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Since That Day

Chapter Text

Tomura barely managed to pull his hand away from gnashing teeth, a startled gasp escaping his scarred lips upon nearly losing a limb. However, that frightened demeanor hastily turned into agitation. The same hand reached forward once more, this time in retaliation to the intent of harm.

All it took was all five of his fingers to make contact with the creature's face. A bloodcurdling roar resounded over the thrashing of chains as Tomura's quirk took effect. Flesh began to decay around the victim's facial features, the disintegration causing complete agony.

“Tomura. I believe that is enough.”, a placid voice cut into the tortured cries despite the difference in volume.

Tomura's head whipped around in surprise, watching a tall figure step out from shadows that once concealed their features. To be fair, there was nothing but marred scar tissue where his face should be, but his body was still in tact with a dapper business suit to boot. “Sensei..”, Tomura felt his knees buckle in his master's presence; the desire to kneel in recognition of such power overrode any prior emotions.

“We wouldn't want to dispose of our creation prematurely, would we?”, the deep voice continued chiding Tomura as it drew nearer.

“Forgive me.”, Tomura finally gave in to the pressure as he fell to one knee, “I lost control again..”

“Rise.”, Tomura's Sensei motioned for his disciple to stand despite the pleased tone he spoke with. “While you need to be more mindful of letting yourself become overwhelmed with anger, there is no need to apologize when you're still learning. You're bound to make mistakes, that much is understandable.”, an assuring hand placed itself on Tomura's shoulder.

“Thank you, Sensei.”, Tomura bowed his head to hide the tears brimming his eyes. Thankfully, his hair was a tangled blue mess that hung over his face, so it was easier to conceal the waterworks.

“Now.. Let's have a look at the Titan. Shall we?”, the warm hand on Tomura's shoulder slipped away with an unsettling drop in temperature.

The creature jerked its head up, as if it were waking up from a nightmare. The area that had been decayed looked completely healed over due to one of the many quirks that had been used to create it. Tomura recalled what his Sensei was referred to by others: All For One. The name wasn't without meaning, it had been chosen with the fitting that his Sensei can collect various quirks. Some of those had been gifted to the creature chained before them.

All For One came to a halt, leveling his height with his creation. The Titan was a mere three meters tall, but looked shorter in its current captive position. He then just stood there, as if he was calculating something. Defiant eyes stared back through green locks of overgrown hair. The Titan looked like it was prepared to lunge, but it just as quickly turned docile due to a simple wave of All For One's hand.

“I thought it would be taller.. Hence the name 'Titan'...”, Tomura criticized the experiment's appearance.

A low hum came from his Sensei in response. “I suppose we could consider this one another result of miscalculations.”

Tomura unconsciously brought his fingernails to run along his neck. “The Titan was a waste of time. We should have just continued working on the Nomu. I knew that brat wasn't worth kidnapping!”, his fingers continued to claw at his throat as he felt for the suffocating feeling. It felt like a grip was there, he just couldn't pry it off no matter how much he scratched. Soon, the scraping began to cut into his skin and drew blood.

“Tomura, cease that at once.”, the command snapped Tomura out of his trance. All For One stood over him like a disappointed parent. “I thought Kurogiri told you to break that habit.”, he then drew a handkerchief with a lighter demeanor.

Tomura accepted the cloth with remorse, using it to dab at the fresh cuts. “I've been trying..”

“Shall I set up another appointment with Doctor Daruma?”, the suggestion comes out sounding more like a threat than anything else.

“No!”, Tomura shouted, almost too desperately. He flinched slightly at his own outburst, “It's just.. I feel different every time I visit him. It feels like I'm being tweaked, er, changed..”

All For One hummed as he contemplated Tomura's reasoning. After a brief moment, he discarded the subject and turned his focus back to the Titan. “Even if our experimentation wasn't what we were aiming to achieve, we can't chalk it up as a complete failure either. We can still make use of it.”

“How so, Sensei?”, Tomura's interest peeked with his eyebrows as he eagerly listened for what plan his master may conjure up.

“What has our goal been since the very beginning, Tomura?”, All For One answered his disciple's question with his own.

“To destroy All Might!”, Tomura hissed the hero's name like it was a bad taste in his mouth.

“No.”, that reply caught Tomura by surprise if his expression was any indication. “Well, yes.. but it's not the fundamental aspect.”, All For One felt the need to elaborate. “The goal is to land a blow to society that it won't be able to recover from.”

“How is a failed experiment going to do that?”, Tomura had to physically stop himself from scratching at the feeling of irritation that returned at the base of his neck.

“You're forgetting what the 'failed experiment' was derived from: a child. What would be worse than the heroes losing a kid on their watch?”, his Sensei was trying to help Tomura fill in the blanks.

“They find the kid dead?”, it was more of a question than an answer.

All For One chuckled like Tomura told a joke. “You aren't wrong. However, you aren't thinking long term. I've gifted this boy with a combination of powerful quirks; I wouldn't want them all going to waste. We'll let the heroes have a little victory, we'll sell the child to some other criminal organization before tipping off the authorities. Then, our little monster will be among the system, serving as a ticking time bomb.”

Tomura imagined the headlines that could come from such cataclysm. “Yes.. Yes, I like that.”, he giddily nodded along.

All For One gave a single nod in approval, “In the meantime, we can begin working on a second titan and finish the Nomu as you suggested.”

The mischievous smile on Tomura's face then faded into a grimace, “But master.. What if the brat tells the heroes that he was rescued from the wrong villains? He could potentially lure them back to our hideout.”

All For One waved off the concern before using the same hand to cover the Titan's face. “Not to worry, Tomura. When I'm through with him.. he won't remember a single thing about his experience here.”

Then, a powerful surge of energy pulsed from All For One's palm and entered the Titan's head.

Once more, the room is filled with tortured cries and rattling chains.