Hitoshi was debating whether this was the worst day of his life. On the one hand, the first day in the foster system was horrible, and he hated it when he had to wear the muzzles that cut his face. On the other hand, he was tied up and gagged in a dark room. It was a solid tie.
The door to the darkroom slammed open, and Hitoshi tensed as two of his kidnappers threw a kid in. The adults disappeared again, leaving Hitoshi alone with another, loud kid. The boy was yelling and struggling against his restraints. They looked professional, meaning whatever quirk the other had involved his hands. Hitoshi shivered at the thought of being muzzled in this already awful place.
“-UCKERS! HEY - who are you?” the boy finally noticed Hitoshi curled up in the corner. After a second, the boy also realized he was gagged and clumsily pulled it off with his bound hands. He sat a few feet from Hitoshi.
“My name's Shinsou.”
“I'm Bakugou. What’s your quirk?” Hitoshi stiffened at the question.
“Cause that's why they grabbed you, dumbass. Might help us get out,” Bakugou said, in a voice that told Hitoshi despite the darkness, the boy had rolled his eyes.
“I can control minds,” Hitoshi scowled and answered, some part of him hoping Bakugou would leave him alone. How could they possibly get out?
“What, seriously? And you haven’t used it? How does it work?”
“... When I ask anyone a question, and they answer I can take control. Uh. Pain breaks the link,” Hitoshi thought over what little he knew about his quirk. It was hard to make out, but Bakugou definitely grinned.
“I have a plan.”
The ‘plan’ was for Bakugou to cut out of his restraints (why did he have a knife in his shoe), free Hitoshi, and let off an explosion (his quirk matched his personality) to draw any nearby kidnappers into the room. Then for Hitoshi to get them under his control or if he couldn’t, Bakugou said he would just ‘blast them.’
Four people ran in, but only two accidentally answered Hitoshi’s question. Which was fine, because Bakugou was not joking when he said he would blast them. Hitoshi winced in sympathy and commanded the two he had to tell them how many more kidnappers there were.
Six kidnappers left, with four out and two on the other side of the building guarding. It was literally child’s play to sneak out without being noticed. Hitoshi couldn’t believe what could have been the worst day ever had ended fine. Because of Bakugou essentially, who was still very not-scared of Hitoshi.
Bakugou walked Hitoshi back to the foster house and left. What a weird kid.
Katsuki didn’t think he needed any friends, but once you’ve been kidnapped and have escaped together three times, you’re friends. Shinsou - no, Hitoshi and Katsuki hadn’t been expecting to see each other ever again. Or another time following that, yet here they were.
Katsuki shoved the skylight open, climbed through, and pulled Hitoshi out after him. They had had to fight a pretty strong guard this time since he knew not to respond to Hitoshi, and now Katsuki was trying not to put too much weight on his injured leg.
“... Will you be okay?” Hitoshi asked hesitantly. He was still reluctant to ask questions even though Katsuki always said it was fine.
“Yeah, I’ve got a first aid kit at home,” Katsuki found the fire escape, and they descended down the side of the building. Thankfully, the place wasn’t far from the busier streets, so they could quickly disappear into the crowds. “Let’s hurry, the other villains have probably noticed we’re gone.”
What was Katsuki supposed to do with a friend? Hitoshi was nothing like Deku, and they hadn’t been friends in years anyway.
“This sucks,” Hitoshi muttered, Katsuki looked over in confusion. “How many more times are we going to get kidnapped? I barely escaped the last time when I was on my own. And only because you showed me how to get out of rope bindings before.”
“Until we’re strong enough not to get grabbed, dumbass.”
“So we need to... Train? How?” Hitoshi gestured to himself as if to say, ‘do I look like I can afford that?’. Katsuki smirked viscously.
“I practice on my own, usually in the woods. If you want to train with me, you better be fucking ready.”
“We don’t live close by, and my foster parents would never let me out if they thought I was training to be a hero,” Hitoshi glanced away, making Katsuki frown. The kid definitely was in a shitty household and refused to tell Katsuki about it. Did he not want help? Maybe he thought he didn’t need it. “I… Could lie.”
“You’re a terrible liar, you get all fidgety.”
“Hey! I’m getting better! I didn't fidget a lot earlier with the guards,” Hitoshi glared as Katsuki rolled his eyes. They ignored the looks they got from people passing by on the sidewalk.
“So that’s a yes? What times are you free?” Katsuki checked around them one last time before leading Hitoshi back to his foster home. They debated schedules, deciding that later that Fridays and weekends worked best with school and their respective environments. Katsuki warned Hitoshi about Deku (“if a green-haired nerd follows you or asks you questions, ditch him immediately”) and showed him the quickest route to the forest near Katsuki’s home.
“Don’t get kidnapped before Friday,” Katsuki sneered at Hitoshi as he dropped him off at his front door. Hitoshi rolled his eyes this time.
“Yeah, sure, I’ll get right on that. I’ll make sure to tell them you said that, so I’m not kidnapped.”
King Explosion Murder: Tell me about your day.
Emperor Insomniac: I thought you went to bed at like 830 pm
Emperor Insomniac: wait nvm
Emperor Insomniac: Classes were boring, someone put food in my desk, and I had to do like a bajillion chores
King Explosion Murder: What did you do to the fucker that messed with your desk?
Emperor Insomniac: nothing dude
Emperor Insomniac: how would confrontation help?
King Explosion Murder: They would know you won’t take that shit.
Emperor Insomniac: afraid only you have that much energy, I’m exhausted without fighting everyone who is an ass to me aka everyone else
King Explosion Murder: Fine. Learn their schedules so you can best avoid them.
Emperor Insomniac: speaking from experience?
King Explosion Murder: Unfortunately. Whatever. Go to sleep.
Emperor Insomniac: night.
Emperor Insomniac: ambien helps with nightmares btw
King Explosion Murder: Goodnight.
Hitoshi was absolutely certain Katsuki was descended from a demon. No one could be that fucking good at everything and be a smug little shit about it. It’s not like Hitoshi was some idiot, but Katsuki made flying using explosions look like riding a bike. Ridiculous. Supernatural. Fucking absurd. Also unfair.
“My grandparents move faster than you!”
“Glad you have family,” Hitoshi replied, voice as dry as the Sahara Desert. Katsuki scoffed and gave him no pity points, pushing him to keep running laps. “You’re my worst PE teacher ever, which is saying something.”
“Does complaining make you run faster?” Katsuki smirked at Hitoshi. He was insufferable. “Fine, we can take a break.”
“You can do quirk practice now,” Katsuki said. Nevermind, again, Hitoshi hated him.
“Can we, like, not?”
“Stop whin -,” Katsuki’s eyes went blank, and Hitoshi dropped to the ground with a sigh. They had talked about his quirk for a while before practicing with it. Hitoshi knew very little about his limits. Only that pain disrupted the connection, he could control up to two people at a time, and as they had learned quickly, for up to twenty minutes without a headache. Katsuki thought he could train his quirk to get stronger, but Hitoshi was reluctant.
Finding one person unafraid and accepting of his quirk was still shocking to Hitoshi. Testing how many people it could work on was not something he wanted to do to anyone. Outside of kidnappings, Katsuki was the only person Hitoshi felt comfortable enough to practice on. And unlike the blonde, he did not want to try to see if he could fix the pain limit. Katsuki had no fear, which made him a good friend and 46% more likely to be a demon.
Hitoshi held onto Katsuki’s mind for thirty minutes according to his watch before releasing him. Any longer and the migraine would last for hours.
“That was ten seconds longer than last time,” Katsuki noted. Hitoshi shrugged. He didn’t really see the difference. “Don’t pout, I only convinced you to do this a week ago, and you’ve already made some progress. I researched mental quirks, they’re harder to train.”
“... Really?” Hitoshi went out of his way not to research quirks like his. He only ever got villains and criminals in the results. It was depressing, to say the least.
“Yes, dumbass, you think I don’t know what I’m talking about?” Katsuki ignored Hitoshi’s glare. “Anyway, you can’t be afraid of using it if you’re going to be a hero.”
Hitoshi knew that. Didn’t make it any easier. Sometimes when he asked questions, he felt the cutting edges of a muzzle or the less common but still terrifying feeling of being locked in a closet. Despite his words, Katsuki understood that, so Hitoshi didn’t complain more. He really did need to at least get more comfortable.
“Come on, let's go get lunch,” Katsuki helped pull him to his feet, and Hitoshi followed the other ten-year-old out of the forest. They had been friends for about 14 months, and he still wasn’t used to someone having his back. They even had a system now, a check-in every day to make sure the other wasn’t kidnapped or hurt. And when one of them was the other got them out. Whether that meant Katsuki blasting into a villain hideout to rescue Hitoshi or Hitoshi, giving Katsuki’s mom an excuse for her son to be away (to be safe). They weren’t alone anymore. What a novelty.
Hitoshi just hoped that all the other kids with quirks that were kidnapped had someone looking out for them.
Emperor Insomniac: Is it normal for someone to schedule and go to their own doctors appointments?
King Explosion Murder: Yes, of course.
Emperor Insomniac: ok just checking
One would think going to your dream school would be great, yet Hitoshi was learning this was just the shittiest year for them. For Katsuki, especially. But as his Best Friend, Hitoshi couldn’t have a good year either if the blonde wasn’t. The Sludge Villain disaster, USJ, the Sports Festival, and now this. The first two could only be blamed on the villains and shitty luck. Hitoshi had been so excited about managing to pass the entrance exam (and Katsuki had been right about training to fight robots, the smug bastard) that he hadn’t been wary enough of the teachers. He should have known UA wouldn’t be any different from the schools he grew up in.
Hitoshi had gotten to the second round of the Sports Festival battles before he was knocked unconscious for a couple of hours. Only to wake up to find that the teachers had chained, muzzled, and put Katsuki on display on live television. Hitoshi knew better than to trust any adults here now (but Aizawa had been asleep because of his injuries too, so maybe -). He should have known before. All he could do in the aftermath was to make sure his friend was okay or as okay as he could be. Have Katsuki’s back like he always had Hitoshi’s.
Then the summer camp happened. And the League of Dumb Names. Katsuki was kidnapped, which wasn’t really that earth-shattering except everyone else treated it like it was. Yet still, the heroes were taking forever to mobilize. Therefore Hitoshi had to take matters into his own hands, as per usual.
So. When you grow up being treated like a villain by literally everyone except one (1) person, you get to know some shady people. Not evil, just, like, definitely not taxpayers. Hitoshi was always the more talkative one and could connect a little with these, uh, types. The point being, he knew who to ask when Katsuki was kidnapped. Regardless of her night job, Suki always had a soft spot for kids, so she always tipped them off on where the other might be kept. Men like to brag, she would say. Hitoshi didn’t ask further questions.
The bar that the League was apparently keeping Katsuki at was tucked away in a shady part of town. Somewhere your eyes naturally skipped over unless you knew to look closer. Hitoshi did and waited half an hour outside before creeping closer. The door… Was unlocked. Hitoshi had his hood up, a black mask on, and dyed his eye-catching hair dark brown so as not to be recognized, but if they left the front door unlocked, then maybe these dumbasses wouldn’t even know him.
There… Were a bunch of criminally inclined looking people in the bar. Hitoshi only recognized a couple from the League. The Decay one was absent, thankfully. Barely anyone glanced at him as he discreetly moved around. Katsuki was likely kept in some backroom, and Hitoshi was planning on getting them out through the side door that was unfortunately locked from the inside. No one noticed another shady person slip into the back of the bar. Amazing what looking villainous and confident could do.
Hitoshi was faced with a couple doors in a hallway, one he knew to be the side exit, and chose quickly. Ignoring the one leading to stairs and one with a window, he picked the fourth doors lock. Inside, chained up, was Katsuki. Hitoshi almost slumped over in relief.
“I’m here to pick you up,” Hitoshi joked, his smile forced.
“You’re late,” Katsuki’s tone was lighthearted, but Hitoshi knew he was exhausted. He closed the door quietly behind him and started freeing his friend.
“Shh!” the blonde shushed Hitoshi and stiffened. They both waited a moment, and a knock clanged on the door.
“Still awake, brat?” an unfamiliar voice asked through the door.
“Fuck off!” Katsuki snarled. Hitoshi made no sounds. There was a light chuckle, and they heard the person walk away.
“Should be clear now,” Katsuki nodded at Hitoshi, and he finished unchaining the blonde. They checked the hallway before Hitoshi got them out the side door in under a minute. Ten minutes later, Hitoshi started to finally relax.
“Well, that was stupid easy,” Hitoshi looked over his shoulder to confirm no one was tailing them. Katsuki scoffed, more than likely feeling offended at the lack of professionalism. “Let’s go get ice cream.”
Katsuki was mentally making a list of how many mistakes the villains had made. It was comforting how long it was. He took another bite of his ice cream.
“Hey, we should probably let the class know you're safe,” Hitoshi spoke up, both of them having forgotten this kidnapping was a more public affair.
Hitoshi pulled out his phone, snapped a picture of them, posted it in the class group chat, and to Aizawa. They both agreed he could be trusted, mostly.
Emperor Insomniac: image.png
Emperor Insomniac: lol, guess who I found
several people are typing….
Deku was the first one to call Hitoshi with a loud “WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU FOUND HIM?!?!?”. Katsuki passively watched his friend try to calm down the shitty nerd.
“- yeah, I did. Why do you sound surpri - Aizawa’s calling gotta go.”
“Wait -” Deku’s voice cut off as Hitoshi hung up and accepted Aizawa’s call.
“Where. Are. You.”
Hitoshi and Aizawa’s phone call was brief, just going over their location and simple details of the rescue, because the teacher was already on his way to meet them. Somehow he only took ten minutes; Katsuki wondered if he ran on the rooftops or something. It would have definitely taken longer in a car.
Aizawa looked more dead than usual, to Katsuki’s surprise. Why had he been worried? Katsuki was strong, and Hitoshi knew what to do.
“Shinsou, what you did was incredibly reckless, I can’t - how?”
“I didn’t use my quirk, so it’s legal,” Hitoshi frowned in confusion at their teacher sitting across from them. Aizawa stared at their ice cream like it was a personal affront to God.
“Look at me and tell me you understand that’s not the problem with this situation.”
“Hell, the bar was unlocked, so I didn’t even break-in,” Hitoshi ignored Aizawa's statement and continued. Katsuki was leaning back casually, also ignoring Aizawa’s incredulous looks.
“That is not - wait. What do you mean they left the bar unlocked??”
“They’re idiots, sir,” Hitoshi summed up. Katsuki nodded in agreement. Aizawa put his head in his hands and sighed.
“Super unprofessional, honestly. I’ve had gangs half their size be way more intelligent about their set up. Some points for style, I guess,” Katsuki piped in. Aizawa sat up quickly.
“What do you mean gangs? Are you saying this isn’t the first time you’ve been kidnapped? Why am I only hearing about this now?” Aizawa looked alarmed. Katsuki and Hitoshi glanced at each other, coming to a silent agreement.
“Yeah, we’ve both been kidnapped a bunch of times. Because of our quirks, you know how it is,” Hitoshi slid his empty bowl away from him.
“No. I do not know how it is, that isn’t normal,” Aizawa was starting to sound more tired and incredulous again. Katsuki was pretty sure he was silently asking them ‘how are you both alive???’ for some reason… Were kidnappings… Not a normal childhood experience?
“It’s how we met when we were eight,” Katsuki said defensively. For a second, he saw the anger on Aizawa’s face before worry overcame it.
“Okay. That’s. I’m getting you two to safety, and we are definitely not done with this conversation,” Aizawa sighed again and stood up. Katsuki was done with his ice cream too and followed Hitoshi out of the store.
“What do your parents and guardians know about this?” Aizawa said suddenly on the walk (he had run apparently, Katsuki was still unsure why). Katsuki shrugged, and Hitoshi scoffed. Aizawa mumbled something under his breath that Katsuki didn’t catch.
“Need to look at the guidelines for adoption,” Aizawa replied, like that made any sense. Hitoshi seemed confused too. “Anyway, it might be too dangerous for either of you to go home right now, but is there anything you need immediately?”
“I’d like my knives,” Katsuki thought it over, nothing else came to mind.
“... I’m sorry I asked”