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The Butterfly Effect

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"Would you make him stop screaming?" Tomura complained loudly.  Izuku screams had been echoing through the caverns for hours.  "I swear, I'm ready to rip out his tongue and his wings."

Hisashi, just returning home, gave Tomura a level glare.  "Have you just been ignoring him?"

"What do you want me to do?" Tomura scowled.  "He's your brat, why should I have to make him stop crying?"

Rather than bothering with a reply, Hisashi left Tomira and went to Izuku.  Izuku was sitting in his nest, his face and neck so red he was turning purple.  As soon as Hisashi entered, Izuku grabbed onto him with one hand and used the other to bang against him.

"Izuku, butterfly, you need to stop this." Hisashi sighed.  "You're hurting yourself."

"I want to leave!" Izuku screamed.  "Let me go, let me go!"

After a long and difficult struggle, Hisashi finally managed to calm Izuku down.  Izuku nestled into his father's arms, shaking weakly.

"This needs to stop, butterfly." Hisashi stroked Izuku's wings, watching him tremble with exhaustion.

"Y-you left me all alone." Izuku choked through his sore throat.

"I can't always be with you, butterfly."

"It's scary.  It itches.  It hurts ." Izuku sobbed.

Hisashi kissed his forehead and hushed him.  "What can I do to help you?"

"W-wanna go home." Izuku whimpered.

"No, Izu."

Izuku cried and curled in on himself.  Hisashi kissed his forehead and cooed over him until he spoke again.

"Daddy, don't leave me alone.  I c-can't- I don't want to- please.  Please."

"If you don't want to be left by yourself then I'll have Tomura sit with you while I'm away."

"No!" Izuku twisted.  "Not him, I hate him!  Please, Daddy."

"Then who?"

Izuku thought for a moment, then asked with a small and hopeful voice.  "Mommy?"

"She isn't here."

Izuku whimpered again.  Hisashi watched him fluster until he lifted his bloodshot eyes again.  "B-blue wings?"

Hisashi considered his request for a moment before he understood.  "Kurogiri?"

"Just don't leave me all by myself." Izuku begged.  "Daddy I can't do this anymore.  You're k-killing me."

"Don't be so dramatic, butterfly.  I could never hurt you." Hisashi pulled him in to cuddle him.  "I love you too much to let anything happen to you."

"Liar." Izuku said softly, but cuddled deep into his father's embrace.  He hung on tight, desperate not to be left alone again even if he had to hang onto monsters to keep it from happening.

~~~~~~~~~◇•◇~~~~~~~~~

Izuku finished winding the last pale blue flower into his chain and showed it to the nomu sitting beside him.  "My mom showed me how to make these.  We used to sit in the sun and make them for hours… did your Mommy ever teach you how?”

Kurogiri looked down at the little fairy and sighed.  “I’ve told you before, Young Master, I have no memories of this previous life you claim I had.”

Izuku’s face fell and he dropped his hands into his lap.  “I-I know, but maybe you can remember if you try?”

“I don’t see what difference it would make.”

“Nevermind.” Izuku let the flowers fall to the ground and pulled his knees up to his chest.  Kurogiri knew that this meant he was going to be unresponsive for a long time, possibly hours.  But it was better than having the child cry.  All for One didn’t like it when his son cried.

Rather than try to bother Izuku, Kurogiri began to weave his own flower crown.  He used pink and yellow flowers, then set it on top of Izuku’s head when he was finished.  Izuku blinked in surprise, snapped out of his trance.

“You do know how.” He looked up and tried to see the crown without taking it off his head.

“I’m sure it was from watching you, Young Master.” Kurogiri replied.

“Thank you.” Izuku said softly, looking back down at the ground again.

“If I might ask, Young Master, why do you have your father send me here to sit with you every day?” Kurogiri asked.

“Because I’m lonely.” Izuku answered.

“You hate my kind.  Why would you request me over someone like Tomura or the doctor?”

“Because I hate them!” Izuku said loudly, then hugged his knees tighter and whimpered.  “I hate everything about this place.  I wish I never came here.”

“But your father loves you.  He loves you more than anything in the world.”

“He doesn’t.  All he cares about is my wings, and even now that they’re ruined he still won’t let me go.  I wish I could run away, but these stupid webs- I can’t.  I can’t get away from him.” Small tears began to fill Izuku’s eyes.

“Please don’t cry, Young Master.  Your father will be upset.”

“Good!” Izuku covered his face and shook his head.  “I hate him.  I really do.  I hate him and this place and all the Dark Magic- I hate it!”

Kurogiri looked down at his hand, made almost completely of Dark Magic.  According to Izuku, he had once had flesh and wings of his own.  But he didn't remember anything like that.  He just remembered being awoken by the doctor and meeting his masters- Tomura and the king, All for One.  He'd served them ever since.

“If my presence causes you so much pain, perhaps it would be best for me to go.”

“No!” Izuku cried, quickly grabbing onto him.  “You can’t!  You can’t leave me all alone, please!”

"Your father will be here soon."

"You can't leave me." Izuku repeated with wide, panicked eyes.  "P-please.  It will itch and hurt and-!"

"Alright, Young Master." Kurogiri calmed him.  "I will stay."

Izuku looked relieved and wiped his eyes.  He picked up his flower crown again and looked up at the nomu.  Kurogiri sighed and leaned forward so that Izuku could place it on his head.  "Now we match." Izuku said, sitting back.  "We have a lot of matches.  You're a prisoner here just like me."

"I'm not a prisoner, Young Master.  I am happy to live here and serve you and your father."

"I tried to save you." Izuku mumbled softly.  "I heard you screaming and I ran to help.  I s-saw Tomura pull out one of your wings.  He was smiling and no one stopped him.  I came to help but I froze up.  I was so stupid.  I don't even have magic.   What did I think I was going to do?"

Izuku was shaking.  His face was pale, eyes zoned out.  Kurogiri could see webs of Dark Magic appearing on his skin, up his arms and neck.  Suddenly the little fairy stiffened and let out a cry of pain.

"Young Master, what's wrong?"

"Ow, ow, ow!" Izuku cried.  "It itches, it hurts!"

"What itches?"

"Spider bites!" Izuku cried.

Kurogiri looked the child over.  He couldn't see any injuries, just Dark Magic webs holding him in place.  "There are no spiders."

Izuku screamed and struggled.  "Make it stop!  It hurts, it hurts, I don't want it to hurt."

"I'll get your father." Kurogiri began to stand.

"No!" Izuku screamed.  "No, please.  Just make the itching stop and I'll be good!"

The nomu hesitated.  "What do you need me to do, Young Master?"

"D-don't go." Izuku cried.  "I h-have to save you.  I have to send you home e-even if I don't get to go with you."

"Please don't cry, Young Master." Kurogiri felt strange.  "I'm happy to stay with you.  I won't leave you, I promise.  Just don't cry. "

"It hurts." Izuku whimpered.  "I'm scared."

"You have nothing to be afraid of here." Kurogiri promised.  "Your father would never let anything happen to you."

Izuku looked down at his arms, still strained against the webs to try and scratch each other.  "That's what I'm afraid of."

~~~~~~~~~◇•◇~~~~~~~~~

Izuku hugged his father and bit his lip to keep from crying as the doctor's cold, grubby hands travelled all over his wings.  Hishashi told him to relax, but he couldn't.  Not here with the wings surrounding him, not with Tomura watching, not with that awful doctor touching him.

The colorful wings on the wall drew his attention.  More and more during his checkups he would stare at them and wonder about who they had belonged to and what kind of magic they held.  Kurogiri's were easy to spot.  Blue as the sky, like a window in the dark cave.  So many different shapes and colors, sizes, patterns… so many people that his father had killed.

There was one pair of wings that always drew Izuku's attention.  They were the only wings that were incomplete.  Just the pieces were huge, larger than any Izuku had ever seen.  They were a warm golden yellow, torn into severe large chunks.  But they weren't complete and didn't seem to have any magic in them.  Izuku liked to think that whoever they belonged to had escaped and were safe.  He imagined that even with ripped wings he was still loved and accepted and happy.

The doctor's stubby fingers grasped around the base of Izuku's wing and he screamed in Hisashi's ear, hugging him tighter.

"Relax, Izuku." Hisashi sighed.  "He isn't hurting you."

"I don't like it!" Izuku cried.  "It's gross and scary.  How much longer?"

"Nearly finished, butterfly." Hisashi kissed the side of his head and motioned for the doctor to continue.

Kurogiri stood beside him, looking down at the little fairy as he cried onto his father's shoulder.  He'd seen Izuku looking at the wings earlier, one of the child's many tactics to disassociate himself from what the doctor was doing during these visits.  Sometimes. behind his father's back, he would reach out and hold Kurogiri's hand.

Kurogiri found himself looking over his shoulder as well to where the wings were pinned.  So many shapes and colors… Izuku said that one of the pairs belonged to him.  He wondered which ones, since none of them seemed to stand out to him.  He thought about what Izuku had said, about how he wanted to save him.  Such a strange child he was.

Izuku screamed again and Kurogiri turned to look at him.  Time seemed to move slowly as his eyes passed over a blue pair of wings hanging just above eye level.  Izuku's screams, combined with the wings, triggered something in his memory.  He could hear Izuku screaming, see the wing in Master Tomura's hand, dripping fresh blood from the base.  He felt a violent throb in his back, right at his shoulder blades.  He tasted the bitter sting of Dark Magic.  He heard distant voices in his mind that he didn't recognize, caught glimpses of places he'd never been.

"There, all done." Hisashi said, peppering Izuku's tear streaked face with kisses.  "I'll take you back to your room now."

Kurogiri's eyes swung back to Izuku.  He'd seen something like this before- Master All for One picking up a frightened Izuku whose skin was covered in webs of Dark Magic to keep him from running.  But he'd seen it from Izuku's position, from the table.  He'd seen it through red and black spots of pain that had blurred his vision.

"I tried to save you.  I heard you screaming and I ran to help.  I saw Tomura pull out one of your wings.  He was smiling and no one stopped him.  I came to help but I froze up."

He remembered.  He remembered that story that Izuku had told him.  He remembered Tomura pulling out his wings.  He remembered the doctor taking the rest of him apart.  He remembered All for One changing him into a creature of Dark Magic.

He didn't have much time, only moments before All for One realized that something was wrong.  Kurogiri glanced at Izuku, but the child was still firmly in his father's arms.  He couldn't rescue him, not yet, not without help.  Who knew what kind of damage the Dark Magic woven into him would do if he tried to take off with him?  He would have to come back with help… if his friends were still willing to help him.

Izuku met Kurogiri's eyes and seemed to recognize the strange look he had.  One look and he could tell- he was going to be left alone again.  For a moment Kurogiri feared that Izuku would say something, try to stop him from leaving, but instead Izuku snuggled into his father's shoulder.  Hisashi smiled and looked down at Izuku, surprised and pleased by his sudden display of affection.  Izuku- trapped, alone, abused and afraid- was giving Kurogiri the opening he needed to escape.  He wouldn’t waste this opportunity, and he wouldn’t forget Izuku’s sacrifice.  He would make sure that Izuku got out of this web of darkness, no matter what he had to sacrifice to do it.

~~~~~~~~~◇•◇~~~~~~~~~

“H-He left me all alone!” Izuku cried for the hundredth time.

“I’m still here.” Hisashi repeated himself, more than tired of this loop of conversation that they had been playing over and over for the last few days.  “You don’t need anyone else, butterfly.”

“My wings hurt.” Izuku wailed.  “Daddy, it really hurts.”

“They shouldn’t hurt, the doctor stitched you back together.  You’re perfectly healthy, baby.”

“It itches.” Izuku shook his head, tears streaming heavily down his cheeks.  “Make the webs go away.”

“I can’t.” Hisashi picked him up, ignoring his screams.  “You’ll hurt yourself, and I can’t live with that.”

Izuku wailed loudly, pushing him away.  “Don’t touch me!  I hate you, I hate you, leave me alone!”

“It seems like it’s time for you to go to bed, butterfly.” Hisashi moved to set Izuku back down in his nest, only to have Izuku start screaming again.

“No, no!  Don’t leave me, you can’t!  Don’t leave me all alone!” Izuku grabbed his neck and hung onto him tight enough to choke him.  “Please, daddy, don’t go.  Don’t leave me.  I don’t want to be alone.  It’s scary, I’m scared.”

“Still can’t make up your mind, can you?” Hisashi chuckled, giving him a soft kiss.  He sat down in the nest and tucked Izuku in beside him.  Izuku held his father’s hand to his chest and cried, hiding his face in Hisashi’s lap.  Hisashi settled one hand on Izuku’s head and used the other to stroke his trembling wings.  “Shh, it’s okay.  Daddy’s got you, butterfly.  I won’t leave you, I won’t ever let you go.”

~~~~~~~~~◇•◇~~~~~~~~~

“Are you sure you want to be locked up?” Shouta asked softly for the dozenth time.

“You can’t trust me.” The creature of Dark Magic replied.  “These memories… they come and go.  I wish I could be who you think I am, who I once was… it’s slow and painful, but I don’t want to hurt you.  I know that much at least.”

“We’re going to help you.” Hizashi promised, reaching through the bars to take the nomu’s hand.

“Not me, you have to help him.”

“The boy in the forest?” Shouta sighed heavily.  “We’re trying, Oboro, but it isn’t easy.  This could be a trap, you getting your memories back and coming home again.  How can we trust you?”

The nomu nodded, looking down.  “Even I don’t trust myself.  But he was so scared, and all alone.  If you don’t rescue him… I’m not sure how much longer he can last.”

“Cheer up, we’ll save your little friend.” Hizashi glanced at Shota, who nodded in agreement.  “Just like we’re going to save you.  As soon as All Might gets home, we’ll be strong enough to go into the forest.  We’ll bring him home safe, no matter what.”