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Blood of a Villain

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The sounds of my mother's sobbing still haunt me. Even now, I can hear her muted cries from every direction when I attempt to sleep. She believed the pillow would muffle her cries and the walls were thick enough to keep them within her bedroom. She would always start soon after entering her room for the night, and it would continue well into the early hours of the morning. She finally collapsed from exhaustion and an eerie silence devoured our home.

The next morning, she would pretend nothing was wrong. She never acknowledged the fact she had been crying, and that's when I learned it was a secret for only her to know. She hid her true emotions behind the piles of makeup she spent an hour applying every morning in the bathroom when the only person to ever see her face was me.
The mother I saw during the day was a completely different person from the one I heard during the night. Her voice, which was normally filled with kindness and laughter, was corrupted with pained gasps and broken cries. Even as a toddler, I knew my mother was hurting badly. Out of respect for her desperation to shield me from her pain, I never once asked her about the crying that kept me awake at night.

At first, I thought maybe her sadness was caused by her lack of a quirk. Although I'd never seen one before, mother would tell me stories of heroes. They all had amazing special abilities and would use their quirks to defeat villains, who decided to use their quirks for evil. There was one fatal flaw to this theory though. My mother always held such a terrified expression when she told me about them. She thought she hid it well enough, but the shaking in her voice was the same as it was each night.

When I first asked her why she didn't have a quirk, my mother explained that although most of society had developed these strange abilities, there still existed a number of the population that had nothing. My mother was one of them, as were her other family members. It was at that moment that I gave up on ever developing a quirk of my own. I did not want my mother to feel lonely if I developed one while she had none, and I never wanted to experience the reason she feared quirks so much.

We were able to spend almost every moment of every day together. Our front door didn't have a doorknob like the other doors in our apartment, and my mother had told me many times that I was not to ever go through that door - even if it was open. We found all sorts of ways to pass the time though, even if I could never experience the wonderful outside she told me about.

My mother would spend hours each day reading aloud to me. She even switched back and forth between different voices, making the stories even more fun. And as I grew slightly older, I soon began to read little words when I thought I could recognize them. Mother said I was much smarter than other little girls my age, and that she would prepare me for all the difficulties I would have to face.

When I was good, she would sometimes reward me by showing me her photo albums. She had all kinds of pictures of herself and the rest of her family, whom I had never met. In these times, she would tell me true stories about my grandparents, my aunts, and my uncles. Although I was unable to meet them in person, I had always felt a strong connection to my mother's family.

My mother was the only living being other than myself I knew and interacted with. We had no one other than each other. My mother had told me her friends couldn't talk to her anymore, and that the rest of our family didn't know where she was. As for me, I'd never been given the opportunity to make friends in the first place.

I got used to the cold stone floors and the dim light that emitted off the candles mother lit each morning before waking me. We didn't have any electricity, although I hadn't known what that was at the time. Instead, we had a stone fireplace that provided our main source of heat. On the especially cold days, my mother would heat up the water in a pot and pour it into the tub as a treat for the two of us to share - a warm bath.

To end the day, my mother would lock me inside my bedroom at exactly 7:30pm each night until the next morning. Sometimes I would cry, beg, and scream in hopes that she would let me out, but she never budged and refused to explain. I would pace around my room for hours until my mother's wailing echoed off my bedroom walls, and waited for complete silence before I could finally sleep.

I couldn't contain my curiosity as to why she was so strict regarding my curfew. To obtain answers, I made a grave mistake. Hiding in the closet by the front door, I remained silent as my mother tore through the house in her search for me. Determined to discover why it was so important she lock me in my room, not a single sound left my lips.

I couldn't keep track of the time very well from my hiding spot but the grandfather clock's chiming occurred at the exact moment a harsh tapping came from the other side of the door. Knowing it to be 8:00pm, I emerged from my hiding space within the closet as someone jiggled with the wooden door from the outside.

Having never before seen it open, my entire body froze in anticipation as I hoped to catch even the tiniest glimpse of the world outside. Instead, it was blocked by a man who slipped in through the smallest crack and slammed the door shut behind him.

Perhaps I hurt his feelings, and that was why he attacked me, but the fear I felt upon seeing him was unexplainable. After all, what's a 6-year-old child to think upon seeing a man with such anger, malice and pure hatred directed at the world?

My mother was there in an instant, shoving my body behind her as she demanded I go to my room and close the door. I wished I could have listened, but the ultimate fear I was feeling had taken over my body. My tiny legs were frozen in place, keeping my eyes fixated on the monster in front of me.

Mother's body was thrown across the hallway and into the wall. It smashed on impact, sending her flying into the living room on the other side. Her screams echoed off the walls and it couldn't help but seem familiar - familiar to the cries I heard every night from within my mother's bedroom.

The stranger's hand was cold to the touch as it roughly wrapped around my face. My tears fell harder as the grip tightened and my feet lifted from the floor. He remained completely silent at first, examining me with his heavily scarred face before allowing me to fall onto the floor.

My mother shot into the hallway with a screech. She was bleeding from her head and her left arm was twisted in a way it shouldn't have been. Mother charged towards the stranger, but he lashed out a hand without hesitation and she was once again sent flying across the hallway and onto the ground.

He then turned against me, slamming a heavy foot down upon my stomach. The high pressure threatened to explode my insides. I wished I could have hidden my weakness and stopped crying. The pain had been unlike anything else I'd ever experienced before. So I cried. This only seemed to make him angrier, however, and his attacks grew to be much more violent.

The stranger tortured me with pain throughout the night - both physical and mental. He beat me down to the ground with maniacal laughter. Even destroying my spirit, he continuously struck my mother down each time she tried to stop him. I cried until all my tears had dried up, and my mother cried with me.

The stranger showed up every night from that day on at exactly 8:00pm. I would try to hide as my mother instructed, but he always found me and hurt both my mother and I. Finding that hiding didn't work, I once made the grave mistake of going against my mother's wishes and trying to run outside the front door. A trap had activated immediately and almost snapped my neck.

Each night, the stranger would appear and unleash his power upon me. Bruises began to form, turning brown and purple until my skin was nothing but. At first, I tried to fight against him, believing that the heroes my mother had told me about would show up to our rescue and take us away from this place.

It was at that point I realized the place my mother and I lived in was never our home - it was our prison. This man had held my mother hostage here since before I was even born, and I had been raised in complete secrecy. Other than the man and my mother, no one else even knew I existed. No matter how long I endured, a hero would never come to my rescue.

That was when this stranger truly opened my eyes. He explained to me the true intentions behind heroes, and that my mother had simply told me white lies in order to spark hope in me. I couldn't express my anger when I was forced to learn the harsh truth. Heroes were simply individuals who used their quirks to remain in the spotlight and make money. They didn't care about those they rescued or what occurred regarding the villains they faced.

I was very young when the stranger finally told me of his true identity. He had never meant to hurt me during our nightly training sessions, but teach me how to become strong. He explained that being my father, it was his job to make sure I became powerful. That way I could team up with him to rid the world of the selfish individuals calling themselves heroes.

I did everything as he said in order to continue my training, and tried to live with the growing gap between my mother and me. She began to push me away as if I were a disease, trying to trick me into thinking my father was the true bad guy. He had already warned me of the lies she would attempt to tell me, and in the end, her words held no effect over me.

I realized over time that my father was the only individual I could trust. He had always been looking out for me from the start. He locked me away from the world in order to protect from those that called themselves heroes. He hadn't wanted me to be brainwashed with the sense of security they had forced onto the rest of society. He beat me to improve my endurance and the number of hits I could take. This way when I took down the false heroes, I would be able to handle even the strongest quirks. His vocal taunts and cruelty would keep me from trusting others as easily so I wouldn't be betrayed.

My father had paved the way for me so I could become more powerful than any of the pro heroes and teach society that its heroes were nothing but fakes. This was the only way to achieve a perfect society, according to my father, where I could live freely in the outside.

My lack of quirk had always been a concern, however, and that is when my father gave me the greatest gift of all. Once he had perfected my physical and mental training, he gifted me with a quirk to best suit my abilities. It wasn't too significant at first, but I knew it could develop into a powerful ability.

was difficult at first, but with intensive training, I was able to use my quirk more effectively. My father still wasn't satisfied with my progress, however, and constantly ordered me to work harder to master my quirk. I did exactly as he said, training more diligently than ever.

I didn't understand why he pressured me to master my quirk so much until he used his own abilities to gift me a second one. Although it was less combat-based and more for obtaining knowledge, he had created an incredibly powerful combination. With my two abilities, I trained all day and all night to become stronger than those my father wanted me to defeat.

Our plans came crashing down when All Might showed up. The secret base where he had hidden my mother and I was discovered by the so-called pro-heroes my father taught me about. He had broken down the door with a single kick, looking beat up and broken.

"Fear not, citizens, for I am here!"

Those words had burned themselves into my soul ever since that day. He had swooped in assuming we needed rescuing, but my mother and I were fine as we were. We had been happy in our home, even if was originally made to serve as a prison. The heroes had swooped in and took the glory for 'saving' us when we had never needed saving.

My mother had cried of joy when they showed up, however, begging that I be locked away in a cell to rot before I harmed anyone. She warned that I had the blood of a villain and should be imprisoned before I began to pose a threat. This had surprised me coming from my mother, but my father had told me she was not mentally stable. After all, she had come from the outside world before he rescued her.

The heroes chose not to heed her advice, to my surprise. While my mother was taken to live with my grandparents, it was made clear that I was not welcome in her family as she opted to refuse her responsibilities as my mother. The heroes didn't protest against her decision, and instead designed a new system for my care.

Knowing of my relation to All For One and my training under him since I was little, the pro heroes deemed me unpredictable and unsafe. However, they did not wish to judge me for the crimes of my father when I hadn't yet done anything wrong. Instead of deeming me as a criminal, they decided I deserved a chance to prove I wasn't a villain.

The staff members of a prestigious hero school known as U.A. were given joint custody of me since I was still a child and given the responsibility of providing for me. Of course, this meant I was constantly moving between houses with various different teachers and staff members. I seemed to have a bedroom in each one of their houses and was constantly being switched back and forth.

What angered me most, was the freedom they stripped from me through the bracelets and anklets I was forced to wear on my limbs. The special machines were created to cancel out quirks, rendering me without my abilities majority of the time, and could only be removed by U.A. staff members.

Despite all this, I was not as easy to sway as one may think. With the brainwashing done to me by my father from a young age, I was convinced that the heroes were the true villains. In addition, I understood very little of the outside world. Even after I was taken in by the pros, I was kept in a hospital under strict watch for quite a while following my rescue.

I remained in the hospital up until a day before classes started at U.A. High School. At that time I was taken in by my first pro hero guardian, and showed around the home I would be staying in for the time being. The transition was more difficult than expected though, having changed my lifestyle so suddenly in such a significant way.

At the time, I was overflowing with pent up anger and the desire for vengeance on the fake pro heroes that claimed to have 'rescued' me. After all, I had never wanted to be rescued. I was happy living in my cold, dark prison along with my mother and daily visits from my father.

I didn't know how my viewpoints on life could change so much by meeting the students and teachers of U.A. High, and how finally receiving a chance to see the world would alter the way I saw it.

This is the story of how I went from being a villain to becoming a hero.

Chapter Text

"You should eat your breakfast," the muscular pro pushed my plate closer to me with a frown. His lower canines were quite large, giving him an almost bulldog-like appearance. Although he was a bit rough around the edges, he was a kind individual and did try to complete his hero duties. Unfortunately for him, I knew his secret. He wasn't any different than the rest of the pro heroes. He was only in it for the fame and the money.

 

"I'm not hungry," I nudged the plate back towards him. His frown grew larger, but I stood up from the kitchen table and started to climb the stairs to the guest room he'd set up for me. Although he had introduced it as my bedroom whenever I was staying with him, it wasn't really mine. It was unfamiliar.

 

I wasn't allowed to bring any of my things from my old apartment with my mother, as the heroes couldn't be sure what it was. They didn't want to risk anyone's safety. Instead, the staff of U.A. each pitched in some money to replace my basic necessities, such as clothing and toiletries, while providing for my new requirements, such as school supplies.

 

I had been moved to Vlad King's house during the night just yesterday and hadn't really settled in yet. He had tried to make it comfortable for me, turning off all the nights and lighting the area with candles. I had discovered during my time in the hospital that my eyes were extremely sensitive to light, considering I'd spent years in the darkness.

 

The windows were all hidden behind curtains during the day, but Vlad King had promised to open them at night so I would be able to see outside. I had tried to peak outside this morning but ended up hurting my eyes from the bright light.

 

I pulled my backpack on and exited the dark room. My current guardian was waiting for me by the front door with his keys. He held my special sunglasses in his hand, that had been designed by the support class teacher to assist my learning. I silently placed them on my face just before Vlad opened the door, and the world seemed just as dark as it was when we were inside the house.

 

"Get in the car," he took my backpack and put it into the backseat with his teaching supplies. Gesturing for me to get in the front seat, I slipped inside and pulled my seatbelt on as he closed the door behind me.

 

I looked down at my wrists, fiddling with the bracelets I wore whilst he walked around the car. In the end, we sat in complete silence the entire ride to school. He didn't say anything about the bracelets as I tried to shift them into a more comfortable position. It was to be expected though since he was one of the individuals that put them on.

 

"We're here," he turned the wheel as the car pulled into a parking spot. "You're in Class 1-A. Meet me outside Class 1-B after school."

 

That seemed to be all he had to say before he climbed out of the driver's seat and I reached into the back to get my bag. He locked the car after I got out and walked with me to the front gate. Upon my bracelets going through the front gates, an LED turned a solid red colour. It had been explained to me by principal Nezu while I was in the hospital. My bracelets would keep track of my location and sent an alert to all of the staff members when I entered and left the school grounds.

 

Despite what they told the police about not blaming me for my father's crimes, it was apparent that they still had no trust in me. I didn't blame them, as they truly shouldn't, but that was another reason as to why heroes were fakes. It's no wonder my father had wanted to shelter me from them.

 

I would admit, it was nice to get out of the hospital they had been keeping me in. After my rescue, I had been moved into the mental ward of the main hospital in the city where they assessed my intelligence, thinking, use of quirk, and anything else they deemed important. They wanted to make sure the pro heroes had a clear report on both my mental and physical health before any of them agreed to become one of my many guardians.

 

Apparently, a 14-year-old girl was a large threat to a group of Pro Heroes that have been entrusted with the task of teaching teenagers how to become heroes. Based on the circumstance alone, it was obvious that these Pro Heroes were much stronger than those of us they were teaching.

 

"Don't try to run off. If you leave school grounds, we'll send a group of Pros after you."

 

"I'm not stupid. See you later."

 

Vlad King kept walking down the hall towards classroom 1-B, while I stopped outside 1-A. I wasn't particularly thrilled about attending school at UA, but it was definitely better than prison so I could deal with it. Hopefully, the aspiring heroes wouldn't annoy me too much with their claims of protecting citizens when in reality they all had some sort of ulterior motive.

 

The classroom was almost completely empty when I entered, although three of the students had already entered and claimed seats. Not paying enough attention to really look at them, I noted one was a wearing glasses, one had a strange mixture of red and white hair, and the third had a ponytail. Considering how early I was, these three were likely the 'model student' type.

 

No one had made any efforts to speak one another and instead quietly were fiddling with their phones or reading. Having neither a book or a phone, I simply sat in the back corner and observed. Since I would be stuck with the wannabe heroes for a while, I may as well gather information about them. It could come in handy.

 

Students slowly trickled in and claimed seats, until very few empty desks were remaining and the clock above the door showed it was 5 minutes until the start of class. Of course, there had to be at least one student having an outburst.

 

The 'model student' with glasses had stormed over to the blond boy as soon as the latter lounged back in his chair and threw his feet up onto the desk. Despite my attempts to ignore them, their petty fight had attracted the attention of everyone in the class. They weren't trying to be particularly quiet about it. The argument in itself was pointless, and not to mention stupid, which only made it more annoying.

 

"Take your feet off of that desk now!" the 'model student' ordered. He was relatively tall and muscular for our age but let out a constant essence of nerd due to the glasses he wore on his face.

 

The spiky-haired blond lifted his head with a scowl present on his lips, glaring harshly at the nerd with his red eyes. He had a cocky aura around him as he finally gave a verbal acknowledgement, "Huh?"

 

"It's the first day and you're already disrespecting this academy by scuffing school property, you cretin."

 

"You're kidding me, right?" Asshole leaned back in his chair, "Your old school put a stick up your ass or were you born with it?"

 

The nerd hesitated for a moment before placing one hand on his chest, "Let's start over." He extended his other towards asshole politely, "I'm Tenya Iida from the Somei Private Academy."

 

"Somei, huh? So you must think you're better than me. I'm gonna have fun tearing you a new one!" the asshole snarled to the nerd with a smirk.

 

"You would threaten me? Your own classmate? Are you sure you're in the right place?"

 

The argument seemed as if it was about to continue when the blond seemed to notice something over by the door. The nerd curiously followed asshole's gaze, "It's him."

 

The rest of the class, including myself, turned to see what had broken up the argument. The kid was short and scrawny - he didn't even look old enough to be a high school student. His messy green hair was standing up all over the place, and of course, the freckles on the sides of his cheeks screamed how adorable he was. I hated freckles.

 

"Uh, hi!" the boy glanced away with an awkward blush present on his face.

 

"Good morning," Iida power walked over towards the kid with such exaggerated movements that I almost laughed out loud. "My name is Tenya Iida from-"

 

"Y-yeah!" the boy moved his hands defensively in front of him, "I know. I'm Izuku Midoriya. It's super nice to meet you."

 

Rolling my eyes, I reached up to fix my sunglasses and glanced towards the windows as I forced myself to tune the class out once again. The curtains had all been pulled shut. Although it had been done for my sake, a part of me wanted to rip them over. How the fuck did they expect me to get used to the light if they made everything pitch black?

 

"Hello, I'm Shouta Aizawa. Your teacher."

 

Glancing over towards the sleep-deprived man, he held up a few jerseys. The rest of the class seemed astonished at the fact this man was their teacher, but it only proved that heroes put no effort into their work. I'd had the displeasure of meeting Aizawa during my time in the hospital when I'd run away - the bastard cancelled out my quirk and dragged me back.

 

The students began to stand, shuffling towards him to grab a jersey and going towards their gender-specified washroom after directions from Aizawa of where to find it. I'd been one of the last to arrive, where the girls were giving each other self-conscious glances and waiting in line to use the stalls.

 

It didn't take long to change, and soon enough the girls were crowding out into the yard where we'd been instructed to meet. Since I had been one of the last of the girls, by the time I'd arrived it didn't take much longer before we received an explanation of what we were doing.

 

"A quirk assessment test?" the class had echoed idiotically.

 

"But we'll miss orientation," some bubbly girl with short hair protested.

 

Her protest was almost immediately shot down by the teacher, who declared the ceremony was a waste of time. He ran our class his way, and we were going to do this test rather than waste our time sitting around.

 

"Bakugou, you managed to get the most points in the entrance exam. What was your farthest distance throw with a softball when you were in junior high?"

 

The asshole from before, Bakugou, seemed to pause for a few seconds before replying, "67 metres, I think."

 

"Try doing it with your quirk. Anything goes, just stay in the circle."

 

So, Bakugou took his place within the circle and reeled his arm back in preparation. With an explosive blast from his hands, the ball went flying forwards and travelled far through the air before it finally landed on the ground and Aizawa held up his phone with a measurement. Most of the class couldn't hold back their gasps at the 705.2m displayed across the screen.

 

"Today you'll compete in eight physical tests to gauge your potential. Whoever comes in last has none, and will be expelled immediately."

 

At this, my head seemed to perk up in curiosity, although the smug look Aizawa gave me made it pretty clear that I was an exception from the rule. I was the only person who didn't want to be at this damned school and I had no way out of it.  Although if I came in last, I'm curious to see how Aizawa would handle it.

 

Either way, if Aizawa refused to take off my bracelets then I would lightly come in last place either way. How would I, without access to my quirk, compare against those talented enough to qualify into UA High in a fair match? It seemed Aizawa was just trying to single me out - how fun. Well, may as well put on a bit of a show.

 

"Show its no mistake that you're here."

 

The first competition, a 50-meter dash, paired students off in duos and had them race against one another. Although due to our odd number of students, I found myself in a trio instead. Aizawa made no effort to remove my bracelets, so I suppose my quirk would remain a mystery for now. Then again, I was reasonably unpredictable.

 

When the whistle blew, the nerd suddenly flew forward with what appeared to be engines on the back of his legs. The girl, who looked and acted like a frog in every way, surprised me as she leaped swiftly to the finish line... like a frog. And I, taking my sweet time, admired the reactions of my classmates as I lazily strolled across the track.

 

Aizawa sent a glare my way, but I made sure to return it. One of my classmates almost approached me, but with a glare and one sense of my menacing nature, they wisely chose to stay away. I was curious to see Aizawa explain his way out of this one - they couldn't tell the students who I really was, after all.

 

The second test, grip strength contested of everyone grasping onto little metal devices with all the strength they had. Keeping true to my decision, to not try, I didn't bother to squeeze in the first place. When Aizawa was about to call me out, I held a very delicate amount of pressure and waited for the machine to beep.

 

In the third test, the standing long jump, I saw no point in putting the effort into jumping. So as the other students used their quirks to launch themselves over the sand, and the freckled kid just ran and jumped like usual, I decided to show off my true strength. I took a single baby step forward.

 

In the repeated side steps test, whilst other students rabidly jumped from side to side, I simply stood there. When Aizawa finally spoke up to tell me I actually had to move, I reached up to fix my sunglasses and stared him dead in the eye as I, in slow motion, stepped to the other side.

 

In the fifth test, when we returned to the ball through, I simply dropped in on the ground just outside the circle. Aizawa once again stepped forward as he handed the ball back to me and said I couldn't just drop it - I had to throw it. He caught the ball with an angry glare as I whipped it directly at him. The rest of the class was frozen in place, but Aizawa said no more and called the next student up.

 

I was not the only student to get a rethrow, the other of which being freckles. After his first throw, Aizawa moved forward and the two had a quiet conversation before the teacher moved back and freckles seemed to have a determined look on his face. I have to admit, even I was surprised when his power appeared out of nowhere - although it was hard to miss the broken finger that now sat on his hand.

 

It was the asshole that shot forward, radiating rage and hostility as threats spewed from his mouth. Freckles stumbled back in protest but was rescued when Aizawa's scarf wrapped around the attacking blond - stopping him in his tracks.

 

"Stand down. It would be wise to avoid making me use my quirk so much. It gives me a serious dry eye."

 

The next test, sit-ups, consisted of me laying on my back lazily as I waited for the others the finish. In the seated toe-touch, I raised my arms in a fake attempt but it was rather obvious that I really wasn't trying. And finally, in the long-distance run, I decided to walk. The entire class was stuck waiting for almost an hour before I crossed the finish line. I even made them wait for an extra 5 minutes as I sat down to rest right in front of the finish line.

 

"Alright, time to give you your results," Aizawa announced to the group that had just gathered in front of him. "I've ranked you all from best to worst. You should probably have a good idea of your standing already. I'll just pull up the whole list. It's not worth going over each individual's score."

 

When the list popped up, I found myself scanning over the 20 names with a smirk present on my face. It appeared that despite my beautiful performance, I wasn't even present on the list. Other students seemed shocked at the current standings, glancing towards Freckles before changing their attention to me.

 

"How is Midoriya in last when she didn't even try?" the engine kid demanded.

 

"Yeah, that's not fair! She didn't put any effort into any of the tests. How did she pass?" the annoying bubbly girl from earlier continued.

 

"Have you got a problem with me, nerd? Do you want to fight, Bubbles?" I growled out a low response.

 

Both individuals flinched back at the malice in my tone, and it seemed to even carry over to some of the other classmates. Aizawa had sent a glare in my direction, although I ignored it as usual. He was unsure how to respond at first but finally continued with a reply that left everyone curious, and unsatisfied.

 

"Just ignore her. At this rate, she won't be around long."

 

"The less amount of time I have to spend in this dump, the better."

 

The other students were shocked at my response, although Aizawa clicked the list away with the press of a button on his phone. Ignoring the whispers and glances regarding my presence, he continued on with the results with a sentence that surprised most of the students.

 

"And I was lying. No one's going home. That was just a rational deception to make sure you gave it your all in the tests."

 

Aizawa left the students with a brief goodbye, although did order Freckles to go see the nurse about his broken finger. The students dispersed to the little friend groups that had formed, leaving me to walk alone as I headed back to the girls' washroom to change.

 

This time I was the first to arrive since most of the students had stopped to talk regarding the outcomes of the test. It didn't take me long to change, and then I found myself waiting outside the classroom of 1-B. The students trickled out, and soon enough I found myself face to face with Vlad King.

 

"Got your stuff?" he questioned.

 

I didn't reply.

 

"Let's go to the car."

Chapter Text

The second day of school had been rather uneventful. Present Mic had taught us grammar rules during the morning, which led to an extremely boring class. Although comparing all the regular classes to the hero training, I much preferred normal classes.

During lunch, I avoided the cafeteria where the other students ate. Of course, Principle Nezu had tracked me down along with four other teachers thinking I had been making an escape attempt, but they left me alone when they found me eating lunch outside under the shade of a tall tree.

The afternoon was when shit usually went down, as it was then time for hero training - the classes that made me want to hurl in disgust. We were sitting in our classroom when the bell rang, and right on time, an annoyingly familiar voice echoed across the room.

"I am here!"

The class all perked up in utter amazement as All Might entered the room in his full hero getup and the fans of the class began to whisper excitedly to one another in anticipating. I could only grit my teeth, snarling up at the man who had shown up and 'rescued' me and left me to rot in this miserable excuse of a school.

"Welcome to the most important class at U.A High. Think of it as Heroing 101. Here you will learn the basics of being a pro and what it means to fight in the name of good. Let's get into it! Today's lesson... combat training! But one of the core parts of being a hero is... looking good! Get yourselves suited up, and then meet me at training ground beta."

The outfit I selected was rather plain, but fancy hero costumes tended to tick me off. It was a skin-tight black bodysuit that allowed for maximum comfort and simple movement. The only extra thing I really had was a built-in belt. Each small pocket in the belt was filled with pebbles. Finally, covering my ears were a special pair of goggles. They allowed me to dim light during the day to make it easier for my light-sensitive eyes and had a night-vision function for when it was too dark to see at all. Also equipped with a scope, I could zoom in on long distances to extend my range of sight. It was all that was necessary.

The rest of the class was all dressed up in their costumes, and All Might spewed out compliments towards the excited students. A lot of the students had designed complex costumes that each stuck out in their own way.

Nerdy had created what looked like white armour, and mechanical engines to support the ones on his leg from his quirk. The asshole had gone all out, with flashy head accessories and giant cuffs around his wrists. Bubbly had a skin-tight bodysuit with a lot of pinks, a belt and a helmet. Freckles just made me want to laugh, for the striking resemblance between his costume and All Might's.

"Now that you're ready, it's time for combat training."

"This is the fake city from our entrance exam," Nerd Armour raised his hand, "Does that mean we'll be conducting urban battles again?"

"Not quite," All Might grinned, "I'm going to put you two steps ahead. Most of the villain fights you on the news take place outside. Statistically speaking, run-ins with the most dastardly evildoers take place indoors. For this training exercise, you'll be split into teams of good guys and bad guys and fight two on two indoor battles."

Students immediately started firing question after question, not even allowing All Might with the opportunity to answer.  The man glanced at the students in exasperation with a slightly tortured grin across his face as he mumbled that he wasn't finished speaking.

I only half paid attention to his explanation of the exercise, but it wasn't overly complicated. We would be in teams of 2 inside a building with six floors. One team had to protect the weapon, the other team had to recover it. If either duo managed to capture the other, that would also equal in their victory.

"Time is limited, and we'll choose teams by drawing lots!"

"But don't we have an odd number of people to split into duos?" Nerd Armour protested.

"There will be one group of three. To accommodate the group of three and make it fair, we will ask a volunteer to participate a second time."

The teams were as following: Freckles and Bubbles, Limbo and Frosty, Grapefruit and Princess, Asshole and Nerd Armour, Pinky and Narcissist, Snow White and Diabetes, Sparky and Headphones, Shadow and Froggy, Tails and Invisible, and Tape, Rocky, and I.

As the teams began to scatter to one another and discuss strategy, I noticed my two teammates give me hesitant glances. After my display in the quirk assessment test, they didn't seem to trust me very much - they were just like all the teachers in this damn school.

"Izumi," a large hand was placed upon my shoulder, "hold out your wrists."

I turned my head to glance at the number one pro hero, raising an eyebrow at his statement. All Might held his typical grin across his features as he pulled a key out of his pocket. He placed the key into the first lock, and once it turned a tiny LED flickered to green. I could see my teammates watching from the corner of my eye but neither I nor All Might said a word as he deactivated the quirk-cancelling properties of the cuffs.

"I would like to trust you, young Izumi. Please do not betray my trust."

All Might walked away, leaving me to stand here in silence for a minute before two individuals stepped up beside me, leaving me in the middle. Tape opened his mouth, but I shot my head to look in his direction with a growl. Seemingly surprised, whatever he was about to say died on his lips.

"Izuki, was it?" the redhead behind didn't get a reply. "Come on, we've got to work together on this."

"Izumi," I turned to face the two boys with a grumble.

"Nice to meet you!" he gave a thumbs up, "I'm Eijirou Kirishima."

"Whatever, Rocky."

"Oh," he seemed taken aback at the nickname, but then his slightly annoyed expression turned into a smile, "Rocky it is!"

I wrapped my hand around the end of my shirt, gripping a ball of the soft material tightly in my right hand. My knuckles turned white from the pressure, and I had this idiot to blame. Something about Rocky really pissed me off - more than I could put into words.

"So you can grip pretty hard, huh? If you used your full strength, you probably would have scored pretty well in Aizawa's test."

"You just don't give up," I sneered at him. "You're annoying."

"Well," Tape cut in as he held his hands out in a calming motion, "how about we discuss strategy?"

Rocky nodded in agreement, and our group ended up huddling in the corner of the room while the other students watched the match between Freckles and Bubbles and Asshole and Nerd Armor. I glanced over a few times, but if anything there just seemed to be a shit ton of drama between Freckles and Asshole.

"Let's talk quirks," Kirishima decided for the group. "My quirk is hardening. I can harden any part of my body which is kind of like a constant defence. I can also hit a lot harder."

"My name is Hanta Sero, by the way. My quirk is tape," Tape announced, to my surprise. "I can shoot tape from my elbows."

They both looked to me expectantly, although I chose to remain silent. Tape even attempted to prompt me, but I only glared at him. Rocky sighed slightly but ended up grinning widely as he showed me a thumbs up.

"Whether you use your quirk or not, we'll still come out on top!"

I glanced over towards Shadow and Froggy, our opponents for the exercise. My team was, ironically, playing the villains in this situation. Tape and Rocky were discussing strategy in protecting the weapon, and it appeared our opponents were having a quiet discussion of their own.

When it was finally our turn, All Might passed out communication devices. Attaching it to my ear, our team went in ahead of time in order to set up. Rocky and Tape decided to place the weapon on the sixth floor, figuring it would take them a while to reach the top. Although this strategy could easily have screwed us over, I chose not to speak up.

In order to even the numbers, All Might had drawn a random individual to participate twice so Froggy and Shadow wouldn't be at a disadvantage. Luckily, the name was drawn just as we'd left the building and we'd managed to find out that Tails would be joining the heroes.

Tape created a defensive blockade surrounding the weapon. If our opponents attempted to charge right in, they would tangle themselves inside the tape. Rocky hadn't activated his quirk yet, waiting for enemy contact first. Both seemed rather confused at my actions, as I pulled little pebbles from the pouch on my belt and scattered them around the room.

Each gave me confused glances but didn't question the scattering pebbles or as I pushed furniture around the room. Even after the announcement came that the exercise had begun, I continued to drag what appeared to be some sort of wooden fence across the room. I seemed to be struggling though, and I guess that's why Rocky appeared at my side to help.

"Fuck off," I growled at him.

"We're teammates, so I'm helping whether you like it or not!"

I narrowed my eyes, but he didn't seem affected. Maybe it was because of the goggles? No, that couldn't be it because Tape had flinched back when I glared at him earlier. Apparently, this idiot was just immune to intimidation. With many colourful words, I let Rocky help me move the furniture around before I slowly began to weave myself through the tape barricade.

"What are you doing?" Tape questioned me.

"Don't question me," I growled, causing him to once again jump back slightly.

"Hey, no need for a scowl!" Rocky grinned at me, and my rage flared even more as I discovered he was just immune to my intimidating features.

I leaned against the fake weapon as we waited, whilst Rocky and Tape kept their fighting stances outside the tape blockade. I hadn't been sure at first if I was going to bother participating in the exercise, but considering my cuffs had been removed, I may as well show off my quirk while I had the opportunity.

When the door open and Shadow stepped inside in his cloak, two large claws made of shadow we hovering on either side of him. Beside him, Tails had taken up a fighting stance. Froggy, however, was nowhere to be seen. Using little slots in the weapon, I managed to pull my body up towards the very top and wrapped my legs around it so I was perched on top of the weapon.

The boys broke into a fight, leaving me to watch as Tails and Rocky started going head to head and Tape took on Shadow. Although Tails was a talented fighter, Rocky had an advantage with his hardened body - he dealt harder blows and felt less hurt. Tape, on the other hand, was having some problems holding up against Shadow's quirk.

I studied my eyes across the room, searching for any sign of Froggy. She was likely attempting to sneak in whilst the other two distracted us with combat. I almost didn't notice her tongue, but it appeared her jump had been slightly off. Rapidly swinging myself around the weapon to fix my line of sight to both Froggy and the entrance, I parted my lips with a smirk.

"Switch."

A small pebble clattered against the weapon from where Froggy had formerly been as I swung back up to my perch on top of the weapon. All four involved in the combat had frozen with Froggy sudden appeared between the four of them, falling to the ground with her tongue sticking out.

Froggy's face held an expression of such confusion, that I couldn't help but chuckle darkly. Tape and Rocky didn't allow the confusion to hold them for long upon my laughter, figuring out that the occurrence had something to do with my quirk.

My quirk was known as Switch. I had the ability to switch the locations of any two objects or living creatures I could see. In addition, I could switch myself with any living creature or object I could see. If possible, switched things would hold the position that the other had formerly been in. If not, they switched as they were.

Glancing back down to the fight, Rocky and Tape were not outnumbered in the battle. With a sigh, I figured I may as well play with our opponents a little. It would be boring just sitting here and waiting. As Tails quickly ran at Rocky with a twist of his body, I muttered 'switch' under my breath just before the attack made an impact.

Tails froze in place at seeing Shadow go flying backwards, and Tape had stopped blocking for an attack that was about to hit him with Rocky suddenly appeared before him. Shadow hit the ground, and eyes all seemed to move to where I perched on top of the weapon.

Immediately realizing I was a threat, Tails came charging in my direction. Rocky had stepped forward to intercept him, but I held out my hand as a signal to stop. He seemed confused but did as I ordered. Froggy had gone to resume an attack against Rocky whilst Shadow regained his footing and once again prepared an attack against Tape.

Tails had used his extra limb to propel himself into the air and over the tape blockade. Rocky had called out a warning to me, but I simply sat in silence and waited for him to get only inches away as I kept an eye on both him and a pebble on the ground by the door.

"Switch."

I held out my hand to catch the pebble that was left in his place as Tails tumbled to the ground in the middle of the fighting. This time it hadn't caused disruption as both teams had now gotten used to people disappearing and reappearing all over the place. Just as tails got to his feet, he found himself receiving a powerful blow from Dark Shadow that Tape would have been unable to avoid.

There had been a couple more attempts to remove me from my perch, but eventually, the other team was forced to focus on getting past Rocky and Tape first. I had a birds-eye view of the situation and would pick out stealth attempts before they'd even gotten away from the fight.

In the end, they spent more time hitting their own teammates than each other. The exercise went on until the time limit hit 0, and All Might's voice echoed throughout the building to inform us that the Villains had won. I could feel my fatigue from the number of times I'd had to use my quirk during the fight. It had been a while since I'd used it, and I appeared to be a bit rusty.

I slid down the side of the weapon, landing beside Rocky and Tape who had approached me with massive grins on their faces. They slapped their hands together in the air and I could only tilt my head in confusion when Rocky held his hand up to me.

"High Five, Izumi, your quirk is awesome! What is it? You were teleporting people all over the place!" Rocky clenched a fist excitedly.

"It's not teleporting," I replied. "It's switching. But... High Five?"

"High Five?"

"A what?"

Rocky's jaw dropped as he stared at me, and even tape seemed genuinely surprised. Rolling my eyes, and questioning why I had even asked, I turned to walk away. Rocky had reached out to stop me and wrapped his fingers around my wrist. My head had shot in his direction as I muttered the word. I turned my back to him as I wrapped my second hand around his wrist (since I was now already holding it with one hand) and flipped him over my shoulder to flip him onto the floor.

Everyone else in the room looked shocked at my actions while I looked down at the redhead that now laid on the ground beneath my foot. He smiled up at me and climbed back to his feet. Reaching out his hand, he gave me a rather light slap on the back as he burst into laughter.

"That was a good one! You and I should spar sometime," he suggested.

"No."

With my immediate refusal, I turned away from the redhead and began walking towards the stairs to get out of the building and back to where the rest of the students were waiting. When I reached the outside, I couldn't help but glance down the fake street. Had it been another time, I would have run without looking back. Right now, I was too exhausted from overuse of my quirk.

My teammates and opponents exited the building behind me in chatter just as All Might joined us out on the street from the building across the street where the rest of the students are. He called out congratulations to my team, and words of encouragement to the losing one.

Of course, I knew the true reason he came out for. I stopped in place, waiting for the man to approach me as he asked for my wrists. Too tired to fight him, I held out my arms with a growl and All Might reactivated the quirk-cancellers on my wrist cuffs, and then on the cuffs around my ankles.

"You did well, young Izumi. I was right to put my faith in you."

"If you had put your faith in me," I hissed out a retort, "you wouldn't be chaining me back up."

All Might seemed to slow his movements at my comment. His constant smile faltered for less than a second - it was almost unnoticeable. But he quietly fixed up the cuffs and tried to make sure they were comfortable before muttering I head back inside to join the others.

Chapter Text

The rest of the day proceeded as normal. I proceeded to be heavily questioned about my quirk but refused to answer. Tape and Rocky happily took my place to tell our entire class about it, although were slightly unsure at times since I'd never explained. Apparently Rocky had been listening to the few things I did say, though, since he corrected Bubbles when she said 'teleporting' to 'switching'.

Our afternoon classes were as boring as usual, and when school ended I stood up with a yawn. Heading towards the door, I went to go outside when a hand wrapped around my wrist. Whipping around and grabbing their wrist with both hands, I instinctively flipped the unknown person over my shoulder.

Rocky hardened his body just before he hit the ground, and I could only stare at him in confusion as he began laughing. What the fuck was wrong with this guy? He jumped to his feet with a grin just as Froggy and Pinky came over to stand beside him.

"You should stay for a little bit," Froggy told me. "We're going to go over training results together.*

"Not interested," I turned around to walk out the door.

"It won't take long," Rocky promised. "It'll be fun!"

"Better than going home with Vlad," I muttered under my breath.

"Pardon?" Rocky tilted his head.

"Nothing," I took a step back from him with a scowl.

Although I had no interest in going over training results, I figured it would be much more interesting to stay for a little bit than to go back to the place I was sleeping. I didn't really like Vlad's house. He kept it dark for my eyes, but I wasn't used to the layout and kept bumping into his furniture. Plus, I just wasn't a big fan of the guy - let alone a fan of living with him.

"I'm Tsuyu Asui," Froggy introduced. "You can just call me Tsu."

"I'm Mina Ashido," Pinky held out her hand in a peace sign.

At my lack of response, Rocky told them my name. He didn't seem to notice how hostile the look I was giving him was. Why was he so calm about everything? It pissed me off, even more, the way that he just smiled through everything - just like All Might. I really hated All Might, even more than I hated freckles (the physical feature, not the weirdo).

Speaking of freckles, the door opened at an awkward green-haired boy stumbled in wearing a sling. Freckles was immediately surrounded by classmates, and I took the time in which they were questioning him to leave.  The kid glanced at me as I shoved by him, but I could hear Rocky tell him not to worry about it - I wasn't very friendly.

Vlad King glared at me when I finally arrived outside of Classroom 1-B. I was late, to be fair, but to be honest I didn't really give a shit. Beside him, however, were a few other UA staff members. He'd been having a conversation with Principle Nezu, All Might, Snipe, and Present Mic.

"Sorry for the confusion," Nezu stepped forward to look up at me, "but it looks like we're going to have to move your living situation."

"Whatever," I grumbled in annoyance. I didn't have a major preference about which teacher let me use their house. It was a hassle to move all my stuff around though. Luckily, Vlad stated he'd went home for lunch and packed up my stuff up then. Although kind of annoyed he went through my stuff, I reached out to take the suitcases he was handing me.

"Sorry, kid. Apparently, I'm getting some renovations done and that probably won't be a great environment for you."

"I really don't give a shit. Could we get this over with?"

"Watch your language," a grouchy voice from behind me ordered. "Make sure you've got your stuff and let's go."

When I turned around to retort, Aizawa was already halfway down the hall. Letting out a growl under my breath, I trailed after the sleep-deprived pro in annoyance. Didn't they realize I already dealt with enough of his shit during the day? There's no way that he and I could function in the same household.

We didn't run into any of the other students on our way out of the school, although the media was still swarmed outside the gate. Aizawa said nothing as he pushed his way through, and one media guy almost talked to me but choked on his words when a low growl emitted from the back of my throat.

Aizawa led me to the teacher's parking lot, where he had a simple black car. He opened the trunk and helped me place my things inside. It didn't take long before he was pulling out of the parking lot, and I was fixing my sunglasses. The car began to slow and I glanced up to see the street light turning red.

"We're stopping at the grocery store before we head to my house. Any food you like?"

I shrugged in response and Aizawa pressed his foot against the gas pedal just after the light turned green. The grocery store wasn't very far from the school. Upon parking the car, he undid his seatbelt and looked at me expectantly as he got out. I followed with a roll of my eyes.

The grocery store was rather empty at the moment, considering most people were still at work. The majority of the current customers were elderly. Aizawa pulled out a list and pushed the grocery cart through the aisles, throwing stuff inside as he found the things he needed.

"Just pick out some stuff you like, or want to try."

"Whatever."

I glanced at the stuff as we walked past, but I didn't really know what half of it was. I lifted up a box and turned it around a few times. What the fuck was hot chocolate? Was chocolate a drink? Throwing the box back onto the shelf, it knocked over a bunch of other products and several of them went tumbling onto the aisle floor.

"Are you going to pick it up?" Aizawa sighed as he rested his forehead in his palm.

"No," I walked further down the aisle to look at the other things. I could hear my teacher grumble under his breath as he leaned down to pick up the stuff I'd knocked over. He ended up putting the hot chocolate in the cart considering I'd stared at it for so long.

In the end, I didn't really pay attention to the majority of the things I threw in the cart. I didn't know what half of it was, but Aizawa annoyed me and I wanted to spend his money. Chances were, most of the shit he bought me wouldn't get eaten.

When we were waiting in line to pay for everything, I glanced at the snacks displayed. Considering they were right beside the checkout, they probably tempted people at the last minute. Aizawa wasn't paying attention, and curious as to what the fuck a Mars Bar was, I snatched the chocolate and slipped it into my pocket.

Aizawa loaded the groceries up onto the conveyer belt thing and paid for everything. He loaded all the bags into the cart and we headed back out to the parking lot. He opened the trunk and began to load the bags inside whilst I jumped into the front seat and pulled the Mars Bar from my pocket.

Apparently, it was a chocolate bar. This made absolutely no sense, considering hot chocolate was a drink. What the fuck is this bullshit? It can't be a solid and a drink. With a grumble, I hesitantly took a small bite off the end. Oh shit. Fuck. Damn. This is actually a lot better than I thought it would be.

"Where did you get that?" Aizawa climbed into the driver's seat, glancing at the chocolate bar. His eyes narrowed and he reached out to snatch it from my hands, throwing it out the window. Saying nothing else, he put on his seat belt.

"What the fuck, asshole?" I demanded.

"You don't steal," he said sternly. "I better not catch you doing it again."

I rolled my eyes, pulling the seatbelt over myself to click it in place. Putting the car in gear, Aizawa checked behind him before pulling out of his parking spot. He didn't say another word to me, and we were back on the road.

It was only about 5 more minutes until he pulled into a suburban area, and I figured we were getting close to his house. When we pulled into the driveway, I observed his house. It only had a ground floor and was a nice size for one or two people.

Getting out of the front seat, I went back to the trunk just as Aizawa clicked a button from the driver's seat to open it. Shoving the groceries to the side, I pulled my suitcases from the very back just as the older man stepped behind me.

He grabbed an armful of groceries and followed me to the front door. It didn't take him long to unlock the door, and I trailed after him into the house. He set the groceries down by the door and led me down a small hall, pushing a white door open to reveal a simple bedroom. It had a double bed with black comforters and pillows, a closet, an end table, a desk and a bookshelf.

"Do what you want with it. It's your room whenever you stay here."

He closed the door behind him, leaving me alone in the dark room. The blinds had been taped shut and the ceiling light had a dimming switch so I could have a slight amount of light without a lot. Turning on the light, I pulled it down to as dim as it could go before taking off my sunglasses.

Opening up my first suitcase, I pulled out my school uniforms and hung them up in the closet. I didn't need someone on my case if they got all wrinkled or some shit like that. It didn't take me long to unpack and put the rest of my clothes away in my dresser. I only really had enough clothes to last me a week before everything was dirty.

My other suitcase was filled with personal items - mostly books. Although the bookshelf was still very bare, I managed to fill half of one of the shelves with my current collection. The number of books I'd had back at my home with my mother could fill over ten of these bookshelves - and I wasn't exaggerated.  There was nothing else to do, so I spent most of my years reading away.

Other than toiletries, I didn't really own much else. I only had what UA had provided for me, and that wasn't much. Most of the teachers hadn't thought I'd be around long, and some refused to donate their money to pay for my living expenses. The teachers didn't realize I knew about that, but I happened to overhear a conversation they had while I was in the hospital.

I received visits from all kind of different heroes, and a lot of it was the same. They didn't think I should go to UA when it could potentially harm the other students. Nezu had spoken for me, however, and eventually managed to get permission for their current arrangement.

I ended up picking up a book and sitting down on the bed. Pulling a blanket over my legs, I propped a couple pills against the wall to lean against. Now that I was comfortable, I flipped to the first page. I'd read the book several times before, but at this point, I'd read all my books. With nothing to better to do, another read couldn't hurt.

I had already reached the fifth chapter by the time a quiet tapping hit against my door. Not bothering to reply, I flipped to the next page. Likely giving up on receiving an acknowledgement, the door swung open. Aizawa looked even more exhausted than he did at school, dressed in a black hoodie and black sweatpants.

"What?" I rested my cheek atop my hand tiredly.

"I made dinner," he grumbled. "Come to the table or don't. I couldn't care less."

He closed the door as he left, and I glanced back down at my book. I could hear and feel my stomach grumbling, but it was easy to tell that neither I nor Aizawa was happy with the current situation. Although, if he didn't want me around, of course, I would take the opportunity to get under his skin.

Placing the book upside down on the bed to save my spot, I climbed out from beneath the covers. Touching my bare feet to the ground, I snatched my sunglasses up from the end table and put them on my face. When I opened the door, I was right in assuming the rest of the house was bright and well-lit. I'd have to stay in my room unless I was wearing my sunglasses.

Aizawa had just finished eating when I walked into the kitchen and was standing up to take his dirty dishes to the sink. There was a plate on the other side of the table that I assumed was mine. He didn't really acknowledge my presence, heading into another room.

Sitting down at the table, I studied the plate in front of me. I was pretty sure I'd never had anything like it before. Picking up the weird wooden stick stabbed through food, I opened my mouth in confusion. How the fuck do I eat this? Using my fork, I managed to pull a piece off the bottom of the stick.

I held it up to my face, sniffing the meat cautiously before placing it in my mouth. I coughed it out almost immediately, dropping the fork as I reached out to grab the water glass in front of me. Gulping the drink down, I placed the glass on the table with a sigh. My tongue couldn't really handle spicy things.

I picked up my plate and walked over to the garbage can, scraping the food into the trash. Looking around, I pulled a few napkins from a holder and wiped with my hands with them. Then I set them up in the garbage can to cover the food I hadn't eaten. I didn't need the asshole getting his panties in a twist because I hadn't eaten.

I put my dishes in the sink and headed back towards the room I was staying in, passing Aizawa in the living room. He was cuddled up in his sleeping bag on the couch as he watched what appeared to be the news.

He glanced in my direction once after a few seconds, realizing I was standing there. Neither he nor I said anything, and I turned away to continue down the hallway. He seemed to go back to watching the television, and I cozied back up in my bed and picked up my book.

I ignored the growling of my stomach.

Chapter Text

"You're one of All Might's students, right?"

The reporter moved her microphone closer to my face, and I instinctively took a step back. She seemed eager, shuffling forward to fill the gap I'd created.  The media had been swarming outside the school for a few days now, but this was the first time they'd attempted to talk to me. Most other days, they flinched back at my glare. This reporter seemed braver than the others.

"How is All Might adjusting to teaching? What do you think of him?"

"I hate him," I replied curtly.

Almost instantaneously I found myself surrounded by ten more reporters as they all pushed microphones at me. Multiple cameras were pointed in my direction and a growl rumbled from the bottom of my throat. Not wanting to deal with their bullshit, I turned and began to walk away.

One reporter made the mistake of grabbing my wrist. On instinct, I snatched their wrist with both of my hands and adjusted my positioning, throwing the individual over my shoulder. The girl cried out in pain when her back hit the ground, and the rest of the reporters quickly shuffled away from me.

"What the hell, kid?" one of the cameramen yelled at me.

"Maybe you shouldn't have grabbed her," a tired voice spoke from behind me.

Aizawa strolled over with his hands in his pockets, stopping at my side. The media members were all quite angry, and the reporter woman I had thrown jumped to her feet and began demanding answers regarding All Might and scolding me for attacking civilians.

"This student has been trained in hand combat for many years," Aizawa explained to the reporter, "When people surprise her, sometimes her instincts take over. It happens with quite a few of the students, not just this one."

"Sir, as an apology, could you please get All Might for us?" she mumbled out, feeling defeated. "Also, you look like a mess. What's your deal?"

"All Might's not on campus today. Now get out of here, you've disturbed my students enough already."

Aizawa made a shooing motion with his hand before turning to walk through the gates, "Izumi, let's go."

The media remained piled outside the gate, yelling out complaints and questions. The tired man ignored them and didn't even react when a loud, violent beep rang out across the front yard. I whipped around to stare at the giant metal walls blocking the gates and raising up from the walls.

"Just so you know," Aizawa stopped walking. "That's what will happen if you try to leave school property without a teacher."

I tightly clenched my fists at his words, but the teacher turned and kept walking. He had never liked me. That's the reason they put me in his homeroom class. From the start, Aizawa had been one of the heroes against my presence at UA. Despite his reserved nature, he wasn't afraid to announce his distrust of me.

The faculty and the police thought that putting me Aizawa would be the safest since he was the most adamant about my being dangerous. The other teachers were more sympathetic to me and wanted to help. If I were to turn against UA High, which was inevitably true since I was never on their side, then Aizawa wouldn't hesitate.

Other teachers may develop an attachment to me. Hell, some of them already had. The number of times Midnight had shown up to visit me in the hospital and bring me get-well-soon gifts made me want to punch her. She had also insisted that once I started going to UA, that she would take me shopping at the mall since I'd never been.

Aizawa hated me and considered my presence a threat. As soon as I was considered to be a villain, the teacher would have no problem fighting me. Why they thought it would be a good idea for me to live with him, I have no idea.

I ended up entering the classroom just after Aizawa and went to take my seat in the back corner. Although there may have been chatter before I arrived, it all seemed to die down once the teacher took his place at the front of the room and the bell rang overhead.

"Decent work on yesterday's combat training, you guys," he congratulated the group. "I saw the video feeds and went over each of your team's results. Bakugou."

He glanced towards Asshole, who glanced up at him with a scoff, "You're talented, so don't sulk like a child about your loss, okay?"

"Yeah, whatever," he looked away.

"And Midoriya," Freckles immediately sat up straight in his seat. "I see that the only way you won the match is by messing up your arm again. Work harder, and don't give me the excuse that you don't have control over your quirk. That line's already getting old. You can't keep breaking your body while training here, but your quirk will be really useful if you can get a handle on it. So show a little urgency, huh?"

"Right!"

He then shifted his gaze across the classroom. The look on his face became more serious as he announced it was time to get down to business. Whatever we were doing, was apparently deciding our future. A shiver ran through the students as they tried to determine what was happening. I didn't really give a fuck.

"You all need to pick a class representative."

It was silent for only a second as everyone processed what had been said. After that, the room was enveloped in chaos. Everyone was jumping to their feet, hands raised and volunteering themselves for the job. What the fuck was a class representative anyway?

I wasn't until Nerd Armor silenced the group, going on some long rant about what a class representative should be. His speech may have been inspiring to the class if he hadn't been standing there with his hand raised the whole time - it was quite obvious he wanted everyone to vote for him.

"Is this really the best idea?" Sparky looked unsure.

"We've only known each other a few days, how do we know who we can trust?" Froggy placed a finger on her cheek, thinking.

Rocky nodded, "Besides, everyone will just vote for themselves."

"Most people will," Nerd Armor agreed. "That means whoever does receive multiple votes must truly be the most suitable person for the job. It's the best way, right sir?"

Nerd Armor turned to Aizawa, who was zipping himself up in his sleeping bag, "Do what you want, just decide before my nap is over."

"Thank you for your trust!"

As Aizawa flopped onto the ground behind his desk, some of the students got to work on creating ballets. Using scissors and blank paper, they cut out little cards and handed one out to each desk. An empty tissue box was used for everyone to place their votes.

As everyone began writing names down on the ballets, I stared at my blank one. I wasn't putting my own name down, that was for sure. I couldn't be bothered with shit like that. Being a class representative sounded like a lot of work, after hearing Nerd Armor's explanation.

The other students didn't seem to even know what it was, they just wanted to do it. With a low growl, I moved my pencil to the paper to write down the nerd's name. It was the first and last time I would probably ever use it - and no fucking way would he ever know who voted for him.

Standing up, I moved to the front of the class with the folded vote and dropped it into the box. After everyone had voted, Stuble woke up from his nap and grudgingly counted the votes in front of the class. He then wrote the results on the board, revealing Princess with 2 votes and Freckles with 3. Great. The class was fucked.

"Okay idiots, who voted for him!?" Asshole jumped to his feet.

An argument broke out between Asshole and Tape. The latter had questioned the blond if he seriously thought anyone would vote for him. Of course, this only proceeded to piss him off further. Rocky had stepped in to try and calm them down, but Asshole had already blown a fuse.

"One vote!" Nerd Armor shot out of his chair, overjoyed.

"Isn't that your own vote?" Princess glanced at him, confused.

"No, which shows that at least one student would have chosen to put their faith in me. Whoever you are, I thank you for your trust."

Rolling my eyes, I pulled my backpack up onto my lap. If he didn't watch it I might just take my vote back. Why the fuck did I vote for him in the first place? I certainly didn't trust him, or even like him. Actually, he would have been a nightmare as the class representative. I guess it was a good thing no one voted for him. Instead, they voted for Freckles - the only worse candidate.

Freckles was announced the class rep, and Princess was the deputy. She looked slightly annoyed at the kid trembling beside her. He was wide-eyed, questioning Stuble if he was sure he'd read the votes correctly. In the end, the class determined that they were happy with the votes, other than Asshole, and the bell rung for lunch.

While the others headed to the cafeteria, I returned outside to the tree I had eaten under yesterday. I was not-so-subtly trailed by Stuble, but he left me alone once I sat down. Opening my bag, I pulled out a book and flipped it open to the page my bookmark was in.

My stomach was starting to hurt from hunger. I hadn't eaten at all yesterday or the day before that. At first, it had been my stubbornness, followed by my inability to eat spicy foods. This morning, Stuble told me he wasn't going to babysit me and I was old enough to prepare my own meals. I was too pissed off to tell him I didn't know how to cook.

My reading was disturbed when a loud alarm began piercing through the air, and a massive crowd came charging through the front gates. Armed with microphones and cameras, the media began searching hovering outside the school doors demanding for answers.

Just as I stood up, realizing the doors were locked and I was now stuck outside with them, I found myself swamped. Some of them recognized me from this morning, demanding to know why I hated All Might and what kind of a teacher he was.

I turned to walk away, hoping that one of the doors around the back of the school would be open. The crowd seemed to shift, and I found myself completely surrounded. Microphones were being pressed against my face and cameras were all turned to me. For each step I moved away, the media shuffled in close around me.

Feeling claustrophobic, my body tensed up as I tried to look over their heads for anything to switch with. But even as I found something, it didn't matter how many times I muttered the word under my breath. My quirk didn't work. I couldn't use it.

My hands immediately went to the coughs around my wrists as I began to grip at them, and the media only fired off more questions at me.  One of them knocked a microphone against my sunglasses, and the shades fell from my eyes towards the ground.

The bright lights were blindingly painful, and I immediately reached up to cover my eyes with my hands. Unable to see, I could feel myself getting pushed around and the people moving around me. The metal cuffs seemed to be screeching their presence, and I could feel my stomach growling angrily.

"We want answers, and we want them now!" a feminine voice demanded. Several bodies seemed to move closer to me, knocking off my balance. The ground was hard when I hit it, and the voices only seemed to get louder. I could feel the microphones getting pushed up against my face.

The crowd was too big, and I couldn't see shit. My sunglasses had probably been trampled by now, and the overwhelming sensation in my chest was growing more violent. I had been through tons of shit in my life, but I was always used to dark, quiet spaces with very few people.

This situation was the opposite, to a point where I could barely hear my own thoughts. In the end, I couldn't keep my hands over my eyes, reaching out to try and push the microphones and cameras away. Even though my eyes were closed, the light still hurt, I could still see it a bit through my eyelids.

"Back up!" a voice that could only belong to Present Mic boomed over the crowd, causing the reporters to flinch as they all covered their ears. I could still feel them crowded around me, but they shuffled away after a few seconds.

I flinched when a deep voice called out from right beside me, "She's not wearing her sunglasses."

"Aizawa, they're over here! But looks like they got trampled."

I couldn't see shit. From words, I'd managed to gather that Stuble was the one directly beside me, and Screecher was there, but a bit further away. He had found my apparently now broken sunglasses, meaning I was just going to be fucking blind for a bit.

My body tensed up when something began to cover my eyes, "It's just my scarf." The bright lights were blocked out as he wrapped it around my head. The media was still yelling and making loud noises, but Screecher's voice was able to speak over them all as he pulled them away from me and directed the attention to himself.

A hand was placed on each of my shoulds and I was guided to my feet. Normally I wasn't the type to accept help, but there wasn't really any other way for me to get inside. Sirens echoed in the distance, as the police got closer to the school.

Tripping over something, my knees bent forward and my body hit the ground. There was a loud sigh as Stuble pulled me back up. There was stumbling and some words from Screecher who had apparently been beside us.

Zoned out from the noises, and my growling stomach, I didn't protest at the teachers grabbing at me. Not knowing what was happening, my feet were lifted from the floor and my legs wrapped around something - someone. My arms were pulled forward, probably over the person's shoulders, and their rocking motions informed me that we were moving.

"I'll take her inside," Stuble's voice spoke from right beside my ear, meaning Aizawa was carrying me. "You handle the press."

"You got it!" Screecher did what he did best.

Considering the yelling media and the sirens were now muffled, I guessed we were now inside. The chattering students seemed to be in a panic, although teachers were now stepping up to assure everything was fine. This quieted the crowds, leaving everything to be much more peaceful.

"Aizawa, is Izumi okay?"

"I saw her outside surrounded by the media when I looked out the window."

"Why is your scarf around her face? Did she get hurt?"

A couple more questions were fired out, but Stuble shushed them with a grumble. I wasn't sure who was there, but the first two were male and the third was a female. They didn't receive an answer at first but that only left them to ask more questions.

"She's fine, don't worry about her. Her eyes are very sensitive to light. That's why she wears sunglasses. The support class teacher designed them especially for her,  but they were broken when the media ambushed her. I put my scarf over her face so she wouldn't be blinded by the light."

There was silence for a few seconds before the female asked, "Is she really that sensitive to light that she needs special sunglasses?"

"Uraraka, that's kind of rude."

"Oh! You're right, Iida. Sorry, I shouldn't have asked. Sorry about that! Is there anything we can do to help?"

"Well," Stuble grumbled out. "If you want to be useful, you could help her back to the classroom while I go get her backups."

"Sure," Bubbles giggled. "Deku, Iida, can you carry her?"

"I can fucking walk!" the snarl came from my mouth as soon as my feet touched the floor. There were mumbled acceptances from the trio and I could only assume Stuble had left. Bubbles and Nerd Armor said they were going to guide me before a felt a hand wrap around each of my arms.

There was a gentle pull forwards, and my feet took baby steps. Their pace was immediately slowed down to match mine, and we inched our way through the school. I didn't know them very well and therefore didn't have much trust in them.

There still seemed to be a lot of students in the halls, considering how loud it was. Nerd Armor was yelling out to clear a path, whilst Bubbles was thanking those that moved. Freckles seemed to be doing both at once, but much more quietly and timidly, from ahead.

"There's the classroom!" Bubbles lurched forward, pulling me with her.

My legs stumbled forward and immediately a pair of arms tried to catch me from the front whilst another grabbed me from the back. After steadying myself, I thrashed out my limbs angrily to throw them off, not knowing who had gotten so close to me.

"Sorry, Izumi. Nice catch, Deku! You too, Iida."

"Don't touch me," I hissed, although unsure of where everyone I was talking to was.

"We're almost there," Nerd Armor promised. "Just another moment."

A hand was placed on my back, gently pushing me forward. Another hand took my wrist from ahead, guiding me in the right direction. There was the sound of a door opening and the familiar voices of Class 1-A filled my ears.

"Woah, what happened to Izumi?"

"Did the media do something?"

"She got swamped, right?"

The questions were fired out, just as the trio had done to Stuble. Still, they didn't answer right away either. I was pulled a bit further before two hands were placed on my shoulders and I was lowered to sit on the chair behind me. Reaching my hands forward, I found the desk before scooching my chair to a more comfortable position.

"Aizawa-sensei said that Izumi has problems with her eyes, and that's why she wears her sunglasses," Iida's voice explained. "They got knocked off and trampled when the media surrounded her. The scarf is just to block the light since she's extremely sensitive to it. There are no injuries."

The class all let out noises of understanding and the chatter started up once again. A few attempted to speak with me, but from my annoyed growls and the few times I attempted to punch them, they got the picture. The noise suddenly died down after a bit of time had passed, so I assumed Stuble had entered the room.

The scarf around my head was loosened, which confirmed my theory. As he began to unwrap it, I closed my eyes. I could tell when it had been removed since the light was bright even through my eyelids. A pair of glasses was stabbed into my cheek, and I reached up to help guide them over my eyes.

Opening my tired eyes, my vision took a moment to focus before I could see Stuble leaning next to my chair. Seeing I was now looking at him, he stood up and silently returned to the front of the room to start class.

Chapter Text

 

"It's time, class rep. Let's begin."

"Um, okay," Freckles stood behind Stuble's desk with a tortured look on his face. Slouched over, his entire body trembled as he spoke, "So we need to figure out who the other class officers will be. But first, there's something that I wanna say. I've thought a lot about this, and I think that Tenya Iida should be our class rep. He was able to capture everyone's attention and get us in line, so I believe he should be the one leading our class from now on."

There was a moment of hesitation before Rocky announced his agreement, and Sparky joined in soon after. The rest of the students didn't take long to get on board, although Stuble sat up from his nap to tell Freckles to hurry up. His sleeping bag then flopped back down to the floor.

"If Midoriya is nominating me for this job," Nerd Armor rose to his feet, and I internally groaned at the nightmare he would bring as class rep. "Then I humbly accept! I pledge to carry out the cuties of class rep to the best of my abilities."

When all that had blown over, Stuble woke up from his nap and climbed out from his sleeping bag. Taking his position at the front of the class, he then explained the day's activity. Supervised by three faculty members, we would be going to another facility where we would train in rescue. The class erupted into excited cheers. Great. My fucking favourite. Guess I'll just fucking die. It was better than participating in this bullshit.

"Guys, I'm not finished yet," Stuble's voice brought everyone's attention back to the front. "What you wear in this exercise is up to you - I know you're excited about costumes. But keep in mind that you hadn't gotten used to them yet, and they might limit your abilities. Start getting ready."

Everyone jumped to their feet as we were told where to meet to catch the bus. Changing into my costume didn't take too long. Most of the girls chose to change out in the open this time, but I was again found myself slipping inside the stalls.

It took me a moment to switch my sunglasses for my scopes, and when I left the stall the bathroom was empty. The rest of the girls had already gone outside, and all the boys seemed to be there when I walked out the front doors. Nerd Armor had just blown his whistle, calling for everyone to gather and line up to board the bus.

With Nerd Armor yelling at me to get in the line, I boarded the bus. Not wanting to get stuck with a bad seat, I headed towards the very back and slipped over to the window seat. To prevent anyone from the idea of sitting beside me, I kicked my feet across the other seats lazily.

Soon enough the rest of the class was boarding the bus, and no one sat beside me. Grapefruit had gotten awfully close, but after receiving a kick to the face, he ended up moving up a few seats. I think Sparky had almost gotten the courage to try, but quickly moved away after my display of aggression. Getting scolded by Stuble was worth it.

It's was ridiculously loud on the bus. Everyone was yelling at their friends, who were conveniently sitting way too far away for them to have a decent conversation. At that moment I could say I agreed with Stuble, who looked completely dead inside from all the ruckus.

My favourite moment of the day so far had been getting off that damn bus, as I shoved past everyone else to exit. I enjoyed that brief moment of silence with every fibre of my being. It was immediately ruined when everyone piled off the bus, yelling louder than Screecher.

When we arrived inside the USJ, the space hero Thirteen was waiting for us. The rest of the class freaked out for a minute, but this was not our first time crossing paths. Like the other UA faculty members, Thirteen and I had encountered each other when I was in the hospital.

"Holy crap! This looks like some kind of amusement park!" Rocky exclaimed.

"I created this training facility to prepare you to deal with different types of disasters. I call it the Unforeseen Simulation Joint! Or you can call it, USJ!"

The class didn't seem majorly impressed with the name, and Stuble stepped forward to ask Thirteen where All Might was. The two had a brief and quiet conversation with each other, which I assumed was regarding All Might's power. My father had told me about it, and his own power, before my rescue. After all, If I wanted to defeat All Might, I would have to know what I was up against.

"I'm sure you're aware that I have a powerful quirk," Thirteen began. "It's called Black Hole. I can use it to suck up anything and turn it into dust. My quirk could very easily be used to kill. Some of you also have powers that can be dangerous. Please don't forget that if you lose focus or make the wrong move, your powers can be deadly. Today, you're going to learn how to use your quirks to save people's lives."

As Thirteen finished the explanation, the class began to cheer. Stuble called our attention over to him, just as the lights in the facility began to glitch out and the fountain in the centre faltered. Dark purple portals opened up surrounding the facility, as we all stared in wonder. Was this a part of the exercise? No... This was real.

"Stay together, and don't move! Thirteen, protect the students!"

The students murmured to each other in confusion to try and figure out was happening. Freckles inched forward, "Stay back!" He flinched at Stuble's sudden harsh tone. He was moving his goggles to cover his eyes. "This is real. Those are villains."

Questions were fired out from the students towards Thirteen, who couldn't give many answers. The alarm system had failed to trigger. As Frosty declared, they definitely had some sort of purpose to coming here. None of us could be sure what that was, however. For me, I couldn't stop the smirk from growing on my face. Things were always more fun when the villains showed up.

"Thirteen, get them out of here and alert the main campus. Actually, if they've got the ability to block our sensors, then they might be jamming our regular communications too. Kaminari, try using your quirk to contact the school."

Freckles had tried to talk to the teacher, asking how he could fight against so many villains at once when his quirk was better matched for stealth mission and one on one battles. If that was the case, he likely wouldn't last long. He seemed confident, however, entrusting our safety to thirteen before shooting forward and taking out the shooting squad.

The rest of the class began to run towards the doors, although Freckles and I each remained to watch the fight for a few more seconds. Nerd Armor ended up calling back to us, and I let out an annoyed grunt before following. Our exit was blocked before we could reach it by a large purple gas.

The villain introduced the group as the League of Villains. They had invited themselves to the USJ  to say hello, apparently. Although their objectives came clear when he asked about All Might. He stated it would be a fitting place for the number one hero to take his last breath, and I almost laughed. It would be quite fitting indeed, after all.

Asshole and Rocky cut off his speech as they charged forward, which prevented Thirteen from behind able to use his quirk. The blast from Bakugou's quirk had caused a bunch of smoke, although the purple mass appeared to be completely unharmed. Thirteen immediately ordered for them to move aside, although our group was surrounded in dark purple smoke.

Before I knew what was happening, my body seemed to be falling from the sky. Judging from the way the villains had entered the facility, through the same purple mist, I was able to figure out that he had a warping quirk. Although glancing around, I appeared to have been the only one warped to this exact location - where Stuble was taking on a massive amount of villains.

I was caught in someone's arms before I could hit the ground. Although glancing up, the creature that had caught me was more mutant than human. Its muscles bulged out of its chest, and its brain was visible from outside its body.

"Put her down."

The creature released me from his arms obediently. It didn't seem to be very intelligent, but the man beside him seemed to be one of the villains behind the attack. He had been standing beside the warping quirk villain earlier, and currently wasn't participating in the fight.

His skin was deathly pale, although mostly hidden by a disembodied hand. They all appeared as if they were holding onto him, which only his furthered his sinister appearance. He was scratching the side of his chin slightly as his head turned in my direction.

"My name is Tomura Shigaraki, and I am the leader of the League of Villains. Your father has told me all about you, Izumi."

My body immediately tensed up at his words, as the villain let out a light chuckle. Did he know my father? The UA faculty and the police told me he had been arrested, so he must have known him before I was taken into their custody.

"We're not related by blood, but he was like a father to me. I suppose you could say I'm your elder brother. Call me Nii-san."

I will admit, I was rather surprised at first. Although when I thought about it, I had been his 'secret'. He would visit each night to train me for several hours, and never said anything about what he spent his time doing during the day. It was quite plausible that he had others like me. In addition, there's no way that Tomura would have known about me or my father unless someone had told him - and that was a well-kept secret.

"Very well... Nii-san. I'll believe you."

"Your father has a mission for you."

"Of course. I'll do anything he asks of me."

"Gather as much information as you can regarding every hero you come across: both Pros and students. We can use this information to our advantage."

"Understood."

"As far as anyone else is concerned, you are our hostage. If they save you, we will have to fight as enemies. But don't worry. I won't kill you, little sister," he mumbled to me, staring straight ahead. Following his gaze, I could see Aizawa glaring at us. "Nomu, hold her down!"

The muscly creature reached out to grab me, and my arms were pulled behind my back. Tomura... er... my brother seemed to attach them together with something, and I could feel a heavy weight holding me down. I squirmed against the restraints in discomfort, finding that I was unable to get out of them. And with that, Tomrua shot forward.

Roughly forced to sit on the fountain, by Nomu, I watched Tomura as he and Stuble went head to head. At first, it appeared as if the hero had gotten the upper hand. Although after a few seconds, it didn't appear to be the case. His elbow began to crack from my elder brother's touch.

He managed to escape with a well-aimed punch. As he jumped away, he only found himself bombarded with more villains. With one arm left unusable, his movements were noticeably slower and Tomura had discovered something - his hair showed when his quirk was active.

It was then that the Nomu moved, circling around without Stuble noticing. This left me alone on the fountain, trying to get the restraints into a more comfortable position. Although I did have to play my part, they were starting to get rather annoying. But when the Nomu took its place on the field, I felt satisfied knowing this group had become my new allies.

Blood coloured the earth red, and Stuble had been pinned to the ground without effort. His mask was ripped off, and it was hard not to chuckle at his pained cry when his arm was snapped. He attempted to erase my brother's quirk once again but was cut off with a cry of pain when the Nomu snapped his other arm.

"Tomura Shigaraki," the warp villain reappeared at his side.

"Kurogiri, did you manage to kill Thirteen?"

"The rescue hero is out of commission, but there were students I was unable to disperse and one of them got outside of the facility."

Tomura furiously scratched at his neck, hissing threats out to Kurogiri. Although after a moment, he grumbled out that they should go home. Although after this, he turned to glance at the river with a dark chuckle. I could only catch a glimpse of Freckles, Froggy and Grapefruit before Tomura was upon them, reaching out to grab the frog girl.

Just as he was about to place his hand upon her face however, Stuble's hair shot into the sky. His quirk, that decayed everything he touched, had been cancelled out. Aizawa's head was slammed back into the ground. Freckles took this as his moment to act, but Nomu moved faster than lightning.

His attack had been nullified to almost nothing, and it was then I understood how powerful their secret weapon was. Its giant hand wrapped around Freckles' wrist, whilst the other went to attack him. Everything seemed to go in slow motion as the demise of the three students was guaranteed.

Instead, the entire building froze as a loud explosion was heard from the entrance and a huge cloud of smoke rose from the air.  All Might's voice rang out across the facility, and I let out a low growl under my breath. As much as I despised his presence, I could handle it for now. If the villains succeeded, I wouldn't have to deal with him for much longer.

"Kurogiri, protect the hostage."

Kurogiri appeared next to me as ordered, while All Might punched his way through multiple of the smaller villains. He lifted Stuble's broken body from the ground, before moving faster than the eye could see to rescue the three students from the river.

He had made a movement for me, but I was instead dragged through one of Kurogiri's warp gates before he was able to reach me. In the end, All Might was forced to move away with those he had already saved. With an order to get Aizawa to safety, the trio lifted the teacher and quickly went on their way, after some reassurance from the pro hero.

And then began to true show, as All Might began going head to head with Nomu. Seeing he was distracted by the fight, Kurogiri escorted me back to the fountain and sat me down. And after I'd been escorted back, Kurogiri soon joined into the fight.

Freckles had soon come shooting back to help, easily falling into Kurogiri's trap. Although ironically enough, it had been the asshole that rescued him as the enraged blond arrived to get his revenge. He pinned the villain against the ground, and ice began to cover the Nomu's body.

With Frosty's help, All Might was able to release himself from the Nomu's grip just as Rocky jumped into to attack Tomura. In the chaos, All Might seemed to throw something to Frosty. I was unsure if the villains had noticed it, but I recognized the familiar glint after I'd seen it taunted in front of my face so many times.

As the Nomu broke free from the ice, All Might ordered for the students to back away from the fight. And the arm and leg that had snapped right off the creature grew back within seconds, as Tomura explained his second quirk. If I doubted him before, I was positive now that my father was definitely involved with the League of Villains.

Although as the creature threw himself at Asshole, All Might was able to shove him out of the way just in time. And as the others stood there shocked, and the villains focused all of their attention on All Might, Frosty quickly sprinted in my direction.

He skidded to a stop in front of me, pulling the gold key from his pocket, "All Might told me to unlock your cuffs. Where are they?"

"One on each ankle, and one on each wrist," I replied. "The ones on my wrists may be covered my restraints."

He leaned down at my feet, fumbling with the key in his hands. He was able to get the first one off when Tomura noticed him, and the Nomu turned in our direction. It shot forward, but All Might was able to pull it back before it got closer, and threw it in the opposite direction.

Rocky and Freckles moved towards the fountain, stopping at the bottom of the stairway to cover the rescue as my second ankle cuff was removed. Frosty urged me to my feet, turning me around to find the ones covering my wrists.

"Ouch," the whine left my lips before I could stop it.

"Sorry. It'll only be another minute."

I could feel the third cuff fall from my wrist, meaning only one remained. My cuffs could each do the task at hand individually. Having multiple only guaranteed maximum security in case one was damaged or broken off for whatever reason. They also acted as a GPS system, that never turned off.  Although they could turn off the waves cancelling out my quirk.

Although UA faculty members knew how to deactivate their power without taking them off, a student would have no idea. This meant I had been given a huge opportunity. I had the chance to escape. But... no. I would have to stay. My father assigned a mission to me, and I would do as he ordered.

My being shifted to another location before the cuff even touched the ground. Frosty nodded towards me, and I looked behind at the pebble that now rested in the middle of my former restraints. The power radiating off of All Might when he took the Nomu head-on was intense, pushing us back.

My feet almost slipped out from beneath me, but Frosty had reached out to hold me in place as he used his ice to stable himself. The punches only grew in strength, and the Nomu was punched straight down into the ground. All Might landed beside him, pulling his arm back in preparation.

"PLUS ULTRA!"

And with a single hit, the creature was sent flying backwards. It headed straight for the dome wall, slamming right through and flying somewhere outside the facility. The dirt had lifted up a smoke around All Might, making it hard to see. But through staring at him, I knew exactly what was going on as the second quirk my father had gifted me with analyzed him.

The wielder of the weakness quirk had the ability to completely analyze an individual by staring at them. After a set amount of time, it would reveal to me the individual's weaknesses. Piecing together the information my father had given me, and the weaknesses I read from my quirk, it appeared that his time was almost up.

Some of the smoke was actually steam, as his body slowly began to lose its strength. He didn't have much longer before his true body would be revealed to the others. Now he was attempting to threaten the villains away, but the villains were smarter than he thought. Freckles seemed to be much more concerned than the others, who wished to leave.

That's when it came to me.

I hadn't realized it until now, but Freckles' quirk was quite similar to All Might's. In addition, the pro hero's power had been weakening faster than its usual rate. He couldn't hide the truth from me, no matter how much he tried to. All Might knew my father had told me the truth of his quirk, and therefore attempted to keep his distance. He didn't want me finding out that his power had been passed on, to a weakling like Freckles, no less.

As things were now, I would easily be able to assassinate Freckles if it came down to it. He would break every part of his body and not be able to land a single hit on me. But at the same time, the blame would easily be placed on me if I were to commit the crime, meaning I wouldn't be able to complete my father's mission. It would have to wait for a later date.

The villains prepared to rush the pro hero, and Rocky suggested our small group take on the weaker villains that had just started to get back up. I was curious to watch my brother, but as he said, we were enemies on the battlefield. If anyone found out of my father's connection to the league of villains, police would immediately assume I was involved. Also if any of the students or teachers found out, that would be game over.

"I'll cover you guys," I muttered in annoyance.

But before we could do anything, Freckles was leaping to rescue All Might. Kurogiri was able to see through his plan easily, creating a warp gate for Tomura's deadly hand to reach through. If it made contact, the kid would disintegrate into nothing.

"Izumi!"

As much as I needed the successor to One For All to die, this was not the appropriate time. Everyone knew I had the power to rescue him. I rapidly pulled a pebble from my pouch and tossed it into the air in front of me. If I didn't rescue him, the heroes would have every reason to lock me up in a prison cell for the rest of my life. They would know I had become allies with the League of Villains.

"Switch!"

Freckles appeared right in front of me, crumpling to the ground from his broken bones, just as a gunshot banged through the facility and a bullet went through my brother's hand. The pro hero responsible, Snipe, shot a few more bullets towards another zone, where I assumed some other students had probably needed some assistance.

"Sorry, everyone," Nezu called from atop Vlad King's shoulder, "I know we're a bit late but I got the teachers over here as fast as I could."

"Your class rep has returned. I fulfilled my duty! And I brought reinforcements."

The smaller villains were taken out almost instantly by the teacher's attacks, as expected from pro heroes. My brother, sensing the battle had been lost, took a few steps back towards Kurogiri. Just as he turned, however, bullets began to pierce his body. The purple smoke quickly surrounded him in a protective manner. Although as Black Hole began to suck them up, they escaped through the warp gate before Thirteen was able to defeat them.

Cementoss soon appeared, building a wall between us and All Might. It also separated us from Freckles. If I was correct, he had likely transformed back by now. He then turned to our group, ordering us to return to the front gates and that the pro heroes would take care of the injured. Although as I turned to leave, he lifted a hand to gesture me closer.

A cuff was snapped around one of my wrists, and he pulled me around the wall that had been created. All Might was on the ground in his weakened form, whilst Freckles lay crumpled against the ground. He looked horrified at my presence, glancing back and forth between All Might and me nervously.

"Don't worry, young Midoriya. She already knows my secret, due to special circumstances. She won't say anything."

"The only reason I won't say anything is because if I do, I'll get my ass thrown in a prison cell," I retorted.

All Might sighed, and Freckles looked even more terrified. Cementoss scolded the hero gently for using up so much of his power but admitted he was a big fan when All Might thanked him for protecting his secret. I hid my joy when All Might acknowledged just how powerful the villains had been. If he hadn't been reckless, he believed he would be dead.

Had the heroes arrived a few seconds later, All Might would have been killed. Considering how close they'd gotten this time, they would likely be able to do so again in the future. After all, the Nomu had been more powerful than I could imagine. If they created an army of them, All Might wouldn't stand a chance.

"We should sneak you out of here and get you both to the nurse's office. Although I have one question, All Might. You broke the number one rule given to us by the police in exchange for custody of Izumi. Why did you remove her cuffs?"

Freckles glanced up at me in surprise as All Might replied, "I had to. The villains took her hostage. I couldn't rescue her and fight them at the same time, so I gave the key to young Todoroki. He should still have it. It was the only way I could rescue her."

Cementoss hesitated for a few moments but nodded in understanding just as Midnight made her appearance. She immediately reached out to grab my hands with a grin, snapping the cuff she kept on her onto my other wrist before wrapping an arm around my shoulder. Each UA faculty member carried around a key to them, along with an extra cuff for emergencies.

"Young Midoriya," All Might called the boy's attention, "You mustn't say what you have heard about Izumi to anyone, do you understand? Her presence at UA is a special case. If given a reason to, the police could show up at any time and remove her from our school."

"R-Right! Your secret is safe with me, Izumi. I swear!"

"And since Aizawa was injured, looks like you and I are going to be roommates!" Midnight sang from beside me.

I let out a tortured groan as the R-rated hero dragged me away, and Cementoss was left to deal with All Might and Freckles. The rest of the pros were waiting by the entrance, carefully checking over the students for any injuries.

I could see the way some of them tensed up at my arrival but chose to leave it for now. They were already suspicious enough of me. Anything I did now would amplify that suspicion and bite me in the ass later.

"Todoroki, could you come here for a moment?"

Frosty glanced over when Midnight called out to him, walking over in our direction, "Yeah?"

"Could I snatch that key All Might gave you?" she reached out to take it as Frosty handed it to her, "Thank you!"

And with that, I found myself being pulled away from the rest of the group. After a long interrogation from the police higher-ups, who decided I had nothing to do with the attack, I was finally allowed to leave and Midnight led me to her car.

"We're going to drop by Aizawa's and get your stuff, then we'll head over to my house."

"Great," I mumbled in annoyance.

Chapter Text

 

"You guys, did you watch the news last night?" Invisible exclaimed. "It was so cool that we got a few seconds of screen time! Although I bet nobody noticed me in the background."

This comment was what erupted the class into chatter, although I found myself unable to pay attention to what was being said. My head had been hurting since I woke up this morning, and my overall energy had reached a definite low.

Midnight and I hadn't gotten back to her house until late last night from my interrogation, and the two of us ended up going straight to bed. This morning, we'd slept in and she dragged me out of the house in a rush.

My stomach had started eating itself. I could feel the dizziness every time I stood up, and it was growing harder to focus on what was happening around me. I had managed to get myself here without anyone noticing, but Midnight was a bit preoccupied on getting to her class in time to pay too much attention.

"Attention! Homeroom class is about to begin. Everyone stop talking and take your seats!"

Nerd Armor's voice snapped me from my confused state and my eyes refocused for a minute as he stomped to his seat. He was sulking since everyone had already been sitting. A couple of people began whispering about today's classes since Stuble was still in the hospital.

"Morning class," a tired voice grumbled, surprising even me. He was covered in bandages from head to toe, and both arms had been placed in slings. The bandages covered his eyes. Could he even see what he was fucking doing? The man stumbled towards the podium and I couldn't help but wonder... how easy would it be to kill him in his current state? With his injuries, I could easily take him out if I had access to my quirk. How pathetic.

"My wellbeing is irrelevant. What's important is that your fight isn't over yet. The UA Sports Festival is about to start."

Rocky had started to get excited, and that's when I zoned back out. From what I could remember, the UA Sports Festival was a competition held once a year. Students competed against one another in order to be noticed by pro heroes. It was a load of bullshit in my opinion.

I remembered Nezu telling me about it once, but for some reason, that was all I could remember about it. I rested my forehead in my right hand with a wince, wishing the headache away. What the fuck was even happening anymore? It's like I was losing my ability to think properly.

I could hear muffled voices all around me. There was a strange bell that I recognized. It rang at the end of class. It rang when Lunch started. Right... Lunch. Finding something solid in front of me, I pushed myself to my feet. The dizziness in my head exploded, leaving me to wobble on my feet before my legs let out on me.

Every muscle in my body was exhausted. I just wanted to take a nap...

When my brain had started functioning again, I was sitting in Recovery Girl's office on one of the beds. There was an IV in my arm, and a few teachers surrounding my bed. It took me a few seconds before I was able to process who was there.

Nezu sat on Vlad King's shoulder. The principal had a worried expression on his face as he seemed to be having a conversation with Recovery Girl, who looked pretty pissed off. Vlad had an ashamed look on his face, and Midnight stood behind him appearing disappointed. Aizawa was closest to the door, although his face was hidden beneath bandages.

"Good to see your awake," Recovery Girl smiled at me. "You fainted from hunger. Don't worry, I gave a good talking to all the idiots that were supposed to be taking care of you."

Midnight gently placed a bowl in my lap, and a small spoon had been stuck into the side. It was just rice, but I guess they thought I may have an easier time eating it with a spoon. My movements were slower than usual, although it did make sense.

"Your plate was empty at my house," Stuble glared.

"I threw it out," I took another bite of my rice. "I don't like spicy foods."

"You could have asked for something else," he grumbled out.

"You'd made it pretty clear that you wanted nothing to do with me," he flinched at my response.  "I know you don't like me, Stuble. You have absolutely no faith in me.  None of the faculty members here trust me one bit. Sure, you act nice, but you'd all turn on me in an instant if someone even put the idea into your heads that I was evil."

"You haven't done anything to earn our trust," his voice was muffled from beneath his bandages.

"I also haven't done anything to lose it. You don't trust me because of something my father did 5 years ago. No wonder I haven't made any progress. All you guys do is pretend to be nice and then talk shit about me behind my back. Now, I'd like some peace and quiet. Get the fuck out."

The teachers looked a bit taken aback from my statement. Recovery Girl was frowning, but the look was directed at the heroes. It looked as if, for the moment, she was on my side.

"We'll be going now," Nezu spoke up. "I apologize that you've been feeling that way. I'll talk to the teachers about it. Take care of yourself."

They flooded out of the room, leaving me to sit in silence. Recovery Girl gave me a wary glance, and I immediately knew her standing. She couldn't fool me, none of them could. She was just unsure of me as the rest of the UA faculty.

It didn't take long to eat the rice bowl, and I slowly got myself up to my feet, "You shouldn't push yourself too hard, all right?"

"Yeah, yeah, whatever."

She removed the IV from my arm. Stepping away from the bed, I went straight for the door. Although before I could leave, Recovery Girl got in front of me, asking me to wait for a minute. She went over to her little desk, searching through one of the drawers. When she returned, she was holding out a few juice boxes and granola bars.

"Just munch on them through the day. It will get your energy back up."

I shoved everything she'd given me in my bag with a yawn. Lunch was almost over, meaning our next class would be about to start. Even if everyone was excited about participating in the sports festival, we still had other classes to worry about. One was Schreecher's English class, that had been switched to the afternoon today as another teacher needed his classroom for the morning.

"Good afternoon, class!"

He was already at the front of the room when I opened the door. The bell had rung on my way over, which made me a bit late. I closed the door behind me, rather loudly, and went to sit down at the back of the class where I always did.

"Izumi, you're late! I'll let it slide since you fainted, but don't let it happen again."

"Sure. Whatever, Screecher."

I slumped down into my seat, pulling one of those juice boxes from my bag. I stuck the straw through the plastic and placed it to my lips. The lesson had halted for a minute when everyone heard what I'd called the teacher, allowing me to sip my apple juice lazily. Eventually, he sighed, and without a comment returned to his explanation.

"In pairs and one trio, we'll be creating presentations to show to the class. In honour of the approaching sports festival, your groups will be selecting a pro-hero and list what makes them a great hero. You can choose whichever hero you want, as long as they're a pro. Run it by me first to make sure they're not taken. Groups will be randomly selected through a draw!"

Screecher asked for a volunteer, and that's how Rocky ended up at the front of the class. He reached into a little hat with everyone's names, pulling one out, "Tsuyu Asui."

Froggy stood up at a gesture from the teacher and pulled out the next name. Tails got up and pulled out his partner, Snow White, before the latter picked the first member of the next group. Pinky had been unfortunate enough to end up in a team with Asshole, and Tape had gotten stuck with Grapefruit.

Bubbles had gone up to the front, reaching into the hat with her typical cheerful grin. It was hard to miss it, even though it lasted less than a second. Her smile faltered before immediately returning to normal, "Izumi."

Getting up from my seat, I took a bite from a granola bar that Recovery Girl had given me. The hat was held up in front of me, and I shoved my hand in to grab a piece of paper. Unfolding it, I glanced down at the name, "Sparky."

He was partnered up with Shadow. The last duos were Diabetes and Headphones, Princess and Narcissists, and Invisible and Freckles. Finally, that left Frosty, Limbo and Nerdy Armor for the group of three.

"Izumi, come sit over here!"

Bubbles and I ended up on the ground in the back of the classroom as she scrolled through her phone. We were looking at the Pro Hero lists, trying to find one that spoke out to both of us as a great hero.

"All Might?" she questioned.

"We both know Freckles has already asked Screecher. Besides, I don't like him."

"You don't like him!?"

Bubbles' jaw had dropped and her eyes were wide. Everyone liked All Might. In fact, most younger heroes aspired to be exactly like him. Freckles, as an example, worshipped the guy. You'd think he'd gotten over it when All Might passed One For All onto him, but apparently not.

"Not really," I shrugged. "Personal reasons."

"Okay... Endeavor?"

"He's an asshole," I shook my head.

"Hawks?"

"Too cliche."

"Best Jeanist?"

"Also kind of an asshole,"

"Kamui Woods?"

"Don't like him."

"Gang Orca?"

"Also don't like him."

"Mt. Lady?"

"Only in it for the fame."

This continued on for a long time before Bubbles shut off her phone and turned to glare at me, "What hero do you like!?"

Looking down at my lap, I answered her question, "I don't believe in heroes."

"You don't believe in heroes?" Bubbles echoed. She was lost in thought for a minute. Despite my nasty personality, she hadn't seemed to expect an answer like this. "But... Why are you going to a hero school?"

"I have my reasons,"  I took another bite of my granola bar, "just as you have yours. All heroes have some sort of ulterior motive. None of them are truly in it to help people."

Bubbles shook her head, "That's not true!"

"Oh?" I raised an eyebrow. "Why did you become a hero, Bubbles?"

"For... for the money."

"Exactly my point."

Our argument seemed to have attracted the attention of the rest of the class, considering it had been slowly getting louder. Screecher had noticed as well and was heading in our direction. Shooing the rest of the class back to their work, he sat on the ground in front of us.

"What seems to be the problem, girls?"

"We're having some trouble picking a hero," Bubbles admitted. "Izumi doesn't like heroes."

Screecher nodded, "Yes, I know. Izumi, what would you describe as a hero?"

"A hero is someone who doesn't care about money or fame. Their ranking in the pro-hero lists wouldn't matter to them. Their priorities should always be protecting others, no matter what happens to them. A hero doesn't need to put on a show to make people like them. Heroes should show their true selves to the world and protect people just the same."

"Wow. You're right, Izumi!" Bubbles cheered. She tilted her head to the side and placed a finger on her cheek, "I had no idea you put so much thought into heroes."

"You don't need to have a powerful quirk or a flashy costume to be a hero," I continued without acknowledging her comment, "All you need is a resolve to help people, no matter what happens to you."

Bubbles nodded, glancing at Screecher, "Do you know any heroes like that, Mr. Yamada?"

He rubbed his chin thoughtfully. Bubbles was looking at him hopefully, and I was quite curious to hear his answer. True heroes didn't exist after all. There was no way that he'd be able to come up with someone fitting my description.

"That sounds a lot like Aizawa."

Something in me seemed to freeze as my mind went shooting back to my knowledge of the teacher. He wasn't very known that was for sure. Many people had heard of him, but most people couldn't identify him on sight. And as demonstrated during the attack, he had kept fighting even after he was beaten in order to protect the students.

"Yeah," I mindlessly agreed. "Someone like Stuble."

"Alright! We're going to do our hero project on Mr. Aizawa," Bubbles told Screecher.

He nodded in agreement, wishing us luck before climbing back to his feet and going to check in with some of the other groups. Bubbles pulled her phone back out, opening up a note. The project was due the day before the UA Sports Festival, meaning we would only have a few days to put everything together.

"There isn't a lot of information on Eraser Head online," Bubbles scrolled through the google search results. "He really does keep his work secretive."

"We'll figure something out."

Bubbles nodded and the two of us went back to research. She was using her phone and I was using a school laptop. We made lists of missions Stuble had been involved in, although only a few were listed. Luckily, we had a lot of details about what had gone down at the USJ.

"I still feel like it's missing something," Bubbles sighed.

"Yeah," I nodded. "Maybe..."

"Huh?"

"What if we looked at his being a hero not just as Eraser Head, but as Aizawa?"

"Woah, that would totally give our presentation an extra punch! But... how will we get information?"

"I have an idea," I stated just as the bell rang, ending the school day. "But you'll have to follow me."

Bubbles nodded as the two of us put all of our things away. Grabbing our backpacks, we rushed out of the room before anyone else. Freckles and Nerd Armor had called after, but she yelled an apology and kept going.

We arrived at Midnight's classroom within a minute, where a few stragglers were still piling out of the room. She waved at me with a smile, before glancing to Bubbles, who was looking a bit confused.

"Help us with our English project."

"Is it the hero project Hizashi mentioned?" she was packing up her things in her bag.

"Yeah," Bubbles nodded. "We picked Mr. Aizawa!"

"Aizawa, huh? And why do you need my help?"

"We want to find him helping people himself, not just as Eraser Head."

Midnight chuckled slightly, and to my relief agreed. She turned to Bubbles, making sure she checked in with her parents first. They picked up at the first ring, and after explaining she wanted to work on a school project with a friend, they agreed. As she got off the phone, Midnight grinned and told us to follow her.

Chapter Text

 

"Get down!"

Midnight, Bubbles and I rapidly slid down in our seats as Stuble glanced in our direction. We'd been following him since school ended, although we hadn't found anything to use in our project yet. It was a good thing that Midnight had been with us, as she had prevented us from being caught multiple times now.

"Coast is clear," Bubbles murmured.

Poking my head back up to look through the car window, Stuble was about to cross the streets. That's when I noticed him going to help a woman who was struggling to carry her groceries. He took several bags, despite his broken arms. I raised Midnight's phone whilst Bubbles raised hers to snap a few photos. Since I didn't have one, the pro gave me temporary access to hers so we would have more pictures to choose from for the project.

"Stalking Aizawa is actually kind of fun," Midnight chuckled as she slowly pulled the car back onto the road. That earned her a weird look from the two students in the car, but I chose not to say anything about it. We'd asked for her help, after all.

"He's turning right onto Baker Street!" Bubbles announced.

"On it," the car swerved into the turning lane, cutting off another car behind us. Midnight ignored the loud beeping as we skidded around the corner before the light turned red. The other drivers didn't seem too impressed with us, but we were too locked in the moment to care.

"There!"

Following Bubble's finger, Stuble was strolling down the sidewalk. He didn't seem to be doing anything out of the ordinary, but we kept the phone cameras ready to catch any acts of good deed while Midnight focused on obeying road laws but also staying close to him.

When Screecher came over to help Bubbles and me earlier, he had known what the problem was. Every faculty member at UA High knew that I had a burning hatred for heroes. But still, he tried to help our group.  He had asked me what I thought a hero was, and I answered truthfully.

Sure, I hadn't gone into complete detail, but I hadn't lied. None of the heroes Bubbles had suggested matched my criteria of what a hero was. We had looked at all sorts of lists of heroes, on hero agency websites, and more. Of every single hero I had seen, none of them fit my criteria completely.

So why did Stuble have to meet it?

My father had told me the truths behind heroes, and how terrible they truly were. From everything I'd been taught as a child, I put together my hero criteria. I decided what heroes should be, and rated each hero that I came across against it. Not a single hero had passed before now.

No matter how many times I reevaluated or looked at the criteria in different ways, he still passed. He wasn't the type one would expect to be a great hero. There was only one thing I could possibly think of to add to the criteria so he would fail. Heroes should believe that anyone can become a hero, even a former villain.

It was cheap since I didn't even believe it myself. I decided not to add it to the criteria. No one knew my full criteria, not even Bubbles and Screecher. They had only heard an excerpt of it. That could be my cover and I wouldn't allow anyone to know the truth. If the UA faculty found out I believed in Stuble as a hero, then things would get increasingly more complicated. I'd probably never be able to get away from him, and there's no way I was dealing with that bullshit.

"Izumi, pay attention!"

I snapped out of my thoughts and zoomed in the camera. I took a few shots of the current scene as Stuble leaned down in front of a black kitten that was lurking near the entrance to an alleyway. He managed to wrap it up in his scarf somehow and began walking in the opposite direction.

"Hold on, kids."

Bubbles and I grabbed the seats in front of us as Midnight sped up suddenly, rushing towards the next light. Pulling into the turning lane, she whipped around the intersection in a U just as it turned green. Stepping on the breaks, we zoomed back up the street towards.

"He's going into the vet's clinic," I snapped a picture.

"Aww, that's so cute!" Bubbles leaned over to look out my window.

"Wait in the car girls," Midnight pulled into a parking spot and reached back to take her phone. "I'm going to get you some inside footage."

Midnight locked the car after she exited, waiting for a break in the traffic. She ran across the street, and Bubbles and I watched her enter the veterinary clinic. I was a bit confused about one important thing though.

"How the fuck is she going to subtly walk into a vet's clinic without a pet and film Stuble without someone noticing?"

"I dunno, Izumi, but this is fun! At first, I thought you were scary. Now... I really like hanging out with you."

I glanced over at Bubbles with a look of surprise. She actually liked spending time with me? It seemed like everyone else was either annoying as fuck or was just constantly trying to avoid me. Still, she was naive. Perhaps I could keep her around. She could prove to be quite useful in the future with her quirk.

"I guess you're not too bad either, Bubbles."

"Why do you call me Bubbles?" she laughed.

"Your personality is bubbly," I scratched the back of my neck.

"That's it?"

"Yeah," I glanced out the window towards the vet's clinic. "What did you think it was?"

"I thought you were making fun of me or something," she shrugged.

I choked on air, glancing up at her. She was just that dense. Of fucking course she was. Parting my lips, I figured I may as well just say it, "I was."

"Oh," she awkwardly looked at her lap.

"I make fun of everyone, if it makes you feel better,"

"Yeah, that's true!"

You've got to be fucking kidding me right now. That's what cheers her up? The fact that I make fun of everyone makes it better? What kind of fucked up logic is that? What the fuck is wrong with this girl? It just means I'm a fucking asshole, are you fucking stupid?

"There's Midnight," Bubbles pointed behind me.

"Fuck, Stuble's behind her!"

The two of us instantly ducked down, and Bubbles handed me her phone. Clicking the record button, I held the camera up so it could see out the window. In case Midnight's footage hadn't worked out, at least we would have something at the vet's clinic other than the picture, just in case.

The car door opened and Midnight got into the driver's seat. Pulling Bubbles' phone back down, I ended the video and tossed her phone over to her. Although both of us shot up when the passenger door opened, andStuble himself got into the car with a kitten in his lap.

"M-Mr. Aizawa?" Bubbles stuttered.

"Hi," he mumbled through the bandages.

"I offered to drive him over to the animal shelter so we can drop the kitten off," Midnight smiled as she pulled the car into gear.

This would be a perfect opportunity to film him in case he says anything important, but I needed Midnight's phone. Sucking in my pride, I grumbled out, "Can I play a game on your phone?"

"Sure!" she passed it back to me before putting the car into gear. "There's a folder on my home screen called games. They're in there."

"You shouldn't be trusting a student with your phone," Stuble scolded as I opening up the camera app. "She could look through it."

"Yeah, right. She probably has nudes on here or some shit like that. I don't need to see that shit," I clicked the record button and leaned back in my seat, pretending to play a game.

Bubbles and Stuble choked on air, whilst Midnight burst into laughter. She had swerved the car in her distraction, and our homeroom teacher snapped at her to keep her eyes on the road before she ran somebody over. The other pro's laughing died down slightly as she chuckled out an apology.

There was a quiet meow as the kitten climbed from Stuble's lap, and poked its head around the seat. Claws skidding from the motion of the car, it jumped back to the open seat between Bubbles and me. Glancing over from the video feed, it stuck its little nose closer to me as it placed a paw on my leg.

"Awww, she likes you!"

"He," Stuble corrected the girl beside me.

"Uh, hi... cat?"

The phone dropped from my hand as the cat jumped into my lap, and Bubbles quickly snatched it up to keep recording as she pretended to resume my game of Tetris. Midnight chuckled slightly and Aizawa turned to look back at the kitten as it sat in my lap.

It cuddled closer to me, and my body pressed itself against the back of the seat. Laying down in my lap, it nuzzled its muzzle into my side. What was that weird noise? Holy shit. Why the fuck is it vibrating? What the fuck? Cats are fucking demons.

"Izumi, you look so disturbed," Bubbles giggled.

"Cats are fucking weird," I mumbled in response.

Bubbles only laughed more, and Midnight joined in from the front seat. Aizawa remained completely silent as our group headed towards the animal shelter. When we arrived, I awkwardly removed the seatbelt around the kitten.

Midnight opened the door for me, so I wrapped my arms around the black kitten and climbed outside. Bubbles had run over to walk beside me, reaching over to scratch his head. I almost dropped it when it started vibrating again, but Bubbles reached out to steady my hands.

Midnight had snatched her phone back and began to record from afar as we went with Stuble to the counter where the lady sat. She glanced up from the computer she was typing away on and turned her chair to face us. She froze up for a second upon seeing all the bandages on our teacher but shook herself out of it.

"What can I do for you three today?"

"I found this kitten by an alleyway on my way home," he gestured towards the demonic, vibrating creature in my arms.

"Oh, isn't it a sweetheart," she cooed, standing up from her chair. The lady came around the desk and to the kitten, leaning down to take it from my arms. It let out a tiny meow, and she gently ran her fingers through his fur.

"Thanks for bringing him in," she nodded to us.

"No problem," he turned to face us just as Midnight shoved her phone in her pocket. "Let's go."

And so, we headed back to Midnight's car. The female pro secretly passed her phone to me before I climbed into the back seat, and Bubbles jumped in beside me. We pulled our seatbelts on and the car was backed out of the parking spot as we turned onto the road.

"Uraraka, would you like to come over for dinner?" Midnight offered.

"To your place?" she looked confused.

"Yeah. I'm sure Izumi wouldn't mind."

"Wait... do you live together?" her jaw dropped, staring at the pro hero.

"Midnight is Izumi's temporary guardian," Aizawa cut in. "The situation is complicated, so don't ask any questions and don't mention it to anyone."

Bubbles nodded before turning to face me. I could see the curious look in her eyes, although she didn't say anything. Pulling out her phone, she tapped her thumbs against the keyboard. After a few seconds, there was a quiet ding.

"My parents say it's alright. Thank you for inviting me!"

"No problem. We'll just drop Aizawa off at his house and be on our way."

I recognized a few of the street names on the way to Stuble's, but only two or three. Bubbles was looking out the window but got noticeably awkward when we pulled into his driveway. With a quiet thanks, he got out of the car and moved up to his front door.

He managed to get in somehow, though both his arms were in slings, and our group was on our way. It didn't take too long to reach Midnight's house from where we were, and soon enough we were pulling up in front of a bungalow that was slightly bigger than Aizawa's place.

Bubbles and I climbed out of the car as Midnight led us to the front door and unlocked it. She let us enter first, closing the door behind her. Letting us know dinner would be ready in an hour, she wandered off into the kitchen which left the two of us alone.

"We could start putting our presentation together," Bubbles suggested.

"I'm borrowing your laptop!" I called out into the house.

"It's in the living room!"

And so we grabbed Midnight's laptop and I showed Bubbles to the room I was staying in. Most of my things weren't unpacked since I'd just moved in yesterday. Although, it wasn't like I had much stuff in the first place. I still only had a few outfits, my toiletries and a couple books to my name.

Bubbles and I lay on the double bed, placing the laptop on the pillow as I opened up a PowerPoint. With some help some Midnight, we send all the images and videos we'd captured onto her laptop and the trio of us began looking through them while dinner was in the oven.

We planned out what each slide was going to say, and a part of me felt uncomfortable that I was telling the truth when I described what made Stuble a hero. I never believed in heroes before. So why did I start believing in one now? And why did it have to be him, of all people?

We got a good chunk of work down before Midnight called us to eat. She'd made a simple Lisagna, which I felt comforted by. My mother had made it quite often when I was younger, and it reminded me of my home.

"This is delicious," Bubbles cheered between bites.

"I'm glad you like it," Midnight cut a small piece off and stabbed it with her fork.

"I don't dislike it," I grumbled.

"I'll consider that a compliment," the pro chuckled.

Dinner was peaceful, mostly consisting of chatter between Bubbles and Midnight. They'd tried to involve me a few times but eventually realized I just wanted to eat my food. They left me to eat in peace, and instead, the two talked about school and Bubbles even asked a question about the homework we'd received in Midnight's class this morning.

After dinner, we'd gone back to working on our project, until around 8:30pm when Bubbles' dad arrived to pick her up. Midnight had called us out after getting the door, and I grudgingly followed. I didn't particularly give a shit about her dad.

"Thanks for having me," she bowed respectively after putting her shoes on.

"It was our pleasure," Midnight gave her a thumbs up. "Feel free to come over again at any time."

"I had a lot of fun, Izumi," she turned to me. "I hope we can become great friends!"

And with another goodbye, the turned down the front walkway and got into her father's car. Bubbles waved from the front seat as her father pulled out of the driveway and they were on their way.

After a couple seconds of hesitation, I waved back.

Chapter Text

 

"Izumi, wait up!"

Bubbles' voice stopped me just before I left the classroom. The bell rang for lunch only seconds ago, and I was going to my usual spot. Since most students ate in the cafeteria, it was always quiet outside beneath my favourite tree.

She placed her hands on her knees as she attempted to catch her breath, "Would you like to eat lunch with Deku, Iida and I in the cafeteria?"

I glanced at her, eyebrow raised. She probably had some ulterior motive. Maybe it had something to do with our project? Yeah. That was definitely it. Lunch was the only time I could spend my myself these days, with Midnight always trying to talk to me at home.

"I'd rather not," I walked out the door, and she left me alone. It was easy to get lost in the crowds as I weaved through the masses of students in the halls. No one recognized me when I walked by, and no one tried to talk to me. I preferred isolation. It was all I knew.

When I arrived at my tree, it towered above the rest of the foliage on school property as usual. I threw my stuff down in the shade and plopped down on the grass, using the trunk as a backrest. A gentle breeze provided me with a breath of fresh air.

It had been a few days since Stuble had announced the upcoming sports festival. We had just over a week before it would begin. While my classmates were training, both inside of school and out, I spent most of my time reading. I didn't care about the sports festival. Why would I? I didn't want to be noticed as a pro-hero.

If anything, it would be beneficial for me to perform poorly. I didn't need more pro-heroes knowing how my quirk functioned. It would make things more difficult later on. As a villain, it would be challenging to face opponents that knew my quirk. The UA faculty members would be a force to be reckoned with if they tried to take me down. They were powerful and knew my weaknesses.

I didn't know how to describe Stuble. I had spent so many years thinking that all heroes were fake. The idea of a perfect hero was also a dream that couldn't become a reality. But then I met him. All the other students looked up to heroes like All Might, Thirteen, Best Jeanist and other mainstream heroes. But they weren't true heroes. They were all fakes.

Midnight was kind to me while I lived with her, but I still couldn't acknowledge her as a true hero. She was a great cook, not that I'd tell her. She even packed my lunch. After the fainting incident, Midnight worked diligently to ensure I ate properly. She invited me to do things with her sometimes, although I always refused, and didn't push when I wasn't up to it. I didn't mind living with her as much as I thought I did.

"Got your stuff packed up?"

I had almost forgotten about it until Midnight reminded me last night. After all, none of the pro-heroes wanted to take care of me. They were busy. They had to balance teaching, heroing, and raising a problem child. Each of them took me into their house for three to seven days. Then they threw me to the next faculty member in line.

"Yeah. Midnight is dropping everything at your house tonight," I mumbled under my breath.

Snipe gave a slow nod, "Just don't cause any trouble. I'm not cleaning up your messes."

"Fuck you too," I packed my lunch box into my backpack. He began to scold me for my language. Snipe's words fell on deaf ears. I really didn't give a shit. I'd swear however much I wanted at whoever I wanted. Anyone who had a problem with that could back the fuck off.

I wasn't used to being inside the school at lunch. No matter where I went, the faculty members could track me down. The GPS system in my cuffs could be tracked by any of their phones. I was never alone. Even when I couldn't see anyone, I was positive someone was watching me from afar.

"Hey, Izumi. You haven't disappeared for lunch like you normally do."

"What do you want, Rocky?" I growled at the redhead, who laughed. His presence troubled me. He always laughed off my attempts to intimidate him and brushed off my rude comments. No matter what I did, he would smile and find the positives. I didn't know how to act around him.

"I saw you walking by and just wanted to say hello," he placed his hands in his pockets calmly.

"Whatever. I'm going to find somewhere quiet."

"Hey, why not come eat lunch with us?" he gestured towards himself, Tape and Asshole.

"No," I replied without a thought.

"Tch. Let the bitch eat by herself."

Glancing at Asshole, I could feel anger growing in the bottom of my stomach. He had the nerve to call me a bitch? Oh. I'll show you a fucking bitch, you disgusting piece of shit! I wanted to slap that smug grin off his face, but I managed to keep myself calm for a bit longer.

Without saying a word, I walked directly by him. With a scoff, his hands went in his pockets and he walked away. He looked proud of himself but I was ready to rip that pride out and tear it in two. I was going to castrate him in front of all the students in the hallways.

My foot slammed into the back of his right knee, causing it to buckle beneath him. The blond let out an angry shout as he began to fall towards the side. Reacting quickly, I wrapped my hands around one of his wrists and turned my back towards him to use as a lever.

Eyes turned from all over the halls as Asshole went flying over my shoulder and his back slammed against the ground. Rocky and Tape had terrified expressions on the faces. Asshole was breathing loudly from beneath me as I released his wrist and turned to walk away.

"You little bitch!"

Rocky had jumped forward to grab him by the shoulders. I ignored his string of curses and insults that he yelled after me, just as he ignored the two trying to calm him. Asshole was the type of person I hated the most. He didn't want to be a hero to help people with that attitude. He definitely had to have some ulterior motive.

I managed to escape the boys by blending in with the crowds, although I could hear Asshole still looking for me around the corner. Lunch would be ending soon, and then we would be going to our afternoon hero courses. If I remember correctly, we would just have a few lectures today. It's not like I paid attention in those classes anyway.

"Didn't I tell you not to cause any trouble?"

"Guess I didn't catch that part," I stopped in the middle of the empty hallway. Snipe was leaning against a few lockers in his typical hero costume. It didn't surprise me that he had followed me into the school. I knew he didn't trust me.

"He called me a bitch."

"And you attacked him, which is strictly against UA policy."

"But he's not in trouble for rampaging? He's putting a lot of students at risk right now. I targeted one. If you're trying to protect the students then calming him down should be your priority. But, since we both know you want to get me in trouble, you're probably going to put this whole incident on me."

"You shouldn't be at this school," he replied as he motioned for me to follow him. From the route he was taking, it seemed as if we were heading straight to the principal's office. Even if I had started the fight, that bastard deserved as much of the blame as I was getting. It's not like I used a deadly quirk against him.

I chuckled, "You're right. I should be underground with my mother in our home after, my father should be training me, and All Might should be dead. But we can't all get what we want."

I was yanked into an empty classroom and the door was slammed shut behind us. Snipe pulled out his gun, pointing it straight at my head in a threatening manner. Was it sad that I wasn't surprised? I thought he would have pointed the gun of my head a long time ago.

"You're threatening a student," I drawled out.

"You threatened a teacher," was his retort.

"Because a 15-year-old girl with no access to her quirk is a threat to the number one pro-hero?" I raised an eyebrow. "Sure. That was definitely a threat."

He opened his mouth to say something, but the door behind him began to open. Snipe immediately put the gun in his belt before Midnight, who had opened the door, could see a thing. She looked between us in confusion, before her eyes rested on Snipe. She was waiting for an explanation.

"She picked a fight with another student, so I pulled her aside to have a little chat," he told only a small portion of the truth. "Meet me outside Nezu's office after school. Head to class."

I exited the classroom just as a few other students were entering. Snipe had stayed behind to speak to Midnight. I didn't try to overhear what they were saying or anything, but upon glancing at the female teacher I had an idea. Midnight was staring at me with an annoyed glare.

I wasn't even able to walk into class 1A before the explosion went off, sending me flying down the hall. The blond was yelling curses at me while Rocky tried to calm him down. It was futile. The asshole was too pissed off at this point.

"What did you do this time, Izumi?"

Asshole was caught in Stuble's scarf within seconds as the tired voice called down the hall to me. I wasn't surprised he took the blond's side. He didn't know what happened and automatically assumed I had started it. That was normal for most of the teachers at this school, and Snipe was an example of this earlier.

When two people get into a fight without a person of authority present, it often turns into a 'he said' versus 'she said' argument. Troublemakers are often assumed to be at fault, and the good kids are always assumed innocent. When you take a kid that is training to be a hero and a kid raised to be a villain, it's pretty obvious whose side will be taken. Nobody trusts a villain.

I didn't reply to his question, climbing to my feet as Bubbles came to a slow stop behind our teacher. She looked over at me in confusion as Asshole continued his colourful language. Stuble didn't stop him and walked slower as the passed by. Without saying a word, I entered the classroom and sat in my usual spot.

The afternoon lectures passed by quickly since I slept through them and the final bell freed me from hero classes. Bubbles had tried to talk to me about my encounter with Asshole earlier but received no response. I wasn't in the mood for her perky personality at the moment.

Snipe was already outside of Nezu's office when I got there. Making a gesture for me to follow, he turned and started walking. I followed him without saying anything. I had already dealt with enough of this man's bullshit today and I just wanted to relax and read a book for the rest of the night.

His car wasn't anything special. I was sitting in the backseat, at his order, so he could trap me with the child lock. Snipe lived a bit further from the school than the other teachers I had stayed with but not by much. His house was decently sized, although it was only one story.

He opened the backseat for me and grabbed my wrist. I instinctively went to grab his in response, but the hero had me on the ground before I managed to make contact. Snipe held tightly onto my arm, although made no efforts to help me back up. I sent him as I glare as I got onto my feet.

Upon entering, he ordered me to remove my shoed and then led me down a hallway. Without saying a word, he opened the door at the end. It was a tiny room with an air mattress set up in the back corner. Blockades had been taped over the windows and the light. My two suitcases, which Midnight had dropped off at some point, were sitting beside the mattress.

There was a push on my lower back and I stumbled into the room. The door immediately closed behind me, and it had become too dark for me to see. Even if I was used to dark spaces, I couldn't see in pitch black conditions. There was a small sound from behind me that I recognized as the locking of a door.

I inched forward, not knowing where I was in the room. It was only a few steps before my hands touched a wall. I was starting to feel a bit claustrophobic as my mind went back to my childhood bedroom. It was always pitch black each night when she locked me inside, and I would throw fits and beg her to let me out.

After my father showed up, my room became a safe haven to hide in. Not for long though. My hands went to cover my ears. I could feel his fingers running through my hair just before he tightened his grip. He dragged me out of the room and tossed me into the hallway, slamming the door behind him.

"But it made you stronger," I whispered to myself. "Everything father did in my past made me stronger today. He was protecting me from the outside world. He kept me from being brainwashed by heroes. There's no such thing as a true hero. There's no..."

There was such a thing as a true hero. In this world of darkness and deception, I could see a single pillar of light. It wasn't All Might, or Endeavor or any of the other top heroes. He was a simple man with a stuble. He was a teacher to the next generation of heroes.

I felt like I did back when I was a child. Sitting in a dark room with my mother, she would tell me stories about all kinds of heroes. Every night before I slept, I would make a wish that a true hero would rescue me from the darkness of my room. By the time my wish was granted, I had realized I didn't need rescuing.

I crawled onto the air mattress and sat cross-legged. My hands gently moved together and I tilted my head upwards. Unable to see the ceiling, I was lost in waves of darkness. I couldn't chase away the small flashes of memory. All I could feel was my desire to escape this dark, cold room.

"Save me," I whispered into the nothing. "Please."

But as when I was a child, no one came to my rescue.

 

Chapter Text

 

"-and that's what makes All Might a great hero!"

The class began to clap when Freckles finished speaking, and the number one pro-hero sat awkwardly in the back of the classroom. Invisible exited out of the Google Slides presentation, and Screecher loudly congratulated them. The kid had gotten a bit excited and ended up getting off track a few times to fanboy a bit, which made the presentation a lot more annoying

I stood up my seat and shoved my hands in my pockets with a grumble. We'd pulled pieces of paper out of a hat at the beginning of class to decide who was going first. We had ended up pulling the last place. My partner hadn't seemed too happy about it, but I really didn't give a shit. Going later usually meant fewer people were actually paying attention.

"When we first got this project, it was difficult for us to pick a hero," Bubbles began as she pulled up our PowerPoint. "It was Mr. Yamada that realized we were struggling, so he came over to help us out. When Izumi described to him when she thought a hero was, and I agreed, we were a bit surprised at the person he suggested."

"He's underrated and kind of an asshole," Bubbles silenced me with a glare.

"He's a bit rough around the edges, but he really is a true hero and we wanted to give him the recognition he deserves."

I reached forward to click the next slide. It was titled 'Special Thanks' and gave a little shoutout to Midnight, who had helped us in gathering some of the materials used in our presentation. Speaking of the devil, she had abandoned her own class to come to watch our presentation.

"You don't need a flashy costume or a powerful quirk to become a hero," I mumbled out. "All you need is a resolve to help people."

"A true hero doesn't care about money, fame or their position on the pro-hero ranking lists," Bubbles continued.

"They don't put on a show and hide their true selves from the public," I happened to make eye contact with All Might, who flinched.

"A true hero protects others. They will gladly put their own health at risk to help those that can't help themselves," Bubbles clicked the next slide and the class went silent.

"A true hero—" I looked at the collage of images we'd collected both from the internet and pictures we'd taken during our adventure with Midnight— "is someone like Shota Aizawa."

There was a loud cough from the door. Having just entered the room in all his bandaged glory, the students looked back and forth between the presentation and their homeroom teacher for a few moments. Screecher stepped forward and led Stuble to the back of the class, seating him in a chair beside Midnight. He just had to embarrass me, didn't he?

"As Eraser Head, he works from the shadows. His quirk, Erasure, allows him to cancel out the quirk of anyone he looks at until he blinks. Suited to stealth mission and one on one combat, he doesn't get noticed much by the public," Bubbles spoke.

"Most that do see him won't recognize him until he uses his quirk. Most other pro-heroes are recognized on the spot," I added in.

"But we're actually not going to be looking at Eraser Head too much in our presentation."

The class looked very confused at Bubbles statement, and a few students began to whisper to each other. Even Stuble looked confused at the back of the class, while Midnight had a smug smirk across her lips. She seemed excited to see the presentation, although she'd basically witnessed everything we're talking about first hand.


Bubbles clicked the next slide, which showed a few pictures taken after the USJ attack, "When Mr. Aizawa's students were attacked at the USJ, only he and one other pro-hero were present. When the League of Villains began to appear, he went charging into the fight."

"His quirk, Erasure, is not—" I clicked to the next slide, "—suited for drawn-out fights against multiple enemies. Despite knowing this, he didn't hesitate. All he cared about was protecting his students."

"Mr. Aizawa fought against a large number of low-level thugs. He punched his way through in order to reach the leaders of the attack, and to rescue Izumi who had become a hostage."

"He was ultimately defeated by the mysterious muscly creature. It pinned him down against the ground and snapped bone after bone in his body."

"But despite his serious injuries, he didn't stop fighting. When Shigaraki went to use his quirk on Tsu, Mr. Aizawa somehow managed to stay strong enough to cancel out his quirk. In response, the Nomu snapped his other arm and smashed his head into the ground."

I clicked to the next slide, which was an image of Stuble in the hospital, "He sustained life-threatening injuries, but in return almost all of the students were unharmed. Then, he came back to teach the next day as if nothing happened. He may not act like it, but Stuble cares greatly about his students. He put his own life at risk in order to protect them. He didn't expect fame, money or anything else for what he'd done. He did it because he wanted to protect us."

Bubbles went onto the next slide, which showed a few images of our teacher at the front of the classroom giving lectures, or writing notes on the board, "Mr. Aizawa acts as a guide to aspiring young heroes. This not only demonstrates to youth that their dreams can come true but also ensures safety in the community in the next generation. He helps us to see what we're capable of and trains us to expand those capabilities."

"But Stuble's heroic nature also crosses into his regular life," I changed the slide. Midnight burst out laughing at the back of the class, drawing everyone's attention. He was looking at the slide in horror and sending frequent glares to the woman beside him.

The first picture was of when he first found the cat, He had leaned down in front of it and it had cowered away nervously. The second image was Stuble entering the vet's clinic, and the third was during the checkup. We'd thrown in a picture of Aizawa sitting in the front seat with the kitten in his lap as the fourth, and the fifth image was of the lady from the animal shelter holding him as she thanked Stuble.

"Whether he's doing hero work as Eraser Head or living normally as Shota Aizawa, he's always trying to help others," Bubbles smiled. "He found this kitten by an alley entrance and took it to the vet to make sure it was alright. He paid for the trip, and then took it to the animal shelter so it could find a good home."

The class seemed to be watching in awe as Bubbles switched the slide and it played a clip of Stuble from inside the veterinarian's clinic. He had been gently petting the kitten's head and whispering calming words to him as the vet gave it a checkup. He even held it in his arms when it had to get a shot.

The next slide showed the images we'd taken of Stuble helping the woman with her grocery bags. Wrapped in bandages and arms in slings, he still managed to carry some of her bags across the street for her. The final picture showed the woman bowing in thanks.

"After the USJ incident, all the credit for the villains' defeat went to All Might. Personally, I don't believe All Might deserved the credit."

The class looked shocked at my statement, and All Might cringed from his seat, "All Might fought the strongest villain, but Stuble was the reason he was able to take the Nomu on. Otherwise, all the street thugs would have worn him down first. Or they could have been scattered across the zones where small groups of students were fighting. All Might finished the battle, but it was Stuble who protected each and every student during the attack."

Allowing the smug grin to appear on my face, I glanced directly at the number one pro-hero. He looked rather tortured. The rest of the class hadn't picked up on the sheer number of insults I'd directed at him during the presentation. But it was rather amusing to see the students begin to whisper about Aizawa being the true hero in the USJ attack.

Bubbles clicked to the next slide, "Thank you for listening to our presentation."

The class began to clap and Bubbles stepped forward to unhook her laptop from the projector. Without saying another word, I headed to my seat. I tried not to focus on the fact that Stuble was staring at me. When I met his gaze, he narrowed his eyes in distrust. He probably thought I had some ulterior motive for doing the presentation on him.

"Izumi, that was great!" Rocky held up his hand in front of me, "High five!"

Slightly confused, I lifted my hand in front of me to imitate whatever the fuck he was doing. He slapped my hand with his. The stinging only lasted for a second. What the fuck? He tilted his head, trying to figure out what I was thinking about.

"Have you never high fived someone before!?" he exclaimed.

I looked away with a growl, "No. And it's fucking stupid."

"That's bizarre, man. Do you want to eat lunch with us today?"

"No."

"How about tomorrow?"

"No."

"The day after?"

"No."

I brushed by the redhead in annoyance. Why the fuck was he always trying to talk to me? I slumped in my seat at the back of the class and Screecher jumped to the front of the room to congratulate everyone on their presentations. He wished everyone good luck at the sports festival since it was starting tomorrow, and the bell rang to signify the end of English.

Our morning classes were just normal subjects like math, science and all that shit. It didn't really matter to me. I slept through them anyway. Classes were boring and I didn't want to be here. No one said I had to do well in my classes. If they kicked me out for having bad grades then I wouldn't give a fuck.

When the lunch bell rang, I was ready to escape Snipe's class. He'd been glaring at me for most of it and called me out for misbehaving several times. The little bitch just wanted to make everyone laugh at me, which they did. Real mature.

"Where are you running off to, Izumi?"

"What do you want, Rocky?"

"You always disappear at lunch," he replied. "I was just wondering where to."

"If I tell you then you'll show up all the time," I rolled my eyes and kept walking.

"No," he protested.

"If I let you follow me, will you shut up?"

Rocky lifted a hand to his mouth and pretended to pull a zipper over his lips. Oh my fuck. Was he a toddler or some shit? I strongly doubted that if I showed him my tree that he would leave me alone. I could show him somewhere else just in case. If I did that, he'd start nagging me again.

I led him out into the front yard and walked up to the tall tree. I threw my stuff on the grass and plopped down. Glaring up at Rocky, the redhead gently put his bag beside mine and sat across from me with his typical grin.

"You said you wanted to see it and you did. Leave."

"This is actually a pretty nice spot," he completely ignored me.

"Rocky, go the fuck away."

He looked over at me and for the first time, I saw him flinch at the dark aura that began to radiate around me. Within a few seconds, he had brushed it off again. His face scrunched up slightly and Rocky completely zoned out.

"Don't think too hard or you'll hurt yourself."

"Hey!" he pointed at me as he jumped to his feet.

A quiet chuckle left my lips at his response. He stood there blankly for a minute and then sat back down on the grass. There was something different about the expression on his face. He looked upset in some way. I didn't understand. I was never the best at reading emotions.

"Why do you push everyone away?"

"Tch," I scoffed.

"No, really. You always keep everyone at a distance. You don't have to be so mean all the time."

I raised an eyebrow, "Then why not have this conversation with Asshole? He's actually your friend, and he does the same thing."

"It's different," he replied. "Bakugou is just a bit rough around the edges. With you, it just seems like you're afraid of getting close to people. Whatever it is you're afraid of, you don't have to be! Everyone in our class would gladly be your friend if you let us."

"Is this what you followed me out here to nag me about? I'm not afraid of anything, Rocky. I just don't like people. I was raised in solitude, and I prefer it that way."

"But aren't you lonely?"

"No. I like being alone. Now stop looking at me like you're sorry for me and get lost. I just want to read in fucking peace."

Rocky quietly apologized and pulled his bag over, pulling out his lunch as I reached for my book. Now, what the fuck was he doing? I'd already had enough of this kid's bullshit. I was about to snap at him again but he spoke before I could.

"I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to become your friend!"

Fucking hell.

 

Chapter Text

 

"Everyone, get your game faces on! We're entering the arena soon!" Nerd Armor burst in the room. Everyone tensed up, and some people began preparing themselves for the upcoming competition. There was only a single reason I was excited about the event. The quirk cancellation in my cuffs had been deactivated for once.

I ignored the tension that picked up between Freckles and Frosty, and of course Rocky ran over to try and stop it. The idiot had a habit of sticking his nose where it didn't fucking belong. He was starting to get on my nerves.

With more nagging from Nerd Armor, we all crowded into the hallway. Heading down the long hallway, some of the students were whispering to each other excitedly. They'd all grown up watching this festival on TV and were overjoyed to finally participate in it themselves. For me, it was a completely new experience.

The crowds roared as Screecher's voice echoed through the arena, introducing all the classes as they entered. I played with the metal bracelets around my wrists as we walked, suddenly feeling a bit anxious. It was out of character for me. I was never nervous.

"Izumi, let's do our best!"

Bubbles threw out a fist excitedly, and I awkwardly nodded. Sure. Whatever gets her off my case. She got all intense and shit in the past week and it was creeping me out. She was still bubbly and all but went through random aggressive mood swings.

With a flick of her whip, Midnight called out to all the first years. The crowds suddenly went silent and the boys around me began to whisper to one another. I'd gotten used to her oversexualized choices in outfits after living with her for a few days.

"Uh, someone should talk to Miss Midnight about what she's wearing," Rocky mumbled from beside me.

"Yeah, that costume should come with a warning," Sparky agreed.

"It's just clothing. You're the ones making a big deal out of it," I chuckled.

The two glanced at me in surprise, each with faint blushes on their cheeks. Seeing my annoyed expression, the two quickly began to ramble about that it just seemed inappropriate for a high school event. They just didn't want me to think they were perverts, I guess.

"Silence, everyone! For the student pledge, we have Katsuki Bakugou."

He walked up to the platform with his hands in his pockets and his typical annoyed expression, "I just wanna say... I'm gonna win."

The students erupted into boos and Nerd Armor rushed forward to nag him. God, he was a fucking asshole.nSeing his face made me want to punch him. I felt sorry for whoever the fuck was related to him, having to deal with his bullshit.

"Without further ado, it's time for us to get started! This is where you begin feeling the pain," a screen appeared behind her and the bar trembled as the words inside spun at rapid speed. "The first game of the festival... What could it be? Ta-da!"

The words 'Obstacle Race' appeared on the screen and Midnight began to explain. The course spanned 4km around the outsides of the arena, and we were given free rein to do whatever we wanted as long as we remained inside the course. The entrance was a large red gate with three green LED lights on the top.

All the students gathered around quickly as everyone pushed and shoved to get closer to the front. Once the race began, all hell was about to break loose. The first light turned off, and I carefully observed the front of the crowd. The second light turned off. I had taken my sweet time coming over and ended up stuck towards the back. The third light turned off, and Midnight's voice called the start of the race.

Students charged forward into the hallway. The slight pushing and shoving from before had turned into complete violence as everyone attempted to get in front of the others. Not particularly wanting to get involved in that, I took a few steps back. I may not get a second chance to do this right. If I got lost in that trampling crowd and they fucked up my sunglasses, I wouldn't be able to see. Plus, it would be hard to see far ahead when I was shorter than most of the other students here.

I charged forward and used some random kid as leverage. My foot stepped onto some girl's shoulder followed by another guy's head. There were loud protests of anger, not that I gave a shit. I only needed to get a bit closer. I could see ice explode through the tunnel, and those on the ground were quickly stuck in place.

A couple people had managed to get off the ground in the very front, and my eyes were immediately drawn to the sparkling laser I hated so fucking much. Following it back to the user, I decided to knock this kid down a size. With his constant showing off, I really wanted to fucking smack him.

"Switch!"

I found myself high in the air and facing the wrong direction whilst the Narcissist knocked a shit ton of students down like bowling pins. I hadn't majorly though this through though, considering I still had to land. The ground was covered in ice. If I hit it at this much force I would slip and hurt myself. But I wasn't able to switch again yet.

During the exercise on the second day of school, I didn't need to worry about my weakness. I switched things at my own pace, and luckily our enemies spent most of their time focusing on Tape and Rocky rather than me so they didn't find out. But of course, every quirk had something.

Each time I used my quirk, I had to wait a few seconds before I could activate it again. This wait time could be improved with training, but I wasn't able to practice when my cuffs were on all the time. If I activated before that couple seconds were up, my eyesight would go blurry. The effects were temporary, but overusing Switch could leave me unable to see. Because of the way my quirk worked, that was an instant loss.

Twisting my body in the air, I rolled into the fall. I felt a sharp pain in my side where I first made contact, but it could have been much worse. The impact put some motion on me as I skidded across the ice, managing to climb to my feet to jump off the edge of the ice sheet.

The massive robots had picked up a shit ton of dust and the many students faltered at the sight of them. Overhearing some of the other students, it sounded like they had fought the giant hunks of metal in their entrance exams.

In almost seconds one of the robots was covered in ice. It began to collapse and the amount of dust prevented me from seeing too far ahead. It delayed me for a good ten seconds when the dust died back down, and multiple lines of robots stood in front of us. Too easy.

"Switch!"

I appeared in the middle of the back line of robots. I could hear screams from behind me as one of the massive robots appeared where I had been. I gasped in a large breath and the two on either side of me focused their attention to me. I felt frozen in place as they both lunged for me. I'd switched an object that was way too big for me to handle.

I couldn't stand there. Going as fast as they were, the robots would surely crush me. I had to move. But if I just started running, they would chase after me. No. I had to wait for the perfect moment. It came in just over a second and I forced myself forward as the two robots collided.

The exhaustion was already present in my body as I continued along the path. I would have to be careful about using my quirk too much for the rest of the race, or I'd be too tired for the rest of the events. The robot had been huge. Why did I think it was a good idea to switch it like that? I shook my head. I wouldn't worry about what had already happened.

The next obstacle was just plain annoying as I stood at the edge of the chasms. Frosty had already gotten halfway across, moving extremely quickly with his eyes. He was definitely going to hate me for this, but he'd likely be able to catch up before I even reached the other side. After all, this wasn't really my forte.

"Switch."

I landed on the platform below my feet and quickly glanced ahead of me to calculate the quickest path. Wait. Frosty had been using his eyes to freeze the ropes. I quickly turned around, stomping down on the ice to break off some chunks. I gathered as many pieces as I could in one hand turned back to the rope bridges.

Finding the platform that was the closest distance away, I reeled my arm back and hurled the chunk of ice into the air. Just before it made contact with the next platform, I warped myself to its location.

My vision faltered slightly and I growled. I was switching too fast. Still, I had to keep going. Waiting for my eyes to refocus, I threw the next ice block and switched onto the next platform. Frosty had was able to catch up again, sliding past on his ice. Meanwhile overhead, Asshole was using his explosions to send him flying forwards.

I had a plan, although the Asshole would definitely hold a grudge. Having two of the stronger opponents strongly dislike me may make things difficult but it was honestly just fun to piss them off. So, I waited. I sat down on the platform and allowed my tired body a very tiny amount of rest. A few seconds was all I needed to activate my quirk again with my eyes fucking up.

I waited carefully for my moment, watching Frosty sprint up the stairs and Asshole flying after him. I had more than enough time for my vision to fix itself by the time Asshole's feet touched the ground. I could hear his enraged roar from behind me as I took his place, sprinting to catch up to first. I'd show all those fucking pros that they should be afraid of the next generation of villains.

The minefield made things awkward. Eyes locked to the ground, I stepped around them as quickly as I was able to. I had to be careful or risk activating one, which would be game over. Even switching would be dangerous, in case I lost my balance in the landing or they were about to make a mistake.

"You motherfucking bitch!"

Asshole's voice boomed across the minefield as he barrelled straight for me. Just fucking great. I had known this would happen with his constant anger. He ended up right beside me, throwing an explosive punch in my direction. I would have to risk it.

I was unable to balance myself when I  reappeared in first place, and the mines sent me flying forwards. It wasn't really an advantage. Once you stepped on a mine, it was very difficult to get yourself out of the constant flying back and forth. Each time you hit the ground the next mine went off.

Frosty and Asshole were able to overtake me again. There was a massive explosion from behind me that stopped me in my tracks. Shooting out of the pink smoke was Freckles, holding onto a piece of a broken robot. He flew over the heads of the first two boys, who very quickly began to catch up.

I managed to regain my footing and began to move forward through the maze of mines as quickly as I could. I had to wait for the perfect opportunity. They all charged forward and Freckles began to fall back down to the ground. At this rate, he would fall onto a land mine and lose the race.

When he slammed the metal piece from the robot onto the ground, the blast sent Frost and Asshole flying in opposite directions while he and the metal piece were thrown forwards. Barely able to see the metal piece, I activated my quirk just before it became completely hidden in the pink smoke.

I flew through the air and collapsed to the ground just behind Freckles who had just rolled into a sprint. Switching with him to take the lead was too risky. If my vision failed, I could fuck myself and end up tripping or some shit like that.

I sprinted down the track and entered the tunnel right behind Freckles, although I could hear the footsteps of Asshole and Frosty loudly from behind me. I wouldn't be able to take first place, but I sure as hell wasn't giving up second.

"Izuku Midoriya is our champion!"

I skidded to a stop behind Freckles, panting. He started crying as he looked around the stadium and the audience cheered loudly. Other contestants began to trail in, and a few announcements were made to inform everyone that the results would be in shortly. When the results appeared on the screen, my name was in second place.

"Only the top 42 will advance to the next round but don't worry if you didn't make the cut. We've prepared other opportunities for you to shine. What will be next? Prepare yourselves for this!"

The words 'Cavalry Battle' appeared on the screen. A fucking what now? What the fuck was a cavalry battle? Midnight soon explained. In groups of 2 - 4 people, we'd be running around trying to snatch each other's headbands while one person sat on everyone's shoulders. Of course, those who had finished higher in the Obstacle course were worth a higher amount of points for the headbands. Great. Guess I'll fucking die. At least I didn't win. Freckles was kind of fucked.

"You've got 15 minutes to pick your teams. Make it count!"

Everyone scattered to form teams, leaving me awkwardly standing in the middle. I didn't like group work all that much. Although I wasn't there for very long when I felt someone tap my shoulder. Turning around, Frosty was staring at me with his usual expressionless face.

"Team up with me," he spoke calmly.

"Oh?"

"I've already recruited Yaoyorozu and Iida. We're going after first place. With your quirk, we'll easily be able to steal Midoriya's headband."

"Don't forget that my quirk involves switching things, not teleporting them. I won't be able to take it if I don't have anything to switch it with."

"That's where I come in," Princess appeared behind Frosty with Nerd Armor trailing behind.

"Iida will be in the front and act as our main form of mobility. Yaoyorozu and Izumi, you will be on the sides and I'll ride on top. I'll focus immobilizing the other teams with my ice. Yaoyorozu, when given the opportunity I want you to create small objects and pass them to me. Izumi can use her quirk to switch them with our opponent's headbands."

"Very well," I nodded my head. "I'm in."

Chapter Text

 

"Are you ready, Iida?"

"Ready as I'll ever be."

"Yaoyorozu?"

"Yes!"

"Izumi?"

"Yeah."

"Then let's go!"

Our group shuffled onto the field at Frosty's order, but we were careful to stay towards the outskirts. As the other teams focused on charging Freckles' team, we remained towards the sidelines. Although I didn't know the guy, Halfie was intelligent. He'd proved that in class, and I guess he did 'rescue' me during the USJ attack and shit.

The clock was constantly ticking and headbands were stolen back and forth. Princess kept making tiny objects and passed them up to Frosty. With a few seconds interval between each use, I switched quite a few headbands before others realized what was going on.

"Nice teamwork," Frosty complimented. "But now it's time for the ultimate prize. Iida, go."

The engines on his legs turned on, and our group went propelling forward as the clock reached half time. The current first-place team turned to face us, and our groups stared one another down for a few seconds. The first move could very well decide how this encounter played out.

"I'll be taking that now," Frosty called out to Midoriya from atop his perch. "Now Iida, forward. Yaoyorozu, be ready to protect us. Izumi, there are several teams approaching from behind. Be on the lookout for headbands."

Ice began to travel along the ground, immobilizing the other teams behind us. Reaching to wrap an arm around Nerd Armor, he took on most of my weight as I turned to face the opposite direction. Scanning the teams for headbands, I rapidly switched a couple, one after the other, into Frosty's grasp.

Turning back around, my eyes had gone blurry just as I'd known they would. It didn't matter. We needed the points from those headbands, after all. My eyes would be fine before the cavalry battle ended. I just needed a little bit longer than usual, since I'd already been overusing my quirk today.

"How's your eyesight?" Frosty called down.

"Everything's blurry as fuck," I replied.

We'd had a bit of time to strategize before the event began. They'd asked me quite a few questioned about my quirk, and in order for our team to succeed, I was forced to inform them of my weakness. Hopefully, that wouldn't bite me too hard in the ass later. We'd come up with a strategy in case my eyesight became an issue. I really fucking hated this strategy.

I reached my left hand forward to grab Nerd Armor's. His hand was much larger than mine, completely covering it. My right hand lifted up and I felt Frosty's fingers lock with mine. Did I mention I really fucking hated this strategy? I do. A fucking lot. It worked though, so I forced myself to deal with it. I could punch them after the round was over.

Using slight pulls and squeezes, as well as verbal cues, I was able to move at my usual speed despite not being able to see. Of course, that meant Frosty had to keep a closer eye on that flank. It wasn't too much different than before though. Since we weren't able to remove riders, my quirk was best as support in this situation.

"Yaoyorozu!" Todoroki called out.

There was a loud sound of impact and I felt a tug from Nerd Armor's hand. Adjusting my direction slightly, the announcers told me that we had cornered Freckles' team. Frosty's hand tightened and gave a tug backwards as he signified for me to slow down and our group came to a stop.

We seemed to be at a standstill, taking a few steps back and forth for a little while. Things started to become a bit clearer, and I silently pressed my thumb against Frosty's. We didn't want our opponents to realize my eyesight had returned if we got into a situation like this, and had come up with an idea.

"I see," he mumbled aloud, causing Princess and Nerd Armor to perk up at the secret cue.

"Everyone, we have less than 60 seconds. I'm gonna do something that will make me useless to you, but it's worth it," Nerd Armor announced.

"What are you gonna do?" Frosty asked.

"Make sure you get that headband. Brace yourselves, hold on tight!"

Moving my hands back into their original position, our group tightened our grip on one another as Frosty kneeled down slightly. We were sent flying forwards and we clung to each other tightly. Before we could even realize what was happening, we were right beside the other team.

"Switch!"

Zooming back into the middle, we had been an incredibly large distance between us in less than a seconds. We had already been behind them when the headband appeared in Frosty's hand, and they couldn't possibly react fast enough to turn and make a counter attack. Just like that, we had taken the top spot.

"Iida... What was that?"

"I put my quirk engines into overdrive which gives me explosive power. Unfortunately, the recoil stalls my engines for a while. It's a secret move I've been saving. No one in the class knew about it. I told you, Midoriya, that I'd do my best to beat you."

As fast as they were able, the other team was whipping around to make a counterattack. They charged forward as Freckles' arm began to glow with strange red markings. It appeared he was finally using his quirk. A part of me wondered why. He was just going to break his bones again, and lose because of it.

Flames crackled from Frosty's arm, and I couldn't help but run a few nicknames through my mind if he decided he was going to start using his fire now. He'd been awfully insistent earlier during our strategy meeting that he wouldn't use his fire. So why did he?

Freckles flung his arm to the side, extinguishing Frosty's flames in an instant. He reached out to snatch the top headband with a cry of victory. A sadistic smirk took place on my lips as the team suddenly began to gasp, and Princess revealed we had mixed up the headbands. It's not like it mattered anyway.

"Izumi," Frosty lifted up one of Yaoyoruzu's creations.

"On it."

Freckles let out a cry of shock as the headband was replaced with a tiny circular bouncy ball, and the seventy points were returned to around Frosty's neck. Things got a bit hectic as they launched yet another counter-attack. It was futile either way. Any headband they stole, I would take right back.

"Deku!"

Asshole exploded through Frosty's ice wallas his group charged after him. All three of our teams began to charge at each other and all kinds of attacks were prepared from different individuals on each team. I waited for a few seconds for my countdown, staring down the headbands around Asshole's neck.

"Time's up! And with that, the second round is officially over!"

Frosty jumped down from on top, headbands still resting around his neck. Rocky and the rest of his team were running over to Asshole, who'd fallen face first onto the ground. Freckles was sulking over his loss, and the Bubbles was trying to comfort him.

"In first place, Team Todoroki! In second place, Team Bakugou! In third place, is Team Shinsou! When did they come back from the dead? And in fourth place is Team Midoriya!"

Our class slowly grouped together to talk to one another. I ignored them, as usual. They turned down the hallway towards the exit, but I headed in the opposite direction. The cafeteria would be packed, even more so than usual. The anxious feeling I'd gotten from the crowds hadn't fully gone away, and I would rather spend some time by myself.

"What did I tell you about staying away from my son, villain?"

"Frosty asked me to team up with him, not the other way around."

Endeavor and I had met quite a few times. During my time in the mental hospital, they'd often have pro-heroes come in to talk to me. They wanted me to find a role model and decide I wanted to be a hero. That didn't really work out too well when they spent most of their time threatening me.

He was one of the members on a special squad created by the police to apprehend me. If I were to ever run away or act as a villain, then this group had been specially put together to take me down and lock me behind bars. My quirk was tricky, and they thought I may have allies, so they gathered a versatile group of heroes so that would be able to combat a whole bunch of different circumstances.

Our most recent encounter had been just before the beginning of the school year. After it was decided that I would be joining Class 1A at UA High, he'd stopped by for a little chat. Of course, the heroes on guard duty were happy to let Endeavor take over when he arrived.

He had made a promise to me, one that I was sure he would keep if I provoked him. The man pissed me off. Had it been anyone else, or another situation, then maybe there would have been something I could have done about it. But this was Endeavor, the number two pro-hero.

I was a first-year student at UA High and the daughter of a powerful supervillain. No matter what I did to try and prove my innocence, they would believe the ambitious man in front of me. Even if they knew the truth, the police and the UA faculty members usually looked for things they could blame on me. They'd probably just go along with it.

"You've made your point," I looked down at my feet.

"Haven't you had enough playing hero? You're a villain. Nothing you do will change that."

"I'd had enough of it before I started," I replied. "But I'd rather not get arrested."

"Ah, right. The police are just waiting for one wrong move and they'll slam you behind bars."

"Are you finished?" I snarled at him, unable to hold back my rage.

"Are you sure you want to use that tone with me?" he growled back and a twisted look appeared in his eyes. A large hand slammed against the wall beside me, and the flames emitting from his body moved closer as he caged me against the wall.

I shut my eyes, trying to ignore the blazing heat. Any closer and he'd set me on fire. There was something about my encounters with Endeavor that sent me back to when I was a child. The darkroom Snipe locked me in each night and reminded me of my home.

Endeavor reminded me of the man who showed up every night and dragged me into the hallway by the hair. He reminded me of the man who hit my mother until she cried. He reminded me of the man who snapped arm because my stance was off during training. He reminded me of the man who sent a shiver down my spine and triggered an emotion I couldn't recognize.

He reminded me of my father.

I bit my lip with a quiet whimper as the flames touched my skin, and I could feel the burning sensation travel across my body as his fire made it's way up my arm. My lips parted in a pained scream, but a hand covered my mouth, muffling all the sound before it could escape.

"Let this be a warning to you," the flames grew hotter around my arm as tears invaded my eyes. "Stay away from my son."

He suddenly pulled away and I dropped to the floor, trying to pat out the flames. I let my injured arm lay limply on the ground. I brought my other hand out to my mouth, biting down on it gently as I tried to muffle my sobbing.

Endeavor turned away and began walking, "This little conversation stays between us."

There was a metallic taste in my mouth as my teeth broke skin. I pulled away from my hand and took in a shaky breath. My mind tried to wander elsewhere, but it kept going back to the burning feeling taking over my entire arm. I wouldn't go away. All I wanted to do was sit there and cry but I couldn't. Someone would find me. They would ask questions.

I gasped in pain as I gently place my hand on my burnt arm. Pulling it against my chest, I struggled to get back onto my feet. I could feel the blood dripping down my arm, leaving dark red stains across my ripped gym clothes. I didn't know where I could get an extra outfit, and I didn't have any way to contact someone and ask.

What would I even say? I couldn't tell them what had happened with Endeavor. It's not like it was the first time he'd burned me but the previous times had never been this severe. I tightly clenched my teeth together, letting out a soft whimper as my arm began to overheat.

"Izumi?" a cheerful feminine voice called out.

"Are you there?" a timid male voice joined in.

"Come on, you missed drawing lots!" a louder male voice piped up.

"If you don't report to Midnight soon, they're going to replace you!" a third male yelled.

Rapidly looking around, I reached for the closest door and quickly entered the room, slamming the door behind me. Within seconds, there was loud knocking from the other side and I reached over to flick on the light, keep my back against the door. I gritted my teeth together, trying to stop my pathetic cries.

"Izumi, it's Uraraka! Please open the door?"

"What happened to you? It's Kirishima."

"As the class rep, it is my duty to make sure everyone is okay!"

"I-um... Everyone's worried about you! I-It's Izuku, by the way."

They tried to open the door again, but I kept my back pressed firmly against it and slipped down to the floor. I couldn't let them see me. Not like this. I never wanted anyone to see me in this pathetic state. They would ask questions if they saw my injuries. I needed a new uniform and some bandages. But if I asked for them, they would ask questions. But maybe...

"C-could one of you get Princess for me?" I tried to keep my voice from shaking.

"Yaoyorozu? What for?" Nerd Armor's voice asked.

"Just fucking do it!" I snapped, trying to stop the sob from leaving my lips. "And leave me alone."

There was a bit of mumbling on the other side of the door. I was too distracted by the pain to hear all of their conversation, but I was able to catch little bits and pieces of it. They were unsure about something and had mentioned Princess a couple times. In the end, there was a thump against the other side of the door.

"The others went to go get Yaoyorozu, but we thought someone should stay behind with you. Did something happen?"

"Just go away, Rocky," I gritted my teeth to try and muffle another sob. "I want to be alone."

"I know you're crying, Izumi."

"God damn it, Kirishima, just leave me alone!" I slammed my hand into the door behind me, and the walls I'd been trying so hard to maintain came crumbling down. I couldn't stop the tears flowing from my eyes, and I was sure he was able to hear my neverending sobs from the other side of the door.

"I want to help. I promise I won't tell anyone about this if you don't want me to."

"You have to swear," I ordered with a sniffle.

"Huh?"

"Swear that if I let you in this door, you will never tell another soul what you saw."

"I promise."

I reached up to grab the doorknob with my good hand and leaned forward, pulling the door open a crack. Rocky squeezed through and closed it behind him. There was a gasp and almost instantly he was leaning down in front of me, his hand hovering next to my burnt arm.

"Who... who did this to you?" he demanded darkly.

"It doesn't matter," I choked out, trying to hold back tears.

"It does matter, Izumi! No one's allowed to hurt you like this. I'm getting Mr. Aizawa."

"No!" my screech froze him in his place. "You promised you wouldn't tell a soul. You can't tell anyone!"

"Look at what they did to you! Why won't you tell anyone!?"

"It was my fault," I whispered out the lie easily. "I started a fight. Just leave it, okay?"

He looked hesitant, "I won't tell anyone on one condition."

"What do you want?" I looked at him, tears making my eyesight blurry.

"If anything like this ever happens again, I want you to tell me. If it's the same person, or if it's some else. If I ever find out that you were attacked and you didn't tell me about it, I'll go straight to Nezu and tell him about this."

"Okay," I let out a barely audible whimper.

Kirishima lowered himself to the ground beside me, leaning his back against the door like I was. He didn't say anything but pulled my head down to rest on his shoulder. For once, I didn't protest. I was hurting too much to argue about everything. The burns were bad, but I'd have to figure out how to take care of them myself.

The redhead seemed to know what my limits were. He hadn't even tried to bring it up, after all, and there was no way he wouldn't have noticed. I could feel my entire body trembling. My heart was racing, threatening to beat right out of my chest. I couldn't describe the emotion I had been feeling since my encounter with Endeavor. It just kept growing stronger by the second, and all I wanted to do was run away and hide from everything.

"Kirishima? Where are you?"

"I'm inside the room, just hold on a second!" he called through the door before his voice turned to a whisper. "Do you need anything other than bandages and a new uniform?"

I shook my head no and Kirishima climbed back up to his feet. He opened the door a crack and slipped back into the hallway, having a muted conversation. Although after a few seconds, there were several goodbyes and three voices seemed to disappear, leaving only Princess and the redhead.

"Izumi fell down the stairs and hurt her arm. She's feeling a bit embarrassed about it and didn't want the others to know. Could you make her a new gym uniform and some bandage she can wrap around it?"

"Yeah, of course. Is she alright?"

"Yeah, she'll be okay. It's just hurting a bit right now and she didn't want to others to know she hurt herself. She ripped the sleeve of her uniform, that's why she wants a new one."

They continued to talk for a little bit, and I felt relieved that he was keeping his promise. I was worried at first when he started talking about Mr. Aizawa. He was a hero. He was supposed to help the innocent. But I was a villain, wasn't I? Heroes didn't protect villains. Heroes defeated villains.

Kirishima slipped back into the room with a pair of clothes and bandages. He had thanked Princess before he closed the door, and asked her not to tell the others. She had agreed, and he thanked her several more times before closing the door with the promise that we would be out soon.

"Can I help you with the bandage?" he asked softly, and I gave a hesitant nod.

Leaning down in front of me, he started at my shoulder. He was extremely careful not to touch my arm and wrapped the bandage around the top a few times before slowly having it travel down my arm. My quiet sobs echoed off the walls, but he didn't say anything about them. Upon reaching my hand, he wrapped the bandage around my thumb and tore it off from the rest before wrapping my other fingers individually.

"Sorry, I know I'm not the best at this sort of thing," he scratched the back of his neck.

"No, it's fine. I... I wanted to say..."

"It's alright. I'm your friend, right? Friends support each other."

"I've never really had friends before," I looked down at my lap.

"Well, now you have two."

"Two?"

"Uraraka and you seem to be getting along well, don't you think? Aren't you two friends?"

"Yeah," a rare genuine smile crossed my lips. "I guess we are."

Kirishima helped me to my feet and gave me an encouraging smile reaching forward to wipe a tear from my eye. He said he'd wait outside the door and passed me the new clothes Princess had made me. It took a bit longer to change with the pain in my arm, but I forced myself to ignore it. I'd already shown enough weakness today.

Putting on a brave face, I opened the door and stepped outside next to Kirishima. He looked at me with a large grin before beginning to walk down the hall and gesturing for me to follow. I caught up with him easily and stuck the hand I bit in my pocket, leaving my other arm to hang limply.

"C'mon, Rocky. We're going to be late!"

"Hey, wait up! You're the late one!"

Chapter Text

 "Welcome to the first match of the finals tournament! It's Izuku Midoriya from the hero course versus Hitoshi Shinsou from general studies. The rules are simple. Immobilize your opponent or force them out of the ring. You can also win by getting the other person to forfeit!"

The fight had just begun and as Freckles charged forward, he suddenly came to a complete stop. Tails jumped up with an angered yell, and others from our class began standing up. He suddenly turned around and began walking towards the line. Well. There goes Freckles.

It was at the last possible second that he stopped, panting heavily as he picking up a shit ton of wind and two of his fingers hang broken. It went rather quickly after that and Freckles flipped Shinsou over the shoulder and out of bands. Heh. Looks like the kid was growing on me just a tiny bit.

"Izumi, are you sure you'll be able to compete?" a voice murmured from beside me.

"I'll be fucking fine, Rocky."

He looked unsure but gave a nod. There was a bit of an intermission between the two matches and Freckles had arrived in the stands by the time Tape Dispenser and Frosty had made their appearance on the field. With a call from Midnight, the match began.

Tape Dispenser made the first move as he shot tape from his elbows. It wrapped around Frosty and he was being thrown out of bounds. But apparently, he had a trick up his sleeve. Within seconds, the massive chunk of ice had shaken the arena, near inches from hitting people in the audience with its spikes and his opponent was completely immobilized.

There was a sharp pain in my arm when I stood up, causing me to wince slightly. This earned me a concerned glance from Rocky, but my glare told him to stay quiet. It didn't matter. I would make it work. My opponent had ended up being some chick from class 1B.

"Good luck, Izumi!" Bubbles called out from a few rows ahead.

"Win this!" Rocky made a fist.

"I know you'll do great!" Freckles joined in.

"Show class 1B what we're made up," Kaminari cheered.

I turned away and walked up the stairs. There was no point in replying. They know I heard them. Even if I had been getting along with Rocky and Bubbles, it didn't mean I was going to go out of my way to be nice to them. In the end, they'd probably end up as pawns. May as well keep them around until then, right?

The hallways were longer than usual, and it hurt to feel my left arm swinging. Still, I had to stay focused. I was going to show all those damn teachers that I was a force to be reckoned with. This was only just the beginning, after all. I didn't need to win the entire festival, but I had to prove my strength. I wanted to see their fear for the next generation of villains.

I could hear the roaring of the crowd before I entered the arena. Walking into the area, it was hard to hear my own thoughts. I still couldn't shake that anxious feeling that I'd been experiencing throughout the day. I didn't like the crowds.

"Even beautiful flowers have thorns. It's the assassin from class 1B, Ibara Shiozaki from the hero course! Versus, the girl who can't be hit! Izumi from Class 1A! Begin!"

Vines shot out from her hair, and I quickly jumped to the side to dodge. I went to duck under them when she started pulling them back, but one vine whipped against my bandaged arm. Biting my lip to stop a cry of pain, I tried to ignore the burning feeling that quickly came back in full force. I was at a disadvantage here. My left arm was unusable and I didn't have anything to use my quirk with inside the ring. Although... It was worth a shot.

"Oi, Midnight? I have a question."

"Yes?"

"Can I use shit outside of the ring, as long as they aren't people?"

"Watch your language. And the rules say nothing against it."

"Switch."

I watched as Midnight's whip fell to the ground in front of me, and loud cheering erupted from around the stadium. Switching my full attention to the platform where Midnight stood, she was now holding onto my opponent's wrist. Meanwhile, Tree Girl was standing there in a few moments of complete shock as Midnight called her out of bounds.

"Izumi is the winner!"

Exiting the arena, I felt relaxed to be back in the silent hallways. If I was able to use outside objects, then it would be impossible to beat me. Although I'd chosen a close object this time, many of the audience members had large flags. If I switched an opponent up there, there's no way they'd be able to get back down.

"Shit..." I very gently placed my hand over the bandages. It was starting to become more of a problem, and the thorns in her vine had cut the bandages. The area around the tear was starting to bleed and left a red splotch on my arm just below the elbow. I'd have to find out something to cover it with.

I didn't want to go back to the stands. Everyone would ask questions about my arm. That wasn't the only reason though. I didn't want to keep feeling that anxiousness. It made me remember things that I didn't want to remember. Screecher was loud as fuck so I'd be able to keep track of what was happening.

I found the girls washroom after a while of walking and peered my head inside to make sure it was empty. Seeing that no one was in the stalls, I stopped in front of the sinks and stared into the mirror.

My bright red hair had grown out recently, just reaching past my midback. It was a bit messy after all the events of today, but I normally tended to stick out all over the place. My left eye was hidden completely behind my bangs, not that someone could see my eyes anyway behind the sunglasses.

I reached up to the glasses and pulled them down a smidge. My eyes immediately squinted at the sudden intrusion of light but my vision only went blurry. It had been improving over time. A bit longer, and I may finally be able to fucking see. It had been a long time since I was last able to see my forest green eyes.

What really pissed me off with the tiny little features decorating my upper cheeks just below my eyes and travelling over my knows. I absolutely despised my freckles. I'd gotten them from my mother. She had always been kind to me when I was little, but she had changed when my father began training me. They were a reminder of the woman who couldn't bear to look at me.

My gaze moved down to the arm I had bandaged up. I couldn't really leave it the way it was now. It only took a minute to unwrap my fingers, which revealed the red and aggravated skin beneath. My arm had taken the worst of the burn, and I almost didn't want to see it. I had tried to avoid looking at it earlier.

Starting at my thumb, I slowly and carefully started to reveal the skin beneath. The bandages were covered in red and dried blood had hardened from my shoulder down to my fingertips. Huge blisters had formed, and parts of my flesh had been completely burned off. I didn't want to look at it.

Pulling some paper towel from the dispenser, I turned on the cool water and dampened it. My eyes watered when I put the paper towel against my skin, but I had to clean it or it would get infected. I painted the paper towels red, and soon the garbage can was overflowing with them.

I should have taken off the bandage. I didn't have anything to cover the injury with now. If I hadn't though, it may have gotten infected. That would guarantee a hospital trip, and I couldn't let anyone else find out. Either way, I didn't want to go to the hospital. I didn't like it there.

"Damn it," I whispered to myself, staring at my useless arm.

Pulling the injured limb to my chest, I exited the bathroom. I needed to find something to use as a bandage and quickly. If I went out to my next match looking like this, everyone would see. They may even disqualify me. I rapidly moved through the hallways, having an idea of where I could get something.

Recovery Girl had put a sign up above her temporary setup. Peering in through the door, she wasn't in the room. I'd have to move extremely fast. She may be back any second now. I was in the room in an instant, rapidly searching through her medical supplies.

"Come on... where are they?"

When the bottom drawer opened, I grabbed the entire roll of bandages. I didn't have time to cut a piece off. Not bothering to close the drawer, I sprinted out of the room. Just as I turned the corner, I could hear her voice from behind me. Making sure my arm was hidden from her, I didn't look back.

It was difficult to wrap the bandages myself. I'd never done anything like it before, and I was rushing to finish before anyone found me. I'd have to get Rocky to show me how. Snipe didn't pay enough attention to me to notice, as long as I kept it wrapped and didn't say anything.

He always locked me inside that room in darkness. The only time I was ever aloud out was to use the washroom or to shower, or when I had to go to school. He'd open the door and throw some food in every night, although it was usually just 'instant' shit, as he'd called it. I didn't really know what the fuck that meant.

"There," I mumbled under my breath, starting towards Class 1A's preparation room. When we'd first arrived this morning, we were taken there and told we could put our stuff down. I could throw the bandages in my backpack and use them later.

It didn't take long to get there, and the room was empty when I entered. My bag was at the very back of the room in the corner, away from the pile of everyone else's shit. I used my good arm to undo the zipper, struggling a bit, and shoved the bandage inside before closing it again.

There wasn't really much point going back to the stands at this point. I'd been listening carefully to the announcements, and understood the first match of the next round was about to begin between Frosty and Freckles. I didn't really care about seeing the other matches, and mine would be coming soon enough.

I entered preparation room 1 and sat down at the table in silence. I'd be up against Nerd Armor. He knew my weakness from the cavalry battle, and would likely try to outmatch me with speed. My ability was instantaneous, however. As long as I switched him the moment the match started, I would win. Even if he tried to use that ultimate move he revealed in the cavalry battle, I had a plan.

My stomach let out a loud growl, causing me to glance down. I hadn't eaten lunch because of my run-in with Endeavor. I was going to kill that motherfucking bastard one day. He wouldn't be able to beat me. When I was more skilled at using my quirk, he wouldn't be able to put a scratch on me. I would be unhittable.

"Father... Big Brother... I hope you're watching."

I stood up as Frosty's name was announced the winner, and my arm stung from the sudden movement. I forced myself to ignore it. I wouldn't let anyone see my weakness. Even with only my right arm, I was going to defeat Nerd Armor. He pissed me off from the beginning, even if I had voted for him to be class rep. He knew what he was doing at least but was annoying as fuck.

"What's the matter? Not going to tell me to get lost?"

Turning around the corner, I could see the familiar flames emitting from different parts of his body. My mind screamed at me to run, and the pain from my arm multiplied. I couldn't move. My legs felt frozen as if Frosty had immobilized me with his ice.

"You need to learn to control your left side. It's dangerous to release so much energy like that. But I'm glad you're finally seeing reason. Now that you've abandoned your childish rebellion, we can get back to what's important. After you graduate, you'll work by my side. I'll lead you down the path of the mighty, Shoto."

Looking past him, I could see Frosty standing just inside the hall. Half of his uniform was missing, and based on Endeavor's words I guessed it had been burnt off. Frosty's abs were well-defined. A bit uncomfortable after the pro's threats, I looked down at my feet.

"I haven't abandoned anything," Halfie lifted his hand up in front of his face. "You're a fool to think my feelings could be so easily reversed. Instead, out there, for that one moment, I forgot all about you. Whether that's good or bad, whether it's the right thing to do, I don't know. Maybe I don't need you."

Frosty walked around his father as he spoke, but came to a halt upon seeing me standing there. Endeavor glanced behind him, eyes narrowing at the sight of me as he fully turned his body to face me. I could feel my legs begin to shake beneath me. Why the fuck was my heart beating so fast? Why did I feel like I was going to cry?

"I'm sorry you had to see that," Frosty apologized.

"It's—" my words cut off when Endeavor took a step closer to me. I looked away immediately and shut my mouth. Instincts I'd developed back with my father were all rushing back. Stand still, don't make eye contact and shut the fuck up. Never show weakness.

"Izumi, you have some time, don't you? I'd like to talk to you about that quirk of yours."

"My match is up next," I answered in an instant. "I shouldn't keep them waiting."

"There's a couple minute break between each match," he narrowed his eyes. "It shouldn't be a problem."

"Yeah..."

Frosty nodded in my direction and turned down the hallway. I wanted to cry and scream after him. I wanted to beg him to not leave. I would rather be locked in a dark room for the rest of my life than be alone with this man again. I couldn't say anything. I couldn't make a sound.

There was excruciating pain in my arm as fingers wrapped tightly around the bandages. I immediately bit into my other arm as a hope to distract myself. The behind me only chuckled as his grip tightened. He was going to pop some of the blisters or make it start bleeding again. I'd already lost quite a bit of blood from this injury. Any more, and I could risk passing out.

"I did what you said," I whimpered, hating the shakiness of my voice. "I-I didn't... I didn't..."

"What the... "

Endeavor immediately released my arm and I took several large steps back, clutching it against my chest. Frosty had reappeared and was standing by the corner, looking between myself and his father in shock.

"What did you do?" he growled at the pro.

"Izumi and I were just having a little talk. Isn't that right?"

"Yes..."

"I don't believe you," Frosty replied. "It didn't sound like talking when I waited around the corner."

"Don't get yourself involved with this girl, Shoto. She'd bad news. Go back to the stands. "

"I'm not going any—"

"—we're not friends, Frosty."

He paused in his speech and glanced over to me, surprised by my reaction. It didn't matter what he did now. If he stood up for me then I have no doubt that Endeavor will be angry. If Frosty pissed him off right now, it would be biting my ass in the future. Besides, we weren't friends. That part wasn't a lie. I didn't have friends. Well, maybe one friend. Possibly two. Either way, our mutual hatred for Endeavor wouldn't change anything between us.

"We're not friends," I repeated. "Stay out of my business."

Using this as my chance to escape, I turned around and speed-walked into the arena about a minute after they announced my match. Nerd Armor was already on the field waiting for me. There was a cheer when I finally stepped foot into the marked area, and Midnight called the beginning of the match.

"Recipro..."

He was planning to end it quickly. I rapidly turned to face away from him, although kept my eyes focused on him.

"BURST!"

"Switch!"

He'd lurched forward from where I was standing but managed to turn his legs just before he went out of bounds. Circling around, he was now moving straight for me. I immediately jumped to the side, barely having any time to react. But that meant he wouldn't have enough time to react either.

Nerd Armor slammed into my injured arm as he zoomed past and I choked out a sob as my hand reached to steady it. I could feel it getting worse, and Endeavor's confrontation in the hallway had aggravated the burn quite a lot before I entered the arena. I couldn't risk him hitting it again, but I had a few more seconds before I'd be able to switch.

Engines stalled, he charged at me as quickly as he could without them. Nerd Armor swung a punch, but I managed to duck under it before it connected and swipe out my leg. Thrown off balance, he tumbled backward and reached out to grab me.

Although I could have possibly landed another hit, I forced myself to jump back. I had to keep my distance and find something to switch him with. If this turned into a close combat fight, I wouldn't have time to get in the right position to switch where I could see both things. Plus, I wouldn't be able to beat him with only one arm.

He didn't let me and lunged himself forward with a kick. I rapidly twisted out of the way, curling up my right fist and slamming it into his cheek. He stumbled back but didn't give me any time to breathe. He knew that if he gave me longer than a few seconds, I'd easily be able to get him out of bounds.

I'd be able to use that to my advantage. I slowly moved backwards with each attack he made, getting closer to the line as he attempted to land each hit. I wouldn't be able to flip him over my shoulder like I normally did with people, and I couldn't risk letting him land a hit with my arm.

He ran at me again, engines finally kicking back in. Waiting for the last possible moment, I sidestepped him and Nerd Armor came skidding to a stop. I'd left no space between myself and the out of bounds. He stumbled slightly in order to regain his balance which gave me two seconds to put some distance between us.

My eyes scanned the crowd, finding a giant red flag towards the top of the stands. Focusing my quirk, and keeping both of them within my sights, I watched Nerd Armor be replaced with a red piece of cloth on a stick.

Screecher was asking where Nerd Armor was over the speaker, and the crowd began looking around to find where he'd ended up. Those around where the flag had been started cheering, and I quickly started moving out of the arena. I didn't want to stay there longer than I had to.

"You're not a bad fighter, villain."

I tightly clenched my uninjured fist, "Haven't you already tormented me enough today?"

"You're going to lose the next match," Endeavor ordered.

"Why should I?" I whispered to him.

"You know why," he chuckled darkly and I flinched. "I'll drag you back to that dark prison if I have to."

"I-I won't!"

He raised an arm in my direction, and my body automatically flinched back, "You will!"

"I will..."

Chapter Text

"It's the first match of the semi-finals! From the hero course, Shoto Todoroki versus his classmate, Izumi! Start!"

Ice rapidly shot around the entire perimeter of the field and rose up to the sky, blocking my vision of the stands and the crowd's vision of us. Even Midnight, who was supposed to call the match, had been blocked out. So that had been his plan. He wanted to prevent me from switching him into the stands as I had with Nerd Armor.

The ice had shot right around the lines of the field, meaning neither one of us could be knocked out of bounds. It appeared he even thought about if a chunk of ice was kicked over the lines. This wasn't a match to push each other out of a ring. It was a match to determine who had a more powerful quirk.

The ice spiked up from the ground in a straight line, although I jumped to the side before it could reach me. Agility had always been one of my strengths, and I spent many years training with my father. My quirk allowed me to avoid being hit, but I wouldn't be able to rely on it every time. I had to perfect my physical body to be able to dodge on its own as well.

"What did my father do before your match with Iida?" Frosty sent another line of ice in my direction.

"We were catching up," I jumped out of the way.

He narrowed his eyes as the ice circled around from behind, "There's more to it than that."

"No there isn't," I just barely sidestepped his attack.

The group itself had frozen, and large spikes of ice had grown all over the field. He had definitely taken the advantage in this fight, although it didn't particularly matter. I couldn't win. I had to lose. If I did, then maybe he would leave me alone.

"You're lying," I almost slipped trying to avoid the spikes that came flying out of the earth.

"You weren't there," I growled at him. "You don't know shit!"

"Then why aren't you using your quirk? Why haven't you gone on the offensive? Why are you just standing there and dodging?"

"I'm coming up with a plan," I replied.

"I know that's not true. That bastard said something, didn't he?"

Seeing a chunk of ice by Frosty's feet, I switched myself to a new location. He stumbled back as my right fist connected with his cheek. I didn't let him escape. Slamming my left foot into his stomach, Frosty hunched forward as he was knocked onto his back.

I quickly moved back and angled my injured arm away from him, "The only thing he told me was to not go easy on you."

That was the moment I felt the ice travelling up my leg and around my waist. Within seconds it had reached my neck. I was unable to move. Something about it caused a shiver down my spine. I felt constricted. My instincts were telling me to get out and I did. Frosty became stuck in his own ice prison.

"Shoto Todoroki is immobilized! Izumi is the winner!"

My body tensed up at the announcement. Looking up, a camera had been peering down at us from above. Shit. This wasn't supposed to happen. Damn it. Why can't I stop shaking? I was supposed to lose. Why did I win? Why did I switch with him? I should have stayed put.

The area began to heat up suddenly, and the ice began to melt away. My arm started stinging from the sudden rise in temperature. A hole was made in the ice and I ducked out of the field as it was announced that the finals would be between myself and Bakugou.

My arm was getting worse as time passed, and with Bakugou's explosions, it would get fucked up really badly. Plus, who knows what Endeavor was going to do to me before my next match? He was going to be angry. I didn't like it when my father got angry. Would Endeavor do the same? I didn't want to remember the pain I had felt.

"Midnight," I whispered to the pro hero on the platform. "I forfeit the finals."

Midnight's eyes widened and she opened her mouth to protest. I didn't bother to listen and headed straight out of the arena in into the hallways. I didn't say anything to the flaming hero. It would make him angrier.

Pain shot through my arm when Endeavor grabbed it but I didn't fight back. What was the point? I wasn't strong enough to beat him. Fighting back would only make it worse for me in the end. Maybe Endeavor would go easy on me. He couldn't leave too many noticeable scars or someone would notice.

No. It wouldn't matter. He could burn my entire body to a crisp and nobody would give a shit. Enough of the heroes at UA had already shown they couldn't care less about what happened to me. Snipe pretended I didn't exist most of the time, and the other three didn't seem to care that they'd starved me until I passed out.

"Villains start fights with heroes all the time," he shoved me inside one of the preparation rooms, which would now be empty as there were no more matches. "Sometimes villains die in the fights. It's unavoidable. The heroes are never held responsible."

The flames circled around me, and I could feel my body overheating. He didn't let the flames touch me, but it didn't stop my skin from scorching. The bandages burned off my arm and the hero looked at his previous work with a twisted grin.

"They should never have allowed you to participate in the sports festival. You're not going to become a hero, so what's the point? Your presence at UA is dangerous to all the students and faculty members. I'm sure you were the one who told the League of Villains about the USJ. They did hold you hostage for a bit, after all. Enough time for that bastard Shigaraki to inform you of their next plans."

The flames grew hotter as he grew angrier. I kept my mouth sealed shut. Anything I said would make it worse. Father hated it when I spoke back to him. Everything would be okay. Sometimes father got angry and this calmed him down. Everything would be fine. I just had to suck it up and deal with it.

"Where are your tears from the last time?" he taunted, and the fire surrounded my right foot.

Don't speak. Don't cry. Don't show any weakness. Weakness makes father angry. He'll try to trick me into crying with his mind games but then he gets angrier. Don't listen. Just stand there and take it. Show him how strong you are and then never tell a soul. Father told me I was not allowed to tell another person about our training. Not ever. Never.

Something slammed into my stomach, knocking the breath out of me. He muttered something about what I had done to Shoto. I kicked him during our fight. Just like that. I tried to zone myself out and focus on something other than the pain I was feeling. I don't know when Endeavor left. I was too out of it to notice.

'You useless brat!' the words echoed through my mind as I swear I could feel a fist connect with my cheek. I could see the silhouette of my father growing closer and my resolve fell into nothing. I was crying within an instant, trying to drag my broken body away from him. He was angry because I was weak.

There was a sudden explosion of pain in my head, and the world around me grew fuzzy. Before I could even understand what was happening, everything went to black. My sleep was anything but peaceful. Visions of my father filled my dreams.

When I came to, my entire body was throbbing. I was laying on the cold floor in the preparation room right against the wall. My head was pounding and my muscles screamed with every movement. For an instant, I felt like I wanted to die. I pushed the thought away before I realized I'd had it.

Forcing myself to my feet, my legs trembled under my weight. I was exhausted. I wanted to lay back down on the floor and sleep. It took me a solid minute to get a proper grip on the doorknob before I could open it.

Stumbling out into the hall, I could hear the echoes of voices getting closer. I didn't want anyone to see me like this. They couldn't see me. They'd ask questions. He'd be angry with me if they found out. Anger leads to training. I didn't like training with my father. I didn't like training with Endeavor.

"Oh my god, Izumi!"

"She looks so beat up..."

"I'm going to go get Recovery Girl! I'll be back as quickly as I can."

Something touched my should and I flinched back. I didn't want to do more training. I already did my training. No more. No more! I flailed out against the touch to throw it away. Unable to see clearly, I sprinted straight past the blurry figures in front of me.

There was muted noise from behind me, but I couldn't hear the words. I didn't want to hear the words. My mind was repeating my father's words of encouragement. His promises that this special training would make me stronger. His reasons as to why I deserved it.

I could see him watching me around every corner with his twisted grin. I could hear his laughter echoing off the walls endlessly. I could feel the ghost of his touch against my skin when he aimed hit after hit at my six-year-old body.

"Go away!" I swatted at him but my hand went right through him.

It isn't real. It isn't real. But no matter how many times I told myself it was fake I couldn't get the memories out of my head. The footsteps from behind me grew closer and louder. He was chasing me. If he caught me then I would have to train with him again. I don't want to train anymore. It hurts. I already hurt.

I don't understand what I'm feeling. My entire body is trembling. My mind is screaming at me to run away. I feel like I'm going to start sobbing. There's a shiver going up my spine. I don't want to be alone. I want someone to make me feel safe like my mother used to.

No one is safe here. They all hate me. I'm a villain. Heroes fight villains. Heroes defeat villains. Sometimes villains die in the process. I don't want to die. Do I? No. I have a mission. I have to complete my mission or father will take me back home. I... I don't want to go home. I don't want to go back into that dark room.

Safe. One person is safe. One person helped me. He is safe. He wouldn't hurt me. My mother used to be safe. She's not safe anymore. Maybe he's the same. Maybe he isn't safe anymore. No one is safe. What if he is safe? He hasn't shown me that he isn't. I need to find him. I need someone safe.

"K-Kiri...shima..."

Maybe he will help me. He helped me before. But I don't need help. I can't tell anyone. I have to keep it a secret. But I have to tell him. If I don't, then he'll tell. If he tells then he'll get angry again. He'll come back for me. I have to tell him. I need to tell him. I have to find him.

My entire body exploded with pain all of a sudden. I was on the floor. I wasn't on the floor before. Did I lay down? It's cold. I don't like the floor. I have to get up. My legs can't move. I have to get up. I have to get up. I have to get up. My legs won't move. I need up! I need up!

Something's touching me. Get off! Get off! They won't let go. He caught up to me when I fell. Someone is screaming. It's loud. It hurts my ears. My throat is hurting. My arms are hurting. My legs are hurting. My head is hurting. Everything is hurting. I hurt. I don't want to hurt anymore.

Get off the floor. Get off the floor. Stand up. Run. Run far away and don't look back. My legs are shaking. I can barely stay standing. I have to run. Don't stop running. Don't stop running. Don't stop running. Don't stop running. Don't look back. If I trip then he'll catch up again.

I don't know where I am anymore. I have to find him. He's safe. I need someone safe. I need someone safe. I can't find him. I don't know where he is. I don't know where to look. What if he doesn't want me around? What if he pushes me away and laughs? What if he wants to train with me too? I don't want to train anymore. I don't want to train. I don't want to. I don't want to!

"Hey, Izumi. It's me. I'm Rocky, remember? I'm Kirishima. No one's going to hurt you. You're safe."

I could feel myself falling but I didn't hit the floor. Something caught me. Someone was touching me. I hurt. I don't want anyone to touch me. I don't want to train. I don't want to train. Let me go. Let me go! Get off! They won't let go. They won't let go.

"It's just me. It's just Kirishima. Everything is okay. I'm going to protect you, okay? No one's going to hurt you again."

It was warm. For a brief second my pain completely disappeared. I felt safe. He is safe. Kirishima is safe. I found him. Now I'm safe. He'll keep me safe. He won't hurt me. Will he? What if he did? He won't. What if he does? He won't. He will? He won't. I'm safe. He said I'm safe. Everything is fine. He said everything is fine. Everything is fine. I'm safe.

I wasn't touching the floor anymore. Someone's arms are around me. Someone's carrying me. No. Not someone. He's carrying me. He is safe. He won't hurt me. He is safe. He is safe. Kirishima is safe. I am safe.

Kirishima is warm. I like the warmth. I was always cold. My home was cold. It was always cold. My mother and I would cuddle under a blanket by the fireplace. It was always warm. I was always safe. Nothing bad ever happened when I was warm. Kirishima is warm. He is safe. He is warm. Warm means safe. He is safe. He is safe. Warm is safe. Kirishima is safe. I am safe.

"K-Ki-Kiri-Ki..."

"No need to worry. I'm not going anywhere. We're friends, right?"

"F-friends.."

"Yeah! That's right!"

"I'm safe," I whispered.

"You're safe," he repeated.

"Warm," I nuzzled into the warmth. "Warm is safe."

"Uh... Yeah! Warm is safe."

I'm tired. I'm really tired. I want to sleep. I hurt. I'm warm. I'm safe. I'm tired. I can't sleep. It's not safe. It is safe. I 'm tired. I'm going to sleep. I want to sleep. I'm tired. My body doesn't want to move anymore. My mind is too tired to think. I want to sleep. I'm... tired...

Chapter Text

My head was throbbing, and my entire body was weighing me down. Why am I so tired? What's that strange beeping noise? It's really bright. I can't move my left arm. My right arm and my legs are sore. What happened? I can't remember.

I was supposed to fight against Todoroki in the semi-finals and lose. I won. I won! Endeavor would be angry with me. He had been angry with me. He pulled me into that dark room. He yelled at me. I didn't fight back. I couldn't fight back.

I choked back a sob as the memories came flashing back and I tightly squeezed my eyes shut. I don't want to remember. I don't like training with Endeavor. I don't like training with my father. I can't go back. I can't go back. I can't go back.

A gentle voice whispered to me, "Settle down, dear. It's just you and I in here."

I shakily reached my hand up to my face to make sure my sunglasses were on properly. After being sure they were there, I slowly opened my eyes. Recovery Girl sat next to the bed I was in on a high stool. I was in her temporary nurse's office.

"What happened to you, child? Who did this to you?"

"N-no one important!" I stuttered out within seconds. "I-It was my fault. I picked a fight."

"This wasn't a common fight," she retorted. "You were purposely attacked. You have a lot of enemies because of who you are and we both know it. We can't do much if you don't tell us who it was."

"I can't tell you," I whimpered out. Father always threatened me to keep my mouth shut. He said if anything were ever to happen that I was never to tell a soul about our special training sessions. Endeavor would be angry and so would my father. I have to keep it a secret.

There was a quiet knocking against the door just before it opened. Nezu entered with his typical smile and Aizawa followed close behind. Recovery Girl had immediately approached them, and the three had a quiet conversation amongst themselves.

Recovery Girl and Nezu left the room after a few minutes, still whispering away. Aizawa had stayed and came over to sit down on the bed. He was still covered in bandages from the USJ attack and only his reddened eyes were uncovered.

"Your arm was injured at some point between your matches," he spoke quietly. "Was it the same person?"

"I don't know what you're talking about," I pulled the arm close to my chest.

"I'll take that as a yes. No one is allowed to do this to you. If you tell us who it was we can make sure it doesn't happen again."

"Don't make me laugh," I spat. "You don't give a damn about me. You're doing your job so you don't get fucking fired. If you weren't required to care, you would be anywhere but here. I'm nothing but some dangerous villain to you. I'm not telling you shit."

"Your presence endangers every other student here. It's not rational. One day the police will learn. Until then, it's my job to pretend to care. I'm sure we can both deal with that."

He left the room without another word. He always tried to protect his students. That was one of the reasons that Aizawa was a true hero. He never rested unless he knew for a fact that everyone was safe. He was like the heroes my mother had told me about. A true hero did exist but... he hated me.

Looking around the room, I noticed a familiar duo of suitcases in the corner. I hadn't remembered until now. It was time to switch houses again. Who knows what UA faculty member I'd be living with this time. I was tired of carrying my shit back and forth between houses.

The guardian was either openly hostile, or they'd pretend to be my friend for the duration. Either way, they still looked at me with those same untrusting eyes. As soon as I moved on to a different house it was like I didn't exist. I wasn't their problem anymore.

"Sorry to keep you waiting. Recovery Girl said you're all good to go home!"

Glancing towards the door, I wanted to die. You've got to be fucking kidding me. No. What the fuck? Why me? He can't even pick up my fucking bags! He had to get Aizawa to come back in and do it for him since they were bigger than he was. He was a rodent. I was going to live with a fucking rodent.

The stinging in my arms grew more irritating by the second as I forced myself to my feet. Was there even a point in all this back and forth anymore? I was a lost cause and the pro heroes knew it. Why wouldn't UA give up on me already and put me out of my misery? I was a villain. A villain with a job. I had to gather information on the faculty and students of UA and report back to the League of Villains. I wouldn't fail them.

"It's me, the soft and adorable principle!" he waved with a cheerful smile that made me want to throw up.

Every movement drained the energy from my mind and body. I didn't like being at UA. The teachers were kind to my face. They didn't seem to realize that I noticed their untrusting glares and their annoyed expressions directed to me. I was tired of packing up all my shit and moving from house to house with people who didn't give a damn about me.

A part of me missed my old home. I couldn't explain the jumbled emotions that surrounded it. My mind screamed at me to run away and to never look back, but it also lured me back with whispered promises of my mother's love. No. My mother didn't love me. She was corrupted by our society. My father said she couldn't be trusted. No one can be trusted.

"Are you ready to—"

"—Take me home—" I ordered.

"—go to my house?"

"Take me home," I repeated. "My real home."

Nezu looked up at me with a frown and a softer expression graced his features. His pity-filled glanced only aggravated me further and  I whipped around with a swing of my fist. Pain seared across my knuckles and there was a shout from Recovery Girl. A loud clump rang across the room as something hit the floor and before I could punch the wall again, I found myself restrained.

Struggling to break free against Aizawa's scarf, I stumbled to the ground with a pained grimace. Although Recovery Girl had helped fix me up, she could only do so much today. She planned to heal the rest of my injuries later, whilst I begged for them to put me out of my misery. I wanted to run away. I needed to find my father. I don't know what to do anymore.

He'll be angry if I don't complete the mission that he gave me through Nii-san. I can't go back empty-handed. If I don't complete my missions correctly, then he will make me train even harder. I can't take any more training. I can't handle this anymore. I can't do this. I can't. I can't.

"We can't send you back there," Recovery Girl explained gently. "It is no place fit for a child to grow up."

"Neither is whatever the fuck you're doing. Just leave me alone! You tell me that I am not my father and that I am pardoned from his crimes. If that's true, why am I shackled up in quirk-cancelling cuffs? If that's true, why do you all send me dirty looks and untrustful glares when you think I'm not looking. If that's true, then why do I have to worry about being beaten down by pro heroes because I'm a villain's kid? Just go away! I hate you all! I hate UA!"

The room was filled with a deadly silence after my outburst that no one dared to break as Aizawa picked up the suitcases he dropped and began carrying them outside. Recovery Girl packed a few medications into a bag which she passed to Nezu, whilst the principal was reading over various instructions of what he'd need to do for my recovery.

It didn't take long for until he was finally ready to leave, and Nezu led Aizawa and me to his car. My teacher carelessly through my bags in the trunk and I climbed into the passenger seat with a scowl as Nezu got behind the wheel. He sat in a special high chair and had elevated pedals so he'd actually be able to reach.

"I'm sure we'll have all kinds of fun together," Nezu started the engine. "After all, I'm the loveable principal!"

"If you say any more stupid shit before I get out of the car, then I will fucking punch you."

"Now, Now, no need to be violent. I'm sure everything will be fine."

"Shut the fuck up."

Nezu had looked at me wide-eyed for a few seconds before turning his head to face the road. Seeming to realize that scolding me wasn't going to do shit, he gave up on making small talk and pulled out of the UA parking lot. It was quite late in the evening by the time we'd left since I'd been knocked the fuck out for a couple hours and the teachers were cleaning up after the festival.

Nezu, unlike the other teachers, didn't actually live in a home. Although thinking about it, it made a lot of sense. He was quite small and there was only one of him. He parked in an underground garage for his apartment building and called the front desk to ask for assistance with my bags.

A staff member had met us down there with a disgustingly perfect smile and carefully brought my bags into the lobby. They didn't normally act as bellhops, but with my injuries and Nezu's size, they made an exception. She made quiet conversation with the rodent on the elevator ride. My name had been mentioned at one point by the woman, but she finally clued in that I wasn't going to answer her and stopped trying.

She was even kind enough to unlock Nezu's apartment for him since he had difficulty reaching the lock. Placing my bags inside the door, she wished the two of us a nice evening and disappeared into the hallway. It was a relief to see her go. Her voice had been annoyingly cheerful.

"This is the living room," Nezu introduced. "I only have a one-bedroom apartment so I set up an air mattress for you in the corner over there. You can eat whatever you want in the fridge, and feel free to watch TV. Just remember, the police ordered you have no internet access. If you want to go out somewhere, just let me know and we can arrange something!"

He pointed out the other rooms as well but didn't really feel the need to give me a tour since I could see all the doors. The kitchen was merged with the living room and had a small kitchen table in the middle, and an appropriate-size chair. There was another chair on the opposite side that appeared more human-sized.

Nezu's bedroom was on the right side of the room, although the door was closed so I couldn't peek inside. On the left side, was a bright-coloured bathroom. I could also see a washing machine inside, meaning the two definitely shared a space. There were only three rooms in the apartment, including the one they were in, so unlike the other heroes' home, I wouldn't get much time to myself.

I dragged my bags to the corner of the room, wincing at the pain that came with it. Too tired to bother unpacking to find my pyjamas, I pulled the blankets back and climbed onto the air mattress. It was very comfortable and warm, unlike the hardwood floor at Snape's home.

The blinds had been pulled shut, and the lights dimmed, but I found my eyes were becoming much more accustomed to bright lights. I should mention it to the damned rodent, and then maybe I'd finally be able to fucking see without my damn sunglasses.

Pulling the shades off my face, I carefully folded them and set them next to the air mattress. With a small squint, my eyes didn't take too long to adjust to the new brightness levels. They'd gotten much better than since I'd first been brought into the outside. If I went back home, would my vision go dark again? Would I ever see the outside again?

"Sleep well, Izumi."

"Whatever, Rodent," my words blurred together as my head rested on the soft pillow.

Finally able to relax into a peaceful moment, I let the will to sleep pull me down a gentle river of dreams.

 

Chapter Text

Inky, black, shadows cast over the murky room and candles glowed golden from the flickering fire atop their wicks, shedding a dim light across the house. Monsters lurked in the darkness as they waited to jump their victims and break their spirits down bit by bit.

The floor was ice against my bare feet and floorboards creaked with every step I dared to take as a constant reminder to the monsters of my location. I could hear its whispers from where I stood, begging me to step out and submit myself to them.

I sprinted away from the sounds and down a long hallway. The home, my childhood home, wasn't the same as it had once been. The hallway was far longer than I remembered, with plenty of twists and turns. I didn't recognize the paintings and the doors from within, but after having walked for many minutes, I found myself back in the living room.

"Izumi," the low, raspy, sound whispered from the darkness.

"Who's there?" my normal deeper voice was replaced with a shaky squeak.

"Izumi," the growl of my name echoed throughout the hallways, haunting my every thought.

The floorboards protested loudly as I shifted towards the kitchen, letting out screeching groans with every weighted step. The closer I got to my destination, the louder everything became. I came to a complete stop and placed my hand on the kitchen door.

There was a screech from the door as I slowly nudged it open, and I cautiously moved inside. The kitchen table was covered in dirty dishes that couldn't fit in the overflowing sink. The cupboards were falling off the hinges, yet still swung open and closed on their own. The fridge, which sat in the corner of the room, was old and dirty. The door didn't close properly so it didn't keep all the food cold.

"Welcome home, darling."

My mother was as beautiful as the last time I saw her as she sat at the table, which had suddenly been completely cleared of the mess. She was drinking green tea like every other regular morning. Mother said it relaxed her. She'd offered me a sip once, but I'd been disgusted after one taste and chose to never try it again.

"Mother, I miss you."

"I know," her hand was freezing to the touch as her fingers gently ran across my cheek, "but we're together now."

She pulled me into a gentle hug, and my body tensed at the affection. It had been a long time since my mother last hugged me. It had been a long time since I received a genuine hug from someone who cared about me. The feeling had become strange as time went on. I couldn't explain the trembling of my limbs.

"Your mother doesn't love you," the raspier voice from earlier whispered directly into my ear. "I am the only one who cares about you, Izumi. No one else matters."

The voice sent shivers down my spine as the gentle embrace of my mother turned tight and strangling. Despite my pushing and struggling, the grasp grew stronger for each passing second. I couldn't explain the feeling that I experienced while receiving a hug such as that, or I was trembling so harshly.

"You will become the leader of the next era of villains," the arms finally loosened from around me as the figure pulled away and I knew this man well enough to realize that, had it not been for his mask, a devious smirk would make it home on his features.

"It's time for your training," my father glanced down at me, a flash of insanity in his eyes.

My feet wouldn't move. Glancing down, a heavy sheet of ice held them in place. All for One's maniacal laughed echoed my home and my hands rapidly went to cover my ears from the noise. His footsteps grew louder with each step he took, and soon enough came to a stop in front of me.

"Pain is the only way to truly learn," drawled into the depths of my ear.

I shot out of the air mattress, nervously glancing around as I tied to figure out where was. It only took a minute to recognize Nezu's living room and the fire to keep everyone warm. His door was closed, which meant he was likely still asleep. It's not like it mattered. I wouldn't tell anyone about my dreams.

My heart raced, and I found myself short of breath. The constant pounding threatened my heart would burst from my chest. I didn't understand these emotions. Why did my chest hurt? Why did my body feel shaky? What was the strange and uncomfortable tingling in my spine?

I pulled my backpack onto the air mattress beside me and pulled the zipper down. I hadn't really bothered to unpack my things since I only stayed somewhere for a few days before moving on. It didn't make sense. Plus, I didn't want to spend all summer just packing and then re-packing.

I threw my clothes on the ground with a sigh and dug through the bottom of my bag. It wasn't here. I didn't have it. I must have left it at Snape's house. My hand flung to my chest, which suddenly felt very constricted. It hurts. My chest hurts. It hurts to breathe. I-I can't...

I lost it. I lost it. I need it. It's the only thing I have left. It's all I have left of her. It's the only thing the heroes let me bring from my childhood home. They made me leave everything behind. I only brought one thing. I could only bring it. I want it. I need it. I need it back.

It was back in the dark room. I was afraid of the dark room. I can't go back there. I can't go back. I left mother alone in the dark room. She's all alone. Mother hated our home because it was dark and scary. I knew this. I knew this and I still left her there. I needed it back.

Scrambling to my feet, I pushed the covers off of me. I needed it back. I need to find it. I had to go get it. Still wearing my pyjamas, I rushed to the door and pulled on a coat. It was cold at night. I didn't like the cold. The cold gave me too many memories. When I was warm, I was safe.

The clock by the door read 4:27am as I pulled my shoes on and tied the laces. There was no time to waste. I needed it. I needed to go and find my mother. It was all I had left of her. It was all I had left of my childhood. I needed to find it before Snape did something to her.

The door was locked when I jiggled the knob, and I quickly paced back and forth with a tingly feeling rising in my body. I needed out. I had to get out. The apartment had a balcony. I could go out there. It was connected to a fire escape that I could use to climb down. I needed to find my mother.

Pulling at the sliding glass door, it wouldn't budge. All of the doors were locked. It was just like my home underground. I would be locked inside my room for hours at a time and never be able to escape. The heroes always locked me up. They locked away my quirk, they locked me inside their homes, they locked me inside their damned school. I needed out. I needed out. I need out! Ignoring the pain in my arms, I yanked a plug out of the wall.

There was a high-pitched shatter as the blender smashed through the glass and landed out on the balcony. The moment I stepped outside, a loud alarm began going off from within Nezu's apartment and the bracelets around my arms began to beep loudly.

"Izumi!"

Ignoring Nezu's call I burst through the hole in the door, wincing as the glass scraped down my arms. I needed to get out. I needed to find my mother. I want to go home. I need to find the picture. I need the picture. I need my mother. I want my real mother. I want her back. I want my mom.

My feet hit the pavement and I was soon sprinting down the sidewalk during the middle of the night. I don't know where I am. I don't know where my mother is. I need my mother back. I want us to sit together by the fireplace and wrap ourselves in blankets. I want her to hold me again like she did when I was little. I need her to hold me and tell me I'm okay like she did after training sessions with my father.

Turning around a random corner, I wrapped my arms around my shivering body. It was cold. I didn't like the cold. The cold brought back memories that I wanted to forget. I didn't like the cold. Go away. Go away. I'm cold. Help me. I'm cold. It's too cold. I'm cold. I want my mother. I want my mom. Why did she leave me?

I ducked into an alley and my back slammed against the brick wall. I slowly lowered myself down to the concrete, burying my head in my lap. The violent trembling grew worse from the temperature and a severe feeling of discomfort. What was this emotion that I could never explain? I always felt it when I was around my father or when I remembered him.

I reached up to wipe the tears away from my eyes, but I couldn't hold them back. I choked out a sob and I tried to ignore the police car sirens as my outer walls shattered. My sobbing grew louder as the tires skidded to a stop and I could hear doors being slammed shut as they got out of their cars.

"Put your hands above your head! We've got you surrounded. If you try to run, we have weapons and are not afraid to shoot."

My arms couldn't move. I only pulled my legs closer to my body as I tried to will away the shaking. My teeth chattered and I clutched my body tighter together in desperation for warmth. It was too cold. It was way too cold. I'm cold. I don't like the cold. I want to be warm. I want my mom.

"Izumi," a tired voice grumbled from right in front of me. "You need to listen to the police. You're already in enough trouble as it is. Do what they say."

"I-I want my mom," my voice was only a squeaky whimper.  "I-It's so c-cold."

"Why did you run off?"

"I-I left the picture of my mom a-at Snape's house. I-I want... I need my mom."

"Your mother left you," came the harsh reply. "She doesn't love you. She told us she never wanted to see you again."

The words didn't come as a surprise to me. I'd heard them before. My mother had screamed them to me at the top of her lungs when the heroes brought us up from our underground home. I knew this. Why did it hurt so much? Why did I suddenly feel so much pain picking up in my chest when I had only been reminded of what I already knew.

"I-I miss her," I sobbed to the man in front of me, whom I still didn't know the identity of.

"I know," he whispered back, and a pair of arms wrapped around me. The man was very warm as he pulled me into his chest, and I let myself relax into his embrace. He was warm. He made me feel safe. Was a father's affection supposed to feel like this? It was nothing like the coldness given to me like my birth father. It was more like the warmth that was given to me by my mother.

He pulled away from the embrace, and I kept my head up. I flinched upon seeing the man's face, as Aizawa stared at me with a harsh glare. He looked angry and brushed himself off. The man stood up, taking several steps away from me as the police moved forward.

Of course, it was him. Aizawa was a true hero so it made sense that he would be the one to save me. He knew when I had been hurt in the sports festival, and he knew how to help me calm down from my panic attack. The hug he had just given me reminded me so heavily of life with my mother. Aizawa made me feel so much safer than any of the other teachers at UA. It was just my luck that he happened to hate me.

"S-stop!" I cried out in a panic as the police grabbed me. "L-let go! Get off of me! Stop! S-Stop!"

I flailed against their grip randomly, trying to pull away at a handcuff snapped around my risk. No. No! I can't... I can't! Please help me. Someone help me. I can't do this. I don't understand my feelings. My heart is pounding. My body is shaking. I don't understand. Help me. Help me! Please... I can't. I can't!

"G-Get off! Help me! M-Mr. Aizawa, help me!"

In a rare moment, I used his actual name rather than his nickname. He was a hero. Even if he hated me, he would help me, wouldn't he? He would save me, a villain, when I needed help. True heroes protected everyone. He would save me. He had to!

N-no! Why? Why is he turning away? Why is he walking away? Why is he leaving me alone with all these men? The other cuff snapped around my right wrist and I jerked forward. No. I don't want to go back to that scary place. I don't want to go back! Last time they took me, they shoved me into a dark, locked room with bars. I can't go back. I can't go back.

"Mr. Aizawa," I shrieked. "D-don't leave me, please! I-I'll do anything. D-don't! No! Pl-"

"-Shut up, villain!" my legs were knocked out from underneath me. My head hit the concrete and as my vision grew blurry, I could only sob as Aizawa walked away. He left me behind without bothering to turn back. Heroes protected the innocent.

I was just a villain.

Chapter Text

I shifted my hands uncomfortably, trying to ignore the tight restraints around my wrists and the pull keeping them close together. After spending the rest of the night at the police station for interrogations and testing, they finally allowed Nezu to sign some papers and let me leave.

It was still the early hours of the morning when I was escorted from the prison cell to the front area where Nezu was standing. The handcuffs were snapped off my wrists, although the quirk-cancelling bracelets remained on as always. I didn't like prison cells. They were dark and cold. They reminded me of home.

Not a word was shared between Nezu and me as we exited the building, and I quietly climbed into the passenger seat of his car. I didn't want to talk to anyone after they'd seen such a weak and vulnerable side of me. I broke down in front of them. Father said that only the weak cry. He hated it when I cried.

Nezu would be angry too. After all, he was the principal of UA. He had more authority over me than the other teachers, and they already weren't very nice. He was tiny, and only a mouse, but there were many things I didn't know about him. What was his quirk? How powerful as it? Did he have any other abilities I don't know of?

I misbehaved and ran away. Both mother and father told me that the most important rule was to never ever run away or else. The last time I tried to run away, my father almost snapped my neck. He tore around our home, smashing pictures and breaking furniture. Trying to avoid the punishment made it worse. I can't run away. I have to face all my problems head-on and never run away.

Nezu pulled into the parking lot of his apartment. After finding a spot, he put the car into park and unlocked the doors. I didn't get out at first, but after Nezu opened the door I quickly followed suit.  He was seldom this silent. Something was definitely wrong. Could he be that angry with me?

My legs froze from beneath me and refused to take another step. I couldn't go back into that apartment building. Nezu would punish me as father did. Father almost killed me. Would Nezu do the same? He was angry with me and Nezu was a hero. I was a villain. Who would believe the villain over the hero? No one.

"Izumi," I flinched at Nezu's voice. My head snapped up to stare at my principal, and my mind was screaming at me to run away. Running makes it worse. I can't. He opens the door for me and I hesitantly took a step inside. Nezu shuffles in after me and skips to the elevator. Seeing he wasn't able to reach the button, the front desk woman came over to press it for him.

I leaned against the elevator wall as the doors closed and the machine began to lift. The closer we got to Nezu's floor, the stronger the tightness in my chest grew. I didn't want to go back. As shaken as I was due to the situation, I longed for the feeling my brief taste of freedom had given me. No one was telling me what to do. No one was forcing me to go to school. No one was trying to hurt me - until the police showed up, anyway.

When the door to Nezu's apartment closed behind us, I suddenly realized how far we'd walked. Shifting my gaze away from my guardian, I tightly clenched my teeth together. What if he had some sort of superstrength quirk? Or venom? Maybe he had some sort of weapon inside his body?

"You should go get something to eat. We're already late for school so we need to hurry," Nezu shuffled into the kitchen and out of my sight. 

He didn't hit me. Why didn't he hit me? I don't understand. I did something bad so father would always hit me over and over. We were training my obedience and physical strength. The training was the most important thing for my father so we did it all the time.

"Here," he exited the kitchen holding up a fresh apple. "Eat this."

I glanced down at him in confusion, "W-what?"

"Eat it. It's good for you."

"Right," I wrapped my fingers around the apple and held it to my lips; It was fresh and juicy.  My mother and I had never gotten many fresh foods like fruits and vegetables. We only had them every once in a while when I was super good - and my father was hard to place.

Nezu was very different. Yes, he was a damned rodent, but his personality was very different than what I was used to. He seemed quite relaxed, unlike the other teachers, and less pushy, like Midnight. He didn't even think we needed a training session after I broke the most important rule to ever exist. I tried to run away. Why didn't he hit me?"

"Izumi, why would you think I would hit you?" his voice made me flinch.

My eyes shot to stare at the rodent; Nezu was looking at me with a confused expression. He swallowed unsurely, "has someone hit you before when you've misbehaved?"

Yes.

"No," I choked out. Father would be angry if I told someone. It was a secret I could never share with another soul. We would do even more training. I don't like training. I never liked father's training. I had to be obedient. If I'm obedient then we don't have to train more.

"Izumi, if some ever hit you—"

"—No one hit me," I cut him off immediately. I was about to take another bite of my apple, but my appetite had suddenly faded away. I threw it in the compost bin and went to grab my UA uniform from my bag.

Nezu and I were back to our awkward silence when emerged from the bathroom after changing, and we went back down the lobby. We were already running late so the rodent was in a bit of a rush. I didn't particularly care about school all that much, but at least there was stuff to do there. I guess I had people I could talk to now too.

I stared at the window at the unfamiliar streets as Nezu drove out of his area and began navigating towards assumingly UA High. It had only taken about 5 minutes before I started to get more familiar with the streets and recognized where we were.

I reached up to adjust my sunglasses after the sun peeked out from behind a building. It didn't bug my eyes as much as it used to. With any luck, I'd be able to see properly again soon. The sunglasses helped hide my freckles, at least, because of the way they sat on my face. I hate freckles.

"You should hurry to homeroom," the rodent tells me as parks the car.

I opened the car door without replying and climbed out. He didn't try to continue the conversation further and I entered through the school gates. There was a beep from my bracelets right as I came in, notifying the teachers that I'd arrived on campus.

Classes had already started by the time I arrived at Class 1A, and many glances turned in my direction when I entered the classroom. Midnight was standing at the front, and Aizawa was just climbing into his sleeping bag.

We made eye contact and for a moment I zoned the rest of the class out. Last night he'd been the one to save me. Stuble, Aizawa,  he'd helped me out of my panic attack and made me feel safe. My teacher looked away from me with a roll of his eyes and I could feel a strong pang in my chest. After all, then he left me.

"Izumi, why don't you take your seat? Here," she handed me a piece of paper and a marker, "everyone is picking their hero names."

A hero name, huh? Tch. Rolling my eyes, I headed towards the back corner of the class and plopped down in my seat. How could I even pick my hero name? After all, I wasn't a hero. That phrase had started to haunt me. It was a constant excuse as to why the Pros often picked on me.

"Now students, who among you is ready to share?"

It was Narcciist that immediately jumped to his feet and moved behind Aizawa's desk. He slowly held up his page, although it was facing him so we couldn't see the name. He glanced down slightly, "Hold your breath. The shining hero... My name is I cannot stop twinkling! Mon ami,  you can't deny my sparkle."

What the actual fuck? I, like the rest of the class, was dumbfounded as Midnight decided she liked the hero name and edited it to make it more practical. What kind of bullshit name was that? Hero names were fucking dumb.

"Okay me next! My code name is Alien Queen!"

"Hold on. Like that horrible monster with the acidic blood? I don't think so!"

What... the fuck, Midnight? So she allows the bullshit twinkly garbage shit, but then rejects Alien Queen? What kind of bullshit was that? What the fuck? Alien Queen actually sounded badass. Shit. I will even admit that I liked it. Not to her face, obviously, but mentally I did.

"Ribbit, I think I got one. Is it okay if I go next?" Froggy raised her hand, to which Mightnight called her up. "Rainy Season Hero: Froppy."

Midnight instantly appeared at her side, "That's delightful!"

The class began to chant 'Froppy' allowed whilst Froggy awkwardly stood at the front of the room. Some of the class even looked relieved, although I didn't really give a shit as to why. As Froggy took her seat, it was Rocky then jumped up to the front of the room.

"I've got mine too! The Sturdy Hero — my name is Red Riot!"

"Red Riot?" Midnight echoed. "You're paying homage to the Chivalrous Hero: Crimson Riot, yes?"

Crimson Riot... I'd heard of the hero before, but that was about all I knew about him. I wasn't allowed to have internet access so I wasn't really caught up on Pro Heroes. Even if I did, I couldn't really imagine myself researching them. Heroes are fake. They all are.

"That's right," Rocky scratched the back of his head. "He may be kind of old school but someday I wanna be just like was. Crimson is my idol!"

"If you're bearing the name of someone you admire, you have that much more to live up to."

He nodded his head at Midnight's words and held his clenched fist in front of his chest. His eyebrows furrowed and he looked at the R-rated hero with a bout of confidence around him, "I accept the challenge."

The class became a lot more open with the hero names they'd come up with, and soon almost everyone was asking to go next. Students raced to the front of the room to announce their hero names with pride. I'm gonna be sick from all this bullshit.

"The Hearing Hero: I'm Earphone Jack!"

"The Tentacle Hero: Tentacole."

"The Taping Hero: Cellophane."

"Martial Arts Hero: Tailman."

"I'm the Sweets Hero: Sugarman!"

"Pinky!" the pink-skinned girl screamed out the nickname I'd given her. "By the way, thanks for the idea, Izumi!"

What the fuck?

"Stun Gun Hero: I am Chargebolt!"

"The Stealth Hero: Invisible Girl!"

"I hope that I can live up to this name. The Everything Hero: I'm Creati."

"Shoto."

"Just your name?" Midnight leaned in.

"Uh-huh."

Well, that was boring. Great fucking job, Frosty. I'm just astonished by how wonderful the bullshit that just came out of your mouth is. With a sigh, I rested my cheek on my hand. Was this stupid class almost over? I was sick of this.

"Jet-Black Hero: Tsukuyomi."

"I'm the Fresh-Picked Hero: Grape Juice!"

"Shut the fuck up, Grapefruit, no one gives a shit!" I snapped at him.

"Grape Juice!" he corrected me.

"Oh no," I snarled. "I meant what I said."

"Izumi," Midnight shook her head at me, "that's enough."

Oh please. It wasn't my fault that that disgusting excuse for a human was still alive. Maybe everyone wouldn't hate him so much if he wasn't such a pervert, but I don't think that's possible at this point. If he wants people to like him, then he should just stop being such a shitty person.

"King Explosion Murder..."

"I'm gonna say that one's a little too violent."

"Huh!? What do you mean!?"

"Why don't you be Explosion Boy?" Rocky called out with a grin.

He was immediately shot down, "You shut up, Shitty Hair!"

Asshole began making various threats towards Rocky, and Midnight had to step in to get 'King Explosion Murder' back to his seat. Well, all that bullshit was happening, Bubbles slowly approached the front of the room and held up her sheet for everyone to see.

"This is the name I thought of — Uravity."

Everyone clapped for her, and Midnight glanced over at the clock. Apparently, this was going faster than she thought it would have. Good, I don't want to deal with this bullshit any longer. Fuck this. Of course, she had to point out those of us that hadn't gone yet. The asshole had to rethink his, Nerd Armor hadn't come up with one yet, and apparently, neither had Freckles.

"You're using your real name too? Midnight questioned as Nerd Armor held his sheet that read 'Tenya'. Saying nothing, he went to sit back down. What the fuck was wrong with him?

Freckles took his place at the front of the room to reveal his hero name. What the— What's with everyone and these bullshit fucking names? Why the actual fuck would you name yourself something that was used to insult you for your entire fucking childhood? God. Is he some sort of fucking masochist?

"I used to hate it," Freckles glanced down at his sheet, "but then something changed. I guess somewhat taught me that it could have a different meaning and that had a huge impact on how I felt. So now I really like it. Deku — that has to be my code name!"

Asshole jumped from his seat and sprinted to the front of the room, shoving Freckles out of the way. With a yelp, the smaller rushed back to his seat after having said his name. Asshole slammed his sheet down on the desk, "Lord Explosion Murder!"

He was once again rejected and he stormed back to his seat in anger.  He refused to pick another name, and in the end, it was decided that he'd just go by his name until he picked a less violent name. That left me. I'd hoped that Midnight would forget, but of course, she did the opposite of what I wanted.

I held my sheet out to her and our temporary teacher approached my desk in confusion. She took the sheet back and looked down at it before flipped it to look on the other side. The rest of the class was watching in silence.

"It's blank," she pointed out the obvious.

"I'm not a hero," I looked away from her and muttered the last part under my breath. "I don't deserve a hero name..."

"Pardon?" she moved closer as she prompted me to repeat the last part.

"Nothing," I grumbled in response. "I'm not a hero, so I don't need a hero name. It's that simple."

"What do you mean you're not a hero?" Rocky titled his head in confusion and the rest of the class voiced their lack of understanding as well.  They were all idiots. Did they think I would tell them?

"Is it because you hate heroes, Izumi?" Uraraka had gotten out of her chair to walk over to me. She looked concerned, whilst the rest of the class was muttering amongst themselves. Midnight was biting her lip as she glanced back and forth between the students and me.

Shit. Guess I said something I shouldn't have. Surely one of the teachers would be angry with me. Maybe if I get them angry enough they'll give up on me. They will eventually, so what's the point in trying to stick around? I was starting to warm up to some of my classmates, and I'd shown one of them the most vulnerable side of me. I didn't want anyone to see that.

"Yes," I lied through my teeth. "People can call me whatever the fuck they want. I don't give a shit."

Aizawa was woken up and he moved behind his desk, although his sleeping bag was still half on. He began to talk about internships, which were apparently mentioned before although I didn't really get that. Different students had offers of agencies that wanted to work with them, while other students had none.

Lists were handed out to each student, whether it was full of offers or the generic list. When I'd gotten my page, I stared down at the pathetic excuse for a list with a raised eyebrow. I'd gotten one offer, so apparently, I didn't get much of a choice. Even if I did well, most agencies probably heard something about 'complications' and backed the fuck off.

The League of Heroes...

One thing was for sure, their name was definitely shit,

 

Chapter Text

"Greetings, Izumi. I'm a representative from the League of Heroes. I'll be escorting you to their headquarters."

The rather scrawny man bowed to Aizawa, who'd been required to wait with me until my escort arrived. I wasn't allowed to take the train by myself due to risks for passengers, and I may run away again. All of these rules and restrictions placed around me were annoying.

"We leave her in your hands," Aizawa nods to the representative and hands him the keys to my cuffs. "Good luck and don't be afraid to contact us if she's too much."

The two shook hands and Aizawa headed off, leaving me with the scrawny dude. He didn't look like much so why did they send him as a representative? He was quiet at first and waited for Aizawa to get completely out of sight.

"I'm only going to explain this once so listen closely," he whispered. "I'm going to take off your cuffs and put them on myself. I will get on the train you're supposed to get on. You, on the other hand, will wait for your real internship representative to come to get you. Once the week is over, we'll meet somewhere in between and the heroes will never know."

I didn't answer, taking a second to process the information. If my internship was supposedly fake, then who the fuck was I going to be spending the week with? Where am I going? The man chuckled slightly and brought me over towards the girls' washroom. He pulled out the key and took my cuffs off, shoving them in his pockets.

"You'll be able to use your quirk freely now. Go wait in the furthest stall from the door. They'll be retrieving you in 5 minutes. I'll be going now — I don't want to miss our train."

He walked off, leaving me completely alone and unmonitored by any means for the first time since All Might 'rescued' me. I had a choice in what I wanted to do. If I wanted to, I could very well disappear. I could go to be my own person. At the same time - I was curious to see who made up a fake hero agency just to 'intern' me for a week.

Making my decision, I entered the girl's washroom and slipped into the stall furthest from the door. There were a few women in there already, but luckily the stall I needed hadn't been taken. I locked the door behind me and closed the toilet lid so I could take a seat.

I could hear toilets flushing and woman washing and drying their hands. Sometimes the door would open with a loud creak and then slam shut. It was quite busy, considering it was at a train station. They were in and out so fast that no one seemed to notice my stall stayed closed — or no one cared enough to point it out.

The purple mist appeared out of nowhere. It started as a small dot but within seconds engulfed my entire body. This quirk was familiar. Yes, that was correct. During the USJ attack, this quirk belonged to one of the villains. The League of... Villains. Seriously? Did they really create a fake hero agency called the League of Heroes?

"Welcome, little sister."

Tomura Shigaraki, my nii-san, sat in front of me in a bar stool. There was one stool in between us, and I was sitting on the last one in the row. The man who created warp gates stood behind the counter. Also, there was a blacked-out computer monitor that read, 'Sound Only' facing the two of them.

"Nii-san," I responded robotically. He had instructed me to call him that during our last meeting, and he wasn't an individual that I would want to piss off. He had the temperament of a young child and tended to act on whims rather than on logic.

"Are you finished? Or can we get back to our conversation?"

I turned around in my chair to face the third person. Although I'd never met him in person, he'd been plastered all over newspapers recently. Also, I'd heard classmates talk about him — only when Nerd Armor wasn't around though. It was no surprise. Because of Stain, the Hero Killer, his brother may be finished as a hero.

"I apologize for our rudeness," the man behind the counter — Kurogiri was his name I think — turned back towards Stain. "We had a prior appointment to keep."

"Now I get it," the hero killer sighed. "You must be the ones who attacked UA. You wanna recruit me to build up your little group again."

I glanced back and forth between Shigaraki and the apparent hero killer. Despite everything that's happened, I'm still not completely sure how I ended up in this situation. Still, here I was. I was interning with the League of fucking Villains. How the fuck was I going to explain this one when people asked?

"Yeah. It'll be great, you've got so much experience," Shigaraki replied.

"And what's your mission?"

"For now? I really just wanna kill All Might. I like to destroy anything that pisses me off—" he lifted a photo of Freckles— "like this little brat here. Game over."

Did he want to kill Freckles? As annoying as the kid was, something told me that I shouldn't let that happen. The tiniest part of my mind was telling me that I shouldn't let any harm come to my friends. Tch. Good thing they aren't my friends. I don't have friends. Friends are a weakness that drags you down.

Stain narrowed his bloodshot eyes, "I was a fool to think you could offer me anything. It turns out you're the type of person I hate most in this world. The goals of your league are those of a child!" he reached to grab the handles of his blades. "What meaning is there to killing if you don't have real convictions?"

The hero killer slowly drew his blades and I tensed my body, trying to keep my focus. This was a possibly deadly situation with a real top-tier villain. Who knows how this would play out? Either way, I'd have to be careful.

"Master, should I step in?" Kurogiri asked the television.

The voice made my blood run stone-cold, "Let it happen. It's possible this is the only way he'll learn anything. He needs to think about the ways he must grow, how he can mature, only then will he reach his potential. After all, what's the best way to learn, Izumi?"

"Pain," my voice cracked when I replied, hands moving to my throat.

Stain shot forward within seconds and I immediately activated my quirk to get out of his path. Having switched with the garbage can by the door, I turned around to see Kurogiri with a bloody arm and Shigaraki pinned on the ground, blades stuck into his shoulders.

"You want me to join your crumbling little league but you won't accomplish anything if you don't have conviction and desire. Without those, you'll always be an aimless weakling, achieving nothing. That's how you got here."

The villain glanced back at me and narrowed his eyes, looking at my UA uniform up and down. Although he didn't move from his positioning, I was apparently the topic of interest at the moment as he licked his lips with a smirk.

"You're a UA student. Why are you in league with this pathetic group. Aren't you trying to be a hero? Those are the types of people I hate most!"

"I'm not a hero," I replied immediately. "I attend UA against my will in shackles. The Pro Heroes have no trust in me and believe that I am a danger to the other students because of the identity of my father. I despise heroes. They're all fake — they all want something for their actions."

"I see," he turned back to Nii-san with a chuckle.

"Hey now, you're being a little rough, aren't you?" Shigaraki chuckled nervously. "Kurogiri, take this guy back."

"I'm sorry, I can't move. It must be the hero killer's quirk at work," the man was frozen over the bar counter.

"The word hero has lost all meaning in this society," Stain's blade shifted closer to Shigaraki's neck. "The world is overrun by fakes and criminals like you who chase petty dreams. They must all be purged."

Shigaraki lashed out his hand to catch Stain's blade, "What do you think you're doing? If you touch this palm—" the sword cracked and began to decay under his grip—"I'll kill you. You sure talk a lot hero killer. Conviction? Maybe—"the sword shattered into tiny pieces of dust—"I don't have anything as loaded as that. If I had to choose a desire though, yeah, it'd be killing All Might. If this world wants to worship trash like him I'll destroy their beloved symbol of peace and then crush them while they're in shock."

His hand shot out and the hero killer jumped back, wielding a dagger in defence. Having landed right beside the door, he was only a few feet away from me. Shigaraki narrowed his eyes, "The last of my injuries were about to finish healing—" his voice turned dark— "and now this." The man began to erratically scratch his neck, "You should learn not to play with knives. We don't have a healer in our party you know."

"I see your nature. It seems our goals fundamentally oppose each other. However, this wasn't in vain. We agree that we need to destroy the present."

"I'm over this," Nii-san growled. "Leave. Drop dead. I'm the kind of person you hate most, right?"

"I was testing your motives. People always show their true colours when on the verge of death. It's abnormal. There is desire, a warped sprout of conviction inside of you. How will it bloom in the end, I wonder? Maybe I'll let you grow. If you don't turn out well I'll take care of you later."

"You think you could get rid of me?" Shigaraki's voice shook with anger.

Kurogiri's body shifted, "I'm free."

"Kurogiri, someone as crazy as this would be nothing but a problem for the League of Villains," my 'brother' complained.

"Please reconsider," the warp-gate creator begged. "This man will be a great asset if he joins us. I'd say this was a success."

"My business here is done. Now, you will return me to Hosu—" Stain ran his tongue across his lips with a twisted grin—"There are still several false heroes I must attend to there."

"Izumi, go put this on."

I was hit with some sort of outfit and I looked down on it in confusion. Kurogiri gestured to the back room and I walked around the hero killer. Leaping over the counter, I slipped into the background and threw down the suitcase with my hero costume. Instead, I changed out of my UA uniform and into what I assume was my villain costume.

It had a jet black bodysuit similar to my hero costume, although it hugged my skin a bit tighter than the other. Also, I'd been provided with red colour contacts and a whig of short black hair. It took me a little bit to get everything on and straightened out, but I was now almost ready.

I reentered the bar area just as I tied the mask around my face. It was important to keep my identity hidden. If we encountered any heroes and they found out who I was, I'd surely be arrested and locked in a cell for the rest of my life. I don't like dark places and confining places.

Stain was the first to go through Kurogiri's portal, and Nii-san waited a good couple seconds before following. With Kurogiri's nod of approval, I stepped through as well and the portal creator was the last to emerge.

"Hosu city looks nicer than I expected," Shigaraki said as I exited the portal. "So, what are you gonna do?"

I glanced away from the villains, although I made sure to continue listening in on the conversation. After all, any of this could be important later on. Instead, I looked down on the city far below us. We were on top of some sort of cylindrical tower.

"I will reform it. In order to do so, blood must spill."

"You have a clear goal," Kurogiri complimented. "Your dedication is admirable."

"Finally someone who understands." Stain rose to his feet and watched over the city.

Nii-san moved his hand over his injured shoulder, "I get the feeling you enjoy picking on me."

"Hero is a title for those who have accomplished great deeds. The city is full of false heroes and champions. All they care about is money and vain! Until this world realizes its mistakes, I will continue my work."

He shot down from atop the water tower and ran across the rooves below us. His morals were similar to mine, although he'd taken it upon himself to kill those whom he deemed unworthy. He was a man with a heroic goal that was accomplished in a villainous way. I wonder, would the pros ever manage to catch him? He was quite skilled, after all.

"He talks all high and mighty and stuff but he's wasting his time focusing on a small stage. He's so noble I could cry."

"You shouldn't spurn his methods," Kurogiri scolded. "The reality is in all cities where Stain has appeared the crime rates have fallen. Perhaps because heroes are more conscientious or perhaps out of fear. Regardless, he does create change."

"Oh, isn't that just wonderful—" Shigraki scratched violently at his neck—"Heroes are working harder thanks to all those murders. I guess you could say our hero killer is also a hero breeder! This is getting boring. It won't work. We just can't agree on a basic level and he annoys me. Kurogiri, bring out the Nomus."

The purple gas formed on the roof below as a warp gate formed. Emerging from the gate were three new Nomus, one of which was flying. This situation had begun escalating faster than I'd been able to process. What exactly were we going to do? From the looks of it, it's as if we were about to launch a full-scale attack.

"Well, little sister, you're going to need a villain name."

The first thing that came to mind was the class when we first were told about the internships and were instructed to select our hero names. I couldn't think of one; I couldn't be bothered. After all, I wasn't worthy of a hero name. I wasn't a hero.

But... I am a villain.

"What do you think?" Kurogiri prompted.

"My villain name... I don't really know."

I was at a standstill. What could I call myself? I was a villain. I would need a villain name. It was too risky for them to use my real name. Glancing down at the nomus, all three were standing in place awaiting orders. I was holding back this mission.

Nii-san chuckled as he waved towards the Nomus, "If you really don't know, then you could pick one another time." The three scattered quickly upon his order to various areas. This was really happening. My first villain mission. I could feel the adrenaline pounding through my veins. This is what it felt like to be a villain?

It was exhilarating! No one tells you what to do, and there are no rules to follow — as long as you're not caught, that is. A villain can use their abilities in all sorts of ways that a hero can't. They have to follow a strict law in order to keep their jobs, which gives villains an advantage.

"No, I have one." I clenched my fist tightly over my heart and stared down at the city. This was it. A part of me was still expecting to wake up in Nezu's apartment as if this entire thing had been a dream.

"Well? Indulge us," Kurogiri said.

"What did you decide on?" Shigaraki pushed.

"I'm the Unhittable Villain: Shifter."

Chapter Text

I don't like this.

Buildings are exploding. Everything is on fire. People are screaming and crying. They're trying to run away. People are dying. Why can't I move? They're innocent people. We attacked them unprovoked. Is this what villains do? Do they attack for the sake of hurting people?

Shigaraki's maniacal laughter is ringing through my ears as he yells into the night, "Now this is a good game!"

This is a game? Could all of this be considered a game? No. It's not a game. People are suffering. People are dying! How is this a game? My body is shaking. Why do I feel so strongly? Why am I so angry? I can't watch this.

What would the teachers at UA think if they found out I was partially behind this? What would my classmates think? What would Bubbles think? What would Frosty think? What would Rocky think? They wouldn't forgive me.

"The Nomu make such great playthings," Shigaraki chuckled.

"Are you not going to participate in the fight?" Kurogiri asked him.

"Don't be stupid. I'm still injured. That's why I brought those pets with us. Once this night is over, the world will have forgotten you ever existed! Hero killer..."

The pro heroes are becoming overwhelmed. The people are so afraid. The Nomus have already killed many people from the explosions and collapsing buildings. The people are panicking, which is making them vulnerable to attack. Hosu City is quiet, and not much crime happens in this area. There probably aren't very many heroes around to help.

"My son!" a pitched screech wailed into the cold night air. "My son! Please! Anyone! Rescue my son!"

The mother is on the ground being trampled by the many escapees. A large piece of a broken building is burying her legs — they're probably broken. She's reaching out desperately towards where the people are running from. A Nomu is approaching a very young boy. He's barely a toddler.

He's sobbing, stumbling back as the Nomu gets closer. Where are all the pro heroes? Why isn't anyone helping him? He's going to die. How can Shigaraki still be laughing? He's insane! I can't watch this child die. I can't.

"Shifter, what are you—"

The air moved rapidly around me as I jumped off the water tower and fell towards the roof below.  I couldn't stop. I had to move!  What can I switch him with? No, I can't just switch him. The Nomu will attack the other people.  There's only one way I can do this.

I landed on the ground amid the panic and shoved my way through the crowds. I have to reach him! I can't see him anymore. I can't see him. I should have switched him while I hand the chance. I should have—

I can't breathe.

The child's lifeless body as thrown through the air as it smashes into a brick wall. His mother lets out a distressed wail as sobs begin to overtake her body. The Nomu is attacking other civilians in an instant.

I let the boy die.

He's dead.

The Nomu was suddenly engulfed in flames and the people all let out cries of relief. The Nomu shifted its attention onto the Pro Hero before spreading its wings and lifting to the sky. As the wind picked up from its flying, the fire faded out.

"That must be one of the villains," Endeavor pointed at me. "Are you ready, Shoto?"

Todoroki appeared at his father's side with a nod and the two took up fighting stances. No. I'm not a villain! I was partially behind this attack. I let a child die. How could I not be a villain? But I wanted to help them. I tried to help them. I didn't try. I watched the Nomu kill him.

I rapidly turned around and sprinted into one of the side alleys. I can't let them catch me. I have to get out of their sight. If I can get out of their sight, I can switch away and hide. I can't let them see me use my quirk. They'll know who I am. They'll know it's me.

I took random turns, trying to find somewhere to escape. I glance behind me every little bit, but it appears Endeavor has disappeared. Only Frosty is following me. I don't know this city well enough. I don't know where to go. I don't know where I can hide.

"Get away!"

I know that voice. I skidded to a stop and glanced down the alley where the hero killer I'd met earlier hovered above Nerd Armor. He was going to die. Do I have to watch more people die? Even if he's annoying, he's my classmate. I can't save him. I'm a villain. Villains don't save people. The fire flew past me, forcing Stain to jump away before he took the final blow.

"Midoriya, you need to give more details in times like this," Frosty held up his phone, which had a location marked on a map. "I was almost too late to stop this guy."

Since when did he start using his flames? He scolded Freckles for the cryptic message slightly but kept his focus on Stain as he tried to force the villain away from our classmates. Oh! There was someone else too! Possibly Stain's first victim?

"Everything's okay, the pro heroes will be here any minute!"

The hero killer dodged out of another wave of fire, landing on the ground beside me. He just slightly glanced in my direction before an insane look appeared in his eyes.

"You're that League of Villains girl from before — the one with common sense. Come on, let's take out these fake heroes together!"

Frosty managed to get the pro hero, Nerd Armor and Freckles behind him with his ice. That left me and Stain on the opposite side. I don't want to fight them. I don't want to be the villain. I can't run away. I'm not allowed to run away. I can't switch sides. They won't trust me and father will be angry. I can't tell them who I am. The heroes will never let me see the light of day again.

"Todoroki! You can't let that guy get your blood. I-I think he controls his enemy's actions by swallowing it. That's how he got us!"

Before anything else could be said, Stain threw his knife towards Todroki and his blade into the air. He was too fast. Could they beat him? Todoroki couldn't properly fight and protect everyone. His movements were limited. Stain almost got a lick of his blood, but a burst of fire forced the hero killer away.

"Don't just stand there!" he barked at me.

Attacks flew back and forth, my classmates yelled back and forth as they fought to keep themselves alive. What side am I on? I don't know. I'm not a hero. I can't save people. But I don't want to be a villain. Can a villain become a hero? Can a villain who's caused the death and suffering of others become a hero?

Freckles broke from his paralysis and jumped in front of Todoroki. He grabbed Stain's scarf and dragged him along the side of the building. The two landed a bit past me.

"Midoriya, dodge!"

The freckled hero rolled to the side just as Frosty's ice travelled across the ground. How was he unfrozen? Of course, Midoriya seemed to have a few theories that he raddled off to the group. In the end, the hero killer confirmed their theory. He could paralyze people for an amount of time depending on their blood type.

"If we work together, this fight will be simple," Stain spoke to me.

"I... How can I..."

"They're not true heroes! Their fakes. The answer should be simple."

"This is your fight, not mine."

I turned around and sprinted down the alley. I left them there. I left them there to fight Stain by themselves. I don't know what to do. I don't know who I am - am I a hero or a villain? What makes someone a hero? What makes someone a villain? I don't want to go back to the League of Villains.

What about my father? What would he think if I betrayed the League of Villains if he was supposedly the leader? I heard his voice. I'd know his voice anywhere. It haunts the very existence of my soul.

Still, my allegiance was sworn specifically to my father. I do not take orders from Shigaraki or Kurogiri. They have nothing to do with me. Shigaraki is not my brother. If my father wishes for my skill then he can ask me himself — I will no longer allow myself to be a pawn for the League of Villains.

Shigaraki, as Stain said, has no true purpose. He harms others for the sake of hurting people. I believe that is wrong. Stain, on the other hand, is saving society. He's getting rid of the fake heroes who ruin our world. He's doing exactly what my father trained me for.

"We were wondering where you got off to," Kurogiri's voice came through the purple smoke that appeared in front of me. I skidded to a stop, but a familiar hand reached out to grab me. I found myself back on the water tower as the portal disappeared behind me.

"What the hell do you think you're doing!?" Shigaraki hissed at me. "If you weren't his daughter... I'd kill you!"

"That was reckless and stupid. Perhaps it was a mistake to bring you into such a large assault," Kurogiri commented.

Shigaraki clenched his fists with a growl, "Your father will definitely be hearing about this."

I felt my entire body stiffen. He was going to tell my father? Father would be angry. Father would hurt me. What if he decided to take me back with him? Before all I wanted to do was to go back home. I hated UA. I still hate UA. But do I really? I don't know. I don't know how I feel anymore.

"Hey, what the hell!? This is no fair. Why did he have to go and kill that Nomu? And why is that brat here? I'm so mad I don't even know what to say. This is a mess! Why do things never go the way I want them to?"

I glanced over to Shigaraki, who was scratching at his neck violently. The violence had died down as the pro heroes emerged victoriously. Heroes defeat villains. For once, I was glad to hear that phrase echo through my head.

"Let's go back. We shouldn't stay here any longer."

Something wrapped around my wrist and I was still too stunned about everything that happened to stop it. Once again, I found myself dragged through yet another one of Kurogiri's warp gates. I didn't really know what was going on, but they led me somewhere in the building. I barely paid attention.

"Sleep in here. I'll be talking to master about the shit you pulled today," Shigaraki pushed me inside and the door closed behind me.

I whipped around and went to turn the doorknob, but found the door to be locked. The room didn't have any windows. It was pure darkness. I removed my Sunglasses from over my mask and throw them on the ground.

The mask is pulled over my head and I chuck it across the room. I don't know what I'm supposed to think anymore. How am I supposed to feel? What am I supposed to do? I couldn't do anything. I couldn't save that little boy. I couldn't fight my friends. What would father think?

I laid down on the mattress in the corner of the room and hugged my knees close to my chest. My body was exhausted from today. There had been so much fighting and bloodshed that I wasn't able to keep up with what was going on. At the same time, my thoughts wouldn't let me sleep.

No matter how hard I tried, every time I closed my eyes all I could hear was the bloodcurdling scream of the woman. She'd been trapped under all that rubble and I left her there without doing anything. She could have died before she managed to get out. I completely forgot about her.

I imagined bursting out of the crowd only to watch the dead body of the child go flying into a brick wall. It had fallen into a twisted and unnatural heap. I could hear his cries ring through my ears. I could see the terrified look on his eyes when the Nomu began to approach him.

Were my classmates okay? Freckles, Nerd Armor, and Frosty were left to fight the hero killer when I ran away. Were they safe? What if they were injured badly in the fight? I could have helped them. I could have revealed myself and helped defend them. Instead, I ran away for fear that they'd lock me in a cell.

Perhaps I really was a villain, even if I wanted to help people. Was there really a point in trying to become a hero? No matter what I do, everyone still sees me as a villain anyway. Is it too late? Maybe if I went back to UA and tried harder I could learn.

The heroes would suggest something was up. They wouldn't believe I'd had a sudden change of heart during my internship. What if they asked me questions about my internship? What was I supposed to tell them?

I needed some time to think.

Chapter Text

I stared at the dark television screen in front of me. 'Sound Only' appeared in the middle in bright, purple letters. It had been several days since the Hosu incident, and everyone in the League of Villains had been laying low after everything that happened.

"I hear you caused quite a bit of trouble during the attack," my father's voice emerged from the speakers.

It was strange hearing his voice again after so long. After All Might had found me, I was separated from my mother and taken by Pro Heroes. They purposely avoided mentioning my father when I was around, and so for many years, I'd assumed he could be dead. I still had faith that he was alive though. He was powerful — there's no way that a single pro hero could take him down. Especially the one he was training me to defeat!

"Yes. I apologize for my actions, father. I was a bit shaken by everything that was happening," I fiddled with my fingers, feeling a bit stiff. Everything was much more serious when he was involved. He was very particular regarding my behaviour and actions. I had made a mistake. Unlike with the UA teachers, my father always punished me for my actions.

"UA has caused you to grow soft. Perhaps having you continue your mission there isn't the best idea. Maybe you should stay under Shigaraki's care from now on until I can come to get you—"

"F-father, no!" I cut him off before he could finish. "Sorry. It's just I've learned a lot at UA. I'm learning about how to become a hero and if I've been made aware of their teachings then perhaps I will make a stronger villain in future—"

"—Enough! I don't want to hear your excuses. You've grown attached to the people there, correct? I've been told you refused to fight a trio of UA students along with Stain."

I clenched my fists tightly at my sides, staring at the screen in front of me. My body was trembling. "I couldn't bring myself to harm them. Father, they're my... they're my friends."

"Friends will only use you, Izumi," he scolded. "You've become incredibly weak since I last saw you. I'm disappointed in you. Have you forgotten everything I taught you?"

His voice had grown more hostile and I instinctively sat up straighter. I had to prove to him that I was still strong. Would he really pull me out of UA? As many times as I'd complained about wanting to leave before, a part of me had turned against that idea. I guess I'd just never realized it until now.

"Of course not! I just... I never got to have friends when I was little. It was just you, mother and I. I'm only using them for information, of course."

"Your friends will hold you back, even if they're only for information. Trust no one. You should break those bonds now before you let them change you. You're my daughter, aren't you? Stop acting like an incompetent child! You are a villain. Start acting like one."

"But—"

"—No buts! You will return to UA at the end of your internship as originally planned. You will tell no one that I am alive or that I am involved with the League of Villains in any way. Most importantly, maybe it's time for you to review what I've taught you. I'm afraid we have a lot more training to do when we meet again, Izumi. Although I suppose I should call you Shifter from now on."

I dropped my head to stare at the counter. "Yes father," I agreed.

The screen turned off and I turned my head to look at Kurogiri, who had just set a food-filled plate on the bar. He pushed it slightly in my direction and I nodded to him as I pulled it over. Most of the food we ate was pretty shit — leftovers, stuff from the trash, some random junk food, and sometimes it was stale or rotten. The League of Villains didn't have enough money to pay for groceries, that was for sure.

"I'll warp you back to the girl's washroom when you're finished eating. You'll get your bracelets back and the heroes won't find out about your internship."

I swallowed a bite of the burnt egg and placed the fork back on my plate, "I'm not that hungry. I've got all my stuff. You could just teleport me back now."

"If that's what you wish. It was a pleasure working with you, Shifter. We'll come to get you when your father orders us to do so. In the meantime, you should follow his advice. He'll be pretty angry if he finds out you ignored him."

"Of course." I stood up from the barstool and grabbed my hero costume and my bag. Kurogiri had put my villain costume away for when I was back with the League. But did I want to go back to the League of Villains? I don't know where I want to be anymore.

"We'll see you next time, little sister. Don't forget to ditch those friends of yours."

"Yeah, I will," I nodded.

The man scowled at me, "Are you forgetting something?"

"Yes, Nii-san. Goodbye."

The warp gate appeared before me and I gave a final wave to Kurogiri and Shigaraki before stepping through. I was in the women's' bathroom like I'd been told. Luckily, the only people inside were in the stalls. Not wanting to be seen, I quickly went towards the bathroom door and slipped outside.

"Welcome back kid," the shady guy from the first time greeted me. He pulled out my cuffs from his bag and tossed them in my direction with a grin. He pulled out the key too, swinging it around on his finger.

"I had a guy I know do some modifications to it. They won't cancel your quirk anymore — just be careful that you don't let the pros see you using Switch with them on. It still monitors your GPS location though so be careful. Oh—" he pulled out a second key from his pocket—" I also got the key copied. Keep it hidden and only use it when you absolutely need to. Kurogiri had me do all this for you. We're looking forward to working with you in the future."

I snapped the cuffs around my wrist and the man approached with his key to lock them. He placed the second key in my hand, and I immediately shoved it into my back pocket. I'd have to be super careful with it considering I moved around a lot. Perhaps it would be best to keep in my school locker? No. The pros search my locker. I'll have to figure it out later.

"It's been a while, Izumi."

The female teacher winked as she approached. Many heads turned to stare at the R-Rated hero Midnight as she passed, although she didn't pay much attention to the fans in return. She stopped right in front of me and reached over to take some of my bags.

"Awesome news looks like you're coming to stay with me again!" she sang.

"Okay," I responses blankly. Did it even matter who I was living with at this point? The constant back and forth between different houses often stressed me out. I'd never lived in the same place for longer than a week. I never unpacked my stuff anymore. Everywhere I went felt foreign. Everything about myself felt foreign.

"Oh, but before we go back to my house we have to make a stop," she explained. "Thank you for interning with her, by the way. I'm hoping it went well?" she asked the man.

"Very well. Izumi has a lot of potential as a hero. She was a great help."

"That's marvellous!" Midnight grabbed my hand and pulled me after her with a devious grin as she began to run away. Too tired from the events of my internship to complain, I didn't protest. I could feel my legs breaking under the weight of everything on my shoulders.

"In the passenger seat~" she sang to me.

I got in the car without saying anything, hoping she'd get the hint and shut up. We couldn't be friends anymore. I had to refocus myself as my father ordered. If I ignored his orders, then my father would be angry. If he was angry, he may force me to go home early. I don't want to go home anymore.

We hadn't been driving for long when Midnight pulled into the parking lot, and I stared blankly at the eye doctor's office. She took me inside and told the receptionist my name. We had to wait forever in the waiting room, but finally, we were called into one of the many checkup rooms.

The bright light was a bit much when I first took off my sunglasses but after some testing from the eye doctor my eyes slowly adjusted to the brightness of the room.  I felt a lot more confidence when reading the letters of the sheet on the other side of the room than I had previous times.

"Your eyes are almost back to normal. It took a long time, but soon enough your vision will be completely adjusted. You won't need to wear your sunglasses except for when it's really sunny. Also, we're going to get you to wear glasses at night before you go to bed."

It took a little while for them to adjust a pair of glasses to fit me, and finally, I was able to leave the eye doctors after several hours of being stuck there. Midnight had been intently staring at my face the entire time since I'd taken my sunglasses off.

"What?"

"I just realized you have freckles. They're really cute!"

"Shut the fuck up!"

Midnight looked a bit taken aback by how much I was seething. I fucking despised my stupid fucking freckles. At least those sunglasses hid them. But now everybody could fucking see them. Fuck this, fuck that, fuck me, fuck my life, fuck everything! Fuck freckles!

"Oh come on, you're actually a pretty young woman. You should let me do your make up one day. Oh! And pick out your outfit—"

"No."

"Please?"

"No."

"Pretty please?"

"No!"

"Pretty please with a cherry—"

"Shut your fucking trap before I hurt you!"

Midnight only laughed as the two of us got back into her car. I swear. I'm going to punch the next person to mention my freckles right in the face. I will not hesitate. I will remember this oath and I will follow through with it. The next person to mention my freckles will die.

"So how was your internship? Was it fun!?"

I flinched at the word fun. It had been fun for Shigaraki. I'd barely slept since that night. I could only dream memories of that boy and his mother. Every time I closed my eyes I could hear the panicked screams of the civilians. With every breath I took, I could feel the guilt of leaving my classmates behind surge through me.

"It was fine," I choked out.

"It doesn't sound like you enjoyed it. Did they give you issues?—"

"—No," I answered a bit too quickly. "I just hate heroes. The whole thing was dumb."

"Alright. Well, at least you did well!"

She attempted to continue to the conversation but I stopped bothering to answer. Midnight got the picture relatively quickly and instead turned up the car speakers to fill the silence. I let myself drown in the music.

I can't quite contain or explain my evil ways
Or explain why I'm not sane
All I can say is this is your warning
I can't quite contain or explain my evil ways
Or explain why I'm not sane
All I can say is this is your warning
Duality

I glanced over at Midnight's phone to check out what was playing. The band was some group called Set It Off, and the song was titled Duality. Tch. The stupid thing sounded more like my theme song. Fuck music and feeling strongly emotionally connected to it. Fuck!

"Turn that shit off," I growled at Midnight.

"What? I like this song!" She protested. The hero grinned as she began to sing along, "No, can't count the list of things, I know are wrong with me, no need to justify them!"

"SHUT THE FUCK UP!" I snapped.

That song was hitting a bit to close to home right now. I'm drowning in myself. Who am I? What am I? Am I a hero or am I a villain? I'm not worthy of being a hero right now. If I'm not worthy of being a hero, then that's me a villain. After everything I'd done, I had no right to become a hero.

I guess until I was worthy of being a hero, I would be stuck as a villain. But could villains become heroes? Was that allowed? Could Shifter, my villain name, become the name of a hero instead? No. Shifter caused hundreds of deaths. Shifter watched a small child die and do nothing. Shifter abandoned her friends to protect herself. I was Shifter.

Would my friends ever forgive me if they found out that I had been there? Would they still be my friends? After all, I wasn't very nice to them. What right did I have to call them my friends after what I did? Maybe my father was right. Maybe friends are a weakness— but in this case, the weakness was me.

If I was the true weakness, then perhaps it would be better if I just went back to the League of Villains. I was being selfish. I was wasting the time of all the teachers. I've was wasting the money of all the teachers that had to babysit with me. I was becoming a pathetic excuse for a friend for my classmates.

It's not like any of them would miss me once they'd learned of my true colours, would they? Maybe I should have run. I had the opportunity to run before my internship started. I'd have been gone a full week before they even noticed I was gone so I would have been able to cover a lot of ground and find a good place to lay low.

I'd made my decision. I went to my internship, even if it was a fake. I suppose a small section of me wanted to learn something. Maybe I was just excited that somewhere out there, a Pro Hero believed that a villain like me could turn into a hero. Instead, I'd gotten stuck with a bunch of villains who wanted to refine my darkness.

Was that really the only option left for me? Was I forever trapped on the road to becoming a villain? All because of who my father was? Would I ever be able to change things around? Did anyone out there believe that a villain could become a hero or was I the only one? No. I wasn't the only one.

I didn't believe it myself.

The car stopped moving and I snapped out of my thoughts. We were in Midnight's driveway. I took off my seatbelt and climbed out of the front, closing the door behind me. Midnight left me alone, sensing I needed some alone time.

She showed me where my room was since I'd forgotten and left me to my own devices. I left the door open a tiny crack. I felt more at ease when doors were open versus when they were closed. A part of me still remembered being locked in my bedroom as a child.

The picture of my mother was sitting on the nightstand beside my bed. She was much younger in the picture — it had been taken before I was born. Mother was never that happy when we together. She was good at faking it, maybe, but it wasn't genuine happiness.

My mother was horrified by the very essence of my existence. I was told that my father forced my mother to have me, although no more was ever said than that. My mother didn't love me because she had never wanted me in the first place, and I was a reminder of why her life was so screwed up.

I caused my mother more issues than anyone else. Maybe she was right when she told the heroes to get rid of me. It would have been better for everyone if they locked me in a prison cell. I would never have come to UA and met my teachers and classmates. I would never have gone through all the suffering. I would never have harmed so many innocent people.

Villains belong in locked cages, so wouldn't it make sense that I should be there? I couldn't be a hero. I was a villain. Villains don't become heroes. Everyone knows villains aren't heroes. Still, was there even the slightest chance that I could alter my path?

I doubt it. As long as my father was alive, I would be a puppet. I could never go against the word of my father. I can't stop trembling when I'm with him, and the power of his voice forces me to move without thinking. All I want to do is run away and hide, but at the same time, I know that doing that will cause so much more pain and suffering.

Who am I? Am I really a villain? Could I become a hero? I don't know the answer to either of these questions. I wanted to know the answer though. I needed to know before I got my hopes up. I couldn't handle putting myself through that.

All I need is one person to believe that a villain can become a hero. Even if only one person agrees with me, then I can motivate myself enough to continue trying. Maybe I'd finally be able to figure out who I am, what I'm doing with my life and why I exist. As for right now though?

I'd somehow gotten lost in a sea of myself.

 

Chapter Text

"I am here! Hope you're ready to return to your lessons. Today it's Hero Basic Training. Feels like I haven't seen you in a while. Welcome back! Now then, listen carefully for what's in store. We're going to be conducting a little race. Take everything you've learned from your internships and apply it to your rescue training!"

Everything I learned from my internship about rescuing people, huh? I'd learned only one thing. I learned that I wasn't fit for rescuing others. I was too busy hesitating to help, or running away like a coward.

"If this is rescue training, then shouldn't we be at the USJ instead?" Nerd— Iida raised his hand.

"That facility specializes in disasters. As I said earlier, this is a race. So prepare! You're about to step into field Gamma! Inside, is an area full of factories that form an intricate labyrinth. So good luck finding your way around. You'll be competing in groups of 5. Each person starts in a different location on the outskirts of the model city. I'll send a distress signal and you do what you must to rescue me. Whoever finds me first wins — but try to keep the property damage to a minimum."

"Why are you pointing at me?" Ass—Bakugou demanded.

The first group that went consisted of Iida, Ojiro, Pin—Ashido, Iida and Tape. Er... Sero. Yeah. That was his name. The rest of us were waiting in the middle of the training ground by a large screen where we could watch our classmates. A couple people were betting over who they thought would win.

I didn't care.

The group sure was surprised upon seeing Freckles—shit—Midoriya take first place. It had shocked me the first time I saw it during their fight with Stain. Although I didn't stick around long, I still saw it. Sero still beat him in the end though.

"Izumi, I called your group. Head to the starting line!" All Might announced loudly.

"I'm feeling a bit sick today, so I'm going to sit out."

I can't rescue anyone. Why should I bother? There's no point. I can't be a hero so I should stop wasting everyone's time. Even if I asked around, would anyone answer the way I wanted them to? Would anyone give me the answer I wanted to hear? I was too afraid to find out.

"Sometimes heroes need to fight when they're not feeling at their best—"

"—I have severe cramps," I lied through my teeth.

All Might froze midsentence and the guys that were still around suddenly went quiet. The girls all glanced at each other before bursting into laughter, teasing and poking at the boys for their reaction. The guys, on the other hand, were muttering awkwardly about knowing too much information.

"Why don't you sit out today?" All Might coughed, refusing to look at me.

"Yeah, I'd appreciate that."

I went towards the corner of the platform and sat down. I was in the way of the true heroes. Even if I could become a hero, I'd likely become another fake one. False heroes were not worthy of living. I had come across many of them and as I was right now, I was no better than any of them.

When the exercise was finally over, we were all instructed to head back to the locker rooms to change. I walked over to my locker and opened it up, reaching to grab my UA uniform.

"Do you want some Tylenol for your cramps, Izumi?" Princess, Yoayorozu, asked me.

"No. I don't have cramps." I reached behind me to try and get the zipper for my black bodysuit. Perhaps I should have the support class fix it up so it would be easier to take on and off? No. I shouldn't waste their time. I wouldn't be at UA much longer anyway.

"Oh, well it's good you're feeling better!" Uraraka cheered.

"I was fine. I didn't want to do the exercise so I lied. Simple as that. Leave me alone."

"Huh? But Izumi, we're friends—"

"—We're not friends!" I snarled at the pink-cheeked girl, and Uraraka's eyes widened. They began to water slightly and I growled under my breath, turning back to face my locket. Friends make you weak. Father told me I'm not allowed to have friends. I liked having friends. "I don't have friends."

I finally managed to get the zipper undone and I pulled the bodysuit off my body. I could feel the heat of the other girls' glares. They were all mad at me for hurting Uraraka, no doubt. Multiple of them had gone to comfort her. I could hear her crying silently, almost as if she was too ashamed for me to hear it.

"I wanna see Yaoyorozu's curves, Ashido's slender waist, Hagakure's floating underwear, Ochako's super fire body, Izumi's gorgeous ass, Asui's unexpectedly soft boobies!"

Excuse me? My gorgeous WHAT!? I'm going to smack a bitch. I'm going to go over him the next time I see him and smack the shit out of him.

"AHHHHH!" Glancing over, Jirou had put one of her earphone jacks through the wall, likely stabbing the fucking pervert in the eye.

"Thanks, Kyoka!"

"Despicable. We'll close up this hole immediately!"

I finished pulling on my UA Uniform and exited the girl's locker room. They were mad at me anyway. What was the point in sticking around? I didn't belong at UA High. I didn't belong at the League of Villains. I didn't belong anywhere.

"Hey, Izumi! Wait up!"

"What do you want, Rocky? Er, Kirishima?"

"Finally calling me by my name, huh? I kinda liked Rocky—"

"—We're not friends anymore."

"Huh? Izumi, what do you mean?"

"I don't need friends."

Kirishima tilted his head, not understanding. His lips were curved downwards into a frown as he stared at me in silence. It was like he couldn't even begin to process what I'd said. Idiot.

"Izumi, why are you still wearing your mask?" a voice called from behind Kirishima.

Iida approached rather quickly, swinging his arms back and forth as he suddenly jumped into a lecture about how we weren't supposed to wear masks during school and that I was required, by the school code, to take it off.

Narrowing my eyes, I reached up towards my face and yanked the mask off. I shoved it in my back, still glaring at the stupid class rep. Fuck him! He could—... I didn't deserve to insult him. Not after what I did to him.

"Hey," Kirishima poked my face. "Since when do you have freckles?"

I could feel my breathing pick up and my eyes began flaming with rage. Pulling back a fist, I ignored the pain I felt in my hand as my knuckles connected with Kirishima's face. He hadn't been unexpecting it and he stumbled back, reaching up to touch his cheek in shock.

"I have one question for all of you," I growled at them. "Do you think a villain can become a hero?"

"Can a villain," Deku muttered under his breath, "become a hero?"

"Villains are criminals," Iida was the first to respond. "They are not fit to become heroes."

"I think a villain becoming a hero would be dangerous. What if they switched sides again?" Uraraka nodded in agreement.

"Even if they try to change, it doesn't mean they didn't do horrible things in the past," Todoroki added in.

"Villains are villains," Deku finally added his piece. "You can't trust them."

Kirishima climbed back up to his feet, standing in front of me. His normally relaxed demeanour had tensed and he seemed very confused about what was happening. "Are you okay?" he asked me. "Did something happen during your internship—"

"—Just answer the damn question! Do you think a villain who lets a young child die without helping deserves to be a hero? Do you think someone who would abandon their friends in a dangerous situation to save themselves deserves to live?"

Kirishima looked down at the ground silently, "No. I don't."

My fists clenched tightly at my side, "That's all I needed to hear."

"Izumi!" a voice snapped from behind me. "Come with me. Now!"

Aizawa narrowed his eyes darkly and Yaoyorozu, who had been standing beside him, went over to a crying Uraraka as she exited the girl's change room. A couple of the guys had immediately gone over to check if he was alright, while other students were now approaching Kirishima to see if he was okay from when I punched him.

"Why should I?" I glared at him. "Fuck that. Fuck everything. Fuck this school! I don't want anything to do with any of you! All of you should just leave me the fuck alone!"

The scarf wrapped around me before I could walk away, and my body was yanked over towards Aizawa. My teacher gave me a harsh glare before dragging me towards the staff room. The rest of my classmates just watched in silence.

"Yaoyorozu told me you made Uraraka cry. Is that correct?" Aizawa asked me once we were both seated.

"I told her that we weren't friends," I replied. "It's not my fault she can't handle the truth."

"So then why'd you punch Kirishima?"

"It's none of your business!"

"It is my business when you attack another student. Why did you do it?"

"He mentioned my freckles. Nobody mentions my freckles. Nobody! It's not like he's my friend either. They're all obstacles — just like the teachers. You're all heroes that I'm going to defeat one day on my way to becoming the most notorious villain in Japan."

I've fallen too far. I'm not a hero. None of my classmates thought I could become a hero. Why should I even bother training? I'm going to be rescued from hell hole soon enough anyway. I'll go back underground with father. We can be a happy family like we were when I was little.

I would kill All Might. It's all his fault for rescuing me in the first place. If he hadn't rescued me, then I'd still live with my mother and pass the days with make-believe stories. Then after I killed All Might, I would kill his successor. That's how I would know I was ready to become a true villain. I would kill Deku.

"Why am I at UA High?" I demanded.

"The police seem to think it will change you," he replied.

"Do you think all this bullshit will turn me into a hero rather than a villain?"

"Heroes don't become villains," he disagreed with my question. So that was it. No one believed that a villain becomes good. Even my homeroom teacher, whom I admired greatly, thought villains were a lost cause. It was common sense! They were called 'villains' for a reason.

"So if everyone knows that heroes don't become villains, then why bother to keep me here?"

"So you'll be a problem for UA rather than society. You're heavily monitored and that keeps your crime rate at zero."

That keeps my crime rate at zero, huh? If my crime rate is at zero then why am I the newest member of the League of Villains? Why did I leave my classmates to die when facing Stain? Why did I watch a child die without helping? My crime rate is through the roof and none of you pay attention enough to notice.

Guess I'll have to make them notice.

I rose to my feet and glanced down at Aizawa, whos eyes narrowed at my movements. None of the teachers trusted me; none of them believed in me. You can't put a flower seed in the shade, not bother to water it, and then expect it to grow. I can't be a hero. I'm not allowed to be. I guess I'll have to get used to being a villain.

"You can sit out of classes for the rest of the day since you're just going to cause problems."

"I wasn't planning on going back." I turned away from my homeroom teacher and walked out of the staffroom, ignoring the glances from other teachers such as Ectoplasm or Snape. They all looked at me with those same eyes — filled with mistrust, anger, challenging and annoyance.

If they want me to be a villain so badly, then fuck it. I'll get over my squeamishness. I'll forgive myself for what I did in Hosu city because that's how it should have gone down. I'll become the number one notorious villain in this entire fucking country. I'll be the perfect weapon for my father and we'll destroy this broken, disgusting society.

I slammed the door to the girl's washroom open. There was a little yelp of surprise from none other than Uraraka, who was washing her face. Her eyes were still red and puffy from crying, and she immediately turned to look away from me. I ignored her and entered one of the stalls.

Reaching into my pocket, I pulled out the key for my bracelet cuffs. I wiggled it around until they snapped off, rolling my wrists to counteract the stiffness. I wouldn't be able to wear them or the teachers would know where I was. Still, it would be suspicious if they were staying in one place all day.

I shoved the key in my pocket and peered out through the crack in the door. Uraraka's backpack was open. I'd just have to get them inside and she'd carry them around school property all day — I'd just have to make sure that I got them back before she left.

Opening the stall door, Uraraka was avoiding looking towards me. Perfect. I moved up to the sink to wash my hands right beside her, and she took a small step away. This left me in between her and her backpack. When she glanced in the opposite direction, I reached my hand out and dropped the cuffs inside.

"I-Izumi... I'm sorry about before. Can we—"

"—I meant what I said earlier so I'm not sorry. We're not friends, Uraraka."

"I just don't understand! You were starting to open up and then you came back from your internship and you completely shut down!"

"I realized why I came to UA in the first place. Besides, I doubt I'll be here much longer."

Uraraka froze, "Wait! You're dropping out of UA?"

"No, not really," I replied. "I'll probably be pulled out."

"But... why?" Uraraka looked almost helpless. "Don't you want to be a hero?"

"I don't believe in heroes," I reminded her. Her lips curled downwards in disappointment. "I guess you could say I was raised with morals similar to the hero killer. The heroes in our society are fake and only do it to fulfill their ulterior motives."

"What's that supposed to mean—" Uraraka pursed her lips "—are you going to do something stupid?"

"I'm not allowed to talk about it," I replied, remembering what my father had told me. I had to be obedient like he said and push away my friends. None of them thought villains could become heroes and therefore none of them believed in me. What would make it different from every other villain?

"Can I ask you one question then?" she whispered.

"Depends on what it is."

"Why did you come to UA?" she asked the one question I'd hoped she wouldn't. "Everyone could tell you didn't want to be here, but the teachers never said anything. You've refused to do tests and projects or to participate in class and yet you're still here. The teachers won't expell you, or suspend you when they would do it to anyone else."

There are so many aspects to this question. There are so many people that I will get in huge trouble with if I tell her — the police, the staff, the League of Villains, my father. I've wanted to screech everything to the world but instead, it's been left inside me, boiling hotter and hotter. One of these days I'm going to explode.

"I'm not allowed to leave," I answered cryptically. "I can't tell you anything else."

"Do you wish you never came to UA?" She murmured, a slight crack in her voice.

No. No, I don't.  I've been hurt by a lot of people since I've gotten here and they'll continue to hurt me in the future. I know this. But for the first time in my life, I was able to see outside of my underground home. I got to see the first shred of sunlight. I got to meet other people that weren't my parents. I got to try new foods and learn all kinds of things about the world I'd missed out on. Sure, I was a bitch about it the entire way through but I still loved every second of it. I don't want things to go back to the way they were.

"Yes. I hate this stupid school and every person in it. I've done nothing but waste my life away, waiting for someone to come and save me from this eternal hell. I'm not a hero, and I will never become one. Leave me alone."

My chest hurt when Uraraka's eyes started to water again. I can't watch her cry knowing it was my fault. She's gone above and beyond trying to become my friend. When my father takes me back home, I don't want her to miss me. I hope she forgets all about me and the pain I caused her. Then one day if we meet on the battlefield like a hero and villain, she can fight me and take me down and never feel even an inch of regret.

I wrapped my hands around my barren wrists and headed straight for one of the side stairwells — they weren't very commonly used (especially during the middle of class). Fuck this building. Fuck these people. Fuck my emotions. Fuck everything. I need some air.

I pushed the front doors of the school open and my eyes focused on the UA gates in front of me. For once in my life, I wanted complete freedom. Even if it was only for a few hours, I wanted to have the option to do whatever I wanted. Maybe then I'd know where I fall.

As I walked through the school gates, I didn't hear the typical beep from my bracelet that happens every time I enter and exit as it sends a notification to all of the staff that I have come onto or left the school grounds. Glancing back at the hero school which was now completely behind me, I couldn't help but feel a sense of joy.

In this world, there are heroes and there are villains. Who decides who is who? Which person has given themselves the power to determine what makes someone a villain and what makes someone a hero? Heroes have as much of a dark side as villains have a light side.

The world is so much more complicated than heroes and villains.

Chapter Text

The city streets were quieter today. Maybe it was because of the dark clouds hovering over the city, or the slight chill in the air. Almost everyone was still at work or at school. The only people I had to worry about were the patrolling Pro Heroes. If they recognized me, it would all be over.

 

It had only been a few minutes since I began by secret venture from the gates of UA High. My wrists felt strange without the cuffs that I'd stuck into Uraraka's backpack, although the lack of constraints gave me a rare sense of freedom. Never before had I felt so energized.

 

I could do whatever I wanted and my father nor the teachers at UA could do anything to stop me. I could go where ever I wanted; I could eat whatever I wanted. For once in my life, I could be more than just my father's daughter. None of these people know who I am. I could do things on my own terms.

 

A strange, alluring scent hit my nose and I glanced over towards a small stand on the side of the road. They were selling these three balls of some sort of food (one pink, one white, and one green) on a stick. I'd never seen or smelled anything like it before.

 

My stomach rumbled and I placed my hand over my belly. I'd left before lunch, and my food was all back on my locker at school. The dango, as the sign read, was a bit too expensive for me. By that, I meant I have no money. I've never had money before. There was no need for it with my mother and father, and the teachers didn't give me any. 

 

Slowly approaching the stall, I stared down at the sidewalk below me as I walked. My stomach let out another growl, and I breathed in more of the delicious scent. I'm sure they wouldn't miss a couple sticks if they happened to go missing. A man was already standing in front of the stall waiting for his food. 

 

When a brown bag was held out of the little window, I pushed forward and snatched it from the person inside. There was a loud shout of protest from behind me as I bolted down the street. Keeping my head down, I weaved through the crowds and turned down the next street I saw.

 

"Hey! Get back here, brat!"

 

I turned another corner and ducked into an alleyway, crouching down to hide as the man ran by yelling. The bag was warm in my hands, and the smell had only grown more delicious. After the running, eating something would help get my energy back up.

 

Pulling one of the three sticks from the bag, I held the steaming sweets up to my mouth. There was an explosion of flavour as I bit into it and an audible moan escaped my list. I'd never tasted anything so good before! There were so many foods that I'd never even heard of when I was with my mother.

 

What other things were there that I'd never experienced?

 

I threw the now empty stick onto the ground and climbed to my feet so I could save the other sticks for later. I'd eat them before heading back to the school, of course, but I may be hungry later on.  

 

Slipping back onto the streets, there were even fewer people than before. The clouds had grown darker and more threatening. The rain would be starting very soon. I'd have to head back before it did or I would be questioned on why I was wet. I didn't want to go back. I liked being able to do what I wanted.

 

I missed Uraraka and Kirishima. Going back wouldn't fix that situation. If I go back, I'll have to hurt them and push them away even more. Uraraka might cry again. I don't want to make her cry. Crying means that someone is sad, doesn't it? Kirishima taught me that when I was leaking. All this time I hadn't realized it was because I was sad. 

 

I couldn't think like that. Father told me that I wasn't to have friends. Friends make a person weak and vulnerable. I can't let myself fall victim to emotions again. I'll have to push them away and bottle them up again. Villains have no space for feelings. 

 

My feelings brought me nothing but pain. They forced me to care about people when I didn't want to, and they made it hurt to be cruel to others. They made me miss the friends I'd made during my foolishness and wish that I had more people like that in my life.

 

These feelings would kill me one day and my father would be right. I had to push them down and prove to him that I wasn't turning soft. This was the only way he'd let me stay at UA. If he thought I was too weak, then he would force me to return home. I don't want to go back to my underground shelter. I've gotten a chance to see the world and I never want to be isolated from it again.

 

I used to love the darkness; I thrived in it. Now, it only served as a reminder to the place I could never escape. It made me remember the place I'd grown up in, thinking it was a home. Now that I was older, I realized that it was a prison cell and a training ground. 

 

I don't know who I am anymore.

 

I'm supposed to be the leader of the next generation of villains. I'm supposed to destroy society as we know it and take the life of the symbol of peace. I have to destroy everything and build a new society where villains can run wild.

 

That was my dream. My father made it sound so wonderful when I was a child. I'd be able to explore the world and do whatever I wanted without anyone ever telling me no. I'd be completely free with limitless possibilities. I could be whoever I wanted to be.

 

I don't want that life anymore.

 

I want to be a participant in the next generation of heroes. I want to save people alongside my classmates. I want to become an incredible hero like Mr. Aizawa. He's proof that true heroes exist, and I want to become a true hero too.

 

I want to make more friends and get along with the rest of class 1A - not just Kirishima and Uraraka. Except for Mineta. I'm going to fucking kill him the next time I see him for saying I had a nice ass. Fuck Mineta's entire existence. I hope he dies pathetically and alone with no one to love him.

 

But other than him, the rest of my class seemed kind of nice. Except for Bakugou. Fuck him too. They were never the problem, after all. I was. I refused to give them a chance, no matter how many times they tried to be nice to me. I ignored their existence and made fun of them behind their backs.

 

I was a horrible person, wasn't I? So what made someone like me deserve to be a hero? They'd never accept me if they'd known who I really was. They'd hate me if they found out what I'd done as Shifter. I don't want anyone to know that side of me. I'm tired of everyone looking at me like I'm my father.

 

I'm not All For One! I'm my own person and I can make my own decisions. I can choose to be good, even if my father chose to be a villain. Why can't anyone see that? Why can't anyone give me a chance to prove that I can be a hero too? I want to be a hero. I want to be good.

 

But I can't.

 

Heroes don't watch children die. Heroes don't participate in an all-out assault against an entire city. Heroes don't gather information on other heroes to hand over to an organization of villains. Heroes don't steal food from vendors. Heroes don't betray everyone who has put their trust in them.

 

I stared at the gates leading into UA High from across the street. How long had I been walking? How did I get here so fast? Why the fuck is it so cold? Why am I soaked? Oh shit, the rain. How did I not realize that it was pouring until now? 

 

I entered through the gates and slowly walked up the path to the front entrance. I wasn't completely sure what time it was, but I could tell that the school day hadn't ended yet. If it had, there would have been a lot more students walking around and the teachers would probably be on a rampage searching for me. 

 

"Why are you soaked?"

 

I narrowed my eyes at the man before me, "I was outside. It's raining."

 

"You should be in class," he enunciated with a hiss.

 

"Aizawa told me not to go to the rest of my classes today. I'm just following orders."

 

"I'll be speaking with Principal Nezu about your attitude," Snipe growled at me.

 

I clenched my fists in anger, "What the fuck did I do!?" 

 

"You're just digging yourself a deeper hole." Snipe's body slammed into my shoulder and I stumbled back as he shoved his way past me. I glanced back to watch him walk away, but the man was storming straight to Nezu's office.

 

What did I do wrong? What have I ever done to him? What did I do to any of the UA teachers or the Pro Heroes? What did I do to Endeavor? I just don't understand. Everyone hates me and gets me in trouble. Did I do something awful to hurt their feelings? According to them, everything is my fault.

 

Not wanting to stick around, I quickly made my way through the halls towards Class 1A. I had to figure out how to get my cuffs back. Maybe I should have thought this part over a little better. Oh, wait. Nevermind, I'm stupid. This will be easy. Glancing around the floor, I found a crumpled up detention slip.

 

I picked it up and moved over to the classroom door. The door was already slightly open, and the class was all working on things silently at their desks. None of them noticed me. Searching for Uraraka, I looked around her desk for her backpack. Thankfully, she wasn't making physical contact.

 

The weight in my hand was suddenly much heavier as Urakra's bag appeared in the place of the crumpled up detention slip and I jumped away from the door. I couldn't risk having anyone see me. Having found what I needed, I speed walked to the girl's washroom.

 

Inside, I pulled on the zipper of Uraraka's bag to open it up. She had some binders, notebooks, pencil cases and other stereotypical school supplies. At the very bottom of her bag though, were my metal cuffs. I snapped them around my wrists and pulled out the key from my back pocket to make sure they were locked properly.

 

I was about to close Uraraka's backpack, but something inside stood out. There was a white envelope rested behind one of her notebooks and written in her handwriting was my name, 'Izumi'. Had she planned to give me something?

 

I let my curiosity get the best of me as I pulled the envelope from her bag. It hadn't been sealed, and inside was a folded up piece of paper. Taking it out, I unfolded it and finally realized what it was. It was a letter. Uraraka wrote me a letter.

 

Dear Izumi, 

 

  I really wanted to talk to you about what happened earlier. I know you don't want to talk to me right now, so I wrote you this note instead. I thought it would be easier for you to read it than us talking in person.

 

  Did I do something to upset you? Is that why you pushed me away? I promise I never meant to hurt your feelings or anything like that so please tell me if I did! I'd feel really bad if I did something that hurt you that much.

 

  Something's been off about you since the internship. I know we had that talk in the bathroom about why you came to UA and I know you're not supposed to talk about it but I'm trying to help you. Maybe it has to do with that, and that's why you won't tell me. If you really don't want to share then that's okay, but if you need someone to talk to then I promise that I'd never tell another soul.

 

  I'm trying to understand you, Izumi. I really want to understand. I want to help you get through whatever it is you're going through and support you. That's what friends are for, right? You shouldn't force yourself to be alone when things get difficult. Even if we don't hang out as much as other girls do, you're like a best friend to me. Please forgive me?

 

  Your Best Friend,

  Uraraka

 

I rapidly folded the letter and shoved it back in the envelope. God damn it. Why did she have to go write something like that? What was she thinking? I threw it back inside her bag and fixed the zipper. Giving something like that to me? Hah. Like I'd care. She didn't mean anything to me. Friends are weaknesses.

 

Even I don't believe the words coming out of my mouth.

 

I wipe the tears that are threatening to spill from my eyes. I can't cry. Crying makes you look weak and I am not weak. I have to be strong so I can stay at UA. I can't allow myself to become soft. Be strong. Be strong!

 

I grabbed the backpack and swung it over my shoulder. I had to go switch it back before she noticed her bag was missing. If it randomly just disappeared and then reappeared, people would get suspicious. 

 

Uraraka was writing notes down in one of her books when I peered back in through the classroom door. She hadn't seemed to notice that her backpack was gone, and the old detention slip was sitting in its place. Oh shit. I put the cuffs back on.

 

I had taken the key out of my pockets when I realized something. They had modified my cuffs. They didn't cancel out my quirk anymore. They still monitored my location, which was annoying, but at least I could take them off when I wanted to. 

 

The crumpled detention slip appeared in my hand and I dropped it onto the floor without a care. It had been where I found it so I may as well put it back where it belonged. The school had janitors. They could clean it up. It was their job, after all.

 

A ringing sound came through the speakers and students suddenly began rushing into the hallways as we reached the end of the day. A couple of my classmates were out within seconds, although upon seeing me they looked the other way. They were all mad at me for what I did.

 

I couldn't help but freeze when Kirishima exited the classroom. He'd attempted to make eye contact with me, but the only thing I could focus on was the dark bruise that had formed around his right eye. He hadn't expected my attack so his Hardening quirk didn't lessen any of the blow.

 

"Hey, Izu—" his hand reached out towards me.

 

"—Don't touch me!" I slapped it away.

 

Passerbys in the halls glanced in our direction, and the other students in my class had stopped what they were doing to watch our interaction. They were all looking at me with those eyes. They were staring at me the same way that everyone who knew about my father did. They were staring at me as if I were a villain.

 

"Izumi?" a softer voice came from behind the redhead as Uraraka approached.

 

She was looking down at the ground nervously, and in her hand, she held a white envelope with my name on it. She held it out for me to take and my limbs went stiff. I don't know what to do. I know exactly what's in there. I can't read that again. I don't want her to think I read it and completely ignored her. 

 

I'm sorry, Uraraka. I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry. You deserve so much better as your best friend. You should have a best friend who puts you first and doesn't hurt you like I have in the past and like I'm about to right now. You should hang out with other heroes that support you.

 

Uraraka gasped at the ripping sound that rang through the now-silent hallway, and the tears began to well up in her eyes. The two pieces of what once was the letter she'd wrote to me hit the floor with a smack.

 

"I don't want to hear anything you have to say to me. We were never friends, and we never will be. Stay away from me."

 

"Izumi, don't you think you're being a little harsh?"

 

"Shut up, Kirishima! I didn't ask you. In case you haven't remembered, we're not friends either. I don't have any friends. Friends make you weak. All they do is drag you down!"

 

I'm sorry, Uraraka. Please don't hate me. Please tell me you know I'm lying and wrap your arms around me. I can't stop shaking. Everything hurts. I feel like I'm going to cry. I want someone to hold me like my mother used to and promise that it will be okay. I can't do this on my own anymore. 

 

Why does it hurt so much to exist? Everything I do seems to cause me or the people I care about pain. Uraraka, please. Don't cry. I don't like it when you cry. My stomach hurts. I feel sick. All of my classmates are glaring at me harshly. I don't care about them right now but they're the only ones who can help Uraraka. I'm no good for her.

 

"What's with you recently?" my body slammed against a locker.

 

Please don't do this. I can't handle this. Not from you, Kirishima. Anyone but from you. You're giving me the same look as everyone else is. You're looking at me like I'm a villain. You promised that you were there to help me, remember? You made me promise to tell you whenever someone hurt me.

 

"We all know something's bothering you, but it doesn't mean you can take it out on Uraraka. She's trying to help you! I am too! Let us help you!"

 

His arms are caging me into the wall. I can't escape. I'm trapped. No. Don't go there. He's nothing like my father. Kirishima wouldn't hurt me. He wouldn't hurt me, would he? Unless he's angry that I punched him earlier... No! He's not like that. He's not like that at all.

 

"Answer me, damn it!"

 

His fist punched the locker beside me and my eyes shot up to meet his. He looked angry — really angry. Please don't hate me. I know I tried to make you hate me but I don't want you to actually go through with it. I need you to keep fighting for me, okay? I don't know how much longer I can do this. I need at least one person who's truly on my side. 

 

"Stop playing the victim! You're trying to look all terrified but you started this. You punched me, remember? And you were the one who snapped at Uraraka!"

 

I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm so, so sorry. Please don't hate me. Don't hate me, please. Keep fighting for me. I need you to fight for our friendship. I don't want to be alone anymore. I don't want to go back to my childhood home. I don't want to be a villain anymore! I want to be a hero just like you guys. I want us all to be friends.

 

I'm not trying to play the victim. I'm not terrified, am I? I've never known the feeling of being terrified. I don't know how to be scared. Father wouldn't let me feel emotions or he'd hurt me. Being around him gave me such an anxious feeling that I always did exactly as he asked.

 

I can feel how harshly my body is trembling. My blood is pumping rapidly and I'm having a hard time catching my breath. I can hear my father's angry voice scolding me from the other room for not listening to him. I can't go against my father's orders. My mind is screaming at me to listen to him like I always do.

 

"Are you even going to apologize?" Kirishima asked me quietly. "Don't you think Uraraka deserves one? If you're not going to apologize to me then fine, but you should apologize to her for sure."

 

No, I can't. I'm sorry, Uraraka. Please don't cry. I can't stand to see you balling your eyes out in front of me because of something I did. I can't apologize to you, I'm sorry. I can't. If I apologize then I'll break my father's rules and I can't do that. I know it's selfish. I'm putting you through all this emotional pain to keep myself safe.

 

"I meant everything I said," I managed to pull myself together enough to growl out a single sentence.

 

Kirishima's arms dropped to his side and he stared down at me for another couple seconds before shakig his head. "I don't get you." Please don't leave me. Please don't. Stop walking away. Please. I can't do this on my own. I need you to help me. I need someone to help me. I've dug my hole so deep that I don't know how to get out of it anymore.

 

I'm scared.

 

I'm really scared.

 

I don't want my father to come to take me away. I don't want to go to the league of villains. I don't want to be a villain! I don't want to! I can't go back to where I was. I don't want to be isolated underground in the dark anymore. I don't like my childhood home. I don't like my childhood prison.

 

I could feel the eyes of all the students on me — those that were in my class and those that were just passing by. Everyone was looking at me with those eyes. I'm not a villain! I swear, I'm not! Please don't believe I'm a villain. Please have faith in me. Please believe in me.

 

"Come on, Uraraka. Let's go. You don't need someone like Izumi in your life. People like her just drag everyone around them down."

 

Momo's words hit me like a truck. She's right, after all. What am I doing? I'm making everything worse. I'm dragging everyone around me down into an endless pit. I have no future in front of me and I'm holding my classmates back from reaching theirs. 

 

I bolted through the hallways, trying to hide my teary-eyed face from the other students. I need out. I can't breathe. I need some air. I was panting as I sprinted up the stairwell, and my body slammed into the door that led onto the roof.

 

Gasping in the air to refill my lungs, I stumbled out onto the empty roof. UA was a tall building. I could see a skyline view of the city. It was really pretty. Continuously trying to wipe the tears from my eyes, I slowly moved closer so I'd be able to see it better.

 

Before I knew it, I was at the edge.

 

I could feel the wind blowing through my hair as I stared down at the ground hundreds of metres below me. One tiny little step and maybe I wouldn't hurt so much anymore. I choked out another sob. What am I even doing anymore? I'm so lost. I can't stand this helpless feeling. I want to die.

 

"What are you doing?"

 

"I—"

 

"Walk away from the ledge."

 

My feet began taking steps back against my will. No! You're going the wrong way! You're going the wrong way! Stupid feet! I want to die. I want to jump off this stupid building. Everyone would be better off without me. They wouldn't be hurting from the things I've done. 

 

"Were you going to jump?"

 

No, tell him no. "Yes."

 

"Why?"

 

No! Don't tell him! Why are you telling him? "I'm drowning in myself."

 

There was a hand placed on my shoulder and I was forced to face the stranger who'd found me and suddenly everything made sense. He sported dark bags under his eyes as if he hadn't slept in weeks and his familiar purple hair was sticking out all over the place. Although I hadn't paid a huge amount of attention, I remembered him from the sports festival.

 

"Hitoshi Shinso," he introduced himself. "I saw you running up to the roof crying and thought it would be best to follow you. Good thing I did."

 

His damn quirk. When I answered him the first time he used his damn quirk on me to pull me away from the ledge. I wanted to jump, damn it! I want to jump. I want to die. I don't want to continue. I want to make my suffering and the suffering of my friends end.

 

"Suicide isn't the answer. Trust me, I know. I tried back when I was in middle school. I was so sick of everyone looking at me like I was a villain all the time. All of my friends and family were so upset. I realized how much my death would have affected them. You need to keep fighting. I've seen how strong you can be. You fought in the Sports Festival with one arm so injured that you couldn't move it. You can get past this."

 

"I-... I'm so lost," I sobbed to the boy I'd just met. I can't keep everything bottled inside like this. I'm bad at hiding my emotions. I'm sorry, father. I messed up. I failed you. "I-I made all my friends... I made all my friends hate me. A-and- and - and the teachers hate me."

 

"What is it that you want? What is your mind telling you that you need?"

 

"I-I want someone to hold me and tell me it'll be okay. I want someone I-I can tell everything to a-and... And someone who cares."

 

"You're lonely. I used to be really lonely too. You don't have to be. Come on, let's go inside. We should go talk to Principal Nezu."

 

"N-no!"

 

My body stiffened once again and Shinso's hand wrapped around my wrist as my feet began leading me back to the door that led into the school. I don't want to go back. Why is he taking me back? I want to go the other way. I want to fall.

 

"I'm sorry for using my quirk on you, but please understand that it was necessary. I'm taking you to Principal Nezu."

 

I don't know what my heart wants anymore.

Chapter Text

I anxiously tapped my fingernails against the desk. My mind was screaming at me to run far away, take off my cuffs and never come back. To go where no one would find me so I could get it over with and disappear for good. My stress levels were shooting through the roof and I didn't know how to calm myself back down.

"How long have you been having suicidal thoughts?" Nezu's gentle voice broke me from my thoughts. This was the third (or was it the fourth?) time he'd asked me this question. I couldn't keep track of what was happening. I was so lost inside my thoughts. Everything had gone to shit.

Shinso had waited for the hallways to clear and most of the students to exit the building before he brought me down to Nezu's office to explain everything that happened. Soon after, the rodent thanked him and said that the UA staff would take everything from there.

"Izumi, this is important. How long have you been having suicidal thoughts?" he repeated with a bit more force.

"I was just on the roof... I-um... I got close to the ledge a-and. And, um, everything just happened kinda fast."

"So this is the first time?"

"Yeah," I shifted in my seat uncomfortably.

He began scribbling things into his notebook and I fought the urge to cover my ears and run away. My head began hurting on the way down to his office and had grown into a throb the longer I spent in this situation. My hands went to my stomach as a sudden pang rang through it. I was going to be sick.

"Your teachers and classmates have noticed that you've been off since your internship. Did something happen?"

"No," the whisper barely escaped my lips. I raised my voice as I continued, "Nothing happened. I'm just getting sick of all this heroing shit. I want to go home - not that any of you fucks will let me."

"Back to your father?"

No. I never want to go back there. My father is one of the only men who can make me quiver. He makes me feel true terror as his orders rack through my mind. I can't say no to him. If I go back to my father then I'll be stuck as his slave for the rest of my life. I don't want to train with him anymore. I can't listen to myself scream for hours as he beats my broken body into the ground with promises of power.

"I was happy where I was. I never asked to be rescued! I want to go back. I'm not a hero, damn it!"

Why can I never tell anyone the truth? Why am I so afraid to admit that I want to be a hero? I don't want to be a villain anymore. I made that clear. I'm too much of a coward to tell everyone. They've made it clear enough that they don't think I have it in me to be a hero.

If I can't be a hero then I have no choice but to become a villain. I can't be a villain. I can't watch more innocent people die because of me. I'll never forget the bloodcurdling scream that the mother cried for the loss of her son - the son that I failed to protect. I don't want to hurt my friends anymore. I'd be better off dead where I protect everyone from myself.

I'm too much of a coward to send myself to prison. I'd lose myself in the memories of my sins. I'd be stuck in a constant flashback of my life when I was home with my mother and the visits from my father. I couldn't even allow myself to be locked up. I'd break and no one would ever be able to put me back together.

"Izumi, I'd like for us to be honest with each other. I'm going to ask you some questions regarding your experiences at UA and I want you to answer truthfully. Is that alright?"

"Fine," I glanced down at my lap.

Nezu cleared his throat and flipped to a new page in his notebook. He scribbled something in the top right-hand corner and glanced up to look me in the eyes. The pen shifted across the paper, hovering just above it, as he let out a soft sigh.

"How have all the UA faculty members treated you when you were living with them. Were any cruel or aggressive towards you?"

My father's words rang through my mind. I was forbidden to tell anyone about our training sessions. He made it clear that if something were to happen to him, I was never to share any information regarding my treatment, our relation, or anything else regarding him. Who's to say that the UA faculty that were cruel to me wouldn't harm me as my father did? No one would believe me anyway.

"No. They've all been kind and welcoming," I lied through my teeth.

"There's something you're not telling me. This isn't a joke, Izumi. I know it's a sensitive subject, but you must have had a motive for your attempt."

"I don't know. I was on the roof and something told me to throw myself off it. Shinsou stopped me before I followed through."

The door opened and I forced myself to look away from the man who entered. I was ashamed to look him in the eyes - not that I'd ever let him find out. He was a true hero who protected and cared about his students. I was the wannabe hero who made all the wrong decisions at the wrong times. Nezu lifted the notebook he'd been scribbling in and threw it to Aizawa, who caught it with ease.

"Tch," the man scoffed as he glanced down to read what the principal had written. I watched him through the corner of my eye as an uncomfortable silence drowned Nezu's office. Aizawa's scowl deepened as he read, but then something weird happened.

His eyes had widened suddenly and he lost his grip on the notebook. There was a loud bang as the notebook hit the floor, and my teach stood there in complete silence for a few moments. Even his pupils didn't move. It took a few long moments before his expression turned grim and he leaned down to grab the notebook again and finished reading what had been written. After he was done, Aizawa closed the book and placed it back on Nezu's desk.

"Will you do it?" the rodent asked.

"Yeah," my teacher replied with a hint of guilt in his voice. "I will."

Aizawa reached into his pocket and fished out his phone. I glanced between the two of them in confusion. What was going on? Aizawa held the phone to his ear, waiting a minute before he finally spoke into it.

"Hi. Drop Izumi's stuff at my house... Last-minute arrangement... Not really but we're working it out... I'll ask Nezu to call you after and he can explain... No, it's not that... Look, don't worry about it. Can you just take her stuff to my place?... There's an extra key in the potted plant on my porch... Yeah, it's right beside the door... Yeah. You may have to dig into the dirt a bit though... Sure, no problem... Yeah... Thanks, Midnight. Talk to you later... Yeah, bye."

He moved the phone away from his ear and hung up before glancing in my direction. Just great. Now I had to go live with my idol and the only true hero in existence. Anyone else would flip at the chance to meet their idol but fuck my life. Of course, mine fucking hated me. Great.

"Alright, why don't you two head out? I can see this meeting isn't getting anywhere. We'll talk another time, Izumi."

Aizawa exited the room and I gave one last glance towards Nezu before chasing after my teacher. I still didn't fully understand what happened back in the office. What had caused Aizawa to freeze up like that? What had happened back there?

"The final exams are in less than a week," his voice broke me from my thoughts. "Unless you want to be stuck doing summer school lessons, you may want to start studying."

"Tch, I've ignored so many lessons I don't even know what all my classes are teaching. There's a reason I've got the lowest score in the class, you know. I couldn't be bothered."

"This information is useful," he continued. "It doesn't matter if you're a villain or a hero. "

I rolled my eyes, "And how do you expect me to learn it all in a week? You're probably just waiting for me to fail so you can laugh and say you're not surprised."

A hand wrapped around my wrist and a force pulled me backwards. My body whipped around to face Aizawa whilst his grip slightly tightened. The man stared at me silently for a minute before he released my wrist from his grasp. "I'll help you study."

"Huh?"

"I'll help you. I'll set up a plan so we can go over everything in the time we have. You'll have to work hard though and put some effort in. You're very intelligent, Izumi. If you tried to do well, you'd have some of the top scores in the class."

My fists clenched tightly at my sides. Why would Aizawa go through the extra trouble to help someone like me? He was supposed to hate me. He didn't care about me or what I did. If I disappeared, he'd be happy about it. So why is he suddenly acting so differently?

The car let out a little beep to signal it had been unlocked and I pulled open the front seat so I could climb inside. Aizawa got in just as I buckled my seatbelt and the car was quickly set into motion as we went back to the familiar suburban neighborhood where the Pro Hero lived.

When we pulled into the driveway, Midnight's car was already parked in front of his house and the door was hanging wide open. There was an annoyed growl from the man beside me as he turned off the car and the two of us got out. I went straight to the front door whilst Aizawa grabbed something from the trunk.

An unexpted arm wrapped around my shoulders and pulled me in close, "Hey girl! How are you feeling?" Shoving Midnight off, the hero pouted slightly as I moved away. I wasn't in the mood to deal with her sit and I wasn't a hug kinda person. The only people to hug me had been my mother and... Rocky... a few times.

"I put all of your things in your room," she told me as Aizawa entered.

The man glanced in my direction, "Why don't you go unpack?"

"There's no point," I replied with a grumble. "I'll be here for a week maximum and then be shipped off to some other hero that doesn't want me."

A hand was placed on my shoulder and I shoved my teacher away. I didn't need his comfort. I didn't need anyone's comfort. I was strong on my own. I would never let anyone see me when I was weak again. I had to prove that I was strong and that I hadn't gone soft. I have to be strong and never show my true emotions.

'You don't have to go through that anymore," his words sounded more sincere than I'd ever heard them before. "You'll be staying here."

"Wait, what? Staying... here?"

"Unless you'd rather live with someone else, but Nezu thought I'd be the best option. That's why he called me to his office. The UA faculty have been talking about getting you a more permanent living residence for a while now, but we were still figuring stuff out. After... Shinsou found you... Nezu thought it was better to implement the plan sooner than later."

"Oh," I shifted my gaze to the floorboards. So this place was my home now? No. It was Aizawa's home. He was just putting up with me because no one else could be bothered. I know none of the other teachers would want to take me in. He probably only volunteered to take one for the team and suffer through it.

Still, a part of me felt happy. I'd never had a home. Not since my childhood prison - but that was never really a home, was it? No. That was the training ground that beat me onto the path of a villain. It was never a home. It never will be my home. But maybe this place...

I can't get my hopes up. Aizawa will get sick of dealing with me soon enough and send me away. I'll go back to househopping between the UA faculty members as they all fight to get rid of me the second I enter their homes. No one wants me. Maybe I should throw myself off of Aizawa's roof and be done with it.

"I'm going to make dinner. How about after we eat, we can crack open those textbooks of yours and start studying? We'll get you ready for the written exams."

"Ooh, you're going to help her study? Isn't that technically cheating?" Midnight sang. "Scandalous!"

"I'm just reteaching quicker versions of lessons she ignored. I don't want to deal with her in summer school too."

"Well, I'll leave you guys to it! See you tomorrow!"

The door slammed shut as Midnight skipped through the house and I dug my textbooks out from my backpack. I set up on the kitchen table, figuring I may as well just start. The sooner we got this over with, the sooner I could go to bed. Today's events had left me exhausted.

I stared at the words in my text blankly as Aizawa bustled throughout the kitchen. What the fuck am I even reading. Who cares about X? Why is X so fucking antisocial? Why can't the bitch just hang out with the other numbers and letters so I don't have to fucking isolate it. Fuck math.

"You didn't go to school when you were little either, so some of this is probably more difficult for you than the average student. I'll show you a simple question. X - 2 = 8. To isolate X, you need to get rid of that -2. To cancel it out, you add 2. X - 2 + 2. Then it's just X. To keep the equation equal, you have to add 2 to the other side. X = 8 + 2."

I squinted my eyes at the stupid problem Aizawa had given me, "So X = 10?"

"That's correct. Now that you understand the basics, try the next problem. Let me know if you need help."

Okay. Maybe this won't be too difficult. I picked up my pencil and scibbled some equasions in my notebook. I kept track of all my steps just in case I fucked it up so I'd be able to figure out what I did wrong.

"Uh, 42?"

"It should be 64," Aizawa stopped behind me to check over my work. He pointed at the second equation I'd written out. "You divided on both sides. You should have divded on the left and multiplied on the right."

"Oh. Um—" I scratched out my work and rewrote the new equasions below in—"64! I got 64!"

"Try the next few problems and I'll check them over after."

I nodded and went back to look at the equations. I wasn't very fast at multipling in my head, but Aizawa was letting me use a calculator for now while I learned the formulas. I still had to learn my times tables and how to divide before the exam though.

"Done!"

"That was faster than I expected," Aizawa looked up from cutting the vegetables. "Hopefully they're correct."

He placed the knife back down on the counter and came back over to check on my progress. He'd given me 10 problems to solve. Some of them were a lot harder than the others, but I think I was starting to get better at the whole algebra thing.

"Look at 6, 9, and 10 again and see if you can figure out what you did wrong. The rest are fine."

"Okay," I began to read my answer for 6 as Aizawa went back to chopping vegetables. It took me a little bit to find all my mistakes, but when I called Aizawa back over he told me than I'd gotten them all right now. Did he think that I was very intelligent? Maybe I was really smart! When I'm doing the work, it's a lot easier to understand!

"Why don't you try the next unit? It's on quadratics. It's somewhat similar to algebra I suppose but more complicated. There should be some examples of solved questions on the introductory page."

"Yeah, um, just let me look... Oh! I found it! Do you want me to try the questions under 'Try Me'?" I glanced over in his direction to see him nod. Okay! Time to get to work.

The following units were much more difficult, but Aizawa told me that we would have a sheet with all the formulas on the back of the math section of the exam. As long as I knew which formula solved which type of problem (and how to use them) then I'd be okay.

I pushed my books away when he placed dinner on the table and the two of us sat across from one another as we ate the soup he'd made. I had to admit, he wasn't too bad in the kitchen. He wasn't as good of a cook as Midnight, but his food was much better than Vlad or Nezu's cooking. And Snape's too—not that he let me eat much.

After we'd eaten, I pulled my books back out and he lurked around the kitchen as he cleaned the counters and did the dishes. He'd always stop what he was doing to help me out when I didn't understand something. Then, once he was finished his chores, he pulled a seat up beside me and continued to check over my work as I went through the basics of each unit. There's no way I'd be able to learn everything, but as long as I could answer at least half of each unit correctly then I would pass.

He also promised that he'd go over the more advanced things with me during the summer so I wouldn't be too far behind next year. Even if I still had to do some summer studying, it would be much better than going to school full time. Besides, as much as I hated to admit it, maybe the stuff I was learning in class wasn't so boring after all. If I paid attention to the review content this week, studied during breaks and lunch, and studied with Aizawa after school then I was sure I'd be able to pass!

I'd show everyone that I'm not just some deadbeat who couldn't be bothered to try. I am intelligent — just like Aizawa said!

But am I? I'm still a villain who watched a child die without saving him. I'm still an awful friend who ran away in the face of danger to save myself. I'm still a nobody being yanked back and forth between the shadow and the light. Plus after everything happened on the roof I can't help but wonder...

What would have happened if I jumped?

A part of me is telling me not to think about it and to try and help myself past this.

Another part of me is telling me to go back to that roof and find out.

Chapter Text

"Alright, put your pencils down. The last person in each row, bring the answer sheets to me."

I placed my pencil down on my desk and stared down at my answer sheet. Standing up from my seat, I picked it up and moved up the row as I grabbed the tests of the other people in my row. Although I wasn't able to answer some of the questions, I felt very confident in the questions that I could answer.

I just knew the answers. I skipped half the tests since the beginning of the year and didn't score higher than 10% on the ones I actually wrote. I never understood the terminology or I just didn't know the answers. I never knew.

This time I did. When I read the questions, a part of my mind just seemed to get them. I could be wrong though. I did learn everything in a week, after all. Even if I did much better than all the other tests so far, I still didn't understand a whole bunch of the questions. I left a lot of blank spaces.

I handed the sheets I'd collected to Aizawa and, seeming to sense my nerves, he gave me a slight nod in reassurance. I'd gotten used to living with him over the course of the week. We'd been working together a lot since he was helping me study and I found a new appreciation for him. Even though he didn't like me, he was still trying to help me pass his class — even if it was just so he didn't have to have me as a student in summer school.

But he also offered to help me study during the summer so I would be able to keep up next year so maybe he didn't think I was so bad after all! No. I can't get my hopes up. I can't allow myself to form any emotional attachments. Father will be angry with me. Father will hurt me. I don't want to train with him.

"Change into your hero costumes and head over to the Center Plaza for the practical exam," Aizawa ordered the class.

Waiting for no one, I grabbed my sad excuse for a hero costume and bolted to the girl's changeroom. I wanted to be out before the others got here. My classmates had given up on me. They've all been ignoring me since that day. It's for the best... but it hurts.

I hate it when they look at me that way. They look at me the same way that the teachers look at me. Their eyes are filled with anger and distrust. None of them want me around anymore. I bet they all would rather Shinsou hadn't stopped me that day. They'd be happier if I'd jumped off the damn roof. Maybe I would be too.

No. I can't let myself think like that again. I can't. Committing suicide is the coward's way out. It would be like running away from all my problems. I can't run away. I'm not aloud to or father will hurt me. But I guess he can't do shit to me if I'm already gone.

I zipped up the front of my black bodysuit and wrapped the belt around my waist. The attached pouches were currently empty, although I should have enough time to fill them up before the exams began. Fixing the mask over my eyes, I stared at myself in the mirror as my damned freckles were hidden beneath it. Fucking freckles. Fuck them.

I closed my locker just as the door opened and the rest of the girls piled inside. Their conversation, that had previously been loud and filled with laughter, suddenly quieted as soon as they saw me. Locking my lock, I quickly left the room.

No sooner than when I had closed the door, the laughter immediately started up again. They were all fine and having fun without me. They didn't need me. Why am I here? I probably failed the written exam, and I'll fail the practical too. I can't be a hero. I don't want to be a villain.

I can't breathe.

I broke into a sprint as I dashed down the halls. I slammed into another person, I assumed he was male, but I shoved them aside without bothering to look as I continued to run to the exit. Bursting out the front doors, I allowed myself to collapse to my knees as I sucked in a huge breathe.

"You seemed pretty freaked out when you ran into me. Are you alright?"

"Shinsou," I breathed as he sat down beside me, panting. He'd run after me. "I, um, I just got a bit freaked out."

"Have you had any... thoughts?"

"No—" God damn it, Shinsou. Fuck you and fuck your damn quirk! "Yes."

"Sorry. I know I shouldn't be using my quirk on you like that but I need to make sure you're telling me the truth. Remember what I told you? I've been there and suicide isn't the answer. I know we don't know each other that well, but if you need someone to talk to then I'm here."

"No!" I raised my voice suddenly, causing a few other students to look in our direction. I sighed, continuing in a softer voice. "Sorry, I'm not interested in making friends."

"I never said we'd be friends. I'm not into the whole friend thing either. Think of it more like a ranting buddy. I'll complain about my problems with you and you complain about your problems with me."

He held out a hand and I couldn't help the slight grin that appeared on my lips as I shook it in return. The purple-haired teen rose to his feet and held out his other hand. Giving him a skeptical glance, I determined he didn't seem to be doing anything suspicious and gave him my other hand. Then without expending much effort, he pulled me to my feet.

"Now, you have an exam to pass. Good luck!"

"Yeah... Right, I forgot about that. I'll do my best."

"Alright, how about we meet up here after school and you can tell me how it went?"

"Yeah. I'll see you here then."

Leaving him with a nod, I jumped down the steps and jogged around the school. It'd take me a few minutes to reach the Center Plaza — it was ridiculous how big this damn fucking campus was. Still, heroes in training did require a lot of space, I guess. I was the last to arrive at the designated spot where my classmates and teachers stood waiting.

"Now then, let's begin the last test. Remember, it's possible to fail this final. If you want to go to camp then don't make any stupid mistakes." Aizawa instructed.

"Uh, why are all the teachers here?" Jirou questioned.

"The tests now have a new focus," Nezu popped up from within Aizawa's scarf. "There will be hero work, of course, but also teamwork and combat between actual people. So what does that mean for you? You, students, will be working together in pairs and your opponents will be one of our esteemed UA teachers! Isn't that fabulous?"

"Additionally, your partners and opponents have already been chosen. They were determined at my discretion based on various factors. First, Yaoyorozu and Todoroki are a team... against me. Then we have Midoriya paired with Bakugou—" there were various sounds of shock and protest—"and their opponent is—"

"—I am here! To fight!"

Well, guess they're fucked.

The began to announce the teams and their opponents, although I didn't pay much attention — only barely listening to see if I could catch my name. I didn't need team mates. Friends slow you down. I could do this just fine on my own. But of course, Aizawa just fucking hates me.

"In the 6th match, Izumi, Aoyama and Urakraka will take on Thirteen."

Nezu then went over the rules of the exam. We would have 30 minutes to either hand cuff our assigned teacher or have one member from our team escape. Assuming we could complete at least one of the assigned tasks, then we would pass.

"Hey, Izu—"

"—I don't need your help, Uraraka. I can pass this exam all on my own. You'll only get in the way. I'll meet you at our field when its time."

Of course, he just had to partner me with Uraraka. Didn't he see that I'd already hurt her enough? Matching us as partners would only hurt her even more. I don't want her to suffer anymore. She needs to forget about me before I leave UA or it will upset her.

How will I leave UA? Who knows. Will my father come to take me away against my will and force me to do as he says for the rest of my life as I live out a life of terror and misery or will I finally have enough and jump off the roof afterall. To be completely honest, I'd rather the latter.

"But..."

"I told you no! I have no interest in playing any games with you anymore. Get it through your head! How many times do I have to tell you? We are not friends and we never will be! Why the fuck would I want to hang out with an ugly, bitchy weakling like you!?"

I looked away as soon as I saw the tears forming in her eyes. I don't want to see her cry anymore. I'm tired of making her cry. I'm tired of pushing my friends away. I'm tired of everyone looking at me like I'm a villain. I'm tired of being lonely. But most of all, I'm tired of forcing myself to keep pushing day after day.

"Izumi, you've gone too far!"

"Yaoyorozu..." Urakara whimpered.

"You've always had a bad attitude, but now you've turned into a bully! Don't you think about how your words and actions hurt others!? Uraraka cares about you and so does Kirishima but all you've done is act cruel towards them. You're a horrible excuse for a friend! I don't care what you're reasoning is because there's no excuse for treating them this way!"


I know, Yaoyorozu. I know I'm a bully. I know my words and actions are hurting Uraraka and Kirishima and I'm sorry. I know they care about me and I care about them more than I can put into words. That's why I have to do this. That's why I have to push them away. I know I'm a horrible excuse for a friend. I know that my excuse will never be good enough for what I've done to them but there's nothing else I can do.

I'm stuck.

I'm not going to be here for much longer, and I don't want them to be upset when I leave. I don't want them to torture themselves trying to fight me if my father comes and drags me away. If he decides I have to go back to the League, then I have no choice. If I don't listen to him, then father will retrain me. I don't want to train with father ever again.

The only way to avoid my fate is if I die first.

When I think back to my childhood I never realized the situation I was truly involved in. I was only a kid with limited access to the outside world. As far as I knew, my upbringing was normal. My father harshly regulated every piece of information I learned. Whenever he discovered my mother telling me stories of heroes or the outside world that he didn't want me hearing, he'd beat his opinion into me during training. Then at night, my mother's cries would be screeches.

I had seen so many wonderful things and learned all about the outside world. I'd discovered that although many of the things that my father had told me were true, they were only the simplest layers. In reality, things were so much more complicated than being black and white.

I was able to meet people my age and experience what its like to have friends. I could experience warmth and love like what my mother used to give to me before she was broken by my father. I met so many wonderful people that I want to watch grow into powerful heroes.

I've discovered a love for the world that I had never dreamed of before All Might rescued me. I liked being a student at UA and everything that came with the new life I'd been given. This was my second chance at living without the restrictions of my father. But he would only stay away for so long. When he came after me, it would put my friends in danger. I would be miserable for the rest of my life if he caught me and there's no escape if I can't disobey him. Every order I recieve... it's like my body moves on its own. I can't bring myself to disobey him out of the pure terror of what will happen to me. I'd rather die.

"Are you just going to stand there silently? Aren't you listening to me!? You're cruel, Izumi, unbelievably cruel. Whatever's going on, your friends want to help you! Why won't you let them? Besides, you don't want to be here. If you hate UA and heroes so much, then why not just leave?"

"M-momo!" Uraraka suddenly broke in.

"I know what I'm saying is mean, Uraraka, and I'm sorry for that. But Izumi needs to hear it. She needs to realize what she's putting you and Kirishima through!"

I cut her off, "I know exactly what I'm doing. I've chosen every decision I've made without regret. Either way, you're right. I hate this damn school. So why not just leave?"

"It won't be much longer now until I'm gone, in one way or another. Just hang on for a bit longer and you'll never see me again so no need to worry."

Uraraka froze at my words as her tear-filled eyes caught mine. The girl rapidly shook her head in protest as she charged forward, arms wrapping tightly around me. I could feel my entire body tensing from the contact. I wasn't used to people touching me.

"W-what's that supposed to mean? You told me you weren't aloud to leave! Izumi, what are you doing!?"

"I'm not doing anything — not right now, at least. I'm not aloud to leave, yes, according to some people. But according to others, I'm not aloud to stay."

The two looked at me with confused glances, trying to figure out what I'd meant by my words. Did it matter if they figured it out? Father was impatient. I barely convinced him to allow me to return to UA after my internship. I didn't have much time left so what would my choice be? I still couldn't decide.

Perhaps someone would defeat my father one day and free me. I could live the rest of my life in peace and enjoy all the world has to offer. On the other hand, no one will have the strength to take him on and I'd be stuck. Even if they did defeat him, the odds were stacked that I'd be thrown aside and locked up. If I died, I'd lose the life I could have lived but at least I'll be free from my father's grasp.

"Izumi, where are you going?"

"Fuck the practical exams. I'm out."

They both let out loud protests as I walked away, mixed with various apologies as they asked for me to think about what I was doing. I'd already done that, of course. Fuck what Aizawa said. So what if I was smart? I barely knew the content. I probably failed anyway. I never going to be a hero so why bother trying and getting my hopes up?

And soon enough I found myself back on the roof.  My feet dangled over the ledge as I stared down at the ground. Even if I slipped accidentally, I wouldn't be able to survive. UA was a ridiculously tall building, after all.

"I'm sorry, Uraraka," I whispered to the wind. "I'm sorry, Kirishima. Yaoyorozu's right. I'm not a very good friend to either of you. I'm sure both of you would hate me if you found out all the things I've done. It's better off like this, I promise."

Something about sitting on the roof was calming. I don't know if it was because I could see the whole school property, or the refreshing breeze that was dancing past, but something about it made me feel better about myself. The world was really pretty. I wanted to experience more of it.

I still had a bit more time to see everything the world has to offer before my father takes me away. I want to explore and see everything I can before my father takes me away. I'll believe in my classmates and my teachers and hope that one day they'll come to rescue me — even if I've pushed them away.

I want to hope for a better future, even if things haven't been going so well in the present. I was strong, after all. Even if his methods were harmful and cruel, my father had taught me how to be independent and fight alone. I could survive for however long I needed to until my friends came to rescue me. Maybe I'll go participate in that dumb exam after all.

I pulled my feet off the leg and used my hands as leverage to push myself up. Taking one last glance down, I shook my head. I won't let myself give up. I can't let myself give up! I know these thoughts won't just go away but I'll do my best to defend myself from them. I can move past this and allow mysef to heal. All I need is a bit of time.

Momo's words rang through my head and I leaned forward suddenly and reached for my head. She was right. She was right to say the things she did. I needed to hear them. I was being cruel and everyone knew it — even me. I can't change that so I'm sorry, but I promise I won't give on on you. Even if I make all of my classmates hate me, I will support every one of them — no. No I won't. Fuck Mineta. He can go die. I will support every classmate except Mineta in everything they wish to accomplish even if I have to play the role as the villain. I will always—

SHIT!

My foot slipped from beneath me as I stepped without looking. It was at that moment I realized my mistake and just how close I'd been to the edge. Damn it! DAMN IT! I don't want to die anymore. I don't want to die! I'm falling. I'm falling! Someone help me. I don't want to die. I want to see the world! I want to see my friends become great heroes!

My lips parted and an uncontrolled screech of terror flew out from my mouth. The ground was getting closer by the second, and my presence was starting to gain attention. The students were screaming and crying for help, pointing out my location to anyone who could see me as they searched for someone to help. They must be in the general education or business courses.

Within a few seconds I'd hit the ground.

I closed by eyes and covered my mouth with my hand to muffle my scream.

Perhaps this is what was supposed to happen all along. Maybe it was never really my choice as to whether I'd live or die. I guess this was the world's way of sending me a massive, 'Fuck you!'. It was over. Even if I used my quirk to switch with something, because of the speed I was travelling the force from switching would most likely kill me.

I guess I'd leave it up for fate to deicde.

Will I die?

 

 

Chapter Text

Fuck it.

Life isn't a fairytale. All the teachers and my classmates are still in the exam area. I know this, so why am I waiting for someone to come save me? None of them are coming! Besides, it's not like they care enough to come anyway. They'd probably be happy if I hit the damn ground.

This was my choice.

I couldn't survive a fall from this height, and I was running out of time. The only chance I had is if I used my quirk to switch with something. I had to do it carefully, or the force of my plummet would kill me. I had to do it! If I wanted to live...

Scanning the ground for anything I could save myself with, my eyes landed on a trashcan down the steps from the front doors. It was the only thing big enough for me to see that I could switch without hurting anybody else. Narrowing my gaze, I activated my quirk.

Within an instant, I could feel the ground under my body and the force continued to pull down on me. My head slammed into the concrete just as a loud bang echoed across the now-silent crowd when the trashcan landed on the sidewalk, scattering trash over the path.

It hurts.

My head was pounding. Even trying to lift it a little caused relentless dizziness. My hands went to cover my ears, attempting to block out the sounds that pulsated through my skull. I squeezed my eyes shut, the light was much too bright.

"So...one...am...lance!"

"I...ing...one...ow!"

"on...to...er...or...e...cou...sen...ies!"

I let out a pained groan. I couldn't understand. My thoughts were swirling and blurring together. It hurts. I don't know what's happening anymore. My head won't stop pounding. It hurts! It hurts! Make it stop, please. Make it stop.

"Izumi, it's time."

I slowly lifted my head through the painful dizziness. My vision was blurry, but my blood ran cold. Father was there. He'd come for me! I don't want to go back. I don't want to go back! Finding the strength to move, I stumbled to my feet. When I looked to the ground, I jumped back with a squeak.

My body was laying on the ground below me, fully unconscious, whilst other students were frozen around me. What the fuck was going on here? Looking over to my father, the dizzy feeling had gone away but it was replaced by another. I was going to be sick.

"You're dreaming," he spoke gently as he approached, placing a hand on my shoulder. "Your mind created me out of fear because it seeks comfort. Don't worry, my child, I am here."

My muscles tensed in place as his arms wrapped around me, even if he was supposedly a dream. Still, his embrace is warm. It reminds me of my mother. My father, on the other hand, was always cold. He never displayed physical affection. This was wrong, so why did I not want him to let go?

"You're missing the parental affection that your mother gave you in your childhood. Now that both your parents left you, you have no one else to give it to you. Your mother and I were the only people in this world who loved you, but now it's only me. Your mother never wants to see you again."

My fists clenched at my sides and I shakily lifted my arms to wrap around the version of my father that I had hallucinated. This wasn't my real father. My real father would never do something like this. He'd call me pathetic and convince himself that I needed more training.

This man wasn't real and I couldn't let myself forget it. My father was not this affectionate, and he never would be. If I allowed myself to believe in his redemption for even a second, then when I encountered him next I could lose my will to escape. I must get out of the mind space that I used to be in. I am not my father's puppet.

Even if I obey every order he gives me through fear alone, I am not and will never be his puppet. As long as I still have faith that I will be rescued, then he won't have broken me. He broke my mother when I was a child and I will never allow him to do the same to me!

"I'll be coming for you soon," my father whispered darkly in my ear. "Wake up."

I gasped air into my lungs, breaking out into a few heavy coughs. My arm moved to cover my mouth as I attempted to catch my breath. The strong smells of wherever I was hurt my nose. What's going on? Where am I? I still hurt. Everything is throbbing.

I was laying in bed, I think. There was another weight beside me, and I could feel a slight warmth created by body heat. Someone was sitting with me. The back of their hand gently hovered over my forehead, brushing their fingertips over my skin as they pulled my bangs away from my eyes.

When I opened my eyes, I could see only darkness. It had taken me a moment to realize I was wearing some sort of blindfold. My senses were so out of wack that I almost didn't feel it. I could still feel the fingers of the person sitting with me as they gently ran through my hair.

"You've been out for a few days," a gentle, deep voice told me. "Do you remember what happened?"

"Yeah," I nuzzled into the man's comforting touch. I don't care who it is right now. I just need someone to be my support. The hallucination I'd created of my father was right. I wanted someone that I could lean on for emotional support just like I could with my mother when I was little. Too bad no one wanted me anymore.

His voice came out a barely audible whisper, "Why did you jump?"

"I didn't," my throat hurt to speak, "I was sitting on the roof and I went to go back inside but I slipped. It wasn't intentional, I promise."

The fingers stopped running through my hair and instead moved to the back of my head. They were fidgetting around for a moment, confusing me, until whatever was covering my vision loosened. He pulled the blindfold away, and the bright light exploded through my vision.

"The doctors said to take it off once you were awake for a bit. You have a concussion from when you hit your head. Recovery Girl said she'd be able to heal it, but you had a couple more serious injuries that she had to heal first."

My hands moved to rub my eyes, "What injuries?"

"You cracked your head open pretty badly and lost a lot of blood, snapped your right arm, broke your left leg in three places, and fractured a rib. The hospital did a blood transfusion and got all the bones in the right place, then Recovery Girl visited a few times to heal you. The broken bones are healed, but your body will be weaker and it will be easier for it to break. You should be careful."

The brightness finally faded from my vision, and my eyes rested on Aizawa. He was wearing casual clothing and looked more tired than usual. Other than him, the room was empty. I guess the hospital put me in a private room.

"Mr. Aizawa..." I trailed off with a whimper.

"Hm?"

"I-I was so scared!"

My body erupted into sobs from seemingly nowhere as I threw my arms around my teacher. I was sore all over because I fell off a building! I could have died. I should have died. I didn't want to die. I wanted to see more of the world.

"It's alright, I'm here. I'm not going anywhere, okay?"

"O-okay..."

His hand moved soothingly over my back and he pulled me into an embrace. This hug... It reminded me of my father in the dream I'd had. It reminded me of the way my mother used to hold me when I was a kid. He let me live in his house, fed me, bought me clothing, helped me with my homework... Aizawa was like another parent to me. Aizawa was like the father I'd never had.

"The doctors said if everything was fine, they'd release you once you'd woken up. If we're lucky, I should be able to take you home today. Oh. It's Friday morning, by the way."

"Maybe that explains why I'm starving..." I mumbled.

"Do you want to eat? I can go down to the cafeteria and pick something up—"

"—I don't want you to go!" my voice raised suddenly, shocking the man. "S-sorry..."

"It's okay, I won't go if you don't want me to. I'll text Present Mic and ask him to bring something over during lunch break. He's my supply today, so I'm curious to hear how that's going."

"He's loud," I said with a yawn.

"Very loud," Aizawa agreed.

The door swung open and a woman wearing navy scrubs entered the room. A clipboard was in her hand and she stopped beside the bed. A police officer was standing at her side as he stared at me with narrow eyes.

"Miss Kawakami—" the woman began.

"—Izumi."

"Pardon?"

"Kawakami was my mother's last name. I'm no longer welcome in that family and don't like to be addressed by that name."

"Oh. I apologize, Miss Izumi. We did various tests and monitored your injuries, and everything seems to be going smoothly. We would like to recommend you to a therapist. I gave Mr. Shota Aizawa here her card, so I hope you will be in contact with her. Physically, you're all clear. We just need some forms signed and you can be out of here around noon."

The doctor handed Aizawa a stack of papers and he took a pen from his pocket and began to fill in the information using the bedside table. He stopped suddenly before pulling out his phone and typing in something for a minute before he shoved it back in his pocket and continued to fill out the form.

"I just let Present Mic know that we'll be leaving so he doesn't need to bring food."

"Are we going to school?" I mumbled.

"If you want, or we can go home. You choose."

"Um... can we go to school?"

"Yeah, sure. We'll head over once we're done here. We need to talk, but we can wait until tonight."

"Yeah..."

Aizawa put the pen in his pocket and lifted the papers from the table. Standing from the bed, he held a hand out to me. Hesitating for a few seconds, I eventually took his hand and allowed him to pull me to my feet.

He walked in front of me, leading the way through the hospital hallways. There had been a few policemen waiting outside my door that walked with us as we went, but Aizawa ignored them. Their focus was all on me, and I could feel my muscles tensing despite the pain it caused.

"Here are the forms to check out Izumi Kawakami," Aizawa placed them on the front desk.

The lady reached out to take them, reading over the information quickly before nodding and placing it beside her. She typed something into her computer and glanced at the sheet, going back and forth before finally looking back towards Aizawa.

"Alright, she's good to go. Now, take it easy young lady and please consider seeing the therapist we recommended."

Aizawa's hand was placed on my back and he guided me away before I had to answer. The police only accompanied us to the hospital door before we were left on our own and I was guided to Mr. Aizawa's car.

He opened the door for me and I climbed inside. I began to pull my seatbelt across as he closed it and went around to sit down in the driver's seat. Soon enough, the car came to life and we were backing out of the parking lot.

Nothing was said on our ride to the school, and Aizawa and I were soon getting out as we reached our destination. Lunch had just ended as we arrived and students were rushing through the halls to get to their classes.

"Follow me," he instructed, leading me away from our classroom.

He entered the cafeteria where a few students were studying, and walked over towards the area where food was ordered — although it had already been closed. But as Aizawa got close, Lunch Rush emerged from the kitchen with two meals.

"Present Mic asked Lunch Rush if he'd make something that we could grab when we arrived. I just have to pay Mic back later," Aizawa explained.

"I was about to head out and send you a text that it was in the fridge, but I saw you come in so I brought it out for you!" the lunch-making hero replied.

What kind of fucking hero specializes in making fucking lunch? That's so weird I can't even process it. Does he save people from starving to death? Yeah because that's helpful when a villain attacks. Oh no! A villain! Feed the children! I couldn't help but chuckle slightly to myself.

"Izumi, you coming?"

"Oh, um, yeah!"

I ran to catch up with him and soon enough he was opening the door to the teacher's lounge. I looked inside a bit nervously, but he gestured me inside. I scurried in, finding it mostly empty other than... fucking All Might. Great.

"I have to go teach since the last classes are today. I'm filling the students in about the exam results and the camping trip, but I'll let you know later."

"W-wait! Do you have my results?" I asked nervously.

"You failed the practical since you didn't participate, but Nezu decided not to include them for you because of the circumstances — although your mark did suffer because of it."

"And... the written?"

"64% on the written, but your mark was brought down to 52% since you missed the practical."

"You were right! I passed! Thank you! Thank you for helping me study!"

He let out a loud grunt as I tackled him into a hug. I couldn't believe it. I'd passed!  Yeah, I didn't participate in the practical and so technically I should have failed but I passed the written exam! I was smart! I learned everything fast and it all stuck!

Suddenly realizing what I was doing, I immediately pulled away from the one-sided hug. Aizawa stared at me quietly for a second before coughing, "You can eat your lunch here with All Might and join in class once you're done."

He turned and exited the room rather quickly, leaving me with the man my father had raised me to kill. He was in his skinny, weaker form right now. There was no point at holding the other since I already knew the truth about him.

"I wanted to speak with you briefly," he sat down on one of the couches. "Take a seat."

Doing as he said, I put the plate on my lap and pulled out a pair of chopsticks and I lifted a bit of rice into my mouth. I was starving after everything that had happened. Still, what did All Might want to talk to someone like me about?

"I told young Midoriya about your father a few days ago—"

"—You what!?"

"It's alright. I didn't tell him about your relation to him in any way. I just told him who he was, and the history of my quirk. I wanted to let you know so that if he mentioned All For One for whatever reason, it wouldn't surprise you. I thought you deserved to know since he's your father."

"Whatever, can I leave now?"

"Not yet, young lady!" an elderly woman's voice pitched in. "I have to take care of that concussion of yours. Now, come here."

As her disgusting old-lady lips connected with my cheek, the pain in my head began to lessen. I could still feel the dull ache, but the light wasn't as bright and the noises weren't so loud. She then gave me a gentle smile.

"Now, eat up. And get plenty of rest tonight!"

The woman left All Might and me alone again, and the pro hero fell into silence. He didn't know what else to say, and neither did I. I placed the dish down when I was finished eating, and All Might quickly stood.

"I'll walk you to class. The final bell is going to ring in about 30 minutes, but you may as well hang out there."

And so, the number one pro hero, one of the fakest heroes of all, in my opinion, walked me to fucking class. He had entered his macho form before we left the staff room, and those that were in the halls glanced over to whisper as we walked. Although he was a teacher, the students outside the hero course didn't see much of them.

He pulled the door open without knocking and Aizawa stopped speaking with a scowl. He appeared rather unimpressed as he glared at All Might, but the pro just pushed me forward with his typical smile. There was an immediate response from my classmates and everyone jumped into loud conversations.

Uraraka jumped from her seat and skidded to a stop in front of me. Her arms pulled me into a hug and all I could do was stand there blankly. I'm not allowed to have friends. Father said so. But... maybe I can allow myself to have a few. As long as Father never finds out, then I'll be okay. So I hugged her in return.

"Izumi, we were all so worried!" she called as she finally released me. "We had just finished the exams when a few kids ran in yelling that someone jumped off the roof and they had called an ambulance."

"I didn't jump," I replied. "I swear that I didn't jump. I just got a bit too close to the edge and I fell."

"Oh, Izumi should come with us after school!" Hagakure called out from her seat.

"Huh?" I looked around in confusion to see many grinning faces.

"We're going to the mall as a class to pick up supplies for camping! Do you want to come?" the invisible girl asked.

"I don't know if I'll be allowed..." I mumbled back.

"Please!" Uraraka begged.

"I'm sure your parents wouldn't mind a little trip to the mall. Do you want me to send them a text and ask since you don't have a phone?" Aizawa asked me.

"Oh, um, sure."

Aizawa pulled out his phone and typed something out. He was about to put his phone away when he lifted it back up to his face to read something. He nodded in my direction, "they say it's fine."

A large smile began to form across my lips, "Alright!"

Chapter Text

The crowds at the mall were huge.

 

I fiddled with the zipper on my bag awkwardly as I stood amongst my classmates at the front of the mall. The place was huge! I'd never been anywhere with this many people before — I was starting to feel a bit anxious.

 

Aizawa had discreetly pulled me aside before I went off with my classmates and he gave me his credit card and a list of what I needed for the trip, and some other things that I needed just for my normal life. I was also given an old phone that had the numbers of all of the faculty members just in case something went wrong and I needed help. He told me that he was going to keep an eye on his card purchases, and to keep all of my receipts but he was going to trust me. I also had permission to get something to eat if I got hungry.

 

"Oh man, do I love this place! It's got a ton of different stores to shop at and they're all so super cool and hip! The Kiyashi Ward Shopping Mall!"

 

Glancing down at the list, I had no idea where to start. I'd never been to a place like this, and my classmates were already starting to split off into groups. I don't even know what I'm getting, let alone where to find everything! I quickly went to read over the list Aizawa had written for me.

 

  1. Sweater
  2. Rain Coat
  3. Bathing Suit
  4. A few casual outfits for the summer
  5. Running shoes
  6. Boots
  7. Some snacks for the camping trip
  8. Water Bottle
  9. Pyjamas
  10. Menstrual Products
  11. Sunscreen
  12. Bug Spray

 

My eyebrow twitched. Menstrual Products? Really? You just had to make me buy this shit while I was shopping with the entire fucking class, didn't you? Fuck you, Aizawa. Fucking fuck you.

 

"Woah! Are those UA students?"

 

"1A! I saw them on TV!"

 

"The sports festival was so good!"

 

Cringing back from their yelling, I glanced back at my classmates. They were all talking to each other, discussing the things they needed and finding groups to go with. I shied away from the conversations.

 

"So then why don't we split up and look around? We can meet here again when we're done," Kirishima suggested.

 

"Great idea!" Ashida called with a smile.

 

"Perfect, let's say we're all back around 3?"

 

"Sounds good!" Everyone called their agreement.

 

And soon enough, everyone was running off on their own. Deku and Uraraka hadn't appeared to have a true group, but they'd ended up trailing after the others a little bit before realizing they were together. That left just me. I don't know where to go. There are so many people here.

 

"Lost, little sister?"

 

The voice sent quivers up my spine as an arm was thrown around my shoulder. He hid his face beneath a cloak, but I didn't need to see it to know who he was. The voice and nickname alone had given it away.

 

"What do you want?" I whispered under my breath.

 

"You don't have your Pro Hero guard dogs around anymore, that's new. You came here with your class, right?"

 

"Yeah..."

 

"Looks like they all ditched you," he shrugged. "Some friends they are. Hey, how about you and I hang out for a little bit? It'll be fun. I'm sure your father will be happy to know we're getting along so well."

 

His hand wrapped around my wrist, and he snatched the list from my hands using his free one. Reading it over, the man let out a slight chuckle. What can I do? If I call Shigaraki out, then he'll probably hurt a lot of innocent people. Even if we did capture him, he'd tell everyone about my work with the League of Villains. They'd lock me up too.

 

"Some snacks for the camping trip, huh? So, you're going camping? What's that about?"

 

"I..."

 

"Well? I'm waiting."

 

"Our class is going to a training camp," I whispered nervously. "I don't know where. Mr. Aizawa hasn't told me much about it and I've missed the last few days of class."

 

"Oh, and why is that?"

 

"Injury. I'm fine now, though."

 

He nodded in response, and soon enough the man was pulling me along after him. It made me feel nauseous going around the mall shopping with him like this. With him holding my wrist, all he'd have to do is activate his quirk and I'd decay into nothing. He wouldn't do it, I'm sure, but who's to say he wouldn't hurt someone else if I didn't listen?

 

"This sweater looks nice, don't you think?" he grinned in my direction as he stopped in front of a store.

 

"Oh, um, I guess..."

 

"Not your style? No worries. I won't be upset if you don't it. Just tell me the truth about the clothes, okay?"

 

"Yeah, of course."

 

"Of course, what?"

 

"O-Of course, Nii-san!"

 

He pulled me into the store and over to the sweaters, looking them over before holding up a black hoodie. Glancing it over, it looked pretty comfortable and I liked the design of it.

 

"So this one?" he questioned.

 

"Yeah..."

 

He dragged me from store to store, holding the list hostage like the plague would begin if I looked at it. The whole situation was petrifying, but so domestic at the same time. I was shopping with Tomura Shigaraki, the man who insists we're siblings because my father is his master, and the leader of the League of Villains.

 

"Well, that's the last thing on the list. How about we visit the food court?"

 

"S-sure," I twitched my fingers uncomfortably. I don't want to be here anymore. I shouldn't have come on this stupid trip in the first place. I should have just gone home. I shouldn't have let myself be separated from the others. I don't like this. I don't like this!

 

"Hey, Izumi, that you?"

 

"K-Kirishima!" I called out suddenly as the boy approached with Kaminari and Iida close behind.

 

"Oh, are these friends of yours?" Shigaraki hissed in my ear. "If I recall, you're not supposed to have friends."

 

"They're pawns," I replied quietly. "I use them for information."

 

"We were just heading over to the food court to grab a bite before heading back to the meeting spot and wanted to invite you to join us! If you're busy with your friend though, that's cool."

 

"Oh no, I was just leaving," Shigaraki spoke from beside me. "I'm Izumi's older brother. We don't see each other very much, so I was just glad we had a chance to catch up."

 

"Woah, I didn't know you had a brother, Izumi!" Kaminari called out as he reached Kirishima's side.

 

"I don't talk about family much," I replied as I looked away.

 

"Well, I'll be off. It was nice seeing you, little sister. I'll come back to visit you again soon. You could spend the summer with me! I'll talk to our father about it."

 

"Y-yeah! That sounds fun, Nii-san. I'll talk to you soon."

 

He turned away and I let out a breath that I didn't know I was holding. Why is my body shaking? I have to calm down before the others notice. I can't let them find out. I can't let them find out! Turning to face the others, I glanced at the large clock on the wall near us.

 

"We have to meet the others in 15 minutes, so we should hurry," I told them.

 

"You sure did a lot of shopping," Iida commented as we arrived at the food court.

 

"I needed to pick up some other stuff too, so I merged everything into one trip."

 

"Ooh, what did you get?" 

 

Kaminari grabbed one of the bags and I immediately shot out to snatch it back with a loud protest. The idiot dodged to the side and pulled open the bag, only to shriek and throw it back at me in disgust as he covered his eyes.

 

"W-what did you see in there?" Kirishima asked nervously.

 

"And that's why you don't look through other people's shit!" I pounded him in the head with my fist.

 

"M-menstrual..." was all Kaminari whimpered out.

 

"Look, man, it's just a part of life," Kirishima pointed out.

 

"And there is no reason for you to search Izumi's bags so this is your fault. It's improper to go through a lady's things!" Iida scolded.

 

We put our stuff down at the table and Iida offered to wait with everything while the rest of us went to order the food. He gave Kirishima some cash and his order so the redhead could grab something for him too. Kaminari rushed off to the nearest McDonalds on his own, whilst I trailed after Kirishima to get in line at Burger King. 

 

"What are you going to get? I always order the Triple Whopper Sandwich!" he clenched a fist excitedly for his meal.

 

"I don't know. I've never had fast food before."

 

"Wait, what!? How have you never had fast food!?"

 

"Um, my parents were always a bit strict about what I eat."

 

"Okay, well you've had a burger, right?"

 

"No..."

 

"Seriously? You're in for a treat! Tell you what, I'm buying. I'm going to get you the best burger ever and you're going to love it!"

 

I stared at the red-haired boy in shock. Was he this motivated to buy me a burger? I mean, it was just a type of food. Don't get me wrong, I was super excited to try it but Kirishima was getting a bit excited about this.

 

"A Triple Whopper Sandwich, a BBQ Bacon King, and Izumi, how hungry are you?"

 

"Starving."

 

"Alright and a Bacon and Cheese Whopper!"

 

He pulled out his wallet and paid the teenager who was working before leading me down to the other side where a couple of other people were waiting. Leaning against a wall, Kirishima glanced down at the receipt before moving over so I could lean on the wall beside him.

 

"Your brother seems pretty cool," he commented.

 

"I guess. I don't see him much so I barely know him. To be honest, he makes me a bit nervous..."

 

"I'm guessing you're not huge on spending the summer with him?" He guessed. Sensing my surprise at his words, he sheepishly scratched the back of his neck, "You looked a bit uncomfortable when he mentioned it."

 

"My father wants us to get along, and I can't say no to him. I'll have to try, I guess."

 

"That sounds real mature, Izu!"

 

"Izu?"

 

"Yeah! You gave me a nickname, right? I thought I'd come up with one for you!"

 

"I've been calling you Kirishima recently."

 

"I dunno, I kinda liked Rocky," he chuckled.

 

"Order 632!"

 

Kirishima's head perked up and he raised his hand. Moving off the wall, he went to collect the two large brown bags and we went to sit down with Iida. Kaminari was still stuck at McDonalds. Looks like they were pretty slow today. Kirishima distributed out the food and soon enough some sort of sandwich with a large piece of meat and some other various things inside was placed in front of me, along with a box of these weird rectangular yellow things.

 

"Those are fries. Have you never had them either?" 

 

I looked away to hide the redness forming in my cheeks, "No."

 

"You've never eaten fries!?" Iida called out in shock.

 

"Never had a burger either!" Kirishima announced. 

 

Both boys stared at me intently, glancing down from me to the burger, from me to the burger. Neither dared to take a bite from their food. Reaching down to lift the weird sandwich in my hands, I opened my mouth and awkwardly took a bite as I tried not to focus on their staring.

 

"Mmm!" I swallowed with a smile, "That's good!" I then popped a fry in my mouth and shivered in excitement. "That's good too! Woah! I can't believe I've never eaten this stuff before!"

 

Content that I liked it, Kirishima and Iida dug into their burgers just as Kaminari joined the table singing about, 'Chicken Nuggets'. I don't know what the fuck a chicken nugget is, but I'm assuming they're the weird little things that he was eating.

 

"The mall will be closing due to an incident that has happened. We ask that everyone please make their way to the nearest exit."

 

Our group sent each other confused glances as we stood up from our table and began to pack up our things. What incident? What had happened? We quickly headed back towards the front entrance where we were supposed to meet the others. 

 

A few policemen were there speaking to Midoriya and Uraraka, whilst a few other of our classmates stood close by, watching. Whilst the rest of the civilians evacuated, we were made an exception.

 

"What happened?" Kirishima asked Midoriya as the police went off to talk to each other for a moment.

 

"Shigaraki—" he clenched his fists tightly in anger—"he was here!"

 

"Shigaraki? You mean that League of Villains guy?"

 

"Yeah... that's the one."

 

As Midoriya explained what had happened to our group, I could only stand there in silence. This was my fault. If I hadn't gone to eat with Kirishima and the others, I would have gone with Shigaraki. Izuku would never have had to go through that. We would have met up with each other and left at 3 as planned, so there would have been no opportunity.

 

"Izumi, you okay?" Kirishima placed a hand on my shoulder.

 

"Yeah, fine. Just a bit surprised, is all."

 

"Makes sense. Hey, do you want me to walk you home or something? Or wait with you until your parents get here?"

 

Shit. As much as I didn't feel comfortable being on my own right now, I couldn't let Kirishima find out I was living with Aizawa. What if no one was supposed to know? Then I'd get in trouble. Aizawa would get mad at me. He'd probably start hating me again.

 

"Um, let me just check with my dad really fast," I said and pulled out the phone. 

 

God, this is going to be so embarrasing. Scrolling through the contacts, I clicked on Aizawa's name and held it up to my ear. He may be my guardian, and kind of like a parental figure, but that doesn't mean I can call him—"

 

"—Izumi."

 

"Hey, Dad!" I spoke into the line.

 

"Uh... what?"

 

"Yeah, um, there was a bit of an incident at the mall. Someone from the League of Villains showed up and threatened one of my friends. I'm feeling a bit anxious about it, so one of my friends offered to walk me home or wait with me until you come pick me up but I didn't know what was going on so I wanted to check with you?"

 

"Jesus christ, you freaked me out for a second there. Yeah, I get it. Not supposed to broadcast our situation. Who is it?"

 

"Kirishima... Yeah, I told you about him once, remember?"

 

"God, this entire conversation is weird. Anyway, that's fine. I'm coming to pick you up so he can wait with you if you want. I'll park far away from the doors and try to hide my face so he won't recognize me. Just don't let him get too close to the car."

 

"Alright, thanks dad. Talk to you soon!"

 

"Still freaks me out a bit. See you soon, kid."

 

Hanging up the phone, I shoved it in my pocket with slightly red cheeks. That was so embarrassing! It was even worse too because no one could hear his end so he didn't have to play along. It was just me. Besides, it was weird calling someone 'dad' so casually. Father was very strict about it, and about being formal.

 

"So?" Kirishima questioned.

 

"Uh, my dad's coming to pick me up. If you'd be willing to wait with me though, I'd appreciate it."

 

"Sure, no problem!"

 

And so, soon enough our class split off on their own as they began to head home. Kirishima and I went down the steps at the front and sat down on the bottom few steps. Since no one was around, we wouldn't be trampled unless the opened up the mall before Aizawa got here but I doubted that.

 

"So, you live with your dad and don't see your brother very much. What about your mom?" 

 

"Um... she's out of the picture. My mom and I lost contact almost 6 years ago now. I haven't heard from her since."

 

"Oh, shit. Sorry, I shouldn't have asked."

 

"It's alright. What's your family like?"

 

"Well, my dad's super cool. He cracks a lot of stupid jokes all the time, but it always makes everyone laugh. My mom is super supportive and is always there as a shoulder to cry on. Then there are my younger siblings. They can get into a lot of trouble, but they're all super sweet and love to run around and play."

 

"That sounds nice. Sometimes I wonder what my family would be like if things had been different... if my father had been different."

 

"Huh?"

 

"My father's very strict, and he can be quite cold. He doesn't believe in physical affection, or weakness. Only the strong survive. He pushed me a lot when I was a child to make me stronger, but in the end my family broke."

 

"Wow. I'm so sorry, Izu. If you ever want to talk about it, then you can come to me, alright? I'm glad we're friends again!"

 

And my lips shifted to form a large smile all on their own, "I'm glad that were friends again too."

 

And in that moment, when he smiled at me, something stopped. I don't know what it was, or how it happened or anything. I just know that some part of me, deep down, wanted to see Kirishima smile like that all of the time. He had... a really nice smile. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I looked at it.

 

My hand mindlessly reached out and I gently brushed my fingers against the scar over his right eye. Tilting my head, I wondered why I hadn't noticed it until now. I guess I was too wrapped up in everything else to pay attention to everyone around me.

 

"Oh, I got that when I first manifested my quirk. I woke in in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and went to rub my eye, but I hardened my hand and cut myself. What about you? What happened when you manifested yours?"

 

"I—"

 

There was a loud honk and I glanced over to see Aizawa's car parking far away from the entrance. Great timing. Thanks for the save! Raising to my feet, I turned to Kirishima with a small smile as he got up beside me.

 

"Thanks for waiting with me. I appreciate it!"

 

"No problem, Izu. Any time! I better get going, but I'll see you on the trip!"

 

"See you around, Rocky," I chuckled as I started walkin towards Aizawa's car.

 

He grinned, "I was wondering when you'd start callling me that again."

 

I opened the car door and jumped into the front seat beside Aizawa, who was currently wearing his hair in a bun and wearing a baseball cap. I closed the door behind me and shoved all the stuff I bought in the back seat before pulling my seatbelt over. He put the car into reverse and soon we were taking to the roads.

 

"Sorry about the whole phone call thing..."

 

"It's fine," he coughed awkwardly. "Let's just pretend it never happened."

 

"Agreed."

Chapter Text

"Thanks for giving me a ride in," I nodded to Aizawa just before he entered the staff room.

"It's fine. I was coming in to talk to Vlad anyway. I'll take the cuffs off for you—" he pulled out the key and they fell from my wrists—"have fun with everyone. You have the pool until 5 pm."

"Where should I meet you after?"

"Here—" he tossed me the old flip-phone—"so you can call me if you need to."

He entered the staff room and I headed towards the girl's changeroom with my bag. I was running a bit late, but I let them know in advance that 'my dad' had to drop me off on his way to work so I may not be there right away. It was kinda weird having to talk to everyone about my dad when it was just Aizawa.

I'd much rather have him than Father though.

When I entered the change room by the outside pool, I quickly looked around to make sure no one else was inside. I'd always rushed ahead of the other girls or carefully chosen the direction I was facing. I always tried to ignore them and pretend they weren't there. I wanted to forget them.

My scars were a reminder of where I came from, and the gruelling training I'd done with a father. They reminded me of how I got them. That's why I never looked at them. I never allowed myself to think of them. Bathing suits were harder because I had to strip completely to put it on. I wouldn't have underwear or a bra or my undershirt. If someone walked in they'd see them all.

Positive that the room was empty, I very quickly dropped my clothes to the floor and stepped into the bathing suit. Aizawa had given me a school bathing suit since this had been turned into this whole endurance training session or whatever. Well, for the boys at least.

I reached behind me to pull up the zipper and shoved my stuff into a locker. Glancing in the mirror, I looked at myself rather awkwardly. It was rather tight, kind of like a bodysuit. It wasn't the most comfortable, but Aizawa said it may be tight until I get into the water.

When I exited the change room most of the guys were already present and stretching around the doors. The girls were on the other side of the pool doing some sort of synchronized stretch or whatever.

"Izumi, you made it!" Uraraka called out.

"Sorry I'm late," I replied.

"That's alright. You said your dad was dropping you off on his way to work, right?" Momo asked as the leaned over for a side stretch.

"Uh—" I quickly moved around the edges of the pool to join their line—"yeah. What are we doing?"

"Just follow along, it's not hard!" Ashida sang as they switched sides.

"Oh, hey. Hi, Mineta," Tsu smiled as he and Kaminari burst into the pool area.

"I didn't know you guys would be here," Jirou commented.

My eyes narrowed at the idiots as Mineta stared in our direction. They were just hoping to catch a glimpse of us in skimpy bikinis, right? Tch. I'm going to punch the shit out of him if that stupid purple-haired pervert gets anywhere close to me and I will make sure it hurts.

"Izumi, come on!"

Breaking out of my thoughts, I noticed the girls were all jumping into the water. Carefully studying how much of them was above the water, I quickly went to the shallowest spot before slipping in. I'd rather not embarrass myself and let my entire fucking class know I can't swim.

"Get ready for it—" Uraraka tossed the ball into the air—"Serve!"

"Mine!" Ashida leaped out of the water as she hit the ball back.

Tsu was very quickly closing in the ball as she went to smack it with her tongue, "Ribbit!"

"Hm," Jirou used her earphone jack to hit it back up.

"Got it!" Hagakure dived for the ball.

Yaoyorozu hit it into the air, "Set!"

The ball was sent flying in my direction and I stared at it with confusion. They were all just kinda smacking it all over the place. Do I just hit it? Is that right? I'm so confused. I have no idea what the fuck we're playing or what's going on.

The water splashed into my eyes as the ball landed right in front of me and I flinched back in surprise. The girls had immediately burst into laughter as Yoayorozu called out, "Izumi, you're supposed to hit it! Haven't you ever played volleyball."

"No," I replied shyly.

"Come on, you try Izumi!"

Picking up the ball in the water in front of me, I tossed it up into the air. When it fell back down towards me, I reach back my hand and hit it. Unfortunately, the ball went flying in the wrong direction.  We all whipped around to watch where it had gone, and I immediately cringed when I realized where it was going.

"You'd better! The next time I beat you, I want you to be at your strongest, you damn nerd!"

"K-Kacchan!"

Kirishima quickly moved to hold Bakugou back, "Hey I got your message, sorry I'm late. It took a while to convince Bakugou to come out—"

There was sudden silence as the ball slammed into Bakugou's face, and the explosive boy stared at it for a few seconds. Opening his fists, explosions began to go off as his head snapped in the girls' direction, "OKAY! WHICH ONE OF YOU LOSERS THREW THAT!?"

"How about we make this training a contest," Iida cut in before things could escalate. "Everyone, I propose we see which of the boys can swim 50m the fastest. A friendly race!"

The girls quickly began climbing out of the pool as we went to get the ball, whilst the boys were psyching themselves up for the race. Although when we got a bit closer, the girls all glanced at each other before Yaoyorozu stepped forward.

"Iida! Why don't you let us help you out with this?" she suggested.

"Yes, please."

"And quirks? Can we use them?" Ojiro asked.

"We're at school, so there shouldn't be a problem with that," Iida replied. "However, you can not cause damage to classmates or the building."

"I'm going to annihilate you, Deku! And you too IcyHot, you bastard!"

Yaoyorozu moved to one side of the pool with a whistle and the other girls gathered at the side of the pool to watch. The guys split into smaller groups they would race in and the winners of each would participate in the finals. I wasn't interested in the whole race thing, so I went around to the other side of the pool away from the action and sat on the edge, dangling my legs into the water.

Having nothing else to do, I watched the boys swim (although most of them cheated and used their quirks to go above the water). And after a while, Midoriya, Bakugou and Todoroki ended up in the finals. They activated their quirks and leaped into the air. Only for all of them to suddenly fall into the water.

"It's at 5 pm. Your authorized pool time is officially over. Hurry up and go home," Aizawa entered, his hair raised and eyes glowing red.

"Come on, just one second!" Kaminari begged.

"We were finally getting to the good part!" Sero agreed.

Aizawa's eyes narrowed dangerously, "Are you questioning me?"

"Not at all, Mr. Aizawa!" the class immediately answered.

Within seconds, everyone was rushing into the change rooms. Most people seemed a little annoyed that the race had been cut off, but decided to do as they were told. After all, it's not like they could do it with Aizawa present.

I lifted my legs from the water and climbed to my feet. Aizawa threw me a towel he'd been holding as I moved closer to him. I wrapped it around myself to block the cold air from my skin — although my legs were still freezing.

"Did everything go well?"

"Yeah, I had fun. The race was kinda boring but I'm glad I got to hang out with everyone."

Aizawa nodded, "That's good. I'm going to wait here for everyone to change and get out so you can just tell everyone your dad is running a bit late to pick you up or something if they ask."

"Yeah, okay. See you soon."

I opened the door to the girl's change room and stepped inside. Going to the locker where I put my stuff, I pulled the door open and went digging around for my clothes. Although the other girls were a bit less awkward when changing, I made sure to cover myself with the towel so they wouldn't be able to see my naked body while I was changing. I didn't need them asking questions.

"Did everyone have fun?" Yaoyorozu asked the group.

"I did! I did!" Ashida jumped up and down.

Uraraka clenched a fist, "It was awesome! What about you, Izumi?"

"I liked it," I replied.

"That doesn't sound very enthusiastic, ribbit."

"It was fun. I've just never really done anything like that before so it was new."

Jirou tilted her head in confusion, "What does that mean?"

Here is goes. Another demonstration of my lack of life experiences. They're going to start questioning me one of these days. "I've never been swimming before."

"WHAT!?" the girls all shouted together, staring at me in shock. They all immediately shot out into protests, asking if I'd really never been swimming before. Of course, as I'd just fucking told them, I hadn't.

"It's so weird. You've never been swimming or played volleyball. Man, your childhood must have sucked!" Ashido joked.

You have no fucking idea, Pinky. No. Fucking. Idea. Did your father lock you in an underground house with no power and no light with your mother who, over time, grew to despise you because you became just like your father and grew twisted and sadistic? I didn't think so.

I shrugged, "I guess. My father's strict."

Throwing my backpack on, I left the changeroom at the same time as the others. The guys were already waiting outside, and after making sure everyone was there, Aizawa personally escorted all of us to the front gates. Most people ran to climb inside cars or began walking home.

"Izumi, where's your ride?" Urarka called out as she started walking with Deku.

"My dad's picking me up on his way home from work, so he'll be a while," I explained.

"Do you need someone to wait with you? I cold call my mom," Izuku offered.

"Izumi's father spoke to me when he dropped her off," Aizawa cut them off. "He was concerned that she didn't fully understand all of the content we learned this year, so I offered to go over it again until he could pick her up. You all can head home."

With that, my friends nodded and agreed and soon enough all of them went off on their own, leaving Aizawa and me. We went straight to the parking lot and got into his car. Although when he pulled out of the parking lot, we were going in the opposite way of his house.

"Mr. Aizawa?"

"Yeah?"

"Where are we going?"

"You'll find out when we get there."

We were driving for about 10 minutes when he finally pulled over, parallel parking on one of the main roads. Stores lined the street from one end to another. We didn't have to walk far before Aizawa entered an electronics store with me trailing after him.

"Is there something I can help you with?" one of the employees, a man with black hair, asked.

"She needs a phone," he gestured at me.

Wait. Aizawa was getting me my own phone? I thought I wasn't supposed to have internet access! The police thought that it would be dangerous and give me the means to contact villains or conspire against the school. Did he change their minds or something?

"Any idea of what you're looking for?"

"A smartphone. I've been letting her borrow an old flip phone but it isn't practical. Besides, all the kids her age have the stupid things."

And so countless phones were placed in front of me as the man explained all of their 'amazing' features — not that I knew what half of them even meant. Why do I need a lens great for selfies? What the fuck is a selfie? I glanced at Aizawa in confusion.

Sensing my lack of understanding for everything the man said, Aizawa stood up and gestured at one of the first phones the man had shown me. The man lifted it up with a smile before turning to me, "Would you like it in black or wh—"

"—Black."

"But don't you want to hear the other op—"

"—Black."

He quickly nodded and began putting away all the example phones. He instructed us to take a seat at one of the desks and went in the back. He returned less than a minute later, and so began to hour-long process of activating the damn thing.

We went to sit in the car after, and Aizawa entered his number and the number of the rest of the UA faculty members in case I ever needed help since they technically were all still legally responsible for me. He taught me how to use some of the basic functions, and also told me something interesting.

Legally, I still wasn't allowed to have a phone.

He brought it up to the faculty and convinced them that it would be safer if I had one than if I didn't.

He convinced everyone to break the rules for me.

 

Chapter Text

"I'm so psyched—"Uraka sprinted over towards Midoriya—"I've been looking forward to this training camp all semester, Deku!"

 

Rolling my eyes, I looked away from the awkward exchange before it began. Those two acted kinda weird when they were around each other. They would always get all red-faced. It was so weird, and then after they'd both pretend it never happened.

 

They were interrupted by this blond freak from class 1B screaming about random shit, but one of the girls smacked him in the head and he collapsed to the floor. Leaning down, she grabbed him by the collar and dragged him away. I like her.

 

"The girls of class a, and class b? It's like a buffet of bombshells," Mineta drooled.

 

"Dude, get yourself together, for real!" Kirishima looked down at him in disgust.

 

The little fucking shortie screeched in pain as my fist connected with his head, collapsing to the ground with a weak whimper. Snickers echoed from our classmates as he held his hurting head, and even Aizawa seemed to chuckle slightly to himself — although only I noticed it. His laughter was extremely subtle. I was just used to it since we were living in the same house.

 

"Alright, class A, our bus is here! Everyone, line up in seating order!"

 

When we finally got on the bus, which took way longer because of Iida's bullshit, I slipped into the front seat by the window. Kirishima plopped down beside me with a grin, pulling out his phone as the rest of our class shuffled in.

 

"Hey, Kirishima! I thought we could sit together!" Kaminari complained.

 

"Sorry, man, I didn't know and I'm already sitting with Izu."

 

"...Izu?" the idiot looked at me with a chuckle.

 

My eyes narrowed, "Call me that and you're fucking dead."

 

"Y-yes, mam!" the blond pushed past those in front of him as he sprinted to the back of the bus. Kirishima and I caught eyes before the both of us burst into laughter. His face was ridiculous! I could see the true horror in his eyes.

 

The bus erupted in chaos within seconds, and Aizawa stopped bothering to try and explain anything. He turned away with a roll of his eyes and put in earplugs, likely trying to tune everyone out before they destroyed his eardrums.

 

"Wait, Izumi, I thought you didn't have a phone?" Kirishima asked as I got the device from my pocket.

 

"Oh, I didn't. My dad surprised me with it the other day," I couldn't help but smile slightly as I thought of what had happened. "It was really sweet of him. I'm super grateful."

 

"Awesome! You should give me your number! I can add you to our class group chat too."

 

"Oh, sure. Um... 624 - 555 - 4667."

 

Kirishima quickly typed something into his phone and then mine vibrated in my grasp. Turning on the screen, I glanced down at the notification that had popped up.

 

Hey :)

From: 624 - 555 - 8245 (8:32 am)

 

Opening the messages, I clicked on the 'create a contact' button and quickly filled in the extra details before reopening the message. I wasn't a fast typer, and I didn't fully understand how the device worked though so it took me a minute before I could reply.

 

Hi

To: Rocky (8:35 am)

 

Kirishima chuckled and showed me his phone as the notification appeared on his phone. I jabbed my elbow into the side after seeing he'd put my number in under 'Izu'. He only grinned in response and retorted that I'd nicknamed him Rocky in my contacts.

 

I finally learned what selfies were, as Kirishima and I spent most of the trip taking goofy pictures on some weird app he had called SnapChat. I wasn't really a picture person, but it was a lot of fun playing with the different filters — although it was kinda creepy when he took a picture that swapped our faces (still really funny though).

 

Kirishima was just a really fun person to hang out with.

 

The bus eventually pulled over on a mountain path and we were all allowed out of the bus to stretch our legs. Kirishima stood first and I followed close behind as we exited the bus together. Since we were at the front, we were the first two people out.

 

"Let me through I gotta pee!" Mineta began sprinting around the area.

 

"This isn't much of a rest area," Kirishima commented from beside me.

 

Jirou agreed, "No, and where's class b?"

 

"You don't really think we stopped here so we could stretch your legs, do you?" Aizawa sighed.

 

"Hey, Erasure!"

 

"Long time no see," he replied as two unfamiliar women landed in front of us.

 

"Your feline fantasies are here! See meow!"

 

"Perfectly cute and cat-like curls!"

 

"You can call us the... Wild, Wild Pussycats!"

 

The two cat-woman got into a little pose, whilst a little boy standing beside them scowled in annoyance. He didn't seem too impressed with what was going on — he gave off an asshole-ish vibe even if he was just a child. Heh. Maybe I'd like him.

 

"These are the pro heroes you'll be working with for the summer training camp," Aizawa explained.

 

"They're a four-person hero team who specialize in mountain rescue! The Pussycats were founded when we were kids like forever ago. This marks their 12th year working as a—"

 

"—I'm pretty sure you're math must be off!" the girl in the blue costume covered Midoriya's mouth. "I'm 18 at heart."

 

Well, looks like  someone's  a bit touchy about their age.

 

"Everyone, say hello," Aizawa ordered,

 

The class immediately chimed in together, "Hello, nice to meet you!"

 

"We own this whole stretch and land out here—everything you can see. The summer camp you're staying at is there, the base of the mountain."

 

"That's far!" came the class's group response.

 

Everyone seemed to grow nervous as they realized what was in store for us. Great. Just fucking great. We're gonna have to go through some bullshit to get to the damn campground, for sure.

 

"The time is 9:30 in the morning. If you're fast about it, you  might  make it there by noon."

 

"Save yourselves!" Kirishima screeched as everyone started sprinting back towards the bus.

 

"Kitties who don't get there by 12:30 won't get lunch~" the red cat-girl sang.

 

The blue cat-girl landed in front of my classmates and activated some sort of quirk as they were all thrown off the edge of the cliff. What confused me, is that the same quirk also prevented me from being thrown off. What?

 

"Your cuffs," Aizawa answered my thoughts.

 

Oh, right. The teachers still think they cancel out my quirk. They don't know that the League of Villains modified them for me. Holding out my arms, Aizawa slipped the key and put my cuffs into his backpack to keep them safe. The blue cat-girl was about to ram her paws into the ground again when I lifted my hands in surrender.

 

"I'm going! I'm going!"

 

Running over to the edge, I glanced down to see my classmates laying there in confusion. The land was rather barren, so there wasn't much to switch with. With an evil smirk, I activated my quirk and ended up standing at the bottom, looking up. There was a loud shriek as Mineta was once again thrown off the edge of the cliff with another earth attack.

 

"Good news!" red cat-girl called. "This is private property so you can use your quirks as much as you want to. You've got three full hours. You should be able to make it to the facility in that time... that is if you can get through the Beast's Forest."

 

Soon enough, we were confronted by the beasts. Golem-like creatures made of rock and dirt using the blue cat-girl's quirk. Midoriya, Todoroki, Bakugou and Iida worked together to take down the first one, but another soon appeared. Iida was the one to psych everyone up, and our class charged forward into the forest,

 

Everyone moved to the areas that suited them, whilst I shifted towards the back, gathering up little pebbles or broken sticks as we travelled through the forest. I needed to stay in the middle towards the back where I could see everyone, so I'd be able to use my quirk to get them out of danger.

 

Our class quickly grew to work together as they fought to take down golem after golem. Although they were all very energetic towards the beginning, it was later on in the exercise when people started getting sloppy.

 

The overuse of their quirks tired them, and their movements had slowed. Since my quirk hadn't been very useful earlier, I still had a lot of stamina remaining by the time my help was needed. I kept a close eye on my teammates, switching out those who were in danger. 

 

As more and more of my switching items were depleted, it was Hagakure who quickly scattered to get more, since her quirk also wasn't very suited to the challenge at hand. Even if I didn't have as much time to train as the others due to my restraints, I found that even my quirk had grown stronger. I didn't have to wait as long between switches, and I was able to switch larger things at once without difficulty (which I tested by switching some of the golems to the air and having them fall). 

 

Although by the time we finally stumbled upon the training camp, even I was exhausted. 

 

"I thought it would take you kids even longer but you did much better against my dirt monsters than I thought you would! You guys are seriously great, especially the four of you—" she pointed at Iida, Midoriya, Todoroki and Bakugou—"it seems like you've had quite a bit of experience. I call dibs on these kittens! I'll groom them myself!"

 

"Mandalay," Aizawa turned to the red-cat girl as the four students were suddenly surrounded by the other, "has Pixie-Bob always been like this?"

 

"It's gotten worse lately," Mandalay shrugs, "She's at the age to take a mate."

 

That was when Midoriya asked about the little asshole-ish looking brat, whom Mandalay introduced as her cousin's son, Kota. Freckles went up to introduce himself, and I couldn't help but burst into laughter when the kid flat-out punched him in the dick.

 

"That brat's got spunk," Bakugou announced with a smile.

 

"I like him too," I chuckled in agreement.

 

Todoroki turned to Bakugou blankly, "He's like a mini version of you."

 

"What are you talking about!? You can just shut your mouth before I blast you all the way to hell!"

 

"Yeah, sure," Todoroki replied, sarcasm dripping from his voice.

 

"Enough playing around," Aizawa cut off the arguments. "Get your stuff off the bus. Once your bags are in your rooms, we'll have dinner in the cafeteria. After that, you can bathe and sleep. Your training starts tomorrow morning. You'd better get a move on."

 

It didn't take long to gather all of our things and take them to the room we'd be staying in. Then, we all met in the cafeteria to finally fill our stomachs. I was starving after the long events of today. Filling my plate with all kinds of food I'd never tried before, I couldn't help but feel excited. I loved trying new things!

 

I ended up taking my plate and sitting on the floor. It was loud at the table, and I wasn't really used to sharing meals with others. Even if I'd made up with everyone, I still chose to eat lunch outside under my tree, and at home, I only ever shared meals with Mr. Aizawa. Sure, I got something at the mall with Iida, Kaminari, and Kirishima, but this was a bit much.

 

"Everything okay, kitten?" I cringed at the nickname as Pixie-Bob kneeled down beside me.

 

"I'm just not great in large groups," I took a bite of one of the many delicious new foods. "Everything is really good. I've never tried any of these foods before!"

 

"Aizawa told us a bit about your situation, meow. Tell you what, I'll pass him some of the recipes, kay?"

 

"Yeah," I nodded. "I'd really like that."

 

In the end, Pixie-Bob filled her plate and came over to sit on the floor with me. At first, I'd protested and told her she could sit with the other adults, but she'd insisted on not leaving a kitten alone. I hated that nickname already but Pixie-Bob herself was nice. I didn't mind talking to her, not that I'd admit it.

 

It was after dinner, that I felt a bit nervous.

 

The hot springs were split by gender, which was definitely a good thing, but I didn't want anyone to see. They'd notice my scars. They'd ask questions. They'd see my weaknesses on display. I don't want them to know that part of me. I don't want any of them to ever know who I was back then.

 

"Aren't you going to go bathe?" Mr. Aizawa asked me since everyone else had already gone into the springs.

 

"They'll see them," I wrapped my arms around myself protectively.

 

Aizawa frowned, gently placing his hand on my head. He kneeled slightly to match my height and my gaze caught his. It was strong and confident like he knew exactly what to do in every situation. He radiated a feeling of comfort for me.

 

"Those girls care about you, Izumi. You've been classmates for over a year now. Maybe they'll ask questions, but they'll respect your answer if you say you don't want to talk about them. You don't need to give them excuses. You don't need to tell them everything. Your scars aren't a sign of weakness. They're a sign of victory from the battles you've survived in your past. You don't have to tell them anything you don't want to. Although the police tried to make assumptions about what caused them, you came up with all kinds of reasons to prove them wrong and they gave up on trying to figure it out. No one knows that story but you, and it's your story to tell — but only if and when you're ready."

 

"Thank you," I wrapped my arms around his waist for a quick hug before pulling away and running towards the hot springs. He was right! I didn't have to be ashamed of my scars. I didn't have to talk about them either. They were a sign that I'd survived my father. They were a sign that he hadn't beaten me down yet!

 

My clothes were left in the girl's change room, and I wrapped a towel Aizawa had packed around me as I entered the bathing area. The girls seemed to perk up at my arrival and their chatter grew more cheerful.

 

"Izumi! So glad you could join—"

 

Uraraka's words stopped midsentence and the other girls followed her horrified gaze to me. Arms covering my chest, I stepped into the water after having dropped my towel. I sunk below so the water would rest just above my shoulders and allowed the water to warm me up.

 

"Izumi..." Yaoyorozu trailed off.

 

"Where did you?" Jirou barely managed to stutter out.

 

Ashido's usually cheerful smile and gone dim, "How?"

 

"I... I got them when I was younger," a part of me was reminded of my father's words. I wasn't supposed to tell anyone. I was never supposed to let anyone see. If he ever found out, Father would be very angry with me. "I don't really like talking about them. I know they're ugly, but please don't mention them again."

 

"O-Of course!" Hagakure shouted in agreement.

 

"Sorry, we shouldn't have reacted the way we did. It makes sense that it's a sensitive subject," Yaoyorozu apologized. 

 

"It's alright. There are just some things from my background that I'd prefer not to remember."

Chapter Text

"Good morning, class. Today we begin the training camp that will increase your strength. Our goal is to increase your skills exponentially so that each of you earns a provisional licence. This will allow you to face the dangers that continue to fester in the darkness. Proceed, carefully. Look alive, Bakugou—" Aizawa tossed him a baseball—"Try throwing that for me."

 

"Yeah sure, like in the fitness test."

 

"That's right. When you first started school, your record with 705.2 metres. Let's see if you've improved."

 

Bakugou threw the baseball with a loud, 'go to hell', with various members from our class cheering him on. He looked quite confident until Aizawa lifted his phone to reveal the distance it had gone. "That was 709.6 metres. You've had a single semester at UA and due to your various experiences, all of you have improved. But those improvements have mostly been limited to mental prowess and technical skill — with a slight increase in stamina thrown in along the way. As you can see, your quirks themselves have not improved much on a fundamental level. That's why we're now going to focus on improving your powers. This'll be so hard you'll feel like you're dying. Let's hope you all survive."

 

We met two more members of the Wild, Wild Pussycats (and got a fuller version of their dumb motto and pose thing) and we were all scattered and given personalized training exercises. For me, I was put in the middle of a large ring filled with small objects like pebbles, sticks, leaves and more. My task was to constantly switch myself around between the objects so I could quicken the cool-off time of how long I needed to wait between each switch and avoid injuring my eyes when I overuse it. Also, I'd be better at surveying my location to find the next object to switch with.

 

By the end of the day, to no one's surprise, I couldn't fucking see.

 

I'd gone through intervals, having to take short breaks when my vision let out but would immediately begin the exercise again when it had recovered enough for me to make out something to switch with. My quirk wouldn't grow stronger if I just waited for it to recover before continuing.

 

Uraraka had taken my hand and brought me back to camp, where Aizawa had me sit down for a bit while the rest of the class began cooking. Apparently, we were making curry. It only took a couple of minutes for my vision to return well enough for me to see, and I joined in cutting vegetables.

 

Great idea. Give the almost-blind teenager a sharp knife and tell her to cut some shit. Well, don't blame me if you find my fucking blood in the curry... or the end of my damn finger.

 

By the time the food was ready, my vision had gone back to normal and I sat down to eat between Sero and Kirishima. While the two of them rapidly shovelled food into their mouths, I ate at a normal pace. Fucking weirdos.

 

We were up just as early the next day, and my training continued. My eyes were sore from the previous day, but I forced myself to work hard. Everyone already knew I was getting a free pass through the practicals. I'd gotten a free pass through every summative in every class all year and all of 1a knew it. I wanted to prove that now... I wasn't going to freebie my way through. I was going to fight my way through!

 

That night I found myself cutting vegetables with Bakugou, who had a ridiculous talent when it came to cooking. Out of everyone in this damn class, I didn't expect Bakugou to be the one who seemed to be the best in the kitchen. I, on the other hand, was a bit of a nightmare. He chased me off after I cut myself and got blood on the carrots. 

 

They couldn't really blame me, in my defence. I'd never cooked a thing in my life! My mother prepared all of my food growing up since Father had given me a strict diet. I was only allowed to eat what I was given, and I had to eat everything I was given when I was given it.

 

When night fell, both classes were dragged out into the woods to do some dumb 'test of courage' or whatever. Unfortunately for them, those who failed the final exams weren't able to participate. I almost wish I'd failed so I could get out of it. I don't like being in the dark.

 

"Class b is going to start out as our scarers!" Pixie-Bob announced. "When they're in place, class a will leave in pairs of 2 every three minutes. There are tags with your names on them at the far end of the route. Your goal is to collect those! Now, those who are scarers aren't allowed to make physical contact. Use your quirks to terrify the others, get it?"

 

"The winners are..." Tiger growled, "the creative students who make the most people piss their pants!"

 

"Alright, everyone draws to see who your partner will be!"

 

After I'd received my number, I ended up awkwardly standing beside Freckles. We didn't really talk much, but Uraraka seemed to like him so I guess he wasn't too bad — even if the two of them had been acting all weird around each other.

 

It wasn't long after the trial of courage had started, that black smoke began rising from the forest. What? There was a cry of surprise and I whipped around to see Pixie-Bob surrounded in strange pink energy as she was pulled away.

 

Two males, one human and one with some sort of reptilian quirk, hovered over her injured body. Midoriya went to charge forward from my side, but Tiger quickly moved to block him before he did something stupid.

 

"This is bad," Mandalay surveyed our surroundings nervously as she activated her quirk. "Everyone! Two villains attacked us. It's possible there are more coming. Everyone return to camp immediately. We're regrouping. Do  not  engage any enemies!"

 

"How are you this evening, UA High school? We are the Vanguard Action Squad of the League of Villains," the reptilian announced.

 

"I could crush this kitty's head so easily," his human friend grinned. "How about it dear, should I?"

 

"Now, now. When deciding if someone should live or die, we should make sure we're abiding by Stain's principles."

 

"So you're the ones he ended up inspiring!" Iida hissed.

 

"At your service! And you, four-eyes, I believe I recognize you. You're one of the self-righteous brats that attacked Stain in Hosu City. Let me introduce myself. Call me Spinner!" he revealed a terrifying sword from his back. "I'm here to make Stain's dream a reality!"

 

Mandalay put Iida in charge of returning us to camp, although Midoriya separated to track down the brat that punched him in the dick a few days ago. As for me, I had to think. The League of Villains had shown up at our training camp — the one they wouldn't know about if Shigaraki hadn't have seen my list. I told them about it, and because of me all of my classmates were in danger.

 

I began to travel back to camp with the rest of my classmates, but I couldn't help but feel like something was off. All Might had always been Shigaraki's target, so what was he after now? All Might wasn't here. There's no way they would have falsely assumed his presence, so they're after something. 

 

We arrived at camp just as a villain Aizawa appeared to be against melted away. Aizawa barely shot us a second glance, ordering us to get inside as he charged into the forest. The rest of my classmates ran into the building, whilst I hesitated behind. 

 

"Everyone in class a and class b, in the name of the pro hero Erasure Head, you are granted permission to engage in combat. I repeat, use your training. You may fight these villains. Listen, we've discovered one of the villain's targets. It's a student named Kacchan! Kacchan, you should try to avoid combat and stick to a group. I hope you can hear me."

 

So they did have a reason for being here. Only Midoriya refers to Bakugou as that, so chances are he got the information when we went to find the brat. However, there's no way that he would have figured out such a specific detail on his own. He must have found out from one of the villains.

 

I doubt he would have overheard it. These villains are clearly elite when it comes to power, unlike the thugs used in the USJ attack. They're powerful and know exactly what they're doing. In that case, Midoriya likely heard it from a villain during a fight. If he was able to get back to Mandalay, I'm hoping that means he won. If that's the case, then one villain of their squad is done.

 

Elite squads are typically smaller in number, at least that's what my father taught me when I was little. There likely were only 5 to 12 of them, although each could easily pose a threat to multiple pro heroes at once. Engaging an enemy alone in this situation was likely suicide. 

 

"Well, if it isn't Izumi."

 

The flames surrounded me before I got the chance to react, and my body was thrown back. Burns formed across my skin, and images of the incident during the sports festival began to poke up from the back of my mind. No. I needed to stay calm. I can't allow myself to fall into a panic attack, not right now.

 

The man looked the exact same as the one Aizawa defeated before, that had melted into mud after he hit it with his scarf. Still, I couldn't just assume that this one was another clone. If he was the real one, then his power would easily surpass the copy's. I had to stay on my guard.

 

"I've been looking for you!" he chuckled excitedly.

 

Shigaraki's words from the mall suddenly rang through my mind, and the fear spread throughout my chest faster than I could realize it was there. No. Not yet. Not now. I wasn't ready. I had so many things I still wanted to do, and learn! 

 

"Well, I'll be off. It was nice seeing you, little sister. I'll come back to visit you again soon. You could spend the summer with me! I'll talk to our father about it."

 

It was subtle enough to seem friendly as if it were a part of the ruse. But no. That was his warning. My time was running out and the clock had just reached 0. They had two targets in this mission. The first was Katsuki Bakugou... and the other was me.

 

Glancing towards the building, I knew Vlad King and several of my classmates were inside. We were supposed to meet up there, but I'd caught a glimpse of his fire quirk. It didn't matter if he were real or a fake, the building could catch on fire and collapse. 

 

If Bakugou and I are their targets, they likely don't care about what happens to everyone else. He wouldn't care if the others were killed, as long as I was alive and well. My friends and teachers were disposable in this situation. I was not. My quirk isn't well suited to one on one battles, meaning I was at a severe disadvantage.

 

Despite this, I still couldn't allow him to set the camp building ablaze. That was the safe spot where everyone was trying to regroup. Chances are, many students are going to stumble through the trees covered in all kinds of injuries. We need a space for them to escape to with supplies, away from the fighting. I have to draw him away from here.

 

They won't kill me, so I can use that to my advantage. They need me alive. If the situation gets too rough, I can always threaten him with my death. Even if Shigaraki has grown annoyed with me due to the Hosu incident, my father still considers me useful. If they don't bring me back alive, All For One will be furious. 

 

I can try to avoid being captured to the best of my ability, but I'm not suited for this. It's just like the practical exams. You have to analyze your opponent and make a decision — will you fight or run? In this situation, I have to run and lead him away from camp. Once we're far enough away, I can use my quirk to switch behind him and double back. By that time, it should be safe for me to go back. 

 

I'll only have one shot to do it right. If he realized I doubled back the first time, he'll likely prepare for me to do it again. That means if I fail once, I won't be able to follow through with my plan. Plus, I'm still worn out from the training. My quirk is overworked. I can't use it as freely as normal right now. I have to be careful with how I use it. If my vision blurs, I'm done for.

 

Either way, I have to make the first move.

 

Searching the tree line behind him, I quickly located a fallen branch and activated my quirk. He was able to locate me almost immediately as I charged into the Beast's Forest with the villain hot on my tail. His scars covered his body, and his face seemingly covered in stitches. Just what kind of hell had he been through?

 

Feeling the temperature rise, I dove to the side just in time for the flames to incinerate the grass where I'd been standing. Taking no time to allow myself to recover, I stumbled to my feet and kept running. If I stop now, I'm as good as captured.

 

Darting to the side, I dodged yet another blast of fire, rolling through a shrub to hide from view for a moment. A moment was all I needed. Switching with the leave in the tree above, I ducked behind the trunk as the villain travelled below me. As he burned the bush into ash, I looked through the treetops.

 

I need something to switch with. Where can I go? Where can I hide? This is nothing more than the deadliest game of Hide and Seek I've ever played — and ever will play. Winning will equal my freedom. If I lose, I'll never see the light of day again until I'm as twisted as I was back then.

 

I have to move. 

 

I have to push my quirk to the limits.

 

Switching with another leaf, I brought myself further away from the unnamed villain. I held tightly onto the trunk and moved out of his line of sight. I need a goal. Where am I going? If I aimlessly move through the forest, then I may run into other villains.

 

I need to get to the clearing.

 

I may be able to lose him there, as much as I hate throwing my fight on someone else. In addition, Mandalay should be able to announce me as another target. That way everyone else will know what's going on. I won't be able to explain in the moment. 

 

The blue flames around me grew larger as the fire spread further. Another advantage of the clearing — I'd keep this guy from burning the entire fucking forest down. I couldn't stay in this tree forever. It will catch fire soon and burn to the ground. I need a plan and I need to act on it.

 

"Hey, Dabi! There's the clone I made of you!"

 

"Shut up, Twice."

 

That answered the first question. So the one I'd been facing, Dabi was his name, was a clone. Meaning the one that had just arrived was the real one. And 'Twice' was the one who created the clone. Assuming Twice could create clones of anyone, that could lead to a potentially dangerous situation for anyone. He could disguise a clone as an ally and take out my classmates. I'd have to be careful when I came across anyone else in case it was another clone.

 

As for Dabi, his blue flames were hot enough coming from the clone. I could only imagine that the flames coming from his real body would be even worse. I couldn't switch out of his quirk easily, and there's also the risk that I could go into a panic attack if things get too familiar to my encounter with Endeavor. I can't let those flames burn me. 

 

"You can stop hiding in a tree, Izumi. My name is Dabi. Your brother sent me to retrieve and protect you. Think of me as your bodyguard."

 

"How do I know I can trust you? For all I know, you could be lying that you're associated with Nii-san. After all, he's not here."

 

"Cautious, aren't you? I can assure you, I'm here on direct orders from Shigaraki."

 

"Then prove it. Catch me. If you're truly his elite squad, then you must have powerful abilities to back it up."

 

"Fine. Let the game begin. But don't blame me if you get hurt."

 

"Oh, I won't — but I'm sure my brother and father will."

 

I slipped down the tree trunk, landing on the ground a couple of metres in front of them. Dabi stalked closer with narrowed his eyes, placing a hand on the trunk as if to corner me. "You're playing a dangerous game, little girl."

 

"Then play with me."

 

Activating my quirk, I reappeared where Twice had been, leaving Dabi to corner his partner. Using their moment of confusion, I turned tail and sprinted through the trees. The blue flames soon followed as both the original and the clone began to block my path. They were trying to lead me somewhere. Wherever that was, I couldn't let them. 

 

Although it was difficult to see through the smoke, I had no choice. I was barely able to do so as I reappeared on the other side of the blue flames. 

 

Yeah.

 

A deadly game of Hide and Seek it was.

 

 

Chapter Text

I was running out of stamina.

The burning flames had grown stronger and the smoke thickened. I could barely breathe at this point. I needed to move but my lungs couldn't take anymore. I was crouched behind a tree trunk to catch my breath, but I could hear Dabi and Twice approaching from behind. I couldn't stop yet.

I switched forward and sprinted blindly through the trees. I tried my best, but I lost my ability to keep track of where I was. I didn't know where the camp or the clearing was. I was completely and utterly lost.

Blue flames blazed up beside me as I jumped away from Dabi's next attack. The villain was relentless and intelligent. His mental prowess was likely way above mine. I didn't know if I'd be able to outsmart him, but I couldn't start doubting myself now.

"Come on, Izumi, stop playing around," Dabi called into the trees. "Why don't you be a good girl and come to Dabi?"

Damnit. Switching myself into a tree, I got ready to go something crazy. I took a hold of the vine and gave it a good tug to make sure it was stable. Then as my location was pointed out, I jump. My momentum and position sent the vine flying forward, and Dabi did just as I'd hoped.

His flames surrounded the vine and as it snapped, my body was sent surging through the air. The force wouldn't care me far, but far enough. Another blast of blue flames flew just behind me, exploding into the night sky in a flash of light.

I rose above the treetops for only a moment but it took me out of their sight. In addition, it gave me a birds-eye view. Doing a rapid spin, I studied my surroundings to figure out where I was. The clearing wasn't far. I'd been steered a little off course, but I knew where to go now.

I used the impact from my fall to roll across the ground to minimize injuries. I was back on my feet immediately as I charged forward through the trees towards my destination. It was so close. I had to reach it if I wanted a chance!

"Dabi, there she is!"

I switched up onto a tree branch just as the flames exploded below. The leaves around me caught aflame, and the blast sent me flying back down to the ground. Dabi was over me in a second, a hand on my throat.

"Are you finished?" the man snarled as his face narrowed in on mine.

I weakly shook my head, "never."

Dabi let out a screech of anger when Twice appeared where I had been and I quickly ran back into the trees. I kept myself moving diagonally forward in random patterns to prevent them from predicting my movements. I could see the light up ahead! The tree line!

I let myself get distracted.

I was encased by heat as his fire caused another explosive blast and my body was sent flying forwards. I flew through the tree line and landed in the dirt. I rolled to the right, narrowly dodging another blast as the two villains (and the clone) stalked out of the trees.

"Izumi? What's going on?" Mandalay demanded as she blocked another hit from the reptilian, Spinner.

The villain's head shot in my direction, and I quickly activated my quirk. Standing in front of Tiger, I watched the man with the magnet quirk was barely able to dodge his comrade's sword. The eyes of the villains had all rested on me.

"This is getting tedious," Dabi growled in my direction.

Spinner was quickly charging me again, but Tiger had moved in front of me in seconds to block the hit and knock the villain back. Spinner skidded across the ground, his eyes narrowing under the white mask he wore to admire Stain.

"So this is the famous Izumi, huh?" Spinner chuckled. "Shigaraki's told us all about his little sister. It's time to come home to your real family. You're a villain like us, remember? You don't belong at UA."

His speech was a diversion. I should have known. Arms wrapped around me from behind as Twice and Dabi (the clone, I think) pulled me into their grasp. Just before my vision was covered, I was able to replace myself with the magnet-quirk guy.

"The villains that are chasing me are Dabi and Twice. Dabi's quirk allows him to create these blue flames. He's been firing a lot of it around, but I haven't seen him run out yet. His stamina is well-trained. Twice, on the other hand, can create clones — that's why there are two Dabis. The real one is much more powerful, but it's nearly impossible to tell which is which without seeing their attack power."

The Pussycats had quickly gone back to combat, trying to keep the villains back as I dodged out of the way of attacks. They all hovered protectively before me, trying to keep the villains away. Still, there were too many villains for them to take on alone — especially with Pixie-Bob badly injured.

"Attacking her in a group won't work," Dabi sighed. "She can just make us hit each other. Twice and I will capture her, the rest of you stay here and keep the Pussycats busy."

The flames flared up in front of me, forcing me to jump back. They were trying to force me out of the clearing. I tried to move around the wall, but Dabi was fast. I had nowhere else to run but into the trees, and the flames were far too dense to see through them. With no other options, I ran into the forest once again.

"Attention, everyone!" Mandalay's voice rang through my mind. "We've discovered an additional target. A student named Izumi is currently being chased by two villains - she says one is able to create clones and the other can create powerful blue flames. She looked exhausted when she ran through the clearing. It's likely they've been chasing her for a while now. If anyone is close by, please help her get back to camp!"

Thanks, Mandalay. Now all I have to do is keep running and prey that someone will show up to help me. The forest around me was burning, and the flames grew stronger and brighter with every attack. At least it wouldn't be too difficult for everyone to know my location, although the smoke wouldn't make it easy to reach me.

I was about to switch out of an attack when my vision blurred slightly, and a cry of pain left my lips as I could feel my skin getting scorched. N-No! Don't remember. Don't remember! Trying to force them away from my mind, all I could focus on was the haunting memories of Endeavour as my vision finally let out.

Damn it.

"Izumi!"

A pair of arms wrapped around me and leaped to the side as the air chilled. My saviour's icy breath gave away his identity, as I wrapped my arms around Todoroki's torso. I don't know where we had landed, but he'd gotten me away from what was likely another blast.

"How's your vision?" his voice entered straight into my ear.

"Gone," I answered breathlessly. "I had to keep running. It was the only way I had a chance. I tried to make my vision last as long as possible, but the strain on my eyes became too much."

"Alright, just leave it to us. We'll protect you — you and Bakugou."

"I DON'T NEED PROTECTING, ICYHOT!"

"Who else is here?" I asked him.

"Shoji, Midoriya, Tokoyami, Bakugou, and someone from class b — he's unconscious though and Midoriya is too severely injured to fight."

"I can take the class b student if you're going to carry Izumi," Shoji offered.

I could only assume that the dupli-arm quirk-user had done just as he offered, and Todoroki placed me down onto the ground. Tokoyami announced he was behind just before a pair of hands was placed on my waist and I was lifted up. I ended up on Todoroki's back as his arms reached under my legs to hold me up. My arms wrapped loosely around his neck, making sure I wasn't going to choke him.

They quickly shifted into a run, and Todoroki's temperature, as well as the air around us, began to freeze. His grip around my legs tightened, "I created a large-scale ice wall. It should give us a bit of time to get ahead."

Our direction quickly shifted and I could feel how fast we were moving by the vibrations from Todoroki's footsteps. We had to ditch Dabi and Twice, even if it was only for a minute. It could give us enough time to return to camp.

"Uraraka!" Shoji's voice rang out.

"Help her guys!" I think that was Tsu.

Our group skidded to a stop as we encountered more of our classmates. Uraraka had called out to go after the villain but was quickly shot down by Tsu reminding her of the danger. We had no idea what kinds of abilities 'she' had, not that I'd gotten a good look at her.

"Who was that girl just now?" Todoroki demanded.

"One of the villains," Tsu replied. "She was crazy!"

"Uraraka, you're hurt!" Midoriya's voice came from slightly behind me, but to the side.

"It's not bad. I can still walk okay. You're the one who looks terrible."

"We can't stand here and talk," Shoji reminded the group. "The villains that were chasing Izumi will catch up soon. Let's move."

"Join our group," Midoriya told the girls. "We're protecting Kaachan and Izumi and making our way back to camp. We could use your help."

"If you're protecting Bakugou, then shouldn't he be with you guys?"

"What are you talking about? He's right over here behind us—"

The world lightened up a bit as I could make out the colours of Todoroki's hair, even if it was very blurry. I only needed to rely on my friends for a bit longer, then I could help them protect me and protect Bakugou. First, we'd have to find him.

"Nice trick, eh?" I followed the voice with my head and was able to make out something humanoid standing in a tree above us. "I took the lad you're talking about with my magic. A talent like his would be squandered were he cast as a hero. We'll provide him with a grander stage where he can truly shine."

"Give him back!" Midoriya's enraged voice cut into the night.

"Give him back? What an odd thing to say. Bakugou doesn't belong to anyone. He's his own person. Don't be so arrogant. Izumi, on the other hand, belongs to the League of Villains. So hand her over."

"No way! We'll stop you!" Midoriya snarled.

"Right now!" Ice quickly travelled along the earth from Todoroki's leg, although the villain jumped out of the way just before it reached him. No sooner than it had formed, the spikes were encased by blue flames and melted into nothing but a puddle.

"Why the aggression? We merely wish to show him that there are options besides the fanatical world of heroism he's drowning in — and Izumi is one of us. All Might stole her away five years ago, we're just trying to take her back home."

"It's not just Bakugou, Tokoyami's gone!" Shoji shouted.

"If you're monologuing because you think you've beaten us, you're mistaken."

"Bad habit of mine. I was once an entertaining. Taking Tokoyami was a bit of improv, on my part."

"You bastard, you can't take them!"

"Midoriya, calm down."

"Uraraka, take Izumi for me!"

Todoroki's grip on my legs lessened as I was dropped onto the ground. Uraraka's hand wrapped around my wrist to pull me closer. I only needed a bit more time. I'm sorry, everyone. I want to help you but my quirk isn't strong enough yet. If I could only see well enough, then I'm sure I could help.

Todoroki's ice exploded into a massive wall, freezing almost the entire forest-area around us. Still, the damned villain was able to avoid the attack with ease as he called out a few taunting words. Something covered my eyes and arms tightly wrapped around my torso as mine and Uraraka's hands were dragged apart.

"Izumi!"

"I told you this was a dangerous game," Dabi's voice whispered darkly in my ear.

"They can't!" Midoriya cried out.

"You're right!" Todoroki charged forward as the others followed. "We'll stop them!"

The grip around me tightened, "Mr. Compress. Let's split up. I'll use my flames to obscure their vision and head straight to the meeting point. You're much faster, and uninjured, so you can circle around a bit to tired them out. It'll give everyone more time to gather."

"Got it."

It suddenly got a lot hotted and one of Dabi's hands moved to cover my mouth so I wouldn't be able to make any sounds. Despite my struggling, I couldn't shove him off. I wasn't physically strong enough. I'm too weak!

We landed soon enough and Twice began to talk to another villain, a female by the voice. The girl was definitely insane, by the way, she spoke, whilst Twice's personality seemed to switch every couple of seconds. In the end, Dabi just ordered them to shut the fuck up.

"So, this is Shigaraki's little sister, huh? Oh, please, can't we be friends? We can have sleepovers and do each other's makeup and talk about cute boys! I'm Himiko Toga, by the way. We're gonna be best friends!"

"Keep your hands away from her!" Dabi's body jolted forward as the sound of a slap echoed back from the trees.

"Shigaraki wants her alive and well. She was already injured during the chase earlier — the brat put up quite a fight. It really pissed me off. We have to be careful with her."

"Aww, then I guess we won't be able to play together until we get back, huh. I'm totally excited! Wow, I haven't had a sleepover since I was a little girl and from what Shigaraki tells me, you've never had one. Your first sleepover, how exciting!"

There was a loud cry from above and the ground shook as something made a large impact. Dabi dropped me so my feet were touching the dirt, but kept an arm wrapped tightly around me to prevent my escape.

"Woah, Woah, what's this?" Twice called from beside me. "Hey, wait. I know these kids! Who are they?"

What the fuck is wrong with the weirdo and all the vocal tones? Pushing that thought aside, I tried to focus on the situation at hand. How could I get free? I needed to get free somehow! His grip was too tight. They blindfolded me. I was out of ideas.

"Give Kacchan, Tokoyami and Izumi back to us!"

"Out of the way, Compress," Dabi's voice was right in my ear as the temperature right beside me grew much hotter. My body flinched away with it, trying to sink further back into his chest and away from the fire. I had nowhere else to go. Even if I did get free, I couldn't see. He could easily blast me and recapture me.

The clearing went to chaos as sounds of combat filled the night, and clashes of quirks and weapons echoed off the trees. Everyone was fighting. I had to fight too. I had to try and get loose! I couldn't give up. My classmates were fighting for me, so I had to keep fighting too.

"Don't even think about it, little girl," Dabi's whisper entered directly into my ear, causing shivers down my spine. "Or I'll burn your skin clean off."

"I can't believe you wrecked my exit! Unrehearsed amateurs..."

"You got Bakugou?" Dabi spoke to a voice that sounded like Mr. Compress.

"Of course."

"Midoriya! Todoroki! We're done," Shoji called out. "He gave away his best trick. I'm not sure what your quirk is but it had to do with those little marbles, right? The ones you stashed in your pocket. So I'm guessing these are Tokoyami and Bakugou."

"Haha! Well, colour me impressed — just what I'd expect from someone with so many hands. How splendid."

I wasn't completely sure what was happening from all the running around and sounds of combat, but Dabi was very quickly dragging me back as he sent out another burst of flame. With a cry from Midoriya, I realized that I was next on their 'to save' list.

"It's been 5 minutes since the signal. Let's go, Dabi."

"Sorry, Izuku but I'll see you later! Izumi, I'm totally excited about our sleepover, come on!"

"Hold on," Dabi called out. "We're not leaving without the other kid."

"Don't worry," Mr. Compress chuckled from behind. "They were so proud of themselves for rooting through my pockets that I thought I'd let them gloat — but allow me to explain the basic tenant of magic. If I'm flaunting something shiny, it's because there's something else I don't want you to see. A little bit of misdirection, forgive me. I do so adore a twist ending."

There was a sudden sound of an attack and Mr. Compress coughed heavily. The grip around my waist tightened to a point where I could barely breathe as Dabi lunged forward, "Well isn't that a tragedy," he chuckled darkly, "poor little Shoto Todoroki. Confirm it now. Release them."

Another body appeared beside me as Dabi began to take slow steps back, "Checkmate."

"Kacchan, no!"

"Izumi!"

"Kacchan!"

"Stay back... Deku..." the voice stuttered out from beside me.

Dabi's grip loosened and my legs let out from under me as I collapsed to the floor. I could hear Bakugou's screeches of protest as he attempted to fight the villains off, but there were too many of them. His voice muffled and chains rattled. I reached up to my head and tore off the blindfold. Maybe I could get us out of this!

The room was dark, with only scattered candles to light it. The walls were stained in red from the countless times that blood splattered during training. The couch was falling apart from the number of times it had been hit with quirks as my father dragged me out from beneath it. No... Not here. Anywhere but here.

"Welcome home, little sister. Do you recognize it? It's just the same as when you were little. Your father came in to fix it up just for us."

I bumped into something when I stepped back, and there was a loud shattering as something hit the floor. A cry of fear left my lips, and I blindly charged through the darkness. I could feel myself running into things, knocking things over. I can't see. It's too dark. I can't remember the layout.

I slammed into the front door, feeling it up and down with a sob. There was still no doorknob on the inside. I need out! I need out! I pounded my fists against it, to not prevail. There were shouts from behind me and I stumbled away from the door. Grabbing a handle, I threw it towards one of those who approached me.

His blue flames lit up the area within seconds, and he caught the candle and extinguished it with only his fingers. Drawing closer, his hand slammed into the door behind me as the light dimmed. I can't see. I could feel him growing closer as his body moved right against mine, and the heat started up again.

"Looks like I won our game, kid. You shouldn't have played with fire."

Something connected with my skull and my consciousness faded as I collapsed into Dabi's chest.

 

Chapter Text

I don't know how long I've been here.

 

When I woke up, I had been locked inside my old bedroom. I had been alone for the first little while, but eventually, the door opened and Bakugou was thrown in with me. Out of his restraints, the first thing he did was begin sparking up his hands. 

 

I managed to stop him before he did something stupid. He was stubborn, but he wasn't an idiot. Once he got it through his thick skull that we were underground, his explosion quirk was out of the question unless he wanted the die. The earth would cave in and bury us all alive. 

 

Although livid, he refrained from using explosions. I, on the other hand, spent most of my time going in and out of panic attacks. I tried my best to hide my conflicting emotions from the hothead, but it wasn't hard to notice. That's how we ended up in this situation.

 

"Come on, Izumi! You know something about this place! That damned Shigaraki even said it was the same as the last time you'd been here. Where are we!? And why the hell does Shigaraki keep calling you his little sister!?"

 

"My childhood home," I dug my nails into my skin to try and keep myself in control. "I was raised here by my mother. My father came in and out as he pleased to train me. I was kept here in complete darkness and isolated from the outside world. Everything I heard, saw and tasted was heavily regulated by my father."

 

"What the fuck? Don't you live with your shitty dad? I've heard you mention him! What's that about,  huh !?"

 

"The faculty members of UA have served as my legal guardians. Not wanting other students to find out, I had to lie and pretend I was just a normal kid like the rest of you. The man I'm living with isn't my father — it's Mr. Aizawa."

 

Bakugou clenched his fist as he rose to his feet, and soon enough there was yet another crack in my bedroom wall. Did it even matter at this point? My father's fists had hit it so many times, I'm surprised it's even still standing.

 

"Who the hell are you?"

 

"I'm a girl with the blood of a villain — so the pro heroes and the police treated me like I already was one. This may have been where I was raised, but it was never a home. It was a prison cell — a training ground. My father twisted my morals and convinced me that to make the world a safer place, I had to kill All Might."

 

"You..." sparks began to emerge from his hands.

 

"Look," I took a shaky step back. "I'm having a hard time keeping myself conscious. Every single thing in this damn house makes me feel like I can't breathe. Once my panic attacks start up again, I'm going to be pretty useless. If you need any more information, then ask now while I can still answer."

 

"Who's your father?"

 

My muscles tensed as soon as the question left Bakugou's lips, and my mouth didn't want to move. Father told me I was forbidden to tell anyone about him. I was already going to be in so much trouble. I don't want to go through training again. I don't want to train with Father anymore.

 

"Snap out of it!"

 

"A-All For One. H-he's known as...as All For One. I... I-I'm sorry. I c-... I can't..."

 

I could hear his voice echoing off the walls. I could see his eyes glimmering in the dark. I could sense his presence lurking in the shadows. I could taste the blood from when he hit me too hard in my mouth. Everything was taking me back. I was only a child. I couldn't defend myself against a monster like him.

 

"Look, if you tell anyone about this, I'll deny it! And then I'll blow you to pieces!"

 

A pair of arms wrapped around my shaking body as Bakugou lifted me off the floor and sat me down in my bed. Climbing behind me, the hothead muttered angry profanities under his breath as he allowed me to lean against him. Even if Bakugou himself wasn't much of a comforting thought, it was the warmth of his body heat that triggered the memories of my mother when we cuddled up in front of the fireplace.

 

"I-I'm sorry," I breathed, 

 

"Whatever," he growled in response, "Just don't tell  anyone !"

 

He stayed there until the shaking of my body lessened, and I finally was able to calm the anxiety within me. I didn't say anything though. Even if I was feeling a bit better, my emotional state was all over the place. I needed something to keep me grounded.

 

The door busted open and Bakugou had immediately pulled away. The feelings of vulnerability and fear came rushing back as Himiko Toga skipped happily inside, twirling a knife around her finger. The villains had entered in a heap after that as they surrounded Bakugou. I tried to get up to help him, but only a glare from Dabi as flames danced around his hand was enough for me to shy away.

 

When they pulled away, he had been left restrained and Dabi put the key in his pocket. Dabi came to me next but as I went to pull away, his hand wrapped tightly around my wrist and the flames burned into my skin. My eyes were quickly covered and I didn't have the strength to pull away as the fire scorched my flesh, and something was wrapped around my other wrist.

 

When I managed to fling the blindfold off, I'd immediately tried to activate my quirk. Even if it was pitch black, I could still make out a few things under the light of the candles. For some reason though, it didn't work.

 

"They were modelled after the ones UA used," Shigaraki chuckled darkly. "Your father decided that we'll have to do a bit of retraining. After all, it's been a long time since his last lessons. We'll be taking over, for now."

 

My uninjured wrist was chained to the bedpost. The rest of me was left free. Bakugou, on the other hand, was completely chained up and attached to the opposite end of the bed frame. He could barely move a muscle. He was at the bottom of the bed, and I was at the top.

 

Most of the villains exited the room and locked the door, other than Toga who had almost immediately leaped up beside me. She sprawled across the bed with a crazy giggle as she looked up at me, her cheeks turning bright pink. 

 

"It's finally time for our sleepover! Aren't you excited, Izu? Ooh, what a cute nickname! I'll call you Izu, kay?"

 

A part of me flinched at the name. That was Krishima's nickname for me. I didn't like it as much when she said it. I didn't like it when people called me that. Not her, not my other classmates, not anyone. Only Kirishima could use that name.

 

"Aww, won't you answer? If you don't, I might just have to cut you~"

 

"Sorry," I immediately answered, a bit louder than intended. "I was distracted."

 

"Were you thinking about... a boy? You smell like me! Like you're in love!"

 

"Uh, no. I've never had an interest in relationships."

 

Toga pouted slightly as she rolled closer to me, and I instinctively pushed further away. If only if I could melt through the bed and the floorboards and just fade away. I don't like this. I feel unsafe. I can't stay here.

 

"Aww, there are plenty of cute boys in your class though! Just like Izuku~ I want to see him all cut up and covered in blood," the girl giggled manically. "I just love blood! Blood, blood! Blood, blood! What kinda boys do  you  like?"

 

I moved my hands in front of me as she began to make me feel even more uncomfortable, "I-I'm not i-into anyone."

 

"That's no fun! Ooh, why don't we play sleepover games? It'll be so much fun! Bakugou can play too!"

 

"NO!" the blond snarled.

 

A cry of pain left my lips as the girl grabbed my injured wrist and twisted it behind my back. I was shoved into the bed, and she hovered her knife above me with a sickly grin as she stared directly at my angry classmate, "I wonder how many cuts it'll take before you agree~"

 

"I'll play your damn game!" the blond snarled as she made a tiny cut across my shoulder as a warning.

 

"Okay! Ooh, I'll go first! Izumi, truth or dare?"

 

"W-what?" I stuttered out in confusion.

 

"Oh, wow, my bad! I totally forgot! You've never played before, huh? The asker will pick a person, and the one they select will pick truth or dare. On a truth, the asker can ask you anything they want and you have to answer truthfully. On a dare, they tell you to do something and you have to do it!" 

 

"Oh, um, truth?" I answered nervously. 

 

"If you had to kill one of your classmates, which would it be?" she grinned as the girl played with her knife.

 

I didn't hesitate, "Mineta." Bakugou, who was quite tense due to the situation, couldn't help but let out a slight chuckle because of how fast I answered.

 

"Now you ask someone!"

 

"Oh. T-toga, truth or—"

 

"—dare!"

 

Glancing around the room, I narrowed my eyes, "I dare you to unchain Bakugou."

 

"Awww, that's not fair! You know I can't do that, Izu!"

 

"What, are you too chicken?" he growled as he yanked his arms against the chains to cause a loud 'clang'.

 

"Huh? No way!" The girl was immediately sprinting from the room and returned about a minute later with Dabi following. He narrowed his eyes at Bakugou and I before glaring back at the crazy teenager. 

 

"No," he looked away with a roll of his eyes.

 

"Aww, please? It's truth or dare! I have to!"

 

"Don't be stupid," he growled at the girl.

 

"What, are you afraid that you won't be able to beat a pair of kids if we attack?" I narrowed my eyes at the man. "Pathetic."

 

Within an instant, Dabi was hovering over me. Climbing on top of me, I had nowhere to go but to push my back against the bed. He continued to move closer, and his face got dangerously close to mine. The skin where his scars were felt rougher than the rest and the villain's normally calm eyes grew unmistakenly hostile.

 

"Didn't I warn you about playing with fire, girl?"

 

"What can I say?" I spat out a response. "I'm used to getting burnt."

 

The flames formed from his hand as an instant as he moved it threateningly close to my face. The fear rushed back, but I force myself to focus on Bakugou. I have to make this work. I have to convince him to release him from the chains! Damn it. I can feel myself shaking.

 

"Toga," Dabi breathed onto me. "The key is in my back pocket."

 

The teenager let out a happy squeal as she approached, skipping over to Bakugou to undo his restraints. Dabi's weight grew heavier as he lifted more of his weight onto me, and the flames around his hand grew brighter and hotter.

 

"Get off!"

 

The explosion was dangerously close to me as Dabi was thrown away from me with a huge blast and Bakugou wrapped his hands around the chain between my cuff and the headboard. Tightening his grip, there was another explosion and the two pieces snapped apart. The door burst open as the other villains piled into the room, covering the only exit with their bodies.

 

"We may not be at camp, but I'm still allowed to fight!" Bakugou yelled into the darkness.

 

"Bakugou, we're underground! If you're explosions cause a cave-in—"

 

"—I know what I'm doing. Either help or get out of my way!"

 

"Shut up," Shigaraki's voice silenced the group as he entered. "UA is putting on a press conference and I'm trying to watch it. Now, Bakugou, about that conversation we had earlier. Why not reconsider? Won't you join us? You'll even have one of your friends from school here with you."

 

"Tch. I'm not interested in anything you have to say!"

 

Explosions shot out from Bakugou's hands and made contact with my 'elder brother'. The hand he wore flew off and landed on the floor close by. At first, the villains had begun throwing around threats of attacks, but it was Shigaraki again that silenced them — they were not to harm us.

 

Shigaraki turned to face an old TV that had been in my room since I was a child, although it never worked. He stepped forward and clicked the button on the top and the screen flicked on to reveal the purple letters of 'Sound Only'. No. This place didn't have any power, right? But Shigaraki just said he was watching some UA press conference...

 

"Master, lend me your power."

 

No. No!

 

"Master? I thought you were the boss around here. I guess you're a sidekick."

 

Shut up, Bakugou! You don't know what you're dealing with. You don't know who you're talking to. I can't breathe. I'm so tired. It feels like all of my energy is just draining away. Bakugou must have seen me falling from the corner of his eye because he quickly reached out to grab me before I hit the ground.

 

"Kurogiri, Compress, it's time to put them back to sleep."

 

"If you want me to listen then get on your knees and beg!" Bakugou snarled.

 

A loud knocking suddenly rang throughout the apartment, and all eyes moved towards my bedroom door. What? How? No, this was the villain's mistake. The heroes already found this place when they rescued me, so that means they already knew where it was. Was it really them? Were they here to save us?

 

"Hello? I got a pizza delivery here."

 

A couple of the villains slipped into the hallway to investigate, while a few others remained in the room with us. First of all, what the fuck was a pizza? Second of all, why the fuck was someone delivering it to us in a place like this?

 

"SMASH!"

 

The building shook and a few ceiling pieces collapsed from above. I quickly activated my quirk, since Bakugou had gotten rid of that stupid metal cuff, to switch my classmate away from the debris that would have crushed him.

 

"You can't run anymore, League of Villains! Understand!? Because we are here now!"

 

"We have to get to the front door!" I called out to the blond, "That's where All Might is, and from the sounds of it some other heroes too!"

 

"Stay back, Izumi!"

 

Quickly jumping behind him, Bakugou let out an angry roar as another blast came flying out from his hands. The villains that had remained in the room with us went flying backwards and the ceiling above us shook dangerously. 

 

"Bakugou, watch out!"

 

I charged forward and out of my bedroom door, grabbing his wrist as I passed to yank him into the hall just as the roof finally let out and my old bedroom was buried. He pushed me away with a growl, but didn't make any comments.

 

"You two must have been scared but you stayed strong. I'm sorry. You're both safe now," All Might announced as he approached us. We had just rushed into the living room, where Kamui Woods had entrapped each of the villains with his wood quirk. 

 

"What!? I wasn't scared! Not even close! She was the big baby about it!" he pointed at me.

 

"Did you listen to  anything  I told you!?" I snapped back at him. "This isn't just some building for me, y'know!"

 

All Might gave us a thumbs up. "Shigaraki, your little league underestimated all of us. The soul of this young man, the girl's changed heart, the police's diligent investigations, and our righteous fury. Enough is enough! Your game has come to an end, Tomura Shigaraki."

 

"You think it's over? Don't be stupid. I've only just begun to play. Justice... Peace... You created a garbage society by lifting up such ridiculous ideals. That's why I targeted you, All Might. It's why I started gathering people to my cause. You think this is the end? Then you've lost. Kurogiri!"

 

One of the pros present, I hadn't bothered to watch enough stuff about pro heroes to know who he was, quickly knocked him out before he could say or do anything that would prove helpful to the league. 

 

"There's nowhere left for any of you to run," an old man spoke. "So Shigaraki, where is your boss hiding?"

 

"Just you wait! The game is still mine!"

 

"You'll tell us where his is right now!" All Might ordered. "Shigaraki!"

 

"This is your fault! I hate you!"

 

A strange substance appeared from random locations around the room, which had been brightened by flashlights and lanterns that the hero's had brought with them. Several Nomu emerged from them, and I stumbled back as the strange substance appeared in my mouth.

 

Bakugou stumbled back as well, the same thing happening to him. All Might quickly lunged forward, but the weird substance seemed to swallow me whole before he could reach. No! This could only be... Father's doing.

 

The air refilled my lungs and heavy coughing left my system, "Damn it! The hell?" Bakugou's voice called from beside me. The substance dropped away and I almost fell, but quickly reajusted my footing.

 

"My apologies, Bakugou. You too, Izumi."

 

My entire body froze in place at the man who stood before me. I couldn't move. I couldn't breath. I couldn't do anything. Terror had encased my entire body within an instant and I was left helpless and defensless. I need away! Save me... Please save me.

 

"Izumi! Snap out of it!" Bakugou yelled from beside me.

 

"Now, now, dear. What have I taught you about fear?"

 

"Izumi!" Bakugou tried again.

 

The masked man stepped closer to me and his large, calloused hand slipped underneath my chin. My gaze was forcefully lifted. The trembling in my body had grown so violent that I could barely focus on anything else.

 

"F-father..."

 

"I've missed you, Izumi, my girl."

 

Chapter Text

"You failed once more, Tomura. But you must not be discouraged. You'll try again. That's why I brought your associates back with you. Even this child, because you judged that he was an important piece on your gameboard. Start over as many times as it takes, I am here to provide you with help. All of this is for you." 

 

My father held his hand out to Shigaraki, who stared up at him in complete wonder. How can he worship a man like him? How can he stand to be in his presence? I can't breathe. I need to breathe! Gasping in a shaky breath, I tried to look around. We were surrounded, and there's no way we could get past the League of Villains and my father.

 

"Ah, there you are."

 

He turned to catch All Might's punch just as the pro hero arrived, "I'll have you return my students, All For One!"

 

"Have you come to kill me a second time, All Might?—" the impact from their attacks caused a massive surge of power to send all of us flying backwards—"It took you long enough to find us. It's only 20km from the underground hut to here and yet it was at least 2 minutes after I sent the Nomu there that you arrived. You've gotten weaker, All Might."

 

"You're one to talk. It's kind of difficult to ignore that fancy life support mask you've got on. Aren't you overexerting yourself?"

 

Bakugou pushed himself up from beside me, staring at the pillars of hope and despair as they argued back and forth with a look of utter shock on his face. After a few seconds, his eyes narrowed as he clenched his teeth tightly together.

 

"So this guy's your dad, huh?" he growled, but I couldn't speak. "Izumi!"

 

"Y-yes!"

 

"I won't repeat the mistake I made 5 years ago, you hear me? I will take young Bakugou back, and I will make certain that you will never see your daughter again once you've been locked up for the rest of your sad life right along with your despicable League of Villains!"

 

"Sounds like you've got your work cut out for you," my father lifted a hand as All Might lunged forward. His arm widened strangely as a strong wind-like power blasted from his palm and the number one pro hero was sent flying back.

 

"A-All Might!" Bakugou called from beside me as he climbed to his feet. The entire area surrounded us had been destroyed, along with a whole line of buildings that All Might had been sent flying through.

 

"Don't you worry, it'll take more than that to kill him. Get off the battlefield, Tomura — and take the children with you. I'll have Kurogiri create a warp gate."

 

He used a strange power that stabbed into Kurogiri's stomach. Despite the man being unconscious, a warp gate had begun to form. We couldn't let ourselves be pulled through!

 

"You're mine!" Father blocked another one of All Might's attacks.

 

"Let's go Shigaraki," Mr. Compress put the unconscious Dabi inside one of his marbles. "Claim your prizes."

 

Bakugou lowered himself towards the ground with a grin, "This is gonna be fun."

 

The villains charged forward almost immediately, leaving myself and Bakugou to defend ourselves. While he used his explosions as a counter-attack, I used my quirk to cause their capture methods and attacks to hit each other.

 

All Might attempted to rush to our aid, but my father was able to stop him each time with one of his many quirks and pull him away. My anxiety was growing with each passing second, and I didn't know how much longer I'd be able to keep this up. I had to focus on the present, and not let my memories and flashbacks come to the surface. 

 

"Izumi, look out!" 

 

Bakugou was in front of me in an instant as a large explosion forced Mr. Compress to jump back. I activated my quirk soon after to switch him away from the knives Toga had thrown, and Twice was barely able to doge before they made contact. The two of us jumped back, maintaining our distance, as we stood back to back. 

 

The ice shot into the sky out of nowhere and quickly turned my head in surprise. What? It couldn't be... That was Todoroki's quirk! And on top of the ice... Midoriya, Iida and Kirishima slip upwards with incredible speed as the three of them flew into the air.

 

"Come on!" Kirishima reached out his hand towards us.

 

"Izumi, take my hand!" Bakugou ordered from beside me. 

 

I reached out to take it, but the black and red extensions that came from the fingers of my father wrapped around my wrist and pulled me back before I could. "I've done everything for you! Would you betray me like this!? Take that hand, and I'll hunt you down and every person you've grown attached to! Join me, Izumi, as I raised you! We'll take down All Might together."

 

"F-father—"

 

"—That wasn't an option!" 

 

"B-Bakugou, go—agh!" 

 

The pained screech emitted from my lips as I was dragged backwards and Bakugou had no choice but to leave me behind. Using his explosions to propel himself, he went flying towards our friends who had come to save us. 

 

My body slammed into the dirt at my father's feet, and a foot slammed down upon my back. It was heavy enough to hold me down and cause pain, but light enough that it wouldn't cause any injuries. The old man from earlier soon arrived, taking down the League members within seconds before landing beside All Might.

 

Forcefully activating the quirk of one of the members, my father used magnetism to send the League of Villains members flying through the warp gate he had forced Kurogiri to create earlier. A hand wrapped around the collar of my shirt, and he tugged harshly.

 

"Switch me with the old man." 

 

I don't want to do this. I don't want to be a villain. I don't want to fight All Might. I'm too afraid. Even if All Might was holding back earlier, he's still nowhere near as strong as he was the first time they fought. Plus, All Might's power has lessened since he passed on his quirk. I couldn't fight against my father! If we lost... I'd spend the rest of my life begging for death.

 

"Izumi!" he snarled down at me.

 

Lifting my head, I quickly did as he said. All Might's fist connected with his cheek and the elder was sent flying backwards. The disgusting substance from his warping quirk formed in my mouth, and I reappeared at his feet once again.

 

"I only came to save Tomura but if you say you're going to fight then I'll face you as you wish. In the past, your fists crushed one after another of my comrades. Many were forced into the shadows, underground, while you were the Symbol of Peace. What a grand view you must have had from atop our sacrifices. A hero, standing on the mountain of our defeats."

 

"Detroit..." All Might began to reel back a punch as he prepared to charge.

 

"Izumi, switch with me," Father whispered.

 

"W-what?"

 

"Do as I say. You aren't going to betray your father, are you?"

 

"No..."

 

"SMASH!"

 

It seemed like all of the air was knocked out of me when the fist connected with my stomach, and my body went sent flying back through the air. Before I could hit anything, I was once again dragged through his warp gate and dropped at my father's feet.

 

My hands moved to cover my pained stomach as a slight whimper escaped my lips. The ground rumbled as All Might's foot slammed into the earth, "How dare you!? HOW DARE YOU USE YOUR OWN DAUGHTER AS A SHIELD?"

 

He shot forward suddenly, hand wrapping around Father's wrist as his fist connected with the man's mask. All For One was pinned to the ground, and I could only lay on the ground beside them as I struggled to recover my strength from the hit.

 

"Toshinori... you've reached your limit," the old man called from behind us. 

 

"What's wrong?" my father's voice asked calmly, although I was unable to see him properly because of All Might's position. "You seem to be worked up about something, All Might. I've heard that same exact line before, you know. From the person that had One For All before you. You have so much in common with Nana Shimura — the utter waste of a human that passed One For All on to you."

 

"My master was a true hero. Keep her name out of your filthy mouth!"

 

"A woman with no skill and grand ideas she couldn't live up to. How embarrassing for me, the creator of One For All, to see  her  inherit the power. And the way she died was so pathetic. Shall I tell you all about it?"

 

"Enough!"

 

All Might's fist pulled back, but an explosion from my father sent both him and myself flying backwards. My skin scraped against the dirt as I rolled along the ground. Seconds after, a hand grabbed my collar and yanked me to my feet. 

 

Glancing up, I found myself frozen once again at the terrible state of my father's body. His face, a completely clean slate, held only a mouth. His nose and eyes were no longer there, yet he still seemed to sense everything. How? I-I can't...

 

My father began yelling words to All Might, but I couldn't make them out. I could only stand beside him in terror as he sent a blast of power towards a collapsed building where an injured civilian lay, unable to move. 

 

The massive explosion knocked me backwards, but my father's chest kept me from flying any further back. And as the smoke cleared, I could only watch in horror as All Might was reduced back to his skinny, weaker form. No. He can't lose. He has to win! He has to!

 

"Hollow cheeks and sunken eyes, to think that you're their greatest hero. Now the adoring public knows your true form — try not to be ashamed. Your move."

 

"Even as my body grows weak and frail, even as you expose my weakened state—" he clenched his fist tightly in front of him—"in my heart, I remain the symbol of peace and there's nothing you can do to take that from me!"

 

"Is that so? I'd forgotten how stubborn you are. I guess I'll just give up. Oh, but there is one thing you might be interested to know. Tomura Shigaraki, my apprentice, he's Nana Shimura's grandson. I kept wondering what would annihilate your golden heart and so I found Tomura, groomed him to hate you and watched you smile so proudly as you beat your master's descendant."

 

"That's a lie!"

 

"Oh come now, you know it's the truth. That is clearly something I would do. That's strange All Might, where is your smile now? Have you realized that in order to beat me, you'll have to punch through your own student, my daughter, whom you 'rescued' from me?"

 

"You... bastard..."

 

"How very entertaining. I think I've taken a piece of you after all," my father growled. All Might is frozen in place. He can't move. "Izumi—" he shoved me towards him—"go."

 

"But I—"

 

"—No excuses!" His arm rippled with strength before it connected with my head, and I was sent crashing to the dirt with a cry. I tried to cover my head, to protect myself from the searing pain, but I was only dragged back up and thrown back down. "Get up, you pathetic excuse for a child. Do as I say. Or do I have to train you again?"

 

Dragging myself to my feet, I stared at the weakened form of All Might. I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do! I need to get away. There's nowhere to run. I'm scared. Someone save me. Please, I can't take much more of this.

 

The second blow was much harder than the first and I stumbled towards the number one pro hero with shaking limbs as a warm liquid dripped from my skull. I charged forward with a punch, but the hero quickly lifted a hand to catch it.

 

"Young Izumi," he whispered to me, "don't do this. You don't have to be his puppet."

 

"I-I don't know what to do," I sobbed to him in return, throwing another punch. He caught it without any issue and there was a searing pain in my back as something sharp dug into my skin and yanked me into the air where Father hovered. 

 

Holding me up by my hair, I could help but release tears of fear and pain as my sobs grew louder and his grip tighter. Reeling his arm back, my father's power sent my flying into the ground. A screech of pain escaped my lips as my left arm bent backwards and I coughed out blood.

 

His quirk lifted me back into the air and my limbs hung weakly below me — my left arm twisted in a way it shouldn't be. I could only stare at All Might with half-lidded eyes as power surrounded one of his arms.

 

"I'm not done yet," he called to my father. "You were right. A hero has so much to protect in this world... which is why I will defeat you! And save my student!" 

 

"There it is. That's the last of your strength, isn't it All Might? A wounded hero is the most frightened animal. Do you know that even now I still sometimes dream of you charging me with your entrails strewn across the ground—" he raised a palm and power began to grow as he rested his aim on All Might—"You have what.. two or three punches left?"

 

A wall of flames burst from the ground in front of us, throwing off my father's aim. "Are you serious? What the hell's going on with that weak little body!?" The fire was quickly blown away, and the quirk dangling me dug deeper into my skin.

 

"Those Nomu weren't particularly strong but I'm still impressed you handled them so quickly — as expected from the man who clawed his way to the number two spot."

 

"Damn it, All Might," the firey man growled. "Stand up and show them all you're better!"

 

"If the only reason you're here is to cheer him on, I'd prefer you to remain silent."

 

"Think again, madman!" the pro hero I hadn't known from before began throwing attacks at my father. He attempted to grab me as he passed, but I was dragged out of reach each time.

 

"We're here to assist," Kamui Woods swooped into to grab the injured with his tree quirk. 

 

"How pointless!" A massive blast shot straight into the ground with an explosion that sent almost every pro back a few feet. Spring-like limbs, magnetic booster times 4, strength enhancer times 3, multiplier, hypertrophy, rivets, airwalk, spearlike bones. The shockwaves until now were simply to wear you out — I knew it would take much more than that to kill you. In order to put you down for good, I'll punch you with the ultimate combination of quirks I have stored up within me right now. This will end you."

 

He charged forward, and I desperately looked around for any piece of debris. I can't let him get hit with this! I have to do something. I can't sit back and watch another person die!

 

My father let out an enraged screech as the sticks holding my hostage tightened further. My eyes squeezed shut from the pain as the reached back and I was flung away at a high speed. I couldn't stop the sobs that emerged as my back hit the concrete wall.

 

"You damn brat! I raised you better than this, you insolent child! Don't you remember!?" They grabbed me again before I could recover and dragged me back in his direction. "I beat every listen into you, yet you still resist!? I created you! I raised you! And you dare use the quirk I gifted to you to hinder my goals!?"

 

My piercing screech filled the air as I was slammed into the ground, and a heavy weight stomped on top of me. His foot dug into my back, scraping against the wounds his quirk had already caused. It hurts! Someone, please make it stop.

 

"Make it stop!" I cried blindly into the night as his foot lifted and slammed back down. "Stop your pathetic crying or I'll stain this entire battlefield with your blood, just like I did on the walls in your childhood home! Get up, and fight with me or I'll make sure you never see the light of day again!"

 

My legs were trembling so hard I couldn't hold my weight and I crumpled back to the ground as soon as my father released me. 

 

All Might was beside use in seconds as his fist connected with my father's and two pushed back and forth with their powers. The earth cracked beneath where I lay, and my injured body rolled closer to my father. 

 

"Get out of the way!" he barked down at me as his foot slammed into my stomach and I was kicked away. I landed on the ground a couple of feet away. 

 

All Might managed to land the hit upon my father's face, although breaking an arm in the process. My father snarled in response and one of the sticks stabbed into my leg, "Now!" he ordered with a screech. "Do as I say!"

 

All Might's fist connected with my broken body and I was slammed into the ground, whilst my father regained his footing a few feet away in safety. My entire body is shaking so much I can barely function. I'm so afraid, I don't know how to react. I can't bring myself to disobey him. Why can't I disobey him!?

 

"You're disgusting," All Might snarled as he reached out to grab me, but those sticks punctured my skin once more as the yanked me away. I was starting to feel light-headed. I was losing too much blood.

 

"She's my daughter," came the reply. "She's mine to use."

 

"She's not your  anything ! She's her own person! And I will save her from the likes of you! United States of... SMASH!"

 

The impact sent me flying backwards as my body slammed into a pile of rocks. My vision was beginning to blur, and a high-pitched ringing formed in the air. As the dust cleared, however, I could see my father on the ground, defeated. All Might lifted a shaking fist to the sky, as he managed to find the strength activate his muscle once more.

 

Every part of my body is throbbing. Every time I close my eyes, all I can see are visions of my father and my childhood. I can feel the searing pain of every injury he's ever caused me. I can't hold on any longer. My body is covered in a sticky, red fluid — my blood.

 

I... can't...

 

Chapter Text

When I woke up, I couldn't move. 

 

The machine next to me was beeping every couple seconds to signify my heart beating, and an IV was stabbed into my arm. The room was empty of people, but as my eyes shifted across the room all I could see were cards, flowers and various gifts. Was all of this for me? 

 

My arm trembled violently as I lifted it from the bed, and I could barely get a grip on the card sitting on the bedside table. My grip let out before I could pull it over to me and it fell onto my chest. Seconds later, my arm collapsed back to my side. Every movement caused pain to throb through my body, and a part of me wanted to cry.

 

An image of my father flashed through my head and my mouth clenched shut as my muscles tensed. The fear appeared and took over out of nowhere, dragging my limp body down into the darkness where all of my memories lie. The beeping from the machine sped up rapidly. My body was so exhausted I barely had the strength to tremble. 

 

Strangers rushed into the room, and I fought to move. I have to get away. I need to get away! Stay back! Flailing exhausted limbs, my breathing grew heavy. Every movement was draining. All of my energy was being constantly sucked out of me. Having gotten too close the edge, a yelp escaped my lips as I fell off the side. Hands reached out to grab me and I struggled to push them away. I don't like this. Let me go. Let me go! 

 

All I can see are images of my father. He's surrounded me. Every hand is the large, calloused one he used when he grabbed me. Every touch against my skin reminds me of an injury he's inflicted at some point during my life. 

 

"Young Izumi," the voice was commanding, yet gentle. The many hands of the strangers moved away and only one person took their place. He looked awful and had several bandaged injuries all across his body. He was the man that saved me. But all I could remember was being hit with his punch. 

 

My feet weakly slid against the floor as I tried to push myself away but I lacked the strength. His hand reached out, and my eyes widened in terror as my mind turned it into his muscle form's fist before it made contact. I flinched away with a cry, trying to push myself further and further away. 

 

One of the nurses pushed forward and I screeched in terror, using all my strength to kick out my legs to keep her away. All Might caught me, holding me in place. I couldn't move. I can't move. I'm scared. Someone, help me. Someone come save me. I let out another cry as something stabbed in my leg and everything went fuzzy as my head fell towards the ground. 

 

When I woke up again, I was back in the hospital bed and the IV had been reattached. A glass of water stood on the bedside table, with a straw long enough that I could shift my neck a little bit to reach it. My lips quivered as they enclosed around the straw, and I pulled a bit of water into my system. My mouth suddenly felt so much drier, and I began to gulp down sip after sip until the glass was empty. Pulling away, I let out a tired breath. 

 

The card I'd tried to read earlier was back on the desk, but it had been turned so I'd be able to read it from where I was laying. Trying to focus my eyesight on the words, it took a couple of seconds before I was able to make out what it said. 

 

Dear Izumi, 

 

Mr. Aizawa told us that the hospital isn't allowing you to have visitors right now but we all wanted to let you know we're thinking of you so he said he'd figure out a way to get this to you! We all wrote you a letter and put together a get-well package for you. 

 

Wishing you a quick recovery, 

Class 1A 

 

My lips parted in a slight smile. It was tiring to do so, but I couldn't help it. Rolling onto my side, I could see the box of letters on the floor beside my bed and a basket filled with all kinds of things just behind it. They were heavier than I expected, but I managed to pull both things up onto the bed beside me. Reaching into the box, I pulled out my first letter. It was in a plain white envelope with neat writing to spell my name on the back. 

 

Dear Izumi, 

 

I'll be thinking of you, so please hurry and wake up soon! I'd also like to apologize. I'm sorry that I snapped at you a couple of times when you and Uraraka weren't getting along so well. 

 

I got you a package of bath bombs. You put them in the water when you bathe and they turn the water different colours and have a relaxing effect. You should try them out! 

 

Wishing you well, 

Momo

 

Glancing over to the basket, I wouldn't have known what they were if the package hadn't labelled them. There were 6 different coloured spheres: black, blue, yellow, green, orange and purple. They looked kind of weird, but a part of me was curious.

 

Izumi,

 

I thought these would look great on your totally awesome body! Get better soon!

 

Mineta

P.S You should send me a pic

 

A low grumble left my throat as my eyes fell on the black, lacy underwear sitting in the ridiculously large basket. That's it. As soon as I get out of this fucking hospital bed, I'm going to punch him into next week! The little pervert!

 

Izumi, 

 

I thought you may be a bit bored stuck in the hospital bed, so I found you a book of jokes. It's 300 pages of pure laughter! I thought it may help cheer you up.

 

Feel better soon, okay?

Sero 

 

Hiya Izumi,

 

Please get better soon! We're all waiting for you to wake up :)

 

I thought you might feel a bit grimy, so I got you some scented soaps! 

 

Feel better soon, girl!

Ashido

 

Izumi,

 

I found this nice orange-scented candle when I was at the mall, and I thought you would like it. Hospital rooms smell weird sometimes, so maybe this will make it more comfortable for you.

 

I'm rooting for you to get better,

Hagakure

 

Hi,

 

I thought you might want something to do, so I got you a colouring book. I hope you feel better.

 

Koda

 

To Izumi,

 

I thought you might need some writing utensils for some of the other gifts, so I picked up some coloured pens and pencils.

 

Take it easy,

Sato

 

Extra,

 

Don't you dare tell anyone anything about that hug or else! Everyone said I had to do something so I made you some fucking cookies. YOU BETTER FUCKING LIKE THEM OR ELSE!

 

Get better, idiot!

Lord Explosion Murder

 

Izumi,

 

I wasn't sure what kind of stuff you were into, but since you're stuck in the hospital I thought you may want something to do. I saw this sketchbook and decided I'd pick it up for you.

 

I do hope you get better soon,

Tokoyami

 

Dearest Izumi,

 

I got you some hair accessories so that you may look as beautiful as moi. Please take care, mademoiselle.

 

The most beautiful,

Aoyama

 

Hey Izumi,

 

I hope you're starting to feel better. Everyone's worried about you! I found a nice journal the other day when I was picking up some school supplies for next semester so I bought it for you.

 

Ojiro

 

Izumi,

 

Whenever I was sick, I would usually play cards with myself or with close friends and family so I bought you a deck. Maybe you could play with some of the nurses or with us when we're finally able to visit?

 

Shoji

 

Hey Izumi!

 

I know you can't play it on your own, but I picked you up The Game of Life! It's a fun board game. A bunch of us should play together when you're better, alright?

 

Kaminari

 

Greetings Izumi,

 

As the class rep, I took it upon myself to purchase you a gift that would pick your brain a little so you can stay sharp. If you don't know, puzzles are a bunch of weird-shaped pieces that you have to put together to make a picture.

 

We all are wishing you a quick recovery and hoping for your return to classes soon!

Iida

 

Hey Izumi,

 

I wasn't sure what kinda stuff you'd like, but I know you really admire the hero Erasure Head so I found you this cool action figure!

 

I'm sorry if you're not really into this sort of thing but we don't talk often and it was really the only thing that I knew you were kinda in to. Maybe you would of like something else much more, so I'm not sure if this was really the right thing to get you but I hope you still like it  — even if it's not totally your thing.

 

Sorry, I'm rambling again. Feel better,

Izuku

 

Hi Izumi,

 

Kirishima told me that when you guys went to the mall, you said you'd never had fast food before. I was a bit surprised when I found out, so I thought I could give you some other foods you may not have tried before.

 

I picked up a bunch of different kinds of candy that I'm hoping you'll like. Please get better,

Tsu

 

Hey,

 

How are you feeling? Since you got a phone recently, I thought I'd get you some earbuds so you can listen to music. If you're interested, I can put together a playlist of music you may like once you're awake?

 

Get well soon, 

Jirou

 

Dear Izumi,

 

I wanted to give you something that you'd find helpful, and I saw this blanket. It's warm and fluffy so I thought it would provide you with some comfort. 

 

I'm wishing you a quick recovery,

Todoroki

 

Hey, Izumi!

 

I've been super worried about you since the incident. No one's told us anything, except that only All Might, Nezu and the police are allowed to see you. I wanted to let you know that I'm here for you, even if I can't visit you.

 

I'm sorry about everything that has happened. We didn't want to upset you so Iida told everyone not to mention the incident but I needed to say this. I don't care who your parents are, Izumi, or what they've done. I will always be your friend, no matter what. Friends forever, okay?

 

My gift is in a little white box. 

 

Please get better soon, okay? I'll be thinking about you,

Uraraka

P.S. I have the other half

 

My gaze shifted towards the basket and I darted my eyes over the gifts that everyone had put together for me. I was able to look at everything and know who'd gotten it for me. I managed to grab the white box and pull it closer, although I was having a hard time holding it. It slipped from my grasp just after I opened the box.

 

The necklace was silver in colour, and a half heart was attached to the end. Written vertically from the top to the bottom, was the word 'friends'. With trembling hands, I struggled to put the necklace around my neck. Even if it took a few minutes, and the effort exhausted me, I wanted to wear it. 

 

Only one letter was left, and I knew exactly which gift was theirs. It was difficult not to notice it after all since it barely fit in the basket. It was soft to the touch as I weakly pulled it closer so the gift sat beside me. I was able to put the basket back down on the floor beside the bed, and I placed the box of letters back on the table.

 

My arms wrapped around the huge stuffed animal as I held the red dragon to my chest. I shakily opened Kirishima's letter. My arms were so tired from holding up the letters and moving around that I could barely keep them steady. I wanted to read it. I wanted to see what he said.

 

Hey Izu, 

 

Everyone's been worried about you. Your face is all over the media, and everyone's been talking about you since the news came out. We weren't supposed to tell you about it, but I'd rather you hear it from me than find out on your own. A lot of people are against you right now, and the civilians are afraid of what you might do when you wake up. The police don't trust you.

 

I want you to know that I don't care. No matter what the media or the police say, I'm on your side. Even if we argue or fight like we did before, I'm still your friend. I know I can't visit you, but you can text me or call me anytime you like and I'll answer. 

 

I got you a stuffed dragon so if you're scared or lost and need someone to lean on, you'll have something there since I can't be. We'll get through this together. I'm sorry I couldn't save you, and I can't forget how terrifying it was watching that battle and imagining all the pain that man had been putting you through. 

 

Please wake up soon,

Rocky

 

I shakily placed Kirishima's card on my bedside table, along with Uraraka's. Placing one hand over the necklace and wrapping the other around the dragon, a calming feeling washed over me as the exhaustion took over and I fell asleep.

 

When I woke up for the third time, I was not alone. 

 

The policeman and All Might stood at the end of my bed, and my grip tightened around the dragon. They hadn't seemed to notice that I was awake yet, but I could feel my muscles tensing. Why do I feel so anxious all of a sudden? Why am I so afraid of being around people? 

 

"Young Izumi," All Might nodded in my direction, "I didn't realize you were awake. This is my friend, Noamasa Tsukauchi. He's a detective with the police."

 

"It's nice to meet you, Izumi. All Might's told me a lot about you. I was hoping to ask you some questions about what happened."

 

The man reached a hand towards me, and I tightly clutched the dragon closer. I parted my lips and screamed at the top of my lungs, causing the man to flinch back suddenly. Within seconds, more strangers were rushing into the room and I covered my ears with my hands. 

 

They were all reaching out, trying to grab me, as I flailed out my libs to push them away. Stop! Stop it! I can't stop seeing visions of my father. Everything I do, it's like he's there watching me. He's around every corner, hiding in every shadow. I'm afraid. There was a familiar pinch as something stabbed into my arm, and everything faded into nothing.

 

Then I was alone again. 

 

The room was a lot darker when I woke up for the fourth time. I glanced around nervously. I didn't like the dark. My body shivered slightly from the cold and I could feel the pain from my injuries increase from a steady ache to a slight throbbing.

 

I leaned over to pull up the fluffy black blanket that Todoroki had gotten me and wrapped it around myself. The dragon had remained in my arms since I'd gotten it as I stared up at the white ceiling. Rolling onto my side, I stared over at the hospital window. The blinds had been pulled over so I couldn't see outside.

 

Something was blinking on the bedside table and my eyes shifted over to look. Reaching out, my trembling fingers wrapped around the device as I pulled it over. I squinted at the bright light when the screen turned on and quickly dragged it down so it wouldn't blind me.

 

A text message from Aizawa had shown up on the lock screen. Clicking on his name, I unlocked my phone and the messages app opened up so I could read what he'd sent me.

 

From: Aizawa (Yesterday, 8:36 am)

Hey Izumi. Sorry I haven't been able to visit you.

The police are being really strict about who's allowed to see you right now.

You've been unconscious for about a week now. They let Recovery Girl in a few times to help with some of the broken bones and punctures. 

Let me know when you're awake.

 

To: Aizawa (10:38 pm)

I don't know when I woke up the first time, but I've been going in and out. This is the fourth time I've been awake.

 

From: Aizawa (10:39 pm)

I'm glad you're getting better.

The class has been asking about you.

 

To: Aizawa (10:39 pm)

You can tell them I'm doing okay, and thank you for all the cards and gifts.

Except for Mineta.

Tell him I'm going to beat the shit out of him.

 

From: Aizawa (10:40 pm)

Do I want to know?

 

To: Aizawa (10:41 pm)

He bought me underwear.

Then he asked me for a picture.

 

From: Aizawa (10:42 pm)

I won't get you in trouble if you hit him.

 

To: Aizawa (10:43 pm)

I don't fucking care if I get in trouble.

I'm still going to hit him.

 

From: Aizawa (10:44 pm)

It's getting pretty late.

Thanks for letting me know how you're doing, but you should probably rest.

I'll let everyone know that you've woken up, and see if I can come and visit you soon.

 

To: Aizawa (10:44 pm)

Goodnight

 

From: Aizawa (10:46 pm)

Goodnight.

Sleep well, Izumi. 

 

Chapter Text

No one had entered my hospital room in over a week.

 

It seems like everyone was trying to avoid me, and I couldn't help but start feeling lonely. I'd fall asleep and food would appear at my bedside table by the time I woke up. Once in a while, the room would be cleaned or new plants would appear. But I never saw anyone.

 

I clicked another piece into place in the puzzle just as my phone vibrated from beside me. My muscles had gotten strong enough for me to get up and down. I couldn't walk around well, but I was able to get to the floor near the window and then back up onto the bed later. I'd been putting together the puzzle Iida gave me. I had just finished the outside and was starting to fill the inside.

 

From: Rocky (12:54 pm)

I t's so weird.

Mr. Aizawa told us that now not even Nezu or All Might are allowed to visit you now

 

To: Rocky (12:56 pm)

They wanted to take my phone away too, but Mr. Aizawa went down to the station to talk to the police chief

I don't know what he said, but they gave it back

They're monitoring my activity though

 

I placed it back down on the floor and glanced at the piece I'd picked up. Studying the puzzle for a minute, it took me a few tries before I snapped it in and picked up another piece. My phone buzzed before I could test it anywhere.

 

From: Rocky (1:00 pm)

Everyone's talking about you like you're the most dangerous criminal on the streets right now and I hate it!

Everyone in our class just wishes that we could prove how nice you are

 

To: Rocky (1:01 pm)

I just hope they'll let me go back to UA

I've had so much fun there

And I really like having you all as friends...

 

From: Rocky (1:01 pm)

We all miss having you around

Also, remember when you asked everyone if a villain could become a hero?

 

I faltered slightly when I read the most recent message. Yeah. It was hard to forget. I threw my phone back to the floor as it vibrated again, but I instead focused back on my puzzle. I managed to get four more pieces before it buzzed again.

 

From: Rocky (1:02 pm)

I wanted to apologize for what I said that day

I didn't think it was a big deal when it happened

I understand how important that must have been to you back then, and why you were so angry after

I think you're a great hero

 

From: Rocky (1:13 pm)

Izumi?

You there?

Sorry, I didn't mean to upset you

 

To: Rocky (1:14 pm)

Sorry, I'm doing the puzzle that Iida sent me so I'm a bit distracted

 

I picked up another piece and looked at the puzzle box. It was supposed to be a landscape of a lake with a bunch of trees and flowers, and a pair of swans in the middle of the water. It was pretty. Right now, I was working on the flowers near the edge since it was a lot easier than the damn water.

 

My phone buzzed a bit longer than usual and I looked down in confusion to see the screen had turned blue and 'Rocky' was spelled in big, black letters. Under the nickname, was a little green phone and a little red. I clicked the green one and then tapped the speakerphone button.

 

"Hi," I said awkwardly.

 

"Hey, Izu. How are you feeling?" A slightly blurred version of Kirishima's voice came through my phone's speakers.

 

"I'm doing okay. It's kinda lonely though—"I got another piece of the puzzle—"I don't like being locked up by myself."

 

There was a bit of static from the other end of the line and I glanced towards my phone in confusion for a moment before looking back to the puzzle and managing to snap in another piece. I'd almost finished the little section of yellow flowers.

 

"I would come to visit you if I could. As soon as we're allowed, I promise I'll come right over!" 

 

"Thanks. I really want to talk to everyone again. The police said that I can't give anyone else my number right now because they're afraid it'll spread to the villains and then I'll go rogue."

 

"Yeah, they showed up at my house and did a background check on me because I had your number."

 

"That's dumb—" I snapped in the final piece of the yellow flowers—"Oh, I finished a tiny section of the puzzle."

 

"I'll tell Iida that you're having fun with it, haha."

 

"Yeah... Look, it's not like he's my friend or anything but tell him thanks, I guess."

 

"You're so obvious."

 

"Am not!"

 

Kirishima's laughter emitted through the speaker and I couldn't help but join in. We'd been texting and calling a lot since I'd woken up. I had been really lonely always stuck in this room without anyone else. I talked to Aizawa too a few times, but he was busy with hero work and trying to diffuse the media and a whole bunch of other things.

 

I wanted to talk to my other classmates too, but the police were being annoyingly picky. They said they'd have to background check my friends first, and that the police didn't have time to do it. It was a bunch of bullshit! Why did they have to background check a bunch of teenagers that got into UA to become heroes? I'm pretty sure none of them have ties with the fucking League of Villains.

 

The door open and I turned my head in surprise. They'd been actively avoiding me for so long, I'd thought they were trying to erase me from existence. The strangers were all in police uniforms as they approached, and I snatched up my phone as I climbed to my feet, taking a few nervous steps back.

 

"Grab the girl," a man in the back ordered.

 

Immediately hands were reaching out to grab me and I quickly tried to pull away. Their grips grew tighter and a loud cry of fear came from within me as they tried to drag me towards the door. I could feel the tears forming in my eyes and my body began to tremble as my phone slipped from my grasp.

 

"Izumi! What's happening? Is everything okay?"

 

"L-let go of me! Get off! Don't touch me! Stop! It hurts! You're hurting me!"

 

I let out screeches of protest as I tried to push them away. One of them picked up my phone and clicked a button as Kirishima's voice was cut off mid-sentence. Letting out a wail, I managed to push them back and stumbled to the side of the room, out of their reach.

 

Why won't these visions get out of my head?

 

Any time someone gets close, all I can see are memories of him. I can hear his insults, his threats, his warnings, his anger. I can feel the pain as if he were beating me again and again. I see his scarred face as he hovers over my broken body.

 

"Just knock her out!"

 

When I came to, I was in the back of a police car. My hands were behind my back as metal cuffs and a chain held my wrists close together. Officers sat in the driver and front seat, and we appeared to be in some sort of parking lot. One of the officers was texting on his phone before opening the car door.

 

"Try and wake up the kid. We're supposed to be inside in a few minutes."

 

"Sure—" the woman in the passenger seat turned to face me—"Oh, looks like she's awake. Let's head in."

 

The two got out of the car and soon enough my door was opened. I tried to move away from their reach, but they ignored my protests and attempts to pull away. I was yanked out of the car as the two brought me into the unfamiliar building. 

 

It was fancy inside, and the people were dressed in formal clothing. Many glances shifted my way and there were gasps and whispers. I couldn't hear everything, but I understood the basics of what was going around. I was  that villain 's child. I was  the villain girl attending UA.

 

A pair of large double doors opened and I was pushed inside. A woman sat behind some weird-shaped desk at the front of the room that was elevated slightly. I could see Mr. Aizawa and the rest of the UA faculty members. There were a bunch of police officers and All Might was currently sitting as a slightly lower desk beside the woman.

 

"Bring her in," the woman ordered.

 

The police roughly grabbed my arms and I shrieked, causing all heads to turn towards me. Desperately trying to pull away, my eyes squeezed shut as I struggled to get their hands away. Stop touching me! I don't want anyone touching me! I managed to pull myself back and my weakened legs let out as I crumpled to the floor. I kicked my legs up as the continued to try and grab me, and my sobs grew louder.

 

I don't understand what's going on. Where am I? Why are all the teachers here? Why won't they say anything? Why won't they help me? They're heroes, aren't they? Why can't I talk to my friends? I'm so confused. Everyone's always grabbing at me and I'm scared. I can't do this.

 

"Enough!"

 

The hands backed up from me and I tried to push myself away from the officers. The cuffs around my wrists were starting to hurt and I pulled against them with a whimper. Help me. Someone, please help me! 

 

"Miss Izumi, I need you to stand up for me."

 

I looked towards the woman weakly as I tried to understand what was happening. Why is everyone looking at me? I don't understand. I don't understand! I tried to do as she requested, but my trembling legs let out as I fell back down with a yelp.

 

She stood from her desk and got down to the floor. My eyes widened as she moved closer and I tried to push myself away but she stopped before getting withing 5 feet of me. She kneeled down on the ground and placed her hands in her lap with a smile.

 

"My name is Nobuko Tokunaga. I'm sorry, I know that everything must seem really confusing right now. I'm going to come closer and help you up, alright? I know it scares you, but your body is too weak to do it on your own. Everything will be fine. Once you're up—" she pointed to an empty seat towards the front beside a man I didn't recognize—"I'm going to need you to sit there. Can you do that?"

 

"I-I think so..."

 

"Okay, I'm going to help you up now." Nobuko stood up and took slow steps forward. The anxiety in my chest rose with each step, but the woman was calm and gentle, unlike the police and the strangers in the hospital were. Her hands touched my waist and my body flinched back immediately as I bit my lip to prevent a feared cry. She applied a slight amount of pressure, pulling me to my feet. Once I was steady, the woman released me and stepped away.

 

I walked towards the chair with shaky steps, staring at the stranger who would be sitting beside me. He was tall and his lips were curved in a frown. His gaze was narrowed as he stared at another man sitting at the desk next to his. I slowly sat down, trying to move my chair away from his to give myself some space as the woman sat back down at the desk in the front.

 

"I apologize for the interruption. Now, Mr. Kuba, you may begin your examination."

 

The man beside my rose to his feet walked to the front of the room, stopping somewhat near All Might. He reached up to straighten his tie before clearing his throat, "Mr. Yagi, could you describe what occurred when your students Izuku Midoriya, Momo Yaoyorozu, Tenya Iida, Eijirou Kirishima, and Shoto Todoroki arrived to rescue Izumi and Katsuki Bakugou?"

 

"I was preoccupied with All For One at the time, and I could not help my students when they were forced to fight the members of the Vanguard Action Squad, along with League of Villains members Tomura Shigaraki and Kurogiri. When Bakugou and Izumi went to make their escape with the others, All For One managed to use one of his attacks to block off Izumi from Bakugou. Her quirk wouldn't allow her to reach them, and Bakugou wasn't able to grab her through All For One's quirk. Izumi told Bakugou to leave without her before their classmates passed and neither were able to escape."

 

"On the multiple occasions that Izumi activated her quirk during the battle, could you describe how it occurred?"

 

"The first time, Izumi switched All For One with Gran Torino. She seemed hesitant to listen but did it after she was yelled at. The second time, I was unable to hear their conversation but I saw All For One saying something to her. It wasn't until my punch made contact that I realized that I hit her. The third time, Izumi switched me with a pile of debris before All For One could hit me with a super punch. The fourth and last time, her father used his quirk to cause a puncture in her leg and screeched at her to do as he said."

 

"How was Izumi treated by her father during the battle?"

 

"He used his quirk to drag her around the battlefield and keep her out of my reach. She cried when she was grabbed with his quirk and was very visibly in pain. When she used her quirk to protect me from his ultimate punch, her father struck her. He hit her and kicked her multiple times throughout the fight."

 

The man turned to Nobuko and bowed, "No further questions, your honour."

 

"Would the Crown like to cross-examine the witness?"

 

"Yes, your honour."

 

The man who went up to talk to All Might returned to his seat beside me, and the man he'd been glaring at earlier stood as he approached the front. He stopped where the other had and turned to face the room.

 

"Mr. Yagi, you mentioned that Izumi was unable to escape because you were unable to help her. Is that correct?"

 

"Yes," he nodded.

 

"If Izumi wasn't involved with the League and really was trying to escape but wasn't able to because the number one pro hero was unable to assist her, how can we be assured of her safety? If you can't protect her, what makes you believe that the other UA faculty members can?"

 

"All For One was a formidable villain that most heroes would be unable to defeat. It doesn't matter which hero took him on, they wouldn't have been able to fight him and aid in her escape. That question is irrelevant."

 

"No further questions, your honour."

 

The man returned to his seat with a clenched fist, sending a glare my way as he passed. I flinched back at the look he'd given me as All might was told he could return to his seat. He got up and went to sit down beside Mr. Aizawa, who was very tense.

 

"Izumi Kawakami, could you please take the stand?"

Chapter Text

"Izumi Kawakami, could you please take the stand?"

 

All eyes shifted to me and I looked around the room in confusion, "The what?"

 

Nobuko pointed to where All Might had been, "Just take a seat up here."

 

I nervously rose to my feet and pulled my wrists against the cuffs. Everyone watched as I stepped forward and a part of me wanted to run from the room and hide. Climbing up to the higher desk, I sat down in the seat and looking around the room as my anxiety rose.

 

"Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?"

 

I flinched back as the woman appeared at my side and looked to Aizawa in confusion. I don't know what's going on. He was still very tense and wore a frown. All Might and Nezu were on either side of him and didn't look much happier.

 

"Izumi, were you not told of the practices of the court?" Nobuko asked me.

 

"I don't know what's going on..." I mumbled to her.

 

"Okay. Mr. Kuba, who you were sitting with, and Mr. Handa—" she pointed at the man who glared at me—"are going to ask you some questions. I need you to answer truthfully, or you're going to get in trouble. I know it might be scary to answer some of the questions, but I promise everything will be okay as long as you tell the truth. Do you understand?"

 

"Um, yeah."

 

"Okay, so she's going to ask you if you swear to tell the truth again, and I need you to tell her that you do."

 

"Okay," I glanced at the other woman nervously.

 

"Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?"

 

I looked at Nobuko nervously before glancing back at the other woman, "I do."

 

"Mr. Kuba, you may begin your examination."

 

The man who sat beside me earlier stood up and moved towards the front of the room. His lips formed a gentle smile as he waved, and I awkwardly lifted a hand to wave back. He seemed a lot less intimidating all of a sudden.

 

"Izumi, could you tell me about your living conditions?" he asked me.

 

"My living conditions?"

 

"Yes — tell me everything you think is important about where you've been living."

 

"Um, I'm living with one of my teachers, Mr. Aizawa. I have my own room. He cooks meals that I like and offers to buy new things that I can try. He helped me with my homework and when I was studying for our exams. I would have failed if he hadn't."

 

"What's your opinion on Mr. Aizawa?"

 

"He's nice to me and cares about me. I think he's a really good hero. I didn't believe in heroes when I started going to UA, but then he showed me that true heroes do exist. He's a nice teacher, and cares about his students a lot."

 

"How has attending UA impacted your life?"

 

"I used to hate heroes completely, and I would tell everyone that I wanted to be a villain. But when I was at UA I realized that I wanted to be a hero instead. I thought that having friends would drag me down, but then I met Uraraka and Kirishima and I really like having them around. If I didn't go to UA, I'd probably still be locked in a dark room somewhere by myself. I'd be really angry."

 

"How have your classmates been treating you since you've been hospitalized?"

 

"They all wrote me cards and put together a basket filled with gifts for me. I've been texting and calling with one of my friends, Kirishima, but the police told me I wasn't allowed to give my number to anyone else and they won't let me talk to the rest of my friends so I don't know much else."

 

"What do you want to do now?"

 

"Um..."

 

"Let me try rewording the question. How do you want your life to continue?"

 

"Oh, um, I want to go back to UA. I want to be a hero, and be with my friends."

 

"No further questions, your honour."

 

I watched as the man went to sit down before glancing back over to Nezu, All Might and Aizawa. They still looked upset, but they seemed a bit happier than before. I still didn't really understand what was going on, but Nobuko was trying her best to explain everything to me and being really nice so I wanted to try and do this right.

 

"Mr. Handa, do you wish to perform a cross-examination?"

 

"Yes, your honour."

 

The man who'd glared at me stood up and swiftly approached. I didn't really get why everyone was always getting up and coming to the front to ask some questions and then sit back down. And why did I have to sit up here? Wouldn't this be so much easier if everyone just stayed in one place?

 

"Izumi, have you seen your mother since you were rescued by All Might the first time?"

 

"No," I averted my gaze with a frown.

 

"Could you describe your mother and what it was like living with her?"

 

"My mom was really nice to me. She used to tell me stories about the outside world and show me photo albums of her family. We'd bathe together and she'd play with me in the water. And when it was cold, she'd light a fire and we'd cuddle with a blanket on the couch while she petted my head. When my father first showed up, she tried to protect me from him. She tried to tell me that my father was bad and that I couldn't trust him but I didn't believe her. She was right though..."

 

"Would you go back to live with your mother again if you had the choice?"

 

"Yeah," I nodded my head. "I miss her a lot."

 

"I'm sure she misses you too. I also wanted to ask about some of the faculty members at UA. I know that Mr. Aizawa and you got along well. Was it like that from the start?"

 

I stopped for a moment and glanced towards Mr. Aizawa. He was staring at me with a blank expression. I turned back and opened my mouth to answer but the man spoke before I could, "Remember. It's really important that you tell the truth."

 

"Mr. Aizawa thought that I was a danger to the other students. He would tell me that I shouldn't be there sometimes, but he never says stuff like that anymore."

 

"And were any of the other faculty members mean to you?"

 

"Um, yes."

 

"Could you tell me about them, and how they treated you?"

 

"His name is Snipe. When I was living with him, he locked me in a dark room and wouldn't let me out. He threatened me a couple times, and he pointed one of his guns to my head once."

 

The man looked shocked at my words and it was a couple seconds before he continued, "Could you tell us about any contact you've had with the League of Villains if there was any?"

 

"During the USJ attack, Shigaraki held me hostage so he could talk to me. He said that he knew my father, and told me to call him Nii-san. He told me to gather information on the students and staff at UA. I said I would, and I did, but I never gave him any information."

 

"Were there other times?"

 

"During the internships. They made up a fake hero agency and then took me to their hideout. I met Stain there, and he attacked everyone. Then, they took me to Hosu City in disguise. I ran off to try and rescue a little boy but I couldn't help him and... and I let him die. Sh-Shigaraki got mad at me for running off and m-my father was mad too. He threatened to take me away from UA."

 

"And what about the training camp?"

 

"I was approached by a clone of one of the villains, Dabi, and then the real Dabi and Twice, who created the clone. I tried to run away but I used my quirk too much and went blind. My friends tried to help me, but Dabi captured me and threatened me. B-but... there was, um, there was another time before that..."

 

"What happened?"

 

"W-when Shigaraki showed up at the mall..."

 

"Could you tell me about it?"

 

"All my friends left me alone and I didn't know where I was or where to go. But then he showed up. He took my shopping list and went from store to store with me until I'd gotten everything. Then I found some of my friends. They didn't know it was him, but he introduced himself as my brother and left. B-but he told me that I should stay with him for the summer. I didn't realize at the time, but he was telling me that... that my time at UA was up. Then after I found out he approached Midoriya and the mall closed."

 

"No further questions, your honour."

 

The man went to sit back down and Noboku told me that I could go back to my seat too. Right when I sat down, the lady who asked me about telling the truth asked Mr. Kuba to stand and give a closing statement.

 

"Ladies and gentlemen of the court, when Izumi Kawakami was first rescued from All For One over 5 years ago, she was deemed dangerous and mentally unstable. UA faculty members claimed that when she first arrived at their school, she was angry and didn't put any effort into her studies. She didn't get along with the faculty, or the other students. Although the school has made mistakes, they have admitted to them and know what they did was wrong. Thanks to the influence of UA, Izumi has found a role model she looks up to, began to make friends with others and has discovered her desire to become a hero, rather than a villain. I ask that you consider how much Izumi's life has improved since she began attending UA and allow the faculty members to retain custody."

 

"Mr. Handa?"

 

"Ladies and gentlemen of the court, we can't deny that attending UA has given Izumi a second chance at life but we need to look at the bigger picture. UA has consistently put the child in danger. The League of Villains were able to reach out to her on multiple occasions without anyone's knowledge. 

 

"There was also the incident during the sports festival when Izumi received severe burn injuries. It was clearly the result of an attack against her, but the teachers didn't report the incident or try to discover who did it. In addition, she was threatened by multiple teachers and held at gunpoint by another. There was one occasion that she fainted from hunger, due to neglect from the teachers who were supposed to be serving as her guardians. 

 

"Izumi also stated that if given the opportunity, she would want to return to her mother. The UA faculty members have failed to provide for her and keep her safe on multiple occasions, and testimonies from several witnesses have also confirmed that many of the faculty members don't care about her wellbeing. Izumi also struggled with mental health issues and made two suicide attempts. On neither occasion was she allowed to speak with a therapist or counsellor. Even if she wants to become a hero, she could always attend another school. It is in the child's best interest for custody to be returned to her mother."

 

I froze in place as I stared up at Mr. Handa. Wait. What was that supposed to mean? I didn't say that, did I? I meant that I wanted my  old  mother back — I thought she never wanted to see me again. Does that mean she was back to normal? My mother wanted me back?

 

"All rise."

 

Everyone stood up around me and I scrambled to my feet, a bit embarrassed that I hadn't stood when I was supposed to. I glanced around the room to try and find my mother. Was she here? All of the UA staff were, so she had to be!

 

"Court is in recess for 15 minutes while the honourable judge decides a verdict."

 

After a moment, the room was filled with light chatter. The police were beside me in a second and I protested as they pulled me to the side of the room. The UA staff looked in my direction, but none of them came to talk to me. I didn't get it. Why was everyone ignoring me? 

 

My eyes finally found her, sitting at a desk on the other side of the room. My mother was here! She was really here! I immediately went to take a step forward, but I was grabbed before I could get away. I opened my mouth to say something but one of the officer's hands covered it, muffling the sound.

 

She looked in my direction and we caught eyes. I stared longingly at my mother, trying to pull out of the police's grasps. I wanted to see her! I wanted to talk to her! She only maintained eye contact for a few seconds before she looked away and began a quiet conversation with the man standing beside her.

 

Looking back to the UA faculty, most of them had begun to have conversations amongst themselves — all but one. Mr. Aizawa still had his gaze fixated on me. He wouldn't come to talk to me and he wouldn't look away. I'm just really confused... I thought he liked having me around. Did he change his mind? He said he wanted to talk to me in his texts and phone calls. Was he lying?

 

It seemed like forever before the truth-telling lady entered the room, "All rise."

 

The police quickly shoved me forward and I almost tumbled down to the ground. Everyone was returning to their seats, although they remained standing in front of their chairs. I shuffled to my spot, looking nervously towards Mr. Kuba before turning back to the truth lady.

 

"The honourable judge Nobuko Tokunaga will announce her verdict."

 

"Izumi Kawakami has blossomed and developed under the guidance of UA's teachers. Without their presence, she likely would have permanently joined the League of Villains, rather than choosing to fight against them. But, I can not ignore the countless amount of times that Izumi has been put in danger due to the negligence of the UA faculty members. That is why Izumi's custody will be given to the Kawakami family. Although her mother was mentally unstable for the first little while after her rescue, her mental health has improved greatly since then and it was determined that the issues came from All For One's treatment of her. When Izumi began to follow in his footsteps, Mrs. Kawakami feared that she would grow up to be just like him. Having had time to heal from her past scars, I believe Mrs. Kawakami and her new family is the safest and most stable location for Izumi to continue her growth."

 

I was going back to live with my mother? But... what about Mr. Aizawa? I liked staying with him. I looked over at him, and my teacher smiled at me. Why was he smiling? Why was he happy? I thought he liked having me live with him too. I guess I was wrong...

 

The other UA faculty members refused to look at me. I'm so confused. I don't understand anything that's happening. Why won't anyone look at me? Were they all happy that I wasn't their problem anymore? 

 

The metal cuffs suddenly released from my wrists and I immediately took a step towards my teachers. I needed to talk to them. What was going to happen? I needed answers and no one was telling me what was going on.

 

"Izumi," an elderly voice called out as he approached. "It's nice to meet you, dear. I'm Arata Kawakami, your grandfather."

 

"Hi," I mumbled back as I watched the UA teachers. "What's going to happen now?"

 

"You'll be going to live with your mother. Come on, let's get you to the car."

 

Even on my way out, none of the UA staff would look at me. I couldn't even say goodbye to them. The only thing I understood, was that I wasn't going to live with Mr. Aizawa anymore. Although I was going to miss him, I was excited to see my mother again. We'd be together, just like when I was little! 

 

She could read me stories like she used to, and I could meet everyone she'd showed me pictures of in the photo album. We could cuddle up on the couch when it was cold! Maybe we could even bake together — my mother had only ever let me cook with her when I was really good.

 

When she got into the car, I couldn't contain my excitement, "Mom! I've missed you so—"

 

"—Shut up, you disgusting villain. You may have tricked that damn school, but you're not fooling me. I know what you've been through. I know what he taught you. I won't let you hurt any of the kids you call friends."

 

I could feel the stabbing pain in my chest as all of the happiness and excitement I'd felt was sucked away into nothing. Her gaze had turned cold as my grandfather got into the driver's seat. He was also visibly tense.

 

"God, why'd we have to get responsibility for the kid again? The lawyer was damn expensive. We should have left her to the pros — now she's our problem."

 

"Tch. Those 'pros' have no idea who they're dealing with. She's dangerous and a villain who aligned herself with a League! I don't care what any of them say. I know she can't be trusted. UA has had a lot of stuff on their plate — they don't need another problem."

 

"Mom—"

 

"—I'm not your mother. I wish I didn't even have to be associated with you. Just shut up already."

 

I bit my lip and looked out the car window. I could see Aizawa as he left the building and All Might walked with him. I pounded my fist against the glass, but neither were able to hear me. Neither looked in my direction. 

 

"Shut up, you stupid brat! You're not their problem anymore, so don't be a bother."

 

"S-sorry..."

 

"If you want to apologize, then shut the fuck up."

 

Chapter Text

"I thought I told you to put the damn dishes away!" 

 

My mother stormed into the living room with a livid look on her face. She stopped in the doorway and crossed her arms over her chest. I quickly turned to face her, tightly clutching the broom handle in front of me.

 

"I know. I'm going to do that next, but I haven't finished sweeping yet."

 

"God, how slow can you be? It's not like I'm asking all that much of you. If you want to eat, then do your damn work. This isn't a charity. You sweep the floors, you clean the house, you do the laundry, you set the table, and you do the motherfucking dishes!"

 

"I'll do it faster next time, mom, I—"

 

She hit me across the face with a screech, "I'm not your mother! Do your work, and get out of my sight!"

 

She stomped out of the room, and my eyes shifted over to the couch. My mother had gotten married since I'd last seen her and had another child — a son. Her husband was currently sitting on the couch with the baby toddler as they watched a kids' show together. 

 

I could feel a sharp pang in my chest.

 

My mother reentered the room soon after and joined them. She lifted my half-brother into her lap and placed a soft kiss on his forehead as my step-father wrapped his arms around my mother's waist. They were all cuddled up together on the couch under a warm blanket.

 

I immediately left the room and rushed into the kitchen where the dishes were scattered across the counter. Leaning the broom against the wall, I wiped the tears away from my eyes. I forced myself to be silent. I didn't want my mother to see or hear me. I didn't want anyone to see or hear me.

 

Lifting the plates up to the cupboard, I closed the door after making sure they were in the correct spots. I wasn't done sweeping, but I couldn't stay in the living room any longer. I couldn't watch them. It hurt more than I could ever explain. It was so simple, but it was everything I wanted.

 

"Yumiko," my step-dad yelled suddenly.

 

"Yeah?" my mother called back from the living room.

 

"There's none here! I think Kenta ate the last of them yesterday!"

 

"Mitsuo, did you check the other cupboard?"

 

There was silence for a couple seconds, "Empty too!"

 

The was a train of curses as my mother entered the kitchen, my baby brother in her arms. He looked like he was about to cry and my mother placed him on the ground. She reached into her pocket and pulled out some yen before shoving it into my hands.

 

"You know those crackers that Kenta likes?"

 

"Yeah..."

 

"Walk to the store and get some. I want the receipt and I better get back exact change! If you're not back by dinner, I'm not feeding you so if you decide to make a detour then don't complain when you get hungry."

 

"Okay."

 

I walked to the front door and pushed it open. Stepping outside, the sidewalk leading to the front door was cold against my bare feet. Kenta had tried to flush my shoes down the toilet, successfully ruining them, and my mother didn't have the money to purchase another pair right now.

 

She didn't work, and my step-dad didn't make enough money for the four of us. They'd been struggling enough before my mother took me in, and it was getting worse. My mother lounged around during the day and slept while I was left to do all of the chores and watch Kenta. 

 

I rapidly lifted my foot with a quiet yelp as something stabbed into the bottom of my foot, and I turned my foot to look at the bottom. Nothing was there, but a rather sharp rock was sitting on the ground where I'd just stepped. Careful to step around it, I started to walk down the street tiredly.

 

I hadn't spoken to anyone at UA since the court case almost two weeks ago. Things had been growing steadily worse with my mother, and school was supposed to start up again in less than two weeks. My mother pulled me from UA soon after getting custody and had been promising daily that she'd enrol me in another school soon. I'd realized by this point that she wasn't going to. 

 

After the police dropped my stuff off at her place, most of my boxes were thrown into the basement. Only my clothes and hygiene products were kept accessible. My phone was confiscated and reset, and my mother sold it to someone online. Of course, she kept all the Yen.

 

Shoving my hands in my pockets, I walked down the empty street of my neighbourhood. The store was about a 10-minute walk away, which meant I had some time to pass. Plus, my mother technically said I could stay out — I just wouldn't get dinner.

 

I stepped over a part of the sidewalk that had been trampled with dried mud. If I got my feet too dirty, I'd get in trouble for dragging dirt into the house. Plus, I was a bit unsure about the store. Chances are, they'd kick me out for my lack of shoes. Great.

 

There was a flash of light and I looked up in surprise. A woman was standing in front of me with a camera, and beside her was a man with a microphone. Taking a step back, the microphone man immediately reclosed the gap.

 

"Finally, this is our chance! We've been looking for you!"

 

"W-what?"

 

He shoved the microphone towards my face, "How have you been reacting to the media's perception of you?"

 

"The media's... perception of me?"

 

"Yes. What do you think about all the articles that have been published about you?"

 

I walked around him, my shoulder hitting him, "I didn't read them."

 

He was back in front of me in an instant, "They're all over the internet! Have you chose to avoid reading them or—"

 

"—I don't have internet access. I knew people were talking shit about me online since my friend told, but I can't read the articles."

 

"A lot of people have been wondering if you'll be returning to UA—"

 

"—No! My mom pulled me. Fuck, could you please leave me alone? I don't want any more articles about me on the damn internet."

 

The reporter seemed to think for a moment before reaching out his hand to grab my wrist. His fingers brushed against my skin and my legs had immediately let out and my arms covered protectively over my head with a cry. 

 

The reporters stepped back and waited quietly. For once, someone seemed to realize that trying to help and getting close to me made it fucking worse. A couple long minutes passed before I was able to get back up.

 

"My name is Tomio Okawa. I know you don't want any more rumours going around about you but how about this: The Real Izumi Kawakami. No lies, no bullshit, just facts and your opinions. We can show the world who you really are — that you're a teenager like anyone else your age."

 

"And why should I go out of my way to give you some dumb story?"

 

"Because we can prove to Japan that you're  not  just All For One's daughter. You're Izumi Kawakami. They don't seem to realize that you're probably hurting too, after the whole incident. Let's show them that you're human!"

 

"Will you shut up that annoying voice of yours if I agree?"

 

"Until I have to ask the questions, yes!"

 

"I have to go buy some fucking crackers before my mom loses her shit, so when are we doing this?"

 

"Oh, there's a park close by. The one with the swing set?"

 

I thought for a second, "And the graffiti wall?"

 

"Yeah! How about you meet us there?"

 

"Fine, whatever. See ya."

 

Turning away from Tomio, I continued down the street on the walk to the corner store. Luckily the employees didn't notice my lack of shoes, and I was able to get the cracks without any issues. They certainly recognized me though and had an employee follow me around the whole time to make sure I didn't steal shit — and then tried to overcharge me, the fuckers.

 

It was a bit of a detour to get to the park, but the reporter and camerawoman were waiting when I got there. Tomio had me sit down beside him on a bench and the camerawoman signalled him as she started recording.

 

Tomio asked me all sorts of stupid shit, but I did my best to answer. I couldn't help but wonder... Maybe if my mother read the article, she'd realize that I wasn't faking it. Maybe I'd be good enough for her again and we could be a family. I really want her to like me. 

 

Eventually, the camera stopped rolling, and the reporters thanked me several times for the opportunity. They packed up their things and rushed out of the park excitedly, promising great things from the article — not that I'd be able to read it. I have no internet access, idiots. Remember that.

 

Nightfall had arrived by the time I was home, and I reached out to turn the knob with a yawn. I was tired and ready to sleep. But the door was locked. Glancing towards the living room, the light was on and the curtains were open. My mother was watching tv.

 

I knocked on the door, but there was no response. Maybe she didn't hear me. I rung the doorbell and she finally got up. She charged to the window and yanked the blinds closed. Confused, I knocked on the door again.

 

There was fumbling from the other side and it was yanked open. My mother was wearing her pyjamas as she looked down at me in annoyance. She reached out and snatched the box of crackers from my hand, "Give me my money."

 

I reached into my pocket and held out the yen she'd lent me, along with the receipt. She studied it closely before carefully counting through the change, "You're ¥100 short!"

 

"Huh? But I didn't—"

 

"—Where's my money, huh? You had to do something with it, you little bitch!"

 

"I-I don't—"

 

"—Sleep outside. Maybe you'll learn not to take my fucking money!"

 

The door slammed shut in my face and I could only stare, dumbfounded, as the door locked. She'd actually locked me outside. She really did it. But... where do I go? Where do I sleep? I don't know what I'm supposed to do.

 

Putting my back against the front door, I slowly lowered myself down onto the porch. It was cold. I pulled my legs to my chest with a shiver as I stared up at the sky. Even if it was summer, dark clouds had covered the stars and a cold wind blew through the air.

 

The rain started soon after, leaving me to try and shelter myself from the cold. I didn't have anywhere to go. Besides, I'm sure my mother would let me in once she realized it was raining, right? She wasn't  that  cruel. She was still sweet, I know she was. After all, she was very kind to my step-dad and half-brother.

 

Instead, I sat outside in the rain all night.

 

By morning, my body was shaking harshly from the cold. My clothes were completely soaked. Taking in a shaky breath, I let out a few heavy coughs. In the end, I wasn't able to fall asleep and had been up all night.

 

Apparently, that wasn't all that was in store for me that day.

 

It was a few hours after sunrise when the police car parked itself in the driveway and a female officer made her way out of the car. She seemed gentler than the others, sensing the way I shied away from her when she got close. She sat down on the sidewalk a good metre away for me.

 

"It's Izumi, right? I'm officer Nara. We received a call this morning from a neighbour that he saw you sitting outside last night in the rain, and you were still here when he checked again this morning. You're shivering — and your clothes are soaked! Were you sitting out all night in the rain?"

 

I slowly nodded, "My mother locked me out. She was just mad, so it's okay."

 

The officer pressed her lips tightly together, "Honey, did the police not tell you about your father's charges?"

 

"No," I shook my head.

 

She frowned, "One of your father's many charges related to child abuse. Do you know what that is?"

 

"No."

 

"There are four main types of child abuse. Physical, which is physically hitting or harming your child. Emotional, which is insulting, threatening or mentally harming your child. Sexual, which is participating in sexual activities with your child. The final one is neglect, which is failing to take care of your child. That includes not feeding them or providing them with their basic needs like clothes, a place to sleep, and education."

 

Officer Nara slowly moved her hands in her lap and she glanced back towards my house before back at my violently trembling body. She looked sad for some reason, and I didn't really understand why.

 

"Izumi, I have reason to believe that your mother is neglecting you. If that's true, then you'd have a much better life with a different family that isn't with her. I know that might seem scary, and I know that you've had some trouble with police in the past, but I'm on your side. I'd like to help you."

 

"I... um... I don't really know what neglect means."

 

"How about I ask you some questions and you can answer me?"

 

"Sure?"

 

"Alright. How often do you eat? It could be dinner, breakfast, lunch or snacks."

 

"My mom makes me dinner, but I'm not allowed to eat with the rest of the family and if she gets mad then she won't let me have anything."

 

"So how many days in a week do you usually eat dinner?"

 

"Well, I've only been here for two weeks but... twice the first week and four times for the second."

 

"When was the last time you ate?"

 

"The day before yesterday. My mom made me a bagel for dinner. I wasn't very hungry, so it was okay."

 

The officer was silent for a few seconds. She shifted her hand as if she was going to reach out and I instinctively flinched away. Suddenly realizing what she'd done, Officer Nara quickly dropped her hand and apologized for her actions. 

 

"...Why aren't you wearing shoes? Your feet look swollen, and one is bleeding a bit."

 

"Oh... My half-brother ruined my shoes. Mom said that shoes are expensive and she can't afford them. I-It's not like I'm dying without them, or anything. I can manage."

 

"And what school are you going to after the break?"

 

"I don't know yet. I was pulled out of UA, and my mom keeps saying she'll do it before the break is over, so there's no need to worry about it or anything."

 

"And how does your mother treat you?"

 

"Fine," I glanced down at my lap. "She treats me fine."

 

"Izumi, nothing bad will happen to you if you file this report."

 

"Yes, it will!" I argued back with a whimper. "I just want her to like me! I want everything to go back to the way it was when I was little."

 

"And what if that never happens? What if this situation gets worse? Izumi, if your mother is mistreating you then you deserve to be with a family that cares for you and loves you. Do you want that?"

 

I slowly nodded, "I do."

 

"I know I shouldn't be this pushy, but no parent should leave their child outside like this overnight when it's pouring. You're going to catch a fever."

 

"I-I'm fine. But, um... My mom makes me do all the chores and she-..."

 

"It's okay, take your time."

 

"She yells at me when I'm not fast enough. S-she calls me names sometimes."

 

"Like what?"

 

"Um... Villain, Bitch, Brat."

 

"Has she ever hit you?"

 

"My face, yeah..."

 

"Who the hell are you!?" 

 

The front door of my home rapidly swung open to reveal my mother, who'd just interrupted our conversation with a screech. She looked absolutely livid, "Get inside!" 

 

I flinched back and glanced over towards Officer Nara before shakily entering my house. It was freezing. Squeezing my eyes shut, I tried to distract myself. I didn't like being cold. It reminded me of my father.

 

"Damn brat! Watch it, you're dripping all over the fucking floor!"

 

"Excuse me, Mrs. Kawakami?"

 

"What!?"

 

"I'm Officer Nara. I received a call from one of your neighbours that your daughter—"my mother flinched at the word—"was sitting outside all night during the storm. When I arrived, Izumi told me that last night you were angry with her because you thought she told money from you and wouldn't let her in."

 

"Did she now?" my mother glared at me harshly. "Izumi has been acting out a lot recently. I believe the emotional trauma from her encounter with her father is causing her to revert back to her villainous ways. We've been strongly considering sending her to a correctional institute."

 

"W-what!? But I haven't done anything—"

 

"—Shut the fuck up!" my mother screeched suddenly as she covered her ears. My step-dad was there in a second, holding Kenta in his arms. Seeing the officer at the door, he instantly glared in my direction as if everything were my fault.

 

"Mrs. Kawakami—"

 

"—I can't take this shit anymore! Just get this fucking villain out of my damn house!"

 

"M-mom... Please listen to me. All I wanted was—"

 

"I don't care what you want! I took you in because I know you're plotting something. I know what he taught you, I know what you've done. I watched him corrupt you, but no one will listen to me when I tell them you're a villain! But you'll prove me right one day, and then everyone will know I was right! Hah!"

 

"I—"

 

"Shut up! I can't stand your voice. I can't stand the sight of you! All I can see is your damned father. I can't take it anymore. You're just like him, and yet all of the idiots at UA seem to think you're harmless. Just being near you is enough to make me feel like I can't breathe. Just get out!" She turned to Officer Nara, "Just take her away and lock her up! God."

 

"Izumi, why don't you get in the car? I'll gather your things. Could you tell me what's yours?"

 

"I have my clothes and hygiene products in a box in the corner of the bathroom. Then there's a box of letters from my classmates and a gift basket in the basement. I had a phone too, but my mother sold it."

 

Officer Nara turned to my mother, "I hope you know that you'll be paying for a replacement phone."

 

"I'm not paying shit!" my mother screeched back.

 

"Fine. Either way, I'll be reporting this incident. Please let me gather her things."

 

As Officer Nara entered my mother's home, I quickly rushed over to the police car. I went around to the passenger side and opened the door to climb inside. My clothes were still soaked, and it was getting more uncomfortable by the second. 

 

When Officer Nara got back into the car with my stuff, I had very mixed feelings. I was going to miss my mother. A part of me will always wonder what could have been. Would we have gone back to the way we were if I had stayed? The other part of me was glad. Maybe for the first time in my life, I'd have a family to go back to.

Chapter Text

A week following the incident with my mother, things had gotten both better and worse. On one hand, I'd been reenrolled at UA so when the break was over, I'd be able to continue my studies to become a hero. On the other hand, I was currently living in some fucking group home.

 

Once the semester started up again things would be much better. After all, UA was implementing a dorm system so I wouldn't have to live here during the school year. There were too many kids running around and screaming all the time. I'd still have to come back during holidays and breaks though. 

 

Since I would be spending most of my time away from home, the social workers told me that finding me a foster family wasn't a priority. It's not like I'd see them much, and the same people would have to pay for my expenses. There was no point. I suppose I could understand, but a part of me still wanted to maybe try having an actual family.

 

My anxiousness had gotten worse with all of the kids around, and there was almost constantly someone trying to grab me or charging in my general direction. They'd had me talk to a therapist a few days after I arrived, but I refused to talk to her again after. I didn't want to talk about everything. I didn't want to remember. 

 

The other children had been warned to stay away from me, which they had no issue doing. Most of them were scared of me anyway because of my identity. I'd been confronted with threats by some of the older kids, which on most occasions had triggered me into a panic attack, but life went on. 

 

Officer Nara was keeping me updated on what had been going on with my mother in court. She's also gotten results about the phone issue, and had gotten me a new one that the police were trying to get my mother to pay them back for. 

 

Some of the UA faculty members had been called back to testify, and since I didn't want to go back to the courtroom, they hired a Children's lawyer, or whatever the fuck it was called, to take a statement from me and fight for my best interests. 

 

I didn't have any of my old contacts anymore, but Officer Nara promised that she'd see if she could get them back for me. The only people I was able to text currently were her, and the man that ran the group home I was in. 

 

From: Officer Nara (1:24 pm)

I'm on my way to pick you up

Be there in 10

 

Today Officer Nara was coming to pick me up and take me over to UA. The man running the group home had to sign a few papers so I'd be able to go live in the dorms. Normally one of the social workers was supposed to pick us up, but his car broke down and Officer Nara offered to come instead.

 

She wasn't required to be as involved as she was. Technically her part in my life could have ended after she showed up at my mother's house that morning. Instead, she stayed in contact with me and kept herself open as someone to call if I ever needed help or found myself in some trouble.

 

The drive to UA hadn't been long, and principal Nezu had been waiting by the front gate to let us in since we didn't have student or staff cards so the security gate would have gone off. He seemed rather content as he approached, waving to us with a smile.

 

"Welcome back, Izumi. We're glad to have you!"

 

"Uh, thanks, I guess."

 

"How long will this take?" my guardian asked bluntly.

 

"It should only take a few minutes. We can head over to my office. Izumi, why don't you wait here?"

 

It seems I didn't really have a choice since they were already leaving. Walking over to my favourite tree, I sat down in the shade and leaned my back against the trunk. Something was comforting about sitting here again. It was nice.

 

Officer Nara remained close by, but she didn't come to sit with me. She seemed to realize that I didn't want to talk and left me to my own devices. I missed eating lunch under this tree every day. It was relaxing and quiet. I could listen to the birds sing and feel the gentle breeze against my skin.

 

"Izumi?"

 

My eyes opened, and Tsu was standing a few feet away from me in shock. She ran over to me in excitement, but my body flinched back harshly. Immediately freezing her movements, the frog-girl sadly took a step back. "Sorry, ribbit."

 

"No! It's fine, really. I've been sensitive to people getting close to me since... you know. It's not just you. It's everyone."

 

"Kirishima said you stopped texting him all of a sudden, and the teachers weren't telling us anything. We were all really worried, ribbit," she lowered herself to sit beside me.

 

I glanced around awkwardly, "my mother sold my phone."

 

"Your mother?"

 

"Yeah. UA lost custody of me because the court thought they were putting me in too much danger to properly care for me. I was with my mother for just over two weeks, and then she was reported for child neglect... So, um, now I'm in a group home."

 

"Oh... I'm sorry, ribbit."

 

"It's okay. I'm just glad that I can come back to UA. My mother pulled me at first, but the guy who runs the group home came today to reenroll me. Why are you here?"

 

"The girls were meeting up to use the pool. I'm a bit late, but I'd rather talk to you right now. Do you have some time? You can join us, ribbit?"

 

"I don't think so, but I'd love to come next time — if there is a next time."

 

"Sure! Hold on, I'll give you my number."

 

Tsu reached into her pocket and pulled out her phone. She tapped a few buttons before reaching over. I flinched back slightly, but she placed the phone beside me instead of handing it directly to me. I picked it up and quickly typed in my contact information before reaching over to put it back on the ground beside her. 

 

"Are you okay with me giving your number to the other girls? They'll want to talk to you too."

 

"You can give it to anyone in our class but Mineta. I'm so angry with him I could rip him to shreds!"

 

"What did he do this time?"

 

"The fucking pervert gave me lacy underwear in the basket you guys put together for me, and  then  asked for a fucking picture!"

 

"Do you want me to hit him too, ribbit?"

 

I chuckled at Tsu's response, and the other girl laughed as well. I hadn't really talked to her before now but she was actually really nice. A lot of people in my class were probably nice — I just had never bothered to get to know them before now. Maybe that's what I should do. I could focus on making some more friends.

 

"We'll be moving into the dorms in a few days," she said suddenly. 

 

"Yeah, I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again. I'm just nervous about everything that's happened."

 

"About what everyone thinks of you?" she read my mind.

 

"Yeah..."

 

"No one thinks anything. You're still Izumi, no matter who your parents are, ribbit."

 

"Thanks, Tsu. That makes me feel a lot better."

 

"No problem!"

 

Tsu and I continued to talk for a while longer until the man from the group home and Nezu left the building. It was time to go, so Tsu and I said goodbye and she went to join the rest of the girls in our class at the pool. Hopefully, I'd be able to join them next time. 

 

I missed hanging out with everyone, even if I wasn't one to talk all that much. I was getting better though. I was much more friendly than when I'd first started at UA, even if I was still a bit unsure how to talk to people sometimes. 

 

On the ride back to the group home, I could only stare out the window as we passed through traffic. Things had changed so much in a short amount of time. I'd gone from being entrusted to UA, to living with my mother, to being taken away again and put in a group home.

 

I wanted a place that could be my home.

 

All the other kids from school had one (from what I knew, anyway). I'm not going to assume that their lives are perfect, but at the end of the day at least they have somewhere that they belong to and family that cares for them. 

 

I wanted that. I wanted that more than anything. I want a mother that I can cook with, who can give me advice and emotional support, and who wants to spend time with me. I want a father who will support me, go out and do stupid things with me just so we can hang out, and protect me if I'm in danger. 

 

I was tired of all the constant moving. I was tired of moving from house to house all the time. I just wanted to live in one place for longer than a damn month for once — maybe even until I graduated from high school. That sounded nice. Having a permanent home until I was an adult, and I then would go out and find my own home. 

 

But I'd still have a family to support me.

 

Wouldn't I?

 

Officer Nara explained that now I was in the foster care system, so anyone who was wanting to adopt a child could meet and try to adopt me. I'd be able to meet with them first, and I was told that if I didn't like the people then I could decide not to go with them.

 

A part of me was afraid — terrified, even.

 

What if...

 

It wouldn't surprise me, after all.

 

What if no one wanted me?

Chapter Text

Uraraka   (12:11 pm):   Are you almost here?

Uraraka   (12:11 pm):  We were supposed to meet at 12!

Izumi (12:15 pm):   I just got out of the car.

Izumi (12:15 pm):   The guy who runs my group home got busy last minute, so I had to find someone else to drive me

Tsu (12:16 pm):   It's okay! We're all just excited to see you.

Hagakure (12:16 pm):   It's not fair that only Tsu saw you last time! 

Hagakure (12:16 pm):  Hurry up!

Izumi (12:16 pm):  Calm your asses down.

Izumi (12:16 pm):  I'm in the changerooms.

Momo (12:16 pm):  Oh? Where? I don't see you.

Ashido (12:17 pm):  Liar!

 

I reached out to grab the handle of the changeroom doors and yanked it open, "I was just fucking walking in! Cut me some slack!"

 

"Izumi!" 

 

The girls had charged forward instantly and my back slammed against the locker behind me as I stumbled backwards. Tsu's tongue had quickly moved in front of the others to hold them back as I brought shaky breaths in and out through my lungs. 

 

"Oh my gosh, we're so sorry!" Uraraka bowed.

 

Momo gave a soft smile, "Sorry, we shouldn't have charged at you like that."

 

"I guess we were all so excited to see you that we forgot," Ashido scratched the back of her head in embarrassment.

 

"Just get the fuck out so I can change," I chuckled slightly, blowing my bangs out of my face.

 

The girls didn't take long to exit the changeroom, and I quickly ripped my shirt off over my head. They were all dressed in regular swimsuits since the guys wouldn't be joining us this time. I couldn't help but feel uncomfortable putting mine on though. My body looked like it had been through hell since the Camino Incident.

 

The scars were ugly, but I couldn't help but remember what Aizawa had told me. Sure, they were ugly, but they were proof of my victory. They represented battles I had fought in and won. I certainly didn't want to show them off to the world, but a part of me felt comfortable enough with the girls of my class to want them to see.

 

I was tired of hiding everything — my dreams, my likes, my emotions, my fears. I wanted to open up to people. It was scary, sure, but this was the first big step. I had to take it — I  wanted  to take it.

 

The cheerful banter of their conversation when completely silent in seconds when I exited the change room, but I managed to keep a straight face. I couldn't be proud of my scars. I would never be able to look at them without feeling sick or broken. But I wouldn't keep them away from the light where no one would ever see them.

 

They were apart of me, and I couldn't change that. My friends, the girls in my class who cared about me, wouldn't judge me or make comments. I know they wouldn't. I want to show them that I trust them, even if we got off on the wrong foot.

 

"Let's get in the water," Momo broke her eyes away from me and glanced at the pool.

 

"Yeah, come on!"

 

There was a huge splash as Ashido's body made an impact with the pool and she quickly sunk beneath the surface. The other girls had all jumped in within seconds, whilst I sat down on the edge before carefully lowering myself in. 

 

Jumping didn't really seem like the best option for me. I'd probably just, you know,  fucking drown . My pride still didn't let me tell the other girls that though. After all, as long as I stayed in the shallow end, everything would be fine.

 

"Izumi, look out!"

 

I flinched back as the beachball hit my forehead and the girls began to giggle. Muttering a few colourful words under my breath, I threw it up into the air and tossed it back over. I waded through the pool, coming to a stop just before it got a bit deeper. 

 

Dunking my head under the water, I popped back up with a deep breath in as the water dripped from my hair. It had grown a lot since the beginning of the year, and my bangs were starting to get a bit too long. I'd have to get someone to cut them for me sometime soon before they started bugging me too much.

 

"Izumi, can I ask a question?" Hagakure called from across the circle.

 

I glanced in her direction, "Huh?"

 

"I know you don't like it when people mention them, but why do you hate your freckles so much?"

 

Although the questioned shocked me a little, I wasn't surprised that she asked. For all any of them knew, I just really fucking hated them and got violent when they were mentioned. They didn't understand why I was touchy about them so it was probably really weird when I flipped my shit.

 

"My mother had freckles," I replied honestly. "I didn't like being reminded of her. We got along well when I was little, but things got pretty bad later on. They're even worse now... I've always wanted to see my mother again — the one from when I was a child. It makes me think of her a lot and how much I miss her."

 

Hagakure was quiet for a few seconds before saying, "I had no idea."

 

"I don't think you should let it get you down," Momo cut in. "I know it hurts to remember, but you actually look really adorable. Instead of focusing on the bad memories and how much you miss your mother, you should focus on the good memories and how things have improved since then."

 

"Yeah," I nodded to Momo. "You're right. I guess I'm also just a bit embarrassed by them. People always point them out and say they make me look cute — I'm not really used to compliments and they freak me out."

 

"Well," Hagakure snicked suddenly, "At least you didn't punch me. Poor Kirishima!"

 

Uraraka laughed too, "Yeah. It was upsetting at the time, but it's funny when I look back. He looked so surprised!"

 

"Probably hurt his pride for smacking him so hard," Jirou chuckled.

 

Rolling my eyes, I picked up the beach ball and hit it over to Tsu. She eagerly jumped from the water to hit it up into the sky and Ashido had dived to try and save it before it hit the water. Instead, our group was immediately soaked from the large splash and the ball landed on top of her head before bouncing back into the middle.

 

"He was probably too busy thinking how manly I was to remember his pride."

 

The laughter only grew louder — Uraraka could barely breathe and Tsu had to help her when she fell over and snorted in a lung full of water. After she'd stopped coughing and we were sure she was safe, the girl went into  another  laughing fit and everyone else joined in.

 

I liked hanging out with everyone.

 

They were nice and considerate too.

 

Although they'd forgotten when I first arrived, the girls had been very careful to maintain a certain distance from me. My jumpiness hadn't improved much, although staying with my mother probably hadn't helped. 

 

Even without the trauma, a part of me had always felt a bit nervous about physical contact. It would take time for me to heal, and then get used to the idea of being around other people. I'd gotten close to a select amount of people (Aizawa, Kirishima and Uraraka. Opening up to others too was going to be difficult.

 

"Izumi, is everything okay, ribbit?"

 

"Oh, um, yeah. I'm fine."

 

"Are you sure?" Ashido tilted her head. "You're just acting kind of weird."

 

I took a small step back and my foot slipped on the ramp beneath. Losing my footing, I crashed under the water. My eyes had squeezed shut to block out the chlorine, leaving me unsure of which was and which was up and down. I flailed out limbs, but I couldn't find the surface. 

 

Arms wrapped around me and my lungs breathed in sharply. I sputtered as the water entered my lungs just before I was pulled back up. I wheezed instantly, coughing and coughing until the water had come back up through my throat.

 

"A-are you okay!?" Momo asked worriedly. "You just went under and couldn't get back up."

 

"Ican'tswim," I mumbled quickly under my breath.

 

"Huh?" Jirou tilted her head in confusion.

 

Letting out an embarrassed groan, I immediately turned to look away from the others so they wouldn't see the pink forming on my cheeks, "I can't swim."

 

They seemed to blink a few times in silence before seeming to have a sudden realization. They erupted into chatter amongst each other, commenting on how I wouldn't have gotten many opportunities to swim, or it made sense that I didn't know — all that typical bullshit. 

 

I placed my hands on the concrete and pulled myself from the water. My towel was sitting on a chair near the change room doors. I wrapped it around my body to warm my shivering skin and lowered myself to sit in one of the chairs.

 

"Aren't you going to keep swimming?" Uraraka pouted.

 

"Come on, it's really fun!" Hagakure joined in.

 

"I think I'm okay," I replied. "I've had enough swimming for one day, thanks."

 

Although they continued to attempt to coax me in, the girls eventually realized it was  not  going to work and gave up. I did humour them slightly though and had come to sit at the edge of the pool with my legs in the water. That was as close as I would get to climbing in.

 

I passed the ball around with them a bit from where I was and participated in the conversations and the chats. It was fun. I'd never really gotten to experience fun like this before — I liked it. At the very end, they'd even convinced me to grab my phone and take some dumb picture.

 

The girls all swam over towards me slowly and I managed to keep my breathing steady. Each of them careful not to make physical contact with me, they all made poses from within the pool in front of my dangling legs. I stuck my tongue out at the camera with a grin and held the phone out in front of all of us to take the picture.

 

It was then demanded that I send the picture into our group chat. Uraraka had made it towards the beginning of the year with all the girls, except for me since I didn't have a phone. Now that they'd finally got my number, I'd been included too.

 

Ashido had leaped out of the pool in an instant as she rushed to her bag. She dug out her phone and clicked a few buttons with a content grin. After I moment, my phone buzz as I was invited into a new group chat. Right after, Ashido sent a message into the chat.

 

The chatroom I'd been invited to, 1A Allegiance, had a total of 21 members. Quickly scrolling through names, it looked like everyone in the class was in there but me. But now I was there too! Then I actually checked the message that Ashido sent.

 

Ashido (4:32 pm):  Aren't we cute?

Ashido (4:32 pm):  Creds to Izumi for taking the picture

Ashido (4:33 pm):  [Click to Open Image]

 

Narrowing my eyes, I clicked on the message and the picture I'd just taken popped up on the screen. I immediately flinched back seeing it, as I suddenly realized something. I was wearing my bathing suit. All my scars were showing — old and recent.

 

Mineta (4:33 pm):  HOT!!!!!

Mineta (4:33 pm):  SEND NUDES!

Kirishima (4:34 pm):  Totally not cool, bro.

Kirishima (4:34 pm):  And hey! How come you guys didn't tell us you were meeting with Izumi?

Kirishima (4:35 pm):  I would have come to see her too. It's the manliest thing to do.

Bakugou (4:36 pm):  Yo Izumi you look like shit

 

I immediately turned the screen of my phone off and shoved it in my pocket. I didn't want to read anymore. Ashido had already put her phone away. Still, I clenched my fist angrily. How could she do that? How could she send it without asking me?

 

I stood up and wrapped the towel tighter around me. I shouldn't have come after all. I walked back over to the change room, although Momo called out to stop me before I could leave, much to my annoyance.

 

"Hey, where are you going?"

 

"Home," I replied curtly.

 

Ashido pouted, "But we're having fun!"

 

"You're having fun," I corrected her.

 

Entering the building, I slammed the door shut behind me. Why did friends have to be so stupid!? Taking off the bikini top, I pulled my bra on and reached behind my back to do it up. I'd just pulled my shirt over my head when the door opened and the others came inside.

 

"What's wrong, ribbit?" Tsu tilted her head.

 

Uraraka frowned, "You got so upset all of a sudden."

 

Too frustrated to care, I pulled down the bottom piece of my bathing suit and pulled my underwear up over time. My sweatpants covered my legs soon after, and I slammed the locker shut. Fuck this bullshit. 

 

"Izumi, wait! What happened?" Ashido tried to ask as I went to head outside.

 

"Next time you send a picture.  ask,"  I seethed in response.

 

I closed the door shut and walked away from the pool area. I was a bit early leaving, but I was going to be picked up at 5 anyway. It's not like I had to wait too long, after all. Once I'd reached the front of the building I sat down on the front steps and pulled out my phone.

 

Kirishima (4:37 pm):  What the hell, man? You can't say shit like that.

Iida (4:37 pm):  Bakugou, that was very rude! As the class rep, I can not condone this behaviour and demand that you apologize!

Ojiro (4:38 pm):  You shouldn't point stuff like that out

Tordoroki (4:39 pm):  She looks fine the way she is

Ashido (4:41 pm):  Sorry guys, I should have asked Izumi before I sent the picture and I didn't

Ashido (4:42 pm) I'm sorry, girl. I promise it won't happen again!

 

I put the phone back in my pocket and glanced down the road. I wasn't sure when the man from the group home was showing up exactly. He wasn't really one to be late though, so It hadn't taken long to clean and tidy everything.

 

Even if Asido had done something really stupid, I'd still had a fun time with the others.

 

I liked hanging out with the girls.

 

Chapter Text

"I-Island?" I tilted my head in confusion.

 

"Yeah," Momo nodded with a smile. "My family has received an invitation to the preview of I-Expo, and I have three extra plus ones."

 

I raised an eyebrow, "And this interests me because...?"

 

"There's a whole bunch of cool inventions and scientists and more! I'm sure you'd have fun if you came," Uraraka insisted.

 

"Okay, whatever. I'll play your stupid game of chance."

 

Everyone had gathered into a group to play a game of rock, paper, scissors. I hadn't known what the fuck it was at first, which certainly surprised the girls. You made strange hand signals at each other in some sort of secret code and each hand signal could defeat another (but also lose to a certain one) if matched up.

 

Following along with the others, I shook my hand up and down a few times before the reveal. I couldn't really remember the other hand signals though so I just stuck with rock. There was a screech of disappointment from Ashido, while Hagakure and Tsu just looked a bit disappointed.

 

"Well, it looks like Izumi, Uraraka and Jirou will be joining me," Momo announced.

 

"If I'm even allowed," I muttered under my breath.

 

She grinned in response, "I'll have my father contact the group home, don't worry."

 

And so after another few hours, everyone had gone home. To my surprise when I was picked up, I was asked if I wanted to go on this trip. When I agreed, the man fired off the information of when I'd need to pack, when I needed to be ready, the distance of our trip and more. 

 

A few days later, I met up with Uraraka, Jirou and Momo at the mall. We needed to go shopping for new things, according to Momo. Fuck my life. It's not like I had any money, and the mall wasn't exactly my favourite place after having run into Shigaraki there.

 

"Come on, it won't be that bad!" Uraraka tried to coax me into the store.

 

"Why do I need a dress?" I grumbled.

 

"There will be a formal gathering!" Momo insisted. "I'm sure this will be fun if you give it a shot."

 

And so, I made the mistake of entering the damn dress shop. Apparently, they all just wanted to play dress-up and I was the damn doll. Finding myself inside the change room at the back of the store, I let out a tired sigh as I put on the first dress.

 

Looking at myself in the mirror, I cringed at the sight of it — although they were determined to see every single dress. With a low growl, I unlocked the door and shoved it open. Jirou and Uraraka snorted upon sight while Momo awkwardly handed me the next dress.

 

"Why the fuck is this shit so poofy? What the fuck? And why hot pink!? Blech!"

 

They laughed harder as I slammed the door behind me. It took me a few minutes to change and soon enough I was reopening the door for the girls to see. Were they even trying? There's no fucking way I was wearing this shit with all the sequins and the fucking sparkles.

 

"Don't even—" I cut off Jirou with a threatening glare before she could laugh.

 

"—PSHHHHH! HA!"

 

Momo went to hand me the next dress. I looked down at it before glancing back up at her. She wore a nervous smile. Tightly biting my lip, my eyes narrowed and she quickly put the dress aside and got out the next one.

 

It seems like we spent forever trying on dresses — eventually, Uraraka and Momo decided to try some on too and Jirou hesitantly joined in after being shoved into the change room with a pile of clothes. The others found outfits relatively quickly and that left just me.

 

Looking at myself in the mirror, I was a bit unsure. It was the first ones that I'd actually liked, but a part of me didn't want to admit it. I'd built an image for being rough and not really into all the girly stuff but here I was in a pink fucking dress with a little bow. God, what the fuck was wrong with me.

 

One other issue to it: bruises. They were difficult to hide, after all. The sleeves were short, and a lot of my legs were showing. What if they didn't fade away by the time I had to wear it? Still, I pushed the door open and stepped out where the girls could see me.

 

"Aww, that's so cute!" Uraraka squealed.

 

I could feel my face begin burning up and I quickly looked away, crossing my arms in front of my chest, "It's just a stupid dress."

 

Jirou chuckled deviously, "I think she likes it—"

 

"—I do not!"

 

"So..." Momo grinned, "Am I buying this one?"

 

My face fell, "No. I can't wear it."

 

"Why not? You really like this one!" Uraraka pouted.

 

"Bruises," I replied.

 

"Oh, is that all?" Momo tilted her head. "No need to worry. I'm going to teach you the magic of concealer."

 

"What the fuck is concealer?"

 

"It's something you put on your skin. I promise, no one will see your bruises if you have it on."

 

"Fine. Let's just get the stupid thing and leave."

 

Momo had decided to purchase all of the dresses. She'd insisted that her family wouldn't mind a couple hundred collars missing, and wanted to help us out. So she did. Just like that. We'd spent a bit more time walking around the mall to buy shoes and accessories and whatever the fuck else people wanted. Then we finally were allowed to leave.

 

And by leave, I mean all of the girls had been invited over to Momo's house for a sleepover. 

 

It was surprising how much time these girls spent with one another. I'd always turned down the first few invitations so they stopped asking. I was glad that I could be involved now though. I really liked hanging out with everyone. Having friends was amazing and I never wanted to go without them again.

 

"Fucking hell, why the fuck is this car so damn long?" I asked when it parked in front of the curb.

 

"It's a limo," Momo replied as she opened the door for us.

 

They allowed me to get in first and I crawled over to the other side. I pulled my seatbelt over and clicked it into place. Uraraka had waited for me to get settled before getting in, and she carefully placed herself in the seat beside mine. I was a bit better around Uraraka than the others, since she and I had been friends before everything happened — not that I'd admit it. 

 

Jirou climbed in next, and Momo followed before closing the door behind her. When everyone had their seatbelts on, the driver was signalled and we pulled out onto the road. It took a while to reach the Yaoyorozu household, since the property  so damn fucking big .

 

The driver had stopped at each one of our houses (and my group home) before picking us up from the mall to get our stuff for the sleepover. After the long trek up the driveway, we piled out of the car and all got our shit from the trunk.

 

Momo's parents were away at the moment, so we had the mansion to ourselves. She'd definitely gone all out and the entire place was decked out in these weird floating balls attached to strings, thick multicoloured strings, and all this other shit — whatever the fuck it was.

 

My phone vibrated in my pocket and I reached down to pull it out. I opened up or Class 1A Girls group chat and checked the messages.

 

Momo (3:02 pm):   Everything's ready here so everyone can head over whenever they're ready!

Tsu (3:03 pm):   I should be there at 3:30  

Ashido (3:04 pm):   I'm closeby so be there in 10!

Hagakure (3:05 pm):   Ooh, I can't wait!

Hagakure (3:05 pm):   I'm leaving in 10 minutes

Momo (3:06 pm):   You guys can just come inside when you get here.

 

Momo had set up a bunch of air mattresses and pushed them together and then covered them all in blankets. We'd all thrown our bags down and flopped onto the huge mattress bed. They were soft and comfortable. I didn't want to get up. Ever.

 

Reaching over to the pile of my stuff, I grabbed my stuffed red dragon and yanked it closer. Wrapping my arms around it, I slipped under my fluffy black blanket and curled up. Sleepovers were fun. I like sleepovers.

 

"Hey, isn't that the dragon that Kirishima got you?" Jirou asked.

 

"Yeah. Todoroki got me the blanket."

 

"It's nice that you put some of our gifts to use," Momo smiled.

 

"I'm really thankful for everything you guys got me — except for Mineta. I'm burning that shit. I wanted to thank everyone in person, but I haven't seen everyone together yet. Oh, and someone in my group home said that sometimes you play boardgames at sleepovers so I brought The Game of Life. I don't know how to play but..."

 

Uraraka bounced up and down excitedly, "Ooh, we should play! Kaminari gave you that, right?"

 

I nodded and crawled over to my stuff. Grabbing the game, we had to leave the air mattress pile and go sit on the floor to set everything up. I didn't really know what was happening, so the others quickly assembled the board.

 

"I'm here!" Ashido sprinted into the room happily with a goofy grin. "Oh, is that The Game of Life?"

 

"Yeah, but we should wait for the others," Momo said. "We'll have to have one group of two since there are only 6 cars."

 

"Oh, did you see Hagakure's text?"

 

Momo shook her head and all of the girls were quickly pulling out their phones to check our group chat. There were two messages, one from Hagakure and the other from Ashido.

 

Hagakure (3:17 pm):  My dad got held up at work and he was supposed to drive me so I'll be late. I don't know what time I'll be there, but I'll keep everyone updated.

Ashido (3:17 pm):   Awww! Hope you're dad brings you over soon!!!!!!

Momo (3:20 pm):   Okay, thanks for letting us know. We'll see you when you get here!

Hagakure (3:20 pm):  You better save some fun for me!

 

I shoved the device back in my pocket and some coloured paper was handed to me by Momo, who had declared herself the 'banker'. I have no idea what the fuck that means but alright. Go for it. Taking the coloured paper, I looked at it in confusion. It was some kind of money?

 

"That's the money currency for the game — it's not real," Uraraka explained. "In the Game of Life, everyone has to travel across the game board and the person with the most money at the end wins."

 

"That's shallow," I replied.

 

"Come on, it's fun!" Ashido laughed as she held up 6 plastics cars — a purple one, a blue one, an orange one, a red one, a yellow one, and a green one. "I want the purple car!"

 

She reached into a tray and grabbed a tiny pink plastic thing. Its shape was rather human-like, and apparently, it represented the player in the car and their family. This entire fucking game was simulating life? Why the fuck would someone make this?

 

Reaching over towards the cars, I took the red one and jabbed a pink human into the front seat. Seeing where Ashido had placed hers, I put mine on the board beside it. Uraraka had taken yellow for herself and suggested we leave green for Tsu. Jirou ended up with blue, and Momo took orange.

 

They then explained that before we actually started, I had to either go to college or get a job. If I went to college, I could get a higher-paying job and I would owe some money. If I started working, I'd have a lower-paying job but not owe any money.

 

If I need the most money to win, then fuck a low-paying job. I can pay back my loans with the high-paying one. Why is this game so detailed? Kaminari, what the fuck? 

 

"What are you guys playing, ribbit?"

 

"Tsu!" Ashido tackled her with a joyous grin. "We're playing The Game of Life. Izumi brought it! We saved the green car for you if you want to play."

 

And soon enough, the six of us were crowded around the game board. There was a spinner with spaces numbered from 1 to 10, and players would spin it to see how many spaces they moved their car. We also spun to see who would go first, and then the rest of the order went around the circle.

 

"I got a 3," Momo sighed.

 

Reaching over, I spun the knob and watched the numbers as they went around and around. There was a little arrow-like stick the hit pegs around the edges to slow it down, and would eventually stop on the biggest fucking number of all. Fucking 2. 

 

"6," Uraraka announced as the spinner stopped.

 

"10! Ashido sang cheerfully. "I'm going first!"

 

"Don't be so sure of yourself," Jirou scolded. "10 as well."

 

"I only got a 5, ribbit."

 

"10 again!" Ashido screeched.

 

Jirou looked sullen, "8."

 

Uraraka fanned out the blue 'career' cards and Ashido pulled one from the deck. She immediately formed her fingers into a weird shape and began pointing at the rest of us randomly, "I'm a police officer!"

 

She spun and moved her car 4 spaces ahead as she passes one payday and landed on another. Momo quickly pulled out some fake money and passed it over to Ashido who threw it onto her pile. Jirou was the next to go. She started college and moved her spaces.

 

"Graduation day. Take a life tile." Jirou reached over and grabbed one from the pile. They were weird little square things that said Life at the front. We couldn't look at them until the end of the game, and they would give everyone extra money.

 

Momo went next and ended up having to pay $5000 for books and supplies. Then it was my turn. I'd gotten a 10, to which Ashido immediately reacted, "You're speeding! I'll have to fine you for $5000!"

 

I was a bit confused but once they explain it was a special thing from her career, it made much more sense and I handed over the money. Moving the 10 spaces, I landed directly on one of the orange spaces with a stop sign.

 

"Stop: College Career Choice."

 

Uraraka had snatched up the 'College Career' cards, which were apparently different than the normal Career cards. I was instructed to take two, and I ended up with the Accountant and the Veterinarian. Seeing as the Vet paid better at $80,000, I kept that one. 

 

Since I'd been stopped by an orange space, I had to spin again. This time I moved 6 spaces and the yellow space told me I was eloping. What the fuck is eloping? I had to move immediately to Get Married, another god damn orange space (Momo said that eloping was running away to get married. No fucking thanks!)

 

"Hey, I had an idea!" Ashido suddenly chuckled deviously.

 

"What?" Uraraka tilted her head.

 

"What if we put everyone in our class into a hat but us and when we get married or have kids we have to pull out a classmate? It would be funny!"

 

"It might make things a bit awkward, don't you think?" Momo questioned.

 

"That's the point!"

 

And after a moment of discussion, they decided to fucking do it. Kill me now. Why? Why would you do this? And within a couple minutes, the 15 members of our class that were not present (this included Hagakure) all had their names in a hat and I was being pressured to choose a husband or wife. 

 

Glaring down at the hat, I reached in my hand and pulled out the sheet of paper. Feeling a bit squeamish, I wanted to burn it and run away. Why the fuck did I have to pretend the little plastic people were my fucking classmates? No thank you. I opened the paper and read the name, "Sero."

 

And the others squealed as I put the blue plastic person, who was apparently now Sero, in the car beside me. What the fuck was this game turning into? Then I had to spin to receive wedding gifts. Hurray for fucking me. On the bright side, everyone gave me $5000 each, I got a life tile for getting married,  and  I'd passed two paydays.

 

I spun again,  another fucking 10,  and handed Ashido her stupid speeding fine. I passed another payday, this one with $10,000 raise so I'd make more money, and then was stopped  again  by another fucking orange space. Stop: Buy a Starter Home. Maybe I don't want a fucking house, huh?

 

Noticing that it would sell for more than it cost, I coughed up $180,000 for the Tudor Style home. Then I had to spin again. How fucking long was my turn going to be? God, why was I so far ahead of everyone else? Fuck this. This is fucking dumb. So I spun a 4.

 

"Aww, Izumi you had a son!" Uraraka giggled. "Pull out a name!"

 

"This is fucking dumb," I replied.

 

Ashido held the hat over to me and I shoved my hand in to grab a name, "Kaminari. Are you fucking happy?"

 

Jirou snorted, "You and Sero had Kaminari."

 

"Shut the fuck up!"

 

I reached over to grab a life tile right when Uraraka pulled a career from Momo since she'd decided not to go to college. She became a hairstylist and rolled on a whopping 1 to land on a payday space. Tsu, who decided to attend college ended up getting a life tile for some shit I couldn't be bothered to pay attention to.

 

Ashido had ended up eloping too and received $5000 from each player as a wedding gift. Momo hadn't been able to afford it and was forced to take another loan. Ashido had screeched when she read the name and threw the piece of paper away from her as the rest of her tried to comfort her about marrying Mineta. That's her karma for suggesting this bullshit. Then after spinning again, she had to pay money for a job relocation. 

 

This game is fucking weird.

Chapter Text

Later on in the game, once everyone had finally begun their career, things had been getting interesting. Jirou had become a lawyer, Ashido had a daughter (it was fucking Aoyama, of course), and Momo had become a Computer Designer.

 

When Jirou got married, she also received a gift of $5000 from the other players and Tsu had to take a loan to pay it. She'd married Sato, and later on, bought the Small Cape as a starter home for $160,000. 

 

Long term investments had also become popular. Jirou had bought one for the number two. When someone spun your number, you got money. So I bought one for the number 7 on my next turn. Uraraka had been the next to get married, pulling Bakugou's name from the hat. 

 

No one had been sure how to react to that, so nothing was said — simple as that. She hadn't been gifted any money though. Tsu had jumped back into the game later as she became a doctor, and  finally , everyone had a damn job.

 

All was fun and games until Ashido landed on a Lawsuit space and stole $100,000 from me. Unfortunately for her, I landed on one on my next turn and took my fucking money back. Jirou had a son, Koda, and Momo ended up marrying Hagakure, receiving no gift.

 

Momo bought a Condo as well for $100,000, and Uraraka bought a mobile home for $80,000 soon after. She ended up spending, which had been happening very commonly when she spun again and paid Ashido before moving. She had twins; a daughter (Tokoyami) and a son (Todoroki). Why the fuck did Ashido suggest this damn name thing?

 

What got funky was when Momo landed on Spin to Win space! We could gamble our money on numbers and earn 5 times the amount back if the spinner got our number. Everyone participated, and Momo had some Share the Wealth card that let her pick extra numbers — not like it mattered. I won $25,000 and everyone else wasted their money.

 

Uraraka lost her job on the following turn and became an Entertainer, which was much better pay than her previous one — although she lost her raises which was unfortunate. Tsu was the last of us to get married as she drew Ojiro's name from the hat.

 

The money was constantly being thrown back and forth as everyone's long-term investments earned $5000 every time specific numbers were spun. Ashido kept charging everyone for speeding, and the life tiles had run out a long time ago. Lawsuits had been going back and forth.

 

My least favourite moment of this sleepover was when Jirou landed on the lawsuit space and turned to Tsu and said, "I'm going to  Tsuyu  for $100,000."

 

Momo later lost her job and become a Hair Stylist, and Tsu bought the Ranch Style home for $140,000. In that same turn, she had a son — Deku. God. It got weirder every time someone pulled a name. Uraraka lost her job again, becoming a Mechanic this time as her salary went back down. She was just unlucky. 

 

In her next turn, she had another son. She ended up drawing Kirishima's name, which felt especially weird for some reason. I won the Nobel-Prize a bit later. When I was finally able to purchase a better home, I didn't even care. Fuck it. I bought the fucking mansion. $800,000? Who fucking cares. 

 

Uraraka later won the Nobel-Prize as well, while Jirou and Tsu had both bought SUVs. And I'm pretty sure at least four of us had visited the 'Grand Canyon'. I didn't know what it was but I went there. 

 

The first to retire was Ashido and while she sang her victories the rest of us continued playing. Uraraka sold her mobile home to purchase a Double Wide +RV for $300,000. Tsu had twins and pulled the only remaining names from the hat — Iida and Shoji.

 

I became a grandparent, and I cringed as I realized that means Kaminari had kids or some shit like that. No fucking thanks. Jirou bought a penthouse for $700,000. It was fine, I guess, but not as good as my mansion. Uraraka became a grandparent too, and we were left to wonder whether Tokoyami, Todoroki or Kirishima had kids. There was also the curiosity of what kind of father would Bakugou be and that was interesting, to say the least.

 

I retired soon after and parked beside Ashido's car at Countryside Acres as I got $10,000 as a gift from Kaminari. Uraraka retired on the next turn as she collected her $30,000 from Tokoyami, Todoroki, and Kirishima. She parked at Millionaire Estates for the extra life tile, hoping that no one would steal hers. Momo followed soon after, receiving no money as she had no kids and took the second life tile. 

 

Their gambling didn't pay off and Tsu stole a tile from Uraraka after going hiking in the European Alps, which I'm sure almost everyone landed on from the number of times I heard people read that fucking sentence. Jirou became a grandparent and stole a life tile from Momo as Kodo supposedly had kids. Fuck this whole name thing — it was creepy. We'd needed the exact amount of names as we had classmates available. 

 

Jirou retired on her next turn and received the $10,000 for having a son as well as the final life tile at Millionaire Estates. Tsu followed as she received $30,000 from Deku, Iida and Shoji. Everyone had finally made it through The Game of Life and now we had to count our money. 

 

"I win!" Jirou sang at the end, having finished with $1,610,000. 

 

I rolled my eyes, "Only because of all those life tiles." I had placed second at $1,565,000.

 

With $1,500,000 in third, Tsu began sorting her money back into the bank, "That was fun, ribbit."

 

"Yeah, we should play again some other time!" Uraraka smiled. She held 4th place with $985,000.

 

"Awww, I'm totally bummed I didn't win!" Ashido pouted. She's ended with $895,000 in 5th place.

 

Ironically, the richest girl in real life from our group had come in 6th with only $805,000. Momo was currently pouting as she sorted her cards and money back into the correct piles and we all packed the game back into the box. We had all gathered behind the box after and sat it on its side. 

 

We'd all written our placings and the money we'd ended with on them as Ashido snapped a picture. Then, after asking me if it was alright, she sent it into the class group chat. My phone had buzzed a couple of times after and I went to check what everyone was saying. 

 

Ashido (6:03 pm):  [Click to open image]

Kaminari (6:04 pm):  Ayyy! You guys played The Game of Life? Izumi, what did you think?

Izumi (6:04 pm):   It was fun. But the others made it fucking weird. 

Iida (6:04 pm):   Izumi! This is a school-related group chat and as the class rep, it is my job to remind you that swearing here is inappropriate and not allowed!

Izumi (6:05 pm):   Fuck you.

Kaminari (6:06 pm):  How did they make it weird?

Uraraka (6:06 pm):  Ashido put everyone's names from our class in a hat (but only the ones that weren't there). When we got married or had kids in the game, we had to pull someone from the hat.

Mineta (6:07 pm):   WHICH PRECIOUS BABE DID I MARRY!?

Ashido (6:07 pm):  NO ONE!!!!!!!

Jirou (6:07 pm):  Ashido pulled your name when she got married.

Mineta (6:08 pm):  A gift from the heavens!

Deku (6:09 pm):  Wait... Was my name in there too? 

Bakugou (6:09 pm):  They said everyone, you fucking loser! You guys better not have pulled my name!

Kirishima (6:10 pm):  Who's names were pulled?

Momo (6:10 pm):  Everyone

Sero (6:10 pm):  Wait, who pulled who?

Ashido (6:11 pm):  Well, Jirou already said who I married and I'm not repeating it so if you missed it, scroll up. Then I had a daughter later and pulled Aoyama.

Aoyama (6:11 pm):   Moi?

Ashido (6:12 pm):   Jirou married Sato, and pulled Koda as her son.

Bakugou (6:13 pm):  WHICH ONE OF YOU LOSERS PULLED MY NAME!? I'LL KILL YOU!

Uraraka (6:13 pm):   Bakugou was my husband. I had twins, a girl (Tokoyami) and a boy (Todoroki). Then I had another son, Kirishima, later.

Bakugou (6:13 pm):   Like hell, I'd raise IcyHot! I'd abandon his ass on the fucking street!

Todoroki (6:14 pm):   That would be better than my actual dad.

Kirishima (6:14 pm):  Bakubro's my dad? LOL

Bakugou (6:15 pm):  Shut the fuck up, shitty hair! I'd abandon you too!

Tokoyami (6:15 pm):   Why was I included in this?

Bakugou (6:16 pm):  YOU SAYING I'M NOT A GOOD ENOUGH DAD FOR YOU, BIRDBRAIN!?

Momo (6:17 pm):   I didn't have any kids, but I married Hagakure.

Hagakure (6:17):   Yay! By the way, my dad's on his way to get me so I'll be there soon.

Ojiro (6:18):  Who pulled my name?

Tsu (6:18 pm):   I did. We got married, and Deku, Iida, and Shoji were our kids.

Deku (6:19 pm):   Me!?

Shoji   (6:19 pm):  This game is weird.

Iida (6:20 pm):  As the class rep, it is an honour to have had my named pulled by such an excellent classmate!

Sero (6:21 pm):   Wait, what about me?

Kaminari (6:21 pm):   And me too?

Izumi (6:22 pm):   Shut the fuck up.

Kaminari (6:23 pm):   I guess Izumi pulled us.

Kaminari (6:23 pm):   Our marriage must have been as beautiful as you.

 

My face burned and the other girls burst out laughing as I took a second to process what had just been said. Growling lowly under my breath, I aggressively smashed my fingers against the keys as I typed out a reply.

 

Izumi (6:24 pm):   If you even THINK of saying anything like that to me ever again I will DESTROY you

Izumi (6:24 pm):   And get your head out of the fucking clouds. You were my son, dipshit. I married Sero. Oh, not what you wanted? Too fucking bad.

Kirishima (6:25 pm):   That was a bit harsh.

 

I frowned at Kirishima's message and closed the group chat. Putting my phone back in my pocket, I picked up the game and took it back with my stuff. Momo had gone off while we were texting to order pizza, and the other girls put their phones away soon after I did.

 

I sat down on the pile of air mattresses and blankets and placed the dragon in my lap. Everyone else joined, and when Momo reentered the room Hagakure was with her. She'd been dropped off while the pizza was being ordered.

 

We spent the rest of the night watching dumb movies that the others called 'chick flicks', and eating pizza and other snacks. Once midnight hit, that's when everyone changed into our pyjamas and we sat in a circle on the air mattresses.

 

"Let's play Truth or Dare," Ashido had offered.

 

"Too cliche," Hagakure had said in response. "Never Have I Ever?"

 

"That's just as cliche as Truth or Dare," Jirou pointed out. "Would you rather?"

 

They were throwing a bunch of weird things I'd never really heard of around — except for Truth or Dare. That shit was Togo was fucking terrifying. It was a good thing that she'd kind of been an idiot though and released Bakugou.

 

"Izumi, what do you think? You've never had a sleepover before so what do you want to try?" Momo asked.

 

"I don't really care," I replied. "Doesn't make a fucking difference."

 

And so it turned into a vote, and a game of Never Have I Ever started soon after. From the way Ashido explained it, everyone holds up 10 fingers. The first person would tell the group something they hadn't done. If you have done it, then you put down a finger. The last person with all their fingers up wins (and in my opinion is probably a loser for never fucking doing anything with their life).

 

Ashido thought for a second, "Never have I ever passed the practical exams."

 

It was an immediate attack as Jirou, Momo, Uraraka, Hagakure and Tsu all put a finger down. I didn't participate in the practical exams, so I got out of that one. Hagakure, who was next, excitedly clapped her hands together.

 

"Never have I ever skipped class!"

 

I lowered a finger, leaving me with 9, and Ashido did as well. 

 

"Never have I ever crushed on a classmate," Tsu announced. 

 

There was a moment of hesitation before Uraraka put a finger down with a flushed face. The other girls giggled and nudged her a little, which embarrassed Uraraka further. What the fuck? Well, I'd crushed someone before. I put a finger down.

 

"Wait, Izumi!? You crushed on a classmate?" Ashido shrieked.

 

I flinched back at the high pitch and tilted my head in confusion, "I crushed Kirishima when I punched him, right?" They stared at me blankly before Tsu reached over to lift my finger back up. 

 

"Crushing on someone is liking them romantically," Momo explained.

 

"Romantically?"

 

"Yeah!" Ashido cheered. "It's when you want to be with someone and date them. Like, if you want to kiss them or hold their hand, or just find reasons to touch them. You think about them a lot and want to be around them."

 

Uraraka was still red as she nodded, "Sometimes you might be shy or embarrassed when they're around because you want them to like you."

 

"Oh. Wait... is that why you and Midoriya have been acting so fucking weird around each other?"

 

"You noticed!?" she buried her face in her hands. 

 

"Don't worry, Ochako," Tsu patted her back gently. "Midoriya is oblivious. He probably hasn't noticed."

 

She lifted her head back up and nodded. Her face, although still a bit red, was starting to return to its normal colour as she took her turn, "Never have I ever been in a food fight."

 

Ashido put her finger down with a pout and the girls glanced in my direction. Oh shit. It's my turn. I have to come up with something. What's something that I haven't done that they all have? Oh. Well, I guess I could get a bit dark. After all, I want to win.

 

"Never have I ever grown up wanting to be a hero."

 

They all stared at me in silence for a few seconds before every finger lowered but mine. I had quite a few tricks up my sleeve, after all. There were many things that I had experienced differently, I guess. That was the life of growing up as a villain.

 

"Never have I ever been a villain," Jirou shot back, and I lowered a finger with a faint smile.

 

Momo glanced around the circle, "Never have I ever worn my hair down to school."

 

Ashido, Tsu, Uraraka, Jirou and I all put a finger down. Hagakure's gloved finger stayed up for a few seconds before hesitantly lowering. 

 

Ashido sang, "Never have I ever broken a bone."

 

Uraraka pouted as she lowered another finger since she was losing. Jirou lowered one as well.

 

"Never have I ever been visible to anyone at UA," Hagakure announced proudly as everyone put a finger down. 

 

Tsu thought for a moment, "Never have I ever been an only child."

 

Everyone put a finger down.

 

"Never have I ever had someone throw me a surprise party for my birthday," Uraraka said, causing Momo, Ashido, and Jirou to put a finger down. A surprise party for a birthday, huh? I didn't realize people celebrated their birthdays.

 

"Never have I ever celebrated anyone's birthday," I announced to the group, as everyone's fingers went down.

 

"You've never celebrated someone's birthday before?" Momo looked a bit surprised. "Not even after you were rescued?"

 

"They wouldn't have bothered. Besides, no one knows my birthday. It's not in my legal files."

 

"Wait, really?" Uraraka sat up. "You don't know your birthday?"

 

"I never said that. I said it's not on records. My mother doesn't remember, and I've never told anyone."

 

"So... when is your birthday?" Hagakure asked.

 

"It doesn't matter. I've never celebrated it before. What's the difference?"

 

"Come on, please?" Ashido begged.

 

"Maybe I'll tell you guys another time — if I decide I like you enough."

 

Jirou narrowed her eyes and grinned deviously, "Never have I ever refused to tell my friends when my birthday is."

 

"Who said you were my friends?" I tilted my head with a pout. I put a finger down and Jirou smirked proudly.

 

Momo smiled to herself, "Never have I ever not celebrated my own birthday."

 

"Pure targeting!" I put down another finger.

 

Ashido had begun to laugh as she spoke, "Never have I ever had freckles!"

 

I put down another finger and only had two left. She did not just mention my fucking freckles. Clenching a fist, I was about to step forward when Hagakure quickly spoke up, "Never have I ever had pink skin!"

 

Ashido only had 1 finger left.

 

"Never have I ever targeted someone in Never Have I Ever," Tsu called out.

 

"Damn it!" Ashido cried as she was knocked out of the game. Momo was left with 3 fingers, and Jirou with 1. Hagakure had also moved a finger down.

 

"Wait, Tsu, you targeted me earlier!" Ochako called out.

 

"It wasn't a target, you were just the only one."

 

A small disagreement broke out of nagging and laughing until Tsu put one of her fingers down as well. Then it was Uraraka's turn again.

 

"Never have I ever have I said a never have I ever statement that I did on accident."

 

Tsu lowered another finger.

 

"Never have I ever been born with a quirk," I announced.

 

It went silent as they looked at me in utter confusion. It was Momo who spoke up, "Izumi. You have a quirk."

 

"All For One's quirk allows him to take quirks from other people, remember? He can also give the stolen quirks away. I wasn't born with my quirk. My father gave it to me."

 

"Your quirk... was stolen from someone else?" Uraraka echoed sadly.

 

"Yeah," I coughed awkwardly. "I know it sounds bad that I don't have an issue with it but I wasn't the one who took it. No one can blame me for having a stolen quirk. I didn't steal it, nor did I ask for it. I didn't even know it was stolen until I was older."

 

Everyone lowered a finger and Jirou was knocked out of the game as she joined Ashido. Sure, my statements were a bit depressing but they hit the most people — and I wanted to win. I can't win if I only target a few people at a time. Besides as long as things don't get too personal, then I'm fine sharing things. I wasn't born with my quirk. So what?

 

"Never have I ever been completely naked at school," Momo forced Hagakure to put a gloved finger down.

 

"Never have I ever lived in a mansion," she fired back, leaving Momo with 1 left.

 

"Never have I ever had made into the final round in the UA sports festival," Tsu knocked both Uraraka and Momo out of the game, and me down to 1.

 

"Never have I ever failed to make it to the 1 on 1 fights in the UA sports festival," I brought both Hagakure and Tsu both down to 1 finger each.

 

"Never have I ever had hair colours that are associated with Christmas," Hagakure called out proudly. 

 

Tsu and I glanced at each other (with her green hair and my red hair), before putting our fingers down in defeat. Hagakure cheered excitedly in victory and her and Ashido high fived each other. And of course, they decided to play  again .

 

This whole sleepover thing was starting to get a bit much.

 

I want to fucking sleep.

 

Chapter Text

"I'm so excited!" Uraraka squealed from the aisle seat beside me.

 

"Look at the window," Momo tapped my seat from behind. "You can see the island."

 

I glanced towards the airplane window and peered outside. I-Island was below us, as the plane started to lower for the landing. Uraraka was nearly bouncing out of her seat in excitement. She'd been talking about seeing the island since we got on the damn plane.

 

The airport was huge and filled with people. I couldn't help but tense as soon as we stepped off the plane. Uraraka gently held a hand out to me. I hesitated, but slowly moved my hand towards hers. Her skin was warm, but I couldn't force myself to relax. Something in me still screamed 'danger' whenever someone made physical contact.

 

It took about 30 minutes before we were able to get through security, grab our luggage and escape the airport. This island was fucking strict. The rest of the girls would be coming as well, but their plane didn't arrive for another few hours. Jirou, who had been silently listening to music for the entire trip, was finally responsive and paying attention to the world around her.

 

Our hotel room was a bit ridiculous — Momo had gotten a full suite for the four of us. There were two bedrooms so Uraraka and I decided to share one while Momo and Jirou would share the other. We quickly changed into our hero costumes, since that was a thing here, and got ready to leave the room. 

 

Glancing at myself in the mirror, the bodysuit was starting to look  and  feel a bit tighter than I remembered. I was growing, I guess. The belt was still fine, and so were my boots and mask. My height and body size wasn't the only thing that grew though. My hair was significantly longer than when I'd first starting going to UA.

 

The messy, red locks had barely reached my lower back when I first became a student. My bangs were the only bit I'd been maintaining. They were brushed over to the right and almost always covered my left eye. I would brush them aside when I was fighting, but I felt more comfortable when all of my face wasn't showing. I don't really know why.

 

I'd fixed them myself when they were getting too long, but I hadn't paid attention to the rest of my hair. Now it reached just past my butt, which was getting to be a bit much to handle. My hair had always grown strangely fast, even when I was a child. I didn't have to worry too much then though since it was often ripped or cut off during training. 

 

I'd have to start putting it up, or I'd have to cut it. This long, it could easily get in my way during a fight. I kinda liked my hair though. I thought it was... pretty. Maybe it almost made me look kinda cute? Did anyone else think that? I wonder if Uraraka thinks I'm cute? Or Kirishima? Why do I want my friends to think I'm cute.

 

Shut the fuck up, no. I'm not cute. I'm strong and I'm independent and I'm powerful. I'm scary. I'm terrifying! I am most definitely  not  cute so no one should or will think I am. But... maybe it wouldn't be so bad if they thought I was. Shit!

 

"I'm not fucking cute!"

 

"Uh... Izumi? Are, um, are you okay?"

 

"Fuck!"

 

I stormed past Uraraka to grab my bag, trying to keep her from seeing my face. I'd seen it flame up right before I'd moved away from the mirror. There is  no way  I was going to let her see me blush. There is no way that I was going to let her find out that I  ever  thought this. I'm not cute. I'm a motherfucking death machine —  not cute !

 

"I-Izumi?" 

 

"I'm fine! Fuck, just stop asking!"

 

"A-alright..."

 

"Shit, fuck. Look, I'm not good at this whole fucking friends thing. Sorry. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings."

 

Uraraka suddenly smiled, "I think you're amazing at the whole 'friends' thing."

 

"Huh?"

 

"If you were bad at it, then you wouldn't have noticed I was upset."

 

"Oh..."

 

"Now come one, Momo and Jirou are waiting!"

 

Uraraka held out her hand to me and I carefully took it. One step at a time. Handholding was pretty simple. I could deal with that. I wanted to get over this whole physical contact thing so I was going to have to take it slow and keep it to people I'm comfortable with — like Uraraka and Kirishima.

 

Wait, fuck. 

 

Didn't they say that wanting to hold hands with someone is a sign of romantic feelings? I didn't have feelings for Uraraka, did I? I ripped my hand away from hers suddenly just after she opened the door. She gave me a confused glance and I quickly turned away. I don't understand what the fuck is going on.

 

"Sorry, I shouldn't have offered to take your hand. Too soon?"

 

"Shit. Uh, fuck, no. It's complicated. I don't know... Shit. Okay. Fuck, I have no idea what to say."

 

Uraraka turned to face me with a frown, "Is something wrong? You can talk to me?"

 

I feel kind of embarrassed talking about this. Shit. Uraraka says that she gets awkward and nervous around Deku. FUCK! Is this romantic nervous or I'm feeling awkward and don't know how to do this nervous? I don't understand fucking crushes or love or all that other bullshit. What the fuck?

 

"Um, I think something's wrong with Izumi!" Uraraka calmly called into the suite. 

 

Momo and Jirou had soon arrived to find me pacing back and forth as I pulled at my hair. God, this is so embarrassing. I turned to Momo as the anxiety in my chest grew. Shit. I was nervous around Momo too? Oh god, I just looked at Jirou and it made it worse.

 

"Izumi, girl, you need to chill for a sec. Tell us what's wrong?"

 

"Well, at the sleepover you all said that when you're around someone that crushing on romantically that it makes you feel nervous — not that I feel nervous or anything — but hypothetically speaking how does romantic nervousness differ from normal every-day average nervousness? Not that I'm feeling nervous in any way shape or form, hah. I'm just asking and all because I didn't really understand the explanation the first time — I'm just a bit curious for the future is all — not that I'm planning on liking anyone romantically because the whole thing is kinda stupid but—"

 

"—Izumi, chill!" Jirou cut me off.

 

"You're talking so fast we can barely hear you," Momo giggled.

 

"Well," I looked down in embarrassment. "You all told me that when you romantically like someone, you feel embarrassed or nervous when you're around them. I feel like that when I'm with all of you sometimes and I don't know why. I'm just... really anxious. I care what you guys think of me. I want you all.. to like me. Does that mean I'm in love with the girls in our class?"

 

Momo, Jirou and Uraraka immediately burst out laughing and I flinched back. Were they making fun of me now? I wanted to melt into a puddle and die right here, right now. Kill me, please. Gods, take pity on me, I  beg  of you.

 

"Izumi, that's platonic love," Uraraka told me.

 

"Platonic?" 

 

"Yeah," Momo nodded. "Platonic love is when you care about your friends. You don't want to kiss them or have any... sexual... desires with them. Being in platonic love with someone is when you'd do anything to help them and protect them, but you only see them as a friend — not a lover."

 

"I, um, yeah. Okay. I feel really stupid now."

 

Jirou shook her head, "Don't put yourself down. Not to bring down the mood but you went through a lot as a kid. You probably haven't experienced any type of love in a long time — platonic, romantic, or familial. You're still learning."

 

"What's familial love?" I asked as we exited our hotel room.

 

"Familial love is seeing someone as family. It's loving someone as a parent as a sibling — whether they're blood-related to you or not. It's kind of like platonic love, but a lot stronger and for life. It's wanting to watch someone grow up and wanting to take care of an older family member when they can't care for themselves anymore. It's asking for advice and help, and even comfort. It's also someone to scold you when you do something wrong. They teach you manners and how to survive in the world. When you struggle, they'll sacrifice almost anything to get you back on your feet," Uraraka quietly explained.

 

There was a ding as we stepped out of the elevator and Momo led us from the building. I couldn't help but think about everything that had just been explained. So if I liked Momo, Uraraka, Jirou and the other girls platonically... Kirishima must be platonic too, right? Yeah.

 

Did I love anyone in a familial way? I barely remember what it feels like. They help you when you're struggling, and support you. They would sacrifice almost anything to help you. They probably give warm hugs too, like my mom used to. They cuddle on the couch as my mom does with my half-brother.

 

I didn't have anyone like that. Aizawa had been somewhat similar at some point, but I hadn't seen him since the court case. I hadn't even talked to him. Did he abandon me? He used to count down the days until he could get rid of me. Was he faking that he liked me? Was he glad that I was gone? I... I wasn't... I liked being around him now.

 

"Izumi, are you sure you're alright? You've been zoned out since we got to the island," Uraraka broke me from my thoughts.

 

I nodded with a weak smile, "Sorry. I'm still trying to make sense of everything."

 

She looked a bit unsure before slowly nodding, "Okay."

 

The science inventions were cool and all, I guess — and we were allowed to use our quirks as much as we wanted too so that was pretty cool. It's not like I needed to use it or anything but it was the first time I'd ever had full freedom of my quirk when the League of Villains weren't involved. Fucking finally. 

 

Someone bumped into my shoulder back and I flinched away from the contact. I had been so lost in my thoughts, that I hadn't noticed how crowded the streets were. There were so many people here! And some of them were looking at me — pointing at me. They were talking about me too.

 

"She's that horrible villain's kid, right?"

 

"I can't believe UA knowingly let her into their school! They're idiots."

 

"She probably helped them kidnap the boy."

 

"I bet she's still working with the League of Villains."

 

"She doesn't deserve to wear a hero costume."

 

"I heard she tried to kill herself and jumped off the roof at UA."

 

Why am I shaking? Why does it hurt to breathe? I can hear everything they're saying about me. Do they think I'm deaf? They know I'm standing right here. My movements slow and I find myself frozen in the centre of it all. Almost everyone is looking at me — I'm the centre of attention and I've never wanted to disappear more than I want to right now.

 

Their words are echoing through my mind like a hurricane. Their opinions are leaking in through cracks in the walls I've built to fend them off. I have to keep my composure. Who cares what other people think of me? 

 

"The world would probably be better off if she hadn't saved herself."

 

And just like that, the dam crumbled. My legs couldn't hold up my weight anymore so I ducked down to the ground. I tightly wrapped my arms over my head as if it would keep them all from looking at me. Why can't I just disappear? 

 

It hurts to breathe. Every breath is trembling as I pull the air in and out. I'm hyperventilating. My hearing is hyperaware, and the comments only get darker and crueller. I can't do this. I want to go home. I want to get back on the fucking plane and leave this island.

 

"Look at her, trying to play the victim."

 

"You should all be ashamed of yourselves!" a female voice snapped above the mumbles and whispers. "None of you have any idea who she is, or what she's gone through, so what gives you the right to judge her, huh?"

 

"That's right. Izumi's father was a horrible man — no one can deny that — but Izumi is  not  her father," a second girl joined in.

 

Then a third, "We've known Izumi for months now. We've seen her change and grow. Maybe you all refuse to believe it, but keep those opinions to herself. I know that one day, you will all recognize her as a hero."

 

"If you're going to spend your time verbally attacking an abuse victim into a panic attack, then none of you deserve the title of hero!"

 

There was a stunned silence as the crowd and their whispers came to a halt. I could hear footsteps and shuffling, as someone came to sit on the ground beside me. Biting my lip, I allowed my right eye to open just a tiny bit.

 

Uraraka smiled gently, "It's okay. All of the mean people are gone now."

 

"We noticed you weren't behind us suddenly so we backtracked," Momo explained. "I'm sorry we didn't notice what they were whispering about you earlier."

 

"They didn't have any right to treat you like that," Jirou agreed. 

 

I reached out and tightly grabbed Uraraka's hand. She responded by giving it a reassuring squeeze and helping me to my feet. Once I was up, her grip loosened and the girl went to pull away but I tightened my grasp.

 

"I won't let go," she promised.

 

And so we began moving through the streets again. Although a bit shook, I tried to pay more attention to the inventions and attractions as we walked around. After all, chances were I'd never get to come back here again. It was pretty cool to see all this stuff. I didn't regret coming... Well, I guess. I probably could have found something much cooler to pass the time but, uh, this would do. Sure. Yeah, definitely. It was average at best, heh... Ha...Okay. 

 

"Do you guys want to check out that museum?" Uraraka pointed at the building.

 

So we went inside. There were all kinds of incredible inventions inside. For example, there was a big jet that flew in the sky. But then, it could also be submerged completely underwater! Like a... um... like a bird and a fish! But both! At the same time!

 

And  there was a diving suit. It let people wearing it dive  thousands  of metres down. Someone could probably reach some of the depths of the ocean with that! How cool would that be, am I right? To see the very bottom of the ocean? What could be down there? What if there were new creatures we hadn't discovered yet!?

 

"You look excited," Jirou elbowed me.

 

"Am not!" I snapped at her and turned my head away. "Science stuff is stupid — and nerdy! I bet Midoriya's the only one that's into this kinda stuff—" I pointed at him since he conveniently happed to be on the other side of the room—"See?"

 

Wait. Hold the fuck up. Was that actually Midoriya? Oh, I guess it was. And he was with some blond girl. He was looking a bit red in the face, and the others immediately tensed up. Sharing knowing glances with each other, that I didn't fucking understand, they were soon right behind him.

 

"Looks like you're having fun, Deku," Uraraka mumbled out.

 

"Huh!? Uraraka? What are you doing here?" He whipped around with a slight crack in his voice.

 

"It looks like you're having fun."

 

"You said that," he replied nervously.

 

Momo cleared her throat to call his attention, "Yoayorozu?"

 

"You appear to be having a good time," she said curtly.

 

"Midoriya—" Jirou lifted her earphone jacks—"I heard everything."

 

"Jirou's earphone jack... the ultimate spy tech!"

 

I interrupted, "Okay. What the actual fuck is happening right now? It's started to get annoying! Fuck!"

 

"S-sorry, Izumi!" Freckles squeaked.

 

The blonde girl looked towards the boy in confusion, "Are these your friends?"

 

"Yeah, these are my classmates — and I didn't tell them I'd be here. Oh, guys, this is my friend, Melissa! She was just showing me around the expo a little bit."

 

"Nice to meet you. My dad and Uncle Might are really good—"

 

"—AHHHH!" Midoriya grabbed her arm and yanked her down to the ground. They exchanged a bunch of whispers before jumping back up to their feet. The fuck? Uncle Might? Was this chick related to All Might or some shit? I guess Midoriya came with him or something since there's the whole One For All thing. I guess no one other than me knew that though...

 

"How about we all grab some tea at the cafe?" Melissa suggested, and the others quickly agreed.

Chapter Text

AMAZING fan art of Izumi wearing her I-Expo dress created by Temple_Toopi3 from archiveofourown. Thank you so much for the continued support, all the fanart, and giving chapter ideas when I'm stuck. I'm so happy to have you on board :)

"Wow, you  really  got to work with pro heroes? Like, out in the field?" Melissa looked at Momo, Jirou and Uraraka in shock. 

 

The four girls were sitting at one of the tables talking about UA, their internships and a whole bunch of hero-related bullshit. Midoriya and I were sitting at the next table over. He'd moved after feeling lost in the girl talk, and I joined a few minutes later. 

 

"Just normal training and a few patrols," Uraraka laughed awkwardly.

 

"I helped out with a hostage crisis but only the evacuation part."

 

"That's still amazing, though."

 

"Somehow I ended up in a TV commercial for hair products."

 

"Sounds like an experience, lucky!"

 

Midoriya was still a bit out of it — he'd been acting weird since we'd gotten to the stupid cafe. Raising an eyebrow, I tapped my fingers on the table in front of him. He shot up in his chair as panicked eyes met mine, "Y-yes!?"

 

"Shh, not so loud," I muttered quietly. "You came here with All Might, right?"

 

"H-huh?"

 

"Oh, relax. My father told me all about One For All and that bullshit. I figured it out soon after I met you."

 

"O-oh..."

 

"All Might knows that I know, so it's not a big deal. Besides, I'm not a fucking idiot. I'm not going to tell anyone and rat you out."

 

"R-right," he nodded nervously.

 

Drinks were placed in front of us and I glanced up in surprise from the sudden clang against the table. It was purple at the very bottom and blue towards the top. A yellow lemon was floating above the ice with two little strands sticking up like All Might's hair, "Thanks for waiting!"

 

"I know that voice," Midoriya looked towards the waiter and I followed his gaze, "Kaminari!"

 

"Is that Mineta?" Uraraka echoed from behind.

 

"Hey, Izumi! It's good to see you. You're looking pretty cute—"

 

"—I AM NOT CUTE!"

 

Kaminari yelped as my fist connected with his face and Midoriya screeched from across the table. My breathing had picked up slightly as my gaze landed on Mineta — I was seeing fucking red and he was going to  fucking die .

 

"Hey," I snarled lowly in his direction. Mineta flinched. "This is for what you got me in that fucking gift basket! Little pervert!"

 

Mineta wept as he was sent flying across the patio. He clutched onto his cheek with a whimper and Kaminari stumbled back onto his feet. I glared at him and his legs let out from under him as he fell back to the floor.

 

Melissa chuckled nervously, "Is she always like this?"

 

"Am I always like  what !?!"

 

"Yeah," Uraraka stood up from her seat. "She tends to have random outbursts. When we were in our hotel room this morning, she suddenly yelled at the mirror that she wasn't cute so Kaminari just brought up a touchy subject."

 

"I'm not touchy!"

 

"R-right, yeah. Come on, Izumi, sit down. Just drink your drink," Uraraka lifted the glass and I snatched it from her with a slight hiss. She was back in her seat in seconds and I began drinking from the straw contently — this was good.

 

"What are you doing here?" Jirou asked the now-injured Kaminari and Mineta.

 

"They needed extra waitstaff and since it meant a free trip to the island, we applied to work," Kaminari's voice was muffled from the red swelling in his cheek.

 

"We get to explore the expo on our breaks and we make some money. Plus, there's a chance we'll have passionate encounters with some of the cute—" Mineta gasped suddenly as he looked at Melissa—"Oh my god I think I'm in love!

 

The two idiots had surrounded Midoriya in seconds, whispering about Melissa and demanding they be introduced. Growing a bit tired of their antics, and of Mineta's existence, I stood from my chair and grabbed my drink before walking up behind them.

 

Tilting it upside down, the three boys squeaked as the cold drink soaked them and the ice went down their backs. I slammed the glass back down on the table as all three flinched before dragging a seat over to sit with the girls.

 

"Izumi, you can't—"

 

I cut Uraraka off, "—I didn't appreciate what they were saying."

 

Momo said, "But you still can't—"

 

" I didn't appreciate what they were saying. "

 

"Are they also your classmates?" Melissa whispered to Momo.

 

Kaminari sprinted over, "That's right."

 

"We're basically pros," Mineta soon joined.

 

"Why are you two slacking off!? You wanted to make more money, didn't you!? But you're not willing to work hard!?"

 

The two boys yelped as they turned to run away, but Iida was able to catch up without an issue as Dumb and Dumber were knocked onto the ground. He rushed in between our two tables and skidded to a stop shortly after.

 

"Iida!?" Midoriya questioned.

 

Uraraka was also confused, "You're here too?"

 

"I come from a long line of heroes — It's to be expected that we received an invitation to the expo. But my family was busy so it's just me."

 

"I wondered if you'd be here," Momo announced. "I received an invitation because my father is a shareholder in some of the expo's sponsor companies. It's so fun to get to go to the preview!"

 

"Yeah, and she had a few extra plus ones so we basically gambled for them. So, after an impartial game of chance, the three of us—" she used Uraraka's shoulder as an armrest and gestured towards me—"ended up joining the fun as her guests."

 

"The other girls are here, they just can't visit the preview," Uraraka explained.

 

"Oh, are they really?" Midoriya asked.

 

"Uhuh. We're all planning to look around together once the expo opens up to the public tomorrow," Momo explained.

 

"Here's a thought; why don't I show you girls the sights?"

 

"You're sure you have time!?" Uraraka squealed as the others started getting excited.

 

I wasn't excited to see all the science stuff — no way. It was all just dumb and... nerdy. Yeah. Only people like Midoriya liked this sort of thing. Not me. Who cares about all these... inventions... Yeah. Not me. Hah. Take that, I-Expo.

 

"That's awesome!" Momo, Uraraka and Jirou called excitedly.

 

"Please take us with you?" Kaminari and Mineta begged.

 

There was a sudden bang from a small ways away. Glancing over, smoke was rising from the sky. Midoriya had broken into a run and the rest of us quickly followed. I had to admit — this time I was curious. But only this time.

 

There was some sort of set up with screens. Water was around the edges and some sort of miniature mountain stuck up in the middle. Smoke was covering the field, and currently blocking the camera's view. What the fuck?

 

"A clearance time of 33 seconds! He's in 8th place!"

 

The smoke cleared and something in me froze as I stared at the camera. He was here too? At the preview!? In his hero costume, too. What do I say!? I haven't seen him since... since he tried to rescue me.

 

"K-Kirishima?" Midoriya stuttered from beside me.

 

"So I'm guessing he's from UA as well?" Melissa asked.

 

"Yeah, he's in the same class as us."

 

"Please welcome our next challenger!"

 

"Kaachan!?" Midoriya squeaked.

 

The course was reset or whatever and Bakugou charged forward with explosions as he destroyed a bunch of little robots scattered throughout the terrain, "DIE!"

 

"Look at that time, only 15 seconds! 1st place!"

 

Noticing Kirishima starting to look in our direction, I panicked. Jumping away from the guard rails, I placed my hands on Uraraka's shoulders and hid behind her. Ah, why did this feel so awkward? Was it because I was embarrassed about him finding out who my father was? Or that I carried that fucking dragon he got me everywhere like a 5-year-old? Or that I felt bad that he thought I was ignoring him when I lost my phone? Texting was so much easier than talking in person!

 

"Uh, I-Izumi—"

 

"—He'll hear you!" I whisper-yelled into her ear.

 

 "Damn it! What are you doing here, Deku!?"

 

"Uh, hey there, Kaachan! Maybe calm down a little—"

 

"—Don't you dare tell me what to do!"

 

"Bakugou, behave yourself!" Iida moved between the two.

 

The three of them continued to yell back and forth between one another as Melissa quietly asked the girls, "Why is that boy so angry?"

 

"That's just who he is," Jirou replied.

 

"He and Deku are fated rivals!" Uraraka clenched a fist. "Izumi—"

 

"—I said he'll hear you!"

 

"So, Kirishima, you two got asked to I-Expo as well?" Momo called down. He was still in the game area below so If I stayed away from the edge then he wouldn't see me. Right?  Right !?

 

"Nah! Bakugou was invited since he won the UA sports festival — I just tagged along with him. You guys gonna do this villain course or what?"

 

Then after Bakugou yelled at Midoriya a bit more, Freckles ended up running down to enter the course — and Kirishima came up here. Fuck! I quickly moved to the other side of Uraraka and ducked down. She stared at me in utter confusion, but I rapidly shook my head and she looked away.

 

"Hey, guys, what's up?" Kirishima called out, his voice a  lot  closer than before. Oh my god, what the fuck am I supposed to say if he sees me? Hey, so it's been a while. Sorry about the whole dad thing. Hey, I missed you—Wait. Fuck, no! I didn't miss any of my friends — definitely not! God, why the fuck did he have to try and save Bakugou and me? It's making me feel so awkward! Damn it!

 

"Izumi? No way! Hey, dude, I missed you! How are you feeling?"

 

"I didn't miss you!" I snapped at him, causing the redhead to flinch back suddenly at my tone. He looked very confused. FUCKING, COME ON! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!? Fuck my fucking life. Just... fuck me. Fuck. 

 

"Why are you on the ground?"

 

He reached out a hand to me and I jerked back with a sudden flash of memory. Why did I just think that? I... What? No... He's not like that. I know he's not. So why did I just remember the one time when Kirishima reminded me of my father? I deserved him snapping at me that day — I was being horrible to everyone and no one can deny that. So... why?

 

Why can't I let anyone get close to me? Why is it that I can only be physically close with Uraraka. Contact with anyone else makes me tense up, freeze and break down. I don't understand. I thought Kirishima would be fine... After all, he and I were friends like Uraraka and me.

 

"Sorry," he scratched his head. "I forgot about the physical contact thing. That was careless of me. Sorry if I spooked you."

 

"I-it's fine," I reached up to grab Uraraka's hand and she helped me to my feet with a gentle smile. What was the difference between Uraraka and the others? I felt comfortable with basic physical contact as long as it was with her — handholding, poking, just being physically close. Why couldn't I be like that with other people too? What was the difference?

 

"An incredible run! He's in second place at 16 seconds!"

 

Uraraka released my hand and she and Iida ran to congratulate Midoriya and I nervously wrapped my arms around myself. Why do I feel so... vulnerable... all of a sudden — so lonely. I don't like this feeling. I don't like it at all.

 

"This is insane! 14 seconds! This gentleman has jumped to the top of the pack!"

 

"Todoroki's here too?" Midoriya ran up to the guardrails.

 

Melissa turned to look at him, "Another one from UA?"

 

"Yep," Momo nodded. 

 

"Your class is amazing! You're going to be such great heroes."

 

"Out of the way, fucking IcyHot bastard!"

 

Bakugou used his explosions to propel him into the arena as he screeched profanities at Todoroki, scaring the poor announcer girl. Iida had darted down to try and break up the fight, and Midoriya and Kirishima leaped over to guardrails. 

 

Melissa only laughed as we watched Kirishima grab Bakugou and try to calm him down while the others awkwardly tried to 'make nice' between them. The announcer's mic was picking up on Bakugou's voice, causing his yelling to be blasted all across the speakers. Fucking idiots.

 

When they'd finally figured out all of that bullshit, our class and Melissa gathered together briefly to figure out what everyone was doing. Most of the group was going to meet up before going to the party later tonight, although Kirishima was unsure if he could convince Bakugou so he'd said he  might  meet the rest of us there.

 

Uraraka had been talking with Iida and Midoriya most of the time now, whilst Melissa tended to stick with Momo and Jirou. Todoroki wasn't really one for conversations and left soon after, whilst Kirishima and Bakugou were in another conversation off to the side. Then within another few minutes, they called their goodbyes and headed off on their own.

 

I didn't really know Midoriya and Iida extremely well — other than the awkward knowing about One For All thing. Other than that, I almost never talked to them. I didn't really feel comfortable jumping in that conversation — even if I felt a lot safer when I was around Uraraka right now.

 

They were just a bunch of big crowds looking at dumb inventions. I could handle both things easily. Who cares about a bunch of people, right? Or a bunch of dumb inventions? Yeah, I was fine on my own! So for the rest of the day, our group went to see different parts of the expo and I trailed along behind them in silence.

 

They were all pretty distracted talking to one another and looking at the inventions so none of them noticed — which was a good thing. I didn't want any of them to see me when I was weak. I hated it when I showed others my vulnerable side. Father said—... Fuck. I can't think about what my father said anymore. Father was lying to me. He lied to me for so long that I've forgotten the truth.

 

When the Expo preview had announced it would be closing soon, we all walked back over to the cafe where Mineta and Kaminari were working. Apparently, Melissa had decided to give them both invitations to the party. Just great, now those idiots were going to see me in a dress. Can I just not go? 

 

Around Momo, Jirou and Uraraka it wasn't as bad, but in front of all the guys? No fucking way! I don't want any of them to see me. It's so embarrassing! Our groups all separated and the girls went back to the hotel room — and I locked myself in the bathroom. 

 

"Izumi, come on!" Uraraka knocked on the door. "You have to get ready."

 

"No," I sat down on the floor to lean against the door.

 

"Izumi—"

 

"—No!"

 

There was shuffling outside and Uraraka seemed to have left the room. I could hear conversations from the hall before the door opened again and someone knocked on the door, "Jirou's doing the same thing in our room, so I'm going to tell you the same thing I told her. Just get ready for the party, okay? Once you're ready if you're still not wanting to go then that's okay. But if you don't get ready and decide you want to go, then you won't be able to."

 

I opened the door with a pout to reveal Momo. She held my dress in her arms with a knowing smile. I quickly took it from her with a little growl and slammed the bathroom door shut. God, why the fuck did I agree to this shit? Fuck my life. 

 

I removed my belt and placed it onto the counter. My boots were thrown to the side, and I unzipped the bodysuit before yanking it down. Staring at my self in the mirror, I reached up to fix my bra straps since they were slipping off my shoulders a bit. I tightened them before looking down at the dress uncomfortably. 

 

Here goes fucking nothing.

 

I grabbed the top and stepped inside before pulling it up as if I were putting on a skirt. Slipping my arms through the sleeves, I muttered a few colourful words under my breath. It was a bit difficult to get the zipper done up, but there was  no way  that I was asking for help.

 

The dress was just slightly darker than salmon pink, with a row of ruffles at the neck. It was strapless, meaning my chest had to hold it up. There was a multicoloured bow at the front — a mix of green and that same pink. Then there was another thing of ruffles at towards the bottom on the left side. Finally, I woke high green socks and pink flats.

 

I carefully brushed my hair with a bit of water to kill the static that had built up while we were exploring today. It was a bit difficult to brush because of the length, but I made it work just fine. Glancing at myself in the mirror, I cringed upon seeing the bruises and scars. I shouldn't even bother — there's no way Momo can just get rid of them all as she said.

 

"Izumi," Momo knocked on the door. "Can I come in?"

 

"Yeah..."

 

She entered with a pouch of some sort and patted the counter. She wanted me to sit on it, I guess. I lifted myself up and glanced away as the other girl pulled some weird stick from the pouch. Muttering an apology for the contact, she slowly and carefully began to tap over my bruises with the weird stick thing — and they were disappearing.

 

Was this fucking magic?

 

It took a little while for her to cover them all, and then she threw the thing back in her bag and pulled out another stick — a pink one. She had me sit on the closed toilet seat this time as she leaned in and the weird substance was gently dragged across my lips. 

 

Then, after some coaxing, Momo began fiddling with my hair. I hissed at her a few times when she pulled it, but Momo kept working until all my hair was up on top of my head — other than my bangs which were still falling over the left side of my face.

 

"You look really pretty, Izumi," Momo promised. "You should look at yourself in the mirror."