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Devoted Abettor

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Todoroki Touya is born with few hair on her head and cerulean eyes. She's a happy baby. Always content, sleeping a lot and never screaming loudly. She's her mother's first born and gets most of her looks from her dad.

She loves her mother and holding her hand. She loves playing outside and picking flowers for her mother. Because her mother is just that beautiful! Like the flowers blooming in the garden!

Touya is happy until one day she's not.

At four she dies. Touya ceases to exist by her own choice.

Yuusei is born, red hair and sunshine grin on his face. He looks a lot like Touya did but is fundamentally another person. He's a boy, he decides and leaves his former self behind. His mother gave him a new name to go by. It makes him happy - he's himself now! A boy!

But father? Father doesn't think so. He tells him that she's a girl. That he should stop fooling around and get stronger instead. Day and night, the father he so looks up to trains him. Yuusei is supposed to become someone great so he tries his hardest. He overuses his quirk. He ignores the fact that his father doesn't acknowledge his gender.

If he tries hard enough and gets his father to acknowledge him, surely he'll become a boy in Endeavour's eyes as well. He'll do it! He'll become a hero as great as Endeavour!

He's not deterred by harsh training or not getting much sleep. He gulps down food that's high in nutrition and low in taste. He does well in school and his quirk becomes ever more powerful. His blue flames are hot, they hurt him sometimes, but they're pretty. He'll use them to become the great hero his father wants him to be.

His body hurts. He doesn't know how to talk to children his age; they just laugh at his attempts. He doesn't get to see his mother any more. He doesn't even know that he has a sibling until he finds a toddler crawling past his room one morning. His mother hurries after the baby and...

He finds himself crying that morning. He misses his mother. He wants to meet his sibling. During training, he tells this to his dad.

"You don't need to see them. They're not part of our world." Endeavour states with finality to Yuusei's demand to see his family. "Don't think about anything but your path to become a hero."

If his father says so... Yuusei will agree and do as told. He wants his family, but gaining his father's respect is still his top goal. He'll do whatever it takes to reach it!

A kid at school starts following him around once he's in middle school. Burns litter his body by now, battle scars he calls them. He's proud of them, it means he's getting closer to being a hero every day. It means his quirk is strong and he's doing well.

He tries to ignore the kid from his grade that's following him around. No one and nothing matters in school except what's taught. It's important to do well in exams and be on top of his class. Schoolmates and friends are a waste of time. Yuusei knows all that and therefore never engages with anyone but the teachers.

He's above them anyway. What matters is he himself and nothing else.

So why won't the bird wing kid stop following him around? He doesn't have time for them. If they aim to stand in his way, they'll get what's coming to them. He'll threaten them and, if he has to, he'll get physical. No matter who or what tries to hinder his progress, he'll get rid of, no exceptions.

The third day of being followed, an imaginary vein pops on Yuusei's head. It's lunch time, he's about to get the healthy vegetarian meal set. His stalker is right behind him in line, actively trying to get him involved in conversation. They have been babbling at him ever since they appeared behind him.

"Shut up." He tries to tell them at first. It's what his dad says to him when he talks too much. It might work.

"Nah, I won't!" The bird wing kid laughs, not disturbed by his remark. "Now tell me! Who's your favourite hero?"

"Endeavour." He replies, because he's proud of his father. He's so lucky to be born the number two hero's son, really. The kid behind him cheers and agrees. At least they have the right idea. Maybe it's not so bad to be followed by that kid...

That thought leads to a slowly growing friendship. Yuusei always thought friendships to be a waste of time, useless, but they can't deny that they enjoy Yaoyorozu Isuka's presence. They're a bright kid and have a strong quirk. They might make a good sidekick in the future.

"So you'll be my sidekick in the future." Yuusei decides for them. It's important to think of the future and make plans for it. He already has a lot of things he's sure of; a hero name, a hero style, possible locations for his agency... he won't take much longer to have it all figured out.

And Yaoyorozu fits perfectly into his plans. They're the reliable and charismatic side-kick that he's included in his plans. They'll do interviews and raise his ratings with the public. He'll beat All Might using them. He'll make his dad proud by fulfilling his life goal.

"Nah! I don't wanna be a hero or anything." Yaoyorozu states with a relaxed grin. They bite into a bar of chocolate and chew with their head on the table in front of them. How can they eat something so unhealthy? And this posture...

Wait, why would they not want to be a hero? Yuusei doesn't understand.

"But you need to be my sidekick." Yuusei protests in confusion. It's part of his plan. Yaoyorozu has to be his sidekick. They're perfect for the position.

"I don't need to do anything!" Yaoyorozu sings and eats more of their treat. "I'm not interested. Everyone and their uncles want to be a hero. It's boring. There's so many other fun occupations out there..."

That makes no sense to Yuusei. Being a hero is everything to him. It should be the same for them. Because that's what he wants.

So them denying him is very confusing.

"You often do this. You treat people like your toys." Yaoyorozu muses. They've finished their chocolate bar and now play with its wrapping paper. "People all have their own lives, goals and plans. You can't use treat them like your personal army. No one's gonna follow your orders. That's not how it works."

People won't do what he wants? Then they're fools. That's what his dad says; people who don't listen to a hero's orders are mere fools.

"Then they're fools." He concludes and listens to Yaoyorozu laugh. They hold their belly and just... laugh.

Lunch break ends there and Yuusei ponders about why Yaoyorozu laughed for the rest of their day. He didn't say anything funny, didn't do anything weird. There was no reason to laugh in that situation.

Yaoyorozu is really weird. Maybe they're not suited for heroism after all... too goofy and unpredictable.

What a waste of a strong quirk. A shame.

Yuusei pushes the unnecessary thoughts out of his head and focuses on school once more. Like he should be, really.

And yet Yaoyorozu's words from earlier come back to his mind in no times. About how all people have their own lives and things they want to achieve. People... civilians... if you can't control them, you're a failure as a hero. If they run off in panic and die out there... it's their fault. Not the hero's responsibility.

It's also something Endeavour taught him; and he can't help but agree. If civilians just listened and followed the casualty rate would decrease drastically.

Truly unfortunate that so many are fools who act recklessly despite the heroes trying to help.

Why do they insist so hard to be idiots? It feels like Yaoyorozu has the answer to that question.

It also feels like they won't just tell him even if he asked.

Having a friend is such a pain, no matter the advantages this sort of relationship brings with itself.

--

Yuusei doesn't keep secrets from his father and Endeavour is less than thrilled that his 'daughter' has a friend. He tells them about how they'll be his sidekick though and it placates his father a bit. He begrudgingly allows Yaoyorozu to be friends with Yuusei. Just because they're a Yaoyorozu though.

The Yaoyorozu name is one of prestige in the hero world. All members of that family are formidable heroes but never competition for the top three heroes.

That's maybe why Endeavour allows it.

Yuusei is just glad he's allowed to have Yaoyorozu. Because while he can't understand them, they're worthwhile company. They give great input and are a great study buddy. When he doesn't understand homework, they'll help. Somehow they always have all the answers. It's a little upsetting; they could easily claim his spot as number one in class... and yet they're way too lazy to do that. They care very little about school, sometimes they sleep through morning classes, their grades dropping as a result. They never go too low grade-wise, but they could do so much better that it's unnerving.

They're a riddle he finds himself pondering about way too often. How do they see life? Who's orders do they follow? Their parents' probably. Or are they the kind of fool who doesn't follow rules set by someone of authority?

They're too clever for that... there's no way they don't. Even if they slack off in class.

It doesn't make sense. They don't make sense at all.

"Hey, hey! Let me come over to your house! I wanna see Endeavour!" Yaoyorozu demands after class one time. Aren't they going straight home? Middle schoolers should do that, right?

It's what he's doing at the very least. Endeavour is waiting for him and he has so much to do once he's home.

Can he bring Yaoyorozu over? He's never seen the point of having a friend over. What's the purpose of it? He's curious. He wants to see what Yaoyorozu will do, what they expect of him once they're at his place.

They might not be able to stay long, it's straight to homework and then training for Yuusei, but he wants Yaoyorozu over anyway. Curiousity is useless, Endeavour said, but he can't help giving in to it.

"Alright, but don't expect anything much." Yuusei replies, shrugging. He bends down to put his outdoor shoes on. "And hurry. I always go straight to my place after school. No detours."

Yaoyorozu whines but hurries to follow him and keeps pace with him all the way until they're at the Todoroki's. They talk all the time, gush about Endeavour and how excited they are to meet him. They ask him about what homework is for a subject they slept through and chuckle at an unintentional pun they made.

To be polite, Yuusei responds to some of their rambles but otherwise just listens. It's become a thing they got used to. Yaoyorozu talks a lot and is always chipper. It's annoying, or used to be at least. Yuusei doesn't mind so much now. It's who Yaoyorozu is after all. Maybe he likes that trait in them a bit. He can't ever admit that, though. Sentiments are foolish.

But he harbours them. He harbours love for his mother and sister - and his brother. He doesn't see them, can't see them by his father's orders... but he never stopped loving them. He doesn't forget that he's Yuusei because of his mom's help. That he's Yuusei to his mom only. He'll never forget that.

Maybe he's not as competent as his father thinks him to be but he'll still try his best. He'll hide what little emotions he harbours and become what his father wants him to be. That's that.

"Whoaaaaaa! What a huge house!" Yaoyorozu exclaims as they arrive at the Todoroki household.

And maybe he also feels a bit of affection for Yaoyorozu, so what? No one has to know.

"Shut up." He rolls his eyes at their exclamations about everything and anything in their yard as he leads them up to the front door.

He enters and they go on about how stylishly Japanese his home is.

"I'm home." Yuusei calls into the house, not raising his voice too much but enough to be audible.

There's no reply. No footsteps. Huh? Is his dad out? He doesn't recall his father saying anything about this...

"Seems like father isn't home." He explains and turns to Yaoyorozu. "I had no idea that was the case. Sorry."

"That's fine! Let's play then!" They reply and their wings spread out. "This house is huge! Screams for hide n seek!"

"Play? No. I'm going to study and do homework now." Yuusei states. What's hide and seek anyway? What kind of child would play after getting home from school? It's normal that one should do their homework and revise for the next lessons. Everyone knows that.

"Aww. Boring. Alright show me your room then!" They grin again. He nods. Yeah he's going to do schoolwork in his room. Of course he'll go there.

He leads them to his room and they immediately claim his futon for themself. That's his bed. Why do they treat it like their own?

"So if you're studying I'm gonna nap!" They spread their limbs out on his futon and snuggle into it. "Left my books at school anyway. Night!"

He doesn't say anything to that. It's whatever. At least they won't disturb him if they sleep over there. He sits at his desk and gets ready to start on English homework.

It gets late quickly and once Endeavour is home, Yuusei is already done with homework and most of his revision. Yaoyorozu is sleeping behind him still. What a laze.

They have to wake up now though. He doesn't have time for them any more. They'll get to see Endeavour for a second and then go.

"Wake up." He calls out to them. They stir and rub their eyes. He watches as they wake up slowly. Why are they always so relaxed and easy going? They'll get nowhere in life.

"Slept soooooo well!" They yawn and stretch their hands above their head. They smile at him. "Thanks for lending me ya bed!"

"You have to go now. Father's home." He tells them and slides the door to the hallway open. "C'mon. Don't forget your bag."

"Endeavour is here!" They cheer and jump up. They grab their bag and follow him out. They seem excited now - and in less of a lazy mood. He can understand. It's his father after all.

Who wouldn't get excited?

"Good evening father." Yuusei greets and Yaoyorozu bounces around behind him. Endeavour's tall figure looms in front of them at the entranceway. He frowns at seeing them.

"Why's there a brat in our home?" He asks in an annoyed tone of voice. Ah, he's in a bad mood.

"It's my future sidekick." Yuusei bows in apology to his father for not asking him whether he can bring a friend beforehand. It's his fault really. "They're leaving now, I'm sorry."

"It's Endeavour! I'm a big fan! You're so cool." Yaoyorozu hops around still but has emerged from behind him. Their eyes are shining in admiration.

"Ah? Get lost." Endeavour passes by them without a word and pulls Yuusei with him. Right it's already way past training time for him.

He doesn't look over his shoulder or acknowledges them again.

If he had, he would've seen them frown deeply.

Yaoyorozu changes in behaviour after that encounter with Endeavour. They're a little more silent. Still laid back and acting silly, but something is fundamentally different.

They give Yuusei weird gazes. There's emotions he's never seen in their eyes. They often muster his scars, his battle wounds and sometimes they tell him that they're there if he wants to talk.

What's there to talk about? He doesn't understand. He'd talk about the latest lesson topics but they're not interested. Hero talk bores them too. There's nothing else to talk about for him.

One day Yaoyorozu comes to school with a black eye and a couple scratches on their cheek. No smile adorns their face for once. They seem tired and the teacher makes them stay behind lesson at the end of the day. Yuusei is interested too.

Does Yaoyorozu get bullied? A hero should step in if that's the case. And he's a hero. He'll ask them if he can help in some way. There was no chance today but he'll definitely find one tomorrow.

It still bothers him at night that day. This hasn't ever happened to his friend. No one he can think of hates them. Actually they're pretty much friends with everyone. Is it third years? What indecent behaviour. He really needs to get to the bottom of this and help.

"Ah, I just fell at home!" Yaoyorozu states and grins at his questions the next day. "Don't you sometimes fall too? You've got plenty of scars!"

Those are from training though. His scars are a sign of his growing strength. Oh. Have they started going down the same path as him? He thought they didn't want to be a hero?

"You've decided to be a hero too?" He asks them in enthusiasm he didn't know he had in himself. If 'falling' is a metaphor for training that's what they meant right?

"Hahaha, you're really dumb, Todoroki." They laugh.

There's no humour to be heard.

He has no idea what they mean or why they aren't themself anymore. They grow more tired by the day and have they started losing weight? They're more pale and injuries in odd places have become a common occurrence. The teachers often make Yaoyorozu stay behind at school. Their grades have dropped too.

And those injuries... Yuusei doesn't think one can really get them from training. He's never sustained anything like they do. They keep saying they fell at home or something similar. They're lazy and carefree but they're not clumsy. He can't see them tripping and running into doors that often.

So they're lying. Yaoyorozu is lying to him. He doesn't know the reason or understand the purpose of lying. Heroes need to be just and honest. That's normal.

But they're not him; they might never be a hero. He's come to accept that but he still doesn't get the sense in lying. He needs to know.

"Why are you lying?" He inquires during lunch one day after they've come to school with even more injuries. "You don't fall or run into doors. Tell me why you make up stories."

"I'm no different from you." They tell him with a tired smile. "You come to school with bruises and scratches."

"They make me stronger." He retorts. Does that mean Yaoyorozu is also training their body now? They didn't want to be a hero, did they? But... no, their injuries can't be from training at all. If they are, then it's the wrong regimen. "But they don't make you stronger."

Yaoyorozu sighs heavily. "You're dumb. Really dumb. You and me both shouldn't be hurting."

"I'm not hurting." He frowns. What are they talking about? He seriously doesn't get it.

They shrug, though, and simply leave him in the yard.

He can't focus on maths at all after their lunch period discussion.

He looks at his hand. At the blisters and burns. At the calluses and scars. He might be hurting but heroes hurt all the time; it's just normal.

It's good to hurt, even - it makes you stronger, doesn't it? So what if Yaoyorozu was right? So what if he's hurting? It'll benefit his future.

Maybe they just don't understand that about him though. They're not like him.

At some point they become happier again. Like their old self. There's no more bruises or other injuries on their body. They smile and grin again. They sleep a lot less during lessons.

He's glad about that. He missed their babbling and lazy smiles if he's being honest. They look so much better like this.

"I'm at a better place now." They tell him before school one day. They seem ready to nap at their desk, head laying down on their crossed arms. "I'm not 'falling' any more. You shouldn't be either. If you talk to the teachers, they can help you."

"Help me?" He shakes his head. He doesn't need help. Why would he? There's nothing wrong in his life like there was in theirs.

"I don't need help." He states. They sigh at him and go to sleep.

Really, only they needed help. He takes out his text book and sits straight in his seat.

He's perfectly fine.

The school year ends and the new one begins, bringing with itself little changes.

Todoroki's training gets harder; it's high time he prepares for UA his father says and he understands. He has to up his quirk training; his father orders bigger and hotter flames. His quirk is becoming stronger.

It hurts. It's too hot for his body and he burns himself a lot more often.

Yaoyorozu, for once, doesn't berate him for that.

In fact, they've started becoming less happy again. He isn't dumb; he knows that last year's occurrence was linked to domestic abuse now. Yaoyorozu had abusive parents last year and lives with foster guardians now.

And these foster parents don't seem to do much better. Even if there's no 'falling' included, it's visible that Yaoyorozu isn't feeling well there anymore.

"I'll never be happy." They tell him and smile tiredly. "But hey, at least I'm not alone."

They touch his shoulder and scurry off.

Happiness, huh? It's not something he needs. Heroes aren't happy; they only need to be reassuring to civilian victims. His father isn't happy. He isn't happy.

It's normal.

What's happiness anyway? He doesn't know it.

Maybe his mother was happiness...

Yaoyorozu gets worse and worse over time. They look pale, the bags under their eyes are something else entirely and they're losing weight again. Rapidly.

They spend most time either sleeping or in the nurse's room these days.

He wants them to be happy again. He doesn't need to be, but they do. Can he make them happy? Like a hero would? He has no confidence he can; he has no experience in that area. He can't help them with their living situation either. But he wants... needs to do something.

They're always there for him. It's his turn now.

Thus he catches them after school and calls out to them, who're already on their way to the gate. They turn around and tilt their head at him. He quickly catches up and decides to hug them.

That's how his mum calmed him down as a toddler. Hugs.

Though he has no idea how hugs work. Schoolmates giggle and point their way. He doesn't care. Yaoyorozu seems perplexed at the sudden gesture.

"What are you doing, Todoroki?" They ask, confused.

"I. I don't want you to feel sad." He stutters and his face starts feeling hot. It's different from his quirk, this warmth. What is it?

Yaoyorozu starts trembling, then crying in their arms and he immediately goes rigid. He... did he step out of line? He removes himself quickly and looks into their eyes.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to. I..." He tries but they shake their head and walk straight back into his still open arms. They wrap their arms around his middle.

"Stupid." They sob and bury their face in his shoulder.

So a hug is okay. But why are they crying? He thought maybe he could console a bit by hugging them. He lets them cry and once they're almost done, they take half a step back.

"I've been thinking." They breathe as they're trying to calm down. They brush a fingertip along one of the scars in his face. It tickles. "You're not a hero yet, right? Heroes don't hurt civilians. Yet your father does on a daily basis. Is that okay?"

He has no answer for once.

He does think about it though. He looks at his classmates and ponders. Many of them want to be heroes like him. No one is as strong as him, but they aren't weak either. They're happy pursuing the same goal as he does. They don't hurt. They don't have his scars. They are... normal.

He does have an advantage in contrast to them, but he wonders if that's really necessary. He wonders if the harsh training is beneficial to him in the end. He always thought it was. He wants to make his dad proud. He exists to beat All Might and be the number one hero.

But does he need to hurt and be unhappy to get there? Why does he need to beat All Might to be a great hero? Can't he be happy? Can't he hurt a little less?

He looks at his hands again. Soot sticks under his fingernails. One of them broke. His hand makes it hard to even hold a pen today. There's so many blisters, it hurts.

He feels uneasy. He doesn't have answers. He doesn't know if he can succeed without hurting or being happy. He doesn't know if he's doing the right things. He...

He wants input; he wants to talk to Yaoyorozu. They're asleep but maybe... during lunch... he really needs their advice on his inner turmoil. They always know how to help.

He wakes them at lunch because the bell didn't. He grips their shoulder and it's boney... their entire body doesn't look to be of a healthy weight. He grits his teeth.

"Aww, Todoroki. I slept so well!" They complain once he's successfully woken them.

"Can we talk?" He asks and removes his hand. "You should eat lunch too."

"M'not hungry. But sure, I'm all ear." They lift their head a bit. Their eyes are half-open at best.

"Not here, more private." He mumbles and averts his eyes. "Please."

They yawn and get up. "Sure. I'm following."

He sighs in relief and leads them out of the class. His feet automatically carry him to one of their shared 'hidden' locations. The stairs to the roof, in other words. They used to often eat lunch there instead of the busy cafeteria, finding solace in this quiet place.

No one really comes by here. It's definitely a private space.

Yaoyorozu immediately plops down on one of the stairs and looks up at him expectantly.

"I want to make my father proud. I live to... become number one. If I do that, he'll respect me." He explains and looks at the ground. He feels tired. Physically drained. Last night... they've overdone it. "It's all I need to achieve. But..."

He looks up at them again and their brows are furrowed. They seem completely awake now. And angry.

Why are they angry?

"Go on." They almost order. Well alright then.

"But... do I have to hurt? Do I have to be sad? Do I have to become number one?" He asks and his eyes start burning. Is... is he about to cry? Why? Why does he suddenly feel so empty?

Tears run down his cheeks and he can't hold in a sob. He sees Yaoyorozu's eyes widen through a veil of tears. They get up and hug him.

Real tight. It makes him want to cry even more. Why does his body react in these incomprehensible ways?

"Shhh, don't cry." They whisper. He feels their hand in his hair, running through it slowly.

"I'm. I'm not crying." He chockes out. He wants to stop sobbing like a child. He can't. The tears just keep coming.

Why?

"It's okay. It's okay, I'm here." They pull him a little closer and... the head scratches feel real nice. He really loves being hugged.

Only his mother hugged him. His father never did.

"Thanks." He breathes out once he manages to calm down a bit.

"I'm glad you're starting to see." They mutter and remove themself from him. They take his hand and tug him towards the stairs. He sits down with them.

He's... starting to see? Probably. He does understand Yaoyorozu a little better now.

Still, he's so confused.

"What do you want to be?" He asks them. Because... he knows being a hero isn't the only occupation out there. He never asked them what they want to be...

They lean on his shoulder. "Happy. I want to be happy."

Maybe they're really just the same.

His inner turmoil just grows seeing Yaoyorozu. He wonders what heroes actually do and what they stand for. He wonders why the teachers don't help Yaoyorozu anymore. He wonders if his dad really qualifies as a hero.

He bullies his wife. He ignores his children. He never smiles. He doesn't love.

Yuusei only ever hurt because of his father, didn't he? He wonders if a hero is what he wants to be. It's what his father wants him to be. It's why he was born, his father says. He never questioned that.

"I only exist to be a hero." He says and looks at his hands again. Yaoyorozu's look so unblemished in comparison to his. "That's why I was born. I don't know though. I don't..."

"You live to be yourself." Yaoyorozu says and takes his hand. He likes the affections they provide him with... "You don't have to be a hero. Or hurt. It's your life, no one should get to decide for you."

They're right, aren't they? He doesn't have to do anything.

But what does he have apart from being a hero?

"Let's skip afternoon lessons." Yaoyorozu suggests and stretches. "I'm tired. No point in going."

Skipping feels wrong. Another thing that's been drilled into his head is education. He likes learning things but his head is a mess. He wouldn't be able to focus.

"Yeah, let's." He agrees and they smile at him. He catches a glimpse of their real, happy self in their genuine smile. They move over and lay their head on his lap.

"Nice nap pillow!" They cheer and let their eyes slip shut. He watches as they pass out quickly. Doesn't feel bad. Actually he likes them sleeping on his lap.

It's comfortable.

He worries about them. Why do they not get help from the teachers any more? Or a hero. Heroes should be there to help, shouldn't they? But they don't help anyone like him and Yaoyorozu who are in bad places. Why?

Aren't heroes out there supposed to help? Aren't they supposed to save civilians? There's so many heroes out there, why do two middle school students like them have to hurt like this on a daily basis?

He leans against the railing of the stairs. He's tired too... he grabs Yaoyorozu's hand again and tries to go to sleep as well.

It's pitch dark when he wakes up. Yaoyorozu is poking at his cheek. They still don't seem well rested and honestly he doesn't feel either. One side of his head hurts from sleeping in an odd position.

"It's like six pm." They whisper in delight. Their face is all lit up. "We could stay at school overnight!"

Not going home? He likes the idea of it. He feels sore all over and not having to train for a day seems like a blessing. His father might be real scary tomorrow but he'll think about that when the time comes.

"I would like that." He admits and they throw themself at him. Hugging him and giggling. He allows a smile as well.

"We can tell ghost stories and stuff!" They suggest in excitement. "Or play hide and seek! Or go to library!"

Oh the library. He'd love that. Playing hide and seek sounds fun too.

He has more fun than he's ever had in his life.

He watches the sunrise with Yaoyorozu from a window on first floor. It's beautiful.

"I'm not Touya." He says. He's almost forgotten... who he is. He's Yuusei. He's a boy.

"Who are you, then?" Yaoyorozu asks, both elbows on the windowsill and their head on their palms.

"I'm Yuusei. I'm a boy." He explains.

"I'm not a girl either. Nor a boy. I'm Isuka." Yaoyorozu straightens up and turns to face him. "Good to meet real you."

"Want to trade uniforms?" He's more than tired of the skirt. It never felt right.

"Great idea." They grin. "I'll do it if you let me call you by your first name!"

"Then I ask the same of you."

"Let's do this, Sei-chan!"

They both go to school in each others uniforms. It feels a lot better like this to him; it finally feels right!

He's tired as heck and copies Yaoyorozu in simply going to sleep.

They can't stop laughing about that once lunch comes around.

"I like the real you." They say and today they actually let him share the lunch he buys with them. Or rather, they eat his dessert.

He's so glad they ate at least a bit.

He gets punished at home and day after he's in no condition to go to school. He's got a third degree burn on both of his arms. It doesn't hurt any more, but he's at hospital to get treatment.

It's better than being at home by far. His father has overworked him again. He's been way too harsh, Yuusei is sore all over. And his hands... the skin won't recover they said. It's all dark and looks dead. He doesn't feel anything there any more. He pokes at it but nothing. It's entirely numb.

He looks out the window and wonders how Yaoyorozu is doing. No. He wonders how Isuka is doing. They're probably asleep at this time...

When will he get to see them again? How long will he be here? They tell him he needs to get surgery or whatever. He doesn't want surgery. He wants to get out of here.

That, his father agrees with for once. Says he's proud of his fighting spirit and that his arms will be okay either way. He does have to stay in hospital for a few more days but he won't have to get surgery. That's good.

He gets discharged few days after he came in and the training continues, just as harsh as before.

At least he doesn't feel it on his arms any more. They're dead.

He shows Yaoyorozu at school and they sigh at it. They look a bit guilty, like it was their fault. It's not.

He skips class with them again because heck, he want to be happy again. For the short periods of time he can, he wants to not think about home.

"I don't wanna go home again." They say once it's three pm. Lessons have ended a few minutes ago. He can only agree.

He wants to stay at school as well.

"I don't either." He replies and looks up the stairs to the roof.

Silence follows their statements.

Should he stay? He will get hurt again. But then again, he always hurts when he's home.

"I don't wanna go back any more. At all." He admits. His mother doesn't look at him the rare occasions she meets him in the hallways. He doesn't know his family. His father only hurts him.

But he can't just stay at school either. He has to... do something.

"We could run away." Yaoyorozu says in a small voice. They don't sound sure of themself. "Never go back home again."

"We can?" He asks and ponders about it. But they're still two middle schoolers. Logically they wouldn't survive out there by themselves for very long.

"No we can't without help." He states and furrows his brows in thought.

"You're right I gotta admit." They lean against him again. He really loves the physical affections. "Maybe we could get a hero to help us. I mean... there's got to be good heroes out there. Right?"

"Oh yeah. Like All Might. Or Wash." He agrees and looks up at the ceiling. They are right. Maybe heroes just never helped them because they didn't know they needed help?

That must be it. If they approach a hero... they'll be helped.

"Let's find a hero. One that'll help us." Yaoyorozu gets up more quickly than he thought they could. They take his hand between theirs. "Maybe we won't have to go back home then!"

He's up and following them so quickly he doesn't even witness all of his own movements.

The two of them find a hero quickly. Neither of them have heard of him before. He seems friendly though and they ask him for help. They talk about how they don't wanna go back home and that they have abusive guardians.

He takes them to a police station. The police station sends them home.

They meet at school the next day and skip afternoon lessons again. Yuusei hurts, Isuka refuses to eat. They don't know how to proceed.

"Maybe all heroes are just like father." Yuusei sighs. "Maybe they all just want to be strong and beat each other. Maybe it's a game to them."

"I watch TV sometimes. They do interviews and they're all well dressed... why? Why is there so much fame surrounding them?" Isuka asks, curling up against his side. "And they're all so rich... maybe they just want money..."

"I don't like heroes any more." He states in all honesty. "I don't know. Who can help us now?"

"Maybe we're beyond help." They laugh. "Maybe we're just not supposed to be happy."

It doesn't sit right with him.

He gets pushed more and more during training, especially since he's started rebelling. He wants to be the furthest thing from a hero he can be.

It gets him another heavy burn around his throat and up to his mouth. Even his ears and lower lids are affected. Left with dark patches of skin that won't recover, he looks completely different.

And he feels mad. Disgusted. He's full of anger.

He's not himself any more.

Yuusei died in yesterday's inferno. He burnt to ashes and dust. He'll never return.

Instead, a figure out for revenge and blood rises from the soot. One could only call him a villain, for he harbours extreme loathing for heroes.

Yuusei falls and Dabi rises.

A sad story comes to a close; a wicked one is only just getting started.