“You wanted to see me?” Yagi Toshinori said softly as he carefully slid into the seat. Since the advent of quirks, seating, even at family restaurants like the one Naomasa had chosen had gotten stronger, but he had long ago gotten used to the fact that he was a big man. Sometimes, even reinforced furniture had troubles with him and while he was happy signing autographs, so far he hadn’t been recognised and knew that his friend had selected this restaurant because he didn’t want to be seen.
“I thought you’d like the food,” Tsukauchi said, taking a gulp of his coffee. He had a beef bowl in front of him and was liberally spooning pink ginger from the small caddy on to the rice.
Yagi was saved from answering as a waitress plonked down a green tea and looked at him expectantly. “Same as him,” Toshinori mumbled, with his head down. He didn’t need to look up to know that she nodded and went back to the kitchen.
The beef bowl was the house speciality after all.
“Now that I have the food?” Yagi asked. The longer he was here, the more chance someone might recognise him. Technically the food wasn’t here, but it would arrive shortly. They prided themselves on speed.
Tsukauchi broke his chopsticks and took a large mouthful. He seemed pleased.
“You always put on too much ginger,” Toshinori said as the waitress returned, sliding a tray in front of him. There was a small bowl of sliced cabbage beside the beef bowl. The waitress didn’t bother to wait and walked away again, calling a greeting to a family that had just come through the door.
A folder had appeared on the table. Naomasa slid it across the small space, not taking his hand from it. His eyes met Yagi’s and the Number One Hero felt a flash of worry. There was something he wasn’t saying.
Instead of eating, he pulled the papers to him and flipped open the cover. So much was digital these days but some things with the police hadn’t changed. Yagi frowned as he skimmed the first page. “This is a missing person’s case,” he murmured quietly. The question was carried in his tone.
Tsukauchi brought him information but never anything about routine cases. He wanted to help, and he would help if All Might could but this one didn’t seem to have anything he could do. No matter how much he wanted.
“Keep reading,” the Officer said, tucking back into his over gingered rice.
Yagi flipped through several pages. “I don’t see how this relates to All Might.” The Number One Hero was the Symbol of Peace, and sure, he’d find missing children if he could but Naomasa knew he was hunting someone else at the moment. And the sooner he found that someone else, the better. For everyone. Tsukauchi knew that because he was one of the few who knew what finding All For One meant to him. Yagi never thought that his friend would bring him information that didn’t relate to that.
“Keep reading,” Naomasa repeated.
Toshinori shook his head as he flipped through the pages like a flip book. The fanning pages stopped at a photo and he tugged it out of the loose sheets.
His heart froze. He felt his throat close. “What is this?” Yagi demanded, taking care not to crack the table. The photo was simple. It displayed a family, or at least what he assumed was a family. There was a green haired woman staring out from the image with a smile. Standing in front of her was a green haired boy. His smile was huge and her hands were on his shoulders, as if she had to hold him in place for the photo. Standing beside them both, looking down at the child with a gentle smile was a white haired man.
A man he recognised.
Tsukauchi looked up at him. “Hisashi Midoriya, his wife Inko and their son, Izuku.”
Yagi gritted his teeth. “What is this?” He hissed, keeping his voice quiet.
“For me? It’s a missing person’s case.” Naomasa told him. Toshinori tucked away that information. Missing person’s cases weren’t given to officers, but to Detectives. He’d feel good for his friend later. This took precedence.
“Who?” He asked softly, sympathetically. The Police might be calling this a missing person’s case, but he already knew it wouldn’t end happily. The woman, Inko, would be dead. Tsukauchi had to know that.
His friend shook his head slightly, giving him a grimace for a smile. “According to Inko, Hisashi has taken Izuku and disappeared.”
Yagi still felt sick but now he was confused. Naomasa’s reply didn’t make any sense. What did He want with a child? There was no question in his mind as to who it was. He’d recognise that visage anywhere. The smile looked gentle, but there was a smug tilt to it. He felt angry just looking at the man. “That doesn’t make any sense,” he told his friend.
“That’s what I thought,” the dark haired man replied, once again scooping rice and beef on to his chopsticks.
“But you have an idea,” Yagi murmured. It wasn’t really a question.
Tsukauchi gestured at his beef bowl between bites. The instruction was implied. Toshinori reached out and carefully broke the wood of his chopsticks to make the two pieces before he pulled the bowl over. He shovelled some into his mouth.
It wasn’t great, but it was acceptable. As All Might he had been invited to eat at some of the best restaurants in Japan, and the world and while he tried his best to avoid such obligations, there were times when it was unavoidable.
“A disturbing idea.” Naomasa put his almost empty bowl aside and took another swig of coffee. “But, from what you’ve told me…” he trailed off with a heavy sigh.
The Number One Hero didn’t want to hear it. Anything to do with that man was going to be disturbing.
Tsukauchi looked him in the eye. “Inko Midoriya, Quirk: Attraction of Small Objects. Hisashi Midoriya, Quirk: Fire Breath.”
Yagi couldn’t help the disbelieving snort around his rice and beef. “People bought that?” He didn’t know how anyone could mistake All For One for anything but what he was, pure evil.
Naomasa didn’t look amused. “Toshinori, 44% of children get a copy of one of their parent’s quirks. 0.4% get something new. 56% get some sort of combination.” He said the words quietly.
It took a moment for them to sink in.
Toshinori felt his heart stop. Again. He actually choked on the rice that was in his mouth. “You’re not…” He couldn’t bring himself to say it but the words echoed through his mind. Combination. Combination. Combination. Did that mean..?
His friend looked old. Tsukauchi sighed heavily. “I don’t know,” he admitted. “All I’m saying is that it’s a possibility.”
“A possibility of what?” Yagi demanded. He couldn’t think about this. It made no sense.
“You tell me,” Naomasa replied. “You know him better than I do.”
“I’ve never met him!” Toshinori objected. It was easier than thinking about what the photo meant. It was easier than thinking about what those statistics could mean.
“You still know him.”
“You’re sure that-” Yagi couldn’t finish the sentence. Was his friend really sure that All For One had married and had a kid.
Tsukauchi understood the question that wasn’t asked. He gave a half shrug to indicate he didn’t know before he actually replied. “Inko Midoriya is not lying, so she, at least, believes it.”
Yagi nodded and slowly took up his bowl again. Inko Midoriya believed it. Of course she did. But He could have her believe anything he wanted. He chewed carefully, arching one finger over the chopsticks as his other pulled the photo closer to him. Toshinori looked down at it. Really looked down at it. He pushed his emotion away. He couldn’t think about that now.
Inko looked happy. Her eyes were light and joyful. Her hands on her son’s shoulders did seem to be the only things holding him in place. He looked like he’d jump out of the page. His smile was happy. Yagi focused on that. All For One might be able to deceive Inko but it would be harder for him to fool a child, they saw to the heart of the matter.
Except… Except, there was nothing in Izuku’s gaze. Looking out at the page, it was happy and clear. But would All For One use some sort of controlling… Yagi didn’t have to finish the question, even in his head. Yes. That bastard would use a controlling quirk on a child if he had to. He wouldn’t even think twice about it.
He looked at the last figure in the photo. All For One was not Hisashi Midoriya, but that’s who he was when this photo was taken. He looked casual. His smile was as evil as ever but his clothes were casual. Slacks, a turtleneck and a jacket. It did nothing to hide the power in his body.
“How old is Izuku?” Toshinori asked carefully.
“Four and a half,” Naomasa replied immediately. He’d finished his beef bowl and had pushed it aside. He was concentrating on his coffee. What was left of it anyway.
That was old enough for a quirk to manifest. The Number One Hero shook his head. “It doesn’t make sense,” he muttered, loud enough for his friend to hear. “If the kid got a copy, or even a combination, why didn’t he just take it and leave?” There was no way All For One would let another person have his quirk. And if Izuku had some combination of All For One and Attraction of Small Objects… He felt ill. Oh, He’d want that. He’d definitely want that Quirk.
“You tell me,” Tsukauchi asked. It wasn’t helpful.
Yagi flicked again to the front of the file to look again at the information that was here. There was a key piece of information missing. “What does Inko say Izuku’s quirk is?” He asked. The area for the quirk name was blank under Izuku’s name. That wasn’t unusual. While he was old enough for it to have manifested, often naming quirks was left for a little while so that you didn’t get a baby name for it.
His friend gave him a look and Yagi knew that the things that didn’t make sense were about to multiply. “She doesn’t,” Naomasa said. “She says he’s quirkless.”
Yagi gave him a flat stare. Tsukauchi spread his hands as if to say, ‘don’t ask me’. It also confirmed that Inko had been telling the truth. At least, the truth as she believed it. Naomasa’s quirk didn’t pick up a lie if the person genuinely believed what they said was the truth.
“Something doesn’t add up,” he said.
His friend said nothing. He already knew that things didn’t add up.
“Did you get any tests on Inko’s mental faculty?” Yagi asked.
“Not with a missing person case,” Tsukauchi told him, though his tone indicated that he’d have liked to. To the rest of the force, this was a wrongful child custody battle but to the Number One Hero this was his nemesis, someone who could have any number of mind altering quirks doing something. You couldn’t accept anything at face value.
But, there was no way they could get any assessment done on Inko, not without revealing the possibilities this case represented. Not without revealing everything Yagi was hunting for, and while the government supported his hunt, there were those that doubted there as well. Thankfully most realised that All For One really did exist but there was no great consensus on what to do about him. That kept the case going because in the absence of another plan, the one they were already pursuing was good enough.
Yagi pushed aside his bowl. He didn’t want any more. He wasn’t sure he’d be able to swallow it.
Tsukauchi looked sympathetic. “Now you know,” he said, gathering the papers up. He didn’t bother to reach for the picture. He’d just reprint it.
Toshinori sighed heavily. There were a lot of feelings fighting for his attention and the one he’d been pushing away was coming through. How dare he get to have a family! How dare he get to have a child, when She couldn’t. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t… He pushed the thought away again. He couldn’t dwell on that now. He met his friend’s gaze.
“I don’t know what I know.”