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Resthaven

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"And lastly, the notorious villain All for One was executed last week at Tartarus Prison. His exact age was unknown. His crimes against humanity were incalculable. Thank you for watching The Nightly News, we leave you with the beautiful illumination of the All-Might Memorial, the brave hero who sacrificed his life to capture All for One. The requiem was composed by composer--" The announcement cut off as Shigaraki turned off his phone. His Sensei was dead. His surrogate father. His teacher. The guiding light in his life. 

Executed, no, murdered by the government. He dropped his phone and stared at his trembling gloved hands. All the time Sensei had put into teaching him how to lead, into molding him into a leader was ultimately futile. A waste. He could do nothing to save his Sensei in the end. He sank to his knees and closed his dry, bloodshot eyes. 

After the capture of All for One the alliance of The League of Villains proved as fragile as spun glass. The chaos of coordinating villains proved too much for his lowly student. Tartarus was too well guarded and the anti-quirk fields negated their heaviest hitters. The heroes were crafty and ruthless, just as vicious as the villains, but with the law to back them up. He was alone in the bar that served as their first hideout, abandoned by the other League members through either death or imprisonment. 

All for One had always been there for him. Always. He squeezed his dry eyes shut as his shoulders shook with ragged sobs. He was alone again.

Those monsters murdered his Sensei. How did they do it? Electrocution? Lethal injection? Firing squad? Hanging? A garbage bag hooded over his head until his last breath fogged the plastic? Shigaraki threw up on the floor. He retched until his guts ached. 

Sensei was hundreds of years old; he couldn't have been easy to kill. Maybe they were lying. Of course, they were lying. That's all heroes did. They lied. They lied through their perfect teeth. 

He wiped his vomit spattered lips with the back of his four-fingered glove, his mind and purpose suddenly clearer. He picked up his phone and shoved it in his pocket. He rinsed out his mouth and spat into the sink. The heroes might be untouchable right now, but there was someone else directly responsible for the execution. Shigaraki knew how to find him.

 

"Tell me where All for One is or I'll dust your family in front of you." The Tartarus warden shrank back against the kitchen wall as Shigaraki demonstrated his quirk upon the kitchen sink faucet. Water sprayed up, hitting the ceiling.

"He's dead!" The warden gasped, as if presenting evidence of his guilt might save him. His stupid quirk made his eyes flash like a police car beacon. It was annoying and made the kitchen strobe.

"How did you kill him?" Shigaraki was proud of how his voice stayed firm even though righteous anger bubbled up inside his guts and churned in the back of his throat. 

The warden shook his head, denying his responsibility. "The doctors-- they suffocated him and then removed his vital organs and then watched him for a week to make sure he wouldn't come back! They cremated him on site! He's ashes!" Ashes. That’s what hope tasted like. 

Shigaraki bit at his lower lip until it bled. There was no way that he would allow his Sensei’s ashes to remain in the filthy clutches of the prison system. His ashes needed to be with family. They needed to be with Shigaraki. "Where are the ashes? Does Tartarus have a crypt?" 

"It's empty now! We used to dump them in the ocean but some bleeding-heart complained---“ The warden flinched as Shigaraki’s bare hand descended towards his face. “Wait! Oh god, please don’t! All the convict ashes go to Resthaven now!"

Shigaraki paused. "What is Resthaven?" 

"It's this shitty little funeral home in Mustafa that the government contracted to take the remains. I don't know what they do with them!"  

The idea of All for One’s ashes being anywhere seen as shitty was repugnant. Just as repugnant as the warden’s snot-covered, tear-stained sniveling face. "I see." 

"Please don't hurt my family." The warden begged as almost an afterthought. "I don't care about myself, but please don't hurt them--" That was a lie. The man had tried to run to save himself the moment he’d seen Shigaraki silhouetted in the kitchen doorway. The warden gibbered in fear and slid down the kitchen wall, his eye wide with terror. 

"You know Warden, we actually have a lot in common." Shigaraki said as he squatted down. "We both kill people. I’m more honest about it though. When I murder someone, I look them right in the eyes.” Shigaraki smiled, his dry lips stretching ear to ear in a rictus grin. “Just a couple of murderers, sitting in the kitchen, talking about things we wish hadn't happened." 

The man was too scared to understand his subtle jab, so Shigaraki twisted the knife. "Your family is already dead. Just like my Sensei. However, their suffering was a brief moment, a few heartbeats, as I'm not a monster." He placed five fingers on the pantry door, activating his quirk. The wood door disintegrated into dust, exposing the contents inside. "Do you know how long it takes for someone to die of suffocation? Do you know how long he suffered?" 

The warden shivered in a puddle of cold water as the kitchen flooded. He was mute and unresponsive. 

Shigaraki clicked his tongue. "See, you're not listening. So, I'm going to demonstrate." He put his four-fingered gloves back on, his earbuds in and then wrapped his hands around the warden's throat while his favorite song played. The drumbeat drowned out the warden's gurgles and half-hearted attempts at screams until his legs stopped kicking and his flashing alarm light eyes dimmed. Shigaraki reached into the pantry and grabbed a packet of snack crackers. He popped one into his mouth and chewed as he leaned against the kitchen island. Hope tasted like ashes and vengeance tasted like takoyaki.   

 

Resthaven Mortuary was on the far outskirts of Mustafa, almost past the city limits, nestled against what could charitably be called a small mountain. The plain brick building was unassuming and stylistically outdated. Neat hedges lined the pathways and someone recently had swept the sidewalks and parking lot. A hearse that was probably older than Shigaraki gleamed under a carport. Everything was old but well maintained. It wasn't shiny, but it wasn't shitty either. Shigaraki's eye twitched and he scratched beneath his face mask. 

He stepped into the shadows as a car drove up and parked. Three hoodlums piled out of the car brandishing baseball bats. One of them had a fluffy bunny tail and they took a swing at a terracotta planter of blue azaleas, shattering it. "Come on out, you fucking quirkless corpse-fucker!" 

Shigaraki sighed and rolled his eyes. You didn’t just yell at your prey, that gave them the chance to run. No, you had to stalk them. You had to watch and observe their habits before pouncing. Just hollering out insults and challenges was both lazy and stupid. The youth had no sense of style these days. 

One of the teens had tiny angel wings fluttering from his shoulders. Shigaraki hated him on sight. Another had peacock feathers instead of hair and they stood aggressively on end. The last one had that dumb fluffy tail. That was it. Three completely unremarkable mutation quirks. He wouldn't bother trying to recruit them as they reeked of hormones and idiocy, they would never understand the gravity and dignity of being in the League of Villains. 

A short man with green curls and pale skin opened the door. Like a moron. He wore a black suit with a white shirt and a hastily knotted skinny black tie. He had his right hand jammed in his pocket, probably holding a weapon. So maybe not quite a moron. His pale face was flushed red with indignation and embarrassment. He looked absurdly easy to overpower. 

"There is a service here tomorrow that I need to prepare for and I ask that you leave before I call the police." The mortician's green eyes narrowed. "Or if you like I can call your grandmothers." He brandished a cell phone, thrusting it at the hoodlums. They actually flinched away from the mortician. Shigaraki’s eyebrow raised. "Yes, I know them all. Very well. I have each of them on speed dial, in fact."

Angel wings dropped his baseball bat with a clatter and hastily picked it up. He sputtered, "Doesn't change the fact that you're still a quirkless loser!" 

The mortician stared them down, more steel in his gaze than anyone Shigaraki had fought in the last month. "Yeah, nothing will ever change that. You'll be leaving now." 

The teens piled back into their car and peeled out, leaving streaks of tires in the lot. The mortician put his phone back in his pocket, ran his fingers through his curls and knelt down to gather up terracotta shards. He was muttering to himself. Shigaraki slipped his right hand out of his glove and walked up behind the man. His shoulders were wider than at first glance and muscles strained the seams of his cheap suit pants. Out of curiosity, Shigaraki bent down and picked up a piece of flower pot and then another.

The mortician stopped muttering and turned to look at Shigaraki. He took in Shigaraki’s dirty hoodie, face mask and bloodshot eyes and then did something shocking. He smiled. The mortician genuinely smiled at the most feared villain at large in the country. Was he stupid or ignorant? Had Shigaraki lost his touch? The mortician should be screaming in terror, but he was smiling in gratitude. He had crinkles at the corners of his eyes and freckles upon his cheeks. 

"Thank you. It's not necessary to help me. I'll get a broom, clean up and repot the flowers.” He held out his hands for the pot shards. His fingers were scarred and burned, calluses on his palms. Working man’s hands. How long had it been since anyone had extended a hand to Shigaraki? It flummoxed him and he said nothing, just standing there. The mortician’s smile didn’t falter as he turned back to the mess. “These azaleas were a gift from one of their grandmothers, you know? Such a nice lady." 

"Seems like it didn't rub off on the grandkids." Shigaraki said, his voice rasping out. 

The mortician nodded his head. “You’re not wrong.” He sighed as he examined the flowers’ bruised petals. "It's a bit of a rite of passage in this neighborhood to come and harass me.” He stood up and frowned at the dirt on his suit. “Can I offer you a cup of tea? I was making a pot before I had this mess to clean up. Can’t have a bad first impression for the funeral tomorrow, now can I?”

Shigaraki touched the pot shards in his hand and watched the mortician as they turned to dust and blew away in the breeze. The man’s eyes widened and Shigaraki prepared to lunge at him, but mortician gushed, “What a great quirk! I bet you could do some marvelous things with that. Want to take care of the rest?” He picked up the largest piece and piled the rest of the shards upon it. He held out his hands again, placing each shard in Shigaraki’s palm as he disintegrated it. The mortician’s smile was obnoxiously bright and wholesome, as if he’d waited all day to bestow it upon someone. It had to be fake. 

“Wow. That really is amazing. Just the things you could do as a rescue hero—“ Shigaraki flinched and the mortician stopped talking. His smile dimmed into something more sympathetic, but no less sincere. “Hey, come on in. I’ve got cookies to go with the tea.”

Shigaraki nodded and he followed the mortician into the funeral home. He took off his shoes and observed the surroundings. He’d been in more than a few funeral homes in his life, usually to track down survivors of an inter-gang villain turf wars. It was decades out of date, tiny and sparse, but there wasn’t a speck of dust. What the mortician lacked in money, he made up for in hard work. “You work alone?” 

“Yes.” The mortician took him to a small living studio in the back of the building. He scooted manga and western comic books off of the table and gestured for Shigaraki to have a seat on the futon. “I inherited Resthaven from my grandfather.” He poured water over the tea leaves. “It was his life’s work and now it is mine.” 

“It’s very clean.” Shigaraki said as he watched the man fuss with a packet of cookies. There were holes in his socks, one of his pink toes poked through. 

“Cleaner out there than in here, I know. Sorry about the mess. My living quarters are the last thing I prioritize. It’s a bad habit.” The mortician blushed, baffling Shigaraki. “My name is Izuku Midoriya by the way.”

“Tomura Shigaraki.” Midoriya dropped the tin of tea leaves in his hands with a clatter and then hastily picked it up. He brought the brewed tea to the table in a blue mug dotted with daisies and set it in front of Shigaraki. Shigaraki leaned forward, his elbows upon his knees and pulled down his face mask with one finger. “Now that we’ve completed introductions, I have a question for you, Mr. Mortician.”  

To his credit, the mortician met Shigaraki’s blood-shot gaze with steady eyes, then he turned and grabbed his own tea, along with a plate of cookies. He sat on the floor, on the opposite side of the table. “I hope that I have a satisfactory answer for you.” 

What a strange man, Shigaraki thought. “Where are All for One’s ashes?” 

Midoriya took a sip of his tea and wrapped his scarred fingers around the mug. “They are here. In the cemetery.” He was oddly calm for a man facing imminent death. 

“You will show me where they are.” Shigaraki demanded, his voice raising in pitch. 

“Are you a relative of the deceased?” That wasn’t a question Shigaraki expected. He didn’t expect any questions at all, only screams and pleas for mercy. Nothing was going how he planned it.

“Yes. He raised me after I was orphaned.” Shigaraki said, the words spilling out of him to this odd man. “He’s the only family I’ve ever had and I want his ashes. You will take me to my Sensei!” 

Midoriya nodded, his brows knit together as he responded. “Yes. But please, drink your tea first.” 

Shigaraki picked up his tea with his gloved hand and took a sip. It was good tea. How long had it been since he’d sat and sipped tea with a stranger? Never, this was the first time. He was the leader of the fucking League of Villains, he didn’t sit down for tea and cookies. “Whatever you’re planning, it won’t work.” 

The mortician sighed, the lights in his room brought out the dark circles under his eyes. “I’m not planning anything. Even if I managed to call for help, no one would arrive in time. So I’ll enjoy my tea. It’s good tea.” He slid the plate of cookies over to Shigaraki. “Have one.” 

“You are very reasonable.” Shigaraki said, “Are you really quirkless?” It was a rude question but they didn’t have time for formalities. Only time for one cup of tea. 

“I am. I’ve never had a quirk.” Midoriya watched him eat a cookie. “I never imagined that I’d have someone as powerful as you in my home. You’re like, legendary.”

The praise was unexpected and uncomfortable. “Flattery will get you nowhere. I bet you have tons of dead super villains in your creepy ass collection.” Shigaraki pointed at the comic books on the floor. “Fanboy.” Condescension dripped from his voice. 

“Please do not call the residents of Resthaven that.” Midoriya snapped, showing a bit of spine. “I do not have a collection.” 

“That’s not what the warden of Tartarus told me.” Shigaraki finished off his cookie and brushed crumbs off the corner of his chapped lips. “He said that you contract with the government to collect executed villains. Do they pay a lot for you to take out the trash? Is it the money? Is that your motivation?” 

Midoriya barked out a bitter laugh that startled Shigaraki. “You think that they pay me?” He gestured around him at his shabby home and the outdated funeral parlor with one hand. “Look around. They don’t pay me anything. Hardly anyone does. I charge just enough to keep the lights on and the natural gas flowing. I can’t remember the last time I bought new shoes.” 

“Then why?” Shigaraki blinked in confusion. 

Midoriya drained his cup of tea and set it on the table. He stared right into Shigaraki’s eyes. “Because everyone deserves a good final rest.” 

Shigaraki started to laugh, confused and the mortician slapped his hand down on the table. “That’s not something to be laughed at. It’s the truth. It the only reason I—” Midoriya bit back his words as he remembered who he was talking to and then softly continued, “Everyone deserves the kindness of a good final rest.” 

Kindness? What fucking kindness did a villain deserve? Shigaraki didn’t like how this conversation was going. People were afraid of him, they didn’t talk back or argue. This little man in his cheap black suit should be pissing his pants just speaking to the most infamous villain currently alive. He wouldn’t have argued with Sensei. It was just one more way that Shigaraki failed to live up to his master’s expectations. This one, little shabby man wouldn’t defy him. 

Shigaraki hissed, “They suffocated and dismembered my Sensei. If you don’t cooperate, then I’ll return the favor.” Shigaraki finished his tea and then disintegrated the blue daisy-dotted mug with a flourish. He sprinkled dust over the table in front of the mortician with a flourish, then he slipped his glove back on. 

Midoriya’s green brows knitted together in distress and his voice trembled for the first time. “That was my grandfather’s favorite cup.” 

Why did that make Shigaraki feel guilty? What was this awful feeling? He spat out, “Show me where the ashes are!” 

The mortician took a deep breath, then stood up and smoothed his suit. “Of course. Family is always welcome to visit the deceased. If you will follow me.”

Midoriya led him to an exterior door at the very back of the funeral home. He took off his jacket, slipped on sandals and opened the door. Shigaraki followed him through the door and gasped at what he saw. A small paradise stretched out in front of him. Flowers bloomed all around the fenced perimeter, tall mature trees shaded the grounds. A small pond with lazy rainbow koi and a bubbling fountain coordinated with birdsong in the trees. A moon gate looked out over the valley below. Sakura blossoms dusted the grass. It was quite possibly the prettiest place that Shigaraki had ever seen. 

“This is the Resthaven private cemetery.” Midoriya said after bowing his head in a prayer. In the midst of the flowers and trees were staggered wooden shelves. On each shelf dozens of plain white ceramic urns rested. There was a bench in front of the urns and the mortician sat on it as he lit a stick of incense and stuck it in the sand. “These are the ashes of the people who were either executed or died of old age at Tartarus. You’re the first visitor they’ve had.” He bowed his head in another prayer. 

Shigaraki’s mouth fell open. There were so many urns lined up on the shelves. Each looked exactly the same as the other. “Where is All for One?” 

Midoriya looked up at the blue sky peeking out between from the tree tops. “He’s right in front of you.” 

“Which one?” Shigaraki begged, his throat raspy. “Which urn?” 

“They don’t let me put labels on the urns. It’s part of the contract. They don’t want people coming here and collecting souvenirs to celebrate or exploit. I don’t want that either. It’s not right.” Midoriya still gazed up at the sky, his hands clasped in his lap. 

“When I learned how the remains of the convicts were being treated, just dumped into a sewer grate, I couldn’t stand it. No one deserves to have that be their final resting place, no matter how wicked.  So, I complained. I threatened to go to the media, I even used the ‘poor quirkless citizen’ pity ploy. I made myself a royal pain in the ass until they gave in. They were happy to give me the responsibility when I offered to do it for free. They look compassionate without doing anything and I know that the right thing is being done.”

Shigaraki fell to his knees in front of the racks of ashes. They were going to flush Sensei down the—- the warden deserved his messy death. His hood fell back and his mind raced. The disrespect. The utter and total disrespect. His chest began to ache and he clutched at his shirt and then tore at his greasy hair as he gasped for air. They suffocated and disemboweled the only person who had ever shown Shigaraki any care or compassion, they burnt him and they abandoned him and they were all going to die, they all had to PAY—- Shigaraki felt a warm, rough hand on the back of his neck. The mortician stroked his thumb along the skin in a gesture of soothing that was so alien to Shigaraki that he forgot how to breathe. Tears flooded down Shigaraki’s face as he sobbed, one gentle touch was enough to break him, utterly.

He cried until he lost track of time and the only thing that he could hear was the bubbling of the fountain in the koi pond and the whistle of the wind through the trees. 

“Do you want to hear more about your Sensei?” The mortician asked, still stroking the back of Shigaraki’s neck. Shigaraki nodded, afraid that his voice might crack if he spoke aloud. “I’m sorry. It was not a good death. I gathered all of his remains together, made sure that no one took a souvenir. I watched over his body for the night and then I cremated him onsite. It was not a good death, but it was a dignified funeral. I promise you that.” 

“Why do you care?” Shigaraki shrugged off the mortician’s hand and wrapped his arms around his legs as they sat in front of the urns. It was obvious that the man cared, every detail of the garden's landscaping showed that he cared. He blurted out, “Nobody cares about villains!” 

Midoriya smiled, a small smile that crinkled his eyes. “Someone has to.” 

“Why won’t you tell me which urn is my Sensei’s?” Shigaraki sniffled as he wiped his nose on his sleeve. He was begging and crying like a child. It was undignified. It was beneath him. He couldn’t stop.

The mortician looked back at the sky. “Honestly, I don’t want to die today and if I tell you, you’ll take the urn and kill me. That’s what you were going to do, right?”

Shigaraki couldn’t bring himself to lie. “Yes.” 

Midoriya made a noise of assent and they sat in silence. It wasn’t silent in the cemetery though, all around them there were signs of nature and life. Shigaraki laid back in the grass, resting his forearm against his forehead. A squirrel scampered in the trees above him and the breeze smelled of flower petals and sunshine. “It’s beautiful here. You've-- worked really hard on this place.”

“Thank you.” The mortician said, his curls bounced in the breeze. “I spend as much time as I can out here. It centers me.”

“You’re so strange.” Shigaraki said, meaning every word. “You’re just so fucking weird.”

“Thank you.” Another smile, dangerously disarming. 

“Why do you care about the dead so much?” 

“For a while I was in a hurry to join them. My parents died in an accident overseas and my grandfather took me in.” The mortician unbuttoned the cuff of his shirtsleeve and flashed a deep, deliberate scar on his wrist. “I made sure that this place would be a lovely place for my ashes. My grandfather knew what I was doing, so he stopped me. Hospitalized me for a year or so, got my head on straight. Well, not too straight, but that’s not the point. He made me promise to live as long as I could, to take care of his legacy.” He fastened his cuff and picked at a bit of dirt under his nail. He said conspiratorially, “He gave me a mission. Sometimes I hate him for that.” 

“Fuck." Shigaraki understood only too well. He'd never admit to the secret festering resentment that lurked behind his adoration of All for One. What could he have been if someone else had rescued him from the streets? Shigaraki sat up and let the sun shine down on his tear-stained face. “All I’ve ever done, all that I’ve ever wanted to do was live up to my Sensei’s expectations. I wanted him to tell me that I was— enough. Of all the fucking ridiculous things. We're villains and I wanted to be good for him. Stupid as fuck.” He shook his shaggy head and scrubbed at his eyes with his hoodie sleeve. “I cannot believe I’m telling you this. I definitely have to kill you now.” 

“We both have a lot of expectations to fulfill, don’t we?” Midoriya said. “Does it ever feel like no matter how hard you try, it’s never good enough?” 

“Well I was trying to overthrow the government and destabilize society, so that was pretty ambitious. Are you comparing being a supervillain to being a quirkless mortician?” Shigaraki scoffed at the audacity of the notion. 

Midoriya began tidying the pathway with a small rake. “Well, most people aren’t in a hurry to spend a lot of time with either of us.” 

“People are such assholes.” Shigaraki watched the mortician pluck weeds from the flower bed. Those suit pants were far too tight to bend over in comfortably. “Every damn day in the foster care system reminded me that a lot of people deserve to die. All for One saved me. He gave me purpose and rescued me from my haters. Did they bully you growing up too? Like those jerks earlier?” 

“Quirkless, remember?” Midoriya waggled his fingers. “I was born inferior, that's what I was told. A small kid is easy to torment. My best friend even turned against me. He became a Pro-Hero, you know? I see his face constantly on the news, in stores, even on the back of cereal boxes. It makes some of my scars really ache.” He absently rubbed the side of his stomach. “But I think I got over it.” That did not sound convincing.

“I disintegrated my bullies. Sometimes in my dreams, I can still hear their screams.” Shigaraki smiled at the memory. “It was fun. I could dust that Pro-Hero bully of yours, if you want me to.”

Usually people recoiled when he made that offer, but the mortician just raised his eyebrows and appeared to be considering his offer. He shook his head as if reminding himself that murder wasn’t an option. That was ridiculous; murder was always an option. Sometimes it was the best option.“Thank you for the offer. I’d rather not have anyone’s death be on my conscience.” Midoriya loosened his tie and put it in his pocket. He unbuttoned his collar and the top two buttons of his shirt as he puttered around the garden. It wasn’t like Shigaraki was looking. He wasn’t checking out the mortician; he was just planning the best way to kill him. 

“I mean, killing heroes is kind of my job description. I’ve probably already tried to kill that asshole, especially if he's nationally ranked.” Shigaraki shrugged with one shoulder. "It doesn't have to be killing, I could maim them instead. Kill their dreams and their endorsements at the same time." He chewed on his lip. "It’s no big deal." 

Midoriya shook his head, his dark green curls bounced as he choked back a shocked laugh. “Trust me. It is a big deal. Maybe one day I’ll tell you who he is and we can vote against him in the Hero Poll. Hit him right in his ego and his bank account.”

“You’ll tell me one day?” Shigaraki asked as he played with a blade of grass. “Are you sure you have that long?”

The mortician leaned on his rake and ran his scarred hand through his hair. That hand could feel so gentle and kind. What strange power did this odd little quirkless man have over strangers? Maybe he needed to be investigated further… Sunlight dappled behind him and seemed to make him glow. 

“Are you still going to kill me?” Midoriya asked, suddenly looking so tired of everything. Shigaraki recognized that look, he saw it in the mirror every time he washed his hands, in store front reflections and still puddles of water on the sidewalk. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to just rest for a while.

Shigaraki looked down at the lush green grass and plucked another blade. “I’m still thinking about it. Maybe not today. I mean, you did share your tea with me. It would be rude to kill you right after that.” 

"Alright then. If you do decide that I need to die, please take care of Resthaven's residents." Midoriya buttoned up his shirt and brushed a stray leaf from his pants. He returned the rake to the tool bin. “They don’t have anyone else.”

"I'm not a gardener. I've never grown anything in my life. Things decay when I touch them and you want me to weed your flower beds?" Shigaraki snorted. "You're not getting out of your responsibilities that easily." 

Midoriya heaved a theatrical sigh. “Nothing in my life is ever easy. I need to go to the crematorium and finish with a client. You’re welcome to stay here as long as you need. And don’t feel self-conscious about talking to the dead. They always listen.” 

“If you run or call the cops, I’ll kill you.” Shigaraki warned.

“Of course.” Midoriya agreed and as he walked back into the funeral home he said, “There’s koi food in the green jar if you want to feed them. They’re spoiled rotten so don’t give them too much.” And with that, he left Shigaraki in the garden with the koi to keep him company. 

Chapter Text

The koi were indeed greedy fat bastards. He looked up the care and feeding of koi on his phone and was convinced that Midoriya had spoiled them rotten. "You don't know how good you have it. All you have to do is swim around, look pretty and eat pellets for decades." He doled out a final single pellet to his favorite, a big golden koi. "That's enough for today. I'll feed you again tomorrow, Butterball-sama." 

It was easier to talk to the fish than it was to talk to the dead. He didn't know what to say to Sensei. Apologies seemed empty; vows of vengeance didn't need to be said aloud. It wasn’t like All for One was going to answer him. He sat on the bench, closed his eyes and listened to the garden around him. He'd slept in worse places, he thought as he curled up on the bench, soaking up the sunlight. 

"God fucking damn it!" Shigaraki shot to his feet, on guard for attack. "All-Might's blistered butthole! Damn it! Work you piece of shit!" The mortician was pissed off and the string of colorful curses made Shigaraki's mouth twist in a smile. He went to investigate. 

Clanging and clanking, alternated with cursing, seemed to come from the basement. Shigaraki pushed open the door and froze. The mortician was fighting with the cremation oven, banging on a valve with a wrench. A body in a coffin sat at ready but there was no fire. Most importantly, Midoriya was not wearing a shirt. Ropy muscles corded his shoulders and arms. His muscles came from hard work and manual labor, instead of a weight room. They were at odds with his babyface and the dichotomy perplexed Shigaraki. 

Gnarled red scars and old white ones crisscrossed over flushed, sweaty skin dusted with a green curls of chest hair. He looked like a photo of one of those retired heroes after years of getting their bodies bashed to hell by villains. A civilian shouldn't have that many scars. Midoriya shouldn't have that many scars. Which ones did that bastard Pro-Hero give him? A small vaguely handprint shaped scar on his back was the likely answer. Fire type quirk, that narrowed down the list of Pro-Heroes. 

"Nice fucking language." Shigaraki quipped.

"Kami on a cracker!" The mortician startled when Shigaraki spoke and dropped the wrench on his foot. "Gah!" He hopped around the crematorium on one foot and then shouted, "Don't scare me like that!" 

Shigaraki held up his gloved hands in a display of innocence. "Your swearing was scaring the fish." 

Midoriya picked up the wrench. "They're used to it. I'm sorry, I forgot you were still here."

"You thought I'd run off? Nah, I haven't thought of what I want to say to Sensei yet. Or if I want to leave you alive to talk to the cops." He leaned against the door frame. "Something broke?" 

"The valve finally died. May it rest in peace." Midoriya bowed his head in reflexive prayer. "I needed to crank it extra hot to deal with my client there and it just crapped out.  I'll have to call around to find an actual repairman, so I don't blow up the whole place." He sat down on a small stool and gestured at the coffin. "What the fuck am I going to do with Hoshi-sama and his iron-plate skin now?" 

"Are you sure he's not dead from shock from your sudden potty mouth?" It was a jarring juxtaposition from the contemplative, empathetic man in the garden a few hours ago. Midoriya blushed. The man actually blushed. 

Oh, this was fun, Shigaraki thought. 

"I doubt my colorful language would have phased him. He was yakuza. A lot of them come here for services because no other funeral home will allow them. His gang shook down the whole neighborhood for like twenty years. Low level villains, nothing as grand as your work, of course." Midoriya flipped the wrench and caught it as he began muttering to himself.  After a few moments, he paused and stared right at Shigaraki, big green eyes alive with a wild idea. 

Shigaraki felt his ears grow warm.  "What?" 

The mortician stood up and walked up to him. His scarred body glistened with sweat under the lights and Shigaraki fought the urge to take a step back. Midoriya bowed, deep and formal. "Shigaraki-san, may I please borrow your quirk?" So this was what being flustered felt like. Shigaraki didn’t like it. 

"How about you tell me which urn belongs to my Sensei?” And then I can leave this place. And never again think about how low your pants hang off of your hips-- fuck! What is wrong with me?

Midoriya straightened up and shifted his balance, side to side. It did interesting things to his torso. "How about I counter with a big bowl of ramen with extra pork. I’ll let you have the first bath with the hot water and—“ He grinned like this was the best thing he'd ever offered. “You can sleep on the less lumpy futon tonight.” 

Shigaraki leaned against the doorframe in feigned nonchalance. "I am currently the most wanted villain in the entire nation of Japan. I am feared on an international level. I have demoralized and destroyed entire hero agencies. I dedicated my life to destroying the most beloved hero ever and I won. Ramen? A hot bath and a bed to sleep in? How cheap and easy do you think I am?” 

The mortician leaned forward and pushed his damp curls out of his shining green eyes. “You haven’t tasted this ramen yet. It’s totally worth it. Cold baths suck. Finally, you really don’t want the extra lumpy futon.” He stuck out his hand like a salesman closing a deal. “Sounds good right?” 

“You’re trying to shake my hand?” Shigaraki waggled his deadly fingers. “Are you that stupid?” 

“You’re wearing your stinky gloves. It's fine. You need five finger contacts to active your quirk.” Stinky? He raised a glove to his nose and sniffed at it. There might be a funk to them but they weren't stinky-- Midoriya tilted his head to the side and batted his eyelashes in a mildly adorable and very deranged display. “Deal?”

"Fine.” Shigaraki shook Midoriya’s hand and the mortician beamed at him. “Just stop doing that. It makes you look like a bug-eyed stuffed animal. So, you want me to decay this dead guy?"

The mortician nodded as he mopped sweat from his brow with a handkerchief. "You are super intelligent Shigaraki-san." 

"Don’t patronize me. Doesn't this violate some religious aspect of a funeral? He's not going to haunt me, right?" Shigaraki peeked under the lid of the coffin. Yep. It was an old dead dude covered in rusty metal fish scales.

"He's probably not the only ghost that you should be worried about. Resthaven is non-denominational. I'll pray for the deceased and his henchmen will come tomorrow to fill up the urn before the service. Try to leave a few tiny chunks of bone that I can hit with a blowtorch for texture reasons." 

"You are so bossy. Do you really know me well enough to be all sassy with me?" Shigaraki hooked his thumb at his own chest. “Bad guy with short temper and impulse control issues.”

"I just know that a super villain like yourself must have exquisite control over his quirk. I really want to watch you work." Midoriya leaned forward, bracing his arms on the gurney. "Don't mind me. Just do your thing."

"Freak." Shigaraki took off his gloves and began reducing the corpse to dust. It wasn’t as messy as usual since the blood was coagulated and cold.

Midoriya hummed and smiled as he watched. "Not the first time I've been called that. Kinda sucks that you'd say it though. I thought you might not be biased against quirkless people."

"I'm not. I'd trade this power for just about any other one. I almost dusted my own dick once when I got drunk and had to piss-- I mean, you're so excited to watch me dust a dead guy. Nobody should be that excited to watch me work." It was a little thrilling that Midoriya was so into watching him use his quirk.

"Hmm. There’s no odor or energy generated. I wonder where all the extra matter goes? I bet your quirk is a form of time-manipulation, speeding up a tiny piece of time to the end of everything. Fascinating. I'm also glad you didn't disintegrate your own dick." 

"Don't talk about my dick, you weirdo." Whatever boundaries they’d had between them, Midoriya had stepped over them and forgotten they ever existed. 

"This is so fucking cool. Remember, leave some chunks." 

"Do you have a split personality?" Midoriya raised his eyebrows at the question. "I ask because I've worked with people who did. You're all somber and super touchy-feely with the condolences upstairs and down here you're kind of a grinning cursing sweaty gremlin."

Midoriya barked a laugh. "You’ve never worked customer service before. Up there, I'm the face of the business and I have to play the part of a dedicated professional. I still mean everything I say, but I have to make it pretty. Down here nobody is watching and I can be more myself. The dead people in the crematorium don’t care." 

"So, you were pretending to feel bad for me? That's brutal. You made me cry." Shigaraki concentrated on finessing his quirk. When he was younger, he had little control and couldn’t fine tune his quirk’s output. Brute force was only so successful and he had to learn how to be subtle. Subtle meant avoiding prison time or execution. Subtle and sly impressed Sensei and very little else did.

"You needed to cry. Repressing that shit is toxic. It poisons your heart. You only listened to the parts you want to hear, Shigaraki-san. I meant every word I said. This is amazing. You're amazing. You've saved me so much time and money! You probably saved me some broken bones too because yakuza aren't keen on rescheduling funerals. Do you want a job?" 

"Could you afford to pay me?" Shigaraki finished with the corpse.

"Not really but I’d figure something out!" 

Shigaraki picked up his gloves and Midoriya plucked them from his grasp. "Those gloves are nasty. Hold out one finger on each hand." Shigaraki double flipped him off and Midoriya snorted. He slipped what could only be called a tiny condom over each middle finger. Shigaraki flexed his hands and flipped off the mortician again."Tah dah! Finger cots. I keep them in the first aid kit because I'm a little clumsy. There. Now you can't hurt anything." He bit his lower lip and said, "You've got really big, long fingers.” 

“Excuse me?” Was the little weirdo hitting on him? Who would hit on Tomura Shigaraki? Did he have a death wish? Oh, wait— 

Midoriya blushed and went to go tidy up his tools. “Sorry, that was inappropriate of me." 

Shigaraki crossed his arms. "I'm still planning to kill you. Remember that?"

"Just make it quick. Take me by surprise. Start with the brain. I spend too much time in my head, it's not healthy." He sat back on his haunches and looked over his shoulder at Shigaraki. "To be honest, I'm a little tired of only talking to the dead. I think we get along pretty well for a quirkless loser and a supervillain. I'm not any threat to you and if the cops ask why you're here I can just start crying and say that you forced me to shelter you. I've got lots of practice lying to authority figures." He stood up and pulled on a Best Jeanist t-shirt. That hero had been dead for twenty years. "I can offer you room, board and quality time with my koi pond."

"I do like Butterball-Sama." The big golden koi seemed like a good listener.

"You named my fish?" Midoriya held up his finger. "I do have to ask you one more important question. It's going to be a big thing if you spend any time with me. Do you like to play videogames, specifically retro RPGs?" 

Oh shit. Izuku Midoriya was trouble.


"What are you doing to me?" Midoriya fussed over him, touching his hair, moving it out of his eyes. The man had no concept of personal space. His belly was full of takeout ramen, he felt sluggish and sleepy. The mortician had probably planned that. He was too full and satisfied to resist being manhandled. It felt kinda nice to be fussed over. 

"You're my lovely assistant, so you have to look the part. When was the last time you had a haircut?" 

Never was too embarrassing to say. "I don't remember. I usually just decay the pieces that get in my eyes." 

"Lucky for you, I'm trained in giving haircuts to people who never, ever complain about my work." 

"Because they're cremated." Shigaraki tried and failed to dodge Midoriya’s busy hands. 

"For the most part, yes. I am trained in western style embalming too. That's not very popular in Japan though. I'm a bit rusty and I'd have to refresh all my embalming chemicals.” He slapped his own thighs as he finished what ever he was contemplating. “Yep, you're getting in the bath first. I have soap, shampoo and something called conditioner in there. Use whatever you like and if you need help just ask me." Midoriya handed him a towel and pointed him in the direction of the bathroom.

"I am a thirty-two-year-old man. I know how to wash myself." Shigaraki indignantly protested.

The mortician tilted his head to the side and asked, "Are you sure?" 

Shigaraki narrowed his red eyes. "You know, I don't have to use my quirk to kill a man. I'm very creative.”

Midoriya was either immune or unimpressed by his threats. He grabbed a laundry basket. "I'm going to wash your clothes when you're in there. Turn out your pockets so I don’t wash anything important." 

"Yes Mother." Shigaraki sneered. Clean clothes did sound really nice though.

"You'd have liked my mother. She was short and round and made of love. She would have hugged the shit out of little Shigaraki-kun. You would have been stuffed full of homemade katsudon and had a bedtime story every night." Was that what Midoriya had lost when his parents died? It might have been more merciful that Shigaraki couldn’t remember his own parents. 

"Sounds like a faerie tale. I'm a little jealous."

Midoriya looked down at the laundry basket and shuffled his feet. "That’s first time anyone has said that they’re jealous of me. Thank you Shigaraki-kun."  

"Tomura. Call me Tomura if you're going to be washing my underwear."

The mortician beamed another smile of delighted satisfaction that made something hurt in Shigaraki’s chest. "Call me Izuku. And I’m using extra bleach Tomura. Extra bleach."

 

Three things stuck out the more time that Shigaraki spent with Midoriya. First of all, the mortician didn't stop moving. He buzzed from one project to another, checking off a list in a dollar store notebook, like a honey bee pollinating in a flower bed. A ripped honey-bee. 

Secondly, he did not own a single piece of clothing that wasn't either mortician flavor or old superhero merch. Shigaraki was wearing a threadbare Kamui Woods t-shirt while his clothes dried just because he'd made splinters out of the little wooden bastard and put him into intensive care a few years back. It was cheating when they could grow their limbs back.

Thirdly, the mortician was an excellent barber. Shigaraki kept running his exposed fingertips over the velvety short-trimmed hair on his new undercut. He snuck glances at himself in the mirror mounted on the wall. He almost looked respectable.  

"Your hair was one of your defining characteristics. If we change that, it’s strategic camouflage. Maybe you could grow a beard?”

“Maybe some stubble, but that’s it.” Shigaraki rubbed his chin. 

 “That’s better than what I can do. Once I did have an unfortunate pencil thin mustache. You look good Tomura-kun." Midoriya grinned as he cleaned white-blue hair from the clippers. He was wearing a Mt. Lady shirt because it complimented Shigaraki's. They’d known each other for hours and they already had matching shirts? Kamui Woods and Mt. Lady had been partners before Woods' unfortunate accident with a wood chipper. That hadn't been League work, but it was hard for Shigaraki not to be impressed by a villain with a flair for the dramatic. "You're a handsome guy under all that hair." Shigaraki looked at his borrowed socks and twitched his toes, still unaccustomed to compliments.  

"Hold still." The mortician rubbed a smear of thick lip balm over Shigaraki's chronically, painfully chapped lips with his thumb. The supervillain froze in place at the very intimate touch, his red eyes wide. Midoriya added a second layer and almost added a third until Shigaraki ducked his head and avoided his attempt. "I have wanted to do that ever since you pulled down your mask and threatened my life."

Shigaraki snapped his teeth at Midoriya's thumb to distract from the blush creeping up his rash-splotched neck. "I'm just naturally dry, don't judge me."

"I don't judge anyone, Tomura-kun. Look at my kingdom of not judging. I think you need to hydrate more, but that's true of most people. Lotion is next. Take off the shirt, I want to slather you in it. Belly down."

"You really should judge people. Otherwise, the shitty ones will take advantage of you. It that mango? I'm going to reek like a mango all day?" The fruity lotion felt thick, cool and soothing as the mortician rubbed it in with his scarred hands. When did it feel so good to be touched? Shigaraki leaned into it; the slathering became a massage and by the end, Shigaraki was defeated. He was a limp bag of bones on the lumpy futon. Any struggle within him was massaged into submission and he wiped a string of drool from his lips, smearing the lip balm. No one could ever know how easily he gave in; he'd lose all his villain credibility and no one would fear him.

"You really needed that. You're all wound up in knots. Don't worry about me Tomura-kun. I know when someone is a shitty person." He patted Shigaraki on the back, his palm made a sticky slapping sound.

"Based on who is drooling on your lumpy ass futon, covered in mango grease, I don't believe you." Shigaraki waved a limp hand and gave that up as too much effort.

 "You're not shitty, you're very good at what you do. I’ll take competence over compliments any day. I trust that you'll make my death quick and painless." Why did that flippant quip make Shigaraki's chest seize up? Midoriya wafted an open bag of snacks under Shigaraki's nose. "Want some Cheezy puffs?"  Shigaraki couldn't move, he was too relaxed. He opened his mouth like a fat koi carp and Midoriya put a single artificial orange puff in his mouth. The mortician grinned, orange dust on his lips. "I'm handfeeding the number one villain in Japan."

"Congrats. You found my weakness." Big green eyes and freckles. Fuck. "Cheezy puffs." Shigaraki gave up and opened his mouth for more puffs. He mumbled with his mouth full. "There's no official ranking for villains."

"Sure, but you've got the most reward money on your head." A juice box appeared out of thin air. Midoriya placed the straw on Shigaraki’s lips. "Suck!"

"A normal person would say 'drink'." It was fruit punch.

"Tee-hee. Normal. Like that applies to either of us." Midoriya had a lot of patience and experience caring for someone else. Maybe he took care of his elderly grandfather like this, with humor and iron resolve. 

Shigaraki sneered to disguise how easily he wanted to obey. "Fanboy. Now you have a living villain to add to your collection. I don't think I'll fit on the shelf with the urns though." Shigaraki stretched and gave up on moving.

"You’re too lanky. And I don't have a collection, I told you that. Everyone is the same to me when they’re dead, they’re all just people. Good, bad and indifferent. You know, I used to pay a lot of attention to heroes and villains when I was younger but then I stopped." Midoriya tapped his fingers on the juice box, a rapid tattoo of nerves.

"Why? All kids love heroes. Even I loved heroes, believe it or not. It’s in our genes, I think."

Midoriya bit at his lower lip and then took a swig of the juice box. "I met All-Might in middle school on one of the worst days of my life. My former best friend had just told me to go kill myself. I was pretty fucked up. So when I met the number one hero in all of Japan,  I asked him if I could become a hero without a quirk. He told me no. The bastard didn’t even attempt to jolly me along with a platitude or some bullshit. He flat out told me no. So later that night I had a little accident in the bathtub." Izuku pointed at his slashed wrist scar. "I’d been keeping myself alive with hope and he ‘Detroit Smashed’ my hopes into the concrete. The person who dragged me from that bathtub and called the ambulance was my grandfather. He never once told me that I was useless or inferior. He was just a regular person and still a thousand times better than any Pro-hero. The lesson of that terrible tale is: Never meet your heroes, Tomura-kun. They'll always let you down." 

"I really want to know who this old friend of yours is.” I’ll decay him piece by piece, Shigaraki thought. And then I’ll bring Midoriya a trophy to hang on his wall. Right there, with the family photos. Maybe an ear. “I helped kill All-Might. All for One wanted him dead, so I did my best. And after what I just heard, I’m extra glad that I did it.”

Midoriya thumbed the scar on his wrist.  “It doesn’t really feel real that you did that. It seems so far away. You talk about killing people and murdering, but you’re here on my futon and I’ve washed your disgusting socks. It just doesn’t feel real.”

“Don’t mock my socks.” Shigaraki poked Midoriya in the shoulder. “If heroes have disappointed you, then you should try villains. We’re fun.”

"I've only met one villain so far. He’s pretty neat. He's getting as a reward for not killing me," the mortician presented with a flourish, "A brand new toothbrush!"

Shigaraki peered at the toothbush. "It has a kitten on it."

"Do you want another? I have a duck and a dinosaur."

"Kitten is great. Give it here." Midoriya tucked the toothbrush in Shigaraki’s sweatpants’ pocket.

He hummed when he was happy. Like the off-key purr of a kitten. "You're my employee and as a dutiful boss, I need to make my employee happy and healthy."

It felt like he was being adopted, like a stray kitten. "You've never been a boss before, have you?"

"Nope!” Midoriya popped the ‘P’ in the word. “It’s my secret villainous scheme. I'm just being nice to you so I can work you to the bone." Midoriya stuck the straw between Shigaraki's lips again and he dutifully sucked. "You don't mind taking orders, do you? I know you've been the leader of the League since it was formed--"

"All for One was the leader. I was-- something less." It was a bitter pill to swallow.

"When people talk about the League, they think of you. You're the handsome face of the League.” Handsome? ”Public opinion is all that matters to heroes. You should do something unexpectedly heroic, like save a cat from a fire set by a flaming hero, just to fuck with the norm."

Shigaraki dragged his fingertips in the carpet. "I don't think that saving one cat will do much to polish my reputation."

"Will any other members of the League show up here, looking for you? I ask because I only have so many spare toothbrushes."

"There are no other members. They're all either dead or gone. I don’t announce that because I’m not fond of painting a target on my chest."

"So, you really are all alone." Midoriya took his hand and squeezed it in companionship, the thin layer of latex of the finger-cot was the only thing protecting the mortician from the power of Decay. He was so touchy-feely, like he also yearned to feel the warmth of another person's skin. "Just like me. We have so much in common. Charm, good looks, questionable taste in fashion-- what was up with those hands you used to wear all over yourself? I had an emo phase too but I just pierced my dick and put on eyeliner--" Pierced his what? Shigaraki felt his eyes burn as the mortician laced their fingers together and chattered. He couldn’t do this. He didn’t deserve this. He shook loose his hand and Midoriya stopped talking.

Shigaraki gritted his teeth and said, "Izuku, I killed someone two days ago."

"That's not good." Midoriya said and Shigaraki took a deep breath.

"No. It's not. I'm a villain. Did you forget that? You can clean me up, but you can't fix me. You can't erase what I've done. I don't want forgiveness. I don't deserve it. Everything I've done, I've done it willingly to please my Sensei."

"All for One is dead. You don’t have to please him anymore.” 

“Big talk for someone running grandpa’s business.” 

Midoriya flinched. “I suppose you’re right about that. How old were you when you killed someone for the first time, Tomura-kun?" Midoriya asked, like he actually cared.

"I was eight. It was my birthday." Eight years old, orphaned and abandoned in the foster care system. “All for One swooped in like a guardian angel and he saved me… He saved me. All for One held down the man who was beating me every day. Sensei patted my head after I dusted the guy's sternum and collapsed his lungs. He told me that I was a good boy. So good for him. I’d do anything for him.”

“I killed the warden at Tartarus. I strangled him with my hands so I could watch him suffer like my Sensei did. I dusted his wife too." He’d been so proud of the murder, what the hell was wrong with him?

"I see." Midoriya drained the rest of the juice box, paler than usual. "Did she suffer?"

"No. She was asleep. I disintegrated her brain stem. I wanted to make him suffer I like suffered. I wanted to take away what he loved, but he didn't really love her. Not like All for One loved me. He loved me so much and all he wanted was my obedience, my loyalty. He took a scared little boy and molded me into something stronger. I'd never been loved like that before and I'll never--."

"You were just a kid. A little boy—" Midoriya lurched to the sink and threw up. His retching sounded like it hurt, like something vital was ripped within him.

Shigaraki pulled on his Kamui Woods t-shirt and wrapped his arms around his knees as he waited for the mortician to finish. Midoriya rinsed out his mouth and spat in the sink. Shigaraki waited until he turned and leaned against the counter. "I thought you were used to death."

"It wasn’t the murder that bothered me, Tomura-kun. All for One took away your future and you still want to tell him thank you for doing that. ” Midoriya scrubbed at his face. Shigaraki blinked in confusion and Midoriya sighed. The softness in his eyes cut like one of Himiko’s knives.

"I'm not the worst villain out there because of my winning personality, Izuku. I've killed a lot of people, heroes and civilians alike. I'll probably do it again. That's who I am. Tomura Shigaraki, the Lord of Decay."

Midoriya said firmly, "No. You’re Tomura-kun, my assistant. For the duration of your employment here, you can't kill anyone. Okay?"

"Okay." Shigaraki agreed with a loose shrug. "That won't be hard. Everyone here is already dead."

 

Chapter Text

It was so hard to not kill.

Shigaraki's eye twitched and he ran his tongue over his moisturized lips under the clean face mask Midoriya gave him. He was roughly the same height and build as Midoriya’s dead grandpa. The hand me down black suit was a little tight in the crotch. It wasn't the dick pinching that was fueling his urge to kill. No, it was the lead mourner. The yakuza had a rhino quirk, right down to the horn that sprouted where his nose should be. He had also inherited the rhino's pea-sized brain and quick temper.  

"Are you calling me a liar?!" The yakuza snorted.

Midoriya quietly recounted the money in his hands. "No sir. It merely appears that the payment for services rendered is five thousand yen short."

"You get what you get."

"The contract signed clearly states that--"

The rhino poked at Midoriya’s chest with a stubby tobacco stained finger. "Listen up you quirkless little twerp. You get what I say you get. We're the bosses of this neighborhood."

"Hardly." Shigaraki said, fed up with the asshole’s posturing. There wasn’t even anyone around to perform for.

"What did you say String Bean?"

"You should pay the man what you agreed to. Unless your honor is worth a mere five thousand yen." Cheap ass old man.

"You must be new around here. What's your quirk?"

"I'm made of pure poison and whatever I touch dies."

"Tomura-kun, no killing. Remember?" Midoriya warned.

"Tsk. If you say so Boss." Shigaraki leaned back against the wall and crossed his arms. There were other ways to destroy a man and Shigaraki had a list of his favorites.

The rhino tossed a handful of bills at Midoriya and sneered. "Take your stupid money. We'll take our business elsewhere."

"Of course. Thank you for your patronage." Midoriya bowed, the picture of polite professionalism, as the rhino stomped out. He picked up the cash and admonished Shigaraki. "You shouldn't have done that. They'll be looking to humiliate me later. You won't always be around to protect me."

"Oh yeah? That's what you think. You're stuck with me. And you need the money. We need the money for better food and a new futon. You won't let me rob ATMs. You won't let me rob banks. You frown on grievous bodily harm. You won't let me use cheat codes. You don't let me do anything fun." Shigaraki pouted.

Midoriya sighed as he tucked the cash away. "I feel like you're over generalizing the situation. You have been my assistant for about forty-eight hours. We haven't had time for fun."

"It feels like forever." Shigaraki whined. He stepped close to the mortician, trying to intimidate him. "You'll let me have fun with you, won't you?"  

Instead of stepping back, Midoriya ran his hands over the lapels of Shigaraki’s suit and straightened them. "Tomura-kun. I have faith in you. You're very handsome and clever."

Fuck. Was it really that easy to completely disarm him, Shigaraki thought. "You just like a man in a second-hand suit."

"You fill it out well." Midoriya continued fussing over him and nonchalantly said, "You know what is better than murder? Watching someone realize that they have two flat tires with disintegrated tire stems.  You can't patch a flat if the stem is damaged. Looks like his car has a different size rim than all the other goons. So, that means he’s only got one tire in the trunk and no other spares that will fit. Seems like that would be worth more than five thousand yen." Midoriya patted him on the chest and smiled as he walked away. Shigaraki’s jaw fell open underneath his mask. 

Devious little man. I like you.

 

 

 

There was a lot of down time at Resthaven, especially during the summer. Dead people didn't abide by any kind of set schedule. Shigaraki offered to make some instant business for the mortuary while they were gardening and Midoriya sprayed him down with a hose. "I don't see why that's a bad plan." Shiagraki protested as he pushed his wet bangs out of his face. "We could have a great symbiotic business relationship. I make the corpses and you finish up with them. No fuss, no muss." Midoriya sprayed him in the face again. It was so blistering hot that Shigaraki couldn't bring himself to care that much. 

"If you're a good boy, I'll get us ice cream." Midoriya said, his pale face slathered even whiter in sunscreen. He poked his finger at a spot on Shigaraki's cheek. "You're getting freckles." He pointed back at himself. "We’ll match." That smile was brighter than the sun overhead. 

"Do you think Butterball-sama would mind if I joined him in the pond?"

Midoriya washed off his hands and coiled the hose. “Those koi are probably the most valuable things I own. Stay out of the pond. Let’s go down to the basement. The crematorium is the coolest place in the mortuary when it’s not in use. I can do some accounting.”

The basement was much cooler than outside and Shigaraki draped himself in an overstuffed recliner in the office next to the crematorium. He watched Midoriya sort receipts and write in ledgers, a pair of glasses perched on the tip of his freckled nose. “How old are you?” Shigaraki asked.

“I’m five years younger than you.” Midoriya squinted at his sums and then smirked. “Old man.” 

“Have some respect for your elders, twerp. Is there anything to read?” 

“Check in the closet. There’s magazines. Mostly trade publications.” 

It wouldn’t hurt to know more about this macabre business. Shigaraki picked through the piles and then he saw a box in the back of the closet. A stack of notebooks was inside the box. Each was labeled with a number and the words ‘Property of Izuku Midoriya’. He’d found the nerd’s diaries. He cracked a grin at the future teasing potential. 

He sat cross-legged on the concrete and chose one at random. These weren’t diaries. They were quirk analyses. Page after page of detailed, carefully researched observations about quirks. Their strengths and most impressively, their weaknesses. It wasn’t just heroes and villains either, it also detailed neighbors and friends. Anyone who had taken a moment to talk to a starry-eyed kid. His own eyes boggled as he read a step-by-step plan for killing Mt. Lady, the hero with the gigantification quirk. It was short, swift and succinct. It was genius. Too bad she’d been retired when her ass started to sag and her commercial endorsements faded. 

Izuku Midoriya was a fucking genius. He couldn’t be quirkless. No, the idiots testing him had missed his intellectual prowess. The drawings were adorable as well. Shigaraki read page after page, absorbed in the material. 

“What are you reading, Tomura-kun?” A voice said in his ear and Shigaraki jumped like he’d been caught reading a dirty porno magazine. Midoriya sat down beside him and glanced at the cover. “Issue 12. That's a good one. Are you looking for your entry? I think your debut was after I stopped making these. I told you I was into heroes for a while when I was a kid.” Into heroes? The notebooks were more than a mere hobby, they reeked of obsession. A quirkless kid trying to make sense of the super powered world around him with research and inquisitiveness. Sweet, kind and fucking brilliant; society just tossed him away like so much rubbish. 

“Why didn’t I find you sooner? You’re amazing.” Shigaraki whispered and Midoriya ducked his head and rubbed the back of his own neck, blushing. 

“That’s nice of you to say, I think you’re pretty great too—“

“I’m not hitting on you; I’m talking about this!” Shigaraki shook the notebook at the mortician. “Instead of fucking around with dead people, you and I could have conquered the world! You're wasted here, you're so brilliant!”

"Do you know how long I went to school to 'fuck around' with dead people?” Midoriya flipped through a notebook and put it back in the box. “Those are just the ramblings of a middle school kid. Nothing more.” 

“Bullshit! You could make such a great villain. Not, not a villain, a mastermind. We could revive the League and take down the Heroes and—“

“No.” Midoriya said. He took the notebook out of Shigaraki’s hands and tossed it back in the box. He shut the closet door and turned his back on Shigaraki. “I couldn’t do that. That’s not who I am.”

“But—“ Shigaraki began and Midoriya cut him off.

“If you believe anything about me, believe this: I care about other people too much to deliberately hurt them. It would be so much easier if I didn't. I see the grieving families in my funeral home and I never want to be the root cause of that hurt. You know, I wish I would have found you sooner too, Tomura-kun. Maybe I could have done something to help you.” Midoriya reached out and cupped the side of Shigaraki’s jaw.

Shigaraki let himself melt into that touch. “I’m not a problem you can fix, Izuku.” 

Midoriya traced Shigaraki’s eternally chapped lips with his thumb. “You’re not a problem. You’re like a jigsaw puzzle. I hope that one day I’ll get to see all the scattered pieces put in the right places because I know the picture will be beautiful.” His lips parted and Shigaraki had the shocking realization that he was about to be kissed. Adrenaline surged through his body and Shigaraki froze. He scrambled to his feet, ran up the stairs, shutting the door behind him. He braced himself against the wall as he listened for Midoriya to follow him. Follow me, follow me, don’t let me escape— stupid, treacherous thoughts coursed through his brain.

Why didn’t I kiss him? Shigaraki stared up at the ceiling and smacked his own forehead as the impulse to flee subsided. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Maybe I wanted him to kiss me instead? Maybe I wanted him to make the first move and hold the back of my head with those scarred hands— He flexed the finger cot on his own middle finger. I wanted to touch him too. I want to make him mine. 

Make him mine? Everything I touch, I destroy. Shigaraki clutched at his mouth, squeezed his eyes shut and screamed into his hands. He screamed out all of his frustration, rage and impotent ambitions. He muffled his voice with his hands so that Midoriya couldn't hear him, couldn't feel sorry for him, couldn't care more about him... 

Midoriya was too good, too kind and pure to survive in Shigaraki’s world. The psychopaths out there in the black halls of villainous infamy would eat him alive and laugh about it. Laugh? No, nothing that innocent. They would rip limbs off of Midoriya and perform a puppet show with them. And Sensei wouldn’t approve. 

Shigaraki blinked at that intrusive thought. Why did that matter anymore? Sensei was dead. Sensei couldn’t do or say anything. He was in one of those nameless white urns in the garden. Every decision that Shigaraki made was his and his alone now. Could he leave all of the death and destruction behind? Was retirement even a thing for villains? Could he just stay here with Midoriya forever? He groaned aloud and covered his eyes with his arm.

That was not possible. It was a tempting dream. Eventually someone would recognize him and try to lock him up or defeat him. It wouldn’t be fair to Midoriya to destroy everything that he’d built in this threadbare pocket of paradise. He couldn’t stay. It wasn’t right. For the first time in his life, he knew that he had to do the right thing and make the shitty choice that would protect the mortician. 

He gathered up his belongings, including the toothbrush and walked to the front door before his resolve faltered. It was better if he let no trace of himself here, nothing to remind Midoriya of the weeks they’d spent together. He hesitated as he reached for the door, spots of color glimmered through the privacy glass in the door. Blue azaleas in a new pot. 

“You’re just going to leave without saying goodbye?” Midoriya’s voice echoed in the reception hall. 

“I have to.” Shigaraki didn’t dare turn around. “This is for the best. You’re not safe if I’m here.” 

“So, the first time you decide to do something heroic, it’s something stupid.” Midoriya took a deep breath. “I’m sorry if I made you uncomfortable. I admit that I’m very attracted to you. I hoped we could have had something more than friendship but it wasn’t fair of me to push so hard. It wasn't right of me to touch you like that. I’m quirkless and strange, small and covered in ugly scars. And I’m sorry that I couldn’t make you feel like there was something good here. Something good enough to fight for.” The mortician’s voice cracked and Shigaraki heard him sniffle. “I really like you, Tomura-kun and I think you’re worth fighting for. It’s okay if you’re afraid, I can be brave for both of us.” 

“I am the most feared villain in all of Japan and the only thing I’m afraid of is losing you.” Shigaraki pressed his face against the door. 

“You don’t have to be afraid.” Shigaraki felt Midoriya press his face between his shoulder blades. Strong arms wrapped around him, anchoring him to the spot. “Don’t leave me. Not when I’ve found someone alive that’s worth living for.”

“I can’t— if I stay— If you are with me, you’ll suffer!” Oh how he hated the tremble in his voice.

“Like my life has been so easy and pampered so far. I think I can handle a little more suffering if it means spending time with you.” Midoriya nuzzled into the back of his sweaty shirt, the heat of their bodies pressed together somehow hotter than the summer sun outside. “Come on, Tomura-kun. Let me make my own choices.” 

A kiss pressed to the nape of his neck. Another one pressed against the hollow of his ear. The angle of his jaw. The scar on his chin. With each kiss Shigaraki’s heart threatened to beat out of his chest. He gulped and turned his head. Green eyes sparkling with tears looked up at him. “Izuku— If I were to lose you, it would destroy me and I would take the whole world to hell with me.” 

“Fuck, why does that sound so hot?” Midoriya swore and reached up to capture Shigaraki’s face. “I don’t want the world though. I want you.” 

With that, all resistance within Shigaraki decayed into dust. He parted his lips and Midoriya surged upwards to meet them. The sweetness of the kiss overwhelmed him and he sagged against Midoriya, only to be held up by his strong arms. 

“So, this is what it feels like to be loved.” He murmured against Midoriya’s lips as they traced each other’s mouths with their tongues. Midoriya's strong, compact body meshed against his own like it was meant to fit there."It feels amazing."

“This is just the beginning, Tomura-kun. Today, tomorrow and the next.” Midoriya punctuated each word with a kiss. Tears rolled down his cheeks in a cascade of wetness, salty confirmation of his affections. No one had cried for him before, certainly not in happiness. “There’s no limit on love.”

Midoriya held his hand, unable and unwilling to release it as they walked back to the lumpiest futons in Japan. “If I stay, we’re getting a new bed.” Shigaraki declared as he fumbled his way out of his sticky T-shirt. “I will dust this whole damn thing otherwise. Put it out of its misery. I’m allowed to mercy kill bad furniture.”

“Right now, you could ask me for anything.” Midoriya licked a stripe up Shigaraki’s chest and suckled on a nipple as he fought with the fastener on his pants. 

Shigaraki grabbed Midoriya’s hand and held his gaze. “Let me help support this place. I have money. It’s mine. It’s not blood money, I had friends who invested on my behalf so I’d have clean, untraceable funds.” 

“Okay.” Midoriya smiled and returned to tormenting Shigaraki’s chest with his mouth. “But you have to sleep in it with me every night.” 

“You snore.” Shigaraki protested halfheartedly as he squirmed beneath the determined mortician. 

“Got my nose broken by a future Pro-Hero when I was a kid.” Midoriya hooked his thumbs into Shigaraki’s waistband and raised his eyebrows in permission to proceed. Shigaraki raised his hips and gasped at how quickly he was stripped naked. Midoriya gazed at him like he was something precious, like he’d yearned for this moment. A blush spread up Shigaraki’s chest and lodged in his cheeks. 

“Don’t look at me like that.” He covered his face with his arm. “I might die from embarrassment.”

“Let me try to bring you back to life.” Midoriya grabbed his hips and began kissing his way down his belly, dragging his tongue along Shigaraki’s thin trail of belly hair. 

When wet heat swallowed Shigaraki to the root, he flung back his arms and braced himself upon them. He watched with wide, unbelieving eyes as Midoriya worshiped his cock. The mortician pulled off the tip with a wet pop. “Oh look, you’ve arisen.” Then he returned to slavering over Shigaraki’s cock, soaking his balls with spit with eagerness. 

Shigaraki trembled and far too soon, bucked his hips upwards. “Oh oh oh Izuku!” Midoriya spat into a tissue and then grinned as he shucked his own pants. He shimmed up the futon and knelt in front of Shigaraki, his thick cock nestled against his firm belly. 

“Touch me Tomura-kun.” Midoriya prompted and Shigaraki hesitated. As he looked at his destructive fingers, Midoriya laughed. “You’ve got the finger cots on. We’re technically using protection.” Shigaraki groaned at the joke. Midoriya’s voice tightened and became more strained. “Come on sweetheart, touch me.” Sweetheart. Darling. Love. Endearments spilled from Midoriya’s lips like candy-coated kisses as Shigaraki touched his cock. 

“I’ve never touched anyone like this before.” Shigaraki confessed, mesmerized by the soft, velvety skin sliding through his fingers. Slick oozed out of Midoriya’s slit as the man groaned in bliss. He humped his hips for more urgent friction and Shigaraki cautiously tightened his grip. “It’s good?” 

“So good, my love. So good. I love the way you touch me. Want more. Want you inside me. Want me inside you. Want all of you. God! So good!” Midoriya tossed back his head and rubbed at his own nipples beneath his threadbare shirt.

“I could take down an empire with these hands.” Shigaraki mused, growing more confident. “I think I like taking you apart much better, Izuku. You’re so beautiful.” Shigaraki felt the mortician’s cock pulse in his grip and rivets of hot spend pooled in his palms. Midoriya gasped as he shivered through another orgasmic pulse and Shigaraki looked up at his flushed red, sweaty face in awe. 

“I think I have a thing for your hands.” Midoriya confessed as Shigaraki wiped them off on his discarded shirt. They lay beside each other in the sweltering summer heat as drips of sweat trickled down their skin. Midoriya grabbed his phone and then tossed it aside. His eyes were heavy-lidded and sleepy. 

“Work?” Shigaraki asked. 

Midoriya shook his head. “Deleted my hook up app.” He smiled, cheeks rosy with post-orgasmic flush. He threaded his fingers through Shigaraki’s and then kissed each finger. “Don’t need it anymore. I’ve got a boyfriend.” Midoriya smiled again and then promptly fell asleep. 

Shigaraki stared at his lover’s sleeping face and thought about his slightly crooked nose. His t-shirt had ridden up over his hip, exposing another vaguely hand-shaped old scar. Shigaraki extracted his hand from Midoriya’s grip and went to wash his hands. As he was drying off his hands with a towel he looked in the mirror and giggled, “Boyfriend.” 

Chapter Text

 

It had been months since they’d decided to make their own path together. No one seemed to care at all what the mortician and his assistant were up to. It was as if they didn’t exist until someone died and needed the funeral home’s services. After the funerals, they went back to being forgotten. It was both cruel and a relief. Shigaraki hid in plain sight with his new haircut and the magic of moisturizer. He still wore a privacy mask because he liked it. 

It felt dream-like to be strolling around the neighborhood, hand in hand, a couple of lovers in the crisp autumn air. A stiff breeze whipped through their hair. Midoriya gave Shigaraki the complete tour, explaining each building and business right down to who owned it and who had died in it. He was an encyclopedia of domestic minutiae and Shigaraki let it wash over him. 

Shigaraki hated most of humanity, he had for years. He hated them because they disappointed him. He hated them because they were cruel and faithless. He hated them because they existed. He might not give a shit about the old lady in the noodle shop but the way Midoriya’s eyes sparkled when he talked about her insane cats was worth the effort of listening. They ducked down a deserted alley as a shortcut.

“Tomura—“ Midoriya stopped talking for a moment and knitted his eyebrows together. “You’re going to need a new name. I just can’t yell out your real name while we’re in public. How about Tomu?” He grinned at his own mild cleverness. 

Shigaraki shrugged. “That sounds like one of the old lady’s cats. I’ll need a surname too.”

“Oh that’s easy. You can just take mine.” Midoriya squeezed his hand tightly. “Tomu Midoriya.”

Shigaraki laughed nervously, his heart throbbing in his chest. “Um. That sounds like a marriage proposal.” 

“Sure does!” Midoriya nodded and began walking, almost dragging the taller man behind him. “This is my hometown and it’s yours too, now. I cannot wait to introduce you to the man who owns the udon shop. It is like heaven in a bowl.”

“Izuku, you can’t just ask me to marry you—“ Shigaraki protested. “We wouldn’t be able to make it legal because of you know—“ He gestured at himself with his free hand. “All of this. Me.” 

Midoriya chewed on his lip like he was thinking about that deeply for a moment, then he brightened. “I don’t care! Legal or not—” An explosion rudely interrupted them and Shigaraki shielded Midoriya within his arms. He scanned the area, old habits returning whiplash fast. 

“Hostages! I only need one!” A huge man with elephant tusks sprouting from his mouth bellowed at them. His prison orange jumpsuit was blood-stained and torn. He lumbered towards them, charging too fast for them to run away. Shigaraki felt Midoriya clutch at his clothing behind him, trying to pull him to safety. It was cute that his beloved wanted to protect him.

How dare this beast attack them? How dare he try to harm Midoriya? HOW DARE HE EXIST? NO ONE WOULD HARM WHAT HE LOVED EVER AGAIN. Cold rage surged within him. Shigaraki whipped off the finger cot on his right hand and just as the villain reached them, he slapped all five fingers on the brute. 

“Die.” Shigaraki commanded as his quirk activated. He didn’t have to say anything, he just liked to rub it in his victims’ faces that they were goners. The villain shrieked with the sudden realization that he’d fucked up for the last time. That was the only noise he made before his entire giant body disintegrated into a cloud of dust. The wind took care of the clean up.  

That might be one of his personal speed records, Shigaraki thought as he replaced his finger cot with a spare. “I hate it when I get a face full of dust when the wind shifts. Makes me sneeze.” He turned back to Midoriya and froze. The mortician was furious. Shigaraki hadn’t seen him that angry since the time Shigaraki had accidentally dusted the rice cooker right before a funeral. Midoriya advanced upon him and Shigaraki took a step backwards, fighting his reflex to flee. “I know I’m not supposed to kill but that was self-defense-“

“I could have lost you!” Midoriya cried and he flung himself into Shigaraki’s arms. He pounded on Shigaraki’s chest with his fists and then buried his face into it. “Never do that again. I can’t lose you! I wouldn’t be able to wake up in the morning if I didn’t know you were there. Please be more careful. Please, please, please treasure yourself more. For my sake.” 

Shigaraki held his boyfriend tight, stroking through his green curls. “I promise to be careful, Izuku. I can’t lose you either. I promise.” He savored the rush of a clean kill silently. Only a monster would enjoy that feeling so much. Oh, Izuku, your love is the only thing that keeps me human. 

“Hey assholes! Did you two extras see a giant escaped convict?” A harsh voice called out behind them. Shigaraki felt Midoriya start to shake. He hadn’t flinched in the face of certain death minutes earlier, but now he trembled and clung to Shigaraki. “Hey, if you’re done playing grab-ass, I asked you guys a question!” 

“Is it him, Izuku?” Shigaraki asked softly, positive of the answer. Midoriya nodded. “I’m here. I’m here with you and he can’t hurt you ever again. You’ve seen what I can do and I will do it again to protect you. I swear it.”

Midoriya shook his head, still clutching at Shigaraki’s clothes. “I can’t risk you. Please hold back for me. You can’t kill him.” 

Shigaraki petted the back of Midoriya’s neck. “Pretty sure I can, my love. Pretty damn sure I can.” 

“Look I’m getting pissed off here. If you don’t want your fucking brains splattered all over this dirty alley—“ Lord Explosion Fist, Katsuki Bakugo, Midoriya’s childhood friend and cruelest tormenter stood on a fire escape above them. Shigaraki glared at him. “What the fuck? Is that Deku?” The Pro-Hero vaulted off the fire escape and landed dramatically in front of them. He bulged with blood-spattered muscles and stalked towards them like a beast. He was a thousand times more of a threat than the elephantine convict had been. “It is you. Damn Deku. I haven’t been in the old neighborhood for ten years and what are the odds that I’d run into my favorite little crybaby? I thought you were dead. I mean, I hoped you were dead.” 

Deku? That was what this brute called Midoriya? The word meant ‘useless’, an idiot. It was unspeakably cruel. No one was allowed to be cruel to Midoriya. Shigaraki’s eyes narrowed. 

“Sorry to disappoint you, Kacchan. I’m very much alive and very happy.” Midoriya said as he extracted himself from Shigaraki’s arms.

“I called your grandpa a while back to ask how you were and he told me that you died. Your own grandfather said that you died. Can you believe that? It’s like, not even your own family gave a single shit about you. Do you still cry? You cried so much. I still remember how wet your cheeks got.” The fucker had the audacity to lick his lips, as if remembering the taste of tears. There was a feral hunger in those eyes and Shigaraki felt his body brace for conflict. 

Bakugo stuck out his tongue as he preened and flexed. “It’s nice to see you, it reminds me how far I am above you. I still laugh when I think about how your quirkless ass wanted to be a hero. I bet you’ve taken over grandpa’s business, haven’t you? It just makes sense for a loser like you. It’s a real weird hobby, Deku.” He looked Midoriya up and down with blatant appreciation. “God I’ve missed you. You’ve grown up all nice. I thought about you a lot, you know? Like how you’d look if I grabbed you and flew up a few hundred feet in the air and dropped you. Would you cry on the way down? Would your tears scatter like raindrops as you fell?”

“Resthaven refuses no one.” Midoriya said as he grabbed a fistful of Shigaraki’s jacket, preventing him from lunging at the vicious Pro-Hero, “But in your case, I might make an exception.”

“Oh I’m gonna live forever.” Bakugo laughed. “I’m the best there is and you’re always going to be worse than a villain. Even villains have quirks.” He strutted as if he’d delivered a killing blow in front of a full press corps. He looked like he’d be jerking off about it later too. Oh, Shigaraki knew all about these kinds of assholes. He couldn’t count how many of them that he’d dusted just for the sheer satisfaction of ending their egomaniacal posturing.

Shigaraki started to laugh. He laughed so hard tears welled in his eyes. He pointed at the Pro-Hero. “Man, you peaked in high school.” 

The Pro-Hero startled. He had actually forgotten that Shigaraki was standing beside Midoriya. He only had eyes for the mortician. He was obsessed, red-eyed and sharp-toothed. “What the fuck did you just say?” Bakugo growled, unaccustomed to being insulted to his face. His palms crackled with tiny sparks of nitroglycerin. 

“I said you should be doing your job tracking down that prisoner.” Shigaraki said as he slouched, his hands curled into claws in his pockets. “No wonder you can’t crack the top five. If you’re going to act like the baddest bitch on the block then you better be able to back it up. How could you lose a huge elephant man? What a loser.” He elegantly extended his latex-covered middle finger at the hero as they walked away. “Come on Izuku. You promised me dinner and I just texted our friends that this dude was making us late.” 

A dumpster exploded in the alley behind them and Shigaraki smiled under his mask. Bakugo wasn’t dumb enough to risk leaving a trail of witnesses. 

They didn’t make it to dinner. Midoriya wordlessly led them back home while Shigaraki made sure they weren’t followed by a raving pyrotechnic maniac. They hadn’t made it three steps into the living area before Midoriya grabbed Shigaraki by the coat lapels and pushed him down upon the futon. He pulled off the privacy mask and devoured Shigaraki’s mouth with wet hungry kisses. “Tomura— oh god. You’re so clever. So smart.” Midoriya gasped as he rutted against Shigaraki’s thigh. “Fuck me. I need you to fuck me now.” 

Shigaraki’s eyes widened. Apparently Midoriya got hard and desperate after an adrenaline rush. He could work with that. “Anything you want my love.” Take all of me, use me up and throw me away. I’d still say thank you. Was he any less obsessed with Midoriya than Lord Explosion Fist? God that was such a fucking stupid name. It sounded like something a middle schooler would name their desk doodle. 

“I want less pants—“ Midoriya grumbled as he frantically shucked his clothing and grabbed for the lube that rolled under the side table. “Fuck!” Midoriya cursed as he leaned over the edge to grab it, his plump ass high in the air. 

Now this was best kind of eating out. Shigaraki pounced with a giggle and wrapped his arms around Midoriya’s thighs, holding him in place as he licked a swipe up his asscrack. “Tomura!” Midoriya shrieked in surprise, but he was helpless in his boyfriend’s grasp. Shigaraki rimmed him until all the fight had left his body and he hung loose-limbed and relaxed from Shigaraki’s grasp. Shigaraki carefully arranged his boyfriend on the futon and slid on a lube-wet condom. 

Midoriya gasped, and made sweet moans beneath his thrusts. Shigaraki’s hands roamed up and down his boyfriend’s flesh as if committing each freckle and scar to memory. “You’re the best person I’ve ever known, Izuku.” Shigaraki whispered in his ear as his hips churned. “I’m so blessed that you chose me. Gave me a new life. Gave me purpose. I’ll never let anyone harm you. I promise you. I love you.” He’d never get tired of feeling Izuku shiver through an orgasm, the way his whole body pulsed and shook. 

Shigaraki kissed between his lover’s shoulder blades, pulled out his cock and stripped off the condom. He connected the freckles on Midoriya’s back with his release and shook back his sweaty hair out of his eyes. He gazed at the translucent rivulets upon his fiancé’s skin, marking him as Shigaraki’s, clearer than a wedding band.

He rinsed his mouth with mouthwash and spat in the sink. The person on top was responsible for clean up, so Shigaraki got a wet, warm washcloth and sponged up the mess he’d made of his lover. He patted Midoriya’s pert ass. “Flip over.” 

Midoriya obeyed, loose and languid with release. As Shigaraki cleaned him up, Midoriya said in a tiny voice, “I’m sorry.” 

Shigaraki paused, but then resumed his duty. “We can get dinner out another time. I think there’s leftovers.” He knew damn well that no one was thinking about dinner. 

“I’m sorry that you had to deal with Kacchan and all my bullshit. I thought I was over it but I pretty much crumpled out there. Like useless wet tissue.”   

“I’m sorry that I didn’t Decay that bastard right where he stood. Pretty sure no one would miss him. I might even get a medal.” 

Midoriya shook his head. “See that’s where you’d be wrong. All Pro-Heroes have a special indestructible tracking implant. I’m pretty sure that even your quirk might have trouble with it. The heroes don’t even know where it’s implanted. I had an implant survive a cremation. The Hero Commission showed up on my door and demanded that I give it to them. If you’d killed him, there’d be agents in that alley within minutes.” Now that was information to file away for later. 

“But I’m sorry that you had to kill for me.” Midoriya said. “I told you not to kill anyone, but you had to for me.” 

Shigaraki kissed Midoriya’s forehead. “That was the one killing that I should be proud of.” He set down the washcloth and carded his fingers through the green curls at Midoriya’s groin. “It was heroic. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. You saved me, I’ll protect you. Don’t forget, you proposed to me tonight. You’re stuck with me.” 

“Okay.” Midoriya held up his pinky. “Swear on it? The most sacred of vows?” 

They linked pinky fingers and Shigaraki said as he leaned in for a kiss, “I do.” 


 

Midoriya had to attend a week long seminar in the capitol to renew his licenses and learn new infectious disease protocols. He loaded his suitcase into the hearse and shut the trunk. After running through his checklist of ‘shit not to forget’ he took one last look back at the mortuary. “Remember, I’ll have my cell phone at all times so you can text or call me if you need to. Classes end at three in the afternoon. I’ll call you so we can catch up then. There’s money on the counter for take out and I froze the rest of the lasagna. If you smell rotten eggs that means the gas line has a leak again and get out of the house. Don’t try to fix it yourself, it will kill you. Do not die in our crematorium. Don’t forget to feed the koi.” Midoriya counted down on his fingers and then nodded. “I think that’s it.” 

“Yes Mother.” Shigaraki leaned in and kissed his lover’s cheek. “You know at one time I ran an entire criminal underworld.” 

Midoriya poked him in the arm. “And how many times did that end in fire, death and destruction?” 

Shigaraki shrugged. “You make an excellent point. You can trust me. I won’t destroy your entire life’s work.” 

“I’m not worried about you. The last time I left on one of these trips some assholes broke in and vandalized Resthaven. It took me forever to clean the spray paint off the walls of the chapel.” Midoriya groaned at the memory.

“I kind of hope someone does show up, when you put it like that.” A grin spread over his face at the thought. 

“No killing.” Midoriya held up a warning finger and Shigaraki snapped his teeth at it. “I mean, feel free to put the fear of God into the little shits, but no killing.” 

“I wouldn’t dream of it. You can trust me, I’m your fiancé.”

Midoriya stood on his tiptoes and hugged Shigaraki. He murmured into his lover’s ear, “I know I can trust you and I love you. All for One’s ashes are on the fourth shelf in the middle, third from the right.” Shigaraki blinked, he’d almost forgotten that obtaining the ashes had been his reason for lingering here. Now he knew and his beloved was trusting him to be here when he returned. 

Shigaraki nuzzled into Midoriya’s hair. “That’s good to know. I’ll make sure I don’t break that urn when I dust.” He wasn’t going anywhere. This was his home. It made sense that he would spend the rest of his life dealing with the grief of strangers after all the harm he had caused. He didn’t regret any of it, but it felt right to at least play the part of a contrite, penitent person. He wasn’t as good at it as Midoriya was, he didn’t have the part inside of him that made him really care about anyone he didn’t know. Maybe it was burned out of him, beaten out of him long ago. It didn’t matter. He had just enough soul left to devote it to one man, unquestionably and unconditionally. 

He waved at Midoriya as he drove away in the hearse. He found himself in the garden, standing in front of the urns. Under the sakura blossoms, Shigaraki spoke to his teacher. “I think I finally know what I want to say to you, Sensei. I’m not going to continue your work. I wasn’t good at it. I don’t want to dishonor your legacy by getting caught and paraded in front of the world. I’m happy here. A quiet life isn’t so bad, Sensei. I hope you’re at rest. My prayers probably aren’t as good as Izuku’s, but I’ll pray for you every day. ” He bowed to the urn and bowed his head in prayer. “Thank you for leading me here, Sensei.”

Three days into the conference, Shigaraki wet-dusted and swept the entire reception hall. He had a new issue of ‘Koi Fancy’ magazine to read through after he was done with his chores. He thought about renting a pressure washer and cleaning the sidewalks and exterior siding. There was something satisfying about slaying dirt. He rolled up his sleeves and whistled with moisturized soft lips as he worked. 

The koi thrived under his care and he’d learned flower arrangement to display the beautiful blossoms that Midoriya grew in the garden. Just as he finished a floral display, someone pounded on the front door. 

“We’re closed.” Shigaraki called out because the rude asshole couldn’t read the elegant calligraphy on the door. Maybe some villain with a grudge had finally tracked him down. He flicked off the finger cot on his right hand and approached the door. No cheap imitation of a supervillain was going to get the drop on him.

“Open up Deku! I know you’re in there. Get out here before I blow up this shitty place. I need to see you cry.” Oh. OH. He knew that voice. He knew that horrible nickname. Some vengeful god above must love him. He started giggling as he reached for the handle. 

The bastard was looking at the parking lot, his back turned to the door. His festering over-confidence was his undoing. The bastard who tormented Midoriya, who pushed him to the brink of self-immolation, didn’t have time to flinch away before Shigaraki lunged through the door crack and slapped his hand on his back. It was like playing tag on the playground. “Die!” Shigaraki joyfully exclaimed as he claimed victory. 

There was indeed a small micro-transmitter in the dust. It was so small that he would have missed it if he hadn’t looked for it. That wouldn’t do. Shigaraki picked it up with two fingers and fished out a marshmallow candy from his pocket. He smooshed the transmitter into the candy and then tossed it to the crows in the parking lot. One of the birds grabbed the candy and flew away to keep it out of the other crows’ clutches. He watch it fly away and started whistling again as he replaced his finger cot. 

Shigaraki briefly wondered why the bully had decided to show up on their doorstop. What made Midoriya so attractive to horrible people? He picked up the broom and made quick work sweeping up the corpse dust. He hosed off the entryway. Wouldn’t do to have bits of Pro-Hero DNA tracked into the foyer. He emptied the former Pro-Hero from the dustpan into a plastic baggie like leftovers from lunch. 

In the garden he waggled the baggie of remains at the koi pond. “Lookie here, Butterball-sama. Would it be tacky to say, ‘ashes to ashes and dust to dust’? No? I like your style.” He tucked the dust into the same urn as All for One. He gave the lid an affectionate little pat. “Keep a close eye on this asshole for me, Sensei.”

No one would miss the bastard. After a few weeks of media frenzy, they’d move on to the new hot hero. Pro-Heroes vanished quite often, especially when he was involved. That asshole would never hurt his beloved again. Eventually Midoriya would stop flinching at the sound of fireworks. It would take time, but that was fine. He had all the time in the world. Shigaraki flexed his hands, giggled to himself, then he pulled out his phone and texted Midoriya, “Didn’t burn down the house today. Fed the fish. Took out the trash. <3.”

Chapter Text

Shigaraki bounced his leg in nervous anticipation. He checked his phone. He checked his phone again. Midoriya would be home any minute now. It had been a week and Shigaraki was having what he could only call withdrawal symptoms. It was unpleasant. He did not recommend the experience and had no desire to repeat it. The only solution was to never let Midoriya out of his sight again. It was both obvious and impractical. 

He missed the smell of Midoriya’s hair, the way the curls tickled his nose. He missed how the mortician would slip an extra slice of pork into his ramen like it was something devious that no one would ever notice. He picked at a hangnail and chewed on his lip as he thought about how his boyfriend would hug him out of nowhere, a whisper of appreciative adoration on his lips about some chore Shigaraki had done. It was fucking embarrassing how whipped he was. He sat on the front steps, craning his neck for a glimpse of the hearse. No one in the history of modern funerals was as excited to see a hearse as he was. 

He sprang to his feet as the hearse drove up and parked. Stop it! Stop it! You're not a dog eager to see his master. If you were a dog, you’d barely be housebroken. Intrusive anxious thoughts swirled through his mind. Maybe he doesn't want you anymore. Maybe he decided that you weren't good enough for him. Maybe he wants to break up. Maybe he wants someone else-- With green curls and a bright smile, Midoriya held his arms wide open and Shigaraki gave up all his pretenses and doubts. He bounded into the younger man's arms and buried his face in his neck. Midoriya gave the best hugs and he clung to his boyfriend. "I missed you." 

"I missed you too." His strong hands traveled up and down Shigaraki’s body as if promising to make up for the time they had spent apart. "Were you good for me Tomura-kun?" 

Shigaraki paused and then because he was weak for the way Midoriya's scarred hands carded through his hair, he shrugged. "I was as good as I could be." It wasn't a lie. He was actually quite proud of how he’d disposed of that bothersome hero. Easy kill, twenty points to me. He just wasn’t quite sure how to confess that news to Midoriya because of the whole ‘no killing’ rule. Maybe he’d tell Midoriya on his birthday, that seemed like a nice thing a fiancé would do. Maybe he’d get some flowers and some chocolates. Make a nice homemade card that said, ‘I executed your childhood bully because I love you’. Glitter! Yes, that needed glitter. 

Midoriya laughed and extracted one arm from Shigaraki’s grasp so he could get his luggage from the hearse. "As long as the koi are alive and the building isn't blown up, I'm happy. Come on, I bought souvenirs!" Shigaraki didn’t let go but he did spare a glance for what was in the plastic bag. 

"Cookies, condoms and lube?"

"Limited edition cookies that aren’t sold here. Only the best for you, my dear.” 

“So the condoms and lube were because you were thinking of me? Because I was thinking about you, every damn moment you were gone.” Shigaraki kissed him as if making sure he was real and not a beautiful daydream conjured up by his loneliness. 

Midoriya took Shigaraki’s hand and inspected the red, raw cuticles. “Have you been picking at your beautiful fingers?" He kissed each bleeding spot as if his lips could make the wounds better. And the stupid thing was, they did. With each kiss Shigaraki’s heart lightened and he entwined his fingers with his lover’s.

"A little. I missed you." 

Midoriya shut the hearse door and they went inside. As he unloaded his laundry into the hamper he said, "Next time I'm taking you with me. We're going to see the view from the top of the Tower together, eat overpriced sushi and noodles and geek out in the arcades." Shigaraki leaned against the wall as Midoriya unpacked. "It was so boring without you. It didn't really sink in how much I enjoy your company until I was laying back in my capsule hotel bed and listening to some drunk guy beating off." 

"You hopeless romantic." Shigaraki smirked.

"Shut up and let me finish."

"I think that's what the horny drunk guy was thinking too." He dodged a balled up sock.

"What I was saying was that I've been that drunk guy before and I didn't like it. It made my heart kind of seize up in my chest and I just felt so lonely and sad." He grinned as he caught the sock Shigaraki lobbed back at him. "But it was all better when you sent me a text and I knew you were waiting for me at home."

Shigaraki covered up his blush by embracing Midoriya from behind. "I think the solution to this problem is that I should never let you out of my sight again. Shall I keep you prisoner here in our bed? How about I'll be your human blanket? I'll just drape myself all over you and keep you safe and sound." He kissed up the side of Midoriya’s neck and inhaled deeply the scent of his curls. 

Midoriya reached back and tousled his hair. "I need to trim your hair again, my shaggy Shiggy." 

Shigaraki groaned. "I veto that pet name on the basis of it being mindbogglingly stupid."

“Did you give any thought to my middle of the night inspiration?” 

“Oh you mean the incomprehensible sleepy text that woke me up at 3am on Thursday and made me think about hijacking a train to get to the capitol because I thought you were having a stroke?” Shigaraki hummed. “You’re not rebranding me into the Trash-Blaster. I am not going to be a literal trash Hero, Izuku.”

“But your quirk is so environmentally conscious! You could single-handedly  clean up that whole beach and we wouldn’t even have to rent a dumpster.” Midoriya walked to the futon with his lover’s arms still around his neck, dragging Shigaraki’s feet behind him. They landed with a thud on the new futon. “You’d be a environmental vigilante and I’d be your lovely assistant.”

“You mean you’d be making sure I didn’t do something felonious.” 

“Like I said, your lovely assistant. Didn’t you ever want to do something heroic just for the good vibes?”

“Izuku. I can guarantee you that I have never, even once, pretended to be a hero. If I did something heroic it was probably an embarrassing accident or it was because I wanted to do it selfishly. I like killing too much to be a hero.” He mumbled against the futon that last part and Midoriya didn’t seem to hear it. 

“Never? Did you ever play that otome game Hero Academy?” 

“If I did, I’d never admit it. It was such a shitty game the developers should have been tossed in Tartarus for crimes against gaming.” Midoriya batted his eyes and Shigaraki sighed. “I played the villain route before I dusted the disc. It was really stupid. I was named The Creeper and my quirk was X-ray Vision that only worked on women’s clothing. I think it was the lack of creativity that pissed me off. Villains don’t really have that much sex, certainly not in high school. Not that I went. Home schooled.” All for One didn’t want him to be anything less than perfect and he was not a forgiving teacher. 

“I would have had sex with you in high school.” Midoriya admitted and then tapped his chin. “But I went to high school online. I named my hero character Izuku!”

“Creative.” Shigaraki snarked and when Midoriya pinched at his flank, he mock moaned, “Oh pinch me harder.” 

“Think about it. If people in the game needed my help it made more sense to call out my name.” 

“The only thing that people in that game needed help with was their crippling cases of blue balls. ‘Oh Izuku! Help me!” Shigaraki called out in a falsetto. “My underwear seems to have gone missing!” 

Midoriya straddled his waist and struck a heroic pose with his hands upon his hips. “I am here! To find your missing undergarments!” He grinned and trust his chin upwards. “Do not worry for I shall locate your lost panties!”

A little role play then? Shigaraki grinned. “Oh you foolish hero! I am actually the worst sort of villain and I will make you pay for your foolish heroism. You’ll regret your overconfidence and pride for I am— The Creeper! And I can see through your clothes! Yes, I see your slutty nipples and your thick cock! How shameful to get hard on duty. You’re just a pervert hero.” 

Midoriya clutched at his shirt and gasped, “Oh you fiend! You brute! How dare you take such liberties?” The last part was punctuated with a grind of his hips that made Shigaraki’s eyes roll back in his head. He whipped off his shirt and Shigaraki gazed at acres of exposed scars and sweet, hot flushed skin. Saliva pooled in his mouth as he watched Midoriya unzip his pants. Midoriya leaned forward and pinned Shigaraki’s arms above his head with one hand. He traced Shigaraki’s soft lips with his other hand and dipped his thick scarred fingers into them. He rubbed his thumb on the villain’s tongue and intoned, “I, the hero Izuku, will fuck the villainous tendencies right out of you.” Shigaraki’s jaw fell open with a moan and he thrust his hips upwards. 

“Do your worst, Hero.” That was the last thing Shigaraki said before Midoriya fed him his fat cock. Shigaraki’s eyelids fluttered as Midoriya thrust gently against his tongue. Green pubic curls tickled his nose and Shigaraki reveled in the intimacy of his submission. 

“You take my cock so well, villain.” Midoriya said, panting above him. A string of drool dripped from his open mouth and landed on Shigaraki’s forehead. Shigaraki whined and Midoriya reached back with his free hand. He rubbed his lover through his sweatpants and then underneath the fabric, as he fucked Shigaraki’s mouth. The air was thick with hot, wet slick sounds that too soon pushed Shigaraki over the edge. Midoriya looked down at him as he licked Shigaraki’s spend from his fingertips. He was in absolute control, his steely determination as hard as his cock. For a moment Shigaraki felt like he was indeed captured by the greatest hero in Japan as Izuku commanded, “Surrender, villain,” and ejaculated down Shigaraki’s throat.

Chapter Text

"We caught up with Pro-Heroes Red Riot and Chargebolt to ask them about the missing Pro-Hero Lord Explosion Fist. It's been over two weeks since the nationally ranked Pro-Hero checked in with his agency. Do you have any theories as to where your friend might have gone?" Midoriya had the news on while he washed the dinner dishes and Shigaraki worked on a coloring book page. It was fine. It was for adults; it was therapeutic to color zombies. That's what the cover said. 

The electric hero spat out, "Friend? We only work at the same agency. We're not bosom buddies." Sparky had some balls saying that to the press, Shigaraki thought as he decided on exactly what shade of pink to make cartoon zombie brains. "I'm glad he's gone." You and me both, Sparkypants.

"Kaminari! You can't say that to the press--" The Hardening hero gasped at his friend and the camera zoomed in on them. 

"Dude, he used you for target practice and called you his 'punching bag'. He put you in the hospital for two weeks when you mildly sassed him. He only left me alone after I tased his ass with half a million volts. I don't think there's a single hero or sidekick who misses him. If they say they do, then they’re being held hostage or something. Even back in high school, that guy was the worst." Shigaraki tapped his marker against his lips as he nodded in agreement. He needed a new red marker. He always ran out of the color red for some reason. 

"The last thing he said to us was that he needed to go teach some idiot some manners by blowing up his life." Red Riot tried to steer the conversation back to the question as Chargebolt visibly sparked with irritation. "He said, someone named Deku-- I think. He said that he was going to 'take it out on his ass' and that 'he was finally going to make them cry'. So just the usual stuff. He yells a lot. Calls people horrible names. I kind of tune it out after a while. I hope that Deku person is okay." Red Riot looked at his own hands, miserable and as helpless as a muscle-bound gym rat in a fetish harness could look.

Chargebolt put a comforting arm around his friend and said, "Let's just say that if I had to choose to be in a small room with either the number one villain or Bakugo? I'd be having a nice chat over tea with Shigaraki." Shigaraki snorted at that and picked up a neon green marker for the kidneys. Damn heroes were going to make his image go soft, he turned off the television. Midoriya dropped a dish in the sink with a clatter.

"Izuku--" Shigaraki looked up from his coloring book. Midoriya stood frozen against the sink, yellow rubber gloves dripping soapy water down his legs. "What's wrong?" 

His boyfriend's voice rang hollow as he spoke and stared off into the distance. "He's finally going to do it. He's going to kill me." He clutched at his own chest and gasped, "I'm finally happy and he's going to take this all away from me. I don't want to die. Not now. Not anymore!" 

Shigaraki leapt to his feet, scattering his markers. He wrapped his arms around Midoriya and held him tight. "Izuku, he can't hurt you anymore. Just let me--" 

Midoriya interrupted Shigaraki's confession. "Tomura. I know you're big and strong and powerful and clever but Kacchan-- he's better than anyone."  

Shigaraki bit off a laugh. "Respectfully, my love, that's bullshit." 

Midoriya kept talking, unable or unwilling to stop the flood of horrors that spilled from his lips. Shigaraki held him tight, so tight that Midoriya spoke into his chest, blotting his tears on Shigaraki's t shirt. "No one can stop him. He's been planning my death for years. That day I met All-Might, Kacchan didn't just tell me to kill myself. He threw my notebook in a pond and when I went in to get it, he held my head underwater. I don't remember why he let me go. I think a teacher was coming, but I remember his hand on the back of my head and my lungs burning--" He pressed his face into Shigaraki's pectorals and screamed, "Fuck!" 

He pushed away from Shigaraki, stripped off his gloves and threw them on the counter. "Don't talk to me right now! I just need to tell you this, all of this. I have to show it to you. I have to finally show someone. He knows I'm alive and he won't stop." Since this seemed important to his boyfriend, Shigaraki nodded mutely and let himself be dragged away to the basement. He could listen forever to the one person in the world that he loved. 

Midoriya pulled out a plastic tote from the bowels of the basement storage space. He blew dust and spiderwebs off of it as a single bare bulb swung overhead. Inside the unassuming bin were sealed letters, wads of thick stuffed envelopes, taped with crumbly yellow cellophane. Each letter was addressed to Midoriya in a juvenile scrawl. Midoriya pulled out an open letter from the bin. A single word was written in dark red brown smears. DEKU. "He sent me all of those. I opened one once and there was a baggie of semen and a razor blade in it. I didn't open any of the others after that. Grandfather put all my mail in a box for me when I was hospitalized. That's why he told Kacchan that I was dead. It was to protect me. I guess Kacchan thought that I was gone for good after that. He went off to UA and I stayed here. Resthaven doesn't have an online presence and you know I let all the phone calls go to voicemail. I've been hiding from him. Don't stand out. Don't draw attention to yourself. Don't let him know you're still alive." He kicked the tote bin and sank down to the floor in despair. 

Shigaraki didn't touch any of the letters, it was better that his fingerprints and DNA stayed off of what could be evidence. He leaned back against the door, both hands flat on the wood, grounding himself. "Why do you call him Kacchan still?" 

"Because that's the only control I have over him. Calling him by a cutesy nickname that I gave him when I was three." Midoriya glared at the letters and kicked the bin again. "I feel so helpless." He confessed as he absently stroked the scar on his wrist. The despair and anguish on his face stabbed Tomura right in the heart. The blackest of rages bubbled and curled in his gut and something howling and hungry for destruction flared up behind his eyes. He stumbled backwards as suddenly there wasn't a door behind him. There wasn't even a wisp of dust.

"Tomura--" Midoriya asked, his big green eyes wide with alarm. "Are there any holes in your finger cots?" 

Shigaraki looked at his hands. He still had latex covers on both middle fingers. They were intact, flawless. "No. There aren't any holes." He cautiously touched a stack of old magazines. Nothing.  

Midoriya investigated the now open doorframe. "Then how did you-- There's a piece of the wall missing too. Did your quirk evolve? Are you Awakening?" He regarded Shigaraki with curious fascination but no fear as he muttered facts as he observed them. Shigaraki looked at his hands, suddenly afraid to touch anything. When his quirk first activated he’d accidentally killed his entire family— He clenched his fists as he fought back panic and shrank back from the mortician. 

"Awakening is usually connected to a powerful emotional state." Midoriya glanced at the box of letters and then back at his lover. It was obvious. "Oh. It was because of me."

“Of course! You’re the only good thing in my life!” Shigaraki thought about that bile-black rage, he focused on how much he wanted to decay parts of Lord Explosion Fist over and over again. He put his hand on the magazines and they vanished. He jerked his hand away and touched another stack of garbage, this time without the urge to kill. Nothing happened. “I think I can control this. Holy shit.”  

"Holy shit indeed! You are so cool. How can you be more powerful?" Midoriya breathed, excitement flushing his face. "We have to test this out. We have to train you!”  Midoriya glowed with excitement as he gushed with plans for the future. Plans for the future. A future with Shigaraki. 

“Anger triggered it. Rage.” Shigaraki held out his hand and Midoriya took it without hesitation. "When I saw those letters, when you told me about that asshole trying to drown you-- I don't think I've ever been angrier. Don't say that that fucker was stronger than me ever again. He was not. He was NOT stronger than I am. I am the strongest person out there and I will protect you as many times as I have to." 

Midoriya blinked in confusion. Shigaraki kissed his lover's palm and steadily held his gaze. "I killed that bastard. So cheer up, he's dead now.” Midoriya didn’t quite seem to understand so Shigaraki continued with small, slow sentences. “I killed him. He is dead. You don’t have to worry about him anymore. When you were gone, he showed up here looking for trouble and I dusted him. Fed the tracking chip to some birds. His dust is in Sensei's urn." 

Midoriya sagged and Shigaraki sank down with him to the dusty basement floor. "Why didn't you tell me?" The mortician asked after too long of a silent pause. 

Shigaraki shrugged. "Well, I really broke the no killing rule, didn't I? Technically, I did text you that I took out the trash." He hazarded a smile that turned into a predatory grin. "I should have done it sooner. Why didn't you tell me about all of this?"

Midoriya ducked his head and a stream of tears flowed down his freckled cheeks. He suddenly looked so much younger than he was. A vulnerable, lonely young man with no one to rely on, who had been tormented and stalked, threatened and abused. "Because I knew that I wouldn't be able to stop you from trying to kill Kacchan." He hiccupped and started to sob. "And that I wouldn't want you to stop. I used you! I used you to save me. I'm so sorry. I love you and I used you!" 

Shigaraki cupped his wet face and kissed his forehead."You fucking idiot. I don't do anything I don't want to. I accidentally did something heroic. It happens. Also, he pissed me off, with all that yelling and shouting all the time. Mister Go Big Boom Boom. I mean, just announce to the world that you have 'tiny dick energy' and get it over with." Midoriya sobbed into his shirt, once he started crying it was like a leaky geyser. Unlike a certain psychopath Shigaraki didn’t want to lick off those tears, he wanted to stop them from flowing. Nobody would make his Izuku cry again. Nobody who wanted to remain alive. "Come here sweetheart. You're mine. You're never going to get rid of me as easily as that. I mean, I won’t let you go. Ever." 

After he caught his breath, Midoriya asked "Kacchan is dead? Really, really dead?" 

"Yup. He never saw it coming either. I just reached out and poof! No more Lord Explosion Fist. It was great." He wiggled his even deadlier fingers. “Smile for me, love.” 

Midoriya shook his head and scrubbed at his eyes with the back of his hand. "I'm not supposed to be happy that he's dead. After all my speeches about the value of human life, I feel like such a hypocrite." 

"You're the sweetest, most loving person I've ever met. You even have room in your heart for a vicious piece of shit like me and those assholes in the urns. You don't have to be a saint, just be you. You're enough. You're enough." He punctuated each sentence with a kiss. “Believe me. I’m an international authority on assholes and vicious pieces of shit.”

Midoriya finally relaxed in his arms and said, "The authorities will come here eventually when they retrace his last steps."

Shigaraki shrugged. "You have a perfect alibi. You were in the capitol for a week with the hotel receipts, cell phone pings and government mandated classes to prove it. Just work up some tears, maybe a little stammer and show them that box of stalker shit and those scars. You might even get some third rate budget hero protection until they figure out that he's finally dead." That would be really annoying, having some losers hanging around Resthaven. Flexing to try to impress Midoriya, flaunting their muscles and bright white smiles—

"Or I could just mail his remains to this reporter guy I know, Kusanagi, and have him break the big scoop. My fingerprints are all over the bag and my quirk is on file. I've been so quiet for so long that they're all probably expecting me to return with a dramatic flourish. That might be easier. I've done that before manipulating the press. Just call me Dark Whisper." Oh the expression on Midoriya’s face was priceless when he made the connection.

"You're the mysterious informant? The one who has been leaking hero and villain secrets all these years? You took down Endeavor!" Midoriya beamed at him while holding Shigaraki’s face in amazement. “You got that child abusing, wife beater stripped of his license and put in Tartarus! Holy shit! I don’t know if this is better than dusting Kacchan but it’s pretty damn close!” 

"Sometimes you have to make your own publicity.” Shigaraki basked in the glow of Midoriya’s praise. It felt so good to finally tell someone all his dirty little secrets. Why bother to hunt down all the loose ends on a job when he could make the heroes into his clean up crew. They felt like they were doing a great job keeping the public safe and he didn’t have to lift a finger, or five. “I had help with that. Endeavor’s estranged and presumed dead eldest kid. I kinda miss that bastard. His quirk would have been helpful in the crematorium too.” Like he’d ever bring a nut job with daddy-issues like Dabi to his little mortuary paradise. Hell no. If any member of The League stepped within ten blocks of this place, they were dead. No questions asked, no hesitations and no funerals. 

“Also, it really pisses people off when you take credit for their kills. Makes them stupid and sloppy. Exploitable." Shigaraki licked his lips as he settled the mortician into his lap. "I’m a dangerous man, my love. I might be behaving myself for you, but that’s only because I love you. You’re the only good thing in my life and if something were to happen to you— Remember, I told you I’d take the whole damn world to hell with me. Killing one stupid Pro-Hero means nothing to me. Killing someone who made you suffer, well, that makes me hard.” He pressed Midoriya’s hand against his crotch.“You can call me big, strong, powerful and clever again, if you want to. It’s the fucking truth."

Maybe Midoriya’s mouth tasted sweeter because of the tears…

Chapter Text

They installed a camera so they could see when the police finally arrived. It took them long enough. Shigaraki hopped into a coffin and waved at Midoriya as the mortician installed a false bottom and loaded in a well-timed client. "Sorry about this." Shigaraki whispered to the old dead woman laying on top of him. He’d volunteered to hide in the oven but after Midoriya kicked him in the shin, he realized what a bad idea that was. Oh, the things he did for true love. 

He heard the sound of his own breathing and footsteps. Two sets of feet. 

"This is my office. Please have a seat, I apologize for the mess. I-- I don't usually get visitors. Who are alive. Sorry, a little mortician humor." Midoriya spoke. "I'll tell you whatever I know." Midoriya sang like a demure little sparrow. Each horrific trauma of his life was presented to the increasingly disturbed police officers. When Midoriya brought out the box of stalker letters, the officers abruptly interrupted. 

The man began, "Mr. Midoriya, Katsuki Bakugo is dead. You don't have to worry about him anymore. We came to see you because we found--" he trailed off.

The woman continued, "We found a shrine of some sort in his apartment with pictures of you. Now we won't go into details because they're frankly--" 

"Disturbing." The male officer interrupted, clearly not okay with what he’d seen. 

She continued, "Yes. That's a word for it. We're glad to know that you're unharmed." Everyone paused and Shigaraki knew they were looking at the box of letters. "Physically unharmed." 

"I have scars if you want to see them. I have a lot of scars. He also broke my nose and tried to drown me in middle school." Midoriya volunteered as if discussing the weather. "Are you sure he's dead?" 

"We have his remains in custody. The DNA has been sequenced. Tomura Shigaraki claimed responsibility for the killing. He is a reliable villain for these sorts of things.” Shigaraki preened, I am indeed a reliable villain. I’d put that on a resume if I had one. Even Sensei knew he could rely on me to remove obstacles and roadblocks. Fuck, was that the only thing he could rely on me for?  

“Dark Whisper also threatened to expose Bakugo's misdeeds to the press which would be a serious black eye on the hero community after the Endeavor incident. They are also reliable and the public listens to them. This won't be revealed to the public, but it appears that the Pro-Hero Lord Explosion Fist was, at the least, a serial stalker and possibly, a killer. There's a chance that other victims and survivors will come forth, when the news of his death is announced. You don't have to say anything--"

"Why didn't anyone stop him? How did a villain know what he was up to, when the police didn't?" Midoriya demanded, indignant heat in his voice. "You said there were others. Other people who were hurt. How many others?" 

A pause before the woman spoke. "More than we'd like to admit." 

"I want to talk to them. They're going to need someone to talk to, someone who knows what it feels like to be hunted. That's the least you can do for us, since the system failed us." Oh no, oh no. My sweet sweet Izuku. You don’t need to do that. You don’t need anyone but me to talk to. Oh no, oh no. What a terrible idea. 

"I think we can arrange that. Do you need us to call anyone for you? Like a counselor or social worker?" The sound of chairs shifting backwards meant that they were leaving. “Here is our card. If you call this number you can get help.”

"I've made it this far on my own, I think I can manage. Thank you for telling me. I might be able to sleep soundly for the first time in a very long time. Be careful opening those letters. Besides semen, I've found razor blades and bits of what I assume are human body parts. I don't know who they belong to." 

After they had left with the bin of horrors, Midoriya opened the lid to the coffin and removed the corpse. "That was a tight fit. Thank you ma’am." Shigaraki bowed to the corpse as he replaced her in the coffin and loaded it upon the oven trolley. "They're going to sweep it all under the rug. I thought so. That’s what they usually do. You can’t really see the corruption of society until you’ve been at the very bottom. That was nice of you to offer to help the other victims but you don’t need to—" Midoriya slammed his arms over and over against the cremation oven door and Shigaraki lunged to restrain him. "Izuku! Stop!"

Midoriya cried out as he struggled in Shigaraki’s grasp. "It wasn't just me! I could have dealt with it, if it was only me that was suffering! I didn't speak up! I was selfish and weak! If I’d been stronger, nobody else would have suffered—!" 

Shigaraki shook him, the first time he’d ever laid a rough hand on the mortician. Midoriya gasped in shock as Shigaraki grabbed his chin, holding his gaze in place. "Now you listen to me! You can't save everybody. Trust me." 

"I know. I'm quirkless and useless. That's why he picked me." Midoriya whined and the self-pitying tone made Shigaraki sick to his stomach. 

He shook his boyfriend’s shoulders again. "Bullshit! Bullshit Izuku! He picked you because every time you cried it made his dick hard. He was a monster! And I know! I know because I am one too! I helped make people into brainless Nomus. I murdered half of the first year class at UA just to get All-Might’s attention and then I slaughtered the second year class because I didn’t like the press coverage I got the first time! Bakugo was a monster and you needed a bigger, badder monster to take him down. I’m your monster now. Only yours.” 

Midoriya didn’t say anything, Shigaraki didn’t know if he’d heard a word that he’d said. It didn’t matter. Maybe he wasn’t the person that Midoriya needed to talk to. Fuck it. He picked up the mortician and carried him upstairs to their bed. He stripped Midoriya of his clothes and wrapped him in a roll of blankets, tightly enough so that he couldn’t thrash and hurt himself. “You want to play the martyr? I won’t let you. You’ve made enough sacrifices for a lifetime. You don’t get to shut down on me or hurt yourself. I need you. You have no idea how goddamn important you are. You’re practically keeping this ass-boil of a city alive just by existing. Not a single hero can say the same.” 

He made a pot of tea and sat beside his boyfriend on the couch. Midoriya stared off into the distance, numb with guilt and grief. “The only reason I’m not vaporizing every fucking hero in this town that looked the other way while that douchebag was exploding all over the place is because it might make you sad.” Shigaraki took the card that the police officers left and dialed the number on the back. “I just want to hurt someone and I know that’s not what you want. I can’t handle it when you’re sad. It reminds me of that time when I dusted your grandfather’s favorite cup and I hate that.” 

“Hands On Counseling Services, how may we help you?” 

“Hi, I’d like to make an appointment for Izuku Midoriya. Yes, I’ll hold.”

 


There was a tiny overgrown park across from the counseling center, bordered by abandoned corporate warehouses. It was the kind of place where you didn't want to walk barefoot in the grass. They called it a park but it was just a place where people could smoke on their breaks while contemplating the meaninglessness of their day-to-day existences.  

Shigaraki claimed the single bench that had a view of the counseling center's entrance. He held a book that he had no intention of reading and a bottle of water by his side. Midoriya made a point of keeping him hydrated. In his funeral suit he looked like an average, everyday businessman waiting for an appointment. That was accurate, to a point. He was waiting for Midoriya to finish with his session because there had been an outbreak of petty theft and muggings in the area and he wasn’t about to let his lover get hurt. Midoriya forbade him from attending his counseling sessions which was irksome, but understandable, so he'd planted a hidden microphone in the office instead. He pressed on his earpiece. 

Ugh. It was a group session. That meant he had to tune out the other people who were dealing with their shit in the best way they could. Bargain basement priced counseling paid for by the state, Shigaraki sighed. After Midoriya mentioned filing a lawsuit for heroic negligence the government offered to pay for all the victims' services, including a stipend for those poor freaks who were too terrified and traumatized to leave their houses without an escort. 

"How do you deal with those feelings that you--" Blah blah blah. I deal with my feelings by lashing out and hurting the assholes who upset me, but this isn't about me. He tuned out and looked at bugs crawling in the overgrown grass while someone boring talked. It was the skinny kid who had the misfortune to look like Midoriya's warped cousin. All the colors were right, but the lines were all wavy. That had to be rough.

Midoriya spoke up and Shigaraki snapped to attention. "I have a partner and when I'm upset, I talk to him. And when I can't talk about it, this is a little embarrassing, but I initiate sex. It feels good and it reminds me that I don't have to worry about Kacchan anymore." Aww. Midoriya was using his body for sexual comfort. That was nice. Shigaraki liked his dick being useful. "Sometimes I can't talk to him about things because of the way he deals with his feelings. Oh, it's nothing abusive, nothing like that. His quirk just flares up and it's pretty destructive. He's charming, handsome and he's just as comfortable around dead people as I am.” That’s because I’ve personally made far too many corpses to have any hang ups about it, but tell me more about how wonderful I am. 

“He's grown and changed for the better, so quickly. He surprises me every day with how kind and caring he is. He's amazing and I wish other people could see that too. Sorry, I get carried away when I'm passionate about something." Shigaraki sat on the bench, smiling so wide his cheeks ached as he basked in his lover's candid praises. I really have changed for the better, he thought as he adjusted the transmitter settings. I am practically a pillar of the community.

"That's super manly, bro. To be in touch with your feelings and to communicate that to your partner. I usually go to the gym and work out but I'm not as young as I was and I get hurt more--" Blah blah blah. Shigaraki mimed a talking mouth with his hand. That was nothing worth listening to. 

"Give me your wallet man!" A voice shrieked in his ear and Shigaraki didn't even bother to glance at the mugger before he slipped off his finger cot. "Your wallet or your lifeAHH--!" Shigaraki shook dust off of the back of his hand in irritation as he replaced his finger cot. Midoriya was talking again and he'd missed some of it. Ugh, there was corpse dust on his trouser pants and the mugger had completely ruined his shiny black shoes. See this was why he couldn't have anything nice, there was always a dumb jerk who'd ruin it for him. 

"Thank you all for attending--" Shigaraki pocketed his earpiece and stretched his arms overhead. The sky was so blue and pretty today, he squinted at a cloud that looked like a duck. He looked back at the clinic and froze. Shigaraki tilted his head back and forth, like a bird of prey. What the hell was that? Midoriya was chatting with a muscle-bound hero. Red Riot. Riot made a joke and Midoriya laughed at it. He laughed, he laughed like it was the funniest thing in the world. The Pro-Hero reached back to scratch the back of his head and flexed his budging muscles. Where were his clothes? Did he wear his fetish harness uniform to a group counseling circle? What the fuck? What the absolute fuck? Shigaraki's vision began to narrow and stretch, darkness formed along the edges as the only thing he could focus on was his boyfriend and a soon to be very, very dead Pro-Hero--- Why was it raining? He blinked as he was soaked to the bone in ice cold water.

"Tomu!" Midoriya cried out and rushed over. "Holy shit!" Shigaraki turned his head to look where Midoriya was looking. It wasn't raining. There was a severed water main spewing up from the crater in the ground behind him. He'd vaporized the entire park block behind him including half of each of the surrounding warehouses. Electrical wires sparked and kindled fires that began to smoke. Oops.

"Please evacuate the area!" Red Riot cried out as he directed traffic. He ran up to them, panting and covered in sweaty, sweaty rippling muscles. That had to be a fake tan, just like his red hair. "Are you two okay? We need to get you out of here." 

Midoriya looked from the Pro-Hero to his boyfriend and heaved a deep sigh. "We're fine. Kirishima-kun, this is my boyfriend." 

"Nice to meet you! Well, maybe not the best way to meet you but I've heard so much about you. You're a really great guy! So manly!" The hero held out his hand and Shigaraki began to giggle as he reached out to shake it. So easy

Midoriya stepped between them and cupped his hand to his ear. "OH my god! Do you hear screaming? I think I heard screaming! I think someone might be trapped in the building-- over there! You should really go help them! Like now! Right now!"

"You got it!" Red Riot ran off in the direction of a completely silent warehouse.  Shigaraki watched his glutes clench as he sprinted away. There was no reason for his pants to be that tight, the man had invulnerable skin, he didn’t need clothes. Nothing about that costume made any sense. He’d have to investigate in depth later. 

"If you can't behave yourself, I'll leave you at home." Midoriya said.

"I'd like to see you try." Shigaraki shook water out of his hair.

"What was that all about?" The mortician waved at the destruction around them. “What pissed you off? The landscaping?” 

Shigaraki squinted a glare in the Pro-Hero’s direction. "Nothing." 

Midoriya mashed his face with his hand. He sounded very, very tired. "Oh my god. Were you jealous of Kirishima-kun?"  

"No. Of course not. No. Why would I be jealous of that muscle-bound moron?" 

"You were! You vaporized an entire city block because you thought he was flirting with me?"

"Um, he was." Those were not the actions of an uninterested party.  

"He was asking me how I asked you out because he has a crush on a co-worker--" Midoriya looked up at the sky and groaned. "Give me patience. Give me strength. He's not even my type."

"Oh yeah? You don't like abs and rock-hard glutes?" Shigaraki crossed his arms and pouted underneath his mask.

"No, I don't. I like my men tall, smart and deadly. I like big hands with long fingers and—" Midoriya brightened as if struck by a lightning bolt of inspiration. "Wait a minute, are you attracted to Kirishima-kun? Oh my god, you are--“ Shigaraki’s eyes widened and then one of them began to twitch as his vision darkened— Midoriya snapped his fingers in front of Shigaraki and scowled as Shigaraki snapped out of his jealousy induced fugue state. “Do not destroy the hearse! We have to get your quirk under control. I'm taking you training." 

"I don't want to be the Trash Blaster, Izuku. I refuse!" Shigaraki whined. “It’s such a fucking stupid name.”

"Let's talk about building trust then, Tomura." Midoriya reached into Shigaraki's pocket and pulled out the earpiece. He put it in his flummoxed boyfriend's hand. "I saw you put it in your ear, you clever, clever man."

"To be fair, I wanted to make sure that government flunky was a trained, compassionate counselor. Anyone can just print out a doctorate certificate from online and hang it up on the wall. That's what I would do." 

"I've been in counseling before, darling. This is standard, helpful talk it out therapy. I appreciate that you got me back into it. I can't do everything on my own and it's a tough, tough pill to swallow." 

"So, all of those nice things you said about me were because you knew I was listening?" 

"No, those were all the truth. I do have a bad habit of substituting sex for emotional intimacy and communication. That's why instead of fucking your brains out, you're coming with me tonight to Dagobah Beach. Depending on how cooperative you are with me, there might be fucking afterwards." "God damn your quirk is amazing." Midoriya adjusted his trousers. "Sexy as fuck." 

Oh. OH. "Looks like the love of my life is a filthy quirk-seeker." Shigaraki smiled as Midoriya squirmed. "Powerful quirks get you hard, don't they, my darling? You've got a quirk kink. Is that why you like to suck on my fingers?" 

"I've always had a thing for your hands, don't make it weird." 

"So how will we train?" 

"First of all, we'll mask up and go in stealth mode. Then I'm putting you on the left-hand side of the beach. After that, I'll say or do something that will make you angry or jealous and then you can let that loose on the garbage on the beach. Simple, easy and sexy as hell."

"Pretty sure that you're the only person who thinks garbage cleanup is sexy. Fine, I'll do it. But you have to wear that buttplug that I got you for Christmas." 

"Like the man of culture you are." Midoriya rested his head against the steering wheel for a moment then agreed with a handshake. 

"You bought me cookies, lube and condoms as a gift once. That plug at least matches your eyes." 

  

 

"Thank you for watching News Twelve. Tonight, we bring to you exclusive footage of the Dagobah Beach incident. We have obtained security camera footage from the convenience store above the beach. It's a little grainy but we have enhanced the details. Here we can see two figures, believed to be male, wearing plain hoodies and face masks. You can see the taller person bend down and listen to something the shorter person says and then here they stretch out their gloved hands, yes, they are wearing gloves that cover three fingers on each hand. That is important! There's a skip in the tape but when the resolution clears you can see that not only are an estimated five tons of garbage simply gone from the beach, but an estimated twenty tons of sand are gone as well. The ocean quickly fills up the cavity left over. You can see them jumping and celebrating, that looks like they are kissing and the shorter person just pushed the taller down into the sand and he's, yes that is a man, that is a man, he's taking off his pants-- We will stop the footage here as we are a family focused television news channel. The two men engaged in vigorous-- activity and then left the scene. What we have witnessed is a new quirk on a level never before seen. Whomever the new quirk-holder is, they are devastating. They could truly shake the foundations of quirk-based society." 

Midoriya turned off the television. "I am going to die of embarrassment. I will just spontaneously combust right here on the futon. It's been a good life." 

"That's what you get for saying, 'I want a threesome with Kirishima-kun.' You knew that would set me off,  you pervert." It's not like the idea of being in the middle of a sweaty, muscly man sandwich was enticing. Of course not. He certainly didn't occasionally daydream about tying up that particular hero and forcing him to watch while Midoriya bounced on his dick like a sexy kangaroo-- 

"I sometimes make poor choices like inviting you to live with me.” Midoriya glared and then clasped his hands together in useless prayer. “It's okay, nobody will notice. It will be big for a few hours and then there will hopefully be a natural disaster that kills millions."

Shigaraki opened his social media and raised his eyebrows. "They leaked the raw footage. We're trending."

“Fuck!” Midoriya screamed and threw his hands up in the air before punching a pillow.

“They like your ass. #DagobahBubbleButt. That's a little long for a hashtag but it's accurate. Aww. It's our first sex tape, baby!" Midoriya screamed into the blankets in response. "Now they're complimenting my technique. That’s kind of them. I just kind of laid there while you rode me. We really should go training again sometime. This worked out so well." Midoriya screamed into the blankets again. Well, at least he'd have something to talk about in therapy next week, Shigaraki smirked.

Some other villain was already taking credit for the whole incident. Well, that wouldn't do at all. Shigaraki thought as he texted his favorite sleazy journalist. He couldn't be an active supervillain anymore but no one else could take credit for fucking his Midoriya. ‘Dagobah Beach incident was Shigaraki. #Awakened.’

Before Shigaraki could hit send, Midoriya whined as he pulled at his green hair, "At least no one thinks that it is you. They don't know about how your 5 point of contact quirk activation has changed. If they did, then they could track us down. That beach is too close to Resthaven. Shit, I really messed up. I get horny and I do stupid things!"

"I resent being called a 'stupid thing'." Shigaraki quipped as Midoriya went back to screaming into the uncaring void of fluffy blankets. He deleted his text and drafted a new one. ‘New Dagobah Beach vigilante is called-- oh god, it physically hurt him to type this next part-- Trash Blaster’

 

Even the internet thought Trash Blaster was a fucking stupid name. Midoriya was fabulous at analyzing quirks and strategizing but he was awful at branding. For a few weeks Shigaraki endured the irritation of being called the Ass Blaster because Midoriya felt guilty. When Midoriya felt guilty, he gave the best blowjobs. He'd just catch Shigaraki around the thighs and start sucking his dick. Outdoor sex was pretty awesome, as long as there wasn't any sand. Sand was worse than dust, gritty and coarse and it collected in his ass crack. Shigaraki tugged at his green curls as the mortician swallowed him down.

In fairness, it was a better debut than he'd had as a villain. Public beach sex was much more stylish than tripping over a corpse, falling on his face into a pool of blood, getting his hair all tangled up in his costume hands and biting his own tongue. God, he was a fucking awkward teenager and All for One graciously did not comment on his protégé's mishaps. He had quietly decayed anyone who could remember that mortifying day. 

It seemed like his vigilante name was eventually going to be shortened to Blaster and that sounded pretty cool. He could live with that. It wasn't like he was going to do anything else that was noteworthy. He was retired, hydrated and moisturized. It was great.

"Thinking about something else?" Midoriya murmured against his spit-slick dick. 

"If you're going to be my sidekick, you need a sexy costume. How about we dress you up in green latex to match your eyes. You can be my gimp kangaroo. Or you could be a bunny, something with long ears so I can pull on them. Ha!" Shigaraki chuckled as he arched his back. He didn't see the spark of irritated mischief in the mortician's eyes. 

"I think I like your new name. Ass Blaster." Two lubed fingers snuck up Shigaraki's crack and he suddenly forgot all about public perception, heroes and villains. 

   

Chapter Text

The day before the First Quirk holiday, the day when the first baby born with a quirk was recorded, Midoriya's phone rang. It was a custom ringtone and the mortician picked up immediately. "Resthaven. Yes, I understand. I'll be there tomorrow." Shigaraki stopped mid-slurp on his noodles and placed his chopsticks on the bowl. Midoriya elaborated, "That was Tartarus. There's been another execution." 

"Anyone I know?" The odds were pretty high, he'd worked with a lot of zealots, murderers and psychopaths over the years. Those were the ones that tended to get the death penalty. They also were the ones that were the most dedicated to their roles as villains, the ones you could really count on. Shigaraki appreciated a good work ethic and he was willing to look the other way when the bodies started to stack up. Villains had a longer lifespan than the heroes did because they had to work smarter to survive. They didn’t have healers and quirk-based medicine to rely on. All for One was hundreds of years old because he was smart and patient enough to know that he needed to outlast his foes. 

There were always new heroes being churned out of the meat factories that society called the hero academies. They were like different types of sausages, each with a different spice that made them taste different but essentially they were all just processed meat in a tube. Easy to consume and forget about.

If Midoriya had been born with a quirk, Shigaraki knew that he wouldn’t have been easy to forget. That determination, intelligence and empathy towards strangers would be devastating if funneled into the right direction, but the mortician still wouldn’t take him up on any offers, no matter how joking, to conquer the world. He watched Midoriya as he ran a lint brush up and down their work suits. 

"They don't tell me until I get there. It shouldn't take long since they've already cremated the body. Sometimes they do that when the convict’s quirk is messy or the body might be harmful." 

"That's cool. Not the execution, but that we’ll be getting out tomorrow. There's a couple of shops that I like by the prison, I can do some shopping while you're doing your thing." Shigaraki continued eating his noodles. There was that stationary store with the cute erasers and that sweets shop, not to mention one of the best 100-yen stores in the entire prefecture. 

Midoriya paused mid-stroke. "You're not coming with me." 

"Of course, I am." Shigaraki laughed at his silly, silly boyfriend. "There's no way I'm letting you go to that place alone, sweetheart. You can drop me off a few blocks away and then we can meet up afterwards. It's fine. I lived in that neighborhood for like ten years when I was trying to break out Sensei. I probably know the area better than the new warden." Now that he thought about it, that new warden owed him for the work promotion. "Wear your new jewelry too." Shigaraki batted his eyes. 

Midoriya wrinkled his nose. "I know your heart is in the right place but, did you have to make it a collar? I feel like a dog." Woof. Woof.

"Well, you could swallow it or we could make it a subdermal implant, but I thought you might like something a little less invasive. That collar gives me real time updates on your heart-rate and respirations. That information makes me breathe easier, just knowing that you're okay. There's also a location tracker and a panic button." Shigaraki wiped curry noodle sauce from his mouth and gently grabbed his fiancé. He buried his face in between Midoriya's shoulder blades and crooned, "We've gone over this baby. Do you want my quirk to go nuts because I'm worried about you? I mean, the property damage alone could make our lives very difficult. Not to mention all those innocent people whose lives are also at stake." 

Were there really any human lives that were innocent or blameless? Aside from Midoriya, who was perfect and precious and must be protected at all costs, everyone was complicit in participating in the cruel hierarchy of polite quirk-based society. "Please Izuku. Think of all the innocent people you could save. There could be puppies and kittens too. Baby animals.”

Midoriya heaved a giant sigh of resignation and Shigaraki smiled in smug victory. "You manipulative jackass. If I wear the damned collar, you're mucking out the drain gutters when we get home." 

"Take that knife I gave you too." Shigaraki kissed the side of his neck, still smiling. He twirled a green curl around his fingertip. 

"I can't take a weapon into a maximum-security prison. They'll probably confiscate the collar too." Midoriya huffed. 

"You'll never know unless you try. You're so cute they'll look the other way. And the metal is organic so it's not going to show up on any scans." That cannibal dental nightmare called Moonfish was good for spare parts and nothing else. He kept trying to eat the other villains and Shigaraki had no time to waste on babysitting. “If you're a good boy, I'll tell you all about it." 

"It's going to be gross, isn't it?" Midoriya leaned back into his embrace.

"Super gross." Shigaraki stole a kiss. 

"As gross as your breath? Brush your teeth, curry noodle breath." Midoriya protested in vain as Shigaraki ran his fingertips up and down Midoriya's ribs. They both much looked better, healthier, than when they'd first met. Shigaraki certainly didn't look like the current wanted posters and blurry security camera footage the police had. His physical labor at the mortuary had added definition to his muscles and strength to his limbs. The haunted, lonely look had faded from his eyes and was replaced by a zestful optimism. It was a fucking magical transformation. Strangers on the street would look him in the eyes and scurry away because they couldn’t handle his intense optimism and joy. Midoriya always apologized to them, but if those losers couldn’t handle Shigareki’s new enthusiasm for life then that was their own loss.  

"Baby, eat something. Caffeine is not a food group." Shigaraki guided Midoriya to the refrigerator by a series of ass gropes and rib tickles. Both of them still had a frightening disregard for their own personal health and safety but when the other was threatened or distressed, well just don't get in the way. Maybe they just needed each other to fill in the rough patches along their paths in life. Nah, that was a stupid metaphor. Midoriya did all the garden landscaping. The point was that Midoriya was the best thing that had ever happened to him and he spent each day trying to show exactly how grateful he was for the mortician’s existence. 

“Yes, Daddy.” Midoriya sassed back and yelped as the ass groping turned into a pinch. Luckily Midoriya seemed to thrive under all the attention, blooming in spite of Shigaraki’s smothering abundance of affection. They were both starved for love and drunk on it at the same time. He couldn’t believe how lucky he was to wake up each morning with green curls in his mouth and a buff little gremlin snoring in his ear. 

They were getting his septum fixed though. As soon as possible. Like tomorrow. Midoriya’s snoring was so bad that Shigaraki was surprised that the corpses hadn’t complained yet. 

 

Not a lot had changed in the old neighborhood, Shigaraki thought as he wandered through narrow alleys studded with neon signs and shop placards. It was still a grungy place that survived on the salaries of the prison guards and their families. His favorite sweets shop was still there and he purchased a box of mochi to share on the way home. The old lady at the counter complimented his haircut and Shigaraki thought about whether or not he should leave a witness. She survived purely due to her skill with mochi, it would be criminal to take that away from the world. 

He smiled under his mask, feeling indulgent and generous as he strolled to the stationary supply store that had the best tiny erasers. There was just something about the smell of pens, paper and rubber that satisfied him. It was busy in the store because of the holiday. Seemed like a stupid reason for a holiday, the anniversary of the first recorded quirk. He thought back to what Sensei had told him about being hated and discriminated against for being one of the first quirk holders. All for One and Midoriya couldn't be more different, but they were both deeply scarred by how society viewed quirks. Shigaraki was a realist though. No matter how level the playing field would be without quirks, it wouldn't matter. He gazed up at the neon sign for the 100-yen store. Money was what made the world go around. Unless you had a quirk that would make you shit cold hard cash out of your ass, you were just the same as a quirkless person. 

He glanced at the smartwatch on his wrist. Midoriya's vitals were all in the green. His heartrate was a little fast, probably because he was nervous. No. A little too fast. No! Way too fast! The panic button shrieked and Shigaraki took off at a run towards the prison, the bag of mochi and cute erasers forgotten in the alleyway behind him.

Idiots with megaphones stood just inside the prison gates surrounded by guards aiming guns. "We are the League of Villains and we have taken hostages! We will execute the hostages and release the prisoners if you don't give in to our demands!" 

What the fuck was this? 

Who the fuck were they? 

Those were the last coherent things that Shigaraki could remember thinking before his vision darkened and tunneled. He blinked to clear his eyes. There were no guards, no fucking poser villains and no front gates on the most fortified building in all of Japan. Huh. I must have lost control there for a moment. They deserved it for pissing me off. He had to be more careful. Midoriya was in there and if he destroyed the weight supporting structures then he could hurt his beloved. Once he’d decayed his whole family, he’d never allow his quirk to hurt anyone he loved again. He only loved one person so the bar was pretty low. Reasonable, attainable goals were the best goals. Everyone other than Midoriya could get fucked, for all he cared. He checked his smartwatch and followed the direction of the tracker.

Some idiot with a death wish lunged at him and Shigaraki grabbed them by the face. He'd long since taken off his finger cots. Another brain donor who had just witnessed what had happened to the previous moron tried the same thing. How was that even going to work better? He just saw the consequences of that action! Goddamnit he was so tired of villains and heroes and all their related bullshit. He was going to take Midoriya on a vacation where there wasn't any sand or stupid people. Maybe Hokkaido. Maybe. He did like hot springs. Hot springs meant naked Midoriya. He always liked that.

He jogged through the cells towards the basement. It was deathly still due to the anesthetic gas that had been pumped into each cell. Freaks, losers and former coworkers lay sprawled out on the floors of their cells. Shigaraki ignored all of them as he rushed towards his lover's signal. Midoriya's vital signs were fading.

As he descended, he saw a very familiar stapled and scarred face. He beckoned to a drowsy Dabi through the glass and then decayed the partition. "Want out of those cuffs?"  Shigaraki yelled.

"More than anything." The blue-flame quirked villain held up his wrists. "Nice haircut. You look good. Never thought I'd see you again, especially after they whacked All for One." Shigaraki touched the quirk suppression cuffs. They decayed into dust and Dabi's eyes lit up with glee at the same time that blue flame flared from his hands.

"They took something that means more to me than Sensei ever did. Now go be useful!" Shigaraki waved him off as he continued on his journey down. 

Dabi boggled at that statement. "Need a distraction?" He jogged to keep up with Shigaraki.

"I knew we worked together well for a reason. You're smart Dabi. Smart enough to never, ever try to find me again. Right?" 

"Right." Dabi gave him a thumbs up like the fucking dork he was. “Ships in the night, my dude.”

"Just stay out of my blast range."  

"Your what?" It must have been the aftermath of the anesthetic gas because Dabi wasn’t as sharp as usual. Shigaraki heaved a sigh. He did not have time for this.

"Oh, I've Awakened! You should stay one to two city blocks away from me at all times for your personal safety. Love changes a man. Highly recommended. Now get the fuck away from me." 

"Oh, holy shit. Bye!" Dabi must have seen something in his eyes that scared him because he stopped and began to run in the opposite direction.

I knew he was smart.

 

From the screams echoing along the halls, Dabi didn't have any plans or worries about who he set free or who he incinerated on his way to visit dear old Daddy Dearest. Now that was a family reunion that nobody wanted invitations to. The lights flickered and an alarm went off. There went the quirk suppressant cuffs, Shigaraki thought as the system crashed and the screaming increased. He hurried down to the basement morgue. That's where a mortician would be, it was like their natural habitat. 

He decayed a few flunkies who hadn’t heard that there was always someone bigger, badder and more pissed off in a horrible place like this. There was a huge tunnel bored into the concrete wall. So that's how they got in, some sort of earth moving quirk, he thought. Blood splattered the walls and stringy ropes of viscera hung down from the ceiling like the world's shittiest party decorations. This is where they executed Sensai, he thought for the briefest of moments. 

The tracker said that his lover was here. Midoriya, Midoriya, where was he? "Izuku! IZUKU!" He called out and listened. He heard a soft metal tapping, from the locked cremation oven. 

He ripped the oven door open. A very familiar knife fell out of the gap. His beloved was curled around a plain white urn. Midoriya gasped for air as Shigaraki pulled him from the oven. His right leg was shredded and hastily bandaged with strips of funeral shroud.

"Thought I'd have-- more air than that-- I wedged the knife-- into the gap for more air." Shigaraki didn't answer, he just sobbed into Midoriya's hair as he held the mortician against his chest. "You were right-- about the organic metal--" Midoriya passed out in his arms, either from the lack of oxygen or the smoke that was filling the morgue. 

They made it outside in a blur of smoke and fire. Dabi's rampage helped conceal them from the cameras and other inmates. He slung Midoriya over his shoulder in a fireman's carry so that he could have at least one hand free to clear obstacles, a bag of convict ashes shoved in his jacket pocket. Even in the midst of all the chaos and danger, the mortician refused to leave the ashes behind so he wouldn't either. He'd make MORE ashes and burn this cursed place down to the fucking ground.

Heroes. Fucking heroes everywhere. They swarmed the prison like a hive of worker drone bees, looking for convicts and terrorists to pummel and restrain. A blast of red popped up in Shigaraki's sight. It was the gym rat in the fetish harness. Red Riot was the lesser of approximately five hundred evils at that moment. Shigaraki drew in a breath with a hiss and then stomped over to Red Riot. "Get him to a hospital." 

Red Riot held out his arms and Shigaraki carefully transplanted his beloved into another man's arms. Red Riot held him carefully and yelled for a medic. Shigaraki backed away into the smoke, disappearing like a wraith into the chaos.

 

The break in and hostage situation at the maximum-security prison was the talk of the nation. Once again they'd managed to make the headlines and front pages of every media outlet in Japan and some even further abroad. The photograph that the press had chosen to illustrate the chaos and human cost of the raid was of Red Riot, holding Midoriya in a princess carry through smoke and fire. The bastard looked statuesque, smudged with sweat and soot and Midoriya looked like a sleeping blood-stained cherub in his arms. Shigaraki hated that picture so much. He'd bought ten copies of the local paper because he hated it so much. 

Luckily there weren’t any reporters waiting for them when Midoriya was discharged. Red Riot escorted Midoriya out of the hospital, ready to swoop in at any hint of unsteadiness. Midoriya caught Shigaraki's gaze across the parking lot and smiled like the little gremlin he was. He feigned a wobble and Red Riot caught him around the waist. Shigaraki bit his lip and sighed. Cherub, my ass. The little jerk was testing him. 

He'd promised to try to reign in his quirk. He couldn't destroy an entire city block every time he got irritated by a fake redhead with rock-hard nipples in the middle of the goddamned summer, holding his fiancé in a princess carry. Did the man even own a shirt? Okay, he had some issues with one particular hero and Midoriya had made it clear over the phone that those issues needed some work. 

Red Riot had visited Midoriya every day when the heavy security prevented Shigaraki from doing so. Shigaraki bowed to the hero and Midoriya made a strangled squawk as he almost swallowed his own tongue in shock. "Thank you for getting my fiance to the hospital and watching over him when I could not. I will repay my debt somehow." Wait, didn’t he already get rid of Bakugo? Didn’t that repay any debts? Never mind, he’d figure it out later. Being gracious was a pain in the ass.  

"No worries, bro." Kirishima set Midoriya down gently and made sure that his crutches were properly fitted. He took care and consideration with his efforts and smiled at both of the other men, beaming compassion from every tiny pore. "I know it's my job as a hero, but Midoriya-kun is also my friend from counseling so I wanted to go just a little Plus Ultra.” Midoriya made an exaggerated face of disgust at All-Might’s catchphrase that Kirishima didn’t see. Red Riot got right in Shigaraki’s personal space and tilted his spiky head to the side as if trying to puzzle something out. Shigaraki could practically smell the hero’s brain cells shorting out. “Bro, don't take this the wrong way but do I know you? It is super weird but I feel like I've known you before--" 

"We met at the counseling center."  

Red Riot shook his head. "No-- It's like, your aura or something. Like my hero training is tingling." 

"You might want a cream for that. There's a hospital right here." Shigaraki hooked his thumb in the direction of the building.

Kirishima laughed. "I like your sense of humor; we should hang out together sometime. When you're all healed up of course. Get some beers, have some barbeque, make some mistakes we won't talk about until the next morning--" What the fuck was that? 

"Are you hitting on me or my fiance?" Shigaraki asked, genuinely confused. 

The hero shrugged his shoulders. "Both of you? I'm so sorry if I just made things weird. Midoriya-kun told me that I needed to be more assertive with what I want so I'm shooting my shot."

"Did he now?" Shigaraki’s eyebrows raised up and he wrapped his arm around a trembling with suppressed laughter Midoriya."We'll talk about it. I'm pretty sure you don't want to have anything to do with me." Super-villain, mass murderer, wanted for crimes against humanity and fashion… the reasons ticked off in a list in his brain. 

"I don't know about that. I like older men." Red Riot leaned in close and whispered in Shigaraki's ear. "Your secret is safe with me, Trash Blaster." Then he shot two finger guns at them and swaggered away, his hips swishing his dumb little ass-cape. What was the point of that cape? Really, that man's whole costume was specifically designed to annoy Shigaraki. 

They both watched as the Pro-Hero returned to the hospital, then Shigaraki turned to his fiance and asked, "Care to explain how he knew about my vigilante persona?" 

"I was on some really heavy painkillers." Midoriya winced and gestured with his crutch. "The really, really good stuff. I mean I was seeing rainbows and starlight. The world was a beautiful place and I loved everyone in it. I think I cried for half a day in pure rapture once and they had to give me IV fluids because of the dehydration. They really ramped down the dosage after that.” 

“So you were high as fuck and you told a Pro-Hero all about us. That’s fine, I know where he lives.” Shigaraki sighed and Midoriya whacked his shin with a crutch.

"Do not kill him. He came to visit and I told him everything except your real name and former occupation. I'm so sorry but he's really cool about the whole thing. It's a little weird really how desperate he is for human connection; I mean look at him. He’s a fucking sweetheart. It's like his parents were a firetruck and a golden retriever." They both nodded at the truth of that observation.

"The only intimate relationship that man has is with his blender.” Shigaraki said. “His apartment looks like he just moved in and has no intent on staying. He's either at the gym or at home watching people workout online. He even writes these cute little comments about their form and just radiates cheerful positivity without ever cracking a smile. And he really needs to pull the shades closed in his bathroom because with the right telephoto lens you can see all the way to Kyoto." 

Midoriya looked at him with mild horror and then gave it up as a lost cause.  

"I had to vet your new bestie. For some reason trouble is just drawn to you like a magnet. Don't worry about any League of Villains copycats, they've been dealt with. No one should try to find either of you. I had a lot of useful downtime while you were recovering and Resthaven was closed."

"Thanks for looking out for both of us. I guess." Midoriya whined, "My leg hurts and I want everyone to be friends." Shigaraki helped him towards the hearse. 

"You know I personally murdered half of his high school class including his homeroom teacher. I probably destroyed most of his opportunities to make any lifelong friendships, aside from Sparkypants. Speaking of that dumbass, I cannot believe that he turned Kirishima down. Maybe he's burnt out the horny part of his brain. Or he's straight, but that's not even a good excuse.” 

“I know right?” Midoriya agreed with Shigaraki as they slowly hobbled to the parked hearse.

“Kirishima deserves good things, so what I am saying, my dear, is that we are not going to be friends. Never. Nope. Don't even try. That is a negative, my darling. No." Shigaraki couldn’t help himself. He pulled down his mask, clasped the mortician’s face in his hands and kissed each freckle on his cheeks. Midoriya wrinkled his nose and smiled. "I only need you, my little ball of sunshine, to make my days brighter."

Midoriya started to cry, half of a geyser from each eye. "I love you so much. I'm so glad you're in my life. You make me a better person. I just wanna take a nap on your chest and grab your butt. Maybe at the same time. I dunno. I'm flexible and horny. I might be a little high on painkillers still." 

Shigaraki smiled underneath his face mask. His beloved was more than a little high. He was totally going to take videos of the mortician to cackle over later. "I love you too, Izuku. Always and forever." 

Someone drove by and honked at them. It was Kirishima, tits out and waving from the driver's window. Midoriya almost fell from his crutches waving back with both arms. Shigarakei caught the mortician about the waist and said with a sigh of resignation, "We should get that man a sweater. A really thick chunky wool sweater."