Chapter 1: Beginnings and the Void
“What a curious little soul you are…. Descending into terror, yet clinging to love and memories… Not many have the willpower to recall their life as clearly as you do.”
“Such fire! Yes, you’ll do nicely.”
“Come little soul, show me a changed world and a wondrous future.”
“YoUR GoD DeMAnDs iT.”
“I’ll lend you my power, so show me a good time and AWAKEN.”
“Kohaku, WAKE UP!”
‘Everything hurts. Time stretches on and on, with no end in sight. I can’t bear it! They’re screaming! Help us please! None of us wanted to die. Why won’t anyone help us? There was so much pain… The blood coated the room… So much pain! SO MUCH, SO MUCH, SO MUCH. Where are they? Are they safe? Where are we?... Where am I? Am I alone again? nO...no… NO!... no, please, NO! I can’t be alone again!’
“Cardiac arrest… What is… quirk?... Have to move... Hospital?”
‘Voices? But… voices mean… people. There’s people here? Isaac? Michael? Grant?… Dad? Are you here? Did you… did you come get me?... I was scared… so scared… It’s so… warm. I’m happy you came back.’
Amber eyes closed on a blue-haired girl’s face, finally succumbing to her new body’s demand for rest as the stretcher was loaded into the ambulance, a haggard woman following not even a moment later after the body of her child. It would be a long, miserable, terrifying week before the newly dubbed Kohaku would wake, and the tiny family of mother and daughter would never be the same again.
Chapter 2: What Once Was Will Never Be Again
Alternatively titled "You Done Fucked Up, God": Part 1
Hi again! Here's another chapter for you!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“ You dare reject my blessings? You dare deny a God? You dare?! This is much greater than you, little soul. I will not have you ruin my plans. I require a vessel, and you have been chosen.”
“ Do NOT disappoint me.”
“I wILL iT, sO IT sHaLL bE.”
“No matter, you are mine now. There is no returning to what once was.”
Upon arrival to the hospital, there was a flurry of activity. A harmful quirk activation was nothing new, but still alarming. The paramedics rushed Kohaku’s gurney along in a well-practiced run.
The hospital floor itself was chaos. The scent of disinfectant was cloying and overwrote the scent of sickness and death, but only just. There were people crowding the hospital waiting room in varying states of injury, sickness, and worry.
All this was noticed, but dismissed, by Watanabe Aiko, focused as she was on the tiny, blue-haired form in the rushing gurney. The hospital staff had to stop her from following her daughter (her only child, her only FAMILY). She was directed to a chair in the ER waiting room, the staff bidding her to sit down and fill out forms as worry overcame her.
She had to wait hours until she heard anything.
The doctor came out and readied himself to speak, so she waited, tension lining every inch of her body.
“ Watanabe-san? Your daughter is stable, but it seems there was some com plications with her quirk. She needs to be kept under observation, but you may see her now. I-”
Aiko heard nothing else as she rushed to see her daughter, her body looking smaller than ever before in the grim white hospital bed. She breathed out a sigh of relief to see her unharmed, the monitor beeping along with her heart.
Someone cleared their throat behind her, sending her whirling only to come face to face with the middle-aged doctor.
“As I was saying, Watanabe-san, I will let you see to your daughter now. A nurse will be by later to take her vitals and administer medication.”
Sheepishly, Aiko smiled, still giddy with the knowledge that her daughter was alright. (She wasn’t. She wasn’t even the same person anymore.) She took a chair, dragging it to her Haku’s bedside. Relaxing for the first time since her daughter had stopped breathing in her bed, she fell asleep, bent over her daughter’s tiny hand.
She woke some time later, to frantic alarms above her and piercing screaming. The hospital staff swarmed the room while a nurse moved her from her daughter’s bedside.
It was her daughter screaming.
(Not her baby, not anymore.)
Kohaku’s limbs flexed and lifted as she struggled against the hospital staff, inhuman screeches tearing out of her throat in the midst of her wild sobs.
(No, not a nightmare, a memory.)
She sounded like she was dying, all frantic movements and panicked shrieks, and Aiko didn’t know how to help her . (Wrong, she’s already dead. There’s no helping the damned.)
Sleep for Aiko did not come easily that night, her subconscious already aware of what her waking mind was not. Her daughter was never going to be the same.
Days later, the screaming continued, the observation period lengthened into an admission by the second day. Aiko was frazzled and confused. Her daughter was… ( unnatural … wrong...) sick.
She wasn’t the same, staring listlessly at the wall, eyes lined with grief, making her seem almost elderly. She would look at Aiko with confusion, as if she’d never seen her own mother before. (She hadn’t. She’d never had a mother before.) She spoke with an accent that faded the more she spoke as if she was unused to speaking Japanese.
There were times where she’d turn and rattle off English to her left with a teasing grin as if expecting someone to be there. (She was. She spoke English before, to her family, Isaac always took the left.)
It was strange, and Aiko couldn't quite cope.
A week came and went, and the hospital released Kohaku into her care. She was given prescriptions for sleep-aids, and a reminder to see a doctor if there were any more complications with her quirk. (She was terrified of what her daughter had become. Why couldn’t they keep her? No, she couldn’t think like that, this was her daughter, unnatural or not.)
Misgivings and concerns aside, she dutifully took her daughter home, change and chaos following in her wake.
Next chapter we see more of the god and finally get into canon so look forward to it!
Chapter 3: Voice From On High
Alternatively titled: "You Done Fucked Up God: Part 2"
Ok so I lied. We have not hit canon. I swear, I tried! But Hades and Haku insisted that they needed this conversation instead. In other news, a special thanks to The God For Hire, my lovely beta who looked over this chapter for me, Omiicron! They run a DeviantArt page you should really check out and give some love to, which I will link right.. here: https://www.deviantart.com/0miicron
Enjoy the chapter!
“Move faster, little soul. There is much to be done.”
“Run faster still, for the time draws near, little soul. Show me a changed future.”
“You are the vessel of my will, and the wielder of my favor.”
Coming home was an adjustment for both mother and daughter. There were no visiting hours or hospital staff to mitigate the damage their interactions wrought on their relationship.
Aiko was trying desperately to keep their family together, the way it was before her “daughter” became a stranger in a child’s body (for what else could she be? Certainly not her child), whilst Kohaku seemingly showed no interest in the present moment. It was a trying time for the little family, and both struggled to settle into a rhythm.
Eventually, it came time to send Kohaku to school and Aiko couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief. (And wasn’t that terrible ? That she was tired and afraid of her own daughter!) The first day came and off Kohaku went, tiny shoulders squared and ready for anything, and it took all of Aiko’s strength to not sag to the floor in relief.
School was miserable.
It took everything Iri- Kohaku, (not Iris, never again Iris, Iris was dead ,) had in order to appear semi-normal, even as she saw ghosts around every corner and spoke names no one would ever reply to in the dead of night. It was the least she could do for Aiko-san (not okaasan, never again okaasan), as she had taken the place of her child on the whims of a god.
She had seen the strain upon Aiko-san, had seen the fearful looks and the weary glances as she screamed herself hoarse in her sleep or lost herself to memories of better times. She felt bad, of course, but between the voice of a god haunting her dreams and the loss shadowing her every footstep, Kohaku couldn’t find it in herself to try and put on an act at home. (She was so tired, she wanted her dad and brothers, not this stranger she had to call mother.)
Weeks passed and the duo settled into an uneasy truce, and all was seemingly well. Then came Kohaku’s quirk and the return of that blasted god.
It began at first in spurts that neither mother nor child noticed.
Little bouts of fidgeting and quicker reflexes that devolved into bursts of uncontrolled movement. Eventually, one particularly memorable afternoon after Kohaku ran into and broke several walls, Aiko was at her wits’ end and took her to see a specialist. The specialist lauded Kohaku for her “brilliant and powerful quirk so very suited for heroism,” and recommended a quirk counselor to speak to.
It was clear to both counselor and assessor that her quirk would make her life difficult, as it manifested itself in an extreme; affecting everything from brain chemistry to body composition and making it nigh impossible for little Kohaku Watanabe to function at a normal level.
(It would be many years before she could, for she had the power of a god flowing through her veins, and destiny trailing in her wake.)
It eventually came to pass that one afternoon, after a particularly grueling counseling session, that both counselor and counseled announced that Kohaku wished to be a hero.
(Unbeknownst to Aiko, it was the god that guided this decision, for it was his will that she followed, in return for his favor, however unwanted that favor may have been. It was better than the alternative. )
Aiko didn’t know how to feel about her daughter becoming a hero. Kohaku, for her part, was more concerned with the return of the voice of “god” in her head.
It was later that same day that the blasted god slithered into her dreams.
“Hello little soul.” said the damnable divine with a smirk.
(Kohaku really wanted to punch him.)
“Hello, Hades,” came her reply, venom and bitterness laced into every word.
“Hades, little soul? I do not think that has ever been my title, accurate though the moniker may be.”
“Oh fuck you, you vainglorious asshole. It suits you, you cold bastard.”
“ Be careful of how you speak little soul. You do not wish to test me. ”
“There's nothing else you can do to me, Your Divine-ness. You've taken everything , or did you already forget? Now, what do you want?”
“ Taken? tAkEN?! yOu DaRE?! I have given you everything! I have granted you my favor! Do not tell me that I have taken, when it is by my power that you even possess such speed. Am I not a merciful and just god?”
It's here that Kohaku knows she has to restrain herself. Hades, as she so “affectionately” nicknamed the god, was as cold as the ruler of the Underworld was said to be, and as inhuman as every story had portrayed gods as. She would suffer if she stepped out of line. She would die permanently, be erased and suffer the cold and the dark of the empty void once again until nothing would remain. She never wanted to go back again.
He didn't care about humanity. (At least, it seemed that way.)
Judging from the twisted rage on his ethereal face, he was close to snapping. It would only hurt her further, and Kohaku was many things, but brave in the face of agony was not one of them.
“ I’ll ask again. What do you want?” she asked, trembling from the sheer effort it took not to snap at the god.
“What I seek is a changed future, little soul. There is much to be done. Eight years from now, a young boy will meet the greatest hero of this age, a man by the name of Toshinori Yagi. You must be ready to change the course of fate. Do not falter, little soul. Or I will be MoSt DiSpLeAsEd. ”
With that parting remark, Kohaku woke up with a gasp, the sound deafening in the silence of the room, but no one came. Aiko was quite used to her nightly shenanigans by now and unless Kohaku went to fetch her, her sleep would go undisturbed.
(Not undisturbed, she still woke to unearthly screams of torment, she just never came.)
It was lonely for Kohaku.
She did indeed have only herself to blame in a way, but she couldn’t cope with losing her brothers and her dad. She never did have much respect for her mother. In fact, she was quite angry at the woman who had left her father, and she supposed in her grief she had transferred that animosity to Aiko.
It was no excuse, but what was done was done. There was no going back. No pretending that she was the Kohaku Aiko once cherished.
To pretend to be so now would only further cause strain; if not to Aiko, then to herself. Aiko wouldn’t want someone so unnatural, anyway, and Kohaku had no need of a mother.
(Liar liar... Aiko could have loved you.)
Hades, for his part, was quietly watching Kohaku make the final choice to push Aiko away and finally realizing that perhaps finding a soul that loved so deeply and tearing them away might have been a mistake.