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Chance Meeting

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It wasn’t every day, that Hawks found himself stopping mid-flight to have a conversation with a kid in a dark and dirty alley. But no matter how he looked at it, it was too late for the kid to be outside or awake. When he got closer Hawks noticed that the boy was hunched over something, not wanting to startle him Hawks landed on the ground and approached him.

“Hey, Kid.” He tried to make his presence known, but as soon as he addressed the boy, he quickly jumped up and pressed himself into the wall of the alley. “Woah, sorry didn’t mean to startle you.  I was just flying home and noticed you.”

The kid sized him up and down then looked back at the corner when he stood. “It’s okay.”

The kid looked nervous, and Hawk couldn’t help the but feel some of the boy’s nervousness make its way to him. “What are you doing outside at such ungodly hour.” Hawks tried to keep his tone light, he didn’t want to make the kid more nervous.

Instead of answering the boy walked back to the corner in which he was squatting and moved a dirty looking blanket form a cardboard box. “I feed the cats here.”

Hawks made his way closer to the boy and the box and couldn’t help the squeak that left his mouth when he looked inside. Three small cats looked back at him, he couldn’t help but smile at them. “They so tiny.” He looked at the boy and noticed a small smile.

“Yeah, they need all the help they can get. I can’t take them home with me and the closest shelter is on the other side of the city. I don’t have money for the train so this is the only thing I can do.” The more the boy talk the more Hawks noticed that his voice sounded unused and a little hoarse. He wondered why would the boy not speak.

“If you want I can take you there and then back here.” The kid turned to him and looked him up and down.

“I don’t think they opened right now.” A small smirk played on the kid’s face, and Hawks could smack himself for forgetting the time.

“oh, that brings me back to the first question. Why are you here at like 3 in the morning?” the kid fidgeted slightly with his hand but didn’t answer. “Okay, look I won’t make you answer, but let me take you home. I’m sure your parents are worried.” The kid stiffened and moved towards the exit of the alley.

“Don’t worry about I live around the corner. I just couldn’t sleep and decided to visit them.” He looked the kid up and down, noticing the wild purple hair.

The thing was Hawks was exhausted and if he was going to make the flight tomorrow with the kid he really needed to rest. He sighed and moved towards the boy. “Okay kid. I trust you, just go home and I will be here tomorrow around 5, okay?”

A small smile appeared on the kid face. “Thanks.” Hawks nodded and was about to fly away when the kid looked at him again. “Oh, by the way, My name is Shinsou Hitoshi.”

Hawks smiled and nodded at the kid. “Nice to meet you Shinsou. If you don’t know I’m Hawks.” The boy smiled and rolled his eyes.

“Oh, I’m aware.” With that, the kid turned around and moved towards one of the apartment complexes. “See you tomorrow!”

With that Hawks flew to his apartment and promptly collapsed into his bed.

--

When Hawks arrived near the alley, he was surprised seeing the kid in the light for the first time. He had enormous bags under his eyes, in the daylight, his hair looked even wilder, and the kid was pale, worryingly pale. Shinsou was playing with his phone, looking up from time to time probably, to see if Hawks was coming.

Hawks smiled one of his biggest smiled and landed right in front of the kid. Shinsou jumped back and send his phone flying through the air. Before it could hit the ground and shatter, he caught It with one of his feathers. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.”

He watched as the kid nervously rubbed at his neck. “It’s okay, I just wasn’t expecting you to come.”

Hawks tilted his head and looked at the wild-haired kid. “I told you I would come.”

The kid looked nervous. “I know. I just don’t really have a good track with people. I guess.”

“No problem little man. Now, show me the kittens.” The smile returned to Shinsou face. The boy turned around and led him to the now uncovered box.

In the light of day, the kittens looked even more adorable. One was black with a white patch at the top of his tiny head while the other two were almost all white supporting small black dots in random places.

“They look even cuter during the day.” The kid stood awkwardly next to him. “So, I gonna fly us there, you just need to hold the box tightly. Also better cover it again.” The kid nodded and covered the box back with the dirty blanket that laid next to the box. The purple-haired boy took the box and held it tightly against his chest. Quickly Hawks positioned himself behind Shinsou and noted that the boy stiffened. “Okay, ready?”

“Y- yeah.” Gently he lifted the kid by his armpits and slowly made his way to their destination.

In his whole life Hawks never flew with a person who was so eerily quiet. The kid didn’t even yelp when they took off. He felt the kid stiffened right before he lifted him, but he thought that during the duration of the flight the boy would relax a little. Instead, the kid went rigid. Hawks knew that he couldn’t go any faster, he was worried about the kittens, but the kid worried him. No matter what he tried to think about, his mind always came back to the dark circles under the boy’s eyes. The kid either had awful insomnia or something was stopping him from getting the right amount of sleep. Something was in Hawks was telling him that most likely both of these things were true.

The flight took them around 30 minutes. Hawks might not be flying on his highest speed but, he was still faster than all of the trains or car, besides air travel had its privileges, the view was immaculate. As soon as hawks hit the ground and let go of the boy, Shinsou fell to his knees, the box still held tightly against his chest.

“Shit! Kid, are you okay?” Before he could help Shinsou up, he held out his hand stopping him.

“Yeah, sorry just not used to all this. I just need a minute.” Hawks could understand that still, he hoped that he didn’t traumatise the kid too much.

“Okay, which way to the shelter?” At that, the kid looked around and smiled a little.

“It’s actually not far from here.” As the kid slowly began to stand up Hawks quickly prepared to catch him if needed. “It’s near the centrum, so it will take us like 5 minutes to get there?”

Hawks rose his eyebrows and tilted his head. “You seem to know your way around the city.”

Shinsou shifted uncomfortably and rubbed at his neck. “Kinda had to learn my way around considering I lived almost everywhere at one point.”

“Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean to pray.” The kid just shrugged and shifted the box a little.

“I offered you the information willingly, no need to feel guilty.” With that, the kid started to walk in the direction that Hawks assumed was the shelter.

Shinsou was right it took the two of the 5 minutes to came to a standing right in front of a bright pink building. Hawks noticed that the nervousness that usually surrendered the kid was all but gone. Shinsou opened the door without hesitation and move straight to the front bypassing two people that stood in the line presumably waiting for the lady behind the desk to finish whatever she was doing. To hawks horror, the kid didn’t even address the lady moving straight to the back.

“Shinsou!” The kid didn’t even look back at him, making Hawks ran towards him.

Shinsou stood a little to the side the box was no longer in his hands, instead, it was placed on a metal table and a big soft-looking man stood in front of it.

Without looking up from the box the man spoke. “Who’s your friend, Hitoshi?”

The kid turned and looked at Hawks with an unreadable expression. “That’s Hawks, he’s a pro hero and my ride here.”

“You know that if you didn’t have money on you I would have come, right?” Hawks noticed that Shinsou’s face took a guilty look.

“I didn’t want to worry you.” The man sighed and looked up for the first time since Hawks entered the room.

“You need to sleep more, Hitoshi.” Then he turned to Hawks and looked him up and down. “Thank you for helping Hitoshi. I wouldn’t want him to spend all his money on a ticket.” The man bowed a little and Hawks shifted uncomfortably.

“Oh, it’s no problem really.” He watched as the man straighten and nodded.

“You’d be surprised.” The man took the black cat out of the box and slowly held it towards him. “The cats are healthy. I wasn’t expecting anything different from Hitoshi. You can hold her if you want.” Hawk didn’t have to be told twice. Quickly he made his way to the man and took the black cat in his arms.

“I’ve never held a cat before.” A soft sound left someone’s mouth, Hawks didn’t know who it was he was too focused on the small ball of fluff in his arms. “He is really friendly.” Before he knew what was happening, someone’s hand was in his hair.

Looking up he saw the man that now had a soft sort of smile on his face. “If you ever want a pet come to me.” Hawks blinked owlishly at the man and quickly shifted his eyes to Shinsou, who looked as if he was holding a laugh.

“Yeah, I will remember.” His voice sounded a little foreign in his ears, a little too soft, too high pitched. He remembered when the commission told him that, when he got like this he sounded unheroic, but holding the ball of fluff he couldn’t give a damn about the rules.

He didn’t even notice when the purple-haired boy made his way towards the table. “Are you sure they gonna be okay? I can’t come here to check, and I currently don’t have a phone.” Hawks watched the man put his hands on Shinsou’s Shoulders in a reassuring gesture.

“Don’t worry, they are in perfect condition.” The smile the man gave Shinsou was blinding, and Hawks almost looked away. Suddenly the man face turned serious as he spoke once again. “I was meaning to ask you. Did you get into the school?”

The teen rubbed at his neck, and by now Hawks recognised the gesture as a nervous habit. “Kind, I’m in general studies, but if I will be good enough, I can move to heroic after the sport festival.”

Before Hawks could stop himself, he spoke. “You want to be a hero?”

He watches as the teens face redden, and he started to fidget a little. “I… Yeah.”

Hawks couldn’t help the smile that speeded on his face. “That’s cool, kid.” He noticed that the kid relaxed slightly.

Suddenly his phone sounded loud and clear in the room. Quickly he lowered the cat and gently placed it on the table after that Hawks started to pat his pockets. When he finally found his phone, the call almost disconnected.

“Hello?” The voice on the other side of the line belonged to his handler.

“We need you in downtown, right now?” He felt his blood run cold.

“I’m in the middle of something, could you assign it to someone else?” The moment the words left his mouth Hawks knew that he is going to boldness.

“When I call you, it means that you need to move. We own you Hawks or do you need a reminder.” Hawks blood run cold, he could feel like the hold he had on his phone tightened.

“I understand. I’m on my way right now.” With that, the call ended. He looked up and noticed two pairs of eyes looking at him. “Sorry, I can fly you home, but after that, I need to fly.”

Shinsou’s eyes became a little duller ad Hawks hated himself for it. “It’s okay, I understand.” The kid turned to the man and bowed. “Thank you for taking care of the cats.” As soon as the words left his mouth the teen straighten and turned to Hawks. “You can leave me in the alley, I can get home from there.” Then the teen’s face turned more serious, and he bowed once again. “Thank you for helping me with the kittens, I hope I wasn’t too much of a problem for you.”

Hawks felt nauseous watching the kid thank him for something as simple as giving him a ride. “I… It’s okay, kid. It’s really nothing.” He shifted towards the man and addressed him. “Thank you for taking care of the kittens. I will remember what you said.” The man gave him a smile which Hawks quickly returned.

With that, he turned to the teen. “Come on, I will take you back."

The kid moved to him, and Hawks hated the fact that he needed to end the interaction he had with Shinsou.

He quickly waved goodbye to the man and quickly, followed the teen out of the building.

"I'm sorry that we couldn't stay a little longer, there was an attack, and I'm needed." The kid looked more understanding that Hawks expected him to.

"It's okay. I will be fine." Not wanting o to argue he lifted the teen, who seemed much more cooperative than before. As he took off, Hawks couldn't help the nasty feeling blooming in his chest.

This time as he landed in the dirty alley Shinsou didn't move, his gaze was focused on Hawks. The teen smiled at him, and Hawks felt his heart melt.

"Thank you for your assistance, I wouldn't be able to take the kittens without you." The kid smiled at him, and Hawks couldn't help but give him one of his rare real smiles.

"It's really okay. I'm glad that I could help." As he said it Hawks could feel his phone vibrated in his pocket, reluctantly he picked it up. The same monotone voice gave him coordinates and hung up, Hawks exhaled and looked at the teen in front of him. "Listen, kid, if you ever need anything, just call me, okay?" With that, he held out a piece of paper that contained his contact information. "I only answer people who contact me via this phone number. If you ever need anything and trust me, I don't care how trivial it will be just calling me, and I will answer." Hawks hoped that the teen would do it, he didn't care what the kid's quirk was. Shinsou Hitoshi was a part of his flock, and he would protect him no matter why.

The boy looked surprised and a little bit uneasy, but Hawks didn't care about this. "I will, thanks." He nodded and moved his wings.

"Nice to meet you, Shinsou Hitoshi. I hope you will become an amazing hero." With that, he flew towards the coordinates that the commission send him.

All the way, he couldn't stop thinking about the purple-haired boy. A boy who wanted to be a hero, a boy who saved kittens just because of a boy with bigger eyebags that he ever saw. He couldn't stop thinking about a purple-haired boy who seemed to have more secrets than Hawks could ever imagine.

Hawks knew that no matter what he needed to discover the mystery that was Hitoshi Shinsou. He knew that no mattered what he did the image of the sleep-deprived boy wouldn't leave his mind. Somehow despite the fact that he saw the boy only once, Shinsou left his roots inside Hawks, and the hero couldn't ignore it. Despite knowing the teen for two days, he believed that the kid would become a hero, the determination in his voice left no room for questioning. Hawks knew that no matter what would happen, he would root for the purple-haired teen, named Shinsou Hitoshi. Not only because of his gut feeling, but something in the teen's eyes made him believe that the purple-haired boy would be better than him. He would be free, no commission, no deals, just pure heroism. Despite everything, Hawks knew that Shinsou would become a hero comparable to Eraserhead and his only wish was to see it.

Chapter Text

Hawks was looking for the kid for the past two days with no success. He checked the alley, the cat shelter, he even asked around if anyone saw a purple-haired kid that looked like a zombie, but with no luck. It appeared that the kid disappeared from the face of the earth, and Hawks would be lying if he said that he wasn’t worried.

The Sports Festival took place three days ago, Hawks watched it hoping to see Shinsou. He knew that showing his quirk on national television had to be hard for the kid Hawks was aware that quirk like that had to come with some kind of stigma and yet the kid still wanted to be a hero. It would be easy to just use the quirk to get what he wanted or simply make people do what he wanted, with quirk like this the kid would be an A-Rank villain, maybe even worse. But Shinsou was nothing like this, sure the kid was a little bitter and angry, yet still, his goal was to be a hero, and this made him the most heroic person that Hawks had ever seen and he worked with heroes all the time.

The more time he searched, the worse ideas started to pop into his mind. What if Shinsou was kidnapped, what if something, bad happened to him, what if the person that gave him the bruises last time he saw him went too far. Without really thinking about consequences, he quickly made his way towards U.A. hoping to catch the elusive kid.

As he flew towards U.A. rooftop, he noticed that the place as always was buzzing with energy. Kids were running around, screaming, he even saw the green-haired boy that fought with Shinsou during the Sports Festival. The moment he landed a movement from his right caught his attention, he knew that it couldn’t be a student since they were not allowed on the roof but Hawks wasn’t born yesterday, some of this little shits could snack up here. Slowly he made his way towards the person and noticed the familiar purple hair.

“Shinsou?” He watched as the boy turned to him.

Hawks’ blood ran cold, the kid’s face was bruised, he knew for a fact that these didn’t come from the Sports Festival. Something was wrong, and Hawks knew that he needed to do something about it, the kid didn’t deserve anything like this.

“H- hawks?” Once again he noticed that Shinsou’s voice sounded a little hoarse probably from disuse. “I… What are you doing here?” He looked the kid up and down to assure himself that he was in one piece.

“I was looking for you, kid. You were nowhere to be found. I didn’t see you in the alley or anywhere else. I even asked around, but no one saw you.” He knew that his voice was strained, but he really was worried for the purple-haired kid.

From the expression that the kid had on his face Hawks could say that he was lost for words, honestly, he didn’t blame the kid, but he still wanted some kind of explanation. He didn’t understand why the kid just disappeared.

After what seemed like forever to Hawks Shinsou seemed to regain his voice. “Why?”

The question surprised Hawks, he knew that being this worried for a kid he met once was a little much, but he was justified. Still, a weird sound left his mouth when he heard the question.

“I mean, you met me one, and we only talked about the kittens. You probably know what my quirk is, hell everyone knows. Everyone hated me, so why do you care?” Hawks was familiar with breaking, he did all the time, the difference was that he could do it in the comfort of his own apartment, Shinsou seemed to not have this option.

Without really thinking about it, he answered as honestly as he could. “I care because you are a great kid. I met you once, and I know it, so really I don’t know who told you that they hate you, but I see no reason for it. Your quirk is cool, something like this would be useful in hero work.” He paused and looked at the kid, tears were visible in Shinsou’s eyes, but he seemed to be unable, to take his eyes off of Hawks. “I think that one day you will become a great hero, I’m sorry that your plan with the sports festival didn’t work, but I’m sure that you will manage the transfer to hero course by some different way.”

Shinsou was still looking at him, Hawks wondered if the kid blinked. Finally, after a moment of silence, he spoke, his voice sounded wobbly, and a little distorted but hawks didn’t care. “My foster family decided that they don’t want me anymore since I’ve decided to show my villainous quirt to everyone. I live an hour away from that place now.”

Hawks furrowed his brows and looked at the purple-haired teen. “How do you get here.”

“Train. They give me money for the ticket. Sometimes.” Shinsou voice was quiet, and Hawks was sure that the teen didn’t want him to hear the last part.

“Okay and the bruises?” He knew that praying into it could have a negative effect, but he really needed to know.

Without hesitation, the kid answer. “I got them at the Sports festival.” Hawks would laugh if he didn’t know what lies in this situation could mean.

“Shinsou, I’ve watched the Sports Festival, and you didn’t get punched in the face. If you back was bruised, I would believe, but this didn’t happen there.” Shinsou was looking at him with wide eyes.

“I’m fine.” It was an automatic response that Hawks also had on speed dial in his brain, usually, he would just move on, but this time it wouldn’t slide.

“I didn’t ask if you are fine. I asked where did you get this bruises?” He hoped that a more direct approach would make Shinsou tell him the truth.

The kid looked away from him and spoke. “I’m… It’s nothing, and besides it was my fault.”

Something told Hawks to push his luck, he moved closer to Shinsou and sat in front of the teen. The purple-haired boy didn’t move away, but Hawks could tell that he was observing his every move.

“Somehow I don’t believe this. Why don’t you tell me what happened?” Hawks childhood was fucked up, but in a way, it helped him in picking up on similar situations.

Shinsou laughed a little, it was a humourless and a little unnerving laugh, but he wasn’t going to judge. “It’s stupid. I asked a question, even though I know I’m not allowed. I just wanted to know if they could give me money for the train. I know I shouldn’t have asked, but I didn’t want to walk all the way here.”

This made Hawks pause, in his life he heard some fucked u stories, he even lived through them, but being beaten for asking a simple question was cruel. “Why can’t you ask questions, Shinsou?”

“My quirk. It appeared when I was a kid, and my parents only took me once to the doctor. He said that its question-answer based, and maybe when I was a child it was or it seemed like this, but it’s actually just response based.” Hawks nodded at the explanation.

“So they what, force you to be mute?” He didn’t really want to know the answer to this question, but Shinsou delivered nonetheless.

“Yeah. People don’t like it when I speak. I guess they are afraid I will brainwash them, I wouldn’t, but they don’t believe me.” Without really thinking, he enveloped the kid in a hug, closing his wings around them.

“I’m sorry. No one should ever experience something like this. Can I do something?” Shinsou was uncanny still during this small display of affection. Hawks suspected that it wasn’t something he experienced a lot.

“I could brainwash you. Why do you want to help me?”

“You won’t.”

“And how do you know that?”

“Easy. You are a good person. Besides you want to be a hero and what kind of hero would abuse their quirk.”

Slowly the teen extracted himself from Hawks, though they were still covered by his wings, and looked at him with wide eyes. “No, they will only move me, and I won’t be able to attend U.A. I can take it. I have three years left then I’m free. I don’t know what will happen if I lose this too.” Hawks suspected that Shinsou knew exactly what he would do if he was unable to attend the school, and he really didn’t like the implication.

“I’m sorry, kid.”

“It’s okay.”

He shook his head and spoke again. “It really isn’t, and I’m sorry that you can’t see it.” Shinsou made a face that convinced Hawks even more than the kid was too used to all this.

“I need to go back. Thanks for checking on me, I guess.” With that Hawks parted his wings and allowed the teen to go.

Just as Shinsou was about to leave the roof, an idea struck him. “Wait, where do you live now?”

Shinsou looked at him with furrowed brows and Hawks half expected him not to answer, but the kid surprised him, once again. “An apartment building near the old railroad. Why?”

Hawks smiled. “Great, I know where it is. I will, of course, visit, once a week.”

For a moment, the kid looked panicked. “What you can’t they will know.”

Hawks just smiled more and shook his head. “I promise you, they will not. Does Friday work for you?”

He almost laughed at the expression that crossed the usually stoic teen face. “I… yeah I guess.”

Hearing the answer Hawks stood up and waved at the boy. “Great. See ya then, Shinsou.” With that, the teen finally made his way inside the building.

Hawks turned away from the door and looked at the city. He stood there, frozen in place, waiting. After a moment, the waiting game that the third, now second, occupant of the roof played became boring.

“You can come out now.” If he wasn’t expecting it to happen Hawks would probably be spooked by the shadow that appeared next to him.

“How do you know the kid?” He was expecting a different question from Eraserhead, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to answer.

“I met him in an alley one night and then gave him a ride to a cat shelter. Why do you ask?” He turned to the teacher and noticed the new scar, probably a souvenir from the attack at USJ he only heard about it in passing, but Hawks knew that the teacher was injured pretty heavily.

Aizawa was silent for a long time, then he turned to Hawks and gave him one of the creepy smiles. “He reminds me of someone.”

“Uh-uh.” He didn’t expect this day to go like this. “He wants to be a hero. As you heard.”

“Yeah, I did. Shitty situation tho.” For a moment the two of them were silent, then Aizawa looked at Hawks and continued. “He has to work twice as hard as everyone else, he will need help.”

“Why are you telling me this?” The look on the teacher’s face turned more serious.

“I’ve decided to train him. I actually wanted to talk to him about it before you showed up but seeing how your talk went I’m glad I waited.” A pause then Aizawa looked him straight into eyes, and his voice sounded a little on edge. “I need you to inform me how the kid is. You gonna met him every Friday?” When he nodded, Aizawa continued. “I can’t keep an eye on him all the time, just shoot me a quick message so that I know how he is, psychically and mentally.”

He didn’t even have to think about it before agreeing, Shinsou wasn’t going to get rid of him even if he tried. “I can do that.” Still, one question was left to answer. “What about his fosters?”

Aizawa turned from looking at him to look at the horizon. “I will take care of it. I understand his reasoning, I don’t agree with it, but the kid is right, they can move him too far away from here. If he comes to me with this, I can help, but for that to happen, he needs to trust me.”

Hawks felt as his face pulled into a small. “So you gonna help him?”

“Yeah, he’s going to be great one day.”

He laughed at the statement. “I know.” With that, he stretched his wings and made, his way over the railing of the roof. “See you around, Eraserhead.”

The teacher turned around and made his way to the doors through which Shinsou disappeared earlier. “Don’t do anything stupid, Hawks.” He smiled and disappeared into the clouds.