Chapter 1: Prologue
Deku wouldn’t consider himself insane, most people that were insane didn’t think they were. But Deku would say that he had a pretty sound mind and a pretty good grasp on reality. He at one point or another was an optimist but his time with the league had really made him a realist. Things were how they were and reality was often disappointing.
Deku knew better than anyone that not all men were created equal...
It was not hard to believe that people would like to keep living in their sheltered bubbles, not really. People liked things to stay the status quo. Now they might say they want things to change but really they liked things to happen in a relatively predictable pattern. Deku had always been good at picking up what predictable patterns were and how to reproduce them in order to blend in or subvert those expectations when he needed to make plans for the League or to get himself out of the many terrible situations that he had put himself into.
No, he was not insane but he could have little moments where he just turned off the more rational side of his brain. See that side of his brain would have said that playing along nicely with the police officers would be the best option for him. Letting Katsuki and All Might’s grand idea of getting a misguided kid the help that he desperately needed. That part of his brain was the slightly smarter side, but it was also the side that would be doing what's best for him and not what was best for others.
His friends needed guidance and they needed to be empowered rather than break down without him. They needed each other more than ever. He knew they could do great things with the fragments that he had left them. He also knew that if he took the easy out he would be betraying them in a way. He loved them even if it was not the best thing to do. He could not call them evil or paint them in a dark light because it would be slightly untrue.
Yes they could be bad people and yes they were capable of pretty horrible things but that did not mean that they were completely bad. Kurogiri was a classic example. He was a sweeper he had killed God knew how many people but he also was the one to take Deku in and keep him safe. Kuro took bullets to protect others. Tomura was growing as well. He wanted to help the people that had been traded into the quirk trade, he wanted to help the people that were abused in his town. Even Toga was growing up into stabbing only people that really deserve it. There was potential to them and he had to let them know that they were capable of it. That he believed in them to carry on the work without him.
So because of his big mouth, he had landed himself a one-way ticket to the funny farm and that term was a fitting description of the place. The people here were not exactly people. That was a bit demeaning for him to say. He didn’t completely mean it that way but it was hard not to think of it as a farm. The animals or rather the parents stumbled around, some made moaning noises, some randomly screamed, and there were a few that would cry randomly. These people were really crazy. And he was there with them locked in his pen watching the many farmers skidder about prodding parents back towards their own pens of multiple person carrels.
Deku was new, he was also tiny and a lot younger than most of the people that were on his block. They were mostly older people and one of them that was balding liked to eat his toenails. He had offered Deku one and he had declined politely because the man was clearly not all there and Deku picked up on the fact that since he ate his nails and seemed to like them, that offering him one was probably a ‘kind’ gesture.
As a new person, his time consisted of his cell, eating, and waiting for his doctor assignment. His first days had been more of them explaining the rules to him. Now if that wasn’t boring. Deku could sum up all the rules in about five words. Don’t hurt anyone, be nice.
He was pretty sure that he was in hell because he was losing brain cells just sitting there watching the people around him. He did when no one was watching him look about his cell and think about ways to escape. The only problem was that most cells were designed for people with quirks in mind so most of the things in the room were reinforced.
Now having a quirk did not mean that someone would know how to use it to escape and it did not mean that one had to use their quirk to escape. It just meant that the chances to escape were going to be a little bit harder.
He was on the first floor, the new person's wing, he would be moved based on his meeting with his new therapist or whatever. Now Deku had to play that game of cards really well. It was best that he seemed like a liar and a compulsive one at that. He did not want it to become apparent that he was good at stealing things. While the rooms did not have that many hiding spots Deku was going to collect the things that he would need to get himself out. He already was taking note of the times that guards were moving about and which ones could possibly be exploited.
Deku did not feel like sitting around and waiting to be rescued. He loved his family, and he had full faith that they would try to break him out. But if he could get himself out then well that was probably a bit easier on everyone. Deku knew how to disappear he had done it enough. All he needed was to get out and the couple miles back to civilization.
Deku had taken note of the roads to take when they were driving him to the facility. He knew exactly where he was and he knew that there was 2 miles of field in each direction. Easy to spot a running person and low cover. But Deku was fast. He could run that 2 miles if he pushed himself in less than 12 minutes at top speed. There were cameras from what he could tell but most of them were located in the halls, not the cells. They would be easy enough to dismantle. Deku needed a paperclip or even a staple would do. He felt along his bed.
There were springs deep in the mattress it seemed. So that might be where he got his metal piece that could work with dealing with the screws on the window or messing around with the hinge mechanisms on the doors.
It would be some trial and error. He stood to look like he was looking out the barred window. As he played testing the window pane. That was thicker the glass seemed to be the type that would be shatterproof but it might be possible to damage the frame itself and pop the glass out.
“Izuku.” A strong voice called his name he turned and smiled at the man.
He liked smiling it had the ability to unnerve some people and it gave others a false sense of security.
“Deku.” He corrected out of habit more so than anything else.
“I'm not calling you by that name. See this uniform it says Izuku on it that's what I’m calling you.” The guard dropped the clothing onto the other side of the bars.
Time was weird at the place as if it crawled and Deku was far from stimulated. That was one of the nice things about living with the league there was never a dull moment. Here there were just thousands of them. Prison would have been at least a bit more interesting least from what Deku had heard. He had put quite a few people behind bars. So there would be the welcome chance of someone trying to kill him. Maybe he really was slightly crazy.
A week passed and he hadn’t really been out of his cell. He knew the tools he would need to plot an escape. He knew the people in his hall's names. He had counted to 1208 tiles on the floor that lead to the hallway.
It was day 9 when he met with the person that would be assigned to be his doctor. She was a small woman. Shriveled would be a good word to describe her, she was old and hunched in on herself. She looked like she could be snapped in half if Deku was to apply pressure on her shoulders. His hands were in handcuffs not that such an action would really matter. If Deku wanted them off then Deku would take them off and it would be a rather easy thing to do. The room was cramped and had the smell of old furniture that perhaps had mold in it.
The old woman didn’t seem to notice. The walls had nothing on them, no pictures, or posters. The place had bricks to count and that was all.
“My name is Dr. Satō.” The woman talked like she had smoked a thousand cigarettes in her years.
“Deku.” He stated.
“That really isn’t your name though, its Izuku.” The old woman moved to sit a bit straighter in her chair.
“I prefer Deku.” He repeated, testing the waters to see what she would do.
“Izuku, you made quite the scene in front of the court the other day.” The old woman folded bone-like hands over each other clasping them in front of her. “I know you must have done this to make a strong show of loyalty to your organization, but I assure you, you can tell the truth here.”
“Truth?” Deku blinked at her.
“Yes, the truth about how you came to be in their services and what they forced you to do.”
“They didn’t force me.” Deku felt a bit of anger start to creep its way into his tone. “I chose to help them.”
“Of course you would feel that you have to continue to deny their influence.” The old woman nodded her head not listening at all to him. “They can’t hurt you here, no one can. You can talk to me about what really happened.”
“What really happened was I sought them out and joined them. There was no forcing, there was nothing holding me there but a want to be there.”
Deku hated this already.
“Perhaps you would feel more comfortable in a place that you normally would talk to others and relax in.”
The room shifted and changed to the bar. It was the original one with the fine hardwood bartop and the old jukebox. The small tables were even set up. This was what home looked like, felt like, it would always be home even if it was far away or destroyed. But it was not real. This place was long gone. All Might had seen to that, right along with All for One.
“Get out of my head.” He hissed. The room shook slightly.
“I am not in your head, that would be rude.” The doctor was sitting on one of the bar stools. “I just took what calming thought crossed your mind loud enough for me to hear. I can pick up on some emotions and project them. You want to go home so here we are.”
“This place doesn’t exist anymore.” Deku glared at her. “It's fake.”
“I did it to help calm you.” The woman started. ”Perhaps you would feel better talking to someone you trust.”
Deku cut her off knowing that the form that she would take would be Kuro or Tomura. “I prefer reality. I had one of your kind in my head before and I don’t want a repeat experience.”
The place shifted to that warehouse because Deku must have projected enough emotion to take her there interesting. The chair he had been strapped to was sitting in the middle of the room, the tools sat on a tray, and Dr. Wrinkly looked around herself horrified.
Deku smiled a bit. “You want to know the truth about my life?”
The fun thing about mind quirks was the person that was using it was vulnerable to someone with a strong mind. Nora could only make suggestions. The doctor apparently could only project what his emotions were. She perhaps could try to curb the emotions she felt and suggest other things, but Deku could pull her along. And because she did not know where he would drag her and because Deku was rather good at controlling his emotions he could make her think they were headed in one direction and shove her into another.
Usually, he wouldn't do something like this. But if he was going to be in a mental hospital and people thought that they would be able to prance around his mind they had other thing coming. The scene changed to the rooftop where he had thought about jumping. All Might was there and so was Katsuki there were shadows stretching around them.
The projection stopped and the old woman looked at him a bit wide-eyed. She probably was not used to people figuring out how to mess with her quirk so fast. Deku just stared at her and then smiled a tad.
The doctor stood up and called for the guards and Deku was returned to his cell and all was well enough with the world because he had almost gotten out a small metal spring out of his bed to start to mess with the door and window of his cell.
The air was the kind of cold that there was nothing warm that a person could wear to take the edge off or keep the cold out. The wind kept blowing and sending sharp cold bursts through his hoodie. He kept his hands carefully in his pockets. His finger tracing one of the seems. His hair would crash into his face every so often and he would have to take one of his hands out and brush it backwards, it was getting too long. He would have to cut it eventually.
His eyes scanned the narrow streets around him. There was hardly a soul on the street, whether it was the cold that drove them to their homes or the fear of the unknown Tomura did not know. He kept his hood up just to be safe and his face well hidden under his red scarf. It had been a gift from Deku, one of the few that Tomura liked. It had a little bit of glitter in it that wouldn't come out from the card, but Tomura still liked it sparkles and all.
He really should not be out and about. The way things were he should have stayed in his room. Heroes if they could be called that were working overtime trying to find the League. They were trying to shut down anyone's conversations about them. Forums were shut down as soon as they were started the only people allowed to have opinions it seemed were government officials and media mouthpieces that agreed with the status quo.
Tomura was pissed about it, but there was nothing that he could do about it. Izuku was the one that was good at technology, so was Compress and both of them were locked away. Compress landed himself in Tartarus and Kurogiri was really worried about his love being looked up in the worst of the worst prisons. Tomura was more worried about Izuku in the insane asylum because he knew that they had some physics and mind quirk people there.
He shifted his gaze to the corner where a man was talking to a woman. She took a small bag from him and Tomura adverted his eyes. He didn't care how people choose to live their lives as long as it didn't affect others and he didn't have drug trade wars in his side of town.
His mind shifted easily back to the asylum and everything that he had started to read about the place. It was a place certainly for the insane, the staff there had the ability to "fix" minds. Tomura hated the idea of people entering another's head. It sounded violating and Tomura was mentally pretty messed up already he didn't want anyone digging around in there. There were too many painful memories lurking in the shadows of his mind, too many things that needed to stay pushed back out of thought.
Tomura still wished he was the on that got to kill Nora. She deserved it for what she had done to Izuku. Izuku had nightmares and after Tomura had started reluctantly talking with Hitishi because the teen needed someone now that Izuku was gone. He had even more reason to hate her. She was lucky Izuku ended her because Tomura would have prolonged it. That was probably very twisted of him, but he didn't care. She had gotten off easy in his opinion after all she had done. Her body was somewhere in the water he was passing.
He kicked a pebble and watched it roll. The waves crashed against the shoreline and he paused to watch them. The sea breeze made the air even colder and he watched as he breath circled around him like cigarette smoke. Dabi was out and about too, he probably had found a nice cozy corner to enjoy a good smoke. Tomura wished he wouldn't do that. It made the burn victim smell horrible and Dabi really didn't need anything else to be causing his body physical damage. The idiot was going to smoke himself into an early grave by either using his quirk too much or by getting cancer from the death sticks he seemed to crave. Tomura would disintegrate them if he could but having Dabi pissed off at him when he needed him was a stupid idea.
Tomura's hands hurt slightly from the cold, he knew they would get drier and more cracked the longer he stayed out, but he just curled them tighter and closer to himself. He did not want to go back. He needed to move. He had been sitting by too long.
He moved along the road closer to the docks. Months ago this was where they had started their crusade against the quirk traders and the fucking kidnappers for the sex trade.
Tomura shook a bit with anger that those people existed. There were a lot of things that made him angry, he would admit that. But of the things that made his blood boil to the point of where he could see red and lost control was anything that involved younger children. Tomura didn't count anyone older than 14 a kid anymore. Izuku had been a classic example of maturity that they were capable of. He could justify attacking UA students that were already being trained and indoctrinated into the messed up versions of the word hero that the city wanted. They got little to no sympathy from Tomura he was fine killing them if he had to.
He had been called a hero that night now that he thought about it. And he had even been high off the feeling of helping others. Tomura had never been looked at like that before. No one had ever looked his way and held any emotion besides contempt, with the exception of Izuku and the makeshift family he now was a part of.
It was strange to have people thank him and he could see why people would want to save others for a living. Praise was something that one could fill themselves up with. It was something that took away that hole in his chest that told him he would never be good enough, that no matter what he did he could not fix the things he hated about the world. He had a lot of hate to go around his life had been shit before Sensei and it had been shit after him as well. Least he had a few people that cared about him. He might reluctantly admit he cared about them as well. The League having its own purpose had a least helped to curb some of his anger giving it a target.
Praise was good he supposed but he agreed with Izuku that it could not be the sole reason that it was done. Being a hero was more than or should have been more than trying to make yourself feel better. Though he supposed that was mostly what he was doing it for, to make himself feel better.
Izuku did it because he wanted to help others, he really believed that the world could be saved. Not the way it was currently, but that there were people worth saving. Tomura would agree to that. there were people that were not the scum of the earth, there were people that were good. He knew that. He had felt that from the moment that he started to connect with Deku.
But good people were hard to come by and the system turned out fake good people all the time. It made idols to worship and made it possible for people to do the bare minimum and still feel satisfied. It was easy to justify not helping those that needed it when you thought someone else would do it for you. It was that logic that had landed him with Sensei. If people cared enough to help him then perhaps he would not be against them. Perhaps he wouldn't want to just tare everything down.
It was easy to be someone that liked to fight and have power and use the title hero to inflict violence. People called Tomura violent. They called him a monster but Tomura was more than happy to show them just how violent their very system had become. Izuku had helped with that. He poured onto the internet countless examples of camera footage. It was taken down immediately or at least people tried to cover it up as fast as possible, but there were still pockets of videos hidden and that was there still circling on the deeper web.
Some people were calling Izuku a liar that the camera footage was taken out of context. Tomura scuffed at that. They could try to justify it all they wanted. He wouldn't allow it. He was going to hunt them down. He had the tools. He was no God at technology like Deku but he was smart enough to do something. He had to do it before Izuku alone.
Gathering information was a bit slower, but Toga and Hitoshi were good tools in that department. They both made good scouts as Hitoshi could make people talk to him, influence them to get him things that he needed and Toga could literally become the person. She was teaching Hitoshi the ropes. Perhaps because she felt bad that the teen seemed to have no one else to turn to anymore. It was best that Hitoshi quit being sheltered. He knew that Deku would have thrown a few choice words about Tomura assigning Hitoshi to things that the young teen would not be comfortable doing, but to win a war against heroes and the government you had to break the rules and you had to sometimes do rather unsavory things. Tomura did not go out of his way to make Hitoshi do things but he definitely was making him pull his weight. They needed all members working and training. They did not have the time or resources to waste people.
They also had a little girl to watch over but Kuro was working on that. Tomura would take over when he did not have to give his complete attention to something. He was a lot more stressed as of late. His neck suffered from it too. Everyone was looking at him for what to do. He had gotten them through the whole craziness with Overhaul so he got it, but he never realized just how much shit Izuku must have taken care of before it got to him to deal with. The others were starting to become real pains in his ass and if he didn’t get out every now and then he would start to say things that he would regret.
Tomura looked up at the sky as thick clouds floated by. It looked like rain. He watched the movement of the few city's planted trees with little change in his expression. Things were still. There were not as many people out and about, there should have been more even if it was cold, at least with where he was now. Things were stirring and the air just felt charged. Perhaps people were waiting for the police to come by again to try to interrogate people again to see if they knew anything about the League and where they were. Tomura did not approve of the shakedowns, but he was happy that people kept their mouths shut about the League, and that the violence was pushing more and more people into their corner.
The people in this district knew Tomura's group. They knew that they had been protecting them from the violence that plagued other areas. They knew that the League would throw any power that came to the neighborhood to cause unnecessary trouble would be dealt with. He was sure they also blamed them for the part of town that was destroyed. Deku had been shifting funds around to try to force the government to fix the damage. There were still things that were not fixed and Tomura had little access to things like funds anymore without Compress.
Tomura paused to put his hand on one of the bent railings in front of the massive hole to an old shop.
This was what a world of heroes too concerned with fighting villains brought. It brought destruction and broken homes and livelihoods.
His quirk activated and started to crumble there reamining railing. He watched it flake apart with no enjoyment, the wind carried the dust away, it reminded him a bit of snow.
He wanted to burn it all down.
He wanted to level the city and start over.
It would be easier than trying to weed out who was good and who wasn't. Dabi had once said that they were all walking sin counters and Tomura agreed. Everyone had things that they did that were unsavory and the people in this country were no exception.
There were so many places that just needed to be completely demolished, like all the monuments to fake heroes. All the hero agencies that made a living out of selling their services to people.
He wanted to deal with the evil that had arisen in the wake of Deku.
He wanted to stop this so-called Liberation group that had twisted Deku's words around and were stirring in the background.
He wanted to stop a lot of things.
Tomura might as well add to his counter make it impossibly high if it insured that people that were disgusting were no longer running things, that they were disposed of.
Deku wouldn't want him to destroy everything. He would be opposed to burning it all down. Tomura knew that. He also wouldn't want Tomura to kill everyone that he felt deserved it. Deku would find some other way to deal with corruption.
But Tomura did not know if they had time or resources enough to find weaknesses and carefully exploit them. Tomura could threaten people and he could hurt them that was easy enough.
But how many people did he give a pass to?
How many should he spare?
These were things that Deku would have known the answer to. These were things that would have been helpful to have picked up on.
Where was the balance?
What were the best things to obliterate and what were the best things to try to salvage?
Because if he were looking at the police and officials that were tarring up the city to suppress everyone, looking at the terrible people that were running Izuku's name through the mud and his mother's, looking at the supposed heroes defending the wrongdoers, and the good people they put away...
Looking at all the hardship and terror.
Just looking at all of that piled up together.
Made Tomura want to kill them all, every last one of them.
Comments, feedback, and questions are always welcome.
Chapter 3: Katsuki
One morning he just disappeared.
He didn't go to school, he left the dorms and just kept walking.
He didn't tell anyone where he was going. He did not tell them what he was doing.
He packed barley any of his belongings, just enough to get by for a couple of days, he didn't write a note explaining himself. He didn't take his phone. He just took the train all the way down to the last stop. The Eastern District was known by the slang term Shadyville everyone knew that was where the villains and crime lords rained. Yes, there were bad areas sprinkled in across the city but the Eastern District was the worst so that was where Katsuki wanted to go first.
He had a decision to make. One that was not an easy choice. He had been out of school because of the trails and because of suspension for a few weeks. In those few weeks, he was witness to all the craziness the media and politicians were pushing out. He had to know if it was possible to change anything on the hero side. And to know that Katsuki needed to know exactly how sick the city was and where the reality was in the lies that the country was pushing.
He had to know if heroes or heroes in training could have the power to change anything... anything at all.
He knew he was a kid. He got that people could stop reminding him all the fucking time. He was going to be a sophomore, but that didn't really mean anything. 16 was a kid to anyone that was older than him and thought that they knew better. So even if he learned something they might just not listen to him. But damn it, he had to know where the issues were, where the city was sick, and at least offer solutions that did not involve killing everyone or threatening them like Izuku did. If his solutions weren't herd then he might give it up.
Screw devoting himself to something that he would not make a difference doing. He liked the title hero less and less the more he heard it used, the more that it was twisted to be an image that none could ever aspire to be.
All Might had been the symbol of peace. He had been one to save thousands and put hundreds behind bars. He was supposed to embody everything that a hero aut to be. But Katsuki was not as blind as he was when he signed up to try out for UA.
He knew what All Might was now. He was a person someone that was capable of mistakes and one so happened to be crushing Izuku's dreams of being a hero based on a stereotype that people without quirks could not hope to be much more than average citizens, that they needed to be protected and sheltered.
All Might was human.
People were human and it was not possible to be perfect and yet that was what heroes were described as, needed to act like. It was probably why people like Eraser Head stood out so much. They were not that typical carbon cut out.
Every hero seemed to fit a mold. Katsuki had only really started to realize it as of late. Hero names needed to be things that sounded cool and flashy. it could not be things that remotely could sound Villain like. Heroes had to censor their speak to look good in the public eye. Quirks had to be flashy in order to be marketable because all good heroes should endorse some sorta product.
The more he thought about it the more sickening it had become. To think that they as students had to market themselves in tournaments to show their skills, and it was made into a sport that people around the world could watch...
There was something very wrong with the title hero. And yet Katsuki had always wanted to be one. he had wanted to take down evil where it lurked and punch it in the face.
How did you punch homelessness in the face? Or poverty?
He just had to see what Deku saw. He had to lower his guarded perceptions of how the world should be and the reality of it.
So the first thing he did was flatten his natural spikey hair down and put it under a thick hat to block most of the color. he left his UA uniform as that would be a dead give away. Katsuki wanted to know what the streets were like, actually like. He couldn't do that if he had a major target on his back. He had to blend in, if he wanted to gauge everything properly. Izuku had dyed his hair and had changed up his style so that was what Katsuki did. He put on rather plain clothing that he would never wear normally and a thick coat that hid his mass well. He didn't touch his hair because he was not set on leaving UA just yet.
Even if he did not agree with most of the things that were going on, even if he saw himself a bit on the grayscale of morals and characteristics. He did not know if he should give up completely on the Hero side of things. He had to know what the world was like outside of the place that he had lived his whole life, his small sheltered side of town, and UA's thick protective walls. He had to know if what they were teaching him really would hold up. where the values that they learned about in school still true enough when applied to some of the worst areas.
Were the laws that were in place even helpful and really for protection? Or was it all just as Deku claimed ways in which to control people? Opress some of them?
Becaue he could see sort of both and had seen some of the bullshit policies first hand, he had been on the receiving end of them. He had heard some complaints when he was on his internship with Rosso. Who he planned to again visit even if it was not as a hero in training.
He could learn a lot from people that were actually trying to bring change to the world.
The streets to the city were near empty people that had nowhere else to be seemed to be the only people that were out about. Some were sitting curled up with blankets in front of boarded-up shops. The area had taken a hit. he could see now in person the damage that All Might and All for One's battle had done to the city. Things were leveled and while most of the debris was gone the holes of where homes or shops would have been were still there. The air was cold and he rubbed his hands together, his quirk never worked that well in the extream cold. He had to have sweat to use his quirk and it was hard to keep things like hands really warm in this type of weather.
This area needed help so where were heroes to take care of this? where was the money to rebuild?
He moved around the town for a few hours feeling the cold set into his bones. People looked at him. He did not blend in enough so he hid in an alley and dirtied himself with some dirt and trash so his bag and jacket and face were stained.
Most homeless or neighborhood residences stopped looking at him as hard and he started to shift between the front of shops and the back of them. Moving to more populated areas to see how stores were doing now that half of the area was gone. The closer he got to the nicer end of the Eastern District the more he noticed a change. Before when he looked cleanly people were going about their daily life, be it quickly getting what they needed and getting out, looked at him like he was normal like he was like them. Now they frowned at him and watched his every movement. As the day bled into night things started to change around him. People crept along the streets and sat in the front of shops others huddled together. Teens like him in ragged clothing hug around the ruins drawing on the bricks and tagging them.
They wrote over the top of the city papers stuck to the damage and drew out the shark-like teeth that once upon a time had been drawn on Deku's helmet.
For the most part, it seemed almost peaceful.
He could recognize the sell of drugs when he saw them, but he huddled himself in a corner and did not give any indication that the action bothered him. Drugs were going to be present on this side of town. The League had eliminated most of the selling turf wars by imposing themselves in on the deals and suppressing where they did not want it sold. Katsuki had thought after he found out that it was Izuku that was Deku that it had to be his former friend that was keeping the selling away from younger individuals but it was possible that other members had an influence.
He knew that the city officials blamed Villains and criminals for how bad the area was. Maybe that was true but there were certainly things he was noticing now that he was playing a homeless youth. Police in the area were kicking people away from the shops. Katsuki knew that it could be unsightly but he also knew that those were the warmest places. He settled in deeper to his corner. He did not sleep that night mostly because he was out in the open and he needed to be ready to do anything that he needed to do.
He ate a small granola bar for breakfast and made his way around. He eventually sat on a corner and watched the interactions between heroes and the people that were on the streets early that morning. they weren't exactly friendly with their questioning, but they were not forceful either. One gave Katsuki a scrutinizing look before making his way back towards his vehicle.
That was something else that Katsuki noted, the areas police, law enforcement, and heroes all were in cars they were not out walking the streets like they were where he was from. they were not outgoing they did not spend long talking to people.
It was completely different then what he was used to.
"You're in my spot." A man said. He was older his hair was gray and his skin was an ashen color. His clothes were tatters and his teeth were yellowed. He had a small bag that he was holding a larger blanket wrapped around him that was yellow and stained.
"Spot?" Katsuki raised an eyebrow.
"What are you deaf?" The man asked gruffly. "This is my spot."
Katsuki stood. "Explain to me and you can have it back."
So the really old and not so nice smelling man told Katsuki that the homeless had spots, spots were like territory used to sleep, find food, and beg. there was a code not to take people's spots unless you wanted to fight it out. It was survival Katsuki soon realized when you didn't know where your next meal was coming from, you guarded your spot some places allowed you to make more money than others. Some of the homeless banded together to battle the elements. Katsuki found himself just sitting in that spot having a long talk with the man that what accused him of encroaching in on his territory. That talk led to apparently fitting the okay standard to become part of a group and they all gathered around a fire that they had built using what they had gathered. The location was in one of the ruins. This one still had most of a roof.
It was there he got to talking about people's lives, things they held to be true and the state of the area. Some people had lost their jobs by the area being destroyed in a major villain fight, some had just rotten luck to start with. Somewhere addicted to things and they admitted it had ruined their lives. But most of them were not bad people. Many of them were deserving of sympathy. They lived off sympathy, though not all wanted to admit it. They wanted something to be done to help and claimed that heroes used to come and give blankets and food. Programs such as outreach were not as well funded anymore as the budget shifted not to solve the homeless problem they called it but to trying to control the gangs and drugs.
Some liked the League, things had gotten better according to a few of them. The league had halted a lot of the drug lords from coming to collect dues, they had stopped a lot of the kidnappings, and protection fees. Some hated them because after they had fallen down they had left a vacuum to sweep in. Overhaul was a monster whose name had become almost a curse word. He had taken many people to test his cure on them. He had recruited more, there were still people missing and the tunnels that had once been used as hiding places for the homeless became passageways for the criminals to move things around. Some had herd Deku's speech. They were not hopeful about change.
"Change never comes," An older woman shook her head. "It doesn't matter who is in charge, they promise many things but never deliver."
"I think it is time to take a stand." said another. "I mean this League want's to bring it about. They had stirred things before."
"Terrorists," the oldest of the men muttered. "Nothing but power-seeking. I heard Shigaraki is the son of All For One."
"I think they are revolutionists." said someone closer to Katsuki.
"Revolutionists or terrorists doesn't matter." the first woman shook her head. "Always ends up the same we're caught in the middle I say."
There were a lot of nods to that.
"What do you think boy?" The older man turned to him.
"I think the world's shit." He said plainly not wanting to give more than that away for his position, he had earned an in here. He had a way to learn more and he wouldn't risk it by giving a speech about what he did and didn't think heroism was or help looked like.
The man laughed at that, nodding his head and taking a sip of his water he had placed by the fire to stay unfrozen. "That it certainly is."
There was no real relief that came to help them, a hero did come by but he more of ignored the fact that they were hiding there. He more of just let them have the space, which according to Mitts named after her ability to literally steal anything with her sticky hands was a small blessing because depending who it was they could be charged for that.
"Stick with me kid." Mitts smiled her wrinkled face stretching a bit by the movement. "I'll teach you the ropes."
Katsuki nodded, "whatever you say, old lady."
He wanted to know more. He had packed for 3 days and he was reaching the end of the second. He felt like he was just starting to make headway. There was a lot to learn, a lot to take in.
"You remind me of Yuto." She shook her head, "always full of spunk."
"What happened to Yuto?" Katsuki asked plainly.
"Overhaul." Mitt's expression darkened a tad. "There was a hero that saw it too. He stood there and believed the yakuza that was sorta dragging him off. They had the advantage of looking like businessmen, trying to talk sense into a kid. Or maybe he was convinced that the Yuto was one of their's it doesn't matter. He went missing and there anit no one looking for Homeless people when they go missing and not many miss them either."
Katsuki frown deepened.
"You get used to it kid, though you know it might not be too late to go back to where ever it is your running from."
Katsuki shook his head. "You know the best places right? If you teach me I'm sure I'll be fine."
Mitts looked at him, sizing him up, or trying to convince him to go home. "Alright."
She took him to another place that was much like where he was earlier listening to conversations, but this time the air seemed different. Mitts was a thief he knew that. These people seemed to all fall into that category. Slightly shifty people moving around a man that was leaning against one of the posts having a smoke while someone was discussing something quietly with him. The man that they were moving toward ware a purple suit and while clean and pressed Katsuki could not call it a good suit. It was something that some pimp would wear.
Great, what the hell did he get himself into?
"This." Mitts gestured, "is Giran."
Chapter 4: A Man Named Giran
A Man Named Giran
Katsuki looked at the man called Giran and then back at Mitts with a look that was akin to what the fuck have you gotten me into.
"Yah I know what he looks like." Mitts said shaking her head, "but he's the guy you want to get to know. Information is his trade and we're really good at being eyes and ears. That boy named Deku used to call it being his birds."
Katsuki was going to ask how she knew Deku but did not have the chance as Giran finished his conversation with someone and handed them a small envelope that didn't seem to have money in it by the way that the weight was distributed it was most likely drugs of some kind.
He narrowed his eyes just slightly, Deku had really dealt with someone like this? Or was this Giran just taking over now that Deku was locked away?
Giran turned to face Katsuki his face had one of those attempted mustaches so there was nothing really there but stubble. his grin was that shit-eating type that made Katsuki for whatever reason have the overgrowing urge to just punch. This type of potential evil was the type one could punch. He looked sleazy and Katsuki had a feeling he was. The older man balanced his cigarette in his fingers and took another long drag of it, blowing it out in a very slow and almost deliberate manner.
"Mitts." He greeted and then his eyes swung to look down at Katsuki. His gaze was not scrutinizing as the police officers or the heroes but there was something in the way that the other quirked his lips ever so upward that made Katsuki feel as if the other knew something that he didn't. Which definitely was enough to be angry about.
In fact, most of the things that he had heard in the past few days had been enough to get angry about. Yet he had held himself in check pretty well.
Katsuki met his look with one of his own that was not one of his pleasant ones.
"This kid's a new friend of mine," Mitts shrugged. "new to this life."
There was a knowing gaze again directed at Katsuki and he put it together that this Giran knew who he was. His heart sped a little with a cornered feeling. He could fight but he would wait to see how the other played out the interaction. Even if Giran told people that he had seen Katsuki down in the Eastern District people most likely would not believe him. Least not when the heroes got wind of it. Far as they knew Katsuki still wanted to be a hero.
Giran nodded his head. "Looks like it."
"I have news about that one hero you were having me look into, he has been running around in the western district, apparently he thinks that the League may be headed that way. Not thinking of expanding are you?" Mitts pulled her hand out of her pocket to gesture around a bit.
Giran smiled a little, "Can't tell you Mitts, far as I can tell Shigaraki is playing this one close to the chest. You can confirm the man is away from his agency looking into that sorta thing?"
"Yah he's not so happy about being ranked the way he is I hear, course that's just speculation. He has been hanging around Endevar a bit. I hear that one of your league members torched one of his buildings earlier this month." Mitts shifted quickly between information chunks.
"Blue flames." Giran shook his head. "Not as uncommon as you think."
Dabi. Katsuki knew that quirk all too well having it used to cut him and his friends off during the summer camp. He stared hard at Giran as he again glanced his way.
"Well, I do know that he is heading to this district next. I think he's picking up on your trail."
"You can confirm this Mitts?" Giran didn't sound too surprised or worried about whoever would be coming his way.
She nodded holding out a paper bag to Giran that opened it and took out a single feather. It was red and with that Giran nodded. "where'd you find it?"
"At the cross, well in the cross more like it."
Katsuki did not know what that meant, he put his hands in his pockets trying to warm them. He knew that there were very few heroes that liked to work with Endeavor and he knew that because Endever was a real prick. Well so was Shouto but at least his somewhat rival was still a semi-nice human being when the mood struck him. Evdeveer he just wanted to be number one and he finally got it. and even at the top, he was not happy, still gruff and cold-hearted for someone that had a fire quirk.
A Red feather, it looked sharp because Giran held it carefully turning it over a few times before placing it back into the bag. Katsuki wrecked his brain for hero names and quirks. This was something that Deku would have known. Not him. If someone wanted Katsuki to remember shit like how to do complex equations in math or how to speak English fine. If they wanted Katsuki to fight and analyze the person he was fighting fine. Just don't expect him to know all the heroes' names and shit about them. Course now might be the time to really start paying attention to that sort of thing.
Red feathers, sharp, has been seen with Endeavor. He filed it away for later.
"That's not good," Giran muttered.
"Tell me bout it, it's a good area to steal things, I don't what him swooping in." Mitts scowled putting her hands back into her pockets.
So they could fly, but no shit with feathers they must have had wings. He could picture a blond man's face but he didn't know the name.
"he probably wouldn't bother you." Giran put out his cigarette. "he likes to make a show, all of them do."
Mitts laughed. "well some of them would make a show outta just catching me. they would be holding me up and saying look we caught this dangerous mugger."
Giran laughed at that it sounded a bit like a dog barking. "You'd never hurt a soul."
Mitts nodded "well they probably would know that, but little pickpockets being brought down don't make paycheck."
"Certainly help with quotas." Katsuki added just because he did not want to seem like he was not 'learning' from mitts. And even if Giran tried to rat him out to the league least he still kept face for now in front of Mitts. She seemed like someone that it would be good to know.
She smiled at that, "ever get yourself caught boy?"
"No, but stopped plenty of times." Katsuki shrugged.
She patted his back a bit, boney fingers providing nothing but pressure as it was cold.
He was stopped not for searches or anything but because he was an upcoming hero. People wanted him in their agencies well perhaps not as much anymore because he had put a good word in for Deku and Mr. Compress. Things like that did not sit well with some people.
Giran eyed him again, his glasses shining in the late evening sun, but Mitts didn't seem to notice. "Here, payment and let me know as soon as he enters our area. If you don't mind I would like to talk to your new charge."
Mitts shrugged, "better not mess with him Giran reminds me of Yuko."
"Yuko I messed with all the time." Giran smiled a bit one that was not as horrible to look at. "He used to threaten to throw me through a few walls."
"Threw you through some creates once." Mitts nodded. "I'll be over there she pointed, meet me when you're done."
Giran waited until she was out of earshot. "So what brings Bakugou Katsuki to the Eastern District?"
So he did know who he was. Katsuki figured that it was always his shit luck that these sorta things happened. He looked around himself quickly there was no one here but him and Giran. Mitts was farther down the road and most of the other shady people had gotten their pay and scampered off.
"I wanted to see the city." He answered, barley keeping the annoyance out of his voice. "What's it to you?"
"Interesting is all." Giran shrugged taking out another one of his cigarettes and a lighter. "A few months ago Shigaraki wanted your head. Now he seems content to let it sit on our shoulders, but I can't guarantee that he wouldn't take pleasure in at least throwing some quirks around."
Deku had mentioned that. Tomura had offered to have him killed and looking at the network that seemed to be in place it would not have been that hard.
"Deku told me Tomura offered."
"First-name basis?" Giran raised an eyebrow, "he probably would dust your for calling him that."
Katsuki tilted his head. "He's not here."
"No." Giran nodded his head taking a long moment to breathe in his cigarette and then taking it out. "If he was I couldn't guarantee you would be standing here."
"I can handle myself," Katsuki stated plainly.
"I don't doubt that." Giran smiled again that one that made him want to punch him in the face, maybe then he would be missing another tooth. "I'm just saying you best be careful, gather what knowledge you need to and get out while you can."
"How do you know I'm here to gather anything." Katsuki snapped.
"You just did but you are very obvious, Deku would be amused, you gave quite the testimony in his defense, to bad it still got him placed in the loony bin."
"Deku is not crazy." Katsuki's hands twitched with the need to let off an explosion, but with how cold he was he might only get a couple of sparks off at this point in time.
"No, he was one of the smartest people I know." Giran lost the smug look on his face. "Shigaraki and the others are very angry about losing him. One can only imagine what's happening to him at that place. They have mind quirks and all that stuff to cure you of whatever they think you need curing of."
That did not sit well with Katsuki and his face must have shown it because Giran pulled out his box of cigarettes and offered him one. which Katsuuki declined. All Might's deal was supposed to help Deku not send him to someplace where they would actually drive him crazy.
"Are they going to get him out?" Katsuki asked rather dumbly because Giran looked at him with an odd expression.
"It's not as simple as you would think kid. But I think they intend to, no need to look like your going to charge the place by yourself. Did you and Deku have a thing or something."
Katsuki's face heated and he had to shut himself up before he said something that this broker could use in the future.
"Silence." Giran tutted as if that confirmed it.
"We were friends," Katsuki said plainly.
"Deku had little to no friends." Giran flicked the end of his cigarette. "He didn't let many close enough. The only people I think that knew him well enough were Shigarkai and Black Mist. He came to them nearly 3 years ago everything up until the press outed his information was secret. Deku didn't ever take off the helmet. Whoever you were friends with probably was not the real Deku."
"No I knew him before he went and joined the villains, but that does not mean we weren't friends." Katsuki defended because he did think of the other as a friend as messed up as it was to have said friend try to kill him. Deku had also saved him too, he had to remember that.
If he tried to call up Deku he saw the face that he made when he was sitting across from him in the cafe, at that moment Deku seemed real. Not like the one making speeches in the courtroom or to impress or inspire. It was a real talk one that had been shaking things up in Katsuki's life since he had it.
"Are and were are different words." Giran put the cigarette out. "My advice is don't hang out down here if you think you still want to be a hero, this place is a poison, no one gets out of here without some sorta taint. The longer you stay the more you might think that the taint is a good thing to have and if you get to thinking that way, no ones going to think you're a hero."
Giran started moving towards the back of the building and towards the street. "Say goodbye to Mitts for me."
Katsuki watched him go wondering how much time he had before Giran told some League member or if the man wouldn't at all. it was hard to tell with him.
Mitts was waiting for him and she shared a look with him. "He's something else isn't he?" She smiled.
"Yah something else," was all he could think to add.
Katsuki was taken to The Cross it was called that because it was in the old subway station. There was a train track that had fallen into disrepair and many people that were down on their luck could be found there. It reminded Katsuki in a way of the refugee camps he had seen on TV.
He wondered just how long some of the people had been there because the smell was awful but the areas that looked like homes were not as bad. People had made almost tents and a few people were trading things. One lady was trading old magazines and damaged books to people.
The Cross wasn't on any petrol and the way that it was hidden meant that whoever visited there had to know it was there or at least enough not to go if you weren't going to fit in with the crowd. There were almost people guarding the waypoints.
"Is this where you saw the pro-hero?" Katsuki said quietly because he did not know the type of people that could be found here.
Mitts nodded. "Yes came in like he was one of us. I saw through him, couple of us did. You can always tell those that are trying to do good and those that aren't minding their own business."
Katsuki did not what to know what would happen if Mitts figured out that he was there to learn and certainly wasn't minding his own business. He grunted at that. "Most people are fake."
Mitts looked at him hard for a second, "you are pretty smart for a kid, kid. But I think most people show their true colors with enough persuading or if you make them uncomfortable enough."
She moved him past a lot of people, that all looked at him. Katsuki made sure to adjust his hat to make sure that it covered more of his hair. "This here will be where you learn everything, people here from all sorts of walks of life. And this is where you can really trade for goods."
Mitts took out her bag and headed towards the way back. There was a slight light coming from that end of the tunnel. She held the bag close and then entered a conversation with a man, that was dressed similarly to Giran. He paid close attention enough to realize that the man she was seeing ran a pawn shop and was good about taking the wares that Mitts had stolen. She received payment for that, similarly to how she had received payment from Giran.
She then introduced him as Samoto.
Samoto was definitely more cautious then Mitts. Not that Katsuki wanted to question her intelligence. He had to bullshit his way through in order for the other to actually start talking again about his business. He apparently used to work for a couple of the major gangs with heroes shut down of that sort of thing he had shifted his interests to finding rare and unique items. He was a bit crazy. Katsuki didn't say that out loud but the whole time the other talked, he just couldn't help but think it. Samoto was in need of some sort of help he randomly had what seemed like body spasms. He twitched something awful and it was clear to Katsuki at least that people like Mitts really could take advantage of him. Maybe not financially, he seemed to like his money but certainly physically. It was probably why he was so cautious seeming.
After time at The Cross, they made their way back to Mitt's spot she begged on one of the corners near the nicer end of town. She made quite a bit there and handed some of it to Katsuki so that he could get something to eat. By that time Katsuki reluctantly would admit that he was starving. What little money Mitts made was distributed between the people she seemed to nest with. Some of them gave her things in exchange for a couple of cigarette buds and some had filled her some water bottles but put them near the fire to keep unfrozen.
He was really moved by her gesture seeing how hard she worked for it. It momentary made him forget how angry he was at the heroes and other people that were supposed to help people. Bob Rosso had helped after the Nomu attack.
Where were people like that?
Did they only come when there seemed like a tragedy worth helping others over?
Did anyone give a shit about these people?
He ate the small warm burger from the local fast food place. It was strange but it suddenly didn't seem all that disgusting to him to eat. He was pretty spoiled admittingly on his own cooking and with what his parents would have made him if he was at home.
That night he encountered his first real shakedown. After making sure that they weren't anyone wanted the police got everyone up by loud yelling. Mitts hid Katsuki a bit behind her.
"Listen you can't be camping here." One of the officers kicked one of the older water bottles and the metal thing rolled and spilled out the resource.
"Yes," agreed the other one.
"Why?" Katsuki asked. He moved closer to the front so that they could see him. "Why can't we stay here, you haven't started construction and this place has been uninhabited for months."
He didn't understand it no one seemed to give a shit about this place or end of town. There was trash everywhere and no one seemed to care about them when they were huddled there the night before. The officer looked at him harshly, a few of the other homeless shifted back from that. Katsuki took the small portable heat pack and snapped it so that his fingers would start to thaw and sweat. He did this while still keeping eye contact with the man that was trying to intimidate him.
Katsuki had fought a bird monster that absorbed people this man wasn't anything really scary.
"Because the landowner said so. This place might be trashed but someone still owns it, so you are all going to move your stuff. " He went to kick something again and Katsuki blocked it.
The man looked at him darkly.
"We'll move." Katsuki said bitterly, "but there is no reason to kick our things."
Mitts was smiling like she had judged him correctly and a few of the others started to nod along to Kastsuki's words.
"Kid you really don't want to start anything, I know you think your tough shit, but you really aren't." the second officer said. He might not have been kicking anyone's things but in Katsuki's not so humble opinion he was the same.
Katsuki just picked up his bag and started to make a move to leave.
The officer blocked his path and Katsuki sighed. He really did not what to spend his few days of learning fighting police officers.
"We're leaving." Katsuki did his best to smile but it more of was him gritting his teeth. Rosso would not be pleased with his abilities to remain calm. All things considering his patience with people was pretty fried.
The man put his hands on Katskui and he easily threw him off, he then sidestepped the next move to attack him.
"You really don't want to do this kid." the officer said.
Katsuki blankly stared at him, sidestepping and making the officer fall on his face. The second officer then tried to intervene but the other homeless more or less knocked him down and they made their way towards the exit. Katsuki bought them more time by kicking the man he had knocked down's radio from his hand.
"Fetch," Katsuki muttered making his way towards the opening of the ruin.
He didn't really think too much on it. He felt just like he did in middle school that last year when people would pick fights with him. He would throw down if needed. Bullies were Bullies no matter the shape or apparent badge.
His hands were sweaty, but he didn't even have to use them. He didn't need to use a quirk to help others or to beat the hell if he wanted out of someone. Strange that was another thing that Izuku and him had in common now. Katsuki followed the others to another resting place. He was supposed to go back to UA tomorrow. He would have just skipped a day and the weekend. Nothing too crazy, but here he was fighting police officers.
He looked back at the ruin that they had been at moments ago that now was a faint dot behind him. If he sqwinted he could see the tall tower in the very far distance that was next to UA. He felt like perhaps he had already picked a side...
Chapter 5: A Strong Indication
A Strong Indication
Katsuki didn’t leave like he intended to. He spent another day with Mitts as she was trying to teach him like any alley cat would their younger alley cat how to act. She was like a mother in that way, stern and unyielding. She also had a way to keep him out of trouble.
The police force was on the lookout it seemed for malicious homeless. Katsuki wanted to laugh, because if he was malicious for just knocking one of them over. Tomura Shigaraki must have been public enemy number one.
He probably shouldn’t laugh about that sort of thing, but he defiantly could see how Deku would find all of this stupid. Breaking the law was not exactly what he stepped out to do but he seemed to be doing quite a lot of it.
It was not really thrilling or anything. It was survival but there was also something rather complex about it. Something that was gripping and it was as if things he never noticed were forced into the front of his brain. He never analyzed the people around him like this. He watched the way they moved. He could tell things about them.
Targets or what would be targets if he was looking at it but also being able to recognize who would be trouble and who wouldn’t be. He emerged himself. He wondered if Deku ever did this?
Or if any of the heroes did this? Certainly there were undercover people that could know about the issues that he was seeing.
Mitts looked over at him and Katsuki looked back at that wrinkled face. He would say she was not as hard on him as his own mother but certainly not as soft as Inko was. If he had to rate her he would put her in the middle of the spectrum. She was encouraging and she was quick to correct harshly if needed. And she did that as he let another would be target pass. He would rather play stupid and not steal from people. He could give Mitts some of his other funds. It wouldn’t be that hard to get back to UA using the rail system. He had a pass for that.
He did eventually need to go back and he decided the sooner the better really. He was starting to notice his own smell and he was going to be in so much trouble when he came back.
Losing her for a little while was not an easy task. He told her that he wanted to move about on his own for a bit and reconnect with her down the line. She felt as if he was not nearly ready for that but let him make his own decision.
Better cry really well when he came back to get her to help him again was how she phrased it. Katsuki gave her his extra gloves to get her to consider taking him back in later down the line.
She had laughed and accepted them, though with her quirk she could not wear them when she was working to steal things. At least her hands would be warmer while she went about her other activities, or she would give them to someone she felt needed them more.
He boarded the rails and ignored the looks that people gave him on the train. His body seemed to thaw and after spending the past four and a half days, he tested his quirk and a small explosion could be made in his hand now that they were warm.
People like Mitts did not have strong quirks to defend themselves. There were some people that had stronger quirks but they were more in gangs or people that were driving protective rings.
Money was not something that the homeless had but they did have things that others could want. People that were criminals knew that a hero would stop them if they were to take someone's things in the richer neighborhoods if they were to take more than perhaps a wallet or watch. But they knew that people that lived on the streets could be hit easier and they would sometimes have things.
He felt bad for leaving them. He knew that Mitts would not want his pity especially if she found out that he was not what he was pretending to be. But he could not help but want to help her.
How could he not she and the others needed help and they helped him. They had been kind to him, when everyone else would have told him that they were probably dangerous.
They were not really dangerous except if you were really scared of germs because they were not the most cleanly of people, but they were not bad people. The police would continue to kick them out of places and gangs would keep running through their spots they could find. They were in real danger and there had to be some way to help.
Katsuki returned to UA. The gate let him through because he still had his ID. His classmates would be in class and he needed to get a shower and something to eat before he did what he came to do.
He felt that he had to talk to a few people. He had to understand.
Heroes had a lot to answer for or at least they should be held responsible for the things that he had been a witness to first hand.
They had a lot to explain to him. He knew that one could argue that they did not owe him any sort of explanation. They did that when they had overruled him when he had come to them with the news that Deku had given him.
But this… This they had to answer for. They had to explain it to him.
How could they have UA be the greatest school in the country for heroes and have one of the largest homeless populations just down the block form its doorstep?
Where were their courses on how to help the everyday citizen, besides maybe catching them from a fall or rescuing them from a fire?
He had so much anger raging in his blood. He never thought that he could get so mad. He might have felt this way when he was fighting for his life in the USJ or when he was facing Stain but that was different.
This sorta anger lingered. It coiled up inside of him like an explosion that wanted to be given the chance to lash out.
Deku must have felt that way right? He must have stood on that rooftop and replaced all the sorrow and all the hate that he must have felt for himself and Katsuki and transformed it into something productive.
Rosso told him to take his anger and cannel it. So he would try that. He would try to cannel it to get people to listen to him. They needed to see the truth of the matter.
He slunk up the stairs to the Dorms and made his way to the showers, he was fast. The water was warm and it helped a lot with getting feeling back to all of his body parts that he never thought could ever truly be warm again.
He then changed and got dressed into some everyday clothes and made his way back onto the campus. His classmates would be at lunch or just heading that way. They all would be talking about English and if they understood the lesson or not.
Katsuki stood in front of the teacher’s offices, at least the ones that he had for classes and knocked on the door.
All Might answered it just like Katsuki thought that he woud, those blue eyes widened.
"Bakugou." He questioned.
"I need to talk to you." Katsuki put his hands into his hoodie pocket.
He tried to play it off like everything was fine but All Might had been a hero for a long time so he must have known the tension that was in his shoulders and the way that Katsuki could not standstill. He was not mad at All Might not really. He just needed answers and he was not sure the other would be happy with him asking the questions that he needed to ask. He was not sure that All Might would even give him a straight answer. Part of him was scared that All Might would say something that would confirm the suspicion that Katsuki had, the suspicion that heroes knew about people like Mitts and just didn’t give a shit.
"Of course," All Might moved so that Katsuki could enter his office. The room was pretty tiny all things considering but it had tow chairs and they looked comfortable enough.
Katsuki had been sitting on concrete and sleeping on things that weren’t plush for a couple of days now. He wasn’t going to be picky but it was nice to sit on a soft surface.
“You have been missing for four days.” All Might took his seat slowly, he was looking more and more like a skeleton every day. He was thinner than Katsuki remembered or maybe he just did not want to look at him that way and had ignored it. All Might reminded him of some of the homeless people that were at The Cross hiding from the cold, one good breeze and frost away from getting really ill.
“We were worried about you. I figured… well, Aizawa figured." All Might corrected, "that you needed some space after everything that happened during the raid and the trials.”
"I wanted to know if what he told me was true," Katsuki said folding his arms and sitting in the chair a bit slouched. He could not completely relax.
"What who told you?"
"What Izuku told me." Katsuki looked him dead in the eyes and watched his face and his bodies movement.
Mitts told him to always look at the face when one could but also their hands and the way that they moved their feet. People showed how they were feeling with slight movements. If a person was nerious they tended to hold onto themselves somehow. It would be subtle but it would be some way as simple as placing hands in pockets or pulling their legs closer to them on a subway car.
All Mights face was hard to read but those eyes did seem to dull a bit. “and what did you look into?”
Katsuki got the feeling that All Might was more worried about him than he was about whatever Katsuki could say he found out.
“Deku told me that his team protected the people of the Eastern District . He told me about corruption and people that were paid to look away. I wanted to know if it was as bad as he said it was.”
All Might nodded his face was grim. “And was it as bad?” The skeletal like hands were holding his knees. All might was hunched over a bit and Katsuki could tell that the older man was worried, but also really wanted to know.
“It was worse than I thought it would be.” Katsuki said bitterly. He could not completely contain it anymore. “Why are things that bad down there? Why do the people that are supposed to protect and serve beat up the homeless?”
All Might’s face hardened a bit.
"Why are there so many ruins and jobless indvidulas when there is money to rebuild? Things near here were rebuilt after your fight with All For One and yet the other areas that are supposed to have discount housing are still destroyed?”
Katsuki tightened his hands into fists. “Why are people that have some extream mutation quirks hiding in…" He almost said The Cross but caught himself. “Why do they feel like they have to hide in this type of age?”
He bit his lip hard as not to just scream. “Why are things this bad, when there are so many heroes in this city?”
All Might’s eyes softened a tad. “I know how you are feeling young Bakugou.”
Did he? Did he have any idea?
“The world is a cruel place. There are people in power that are always going to abuse it and there are those even that are lower on the ranking system that will use whatever power they are given to oppress others. You must understand that things have been slowly improving. These types of things take time to investigate and to prove.”
“What more proof do you people need.” Katsuki fired back. "Deku leaked everything, I saw these people no police and heroes first hand.”
“Do you think that one of them could have been undercover or that they have reason to act that way.”
“They were excessively violent to people that don’t even have quirks. “ Katsuki stood. “You have to see that not everyone is undercover, not everyone that is supposed to be a hero is.”
“And I am asking you kindly to understand that we can not take everything that your dear friend Izuku has said to heart. He is deeply troubled, he and his group have been trying to clean up that side of town. Which in itself is admirable but that does not mean that he was going about it the right way. We have a system because without it there would be nothing to keep everyone in check. Things don’t always work properly people can cheat the system. It happens, but we can not act without knowing all the facts.”
“I’m not asking you to make arrests. I'm not asking for people to be put on trial. I'm asking for people that need jobs that want jobs to be given something to do. They are all there sitting there with nothing but time on their hands. There are ruins that need to be cleared there are things to be done and this system is supposed to help them. Give them food at the very least.” Katsuki gestured. “But it doesn’t.”
He felt his anger give way. “We're supposed to be heroes that save people, but does that only count when there is a Numo or a villain charging them? Does that help just come in the form of taking them out of the fire but not giving two shits about what happens to them after we saved them and put out the flames?”
"Bakugou you need to calm down." All Might said sternly.
"I am calm." Katsuki seethed. "I am."
"Breathe." All Might instructed and Katsuki did.
"I know that what you have seen upset you. There are things that are done to help. The enforcement budget, however, was ruled this year to take more funds than the outreach. This was a decision not come to lightly. It was based on the villain hypre activity in the area and the increase in crimes. There are meetings to be held soon. You can make your claims there."
Katsuki blinked, "When are these meetings?"
"In two monthes the city is waiting for everything to calm down after Izuku Midoriya’s speech in the courtroom. There are a lot of people that it spoke to and we are expecting some sort of retaliation from the league for taking some of their valuable members from them." All Might explained calmly.
Katsuki slumped back into his seat. So they were busy playing games with weather or not Tomura was going to attack them, while other people suffered. They, as in the government, were probably waiting for the news that Izuku could be classified as truly crazy. They could have been torturing him at the asylum for all Katsuki knew to try to get him to be"well" or to get information out of him.
He felt sick. “So no one is going to help them? It's been three months since you fought All For One and nearly another month since Overhaul was captured. We are just to let these people suffer for another two?”
All Might looked very saddened and Katsuki shook his head again not believing it.
“Is there nothing we can do?” He gripped the chair, at that moment he was waiting, he wanting All Might to say yes there was. That they could raise some money as a school or that they could do some sort of donations.
But the once-great hero hung his head.
“I will continue to push for the meetings to happen sooner. I will also make a motion to have the people I know in the area of the Eastern district keep an eye out for these excessive law enforcement officers you saw.” All Might rubbed at his face. “but that might be all I can do for now.”
Eraser Head stood outside the doorway when Katsuki made his way back to the dorms. His mother came soon after that. He listened to them but then didn’t. They talked about being a good hero. They talked trying to encourage him to continue fighting on.
But it felt wrong.
Nothing made sense.
He didn’t know what to do anymore, but he knew that nothing was not an answer. He knew that people were already talking about joining the League, forcing change in other ways, in two months there might not be an actual city left, it might tear itself apart in the name of trying to fix a broken system or break a system with the fractures that Izuku had made in it.
Chapter 6: Caretaker
Tomura sat on the floor playing Darksouls for what must have been his thousandth play through. He needed a break and this was the best way to do it. He needed something that was mind-numbing enough to make him forget about the hundreds of problems that he had.
Tomura felt angry and ill at the same time. He had always felt sick looking at people around him interacting like nothing was wrong. The people of this city were slightly on edge he could feel that. But they all pretended that their precious heroes would protect them from any sort of harm. They acted as if they didn't question the things around them nothing would happen to them. If everything stuck to the status quo, everything would be just fine and that might have been true for the fucking people that lived in the nice side of town. they didn't get to see the way things were handled in the Eastern and parts of the Southern District. Overhaul might have been gone but there were power struggles rising up in the area and there was more destruction than ever. People lost jobs, homes, and many of the scum that had not been crushed by Deku's bold move were crawling around the streets leeching off of people.
He gripped the controller tightly. He needed to focus on the game instead. He needed to stop the tightness in his chest and the horrible vomiting like feeling in his gut. he had to stop being nervous and anxious about everything.
He had sent people to do their tasks he did not have to worry until later. He just could not relax. Deku would have made fun of him for that. Would have made it possible to somehow to forget all the messed up things that were happening around him.
Dodge, he pressed the remotes button a little hard but managed to avoid the attack.
Eri blinked at the screen.
Deku wasn't with them. He was gone. He was probably suffering and at the moment there was nothing that Tomura could do. There was nothing that anyone that was in his group could do except get themselves caught right alongside him.
People were gunning for them...
He barely dodged the next attack. He was being sloppy...
Kurogiri had slipped out a few times to get things that they needed and he had heard the news. Some people did not want to just catch them anymore, some people wanted them dead. They were talking the death penalty among other things like forcing Compress into telling where they were.
Kuro had been sick after that with worry and Tomura had taken up childcare duties to make sure that the other could relax. Kuro was sleeping, Toga and Hitoshi were out gathering intel and Twice was doing whatever it was twice did in his downtime, and Dabi was behind him messing around with his phone.
He was the one that was in charge of recruitment. They needed a few more members now that they were down four from the original squad. He sort of missed Spinner, least the lizard would have been good at recruiting those that had mutation quirks. Dabi was good about bringing up the really bad things that happened to them, the anger they must have felt. They were expanding operations again and Dabi had brought quite a few people to their cause.
Giran was making moves to collect information from Deku's birds. Tomura was going to have to come up with finances eventually to pay the other for his services. Right now they were doing okay, Compress had the best knowledge on how to shift funds around, but at least with Kuro, there were ways to access what All For One left.
Even if it was super aggravating to use the funds that Sensei had left, Tomura knew they would use it. He wanted nothing to do with that old man anymore. He hated him on pare with All Might. He felt dirty using that money it reacked of how many people that Sensei must have slaughtered to get it.
Eri sat on his lap. She was pretty quiet only letting out small gasps every once and a while when Tomura had a close shave with death.
Tomura could hardly get her to speak and when she did it was nearly a whisper. She liked watching him play games, she said that she did. But Tomura was pretty sure that Eri would do anything for him as long as he was there doing it with her.
She liked him a lot. She had too. She shifted her weight and gripped at his arms. Tomura paused the game and looked at her.
It was not like he was making progress but she seemed to be a bit worried about messing him up. He regretted ever getting upset in front of her. She was skittish and it was not her fault.
"Eri." he asked nicely and patiently, "do you need something."
She clung to him. She was fine with Kurogiri but she was not happy with him. she always wanted Tomura and he knew that it was because she thought that they were related. He understood wanting a family more than anyone probably could. His had been horrible to him and even then it was an accident that killed them. Eri had hurt people with he quirk too, she was scared of it just like Tomura had been. Now he had to be like Sensei in a way and convince her that her quirk was part of her. You couldn't hate part of yourself or you shouldn't.
"Tomu-San." She said quietly, standing so that she could hug him a bit.
"what is it Eri?" He repeated she was five for fuck's sake even if it was annoying that she would probably not answer or at least not straightly what she wanted he could not be upset with her.
"where is Giri?" she whispered.
She didn't call Kurogiri his name. She had a hard time saying it and Tomura was pretty sure that she thought his first name was Kuro and that Giri was his last name. Kurogiri didn't have a last name. He had abandoned it like his parents had him. Tomura remembred that story all too well. Sensei had found Kurogiri much like he had found Tenko, weak, young, and scared. Just like Tomura Sensei had groomed Kuro into the mess that he was. Compress and Deku were the people that helped the man calm down. Tomura was abysmal at it.
He felt like a failer in that way, what sort of leader could not help to calm their subordinates but also, more importantly, friends' fears?
Kuro needed a break or he would have an emotional one.
"He is resting Eri." Tomura sighed, "Whatever you need I can help you."
She bit her lip a little and hugged him a bit tighter around the neck. "Can you do my hair... then?"
He could try he supposed.
"sure." He nodded, "you will need to get a brush."
she let go then and made her way to Deku's and Tomura's room. He let her sleep in there after thinking about who she could room with. There were beds available but that did not mean that she was best suited to go there. He was for instance not comfortable leaving Toga unattended with Eri. The blonde thought that blood made people cuter for goodness sakes and Twice was no even part of the equation. So it had to be with him or Kurogiri and Eri chose like she always did not to leave Tomura's side. He let her crawl into his bed when she woke up crying. He made sure to get her things that were fluffy and all that shit to hug onto but she would pick him instead if she could wiggled one of his hands free and would hold onto it.
He would be lying if he said he was sleeping well, he was getting even less sleep. Deku had a shit sleep schedule but he was not as bad as Tomura was. Tomura would keep going until he could not stand the thought of being awake any longer and just collapsed. Things were hard when you had no sleep things like voices echoed a bit and shadows shifted. Tomura did not like sleeping when there were things to do.
He felt like there were always things to do...and he would stay up to do them. Eri would more times than not come down the stairs with a stuffed bear or cat and lay next to where ever it was that Tomura was working. He would make sure that she had a pillow or blanket because he wasn't a monster but he would continue to do what he had to.
He had poured over everything that he could find on that stupid asylum. He had to make a plan to get Deku back...
Yet he was playing video games...
Because he had to watch Eri...
He could have passed her off.
He didn't have to watch her.
Deku had only asked that he save her. He never said, here Tomura you raise her too.
But when he looked at her deciding the staircase he remembered what it was like to be a kid.
To be him and well he couldn't send her to Heroes that would put her in a home somewhere. she was quiet, skittish, scared, people would not want her.
He didn't want her to be fooled into thinking the world was a nice place, become complacent with the way things were. he wanted her to be accepted sure. he was never going to send Eri out to fight people for him. HE never really could picture her being a Villain.
But he certainly was going to train her.
He would be gentler than Sensei ever was to him. He wouldn't repeat what his real father did to him. Eri was bound to get into trouble eventually but Tomura would never strike her for it of that he was certain.
Goto followed Eri hoping a bit down the stairs.
Eri handed Tomura the hairbrush and sat.
Dabi smirked and Tomura flipped him off when Eri turned her back and sat down.
"Soft." Dabi mouthed and Tomura resisted the urge to tighten his hand around the hairbrush and disintegrate it.
He did it for Eri, he did her stupid hair it was soft and she seemed to like it. she was not as stiff sitting next to him and he considered that to mean that she was relaxed or as relaxed as she seemed to get.
When he finished Eri took the brush and mimicked him by doing it a couple of times on herself before taking some of his hair and pulling it through the brush. he felt it tear a few strands out and it was slightly painful.
he did his best to smile as he took the brush from her. Sucking in a deep breath and letting it out. "That's okay Eri you don't have to do my hair." He said through grit teeth as nicely as possible.
Dabi started laughing.
Eri looked at him and tiled her hair. Her white, blue hair swept away from her horn and her red eyes glistened a bit.
She was going to cry it seemed. He had seen her cry quite a few times. She cried because she could not be with Deku. She cried because she was hungry and had not felt comfortable enough to ask.
he was sick of her crying. He wanted her to stop.
But no he couldn't say to stop crying, that would make him no better than his shit parents and shit real family.
"I'm sure that Dabi would love you to help him instead." Tomura let out the next breath he had been holding. Feeling up at his head.
Eri looked over towards Dabi.
Dabi frowned. "Don't try it, kid."
She looked even sadder then before if that was even possible. "I want to help..." She said softly.
Tomura rubbed at his face. "I could use help with this."
He pulled out a notebook, yes it was full of blueprints but they were old and Tomura didn't need them anymore.
"you can color it." Red for staircases, blue for rooms that have windows, and uhhh pink for hallways.
Eri took the notebook and flipped to the first page, taking the 3 pens that Tomura had left out and started to scribbled the colors in.
Tomura glared at Dabi that mouthed "soft" again.
He wanted to punch him, but that would probably freak Eri out. Kurogiri only needed a short nap. When he was back, Tomura was clocking Dabi.
They held a meeting after Eri went to bed. Tomura half expected her to come down and look for him, but luckily she didn't and they could have a real meeting.
"Where is Eri?" Toga slid into her seat.
"sleeping." Tomura cut her off. "we need to be quiet as not to wake her."
"Don't you think that we should find her a family." Hitoshi looked over at the others. "she can't stay here forever with all were involved in."
Twice nodded once before viciously shaking his head.
"I like her though." Toga whined.
"I do worry about her." Kurogiri started.
"Shut up." Tomura slammed his hands on the table and he was very happy that he had put on his gloves earlier or the table would have been dust. "Deku asked me to take care of her so I am."
"She is going to be in danger, though," Hitoshi said plainly. "Izuku wouldn't have wanted that."
"Her blood is what makes the cure for quirks." Tomura met his gaze. "Deku had his bag with him when he was arrested. I don't think the last copy was destroyed. So until I know for sure that she is safe I am not finding her someone to look after her."
"You're attached to her." Dabi said, " I like her too Creep, but the people out there they want our heads and the last time the Heroes came full force at us we had All For One to back us up. This time we're looking at no offense Misty a warp that is off by quite a few feet and we're half staffed."
Tomura glared at him. "I am not sending her away until it is safe to do so, regardless on how I feel about her."
He was attached he knew that. He was weak because he cared about a little girl and what happened to her. He wanted her to be accepted and they wanted him to give her up.
They backed off though because he seemed to be so insistent.
"Giran has some more information for us in regards to the asylum." Kurogiri put out some more documents onto the table. He could see something tucked into the folder and he pulled it out. It was colorful and it was a smiley face. Tomura looked at it truning it over making sure that there was nothing important on the back.
"Sorry." Kuro took it back as it was a drawing that Eri had done.
she probably stuck it in his bag for good luck. he tried not to smile but he did a little and covered it with his hand.
Tomura cleared his throat. "We know that the facility is heavily guarded. There is over two kilometers worth of distance around the place with no cover, the staff members have quirks to get inside of people's head, there has been 400 escape attempts since its opening and none have been successful."
"If anyone can do it its Izuku ." Toga said playing with her knife, turning it in her hand.
"The point would be that we get him out before he gets desperate enough to fail the attempt and gets himself locked up more securely." Kurogiri watched her and the knife tracing the movement with his remaining eye.
Tomura was still slightly pissed about that fact. Sensei and All Might deserved to be dust for making Kuro lose it.
"Can I continue?" He forced himself to be calm, he wanted to just get through what they knew so that they could move onto brainstorming what they should do. Because Tomura was pretty tired of trying to come up with something.
People nodded except for Dabi who folded his arms and leaned a bit back in his chair.
"As I was saying, there are 50 main guards in the facility, we know from an inside source that the doors to the cell blocks are triple enforced. There are other jobs in the building that we might be able to put someone into, but they have to take a psychic examination to make sure that they are suitable."
"So, in other words, there is no real good way in unless we kidnap someone and take their place." Hitoshi put his head into his hand. He looked so bored and Tomura hated when those eyes looked at him that way. Hard to believe that Deku was his age.
"We have to make sure that if we replace someone that it is not during their weekly examinations." Tomura scratched a little on his neck.
"wait you are telling me that they check up on all staff at least once a week?" Dabi sat up in his seat. "how the fuck do they have time to do that?"
Kurogiri stepped up for that one. "the facility has wellness psychics that job is solely to focus on the staff's mental health."
"fuck." Dabi shook his head. "Deku is so fucked if he ended up in a loony bin that is so bad the staff might need therapy for the things they witness or have to do."
Tomura wanted to jump over the table and strangle him because he did not have to phrase it that way. Tomura was doing his best not to think about that sort of thing. He didn't want to think about what horrors Izuku was facing and he definitely did not want to think that the kid could be fucked up beyond belief because of everything that went on there.
"Like I was saying." Tomura grit out, "there is a lot standing in our way and just making it into the facility."
"So what are we going to do to get him out." Hitoshi sat up a bit straighter.
Tomura faltered. "We just got all the information together today..."
"In other words Creep has no fucking clue," Dabi muttered.
"I am open to suggestions." Tomura snapped. "I want to help Deku and I don't want to leave him there."
"The odds are just against us." Kurogiri folded his arms his mist curling in with worry.
God Damn it why did everyone have to be so down. Deku would have known how to liven the mood.
Twice stood then. "I have a good idea. ItS A HOrriBLE IdEA"
Tomura was almost scared to ask, but figured what the hell. "Yeah?" He raised an eyebrow.
"What better way to break out Deku, then to have Deku on your side." Twice clapped his hands. No one responded so he talked to himself for a second. "SeE ToLD You, IT wAS a BaD IDea."
Twice shook his head then just sort of clapped again and a blob started to form out of his hand and then it took shape and formed into Izuku.
The clone fell to the floor, and they all stared as it seemed to be out cold.
"That was not something that's supposed to happen." Twice seemed to blink at the scene. "ITs NEver HaPPEned Before..."
Tomura rubbed his head as he heard Eri running down the stairs behind him, his organization was a mess.
Chapter 7: Copy
He woke on the floor with no idea how he had gotten there. His head hurt for some reason and he rubbed it, pressing hard against the back of it. He had to have been bleeding or something by the way that it hurt.
Tomura stood over him. He was looking at him with large red eyes. "So it worked?"
"Of course it did." Twice's voice was too loud it made him wince. "I HAve No IdEA HoW?"
Tomura sighed and moved a bit back towards his seat. Eri was sanding near the chair with a stuffed bear.
The last thing that he remembered was Twice coming into the office and then having to call Overhaul because of Katsuki. They had to have won if Eri was there.
"Tomura." He called out, feeling slightly dizzy but needing answers.
Tomura looked at him, his eyes were sort of dulled, it was a look that he hadn't seen in a long time.
"Did something happen?" He stood shakily.
Kurogiri held his arm a bit, his bad eye was drifting a bit to the side.
"Kuro?" He turned to him.
"I'm sorry it's just you even sound exactly like him," Kurogiri said softly.
"I don't understand." He narrowed his eyes. He was back with them, they weren't making sense. He was sure that they would defeat Overhaul, but how he was not certain.
He looked around the room. Toga was even looking at him strangely. There was one person missing Compress. Where was Compress?
"What is going on?" He finally couldn't help but ask. "you are all acting strangely like you have seen a ghost."
Dabi nodded. "well in a way..." He started.
His eyes widened. "You didn't, You cloned me didn't you."
He started laughing, a little bit. "so is the real me dead or did you just need a clone for something."
It was weird to think that he was not the real thing. It was hard to think he was not Deku or Izuku because everything in him told him that he was Izuku Midoriya he was Tomura Shigaraki's friend. He was the broker for the league, he was a hacking expert, and he was a great deal of things.
"Twice cloned you so that we could get the real you out of the asylum." Kurogiri stepped forward. He looked like he still was a bit uncomfortable with the fact that he was not his Deku. That he was a copy.
That was all he was Carbon Copy.
"So I finally snapped." Copy Deku put his hand to his cheek and held it there. "Nora told me I had a good chance to shatter. I was pretty good at keeping it under wraps, but sometimes I really liked to act on impulses. Sometimes it felt really good to let go. Did I at least kill Overhaul before they dragged me off?"
Kurogiri blinked at him. "You were captured defeating him, they shipped you there so that they could pass off all the good work that you did or ...errr... what the real Deku did as crazy."
He nodded again. "I suppose you want to get me out before I go crazy for real. Where did I end up anyway?"
"Miyoshi." Tomura said he didn't sound happy at all. Deku reached out slowly but then drew back as he realized that it was probably a bad idea to try to comfort the other. He looked so angry. Copy Deku got it the was not Thee Deku. He was just a Copy. Maybe that would help if he said he understood that. Then again if that was the face Tomura was making it might not help.
Miyoshi was one of the worst Hospitals there was, dedicated to the really sick and insane. He didn't want to think about the horrors the real him was enduring. He didn't if he really didn't want to he could push those thoughts out.
"I know that hospital it will not be easy form what I know of it. But I or rather Izuku has gotten into places that have tough security systems I think I can get you more than what you have and can help you to make a plan."
He didn't know why it hurt to say that. He was not the real Deku. He got that but it almost felt like the others did not want him here. He had always wanted to belong and now it felt like he was losing that. He carefully gripped his pant legs. Was this made of the same stuff he was? If he took enough damage he would not exist anymore, he wondered if they would get rid of him after he helped break the other out.
Kurogiri looked relieved though to hear that he would help. Copy knew that it must have been hard for him to lose both his real self and Compress.
"First though, I would like to know Twice what can this form of mine handle and what can't it. I also need some coffee if I am going to be building myself a new computer. I have a feeling that I destroyed it to make sure the hard drive never got to be seen by Heroes."
Eri moved slowly forward she out of all of them would be the first person to care about him, to want to see him. She did not understand that he was a Copy, that he was Copy and that was all that he would probably ever be.
"Deku." She hugged him and Copy hugged her back. She was so kind, she had no idea how nice it felt to be hugged.
Tomura made his exit at that.
Chapter 8: The Clone
Tomura did not like It.
He did not like It at all.
It looked exactly like Izuku. It sounded like him too. Everything that It did was exactly what Izuku would have done, from how It stood, to the way that It tilted his head. Those eyes were always the window to the soul and Tomura was so used to seeing everything that Deku felt refected in those seemingly huge green eyes.
It had those eyes, those stupid reflective pools of emotion. He had hurt Its feelings. It looked like a wounded animal that Tomura had pulled away.
It made him feel guilty he did not want to feel that way. it was not like Tomura had actually wounded the clone. He had not offed it as tempting as that was. it was not Deku but it looked like him. He couldn't bring himself to hurt it.
As stupid as it was Twice's idea it would probably help. They needed Deku or some form of him to help keep everyone in line and to find things out for them. The best person to find a way into that asylum was Deku himself. Not that Tomura couldn't think of something given enough time, but the faster was probably for the better.
It still made him uneasy, Twice had an okay grasp on what his quirk could do, but there was the issue of how long clones lasted and for how long they were independent. Tomura had a slight suspicion that the longer that they existed the more they would deviate from who they originally were modeled after.
He made a note never to let Twice clone him. His clone might lose it and dust someone. Tomura hardly controlled himself sometimes. Before Izuku he had no reason.
He hated It. He hated It because it was a replica It was not the real thing, the real Izuku was in a mental hospital, he was possibly going crazy.
The Copy said as much.
He was leaving Deku to become unstable. The clone said that it liked to act on impulses. He tried to think of times that Deku did that. He could pin down near every rash thing the other had ever done and also the acts of violence that followed. Deku had really been against hurting people at the start. He took them out without killing them, but towards the end, he blew up a building and lead to the death of over 20 people and injured countless more. He had Tomura kill the doctors for him. Tomura had thought they deserved it sure, they knew things that no person should know and did things to a little girl that he was now rather fond of. Deku had suggested it though. He would have done... would do most things for Deku. He would kill for Deku and he would protect him the best that he could.
If Deku asked it would have been dust, with very few exceptions.
Deku had standards that made Tomura dream to be able to do the same.
If Tomura was going, to be honest, Deku got him better than anyone else. He knew how bad Tomura got with his anxiety and he even dared to pull Tomura's hands away from his neck when he would claw at it. No one had dared to hold his hand before Deku took it. Only Sensei.... well he knew now that he might have had Eri now to with that caring capability. Not for long though because no one seemed to understand that it was a good idea for her to stay with them.
He rubbed at his face, doing his best not to claw at the flesh. Deku had been one of the first people to hug him too. Deku was a lot of things. He did his own version of check-ins. He might have been slightly annoying when he did them, dragging him places, and demanding that they hang out, but they always made him feel better.
No one had done that for him before. Deku was his first friend...
And stupidly enough Tomura really missed him.
He did not like the fake version because it reminded him too much... Reminded him of the things he was trying to push out of his mind.
It was not fair that he had to rely on something that was not the real thing.
He clawed a bit at the flesh feeling a slight release as he did so. He felt the weight on the bed before he even looked up. His nails were a bit bloody.
"Tomu-san." Eri gripped at his hand and he drew away from her a bit nervous that she might hurt herself.
"It's okay," Eri said quietly, wrapping her hand around some of his thin fingers. Tomura made sure that his thumb was off to the side. "I here."
Heroes often said that. He blinked at her. If only everything just could fix itself. But then when you were Tomura you knew that shit was always going to be happening to you. You just had to deal with it.
He had to be strong and all that shit, but with Eri...
Eri didn't seem to care if he was a bit fractured or crazy.
He could be soft with her and she wouldn't complain.
He didn't understand why the others would be so mad that he was trying to be kind, trying to be good at least to one other person...
He had to be crazy right? Normal people did not get trained by Supervillains nor did they kill people and they certainly did not take up the job as a caregiver to 5-year-olds.
She sat up and gripped at his shoulders so she could get close to his neck. She used her quirk he felt a slight tingle and he no longer could feel the heat from where he had scratched.
"Better." She nodded.
He pushed her hair out of her face and she blinked by the action. She didn't retreat like she had the first time that he had attempted to even interact with her.
They were like two toddlers really, both learning what it meant to feel care. Eri had been abused by her family and by Overhaul. She shied away from care unused to it, flinching sometimes when someone reached for her. Tomura never really had actions that could be seen as affectionate gifted to him either. His friends were a bunch of assholes and Kurogiri was not the most caring individual before Deku. He got a few hugs but he always felt odd with them and people wouldn't attempt it again. Eri was too little to understand how his mental state was not the greatest. She didn't know that things could not simply be fixed if he was not scratching at his neck anymore. But she was still kind to try.
"Thank you, Eri."
Her mouth twitched but she did not smile. He never seen her smile, he wondered if she even could. He never really smiled either as a kid. He knew how to but with all the things that Sensei was doing to him, with all the abuse that he suffered from even people that were meant to care about him, it was not that big of a stretch to see that he wouldn't really feel happy all that often.
Tomura was rarely happy.
Happy was not something that Sensei encouraged him to feel. Anger, rage, bitterness, and misery were all things that we're encouraged because he was supposed to use those intense feelings to purge heroes and all that. He was pretty sure that Sensei had just wanted to use him to kill All Might for him and then he would get rid of Tomura just like he seemed to cut other strings. It would not matter if Tomura did what he asked. Kurogiri had tried that route. Deku was right in that regard they had all been pawns and that was a really hard pill to swallow. Tomura had a hard time thinking anyone could care for him after that, but then his friends had literally dragged him out of his room, force-fed him, and bought him a cat.
He was getting used to the idea of being cared for, but caring for others and showing that? Tomura was more of faking it, to try to make it.
He relaxed just slightly as she shifted to let go of him and flopped on his bed.
He would not sleep.
He could not sleep.
The voices were coming back, it was not really as if they were speaking to him or anything. It's just they were memories that would flash through his head when he was really tired and when he started to nod off that was when they came to play. Things were blurry until Sensei came into his life. He wondered if what he really remembered was even reliable at this point. Since Eri had come into his life he had strange dreams of a little girl with black hair smiling at him and he had some sort of older people in his life. He didn't think he had anyone like that. His head started to hurt again. his vision was dulled and his eyes felt heavy.
Maybe he should sleep... He was almost scared of what he would dream. He squeezed his eyes shut trying to blink the tiredness from them. He couldn't remember the last time that he slept. Maybe he crashed a little while on the sofa when he was done running errands? That was not that long ago.
Maybe two days?
Then again what day was it...?
His thoughts lagged a little. He stood up though even, when he did not feel like it. He had to make sure that the clone knew where it could stay.
Not in here...
But It could have another room. Twice had an opening and well so did Kurogiri.
He wobbled a little making his way down the stairs not trusting the old railing.
"It's great to have another clone around, I might be one you know." Twice was gesturing around. "It's NoT GREat"
The Copy nodded weakly.
"I could make another one." Twice looked at Kuro. "We MISs CoMPreSS"
"Don't." Kuro slammed his hands into the bar his missed flowing outward. They both looked at him with concern or rather the Copy did, Twice just stopped him energetic movements.
Kuro seemed to suck in a couple of breaths. "It's just... I don't think I can bear it. I can't have him here unless he is going to stay here."
Tomura did not comment on it but moved enough so that he could be seen by the whole group.
"Tomura." Kurogiri greeted first, he was looking at him with that look and had that softer tone. He was begging him to sleep, it was written in his mist.
He hated worrying Kuro.
"Twice he needs a room." Tomura motioned at the clone. "Eri has Deku's old bed."
Tomura looked at the Copy and It looked back at him. The green eyes looked a bit hurt. It had Izuku's memories, it probably thought that they were friends...
He rubbed again at his face his body giving a light-headed feeling by the movement.
"You need sleep." The Copy dared to say it to him. "You look like you are going to collapse."
"I can't sleep there are things to do." Tomura snipped and sat at the counter of the makeshift bar. "Kuro can I have water please."
Kurogiri hesitated and tried to use his quirk he managed to get a glass from the cabinet but could not get it to go under the tap. He gave up and moved over to fill the glass. Tomura took the glass from him and downed half of it.
"Did Eri go back to bed?" Kurogiri asked passing Tomura a few aspirins. It was probably a bad idea to take that. He had been taking a lot of them lately but figured that it didn't matter.
He nodded taking the pills and finishing the water.
"I still think you should sleep." The Copy muttered.
Tomura ignored him. "I need those papers that Giran gave you." He held out his hand to Kurogiri for the file.
"I think you should rest as well." Kurogiri put his two cents in but did get the papers. "I don't think you have slept in the last 48 hours."
It was longer than that at this point he was pretty sure, but Tomura did not want to point that out, their concern was not needed. "I will sleep after I read it over."
Kurogiri looked dissatisfied with that answer but did not press farther.
The clone though did. "Reading over that won't get him back any faster. Rest so you can think straight, you wouldn't probably need my help to think of a plan if you were well-rested."
Tomura glared at It and those big green eyes looked right back, not backing down because that was not in Deku's vocabulary.
"I don't want your advice." He hissed anyway.
"Well, you still will have it, regardless." The clone folded its arms. "I know the real me cares about you and that he would not want you to do damage to yourself on account of him."
Tomura felt his eye twitch because that was a very Deku thing to say, but he didn't have to listen if he didn't want to. "I suppose that you also would say like the others that I should give Eri up."
The clone got an ugly look on its face. "I don't want her out of my sight." It hissed a bit. "I never want to see anything bad happen to her again. I promised her that I would not let anything happen to her, that I would protect her, and that she could be part of my family."
Tomura rarely saw Izuku mad so it was a bit unnerving to see just how much he cared about the little girl that he had intrusted Tomura with.
"Good." He could not help but saying. "I don't want to leave her to heroes and to foster homes."
The clone tilted its head. "Deku cares about her a lot. I feel it in my very being that it is my job to make sure that she feels safe and loved."
"She is." Tomura met the look. "I care for her and so does Kuro."
The clone nodded. "Deku killed several people for her. Murdered them in cold blood because he saw them watching him talk to her, gaining her trust."
The clone was so calm about it too. It was a bit unnerving. Tomura could talk about death like that. He had his guilt over that sorta thing beaten out of him, but Deku?
"I am sure they deserved it." Kurogiri cleared his throat, it was a habit action, not one that he actually had to do to Tomura's knowledge.
The clone blinked. "They stood in the way of her rescue, and they were incompetent in her care."
It didn't go unnoticed by Tomura that the clone was gripping the counter pretty hard.
What had Deku done in the month that he had not seen him?
How much did he change and hide in that brilliant smile of his?
He knew that Deku had played the Heroes and Overhaul. He knew that Deku cared bout hem as well, it was obvious by the speeches that he addressed to the city through the courtroom. He wanted them to carry on, but it was a bit unnerving to see this side of him. The clone did get some of the personality qualities it seemed but it was not exactly the same. It was trying to be more open with them. Trying to tell them snippets that perhaps could get the real one back.
"I am sure they deserved it," Kurogiri repeated looking Deku with the look that said perhaps they needed to have another one of their mental wellness talks. Kurogiri would at least try to help. Tomura took his file feeling a need to get things done and knowing that any of Twice's clones were a lot weaker physically than the real thing, they could not take as much damage. If the Copy attacked they most likely could handle it. But he was pretty sure that Izuku no matter if it was a cheap copy of him or not, would not hurt him and Kuro. He brought the reading over to his desk and started to work on reading over it.
The clone made its way over to Deku's lab area soon after and started to play around with one of the burn laptops. Tomura worked until his head got too heavy and he felt Kurogiri opening a portal to put him to bed. The sad part was he was pretty sure that Kuro had dumped him on the floor rather than his bed.
Oh well, the carpet and floor were comfier than his wooden desk chair anyway, for the first time in what must have been 3 days Tomura let his eyes drift shut.
Chapter 9: Just Some Thoughts.
Just Some Thoughts.
If there was one thing that Copy knew it was the fact that Izuku was a hard worker. He might half-ass things but he was definitely a hard worker. So when he sat down he started working on building back a computer that would be on par or better than the one he previously used for most of his more shady doings.
Kurogiri went to sleep hours ago after putting Tomura to bed.
Tomura was a bit more on edge than what he was used to. Well, what the real him would be used to. it was hard to distinguish feelings, they were all muddled together. He felt hurt because that was how he was meant to feel by their actions but he also with the more logical side that made him up, understood why it would be upsetting to suddenly has a Copy of someone that they knew.
He was a good Copy though, he looked like Izuku for sure down to the curly hair and freckles. He had if he really looked slightly less green eyes but that was probably because Twice made copies to the best of his ability based on the height and such of a person.
He was not a perfect Copy, but he was damn close.
Still, it was a bit painful that no one with the exception of Eri wanted to interact with him. Granted he had only really spent time with Twice, Eri, and Kurogiri. Tomura just popped in towards the end of their conversation.
Twice was happy or at least part of him was to have another being that got the fear of too much damage. Deku had never been weak in spirit but he definitely was in heart and physically. Things got to him more than he ever would let show.
Copy wondered if it would help to be more honest, some of the problems he remembered the other having came from a need to hid parts of himself from those that were supposed to care about him. Izuku could have been a lot happier if he worked with Kurogiri on his issues and in turn, helped others with theirs.
Izuku had rules, they were written deep into his memories and personality that Copy was based upon,
Rule one: Always work hard and only half-ass when whole ass would be a waste of time.
Rule two: Take care of the family as much as possible. They, in turn, will care for you.
Rule three: In dangerous situations always put others' lives above mine, especially families.
Rule four: Heroes were over-glorified and should not be trusted to make the right choices.
Rule number four was what burned the bright inside of him as he watched over Videos of his capture, of his botched trial, and of his sentencing. Deku was not crazy. Copy would know or at least he figured he would know. He had access to all of the memories up to the raid.
He knew that he had tendencies to try the nice way of things, but sometimes being nice was difficult. Sometimes just offing someone was easier.
He tapped his fingers on the desk. He took the cold coffee cup in the other hand and drank some of the liquid down. He wished he asked Kuro to make it that man could make good coffee. Deku was just okay at it. Copy really wanted something that tasted nice considering that he never really had real food or drinks he just had memories of them.
His counterpart had blown up half a city block, the explosion had killed 20 people and injured countless more. He knew that there were people that were still missing and the damage was going to cost the city millions or was costing them millions. It had been a month since Deku's imprisonment.
The asylum was his assignment, figure out a way to get in and out of the place. Tomura was smart he probably could have figured it out but he had it seemed been reliant of Deku for support with things. Perhaps the emotional strain and social strain of being a leader was the reason that the other couldn't think of anything to do.
Then again there were a lot of papers for things that had nothing to do with the asylum and were hanging around the living room area. It looked like Tomura was very interested in police and hero routes. Now, normally this would not be concerning because it was something that Deku would have been watching, same with Compress. but these were very detailed notes. It looked like Hitoshi and the others were stalking them, finding everything out and there were notes about weaknesses. It was somewhat common but a bit concerning there were a lot of people in the files.
It looked like Tomura was planning on eliminating all of them...
Copy tried to focus his eyes back to the computer. He had most of it built, it should with his add ons be good enough to start him looking into things. His eyes drifted back towards the other files and papers.
Tomura wouldn't kill all of them, would he?
Part of him wanted to see it all gone, part of him was very concerned about what that would mean for not only the everyday people of the city but also for his family's souls. They were doing better, they were to be the necessary evil that was at least what Deku was going for with his speech.
But Copy had no real way to know exactly how the real Deku felt about it. He had been off tilt enough to destroy those buildings. Maybe there was no other way to stop Overhaul's recruits from reaching safety but there still had been a lot of innocent people down in the tunnels. By his understanding, Katsuki and Shouto were both down there.
Yes, Deku did not like Katsuki. Copy did not like him either if a word could be applied as a label Copy would go with he hated Katsuki. He might respect the hero that he had become but he would not like him for any other reason than that. Shouto was a gray area. There were a lot of feelings that Copy did not know nor did Izuku seem to know what they meant.
He stood, picking up a jacket and a few other things that would be needed to head outside. They probably would not like it. But if Copy was going to start helping them then he had to see how bad things were. He needed to know if the list that Tomura was compiling were all worth death marking.
Tomura had not seemed bloodthirsty enough to kill hundreds before, that was a very All For One thing to do. If the city was beyond redemption, it if was going to kill itself unless they intervened than he could see taking out those that would lead to the civil war. He could see trying to push the cracks that had been made in the system and make others see reason. But killing a lot of Heroes that were false would send a message of that he was sure, but he was not sure that he wanted that to be their legacy. They did not have to be like Stain. Their stength laid in targeting the people that pulled the strings and held people down. The way to win probably was to gather up the oppressed and start protesting loudly about it. Not invoking violoence till provoked to do so, trying to reason, and push the issues right into the public's eyes was something that had to be done. It was not going to be accomplished by just Deku making a speech on TV. It had to be made with many voices, villains, criminals, real heroes, and citizens alike.
That was the way to do it.
They could protect themselves sure but they shouldn't be targeting so many for destruction. They had stopped the gangs before with minimal killings, with blackmail, and with pushing things through the proper channels. They could do that again. it was a slow process but it would save a lot of lives.
Copy covered himself well as not to have anyone recognize him. he was sure that the way things were there would be a lot of people that could or would recognize him. To bad his favorite coffee place was now completely out of the question. He was sure it would have been nice to sit there and think.
His rounds did not really improve his mood. He saw a lot of things that he did not intervene in but wanted to. He was not as durable as he would have liked and returning to goo as Twice put it did not sound all that appealing.
Recognizance was important at the moment, he just really didn't like sitting idle.
It was another one of those things that were just screaming at him loudly to do something about, but Deku remembered Kurogiri's talk about sometimes the greater good was not putting himself in a situation that would make it difficult for others in his group. He was sure that was directed more towards the actual Deku but it could cause issues if people saw him running around or if they did manage to kill him.
Copy didn't want to die. Most living things didn't and he considered himself to be alive. He had all the functions of a real person the only difference as he was not going to bleed if he was stabbed. He crept back into the base it was as simple as taking the tunnels back in. they needed to be careful about that. heroes might come snooping as they were aware of some of the passageways not like they really had the manpower to comb all parts of the city, but if they got desperate enough it was a possibility.
Dabi met him at the top of the stairs. "So he did make a successful clone." Dabi huffed.
Copy moved past him. "Sure."
He had things to work on, things to think about. He did not want to think too hard about his existence. Deku had thought about it plenty and that had just made everything jumbled and a headache.
"I thought that Tomura was going to dust you, he didn't seem to like the idea of someone that looked like Izuku running around. but you should be near identical so maybe you can help him pull his head out of his ass."
"What are you fighting about now?" Deku was used to these types of interactions and while Copy was not he did know the dynamics that happened in the place.
"what aren't we fighting about?" Dabi raised an eyebrow. "He's set to raise that kid for one."
Deku had strong feelings about Eri. Copy tried to be logical about it. "He sees a lot of himself in her."
"Well, then he for sure shouldn't help parent her, shell turn out as childish and messed up as he is."
"Tomura has issues, but then we all do. If he wants to keep Eri I think you should let him."
"She is not a Damn pet and I don't think he knows that. He treats her like goto."
"I hardly doubt that he thinks of her that way." Copy looked nervously up the stairs, the real Deku would have nothing to fear from an angry Tomura, perhaps after the first lundge or few curse words, but him? He was not so sure.
"Watch their interactions." Dabi folded his arms. "he might be mellowing out around her but he's more pissy than normal. I give it a few months and either he will start to ignore her or he will be too attached to focus on much else."
"I don't think she should stay with us forever, but I do agree with him that watching her, for now, is probably what is best for her. Eri was really abused and Deku had to work to befriend her. He convinced her that Tomura was related to her so that she would go to Tomura if the time came. I think Deku expected to die and knew Tomura would honor the request."
Dabi blinked at him. "So she thinks that Creep is related to her."
The burn victims face looked like he would have thought it was a good thing that no one was related to Tomura. Copy could attest to the idea of multiple Tomura's running around being a terrifying one.
"Yes, and I think that is why she is clingy to him. She desperately wants family, it is something I think we all can understand."
"yah and what would you know about it?" Dabi suddenly shifted and became somewhat defensive.
Copy rolled his eyes. " I mean that as in we all left our families for different reasons, I know you left because of your father you told that Tomura that when you both were drunk."
Dabi did not relax by that much.
There was something there that nagged at Copy's mind. The real Deku had been working to puzzle it out. Dabi hated heroes, and he hated his father. Those two things were enough usually to make him say something that was not so nice. Not that Dabi was ever really that nice, to begin with. There had to be a connection there, maybe his father was a hero at some point and fit in with the shit of the earth. Dabi had said that he was abusive.
"I think that its best she stays with us long enough to make her own decision if she wants to go to things like school or have a normal life. I don't think she would get a real education here besides a mix of our skill sets."
"Toga wants to teach her how to fight." Dabi took out his box of cigarets and lit it with his quirk.
"She needs to defend herself but I am not thrilled with the idea." Copy made his way to his desk.
He really did not want Eri training. He felt a dread enter him of what that could entitle. He had helped to train Hitoshi... or rather Izuku did. He could safely train her if it was needed. Basic self-defense. A child did not need to fight unless someone went after her. Tomura did not seem like he was going to send her out to do those things, not with how much everyone seemed to be insisting that Tomura cared about her.
He glanced up from his desk as Dabi moved over towards the desk. "You know he put me in charge of recruitment." Dabi blew out smoke from his cigarette. "Why did he have to put me on God Damn recruitment."
Copy wondered if he could get things like cancer or if he would ever live long enough to develop anything like that as he watched Dabi smoke.
He rested his hand on his face. "Did something change after I was gone? Did you help him in any way?"
Dabi paused. "I got his ass out of the crumbling building and burn his wound closed. There was a lot of blood."
Copy flinched. He didn't like the thought of that. His Battle with Overhaul was unknown to him. He just knew that Katsuki from his interviews had said that Deku was the one to defeat him.
Dabi looked at Copy.
"I think he has learned to trust you." Copy said slowly.
"That's a bad idea." Dabi put his free hand to his hair and rubbed at his head. "Shit, you think he is trying to relie on me?"
Copy did not know if he was really supposed to answer that, Dabi looked like he was having a more of at war with himself moment. Those blue eyes drifted to him, they were a bit haunting in a way, they seemed to glow like his blue fire.
"He must trust me." Dabi shook his head. "setting me up with God Damn recruitment like I know who would make good additions."
"I am sure you can see through other peoples bull shit." Copy picked up the charging cable and shoved it into the new laptop.
Dabi nodded. "It's still a bad idea to trust me."
"Why?" Copy asked plainly not even caring if that was probably in other circumstances a way to just get Dabi pissed at him.
"Kid I don't even trust me." Dabi put out the cigarette on the table leaving a small scorch mark.
Copy wisely decided not to press that one. "Do you have anyone you are thinking would be a good fit?
"One I think we can use, not that I would trust him within a few feet of Creeper but one I think we can use."
Copy raised an eyebrow, "and this candidate is..."
Dabi grinned, "Hawks."
Copy blinked. "You have one of the biggest pro-heros looking into you.."
"I know I can't trust anything that rat with wings spits out but I would be lying if I said that it was not fun messing with him."
"So you have met with him, is this one of the things that you and Tomura are fighting on?" Copy sighed because it was like Dabi to be playing with fire. It was his quirk Copy got that but how long before the other actually got burned?
"He doesn't know yet." Dabi shrugged. "I am going to get what I can out of him about Endeavor and some of the more on top people and then go from there. I'm not letting him anywhere near home base or Tomura."
"That is kinda nice of you not to involve him with meeting the other but he probably is not going to be happy that you have been meeting with a pro."
"He has nothing to get his boxers in a twist over, I am doing what he asked me to recruiting."
Copy shook his head, "you don't want to just make sure that he doesn't assume the worst?"
Dabi shrugged. "not like I didn't tell anyone. I told you."
"He's not going to want to listen to me when he does find out, he can hardly stand to look at me." Copy felt a bit pained admitting that out loud.
"He can hardly stand to look at me and yet I think I am 3rd in command now." Dabi smiled a little the staples stretched a bit by the movement. "Point is I just want to have someone I can say knew."
"Thank you for nominating me I feel so loved." Copy rubbed at his face. "When we both die, I am killing you again."
Dabi let out a breath of air out his nose so maybe he held in a laugh.
It felt good to talk to people. Maybe he could be seen as more than a replacement.
Maybe just to be safe he better start helping Dabi with his whole Hawks thing, before it led to even more problems.
With that in mind Copy set out to bring up as much junk as he could on Hawks and the most dirt. He then handed the printed sheets to Dabi to look over. After that, he sat back down and started looking into possible people that could be replaced or should be looked out for at the asylum. He didn't stop working until Kurogiri got up and finished making Eri breakfast. The little girl looked over at him several times and Deku wondered what Tomura had said to her. Eventually, he went up to Twice's room and took Spinners' old bed. He took a couple of things that were Deku's because it would fit him obviously and until he could get a few other things for himself. He couldn't count on stealing the originals clothes forever, especially if he was going to be breaking the other out.
For now, he would just get some sleep. He had a lot to look through in the morning. He hoped that Dabi's plan didn't blow up in their faces, he might have to convince the other to try to talk to Tomura about it. They should be careful, they were down members and Copy really did not like the idea of more people he cared about ending up in Tartarus. He had read some really chilling things about the place and Compress did not deserve to suffer there nor dit the others Sensei could rot there for all he cared.
Chapter 10: Choices
Katsuki got dressed for class. He buttoned up his collared shirt that felt slightly tighter than he remembered it. The air to his room felt stale and the temperature far to warm. He slipped on his jacket and looked at his spiky hair that was a tad crazier than it usually was because of the intense heat in his room. He made his way out into the commons and everyone looked at him.
He usually really didn’t care if people looked at him they had the habit to do that regardless of whatever type of situation that he was in. They had stared at him after the stain incident many of them asking him for comments about it. Some of them even commenting on how that fucking murderous bastard was in a way cool. Yeah, Katsuki never would forgive sparky for that one.
Nothing about Stain and the fight that Katsuki had with him was cool. It had been one of the few times in his life that he would admit to being terrified. He had been terrified that he was going to witness Iida dying. He had watched the other bleeding out and saw the messed up torture that the man had put Iida through and the Native. The man had been a pretty shitty person, but Katsuki did not think that he deserved to be cut to pieces like that. He had also been notably terrified of the bird masked mother fucker too, he still had a couple of nightmares of that thing charing him trying to tear him to bits or just flat out absorb him.
They had stared at him after the raid too. They had all questioned him about his speeches. They all seemed to think that he needed some sort of help for the side and stance that he had taken on it. Only Kirishima really got it, Uraraka maybe. She was still not Deku’s biggest fan after watching him kill Mineta. She would perhaps have been singing a different tune if she had paid enough attention to the news to know that Mineta was looking up some pretty fucked up shit, and was probably going to be a sexual predator in a couple of years if he hadn’t been one already. There was also the whole thing with Iida thinking that he literally was siding with people like Stain. Which was just an added salt to the wound that was his life. He cared for Iida and it hurt him a bit that the other would think that Katsuki would ever side with someone that would have wanted him dead.
How could the other think that?
Glasses and him were not the best of friends but Katsuki still considered him to be one and having lost one of the better friends he had was not a very good feeling. Katsuki admittedly had not handled that accusation very well. He had exploded and he had yet to apologize for that one, he was unsure that he would. It was one of those things that both parties would have to apologize for because Katsuki sure as hell was not going to apologize for supporting Deku.
He didn’t agree with all the things that Deku had done, but that did not mean that Katsuki wanted him to spend the rest of his life in prison or in the place that he was now. It was probably partially his fault that Deku was even in the loony bin.
Regardless, Deku was not Stain, nor was the League of Villains really that far gone, at least some of the members. Deku was not out to kill all heroes for things as petty as sponsorships. Deku was going to hunt you down if you were a false hero for other reasons than greed. He might have hated those types of people’s guts but he didn’t go around cutting them down. Deku had a lot of dirt and he sure as hell did not pull punches when it came to dumping it out on every platform that he could.
Deku did things that Katsuki did not agree with sure, but there was a bit more rational to his killings or at least the possible killings that he could have played a hand in. Compress had not said a word about the crimes the League had commented nor did Deku answer any of the clarifying questions in his interrogations on who in the League were the ones that carried out the killings. Katsuki figured if anyone was going to kill anyone when it came to the League that it would be Skigaraki and the insane girl with the blood obsession. Tomura would have left less of a mess and made the killings less easy to trace or prove that they ever happened. Dust had the tendency to blow away in the wind.
Supporting Deku was not the same thing as supporting Stain or asking for riots to happen in the streets. There were protests happening, people were organizing. Deku had sparked people to want change in some of the quirk safety laws. Some people were clamoring for the self-defense laws to be widened. Some were protesting that the laws were too lax if heroes and politicians were using theirs to abuse people.
UA was trying to stay out of the mess, but by letting Katsuki continue to attend they were not necessarily getting the best press. There were a lot of people that wanted him kicked out. There were a lot of people that had lots of loud opinions about a lot of things. They thought that he was a traitor too. He could see it on some of the faces of the people that he passed in the halls prior to his little outing. They expected him to be like Shinso a spy that was waiting to spill more UA secrets to the league.
As if the league needed any fucking help to get information about the place. They had probably everything they could ever have wanted to know with two of the literal best hackers that Japan had ever seen on their side. Deku had also befriended Shouto and could have gotten information in passing that way as well.
No Katsuki wouldn’t rat people out, his classmates at least knew that, but that didn’t mean that it made it any more tolerable to have people looking at him like he would be the next big supervillain.
The way he saw it there probably was not much more he could do on this side. It was not like he was going to go full Villain or anything but the way that things seemed to be heading with the peace talks and rebuilding meetings not going to be happening for a couple of months. Katsuki just had a really bad feeling that people like Mitts were going to be caught in a very ugly crossfire between people that would violently take up Deku’s message and fight heroes, police, and society bending whatever rules there were to make their own version of his mission a reality, Villains that were going to take advantage of the mistrust in heroes and the government, and then the heroes themselves as they tried to contain everything and hold some sort of order.
He felt that someone had to stand between Mitts and her group and those sorts of situations. Someone had to protect the people that had no choice but to be out in the streets where the tension was building up. He wanted to protect them even. It was what heroes were supposed to do, protect those that could not protect themselves.
If he stayed here, he could try to sway opinions, but if All Might was not going to support him in this venture what chance did he have of convincing the others?
He made his way out of the common room not bothering to great his classmates or answer any questions that might be forming on their tongues they probably would not like his answers to them anyway. He didn’t know what to do. He felt cornered at every turn.
He felt that horrible feeling in his gut that he was all too familiar with guilt and uncertainty. No one was in homeroom yet. He was 40 minutes early so that was to be expected. He took his seat and looked out of the window resting his chin in his hand and taking in a long sigh.
There was dark clouds overhead so it meant one of two things it was going to rain really hard today or it was going to snow. He hoped that it didn’t snow he really hated snow. He from his spot could see over the walls that surrounded UA. He could see people that were gathering at the gates to protest again or make more news reports.
He sighed and turned back to the sound of the door opening to the classroom. Eraser Head had entered the classroom.
"Bakugou." The man mumbled a greeting.
He nodded his head in acceptance of the greeting but made no move to speak to the other.
"Is there a reason that you have decided to get here this early?"
"Is there a reason you're here this early?" he snipped back.
Eraser Head did not seem phased by that as it was true that he never really came to the classroom early, he liked sleep and everyone knew that.
He held up a sleeping bag wordlessly.
Katsuki just slumped a bit in his chair.
"You being here early have anything to do with the fact that you are avoiding your classmates."
"I think its best to try to get along with them considering if you are planning on staying they will be your classmates for the next couple of years and possibly your teammates depending on the agency you choose to join."
Katsuki did his best not to make a face at that, but his poker face had always been shit and he knew that Eraserhead while having bloodshot and a slightly damaged eye, had vison that was good enough to catch his reaction to it.
"You are choosing to continue here aren't you?"
"All Might mentioned to the staff that you went to him after your venture to the Eastern District. That was where Izuku was last if I remember. He said you were dissatisfied by the way in which things were handled."
'They weren’t handled at all.' Katsuki thought folded his arms and glared at the desk more so than his teacher.
"I know how you feel. Politics and being a hero are things that should not have to coexist but they do. The tired eyes met his. Make your claims at the summit and bring evidence. Until then you can still push for what is right."
Their eyes met and Katsuki turned to get his stuff out of his bag as other people started to show up.
The day was a bit strenuous he got about the same looks that he was getting before and after the trial. Kirishima was the only one that dared to sit with him at lunch.
"You okay man?" The redhead rubbed his head. "Who am I kidding probably not right?"
Katsuki sighed. "I am trying to come to terms with everything, there is a lot on my mind."
"Well, you know you have me to talk to right. I know you didn’t tell me about the whole you figured out that Deku was actually your friend and all that but I would have supported you man. I still will if you let me."
Katsuki looked at him dead in those shining red eyes. “I am thinking about quitting.”
That seemed to catch Kirishima off guard whatever his friend had been expecting that was not it.
"I don’t think I want to do this anymore," Katuski said be it a bit bitterly but the words seemed to catch in his throat. He had always wanted to be a hero and after he thought that Izuku was dead he had just really wanted to become a hero that saved people so no one would end up like Izuku did. Now that everything was said and done. Being a Hero and being at UA just didn’t seem like it was the right fit anymore.
Giran might have been right about taints…
Izuku was his taint…
Kirishima looked at him, like really looked at him, "Is it because of what happened in the Eastern District?"
"Sort of." Katsuki folded his arms his palms starting to get a bit sweaty thinking about it. "I went there for a couple of days. I had to know if the accusations had any truth to it."
And they were true. The city was going to hell and no one seemed to care. It was so aggravating that it was impossible to even express. But he tried to put it into words.
"And they aren’t doing shit. There is still damage from the battle of All Might and All For One down there and countless homeless. Police and heroes harass everyone and there is no place for a lot of people to go. And UA, All Might, all the people that have power to help aren't getting them any of that."
Kirishima frowned. All Might is retired though.
"He’s a symbol, a figure head, they have sway to them. People respect him and yet he lets them walk all over him." Katsuki realized his voice was getting a bit loud as some people were looking over at him.
He let out a deep sigh. He didn’t hate All Might but there was something to be said about not standing up to people that were political. Yes, they could have made life difficult but with such a brand name, most people would listen. If All Might said so it must have been so. Especially with how little the man had ever advertised his name. All Might didn’t really endorse things though he did let people sell some things like T-shirts and Coffee mugs with his name on them.
He made a move to stand and Kirsisima sort of pulled him back down.
“Tell me more about what Deku told you.”
So Katsuki told Kisishima everything they, of course, moved to a place they would not be overheard and might have been skipping class in order to do so. Kirishima listened to Katsuuki talk about what probably was Deku’s vision and about how Katsuki now felt about heroes. They talked enough that they got cold and when out into the city to get food and drinks.
They were going to be in trouble.
Well, Katsuki worse than he already was. His mom was probably going to be pissed. Especially now for sure that Katsuki was supposed to be back on track to working harder in school and all that.
Kirishima had helped him make the decision to stay at UA, for a little bit longer. At least long enough to put together something for the talks that were coming up. That did not mean that on his weekends and possibly some of his less busy days that he would not be slipping out of UA to investigate things first hand or help Mitts and the others out. He was going to try it All Mights and Eraserheads way and if it didn’t work that he for sure was going to leave. He was going to dedicate himself to fighting in the alleyways. He was going to do what the title hero didn’t allow him. And if that made him a Villain or a Vigilante he didn’t care.
The next day after detentions and classes. Kirishima and him sat in the library pulling out all the information that they could on the crime statistics for the Eastern and Western districts. Katsuki also took out some books on vigilantes. He scanned some of the pages and put them back as not to have them in his possession. Anything at this point would be red flags. He didn’t need his teachers or the staff getting it into their heads that he was going to be doing anything illegal until he had no choice but to take that sort of action. He would rather them not keep such a close eye on him.
After they were there a couple of hours Uraraka showed up.
"Hey, Ummm Katsuki." She played with the strap to her backpack.
Hi he said awkwardly rubbing the back of his head. It had been a while since they spoke. He had thought that she was trying to avoid him. He tried really hard not to think about it, because it had been a bit painful. She had been his first real friend. He lost everyone in middle school and before that, there had only been Deku. It was nice that she seemed to still want to talk with him, relieving really.
"I heard that you went to see if there was anything that you can do for the people of the Eastern District and to support them in the summit in a few months." She looked at him with a determined look. "I think that is really great of you, and I know you know that I don’t really like Deku. But I think this is a good thing that you are trying to do.”
She clenched her fists having them slightly out in front of her. “I want to help you, Suki. Let me help you.”
His face felt a little hot and his palms a little sweaty. Kirishima was giving him that all too familiar knowing look that made Katsuki have to resist the urge to flip him off.
“You can help us.” He nodded.
She smiled that wonderful smile of hers. “I was hoping that you would say that. I already brought help.
Asui waved a little from her place by the copier. The only person that the mystery squad was missing now was Iida.
Uraraka must have seen the slight frown on his face. “I talked with Iida he isn’t… well ready to work things out.”
“It's fine.” He had no idea if it was or not. He was pretty happy to have most of them back in his life. He probably was the one that was pushing them away from the start, he had retreated he supposed back into his shell and back to his habits of being defensive and evasive. It had just been a really bad couple of months for him.
She didn’t look convinced but smiled slightly again and took his hand in hers so that she could at least give him some sort of reasuance. She didn’t seem to mind the sweat it seemed, Katsuki couldn’t understand why, everything he knew about girls was probably wrong...
They spent a few hours over the next few days working on research, every time they took a break though, Katsuki was looking out the window and wondering how Mitts and the others were doing. He was sneaking out on Friday regardless of the consequences.
Chapter 11: Slipping
He lay on the hard floor. The room was dark and the only light came from a slit that was high above him. The room was cold and damp. It smelled slightly of mold and mildew. His head hurt and his stomach rumbled. His eyes closed as he breathed in and out the fowl place's smell. He blinked tired green eyes and tried to keep them open but failed as they would flutter shut every now and then.
He coughed and the dust and dirt around him moved with each of his breaths. His fingers twitched as they were being held far too tightly together and close to his palm.
There was no sound.
That was the hardest part of it all the room dampened sound making the world still and silent. His thoughts felt loud and his breathing was the only other thing that he could hear. It was as if that was the only thing in the world that was real. The hard floor and his breathing.
Perhaps the cold was real too because he could feel it seeping through the thin fabric of his uniform. He took another deep breath and then let it out slowly. Tilting his head made the world spin like a little kaleidoscope mixing the different hues of black and gray. It was better to just lay there on his side feeling the hard tile floor press hard against his right arm.
The other arm was still damaged and it did not look like it was healing right, of course, it had been a while since he had been able to fully see himself. He had been in the dark for a long time now. He could not make out the bruises that he had but he could see the slight discoloration on his wrists if he looked close enough at them.
He did not know how long he had been in the dark...
The dark was better than the lightroom anyway. He would take this then being strapped down.
His thoughts were a mess. He could not concentrate on anything for very long without the wave of nausea and pain of his arm taking him back out of whatever it was he was thinking about. He felt numb moving his fingers gripping at himself reminded him that he was still there.
Of course, he was still there... where would he be if he wasn't...the thought made him smile a little to himself and made him laugh of course the noise did not travel like it should have. It stayed right where it was as if it was supposed to stay trapped just behind his lips and in the back of his throat.
He laughed placing his forehead on the cool smooth surface. It felt comforting to face it for some reason. He snickered to himself forgetting the reason that he was laughing as tears started to form in the corners of his eyes. They trickled down his cheeks and he could taste the salt on his dry lips. He could feel the dirt also give way when he rubbed at his face rolling over to look up at the skylight.
it was way up there.
So far away...
His head spun as he felt that dizzyness return to him.
The sky was dark but he could see the very pale light of some sort above him, through the slits that were like bars. He felt more tears slip out of his eyes and he blinked at them letting his hands fall back to his sides and against the ground. He could not climb the smooth surface around him so all that light did was taunt him.
They all Mocked him.
He frowned switching easy with the emotions. He hated them. He hated them so much.
That old hag and that rough guard.
He twitched a bit as the rage subsided as it was some sort of emotion that he could not really feel for too long before his head felt fuzzy again.
He knew that he hated them though...
He knew that they did this to him.
They told him that his family did not love him.
Deku knew that they did.
He did... He did... He did... Know it.
He blinked again forcing the silent tears from his eyes.
They cared, they would find him, they would come to get him.
He just had to wait.
He found that he was getting pretty good at waiting. He waited for people every day to check on him. They would always say the same things. They always claimed the same things. They were wrong. They were wrong and Deku would show them that they were wrong.
Let them come at him with the needle next time. He felt along the side of his legs and held the small screw that he had hidden here. This time he would be ready.
He came to check on him. It was more of him just showing up to throw water at Deku and to give him his shot. This time Deku was ready for it. He made sure that he was sitting up against the back wall and he made sure to look the man in his pale blue eyes. He wanted the other to remember what he looked like. He had strapped him down many times for the night. He had tied him to his bed and he had "forgot" to untie him in the morning so that he wet himself. The man took pleasure in tormenting Deku and the old woman tried to convince him that he was delusional.
Deku smiled at the guard. He smiled as he stepped into the room.
How many times had this man punched random funny farm animals?
How many times had he thrown Deku to the floor just for fun?
Too many to count and it didn't matter if the doctors claimed not to know about this sort of thing. Deku would deal with them too. He had already scared two psychics off of his case. The old lady had finally just accepted him back because she was the one that he had messed with less.
"Izuku" The guard barked.
Deku tilted his head and kept his smile in place. The idiot had forgotten to give him another shot. It had been over 12 hours. And Deku was able to think again.
He pretended to be out of it, just tilting his head towards the noise.
The guard got closer and Deku couldn't hear his shoes moving on the hard floor but he knew that if the room was not one that had the dampened sound he would have heard those things slamming into the ground. The guard was loud footed when he was in the old cell room it had been easy to tell where he was. Deku had originally thought that he would use that as a way to help him keep timing when planning his escape. But he had soon learned to hate that sound and it did not matter the usefulness of knowing where a guard was. All that mattered was getting this man back.
He had the needle ready to go. Deku could see it. He could feel it even if it was not yet close to his skin. The man had come alone again. He thought that he could handle him.
It was because he was alone that he had gotten away with so much.
Deku did not fear him, hated him but did not fear.
He giggled a tad to add to his acting.
The man smiled at that, getting dimples that messed into his bearded face.
He reached for Deku and Deku quickly jerked to the side, startled by his quick movement the guard took a step back. Too bad it was in the way towards the back wall and Deku easily blocked his exit.
"Izuku." The man tried to sound stern but Deku could hear the way that his voice quivered slightly.
That's right, even in here people that deserved it should fear him.
"That's not my name," Deku said plainly.
"Stop this at once." The man stood as tall as he could his voice still had that doubt in it. Deku took a step forward again. "stop."
"I think I asked you that once. I asked you to stop and you tightened the restraint further on my wrist it was quite painful." Deku shrugged. "I think others have asked you too."
The man was sweating. He had a shit quirk, Deku knew that. He could track people's movements through solid walls if need be. It was how he knew where his victims were and the prisoners were at all times. He also knew if anyone would be coming to disrupt him with some of his more evil night affairs. Deku had seen him prey on others. The sick bastard.
He might have been bigger than Deku and Deku was out of practice but that really did not matter. Deku had fought better opponents he was sure, and this time he was not drugged.
The guard tried to charge him and Deku easily knocked him over. Kicking him hard when he landed and causing him to cry out. that was the nice thing about soundproofing a room. No one could hear him. No one would interrupt them. This time it was Deku that would run the session.
The man quickly got to his feet. "You won't get away with anything they will know."
"I don't care." Because Deku really didn't. Not anymore. He had been in the place to long too.
The man tried to stab him with the needle and Deku took the long screw that he had taken out of the window frame of his old room and stabbed him instead in the eye. That pretty blue eye that could use that troublesome quirk was gone. And Deku watched the man bleed out with a very slight feeling of satisfaction.
The guard stumbled and he made a run for the hall. Deku let him go. He didn't care what the punishment was. He was used to drugs and mind dives by now. Maybe this time when they threw him in solitary they would leave him there with a guard that wouldn't disturb his peace and quiet.
Chapter 12: Realization
Copy rolled in the desk chair over to Dabi who was busy texting on his phone, passing over another file. Dabi raised an eyebrow as if to say do you really expect me to read all that shit. He did though start to page through it. Copy tried to help the recruiting process go a bit better by doing background checks on some of the people that wanted to join. They didn't need anyone else in the main group, not if they got Deku back and Compress back that was. Till then they might be a little short-staffed for anything else other than information gathering and having underlings to gather other sorts of supplies.
"The next meet up is set." Dabi put the phone away into his jacket.
"I still think that you should tell Tomura." Copy folded his arms. "but if you read through that file I gave you at least you will know everything I could find on that pigeon of yours."
"You worry too much." Dabi rolled his eyes.
"And you don't worry near enough." Copy countered moving back over to where he was working by kicking off of the counter. If Kuro was there he would have scolded him for such an action. Hitoshi however just raised an eyebrow from his place on the stairs.
Copy smiled a little at him as he settled himself back down for more work on updating their knowledge on police servers. There was a lot to do without Compress and by Kurogiri's very strong reaction against a clone of him. It fell on Copy to do a job that had once been a two-person one. There never seemed to be enough hours in the day to get everything done.
It was not that Copy really blamed Kurogiri. He was in a relationship with Compress. They were intimate with each other and they were all each other had in a lot of ways. They balanced each other, and Copy knew that it was very hard on Kuro not to be with someone that he loved. The clone would have loved Kuro. It would have had all Compress's memories up till that point when they were both captured. The clone would want that sort of attention from Kuro. Copy knew that it would because Compress had loved Kuro from the first moment that he had laid eyes on the other. Copy knew that Compress could be petty and not being loved would be enough to probably push the copy off of the edge and to doing something that probably would not be in the rest of the League's best interests.
Dabi made his way towards the exit to go do whatever it was that Dabi did and Hitoshi made his way over to look at what Copy was doing.
Purple eyes met green and Copy felt an odd feeling as he was next to the other. Hitoshi had always been the one that was comforting to have by his or rather Deku's side. Deku seemed to care about Hitoshi on par with Tomura and Kuro. Perhaps it was because Deku knew what it was like to be an outsider, Copy knew that probably even better than Deku did at this point.
The others were not exactly unkind to him, but they did not exactly treat him the way that the treated Izuku. Toga was the only one that really did not like him or showed any open hostility. It was because apparently Deku had kissed her before he had gone off to fight against Kai. Copy did not have such a memory as to understand why Deku would do such a thing. From all the memories that he possessed, it seemed that Deku had never really had any feelings for Toga.
Izuku had more feelings in regards to Hitoshi then he ever had for Toga. That was not to say that Izuku did not care for her. He did. Copy knew that. He knew that the second rule of his nature was to care for anyone that was considered family and Toga was that, family. Hitoshi had slept next to Deku, been in hell with Deku and it made more sense to fell strongly for him. Not that Copy was saying that Deku would fall for Hitoshi it just would have made more sense to him.
Kurogiri treated him okay he just seemed to be trying to replace Deku with Copy. Perhaps that soothed the man's soul having lost two of the people he loved in one swift move, to have someone that was pretty much the same to talk too. Kuro did not have to say it but Copy knew that he felt that he was right about how they never should have gotten involved with Overhaul.
Eri was too young to understand what he was. She thought that he was Izuku's twin and he sort of liked that description of himself. He liked spending time with her when Tomura was not around. The man was protective about as protective as could be when it come to that little girl. Deku might have really given Tomura family by insisting that Tomura save her.
He did have his concerns like Dabi did about the whole thing. Tomura was very invested in her safety and he was in it for the long run it seemed when it came to taking care of Eri. He did not let it get in the way of his job as a leader, in fact, Copy would say it oddly seemed to calm the other down hanging around the little girl. Tomura did though show worrying signs of not sleeping, more so then what Copy could remember.
Copy paused in his typing.
Tomura was definitely stressed and he was defiantly more pissy with people about little things. It was very annoying actually to have him acting like such a child again. But Copy supposed that if you were really stressed that you would start to snap on the little things rather than the big ones. He had it seemed a growing hit list and his obsession over the people that he was looking into and compiling his list over was really starting to worry him. He would have to talk with him. He could maybe talk him out of what horrible thing that Copy could not help but feel that the other was going to do.
"Are you doing okay?" Hitoshi asked.
He was the only one besides Kuro that did that asked if he was okay. Copy did not know if it was because Hitoshi was overall a nicer person that was not completely cut out to be a villain or if it was because he felt that he owed it to the past Deku to check in on a version of himself.
He supposed that it really didn't matter...
"You know you don't have to work all the time." Hitoshi folded his arms.
"There is not much else for me to do." Copy turned back to his work.
Because his off time was usually spent with Tomura and the other did not seem to want anything to do with him. Which hurt but Copy figured that it was just again that thing that Tomura did when he did not want to apologize but did not know how. Or was just avoiding him because he still saw Deku whenever he looked at him. One of those.
"Izuku was hard-working but even he knew that it was important to take breaks." Hitoshi leaned on the desk, he had grown since they had first met. Deku didn't and Copy was unsure if he had the capability to grow. When he compared himself to Twice, he had begun to suspect that the other was not a clone at all. The Scar on his head was a pretty good indication of that. Not that it was really Copy's place to tell people who or what they were.
"I am not him." Copy said plainly.
Because he was not. He was not Deku as much as it seemed Kurogiri wanted him to be. They were slightly different, just slightly and Copy was doing his best and could do without the constant comparison. He already did that to try to figure out all the memories and things that he felt. It was hard.
Copy wondered if Twice or the others really realized this. He had been alive so to speak for about 3 weeks. He was learning things that he had no recollection of the original him noticing. But Copy could see the threads to the family seeming dynamic, shifting. It was held together by threads. People were holding onto dreams and getting Deku back. They had lost a lot of spirit and Copy could not exactly make up for it.
It was not for lack of trying...
It was just he was not Deku. He was not Thee Deku and the more time that passed the worse it would be when they did get the original out. The pressure was there, everyone was doing there part to hold the ground they had and to try to think of ways into the asylum.
Copy had a few ideas. Not many but a few that he planned on presenting them in the next meeting whenever that was going to be. Tomura was out again and Kuro was watching Eri. Dabi had just left and Toga was out scouting. She had taken a trip to where the asylum actually was to get a feel for the local town.
Hitoshi blinked at him. "No, your not, but you have his memories and all that." Hitoshi stuck his hands in his pockets. "So you are very similar at least and I know that you would want a break by now."
What was he playing at? Copy was not exactly sure. "I could take a break." He tried not to sound skeptical of the idea the other seemed to want to do something with him.
Hitoshi smiled. "Good I was thinking of going out for food and such, you should come too."
It was Copy's turn to blink. He did eat like everyone else, but no one had really asked him to go do things with them. They mostly just had food in the base that whoever needed to eat could. Apparently Tomura put himself in charge of shopping. It was a budgeting thing that was not necessary as much because Deku knew how to access all the different accounts that he and Compress had set up.
"Sure." Copy pulled on his coat and put on the fake piercings and beanie hat so that he would be less recognizable. He fit well with the very gothic look that Hitoshi was sporting. Copy would never say it but the bags under Hitoshi's eyes looked like they were almost there purposely with his disguise.
"I was thinking of the coffee place on 3rd." Hitoshi led the way through the tunnels towards the surface. 3rd was pretty busy but that was the thing it was easy to blend into large crowds of people and move in and out of them. Heroes might be looking for the League but they didn't think to look in the heart of the city. They looked in places that were a bit shadier or where there were fewer people. 3rd would be a good location because it was towards the nicer parts of town and far enough away from places like UA that Hitoshi wouldn't be recognizable.
Hitoshi had learned in the time that Deku was gone it seemed. Not that he really could keep great tabs on the other when he was working for Overhaul. He nodded in acceptance of the place. They made their way through crowds of everyday people, bustling around as if nothing in the world was wrong. There were a few people with signs moving about that were in protest of the old quirk laws. There were a couple of people shouting at someone that wasn't holding a sign.
"Things are getting worse," Hitoshi said next to him. " Tensions are high but no one is really doing anything. The police try to lock away anyone that protests the existing laws that shows any sort of aggression. People are angry that some people seem to be siding with Villains. They forget that we're people too."
Copy nodded. "I think that a lot of people forget that we're all still human, we come from different walks of life but we are that."
Hitoshi's purple eyes slid over to him.
"Some of us aren't even that." Copy felt the need to say.
"You might not have been born in a normal sense but I don't really think that makes you inhuman. You were created to be like the best person I knew at least." Hitoshi rubbed at his head and some of the purple hair made its way out further from the hat that he wore.
"Thank you." Copy smiled slightly. "I am struggling with seeing myself as more than just a shadow of Izuku."
"I think we all are, especially Tomura he actually has to lead now."
"He led before." Copy defended.
"He had you to back him up or tell him to sit down and shut up at least." Hitoshi rolled his eyes. "He has no one that he really listens to anymore. Kurogiri is trying, I just don't think he has as much confidence as he feels a bit responsible for not warping to save both of you."
"There was nothing that he really could have done without putting himself at risk, and by my understanding, someone had to take care of Tomura's wound."
"He doesn't see it that way, but you know him."
Copy nodded. He knew far too well what Kurogiri thought of himself and it appeared that Copy was going to have to try harder to brighten his moods.
They made their way to the shop and ordered their drinks. Copy almost felt that he betrayed his favorite place by coming here. Or rather Deku's favorite place, his memories told Copy that the place had the best coffee and because people had known him there they were able to make drinks just the way that he liked them. Too bad that he would never be able to go back there, not with Shouto knowing about it and with him being outed as a criminal and all.
The coffee was pretty good and they ate a couple of breakfast sandwiches as they watched the people go by. Hitoshi looked sad but then he almost always had that look about him.
"Are you okay? I mean you got me out and about but you seem down."
Hitoshi looked from the window to him. His hand rested on the table loosely. "I am worried about Izuku and what Tomura is going to do with all the recognizance that he has been making us do. I am worried about the city. Yah the people that make it up have never given two shits about me and said the most awful of things about me, but not everyone deserves a wave of destruction you know."
Copy nodded. "I am trying to get him out. I have some ideas on how to take care of that problem, as for the city I feel that some shakeup is the only thing that will open people's eyes. I am not a fan of what Tomura could be planning though. The implications alone by the files, he is making is a bit horrifying."
"Is that what you were talking to Dabi about?"
"No." Copy said easily.
"It's not my place to say what he is planning though if he doesn't head my warnings I will do something about it."
"Secrets." Hitoshi shook his head.
"Yes for now. I think though that Deku had a habit of keeping lots of them." Copy pointed out.
Hitoshi tilted his head. "Deku was always a few steps ahead of everyone. It would make sense he did not tell us everything."
Deku had been in a way that but a lot of the stuff that he did was pulled out of thin air and luck. Copy declined mentioning that. "I can think like him, I have his memories, yet there are differences as I don't know how he felt at the end of everything. He kissed Toga apparently and she is not happy that I don't have any recollections of feelings for her."
"He kissed her?!" Hitoshi actually shuddered at that. "You know that she keeps like hundreds of pictures of him in her room. Right?"
Copy made a face at that, he had not known that. But he was sure that if he had that at least Copy wouldn't have kissed Toga.
"He's going to have to deal with that I suppose when he gets out." Hitoshi frowned.
Copy didn't miss how Hitsoshi seemed upset with the fact that Deku had kissed Toga and he definitely did not miss the way the other seemed to sag by the realization. He didn't think it was his place to say that the kiss had meant nothing. How was he to know, yet he wanted to because he really did not like seeing Hitoshi sad.
He was sure that was both his own feeling of not just Deku's filtering in. They finished up their drinks with talks of books. Hitoshi seemed a bit happier after that, being able to share his opinions and bring up other good mentions for Copy to read, seemed enough to bring about a smiling face.
He was glad to see it and he felt more relaxed than he had in a very long time. In his near month of existence, he had not felt this way. It really felt that Hitoshi was his friend and not just Deku's.
For the next week, Hitoshi invited him to more things. It felt good to get out even if Tomura didn't seem all that happy with it. The next clubhouse meeting was set for Sunday and Copy had convinced Dabi at least to mention his plan to Tomura. It was probably the non-stop nagging that did it. Copy had at long last found the man's weakness, if you annoyed him enough and got him past the point of pissed then you could get him to do what you wanted.
He should have known that it wouldn't have lasted, Deku had a streak of bad luck that just when things started to get better that things would crash and burn in some spectacular way, why should his luck have worked any differently. It was supposed to be a simple go out with Hitoshi and get back to the base in time for the meeting.
Simple... yeah, nothing could ever just be that word.
They had been recognized by some sort of officer that was looking for the League in particular. He chased after them and down into the tunnels. He was calling for backup as he ran after and Copy was glad that he knew for sure that no sort of signal ever happened when you made it into the tunnels. It was now a matter of getting the man out of the tunnels and disarming him. He had a standard-issue firearm, and Copy was aware that there were only 4 bullets left as the officer had missed 2 of them as they had ducked down into the hole.
Hitoshi had his back against the wall on a turn. Copy was squished into the pipes. The man's beam of light was getting closer. A gun could kill both of them, but it could only kill Hitoshi if it hit something vital. It would kill Copy regardless of where it hit, that he was sure would be enough damage.
His heart it thudded in his chest and he felt his body tense and ready to go into action. He didn't have a weapon but then neither did Hitoshi. They weren't in uniform so the best that Copy had was his wits and whatever combat experience it was that Deku had. Deku was thinker for the most part and it didn't take long for that part of his brain to click on. It was a narrow passage and there really was only one way to go. Their end dead-ended and the other side went down a ways. The officer was on the narrow path that would eventually reach this point. He was still trying to get someone to follow him up so as long as they took care of him here and now there would be no worries about more heroes showing up.
Again they could try to comb all the tunnels but that would be pretty difficult and if they tried to get cameras down here, Copy would know about it because he had his own spread about and would take them out with one of his disruption devices.
He needed to act and act fast, he darted across the way. The idiot officer panicked and shot at him. The bullet bounced around and Copy heard it clang against something loudly before it must have stopped bouncing.
The officer turned towards where Copy had run and Hitoshi moved out from behind the wall to help. It was messy with the tight space. Copy could hardly maneuver but he did his best dodging the arms that reached for him while Hitoshi slammed into the man from the side.
Loyalty perhaps was not what he had expected because now he had to face both of them and Copy easily took care of the distraction and Hitoshi went to knock him out. Except the officer used his quirk witch made large spikes exit his body like quills. One of them poked into Copy's coat and he could feel a slight jolt of pain from it. That fear of returning to goo made him jerk backward and Hitoshi hit the man with some sort of debris that was found down here. The man stumbled and fell. The spikes going back into his body. Hitoshi drew his knife with the other hand and looked from the man to Copy and back.
Copy straightened up and made a move to take the gun away and some of the access bullets they would come in handy later.
"He's out cold." Copy assured Hitoshi.
"What should we do about him," Hitoshi asked his voice was slightly nervous.
Copy tilted his head, "Nothing we put him out of the tunnels."
"We're just doing to let him go?" Hitoshi let out a deep breath, his body relaxing just slightly.
Copy blinked, "Why wouldn't we?"
Hitoshi didn't say anything. He just stood there silently in the dark, his purple eyes masked by the loose hair that had fallen into his face.
"Hitoshi, have you been killing officers?" Copy held his breath waiting for a response.
"I haven't but Toga has..." Hitoshi lowered his head further. "Tomura has been trying to get me used to this sort of thing and defending myself."
"There is a difference between defending yourself and having to kill someone." Copy hissed. He was so angry.
God damn it Tomura. He was so angry that he was shaking.
"I...know." Hitoshi stuttered out taking note of how pissed Copy was and probably knowing that an angry Deku was not something to be trifled with.
"You listen to me, don't kill unless you haven't got a choice and I will be having words with Tomura." Copy grabbed the officer and started dragging him towards the entrance. He felt a slight pain in his arm but ignored it, too angry to care.
He made his way first back to the base. He made his way up into his room and shut the door, pulling off the coat and looking at the place that had been punctured.
To his amazement and somewhat horror... He was bleeding.
The hole was deep and when he poked it, it hurt.
He bled like a normal person...
He thought that he would just break apart and goo would form, that was what Twice told him.
But no he was bleeding...
He was not exactly sure what that meant.
Did that mean that he was truly alive if he bled like everyone else, had the ability to form memories, adapt and change?
The blood felt real. Tasted real that irony taste was familiar though he himself had never tasted it. He could feel pain both physically and mentally.
He had to be alive.
This had to mean he was. He watched the blood bubble as he dabbed at it. He eventually brought himself back to reality. He tired a bandage around his arm and dressed into something a bit more casual. He sucked in a deep breath and looked at himself in the mirror. His hair was turning green, and his eyes were still that lighter green color. He blinked them feeling at the wound that he had bandaged, before lightly slapping his face.
He had to talk to Tomura. He had to set him straight about how the things that he was doing wouldn't end well for anyone. He had to stop the other before he did something that he would regret.
Something that he would not be able to take back.
He put on his best-determined face and hoped to everything that Deku's memories could help him read this situation or he was going to end up as a bleeding pile of goo.
Chapter 13: The Talk
Tomura sat on the bed trying again to do as Eri asked. She wanted her hair done in some braided thing and Tomura was not very stilled when it came to using his hands with the gloves on. He was only wearing the gloves because he had tried with just 4 fingers and had the feeling that he was going to slip and cause some of Eri's hair to become dust. She had pretty hair and he would feel bad if he dusted it. But man was he horrible at this. He wanted to just untangle the mess he was making and give up.
He couldn't exactly bring himself to do that though, as much as he wanted to. He was too tired to deal with this stuff. He had not slept more than a few hours in days. He constantly felt drained and blinking even felt like it would cause him to collapse. But he had been having dreams recently. Terrible dreams of his childhood home, the dreams were similar to the memories that he had but different. For one he now remembered that he had a sister, much like Eri. Small and he didn't know if she was litter than him or if she was older. She seemed kind always holding out her hand to him. Yet he dreamed of her crumbling, turning to bloody chunks screaming.
He paused as he heard a knock on his door.
Eri looked up and tilted her head, causing him to yet again lose the small sorted chunks of hair that he had. He gave out a frustrated growl and gave up. Eri didn't seem to mind the half-ass attempt. Tomura was pretty sure that she would just ask Kurogiri to do it for her. He was definitely more capable even if Tomura really did not like that he was not as good as he could be with whole care thing.
The clone entered the room and It stood there looking at the scene that probably would have been comical to any of the other members. It wore a tight smile on Its face.
"We need to talk." It simply said. The way it said it made the uneasiness in the tone of voice almost tangible.
It really had no reason to fear him. Tomura never would hurt it unless it threatened to hurt any of the other members without a good reason. He didn't like that look of unease on Deku's face. It did not matter that it was a copy that was supporting it.
"Can it wait till the meeting?" He asked because he was tired and maybe just maybe he could catch a few hours before he had the dreams again.
"No." The clone said simply. "I also think its best if Eri is not here for this talk."
The green eyes shifted to where Eri was on the bed. She looked back at Tomura as if asking for clarification if she really could not be there. He didn't want to send her away but if things got ugly he would rather that she was not there. Especially if they were talking about some of the latest plans.
"Eri you should go hang out with Kuro for a while." Tomura sighed as she looked a bit sad about being kicked out of the room. She slowly left keeping her eyes on both of them, as soon as she was out of the room the clone closed the door.
The room suddenly seemed a bit small, as the clone's face shifted to one of those rare looks that Deku got when he was incredibly angry. Tomura had only really ever seen him angry when someone had hurt his family and when Katsuki was involved some how. Tomura had only once had that look directed towards him. That look was when he made the mistake of mentioning that Izuku would have been more useful with a quirk. At the time Tomura had not seen anything wrong with what he had said. He knew that Izuku if he had a quirk that was deadly or could be used in situations that they always found themselves in would protect the other or make sure that Izuku could protect them, something that Tomura knew that Deku wanted more than anything to do. Now though that he was nearly half a year wiser he knew how hurtful that statement could be even if he never intended it to mean you are useless or don't do enough without one.
"We need to talk about a lot of things. Mostly, I'm just so angry at you that I am having a hard time keeping it together." It took in a deep breath. The common technique that Deku would always do when he was ready to wreck someone's shit and didn't want to yell to do it.
Tomura frowned already sure that he was not going to like this conversation.
"Let's start with this, I was out with Hitoshi and it became apparent to me that you are killing police officers. Indicrimently." Those pale green eyes flashed. "Tomura."
It even threw in his name.
"They have jobs to do and you are really okay with just killing them." He sounded so surprised, so hurt that it was hard to hear, because it was Izukus voice and his face contorting with anger, and desperation. "Some of them might be bad people but some of them really just want to help others and keep them safe."
It waited for him to answer. It looked at him, breathing hard and with something that Tomura could not place. Not that it mattered because it was wrong, it had to be.
"They in case you haven't realized don't pull punches regardless of the damage that it could do when it comes to us." Tomura hissed. He would not be lectured about this of all things. Not from a copy. Not from someone that didn't understand. The police had chosen to chase after them. They choose to attack them and try to stop them.
"No, they are not going to because in case you didn't know we are criminals. Yes, we were doing it for the right reasons, to live, to help others, to make that change in the world. But now your just killing them. You can't justify that!" Izuku yelled at him. He yelled it with all that he had over Tomura who was going to yell right back. "They are doing their job, it's different when you don't have a choice. It's different if they are the ones purposely hurting others. If you are just killing them for chasing you then you are simply that a murderer."
Tomura stood. Oh, It was not that simple Deku had to get off of his hight fucking horse. They all were killers they all were horrible shitty people and that was not going to change and he didn't want to hear it. He didn't want to hear it from someone that was not his Deku, that was not the same as him.
"Of course I am a murder! He spat "I have killed people long before you came along. I'm a killer and I told you before that anything you asked of me to dust that I would." Because he had followed Deku, he had followed him like he would sensei or anyone at one time that he felt had given some sort of rats ass about him. He moved closer. He had killed for Deku just as he killed for Sensei. Just like he would kill to keep this messed up family together and he would protect them.
He would not fail this family. He would make them that world that they wanted...
He moved closer, telling the other as much. "I dusted all those doctors for you, I took out gang members for you. This is just like that."
"No it's not." Izuku stood there and some how refused that answer. Like it could never be a solution and yet it was. "Before we stood for something. We were better than the gang members, better than the corrupt cops and politicians. We were better than Stain because we didn't just flat out kill those that we did not agree with."
That reasoning was flawed, that reasoning wouldn't work he refused to believe that it would.
"This is not about being better." Tomura snapped back his anger getting very hard to control. "We never could be better. You are stupid to think that. We are killers, we are thieves, and we were banded under stopping this corrupt society and we can't stop it with the way that things are going. This is not about right or wrong or being better, this is about ensuring that the future happens no matter the cost."
Ensuring that his family lived, that Eri had a place in the world that wouldn't use her as some sort of weapon or some sort of miracle cure. Making sure that Kurogiri didn't get himself fucking shot again. Making it so that Dabi stopped fucking stepping into the line of fire for other members on their team. He wanted them all to be okay and live in a world where people that were liked them were not hated.
Was that so much to ask?
"You are going down a road that I cant follow you." Deku looked at him he looked about ready to cry and that made Tomura slow his advance. He had not even realized that he had been getting closer.
Closer to do what?
Yell some more?
His hands shook a tad.
"I want that future more than anything. I want a world where people that have a certain type of quirk are not hated and I want a world where people that are quirkless can exist without society beating them down. I want a world that realizes what hate breads. It made us, villains. I want them to listen to us. We can't gain support from people that we need support from if we become nothing but killers. We are a symbol. Don't make that symbol mean nothing, don't make all we worked for worth nothing." Tears were leaking from his eyes and he was clutching himself as he was speaking the last words were near whispers. "Don't let my words get turned into the ramblings of a killer and his band of killers, we're more than that..."
Deku had always seen them as something. He had always looked at Tomura like he was a human. He had always treated them as something and it was because of that love that Deku called it that things had improved in Tomura's life. But this was not some stupid fairy tale they really were not the best of people even if Deku saw that there was more to them.
Maybe there could be...
But there probably wasn't...
Tomura halted and some how Deku got the courage to stand up tall again as whatever drove him to speak be it anger, confidence, or being in general scared. He pushed forward just as he always did, looking Tomura dead in the eyes as he did it.
"If you do what you intend to in those files, I won't forgive you. I won't be able to. You will become the next monster no different than Overhaul or All For One. Whatever legacy you want to create won't be possible because your hands will be so slick with blood nothing will ever be able to be built. Don't give them a reason to really kill you."
"Forgive me...? " Tomura stared blackly.
Deku acted like he had that ability, the ability to forgive them and make them somehow redeemable. Tomura knew what he was. He knew no matter the kind deed that he did that his hands would never come clean of all the blood and all the dust that stained them. These sorts of things did not go away just because some caring person told them that they were forgiven.
"I will be against you and even if I am a clone, I know Izuku wouldn't want you all to do this." Izuku looked at him and he felt the need to meet that look even if it was stupid. It was as if it was a challenge. It hit him again that he was talking to the clone. It was not his Deku but it was some version of him. Perhaps one that was not as twisted as the one that had blown up the buildings or asked Tomura to kill the doctors. Perhaps this one was just ever so slightly less tainted.
Tomura had always thought that Deku would bend and break under all the stress and evil that the world brought to him. He had seen fractures there from the many horrible things that they had done and the horrible things that they had witnessed.
He moved forward again not exactly sure what he was doing until he was doing it. He put his hand on the clone's head, gently like he would do for Eri when she sought comfort.
The clone flinched a second before relaxing, which said a lot about their relationship at the moment if the clone was fearful that Tomura would just dust it. Well, he had thought about it. He could not lie but that did not mean that he would actually do it without a good reason. He took in a very deep breath and calmed himself.
"You still think that there are people in this shit city that are worth saving." He asked searching the clone's eyes to see if it still believed that after everything.
The copy nodded.
Tomura let out a very deep sigh and retracted his hand. "What better way is there than to just dust it all. Get rid of every corrupt and horrible person that this city has. There are so many of them that are selfish and too self-absorbed to notice how bad others have it. Why should we spare them when they wouldn't spare us or put us in places that treat us like we are not even people. I read the files I know what happens at Tartarus and places like it. I know what they are doing to Izuku now. Why should I show them any mercy or compassion when they have never shown me or those I care about that luxury?"
The green eyes met his again. "Becurse there has to be people to make up the world that we want to build. IF we were to just kill them all there would be power struggles, we have seen what that brings more suffering, more death. I don't want any more blood on our hands if we can help it. We push things, we stir the pots and we force the people to see the ugly truths. There has to be a way to do it without killing them all. We need to empower those that have been held down. If enough of us stand up then something will have to change and it will be a lasting change because we didn't create it out of fear and murder. People will support us, if we do it the right way and with the right intentions, then and any world that we want to create should be born out of that."
"What was it that Overhaul said about dreams without concrete plans that they are pipe dreams?" Tomura headed the copy's words but it did not seem all that realistic or likely to happen.
"We have to make it happen, make plans." The copy rubbed at his eyes.
Tomura looked away from It. He never handled it well when anyone cried and he really did not like it when it was on Deku's face. He still didn't like the Copy but perhaps it was not as bad to have it on board as he had originally thought.
"Figure something out then." Tomura muttered, "I still want to burn it all down."
"Then we would have to rebuild it and you couldn't even handle the IKEA furniture." The Copy smiled.
Tomura snorted. It had been a while since he had felt relieved enough to just laugh or smile, but then again there were very few people that had the ability to make him smile.
"Did you come up with a name for yourself?" Tomura asked because it might as well get a name seeing that it would be sticking around. Not that he was growing fond of the thing or anything but it would be better than just saying you all the time.
The clone tilted it's head and put a hand to its chin. "A name..."
"You keep insisting that your not Deku, so fucking take a name so I don't have to constantly refer to you as the clone. It probably offends you or whatever." Tomura huffed.
"Kopī is fine." The clone nodded its head.
"Seriously you want to be called Copy." Tomura blinked because some how the clone seemed to be liked being called something that was derogatory. Then again this was a copy of Deku so it sort of made sense.
"It's grown on me." Kopī smiled.
Tomura rolled his eyes. "Sure whatever, we have a meeting in a few hours and I would like to get some sort of nap in before that, you can go now."
"You need to get more sleep," Kopī said in a no-nonsense sort of tone that reminded Tomura of Kurogiri, and annoyingly so.
"And you are keeping me from that sleep." Tomura countered as Kopi made his way out of the room.
Chapter 14: Something that resembles a plan
Something that resembles a plan
The meeting room really was just the kitchen table dragged out to the middle of the room with a folding table added onto it. Kopi didn't bother to complain because he didn't want to be put in charge of building more IKEA furniture as long as he lived. Deku had plenty of memories about building the stuff to make it so that Copy did not want to ever experience that sort of thing. The thought of it alone made him shudder.
He just hoped that they all could be civil enough to make it through the meeting. Everyone had been a little on edge lately. Tomura and Toga were probably the best examples. Toga had just got back from the small town that was next to the asylum. She did not really enjoy her trip, that was probably because the League had not made it a five-star retreat. Kopi had made it so that it seemed that Toga had gone for business. There had just so happened to be a librarian's international convention being held in the town over, Siniko. It would have made sense for Toga to stay near the asylum as the hotels would be cheaper.
Toga probably would never forgive Kopi for making her go to the convention for at least a few hours to keep the story and her character seem like they would actually be a real person. Toga, Kopi would admit looked nice in her fake librarian attire. She had taken pictures of the town as a supposed tourist. She had gotten some pretty good footage of the roads around the asylum and talked her way onto one of the ghost tours so that she could be towards the end of the woods that were near the place. It was not exactly that they needed the pictures, satellite imaging was pretty helpful in that regard, but the actual feel of the town was important. They needed to know how suspicious would it be to have people passing through? How often did people that worked for the asylum stop by? What were the people that lived there like?
Toga had a lot of information in that regard. Miyoshi's Mental Hospital and facility was in the center of Matsu. The people there were all used to each other as there were not a lot of residences nor was there much to do their then the occasional tour around the area near the Miyoshi apparently a lot of lost souls could be found there. As Myoshi hospital had been in operation for centuries and even before quirks were added to the mix the place had a long history of being a hell hole. Supposedly according to Toga, prisoners that escaped by simply jumping to their death roamed the grounds and the ones that did manage to get a good run in were killed in the woods by guards with guns or ran down by the dogs. All that negative energy seemed to linger there and cause manifestations.
Toga had said that the trip was a bit creepy due to all the stories that were told but other than that she didn't really feel any different about the whole thing. She had used it to scope out possible places to hide before the 2-mile clearing that surrounded the place.
Now Kopi sure as hell did not believe that it had charged negative feelings in the air or that it could be creepy because he did not believe in ghosts, yet the idea of them was oddly horrifying, even with all the things that he had seen. but none the less they did not exist, ghosts and monsters did not exist. People were the only scary thing that the world had to offer and Kopi had met his fair share of monsters in that regard. He might be scared of ghosts in movies but he sure as hell was not scared of them being real.
The town was used to a few tourists for ghost tours at night and they were used to the staff from the asylum sometimes coming in after work on Fridays and weekends for drinking. The town was a gossiping town and rumors spread quickly. Toga had overheard some guards talking about how one of their mates recently was attacked by what was seen as one of the lower rank prisoners and his eye was completely gone. The criminal had stabbed him right in the eye with a screw and yanked the whole eyeball out. Needless to say, they were a bit on edge.
What Kopi got from this was that whoever they placed in the position needed to be able to mingle with the guards that seemed close, they needed to blend in before they came to town as not to raise suspicion, and the best time to slip into the town would be during the night posing as someone that wanted to go on the ghost walking tour.
The conversation of the town bleed into talking about the people that Kopi had been looking into. There was a variety of people that were to be warry of. As it stood there were 27 medical professionals that worked at the asylum all with different schedules based on the department that they were from and their specialties. Of the 27 medical staff, there were 8 trained healers and 19 trained mental health personal only 12 if which were psychic or had mind related quirks. The prisoner number was close to 600 by Kopi's research, so it must have been some how possible for only 19 mental health professionals to run the place. Kopi figured that it was such a shitty place was held together by stress, some government funding, and pure will.
One could not imagine anyone getting the care that they really needed from such a place. Kopi was pretty sure by what he was reading that the medical staff either scared a person sane or messed with their head enough to make them harmless enough to be passed to a diffrent mental facility or to be so messed up that they were going to spend the rest of their time in solitary confinement.
From what Kopi could tell the building had 8 entrances and exits. All were heavily fortified by the blueprints that Giran some how had secured. Kopi did not know how he did it, not did he want to know how he did it. Giran was a sleazeball but he was their sleazeball and he had never let them down before.
The main entrance was for the staff and visitors, there was a select number of inmates that could receive such honors. the back doors to the place were there for shipments, things like food, new uniforms, medical supplies were all screened there. The other doors to the place were more of exits than entrances in case of emergency. Though there were 2 doors that lead to the community garden and the yard for those that had the privileges to go outside.
All of these places were not going to be easy to get through. Kopi had narrowed a plan down to 2 viable options. They could try to enter through the back and act as if they were delivering things. It would be a risky attempt as the back of the building could be sealed and then there would be no other option but to conine to break in with all guard personal and any heroes on their way to deal with it. Or they could try to put someone into the inside. They would have to choose a target that would be able to make it to diffrent floors and could relatively easily be impersonated. In that case, though they were looking at an inside job with very few members and the ability for once they were in they would have a hard time getting out.
These were things that the team had to think about. Toga was sure that she was capable of a stealth mission but twice argued with her and a bit of himself about how dangerous that would be and about how dangerous the last undercover mission had been for her. He wanted her safe because she was important to him. Both his personalities agreed at least on that one.
Tomura shifted the meeting back towards their current situation with recruitment and turf maintenance. That brought up Dabi's area so to speak of expertise.
"Alright, Kopi here said that I should share with you who I have been communicating with, and before you blow up Princess I did it with complete help from Kopi. He gave me files to help me with this shit."
"I think I more of helped you after you had already pushed the snowball at the top of the hill. You only probably half-listened anyway." Kopi countered. He was not going down for this one. No way.
Dabi shrugged not even seeming to be phased by that description of the situation.
Tomura narrowed his eyes, "who or what did you recruit."
"I wouldn't say I recruited him, I'm more of just stringing him along for free information and shit."
"You can hardly string together a sentence without a swear word, I doubt that you could string anyone along." Tomura scuffed.
"I can string you up if you want Princess," Dabi smirked at him.
"If you touch me I'll dust you." Tomura leaned in on the table they were lucky he was minding his hands.
"Please, can we just get on with the meeting." Kurogiri let out a deep sigh.
"I agree." Kopi nodded. "If anyone's earned the princess title it's not Tomura it's Eri."
Kurogiri shifted in his chair. "As fitting as that is Dabi you were about to say something important."
"Well, one of the pros thinks that he can be part of our group." Dabi shrugged.
"You have been talking to a pro-hero..." Tomura could hardly hold himself together it seemed because he was shaking.
"Calm down Creep, I have been following Kopi's guide to talking with heroes, and so far it's been useful. I got more information about what the other top ten are up to. Kopi confirmed it. I ain't saying we can trust him but he might be useful is all I'm saying."
"Which one have you been talking to. I swear it better not be that fucking jean wearing one." Tomura grimaced.
"No. It's the bird one." Dabi reached into his pocket for one of his cigarettes.
"Hawks?" Kurogiri coughed. "The number two hero?"
Tomura looked about ready to commit a murder.
Dabi nodded. "He has information on Endeavor and I am holding you to your promise, Handsy."
Tomura rubbed at his face and seemed to be counting out loud to himself before taking another breath in and just letting it out. He then just lunged forward at Dabi who sidestepped him.
"You put this whole group in danger for a personal vendetta, one that we can take care of after we rescue our own." Tomura whirled at him again. "If you lead them to us were not going to have anywhere else to go."
Dabi held up his hands as Tomura got closer. "I still think that using him is a good idea, he wants to meet you and I have no intention of letting it get that far. He wants an in and I can push him to maybe do a few things for us in order to prove himself and then never give him what he wants."
"That stick will get old fast." Tomura hissed, "He will want some sorta proof that he will get to me."
Dabi gave him a look that said that there was no way that he would allow that to happen.
"I figured that we could maybe get 3 good favors out of him, and more if we let him in on something fake that we're planning." Dabi did not move away from the closeness of Tomura. He was looking down at the other. They were having one of those stupid stare offs now apparently.
"It could work out if we play it right." Kurogiri cleared his throat to draw attention back towards himself and the meeting at hand.
Tomura moved slightly away from Dabi, "I don't like it." He finally managed.
"You don't have to like it Mop Head just trust me." Dabi finally lit that cigarette that he had been holding.
Tomura glared at him. "I trust you, but you will run by us all the meetings you have about him and record them so that we can analyze them."
"You're just as paranoid as Kopi," Dabi muttered.
"Do it," Tomura said stiffly leaving no room for argument.
They talked a little bit more about the start of plans and set up duties for the week. Dabi's next meeting with Hawks was in three days. Tomura was still pissed about it but seemed to have forgiven the other enough to at least not actually try to punch him or move to yell in his face.
Kopi spent the rest of the evening curled in a blanket and playing videogames with Hitoshi. It was a needed break from everything and it felt nice when Hitoshi fell asleep leaning against him. It brought back the feeling of safety that Deku had experienced when they were in hell together but also after the Summer Camp incident. He liked Hitoshi because the other wanted to spend time with him. It really did not matter what they did either. It was just nice to have someone to do it with. He didn't move even when he was tired until he was sure that he could shift without the other waking up. He covered the other with the blanket he had been in and then made his way up the stairs and to his bedroom.
The next day Kopi worked with monitoring the police feeds as Toga went out for supplies. Kurogiri was watching Eri and they were playing a board game at the bar top. The game in question was Sorry and he could hear Kurogiri muttering about how Eri killing him was anything besides apologetic.
It was the weekend and there oddly enough was more crime in the area than normal. After Toga came back, Kopi decided to investigate for himself. He also wanted to check in with some of his birds. He was not too concerned if the police heard about Deku running around. They probably would dismiss it. He pulled up a surgical mask that was made out of cloth, it was not as complex as his helmet but the idea was the same.
He knew that Giran was using some of his old birds, but Kopi would like to hear it straight from the beaks so to speak. Hitoshi acted like he didn't care if he was asked or not but seemed to jump at the chance to get out of the place with Kopi. They might get coffee after the check-ins. He also wanted to start recruiting people.
Kopi had heard of the summit that was going to happen in 50 days. If they wanted to truly make a difference then they needed to get people together to go to that summit, flood the place with as many people as they could. The League could help protect them or something. He was not exactly sure what they could do at the summit or for the summit but getting people to stand up and push for changes was the best thing that they could do, push one last time with everything they had the right way to make the politicians, government, and others see reason. There were plenty of people that were done with the status quo.
If this failed he was not sure what he would do...
Plan B where it stood seemed to be Tomura's idea, of just burning the establishment down completely and then remaking it somehow. Kopi was not sure how they would rebuild if it came to that. He needed Deku for that sort of reasoning, and Compress. He was sure that they could come up with something that wouldn't cause too many people to need to be removed for the changes that needed to take place.
They moved about the somewhat busy streets, as they passed a hero patrol Hisotshi reached out to take his hand as if to say that I am here or to say that if they needed to run that they would stick together. Despite knowing that he could take care of himself Kopi did feel a bit better with that reassurance.