurts..." She struggled to get the words out, every syllable causing her intense pain. Aizawa looked to the back of the room at the sound of the yelp, looking between the three students.

"Uraraka, take her to the infirmary." Ochako stood up and nodded. "Y-yes sir!" she said, quickly but gently helping Hikari up, and leading her out of the room. This had happened so suddenly, with such an odd happening in her memory...what was going on?


Chapter Text

The next few days of school went by pretty well. Hikari did fairly average in the ball throwing quirk test and pretty well in the hero vs. villain assignment with minimum headaches. She wasn't sure why she kept having them, though they came when she tried to remember something or when something was familiar to her. Thankfully, the less painful ones could be handled and the bad ones Recovery Girl could help with. Iida had just been elected class president, and things were going just fine. All in all, Hikari seemed to be getting along just fine in her new environment.

Hikari was studying in the classroom after school, but not for long. "Hey Kari! Do you want to hang out today? I've got some free time!" Ochako said as she entered the room, grinning at Hikari. However, she gasped as she saw Hikari's hair. Her multicolored buns were down, but they were a peach pink like the rest of her hair. "Woah! What happened to the rest of the colors, did you dye them?!"

"I'd love to, Ochako!" Hikari replied, letting out a yawn and leaning back to stretch. "My hair shows up different colors to others because of my quirk. I can bend light to make things brighter or to change appearances by bouncing the light off of things. Sometimes it gets a little tiring, so in my free time I just let my hair be it's normal color." "Woah, that's kinda cool! Can you do that to my hair?" Hikari nodded with a smile, laughing at the brunette's excitement. "Cool! Can you make my hair look pink for the day?"

 The two girls were walking to one of the training centers on the UA campus, chatting with each other. Ochako had pointed out that she noticed Hikari had a little trouble with hand to hand combat, so she thought they couls go train together - and she knew just the teacher for the job. "I-I...I appreciate that a lot, Ochako." Hikari said, face tinted slightly pink. "Since I was really popular back in elementary school, if I made mistakes or was bad at something, no one really told me...they just said I did a great job." Hikari's smile turned a bit melancholy, and Ochako set a hand on her shoulder comfortingly. "We're all here to get better, so it makes sense to help people with their mistakes, right?" She smiled. "Plus, I know the best person for the job! She's here for special training classes, but she's really nice, so I don't think she'll mind."

Upon arriving at the building, Hikari's eyes immediately fell on the woman with the bright pink hair - the only person there at the moment - practicing moves on a training dummy. Her punches hit every time, and she moved almost like water, fluidly. As she heard the door open, she looked over and spied the two girls. "Hey! What are you doing here, kiddos? Up for some training, I'm guessing?" She raised an eyebrow at Ochako's new hair color. "And when did you go pink?"

"A little bit ago, my new friend helped with it!" She clapped her hand onto Hikari's back. "Hikari, this is pro hero Kitsune! Or Miss Minami! She's super awesome with close combat, and you both have pink hair, so I thought it would be perfect!" Hikari looked the pro hero up and down, nodding. "I'm Hikari Aimoto, it's nice to meet you, Miss Minami."

"Oh, come on Uraraka. I told you guys you could call me Kaori when we weren't in class. I love teaching, but I always feel so old when I get called Miss Minami! I'm only in my twenties!" Kaori laughed, before looking back up at the two. "So! Who's ready to fight?"

 It had been a long, exhausting, but fun day. After hours of training with Kaori, Hikari and Ochako went out for ice cream - Hikari's treat, of course. The two decided to try a new strawberry ice cream in honor of the day pretty much entirely being pink. This was the happiest Hikari had been in a while, she thought - she almost wanted to tell Ochako not to leave as they were saying goodbye for the night.

The happiness, however, would not last for long.

Chapter Text

It had been a long while since the first time Ochako and Hikari got ice cream and trained together. It became a bit of a hobby for the two, a fun way to spend time with one another - and the two had grown much closer since school had began. Of course, Hikaro had grown closer to the others as well, but hadn't hung out with them nearly as much as Ochako. However, something was still a mystery to them all - Hikari's upbringing. Sometimes Ochako and Izuku would talk about it, wondering if she grew up in the area or who her parents or maybe siblings were. If they knew anything about Hikari's headaches, maybe? The recent villain attack on the USJ had shaken up Hikari quite a bit. She tried helping in the fight, but her terror wound her down too much. She was in shock for a day or so after, and Ochako had offered to stay the night with her if she didn't want to be alone. As much as she wanted to accept the offer, she didn't want Ochako to see her after the incident - her nightmares from years ago might return simply from the shock. She did, however, ask the brunette if everyone could meet at her home the next day. Ochako let her know that she could arrange the meeting, and left with a brief hug and a "take care of yourself, okay?"

 The next day, Hikari, however sluggish she was, woke up and got ready for the visitors she hoped were coming. She threw on her usual blue hoodie and gray sweatpants and got to tidying up the living room. Hikari even set some snacks out in case anyone got hungry while they were there - just trying to make sure her classmates - friends - would be comfortable. Would they be angry with her, or want to stay away from her? She wasn't sure. She just knew that however nervous she was, it was time to tell her friends about the...accident, the tragedy that plagued her younger years. It was the ultimate form of trust in her eyes, and she felt like she wanted her friends to trust her. Trust in her to help them, just as they helped her and each other. Class 1-A felt like a family, and Hikari didn't want to lose that family. An alert on her phone showed that Ochako had gathered everyone up who was coming, and they'd be at the house soon. All that was left to do was wait.

 After everyone was seated - Iida and Ochako on the couch with Hikari, Mina and Asui seated together on the loveseat, hands clasped together. Shoto and Midoriya were on the floor, as well as a sprawled out Bakugo, who was munching on one of the cookies Hikari had left out for snacks, and Yaoyorozu on a chair she pulled out from the kitchen. Tokoyami had training scheduled for the day, and most of the others had family events going on. Hikari cleared her throat, looking at her fellow classmates. "'re all probably wondering why I asked you guys to come. And before you ask, my hair can be changed because of my quirk, this is what it normally looks like." Mina, who looked as she wanted to ask a question, nodded. "Super cool!"

"T-thank you. A-anyway, I called you guys here because I wanted to tell you about my childhood. I know it sounds boring, but...I'm hoping maybe we can f-find out something about my headaches, and you'll know why I was so shaken about the v-villain attack on USJ." Clearing her throat again, as Bakugo grabbed another cookie, surprisingly silent, Hikari started her story. "My mom and dad are - were - pro heroes. I'm sure you've all heard of Lightshade and Tidal Wave? I got my quirk from mom." She smiled, a melancholy smile. "I had a good childhood. I was raised in a good home by good people, I was taught well, w-was never hurt or anything, and I was loved by my parents. I never had nightmares or bad dreams until...a-after. A-and things were amazing, until..." Hikari sniffled, pausing, and Ochako set her hand on Hikari's. Taking a deep breath, the girl composed herself and continued.

"I came home from school one day - I was about t-twelve...I was so excited to show my dad that I'd passed my quirk types exam with flying colors. I-I walked in to find the house in a huge mess, and the copies of my parent's hero registration ID's were gone. I-I didn't want to assume the worst, so I continued looking for them. I went room to room, searching..." Another sniffle, and deep breath. "I-I finally opened the door to their bedroom, and...I-I found...I found them dead there." A small gasp came from Yaoyorozu, and from Ochako. Hikari wiped the tears that formed in the corner of her eyes. "Of course, I-I didn't know what to do. I tried to get them up, but they were just so cold...I called the police and..."

Hikari suddenly winced, the hand under Ochako's coming up to her temple. "and..." Midoriya sprang up from the floor, concerned for his friend. "Another headache! Do you have pain medication?!" She weakly pointed to the bathroom down the hall, and Midoriya rushed to grab some while Yaoyorozu got her a glass of water. It took a while for the pain medicine to kick in, but after it did, Hikari raised her head up. "T-thank you, Momo, Deku, I-I'm sorry. They always happen when I'm trying to r-remember something, I don't understand why. I-I was hoping we could figure it out-"

"Hikari!" Izuku said suddenly, startling Shoto, who had drifted off on Izuku's lap after the initial headache panic. "I hate to ask, and bring up more bad memories, b-but do you remember if the killers were ever found?" Hikari nodded. "T-the police told me that they were drug addicts and thieves, they seemed to be acting u-under a trance, and at any opportunity would try to escape prison once captured. They d-didn't seem to respond to authority at all. I thought it was weird, but I never said anything-"

"Infect." Izuku said. "It's a rare quirk, that can let the user impose their will on others. It can be dangerous, and UA keeps tabs on people that do have it. O-one of them was a UA student who suddenly dropped off the radar...and whose parents were arrested later. It was said that the two were in a trance-like state and wouldn't respond to police." Hikari gasped, her hand almost subconciously finding Ochako's again. "Y-you don't think..." She didn't realize it, but at some point she had started shaking, her blood running cold. Izuku, with a serious look on his face, nodded. "I think so. I think your parents were murdered by that student."

"But why?" Asui spoke up, having been quiet this whole time, consoling a crying Mina, who was upset after hearing Hikari's story. "Why would this kid just drop of out UA and suddenly have his parents kill people?"

"My p-parents were pro w-would have to be some kind of grudge...b-but why wouldn't he go after me? I wanted to be a hero too...I still do." Izuku thought for a moment, then a realization dawned on him - a grim realization. "We need to meet back at UA with the pros there. If what I think happened did happen..."

"Babe," Shoto started, "what did happen?"

"I can't say yet. But if it's what I think. It isn't good. And we might be in danger."


Chapter Text

"Midoriya, you're completely serious about this?" The group, after Izuku's realization, had quickly rushed to UA, meeting with the pro heroes who worked there. All Might, Eraserhead, Kitsune, Midnight, Present Mic, and the Principal.

"One hundred percent, there's no way I would joke about this!" Izuku exclaimed. "I think the student with Infect is the one who killed Tidal Wave and Lightshade, and if I'm right - he could be targeting UA and us next!"

"What you're telling us is extremely serious." Midnight chipped in. "Bit what makes you think he's targeting UA or it's students?" The Principal nodded at her statement, adding, "Yes, please tell us."

"There's a spy among us." Izuku said after a pause. "I don't even think they realize it. Infect allows the quirk user to hide out in someone's head, imposing their will on others. The spy doesn't even know what they are."

Eraserhead spoke up. "And who is this spy?"

After another pause, Izuku turned around, and pointed to the girl that had been trying so hard to truly be friends with her classmates, who wanted to hang out and get to know each of them. Though, after all this, she had to doubt herself now.

Izuku pointed to Hikari.

A small gasp left the peach haired girl, a hand coming up to her mouth. Was...was she really a spy? Was she even real? Was all of this - her friendships with everyone, her closeness with Ochako, was it just fake? A thud rangin the silence as the girl dropped to her knees, shocked.

"Wait!" Ochako yelled, stepping in front of Hikari. "Can she really be counted as a spy? Even if this guy is in her head, did she even know he was there? What proof do we have of her being one?! Was our friendship with her just fake-"

"Ochako. The symptoms of Infect included memory related headaches, fatigue, and uneasiness. All of these seem to coincide with what Hikari has been dealing with." Iida spoke up, facing down at the floor. He didn't want to believe it, but he had to be realistic.

"N-no! It's not fair, it just can't be!" The brunette yelled, kneeling down and facing Hikari, who at this point was crying. "Hikari, you aren't a spy...right?" Ochako reached for Hikari's hands, only for her to pull away with a choked sob.

"I-I don't k-know! I don't k-know anymore!"
Hikari yelled, wrapping her arms around herself. She wanted to run away, run somewhere where no one could find her, where they couldn't use her to find her friends and hurt them. Being used like this, like a mole, it hurt. It hurt her badly.

"I-I...w-what have I done? W-whoever it is is g-gonna find you guys, w-what if he hurts you?!" Hikari yelled out, only to feel a hand on her shoulder. Looking up, she saw Mina, who was giving her a small smile. "It's okay, Hikari. I don't think any of us think of you as any less than our friend. This isn't your fault, we just need to find the guy and give him a good beating, okay? Then he can't hurt you anymore, and he can't hurt us. You got me?" Hikari sniffled, nodding, and the two nodded at each other.

Ochako patted Hikari on the back, reaching again for her hands, which Hikari grabbed this time, intertwining their fingers. "Is this fake, Hikari? Us being here, with each other?" She shook her head. "How do you feel, Hikari? About us?" Without hesitating, the girl replied. "I-I like you, Ochako. So much, I...I just want to be around you forever."

The brunette smiled, pulling her into a hug. "That didn't sound like something a villain would say. I think Mina's right, we just need to find this guy and kick his tail!" Hikari let out a small laugh, returning the hug, and letting Ochako help her up, hands still clasped together.

"I've seen enough." All Might said, after being silent the whole time. "I can no longer stand by while this individual hurts my students. I say we find him and bring him to justice!" Kaori stood up, slapping her hands on the table. "I couldn't agree more!"

The rest of Class 1-A voiced their agreement, and Ochako voiced out loud, "Who's ready to go kick some butt?!"