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All For One's guide to a peaceful retirement

Chapter Text

Izuku Midoriya is perfect.

All for One counts his fingers again, just to be sure. He isn’t sure what he did to deserve this (short answer: he doesn’t deserve it), but he’s a selfish, greedy man, and he soaks in every detail of his son. If All Might drags him to Tartarus tomorrow, it will be bearable, because he’ll be able to spend his eternity in a cell reliving the best moment of his life.

“Hisashi, you can hand him back,” his wife huffs, and All for One glances over to find her watching him with a faint smile on her face. That’s good; it means he can hold Izuku a little longer. Which is fantastic, because…

“He blinked!” All for One, greatest villain to have ever lived, informs his wife with awe.

“Yes, Hisashi, babies tend to do that,” Inko answers with a sigh.

All for One doesn’t pay her any mind; she’s obviously still tired. And overemotional. She was in labour for hours, after all, and needs to rest. So, as the wonderful, caring husband he is, he’ll just hold Izuku a little longer.

Perhaps Izuku’s Quirk has already manifested? It’s certainly possible, considering some people are born with their Quirks, although All for One isn’t entirely sure how a perfection Quirk would work. Perhaps Izuku’s Quirk is more along the lines of inspiring love in anyone who sees him? If so, it would most likely be one of those freak mutations that are so fascinating. (All for One is fairly certain he never took any sort of love-inspiring Quirk; and besides, he does not think Izuku would be able to inherit any of the Quirks he wasn’t born with.) Whether the Quirk is environmental, with a limited radius, or perhaps optical, would have to be determined…

“Hisashi!”

Something thumps into his shoulder and he looks up with a frown, though Inko appears distinctly unimpressed. She simply huffs as she folds her arms.

(Was he muttering? He hopes he wasn’t muttering; he’s trained himself to suppress the habit, but he’s exhausted. He always knows he might slip up, and he’s not quite sure what he’d do then. He can wipe Inko’s memory of course, but it seems so… dishonest. He does not want to lie to his wife.)

“Your phone’s ringing,” Inko informs him, and sure enough, she’s right. Huh – he could have sworn he turned it off.

“I’ll get it later,” All for One shrugs, because it can’t possibly be more important than this. After all, he’s holding his son. Who has freckles. All Might can attack his main base of operations for all he cares; there is nothing more important than this.

“Hisashi Midoriya,” Inko growls, and All for One stiffens, because he knows that tone. (He fears that tone.) “Give me back my son and answer your goddamn phone!

All for One is the modern boogie man; whilst the public might not know about him, every law agency in the world whispers his name in fear. There is no one else that can send a shiver down All Might’s spine. But centuries of battles, of planning, of scheming have honed his instincts until they are razor sharp.

He hands Izuku over and legs it from the delivery room.

Apparently, doctor Ujiko does not understand the sentence ‘Do not call me’, All for One reflects as he sees the five missed calls. He’s almost tempted to ignore them, but there’s always that faint possibility that the authorities have noticed something strange about Hisashi Midoriya. So he bites back a sigh and hits the call button.

(He swears, if All Might is responsible for this, he will level New York.)

“Yes, doctor?” he prompts when his call is answered, though his thoughts are already occupied with more important matters.

Will Izuku like the toy rabbit he picked out for him?

 

All for One never really planned to have children.

He considered it for a time, much the same way he considered killing the prime minister, but eventually rejected the idea. He has no intention of dying, after all, and so has no need for a successor. A child would require far too much attention, effort and time for an uncertain payoff.

Inko had been… unexpected. He had chosen to take a step back when All Might returned to Japan. With enough time, the latest holder of One for All will undoubtedly lower his guard. But that could mean several years, or several decades, and dating seemed a decent enough way to pass some of that time.

He had never intended to fall in love with Inko, but would always be glad he did. Having a home to return to is a strange, heady feeling. The apartment might be small, but Inko could turn even a tent into a warm, welcoming home. And so, he made sure to construct the perfect fantasy for his wife; the hardworking office drone, who may sometimes have to stay late, but never forgets their anniversary. Who sometimes brings home a bouquet of flowers just because, and takes her out to dinner, and sometimes calls her from work just to hear her voice.

He almost had a panic attack when he returned from a ‘business trip’ and Inko presented him with two positive pregnancy tests.

A baby was (and still is) a risk, especially a baby that might one day possess the ability to steal Quirks. He might not be proud of it, but he considered inducing a miscarriage. But Inko was so happy to share the news and begin preparing for the new arrival. Her joy at becoming a mother far outshone her happiness at being married, and he could not do it. He could not take something so precious away from her, because even if he wiped her memory, even if she never remembered it, he would.

And now, as he watches Izuku sleep, All for One is so achingly grateful for those last few morals. Because Izuku is unpredictable, and a risk, and exhausting, and All for One has never been happier. He will always carry the guilt over what he considered doing deep in his soul.

And he will always protect Izuku.

Chapter Text

Kurogiri hesitates in front of the door.

It’s taken him months to get this far; months of chasing rumours and petty crime to pay off the next information broker. Months of staying alert, always ready to warp away. He’s lost count of the close calls, of the meals he’s had to miss, of the sleepless nights. But he’s always trusted his instincts, and they have yet to steer him wrong.

His instincts are currently screaming at him to leave and put as much distance between himself and the door as possible.

But he’s tired. He’s leapt through so many hoops just to get this far, and all to sell his soul to the devil. Because as ruthless and terrifying as this All For One might be, he’s Kurogiri’s best chance at safety.

(Although he can’t help but wonder why someone as powerful as All For One wants to meet him in an abandoned school.)

He stamps down on his fear and doubts, mouths a silent prayer to whatever deity might be listening, and opens the door.

The room is empty.

As Kurogiri steps inside and looks around, he can feel the panic building. The room isn’t anything special; it’s barely more than a glorified utility closet, with a few dusty shelves and a rusty bucket. There is no room for a secret passage, no hidden camera, not a single sign of life except one lone dead spider. Nothing to suggest that the feared All For One even knows this place exists.

Kurogiri breaks.

He collapses to his knees and sobs. He’s spent so long, already faced so many failures, and now not even his Quirk – all he has left – is enough. Rumours travel in the underworld, especially about useful Quirks, and All For One will surely have heard of Warp Gate. If he has not contacted Kurogiri – if he has heard Kurogiri is searching for him, and has not shown up – then Kurogiri will never find him.

He doesn’t know when the tears dry up, but finally he has nothing left; no tears, no emotions, just emptiness. He has no idea what he’ll do now, and he honestly doesn’t have the energy to care. But instinct forces him up, because if All For One isn’t here then he’s a sitting duck, and any of the dozen or so organizations ready to kill for Warp Gate could already be on the way up the stairs. He turns, planning to barricade the door as best he can so he can warp away, and sees it.

It’s nothing more than a small, pink purse, sitting innocuously on a shelf next to the door, but Kurogiri is positive it wasn’t there before. His hands tremble when he picks it up, but nothing happens, and he slowly unzips it.

He almost drops it, because tucked inside is more money than he can recall ever seeing in his life. But there’s a note, too, and Kurogiri is no fool – he immediately pulls it out and unfolds it.

Buy the items on this list. Warp to these coordinates and leave the items on the big rock.

You will be watched.

Kurogiri can do that. The coordinates are familiar enough; he regularly sleeps out in the countryside. And knowing such a powerful figure is testing him is strangely reassuring.

As he warps away, though, he can’t help but ponder over the shopping list.

Why would a supervillain supposedly feared even by All Might want four packs of baby diapers?

 

It takes another month before Kurogiri meets All For One, and another three before the villain seems to have reached a final decision.

Kurogiri understands the need for him to prove himself, and in a way, it just makes the moment sweeter. Because he’s leapt through every hoop and obeyed every command without question. All For One shouldn’t be able to find fault with him.

He does still feel fear as he kneels before the man, head bowed, of course; he’d be a fool not to.

“…Should you ever betray me…” All For One purrs and allows the threat to just hang there. Kurogiri might not know the consequences, but he shudders; he can practically feel the malice.

A phone rings.

Kurogiri almost warps himself away out of sheer terror; he presses his head lower, apologies at the tip of his tongue. Then he realizes he never brings his phone when he’s meeting All For One.

“He’s what?” All For One exclaims, and Kurogiri can’t help himself; he glances up at the man and almost has a heart attack when he meets his eyes.

All For One hangs up and promptly shoves his phone in front of Kurogiri’s face, a familiar location displayed on the GPS app.

“Take me there. Now.”

Kurogiri is no fool; he obeys.

The area is nice and quiet, if unassuming, with small, perfectly pleasant houses. Kurogiri remembers visiting it a few times (again, why did All For One require him to fetch five boxes of tissues and a box of chocolates at 23.47?).

He isn’t sure what he should do, and All For One has already vanished into one of the homes, so he slowly follows, not wanting to have to explain his presence to some nosy housewife or homebound office worker. As he knocks on the door, he almost expects to see a re-enactment of Harry Potter (specifically, Voldemort’s ‘visit’ to the Potters’). But the woman that answers looks nice, and not at all afraid (and very much not dead), and Kurogiri has the wrong house, doesn’t he? He has to, there’s no other possible explanation.

“Are you alright?” the woman asks, wide eyed, as he starts to hyperventilate, and Kurogiri manages a slightly hysterical laugh.

Kurogiri doesn’t register when she bustles him inside, doesn’t notice when she sits him down on the sofa. He isn’t sure how long he stays there, numb to the world. Finally he calms down enough to realize he’s holding a (lukewarm) cup of tea.

Once again, his curiosity gets the better of him, and so he glances around the room. It looks so… domestic. There are family photos on the walls, and baby toys scattered over the floor. Even All For One doesn’t look out of place, standing beside the woman…

…holding a baby…

…Kurogiri is going to die, isn’t he.

Chapter Text

All For One has lived for decades. He has gone by countless names and faced down more threats than he cares to count. There have been the expected showdowns with One For All wielders and other heroes, but every few decades he is also forced to smack down some criminal upstart. Although most of the time the confrontations are laughable, there have been more close calls than he would like to admit.

But he has never felt dread like this before, reaching in and curling its icy tendrils around his heart. And it’s so odd that it should be here, in a pleasant, sunny room, sitting next to his wife. The doctor opposite them continues to drone on about treatment plans and likely prognosis, but All For One can’t seem to focus on his words, as a single sentence keeps ringing in his ears.

He makes sure to appear calm, because Inko is already clutching a box of tissues, tears rolling down her face, and it brakes his heart just a little more. But everything will be alright, he comforts himself, because there is a Quirk out there that can make this better; there has to be.

He can’t let Inko die.

 

 

“Hisashi?”

“Hmm…” All For One hums, focused on his tablet. He doesn’t think any of these Quirks would work, as they wouldn’t be able to distinguish between healthy and cancerous cells, but Japan is small…

“Hisashi!”

He’s locked his tablet and snapped to attention before his name has registered; and how All Might would laugh if he could see him now, the picture of a well-trained husband…

He guesses from the slight twitch of Inko’s lips that she guessed some of his thoughts. Or perhaps he started muttering; he can’t remember when he last slept through the night. He can’t remember the last time he did many things, he realizes guiltily as he hears Izuku’s laughter from the living room.

“Hisashi,” Inko repeats, breaking him out of his musings. “We need to talk.”

“About what?” he asks, trying to recall if he’s done anything that might have upset her. He’s been keeping up with the house chores, although he did wipe out that yakuza group last week, but if Kurogiri kept his mouth shut…

Inko doesn’t answer immediately, and that is enough to make him worry. Are her symptoms acting up? Is caring for Izuku too tiring in her present state? Perhaps he should have been more insistent about hiring a nanny…

“If I die…” she finally starts, and All For One’s brain screeches to a halt.

“You’re not going to die,” he blurts out, because she can’t. He won’t allow it. He’ll find a way – he has to – he…

“I don’t want to,” Inko interrupts his thoughts, and it pains him to see her wiping at her eyes. “But… Hisashi, you heard the doctor…”

“Yes, but…”

“Hisashi!”

All For One snaps his mouth shut. He’s no fool, and that tone strikes more fear into his heart than any holder of One For All ever could. Inko’s eyes are still glistening, but there is a determined set to her shoulders, and All For One knows that expression. Whatever it is she wants, he won’t be able to fight it.

Thank god she’s not a hero.

“If I die…” Inko repeats, and All For One has to press his lips together so as not to protest. “I need to know Izuku will be alright, and – and happy. And he’ll need his father. So… So I want you to promise me you’ll… retire.”

“What?”

“I want you to stop… whatever the hell it is you do,” Inko groans. “I don’t know what it is, but I know it’s…” she waves her hands, lost for words. “And I know it’s only a matter of time before some hero comes along and gets lucky, or you make a mistake…”

Inko takes a deep breath. “And I’m sorry, but I can’t risk that happening when Izuku would be caught in the crossfire. So I’m giving you a choice; either find some way to leave, or so help me, I’ll take Izuku and… And I’ll do everything to ensure you never see me again.”

She’s crying openly now, and he’s fairly sure he has tears in his own eyes, but…

But she’s right, isn’t she?

If she’s gone, and All Might gets lucky, then Izuku – dear, darling Izuku – would be all alone. And fifteen, twenty years isn’t all that long when you’re as powerful as he is. And if he waits, All Might could become careless…

And he doesn’t know what he’d do if he ever lost both Inko and Izuku at the same time. (Probably level Tokyo, however cliché it might sound.)

So he ignores his own tears and reaches out to pull Inko into as tight a hug as he dares.

“I’ll try,” he chokes out as he feels Inko’s own tears start soaking his shirt. “I don’t… Don’t know if I’ll succeed, but… But I’ll try. For you and Izuku…”

Inko laughs; it’s wet, and broken, but he’ll take what he can get. “You’re such a softie…”

“I guess I am…” All For One murmurs in response.

 

 

It takes him several months, countless bodies and a ‘natural’ disaster in Russia, but finally Midoriya Hisashi is ready to take the place of All For One.

And so, he steps through Kurogiri’s warp gate late one night, the faint smell of smoke still clinging to his clothing, and smiles at Inko, who is sitting propped up in her hospice bed.

“It’s done,” he informs her as he sits down by her bedside and takes her hand in his. “All For One is… retired.”

Inko giggles, and he feels a smile tug at his lips. At some point (don’t think about it, don’t remember that day, never remember that day), he told her. Because she had a point when she said no one would question a dying woman, however much he hates that thought, and if anyone deserves to know, it’s her. (And if he happens to gloss over the exact number of his victims, well, she’s not a mind reader.)

“Hisashi,” Inko whispers. They don’t need to look over at Kurogiri to know he is very pointedly not listening and completely engrossed in one of Inko’s craft magazines.

“Yes, my love,” All For One murmurs and presses his lips to her hand, and Inko giggles again. Then, though, she grows serious again.

“Hisashi, I want you to take my Quirk.”

And just like that, he doesn’t know what to say. Admittedly, that is part of what he loves about Inko, but it can get rather tiring.

“I’ve been reading up on Quirk genetics,” Inko admits. “And you’re a first-generation Quirk user, so there’s every possibility Izuku could be Quirkless. But you can easily pass off my Quirk as his, so…”

All For One blinks back his own tears as Inko dabs at her own eyes.

“What should I do if he has a Quirk?”

“I’d still like you to give it to him,” she admits and smiles. “I know I won’t be there as he’s growing up, but if he has my Quirk… He’ll always have some part of me with him.”

It makes sense; it makes so much sense that he doesn’t know why he didn’t think of it himself. (He knows it’s because it would mean accepting the inevitable, and he just can’t…)

So, with Inko’s firm gaze on him, he takes it. It’s like her; small, unassuming, but so warm, so full of hidden strength. He can’t help his tears as he tucks it away, promising himself he will wait until Izuku can appreciate it before he hands it over. (He won’t admit it, but right now he needs this, to keep some part of her close.)

“Now, I think you should get back to Izuku,” Inko tells him as she dabs at her eyes. “Remember what happened the last time you let Gigantomachia babysit overnight?”

Chapter Text

Gigantomachia can barely sit still.

It’s been months (seven months, two weeks and five days) since Lord’s last visit, and now he’s coming to see him! And what’s more, he’s bringing someone with him, someone important enough Lord purchased him brand new clothes, so he will look good! (It feels strange to be wearing anything other than his cloak after so long, but he will do anything Lord asks of him!)

When Lord finally appears, Gigantomachia almost cries out of pure happiness. But he is puzzled; Lord is dressed strangely, and is accompanied by the other person, who stops when Gigantomachia snaps to attention.

“Gigantomachia,” Lord greets him. Then he turns to his friend, and Gigantomachia realises he looks so strange, because he’s wearing an oddly shaped backpack on his front. That’s unacceptable! Why would Lord’s companion expect him to carry anything?! Gigantomachia cannot tolerate such disrespect!...

“This is my wife, Inko.”

Lord has a wife. Lord has a wife and allowed Gigantomachia to meet her! And Gigantomachia thought badly of her!! He will have to beg for her forgiveness immediately!

“And this,” Lord announces, pride evident in his voice as he takes something out of his rucksack, “is Izuku.”

Lord has a son! There is no other explanation for the baby in his arms, with familiarly messy hair! The green tint and sparkling eyes are so similar to Lord’s wife’s, but Gigantomachia can already see the intelligence in the child, even as he starts chewing on his plush rabbit. And Gigantomachia can even make out a faint trace of freckles!

There are no words to describe the honour Lord has bestowed upon him, to have allowed him to meet his wife and son! (And Gigantomachia thought badly of Lord’s wife! Of course Lord would want to carry Izuku! Izuku is the most beautiful thing Gigantomachia has ever seen! If he was allowed, Gigantomachia would happily carry Izuku all around Japan!)

Gigantomachia bursts into tears.

 

 

It takes the better part of an hour before Gigantomachia has calmed down. Lord is busy entertaining little Izuku (because Lord is, of course, a wonderful father, just like he is wonderful in so many other ways), but Lord’s wife allows him to use her tissues (which only makes him cry harder). But finally, the tears dry up and Lord’s wife smiles at him as she settles on a log. Gigantomachia sits down on the ground next to her (because he knows full well the log could not possibly support his weight).

They watch Lord and his son, and Gigantomachia beams when Izuku waves at him. Then, however, he hears a suspicious sniffle next to him. He almost panics, until he looks down and sees Lord’s wife dabbing at her eyes as she waves back. (Of course she would be touched by the scene; it’s so beautiful even Gigantomachia is moved!)

“So, how long have you known Hisashi?”

Gigantomachia frowns, surprised. But then he notices the way Lord stiffens, and understands. Of course Lord has a name, and of course his wife is allowed to use it!

“I do not know!” he responds proudly, and Lord’s wife pauses, surprised. (He isn’t sure why; it is the truth, as he cannot remember a time before serving Lord.)

“Oh,” Lord’s wife frowns, and Gigantomachia almost panics, because he doesn’t want to have accidentally offended her. But then she smiles. “Well, you must think very highly of him.”

“Yes!” Gigantomachia booms, startling Izuku. Gigantomachia starts to apologise, but Lord does not look upset as he comforts his crying son. “Lord is a wonderful man! And I am honoured to serve him!” he whispers.

Lord’s wife laughs, and Gigantomachia sighs, relieved. Then however the smile turns sad.

“I want to ask you to do something for me, Gigantomachia,” she says in a quiet voice that has him leaning closer.

“Of course!” Gigantomachia nods, because he will do anything for Lord’s wife, so long as it does not go against Lord’s wishes.

“I… I want you to look after Hisashi,” Lord’s wife wipes at her eyes, but her face is determined. “He’ll need people. Good people who he can trust. And… He said you used to protect him. He’ll need you to do that again.”

“Yes!” Gigantomachia cheers, because of course he will protect Lord! And if he has to protect him, he’ll have to be near him at all times! This is wonderful news, and he does not know why Lord’s wife would cry over it. “I will protect him with my life!”

Lord’s wife gives a small, broken laugh. “That’s… Not the sort of protecting he’ll need,” she explains. “Just… Make sure he spends time with Izuku. Make sure he knows how much Izuku needs him.”

She takes a deep breath and stands. Lord has produced a couple bento boxes and is trying to keep them out of Izuku’s curious hands, and so she smiles and approaches her family. Gigantomachia remains where he is, struggling to understand what she was talking about.

 

 

Gigantomachia understands.

He almost hates Lord’s wife at times, when the sickness becomes too obvious to ignore anymore. He can see Lord crumbling every time he returns from the hospital and there is something so blatantly wrong about it. Lord is strong, and Lord is smart, and Lord should not cry.

But he cannot hate her, because when Lord looks at her, Gigantomachia can almost feel the strength of his feeling, and it’s a feeling he’s all too familiar with. Lord feels about his wife almost the same Gigantomachia feels about Lord.

So Gigantomachia does what he can, and what he’s been instructed to do: he protects Little Lord. (Lordling? Prince Lord? He isn’t yet sure of an appropriate title.) It isn’t a difficult task; Little Lord is wonderful, and intelligent, and Gigantomachia isn’t entirely sure if he loves Lord or Little Lord more. It takes some learning, of course, since Gigantomachia has no experience with children and does not want to accidentally break Little Lord, but with time (and some help from Mist Man), he manages to get the hang of things. Soon enough his room is covered in childish scribbles, and Little Lord’s vocabulary has expanded to include the word Machia.

Gigantomachia might not be smart, but he knows Lord is in pain. And it is his duty to protect Lord and, in his opinion, that also includes ensuring Lord does not break himself. So he makes sure to tell Lord every day, when he arrives home, that Little Lord refuses to go to sleep if his father will not tuck him in. It is a little white lie that does not harm anyone after all; when he is still awake, Little Lord is only too pleased at the attention. And if he is already asleep, Lord will still go in and kiss his son goodnight, and then just sit there, watching him.

(Gigantomachia will forever be grateful to Lord’s wife. Because even if she does die, at least she gave Lord a son. And Gigantomachia might be devoted to Lord, but even he shudders at the thought of what Lord might do without Izuku to keep him sane.)

Chapter Text

There is some terrible, bitter irony to this, All For One muses as he places a single flower in front of the grave.

He had agreed to Inko’s request that she be buried with her parents without hesitation. He would have levelled New York for her, and he never thought much about his own mortality (and it hurts that he doesn’t know where his brother is, but he can’t think about that or he’ll fall apart and Izuku is waiting back home).

It took him a week to realise she’s buried a stone’s throw away from Nana Shimura.

But it is fitting, he supposes. The woman who vanquished the fearsome All For One and the woman who will go down in history as the world’s saviour.

It’s taken him months of hard work. Even if All For One is not known by the general public, he can’t erase all mention of him, never mind that his retirement is only temporary. But it isn’t hard to hack government computers and modifying human memory is easy with the right Quirk, especially if it’s something they subconsciously want.

And now, all that’s left is All Might, and All For One will be officially dead.

Of course, that will be hardest. All For One has a few ideas, but they all carry too much risk, and he can’t take any chances when he’s all Izuku has left. He supposes he’ll simply have to wait for an opportunity to present itself. (Or find out where All Might lives and break in, but that was humiliating enough with Gran Torino.)

“Hello there,” someone greets him, and All For One feels his blood turn to ice, because he knows that voice.

He knows that voice.

He doesn’t dare move, can barely dare to breathe, because it’s too soon. Izuku just lost his mother, he can’t lose his father too, but All For One doesn’t know what to do. And he can’t remember when that last happened and it’s incredibly disorienting. Some small, detached part of his mind recognises that he is mere seconds away from a panic attack as he starts to hyperventilate.

“Are you alright?” he feels a hand on his shoulder and – the hero is concerned for him.

Suddenly, All For One knows. This – all of this – is a sign from Inko, her final gift to her husband and son. He’s no longer afraid, because he can almost feel her presence, and so he takes a deep breath. He has no way to know if he’ll ever get a chance like this again, and he can’t afford to squander it.

“Sorry,” he apologises as he turns to All Might – Toshinori Yagi, his mind supplies as he takes in the civilian dress, wide-brimmed hat and bakery box – and does his best to smile despite the tears he can feel threatening. “I… I guess I’m still in shock.”

“Ah,” All… Yagi nods. “Were you a friend of Nana’s?”

“No,” All For One admits, even as he tries to think how to turn this to his advantage. The Quirk he plans to use requires only two minutes of skin to skin contact… “We knew each other from work,” he explains. “I admit, I forgot all about her. But… I lost my wife recently.”

“My condolences,” Yagi offers when he breaks off to wipe his eyes.

“Thank you,” All For One gives him a watery smile. And then, because he knows the power of social niceties… “Hisashi Midoriya.”

“Toshinori Yagi,” the Symbol of Peace does not hesitate to shake his hand.

All For One activates the Quirk.

It’s so easy; he’s not erasing memories per se, he’s just… adjusting them. He twists them, and then gives the subconscious a little nudge. Nana Shimura died a hero. (True.) She saved Yagi. (True.) She vanquished All For One. (Don’t you want that to be true? She was strong enough. It’d be so unfair if she sacrificed so much for nothing. Remember that explosion? Nobody could survive that, not even All For One.)

As he finally lets go off Yagi’s hand, the hero lets out a chocked sob. All For One (Hisashi, his name is Hisashi, All For One is dead) silently steps aside to allow him a second to compose himself; then he offers him a tissue.

“Thank you,” Yagi sniffles and then proceeds to blow his nose at a volume that could rival Gigantomachia.

Perhaps One for All has accumulated too much power? After so many years, it might even be possible the next holder would not be able to handle it. (Hell, it might even blow the poor holder’s body to pieces!)

“Does it ever stop hurting?” he asks, partly to distract himself, and partly because – well, he wants to know. (It was different with his brother, the pain of loss magnified a hundred times by that awful sting of betrayal, and it hurt so much until he met Inko…)

“Not really,” Yagi admits as he places the cake he bought by the grave. “But it changes over time. And it helps to remember the good times.” He stands up and smiles at Hisashi. “And those we love never truly leave us, after all.”

The smile feels strange, almost grotesque. Hisashi may understand the intent, but there is something perverse about the Symbol of Peace attempting to comfort his nemesis, especially in front of the grave of the woman said enemy murdered. However few morals Hisashi might possess, it is a level of wrong he hates.

But still, he is right, All – Hisashi realises. He can feel Inko’s Quirk under his skin, like a comforting warmth. And more importantly, Izuku is waiting back home. Izuku, whose smile puts All Might’s to shame, who has Inko’s green hair and bright eyes. Izuku, who is now his whole world.

“Are you alright?” Yagi asks, obviously concerned by his silence. “Should I walk you home?”

“I’ll be fine,” Hisashi assures him with a smile, no matter how watery. “I think I just need a hug from my son.”

Yagi nods, and Hisashi finds himself strangely wistful. This could very well be the last encounter between the Symbol of Peace and his ultimate nemesis, and yet it’s so… anticlimactic. Just a meeting between two strangers, united in grief for the women they cherished.

“Thank you,” Hisashi finally speaks, and he doesn’t know himself who he’s thanking – the hero, or the spirits that surely conspired to make this meeting possible.

“Don’t mention it,” Yagi laughs, unaware of the gravity of the moment.

Hisashi nods, and smiles, and walks away from the number one hero.

Chapter Text

Hisashi should have noticed sooner.

He knows he has a pretty good excuse (technically two, or even three if he were to be pedantic), but it doesn’t matter. He’s Izuku’s father, a responsible adult, (a former villain who could easily find out the colour of All Might’s underwear,) and he should have known.

“Papa?” Izuku asks, fidgeting on his stool, and something in Hisashi breaks when he sees the tears gathering in his son’s eyes. “Don’t we have to go?”

“I was just thinking it’s been too long since we spent time together, just you and me,” Hisashi smiles, the lie rolling easily off his tongue. “So how about we both cheat and stay home together? We could order takeout, and watch a movie…”

It hurts to see how Izuku perks up at the suggestion, knowing that he has not been spending enough time with his son. It hurts even more that Izuku does not protest missing a day of daycare and playing with his friends.

It hurts almost as much as seeing those burns on Izuku’s arms.

But, he decides as he helps Izuku into his favourite All Might onesie, lawsuits can wait until tomorrow.

 

 

“What exactly is your policy on bullying?”

The daycare head hesitates, but she has no reason to be suspicious. Hisashi is perfectly pleasant, just another smiling parent, dressed in a pressed suit, probably inquiring before he heads off to his day job. He’s never met her before, allowing Inko to deal with the minutiae of Izuku’s schooling, and of course once Inko started getting sick… (no, don’t go there, focus on Izuku).

“We try and encourage the children in our care to be compassionate towards others and share. Of course, since they’re still young, we must take that into account when deciding on punishments, and so expulsion is only considered appropriate when a child is deemed a clear, continuous danger to others…” the woman recites.

Hisashi is tempted to pull out the daycare paperwork just to see if she got it word for word, but of course that would not go down well. So he just smiles and remains silent.

Finally, once the silence starts getting to her, the woman sighs and adjusts her thick horn-rimmed glasses. She looks like an old English headmistress (apart from her green skin and the third eye on her forehead) and is obviously used to striking terror into the hearts of toddlers.

Hisashi has a regular, starring role in All Might’s nightmares.

“Mr Midoriya, why are you here?” she asks, leaning forwards, and Hisashi almost wants to laugh. There is nothing more amusing than ignorant bravado.

“I noticed something… concerning yesterday,” he informs her, still smiling. “Izuku has a surprising number of injuries.”

The woman almost smiles. “Mr Midoriya, you would be surprised how much trouble children can get into.” The unspoken if you paid attention to your son wipes the smile off Hisashi’s face.

“Allow me to clarify, ma’am,” he slowly starts. “You believe that Izuku, who is an incredibly quiet and subdued child, somehow acquired eleven separate burns on his arms alone, not to mention the numerous bruises. And your staff did not think to inform me?”

Hisashi has never seen anyone embody the phrase deer in headlights so perfectly before in his entire career, but he can’t care, not when he had to watch the doctor take photographs of so many injuries.

“With all due respect, sir, how can I know these injuries even exist?”

The woman is clearly grasping, desperate, but Hisashi has never wanted to snap someone’s neck so much in his entire life. All that stops him is knowing he was seen entering the room by witnesses, some of whom are only children, and clearing up would be too much hassle.

“Don’t you dare,” he snarls. “Don’t you dare suggest I would fabricate something like this. And for what? Money?” he laughs, and it’s not a pleasant sound. “I make more in a month than your little organisation does in a year. I could call up the head of the police right now, and he’d be here in an hour. Izuku’s injuries were clearly deliberate, and our doctor has already passed the photos to the police.”

He stands up and treats her to one last, final smile, and takes some pleasure in how white her face turns. “I only came to suggest you cooperate with their investigation. Have a lovely day.”

 

 

“Now, which shape should we use next?”

Izuku frowns as he considers their collection of assorted cookie cutters, and Hisashi can’t help himself; he swoops down and presses a quick kiss to his cheek, eliciting a giggle (and he’s fairly sure that odd sound is Kurogiri chuckling).

This whole bullying revelation has not been all bad; Hisashi has been spending as much time with Izuku as possible, while searching for a new daycare (which is taking longer than expected – who would have thought so many providers would fail a background check?).

“This one!” Izuku decides, holding up a flower, and Hisashi helps him carefully cut out the cookies, trying (and failing) to convince himself his smile isn’t as sappy as he thinks.

He’s loading the tray into the oven, under the supervision of chef Izuku, when someone rings the doorbell. (Ring might not be an appropriate description, though; someone obviously pressed the button and was not letting it go.) Izuku almost falls off the chair he’s standing on, he’s so startled, and Hisashi drops the tray to grab his son, the cookies spilling all over the floor. Hisashi glances down and takes in Izuku’s wide eyes and tight grip on his All Might figure, and has to stamp down on the urge to murder someone.

“How about you help Kurogiri clean up?” he suggests with what he hopes is a reassuring smile.

Izuku nods hesitantly, so Hisashi sets him down. The boy almost immediately dashes over to the warper and grabs onto his slacks. Hisashi maintains his positive attitude until he’s left the kitchen. Then he pulls his apron off and, with a muttered swear, hurries to the front door.

Gigantomachia is already waiting for him, and Hisashi nods to his bodyguard as the giant takes up his position just out of sight, ready to intercept any intruders. After making sure Gigantomachia can’t be seen, (no need to tip off the neighbours that he has 24-hour security,) Hisashi takes a deep breath and opens the door.

“You fucking bastard!” Mitsuki Bakugo snarls.

Hisashi almost slams the door in her face. (He doesn’t because he is a responsible, mature parent, unlike certain people he could name. He does however make sure he’s blocking the entrance, since the Bakugo matriarch is just a little too unpredictable. Hisashi would not put attempted kidnapping past her.)

“Mitsuki,” he greets her with a blatantly false smile. “Lovely to see you…”

“Don’t give me that!” the woman growls, and he can’t help it; he rolls his eyes. “What the fuck are you doing to Izuku? Where is he? Why the fuck hasn’t he been coming to daycare?!”

“…Because your son’s a little shit and a bully?” Hisashi suggests helpfully when she pauses to take a breath.

Mitsuki screams and tries to punch him in the face.

Hisashi ducks and (with just a hint of a speed Quirk) slams the door in her face. Gigantomachia is growling behind him, barely audible over the screams of rage and loud hammering on the door.

For just a second, he’s tempted to set Gigantomachia on the woman. But however much he dislikes (hates, despises) her, she was Inko’s best friend. And the security camera footage should be very helpful when he hands it over to his legal team.

When he re-enters the kitchen, Izuku is cowering under the table, his All Might figure clutched tight against his chest. Hisashi takes one look at him, at Kurogiri hovering suspiciously close to the knife block, and sighs as he rubs at his eyes.

“How about we pop over to Kyoto for lunch?”

Chapter Text

There are some questions, Hisashi reflects, that he probably doesn’t want to know the answer to. (Has All Might ever had sex, for one.)

Such as…

“Izuku, why is there a tramp on my couch?”

There’s a crash in the kitchen, and Hisashi can feel the first twinges of a headache. Gigantomachia looks distinctly uncomfortable but doesn’t budge from his post standing over the man on the sofa.

At least Izuku didn’t leave the stranger unsupervised.

“He’s not a tramp, papa!” Izuku cries out as he runs into the room, his shirt distinctly wet, but an excited smile on his face. “He’s a hero!”

Hisashi glances back at the man, with his straggly hair, baggy black clothes and dark circles under his eyes, lying there unconscious, and does not point out just how unheroic he looks. Frankly, the nasty gash on his head makes him look more like he got into a drunken brawl.

“And why, pray tell, is there a hero,” he asks instead, “bleeding all over my sofa?”

“He’s got an owie, so we brought him home so you can kiss it better!” Izuku explains with a beaming smile.

Hisashi bites back his curse.

Of course he has a healing Quirk (he technically has six, but who’s counting). Of course he has used it on Izuku’s bloody knees and bruised elbows (and burns, although only after taking photographs – just let Mitsuki try and come after him). And of course Izuku, in his innocence, seems to have arrived at the decision that his father, a retired villain, is an appropriate person to provide medical attention to someone he picked up of the street.

“Izuku, I am not going to kiss him,” Hisashi sighs. “Why didn’t you call an ambulance?”

“Machia forgot his phone,” Izuku informs him, still smiling, and now he’s definitely going to have to punish Gigantomachia. Stray heroes are one thing, but if something had happened to Izuku…

He feels a tug on his sleeve and makes the mistake of looking down into those bright, green eyes. “Please, papa?”

Hisashi had always been defenseless against his son’s pleas, and the concept of getting rid of the stranger is appealing, (and he can’t exactly just kill him without possibly traumatizing Izuku,) so with a sigh, he shuffles over to the sofa. He presses his hand to the man’s forehead and activates one of his healing Quirks, and does his best to ignore just how awkward he feels as he waits for it to take effect. The closer quarters at least help him notice the signature white scarf and yellow goggles…

Eraserhead’s eyes snap open and flash red, and the hero punches him.

“Papa!” he hears Izuku shriek, and Gigantomachia growls, as he blinks away the stars in front of his eyes and hopes his nose is not broken. Slowly, he looks up and winces when he sees the man standing on the couch with his dirty shoes. At least Gigantomachia had the presence of mind to grab Izuku, who looks torn between obeying instructions (‘If someone hurts you or papa, stay with Machia’) and wiggling free to run to his father’s side.

“What the hell?” Eraserhead mutters as he looks around the room. He takes in the large window, with its floral curtains, the numerous family photos, and the growling giant.

“My thoughts exactly,” Hisashi responds as Izuku gasps at the ‘bad word’. He winces as he shakes his head. “Well, you’re healed now, so goodbye.”

“…I don’t even know where I am.”

“My house.”

“…That doesn’t tell me anything,” the hero narrows his eyes. “Is this a kidnapping?”

Hisashi should probably not be quite so offended. But, retired or not, he is a criminal mastermind. He has standards. “Exactly how incompetent do you think I am?” he growls.

Izuku, apparently tired of being squashed into Gigantomachia’s chest, pipes up. “You had an owie, so papa healed you!” Then he turns to the giant. “Down, please!”

“…An owie?”

“He’s three,” Hisashi points out as he nods at his bodyguard to lower his son. Gigantomachia does not look happy, but he obeys, and Izuku immediately dashes off.

For a moment, they wait in an awkward silence, Eraserhead obviously trying to figure out a good escape route (and Hisashi might just be trying to decide how to murder him without Izuku noticing).

“Could I borrow a phone?” the hero finally asks.

“Sure,” Hisashi sighs, just as Izuku rushes back in. “But give him an autograph, will you?”

It’s rather comforting to see Izuku’s eyes are just as effective when turned on a pro-hero.

 

 

Hisashi is just plating up dinner when he hears a loud crash coming from the front of the house.

Loud crashes are nothing unusual; no matter how well behaved Izuku may be, he’s three. (And he has an overgrown bodyguard – slash – playmate who should know better than indulge him so much.) What is unusual is that last he checked, Izuku was well and truly amused, watching Eraserhead place a call to his agency…

Oh, fuck.

There’s another louder crash that has Hisashi sprinting out of the kitchen. He doesn’t think he even fully makes it into the living room, before something fast and hard hits him in the chest and sends him crashing to the floor. He wheezes, winded, but through the haze he can hear a commotion.

Slowly, carefully, Hisashi sits up just as Ingenium (why is Ingenium in his house?) tugs his helmet off and yells into the living room, “Mic, it’s a false alarm!” Then he turns back to Hisashi and offers him a hand up. “Sorry, man.”

“I’m suing you all,” Hisashi informs him, clambering to his feet. He winces, because he is certainly going to bruise, and mentally pencils in another doctor’s appointment.

“Fair enough,” Ingenium sighs just as Izuku dashes past him and throws himself at her father’s legs.

“Papa, I don’t like heroes!” he wails and Hisashi can feel that headache returning. “They’re mean!”

“Exactly how many?...” he asks Ingenium as he picks up his son.

“Just me and Present Mic,” the hero informs him with a wince. “I’m really sorry about this; he’s a bit… prone to overreacting.”

“You don’t say,” Hisashi mutters. He makes his way past the young man and enters his living room, and almost walks back out. He is far too sober to deal with this.

The room looks like a tornado tore through it. The window is shattered, there are scuff marks on the floor, and shards of glass and plaster litter the room. Gigantomachia is suspiciously missing, although Kurogiri, complete with shopping bags, is stood by the (miraculously untouched) TV, armed with his keys. Eraserhead, still sat on a couch, is glowering at a tall blonde, his black hair floating. Present Mic seems unconcerned, eyeing Kurogiri suspiciously.

“Right, Mic, let’s go,” Ingenium hurries past Hisashi and grabs the blonde hero by the arm. “Eraser, can you walk?”

“Shouldn’t we call the police?” Present Mic asks, as he glances away from Kurogiri to Hisashi and back. “I mean, isn’t this a kidnapping?”

Izuku, who seemed to have calmed down, bursts into tears again, blabbing about how he doesn’t want to go to jail. The blonde hero pales, as if he’s only just spotted the terrified child.

“Good idea,” Hisashi smiles as he spots his wedding photo hanging lopsided on the wall, its frame shattered. (It is not a nice smile.) “How about you call the police and I call my lawyers? Let’s see who gets here first.”

“Come on, Mic,” Ingenium attempts to drag his friend to the door. (Which is also broken. What is it with heroes and breaking things?) “There’s obviously been a misunderstanding.”

 Eraserhead, to his credit, joins in, and between them they manage to get him out of the house before Hisashi has come up with a plan to murder them all (without it tracing back to him).

“I took the precaution of sending Gigantomachia away,” Kurogiri reports as he picks up his shopping bags. “May I be of any further assistance?”

“Go fetch him,” Hisashi commands with a sigh as he rubs Izuku’s back. “And then… Fix the door.”

 

 

“My deepest apologies for yesterday’s debacle!”

Hisashi is very much tempted to brutally murder Ingenium, but he suspects that might traumatise Izuku (further). He would slam the door closed, but he has a sneaking feeling that might damage the hinges, and he really does not want to explain to the handyman why he’s coming back so soon. So he bites his tongue and fixes the hero with his most deadly glare.

“I brought a cheque for the damages, and a gift for the young hero!” Ingenium continues, apparently unconcerned. (Hisashi is almost worried he’s slipping.)

“Me?” Izuku perks up, peeking around his father’s legs, although he doesn’t let up on the death grip on his trousers. “I’m not a hero!”

“Course you are!” Ingenium grins as he squats down, holding out an Ingenium doll as a peace offering, and Hisashi must admit, the lad seems to know how to deal with kids. “You helped Eraserhead, didn’t you? That sounds pretty heroic to me!”

“Really?” Izuku smiles as he accepts the toy.

“Yeah, really,” Ingenium laughs and ruffles his hair. Then he glances up at Hisashi.

Hisashi is unmoved; he has experience with manipulation tactics, and heroes are absolutely terrible at them. (He knows this from experience; one would think they’d at least put in some effort when begging for their life.) So he just shrugs.

“I’m still pressing charges.”

Chapter Text

“I don’t want to go,” Izuku sniffs as he tries to hide behind papa.

Papa steps aside and gently nudges him forward. Izuku turns back to him, because he really wants to go home, where Kurogiri cooks nice food, and Machia doesn’t mind pretending he’s a villain, and no one says mean things to Izuku. But papa looks firm as he crouches down, a gentle smile on his face.

 “Izuku, I know you’re scared, and that’s fine. If you don’t want to come back tomorrow, you don’t have to. But I thought we could make a deal.”

“What deal?” Izuku asks. He wipes at his eyes, and with a sigh papa offers up a handkerchief so he can blow his nose.

“Today is Monday, so, if you can make it five days, until Friday,” papa slowly unfolds all his fingers on one hand. Then he pauses and takes a deep breath. “I’ll get us tickets to the Heroes Against Cancer fundraiser.”

For a second, Izuku stares at papa. Then he promptly bursts into happy tears, desperately nodding his head and, with a sigh, papa accepts a box of tissues from a daycare worker. Izuku has wanted to go so badly, even though he doesn’t want papa to think he’s greedy. All Might’s going to be there, after all! Izuku really, really wants to see his favorite hero! He’d even… Even… He’d even go back to daycare with Kacchan!

“Promise?” Izuku asks, offering his pinkie once he’s calmed down.

“Pinkie promise,” papa smiles and nods. He ruffles Izuku’s hair. “Now before you know it, Kurogiri will be here to take you home.  And if you’re scared during the day, just tell Miss Tanaka. Alright?”

“Alright,” Izuku sniffs, but steels himself. “I love you, papa.”

“I love you too, Izuku,” papa kisses him on the forehead.

Izuku tries not to cry when papa stands and turns to leave. Miss Tanaka (who seems really nice, much nicer than the teachers that said Kacchan was amazing) leads him to his new classroom. Izuku clutches anxiously at his Ingenium doll as he glances around the room, but he can be brave. Heroes are really brave, and Izuku is going to be a hero too, no matter what Kacchan says. (And Ingenium said he’d been heroic when he helped Eraserhead, and Ingenium knows better than Kacchan! He’s already a hero, after all!)

The room is larger and fancier than his previous daycare, with sunlight streaming in through the large windows. Children’s artwork covers the wall, and there are several small tables and chairs spread out around the room. Several children are already playing, and Izuku realizes with a sinking feeling that he doesn’t know anyone. He glances back at Miss Tanaka, anxious.

“Do you like heroes too?” a loud voice asks him, and Izuku flinches at the unexpected noise. But when he turns back, the speaker turns out to be a bright-eyed boy with blue hair and a wide smile. He doesn’t look scary, even if he is taller, (and bigger,) so Izuku takes a deep breath.

Ingenium called him a hero.

“Yes, I… I do,” he nods, clutching his doll tightly. Miss Tanaka crouches down next to him, and Izuku takes some comfort in her presence. (Because even Kacchan didn’t hurt him when the grown ups were nearby.)

“My name’s Tenya!” the boy introduces himself, and draws himself up, proud. “My favorite hero’s Ingenium!”

“I’m… I’m Izuku,” Izuku stammers. “I... My favorite hero’s All Might. But Ingenium’s awesome too!”

“Izuku is new here,” Miss Tanaka speaks up. “And he doesn’t know anyone yet. So I think he might be just a little scared. Can I trust you to make him feel welcome, Tenya?”

Tenya nods immediately, and the woman smiles and stands up, but does not move away, so Izuku doesn’t feel too afraid.

“…Do you want to play heroes?”

“Yes!” Izuku nods. He swings his little rucksack off his back. “I brought my dolls, so if you want, you could be Ingenium, and I could be All Might…”

“…Why would All Might and Ingenium both be needed?” Tenya frowns, and Izuku pauses, unsure. Then he smiles.

“Cause, cause, if a villain has a really scary Quirk, like… If he can shoot webs, and he’s attacking a park, then Ingenium has to move people out of the way! And… and… he has an army of robot spiders, so All Might has to fight them first!” Izuku glances back up at the other boy, holding his Ingenium and All Might figures. “…What do you think?”

“It makes sense,” Tenya nods as he takes Izuku’s toy, oblivious to Miss Tanaka’s barely suppressed giggles. He grins as he grabs Izuku’s hand and pulls him over to one of the tables. “Ingenium always first on the scene!”

 

 

Hisashi adores Tenya.

He hasn’t actually met the kid yet, but Izuku’s barely stopped chattering about his new friend. And, as he pauses outside the classroom door, he can spot his son’s smile as he plays with a blue haired boy.

“Izuku really seems to have settled in well,” Abiko informs him with a smile of his own, and Hisashi can’t help but agree with the daycare director.

Getting Izuku a permanent place is surprisingly painless. There might be a waiting list, but a few million yen (and just a touch of a quirk, but who’s to know,) help bump Izuku to the top of that queue. All in all, he’s feeling fairly pleased when he leaves the office. He’s even considering taking Izuku out for ice cream, when he spots a familiar face outside the classroom door and almost legs it through the back.

“Hello, Mr. Midoriya!” Ingenium greets him, a wide smile plastered on his face. Then the hero pauses, and Hisashi has a terrible sinking feeling, because he knows what’s coming next…

“Don’t tell me you’re Izuku’s father?” the young man exclaims.

There are seven dead heroes laughing their heads off right now, Hisashi just knows it.

“Wow! Your brother’s Ingenium?!”

Would it be so wrong for Hisashi to withdraw Izuku and just homeschool him?

“Hi Tenya, Izuku,” Ingenium greets the two boys, unaware (or uncaring) of Hisashi’s dilemma. Izuku’s smile grows wider at the recognition. “My name’s Tensei Iida, and it’s wonderful to see you again!”

“Do you have your toys, Izuku?” Hisashi asks, before Izuku can launch into another fangasm. His son gasps and ducks back into the classroom.

Really, he should have suspected – the daycare has excellent security and Tenya, in hindsight, has a suspicious amount of admiration for a relatively new hero. But Hisashi is a good father, and so he takes a deep breath and plasters his best dad-smile on.

“Hello, Tenya,” he greets the boy. “My name is Hisashi Midoriya, and I’m Izuku’s father.”

Tenya hesitates for a second (and Hisashi will admit, he is impressed by his instincts), but then he draws himself to his full height and bows.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Midoriya, sir!”

Hisashi isn’t entirely sure how to proceed, but then Izuku comes dashing past the Iida brothers and barrels straight into his legs. The impact doesn’t even wind him, as he springs back up and starts jumping up and down, bright eyed.

“Papa, can I come here again?” he asks. “We’re going to be ac-ting! And Tenya likes heroes too! And he said I can come to his house to play! And… And…!”

It’s fortunate All Might will never know how effective Izuku’s smile is. (Hisashi would happily hand himself over if it will only make his son happy – should that day come, he won’t have anything left, after all.) So Hisashi laughs and ruffles his son’s hair. “Well, that’s good, because you’ll be coming here every day from now on.”

Izuku cheers and launches himself at his father, his happy tears making an inevitable appearance, and Hisashi allows himself a moment to bask in his son’s joy. Then he takes a deep breath and repeats his mantra.

There is nothing I won’t do for Izuku.

“How about we go for ice cream to celebrate?” he suggests and then nods to the waiting Iida brothers. “My treat.”

Izuku cheers again and grabs Tenya’s hand to tug him over to the cloakroom.

“Sure thing,” Tensei’s grin widens. “Just let me call our parents, ‘kay?”

“Alright,” Hisashi nods. He follows the boys, knowing they’ll need someone to help with their coats. Once the hero is back, he’ll have to excuse himself to place a call of his own.

He needs to tell his lawyers to drop the suit against Idaten.

Chapter Text

There is nothing Hisashi won’t do for Izuku.

Which is why he’s desperately hiding behind a menu while his son bombards All Might with questions. (And yes, Hisashi knows almost as much about the hero’s Quirk as the man himself, but Izuku doesn’t need to know that.) He comforts himself that at least the money he spent on admission will go directly to cancer research. And, he will admit, it is rather fascinating to see the various ways heroes utilize their Quirks. (And incredibly entertaining to mingle with them, especially with All Might in attendance.)

And Izuku has not stopped smiling since he woke Hisashi. (At six. Why was he up at six?!)

“Hi, Midoriya!” he hears a familiar (tinny) voice and sighs.

“Iida,” he acknowledges the teenager as he turns, and then pauses. Tenya is dressed in a smart shirt and shorts, and is holding the hand of a white, humanoid robot. Which is standing next to another humanoid robot. Which is standing next to another robot (which is wearing a cape; what is it with heroes and capes?! The things are terribly impractical!).

“Mother, father, Midoriya is the father of Tenya’s new friend,” robot 1 introduces him.

Robot 2 removes her helmet, revealing a smiling, middle aged woman. “It’s so wonderful to finally meet you! Tenya seems to have really taken a shine to Izuku!”

“Midoriya…” robot 3 (the one with the cape) hums. “Why does it feel like I’ve heard that name before?”

“Oh, he sued us,” Tensei informs his father (?) happily before removing his own helmet.

Hisashi almost laughs at the expression on Mrs Iida’s face.

“Izuku’s getting an autograph from All Might,” he informs Tenya instead.

The boy glances up at his parents, and his mother does her best to smile. “Tenya, go say hi to your friend,” she instructs him, and the child runs off, smiling.

“I’m… afraid I can’t quite recall the details of your case…” the Iida patriarch says, and suddenly Tensei’s smile is looking just a little forced.

Hisashi may be retired from professional villainy, but how could he ever pass up such a wonderful opportunity to torment a pro-hero?

“Oh, your son and his friend broke into my house, terrified my son, caused significant property damage, and your son in particular assaulted me,” he informs them with his nicest fake smile. Then he sighs. “It was particularly difficult, because – well, this past year, since losing my wife, has been very trying.”

Tensei!” the mother chokes out, and Tensei winces.

“To be fair, it… It was all Mic’s fault!”

“My apologies,” the head of Idaten bows low as his wife continues to reprimand their son. “I will immediately call our lawyers and instruct them to settle.”

“Not necessary,” Hisashi waves off the offer. “I’ve already had the case dismissed.”

The other man hesitates, obviously surprised, and then…

“Oh wow! It’s Turbo and Engine!” Izuku rushes over, autograph book at the ready, Tenya trailing behind his friend with a proud smile on his face.

“Your elder son may be… impetuous, but Tenya is a credit to you and your wife,” Hisashi shrugs and smiles. “Besides, it would make playdates very awkward.”

Iida laughs as he accepts Izuku’s notebook.

Hisashi takes the opportunity to leave Izuku with a (responsible) adult and hurries over to one of the numerous waiters to get another glass of champagne. As he savors it, he glances around the room. There are a few established heroes, with a sprinkling of younger pros or sidekicks making the most of the opportunity to network. And, of course, there is a substantial number of people with more than enough money to drop on admission (and the meal, and drinks, and the upcoming auction).

He’s not sure why, but his attention is drawn to a boy standing close to one of the walls, gazing longingly at All Might. True, his hair is an odd red and white, the two colours split evenly down the middle, but Izuku is dragging Tenya to a man with an orca’s head. In this day and age, white-and-red hair is positively mundane.

Almost unconsciously, Hisashi starts drifting closer to the child. He sees the boy stiffen and look down at his feet as a large man approaches. Hisashi can feel that horrible sinking feeling in his gut as the stranger grabs the child by the arm and almost drags him off, the boy nearly tripping as he struggles to keep up.

Hisashi picks up the pace, weaving between the other attendees. He thrusts his champagne flute at a waiter, and when he’s clear of the crowd he almost breaks into a run. That sinking feeling has turned bitter, because he knows. He takes the steps two at a time, gasping for air, and trying to remember that this is different. He can hear a raised voice well before he sees them, and his rushed steps speed up further even as the walls start to close in. Because suddenly he’s five again, and suddenly he’s weak again, and when he sees the boy cowering against the wall, he no longer sees tidy white-and-red hair. And for the first time in decades, Hisashi hates.

Hisashi only snaps back to the present when the stranger goes flying.

He tries his best to calm down and figure out what the fuck he can do with the unconscious man and realizes the bastard’s face is familiar. He has just punched the number 2 hero in the face (with what feels like at least two strength and possibly a speed Quirk).

In front of a witness.

(The mighty All For One, brought down by a flashback. There are seven ghosts behind him, splitting their sides with laughter.)

The witness in question is staring at him in awe.

It hurts to admit that Hisashi can relate. (If he’d seen someone knock out his own father, he’d have the same look in his eyes.)

Hisashi sighs and bends down to grab Endeavor by the leg (because why should he give a damn about a hero that apparently is hypocritical AF). Then he beckons to the kid.

“Right,” he starts, and then realizes he doesn’t know the boy’s name. “…Todoroki. Is your mother here?”

The boy shakes his head.

“Wonderful. Follow me.”

Thankfully, there is a toilet nearby. Hisashi drags Endeavor inside (and it’s completely accidental that he knocks the pro-hero’s head against the door, no, really) and uses a quick illusion Quirk to hide the room. Then, with a sigh, he pulls out his phone and dials his home number.

“Kurogiri, I need you to come pick up some trash,” he pauses to nudge Endeavor with his shoe and frowns. “Do you think you’d manage to warp to Korea?” Then he remembers the kid. “Oh, but first you need to drop someone off home.”

He hangs up and jots down a quick note. Then he crouches down in front of the Todoroki boy, who has started prodding his father with a mischievous smile. “Do you know where your house is?”

The boy nods, and Hisashi grins and ruffles his hair.

“Good lad. A friend of mine will come get you in a minute. Tell him and he’ll take you home. Now I have a very important task. Can I trust you?”

“Yes sir!” the boy responds, bright eyed, and Hisashi must admit, he’s pretty cute.

“Good,” he nods and makes sure his expression is serious as he leans closer. “Now, I need you to give this to your mother. Only your mother. And this is a secret mission, so you can’t tell anyone. Alright?”

The boy nods as he accepts the note, and Hisashi smiles as he stands up. Then he heads out to grab Kurogiri.

 

 

Once Hisashi has tucked an exhausted Izuku into bed, he carefully shifts his face into something memorable (and as far from Hisashi Midoriya’s features as he can manage) and heads downstairs to a waiting Kurogiri. Gigantomachia has already taken up position outside Izuku’s bedroom, although he is under strict instructions. (Any monsters located under the bed are Hisashi’s responsibility; if Izuku is afraid, he can sleep in the master bedroom. Gigantomachia is not to go looking for said monsters.)

Kurogiri unfortunately is memorable in himself, but such matters cannot be helped, Hisashi reflects as he steps through the warp gate. The Todoroki home is every bit as impressive (pretentious) as could be expected from the number 2 hero. None of the lights are on, but when Hisashi lets himself in, a white-haired woman is waiting just inside.

“Mrs Todoroki,” he greets her with a bow as Kurogiri slides the door closed behind them. He does not miss her shudder at the name.

But she pulls herself together (and Hisashi will admit, he is ever so slightly impressed). “Your note said you could help me leave.”

“Your husband is currently… indisposed,” Hisashi can’t help but feel a warm glow as he remembers the photo Kurogiri showed him. “In fact, he may not make it home for a few days. So, if you wish to leave…”

“And what if I can’t afford to?” the woman asks with a sigh. She looks so worn down, Hisashi can’t help but hate Endeavor more. She can’t be much older than Inko, and yet looks ready to break.

“I can give you a cheque right now,” he answers with a shrug. “And if you are interested, I can pull some strings and secure you office work. Nothing exciting, but it will have benefits and a decent salary. But if you choose to stay, I will call social services.”

“…Enji has a lot of influence…”

“I have more,” Hisashi smiles. (It is not a nice smile – in fact, it is the very smile that features prominently in All Might’s nightmares.) “And I will not hesitate to drag Endeavor and you through the mud if it means getting your children out. Of course, the final decision is yours.”

For just a moment, he worries that perhaps she’s still too cowed, still too afraid of Endeavor. But then she draws herself up, and Hisashi almost laughs, because he knows that expression well.

(Endeavor is lucky if he never had to deal with a protective mother.)

She nods and turns to shout back into the house.

“Fuyumi, get Shoto! Natsuo, don’t forget your coat! Touya, I need your help!”

There’s a loud crash from somewhere deeper in the home, a happy cry from somewhere else, and when Todoroki turns back to Hisashi, there are tears in her eyes. But her smile is beautiful.

“I’m afraid you’ll have to wait. Enji keeps our documents in a safe…”

“Oh, allow me,” Hisashi grins just as a young boy appears, dragging a large, battered suitcase. The child stops when he sees the strangers, but even so, the smile on his face is unmissable.

Todoroki laughs.

She hurries off to fetch her other children and Hisashi follows the redhaired boy to an office. He’s tempted to do a real number on the room (destruction, in his experience, is surprisingly therapeutic), but Touya apparently knows where to look as the boy quickly locates three safes. Hisashi does not bother investigating the contents; he just rips the doors off all three eliciting a laugh from his guide.

When they arrive back by the door, a thick wad of papers tucked in a plastic bag (it’s a complete accident that Hisashi grabbed those bank statements – although quite fortunate should Todoroki choose to initiate divorce proceedings), two whitehaired children, a boy and girl, are waiting anxiously by the entrance. Kurogiri is holding the red-and-white haired toddler, who appears more than half asleep, and Todoroki is looking over their bags even as she wipes at her eyes.

“Do you have somewhere to go?” Hisashi asks as he hands over the documents. Touya hurries past him and takes his brother from the warper, and it is rather heart-warming to see the boy cuddle up sleepily to the teenager.

“Yes,” the woman nods. “There’s a shelter in Yutenji that I called earlier; they said they had space for us…”

“Wonderful,” Hisashi beams and turns to Kurogiri. “A Yutenji back alley, please.”

“What…” Todoroki gasps as Kurogiri opens a warp gate.

“Oh, I thought teleporting might make it just a bit harder for your husband to find you,” Hisashi explains. He picks up two of the bags and treats the family to a beaming smile. “Also, it might be just a little bit easier with four children.”

Said children don’t look convinced, but Mrs Todoroki just laughs and follows him up to the gate. He steps through, and she pokes her head through and glances around. Then she vanishes back in and soon enough, the family comes tumbling through, numerous exclamations echoing in the small, empty street.

“Thank you,” Todoroki whispers as Hisashi sets down the bags. “I can call the shelter to meet us. I don’t even know…”

“Don’t mention it,” Hisashi shrugs. Then he produces an envelope. “That cheque I promised. And a referral to an excellent lawyer. If you want to take me up on that job offer, tell her – she will be able to contact me.”

Todoroki sniffles, and then Hisashi finds himself being hugged by an overemotional mother. Her two middle children quickly join in, and the eldest gives Kurogiri an awkward hug of his own, whilst balancing his brother.

“Thank you so much,” the woman whispers as she finally draws back.

Hisashi smiles, a genuine, hopeful smile as he steps back through the warp gate. He could almost swear he catches the faint smell of peonies as he emerges in his living room.

He’s pretty sure Inko approves.

Chapter Text

Kurogiri notices something is wrong as soon as he arrives at daycare. Izuku does not greet him with a detailed description of his day; instead he quietly allows Kurogiri to help him with his shoes and waves goodbye to Tenya. Once they arrive home, Izuku silently settles down at the dining table with his crayons.

Kurogiri just assumes he’s grieving. Every now and then, Izuku is just… sad, and according to the therapists, it is not unusual. So he leaves the child be, focusing instead on dinner. Midoriya is attending some sort of conference (although boring and filled with pompous bastards does not exactly tell Kurogiri much about the subjects being discussed), and won’t be back until Sunday. (Which means Kurogiri is the only reasonable adult in the house – thank god he made sure he’s stocked up on coffee.)

Izuku is quiet as they eat, and does not even ask about dessert. That is a major red flag, and as he clears the table, Kurogiri wrestles with himself. He is tempted to call Midoriya, but there is every chance the man will drop everything and rush home. (And then even Gigantomachia will know something is very wrong, and the less Gigantomachia knows, the better, in Kurogiri’s opinion.)

So Kurogiri takes a deep breath and leaves the safety of the kitchen. Izuku is playing with his building blocks, and Gigantomachia, who seems to be aware something isn’t right, is watching him from behind the couch. Kurogiri considers his options for a few seconds, and then reaches a decision.

“Izuku, it’s bath time,” he tells the boy.

Izuku quietly follows him to the bathroom, and once he’s closed the door, Kurogiri crouches down in front of him and tries to smile.

“Izuku, is there anything wrong?”

“No, Kurogiri,” Izuku shakes his head.

“Did you argue with Tenya?”

“No.”

“Are the other children mean?”

“No.”

Kurogiri has to force the next words out. “…Did your teacher make you sad?”

“No.”

Kurogiri almost collapses from the relief, but he’s puzzled. This is not Izuku’s usual grieving, which tends to make him a lot more clingy. But if no one seems to be picking on him, Kurogiri really has no idea what the issue might be.

“Well, did something happen at daycare?” he asks, slightly desperate.

Izuku hesitates for a second, but then, finally, he says it. “Miss Tanaka told us about Father’s Day.”

“And?” Kurogiri asks, puzzled. Father’s Day seems perfectly inoffensive. (He could understand Mother’s Day, but that’s been and gone. And anyway, Midoriya gave him that day off, so he can’t really reference it.)

“She said it was tomorrow,” Izuku sniffles. “But papa’s away, so I can’t give him his card.”

“Ah,” Kurogiri nods in understanding. He considers the problem, not quite sure what the appropriate response might be, and then has an idea. “Well, how about we go and surprise him?”

“Really?” Izuku perks up. “We can?”

“Sure we can,” Kurogiri smiles. He knows the details of Midoriya’s hotel room, in case he needs to collect the man for an emergency. Izuku has no play dates lined up (and now it makes a lot more sense why not). And then another idea occurs to him. “We could even bake him some muffins.”

“Muffins!” Izuku cheers.

“Then how about I get the kitchen ready, and you make sure you have your card, and then we’ll have bath time after baking?” Kurogiri suggests, and then leans in to whisper in Izuku’s ear, “It can be a little later, since we’ve got a secret mission to get ready for.”

“A secret mission!” Izuku gasps. Then something occurs to him. “Will Machia come too?”

Kurogiri considers the situation. Travelling with Machia is not easy at the best of times, and Kurogiri really does not want to even imagine managing both Izuku and Gigantomachia on public transport, especially without Midoriya to manage Gigantomachia’s... overprotective tendencies. “We need him to stay here, so your papa doesn’t know we’re coming. Machia needs to answer the phone if papa calls. This is a really important job, so how about you tell him? Make sure he knows just how important a mission this is,” he stresses. The only person Gigantomachia regards anywhere as highly as Midoriya is Izuku, after all; if the bodyguard will lie to his Lord for anyone, it’s almost certainly going to be Izuku.

Izuku grins and dashes out of the bathroom. “Machia! I’m gonna surprise papa!”

Kurogiri shakes his head and goes to find that recipe for chocolate muffins.

 

 

Hisashi sighs as he collapses onto the hotel sofa and summons his phone. He hates spending weekends away from Izuku, but there were a few speakers he really needed to meet with. He smiles at the lock screen (Izuku and Tenya beaming at the camera) and dials his home number. He has a few hours to spare, and the best pick-me-up is definitely Izuku.

“…Hello?”

“Good morning, Gigantomachia,” Hisashi greets the giant as he picks up his coffee. “I’d like to speak to Izuku.”

“You can’t!”

Hisashi frowns. “Don’t be ridiculous, Gigantomachia. Put him on.”

“I can’t! He’s not here!”

“What do you mean he’s not there?” Hisashi isn’t sure why his former bodyguard sounds so panicked, but he’s starting to get a very bad feeling.

“He’s… He’s…” Hisashi can almost picture the giant flailing about. (Please don’t let him break anything, please…) “Little Lord’s been kidnapped!”

“He’s what?!” Hisashi shrieks as he jumps to his feet. The coffee table crashes over, but he can’t care. Izuku kidnapped? Who would dare do such a thing? He desperately tries to figure out who might be responsible. The conference is no longer important; someone is going to die. He needs to get home now. “Put Kurogiri on!”

“He took Little Lord!”

The phone in Hisashi’s hand shatters.

That filthy, traitorous little rat! Hisashi took him in, gave him a home, and this is how he’s been repaid! Never mind Hisashi; Inko trusted him! She treated him with such kindness, and he just spits on her grave! Death is too good for him; Hisashi will rend him limb from limb, and flay him alive, and take that precious little Quirk from…

“Surprise, papa!”

Hisashi instinctively grabs the coffee table and throws it at the intruder. Thankfully, Kurogiri has good reflexes, and so the table misses Izuku and goes sailing through a Warp Gate.

“Are you surprised, papa?” Izuku asks, apparently unaware he was almost killed by his father. He’s beaming from Kurogiri’s hip, apparently ignorant of his current situation. (Has Kurogiri come to gloat? He could warp Izuku into the sea, or two thousand feet up, in a millisecond, so he certainly has some insurance. Or perhaps he’s just lost his mind?)

“…Very,” Hisashi hesitantly admits, as he slowly approaches his son, watching Kurogiri for any sort of attack. “What are you doing here?”

“Oh!” Izuku gasps. Then he grins. “Happy Papa’s Day!”

“Izuku was very upset you would be away for Father’s Day,” Kurogiri explains as he sets Izuku down. The boy immediately starts rummaging in his All Might backpack. “So we decided we would surprise you.”

“It was certainly a surprise…” Hisashi mutters. He still isn’t entirely sure about the warper, but it makes sense – presumably Izuku asked Gigantomachia not to tell him about the surprise. But then Gigantomachia tends to require clear instructions, especially if he has to disobey his Lord – Hisashi will have to figure out how to explain that to a toddler.

“Papa!” Izuku hurries over, a card in hand. “I made you a card! And we made muffins, but Kurogiri has them.” He deflates a little, and Hisashi can’t help it; he laughs as he picks up his son.

“Well, muffins sound lovely. How about we all have some muffins, and then we go do a little sightseeing?”

“Muffins!” Izuku cheers.

Kurogiri produces the muffins from his canvas bag, and then glances around. “Should I go fetch the table?”

Chapter Text

“Tenya, could you come here for a minute?”

Tenya frowns as he looks up from his drawing, but Tensei looks… serious. So he makes sure all his pens are properly capped, and grabs his Ingenium plush. (Which Tensei had made specially for him! His brother is the best!) Then he joins Tensei on the couch.

“Tenya, I…” his brother trails off, takes a deep breath and soldiers on. “I want to talk to you about Izuku. Have you ever… wondered about him? You know, do you… have any questions about him?”

“Yes!” Tenya grins. Izuku is great, but they haven’t known each other for very long. “Does he have his Quirk yet? Cause he’s really smart! Or – his hair’s so curly, is that his Quirk? Is Machia his dog? Why’s he so small if he’s older? Can he come to the beach with us? What’s a souv-le?...”

“That’s not quite what I meant…” Tensei interrupts the flood of questions.

“Oh…” Tenya deflates. His brother chuckles, though, and ruffles his hair, so obviously he isn’t mad. Tenya just wishes he knew what he was supposed to ask about.

“No, it’s fine,” Tensei assures him. “But… Has Izuku ever mentioned his mum?”

Tensei considers his answer carefully. Izuku talks a lot about his papa, and Machia, and… “Is Kurogiri his mum?”

Tenya doesn’t know what’s so funny. He does end up fetching his brother a glass of water, partly because just watching Tensei laugh is boring, and partly because his brother will probably need it and Tenya is the world’s best little brother.

“No, Kurogiri isn’t Izuku’s mum,” Tensei finally informs him. “Kurogiri and… Machia are friends of Izuku’s papa. They help him with cooking, and play with Izuku.”

“Why doesn’t Izuku’s mum cook?” Tenya asks with a frown. Tensei sometimes makes lunch, but their mum’s food is always the best. Maybe Izuku’s mum is like their dad, and burns everything?

“Well, you see, Izuku’s mum loved him very much,” Tensei explains to him carefully. “But she got very sick, and the doctors couldn’t make her better, so she… had to go away.”

“Like grandma?”

“Yes, just like grandma,” Tensei smiles and nods. “And I’m sure Izuku misses her very much. So he probably feels very sad. And sometimes he cries, even though he’s not hurt.”

Tenya considers this new information. He knows Izuku is really timid, and sometimes just curls up in a corner and is sad, but it makes sense. Tenya can’t imagine his mum not tucking him in, or kissing his booboos better… He sniffs and wipes at his eyes angrily, and silently promises himself he’ll hug her as soon as she gets home. Of course Izuku cries so much! He must be so sad!

Tenya silently promises himself he’ll be the best friend ever.

 

 

The next day at daycare, Izuku is suspiciously quiet. When Miss Tanaka allows them to go play outside, he just sits down next to her desk, his All Might plush clutched close.

Tenya hesitates in the doorway, since it’s really sunny, and he’s good at tag, but then he remembers his mum dropping him off, and hurries back to his friend, determined. He drops down next to him, and Izuku sniffs as he looks over at him, obviously surprised. Tenya makes sure he’s pressed up close, so Izuku knows he is – well, there.

 “Tenya?” Miss Tanaka approaches them. “Don’t you want to play outside?”

“No thank you!” Tenya answers, because he might be on a mission, but he also wants to be polite. “Izuku’s sad, so I’ll stay with him!”

The woman smiles and leaves them be, and Tenya ponders how he can make Izuku feel better. (Tensei would know what to do, but Tensei’s not here. Should he hug Izuku, or maybe…)

“…you don’t mind that I’m a crybaby?”

“Course not!” Tenya frowns, and then adds, “And you’re not a crybaby!”

“I cry a lot,” Izuku points out, sniffling. “And I’m a Deku.”

Tenya doesn’t know what a Deku is, but he chooses instead to focus on one issue at a time. (He can ask Tensei what a Deku is when he gets home, and then he can make a list of why Izuku isn’t one. Because Izuku is fun and Tenya likes him.) “Well, why are you crying?”

Izuku doesn’t answer, just buries his face in his arms, and Tenya kind of wishes Tensei were here, cause he’d know what to say. But Tenya likes Izuku, and wants to be his friend, so he’ll just have to figure something out.

“Do you miss your mum?”

The nod is barely noticeable, but Tenya almost sighs in relief.

“Then it’s alright,” he shrugs. “I miss my mum when she’s away, and I cry. But I know she’s coming back. But your mum had to go away, and she can’t come back, so it’s okay to cry!”

“…You really don’t mind?”

Tenya considers it seriously, and shakes his head. “No. I know why you cry, and you’re really fun, and smart. And I want to be your friend. So next time you’re sad, you can tell me and…” he frowns as he tries to decide what might make Izuku feel better. “I’ll hug you.”

Izuku promptly bursts into tears, and Tenya panics and runs for Miss Tanaka.

He hopes Izuku will still be his friend, even though he made him cry.

 

 

“Iida household, Takeshi speaking.”

“…”

“Hello? Who is this?”

“It’s Midoriya – Izuku’s father. I just… Called to tell you Tenya is wonderful. And amazing. And you should be proud. Goodnight.”

 

“Tenya, did anything happen at daycare today?”

Chapter Text

“Can we go yet?”

“Gigantomachia, remember: only attack on my command. No fighting without my explicit permission.”

“Can we go yet?”

“I took the initiative, sir, and packed a few spare towels.”

“Can we go yet?”

“Izuku, stands still: papa has to put this sunscreen on you.”

“Can we go yet?”

“Alright, Kurogiri, open a gate to Dagoba Beach.”

“Beach!”

 

The minute they’re through the warp gate, Izuku cheers and makes to dash over to his best friend. Hisashi grabs his son in the nick of time and crouches down in front of him. Izuku is practically vibrating with excitement, but they need to go over the ground rules (again).

“Now, Izuku, what did I tell you?”

“Don’t go in the water without you!” Izuku answers confidently.

“And?”

“If a grown up I don’t know talks to me, I scream!”

“And?”

“When you call me, I come immediately!”

“And?”

“Erm…” Izuku frowns, obviously confused.

Hisashi smiles as he ruffles his son’s curls. “I love you.”

“Love you too, papa!” Izuku chirps and quickly hugs him. Then he turns and sprints over to Tenya.

“Aw,” Katsumi Iida coos as Hisashi approaches the other parents. “That is so adorable! If only Tenya was as affectionate…”

“Glad you could make it,” the Iida patriarch greets him. “Tensei promised to join us after his shift.” Then he turns his attention to Hisashi’s companions. “Takeshi Iida. And you are?”

“Kurogiri,” the warper smoothly introduces himself. “And this is…”

“Machia!” Izuku runs over, bright eyed. “Can you play with us?”

“YES, LITTLE LORD!” Gigantomachia beams and immediately drops the parasol he was carrying on Hisashi’s foot.

“We’re the hired help,” Kurogiri explains as Hisashi drags the giant off before he says anything suspicious in his torrent of apologies.

“O…kay,” Katsumi Iida slowly nods.

“How about I help you set up?” Takeshi offers with a forced smile.

 

 

Apparently Tenya thought Machia was a dog.

Izuku isn’t sure why, since Machia doesn’t have a tail, and isn’t terribly cuddly, but he does make for an awesome dragon. And they both agree riding on his shoulder is really fun.

After a while, though, they get tired and settle down to make sandcastles. (Machia plops himself down a few yards away to watch them – Tenya apparently finds it a little scary, though Izuku can’t quite figure out why.) They’re just trying to decide whether to go searching for shells, when they hear a grown up.

“Oh, they’re so adorable! Tensei, you never told me Tenya has such a cute friend!”

“Nemuri!” Tenya cheers. He grabs Izuku and pulls him along, and Izuku goes willingly. He can see Tensei with three other people, so it’s not like they’re all strangers, and since Tensei’s a hero, they might be heroes too! Maybe they’ll give him an autograph!

He smiles as he comes to a stop next to his best friend; then he looks up and promptly bursts into tears.

 

“What the hell did you do?!” Izuku hears the female voice ask. He kind of wants to run to papa, but he’s also scared, so he hides behind Tenya. He knows Tensei said he was heroic, but Present Mic was really scary, and what if he’s still angry at Izuku?! What if he arrests him?! Will Tenya still be his friend, even when he knows how naughty Izuku was?!

Then the ground starts to shake, and Izuku just cries harder, because the thundering footsteps are coming from the direction of papa, and Machia. That means he can’t go to them, and maybe it’s a really scary villain who hurt them!...

“Villain!” one of the four screams, and Izuku grabs onto Tenya, because that means papa might be hurt! Izuku doesn’t want papa to go away like mama!

Then the shaking stops.

“What the hell?” a familiar voice – Eraserhead – mutters.

“Can that villain swim?” the lady asks.

“I… don’t think he can,” Tensei sighs. “Mic, go save him.”

“Why me?”

“Cause this is all your fault!”

“How is it my fault?!”

“SOMEONE GO SAVE THE DROWNING MAN!” the lady screams.

Izuku hears someone run off, and then – then Izuku hears the single best sound in the world.

“Izuku?!”

“Papa, I don’t want to go to jail!” he wails as he turns and sprints to his papa.

 

 

“You have three seconds before I call the police,” Hisashi hisses.

Tensei blanches, but the woman (Kayama Nemuri, hero name Midnight, Hisashi’s mental rolodex of heroes supplies) doesn’t pay him much attention as she focuses on calming Izuku.

“It’s alright, little guy, no one is taking you to jail,” she assures his back. “And if someone says they will, they’re mean liars and I’ll put them in time out.”

“Really?” Izuku sniffs as he turns slightly, but doesn’t let go of Hisashi’s leg.

“I promise,” the woman holds out her pinkie. “And I’m a hero, so you can trust me!”

“But Present Mic’s a hero too…”

“Oh, so it’s Mic,” Midnight stands up and turns to the water. “MIC, WHAT THE… WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!”

“HE’S TRYING TO KILL US!” Present Mic screams back. He and Eraserhead are perched on a small rock, and Gigantomachia is glowering at them from the shallows. (At least the giant has enough presence of mind not to chase them out of his depth.)

“WHAT DID YOU EXPECT, TERRIFYING THE POOR DEAR?! I’M GOING TO KILL YOU!”

(Hisashi likes Midnight.)

“Gigantomachia!” Hisashi calls out to his bodyguard. As amusing as the situation is, he does not want to be implicated in a double homicide. “Fetch Izuku’s towel.”

The giant reluctantly obeys. As he lumbers away, Eraserhead jumps in the water and begins swimming back to shore. Present Mic however (showing an impressive amount of self-preservation) remains where he is.

“HIZASHI YAMADA, GET OVER HERE!”

“Mr Midoriya, why’s Izuku sad?” Tenya asks, obviously having decided Hisashi is the only sane adult present.

(Smart kid.)

“Well,” Hisashi hesitates for a second. “You see, Present Mic really scared Izuku a while back, because he thought Izuku did something bad…”

“I wanted to help!” Izuku sniffs.

Tenya takes in his friend’s tearstained face, and reaches a conclusion.

“Present Mic’s mean!” he declares and grabs Izuku’s hand. “I don’t like him anymore!”

(Has Hisashi ever mentioned he adores Tenya?)

“MIC, GET… Oh, fuck him,” Midnight throws her hands up. Then she realizes two men are glaring at her and winces. “Sorry!”

“Was Nemuri mean too?” Tenya asks.

“No, just a little naughty,” Hisashi helpfully informs him. “She just said a very bad word.”

“And I’m very sorry,” the woman adds. She crouches down in front of the two boys and smiles. “My name is Kayama Nemuri. But my hero name is Midnight.”

“Midnight!” Izuku gasps, suitably impressed and distracted. “The Arr-rated Hero!”

“What’s Arr-rated?” Tenya asks.

Izuku frowns, obviously stumped. “Maybe she’s a pirate hero?”

“Nemuri, are you a pirate?”

“Oh my god, they are so precious,” Midnight sniffs.

She is obviously a sensible, sane person (however rare it is that such individuals choose to become heroes). And Hisashi is not above recruiting people on the off chance they could be useful. So he looks down at Izuku, and instructs his son, “Izuku, be polite.”

“Sorry, papa,” Izuku nods. Then he smiles at the woman and chirps, “My name is Izuku Midoriya! I’m four!”

(Hisashi could probably recruit a small army simply with the force of Izuku’s smile.)

“Gigantomachia, Izuku will have lunch now,” Hisashi informs the giant as he reaches them. “I need to speak with Present Mic.”

(After all, Gigantomachia might not be able to swim, but Hisashi…)

 

 

“Izuku, right?”

Izuku is still a little scared of Present Mic, so he doesn’t come out from behind Tenya. (Who has decided the hero is mean, and therefore Tenya doesn't like him anymore – Tenya really is the best friend ever!) Izuku isn’t entirely sure why papa, Tensei, Midnight and the Iidas are all glaring at the blonde, or why Machia is growling so loud. (He also doesn’t know how Eraserhead can sleep despite the noise.)

“Mhm,” he nods, hesitantly.

“I’m really sorry I scared you,” Present Mic winces. “I was worried about Eraser, see, cause he’s my best friend. And I didn’t know where he was.”

“Why didn’t you call a hero?” Izuku asks. Present Mic must not be very smart, if he doesn’t remember what to do if you lose someone.

“I am a hero,” Present Mic points out. “And I called Ingenium…”

“Mum says you should tell a police person if you lose someone,” Tenya says, and Izuku perks up. Of course Tenya also knows what to do if you lose someone, since Tenya is so smart! They can teach Mic what to do together!

“Or go to the lost child centre!” Izuku adds. (He doesn’t quite know why Tensei and Midnight are snickering, but this is really important!)

“Yes, Mic, next time go to a lost child centre,” Tensei gasps out.

“Or a cat rescue!” Midnight adds.

“Eraserhead’s not a cat,” Izuku points out, confused. “He’s not fluffy!”

Chapter Text

“Papa, papa, papa!”

The minute Izuku is through Kurogiri’s Warp Gate, he bolts past Machia and up the stairs. He has super exciting news, and he wants papa to be the first to know! This is awesome, and he knows papa will understand just how important this news is! (And he knows he shouldn’t run in the house, but this is a big event! It’s like Izuku’s birthday, only it’s not his birthday!)

“Izuku?” papa looks up as Izuku runs into his study. “What is it?”

“Papa, guess what?!” Izuku knows he should stand still, but he is excited! This is awesome, and amazing, and… (Izuku will have to ask papa for more words, because he doesn’t quite know how to express how great this is!) “Tenya’s birthday is next week! He’s going to be four,” he makes sure to show the right number of fingers, because he can count (to seven!). “And he’s having a party! And he wants me to come!”

“That… That’s wonderful,” papa smiles. “We’ll have to pick him out a nice present.”

Izuku puffs up his chest as he remembers the best part. “Guess what, papa? He said he wants me to come because I’m his best friend!

Tenya is super awesome, and a great friend, and will be an amazing hero, and Izuku loves him so much, and Izuku is Tenya’s best friend! And papa obviously understands how exciting this is, because he laughs and stands up.

“Now that is wonderful news,” papa beams. “We’ll have to find him an incredible present.”

“Yes!” Izuku nods, and then, because he’s a good boy, he asks, “Can I go tell Machia? And Kurogiri?”

“You mean they don’t know yet?” papa chuckles.

“Course not!” Izuku frowns. He wanted papa to know first! And Machia might spoil the surprise! (Also, he wants to tell everyone he can, because he’s Tenya’s best friend!)

“Well, go on then!” papa laughs.

Izuku grins, spins round, and sprints out of the room.

“Machia! I’m Tenya’s BEST FRIEND!

 

It is a rather… novel experience, entering a hero agency through the front door with no dastardly schemes. Hisashi isn’t sure he quite likes the feeling. (He keeps expecting All Might to appear out of nowhere and spring a trap. Which is… No, actually it is exactly the sort of irresponsible action Hisashi would expect from him. Just in case, he tightens his grip on Izuku’s hand.) Izuku is so in awe of his surroundings, he’s gone completely silent; no exclamations and no muttering as they approach the reception desk. Hisashi regularly has to tug him along.

The woman behind the desk looks surprised, (to be expected, Hisashi supposes, since Idaten has not yet sold its soul and is not open to the public,) but quickly plasters on her best customer services smile. “Hello, and welcome to the Idaten Hero Agency. How may I help you today?”

Hisashi picks Izuku up, so he can see over the desk.

“Hello!” Izuku beams, obviously happy to have found someone who might not know the exciting news. “I’m Tenya’s best friend!”

The receptionist huffs a laugh. “Izuku, I presume?”

“Yes,” Hisashi nods as he lowers his son back down. “I’m guessing Tenya told you we’d be coming?”

Yes,” the woman replies. She lifts her phone and dials a number. “Hi, I’ve got Izuku down her in reception?”

A pause.

“Yes, that Izuku,” she giggles, and hangs up. “Someone will be down to escort you.”

She reaches into a drawer and hands them two visitor passes. Hisashi pins his to his jacket, and Izuku examines his in wonder. Then an idea seems to occur to him, and he urgently tugs on Hisashi’s sleeve.

“Papa,” he whispers once Hisashi has bent down. “Do you think we’ll see any heroes?”

As if on que, the lift doors chime open.

“Izuku!” Midnight sprints out of them. (Present Mic hobbles out after her, followed by a number of assorted sidekicks in varying degrees of shock. Hisashi barely resists his temptation to grab Izuku and run, because ALL HEROES ARE CRAZY.)

“Midnight!” Izuku cheers. “Tenya said I’m his best friend!”

“I know!” the woman beams. “Everyone is so excited to meet you!”

“You don’t say…” Hisashi murmurs as he eyes the ten or so sidekicks milling about awkwardly.

“Now, Tensei’s out on patrol, but Tenya is waiting for you in the equipment room,” Midnight laughs. “And I might happen to know someone is going to get to try on costumes!...”

“Costumes!” Izuku gasps. He spins round, wide eyed, to Hisashi. “Papa, did you hear? Costumes!”

“I heard, I heard,” Hisashi chuckles. He picks up the gift bag, and motions for Midnight to lead the way.

“That is a big bag,” Present Mic chuckles as everyone files back into the lift.

“Of course it is,” Hisashi nods and smiles. “After all, Izuku is Tenya’s best friend.”

 

Izuku is having the best day ever!

He’s not sure how many sidekicks he’s met, and Tenya is so proud to introduce him to everyone, and Present Mic isn’t at all scary and is rather fun, especially when he teaches him to dance, and then Tensei came back and he let Izuku try on his helmet!

Izuku sniffs, and wipes at his eyes. He is so happy, he can feel his happy tears coming, and he doesn’t really want everyone to see him crying, so he goes and sits by the table. Tenya is dancing with Midnight, and Izuku wants to calm down before he goes join them. (Because Tenya is a wonderful friend, and really smart, but he kind of has trouble understanding happy tears.)

“Hey, Izuku,” he hears Tensei and looks up at him. “Feeling a little tired?”

Izuku kind of doesn’t want to tell him he is, because everything is really nice and he wants to be good, but he also doesn’t want to lie. So, hesitantly, he nods. “A little…” he sniffs, and then quickly adds, “And I’m very, very happy!”

“That’s good to hear!” Tensei grins as he sits down next to Izuku. (Izuku likes his grin – Tensei is really fun, and Izuku kind of wishes he had a big brother like Tensei.) Then he glances over at papa, who is chatting with one of the sidekicks. The smile slips from his face, he takes a really deep breath, and turns back to Izuku. “Izuku, is… everything alright at home?”

Izuku isn’t quite sure why he’s asking, but he nods.

“Are you sure?” Tensei asks. He leans in a bit and lowers his voice. “Cause I’m a hero, after all, and if anything is wrong, it’s okay to tell me. You won’t get in any trouble, I promise.”

“I dunno…” Izuku hesitates, and then admits, “I do miss mama…”

“Yeah,” Tensei sighs, and pulls him into a hug. “I know. But…Your papa isn’t mean to you?”

“No!” Izuku shakes his head. “No one’s mean anymore!”

“Anymore?” Tensei pauses. “Was someone mean before?”

Izuku hesitates, but… papa said Kacchan was nasty, and mean, and he doesn’t have to see him anymore. So he nods, and leans in to whisper in Tensei’s ear, “Kacchan was mean. And he hurt me.”

“And did… Kacchan call you a Deku?”

“Yes!” Izuku nods. He doesn’t like thinking about Kacchan, and wipes at his eyes. “But papa says I don’t have to see him anymore. And Tenya’s a good friend! Papa said so! And Kacchan wasn’t! And I’m going to be a hero!...”

He sniffs again, and Tensei smiles again as he ruffles his hair, although it’s tinged with sadness.

“Izuku, your papa is right. And if anyone ever hurts you again, feel free to tell me,” he grins and points at himself. “After all, I am a hero. And just between you and me, you’re a pretty good hero, too!”

“Really?” Izuku perks up. “How?!”

“You know how All Might smiles when he helps people?” Tensei asks.

Izuku nods.

“Well, he does that to make people feel better,” Tensei grins. “Kind of like how when you’re sad, Tenya hugs you. And – I’m sure your papa misses your mum very much.”

Izuku nods again, although he doesn’t quite know what that has to do with All Might.

“But when he sees you’re happy, or when you hug him, I think that makes him feel better. So in a way, you’re your papa’s hero!”

Izuku perks up. Tensei is a hero, so he knows what heroes do, and he’s also really smart. And maybe he's right! Cause when Izuku is sad, and misses mama, papa’s kisses make him feel better! So maybe it works even for grown ups!

Izuku likes the idea of being his papa's hero.

 

Chapter Text

“Papa?”

“Yes Izuku?” Hisashi makes sure to smile as he puts the report he was reading down. He knows he needs to get it signed off today, but Izuku rarely (never) interrupts his work. And with the Bakugo unpleasantness still fresh in his mind, Hisashi is not going to risk turning him away.

Izuku hesitates in the doorway, sending Hisashi’s fatherly instincts into overdrive. He stands up and approaches his son, his heart breaking when he hears a suspicious sniffle.

“Oh, Izuku,” he sighs as he kneels and pulls his boy into a tight hug. “What’s wrong?”

Izuku wipes his eyes when they separate, and Hisashi produces a tissue and commands him to blow. Izuku obeys, but isn’t any more forthcoming. Hisashi waits patiently, but when Izuku just sniffles again, he picks his son up and moves them to his office chair. Izuku almost immediately curls up, his small fingers grasping at his father’s shirt. Hisashi allows himself to savour the feeling as he starts humming one of Inko’s favourite lullabies.

(At least he still has Izuku.)

“Papa?” Izuku finally whispers. “What if I’m Quirkless?”

He sounds so small, so broken, that Hisashi has to take a deep breath to try and stay calm (because he hates, oh he hates the Bakugo brat like nothing before).

“Then you’re Quirkless,” he finally answers, in as nonchalant a manner as he can manage. “But we don’t know that yet. Some people don’t get their Quirk until they’re older; it happens. Where did you hear that word, anyway?”

Izuku’s sniffles are enough of an answer, and Hisashi presses a quick kiss to those adorable green curls. They sit in relative silence for a while, Hisashi occasionally carding his fingers through Izuku’s hair.

“Kacchan said I was Quirkless…” Izuku finally whispers.

“And Kacchan is so smart,” Hisashi rolls his eyes. “Izuku, I don’t care about your Quirk. Never have, never will. Do you know why?”

“Why?”

“Because I love you. Because you’re so smart, and kind, and polite, and every day I am so, so proud of you,” Hisashi presses his lips to Izuku’s head. “You don’t need a Quirk. Nobody needs a Quirk. If anyone ever tells you otherwise, then they’re fools, and you need to inform me immediately.”

Izuku nods hesitantly, and Hisashi resists the urge to sigh.

“Kacchan was very mean, and a very bad friend,” he explains instead. “Friends don’t say nasty things to friends or make them cry. So if anyone ever does anything like that, tell a grown up, understand?”

Izuku nods again.

“Now, does Tenya care whether you have a Quirk?”

“No…”

“That’s because Tenya is a good friend. Tenya cares that you are a very nice boy, and you want to help people, and you like playing with him.”

Izuku nods, but it's slow, and hesitant, and Hisashi knows this is not the last he's heard of Quirklessness. But Izuku is still young, and probably is not up to a lesson about prejudice, and definitely not capable of understanding why there is no worry he will be Quirkless. So Hisashi decides they can come back to this another day, and they both certainly deserve a pick-me-up. “Now, I think we need a therapeutic helping of ice cream. Sound good?”

Izuku perks up and nods.

“And how about we curl up on the couch and have a TV marathon?”

Even as faint as it is, Izuku’s smile means everything.

 

 

Izuku wishes his Quirk would show up already.

He knows papa said it would come when it was ready, but Izuku is the only child at daycare who doesn’t have a Quirk yet. And although Tenya doesn’t seem to mind being friends with someone without a Quirk, he’s had Engine since he was a baby, so he can’t really imagine not having a Quirk. (Not that Izuku wouldn’t want to be friends with Tenya if he didn’t have Engine, but…)

And Quirks are so amazing, and Izuku wants to know what his Quirk will be! His parents aren’t like Mr and Mrs Iida (who both have Quirks that make them really fast, so of course Tenya and Tensei have Quirks that make them really fast), they have really different Quirks, so Izuku can’t really guess what his Quirk will be. He wonders whether he’ll take after mama, or maybe his Quirk will be like papa’s…

Izuku pauses in his musings as a thought occurs to him.

What exactly is papa’s Quirk?

He knows about mama’s; can even sort of remember it in use, back before she got really sick and had to go away. But no matter what, he can’t recall papa ever explaining his own Quirk. It’s probably some sort of healing, Izuku decides, because he can always kiss Izuku’s owies better. But he didn’t kiss Eraserhead, and Eraserhead got better anyway after papa touched him.

Izuku ponders the mystery as he eats dinner, and by the time Kurogiri stands to clear the table, Izuku has reached a decision.

He just has to figure out papa’s Quirk!

The super-important-very-secret mission begins early the next day. Izuku needs to figure out the ins and outs – he knows papa’s Quirk works on scraped knees and burns, but he isn’t sure if it works on broken bones, and… and tummy aches. Izuku frowns as he considers his plan, and almost backs out. But he’s not a coward (unlike what Kacchan says). And he needs to find out about papa’s Quirk. And maybe, just maybe, his own Quirk will activate.

Izuku takes a deep breath and jumps off the dining room table.

The pain is so bad he almost faints; all thoughts of Quirks forgotten, he starts to sob. He wants his papa, and his leg hurts, and he doesn’t care if he’s a crybaby!...

“Little Lord!” Machia cries out as he comes thundering into the room, and Izuku starts crying louder. He’s hurt, and scared, and he wants papa.

Gignatomachia takes in the sight of a hysterical toddler and makes possibly the smartest decision in his life. He spins around, smacks his head on the doorframe and thunders out, bellowing at the top of his lungs, “Lord! Lord! Little Lord is dying!”

Papa appears in a matter of seconds, a panicked expression on his face, dressed only in black boxers, and if Izuku wasn’t quite so scared, he would have wondered about the flicker of flame coming from his mouth. But Izuku is hurt, and frightened, and so he reaches out for papa, who immediately kneels and pulls Izuku close.

“Izuku, what’s wrong?” Papa asks.

“…Leg,” Izuku chokes out between sobs. “Hurts!”

“Oh, Izuku,” papa sighs, and for a minute they simply sit there. Izuku is still hurt, and still sad, but at least papa doesn’t seem to mind Izuku’s a crybaby. So he snuggles up a little bit closer, because just being with papa makes the pain hurt less…

…his leg itches.

“What’s wrong?” papa asks as Izuku shifts.

“…Itchy…” Izuku whines in response, and papa laughs, obviously relieved.

“That’s just the healing Quirk,” he explains, and Izuku realizes that sure enough, as the itching increases, the pain vanishes. Izuku’s interest is peaked, and he remembers why he went through with this silly (stupid, stupid, stupid!) plan. But the itching is already fading, and Izuku panics, because it’s too soon, he doesn’t know how it works, and he doesn’t want to have to do this again! If he could only… borrow it, only for a few seconds…

And something clicks.

The Quirk isn’t fading anymore. If anything, it feels stronger than before, a strange warmth-but-not-quite thrumming under his skin. Izuku pokes at it and marvels, so enraptured he doesn’t notice the puzzled (almost comical) expression on papa’s face.

“Izuku…” papa finally speaks, and Izuku freezes, because he sounds so uncertain, so unsure, it’s scary. “…What did you just do?”

Izuku stops pondering over the Quirk, but it’s still there, even though there’s nothing left to heal, and Izuku suddenly understands. He can feel it so well because it’s in him. Because somehow, without meaning to, he took it, like a thief.

Izuku bursts into tears.

Papa doesn’t have a Quirk anymore, and it’s all Izuku’s fault! Izuku didn’t mean to, but now papa will be angry, and think Izuku was naughty! And what will Tenya think? Will he think Izuku’s a mean thief, too? Will he think Izuku wants to take Engine? Will Tensei arrest him and send him to prison?! Izuku doesn’t want someone else’s Quirk! He didn’t mean to, he…

Why isn’t papa angry?

Izuku realizes papa isn’t shouting, and looks up at papa. Who is smiling. Izuku wipes at his eyes, puzzled. (Does papa not mind not having a Quirk anymore? Does he still love Izuku, even though Izuku is a naughty thief?)

Papa takes the opportunity to grab and lift him, spinning them around, laughing. It’s so unexpected Izuku joins in, because papa obviously doesn’t mind not having a Quirk anymore. (Even though Izuku can't understand why. Izuku would be sad if he had a Quirk and then lost it...)

“My little boy got his Quirk!” papa cheers, and then pauses to look down at Izuku, suddenly serious. Izuku almost panics, but then papa sighs. “But you need to promise me you’ll stop growing up so fast. Next thing I know, you’ll be off to work, and I’ll be all alone, and you’ll never call me…”

“Papaa!” Izuku whines, because papa is being silly. Papa just laughs, and presses a big kiss to Izuku’s cheek, and it’s so nice, so pleasant, but he still needs to make sure… “You’re not mad?”

“Course not,” papa smiles.

He doesn’t say anything; he doesn’t have to. Because Izuku feels it (but also at the same time doesn’t); that Quirk he took (papa’s Quirk) is just suddenly gone, and papa winks.

Izuku covers his mouth to muffle his laughter, because papa can do it too! (And that must mean it’s not naughty, and papa’s obviously not mad, and if papa can do it, he must still love Izuku, even if Izuku stole his Quirk! Maybe papa accidentally stole someone’s Quirk when he was little, too!)

“Kurogiri!” papa yells as he carries Izuku out of the dining room. “We need a cake! We’re celebrating!”

In the ensuing excitement, Izuku forgets all about the events leading up to his Quirk manifesting. In fact, he only remembers once papa is tucking him into bed.

“By the way, Izuku, how did you hurt your leg?”

Chapter Text

“Papa, how many Quirks do you have?”

Hisashi slowly lowers his paper and almost wishes he hadn’t. Izuku is staring at him, green eyes wide and sparkling. (Why did he have to inherit those from Inko, why, why, why?) Hisashi ponders the best way to respond, because Izuku is asking what every law enforcement agency in the world would kill to know.

Kurogiri thankfully comes to his rescue, warping into the room with Izuku’s beloved All Might backpack. (What did he ever do to deserve a fanboy? Wait, no, never mind.)

“Izuku, it’s time to go.”

Izuku’s face falls, but he does not protest. He finishes his milk and jumps down from his chair, and Hisashi stands up to accept his morning hug. As Izuku follows Kurogiri out of the room to get his shoes, Hisashi can faintly hear him ask about the range of Warp Gate.

He doesn’t bother picking his paper back up. Instead he frowns, pours himself another cup of coffee, and calls his secretary to let her know he won’t be able to make it into the office.

He was older than Izuku when he first discovered his Quirk, but then he had hardly been expecting to develop any sort of ‘meta ability’. It took years of trial and error to find all the drawbacks and limitations, and many more to master it fully. And of course those years brought with them pain, both mental and physical, pain that he would dearly love to spare Izuku.

Really, the present situation is the worst case scenario: no matter how well behaved he may be, Izuku is still a child. Sooner or later, he’ll slip up, and then it’s just a matter of time before law enforcement comes knocking. Because Izuku is so excited about his Quirk, and so curious to find out how it, and others work.

He considers taking All For One from his son and wiping the whole table incident from his memory. He can easily falsify medical records, after all, and Izuku need not remain Quirkless. Inko’s Quirk is safely tucked away, just waiting to be transferred. And Izuku not returning immediately to daycare can be easily explained away; it is perfectly plausible that Izuku manifesting the same Quirk as his recently deceased mother would be rather… distressing.

Hisashi sets down his coffee and leaves the kitchen; there’s a bottle of whisky waiting in his office.

He needs to take Izuku’s Quirk.

 

 

But when Izuku arrives home, bright eyed and eager to tell anyone who will listen about the zoo, (The elephant was even bigger than Machia! And there were baby tigers!), he doesn’t.

He humours Izuku’s sleepy request for a bedtime story, and even though his son dozes off midway, he still reads all the way to the end. Then he quietly closes the book and just sits and watches Izuku sleep.

Although he has been trying, he knows he is far from a perfect father. The Bakugo debacle was proof of that. The situation snowballed because Izuku had no one to turn to, no one he could trust.

Hisashi reaches out.

His hand never shook before, he notes absentmindedly. But he needs to maintain the illusion of a law-abiding family, he needs to keep heroes unaware of All For One’s possible survival. Izuku’s Quirk has to…

“Papa…”

Izuku is barely audible as he mumbles and rolls over, sound asleep, but Hisashi jerks back as if burnt. His eyes fall on the photo of Inko hanging over Izuku’s bed, and suddenly he can’t breathe. He needs to get out; he almost trips over his own feet as he hurries from the room.

He presses himself to the wall outside, gasping for breath, even as Izuku sleeps on, blissfully unaware. He rakes his hand through his hair, trying to gather the courage to go back in, and does his best to ignore the crushing guilt. He needs to do this, but he keeps seeing Inko’s face and the utter betrayal in her eyes, and he can’t seem to find the words that would allow her to understand

And then her face slowly morphs, and he barely makes it to the bathroom before he’s sick. Kurogiri appears, obviously concerned, but Hisashi can’t bring himself to care. Because Izuku is smart, and intelligent, and he could guess. And Hisashi would never be able to lie to him. All he can see is an older Izuku, an Izuku who looks so very much like his mother, who got absolutely nothing from his father, not even his name.

An older Izuku, who is staring at him with such betrayal in his eyes.

“Papa?” he hears a familiar voice on the other side of the door, and almost throws up again.

He somehow swallows down the bile and does his best to keep his voice steady as he calls out, “Izuku, go back to bed.”

“But papa…”

He sees the doorhandle move, and his blood runs cold. He can’t face Izuku, not now. Something inside him just snaps.

“IZUKU, GO TO BED!”

There’s a muffled thump on the other side of the door, a faint sniffle and then the soft patter of retreating footsteps.

Hisashi did not know he could feel worse, but somehow, he’s managed it. He’s never raised his voice at Izuku before, not once, not even when he was misbehaving. His son did nothing wrong, was probably simply concerned for his father. Hisashi groans and leans his head against the toilet.

He completely forgets about Kurogiri, until the warper clears his throat.

“I will make a pot of tea.”

There is no judgement in his tone, no reproach, and Hisashi is somewhat thankful. His own conscience is more than enough.

Hisashi does not bother answering, he just closes his eyes and tries to figure out how to deal with this mess.

 

 

Izuku is being a good boy.

He sniffles and wipes angrily at his eyes. Tenya doesn’t mind that he cries a lot, not like Kacchan, but he still doesn’t want to be a crybaby. (Because what if Tenya decides he’s too annoying? Izuku really likes having a friend that doesn’t call him names or hurt him.)

Izuku doesn’t know why papa was angry, but obviously he did something really wrong. He frowns down at his picture; papa must be really mad, because he wasn’t there when Izuku came down for breakfast, and he didn’t tuck Izuku in last night…

Izuku wipes his nose and reaches for his red crayon. If he makes a really nice picture, maybe papa won’t be angry anymore…

“Izuku, don’t wipe your nose on your sleeve.”

The crayon falls to the floor. Izuku can feel tears gathering, but he doesn’t want to make papa angrier. Kacchan’s right, he’s stupid. He can’t do anything right…

“Oh, Izuku,” he hears papa sigh. He doesn’t dare look up as papa walks over and crouches down next to his chair.

“Izuku, look at me, please.”

He doesn’t want to, but he also wants to be a good boy, so he obeys. Papa doesn’t look angry; in fact he looks sad as he takes in Izuku’s tearstained face.

“Oh, Izuku,” papa repeats, and pulls him into a tight hug. Izuku goes willingly, clinging to papa as he sobs and apologizes, and papa holds him, and shushes him, and repeats over and over how much he loves Izuku.

Once Izuku has cried himself out, papa helps him wipe his eyes and blow his nose, and they move to the sofa. Izuku clutches his plush, and moves closer to papa, who doesn’t complain.

“Izuku, I need to apologise.”

“Why?” Izuku frowns and looks up to find papa watching him with a sad smile.

“I shouldn’t have shouted at you. Papa was sick, and didn’t want you to get ill too. But you were just worried, weren’t you?”

Izuku nods.

“You just wanted to make sure I was alright. You didn’t do anything wrong. I am very sorry for shouting at you, Izuku. Can you forgive me?”

“Yes!” Izuku immediately hugs his papa, who chuckles.

“Since I was so mean, I brought you a present.”

Izuku kind of doesn’t want to let go, but he’s curious to know what his present is. Papa chuckles again and moves to crouch down in front of him, so they are face to face.

“Now Izuku, before I give you it, I need you to understand something about our Quirk. It can be really strong, see, so papa keeps it a secret. Because otherwise bad people will want it. And they’ll come and hurt us. Can you keep it a secret?”

Izuku nods hesitantly, although he doesn’t quite understand.

“Good,” papa smiles and ruffles his hair. “You’re such a smart boy. If anyone asks, tell them you’re like mum, alright?”

Izuku nods again, this time with more confidence. Obviously it’s not lying if papa says he should say so, and Izuku can do that. Besides, taking Quirks isn’t really impressive. (It’s kind of scary – Izuku doesn’t want Tenya to think he’s a thief, because thieves are villains.)

“Now, Quirks are fascinating, aren’t they?”

“Yeah!” Izuku immediately smiles and nods eagerly. “I want to know all about them! Then I can be the bestest hero!”

“You are definitely my son,” papa mutters with a smile. Izuku isn’t sure what’s so funny, but grown ups are strange.

He’s quickly distracted, anyway. Papa hands him his gift, and Izuku gasps. It’s a really pretty notebook, with a fancy black cover, and a clasp, and gold letters that Izuku recognizes from the label on his coat!

“I thought you could write your notes about Quirks in this.”

Izuku is about to take it, but then he realizes something and looks down guiltily. “Papa, I can’t write.”

Papa gasps. “Oh, I’m so sorry, Izuku! I forgot you haven’t learnt yet!”

Izuku wishes he hadn’t said anything. Perhaps papa will still let him keep the notebook; he might not be able to write in it, but he can draw heroes with cool Quirks, and his future costumes. He’s about to suggest as much, when papa snaps his fingers.

“Of course! Since this is all my fault, I’ll just have to write the notes for you! Then, when you can write them yourself, you can take over. We’ll have to set aside time every day for the note taking…”

Izuku almost knocks papa over as he launches himself at him. The idea of learning about Quirks is awesome, especially if he has a pretty notebook for observations.

But the idea of papa spending time every day helping him with his notes is even better.