Shouto opened the closet, revealing the many clothes he was going to fold into his travel bag, without caring much what he was taking, it either match or not. Close to the door, his school materials were set in another bag as well as his hero suit case.
It was a week after the Kamino Ward attack that UA announced the opening of their new dorms, builded in order to protect the students after it was made clear the hero school was the League of Villains principal target, mainly the hero courses. The late attacks have been a low hit to the school's reputation. With the medias not letting a day pass without reminding them, the school's efficacy was questioned by the public and many concerned parents after Bakugou's kidnapping.
Now, with the new dorm system, the school could keep an eye closer on the students and protect them faster if anything were to happen anywhere near the establishment.
However, Shouto and the other three students he accompanied to Kamino had to mentally prepare themselves to face the possibility of being kicked out of UA and say goodbye to their dream of becoming heroes. Because not only did they break the rules, but also intrude in a special police operation, exposed themselves to a life threatening situation which involved high ranked villains, and faced them without owning licenses to use their quirks. In other words, they were doom.
So it was a surprise when his homeroom teacher came to ask for his father's permission to let him live at the dorms. Aizawa's disappointed didn't go unnoticed and Shouto would have rather deal with his furious glowing red glare than his "I expected better of you". Now that had hurt more than Bakugou's explosion.
His teacher made sure to warn him and his classmates (because of course the whole class had been implicated on this mess) would have to work harder to gain back his trust, for wasn't for the circumstances the school would have allow him to expel them all, like the previous scold wasn't enough to add to his guilt.
But even if he broke the rules and it was probably considered an act of treason against the school, Shouto would never regret have gone to help rescue his classmate. Because how could he ever call himself a hero if he had sat back at the side lines and done nothing to help someone in need?
He couldn't blame his teacher to be mad at them, the man went through a lot in such a short time and if anything happened to his class it would be his responsibility to hold, like he didn't take the blame enough already.
But at the end, Shouto knew the group intervention helped, and thanks to them Bakugou escaped from the villains hands safely.
So after his teacher finished scolding him and explained all the details to his father about the dorms, another surprise was that his father accepted letting Shouto live at UA. Never in a million years did he thought his old man would willingly let his precious creation go out of sight. It was so unfitting to his usual controlling and short tempered self that for a moment Shouto thought he was dreaming and at any moment would wake up into another day of his miserable life. Sure, he would come back for break, but Shouto never imagined leaving the house earlier than anticipated. He had plan to move away the moment he received his first pay check as a pro hero to finally say goodbye to the old flaming trash, and now it was happening!
Today he was moving to the dorms. He attempt to zip his last travel bag about to explode from the amount of clothes he put in. Maybe he over did it, but he wanted to make sure he had everything to not come back.
Not that he'd have the misfortune to cross path with the pile of garbage of father again with his currently tight schedule as the newly number one. Already as number two hero he rarely came home in the past years, only to train him and torment his family, to then leave again for work. But now as number one hero he was never seen at home, and his absence was a chance to finally breath. His sister Fuyumi would scold him for thinking that way, but it would be a lie to ignore her late easiness and decreasing anxiety.
His bags were already stock with clothes for the rest of the year, and Shouto was ready to move to his new remodelled dorm he asked permission to be renovated and his sister agreed to pay with their father's credit card.
He took his bags, ready to step into his new life-
Shouto froze, adrenaline rushing to his head, not daring to breath. He stood quiet, his heart beat as only audible sound.
He put his stuffs down and listened carefully to where the source of the noise was coming. Steam begin to form from his left side and chill frost his right side, ready for any confrontation. No one would be stupid enough to break into the house of a pro hero, specially Endeavor's house. But thinking back to the last events, anything was to be expected.
The loud hitting noise was coming from the end of the corridor.
As he got closer with careful steps, quirks ready to unleash, the repetitive noise grew louder. He reached the end of the corridor to end up facing the door of a room Shouto passed many times, but never entered before.
He placed a slightly shaky hand on the door and carefully slide it open. And just when his nerves where on the verge to burst, he shut down his quirk.
The window of the room was open, hitting the outside wall caused by the blow of the wind.
Shouto let out a breath he didn't notice to be holding. Of course no one was trying to break into the house, it would be foolish to attempt getting into the house of a top hero. The recent events made Shouto more wary of his surroundings. If he was already starting to be paranoid he didn't want to think when he'd grow up and become a pro. Too much happened the last week and he didn't want to think hard on it.
He entered the room to close the window and securely locked it. But just when he was about to leave, it opened again.
With a closer inspection, he noticed the lock was broken, and it wasn't recent. There was a lot of dust everywhere that made his nose tickle, and the window looked like it hadn't been touch in a long time. Weird. Enji did make sure to secure every window when he was a kid, making it hard for Shouto to open the one in his bedroom. He couldn't have risk to miss one window, since Shouto learned from a young age that he and his siblings used to be targeted by criminals as children of a top hero and inevitably their rescue would be worth a great ransom. His father couldn't have miss this one. Besides, it could only be opened from the inside.
Unless it was broke on purpose.
And then it hit him.
He looked back at the room, inspecting his surroundings. There were many piles of unopened boxes, plastic bags and pieces of old training machines, covered in dust. It was a stocking room no one bothered to enter, and nobody find the interest to be in a room full of boxes of old prices and pictures of the many Endeavor's successful arrest.
From the years he passed that door he never once step a foot in it. The access to his own house was limited and most of his memories were confined and isolated in his room or at the training room. This was the first time he was there.
But this room wasn't always a stocking room. It used to be a bedroom. With the same traditional Japanese style, same dimensions, same colours, only missing the bed and furnitures and Shouto could see his own bedroom. However, he didn't care about the style but the fact that someone used to sleep there. Someone he knew from long time ago, the few memories he hold were buried in a blurry part of his mind he hasn't think for years.
Someone he was meant to call big brother and knew he could rely on even with the little they knew about each others.
An unsettling feeling grew inside of Shouto. These walls contained memories of a person he had been forbidden to know. He felt like an intruder. He shouldn't be there. It wasn't his room and didn't have the right to enter the room of someone that was dead.
"Shouto, it's time to go!" His sister's call made him snap out of his thought. He immediatly got out of the room to grab of his baggages.
When he reached the top of the stairs, before going down, he spared one last look to the door of what used to be his brother's room.
He ran down the stairs and reached the car. After putting his last baggage in the compartment, he sat to the front passenger seat.
His sister Fuyumi sat on the conductor sit and turned to face him, not even trying to hide her excitment "Ready? Do you have everything? Did you pack your toothbrush? Do you have your suit? Did you eat well? You got my number if anything happens, don't hesitate to call me if it's urgent-"
Shouto softly interrupted her. "It's gonna be fine."
"I know, I'm just making sure you got everything."
"Fuyumi" he sight, with an annoyed expression, "it's okay."
She looked at him guilty, with a sad smile on her face. "Never thought my baby brother would leave so early. What am I gonna do now that I'll be all alone?"
"Weren't you going to move with mom?"
After ten years locked in a psychiatric hospital, the doctors approved to let her go, saying she had recovered enough to be reintroduced to the civil life. However, to help her go through the process of reintroduction she had to be followed by a familiar to help her readjust. That's when Fuyumi decided without hesitation to take charge of their mother. Although her job as a teacher wasn't the most well payed job, it would be enough to sustain the needs of two people. Shouto didn't know if his father had at least the decency to pay for financial support. He wouldn't be surprised if the old bastard didn't. But anyways, all that mattered was that his mother would start her life again, hopefully with a brighter future ahead, in the way to recovery.
"Yes, I know, but I have the right to worry" Fuyumi persisted, scolding him like a mother, or that's what he though it should look like.
"It's only for the next three years of high school, and I'll also be back for the breaks" he reminded her.
"Still!" she blurted out. Then, her expression softened and all it transmitted was affection Shouto wasn't used to receive, but was a common look on his sister. Honest and tender, just like his mother before her sanity was far from gone. "I'm gonna miss you."
The view of the passenger window suddenly seemed to be interesting for Shouto. "Me too." If she noticed a small smile, she didn't comment on it, and Shouto was grateful she started understanding his awkwardness.
It was weird. Any concept of sibling bonding was stranger to Shouto. Who could blame him. After years of isolation and punishment to any attempt of passing a simple word to any of his siblings, he grew afraid of trying to connect with them until he lost interest. Now that their old man drop the training and dumb strict rules after Shouto entered UA, he and his siblings were trying to work out with the broken pieces left of their relationship, if there ever was one. It was hard, it was awkward, but it was something.
"Alright" she said, getting his attention, "let's check again-"
"Fuyumi" he stopped her, "I got everything. You can start the car."
"Fine, but if you forgot anything don't call me to bring it to you."
He knows she'll do it anyway.
He looks back at the house. So many painful memories, so many years of harsh training, and now he was finally getting out. He never thought he'd go out this early, and this new life scared him. All he ever knew where those imprisoning walls hiding years of screams, blood, sweat and tears.
But not anymore. He had UA, he had friends, he had a social life. He felt like he could finally breath. It would be alright.
Fuyumi started the car and begin to drive away from their house. But before the building got out of his sight, he looks back at the same window that opened again.
So many unanswered questions and lost memories too. He never thought about his brother until now, and the lack of knowledge bothered him.
As his sister turned around a corner and the sight of their house could no longer be seen, he contemplated the landscape, having too many thoughts about the recent events, but more importantly, the nagging feeling of missing out something he shouldn't ignore. That feeling had now a name.
Steps echoed against the walls of the shady alley, where no glim of moon light reached, drowning the tall figure into the shadows as he ward off the light of the streets, the more he stepped into the cold pathway.
Not his first choice for a walk in the night, but the lack of disturbance compensated for the sticky smell of trash. It was a nice break from the chaos the League was used to revelled in every time he set a foot at the what used to be a bar, but now was only a wreck of rubble and dust. What a shame. It used to have pretty decent drinks, in Dabi's opinion.
After the Kamino Ward fight, and All for One sending the League to Shigaraki's secret place, they hadn't heard anything from their boss since Kurogiri kicked everyone out of the room and sent them all into different locations through a warp.
Last time they saw Shigaraki, he was tightly holding his creepy hands like his life depended on them with a look consumed by a mad hatred no one ever saw before since they first meet him.
The League was temporarily dismissed with no order or task to accomplish as they parted ways back into the shadows and try to stay as low level as possible until their next move.
In the meantime, Dabi was waisting his time doing what he always did. Wandering around the streets, searching for a new place to sleep, crossing paths with petty criminals thinking they had what it took to be a villain just to end up turned into a pile of ash. Just the usual.
To add for his annoyance, for the last week, he was force to handle a heavy headache from the massive hit that old man hit him with at Kamino. He couldn't properly move his neck afterwards. What a bother.
But he was used to deal with bad things. He accepted and assume his life choices, and made up his mind that his decisions would lead to certain unpleasant circumstances until it became his every day life.
A good example could be the fact that he was being followed from the last five minutes.
Without giving his follower a chance, he threw his arm to their direction, unleashing a blast of fiery blue fire the figure dodged with an exceptional speed Dabi's eyes only managed to caught it's shadow in the middle of the darkness of the abandoned streets. Whoever followed him had a speed related quirk. Not Dabi's comfort zone, but he wasn't going to give up that easily.
He threw another blast towards the sound of an unrecognizable movement he didn't have the mind, neither the time, to think about it, for before he could riposte with another blast of fire, he was pushed-no, violently dragged into a wall of bricks, hitting his back hard.
Dabi bite a cry into a growl at the impact. He was about to quickly push back, when a sharp weapon was pointed at him.
"I'm not here to fight you."
He looked up from the weapon to the person, and the moment he recognize who the mysterious bastard was, he smirked at him. "Your actions tells something else, hero."
The newly number two hero Hawks was threatening him with what resembled of a sword ( was that a sharp feather? ) an inch away from his throat, and many other scattered sharpened feathers surrounding the hero's figure and his big red wings, pointing at Dabi's direction like knife missiles, ready to stab him at any moment.
"I thought it'd made you listen to me before you roast me alive-" with his free hand he shoot a blast to the hero, not giving him a chance to finish. The asshole unfortunately flew away too fast to get turned into fried chicken, but a slight smell of burnt of something else than his own skin indicated the villain did manage to get close to him.
Dabi was no fool, he knew some of the heroes tactics to distract their opponents. It was all about using pretty words and make their opponent talk to gain time, elaborate a plan, and take them down. Dabi would do the same thing to them. He'd enjoy messing with them through words, enough to get a reaction from them or distract them for just a second, enough time to send a blast.
"What does the number two hero would like to talk with a villain" he said, lighting up his hands ready to send another blast.
"Wait!" He slowly landed facing Dabi in a respectable distance, far enough to make an escape if the villain tried to attack with his fire again. The hero raised his hands in surrender. "Just listen to me. Like I said, I don't want to fight."
Dabi's fire from his hands remained flickering as he sceptically stared at Hawks, searching for any traitorous sign to expose his real intentions. Because, a hero trying to talk to a villain without putting up a fight first? Now that was a first.
"I have an offer the League cannot deny" Hawks announced.
Dabi considered his words with precaution. The hero was calm. Bored stare, a slight frown, with an effortless demeanour fooling anyone to believe he wasn't tense. But from his short years of experience as a villain, he could tell when someone was hiding behind a perfect mask. The unblinking animalistic golden eyes were intensely glaring at him, and from the poor light his fire was illuminating the abandoned alley, he could see the feathers from his wings went rigid, almost as sharp as the sword feather the hero had put down. His expression was calculated, everything about his actions were strictly well thought. Dabi had to give it to him, he was a pretty good liar. It didn't mean he could fool Dabi.
"If this is a peace offer you can either leave" he slightly flickered his fire "or burn."
"Nah" the hero confidently said, "I got better."
They stared at each others, expecting. Dabi back from his fighting stand but kept the fire. At this, Hawks took it as a go to talk, and his expression became serious.
"I've been following the League for a while. I've grown an interest on your ideals and want to contribute."
Dabi remained silent, not letting go any expression.
The hero continued. "You want to make crumble the whole heroic system, right? I've seen what happens behind the scenes. The corruption, the manipulation and the many moved strings for personal gain. No one knows the reality of the heroics better than I do and I don't want to work for a system that claims to be heroes when there's nothing heroic about it."
"So you want to join" he mocked the hero. He light off the fire and simply walked away, turning his back to the winged hero. A risky move, but Dabi knew the guy wouldn't attack him. Not when his own benefice was at risk. "Not a chance, birdie. Piss off."
"Wow, okay, so you're gonna turn on the chance to get access to intel that is clearly out of your league?" Hawks said, almost offended by Dabi's indifference. Typical reaction from a self centred hero not obtaining what he wants. Dabi knew his kind. Those were the most annoying ones. But also the most fun to mess with. Specially if said hero wasn't happy for not getting good results to his attempt to fool Dabi into trusting him when it was so obvious his true intentions were to infiltrate the League. It was almost offensive to think he'd fail for that trick. "I'm offering you the chance to be a step forward than the heroes" he pressed." You might not trust me but I can prove my intentions."
Dabi stopped, back still to Hawks.
He could accept his offer. He could submit the guy into a series of test that would be a pain to follow. He was impressed by the willingness of Hawks to risk everything to get into the League. Just imagining all the criminal things he would do to gain his trust was sure a tempting idea, all the beneficial intel for the League's cause, and the opened ways to chaos and destruction. So many possibilities, so many chances to have the upper hand, to be a step further than the heroes.
It was tempting. Very tempting.
What a shame it wasn't in Dabi's plans.
He turned to face Hawks without hesitation, it caught him of guard, but remained in his spot. They locked eyes, not daring to bat an eye at each others presence. "If Shigaraki knew you were trying to fool him" the villain slowly but carefully said, making sure the hero would engrave those words into his mind "he'd take your presence as an insult and decay those wings the second he lays eyes on you. So go and tell those higher up bosses of yours the League does not accept people claiming to be bad guys when they're clearly not." Then, Dabi turned around and walked away.
In the silence of the dark alley, with only the sound of his light steps, under the invading smell of burt flesh coming from his fuming wrists, the villain doesn't stop to say the next words.
"Besides, the League already has its own traitor."