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Ring around the Rosie

Chapter Text

Izuku’s day had started pretty normally, hanging out at daycare playing heroes with Kacchan. He had been Silica, and Kacchan had been Energon. It had been Kacchan’s idea to pick heroes besides All Might, and Izuku had went along with it. Sure All Might was cool, he was Izuku’s favorite hero after all, but all the other heroes were cool too! The two of them then created a story with some of the other heroes!
The story they had created was so cool! Silica and Energon had to team up to defeat Sandman, a villain who could become a pile of sand. It had been Izuku’s idea, a completely original idea (and definitely not because they were near a sandbox.)
“And Energon used his special move ‘Heat Wave’ to make the villains sand turn into glass, which the villain can’t control.”
“And then Silica used her quirk to take control of the glass to block a powerful attack from Sandman. She then cut into his body with more glass, separating one of sandman’s arms!”
“Then the two heroes combined their powers and used a special combo move called Molten Glass to cover the villain in glass, trapping him!”
“Yay! The heroes win again!”
The two of them fell on each other, giggling happily at their created story.
“All right kids!” Called out Bareru-san, a younger woman who took care of them. “It’s time to come back inside for a snack!”
They all ran inside, albeit with some mumbling from Kacchan about wanting to stay out longer.
“C’mon Kacchan, it’s time to go inside, we need to eat!” Izuku called out, pulling along his friend into back inside, despite him yelling protests.

Izuku knew that today was a happy day!
Why did he know this?
Well today’s snack was rice crackers! And he loved rice crackers, they were crunchy!
Also today they learned all about shapes and colors! He even got to decide on a favorite color. He had wanted to pick green, because that was the color of his hair and eyes, but he loved blue, especially the darker blue. It was like deep ocean water. It was a conforting color. But he liked orange also, because it reminded him of fire. Izuku loved it when dad spat out some fire and lit a piece of wood or paper on fire. Kacchan’s favorite color was red, which made sense for his personality! Red was very bright and bold, and it was hard to ignore. It made so much sense!
But he also got to decide his favorite shape today! But he didn’t know which one to pick, all of them looked great. He eventually decided on the hexagon, he didn’t know why, but it looked so cool!
Kacchan had chosen the square. Izuku didn’t know why, and Kacchan hadn’t given an additional explanation. Squares are cool, although in Izuku’s opinion hexagon’s are better.
But they agreed to disagree!

Bareru-san came over to the two of them as they were drawing their favorite shapes. Izuku saw a concerned look on her face. He wondered why she had that look, because she always looked kind and happy. “Izuku-kun, Katsuki-kun, can you two follow me please?”
Even at only four Izuku was good at reading people, although he really didn’t exactly understand what he was doing, he just knew how people felt sometimes. When she asked the question, it sounded colder. Mommy had called it “professional” or something like that. “C’mon, Kacchan.” Izuku said, trying to make himself sound more serious, just like Bareru-san! “Let’s go.”
It worked apparently, because Kacchan followed.

Izuku sat down in one of two chairs in the office, Kacchan sat in the other one.
“Okay, some of your more distant relatives is going to pick you guys up. For Izuku-kun, a…” Her voice trailed off as she read the name, and then she did a double take. Izuku was confused for a bit, but then he remembered Mommy saying something about his uncle being someone important, but he never showed up. Maybe he was busy.
“A Todoroki Enji be picking you up.”
Izuku remembered that last name from somewhere, then it came to him. It had been dad’s old last name… Izuku didn’t understand why people changed their last name. He would ask mommy later. So yay! More family!
“And for Katsuki-kun, a Bakugou Miraju will be picking you up.”
Izuku looked over at Kacchan’s face to see what he thought. Izuku had never heard the name, but maybe Kacchan had. Still, Izuku felt slightly uncomfortable when he heard that name. Why, he had no idea.
“Now they should be here in a few minutes, I will leave it up to them to explain.”
Explain what?
“Explain what?” Kacchan asked.
She seemed very nervous, Izuku thought. What was there to be nervous about? They were just being picked up by someone else, it’s no big deal. But maybe their dangerous, and Bareru-san doesn’t trust us with them. But why wouldn’t she do anything? Maybe she couldn’t? Should he help?
“Izuku?” Bareru-san asked, snapping him out of his thoughts. “Don’t worry, these people are good people.”
Oh. He must have said some of that out loud.
A buzz came from a small box on her desk. “Oh! There here!” She calls out. She seemed outwardly exited, but Izuku could tell that it was fake, and she was actually quite nervous.
“Let’s go outside to meet these people!” She called, and moved them outside
________________

Todoroki Enji was sad.
He, for the first time in quite some time, was truly sad.
Or maybe he was enraged? Angry? Enji had long forgotten how to explain how he felt. Mother had tried to tell him about emotions, but he always listened to Father tell tales about how he was trying to be stronger than this heroine called Adamant.
Why was he feeling this confusing mix of emotions?
Well, some bastard named Scorpicore decided that the best way to hurt him was to attack his family.
When he had gotten the death threat, he had assumed they’d be going after his immediate family, his wife and children. So he ordered protection for them, and trained Touya harder, especially since only him and Fuyumi have Quirks at all, and Fuyumi is a failure.
Natsuo was Quirkless, and an even bigger failure. Still, he trained them some as well. Sure they were failures but they might have one use.
Shouto hadn’t gotten his Quirk yet, but one look at his hair made his future Quirk obvious. So he was also being trained.
But they weren’t who that spineless (literally, he had an exoskeleton.) bastard targeted.
He went after the family of his younger brother, who he had pretty much had forgotten about.
Hisashi didn’t want to be a hero, and had in fact rejected the Todoroki name completely, taking the name of his wife.
Hisashi had always been weak. A disappointment to his, their, parents.
But apparently he was recognizable enough that Scorpicore had connected the dots. Enji doesn’t know how, they look nothing alike. Maybe the villain stumbled upon some old documents.
Well that’s when he learned that their was a kid involved, about the same age as Shouto. His first reaction had been to leave the brat to be an orphan, but some deep part of him wanted this child.
Maybe he would have a strong Quirk, and be worthy competition for Shouto.
Maybe it was some sort of atonement for not warning Hisashi about the potential threat on his life, not even thinking about him at all.
Maybe he had some sort of basic human decency buried deep within him, and he wouldn’t abandon a child.
Whatever his reasoning, Enji is taking in Izuku. That’s the name of the child according to his sources. Midoriya Izuku. Well he’ll work on making him Todoroki Izuku very soon.
His friends Energon and Resonance should help with getting the paperwork done.
Energon, aka Miyamoto Miyaki, the number 7 hero, and Resonance, aka Miyamoto Tasaru, the number 14 hero, have special connections in the Hero Commission and other legal organizations.
He’s paid them over a billion yen to date to cover his tracks and grease the wheels for his endeavors (heh).
“We’re at the location.” His driver announced. Enji had ordered them take a modified car, not his usual ride, but he wanted to be discreet. That’s why he was in civilian clothing, and his beard was deactivated.
No sense in overwhelming the brat. After all, his parents had just died.
Enji had no idea where these thoughts were coming from in his brain. He would go out after introducing… He looked at the provided information, “Izuku”
Enji got out of the car, only to see his nephew running out with some blond kid about the same age. He saw how that kid carried himself, and it was obvious he was in the same boat. Well shit. This doesn’t sound like a coincidence.
______________

As Izuku ran out with Kacchan, he saw a large man “almost as large as All Might!” his brain supplied.
This man introduced himself as Todoroki Enji, and led Izuku into the car. Izuku didn’t know exactly what to think of the man. He gave off bad vibes, but Izuku just thought that was adult things. Sometimes his parents would come home and they would have that feel around him. Izuku had heard mommy call it “Stress” maybe he has it too?
“Hey Oji-san, do have stress?”
He saw his uncle (the idea of having an uncle is weird to Izuku, having never met him before) taken aback at the question. That always happened to adults when he asked them about stress. Maybe it was some secret adult thing he shouldn’t know about, because none of the adults have answered his question.
“Do… You know what that is?”
“It’s something that mommy and dad sometimes said they had.” Izuku replied cheerfully, not knowing what else to say.
“Well, yes, I do have stress. My job makes me stressed.”
“What is your job?”
“I’m a pro hero.”
Izuku was very happy! His new dad was a hero! So cool! Or maybe he was still an uncle? Izuku would have to ask what he would like.
“Which one?” Izuku was very curious, he wanted to know which one.
“Endeavor.” His unc… dad? replied, and then his beard was on fire, meaning he really was Endeavor. So Cool!
Izuku felt something while looking at the fire. It felt like it wanted to go to him. So Izuku pulled at the fire. To his- and Endeavor’s- surprise, the fire jumped from Endeavor’s beard and flew towards Izuku. He panicked at this, but then he realized the fire didn’t burn him, and he giggled.
“Look! It’s my quirk!” He then felt an urge to eat the fire for some reason. So that’s what he did. The fire disappeared, and he felt warmth inside of him. “My Quirk is so cool!”
Izuku didn’t like the look in his uncle’s eyes. It felt wrong.
They drove for a long while, away from Kacchan.
Izuku had a sinking feeling he wouldn’t see him for a long time.
“Oji-san, Bareru-san said there was something you needed to say. What is it?” Izuku was curious what she meant. She knew something, and Izuku wanted to know as well.
“Your parents are dead.” he said bluntly.
Izuku broke.

Dead? How could they be dead?

“W-what d-do you mean d-dead?” Izuku manages to stammer out, because how could they be dead? No....

“I mean as in they died this morning. I’m sorry Izuku, it’s my fault…” his uncle trailed off.
But how could it be his fault? Izuku doesn’t get it.
“H-how d-did they d-d… d” Izuku can’t finish the word. His eyes fill with tears, his tears are cold, the world is cold, uncaring. The only warmth he feels is within his body, but it’s small, and buried so deeply within.
So he lets it out.
Fire dances along his arms and face, his tears become warm, he feels warm.
Then the fire goes out, and he is cold again.
His tears are cold.
The world is cold.
The core of warmth is gone.
His uncle laughs, and begins talking about quirks and successors and powers.
Izuku doesn’t understand what he’s talking about.
He let’s the cold consume him, and he falls into a fitful sleep, filled with nightmares. Or maybe it isn’t sleep. Izuku can’t tell the difference.

He’s there in the house.

He burns.

His body burns, it hurts. Everywhere is pain.

 

Cold. All he feels is cold.

“Fire” He manages to say despite his state. “I want fire.”
He can barely see, his face covered in tears. But he sees the fire cut through the haze of his vision. He grabs onto the fire, and pulls it into himself.
Warmth, warmth is his.
“More” he says, in a voice barely above a whisper. The fire in Endeavor’s hand grows larger, Izuku greedily takes more, until his entire body feels warm.
“No more.”
The external fire winks out, leaving the fire within his body filling himself, making him feel warm. Even his tears are warm now.
His tears stop flowing for now.
Izuku waits.
The car he’s in stops.
“We’re here.” His uncle, dad, whatever, says gruffly. “You can call me father.”
Father, not dad.
Maybe when Izuku is more of a son he can call him dad. That makes sense.

Izuku gets out of the car on nervous feet. Apparently his things have been moved into a room already. So cool!
Father (that will take some used to.) leads him inside, and he gets to see his new family. His new mommy, although she would rather preferred to be called mom. That’s fine with Izuku. He’s sobbing gently, not knowing what is happening. Warm arms wrap themselves around his small body.
Warmth. This person his warm, and he feels comfortable. He hears a whisper in his ear. It’s a small voice, but it still feels powerful. “I’m Touya, what’s your name?”
“I’m Izuku.” He whispers back.
Izuku likes Touya, he’s warm and comfortable.
Izuku opens his eyes.
A skinny redhead is staring back at him with piercing blue eyes.
Perhaps maybe he can find people who love him here?

Izuku realizes exactly what living in the Todoroki household means a day later.
_______________

Katsuki knew who Miraju was. It was a family friend that happened to have their last name, so many people mistook him for a relative. It didn’t help that she had spiky blond hair, red eyes, and an ignition quirk.
She was nice, but she had recently moved quite a ways away, so he would probably not see Zuku for quite some time.
Katsuki wanted to see Zuku, but he knew he wouldn’t for a long time.
A stray thought lodged itself into his mind.
“Bareru-san said you have something to explain, what is it?” Katsuki knew that Miraju never sugarcoated anything, so he would get an honest answer.
“Your parents died in a villain attack.”
Katsuki broke.

How did someone kill mom? Katsuki’s sure that even heroes can’t kill mom. Because she’s his hero…
But it wasn’t a hero, it was a villain.
And villains can, and do, kill heroes...

He feels heavy.

He wants to explode.

Sparking noises litter his palms, a soothing crackling noise reaches his ears.

“Hey Katsuki-kun, you’ve got a quirk now.”
Katsuki looks down and sees explosions on his hands. Definitely quite flashy and looks cool.
Maybe, despite his loss, he could still become normal.
Maybe Miraju-san would be a good parent.

How wrong Katsuki was.

Chapter Text

Kaziki Kamakiri wasn’t having a good day. In fact, it was a very shitty day.

Apparently his roommate bent all of their house keys with his fucking clone bend quirk. How the fuck Sakuda managed to do that, Kaziki had no idea. Hell, he had no idea how or what Sakuda’s quirk actually was. At least Kaziki’s own was rather obvious. He had sent the "keybender" to get a new set of keys from the landlord, as well as pay the 7500 yen “replacement fee”. It was his fault, after all. But they still didn’t have access to the apartment for the night, so that fucking sucks.

So he had decided that it was a good idea to walk around town for no fucking reason. Maybe he wanted to see if there was a quirk counselor around that could help Sakuda handle his crazy fucking quirk better. Or maybe he was looking for a shitty bar where he could have one positive thing today.

Or maybe he was also looking to see if some of the storefronts had employment opportunities, as he was also fired from his job because of “downsizing,” or whatever bullshit excuse they wanted to pull out of their asses.

Whatever, it was a shitty job anyway. He was being paid half of what he was actually doing, and the job was repetitive as shit. He just did the same fucking thing over and over again.

He felt something cold at his neck and a weight behind him. “Don’t do anything hasty or this pretty knife will slice right through you.”

Ah, the cherry on top to his shitty day. Of course he’s getting mugged. 

Unfortunately for his mugger, he had quite the useful quirk for this type of scenario. Pushing outward, small blades came out of his body and cut into the mugger.

The weight was gone, as was the knife. His would-be mugger was on the ground cursing. Well at least he didn’t have any sort of resistance quirk or he would’ve been fucked. 

So he then does what any sensible person would do in this scenario, he would call the police about this. He might be on shaky ground, but using your quirk in self-defence was usually not enough to be considered vigilantism. At least he hoped.

He was about to finish the call when the air felt very cold. What the fuck? It’s the middle of August why does it feel so fucking cold?

That’s when he sees the person walking out of the shadows. After taking a look at his costume, Kaziki recognized the vigilante Dotai.

“I think it’s better that I take the credit for this guy. Self-defense laws can be pretty tricky when it comes to this sort of thing.” said Dotai.

“I… I think that’s a good idea.” He replied. Huh, the news always made Dotai to be much older, like an adult.

But he sounded around the same age as Togaru or that blond boy he helped out, which would make him only like twelve or thirteen at most. Way too young to be doing this type of stuff. 

“Hey kid, did you want some money. I don’t have much, but it would be worth much more to somebody like you.” He said, pulling two thousand-yen notes from his wallet and throwing them in the general direction of the vigilante. If Dotai’s doing things like this, he’s probably not that well off. He should know. Why he left Togaru he had no idea. Well it hadn’t really been his choice. Their parents liked Togaru better than himself, all because Togaru had a stronger version of his quirk.

The vigilante looked at the bills, then back at him. “Do you really want me to have this? Why?”

He shrugged. “You sound about the same age as Togaru, which would make you barely a teenager. You definitely need the money, as it looks like you’re having a shitty life. Believe me, I’d know.”

Apparently that was enough to sway the vigilante, and he moved very fast to pick up the two notes, as well as some coins other people have dropped, and disappeared as soon as he appeared.

Kaziki hoped that his donation had not been needed, but his big brother instincts were telling him that the vigilante needed the money for necessities. He didn’t have anything resembling a real costume, it was just normal clothing with a simple mask. 

Huh. Maybe he should reach out to Togaru and their parents. He was a fully functional adult at this point, after all.

*************************************

Izuku was surprised that the man he saved gave him money, but he was thankful for the money anyways. It would be good enough for a few meals, especially if he spaced it out. Winter would be here soon, and that would mean less people out there for him to rescue or take money from. He did have a reserve of money, but it wasn’t enough.

It was never enough.

At least he didn’t have to worry about the cold, he could use his quirk to warm himself up. It was far more difficult for him to do it compared to Shouto or Touya, but he could do it.

Speaking of Shouto, he regrets leaving him with the fiery bastard.

No, dwell on current things Izuku. You know that Shouto is smart, he’s probably already made his escape by now. Maybe, hopefully.

He sorta felt bad for taking some of the man’s money, especially because he had been given some more by him and because of the man’s comments about knowing what a shittly life was like. But his moral self had been beaten out by Endeavor and finally squished out spending years on the streets after he left with Touya, so he ignored that feeling. He had stayed with Touya for awhile, they were a duo barely surviving together. After about a year, Touya disappeared for some reason. He left pretty much everything behind, including their shared money pool..

It crushed Izuku.

Everyone that had been kind to him had left his life, or he had left theirs.

At least Touya and Kacchan were alive, maybe, hopefully. He hadn’t found hide nor hair of either of them. Only rumors.

But he hoped the rumors were true, which is why he was currently in Yokohama, looking for a vigilante that had “some sort of explosion power.”

That sounded like Kacchan, so he was here now, searching for him. Helping people was a plus as well. Izuku took on the identity of Dotai, the vigilante with a mysterious and powerful quirk. He would make it up to the man later. He didn’t look older than nineteen or so, so he probably didn’t have much.

 

Izuku liked Yokohama. It had a relatively high crime rate, so he could save many people. It was also far away from the Todoroki mansion and Endeavor barely did any missions in this city, primarily because of Best Jeanist’s agency. The Hero Commission doesn’t like having more than one high-ranked hero in the same city unless there’s something major that happens.

After rescuing that man with a blade quirk from a mugger, he decided that was enough vigilantism for the night, and he returned to the abandoned apartment block he’s squatting in. Izuku’s damn sure that there’s at least somebody else in the building with him, but whoever they are, they’re too sneaky to be caught or even seen. He’s heard their footsteps, though.

He made sure to double back a few times to throw off any possible pursuers before he entered through one of the ground floor windows. He heard only silence, which means that his fellow squatter was away doing whatever he did, probably working at some low-class job.

Izuku had tried to apply for one, but they all wanted some sort of identification. Apparently it was some new law or some shit to discourage wanted criminals from getting jobs. 

Idiots, that’s only going to make crime worse. Apparently politicians are braindead or some shit.

Also there’s no way in hell that he’s using “Todoroki Izuku” in any way. The public believed he was dead after all, along with Touya. He couldn’t even use Midoriya Izuku, as that person apparently never existed.

Izuku didn’t know how nobody questioned the pro hero about where two of his children had gone. Because that’s mightily suspicious. Well the bastard always had pretty deep pockets, so he probably covered it up.

Opening the door to the apartment that he called ‘his’, (327, it felt right to him. Plus, it was one of the least broken down ones, somehow still having running water. He didn’t question it. Sure the water was filled with rust, but that’s why he got a good filter.) he quietly closed the door behind him, and flicked on the weak flashlight he carried with him, which combined with the light from the streetlamp was enough for him to at least dimly see the apartment. He navigated around the giant hole in the main floor that lead to room 227 and even 127. The primary reason why he made sure this place didn’t look lived in is so that people wouldn’t try to steal his stuff. He perfected the art of hiding things in the walls and in the floor for this exact purpose.

Izuku fished out the water filter from it’s floorboard compartment and attached it to the faucet after checking the filter. He ran the water slowly into a small pot.

When it had been a few minutes, he finally had filled the pot. He retrieved a small package of some nutrient-infused instant ramen, and threw it into the pot.

The pot he heated with his quirk, as he really didn’t trust using any other method, that would be too detectable.

Izuku had learned, after some experimentation with his quirk, that he could project heat, not just fire. He used this fact to turn his hand into the equivalent of a stovetop. Thankfully he could just absorb the extra heat the hot metal transferred to his hand so that he doesn’t burn himself.

His ramen done, he ate it rather quickly, not bothering to let it cool down. He just absorbed enough heat to make it a good temperature.

It was better that way, as he doesn’t waste heat. Heat is a valuable resource, and he needs to hoard as much as he could.

Sure summers were uncomfortable, as his heat reservoir burned in his chest, but he could withstand that. It was better than freezing to death, after all. Izuku could stand up to almost anything to avoid death. He had lived in the Todoroki household for over five years, after all.

After eating his meal, Izuku pulled out some blankets and threw them over the destroyed sofa and began to fall asleep.

Izuku hated sleep, because his dreams were often memories of his past life. But he knew that having no sleep would only make things worse, so he eventually let’s sleep reclaim him.

________

 

“Get up you disappointment. I know you can hold more fire than that.”

Izuku refused to get up. He had this one measure of defiance. He knew punishment would come, but it was always worth being able to defy his uncle’s wishes. His uncle, who insisted to be called his father, as if he’s trying to replace his real father.

Izuku might call him father out loud, but in his mind the man would never take his real father’s place.

His cousins, on the other hand, Izuku readily accepted them as siblings. Endeavor thought that meant he was fully indoctrinated, but he wasn’t.

“Get up or I’ll begin training Shouto. And I’ll put the weight of all of your failures on him.”

Fuck. The damn fiery bastard finally figured out the one thing that would snap him out of his defiance. He hated bending to his will, doing what he wanted, being manipulated so brazenly like this. But what else could he do?

He stood up. Not because his uncle ordered him too, but because he wanted to protect Shouto as much as possible. After all, he could absorb the heat better than anyone else in the family, and he could redirect Endeavor’s flames.

So the flame hero resorted to physical combat only when training him. Izuku learned how to move fast, he had focused a lot of his training on speed.

Endeavor only hit him about half the time nowadays.

Izuku endured his training for two more hours, until it was finally dinnertime.

After dinner, his uncle would train Shouto, then he would head off to bed.

He had planned what would happen later for months, set it up with Touya in advance.

Today was a Friday, and on Monday, Touya would have his first day in UA. He didn’t want to go, but he had been forced. Touya didn’t want to follow in his dad’s footsteps and become a hero.

Izuku already had everything packed. Touya also had his own pack.
So he got everything together.

And left.

Never to return.

 

He met up with Touya later, and they shacked up in an abandoned subway station.

______

 

Izuku awoke more gently than usual.

Because this had been a good dream, the one where they had escaped. Although the memory was still sad, because of fucking course it was. Every single memory he had of that place had some sort of sadness within it, even his running away.

They hadn’t brought Shouto along with them.

Shouto was still stuck there, four years later. As much as Izuku wanted him to leave, it was wishful thinking.

Izuku began to pack up his things into their compartments one by one, until their were only four things remaining.

Three were picture frames, and the fourth was a clipping from a newspaper.

The first was a picture of him with his birth mother and father. It was old and worn, but it was the only picture of them he had been able to save.

The second was him and Kacchan, the two of them smiling and the smallest of explosions on the blond’s fingers.

The third was the Todoroki family, sans Endeavor. They were all smiling, and they were natural smiles, not the forced Todoroki smile.

Izuku felt tears drip down as he looked at these portraits. People who were dead, who had left him, who he had left. Sure he had gotten out of there, but he had lost everything.

And now he was all alone.

He saved people, had been for a year now.

But…

He was still alone, he couldn’t even find, let alone save, the people he cared most about.

 

Izuku cleared his silent tears and put the pictures away. 

That left the newspaper clipping.

It was an article about Kacchan’s death.

He couldn’t be dead, Izuku hadn’t saved him yet.

 

He had to be alive.

Izuku would find him.

 

And then maybe he wouldn’t be so alone.

Chapter Text

Katsuki Bakugou was lying on the ground, explosions popping in his hands. He liked doing this, it allowed him to focus more on his quirk than the damn mess his life is right now.

At least he had enough sense to keep them quiet, to not disturb the oppressive silence.

Unfortunately the explosions weren’t loud enough, despite him making them as loud as he dares, and his mind slipped into the past. Exactly where he doesn’t want to go.

But his mind still reflects on what he’s grimly named “The lessons”

At age five, he learned to leave Miraju’s house whenever her abusive girlfriend showed up. He had made the mistake of staying once. It had taken him a full day to recover from the beating he got from her. Fucker.

At age six he learns to cook for himself, making crappy meals out of whatever scraps Miraju had hanging around, because she had stopped taking care of him.

At age seven, he watched as Miraju wasted away, and he was under the custody of Satsuma, Miraju’s girlfriend. That had been the worst two months of his life, being beaten nearly every day, having to learn to lie about injuries to his teachers, venting his pent-up aggression out on others. He had hated bullies with a passion, but soon enough he found himself as one. He hated every insult he threw out, every intimidating explosion he directed at a cowering classmate.

He hated it, but otherwise he would explode with anger and maybe kill someone. That was his next lesson.

Thankfully one of his teachers, Takumi-sensei, noticed his state, and rescued him from custody. Apparently he even ran a foster home, and adopted Katsuki.

For the first year it was pretty nice. Sure it wasn’t the best, he still had to do a lot of things himself, but it had been the best year of his life since he was four. He learned how to be a kid again, something he hadn’t been able to be for a year and change. But then Takumi changed.

Katsuki later realized that’s when Takumi-sensei became an alcoholic, but he didn’t know that over time.

Eventually it was like he had never left her, as Takumi became worse.

After living through about six months of this, he couldn’t handle it anymore.

So he left. That was his next lesson, how to leave.

At age nine, he found himself wandering the streets. Alone.

Four years later, here he was, squatting in some rundown apartment block doing vigilante shit, His final lesson: How to survive. He heard there was somebody else with him. He knew there was somebody else here, he heard silent footsteps and things moving around on occasion. It was pretty far away from ‘his’ room, 284, so it could just be his mind playing tricks. It hadn’t been the first time that’s happened.

Katsuki sighed. Enough reminiscing on his shitty life. It’s time to save some fucking people.

He put on his black hoodie and bandana and went into the dark night, looking for people to save.

After going for only a few minutes through the dark streets of Yokohama, he saw a heavily scarred man being beaten down by someone vaguely familiar.

He doesn’t initially know who the assaulter is, but then he notices that the assaulter’s hair is floating in the air. That means...

‘That’s Kabiko, the Quirk-Canceller.’ he thinks, charging in to save this scarred man.

Kabiko was a criminal that beat people up just for the fun of it. Every time he was in a fight, he could cancel someone’s quirk, although he could only cancel one. So Kastuki, think. How do you defeat him?

Katsuki knew he was probably cancelling the scarred man’s quirk right now, so that meant he was primed to engage. Dashing forward, he landed an explosion in the middle of the man’s face, then a second one on his left arm, causing the villain to jump back. Katsuki was faster, and two more explosions joined the first, pushing the man into a pile of trash bags.

He was very clearly unconscious.

“Hey Scarface.” Katsuki growled at the man he had saved, covered with scars and hair dyed black. (He could tell because the roots were still red) “What’s your name?”

He saw the man lost in thought, which pissed him off. C’mon dude, it’s your name, can’t be that hard. Or did he get hurt worse than Katsuki had initially seen? Fuck, he didn’t think about that. Those large burn scars definitely don’t look healthy or normal at all. If he couldn’t answer, then that would be even worse. He may even have to call-.

“I go by Dabi right now.” The raven-haired pile of scars replied. Or Dabi. Whatever. That meant he wasn’t hurt too bad then. That’s great. He should probably call him that instead of scarface.

Wait a moment...

“I asked for your real name, Scarface, not some fake made-up bullshit.”

“That’s all your getting out of me, brat. I’m not telling you shit.”

Well if he felt well enough to be snarky like that, then he should be ok. Although it could be a defense mechanism and he’s actually in severe pain. “Well then, Dabi.” he made sure to over exaggerate his pronunciation of the man’s fake name, because Katsuki’s damn sure that ‘Dabi’ is full of shit. “I’ll be off then.”

With that statement that sounded at least halfway decent, he left scarface there. He should be fine, Katsuki reasoned. He looked like the type of person who roamed the streets regularly. He probably only lost to Kabiko because that fucker has an Erasure-based quirk.

Fucker looked like he wanted to ask a question before Katsuki had left, but he wouldn’t have answered anyway until he got Dabi’s real name, whatever it was. Although he knew deep down that Dabi would never reveal that information. So Dabi would never get his questions answered. Yeah Katsuki knows it’s petty, but whatever. He doesn’t give a shit.

The rest of his night had been uneventful, just a few purse snatchers and petty shit like that. He regretted taking money from the purses and wallets that he stole back, but how else would he get money? A real job? That was out of the question. They wanted identification and no way in hell was he telling anybody the name “Katsuki Bakugou.” To the media, Katsuki Bakugou’s been dead for two years or some shit like that. He imagines just walking up to a McDonalds or some other shitty food joint saying “Hey I’m Bakugou Katsuki and I want a fuckin’ job.”

Yeah, that ends up well. By well, he means explosions everywhere and he’s on the run from the cops.

He spends most of his time as the vigilante Blast, saving people from villains with his explosions and natural skill. He does this because he hates what happens when he’s alone like this, not doing anything. Plus, he knows that heroes can’t be everywhere, despite their being thousands of them. He’d much rather be Blast than be Katsuki.

After not seeing much of anything he decides to head to a particular building. The semi-famous vigilante Trip sometimes hangs out there, and Katsuki knows the vigilante very well. Well that’s compared to everybody else who knows nothing about the vigilante. Katsuki doesn’t even know the man’s quirk.

“Hey Blast.” Calls out a figure wearing a dark red and black hoodie. That’s Trip without a doubt. “I hoped that you would be here.”

“Hey Trip, why did you hope that I’d be here?”

“I have a warning for you: stay out of Kamino ward.”

“Huh?” Katsuki was surprised at the vigilante’s sudden seriousness. The man was rarely serious about anything, so it would be a good idea to listen to his words.

“There’s a suspicious lack of minor crime going on.”

“So you think some bigshot villain is shackin’ up somewhere in there?”

“Yup. I’ll check it out. Next week, at the same time I’ll be here.” With that Trip left, moving surprisingly fast. Maybe he had a speed quirk?

Katsuki goes back to his usual patrol route, the new information heavy in his mind.

Unfortunately, Katsuki comes back during a lull in his patrol after leaving Trip.

So his thoughts wander, despite the resistance to the idea in his brain.

He thinks about Zuku, where the fuck he is and what he’s doing. He did some investigating about a year ago and found a news article which was obviously meant to have been buried.

In the article, it describes Zuku’s death. It’s suspicious, so he’s probably alive, right?

That’s what he’s banking on, at least.

Until he can find Zuku again, he’ll be in the place.

Katsuki nicknamed it Purgatory.

 

After dispatching a sexual assaulter, (and exploding the fucker in the face with as big of an explosion as he could muster) he finally reaches Purgatory. He climbed up to his room and took out a can of some sort of stew. He opened the can and then ate the contents straight from the can. Sure it was room temperature and it tasted like shit, but it prevents him from starving so he deals with it.

After taking care of the can (crunching it down and throwing it in a cupboard) he fell onto his shitty couch into a fitful sleep.

_______

 

He woke up with a start, he heard a creak.

It wasn’t the other person, because this was far too loud for it to be them, they were quiet when they walked, to the point that Katsuki could barely hear them, or he lost them entirely.

This person was trying to sneak around, but they were doing a shitty job of it.

Then he heard a second set of steps, just as loud as the first. Voices in hushed tones soon followed. Katsuki got up slowly and carefully stepped in the direction that they were.

When he rounded a corner, he could finally hear what was going on.

“A-are you s-sure this is a safe p-place?”

Katsuki quickly identified it as a little boy’s voice, no older than three or four.

“Yes, my Kirai. Here is the place where he won’t hurt us anymore.”

“But mommy, why is aunt Mira not here with us? Didn’t she say that she was like you.”

Katsuki froze when he heard “aunt Mira.” Unless this was some cosmic coincidence, it had to be Miraju. There was no other explanation.

But he couldn’t just go out there and talk to them, it would be far too suspicious. 

So he decides that he’ll just let them think that they’re the only people in this place. They’re civilians, so they probably won’t hear him or the other person here.

Maybe he should check on them to make sure they won’t fuck this up. He immediately rejects that thought the moment it enters his brain. Nope, he doesn’t want to get killed. Sure he’s powerful, and this would be just like another vigilante act, but still.

He’ll just let that person have their privacy, they obviously need it. Nobody would be in this place, Purgatory, if they didn’t have anywhere else to go. Plus they might be as skilled as he was, and he didn’t feel like dying today.

Katsuki’s damn sure that this place is actually Purgatory, despite not believing in such a place, because no matter how run down it is, the water somehow still works and the place isn’t collapsing in on itself. And nobody has come here to inspect or review the place. The only people that go here are those with nowhere else to go.

But hopefully they’ll learn to respect the quietness of this place, and they’ll quietly step around in no time at all.

After all, that’s what happened to him.

He wants so desperately to reach out to them, but he knows they won’t trust him.

So he’ll just stay here during most of the day, and go out doing vigilante work at night.

He will do all of this alone.

Because everyone that was kind to him became unkind, those that helped him hurt him in the end.

Or they were gone.

Like Zuku.

Or his birth parents.

He despises four-year-old him for not getting a picture of any of them.

So he has only memories.

 

Maybe he can save Zuku, because he can’t be dead.

The universe can’t take Zuku from him, can it?

Katsuki hopes not.

 

Because that would mean nobody would remember him.

Chapter Text

Izuku is squaring off against an opponent with a strength-enhancement quirk, based on the fact that he’s seen this guy punch through concrete walls like they’re paper, the fact that they’re ten feet high and built like a bear, and they actually caused a few buildings to fall down by using his quirk to run into load-bearing supports.

This is a very dangerous guy that needs to be stopped.

So Izuku drew out the heat from the rampaging villain’s body, which he hoped would slow them down enough for him to have a straight fight. As much as he knew his fire was effective, he didn’t want to use it if he could help it. But he did need to release heat sometimes, and releasing it as fire was much easier.

He saw frost being to form on the villain’s body, and he began to slow down. Izuku leapt from the rooftop that he had been running along and landed on the villain’s back, shoving him into the ground.

At that point Izuku saw blue flames surrounding him. Surprising, but he could deal with it.

He absorbed them quickly, not thinking about what the blue flames might have hidden from his view. Or who might have been able to set such a fire.

“Excuse me, but your fire heated this guy up, which is the exact opposite of what I wanted.” he called out to nobody in particular.

Izuku saw a figure dart off, the remains of blue flames on his hands.

What was this guy’s problem? Well whatever, he has to make the villain cold again.

Izuku continued to draw out heat from the villain, cooling him down and restraining him, contacting the police as he did so. 

Best not to think about whoever that was.

He’s got other, better things to do. Like taking care of what Izuku thinks was a mugging gone wrong, but you can never be sure.

_______________

 

The figure only ran far enough to not be seen after the fight, but then he collapsed on the ground.

He messed up big time.

Why had he ran away?

You’re a coward, Touya. A coward and a failure. You push away everyone you love.

Shut up.

Blue sparks come to his hands unbidden as he lays on the dirty ground.

Right where you belong.

SHUT UP!

Do you really think Izuku and Shouo still love you? Do they even remember you anymore?

SHUT THE FUCK UP!!

Dabi forces himself to get up from the ground.

Of course Izuku remembers him, he has to, right?

He dashes back around the building, looking for Izuku. He made up his mind. He’s going to stop being a coward and tell him why he left. But as he rounds the corner, he sees that nobody’s there.

Was it all lies?

It couldn’t be, he recognized that voice. It really hadn’t changed in three years, and had a very similar quirk, despite the fact that whoever they were had covered their face.

Three years ago… When he left…

He’s full of regrets.

He regrets not standing up to Father more, he regrets leaving, he regrets not leaving with Shouto. He regrets leaving Izuku.

He’s fucked up, hasn’t he?

So how does he fix the gigantic fuck-up that’s his life right now?

Maybe he could go back home, suffer whatever the flaming bastard does to him, and then get Shouto to leave with him.

Even though his plan doesn’t make sense at all, he finds himself walking to the train station. Despite the late hour, trains still run at these times, and he can find one that goes back. So he walks down the side streets, barely paying attention to where he’s going.

That is, until a punch hits him in the face, knocking him to the ground. He tries to summon his fire, but he finds that it’s gone, he can’t reach it. He knows he should be worried more.

Another punch, but it just feels dull. 

More punches and kicks land, but he can’t find it  in himself to care. Why should he? It’s a stupid plan that would only hurt him more. Let him just lay here. S’fine. This is a good place to die. Not really, but whatever.

Then he sees an explosion right in front of him. A few more follow suit, and the figure is pushed back.

The person that saved him then asks for his name, but he really can’t find it in himself to care. He says “Dabi” anyways. Better to keep secrets.

A few (annoying) questions later, and he’s finally free of the explosion brat.

Free to pursue his stupid idea that will only get him more hurt and maybe even killed.

But he just doesn’t care. If he can rescue Shouto from that home than it’ll be all worth it. His stupid plan might just work out.

Although he’s hoping that Shouto already made his escape.

Maybe he can tell Shouto that Izuku is still alive, he’d love to hear that.

He’d hate to hear that he abandoned Izuku three years ago. Maybe he won’t question it? That’s what he’s banking on anyways.

His first step involves the train’s bathroom.

He washes out the shitty hair dye the best he could. There’s still streaks of black, but most of his hair has returned to its natural red color.

He hates it, but at least this way, the flaming bastard he once called Father might recognize him. And maybe Shouto would too.

He’s far too tired to do this, but he can’t give up now.

Why would he give up when he actually has a goal of his own, for the first time in his memory?

The almost empty train brings him only a half-mile away. Still pretty far.

So he walks the remaining distance.

People give him glances, he ignores them. What do they matter?

Tiredness latches onto him with a vengeance, and pulls him down into unconsciousness.

He was so close, but he collapsed just before he could introduce himself.

Maybe that’s a sign that he doesn’t belong.

____________

 

Shouto had been walking outside at 3am.

Why? Because it annoyed his father, but he always justified it as extra training. That seemed to work as an excuse. “Just don’t be too tired during training.” He would say.

His training had been hell for the past four years, ever since Touya and Izuku ran away. All of the meager positivity that they could scrape together, the games they played in hiding while Izuku was being trained, he missed all of that.

He had regret.

He regretted not going with them. He regretted not seeing the signs that were so obvious in hindsight, the preparations they had made. He regretted not asking them to include him in their plans.

But there was something he had with him stronger than regret.

He had anger.

He was angry at Izuku for leaving, for running away, for forcing him to take the full force of training that was meant for two people. Because it had been for two people.

He was angry at Touya for leaving. He had been the only one of them strong enough to stand up to Father, as pitiful as it was.

He was angry at Father for forcing him through all of this. He was angry at everyone for not noticing the strange things going along at the Todoroki estate, for buying into his Father’s lies.

But most importantly, he was angry at himself for being too weak.

He was too weak to leave, to run away like Izuku and Touya did. He and Izuku had been the same age, yet Izuku was strong enough to leave and he hadn’t. Izuku had been the one to help him when he got his scar, overusing his quirk to the point of him passing out. Almost every day, Shouto looked in the mirror at the scar, observing the small reddish mark around his eye, thinking about how much worse it would’ve been had Izuku not helped him, not been there. Touya had been the one to put his safety on the line, give up his body for beatings, just for one day where Shouto didn’t have to train.

But then the two of them, in all of their strength, left. He had tried to gather up the courage to leave, but he was always too weak. 

Not like he hadn’t been planning to escape. He had been doing that ever since Izuku and Touya left, saving up money (and stealing some from his father whenever he could manage to do it) and packing a bag.

But no matter how many preparations he made, how confident he had been with his plan, his route and everything, he could never leave.

Because what would happen to Natsu and Fuyu if he left? He didn’t want to know.

So he stayed. As much as he hated it, he wanted to protect them. 

He stayed, but always dreamed of leaving.

He saw a familiar street sign, which jolted him out of all the pleasant thoughts and his pipe dream of running away. Because he was sure that his father could detect those thoughts, could see it in his face. At least, that’s what he had been told.

His final approach was done without a thought of escape in his mind. The only things he allowed himself to think about was tomorrow. What fresh hell waited for him in the new day. In which places would he get bruises and burns.

He was just about to go through the front gate when he saw someone lying just outside the gate. His first thought was “why are there homeless people in this nice part of town?”

Then whoever it was opened his eyes. Shouto couldn’t see the man’s hair or really anything about his appearance in the shadows, but he saw the movement.

“Shouto.” A low, scratchy voice said.

He recognized that voice.

Touya had come back.

“Touya.”

“Hey, you recognized me. Great job brat.”

Shouto felt tears brimming underneath his eyes. This had to be a dream, Touya would never return. He pulled his older brother into the light, to get a better look.

He immediately regretted what he saw.

He had seen the effect of his father’s training on Touya before. He had seen the scars that had been accumulated, but he had thought that he had been imagining things. Apparently he had not, based on the massive facial scars. There were more recent wounds, indicating that he had been attacked recently.

“Are you okay?” the words escaped his lips before he knew what he was saying. Of course Touya wasn’t ok. If he was returning home after four years he wasn’t ok. Why did he even ask that?

“‘M fine, just need to see father…”

What’s wrong with him? Where is his strength?

“SHOUTO!!!!” He heard the fiery bastard himself yell out from the front door. Speak of the devil. “WHAT-” he had been clearly planning on yelling out something (Probably about him being a disappointment) but he very obviously noticed the limp body of Touya.

“Shouto who is that?” Endeavor said, his voice laced with disgust. “And why is he outside our gate?”

“He’s Touya.” Shouto said. What else could he say? If he lied, Touya would probably receive a fireball to the face for being a homeless vagrant. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Shouto was happy to see that for once it looked like his father had been thrown for a loop. His shocked expression lasted only for a few seconds, but was soon replaced with a twinge of anger. 

“Fine then, bring him into the guest room. I’ll deal with this shit later when I’ve had some rest. Now get some rest Shouto. Tomorrow will be an interesting day.”

He resisted the urge to comment that it would technically be “later today”. He would get punished pretty badly for saying that. So it stayed in his mind.

Izuku had been the one to make snarky comments like that. He was immune to Endeavor’s flame and was fast enough to dodge some of his physical attacks.

Some but not all.

No Shouto, stop thinking about Izuku. Izuku left you behind. He chose Touya over you. 

Shouto comes to a realization, and he hopes that he is wrong.

 

Izuku and Touya had left together, Touya had just now after four years of being away, bruised and beaten, alone and with sadness etched throughout his expression and demeanor.

That could only mean one thing. One terrible thing.

 

Izuku was dead.

Shouto locked himself in his room, tears streaming down his face.

Izuku couldn’t be dead…

 

Could he?

Chapter Text

-<[Four Years Ago]>-

 

Shouto couldn’t sleep for some reason. Even though it was midnight, he tossed and turned, trying to find the best sleeping position. It seemed like everything was trying to stop him from sleeping. Everything was too uncomfortable and it was too bright. The bruises he had throbbed like they had never done before. Sleep evaded him.

That’s when he heard a thud.

It wasn’t that loud, but it made him jolt wide awake, his heart pumping, fearing a villain attack. Even though it would be stupid to attack the home of the No. 2 hero, they might still try. It’s not like people didn’t have a grudge against him. He’s stolen glances at some of his father’s accidental property damage, accidental civilian and bystander injury, and accidental civilian and bystander death reports. There’s a lot of them/

Whispers soon followed. They didn’t sound like villains, too young and the voices sounded familiar, so he went up to the door to his room and pressed his ear against the door.

“Izuku, you have everything I told you to get, right?”

“Yeah. Spare clothes, money, toothbrush and everything else.”

“We’ll let’s go, then.”

“But what about Natsu and Fuyu and Sho? I thought we were going to save them as well. We are, right?”

“Soon, Izuku, soon.”

“Ok.”

 

Shouto woke up with a start, the remnants of that memory stuck into his brain. It had been the last time he had heard Izuku’s voice, and until very recently, it had been the last time he had heard Touya. His tired brain recalled the events early in the morning.

Wait, that meant Touya was here now!

Despite how eager he was to see Touya again, he knew that his father would want him to look presentable. So he went through the “list”. It was much faster than usual, and he was risking being called sloppy, but it was worth it.

He left his room and went down to the kitchen, where Fuyu had made breakfast. Thankfully there was a plate set aside for him, but his father was also there.

“Shouto, we need to have a talk.” He said, fiery beard still on display. Shouto was sure it was almost never turned off, not even when he was sleeping.

Shouto knew that any sort of remark would be punished, so he sat down and waited for whatever his father wanted to say.

“Touya is currently in the hospital being treated for his injuries.”

As much as that made his heart fall, Shouto knew that the amount of injuries he had seen needed treatment. At least the fiery bastard could see that.

“So when should I be able to see him?”

“Soon.” 

Shouto didn’t like when he got a one-word response from his father. He didn’t waste words, but he always explained what he said. A single-word response means no explanation, and that usually meant that he had lied. But why would he lie about something like this? It didn’t make much sense. Maybe he wasn’t lying, and they didn’t know exactly how long it would take to take care of his injuries. The scarring he had seen was pretty bad.

 

He was only barely capable of focusing all day, the questions that he wanted to ask his older brother filled his mind. It didn’t matter how many times he was knocked over, he just needed to get to the next day so he can ask again.

 

The next morning, the first question he asks is: “When can I see Touya?”

The response he gets is the same as last time: “Soon.”

He suffers through the day, bearing the training so he could ask again tomorrow.

The next morning was the same. He asked if he could see Touya and his father responds with “soon.”

 

After three months he gave up. Because he realized that “soon meant “never.”

So he just went on through his training, not knowing what to think.

He never asked for any information again. He had tried to find the hospital where he was staying, but he couldn’t find anything. He didn’t even know what was going on until the flaming trashcan decided, in all of his almighty (heh) and infinite wisdom, to give him a piece of information four months after he had stopped asking.

 

“Touya has escaped from the hospital. He doesn’t want to see you again. Also, we’re moving so he can’t find us again.”

A different response, but this made him feel worse.

He had really wanted to meet his brother again, but his father wanted to see them separated at all costs apparently. Shouto couldn’t understand why he was so insistent on them not meeting again to the point of having them move almost thirty miles to a new mansion.

Maybe he had some sort of important information?

The next day they had a driver bring them to their new place. It looked identical to the old one save for its new location.

Everything, down to the training rooms even.

At least he didn’t have to worry about schools, being as he’s homeschooled.

Most of his days are spent training and studying. The few times of the day that he has to himself are dedicated to what he likes to call “memory notebooks.”

Or their alternate title “Memories of the dead.”

Because there was no way his father would allow Touya to escape alive a second time.

In the notebook he recorded his memories, because he was scared of losing them forever.

They had already lost their lives, so the least he could do was remember them. He didn’t trust his own brain, he knew he had probably forgotten things already.

He wrote down everything he could remember of the two of them. 

And as he was writing, a new reason to be a hero came to him.

He would become a hero so that he could make sure what happened to Izuku or Touya never happened to anyone else. It wasn’t what he wanted, but it was the best he could do.

Become a hero for them, for others like them.

For others like himself.

 


 

“Don’t worry Dabi, your secret’s safe with me.” said Trip, dressed as usual in his dark red hoodie and sunglasses, despite the very obvious lack of a sun.

Dabi usually despised this specific vigilante. He never really did anything of importance, only really taking out a few villains. Not as much as Izuku or Blast had been able to take out, but he knows how strong Izuku is.

He should really talk to Izuku again.

After all, it’s been nearly four years, he should really stop acting childish. He’s nineteen for fucks sake!

But where would he find Izuku again?

“Anyway thanks for these clothes Trip.”

The vigilante nods. “Anyway, there’s a meeting of Vigilantes Anonymous that I’m going to in a few hours, so unless you need anything else, I’ll be off then.”

He stays silent. He does want to mention Izuku, but the question stalls in his throat. He’ll find Izuku himself. He doesn’t need the help of an annoying busybody vigilante named Trip.

Trip’s an informant after all, he probably is willing to give up that information for a price. As much as he wants to find Izuku he knows that selling him out to a morally grey vigilante would not be the right thing to do.

Whatever. Let him go back to the one success of his life.

He dips into a nearby alleyway to avoid the hospital security chasing after him. They’re pretty determined. Endeavor must’ve paid for them. Thank whatever gods exist that Trip had civilian-style clothing with him, acting as a disguise. Otherwise his situation would be far worse. He doesn’t have any money right now, excepting the 300 yen he found in the pockets. But whatever, he’ll find a way to survive. He always has.

“Hey scarface, this is our stuff.”

Oh, of course there’s annoying assholes here to bother him. He wants to just throw out fire, but he stays his hand. Maybe if he just stays silent these people will fuck off.

The advancing that they’re doing towards him probably means that he was lying to himself. 

Whatever. He’s feeling better and healthier than he has in years. Sure he hates the fiery bastard that he’s supposed to call ‘father’ for locking him away for seven months, but at least he can exploit what weight he had gained, plus the little amount of healing he had gotten for his scars to survive a bit longer.

Hm. Maybe these guys have coins on them. He’ll be sure to find out.

“We’re talking to you, punk!” The very large and muscular guy in the lead says. “Or are you deaf as well as scarred?”

“Fuck off.” He says, putting as much feeling into it as possible. Which is difficult, because he honestly doesn’t give two shits about this, or these people.

“What the fuck did you say scarface. The boss wants you to fuck off, so fucking leave.” says a taller guy in the back, with what looks like orange flames dancing along his body. “Or do I need to make your burn scars worse.”

Alrighty then, if you think those pitiful flames are intimidating…

Dabi brings forth his flames, cradled in his hands, and releases them forth in two raging lines of blue flames. 

Try that, you candlelight fucker.

“Alright, you fucking asked for it you little shit.” growled out candle-flame guy who shot red-orange flames out.

Dabi powered up his own fire, and let a massive fireball rip out. About four meters across and three meters high, the column of azure flames scorched the buildings of the alleyway and left their bodies charred on the ground.

He rifled through their ruined pockets searching for as many coins as he could find. Paper money and cards alike were burned or warped. Hell, even some of the coins were warped enough they wouldn’t be accepted as currency. He was only able to collect a pittance of 495 yen. Whatever, any money at this point is good, considering before all of this, he didn’t have a yen to his name.

Still, that guy made reference to something around here, he better look around. 

After about a half-hour of searching he managed to find about 50,000 yen stored in a small brown paper bag, in the form of 1000 yen notes.

Jackpot! This was definitely what he needed at this point. 

He spends a few minutes cremating the corpses, eliminating all evidence of who they once were, as well as sweeping the remains into a drain, all the while trying not to think about how he just killed several people.

He’ll bury those thoughts. 

First on his list is some cheap hair dye, which he buys from this less-than-reputable corner store owner who was probably drunk, as he received less change than he should’ve gotten. Plus he had a very distinct smell wafting around him, as well as the three bottles on the counter that were open.

He didn’t protest the shortchanging, although it hurt a bit to throw away money when he had so little left, if he did protest he would be cemented in this guy’s memory. For that same reason he also bought some nonperishable snacks and bottled water to make the purchase more normal.

The snacks, which were some weird Japanese knockoff snacks with flavors like “Onigiri” would be for later, as he wasn’t hungry right now.

He drank the water but kept the bottle. It might be useful in the future.

As he’s walking, he’ll wracks his brain trying to remember where he had seen Izuku.

Ah ha! It was in Yokohama. But other than that, he really had no idea.

Well at least he has a city now.

“Soon, Izuku, Soon.” He thinks.

“I’ll make up for being gone.”

Chapter Text

One of the things that Izuku hates most about the wintertime is that villains commit less crimes during the winter. Well it’s more complex than pure hate. While he likes the fact that people are safer and more secure, it means there isn’t as many vigilante acts that he could perform, and that means he can’t sneak as much money from the people he saves. There’s also less crowds, meaning pickpocketing is harder to accomplish, as hiding is harder.

Unlike many people, he doesn’t hate the cold that comes with winter. He can stand the cold, as all he has to do is draw upon the heat of his body and let it go through him. Sure it was difficult to pull off effectively (For Touya and Shouto it’s much easier) , but it was well worth it, as he didn’t have to spend some of his limited amount of money to keep warm, or to warm up food, which means more money for necessities, like better food that needs to be warmed.

He knew that the other people in the building weren’t as lucky. That one woman with the small child he hadn’t heard from for a while. He hoped they were doing ok.

Who is he kidding, nobody who is ok finds themself here. People only go here when they have nowhere to go. The cold possibly drove them out at this point. Or maybe it killed them. He really hopes that it isn’t that last one. The solo inhabitant was probably going to be fine, they were quite resourceful. Probably. He did hear them still shuffling around, so they’re still living at least.

The aura of death and coldness is why he takes as many opportunities to leave the depressing place and walk around Yokohama. The coldness in that place is not the coldness he can use his quirk to banish, it’s a mental coldness that drains your will to continue and makes you want to stay in this place. Sure it’s cold out, but there's still enough of a crowd to avoid being suspicious. And he can avoid the coldness of the abandoned building.

On one of his jaunts about two weeks ago he found this small cafe on the first floor of some business complex. It was a nice place, and he often just got a small coffee with an espresso shot and thought about the wreck his life was in. Or tried very hard not to think about it. Either one.

He made sure to look clean before entering the shop, because as he was currently squatting in an abandoned building, he didn’t want to look like it. Combine that with the fact that he looks younger than he actually is, and he’ll have to work very hard to avoid the concerned conversations of people.

Because people, and on many occasions heroes, have looked at him with concerned expressions even when he looked clean, and he was sure that they’re going to be involved when he doesn’t take the effort.

So despite how difficult it is to get clean, he makes sure to do it to avoid suspicion.

“Hey Atakani-kun, it’s getting pretty cold out.” Shirata-san, the bubbly and chipper barista says as he walks in from the cold outside. And he doesn’t miss the subtext. He appreciates her being concerned for him, she’s the first person to do this in a decade , but he really doesn’t want it right now. She says statements that make no sense to someone on the outside, but Izuku caught on to her meaning even the first time, when she had said “aren’t you a little young to get this type of coffee?” The question that she always hints at is “Where are your parents?” He’s told her about some of the things that they do, such as his father working in construction to excuse sawdust he sometimes got in his clothes. As much as he wanted to remove it all, it never got out. So he made excuses and lies to avoid suspicion.

“Don’t worry Shirata-san, they’re just down the street shopping. And you already know how much I hate shopping.” he says, faking a cheery voice.

He hates lying to her. He’s lied to people before, it came easily from his lips to the point where lies were easier than truths at this point. Because he would never speak about the truth. But still, lies like this sit heavily in his stomach and twist knots in his guts. But he ignores these feelings, as the truth is worse.

“I understand, I’m pretty much the same way. I really only go shopping if it’s the last resort.” She replies actually cheerful, not questioning his story. It always makes him feel worse when she trusts him without questioning. They’re white lies, not really harming anyone. He just has secrets, that’s all. He wishes he could tell the truth. Maybe she could help him.

After a few minutes he gets his coffee and begins to sip it. It’s dark and bitter, just like his soul. The perfect beverage. It’s also a giant middle finger to Endeavor, because the flame hero insisted that everything be as traditional as possible. And that meant no coffee, they all had to drink tea.

So he was basically saying “Fuck you!” to the flaming pile of garbage whenever he got a cup, which made the dark and bitter stimulant even more perfect.

He hears the jingle of the door, signifying a new customer. The guy who walked in sounds really tired as he orders his coffee.“Good.” Izuku thinks, “Maybe coffee will do this guy some good.” Although that voice does sound familiar...
“Hey kid, that stuff’s strong, y’sure you want to drink it?” The tired man says.

Alright, fuck this guy he’s being rude, let’s see what his problem is. Upon turning, Izuku gets a good look at the man, enough to identify him as the underground hero Eraserhead.

He is surprised to see one of the few heroes he likes.

What’s he doing all the way out in Yokohama? He usually operates around Musutafu, considering he teaches at UA. Maybe he’s hunting a big target that has long reach.

“I know it’s strong I ordered it that way. Anyway, I’m Atakani Mikumo, are you gonna introduce yourself?” He said it ruder than he had intended, almost spitting out the words, but he doesn’t intend to apologize. After all, he wasn’t the one who opened with the equivalent of ‘You shouldn’t be drinking that, you’re too young.’ Plus he’s a hero, so he has a pretty thick skin.

“Well I’m Aizawa Shouta.” Eraserhead says as he takes a seat right beside Izuku, who doesn’t mind it too much. Well he minds it, but he refuses to show that it does right now.

He’ll annoy the underground hero later. Preferably with the assistance of Trip. The poor excuse of a vigilante loves doing that sort of shit.

“A pleasure to meet you Aizawa-san. Now, unless you have something important to say, I should really get going.” He says, making the motions to get up. He doesn’t want to be interrogated by the hero, because with his experience with heroes resulted in him being interrogated almost without him knowing. That had been a difficult experience to escape from.

“Aren’t you going to be cold out there?” The hero asks carefully. Oh boy, here it begins.

“I have a fire quirk.” He responds, probably too quickly.

If his response was too quick, the speed at which he exits the cafe most certainly was too quick to not be at least a little suspicious, but he’ll deal with it later. He hates adults that are concerned for him, especially because he’s too nice to tell them to fuck off. At least he appears fairly trustworthy, although he has no idea where he gets it from. He’ll exploit that trust as much as he can to avoid questions that may be awkward to answer.

“Huh, I could’ve handled that better.” He thinks as he heads back in the cold winter weather, drawing on his stored heat to warm himself up. He makes sure to cut into alleyways and double back several times, just to throw off the underground hero. He even goes into some warehouse, waits a half-hour, and exits through the same door he entered. It’s a game, and he hopes that he’s winning it.

 

‘This guy’s quirk is very hard to fight against.’ Izuku thinks as he dodges another oddly angled dart. He doesn’t know enough to pinpoint the exact quirk, but whatever it does, it makes the darts the guy has take weird trajectories that are almost unpredictable. It’s a pain to dodge them, combined with the fact he’s only able to draw small amounts of heat from his guy due to his winter coat, means that he has to pretty much fight Quirkless. He could use fire...

Which he’s had quite a bit of practice fighting basically without a quirk, so he’ll do that.

He dodges another of the villain’s darts and lands a kick onto their face. Whoever they were jumped back about ten feet and threw a dart sideways. To both of their surprises it didn’t change angles and instead it was buried in a wall.

Izuku immediately took a few quick steps back and looked up.

Eraserhead was sitting there, his hair fully up and blowing in the wind, his weird capture weapon in both hands ready to throw. 

“Looks like the two of you have gotten into a little disagreement.” The hero says. 

Izuku wants to leave at this point, because he really doesn’t want to talk to the hero at all. But fleeing would look even more suspicious. So he just waits.

The dart guy had other things in mind, as he ran away, somehow dodging the hero’s capture weapon, running with the hero quickly following. Izuku took the opportunity that had been given to him and fled the scene. As much as he wanted to gush over the hero, they were opposed to each other at this point, and due to his vigilante status he would probably be arrested. And he would be sent back.

 

He took his usual roundabout route back to home base, making extra sure to check for pursuers, especially a certain underground hero. He constantly absorbed small amounts of heat as he went along, checking for the effects of Erasure. While his ability to use the internet is as rare as a blue moon, he makes full use of it whenever he can. Which includes research on Pro Heroes and Underground Heroes. Sure constantly using his quirk like this was draining, but if it meant that he had a way of finding out if he was within the Erasure Hero’s eyesight, he could withstand a bit of tiredness. He makes it back rather easily, having not been pursued.

 

Izuku runs into the hero several times throughout the winter months. After interacting with the hero in his civilian identity, he manages to gather that he had been sent here to bust a child trafficking ring. So Izuku goes out in his Dotai personality to gather information from wherever and whoever he can. Sometimes he uses… aggressive negotiations, but in the end he has a location. Now, how to tell the hero without it being suspicious.

First step: head to the cafe. He’s been closely observing the Erasure Hero’s patrol times, so he goes in about a minute before the hero comes in, looking even more tired and ragged than usual. Must’ve had a rough night.

“Hey Aizawa-san, you’re looking pretty rough. Bad night’s sleep?”

He swore he heard the man say “Problem child.” under his breath. What? Him, a problem child? Well, he was a homeless vigilante that sometimes steals money, but the hero doesn’t know that.

“Yeah, there’s a child trafficking ring I’ve been looking for, but I have no idea where in the fresh hell it could be.” The hero grumbled.

“Well,” Izuku begins in false thought, “There’s this place.” He quickly jots down the address of the hideout he had found. “Dad tells me it’s very sketchy and he’s seen some suspicious people around it. I’m not sure if it’s what you want, but it’s the best I can do.”

Izuku knows that that’s the place, but he can’t reveal that without giving up his identity as Dotai. Honestly he’s glad for the amount of work it all took. It allowed him to chase away his feelings, the two people he wanted to save after all.

Kacchan and Touya.

 

Chapter Text

Winter had came to the hellhole, and Katsuki was pissed. He fucking hated the winter months. For one thing, there weren’t nearly as many crimes, so opportunities to collect money were limited. Plus, the damn cold made his quirk not as effective, so it took more effort to take down criminals he did encounter. Often he had to fight without Explosion, which fucking sucked.

And he also had to keep himself warm, which also fucking sucked. At least he had saved enough. Maybe. Probably. Hopefully.

Not for the first time he thought about trying to find his family, or any family, as he sat shivering when a breeze rushed through the building. He pushed those thoughts out of his brain, focusing on his immediate future. The next day.

He found that doing that was better than focusing on finding Zuku or a new family. He would be the one to find him.

He couldn’t be dead. Endeavor had to be a fucking liar.

Even when he had been four, he didn’t really like the hero. He didn’t feel like All Might did. This news article published about five years ago said that two of his sons had died in a training accident made his suspicions worse.

How had nobody questioned that story? He knew that it was bullshit. They had probably run away. Which means that he could find him.

But what motivated him to run away? Whatever it was, he still had a goal.

That’s why he became the vigilante Blast. Maybe he could save him, and they could finally meet again. Even though it had been almost a decade, he knew that he would still recognize Zuku by his broccoli hair and his emerald eyes. Surely he couldn’t have changed that much.

He quickly left the abandoned apartment complex as one of two of its residents. The mother and child that he had seen and heard enter the building had never left, he had seen their bodies crumpled on the ground after a week. He had wanted to check up on them. Maybe they had information. But he had been greeted with corpses. 




What unsettled him most was the fact that they had been brutally murdered. He had thought that they had died of dehydration or exposure, constant threats that bit at his heels, but they each had around fifty stab wounds.

But that wasn’t the worst part.

What had made his stomach turn, and made him nearly throw up was what what the killer had labelled in blood as “Rebirth.”

The mother’s stomach had been cut open and the child had been shoved inside, covered in flesh, blood, and other things that he didn’t want to know what they were.

The child had been stripped naked and shaved completely.

The mother’s small intestine had been sewed on to the child’s stomach in a cruel mockery of an umbilical cord.

He had wanted to leave as soon as he had seen the gruesome display, burn this place to the ground, but something kept him in this place.

He had hoped that the other person living nearby hadn’t been responsible for this display. He had half a mind to go up and confront them. 




The one thing that stopped him was a week later he had caught the killer, a man with a speed quirk. It was nothing compared to his mighty explosions. The extra had been executed, according to intelligence he had gathered.

Two days after he heard about the execution, he still heard his “neighbor” shuffling around quietly.

He upped his patrol times after seeing their horrific murder.

 

He made sure to switch and change his patrol routes every night, so no smart villain (or hero) could catch him. And apparently he wasn’t the only vigilante going around Yokohama. Well he knew about Trip, but that slimy eel wasn’t really a true vigilante. Apparently he was called Dotai, and he could absorb heat with his quirk.

Katsuki didn’t really have much of a costume, pretty much the only thing he wore as identification was his hoodie, that had explosions designed into it. An orange bandana completed his look as Blast.

Rooftops were too obvious. They were the domain of rookie vigilantes and those with mobility quirks. He wanted to be noticed as little as possible, because when he applied to UA, he didn’t want his quirk to give him away as Blast.

“Heya Blasty!” Called out a familiar voice from above him.

Trip. Goddammit, what did that extra want now?

“What the fuck do you want Trip? I’m fucking busy.”

“There’s a meeting of vigilante’s at Sakura’s in an hour. It’s hosted by a dude with a concealment quirk. Just a heads up. Enter through the side door for the concealment quirk to take effect.” Trip called out, and then disappeared.

Now the big question, would he be going?

It could have definitely been a trap, some villain wanting to off mass amount of vigilantes, or a hero setting up for a quick arrest.

But he was familiar with Sakura Daito. The man wasn’t the type to work with either heroes or villains, and his bar was known to be a neutral ground. It wasn’t a passive neutral ground. Sakura Daito (if that was even his real name, Katsuki had doubts about that) was strong even without his quirk.

The man had an annihilation quirk. It was scary to see.

The fact it was at Sakura’s is the thing that spurred him to go. Anywhere else and he wouldn’t have gone.

But that didn’t mean he would head straight there. He could save some people. Sakura’s was only fifteen minutes away.

So he had only 45 minutes of vigilantism.

He would never actually thank Trip to his face, but he was thankful. Apparently the damn coat makers had lied about the windbreaker properties of this outer layer. Every time there was a gust of cold wind, it sliced through like a knife and bit into him.

At least the gloves worked, making his hands sweaty.

A woman’s scream broke him out of his thoughts. He ran to the scene at top speed, taking all the correct turns.

Sparing a glance up, he saw another person jumping from rooftop to rooftop towards the scene. Dammit, there was another vigilante extra. They were probably going to get there before him because holy shit were they fast.

Apparently it was closer than he had expected, because he turned a corner, almost sliding on the snow, and saw the vigilante already engaged in a fight with the guy.

Katsuki decided to make himself useful and throw himself into combat. Sure he might get in the vigilante’s way. He was planning on it actually, he’ll force the guy to back the fuck off.

At least, that had been his original plan, before the villain threw out a giant fireball that nearly filled the alleyway. It hurled towards him.

He was too slow…

He ran as fast as he could, but the fire was faster…

Until he didn’t feel the heat of the fire, nor see the orange light of it’s reflection on the snow. He turned around to see what the fuck had happened, only to see that the fire was all gone, and the villain knocked out.

There wasn’t even any residual heat in the air. It felt colder, in fact.

His mind supplies the information he had heard earlier about Dotai, the vigilante that absorbed heat.

Huh, wonder of this guy’s going to the meeting. They probably knew already, which was why he didn’t tell the vigilante about it. Well he never got the chance actually, that damn vigilante was too fast.

He did manage to get his satisfaction by managing to launch explosions in the face of a few criminals that had tried to rob storefronts. That had been a cathartic experience, burning off his anger from having his “kill” stolen.

 

If someone had told four-year-old him that in about a decade he would be in this situation, getting his voice and face concealed by some extra he didn’t even know in order to meet with vigilantes as a homeless vigilante himself, he would’ve laughed in their face.

But here he was, in that exact situation. Still, it would be good for him as an information source. 

The extra gave him short black hair with orange highlights and piercing blue eyes. As much as he hates this disguise, it is quite a good one. His voice is also deeper than he expected it to be.

 

Exactly an hour after Trip gave him the announcement, he saw Sakura come out from somewhere to shut the door. For such a big guy he was very stealthy. Or he had hidden compartments. Either one is equally likely with the information that he has on the bar owner.

“Hello I am Sakura Daito, the owner of this bar. My quirk is Annihilation, making me able to annihilate objects and even people. I tell you this only so the conversation is civil and you don’t kill each other.”

With that comment, all the side conversations had abruptly died down. An appropriate reaction. It was well known in the underground community of Yokohama that you didn’t mess with Sakura Daito. Either you knew or you learned really quickly. The man had one of the world’s most powerful quirks (maybe even stronger than whatever the fuck All Might’s quirk was) but very few people knew of his existance.

Katsuki noticed that there was a nameplate in front of him, identifying him as Blast. Cool.

Sakura had asked if any of them wanted to order something. He hadn’t wanted to get anything, let alone anything alcoholic, but he steeled his resolve. It was part of his disguise, after all. He didn’t want to reveal anything about his age. Sakura wouldn’t card him.

“Well I’d like to know who called this meeting, and for what purpose.” Said a woman with long blue hair tied into a ponytail in a higher-pitched, slightly scratchy voice, sharp green eyes (That looked too familiar for Katsuki’s liking. The nameplate named her as Red Ninja.) “Because some of us have important things to do.”

“I was the one who called the meeting.” announced a man with close-cropped black hair and with eyes entirely black, no pupil or anything like that. Creepy. His voice was also weirdly distorted, as if there was a second voice speaking at the same time. His nameplate identified him as Black Ice. “I’ve heard rumors about an organization called the ‘League of Villains.’ They’re frighteningly well hidden, although there’s curious cases of people’s quirks no longer working in Kamino Ward. It’s fairly close by so I took a look around and there’s a suspicious lack of petty crime.”

“So you think the League has something to do with that?” He asked.

“I’d say that’s a pretty good assumption.” Replied Dotai. Katsuki saw they had a more androgenous look, with shoulder-length grey hair, reddish-grey skin and red eyes that almost glowed. “We should be on the watch for anything suspicious.”

“Well I don’t know about you guys, I’m just gonna stick to doin’ whateva. Goodbye.” said Trip, hair hidden by his damn hoodie, but grey eyes roved around looking for people to stop him as he left.

“Good riddance. Most vigilantes I’m fine with but Trip’s more annoying than he’s worth most every time.” Said- wait, does his identification plate say ‘Eraserhead’? What the fuck is a hero doing here?. Katsuki was damn sure that the guy didn’t have spiky blue hair and orange eyes. “Now that he’s gone we can discuss more serious matters.”

“The question is, what will you tell the other heroes? We only have rumors at this point, but there’s enough evidence that they should be told something, at least.” Said Myriad, currently disguised with fluffy blond hair and brown eyes.

“Leave that up to me. I’ll think of something.” Replied the underground hero.

After that had been taken care of, they started talking of alterations of territory and other things similar to that. Sakura gave out a few more rounds, which Katsuki begrudgingly accepted. He could feel something was off after a few, so he politely declined the next one.

“Well unless there’s anything else, I think we should conclude this meeting.” Red Ninja cut in. “We can talk about this later.”

“I agree, this is a good point to cut the meetin’ off. Unless anyone wants another round?” Sakura said nicely, but with an air of being dangerous to it.

Everyone politely declined and left one by one, as to not be close to one another when the disguises faded away.

 

As he charted a meandering path back to the ruined apartment complex he lived- no, survived- in, he thought about how much he hated the vigilante meetings. Every time it had been something major, something he hated. The one before this, about a year ago, was the meeting where they officially classified the vigilante Stendhal as the villain Stain and agreed to take him down. He really didn’t want to fight the villain, that’s for damn sure. In two years, 27 heroes have been either killed or incapacitated by the villain. He’s gotten a picture on what the hero killer’s ideology was.

Conclusion: It was fucking stupid.

Sure he could understand “fake heroes.” he had seen firsthand how much heroes truly suck, how they ignore petty crimes, how they use excessive force, cause property damage and injure or kill civilians. (Endeavor was a prime culprit of this sort of thing. He had snuck into the Number 2 heroes agency on numerous occasions and read some of his incident reports. Holy shit did this guy have a laundry list. If he wasn’t a hero he’d be in jail for life for all of the property damage and bodily harm this guy caused. And that’s not counting what’s going on with Zuku. He can’t have died in a training accident. )

Even so, he knows that killing them is the wrong thing to do. The violent acts he does delegitimizes his position and makes him look like a fucking lunatic.

He also hates that he has to drink at these meetings. He didn’t like the side effects of alcohol, but it was a necessity to hide his real age, to be older than he really was.

He made mental notes of what he needed to help his hangover tomorrow. It’s going to fucking suck.

 

As he makes his way back, rounding a corner, he sees a familiar scarred face. Ah, that asshole who introduced himself as Dabi.

“Hey Dabi.” He calls out, approaching the scarred man to get a better look at him. God, he looked like shit. Katsuki could easily see new injuries and burns, but his older injuries have healed somewhat? He’ll have to ask, but he seems out of it.

He knows he’ll regret it later, but he picks up the scarred man. (Not thinking about how light he was.)

What was he doing? 

At the very least he’ll be able to keep this guy alive long enough to maybe contact someone else.

“Hey dude, what’s your name?” he asks casually. He’s hoping that this guy is out of it enough to say his real name, because no way in hell it it “Dabi.”

 

“Todoroki Touya.” Dabi sputters out, just barely speaking.

That’s not what he had been expecting, he speeds up. He remembers that name, it's the name of one of the two Todoroki children that supposedly died in training.

He has to keep this ma-no, Touya- alive.

 

Because if he survived, then Zuku must be alive as well.

 

Right?

Chapter Text

What was he doing taking in someone else?

He barely had enough supplies for himself to last the winter. Adding a second person only makes things worse. But he can’t just leave this guy to die. Especially if he might have information about Zuku. It might be selfish on his part to keep T-Dabi… whatever his name is, around just for information, but it’s the first glimpse of a source of potential information. It’s his best chance for knowledge of Zuku.

Because he’s beginning to forget what his voice sounds like, and what he looks like.

Katsuki knows that his friend must’ve changed over a decade, maybe even unrecognizable. He hadn’t even gotten his quirk when he had last seen him, so he couldn’t even go after that.

The five-year-old newspaper clipping said that Zuku had a fire quirk, which made sense if he was related to Endeavor.

But that’s all the information he had.

He would have to wait for… what name should he call the scarred man? It’s obvious that he wanted to be called Dabi, the name Touya only slipping out because of his delirious and semi-conscious state. So he’ll call scarface Dabi. He has to wait for Dabi to wake up to ask questions. As much as he wanted to ask as much as soon as possible, he’ll wait. Until then he’ll patch up this guy to the best of his ability.

A small detail nagged at his mind. Todoroki Touya had been reported missing, and later dead, five years ago, a few days before he was to attend UA.

Endeavor must have lied then.

After dealing with Dabi’s wounds, he’ll get his answers. Maybe. Hopefully. He might be more pressed for money later on, but the information was worth it. If he needed to, he could ask Sakura if he knew of a place he could work. The chance there was something he could do was slim, but it was possible. It was pretty much his final desperation.

He pulled out the first-aid kit  he had stored, but rarely used, and began to search Dabi’s body to find his wounds.

Aside from the purplish scars that covered Dabi’s body, unusually hard and dry, (they had probably been from repeated injuries and quirk healing.) there were numerous open wounds, burns and bruises. Katsuki stepped back a few steps to observe Dabi in full. The scarred man was even worse like this, his clothes were tattered and he was deathly thin. Well that explains how he was able to carry what should’ve been an adult man so easily. This entire situation reminded him of his first year or so on the streets, on the verge of starvation, barely able to move.

Nobody had helped him back then, nobody had cared.

He would be kinder, because there was no way he would be worse than everyone else.

So he patched up what he could. It was less than he had wanted to do, but it was still as much as he could risk.

 


 

It had been an hour after they had escaped, He had grabbed cheap black hair dye and applied it on both of them. As much as Izuku liked his green hair (reminding him of his mother), it was noticeable, and it needed to be hidden. He did manage to finally convince Izuku, so that was good. While the hair dye as a good start, he still needed to think up fake identities for the two of them, but that was after they got to Sekiji’s. They were currently in an alleyway in some of the rougher parts of Musutafu, having fled as far away from the mansion as possible. But they still needed to go further. They needed to be far enough away that they would never be caught come 6:30am, when Izuku would usually be woken up for training. However, in the morning, Endeavor would wake up to find an empty bed where Izuku should be.

“We’re going to live with one of my friends Izuku.” He whispers, shouldering the pack that he had brought with him. He looked back, seeing that Izuku was carrying his own pack despite being tired. He hated that Izuku hadn’t had a normal childhood. How he’d been forced to train by the fiery bastard despite not even being the man’s son. Hopefully they could get help.

“Who are they?” Izuku asked him. Touya knew how smart he was, but how trusting he was. It had been easy to convince him to go along.

Well it had been easy to ask the question. It was hard on his conscience that he had to leave Shouto to suffer. But their father would search all over Japan if his “masterpiece” was lost. The two of them? Well they were incomplete failures. Izuku was a Todoroki in name only.

“It’s Sekiji, you remember her, right?” Sekiji Tsuya had been one of the few people that he knew that would take him in. She understood what he had gone through.

“Y-yeah, I remember her.” As Izuku speaks, Touya immediately notices something’s wrong. He stops Izuku and holds his hand. It’s cold.

“Izuku, how big is your stockpile?” He asks carefully. His… brother. Izuku is his brother. Since Endeavor is no longer his father, and he was never Izuku’s father, they can be brothers. His brother almost never took proper care of his stockpile. Without it, he was cold.

The look that Izuku gave him was all he needed. “You didn’t stockpile at all, did you?” He asked, hoping to not sound disappointed.

Seeing Izuku flinch and begin to mutter apologies told him that no, he hadn’t asked that properly.

“No Izuku, it’s fine. Here.” He summoned his blue flames. “Absorb this.”

Thankfully Izuku grabbed onto the fire and consumed it. He made sure to keep it going, continuously asking how full he was.

After almost two minutes of constant blue flames, Izuku finally said he was filled up. “I also absorbed the heat that went into your body so you don’t burn yourself!” he added.

That was Izuku, one moment almost freezing, the next happy he could help someone.

Touya knew that Izuku would be a good hero. He wouldn’t be a hero that his father Endeavor wanted, he would be a hero for himself.

 

Sekiji, it turned out, had been a fucking snake. It had been a mistake to go to her.

 

She at first seemed to have sold them out to Endeavor for a half-million yen. Or that’s what it seemed like at first.

“I just want what’s best for you!” She called out with fake cheer after giving him her phone number and four-fifths of the reward money.

It turned out that she had been forced to turn them in by her mother. She had helped every way she could, but Touya took the money and never spoke to her again. A real friend would have disobeyed their parents for them. But she had said one thing and done another.

Nine months later, Sekiji promised that he could return. Just him. He knew why she wanted him, he had heard her rants about how she could never get laid, complained about the “right guy” not being there.

He should’ve done the selfless thing. He should’ve thought with his brain and not with his dick. He should’ve declined the offer from that manipulative bitch and stayed with Izuku.

But he hadn’t.

He left Izuku, left everything, and went to her.

That had been a mistake. He should’ve stayed with Izuku. He should’ve seen the signs of her manipulative personality. He would probably still be with Izuku.

Izuku!


 

He jolted awake, eyes wide open. Fuck. He had been a shitty person that had done shitty things. What happened later was probably karma coming back to bite him in his ass.

The first thing he noticed was that he didn’t know where he was. Hell, it wouldn’t be the first time. This place looked extremely rundown though, considering the hole in the ceiling that he could see, and the sorta lumpy surface he had apparently slept on.

Sitting up, he saw that he was most likely in an abandoned building. He looked down at his wounds, and noticed that someone had treated them. They seemed to know a bit about what they were doing, but they weren’t too experienced. The space he was in  suspiciously lived-in, it’s probably the home of whoever patched him up.

When a blond teen rushed in looking like he had seen a ghost or something similar, he didn’t know what to think.

“Hey, Scarface!” The blond almost-yelled. “Why were you yelling out Zuku’s name?”

Stop. Brain reboot. How did this angry blond know about Izuku. Wait? Was he just called Scarface? Well let’s take care of that first.

“M’names not scarface asshole.”

Eh, could’ve been better worded. But fuck him for calling him scarface.

“Oh.” The blond said, calmer this time, and he did NOT like the smirk that grew. “Would you rather me call you Todoroki Touya?”

He shot upright when he heard that name. How the fuck did this guy figure it out. Suppressing his internal panic, he schooled his features and respond in a much calmer drawl.

“Call me Dabi. What should I call you?”

“Since I know who you REALLY are, I’ll do the same so you trust me. I’m Bakugou Katsuki.”

That name seemed awfully familiar for some reason. Eh, it’s probably that they’re in a similar state, proclaimed dead according to the news media.

“Well Bakugou.” He began, thoughts about what he needs to say run through his head. Something stood out. He recognized Izuku’s name. That was a rarity five years after they had escaped, had been reported dead. “Why are you so interested in Izuku?”

“It’s been a decade since I’ve last seen my old childhood friend.”

Whatever he had been expecting, that was not it.

Then puzzle pieces that he had long assumed had been lost fell into place. “So your the ‘Kacchan’ that Izuku talked about for years…” He muttered, thinking out loud.

It was as if an electric shock ran through Bakugou’s back. Well, this was certainly an interesting experience. Apparently the two of them had a lot more in common than he had thought. Although this Bakugou’s voice sounds familiar.

“You’re the vigilante Blast, aren’t ya?” He asked. He was seventy percent sure that this guy was Blast.

“Fine. Yeah I’m also Blast.Why the fuck does it matter?” Bakugou asked angrily. Why was he so damn defensive?

“Nevermind.” He replies offhandedly. Let’s drop that subject. “Alright so you patched me up and we spilled mutual secrets. Where do we go from here?” There were matters quite a bit more important than this being the second time he was saved by Bakugou.

“Do you know Izuku’s quirk?” Bakugou asks. It’s a safe question he thinks, so he answers it.

“He can absorb and release heat and fire. It’s quite the impressive quirk, actually.”

That seemed to get the blond thinking. After a moment or two, a scowl returned that he was damn sure was permanent.

“Unless you have anything else to add, you should fuck off.” He moved up to go. Hell no he wouldn’t mention how he abandoned Izuku. That secret was in the possession of three people, one of which was currently dead. This Bakugou didn’t need to know that.

“After you eat some fucking food.” Bakugou continued, which caused him to pause. Hadn’t he just been told to leave? “You’re a fucking stick figure. Eat some fucking food. It might be shit, but you won’t fucking die.”

A bowl of… something was pushed in front of him. Whatever it was it was cold. As much as he hated his quirk, he held the bowl and sent azure fire lashing along the sides. It reached a hot temperature in only a minute or so. Whatever it was, he ate it quickly. He didn’t even taste whatever it was. Honestly he didn’t even care at this point.

After eating, he left. He didn’t want to impose after all. Plus, he had been told to fuck off.

Wait! He forgot to tell Bakugou that he’s seen Izuku recently. He ran back into the room that Bakugou had been in, but he was already gone. Fuck.

Well, he’ll just go around and look for him. Shouldn’t be too hard, except he had no idea where Bakugou could’ve gone.

He fucked this up. Yet again, he fucked everything up.

Unlike last time, he could fix this.

A weight slammed into his side, someone punched him, and hard. He lashed out with his cerulean fire at the figure that attacked him, before something landed on his eyes that blinded him. A punch to the gut followed suit.

One hand pushed away whatever it was, the second sent sheets of blue fire wherever he heard movement. Punches landed on him in retaliation.

He finally removed the blinder but he had been knocked to the ground. Dammit, not again. He knew that he had killed several people, but they kept coming.

Punches were replaced with kicks. The points of pain kept growing to the point where he could barely feel it anymore. His vision blurred. Someone really wanted him dead.

He felt his eyes close, but he forced them to stay open.

Orange fire lanced out, shrieks of pain. Less new pain he felt. Until there was no new sharp pain, only throbs from his various woulds. He already knew it was too much for his abused body to handle. His broken body was finally giving up. He had pretty much stretched it to the limit of human endurance.

 

The last thing he saw was the orange fire being absorbed back into a dark figure. Quirk like that could only be one person.

 

The last thing his eyes saw was Izuku.





Chapter Text

Touya was dead.

 

As much as Izuku willed it not to be so, Touya was dead.

 

And these villains were responsible.

It was a common mistake to assume that because of Izuku’s fire quirk, his rage burned hot, and with passion. But five years of living with the Todorokis had given him some aspects of the family.

Namely, that his rage burned cold .

Enraged, Izuku breaks his quirk, drawing out the body heat out of the people there, freezing them instantly.

Izuku then looked at the body of Touya.

What should he do? He had never thought he would be in this situation. Four years ago, when Touya was manipulated into leaving, he thought this was settled for good. As much as it had saddened him, he thought that was settled, that he would never see his informal older brother again.

Well he did, but it had been his last moments.

He grabbed his dead brothers body.

The best that he deserved was a burial, a not-shitty end for his life.

 

Six hours later, Izuku looked at his handiwork. It wasn’t good, but it was the best he could do. It wasn’t what Touya deserved, but it was what he could provide.

He somehow managed to make his way back to the abandoned apartment block he lived in. He didn’t walk with his usual quietness.

Why did it matter? It’s not like the only person he respected, he loved, was dead.

There goes one of his tethers.

Now he can only hope that Kacchan is alive. Because otherwise he has nothing .

But if Touya’s dead after only four years, then what hope does Kacchan have to be alive?

A name popped into his mind, a memory he had forgotten about.

Bakugou Miraju.

If Izuku remembered right, she lived in Musutafu. Which was likely where Kacchan was.

So what was he doing in Yokohama? What ties did he have to this city? This was the city where Touya died, where all of his fears were hiding, the city where he was hiding like a coward. He had no ties to this place. Yokohama was where he was at his worst, where everything bad happened to him.

 

He packed up his things, whatever was worth keeping, and leapt out of the window. He couldn’t use the door, he needed to get away from here as fast as he could.

 

The first train to Musutafu was in ten minutes. He waited just outside the station. When the train came by, he jumped and rode on the end. 

 

When he arrived at Musutafu and jumped off the train he paused, rational thoughts returning to him.

There were a LOT of heroes in Musutafu. In the richer portions of the city was where the Todorokis lived. It was where his life was turned around. It was dangerous for him to be here. So why exactly was he here? 

He could never live in Yokohama again. He had to purge the city from his mind.

The very thought of the city sent tears at the edge of his eyes.

His inner fire raged .

Ah yeah, he did gather quite a bit.

Thankfully he had done some research beforehand. Found the places where the heroes would never be.

Strange, how even in Musutafu, one of the safest cities, there are still regions that have been abandoned, either due to villain attacks or other factors.

One day Izuku should calculate, run the numbers, see how many areas have fallen prey to slow decay. He knew that Nagasaki was pretty much abandoned, the winds whistling through empty buildings, the only people there were those without hope, without life. 

He added more cities to the list, at least, the one’s he knew.

Fukuoka, Aomori, Toyama, Matsue. 

Five cities abandoned, many of the others not doing so well. A slow decay. People don’t see it because they see only what they want to see, they don’t see what they need to see.

Because if they did, then what Endeavor had done was still doing would be public, and the “hero” would be in jail.

Musutafu was closest to UA, and if he went to that school, he could be a hero, expose the ugly truth, and force people to take action.

Plus, it would be the only school that Kacchan would ever think was acceptable to attend.

It would also be the only school that Endeavor would send his greatest success, the masterpiece.

There was a small building with a front entrance in an alleyway. It wasn’t much but it would become home.

‘Walk like you have a purpose, calmly, like you don’t give a fuck about the world.’ (He doesn’t give a fuck, so it’s easier)

In no time, he reaches the abandoned shithole. Unpacking is easy, clothes go there, the cans go there, his limited utensils there.

Easy busywork, a distraction. Exactly what he needs.

He takes out his mask. A secondary distraction. He has a new cityscape to learn after all, it will take him time to get used to the new city, establish new contacts. At least now he doesn’t have to worry about running into Trip. Why anybody trusted the fool enough to attend the council meeting was beyond him. He wouldn’t trust the vigilante with a spoon, let alone a secret meeting. Technically he was a vigilante, so attending the vigilante’s alliance was an honor.

Eraserhead deserved to be there more than Trip, and he was a hero for fuck’s sake.

Oh well, at least he can help the citizens of Musutafu.

 

His first night out in a new city would always be the worst, he would misjudge distances, make mistakes, fall into dumpsters. But he picked himself up, and even caught a purse thief, returning the purse (after slipping out a few yen), and tying up the villain. He should be careful though, this was the area that Eraserhead worked, and if rumors were to be believed, Black Ice was moving operations to this area for some reason. Why that vigilante decided to stick his nose into things Izuku would never understand.

 

He spent the first two months of his time in Musutafu making himself a name. He burned wanted posters of himself whenever he could. He bought another container of black hair dye and applied it, as some of his dark green coloring was showing. As much as he liked the dark green, it was very recognizable. He also cut it down to size, making the fluff effect as reduced as he could, reducing the hair flat against his head.

He finally had gotten the courage. Why he had delayed doing this for so long he didn’t know, but he was finally doing it.

It was thanks to Zuku’s… Brother? Cousin? Whatever Touya was to Zuku, it was important. He finally had confirmation that Zuku was alive and in Yokohama. 

 

So maybe he was the mysterious neighbor that was living in this purgatory with him. And if they weren’t? His quirk was powerful enough to fight them off enough.

So he searched through the entire building, all of the rooms were cold, empty, abandoned. There wasn’t even any residual heat that signified that people had been there, none of the rooms looked “lived-in” enough.

Had he really been imagining someone here with him, were the light steps just the mice and rats that he had chosen to ignore? Were the quiet sobs that barely reached his ears his own?

No. Get ahold of yourself Katsuki. You just haven’t searched enough rooms yet. There’s still one’s you haven’t seen.

He searched all the rooms. They were all empty.

Katsuki pushed those thoughts to the back of his mind. He was a vigilante dammit! A Take-no-nonsense, kick-ass vigilante! Sure this probably isn’t healthy.

One month later he had a thought. Why does he stay in Yokohama? Sure it’s where Touya last said that Zuku was, but from what he knows of Zuku, he may have moved on. Probably to Musutafu. One more month of patrolling, and maybe he’ll run into Zuku. And if he doesn’t? Well that means that he’s going to go to Musutafu to attend UA and become a hero. The combination of his Quirk and his combat skill was more than enough for him to be accepted.

Why then, did the thought of being a hero make him feel sick? But he pushed that. He needed to be a hero so he could find Zuku. There was nothing else, nothing he could do aside from that.

Because he was just one kid, what could he do against a monolith like Endeavor?

 

One month passed, and he couldn’t find either Zuku or Touya.

So he left Yokohama, whispering a quick “Sorry Touya.” before he left.

 

The next train to Musutafu left in fifteen minutes, so he ran over to the station, and latched onto the end. Nobody noticed him, because of how dark it was.

The journey was quick, easy efficient. He did have to avoid the searching gaze of a hero on patrol, so that was annoying. But he made his was to the city without much trouble.

One of the first things he saw was a wanted poster for the vigilante Dotai.

So Zuku was in the area. Hopefully. He hoped that Touya hadn’t been so desperate to see his younger brother that he imagined him.

He had already set something up, it was an abandoned basement in the area where people no longer cared about what was going on. Katsuki had given it a name: The Slow Decay. 

Every villain attack had casualties, it was inevitable. They built up over time. Areas were abandoned, not repaired. From one of those areas he went out on his first mission.

The first thing he found was a mugging attempt. He stopped that as soon as he could, moving in quickly and easily, stopping it from happening. Moving on.

A vigilante’s work was never done.


Kuroikori Jikare wasn’t one to hesitate. Ten years of being the vigilante Black Ice would do that to somebody. Learning not to hesitate, to plan on the fly while in the midst of combat was an effective strategy. What did help his case was his quirk, whose name was shared with his vigilante name, was very misunderstood.

Too many people think that it’s just ice. It would be potent even if it was just ice, based on the volume he could produce, but what gave it away as something unique was it’s jet black color. His ice absorbed attacks. It was very hard to break it. Out of all the strength enhancement heroes, only All Might could break it.

His ice only melted when he willed his quirk to stop (Well nobody's been able to melt it yet), where the black ice collapsed into small shards of normal ice.

So getting trapped in his ice would not be a fun time.

He was a nomadic vigilante, going all over Japan, only staying in a place for a few days at most. What helped was that his job was one he could do from home, wherever home was.

Well he had just gotten a request from Eraserhead to go to Musutafu, and stay there for a while.

He had been asked by Eraserhead why he didn’t want to be a hero. He did have a pretty strong quirk and good control, he would've made a good hero.

But why was he a vigilante?

The simple answer was that he didn’t know he wanted to be a hero or do heroic things until he was nineteen. Sure he had dreamed about being a hero just like the other children, but as he grew older, he realized just how dangerous being a hero was. The percent of heroes that die in the line of duty: 37.3%. Around three in eight heroes die in the line of duty. An additional three in eight (36.9%) get injuries that permanently disable them, and they are forced to retire. Only around two in eight (25.8%) of heroes actually live to retirement age.

A bit over one in four. Not for him.

But as a vigilante, he could quit anytime, he had a job besides, and didn’t waste three years of his life on something almost hopeless.

So he would go to Musutafu. Because he had a sneaking suspicion t hat Dotai and Blast were children. The way that they acted during the Vigilante's Alliance meeting was similar to how his own 14-year-old son acted.

They shouldn’t be out here. Eraserhead should lead them down the right path. Or he will. Either way, they get what they need.

Chapter Text

He thought he would never make it here. Ever since he had ran away with Touya six years ago, he had thought that UA was out of the picture, because Endeavor would find him. The fiery bastard was the type of person to not let anything escape his grip, to leave no stray threads. 

It was still a huge risk going to UA, even with his forged identity as Akatani Mikumo. He got papers that simply said he had a fire quirk, those were common enough. If he had added the absorption part, he would be found immediately . Six years of work would go to waste.

Izuku stood at the gates of UA, waiting for what was going to happen. It took all of his courage to step into the school.

‘You’ve been a vigilante for three years Izuku, you can pass a simple exam.’ He thought to himself.

Well it wasn’t passing the exam that he was worried about, because he was uncomfortably warm, having stretched his reservoir past its limit in preparation for the exam. Plus he had a lot of skill with his quirk, thanks to “training”

No what he was worried about was being discovered. As much effort as he had taken to conceal who he really was, he didn’t wear contacts. He had tried, but they made his eyes itchy, so he didn’t wear them, which meant his emerald eyes were clear for all to see.

It wasn’t an uncommon eye color, but it was enough for someone to look closer…

Izuku had been so caught up in his thoughts that he hadn’t noticed that there was a loose patch on the path until he tripped on it. He was preparing to do a tuck and roll until he felt weightless.

He turned around and there was a Brunette girl who looked almost weightless for some reason. He straightened himself, and then she spoke.

“Hey I’m Uraraka Ochako! I hope you don’t mind me using my quirk on you, but it is bad luck to fall before your exam!” She said cheerfully.

C’mon Izuku, introduce yourself, don’t be shy.

“I’m M-Akatani Mikumo. And don’t worry about it! It’s something a hero would do! If you rescue people like this normally you should have no problem during the entrance exam!” He replied. Honestly he had just made up a bunch of shit, but it felt right. Although he mentally kicked himself for slipping and almost saying Midoriya.

At least he hadn’t slipped and said the beginning of “Todoroki”. That would’ve been harder to explain.

“Well It’s a pleasure to meet you Matakai Mikumo”

“Actually it’s Akatani.”

“Oh! I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine, don’t worry about it.”

With that, they parted ways. They were in different exam halls for the written portion of the exam.

 

One hour and twenty-six minutes later, Izuku had finished the written exam, he still hadn’t seen Kacchan, which was worrying. If there was one thing he had wanted to do, it was go to UA. There was no way that he would be going anywhere but here.

So where was he?

Izuku rounded a corner and walked into the large auditorium where the announcement of the practical was being held.

If only instead of turning the corner, he’d have turned around, he would’ve seen the person that he had been searching for so long to find.

 

The auditorium was sorted by middle school. He had written down some sort of online middle school that was notoriously poor at keeping records (There were several of them in fact.) so he was seated with a bunch of random people. 

There was a low murmur of conversation.Someone tried to talk to Izuku, but he was too distracted searching for a familiar head of ash blond spiky hair. He only stopped searching when Present Mic came out to begin talking.

“HELLLLLOOOO EVERYBODY! CAN I GET A HEEEEYYYY????”

The resulting silence following Present Mic’s outburst almost made Izuku laugh. It was the funniest shit that he had seen or heard in a long time.

Seemingly undaunted, the Voice Hero continued speaking, albeit in a (slightly) quieter tone of voice. “Alright listeners, today’s exam is going to involve you fighting against three different types of robots!” At that point there was a projection, displaying the robots. “It’s sort of like a video game. Destroy the three types of robots to earn one, two, and three points respectively! Earn as many points as possible in thirty-two minutes, and your spot in UA is secure!”

At that, some tall kid with blue hair (Who looked vaguely familiar although Izuku wasn’t sure why.) stood up and had his hand raised.

“Yes Examinee 7111? What is it?” Present Mic asked with his usual fervor.

“You explained that there were three types of robots, but in the program we were provided there were four types of robots listed. If this is a typo that’s unbecoming of UA!” The blue-haired teen said loudly, almost yelling it out.

“Very well perceived, Examinee 7111” the Voice Hero responded, ‘The fourth robot is worth zero points. It’s just a barrier, something to be avoided.”

Most people wouldn't pick up on how Present Mic sounded slightly annoyed, but Izuku had learned how to pick up on more subtle things about what people say.

So there was some good things and some bad things. One of the good things was that Uraraka was in the same testing place.

“Hey Uraraka, I’m happy that we're in the same testing place!” He said as he approached her.

“Oh hey Akatani! Looks like we’re in the same testing area.”

At that point, the blue-haired teen came over. “I insist that you cease from distracting your fellow competitors!”

Fuck it, as much as he’s nervous, he hates this guy more. “I was just talking to my friend, it’s none of your business who I’m talking to. I’m Akatani Mikumo, by the way.”

“I-I’m Iida Tenya… It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“Well Iida, I suggest you line up to start the competition is going to begin soon.”

That got Iida moving, lining up to the starting area.”

“Competition Start!” The voice of Present Mic came through the speakers. Or maybe it was just his quirk. Whatever it was, Izuku would have time to think about it later. Right now he leapt into action. He had perfected a new move quite recently. As much as he hated basing his  moves off of things that Endeavor does, the way their quirks output fire are very similar, so he perfected a new move he simply called “ray of fire” where he concentrated an intense flame outburst in a small area.

The first robot he saw was a two-pointer. It took him only a second of concentration before he released the beam, slicing through the robot and the one-pointer behind it. ‘Awesome, three points already.’

“What are you waiting for? There are no countdowns in real life! Go! Go! Go!” Present Mic yelled out, which spurred other people to start moving.

‘Dammit Present Mic don’t give them hints.’

Using Ray of Fire took a lot out of him, so he had to absorb heat from the air when he wasn’t using his fire, which slowed him down when he was running between robots. He was still faster than most people without speed quirks, efficiently using his ray attack to destroy key components. The teachers watching his fight might think he has a beam quirk, so to destroy that theory he sent a compressed fireball at the target, showing off his real quirk.

He destroyed nearly every robot he saw, blasting it with extreme heat in vulnerable areas. Some he missed, or couldn’t take out, but he moved on. Occasionally there were people in sticky situations, so he helped them out. There was this one kid that had a three-pointer sneaking up on him. A beam that would take out a three-pointer would drain him too much so instead he surrounded the entire thing in yellow-orange fire. He absorbed small amounts of it back as he ran up close to the three-pointer to disable it for good.

That’s when he heard the rumbling. Something big was coming.

He saw other people running away from whatever it was. Curiosity got the best of him and he ran forward to see what was going on. Turning the corner, he finally got a good look at the thing people were running from.

The “Zero Pointer” was the size of the buildings around it! He would need to have been at 100% capacity before even thinking about fighting something like that. So the most logical course of action would be to run away.

But then he noticed something.

There, underneath some rubble, was Uraraka Ochako.

And he was too far away. Normally.

It was time to try some more experimental moves. He ran forward as fast as he could, pushing himself even further with his fire, until he just barely made it.

“Uraraka, can you use your quirk to get out from underneath the rubble?”

She nodded her head weakly, then pressed her hand on the rubble and then pushing it, causing it to float away. He grabbed her quickly and put her on his back, absorbing the residual heat from the fire so that it didn’t burn her.

“Time’s Up!” The voice of Present Mic came on suddenly. Apparently there’s no time remaining warnings in real life as well.


Shouta had been one of the people that was watching the practical exam for the UA hero course. He despised it. While he didn’t mind watching how they stretched their quirks to the limit, what he didn’t like was how biased the exam was. There were already a dearth of heroes with strong, flashy quirks when what was needed were more underground heroes. People with quirks enhancing stealth, silence, and more mental-based quirks. He had been trying to push for an underground course ever since he had become a teacher and he had Nezu supporting him…

But the Board of Directors had been blocking it every time it was put up by a 10-9 vote.

Now he would never wish death on anyone that wasn’t a villain, but if Kazakano could just fucking retire, they had a supporter they could slot in as his sucessor. The old fool was 93! Why is he staying?

He only spent a few moments on each person. His primary task was to find the people that had been injured and need assistance. Cementoss was out in the field, and he would use his quirk to save the people.

There wasn’t really anyone too interesting. Although one kid with a bird head had some sort of demon coming out of him, another was using blades to cut into vulnerable areas. There was an invisible girl who was sneaking up on the robots and deactivating them (He wants her. With training, she’d be a good underground hero.)

Then two people, in separate arenas, grab his attention. The first was Akatani Mikumo. The name sounded familiar for some reason… Eh, whatever. What was unusual, however, was how much control Akatani had over his fire quirk, concentrating it into a beam attack, and knew around how much to use, not exceeding that amount. Definitely very skilled.

Could he be Dotai?

Nah. More likely he was an Endeavor fanboy who liked the hero for his power (and ignored his excessive use of force) and copied some of his moves. Although he was a lot more competent than what was clearly and Endeavor fanboy in testing ground G, because they were just throwing fire everywhere. It wasn’t doing much of anything though, being too cold to melt the robot.

The second student to catch his eye was Saito Hakka. They had a quirk very similar to that of Blast’s, but they used it in a different way. Blast tended to only use his quirk in specific situations, while Shouta could see from here the strain on Saito’s arms from overusing his explosions.

He looked over and All Might and Nezu were having their own conversation in hushed tones. Whatever it was, it clearly wasn’t for him to know so he left.


Izuku was nervous.

It had been a whole week since the entrance exams. He had packed everything up and was ready to move into the dorms, but there was only one thing in his way.

The acceptance letter. He still hadn’t gotten it. Izuku made sure to check his PO box but nothing was there.

Oh well, Might as well go out as Dotai.

His patrol was uneventful.

 

The next morning, he had a good feeling about the day, so after grabbing some breakfast food at a gas station, he went over to his P.O. box and fished out a letter. It was from UA!

And it was heavy.

Opening it up revealed a projector. When it activated, it showed All Might, all smiles and crazy muscles, explained that he had passed. More accurately, that he had actually tied for first place, securing 47 villain points, and revealing that he had gotten an extra 37 rescue points.

This was his time.

 

Despite being so excited to actually be at UA, he had been nervous the night before and had gone out as Dotai, meaning that now walking into UA, he was five minutes before he was late.

When he opened the door to class 1-A he saw a few familiar faces. Iida and Uraraka were there, as was Shouto.

But then he saw him.

It was unmistakably him, blond spiky hair and all.

 

Kacchan.

Chapter Text

Aizawa Shouta was familiar with loss.

It was a simple fact of being a hero, you couldn’t save everyone, no matter how strong you are. Even All Might, the world’s greatest hero and the Symbol of Peace, couldn’t save everyone. He had learned that lesson pretty early on in his hero career, and it had stuck with him the rest of his life. Apparently not everyone was as familiar with loss as he had been. Not even every hero.

Why he had let Nemuri convince him to be a teacher, he had no idea. Even though he was a good teacher (a surprise to everyone, including him.) his students had no idea what they were getting into. Heroics was something to take seriously, and he rarely saw it.

It was rare that his students were any good. Last year he had expelled the entire bunch, they thought the only thing they needed was a strong, flashy quirk and a loud personality and they were dead-set to be heroes. They didn’t know the first thing about being a real hero.

That’s why he hated the entrance exam. It promoted the archetype of the hero with a strong, flashy quirk, despite that not being everything. Best Jeanist and Edgeshot didn’t have the flashiest quirks, and yet they were ranked at #4 and #5 respectively. Edgeshot had even been an underground hero for a while.

There had been a few people in the class assigned to him this year that he would keep an eye on. Three in particular. He has observed them during their respective exams and they seemed different than the crowd. Like they had years of experience in fighting, using their quirks in a combat role. In other words, they had much more experience with their quirks than was expected of a first-year at UA, almost to a concerning degree.

The first had been Akatani Mikumo. 

He had met the potential problem child before, two years ago at some cafe he had forgotten the name of in Yokohama. He remembered having vented about some of his missions and problems to him. He had acted odd, but that’s probably due to his personality. Still he should keep a close eye on him, because his senses were telling him something was off. Especially when he listed his mailing address at a PO box. But maybe his parents had some secrecy obsession or whatever. It wouldn’t be the first time, especially with a course as high-risk as heroics. The dorms existed for a reason, after all. They didn’t want a repeat of what had happened last year.

The second student that had a PO box was Saito Hakka, who was also on his list. He had scored the most villain points, getting seventy-seven. Along with seven rescue points, that had tied him with Atakani, who also got 84 points, 37 of which were rescue points. Shouta also sensed something was off around him. 

The third had been Todoroki Shouto. One of the pro hero Endeavor’s sons. Shouta wouldn’t be lying if he thought the deaths of Todoroki Izuku and Touya were suspicious. Apparently Endeavor saw fit to send his son here despite the controversy. 

All three of them had things about them that didn’t add up. All three of them had far too much experience with their quirks, and fighting in general.

That’s why instead of doing what he usually did and walk in right as class started, he was on the floor wrapped in his sleeping bag. He could still see and hear practically everything that went on in the classroom, and it was almost impossible to see him. 

Today was Friday, where they would deal with all the introductory stuff (or his special twist, he thought with a grin), they would get moved to the dorms over the weekend, and Monday would start classes for real.

It would be the only week where they get a 2-day break.

It was a break for him to patrol. Because Dotai and Blast moved their base of operations from Yokohama to Musutafu eight and six months ago respectively. He still wasn’t sure why they had up and moved. With All Might also moving to the city four months before either of them, crime was on the decline. He had reached out to some of his other contacts, both other underground heroes and various vigilantes. The only one that had been even remotely helpful was the vigilante Black Ice, who suggested that they had been following a villain group or maybe Blast was following Dotai for some reason. Black Ice had also moved to Musutafu, hunting for answers. Shouta liked the vigilante, he was a useful contact and his quirk was interesting.

On the other end, Trip had been unhelpful. As he expected. He doesn’t know why anyone tolerates that little shit.

The first of his students began to trickle in, his brain quickly providing the name of the students as well as some information about them after reading up on some information. Iida Tenya was the first to arrive, sitting down almost robotically in his seat. Thankfully, from what he knows, he’s not like Tensei. Thank goodness. He already has to deal with Tensei’s crazy ideas, he doesn’t want to deal with a second one. Although Iida might be too far on the other side. He’ll have to look into it.

Asui Tsuyu. Her frog mutation quirk makes her a decent all-around fighter, both in combat and rescue situations. No real weaknesses that he could notice. But there was definitely room for improvement.

He can hear a conversation between the two, Iida waving his hands around and an occasional “kero.” coming from Asui. Thankfully they don’t seem adversarial, the conversation seems mutually respectful. Good. Your all heroes here, no need to adversarial.

Yaoyorozu Momo walked in next, one of the students admitted on recommendation. From what he’s seen, her quirk is quite powerful, but she didn’t do as well as he had expected. He should look into that. 

Ah, it seems that she at least is friendly, at least to Iida and Asui.

That’s good. He doesn’t want more Problem Children. 3 is way more than enough. He would have to spend extra time to see what they could do.

One by one each of his students enter his classroom. There’s at least a decent variety of quirks here. He sees Hagakure (or rather, a floating costume he’s 99% sure is Hagakure) talk to Ashido. The two of them have similar personalities, and their conversation is very energetic. How they can be so energetic this early in the morning, he has no idea.

While watching the interactions, he added a fourth name to the potential Problem Child list: Kamakiri Togaru.

Kamakiri, from the profile he had seen, was similar to Tokoyami in that his mutation wasn’t directly connected to his quirk, Sharp Edge. His personality was as sharp as his quirk, and he hasn’t really connected with anybody yet. Shouta hoped he figured out why he wants to be a hero.

Todoroki and Saito both arrive and sit down normally. Saito loudly yelling at anybody trying to talk to him, and Todoroki just plain ignoring everyone. Saito put his legs on a desk, and Iida ran up to him talking about proper form and behavior. Huh. He would make a good class rep. But he did need to loosen up a bit. Following the rules is one thing, but asking someone to pick their feet off of their desks because it’s disrespectful to the makers of the desk is pushing it a bit too far. From what Shouta knows these desks are manufactured by the millions in Ethiopian and American factories. The desks take minutes to build. Nobody really cares about them.

The two of them didn’t even seem to want to interact with anybody, others interacted with them.

That was until Atakani walked through the door.

All three of their faces lit up with a particular expression that he didn’t like seeing at all.

 

The face of seeing someone alive that you thought was long dead.

That was NEVER a good sign, especially when they’re so young.

Oh he’s definitely going to look into this. If he didn’t have suspicions about something fishy going on now, he most certainly did now.

Something very, very wrong was going on.

Izuku’s mind went a mile a minute, desperately trying to figure out a way to delay this. He raised his finger to his mouth and mouthed “later”, pointing in the direction of Aizawa. Shouto and Kaccan both sat down, seemingly assuaged by his half-baked explanation. 

His seat was right behind Kacchan, and a few seats ahead of Shouto. The two of them do deserve an explanation, and there will be one, but not under the watchful eye of Aizawa Shouta, also known as the Pro Hero Eraserhead.

Also known as the one hero that has been trailing him when he’s doing his vigilante work.

“It took you all twelve seconds to calm down and sit. That’s not rational. Time is precious don’t waste it.”

‘Wait? Mr. Eraserhead you spent like ten seconds explaining how not to waste twelve seconds. I know better than everyone that time is precious, but I’m not gonna make a fuss over a handful of seconds.’ Izuku thought. He didn’t say it aloud, because that would be rude.

The scraggly pro hero grabbed some gym uniforms out of his sleeping bag somehow. “Put these on and meet me outside in fifteen minutes.”

Izuku grabbed the uniform with his name on it (Well, his fake name), and walked into the locker room to change quickly. They spent the first few minutes giving introductions about themselves.

“Wooahh Akatani, where did you get those scars from?” Came a voice from behind him. He turned around to see that one of his classmates with striking red hair. (It was dyed, Izuku noticed. He could see the faint colors of black and bleached blond in the roots of their hair.) Kirishima was their name, the name popping into his head suddenly.

“I would rather not say Kirishima, I hope that’s okay.” Izuku responded in a level tone. He didn’t like how the other boys were already looking in his direction. (Except Mineta, but it looked like he was looking in the direction of the girl’s locker room.)

“No that’s fine Atakani!” Kirishima said, raising his hands defensively. “I won’t push it!”

They finished changing and went out to see what Aizawa had for them.

 

When they finally found the outside gym area, and the girls were with them, Aizawa started his explanation. “You all got out here much quicker than I expected. Good. Finding out where you are and where you need to be quickly is a good skill to learn as a hero.

“Now. What we are doing is a quirk assessment test. During middle school, all of you did physical assessment tests without your quirks. This is illogical. Quirks are as much a part of the human body as arms and legs are. The ministry of education has the foolish thoughts that it makes people equal. Now I’m not saying that you are only your quirk, but quirks do need to be taken into account.

“Saito, you got the most combat points during the entrance exam. How far could you throw a softball during middle school?”

Izuku saw Kacchan jolt out of the corner of his eye. Huh, that’s weird. As much as Izuku should tell his story to Kacchan and Shouto, Kacchan should tell his story. Like why he’s using a fake name.

“About sixty meters or so.” Kacchan finally responded after a few seconds. Izuku knew that it was a made-up figure on the spot.

Aizawa tossed a ball in the blonde’s direction. “Ok throw it now, using your quirk.”

With the yell of “Die!” and an explosion the ball surged forward. After an additional dozen or so seconds the ball landed. The scraggly hero pulled out his cell phone to show some sort of tracker. It read “697.5 meters” 

“This is the real world, the world of quirks. This is what you’re expected to beat and overcome in order to be the best heroes you can be.” Aizawa said.

“Oh! This sounds like fun!” A pink-skinned girl said.

Izuku caught a glint in their pro hero teacher’s eye. It was similar to what he was like on the hunt. His eyes glinted red and his capture scarf and hair began to float. (How? That’s one of the many mysteries of Aizawa.)

“Fun? You think this is fun? Very well then, the person who scores the lowest amount of points will be judged to have no hope and will be expelled.”

From the moment those words escaped the pro heroes lips Izuku knew that he was lying. Aizawa wasn’t the type to discriminate against those with weaker quirks, like the invisible girl. Her quirk didn’t give her a bonus on any of the tests.

Despite Izuku knowing that Aizawa was lying, he still did the best he could. Stealing moves from Endeavor again, pushing out his fire to propel himself, and in the times between tests, absorbing ambient heat from the air. It wasn’t enough to replenish what he lost, but it was enough that his reservoir didn’t replenish.

Throughout the tests Izuku noticed that Shouto didn’t use his fire at all. He had been using his fire six years back… but a lot can happen in six years…

Izuku should know.

Izuku was also looking at everyone else using their various quirks, from a frog girl using her abilities to Uraraka getting a score of Infinity on the ball throw to Tokoyami summoning a fucking demon from his body and a raven-haired girl pulling all sorts of objects from her arms and stomach. 

After all was said and done Aizawa pulled out a board. “It’s illogical to say all the names so I’m just going to show the results here.

 

  • Yaoyorozu Momo.
  • Todoroki Shouto
  • Saito Hakka
  • Akatani Mikumo
  • Tokoyami Fumikage
  • Iida Tenya
  • Asui Tsuyu
  • Shouji Mezo
  • Uraraka Ochako
  • Ojiro Mashirao
  • Sero Hanta
  • Kirishima Eijirou
  • Ashido Mina
  • Sato Rikido
  • Kaminari Denki
  • Koji Koda
  • Jiro Kyouka
  • Aoyama Yuga
  • Minoru Mineta
  • Hagakure Tooru

 

Izuku saw (well, maybe not saw…) the invisible girl pale when her name showed up in last place.

“Oh by the way, none of you are getting expelled. It was just a logical ruse!” Aizawa said with a creepy grin on his face.

“Well of course it was a logical ruse!” Exclaimed the raven-haired girl (Yaoyorozu according to what the chart showed) “It was the quickest and easiest way for us to show our best!”

Also that Aizawa wanted to see how people stack up

“That concludes the first day. Be at the dorms with your stuff by 1800 hours. There’s a syllabus for each one of you in the classroom. Pick it up, or don’t. The course might change dramatically over the year depending.”

Well thanks Aizawa for a clear message.

There’s a storage center right outside the UA gates, so Izuku went there and moved the stuff from his house. Now it was just a quick jaunt from the storage center to the school. As he’s walking out, loaded with boxes and bags, he sees Kacchan walking out of a nearby storage unit, also carrying piles of things.

“Hey Zuku! You’re shit was here too!” Kacchan said to him.

“Yeah pretty much.” Zuku replied almost lazily, drifting off in thought. “Hey Kacchan, why do you have a fake name?”

“I’ll tell you and half-n-half later, since I can read a fuckin’ newspaper.”

The two of them walked into the dorms and set it up.

Then Izuku went to Shouto and Kacchan. “Meet in my dorm as soon as you can. We can talk there.”

 

In the time of ten minutes, the three of them were in Izuku’s room.

And so he began his story.