Fate, how can one word change the life of thousands? This one word changed the lives of three girls. For better? Or for worse? Only time will tell.
Ashlynn Brieno didn’t think this would ever happen, she thought maybe she would just leave when she got older. Yet here she is, sitting in the UA administration about being transferred to the UA campus in Japan. Sonya, Ash’s mother, seems to be listening though Ash thinks her mom is just putting on an act just so she can refuse in the end.
“So you think my daughter will do much better there?” Sonya asks, she seems to be very interested in the exchange program.
“Yes Ms. Brieno, because she’s doing so well academically, we believe that she will do so much better in Japan. We believe that learning a new curriculum and a foreign language is just the challenge Ashlynn needs. We will provide her housing, food, and anything else she might need.”
“Where do I sign?” Sonya asks as she can’t wait to get her daughter out of her care and she can do as she pleases.
Ash can’t believe it, she isn’t sure what to say or think. She simply goes to her room to pack her things as she was told by the counselors. Ash takes her favorite clothes, shoes, and her teddy bear and stuffed lamb. Ash isn’t happy that she’s leaving her family, but at the same time she’s happy that she has the opportunity to face new challenges. Ash just hopes that the people she will live with are nice.
Ash gets into the car and watches her house get smaller and smaller until it completely disappears. As Ash sees her hometown fade into the distance, she can’t help but bawl her eyes out. One of the heroes does their best to comfort her, telling her that she is safe and that she will be okay. Ash didn’t even know why she was crying.
Magnolia Titanrove is in a similar situation, talking to her councilors about a possible exchange. Her parents aren’t very happy about the situation, but seeing as that she’d essentially be getting free housing and food, it was a hard offer to refuse. Their daughter essentially guilt tripping and blackmailing them both didn’t exactly make saying no an option. Willow sighed, knowing that she wouldn’t like this at all but would end up shipping her daughter off anyways.
“Where’s the paperwork?”
Lee glared at his wife, unhappy, “Maggie, do you have to do this?”
Maggie hugged her father, putting on her sweetest face, “I promise I’ll come home if I need to dad, I’ll be alright. You want me to succeed don’t you?”
Lee groaned, “Give me the damn pen.”
Maggie was practically bouncing, an opportunity to live outside of her parents grasp and away from her tormentors and school was a dream come true. While not typically one to be optimistic, she still hoped, perhaps foolishly, that going halfway across the world would make things better. Papers were hesitantly signed, making the teenage girl a ward of the school indefinitely.
Maggie had packed almost a week ago, everything that she didn’t need for school had been boxed up. She’s beyond ready to leave, hopeful that her parents wouldn’t put up too much of a fight. She puts her boxes into the car, and hugs her parents before plopping down in the car seat.
Madeline Carter could only wish she had parents in this situation. Maddie from the age of five had been raised in the circus, after her mother sold her for a quick paycheck. “Raised” being a kind way of putting it. She endured harsh treatment and horrible living conditions for years before a passing hero happened to come to a show, where they saw her handlers whip her for not using her quirk. Which leads to her current situation, Maddie was currently sitting in a hero agency, waiting for her handlers to hand over custody.
“Why should we hand over our star attraction!?”
The hero just shook his head as they read from a clipboard, “ Well to start off, child abuse, neglect, malnutrition, child slavery, and so many other charges.” They read off. “Now you can either hand over custody and I’ll tell prosecution you cooperated or you don’t and the deal is off.”
The conversation was pretty one sided after that and an half hour later Maddie watched her handlers walk away in handcuffs. Maddie, having not heard the conversation in the other room, was very confused. After the agency explained what happened to Maddie, paperwork to transfer her to UA in Japan started after the agency received word of their current exchange program.
Maddie watched from the car window as the agency got smaller in the distance, before turning around and acknowledging the heroes in the car. Maddie for the past ten years has only seen the bars of cages and the brightness of spotlights. Now here she is in a “car” as the heroes called it, and is seeing all kinds of new things, which was just more confusing for the poor girl as she didn’t know what most of them were.
“Where are we going?” Maddie asked, timidly.
The heroes looked over at the girl, “You’re going somewhere you can be safe and happy.” That didn’t really answer her question.
As the drive continued Maddie became more confused and aware of how behind the times she was. The heroes at one point tried asking her questions, only she could only answer about a tenth of them. After getting nowhere with the questioning the car returned to silence, Maddie just stared out the window at her new world for the remainder of the ride.
As they arrive at the airport Maddie shoots up and stares out the window at the giant “machines” as she’s told they’re called.
“I have to get on one of those? How will it fly? It's made of metal.” Maddie asked, the whole walk to the boarding gate was world changing for the poor girl.
Maggie confusedly bumbles through the airport, having never flown before. A nervous stirring in her stomach as she stares at the plane. She meets up with the hero escorting them and then notices the other girl with them.
“Hey.” She awkwardly waves and says. She knew that others would be going with her but that doesn’t mean she knows how to interact with them. Maddie turns around at the girl’s voice and sees a girl around her height and age with almost pale white skin, hazel eyes and dark espresso hair down to her shoulders.
“Oh my lord! A girl my age! Hi I’m Madeline! What’s your name?” Maddie exclaimed, practically shaking with excitement. The poor girl never learned social queues or skills and didn’t notice the overwhelmed look Maggie was giving her.
Soon after Ash arrives and hides behind the hero that brought her to the airport when she caught sight of Maddie and her unkept appearance. Her dark brown hair with a blonde ombre looks like it hadn’t been washed or brushed in months, her clothes looked like that of a acrobat, and the grime on her face made her icy blue eyes brighter. She was also way taller than Ash’s 4’6 self and looked like she could crush her in her arms.
Ash sees Maggie, feeling a little better as she's a familiar face. “So I guess she’s going to Japan with us?” Ash asks, whispering to Maggie. Ash is not trying to be rude to the new girl, she’s just surprised by her appearance. Maggie took a deep breath, relieved her tiny friend would be coming along as well.
“Yeah, she’s a bit excitable…” She mumbled back to Ash, chuckling as she noticed Ash only came up to her shoulder. Ash was a tiny girl with a peachy skin tone, waist-long chocolate brown hair, and dark brown eyes. She tucked some of her friend’s dark hair behind her ear before turning back to Maddie, who was patiently waiting.
“I’m Magnolia, but you can call me Maggie.” She angled Ash in front of her, “And this is Ashlynn, it’s nice to meet you Madeline.”
Maddie smiled brighter. “Nice to meet you too!” She exclaimed, before turning back around and taking in more of her surroundings. Soon the three girls and their escort boarded the plane, even if one of them was more excited than the others.
“Wow! So this is an ar-i-plane cool!” Maddie exclaimed, the others looking at her like she grew a second head.
Ash smiles and nods, “it sure is cool buddy.” She says sarcastically, as she takes her seat in the middle. Maddie is sitting by the window, it was best to keep her distracted while they fly to their destination. Ash sits in her seat and tries her best to calm her nerves, she feels like she's going to puke her guts out from anxiety. Maggie, sitting in the aisle seat, pulls out a book, planning to ignore everyone until they land. She lightly pats Ash on the head, seeing how nervous she is and hands her a barf bag.
“Puke in here please.” She says, never taking her eyes off her book. While Maggie and Ash talk, Maddie is pressing against the glass, watching as the plane ascends and goes above the clouds. “Wow.” She whispers, eyes wide. In all the years she spent behind those bars, she never thought she would be here, in a flying metal machine or ar-i-plane as it's called.
Once the plane lands, the girls minus Maddie and their escort take a moment to grab their luggage and look around for their new guardian. “I think they said to look for someone with long black hair and a silver scarf.” Ash says as she looks around for the person they were told to look for.
Maddie looks around, spotting a man in black baggy clothes and a scarf with tired eyes and long black hair, “I think that’s him…?”
Maggie looks over at where the others were looking and sees the man. She looks at the tired man with a hesitant optimism, she'd done a little research about the program before agreeing, actually having been the one to seek out her councilor (for once) about the opportunity. There weren't many pictures of "Eraserhead" out there. "I’m Magnolia, should I call you Aizawa or Eraserhead?"
Aizawa just looks at the three girls slowly before answering, "You can just call me Mr. Aizawa."
Maddie just smiles, "It's nice to meet you!"
Aizawa looks at Madeline for a whole one second before saying, "I heard about your quirk, so I'm going to need you to transform into a small animal or whatever and get in here." He said, holding up a pet carrier.
Ash is a bit nervous but she does her best to hide her nerves. She just follows Maggie as she's the only one she knows. "I'm nervous." Ash whispers to Maggie, gripping her hand.
Maggie gives Ash's hand a reassuring squeeze, looking at her new guardian with a raised brow. She's sure he must have a reason for telling Madeline to get in a pet carrier, though it seems a bit demeaning. “Don’t be. It’s fine.” She whispers back, “It could be worse.”
Maddie just looks at the carrier for a second before transforming into a cat and laying in the carrier. "It's comfy in here."
Aizawa sees the other two giving him a weird look and explains, "I thought it would be easier than explaining why she looks like a feral child." Ash isn't sure how that makes it better but she doesn't say anything and puts her suitcase in the trunk. She isn't sure about all of this, but if Maggie says they're fine then they must be okay right?
Maggie follows Aizawa, peeking into the carrier. Madeline made a cute cat, she'll give the weirdo that. She opens the car door and motions for Ash to get in first, "Come on, in you go." She coaxes, just wanting to get to her new home and get introductions over with. Her ears still hadn't popped from the plane and she was not a happy camper. The two girls awkwardly waved to their escort and got in the car with Aizawa and Madeline.
Maddie, not seeing anything else to do, took a literal cat nap. Aizawa kept quiet most of the trip, going a little over the speed limit so he could get home and sleep. It was too early for this. Ash looks out the window and is amazed. She had travelled to a few places in the Caribbean, and while they were beautiful, Japan just seems to have a special something that makes her heart race. Maggie smiles, she'd never been out of the country before so this? A completely foreign experience in every way one could think of. She fiddled with her sleeves, watching people and cars pass her by. She glances up at Aizawa, he looks even more tired in the car. Seems neither of them were morning people.
Soon they all pulled up to an apartment complex, and lugged their luggage up the stairs. Before entering, Aizawa turns to the girl's, "I'm sorry for whatever happens next." He says vaguely, before carrying Madeline's carrier inside.
A tall, VERY loud, blonde man pops out and gasps over the two girls. "AWWWW! THEY'RE ADORABLE! WELCOME HOME GIRLS!" Mic shouts as he herds them inside, before pausing and turning to Aizawa. “Wasn’t there a third girl coming?” Ash hides behind Maggie as she wasn't prepared for this.
Maggie gives Mic a nod, lightly petting Ash in an attempt to comfort her, "That’s Present Mic, he's literally called "The Voice Hero" so he's fucking loud. But hopefully he means well..." She whispers reassuringly, it was a lot easier to get information on him than Mr. Aizawa. These two were quite a pair. She trails behind Mic further inside the apartment, she's led to the kitchen where a purple haired boy their age was sitting eating breakfast and chugging coffee. She gives him a small nod as a hello, he does the same. He didn't seem like much of a talker either. "You guy's son?" She questions the boisterous blond, he seemed to be the mouthpiece of this family. She attempted to direct his babbling off of her and her companions and onto their new living situation.
“Yeah,” The boy answers, “I am.”
Aizawa just puts Maddie's carrier on the ground and opens the gate. Maddie crawled out, wide eyed in her cat form. "So this is where we're staying?" She asks.
Aizawa, instead of answering, picks up Madeline by her scruff and carries her to the bathroom. "Before anything you're getting a bath."
The girl looked so confused, "What's a bath?"
Hitoshi whips around, taking a second to come to terms that his father put his new housemate in a cage, "Yeah, no that checks out." He mumbles to himself, a tiny smile appearing.
Maggie blinks, stunned for a moment that her new roommate didn't know what a fucking BATH was.
"Oh my God it talked!!" Mic shouts. "That's the third girl? Why did you put her in a cage?!" Mic asks, almost as if he's scolding Aizawa. Calming down, he turns back to the girls, "Anyway, let me show you girls to your room. You three can decide who takes the bunk beds and who gets the twin bed." Mic says as he shows them the room. It's a fairly big yet simple room, enough space for three teenage girls. There are two dressers, a large closet and a TV in the corner next to a small desk.
Maggie looks around, not a bad living arrangement. Not much privacy, but she wasn't really expecting much. Looks like she's going to be getting to know these two a lot better than she wants. She plops her luggage down on the twin bed, deciding to let Ash and Madeline duke it out over the bunks. She sits on the bed, testing it. Bouncing slightly, her ears finally pop causing her to wince as they start ringing. She hissed in pain, "Shit!"
After escorting the girls to their room, Mic storms over to the bathroom, “SHOTA-”
"Hizashi I had to put her in the cage, it was much better than trying to explain why she looks like some wild creature." Aizawa explains while placing Madeline in the sink and starts washing her. Mic just shook his head disappointedly, while Hitoshi chuckled at his dad's reasoning. Maddie was just enjoying the bubbles forming from the soap, her cat instincts coming out.
Ash looks under the bottom bunk before going underneath it, inspecting the small space before deeming it suitable for a hidey-hole. "I hope Madeline takes the top bunk, I need the hidey-hole." Ash says as she hopes Madeline doesn't take much longer. Ash soon begins to look around the apartment, wanting to get a good look at her new environment.
Mic goes to check on Maggie and Ash only to see the smaller girl is exploring. "Need help?" Mic asks very loudly, causing Ash to turn and scurry back to her room.
Hitoshi goes to introduce himself properly, only to see Ash wildly scramble into the room. He turns to Maggie who just sighs and shakes her head. "She's skittish." She explains as Ash covers herself with her blanket.
Hitoshi watches, somewhat concerned, "Is she always like this?"
Maggie shrugs, "She's in a new place and your dad is very loud. Didn't get your name by the way."
Hitoshi nods, understanding that Mic can be... well Mic. "Shinso Hitoshi."
"Magnolia Titanrove, but you can call me Maggie. The one hiding under the blanket is Ashlynn, but she goes by Ash." She lifts the girl blanket, peering beneath it, "Ash? Ya gonna come out and say hi? It's only polite..." She attempts to appeal to the girls' need to please and be proper to get her out of hiding.
As they talk, Aizawa walks in carrying Madeline in a towel, before placing her down. She then transformed back wearing her clothes from earlier. ”And I'm Madeline Carter, but you can call me Maddie, it's nice to meet you." She says before noticing the bunk beds. "OH I call the top bunk!" She exclaims, before turning into a parrot and flying to the top buck.
Ash peeks her head out from under the blanket, "Ashlynn Brieno, it's a pleasure to meet you." Ash says shyly.
"I'm sorry if I scared you. I just wanted to help." Mic says, his voice still pretty loud.
It's fine. “I'm sorry if I came off as rude." Ash replies softly.
Maggie wants to smack her head against the floor and scream. Theirs too many people, too much stimuli, everything about the situation just screams too much. Instead, she just pets her friends head, closes her eyes, and takes some deep breaths. "You all have been lovely, but I think it would be easier for everyone if the three of us had some time alone to unpack our essentials and take a nap. Plane rides aren't exactly fun, and we're all a bit tightly strung."
Hitoshi happily took that as his dismissal, nodding to the parrot on the top bunk and exiting the room silently, shooting Mic a ‘please come with me before you embarrass us all further’ look.
After Hitoshi dragged his dads out of the room and shut the door, Maddie transformed back and looked down at the two girls. "Soo how long do these "exchange" things last ‘cause my handlers don't like it when I'm gone for too long." She asked innocently.
Ash glances at Maggie before turning to address Maddie, "What do you mean by handlers? Don't you mean your parents?"
Maggie shrugs, "This ones at least two years... But I'm with Ash, what do you mean by 'handler?'" She was deeply concerned by Maddie's behavior. First she doesn't know what a bath was, now she says she had a 'handler'? Neither sounded good.
Maddie looks confused, "My mother sold me to my handlers at the circus when I was five." She answered nonchalantly. Was it not normal to not have parents? It wasn't any new to Maddie; she stopped questioning things long ago.
Ash gives Maggie another worried look, "Well I'm sure whoever brought you here did it to get you away from the circus for good." She says going to give Maddie some head pats, careful not to scare her.
Maggie nods, "Yeah, I don't think they're gonna send you back there. That's no way to live. Looks like your stuck with us for a while." She jokes, trying to lighten the mood.
Maddie froze, "I-I- I don't have to go back? I can stay here?" She asked, tears in her eyes.
The hero agency had explained it to her but it hadn’t really hit her until now. She didn't have to go back. She never had to go back to the cage, or get whipped for messing up, or get stared at like an animal. She starts crying tears of joy.
Maggie pops up, petting both of their heads, "You're safe here, no ones gonna hurt you. I promise. There's no reason to cry..." She didn't know this girl, but her heart ached for her. Clearly something was very very wrong with how she had grown up. She had been SOLD, and that's... That's not... It's just not okay.
"Thanks and don't worry these are happy tears." Maddie never thought she would see the day she could leave and never have to go back.
Meanwhile in the kitchen…
"What's with them? I thought they'd be stoked about this! They don't seem like they're excited to be here!" Mic says he's very confused. We're the girls brought here against their will or is he missing something?
"I'm sure they're excited, suddenly arriving at a new place and having a lot of people in their face could be overwhelming." Aizawa reasons, trying to reassure Hizashi. Hizashi still feels like something's off, but he listens to Shota for once and leaves the girls be. He has some things to do anyway. Hitoshi gave his father a look, knowing damn good and well that hiding under a blanket like a child and willingly riding around in a cat carrier was not normal behavior. It's also like his Dad to withhold information for one reason or another, but if Pops wasn't going to push it, neither would he.
Some time passes and the girls have already put their clothes, shoes, and other things away and are just relaxing in their beds. Enjoying the breeze coming from the open window and the peace and quiet. That is until Hizashi decides it's time they come out their room and spend time with the family. "Girls! Please come to the living room! It's family time!" Hizashi shouts, his voice echoing through the apartment.
Maggie sighs, hopping up. "Come on you two, we aren't getting out of this." Creeping out of the room, she peeks into the living room. A tired Aizawa is sitting on the couch beside his son, both watching his husband shake a stack of boxes, most likely board games from what she could see. "It looks like it's game night..."
Maddie, who never had any entertainment or "game night" before was a mix of confusion and excitement. "What's a game night? It sounds fun" she asked. This had Aizawa raising an eyebrow, surely that was a joke, even if her family doesn't do it, she would have heard of it. This raises more red flags at the girl's behavior, and a whole lot more questions.
Ash just sits by Maggie and prepares herself. Mic decides that they should play Jenga, the game is simple and you can have as many players as you want. "Everyone know how to play?” Mic asks, setting the box on the coffee table. “If not I don't mind explaining." Ash nods, still struggling to use her words.
Maggie nods too, grabbing her friend's hand. "I'm pretty sure Maddie doesn't." She glances up at the girl in question, poor thing didn't know what a bath was she definitely didn't know Jenga. But the trauma she's been through wasn't her story to tell, "Do you Maddie?"
Hitoshi watches with concealed interest, these girls were... strange,
Maddie just nodded, "After coming here it's become apparent I don't know what most, um, basic necessities and things are." She confessed, using her free hand to rub the back of her head. This just made the three males in the room concerned, if one of the girls was this behind and not to mention her state she was in when she arrived, what about the other girls?
"Well the rules are simple. Each person grabs one block and places it on the top of the tower. The goal is to make sure the tower doesn't fall when to place your piece on top. The four of us will go first so you can see how it's done." Hizashi says, trying to hide his growing concern for these three children. "Ash why don't you go first?" He suggests as he looks at the smallest child. Ash takes a moment to look over the tower before grabbing a piece and placing it on top. She is glad that they're playing Jenga, it's one of her favorites and there's less of a chance of someone cheating.
Hitoshi goes next, picking at random. His eyes flit between his parents and the girls, he wasn't sure how to react to the cryptic yet extremely telling information he'd received today. Maggie went next, catching Hitoshi's concerned gaze. Placing her block on top, she shot him a smile that looked more like a grimace and a small shrug. She was just as concerned as he was. Aizawa moved his piece as Maddie watched in wonder. So this was a "game" as Mic called it. This looks like fun, carefully Maddie copies what she saw and reaches for a piece and puts it on top. 'This is fun,' she thought as she sent the two adults a smile.
Hizashi smiles, at least Maddie seems to like the game. He moves his piece before speaking up. "So do you girls like Japan so far?"
Ash nods as she grabs a block and puts it at the top. "It's different, but I'm sure I'll like it." She answers awkwardly, looking at Mic and Aizawa.
Maggie shrugged taking her turn while contemplating what to say. Now that these two seemed to be getting comfortable, she began to revert back into her own shell. Her protective nature faded away, leaving an awkwardly anti-social girl in its wake. "I haven't really been here long enough to form an opinion." 'Nor have I gotten an opinion on you,' she thought, observing the small family.
Maddie just shrugged, "Well I've spent most of it in a portable cage so~ but as far as living conditions this is way more nicer than my old ones." Aizawa listens as the girls talk, trying to put two and two together, trying to answer the questions surrounding them.
Hizashi is surprised by what he hears coming from Maddie's mouth. He actually has nothing to say for once and just takes his turn without saying a word. He looks at Shota as if to tell him he was worried for these three girls. Ash takes her turn as well, not saying much if anything at all. She seems to be calm as occasionally she would giggle or smile.
Maggie stays silent, not sure what to say. She takes her turn, listening to the awkward small talk that somehow kept getting darker and darker. In a way, she pitied the men. They clearly had no idea what they were getting into by taking them in.
The night went on, the girl "slowly" started warming up to the family, even if said family's concern was growing as well. Soon the girls stomachs started growling. "Sorry." Maddie said, blushing. When was the last time she ate? Last week or was it that time she stole her handler's sandwich? She couldn't remember.
Hizashi chuckles, both out of amusement and a fair amount of concern, "No need to apologize, if you'd like I can order us some pizza. You three like pizza right?" He asks as he reaches for his phone.
Ash nods, "Thank you." She says in her usual shy voice.
Maggie rolls her shoulders, leveling her tone as she addresses Mic with a strained smile, "Pizza would be lovely."
Maddie looked around awkwardly before answering, "Could you explain what pizza is?" Maddie asked in a small voice. This made the three guys go quiet, and Aizawa finally had enough.
"Is everything ok girls? Because this behavior and the questions are alarming to say the least." Aizawa asked, very concerned.
Ash froze, internally screaming. Hizashi puts the phone down and goes to sit by the three girls. "It's okay, you three are safe. You can tell us anything, we promise we won't judge you." He says, for once actually speaking in a soft voice.
Maggie sighs, wrapping her friend up in a tight hug and looking at Maddie. "Maddie, you wanna tell them what you told us earlier." She hoped to turn attention away from herself and Ash long enough to calm the shaking girl down. And some more details on what EXACTLY happened to her new friend wouldn't exactly hurt either.
Maddie sighed, now that she was finally free from her old situation, talking about it was awkward, but whatever. "Okay, when I was five my mom sold me to the local circus for a quick buck. After that I was forced for ten years to endure living in a cage, live off scraps when they decided to feed me, and..." Maddie paused, gathering courage to continue. "T-they would whip me when I didn't or couldn't use my quirk. I'm only here because a hero happened to witness a whipping." Maddie went quiet after she finished, a dark cloud over the once smiling child.
Hizashi is in shock and disbelief, who could EVER do that to a child?! A CHILD!! He goes to hug Maddie, she deserves all the hugs in the world and even that's not enough! "Maddie... I... I'm so sorry that happened to you. But I promise you that you're safe here and that we will never let ANYONE hurt you again." He and Shota have seen their share of kids being in bad homes but have never thought that anyone would ever dare sell their own child. Hitoshi's jaw drops as he stares at the ground, unable to look at the girl as he processes the information.
Maggie watches, not sure if Maddie's comfortable enough to be touched. She raises an eyebrow, silently asking the girl if she needs to step in. She keeps a tight grip on Ash. She didn't want to tell her own story, nor did she want to speak for Ash. But she was unsure the girl would even begin to delve into her story, upset or not. Her eyes flit around the room, catching Aizawa's pensive expression. She averts her eyes, biting the inside of her cheek and choosing to stay silent as Mic comforts Maddie.
Maddie just hugs Mic as a few tears escape, for once she felt safe and no longer had to endure. "Thank you." She whimpered. Aizawa and the others could only imagine how much it took for her to keep smiling in her situation.
Everyone is silent for a while before Mic lets go and looks at Ash. "Are you okay? Did something happen at home before you came here?" He asks.
Ash taking a deep breath before looking at the heroes. "My mom hasn't always treated me right. Most of the time I had to fend for myself because she wasn't around. She would leave me home alone for days just because she wanted a break from 'taking care of me'. I had to learn to cook and clean for myself ever since I was young.”
Maggie glares, getting a headache. Reaching over, she pats Maddie's head. Both these girls had been through hell, it honestly made her feel a little silly thinking about her own grievances about her home life. Sighing, she brings both girls in for a group hug. They all clearly needed one. She shoots the small family a pained smile. "Not exactly what ya signed up for, huh?" She jokes, bitterly.
Hizashi can't help but feel even more protective of the girls even if he doesn't show it much. He could never do ANY of that to Hitoshi, even the thought of it made him wanna punch himself in the gut. Hitoshi is in fucking shambles, looking between his dads in a vague panic. The foster homes were hell, but nothing like THIS. Maddie had been WHIPPED. He'd never been good at comforting, and neither was his dad, and right now he felt hopeless. Aizawa was speechless after hearing two of the girls' stories, how could something like this happen to them. They look like nice girls, but the world has not been kind to them. With all the things he'd seen in the underground, he really shouldn't of been surprised.
Maddie felt a little bad for the family, at first they just thought they were three normal girls and now that they know their pasts, they don't know what to say
Hizashi looks at Shota and Hitoshi, he's not sure what to do or say. All he knows is that he will protect these girls. He just hopes that soon these girls will let him take care of them. "Why don't we just try and relax? Maybe once we get some food in your stomach and a chance to just breathe, you'll feel much better." He says as she once again grabs the phone to place his order.
Maggie nods, squeezing both the girls, "Can we go to our room now? Please?"
Aizawa just nods and goes to the kitchen with Hizashi and leaves the four teens alone. The silence was more awkward than comforting. "Well let's go to our room till the food is here." Maddie spoke breaking the silence
Once in their shared room, Ash grabs her teddy bear and lamb before going under the bed. She needs a moment away from her friends and from the world in general. Maggie flops on her bed, groaning. This was going about how she expected, not the WAY she had expected, but the vibe was the same. Awkward and sad. Maddie just climbed up onto her bed before turning into a cat and laying down. The atmosphere very dark compared to before.
Hitoshi leaves the living room, the air still feeling thick with tension, and stands in the doorway of the kitchen to talk to his fathers. Watching as his Pops sets the phone on the counter and takes a deep breath, "Did you know about any of this?! Why didn't you tell me anything?!" he shouts at Shota knowing that he sometimes keeps information away from him. But he never thought he'd keep THIS kind of information from him.
Hitoshi leans against the doorframe, wondering the same thing. Not that he'd be mad, it's none of his business, but a warning would have been nice. Shota shook his head, "There were suspicions around Ashlynn and Magnolia and I heard about the open case for Madeline but I never heard the details until now." He answered, "I'm surprised their school didn't do anything before."
"Again, why didn't you tell me?! It would've been nice to know that these girls came for another reason other than just good grades! We have a girl with the mindset and knowledge of a toddler, another who’s been neglected, and the last is holding us at arms length so we don't even know what she's been through!" Hizashi shouts, trying not to cry.
Hitoshi stayed quiet, feeling bad for literally everyone involved. Shota just hugged Hizashi as he cried, "I didn't want to say anything and it be nothing and worry you." He knew that wasn't a good excuse but he had hoped it was nothing but now...
Hizashi sighs, he knows his husband does what he must to keep him from worrying, but that doesn't mean it hurts him less. "Let's just try and give the girls a calm day. They clearly need one." He knows that the next few days might be tough with the girls settling in before they actually start teaching them. Maddie especially as he and Shota will have to get her through so many years worth of education she never got. This will be a challenge but it's one he and his family are sure they can handle.
Hitoshi answers the door for the pizza man while his parents talk, setting the boxes on the table. "You want me to go get them?" Shota nodded as he continued to hold Hizashi. Hitoshi knocks, shifting his weight from one foot to the other while waiting for the okay to come in.
Maggie chuckles, "How polite, let me guess dinner's here?"
Hitoshi opens the door stepping inside, "How insightful. Yes dinners here."
Maggie groans, forcing herself up only to drop to her knees and shuffle across the room.
"What are you-?" Hitoshi was silenced by the girl pointing under the bed.
"Ash..." She coos, peeking underneath the bed and giving her a little shake, in an attempt to wake her, "Ashlynn, pizza's here..."
Ash groans as she slowly wakes up, slowly crawling out as she rubs her tired eyes. "What year is it? Where am I?" Ash asks, the small thing has sleep marks on her squishy cheeks. Seems she was sleeping well.
Maggie laughs at Ash, "We're in Japan, and it’s time for dinner. Now get up." She stands, brushing dirt off her pants
Hitoshi takes a couple of steps up the ladder of the bed, not seeing Maddie at first. Only for a small smile to appear at the sight of a tiny black kitten curled up into a little ball and making the cutest little snoring sounds. Chuckling he pets her, trying to softly wake her up. Maddie wakes up surprised at first from the pets before leaning into them, purring softly. She’s not used to people petting her as no one has ever taken the time to in the past, but she absolutely loved it.
Hitoshi grinned, still petting her while talking quietly so he didn't startle her, “It's time for dinner…”
Maddie nodded before stretching, still in cat form jumped down before transforming back. She gave a small smile to Hitoshi. "Is your dad ok, I couldn't hear what they were saying but I heard yelling?"
“Yeah, he'll be fine. He yells a lot, most of the time on accident."
Maddie just smiles brighter, relieved. Soon everyone was back in the dining room eating. The atmosphere was a little tense but not as bad as before. Maddie though was not playing attention as she ate her pizza, it was so good! How had she lived until now without this. Stupid handlers keeping this from her!
Mic does his best not to ask any triggering questions, "So Ash, Maggie, what kind of hobbies do you two have?" He asks. Mic wants to get to know the girls and he figures asking them about their interests is the best route to take.
"Well I liked being in choir, does that count?" Ash questions.
Maggie shrugs, talking about herself was not a strong suit. Talking in general was not something she enjoyed much. Hard to enjoy talking when no one listens to what you have to say anyways. "Reading, writing, but I mostly just work on my quirk. Self improvement, yada yada yada." She flaps her hand, cutting herself off as she realizes she had begun rambling. Deciding to just stuff her face with pizza and hope that Ash and Maddie could carry the conversation.
Maddie, having finished her pizza, picked up on the conversation. "What are your quirks by the way?" She asked curiously. She has only seen the quirks of her fellow performers though most were mutation type.
"You stole the words out of my mouth Maddie, I was about to ask the same thing." Mic adds as she looks at Ash and Maggie. He sees Maggie shuffling in her seat a little, he worries that maybe this was triggering somehow.
"Mine is Sun, kinda ironic as every time I'm in sunlight for too long I become a burnt lobster." Ash laughs lightly.
"Keep pushing yourself like you do and you'll end up with skin cancer." Maggie snarks.
"I would laugh if I find out I'm immune to getting skin cancer simply because of my quirk." Ash replies, it really would be a shock if that SOMEHOW ended up being the case.
"Mines literally called Witchcraft. I'm sure you can picture the type of reputation that gave me." Maggie curls into herself slightly, logically she knew that these were adults that literally devoted their lives to helping people but adults always only gave her one option. Become a hero and prove your worth. And kids? Kids were just downright cruel.
Shinso cringed sympathetically, "I think I can. Mines Brainwashing." He admitted.
"Yikes." Maggie laughed bitterly, "Doubt you're invited to many parties."
"No." He laughed, not expecting such a candid reaction. "No I am not."
Maddie reached over and patted Maggie, Ash and Shinso's backs, giving a small smile.
"Well I think your quirks sound awesome!" She said, encouragingly, "You've already seen mine but I believe the name of it was animal mimicry, I can transform into any known creature plus their abilities!"
Maggie smiles slightly, Maddie and Shinso had made her feel a bit better. It was honestly a weight off her shoulders. "Thanks, Maddie."
Hitoshi felt similarly, at least the three of them wouldn't be afraid of him on top of all the shit they're already going through.
After that, the four started talking more, the dark atmosphere cleared up and the two adults breathed a breath of relief, happy the girls were joking and smiling. Soon dinner finished up and the first night came to a close. The girls, having found acceptance, were looking forward to what else awaited them in Japan.