Aizawa saw them while he was patrolling one night. It was late, far too late for a kid to be out let alone by them self. The only people who were out at this time where either late night commuters on their way home or the rough crowd you didn’t want involved with. The kid was small, scrawny looking wearing ragged clothes. Their pants where ripped up and their shoes where falling apart. They had on a dingy black hoodie that looked too thin to provide any warmth; the hood was pulled up over their head and their face down so the underground hero couldn’t make out any of their features or even their gender. Aizawa could only tell that they were a kid by how small how they were, no adult was that small.
At first Aizawa thought that the kid was a pickpocket. He’d dealt with a few before; delinquent teens looking for quick cash so they could buy video games or cigarettes. The well practiced ones always dressed like that no matter how well off their families where. After all no one paid much attention to ratty little street kids, so it made it that much easier to get close to someone and swipe their wallet or watch. He followed the kid waiting to see them snatch something. He couldn’t arrest someone without actually seeing them commit a crime.
However, as he watched the kid they seemed to be staying as far away as possible from people, crossing the street whenever someone was walking towards them and pushing them self up against buildings when some walked around them. There was no way the kid could pick pocket anything like that. Aizawa next thought was that the kid was running away. It would explain why they were avoiding people and hiding their face. And their ragged appearance could be because of a bad home life which would explain why the kid was running. He sighed; this was going to be a long night.
If the kid had been a simple theft it would have been so much easier. Aizawa could just wait until he saw them steal something and then arrest them and turn the kid over to the police to be brought back home…or put in juvie, but Aizawa didn’t really care. What matters is that his job would be over and done with. However, if the kid was a runaway that meant he’d have to follow the kid until he could catch them. Then he’d have to con firm they were a runaway, get them to admit why they were running, and then proceed from there. All of that could take the whole night and all Aizawa wanted to do was go home and sleep before he had to go teach tomorrow. Sometimes Aizawa contemplated murdering Nemuri for forcing him into teaching; this was one of those times.
Aizawa continued following the kid down the street from the roof tops. He noted that the kid seemed to know where they were going, they weren’t hesitating at turns and their pace never slowed. Maybe the kid was going to another relative’s or a friend’s house? That would Aizawa’s job easier if there was someone else to hand the kid off to. However, that thought quickly went away when the kid entered the “bad” part of town. This place was famous for druggies, thefts, and all kinds of criminals and villains. In fact, just last week Aizawa had busted a major black market operation in this part of town. Whoever the kid was heading to here there was no way that Eraserhead could allow them to stay with them.
The eraser hero was again thrown a curve ball when the kid turned down an alley. He followed along the roof expecting for them to come out the other end, but they didn’t. Instead the kid looked around the alley, even checking behind the dumpster to make sure they were alone. Then, the kid opened the dumpster and started digging through the trash inside. Okay, maybe they had something stashed there? It wasn’t uncommon for runaways to stash possessions somewhere before they ran, but why a seemingly random dumpster in a shitty part of town? Well, it could be close to their destination, Aizawa reasoned with himself. On the other hand, the kid didn’t seem to know what they were looking for. They kept pulling out objects, inspecting and even sniffing them. It didn’t seem like they had clothes or supplies stash in there.
Then, the kid did something that horrified eraser hero. They pulled out what looked like a half eaten apple, sniffed it, and proceeded to EAT it. The kid wasn’t running away, they were already homeless and they knew where to find food; from dumpsters in dangerous parts of the city. It was obvious that this wasn’t the first time the kid had eaten out of this dumpster. They clearly knew where this particular dumpster was and they hadn’t hesitated to eat the old fruit from it. Once they had finished the apple the kid kept digging. Every now and then they’d pull out some more half eaten or rotten food, but instead of eating it this time they’d shove it in their pocket, most likely to take it back to where ever they were staying.
Aizawa hoped that they at least had somewhere inside to stay, maybe an abandoned building or something. Didn’t matter now, he’d have to bring in the kid. He wouldn’t let the kid stay on the street tonight if he could help it. He’d take them to the police and they’ll either find their parents or take them to an orphanage, but either way they’ll have somewhere some safe to stay and food that wasn’t from a dumpster to eat. He stood up getting ready to jump down from the roof and talk to the kid. Best case scenario was that he could talk the kid into coming with him peacefully, worst case he’d have to fight and restrain the kid. No matter, the kid’s safety was more important right now than their desires. The kid was eating out of a dumpster for Christ sakes!
Unfortunately as he stood the roof creaked beneath him and the kid heard him. Before he knew it the kid was gone, running out of the alley liked a spooked cat and taking off down the road. Aizawa cussed and took off over the roofs trying to keep up with the kid. Either the kid knew they were being followed or they’d done this before because they kept darting in and out of alleys and running through underpasses and taking all kinds of twist and turns until Aizawa lost track of them. It was obvious that the kid either didn’t want to be caught or they thought they were in danger. Neither of those options where okay.
Aizawa spent the rest of the night looking for the little street rat. It didn’t help that he had no idea if the kid was a boy or girl let alone what they actually looked like. If they had changed clothes there was no way Aizawa could recognize them. He needed to find them though. Based on their size they looked to be around ten or eleven years old and they were clearly starving. That coupled with the fact that they were eating literal garbage meant that their health couldn’t be good. There was no telling how much longer the kid could survive like that. They needed an actual home, food, and water and most likely some medical care as soon as possible. Aizawa also wanted to find the kid’s parents and give them a piece of his mind.
As he headed to U.A. the following morning after staying out all night he promised both himself and the kid that he wouldn’t stop looking until that child was safe.