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Clouded Reality

Chapter Text

He has always loved heroes. No matter how dark things got, heroes were always there, saving the people who were too small to save themselves. Just like Izuku. And, one day, he would be one of those shining beacons. He would think about his mom, who worked alone to support her and her only son. She needed a hero more than anyone, and Izuku was determined to be that person. He smiled to himself at the thought, walking home with a journal clutched closely to his chest. He knew that his mother didn’t like it when he wandered after school, but if he happened to stumble upon a villian attack, was it really wandering?

“Hey, Shitty Nerd!” Izuku’s hairs stand on end as he hears the telltale sound of explosions crackling. He turns around just in time to be pushed up against the wall. Katsuki had been his best friend since diapers, bonding over their shared love for heroes. But when his quirk came in, he didn’t see the need for a useless friend like Izuku. Ever since, he had pushed the smaller boy around, not afraid to rough him up.

“Quirkless losers like you shouldn’t walk alone, they might get hurt.” Explosions set off way too close to Izuku’s face, making him flinch. “Stop, Kacchan-!” He pleaded, going to push him away without dropping his journal.
“What’s this, Deku?” Katsuki ripped the book from Izuku’s grip, flipping through the pages. “It’s probably a little baby diary.” One of Katsuki’s friends sneered. “No, this-” He paused to laugh. “-this is even better! You taking notes to be a hero, Deku?” He waved the journal in front of Izuku, who reached for it in vain. “Seriously, Kacchan, this isn’t funny!”

“Wait. What’s this?” Katsuki stopped on one of the pages, skimming over it. The page was a detailed analysis of himself, complete with the strengths and weaknesses of his quirk. “You think I have weaknesses, Deku?!” He yelled, shoving the small boy back. “Well, I- I mean, everyone has ways to improve, Kacchan…!” Izuku tried to reason. “Being able to admit your weaknesses is one of the greatest strengths of all! Not- not that I think you don’t have a ton of strengths, you definitely do-”

He let out a yell as Katsuki set his precious journal on fire. “Look. Deku. I’d hate to see you hurt someday.” His friends chuckled at the idea. “So do us all a favor, and just reroll the genetic dice. Maybe you’ll have a better quirk in your next life!” He cackled, dropping the ash and stomping it into the ground. That journal, Izuku’s newest, had the entry from the elusive underground hero Eraserhead. He had spent months scouring the internet for credible information, compiling it into one article. All of that work, gone in a matter of seconds. He was so distraught that he barely reacted when one of Katsuki’s friends shoved him into the ground and kicked his side.

“Someone had to tell you, Kid. Before it was too late.” “Yeah,” Katsuki chuckled, “we wouldn’t want you stealing my spotlight with any dumb stunts, now, would we?” He paused and waited in Izuku’s silence. “Right, Deku?” His hand sparked with orange light. “Y- yes.” Izuku wheezed, blinking back tears. “Good.” Katsuki smirked, and sauntered away with his friends. Izuku watched the pile of ash, his hands balling into fists.

This always happened. He was always treated like a second class citizen, just for how he was born. Even more so, he looked out at the people going about their day, many of them glancing towards him before looking away. Did they think he deserved this? Did they, too, think that he was somehow lesser for not having a quirk? How many of those people dreamed of being heroes? Just thinking statistically, at least one person had to have thought that way. So why didn’t they do anything?

“Need a hand?” Izuku had been so obsessed with the crowd he hadn’t noticed the man sneak up behind him. He was maybe in his mid to late teens, a hoodie covering any defining features. “Ah… Yes, please.” Izuku went to grab his hand, but the older teen instead tugged on his wrist with only a few fingers. He didn’t think much of it; in the world of quirks, there could have been any number of reasons as to why he wouldn’t have wanted to touch Izuku’s hand. Or, even without that, he could have been a mere germaphobe. “Thank you.” Izuku mumbled, steadying himself on his feet.

“You know,” The teen looked over down the street, “I could have sworn I saw All Might walking this way.” Izuku immediately brightened up. “What?! Where?!” He looked around excitedly, not noticing how it made the other boy scowl. “He’s far gone by now. But I just thought that it was odd. Why would he have gone this way, seen you, but not help you up?” His head tilted slightly, watching Izuku deflate.

“O- oh. Well, he was probably busy.” “Him? No. I just think that he didn’t want to help you. After all, why would an insignificant citizen such as ourselves ever matter to the number one hero?” He raised his hands slightly. “He saves citizens all the time!” Izuku argued. “Maybe. But that’s when there’s a camera watching. But isn’t that a problem, within itself?” Izuku thought his question over. “Well, I- I mean… I don’t know.”

The boy nodded slightly. “Is this yours?”
He held out a crumpled piece of paper, one Izuku recognized. He gasped, reaching out for the analysis of pro hero Endeavor.

“Ah! It must have fallen out earlier. Thank you!” The teen watched him carefully. “You know, that’s not a bad job. FInding the information, I mean.” “Thank you! I figured that it’d be good information to have, when I…” Izuku trailed off.

“When you what?” “When… When I was going to be a hero. But I don’t think I can. I don’t think I ever could.” He let his hands fall to his sides, loosely clutching the paper in his hands. “Why would you want to be a hero?” The boy lightly poked Izuku’s forehead with a finger. “All they care about is themselves. Money and fame. Being a hero doesn’t mean anything anymore.” Izuku frowned. “Well, how else could I help people?” The boy grinned. “You want to find out? Follow me. I’ll show you.”

Chapter Text

The more Izuku learned about Shigaraki, the more intrigued he became. Although he was not more than five years older than Izuku, his pale skin and wrinkled appearance told a different story. Shigaraki had told him that he knew someone who could give Izuku a quirk. 


“No,” Izuku had said, trying to force down the bubbling excitement. This was a stranger, after all, and it wasn’t very likely that he was telling the truth. In all honesty, he was probably a villian, luring small defenseless Izuku to his death. 


But maybe, Izuku thought in passing, that wouldn’t be so bad. 


“You can’t underestimate Sensei’s power.” Shigaraki chided. “He is the most powerful man to ever live! Sensei can do anything, even give you a quirk.” Izuku made a soft hmm, thinking over the logistics. More than likely, being able to do something like that meant that this man had a very powerful quirk. Izuku had never heard of anything like that, except maybe the ability to copy quirks, but even that wasn’t a good comparison. Where did he get the quirks from? Did he take them? If so, could he have multiple quirks at once? How did he control them all?

“Kid?” Shigaraki asked. Izuku blinked, a faint red climbing his cheeks. “Ah, sorry, was I mumbling? I- I do that sometimes. Sorry, I know it’s annoying.” He rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly. 


“You keep apologizing over and over and it won’t seem real.” Shigaraki pointed out. “Ah! Sorry. I mean, not sorry, I just… I won’t do it again. But I would like one. A quirk, I mean.” Izuku paused. 


“All my life, I’ve been told I can’t help others without a quirk. I wanted to prove them that they were wrong, but maybe I… Maybe I was wrong. It was too optimistic of me to think that I could ever be a hero without a quirk.” 


“It’s not just you, it’s this whole dumb system.” Shigaraki grumbled. “It gives the weak a false sense of security, all high and mighty because they have heroes protecting them, but what happens if those go away, huh? What happens then? I think you’re better off not being a hero at all.” 


Izuku nodded. “I don’t think so,” He said, “But I’ll think about it. Maybe you’re right.” 


The two slipped into a small bar. It was in a bad part of town, in an alleyway, far away from any prying eyes. The hardwood floors were oddly clean, though, as was the rest of the place. It was dark and moody, but generally well kept. 


Someone stood behind the counter, barely looking up when the boys entered. Izuku wondered about his quirk absentmindedly. Was his body entirely made out of mist? What did his quirk actually do? He had to make a significant effort not to start muttering again. 


“Kurogiri!” Shigaraki addressed the man. “I found someone to join our party, just like Sensei said.” Kurogiri examined Izuku, nodding. “Do you think he will be useful?” Shigaraki nodded. “He’s very smart, and will be very helpful in the future.” 


Izuku opened his mouth to ask about what party, specifically, he was referring to when a TV in the back hummed with life. “Ah, yes, very good Tomura. I would like to speak with our new ally.” 


Shigaraki lit up, Izuku noticed, as if he had just been awarded somehow. “See? I knew Sensei would like you.” He said, taking a seat at the bar. 


Suddenly, Izuku was suffocating. 



The room where Izuku came to was very plain looking, with grey walls lit up by a single dangling light. It was musty, smelling faintly of cleanliness, like a hospital. The only furniture was a table with a chair on one side and a man on the other. 


He looked awful. 


His face was scarred over, completely lacking any eyes. He was attached with a plethora of various tubes, leaning back slightly on some kind of device. Izuku took a step back, his fingertips shaking. 


“It’s alright, Child, I won’t harm you.” His voice was like a soft rumble, powerful but also soothing. “If that were my intentions, I promise you, it would have already been done. I like to have faith in Tomura, and if he saw something in you, so will I. So have a seat.” 


Izuku took a few steps towards the chair, trying to be cautious. “How can you speak with… Uhm…” He trailed off, trying to word it without upsetting the man. 


“With my medical condition? Yes, it is quite unusual. I have a quirk for that very reason. I also have a quirk that helps me see, if you were wondering.” 


Izuku was wondering. He took a seat, his hands begging to mess with anything to calm his nerves. He settled with gently tugging on the edge of his shirt. “I see. Because you can take quirks, Sir?”

“Yes. Call me Sensei, Child.” He said. Izuku nodded, before adding, “Yes, Sensei.” He thought for a second. “Shigaraki said you would give me a quirk.” He said quietly. “Not that you have to, or- or that I’m even expecting it. But… Could you? What is your quirk, exactly?” 


“Very curious, aren’t we?” Sensei sounded amused. “My quirk is called All for One. I can take and give quirks as I please. Even to kids like you, barred from your true potential by those around you. Coddling the weak and throwing a blanket of false security over the world while the real dangers wait in the shadows. My power, it allows me to throw off the balance that society so often clings to. It will let the strong rise to the top, and the weak crumble. Child, do you have what it takes to use that power?” 


Izuku hesitated. “...I don’t know. I’m not anything special. And- and I like heroes. I think they do a lot of good for the world.” His hands clenched in his lap. “So, I’m sorry. But no.” 


There was silence. 






Suddenly, Sensei let out a deep laugh, startling Izuku to his core. “It has been very long since I’ve met someone like you, able to resist the call for power. I respect that. But, dear child, it is not your decision. It never was. Because if Tomura wants you? I am willing to give that to him.” 


Without giving Izuku a moment to react, Sensei reached out and grabbed his arm. His grip was strong, stronger than it should have been. Izuku felt blinding pain, as if he was being torn apart and sewn back together. As he let out a scream, Sensei spoke. 


“Welcome, Izuku Midoryia.”

Chapter Text

Izuku Midoryia is 15 years old. He lives in an old building tucked in an alleyway, far from people who might hurt him. He lives with his big brother Tomucchan and his friend Kurogiri. Tomucchan and Izuku have been hurt, hurt, hurt but Izuku doesn’t like to think about that. 


Izuku had an accident when he was 12, but Tomucchan doesn’t like to talk about that. Izuku thinks it makes him sad. Whatever happened, it turned Izuku’s memories all muddy, like a watercolor painting of emotions. 


Warmth, blue, yellow, red, grey, warmth, grey, grey, grey, grey, black. If Izuku tries to focus on certain memories, he gets a headache, and Tomucchan will get after him. Stop hurting yourself, Izuku, he says. It’s not important. 


Izuku believes him, sometimes. 


Tomucchan worries about Izuku because Izuku doesn’t have a strong quirk. Izuku has a quirk called Observe. He notices little things, and like a puzzle, his mind always seems to know just where to put it. That helps Tomucchan when they need information, to help his goal. But it does not help Izuku fight. 


It doesn’t help the nightmares, either. Dreams of orange and red, red, red, of loud boys who call Izuku useless and who kick him and who tell him mean things. These memories are the easiest to remember, so his mind and his soul cling to them and make sure they don’t forget, because his soul tells him this loud boy is important. Izuku tries to look for why. 


Izuku cannot find the answer. 



    Izuku had been in his room, gathering hero analysis, when he heard the faint whispers of an unfamiliar voice downstairs, in the bar. This wasn’t necessarily odd, of course, but he suddenly had a sinking feeling. 


Something’s wrong, the little voice in the back of his mind told him. Izuku knew better than to ignore it, so he quietly creeped into the hallway and to the bar. 


    There was something oddly nostalgic about the bar, the only place he had ever called home. There was a quaint warmness, hidden behind the untouchable exterior. He had met many people in that bar, and a lot of villains didn’t mind telling him information about their quirks. Some of the more regular patrons had whole pages dedicated to themselves in his notebook. 


    The current customer was not one of those villains. He seemed tense, even unhappy to be there. He had an unfriendly sneer, sitting right next to Tomucchan. “...something you can do for me.” He had been saying. 


    “Me? Why would I do anything for you?” Tomucchan was upset, Izuku noticed. Tomucchan is always upset when he talks to new people; he says that they’re all dumb. Izuku thinks that he is just shy. 


    “I know a lot of people. I have connections.” The villain explained. No he’s not, the voice tells Izuku. Someone with connections would need a lot of charisma; this man had none. And Izuku had seen the subtle twitch in his face muscles, a telltale sign of a liar. 


    Why would he lie to Tomucchan? 


    “Connections?” Tomucchan laughed. “I have all the connections I need. Sensei has all the connections I need.” The villain’s sneer grew deeper, his nails drumming on the counter. 


    His nails. They were thicker than normal nails, a little longer, and had a subtle sharpness to them. And his arm muscles were flexing, as if to reach out…” 


    “Tomucchan! His hand!” Izuku yelled just as the villain’s hands shot out towards Tomucchan. Tomucchan moved fast, grabbing both of his wrists tightly.

    “Fuck!” The villain hissed. He yanked back, but Tomucchan wouldn’t let go that easily. Blood dripped from his wrist, too red and too much for Izuku. He closed his eyes and covered his ears to block out the screaming. 


    It didn’t stop until a while had passed, and he felt a soft nudge on his shoulder. “Midoryia, it’s done.” The smooth voice told Izuku as he uncovered his ears. It was Kurogiri. Even after Izuku insisted he called him Izuku (they were family, after all), Kurogiri refused. He told Izuku it was unprofessional, and he had an image to uphold.


    When Izuku opened his eyes, the counter was still slick with blood, blood that Tomucchan was cleaning as he grumbled. Izuku had seen people get hurt before. He had seen the blood, and he had seen Tomucchan use his quirk, often even. But that didn’t make it easier for Izuku to stomach the sight. 


    “Do- Do you need help, Tomucchan?” Izuku asked meekly. Tomucchan sighed, shaking his head. “I don’t want you getting sick.” 


    “I won’t get sick!” Izuku insisted, puffing out his chest and trying to look brave. Tomucchan scoffed. “Fine. But if you throw up, you’ll have to clean it up, Izuku.” “Yes, Tomucchan.” 


    Izuku grabbed a rag and helped Tomucchan clean the mess. “What was that guy’s deal, anyway?” He asked. “He had a quirk that made his nails sharp, I think, like nails. He was going to hurt you.” 


   Izuku wasn’t a very efficient cleaner while he talked, his hands stopping to motion out his explanation. “He was definitely up to no good! He didn’t seem to like you much, Tomucchan.” Tomucchan made a soft mmm. “It’s because I’m better than him.” 


    Izuku felt a laugh bubble in his throat. “That’s not nice, Tomucchan.” He shrugged. “It’s true.” 


    They cleaned in pleasant silence for a few moments. “Izuku?” Tomucchan asked. “Yeah?” Izuku glanced up. “We’re running low on a few things, and Kurogiri and I don’t like going outside, so you’re going to get it.” Izuku smiles a little; he knows that’s Tomucchan’s way of asking for a favor. He doesn’t like asking nicely, but he tries his best, since Izuku gets after him otherwise. 


    “Of course I’ll go get it. Do you have a list?” Izuku answered sweetly. Tomucchan grunted, and handed Izuku a piece of paper. It was a few things from the grocery store, a pretty easy trip. Izuku placed the rag in the bucket, the water now a muddy red color. “I’ll go get it right now.” He assured. 


    “Don’t get yourself killed, okay? I know how you are.” Tomucchan chided. Izuku laughed softly. “I’ll be safe, Tomucchan.” He went towards the door, tugging the sleeves of his hoodie over his hands. He paused at the door halfway open, before turning back and smiling as bright as a thousand suns. 


    “I love you, Tomucchan!”

Chapter Text

    Izuku loved days like this. The sun was bright and warm, enveloping his skin like a blanket. There were many people, all of them with their own lives and interests. They never paid much mind to Izuku; he didn’t look like much more than an innocent little boy, with his fluffy green curls and his short stature. Even his clothes, a sweater and some casual pants, were very ordinary. 

    There was something about being a quiet observer that Izuku just enjoyed, even more so than having interesting conversations with people. Besides, he thought as he clutched his notebook - complete with a shopping list from Kurogiri - close to his chest, he had a mission to complete. 

    He was passing under a bridge when he felt off. Something’s wrong. He pauses, taking in his surroundings. The ground was vibrating ever so slightly. What was under him? He glanced to the sewer grate and his heart sank. 

    Something was down there. 

    He started quickly running back just as a… thing had come out of the sewer. He was huge and definitely did not have good intentions, if his menacing demeanor was to be believed. He was a mass of green goo, forming into the shape that was definitely alive. His quirk was going crazy. He has a mutation quirk he’s made of slime he’s coming towards you he can hurt you he is dangerous run run run. Izuku was having trouble thinking. His quirk was too loud. The villain was too loud, too fast, coming towards him. 

    “You’ll make a perfect skinsuit for me to hide in, Kid.” Izuku barely managed to dodge him; he had experience, times when jobs with Tomucchan went south and people went for the easiest target. But it wasn’t enough. The slime villain quickly took hold of him, chuckling. “Don’t worry, I’m just taking over your body. It’ll be easier for both of us if you don’t fight back. It’ll only hurt for a minute. You’ll feel better soon!” 

    Izuku wasn’t ready to die. The day was much too pretty for him to die. He struggled while he was suffocated, unable to breathe or call for help. The slime stunk, and it tasted terrible. A perfect fit for a villain. In Izuku’s last moments, he wondered if that was why he was a villain in the first place. Maybe he was like Tomucchan, with a quirk no one would see as anything other than evil. It was hard to imagine someone like that, being a hero or even a real citizen. 

    But, Izuku realized, the villain wasn’t like Tomucchan. Because Tomucchan would never hurt Izuku, especially for no reason. Tomucchan would have saved him, if he was there. 

   Tomucchan wasn’t there. 

    “Hey, wake up. Hey! Thought we lost you there.” 

    Izuku was very confused. Instead of being dead, he was here. Alive. Being touched by someone he didn’t know. Izuku wasn’t terribly familiar with social graces, of course, but he was fairly sure that touching people without permission was rude. He blinked up at the man, the hero, standing over him. 


    “Oh, good, you’re awake! I try to keep bystanders out of harm’s way, but-” He paused. “Are you… Alright, My Boy?” His smile was unwavering, but changed into something more hesitant. 

    “I’m okay.” Izuku nodded softly, slowly going to sit up. This man was very big and very loud. Very familiar. Annoyingly familiar, his quirk thought. 

    He has to have some kind of strength enhancement quirk, but he seems exhausted. It must take extra energy. 

    “It’s just, you seem very calm. You were just attacked and saved from a villain.” He said after Izuku didn’t respond.

    “I know.” Izuku brushed himself off, reaching over to grab the notebook he had been carrying. “Don’t worry! I’ve already signed that little book of yours.” The man told him. Izuku blinked slowly. “You wrote in my notebook?” He squinted his eyes at the writing. 

    ALL MIGHT, it said, in bold letters. Izuku dropped the notebook like it was on fire. He had heard of All Might, of course. Tomucchan made sure that much. And, in a weird way, Tomucchan’s description matched up. “Very loud and annoying. Always has a dumb smile, no matter what.” 

    This was the man Tomucchan wanted to kill. 

    “Well,” All Might added after a moment, “I must be off! Get this evildoer to the police.” He patted the bottles, and went to leave. Then something strange happened. 

    As if his quirk had a mind of his own, it launched Izuku towards the hero, right as he took off. Then, suddenly, Izuku was flying. 

    “What on Earth, Kid?” All Might said. He sounded exasperated, an odd match for his ever present smile. “Why are you so hurt?” Izuku demanded, suddenly overcome and overwhelmed by his quirk. “Why are you leaking blood? Are you hurt? I feel like that’s something that would stop someone from hero work, let alone someone with a quirk that’s energy-based.” Izuku was so frustrated. It didn’t make sense it didn’t make sense it didn’t make sense. There was a puzzle piece missing, something Izuku was forgetting that he needed to solve the mystery. 

    Why did Tomucchan hate him so much? 

    “You’re asking a lot of questions that are frankly inappropriate.” Izuku noticed the tone of All Might’s voice; he was nervous. “I’m not hurt, so there’s no need to worry! Bang on the door, someone will let you out.” A lie. 

    “Wait-” Izuku reached his hand out before slowly pulling back. What if he didn’t like what he heard? In a world of heroes and villains, with labels so black and white, he doubted that All Might would have given Izuku the same light scolding if he knew about who his big brother was. Because, for as much as Izuku knew Tomucchan was good, he was a wanted criminal. The very thing All Might was paid to stop.

    He let All Might fly off. 

    After a very long walk down too many flights of stairs, Izuku was back on his path to the store. He felt a lot of emotions he usually tried to push away. Anger. Frustration. Guilt. Sadness. But for all of the awful they did, they were the key to figuring out the mystery of All Might, and Izuku couldn’t just give that up. 

    There was another clue, something buried deep in his mind that he just couldn’t get free. Izuku tapped his head as if he was getting water out of his ear, hoping to get the information out. He couldn’t. 

    Izuku would have been too preoccupied to notice the villain fight, if his quirk didn’t pick up on the panicked whispers and the faint smell of smoke in the air. He stopped, squinting towards the scene. The villain, Izuku’s villain , had escaped. The slime monster was now surrounded by fire, and had taken a middle schooler as hostage. The hostage had bright, fiery eyes and spikey blonde hair. Izuku’s heart skipped a beat for no reason in particular. 

    Someone had to help, right? He looked over the pro heroes, many of them he recognized from various research projects. None of them were a good match for the slime villain. 

    But someone had to help this boy, this loud boy who Izuku worried about way too much. And if no one else would, that responsibility fell on his shoulders. So he ran. Izuku ran and ran and ran, past the people who were yelling at him to stop and towards the very thing that tried to kill him only an hour ago. 

    Izuku quickly spotted a chair from one of the shops lining the street and grabbed it, quick to throw it at the villain. It reels back, and the boy has room to breathe, if only a little. His eyes settle on Izuku and they widen. 


    The name sounds familiar to Izuku, but he can’t quite place why. “I don’t think you should be talking when you could be saving up oxygen.” He chided, trying to claw the boy out. His words really only make the boy more upset and reckless, thrashing against the slime. 

“I swear to fucking God, Deku, I’m going to kill you when I get out of here-” Bright explosions crackle on his hands, bright red, and Izuku feels like he’s very close to a very important puzzle piece. If only he could keep digging, if only this stupid villain would get out of his way- 

And then All Might is there. He stops the battle with a single hit, a punch so hard the weather changes. The other heroes pull Izuku and the loud boy aside. He’s glaring at Izuku, and he makes him uncomfortable. 

    “So. Care to explain where the fuck you’ve been all this time?” The boy’s voice was menacing, but not as loud as before. Soft, but just as angry. Right when Izuku went to respond, he cut him off. “Aunt Inko’s been worried sick about you, you know? I bet you didn’t think about that when you ran away.” The boy wasn’t prepared for what came next. 

    “Who is Inko?” 

    His eyes narrow. “Come on, this is a dumb way to play, Deku. Your mom?” Izuku thought it over. Obviously, he knew he had parents. Everyone did. And Tomucchan had never said anything about his mom being dead, or having abandoned him. But Izuku just assumed she was out of the picture. “I have a mom?”

    The boy seemed to go pale. His hands were still popping, so Izuku guessed it was something he did when he was nervous. “Izuku. Do you know who I am?” 

    Izuku hesitated before shaking his head. “Not particularly.” 

    “Fuck.” He hissed, reaching out to grab Izuku’s arm. Izuku pulled back roughly, tensing. “Come on, Deku, come with me. Whatever happened to you we’ll go to a doctor and figure this shit out.” He sounded panicked. 

    “I can’t- I can’t go with you.” Izuku insisted. 

    “GET BACK HERE, SHITTY DEKU!” As the boy lunged, Izuku turned tail and ran. The pro heroes shouted and called at him to come back, but Izuku couldn’t stay. If he got caught, and the police started asking questions, he’d have to answer. He’d get Kurogiri and Tomucchan in trouble. He’d hurt his only friends. 

    Izuku was only running for ten minutes when he slammed into someone. 

Chapter Text

    Izuku crashed to the ground. His mind was spinning spinning spinning and he had trouble registering how he even fell to the ground. That loud boy, he had known Izuku. And, of course, it could have been that he had heard it somewhere; Izuku didn’t make his name a secret, after all, and Tomucchan had no hesitation in calling him Izuku in front of strangers. 

   But the way he had acted, Izuku was certain that the boy knew who he was. And that meant that Izuku probably had a mother out there, who was worried for him and Tomucchan. Maybe something bad happened between her and Tomucchan. Maybe that was why Izuku had the accident, why Tomucchan hated talking about it. 

    “Are you concussed? You’ve been sitting there staring at the sidewalk for the last minute.” Izuku looked up to see a boy standing over him. He had dual red and white hair that seemed really shiny and soft, along with bicolored blue and grey eyes. 

    He also had a scar covering the entire left side of his face. 

    Izuku blinked slowly, taking in his appearance. “Um, yes. I’m okay.” He shook his head. “Are you okay? I mean, I was the one who wasn’t looking where I was going…!” He blushed, suddenly feeling awful for the way his mind had spiralled. 

    “I’m fine.” The boy had a soft, monotone way of speaking that calmed Izuku down a little bit. He held out his hand, and Izuku gladly took it to stand up. “Oh, gosh, My manners. I’m Izuku Midoriya!” 

    “Shouto Todoroki.” He nodded. Todoroki… His name sounded familiar. Ah! Of course, Izuku realized, he must have been the son of the famous hero Endeavor. Izuku would have loved to ask more about that, but the last thing he wanted was to seem like a bother to Todoroki. After all, he was sure the press asked him plenty about his father daily. 

    “I’m sorry I bumped into you, Todoroki.” Izuku blurted out. Was it hot? Why was it so hot? “You already said that.” Todoroki pointed out. He looked bored. Maybe he always looked that way?

 “Ah! Sorry. You should let me repay you.” Izuku looked behind him, searching for any chance that the loud boy had followed him. “That’s really not necessary.” Todoroki shook his head. “Are you sure?” Izuku messed with his hands nervously. “Yes. Now, if I could just… Go…” Todoroki went to move past Izuku. “Of- of course!” He stepped out of the way, letting Todoroki pass. Well, that was a disaster. Izuku chided to himself. Then, after doing one more check to make sure that he wasn’t being followed, he finally got to go to the store in peace. 

    Izuku slipped into the bar, holding the few groceries in one hand and his notebook in the other. It was quiet, which usually meant that Tomucchan was in his room, but that hadn’t been the case at all. Instead, he sat at the bar, waiting. “Izuku.” 

    Oh no. He sounded upset. Not like usual, where he always sounded a little grumpy, but full on angry at whatever just happened. At Izuku. 

    “Yes?” Izuku hesitantly set the groceries down. Tomucchan grabs a TV remote from the counter and presses play, letting the TV buzz to life. It showed a news channel, covering footage of…

    A villain attack. His villain attack. 

    “Imagine my surprise when I turn on the TV and I see my Izuku, plastered all over the media because he decided to play hero.” Izuku winced. He knew how much Tomucchan didn’t like heroes; Izuku wasn’t incredibly fond of them himself. After all, when something becomes mainstream, it is inevitable that it is twisted into a more sinister form of itself. Instead of the old days of heroes being simply people who did good, it was about getting fame ignoring the weak. 

    “Tomucchan…” Izuku pleaded. “Don’t ‘Tomucchan’ me.” He snapped. “We are the League of Villains , Izuku. If someone manages to connect you to us, you know what they’ll do? They’ll put you in prison, even though you didn’t do anything, because you chose to take that title.” He shoved his finger into Izuku for emphasis. 

    “They’ll find our operation and shut us down. They’ll separate us, and I’ll never see you again. Is that what you want?” 


    “Well then act like it! Why did you help that kid, anyway?” 

    Izuku hesitated. Why did he help that loud boy? Because he seemed important. Because he would have gotten Izuku closer to the truth. Because he was another piece to the puzzle Tomucchan didn’t want Izuku to solve. “...Because he seemed scared.” Izuku settled on. “And- and the heroes weren’t doing anything. Someone had to help.”

    “That someone shouldn’t have been you.” Tomucchan hissed. He stood up, agitated. “Don’t follow me or I’ll turn your face to ash.” He stormed off, towards his room. Once Izuku turned the TV off, it was eerily silent. Izuku hated the silence. 


    Izuku turned around to see Kurogiri. Of course he hadn’t said anything. Why would he? That fight, it was between Izuku and Tomucchan. Still, a part of Izuku wished he had interfered. “Shigaraki is upset. Maybe it would be best if you made yourself scarce? Only for a few hours.” 

    He reached upset the counter and pulled out a 20 dollar bill. “That should be plenty to occupy you in the meantime, yes?” Izuku’s heart sank. It had been a very long time since he had to avoid the bar for one reason for another; Tomucchan trusted him in all of the League’s affairs, and even when an external force upset him, he could at least stomach Izuku’s presence. 

    “Okay,” Izuku breathed, taking the money gently. “I- I’m sorry. Tell Tomucchan that?” He asked shyly. Kurogiri nodded. “I will, Midoriya.” 

    Izuku walked out the bar and wandered up to the nicer part of town. He was so very troubled, and wanted nothing more than to curl up in his bed. Maybe write down some hero analysis. 

    Tomucchan appreciated his work, and used it often either for his own personal gain or as a bargaining chip to other villains. Izuku got to feel helpful. But, also, Izuku could separate himself from his work. When he was researching, he wasn’t shy, sweet, unassuming Izuku. He was cold, analytical Izuku. Analytical Izuku didn’t care about people’s feelings, or of loud boys who filled his dreams and showed up in villain attacks on the street. Analytical Izuku only cared about the cold, hard facts. Analytical Izuku was fearless. 

    Izuku puffed his cheeks up, tried to stand up straighter. If he couldn’t work on hero analysis, that didn’t mean that he still couldn't be that cool Izuku. It was all about his attitude, after all. He tried to walk confidently, swinging his arms and looking forward. 

    “Midoriya, what are you doing?” Asked a familiar voice. Izuku stopped, and turned to look at one Shouto Todoroki. He looked mildly concerned, having been standing in line to get inside a restaurant. “I’m trying to be cool!” Izuku told him, stopping and stepping closer so he wasn’t too in the way. 

    “I don’t know if it’s working.” Todoroki raised an eyebrow, watching him. 

    “Well, I think it is. What are you doing here, anyway?” Izuku glanced over to the door, quickly approaching. 

    “This place makes really good soba. My sister is busy and my father is out, so I thought I’d eat some for dinner.” He explained. Izuku pressed the money in his hand. “Do you have room for one more?” 

    Todoroki sighed , and he would have thought it was because he was annoyed, if it wasn’t for the very slight smile that graced his lips. “I suppose.” 

    And that was how Izuku ended up spending the next three hours with Endeavor’s youngest son, eating soba and talking about anything and everything but their home lives. Izuku quickly picked up that there was something off about Todoroki, but he wasn’t one to pry. It wasn’t like Izuku’s home life was on the table for conversation, either. 

    Izuku ended the night with a full stomach and the third contact to ever be put on his phone. 

Chapter Text

    Katsuki had liked to think he was the ideal hero. He had a lot of confidence, strength, and one of the best quirks out there. He hadn’t needed help from anyone. 

    Especially tiny green boys who insisted on being nice, even when the odds were stacked against him. 

    Now, with hindsight, Katsuki knew he had taken said boy for granted. He was so busy being the best, and tearing down anyone who challenged that, to see that hurting others wasn’t making him a hero. It was making him a villain. And Katsuki would not be some goddamn edgy wannabe. 

    The day it happened, he had been getting ready for bed when his mom opened the door. She was usually loud and aggressive enough to rival Katsuki, but her mood was much gentler. Sadder. Katsuki hadn’t like what that implied. 

    She told him that Inko-san was on the phone, asking for him. That was even weirder; he hadn’t talked to Inko-san since he was eight, and she asked him - no, begged him - to be nicer to Deku. He had decided that she was too dumb to speak to, but looking back, he didn’t like how she made him feel. Guilty. 

    So Katsuki had taken the phone, and listened to Inko-san through her tears. Something Izuku something missing something seen him. He sighed, had told her that he had no idea where that nerd was, and assured her he was probably wrapped up watching some hero fight. What would have happened, Katsuki wondered, if he had told the truth? If he had told Inko-san that he had seen Deku earlier that day, laying on the ground and nearly crying. 

    His therapist tells him not to think like that. His therapist is full of shit. 

    Days of Deku missing turned into weeks, months, a year. The police had given up. It wasn’t rare, they said, for quirkless kids to run away. If he hadn’t shown up by now, something had to have happened to him. He’s so defenseless, after all… 

    Katsuki had known the truth. The truth was that all of these damned cops were so incompetent that they couldn’t find one f*cking quirkless child in the entire city. 

    So he started looking himself. 

    For months, he would parol the surrounding areas, checking all the places he knew Deku had liked to stay when he was upset or nervous. He asked random strangers, his heart skipped a beat when he saw flashes of green in the street. His parents had worried, gotten him a damned therapist, like he was some kind of weakass broken kid. 

    But, he tells himself, Deku would have wanted him to agree. He could imagine his dumb, wide eyes filled with worry. You’ll just end up hurting yourself and your parents, Kacchan. Tsk. Fucking Deku. 

    He went every week. 

    Katsuki was finally starting to feel better, starting to move on, when that sh*tty f*cking nerd had to show up, with the same dumb look. He was so close, just in his reach , when he ran off like some scared animal. But this time, Katsuki wouldn’t let go. 

    He called Aunt Inko right away. He was more used to her presence, now that she lived all alone. She spent almost half of her nights at their house. Even if she was quiet, Katsuki knew she liked the activity, the way she got the smallest smile when he and his mom were arguing over something. He wished she smiled more. 

    “Katsuki?” Aunt Inko’s voice was hesitant. “I saw him.” Katsuki told her, forcing his voice to stop shaking. “Izuku. He just- he just saved me from a villain attack.” 

    The phone hang up. 

    Shouta hated days like this. Granted, he hated most days, but sometimes there were days where nothing was happening and he was forced to do nothing but sit with his cats, waiting for Hizashi to get home. That was when he got a phone call from the police station. Although he sighed heavily before picking it up, he was a little glad for something to do other than grading papers. 

    “Eraserhead, remember that case from a few weeks back? The murder?” It was Tsukauchi, one of the most respected detectives in the Police Force. Shouta, of course, knew exactly what case he was referring too. They had been surveying a warehouse in order to catch a drug ring, and instead got a grainy video of a murder. The culprit had some sort of mask shaped like a face, so the case didn’t get very far. 

    What had interested them the most, however, was the short boy who had also been in the scene. He couldn’t have been much taller than five feet, and never faced the camera, so all they saw was a head of green hair. But what was a little kid doing witnessing a murder, before gently leading the culprit away by the hand? 

    “Yes. What about it?” Shouta asked gruffly. “Well, we just got information regarding a boy who went missing about three years ago. He’d be about fifteen, short, green hair… Sound familiar?” Tsukauchi told him. Shouta pondered for a minute. Green hair wasn’t the most uncommon hair type, of course, but those were a few interesting coincidences. 

    “I’ll be right over.” Shouta told him. Tsukauchi gave him the address, saying that he was currently helping console the boy’s mother. 

    Great. Exactly what Shouta needed. 

    The Midoriya home was a small apartment in a quaint suburb. Because everything was so peaceful, so incredibly normal , it made the cop cars parked out front even more unsettling. Shouta walked into the living room to find a small woman on the couch with Tsukauchi, trying to wipe any last tears as she told him about her son. 

    Izuku had been twelve years old when he disappeared. He was incredibly smart, loved heroes, and was born quirkless. 

    Beside her sat a teenager with spiky blond hair and red eyes. He would add something every so often, but other than that stayed quiet. 

    Tsukauchi nodded to Shouta. “Midoriya-san, this is pro hero Eraserhead.” The woman nodded quietly. “It’s nice to meet you.” She said softly. “Katsuki, you should tell them what you know, if you don’t mind.” 

    The blond straightened up. “Of course I don’t f*cking mind. Who do you think I am?” He sounded angry, on edge. Midoriya-san, however, seemed unphased. “Katsuki. Language.” She scolded gently. He huffed, muttering a soft “Whatever.” before continuing to retell Shouta the entire story without a single cuss word. 

    After Shouta got all the information, he stood up to leave. Midoriya-san grabbed his sleeve gently, getting his attention. Her eyes were glazed with tears. “Are you- are you going to find my son?” 

    What was Shouta supposed to say to that? 

    Of course, he was going to try and find her son. But after being missing for three years, the likelihood of him being dead was high. And, even if they did find the kid, what if happened to be the one from the security camera footage? It would be unreasonable to assume he’s completely innocent based on age alone. The most logical thing, Shouta decided, would be to tell this woman (who he barely knew) that he could not promise he would find her son. Simple, clear cut, and no room for disappointment. 

    “Of course I’ll find him, Midoriya-san.” 


Chapter Text

    Izuku stepped into the bar much later than he had been planning. Yes, he wanted to be out enough for Tomucchan to calm down, but he hadn’t expected to run into Todoroki-kun. He was easy to talk to, the easiest Izuku had talking to anyone, even rivalling the likes of Tomucchan. 

    Todoroki-kun had a habit of staying emotionless as he talked. He had a habit of tilting his head when he was confused. He had a habit of touching his scar when he was anxious, gently fingering the sides. Izuku had spent the entire time taking all of it in, listening to the soft hum of his quirk in the background. 

    He seemed to like Izuku enough, too. Todoroki-kun didn’t smile much, but Izuku had the feeling he would have voiced if something was bothering him. Izuku smiled brightly to himself at the thought of Todoroki-kun getting more comfortable with Izuku, smiling- 


    Izuku’s eyes settled on Tomucchan, who was almost invisible in the darkness. He reached, turning on the light. “...yes?” 

    “Are you hurt?” Tomucchan demanded. Izuku blinked. “Uhm. No. Why?”

    “Because of the attack, Stupid.” He hissed. Izuku suddenly smiled wider, realizing something. “ Tomucchan, are you worried about me?” Tomucchan straightened up immediately. “What? No! I wouldn’t care, but if you got hurt, you’d be less useful to us.” 

    Izuku felt the laughter bubble out of his chest, warm. “I’m alright, Tomucchan.” He paused. “I’m sorry. About, um, being so troublesome for you.”

    Tomucchan rolled his eyes. “Whatever, just don’t be so flashy next time.” He got up from the barseat, moving to go upstairs. 

“Tomucchan, will you play Animal Crossing? I want to watch.”

    “You know I think that game is stupid and boring.” 

    There was a pause. 

    “Yes, I am. Come on, or I’ll start without you.” 

    Izuku had been busy the next few days, but had finally gotten a day to himself when he heard a soft chime from his phone. Izuku’s face scrunched up, confused. Who could have been texting him? If Tomucchan or Kurogiri needed him, they would have just walked into his room.

    That only left one option. Izuku’s heart leapt. 

Todoroki-kun <3

Todoroki-kun <3: Are you busy? 

nope! do you need something?

Todoroki-kun <3: Yes. It’s not important, if you’re busy

I just told you Im not lol

where are we meeting???

Todoroki-kun <3 sent you an address

be right there! I have to tell tomucchan first

Todoroki-kun <3: Your brother? 

yep! see you :)

    Izuku was quick to run downstairs, calling out a loud, “I’m going out! Be right back, Tomucchan!” Tomucchan, who was playing some sort of game, grunted in response. 

    The sun was bright. School had just let out, Izuku realized, because there were a lot more kids out than usual. He didn’t really remember school, but he was sure he’d liked it, before the accident. Not that he could ever go, now. For all of Tomucchan’s rough exterior, he worried about Izuku, and didn’t like him going to school. And although Izuku longed to go back, he respected Tomucchan’s decision. 

    Besides, he had Todoroki-kun now! And he was a lovely friend, just like Izuku was sure he had when he had gone to school, before the accident. 

    It was a rainy day. Izuku could tell because the mood was stormy, stormy, stormy, and there were regular BOOMS as the apartment shook. Izuku hated thunderstorms. He could get into all of the warm blankets he wanted, but it was still loud and stormy, and he was still scared. 

    “Are you scared of the thunder, Deku? It’s just the rain! Heroes aren’t scared of anything, especially rain!” 

    He was right. The loud boy was right. Izuku was going to be brave. He was going to be strong, so that he could be a hero. 

    “You’re right, Kacchan!” 

    And, suddenly, the storm wasn’t as scary as before. 

    “...Midoriya? Midoriya? Izuku!” 

    It was Todoroki-kun. 

    “Kacchan.” He breathed. This wasn’t the first time he had a flashback, of course, but they had never been that clear before. He was standing a little ways away from a nearby park. His memory, the one with the loud boy, had been so vivid he was almost there. 

    And in that memory, the loud boy had called him Deku. Kacchan had called him Deku. “Kacchan, Kacchan, Kacchan.” He muttered, trying to solidify the name in his mind. Had he been one of Izuku’s brothers? No, he looked too different from Izuku and Tomucchan. What had he called Izuku’s mother? Aunt Inko. He was a cousin of some kind, or a close family friend, maybe. 

    “Midoriya, you’re muttering.” 

    Izuku blinked. “Sorry! What were you saying?” He forced himself to look at Todoroki-kun. He seemed… off. He was still expressionless, but he kept fidgeting as he took Izuku to a bench. Were those bruises on his am? Izuku would have to ask about it, later. 

    “I was asking if you’re alright. Who’s Kacchan?” Todoroki-kun took a seat next to him. “I’m not sure.” Izuku admitted. “I was in- I have some troubles. With my memory? But the other day I met this boy. Kacchan. He said that he knew me, but I don’t remember him. Didn’t remember him. I remember him a little bit, now, I think. 

    Although my mind might just be playing tricks on me. Fake memories aren’t terribly uncommon, and it-” 

    “Midoriya. You’re rambling.” Todoroki-kun offered softly. “Sorry! Sorry.” Izuku blushed. He didn’t want to annoy Todoroki-kun, not when he was such a good friend. “That sounds like… A lot.” Todoroki told him. “Are you sure you’ll be alright?” His hand went to touch his scar. He’s nervous.  

    “I’ll be okay! I just need to think over it, a little bit.” Izuku assured. Todoroki-kun nodded. “I’m here, if you need me.” He offered. Izuku nodded. 

    “I know. So, why did you want to see me?” Izuku asked. Todoroki-kun tensed suddenly. “No reason. I just wanted to see you.” His hand moved to the bruise, tugging his sleeve over it. 

    “Then why are you hurt?” Izuku pressed. “Training.” Todoroki-kun shrugged. 

    “Training for what?” 

    “I’m going to be a hero when I grow up.” Todoroki-kun sounded so confident when he told Izuku that. He wasn’t trying to be a hero, he would be one. It was inevitable. And although Izuku didn’t particularly like heroes, although he thought that some of them were rude and loud and targeted people like Tomucchan for no reason, he couldn’t help but smile. 

    “I think you’ll make a great hero, Todoroki-kun!” 

Chapter Text

    Izuku had settled into a new routine fairly easily. Help around the bar, play games with Tomucchan, spend time with Todoroki-kun, and work on what he liked to call the Midoriya Mystery. 

    He had flashbacks more and more often, although nothing particularly important. They were usually too fuzzy to decipher, and most of them took place when he was about four years old. A lot of them had Kacchan, going on adventures or dreaming heroes. Why had he liked heroes so much? Izuku supposed that every child loved heroes, but growing up with Tomucchan should have influenced his opinion. It sure did now. 

    And, speaking of Tomucchan, he wasn’t in a single memory. Odd. 

    Izuku gathered that he hadn’t always lived in the bar. He had lived with his mother, and he had been best friends with Kacchan. Kacchan was big and strong and loud, and tended to accuse Izuku of being quirkless. Clearly, that wasn’t true - he had Observe - but he hadn’t known that back then. 

Kacchan would guess what his quirk would be with Izuku. There had to be something in his past relating to fire, because most of their guesses had to do with that. Or maybe it was just because Kacchan had a fire-like quirk, and Izuku had wanted to be just like him. Izuku wasn’t sure. 

    Izuku wasn’t alone with his theories. He found out fairly quickly that Todoroki-kun shared a weird love of conspiracies. Izuku marveled at his ability to say outrageous theories totally straight faced. “Izuku, the truth is obvious. Kacchan had been your mother’s illegitimate child. 

Izuku had felt bad to dismiss this right away, but there were too many holes in his argument. Although, he supposed that had something to do with the fact that he hadn’t told Todoroki-kun most of his past. As far as he knew, Izuku had a mysterious accident two years ago and now lives with his perfectly normal older brother. No villainy to be seen. 

    It wasn’t that Izuku was embarrassed of Tomucchan; on the contrary, he thought that having a brother willing to question authority was really cool! But Todoroki-kun almost definitely wouldn’t think the same way. He was training to be a hero, after all, and heroes did not like villains. No matter how cool they were (Izuku asked once). 

    Izuku had no idea what to think about heroes. Under Tomucchan, he was certain that he hadn’t liked heroes, but believed they were necessary. For how they hid under fake smiles and discriminated against people with quirks like Tomucchan, how they were a driving cause in creating villains in the first place, Izuku had to admit they did do good. They still saved people, at the end of the day, and anything that lead to less death was a plus for Izuku. 

    But then there was Todoroki-kun. Todoroki-kun had wanted to be a hero. I want to save people who can’t save themselves. Like my mother, He had said. He thought that heroes were a good thing, but didn’t hold the extreme view that every hero was good like a lot of people. Izuku had to admit that he was taking a liking to Todoroki-kun’s philosophy more and more. 

    Izuku didn’t want to be a hero. But suddenly, the idea of being near one didn’t seem so bad, if more heroes were like Todoroki-kun. 

    The entrance exam came and went. Izuku had no doubts Todoroki-kun would have gotten in; Todoroki-kun told him that he had something called a ‘recommendation’, so he hadn’t taken the exam at all. Izuku wondered if Kacchan had gotten into the same school as Todoroki-kun. 

    Izuku loved listening to Todoroki-kun’s stories about his school. He was in a class designed to teach heroes. He thought that a lot of his classmates were annoying, even if Izuku tried to assure him that probably wasn’t the case. 

There was one boy who had a huge attitude problem, and Todoroki-kun liked seeing the teacher put him in his place. There was one kid who get expelled the first day, before the class even started, because he had been super rude to one of the girls. 

Izuku was fascinated. 

    Izuku had walked in on Tomucchan one night acting very weird. See, Tomucchan’s emotions were not the same as everyone else’s. His default mood was grumpy. Even on good days, Tomucchan wouldn’t do much more than grumble instead of yelling, maybe a rough pat on Izuku’s head if he was feeling particularly kind. 

    Tomucchan did not smile. But there he was, reading some kind of paper, grinning to himself. 

    “Uhm. Tomucchan?” Izuku asked hesitantly. 

    Tomucchan looked over at him. “Izuku! I have good news.” He patted the spot next to him. Izuku cautiously sat next to him, looking over at the paper. It was some kind of schedule. “We’re finally ready to kill All Might.” 


    “You heard me.” Tomucchan huffed lightly. 

    “I did. But, I mean, how? He’s very strong, and although you’re strong, too, I don’t know if you could beat All Might in a one-to-one fight.” Izuku admitted sheepishly. 

    “I know! But Sensei gave us a secret weapon to use.” 

    Izuku suddenly felt his whole body go cold. 

    He was familiar with Sensei, of course. He was just about Tomucchan’s favorite person. Izuku was even mildly aware that it was Sensei who gave him his allowance, a place to live, and food to eat. He’d never take that for granted, and he appreciated Sensei very much. 

    But there was this primal feeling inside of him who hated Sensei, as unreasonable as it was. It would make his whole body shut down when he saw him, it would give him phantom pains as if he was being ripped open. His arm was starting to ache even now, just by the mention of his name. 

    Izuku really tried to stop the knee jerk reaction. He knew he shouldn’t be acting that way. But, oddly enough, Sensei said that he understood. He didn’t interact with Izuku directly unless it was absolutely necessary. But that still didn’t stop the pains. 

    “Izuku?” Tomucchan poked his forehead. “I’m here!” Izuku assured. 

    “As I was saying, we have the means to defeat All Might. We even have his schedule; he’s going to be babysitting a bunch of stupid heroes later this week. And we’re going to crash the party.” Tomucchan grinned. 

    Izuku nodded. “Do you have enough manpower to deal with the other heroes?” He asked softly. “Of course. We have some low level thugs, but there are a lot of them. They’ll be hard to deal with.” Tomucchan paused. “Do you want to go, Izuku?”

    “Me?” Izuku was surprised. Tomucchan knew how he felt about violence, and without a good physical quirk, it wasn’t like he could fight anyone off. 

    “I usually wouldn’t ask, but in all the chaos, they won’t notice a small brat like you.” He ruffled Izuku’s hair a little. “I know you like to watch quirks and stuff.” 

    “I do.” Izuku nodded, mildly serious. “That’d be a great learning opportunity.” He muttered, before straightening up. “I’ll go, Tomucchan! I’ll write tons of notes, and it’ll help you a ton!” Tomucchan chuckled in response. “Okay, Kid.” 

    The Big Day TM rolled around quickly for Izuku. He had wished Todoroki-kun luck that morning due to some field trip he had, and bundled up in his “villain suit”. In actuality, there was nothing very special or villainy about it. But the hoodie was darker than Izuku usually wore, and the hood was big enough to hopefully make him less noticeable. He had a little pen and a notebook for his analysis, and his boots were special in that they had a grip so he couldn’t slip. Overall important, but nothing flashy or particularly exciting. 

    Not in the way that Tomucchan dressed up, though, with all of his weird hands. To hide his face, he had said. Izuku thought that he just wanted to look scary. 

    Tomucchan had gathered a ton of villains, none of them particularly powerful. Whatever Tomucchan’s secret weapon was, Izuku couldn’t see it. He hoped that it was as good as Tomucchan said; otherwise, Tomucchan would be disappointed, and in a bad enough mood that even Izuku wouldn’t want to deal with it. 

    With all of that planning, they all teleported into wherever Tomucchan had decided All Might was going to be. Izuku had waited behind them. After all, they wanted as little attention on Izuku as possible. So he waited for Kurogiri’s signal and stepped inside. 

Chapter Text

    Izuku knew that Kurogiri was a smart man. He had to watch over him and Tomucchan, of course, which was no easy task. He was a mediator and dare Izuku say, valued friend. So it would make sense that Kurogiri would not drop him off in the heat of battle. 

    Instead, Izuku was dropped off just on the shoreline of a lake. It was startlingly close to the boat, where two heroes stood, but they had their attention focused on the dozens of villains surrounding the boat. 

    Tomucchan had definitely come prepared. 

    The first student was a girl with green hair not unlike Izuku’s own, and by the way she carried herself and her costume, it didn’t take long for Izuku to realize she had some kind of frog quirk. More interestingly, though, she seemed very confident in the face of the enemies. Not that Izuku would expect less from pro heroes. 

    The other student was taller and less approachable, with wild purple hair and bags under his eyes. He seemed equally as confident, but carried it less with determination like the frog girl and more like he was underestimating the villains. Izuku had no idea what his quirk was, but guessed it was something mental with how he didn’t seem to have any oddities with his appearance. 

    The boy stepped forward and said, “Do you really think you can beat the two most powerful students at UA? I’ve seen kittens that are more threatening than a couple of thugs playing dress up.” 

    The villains bristled at the insult. A lot of them started giving out their own jeers. “We’re most powerful then a kid, that’s for sure.”

    “We’re going to crush you.”

    “If you’re so strong, then jump in the water.” 

    The boy smirked a little. “Then prove yourself. Fight for me.” He stood there, waiting. Some of the crowd laughed in response. “Does this kid think we’re stupid?” One asked. But, interestingly, a majority of the thugs did start attacking one another. 

    The boy stepped back, nodding to the girl. “We’re ready, Tsuyu-chan.” She suddenly jumped into the air, grabbing the boy with her tongue towards the heat of the action.

    Izuku was fascinated, making sure to write everything he could in his notebook without being seen by the pair. And once he was satisfied, he ran towards another area. Izuku decided it would be best to stay out of the thick of the fight, and instead went to a nearby landslide. 

    It was fascinating, how many different scenarios they had to train inside. He would have thought that heroes got enough experience in the field, but it can never hurt, he supposed. 

    Then Izuku almost slipped. He definitely would have, if he didn’t have those little spikes in his shoes. The entire ground was covered in a thin layer of ice. 

    What kind of pro hero would have a quirk this powerful and flashy, only for Izuku to never have heard of it? It looked familiar, at least, so maybe that was why. He just hadn’t done enough research. Maybe- 


    Izuku looked up to the startling gave of Todoroki-kun and stopped. He seemed perfectly unharmed, aside for the coldness of his breath. He was surrounded by villains, all of them frozen solid. “Todoroki-kun? What are you doing here?” He asked softly. But, of course, he knew exactly what he was doing there. 

    Todoroki-kun was going on some kind of field trip today. All Might was supposed to be babysitting a bunch of heroes here. Why would professional heroes need babysitting? Unless… The heroes he needed to look after weren’t professionals at all. Unless they were actually heroes in training. 

    Izuku was helping Tomucchan kill a bunch of school kids. Todoroki-kun and his classmates. 

    “Midoriya, how did you get passed the USJ’s security?” Todoroki-kun sounded more frantic. 

    “I can explain, I just need a minute.” Izuku assured. “I’m still- Todoroki-kun, your teacher. All Might. They’re going to kill him.” 

    “I know that, Midoriya. Why do you know that?” 

    “I didn’t mean to hurt you classmates. I didn’t think they would be here.” Izuku felt his breath speed up.


    “I didn’t think you would be here. You guys aren’t heroes yet.” His chest tightened. He stumbled back, squeezing his hands tight. Todoroki-kun was here. He could have been hurt, and it would have been all Izuku’s fault. For not warning him. For not realizing that, of course someone as powerful as Todoroki-kun would go to a school famous enough to have All Might teaching. 

    For being a villain.

    “Midoriya, behind you!” Todoroki-kun yelled out. Izuku was startled as something slammed into his back. He was winded, and tasted the dirt in his mouth. His wrists were grabbed roughly, and dug into his back. He was very uncomfortable. “FUCKING HALF ‘N HALF BASTARD, DON’T JUST STAND THERE.” Izuku knew that voice. 

    “Kacchan? Kacchan, please-” 

    “Shut up!” Explosions exploded from Kacchan’s hands, singeing Izuku. “Bakugo, who is that?” Another red haired boy ran up to them, watching Izuku with a mix of fear and curiosity. “This shitty nerd keeps running away.” Kacchan growled, pressing more into Izuku’s back.

    “Kacchan, your friends are in trouble, stop-!” Izuku squirmed. 

“Bakugo, let him go.” Todoroki-kun insisted. “He’s not going to hurt anyone.” 

    “And who are you to know that, huh, Icyhot?” Kacchan yelled. “Just because you spoke to him for two minutes you think you know him?” 

    “How long I’ve known Midoriya isn’t your concern.” Todoroki-kun huffed. “If you don’t let him go so he can explain, I’ll make you.” 


    “Bakugo, Todoroki, don’t fight our classmates!” The red boy interrupted. 

    “He can explain right here under my fists!” Kacchan tightened his grip on Izuku. 

    “It’s a long story,” Izuku insisted. “But everyone’s in trouble. Tomucchan - he’s the leader - he wants to kill All Might, but he’s not here, right? Or else I’d hear him. So that means that Tomucchan is going to be upset. He might hurt your friends.” Izuku tried to talk as fast as possible. 

    “Your brother, he’s the leader?” Todoroki-kun asked. Izuku nodded as best he could under Kacchan’s weight. 

    “Deku doesn’t have a fucking brother!” Kacchan yelled, pressing into Izuku more. “This is all bullshit!” 

    “I have a brother,” Izuku explained, “But we might not have met since before the accident.” 

    “What accident?” Kacchan’s voice went startlingly cold. 

    “The one, um, two years ago? The reason why I lost my memory.” Izuku winced. 

    “There was no accident, fucker. You just disappeared for no goddamn reason!” 

    “What???” The red boy looked very, very confused. 

    Izuku wanted to explain more, but suddenly, a warp gate opened under him, and he fell through with Kacchan. Tomucchan snarled, shoving Kacchan off. “We’ve lost, Izuku. Get in the gate.” Tomucchan looked awful. He was bloody, but even worse, absolutely livid. 

    Kacchan reached out towards Izuku. “Get back here! Get back here right now, Deku, you hear me?!” In the few memories Izuku was given, he was fairly certain he had a solid grasp on Kacchan’s personality. He was loud. He was mean. He was strong, strong enough to put Izuku in awe. He tended to be very confident in whatever he did. 

    He was not confident, Izuku thought, as Kacchan tried to grab his hood and missed. As he went to yank Izuku’s arm out of Tomucchan’s grasp. As Tomucchan pushed him out of the way, his quirk disintegrating some of Kacchan’s side. 

    “IZUKU!” He yelled. His voice sounded so pained, so full of emotion. Izuku’s heart ached. 

    Izuku was sick. He was very, very sick, and his mother worried because a three year old was way too small to be getting sick like this. He coughed loudly, clutching the blanket in his hands. He looks over to the small boy watching him. 

    “Kacchan? What if I die before I get my quirk?”

    The blond looks angry. “No you won’t! You have to be a hero, Deku! I’ll protect you, even if you stay sick forever.”

    “Do you promise?”


    He didn’t keep his promise. 

    Izuku stumbled out of his memory, turning to see Kacchan. But all he saw was the bar’s wall behind him. 

Chapter Text

    Logically, Izuku had known that he had to face his lifestyle eventually. For all his friendship bracelets and hatred of others in pain, Izuku was undoubtedly a villain. From living with two wanted criminals, to helping Tomucchan scheme, to giving Tomucchan information on anything he asked for, he was in much to deep to be qualified as a witness. The world would simply have less deaths if Izuku hadn’t interacted so closely with Tomucchan. 

    Besides, Todoroki-kun was training to be a hero. He wasn’t just like a majority of the population, holding onto an unrealistic dream. He was attending highschool at the most prestigious hero academy. He was being taught how to be a hero by All Might. And he was Izuku’s best friend. His only friend, really, if he considered Tomucchan and Kurogiri family (he did). 

    Izuku existed in a weird middle ground. He didn’t hate villains or heroes. He could see how Tomucchan became the way he did, but he could also see the appeal of having people like Todoroki-kun watching you, making you feel safe. 

    He was neutral. 

    But, of course, Todoroki-kun didn’t think that way. And Izuku still hadn’t explained. If he was going to keep his friendship, he had to tell him something. So, with reluctance, he texted Todoroki-kun. 

Todoroki-kun <3

Todoroki-kun <3: Midoriya?
Todoroki-kun <3: Are you okay?
Todoroki-kun <3: I’m not mad but I need to know if you’re okay.

its a long story. meet me?
You sent an address.

Todoroki-kun <3: I’ll be there in ten. 

    The cafe that Izuku had chosen was quiet, but their drinks were good and it was a comfortable atmosphere. Not that Izuku was terribly comfortable in that moment. He did anything to keep himself busy; the pens he kept for analysis were out and organized in color order, then alphabetically, then how much he liked the color, then by how much ink was in the pen, then back to colors. 

    His attention shot up with the soft chime of the door opening. Todoroki-kun looked tired. His eyes were red, and he was sporting a heavy set of bags. His hair, which Izuku had never seen out of place (even after he ran his fingers through it), was sticking up in certain places. His clothes were disheveled; one sleeve rolled up more than the other, a shirt tucked in halfway, wrinkles, that sort of thing. Izuku felt pained when he realized that he had done that. 

    When Todoroki-kun saw Izuku, he swore he saw him exhale. “Midoriya,” He breathed, going to sit across from him. His motions were cautious, as if Izuku was a wild animal that could be scared off. Maybe it was true. 

    “Is everyone okay?” Izuku asked, fiddling with his hands nervously. “I don’t doubt your classmates’ ability, but there were a lot of them, and…” 

    Todoroki-kun stopped him. “Mostly everyone is okay. A few injuries here and there, but there were only a couple of injuries, but they were really... Aizawa-sensei, my teacher, and my classmate Shinso are in critical condition.” 

    “I’m sorry.” Izuku whispered, tearing up. “If I knew… Tomucchan. He’s, um, a villain.” 

    “I guessed as much.” 

    Izuku cringed. “He wants to kill All Might. Ever since I can remember, that’s all he’s ever wanted. I’ve supported him. I mean, he’s my big brother, so I have to, right? But I didn’t think he’d get enough resources to actually try it. And I didn’t think he would take to murdering children.”

    Todoroki-kun softened. “Why do you stay with him, Midoriya? He’s a villain. He’s hurting people.”

    “Because he’s my big brother! Tomucchan may be working outside the law, but he has good intentions.” Izuku insisted. 

    “What are his intentions, then, Midoriya? Because I fail to see how wanting to kill a popular hero comes from a good heart.” 

    Izuku got ready to tell him about how good Tomucchan was. About how he helped others. But… What exactly did he have on the goodness of Tomucchan? Tomucchan was grumpy, and had a hard time showing affection. He didn’t care about anyone but himself, Sensei, and probably Kurogiri and Izuku. He wanted to kill All Might for a few reasons, but the chief one was that All Might annoyed him. 

    Then Izuku had something to offer. 

    “I was thirteen,” Izuku blurted out. “And it had been a couple months since the accident. I had this really awful nightmare. I can’t remember what it was out. But I- I woke up screaming. And then Tomucchan opened my door and asked why I was crying. I told him I was having a nightmare and I started apologizing. Tomucchan grumbled about me being a baby, but you know what he did? 

    He stayed in my bed, watching over me while he was playing a game, and made sure I slept well. He was still in my bed the next morning. And that- that’s why I want to help Tomucchan. Because he loves me! And if I helped him, well then maybe he’d be happy. And that’s all I want.” He fiddled with his hands, refusing to look at Todoroki-kun. 

    Todoroki-kun sighed, pausing. “Midoriya, that doesn’t change the fact that he hurt my classmates.”

    “I know. But I have to try and help him. So he won’t hurt people like that anymore.” 

    “I should be calling the police about all of this.” Todoroki-kun warned. Izuku smiled sadly. “I know. I just have to hope that you don’t. If- if things get out of hand, you can call, okay?”

    Todoroki-kun nodded. “And you should probably explain this to Bakugo and Kirishima. They keep asking me questions. It’s a miracle I haven’t been burned yet.” 

    Izuku frowned. “Who?”

    “Bakugo, your ‘Kacchan’. He probably wouldn’t like it if you called him that, though. He’s the angry one in my class. Remember?” 

    Izuku laughed airily, remembering the tales of the explosive boy in Todoroki-kun’s class who seemed to have a personal vendetta against him. “And so the other boy who was there is Kirishima, right? The one with the red hair.” 

    Todoroki-kun nodded. “He’s nice enough, a little loud. One of Bakugo’s friends.” 

    Izuku lit up. “What is Kacchan’s friends like?”

    He smirked slightly, amused. “Well. There are five of them. They’re all… Kind of airheads, if I’m being honest. I think they started hanging out with Bakugo to help with studying? But, well, then Bakugo started eating lunch with them. And then they found out you can dare him to do anything if you claim he isn’t brave enough to do it. And it kind of went downhill from there.” Todoroki-kun shrugged. 

    Izuku imagined the Kacchan from his resurfacing memories with the explosive boy Todoroki-kun described. It was easy to link them together. And, maybe, Izuku could see it first hand. Maybe they could be friends. 

    Izuku liked that thought. 

Chapter Text

    If you were to ask Katsuki what it meant to be a hero, it’d be an easy question. Heroes are successful. Heroes are people who never lost. And Katsuki? He had been a prime example. He had a powerful quirk. He had the smarts, both street and book, to match it. He was always the best. 

    But then Katsuki lost something. He shouldn’t have been affected by Deku’s disappearance. He was annoying. He was weak. He was useless. Katsuki had made sure, over and over, that Deku knew that. But when Deku went missing, he had to face the hard truths. Deku wasn’t just gone for no reason. 

    He was asked upsetting questions. Was he bullied? Did he have any friends? Did you and Midoriya-kun fight, before the incident? And when he saw Aunt Inko, sobbing in the middle of Deku’s room, right in front of a shrine littered with flowers, he was hit with the realization. He had done this. The police claimed in a mystery, but Katsuki knew better. Deku left on purpose, because of Katsuki’s cruel actions. 

    Katsuki decided to try and do better. He made an effort not to yell at his classmates, even if they were being annoying extras. When he had nothing better to do, he would cook food to send to an organization dedicated to helping families dealing with loss. 

    They were sent a lot of katsudon. 

    Ever since UA, he started losing more and more. Academically, Ponytail and Four Eyes always seemed to get higher grades than him. And physically, Icyhot always managed to be just a little bit stronger. Katsuki couldn’t be a hero, not when he kept losing. 

    And when he went to grab for Deku’s hood, he lost. He felt the soft material on his fingertips, tickling him, teasing him. He saw Deku’s face, mildly hurt and confused, eyes unfocused. He saw how Deku, stupid, sweet, naive Deku, didn’t fight back from the grasp of the villain. He stumbled harmlessly into the black mist, as if he couldn’t have done a single d**ned thing to escape. 

    Because he hadn’t wanted to. 

    Katsuki was angry. At stupid Deku, who hadn’t fought against the villains taking him. At the villain, with his stupid grin and stupider hands littering his body, who probably took Deku in the first place. But he was mostly at himself, for continuing to lose. He kept losing. 

    After Deku left, the other two villains were gone, too. Where they had once been was startling empty. The air was chilled, unnatural. The whole facility seemed to be put under a spell. 

    It was so quiet. 

    Only a minute later, the pros came in. All Might and Present Mic ran forward, making sure everyone was safe and sound. Aizawa-sensei and Eyebags were hurt, critically so. A lot of the other kids had minor scrapes and bruises, but nothing too bad. 

    Katsuki seethed as the doctors checked him out. “I’m fine. ” He hissed. “I have things I need to do, Assholes!” The head doctor sighed, but nodded. “You seem healthy, Bakugo-kun, but take it easy. Okay?” He went to pat Katsuki’s head, but Katsuki yanked back. “Don’t touch me!” 

    “Bakugo!” Katsuki looked over and saw Shitty Hair, waving and walking over. He had a smile, but it was strained. Fake. Katsuki tsked and looked away. From day one, he had been annoyingly cheerful. Sitting at his desk, chatting as if Katsuki was just a wonder at conversation. It was a wonder he hadn’t murdered him ages ago. 

    But it had been nice, to rely on him during the USJ attack. Just a little bit.

    “Hey, Man, are you alright? You don’t have to talk about it, but you seemed pretty upset-”

    Katsuki cut him off. “I’m fine! Come here.” He grabbed Shark Teeth’s arm roughly, dragging him off. All of these people were extras, but worse, they were so fucking nosy. Knowing Katsuki’s luck, one of these assholes would recognize Deku’s name and do something incredibly stupid. No, there was only one person he trusted with this new development. And he was currently in the ICU. 

    Katsuki grabbed Icyhot, too, who had been given a blanket to help with his stupid drawback. He had enough power to defeat Katsuki, but he could be defeated from being a little cold? Dumbass. 

    “Bakugo, let go of me.” Icyhot narrowed his eyes. 

    “We need to talk , Half n Half, so you’re coming with me.” Katsuki hissed. Icyhot sighed and followed along, S**tty Hair shooting an apologetic look. Annoying. 

    Katsuki found a quiet spot away from the crowd, shaded by a large tree. It was painfully peaceful in the midst of tragedy. 

    “So, how the fuck do you know Deku, huh?” He crossed his arms, glaring daggers at Icyhot. 

    “I don’t know who you’re referring to.” Icyhot deadpanned. 

    “Don’t give me that bullshit! You were having a friendly chat while all these fuckers tried to kill everyone.” Katsuki accused. 

    “Are you talking about Midoriya?” Icyhot raised an eyebrow. 

    Katsuki’s hands erupted in tiny explosions. Who the fuck did he think he was? “Obviously.” 

    “That’s a very interesting nickname, Kacchan. ” 


    “Dudes!” Shitty Hair interrupted. “Stop fighting! Who is Midoriya? How did he get into the USJ?” 

    “Midoriya is a friend of mine.” Icyhot explained. “He was brought here by one of the villains. He’s living with them, I think. He’s never mentioned his brother being a villain before, but that doesn’t seem like something you would advertise to someone you’ve only known for less than a year.” 

    “And Bakugo, you know him, too?” Shitty Hair looked over at Katsuki. 

    “That Stupid Nerd has been following me around like a damned puppy since we were in diapers.” Katsuki grunted. “Has a stupid nickname for me and all that shit. Then he went missing a few years back.” 

    “The accident.” Icyhot mumbled. Katsuki’s head snapped to him. “The what?” “Midoriya had an accident when he was twelve. He lost his memories, and his brother won’t give him details. That’d be rather convenient when kidnapping a child to groom, wouldn’t it?”

    “Okay, Sherlock. What the fuck would they want with stupid, useless, quirkless Deku?” Katsuki snapped. 

    Icyhot looked confused. “Bakugo, Midoriya has a quirk.” 

    Katsuki felt chills down his whole body. “No, he doesn’t. Has the foot to prove it.”

    Shitty Hair shifted nervously. “This all seems pretty weird. What are we going to do?” Explosions danced in Katsuki’s hands. 

    “We get that fucker back home, of course.” 

    Shouta was not having a fantastic time. Those villains had done a number on him, and he had been stuck in the hospital for the last few weeks. His hospital room was usually occupied, either by a worried student, the police force, or Hizashi. It took Shouta days to convince the idiot to go home and get some sleep, but even after that, he was a very frequent visitor. He even managed to sneak one of their cats into the room; how he managed that, Shouta had no idea. 

    So when the hospital door opened, he was not particularly surprised. Not until he saw Todoroki and Bakugo enter. 

    With those two brought trouble. Great. 

    Bakugo talked first. “I have an update on the Izuku Midoriya case, and I wasn’t about to give it to some damned extra.” 

    Shouta groaned. “This would be best to give to the police. But go ahead.” 

    “We encountered Midoriya at the USJ.” Todoroki continued. “I’ve been friends with Midoriya for awhile now; I had no idea of his status as a missing person.” He paused. “...He asked me specifically not to tell the police about what I know, so I hope you consider what you tell the police carefully.” 

    Shouta should have been surprised. This was, for all intents and purposes, a ridiculous coincidence. But all things considered, these children were starting to prove to be trouble magnets. Problem Children. He sighed, before nodding. “I can’t promise to hide anything from the authorities. But I’ll keep anything I think will do Midoriya more harm than good. What do you know?”

    Todoroki kept talking, while Bakugo was strangely silent. “Midoriya had an accident when he was twelve years old, which made him lose all of his memories. He’s recently felt as if his family have been hiding things from him, so he’s been researching into their organization. He kept talking about his brother, who he calls ‘Tomucchan’. He told me that he is a villain.”

    Shouta’s veins ran closed. “The villain in charge of the attack. His name is Tomura Shigaraki.” 

    There was a tense pause as the boys took in the information. Midoriya was living with villains. He was probably helping him, if he was at the USJ. He was an accomplice, at the very least. Shigaraki was not some small-time thug. 

    “Sensei.” Bakugo spoke up gruffly. 


    “Look. I’ve known that idiot for as long as I can remember. He’s a lot of things. He’s annoying, he’s stupidly naive, but there’s one thing I can say with certainty. Deku? He is not a villain. I know that.” 

    Shouta hummed softly. “I hope so, Bakugo. We’ll keep that in mind.” 

Chapter Text

    Izuku knew, when all was said and done, Tomucchan was a good person. He didn’t smile often, but Izuku was long past the point of noticing certain cues. When he was proud of Izuku, he’d ruffle his hair. When he was content, he’d make a quick not-really-mean comment and turn away. 

    Tomucchan, who stayed up with Izuku through nightmares. Tomucchan, who bought him a new notebook with little bunnies on the cover because “it reminded me of you”. Tomucchan, who was quick to throw out anyone, ally or not, who made fun of Izuku for being cute and soft. 

    Tomucchan, who actively tried to kill 19 students in his quest to kill the Symbol of Peace. Tomucchan, who might be keeping secrets from Izuku. Tomucchan, who follows every order of the man who makes Izuku’s skin crawl and his arm explode with phantom pain. 

    Izuku couldn’t just… Leave it be. He had to say something. 

    Izuku wandered into the bar, where Tomucchan sat, playing some kind of game. He looked more tired than usual. The bar was surprisingly empty; I suppose a big job being a failure wasn’t good for business. 

    “I’m sorry, Tomucchan.” Izuku said softly. He had avoided Tomucchan for almost a week, by this point, and he supposed that he didn’t have the patience to deal with Izuku’s little fit.

    “For what?” Tomucchan looked over, mildly curious. 

    “For- for you failing.” Izuku frowned. “I can’t imagine having a useless kid on the team helped you with your goal.” 

    “You aren’t useless, don’t be an idiot.” Tomucchan pushed a finger against Izuku’s forehead. “You were supposed to get us valuable information. What did you find out about the little heroes, anyway?” 

    Izuku thought about the two students he saw on the boat. He thought about how powerful both their quirks are, about the pages he had written in his notebook upstairs. 

    “Can I ask you a question, Todoroki-kun?”

    “Of course.” 

    “One of the students, he had some kind of vocal quirk. Suggestion, maybe? He had purple hair and seemed kind of tired. Who was he?” 

    “That was my classmate, Shinso.”

    “The one in the hospital?” 

    “Yes. He had some injuries during the fight, he was caught in the thick of it all.” 

    Izuku didn’t tell Tomucchan about the boy’s quirk. Instead, he said, “I noticed that they weren’t heroes at all. They were- they were my age.” 

    “They’re heroes in training. The same thing.” Tomucchan scowled a little. “If you let them be, they’ll grow up the exact same as All Might.” 

    “And what makes him so bad, anyway?” Izuku pressed. He was shaking a little. Scared. Tomucchan has never hit you, he tried to convince himself. You’ve never challenged him before. Not that you remember, anyway. His quirk supplied back. 

    “He’s annoying. ” Tomucchan waved his hand. “Always talking about peace, and unity. It makes the public like docile little sheep.” 

    “Is that really a bad thing? I mean, he makes people happy. He’s not hurting anyone.” Izuku insisted. 

    In a flash, Tomucchan grabbed a glass and squeezed it into dust. 

    Oh no. He was upset. 

    “Do you know what your precious little All Might would do if he met you, Izuku? He would kill you. Because you are a villain. We are villains. He doesn’t care about whether or not you killed anyone, or that you’re a sweet kid. And you are a sweet kid. But do you know what society does with sweet, naive, stupid kids like you? They chew you up and spit you out. You’re lucky that I found you when I did. That Sensei saved you.” 

    Izuku’s voice raised into a firm, loud tone. “You- you think that I’m stupid, Tomura?” 

    “Look at that, Little Izuku, trying to be all tough when he can barely call someone by some stupid kiddy nickname. ” 

    Tomucchan didn’t know what he was talking about. He may think that Izuku was weak and useless, but he wasn’t. He didn’t know what he was talking about. He had been blessed with such a powerful quirk, and what was he using it for? To bully a small quirkless boy? Kacchan needed to-

    But Izuku wasn’t quirkless. This wasn’t a memory of Izuku as a small, helpless child in the hands of a bully. He was strong. “ All Might wouldn’t hurt a bunch of children for- for some petty grudge! I’d rather help him than someone like you, Tomura, because you aren’t a villain. You’re evil.

    “Don’t call me that!” Tomucchan grabbed Izuku’s wrist, holding four fingers to it. “You have no idea what you’re talking about, Izuku!” 

    Danger danger he’s going to hurt you Todoroki-kun would never hurt you why are you here run- 

    Izuku took a deep breath, before yanking his wrist away. And he ran. 

    Izuku had settled in a small park. It was quaint, free of children. The sun was setting over the nearby apartment building, shimmering with light that made the whole scene feel like a dream. Maybe Izuku was dreaming. 

    Looking back, maybe Izuku had made a few tiny mistakes. He shouldn’t have tried to provoke a villain, not when he was so weak. But Tomucchan had never put a hand on Izuku before. He had barely even raised his voice. 

    He was crying in a room, barren and empty. He wanted to go home. He wanted to see his mom. His arm hurt hurt hurt so bad why did it hurt- 

    His headache was worse, pounding and raging and so very hungry. What was there to see, in this room? He needed needed needed to look for an escape, for something, anything. 

    The figure appeared in the room, misty and black and imposing. He was so dark so scary he must have some kind of teleportation quirk was his whole body mist no there was something solid in the center maybe if he could find some way to knock him out he could get out out out- 

    “Sensei wants to see you, again. What is your name?” 

    His name his name what was his name? He didn’t want to go back it hurt it hurt so much he must be having his memory messed with why is everything so fuzzy what was his n a m e 

    “Oh dear, that won’t do at all. You’ll feel better eventually, Midoriya.” 

    No no he didn’t want to go back s t o p. 

    Izuku was suffocating. That memory wasn’t the small, quaint moments with certain loud boys or moments in a bedroom drawing pictures of heroes. Izuku was shaking. He was scared. His arm throbbed to his left, faint but still distressing. 

    He had always had a kind of irrational fear of Sensei. He didn’t like his deep voice, he didn’t like how the man always seemed to be two steps ahead of Izuku. He didn’t like how Sensei called him child, as if dismissing Izuku as anything more than a small pet for Tomucchan’s amusement. 

    He always thought that, despite the close link, Tomucchan hadn’t felt the same way. Tomucchan loved him, after all, and made an effort to keep Izuku away from Sensei. But then why was Kurogiri involved? Did Tomucchan know more than he let on? 

    Izuku was hot and cold and scared, but in the approaching darkness, he saw a figure. He was a little taller than Izuku, and a good deal bulkier. His face was settled in a permanent scowl, his eyes judging Izuku as if deciding if Izuku was worth his time. He was sweaty - maybe he had just stopped from a workout? His voice was quiet, not necessarily soft but much much softer than Izuku was used to. The wind filtered through Izuku’s hair. 

    The boy took a single step closer, hesitant, as if Izuku was a scared animal. He was, especially after the sudden and brash memory. 


Chapter Text

    Izuku let out a strangled sob. He was so overwhelmed, anxiety rushing into every inch of his body. He didn’t know what to think or do he was suffocating help- 

    Kacchan quickened his pace, until he was close enough to touch. God, Izuku needed a hug. “What are you crying for, Dumbass?” He grunted, but there was something in his voice that Izuku caught onto. He was nervous. 

    “I don’t know what to do, Kacchan.” Izuku forced out, hugging his knees. “I don’t know.” 

    It mildly occured to Izuku that Kacchan, for all intents and purposes, was not on his side. A few years of a childhood friendship Izuku barely remembered didn’t help that, in both of his meetings with the loud boy, he had tried to kill him. Kacchan had a clear agenda; throw Izuku into the depths of society, where he would be punished for his time with Tomucchan, or kill Izuku trying. Neither of those options sounded particularly entertaining. 

    But maybe a small part of Izuku wanted to go back, consequences be damned. Deep down, a small Izuku grasped for that kind of familiarity, even if it was mostly subconscious. This was Kacchan, who was brave and strong and knew what to do. Izuku needed that. 

    “I know what you’re going to do.” He sat down besides Izuku, carelessly throwing an arm around Izuku. He was warm, and Izuku’s heart fluttered with familiarity. Izuku had needed the touch of a friend. “You’re going to march up to whatever a**hole villain is keeping you, and you’re going to kick him in the dick. ” 

    Izuku’s laugh was airy and strange to his own ears. He wiped away tears. “That’s a terrible idea, Kacchan.” 

    “I don’t see you coming up with anything better.” Kacchan raised an eyebrow. 

    “I’ll think of something.” Izuku let out a shaky breath. “You’re not trying to blow me up, this time.” 

    “What is that supposed to mean?”

    “You don’t seem like the person packed to the brim with tact, is all.” 

    Kacchan shoved Izuku, but it wasn’t antagonistic. It was oddly friendly, even. “FUCK YOU! I’M ALL TACT, DEKU!”

    He had to have seen the way Izuku flinched at the nickname, because his frown became more troubled. “What?”

    “Nothing! I mean… Do you think I’m useless, Kacchan?” Izuku waited nervously for the answer. As nice as Kacchan was being, that didn’t change his opinion. 

    “Well, you survived living with those dumbfuck villains, didn’t you?” Kacchan shrugged. 

    “I don’t know. It’s not really that hard.” Izuku smiled softly. Kacchan nodded. “Hey, Izuku?” 

    “Yeah?” Izuku brightened up more at the name. 

    “What’s your quirk?” 

    Izuku frowned. Well, that didn’t make sense. If he and Kacchan had been childhood friends, how didn’t he know Izuku’s quirk? As subtle as it was, Izuku had to have told him at some point. “You don’t know? It’s called Observe. I can notice little things. Like- you just came back from jogging, right, Kacchan? Because you were sweating when you arrived, but it wouldn’t make sense for someone to be working out in the middle of a park. And- and right now, you’re nervous. Your hands are clenched. Your quirk has something to do with explosions if I remember correctly and they’re kind of crackling in your hand and-”

    “I get it.” Kacchan interrupted. “That’s such a nerdy quirk. Perfect for a fucking dork like you.” 

    “Was I like that, when I was younger? A dork?” Izuku leaned forward slightly, intrigued. 

    “The biggest.” Kacchan snorted. “Your room back home is covered in All Might merch. I’ve forgotten the color of the walls.” 

    Izuku blushed slightly. “That’s interesting. I lived with my mom, right? Inko-san?” 

    “Don’t call your mom by her first name, it’s fucking rude.” Kacchan tsked. “But yeah, it was you two. Aunt Inko loved you to death. She’s short - even shorter than you. Really sweet, too much for her own good. I have a picture.” Kacchan reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone, finding a picture and showing it to Izuku. 

    Izuku’s breath caught in his throat. This woman - his mother - was so… right. Izuku could look at the way her smiles were nervous and how her hands folded in her lap, no doubt being fiddled with, and he had no doubt in his mind. She was his mother. 

    “I want to see her, one day.” Izuku whispered. Kacchan nodded, narrowing his eyes at him. 

    “You will, Izuku. One day.” 

    When Izuku walked into the bar, Kurogiri and Tomura were waiting for him. Izuku could feel all of the fear rush into his system. 

    He had, of course, known that they weren’t going to just forget Izuku’s little fight with Tomura. Izuku had said some pretty bad things, according to the League’s views. And it didn’t make sense for them to just let that go. 

    What if Izuku decided to rebel? Go run to the heroes? He supposed that Todoroki-kun and Kacchan were already pretty bad, not that Izuku had breathed a word about either of the boys. That would not have gone over well.

    “Midoriya.” Kurogiri spoke first. “How is your little tantrum doing?”

    Oh dear, that won’t do at all. 

    Izuku’s fists clenched. He definitely hadn’t changed his mind, not in so little time. But he thought about the lines he had prepared to say. Kacchan’s advice, too, which had been less than helpful but sweet nonetheless. Sweet for him, anyway. It had mostly consisted of beating Tomura up. 

    “I was overreacting.” Izuku said softly. “I shouldn’t have… I know Tomura has a good cause,” Lie. “And it was kind of a shock, if I’m being honest. Those students - they were my age. But Tomura knows what he’s doing.” Lie. Izuku smiled a practiced, sickly sweet smile. 

    “You understand where you were wrong, right, Izuku?” Kurogiri sounded so condescending. Izuku had never noticed it, but the tiny little memory made it so painfully clear. He didn’t care about Izuku. 

    “Yes, Kurogiri.” 

    Kurogiri nudged Tomura, who scowled. “You were being stupid. But- you’re not stupid all the time, I guess.” Tomura was clearly uncomfortable. He had barely raised his voice at Izuku before, let alone have Izuku fight back. That Izuku remembered, anyway. It was starting to get annoying to second guess everything. 

    He never had to second guess with Todoroki-kun. 

    “Thank you, Tomura.” Izuku breathed. Tomura tensed, but didn’t say anything other than a soft grunt. 

    “I’m going upstairs. Don’t follow me.” Izuku nodded, and after Tomura went up the stairs, he went to follow to his own room. Kurogiri stopped him. 

    “Midoriya, one last thing. If this rebellion keeps up, we’ll have no choice but to get Sensei involved.” 

    Izuku’s blood ran cold. His arm flaired with pain, but something new happened. His quirk started yelling at him. 

    Stop stop get away he’s going to hurt you you need to run get away RUN ESCAPE- 

    Izuku steeled himself, took a steady breath, and nodded. He took each step with all of his concentration. And when he went into his room, he cried. 

Chapter Text

    When Izuku was invited to the beach by Todoroki-kun, he had been pleasantly surprised. Todoroki-kun was very shy, he had figured out, and usually waited for Izuku to make plans. He wasn’t forward like that. 

    But the small gratification Izuku got from the invite was nothing compared to the shock finding out that Todoroki-kun had also wanted to invite Kacchan and Kirishima-kun. Had they become friends, somehow? It was hard for Izuku to imagine the explosive and loud Kacchan to get along with the soft spoken and blunt Todoroki-kun. Despite that, Izuku was quick to say yes. He was excited to see how the two got along. 

    They didn’t. At all. 

    This first became apparent to Izuku when he first spotted the boys, trying to set up a beachsite. 

    “Bakugo, you can’t put down the towel like that. You’ll get sand everywhere.” 

    “You’re in a beach, Icyhot! Sand is EVERYWHERE!” 

    “It won’t be on the towel, if you set it down right.” 

    “I’LL KILL YOU!”

    “Bakugo, Todoroki, can we please chill-” 


    Izuku smiled. His friends may have been arguing, but it was admittedly nice to see them interact. Without trying to kill Izuku, anyway. “Hey, guys!” He looked over to the red haired boy, recognizing him instantly. “Kirishima-kun, right?” 

    “Yeah!” The boy grinned, showing off sharp white dazzling teeth. He patted Izuku’s arm. “And you’re Midoriya. Bakugo talks about you.” 

    “I do not!” Explosions crackled in Bakugo’s hands. “Izuku, tell Icyhot that he’s being a little princess about getting dirty.” 

    Todoroki-kun glanced over, and Izuku noticed a gleam in his eye. Oh no. He had an idea, and a mischievous one at that. “Yes, Izuku, help us settle the issue.” 

    He would have been lying if he said he hadn’t felt his heart flutter at how Todoroki-kun called him Izuku. 

    Kacchan’s head snapped towards Todoroki-kun. “Oi! What the fuck did you call him???” 

    “I called Izuku his name.” 

    “What are you, his boyfriend?” Kacchan squinted at Todoroki-kun. 

    “You called him Izuku.” Todoroki-kun pointed out. 

    “No shit, Sherlock, I’ve also known the nerd way longer thank you.” 

    “That’s a long time to be someone’s boyfriend.” 


    Izuku leaned towards Kirishima-kun. “Are they always like this?” 

    “Yes,” Kirishima sighed. “Once Aizawa-sensei forced them to do a whole rescue exercise while handcuffed together. It was… Not pretty.” He rubbed the back of his neck. 

    Izuku giggled, warmth rushing into his chest. It was easy to imagine the two bickering in class, getting in trouble and blaming it on one another. It was an oddly sweet thought. “Kacchan, Todoroki-kun, stop fighting. I want an ice cream.” 

    “You always want ice cream.” Todoroki-kun pointed out, before pointing to a booth not incredibly far off. “There’s some over there, come on.” 

    Izuku, excited at the prospect of getting ice cream, grabbed Todoroki-kun’s hand before carrying him off. “Ah! Todoroki-kun, could you freeze ice cream with your quirk? That’d be really useful!” 

    “It’s the only thing I use it for.” He deadpanned, but Izuku saw his little smile. “But I guess you’re asking because you want me to do that to your ice cream.” 

    “You think I have ulterior motives? I’m wounded.” 

    “Mmm.” Todoroki-kun stepped in line with Izuku. 

    “I’m kind of surprised you invited Kacchan and Kirishima-kun. They’re very nice, but you don’t seem to like large groups all that much! And Kacchan especially doesn’t seem like someone you’d like to hang out with.” 

    Izuku felt Todoroki-kun’s hand get colder. That was kind of odd, he thought, since Todoroki-kun usually had really good control of his quirk. 

    “Yes. Well. You, um, like Bakugo, don’t you? You’re friends.” He coughed into his hand awkwardly. Izuku nodded. “A lot! He’s nice under all of the… You know.” He suddenly put the puzzle pieces into place. “Oh! You didn’t have to invite them just for me, Todoroki-kun. I like hanging out with you a lot.” 

    “Thank you, Midoriya, that’s very kind.” 

    Izuku grinned. “What happened to Izuku?” He teased, bumping into Todoroki-kun a little. 

    “That was just to get on Bakugo’s nerves.” He admitted. “Do you want to be called Izuku?” 

    Izuku thought it over, remembering how it felt whenever he called him Izuku. It was like he was floating, almost. He could definitely get used to that. “Yes,” He decided. “I do.” 

    “Only if you call me Shouto.” He tilted his head a little. 

    “Okay, Shouto-kun. ” Izuku grinned.

    The two got their ice cream (including some for Kacchan and Kirishima-kun) and walked back. Izuku had never really been to the beach before; it just wasn’t something he had thought of. He definitely saw the appeal. The sand was a beautiful shimmering white, crunching happily under Izuku’s toes. The sun was bright, but barely so, since it was only spring. . The water was too cold to get into, Izuku figured, but that was alright. 

    Off towards the group, he saw Kirishima-kun and Kacchan sitting on a couple towels. Kirishima-kun had an arm over Kacchan, laughing as he told some kind of story. Kacchan didn’t actually push him away at all, even as Izuku and Shouto-kun sat across from him. 

    “Here you go!” Izuku handed the boys their ice cream. “Be careful, Kirishima-kun, Kacchan’s is spicy.” 

    “Damn straight.” Kacchan grunted, taking a huge bite. 

    “I loved meeting with you,” Izuku gushed. “You’re very nice. I’m glad Kacchan is friends with you.” 

    “Yeah! Bakugo seems kind of prickly at first, but he’s a great guy.” Kirishima-kun grinned. 

    Kacchan glared, but didn’t say anything. 

    “All of you are in the same class, right?” Izuku tilted his head softly. When Kirishima-kun nodded, Izuku followed it up with, “What’s your quirk? If you don’t mind me asking.” 

    “Hardening! Basically, I can make my skin as hard as a rock.” He held up his hand and showed his ability off to Izuku. Izuku’s eyes widened, fascinated. 

    “Oh god.” Kacchan sighed heavily. 

    “That’s so cool! You could dodge attacks or even use your hands as weapons! How sharp is it? Can you use them like blades? Is it totally indestructible, or can something strong enough breath through? If you get hurt does it shatter or does it just get hurt like normal? Do you get heavier? If you got heavier you could totally use it against attacks that push people back or shield your teammates! Or you could-”

    “Izuku. You’re mumbling.” Shouto-kun reminded him softly, reaching over to refreeze Izuku’s melting ice cream. 

    “Ah, sorry!” Izuku rubbed the back of his head, but he had never felt so at home with anyone before. 

    He liked it. 

Chapter Text

    Izuku wasn’t surprised that he was no longer involved in the All Might case. It was still going on; he noticed the secretive glances and hushed voices, the way Tomura would call in favors and glance at Izuku with suspicion when he got too close. 

    After all, Izuku was starting to remember. And he didn’t think he liked what he saw. He would remember nights with his mother, a soft sweet woman with green hair and kind eyes. Remember explosive Kacchans who would hurt Izuku, but was the kind of strong and brave that Izuku had wished to be. Remember dark, dark rooms filled with pain and panic and a quirk Izuku couldn’t control. 

    Not that Izuku could do anything about it.

    For all of the toxic promises, the lies Tomura and his faux family would tell Izuku, they were right about one thing. Izuku was a villain. He had hurt people, helped their deaths, handed information off to unsavory individuals for only a little validation. He would be jailed, alone and afraid. 

    Besides, although it was dangerous, it was good for Izuku to be close to them. He watched out for any important information and, when he was sure it would be particularly harmful, he’d send a tip out to the police or tell Shouto-kun. He could only do that on the inside, and hopefully it would start to counter balance all of the bad he had done. Maybe then he could start to deserve his friends. 

    Regardless of his new situation, Izuku had known for a long time that he wanted to go see the Sports Festival in person. There were so many amazing quirks on showcase! 

    In Izuku’s research, he had seen one instance where a general studies kid made it really far. The crowd had gone wild as the kid erased his opponents quirk, and judo flipped him outside the arena before he could even get his bearings. 

    Shouto-kun had informed him that the general studies kid was now his homeroom teacher, the elusive underground hero Eraserhead. 

    Even more exciting, though, was that he could see his friends in action. Kacchan, Kirishima-kun, and Shouto-kun were all very powerful fighters, and extremely talented overall. They would do well. 

    Izuku had scored some VIP tickets from Shouto-kun, and easily slipped by Tomura and Kurogiri to make it to the festival. Shouto-kun had warned him to go early and avoid the crowd, but there were still tons of people buying from stands and waiting for the main event. Izuku, however, had somewhere else to be. 

    He slipped into the backstage, showing the person in charge his badge. “Do you know where class 1-A would be? I’m looking for my friend.” He gushed. The person nodded, giving Izuku directions. “I would be careful about bothering them, Kid. They’re getting ready.”

    Izuku nodded. “Okay! Thank you, Sir!” He roamed the halls for Shouto-kun. 

    He really should have written down those directions. 

    On his way, he bumped into a boy. “Ah! Sorry!” Izuku smiled, and it grew when he saw who the person was. 

    Izuku had recognized the wild purple hair, the sleepy eyes. He remembered how he had defeated all those villains. “You’re Hitoshi Shinso, right?”

    Shinso-kun raised an eyebrow at Izuku. “Who’s asking?”

    “Oh! I’m friends with a few of your friends in your class! Like- like Shouto-kun, and Kirishima-kun, and Kacchan-” 

    He snorted. “Kacchan? You mean Bakugo ?” Izuku nodded. 

    “Does he know that you call him that?”

    “I would hope so! I’ve called him Kacchan to his face pretty often.” 

    “Cute. But that doesn’t tell me your name.”

    “I’m Izuku Midoriya!” Shinso-kun frowned a little, as if something with his name didn’t sit right. 

    “Okay, Midoriya. What are you doing backstage? Looking for Kacchan ?” 

    “Yes!” Izuku’s eyes lit up. Shinso-kun nodded, turning around. “This way. Be careful, though, Bakugo’s more explosive than usual.”

    “He’s probably just nervous.” Izuku paused. “Your quirk is brainwashing, right?” 

    Shinso-kun nodded stiffly. 

    “That’s- that’s really cool! Great for a ton of scenarios. You could force information out of a villain, or satop hostage situations, or get someone to hit themselves with their own quirk… If a situation is time sensitive, you could literally make the villain wait for you!” Izuku’s eyes sparkled. “You’ll be a great person, one day, Shinso-kun.”

    “A great person, huh?” Shinso-kun looked over. 

    Izuku nodded. “A wonderful one.” Izuku took note of the tiny smile, barely noticeable. 

    “Did someone lose their puppy?” Shinso called into the training room. Izuku wasn’t expecting every member of 1-A to be there. They were all so diverse, chatting among each other. A few of them looked over in Izuku’s direction. 

    Shouto-kun stopped what he was doing and walked forward briskly. “Izuku, I thought you got lost.” 

    “Of course the little fucker got lost.” Kacchan rolled his eyes. 

    “I made sure to return him safe and sound, Kacchan. ” Shinso-kun snickered. 


    “Ah! I’m sorry, Kacchan, I didn’t know not to call you that-” 

    “Shut up, Izuku.” 


    The group of kids all started piling around Izuku, curious. “Who is that?” “Is he a student?” “Omigosh you guys, he’s so cute !” 

    “HEY!” Kacchan shoved through the crowd. “Don’t you all have shit to do? Stop crowding him!” 

    “It’s okay, Kacchan.” Izuku smiled weakly. 

    People started trickling away after that, some still whispering about Izuku. Soon, only two unfamiliar kids remained. 

    “Are you Todoroki-kun’s friend?” The girl asked. She was incredibly soft looking, with a short brown bob and rosy cheeks. Izuku nodded. “You didn’t tell us you had such a cute friend, Todoroki-kun!” She squealed. “I’m Ochako Uraraka!”

    Izuku liked her; she was very nice, and was the first person his age he had met who was shorter than him, even if it was barely anything. “It’s nice to meet you, Uraraka-chan!” He beamed. 

    The other boy wasn’t so friendly. “Tenya Iida. I’m sorry, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to distract everyone right before the festival!” He glanced to Shouto-kun. “If you need to speak to him, you should do it outside.” 

    “Don’t be such a wet blanket, Iida-kun.” Uraraka-chan waved him off. “What’s your name? Unless you just want me to call you ‘puppy’.” 

    Izuku laughed. “I’m Izuku Midoriya.” 

    “That’s a cute name, Midoriya-kun~!” Uraraka-chan giggled. “I should be getting ready, though. Will I see you later?” Izuku nodded. “Absolutely! I can’t wait to see your quirk in action, Uraraka-chan!” 

    Shouto-kun hummed. “She’s right. You should probably get seated, Izuku.” 

    “Okay!” Izuku waved, moving towards the door. “Good luck Shouto-kun! good luck Kacchan! Good luck Kirishima-kun!” 

    As he left, he heard one last snippet of conversation. 

    “...look familiar? I don’t know if we should trust him.” 

    Izuku hesitated, but kept walking. He was determined not to let this day get ruined. 

Chapter Text

    Izuku settled in his seat, buzzing excitedly for the start of the competition. Everyone had been so nice, and he was certain they’d be powerful. There was something about being surrounded by tons of people, all of which sharing his same passion for the event, that made Izuku really happy. 

    The students walked out into the field, being introduced class by class. He spotted his friends in class 1-A; one of the kids he had yet to remember the name of with blonde hair leaned in and said something to Kacchan. Kacchan had whipped around and started yelling. Izuku chuckled softly. 

    Until Kacchan was called up as class representative. Oh dear. “I’ll be number one,” Kacchan had growled. “So you better not get in my way, or I’ll crush you.” He looked over the crowd before walking off. 

    Over the sounds of booing, Izuku was worried. Because Kacchan hadn’t been bragging. He was making a promise to himself. 

    The obstacle course was first, Izuku fascinated by the different ways the kids used their quirks to get by. After the interaction this morning, he was fascinated to see how Shinso-kun worked. Shinso-kun seemed to have other students literally carry him through the race like bodyguards. It had been extremely clever. 

    Meanwhile, Kacchan had clearly gotten better with his quirk. THey had always been very powerful, but now he was using them to propel himself forward. Izuku thought it had been fascinating. 

    Shouto-kun was as great as usual, seamlessly using his ice to work his way through the ice. Izuku frowned softly. Why wasn’t he using his fire? That would be a problem, if Shouto-kun wanted to win. He wasn’t the only strong kid in UA. 

    Izuku wrote notes furiously - he took extra care in writing Uraraka-chan’s page. She was his new friend, after all, and an antigravity quirk had a lot of uses. 

    After all was said and done, all of his friends got across. Even the boy who was openly wary of Izuku, Iida-kun, made it by. Izuku noticed Shouto-kun look in his direction and although Shouto-kun surely couldn’t see him, Izuku offered a thumbs up. 

    Next up was a cavalry battle. Shouto-kun, Uraraka-chan, and Shinso-kun had all ended up on different teams. 

    It might have been hard for Shinso-kun to get partners too, with his quirk, but he managed to get people pretty quickly. Izuku wondered if he had brainwashed them - probably not. It wouldn’t have been very nice to the people who he was working with. 

    Because Shouto-kun had gotten first in the obstacle course, he had 1,000,000 points on his headband! It was interesting that he was able to find classmates so easily, but Izuku supposed being so powerful helped when you needed to find people to work with you. 

    On Uraraka-chan’s team, Izuku was fascinated to notice the frog girl from the USJ. Through looking in his notes, he found that her name was Tsuyu Asui. Asui-chan was short, the shortest of everyone in her class. She had the appearance of a frog, and he was sure that was her quirk, too. That’d be useful for something like a cavalry battle, where you would have to steal headbands.

 Kacchan and Kirishima-kun worked together, along with two other kids from 1-A. Izuku recognized them as the group of kids Kirishima-kun had lovingly called the Bakusquad. Kacchan hadn’t been so happy with his newfound group. But still, it was extremely sweet to see him getting along with others. 

    Was he trying to blow up one of the other boys on his team? Oh my. 

    In the end, All four of the teams ended up winning, although just barely. If it hadn’t been for Asui-chan’s quick tongue, Uraraka-chan’s team would have lost. 

    Before the one-on-one matches, Izuku went to go say hi to Shouto-kun. He had done so well! But not before hearing a voice. 

    “ disgrace me, Shouto.”

    Oh. Oh no. 

    It was dark dark dark, it was always too dark. He could hear whispers, screaming, fighting for his attention. 

    You can escape if you look. You have to look harder. 

    Izuku was tired of looking. 

    There was a sigh from across the room. 

    You could attack him, he’s not in good health. But he must have something to stop you, right? Or else He wouldn’t be so careless. Sensei was never careless. Maybe if you had some way to shut off your body heat, you could just slip out. Why can’t you do that? 

    “You’re disappointing me, Izuku.” 

    Izuku shook his head. Now was absolutely not the time to start freaking out. It was oddly quiet in the hallway. How long was he out? He hoped he hadn’t missed too many battles! Uraraka-chan was going up against Kacchan, and he was really excited to see how that played out. He started rushing forward, only to nearly crash into someone. 


    Izuku could still feel the way Shouto-kun looked when he had seen that news report on Endeavor. The way he had gone quiet. The way his hand gingerly touched his scar, ice spreading across his fingertips. Izuku had never been one to pry, but something must have happened. Something bad. And with how Shouto-kun flinched when Izuku gestured too wildly, it wasn’t hard to guess. 

    “Out of my way.” The man growled, shoving Izuku out of the way. Izuku hit the wall with a soft thump. He was shaking. 

    Why was everyone always trying to push him around? 

    “I hope you liked pushing a little boy into the wall.” 

    Endeavor stopped. “What?”

    “Do you get the same feeling when you push your son around?” Izuku whispered. “Or is it just because of how small I am.” 

    “You’re being awfully bold, for someone who doesn’t know anything.” Endeavor’s fire seemed to grow larger. 

    “It doesn’t take an insider to count all of the casualties you’ve caused. There are villains with a smaller kill count.” Izuku’s confidence had flushed away, but there was no backing away now. 

    “I don’t have time for this.” Endeavor scoffed. “It’s ridiculous, the riff raff UA allows in its halls.” He sent a glare Izuku’s way before leaving. 

    Izuku took a deep breath. Maybe he hadn’t missed all of the fight with Uraraka-chan and Kacchan. Maybe if he hurried- 

    “Villains, huh?” 

    Izuku definitely wasn’t making it on time. 

Chapter Text

    It had taken a lot of convincing to get Shouta to agree to this. Being the center of attention, announcing of all things, was not what Shouta had wanted to do today. 

    But maybe Shouta liked correcting Hizashi when he said something wrong. And maybe he thought it had been sweet, when Hizashi bought him a small cake with the words Please be my co-announcer as if he had been proposing. It wasn’t like he was about to admit any of that, though. 

    The only problem was his problem child sense. His secret second quirk, Hizashi liked to call it. When there was a problem child about to do something stupid, he would know. He once caught Kaminari trying to prank Bakugo, and had swiftly stopped it before he managed to get himself killed. 

    But today, he had no idea which child was in trouble. He had asked everyone , every problem child, but no one seemed to be trying anything particularly stupid. It made him on edge. 

    Shortly after Shinso’s fight with Asui, the first of the one-on-one battles, there was a knock on the announcer door. 

    “Coming~!” Hizashi called, opening the door to reveal Problem Child #3, Shinso himself. 

    “What did you do?” Shouta asked. Shinso chuckled. “You shouldn’t think so highly of me, Aizawa-sensei.” He teased. “It’s probably not important, but I saw this kid. At first I thought he might be from one of the other departments, but he wasn’t in the field at all. He’s friends with a lot of the kids in our class.” 

    “What’s his name?” Shouta asked, standing up automatically. A problem child, he thought bitterly. Whoever this was, they were definitely going to cause a problem for Shouta. Might as well take care of it now. 

    “Izuku Midoriya.” Shinso said. 

    Problem Child indeed. “Is he still here?” Shouta started rushing out the door.

    “Probably? He said he wanted to cheer on some of the kids, that’s why he was here. Who’s Midoriya that makes him so special, anyway?” 

    “Midoriya has been a missing person for about four years.” Shouta explained. “Everything else is classified.” 

    “Shit.” Shinso muttered. “Do Todoroki and Bakugo know?” 

    Shouta nodded, searching the hallways. “They’ve been keeping an eye on the kid. Making sure he doesn’t do anything stupid.” 

    Shinso hummed in understanding. “Do you need help catching him?” 

    “No, I’ll be fine. Get ready for your next match. Isn’t it against Todoroki?” 

    Shinso nodded. 

    “Then you should prepare.”

    Shinso hesitated, but left towards the lockers. Shouta sighed. This was exactly how he thought his day would go. 

    “...count all of the casualties you’ve caused. There are villains with a smaller kill count.” 

    Shouta hadn’t ever heard Midoriya’s voice, but it didn’t take a genius to connect the two together. It was soft and squeaky, perfect for a short boy with bright eyes and miles of freckles. But it was also confident. It was the voice of someone who had seen scary things before.

    It was the voice of the blurry person on screen, the one who had witnessed a murder and calmly helped the murderer leave. One who had been evading capture for four years, knowingly or not. 

    “Villains, huh?” Shouta turned the corner. God, the boy looked more innocent in person. He blinked a few times, watching Shouta. 

    “Eraserhead, right? You’re Shouto-kun’s teacher.” He said softly. 

    “Call me Aizawa.” Shouta was careful to keep his voice soft. This kid, Midoriya, had to be skittish around heroes. He couldn’t scare him away. Not when he was this close. 

    “Alright. What are you doing in the hallways, Aizawa-san? I thought you were announcing.” Midoriya tilted his head softly. He looked like a kitten, Shouta noticed. 

    “I was looking for someone. What are you doing back here?” 

    “Oh! I have a backstage pass. I was looking for Shouto-kun.” Midoriya smiled at him. 

    “You know that’s not what I meant, Midoriya. What are you doing near UA ?” Shouta asked. 

    He could tell the moment Izuku realized what he meant. His whole demeanor changed. He was tense, his hand rested right on his hip. His smile fell, turning into something different. Fear. 

    “I don’t mean any trouble, Aizawa-san.” He promised softly. 

    Shouta sighed. “Your mother is worried about you.” 

    “I know.” Midoriya nodded. 

    “We can help you. Heroes aren’t bad. You know that, right?” Shouta took a step forward, but Midoriya took a step back. 

    Midoriya got sadder. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be rude, but I know what you’re doing. I won’t- I can’t get caught that easily. I’ll worry Shouto-kun.” He took another step back. Shit. 

    “It was nice meeting you, Aizawa-san. I’ll make sure to tell you if something bad is going to happen.” Midoriya turned around. 

    No. “Midoriya! MIDORIYA!” Shouta went to stop him with his capture weapon, but it was too late. Midoriya was gone. 

    Shouta was alone. He looked around for Midoriya, but it was no use. He had made like a scared bunny and ran. And now he would no doubt be harder to catch. Shouta cursed himself. How had he been so stupid? He should have captured him right away. He should have let Shinso help. He should have done anything. 

    By the time he made it back to the infirmary, Shinso and Todoroki had just finished fighting. Todoroki had won in the end, but Shinso had done well, he heard. He was proud. They were both getting quite the lecture from Recovery Girl. 

    “-couldn’t have gone a little easier on him?! He’s lucky he won’t get permanent damage!” 

    “Sorry.” Todoroki muttered. Both boys spotted Shouta and straightened. “What happened with Midoriya?” Shinso asked.

    “Izuku?” Todoroki straightened. 

    They were both on a first name basis. Interesting. Shouta rubbed the bridge of his nose. “He got away.” 

    “Were you trying to capture Izuku?” Todoroki looked concerned. 

    “Yeah.” Shouta huffed. “It would have been nice to know he was here, Todoroki.” 

    “Oh.” Todoroki looked down. “...he doesn’t want to go to jail.” 

    “I know. Neither do we.” 

    “Izuku doesn’t know that.” Todoroki insisted. “He’s scared.” 

    “Well, I guess we’ll just have to find a way to make him understand that we aren’t going to hurt him.” Shouta sighed, muttering a soft “I don’t get paid enough for this”. 

    “Why would Midoriya go to jail?” Shinso spoke up. “He’s like if a cat a bunny and a sunflower made a child. He calls Bakugo Kacchan , and Bakugo lets him .” 

    Todoroki looked over to Shouta, who nodded. They were in too deep now; it would be smart to make sure the kid had all the information before he did something irrational. 

    “Midoriya lives with villains.” Todoroki said softly. “He’s an accomplice at the very least, but you know villains wouldn’t keep someone like that around unless they were useful. And Izuku’s very smart; if I was a villain, I’d love to have someone who can make plans and collect information behind the scenes.” 

    Shinso’s eyes widened slightly. “Damn. Sunflower Kid’s got guts.” He turned to Shouta. “So we’re gonna get him back, right?” 

    Shouta nodded. 

Chapter Text

    Izuku ran and ran and ran. He didn’t know where he was going. He didn’t know if he was being chased. All he knew was that he needed out, before he was captured. Before he went to prison, dark and alone and with no Shouto-kun. 

    All of his life, Tomura had told Izuku that heroes were bad. They were loud, they were insensitive, they didn’t care about the individual. They didn’t care about people with weak quirks, like Izuku, or people with villainous quirks, like Tomura. People who believed in grey areas, like Kurogiri. Heroes lied to the general population with fake smiles in order to lull them into a false security while dangerous things lurked in the shadows. 

    But when Izuku met the heroes, he thought that they weren’t so bad. Shouto-kun, Kacchan, Uraraka-chan, Kirishima-kun. They were all such kind, amazing people. Izuku was certain that, with them around, the world would be a better place. They weren’t distracting people from danger, they were actively stopping it. Izuku thought that maybe a world with a lot of heroes wasn’t as bad as he thought. 

    Then he met Endeavor. He was everything Tomura claimed and worse. If he didn’t care about his own son, how could he care for random strangers on the street? The answer was clear: he didn’t. Not with all of the casualties, the property damage. He was more evil than most of the villains Izuku encountered. 

    And if he was the number two hero, what could be said about the rest of them?

    They were willing to lie and cheat in the name of ‘justice’. Just like Eraserhead had done when he tried to make Izuku surrender. 

    Well, guess what, Eraserhead? Izuku may have seemed dumb, cute, and naive. But he wasn’t. And a false promise of forgiveness, sugary words like poison in Izuku’s ears… 

    He wouldn’t buy it. 

    When Izuku became too tired to keep running, he felt like death. His mind was spinning, he was sweaty, god why did he wear a hoodie it’s summer- 

    He noticed a table and scrambled over to it, sitting down right away. It belonged to a local cafe, and Izuku would have bought every single cup of coffee they had if it meant he could take a breather. He looked around and surveyed the area. 

    The cafe was apart of a street of various little shops, most of them seeming family owned. He wasn’t familiar of where he was, exactly, but it wouldn’t be hard to find out and he couldn’t have gotten far. The cafe itself was a quaint little place, with tables decorated with lace and the whole place having a pastel vibe to it. 

    Most importantly, there was no one chasing after him. 

    Izuku took a deep breath and eyed the menu through the window. He could really do with a nice cold, sweet, milky drink. Clear his head. Decide what to do next. 

    Izuku stood up, taking one last look around before walking inside. There was only one person in line. She was shorter than Izuku, but her hair was almost like his, only a little bit lighter. Izuku felt an odd pain in his chest. 

    “You can’t just leave! It’s not Izuku’s fault he’s quirkless!” A woman’s voice yells. Izuku is small, too small to be listening to this conversation. He slinks further around the corner, trying to be small. He’s very good at being small. 

    “Can’t you see, Inko? There’s nothing for us here. Leave with me.” A man’s voice pleads back. 

    After a beat of silence, there’s a smack. Izuku flinches. 

    “Get out.” The woman whispers. Her voice is icy cold. 


    “Get out!” She yells. “Stay away from me and my son!” 

    There are footsteps. The door slams. Izuku peeks out from the corner, expecting to see his mother hurt. Izuku doesn’t see his mother hurt. Instead, she’s rubbing her hand. She notices Izuku and softens. 

    “Your bedtime was ages ago, Izuku.” She says, but she’s not angry. Izuku knows that. 

    “Mommy, are you going to leave? Because I don’t have a quirk?” Izuku whispers. He clutches his shirt, waiting. Waiting for her to get up and leave. 

    Instead, she rushes towards him. Hugs him. Pets his hair. She’s crying. “Please don’t cry, Mommy…!” He tells her. 

    “Oh, Izuku. I’m so sorry. I’ll never, ever leave you.” 

    Izuku startled. He had been getting more used to the memories, but that particular one was too intense. He clutched his shirt, as if he was a child. He still was. This woman in front of him, shyly asking for a small coffee, wasn’t a stranger. 

    She was his mother. 

    Izuku took a hesitant step forward. “Um, sorry to bother you, Miss. Is your name Inko-san by any chance?” 

    She turns around suddenly, eyes wide. She’s trembling, Izuku noticed. 

    “Izuku?” Her voice was nothing but a whisper in the wind. 

    “Hi, Mom.” He smiled awkwardly. Izuku was not expecting her to run up and hug him, a soft thump on his chest and a small sob in her breath. “Oh, Izuku…” 

    “You were in the middle of ordering, Mom.” Izuku reminded her gently, cheeks flushed red. He looked to the confused barista and smiled apologetically. “Can you add a vanilla frappe to that, please?” He shuffled around under his mom’s embrace and fished out his wallet. 

    “Izuku! Stop that right now. I’ll pay.” She let go and went to open her purse. 

    “Shush, I’m already giving her the money.” Izuku shook his head. “Go sit down. I’ll meet you there.” He watched as his mom, with all the hesitance in the world, took a seat at a nearby table. Izuku finished paying (adding a generous tip), and collected the two coffees. 

    His mom was already crying again when he went to sit down, and he was pretty sure he was going to cry, too. 

    “You’re so big.” His mom whispered. The coffee shook in her hands, and every move she made it was as if she might scare him away. 

    “I think Kacchan thought that, too.” Izuku mumbled. 

    “You’ve seen Katsuki?” His mom looked startled. Izuku nodded. 

    “We ran into each other a few things, and he realized who I was.” 

    “That’s Katsuki for you.” She laughed airily. “He spends about as much time in our house as his own.” 

    The way she said our house, as if it was never a question it had been anything else, hurt Izuku more than anything else could. His mother missed him. She wanted him back. 

    “Where have you been, Izuku?” She asked. Izuku squirmed a little in his seat. What was he supposed to tell her? That her son was a criminal? That he barely remembered her? That he had a new family, no matter how broken or scary it was? He couldn’t. Not to her. Not with the way she watched him as if he had hung the moon, the most valuable thing she had. 

    Maybe he was the most valuable thing she had, small and weak as he was. 

    “Mom. Look. I… I have some things to do. And- and when I’m done, I might go to jail.”


    “No, listen. I’ve done bad things.” Izuku reached for her trembling hands. “But, one day, I’m coming home. I promise.” 

    His mom smiled a watery smile, squeezing his hands. 

    “I know, Izuku.” 

Chapter Text

    After everything was said and done, Izuku learned that Kacchan won the sports festival. They had been a pretty even match, but Shouto-kun got distracted for just one moment. 

    But a moment was all Kacchan needed to knock him out of the ring. 

    Izuku had wondered, briefly, if it had been his fault for leaving so suddenly. Shouto-kun was quick to assure otherwise. 

    Izuku was writing analysis when he got the phone call. With the Sports Festival, there was a lot of new information on people’s quirks. He put them in a special notebook he had titled differently than the other notebooks. The name had been disguised as To Do Lists , nothing particularly exciting. The pages were bland, and the first ten or so were random lists. 

    Eggs, milk, mochi, apple juice. 

    Buy pens, reorganize room, practice math. 

    But, after that, things got interesting. There was a page titled simply, Analysis for the Future. 

    Because one day, Izuku was going to escape from the world of villains and heroes. He would be his own person. And if he wanted to do that, he would need to know more about quirks than ever. 

    In this notebook went the analysis that he didn’t want Tomura to see. Shouto-kun, half hot half cold. Kacchan, explosions. Uraraka-chan, anti-gravity. Shinso-kun, brainwashing. The people who Izuku wanted their secrets kept. The people Izuku wanted to help. Not because they were heroes, but because they were nice to Izuku. His family. 

    He was particularly interested in Shinso-kun’s quirk. It seemed pretty straightforward on the surface, but he could tell by how far he got in the festival that there was something Izuku was missing. In his first battle against Asui-chan, he had gotten control of her supposedly without speaking. Asui looked over to Midnight, said something, and snap. Brainwashed. Shinso-kun had her walk right out of the ring. 

    He hadn’t managed to get control of Shouto-kun, though, which was equally as odd. Maybe he found some way to have her respond without knowing it? But then how? Did Midnight have something to do with it? 

    That was when the phone rang. Izuku never, ever got a phone call. He glanced at the caller ID. 


    Izuku picked up. “Hello? Kacchan?”

    “Hey. Nerd. Where are you?” Kacchan’s voice sounded tight. 

    “I’m at home. Why?” 

    “Come to the park. Right now.” 

    “Kacchan I need more of an explain-” 

    Kacchan had hung up. Well. Something was definitely wrong. Frowning, Izuku pulled on a hoodie and shot Shouto-kun a tet, just in case he got in trouble. 

    It was easy enough to slip out of the bar; Tomura was busy talking to some teenager wearing a gas mask. Odd, but not uncommon for the bar. Izuku simply nodded once to them on his way out. 

    “Izuku. Wait.” Tomura called after him. Izuku stopped. “Um. Yes?” 

    “I have some people I need you to analyze. They’re joining the League.” 

    Izuku relaxed. “Okay. I’ll do that.” 

    “Don’t get yourself killed out there, okay, Izuku?” 

    “I won’t.” Izuku nodded before rushing out. 

    Whenever Izuku and Kacchan met up without the others, it was usually at a park nearby, where they first met. After the incident, anyway. Kacchan said that they really first met in the hospitals, right after Izuku was born. 

    Izuku had a couple memories of the park, equal parts good and bad. 

    Izuku didn’t like to think about the bad. 

    Underneath the surface were hidden memories, whispering in Izuku’s ear. The time Kacchan shoved him to the ground. The time Kacchan had convinced every other kid to call Izuku Deku. The time he asked Izuku to meet them so he could apologize, only to pull an awful prank with his friends. They swirled and swirled and swirled, growing just beyond memories of sharing ice cream and playing heroes. 

    Izuku had decided a long time ago to never mention his concerns. After all, Kacchan loved Izuku like a brother. He was nice to Izuku. He bumped Izuku’s shoulder, listened to every rambling before playfully calling Izuku a nerd, showed his affection in a very Kacchan way. 

    But then, didn’t Tomura also display his affection that way? What made them different, really? Both of them hurt Izuku in the past, and both of them apparently cared about Izuku. 

    What are you doing here you’re going to get hurt run run back where it’s safe- 

    Izuku took a shuddering breath and walked into sight of the park. He locked eyes with Kacchan. 

    “You didn’t let Sensei help you.” Kacchan was upset, Izuku could tell. 

    “Kacchan, he was going to put me in jail.” Izuku frowned. 

    “Bulls**t! We wouldn’t let that happen and you know that.” Kacchan hissed. 

    Izuku’s eyes narrowed. His memories were bubbling, bubbling, bubbling. “Yeah. Because you’ve always protected me before, right, Kacchan?”

    The moment he said those words, Izuku regretted it. Bakugo Katsuki, winner of the Sports Festival and top of his class, flinched. 

    Because of Izuku. 

    “I know.” Kacchan said. “I know I fucked up, okay? I was shitty to you. I don’t know why you even still talk to me. But Sensei and Icyhot both care about you.”

    “Eraserhead doesn’t even know me.” Izuku insisted. 

    “Are you fucking kidding me? Guy adopts children like cats. I’m pretty sure he just took custody of Eyebags. Besides, you act all cute and sh**, like a fucking bunny. You are a bunny.”

    “I’m sorry, Kacchan, but you’ll have to trust me.” Izuku hugged himself. “You have to trust I know what I’m doing.” 

    There was a pause. The tension was thick, and Izuku was worried. He couldn’t lose another friend. 

    “...Well. If you’re going to live with those shitheads, you might as well be prepared.” Kacchan grunted. 


    “I’m going to teach you to fight, Dumbass.”

    “That’s very nice of you, Kacchan.” Izuku let out a soft, slight smile. 

    “Whatever. Come here.” Kacchan grunted. 

    Hours later, Izuku was sweaty and sore and felt like absolute garbage. But he was stronger. 

    And that was all that mattered. 

Chapter Text

    Izuku didn’t know that he was inspecting when Tomura announced that new members would be joining the party. 

    But he definitely was not expecting a bubbly teenage girl, who was currently trying to make a tower of Kurogiri’s shot glasses (which he was not very amused about). She was cute, a few inches shorter than Izuku with a wide smile and an oversized sweater. Sure, her teeth were sharp, her eyes were slitted, and her twin buns were messy. Izuku had seen much, much scarier. 

    Next to her was someone a little closer to Izuku’s vision. He was much taller, imposing with burn scars held together by staples and cold, uncaring eyes. Something nibbled in the back of his mind. Something was very familiar about him, something that gave Izuku an awful feeling in his stomach. He frowned as he tried to figure it out. Had they met? No, Izuku was certain he’d remember something like that. Hmm. Odd. 

    “Shigaraki, you didn’t tell me you had a pet bunny.” He snickered. The girl whipped around, causing some of the cups to shatter. “A bunny? Where?” 

    She locked eyes on Izuku and squealed. “He’s adorable! Hi!” She stood up, beaming at Izuku. “I’m Toga Himiko!” 

    Izuku blinked and offered a shy smile. “It’s nice to meet you, Toga-chan.” 

    “Call me Himiko. Hey, do you have a girlfriend? Or a boyfriend? I had a girlfriend a couple months back, but now she’s gone so-”

    “Shut up, he’s not a pet.” Tomura grumbled. “Izuku, this are two of our new members.” He waved towards them. 

    “O- oh. Hi.” Izuku nodded, going to sit down. 

    “Izuku is such a cute name!” Himiko-chan gasped. 

    “Thank you.” 

    “So, what is someone like you doing with the big bad villains?” The boy teased. “What are you, twelve?”

    “I’m sixteen!” Izuku defended. 

    “Even worse.” He rolled his eyes. “Dabi.”


    “My name.” Dabi raised an eyebrow. 

    “Oh.” Izuku nodded. “I’m Midoriya Izuku.” 

    “You know, Kid, it’s not smart to tell your full name to strangers.” Dabi raised an eyebrow. Izuku flushed, embarrassed. “Right! Um, so, what are you guys’ quirks?” He fished out a notebook and flipped to a new page. “That’s why I’m here, right?” 

    “I can show you.” Himiko-chan grinned. 

    Then she grabbed Izuku’s finger and bit down. 

    “Ah-!” Izuku yelped, pulling back. “Why did you do that…?!” 

    Suddenly, Himiko-chan melted. Logically, Izuku knew that it was probably because of a quirk. She knew what she was doing. But in his panicked state, Izuku only had one thought. 

    Oh my god my blood melted her. 

    “AH-” Izuku panicked. “I’m sorry, Himiko-chan!” 

    The person in her place was not Himiko-chan. It was a boy exactly Izuku’s height. He had fluffy green hair, tons of freckles, and a mischievous look in his green eyes. 

    It was Izuku. 

    “Is that your quirk?” Izuku asked. Instead of frowning, Other-Izuku frowned and tapped his head with his hand. 


    “Look away.” Other-Izuku said, before melting. Izuku looked away obediently, and the other boys did, too. 

    “Hold on, I always bring spare clothes!” Himiko-chan rustled behind him. 

    “Why?” Izuku asked. 

    “Oh, I lose my clothes when I transform.” Himiko-chan said, as casually as discussing the weather. Izuku sputtered, blushing. “OH-” 

    “Okay, you can look!” Izuku turned and saw a newly clothed Himiko-chan. “What is your quirk, Izu-kun?” She asked. 

    “Oh! You can copy quirks, too? It’s called Observe. I can notice little things most people would look over.”

    “Weird. I usually can only copy quirks if I know what it is, but when I was you, I kept hearing a little voice.”

    “Yeah, that’s my quirk.” Izuku frowned. “Maybe it’s because my quirk can’t be turned on or off? But then, this is the first time it’s happened to you. Besides, my quirk is usually pretty quiet unless I’m really trying to gather information or I’m in a stressful situation. Are you stressed out, Himiko-chan? But then that doesn’t make sense, either, because there’s nothing to escape from…” Izuku devolved into quiet muttering, going to scribble into his notebook. 

    “Kid, I don’t think that’s normal.” Dabi piped in. “Does it, like, have it’s own personality or…?” 

    Izuku looked at him, confused. “What? No? I’m not crazy. It just, like, supplies me with information. What’s your quirk anyway?” 

    “Fire.” Dabi shrugged. He seemed uninterested, but Izuku noticed a very subtle look that was very, very familiar. 

    “How come your ice only comes from your right side, Todoroki-kun?” Izuku asks, tilting his head. They’re sitting at the train station, waiting for Todoroki-kun’s train. 

    “Because ice is only half of my quirk.” Todoroki-kun shrugs. 

    Izuku lights up. “Really? What’s the other half?”

    “Fire.” Todoroki-kun flinches ever so slightly, barely noticeable. Izuku decides to leave it alone for now. After all, what reason would Todoroki-kun have to be afraid of his own quirk? 

    “If you have a fire quirk, Dabi-kun, why do you have burns?” Izuku wondered. 

    He shrugged. “Long depressing story I don’t want to get into.” 

    Hmm. Odd. Izuku nodded slowly. “Okay. So, are you living with us now?” 

    Dabi nodded. “So watch you back, Kid. You never know when I might strike.” He stuck his tongue out at Izuku, who smiled brightly. 

    “Oh, I can take care of myself.” He chirped. Dabi went in to playfully shove him, but Izuku moved out of the way quickly, so instead he went right to Tomura. 

    “Don’t touch me or I’ll turn you to dust.” Tomura hissed. 

    Himiko-chan was laughing hard, leaning on Izuku. “Oh, sorry, Dabi-kun.” Izuku smiled sweetly, but there was something definitely mischievous behind his smile. 

    “What the fuck, Kid?” Dabi hissed at Izuku. “Fight me. Right now.”

    “For what, Dabi-kun?” Izuku blinked innocently. 

    “You know what you did!” Dabi yelled, lunging at Izuku. 

    “Don’t hurt Izu-kun!” Himiko-chan tried to wrestle for control of Izuku. 

    Watching the scene, Kurogiri sighed. This was going to be an interesting endeavor. 

Chapter Text

    When Dabi first decided to become a villain, he had been ready for a lot of things. Keeping to himself, not trusting others, watching what you say about yourself. He had basically living with one all of his life, after all. 

    Midoriya Izuku was absolutely not what he was expecting. 

    He was like a soft ball of sunshine. He had impossibly fluffy dark hair that shone green in the right light, and eyes that sparkled when he was particularly excited (which was often). He had a galaxy of freckles on his cheeks, a dimple when he talked, and a habit of humming or muttering when he was focused. Every morning, he would sneak into the kitchen and make breakfast. He would spend hours asking Dabi and Toga about their quirks, and suggesting ways to improve. 

    Dabi-kun, have you tried making your flames less intense? What about special gloves, so you don’t hurt your hands?

    Himiko-chan, you should keep vials with you! That way you can store people’s blood for later! 

    And the kid wasn’t stupid, either. Dabi noticed the way he would flinch away at Tomura’s touch, ever so slightly. He would smile at them, and talk, but it just wasn't with the same authenticity as when he spoke to Toga. The kid had boundaries, and was subtle with enforcing them. 

    Things really started to get interesting a few weeks into his stay. Dabi was in the room he shared with Midoriya, who was asleep. He seemed sore when he walked into the bar, and when Toga asked, he said he was training. 

    Training for what? 

    Dabi was just about to go asleep when he heard it. 

    Midoriya laughed. 

    “You awake, Kid?” Dabi grunted. There was no response for a moment, before Midoriya muttered a soft “Todoroki…” , his voice a playful whine. 

    Dabi’s blood ran cold. He hadn’t said anything to give his past away. He had been so careful. Was it his stupid quirk? What was it, anyway, intelligence or something? Midoriya had never seemed to use it, other than a few weird comments here and there. 

    “Shouto-kun, stop... teasing…” Midoriya whispered. 


    Oh no. 

    Dabi remembered how expertly Midoriya had helped his burn scar, after he noticed it was stinging a little bit (phantom pain, but goddamn if placebo didn’t do wonders). As far as he knew, he didn’t have any burns himself. 

    But, if Midoriya was on a first-name basis with a boy with a burn scar of his own… 

    Maybe he wasn’t so innocent. Maybe he was targeting the hero in training. He was a villain, after all, and no soft smiles and cat ear headbands would change that. 

    And Dabi was determined to get to the bottom of it. 

    It had been easy, following Midoriya, at first. The kid was in his own little world. Dabi just had to wear a hood to hide his scars, and suddenly he was lost in the crowd. But that kid was fast. And small. He would weave around people, take sudden turns, getting out of Dabi’s sight over and over. 

    They were outside a cat cafe when Midoriya sighed, stopped, and turned around. “Dabi-kun. Himiko-chan. I see you.” 

    Himiko had long accepted that her quirk was evil. What could she say? She crushed easily. And, well, isn’t it natural to want to be more like her crush?

    It wasn’t Himiko’s fault that she had the quirk to do it. 

    But, when the world shunned her for not being what the other people decided was normal, she knew what she had to do. She played right into their hands. 

    Himiko became a villain. 

    It still surprised her, though, when she saw just how cool Izu-kun thought her quirk was. He would bounce on his heels, notebook in hand, asking all about her quirk. He would even let her keep some of her blood, as long as she promised not to be mean with it. 

    The look on Shigaraki’s face when ‘Izu-kun’, sweet pure little Izu-kun, called him a crusty-ass bitch was hilarious. As if she had murdered a puppy in front of him. 

    Izu-kun’s quirk was very weird. It had a voice, not like his, always whispering. It was usually too quiet to make out, but sometimes she could hear it. 

    Izuku’s very quiet today, he’s fiddling with his hands. Something’s wrong. You should ask him about it. 

    Izuku flinched when Kurogiri went to pat his head. He’s afraid of him. 

    That notebook isn’t like the other ones, it’s private. You shouldn’t touch it. 

    Himiko guessed it made sense. The quirks that couldn’t be turned off, usually mutant quirks, stayed with Himiko no matter if she knew what it was. Like that one girl, who’s quirk made her hair drip like honey. Her blood had tasted so sweet . Himiko still had butterflies thinking about her. 

    But Izu-kun’s quirk wasn’t physical at all. She had to be missing something. 

    Then, of course, there was the incident. 

    She had been testing her quirk out with Izuku when Himiko decided to play a prank on Dabi. She went as Izuku and hid in his closet, making Izu-kun promise to direct him inside. But once the door was closed, she started panicking. 

    It’s so dark why is it so dark he’s going to hurt you run run r u n 

    Himiko felt pain burst in one of her arms, even though she was certain she had no injuries. Her breath was quick, too quick, had the closet always been so small ? If someone came to get her, she’d have nowhere to run. She’d be useless. He would hurt her again, because she was such a failure. 

    Himiko had transformed out right away to help steady her breathing. Her thoughts cleared up as suddenly as they had started. She was Toga Himiko, and Toga Himiko was not afraid of the dark. She lived for small places where she could easily sneak up on her victims. A person’s fears had never affected Himiko before; personality simply didn’t transfer when she transformed. So it had to be Izu-kun’s quirk, the one that she didn’t know much about but manifested anyway. 

    What kind of quirk would make someone afraid of the dark? 

    Her suspicion only grew a few days later, when she saw Dabi attempting to follow Izu-kun. So Himiko trailed them. 

    She loved being someone else on stealth missions. Right now, she wasn’t Toga Himiko, wanted villain. She was Hada Ayano, the 16 year old bakery cashier Himiko had killed a few days ago. She was soft spoken. She twirled her hair in her fingers when she was embarrassed, shyly asking if Himiko thought she was really so pretty , the honey drooping down her fingers but never quite sticking the way honey should

    Himiko was an actress at heart, and a role like Hada Ayano was an easy one. Himiko thought that her act that day had been particularly well done; Dabi hadn’t noticed a thing, when she “accidentally” bumped into him. 

    So it had surprised her, when Izu-kun stopped right in front of a small cat cafe, where inside a group of five very familiar teenagers sat at a booth. When he turned around, his eyes locking straight onto Hada Ayano, the normal cute girl with the hair like honey. . 

    “Dabi-kun. Himiko-chan. I see you.”

Chapter Text

    Izuku had liked to think of himself as a smart person. With his quirk, he noticed things a lot of other people didn’t. He hid most of the things linking him from his friends, and was careful to avoid letting someone follow him. 

    So when he noticed two stubborn trails, he was concerned. 

    The boy in the hoodie has a nasty burn scar on his left arm. He slouches when he walks, as if he’s trying to be unnoticed. Spiky black hair pokes out of his hood. Definitely Dabi. 

    The girl carries herself confidently, just like Toga. She keeps toying with something under her sweater - a knife? She keeps staring at Izuku. 

    It was no problem, Izuku decided. He would just lose them. He took twists and turns, slowed down, sped up, tried to be swallowed by the crowd. But Dabi-kun and Himiko-chan wouldn’t stop. And before Izuku could realize just how close he was getting, he was standing outside the cat cafe. In the window, he could see five familiar places. 

    Shouto-kun. Kacchan. Uraraka-chan. Shinso-kun. Kirishima-kun. 

    How many of them would Dabi-kun and Himiko-chan kill, realizing that they were heroes? 

    “Dabi-kun. Himiko-chan. I see you.” Izuku turned around, sighing. 

    Himiko-chan, disguised as some other girl, frowned. “Really? I liked this one…” She grumbled, before brightening. “What are you doing here, Izu-kun?” 

    “Yeah, Izu-kun. What are you doing here?” Dabi-kun narrowed his eyes at Izuku. 

    He definitely knows something is up. 

    “I like cats.” Izuku shrugged. “Tomura is- uh- like, super allergic.” He smiled sheepishly. “He gets embarrassed about it.” 

    “That’d be a good excuse, Midoriya,” Dabi took a step forward, “But we both know that’s a lie.”

    “We do?” Himiko-chan asked. 

    Yes, Toga. Why else would he be trying to lose us?”

    Izuku could think of a way out of this. He could find an excuse, go home, and everything would be okay. His friends would be a little disappointed, but no harm no foul! They’d just hang out another time. He’d have to be more careful, but the two had to get bored eventually. He just had to- 


    Crap. Izuku glanced back to see the five of his hero friends, standing right outside the cafe. Shouto-kun looked at the two villains curiously. 

    “Oh.” Dabi-kun tilted his head. “You’re those UA brats, right? From the Sports Festival.” 

    Himiko-chan’s eyes lit up. “Really? I loved how you fought, Ochako-chan!” She bounced on her heels. Uraraka-chan looked confused. 

    “Do I know you?” She asked. “Oh! Probably not like this.” Himiko-chan laughed. “I’m in disguise. Toga Himiko, nice to meet you!” 

    Uraraka-chan’s face went pale. She definitely knew who Himiko-chan was. 

    “Are these two bothering you, Izuku?” Shouto-kun asked, moving to pull Izuku close with a soft “eep!” from the boy. 

    “Not at all. Is he bothering you, Todoroki Shouto?” Dabi grinned lazily. “I didn’t think a kid from the most prestigious hero academy in the nation would be so easily fooled.” 

    “WHO THE FUCK YOU CALLING FOOLISH, YOU PATCHWORK EDGY WANNABE?!” Kacchan spat, narrowing his eyes. 

    “Well, I can’t blame you. Midoriya puts up a good act.” Dabi-kun shrugged.


    “What? I don’t-” Izuku was interrupted. 

    “It confused me, at first. Why would such a cute little puppy like him be working with villains?” He paused, letting it sink in. Most of the reactions were fairly neutral, other than a soft gasp from Uraraka-chan. 

    “But I see, now. It’s an act. To make people trust him. In reality? He’s just as vapid as every other villain you all hate so much. You didn’t think he actually cared, did you?” Dabi-kun smirked. 

    It was wiped away when Kacchan laughed, sudden and harsh. “Good job, Sherlock. Too bad we already knew.” He punched into his fist, letting explosions crackle. “Now, do us a favor and just die already!”

    “Kacchan, stop. ” Izuku hissed. 

    “I’ll stop when this fucker is six feet under.” He spat. 

    “Ooooh, this one’s feisty! He’d be cute if he smiled sometimes.” Himiko-chan chirped. 

    “Bakugo makes a good point.” Shouto-kun hummed. “We can’t endanger Izuku’s safety by letting them go.” 

    “Guys, that’s pretty illegal-” Kirishima-kun piped up. 

    “Are we just glossing over the fact that Midori-kun is working with the villains?” Uraraka-chan cried. 

    “All of you, please-” Izuku tried. 

    “-you all are cocky, for a bunch of highschoolers-” 

    “-can we kill them now, Dabi-kun?” 

    “Hey!” Shinso-kun suddenly shouted. 

    “What?” They all snapped, other than Izuku, who was simply startled. 

    Shut up. ” He sighed. “Midoriya, get your attack dogs to back down.” 

    “I can talk to Dabi-kun and Himiko-chan, but not with everyone else trying to butt in.” Izuku explained. 

    Shinso-kun nodded. “ Uraraka, Bakugo, Todoroki, Kirishima. Go inside the cafe. ” He ordered, before nodding to Izuku. “Work your magic, Sunflower Child.” 

    Once they were successfully separated, the brainwashing dropped. Dabi-kun and Himiko-chan blinked a few times. 

    “You can’t tell Tomura.” Izuku whispered. 

    “What, you want to stay as Big Brother’s favorite?” Dabi-kun sneered. 

    “He’ll kill them.” Izuku insisted. “And he’ll send me- Send me-” 

    “You’re being a bad child, Izuku. We have no choice but to have you meet with Sensei.” 

    Pain pain pain god his arm hurt so bad Izuku’s chest tightened- 

    “Shit, Kid, are you crying?” 

    Izuku blinked. Himiko-chan had her arms around him, the hair of her disguise dripping onto Izuku but oddly sliding off, like oil on water. Izuku would have asked her more about it, if he was in a better state of mind. Dabi-kun was watching him with a weird look. 


    His icy blue eyes were so, so familiar. Izuku had seen them somewhere before, looking at Izuku with that same kind of concern. 

    “I don’t want to be punished.” Izuku whispered. 

    “Stop freaking out, okay, Kid? I was just worried about you.”

    “You have a weird way of showing that.” Izuku frowned at him. 

    “Yeah, well, you shouldn’t look at me with those damn puppy eyes and maybe I won’t be so weak.” Dabi grumbled. 

    “Sorry.” Izuku tried to smile, but it was forced. 

    “Do you want to be a hero?” Dabi-kun asked, his voice surprisingly soft. Izuku went quiet, thinking it over. 

    “...I don’t know.” 

    “Just don’t go hunting for me.” Dabi-kun teased. “I’ll kill you first.”

    “Me too!” Himiko-chan piped up.

    Izuku looked back and saw the five friends, watching him. Shinso-kun flashed him a quick thumbs up. Uraraka-chan was speaking very animatedly with Kirishima-kun, clearly upset. 

    Well, he’d deal with that later. 

    “Let’s go home.” Izuku whispered. 

    The three started walking home. It was pretty early, but it was somehow different. More peaceful, with the sun shining more gently and the people few and far between. He walked with Dabi-kun on one side and Himiko-chan on the other, playing with her odd hair. She turned to Izuku, giving him a gentle smile. 

    “You have the right attitude to be a hero, even if they’re a bunch of dummies. The public would like you.” 

    Izuku blinked. It occurred to him, faintly, that no one had ever told him he’d be a good hero. 

    “...Thanks, Himiko-chan.” 

Chapter Text

    Izuku had a bit of a fascination with celebrities. Not all of them; he probably couldn’t name more than five actors, or very many singers. But when it came to quirk based professions, there was no one who could get in Izuku’s way to information. This applied to three main categories; heroes, vigilantes, and villains. 

    Izuku absolutely loved the way that pro hero Thirteen had a tradition of checking up on the victims of a tragedy they saved weeks or months after it happened, especially when it came to children. The way famous vigilante Pop Step used her quirk to jump from place to place, and looked amazing doing it. 

    But nothing could compare to Izuku’s admiration of the hero killer, Stain. 

    Izuku had broken into every police record and stray surveillance tape he could find, paying anyone and everyone for information on him. He had a board in his room dedicated to trying to find out where he would be next. He would spend hours on it, only stopping with Dabi-kun’s insistence. 

    Izuku loved Stain’s ideology, of course. It was rare to find a villain with a reason at all, let alone such a good one. It seemed to answer all of Izuku’s reservations about heroes. Egotistical. Reckless. Intentionally Oblivious. 

    But even more, Izuku admired his skill in his battles, which were usually over before they even began. He was stealthy. He was smart. He was exactly what Izuku wanted to be. 

    Himiko-chan loved him, too, usually pouring over the board alongside Izuku. Izuku had never seen her so wholeheartedly serious about anything before. Even Dabi-kun, who was known to be pretty apathetic about most things, would ask Izuku about the hero killer from his spot on the other side of the room. 

    Izuku had been rewatching some security tapes when Himiko-chan bursted into his room. “IZU-KUN!”

    Izuku startled, accidentally dropping his pen. “O- oh! Um, yes, Himiko-chan? What do you need?” He noticed how she was absolutely buzzing with excitement, bouncing in place and clutching a knife in her hands. 

    “I don’t want to ruin the surprise but you have to come downstairs right now or else- ” She started pulling Izuku towards the front of the bar. 

    “Okay,” Izuku laughed airily, “You don’t have to force me. I’m coming.” 

    He walked into the bar and scanned the area lazily. 

    Tomura sitting at the bar, scratching his neck and looking even more pissed off than usual. Kurogiri, actually mixing a drink for once. The bar is unusually empty, there’s just one other-

    Is that the hero killer? 

    Izuku blinked a couple times. The man sitting at the bar, waiting for a drink, was absolutely Stain. 

    “Oh my god.” Izuku breathed. 

    Stain looked over and raised an eyebrow. “Another one?”

    “This is Izu-kun, the one I mentioned earlier!” Himiko-chan piped up. “He’s even more of a fan than I am! You should see his research!”

    Izuku’s face flushed, batting at her arm. “Himiko-chan, don’t embarrass me!” He bowed to Stain low. “It’s an honor to meet you! I’m Midoriya Izuku!” 

    “Don’t bow to me, I’m not a damned hero.” Stain chided. 

    “Ah! Sorry, Stain-san!” Izuku straightened up so fast it gave him whiplash. 

    “Shigaraki. You didn’t tell me you had a glorified dog working for you.” 

    Izuku had done it again. His quirk had been so sure that he would escape, he had been so close. He shouldn’t have noticed. He shouldn’t have acted so fast. 

    Because Izuku had failed. And Sensei hated it when Izuku failed. 

    “He tried to run again.” Shigaraki mumbled. “Why does he keep trying to run, Sensei?”

    “He needs more training.” Sensei explained with a startling amount of calm, as if Izuku wasn’t thrashing against Kurogiri’s grip. “You need patience, remember? Just like that dog you had all those years ago.” 

    Shigaraki frowned, looking over Izuku. 

    Stop looking stop looking Izuku wasn’t weak he wasn’t useless stop staring he wasn’t some Deku- 

    “I won’t break him this time.” Shigaraki promised quietly, seemingly to himself. “It’ll be worth it.” 

    “Are you sure, Tomura?”

    No. No, he couldn’t be. Because if Shigaraki wasn’t so dead set on keeping Izuku like some pet, maybe Izuku could go home and see- 


    What was his name again? 

    The explosive boy? Izuku’s quirk asks him softly. Izuku likes his quirk, now that it’s calmed down. It likes Izuku. It helps Izuku, even when Izuku is scared and panicky. Izuku nods ever so slightly, shivering in his spot. 

    You call him Kacchan. His quirk tells him. Oh, right, Kacchan. That was his name. 

    “Kacchan,” Izuku mutters softly. Shigaraki looks over, furrowing his eyebrows. “Sensei, I thought you said the quirk process messed up his memory.” 

    “Sometimes particularly harmful ones stay, Tomura.” Sensei explains. 

    Liar liar liar l i a r - 

    “We should train him some more, before he escapes again.” Shigaraki decides. 

    “If you wish.” Sensei agrees. 

    Izuku screams as he goes back. 

    Izuku doesn’t know how he got onto the floor, held in Himiko-chan’s arms. That memory had been so much more vivid than the others, and it had stayed for much longer. Oh dear. 

    “Izu-kun?” Himiko-chan poked his cheek. “You’re shaking.” 

    “I’m not- I’m not a dog.” Izuku rasped. 

    “We know that, Silly.” Himiko-chan teased, but she didn’t laugh. That was how Izuku knew she was taking the situation seriously. She always laughed, even when Izuku had accidentally stabbed her in the ribs. She had told him, “If you wanted to see my blood, Izu-kun, you could have just asked!” In a fit of giggles as Kurogiri bandaged her. 

    But she wasn’t laughing now. She wasn’t even smiling, her face scrunched up in worry. 

    “I’m not…” Izuku takes a shaky breath. “I’m okay. I promise.” He glances up to the other people in the room. 

    Stain, Kurogiri, and Tomura weren’t even sparing a glance to Izuku. Tomura and Stain were arguing about something - focusing on the specifics hurt his head. Even thinking about Tomura too much hurt his head. 

    Izuku rubbed his arm, trying to soothe the prickles of pain that probably weren’t actually there. “I’m really fine, Himiko-chan. I just zoned out for a minute.” 

    “You do that a lot, right, Izu-kun?” Himiko-chan asked. Izuku nodded. 

    “Does it do with why you’re scared of the dark?” She asked. Izuku’s blood goes cold. He had never told her about his fear; in fact, he actively tried to hide it. The only person who Izuku thought knew was Dabi-kun. Izuku had nightmares, apparently, when he didn’t use a night light. Dabi-kun had mumbled something about “Damn Kid is too high maintenance, I swear to Christ-” , but wordlessly kept at least one night light on at all times. 

    “Yeah.” Izuku whispered. Himiko-chan nodded. 

    Suddenly, the door slammed. Izuku glanced over to see Stain gone and Tomura absolutely seething. 

    “Stand up, Izuku. I have a job for you.” 

Chapter Text

    Izuku didn’t want to be here, which was a first. Analyzing was kind of his thing. Stain was kind of his thing, too, even if he acted mildly annoyed with the tiny boy trailing him. But Izuku was so sick. Of Tomura, who was too blind from his own goals to care about Izuku. Of Stain, who was mildly annoyed by Izuku’s existence. Of the heroes, who wanted to capture him for things Izuku was now fairly confident wasn’t in his control. 

    He didn’t want to be following a wanted criminal because Tomura asked him to. He wanted to be at home. 

    Where is home, even?

    Izuku sighed and clutched his notebook as Stain made a motion for him to stop. In this part of Hosu city, the streets were grimy and the lights were flickering. The perfect place for a crime, deserted and forgotten. 

    Suddenly, being in prison didn’t seem so bad. 

    No, Izuku thought, Don’t be like that. It was unfair to Shouto-kun to get caught and stripped away, not when he was already so alone. Living with a father who didn’t deserve someone so bright and shining as Shouto-kun. It was unfair to Kacchan, too, who was hurting from Izuku’s own disappearance more than he would admit. He had been so much more calm nowindays, actually listening to Izuku and gruffly offering advice. 

    “Don’t get in my way.” Stain warned Izuku, positioning him right behind the corner. “I’m only letting you come so that leader of yours doesn’t throw a fit.” 

    “I won’t let you down, Stain-san.” Izuku breathed. He watched as Stain snuck up behind the prohero Native, who was preoccupied with another person; a small time criminal, maybe a shoplifter. 

    Do something. 

    He watched as creeped towards his target, pulling out a knife. It shimmered in the dim moonlight, so small yet so deadly. He jammed it into the hero’s side, licking the blade. 

    Don’t just stand there, Izuku, please.

    He watched as someone Izuku’s age stumbled onto the scene, talking about revenge. One of Shouto-kun’s classmates, Izuku noticed idly. It was the exact same one who had been so suspicious of Izuku all the way back during the Sports Festival. 

    He’s just a child. 

    He watched as Stain chided him for his motives, immobilizing him. He looked like he was in so much pain, yelling to Stain about vengeance. Izuku saw how similarly his suit was similar to Ingenium. A fan, maybe.

    Izuku run run run do something Izuk u - 

    Izuku ran. It was a terrible idea, he knew, but he couldn’t just do nothing he had to help he couldn’t just do nothing- 

    “Stain-san, you have to let him go!” Izuku cried. His throat hurt. This was so unfair. “He’s not even a hero yet!” 

    “Midoriya?” His eyes widened. What was his name again? Something familiar. “You have to leave, you’re just a civilian!” 

    “And what? Let you die?” Izuku shook. 

    “Don’t butt in where you don’t belong, Child.” Stain said. “Go back to Shigaraki if you can’t handle my work.”

    “Your work has nothing to do with killing innocent people!” Izuku yelled. “You talk about how different you and Tomura are, but can’t you see? You aren’t different at all! You kill the things you don’t like, just like him! Like a coward! And when people get in your way, you throw them to the side, just like him!” Izuku stomped his foot. 

    “I’ll give you five seconds to start leaving.” Stain’s voice was low and threatening, stalking towards Izuku. 

    No one was here to protect Izuku, now. He didn’t have Tomura to fight for him anymore. He didn’t have Shouto-kun or Kacchan or anyone. He had no one but small, weak Izuku. 

    That had to be enough. 

    Stain probably hadn’t been expected Izuku to reel back and punch him right in the face. “Shit! You brat!” Stain hissed. He went in to slash Izuku, but he jumped back. Gravel crunched between his feet. 

    He would never be enough if he didn’t try. He had to be stronger, for the people counting on him. He had to be strong if he wanted to help people. 

    Stain’s muscles tended to twitch while he was fighting. It would have been too little for Izuku to notice, but because of his quirk, he picked up on it pretty quick. He was able to use it to dodge, letting his hair fly in his face. Izuku had to be enough for everyone to believe in him. He had to be worth something. 

    Another stab. Another dodge. Izuku was doing it. Izuku was going to be enough - 

    He wasn’t enough. Izuku crashed to the floor, blood seeping out of his chest. 

    “It’s a shame. Shigaraki isn’t going to like me killing his dog very much.” Stain sighed. “But it was necessary.” 

    “I’m not a dog.” Izuku hissed. “I have my own thoughts. I am my own person.” 

    Stain looked amused, almost, as he went to speak. Izuku still wonders what he was going to say. What could have made him so confident, so willing to ignore his surroundings. 

    But he wouldn’t know, because a lot of things happened at once. Ice erupted out towards Stain, encasing him. And when he broke free, a scarf wrapped around him. Izuku could suddenly move again, but it hurt god why did it hurt. 

    Izuku, you’re bleeding out. Your chest is wounded. If you move, you might die. 

    Izuku hissed, but stayed where he was.  

    “You’re lucky I was in town, Midoriya.” Eraserhead looked over to him, his face refusing to betray any emotions. “I was investigating a certain problem child and his unusual movement patterns with the hero killer. I wouldn’t have thought to look here, if that same problem child didn’t leave me a tip. 

    What tip? 

    Izuku frowned, going to ask questions, when someone leaned down next to him. “You have to rest, Izuku. You’re losing blood fast.” Blurry heterochromatic eyes watched his. 

    “...Shoucchan?” Izuku asked softly. 

    “Yeah, Izuku, it’s me.” He pressed something to Izuku’s chest, making him hiss again. “Shoucchan, I wasn’t enough. I’m sorry.” Izuku whispered. “Tell Kacchan I’m sorry, too.” 


    “And- and Himiko-chan. The blonde girl? She worries about me.”


    “And my mom. She’s very nice.” Izuku wheezed out a breath. “I love her. Tell her that.” 

    “Izuku, stop. You aren’t going to die.” Shoucchan frowned. 

    “I’m sorry.” Izuku teared up. “I’m making you upset.” His eyes fluttered a little bit. 

    “Izuku? Izuku!”

    Shouto remembered the day Touya died, faintly. He had been very little, only five. His quirk had just really started to get powerful. He hadn’t understood, when his family was so upset. 

    Isn’t Touya free now, Fuyumi? Shouto had asked his older sister. He doesn’t have to live with Father, just like he had wanted. 

    He hadn’t understood why she cried, held him tightly. Shouto had worried that he was messed up, somehow, for not feeling upset like she had. 

    Shouto understood, suddenly, when Izuku passed away in his arms. His breath had been so warm, just before it stopped. Shouto felt numb. 

    Numb, as the paramedics ushered him away. 

    Numb, as his father yelled at him for running off. 

    Numb, as he watched Izuku pulled away on a stretcher. 

    As much as he should have been glad Izuku was finally away from the villains, it still hurt. 

    God, had it hurt. 

    Shouto startled when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked over and saw Aizawa-sensei. “That kid was really annoying.” He grumbled. “Stubborn problem child. No villain is going to kill that Midoriya, you got that? Lord knows he wouldn’t stop being a thorn in my side.” 

    Shouto frowned softly. “That’s insensitive to the dead, Aizawa-sensei.” 

    “Not if he doesn’t die.” 

    Suddenly, Shouto understood what he meant. Still, he couldn’t help but remember the last thing he had said to Izuku. They had been arguing. Shouto had accidentally let his sleeve roll up, and Izuku noticed a bruise on his arm. When confronted, Shouto had explained that it had just been from training. 

    Izuku hadn’t reacted well. He had tensed up, his breath picking up speed. He had begged Shouto to tell someone. Shouto had gotten upset. You don’t know anything, Izuku! He had yelled. You’re too naive for your own good! And now Izuku was dead. 

    Shouto was shivering when he finally turned to Aizawa-sensei. He could have at least do the last thing Izuku had ever asked of him. 

    “...Aizawa-sensei, have you heard of quirk marriages?”

Chapter Text

    For a long time, Izuku thought he had always been afraid of the dark. It was an awful fear for someone working with villains, though, so he had tried to hide it. He was never very good at it, judging by the way Dabi-kun left a night light on every night, even as he complained about it being too bright. 

    Izuku wasn’t always afraid of the dark, he realized. Months of being locked in dark rooms, of sadistic smiles and torture, was the culprit. He was conditioned to be afraid of the dark. 

    All the easier to control you with, My Dear. 

    Izuku was standing in a void. It was dark. Izuku should have been scared, should have started freaking out and crying. But this darkness wasn’t cold and unnerving. It was warm. It was the vast, limitless potential, just like knowledge. Izuku let out a sigh. His arm tingled, but it didn’t hurt. 


    Izuku looked around and locked eyes with another person. It was blurry, and its features were hard to make out. It was a shadow, somehow there but not at the same time. Izuku realized that he recognized that voice. 

    “Am I crazy?” Izuku blurted out. “You’re a - a voice inside my head. That means that I’m crazy.” 

    The figure raised an eyebrow (how did it even do that?), before letting out a soft laugh. You always worry. It tilted its head. I’m not a figment of your imagination. 

    “You didn’t say I’m not crazy.” 

    You’ve been through a lot, Izuku. I’m not going to lie to you.

    “Great.” Izuku ran a hand through his hair. “I’m dead, though, right?”

    The figure watched him sympathetically. Probably. They’re trying to save you, but it seems unlikely you’ll make it. It paused, letting the information sink into Izuku. You really like quirks, Izuku, so I thought you’d be curious.

    No two quirks are exactly the same, kind of like fingerprints. Even identical twins tend to have subtle differences in their quirks. One might be more aggressive, maybe. That’s because a quirk is a part of you. You influence your quirk just as much as it influences you. It’s normal. 

    But taking someone’s quirk and forcing it onto someone else? That isn’t normal. I used to - I’m not a real person. Not that I know of, anyway. I’m just an imprint, left by the last person who had your quirk. I don’t have their memories, or their relationships, I’m just… A feeling. 

    Being inside of All for One was like a prison. Quirks are chained and paraded around like zoo animals. There is so much screaming. But you, Child, aren’t like him. The figure put a hand on Izuku’s head. It didn’t feel like more than a soft breeze. You’re compassionate. You’re determined. You’ve gone through hell and back, yet here you are, worrying more about your friends’ reactions to your death than anything else. I am your quirk, Izuku, and I’m proud of that. To help you. 

    Izuku felt something warm on his cheeks. Tears. “I’m sorry.” He whispered. 

    No, Child, I’m sorry. I was forced on you. Using me, people have done awful things. But you? You aren’t like them. You’re going to do great things one day. And I’ll be there to help you. 

    “I can’t do anything good if I die.” Izuku hugged himself. 

    You already have, Izuku. The figure wrapped Izuku into a hug, and Izuku felt comforted. Peaceful. You deserve some rest, I think. 

    “Thank you.” Izuku mumbled. “If I survive, I - I’m going to help people. I don’t know what that means just yet. But I’m going to do it.” 

    Then do it, Child. I’ll be watching. 

    Ochako had never known how to feel about Midoriya Izuku. He was pretty simple, at first glance. Sweet and bubbly, not quite wanting to be a hero but loving to support others. Such a ray of sunshine, he had managed a protection squad that consisted of the three grumpiest people of 1-A; Todoroki-kun, Bakugo-kun, and Shinsou-kun. Even Aizawa-sensei seemed to have his own positive feelings towards him, grumbling about how the stupid problem child needed to stop putting everything on himself. 

    But then, when she happened to stumble upon the Squad going to a cat cafe, she found out that Midoriya Izuku was not as simple as she thought. 

    Midoriya Izuku was a villain. And the Izuku Protection Squad was okay with that. She watched Izuku talk to a wanted serial killer as if she was an older sister of his. She watched him laugh when said serial killer pulled out a knife and held it to his throat because they disagreed on the best character of a TV show. 

    And now, he was as good as dead. Only being kept alive by machines. Not enough blood, they said. Intensive surgery, they said. Unlikely to survive, they said. 

    And now the Izuku Protection squad was in shambles. Shinsou-kun had gone totally detective, working to find out where the villains who held Midoriya-kun were so he could “fucking murder them”. Bakugo-kun was so quiet , reading some kind of notebook and giving the squad too much food for them all to reasonably eat. Kirishima-kun, who Ochako hadn’t even known was dating Bakugo-kun, showed him with affection that Bakugo-kun didn’t argue against. 

    Todoroki-kun was the worst. He always seemed in a daze. Whenever he would be in one place for too long, ice would creep onto the floor. He always seemed like he had frostbite. He’d ask for progress on Midoriya-kun over and over, and always got the same reaction when he was told. Like someone just kicked his puppy. 

    It was almost like someone had. 

    Ochako had been in the waiting room with the others when a woman burst into the waiting room. She had burst into the room, tears on her cheeks and a phone still in her hand. Ochako recognized who she was; she looked just like Midoriya-kun. 

    “My son! Where is my son?” She cried, looking around frantically. She zeroed in on Bakugo-kun. “Katsuki-kun, where is Izuku?” 

    He looked up, muttering a light shit and standing up. “He’s in surgery, Aunt Inko. We can’t see him right now.” 

    The woman let out a sob. “Again?” 

    Bakugo-kun put a hand on her shoulder, distant but still warm. “Sit down, Aunt Inko. Look. These are, um, Izuku’s friends.” His voice was the softest Ochako had ever heard it. The woman looked around, wide eyed. “All of you?” 

    Shinsou-kun looked up quickly and nodded. “Yeah. Midoriya’s a cute little shit, I’ll tell you that much.” 

    She laughed, sad but relieved. “He is, isn’t he?” 

    “He’s manly!” Kirishima-kun’s eyes lit up. “So cool.”

    “Izuku is the closest friend I have.” Todoroki-kun whispered, not looking up. “I really, um, like him.” 

    Midoriya’s mom nodded and sat down. “I have, um, pictures?” She asked shyly. Everyone nodded in agreement, even Ochako. It was a nice distraction, after all. 

    Because Midoriya-kun had to be okay. He had too many friends counting on him.

Chapter Text

    Hospitals always had a very specific smell. Sterile antiseptic, an impersonal cleanliness that didn’t care whether you lived or died. Sun filtered through the curtains, warm but blinding. Everything was so white. On the little bedside table were flowers, carefully chosen candies, and a plate of katsudon wrapped up and ready to be reheated. Snoring was barely heard over the beeping and buzzing of machines, coming from none other than Midoriya Inko, slouched in the chair and still with tear stains on her cheeks. 

    Izuku let out a sigh. 

    There was a dull pain in Izuku’s chest, but it wasn’t splitting. Everything felt dizzy. He was probably under some kind of pain medication. 

    Izuku realized with a startle that he was now in the hands of the law. Just because they didn’t let him die didn’t mean he still wasn’t in trouble. Big trouble. His breath picked up. Once he got better, he’d go to jail. He’d never see Shouto-kun or Kacchan or his mom ever again and they’d all forget them and - 

    “Breathe, Kid. You’re panicking.” 

    Izuku didn’t see the source of the voice, but obliged anyway. He let out slow, pained breaths. He tried to silence the worry, but it didn’t seem to be going anywhere. 

    “Good. You’ve caused everyone a lot of trouble, Problem Child.” Izuku looked around more, but felt a tap. There was a man on the other side of the bed. He was scruffy and almost homeless looking, but Izuku recognized him anyway. 

    Scar under his eye. Black hair. About the same height and build. It’s Eraserhead. 

    “Oh. I’m sorry.” Izuku frowned. “How long am I here for?” 

    “I wouldn’t worry about that just yet. You’re lucky you aren’t dead.” He crossed his arms. “What were you thinking, getting in a fight with the hero killer? He kills heroes. Do you even have any fighting experience at all?”

    “Kacchan’s been teaching me to fight.” Izuku muttered. 

    “That’s even worse, Bakugo is a terrible teacher. Seriously, you have, like, five friends in the hero course? Any of them would be a better option.” 

    “Eraserhead-san -” 

    “If you wanted to do good, you should have called the police, instead of sending some random location to Todoroki. You were irresponsible and if that keeps up you’re going to be in serious trouble, you hear me?” 

    “Eraser -” 

    “Don’t think I haven’t gotten onto Iida, either. Both of you are in trouble, you hear me?”



    “That’s sweet of you, but you can’t punish me in prison.” Izuku smiled sadly. 

    “What - You think you’re going to prison?” Eraserhead-san squinted at Izuku. 

    Izuku nodded slowly. “I, um, I’m a villain.” 

    “Christ, Kid, you were kidnapped. ” He sighed. “Look. We can talk about your sentencing later, once the others get here. But you probably aren’t going to prison.” 

    Izuku nodded slowly. “Oh. Okay, Eraserhead-san.” 

    “It’s Aizawa.” 


    “My name. All the other kids call me that, you might as well too.” 

    Izuku frowned. “Oh, um, I will. Aizawa-san.”

    “Now,” Aizawa-san softened a little, ruffling Izuku’s hair. “How are you feeling, Kid?”

    “Okay. Scared.” Izuku shifted. “Are the other kids okay? Iida-san and Shouto-kun?” Aizawa-san nodded. “They’re fine. They’ve both been waiting to see you, actually. Do you mind…?” 

    Izuku shook his head. “No, not at all. Um, Shouto-kun first?” 

    Aizawa-san agreed and left. To Izuku’s other side, he heard a stifled sob. 


    He turned and saw his mom, staring at him like he was made of glass. “Hi, Mom.” He whispered. She wiped her tears. “Izuku, I never thought I… I thought my baby’d be gone before he came back.” 

    “No. No, Mom, I’m here.” Izuku smiled weakly. 

    “They want us to live together, inside UA.” Izuku’s mom whispered. “So we’ll be safe. So you won’t get kidnapped again.” 

    Izuku frowned. “Me? Why?” His mom rubbed his shoulder. “Because they care about you, Izuku. There are so many people waiting for you… You’ve always been so lonely. Your only friend would leave you with scars and burns.” She gave him a pointed look, letting him know he would not get away with keeping that secret. “But now, there’s a whole group of kids glued to that waiting room. They… Are they really all your friends?” 

    Izuku nodded. “Yeah. They’re all my friends, Mom.” She smiled a watery smile. “That’s good, Izuku.” 

    A nurse walked in, giving his mom a patient smile. “I just need to check some things, Midoriya-san. Do you mind stepping out?” 

    Her eyes have a weird look to them. She’s fingering something under her coat pocket. She’s bouncing on her feet as if she’s excited. 

    Is that Toga? 

    Izuku frowned, watching as his mom nodded and left the room. Once it closed, he glanced back to the nurse. “Himiko-chan?” 

    She absolutely brightened. “I knew you would recognize me, Izu-kun! You’re so smart! Are you okay?”


    She tsked. “Yeah, the heroes want to make you unable to fight back. Come on, let’s go!” She skipped up to him, moving to help him get out of bed. 


    Izuku paused. He could leave with her right then. He wouldn’t be hurt by the heroes. He’d be free, just like before. But he never really was free, was he? He was just a dog for Tomura. He was never his own person. 

    “Are you worried? Shigaraki isn’t angry with you.” She tilted her head. 

    I’m going to help people, He had promised. He thought about his mom, who worried over him not having friends. Aizawa-san, who ruffled his hair and gave him a little half smile when he talked to him. His friends, who were waiting for him right now. 

    “No. I want to stay, Himiko-chan. I want to be better.” He whispered. She stopped. “You want to be a hero?” 

    “No. I don’t think so, at least. But I don’t want to help Tomura. I don’t want to go back.” 

    Himiko-chan frowned. “I don’t know if I can help you if you change your mind. Shigaraki won’t let you go.” 

    “Tell him I’m dead.” Izuku pleaded. “Tell everyone I’m dead. They won’t care.” 

    “Dabi will care.” 

    “You can - you can tell Dabi-kun.” Izuku nodded. “But not anyone else.” 

    Himiko-chan nodded softly. She grabbed a card off the tableside, and a pen. She scribbled on it before handing it to Izuku. 

    “Be safe, Izu-kun. I love you.” She spoke softly. 

    “I love you, too, Himiko-chan.” Izuku smiled weakly. “Tell Dabi-kun he can finally take out that night light.” 

    Himiko-chan laughed lightly. “I will.” She opened the window and jumped out, giving Izuku a wink. “I’ll see you later.” 

    Izuku looked at the card. The real name had been crossed out and a new message was written. 

        To Izu-kun,

    You’re going to do good things one day, Hero-kun. Don’t forget about who made you famous. We’ll be waiting for you when you need us. 

        From Himi-chan <3


    Izuku smiled, wiping his tears. 

    “Izuku? Why are you crying?”

Chapter Text


    Shouto-kun had always been the prettiest person that Izuku knew. His hair was always perfectly parted, his eyes always managing to look alluring. Even his scar, something he insisted was unsightly, helped his whole appearance. He always dressed like someone out of a fashion model. 

    So it was unsettling to see him, now. His hair was disheveled, red and white mixing together. He had bags under his eyes, and he was slouching. He wore a crumpled hoodie that Izuku recognized as something Izuku had let him borrow when it suddenly started raining. 

    Here, Shouto-kun! I always wear two hoodies when I’m cold and you need it more than me!

    “You look awful.” Izuku whispered. Shouto-kun looked startled for a second before laughing. It was a rare sight, to see him laugh genuinely like that, even if it was laced with sadness. 

    “Izuku. You’re in a hospital bed with a gash bigger than my forearm. You look awful.” He stopped laughing, going to sit next to Izuku. 

    “Yeah, well, I have an excuse.” Izuku waggled his finger. “You have to take care of yourself, you dummy.” 

    “I know. I will.” Shouto-kun paused. “I told Aizawa-sensei. About my father.” Izuku remembered the fight they had a few days ago, over how Shouto-kun was treated. Izuku had wanted him to tell someone. Anyone. 

    “Is he doing something about it?” Izuku asked softly. 

    “He wants to open an investigation on my father. It shouldn’t be difficult, with my mother in the hospital and my brother’s death.” 

    “You had a brother that died?” 

    “Yes. His name was Touya. He had my father’s quirk, but it was more powerful. Hotter. Blue flames. But his heat regulation wasn’t working right because of my mother. One day he ran away, and my father found his body.” 

    If he had poor heat regulation, he would have burned himself often. Leaving scars. And having blue flames isn’t an impossibly rare quirk, but one that’s not unheard of. And what about that time at the cat cafe? The way he used Shouto’s full name. 

    Dabi is Shouto’s brother. 

    “Oh my god.” Izuku paled, clenching the sheets. 

    “What?” Shouto-kun frowned. 

    “Nothing, I just - That’s terrible.” Izuku couldn’t tell Shouto-kun, not right now. That’d just make him even more upset. He would confront Dabi-kun, though, and give him one heck of a lecture. Eventually. 

    “It’s nothing I’m not used to.” Shouto-kun shrugged. 

    The door opened, revealing Aizawa-san with two other people. One was a detective from the police department, but a very plain looking one. The other was very odd looking. He was an animal of some kind wearing a suit. 

    A very small bear? No, wait, a mouse? Or a rat?

    He made Izuku’s head hurt a little. 

    “Midoriya, this is Detective Tsukauchi and principal of UA, Nedzu.” Aizawa-san waved his hand half heartedly. 

    “We’d like to ask you a few questions, Midoriya.” Tsukauchi-san sat down. Izuku nodded. “You were affiliated with the League of Villains, correct?” 


    “How high up in the ranking were you?”

    “Oh, um, I’m not sure. I was at the bottom, but the whole thing is very small. Then two new recruits came in, but I’d call them my equals.” 

    “So, your leader was Shigaraki Tomura?”

    “No. My leader was above him.” Izuku frowned, clutching his arm. 

    Hurt hurt hurt. 

    “His name is - is-” Izuku tried to keep his breath steady. 

    You’ll be a good boy, won’t you, Izuku? Otherwise we’ll just have to keep having these little chats you hate so much.

    “He can-” 

    Is it the quirk? I could take it out. 

    “Midoriya, that’s alright.” Nedzu-san stopped him. “We thought something like that might happen. Aizawa?” 

    Aizawa-san grumbled as he pulled out something hiding in his scarf. 

    It was a little cat. 

    “Here, pet it.” He dumped the cat onto Izuku’s lap. It purred softly, somehow able to carefully avoid any of his injuries. “What’s her name?” Izuku asked softly.

    “You get to name her.” Aizawa-san shrugged. “It’s a support animal.”

    “I suggested it.” Shouto-kun piped up. “Cats always seem to make you feel better.” 

    “I’ll name her Sasae! Sacchan for short.” Izuku grinned. Aizawa-san raised an eyebrow. “...really?” Izuku nodded, petting her as gently as he could. “He gave me my quirk.” He tried to itch at his arm, but stopped when Sacchan gave him an annoyed meow. 

    “He gave you a quirk?” Tsukauchi-san tensed up. 

    Izuku nodded. “That’s his thing. He’s pretty well known underground. Kind of like an urban legend?” 

    “Okay. I just gave one more question.” Tsukauchi-san paused. “Do you want to be a villain, Midoriya Izuku?” 

    Izuku blinked at him owlishly.     “No? That seems like a silly question. Why would I ever tell you yes, even if I did? Sorry, that makes it sound like I want to be a villain. I don’t! I promise. But it just seems really odd.” 

    “My quirk. I’m a lie detector.” Tsukauchi-san chuckled. 

    “Midoriya-kun, we’ll be honest with you. It is not safe to allow you in the outside world.” Nedzu said, acting surprisingly cheery for the situation. “Even if you were kidnapped, spending that long with villains couldn’t have been good for your mental state. You have managed to get close to a number of my students and, in the wrong hands, would be a disaster for the school. And it is likely that the villains are going to want you back. If you stay in the public eye, you and your mother could be in danger. But, luckily, you also have something we want. You must have gathered a lot of information on villains while you were under their custody, correct?” 

    Izuku nodded softly. 

    “That would be very helpful in helping us with not only the League, but other high profile cases as well. You can think how the villains think. You can help plan their next moves. So, we’d like to offer you a deal, Midoriya-kun. UA will allow you to live at our campus free of charge, and instead have you work out your sentence through community service. However, You will also have to spend a part of your time helping the heroes and the police department with any cases they may ask you about. How does that sound?” 

    Izuku hadn’t noticed he was crying until then, stubbornly wiping his face. “Ever since I was little, I’ve always wanted to help people. I’ve done bad things. Even if I was kidnapped, that was me. I allowed those things to happen. I gave people information knowing it would lead to someone getting hurt. But now, I want to redeem myself. I want to help others! And if that means helping the police, I’ll do it, one hundred percent!” 

    “Izuku, you’re crying.” Shouto-kun whispered. Izuku noticed his eyes were watery, too. 

    “I’m going to be a hero, Shouto-kun, just like you!” Izuku promised. “Even if I don’t want to be a pro, I’m going to help others. I’m going to make the world a better place!” 

    Nedzu smiled politely. “It’s a deal, then.” 

Chapter Text

    Izuku hadn’t seen the sun in three weeks. It was a sudden realization as he stood outside of the hospital, sun warming his face an a breeze filtering through his matted hair. His crutches were uncomfortable and clunky, but Izuku didn’t mind them all that much. Sacchan somehow managed to navigate alongside them with ease. It was her quirk, Aizawa-san had explained. A good one, too, for a therapy cat. 

    “Fuck, Nerd, how much shit do you own ?” Kacchan snapped, holding all of Izuku’s bags. They had arrived a week into his visit in his hospital room, along with a note that simply read Love you! - Himi-chan <3. It had taken a lot of investigating (and confiscating, since Himiko-chan thought it appropriate to give Izuku a few knives) in order to let Izuku keep it all. He was glad to have his notebooks back and out of Tomura’s hands. 

    “If it’s too heavy, I can carry it for you, Bakugo.” Shoucchan hummed, holding a single notebook in his own hands. 


    “There’s no harm in weakness, Bakugo.” 

    “GIVE ME THAT!” Kacchan swiped the notebook and added it to the pile. Izuku knew Shoucchan was just messing with him by the way he had a tiny satisfied smile. 

    “Boys. Don’t fight in public.” Aizawa-san sighed, turning back to glare at them. “And you can’t be loud when we get to the school. The last thing we need is the entire class crowding Midoriya before he steps into his own home.” 

    “The kids can’t be that excitable, can they?” Izuku’s mom asked softly. 

    “Oh, they can.” Shoucchan hummed. He stopped walking to scoop up Sacchan, who purred and rubbed into his left side. 

    “You’re such a cheater, Shoucchan!” Izuku whined. “Sacchan just likes your left side.” 

    “Well, that’s not something I can control. Sasae is just a smart kitty.” He teased, scratching her head. 

    “Stop flirting, you’re giving me a headache.” Kacchan rolled his eyes. 

    “What?” Izuku’s eyes widened. “We weren’t flirting! Don’t be so mean, Kacchan!” He walked through the doors of the school, making sure he had the ID he had been given on him. The school grounds were oddly quiet, with school in session. Izuku thought that Aizawa-san and Shoucchan were really just being overdramatic. 

    But then a crowd of kids ran out from the corner. 

    There were three he didn’t know the names of, alongside Uraraka-chan and Kirishima-kun. 

    “Guys, he just got out of the hospital! You’ll make him panic!” Uraraka-chan warned. She was sweating a little, her cheeks flushed and her forehead glistening. She had been running after them, calling out the entire way. 

    “So unmanly!” Kirishima-kun agreed. He was also significantly exhausted by the run over. Kirishima-kun was one of the strongest people he knew. If he was that out of breath, how fast could the other three have been? Izuku supposed that it made sense, being in the hero course and all. 

    “You’re the one that calls Bakugo Kacchan!” One of the others gasped. He had blonde hair with a black lightning bolt and a smug smile. He was leaning in close to Izuku, hands in his pockets. 

    “Let that name come out of your name again and I’ll fucking kill you, Pikachu.” Kacchan growled. The boy pointedly ignored his stare, still looking at Izuku expectantly. 

    “Ah! Do you not like the name? Sorry, Kacchan.” Izuku frowned. 

    “Shut up and stop worrying. God, you’re such a nerd.” He snorted, adjusting his bag. 

    “Shouldn’t you all be in class?” Aizawa-san narrowed his eyes. 

    “Yeah, but Mic-sensei didn’t notice when we left.” The girl with the pink skin piped up. “He’s too busy watching Bakugo’s friend through the window.” She grinned. “What was your name, again?”

    “Oh! I’m Midoriya Izuku.” Izuku smiled sweetly, bowing a little. 

    “Cool.” The other boy with black hair and odd elbows nodded. “I’m Sero. This is Ashido and Kaminari.” He pointed to the two others respectively. 

    “We tried to get them to like Midori-kun alone.” Uraraka-chan apologized softly. “We didn’t mean to leave class.” 

    “Whatever. Go back to class.” Aizawa-san sighed, shooting Ashido-chan a glare when she went to go pet Sacchan. 

    “Oh, come oooon!” She whined. “Shouldn’t we get to know him? He’s so cute! He’s a student here, right, Sensei?” 

    “Not yet.” Aizawa-san shrugged. “We’ll have to see.” 

    “Do you have a crush on Bakugo?” Kaminari-kun whispered to Izuku, glancing to Kacchan. 

    Izuku blushed. “Uh-”

    “Of course not, Fucker, I’m already taken.” Kacchan snapped. “Besides, he’s basically dating Icyhot anyway.”

    Ashido-chan whipped around. “TODOROKI?!” 

    “What no-” Izuku tried to explain. 

    “This is very inappropriate.” Shoucchan chided. 

    “Yeah!” Kirishima-kun interrupted. “If they want to keep their relationship a secret, we should respect that!” 

    “I’m not dating Shoucchan.” Izuku insisted. 

    “OH MY GOD YOU CALL HIM SHOUCCHAN?!” Ashido-chan practically screamed. “This is too cute! You have to be kidding me!”

    “Ashido.” Aizawa-sensei snapped. “Class. All of you.” 

    The three grumbled as they went to class, trailed by Kirishima-kun and Uraraka-chan. Izuku looked over and noticed Shoucchan was kind of… On fire. 

    “Um, Shoucchan…?” Izuku squeaked. Shoucchan noticed and his eyes widened, patting out his flames. Izuku’s mom was holding back her laughter, eyes shining at the entire situation. “Is it always this lively?” She asked Aizawa-san. 

    “Sadly.” He sighed. “Come on, your home is this way.” 

    Aizawa-san lead them to a small home in the back of the school. It was cozy, and bigger than anywhere Izuku had lived before. It was obviously just built, and had a modern feel to it. 

    It felt like home. 

    Not just because of the appearance. Or because of the way the sun filtered through the front, without grime or pestering villains in the front. Because of his mother beside him, who was carefully watching Izuku like he was the best thing she had ever seen. Because of Shoucchan, who was apologizing softly to Sacchan for accidentally almost burning her. Because of Kacchan, who looked around lazily with a look that could have been mistaken for annoyance, but had a kind of warmth to it. 

    He was almost afraid to step inside. He could imagine the cold laugh as he was torn away. A chilling voice asking him, ‘Did you really believe all of this, Izuku? You’re mine. Nothing more than a plaything for Tomura.’. 

    But he was gone. Forever. He was surrounded by friends who loved and cared about him. Who would never, ever hurt him. He realized faintly that his quirk wasn’t so aggressive, since Izuku was captured. He supposed that it didn’t really need to, anymore. 

    He stepped inside. 

Chapter Text

    Izuku had never been particularly longing in his past life, before Shoucchan. He had a family (at least, he thought he did), he had pretty much free reign to do as he pleased, and nothing too awful was asked of him. But now, looking back, he should have wanted so much more.

    The ever constant sunlight, shining throughout the house and warming everything up. Once his mom learned of his love for sunlight, she always kept the windows open and let it filter inside. Even moonlight was pleasant, although Izuku still needed to sleep with a nightlight. 

    The gentleness of a mother's touch, the way she would hug Izuku and stroke his hair. The way she would spend time with him, even if it was only sitting in the same room. She would listen to him talk about his day. She would make him warm meals and she made sure he felt loved. He did feel loved. 

    Most of all, he should have longed for friendship. Aizawa-san tried to keep the students from bothering the little family, but it didn’t last long. It started with Shoucchan staying the night, being tossed around from his sister’s house to his brother’s to Aizawa-san’s as Endeavor was under investigation. Then Kacchan started coming over to help his mother cook. Then it was his other friends. And then it was Kacchan’s friends, a group of four that called themselves the Bakusquad. Then Kouda-kun came over holding a disgruntled Sacchan, who had chased a bird into the school and kept being harassed by students. Then a girl from class 1-B stopped by asking shyly for a lunch, since she forgot her own and her wallet. Then a third year offered to help his mom hang up some plants when she couldn’t reach. 

    Now, Izuku and his mom were delegated to being the sweethearts of UA. 

    Izuku was suddenly a lot busier. He took online classes to make up for the school he missed. He did community service to help with the things he did under Tomura’s care. He was asked by various heroes and police about different villains, their quirks, anything Izuku could give. 

    He was working on an assignment for school when there was a knock on his bedroom door. His bedroom was extremely colorful. It was covered with pictures. Some of them were posters from heroes, but his favorites were the ones he took. The one of Shoucchan, petting Sacchan with a small smile on his face. The one of a grumpy Kacchan doing Ashido-chan’s makeup because she dared him that he couldn’t. The one of Kaminari-kun and Shinso-kun having a meme-off, surrounded by a bunch of kids as they shouted obscure memes at one another. The one of his mom, surrounded by pretty flowers from her garden. 

    “Come in!” He called, and Aizawa-san stepped through the door. “Midoriya. Are you busy?” 

    Izuku straightened up. There was something about Aizawa-san that screamed authority that put Izuku on his best behavior. This man was the reason that he was living in such a peaceful home, instead of rotting in a prison cell. “No, not at all. What do you need?” 

    Aizawa-san glanced around the room before settling his eyes on Izuku. “Where are you planning on going to school after this?” He asked. 

    “Oh! I’m not very sure.” Izuku admitted, rubbing the back of his neck. “I want to help people, but I don’t know how I want to do it.”

    “Okay.” Aizawa-san nodded. “Well, exams are coming up for UA, and the kids need advice for the practical exam. Do you want to do it?”

    Izuku tilted his head. “Isn’t that your job, Aizawa-san?” 

    “Too much trouble.” Aizawa-san waved his hand. 

    Aizawa-san takes his job too seriously to just let a teenager evaluate his students for no reason. Besides, he isn’t looking at Izuku anymore, as if he had just lied. 

    Izuku smiled, swinging his legs off the side of the bed. “I know you’re lying, Aizawa-san, but that’s alright. A secret is a secret. I’d love to help you.” 

    Izuku realized idly that he’d never been inside of UA’s halls. They were pristine and grand, fitting for its reputation. It was silent, but further down, he could hear excited chatter. 


    “-special guest-” 

    “-need it-” 

    Izuku felt oddly nervous. He was friendly with almost half of the class, but that still left over a dozen kids who hadn’t met him yet. That could judge him. Would they think that he was evil? That he was weak?

    Maybe he was weak. Maybe he’d never amount to anything at all. 

    Pain pain pain pain it hurt 

    Stain had gotten him he was going to die

    He thought he would be enough. 

    Why wasn’t he enough? 

    Someone save me. 

    “Izuku.” Aizawa-san prompted, motioning him inside. Izuku stepped in. 

    The room was filled with students. He noticed a lot of them. Kacchan, scowling at Izuku in a silent question as to why he was here. Shoucchan, who gave him a nod and a small thumbs up. Ashido-chan, who was telling the boy in front of her, “I know him! I know him!” A lot of the kids had big personalities, stumbling over one another to ask why Izuku was here. 

    “Sensei, who is this?”

    “Sensei, isn’t he too young to be teaching us?”

    “Does he even go here?” 

    “Be quiet.” Aizawa-san snapped, activating his quirk. It quieted down. “This is Midoriya Izuku. You may have seen him around the campus sometimes. He’s practicing analysis, and will be helping you prepare for the exam.” He nodded to Izuku. 

    Izuku waved awkwardly. A lot of the students looked him over, confused or curious. Ashido-chan flashed him a bright thumbs up. “U- um, my quirk is called Observe. I can notice little things, and hopefully, it’ll let me give you advice on your quirks.” He said softly. 

    “That’s right. Come on, let’s meet at Gym Delta.” Aizawa-san waved his hand as the students piled out. Izuku went to follow all of them when he heard a voice. 


    Izuku recognized it. He tensed up, turning around. “Iida-kun.” He whispered. 

    “What you were saying with Stain. You work for Shigaraki. The League of Villains.” 

    Izuku cringed. “I used to.” 

    “I want you to know that I don’t respect you. You are a villain. You watched a pro hero getting assassinated, but you didn’t step in until I became involved. After that incident, I kept thinking. Had you watched Tensei get attacked, too? Had you helped him get injured? He cannot do hero work, Midoriya.” Iida-kun teared up. “I cannot respect someone who works with the villains. And I do not think someone can change so easily, just because they were caught. But had you not intervened that night, I would likely be dead. And for that, Midoriya, I owe you.” He nodded. “So I hope we can put our prejudices aside.” 

    Izuku smiled, but it was tense and shaky. “Thank you, Iida-kun. I think you’ll be a great hero some day. I did some bad things. But I’m going to prove you wrong. I’m going to help a lot of people!” He stepped out the door, looking back. 

    “I’m going to be a good person, Iida-kun!” 

Chapter Text

    Izuku had always known that UA would be impressive. It was designed to train the next generation of heroes, after all. But the size of this gym was ridiculous. It was huge and mostly empty, with various stone platforms for training. He knew it was necessary, based on the power that some of his friends had. 

    “Midoriya-kun!” Izuku turned around to face Kaminari-kun. “You must be smart to be asked to do this by Aizawa-sensei, right?” 

    Izuku blushed. “I don't know about that. But I can try to help! Do you mind sparing so I can see you fight?” 

    Kaminari-kun nodded, looking at a girl Izuku didn’t quite recognize. “Jirou, come spar with me?” 

    She smirked, sauntering up. “Like I need an excuse to hit you.” She scoffed, but it wasn’t cruel. There was a certain kind of comfort in their interactions that showed that they were actually friends. 

    Izuku sat down, pulling out his notebook and shifting to the right page. “Okay! I’m ready.” 

    Both of them were amazing. 

    Jirou-chan had these amps that she used to make loud sounds to try and distract Kaminari-kun. She was agile, dodging direct contact with him. He was a good fighter, too, not wincing too bad when she made the sounds and trying to get in close. 

    They only touched for a split second, but that was all it took. They both lit up with electricity, Jirou-chan yelping and falling to the ground. 

    “Ah-! You’re both so good!” Izuku’s eyes sparkled. 

    “Jirou-chan, your quirk is amazing! Have you tried to stick your amps into someone directly, to get a more concentrated blast? How far can they reach? Can you control what sound comes out of them? If not, maybe you could find some way to get a recording device so you can produce different sounds! It’d be easier to distract villains with, or you could make them think they hear things that aren’t there! Or maybe-” 

    You’re rambling. 

    Izuku blushed. “Sorry, that was probably a lot.” 

    “It’s alright.” Jirou-chan shrugged. “Those are some good ideas. Midoriya, right?” 

    He nodded. “I’m happy to help!” 

    She walked away, going to talk to Aizawa-san. Izuku turned back to the problem at hand. “Kaminari-kun -” 

    Kaminari-kun was standing around, spaced out. 

    “Kaminari-kun?” Izuku frowned. 

    He stood there for a few seconds. “Oh dear I think that something is wrong with Kaminari-kun -” 

    “Hold on, I got this.” Shinsou-kun said from behind Izuku. “Kami! HIT OR MISS -” 

    Kaminari-kun jolted. “I guess they never miss, huh?” He blinked a few times. “Wait what were we doing?” 

    “You wouldn’t respond to me.” Izuku explained. “Are you okay, Kaminari-kun?” 

    “What? Oh, yeah, that happens when I let out too much electricity. It makes my brain all spacey. I didn’t go all out, but when I do, my brain is like totally fried.” He laughed, rubbing the back of his neck. 

    “That’s not good, Kaminari-kun.” Izuku frowned. 

    “I keep telling him that.” Shinsou-kun told them, exasperated. 

    “Well, it just be like that sometimes.” Kaminari-kun shrugged. “It’s not that big of a deal.” 

    “...Kaminari-kun, you should get support items for that. What if you space out during battle? What if you hurt yourself too much, and you have to retire? So many bad things could happen!” 

    Kaminari-kun sighed. “...Don’t give me those puppy eyes. I’ll do it, okay?” He waved his hand and started walking away. 

    Izuku turned to Shinsou-kun. “You next!” 

    It took a few hours for Izuku to get to everyone. All of the kids who he met seemed really nice! And when it was lunch, Shoucchan caught his attention. 

    “Are you eating lunch with us, Izuku?” He asked softly. Izuku’s eyes widened. 

    “Sure! That’d be really fun.” He clapped his hands together. “Oooooh, you should sit with us, Mido!” Ashido-chan grinned. “I bet Kacchan’d appreciate it.” 

    “Are you talking shit, Bubblegum?!” Kacchan yelled from across the gym, glaring. 

    “Never!” She called back. 

    “You all are too loud.” Shoucchan pointed out. “You’ll overwhelm Izuku.” 

    Her eyes widened. “Do we make you nervous, Mido?” 

    Izuku shook his head. “Not usually! Only a little bit. It’s not a big deal, really.” 

    “We promise to be extra nice.” Ashido-chan said. “Just for you! Right, Sero? Kami?” She turned to the boys, who flashed a thumbs up. 

    “Okay.” Izuku smiled softly. It was sweet, having them all accommodate to him. And it wasn’t like Izuku hated crowds; he just preferred it to be quieter. He’d always been that way. 

    “Perfect! Let’s go!” Ashido-chan grabbed onto both boys and pulled them to the cafeteria. It was crowded, but there was an empty spot that was clearly where Kacchan and his friends sat. It was surrounded by a lot of the other 1-A kids; most notably, Shinsou-kun sat nearby with Uraraka-chan and a lot of the other girls. Izuku had an ID that he needed to get in and out of the building, so buying food was easy. 

    Izuku quickly noticed the dynamic at the table. Sero-kun, Kaminari-kun, and Ashido-chan carried the conversation while Kacchan and Shoucchan were mostly quiet. Shoucchan talked more often to the girls, especially Uraraka-chan. It was nice. 

    “Midoriya-chan, can I ask you something?” 

    Izuku looked over to one of the girls. 

    Shinsou-kun and another girl fly over the water, the villains below brainwashed below them. 

    Shinsou-kun and another girl fighting in a ring, Shinsou-kun making her walk out of bounds. 

    “Ah! Asui-chan, right?” 

    “Call me Tsuyu-chan.” 

    “Tsuyu-chan. You can ask me something, go ahead.” 

    She sat up straighter. “I tend to say what’s on my mind. And you remind me of an incident a few years back, when a boy went missing. That was you, right? Midoriya Izuku?” 

    Izuku tensed. 

    “You’re friends with Bakugou-chan and Todoroki-chan. You live inside UA. You’re being asked to help us with our training, even though you’re our age. Something happened to you, didn’t it? Something that made you important.” 

    Izuku hesitated. 

    “Tsuyu-chan, that’s kind of personal. Don’t you think?” Uraraka-chan asked softly. 

    “It’s okay.” Izuku whispered. “The truth is, I did go missing a few years back. I… I did some bad things. I was there, at the USJ. I was assigned to get information on all of you. To kill you.” 

    There was silence. 

    “I have a lot of help, now. Kacchan. Shoucchan. Aizawa-san. My mom. They helped me when I was in a bad place. I’m not innocent; I’ve done some bad things. But I’m hoping to make up for those mistakes.” 

    “You were a villain?” Ashido-chan asked, frowning. “But you’re so cute. Like a little kitten.” 

    “Y- yeah. That’s why they kept me around, I think. They thought I was cute. Like - like some kind of pet .” His hands clenched in his lap. 

    “Wow.” Someone else whispered. 

    “Are you done bothering him now?” Kacchan interrupted. “Izuku’s just a dumb nerd, okay? Trust me, he couldn’t hurt anyone if he wanted to. He’s too much of a fking softie.” He pat Izuku’s head sort of aggressively. 

    Shoucchan nodded. “I can vouch for Izuku, too. He’s done a lot to help us, even when he was with the League.” 

    “I still think you’re great, Mido!” Ashido-chan piped up. 

    “I’m just glad you were honest.” Tsuyu-chan nodded. 

    “Even with he’s with the other members, he’s like a little ball of sunshine.” Uraraka-chan laughed softly. “It’s really cute.” 

    Izuku realized with a startle that everyone at the table were okay with him. There were a few kids that didn’t take the news well; especially some of the more serious members. But even Iida-kun was quiet, not provoking Izuku. 

    Was this what it felt like to have unconditional support?

    “Izuku, you’re crying.” Shoucchan whispered, going to grab his hand. 

    “I’m okay. I’m okay! Thank you, everyone.” He whispered. 

    “If you were really evil, your mom wouldn’t make such good food.” Kaminari-kun piped up. “She made us dinner one night while we were studying, remember?” 

    Izuku laughed softly. “I remember. You accidentally shocked Sacchan and she kept hissing at you.” 

    “Oh! Oh! And then Bakugou said ‘If you’re going to be disrespectful in Aunt Inko’s house, leave.’. I’d never seen him be so polite before!” Ashido-chan lit up, grinning. 

    “FUCK YOU, I’M ALWAYS POLITE!” Kacchan yelled, glaring at her. 

    Izuku couldn’t stop smiling. 

Chapter Text

    Izuku understood why Shoucchan was so nervous. 

    Final exams were coming up. And even though Shoucchan was arguably the most powerful in the class, being cocky wouldn’t have done him any good. The teachers were working specifically to the students’ weaknesses. Still, Izuku had to admit it was a little weird to see Shoucchan accidentally set on fire when he was thinking too hard, or lose his train of thought mid-conversation. 

    Izuku’s mom didn’t think exams were what Shoucchan were worried about at all. But what else could be on his mind?

    Izuku hadn’t been expecting Shoucchan when he ran up to Izuku, panting slightly. Izuku looked up from the flowers he was planting. “Yes?” He asked softly. 

    “Izuku. I got these… You see, there’s this… You’ve been very into photography lately and…” Shoucchan spoke quietly, trailing off, before promptly lighting on fire. 

    “Ah! Not near the garden!” Izuku shooed him back a little, standing up as Shoucchan tried to pat out his flames. 

    “Sorry.” He muttered. 

    “It’s not a big deal.” Izuku waved his hand. “It’s been through worse. One time, Hado-chan was running from something and kind of trampled the marigolds…” Izuku sighed. 

    “Go out with me tonight.” Shoucchan blurted out. 


    Izuku supposed it made sense that Shoucchan was this flustered. He hadn’t had many friends as a child, and had trouble asking for things. Izuku almost always initiated their plans. In fact, it was really good that Shoucchan was trying to be braver! 

    “I’d love to spend some time with you.” Izuku smiled sweetly. 

    “Great. Um, maybe we should change…?” Shoucchan gestured vaguely to his uniform, not burned (the school made his uniforms fireproof on purpose), but slightly singed. Izuku himself was covered in dirt from the planting. “Yeah! I’ll meet you in ten, Shoucchan. You can use our bathroom, if you need to.” 

    Shoucchan nodded, and they both walked inside. Izuku’s mom was happily discussing cooking with one of the other students, a girl who came by pretty often. 

    “I’m going out with Shoucchan, Mom!” Izuku called. She looked over, nodding. “Be careful, don’t get separated from Shouto-kun.” She winked at the boys. “Have fun, you two.” 

    Izuku grinned. “We will, Mom!” 

    Izuku didn’t quite notice how Shoucchan had paled. 

    After Izuku changed into a nice shirt that said “dress shirt” on the front, he met Shoucchan out in the living room. He was dressed a little nicer, but that was always the case. Shoucchan was very good with fashion. 

    “I’m ready!” Izuku flashed a thumbs up, and they both walked out to the front. About everyone was going home already, so it was pretty empty. 

    “Midoriya. Where are you going?”

    Izuku was startled by Aizawa-san. 

    “Oh! Shoucchan asked to hang out.” He explained. Aizawa-san let out a long sigh, putting his hand on his face. 

    “Am I really going to explain why that is a bad idea?” 

    “I’ll be there to protect him.” Shoucchan said quickly. “It’s just one night, Sensei. Please?”

    “Can’t you just hang out here?” Aizawa-san narrowed his eyes. 

    “No.” Shoucchan insisted. Izuku knew that the outing had to be important, but he didn’t understand why it was such a big deal. They could always just stay in his room, playing video games together. That was what they had done every other time, after all. 

    “If either of you get in trouble I’m going to punish you. Harshly.” Aizawa-san warned. “If you die I will find your ghost and I will give you detention for the rest of eternity.” 

    Izuku laughed softly. “We promise, Aizawa-san.” 

    “I worry about you the most, Problem Child.” 

    “I know.” 

    “If you so much as think the wind is blowing in a weird way, I want both of you back on campus immediately. ” 

    Izuku saluted, smiling. “We will, Aizawa-san!” 

    “Go have fun, then.” Aizawa-san waved his hand dismissively. Shoucchan let out a sigh, nodding. 

    “We will, Sensei.” 

    Izuku was a very touchy person. This was pretty obvious if you spend any amount of time with him; he was very expressive, and when he was around with his friends, he was always brushing up against them. It wasn’t very weird to see Izuku even be touchy with Kacchan, holding into his arm as they hang out or laying his head in his lap. 

    It really wasn’t any different with Shoucchan. Izuku’s hand was linked loosely with Shoucchan’s right, a little cool but still comforting. Shoucchan had taken them to a giant garden. It was peaceful, not very crowded. The sun had just started to set, giving the whole place a gentle glow. 

    “Look, Shoucchan! Camellias!” Izuku lit up, going to look at a patch of red flowers. 

    “They’re very pretty.” Shoucchan muttered, standing by him. 

    “They really are! Thank you for taking me, Shoucchan. I love it.” Izuku turned back and smiled softly. Shoucchan nodded, before hesitating. 


    “Yeah?” Izuku watched him expectantly, blinking. Shoucchan let out a light chuckle. 

    “You’re very cute.” He muttered. 

    Izuku’s face heated up, straightening. “What?! Don’t tease me, Shoucchan…!” He tried to rub the blush off of his face. 

    “I’m not teasing you at all.” He tilted his head slightly. “I just think that I’m lucky, being so close with you.” 

    “I like being close to you too, Shoucchan.” Izuku smiled. “I… Before I met you, I was so… I always knew that what Tomura did wasn’t good. But I had always thought that it was okay. Necessary. When you live with people like that, they make you think certain ways. They made me think that heroes were all so… Mean. Dumb. But I saw you training so hard, and I thought that if someone like you wanted to be a hero, it couldn’t be so bad.” Izuku shrugged. “And now I’m friends with all kinds of heroes in training! Aizawa-san, too. I would have never worked up the courage without all of you. So… Thank you.” 

    “Izuku…” Shoucchan breathed, softening. “I’m glad we helped you like that. I have something important to ask you.” 

    Izuku looked at him expectantly, tilting his head slightly. “Yes?”

    “If I asked, would you date me?” 

    Izuku’s heart stopped. Oh. Looking back, maybe it was obvious. The spacing out. Spontaneously catching fire. Being nervous. Of course Shoucchan had a crush on Izuku. But it was weird to hear out loud. The closest he had ever gotten to being the object of anyone’s affection was Himiko-chan, and even then, it was a very sisterly love that they had for one another. Izuku and Himiko-chan would both gag at the idea of dating one another. Izuku would probably gag thinking about dating any of his friends. 

    He definitely did not gag thinking about Shoucchan. 

    “You shouldn’t be so nervous to ask me.” Izuku laughed softly. 

    “I feel like it’s pretty normal to be this nervous.” Shoucchan fiddled with his hands a little. 

    “Yeah. But of course I’m going to say yes, Dummy.” 

    Izuku didn’t think he’d ever seen Shoucchan, reserved, quiet Shoucchan, be so happy. 

Chapter Text

    Tomura had always had the nagging feeling that something was missing. On the surface, he had everything he needed to win. He had unlimited resources, the rarest weapons, a tutorial guide willing to steer him in the right direction.

    But there was an easter egg he just couldn’t seem to find. 

    Until he saw Midoriya Izuku, of course. He wasn’t anything special on the outside. Izuku was short, skinny, and weak. He was barely anything of importance. Izuku was bullied and alone. 

    Maybe that was why Tomura felt the tiniest inkling of pity over him. Because Tomura was casted away from society, too. 

    It ended up being a good investment. Izuku was very smart. He was shy, but that just meant that he was less likely to fight back. He was tossed around enough that chipping away at his love of heroes would have been simple. He may have been quirkless, but it was an easy fix. Sensei had plenty of quirks to spare. 

    Giving Izuku a quirk was Tomura’s first mistake. 

    Sensei had given him something simple, a passive quirk that made him more aware. But his body had cracked under the pressure. Izuku was skittish. He would cry and flinch when Tomura came close and it was so annoying. 

    Sensei had offered to train him. Humans are animals too, after all, and with the right kind of conditioning Izuku would be as good as knew. And after months of the screaming and the running, Izuku was perfect. 

    He was still shy. He would flinch when Tomura was too loud or too sudden. He was terrified of Sensei, too, always breathing funny when he was brought up. But Izuku never tried to run. When he left the bar, he came back. He would spend time with Tomura. He would smile and laugh. He called Tomura Big Brother Tomucchan. 

    Izuku was finally who he was always meant to be. 

    He would have stayed that way, if it wasn’t for the heroes. It started when Izuku ran into a villain fight to save some random NPC from dying. A UA brat, Tomura learned later. Izuku had always been very merciful, so Tomura hadn’t been too worried about it. 

    But then they had gotten into a fight. Izuku had yelled at him. Izuku had defended All Might. And it only got worse from there. Izuku started calling Tomura by his first name. Izuku stopped spending time with Tomura, instead going outside or hanging out with the two dumb recruits Sensei had given him. 

    The heroes had poisoned Izuku, made him think that villains were bad. That Tomura was bad. 

    Why didn’t Izuku love him anymore? 

    And then they killed him. They killed his precious Izuku for having individuality. 

    Tomura would make every hero pay for what they did to Izuku. Bright, naive, stupid Izuku. And he would start with those 1-A brats. 

    Hitoshi didn’t like crowds. Too many people were bothersome, and it was unpredictable. But with his classmates, it was easier. He could blend in and go unnoticed when he was around people like Aoyama. They were at the mall to buy what they needed for a summer camp. The entire class was going (even those who failed), plus Midoriya. 

    He may have overheard Aizawa talking to Yamada about wanting to see Midoriya’s potential. Not that he’d tell the others, of course. 

    Midoriya would make a good hero. He had a heart of gold and always smiled, even when he was scared. He made friends with a lot of the students at UA, even other years. His quirk wasn’t strong, but it wasn’t anything that couldn’t be fixed with some physical training and support items. 

    Midoriya also wasn’t scared of Hitoshi’s quirk, which was nice. Although it seemed that no one at UA minded his quirk at all, and would even ask him to use it sometimes for pranks and the like. 

    “We should split up, it will be more efficient that way!” Iida called to the crowd, waving his hands in the air. Beside him, Midoriya started muttering about needing some new clothes, Todoroki nodding beside him. Hitoshi didn’t know if they were sticking together because Todoroki really needed clothes or because the two recently started dating, and were basically inseparable. 

    “Well, I’d hate to be a third wheel.” Hitoshi snorted, enjoying the blush that both boys had. “Besides, I need some bug spray more than anything.” 

    “Oh, me too!” Hakagure chirped, waving her hand in the air. After spending four months with the girl, it was easy to pick up her body language through her clothes alone. 

    “Sounds like a plan.” Hitoshi nodded. “I’ll go up ahead and scout for the store, okay?” 


    Hitoshi drifted from the others, trying to find a map. It couldn’t have been that hard, he just had to - 

    Someone grabbed onto his neck. 

    “Easy now… You’re gonna act like we’re a couple of old pals. No making a scene, okay? Calm down. Breathe naturally. I just wanna talk, that’s all. So don’t you try anything funny.” 

    Eh? Tomura’s quirk? Oh, it’s called decay. If he touches something with all five fingers, he can make something disintegrate. 

    Hitoshi made the connection right away. “You’re the leader of the League of Villains, aren’t you?” He asked carefully. 

    “Nice try, Brat, but I know what your quirk is. Try that again and I just might let my finger slip.” He growled. 

    “Okay. No quirk, got it.” Hitoshi gulped. 

    The pair sat down, Shigaraki’s hand resting on his neck threateningly. “All you heroes act so fucking noble, and it’s so annoying. But as soon as you get the chance to get rid of your problems, you kill them, just like I do!” He snapped. 

    What was he talking about?

    “We haven’t killed anybody.” 

    “I’m sure you know. You probably helped kill Izuku, didn’t you? With that quirk of yours.” 

    Oh. Oh, this was bad. 

    “I have no idea -” 

    “Don’t lie to me!” He snapped. “It’s your fault Izuku is dead! You killed him! You took him away from me, and I’m going to make all of you pay!” 

    “Um.” Hitoshi tried to gather his thoughts. What could he say? He didn’t want crusty ass to know that Izuku was alive. But he also didn’t want to get killed. 

    Hitoshi didn’t get to make that decision. 

    “Shinsou-kun? Who’s your friend?” 


    Shigaraki tensed and whipped his head around to see a wide eyed Izuku, holding a bag in one hand and a pretzel in the other. 

    “Izuku!” Shigaraki loosened his fingers. “I thought you were dead.”

    “Oh.” Izuku said quietly. “What are you doing with my friend, Tomucchan?” 

    Tomucchan? What was Izuku doing? 

    “He tried to kill you.” Shigaraki warned. Izuku laughed , the same soft lilting laugh he had when Sasae-chan bat around yarn and got tied up. 

    “Oh, no! Shinsou-kun isn’t like the other heroes. He helped me escape.” He smiled softly. “Right, Shinsou-kun?” 

    Hitoshi felt sick. “Right.” 

    “I’m sorry, he didn’t recognize you.” Izuku sat beside them, on Hitoshi’s side. “I kind of forget to not call you Tomucchan.” He admitted, rubbing the back of his neck. Shigaraki watched him carefully, letting another finger slip from his grip. 

    “We need to go home.”

    “I know! Is Kurogiri close?” 

    Shigaraki nodded. 

    “Can I come with you?” Hitoshi asked, hoping Shigaraki wouldn’t notice it was a question. One answer was all he needed. 

    One answer. 

    “No -” Shigaraki’s eyes dulled. Bingo. 

    “Let go of me.” Hitoshi ordered, watching as Shigaraki let go wordlessly. Midoriya was already on the phone. 

    “Sorry, Aizawa-san, but there was an accident. Tomura ran into us at the mall. We’re okay, he’s under Shinsou-kun’s quirk. Yes.” 

    Hitoshi noticed Uraraka in the distance and waved her over. “Uraraka, tell the others there was a problem.”

    “Is that Shigaraki?” She squeaked. 

    “Yeah, now get the others. Right now.” 

    After that, it all went pretty fast. Aizawa showed up with police, who all escorted his class back to school for the day, since they didn’t think it was safe to be at home. They all piled into Midoriya’s house, Inko-san being incredibly worried about the whole thing. Hitoshi didn’t blame her; she’d almost lost her son again. 

    It was even more worrying when, later, they learned that Shigaraki escaped custody. 

Chapter Text

    Izuku realized that he had never actually never had a real road trip. 

    Granted, this particular experience didn’t have anything to do with the League. He doubted that he would have been very experienced very many travelling even if he had a normal childhood, with his mom being a single mother and all. Now, though, he could safely say he really enjoyed them. 

    The bus was spacious enough that he didn’t feel too crowded, cuddling into Shoucchan with Kacchan on his other side. The louder members of the class made jokes and played games with everyone. Aizawa-san acted annoyed, but would chime into their activities every so often to correct someone. 

    Izuku was glad that he was invited to go, even if the reason wasn’t great. With the League now knowing that Izuku was alive, it was decided it would be best if Izuku left town for a little bit and let any potential searches die down. Still, any time with Shoucchan and his friends was appreciated. 

    “Okay, we’re going to make a pitstop.” Aizawa-san called out to the bus. “Everyone’s going to step out.” Everyone got antsy at the news, ready to stretch their legs. 

    “Is it a gift shop? I want to find some weird stuff.” Kaminari-kun asked. 

    “What are you talking about, Dumba**? Of course there won’t be a gift shop, we’re not even that far from home.” Kacchan narrowed his eyes. 

    “Don’t crush my dreams like that, Bakubro! I thought you loved me.” Kaminari-kun gasped, putting his hand on his head. 

    “What the fuck are you talking about, Sparky?” 

    “If you’re going to be so unsupportive, I think we have to break up.” 


    Okay off the bus.” Aizawa-san called, practically pushing everyone out. Izuku stopped. They were in a clearing overlooking a forest, with no buildings to be seen. Izuku could assume that the tiny spot in the distance was the camp, but this wasn’t even close.

    It’s a trap.

    Izuku opened his mouth, but Aizawa-san nudged him roughly. 

    “What kind of rest stop is this?” One of the kids asked. 

    Suddenly, two heroes popped out of nowhere. Izuku recognized them almost immediately; the Wild Wild Pussycats were pretty famous, and Izuku always tended to favor rescue heroes. But what really caught his attention was the little boy right behind him, glaring at Aizawa-san as if he had just insulted him. Izuku looked back at Aizawa-san, but he didn’t seem to notice. 

    As the Pussycats explained what they were doing, Aizawa-san lowered his voice towards Izuku. “You’re not a hero student, and you don’t have any of the training, so you’re not going with the rest of the class.” 

    “Where are they going?” Izuku whispered back. His question was answered when all of his friends were dumped into the forest with a mountain of rock; Izuku recognized it as Pixie Bob’s quirk. 

    “Isn’t that a little harsh?” Izuku asked, looking at Aizawa-san nervously. The other hero, Mandalay, shook her head. “As heroes, you always have to be ready for action! You’re that villain kid, right?”

    Izuku flinched. “Midoriya is the kidnapping victim I mentioned, yes.” Aizawa-san nodded. 

    “Are you thinking about becoming a hero, Kitten?” Pixie Bob asked, having turned the rock back to normal. 

    “Ah, n- no, probably not.” Izuku admitted, blushing a little. “Maybe, though. I haven’t figured out what I want to do yet.” 

    The little boy seemed to notice that, his eyes snapping at Izuku in surprise. He didn’t say anything, though, and was still frowning. 

    “Hopefully we can change your mind!” Mandalay smiled at Izuku. “We’re taking the bus to the camp, so you can go ahead and hop back on.” 

    “Yes, Ma’am.” Izuku nodded, and made his way back to the bus. He knew that Mandalay and Pixie Bob were good people, really. He appreciated what they did for the community! But he couldn’t help but feel unsettled by the way they seemed to fixate on his past. Did they want Izuku to be a hero so that they could be certain he wasn’t a villain? Were they going to keep a close eye on him to make sure he didn’t hurt anyone? 

    In the distance, he could see movement where his class was trying to get through the forest. They weren’t going totally in the right direction, but Izuku didn’t worry about them too much. He could see the bright flashes of fire, or electricity. Once he even saw a literal swarm of birds descend on one of the spots, presumably from the student with the animal-talking quirk. 

    Izuku startled when a finger jabbed his side. 

    “Hey! Who are you?” It was the little boy. He was small, and still had the annoyed frown from earlier. 

    “Oh, I’m Midoriya.” 

    “Why are you here if you don’t want to be a hero? Everyone here loves heroes.” He narrowed his eyes at Izuku, who smiled softly in return. “I just think that you shouldn’t judge someone based on their job is all. You can help people in a lot of ways! You could be a doctor, or a detective, or a - ” He blushed. “Sorry, I’m rambling. Do you not like heroes?” 

    “No. They’re all dumb jerks.” He tsked, crossing his arms. “Fighting each other for no reason. Dying.” 

    Oh, there was definitely some trauma there, he thought. It was really weird to see a kid who didn’t like heroes. Izuku himself had mixed opinions, of course, but a part of that had to do with growing up away from the glorification of heroes and more towards the darker side of morality. Izuku nodded a little. “Well, I don’t think all heroes are jerks. But it’s good that you don’t like someone just because of their title. I’ve met a lot of people who are really good, and they’re not heroes at all! Having a job doesn’t make you a good person. It’s what you decide to do regardless of what others think of you.” 

    He seemed to think about what Izuku said for a minute, before glancing back to him. “You’re weird.” He said, tilting his head a little. “Why are you here, anyway? If you’re not a dumb hero. Are you trying to use your quirk? I bet it’s super dumb.” 

    “Ah, well, it’s a long story.” Izuku admitted, rubbing the back of his neck. “I’m not here to train my quirk. It’s nothing fancy, just helps me notice little things.” 

    “Huh. I still don’t like you, but you’re more tolerable than the other idiots here.” He declared. “I’m Kota.” 

    “It’s nice to meet you, Kota!” Izuku said. And he meant it. 

Chapter Text

Izuku had never really celebrated the holidays. Unsurprisingly, Tomura was never a huge fan of Christmas. He would always give Izuku a small unwrapped gift, maybe a new notebook or some pens, and call it a day. 

At UA, Christmas was much different. 

The entire student body seemed to stop by the Midoriya home, decorating and giving gifts and drinking hot chocolate. His mom loved the holiday, and Izuku decided he did, too. 

This particular Christmas Eve, it was absolutely beautiful. Snow was settled on the grounds, only disturbed by the footprints of the students. Izuku had long since finished up his online schoolwork for the day, so sat in his room happily writing notes to give to Yaomomo-chan the next time he saw her. His mom had stepped out to buy some ingredients for dinner that night, deciding to make Izuku’s favorite meal for the occasion. 

When there was a knock at the door, Izuku startled a little. “Ah! Coming!” He opened the door to see Uraraka-chan, smiling pleasantly with a gift bag in her hands. 

“Izuku-kun, let’s go hang out! We never get to see you anymore, you’re always so busy!” 

Izuku offered a small smile. “Of course.” 


Shouto had been helping a classmate afterschool when he heard it from Inko-san. 

Izuku was missing. 

There was a small note on the counter saying that he would be right back, but it had been hours and he was nowhere to be found. Trying not to panic, Shouto had asked Bakugou for help, which Shinsou overheard, and lead to the full assemblance of people Uraraka liked to call the “Izuku Protection Squad”, no matter how many times it was turned down. 

“So!” Uraraka clapped her hands together, eyeing the other three boys. “Where have we seen Midoriya-kun last?”

“I saw him this morning.” Bakugou grunted, raising a hand halfheartedly. “The nerd seemed fine to me. He asked me to stay over tonight, but I said no. Family needed me home.” 

“Hmm.” Uraraka frowned. 

“Have we tried texting him?” Shinsou asked, pulling out his phone. 

There was silence. 

“I’ll do it.” Shouto volunteered, shooting a quick “where are you?” to Izuku. He got a response almost immediately. 

Are you worried about him, Hero-kun? Sorry, Izu-kun’s a little busy at the moment. We don’t think we’ll be returning him anytime soon.

Right after Shouto was sent a picture, blurry and unfocused, of a blank wall. It was dirty in appearance, and at the bottom of the frame, you could make out the tips of green curls. 


Shouto cursed softly, rushing to reply while the other three read over his shoulder. What are you doing with him?

I can’t tell you, that’d be no fun! But we can play a game! First, go get me something sweet. 

“Are they trying to ransom Izuku’s life with sweets?” Shinsou asked, frowning. 

“I don’t care what they want, there’s a bakery a few streets away. Don’t waste time, Losers.” Bakugou grabbed his backpack and started heading out the doors. Shouto followed after right away. 

“Wait! Should we really give into the demands of whatever lunatic has Midoriya-kun hostage?” Uraraka asked, chasing after them. 

“Are you asking if Izuku’s life is worth a few donuts right now?” Shouto asked, raising an eyebrow. Uraraka’s eyes widened, and she waved her hands around. 

“No! Not at all! But what if they ask for more?”

“We’ll beat the shit out of them.” Bakugou explained. For once, Shouto agreed. 

“They’re right,” Shinsou mumbled, “we can’t just let them keep Midoriya. Besides, the longer we wait, the more impatient the person might get.”

After that, the walk to the bakery was eerily quiet. Shouto was worried. Izuku had a habit of getting caught into bad situations, and just the other day, the League of Villains found out that Izuku was still alive. What if they kidnapped them? What if they were buying time, sending the group on dumb errands while they ran away with Izuku? What if they hurt Izuku?

“We should tell Sensei.” Shouto muttered, frowning. 

“Eh?” Uraraka tilted her head. “How will we get a hold of him?”

“I have his number.” Shinsou spoke up, digging out his phone. Maybe if things weren’t so dire, Shouto would have asked more. Instead, he quietly put the information in his folder of reasons why Shinsou was secretly Aizawa-sensei’s secret love child, along with eyebags and love of cats. 

Shinsou put the phone on speaker. “Aizawa, we have a problem. Midoriya’s missing.” On the other line, Shouto heard a loud, drawn out sigh. 

“Of course he is.”

“We got a strange message on Todoroki-kun’s phone!” Uraraka spoke up. “It said that they didn’t want to give Midoriya-kun back unless we bought them sweets!” 

“Okay, forward the number to me so we can try to track the location. Uraraka, don’t worry about your ID when you come back on campus, I’ll make sure Nedzu knows to let you in.” 

“What’s wrong with my ID?” Uraraka frowned, faltering in her step a little bit. 

“It’s lost, remember?” 

“” Uraraka stopped, fishing the ID out of her bag. “I have it attached to my backpack, Sensei. I never lost it.”

There was a beat of silence on the other line, asking an unspoken question.Who did Aizawa-sensei let in, if it wasn’t Uraraka like he thought?

“When did you last see Midoriya?”

“This morning.” Bakugou said. 

“This is bad. Give me that phone number right away and stay close together. Do not interact with the person, do you hear me? Go back to campus right away and stay there. We’ll handle this, got it?” Aizawa-sensei hung up right away, the four students looking back and forth at one another. 

Bakugou turned and started marching right towards the bakery. The other three followed without question. 

They got half a dozen Christmas themed donuts, just in case. Shouto messaged Izuku’s number to let the kidnapper know that they got the donuts. 

Thank you, Hero-kun! was the reply. Izu-kun will love these! I had more planned, but you already called the heroes, didn’t you? You’re no fun :( Izu-kun was having a great time, too! Here’s where the party is. 

Following the text was an address maybe 30 minutes from the bakery. The group hustled onto the train, silent. 

“What if it is a trap? What if we get killed?” Uraraka whispered, clenching her skirt. Bakugou snorted. “Then we’ll fucking kill them, Round Face. Are you doubting me?” 

Shinsou rolled his eyes with a dramatic, “Of course not, Lord Explosion Murder.”

“You mocking me, Mind Control Bastard?!”

“Oh, have we upgraded from Eyebags? I’m touched.” Shinsou placed a hand on his heart. Shouto frowned. 

“I don’t understand why you’re joking when Izuku is in danger.”

“Just trying to lighten the mood.” Shinsou shrugged. “Your boyfriend wouldn’t want us to be all depressed, you know?”

Shouto knew he was right. Izuku was like the sun, always smiling and laughing, even when he was upset. He always seemed to know how to cheer Shouto up. 

Hey, Shoucchan, look! Someone made a meme out of Endeavor slipping on this banana peel. How didn’t he see that coming?

Shoucchan, you look upset. You don’t have to talk about it, but I can ask Mom to make us some soba? I know how much you like it!

Shouto sighed, nodding. “I know.” 

The group kept chatting until the train stopped. It was a bad part of town, so the place definitely matched with the photo. The address belonged to a seedy apartment building that was definitely not up to code. 

“Are we ready?” Uraraka asked nervously. 

“Lets kill some bitches.” Bakugou grinned sadistically, pounding his hands together and letting little sparks bounce off of them. 

From down the hall, Shouto could hear Izuku’s yelp. 

“Ow, hey, stop! That hurts! Ow!” 

Shouto’s heart broke, and he dashed towards the door, kicking it open. 

The room was the one in the picture, but not as barren as the picture made it seem. It had a tiny plastic Christmas tree covered to the brim with ornaments, and Christmas lights hung from the ceiling. Sitting in the middle of the floor, Izuku was having his hair done by waited villain and member of the LoV, Toga Himiko. 

Izuku looked over, and his eyes lit up. “Himiko-chan, you invited my friends?” 

“And they brought you a gift! Right, Hero-kun?” Toga smiled at Shouto, and it was surprisingly pleasant, although the sharp teeth and manic glint in her eyes definitely hurt te illusion. 

“Why the fuck did you kidnap Izuku!?” Bakugou hissed, barreling towards her. He was stopped by another person having been standing just out of their line of sight, one of the other villains. 

For some reason Shouto couldn’t place, the man made him shiver. 

“We didn’t kidnap Midoriya, calm down. Toga just wanted to see him.” Dabi grumbled, holding Bakugou back like a rabid dog. 

“Yeah! You guys are always hording him! Right, Izu-kun?” 

Izuku nodded, smiling like he didn’t have a care in the world. “I’m really busy with you guys, so I never get to see Himiko-chan.” 

“Midoriya. They work for Shigaraki.” Shinsou tried to explain. Izuku frowned slightly. “And?”

“He wants to kidnap you.”

“Himiko-chan and Dabi-kun don’t, though?” Izuku tilted his head. 

“I don’t see how you don’t think this is a problem.”

“No, I do.” Izuku rubbed the back of his neck. “Aizawa-san won’t like that I left without permission.”

“That is literally the least bad thing about this.” Shinsou sighed. 

“You guys should relax.” Izuku waved his hand. “Didn’t you bring donuts?”

And that was how Shouto ended up spending Christmas Eve with two villains, and spent Christmas Day under the very angry watchful eye of Aizawa-sensei.

Chapter Text

    Although the adults had first told the class they’d be here by noon, it was pretty obvious that wasn’t going to happen early on. Izuku took the day to quietly work on his quirk; his favorite exercise was to use his quirk to try and find out where the students were, then double check with Ragdoll. 

    “So, your quirk is search based, Kitten?” She looked over to Izuku, curious. 

    “Kind of. It’s called Observe. It isn’t very strong, but I’ve never really trained it all that much.” Izuku smiled shyly. 

    “Well, every quirk is like a muscle, so you just have to train it!” She patted his shoulder and went on her way. Izuku smiled softly, taking in the warm sun and gentle breeze. 

    “...Those idiots are going to kill themselves.” 

    “Hello to you too, Kota.” Izuku laughed softly, moving so Kota could sit next to him. “Why are you trying to make your quirks stronger? They’ll just be used to kill each other.” 

    “Well, not every quirk is going to be used to hurt other people.” Izuku tilted his head slightly. “Like my quirk, it isn’t very harmful at all.” 

    Probably on purpose. 

    “Tch. There’s the one that’s trying to blow up the whole forest.”

    “Eh? Oh, Kacchan may seem reckless, but he knows what he’s doing. I doubt he’d set anything on fire. That’s why we train! So we don’t accidentally hurt others.” 

    “So that mark wasn’t from him?”

    Izuku frowned. “...what mark?” 

    “The one right here.” Kota lifted Izuku’s shirt slightly and tapped a point on his back. It wasn’t unreasonable to think he could have missed it in the mirror, since it was pretty out of sight, but Izuku was confused. Where would he get a mark like that?

    Ten years old. Izuku is clinging to the shadows on his way home, trying to avoid eye contact. Any attention, and he might come. He had been particularly angry that day; Izuku had gotten an autograph from a fairly popular hero, and he didn’t think Izuku deserved it. He’s been trying to steal it all day. 

    “Deku! There you are.”

    Izuku’s blood turns to ice as an explosive blond grabs the back of his shirt. 

    “Where is it? It’ll hurt less if you tell me.”

    “No! It’s mine, Kacchan!”

    “Stop calling me that!” He yells, explosions going off with a boom boom pop boom. Izuku felt sick knowing his mom would have to buy another uniform. 

    “I’ll just have to find it, then.” A hand slaps Izuku’s back, sizzling through the clothes. It stings so bad, ow ow ow stop - 

    His mom was upset when he came home that day with his autograph gone. 

    “Hey, Midoriya, look at me.” 

    Aizawa-san. Izuku’s vision focused on the man in front of him, but it was hard to hear or see. Izuku thought it was over. He thought that he had all of his memories safely in his mind, exactly where they should have been. He knew how Tomura saw him as a dog and how Sensei would take and give quirks just because of the pain and how Kurogiri would watch him with those cold, uncaring eyes. 

    He had known that he and Kacchan grew apart, after Izuku was quirkless. He knew that Kacchan would tease him sometimes, shove him around, when they were younger. But he had never thought that Kacchan was that mean. That cruel. 

    Izuku thought back to the day Kacchan stormed into his room and shoved a little poster signed by Present Mic into his hands. It was old and faded with time. 

    What is this?

    It was yours. I wanted to give it back. 

    “I’m okay.” Izuku lied quietly, realizing belatedly that a stuffed animal - his stuffed animal - had been shoved into his arms. It was soft. 

    “If this is too much for you, we can send you home.” Aizawa-san explained. “It’d be safer if you were here, of course, but that won’t do any good if you’re stressed out this much.”

    Izuku shook his head. “I’ll be okay.” He paused, debating whether or not he wanted to talk about what he saw. He decided after a beat that saying something could only get Kacchan in trouble, and he didn’t deserve that.

    “Well, if you’re feeling better, lunch is ready.” Aizawa-san grunted. Izuku nodded, standing up on wobbly feet. 

    It was going to be okay.

    Izuku had long since figured out that Kota was not a fan of 1-A. He would get really upset when they were brought up, and practically threw a fit when Izuku let it slip that he was dating Shoucchan. He had looked at Izuku as if he had grown two heads, and exclaimed, “What?! Why would you want to date some self-sacrificing idiot?!”. Izuku never quite got Kota to understand why he was okay with Shoucchan’s dangerous job of choice. 

    That did not make it any less shocking when Kota first talked to one of the students. Kaminari-kun had waltzed up to Kota with a huge smile. 

    “Hey, Kiddo! I’m Kaminari Denki of class 1-A! You’re a cute kid.”

    Kota blinked at him, utterly seething, before kicking him between his legs. “I’m not cute!” He yelled, storming off. 

    “It’s like a little you.” Shoucchan looked at Kacchan, hiding a small smile. 


    Izuku pushed down the feeling of uneasiness and went to greet his boyfriend. Shoucchan was sweaty and tired, but was still a comforting presence all the same. 

    “We made you dinner!” Izuku lit up, bouncing on his feet. “I think you guys are going to like it; the Wild Wild Pussycats are super good cooks!”

    “Izuku, I’m very grateful, but… You didn’t touch the food, did you?” Shoucchan looked way too worried for Izuku’s liking. 

    Izuku’s face flushed. “What if I did?”

    “The last time you tried to make food in the kitchen, you burned the milk.” 

    “It was a valid effort in making hot chocolate!”

    “Isn’t hot chocolate supposed to be liquid?” 

    Izuku pouted, especially when he saw how amused Shoucchan looked. After Izuku made sure Shoucchan knew that, no, he did not cook the food. 

    The dinner went really well. All of the class was starving, chatting happily about the exercise and making sure Izuku got the highlights of what happened. Even Iida-kun had no problem enthusiastically recalling how Uraraka-chan used her antigravity to make a giant broken tree trunk fall right on one of the monsters. 

    Izuku should have been carefree and happy, just like them. But even without the incident with the mark, Izuku couldn’t help but feel uneasy. It wasn’t because it was the first time since the hospital that he was apart from Sacchan, or because he missed the way his mom would gently comb her fingers through his hair when he had trouble sleeping, turning on all the lights when it was too dark for Izuku. He just felt uneasy. 

    Like something was watching him.

Chapter Text

    Izuku had realized almost suddenly that the other kids of UA had never said anything about the scar on his back. In fact, no one had, until Kota. It was probably because Kota was a child, and didn’t know enough about Izuku’s past. Had the other kids assumed that it was from his time with Tomura? 

    The idea made him shiver. 

    The hot springs were no different, other than the occasional glance from someone. It was a peaceful bath; currently, Kaminari-kun and Shinsou-kun were arguing about whether or not using vintage memes were stuck up. They always had very weird conversations. 

    Izuku still couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. It was like a sense, tiny and irrational, that he was in danger. Izuku wondered if it was just trauma that made him on edge. 

    Izuku was all too comfortable in distracting himself in the kids’ antics, until one of the boys turned to him. Ojiro-kun wasn’t someone that he talked too often, but was nice enough. 

    “Hey, Midoriya, are you going to transfer into our class?”

    Izuku frowned. “Why?”

    “Well, it’s just that you always seem to be around, and you could be living anywhere, but you’re in UA, the school for heroes. I don’t think any of us would mind; you’re a cool dude.” 

    “Oh, I guess I never thought of it that way.” Izuku mumbled. How was he supposed to tell them that he was helping to look for a traitor he was fairly sure wasn’t even in the class? “To be honest, I don’t know if I’d say yes. I really admire what you guys do, but I just don’t think I’d make a good hero.” 

    “You’d make an amazing hero, Bro!” Kaminari-kun grinned. “You’re, like, this little magnet of positivity! A lot of people would have no problem trusting someone so cute.”

    “Oh, that’s not what I meant.” Izuku frowned, trying to gather his words. “It’s just that, well, not everything’s… I don’t know. Simple. What if I had to apprehend a villain, but they were just trying to avenge the death of someone close to them because the system failed? I don’t think I could do it with a good conscience.” 

    There was a heavy silence, an unspoken question. 

    Why would you ever sympathize with a villain?

    “Izuku’s been thinking of being a paramedic,” Shoucchan offered quietly. There was a quiet murmur of interest, but it wasn’t as sunny as it had been before. Izuku felt the uneasiness grow even bigger. 

    It didn’t help that, right after they got out of the springs, Kacchan had marched straight up to him. “Izuku - Wait, I can’t keep you seriously with that goddamn leaf in your hair.” He went to touch Izuku’s head, and still feeling the effects of the memory, he flinched. 

    Kacchan stood there, hand inches away, before slowly pulling back. “What the fuck was that about?” He asked, frowning. 

    “Nothing.” Izuku whispered. 

    “Who the fuck has been hitting you? Was it someone I know? I swear to god, I’ll fucking murder whoever decided to lay a finger -” 

    “It was you.” Izuku blurted out, before covering his mouth. Kacchan looked as startled as someone as angry as him could be startled, before morphing into horrified understanding. 

    “Are you still… Scared of me?” He asked, tense. Izuku instantly felt terrible. 

    “I don’t know, it’s not - It’s not your fault. I just had this memory, and…” 

    “Do you not remember?”

    “I thought I did, but someone pointed out the burn on my back, and I hadn’t known it was there, and…” Izuku trailed off, not sure what to say. 

    I don’t know just how bad you hurt me. 

    “Fuck.” Kacchan hissed. “Do you hate me?”

    “No!” Izuku’s eyes widened. “Not at all! I know you don’t want to hurt me anymore! And you’re a good friend.”

    “Look. I was a shithead in middle school. Like, if I could go back, I would beat the shit out of myself for being such an asshole.” 

    Izuku smiled, weak and wobbly. “I figured as much. I just need some space, okay, Kacchan?”

    When Kacchan nodded, quietly walking away, Izuku tried to stop shaking. He had been so mean , and Kacchan was just trying to help -

    But Izuku couldn’t fix something he didn’t remember. 

    Izuku shifted the focus of his training the next day. He still worked on his observation skills, of course, mostly with the help of double-checking with Ragdoll. If you thought about it, his quirk was like a much weaker version of hers. Izuku liked Ragdoll more than the other Pussycats; not that he hated them, they were very nice, but didn’t quite know how to treat Izuku. 

    Ragdoll, on the other hand, was extremely bright and kind towards Izuku. She had declared almost right away that she “liked his spirit” and declared him her kitten. Of course, all of the classes were her kittens, but Izuku supposed that he wasn’t included in that initial group. 

    Most of his effort was spent trying to undo whatever was blocking his memories. He realized pretty quickly that it was the work of a quirk; one of Sensei’s, if he had to guess. It was as if his memories had been covered in police tape, forbidden from being seen. Of course, there had always been peeks. Faint memories of Kacchan and Izuku as kids, or his mother. Distant ideas that he was, in fact, bullied as a child for being quirkless.

    But when Izuku had started tugging on the tape, it got loose. Messy. Stain’s wound to the chest had ripped open the tape, letting Izuku see all of the bloody details. 

    There were still remains, though, forgotten and waiting to be torn away. Memories of just how awful Kacchan’s bullying was. Memories of his father, asking his mom if it would just be easier to give Izuku up. 

    Memories that were very hard for Izuku to look at. 

    Izuku had decided after a few hours that he needed a distraction, and found one when he heard Mandalay quietly tell Pixie Bob that Kota was missing, and probably at his secret hideout, don’t worry - 

    Izuku found a faint set of tiny footprints and let out a soft hum. He followed them off of a mountain, and to one Kota sitting and watching the forest. Izuku took a seat next to him, taking in the quiet atmosphere. 

    “Too much to see everyone training, huh?”

    Kota frowned. “What are you doing here?”

    “Your aunt was worried about you.” Izuku shrugged. “I thought I could use a break.”

    “This is my secret hideout, you shouldn’t be here! Shouldn’t you be down there with your stupid boyfriend, running your quirk ragged for no reason?”

    “No.” Izuku laughed softly, smiling. “I’m not as dedicated as Shoucchan.” 

    “That’s a dumb baby nickname.” 

    “Why, Kota, are you jealous ?” Izuku grinned. “I can call you Kocchan, if you want.”

    “What? No! I’m not some baby!”

    “There’s no harm in being affectionate, Kota-kun.”

    “Go away!” Kota yelled, but his face seemed different than the one he used when he was really bothered by something. Izuku waved his hand dismissively, chuckling. 

    “No, I think I’ll hang out with you awhile. So, what do you like?” 

    Kota gave him a weird look. “’re asking what I like?”

    “Yeah? You shouldn’t be too young for interests.” Izuku tilted his head. 

    “No one ever… They don’t know what to talk to me about when I say I don’t like heroes.” Kota muttered. 

    “We talk about heroes all the time down there, though.” Izuku wrinkled his nose, although it was mostly for Kota. “As the only two non-heroes, we can talk about non-hero things.” 

    Kota almost seemed to smile as he told Izuku all about the different bugs he found in the forest.

Chapter Text

The next day, nothing much changed for Izuku. He avoided Kacchan, spent time with Kota-kun, asked Shoucchan if he needed anything. They were all working really hard, not just 1-A, but 1-B too. The 1-B kids didn’t know Izuku nearly as well, but Izuku had no problems helping them train. 

He was particularly close with Tsunortori-chan, the cute foreign exchange student who spent time with his mom teaching her American dishes. Izuku didn’t quite see the appeal; it seemed like most American food was just stolen from other cultures. But his mom always like widening her horizons, and Tsunotori-chan was a nice girl. She had trouble remembering to call him by his last name, and after slipping up and calling him Izuku-kun too many times he insisted she just stuck with his first name. 

This wouldn’t have particularly mattered if it wasn’t for the test of courage. It was supposed to be for students, but class 1-A had an even number of people; Ashido-chan, Kaminari-kun, Sero-kun, Kirishima-kun, and Satou-kun all failed their tests and were stuck in extra classes. 

“Sorry, Midoriya, guess you’ll have to sit out.” Manadalay smiled apologetically, getting ready to pair up the students. Tsunortori-chan looked up, eyes widening slightly. “Oh, oh! We only have 19, since Neito-kun isn’t here. Izuku-kun can pair up with one of us!” 

“Perfect!” Pixie Bob clapped her hands together, grinning. “Class 1-B, you’ll be going in first so you can try to scare the 1-A kids!”

Izuku was glad to be participating, even if he wasn’t really meant to. The groups were paired together, and Izuku was put with Kendo-chan, the class president. 

“It’ll be nice to get to know you, Midoriya-kun.” She smiled, walking towards their assigned area. “Do you have any ideas on how to scare 1-A?”

The forest was dark and eerie at nighttime. There were a lot of other people, but it was too big for Izuku to hear any of them. Moonlight shifted through the trees as the only source of light. The crunch between their feet was soft, but loud enough to make him cringe. So much for stealth. 

“Eh, not really.” Izuku admitted, rubbing the back of his neck. “Koda-kun is afraid of bugs, if we run across him.”

“You’re close with 1-A, right?” Kendo-chan took a seat behind some rocks, trusting Izuku to keep an eye out for anyone else. 

“Yes! They’re all very nice. Your class, too, of course.”

They continued their small talk for a few more minutes, and noticed that no one was coming. He was about to suggest they go back when he heard footsteps. 


Izuku knew that voice. 

Himiko-chan was dressed up more than normal. She wore the same schoolgirl outfit she usually did, but it was hooked up to tubes, and a mask sat on her face. Her eyes twinkled with a kind of Himiko-brand happiness that would have seemed insane if Izuku hadn’t been so used to it. What didn’t help was the way she dripped with blood, especially pooling at the tip of her knife. 

It wasn’t Himiko-chan that he was worried about. She wouldn’t hurt him, and if he politely asked her to not hurt his friends, she would probably agree, however grumpily. But if Himiko-chan was here, then it wouldn’t be far fetched to assume that the rest of the League was, too. 

“Toga Himiko.” Kendo-chan narrowed her eyes. “You’re pretty famous in the eyes of the media.” 

“Ah! You’re cute. Are you Izu-kun’s friend?” Himiko-chan grinned wider. “I kind of wish you aren’t, I’d love to see your blood. Can I kill her, Izu-kun? Pretty please?”

“Himiko-chan. Please, not right now. What are you doing here?” Izuku stood up, going to walk closer, when Kendo-chan pushed him back with a giant hand. “Midoriya, what are you doing? You’re a civilian. You shouldn’t be talking to a villain, and you especially shouldn’t be treating her like a friend.” 

“Ah, silly Hero-chan!” Himiko-chan laughed, her eyes lighting up. “Why do you think Izu-kun is here in the first place? Living in your school, apart of a witness protection program? Izu-kun and I are best friends!”

“What?” Kendo-chan’s eyes widened in horror. “Midoriya, you’re a villain?”

“It’s a long story. Not anymore.” Izuku whispered, wincing slightly. 

“Yeah! Izu-kun decided he wanted to do his own thing. Speaking of which, that’s why I’m here. Shiggy knows you’re, like, alive. He wants you back. The explosive one, too.” 


Himiko-chan nodded. “Don’t worry though, Dabi is sending a message to the teachers! It would be annoying to go to jail, but being a villain was getting boring without you anyway.” She waved her hand dismissively. 

“I’m sorry, this is a lot to process. Midoriya is an ex-villain? And the teachers know?”

“Yes.” Izuku nodded, exasperated. He was waiting for the comment that he was too cute and innocent to be evil, but it never came. “We have to find Kacchan and warn him.” 

“Eh? Oh, yeah, you’re right.” Himiko-chan nodded. “There’s also Mustard-kun, who’s spreading his gas everywhere. I can breathe through it with my mask, but you two can’t.” 

Izuku thought for a second, before his eyes lit up. “Where was Yaomomo-chan in the order?” 

Kendo-chan’s eyes widened. “I remember! I’ll go find her, you two go warn Bakugo.” Before Izuku had a chance to argue, she was gone. Himiko-chan put a finger to her lips and flipped on a headset. “Ah, I think my microphone is cutting out! Any updates on Katsuki-kun’s location?” 

She paused before pointing in a direction. “Oh, Dabi-kun’s gone rouge? How annoying. Hopefully no one else betrays us.” She winked to Izuku, skipping off in the direction. Izuku couldn’t help but smile as he followed her. 

Izuku noticed Dark Shadow about a mile before they actually came up to him. He stopped, throwing an arm out to catch Himiko-chan. She clicked off her headset before asking, “Do you have a plan?” 

Izuku grinned wide, spotting crackling explosions in the distance. “I always have a plan.”

It wasn’t hard to find Kacchan, cursing about not being able to fight back as Shoucchan walked beside him. 

“Katsuki-kuuun!” Himiko-chan clapped her hands together, bouncing in her spot. “I’ve heard so much about you! Look, it’s Hero-kun, too! How lucky am I to have all three of my favorite boys in one place, Izu-kun?”

Before either boy could ask questions, Izuku held up a finger. “Dark Shadow is rampaging further in the forest, and he needs to be brought under control. We need light. Shoucchan, can you control your flames enough to use them in a forest?” 

“No, I don’t think I can.” Shoucchan shook his head. Kacchan snickered. “Of course he can’t! Icyhot spends too much time looking pretty.” 

“Can you, Bakugo?” Shoucchan raised an eyebrow. 

“Of course I can, Half and Half!” 

“We’ll be counting on it.” Izuku nodded, leading them towards Dark Shadow. Izuku saw what exactly had gotten him so angry; a villain was going head to head. 

“Oh, that’s Moonfish-kun.” Himiko-chan mumbled, watching with mild interest. “He’s not very good at conversation.” 

“Oh, and most villains are?” Kacchan rolled his eyes. 

“Better than you, at least. You’re lucky you’re so pretty, Katsuki-kun.” 

Kacchan snapped his head towards her. “You have a bone to pick, Hair Buns?!” 

“Ladies, stop fighting.” Shoucchan shot them both a glare. “What do we do, Izuku?” Izuku let out a little hum. “Nothing yet. Wait for it.”

The four crouched behind a bush as the villain was absolutely decimated by Dark Shadow. 

“Wait for it.” 

The villain was smashed into the ground and left lying there, lifeless.


Kacchan and Shoucchan ran out, Kacchan using his explosions to force Dark Shadow back. Tokoyami-kun collapsed, heaving out loud breaths as he passed out. 

“We need to get him to the teachers.” Shouji-kun told them, glancing to Himiko-chan wearily. 

“I’ll help.” Izuku nodded, going to pick him up when a chill went down his spine. 

“I don’t think Izuku can do much helping at all.”

Chapter Text

    Himiko and Dabi-kun were very different. Himiko prided herself on being a sweet, bubbly, cute girl who likes cute things and cute people. If she happened to like them best covered in blood, who cared? Certainly not the League. Dabi-kun was much more pensive, with a gloomy emo vibe and serious Daddy issues, as much as he denied it. 

    They were an odd pair. Really, most people must have assumed they hated each other. It didn’t help that they were always teasing and bickering with each other. 

    But under the surface, they were more alike than it seemed. Himiko and Dabi-kun had a bad case of parallel thinking. Strategies, answers to riddles, drink orders for Kurogiri-san. They always asked for the same thing with startling accuracy. 

    So, once Tomura-kun announced that he was going to assemble a squad to infiltrate the heroes and steal back Izu-kun, they had the same thought. It was confirmed when they were both alone and, at the same time, spoke. 

    “We have to help Izu-kun!”

    “We have to fuck over that handsy bitch.” 

    Sure, they had said it in different ways, but the idea was largely the same. They made a plan to betray the League and save Izu-kun from the clutches of Tomura-kun and whoever his boss was, the one who made Izu-kun flinch and grab onto his arm like he was in pain. 

    Himiko-chan almost felt bad. She genuinely liked the other members of the League; the way Big Sis Magne would pat her on the head and braid her hair. The way Twice would ask her tons of questions about herself as if she was the most interesting person in the world. She almost didn’t want to betray them. 

    But when you hurt her little brother, you’re going to be in deep trouble. 

    Dabi didn’t know when, exactly, he had gotten feelings for the kid. When turning on the night light in their small room became habit. When he would begrudgingly sit down as Midoriya spent hours asking him this and that about his quirk. Maybe it was because he reminded Dabi of Shouto, despite the fact they were both totally different. 

    He was probably stupid for agreeing to give up his life and probably go to jail with Toga over the little brat. But Dabi was nothing if not good at making stupid life decisions. 

    It had been stupidly easy to convince Twice to make a copy of Dabi before he set the forest on fire. His copy sauntered over to the school building with the same intent as the real Dabi, the same confident smirk on his face. Shouto’s teacher stormed out, ready to fight. 

    “Hey, Eraserhead! I think this is the first time we’ve met. I wanted to give you a heads up; there’s ten of us. Our goal is to find and capture two kids alive; Bakugo Katsuki and Midoriya Izuku. Normally I’d be up for a fight, but the problem’s that I don’t want little Midoriya to be captured right now. So I think that our interests align for the moment.”

    Eraserhead narrowed his eyes, scowling. “You want me to side with a villain?”

    “Ex-villain, once you take me to jail. But you wouldn’t do that before your students are safe, would you?” He cocked an eyebrow, watching Eraserhead as he slowly realized that he didn’t have a choice, not really. 

    “Who else is working for us?” Eraserhead asked. 

    “Me and Toga Himiko, who should be finding the targets and bringing them back safely. There’s also a Nomu that I control; he should be tasked with protecting the targets after he finds them. Speak of the devil.” 

    Dabi looked over to Toga and frowned. 

    Was she holding a kid? 

    Himiko hadn’t meant to stumble onto the little boy. Really, her only goal was to find Izuku and get him to safety. But while searching on a small cave ledge, she heard crying. 

    “You killed my parents!” 

    “Well then, this must be fate.” 

    Himiko was a villain. It occurred to her, faintly, that most people would expect her to not care and leave the little boy to die. A smile tugged at her lips as she grabbed onto the knife sheathed in her side. 

    Good thing she was changing sides.

    Himiko launched out to the opening, waving her hands. “Muscular-kun! Fancy seeing you here!”

    “Shouldn’t you be looking for blood samples?” He growled, looking mildly annoyed. 

    “Shouldn’t you be trying to find Katsuki-kun and Izu-kun? Or do you need to kill a small child to accomplish that?” Himiko tilted her head, watching him turn away from the child, who was just standing there. Frozen. 

    “Mind your own business, Girl.” Muscular warned. Himiko smirked a little. “It’s a good thing, really. I hate to compete when it comes to love! Izu-kun and Katsuki-kun are mine. You can’t have them. So I guess I’ll save myself the trouble and kill you now.” 

    Muscular scoffed. “Really? A small thing like you?” He swung, but he was way too slow for someone trained in agility like her. She jumped up in the air, using his arm as a platform and landing on his shoulders. He yelled and thrashed, but she had a plan. She sunk her knife deep into his eye, making him wail. In the opportunity, she stuck her suction machine into his neck and started sucking. “I wonder how much it’ll take for you to bleed out!” 

    Not long, apparently, because within a few minutes he was down like a bag of flour. She turned to the shivering child, staring at her with wide eyes. “Did he hurt you?” She asked, stepping off of the man. 

    “N - no. Are you… Are you a hero?” He asked, with a childlike innocence that even Himiko couldn’t match. 

    “Something like that.” She laughed lightly. “My name is Himiko!” 

    “Kouta.” He nodded a little, still probably in shock. Himiko scooped him up like a lost kitten. “Let’s get you back home, yeah?” He didn’t respond before she started running. It was easy to find where Dabi-kun was, even if she hadn’t been given a map. One clone was talking to Eraserhead while the other was trying to fight of Twice. 

    She almost felt bad for having to betray him. “Is that a kid?” Dabi-kun asked incredulously, squinting at her. 

    “Yeah! Saw this little guy in trouble and I thought I’d drop him off with the heroes! It’s nice to meet you, Eraserhead! I hope you’ve been treating my Izu-kun well.” 

    “Toga Himiko. You’re the one that keeps breaking into my school.” He sighed. 

    “Yep yep!” She laughed. “I like to give Izu-kun presents, but you all are way too stingy with your Izu-kun time!”

    “Toga, we can chat later.” Dabi-kun chided. “Put the kid down and go find Midoriya.” 

    “You’re right! Where is Izuku?” She asked. 

    Eraserhead gave her a long look before giving her a rough location in the forest. Himiko saluted, setting Kouta-kun down and turning on her heel. 

    “I won’t disappoint, Eraserhead-kun!”

Chapter Text

“I don’t think Izuku can do much helping at all.” 

Izuku stopped in his tracks, a shiver going up his spine. He knew that voice. 

It’s evening in the bar. Right now, around 10 o’clock, is the prime time for customers. Izuku bustles about the place, giving out the non-alcoholic drinks and cleaning up. One of the patrons laugh and reach up to pet Izuku’s hair, tied up in a ponytail. 

“Your hair is so soft, Mido-kun! You’re half the reason I come here.” 

“Is the other half because you’re a wanted criminal?” Someone else laughs, and she smiles sheepishly. 

Izuku is startled by a loud, violent coughing. Kurogiri leans over the counter, shaking, hacking up enough blood to fill a glass. Izuku frowns, and turns around to check up on him. A hand lays on his shoulder. Izuku looks back to Tomura, eyes wide. 

“I don’t think you can help, Izuku.”

Izuku turned around to face Tomura. He wasn’t 12 anymore. Izuku wasn’t the same little boy who helped Kurogiri in the bar, the one that everyone would call cute and sweet. Izuku wasn’t the same person who wouldn’t offer a hand to Kurogiri as he fought some unknown illness, one that seemed to get better only as Kurogiri became more distant to Izuku. Izuku wasn’t helpless. 

Izuku steeled himself. The others went to stand by his side, but Izuku held up his hand. “Wait. I have to - I have to do this. On my own.” Izuku knew that it was most definitely a bad idea. It was four against one right now, but Izuku wanted to face Tomura by himself? But that didn’t change the fact that Izuku needed closure. He couldn’t ever do anything if he couldn’t do this. 

Shoucchan frowned, but stepped back. “Izuku, be careful.” 

“I bet you weren’t expecting me.” Tomura watched Izuku with a mix of emotions Izuku couldn’t quite understand. “I knew that Toga and Dabi were going to betray us in advance, but it doesn’t matter. We’re going home, Izuku.” 

“No.” Izuku shook his head, causing Tomura to narrow his eyes. “You don’t understand! You’re too naive. These heroes, they’re using you. You think you’re safer with him?” Tomura pointed to Kacchan, who scowled back. “How can a system claiming to reward heroism allow someone like him to stay at the top?” 

“Leave Kacchan out of this.” Izuku’s voice shook. 

“Do you know how I found you, Izuku? Do you remember?” 

“You kidnapped me.” 

“You came on your own! You were hit by him, and you wanted to get stronger. So I made you stronger.” Tomura raised his hands. “This isn’t the real you. You just need more training. Let me help you, Izuku.” 

“You’re wrong.” Izuku whispered. “That wasn’t me. It was some watered down shell. I couldn’t remember anything, Tomura. I had nothing to live for.” 

“You had me.”

“I had you? Really? I don’t remember having you when I was alone, in that room, being tortured to fit some ridiculous agenda!” Izuku made a wide gesture, trying to ignore the tears welling in his eyes. 

“I’m never going back, Tomura. I’m going to help people. I’m going to be a hero!”

Tomura sneered, stepping forward. “Then I’ll have to take you by force.” 

Izuku shook his head. “You won’t. I can defend myself now, Tomura! I am enough!” 

They both lunged at the same time. Tomura went to grab Izuku, but he dodged and crouched down. On the sidelines, his friends waited, ready to step in if things went wrong. They cheered him on. 

“Go get him, Izu-chan!” 

“Izuku, you can win!”

“You better not lose to this crusty fuck!” 

Izuku felt pride swell in his chest. He was enough. He would win!

The fight continued, Izuku and Tomura being pretty evenly matched. A swipe from Tomura, sidestepped by Izuku. A punch from Izuku, ducked by Tomura. Tomura may have had more fighting experience, but Izuku had the benefit of being taught self defence from some of the most promising up-and-coming heroes in the country, if not the world. 

 Izuku swept Tomura out under his feet, and Tomura tumbled to the ground. “I’m going to be a hero, Tomura. You can’t stop me.” Izuku insisted. “You’re going to rot in jail for what you did. Not to me, but to everyone! All of the lives you threatened!”

Tomura watched him, and laughed. Izuku felt his chest drop. “You think his is over, Izuku?” 

It happened too fast. Shoucchan yelled out, reaching forward with the beginnings of ice at the tips of his feet. Izuku turned around, only to see some kind of man reaching out for Izuku. Why was he here? Did Tomura have reinforcements? Suddenly, Izuku felt himself getting smaller and smaller. 

Then there was darkness. A black so suffocating, Izuku couldn’t move. 

He was back in the room, old and foreboding, where Izuku was trapped. He couldn’t escape. He could never escape. 

Where was he?

Where was everyone?






Chapter Text

Izuku recognized where he was the second his eyes opened. The room was dark, so dark, only given character by the faint smell of must. Izuku felt his chest constrict uncomfortably as he tried not to make any sudden movements. 

There was a noise and he jumped. It was too dark to see, but there was something else there. Izuku’s eyes trained towards the noise in the inky black. He waited. 

And waited. 

There weren’t anymore noises, which meant that the thing must have been capable of at least somewhat complex thought. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have found a reason to stop making any noise. It also meant that it knew that Izuku was there. 

Izuku wasn’t going to give himself away. He held his breath, making sure his violent shaking wouldn’t make any sound. After a minute, there was a shuffle in the darkness. 

Izuku further pinpointed the location and sent a quick kick in its direction. He hoped that it would still the creature enough so that Izuku could ready himself. With his quirk, in a dark room, he had an advantage. 

He just couldn’t think too much about why he was in the dark. 

Following the kick, which hit a rather large mass, there was an oof followed by a loud “MOTHERF**KER WHAT THE H**L I’LL F**KING KILL YOU VILLAIN BASTARD—,” 

Izuku frowned. “...Kacchan?” 

The cursing stopped, and there was an exhale in the darkness. “Izuku.” 

“They got you.” Izuku whispered, clenching his fists. He had tried so hard to protect everyone. If he hadn’t of thought he could take Tomura one-on-one, this wouldn’t have happened. If they had managed to get someone like Kacchan, who else could they have gotten? Who did they kill, thinking they weren’t useful? Who— 

“Still there, Izuku?” Kacchan asked gruffly, and Izuku’s thoughts stilled. 

“Y - yeah. Just thinking.” 

“Stop doing that shit, you’ll hurt yourself.” 

“I can’t just not think.” Izuku whispered. “This is the worst case scenario, Kacchan. I was captured. You were captured. Do you know what that means? They’re going to torture us.” Izuku clamped down on his arm, feeling it burn with a searing hot pain that helped remind Izuku of the situation. “They’re probably in here right now. We don’t know, because it’s so dark. It’s so dark, Kacchan, I - I’m so scared—,” Izuku let out a small sob, his breath starting to speed up. 

It was so dark. He was alone. They were going to hurt him and it was all his fault. 

“Izuku, watch.” Kacchan ordered, and suddenly Izuku could see. For as much as the explosions had scared him most of his early childhood, they didn’t scare him now. The soft crackles and pop of the light were almost like a fireplace, casting the small bare room in a soft orange glow. Kacchan looked awful, with a black eye and scratches. 

He must have caught Izuku staring, because Kacchan snorted. “What, you think a couple of thugs are going to take me that easily? No, Lord Explosion Murder puts up a fight. ” 

Izuku couldn’t help but let a small, watery smile lift. “I thought Midnight said that she wouldn’t let you use that name.”

“When has that ever stopped me?” Kacchan smirked, but it was hollow. 

“...It was my fault.” 

“Huh? What was your fault?” Izuku frowned. Kacchan looked away into the nothingness, the bland faded wall of the empty room. 

“When you were captured, I couldn’t stop thinking about the USJ, when I couldn’t catch you. I ran towards those Fuckers, but they just opened one of those dumbass warp gates. THey got me hook, line, and sinker.” Kacchan scoffed, scowling. “And now it’ll be way harder for the heroes to save us, since they have to worry about both of us. Because I’m so fucking weak and pathetic.” 

Izuku narrowed his eyes at Kacchan, steeling himself to be brave. “Are you even listening to yourself, Kacchan? You are not weak.” 

“I’m weak now and I was weak back then, when you were kidnapped the first time. What kind of fucking hero bullies people for being weaker?” He tsked. “News flash, Asshole! When you’re a hero, a lot of people are weaker than you.” 

“If you pity yourself,” Izuku whispered, “You can’t change.” 


“What’s the point in feeling bad about what happened? I forgive you. No matter how you acted back then, that isn’t you anymore. The Kacchan back then wouldn’t ever admit you had any flaws at all. You’ve grown. Doesn’t that mean something?” 

Kacchan watched Izuku for a long time, unmoving other than the explosions crackling in his palm. “You’ve always been too fucking nice.” He muttered. 

“I love you, too, Kacchan.” 

There was a period of silence before Kacchan spoke again. “So, Nerd, what’s the plan?”

Izuku looked up, startled. “What?”

“The plan. To get out? You always have something going on in that big head of yours.” 

Izuku tilted his head, thinking it over. Tomura didn’t seem interested in killing them, or else he would have done it by now. They meant to take Izuku from the beginning, so they must have some kind of plan for him. Tomura kept talking about Izuku being a little brother, brainwashed, needing to be trained… 

Izuku’s eyes widened and he perked up. “Kacchan! Do you still have that little book you always carry around?” 

“You mean my shit list? Fuck yeah I do.” Kacchan grunted. “These villain assholes are going on it, too.” 

Izuku grinned. “Good.” 


Izuku new it was happening, but that didn’t stop the lurch in his chest when the door opened, a dark mist filling the doorway. 

“Izuku. We’re ready for you.” Kurogiri watched with a frightening lack of empathy. Izuku’s arm was on fire, and at that point, it probably would have been less painful to tear it clean off. Kacchan straightened, eyes going wide. 

“Like h**l you’re taking him, Pissface!” He yelled. 

“Oh, dear. Do we need to get the sedatives, Bakugo Katsuki? Your meeting with the League is having to be postponed until after Izuku settles in.” 

Izuku flashed Kacchan a warning look; he’d be of no use sedated. Kacchan seemed to get the message, and backed down, but glared at Kurogiri with the fire of a thousand suns. “When I get out of here, I’m targeting you, Fucker.” He warned. 

Kurogiri seemed to chuckle lightly. “I can’t wait. Izuku, now.” 

A warpgate opened, a foreboding inky purple. Izuku gave Kacchan a confident smile and stepped through, into a different but equally as bare room. There was a table, a chair, and a man who had been waiting. 

Izuku gasped in pain as his arm screamed. 

“Ah, Izuku.” Sensei purred. “How are you?” 

Izuku was silent. 

“I see. The heroes did a very good job of conditioning you, didn’t they? I’m jealous. I had to put in all this work to get you to see eye to eye with us, but the heroes offer you one boy and suddenly you’re head over heels, ready to abandon everything. Your family.” Sensei paused. 

“That’s no matter, I’ll patch you right up, good as new. Besides, maybe your little field trip with the heroes was a good thing. It’ll hurt them much more when you return where you belong.” Sensei chuckled, becoming Izuku over. There was nothing making Izuku go forward; no quirk, no threats. But the mere presence of Sensei was enough to make Izuku obey without question. He walked forward, reminding himself over and over that it was okay. They had a plan. 

He’d go home. 

Izuku thought of his tiny house with his mom, who smelled like cookies and still kissed Izuku’s cuts even though he was 16. He thought of the third year, Togata-senpai, who had helped Izuku paint his room and cheerily offered Izuku help with school if he needed it. He thought of Aizawa-sensei, who seemed intent on checking up with Izuku often and patting his head when Izuku got upset. He thought of Shoucchan, kind, loving Shoucchan who watched Izuku like he hung the moon. Who had tiny half-smiles and always seemed to know when Izuku was in a bad mood. He thought of Himiko-chan, who was willing to be captured by the police in order to help Izuku. 

Izuku didn’t hurt as much, when Sensei grabbed his arm and seared the memories away from Izuku’s mind.

Chapter Text

Once, having spent the day in a pool, Izuku had tested how long he could hold his breath in water before needing air. While he waited submerged in the water, everything felt fuzzy. Not dizzy, necessarily, but like he wasn’t quite there. He was far away, watching the blurry shapes of people move all around him. 

That was how he felt, waking up in his bed. Fuzzy. Reaching to feel his head, it was burning hot underneath his fingertips. Was he sick? Izuku didn’t remember being sick. In fact, it was hard to remember anything during the past week, at least. It was like, at some point, his memories seemed to dart just out of his grasp whenever he reached. 

Like he was underwater. 

The second thing Izuku noticed was that he was not in his room. It was almost his room. These were his bedsheets, neatly tucked around him, and the little nightlight on the other side of the room was his, the one he had gotten for his birthday. But everything was slightly off. His bed was pushed too far to the left. On his desk, there wasn’t a single notebook. In his closet there was much less clothes than usual. 

Something isn’t right. Something bad happened, that’s why you can’t remember. 

Izuku sat up, ignoring the splitting headache that started to blossom. If he stayed in bed, he couldn’t ask questions. Izuku frowned when he noticed the slippers he kept right beside his bed were gone, but shook his head and walked out without them. 

Izuku heard a lot of voices, which meant that it had to be the afternoon at least. The bar rarely got this busy unless it was a very specific time of day. He walked into the main room, taking in the new faces. 

Kurogiri was behind the bar like normal, making some kind of drink with a practiced care Izuku was familiar with. But unlike a normal day, one of the patrons was having an animated conversation with him, one that Kurogiri listened to with a surprising amount of interest for a near-stranger. He was discussing some kind of magic trick he had recently learned, one that made him promise he could read Kurogiri’s mind. 

Izuku was startled when he saw Tomucchan actively engaging with people, too. He sat at a table with three other people, playing poker. He held the cards precariously, as to not disintegrate them. Izuku wondered why he wasn’t using his gloves. 

Sitting next to him was someone who’s quirk seemed to be some kind of mutant-based reptile quirk, who had an almost hilariously terrible poker face. 

Across from Tomucchan a masked man was really into the game, yelling simultaneously about both how good his hand was and how the game must have been rigged, because there was no way he could win. 

Finally there sat a woman who seemed rather nonchalant about the whole thing, even as the masked man waved his hands so violently it almost hit her. She had a small smirk, though, that showed Izuku that she was probably confident in her ability to win regardless. 


The entire bar stilled. Even the mask man quieted down, turning around to look at Izuku with a bewildered expression. “I can’t believe that worked. I knew we could do it!” He looked back to Tomucchan, who stood up and started walking towards Izuku fast. 

Izuku’s eyes widened as Tomucchan threw his arms around him. 

Grumpy, grumbly Tomucchan was openly showing Izuku affection. In front of other people. Izuku got even more worried, but slowly returned the hug. 

“How are you feeling, Izuku?” Tomucchan asked, pulling back to look at him. Tomucchan looked worried. 

“Um. Weird. I feel kind of fuzzy, and are you… Having fun? With other people?” 

He was startled both by the sharp laugh that came out of the woman and the fact that Tomucchan hardly seemed bothered at all about it. 

“Me? Have fun with those idiots? No.” Tomucchan grumbled. “I’m only in it for the money.” 

“But who are they?” Izuku asked. 

“They’re our allies,” Kurogiri spoke up, setting the drink down for the other man. “You had another incident, Midoriya. Perhaps that’s why you’re having a spotty memory?” 

Izuku felt his heart sink. “Oh.” He turned to the others, quietly watching him. “I’m sorry for not remembering you all!” Izuku bowed slightly. “I’m sure we were all great friends! I want to reintroduce myself, if you don’t mind. I’m Midoriya Izuku, Tomucchan’s little brother!” 

The masked man spoke up first, “It’s nice to remeet you, Little Midoriya! I don’t like you. My name is Twice, so let’s be friends!” 

Izuku tilted his head slightly, but the man sitting with Kurogiri explained, “Twice has a bit of a split personality, but don’t let that scare you. I am the brains of the operation, the magician extraordinaire, Mr. Compress!” The others let out a squawk of indignation. 

The lizard man, who had looked a little miffed, watched Izuku with skepticism. “I don’t think you remember it, but Stain didn’t like you, so I don’t think I do, either. I hope you prove me wrong.” 

“Don’t mind him, he has an obsession.” The woman snorted, waving her hand dismissively. “You seem like a good kid. I’m Magne.” 

Izuku smiled weakly, trying not to seem too overwhelmed. “It’s nice to meet you all.” 

A little alarm dinged, and Kurogiri retreated into the kitchen. He came back with some kind of low-effort microwave meal. Izuku sighed, knowing full well that he was the most culinary gifted of the three. 

“Midoriya. After the incident, you must not be feeling well.” Kurogiri set the food down to cool. “You should go rest.” 

“Ah-! Yes, Kurogiri!” Izuku nodded. “Maybe I can come hang out with you all later?” He looked at the others, who all nodded softly and said various confirmations. Tomucchan ruffled his hair, and Izuku walked back into the hallway. He had closed the door behind him when he stopped. 

There was a bump. 

It was quiet, and probably nothing, but Izuku got a really bad feeling. 

It could be anything. What if someone’s hiding? What if they try to kill you? What if an animal is trapped and needs your help? Everyone has been acting really weird. Something isn’t right. They’re hiding something from you. 

Izuku shook his head. His quirk was just being paranoid was all; the bump could have been anything. 

Why did Magne say you seemed like a good kid, if she already knew you? Everyone acted like they didn’t know how to treat you. If they knew you before hand, wouldn’t they know how to handle you? 

Izuku frowned. He knew it was nothing. His quirk had an awful habit of being way too jumpy. But it didn’t hurt to check, did it? Surely, Tomucchan wasn’t hiding anything from Izuku. He loved Izuku. 

Izuku unlocked the door, and creeped it open. 


Izuku’s breath caught in his throat. What was a boy his age doing trapped in a room, all alone? 

Why didn’t Tomura tell you about him? 

“Kurogiri says bad words are unbecoming of a young boy.” Izuku muttered dumbly, eyes wide. The boy stopped, squinting at Izuku. His shoulders seemed to relax. 


“You know my name?” Izuku blinked. Who was he?

“Fuck. Look, we don’t have a lot of time. Take this.” The boy shoved a small book in Izuku’s hand. “Hide it, don’t let Handjob or Pisscloud see it.” 

“Those names are really rude.” Izuku frowned. Who did he think he was? So far, all the boy had done was curse at Izuku, insult his family, and ask him to keep secrets. Izuku had half a mind to call for help and let that be the end of it. 

Something about this is fishy. You should hide it, look over it before deciding to tell anyone. 

Izuku sighed and hid the book in his hoodie pocket. Behind him, Kurogiri asked, “Izuku, what are you doing?” 

“Kurogiri, I heard a noise and his strange boy has been yelling at me.” Izuku looked back, noticing how tense Kurogiri was. Strange. 

“You don’t remember him at all?” Kurogiri asked hesitantly. Izuku shook his head. “Am I supposed to?” 

Kurogiri seemed to sag. “He’s the reason why you had another incident. He tried to kill you, and Sensei is still deciding what to do with him.” 

Izuku felt his blood run cold. He was so stupid. Of course Tomucchan and Kurogiri weren’t trying to hold anything from Izuku. Izuku was on edge because this boy had tried to kill him. And Izuku, stupid Izuku, had unlocked the door totally defenseless. He could have died. Izuku reached to give Kurogiri the book, but he caught the glance of the boy. He looked so pleading. So… worried. 

Izuku’s kindness was going to be the death of him someday. 

Izuku stepped aside quietly and watched as Kurogiri set down the microwaveable food. The boy yelled profanities at him, calling Kurogiri a very colorful set of insults. Izuku’s heart ached as he retreated to his room, quietly locking the door and pulling out the book. The first page was written in very sloppy, angry handwriting. 


Villain who kidnapped Deku

Kids at school

Teacher who said Deku was better off dead

Dr. Harumi



The names went on, but Izuku didn’t understand what they meant. Izuku was about to give up when he noticed one of the pages, folded in the corner. Izuku flipped to the spot and noticed much neater, very familiar handwriting. 

Dear Izuku, 

This is you from the past. I’m writing this because, if my guess is correct, Sensei is going to erase our memories and hopefully this will catch you up to speed. We aren’t Tomura’s little brother. He kidnapped us when we were twelve and Sensei erased our memories and tortured us to be a pet for Tomura. 

The blonde boy who gave this to you is called Kacchan, he’s our best friend and he has also been kidnapped. A few months ago we escaped Tomura and started living with the heroes, because what Tomura is doing is wrong. He’s perfectly willing to kill children to get to his goal of killing All Might. 

We have a lot of friends, and it’s very important that you and Kacchan escape. I know you can do it; try to let the heroes know you’re location. I’ve included Shouto’s phone number so you can tell him where you are.

Tell him everything, you can trust him, I promise. 

Oh dear. 

This was a problem.

Chapter Text

Shouto didn’t know why he was there. The room was somewhere in the hospital, even though he hadn’t been hurt at all. The students that hadn’t gotten hurt in the fight piled in together, huddled in blankets and pillows and sticking in groups. It had been an entire week and not a single person had gone home. 

He noticed the self-proclaimed ‘Bakusquad’, minus Bakugou himself, together in one corner of the room and comforting one another. Shouto’s heart squeezed when he saw Kirishima crying, shuddering as he hid his face in Kaminari’s shoulder. 

He had known, however distantly, that Kirishima and Bakugou had been dating for awhile. It was weird to think that anyone would be interested in dating someone like Bakugou, but Shouto wasn’t one to judge. Izuku did willingly choose to date him, after all. 

Shouto himself sat with Uraraka, Tsuyu-chan, Shinsou, and the villain girl Toga. She would have been in jail by now, if the police hadn’t taken pity on the way she started sobbing when she learned that Izuku had been taken. No one seemed to bother her as she sniveled into Uraraka, who pet her head and whispered sweet comforts. There was a movie playing, but no one was watching it. 

I have to do this on my own. 

Shouto had just stood there. He had watched as Izuku was taken, disappeared into nothing. As Bakugou had ran forward, guns blazing, only to topple into a warp gate and disappear. 

He should have done something. 

He could have done anything. 

It was his fault. 


Shouto looked over to Toga, eyes wide. She pointed to his phone, which rang from an unknown number. He frowned and slowly answered it, setting the phone on speaker. The last thing he needed was to clam up when someone told him news about Izuku. 

“Is this Shouto-kun?” 

Shouto knew that voice. The soft, sweet, lilting voice that said quiet I love you ’s and would ramble on and on about different heroes. He blinked when Toga nudged him. “Um, yes, it’s him. Sorry.” 

“I don’t remember you.” Izuku said firmly. Shouto’s heart sank. “So if you’d like to explain the situation to me, it’s the only way I can help. You’re Kacchan’s friend, aren’t you?” 

Kacchan’s friend. Not anything related to Izuku, but Bakugou. “You could say that.” He mumbled. Uraraka took the phone, gently rubbing his back. “Hi, this is another one of Kacchan’s friends, Uraraka. Mind explaining what’s going on to me?” 

Shouto admired how level headed she was, nodding to Shinsou and whispering Get Aizawa-sensei. There was a shuffle on the other line, and the quiet voice spoke again. 

“Yeah, um, okay. So this note says that Sensei erased my memories, which… Makes sense, if I think about it. I’m in the bar with Tomucchan, Kurogiri, and four other people not including Kacchan. Kacchan is locked in one of the other rooms. He looks like he’s getting food at the very least, and he doesn’t seem super hurt. Tomucchan isn’t the type to… Well, if he didn’t want him for something, he’d already be dead. So I doubt Kacchan is getting killed anytime soon.” 

“Do you have an address?” Uraraka asked, her tone comforting and kind. Izuku made a soft uhm sound before saying, “No, I don’t.” 

Uraraka nodded when Aizawa-sensei and Tsukauchi-san both ran in. Tsukauchi-san hooked something up to Shouto’s phone and quietly told Uraraka to keep speaking. “Okay, that’s alright. Are you in danger, Midori-kun?” 

“No, not at all! Tomucchan loves me, so… He wouldn’t hurt me…” The way Izuku trailed of made Shouto wince. 

“But, um—” Izuku’s voice was much quieter, shaking. “—if he took away my memory, then he doesn’t really love me, does he?” 

“I’m sorry, Midori-kun.” Uraraka frowned. “Just be super careful. We’re going to save you, okay?” 

“Okay.” Izuku didn’t sound very convinced. “Can you tell me what’s going on?” 

“Yeah. Well, let’s see…  I met you about a few months ago? You were friends with Kacchan and Shouto, they’re both in my class. You got really hurt by one of the villains and had to go to the hospital in police custody. They decided that you’re a good person - because you are a good person, Mido-kun - and now you live at the school with your mom! You’re friends with everyone in our class, really.”

Izuku was so quiet that Shouto worried that he wasn’t on the line anymore. 

“...Do that many people really like me?” 

Izuku was crying. On the other line, Shouto heard his soft sobs and gasps. “Of course. You’re, like, a little kitten. Super lovable.” Shinsou piped up from beside Uraraka. 

“You were the one to tell me to make my hero suit give out moisture so that I’d fight better in dry situations, kero.” Tsuyu-chan added. 

“You told me to try using my quirk to refract light!” Shouto hadn’t even known Hagakure was there, and he glanced up to see the other students. 

They were all crowded around the phone. Except for the students who had been injured (just Jirou, Tokoyami, Shoji, and Yaoyarozu, if Shouto remembered right), every single student of 1-A were listening in to the phone call with Izuku. 

“Oh, there are a lot of you.” Izuku muttered on the other line. 

“Yeah, dude! You’re like, the class’ honorary little brother.” Kaminari insisted. On the side, Tsukauchi-san gave Uraraka a little thumbs up. 

They had the location. 

“Sorry, Mido-kun, we have to go now. Call us if anything happens, though!” Uraraka insisted. 

“Mmmhmm! Thank you for talking with me, Uraraka-chan.” There was a beep on the other line. Shouto looked over to Aizawa-sensei, who was on the phone with someone, speaking quiet enough so Shouto couldn’t hear. 

“What do we do next?” Kirishima asked. Tsukauchi-san shook his head. “Nothing. You guys are just students, you’ve done enough. Let the pros handle it.” 

“What? Izuku and Bakugou are in danger.” Shouto’s voice raised. 

“You heard what Midoriya said, they’re fine.” Aizawa-sensei deadpanned. 

“No offence, Sensei, but Mido-kun doesn’t remember all of the terrible things Shigaraki did.” Uraraka frowned. “He wouldn’t know if he was in danger.” 

“Stop doubting Midoriya. My word is final.” Aizawa-sensei stood up abruptly. “Tsukauchi, let’s go.” 

Shouto clenched his fists as they left. It was eerily quiet in the room, aside from the shuffling of the students going back to where they were. The mood had deflated into the same as before, the hopelessness. 

Shouto felt like he couldn’t breath in the enclosed space, so he left, ignoring the protests of his friends on the way out. 

Hitoshi felt like he was a good son, for the most part. Maybe not by everyone’s standards, but definitely by Yamada and Aizawa’s. He had long gotten used to the long conversations other adults would be afraid to have, or the way Aizawa had flat out gotten angry with him for avoiding asking questions because Hitoshi was too used to not having them answered. As long as he had been living there, he had never once gotten in trouble. 

Would he be grounded, when his dads found out what Hitoshi was about to do? Probably. Not that he particularly cared. 

When Todoroki had stormed out of the safe room the teachers set up to handle the shock of the kids, Hitoshi wasn’t the only one that followed. Uraraka, Tsuyu-chan, and Kirishima all followed suit. Hitoshi didn’t blame him for being so upset about not being able to help the pros. It was frustrating. 

He had been startled when he bumped into Yaomomo, who explained that she had the location of where Izuku was. The location the teachers didn’t want to give. 

Hitoshi could hear the quiet voices of Yamada and Aizawa, telling him that it was a bad idea to take the location. The adults knew what they were doing, surely, and there was plenty of help to be given just by supporting the kids who, even after a week, still chose to be huddled together for safety in an empty hospital room rather than going home to their families. 

He took the location anyway. He couldn’t stand to think of Midoriya, the same sweet kid who practically begged Hitoshi to brainwash him for practice, the same sweet kid who got flustered when someone caught him muttering and who had the brightest smile in the entire school, hurt. Upset. Dead. 

He turned back with Yaomomo in toe and found Shouto outside, ice creeping up where his foot stood. Uraraka, Tsuyu-chan, and Kirishima comforted him. “Hey, Todoroki.” Shinsou stopped beside him, offering a tiny smile. “You shouldn’t worry about what you can’t do and worry about what you can, instead.” 

“What can I do? I’m just—” Shouto sighed, clenching his fists. “—useless.” 

“I put a tracker on one of the nomu,” Yaomomo explained, holding up a small device. “I gave it to the teachers, but I thought you might want it.” 

Tsuyu-chan’s eyes widened. “What? The teachers told us specifically not to go after Midori-chan.” 

“Tsuyu-chan, Mido-kun is in trouble. We can’t do nothing!” Uraraka frowned. “The teachers are going through a lot right now, with the media on their backs after Bakugou was taken.” 

It was true. Midoriya had been hidden from the media since the beginning, but they had found out that Bakugou was taken, too, and were having a field day with the drama. They pretended to be interested in the security of the students, but all of the attention they were taking away from the case, from Midoriya and Bakugou, made things way worse. He had heard from Yamada that Aizawa was doing a press conference of all things, even though he hated the media more than he hated people who kept their cats outside without supervision (cats were meant to be pampered ). 

Behind Tsuyu-chan, Iida and Toga ran out with varying reactions. “You cannot break the rules! This is just like what I tried to do with Stain, and look at how that turned out.” 

“You don’t want us to go because you don’t like Izuku.” Todoroki snapped, ice creeping into the sidewalk cracks. 

“What? You think I’d…” Iida looked conflicted. It was true, of course. Iida was never rude to Midoriya, and actually ended up spending quite a bit of time since he was so close with Uraraka and Tsuyu-chan. But he was always a little too robotic and a little too wary of Midoriya. Once Midoriya went to hand him a pen too fast and Iida had stepped back quickly. 

“Midoriya-kun saved my life.” Iida whispered, watching Todoroki with an unreadable expression, something between determination and hurt. “I don’t think he had a very good upbringing, and I can’t help but be cautious when someone has been through that kind of grooming. You see it, don’t you? Midoriya-kun is not as morally secure as the rest of us. But in the entire time he’s been here, he’s done nothing but help. Help me, help our class, even the other years. And I’d never stop someone from saving an innocent person in need of saving.” Iida paused. “You’re right, though. He saved my life, and if I can’t stop you from going and being reckless, I’ll have to join you. But we cannot do anything illegal. No quirks.” 

Kirishima nodded. “Of course. It’s really manly of you to go with us, Dude.” 

Hitoshi sighed. “Okay, children, everyone here? Are we ready to load up?” 

“I’m going too!” Toga gushed. “You guys can’t use your quirks, but I’m going to jail anyway. If anything happens you guys can say I forced you, right?” 

“We can’t make your sentence worse, Toga-chan.” Uraraka frowned. Toga narrowed her eyes at the other teenagers. “Ochako-chan. Do you know what the nicest thing my family ever said to me was? One time, my mother told me that if I was locked in a cell I couldn’t hurt anyone and I’d make everyone happier.” She clenched her fists. 

“No one knew what to do with me. The Quirk Counselors even suggested that I take quirk repressants - which are super addictive and have terrible side effects when used too regularly, by the way - so that I wouldn’t have a reason to drink blood. They wanted to lock up a four year old girl because of how she expressed love.” Toga brought a hand to her heart, smiling faintly. “You know what the first thing Izu-kun told me was? It’s nice to meet you. No one has ever thought meeting me was nice, not even the other villains. And when I told him about how I love people, he said, It’s okay, I know you’d never hurt me. And I didn’t. Ever hurt him, I mean.” Toga beamed. “So I’m going to save him, just like you heroes.”

And that was how Hitoshi ended up in Kamino with a ragtag group of seven children (including himself), dressed in ridiculous disguises and pressed against the wall of a nondescript building. 

“Are you sure this is the right place?” Uraraka asked, frowning. They would have asked Toga, had she not went her own way to a secondary location just in case. “This doesn’t look like a bar.” 

That was when the wall exploded.