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No One Left Behind

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Not all men are created equal. Izuku Midoriya learned that when he was only four. 

All children learned that important lesson at one point or another, but not usually so young. Not from being called useless by classmates and former friends for not having a strong Quirk. Not by getting beaten to the ground before going home. 

He was four when he was told it was near impossible for him to be a hero. When his mother apologized instead of saying he could be anything he wanted. When Kacchan became a bully instead of a friend. He would still be an amazing hero, even if he beat down the little Deku near the playground slide. Izuku thought only villains did that. 

He came home that day with starburst burns and purple bruises. There weren’t many tears, an odd thing for him. 

Kacchan had tried to bully another kid, and Izuku stopped him. He didn’t regret it. Not even when he was pushed to the ground and kicked when he was down. Not when Tsubasa had whacked him with his wings. Not even when Kacchan dragged him to his feet to blast his arms with firecracker pops. He had saved someone for once. That was all he needed. 

The one thing he did regret was letting his mom see him like that. The instant he walked into the kitchen she was on him. Fussing and demanding to know what had happened. Only then did he cry, nestled in her arms on the floor. He didn’t cry because of the pain. No, he cried for what he had lost when he was told about his Quirk. 

“Oh my baby, what happened?” Inko murmured softly as she held him tight.

He told her everything. Kacchan and his bullying, everyone ignoring him, and even the negligent teachers. He told her how he would always hide the bruises and burns to stop her from worrying. 

How her words had hurt him even more than the fire on his skin had.

His mom treated his burns and bruises while he spoke. They weren’t too bad, since Kacchan’s explosions weren’t very powerful yet. Izuku could tell she was mad though. Not at him, but at the school. The Bakugou’s too, even if Mitsuki was her friend. At least that’s what he hoped. 

“Izuku, you know this isn’t alright, yes?”

He nodded mutely, knowing she was referring to Kacchan’s burns. She sighed, and gently ran her fingers through his fluffy hair. 

“You were so brave, Izuku. Even if…even if you aren’t strong like Katsuki, you still stood up to him. I’m so proud of you, my baby boy, but you still got hurt.”

Softer than a mouse, Izuku finally spoke up. “I wanna be a hero, Momma. Heroes save people.”

“I know, baby, but they get hurt a lot. You don’t have a Quirk that can stop that.”

“But I’m smart!” He insisted. “Smart can stop the hurt from happening in the first place.”

“I…I guess that’s true, Izuku, but it’s still dangerous. Let’s focus on getting these burns treated, ok?”

“Alright Momma.”

 

He didn’t go to school the next day, or the day after that, since his burns were still healing. The bruises didn’t hurt too much after thee two days, but the burns itched a lot. 

Izuku heard his mom talking quietly to someone over the phone. Someone named Hisashi. At least he thinks so, but he had heard it from the other room. Four year-olds aren’t known for being good eavesdroppers. 

It was that night that Momma told him the news. He was being moved to a different school, and his dad was coming back. Izuku didn’t remember his dad. He asked maybe a few too many questions about him over the dinner table. His Momma just laughed and told him everything he wanted to know. 

Dad coming home was…odd. They both went to pick him up at the airport, even though Izuku didn’t really know what he looked like. Not until he came out of the exit gate and near instantly ran over to swoop Momma off her feet to twirl her around. She was laughing, and that alone made Izuku like the man he didn’t remember. 

His dad was tall, but nothing compared to All Might. The pictures in the hallway looked different than he did now. He had black hair that was curly like Izuku’s, and freckles too. His eyes, filled with happiness as he stared at Inko, were yellow like a fire. Flecks of black like ash too. He looked nice. 

When he finally put Momma down, smiling just like Izuku did when he was happy, he knelt down to be at eye level with the four year-old. He gingerly put his hand out. Izuku took it in his own tiny hand, fingers only able to wrap around two or three of his Dad’s fingers. 

“Hey there buddy. I know you don’t remember me,” he said softly. “But I’m staying from now on, ok? No leaving ever again.”

“Ever?”

“Never ever,” Hisashi laughed. It was deep and loud, but happy. “As long as your Mom can handle my terrible cooking skills being back in the house.”

Izuku giggled, and knew his Momma was too. She was an amazing cook, but she had told him stories. His favorite was when Dad apparently lit a kitchen towel on fire when he had tried to use his Quirk to boil water faster. Izuku was grateful Momma had already started teaching him to cook, and that so far nothing’s been set ablaze. 

“Come on then, you two,” Momma laughed, rolling her eyes. “Let’s get home.”

 

Having Dad back was nice, but weird. The house was livelier, and there was more laughing and giggling than ever. Certainly more fire. That was the weird part. He caught a cold a few days after coming home (probably from the airport, Momma said) and Izuku watched as he sneezed out embers. It was funny. Dad stayed near the fireplace, just incase. 

Going to a new school was even weirder. He didn’t know anyone, but they didn’t know him either. No one called him Deku, only Midoriya. The teachers were kind and didn’t treat him different because he didn’t have a strong Quirk. 

All in all, he liked his new school. Even if he was only going to be there a few weeks before going to kindergarten. Kacchan wasn’t there, but he was starting to realize he hadn’t been his friend, not really. 

The break between school years was short, but it was fun. Izuku’s whole family even went on a trip to the beach! He got to bury his dad in sand and chase seagulls! Everything a little kid could want to do in a day. 

They had a picnic there too. The sunset was really pretty, but watching his parents together was even better in Izuku’s opinion. He got to watch Dad splash Momma in the waves. They were laughing, Izuku giggling right alongside them in the ocean. Dad made Momma happy. It made Izuku happy too. 

 

Izuku came to the conclusion that defending someone else that day was the best decision he had ever made. Even if he originally got hurt, everything good had happened because of it. He switched schools, stopped getting bullied, and got his dad back. For once, everything looked like it was going to be okay. 

None of them were going to be left alone again. Not if Izuku could help it. Never again. 

No one left behind.

Chapter Text

Kindergarten was…alright. Not much different than preschool if Izuku was being honest. More homework and no nap time, but that was about it. There were different kids too. 

He started getting picked on again because they had to share their Quirks. Not that every person in that class had a useful Quirk, or had even gotten one yet, but they saw him as a target anyway. At least he never went home with burns or bruises at this school. 

But he wasn’t the only one this time. There was another kid in the school, not in his class though, that got picked on too. Well, more ignored than bullied from what Izuku saw. He always sat beneath the same tree at recess and ate lunch out of the same worn out lunchbox. No one ever sat near him, sort of like they did with Izuku. 

Izuku overheard that his name was Shinsou. He had lavender hair and eyes to match, just like Izuku did! Well, his were green, but they were still alike. Which was why Izuku was determined to be his friend. Outcasts had to stick together. No one should be left by themselves. Besides, Shinsou looked sad always sitting by himself.

But Izuku couldn’t work up the nerve to do it. What if he turned out like Kacchan? What if he teased Izuku for not having a strong Quirk, just like everyone else did? 

So he hesitated, and kept his distance. Izuku glanced at the tree at least once every recess, just to see if anything was different, but it never was. Shinsou stayed in the same place and stuck to the same silence every day. 

For the time being, Izuku was content to watch. He wasn’t being pushed around like a punching bag, so why change what wasn’t broken? 

 

(Looking back, Izuku regretted waiting to meet his brother)

 

Nothing changed, until a recess in the third month of school. Izuku grabbed his lunch and went outside like any other school day. He glanced over to the tree and saw Shinsou already there, just like he always was. The other kids avoided the two of them, but that hasn't changed since the first week. Nothing was out of the ordinary. 

Izuku ate the lunch his mom had lovingly made him. It had bunny rice balls! Everything his mom made was delicious, in his humble little opinion. 

Then he heard the yelling. Izuku immediately froze. It- it sounded like Kacchan and his buddies. Their jeers and insults that they threw around nearly every day. Almost always aimed at the little, useless Deku that went home with hidden bruises those days. 

Izuku shook himself out of his daze. He wasn’t at his old school, Kacchan wasn’t here. No more popping firecrackers or wings to hit him. There was still yelling, but not at him.

It wasn’t at him . The realization hit the five year old in the form of him whipping around to face the tree he glanced at every day. 

There were now four people under the tree that hadn’t had more than one for most of the year. Three kids were surrounding Shinsou, all of them obviously older than kindergarten. The one in the middle was doing the yelling. Shinsou had his back pressed against tree. He looked…scared. 

Izuku’s feet were moving before he could think.

He raced up to the tree, catching himself when he stumbled. The bullies took no notice of him, but Shinsou did. His wide eyes landing on the green-haired kid streaking towards the bully yelling at him. 

Izuku dove under the middle kid’s arm. The other two let out squawks of surprise at the sudden appearance of the tiny kid. Shinsou didn’t move, didn’t say a word, but his expression was enough to cement Izuku’s determination.

He put himself between the bullies and Shinsou, just like he had done with Kacchan. But this time he wasn’t going to lose. He wasn’t going to go home with burns like last time. He couldn’t lose any friends this time. After all, you can’t lose what you don’t have. 

“Eh?! Who are you, you brat!” The middle one bellowed. Izuku saw his fingernails shift into something sharper. Metal, maybe. 

Izuku didn’t say anything. Only put his fists up in a guard his dad had taught him. The three in front of him tensed.

“Kugi, maybe we should leave,” one of his lackeys urged, glancing around now. They didn’t know Izuku, so they didn’t know how dangerous he was. 

“Y-yeah,” the other one stuttered. “We don’t know his teacher.”

The middle bully, Kugi apparently, scoffed. Not taking his eyes off Izuku. “No way. These brats need to be taught a lesson.”

Izuku didn’t move, even as memories rose. Memories of Kacchan saying the same thing.  He wasn’t going to let someone get hurt like that again. Not like he had. 

“L-leave him alone!” Izuku stuttered, but stayed put. 

“Hah! It speaks! I’ll give you one chance kid, move. The brainwasher deserves it.”

Izuku blinked, but didn’t budge. Brainwasher? Was that Shinsou’s Quirk? If it was, it sounded like a cool one. 

One of the other kids glanced back, and turned to Kugi in a panic. “A teacher’s coming out!”

“Ugh, they’re not worth getting in trouble for,” Kugi growled, before turning and walking off. His lackeys at his heels. 

Izuku let out the breath he had been holding, and put his fists down. No one had gotten hurt. Good. He turned towards Shinsou, seeing the boy on the ground with his back to the tree. 

“Are you ok?” Izuku asked quietly, sitting on the ground near Shinsou. 

He got a nod in response. Izuku grinned at Shinsou, hoping it would help him feel better. 

“Why did,” Shinsou’d voice cracked. It was hoard and croaky, especially for a five year old. “Why did you do that.”

“Because it’s what a hero would do,” Izuku said confidently. “And I wanna be a hero, so I have to act like one.”

“Heard things. You’re picked on too.”

“Well, yeah.” Izuku pulled a piece of grass to distract himself, but kept talking. “But I still wanna be a hero. Bullies can’t tell me what to do, that’s what Momma says.”

“But they hurt.”

“I know. Why were they picking on you? It’s ok if you don’t want to tell me though.”

Shinsou stared at the ground for a minute, thinking about whether to share or not. “Quirk. Brainwashing.”

Izuku perked up a bit. So his Quirk really was brainwashing? That was so cool! And interesting. It would be good for hero work. Bad guys would just turn themselves in! Not to mention hostage situations and held up robberies. His Quirk could make it so the villains get taken in and no civilians get hurt. Then there’s the fact that it would be really useful for underground work, especially if he had a capture weapon like Eraserhead. Or a voice changer! If his Quirk even worked through a speaker. If it did, did that mean he could brainwash people from outside a room? Did he have to see the person? Did it have a range? Could he-

“You have analysis Quirk?” Shinsou asked. 

“I…said that out loud, didn’t I.”

Shinsou nodded, but looked amused. Definitely better than him being creeped out like some of the other kids were at Izuku’s muttering. He couldn’t help it. There were just so many thoughts that they didn’t all want to stay inside his head. 

“You don’t…you don’t think my Quirk is bad?”

“No!” Izuku shook his head violently. Shinsou seemed a bit worried, but he stopped after a second. “You’re Quirk could be really useful! You could- wait, you already heard me muttering. Everything I said during that then!”

“No lie?”

“Nope! Do you wanna be a hero, Shinsou?”

“Yes,” he whispered. “Like Eraserhead.”

“I love Eraserhead! Even though he’s a new hero he’s still a really good one. Underground heroes are hard to track since they don’t like media but my Momma found the video of his third year sports festival! He’s really cool and even fought against Present Mic and won ! She told me he did that his second year too but couldn’t find a tape of it. All Might’s my favorite, but Eraserhead is my second favorite and then it’s Present Mic.”

Izuku babbled on for a while. Shinsou listened the whole time, slowly uncurling from his shell. He didn’t speak much, but that was ok. Izuku could talk enough for the both of them. 

The topic of heroes turned to questions about favorite activities, and then what subject was their favorite. Most of it was just Izuku asking yes or no questions, but Shinsou slowly started to talk more. 

Recess had to come to an end though. Izuku was happy that he had gotten to talk to someone during it, and that his fears were proven wrong. Shinsou was the farthest from Kacchan as anyone could be. He was quiet and reminded Izuku of dark colors, while Kacchan was loud and bright in everything he did. 

The two boys parted with a wave and promise to see each other tomorrow. 

~~~~~~~~~~

Hitoshi really didn’t want to go home today, if he could even call it that. Foster homes never kept him for long. Not after learning his Quirk. One way or another, he was always forced to leave.  Most of the time it was when kids blamed him for things they did, or adults kicking him out when he asked a question.

He wasn’t allowed to talk in his foster homes, and never ever any questions. It was similar at school, but at least there no one asked him anything in the first place. He still had to change schools because a kid said he controlled them at his last one. 

It had been going great so far. No one talked to him, so they couldn’t blame him for anything. The teachers didn’t call on him, but that was ok. He didn’t really like answering what two plus two was anyway. 

Then some of the older kids decided to pick on him. He couldn’t do anything. Fighting back meant he was kicked out. The teachers would never believe a kindergartener over a third grader. Telling them to stop or outright controlling them had the same result. So he stayed near his tree and prepared to go home with bruises. Not like anyone would care anyway.

But then someone appeared. He knew the kid’s name was Midoriya, and that he got picked on too. All for having a weak Quirk. The opposite problem as Hitoshi’s. Yet…he still appeared, ducking under the bully’s arm and putting himself between them and Hitoshi. 

They had never met, being in different classrooms. Only knowing the others name from whispers in the hallways. But he was still here, looking like some sort of small guardian angel. His green hair looked enough like a halo to be one. 

The bullies left, and Midoriya stayed. They talked for a while after that. Well, Midoriya talked and Shinsou nodded or shook his head. It was honestly the best thing that had happened to him in a while. Someone was actually talking to him, and they knew his Quirk . He was mildly confused, but happy. 

It’s also why he didn’t want to go home. There was no Midoriya to defend him from bullies there. He trudged back all the same. 

The house wasn’t expensive or well kept. He’s never seen a live plant in the yard, which is almost always littered with some sort of toys. Inside isn’t much better. The walls are faded and stained in some places. The floor dented and scratched beyond repair. Every piece of furniture doesn’t match the other. 

Hitoshi thought it fit well with the people who lived in it. His foster parents weren’t the worst ones he’s had though. They make him do chores and stay quiet, but that was it for once. It’s the other foster kids that are the problem. Three of them, two of which seem to exist only to make his life worse. The third is younger than him, and can’t cause much trouble other than running around and making a mess like toddlers usually do. 

He managed to sneak in unnoticed. Maybe he got back before the other two this time? Either way, he retreated to his room as fast as his little legs can go without making a sound. He shared the room with the youngest, who plays downstairs most of the time. 

With the door shut, he let himself relax. One less bad thing for today. He put his bag down and flopped onto his bed, his hand brushing the photos inside his pillowcase. There were only two, but they were important to him. One of his favorite hero, Eraserhead, and the other of his mom and dad. He doesn’t remember them much, since they died when he was three. 

“Someone helped me today, Mama,” he whispered into his pillow. It was the only time he could talk without repercussions. Photos can’t tell on you, after all. “His name’s Midoriya. He stood up to bad people for me. You and Papa would like him, he’s nice. Mrs. Toko no talk to me today, but it’s ok. Midoriya talks to me. He has brain Quirk, like me, but it makes him smart instead.”

Hitoshi smiled at no one. Something he hadn’t done for a long while. “He thinks I can be a hero. Like Eraserhead. I think I wanna save people so they don’t lose their mommies and daddies like me. Can I, Mama, Papa?”

Hitoshi heard the front door open. He would be called down to do chores soon. The pictures stayed safely hidden in his pillowcase. For just a moment, he stayed where he was. Thinking back on the day. 

“I think I have a new favorite hero, Mama. He’s even cooler than Eraserhead. Maybe he’ll be the one that saves me.”

Chapter Text

Izuku actually enjoys school now. He was eager to leave the house just to get there early and wait for his friend. 

That was something he wasn’t entirely used to yet, having an actual friend . One that didn’t pick on him and call him useless. Shinsou might be really quiet, but that was ok. Izuku could tell he was listening, even if he didn’t say anything. It was nice to have someone who listened for once (Momma and Dad didn’t count).

They met under the same tree every day at recess. Izuku discovered Shinsou’s favorite animal was a cat, and that he always stopped to pet the strays on his way home. He also learned his first name was Hitoshi. 

Izuku asked if he could call him Toshi. Shinsou blinked at him with wide eyes before nodding, and very quietly asking if he could call him Zu. Izuku’s smile rivaled the brightness of the sun. It didn’t budge for the rest of the day. 

That’s how it went for a week, then a month, then three months. They were content with their time under the tree. Kids didn’t pick on them often, not since they became friends. Whispers followed the two kindergarteners down hallways, though that wasn’t unusual. People say to leave them alone for fear of the other seeking revenge. Izuku had proven to be a fierce fighter despite being so small. His dad had taught him well, and every new move he showed Izuku was practiced until it was perfect. 

Izuku briefly wondered how his dad knew how to fight so good. He just shrugged and kept working. He’d probably just taken a lot of classes, since Dad couldn’t sit still for long just like Izuku. 

School ended for the time-being as winter break started. There wasn’t much snow on the ground, but there was enough for Izuku and his dad to have a mini-snowball fight. Momma watched from the window of their apartment with a smile on her face. 

The two left for a nearby park after having lunch. To get out their energy before it got too cold again, Dad said. Momma stayed to clean up the house and get some of her paperwork done. Izuku thinks that what she was doing anyway. Most things lawyers did was confusing to the five year-old. 

Izuku gleefully ran almost the entire way, doubling back to check on his dad every once in a while. Hisashi laughed each time, making sure to at least keep Izuku in his sight. It reminded him of an overexcited puppy. 

Once actually at the park, Izuku dragged his dad off to go exploring with him. Sure, he had been to this forest before, but not in winter . Not when all the trees were bare and snow dusted everything. A few of the bushes still had leaves, but most of them were twigs. 

It was beautiful . Mystical. Absolutely perfect for an adventure. 

Izuku decided they were on a mission. Two knights that were searching for an enchanted item to melt the forest that had been frozen for forever now. Braving snow and wind, all for the glory of their queen. (They were looking for a pretty rock to bring back to Inko) 

He told his dad as much, and Dad immediately fell into character. He grabbed a stick to act as a sword. Izuku giggled and did the same thing. 

They ventured into the woods, swords held high and shoes crunching on the frozen ground. It was everything Izuku had hoped he’d do with his dad. 

“And now, as the knights creep through the frozen forest, still searching for the magic item to melt the ice,” Dad narrated, creeping exaggeratedly over the snow. A bush rustled, one that still had leaves. It was probably a rabbit. “And as they travel, they come upon a fearsome beast. Sword up, little knight.”

Izuku giggled quietly and held up his stick. Closer he crept, his dad in front of him. Slowly, Dad moved away the leaves, expecting a rabbit to leap out the other end and run away. 

Instead, he froze. Izuku tilted his head, and moved closer. His dad didn’t stop him.

He was hoping to see a rabbit, maybe a nest of them had made Dad stop. That would’ve been cool. But…that’s not what he saw. He saw something purple. 

“Toshi?”

Dad didn’t move as Izuku crept closer. He moved aside more of the leaves, and saw his friend laying under the snow covered bush. Curled into a ball and shivering so bad he might as well be in the middle of an earthquake. 

Hitoshi cracked open one eye when Izuku spoke, and opened his mouth. All that came out was a small whine. 

It seemed to snap his dad back to reality, at least. He dove forward and scooped up Izuku’s friend. Izuku watched as he unzipped his jacket and wrapped it around Hitoshi, then held Toshi close to his chest. He looked…panicked. Izuku had never seen that look on his dad. 

“Ok, it’s ok. It’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok,” he repeated quietly. “We’ll get you somewhere warm, buddy, alright? Izuku, come on, we have to hurry. Get on my back and hang on tight.”

Izuku nodded and set his jaw in determination. As much as a five year-old could at least. His dad knelt down, letting Izuku clamber on and wrap his little arms around his neck. Once he was back on his feet, Dad started outright sprinting back through the forest. Izuku clung on for dear life. 

Questions swirled around the boy’s head. Why was Toshi out here? Why was he under a bush? Would he be ok? Why didn’t he have a jacket on? Where were they going? Was Toshi going to be ok?  

Izuku didn’t make a peep as his dad ran. People gave them weird looks on the streets, but he didn’t care. He just wanted his friend to be ok. 

He did eventually realize they were running back home. For a moment Izuku wondered why they weren’t going to a doctor, but let it go. His dad was smart, he always had a reason for things. Well, almost always. This seemed like something he would have a plan for though. 

Izuku bounced up and down as his dad took the stairs two at a time. He heard neighbors yelling behind them, but his dad didn’t seem to hear. Hitoshi still hadn’t made a sound. The three flew inside the apartment, door slamming against the wall. It probably startled Momma. 

“INKO! We have a problem! ” Dad hollered, crouching to let Izuku slide onto the floor. Hitoshi was still being held close. 

Momma came running from the kitchen, questions already on her tongue. She took one look at Izuku, and then to Hitoshi, before rushing off somewhere. Dad took Toshi and set him on the couch, still wrapped in his winter coat. 

“Izuku, can you grab me some more blankets? We need to keep your friend warm”

“Ok Dad.”

Izuku quickly pattered off to get more blankets from the hall closet. He remembered Momma saying something about the warmer ones being in there. 

Dad obviously didn’t expect him to come back with a mountain of blankets as big as him. When he could finally see again, Izuku saw that Hitoshi was asleep. He was curled into a ball in a cocoon of blankets that were on Dad’s lap. The two were on the floor in front of the fireplace, which was on. Momma, done arranging the blankets, went off to the kitchen for something. 

Izuku carefully sat himself by his friend’s side, leaning his head against his dad’s arm. 

“Is he gonna be ok?” Izuku asked quietly.

“We’ll see, bud. He was really, really cold, so we have to warm him up. Your Momma and I think he might have hypothermia.”

“When someone is too cold, right?”

“Yeah. Do you know why he was out there, Izuku?”

Izuku shook his head, gently patting Hitoshi’s head. Momma came back in a minute later carrying three mugs of hot chocolate. Izuku said thank you (he had been taught manners, thank you very much) and blew on it. There were just enough whipped cream and sprinkles on it. Too many in his dad’s opinion, but he loved it. Dad had a mug too, and Momma took the third. Izuku spotted an empty fourth mug sitting on the counter. 

All they could do was wait for Hitoshi to wake up. It drove Izuku up a wall, not knowing if Toshi was going to be ok or not. But he trusted his parents. They thought he was going to wake up soon, so he had to stay calm. He had to be patient. For Toshi. 

 

( For his new brother )

Chapter Text

Izuku didn’t move from Hitoshi’s side even once while he slept. Momma and Dad asked what he knew about Hitoshi’s house, which wasn’t much. He knew Toshi was in the foster system, and his foster-siblings weren’t the nicest, but that was it. He wished he knew more.

Hitoshi woke up a couple hours later. Izuku blinked at him as his friend groggily sat up. He called for his parents, and made sure Hitoshi knew he was there for him. Toshi leaned into Izuku, though he was still in the middle of Mt. Blankets. 

Izuku’s parents were there almost instantly. One helped unwrap a few layers from Hitoshi, while the other went to get hot chocolate. Izuku waited until they were both back to ask his friend anything. 

“You ok now, Toshi?” 

His friend nodded, eyeing Izuku’s parents. He had met them before, but Izuku knew he was wary of adults. He also didn’t like sharing his Quirk. 

“You can talk to them,” Izuku whispered so only Hitoshi could hear. “They won’t hurt you, I pinky promise.”

Hitoshi glanced over at Izuku’s parents again, before nodding. Izuku smiled, and sent a thumbs up to his parents.

“Hey there little guy, you feeling better now?” Dad said, kneeling on the floor. Hitoshi nodded again. “That’s good. Do you know why you were out in the park?”

He hesitated, but Izuku nudged him to tell him it was ok. Hitoshi started speaking, though it was almost too quiet to hear. 

“Foster-brother was, was being m-mean, t-told to stop. T-talked in, um, in h-house. N-not allow- allowed to. Ch-chase-ed me out- outside. Said door was, um, door was locked. No let me in.”

The living room was quiet as Hitoshi finished talking. Izuku wrapped him in a tight hug, doing what he did best to comfort his friend. The two of them missed the looks of fiery anger and cold calculation sent between the two adults. 

“Shinsou, sweetie, does this happen a lot?” Momma asked. 

“Not m-much. Only when, only when talk.”

“They don’t let you speak in the house?” 

Izuku hugged his friend tighter. Hitoshi burrowed deeper into the blankets, but squeaked out a “yes.” 

When Izuku looked up, he blinked in confusion. He had never seen his mom angry. When he saw her glaring at the ground, with a mini tornado of small object spinning around her, to say he was surprised would be an understatement. Even his dad was leaning away from her, and he was the one that could breathe fire. 

“Momma?” Izuku drew her attention. The dangerous mobile of objects slowly went back to their places. “Can we keep him?”

“Can we…keep him?”

“Yeah!” Izuku chirped, still hugging Hitoshi. “I’m not gonna let him go back, can he stay here? Please, pleasepleasepleaseplease!”

“Izuku, he’s not a stray cat,” Dad said, though it sounded like he was trying not to laugh. 

“But I don’t want him to leave! Can we please, please keep him?”

Izuku turned on his puppy eyes. He knew his parents were weak to it. He was five, and had learned how to weaponize his cuteness by now. Toshi wasn’t going anywhere if he could help it. 

“Well, he’s not going back,” Momma started hesitantly, the anger gone now. “But…”

“We know how bad the foster system can be,” Dad said softly. It was the meekest Izuku had ever heard him. “Especially to those with dangerous Quirks.”

“So…can Toshi stay?” 

The small matching grins were all the confirmation he needed. Izuku smiled so bright the room might as well of had a new star in it. Before he knew it, Hitoshi was wiggling out of the blankets and was clinging to Izuku. He heard his parents laughing behind the two of them. 

“You two will have to share a room though.”

Izuku just giggled. He would gladly share a room if it meant Toshi could stay. 

~~~~~

Shinsou slept in Izuku’s bed until they could get him his own. Neither seemed upset by this arrangement, and if anything the two of them slept better than before. Shinsou almost fit into Izuku’s clothes too, so he had nice pajamas to sleep in. 

The next morning was odd for all of them, but it was strangely nice. Izuku and Shinsou stumbled into the kitchen, both with one arm draped over the other person. Inko sipped her coffee with a small grin. Her husband was still asleep, but that wasn’t unusual for a weekend. He would wake up once he smelled the coffee. That or the two boys would go jump on the bed until he got up. 

Inko helped get the two kindergarteners a bowl of cereal before they spilled the milk. She went ahead and poured one for Hisashi, since she could hear him coming down the hall. He slumped over the kitchen table for a minute before beginning to drink his coffee. He had stayed up late again, which was why he had slept in. 

“How do you two feel about going to the store today?” She asked cheerfully. 

“Store! Store! I wanna go!” Izuku cheered. He had always taken after her early bird tendencies. “Toshi getting clothes?”

“Yes, we’re going to get Shinsou some new clothes and look at beds for him. We’ll leave as soon as you two get dressed.”

Izuku practically buzzed out of his seat and raced off to his room. Shinsou followed, albeit slower. Poor thing looked like he never slept. Could be insomnia, she mused. Though it didn’t usually show up in children so young, it was still a possibility. 

Maybe this was the kid that took after Hisashi more than her. The thought made her smile again. 

They left a few minutes later, once Inko made sure the clothes Shinsou would be wearing weren’t too big. Hisashi was staying to work on getting an engineering job in the city, or at least nearby. She was already a lawyer, but having the extra income would be good for their family. 

Maybe they could finally move to an actual house, especially now that they had Shinsou. A yard would be nice for them too. Though maybe not the same neighborhood as the Bakugous.

The trip to the store was uneventful. Inko was honestly a bit surprised at how well-behaved the two were being. They both held one of her hands as they walked in through the automatic doors. Once inside she let them walk within her eyesight though.

Their first stop was to get sheets for Shinsou’s new bed, which would be the same size as Izuku’s, and then decorations. He needed at least a few things to make his side of the room his own. She was just lucky Izuku didn’t have enough hero merchandise to make it too hard yet. Maybe a poster of a hero would be good?

Izuku pulled the two of them to look at something every few minutes. Shinsou followed after him closely, which Inko found adorable. He didn’t pull her to look at anything himself, but he always seemed interested in what Izuku spotted. That ranged from books to an interesting plastic plant. 

They did eventually reach where they needed to be. Inko let them wander the aisle while she watched. She wondered what color Shinsou liked. 

A tug on her shirt brought her attention to her son. The green one. “Momma, can Toshi get space sheets?”

“Sure sweetie, did he find one he likes?”

“Uh huh.” Izuku grabbed her arm and pulled her down the aisle. “Come on! Wanna show you.”

Inko chuckled and let herself be tugged to where Shinsou was standing. A set of purple and blue sheets were cradles in his little arms. They looked like they were galaxy print, which Inko found fitting considering his hair and eyes were purple. It was a decent price too. 

“Is that the one you want?” 

Shinsou nodded, holding the package out to her. She put it in their cart and lead the two of them to the decoration aisles. Izuku almost immediately raced over to the All Might section, just as she expected. Shinsou followed, actually smiling. 

Inko almost wanted to take out her phone and snap a picture. Whoever had hurt this adorable little boy would have hell to pay. She wasn’t well known in her field for nothing. 

Inko grabbed a few things from the shelves and stuck them in the cart. The boys were excitedly chattering, mostly Izuku, about the different hero merchandise they saw. They made a stop in the toy aisles, where Inko discretely snuck in matching stuffed All Might and Sir Nighteye stuffies. The boys didn’t ask for many toys anyway. Though Izuku took the liberty of pointing out ones Shinsou wanted to her. A few were promptly put into their cart. 

Last on their list were the groceries. Izuku always loved to help pick out what they got, and it turned into a game between him and Shinsou. Whoever could find the most things on Inko’s list won. It was amusing to watch. 

Around an hour later and they were finally checking out. The two boys dutifully placed things on the checkout belt, even if they couldn’t reach sometimes. Inko made sure to get to the toys and things before they did though. 

Soon enough they were carrying the bags out to the car. Izuku and Shinsou both insisted on carrying a bag. Inko snapped a picture of them and sent it to Hisashi. 

Shinsou’s bed would arrive in a few days. For now they shared Izuku’s, which neither seemed to mind. It was adorable really. Inko found herself quickly growing attached to the little boy that had crashed into their lives. She had always wanted more kids, Hisashi did too, so Shinsou was like a blessing to them. 

 

(Inko had no clue how many kids she was going to end up with a few years down the road, mostly due to Izuku)

 

The rest of the day was spent watching movies and drinking hot chocolate. Shinsou was enamored with the concept of marshmallows. Inko made a mental note to get more at the store, since they’d be out at this rate. 

Hisashi got back a while later. The interview had gone well, and now he just needed to wait to hear back from the company. He gasped when he saw the kids watching Disney movies and raced off to change into comfy clothes. Inko walked back in five minutes later to see him curled on the couch under a blanket with one kid on each side. She snapped another picture, and joined in too. 

Shinsou’s favorite turned out to be The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The two boys jumped around singing the songs, and hid under the blanket with Hisashi at the scary parts. Inko watched it all with a fond smile. These were her boys, she decided, all three of them. She would protect them. 

And in that moment, Inko Midoriya couldn’t have been happier with her little family. 

Chapter Text

Inko was on a warpath. Hisashi didn’t know whether to be scared or cheer her on. Probably the latter. He had pompoms somewhere, maybe he could use those. 

His wife had gathered enough evidence against Shinsou’s foster-parents to fill a thick folder, and enough on all the ones before that to fill an entire binder. He didn’t know how she did it, and he might not want to. She had her ways. Some of which might be slightly less legal than others. 

His wife was a badass. Hisashi loved her so much. 

Shinsou had been living with them for a few days, and he already adored the kid. Hisashi absolutely loved kids. When he was little he had dreamed of having a big family, and that hadn’t really changed much. Shinsou was also the cutest little thing with his fluffy lilac hair and quiet voice that was slowly becoming louder. 

Izuku loved his new brother. It made Hisashi feel all fuzzy when he saw the two of them playing. Shinsou’s favorite hero was an underground one called Eraserhead. Hisashi felt a bit bad he couldn’t get Shinsou any merchandise of his favorite hero, since none really existed. He had looked. A lot. The most that had popped up were forum threads on a person that people saw leaping over rooftops and liked to debate if they were a cryptid. Those were funny, but not what he needed.

There might also be a package arriving next week from an artist who commissioned custom print clothes and plushies, but that was unrelated. Completely unconnected in any way. Not like Hisashi had bought his two boys matching Eraserhead pajamas and stuffed toys. Nope, not him. Never.

It’s not like Inko would be mad anyway. He had seen her looking at the same thing.  

The winter break would end soon, which meant the last semester of kindergarten for the boys. Not much would change for them actually. Shinsou’s foster-parents couldn’t legally do anything once Inko opened the case. As soon as she did they were, in the simplest wording possible, absolutely screwed

Speaking of opening the case, he had to watch the boys so Inko could go to a meeting with her boss about it. Not that it was hard to watch them, the two were absolute angels. Maybe he could bake some cookies with them? How bad could that turn out?

 

Bad, was apparently the answer. The boys had been all for making cookies. Hisashi, however, had not foreseen the absolute mess the three of them would make in the kitchen. 

He thought he could handle cookies, they were simple. The last time he had made them nothing went wrong. Adding two little kids to the mix apparently tripled the chance for having to spend an hour cleaning the kitchen. At least they helped a bit.

The kitchen was thankfully clean by the time the cookies were done. They were set on the stove to cool while Hisashi rinsed off the two boys. They had gotten coated in flour, and Hitoshi had somehow gotten chocolate chips in his hair. Hisashi also found a marshmallow in there? They hadn’t even been using those to bake??

Both kids were bouncing up and down while waiting for Hisashi to get them a cookie. The man chuckled, handing them one each. He was honestly impressed with how fast they disappeared.

Inko returned home to a clean kitchen and slightly messy cookies. Hisashi was just glad nothing had to be scraped off the ceiling this time. 

~~~~~~~~~~

Hitoshi decided he liked Zu’s family. His mom was nice to him, and his dad was funny. They even got to make cookies! His favorite food was marshmallows though. He had never had them before, but he loved them now. 

He got to sleep in Izuku’s bed until his own got there. When Zu’s mom told him he was getting his own bed he hadn’t really believed her. Then they went shopping and he got to choose whatever sheets he wanted! Hitoshi even found ones that were made of space ! Izuku’s mom said she liked them too. 

She came back after they made cookies, which Hitoshi hadn’t done before either. They were delicious. Then Zu’s mom asked if she could talk with him, which confused Hitoshi. Speak with him? About what? He remembered that he hadn’t told her about his Quirk. It didn’t help his nerves. 

Then, then she told him about the court case. He didn’t know what it meant, but she explained it to him. His foster-parents were getting in trouble for what they did, all of them. The bad ones, at least. All the people that had put a muzzle on him or didn’t let him talk. 

He…Hitoshi didn’t really know how to react. He was happy that no one else would have to go through what he did. He was happy that the bad people were gonna get in trouble. 

But he was also worried. Where was he going to go? Would they be just as bad? Mrs. Midoriya probably couldn’t stop every bad person in the world, and why would she? As soon as he was gone she wouldn’t be worrying about him. 

His train of thought was stopped when she pulled him into a hug. It was warm. Hitoshi realized the only people to hug him had been Midoriyas. He clung to the woman’s shirt, only now realizing he was crying. 

“It’s ok, Shinsou, it’s ok. Why are you crying?” Mrs. Midoriya said gently. 

“D-don’t make me- make me l-leave. Please don’t, don’t m-make me leave. D-don’t wanna go.”

“Oh sweetie, it’s alright. I’m not making you leave, ok?”

“Don’t- Don’t wanna go. I don’t wanna leave Zu and Mr. Shi and you. Don’t m-make me go.”

“Shh, shh, it’s ok. We’re staying here, and you are too, alright? None of us are going anywhere without each other.”

“N-no leave?” 

“I pinky promise, no leaving. We stick together, ok? No one left behind, you included.”

Hitoshi nodded, face still buried in Mrs. Midoriya’s shirt. No one left behind. It had a nice ring to it. 

Mrs. Midoriya told him everything she was planning to do, even if he didn’t understand most of it. There were names he recognized and words he knew. 

He understood something very well though. The Midoriyas wanted to adopt him. They wanted to keep him. 

A sinking pit opened in his stomach. They…they didn’t know his Quirk. The nice family didn’t know he had a villain’s Quirk. They- they deserved to know. Might as well get it over with.

“M-my Quirk. It, it, it’s-“

“Oh, your Quirk?” Mrs. Midoriya laughed, surprising Hitoshi. “You wouldn’t believe how many times Izuku has told us about how amazing it is. For a while we thought there was a new hero, but then he told us it was his friend. He told me you wanted to be a hero too, right?”

“Y-yes, but, but-“

“Sweetie, it’s ok,” she said kindly, kneeling on the floor again. “A Quirk isn’t a villain’s unless the person is one. Your Quirk can be used for whatever you want it to.”

Hitoshi stood there in shock. He had never been told that by anyone but Zu. Definitely not by any adults. And oh, he was crying again. Maybe he really did belong in the Midoriya family. 

The thought made him smile.

~~~~~~~~~~

Inko was a tad bit overwhelmed. She had never thought that the foster and adoption process would involve so much homework . Then again, she also had the court paperwork and more research into Shinsou’s past foster families to do. It was a lot. She had never been so thankful for Hisashi being so willing to play with the boys. They would go back to school soon, but until then they were home 24/7. 

She had put together a solid case. A thick binder was filled to the brim with charges and evidence against every horrible foster family Shinsou had ever had. 

Inko would rather not go into the specifics of exactly how she had gotten all of this information. If the court asked, she did have legitimate methods that could explain it. Not to say those were the methods she used, but they were different methods nonetheless. 

What threw her for a loop was that the two of them had to attend classes. Only three, but they were each four hours long. Their old babysitter was Mitsuki, which was no longer an option for obvious reason. That left…well, two people really. 

Their neighbors were a nice young man who constantly looked like he needed a nap and his roommate who was the personification of an exclamation point painted yellow. They had taken a liking to Izuku. Shinsou too, the few times they had seen him. The blonde one (Yamada was his name, she remembered) had offered to babysit if she ever needed it. Hopefully they would still be ok with it. 

One trip down the hall later and they had a babysitter. Two, actually. The scruffy one, Aizawa, answered the door. His roommate had bounced up as soon as she mentioned the boys, readily agreeing to babysit once he learned it was on his day off. It took a weigh off Inko’s mind. 

The babysitters arrived right on time when they needed to. The boys, excluding Hisashi, were playing heroes in the other room. They were playing as All Might and Eraserhead this time. Those were their favorites, so it was what they played as the most often. 

“The boys will need lunch, but we should be back by dinner. They can play by themselves but might want you to join. The game is usually heroes or hide-and-seek. Feel free to use the TV. Oh! And as few marshmallows as you can for Shinsou. Goodness knows if he’s already gotten some today.”

“Ok! Have a good time Mrs. Midoriya!”

Inko left feeling like her boys were in good hands. Now they just had to get through these classes.

~~~~~~~~~~

Izuku liked their neighbors. Mr. Yamada was bright and happy, just like him! Mr. Aizawa was nice, even if he looked a bit grumpy. Hitoshi liked Mr. Aizawa because he was quieter. 

Him and Hitoshi were playing heroes when Momma and Dad left. They were rescuing their stuffed animals from villains. Izuku was All Might and Toshi was Eraserhead, their favorite heroes! He hoped Mr. Yamada and Mr. Aizawa liked their costumes. 

The two came barreling down the hallway with all the grace of baby giraffes. They didn’t trip this time though! Mr. Yamada and Mr. Aizawa were sitting on the couch, but turned to look at the two boys when they came crashing in. 

Mr. Yamada made a wheezing sound. Izuku and Toshi immediately ran closer and looked over the back of the couch. 

“Mr. Yamada, you ok?” Izuku asked worriedly.

“I’m” -wheeze- “I’m fine, listeners.”

“Hizashi, stop,” Mr. Aizawa grumbled, hiding his face in the big scarf they always saw him wearing. 

“But they’re” -wheeze- “dressed as Eraserhead!

“You know Eraserhead?!” Toshi exclaimed. Izuku was proud, it was the first time had spoken to a stranger that wasn’t a Midoriya. 

“Yeah! He’s a super cool hero, isn’t he?”

“Yes! Yes! Favorite hero!”

Mr. Aizawa pulled his obscenely long scarf up to wrap around his whole face. Izuku was confused and mildly worried for the man, but dismissed it in favor of watching his new brother and Mr. Yamada talk about Eraserhead.

“And he jump like whoosh ! And then fly! And then- and then he kick the bad guy!”

“Yes he does, little listener! You know my favorite part about Eraserhead?”

Hizashi ,” Mr. Aizawa growled in a warning tone. Izuku look at him curiously.

“What! I was going to say how he can take down villains with his scarf , Shouta . And didn’t you hear? He jump like whoosh , isn’t that so cool Sho?”

“You like him too, right Mr. Aizawa?” Izuku asked, tilting his head like a puppy. Momma said it made him more persuasive. 

“Uh, yeah, I like him too.” Then Mr. Aizawa smirked. “But you know who I like better?”

“Who?”

“Present Mic.”

“Oh! Oh! I like Mic! He cool too!” Hitoshi cheered. “Zu, Mic clothes! Mic clothes!”

Izuku gasped dramatically, and raced back to their room with Toshi on his heels. The two adults looked between one another, very confused. 

The two ran in a minute later. Hitoshi still had on his Eraserhead costume, but Izuku wasn’t All Might anymore. Now he was dressed as Present Mic. Complete with the leather jacket, sunglasses, and speaker on his neck. 

“Tada!” The two chorused. 

Both Mr. Yamada and Mr. Aizawa promptly fell off the couch, much to the utter confusion of the two kindergarteners.

~~~~~~~~~~

“Bye boys! Be good for Mr. Yamada and Mr. Aizawa!” Momma yelled before closing the door. 

Izuku was happy their babysitters were coming back again. The last time they had played heroes a lot, which was really fun! Even if Mr. Yamada and Mr. Aizawa kept sounding like  dying cats whenever they saw him or Toshi in their hero costumes. Dad did the same thing sometimes, and he always said it was just because they were really cute, so Izuku figured their babysitters thought the same.

Today, they were going to make cupcakes! Mr. Yamada really liked American food, and Mr. Aizawa apparently burned most things, so Mr. Yamada was helping them make treats! Izuku was so excited! 

Toshi kept asking if they could put marshmallows on them. When Mr. Yamada said yes, he lit up brighter than the sun. Mr. Aizawa asked if they could put jelly on them. Mr. Yamada stared at him disapprovingly. Izuku giggled, and snuck a few more chocolate chips. 

“Alrighty little listeners! Next is the flour!”

“How many?” Toshi asked, holding the measuring cup.

“3 many.”

Hitoshi poured in three cups of flour with a very serious face. Izuku carried over the milk from the fridge Mr. Yamada said to get. 

“Milk! How much milk!” Izuku scrambled up onto the chair stationed by the counter. 

“We need one cup of milk, little listener!”

Mr. Yamada poured the milk, but Izuku put it in the bowl. 

They followed that pattern until the cupcakes were in the oven. The frosting was easy, even if Mr. Aizawa kept trying to put different stuff in it. Toshi was told marshmallows came after the frosting, and the two of them were given the job of keeping it safe from Mr. Aizawa. Their job was being taken very seriously. 

They decorated the cupcakes once they cooled, after Mr. Yamada explained why they had to wait (It was so the frosting didn’t melt. Izuku was proud of remembering). Marshmallows were added to most of them. Izuku looked at Mr. Aizawa weird when he added what looked like applesauce on top of his. 

All in all, that day was fun. Izuku hoped they came back for the last class Momma and Dad had to take.

~~~~~~~~~~

Hitoshi was so excited! Mr. Aizawa and Mr. Yamada were bringing them to the park! He didn’t really know how to feel about the woods next to the park. On one hand, it was where he had almost frozen after his foster-siblings chased him out. But on the other, it was when he found his family. Mr. Shi and Mrs. Ink and Zu were a better family than he could have ever asked for. 

The first thing they did was ask Mr. Yamada and Mr. Aizawa to push them on the swings. The adults happily agreed, and not a minute later the two boys were shrieking with delight at going so high. 

It took awhile for them to get tired of flinging themselves off the swings, but once they did their babysitters had a bit of trouble keeping up. Izuku and Hitoshi loved playing tag at the park. That meant the two adults were fighting a losing battle of keeping the two in sight. Mr. Aizawa disappeared at one point, and they found him sleeping in a tree. Hitoshi found it funny, especially when Mr. Yamada tried to get him down. 

Hitoshi eventually got a bit tired of running around. He retreated to the sandbox while Mr. Yamada pushed Zu on the swings again. Mr. Aizawa sat with him to build a sand volcano.

“Mr. Aizawa,” Hitoshi spoke up. He was still getting used to that, “Are Mrs. Ink and Mr. Shi at school to adopt me?”

Mr. Aizawa chuckled, shoveling more sand onto the volcano. “Yes, I suppose they are. It’s a very short school.”

“Do all mommys and daddys have to take school?”

“No, not usually. Mine didn’t.”

“My old foster-parents should take school. They were mean.”

Hitoshi didn’t notice when Mr. Aizawa looked more interested, but worried. “Did they hurt you?”

“Yeah, that why Mr. Shi and Mrs. Ink adoptin’ me. Zu my first friend, now he’s my brother. I like having a brother.” Hitoshi looked up at Mr. Aizawa, tilting his head much like a cat would. “Is Mr. Yama like that for you, Mr. Zawa?”

Mr. Aizawa momentarily choked on air. “N-no, Hizashi is definitely not my brother.”

“What’s he then? He look at you like Mr. Shi looks at Mrs. Ink.”

“He…does what?”

“Look at you like Mr. Shi looks at Mrs. Ink,” Hitoshi repeated, adding sticks to his volcano. “Like he love you a big lot. Mr. Shi said it was like Mrs. Ink was moon, and she said he like sun. Zu like Earth, and me like Neptune! ‘Cause of my hair!”

“Uh, y-yeah, kid. Yeah, you’re like Neptune.”

Hitoshi failed to notice that his babysitter was now bright red. 

Chapter Text

Going back to school was…normal, actually. The only difference was that Izuku and Hitoshi now arrived and left together. The teachers were alerted of the change. No one called them out or bullied them. The two ate beneath the same tree. 

Not much was different, but at the same time, everything felt that way. Hitoshi was happy . He was getting better at letting people help and he’d never gotten more sleep than he did now. For once, life was looking up for him. 

Everyone noticed one difference though: Hitoshi was speaking now. Not to people, exactly, but he was talking. Students listened to him muttering things in the halls. Teachers heard him working on math problems out loud, albeit quietly. It unnerved a few of them. He knew that, but he didn’t stop.

Zu chased away anyone that tried to be mean to him. It was nice having someone that wanted to protect him. Hitoshi was too happy to pay attention to them anyway. Mrs. Ink was filing (whatever that meant) to foster then adopt him. It meant they were going to go get his things today! His pictures of Mama and Papa and Eraserhead were hopefully still hidden in his pillowcase. The other things (the more important things) he had were hidden in the backpack under a loose board in the closet. No one could find it there. 

They left school and headed straight home today. Izuku was going to stay home with Mr. Shi, so it was just Hitoshi and Mrs. Ink going. 

Hitoshi clung to her hand when they got out of the car. The house hadn’t changed, not physically at least. It felt…colder, now. He had been at the Midoriya’s house, he knew what a normal family was supposed to be like now. It took him seeing true kindness to realize just how bad his previous foster-parents had been, and just how warm his new family was. 

He hid behind Mrs. Ink’s legs when she knocked on the door. It was flung open a second later, making Hitoshi flinch. He didn’t need to look up to recognize his foster-father’s voice. 

“Who’re you,” he growled. 

“I am Inko Midoriya, a pleasure to meet you. I’m here to collect Shinsou’s things.”

“Eh? The brainwash brat?”

“No, Hitoshi Shinsou, a lovely little boy who I am adopting. May we come in to collect his things?” 

The man grunted, moving aside. “Don’t know how much ya gonna find left. Knock yourself out, lady.”

Hitoshi stuck as close to Mrs. Ink as he could. He guided her to his room, avoiding the looks from his former foster-siblings. The room looked just the same as he had left it. Mrs. Ink went to the dresser, but Hitoshi knew she wouldn’t find much. He never had a lot to begin with, even if they hadn’t already thrown out his clothes. 

He made a B-line for his pillow. It didn’t look like it had been moved thankfully, but he wouldn’t know until he checked. 

Hitoshi let out the breath he’d been holding when he pulled out the two pictures. They were untouched by anything other than time. It was the happiest he had been all day. 

“Are those your parents?” Mrs. Ink asked quietly. 

“Mama and Papa, and Eraserhead.”

“Do you want to put them in the bag, or do you want to carry them?”

“Backpack. Let me get.”

He retrieved the backpack without any problems either. His foster-brother, the oldest one, poked his head in. Probably to try and say something mean to Hitoshi, but Mrs. Ink made him leave. They got the backpack from under the closet floor, which Hitoshi thinks surprised Mrs. Ink. 

They were done before long. Hitoshi had his backpack, what few clothes were left, and his pictures. He was happy. Mrs. Ink didn’t look happy, but hardly anyone was when they came into this house. Today, Hitoshi was the exception.  

It was nerve wracking, but he did it. The door closed to his old house with a note of finality. He wasn’t going back there, no matter what anyone said. Especially if Mrs. Ink was on his side. 

Hitoshi was decently sure that she was the reason no one in the house had tried to talk to them either. Her glares were scary. 

They returned home happily. Hitoshi carefully took the bag and raced to Izuku and his room. He wanted to show Zu what his parents had looked like. It would be the first time he trusted someone enough to show them his precious things. 

The pictures were put in frames and set on the dresser. Hitoshi knew they were safe there. He liked being able to see them without worrying about them being destroyed.

For the first time since his parents had died, Hitoshi felt like he had a real family.

~~~~~

There was not a dry eye in the courtroom the day Hitoshi Shinsou was officially adopted. It had been hard. The foster system had put up a fight, but Inko Midoriya prevailed. She held her head high, tears dripping down her cheeks, when her new son was announced to finally be theirs. 

They had won. 

(In the future, her nickname became Mother Lawyer. Anyone who didn’t know why was directed to the many, many pictures of her family, hardly any of which looked like her, that sat proudly on her desk)

 

Hisashi Midoriya had started sobbing and gathered his little family, now legally bigger by one, and wrapped them all in a hug. He was trying really hard to not accidentally cough out soot. Getting kicked out of a courthouse would not look good. 

He had a feeling they might be back, but he had no idea what for. A weird feeling he dismissed as excitement at finally adopting Shinsou.

 

(They would, in fact, be back soon)

 

Izuku Midoriya squealed and laughed and cried when his best friend officially became his brother. His mouth moved a mile a minute, half of it nonsense. He squeezed his new brother with all the strength a five year-old could muster. 

He had a brother now . It was one of the best things to ever happen to him. Izuku briefly wondered if he would ever have any more siblings.

 

(He most definitely would)

 

When the gavel hit the stand, Hitoshi Shinsou almost immediately started crying. A sign he was meant for this family, maybe. The thought made him smile even more than he already was. Tears streaming from his eyes, but he was smiling just as bright as Zu.

He was just so happy . He had a family, a real life family. It was almost too much to believe. 

But it was real. It was real and he now had two parents and a brother. He kept his last name, since it was one of the last things left from his late parents. He was wrapped in a massive hug hardly five second after the judge spoke. Hitoshi smiled, and melted into his new family. 



Bonus

“Shinsou, what’s that in your bag?” 

Hitoshi looked up from the floor to see his teacher, Mrs. Toko, standing near him. It was recess time, and he really wanted to go see Zu. Especially considering this was their first school day together as official brothers.

“In my bag?” He asked, scrunching his eyebrows. Then he remembered just what Mrs. Ink let him bring to school today. 

Hitoshi smiled brightly, staring up at his mildly shocked teacher. “Marshmallows!”

“…Marshmallows.”

“Yeah! My new momma let me bring them! Zu wanted to share, so I’ma go see him. Bye-bye Mrs. Toko!”

His teacher watched him race out the door. Wondering what in the world had just happened.

 

Chapter Text

Toshi had been with them for almost five months now. His side of the room was slowly amassing more and more knick-knacks that he had found. Izuku was happy to help him decorate with stickers and posters too. They even had glowing stars on their ceiling now!

Both of them absolutely adored it. Hitoshi didn’t have a lot of things to begin with, but that number was steadily growing. Izuku was ecstatic about helping with it. 

He fit right in with them, like he had belonged there all along. Momma and Dad started calling him Hitoshi once he said it was ok. Toshi hadn’t called them mom or dad yet, but that was ok. He was still Izuku’s brother, and that’s all that mattered.  

Mr. Yamada and Mr. Aizawa moved out a while ago. Izuku and Hitoshi gave them cards to say goodbye. They would miss their favorite babysitters. 

It was May now, and both were getting really excited. Both of their birthdays would be here soon! They just had to wait through June and then half of July and then they’d both be six! 

While they did like the rain, summer also meant more time to play outside. The two of them missed running outside without getting caked in mud. 

Rain also meant they got to have soup for dinner! Izuku liked katsudon more, but soup was good too. Toshi liked soup. He was adamant marshmallows were still better though. 

They had to go to the store to get things for the soup though. It was raining again, but that was ok. Izuku and Toshi could race and jump in puddles. Momma stayed back so she didn’t get splashed. 

The two boys were in raincoats (both All Might themed) while Momma had an umbrella. Dad had the car for his new job, so that meant they had to walk to the store nearby. Izuku was just happy to be outside honestly.

Though they did have to take a different route than usual. There had been a villain attack a few days before that had damaged the street. It wasn’t a big deal, a minor inconvenience at best. Izuku and Hitoshi had fun looking at all the new things anyway. 

The trip there was full of jumping and singing in the rain. Once inside Momma guided them to what they needed. They stopped in the toys section, as all little kids are apt to do. Everything was paid for like normal. They double checked the list before they walked back out into the rain. There was nothing unusual. 

So why did Izuku feel like something was off?

They walked out of the store, Izuku still feeling like something was wrong. Toshi and him got to carry some of the bags and be helpful. The rain was still falling steadily onto the concrete. It was peaceful, as far as most people were concerned. 

Izuku pattered along with the rain. They passed more stores and alleys. 

Then he heard a sound. Not notably in itself, just a harsh cough. People were bound to get sick in this weather. Izuku heard people in his class sniffling for weeks now. 

But Izuku saw something else too. A flash of something lit up the shadows in one of the alleyways. It was blue, like the fire that came out of the stove, but a lot brighter. Not naturally caused. 

He stopped, staring down the alley it had come from. Momma and Toshi glanced back after a minute, but he didn’t really notice. Too focused on listening and watching. 

Someone coughed again, and the blue light followed. Izuku didn’t hesitate to drop his bag and race down the alley. He knew Momma said not to do that, but he couldn’t ignore it if someone was in trouble! Heroes didn’t do that, so he wouldn’t either. 

Izuku skidded around a corner. The light, whenever it actually appeared, was brighter now. He heard Momma calling him, but he kept running. Someone needed help. Izuku didn’t know how he knew that, just that he knew. 

The alley ended abruptly. There were three brick walls, and then the entrance Izuku had just ran in from. He tripped over his own feet before coming to a stop. When he finally looked up, he saw that he had been right.

Tucked into the very back of the alley, where there was the least rain, were four people. Three boys and a girl, all but one of them looked older than Izuku. And Izuku…he recognized them. 

It was the missing Todoroki children. The ones he’d seen on the news. 

  One of them coughed, and blue flames erupted from his arms and throat like he was breathing fire. Dad did almost the same thing when he was sick. Izuku could feel the fire’s heat, even from where he was standing. 

“Are you ok?” Izuku asked, lacking much of a filter due to being five, even if he was very smart for his age. 

The four jumped, spinning to face him. Well, three of them did. The sick one stayed where he was, laying still on tattered and singed blankets. He lifted his head to look at Izuku though, and his bright blue eyes widened when he saw him.

The oldest, at least they looked like it to Izuku, stepped in front of her brothers. She was shaking. 

“Who are you,” she demanded calmly. 

“I’m Izuku! Who are you?”

The girl wavered, glancing back at her brothers. It was then that Momma and Toshi ran in behind Izuku. He could see the four tense again. 

“Oh, hello there,” Momma said, putting a protective hand on Izuku’s shoulder. Toshi was hiding behind her. 

Izuku saw the exact moment when she realized who they were too. The girl took a step back, an arm out in front of her brothers. Izuku wished he knew their names. 

The sick boy slowly pushed himself to his feet. His siblings didn’t notice him until he was pushing past them. The two brothers tried to tug him back, but it didn’t work. Izuku watched him closely. 

He could see burns when the boy stood up. They were an angry red that laced up his arms. Not quit bad enough to need skin grafts, but close. It would probably scar a bit. He was swaying on uneven legs as he walked forward. Momma looked a lot more determined now. 

The boy’s hand lit up a wavering blue. The flames hovered in the air above his skin. 

“You will leave, and forget you saw us,” he croaked, managing to put himself between his family and Izuku’s. The boy coughed harshly, and the fire extinguished. 

“You’re sick,” Momma said quietly, taking a step closer. 

Leave .”

Izuku looked between his mom and the Todorokis. Toshi was hanging back, still shy of people. No one else was moving. 

So Izuku walked forward with a determined expression on his little face. No one moved an inch as he padded forward. The closest Todoroki, the one that was sick, stumbled back a step as Izuku got closer. 

“Stay back.”

“Izuku, what are you doing,” Momma asked quietly. 

He didn’t take his eyes off the Todorokis. Izuku stopped a few paces from the oldest, staring up at his blue eyes with wide green ones. His outstretched hand wavered. 

Before anyone in the alley knew what was happening, Izuku reached forward. The Todoroki boy didn’t move, letting Izuku snatch his hand from the air. No fire appeared. 

Izuku looked at the hand he now held. It was burned, and way bigger than his. It was scarred. Even at five, Izuku understood these weren’t normal scars. These weren’t all accidental. 

“He hurt you, didn’t he,” Izuku said quietly. He got no answer, but he wasn’t expecting one. “You’re running from him.”

“You’re…” his voice faded for a moment, already hoarse and quiet as it was. “You’re a smart kid.” 

“Momma says I am. She also says it’s not smart to be outside when I’m sick.”

The eldest Todoroki croaked a laugh. “And where would you suggest we go, kid?”

Green met blue again. Izuku was determined, and he wasn’t about to take no for an answer. The Todorokis suddenly felt like something inevitable was settling over them. Izuku turned to his mom, still holding the oldest Todoroki’s hand.

“Momma, can we take them home with us?”

The alleyway was silent. None of the Todorokis dared to say a word. Izuku waited for an answer while Toshi peaked out at the new people. Momma looked contemplative. 

Then the boy coughed again, jerking himself away from Izuku to contain the flames he was choking on. He wheezed, and began falling. Izuku was in no way big enough to catch a teenager. Not to say he wouldn’t try to, but he would get squished in the process. 

Momma lunged forward and caught him before he hit the ground. She held him upright, and he leaned on her heavily. Izuku glanced over and saw the other Todorokis tense, like Momma was going to hurt their oldest brother. 

“Alright then, come along. An alley is no place for children, let alone sick ones.”

All four Todorokis jolted. Toshi walked towards them now, giving them a shaky smile. He gently took the girl Todoroki’s hand, pulling her forward a bit. Their other two brothers followed cautiously. 

“Zu adopted-ed me too. You’re sister now,” Hitoshi declared with utter confidence. “What’s your name?”

“Uh, m-my name?” The girl glanced to her brother, still being held carefully by Inko. He nodded, so small Izuku almost missed it. “Fuyumi. My- my name is Fuyumi.”

Toshi nodded, smiling at her now. He looked to the other two brothers then, tilting his head like a curious kitten. “What your names?”

“I’m Natsuo!” The second smallest exclaimed, happy despite what was happening. “And our big brother is Touya!”

“Shouto.”

Izuku and Hitoshi both nodded in satisfaction, happy to know the Todoroki’s names. Toshi didn’t let go of Fuyumi’s hand though. 

“My name is Inko Midoriya. These are my sons Izuku and Hitoshi. As nice as it is knowing your names, we really should get Touya some help.”

“No hospitals,” Touya rasped, barely standing by himself. 

“No hospitals,” Fuyumi repeated firmly, loud enough so everyone else could actually hear it. “I don’t care how else you help him, but no hospitals.”

“Alright then, no hospitals. Are you alright with coming to our apartment? It isn’t too far.”

“If…if it can help Touya.”

“Home! Home!” Hitoshi crowed happily. “Shi be happy.”

“Who’s Shi?” Natsuo asked curiously. 

“Shi my new dad. He nice and light food on fire when he try to cook.”

“Dad like a dragon,” Izuku added, grabbing Natsuo and Shouto’s hands and pulling them towards the alley entrance. “He lights the fireplace and he’s warm. No cooking though. He lights the towels on fire.”

That managed to make the three laugh, an in turn made Izuku smile even brighter. The sun might as well not have been behind clouds. Touya didn’t laugh, but Izuku didn’t expect him to. Not when he was currently wheezing as Momma scooped him up. She held him like she did with Toshi and him when they had to be carried to bed. 

Izuku and Hitoshi distracted the three siblings on their way home. The rain had mostly dissipated by the time they left the alley, so they didn’t worry much about getting soaked. Touya kept coughing and accidentally setting his arms on fire. Izuku wasn’t worried though, Momma was good at dealing with fire. Touya’s clothes would probably be singed though. 

They made it home quicker than they usually did. Probably because Izuku and Hitoshi weren’t stopping every few minutes to look at something. They were both carrying grocery bags too, since Momma couldn’t, so they had their hands full. Izuku held Shouto’s hand and Toshi hadn’t let go of Fuyumi’s. Natsuo held Fuyumi’s other hand, and entertained them with jokes along their way. 

Izuku couldn’t help but think that they were already acting sort of like a family.

~~~~~

Fuyumi was…worried. Extremely so. Touya was sick, and he wasn’t getting better. So far Natsuo and Shouto had managed to avoid it, but Fuyumi could feel herself coming down with whatever Touya had. She remembered reading somewhere about twins always being sick at the same time. It wasn’t until now that she considered whether it might be true or not. 

They had taken shelter in a dead-end alleyway. No one would go down there willingly, so they’d be safe. The three walls prevented most of the rain from getting in too. Touya’s coughs echoed, but they could only hope no one noticed. In this world, they probably wouldn’t. 

Then a little boy appeared. A tiny little thing with a fluffy bush for hair and massive green eyes. He looked like the personification of innocent and friendly. He asked if they were ok.

Fuyumi wanted to be nice to the kid, she really did, but where a little kid was parents usually followed. She needed to get him away before that happened. 

Too late, she thought as a woman who was obviously his mother ran over. Another little boy, with purple hair this time, was hiding behind her.

They were doomed. Almost three weeks of successfully hiding from Endeavor only to be dragged back. Touya was in no shape to fight. Natsuo and Shouto were too young, and Fuyumi’s Quirk wasn’t good for much in this situation. Especially in the rain. Snow would just melt with it. 

Touya tried to defend them. Tried to intimidate the woman and children into leaving. It didn’t work. 

Then…then the little green kid walked up to Touya without a trace of fear. Despite seeing his hand on fire not a minute earlier. He…he knew about Endeavor. Or guessed. Fuyumi didn’t know which was worse. This tiny little child had just dismantled every defense Touya and Fuyumi had with a few sentences. 

The purple-haired kid came and grabbed Fuyumi’s hand after Touya collapsed. They went with the woman and the two children. She listened to them when they protested against hospitals. Hospitals meant calling emergency contacts, and that meant being found. They couldn’t be found. Not after everything. All they needed was Touya to get better then they’d be gone again…no matter what the two children said. Fuyumi couldn’t afford to get her hopes up. Not when they had come crashing down so many times before. 

They arrived at a small apartment complex after a few minutes of walking. Natsuo and Shouto seemed to like the two little boys that chattered excitedly the whole way. Fuyumi…found her walls start to crumble. Just a few cracks and fractures, but it was enough to shake her. She couldn’t hope. She wouldn’t. Too much could be broken if she did. 

The woman (Inko Midoriya, that was her name) put Touya on her couch and went to get something in another room. Her two sons dragged Shouto and Natsuo, and by extension Fuyumi, to the kitchen table, then ran off to get things to play with. 

Fuyumi took the opportunity to look around the apartment. It was small, but homey. The door stayed unlocked. Something that had Fuyumi was wondering whether it was intentional or not. 

The two boys, Izuku and Hitoshi she remembered, came back in with armfuls of things. Coloring books, crayons, stuffed toys, action figures, puzzles, and a few other random things. Shouto just stared at it. He hadn’t been allowed to play with a lot of these things. Fuyumi was happy he had the opportunity to now, it made running worth it.

Natsuo immediately dove for the crayons and paper. He paused to make sure it was ok he used them first. Fuyumi swore Izuku’s smile was brighter than the sun itself. 

Shouto gingerly reached into the pile and pulled out an All Might doll. It looked soft, and he held it like it was the most fragile thing in the world. Fuyumi glanced over the pile, and didn’t find anything Endeavor. Huh, guess the kid really was smart. 

“Do you wanna color too, Yumi?” Natsuo asked happily. He had already drawn grass over the bottom of his page.

“Yeah, yeah I’ll color too. Pass some paper.”

They would just have to see how all this turned out. For now, Fuyumi would hold her family together. Just like she always did.

 

Chapter Text

Hisashi came home, and immediately did a double take. 

There was a redheaded teen asleep on the couch, and three children he didn’t know playing in the kitchen with his sons. One girl and two more boys. All of them had some variant of white or red hair. He watched as the asleep redhead coughed, and one of his hands flickered with blue fire. 

In short, Hisashi was extremely confused . He sorta just…stood in the doorway. None of the new kids noticed him. Izuku did though, which caused Hitoshi to notice, and then the other three children to finally look up. 

“Dad! You’re home!” Izuku cheered, scrambling off his chair to run over. Hisashi couldn’t help but smile.

“Shi! Shi!”

“Hey there Beansprout and Mr. Blueberry,” he laughed, kneeling down to catch them in a hug. “I see we have some friends over. Where’s Momma?”

“Momma’s putting away the bandages.”

“Ink fix his owies.”

“Alrighty then. Why don’t you two go play, and I’ll be back in a minute.”

Hisashi kept smiling as he watched all five kids continue whatever game they had been playing. After a moment he went to find Inko. Maybe ask for an explanation as to why they now had four more kids. He was sure he would have remembered if…oh. 

Right. His phone was dead and had been for most of the day. Inko had probably tried to call and warn him. Yeah, that was very much his fault. 

A look in their bathroom showed that, yes, Inko was putting away the first-aid kit they kept under the sink. He took a moment to A: think of what to say to apologize for his phone being dead, B: ask what happened, and C: admire how beautiful his wife was. 

“I’m home,” he said quietly, just loud enough to catch Inko’s attention. 

She looked up sharply, but smiled at him all the same. “I’m guessing your phone died again?”

“Y-yeah, I am so sorry, Inko. Guess I really should have charged it last night.” Inko laughed, and just like that Hisashi was grinning again. 

“No kidding, Hisashi. Come on, I’ll explain what happened before the kids come looking for us.”

“That’d be nice, yes. Starting with why the one asleep on our couch coughed and lit his hand on fire?”

Inko snorted, and pecked him on the cheek. “You’re a bit clueless sometimes, love.”

“Then I’m lucky you love me.”

“That I do. Now, explanation before the door gets knocked off the hinges by our sons.”

Hisashi laughed, listening as the tale unfolded. His smile slipped away within the first minute. Inko explained everything quickly and precisely, just as she did when she was lawyering. The story was…unsettling. And that was sugarcoating it. 

At the end of it, Hisashi couldn’t help but wonder if Inko would let him either burn down a building, or adopt four more kids. Knowing his wife, she already had plans for both. 

~~~~~~~~~~

Fuyumi watched the new man closely. His Quirk was apparently fire breathing, but he acted nothing like their father. This man was all smiles and laughter and jokes. It was…different. Definitely not something she was used to, but she took it in stride. 

Touya was passed out on their couch, coughing every once in a while. Mrs. Midoriya had treated and wrapped all his burns and gave him medicine. Fuyumi would have questioned why the woman was being so nice, but then Fuyumi talked more with her sons. Izuku and Hitoshi were like sunshine incarnate and so, so very kind. Maybe- maybe that was just how this family was. Either way, Touya was getting treated, so everything would be ok for now. 

Natsuo loved playing heroes with Izuku and Hitoshi. Shouto did too, but he wasn’t as vocal about it. He was still way to quiet for a kid his age, and meeting the two brothers just confirmed it. Fuyumi had to admit though, she hadn’t seen Shouto smile like that since…since before Mother went away. 

Fuyumi just watched for the most part. Izuku and Hitoshi enthusiastically told the three of them about a hero named Eraserhead. Their family was generally wary of heroes, but the way they were explaining the man made it sound…nice. Certainly nicer than Father. 

There were a few things that Fuyumi had thought were absolute. They were rules that had never been broken in her fourteen years of life. It was almost ridiculous how many of those the Midoriya family had already undermined. 

Izuku and Hitoshi gave a very enthusiastic demonstration of Eraserhead’s capture weapon. Their version was a fuzzy scarf made of yarn that could probably stretch all the way across the room. It was adorable though, and her brothers were laughing . She hadn’t heard them laugh in a long, long time. 

And Fuyumi…she found another wall around her heart cracking. 

Mrs. Midoriya made sure Touya was comfortable before checking on the rest of them. She stood next to Fuyumi, watching the other four. Mr. Midoriya was calling someone in the other room. Right now, Natsuo and Shouto were smiling and chasing the squealing Midoriya brothers around the kitchen and sitting room. The massive gray scarf was wrapped around Hitoshi’s shoulders now. 

“How old are your brothers?” Mrs. Midoriya asked, grabbing Fuyumi’s attention.

Fuyumi hesitated a second, but answered quietly. “Shouto is six, Natsuo is ten, and Touya and me are both fourteen.”

“Twins?”

“Yes. We’re sort of like yin and yang, I guess. His fire is too hot for him, and my ice too cold for me. That’s why he has those burns.”

“Hm, and your other brothers? I don’t mean to pry, I just want to make sure they don’t light anything on fire.”

“Um, Natsuo’s Quirk is…weird. He can create water from around his hands, but if he tries hard enough he can create ice crystals. They explode sometimes though. And Shouto…Shouto has both ice and- and fire.”

“That’s an interesting Quirk,” Mrs. Midoriya hummed. “Mine is only small object attraction. My husband has fire breathing, as my sons told you already.”

Mrs. Midoriya laughed, and Fuyumi smiled to herself. A thought occurred to her, but…

“You can ask me anything, you know,” Mrs. Midoriya told her softly. Just like- like Mother used to. 

“Wh-what are your- your sons’ Quirks, if you don’t mind me asking.”

“Hitoshi’s is brainwashing.” Fuyumi blinked, but didn’t react otherwise. “It’s not the most powerful yet, considering he’s only five. We adopted him from an abusive situation.”

“Oh.”

“And Izuku, he has an analysis Quirk. Probably how he picked up on you four in the alley in the first place.”

“He’s your real son?”

“Both are my real sons.” Mrs. Midoriya suddenly sounded fiercely protective. Fuyumi prayed for whoever got in her way with that voice. “Izuku is my biological son, but Hitoshi is just as much my child.”

Fuyumi took a while to digest that. Their father had…he hadn’t had a good stance on kids, let alone ones not related by blood. All they were to him were tools. This family continued to surprise her with how different they were. 

And for just a moment, Fuyumi wondered if the Midoriyas would ever consider them family.

The notion was gone as fast as it had come. Shaken from her mind with every other hope trying to claw its way to the forefront of her thoughts. 

But it remained there, just below the surface, like a ghost haunting her. Fuyumi was fourteen , she wanted a family. A real one. One where she didn’t have to be the mother figure to her little brothers. Where her twin didn’t have to continually burn himself just to keep them safe. Where they didn’t have to run and had an actual home

“I’m going to go make dinner, if you would like to help. My husband will be in to watch them in a minute.”

Fuyumi looked away from her brothers and over at Mrs. Midoriya. It had been…around three weeks now, since she’d been able to cook for real. She wouldn’t go back there for anything, but cooking had been nice. Ever since Mother had been hospitalized, Fuyumi had been the one helping feed everyone. Of course Touya had helped sometimes, but he kept trying to heat food with his fire instead of the stove. 

But it did sound nice, being able to make food again.

“If- if you’ll let me.”

Fuyumi was pretty sure that smile was genetic, because it was almost identically blinding as Izuku’s. 

~~~~~~~~~~

Natsuo was having a blast. They got to play heroes here! He was never allowed to play that before! Shouto even joined in! 

Izuku and Hitoshi were really cool. They loved heroes and coloring, just like Natsuo! The two of them knew their stuff too. Natsuo hadn’t even heard of Eraserhead before, but he sounded like a good hero. His costume was a but boring, though Natsuo loved the really long scarf he apparently had. 

It had been a while since he had gotten to play like this. He knew they all had to be serious while living on the streets, so he was. He missed coloring and playing sports though. It was still better than living with him , but he did miss it.

Being pulled off the streets, even if it was only for a day or two, was really nice. They got a roof over their heads for once. Natsuo forgot how much he missed talking with people that weren’t his siblings. 

The Midoriyas were really kind too. Natsuo didn’t know how much he really trusted it, but for now it was ok. They were healing Touya, so they must be good. Izuku, the green-haired one, was really smart. Natsuo had met people Father deemed smart, and he was nothing like them. Both of the brothers were really nice, actually. 

They got dinner, which was a good surprise. It was soup, and it was the best dang soup Natsuo had had in a long time. They even got Touya to eat some! Fuyumi had helped make it. Natsuo…he honestly hadn’t heard her sound that happy in a long time. He- he almost wished they could stay like this forever, but he knew it wouldn’t last. Nothing good ever seemed to. 

They ended up staying the night. Mr. and Mrs. Midoriya dragged out some extra futons and blankets for them. Touya hadn’t moved since they got there, so he stayed where he was on the couch. Fuyumi slept near him on the floor. Natsuo knew she was getting sick too; she had been sniffling today. It was only a matter of time with how close his twin siblings were. 

Natsuo and Shouto slept on mats in the Midoriya brothers’ room. It was worlds more comfy than alley floors or shelter blankets. Izuku and Hitoshi shared a room, which was decorated with hero posters, action figures, and random knick knacks. Natsuo had never been allowed that, so to him the room was amazing. 

He wondered if he would ever have his own room. Maybe he could finally keep the pretty rocks he found outside! Or he could have his own soccer ball! They needed to save enough for an apartment first, but they’d get there one day. One day soon hopefully. 

Sometime during the night, Izuku and Hitoshi joined them on the mats. Natsuo had no idea when it happened. He went to sleep with everyone neatly in their own bed, and woke up with Shouto’s elbow in his face and Izuku’s foot under his leg. Hitoshi was curled up on top of Shouto’s left side like a cat. It was actually sorta like how Natsuo and his siblings had been sleeping since they left. 

Natsuo dragged himself out of bed to go check on his brother and sister. Also because he smelled something cooking. 

He found Touya still asleep on the couch. Fuyumi was holding his hand, also still asleep on the floor. Natsuo relaxed at seeing them safe. He walked to the kitchen on silent feet, a skill all of the Todorokis had learned out of necessity. 

Both of the adult Midoriyas were in the kitchen. Natsuo watched, half hidden behind a wall. Mr. Midoriya put a waffle in the toaster as Mrs. Midoriya finished what appeared to be a mountain of toast. It looked sort of like dancing. Mr. Midoriya getting coffee and Mrs. Midoriya getting more food. Natsuo wondered if they always did this. His parents sure as heck never did. 

“Oh, good morning, Natsuo,” Mrs. Midoriya greeted. Natsuo jumped, thinking he had been hidden. “Is it alright that I call you Natsuo instead of Todoroki? I can still call you Todoroki if you want me to.”

No - no, Natsuo is fine.”

“Alright then, Natsuo,” Mr. Midoriya said. “Do you want to go wake up everyone else? Inko’s food will be ready soon and I have to go to work.”

Natsuo watched in awe as Mr. Midoriya snatched his waffle mid-air as it leapt out of the toaster, put it in his mouth, and grabbed something from the counter all in one fluid motion. Mrs. Midoriya rolled her eyes, but she was smiling. 

This house was weird. Natsuo liked it. 

“Bye, love. Stay safe,” Mrs. Midoriya said, kissing her husband’s cheek. He probably said something similar, but it was muffled by the waffle in his mouth. 

Natsuo stayed a second longer to watch Mrs. Midoriya cook. He knew he really should follow an order immediately, but Mr. and Mrs. Midoriya weren’t Endeavor. That much had become clear over the day Natsuo had been around them. 

Mr. Midoriya left the kitchen, passing by Natsuo on his way. He reached out and ruffled his hair before walking out of the front door. It was such a simple and small thing, but it made Natsuo grin. He hadn’t seen anyone do that since before Mom was taken away, and certainly not to him. 

“Breakfast will be ready in a minute, Natsuo. Could you please go get Izuku, Hitoshi, and Shouto? Tell them to be quiet though, Touya and Fuyumi should sleep a bit longer.”

Natsuo nodded, and finally retreated from the kitchen. The sound of humming and things popping out from a toaster followed him. He wondered if this was what a normal home was like. 

He wondered if they could ever have that for themselves. 

~~~~~~~~~~

Shouto didn’t like waking up. It was always too bright and cereal had gotten boring a long time ago. Waking up meant father yelling and dragging him out for training. Mornings used to be nicer, but then Mother got taken away. The bandages had come off not too long ago. It had been a few weeks since then, nearly four months since the incident itself now. 

Even after they ran away, waking up wasn’t fun. It meant scrounging for food and trying to find a place to take a shower. Mornings were always too cold and too many people were outside. The four of them got up with the sun to try and avoid as many people as they could, but sometimes it didn’t work. Especially after Touya started getting sick.  

However, this morning was different. He woke up warm and comfy. It was quiet, and his mind wasn’t screaming at him to look out for danger. There were two other people near him, but that was normal. 

Then he remembered yesterday. People finding them, Touya collapsing, going to someone’s home, and…having fun. He had played for the first time in forever. Shouto couldn’t remember when he had been able to do that. Father had always dragged him away before. 

Opening his eyes, he saw that the two people sleeping near him were not his siblings. Natsuo had already gotten up apparently, because he was nowhere in sight. Izuku, the one with green hair, was flopped on his side. He was using Shouto’s right leg as a pillow. Hitoshi, the one with purple hair, was curled up like a kitty almost on top of Shouto. 

This was not how he expected to wake up, that was for sure. It…it wasn’t bad, though. Shouto actually felt like going back to sleep.

Natsuo peaked in through the door a minute later. Shouto only knew because he heard his brother doing a bad job at hiding his laughter. 

“Need some help there, Shou?”

Please .”

Natsuo walked over, finally entering Shouto’s field of vision. He crouched down and poked Izuku first. The boy eventually woke up, looking surprisingly happy despite being prodded awake. He in turn woke up Hitoshi, who acted more like a zombie. Shouto found it amusing. 

“Come on, Mrs. Midoriya said breakfast was almost done. But be quiet, Fuyumi and Touya are still sleeping and she said to leave them alone for now.”

Izuku and Hitoshi leapt to their feet and raced to the kitchen, leaving the other two to follow. Shouto was a bit confused. Breakfast wasn’t all that exciting, was it? 

Apparently, he was wrong. Izuku and Hitoshi were standing at Mrs. Midoriya’s feet, waiting more-or-less patiently while she finished whatever she was cooking. Shouto could already see toast, bacon, and eggs. Was…was it all for them?

“There you boys are. Go sit at the table and I’ll bring everything over, ok?”

Shouto openly stared as the food was put on the table in front of them. Izuku and Hitoshi started grabbing things as soon as Mrs. Midoriya put it down. Natsuo copied them, but Shouto hesitated. Were they really allowed to take whatever they wanted? 

“Are you gonna eat, Shouto?” Izuku asked, his mouth half-full. 

Shouto tentatively reached for some of the toast. No one stopped him. Izuku and Hitoshi were too busy eating to really notice. Natsuo smiled at him encouragingly. 

Shouto wondered if this is what a normal family was like. 

“Hey Shouto, why is your hair like that?” Izuku asked, clearing his plate of eggs faster than Shouto thought was possible. 

The Todorokis at the table froze. Shouto’s Quirk was a bad subject, especially after they left. Touya hadn’t been able to get them hair dye yet, so all of them were still very recognizable. He had been saving up for it, but then he got sick.

“My…my Quirk,” he answered quietly. 

“Ooh, that’s so cool! Toshi and mine’s’ are just this color.”

“Yeah! We’re the,” Hitoshi paused, remembering the words, “secondary color brothers!”

“Awww,” Izuku suddenly whined. “When you’re our siblings we can’t call ourselves that anymore! You guys have red and white hair!”

“When we’re…what?”

“Our siblings!”

“No go back to bad man,” Hitoshi said wisely. “Zu adopted you already, Ink just need to do lawyer things.”

“She’s not…taking us back?” Natsuo asked warily. 

“We’ll keep you safe, and then Momma will make sure he’ll never hurt you again. She’s good at that.”

It- it sounded surreal. Father never being able to hurt them again? Someone that was willing to make sure of that? Shouto pinched himself under the table, just to make sure he wasn’t dreaming. 

It was real. 

“We don’t- we don’t have to see Father ever again?” Shouto asked softly. 

“Nope! Momma make sure. If he comes here then Momma will protect us!”

“She fight him.”

“Yeah! Momma and Dad will make him go away. Even if Dad can’t light him on fire, he already does that himself.”

Shouto sat there, in a house he had only just arrived in, with people he had just met. And for the first time in a long time, he felt like he was home. 

Chapter Text

Touya woke up feeling cooler than he had in the last few days. And cozier. He didn’t really want to move actually. The sounds of traffic were extremely quiet, and he could still hear his siblings nearby. He felt safe for once.

Then reality decided to crash onto him with the force of a tsunami. He sat up sharply, looking around where he was. 

It was an apartment. A small one, but it looked nice enough. Shouto and Natsuo were somewhere he couldn’t see, but Touya could hear them. It- it sounded like they were playing. He hadn’t heard his brothers do that since…ever. Father had hardly let them see Shouto, let alone “contaminate” him. 

A quiet snore told Touya where his twin was. He leaned over the edge of the couch, and sure enough, Fuyumi was asleep on a mat. Good. She deserved rest, especially with how he passed out earlier. He probably scared her when that happened. 

Touya glanced around again, finally finding a clock on one of the walls. Geez, he slept late. It was already early afternoon. Explained why Shouto and Natsuo were up though; Those two had internal clocks more precise than some birds. 

He didn’t know why Fuyumi was still asleep though. She was usually woken up by their brothers, if she wasn’t already up to begin with. That is, unless she’s sick too. Which…was unfortunately what it probably was. She was good at hiding things like this, no matter how much Touya hated it. At least they weren’t in a soggy alley right now. 

A creaking floorboard caught his attention. Touya looked behind him, seeing a green-haired woman standing in a doorway. Mrs. Midoriya, that was her name, right? He had woken up after getting here, but he had been half delirious for that, so hopefully he was remembering her name correctly.

“How are you feeling, sweetie?” She asked quietly, coming closer but keeping her distance. 

“Better. Th-thank you, ma’am, for taking care of us.”

Mrs. Midoriya smiled at him kindly. It reminded Touya of his own mother. “It was no trouble. Your brothers are playing with my sons in their room. Would you like anything to eat?”

“No thank you, ma’am. Can, can I have…”

Her gaze softened. “I’ll be right back.”

She returned a minute later with a glass of water. Touya did his best not to drink it too quickly. Goodness knows the last thing he needed right now was to get a stomach ache.

“Your sister woke up earlier,” Mrs. Midoriya said. “Apparently she caught the cold you had. Refused to move though.”

Touya cracked a small smile. Yep, that definitely sounded like Fuyumi. They had been thicker than thieves since they were born. Over the years that hadn’t changed. Not one bit. 

“I’m…I’m sorry. About all of this, ma’am.”

“No, no it’s alright. You have nothing to apologize for. You needed help, and all I did was give you a place to stay out of the rain. If anything you should be thanking Izuku for noticing you four in that alley.”

Touya stayed quiet. He…he was honestly still wary. Most adults he had met didn’t notice anything was wrong with them. A perfect, happy family that was powerful by virtue of being Enji Todoroki’s children. 

But this woman and her sons, who couldn’t be older than Shouto, figured it out almost immediately. He noticed how she hadn’t called him Todoroki, not even once. She spoke quietly and moved slowly. Almost like she knew how he would react. It was…weird. 

Touya had never met an adult so kind. Not since their mother, at least. 

“When do- when do you want us to leave?” He asked quietly. 

“Certainly not now, not with your sister sick. Seeing as you four are technically missing children-” Touya’s blood ran cold. They were trapped, trapped, trapped here “-you will need somewhere to stay hidden and safe while the court case goes through.”

“…what?”

“I heard what Izuku said, back in the alley. Your father hurt you, didn’t he?”

“And If he did?” They couldn’t go back. They wouldn’t. He would rather burn himself to the ground before taking his siblings back there. 

“Then I have evidence to keep you four away from him. I’m a lawyer, and child abuse from the Number Two hero is a serious accusation.”

“Even with evidence he’d get away with it,” Touya growled, knowing it was true. He still had his license after so much damage, after all. “The Hero Commission would cover it up. At very best he’d get his hero license suspended. We show our faces in public and we go back to him.”

“They won’t, Touya.” Mrs. Midoriya set a gentle hand on his shoulder. When had he started shaking? “Even if he keeps his license I’ll make sure you four never go back to him.”

“How?” He croaked.

“I have my ways.” Suddenly, Touya realized he knew next to nothing about this woman. Just who was she? “I’ll wait for your sister to get better before we talk about it, ok? You four are welcome here either way. I’m going to go check on the boys. Just think about it, alright?”

Touya was left sitting on the couch, his mind reeling. Fuyumi was still sleeping peacefully, oblivious to the turmoil Touya was feeling. Their brothers were still playing in the other room. The noise of Mrs. Midoriya soft voice drifted into the room, but not the words. 

Touya’s world felt like it had been knocked off its axis. He stared at the wall for a minute, just thinking. 

Were they…were they actually being given a chance at getting away from their father? They had gotten lucky- so very lucky- with who had found them in that alley. A lawyer. And of all things a kind one . From what Touya knew, those were extremely few and far between. 

Mrs. Midoriya believed she could bring Endeavor to court. She hadn’t said if she could, but phrased it more like when she did. This woman was tiny, but apparently had more guts than most of the world. 

Touya wondered if the Midoriyas were angels. (the green kid’s hair did sort of look like a halo. At least that’s what Touya had thought so when he first saw the kid)

 

Fuyumi took another day of resting before she could stay awake for more than a few minutes. Mrs. Midoriya was patient. Touya was healthy now, so he moved Fuyumi to the couch. Despite her protests, he did not in fact move from the floor. It was comfier than concrete anyway. 

Touya watched as Shouto and Natsuo came out of their shells. He saw them almost constantly playing in the small time they’d been here. 

He was also told the story of how Hitoshi came to live with them. Izuku really was a type of angel. 

When they weren’t playing, the four boys liked to watch All Might movies. Touya was dragged into watching them too, since he refused to leave Fuyumi, who was stuck on the couch. The films were interesting. None of them had ever been allowed to watch anything like them. Even if Endeavor had essentially disowned three out of the four of them, nothing All Might was ever allowed in the house. 

Despite his hesitancy, Touya…Touya found himself getting used to the little routine they had. He would wake up on the floor, Fuyumi still asleep, and go to check on the other four. Shouto would usually be awake under the two Midoriya brothers. It was a fifty-fifty chance if Natsuo was awake and quietly snickering or asleep in the same pile. 

Touya was a a tad bit confused the first time he walked in there and saw all four of them on the floor. Especially since they were all in a pile of tangled limbs. They had two perfectly good beds, and yet they were all on the floor. 

Touya just shrugged and walked back out to try and help with breakfast. He was, however, banned from trying to cook bacon on his arms. Mrs. Midoriya had kindly told him not to, so there was no way he was about to disobey that. Not to mention Fuyumi had already scolded him for it before. 

It was on the fourth day there that the twins finally decided to tell the Midoriyas about what had happened to them. Mrs. Midoriya, at least. Mr. Midoriya was taking Shouto and Natsuo to the park while Izuku and Hitoshi went to school. The two had been having fun playing teacher for their brothers. It was adorable seeing the Midoriya brothers telling the other two what they had learned that day. Touya smiled at the memory, calming down from the anxiety of what they were about to do. 

The three of them sat at the kitchen table. It didn’t feel like any of the investigations Touya and Fuyumi had seen before. The kitchen was homey, and Mrs. Midoriya had a kind look on her face. They felt more like they were talking to a parent than to an actual lawyer. 

“Do you mind if I record this?” Mrs. Midoriya asked. The twins sent a glance to one another, before nodding. The woman set her phone on the table. “Alright then. Is there a beginning to this?”

“Yes. Have…have you ever heard of Quirk Marriages?”

 

The story took an hour to tell. Starting from their father marrying their mother to leaving. They talked about being cast away until Shouto was born. Then the abuse, and Touya almost burning himself out completely. The two spoke about their mother’s down-spiral, ending in her burning Shouto. They had stayed another two weeks after he was healed before running. 

Their tale ended with Touya getting sick and the Midoriyas finding them. By the end of it the twins were exhausted. Mrs. Midoriya stopped the recording, looking just as emotionally worn. 

“Why don’t you two go rest, I’ll get you some water. Once Hisashi and your brothers get back we can have lunch.”

Touya nodded, leaning against Fuyumi as they stood. Both of them collapsed onto the couch in a heap. 

Mrs. Midoriya came in a minute later, handing them each a glass. 

“Thank you, Mrs. Midoriya,” Fuyumi said in her croaky voice. 

“You’re welcome, dear. And please, call me Inko.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Inko,” Touya said, setting down his now empty glass. “What…what happens now?”

“Hopefully I can get a case opened against Endeavor. We’ll go to court, and do whatever it takes to keep you four away from him.”

“But, where will we go?” Fuyumi asked quietly. “We can’t be split up. We- we can’t .”

“You don’t have to go anywhere, if you don’t want to.”

Touya stopped, looking up at Mrs. Inko. “You mean…you mean we can stay here?”

“Of course,” she smiled. He still couldn’t help thinking it looked like Mother’s. “We’ll have to do some rearranging, but it can work. Hisashi just got a job, so money isn’t a major problem. You two need beds, but the other four seem to like sleeping together well enough.”

“No kidding,” Touya snorted. 

“What?” Fuyumi asked, wiping away the tears that had started to form in her eyes. 

“They’ve been sleeping in a pile. Izuku and Hitoshi have been laying on our brothers like cats. Natsuo used Shouto’s legs as a pillow yesterday too.”

Fuyumi giggled, and Touya smiled. 

Maybe…maybe things would actually be alright for once.

Chapter Text

Inko woke up to what was becoming her new normal. 

Hisashi pulled her from sleep with a kiss to her forehead, then left for work. He was taking on more hours to make sure they had enough income. Inko wished he could stay home, but knew that it wasn’t logical. 

They had gone from one kid to two, and then jumped to six. Money wasn’t a massive problem, not with both of them working and her being a lawyer. They did need to start thinking of moving though. Having a cushion of money would definitely help with that. 

Once she actually got out of bed, Inko got dressed and went to see which kids were awake. Usually the answer was none, but sometimes Touya or Fuyumi were already up. Those were the days she taught them how to cook things, making sure to keep their shaking hands away from fire and nightmare shadowed eyes focused on something else. 

If the twins weren’t awake, and she still had time, Inko made breakfast. Izuku and Hitoshi had school most of the week, and goodness knows how easy getting two five year-olds out the door was (It was nothing short of trying to get a cat to willingly go out in the rain). The four Todoroki children couldn’t go yet; Not with their father still hunting them. Inko noticed the missing alerts and posters more often now that it actually applied to her.

The four kids stayed home while Inko ran the other two to school. It wasn’t long, so she didn’t worry. Touya and Fuyumi were already fourteen anyway. Natsuo was (usually) well behaved, and Shouto could be occupied by coloring or with food and TV. They were ridiculously easy compared to how Izuku was as a newborn. 

Once back at home Inko juggled paperwork, emails, work calls, and helping the four Todorokis with homework. They were mostly on track learning-wise, but if they didn’t practice they could fall behind. Since they couldn’t go to school yet, Inko showed them how to use online textbooks and worksheets. It was better than a private tutor, they told her, since this way they didn’t have someone always looking over their shoulders. 

It was stressful, but Inko knew they would all figure it out eventually. Meals were something to get used to, but that was ok. They didn’t have a lot of leftovers anymore, if any. Shopping was even more fun for the little ones now. They actually filled a cart with how many people they had to feed. Inko was just thankful Touya and Fuyumi helped corral the kids while she shopped. 

Today, Inko was doing more paperwork. It was necessary for her to wrap up a few of her other cases before the Endeavor one went through. Any day now it would become official, and all of her attention would be focused on it. She already had a lot of evidence against the man. (Hisashi called it her Pride Murdering Binder this time)

The four Todorokis were quietly working nearby, careful to not get papers mixed up. Shouto had already finished his simple math and was coloring now. Natsuo was getting help from Fuyumi with his history. Inko didn’t know what Touya was doing, since he seemed to just be staring out the window. 

“Touya, sweetie, are you ok?” Inko asked gently, careful to not scare him. 

He shook himself, turning to look at her. Panic flashed in his eyes for a second, and it only reinforced Inko’s desire to utterly destroy the man that dared to call himself their father.

“I-I’m fine, Mrs. Inko. Just…just thinking.”

“Do you want to talk about it? I think I’d be more interesting to tell than the clouds.”

Touya cracked a grin. It fell, and he grew somber. “It’s just…our old man is a hero. He, he raised Shouto and me to- to be heroes. Even if I was thrown out the minute Shouto’s Quirk came in, I…I still sort of want to be one. If only to- to show him I can . Does that- does that make me a bad person?”

“Oh sweetie, that doesn’t make you bad. If you want to be a hero then you can be a hero, parentage doesn’t matter. I already know you would make a wonderful one.”

“B-but I just want to prove, prove I’m b-better than him. A hero shouldn’t- shouldn’t be a hero because of that.”

“Do you want to save people?” Inko asked, sharper than normal. It made Touya look up, at least.

“Y-yeah, I guess. I don’t- I don’t want anyone to- to go through this like, like us.”

“Then you can be a great hero. And if you want to prove to your father you can be a hero without him, then do it. Pass him in the ranks and show everyone who he really is.” Inko reached across the table and took Touya’s hand. It was rough with old burns. “Whatever you choose to do, we’ll be here. Whether you want to a social worker, a hero, a police officer, or something else, all of us will be behind you. No matter what.”

Inko remembered when she first found out about Izuku being bullied. She remembered she had never gave him a solid answer to his question. 

She had an answer now. It had never been a real question to begin with, was it? The answer had been the same from the beginning, even if she hadn’t wanted to accept it. 

Touya smiled shakily, but smiled all the same. “Th-thank you, Ms. Inko.”

“There’s no need to thank me, Touya. We're a family now, and family sticks together.”

~~~~~~~~~

The case got assigned a court date within the next few days. Inko was busy compiling the evidence and witnesses and well, everything. Hisashi didn’t understand some of it, but that was ok. His very smart wife was the lawyer, not him. Thank goodness. He couldn’t argue without almost crying or making a joke. That or cursing out the other lawyer. Honestly, he had no idea how Inko did it. Not that he had ever seen her be an actual lawyer, only heard about it, but from what he had heard, she hadn’t lost her intimidating presence. 

The four Todoroki kids were honestly super well behaved. Izuku, Hitoshi, and Shouto were immediate buddies. Hisashi probably had well over a hundred pictures of them playing and being adorable already. 

Natsuo was a good kid too, he just had lots of energy. Hisashi made sure to take him outside to play if they had time. He was actually really good at soccer.

Touya and Fuyumi were quiet. He got to watch as they slowly came out of their shells, laughing and joking with them more as time went on. Touya turned out to be very sarcastic. One of the biggest surprises was that Fuyumi liked dad jokes. Hisashi stood there gaping like a fish the first time she said “Bye-Sashi” as he left the room. 

In short, Hisashi loved his new kids. And yes, they were his. Screw what the government said, they were his now. All the sad children were going to be adopted whether the law liked it or not. 

 

(He didn’t know how true that statement was going to become for them)

 

It was stressful though. Inko was throwing herself into the case, gathering evidence and compiling it into separate sections. This one was even worse than Hitoshi’s foster-parent case. She had to take more breaks when she got to civilian casualties. Saying it was horrific would be putting it extremely mildly. 

The Todorokis gave Inko whatever she needed. Whether that be a glass of water or more questions answered. Hisashi couldn’t be more grateful to them.

As the date grew closer, the apartment got more tense. Mostly the older kids, since they actually understood what was happening. 

The four would be testifying in court. Shouto and Natsuo didn’t quite grasp what that meant other than it would help punish Endeavor. It was good enough for them either way. Touya and Fuyumi were more nervous about it, but they were resolute in their decision. 

Hisashi did his best to help out too. He took the week of the case off so he could be there. If only to be with the Todoroki children while Inko was doing her thing. Izuku and Hitoshi still had school, but it was easy enough to go and get up.

He could only wait and do what he could to lessen the burden that was on his family’s shoulders. 

~~~~~~~~~~

The date was two days away, and Inko was putting the finishing touches on the case. All six children were watching a movie. It had become a tradition of sorts for them to do that once Izuku and Hitoshi got back from school. Doing that let Hitoshi and Izuku recharge from school and for all of them to bond. Inko found it sweet. Hisashi did too evidently, since he had taken pictures of them doing it almost every day.

The movie also meant the apartment was actually quiet. It was something that seemed to be getting less common. Not that Inko was going to complain, a silent house had always been eerie for her. 

It also meant she could very clearly hear the heavy knock on the door. Inko ignored it for the moment. They weren’t expecting anyone to visit, so the door went unanswered.

Then the person knocked again. Louder this time. Inko continued ignoring them. If they knew Inko they would’ve texted, and the police would have called who they were through the door by now. 

Inko finally got up when it sounded like the door was shaking on its hinges. Her work could apparently wait. The noise attracted the attention of the twins, but Inko waved them off. An angry person likely at the wrong apartment was nothing she couldn’t handle. 

She looked through the peephole first, and promptly recoiled away from the door. 

Because Endeavor was standing in the hallway. His stupid beard wasn’t on fire. Only to keep the fire alarms from going off probably. But this was bad. Very, very bad. Endeavor was here and so were his children. The children that would likely panic if they saw him. 

Inko wouldn’t let him touch them. Not in a million years or beyond. No harm would come to her kids as long as she was alive. 

Perhaps it was her past self talking, but Inko immediately walked back into the kitchen to retrieve her phone. Calmly, so none of the kids took notice that something was off. She hit record, and set the phone in her jean pocket. For once, and only once, she was grateful that her phone stuck out of the pocket. 

Inko steeled herself, putting on a mask of politeness, and opened the door. 

Even without his flames up, she felt an instant rush of heat. The tall man glared down at her. Though he faltered for a split second, likely not expecting her small size. Inko met his blue eyes unflinchingly. She had faced down men bigger and badder than him. A demon is nothing compared to the devil, especially in the face of an archangel. 

“Endeavor. To what do I owe the pleasure of having such a high ranking hero show up at my small doorstep?” Inko asked sweetly. It was meant to throw the man off, and it seemed to work. 

“Are you Inko Midoriya,” he demanded, looming over her. She hardly batted an eye at the display. 

“I am. Do you need something sir?”

“You will drop your case against me.”

Inko stared up at him, blinking once. “No.”

“Excuse me?”

“Are you perhaps going deaf, Mr. Endeavor? All that fire around your ears must not be healthy.” Inko raised her voice like the hero was an especially stupid pet. “I said, I will not be dropping the case. Have a good day sir.”

Inko moved the shut the door, only to find Endeavor’s hand holding it open. He was almost asking to be put into jail, wasn’t he.

“I am not asking, woman. Drop your case, or there will be consequences.”

“Are you threatening property damage and assault, Endeavor?” Inko asked, tone sickeningly sweet and loud enough for her phone to pick up. 

“Only if you do not meet my demands,” he growled, forcing the door open. Inko took a small step back. It gave the camera a better angle. “I don’t know what you think you’ve found, but I can assure you you have nothing . My trail is clean.”

“A clean trail doesn’t mean clean hands. And from what I’ve found, yours are stained very red, Endeavor. So it would be beneficial for you to leave my home and not add to the blood you’ve amassed, hm?”

The man had obviously never had his intimidation tactic not work like this before, just judging by the look on his face. Inko had momentarily dropped into what her colleagues nicknames as her Lawyer Voice. It worked in unsettling the “hero” on her doorstep though. 

“This…this isn’t over,” he growled. 

The great Endeavor turned tail and speed-walked back down the hallway. 

Inko finally let out the breath she’d been holding. Of all the days and times, it had to be when all the kids were home and Hisashi wasn’t. For all her talk, Inko wasn’t the best fighter. She was a lawyer, someone who worked with information and words, not fists. That being said, if Endeavor had decided to try and actually break in he would have found his shoes in the air and costume too tight. Small object attraction was good for such things.

She went back inside, mentally smoothing her ruffled feathers. Hisashi was right, she really was a mother hen. 

The six kids were still watching their movie. Touya looked up for a moment when she walked in. 

“Who was that, Mrs. Inko?”

“Oh, no one special,” she hummed, waving a hand. “Reminded me of a dumpster fire though.”

The children's laughter was all she needed to hear for a smile to appear on her face once again.

~~~~~~~~~

The courthouse was unusually busy. Not that Hisashi could tell any difference, since he’d only been in one a few times. 

Inko was in front of him, dressed in business clothes and eyeliner sharp enough to kill a man (God he loved his wife). The four Todoroki children were by their sides, all dressed to the nines. Court was a very formal setting. That did not, however, stop Hisashi from packing snacks and things for his children. 

Endeavor wasn’t here yet. At least, if he was, then he wasn’t in sight. Good. Inko had told him what happened with the man. He was seriously considering asking Inko if they should speed up their plans to move. No way was he letting the flame-head anywhere near his kids, legally adopted or otherwise. 

They sat in the hall for a while before being let in. Hisashi took Fuyumi, Natsuo, and Shouto to seats, while Touya followed Inko. He would be the one to represent his siblings. Hisashi was so proud of him for doing this. 

Endeavor came in a few minutes later. He sat at the other table with his own lawyer, glaring daggers at Inko. He didn’t seem to notice Touya yet. Hisashi hoped that could stay true for a while longer. 

The judge stood up on her podium, hitting her gavel once. “We are here for the case against Endeavor, Todoroki Enji, on multiple charges of assault, battery, property damage, and…abuse. The charges and evidence will be presented by the accuser’s lawyer, Mrs. Midoriya. Counter evidence can be provided by the defendant’s lawyer, Mr. Itachi. There will be no Quirk usage in this room from anyone . Failure to comply with that will result in permanent removal from the case. Now, Mrs. Midoriya, your first point.”

And just like that, it had started.

 

Chapter Text

They didn’t make much progress on day number one. Mrs. Inko presented some of the evidence, and Dad Father Endeavor’s lawyer tried to refute some of it. Touya was surprised how vicious the woman could be sometimes. She tore everything Mr. Itachi said to absolute shreds until he was left speechless. 

Touya never would’ve thought this small woman could stand up to the giant hero and his sniveling lawyer without flinching. It just made him think she was even more amazing. 

The case went on for a few hours, even if not much happened. Touya glanced at his siblings a few times. Shouto was usually playing on Mr. Hisashi’s phone or munching on a quiet snack. Natsuo looked extremely bored, but hid behind Mr. Hisashi from their father’s view. Fuyumi was the only one paying attention out of the three. She refused to look over at Endeavor.

They went home feeling exhausted, both physically and emotionally, even though the four siblings hadn’t done anything. Mr. Hisashi left to go get Izuku and Hitoshi from school.

Touya flopped himself on the couch. Fuyumi and him would eventually get real beds, but they hadn’t had time to get them yet. The couch and futon were fine in the meantime. They felt especially comfy after today’s events. 

Touya didn’t realize he’d fallen asleep until he woke up to purple, green, blue, and gray eyes staring down at him. He blinked up at the three small kids for a minute. Mainly just trying to understand why they were standing over him like curious monkeys. 

“You guys need something?” He asked, voice still raspy from sleep. 

“Play with us, Aniki,” Shouto chirped, poking his shoulder from the top of the couch. “We’re gonna play heroes. Play with us.”

“Alright, alright,” Touya chuckled, sitting up. The three immediately cheered. “Who’s who and what am I?”

“I’m Present Mic!” 

“I Eraserhead!”

“I’m All Might, Aniki!”

Touya felt like his heart was going to burst. These three had downright illegal levels of cuteness. Of all the things he regretted, running away would never be one of them. Shouto would have never gotten to do something like this before.

“Ok then, who am I playing?” 

“Hero! Hero BlueFire!” Hitoshi squeaked, jumping and clinging onto Touya’s arm. 

“Alright, who’s the villain?”

Izuku leaned in close, whispering in a way only a five year-old can think is quiet. “Natsuo’s the villain, but he doesn’t know.”

Touya stifled his laughter. Oh this was going to be good. He grinned sharply, gathering the three in a huddle. “So what’s the plan?”

If, five minutes later, Natsuo was jumped by three little kids while Touya cackled in the background, then Inko certainly didn’t have it on tape. Natsuo definitely didn’t shriek and shoot ice crystal out of his palms. And those crystals obviously didn’t spark and explode, causing the three kids to stop and stare at it. 

And Hisashi most certainly didn’t come home and congratulate the four.  

~~~~~~~~~~

Day two of the case was the day of witnesses and more evidence. Touya felt like his heart was going to beat out of his chest, but it would be ok. Everything would be fine. Mrs. Inko and Mr. Hisashi would protect them. He didn’t know how, but they told him they wouldn’t let Endeavor get near them. They told the four that right before they walked into the courtroom. Touya couldn’t help but feel like they were telling the truth, even if he had no idea how they would keep that promise. 

Mr. Itachi was a good lawyer, but Mrs. Inko was better. As soon as she stepped to the front of the room, she stopped being the gentle mother he knew, and turned into a steel hardened lawyer whose only goal was to protect her charge. Sort of like a warrior from fairytales, Touya found himself thinking. 

None of his siblings nor Touya were called up to the stand that day. Multiple others were though. People who Endeavor had hurt somehow, whether that be property damage, burns, or killing a family member. There was even one person, a brother to a criminal Endeavor had roasted, that came to testify. It was obvious how much the man was trying not to cry. The “villain” had only been trying to steal a loaf of bread. 

Touya’s stomach protested to listening to all of it. A glance backwards told him Fuyumi felt the same. Shouto had on headphones, listening to a video on Mr. Hisashi’s phone. Natsuo was asleep. He hadn’t been able to sleep the night before. Touya only knew because he hadn’t either. 

It went on for hours, again. And once again, they returned home and crashed onto whatever soft surface was nearest. That included Touya this time, apparently. He woke up to three five year-olds and Natsuo using him as a pillow. Hitoshi was just outright curled on top of his chest. The kid acted more cat than human sometimes. 

Touya went back to sleep shortly after. 

~~~~~~~~~~

At least one of the siblings was supposed to give their testimony on day three, but that got derailed. Mr. Itachi had tried to convince the court that Endeavor had not in fact used excessive force on villains. That sparked a nearly hour long rant (read: scolding) from Mrs. Inko. By the end of it they had more important points to cover. 

Day four was when Fuyumi got called to the stand. She was shaking, but kept a brave face. Touya wished he had a phone. The face Endeavor made when he finally realized his own children were behind this case was something he wanted to cherish forever. 

Fuyumi’s voice shook as she answered questions. Mrs. Inko did her best to speak gently to his twin, and they both appreciated it. She didn’t meet Endeavor’s eyes once. 

Natsuo came next. He was mostly more angry than scared. Touya knew he was still terrified though. It was evident in the way he talked and flinched at fast moment. He was brave though. Once he was done Touya saw Mr. Hisashi sneak him a cookie. Both twins couldn’t help but grin. 

Shouto spoke on day five. He was young for a witness, but handled it well. Even if he didn’t look up from his lap once and whispered his answers. No one said a thing when he crawled into Touya’s lap instead of going back to Hisashi. A six year-old throwing a fit would be the last thing they needed anyway. 

Everything was going well. Touya himself didn’t have to give him testimony, since it would just be repeating what his siblings had all said. Maybe a bit worse, considering the “training” father had given him. 

Mrs. Inko was confident they would win. Touya was too. How could they not, when Mrs. Inko literally left their opponents speechless? She had done it more than once too. Things were being uncovered that Endeavor thought had been long since buried. Honestly, Touya was curious as to how Mrs. Inko found half of this. He also wasn’t going to ask. Ignorance is bliss, plausible deniability, and all that.

Then…

“I would like to call Touya Todoroki to the stand.”

Touya froze like a deer in the headlights. Mrs. Midoriya looked like she wanted to rip Mr. Itachi’s head off. Said man was smiling smugly. Endeavor looked a bit confused, so this was obviously not planned. 

Touya got to his feet and shakily made his way over to the stand. He forced himself to stay calm as he said the oath. Panic meant fire, and fire meant forfeiting this. It also meant potentially burning others or himself. 

“Now, would you say your father cared for you?”

“Emotionally or physically?” Touya deadpanned. “Because the answer for both is none at all .”

Mr. Itachi’s eye twitched. Touya felt a bit better. “But he gave you a roof over your head? Food readily available and a space of your own?”

“No,” Touya growled, staring at the wood of the stand instead of Mr. Itachi. “If we misbehaved he threw us outside. If we didn’t do exactly as he wanted we weren’t given a meal. Our rooms had no locks and he came in whenever he wanted.”

“Well, if you were doing something so bad, then perhaps it was a just punishment.”

Touya’s vision flashed red. It took everything in him not to incinerate the man right where he stood. How dare he. How dare he

Touya got to his feet, glaring at the opposing lawyer with as much malice as he could muster. It was a lot. “Fuyumi was once given no dinner because she left shoes in the wrong place. I was locked outside in winter for not using a Quirk that burned my own skin . Natsuo got hit because he dared mention All Might in the presence of Endeavor. Shouto, my six year-old baby brother , was punched repeatedly by a grown man in the name is so-called ‘training.’ So don’t you dare say it was justified, Mr. Itachi , because you don’t know us or what that man put us through. All you want is a big check at the end of this.”

Done with his snarled rant, Touya retreated back to his seat next to Mrs. Inko. He kept a tight lid on his fire. Even with the mental cap on it, he felt his skin heating beneath his fingertips. Not enough for actual flames, but definitely warmer than a normal person. 

Touya spent the rest of that trial day staring at the table. He knew things were being said around him, but he didn’t hear it. His heartbeat was too loud in his ears. 

He felt like he blinked and they were back home. Shouto refused to let go of his hand. Fuyumi dragged him to the couch to lay down. 

Within a few minutes all four of them were asleep. Touya’s final thought before that was that maybe, just maybe, this really was home.

~~~~~~~~~

“Guilty!”

Fuyumi and Touya immediately started sobbing. Natsuo cheered loudly, hugging his two siblings. Shouto began crying while clinging to Inko. Hisashi was lifting the three into the air to squeeze them in a hug before even two seconds had passed. 

Inko half listened as the verdict was given. Endeavor was still getting away without prison time, but the children were free from him. As was his wife, who was in a mental hospital. The Midoriyas had custody over them now. 

Endeavor’s license would be suspended, as would his pay. It would go on his record. His agency was to compensate the victims of those he killed, if they hadn’t been already. All custody over his family was gone. 

It wasn’t a fair sentence, and they all knew it. Endeavor was a powerful hero. He was essentially getting off with a slap on the wrist, but at least his family was away from him. Inko wished she could have thrown the bastard into a prison cell, but the Hero Commission wouldn’t allow that. Not when he was the Number Two hero. 

Inko could still wish. 

He was also paying the Midoriyas a substantial amount to not release anything to the media. Inko didn’t react outwardly at the amount, not past looking like it would do. Internally she was shrieking and already thinking of when they could go look at actual houses. She knew Hisashi was thinking the same thing. 

The four children were given the option of changing their names alongside the switch in custody. Touya and Fuyumi shared a look, before declaring their last name would be changing. The four of them would now be the Hisame children. It was their mother’s maiden name, they told Inko and Hisashi quietly. 

From that day on, the Midoriyas were eight people strong. Even if their last names weren’t the same, they were still family. And none of them would ever be left behind again. 

~~~~~~~~~~

A knock sounded outside the door. The woman, who had been reading a book, looked up. Strange, that didn’t sound like her usual nurse. Not exactly a bad change, if she was being honest. 

“Come in,” she called. 

The door creaked open, revealing a woman she had never seen before. Not a nurse here, judging by her lack of scrubs. Her hair was green and tied up in a bun. She was small, but looked like a gentle person.

“Hello, are you Ms. Rei?”

Rei nodded, curious about this new person. Everyone always called her ‘Mrs. Todoroki.’ It hurt like shards of glass being called his , but there was no way to change that. Not while she was stuck here. 

The woman smiled, shutting the door behind her. “My name is Inko Midoriya, and I’ve come to see you with some good news.”

Rei instantly gave her undivided attention. Even if it was something about Enji, it was better than nothing. Maybe this woman could tell her some of the things she’d missed in the outside world…it had been almost half a year now, hadn’t it. 

“W-what is it? Are my children ok?”

“They’re perfectly fine, Ms. Rei. In fact, this is about them. You see, they ran away some time ago.”

Rei felt her blood turn cold. Quite literally, as she began to accidentally freeze over her chair. Her children. They ran. They ran and no one told her anything

“It’s ok, Ms. Rei! They’re ok now. They’re safe. They’re not with him.”

And that…that caught her attention, more than anything had in a long time if she was being honest. Her children weren’t with Enji. But, how did this woman know to say that?

“…why?”

“I found them in an alley. Touya was sick, and my son heard him on our way home from shopping. We took them home.” The woman looked out the window, likely smiling at a memory. “Natsuo and Shouto stayed with my two sons, Izuku and Hitoshi. I found they like sleeping in a pile. Touya and Fuyumi refused to leave each others sides when they were sick.”

“They…you took them in? Why?”

“It was the right thing to do. They told me what happened with Endeavor. I’m a lawyer, you see.”

Rei connected the dots faster than she should have. There had been rumors floating around the hospital of Endeavor being taken to court. Nothing past that, but she had heard it all the same. 

“You, you took him to- to court?”

“I did, and we won, Ms. Rei. The children are free from him,” Inko stepped closer, taking Rei’s hands. “And so are you.”

Her mind was reeling. After so long she was…free? Out from under Enji’s thumb? No promises from well-meaning nurses that she’d get to go back to him. No more wondering if her babies were being starved or beaten. No more hits or scars were going to be added to her skin because of that man. 

Then she remembered what she did the last time she saw Shouto. Her baby boy. She had snapped. Poured boiling water over his face. All because for a single split second, she had seen a tiny Enji. It was all a chance that it had been Shouto instead of one of the other three. 

That didn’t change what she did though. 

Rei was still terrified. Of Enji. Of hurting her children. Of snapping just as she had before. As much as she hated this place, she still needed to get better. Maybe…maybe now she had motivation to try. 

“Thank you, Mrs. Inko,” she said softly, “but I can’t leave. I can’t- I can’t hurt them again.”

“That’s ok.” Inko smiled, like she hadn’t just been turned down. Rei wondered if she was speaking with an angel instead of a human. “You can stay and get better, Ms. Rei. Until then, my husband and I will keep them safe.”

Rei took in a shaky breath, still holding Inko’s hands. It was nice, having human contact again. 

“Would you…would you mind telling me what’s, what’s happening outside? I haven’t- I haven’t been out in so long.”

“Of course. How about I tell you about my sons first? Here, I have pictures. So the other day, Hitoshi called Fuyumi ‘Aneki’ and I thought she was going to freeze something solid,” Inko laughed. 

Rei found herself smiling for the first time in a long, long while. 

Chapter Text

Shouto had never been to real school before. Plenty of tutors and private teachers of course, but never a public school. So today understandably felt terrifying to him. Who knew that school could be scarier than the boogeyman named Endeavor. 

At least Izuku and Hitoshi would be there too. Shouto hadn’t expected to come out of this with two more brothers, but he wouldn’t trade them for the world. They were both in the same class this year. He was too now. 

Inko (who had finally convinced the four to drop the honorific) was talking with the principal before he was allowed to go in. Something about making sure he wasn’t bullied. Shouto didn’t really understand it, but that was ok. He trusted all of the Midoriyas.

 

(He guessed he and his siblings were included under that name now, huh)

 

She left him in the hands of an older kid that walked him to class. Shouto didn’t speak a word, clutching his backpack tightly. All of this was foreign to him. The hallways, the upperclassmen, the many classrooms. Everything. He didn’t like that nothing made sense here yet. Maybe he could get Izuku to explain it. Everything was easy to understand when he said it. 

The door was opened, allowing him to step inside his new classroom. It was brighter than he expected. Neon crayon drawings were hung everywhere, and there were so many decorations. Father Endeavor never let them have anything like this. The carpet was even brightly colored!

“Ah, Hisame, there you are,” the teacher said cheerily, beckoning him to the front of the room. “Everyone, this is your new classmate Shouto Hisame. Treat him well.”

There was a chorus of “ok!”s and “hello”s from almost everyone. Shouto flinching slightly, holding his bag even tighter. The teacher set a gentle hand on his shoulder. 

“Why don’t you go put your bag in the cubby, then I can show you to your seat.”

Shouto nodded, doing as he was told. The teacher showed him to his seat, which was at a round table with three other people. None of them were his brothers. Izuku was on the other side of the room. Hitoshi was directly behind his seat though, which made him feel a bit better.

“Hello! My name’s Hashiru!” One of the kids greeted excitedly. “I like tag! What do you like?”

“And I’m Tammi! I like coloring!”

“I’m Hiyaku, nice to meet you.”

Shouto blinked at his new classmates. They were certainly louder than he was used to. Not even Izuku was normally that loud. 

“I- I like playing heroes,” Shouto said quietly. 

“Cool!” Tammi yelled. “I like playing heroes too! My favorite’s All Might, ‘cause he’s so strong.”

“Yeah! I like Ms. Joke!”

“My favorite hero is Ingenium.”

Shouto nodded along. He knew who those heroes were thanks to Izuku and Hitoshi. So far, his favorite is Ryukyu. He said as much to his table-mates. They gave similar reactions of enthusiasm. 

Maybe school wouldn’t be so bad. 

 

Lunchtime was new. Shouto had never had a lunchtime that was outside. Before it had been schoolwork and only schoolwork until he was finished, but this school was fun. He even got to color something! It was him and everyone in his (now significantly bigger) family. The teacher told him he did a good job. 

At lunch they all took their lunch boxes outside to eat. Shouto hung back for a minute to avoid the crowd. He was one of the last out the door. 

Shouto immediately spotted his new brothers under a tree. They had told him to meet there if he got put at a different table in class. He was just happy he could talk with them now. 

“Hey Hisame!”

Shouto turned, seeing his table-mates standing a few feet from him. They all looked on some variation of disgust or fear. 

“Why’re you going over there? That’s where the freaks sit.”

Shouto scrunched his eyebrows in confusion. “Freaks?”

“Yeah,” Tammi said, scrunching her nose like something smelled bad. “The purple one can control you like a puppet. He’s creepy. The other one always hangs out with him and punches people. No one hangs out with them because they’re weird.”

“And you don’t wanna be weird,” Hiyaku added. “Come on, we’re all sitting over here. You can tell us more about Ryukyu.”

Shouto looked at each of them, his anger growing. These were his brothers they were talking about. The nicest, smartest, and most caring people he had ever met. Izuku rescued them from that alley. He had saved them . Just like a hero.

“No,” he growled. “I don’t care. They’re not freaks.”

“Yeah, they sorta are,” Tammi snorted. “They’re weird.”

They’re my brothers . Izuku and Hitoshi are some of the best people I’ve ever met, so leave them alone.”

The three stood there, staring at him. Shouto glared them down. No one insulted his family, not without consequences. Hashiru scoffed. 

“Come on guys. Leave the freaks to themselves.”

The three turned and walked away. Shouto felt nothing at all for them. Not when he already had Izuku and Hitoshi waiting for him. That was already two more friends than he had ever expected to have. The former number being one, it was a step up. 

He ate lunch with his brothers, laughing and smiling. The rest of the class mostly avoided him after that. A bully learned not to mess with him the hard way. Izuku punched him before Shouto could freeze him to the ground. 

Shouto decided school was might actually fun. 

~~~~~~~~~

Natsuo was so excited . He finally got to go to a real school! Touya and Fuyumi were the only ones who had gone to an actual one before, even if it was only for a little while, but they had told him what to expect. It sounded fun! Especially PE. Natsuo couldn’t wait for PE. Getting an entire hour just to run around? Sign him up!

His class was nice too. He didn’t know anyone yet, but that would change soon. His family said he was good at making friends. 

It was weird, not having any of his siblings around to help him with things. More than once he had turned in his seat to ask Fuyumi for help, only to find she wasn’t there. Right, her and Touya were at their own school. Not a big deal. It was ok. There were other people that could help with it. Until he got home, at least. 

Everything was sorta easy too. He learned it a while ago from their private teachers and Inko. Natsuo still had a bit of trouble though. He was the type of person to throw something out of his mind as soon as he didn’t need it anymore. In this case, it included math. At least it wasn’t too-too hard. 

Lunch came soon enough. He didn’t get to see Shouto, Hitoshi, or Izuku, since they weren’t sixth graders like him. Natsuo didn’t see any scorch marks or chunks of ice though, so he guessed their own lunch went alright. 

Natsuo was bored though. He didn’t have anyone to sit with, and he was already done eating anyway. Staring at the sky was boring too. 

Then he remembered the soccer balls that he saw somewhere when he first walked out. He immediately raced back to find them. Maybe he could practice the move Hisashi had showed him!

The sports equipment was just sitting by the door, so Natsuo scooped up a ball and ran back to the small field where he’d been sitting. There weren’t many people over here. At least this way he wouldn’t hit someone in the face with his playing. Again. 

He started trying to copy the moves Hisashi had showed him. Stuff like picking the ball up with your feet and bouncing it on your knee. Natsuo tuned everything else out as he focused on what he was doing. 

Only when he heard cheering did he notice there were people watching. He stopped, whipping around to the small crowd that had gathered to watch. Well, five people, but that was still a small crowd. 

“That was awesome dude!” One of them yelled, running over. “Can you show me how to do that?”

“Uh, y-yeah, sure! There’s some more soccer balls by the door if you guys want to grab one.”

Natsuo smiled as all five returned, eagerly waiting for him to teach them. It was really cool. School was turning out to be really fun after all. 

~~~~~~~~~~

Fuyumi hated school. She hated it with a burning passion. It was ironic, considering her twin’s Quirk. The place was always too loud though. Full of too many people only wanting to be friends because of their dad. Homework sucked and boys were too rowdy. 

But that was before. Maybe this one would be better. It was smaller, less prestigious. No snobby rich kids around every corner. Probably. Fuyumi hadn’t actually been in class yet. Hisashi was finishing up signing everything with the principal. 

Touya and her were sitting in the hall for the time being. His hand was cold in hers, a side effect of being built for an ice Quirk. Hers was no doubt warm in his. 

“Think we’ll be in the same class?” He asked quietly, so it didn’t echo down the empty hallway. 

“Hopefully. If we aren’t then we’ll just see each other at lunch.”

“Yeah. One class probably couldn’t handle both of us anyway.”

Fuyumi chuckled at her twin’s antics. They’d be ok. She knew that. 

So why did it feel like they were being shoved into the lion's den?

Hisashi came out a minute later, the principal behind him. The man smiled at them comfortingly. “You two ready?”

Both of them nodded and wordlessly got to their feet, letting go of the other’s hand. Hisashi stepped closer to envelope the two of them in a hug. He was warm. Not overpowering like Endeavor. No, Hisashi was more like a blanket than a forest-fire. 

“You’re going to do fine, ok? You know the way home, just be back before it gets dark.” Hisashi lowered his voice, enough so the principal couldn’t hear. “If anyone mentions You Know Who you have my full permission to punch them in the face. No Quirks though, understand? You can’t get in as much legal trouble if you only use fists.”

Fuyumi giggled while Touya snorted. It was just like Hisashi to tell them that. Knowing Inko though, she would’ve told them the same thing. 

“Thanks, Hisashi. See you at home.”

With that, the twins followed their new principal down the hall. 

They were in different classes. Fuyumi’s came first. Touya wished her good luck and promised burns to anyone who looked at her wrong. She laughed it off, and went in, holding her backpack straps like they were a lifeline. Neither them ever liked to be separated. 

Fuyumi was introduced by the teacher. She instantly felt happier when the name “Todoroki” didn’t come out of their mouth. Hisame was much, much better. 

Her class seemed nice enough. History was the first subject they covered, which Fuyumi was good at. She had already learned the topic a while ago from a tutor. Unlike some people, she actually retained what she learned. That class period she mainly helped other people. At least she knew the names of a few classmates now. 

The other periods went similarly. Fuyumi already knew some of it. Math was still confusing, but she managed. The other people at her table looked just as confused sometimes.

When lunchtime rolled around, Fuyumi already had people asking if they wanted her to sit with them. She politely declined, telling them she would be sitting with her brother. All of them shrugged and went on their way. Probably assuming her brother was an underclassmen or something. 

She found Touya sitting by himself under a tree. His back resting against the wood with his eyes closed, lunch in his lap. Fuyumi grinned, walking over. It was hard not to notice the other people glancing his way. She only hoped it wasn’t because he did something bad, since it was their first day here

Fuyumi sat herself down besides him, taking out her own lunch. Touya opened his eyes just enough to look at her. 

“So, what’d you do to make people stare at you?”

Touya smirked, closing his eyes again. “Nothing.”

“Yeah, and my hair’s orange. Touya, what did you do .”

“No, I’m serious. I didn’t actually do anything this time, twin’s promise.”

Well, at least she knew he hadn’t done anything against the rules. When they said ‘twin’s promise’ they were telling the truth on their mother’s name. It was something they come up with when they were younger. Neither of them would ever go against Mother, especially after she was taken away. 

It didn’t exactly take long for Fuyumi to figure out why people were staring at Touya. Either they somehow knew he was a Todoroki Endeavor’s son, or they thought he was cute. Most likely the latter. Her twin had always been handsome, what with his red hair, pretty face, and piercing he was wearing again thanks to Inko. He was a complete bad boy, albeit one that wouldn’t break a rule unless he knew for a fact he could get away with it.

They ate lunch together, happily discussing what had happened in the other’s class. Touya told her about a student that asked where the French Revolution was. In turn she told him how one of the people in her class very confidently told her two plus five was eight until she made him count on his hands. 

In short, school was decently easy. Fuyumi liked it a lot better than private tutors in their stifling mansion. Maybe she’d finally make some real friends. 

The thought made her smile.

 

Bonus

Shouto didn’t like his table-mates anymore. They ignored him and acted like he didn’t exist now. It was ok though, Hitoshi was right behind him. They’d talk while the teacher wasn’t looking. The other kids wouldn’t tell on them either, since they were too scared of Hitoshi. 

But as much as Shouto told himself it didn’t matter, it still made him sad. The other kids had seemed decent. Not that he would take back what he said, but why couldn’t he have been sat with nicer people? 

Hitoshi must have noticed. Shouto felt a tap on his arm while everyone else was doing a math worksheet. He turned around in his seat, since they were technically allowed to talk right now. 

He was met with the sight of Hitoshi discreetly handing him an entire full-sized bag of marshmallows. The big ones too. His brother was smiling brightly.

“Shh, teacher thinks I stopped-ed bringing them,” Hitoshi whispered, putting a finger to his lips. “Make me happy, so make you happy.”

Shouto grinned down at the treat. Who knew he’d one day have a brother smuggling him marshmallows in the middle of class. “Thank you, Hitoshi.”

~~~~~~~~~~

* Ring Ring *

“Is this Inko Midoriya?”

“Yes, that’s me.”

“My name is Mrs. Tsukareta.”

“Ah, you’re my sons’ teacher.” Inko paused. “What did they do?”

Mrs. Tsukareta sighed loudly. “Your son, Shouto Hisame, was found with a half empty bag of marshmallows. I suspect Hitoshi gave them to him, but neither are saying anything. Izuku apparently doesn’t know anything. Could you please stop them? This was enough of a problem last year with Mrs. Toko.”

Inko stifled her laughter away from the speaker. Because of course Hitoshi would bring marshmallows to give to Shouto. Whenever he noticed anyone feeling bad his immediate reaction was to give them something that made him happy. Given, a child giving you a marshmallow with a very serious face makes it extremely hard to be sad. 

She normally would have wondered why the teacher sounded so tired, but Inko knew why. Her boys were a handful. Mrs. Tsukareta’s Quirk was also something sleep related, if she remembers Izuku’s ramblings correctly. 

“Yes, I will make sure they don’t do that again this year. Apologies for my sons,” she said, still trying her best not to laugh. 

“Thank you, Mrs. Midoriya. Have a nice day.”

The call disconnected, allowing Inko to laugh freely. 

If her boys were then limited to doing that only once per school year, then the teachers probably wouldn’t connect the dots.

 

Chapter Text

Izuku was confused. 

It had started with him asking Shouto why he only used his ice. Izuku knew he had fire too, so why didn’t he use it? The answer was silence and clipped words about it not being his, but his father’s. Izuku didn’t like it.

So he went and asked Touya too. The answer he received was that their fire was Endeavor’s, so Shouto swore never to use it. It had hurt too many people. Touya only used his because he had nothing else, and it was different enough to not make his skin crawl too much. 

Izuku did not like that. His family was free from that man, and had been for months now. They shouldn’t have to deal with his shadow still hanging over them. Genetics were just genetics, it didn’t dictate who they were. Their Quirks weren’t their parents, All Might had said so on TV. If All Might said it then it must be true. 

That was his line of logic as he cornered the two in the kitchen. Fuyumi was out with some new friends, Natsuo was playing soccer with Dad outside, and Hitoshi was sleeping. Momma was busy with her job in the other room. It was just the three of them, and Izuku was determined to change their mind. 

“Why do you not use fire?” Izuku asked bluntly, but kindly. His voice was soft in the quiet room.

Shouto looked mad, but Izuku knew he was scared too. Touya was closed off. Izuku didn’t like when his brothers looked like this. 

“Because it’s his ,” Shouto growled, staring at the tile floor. “I told you Zuku, it hurts people.”

“We told you already, Izuku, we won’t let him shadow us with his fire. Shouto will use Mother’s ice, and I can’t use my flames much anyway. We’ll surpass him without using the power he made us for. We won’t let him win.”

“But…but he wins anyway,” Izuku whispered, staring at the floor. Tears were gathering in his eyes. “He made you to- to surp-pass him. He won’t care how, Aniki.”

“But it’s his-“

“No!” Izuku yelled, tears streaming down his face as he stared down his shell-shocked brothers. “It’s yours! Your Quirk, not his! You aren’t his anymore!”

The kitchen was quiet, save for Izuku’s sniffling. The two Hisames stared at Izuku with awestruck expressions. 

“You’re not his,” Izuku said quietly, staring at the floor again. “You’re your own persons. It’s not his fire. Please, don’t let him keep hurting you when he’s already gone.”

Izuku’s head whipped up when he saw the glow of yellow light. The sight that met him was almost ethereal, if it wasn’t taking place in the kitchen. Shouto was standing with his mouth open, his entire left side on fire. It twisted and danced along the arm he raised to look at. 

One look at Touya and he ignited his hand. He was smiling softly, watching his fire spark off his skin. The blue was beautiful, and so, so different than the red of Endeavor. 

Izuku beamed. He knew it would still take time until they were fully better, but he had helped. They would be ok, Izuku knew they would be. 

He threw his arms up and jumped around, cheering for Touya and Shouto. For his brothers. Izuku was so happy and proud of them. 

Then three things happened all at once.

One: the fire alarms went off. Thankfully their building didn’t have sprinklers, or everything would be getting soaked. The alarm was a loud and piercing wail that hurt their ears though. The two Hisames instantly covered their ears, fire extinguishing immediately. 

Two: Izuku slammed his hands down, also to cover his ears. Problem was, the counter was in the way. The three heard a crack , and two of Izuku’s fingers were suddenly bending wrong.

Three: “Momma!” “ Inko! ” 

She came rushing in to see Izuku clutching a broken hand, Shouto with embers on his half-melted-off clothes, and Touya trying to swat at the fire alarm above their heads. Oh boy.

 

One trip to the hospital with five out of six kids later, and Izuku had a cool new finger cast thing. It was blue. He liked blue. It also hurt, but he was told it’d go away soon. 

They had a long, long talk when they got home. Mostly between Shouto, Touya, and Momma, but Izuku was still there for moral support. 

The four were gonna start going to therapy. Izuku was happy when Momma said it would help them with their fire. Knowing it was ok to use it, at least. 

Izuku was just happy he could help them. It was what heroes did, and he was going to be a hero. 

~~~~~~~~~~

It had been almost a year now. A year since Izuku had found them in that alley. A year since Inko and Hisashi had taken them in and gave them a home. Mother was still in the hospital, but she was getting better. Inko estimated she would be out by the time another year passed, maybe two. Touya hoped that was accurate. 

It had also been maybe nine months since Shouto had started using his fire. Touya was proud of him, and of Izuku. Who knew this little green bean could make them change their mindset.

They hadn’t moved to a real house yet. Between Inko getting a lot more cases and Hisashi getting promoted at his work, they haven’t had time. In the meantime the four other boys shared a room, while Touya and Fuyumi had a big futon couch in the living room. 

It was leagues better than before, so not a single one of them complained. The three six year-olds still slept in a pile, while Natsuo took one of the other beds. Despite attempts to stop them, it never worked. 

Celebrating Hitoshi and Natsuo’s birthdays were fun. They were on the same day, after all. Izuku’s was two weeks later. Touya remembered very clearly Izuku’s face when Touya gave him his birthday present, a nice notebook he’d been saving to buy. Hitoshi had gotten a scarf Fuyumi and him worked on together. Natsuo received a new soccer ball, which he loved. 

Touya decided he loved birthdays now. They had never been a big thing for them before, just a date saying they had lived another year in hell. But with the Midoriyas? Birthdays were a lot better.  

Months passed, and school kept going. Touya didn’t really have friends, but most people on campus knew him. Fuyumi had friends though, so they were both happy. Izuku, Shouto, and Hitoshi apparently stuck close in their own classes. Natsuo already had a group he was playing sports with on the weekends. 

Then came the time for hero school entrance exams. Touya knew for a fact he didn’t want to go to UA, so they did some research on the schools nearby. The small, prestigious ones they couldn’t afford, but Touya didn’t want to be stuck with snobs for all of high school anyway. Instead, they decided on Ketsubutsu. It was a single train ride away, and the entrance exam was soon.

Unlike UA, Ketsubutsu wasn’t as bias towards physical Quirks. Their entrance exam was an obstacle course that was also like an easter egg hunt. That was all he knew though. Hopefully it would be enough to prepare. 

Hisashi had been helping him with his fire, which had already been a million times more useful than any “training” he got from Endeavor. In the months they’d been living with the Midoriyas he had already learned so much. One thing he’d learned was that short, controlled bursts were just as potent, if not more, than Endeavor’s fire. It also left no burns on his hands, so he would use those until he learned more.

All of that lead up to now. 

Touya was nervous, extremely so. The gates loomed a few feet in front of him. Past those gates might lay his future school. If he can only pass their entrance exam, then he’d be accomplishing his dream. Not his father’s Endeavor’s dream, but his and only his. 

His family was behind him. Literally. Inko, Hisashi, Izuku, Hitoshi, Shouto, Natsuo, and Fuyumi were all standing around him. The smaller four were staring at him with stars in their eyes. The two adults looked like they were on the verge of tears. Fuyumi was already crying. 

So here he was, standing in front of the school he could be going to in a few months. His family beside him. He really had come so far since they’d been taken in. It made him smile. 

“Are you ready, Touya?” Inko asked worriedly. 

“Yeah, I’m ready. Have everything I need.” Touya lit a fist on fire for a moment. It got everyone to laugh, so he considered that a win. 

“Ok, ok. Go on,” Hisashi laughed. “We’ll come get you when you’re done.”

“Alright, bye you guys.”

Touya waved, walking onto the school grounds. Other prospective students were walking in with him. 

“Good luck, Aniki!” Came three yells from behind him. 

Touya turned, sending one last smile to his family, before walking through the doors. He would get in, and he would do it for them. Heroes needed something to drive them, right? His family would be his motivator, not vengeance. Not entirely, at least. 

One upping Endeavor would just be a bonus. 

 

The written test was decently easy. Touya knew most of it, and hoped his answers were close enough on the rest. They were moving onto the physical now. The race and hunt. 

Everyone was split up into different groups of thirty to forty. A lot of people for an easter egg hunt, Touya thought. They would be released into an obstacle course that more-or-less mimicked the real world. There was a fake city, forest, fields, and multiple little obstacles scattered everywhere. Their goal was to find eggs and reach the finish line as fast as you could. Each of them were also given a drawstring bag to keep the eggs in. 

Touya had listened to Izuku pick apart the points system. He was very, very proud of his new little brother, and amazed that someone so little could do something like that. Then he remembered Izuku had an analysis Quirk, so it came natural to him. Still, he was five (almost six, he could practically hear him say indignantly) and Touya had paraded him around the apartment cheering about his smartness. He was pretty sure Inko had taken pictures. 

The short version of what Izuku had rattled off was that were were two, maybe three, ways to gain points. Getting over the finish line quicker than other people, and the eggs. It catered towards both rescue heroes and fighting ones. 

Izuku also theorized there was something called “cooperation points,” which was when you put aside rivalries and helped out another person. Touya guessed it made sense. The points weren’t a sure thing though, so Touya chose not to rely on the idea of it. If someone needed help he’d help them, but not for points. That was something Endeavor would do, and he wasn’t Endeavor. 

Touya shook his head to clear it, crouching in a sprinter's stance at the starting line. They would be starting any minute now. He had to focus. He had to get in, and he’d do it for his family. 

A voice yelled for them to go, and Touya was off like a shot. He was by no means the fastest or strongest, but having a smaller frame had its advantages. Training with Hisashi had done wonders for his speed too. 

Touya didn’t look back, but heard the announcer tell the attendees that real life had no countdown. He briefly noted that only a few others had taken off immediately like him. Quite literally, in the case of a boy with wings. He focused back on the task at hand, keeping his pace. There were no eggs in the first few yards. 

The city came first. All twisting streets, alleys, and pipes. Touya wasn’t about to climb a building without a way down, so he stuck to the ground. There were plenty of eggs hidden there anyway. Once he realized they were nestled in a lot of niches, he snatched them up. His competition had spread out, so there was no one he could see at the moment. It felt too quiet for an exam with over thirty people. 

He kept moving forward. The exit was somewhere nearby, he just had to find it. 

A couple turns later, and Touya found himself in a forest. There were already a few brightly colored eggs that he could see. Whoever hid these must’ve had fun. The things were everywhere, including in trees and under rocks. Geez, how many eggs were there? 

The forest was dense, with no obvious path. It was probably meant to test their navigation skills or something, but Touya just found it annoying. Since the whole thing was flammable he couldn’t use his fire to light the way. 

Then he heard a screech over his head, and a red thing hurtling towards earth. The sound was almost like a bird of prey, but…scared. Whatever it was, it crashed through the canopy somewhere behind him. Touya hardly hesitated before racing back. 

He pushed his way through a bush to see the student with wings lying on the ground, red feathers scattered everywhere. Touya very carefully made his way over, gently shaking bird-boy’s shoulder.

“Hey, hey, you ok?”

The person responded by groaning and lifting his head. At least he wasn’t missing any teeth. His nose didn’t look broken either, which was good. 

They then tried to scramble away from Touya. Which, nope, was not happening. Especially if he was hurt. 

“Hey, chill, I’m just trying to help. Your wings aren’t broken, are they?”

They eyed him skeptically, red feathers puffing up just like a real bird. “What’s it to you? Want to take out the competition?”

“What? Why on earth would I do that?” Touya sighed, getting back to his feet. He offered a hand to the bird-boy. “Come on. If your wings aren’t broken then you’re at least bruised from falling.”

“Why…why are you helping me?”

“Because I want to be a hero that helps, not one that leaves people behind. Come on Birdie, there’s still a lot of race left.”

The boy took his hand hesitantly, but it was better than nothing. Touya pulled him to his feet, making note that he was holding an arm to his chest. The wing on that side was probably hurt too. 

“So, how’d you fall?”

“Someone shot me down. Don’t know if it’s part of the exam or not, but I went down. Can’t get in the air with all these leaves anyway.”

Touya hummed, setting their pace at a jog. Both of them snatched up eggs on the way. By the time they were out of the forest Touya was laughing as the boy tripped trying to get an egg and fell into mud. 

Next was a massive ice blockade that spanned wall to wall. No way around, so either over or under. Touya knew what he was going to do. A smile lit his face as he stared up at the obstacle.

“So, can you take off or are your wings too hurt?”

“I’ll be fine.”

“Not an answer. Are you wings hurt?”

The boy faltered. “Th-they hurt a bit, but I’ll be ok.”

“Nope, not happening. Get on my back, I’ll carry you over.”

The boy squawked, wings flaring again. Touya caught his wince though. “F-fine, but how do you plan to do that?”

“You’ll see,” Touya smirked. “Just trust me. We’re already near the front, so how bad could it go?”

“Very badly. But ok.”

The boy climbed onto Touya’s back just like Shouto, Izuku, and Hitoshi did a lot. Natsuo did it too sometimes, but it was usually accompanied by whining about school or his feet hurting. 

Touya smiled as he broke into a sprint directly towards the wall. The boy with wings yelped, clinging tighter and tucking his wings close. He felt his hands and feet heating up. Good thing he wore the fireproof shoes Hisashi had got him. 

He leapt at the wall when he got close, blue flames hovering above the skin on his hands and feet. The fire instantly melted hand and footholds. Bird-boy shrieked in his ear as they hit the wall, not seeing what Touya was doing. Thankfully he had practice on not wavering with loud noises. 

Touya skittered up the wall like a squirrel, melting the holds behind him. No one behind him could use them then. The boy on his back clung even tighter as they reached the top. 

“There, see?” Touya panted, letting the boy down when they finally stopped at the top. “Can you glide from here?”

The boy was staring out at the last leg of the race, which was an open field. Probably had some sort of trap. Maybe a minefield of flash-bombs or shifting dirt. For all Touya knew, it would turn into a game of the floor is lava. He had experience in that at least. There were already a few people down there, and they looked to be stepping cautiously. 

“Hey, Birdie, you ok?”

“Yeah, just thinking. That floor’s probably trapped, right?”

“Most likely. Go on, I can handle it.”

Touya sat down, going to slide down the other side of the wall. With enough momentum he could get a speed boost, just in case there were people behind them. 

A hand caught his arm before he slid down. He looked up, seeing bird-boy standing there. 

“I’m…I’m probably not supposed to do this,” he muttered, ”But let me help you too. I can carry you across the field.”

“You…are you sure?”

“Yeah. My trainers might get mad, but you helped me. The least I can do is help you back.”

Touya shrugged, standing again. His shoes were still warm, so his own footprints stopped him from sliding away. “Alright then, as long as you think you can handle both our weights.”

“I can,” he insisted. “Try not to scream.”

Touya was about to ask what he meant, when his feet left the ground. He did not, in fact, scream. Instead he held very, very still. He knew the basic physics how things flew. Him moving could send them into a wall or something. 

They were flying (well, gliding) well above the very likely trapped ground. Touya smiled wildly, enjoying the height. He had always wanted to be able to fly. Most kids did, but not many ever really got to. 

“Whoooooooo!” 

Touya heard the bird-boy laugh, flapping his wings to get more air. The grass below them blurred as they went even faster. Other people looked up in amazement at the two people flying clear over the obstacle. 

Touya’s feet hit the ground, bird-boy landing a second later. They were both smiling, Touya giggling from the adrenaline rush. His bag was still attached to him, and the other boy had his.  

“Oh man, that was awesome!” Touya cheered breathlessly. “My name’s Touya Hisame, by the way.”

“I’m Hawks,” he said immediately. It was mechanical, like he’d said it a billion times before. It made Touya pause. 

“I mean your real name.”

“Oh, that is my real name. Hawks.”

“Well, then it’s nice to meet you, Hawks. Thanks for flying me here.”

“Thanks for helping me ,” Hawks laughed, his red wings resting against his back now. “I hope we both get in.”

“Yeah, me too. My little brothers would be sad if I didn’t.”

“You have a little brother?”

“Four of ‘em, and one sister. You would not believe how long it takes to get everyone ready in the morning.”

“Wow. I’ve always wanted siblings, but maybe not that many.”

Touya barked a laugh, grinning at Hawks. “They grow on you, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Anyway, we should go turn our eggs in.”

Hawks immediately smiled, but waited for Touya before he started walking. They talked on the way. Aimless chatter about their likes and dislikes mostly. Funny stories, mainly told by Touya about his siblings. 

The boy with wings was nice, but still mysterious. He left Touya to wonder why he didn’t have a real name, and why. 

He hoped his theory was wrong. 

 

They both got a lot of eggs. Touya didn’t know how many points it added up to, but he hoped it was enough. Hawks had just as many, and also hadn’t been counting apparently. Both just shrugged and went to leave the school grounds. 

They were stopped by a shout. Well, Touya was, since it was his name someone was yelling.

“Hisame! Hey Hisame!”

Touya turned around, wondering who he knew here. What he saw was a girl leaping over everyone’s heads until she was standing in front of Hawks and him. She looked a bit like a rabbit. He did recognize her though. She was from their middle school, but neither of them had ever spoken. 

“You’re twin is Fuyumi Hisame, right?” She asked, smiling brightly. 

“Yeah…why?” 

“I knew it!” She jumped up, and flew up at least four feet off the ground. “Sorry, just excited.”

“Well, you know my name, what’s yours?”

“Rumi Usagiyama, at your service.”

Touya was still skeptical, but he did remember her now. “Touya Hisame, that’s Hawks. My sister’s mentioned you before, actually. You need a lot of help with history.”

He swore he saw her face start turning pink. “Uh, I guess so. History’s never really been my thing, ya know? Anyhow, think you did good?”

“Probably.”

“I think we did great!” Hawks exclaimed, smiling happily. “How about you, Usagiyama?”

“Eh, I hope I got enough eggs.” She shrugged, turning towards the gates again. “Mind if I walk with you guys?”

Touya shrugged right as Hawks yelled “Sure!” 

He listened as the two talked on the way out of the gates. It was nice, having people like that around him. You know, ones that were his age. 

They all split ways as soon as they reached the gates. Hawks went one way while Usagiyama went the other. Touya waved them goodbye, knowing his family was going to meet him near the gates anyway. He wondered if they bought any mochi at the store.

His thoughts were interrupted by a trio of tiny people sprinting into his legs. Three yells of “Aniki!” accompanied him trying not to fall on his butt. Touya laughed, wrapping his arms around his three smallest brothers. 

“Aniki! Aniki! You do good?” Hitoshi asked first.

“‘Course he did!” Shouto crowed. “He’s Touya!”

“You did good, Aniki? Got lots of eggs?” Izuku question last, smiling that million watt smile of his. 

“Yeah, I did good,” Touya laughed, ruffling their hair. Shouto and Hitoshi attached themselves to his legs, while Izuku scampered onto his back and held on tight. “Did you guys miss me?”

“Miss-ded Aniki! Shopping boring today,” Hitoshi declared.

“I’m sure it was.”

Touya smiled, walking a few steps with the added weights. Natsuo barreled into him a minute later, thankfully not knocking anyone over. 

“So how’d you do Touya? Did you win? Did you get a lot of eggs? Did you-“

“Natsuo, slow down, he can’t answer anything if he can’t hear the question.” And there was Fuyumi. Inko was standing off to the side, a proud smile on her face. Touya didn’t know if he’d ever get used to having it directed at him. 

“I did good, Natsu,” Touya assured. “Even met some new people.”

“Really!” Izuku exclaimed from his back. “What were they like? What are their Quirks? Were they nice?”

“Yeah, Izuku, they were nice,” he chuckled. “One had wings, and one had a rabbit mutation or something.”

“Wow! That’s so cool! I wanna meet them!”

“Of course you do.”

Touya couldn’t help his grin as they all walked down the street. Shouto and Hitoshi were each holding one of his hands now, since waddling down the street with two grade schoolers attached to ones legs is a bit hard. Izuku refused to budge though. It wasn’t a problem since he was so small.

They headed home, all of them smiling and laughing at something another said or did. It was…it felt like home to Touya. It felt like he’d finally found his family. 

And he’d be damned to hell before he let them go. 

~~~~~~~~~~

Inko hummed to herself as she finished washing the dishes. The ones that wouldn’t fit in the dishwasher, at least. Dinner had been eventful, with Touya telling them all about the exam. It sounded interesting. 

Izuku had been acting odd though. Inko noticed it, and she guessed most of the other kids had too. Hitoshi and Shouto had practically glued themselves to his side. She watched him closely, but couldn’t figure out what was bothering him. 

Inko hoped he would at least tell his brothers what was wrong. She just wanted her son to be ok, even if she didn’t know what was troubling him. That applied to all of her children, really. 

So she went through the motions of cleaning up after dinner. Hisashi had taken most of the kids outside to play before it got dark, so the apartment was quiet. It was something that was slowly becoming more odd as time went on. Inko wondered if there really was a time, before all the kids, that this was the default of their home. The thought felt weird now after everything.

With it being so quiet though, it allowed her to hear little feet pattering into the kitchen. She calmly dried the last dish and put it away. The footsteps stopped in the kitchen doorway. Inko turned slightly, seeing Izuku hesitating on the threshold. 

“Izuku? Is there something you need, bug?”

Her son wavered, but walked up to Inko regardless. He rested his head of curly hair against her side, his face angled towards the floor. 

Inko brushed a hand through his curls, kneeling on the floor to be on his level. Izuku didn’t look up from the floor, making Inko more worried.

“Sweetie, what’s wrong?”

It took a second, but Izuku opened his mouth to speak. His voice was small. Inko hadn’t heard it sound like that in a while. 

“A-Aniki is g-going to be a- a hero. Even th-though he doesn’t like his- like his Quirk yet.”

Inko nodded, not quite knowing where he was going with this yet. Izuku was very close to crying. She kept a hand on his arm in comfort. 

“Momma c-can I- can I be a hero? I k-know I don’t have a strong Quirk l-like Aniki or Toshi or- or Sho, but I still wanna be a- a hero.”

Inko almost instantly pulled her son into a hug. He clung to her, the tears beginning to fall now. She rubbed circles on his back, softly hushing him and holding his tight. 

“I never gave you an answer last time you asked, did I?” Inko said quietly. “I’m sorry for that, Izuku. You deserve an answer, sweetie.”

“Momma?”

“You can be a hero, Izuku. I know you can, and you’re going to be an amazing one. Ever since the day you were born I knew you would do great things. As long as you have that brain of yours, you’ll be just fine.”

Izuku was sobbing now, but he was smiling. He held onto Inko with a strong grip. She smiled softly as she held her son on the kitchen floor. She meant every word she said.  

“Never doubt that you can be a hero, ok Izuku? No one can ever tell you what you can and can’t be.”

“O-ok Momma.”

Inko kissed the top of her son’s head, knowing without a doubt he was going to do something amazing in the world. Call it mothers’ instinct or intuition, but she knew he would go down in history. 

Her children, all of them, were going to change the world

 

Chapter Text

Touya’s letter arrived just over a week later. 

He had been nervously pacing holes in the carpet for days now. Fuyumi had already thrown a pillow at him from their bed today (which was the futon couch for now, since they didn’t have enough space for actual beds in the apartment. Neither of them minded) and told him to knock it off. He didn’t stop, if only to spite her now. 

Fuyumi wasn’t stressing, since she was going to a normal high school. She would even know a few people there that had gone to their middle school. Natsuo would be going to the middle school they were leaving. Izuku, Hitoshi, and Shouto were only going to the second grade, so they didn’t have to worry about going to a new school yet. 

Hopefully their next teacher knew better than to separate them. Last time they had been put at different ends of the classroom, well…Touya didn’t really know. The three came home giggling, muddy, and with orange juice in their hair. How they managed that, he didn’t know. It was fall, there was no mud outside, and none of them had brought juice that day. Apparently the others got off worse. 

Touya didn’t ask for details, plausible deniability and all that. Not that he thought his siblings did something illegal. But if any little kids were going to, then it would be those three. 

Anyway, he was still pacing. The mail would be here any minute now. Everyone else was out of the house, besides Fuyumi of course. She was reading a book while the TV droned on in the background. Touya was probably watching it at one point, but he couldn’t focus on anything right now. Not when his future hinged on a letter arriving today. 

“If you’re so worried, just go check downstairs,” Fuyumi grumbled, obviously fed up with his pacing. “Maybe the mail came already.”

Touya stopped, considering the idea. Well, it couldn’t hurt to at least check. Worst case scenario it wasn’t there and he check again later. Best case, it was there and he opened it and got in. 

“Be back in a minute!”

He heard Fuyumi sigh before the door closed. As soon as it was he sprinted down the hallway. The downstairs neighbors were probably grumbling about it, since this was the fourth time he had done that this week. At least he remembered shoes this time. 

Touya skidded around the final corner, having forgone the elevator in favor of leaping the stairs two or three at a time. He was pretty sure everyone in the building could hear him, but he really didn’t care at the moment. All he knew was that he wanted to see if his letter was here yet. 

There were three people on the ground floor that Touya could see. All of them shot him annoyed looks as he made a B-line for the mailboxes. He pretended not to see them. It took a few tries for him to get the key out of his pocket, but he managed it. 

Touya probably burst people’s eardrums when he saw the letter. It was in a big envelope, and took up most of the mailbox. He snatched it up, along with the rest of the mail, and darted back upstairs. 

He flung open the door so hard it hit the wall. Fuyumi jolted at the sudden bang, glaring at him over the top of her book. She stopped when she saw the envelope he was waving. Words decided to abandon his vocal cords, so Touya was left wheezing and squawking excitedly. 

“Well don’t just stand there, open it!”

Touya hesitated. He wanted to open the letter. He wanted to open it really badly, but…but he wanted everyone to be there. They had been there for him through this whole thing, they deserve to see the results with him. 

“Wh-when are they all getting- getting home?” He panted, still out of breath since he ran up three flights of stairs. 

“Inko should be back soon with the boys. Hisashi gets home in like-” she glanced at the clock hanging on the wall “-fifteen minutes. Do you want to wait for them?”

“Yes.”

“Ok then. Can you at least stop pacing please ?”

“Mayhaps.”

Fuyumi groaned as Touya laughed. He just had to wait a little longer. It would be worth it. 

~~~~~~~~~

Hisashi returned home to…well, not chaos , per say, but…ok yeah, it was chaos. Pure and utter chaos. Touya was leaping over the couch, Fuyumi chasing him with a pillow in one hand and a novel of hers in the other. Izuku was smacking Hitoshi with a pillow while Shouto was aggressively launching another at Natsuo, who was trying to scramble away from Fuyumi’s warpath. 

He found Inko sitting in the kitchen, peacefully sipping coffee while she read over paperwork. An island of calm in the chaos that was their living room. To say Hisashi was confused would be an understatement.

“Inko, love, what happened?”

“Oh, the kids? I believe Touya tried to take Fuyumi’s book before I got back. She grabbed it and started hitting him with a pillow as revenge. Izuku and Hitoshi found it funny, as did Shouto. Natsuo knocked Izuku over and Shouto is taking revenge for that, last I checked.” Inko put down her coffee, smiling at Hisashi. “So how was your day?”

“Uh, good. The Urarakas invited the two of us out for dinner sometime.”

“That sounds lovely, dear. Certainly the best bosses you’ve had in a while.”

Hisashi chuckled, sitting at the table as well. “Since you, my love.”

“Oh please, I wasn’t your boss.”

“And who saved my butt all those times? Certainly wasn’t Mitsuki, and definitely not Masaru.”

They both smiled sadly at the mention of their old friends. They had all been so close, once upon a time. Masaru being Inko’s best friend and Mitsuki Hisashi’s. As soon as they were introduced, the two pairs had gotten along like a bonfire. It ended with both couples being married, having kids, and…and having to separate those kids. Hisashi had never thought their different views would separate them like that. But it did, and they couldn't go back. Not if Izuku was at risk. Any of their kids really. 

It had been around two years now. They occasionally saw the Bakugous around town, or in the neighborhood since they lived nearby, but made an effort to avoid them if Katsuki was with them. Inko was still friends with the two on whatever social media she had, at least. 

“Anyway,” he started again, “think they’ll calm down enough so Touya can open the letter sitting on the counter?”

“I sure hope so. He waited for us to be here, you know. Such a sweet boy.”

Hisashi got up to pour himself a cup of coffee. Unlike his wife, he added enough sugar and cream to give a horse diabetes. 

The two sat at the table quietly. Inko’s pen occasionally scratching on paper, while Hisashi tapped at something on his phone. Their own calm untouched by the chaos that was their living room. 

But as with all things, it didn’t last long. They didn’t really notice when the living room had fallen silent. Not until six pairs of footsteps were thundering towards the kitchen. First came Touya, who slid on the floor to snatch his letter before anyone else could. Second was Natsuo, who nearly tackled his brother. 

The others came in just as excitedly, but thankfully didn’t run into anything. Hisashi and Inko moved their coffee away from the edge of the table just incase. 

“Open it, Aniki! Open it!” The three six year-olds crowed. 

“Yeah! Come on, I wanna see if you got in!” Natsuo added. 

“Alright, alright! Calm down!” Touya laughed, holding the letter above his head and away from grabby hands. “Stop trying to grab it and I can open it!”

The four boys almost immediately plopped themselves on the floor. Fuyumi took the chair between Hisashi and Inko. Touya blinked, but began nervously opening the letter. Hisashi leaned forward, anticipation taking over the room. 

Touya pulled the papers out of the envelope. The front one had a lot of writing on it. 

His eyes flicked over the words. Slowly, his expression changed to shock. 

“I…” Touya looked up at them, tears shining in his eyes. He smiled. “I got in. I did it.”

You would’ve thought they had been told he won the lottery, with how much they all cheered. Half of the family was crying. 

It was one of the best moments of their lives. 

~~~~~~~~~~

Touya was freaking out. Mildly. 

Why? Because Ketsubutsu started today. He started school today. Hero school. By himself . Fuyumi was going to a normal high school, so for the first time in almost all his life, he would be separated from her. It was terrifying, even more than going to a new school.

He was already walking down the hallway to his classroom, glancing at the map he had taken a picture of thanks to his new phone.Inko and Hisashi gave it to him as a gift for getting into Ketsubutsu. Fuyumi got one too. Their fourth little brothers had whined for a week about not having phones too, despite them being six and eleven respectively. 

Touya shook his head fondly at the memory. Izuku had stolen his phone more than once to look up something. Hitoshi and Shouto had been found hiding under a blanket watching cat videos. So far, all of Natsuo’s plans to steal either phone had been foiled.

The door to his new classroom appeared quicker than he would’ve liked. Touya took a deep breath, steeling himself, and walked inside. 

And immediately had to duck to avoid a sharp, red feather. 

“Hisame! You got in too!”

Touya looked back up to see Usagiyama literally leaping over desks. Hawks was standing farther back, sheepishly rubbing the back of his neck. The feather that had almost hit Touya came zooming back in, albeit more carefully than when it had gone out. 

“Yeah, I did. Both of you are in 1-B too?”

“Yep!”

“Yeah! Hey Hisame, is your sister here too?”

“Why, still need ‘help’ with history?”

“No.”

Touya laughed, explaining Fuyumi wanted to be a teacher, not a hero. Usagiyama understood, asking if they could exchange numbers. Hawks happily agreed to give his too. Maybe, Touya thought, this year wouldn’t be so bad.

~~~~~~~~~~

Izuku was so excited for school! He could finally learn more new things! And Hitoshi and Shouto were at his table this time too! Which was good, because they would’ve found a way to sit together regardless of what the teacher said. Momma’s rule of one marshmallows per year was sticking. Mostly. If Izuku snuck out a small bag of them, then his brothers certainly weren’t going to say anything. 

There were some interesting people in second grade. Like one kid, who could turn into a water monster! Izuku took it in hungrily. All the information and new things being soaked up like a sponge. 

Hitoshi nudged him when he started to mutter. Right, not supposed to do that, it could get people hurt. Information was a valuable and dangerous thing. It should stay in his brain or on paper. 

Their class was relatively normal, just like first grade had been. Izuku was bored by the time lunch rolled around. He already knew all this math! So did Hitoshi and Shouto! Dad and Momma had taught it to them over the break. 

When they were allowed to leave, the three made a b-line out the door, lunches in hand. They immediately sat down under their tree. It was peaceful, and normal.  

Then something new happened. Someone walked up to the tree too. Someone that wasn’t one of Izuku’s siblings. 

“Hello!” A happy voice chirped, coming from floating clothes. Izuku was immediately intrigued. 

“Hi! Are you invisible? Can you see yourself? Are you blind then? Wow, you’re so cool. Wanna sit with us?”

“Zu, rambling,” Hitoshi reminded, still munching on the sandwich Momma had packed for him. 

“Oh yeah, sorry!” Izuku apologized, smiling brightly at the invisible person. “Wanna sit with us? I know people say we’re weird, but they’re just boring.”

“That’s what I said!” The person gasped. They sat down, opening their lunchbox, which had cats on it. Izuku could tell Hitoshi immediately liked her more. “My name’s Tooru Hagakure! What’s yours?”

“Izuku Midoriya!”

“Hitoshi Shinsou.”

“Shouto Todo- er, Hisame.”

“Cool! And yeah, I am invisible! I ref- refract light instead of just being invisible, which is how I see still! And I can’t see myself, but I wish I could.”

“That’s awesome! Do you sparkle if it’s bright out?”

“Uh huh, my mommy says I’m like a little star!”

Izuku and Hagakure talked for most of lunch. Hitoshi and Shouto ate quietly, enjoying watching the two talk. They could see Hagakure’s sleeves moving just as enthusiastically as Izuku’s arms were. 

It was only when Shouto reached over to hold Izuku’s hand that Hagakure stopped talking. Izuku kept going, used to it by now. It was just something his brother did sometimes. Momma said it was something about being touch-starved. 

Suddenly, their new friend gasped. “Are you two,” she lowered her voice to a whisper, leaning closer to the three boys, “ dating?

“No?” Izuku answered. “I don’t think so. Are we dating, Shouto?”

“I dunno.”

“Oooooooh, you two should get married!”

“Isn’t marry something moms and dads do?”

“Well yeah, but anyone can get married! I can marry you two!”

“How do we get married?” Izuku asked, tilting his head slightly. He knew Momma and Dad were married, but being six, didn’t fully grasp the concept. 

“Ok, so you have to hold hands,” Hagakure instructed. The two listened, holding hands. “Do you promise to still be married when you’re sick and old and to make each other happy until forever?”

“Yes!”

“I promise.”

“Then I now pronounce you married! Oh! That was the lunch bell! See you guys later!”

And with that, their new friend ran off. Izuku, still happily holding hands with Shouto, packed up his lunch. It had been a good day so far. 

~~~~~~~~~~

Touya nearly had a heart attack when Izuku burst through the door, holding hands with Shouto, and loudly declared they were husbands now. What even went on in second grade now?!