Actions

Work Header

Behind-the-scenes Hero

Chapter Text

“Kacchan! Wait up!” A small green haired child yelled, running to meet the explosive blonde. Kacchan, otherwise known as Katuski - which was his actual name - turned to watch the greenette run up to meet him, a shit-eating grin plastered on his face.

“Deku? Why’d you take so damn long?”

The greenette shrugged, frowning a little, “I don’t know, and Kacchan that’s a bad word, Mommy said you shouldn’t say those.”

Kacchan rolled his eyes, “Auntie Inko isn’t my mom, she your’s, so her rules don’t apply to me.”

The 4-year-old’s walked home, Deku pointing at the clouds and Kacchan making sure that Deku didn’t somehow trip and smack his face on the pavement like last week. Auntie Inko and Kacchan’s mother hadn’t been too excited about Deku’s bloody nose, and Katsuki had been scolded for not watching out for him.

 

At the park, they met their mother’s who both stood from the oak bench that was nestled under some cherry blossoms trees. Both opened their arms running to their respective child.

“Izuku!”

“Brat!”

They called out simultaneously, making Deku giggle and Kacchan roll his eyes.

Consent or not, both kids were swept up in a hug. The pairs stood side by side, either being held or holding someone.

From far away, it might’ve looked like the women had been holding carbon copies of themselves. Each child was practically a look-a-like of their mom, except smaller and a different gender.

Izuku and his mother wore a small stature, allowing them top prize for the best huggers. Their eyes and heads were adorned with a beautiful green, that made your heart skip beat at the sheer severity of it. They say the eyes are the window to the soul. This is especially true for the two greenettes, who poured their every emotion into those swirling green orbs.

The Bakugous, however, had blond spiky hair - which Deku liked to play with every so often. Crimson eyes made their stares and glares even more unbearable. And, likewise to the Midoriyas, their emotions were… easily readable. Their anger only rivaled their competitive fire, which to be honest, wasn’t exactly the best pairing.

Kacchan’s quirk was explosive; and so was Kacchan.

“Alright, Izu we’re gonna have to be going to that doctors appointment now,” Inko reminded, interrupting their moment. Katsuki scowled, but then Izuku leaned over and poked one of his fair-skinned cheeks.

“Don’t worry Kacchan, we can keep playing when I get back,” Izuku reassured him.
Katsuki only pouted more and Izuku reached over and stretched Katsuki’s face into a forced smile, earning a chuckle from both mothers.

“Come on Kacchan, smile! I like it when you smile.” Izuku insisted, reaching up to pat the choppy tips of blonde hair. His hand was suddenly smacked away.

“Tsh, I don’t care. Just come back soon so we can play again, nerd.” Katsuki huffed, badly hiding the blush that dusted his small face.

Inko and Izuku bidded goodbye to the Bakugous and soon left the park, Inko hoping that, by some miracle, they wouldn’t be too late.

Inko swiftly set Izuku down and they continued walking down the pale sidewalk. Izuku pointed out the colors of the houses, mentioning how they could color coat the houses by some degree to help medical teams to see who has a known medical predicament and could need help. Inko smiled softly, silently squealing at her baby’s bright ideas.
He was such a smart boy, she praised. He’d make such a great hero.

Granted, she was still worried. An unknown sixth sort of sense had wrapped around her this morning, warning her something was bound to happen. But she simply chalked it up to the fact that her baby still hadn’t manifested any quirk. Katsuki - who was almost like a second son - had already shown his quirk: Explosions.

She laughed slightly. It was ironic really; an explosive quirk for an explosive boy.

Izuku tugged on her sleeve, she looked down to see a panicked face. Quickly scooping him up she whispered into his soft hair, “What’s wrong Izu?”

He shook his head and then very quickly jerked his head to the left behind them. “There’s this creepy man that has been following us for a while. S-sorry I didn’t say anything earlier.”

The blood drained from her face and she bit her lip, pulling a brave face for her child.

“It’s perfectly fine Izu. Thank you for telling me baby.”

Fuck. She didn’t know what to do! What could she do?

She quickly began weaving through the crowd, which she couldn’t remember being there a couple of minutes ago.

A few minutes ago it was just her and Izuku and Inko’s thoughts.

But now she was hyper aware of every little thing near them. Who was this man away? Why was he following them? Or was there even a man?

She shook her green head, holding Izuku closer to her. Her baby wouldn’t lie or make anything up, and he certainly wasn’t paranoid. Her stomach churned. There was actually someone following them.

Without thinking, she turned the corner and nearly ran into someone.
“Ah! I-I’m so sorry, I’m just a bit frazzled I guess!” She immediately apologized, taking in the man’s - more like teen’s - blue hair and flaky pale skin. He was scratching his at neck fruitlessly, obviously not finding any comfort in the friction of nails on skin. She scrunched her nose up. A side effect of his quirk maybe?

Blood red eyes glinted dangerously, in almost childlike glee which made Inko unconsciously tighten her grip on whimpering Izuku.

“Perfectly fine madam,” He said in an unusually raspy voice, “Do you need help? You seem on edge.”

She shook her head, analyzing the boy’s tone. It didn’t sound like an offer for help, more of an offhand observation.

Deciding to find the nearest police station instead she reassured him, “No, no. We’re perfectly fine, I’m just a bit late for a doctor's appointment you see.”

Not quite the truth, but not a blatant lie either.

She turned to leave. Maybe it was a bit rude but this kid was giving her a weird vibe, and she didn’t like it.

“Ma’am.”

A hand was on her shoulder, but weirdly enough it felt like there was only four fingers resting there.

“Sir, if you don’t mind taking your hand off my shoulder—”

Suddenly Izuku was ripped her as all finger landed on her cardigan... and she screamed.

“Give him back!”
Something metal whacked her in the back of her head, her screaming cut short and she slumped to the ground. Sickeningly, she watched as the blue haired teen lugged her baby, him screaming himself, tears streaming down his face, into a swirling black hole in the brick. She sobbed once, soon losing consciousness.

Chapter Text

Inko woke with a start. Squinting left and right, she felt around.

Soft. All of it.

A… bed?

Her heart jumped in her chest. Izuku! It was just a dream? It must’ve been.

She was fine, and so was Izuku. Safe in her room and him safe in his.

But then her eyes adjusted after a flurry of blinks and heart dropped to her stomach. No. Not a room.

A hospital.

She blinked and looked around again, hoping that maybe just maybe she’d find her baby boy sleeping in one of the ratty chairs. But she didn’t.

A feeling of loneliness climbed it’s way up her throat and tucked itself neatly next to her heart.

Cursing, she ripped the covers off, and stood. A pounding released in her head and her shoulder screamed in pain. She wobbled, nearly falling.

Like a bevy of swans, nurses rushed in dressed in white uniforms, all of them softly scolding her for getting up but none too harshly. Looking at them blearily, she realized they all wore somber faces and she knew why too.

“H-He’s gone i-isn’t he?” She asked, her vain attempt to keep herself together quickly crumbling. They all shared a look and then one with bright red hair nodded.

A sob she’d been holding in for much too long racked through her and she slid to her knees. Grasping at the icey floor, she couldn’t stop from crying. Her baby boy - her son - was gone. Had Pro Heros even arrived? What happened after she went unconscious? Did she even want to know?

All that had happened kept running and shoving into her all over again. Izuku being taken, the pain, his face as the edges of her vision slowly fell into darkness. She hadn’t been able to save him.

They lifted her back onto the bed with little resistance and tucked her in. She didn’t even thank them, favoring to turning on her side and sobbing into her hand.

The same thing kept ringing in her head, each time hitting her with a new wave of anguish.

Izuku was gone.

_______

All For One sat in his hidden room, smugly realizing how intimidating he must seem to a 4-year-old through his TV screen.

They had been watching the kid for weeks, but seeing the real thing was weirdly intriguing for All For One.

Through the screens he watched the boy squirm under his protege’s four-fingered grip.

“W-where am I? Where’s momma?” The small boy repeated.

Shigaraki’s fingers tightened and the green haired boy jerked away from Shigaraki, breaking his hold on the boy.

“Sir, please don’t touch me.”

Shigaraki rolled his eyes and muttered a ‘brat’.

All For One felt his interest grow, most kids would be frozen in fear - but not this kid. He grinned.

Not Inko’s kid. No, no. Of course not. How could he had even thought differently?

He remembered the green beauty with a tamed rage. He had the same eyes and wore the same hair. No doubt about it, this was her kid.

He chuckled at the terrified boy. He would make great use of the small greenette.

_______

Katsuki sat next to the window, frowning. They were supposed to be back by now. Even his mother paced by the door, worrying herself into overdrive. She had called Inko’s phone at least 9 times, none of which had gone through.

Mitsuki was getting irritated and getting irritated fast. She gritted her teeth, forcing herself to calm down.

Maybe Inko’s phone just died. Or maybe she just forgot to call…

No. Inko would never let her phone die, she always remembered to charge it before work, and she was diligent in letting Mitsuki know when she got home or if anything happened.

She huffed sitting next to Katsuki, ruffling his spikes.

His frown lines deepened and his brows furrowed.

"Where do you think their at, hag?”

She glanced over at him, a bit taken aback at his soft worried tone. She sighed, feeling the exact same.

“Don’t know, brat. I just hope they're okay.”

 

 

It took about a half an hour before a call actually came in.

Mitsuki accepted the call, baffled, but pleasantly surprised at the change of pace.

Bringing the phone up to her ear, the blood drained from her face. On the other end of the call, Inko was crying. Not just crying; she was sobbing.

“I-Inko? Hey, what happened? You guys were gone for so long and me and the brat were starting to get worried—”

“H-He’s gone Mitsuki. They took him. They attacked us and I couldn’t—,” Inko choked out through sobs. Mituski’s heart skipped beats.

“WHAT?”

Mitsuki could feel Inko cringe from her outburst, “Sorry, that was uncalled for. Where are you now Inko? I’m gonna come with the brat and clear some things up for you alright?”

“N-no, you don’t have to—”

“Inko, you of all people know how stubborn I am.”

Inko mumbled something about a hospital and an address.

“Good, thanks Inko. We’ll be there in twenty.” Mitsuki said, begrudgingly hanging up the phone. She’d just have to ask more questions when she got there.

 

Katsuki was curled into a ball on the couch a crismon blanket covering his lower body. Coming closer she realized he was snoring lightly. A small grin appeared on her face before she remembered the situation.

“Brat, we need to go somewhere real quick.” She cooed gently, carding a hand through his slightly mashed hairdo.

He stirred, nearly popping her in the chin when he abruptly shot out an arm to stretch. His eyes opened slightly, catching sight of her and then shifting closed again.

She huffed and smacked his cheek lightly, “Nuh uh, none of that brat. We got somewhere to be.”

He only turned on his side. She rolled her eyes, not wanting to use her last tactic, but did anyway.

“It’s about Izuku.”

He shot up, close to falling off the couch from the momentum.

Not caring in the least, he opened his mouth to spout hundreds of questions before Mitsuki sadly put a hand over his mouth.

“I got some bad news kid…”

Chapter Text

(He is now 14 and has been traded amongst different villain groups at least 4 times by now.)

Wake up. Be used as a pawn for All For One. Get ready for a night of restless sleeping.

That was Izuku’s day. Week. Month. Year? He didn’t know.

His duties as his father’s pawn consisted of healing low life criminals, being used as a test subject or healing random people who’d been rotting in the rooms just three feet from his own.

It always made his stomach churn when treating their wounds, because he knew that if he weren’t related to All For One he might’ve been in one of these cells.

“Izuku.” A familiar raspy voice ordered, “Get ready, we’re having another meeting today. Be ready.”

‘Dress presentably since you’re essentially being traded away again.’ Izuku knew the actual meaning of Shigaraki’s words.

He had a hate/love relationship with the time he spent away from the League of Villains. For one thing, he didn’t have to see that psycho, Toga, every day. So he guessed that’s a plus. But also he could sabotage some of the villain organizations he stays with by giving heroes anonymous information.

He didn’t even care that All For One treated him like an insignificant piece in his game of chest - the green-haired boy knew he was. Izuku was simply part of a much bigger plan that had formed in his old man’s mind a while back.

But if he could do just a bit of damage to the villains that gave him shitty hospitality, then he would.

Sighing, he dragged himself out of his thoughts and back to his cold, bare room. He had a small bed, a bedside table, and a small wardrobe. A door that looked to be nearly falling off the hinges connected his room to a small bathroom. He shuffled to it and nudged the door open.

Wobbly from exhaustion, he precariously tiptoed over to the mirror, doing his best to avoid the overly moldy floor tiles.
Staring up at his reflection, he frowned a facial expression that, even now, sat unpleasantly on his face. He poked at his cheeks; his face wasn’t made for such a depressing expression.

He stared, scrutinizing himself in the mirror.

A boy with dull green eyes, sporting dark half-circles underneath them, and sunken cheeks, stared back. His hair had grown into an uncontrollable lion’s mane of green; the fringe of it just barley skimming his eyebrows. Scars interrupted the wave of freckles that splattered across his face like stars. He sighed lovingly, he wouldn’t mind seeing the stars again.

He thought of his mother. A soft lady with shoulder-length hair and fond verdant eyes filtered through his mind.

He remembered when she used to hold him during lightning storms, and he’d curl up in her arms while she rocked on the rocking chair that was set by the window. Izuku always thought it was unsafe to sit so close to the window while it was storming, but his mom would always hum her favorite song until he slowly fell into sleep.

He remembered how she’d hum and he’d nuzzle into the crook of her arm…

The memory slowly ebbed away without permission, leaving Izuku frustrated and his head pounding. This kept happening; his memories would fade until he just didn’t remember them at all. All For One had tested something on him but he just couldn’t remember what.

He didn’t want to only remember All For One and the League of Villains.

Partially the reason he was still fighting was his memories of his mother and the blonde boy named ‘Kacchan’. All he could remember about the spiky blonde child - which now that he thought about it, would probably be the same age as him now - was glimpses of intense crimson eyes or sounds of explosions. Although the explosions part had never made sense to Izuku, he still dreamed someday he’d meet this mysterious kid.

“Are you Izuku?” A voice interrupted his thoughts. Immediately, he jumped into a defensive position, turning to face the brown-haired intruder.

“I’m Rieko Satoko, my quirk is called Prediction, which allows me to predict your train of thought, most likely movement and I can also read your emotions. I promise on my life, I will not use it against you unless you consent. I need your help,” The girl-- Rieko pressed on, although Izuku could tell she was tenser than before.

“As you probably know, you’re being traded for your services to my boss for henchmen from my boss. I accidentally intercepted a call between my boss and All For One. He explained his suspicion towards you and linked you to the downfall of villain organizations who’d visited beforehand. I thought you might be able to help me, since you’re coming to stay with me and my boss,” His eyes grew wider, and she continued, flicking her dark green eyes around the bathroom before resting back to Izuku, “I want an alliance. I’ve been doing work like yours but I’ve unfortunately stumbled upon a bit of a...delicate… situation. I need your help. But you can decline anytime. Please don’t make me regret this.”

She held out a tanned hand, but all he did was look at, unsure of how to act. It wasn't like he’d had any experience with this sort of thing.

“Is… Is that a no?” She asked hesitantly. He looked up blinking. He looked her up and down, from her brown bob-cut hair to her tuxedo-themed outfit. It was a blazer over a white dress shirt, a black-tie fitted around her neck. She wore a ruffled black skirt that completed the ensemble, but Izuku could see a sliver of under short peeking out from under the ruffles. He’d also guess there were some knives hidden in her clothes too. Black knee socks hugged her calves, and she also wore black flats.

“Uh, no. I mean yes! No?” He stuttered, his eyes darting around the room for escape, “Uh, I mean-- Yes! I accept. Sorry, I’m new to this.”

“W-what?” She squeaked, effectively ridding her of her previous dangerous aura. Izuku internally sighed in relief to see she was just as awkward as she was.

“Of course I’ll help. Sorry, I was just a bit confused since no one has ever asked for my help like this before.” He explained, running a free hand through his curls. She raised an eyebrow and then pulled a grin. He gave her a strained smile, still unsure of this so-called “alliance”. Was it a trap?

“Wonderful. I’ll be seeing you soon then. Since your due to arrive at the bar in,” - she glanced at her yellow wristwatch - “Four minutes.”

Izuku’s viridescent eyes widened comically. He resisted the urge to curse and ripped his hand out of the embrace. He stood in shock for a moment before jumping into action.

He ran around his room collecting his stuff while the brown-haired girl watched in guarded amusement.
“Rieko, was it?” She nodded, “You should leave, I don’t want you getting caught. It could be dangerous for both of us.”

She nodded, giving a simple wave, and then slipping back through the door. Izuku felt his chest bubble with suppressed happiness and some apprehension. He honestly didn’t know what to think of Rieko. She seemed genuine, but at the same time, he knew many villains who use that to their advantage to completely screw you over.

Pushing the worry to the back of his mind, he focused on making it to the meeting without any more interruptions. 3 minutes later, he flew out the door and speed-walked all the way to the lobby in a black long sleeve and dark green cargo pants.

Chapter Text

Rushing into the bar, Izuku quickly took his place right next to his looming father. He played with a strand of his green hair, trying hard not to spiral into his thoughts.

Shigaraki came to stand next to the smaller boy and Izuku felt himself tense when Shigaraki leaned down to whisper, “Glad to see you here, brat. I was about to come get you.”

Izuku forcibly stopped himself from rolling his eyes. The last time he’d done that Shiragaki had backhanded him.

He robotically nodded, mustering all his will power not to run away from the blue-haired boy right then and there.

“Of course, Shigaraki. I wouldn’t want to waste your time with something as troublesome as myself.”

Izuku could see his father’s mouth quirk upward a bit, and he found himself disgusted at the small wave of pride that rippled through him. Not now, Izuku thought, he’d make sure he’d never succumb to Stockholm Syndrome. He forced his attention back to the group forming in front of them.

A man with light brown hair and an overly long bird beak mask, stood at the forefront of the group, white gloves fitting his hands. Izuku offhandedly wondered if it had something to do with his quirk. Rieko at the bird-man’s left and another lizard looking man that could’ve been pegged as Spinner’s cousin, on his right. Rieko flicked her forest green eyes towards him for barely a split second before dragging along the rest of the bar.

Izuku cursed under his breath, knowing from snooping into All For One’s records that

All For One began the formalities by introducing himself, Izuku and Shigaraki. The bird-man introduced himself as Overhaul, calling Rieko “Lady Luck” and Izuku learned the lizard man was called Tokage.

All For One launched into the rules about Izuku; the ones he’d already memorized by heart. Izuku was never let outside, it ran the risk of being recognized no matter how slim the chances were. The second was that Izuku could be used to heal prisoners and others but only until exhaustion; not till life-threatening conditions. The third was that Izuku could not be treated the same as prisoners but only slightly better conditions, more like a worker-- since he was technically.

It went on like that, until Izuku stopped listening at all, rather looking at his hands, and wondering what “Kacchan” and his mother were up to.

_____

(Entrance exam, UA high school, following Katsuki, same day)

Katsuki was nervous. He couldn’t say that a lot, but today was an exception. Today he had a chance to get into UA and become the No. 1 hero for him and Izuku, but he wasn’t even sure he could do it.

Mighty Katsuki Bakugou was feeling unsure of himself. It was laughable, really. But the worst part about it all was that there wasn’t anybody to laugh. Was no one to congratulate him, or share his success.

It had taken Katsuki years to get over the fact that Izuku wouldn’t be waiting for him at the gate of his house in the mornings and Izuku would no longer be there to study with.

And maybe Katsuki was only second-guessing himself because he had already lost Izuku. They pronounced him dead only 4 years after he went missing; he would’ve been 8. Did Katsuki believe it? Not one bit. But was he forced to the stuffy funeral? You betcha.

Katsuki clenched his fists, flopping himself back onto his mattress. The nerd wasn’t dead. He knew it. Even Auntie Inko had told him at the funeral, she still believed he was alive.

He just couldn’t be—

“BRAT.”

He rolled his eyes and scream-answered back, “WHAT?”

“COME HERE, STUPID! YOU’RE GONNA BE LATE, SO STOP SULKING IN YOUR ROOM!”

He clicked his tongue in annoyance - a habit he’d formed shortly after Izuku’s disappearance - and dragged himself, and his bag downstairs. He kept thinking about Izuku, which was slightly irritating. It was like Katsuki’s whole existence had bent over on its axis after Izuku was kidnapped. Although he couldn’t give anyone - or even himself - a straight answer why.

Finding himself at the bottom of the staircase, he made his way into the kitchen were his mom was making breakfast and his dad sat at the table, diligently reading the paper. They talked amongst themselves until Mitsuki gave Katsuki a kiss on the head and slid some toast into his hand.
“Be safe, brat. Have fun! Win for me, your dad, and Izuku!”
He forced a smile and nodded, turning to trudge down the hallway.

After a long walk full of annoying people, Katsuki finally turned the corner and nearly stopped walking altogether from the enormous building in front of him.

UA.

Katsuki couldn’t help but think of how much Izuku wanted - wants, he corrected himself - to attend there.
And now Katsuki was standing at the oversized gates, glaring at the shiny building.

He grunted, and forced himself through the gates, silently promising to show Izuku around one day.

_____

“And over here …” Rieko restarted her monologue again.

Izuku wanted to listen. He really did.

But now all he could do was think about how freaking depressing this building was.
And how he’d have to stay in it for over a month. (So yeah, he tuned in on snippets of Overhaul and All For One’s conversation)

At least he had Rieko as his bodyguard of sorts. Well, he wouldn’t exactly call her a bodyguard since she was quote-unquote supposed to “make sure he didn’t snoop around”. So maybe she was more of a babysitter than a bodyguard.

“Not to interrupt, but could you show me your delicate situation now?”

Rieko waved her hand dismissively, “You’ll meet her soon.”

Izuku raised his brow at the ‘her’. It was a person?

He clenched his fists, he’d have to bring his A-game. Since this success of this resided on a person, not intel, Izuku would have to work diligently.

Rieko snapped inches away from his face, “Did you know you mutter? Like, a lot.”

His face flushed bright red without him wanting it to, but she quickly added, “I think it’s cute.”

He laughed in a higher tone than usual and waved his hands around wildly, almost smacking himself right in the freckles.

She laughed and then calmed him down, finally continuing with her monologued tour.

After a few more minutes of a scrappy tour by Rieko, the tan girl lead him into his own room. It was conveniently right next to Rieko’s room. His door was surprisingly not creaky.

He had even opened and closed it enough times for Rieko to grab the door and shake her head. He watched her enough to realize - he hadn’t known why it took him so long - that Rieko had a large freckle under her left eye. It squished slightly when she smiled and moved when she made faces. He thought it was cute.

“Hey, Rieko?”

She stopped back at their combined room, looking to him.

“I like your freckle.”

Her dark emerald eyes grew twice their size and he laughed, moving into his room. Which effectively left Rieko sputtering helplessly in her doorway.

Chapter Text

“So, you’re Eri?” Izuku asked sweetly. A small girl with long white are and crimson eyes mumbled something incoherent.

Cocking his head to one side he reached out to her, making her flinch. He drew his hand back very quickly. Glancing down, he noticed her bandaged arms. His heart hurt just looking at the white cloth that climbed up her thin arms like vines.

“Hey, Eri?” He smiled, which got her attention, “Can I help you heal your arms?”

Her red eyes widened in surprise, but then she quickly nodded meekly, whispering, “It hurts.”

He silently promised himself to look out for this girl, “Here, do you mind letting you snatch your arm for a sec?”

She half giggled half nodded, and Izuku’s mouth quirked up.

He began unwrapping both of her pale arms, suddenly resisting the urge to throw up. He had treated worse, he reminded himself. He swallowed back spit and rested his hands on either forearm.

Closing his eyes, he focused his power through his fingertips, allowing it to spill over onto Eri’s scarred skin. After a few minutes of silence, he pulled away, gasping.

Snapping his eyes open, he saw Eri sitting on the bed staring at him in awe. He glanced around and caught sight of himself in the broken mirror. His eyes were wide and a glowing chemical green. He was hunched over in a squatting position, breathing heavy. But the weirdest thing was his body had tendrils of glittery green smoke, wrapping around his arms.

Suddenly it clicked, and he looked back to Eri.

“It’s my quirk.” He reassured her, but she was still staring curiously.

It still felt sour in his mouth saying those words. He was quirkless. Right up until the point where All For One said he had come up with an idea to further Izuku’s usefulness.

By giving him a quirk.

That was also about the time that Izuku started having trouble remembering things. God, he hated All For One. Although, he’d probably never be able to utter those words out loud, he whispered them before he went to bed and the minute he woke up.

He stood up too quickly, all the blood draining out of his head.

He stumbled, and Eri squeaked, “Sir?! A-are you okay?!”

He nodded and looked back to her. She was perched on the end of the bed, looking like she was about to take flight. He smiled, “Everything’s okay. I just stood up too fast is all.”

He shuffled over to her and began re-wrapping her arms. He caught her confused look and added, “We don’t want Overhaul finding out I healed you, so I’m putting them back on.”

She nodded, not saying anything, favoring to watching the floor instead. Soon Izuku’s green tendrils of smoke dissipated, leaving his arms a little numb. Izuku ignored it and continued his wrapping.

He finished and sat back on his heels to admire his handiwork. He nodded to himself and then asked, “Do you mind if I let Rieko in?”

Her head jerked upward, “Riecchan? She’s here?”

He smiled and then nodded, “She’s actually the one who brought me here to help you.”

She grinned, “Yes! Yes, I wanna see Riecchan!”

He laughed and scooped her up in his arms as a hug, “Okay. I’ll go get her.”

Izuku set Eri back down on the bed, patting her head (carefully to make sure not to impale his hand on her cute horn) and turned to the locked door.

Opening it, he slipped out, right into something he didn’t want to be in.

Rieko was pressed against the wall, and Overhaul loomed over her growling something about her usefulness. He put on a determined face, and walked up to them. Overhaul noticed him first, and smiled.

“Ah, Izuku. Rieko and me were having a little chat.”

Izuku wanted to roll his eyes. Instead, he said something he might regret, but he knew it would help Eri.

“I know what you’re doing to that poor girl in there.”

Izuku had pondered over and over again about Overhaul's quirk, and now seeing Eri, he not only knew what it was but also knew what he was doing with it. He was testing it on Eri. Izuku had a bad idea of how to help her.

Overhaul’s eyes widened for a split second before narrowing again, “And?”

Izuku felt his hate bloom. “I was wondering if you had the opportunity to take out half of your experiments on me rather than her, would you do it?”

Overhaul’s grin grew and Rieko looked like she was about to cry.

“No, Izuku you can’t—”

“Yes.”

Izuku stared at Overhaul, not allowing himself a glance at Rieko. He’d probably start crying if he looked at her.

“In fact,” Overhaul continued, “I have a session with that brat in 4 minutes. If you want to step in, I’m sure she’d appreciate it.”

Izuku gritted his teeth, “Okay.”

Overhaul laughed, and shook his head, “You sure are something. I’ll be at the end of the hall. You have three minutes.”

The second Overhaul turned his back, Rieko launched herself at the greenette.

She squeezed her arms around him in a bone-crushing hug, hissing, “You idiot!”

He shakily hugged her back, whispering, “I healed her the best I could. She wants to see you.”

Rieko pulled back, arching an eyebrow, “She does?”

“She does,” He nodded, “Also, I’m gonna get you both out of here.”

She pulled a watery smile across her face and then dove back in for another hug.

“Time’s up.” Overhaul bellowed from across the hall, effectively settling dread into Izuku’s stomach. What did he just get himself into?

Rieko squeezed his middle hard, before forcing herself to let go.

He gave her a lopsided grin, “Hey, I’ll be fine. Go see her.”

Rieko sniffled, a couple tears sliding down her face. One of them pausing right next to her freckle. He turned around and he walked to Overhaul.

Overhaul smirked and led him to another room.

This one was bland and had no furniture. Just a cold cement room.

Izuku hated it already, but he had a unsettling feeling he’d come to hate it even more as time passed.

Overhaul began talking, but Izuku couldn’t hear anything but the voice in his head screaming about how much of an idiot he was. All of a sudden there was a horribly tight grip on his arm and he felt pain his pain receptors burst.

Overhaul was laughing, and his head was spitting (no, like, literally splitting) and he was screaming.

He was screaming and screaming until finally everything stopped and his body slumped over. And when he says his body, he means his body - not him.

As if someone flipped a ‘3rd person’ switch Izuku watched his body lay in broken parts. Overhaul laughing over it.

Izuku didn’t pay attention to Overhaul in the least.

He was dead. And he got to see it.

But how ...?

Before Izuku could theorize at all, he was suddenly tugged towards the body parts. Most specifically, his bloody green head.

He squeezed his eyes shut in an attempt to anticipate the collision. Weirdly enough, it never came.

He opened his chemical green eyes and blinked.

He wasn’t dead.

His cheek was pressed up against the cold concrete and his whole body was screaming in pain - but he wasn't dead. Tears pricked at his eyes and he took ragged breaths.

He was okay.

Is this what Eri had to go through every day?

“So now you see what you got yourself into?” Overhaul growled.

A sob echoed in the room and Overhaul grabbed Izuku’s arms again.

Chapter Text

Hey you guys!

Basically, I'm just going to channel my inner-Izuku and spit some word vomit, so if you guys want to participate in this, go ahead - but it's not a requirement or anything. (How would I even force you? lmao)

ANYWAY! Moving on.

*I'm also going to label the paragraphs of this so you guys can talk about them in the comments, if you want.*

(1.) I was wondering if you guys could give me some tips to improve my writing along the way, and I pinky-promise I won't get snippy at you guys for constructive criticism (I actually encourage it). This is my first fanfic, so a big part of writing fanfics is the fans. So if there's something I'm doing in my writing that pet-peeves you please, please tell me. It helps build up my writing and helps me in later fics.

(2.) I know that sometimes my spelling and sentences don't make any sort of sense (haha, sorry about that) and I'm learning to proofread my chapters before I post them but it takes a while. If you guys could just bear with me through those until my proof-reading skills become Plus Ultra *insert baby Izuku in All Might stance* that'd be great.

(3.) Also I was wondering if you guys are bothered by how short the chapters are, because if I only posted every other day I could lengthen them exponentially. It wouldn't be a problem for me - unless it would be for you guys. So if you want longer chapters please tell me in the comments! I'd be happy to work on them longer, but proof-reading is sort of time-consuming.

(4.) So, this might sound weird, but I started this fic when Katsuki and Izuku meet in Overhaul's lair, because Katsuki and his group (which is Mina, Todoroki, Kirishima, Present Mic, in the chapter I wrote) got snatched by Overhaul's goons. So right now, I'm sort of just trying to build up to that point and then I usually kick into overdrive and get hyped and motivated to write more. Then the chapters will usually become longer and the writing becomes a better quality because I care about it more (not saying I don't care about the beginning it's just I like writing middle parts for whatever weird ass reason).

So I was wondering whether I should just skip to that part or keep building up till that point (which I totally don't mind doing). So tell me your opinion in the comments!

I mean you don't have to lol, but if you want, it'd be great.

Also,

HOLY CRAP THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH OMFG!!!!

Y'all or SO nice, and any support you guys give me is so empowering, you guys have no idea.

Honestly even commenting 'noce noce' (I see u MRU on Chapter 2) is so kind and helpful. It just makes me want to keep writing all the time for you guys.

So thank you guys for all your support, and comments, and kudos. It means more than the world to me.

I apologize for my word-vomit and I am done now.

I hope you all like my writing and continue to read it - even through all it's imperfections.

Again thank you. Leave comments (it's helpful, but you don't have to). And have a wonderful night/day/afternoon!!

HaddALatte ~

Chapter Text

“I-I’m so sorry,” Someone to his right said, their voice hoarse. Blearily, Izuku groaned, feeling something tightly wrap around his arms.

In a sudden burst of memory, everything hit him again. He jerked away, whimpering slightly at the jolt of pain that shuddered through him.

Someone gently patted his green curls, shushing in a motherly tone, “Shh, you’re alright. I’m here now. I’m just wrapping your arms to stop the bleeding. I’m so sorry Izu. I should’ve stopped you ...”

Izuku shook his head, groaning at the strain of his neck, “R-Rieko?”

The brown haired girl in question, scooted closer. She slipped her hand into Izuku’s and squeezed, hoping to establish some reassurance.

She couldn’t imagine how much it had hurt - she could hear Izuku’s screaming from all the way down the hallway. She had shut the door and held Eri close.

Speaking of the one-horned angel, Eri had curled up in the chair right next to Izuku’s bed, sleeping soundly.

Izuku slowly opened his eyes, relieved to find his room dimly lit.

His virident eyes darted around the room, softening once he saw Eri sleeping peacefully.

He looked back to Rieko, who was dutifully wrapping his hands.

“Thank you.” He croaked, a little concerned about how hoarse his voice was. She shook her head, tears pooling in her dark green eyes.

“You have absolutely nothing to thank me for.”

There was an uncomfortable silence and then Izuku idly commented, “So. Izu, huh?”

She blushed, a distinct difference her earlier expressions, “Sorry, it was sort of just a heat of the moment kind of thing.”

He nodded, then glanced at her red face, adding, “Nah, you got nothing to apologize for. I don’t mind you calling me that, as long as I can call you a nickname too.”

She gave a watery laugh, swiping at her tears with her faded sweatshirt, “Sure. Call me Rie. If you want.”

He smiled, “Course.”

 

Izuku struggled to sit up, wincing. Eventually, with a lot of help from Rieko, he was sitting up fully. He gave her a toothy grin, “What an idiot I am, huh?”

Rieko looked up, blinking. She looked to Eri.

“You really helped her, you know.” She said quietly.

He didn’t know how to answer, so he chose to watch the rise and fall of Eri’s sleeping body. It was a stupid decision and he knew it, but he honestly didn’t care. It had helped Eri, and that was all that really mattered.

After a couple of minutes of shushed conversation between Izuku and Rieko, Eri stirred.

She yawned and opened her crimson eyes. She looked immediately to Izuku’s bed which made him smile.

Seeing him sitting up, her eyes grew wider than he thought possible.

He laughed his voice cracking somewhere in the middle. He pointed a pale finger to his bandaged arms, “Hey, look at that. We’re matching now.”

Tears pooled in her eyes and Izuku panicked, thinking he must’ve said the wrong thing.

“Izucchan! Your alive!” She whisper-screamed, she was off the chair and hugging Izuku’s neck in mere seconds.

He looked down at the small white-haired girl hugging him. He had never been in this situation before so he awkwardly hugged her back, patting her silky hair. Rieko moved in from the right, wrapping her tan arms around both of them.

The door slammed open and all three of them flinched.

“Sorry to disrupt this touching moment, but Izuku you have a visitor.” Tokage said dryly.

Immediately tensing up, the greenette struggled to nod. He slowly pulled away from Eri, who was wide eyed and clutching onto his borrowed sweatshirt. Her tiny knuckles turning white from her tight grip on the grey fabric.

“Hey, it’ll be fine. It’s probably just someone from the League to help me train,” He coaxed her into letting go. He gently slid out of the bed, Rieko moving to swaddle Eri in a hug. He smiled at the sight.

He gave a (hopefully) reassuring wave to the two, and followed Tokage, the lizard looking dude, down the hallway. Tokage didn’t say anything, which annoyed Izuku a little.

To be honest, he was overall done with villains, so when Tokage acted like he wasn’t even there it ticked Izuku off a bit more than it should have.

“Do you guys have some shoes for me? Cause I don’t know if you can tell under all that scalely skin but it’s fucking cold in here.” Izuku said, limping slightly, since he was pretty sure he stepped on something a couple strides back.

Tokage rolled his slitted eyes, not even looking back. Izuku’s brow furrowed, and his anger rose.

“Soooo,” He drawled out, “Do you know who’s here for me? It’s sorta freaking me out. Not good for my anxiety, you know.” He tapped his green curls above his ears for effect. Tokage grunted, but wouldn’t give an adequate answer.

 

Izuku rolled his eyes.

“Maybe it’s Handy-Man. Or maybe it’s that absolute psychopath Toga. She’s always fun.” Izuku whistled, playing with a green curl. He may have looked bored, but on the inside, his mind was racing, trying to deduce who was here for him.

He gave his hair a pinch and then dropped his hand to his side, focusing his attention to the possible escape routes in his head. Each plan was met with another roadblock.

They could go down the hall a few steps back, and into the bathroom that had bars over the window, but the problem was he didn’t have any way to get the bars off.

A million different possibilities crossed his mind, but only a few were actually plausible.

Overhaul had certainly thought this through, Izuku admitted to himself.

 

Tokage glanced back, narrowing his yellowish eyes when he saw how Izuku was meandering behind him, barely managing to keep up at all. He stepped toward the green-haired boy and grabbed his arm - to which Izuku immediately tensed to.

The lizard man continued to drag him to the main room of sorts. Tokage shoved the greenette into the cold cement room.

Overhaul sat at a dark polished table, with a bandaged blue haired teen.

Both turned to Izuku and Tokage. Izuku’s eyes widened at the sight of Shigaraki.

“W-What happened?”

Overhaul rose an eyebrow, “No one told you how long you were out?”

Izuku physically stopped himself from running away from Overhaul, shaking his head.

“Nobody told me anything.”

This time Shigaraki’s hoarse voice intervened, “You were out for a while. We already launched the assault on UA.”

Izuku raked down the blue-haired teen’s bandages.

“I might’ve poked an explosive student a bit too much though, he got some information out of me.”

Shiaraki turned to trembling Izuku, “The heroes are looking for you Izuku. You’ll have to stay here longer.”

Chapter Text

“I don’t think Bakugou is ever gonna reach much popularity if he continues with his nasty attitude.” Tsu mutters to Kaminari.

“The hell’d you say?!” Katsuki roared, doing a 180 in his seat.

“Your just proving my point.” Tsu says, shrugging.

“Can’t you learn to be quiet? We’re almost there.” Another gruff voice interrupted. Aizawa didn’t even turn around to address them and continued driving.

All of Class 1-A were sitting in the bus on their way to USJ training center. It was their first field trip and nobody would shut up about how cool it was.

Katsuki huffed, and turned back to the window. Kirishima sat next to him, completely dead to the world. His spiky red hair was tickling Katsuki’s neck, but instead of the immediate reaction to push him away, Katsuki had rolled his eyes and let him be.

He propped his chin on his hand and glared out the window.

Just like Izuku used to do, Katsuki began listing his weakness and strengths - attempting to foresee what to work on.

 

20 minutes of Kirishima snoring and Katsuki glaring passed and finally they pulled into a parking lot.

Kirishima - activating it weird ass sixth sense - shot up and looked around excitedly.

“You have drool on your chin, shitty hair.” Katsuki commented offhandedly.

“Ah! Thanks Baku-bro!” Kirishima said

After an annoyingly long time stream of people getting off the bus, Katsuki was finally allowed to leave the stuffy bus.

Class 1-A gathered at the door, the Baku-squad squealing in excitement - all except Bakugou of course.

He stood apart from his happy-go-lucky group, arms crossed and crimson eyes glaring. Izuku would fucking love this place, he thought.

After a head-count, the class finally started to walk inside. Everyone ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’, making Katsuki roll his eyes.

Pink Cheeks randomly started gushing more information about the Space Hero Thirteen, then the Pro probably knew about themselves.

Katsuki’s heart clenched - he knew somebody else who talked like that too. Wild green hair, vibrant viridescent eyes, a 100 watt smile; freckles and a short stature; Katsuki could remember Izuku clear as day.

How the hell could he forget?

Katsuki shifted to stand next to bubbly Kirishima who was babbling about the Crimson Riot.

Jesus, does everyone at UA talk like that nerd?

He couldn’t listen even if he wanted to, because all of a sudden there was a cold dark presence, and Katsuki immediately knew everyone felt it too.

“I-Is that part of our training?” Kirishima asks, pointing a finger to the middle of USJ. There, flat out in the middle of the clearing, was a large swirling portal.

Katsuki’s eyes widened in alarm. That stupid fucking portal was just like the one Auntie Inko had described to the police.

One word pounded throughout Katsuki’s blonde head: revenge.

He suddenly took off when he saw a blue haired teen. Just. Like. Auntie. Described.

“BAKUGOU!” Kirishima and Aizawa yelled at the same time. He knew his disadvantages. He knew there was no possible way he’d win since he had no information on them. He made a larger explosion in his right hand then his left and he veered to a cluster of rocks.

Somersaulting perfectly, he managed to land with just a scratch on his arm.

Crouching low, he began gathering as much intel as possible, before he was caught -- or worse.

He caught some words being exchanged between a misty looking man and that fucking blue haired bitch. Pressing his whole body into the rock behind him, he closed his eyes and listened.

“--honestly I think he would’ve liked this.”

“You know he wouldn't have, Shigaraki.”

A hoarse laugh rang out for a second, and then, “You’re right. The brat probably would’ve been crying and begging me to stop.”

“Or fighting or plotting against you; he’s stronger than you give him credit for.”

The frown was evident in the croaky voice, “That shitty brat can’t do anything. If he could, he wouldn’t be punished so often.”

“Isn’t that the reason Izuku is so strong though…”

Katsuki stopped listening, eyes snapping open and he leaned forward to process.

Izuku.

That fucking fog machine had just said Izuku.

And then the villains’ conversation seemed to settle into his bones, after realizing they were talking about Izuku. His heart was beating erratically.

He was alive? ...and with them?

The fuck?

Katsuki shook his head. No, Izuku would never join the villains - not willingly anyway.

 

One of the raspy voice’s sentences smacked him upside the head, “If he could, he wouldn’t be punished so often.”

The HELL did that mean?

 

He turned around, shoes scuffing on the cement below, and watched their conversation with narrowed eyes.

Misty man was nonchalantly defending Izuku with no real passion behind his words, while the blue haired snot was getting irritated and bitching about Izuku.

The ‘Shigaraki’ man (teen?) opened his mouth to say something else, when Katsuki jumped up and launched himself at them.

Screaming, he punched the man with hands hard, right in the stomach.

“Where the hell is he?” Katsuki growled, staring as villain straightened back up. Shigaraki ordered the misty man to go help elsewhere, and chuckled.

“Ah, so you know the brat?” He asked, still holding his stomach.

“Where the FUCK is he?” Katsuki repeated, not wanting to dance around the subject.

“He was moved,” Shigaraki waved his hand dismissively, red eyes glinting in amusement, “Honestly, he's going to be very scared for you now that you know about him.”

The villain changed his position into a fighting stance, “He’s probably gonna cry. And then we’ll have to punish him again for being such a baby.”

“You’re fucking dead, you hand kink fucker!!” Katsuki roared.

Chapter Text

“W-What??” Izuku squeaked.

Shigaraki rolled his red eyes and huffed, “You sure are fucking annoying, brat.”

Overhaul looked to Izuku with a glint in his eye, “Looks like you’ll be staying here longer, Izuku.”

Izuku’s eyes widened, green shining with unshed tears, “Y-Yes, sir.”

Tokage yanked Izuku by the collar, spinning him back into the hallway. A tear rolled unceremoniously down his cheek, snapping Izuku out of his haze.

“W-Wait.” He whimpered, voice cracking at the end. His mind went into overdrive, just screaming at him to get out of that situation. But there was no way out -- he’d dug himself down too far.

“No! No, no, no! NO!” Izuku screamed, clawing at the scaly arm that held him in place. He was dragged back down the hallway, him repeating the word like a mantra in some hope that it might help.

But, there was no keyword. No ‘save me’ button; no emergency number. He was trapped in this hell, and he’d done it to himself.

‘God why’re you such an idiot?’ Shigaraki’s words pounded in his head over and over.

He was right.

He was an idiot.

A stupid fucking idiot and he had to deal with the consequences.

Soon enough, he stopped fighting and allowed himself to be dragged back to his room, where Eri and Rie would be waiting. He started to calm his breaths, sorting out his thoughts.

“Fuck.” He whispered hoarsely, making Tokage snort.

Prying his hands off the lizard man’s arm, he wiped his eyes with the back of his hands.

Tokage glanced down at him and chided, “You already look like shit, so there’s really no point.”

Izuku just glared at the passing walls and continued to scrub his face with scarred hands. He might not be able to stop from looking awful, but he could at least try and make sure he didn’t look like he was actively crying.

A couple more minutes of Tokage dragging and Izuku swiping at his face, to get the tear tracks off, and they arrived at Izuku’s door.

Tokage -- very unnecessarily in Izuku’s opinion -- flung the door open and shoved him inside. Izuku stumbled inside, arms reaching for anything to break his fall.

Luckily, Rieko stood up immediately and caught him under the arms.

Tokage, “As much fun as it would be to spill the news, I’ll just have Izuku tell you.”

Then he slammed the door, shaking the floors and walls. Izuku cursed, and then tried to find the bright side.

“Hey, so guys…” Izuku cleared his throat, avoiding Rieko and Eri’s prying eyes. “I’m gonna have to stay here longer, since apparently the heroes caught wind that I’m somewhere with the villains.”

He paused, letting Rieko gasp and Eri’s crimson eyes widen.

“So, erm, I’m going to try and help you guys any way I can. I’ll be working extra hard from now on!”

Izuku watched as Rieko’s freckle under her eye got swept up in a smile.

She ran to hug him, Eri at her heels. No matter how hard he tried he couldn’t stifle the flinch and the tensing of muscles as they wrapped their arms around him. After a second he began to relax, remembering who these people were.

“I promise to get you guys out.” He whispered, tears pricking at the corner of his shining green eyes, “I promise.”

Rieko gave a breathy laugh, stepping away to look at his eyes.

“What can I do to help?”

“Well, we still need a plan.”

They smiled at each other and Rieko ran to grab a sketchbook and a charcoal pencil from her room. She sat criss cross next to the greenette on the cement of his dimly lit room.

Izuku’s eyes widened, “H-How’d you get those?”

She grinned mischievously, “From a mission~”

“I like to draw the outside. It’s sorta like a stress reliever.”

He opened the book, flipping through various sketches of flowers, trees, whole landscapes sometimes. Izuku’s mouth quirked up each time he flipped a page.

“These are so good,” He whispered - not looking up, “Did you draw these off books?”

Rieko rose an eyebrow, “No? I drew these from the real thing.”

He looked up awestruck, “You mean, you get to go outside?”

She frowned, “You don’t?”

He shook his head, “No. I was only allowed into different rooms.”

Eri rubbed her eyes, a deep frown set across her face, “But it’s so pretty outside.” She whispered.

Rieko stood up from the floor, brushing off her black leggings and sweatshirt. Tying up her shoulder length chocolate hair, she narrowed her eyes as she watched Izuku furrowed his eyebrows, flipping through her drawings.

“What is it?”

He looked up through his bangs, obviously impressed by her ability to read people.

“Uh…” He trailed off, “Nah, it’s okay. It’s stupid.”

“No, it’s not. I care about what you have to say Izuku.”

He blinked and then began rubbing his hand on the back of his neck, “Well, I was just wondering if you’d be able to stay here. I, uh,” - his voice dropped into a mumble - “I just don’t want him to come back.”

Rieko looked at him, nodding, “I’ll leave in an hour, Overhaul usually comes around looking for me an hour after that.”

Izuku looked up with cold eyes, “I meant Shigaraki.”

Rieko’s forest green eyes widened, “Oh.”

The greenette set the sketchbook off to his side, wrapping his arms around his knees.

“Yeah,” He murmured.

Rieko’s eyes softened in sympathy. She walked over to Eri, who had nodded off on Izuku’s bed, and tucked her in.

She padded back over to him, sitting down silently and peering at him.

“Do you want to talk about it?” She asked quietly, hoping she hadn’t stepped over a line. He nodded through his arms, which were now protectively encompassing his head.

A few minutes of silence passed between the two, when finally Izuku lifted his head, and took a deep breath.

“Um, okay…”

Chapter Text

Izuku sat alone on the concrete of an abandoned room. It was dark and cold and consisted of nothing but one mattress with a grimy blue blanket and a threatening-looking metal door. Piles upon piles of books stacked in corners were really his only escape. The only thing remotely home-y about this place: books.

Shigaraki had for some wonderful reason allowed him these books. Maybe just to keep him sane, but either way, he read them without end. Rereading, analyzing, and when Shigaraki was in a really good mood, begging for more.

He had read every one of the books in the room, and Izuku had a special love for each and every one of them.

He read of fantasy, reality, distopias (he didn’t like those ones too much since they hit a little too close to home). Although, his favorite thing though, was reading about people. Friendships, accomplishments, discoveries, adventures. Once he finished reading each one, they left him with a certain warm feeling he didn’t feel anywhere else. He’d hug the book to his chest and breathe in.

He always felt warm whenever he finished reading.

But right now, he sat alone in his room, awaiting Shigaraki’s promise of return. The blue-haired teen had dragged him away yesterday, to train. It was more of just Shigaraki exasperatingly giving him the basics of fighting -- none of which had really stuck in Izuku's brain.

He shivered and pulled his knees closer to his core, running a pale hand through his tangled hair. Gosh, he hadn’t had a good shower in days. They were either cold or freezing, lasting 2 to 3 minutes each; which isn’t nice conditions for a sweaty, dirt-covered boy to clean himself off.

Izuku sighed and rubbed his hands up and down his arms; it was always so cold in here.

He glanced around, considering reading.

Footsteps stomped towards his door, and his heart rate spiked immediately. He dug his nails into his arms. The sound of three different bolts unlocking echoed across his room; he squeezed his green eyes shut.

A breeze from the door swinging open, made Izuku shiver again.

“Brat,” Shigrarki regarded him, side-eyeing him from the doorway, “Training.”

Izuku blinked his eyes and stared at the blue-haired teen in clear distress, “A-Again?”

Shigaraki sighed, “Yes, again. We run a dangerous risk having you here. Contrary to what you might believe, we can’t have you dying.”

Izuku nodded, shakily getting up and stumbling over to Shigaraki who narrowed his red eyes.

He nodded to someone down the hall and a man with unruly black hair and glasses walked over to them holding a beaten looking box. Izuku’s viridescent eyes widened comically. He looked from Shigaraki to the box and then back to Shigaraki. The latter only grunted and dismissed the other man.

Izuku carefully took the box from the unnamed man and watched him walk away. He blinked and then looked back to the weight in his arms. Izuku didn’t want to call it a present, but it sure looked like one. Izuku turned his attention back to Shigrarki, who had seemingly read his train of thought.

“Don’t call it a present, cause it’s not.” He grunted, “Sensei thought that you might need something to train in when you’re older. Maybe you’ll even get to use it if you somehow earn your own missions.”

A tremor shook through Izuku at the thought. He’d never have his own missions, except for as a hero. He’d make sure of it.

“Go get changed already, you’re going to be late.” Shigaraki pointed out gruffly.

Izuku gave Shigaraki a thin smile and slipped back into his room, closing the door carefully. He sat down with the box sitting on his mattress. He stared at the thing for a good minute before he reached to brush his hands atop the beige lid. It was a smooth texture and a sandy color. Like the color of sand from the beach he and his mom used to go to. Days of laughing and splashing around in the cool water trickled behind closed eyelids.

Blinking his eyes open again, he trailed his hand to the beaten in corners. He pulled the lid of swiftly, revealing dark forest green shirt, black cargo pants with many pockets, and forest green military boots.

Izuku pulled them out and carefully laid them down, exposing other things underneath. He sorted through everything, taking note that there were no weapons -- only medical gear. Realizing they were two sizes too big, he began stuffing medical supplies in his abundance of pockets.

Even after all this, he still had three extra pockets to use, he sighed and grabbed the last thing in the box. It was a long black jacket that reached his calves. This also had pockets, one on each side of the coat; they swallowed up his cold hands in a soft warmth he hadn’t felt before.

A whisper of a smile flickered across his face. Nodding, he silently dubbed this his favorite article of clothing.

He set everything in nice piles and stood to change into grimy training clothes; a simple black shirt and tan shorts.

He walked over to the door, bending down to set the forest green military boots right next to the door. They were steel-toed but he oddly didn’t feel weighed down when he picked them up. Stretching up, he swung the door open.

Shigaraki stood there with a scowl and rolled his eyes when he saw Izuku.

“We’re gonna be late, but whatever.” He huffed, turning away to lead Izuku down the hall. Izuku frowned but didn’t reply, knowing all too well his retort would earn him a slap.

Izuku timidly followed Shigaraki, the cold from the halls slowly seeping into his bones. Even through the shirt, he was hypersensitive to the cold that hung in every hallway and corridor.
Soon enough they made it to a looming set of metal doors.

Shigaraki glanced back to Izuku, a hint of childish glee in his eyes, “We’re here Izuku.”

The green-haired boy simply nodded, fists clenched into balls at his sides.

Shigaraki took one last look at the boy, huffed a ‘brat’, and pushed the door open. Izuku stepped in, following Shigaraki to the middle of a large room; boxes stacked in high piles in each corner.

 

“Ahh, you’re finally here my boy.” A large man stepped out from the shadows. Izuku silently wondered just how long he’d been there.

Shigaraki bowed, grabbing Izuku’s head harshly to force him into a matching one, “Hello, Master. I trained with him yesterday; he still has much to work on, though.”

The intimidating man stepped closer, and Izuku drew a sharp breath in when the man’s mask glinted from the single overhanging lamp. It covered his whole head, tubes sprouting out and stretching to the back.

“As to be expected since we haven’t done anything with him for 6 years,” the man chuckled darkly. To Izuku’s dismay, that man turned to Izuku, adding, “You may call me Sensei.”

Izuku only nodded, not willing himself to speak to the man who had started this whole hell for him. He’d surely get himself in trouble. He shivered, remembering the last time he spoke back to Shigaraki; it had ended with him sporting a broken rib, 14 bruises (he had gotten bored and counted), and a black eye.

He did not wish to repeat that.

“Now, I sincerely hope for your sake, you’re a quick learner, my boy,” Sensei commented, shifting into a fighting stance.

Izuku, who’s confusion and dread was growing steadily, copied the body language the best he could. Shigaraki scoffed and ambled over to the door.

“I’ll be back for you later,” Shigaraki said, pausing to add, “If you’re still even alive when I come back.”

Izuku blinked. He glanced back to Sensei who was standing deathly still. It freaked him out.

Izuku tensed up his muscles, and Sensei suddenly said, “Don’t do that. Stand loosely, you’ll have more mobility.”

Izuku nodded.

“Only if something is coming at you, do you tense-- for the impact.” Sensei continued.

Izuku nodded again, still confused about how to initiate any attack.

Unfortunately for him, he didn’t have to. One second Sensei was meters away from him, and another, he was inches away, a large fist heading for Izuku’s face.

Before he even had time to move, Sensei’s fist connected with his nose, and Izuku was sent sprawling on the floor. Tears immediately pricked in his eyes, and his eyesight became watery.

“Pathetic.” Sensei spat, his change in demeanor giving Izuku whiplash, “I really thought you’d have some more potential than that.”

Izuku felt a sob crawl it’s way up his throat, but it never made it, as Sensei kicked Izuku hard in the ribs.

Izuku let out a garbled scream, curling in on himself.

“Get UP!” Sensei shouted, “Come on. You think you could’ve been a hero like this?!”

Izuku shook his head, trying to please the fuming man standing over him.

“Stand up.”

Izuku shifted, holding himself up with one hand, the other cradling his side. Shakily, he stood.

Not a second later, another punch came flying his way, but this time he managed to dodge it. Sensei hummed.

“Better,” He said, lunging towards Izuku again. Izuku squeaked and jumped out of the way again.

“Come on, my boy.” Sensei mused, “You haven’t even thrown a punch yet. Would your mother be proud?”

At the mention of his mother, Izuku stilled, green eyes blown wide and still cradling his side. Sensei ran and punched him in the stomach.

Once again, Izuku found himself on the ground. He grunted in pain and stood.

Sensei raised a finger, knowingly saying, “Never let your opponent distract you, always be on guard, and know where they are.”

Izuku nodded again.

Sensei threw a punch, and Izuku dodged again.

****

A green-haired 12-year-old peeked around the corner, he had someone managed to avoid Shigaraki and sneak away, looking for any signs of escape. Seeing no one his, shuffled down the hallway, wincing as he moves his ankle the wrong way.

He had been training nonstop for 2 years now and all he wanted was to leave. It was rigorous and he hated All For One more than ever.

Two days ago, All For One had revealed he was Izuku’s dad.

Anger flaring and disbelief pouring through every cell, Izuku had intelligently replied with, “Fuck you.”

Shigaraki had slapped him. Hard. Enough to make his head snap left and his neck hurt afterward. All For One had simply told Izuku he was extending his training hours.

That training session was less training and more of All For One beating the shit out of Izuku, who still couldn’t make himself regret his response.

He was left on the cold cement, bloody and bruised, and silently cursing All For One.

Izuku glanced around again, keeping his breathing soft and quiet. He turned another corner, catching sight of a window. His heart rate picked up two times as fast and he almost smiled.

He scurried toward it, reaching out towards it. The collar of his black T-shirt is grabbed and he’s thrown to the ground, his head smacking the floor. Thrashing around he futility tried to wiggle out of his captor's grip.

“Brat.”

Izuku immediately stilled. It would’ve been different if it was just one of All For One’s goons, but this was Shigaraki. This man wouldn’t hesitate to disintegrate him -- he had a nasty scar on his upper arm to prove it.

“Get off me you asshat!” Izuku yelled, still staying frozen. Shigaraki looked down at Izuku a sneer on his dry ass face.

“Oi. You don’t get to order me around, it’s the opposite.”

“Alright fucktard, you know what? You should just order me to go get you some a fuck-ton of lotion and chapstick for your crusty ass face.”

Shigaraki growled and smashed Izuku’s head on the ground.

Izuku saw white and his hearing shorted, and it took a moment for his vision and hearing to come back to him when he heard someone say something.

“--garaki! Get off him now.” A voice boomed.
Izuku knew who it was.

Fucking All For One.

Izuku groaned and rolled his eyes. Suddenly someone grabbed his jaw in a crushing grip, making his eyes water.

“Izuku,” The voice warned.

“Asshole,” Izuku retorted in a mocking manner, sort of muffled by the way his jaw was being held.

The grip tightened and Izuku let out a pained noise.

“Watch your mouth, my boy. Or we’re going to have to lock you in the closet for a while.”

Izuku’s eyes watered more and he shook his head the best he could.

The closet. A small wooden closet that held nothing. Although it was bare, Izuku always had to fold in on himself to sit inside. They’d lock him in there for hours -- once it was even a whole day. It was always so dark, but unlike his room that was constantly cold, the closet seemed to generate it’s own hot humidity.

It was suffocating.

Izuku couldn’t stop from twisting around inside the wooden prison; pressing his back into the board behind him until it hurt, and when he felt the hot bubble in the back of his throat warning him he was about to cry, he’d clench his fists and pound them on his thighs for being so weak until the underside of his hands were bruised and his thighs hurt when he walked.

All For One abruptly let go, Izuku falling limp, and his knee cracking against the concrete painfully.

He hissed and closed his eyes, awaiting some sort of response.

“Get up Izuku, we’re having a surprise training session.”

His eyes snapped open, staring at All For One incredulously.

Shigaraki grinned, that childish glee shining in his red eyes, “You heard your father Izuku.”

That’s what Izuku hated the most. When Shigaraki shoved it in his face that he was related to this fucking monster.
“He is NOT my father.” Izuku bit back.

All For One growled, and looked at Shigaraki, “Closet.”

The latter side-eyed Izuku, “How long?”

“A day.”

Without another word, All For One stomped away, the sound of his retreating footsteps mocking Izuku.

‘You’d never be able to walk away like that y'know’

‘You’ll always be stuck in this hell’

‘Can’t even stop your own torture, quirkless freak’

All these thoughts swirled around in his head, until they slowly drifted down, like falling leaves to settle into his bones.

Izuku stopped fighting his punishments after that, stopped cursing around All For One and found himself revoltingly not rebelling whenever he was near All For One.

Around the villains, he could show emotion, curse, and act like little shit as much as he wanted. Away from the League of Villains and All For One, he could be a badass and a hero.

But with All For One, he was nothing more than an unfortunate kidnapped kid, who happened to be related to the monster named All For One.

*****

“Shh, you’re okay Izuku, I’m here,” Rieko whispered soothingly, petting his hair. They rocked back and forth until Izuku’s breathing evened out.

Untangling herself from him, she picked him up and carried him to lay next to Eri.

She collected herself and her stuff, before moving to the door. She glanced back at Izuku and Eri’s sleeping forms. She smiled and wished on all her stars that they’d make it out of this mess okay.

“Bye Izu, bye Eri. See you tomorrow,” She whispered under her breath. She quietly slipped out the door and into her next-door room. She sighed and silently got ready for her solo mission.

Chapter Text

Izuku slowly opened his eyes, blinking once. Soon he felt something move on the bed and he scrambled away from it. Falling out of bed, he effectively managed to launch himself a couple of feet away from the bed.

Landing hard on his butt, he flicked his eyes around the room, looking for escape. In his terror-filled mind he hadn’t even realized his surrounds; he had immediately gone into fight or flight. Taking deep breaths-- gasps, really, he looked around slower this time, noticing he was in his room.

Sighing, he shoved himself off the ground and went to see what was on his bed.

It was Eri. Her tiny form curled into a fetal position on his bed, her back touching the empty space where Izuku used to lay.

He nearly melted from relief. Simultaneously, chastising himself for freaking out since this had been their routine for a while now. He really needed to get over the ‘waking up with someone near you is a bad sign’ thing. Shigaraki liked to scare him awake a lot, which is probably why Izuku was so jumpy.

He shook his head, rubbing his hand across his freckled face. He took a deep breath, and then realized they must’ve slept in-- courtesy of Rieko. She’d managed to convince Overhaul to let them rest after a rather gruesome session of being blown into pieces and reassembled numerous times.

“Eri,” He singsonged softly, “Come on, you gotta get up.”

She made a soft groan and shifted away from his touch. He only tapped her shoulder again, this time more insistently.

“Oh come on, Eri.” Izuku sighed, as an afterthought adding, “If you get up you can help with our plan again.”

He saw her eyelids twitch and the corner of her mouth turn upward slightly. He mentally laughed and continued tapping her shoulder, playing her game.

“Eriiiii,” He whined, “It’s time to get up.”

She giggled, shooting out of bed and simultaneously launching herself onto Izuku, who laughed and with quick reflexes, caught her.

“I tricked you,” She giggled as he spun her around.

Izuku nodded approvingly, a soft smile gracing his face, “Sure did. Now I’m not sure what your schedule is for today, but I’ll try to stay close to you as possible. Your job is to find any openings that would be big enough for somebody like Rieko to fit through. Try not to act suspicious, though.”

She nodded, slipping her hand into his, red eyes burning bright in determination.

Izuku just laughed and squeezed her hand twice, leading her through the door.

Something caught the corner of Izuku’s eye though.

He hummed to himself and formed an idea. Testing his thesis, he continued moving down the hallway, leading Eri by the hand.

Not a few steps behind, a scaly figure followed; lurking in the shadows.

Izuku rolled his eyes but didn’t make any move to acknowledge the lizard-man, and he turned another hallway. Out of the corner of his eye, he watched Tokage reer up to do the same, positioning himself towards the next patch of shadows.

He squeezed Eri’s hand three times and gave her a reassuring look before letting go and spinning around.

Tokage, who had been too preoccupied getting from shadow patch to shadow patch, hadn’t noticed the change -- or if did it was much too late. Izuku was already on him, a small but firm hold on his wrist twisted Toakge’s arm until it was pressed flush to his back.

“Motherfucker,” Tokage muttered, silently cursing Overhaul for ordering him here.

“Ah ah, children present.” Izuku scolded, pulling Tokage’s arm closer to his shoulder blade.

Izuku leaned down to the side of Tokage’s head -- where he assumed the equivalent of his ear was, and asked, “Why were you following us?”

Tokage shrugged the best he could, “Orders.”

“What type of orders?” Izuku asked a little more harshly, tightening his grip on the lizard-man’s scaly wrist.

“Just to follow you-- find anything suspicious,” Tokage grunted.

“Well, how bout you just scurry back to Overhaul and tell him I don’t need supervision,” Izuku said, slipping back into his calm, monotone voice.

Tokage chuckled, “It’s really more of the opposite-- you definitely need supervision. You and Lady Luck are the most untrustworthy here. Especially you, since you are All For One’s son.”

Izuku took a second to recognize Rieko’s code name and then growled, “I am NOT that man’s son.”

“Izucchan, we should go,” Eri whispered nervously, Izuku could here in her wavering tone he was scaring her.

“Sorry Eri,” Izuku said, adding a splash of sincerity in his voice before turning back to Tokage, “Don’t follow us.” He let Tokage go and carefully walked back to Eri, still keeping his guard up for any sneak attacks from the lizard man. Thankfully, he made it to Eri without any interference and swept her up in his arms.

She let out a soft ‘eep’ and stretched her bandaged arms around his neck. Izuku smiled down at her and walked slowly down the hallway, hoping to delay his training session as much as possible.

Since Shigaraki’s visit, Overhaul took into consideration Izuku’s position and provided one of his subordinates for training. While Izuku couldn’t say he was annoyed with the lessons, he also would’ve wanted more time with Eri.

Every day at 2:30, Rieko would come to bring him into their training center with a soft sad smile.

Speaking of the girl, while Izuku and her hadn’t had much time together, they were steadily growing closer. Rieko had recently been busy with more and more missions, and Izuku couldn’t help but wonder what she was doing.

Throughout their friendship, they had unspoken and spoken agreements. While they had learned more about each other, they still had a couple of things they knew not to ask about. Izuku’s time with Overhaul and Rieko’s work being prime examples.

Izuku could still remember when he’d asked how Rieko had even known about him. She’d explained she had accidentally intercepted a call between Overhaul and All For One regarding Izuku’s transfer, while she’d been hacking into Overhaul’s mainframe. This call being days before Izuku had known about his change in location-- All For One liked to keep him unaware until the moment of the exchange. It left less room for argument and delaying.

Rieko had apparently listened to the entire call, honing in on All For One’s snide comment about Izuku’s ‘troublesome nature’ when it came to his time away from the League of Villains. Using her quirk, she managed to track his train of thought to his suspicion between Izuku and the downfall of villain organizations.

After days of planning, Rieko had finally managed to maneuver herself into attending the exchange and effectively met Izuku.

 

Eri tugged on his shirt, effectively tugging him right out of his thoughts.

He looked down, emerald eyes meeting curious red ones. He smiled and sweetly asked, “Yes, Eri?”

She grinned and began her whisper rant, arms waving for effect, “Well, I saw this window looking thing while we were walking, and it looks about the size of Rieko-- if she was laying on her side. She might have trouble getting through, but I believe in her!”

Izuku laughed and squeezed her in his arms, drawing a giggle out of her.

“Thanks, Eri,” He whispered under his breath.

She picked up on it, staring up at him like he’d hung the moon.

“Of course! You’re family Izu!”

Izuku’s breath caught and heart swelled. He huffed a watery laugh and smiled down at her.

“You too, Eri. You’re my family.”

Chapter Text

“Baku-bro what was that a couple days ago?” Kirishima asked, red eyebrows drawn in worry.

As of now, they sat in Bakugou’s bedroom -- the entire class. It was a tight fit, but they made do considering Bakugou’s health was much more important than their overall comfort. They’d all been worried. After USJ, the dorms had only just begun construction, and Bakugou used this to his advantage by avoiding everyone. It had only been a couple of hours earlier when Class 1-A had gotten a text telling them to meet at Bakugou’s house; he wanted to talk.

Many sat on the floor or stood, while Bakugou’s friend group took the bed. They surrounded Bakugou in a protective circle.

He sat on the bed, arms hugging himself. He took a deep breath and then began.

“I used to know this nerd. This sweet sweet nerd with the nicest smile you’d ever seen. He had this...ability to make you feel so welcomed and so happy. He was my best friend.”

Bakugou paused and everyone waited in bated silence.

“He was kidnapped when we were 4. He left the park for a doctor’s appointment. I...I never saw him again. I don’t even know what his quirk was. Later, my mom got a call from a hospital and it turned out the heroes didn’t arrive in time to save him. All they saw was him being carried into a portal. Auntie Inko had a severe burn on her shoulder, and it left some nasty scars.”

“Like the blue-haired dude’s power at USJ,” Kirishima said in realization.

“And the Misty looking man’s quirk,” Asui added bluntly.

Bakugou nodded, “Before I attacked him they were talking about Izuku. They said something about punishing him when he got back.”

Bakugou’s hands clenched into fists and no one said anything. Silence blanketed over the class until a certain pervert had to go and shatter it.

“It’s possible that this kid was actually quirkless since you never found out.” Mineta pointed out, in his trademark nasally voice, “If he was, I say he deserved it.”

No one spoke. No one even breathed. Bakugou turned his head up slowly-- calmly. You knew Bakugou was really angry when he was calm.

“Get out.” He growled.

In a blink of an eye, a pillow was chucked… right into Mineta’s face. Kaminari was laughing while Sero bit back a smile, Mina screamed simultaneously, “You’re not even apart of 1-A anymore-- just on the group chat, you grape ass perv! OUT!”

Class 1-A felt no remorse for Mineta as he was - literally - kicked out of the house by Kirishima, with help from Shoji. He screamed how it was a joke the entire way; needless to say, no one cared or believed it. No one even knew why he'd shown up, he'd been expelled weeks ago. Although, it was too awkward to kick him out of the group chat, so there Mineta stood outside in the wind.

Everyone settled back down when Kirishima came back, Shoji trailing behind him.

Bakugou just sat on the bed, which was concerning, to say the least. The blonde was explosive in every sense of the word. To see him so...dormant was unnerving.

Kirishima decided to take a leap of faith and piped up, “Well, I can’t speak for all of us, but I’ll do everything I can to help you get Izuku back!”

Bakugou’s head snapped up, but instead of anger, surprise-filled his face.

“Really?” Bakugou asked, hating the way he sounded like a little kid.

“Of course, Blasty! Who do you think we are? We’re your sort-of-forced best friends! We’d do anything for ya man!” Kaminari yelped, standing up from the bed. Mina “Mhmm”ed loudly, and the rest of his classmates nodded in agreement.

A chorus of, “Of course, Bakugou!” and “Yup!” and “We’ll get him back!” echoed across Bakugou’s room.

Bakugou looked around his room, and could only nod, willing all the emotion to not spill across his face. Fists clenched and head down, he just hoped they knew how grateful he was.

“It’s okay Baku-bro, we understand,” Kirishima said patting Bakugou's shoulder. Bakugou looked up and grinned at the redhead.

“Woah! You smiled!” Kirishima exclaimed, jumping backward in surprise.

The smiled morphed straight into a frown, “What’re trying to say shitty hair? I always smile.”

“If brooding is smiling then, yeah, you smile a whole fucking lot,” Todoroki said from some off to the side. Bakugou shot him a dirty glare.

The class made hums of agreement.

“Alright you shits, you’ve had your fun, now get the fuck out of my house.”

“Ugh, fine, Blasty,” Mina groaned, “but make sure you take care of yourself. Remember we’re here for you.”

The class said goodbye and slowly filtered out until only Kirishima was left. Bakugou and he stood by the front door.

“Hey, Bakugou.”

The blonde cut off his reach for the doorknob and turned to face Kirishima.

“Yeah?”

“We’ll find him,” Kirishima said, pushing all his confidence into those three words. Bakugou looked at him with something akin to gratitude.

“Thanks, Shitty Hair,” Bakugou said with as much sincerity he could muster.

Kirishima nodded and slipped through the door with a small smile and goodbye.

Bakugou stood at the door for a moment, collecting himself. He’d never experienced something like this before. Even with Tsubasa, he’d never felt so...supported.

 

“They’re good kids.” Mitsuki’s voice echoed from the end of the hall.

“Yeah. They are, aren’t they?”

Mitsuki looked at him carefully, noting the fondness in his voice.

“Come up to bed, brat. You have a big day tomorrow.”

Bakugou rolled his eyes and snorted, “You say that every day.”

_________

Rieko sighed and ran a gloved hand through her brown hair. She stood outside a rusting metal door and she couldn’t for the life of her block out the sounds of whimpering from inside the room. Her quirk was freaking out because of the overpowering fear that emanated from behind the cool metal door that was pressed up against her back.

She took a deep, shuddering breath and tried closing off her mind from whosoever loud and terrified thoughts were worming their way into her mind. She really hated being able to read people’s emotions sometimes.

As of now, she was watching over Midoriya’s work while he made his rounds healing prisoners and traitors. Rieko was glad she decided to stay outside for his work because she would’ve thrown up from the stench of fright. Thankfully, the door was enough to suppress too much of the overwhelming emotions.

She furrowed her brows and slowly mulled over an idea. Maybe if she focused on the Midoriya’s emotions she’d be able to pull herself together better.

She closed her eyes and breathed through her nose, focusing on the two very distinct presences behind her.

One she could immediately tell was Midoriya, it was a calming, serene aura; he was no doubt fighting very hard to calm down the other prisoner. The other aura, which she was mentally shoving away was a whirlwind of terror, anger, and confusion. The torrent of emotions kept seeping into her mind, but she just furrowed her brows and continued focusing on Midoriya’s presence.

 

After what seemed to Rieko as hours, but was probably only minutes, both presences were moderately calm, and she could breathe normally. She waited in silence as Midoriya fumbled with the locks of the door. The last bolt clicked out of place and she promptly side-stepped and spun on her heel in one movement.

There, standing in the doorway, was Midoriya-- a disheveled, strained Midoriya. His hair had mostly fallen out of the miniature ponytail he had tied to the back of his head and his eyes had even darker bags. Still, he was smiling, similar to every other time he’d healed the prisoners.

He looked shaky but also satisfied. Rieko could never fully understand how Midoriya pushed himself to this level. He was able to heal others nonstop and seemed happy about it, even though it was Overhaul’s order. She assumed it was good training and because of his constant need to help everyone.

She sighed at his state, but smiled all the less, and swept him over her shoulder. He tensed but soon relaxed into the touch, obviously too tired to complain.

Izuku murmured something incoherent and Rieko snorted. She carried him all the back to their side-by-side rooms and then promptly threw him on his bed and left.

Sighing she closed the door and made her way to her groggily. Yawning, she fished out her sketchbook and charcoal pencil.

Sprawled out on her bed, she sketched for hours on end.

And maybe didn’t fall asleep till 3 in the morning.

Chapter Text

Izuku yawned and slowly came to consciousness. Blinking, he shifted a little and realized he was spread-eagled on his bed, face up and something warm cuddling into his side. A small smile broke across his face and he turned to cradle said warm object: Eri. Her little horn pressed gently to his collarbone, and her hair sprawled out behind her in milky white strands.

His wired frame curled around her small one and she nuzzled into his chest. He smiled fully and closed his eyes, just to enjoy the morning.

 

When he woke back up, it wasn’t on his own accord. No, it was that small red horn painfully digging into his chest. Realizing what was happening, he huffed and then loosened his arms. Eri shot up and stretched.

“I thought Izu was never gonna wake up!” She yawned, grimacing when she ran her fingers through tangled white hair, “It was getting kinda hard to breathe Izu.”

He snorted, “Well, I wasn’t expecting to be cuddle-attacked in the middle of the night. What time did you sneak in here anyway?”

Eri ducked her head bashfully and giggled, “Right after Riechan came in grumbling about how light you were. I was sleeping in her room until then.”

Izuku rolled his eyes, “I never asked her to carry me, she doesn’t get to complain about my weight.”

“You do need to eat more Izu, I can go a couple of days without that extra food you give me.”

“Yeah, but you’re a growing girl, you need your protein.”

“You’re growing too!”

“You need it more!”

“Nuh-uh!”

“Will you two shut up?” Rieko’s tired voice drifted from the doorway. Looking up, Izuku took in her ragged appearance and happen to know exactly what happened.

“Did you stay up drawing again, Rie?” He asked knowingly.

She gasped in mock surprise, “I’d never!”

Eri pouted, “That’s not healthy, Riechan.”

“Your cuteness isn’t healthy, Eri,” Rieko shot back, sticking her tongue out.

“Hey!”

The two continued bickering and Izuku flopped back onto the bed to space out.

 

Hours later, after Izuku’s testing with Overhaul, he snuck out of his room. He was supposed to be resting, but who needs to rest when there was work to be done?

Him, according to Rieko.

Not that he was going to listen to her well-placed advice. Izuku shuffled down the hallway, and turned corners and scurried past roaming villains before he made it to his destination.
Chronostasis’s office.

Izuku had only ever seen the villain a couple of times, always when Overhaul was around and had already found out that Chronostasis held all the documents of...interest. Blackmails, transactions, reminders, plans; everything.

Information. Information that Izuku needed.

He and Eri had been scavenging any information or escape plan they could get their hands on.

While Eri’s job had been to solely keep her eye out for ways of escape, Izuku was doing twice the work. While he was helping Eri, he was also looking for any sort of information centers or any sources of information he could find.

At the other villain groups he’d been, they usually weren’t very smart about hiding information centers. Overhaul, on the other hand, had all kept locked tight.

Finally, after eavesdropping for the hundredth time, and a night of extra Chronostasis-spying, Izuku had found out where Chronostasis’s key was and where is room was. And, thanks to Rieko, who worked under Chronostasis on multiple occasions, his schedule.

Right now, Izuku knew Chronostasis was having a meeting with Overhaul, and his office was left unguarded. His key would be in a red book on the left side of the room.
Izuku pushed the door open, cautiously continuing inside and advancing to the left bookshelf. On the bottom shelf, there was a bright red book. No title or author name marking the spine. Izuku carefully shifted it out from between two black books, silver titles gleaming in the lamplight.

Izuku freed the book and turned it over in his hands. On the back, it was completely hollowed out a gold and silver key inside.

Izuku frowned; why were there two keys? He hesitantly fished them out of the hallowed book and spun on his heel to spot the black dresser pressed in the corner of the room. Scurrying over and leaving the red book on the floor, he ran his hand over a silver metal plate on the top drawer. On the bottom drawer, an identical metal plate was placed, except this time it was gold.

“Oh,” Izuku breathed into the empty room.

Unlocking both drawers he pulled out files. Flipping through, he found what he was looking for. The Akuma Case.

A group of villains had been targeting quirkless, and what they deemed ‘weak’ quirked people in power. Izuku had been scouring All For One’s records and building up information. Now here he was continuing that info-building.

Izuku bit his lip and continued sorting through files until there were only three with adequate information. He shuffled through them again and put the rest back. Then, he quickly locked the drawers, returned the key, and stuffed the files up his shirt.

Izuku snuck quietly back to his room and froze in his tracks when he saw that he wasn’t alone.

Rieko sat, unimpressed expression plastered on her face, on Izuku’s bed. He closed the door and shyly pulled the files out as a silent explanation.

She sighed and stood up. She rolled her eyes though Izuku could make out the upward twitch from the corner of Rieko’s mouth.

“Give them here,” Rieko said, flipping through them, “Just to Eraserhead right? No copies, except the replacement?”

“Mm-hmm,” Izuku agreed, nodding.

“Okay, I’ll meet with him, usual routine, and then give them and leave. Remember to keep checking on Chronostasis to see if he suspects anything.”

Izuku smiled and thanked her.

She set the files on his dresser and sat back down on opening her arms as an invitation. Izuku sighed and crawled into her arms, wrapping his around her middle. They cuddled in comfortable silence until Rieko cleared her throat.
“How...how did you get the messages to Eraserhead before?”

Izuku hummed, “Well, in the last place, I’d mail them with no return address from by finding one of the lower level villain’s mail or personal emails. I usually would just send photocopies online with a disposable phone-- every villain group has at least 2 spare disposable phones.”

Rieko furrowed her brows and hugged him closer, “I’ve only ever been here. I mean-- I had a life before, but it just fell apart.”

Izuku shifted his head and rested his chin on her shoulder, asking very softly, “What happened?”

She inhaled and exhaled deeply, closing her usually humorous dark green eyes, “Her name was Aoi Kireina-- you’d have to see her to understand her name. You remind me of her in that way. Midoriya as in green. Aoi as in blue. She had the prettiest blue eyes. Brown hair though,” Rieko laughed bitterly, “she always wanted to dye it blue. She was my everything. She was quirkless, but Kami knows she didn’t need any quirk to be half as amazing as she was.”

Izuku smiled even though he knew Rieko couldn’t see, “She sounds great.”

“Sounded,” Rieko corrected grimly. Izuku's heart stopped in his chest.

“S-she died?”

Rieko shook her head, “I don’t think that girl will die until she’s completed everything she wants to. She has that sort of vibe. Aoi didn’t die, she just left. She had strong beliefs. I did too. They clashed after I began working for Overhaul.”

Izuku closed his eyes and squeezed her middle for reassurance.

“I had a little brother you know. I don’t know how, but you keep managing to remind me in little ways of all the people I knew from my old life. His name was Hoshi. He died in one of Endeavor’s famous battles. The aftermath and fight itself killed millions, although it wasn’t even the villain’s fault. It was Endeavor’s.”

Izuku ‘oh’ed quietly. He adjusted his hug and squeezed her middle again, still new to the whole comforting thing.

“Our situation got hard. He and I were working by ourselves and bringing in most of the income. Our mom used to be a stewardess but she...got a bit attached the alcohol. After Hoshi died, mom started drinking even more. I left after she started getting abusive. I still send her money, though. As messed up as it is, I still can’t just leave her there. Overhaul found me at my lowest point and brought me out of it, he offered me a place to stay, a salary. I know he’s horrible, but I still owe him my life.”

Izuku nodded, “Well, we can be morally grey together. I’ve seen so many villains and experienced such horrible things right in front of me, but I’ve learned that there aren’t any sides to choose from. It’s just grey. Life’s too complicated to be categorized in absolute light or darkness.”

“When did you become such a poet Mido?” Rieko giggled.

Izuku laughed, “Thanks for telling me about your life. I-I think I’ll be able to tell you more about myself in a while.”

Rieko patted his green curls, “No problem, Izu. Take your time.”

“S-sorry,” He squeaked.

“Don’t be, everyone goes at their own pace when it comes to recovering. All that matters is that you recover.”

Rieko smiled and got up, promising to bring Eri in later.

Chapter Text

Izuku and Rieko sat on Rieko’s bed, whispering about their plan as to not wake Eri. She was curled up in between them, papers scattered around her in an array of writing. She obviously didn’t mind the position though, being so snuggled up as she was.

Rieko looked over Eri’s small form once more, smiling and then whisper-yelling, “So have you found any escape routes?”

Izuku, who’d been studying Rieko’s To-Do list, looked up blinking, “Huh? Oh, no? I mean no legitimate ones, but there are some I was going to scout out, I haven’t followed up yet-- still preoccupied with the Akuma Case.”

Rieko’s nose wrinkled in confusion, “Aren’t those the papers I gave to Eraser? He’s smart enough to figure it out.”

Izuku shook his head and reached past Eri’s head to grab a paper filled to the brim with Izuku’s scrawled handwriting, “I think something’s wrong though. I’ve been going over the case in my head and connecting dots with the information, but Eraser and I are still missing how the villains managed to get ahold of the rare poison they kill their victims with.”

Rieko hummed in thought, “I can ask Eraser when I transfer the next batch of info to him. I can’t say he’ll reveal anything, but I can be quite annoying sometimes.”

“Don’t you mean all the time?” Izuku deadpanned, steadily ignoring Rieko’s dramatic gasp and continuing with, “And we can’t afford to lose any business partners right now-- he’s the only Pro we’re in contact with.”

Rieko nodded and picked up a different paper; a blank one.

“So,” She began, charcoal pencil hovering over the paper, “How is the day of escape supposed to go?”

A whisper of a smile crossed Izuku’s face as he thought of the day of finally leaving the villain’s clutches; he was closer than he’d ever been.

“Well…” He launched into his explanation which had Rieko giving him a side smile, while her pencil flew across the page, and Eri shifting in her sleep every once in a while.

_________

(flashback thing to Rieko delivering intel to Eraserhead)

Aizawa perched on top of the edge of the pre-planned meeting spot. It was a large abandoned factory halfway across town from his normal route. After he’d gotten the mystery email from his mystery informant, Hitoshi and Mic had both expressed their concerns about this supposed “meet-up”. Aizawa’s informant usually just sent information by email or mail.

Aizawa couldn’t deny that he was a bit curious. Why meet up after all these years? At least he’d be able to extract some information on them, in the very least.

 

Aizawa waited another 20 minutes before any movement actually occurred. He had moved his position from the ledge to the middle of the roof, sitting in a crisscross position he’d easily be able to jump out of. His legs had begun to cramp up and he didn’t know how much longer he’d be there so he decided to just move after much mental debate.

Aizawa heard the gravel crunch and he shot off the ground immediately, scarf at the ready.

“Jeez, you really have no chill, do you?” A cool voice drawled from behind him. He quickly adjusted to face them, and then stopped in his tracks.

There stood a girl dressed in a black bandanna tied around her head and a black doctor’s mask; a handful of files held lazily in one hand. She had forest green eyes and Aizawa spotted a freckle under her left eye, just peeking over the doctor’s mask. She wore a mesh overshirt so he could see her forest green crop top underneath. Black camouflage cargo pants fitted over her legs. Aizawa could just make out the glint of steel-toed combat boots in the moonlight.

No doubt, those cargo pant pockets were full of weapons, that she could draw any moment but she made no move to. Instead, she outstretched her free hand, which was covered by fingerless gloves, “Lady Luck, at your information delivery service.”

He cautiously examined her hand but didn’t take it, rather just asked, “Information delivery? You mean you’re not my informant?”

She shrugged, “I’m not at liberty to say, but I’ll have you know I have much better things to do with my time than give information to heroes.”

He narrowed his eyes, noting the distaste in her voice, “Okay. But you are in contact with my informant?”

“Would you be here if I wasn’t?”

Aizawa rolled his eyes, “I don’t know. They never add any name to call them.”

Lady Luck muttered, “I told… should’ve… anyway!” She popped back up to full volume, “I have information to give you. That’s the reason I’m here and the only reason. I don’t usually make it my business to pal around with Pros at 3 am.”

Aizawa sighed, “If you don’t like heroes so much, then why are you helping me?”

“Favors,” She said simply. He nodded, watching the flaps of her bandanna blow in the night air.

“Well, what’s the information on?”

She looked at him, dark green eyes cold and unforgiving until she shrugged and played the dumb card, “I don’t know. Informant gets info, gives to me, I give it to you; that’s usually how these go, is it not?” She said dismissively.

“I suppose, but I have a feeling this one is a bit different from the rest.” He said gruffly.

Lady Luck stared at him with curiosity and something else he couldn’t quite place, “You know, I’ve been trying to find out what your informant sees in you but I can’t seem to find it.”

Aizawa, while maybe a bit annoyed by this comment, just shrugged, “I’m an underground hero, it’s probably easier to communicate with me than Endeavor.” Lady Luck flinched at his name.

“Don’t think your informant would send information because of that one factor-- they’re very smart.” She says, a bit defensively. Somehow Aizawa felt that she wasn’t just delivering this information just because of a favor.

“Well, how am I supposed to know? I have no leads when it comes to my mystery informant.” Aizawa stated blandly, starting to become annoyed at the sheer anonymousness of his informant.

“Ah, ah hero. Don’t try that with me. You’re not getting any information out of me like that-- remember I still don’t trust you like your informant does.” The smirk was evident in her voice. As an afterthought, she added, “Ever thought that maybe your informant wasn’t in a safe enough position to be sneaking out to meet you every night? They do all they can without getting themselves killed. Just know that. Don’t go asking for more than people can give you, Eraser.”

Aizawa was about to reply when she dropped the files on the ground and shot off the ledge she’d moved to while talking. He watched her body arch in a perfect backflip and then disappear behind the ledge of the building. He cursed himself for not noticing her movements sooner.

Annoyed with the whole encounter, Aizawa crunched over the gravel to the files and picked them up. Brushing them off, he flipped through them and found himself in surprise and the vastness of information.

In emails, he’d never gotten this much. Thinking back to what Lady Luck had said, he assumed his informant probably didn’t have time to write notes, comments and educated guesses like in this information transfer.

Whoever this informant was, they sure were a much-needed asset.

_________

Izuku sighed and gingerly opened another prisoner’s door with numb arms. As much as he loved helping people, this was a bit much and a bucketload of nightmares for the future. He stepped inside the dimly lit room and nearly recoiled at the smell. I’ve treated worse, I’ve treated worse, Izuku chanted in his head.

Forcing himself forward, he tiptoed towards the person curled up in a fetal position on the ground. He grimaced when he pulled their arm gently away from their stomach to see knife cuts. Deep gashes that ran from one hip to the other.

Izuku gagged when he saw the person’s other arm which was bent and marred by bruises and overall purple. Definitely broken, he concluded.

Carefully, he pressed cool fingers to their temple, tangling with their greasy black hair, and focusing directly on the person’s injuries. Soon green trails of smoke wrapped lazily around his middle and arms, leaving them more numb than before.

He sighed and pulled away. Looking over the person’s newly healed body once more before, standing and turning on his heel to leave.

Outside, Rieko stood guard looking a bit pale. Once he left the doorway she turned and locked the door again.

He flashed her a grim smile and then held out his arm, “No screaming this time-- they weren’t awake. Although you look like shit and I’m sure I look even worse than I feel. Bedtime?”

She snorted and nodded heavily, linking her arm with his.

 

Eri was already curled up like a cat on top of Izuku’s bed when they arrived. Her breaths were shallow and she shivered every once in a while, although it wasn’t nearly as cold in his room as it was outside in the hall.

Izuku disentangled his arm from Rieko’s and basically sprinted to his bed. Kneeling beside her, Izuku carefully unwrapped her arms, knowing with grim certainty what was underneath. Overhaul had been lessening Izuku’s experimentation time in exchange for more of his time to go towards healing prisoners and villains. This decision much to Izuku’s dislike. He’d take a thousand more experimentation appointments with Overhaul than let Eri go through this again.

For now, all he could do was heal her, even though he was past the point of exhaustion. He closed his eyes and let his power spill over her frail body. Once he was done, he jerked away from Eri’s body and collapsed onto the floor.

He let the glittery green smoke envelop his whole body until he couldn’t feel anything, and when he tried to ask for help he found he couldn’t even feel his tongue.

Izuku’s eyelids fluttered until they closed all the way, and he could no longer hear Rieko’s worried questions.

_________

 

Izuku slowly came to consciousness, immediately shooting up, ignoring all his muscles screaming in protest. By now, he was used to waking up in his room after passing out-- it happened far more often than he’d like.

Looking left, he located Rieko looking at him unimpressed, her chin resting on her hand and leaning into the chair’s arm, “Quirk exhaustion. Again. Izu how many times do I gotta tell you to be more careful and, oh I don’t know, TELL ME when you’re too tired?”

He shrugged and rubbed his eye with his old bandaged hand. A bell shot off in his head at the scratchy fabric and his head snapped up to look wildly around for Eri.

Rieko, using her quirk, realized what he was looking for and put a comforting hand on his shoulder, “I’m sorry, Overhaul took her outside for a walk. The good news is he wouldn’t dare hurt her in front of so many people and heroes.”

He sighed in relief and glanced back over to Rieko who looked more disheveled than usual. Her forest green eyes looked bloodshot and her hair unbrushed. Rieko’s face was pale which made the freckle under her left eye stand out even more in the dim light.

“Did you even sleep at all, Rie?” He asked worriedly. She just looked at him incredulously.

“Says the kid who just passed out.” She rolled her eyes, and ruffled his already messed up hair, adding quite fondly, “You and your hero complex. When you get out of here, I know you’ll save lots of lives.”

He felt his heart drop a bit, and smiled weakly at her, slowly proposing his idea that had been forming over weeks, “Well, Rieko… you know how much progress we’ve made. And none of it would have been able to happen if not for you; but I was thinking now that I’ve learned the ropes, I could… stay and continue work.”

He looked at her nervously, waiting for her reaction. She stood up from where she was sitting and he flinched without meaning to, which had her eyes wide.

“S-Shit, I’m sorry! Honest to Kami, I’m not gonna hurt you!” Rieko stammered, her quirk quickly kicking in and monitoring his emotions, “Sorry. I… I think I can accept your decision knowing fully well of your stubbornness.”

Izuku beamed and crushed her in a death-grip hug, “Thank you for understanding, I do want to leave, I just feel like I have an obligation here. My whole master plan is to take down the League of Villains and All For One. Then I’ll be finally free.”

Reiko nodded, slowly pondering what she could do to help, “Well, whether you like it or not, I’m going to help you collect as much information as possible, so we can kick start when you’re leaving.”

Izuku nodded and gave a breathy laugh, “Thank you for not making me come along. I know I should it’s just--”

“Izuku, you have no reason to apologize. I understand. The only thing I’m going to force you to do it to promise to be the safest you can be.” Rieko interrupted in a stern-but-gentle manner.

He nodded and whispered another ‘thank you’ under his breath.