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Winner Takes All

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It was Bakugou Katsuki’s fifth year as a pro hero. Since his graduation from UA, he and Todoroki Shouto have been in a constant battle for number one. Mirio Togata has been called the new Symbol of Peace. But this is the story of a boy who never got the chance to become a hero, we’ll talk about him later though.

Bakugou is currently in his hero agency office writing a letter. He finds it helps him stay calm, and it becomes a sort of monthly tradition. He would write a letter to his parents, and to Auntie Inko. He would talk about the hero world, and about the jobs, he had been on.

You see Bakugou could care less about titles such as the Symbol of Peace. His only goal as a hero was to stay number one and save as many lives as possible. To make up for his past mistakes and sins. To make up for being unable to save him.

He still has his explosive tendency to shout and swear, but he can’t really do that in letters. Even though he still yells a lot, it isn’t as bad as in middle school. After middle school, he couldn’t really muster up the anger to yell as much. As Bakugou is finishing his letter, he gets a call.

“Hey, Suki we need you for a raid.” It was his husband calling for support.

“Be right there. Also, you know you can address me as a babe on duty right? No one cares.”

“I know but the boss is watching, and I don’t want to get in trouble. Now hurry over here. I love you, babe.”

“I love you.” They hung up and Katsuki got ready to go. He grabbed his gauntlets, less in size then they used to be. He also grabbed the letters and handed them to the secretary on his way out. Soon he was at the meeting point that his husband had sent him.

“Bakugou! I didn’t realize that we would be working together.” Katsuki inwardly groaned and turned around.

“Hello, Icy-Hot.”

“Wow, not even a growl for me?” Katsuki was always sick of Todoroki’s teasing.

“Ei is working with us today. I’m in a better mood, then if I was left alone with you.” Speaking of the devil.

“Suki!” Eijiro wrapped Katsuki into a tight hug, and a quick kiss on the cheek.

“Hello, babe.”

“Yep, you two are hopeless romantics.” Todoroki was smiling smugly, and trying not to laugh.

“Shut up Icy-Hot! I’m allowed to kiss my husband!” And just to prove his point Katsuki did just that. In front of everyone. Middle finger up in the air to everyone watching.

“Babe…” Eijiro covered his face and took a step back. Bakugou just stood there, smiling like an idiot.

“Now what is this job we were called here to do?” Right on cue, the Chief of Police walked in.

“Okay everyone quite down. Here are the details for today’s raid.” He laid some papers on the desk and continued talking. “There have been some reports of a small villain alliance growing in the area. We aren’t sure of the identity of the leader, but we believe we have found their HQ. So the goal for today is to gather information, and arrest anyone who might be involved.”

All the heroes in attendance nodded their heads and got ready to head to the location, they were given. On the way over they went over some of the evidence files. The only evidence to this alliance was some murders, that seemed to be no one of importance, except for a few noticeable drug dealers.

But there was something else that caught Katsuki's attention. At each scene in what seemed like blood, there was something scribbled. It wasn’t in any of the evidence files as to what the translate to, but that's probably because the police are idiots. But the blood seemed to be morse code.

.. .----. -- / -... .- -.-. -.- / -.- .- -.-. -.-. .... .- -.

Katsuki knows what it says, but he refuses to believe it. It can’t be. He’s dead, he’s dead and it's all his fault. It must be that the villains had someone from his middle school days on their side. But not him. He’s dead.

“Babe are you alright?” Sh*t. Eijiro must have realized his panic. He pulled on his husband’s costume to walk a bit farther away from Todoroki.

“No, I’m not. Ei someone is f*cking with me.” He explained the morse code, and Eijiro understood immediately. Eijiro was the only person he ever told about his last year of middle school. Besides his parents and Auntie Inko obviously. Eijiro was pissed, to say the least.

“Suki are you sure you can do the job?” It’s been years since Katsuki’s last panic attack, but it seemed like one might trigger any second.

“You two okay over there?” Todoroki can’t hear the two from the other side of the street, and he was starting to get worried.

“Yeah, we are Todoroki. Just going over some evidence.” Todoroki didn’t believe Eijiro for a second but stayed quite anyway. Katsuki was trying to stay calm, but it was hard.

“What kind of f*cker would use this? Why would someone want to bring these memories back?” Katsuki was doing all he could to stay composed in front of Todoroki.

“I don’t know babe, but it seems like they might have known that you’d be called in for a job sooner or later. It looks like they want to rile you up so they have a better chance of winning. It isn’t very manly.” Eijiro was discreetly rubbing Katsuki’s back, so Todoroki wouldn’t see.

As they kept walking Katsuki began to calm down a bit. It took them about an hour to get to the marked location. It was an old hotel, and it’s signs were flashing that rooms were open. The hotel didn’t seem like a very secure location for a villain hideout, but looks can be deceiving.

“We are in position.” Todoroki radioed the police headquarters, and let them know that they were good to go. They waited for another half hour for the rest of the heroes to get into position. At this point, Katsuki had calmed down enough to be in his hero mindset. Gather information, arrest anyone possibly involved, and save anyone who might be in trouble.

When they finally got the go-ahead the sun had already started sinking on the horizon. Katsuki hated night jobs, but it was looking like this one would end up being one. Todoroki, Eijiro, and Katsuki would go through the front doors, and try to act like they were on a nightly patrol. So Eijiro went in front and opened the door.

“Guys we shouldn’t go in there.” Eijiro was physically shaking and had hardened himself in the doorway.

“Bakugou get out of the way!” Todoroki was trying to push Eijiro out of the way, so he could get inside.

“Icy-Hot enough.” Todoroki stopped trying to shove Eijiro, and Katsuki walked up to him.

“Ei what's wrong?”

“Suki it's horrible in there. Whoever did this… whoever did this is sick. Babe, we should just radio back, and tell them this is the place. We don’t need to take another step further in there.”

“Babe our job is to gather information. No matter how bad it is, we have to go in.” Katsuki gave Eijiro a little nudge, and he finally gave in. The place looked like a scene from a horror movie. It almost made Katsuki want to walk out of there.

In the lobby alone there were three bodies. The whole room smelled metallic, and like there was bad fish. The bodies were fresh, they could tell that they hadn’t been here long. The damn villains knew they were coming.

As Katskui glanced around he saw more blood on the walls. He went to make a move to turn on more lights, but Todoroki stopped him. He silently shook his head no and made a fireball in his hand. Katsuki wished he hadn’t.

.-- . .-.. -.-. --- -- . / -.- .- -.-. -.-. .... .- -.

Katsuki froze in his tracks. Why did he have to learn morse code? What kind of demon possessed him to learn it? Well, whatever it was it can go f*ck itself.

The three searched around the lobby for any information, then moved onto the rest of the first floor. There were two more bodies in the dining area about halfway through the first floor. There was another message.

...-- / - --- / ..--- / -.- .- -.-. -.-. .... .- -.

What kind of sick game was this f*cker playing? They were using bodies as messages? That's it! Katsuki was staying close to Eijiro because he couldn’t shake this bad feeling.

“Hey, I’m going to go check out the pool area. You guys keep going ahead.” The fact that this place had a pool was insane. It seemed so old.

“Radio if you find anything Todoroki.”

“Will do.” So they were down to two. They kept walking through the hotel nearing what must be the back. The heroes on the first floor hadn’t heard anything from the other reinforcements, and it was worrying.

So far they have found nothing. Nothing but the bodies at least, and the Morse code... What worried Katsuki the most though, was the fact that they knew they were coming.

Why else would the bodies be so fresh other than to taunt them? And the messages? What was going on in this godforsaken place? But they had a job to do, so they kept moving.

“Suki I want to get out of here.”

“I know Ei, but we have to sweep the whole floor, and look for anybody.” Katsuki didn’t like this at all. There seemed to be no end to the rooms, and hallways. Maybe that was why the other groups hadn’t radioed. That must be the reason right?

Katsuki didn’t even know how long they had been searching for at this point. He believed they finally reached the back wall though, so they kept walking along with it.

Everything about this place felt off, but he kept walking. He kept walking for the innocents who might need help.

“Hey, guys.” Both Katsuki and Eijiro jumped at the sound, but it was Todoroki on the radio. Katsuki grabbed for the radio at his belt.

“Yeah what is it Icy-Hot?”

“I think I found something. It looks like an indent in the floor, but it doesn’t seem like there is any way to get in.”

“Freeze it open or something!”

“It might damage whatever is under there.” Katsuki looked at Eijiro for any help.

“I can go get it, open babe.” He grabbed the radio from Katsuki. “I’m on my way to help Todoroki.”

“Roger that Bakugou.” With that, Eijiro walked back the way they came. Katsuki did not like being alone. He felt his hair standing on their ends, and he felt like something was about to go wrong.

Instead of letting his instincts get to him, he kept walking. More rooms, and just more walking. Soon he came upon the last room in the hall. It was different from the others. The door was closed.

When he opened the door it took everything in him not to throw up. In the middle of the room was a young boy. He was covered in bruises and cuts all over his arms. What made it worse was that the boy looked almost exactly like him.

The boy didn’t move at the sound of Katsuki opening the door, but he appeared to be breathing. Katsuki swallowed down his bile and walked toward the kid. He waved his hand in front of the boy’s face, but he still didn’t move. The boy’s green eyes were cloudy and distance, his breathing was also very shallow.

Katsuki wanted to cry at the sight of this boy. He looked exactly like him. He fought against all his instincts to run and moved to pick up the boy. His skin was ice cold, and it seemed like he had stopped breathing. Katsuki panicked thinking that he had lost the boy.

Then his brain felt like it was getting split down the middle. He dropped the boy to grab onto his head, willing the pain to go away. His knees almost buckled under him, but then it stopped. The pain stopped. He didn’t know how long it had lasted, but it felt like forever.

He went to reach for the radio to report the boy, but then his eyes trailed down. That was not the boy he had been holding. The boy now on the floor had black hair, horns, a tail, and pointy teeth. What was worse was the way he had died. His throat had been slit.

Katsuki didn’t want to look up, because he had a feeling what would be there when he looked. He looked anyway, like the idiot he is. On the wall was another message.

..--- / - --- / .---- / .- .-. . / -.-- --- ..- / .-. . .- -.. -.-- / - --- / .--. .-.. .- -.-- / .- / --. .- -- . ..--..

No, no, No, nO, NO! He was tired of these mind games. He grabbed the radio, but before he said anything he noticed something else. It was an indent in the floor. There didn’t seem to be a way into it.

“Su-k—i. S—uk-i!” It was Kirishima calling from the radio. Katsuki shook his head and answered his husband.

“Yeah Ei? What happened?”

“We couldn’t get whatever that thing was open so we are on our way to you.”

“I’m going to meet you halfway. There’s nothing else this way.” Katsuki didn’t like lying to Eijiro, but he also didn’t want him to see the boy that looked a little like a younger him. He couldn’t shake the last message and wanted them to get out of there as soon as possible.

The three meet up a bit later and went over everything they’d seen. Katsuki again didn’t say anything about the boy. He would report him later when Eijiro wasn’t around. The men headed back the way they came, but something was off. It was taking too long.

There were rooms that hadn’t been there before, and Katsuki could’ve sworn that Todoroki was walking funny. Katsuki also was seeing more messages in blood. Those hadn’t been there before right? Or did he miss them as they were searching?

“Oi! Ice-Hot! Are you sure we are going the right way?”

“This is the way we came to find you.” Todoroki stopped in his tracks and turned to face Katsuki.

“Suki, do you feel alright?” Eijiro had also stopped and was watching Katsuki closely.

“I’m fine. I’m fine, it's just that the hallway looks different.” Todoroki was staring at Katsuki like he was crazy.

“Bakugou there is nothing different about the hallway. Are you sure you’re alright?” Todoroki and Eijiro were both looking at Katsuki with worry. Then it came again. The pounding in his head that made him want to die. This time his knees buckled under him, and he fell to the floor.

Katsuki wasn’t sure if he passed out or not. All he knew was the pain, but he wouldn’t die. No matter how much it hurt he couldn’t die. Katsuki wasn’t sure how long until it stopped, but it did.

When Katsuki opened his eyes everything was different. The hallway was completely lit, instead of Todoroki’s fire lighting the way. When he looked around the walls were peeling and covered in cracks. But the biggest thing was that Todoroki and Eijiro were missing.

Chapter Text

“Su-k—i. S—uk-i!” It was the radio again, and Katsuki grabbed it immediately.

“WHERE THE HELL DID YOU GO!?”

“Huh? Suki, what do you mean? Todoroki and I have been trying to get the door open.”

“No you said you couldn’t get it open, and you came and met up with me. Then you disappeared!”

“Suki calm down. Are you okay? Did you hit your head? Come into contact with something?”

“No. What the hell are you talking about? You were just with me!” Katsuki’s breath was getting heavy, and his heart was beating fast. Katsuki felt like he might stop breathing any second. “Shit! I’m on my way to you!”

“SUKI WHAT IS GOING ON WITH YOU!?” Katsuki started running toward the pool area and could hear pounding footsteps from that direction. In about a minute Katsuki ran into something so hard that he was knocked on his ass.

“Babe are you alright? You sounded so convinced, and I could hear your breathing getting shallow and… and… an…” Katsuki wrapped Eijiro into a tight hug, and Eijiro hugged him right back.

“Babe I want to go now. I don’t like it here. Something is seriously wrong with this place. Can we please go?” Katsuki was trying hard not to cry into Eijiro’s chest. He didn’t know if Todoroki was there or not, and he would look weak to that bastard ever.

"Babe we can't go yet. We got the door open, and we have to check it out.” Eijiro started rubbing Katsuki’s back to help calm him down and placed a quick kiss on his forehead. “Todoroki isn’t here right now, you can cry babe. We’ll go as soon as your good okay?”

Katsuki nodded his head, and let a couple of tears escape his eye. He’s only cried two other times in his life. His wedding and that day. What was making him cry now?

Eijiro radioed Todoroki a little later, that they were on their way. Katsuki was sticking to Eijiro’s side like glue. He was still having a little trouble breathing, but he didn’t feel like crying as much. What was this place doing to him?

It wasn’t too long till Katsuki and Eijiro made it to the pool area. Much to Katsuki’s surprise there was actually a pool. Although it was dark black, smelled disgusting, and looked like it had rotting plants in it. In the corner of the room was Todoroki. He was looking over something that was on the floor.

When Katsuki walked over he saw it was a hole into the floor. It seemed to be about ten feet deep. Katsuki couldn’t really tell what was at the bottom, and he wasn’t sure if he wanted to find out.

“We don’t know if we should go down or not.” Todoroki was looking into the hole and seemed to be weighing his options. Katsuki walked over to the pool and grabbed what looked like a stick out. He then walked back over to the hole and dropped the stick in.

The stick landed with a loud thunk on whatever was below. He could tell that Todoroki and Eijiro came to the same conclusion as him. The hideout was through this hole. The only problem was, do they go in or wait for backup?

“We should radio in, and get out of here.” Eijiro knew that Katsuki would never admit that he wanted to leave.

“We should go in, Bakugou. We have a job to do, and I intend to do it.” Todoroki made a move for the hole.

“No, we shouldn’t. We don’t know if there is a way out, or if we can radio for backup if something happens.” Katsuki walked in between Todoroki and the hole to stop him. “We weren’t prepared for this raid! We should go back to the f*cking station, and report what we’ve found!”

“And let them get away? Hell no Bakugou! I’m not failing this mission, because of some bodies, and scribbles on the wall! We both have seen much worse!”

“They were f*cking prepared for us Icy-Hot! They knew we were coming! THIS IS ALL ONE BIG TRAP!” Katsuki didn’t mean to yell so loudly, but it came out anyway. If they didn’t know they were there before, they did now.

“I’m not letting you get in the way of finishing this mission. What if there are people down there who need our help?” Todoroki was targeting him, and he knew it.

“No, we go. These people have no mercy. There is no way anyone who they had captured is still alive.” Katsuki’s voice had grown quiet, as he remembered the little boy he wasn’t able to save. He bet if he looked down he had some of the boy’s blood on his costume.

“I’m going with or without you Bakugou.” Todoroki made another move for the hole, and again Katsuki blocked him. Eijiro went to grab Todoroki from behind, but Todoroki stepped to the side. Then everything went blurry.

The pain is back, but this time it doesn’t make him want to die. He just wants it to stop. He looks up from the ground and at Todoroki’s face. His face keeps coming in and out of focus. One moment he looks at Katsuki with blue and gray worried eyes, and the next smug emerald green eyes.

“Bakugou are you alright?” His voice is a mix of mockery, and worry. Todoroki takes a few steps toward Katsuki. Katsuki reaches out a hand to steady himself, then he’s falling. His back lands on hard concrete, Todoroki had pushed him into the hole.

Did he blackout, or was it just that dark down here? His head was still throbbing, but now his back was adding to the pain. Katsuki felt like sleeping. It’s possible he also hit his head, and that could mean he had a concussion.

He had to stay awake. As much as it pained him, he had to get up and start walking. Katsuki slowly made his way into a sitting position. He was trying to connect all of his thoughts into a timeline.

So the day had started out normal. He was writing his monthly letter, and then his husband called. They went on a raid job, and that's where things got weird. There were morse code messages, bodies, and a little boy. Then he met up with his husband and the other dude that was on the raid with them.

The last thought made Katsuki jump up, which he immediately regretted. THAT F*CKING ICY-HOT BASTARD PUSHED HIM INTO THE HOLE! He had to calm down. BUT THAT BASTARD PUSHED HIM!!

Or was it him? There was something gnawing at Katsuki, but he couldn’t quite figure it out. After his head had cleared a little from the anger and pain, he looked around. It was pitch black.

Katsuki could risk using his quirk for a short burst of light, but then his eyes would have to readjust every time. He also would alert anyone down here where he was. It just seemed like he had to go through the dark. He definitely didn’t like it, but it was the only option.

His head was slightly pulsing like he had a headache. He hoped it would go away soon because it was f*cking annoying. Katsuki wasn’t quite sure which way to go. It seemed the hole had been sealed, so he had no light up from above.

There was a little part of him that just wanted to sit down and fall asleep. He didn’t have the luxury to do that though, especially if he had a concession. So making up his mind he felt around for a wall.

Finally, he found one, and he stopped for a second. Go forward or turn around? He tried to remember where the pool was in the hotel floor plan, but he couldn’t, for his life remember.

So he went forward. He kept his hand on the wall, and just followed the wall. He took a few turns and he could tell he was going deeper, not closer to getting out. He was about to turn around when he saw something, light.

It was only a little. He walked over to it, and it seemed to be an emergency light. It probably wasn’t a good idea to stare into it, because now he had lost any night vision he had, but he couldn’t look away. Katsuki wasn’t sure how long he had been looking at the light, but when he looked away it was pitch dark again.

The light had disappeared, and him being the f*cking idiot he is didn’t look at his path. So that meant he was still lost. So back to the hand on the wall. He put his hand back on the wall, but he felt something.

They were little scratches on the wall. He took his gloves off so he could feel them better. There were dashes and dots. Katsuki groaned and translated the message in his head.

... ..- -.- .. / .... . .-.. .--. / ..- ... -.-.--

F*CK! F*CK! F*CK!! DAMIT! DAMIT! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN!? When did they come into the hole with him? Did they just leave him by the hole, and go off on their own? No that isn’t something Eijiro would do.

F*CK! What happened!? Where did everything go wrong!? He knew the answer to that, it all went wrong when they stepped foot in this godforsaken hotel.

Actually, he didn’t even know if he was still under, or anywhere near the hotel. For all he knew, he could be halfway to the next district. How long had they been searching at this point? Three hours? Six hours?

Katsuki knew for sure it was past 8:30. He never had broken that habit of his. The tiredness wasn’t helping in his decision making. He just wanted to sleep.

He wanted to sleep off the sudden intense thirst and hunger he felt, but he couldn’t. Cause one he was an idiot who didn’t pack rations or water. Two of he had a concussion, it’s possible he wouldn’t wake up. Three, he had to find his husband and the Icy-Hot bastard.

He felt around the message in case there was another clue. There was nothing else on the wall other than the message, and he couldn’t decode anything from it. He sat down in a squat and tried to think. He had no clue where he was, no food or water, his husband and Icy-Hot were in trouble, and he just wanted to sleep.

Katsuki forced himself up, out of his squat and kept walking. He followed the same wall he had found the message on, not sure if he was even going anywhere. He stopped suddenly and let his instincts get the better of him. He blew up the wall to put it simply.

After the dust settled and Katsuki’s coughing subsided, he looked through the hole. It led nowhere, it was just more empty hallways, but he did feel something. A draft of air coming from the left. It was his only option, so he started walking in the direction of the air.

Was he making the smartest choice? Probably not, but it was better than letting his emotions get to him. As long as he kept moving, he kept his mind occupied with something else. So the walking began again.

Sooner than he thought he would he saw light, but he couldn’t tell where exactly it was coming from. He stopped for a minute to let his eyes adjust and tried to figure out where the light was coming from. Then he heard it.

It was a laugh, just the last few seconds of one, but they were enough. Katsuki slowly started making his way toward the sound and tried to stay as quiet as possible. The possibility of this being a friend over foe was far below zero, and it was possible they knew he was there.

The light was definitely getting brighter, and so he slowed down more. He heard it again, that laugh. It sounded so familiar yet it didn’t. The closer he got to the light the louder a voice got.

It seemed like the voice was talking to someone, but at the distance he was, he couldn’t tell what they were saying. The closer he inched the more the voice faded. It’s like they had started moving away from him. Should he stop where he was or should he keep going?

Before he could make up his mind, he heard a crash from far down the hall, from where he had come. He startled at the sound and realized how loud his explosion must have been. Before he could start moving again, he felt a tap on his shoulder, and a hand around his mouth. Quickly the hand was replaced with something soft.

It took a second but Bakugou realized it was Eijiro. He let out a sigh of relief and leaned into the kiss. He then heard a throat clearing behind him. He stepped back from his husband and looked at the Icy-Hot Bastard.

Since he couldn’t make any noise he just made his angriest face and gave Todoroki the double middle fingers. Eijiro held him back and shook his head no. Katsuki hadn’t planned on attacking Todoroki… yet.

Katsuki looked back and forth between the two looking for any injuries. When he saw none he nodded his head satisfied and turned his attention back to the talking. But there was no sound anymore. F*ckkkkkk.

He looked back to Eijiro and Todoroki but they just looked confused. They must not have heard the talking. Katsuki almost slapped himself in the face. Of course, they hadn’t heard the talking, especially since they were the ones who had caused the crash a few minutes ago.

Eijiro looked at Katsuki and tried to mouth him something. His breath hitched when he does it again.

“Kacchan.” But that isn’t right. It must just be the lighting. It was still dark despite the small amount of light in the hallway. He shook his head and motioned for Eijiro and Todoroki to follow him.

He headed toward where the voice had been coming from, going a little faster since he had some backup. A little further down the hall and they came to a door in the wall. Katsuki looked behind himself at Eijiro and then opened the door.

It was pitch black inside the room, and Katsuki froze where he was not wanting to go any further. That’s when he heard it. There was shuffling from somewhere in the room.

“Well, well, well. What do we have here?” Katsuki almost fell to his knees at the voice. Even deeper with age, he could’ve picked that voice out from millions. “Let me get a look at all of you. You must be Bakugou Eijiro, Todoroki Shouto, and Bakugou Katsuki.” He spit the last name out with so much venom it could’ve killed.

“No, it can’t be.” Katsuki’s voice was so quiet, that the voice had to strain to hear him.

“Oh, but it can be.” At that, the lights turned on. In front of him was Eijiro and Todoroki, but not as they had been a minute ago. A minute ago they had looked healthy, and no injuries. But now…

Todoroki was kneeling on the ground, a blank look in his eye, and bruises visible where his costume had been ripped. And Eijiro… his husband, who he had sworn to protect with his life. He was on the ground with deep and shallow cuts everywhere, dried blood on his costume.

“Nice to see you again,” Katsuki looked behind him. He looked into the face he had grown up with, tormented, and had seen buried. Those freckles on his cheek, the green of his hair, and the deep green of his eyes, “Kacchan.”

It was Midoriya Izuku.

Chapter Text

“You know if you really want to be a hero that badly, there might actually be another way. Just pray you’ll be born with a quirk in your next life, and take a swan dive off the roof of the building.” Midoriya wanted to yell at Kacchan for what he had said, but he didn’t have the courage.

One look from Kacchan and all the words died in his mouth. Midoriya waited a few minutes after the boys had left the room, and let the tears start falling. He wasn’t in there for long, because he had to get home to his mom.

“That idiot. You can’t go around telling people to kill themselves. What if I really jumped? What would he do then?” As Midoriya was walking out of the school he noticed something in the Koi pond. It was his notebook, scorched, sogging wet, and being eaten by the koi. “My dreams have turned into fish food. That's enough give it back.”

He reached his hand into the pond and grabbed his notebook from the water. Midoriya wanted to cry at the sight of the notebook. All of his hopes and dreams were poured into his notes, and what had happened? That jerk went and burned them almost to ash. This notebook was only one of many, and he felt like he had lost a piece of himself when Kacchan had thrown it out the window.

Even though he was upset, he still smiled at the memories the notebook brought. His hours upon hours of watching All Might videos, playing hero with his mom, and watching Kacchan’s quirk grow. Kacchan…

Midoriya had always looked up to Kacchan for his power, his courage, and his confidence. He never let anything get in his way when Midoriya just let people push him around. Midoriya had always wanted to be a hero like All Might. Always smiling, saving people, and just being awesome.

But his hope was dashed. When the doctor told him he would never develop a quirk he was broken. He just went home and watched All Might with his mom watching from behind him. His mom couldn’t understand that he needed to hear that he could be a hero like All Might.

That day Midoriya decided he would be the best no matter what. He would always smile. Being pulled out of his thoughts Midoriya heard something like sloshing liquid behind him. When he turned around it was a villain. Midoriya couldn’t move, he didn’t know what to do. Then the villain lunged.

The villain surrounded Midoryia and started trying to gain access to something inside him. The villain was trying to enter him! Midoriya could hear the villain telling him to not fight back, but how could he not? He couldn’t breathe!

No matter how much he struggled he couldn’t get the villain off. The villain was made of some kind of fluid! He couldn’t grab ahold of the villain no matter what he tried. As his ears started to ring, he could barely make out the villain telling him, that he was his hero. He also said about having to get out of the city, because he was in town.

His hands slipped off of the villain, and there was no air left in his lungs. Through the tears in his eyes, he could see his Hero Notebook. If he had the strength he might have laughed, the book was open to the page with his hero costume. As he could no longer focus on the page, he could only hear himself pleading in his head, as if someone could hear him.

Then he heard something, it sounded like metal crashing to the ground. Next, he heard a deep voice start to speak. The voice sounded familiar, yet he wasn’t sure from where.

All he knew was that the villain started panicking, and was loosening his drip. Then he was free, the villain had let go completely, and the last thing Midoriya saw was ALL MIGHT!

Midoriya woke up to someone gently hitting his cheek, and when he opened his eyes? It was All Might! He went into fanboy overdrive and started backing away and screaming.

All Might apologized for him being caught up in the attack, but Midoryia wasn’t listening. How could he? All Might was in front of him, All Might was talking to him, and All Might had just saved him!

When he finally came back to some of his senses, he saw All Might holding up a pop bottle. In the bottle was the villain, and Midoriya backed away just a little more. Yet it didn’t really override his fanboy instincts. His hands went automatically went to his backpack to grab his notebook and a pencil.

He looked a foot or so away, and found his notebook. When he opened the book, All Might had already signed it. Midoriya stood up and started thanking All Might, so fast he wasn’t sure he heard him. When All Might went to leave, Midoriya realized he hadn’t asked the most important question to him.

In the split second, before All Might took off, he grabbed onto his legs. It was a stupid decision, a really stupid decision, but he had attacked on his instincts to get his answer. When All Might realized he was there, he tried ripping him off. When Midoriya reminded All Might they were flying he stopped trying to tear him off.

A minute or so later they landed on a roof somewhere in the city. Midoriya couldn’t stand up his legs were shaking so bad. It seemed that All Might was about to leave him again, and the last thing he would ever hear from him is All Might’s reprimanding. This was his last chance.

“I HAVE TO KNOW! IS IT POSSIBLE TO BECOME A HERO, EVEN THOUGH I DON’T HAVE A QUIRK!? I’m a normal kid with no powers. COULD I EVER HOPE TO BE SOMEONE LIKE YOU!? Midoriya’s tears had started streaming down his face. This was the most important thing in the world to him.

“Without a quirk?”

“People think I don’t have a chance, that being powerless means I’m a weakling. My classmates like to make fun of me, but you know what? That makes me want to prove them wrong. Ever since I was a little kid I thought saving people was the coolest thing you could do. I want people to see my smile and feel safe.”

As soon as Midoiya had stopped spilling his life story out he looked up. He almost screamed at what he saw. It was a man who looked like a skinny, short, and ugly version of All Might. You know what he did scream because he was not expecting that.

He looked around for All Might because there is no way this man in front of him was All Might. As he was trying to defend himself, the man spit up blood. Midoriya couldn’t help it, he screamed again. He couldn’t believe that the man in front of him was All Might, even when he proved it. When All Might showed him the wound on his torso, Midoriya wanted to cry. All Might explaining everything made Midoiya shake where he stood, his favorite hero, the number one hero, was afraid.

“This job isn't easy. Pro heroes are always having to risk their lives, some villains just can’t be beaten without powers. So honestly no. I don’t think you can become a hero without a quirk.” In those few sentences, Midoiya’s life shattered completely. The last little fragment of hope was gone.

“I see.” After that Midoiya didn’t hear anything All Might said. Except he heard the last sentence before he was left on the roof.

“It’s not bad to have a dream young man, just make sure your dreams attainable, realistic, understand?” With that, All Might was gone, and Midoiya was left alone on the roof.
He was pulled out of his thoughts by an explosion a few blocks away. He started running for the door to go check it out when All Might’s words came back to him.

He slowed down to a walk, not really caring if he made it to see the heroes fight or not. As he walked he flipped through his Hero Notebook looking at the notes he had put his life into. But when he got to All Might’s signature, he started to cry. Midoriya had always known deep down that he didn’t have what it takes to be a hero, he’d just been avoiding reality.

Without realizing it he had walked to where he had seen the earlier explosion. He stopped to just check it out quick. Squeezing between the crowd, he was soon able to see what was causing the disturbance. It was the villain from earlier, the one All Might had captured, but then he remembered when he had been talking to All Might on the roof. All Might had dropped the villain and it was all his fault.

Midoriya tried listening to what the crowd was saying. They were saying that the heroes couldn’t do anything, because the villain had taken a kid hostage. Midoriya whipped his head back toward the villain to see if he could see them. He wondered how long they had been in there because he had only been in there for at the most a minute. He didn’t want to imagine being in pain like that for any longer.

Now All Might couldn’t help the heroes, because he had wasted all of his energy on him. It was all his fault. All Might couldn’t power up, and none of the heroes could do anything with their quirks. It was his fault, all of his fault, and he felt so sorry for whoever had been captured. But he thought someone would help him, a true hero would help that kid.

Then he looked at the villain. Whoever had been captured was fighting back and was turning toward the crowd. It was Kacchan in there. Midoriya could do nothing but stare as he saw his friend, and his bully struggle to fight the villain. He looked so scared, but still so determined to win. Win he had fully turned his head it was like he was looking at Midoriya, and placing all the blame of his situation on him.

He wanted to help Kacchan so bad, but his feet wouldn’t move. All Might’s words kept going through his head each time he tried to take a step forward. In the end, he just watched until backup arrived. He can’t remember which hero saved Kacchan, but when they finally got him out he was limp. He didn’t know till the news that night, that Kacchan had survived, but barely. He didn’t eat that night.

As he was getting ready for bed the day played out in his mind. Kacchan telling him to take a swan dive, getting attacked by the villain, All Might telling him he could never be a hero, and then not doing anything to save Kacchan. He had never felt so useless in his life as he did now. He really deserved the name Deku.

He went to his room that night, not caring if he got up or not. His mom must have noticed how upset he was and called the school saying he wouldn’t be going in the morning. So that day he got to hang out with his mom. It did make him feel better seeing her smile when he worked up the heart to smile. But it was also a reminder to him.

Midoriya always knew from that day after the doctor, that his mom thought he could never be a hero. She was right anyway, he couldn’t be a hero. He didn’t have a quirk or the heart to be a hero. That night he was staring in the mirror, at his useless body, and into his useless face. It made him want to punch himself. He now understood why Kacchan always hit him, he was very punchable.

Instead, he punched the mirror. It only made a crack, and a small cut on his hand. He sighed and went to wrap up his hand. No matter how much he hated himself, he didn’t have the guts to hurt himself. He went to bed thinking about the day spent with his mom and hoping the next day was better.

The next day was not better. In fact, the next day was the day that sealed Midoriya’s fate. Early in the morning, Midoryia was woken up by loud knocking on the front door. His mom must have been called in for work since she hadn’t answered the door already. He got up with a groan and went to the door.

“Nerd I know you’re home!” On the other side of the door was Kacchan. Midoriya didn’t want to open the door. He wasn’t ready to confront Kacchan. Kacchan shouldn’t even be out of the hospital yet! What did he want?

“Hi, Kacchan.” Midoriya slowly opened the door right as Kacchan was going for another knock. Kacchan seemed to be doing okay since he couldn’t see any bandages or any other sign of injury. “Did they let you out of the hospital today?” He sounded so weak, even to his own ears.

“The old lady who works at UA came and healed me.” Kacchan didn’t sound kind, but he did sound not as mad today.

“Oh… um, do you want to come in?” Kacchan followed Midoriya inside and went to go sit on the couch.

“I know you were there nerd,” Kacchan spoke the last words Midoriya wanted to hear. “I saw the look on your face as you watched me. You wanted to come save me I saw it, but your body wouldn’t let you. You were too scared.” Midoiya stayed silent, not knowing what to say. He didn’t want to cry in front of Kacchan.

“Deku I want you to forget you ever saw me like that. I’m not a weak worthless useless sh*t like you. Do you understand me?” Midoriya nodded at Kacchan and looked at him before quickly looking away.

“I will Kacchan, and I’m so sorry! It’s my fault you were in that situation in the first place,” and the tears started, “It was all my fault that All Might dropped the villain! If I hadn’t been a stupid idiot who had hoped for the impossible then you wouldn’t have been attacked!”

Before Kacchan could voice his confusion there was a knock on the door. Midoriya quickly wiped his tears and went to answer the door. When he opened the door it was a woman in a police uniform.

“Hello is this the Midoriya residence?” Midoriya nodded his head, on his face a look of confusion. From behind him, he heard Kacchan get off the couch to come stand behind him. “Oh hello. Um… which one of you is Midoriya Izuku?”

“That would be me.” Midoriya pointed at himself. Why was that woman there? Did All Might report his part in the villain getting loose?

“Who is this?” The woman pointed at Kacchan.

“I’m Bakugou Katsuki.” The woman turned away from Kacchan to look at Midoriya.

“My name is Homura Nishi. I have been sent to bring you to the police station.”

“What is going on?” Midoriya wanted answers before he went anywhere with this woman.

“Bakugou could you please tell your friend to come with me?” She must have picked up on the fact Midoriya wasn't going anywhere with her.

“I’m not his friend.” Kacchan scoffed at Homura and barged past her.

“Well, that was certainly rude. Now Midoriya I’m going to tell you again. I have been sent to take you to the police station.” Midoriya could tell she wouldn’t be budging anytime soon, so he nodded his head at Homura and locked the apartment. He walked behind Homura to the vehicle she had driven there and helped him into the back.

Chapter Text

On the drive Midoriya let his imagination get the best of him. Did All Might really rat on him? Did Kacchan frame him for something? No, he was a jerk but he wouldn’t do that. Midoriya wasn’t sure how long they were in the car, but sooner than he wanted, they were at the station.

Homura let him out of the back and walked him into the station. From the lobby, he was taken into a small office. Homura told him to take a seat and wait. And so he was left alone, but that didn’t last for long. Soon a man stepped into the room.

“Hello, Midoriya Izuku. Are you aware of why you are here today?” Midoriya shook his head no. “There’s been an accident Midoriya, and we need to ask you a few questions.” Midoriya nodded his head okay. The officer slide two photos in front of him. “When was the last time you saw these people?”

Midoriya looked down at the photos the officer had slid in front of him. One was a photo of his mother and the other… the other was a photo he had only seen in old photo albums. His dad. He looked at the photos confused. Why did they need to know where his parents were? He answered anyway because it was against the law not to.

“I saw my mom last night, and my dad left for overseas when I was three.” All the policeman did was nod his head. After writing down what Midoriya assumes was his answers, he looked him straight in the eyes.

“Kid I’m not going to put this gently. I know you are wondering why you are here, and I’m going to answer that but first I need to know. What is your quirk?”
“I don’t have one.” Midoriya looked at his hands, and again wondered what he was here for? Why were they asking him these questions?

“So it couldn’t have been you. Well, kid, there was an accident like I said before, but now I’ll tell you what happened.” Midoriya slowly raised his head to look at the police officer to signal he was ready.

“There was a villain attack. It is unclear how it started but we do know one thing. Somehow your parents got caught up in it. When the heroes arrived on scene the villain had taken several hostages, which included your parents. The pros had to take drastic measures and in the process, your parents got caught in their quirk.”

The officer went silent so Midoriya could take it all in. His dad was back? His mom and dad were both caught in an attack? When, where, why them? Midoriya just looked at the officer with tears forming in his eyes.

“They are alive kid, but in ruff shape. We got word that your father woke up around the time you got here, but your mom hasn’t woken up yet. We brought you here to break the news, and so you could sign some papers. I know it’s a lot to ask of you right now, but the hero is looking to make up for your parents getting injured.”

“Which hero?” Midoriya said it so quietly and broken the officer couldn’t hear him.

“Sorry, what kid?”

“Which hero?” This time he said it loud enough for the officer to hear.

“Ryukyu. She is ever so sorry. She wanted to be here to apologize to you, but she was called on another assignment.” Midoriya just nodded his head and signed the paperwork quickly. When he was ready Homura came to take him to the hospital.

The car ride was a blur, and so was the walk to his parent’s room. They had been put in the same room because they had been affected by a similar quirk. When he walked in his eyes went immediately to the beds. One was empty, and the other one had someone in it.

He set his bag down on the ground and walked over to the occupied bed. The tears started falling heavily when he saw his mother. She was covered in bruises and light cuts, but there was no physical sign of why she wasn’t awake yet. She looked so peaceful despite her injuries, and if it wasn’t for the heartbeat on the monitor, he would have thought she was dead.

He just sat and stared at his mother for a while, never hearing the other person enter the room. Only when they cleared his throat did he turn around, and see the other person in the room. It was his dad. What did he say?

“Izuku. I missed you.” The tears started again. Here was the man he hadn’t seen in twelve years. The man that could’ve been dead for all they know. They never do tell the families of soldiers if their loved ones survive or not.

“Dad.” The first time his father had ever seen him again was in a hospital, his mom in a bed, and him a crying mess. Midoriya couldn’t help it, he had to go hug him. When his arms wrapped around the man, he cried so much harder.

The hug lasted a long time. They were making up for twelve years of lost time for goodness sake. When they finally let go of each other there were tears in his dad’s eyes. Somehow connected on the same brainwave they looked over at his mom.

“I saw your notebook.” Without looking away from his mom, his dad held up his notebook. “What is this for?” He sounded angry, yet worried?

“It’s notes I’ve taken on heroes…”

“Why?”

“I want… wanted to be a hero.” His dad let out a sigh of relief. He then set Midoriya’s notebook back in his back.

“Izuku you will not be a hero, right? Heroes are great at times Izuku, but there are times where they can’t save people,” his father then looked at his mom to make his point, “I don’t want you to have the guilt of not saving someone on your conscious.”

“I can’t be a hero anyway. I don’t have a quirk.” Midoriya looked at his dad his dry eyes threatening to spill over again.

“So there was no reason for me to worry. I’m going to get us something to eat Izuku.” Midoriya waited till his dad left the room to let the tears start again. Even his dad didn’t think he could be a hero. Kacchan, All Might, his mom, and now his dad.

They were all right anyway weren’t they? No one without a quirk had ever become a hero. When he heard his dad come back, he quickly wiped the tears away and put a smile on his face. As they started talking and Midoriya talked about his life, he realized how sad a life he had.

Always getting bullied by Kacchan and the rest of his class. His mom always treating him like he was a porcelain doll. All Might taking one look at him, and knowing he could never save anyone. And now his dad… without any hesitation told him not to be a hero.

Maybe he should take Kacchan’s advice and try again in a new life. He told his dad made up memories about him and Kacchan. His favorite memories to tell his dad was ones of when he would watch villain attacks and take notes. But after each memory, he would quickly tell him about mom to fill the hole in his heart.

Midoriya wanted to leave his dad with the impression of a son who had lived a happy life. When visiting hours were over Homura came to take him back to the apartment. Midoriya hugged his dad goodbye and gave his mother a kiss on the cheek. On the way back he made sure to thank Homura for driving him around.

As he was getting out of the vehicle Homura told him that she would pick him up in the morning. He knew she wouldn’t but told her okay anyway. Once Homura’s car was out of sight he started walking down the block. He knew where some old buildings stood, and he would just go there.

When Midoriya got there he almost backed out, but at this point, he was convinced. Kacchan was right, he would never become a hero in this life. Sitting down on the edge he brings out his notebook.

He flips to the back of his notebook where he has three blank pages. He rips them out and starts writing. He writes about his quirklessness, the years of bullying, and his hope. His hope that Kacchan will become a great hero, that his parents will live a happy life, and that All Might keeps saving people.

When he was done writing he put them under a rock so they wouldn’t blow away. He then set his bag next to the note. Taking one last look at the setting sun he made peace with what he was going to do.

Taking off his shoes he set at them next to the note and his yellow bag. With a steadying breath and a setting of his feet he took off in a run toward the edge.
“What you doing kid?”

Chapter Text

That hurt. That hurt a lot. Wait… it shouldn’t have hurt. He had chosen this building because it should’ve been death on impact.

Sitting up he felt something wet falling down his face. When Midoriya went to wipe his face, he looked down at his hand. It was covered in blood. Well great, guess he was useless at dying too.

Midoriya looked around at where he was. He wasn’t on the ground because he could still see his backpack and shoes. So he was still on the roof, but how?

“You okay kid?” Midoriya jumped and looked around for the source of the voice. About five feet from where he was sitting, he saw the silhouette of a man. The man must’ve seen the blood in the little daylight that was left. “Come on kid, let’s go inside and clean you up.”

Midoriya followed him inside, though he kept his distance just in case. He never knew anyone still lived in these buildings. When they got inside the went to the second floor, and there was a whole living space. There was a bed, a wood fire stove and a small mini-fridge, and a bathroom.

The man went to go light the stove and grab something from the bathroom. When he came back he lit a bunch of candles with his quirk. Midoriya was finally able to see him clearly. The first thing that stood out to him was his pure blue eyes, and then the burns all over his face.

“Were those from your quirk?” The flames he had used to light the candles were bright blue like his eyes. Those were the hottest flames on earth.

“Yeah they are, but I’m used to them. Now, where is the blood coming from?”

“Uh on my head somewhere above my left eye.” The man came over and gently searched his head for the actual source. When he found it he started cleaning up the cut.

“Lucky kid, you won’t be needing stitches.” Midoriya slightly flinched as the man started rubbing disinfectant on the cut.

“Could I ask you what happened?” He really had no clue what happened, and it would be nice if he did.

“Well, I had been watching you on the roof for a bit. It isn’t often people come here so I was curious. I saw you writing, then I saw you get up and set everything down. I...I didn’t think you would go through with it. So I called out to you when you started running. When I called out you were so surprised that you fell flat on your face, and it didn’t help that you were running at full speed.”

“Really?” The man nodded his head with unshed tears in his eyes, and a small smile on his face. He must have looked so stupid! But there was something more important to ask. “Are you okay uh…. I still don’t know your name.”

“I don’t have a name, and it’s just you remind me of my brother. He is the same age as you and has the same airheadedness. I think that is why I stopped you…” The unshed tears became one tear sliding down his burnt face.

“Well, I have to call you something…. How about Dabi?” (Deku is suggesting this because of all the meaning. The first kanji means ‘Suffering’ and the second kanji means ‘Help’ or ‘Save.’ Not for the ‘Cremation of the body’ thing.)

“I like that kid. Now, what is your name?” Midoriya debated telling him or not, but in the end, he did.

“Izuku. My name is Izuku.”

“No last name?”

“No. I don’t belong to a family anymore. They are better off without me.” Midoriya looked into one of the candles so he didn’t have to look at Dabi.

“How bout you lie down? I’m going to go grab something to eat.” Midoriya nodded his head and went to go lay on the bed. In reality, Dabi already had food, instead of going down he went up. He went up to the roof and grabbed Midoriya’s stuff. That’s when he saw the note. So setting down Midoriya’s bag and shoes he read the note.

Being p*ssed was an understatement. Dabi had known the boy for about two hours, and he already knew that he didn’t deserve the life that he had written down. So he decided he would help the kid. Dabi called in a favor and waited. He would help this kid.

Midoriya wasn’t sure how long he had been asleep, but he could smell the pork cutlet that was on the stove. He looked around the room for Dabi but didn’t see him anywhere in the main room. He went over to the stove and looked at the warm pork cutlet. Midoriya couldn’t resist and started looking for a bowl so he could take some.

“The second cabinet on the bottom left.” Midoriya jumped at the voice and turned around. “Oh, sorry kid. I was just grabbing something.” It was Dabi with an old T.V in his hand. Midoriya nodded his head and checked the cabinet.

“What is the T.V for?” He looked over his shoulder at Dabi waiting for an answer.

“I think you’ll want to watch the news tonight.” Well, that was quite vague, but Midoriya went with it. He could hear Dabi mess with the T.V as he served himself some pork cutlet. “Would you grab me a bowl too kid?”

After Midoriya grabbed another bowl and grabbed some for Dabi, he looked over to what Dabi was doing. He had gotten the T.V to work and was now messing with the signal so it would pick something up. Midoriya went over to Dabi and set the bowl next to him.

“Thanks, kid.” Taking a quick glance at Midoriya he said his next sentence very slowly. “You don’t want to go home right?”

“No,” Midoriya said the word with no hesitation.

“Good. You’re staying here then, and no one will be looking for you.” Midoriya was confused until Dabi turned on the news. It took ten minutes of weather, hero reports, and other boring statistics, but then he saw it. In big bold letters on the screen was his name, with his most recent photo under it.

The headline read, “Local Suicide and His Sad Story.” Flashing across the screen were photos from his childhood, his school events, and then… his note. He hadn’t mentioned anyone’s names but they would know who they were. The news anchor was in tears, and the camera was slightly shaking. These total strangers were crying over him.

“What did you do?” Midoriya didn’t know how, but he knew that Dabi was somehow involved.

“All I did was call in a favor kid.” Dabi looked at him with sad eyes and looked like he needed a hug. So Midoriya hugged him, he hugged him for a long time. At some point, he started crying and he felt a tear slip down Dabi’s cheek.

“Thank you, Dabi. Thank you so much.” He was free, he was free and no one had to put up with him anymore. His mother didn’t have to constantly worry. Kacchan wouldn’t have him in the way anymore. And his father wouldn’t need to make up for lost time. But while he thought he had done what’s best in three other places there were only tears.

At the hospital where his mother and father were from one room, the whole hospital could hear the tears of a mother who had lost her child. In a house with two hot-tempered people, and the voice of reason, two were in tears over their second son, and the other in shock, struggling to hold back tears. In the final place, not exactly sure where, a man who had failed someone who had believed in him, believed he could save him, was silently crying.

But Midoriya wasn’t aware of this. He thought they were rejoicing that he was gone. Midoriya and Dabi finished watching the report on him. His teachers shedding fake tears, and telling fake stories. His father screaming at the camera crew to get out of the hospital room.

When the report was over Dabi silently grabbed the bowl in front of Midroiya and turned off the T.V. Midoriya just kind of sat staring at the screen not really believing what happened. Everyone thought he was dead, everyone he had known and everyone he hadn’t.

He could do anything he wanted now. Obviously he would have to figure out a new name, maybe get his hair cut or let it grow out. He would need to dye it maybe. He also needed new clothes. He obviously couldn’t go home and get his old ones. He needed a job to pay for all of this…

“Oi kid, you’re mumbling.”

“Oh sorry, it’s an old habit of mine.” Midoriya hated when people caught him mumbling. Midoriya went to go upstairs to grab his backpack and shoes. He wanted to write a plan in his notebook. Well, maybe he could get one thing from home…

“Where are you going kid?” Dabi looked over to him going toward the door.

“Up to the roof to grab my stuff.”

“I already grabbed that for you kid. How do you think the police found the note?” Midoriya slapped himself in the face, he was an absolute idiot. The note hadn’t even come across his mind.

“Uh, could I have it? I want to go grab some stuff from my apartment.” Dabi gave him a look. What look, I can’t describe.

“They won’t notice it missing?” Midoriya shook his head no. When Dabi still didn’t say yes, he started giving the puppy dog eyes. “Ughhh! Fine, but be quick. I want you back before sunrise.”

“Thank you, Dabi!” Midoriya slipped his shoes on and grabbed his apartment key from his backpack. He waves goodbye to Dabi and heads to his apartment. The possibility of his parents already being home was very little so he wasn’t worried.

It wasn’t long until Midoriya was at the front door. It was going to be a quick in and out. No getting distracted by memories. With one turn of the key, he was inside. He didn’t dare turn the lights on just in case.

Midoriya used the wall to guide him to his room. He knew where everything was and didn’t need a light. He went immediately for the top drawer of his desk. In it, he could feel his notebooks. The filled ones and the empty ones, and he could feel the big photo album as well.

He was tempted to take it, but his mom might notice it missing. Instead, he settled for the photo he knew that was on his desk. It was a picture of him and his mom when he was younger, he was wearing his favorite All Might onesie. He couldn’t take anything else, as much as he wanted to.

As he was going to leave he heard something outside. It sounded like someone was walking around outside, but it made no sense no one usually walked around at this time. When the footsteps stopped in front of his door he panicked, he made a small squeak and ran into the nearest room to hide.

Midoriya tried to be quiet as he hid in the room, but when he heard the door open he let out a sharp breath. Whoever was inside must not have heard it, because they didn’t barge into the room. He was really being an idiot, but he wanted to see who it was. When he opened the door he almost called out in surprise. It was Kacchan.

“Nerd are you here? I saw the news, please just be messing with me. I promise I won’t be mad. You were never in my way. I was just jealous of how positive you always were. I never wanted it to go this far. Nerd just jump out right now and call sike. Please…”

Midoriya wanted to go out and comfort Kaccahn. He had never heard him so broken. It even sounded like Kaccahn was crying. Kaccahn never cried, not even when he was the one who was bullied.

But he couldn’t. He had to stay out of the way, so Kacchan could become a great hero. After a few minutes when no one jumped out to him Kacchan left, but not before crying for a little longer. Midoriya waited a little longer just to make sure Kacchan was really gone. When he finally felt that it was safe enough he left, with notebooks and photo in hand.

When he got back to Dabi, he didn’t tell him about what happened at the apartment. Dabi didn’t ask either. But they both knew he couldn’t go out in public again until they changed up his look.

“Okay kid, time for a makeover.”

“I think I know just what I want to do.”

Chapter Text

“Kid are you sure you want to work? I make plenty for both of us.” This was the twentieth time that Dabi had tried to talk him out of going to work.

“Dabi, it is the first day. I won’t know if I hate it until I go. If you are worried about people recognizing me, we’ve covered it.” They had covered him. The day Midoriya had gotten back from his apartment they had changed his whole look.

(I would draw but I can’t draw so enjoy a description.) Dabi wasn’t the best with scissors, but together they managed to give him an undercut, of sorts. It wasn’t the cleanest but it got the job done. Next, they got him a pair of bright blue contacts almost exactly like Dabi’s. They thought about dying his hair as well, but he already looked enough like Dabi’s brother if they needed it.

Midoriya would have kept wearing his kanji shirts, but Dabi practically burned them all on sight. So instead he settled for a white shirt and vest. He waited for the heat to die down about his “suicide” before he asked Dabi if he could get a job. Dabi didn’t really think he could get a job so he told him he could try.

Well (however long it is till USJ because I’m too lazy to check) months later he was going for his first day of work. It was a minimum wage job, but the only thing they needed money for food and clothes since this building was technically abandoned.

“Kid if anyone starts looking at you funny you clock out and leave.”

“Dabi you know I love you, but you need to calm down. No one is going to recognize me for the hundredth time.” Midoriya getting the last word, left the apartment. He really did love Dabi, he was like the big brother he had never had, but he needed to stop worrying so much. Dabi’s words must have been getting to his head because he started thinking about going back.

No, he would do this. Midoriya owed Dabi so much and the least he could do was help pay expenses. They had thought about putting him back in school, but they had settled on just letting him have free range of the library. Home learning was fun, no one to make fun of him, and getting to learn at his own pace.

Reaching the little supermarket he had gotten accepted to work at he went to the back to grab his uniform. He was to just help where they needed him since he seemed to be able to do the work. For now, he was to work at the cash registers where he could see the t.v. It was a boring local ad station so he didn’t pay much attention to it.

Around the end of his shift, he heard people start whispering and pointing at the t.v. Midoriya decided to look at the t.v and saw that the channel had changed. Instead of showing ads it was showing a breaking news story. Midoriya wanted to laugh at it, there was no way it was true.

UA had been attacked on a trip to the USJ facility, it said that several students were in critical condition and that All Might hadn’t been seen since he took out the biggest villain. That meant that All Might had gone beyond his limit, but what really caught his attention was a pair of boys in the back.

A spiky redhead and a spiky blonde. It looked like Kacchan had made a new friend. Midoriya couldn’t really explain what he was feeling. Jealousy, hurt, or annoyance he wasn’t sure, but he felt something. Not finding the story interesting anymore he went to clock out since his shift was over.

When he got back to the apartment, he saw that Dabi wasn’t back yet. Midoriya wasn’t quite sure what Dabi did as a job, but whatever it was had paid for them since he had faked his death. He didn’t question it though, he trusted Dabi, whatever he did couldn’t be too bad.

Midoriya walked over to his stake of books and started to read. It wasn’t long before Dabi came back to the apartment. They sat in silence for a while like they usually do, just orbiting their own little worlds. Soon Midoirya got hungry so he decided to start dinner. When dinner was done he brought some over to Dabi, and they ate.

“So how was work today?” A look of worry flashed across Dabi’s face before it turned neutral again.

“It was pretty boring actually. They had me working at the front all day, and it isn’t very exciting just scanning food for hours. Although the news was interesting.” Dabi looked up from his food and started down Midoriya.

“What was on the news?”

“A class from UA was attacked today.” Dabi visibly relaxed in his seat, and it made Midoriya’s interest peak.

“Oh. Was anyone seriously hurt?”

“Some students are in critical condition and All Might hasn’t been seen since.”

“DID ANY OF THEM HAVE AN ICE QUIRK?!” The outburst was so sudden Midoriya almost fell out of his chair.

“No, I don’t think so. Why?”

“No reason.” And he was back on the defensive.

“Dabi what did you do today?”

“Uh, I took out some trash.” Midoriya knew it wasn’t the truth, but that it wasn’t a lie either so he let it go.

The next few months went on like this. They watched the Sports Festival together and watched as Kaccahn was beat by Shoto Todoroki. Dabi seemed really happy about it, and Midoriya connected the two dots that had been given to him on the day of the USJ attack.

Then the next day they watched the news report on the attack of the hero Ingenium, and how it was the Hero Killer who had done it. They worked and lived. About once a week they would go out to get essentials.

It wasn’t until the day that Midoriya saw the news report on the death of the UA student Tenya Iida by the hands of the Hero Killer, that anything changed. The news report covered the brutal murder of the teen and pro hero he had tried to save. It also covered the attack of Hosu from what the media were calling Nomu. In the report, the Hero Killer was covered more and his ideals.

Dabi seemed really interested in the ideals of the Hero Killer. Midoriya could only summon up a little pity over the boy and hero, but he was more interested in the Nomu. They seemed to have multiple quirks, and one of them was very familiar. But then life kept going. It wasn’t until a few days later when Dabi came to him.

“Pack up, we’re going.”

“Where are we going?”

“I got a new job, and they are letting me bring you.” That was all it took for Midoriya to pack up his little possessions, and walk out the door with Dabi.

Standing in the bar he almost wished he hadn’t. There was about a dozen people and they were all pretty intimidating. There was a man with hands all over him, a girl who had a crazy look in her eyes, a big man who covered half his face, another man with a full body suit, someone with a big bar by them, Dabi, a man stabbed to a chair, someone in a yellow cape and mask (he actually looked the kindest,) and finally a man who was just a big cloud of purple.

Next to all of them Midoriya was once again reminded how powerless he was. Dabi looked over at him and tried to give him an encouraging smile. He smiled back but it didn’t make him feel much better. But no matter how much he wanted to run away he had to stay.

So he started by introducing himself. He started with the nicer looking ones. He learned that the one in the yellow cape was Mr.Compress, the one in the bodysuit was Twice, and the one with the big bar was Magne. Next was the purple cloud man and the crazy look girl. He learned that the girl’s name was Toga and that she wasn’t much older than him, the purple cloud man was Kurogiri and he was a lot kinder than he seemed. Finally was the scary ones…

“Kid you don’t need to talk to them you know.” Dabi had walked over to Midriya as he was trying to summon up his courage to talk to the remaining three.

“Yeah I know, but it’s just the nice thing to do.”

“Well stay away from the one in the chair, I don’t like him. His name is Moonfish if you ever do need to talk to him.

“Okay! Thanks, Dabi!”

 

So that left the big man and the one with hands all over him. Midoriya started with the one with his face covered. He learned that his name was Muscular and that he really didn’t like him. Finally was who he assumed to be the leader. Midoriya kind of just stood there watching the man but finally, he dared to speak.

“Uh hello…” The man snapped his head to look over at Midoriya and he could feel his stare through the hand on his face.

“I’m going to assume you’re the extra that the patchwork man brought.”

“His name is Dabi. Anyway, what is your name?”

“Shigaraki. Also, I know his name, so don’t test me, kid.” Midoriya slightly backed up since he didn’t know what this man’s quirk was.

“My name is Izuku. Thank you for letting me stay with you guys!” Midoriya gave a quick bow and tried to scoot back a little more with it seeming natural.

“You’re only here because patchwork said that you had good notes on heroes. Also, you can stop backing away. I’m not in the mood to decay anyone today.” Midoriya’s eyes lit up at the mention of Shigaraki’s quirk.

“Your quirk is called Decay? That sounds so cool! Could you explain it to me?” So many questions came to his mind about Shigaraki’s quirk.

“He also warned that you were would take notes on everything and everyone. I’ll give you more information someday when I know I can trust you.” Midoriya nodded his head and took that as his sign to leave. He walked back over to Dabi since he didn’t think he had much else to do.

“So what do you think of everyone?” Midoriya could tell he really meant, “What do you think of me?”

“I still love you Dabi don’t worry. I knew you were doing something illegal so I prepared myself for all possibilities.”

“Thanks, kid but seriously what do you think of everyone?”

“Oh well… I think Mr.Compress, Twice, Kurogiri, and Magne are really nice. I think Toga and Shigaraki are going to take a little getting used to. But I don’t like Muscular or Moonfish, they seem like complete psychos.”

“So pretty much the same impression I had about them. Well, let’s get moved in.” So the two went to their assigned room that was further into the bar and unpacked. That’s how their life in the Leauge of Villains started.

The days went by and Midoriya asked everyone about their quirks, taking notes and adding to his notebooks. Most of them didn’t mind, but Shigaraki still wouldn’t tell him anything and he didn’t want to mess with Moonfish or Muscular. By the end of the third day, he had already filled half of a new notebook with notes.

Midoriya wasn’t able to do much for the Leauge other than give them information and wait. He didn’t exactly mind, but he felt like he wasn’t that useful. So to get his mind off of everything he helped Kurogiri with cleaning the bar, reading, trying to gain Shigaraki’s trust, and hanging out with the other villains.

It wasn’t until a week in that Shigaraki got annoyed with him.

“Why do you ask so many questions about other’s quirks?”

“Well, I think it’s because I don’t have a quirk myself…”

“You don’t have a quirk?”

“No. I thought you knew this?”

“I just assumed you didn’t want to get your hands dirty, or that patchwork said you couldn’t.” Midoriya had never really thought about what going on a job would actually mean.
“Dabi never said I couldn’t, but he also knows that I know my own strength.”

“Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a quirk?”

“How could I not? It’s all I ever wanted in life. To have a quirk so others wouldn’t look down on me.” Shigaraki thought to himself for a minute and then went over to the monitor at the end of the bar. He came back a couple of minutes later and sat down again.

“Well, are you ready to get a quirk?”

Chapter Text

Sorry did I say he was getting a quirk?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing to see here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

悪 狐

Meghan knew her heavy breaths could be heard from far away, but she couldn't be silent.

"Mochi, where are you?" Meghan's body wracked with her silent sobs. She didn't know who or what this thing was, but it wasn't Kat or Mickey, even if it sounded like them. Meghan could hear leaves crunching under feet, coming closer and closer still. Then it stopped.

"Found you."

"Mochi!" Meghan looked up looking for the source of her nickname. Beyond the crowd, she could see Kat jumping up and down to grab her attention. She got up to make her way through the crowd to her friend. When she got there, she didn't see the other girl who had come with them.

"Where is Mickey?"

"Oh, she went to the bathroom. I was just waiting for her when I saw you on your way back from the Main Hall."

"Well, since we will all be together, let's just head to the pond together." The girls had wanted to get sunset pictures at the pond before they went back to the hotel, and had been exploring the shrine.
"Sounds like a plan. We can hike some of the trails around there until sunset." Mickey soon came back from the restroom. They were lucky she hadn't got lost again.

"Okay, now that we are all together, let's get to the pond before we lose the sunset!" Said Kat. The three didn't have much time as the sun had already started its descent in the sky. By the time they made it to the pond the sun was almost gone.

"Make sure to save as much of the film as possible girls." Kat looked straight at Meghan as she said it. Meghan loved taking polaroid photos, but the film was very expensive and they didn't want to waste any shots. Kat and Mickey started taking photos on the bridge while Meghan went to a path that wound around the pond.

Meghan found the perfect spot to take a Polaroid. The bridge's lanterns turned on and the light of them mixed with the little light left of the sunset on the water was beautiful. Snapping a picture, Meghan looked up for Kat and Mickey to show them the photo, but they weren't there. They must have moved onto another one of the trails.

After about thirty seconds, Meghan looked at the polaroid in her hand. It was beautiful, yet there was something wrong. When she had snapped the photo, there hadn't been anyone else in the frame, but the photo in her hand showed a human figure walking toward the bridge.

Meghan shrugged it off as a last-minute hiker and went to take more pictures. But the more she took the clearer the figure became. The first thing she noticed was the ears, then the tail, and finally the what seemed to be glowing necklace on their neck. Meghan was confused yes, but there must just have been a festival at the shrine.

"Mochi! Where are you?" It was Kat calling for her. That must mean that their time is up, but on her way to the bridge, she didn't see Kat or Mickey. With an unsettling feeling, she snapped a polaroid. When the photo developed in the middle of the bridge was the figure, with a twisted smile and it's sharp fangs glinting in the light.

Meghan looked back up from the photo, but there was no one there. She looked around the bridge and again no one was there. Trying not to panic Meghan turned around as if everything was natural, and then ran.

She ran to the nearest trailhead and sprinted deeper into the forest. When she felt like it was safe to stop she did. Every thought imaginable raced through her head. It was a stalker, someone was going to murder her, someone had murdered Kat and Mickey, it wasn't human. But that last one wasn't even possible, was it?

There was barely any light left, but Meghan had to know, so she took another photo that was pointed at the trail. It felt like an eternity for it to develop. Before the photo even developed Meghan heard it, the crunch of leaves.

Meghan knew her heavy breaths could be heard from far away but she couldn't be silent.

"Mochi where are you?" Meghan's body wracked with her silent sobs. She didn't know who or what this thing was, but it wasn't Kat or Mickey, even if it sounded like them. Meghan could hear leaves crunching under feet, coming closer and closer still. Then it stopped.

"Found you."

Chapter Text

“Why are you here Shigaraki?”

“I brought someone for you master.” Nudging Midoriya out from behind him SHigaraki presented him to the man on the chair.

“Uh hello…”

“And why did you bring this… boy here?”

“Master this boy has been a valuable asset this past few weeks, and yet he is quirkless. Imagine how much more he could do for us with a quirk.” Midoriya didn’t want to say anything. The man in the chair was… scary was an understatement. His face was scarred so badly that he couldn’t see his eyes, and there were tubes coming from every possible part of his body.

“So you want me to give him a quirk?”

“Yes.” How did Shigaraki talk to this man so easily? They must’ve known each other for a long time for him to be so confident.

“Boy. Come here.” Midoriya’s legs moved by themselves. It seemed like the man tried to look kind, but the fact he couldn’t see his eyes didn’t help Midoirya’s nerves. “What is your name boy?”

“Izuku.”

“No family name?”

“No. I don’t belong to a family.” Somehow even without eyes, the man managed to stare down at Midoriya.

“And what exactly do you have to offer us?”

“I have information on all heroes, and All Might.” That piqued the man’s interest.

“Well, you do seem like you are a smart boy. Now tell me your family name, and I’ll tell you mine.”

“Midoriya. Midoriya Izuku.”

“Well now isn’t that interesting. Izuku I believe this was fate.”

“What do you mean?”

“You say your quirkless right?”

“Correct. I never developed a quirk.”

“Oh, you had a quirk. At least until my doctor took it from you.” Midoriya couldn’t wrap his head around that. What did the man mean a doctor took his quirk?

“I’m sorry I don’t understand…”

“Kame, come out and meet our guest.” Midoriya would have known that smile anywhere. It was the doctor who had declared him quirkless.

“Well hello, again Izuku.”

“Uh… um hello?”

“Master, are you thinking of giving him back his quirk? It is a very powerful one, and can come in handy soon.”

“What do you mean give me back my quirk? I was born quirkless! I have the extra toe knuckle to prove it!”

“Oh, Izuku that was a lie. The extra toe knuckle is a sign of a high level quirk. Beyond those, we see in the average population. It is my job to find these people and then report to my master.”

“After he tells me if he believes if they would be useful to him or not, I will either take their quirk or they will leave my office with their quirk.”

“Are you saying you took my quirk? I had a quirk, to begin with?” Midoriya couldn’t believe any of this but this man, there was something off about him, and he couldn’t help but think it might be true. “But why?”

“Well your quirk seemed useful to me, but sitting here in this chair day after day never gave me the chance to use it to it’s true potential.” The man didn’t sound upset about the fact but rather indifferent.

“So master what are you thinking?” It was the first time Shigaraki had spoken since Midoriya had been addressed by the man.

“Tomura I believe I’m going to give this boy his quirk. He will make a very valuable asset indeed.” They were talking about him like he couldn’t make his own choices. He hated it when people did this.

“Wait!”

“Hm?”

“I will only continue to help you under certain conditions.”

“And what are these conditions?” Midoriya could see the man’s lips curl up into a smile.

“I will not take part in the killing of innocents. They have something illegal or I don’t help, and… and… I’m allowed to help in taking down All Might.” The man seemed very amused, and Midoriya was shocked with himself. He hadn’t even admitted to himself that he was angry at All Might. Yet here he was asking to help bring down his childhood hero.

“I believe that can be arranged, boy. But tell me why the hate for All Might? I thought your generation grew up adoring him.”

“I grew up believing in a lie. All Might wasn’t who he said he was, and if he was lying how many other heroes have secrets? When I needed him most he didn’t believe in me.” He said it, Midoriya finally admitted it to himself that he hated All Might.

“Hm… interesting. Now come here boy so I may give you your quirk.” Midoriya stepped up to the man, close enough for him to touch him.

“Wait you never told me your…” The man has pressed his hand onto Midoriya’s head. It felt hot so hot. He wanted to scream it burned so much. The pain didn’t last long, but it still hurt like hell.

“My name is All For One.” And with that, All for One removed his hand from Midoriya’s head. “Can you feel it Izuku? The power running through you?” Midoriya couldn’t answer, the burning sensation was still lingering on his head.

“Uh, I think?”

“Master it will take a bit for his quirk to become fully one with him again.” Kame had walked over to All for One and was checking the tubes that were coming out from him. “Now Izuku why don’t you go back with Shigaraki and start training?”

Midoroya nodded his head toward the doctor and glanced around for Shigaraki. He knew he would have to turn his back to All for One, but the unpleasant feeling that he has had since the man first looked at him still hasn’t left him. With a motion from Shigaraki, they made their way out of the room.

“So what does it feel like?” Shigaraki looked down at Midoriya with his eyes shining.

“It doesn’t feel really different. It kind of hurt when he gave me the quirk, but other than that I can’t feel anything.”

“It could be because it was originally your quirk. Most of the time when I see people receiving quirks they either pass out from pain or they smile like they just received the best thing in the world.”

“So you see him give quirks often?”

“No, not too often, usually just when he wants another pawn.” Midoriya knew that All for One only saw him as a pawn, but it hurt for Shigaraki to actually admit it. “Now I’ll give you a day to try and figure out your quirk and then tomorrow I’ll have you train with everyone. They are all masters in a different field.”

Midoriya nodded his head and headed to look for Dabi. He hadn’t told Dabi that he would be going with Shigaraki today and was terrified about what he would say. Would he be mad? Would he disappointed? Or worse… would he no longer think of him as his little brother?

They had grown so close in the months they had known each other, and Midoriya didn’t want to lose that. He stalled as long as he could on his way to Dabi, thinking of different ways to tell him about what he had done. Would it be better to just be straight forward? He was pulled from his thoughts by a sharp pain in his head.

It felt just like when All for One was transferring his quirk back to him. It burned so much but it didn’t last for long. When he was able to think clearly again he started racking his brain.

His quirk could be either his mother or father’s or a mix. Now he just had to figure it out. Shigaraki gave him a day. He could do it.

“Kid what are you mumbling about?” Midoriya did realize where he was until Dabi spoke to him. He had ended up in their room and was sitting on his bed.

“Oh uh hi Dabi. Sorry…”

“You’re fine kid. So what’s on your mind?”

“Dabi what would you think about me if I had a quirk?”

“That’s kind of random kid. But I wouldn’t treat you any different. You would still be the same person to me.”

“I HAVE A QUIRK!” Midoriya couldn’t keep it in. He blurted out the truth before he lost the confidence to tell Dabi.

“What!?”

“All for One gave me a quirk because he thinks I’ll be useful.” Midoriya’s small burst of confidence was quickly extinguished.

“Kid I love you but what the hell!? Do you realize you just sold your life to that man!? He gives people quirks so he can control them!” Each yell was another blow to Midoriya.
“Well, it was my quirk before it was taken for me. He was just giving back what he stole.”

“What do you mean?” Dabi was holding onto the bridge of his nose, trying to remain calm and or yell at Midoriya anymore.

“His doctor stole me quirk when I was four and gave it to him. His doctor then convinced me mom and I that I was quirkless. I was never quirkless Dabi. It was stolen from me. Can you blame me for wanting to have it back?”

Midoriya was trying not to cry. The day was finally catching up to him. All for One, the truth, reviving a quirk, and the conversation he was having with Dabi.

“No kid I can’t blame you. Just please when you decide to do dangerous sh*t, tell me.” Looking at Midoriya’s face Dabi sighed, “Kid go ahead and cry. It’s not like I haven’t seen you cry before.”

Midoriya let the tears fall over his eyes and started crying. He opened his arms and Dabi leaned in for a hug. The moment would have been the best in his life if the pain hadn’t come back. Midoriya jerked from Dani’s arms and held onto his head.

“Kid!? What’s going on!?”

“Dabi it hurts. It hurts so much.” The tears were no longer from weariness or joy, they were pure pain. This was the strongest pain had been, even stronger than when he first revived his quirk.

“Kid hang in there!” Dabi looked around the room frantically not sure what to do. He didn’t know exactly what was wrong with Midoriya but he knew it had something to do with his quirk. The two sat there for a while, Midroiya groaning in pain and Dabi doing everything in his might to not go slap Shigaraki.

“Dabi…” After Midroiya had been silent for a while he finally spoke up.

“Yeah, kid?”

“I think I figured out my quirk.” Midoriya smiled weakly at Dabi, and Dabi gave him the tightest hug he was capable of.

Two weeks later…

After about two weeks of training, Midoriya was able to keep the temperature spikes to a minimum. Together Dabi and Midoriya had figured out the limits of his quirk. He was able to heat different parts of the brain to cause different reactions, cause hallucinations, make someone blackout, and in the future if he ever decided to he could kill someone.

But every time he went over his limits in training he could feel his own temperature spike. With the help of Dabi, he worked on controlling his heat and listened to his advice. Shigaraki didn’t trust his control over his quirk so he made Toga teach him the art of knife-wielding. Midoriya didn’t mind being with Toga, she was just a little blood crazy, but it was probably just her quirk. He hoped.

It was another day training and helping around the base when Kurogiri asked for his head. Ever since Midoriya had gotten his quirk it had been quiet around the base. There were no missions and everyone just kind of sat around all day.

“So have you decided on a name?” Kurogiri rarely talked to Midoriya so when he did it was a little surprising.

“I’m sorry what?”

“A name for your quirk? Most everyone names their quirks these days.”

“Well, I really hadn’t thought about it…” Midoriya went through a list of quirk names he had come up with when he was little and waiting for his quirk, but none of those really fit his quirk.

“What about Psychedelic Misery? You seem to prefer using hallucinations and knife attacks other than full on mental attacks.” It was true Midoryia did prefer to cause hallucinations more than further damage. One because it hurt, two he didn’t want to hurt anyone in the League, and three it was fun seeing people's reactions.

“I like that Kurogiri! Thank you!” Midoriya gave Kurogiri a quick hug, and it must have surprised Kurogiri because he sort of froze up.

“Okay, you softies! We have an assignment. Time to crash a camping trip.”