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The Good Villain

Chapter Text

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-

BAM!

Shouto froze, adrenaline rushing to his head, not daring to breath. He stood quiet, his heart beat as only audible sound.

BAM!

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.

BAM!

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.

Touya.

 

*

 

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."

Chapter Text

Under the dark sky of the night, Hawks was soaring above the bright city that outshines the light of the stars. He was flying back to his apartment after a tedious meeting with the president of the Hero Public Safety Comission. The meeting went rather fast, the only inconvenience was the simple task they asked ordered him to do.

Infiltrate, none other than the most wanted villain organization of Japan, the League of Villains.

Simple.

To be honest, Hawks wasn't surprised they choose him to take on such a mission.

Hawks was taken by the Commission at the age of eight, after he saved a family from a car accident, to be trained to become a hero.

With his big red wings, he could fly the highest altitudes it was humanly possible to reach before the atmospheric pressure crushed his system, and the fastest speed his wings had the strength to achieve. One could think having wings was enough, but not only he had an amazing mutation that was mesmerizing at first sight, but his quirk also gave him control to every single one of his feathers where they could all accomplish a different task at the same time. Seriously, it wasn't hard to see the potential of a hero in him.

It wasn't for nothing he was in the top of rankings. He was one of the youngest heroes to reach the top ten, an achievement it took years, even decades, for most heroes to accomplish, if they were ever near to reach it.

All those attributes wouldn't be enough to describe his set of skills he'd keep quiet about. Hawks was always aware of everything happening in his surroundings. He couldn't help it. He starved for information, even the type of intel he might never have a role to play in. It was all about having control of every situation. The more he knew, the better the results, and at the end of the day he'd have what he wanted.

So it wasn't a surprise when the Commission asked him to take on a mission to infiltrate the League of Villains. It was in moments like these he hated himself for being so good at everything. He didn't like the idea. The moment the offer was out he barely needed to think on the implications of going on such a dangerous mission. His life would be at risk, that was for sure. But he risked his life in a daily basis as part of his profession, so he was used to that reality. Dying was the last of his concerns, he had been train to accept the eventuality.

What bothered him more was the risk it would have for his career. Because playing a villain wasn't just about doing everything illegally possible. The public's opinion had a role to play in their identity, and at some point of the mission, Hawks position will be compromise, and he'll have to choose the right decision that would benefit the public safety, even if it meant loosing everything he builded during his career.

But even if he hated the idea, he submitted to the Commission's order.

He understood the importance of the situation, and the faster he got rid of the League, one less problem he'd have to deal with. The life of innocents were at risk, Hawks wasn't in any position to think about his own selfish benefit. Like he ever did in the first place.

On his way back home, his mind went on planning mode by itself, and at the end of the fly Hawks already had come up with a master plan to take down Japan's most wanted villain organization. Easy.

Well, he mostly brainstormed his options, details will be organized, emergency plans will have to be put in place in case his cover was at risk, but it all summarize into three steps: get in contact, prove his intentions, and not die in the process.

Hawks looked at the hour on his phone. It was already midnight.

Another overloaded day of hero duty, signing autographs, meetings, taking selfies, paperwork, photoshoot, and investigation. He felt his eyes going heavy, and he was planing rather than flapping. Maybe he would finally catch some sleep before crashing into a building again.

Infiltrating a villain organization could wait for a night. Now all Hawks wanted was to get home and try his best to close his eyes before waking up into another routinely day.

However, his plans for the night came to an halt when he intercepted a figure walking down an abandoned street, entering a dark alley, and the moment he saw a glimpse of purple-ish skin and staples, his body automatically went on hunting mode. Screw sleeping, his nerves were on high alert, his wings moved before he knew it, and he was on his way to catch a certain fire user villain. Apparently, the mission would start sooner than expected.

When he faced Dabi, Hawks was on guard all the time. The guy managed to burn a few feathers, but Hawks had been fast enough to dodge the blast and pin him against a wall, pointing a large sword feather to this throat.

He knew the criminal would argue and try to get rid of him. It was understandable. A hero trying to join a villain organization was suspicious, specially a well known top hero like Hawks. His words were carefully chosen, and his demeanour was calculated to make the villain believe his interest.

Hawks made up his mind. He knew the moment he accepted the mission he'd be putting everything on the line. It didn't matter if he risked his career, his public image, his reputation, lost everything he built, everything he gained, and everything he owned. His own life wasn't anything to hold on to, for the fate of the life of hundreds, of thousands, weight on his shoulder. He might not have shoulders broad enough to carry all that responsibility, but he was willing to take the risk and give his best. He had been train to be the best of the best, and he will make sure to succeed on the mission.

Everything was going according to his five minutes master plan he'd come up with.

Until the most unexpected happened, as the villain walked away from his reach.

"The League already has its own traitor."

Time froze. Hawks doesn't react, doesn't move a feather, his heart skip a beat. He couldn't feel his surroundings through his feathers, all his attention was on the villain's back as he walked away, light steps echoing in the darkness of the alley, leaving behind a smell of ash.

Hawks blinks once. Twice. He shook his head. When reality came back and knocked some sense into him, he moved in a flash to surpass the villain until he was facing him, stopping him with his sharpened feather again. "You're bluffing."

Dabi didn't react. He looks at the weapon with a scowl and back to him. "You lied about not wanting to fight."

"What do you mean the League has a traitor" Hawks pressed back.

"I said what I had said to say."

"Why should I believe you" Hawks persists, reminding the villain his current position with the weapon he was holding in a tight grip.

The villain stares at him with a bored expression. Then, he proceed to touch the feather with his finger to test its sharpness, amused by it, not bothered about the fact that the weapon could easily slice him into pieces. "I could ask you the same" the villain simply states, "but we both know we won't get any answers from each others. So put down that thing" the edge of the weapon Dabi was still touching slowly begin to fume "or else this will end bad."

At the smell of burnt, Hawks put down the weapon and unsharpened it, but does't let go back to his wing, just in case. "I'm here to prove my intentions, so might as well prove yours."

The villain's expression remained stoic. Hawks couldn't read him, he coudn't have an idea of the person behind the villain facade. Every person always had something to give away their personality, and with that information Hawks could play with them. Villains love to talk about themselves, be the centre of attention, take on the spotlight and proclaim their none existent superiority.

But with Dabi, it was a puzzle. Nobody knew much about him other than his affiliation with the League and that he had a fire quirk. There were many arson cases and murder that suspected him to be the origin of. And that was it. For all he knew, the guy never existed before the rise of the League.

The villain kept staring at him, unimpressed turquoise eyes judging him. "Shigaraki isn't that stupid to not have thought of the possibility of heroes attempting to infiltrate the League." Hawks tensed, but didn't let it show. "He barely trusts a few number of people around him, and gaining his trust is an achievement that is fragile as glass. No matter the amount of pretty words you'll come up with, he'll kill you the second he sees you."

Hawks remained calm, not once changing his breathing pattern, the muscles of this face stood in place.

"But in my case I am no one ." A flame appeared from his hand, exposing his face to the light. Hawks had an idea of the villain's appearance, but now with a closer look, even with the little of light from the blue flame, he could distinguish the many staples holding together the mutilated scared skin with the healthy one. It was a shock to see the extent of the notorious scars in person. It proved difficult not to stare at the mutilated face. "I'm just a guy with a destructive quirk that fits among their kind and somewhat agreed with their ideals. No one would suspect me to be the reason of their late failures."

Hawks squints his eyes in suspicious at the villain, not quite sure how to react. He didn't know what to do with it but just to make him talk more and see what he'd gain from the exchange. "Why are you telling me this?"

The villain turned off the fire and tucked his hands into his pockets. He simply shrugged and said "Maybe I want to amuse myself with your reaction. You're more serious than you let people think."

"If you agree with their ideas" Hawks brought back, " why bother sabotaging them."

"The idea itself isn't bad, it's the methods I don't like" Dabi explained. "I have my reasons to hate the way things currently are, but my shit isn't with the innocents."

"Says the guy who kidnapped a UA student two weeks ago" Hawks said, without missing a beat.

Dabi frowned. "So you would have rather have me use the Nomu I conveniently forgot that night and have of better use the highest ranked criminals against some teenagers, instead of letting them wander in the woods in directions they were less likely to cross path with the students?"

That shut Hawks.

"The goal of that attack was more than just a kidnapping" he said grimly. Suddenly, the alley felt colder. Hawks suppressed a shiver at the implications of the news he didn't want to think but already knew what the villain meant. "You should be glad it didn't go according to the plan."

It was unnerving how much it made sense.

When the police questioned the students after the attack, no one understood the approach of the League. It didn't make sense the way they divided their tasks. There were many other ways they could've made use of their members, even heroes came up with better plans to do more damages. The League had been unorganized that night. Everyone conclude it was because of the lack of experience their leader hold, but never once did they though of the possibility that someone was behind their failure.

Dabi led the group that night, called the Vanguard Action Squad. It was also presumed that maybe his lack of criminal record was in fact his track record and the guy didn't have much experience in villainy either. But looking back at the way the events happened, it was evident things could have gone differently, even worse. If what Dabi said was true, then that changed everything.

The villain sighed in annoyance. "We could go on all night with this and none of us would believe the other one bit. So do me a favour and stay out of it. Can I go now or do I have to fight you again?"

Looking at the way things went from the night, Hawks could say goodbye to the whole mission itself. However, considering the new reveals, something begin to build in his mind. It wasn't logical ( something Hawks never did ), it wasn't reasonable, it was the worst idea he'd ever dare to consider. He'll receive a lot of crap for it, but what else was there to do when all his chances to infiltrate the League of Villains were reduced to nothing?

He straighten up his posture, took a very subtle breath, and dive in. "I'll leave you alone if you give me a reason to believe you."

The villain had the audacity to smirk. Hawks was so temped to raise his weapon back to that mocking face. "I got information the police is dying for".

"Like what?" asked Hawks.

"It depends" the villain replied. "I can't give you the League's new head quarter's location, which I don't know it myself. Shigaraki decided to be more careful about it, even between the League. But" he quickly add at Hawks frown, "I got better."

"I can help you prevent collateral damages, and by that I mean hundreds of lives. I can give you names of many villains and criminal organizations that have tried to reach out, information not even the police has manage to get their hands on. The League is just one group among the many others, who in fact, have more dangerous tools than us, but unlike us, they work in the dark."

"Also" the villain carefully says the next words, "I can warn you about the next nomu attack."

Now that made Hawks feathers ruffle in alert.

The Nomus have been lately a big topic among heroes and investigation departments. A team of professional from all branches of science and medicine were put together in high security lab to study said creatures heroes managed to capture. Unfortunately, not even Hawks could get information from the research. The Comission decided to restrain the access, leaving only the searchers and the investigation department as exceptions, a stupid ass decision it burned to the last of Hawks nerves. Dabi was offering him a chance to know more about these creatures, and damn Hawks curiosity was eating him alive.

"In exchange of what" demanded Hawks, expecting the villain to ask to avoid prison, reduce sentence or drop charges. Nothing came without a cost. Villains always put their own befenit before anything else.

"Nothing" the villain answered.

He totally doesn't expect that. "Nothing" Hawks repeated, clearly not buying it.

"Let's be realistic" Dabi carelessly leaned his back against a dirty wall, putting himself in a vulnerable position that would give Hawks a better opening to take him down. "I'm a villain, there's no chance of redemption for me. So instead of keep getting myself deeper into villainy, I can at least try to help in the best way I know. By being a villain."

"So basically betray them and run away like a normal villain would do?"

"Depends on your definition of a normal villain, but yes, that's exactly my point."

"Last question" Hawks prompted. "You said you agreed with their ideas, yet you also say you're betraying them. What is your place in all this, exactly."

"My ideals aren't worth hundreds of innocent lives. At the end, the League is just a group of freaks with extremist tendencies."

Hawks scoffed. "What about the low level criminals found almost turned into complete ashes. Don't you agreed that's extreme?"

To that, the villain stood quiet. A somber look lowered to the ground. He looks away from Hawks, the fiery brightness of his eyes extinguished. "Everyone has done things they're not really proud of."

Was that...remorse? A villain feeling regret? Villain and regret didn't go together. In villainy, it was either go big or die, never look back, forbidden from feeling any regret. They choose to detach themselves from society to become outlaws. Sure, Hawks was aware many were victims from terrible circumstances, but the system had put in place resources to avoid falling into that path. Unfortunately, it happened that some people didn't have access to those services, but that didn't justify becoming a villain. At the end of the day, it was a choice.

"Besides" the villain interrupted him from his thoughts, "I can't say all hero's are saints. You literally have a permit to kill."

"In extreme situations that require of self defence, nothing close to killing for fun."

The villain huffed scornfully. "Sure, if that helps you sleep at night."

Hawks sight, running his gloved hands on his face out of frustration. "Honestly, I thought I'd have to go on an epic battle to arrest you so now I'm disappointed."

"So you're actually a spy."

"I was trying to, but now you ruined all my plans."

"What can I say, I'm a prodigy at ruining plans."

Then, Hawks looks back at him serious. "I can't let you walk around freely after all you said, I'm gonna have to report this back-hey!"

Dabi was already walking away, turning his back to the hero, deciding this whole encounter ended and there was no room for argument. "I'll see you around then."

"How do I find you?"

"See you around" he finally says, raising a hand as a sign of farewell.

Hawks never leaves his eyes of the villain until his figure disappears from his sight.

Hawks flies away, no quite sure what just happened.

That was not how he expected to end his day. Sure, he knew he would see weird stuffs in his career, but never would've thought making deals with villains would be part of it.

As he flew, he took his phone and made a call. "Hawks?" answered a woman, the president of the Hero Public Safety Comission, the same who gave him the mission. "What is this about" she coldly demanded.

"Yeah, about the mission..." he said, for the first time not sure what words to choose. "We have a situation."

Chapter Text

 

Today's classes finished earlier.

Aizawa never finished classes earlier. He always was on point at everything he taught. Not a minute more, not a minute less. He taught his day's plans, he'd made use of every minute to give the necessary tools to his students to succeed, and the rest was up to them.

But today was different.

He knew today was different the moment Cementos came into his class and told him the principal asked for his presence. Nezu never interrupted his classes unless it was an emergency.

He let Cementos replace him for the last minutes of the class (because there was no way he would give his students the pleasure to finish classes earlier even if they all complained).

His suspicious were confirmed when he faced Vlad King inside the office and were told they would be heading to an urgent meeting with the president of the Heroics Public Safety Comission. When the Comission was involved, it could only be for a specific reason, and he knew what it would be about.

An hour later, Aizawa, Vlad King, and the Principal were in the waiting room of the Comission's building, waiting for their presence to be called.

It was obviously about the Training Camp attack. Aizawa and Sekijiro where the teachers present during the attack. As homeroom teachers, they had gone through each student's rapports given to the police, their medical records and psychological results. They both knew in details everything that had happened at the attack from all their students point of view (and he'd be lying if he said it hadn't terrify him).

They were still very cautious with the students. Aizawa watched over all of them, searching for any sign of trauma. Most of his class had manage to move on with the school's routine. They were thought. But they were still kids.

His attention was mostly focused on Bakugou. After all, he was kidnapped from a villain organization, his circumstances weren't anything to take lightly. The kid had been unusually quiet. Nothing showed up in his psychological test, but Aizawa knew how teenagers tended to keep their emotions to themselves, specially from someone as prideful as Bakugou. He hoped the kid wouldn't be too hard on himself or think it was his fault to have been kidnapped (although his mother disappointedly didn't helped in that area).

Another problem was Midoriya's case. His actions almost costed his future as a pro hero. The doctor's explained his bones couldn't take such amount of power twice, and if Midoriya ever came to use his quirk beyond it's full capacity while his body was still developing to handle that power, he was highly risking the possibility to loose his arms.

And then there was the dorm issues where he'd be responsible of twenty one teenagers living under the same roof. Teenagers powerful and dumb enough to destroy the entire building over any stupid reason and he would be in charge to prevent it.

Aizawa wasn't paid enough to handle teenagers with anger issues, self destructive quirks, and lack of responsibility. He would ask for a raise after the meeting. No, nevermind the raise, he needed vacations. Nezu would understand.

"The president is ready to meet you" an assistant announced. "Please follow me."

As they followed the lady, with Nezu politely chatting with the silenced assistant, Aizawa and Sekijiro following them behind, not sharing a single word. Both were drained out of the latest events and just wanted to move on to keep doing their job. The stress of almost loosing their students, plus the constant medical checks, the whole Kamino mess (which he was still mad with his students for breaking the rules) and now the dorms organization was a lot to handle.

Teachers had to cut hero's duty shifts to focus more on the students and their security now that they lived on campus. They'd also be more present to help those struggling with the aftermaths of the attack. UA was still working on perfecting their accessibility to mental health care, which should've been done long time ago. If the most prestigious hero school of Japan can afford every year giant robots and well equipped structures for training grounds, they can also afford psychological support. They couldn't ask teenagers to handle that much pressure when even professional heroes struggled with.

And as if it wasn't enough, they needed to prepare the training for the upcoming provisional test to make sure the students would pass, or at least most of them.

Aizawa had faith on his class. If there was one positive thing that came out from all this mess, was that those kids were way ahead of their training. They've endure so much more than most of first years ever experienced, they were even stronger than most pro heroes. Aizawa would lie if he said he wasn't proud of them. But damn they were still impulsive teenagers with a stubborn habit to take miscalculated decisions.

They stopped their pace in front of a large door. The assistant entered the meeting room and announced their arrival.

"Let them in" said the recognizable voice of the president of the Comission.

As they entered the dull room, they were surprised by the present guests.

Sitting around a large table, were three of well known top heroes: Hawks, Miruko and Edgeshot.

Now that was a surprise. Of course, Aizawa didn't express it.

He knew Edgeshot took part in the Kamino raid so at least there was a certain connection between him and the League's case. But in what concerned Hawks and Miruko, he had no idea what link did they have with the villain organization. Aizawa shove away the curiosity. He expected an explanation during the meeting.

Then, standing straight at the head of the table, hands on her back, with the landscape of the city throughout the wide windows behind her, there was the president. A cold and sharp woman, impossible to get to her. She was highly respected among all fields of forces. She was the head of their current administration of the heroics and had a long history of accomplishments behind. "Principal Nezu, Eraserhead and Vlad King, thank you for coming in such a prompted time. My apologizes for the inconvenience."

"It's a pleasure to assist you, Mrs President" the principal politely bowed, although Aizawa wasn't sure she could see the short creature from the other side of table. "It is a pleasure to see you too, Hawks, Miruko, and of course, Edgeshot."

"Please, take a sit."

"It's nice to see you again, principal Nezu" Edgeshot politely greeted back. Edgeshot was one of the top heroes who had study at UA. Aizawa remembered him as his third year senior when he was in first year. They never actually interacted much. Maybe some brief greetings and professional exchanges but nothing else.

"You should come visit some time" Nezu gleefully said, climbing on Aizawa's arm to reach the seat, which by now he was used to it. The creature lightly sat on the chair that had been purposely level up for him before the meeting. "I'm sure the student would appreciate your presence. As well goes for you Hawks and Miruko, even though you weren't my students, the school would love to have you." Both pro heroes looked at the principal with a masked surprised. They've probably never been in presence of him considering they both went to another hero school, most well known as UA's rival (that's what the public liked to say) : Shiketsu. This would be their first time meeting the famous high intelligent creature.

"Sure" Hawks said with his trading mark smile "I could see Tokoyami."

"Maybe when I feel like kicking teenager's ass" Mirukos said, arms crossed over her chest, not bothering to hide her annoyance. She reminded him of a certain explosive student of his. They would get along too well.

"Good" the president calls for everyone's attention as she sat down. "Before going to the point, I'll start from the beginning." Everyone straight from their sits, except for Aizawa.

"As you may have suspected, the reason I called for your presence is evidently linked to the League of Villains. Eraserhead and Vlad King, asides of the Pussy Cats, you were present during the attack of the training camp. Unfortunately, due to medical reasons of their member Ragdoll, they couldn't be present for the meeting."

From what he heard of Ragdoll's condition, her quirk was gone. The Pussy Cats would be out of duty for a while and focus on the recovery of their member's mental health. He took a mental note to invite them to UA later.

"As for you three" she looked at the three top heroes, "I called you because of your current investigation of many incidents suspecting members of the organization. Edgeshot, you were at the Kamino raid and were more in contact with the League. Miruko, you've been investigating cases of murder suspecting Toga Himiko. As for Hawks" she pauses, looking more serious at the hero" he is the reason of this meeting."

The president glares back at the guests, holding for a split second everyone's gaze. And then, she dropped the news.

"Hawks was given the mission to infiltrate the League of Villains."

Everyone in the table turned their eyes at said hero.

Hawks was checking his gloves, not paying attention to everyone's stares. Any emotion was hidden behind a perfect facade of unbothered.

Uneasiness raised over the room. To reach that level of villainy there had to be done serious acts of terrorism. Hawks would've had to accomplish many crimes in order to gain credibility of his betrayal agains heroes; in other words, officially become a villain himself.

Aizawa couldn't help but think of his students. This was the reality they were training for. He was forming the future generation to eventuality face any kind of situation the future of pro heroics holds for them. He knew the risks of infiltration, he infiltrated himself a few criminal organizations in the past when his name wasn't very publicly known. But the implications of infiltration meant putting at risk not only one's life but also their career. Aizawa was an underground hero, not many would recognize him if he was ever caught with villains. But for a hero like Hawks, someone who was in the top ten, the impact of the exposure of his cover would destroy his whole career.

And to think that some of his students will eventually face a likeable situation made grow an unsettling feeling.

The president ignored the tension of the guests. "The goal of the mission was to gain the villains trust and obtain access to as much information as possible. Hawks would have to prove his intentions, win their trust, and become part of the League."

"Last night, Hawks managed to confront one of the members" now that caught everyone's immediate attention to the woman, even Aizawa directly looked at her "and propose his help as a traitor."

Miruko shamlessly snorted. "No offence but you don't strike me as a villain."

Hawks didn't miss a beat . "Like you could do any better."

"Say that again?"

Edgeshot cleared his throat. Both heroes stood quiet and went back to ignore each others.

The interaction was too familiar. Aizawa would make the principal reconsider if inviting them to UA was a good idea (which the answer was no).

"However" the president continued, "the mission took an unexpected turn. It would seem the League already has a traitor among them." She paused to let everyone in the room process the gravity of the news. Even Aizawa had loose his composure by frowning. "Said member turned down Hawks offer by confessing to be sabotaging their plans."

The room was quiet. Not even a single breath was heard. Everyone's nerves went still.

"Sabotaging what?" Miruko spited, as she had been insulted. "If it was true then why don't I see the League behind bar?"

"That's when things gets more complicated" Hawks interjected. "Apparently, the training camp attack was meant to inflict more damage than it already did. He claims to have purposely forgot to use the Nomu they had at their disposition and divided the tasks in a way their strongest villains wouldn't easely reach the students."

"Who is he?" Vlad King asked.

If said traitor was a male, and had power over the organization of the League that night, it could only be... This got to be a joke.

"Dabi."

"You got to be shitting me" Miruko exclaimed, and Aizawa couldn't have phrase it better.

Dabi, the one who led the Vanguard Action Squad that night, caused panic by setting the camp on fire contributing to separate the students, sent clones to directly confront him and almost managed to turned him into ashes if Aizawa hadn't react on time, and of course was the person that kidnapped Bakugou. He remembers every second of it. The fire, the screams, the fear on his students face, and their heavy defeated expression after their classmate was taken. All that turn of events were caused by Dabi.

Aizawa was known to have great control over his emotions, but right now, anger grew inside of him and it took all of his will power to not show it.

"You might think I was fooled by him but I don't trust him one bit."

Miruko banged her fist against the table which made it slightly jump. "Then why didn't you arrest him? If he claims to sabotage the League he should prove his intentions by giving himself to the police."

"Hawks' mission was already compromised" the president explained. "Dabi didn't believe him, even when Hawks offered to be tested to prove his intentions."

"By the time I finished interrogating him I had to say goodbye to the mission. I couldn't afford to loose my only contact with the League so I made a deal with him. The deal was that I'd leave him alone if he gave me a reason to believe him."

"What was his answer?" Edgeshot asked.

"He offered information. He can't give away the League's location since their leader keeps it a secret even from the members. Again, maybe he's lying. But in the meantime, he offered names of many villains organization that have try to reach out of them and are currently developing dangerous tools. He can warn us about possible attacks, but most importantly" his somber gaze laid on Aizawa's "he can warn us about the next nomu attack."

From all the people in the room, Aizawa was the only person to have first handedly experience the strength of one those creatures. The scar under his right eye was a proof of the encounter. It took him weeks to heal enough to be back on his feet, and still to this day he experienced trouble when using his quirk for a long period of time. If he, a pro hero, struggled to make it out alive from the creatures hands, he didn't want to imagine if a civilian ever had the misfortune to be in the same place as those creatures.

Now he understood Hawks' dilemma. There was his duty as a hero to arrest any criminal he'd ever encounter, but there was also the main responsibility to protect the innocents, not matter the cost. He could have easily arrested Dabi and done his part against the League, but with the new revelations, a lot more was at risk. Hawks was in tight spot and had to make a decision.

"The nomu's have become a priority in our list of major threats" the president told them. "If we tell their next attack we can prevent collateral damages, be more prepared for confrontation and the organization of the civil's evacuation."

"How can we be sure it's not a trap?" Vlad King questioned.

"We can't" Hawks answered.

"What did he ask in exchange" Aizawa demanded.

"Literally nothing. No sentence reduced, no jail avoiding, no charges dropped, nothing. He says to understand the gravity of his actions and won't ask for a way out."

"Bullshit" Miruko said, leaning her back to the back seat and crossed her arms.

"Exactly" Hawks, for once, agreed with her.

"So what's the plan now" Edgeshot asked.

The president closed her eyes for a second and sight. "Considering we don't have a choice but to forget about attempting to infiltrate the League now that one of their members is aware of it, we have to think of a different approach, and by any means, consider Dabi's offer."

There was no way Aizawa would agreed to this. It had nothing to do with pride. He knew better that sometimes heroes must accept external help, even from people with questionable morals. But this was a much serious situation. Right now, the hero community was in a tight spot after All Might's retirement and the Kamino disaster. They were at their most vulnerable period. Everyone knew it. Including villains.

Dabi's sudden confession was conveniently suspicious. The League must know the instability heroes were going through, and it would be a waste to not take advantage of it. There was a possibility that maybe Dabi was a traitor, but it was also a possibility he was attempting to be a spy and inform his leader about the heroes future plans. The later option was the most likely to be true

"Eraserhead, Vlad King, was there anything during the attack that might confirm Dabi's allegations? Any strange behaviour, anything he might have said or done?"

"He almost set me on fire" Aizawa said with a deadpan expression. "Strangly, he questioned if I would be able to protect my students, which it was what gave away they were targeting them."

"I confronted one of his clones" Vlad King told them. "He mostly mocked heroes and attempted to fire against the students. He also revealed the League's goal to weak the public's trust on heroes."

"One of my students was almost intercepted by Dabi. He heard him say he forgot about the Nomu, but it did attack two students. Maybe he might have sent it to a location it was less likely to attain them but it doesn't change the fact that the creature almost killed a student" Aizawa might have said the last part with a bit more of resentment.

"In other words, you can't be sure" Hawks resumed. It must be frustrating for him to hear so disappointing results after all the trouble he went through.

SIIIIP.

Everyone's eyes snapped to the source of the noise.

Principal Nezu was calmly drinking tea like in a normal day at work. He had asked earlier to the assistant but everyone was too absorbed by the topic to care acknowledging it.

Hawks and Miruko stared at him in dumbfounded.

He sight in contempt and carefully placed the cup on its plate. As he joined his paws, he proceed to talk. "It seems we are in no position to determine Dabi's true intentions. However, maybe we are in the presence of a chance."

Aizawa had a feeling he knew what was coming and he didn't like it.

"There is a possibility that maybe this is a plan from Shigaraki to distract us from the League. It could also be a way to set us a trap. But, there also is the possibility that maybe Dabi is telling the truth, or partly of it."

"If he is willing to lend his help, whether is a trap or not, we shouldn't miss this chance to have a villain close in our sight. He's still a source of intel, and we could profit of his knowledge, even if it's not directly linked to the League."

"So you're suggesting we work with a villain who's obviously playing with us?" Miruko asked.

"I suggest we profit of his help" he told her. "Gain as much knowledge as possible, whether it is linked to League or not, and exploit his current position. If he is a spy, he will be willing to do anything we demand from him."

"Dabi is the only member to not have a registered identity" Edgeshot pointed out. "Having him close could give us a chance to find out."

Miruko glared at him in betrayal. "You're not agreeing to this, are you?"

"I don't like it either, but desperate times needs of desperate measures."

The president turns towards both teachers, now their turn to answer.

Aizawa didn't need to ask for Nezu's opinion, he had clearly stated where is position landed . He exchanged a look with Vlad King. He nodded to him in support, letting him take the final decision. Aizawa sight. He definitely didn't like the idea. It had so many pros and cons, and the cons weighted in advantage. But what was there left to do in such a difficult position? They weren't in the best place to dismissed such opportunity, but they were neither in the position to take risks.

He looked at the principal. Although they didn't need his approval to carry on the plan, they did need of Aizawa's support to make it work. But their choices were limited. They had to take the risk, and Aizawa was going to make sure it didn't back fire on them, and most importantly, on his students.

His decision was finally made. "We'll agree."

The president acknowledged his answer. "Good."

"But" Aizawa sharply added, "under the condition he is watched and kept away from UA."

"Very well. So it's decided. We will accept Dabi's offer."

Miruko dropped against her backseat, with a clear expression of disapproval. "I can't believe this."

Edgeshot only nodded in acceptance.

Hawks slightly bowed his head at the president, although his expression remained coldly kept. "If the president considers it a good idea then I don't see why should I oppose her."

"Good. This is what leads me to this point. Hawks, thank you for your remarkable work, but now we have a new mission for you."

"Dabi was not wrong about the impact the League's attack would have on the publics approval. With All Might's retirement, people are starting to question the viability of heroes. The public needs to see us joining forces and becoming stronger than ever. This is why I brought you three here."

"Hawks, Miruko, Edgeshot" she carefully calls each of the pro heroes, and then, says the next words that kills the remained calm of the room. "You will become a team."

Miruko was expectedly the first one to burst. "What?!"

For the first time, Hawks actually showed emotions by radically glaring at the president, with a betrayed expression like he had just been fired.

"The reason we choose you three is because of your compatibility of your quirks. You three have strong and fast quirks able to efficiently merge together."

"I already am in a team" Edgeshot said.

"I work solo" Miruko declared. "I don't want a team to slow me down."

"The reason I work alone is because no one can keep up with my speed" Hawks complained.

Miruko invaded Hawks face as he mirrored her. They were deadly glaring at each others, face to face, their noses almost touching, with an intense hatred even Esgeshot looked about to intervene before a fight bursted.

"Are you insinuating I can't keep up with your speed?"

"I'm not insinuating. I'm stating facts."

"Enough you two" the president strictly called them out, probably already regretting her decision.

Both pro heroes immediately separated from each others personal space and went back to their sits, looking away from each others like two upset little kids. Edegshot just sighed. Oh, Aizawa understood that feeling so well.

"Edgeshot, we will discharge you from your current team in order to lead this new one. Your experience in team dynamics will help Hawks and Miruko improve their team work."

"The public needs to see heroes working together. If we present them a team of top heroes, the approval rate will grow, and it will ease the population for a period while we're still working on taking down the League."

"With this new team, you will be in charge to watch over Dabi's movements. Hawks will be the one to maintain contact with Dabi, and you will work together to gather as much information as possible about him and whatever intel he gives. You will keep contact with UA in case there is more information about the League. I want a rapport of everything, even the most meaningless information. Also, everything that was discussed during this meeting, stays between us. Did I make myself clear?"

A chair flew across the room and crushed into pieces against the nearest wall. That was Miruko's way of saying she would unwillingly submit to the decision, clearly expressing her disapproval by standing away from the table, cursing everyone's names with the most colourful language.

"Yeah" Hawks uncharismaticly said.

Edgeshot respectfully bowed his head at her. "Understood, Mrs President."

She looks at the principal. "Thank you for you time, we will keep in contact if we know anything that might involve UA."

Nezu stood up, and bowed to her. "It was a pleasure to assist you, Mrs President."

"Eraserhead, Vlad King, if any of your students say anything, even the most irrelevant information about the attack, please notify to us."

"Understood" they both said.

"Thank you for coming" the president resumed, and it was the end of the meeting.

Aizawa, Vlad King and the principal were the first ones to leave before a fight bursted between Hawks and Miruko.

They where heading back to the school. After all, they still had a job to do. Vlad King was driving, with Aizawa at the passenger seat, and Nezu in the back.

"Do you think it was a good idea?" Vlad King asked them.

"Definitely not" Aizawa answered, without hesitation.

"The plan sure has its flaws" simply said Nezu. "But I must admit I'm quite thrilled to see the outcome of this." Aizawa would argue, but of course, he wasn't going to question the principal's taste on odd experiences. "Who knows, maybe we'll discover surprising revelations."

They were all tired. It had been a long day. The sun was setting, covering the sky with the beautiful mix of tender colours of noon but Aizawa's mind was too tired to appreciate it. He closed his eyes, taking the chance to take a nap before drowning himself into many cups of coffee and work.

"Yeah, who knows" maybe things would work out. Maybe it'll be a big mess, which he was sure it'd be. But who knows, right?

One thing was for sure, at the end of the day, he would need a well deserved vacation.

 

*


He contemplated with satisfaction the blue embers consuming the building. Just the usual. A group of wannabe criminals doing petty crimes. Dabi didn't like them, so he burned down their head quarter. Heroes will be thankful later that someone got rid of their building. Unfortunately, no deaths. A couple of them managed to escape to safety while the rest got captured by the heroes.

He retreated to an abandoned street before he was intercepted. He easily blended into the shadows of the night until his figure got lost.

Dabi was walking back to his apartment, ready to nap the hell out of the night. He was dragging his feets against the ground, back hunched into a terrible position (but couldn't care less), eyelids slowly closing. Yeah, a nap would be great.

But of course, someone always had to ruin his plans.

He turned back to the person standing behind him, greeting him with a smirk. "Miss me?"

Hawks didn't look any happy to see him again. He seemed more upset than the last time they meet. Cold animalistic eyes were glaring at him, and Dabi was surprised there was no threat this time. "I got an answer" the hero sharply announced, "and you're gonna listen carefully."

He announced the Comission (unsurprisingly) accepted his proposition. Dabi wanted to smirk, but he felt generous enough to not piss the hero more than he already was, so he remained his blank expression.

Scratch that, he smirked in amusement.

If looks could kill, Hawks glare would have stabbed Dabi in a million different ways long time ago.

"However" the hero coldly added, "if I ever suspect you to betray us, I will put an end to all this" as well as you goes unsaid, and Dabi couldn't blame him. He would do the same if the roles were switched.

"So little faith" the villain said with the well known lack of innocence he had. "Do you really think of me capable to do such thing?"

Hawks ignored the comment. He said he'd be in contact soon and track him down for his first test, in order to prove the viability of his intel. "Don't make me regret this." And with not another word, he flew away.

Dabi looked at the figure disappear into the dark sky.

Walking his intended way, he took his burner phone out and typed a message. It's on.

"Dabi, you are to gain the hero's favour."

Kurogiri had opened a portal in the middle of a fight Dabi was going to win by burning the useless criminals into crisp. Shigaraki demanded for his presence, and they were now discussing in the middle of what seemed an abandoned factory, but Dabi wasn't sure to recognize it. It didn't matter, his attention was focused on the words that had come out behind the hand on Shigaraki's face.

"Do you realize what you're asking me" he said with more annoyance than usual.

"If I'm asking you this is because I believe it is necessary for the success of the League."

"Why not sending someone else with a suitable quirk for this kind of situations like Toga, or even Twice's clones."

"Don't think I didn't consider the other members as possible options" Shigaraki told him, not expressing any annoyance at Dabi's reaction. He expected it. "Unfortunately, they all have other tasks to do, so that leaves you as the only available option."

Dabi wanted to protest. He was fine with the recruiting job. It was simple, it didn't require much effort, and it gave him the opportunity to freely use his fire. But infiltrate the heroes by pretending to switch sides? Nope. That was out of the question. There was no way he would accept that.

"If I wasn't sure about the rate of success I wouldn't send you. The League cannot afford another loss right now, but to manage to make a move with all conditions at our advantage we need to predict the enemy's moves and strike them where they least expect us."

Unfortunately for Dabi, it did made sense. But at the same time, he was sane enough to understand the risks. It was way too risky. It was basically jumping into the mouth of the beast. This was suicide.

"If there's one thing I've learn about heroes" his leader continued "is that their main weakness are civilians. By offering them the chance to prevent losses, they'll do anything. Their thirst for intel is stronger then their morals, they'd even blend the law at their will as many times is necessary."

The phone buzzed. The message was a simple: Carry on.

He set it on fire and threw it into a corner. He watched as the object melt, making sure nothing was saved.

"I'm counting on you."

He sighted. He would need a nap, a very long nap before things started to get messy.

Chapter Text

When Shouto was accepted into UA, he didn't expect a lot of things.

He had come up with a plan for his future plain and clear. He'd be on top of the class, then he'd graduate, he'd move out from that hell he was meant to call home, and he'd become a pro hero his father would despise. 

But of course, at UA, things never turned out as expected. Because right now, he was facing one of the most challenging experiences in his life. This time, he will have to put to use all those years of training to overcome every step of this new phase of his existence. 

Living under the same roof with twenty disastrous teenagers (including himself) holding the power to destroy the place at any second. 

Only in the first week, all this happened: someone pissed more than usual the explosive murderous blond of the class and he ended up blowing a wall; Kaminari accidentally short circuited half of the campus causing an energy break down for half of the day; someone added more soap than necessary in the washing machine and ended up drowning the laundry; it was the fifth time this week they had to change the microwave; and many other disastrous situations happened every day he lost the count. Whoever had the idea to put twenty one teenagers lacking of domestic skills under the same roof deserved to be sued. 

But at the end of the day, even with all the mess the class caused, it was better than his old life.

Life at the UA dorms was incomparable to the strict life he had grown up to. He was still trying to readjust to this new freedom. He had to remind himself that his father had no longer power over him. But even with father's absence, Shouto couldn't fully forget his ways of "parenting". At some time of the day, when everyone was out doing whatever they wanted, Shouto didn't know what to do with himself. It was like he was waiting for an order, someone to tell him what to do because he had grown up forced to follow. Freedom wasn't something he had experienced before, and as much as he hated to admit it, he was scared to do the wrong thing.

For the first few days, when he'd wake up, he expected the heavy storming footsteps of his father telling him to wake up to prepare for training, but instead, he only heard the light chatter of his classmates outside. He had now access to all sorts of food his father restricted since Shouto had to follow a strict diet to stay in shape (although his siblings had managed to sneak in soba and ever since then it became his favourite dish). Now, every day, he had the chance to try new meals from all his classmates (except from Bakugou) who were happy to share. Whenever he felt too tired he'd take a nap or relax with friends; or when he felt like eating something different he'd go to the kitchen and grab whatever was on the way. But of course, he had been disciplined to not relax that much. Even with this late development of independency, old habits died hard. 

There were other things to readjust to. Two weeks ago, the world knew of All Might's true identity. The atmosphere felt heavier than usual. There wouldn't be more blinding smiles with I am here's coming from an almost godly-like figure. Many were disapointed, but in Shouto's opinion, it only strengthened his admiration for All Might (and maybe he was also enjoying the fact that his old man was so, but so pissed with the entire situation). Surprisingly, he rather liked this version of All Might; he was awkward, but it made him more human, more reachable and less intimidating than his buff form. No matter the image he had, he was still a true hero to his eyes. 

But even if the world's symbol of peace retired, everyone had to carry on with their lives, and in his case, he had to go back to be just another normal student. 

New bonds were created after the incident. The class had become a lot closer. They had a new addition to the group. The Deku squad-which Uraraka decided to officially call- added Asui and Yaoyorozu as their new members. Even Kirishima would come along sometimes and join their group activities. 

It was nice to be part of a group. But sometimes, when Shouto felt overwhelmed with the socializing, he'd retreat back to his room, searching for a moment of peace. He was still trying to get used to be around people and having them actually wanting his company. Even if most of the time he was quiet because of his lack of social skills or fear to say the wrong thing, the group always tried to add him in their conversations. They didn't need to do it, he probably was more of a drag than a good company, but he was grateful for their effort. 

As things were settling back to normal, a new challenge rose up as expected from the class of heroics. They had to come up with a special move for the provisional test. Shouto had a decent control over his ice; he could build giant structures made of it, freeze an entire building, and direct blasts of ice. Now, the real problem? The fire. 

His fire, he had to remind himself, after years of labeling it as his father's. It was still an issue he was working on, but he was starting to make it his own. 

They were at ground gamma, practicing their special moves. Unlike Shouto, some students had already come up with ideas. Midoriya was struggling like Shouto, so at least he didn't feel alone on not knowing what to do.

Midoriya joined him in his thinking corner. He leaned back against the wall next to Shouto, out of breath after his many failed attempts of coming up with a move. "Anything yet?" 

"No" Shouto answered, arms crossed, trying to think on something, anything. Yet, there were no results.

"This is harder than I thought" Midoriya frowned, lifting his hand under his chin, a habit of his muttering. "I've analyzed all the heroes moves and I was sure I could manage something, but when it comes to me I'm out of ideas."

"Why don't you try something your dad would do" Shouto suggested with a serious expression. 

Midoriya looked at him confused. "My dad-" he paused. His faces flushed at the realization of Shouto's meaning. "Are you still onto that? I told you, All Might is not my father!"

"I'm not convinced until proof of contrary."

Midoriya stared at him with a dumbfounded expression, not quite sure if Shouto was serious about it or not. He opted to laugh. Good. Shouto was worried he had made things weird again. 

"Whatever" he brushed off the topic. "What about you? Why don't you try something your father would-uh" panic showed on his face. He looked away, ashamed of himself. "Sorry."

"Don't worry" Shouto immediately replied. He knew Midoriya didn't mean to touch a sensitive topic. "There's no way I'll copy him. I want to do something of my own."

"Yeah" his demeanour calmed as he contemplated the view of their classmates working. "I also want something of my own."

Shouto joined him in his appreciation of the background. His classmates were struggling as well. But, they were all working hard, persevering in their training. Shouto felt a bit ashamed. He had tried all the techniques he knew; he could do a lot of things with his powers and had manage to accomplish a lot with it. Yet, he had no idea what else to do with it. He was training to maintain both of his quirks on at the same time, but it wasn't that original to be considered a special move. 

This class proved to be difficult. He grew up being told what to do, not to think by himself. He felt disorientated, he was lost and he didn't know what to do with himself.

"While we're here" Shouto prompted, in attempt to distract himself from the growing frustration, "do you have any suggestions?"

"Uh? Oh, yeah!" Midoriya's face lighted up as the human embodiment of the sun he was. Good thing Shouto had long time ago mastered the art of maintaining a blank face. "Actually, I got many ideas."

He tried to follow Midoriya's mumble, but it was too much information at the same time; analyzing his quirk to then create a new question under the hypothesis of the possibility to use different functions depending on the circumstances and his limitations and his strength and his weakness and the possibility of creation of new elements by combining ice and fire to make steam explosions by colliding a great amount of both elements-

"Midoriya, I can't follow."

Midoriya stops. He sheepishly rubs the back of his neck. "Sorry."

"Just one idea will be enough."

"Well..."he thought for a moment, until he was struck by an idea. "Have you tried using hell's fire?"

He instinctively flinched at the thought. Maybe Shouto hadn't mastered the art of poker face after all. At least Midoriya was too distracted analyzing the potential of his quirk to notice.

Hell's fire was a technic his father was yet planning to teach him. Fire was already a difficult element. Unlike ice, it couldn't be strictly controlled. Ice was a solid element he could shape it into whatever he wanted, while fire was like trying to grasp air. After years of suppressing it, he had to relearn the basics his father had try to engrave into his mind when he was a child. And then there was hell's fire. It was harder to make, it required a lot more of energy, it was hotter and more dangerous than the regular fire temperature. Although Shouto inherited of his father's fire resistant skin, there was always a certain limit; one could suffer from overheating and if used for a long period of time it could burn the skin. 

Even thought Shouto could regulate his body temperature with his ice quirk, since he had never tried it before, he wasn't sure if he would be capable to handle that great amount of heat. 

Asides from the technical issues, the image of blue fire came with a baggage of memories. 

When his father got upset over Shouto for failing on his training, he'd fume of rage with hell's fire to push him to keep going. Shouto remembers how terrifying he used to be, and he would be lying if he said he still wasn't scared of his father. 

But it wasn't always like that.

There used to be a time when blue was a colour of a pleasant warmness; when fire wasn't just an element of destruction but also an element of calmness, tenderness and beauty. 

He doesn't remember much, but sometimes, few images showed up at the thought of that colour. 

Shouto looks at a pair of hands holding a delicate blue flame. The shadows of the ember danced across the walls, and the light illuminated the room with a tender blue. Shouto was sitting at the very corner of his bed he had been crying over an hour after the brutal training he endured. The flames were held by someone from the other side of the bed. Even from that distance, Shouto could feel the heat on his face.

"See?" The voice of a young boy, older than Shouto, but still young, whispered to him. "Fire isn't always bad." 

Shouto's eyes were shining, mesmerized by the beauty of the fire he was so used to relate with pain and violence. "It's so pretty."

"One day, you will also make blue flames. When you grow up, I'll teach you." 

He focused on the fire until he forgot of his surroundings. 

And the next thing he knows, he's standing in the middle of hell. 

Trees burning everywhere, screams coming from all directions, dark smoke covering the night sky, the sent of burnt asphyxiated him. His eyes were focused on the people stepping into a wide black portal. Bakugou was being dragged inside, strangled by the neck, with a look of terror in his eyes

Shouto desperately tried to reach, but failed. He could feel his heart stop, all his senses freeze at the scene, as the responsible of all this chaos cruelly mocked him with a wicked mutilated grin

"How sad, Todoroki Shouto." 

BOOM!  

They were interrupted by a loud explosion. Everyone stopped whatever they were doing and looked at the source of it. 

"Ha! Take that, fucker!" As dust slowly settled, the result of the explosion became clearer. Bakugou had made an almost perfect crater in the middle of a pillar. 

"It seems Kacchan is done with his special move" Midoriya noted.

"I'll call it Asshole Blower!"

"Bakugou, no!" Kirishima exclaimed. Sero and Kaminari were wheezing behind, supporting onto each others, about to collapse of laughter. Mina, who was with a group of girls, was failing to contain her giggles as well. 

Yep, that was a name worth of Bakugou's graceful language. 

"Training is over for today" Aizawa declared, just waking up from his usual nap. How did he manage to sleep through all the noise was a mystery, but nobody questioned it. "Think of a special move, that'll be your homework. Except for Bakugou, your homework will be to find a name that doesn't refer to the human anatomy. Dismissed."

As they head back to the changing room, Midoriya kept mumbling about many possibilities of use of their classmate's quirks. 

He suddenly paused and looked at Shouto. "Oh, Todoroki, I forgot about you. So what do you think about hell's fire?"

As much as hell's fire had a different meaning for Shouto, for his classmates, blue was the colour of a villain. Making blue fire would only remind the class of the responsible of the attack that almost costed their lives. To them, the memory of hell's fire were synonym of chaos, terror and evil. Said fire quirk user villain was the one to kidnap his classmate and Shouto wasn't going to bring them back that memory.

Shouto was trying to make his quirk his own. He wanted people to feel safe around him, to trust his powers won't hurt them. His father's fire was always about intimidation. Shouto didn't want to intimidate people, or pretend to be superior than anyone else. He was working on showing his own version of his quirk. Not his father's, and much less of a villain. 

He'll figure out later a way to create that same warming blue flame of his memories, but for the moment, it was too soon for that. 

"Not yet. But thanks anyway, Midoriya."

"No problem! I'm always glad to help."

They headed to the dorms and went back their usual activities; finishing homework's, relax, eat, play or do anything considered normal for teenagers. At least that's what Shouto thought. He was still trying to figure out what it was to be "normal". 

He decided to go to bed. He had socialized enough and was drained out from the training. He left the common room where students were over reacting about the news (something about a new team of heroes) he decided to ignore. 

As he was laying on his bed, he couldn't help to think about the colour blue. 

"When you grow up, I'll teach you."

He wonders what it would've looked like. Probably less harsher than his father. Unlike his father's fire, his brother's fire used to transmit a welcoming warmness, a pleasant feeling of security and the only act of kindness he'd receive after his mother begin spiralling downhill into madness. 

Why did that change? Why wasn't he here to teach him like he promised? Why did he leave? Why did he went missing? 

What happened to him? 

Weird. He didn't used to pay much attention to that part of his past. He had grown out of it, so Shouto didn't see why was he suddenly thinking of someone that he barely knew and that left his life years ago.

But for some reason, when it came to the colour blue, he remembered of his brother.