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Nomu Rehabilitation for Little Heroes

Chapter Text

“It appears that the primary offenders of the UA High training camp attack call themselves the League of Villains Vanguard Action Squad. For UA High, in both the USJ incident and the Hosu incident, the name ‘League of Villains’ is not new. This is--”

 

“Among the victims of the training camp attack was the child of the pro heroes, Water Hose, who were killed by Muscular--”

 

“We must conclude that there is some sort of problem with the management of UA HIgh. Even if my child wanted to become a hero, I could not possibly enroll--”

 

The TV finally turned off. “I’m really grateful for all the publicity we’ve been getting. Hey, don't you agree, Bakugou Katsuki?”

 

Katsuki glared at the villain that had spent the past hour flipping through news channels. Shigiraki Tomura. The leader of the League of Villains. The group that kidnapped him just last night from his school’s training camp. One second he’s walking in the woods with Icyhot for some ‘test of courage’ thing and the next, villains are attacking his class. Again. 

 

“What the hell do you want?” Katsuki growled, trying to rein in his temper somewhat. They’d retrained his hands in a contraption that would cause him to burn himself if he used his quirk. 

 

“We’ve seen how those heroes treat you. They chained you up on national television because you didn’t want to stand on a podium and accept a medal,” Shigiraki deflected. That had not been Katsuki’s finest moment. Icyhot refused to use his entire quirk and that didn’t feel like a proper win to him. He needed to be number one because he promised-- He just needed to be.

 

“You’re doing the same damn thing,” Katsuki scoffed, shaking his hands slightly to rattle the chains attached to the contraption. 

 

“We would remove them if you weren’t a danger to us. If you understood that we don’t want to hurt you,” Shigiraki said patiently. “We want you to join us and we don’t hurt our own.”

 

“I will never join you,” Katsuki spat furiously. Small sparks went off on his palms and he forced himself to calm down again. He couldn’t risk hurting himself. He needed to be ready to fight. 

 

“We’ll see,” Shigaraki replied dismissively. And with that, the TV was turned back on and Shigiraki went back to ignoring him. Katsuki looked around at the other villains. 

 

The crispy guy was switching between watching him and looking at his phone. The blonde with the knife, the guy in the bodysuit, and the biggest person in the room were sitting at a table chatting amongst themselves. The lizard and the magician were sitting on a couch and playing cards with each other. The mist guy was behind the bar cleaning glasses. 

 

That was everyone that had been in the room since they arrived last night. He’d thought that was all of their members and he committed them to memory. But just then, a curtain covering a doorway shifted and someone new stepped out. And when he saw their face, his heart stopped. 

 

Standing right there, against all odds, was his childhood friend. His best friend who’d gone missing when they were four. The one he promised he’d be the number one hero for. Because he, Izuku, Deku, didn’t have a quirk. They had learned that just before he vanished. 

 

Except, were they his friend? They had the same emerald green eyes. They had the same distinct freckles. They had the same head of green curls. But their nose wasn’t human. It was like a cat’s or a small dog’s. And in those green curls rested green, animalistic ears that twitched every few seconds. 

 

Katsuki’s gaze left their face, traveling down. Fur on their collared neck and on their shoulders. Feathered wings on their back. A bare torso with a massive scar on the abdomen. Torn pinkish shorts barely covered green-furred legs that ended in paws with large claws. And a long, green tail swishing behind them. If this was Izuku, he wasn’t fucking quirkless anymore. 

 

“Hey, Boss Man. You might want to pay attention to this,” the fire villain spoke up. Everyone turned to look at Katsuki. Shigiraki’s eyes narrowed and then he turned to the newcomer. 

 

“Pet, come here,” Shigiraki ordered. The kid complied although he walked with a slight hesitation in his steps. Katsuki felt his stomach roll at the name and he couldn’t help but flinch as Shigiraki rested his hands on the newcomer’s shoulders. The villain held up his pinkies so that he wouldn’t decay the kid. And the kid… Seemed perfectly content. 

 

Did he not know what Shigiraki’s hands were capable of? “That’s quite a face you’re making,” Shigiraki commented. “Tears even. Tell me, do you know my pet?”

 

Shit. Katsuki hadn’t even realized he started crying. If he was being that obvious, then he couldn’t lie to Shigiraki anyway. So fuck it. “Izuku?” Katsuki questioned, voice catching in his throat. What else could he say? Either this wasn’t Izuku or it was and he was wearing a fucking collar while Shigiraki called him his pet. ‘Are you okay?’ wouldn’t be an appropriate question.

 

“Nozuku, do you know this little hero?” Shigiraki asked, his voice nearly gentle. 

 

Izuku finally looked at him. He appraised him for a moment, pupils dilating and thinning before he shook his head. “Izuku, it’s me!” Katsuki said desperately. “It’s Kacchan! You know me!”

 

“I don’t think he does,” Shigiraki grinned smugly before returning his attention to Izuku. “What did you come in here for? I told you to stay in Dabi’s room.”

 

Katsuki was horrified when instead of speaking, Izuku made a short trilling sound and a hand movement. Not actual sign language but an obvious homemade version. “Right then. Kurogiri, help him find more blankets since Dabi can’t be bothered to keep more than one in his room.”

 

“I run hot and you know it,” Extra Crispy defended. 

 

“Yes, Shigiraki Tomura,” the mist guy responded before coming out from behind the bar for the first time. He took Izuku by the arm and led him back out of the room. Katsuki had to watch his missing friend disappear for the second time. And he still couldn’t do anything about it. 

 


 

Dabi’s room was cold. Even after he turned off the fan the man kept in here. There was only a thin blanket since anything else was too hot for Dabi. His options were to be cold, raid Dabi’s closet and make a nest with all of his clothes, or leave against orders to ask for blankets. 

 

Being cold was awful, so that wasn’t an option. Dabi might burn him alive if he made a nest out of his clothes again. He certainly didn’t react well the last time. So that left disobeying Master Shigiraki’s direct orders. But he was defective so Shigiraki didn’t always get mad at him when he disobeyed. There was a 50/50 chance that his Master would get mad. It was worth the risk. 

 

His Master had not been mad. In fact, he seemed almost amused. Somehow, he had pleased him and he thought it had something to do with the boy there. The boy was crying because of him. At least that’s what his Master had said. The boy called him ‘Izuku.’ The boy called himself ‘Kacchan.’ But he didn’t know the boy. He didn’t know Izuku. 

 

He was Nozuku. 

 

He was Nomu. 

 

He was Pet. 

 

He was Brat. 

 

He was Stupid. 

 

He was Worthless.

 

He was Dog. 

 

He was Puppy. 

 

He was Deku. 

 

He was not Izuku. 

 

Kurogiri handed him a stack of soft blankets. “I understand that your quirk instincts make it hard for you to listen, but I can not help you if you defy orders. If Shigiraki Tomura had gotten upset with you, I can’t stop him from punishing you. You know this.”

 

He responded with a weak, embarrassed growl. He knew that. Kurogiri was always looking out for him when he could. It’s not like he’d hold it against the elder Nomu if he got himself in trouble. If he was hurting, it was his fault. Because he’d done something to deserve it. 

 

He was a defective Nomu who couldn’t follow his prime directive due to his instincts interfering. 

 

Honestly, he was lucky to be alive at all. Kurogiri vouched for him. Even if he couldn’t be trusted with the same kinds of jobs they gave Kurogiri, he was smart enough to guard the base. If anyone broke in, he’d hurt them. If any guests started hurting his Master or his Master’s followers, he’d hurt them. If his Master’s followers ever hurt his Master, he’d hurt them too. 

 

He was defective but he could do something. So he got to stay. 

 

After Kurogiri left him in Dabi’s room, his thoughts returned to the boy. He hadn’t known him but his eyes seemed familiar. Something about red, angry eyes. Not Shigiraki’s red, angry eyes. 

 

Younger red, angry eyes. Lit up by fireworks. Those eyes, he knew.

 


 

His quirk mutations include eagle, lion, and domestic cat traits.

Izuku is "normal" like Kurogiri compared to the exposed brain Nomus.

He is far from mindless but he's considered defective because he can override orders.

The brainwashing they use on Kurogiri just doesn't work on Izuku.

He can, however, be conditioned. So he obeys when his instincts aren't acting up.

He's still smart but he's also been leaning heavily on his new instincts for survival.

And while he's learned things over the years, he hasn't had formal education. 

He can't speak anymore. The multiple animal quirks mutated his vocal chords.

Katsu is his bear. (Like Katsu-don, Katsu-ki)

His wings mostly cover the scars on his back but this is just to show them.

Giant lion toe beans on his feet.

His other quirks will be revealed later but here are four you can see just looking at him.

1. Black Eagle | 2. Lion Claws

3. Cat Body | 4. Viper Venom

Chapter Text

“We deeply apologize for the incident that allowed harm to come to 27 first years of the hero course because of our unpreparedness. We apologize for causing unease in society due to our negligence in properly defending ourselves as a place of learning. We are truly sorry.” Katsuki watched as Aizawa finished speaking and bowed along with Nezu and Vlad King.

 

“I’m from Yomiuri TV,” someone in the crowd spoke. “Since the beginning of the year, UA High School students have had four encounters with villains. This time, there were even students injured. How did you explain to their families, and what are some specific countermeasures you are taking? 

 

“We will increase policing in the surrounding area and review the security within the school, ensuring the students’ safety with a strong position,” Nezu answered. “That is what we told their parents too.” 

 

Another reporter stood. “You spoke about the students’ safety, Eraserhead. During the incident, it appears you urged them to fight. What was your intention behind this?”

 

“I concluded that because we were unable to fully grasp the situation, it had to be done in order to avoid the worst possible outcome,” Aizawa answered. 

 

“What do you mean by ‘worst possible outcome?’ You don’t call 27 victims and two abducted the ‘worst possible outcome?’” the reporter questioned. 

 

“The ‘worst possible outcome’ in this situation would have been the death of any or all of my students,” Aizawa replied sharply. 

 

“The gas attack accounts for most of the victims,” Nezu added. “We have determined that it was a sleeping gas from one of the enemies’ quirks. Thanks to the quick response of Kendo-san and Tetsutetsu-kun, there were no serious injuries from that attack.”

 

“Are you saying that it was a bright spot in this tragedy?” the reporter asked sarcastically.  

 

“We believe the worst outcome is one that would have infringed on the future,” Nezu concluded.  

 

“Can you say the same for the kidnapped student, Bakugou Katsuki?” the reporter countered. “Bakugou enrolled at UA with excellent marks and won the Sports Festival. In addition, during the incident with the sludge villain in middle school, he resisted a powerful villain alone. So he has a history of showing how tough and heroic he can be.”

 

“On the other hand, the violence he showed in the finals and his attitude at the awards ceremony show that he does not always very stable mentally. What if the villains kidnapped him because they had an eye on that? Kidnapping him with the intention of gaining his loyalty. What evidence do you have for saying he has a future as a hero anymore?”

 

“It’s so strange,” Shigiraki drawled, turning off the TV. “Why are the heroes being criticized. The way there were dealing with things was just a little off the mark. Is it because it’s their job to protect? Everyone makes a mistake or two. Are they supposed to be perfect? Modern-day heroes are so uptight. Don’t you think?”

 

“Once heroes receive compensation to protect people, they aren’t heroes anymore. That is Stain’s teaching,” the lizard added. 

 

“The strange system of transforming people’s lives into money or glory. The society that sticks tight to those rules... The citizens who blame the losers rather than encourage them... Our fight is to question: What is a hero? What is justice? Is this society truly just? We’ll have everyone thinking about it. We’re planning on winning,” Shigiraki grinned. “You like winning too, right?”

 

“And the way they turned on you is appalling,” the magician pointed out. “Just because your personality doesn’t suit their tastes, they write you off as a villain from the get-go. Not that it’s new for them to do that. Most people who become villains do so because they’re left with no other option, already labeled as a villain for their personality, their appearance, or their quirk.”

 

It wasn’t often that you literally got held hostage to be forced to listen to someone’s political agenda, but Katsuki was hating every minute of this. His interest was brought back to the villains in the room, though, when Izuku came back with Kurogiri. He’d been gone all day after the mist guy got him some blankets. He was clearly allowed to roam yet he stayed put. 

 

“Dabi, release his restraints,” Shigiraki ordered.  

 

“Huh?” Extra Crispy looked at his leader like he was an idiot. “This guy’s gonna fight you know.”

 

“It’s fine,” Shigiraki dismissed, proving that he was an idiot. “We need to treat him like an equal since we’re scouting him. Besides, you can tell if you’ll win or not if you fight in this situation, right, UA student?”

 

Dabi looked at Katsuki. “Twice, you do it.”

 

“What, me? No way!” the bodysuit guy argued. 

 

“Do it,” Dabi insisted.  

 

“Man…” Twice whined as he moved to unlock Katsuki’s restraints.  

 

“I do apologize for using such forceful methods. But please understand that we are not just a mob trying to commit crimes,” the magician said while Katsuki was freed from the contraption and the chains. “We didn’t kidnap you by accident.”

 

“Even though our situations differ, everyone here has been restricted and suffered because of people… rules… and heroes… I’m sure you also--” Katsuki cut off Shigiraki by knocking Twice over and firing an explosion at Shigiraki’s face. 

 

He jumped back, out of Shigiraki’s reach. “I listened quietly to your endless talking…Idiots can’t get to the point so they’re always talking for a long time. Basically, you mean ‘We wanna harass people, so please join us,’ right? Don’t bother. I’m going to be a hero, no matter what anyone has to say.”

 

Rushing forward, he went to deliver another explosion to Shigiraki’s face but he stopped short, palms sparking, when Izuku got in his way. This shadow of his best friend had his wings extended to appear bigger and was hissing at him. Protecting a villain. His Izuku would never. 

 

“You will control yourself,” Shigiraki said stiffly, bending down to pick up the hand Katsuki knocked off his face with the first explosion. “Nozuku is trained to attack anyone who tries to hurt me or my allies, and I don’t think you want to fight him. Not only does he seem to mean something to you, but he can inject a powerful toxin with his bites. You’d be dead in hours.”

 

Trained? Katsuki frowned but relaxed his posture. Izuku stopped hissing and lowered his wings. If Izuku was trained to defend a villain, that meant he didn’t necessarily want to. No offense to eyebags, but Izuku was brainwashed. And that sort of thing can be reversed. 

 

“Fine,” Katsuki relented. He’d play nice for now. And when they were least expecting it, he’d escape with Izuku. 

 


 

Master Shigiraki called for him. He wanted his help with something. A big job like Kurogiri. He’d get to help with the boy, who he wasn’t even supposed to see before. This was exciting!

 

He and Kurogiri got there just as Twice was freeing the boy. Had the boy joined? Was he supposed to show the boy how to be good and useful? 

 

And then the boy was attacking. He was going to stop the boy but he froze. Fireworks came from the boy’s hands. Those fireworks and those red, angry eyes… he knew them. 

 

He shook himself out of it in time to stop the boy from attacking his Master a second time. For some reason, the boy wouldn’t attack him. The fireworks didn’t touch him, even though he expected to burn. Those red eyes were no longer angry. They looked pained. 

 

Even if the boy stopped attacking, he hissed. A warning not to try that again. “You will control yourself,” Shigiraki said stiffly, bending down to pick up the hand called Father. “Nozuku is trained to attack anyone who tries to hurt me or my allies, and I don’t think you want to fight him. Not only does he seem to mean something to you, but he can inject a powerful toxin with his bites. You’d be dead in hours.”

 

The boy relaxed, though he still looked upset. “Fine.”

 

“Excellent! Now we can get to know each other properly,” Shigiraki said, sounding cheered up. “It doesn’t really seem like we're really equal when you're all chained up.”

 

“If we’re all equal here, why do you call him a pet and make him wear a collar,” the boy asked, glaring at Izuku’s neck. 

 

“Well, not all of us are equal,” Shigiraki corrected. “He’s not even a person. Nozuku is a nomu and a defective one at that. The only thing he’s good for is being a guard dog.”

 

His ears drooped even if he knew that was true. He wanted to be a good nomu like Kurogiri. 

 

“Those brain things you make with corpses?” the boy questioned, looking horrified. He was almost insulted by the insinuation. He may not be as good as Kurogiri but he was leagues above those mindless beasts. 

 

“No. He’s a different kind of nomu. A better kind,” Shigiraki answered. “He just didn’t turn out the way he was supposed to. But it’d be a waste to just kill him when he can do something.”

 

He nodded in agreement. His Master was right, as always. 

 

The boy looked like he might cry again.

Chapter Text

“See, things are better when you aren’t trying to attack us,” Shigiraki said as he led Katsuki into a room. Windowless, no vents a person could fit through, so no escape if the door was locked. 

 

Katsuki gave the man-child a flat look. “I am still your prisoner. How is anything better?”

 

Shigiraki frowned in irritation. “You get to sleep in a room on a bed instead of chained up to a chair. Kurogiri doesn’t sleep so he will check on you throughout the night. He’s also guarding the exit so you won’t escape. And to further discourage you from trying, Nozuku has been assigned to watch you. He’ll stay in here with you.”

 

“I thought I was equal,” Katsuki mocked, rolling his eyes. 

 

“You seem to like him so I’m sure you’ll be pleased that he won’t leave your side until we’re sure of your loyalties,” Shigiraki shrugged. Then he turned back toward the room’s door. “Nozuku! Come!” In less than a minute, Izuku was there, alert and waiting for instructions. It was creepy. 

 

“I’m locking you in here with Bakugou for the night,” Shigiraki told him. “Stop him if he tries to escape but don’t hurt him unless it's necessary.”

 

Izuku nodded and Shigiraki shut the door behind himself when he left. A final click told Katsuki they’d been locked in. With the villain gone, Katsuki turned his attention to Izuku. Even if he was protecting Shigiraki, Izuku couldn’t be called a villain in this case. He was experimented on, brainwashed, and still treated as less than them because they fucked up their own experiment. 

 

Emerald eyes watched him closely, unbothered by the dim, yellow light of the cheap light fixture. To try and put him at ease, Katsuki sat on the small bed that was shoved up against the furthest wall from the door. Izuku sat down in front of the door, spreading his wings out a little. This was fine. They were fine. They would be fine. If only Katsuki could figure out what to say. 

 

“Um… Can you talk?” Katsuki asked, cringing at himself as soon as the words left his mouth. 

 

Izuku shook his head. “Do you remember me at all?” Izuku nodded this time. 

 

“You do?” Katsuki asked, surprised. “Why didn’t you say anything when Shigiraki asked?”

 

Izuku frowned in thought and then used his hands to mimic an explosion, accompanied by a quiet hissing sound. “You recognized my quirk?” Katsuki guessed. Izuku nodded again. Okay, so he hadn’t known when Shigiraki first asked. 

 

“I’m Bakugou Katsuki. You called me Kacchan because you couldn’t say my name,” Katsuki told him, hoping to jumpstart his memories. “You called my mom Auntie Mitsuki and my dad Uncle Masaru. We were neighbors and our moms have been friends since before we were born.”

 

Izuku tilted his head, listening but not apparently recognizing his words. “You’re Midoriya Izuku. Your mom’s name is Inko. Your dad’s name is Hisashi. You didn’t have mutations before but you always had that green hair. Before you went missing when we were four, I started being mean to you because I was a stupid fucking kid. I thought we couldn’t be heroes together. I started calling you Deku before we even found out the truth about why your quirk hadn’t come in.”

 

Izuku made a trilling sound. “You remember now?” Katsuki asked, only for Izuku to shake his head again. 

 

“You remember…” Katsuki tried to think about what he said that had gotten Izuku’s attention. “...me calling you Deku?” Izuku nodded. 

 

Katsuki sighed and rubbed a hand over his face in frustration. “Of course, that’s all you fucking remember. Your last memory of me is how much of an ass I was. If I ever get the chance to time travel, I’m gonna go back and slap four-year-old me.”

 

Suddenly, Izuku was at his feet, leaning against one of his legs and resting his cheek on Katsuki’s knee. He hadn’t even heard Izuku move, but now here he was leaning on him and purring. Katsuki put his hand on top of Izuku’s head, petting through his hair. “Yeah, you never did like when people were upset. I suppose that’s worse now given Shigiraki’s tantrums.”

 

Hopefully, the heroes would get here soon so that he could take Izuku home. He looked around the room again and noticed the claw marks on the walls. Had they locked Izuku in here before? What did they do to him to make him so obedient? And why did they think he was defective?

 

“This whole situation is fucked, huh?” Katsuki muttered, not expecting Izuku to reply. 

 

Of course, Izuku didn’t say a thing. 

 


 

When the boy had gotten upset, he tried to calm him down. Sometimes it worked with his Master. Other times he got shoved away and yelled at. But it surprised him when the boy touched his hair. His Master had never done that even if he calmed down. It was nice. 

 

“This whole situation is fucked, huh?” the boy had asked. Bakugou. He said his name was Bakuou just a bit ago. 

 

He didn’t know how to respond to that. Was it ‘fucked?’ He had been here so long that he didn’t remember much else. He remembered being Deku. He remembered red, angry eyes and fireworks. He didn’t remember anything else Bakugou mentioned. Aunties and Uncles and Moms and Dads. He didn’t remember not having his wings or his claws. It sounded scary. 

 

Turning his head, he looked up at Bakugou, resting his other cheek on the boy’s knee. Bakugou looked so sad. His eyes were watery but he wasn’t letting his tears fall. 

 

He had to do that sometimes. His Master got mad when he cried. He could only cry when he was alone with Katsu. Katsu never judged him for crying. Katsu hid his tears too. 

 

Realizing Katsu wasn’t here, he tensed, sitting up straight. “Izuku, what’s wrong?” Bakugou asked softly. How could he forget Katsu? He couldn’t sleep without Katsu. 

 

He got up and approached the door. Whining, he scratched at it, hoping Kurogiri would hear him. When he got no response, he sunk to the floor. He would just scratch the door until he was heard. Sometimes, he had to do this for hours. He used to have ideas of scratching through the door but he has those less and less now. He whined again, letting a bit more volume into it. 

 

Footsteps. Bakugou was standing behind him now. He glanced up, expecting the boy to ask another question because he seemed to really like asking questions. He was not prepared for the boy to start banging on the door with his fists. “Hey! Somebody come check on Izuku, damn it! Mist fucker! I know you’re out there! Crusty said you don’t sleep!” the boy shouted. 

 

Bakugou was so loud . His ears flattened to try and muffle some of the noise. Clearly, he didn’t know that being too loud could get him in trouble. Waking up his Master was grounds for punishment. That’s why he doesn’t use one of his quirks to make sure he’s heard. 

 

This boy was going to cause all sorts of trouble, wasn’t he?

 


 

After Katsuki started banging on the door, it didn’t take long for it to open. Kurogiri stood there, unphased by the screaming. “I do not recommend screaming while Shigiraki Tomura is asleep.”

 

“I don’t give a shit about Shigiraki’s beauty sleep. It’s clearly not working for him,” Katsuki scoffed. “Izuku’s upset and scratching at the door. Fix it.”

 

Kurogiri looked down at Izuku . “What seems to be the problem?”

 

Izuku used another made-up sign and Kurogiri nodded. “I see. I will go find him for you. I’ll bring more blankets too while I’m at it. I know you hate being cold.”

 

The door was closed and locked again, but Izuku had calmed down. Remembering how he had asked for blankets the day before, he wondered if Izuku had some sort of issue with temperature regulation. There were a few different animal mutations that he could see just looking at him. Maybe there was something that made him sensitive to cold? Or maybe it was the fact that they didn’t give him a fucking shirt. What was the point of that?

 

Soon enough, Kurogiri returned with the promised blankets. He also had a small brown mass. It kind of looked like a teddy bear but it was missing… Well… Mostly everything. No eyes, no nose, no ears, no arms, one leg. It was in terrible shape with stitches and patches covering it.

 

But Izuku clung to it like it was something special. It probably was, being locked up here for 12 years. He can’t imagine they’d give him toys. It was weird that he had this one at all. 

 

The mist guy looked at Katsuki. “The bear’s name is Katsu. Do not damage it in any way.”

 

“Why the fuck would I damage it?” Katsuki asked incredulously. Mist guy was the villain here. If someone was gonna rip a comfort item away from a traumatized kid and destroy it, it wasn’t the hero between the two of them. 

 

Kurogiri was silent for a moment. “Do not let anyone else damage it either. Protect him and Katsu even when I can not. Even if it’s far away from here.”

 

Katsuki narrowed his eyes. Was this guy talking about him and Izuku escaping together? Did he want them to escape? If so, he cared a lot more about Izuku than he let on. 

 

“I will,” Katsuki promised.

Chapter Text

Izuku set the bear safely aside while he arranged the blankets into some kind of nest. On the floor . “You’re not planning to sleep on the floor, are you?” Katsuki asked. That had to be uncomfortable. Did he usually sleep on the floor? No, that wouldn’t make sense. If he was locked in this room alone, there’s no reason for him to avoid the bed. He’s giving it up because Katsuki’s here now. 

 

Izuku just nodded and kept moving his blankets around. “You can just sleep on the bed with me. It’ll be close but our moms used to put us in the same bed or on the same blanket all the time.”

 

Izuku shook his head and held his hands out wide before moving them together. Like a shrinking space. “No room?” Katsuki guessed. Izuku nodded. “Nah, we can both fit.”

 

That got him a flat look from his childhood friend. Katsuki stood up and went to pull Izuku out of the nest and over to the bed. “Look, I’ll show you. You’re small so we’ll be fine.”

 

He was forced to stop when Izuku dug his heels into the ground. “What?” he asked. Izuku rolled his eyes and then… started to grow? No… He was standing up. The way his legs were shaped made him seem smaller and Katsuki had fallen for it. The kid that had been about the same height as Jirou was now towering over him, closer to Sero’s height and even skinnier. “Oh, shit.”

 

“Okay. You’re not small,” Katsuki relented when Izuku gave him a pointed look. The kid smirked and relaxed, returning to the height he’d been at. Then he went back to his nest. On the fucking floor. “How about I sleep on the floor?” he suggested next. 

 

Izuku shook his head again and hissed, in what was probably annoyance. “Fine. I’ll stop asking,” Katsuki sighed. He watched Izuku settle into the nest with his bear. “Out of curiosity, how open are you to the idea of leaving the League?”

 

The look he got almost made him regret asking. 

 


 

First Bakugou wants to share the bed. He had to show him he was too big to do that after the boy accused him of being small. The surprise on his face had been oddly satisfying. Then after that, he tried to give the bed up to him. A dumb suggestion since Bakugou would be his superior once he joins the League and his loyalties are proven. He always had to give up comfort to his superiors, whether it was a bed, a chair, a blanket, or food. He had no say in the matter. 

 

And just when he thought Bakugou had given up on his ridiculous questions, he asked about leaving the League. About him leaving the League too. The kinds of thoughts he made sure to bury deep, deep down because they cause nothing but trouble. He’s not even allowed to go outside to help the League, let alone to leave the League. 

 

He’d gotten out before. The bird in him wanted to fly and he’d managed to get out to do it. He didn’t get far before he was stopped by a hero. They said it was illegal to use his quirk in public and they got mad when he couldn’t talk to them. When he tried to just leave, they attacked him. 

 

Kurogiri saved him with a strategically placed portal and he escaped with a broken wrist. He got more injuries after his punishment. More than usual because Master Shigiraki was furious. His Master even tried to decay him for it. It was the only time Kurogiri interfered in a punishment, saving his life again and convincing Shigiraki to keep him. He got locked in this very room for two months as a less-lethal punishment. 

 

After that, he squashed down any instinctual desires to go outside. The punishment for going outside outweighed the joy he felt while flying that day. He doesn’t even want to imagine what the punishment for going outside without intending to return would be. He’d probably die. 

 

“Izuku, it’s okay,” Bakugou was crouched in front of him now. “I’m here. Just breathe.”

 

He was breathing. He was breathing really fast. “Match my breaths,” Bakugou instructed, moving his hand to Bakugou’s chest. He could feel the rise and fall of his lungs. An order. That was something he could do just fine. Following orders. 

 


 

“There you go,” Katsuki said softly when Izuku managed to match his breathing. “I’m sorry. I get that it’s probably scary for you to think about that. But you were kidnapped. You’re being hurt here. That’s not right and I want to take you home. To your real home.”

 

Izuku shook his head so fast it worried Katsuki. He sighed. “I’m not leaving you here and that’s final. You don’t belong here.”

 

Unfortunately, that just seemed to upset him more. Izuku turned and laid down in his nest with his back to Katsuki. The dark, feathered wings curled around him like a shield. Accepting his loss in this disagreement, Katsuki went back to the bed. He had to try and get some sleep. He would need his energy whenever the opportunity to escape came around. 

 


 

The next day consisted of more sitting in the bar, watching the news report on his kidnapping. Shigiraki droned on about how awful people were and how much worse heroes were. This didn’t seem like a very effective form of recruitment but then again, they did have that Spinner guy. He quoted a lot of this rhetoric like he was reading from some kind of holy book or prophetic text. He was probably the kind of guy this technique worked on. 

 

Izuku got to stick around this time. It was enlightening watching the other League members interact with him throughout the day. Spinner and Magne, whose names he’d figured out after more attention to everyone, were the only ones who seemed to treat Izuku as a person. Dabi, Twice, and Compress seemed uncomfortable with either his presence or how he was treated and chose avoidance as a way of dealing with that. Toga treated him like a pet or a doll in the literal sense, cooing over him and giving him treats. 

 

Shigiraki, although he called him a pet, treated him like a human minion. The collar, as it turned out, was not because he viewed Izuku as an animal but because it helped him control Izuku. It was a shock collar and Shigiraki could force him into submission with a tiny remote he kept in his pocket. And lastly, Kurogiri seemed indifferent but Katsuki knew better now. 

 

“Are you even listening?” Shigiraki snapped, interrupting Katsuki’s thoughts. 

 

“No,” Katsuki admitted, letting his boredom show on his face. “You’re just repeating yourself over and over. No matter how many times you say it, your rhetoric is just bullshit justification for your shitty actions and you invest way too much energy in what people think of you. I don’t.” 

 

Shigiraki scowled at him. “You don’t care even a little bit that all those people have already assumed you’d turn to villainy at the first opportunity?”

 

“No, I don’t. I’m going to be the number one hero no matter what any of those extras say. Their opinion of me doesn’t matter as long as I’m saving people,” Katsuki replied.

 

“You do know that popularity plays a role in the hero rankings, right?” Spinner spoke up. “That’s a huge part of why the system is corrupt. Heroes spend more time worrying about their image than they do actually saving victims.”

 

“Yeah, well, no one actually likes Endeavor and he’s sitting at number two,” Katsuki countered. At the bar counter, Dabi choked on his drink. “The heroes that have to use popularity to rank higher are just shitty at their jobs. They’d rank higher regardless of personality if they had more apprehensions and actually devoted time to solving cases instead of modeling for shampoo.”

 

“That’s a lot of confidence,” Shigiriki commented, frowning. “Yet you also condemn heroes.”

 

“Sure, some of them suck,” Katsuki shrugged. “That’s life. You’ll find that anywhere, even in your villain clubs or whatever you call them. I mind myself and I make sure I’m doing something I’m proud of. Everyone else is just extra.”

 

“Well, the extras haven’t found you yet,” Shigiraki sneered. 

 

“That’s fine,” Katsuki said leaning back in his seat. “I’ve got time.”

 


 

He watched his Master glare at the boy. Bakugou was very, very brave. Like Dabi. The flame user also liked to antagonize Master Shigiraki like this. But he was pretty sure that Bakugou wasn’t in a position to get away with it yet. If he didn’t stop soon, Shigiraki might lash out. 

 

For the first time that he could remember, he found himself unsure of whose side he would take. Would he protect his Master like he was supposed to or would he protect Bakugou from Master Shigiraki? 

 

Why was his loyalty faltering?

 


 

Height References

Izuku can be fairly compact because of the shape of his legs.

He could crouch shorter than Mineta if he wants to. Sero is the maximum height he can reach.

He's most comfortable at Jirou or Ochako's heights. 

More Sero height reference. Here he is by Tsu who is 4 cm shorter than Jirou.

I even found one of him next to Jirou!

Izuku wouldn't be excessively taller than Katsuki like Sero is to Jirou here.

But he's taller enough for it to be noticeable when he stretches out.

 

And here's his bear!

The four patches are remnants of his shirt. 

Toga did the heart one, there was no 'wound.' It's just a decorative patch.

Chapter Text

On his third night with the League, the second night locked in that room with Izuku, Katsuki pulled the mattress off the thin metal frame and pushed it against one side of Izuku’s nest. The kid had watched him with suspicion but didn’t object. Katsuki just wanted to remind Izuku of the sleepovers they used to have multiple times a week. 

 

“You used to love Katsudon,” he told him as they lay there, facing each other. A trill followed that statement. “Ah, you still love it, huh? Is that what the bear was named for?” 

 

Izuku nodded. “Do you still like All Might?” The kid’s face scrunched up in disgust. “No, okay. That doesn’t really surprise me given who you’ve been living with. Do you like any heroes?”

 

Izuku shrugged, which made his wings shift behind him. “Can you fly with those?” Katsuki asked, eyeing the foreign appendages on his friend. Izuku hesitated this time, making a humming noise that sounded uncertain. The closest thing he’d made to a human sound yet. 

 

“I suppose there isn’t much room to fly in here. Do they not let you outside then?” Izuku shook his head and Katsuki felt another surge of anger. He’d gone 12 years without going outside? 

 

“Ow-sss-nnn,” Izuku managed, holding up one finger. Katsuki had not been expecting him to try talking at all. It was shocking how muffled and unintelligible it was. 

 

He repeated the sound to himself a few times, trying to figure out the word. “Outside?” Izuku nodded and Katsuki remembered the finger he held up. “You’ve been outside once?”

 

Another trill, which he was learning was a positive sound. “Did you fly?”

 

Izuku nodded with a relaxed smile and a faraway look. He must be remembering it. “So you can fly but you can’t because you’re locked up here. Hm. More reason for me to break you out. If you leave the League, you can fly all you want.”

 

That got him a flat look. It seemed that Izuku was really against the idea of leaving. Had their conditioning really been that effective? Was it Stockholm Syndrome, disbelief that he could actually leave, or fear that heroes wouldn’t be able to protect him once he did?

 

Whatever the exact issue was, that wasn’t the most important thing right now. The fine deals of his psychological issues could be figured out during the recovery period after he was rescued with some kind of professional. All Katsuki had to focus on right now was getting him out of here. Whether he was a willing participant in his rescue or not, it would be wrong to let him stay. 

 

And right this moment, he could try to remind Izuku of who he is. “Hey, do you remember the woods near our homes? We’d go walking out there to catch bugs or just to explore.”

 


 

This boy and his questions. He was starting to wonder if his Master actually put him with Bakugou to punish him in some way. It was weird that Bakugou knew his favorite food, but he can’t believe he used to like All Might. He’d seen what All Might did to Sensei. Sensei had so many more quirks than he did, and he’s pretty sure his quirks wouldn’t do anything to help him if All Might tried to kill him too. 

 

Being with the League made him a villain. One hero already proved he would be treated like one by attacking him and saying using his wing quirk was illegal. He was only 8 at the time. He hadn’t even known that little kids could be called villains. 

 

Some heroes were okay. Though they’d probably attack him if he ever saw them in person. Like Present Mic. Sometimes his Master let him listen to Present Mic’s radio show. And then Fatgum always seemed really kind on TV. And huggable. 

 

If Bakugou really wanted to take him from here, he’d have to protect him from the League, his Master’s wrath, and the heroes. Sure, Bakugou seems strong but he’s still just a boy. A kid. And just one person too. He couldn’t possibly give him freedom or safety. Right?

 

The tiniest part of him wanted to hope. Especially when Bakugou brought up more things from his supposed past. When he mentioned woods, he had a thought of a river with a fallen log over it. He could almost hear cicadas in the trees, sunlight shining through the leaves. Was that real?

 

“Do you remember when…” Bakugou looked sad all of a sudden. “Shortly after I started calling you Deku, we were crossing that log bridge with some other kids and I fell.”

 

“Kacchan!”  

 

“And while everyone else laughed it off when I called back that I was fine, you came down to help me and make sure I was okay.”

 

“Are you all right? Can you stand?”

 

“And I was a fucking brat about it.”

 

Red eyes morphed into confusion and then anger. His hand was slapped away. 

 

“I don’t need help from you, stupid Deku!”

 

“I don’t know if you remember. I just thought… Since you remembered me calling you Deku out of everything… Maybe you just remember things from just before you were taken?”

 

He couldn’t help the whine that escaped him when he realized he did remember. “Izuku?”

 

Bakugou reached for him but he shuffled back and curled into himself defensively. His mind swam with too many thoughts. Why did he remember? Who was he before the League? How did he wind up with the League? What was real?

 

“Izuku, it’s okay. I’m sorry, just calm down. Breathe, okay?” Bakugou instructed. A flare of indignation rose in his chest. He was the one bringing up these thoughts with his memories and questions and talking about leaving the League. This was his fault!

 

He hissed at Bakugou, furious that he would try to order him around after forcing thoughts of freedom and ‘before’ into his head. “I’ll stay over here, okay? I won’t touch you,” Bakugou promised. “But can you tell me, are you remembering?”

 

After a moment’s hesitation, he nodded. Bakugou looked relieved. “Okay. It’s okay. I’ll be here for you. I just need you to remember. I need you to come back to us.”

 

The desperation in the boy’s voice caught him off guard. Still, he hissed again before shifting so that he was facing away from him. He would not answer any more questions tonight.

 


 

When he woke up, he was closer to Bakugou than he had been when he fell asleep. He was facing him again too. Bakugou was sprawled out like a starfish, draping his arm over his back with his head tucked close to his shoulder. This… was familiar. 

 

He remembered looking up at the ceiling with Ka-- Bakugou’s arm over his ribs or belly. But he can’t lay on his back. His wings are in the way. So… Bakugou was telling the truth when he said that he didn’t used to have them. He used to be able to lay on his back. And Bakugou always slept like a starfish. Because… His quirk made him run warm and laying like this was cooling. 

 

Curious, he sniffed at the boy that was now way too close to him. Underneath the smell of dirt, he smelled like burning sugar. That was familiar too, if a bit unpleasant. Nitroglycerine. That was what made the smell. He remembered someone saying he had to be careful with Kaccha-- Bakugou’s skin because it was toxic. He licked him once anyway because he thought since he had his mom’s quirk, he’d taste like sugar. She said her skin just had glycerin. It was different. 

 

His mom… Bakugou had mentioned his mom. He said he called her… Auntie Mitsuki. He remembered once playing with her and Bakugou. Chase maybe? And she caught him. When he squealed with amusement, she held a hand over his mouth. “Hush, you'll warn Katsuki that I’m close.” And he did the only reasonable thing for a toddler to do. He licked her hand. While she whined about how gross that was, he remembered thinking she tasted like sugar. 

 

The door swung open, interrupting his thoughts. “New day, new news stories. Let’s go-- What are you doing?” His Master glared at them as Bakugou started to stir, grumbling about noise. 

 

Bakugou sat up and then turned to look at the person he’d been all but laying on. “Sorry. I move in my sleep.” He glanced up at Master Shigaraki next. “I got cold and he had all the blankets.”

 

He tried not to indicate in any way that Bakugou had just lied to his Master, but he was still shocked. Bakugou was either really brave or really stupid. 

 

“Do I really have to listen to your bullshit today too, Crusty?” Bakugou asked as he stood up. 

 

He winced as Bakugou pulled him to his feet too. He was stupid. Definitely stupid.

Chapter Text

Another day of listening to the League’s bullshit. Though he was trying to tune them out, focusing instead on Izuku who currently had a wing curled around himself while he picked through the feathers. That was a bird thing, right? Preening or something. Hawks was once asked if he did that in an interview and he said it was necessary to keep his wings healthy. 

 

“You know, we could be done with this if you would just agree to join,” Shigaraki snapped when he noticed Katsuki ignoring him. Again. 

 

“Can’t be a hero if I join you,” Katsuki countered. 

 

“If you don’t join us, you’ll lose your friend again,” Dabi spoke up, gesturing to Izuku. The kid in question froze, dropping his curled wing. “I don’t doubt you’ll eventually escape or be rescued. But Nozuku’s staying with us. You care about him, don’t you? Do you really want him to be alone again?”

 

“Who said I’d leave him behind?” Katsuki scoffed. 

 

Shigaraki just smirked and held out a hand toward Izuku. “Nozuku’s loyal to me,” he reminded Katsuki as Izuku all but ran to stand at Shigaraki’s side. His hand gripped Izuku’s shoulder possessively, one finger raised. “He wouldn’t go with you willingly and he can put up enough of a fight to kill you or your precious heroes.”

 

“Izuku wouldn’t do that,” Katsuki argued, though he didn’t fully believe that. Izuku was conditioned by who knows what means. His childhood friend was no longer predictable, forced to abandon his free will and follow someone else’s whims. 

 

Nozuku will do whatever I tell him,” Shigaraki snapped. “Right, Pet?”

 

Izuku kept his eyes on the ground but nodded. “Good boy,” Shigaraki praised. “See, the only way you can be there for your friend is to join us. Unless you don’t actually care that much.”

 

Green eyes snapped to him, watching him warily. Katsuki took a breath to smother the pure rage he felt at the way Shigaraki was manipulating Izuku. “I don’t need to stoop to your level to save the people I care about,” Katsuki replied coldly. “I will never join you, but I will free him.”

 

“We’ll see,” Shigaraki dismissed. 

 


 

Bakugou was gonna get himself killed. Bakugou was going to get him killed too. 

 

He talked about escaping with him to his Master’s face!  

 

Even if he was doubting his loyalties, he made sure his Master didn’t know that when he was asked point-blank. Bakugou seemed to think that he wouldn’t kill people which was kind of sweet but absolutely incorrect. He had already killed people before. 

 

Sure, he had trouble staying where he was told when his instincts demanded food or blankets or following a new smell. Sure, he had trouble being calm and obedient when Katsu was in danger. Sure, he had stolen snacks a number of times because it smelled so good. But overall, he followed orders. Especially when instincts didn’t interfere. 

 

He could guard the property against intruders. He could defend his Master just fine. He’d been ordered to track, restrain, punish, and kill people before and there had only been interference once. A man with a quirk that made him smell like rot for some reason. He’d refused to bite him to poison him when his Master ordered him to. 

 

His Master had been mad but his Master’s Sensei told him it was understandable and to let it go. After all, animals will avoid eating anything in a stage of decay that they can not digest. Since he was technically human, he would likely not be able to eat anything other than fresh meat. His Master had argued that he wasn’t eating the guy, he was just poisoning him. 

 

“But his instincts won’t allow that man anywhere near his mouth,” Sensei had replied patiently. He didn’t get in trouble that day and he didn’t have to kill the man. His Master decayed him little by little so that it would still be slow like his poison would have been. 

 

His instincts interfered in some things but not everything. And they definitely shouldn’t be interfering in his loyalty to his Master. No one ever had before, even if they were nice to him. He would never disobey his Master to help Magne, for example, but Bakugou was different. The more he was around Bakugou, the more he thought of him as family. A littermate. 

 

The instinct of protecting family was challenging his instinct to obey his Master. And he wasn’t sure which would win when it came down to it. He was terrified of when that moment would come. 

 

“I don’t need to stoop to your level to save the people I care about,” Bakugou said coldly, snapping him out of his confusing thoughts. “I will never join you, but I will free him.”

 

“We’ll see,” Shigaraki dismissed. His Master’s hand left his shoulder and then his Master walked away. “Let’s take a break. Should we order something?”

 

“I want sushi!” Toga exclaimed cheerfully. Dabi grimaced since he hated fish. 

 

Bakugou watched in disbelief as the League filed out of the room, leaving him there. “Did… Did they just leave me alone?”

 

“Nozuku and I will keep you from escaping,” Kurogiri pointed out from behind the bar. “You are not alone, Bakugou Katsuki.”

 

“His name is Midoriya Izuku,” Bakugou snapped suddenly. 

 

Kurogiri barely reacted. “I am well aware.” His eyes widened. That was actually his name? “Nozuku is a combination of Nomu and Izuku. To differentiate what he was and what he is now.”

 

“You care about him,” Bakugou said carefully. 

 

“Whether I do or not, I can not disobey my Master. I was told to watch over and obey Shigaraki Tomura,” Kurogiri replied. 

 

“Your master is Shigaraki’s boss, isn’t it?” Bakugou guessed. 

 

“Yes,” Kurogiri confirmed. “And Shigaraki Tomura is Nozuku’s.” 

 

“What makes Izuku defective?” Bakugou asked. He just watched the exchange, curious. 

 

“The animal instincts he developed due to his quirks interfere with his obedience. The inherent obedience that Nomus experience doesn’t work on him. He had to be trained through normal means,” Kurogiri explained. 

 

“Doesn’t work on him…?” Bakugou frowned. “Are you talking about a quirk? Like mind control or something like that?”

 

“We are obedient. I can not say if it is the effect of a quirk,” Kurogiri said, although he was nodding like he was confirming Bakugou’s guess wordlessly. 

 

“I see,” Bakugou responded. With that, their conversation seemed to end. 

 

Uncomfortable with the sudden silence and tension, he went behind the bar to grab a pen and some paper. He could write a little. He’d known how to since he could remember and Kurogiri taught him a little bit more when no one was watching or making him do errands. 

 

‘We have more friend?’ he wrote on the paper before showing it to Bakugou. 

 

“Not really, no. I mean,” Bakugou looked uncomfortable. “There were a few other kids that hung around us but they were mean to you too. Though, that was kind of my fault.”

 

‘Tell about?’ he asked, tilting his head. 

 

“Okay. There was a guy who could extend his fingers quite a bit, the one who could make his neck really long, and the kid with wings,” Bakugou told him. “I can’t remember the names of the other two but I know the winged kid was called Tsubasa because… he was on the news. He went missing about a year after you did.”

 

Tsubasa. The name stuck in his mind, uncomfortable and familiar. He closed his eyes and he could picture a heavy-set kid with a shaved head and bright red wings. But he also remembered an old man who he came to know as The Doctor.

 

“Sorry, kid. It’s not going to happen. You’re quirkless.”

 

“Sorry, kid. But I can’t pass up such a young quirkless body. You’re perfect.”

 

Dr. Tsubasa. The Doctor. He took him. He was kidnapped. Bakugou was right!

 

“Izuku?” Bakugou questioned softly. He glanced at worried, red eyes before remembering something else. Yellow wings and a metal face. He’d met many Nomus during his time here. That one should have been mindless like the others but… He’d called out so sadly to him. 

 

Standing up, he marched over to Kurogiri and asked in a desperate flurry of hand movements that he take them to the Nomu warehouse. “I shouldn’t,” Kurogiri replied. He was prepared to argue with him but then he noticed a portal opening anyway. 

 

He went to grab Bakugou’s hand and drag him through the portal. The smell of death and formaldehyde hit him but he was used to it. Bakugou on the other hand started to cough as Kurogiri followed them through the portal. “Where are we?” he asked, voice muffled by the hand now covering his mouth. A futile attempt to block out the smell. 

 

“The Nomu warehouse where our cousins are stored,” Kurogiri answered. “Apparently, Nozuku wishes to show you something.”

 

He nodded excitedly before dragging Bakugou down rows and rows of tanks and cells, containing Nomus of various stages of completion. The active ones were just as unresponsive as the slumbering ones. Until they got to one cell. They were still until they noticed him and then they shrieked, their wings rising to beat against the metal walls surrounding them. 

 

He wrote on the paper again and showed it to Bakugou. Friend. Tsubasa.’

 

His excitement was dulled when he saw Bakugou’s horrified expression. 

 

Wasn’t Bakugou happy to see his other friend again?

Chapter Text

Katsuki felt pretty damn close to puking, even if he normally had a pretty strong stomach. He had to since the smell of burning materials, or worse, burning flesh was pretty unbearable. But something about finding out that not one but two of your childhood friends were taken to be genetically experimented on and turned into monsters, stripped of their free will and stuffed full of foreign quirks was just a little too much for him to handle. 

 

Izuku just looked confused at his reaction as he stumbled back and tried to control his breathing. He had no fucking clue just how revolting and unforgivable this was. How could he? He was practically raised by them, never given a chance to question if the actions or orders of Shigaraki were wrong or right. Fuck, he was exposed to this shit as a little kid!

 

“He didn’t suffer,” Kurogiri offered. “The Doctor made sure of that since he knew the base personally.” Katsuki just grimaced because honestly? That made it worse. The person behind the experiments was not only fine with doing this to people, to children, but even to people he had some sort of empathy towards. Why? What could be driving him?

 

Katsuki took a few more breaths to calm himself before approaching the cell. “Tsubasa? Can you remember me? Bakugou Katsuki?” he called, watching as the creature, Tsubasa, seemed to calm down a bit. “Yeah? You remember? Midoriya Izuku is here too. Remember him?”

 

Next to him, Izuku waved hesitantly. Tsubasa moved closer to the cell door. Katsuki held out a hand through the bars which Izuku let out a chirp at that he could only describe as nervous. “I would not recommend that,” Kurogiri spoke up. 

 

“But he remembers me,” Katsuki argued. “Izuku hasn’t hur--” 

 

He was cut off by Tsubasa grabbing his wrist harshly enough to create a snapping sound. Adrenaline and shock kept him from feeling it but Katsuki was pretty sure Tsubasa had just broken his wrist. Tsubasa tried to pull him through the bars but thankfully, physics said no to that plan. 

 

Izuku growled and hissed, sticking his own arms through the bar to try and claw Tsubasa’s large hand off of Katsuki’s arm. Katsuki was faintly aware of his pounding heart and his near-hyperventilation as he watched Izuku draw blood from the hand he was trying to pry off. 

 

Tsubasa screeched and let go. Izuku was quick to pull Katsuki out of there and check him over. When he realized the wrist was in fact broken, Izuku started to tear up and whimper. 

 

“I’ll… be fine,” Katsuki assured him. “I’ve broken things before. They heal.”

 

“You are in shock,” Kurogiri pointed out. “We should take you to get some painkillers before that wears off.”

 

“Yeah, okay,” Katsuki agreed. Kurogiri made another portal to take them back to the bar but before he went through it, he took one last look at Tsubasa. Despite lacking pretty much everything that lets people make facial expressions, he looked unbearably sad. 

 


 

Shigaraki was not happy to return to a broken captive. Or as he said, 'a broken recruit.' “We were only gone for 20 minutes! What the hell happened?” Shigaraki demanded. 

 

“I fell,” Katsuki said quickly. He didn’t want Izuku to get in trouble and Kurogiri was basically in the same situation as Izuku, possibly worse with the mind control quirk he hinted at. 

 

“You fell?” Shigaraki repeated, looking doubtful and a little pissed off. 

 

“Yeah. The ground is hard,” Katsuki told him. If he got decayed, the incredulous expression this was earning him might be worth it. 

 

“You know what? Fine!” Shigaraki snapped. “You’re still here so… whatever! Come eat. Don’t need you starving on our watch too.”

 

He stormed past Katsuki to the bar where Dabi and the magician had placed some cartons of food. Katsuki glanced at Izuku before he followed, only to find him eating the little piece of paper he’d been writing on. Was he not allowed to write or was he just worried about the contents?

 

Turning his attention back to the bar, mostly so he didn't accidentally get Izuku caught, he could see sushi like Toga had asked for on their way out, but also other foods as well. They’d been feeding him since he arrived but from what he understood, Kurogiri cooked most of it. It was weird thinking about the dietary habits of villains. But then again, everyone eats. 

 

Except maybe Kurogiri. 

 

Now, he was still kind of nauseous from the whole ‘Tsubasa got turned into a Nomu too’ thing, but he knew that you're not really supposed to take painkillers on an empty stomach. So he forced himself to share a miso pork donburi with Izuku. He ate the rice but he gave the meat to Izuku. “We do feed him, you know,” Dabi commented. Shigaraki, at least, didn’t seem to care. 

 

“Friends share food,” Katsuki countered. 

 

“Ooh! I wanna share food with a friend!” Toga decided, sounding excited. “Twice?”

 

“I’ll share with you, Himi-chan. Touch my food and die ,” Twice replied in his usual manner. 

 

Aside from Toga, Twice, Magne, and the magician being remarkably loud, they all finished eating in peace. Katsuki and Izuku finished first since they were splitting a dish meant for one person. When they were done, Katsuki looked over his wrist again. It hurt but it was muted thanks to the pills Kurogiri gave him and the near-professional splinting he did. 

 

Suddenly there was a knock on the door. “Hello, this is Pizza-La, Kamino store.”

 

“Who the hell ordered pizza?” Shigaraki asked, turning to glare at his underlings. “We went to get food in person for a reason.”

 

 Without warning, All Might burst through the wall, spurring the villains into action. “Kurogiri, gate!” Shigaraki ordered. Kamui Woods jumped in from behind All Might, binding the villains in his branches. Even Izuku was caught in them. 

 

“No, wait--” Katsuki started, trying to tell them Izuku wasn’t a villain. 

 

 “A tree? What the hell?” Dabi growled, his flame quirk flaring to life. 

 

 An elderly hero that Katsuki didn’t recognize jumped through the hole in the wall next with incredible speed. “Don’t be impatient,” he chastised as he kicked Dabi, knocking him out. “It’d be in your best interest to stay put. 

 

Everything was happening too fast. 

 

“Just what I’d expect from one of the most competent new heroes around, Kamui Woods,” All Might complimented the younger hero. “And the veteran faster than the eye can see, Gran Torino.”

 

“Hey, let Izuku g--” Katsuki tried again as All Might moved in front of him. 

 

 “You can’t run anymore, League of Villains! Why? Because we are here!” All Might boomed. 

 

Edgeshot slipped in through a closed door using his quirk. He unlocked and opened it, revealing a police raid team. “We’re not the only ones here from the Pizza-La Kamino Store. Outside, you’re surrounded by skillful heroes, like Endeavor, and the police.”

 

 “I’m sure you were scared. You did good bearing it,” All Might told Katsuki. “I’m sorry. It’s fine now, young man!”

 

 “I wasn’t scared!” Katsuki shouted. “Listen to me! That boy--”

 

 “After I went through all that trouble to prepare this, why are you coming to me, you last boss?” Shigaraki complained. “It can’t be helped. ‘We’re not the only ones here’ you said? Well, neither are we. Kurogiri, bring as many as you can over!” 

 

After a few moments passed and nothing happened, Shigaraki turned to Kurogiri. “What’s the matter, Kurogiri?”

 

 “I’m sorry, Shigaraki Tomura,” Kurogiri replied. “The Nomus that were supposed to be in a fixed location are not there.”

 

From the warehouse? Weren’t they just there earlier? Was Tsubasa okay?

 

 “You are still green, Shigaraki,” All Might said, putting his hand on Katsuki’s shoulder. “League of Villains, you underestimated everything too much. The soul of this young man, the diligent investigations of the police, and our anger. That’s enough with the childish pranks. This is the end, Shigaraki Tomura!” 

 

 “The end? Don’t be ridiculous. I’ve only just begun,” Shigaraki scoffed. “Justice… peace… I’ll destroy this garbage heap that you put a lid on with such vague ideas. It was for that purpose that I set All Might apart and started gathering people for my cause. Don’t be ridiculous. This is just the beginning. Kurogiri!”

 

Edgeshot did something to Kurogiri, knocking him unconscious. “No, stop!” Magne cried. “Did you kill him?”

 

 “No,” Edgeshot assured her. “I played around with his insides and made him pass out. He is not dead. This man’s quirk is a nuisance so I’ll have him sleep.”

 

 “Didn’t I tell you earlier that it’d be in your best interests to stay put?” Gran Torino spoke up. “Hikiishi Kenji, Sako Atsuhero, Iguchi Shuichi, Toga Himiko, Bubaigawara Jin. With little information and time, the police officers worked through the night to determine your true identities. Do you understand? There’s nowhere left for you to run.”

 

Katsuki’s eyes widened. They had more on the League now than they did during the USJ. 

 

 “Hey, Shigaraki, can I ask where your boss is?” Gran Torino asked turning to Shigaraki. 

 

 “This... this is… unsatisfying,” Shigaraki muttered. “Don't be ridiculous. Don’t be ridiculous.”

 

 “Where is he right now?” All Might repeated. 

 

 “Go away… disappear… I hate you!” Shigaraki screamed. Suddenly, a dark fluid appeared in the air, forcing Nomus into the room. 

 

 “Nomus?” Kamui Woods exclaimed. “They came out of nowhere!”

 

 “Edgeshot, what about Kurogiri?” Gran Torino asked urgently. 

 

“He’s still unconscious,” Edgeshot confirmed. “He isn’t doing this.”

 

 “Kamui Woods, do not let the villains go under any circumstance!” All Might ordered. 

 

 “Yes, sir!” Kamui woods responded. 

 

“But Izuku’s not--” Katsuki tried again, only this time he was silenced by slime forming in his throat and mouth. Looking at the Izuku, the same thing was happening to him.

 

“Bakugou-shounen!” All Might reached for him as his vision went dark.

Chapter Text

“Sorry, Bakugou. It is not as elegant as Kurogiri’s warp gate. It must have been uncomfortable,” a new voice spoke. Katsuki looked up to see a man with a strange contraption on his head wearing a full suit. Members of the League were appearing at Katsuki’s side in black fluid. 

 

“What the…” Toga stood up, looking sick. Where were they? Was this the Nomu warehouse? There wasn’t anything left of it. 

 

“That was disgusting,” Spinner complained in between coughs. 

 

“Sensei,” Shigaraki started. And that’s when Katsuki realized this was Kurogiri’s master. The big boss and the true leader of the League of Villains. 

 

 “You failed again, huh, Tomura?” the villain interrupted. “But do not be discouraged. Just try again. I have brought your associates back as well. Even this child. Because you judged that he is an important piece. Do it over as many times as you need to. That is why I am here. It’s all for you.”

 

Nearby, Katsuki could see Best Jeanist, Mount Lady, Tiger, and several police officers. They already looked like they lost. “You’re here, after all, aren’t you…?” the villain asked suddenly, turning away from Shigaraki and the rest of the League. 

 

Katsuki was confused until All Might burst through the dust clouds still floating in the air from the obvious damage. The villain blocked All Might’s punches but the force from the impacts were enough to crush the ground below them. 

 

“I’ll have you return everything, All For One!” All Might shouted. 

 

“Will you kill me again, All Might?” the villain, All For One, asked calmly. Again? All Might had killed this guy before and he was still around? Just how powerful was he?

 

The ground below them imploded from the continued force, blowing back Katsuki, Izuku, and the League members. Izuku managed to recover first, righting himself much like a cat landing on their feet. He moved closer and dropped a wing over Katsuki to protect him from the dust and debris that had gotten thrown up again. 

 

“You’re pretty late. It’s a little more than five kilometers from the bar to here,” All For One commented nonchalantly. “It was easily thirty seconds after I sent the Nomus before you arrived. You’ve gotten weaker, All Might.”

 

“What about you? What’s with that industrial mask you’ve got on?” All Might countered. As the dust cleared, Katsuki very quickly realized that this was a fight he probably didn’t want to be present for. Izuku seemed to share his opinion, crouched defensively and emitting a low, nervous growl. “Aren’t you overexerting yourself?”

 

“I won’t make the same mistake as I did six years ago, All For One,” All Might continued. “I will take Bakugou-Shounen back! And this time, I will throw you in prison for sure! And all of the League of Villains you control with you!”

 

“There is so much to do. It’ll be tough for both of us,” All For One replied as All Might launched himself at the villain again. All For One’s arm grew with some sort of counter-attack that was strong enough to throw All Might back and tear down several of the surrounding buildings. Izuku let out a terrified squeak and started dragging Katsuki away from the fight which was fine by him. He didn’t want to be anywhere near this bullshit either. 

 

“Air Cannon plus Springlike Limbs, Kinetic Booster times four, Strength Enhancer times three,” All For One said, speaking mostly to himself. “This combination is fun. Maybe I’ll try to add a few more enhancer-types.”

 

It sounded like he was talking about multiple quirks. Was he a nomu? Or… was he the one making the nomus? They got multiple quirks somehow. Was it because of this guy?

 

“Run away from here, Tomura, and take that child with you,” All For One ordered. His fingers extended, stabbing into Kurogiri. Izuku whimpered next to him and Katsuki could share the sentiment. What the fuck? “Kurogiri, get everyone away from here.”

 

“Wait!” Magne rushed forward. “He was defeated and is now unconscious! I’m not sure what’s going on but if you can use warp, then you should get us away!”

 

“I just got mine, Magne,” All For One replied. “On top of only being able to transport short distances, unlike his coordinate transport, I can only bring people to me or away from me. And I can only send them away to somewhere I am very familiar with. So I’ll have Kurogiri do it.”

 

Suddenly Kurogiri’s portal opened. “Forcible quirk activation,” All For One explained as he withdrew his fingers. “Now, go!”

 

“What about you, Sensei?” Shigaraki asked. At that moment, All Might got up from where he’d been thrown, clearly ready to resume the fight. 

 

“Think constantly, Tomura,” All For One instructed while rising into the air. “You still have much more room to grow.”

 

“I won’t let you get away!” All Might declared before they clashed again. 

 

“Let’s go, Shigaraki,” the magician called. Katsuki turned in time to see him marble Dabi who had apparently been knocked unconscious at some point. “While that guy is holding All Might back. Get your piece.” 

 

The ‘piece’ was Katsuki apparently since all the League members turned to look at him. And he was surrounded. “What a pain,” he grumbled, readying himself to fight his way out. 

 

“Bakugou-Shounen!” All Might called for him but All For One was in his way. Katsuki was on his own right now. He couldn’t even rely on Izuku right now, though he hoped he wouldn’t have to fight him at least. 

 

“Get him,” Shigaraki ordered impassively. Twice and Toga attacked first and he dodged them and blew up the ground between them to throw dirt in Toga’s eyes. The magician reached for him and Katsuki used an explosion to dodge quickly. This wasn’t like their time at the bar. They were in a rush to escape and he was a flight risk being outside like this. This was a full-blown fight and he was disadvantaged 6 to 1. Izuku was an uncertain seventh. 

 

“Nozuku, what are you doing? Restrain him,” Shigaraki said somewhere off to the side. “...What do you mean, no?” 

 

So Izuku as refusing to fight him. Relief filled him at that as he fired an explosion at Magne and dodged the magician again. He was down a hand because of the broken wrist and he couldn’t use his explosions to fly. But he was able to get himself into a clear space. From there he could see All Might struggling. He knew the hero wasn’t using his full power so that meant All Might was holding back because he was in the way. He needed to get out of here. 

 

“Pet, this is a direct order. Restrain the hero-in-training!” Shigaraki shouted at Izuku. He turned toward the pair in time to see Shigaraki pull out the remote for Izuku’s collar and shock him, bringing the kid to his knees. He couldn’t look away and he almost missed the knives Toga threw at him. But Izuku didn’t. 

 

Despite the pain from the shock collar, Izuku managed to fly in front of him, blocking the knives. Two were brushed aside with his wings but one hit his shoulder. “Izuku!” Katsuki yelled. He tried to touch him but couldn’t without electrocuting himself. 

 

Pushing through the pain, Izuku rose to his full height and took in a huge breath. “What are you…?” Katsuki murmured before Izuku screamed . Katsuki quickly covered both his ears with his hands as the piercing sound seemed to knock down Shigaraki, Toga, and Twice. It reminded him a little bit of Present Mic’s quirk. 

 

Suddenly a ramp of ice appeared amidst the opening Izuku had created. Katsuki watched, slightly impressed as Kirishima and Glasses flew up the ramp with some sort of kite-looking contraption that was probably made by their classmate Ponytail. Glasses was using his quirk as the engine to get them up the ramp quickly. 

 

They flew into the air above Katsuki and Izuku, kept aloft by the kite thing. Kirishima looked down at him and held out a hand. “Come!”

 

Izuku grabbed him and they were flying. Izuku was escaping with him. They’d almost reached his classmates when Izuku’s collar started sparking again. On the ground, Shigaraki was up and still holding the remote. Izuku let out a sad chirp before throwing him at Kirishima. 

 

“No, Izuku!” Katsuki screamed as Izuku fell to the ground, writhing under the electricity of the collar. Kirishima caught him without issue. 

 

“Bakugou, who is that?” Kirishima asked. 

 

“We have to go back!” Katsuki demanded, trying to pry himself out of Kirishima’s grasp. Kirishima only hardened, making it impossible for him to do so. “I can’t leave him!”

 

“I’m sorry, Bakugou,” Kirishima said, holding on. Below them, Magne was using her quirk for the first time that Katsuki had seen to send the magician after them. Mount Lady blocked him at the last second, collapsing after the direct hit to her face. 

 

Once she fell, he could see Izuku just beyond her, standing up as Shigaraki stormed up to him. The villain looked furious but Izuku stood at his full height and held his head high, meeting him chest to chest. The last thing Katsuki saw before a building blocked his view was Shigaraki’s hand shooting out to grip Izuku’s throat.

Chapter Text

He stood up once the shocks that tore him out of the sky ended. He could see his Master storming towards him with raw fury on his face. He stood his ground, standing at his tallest as the man reached him. “You fucking brat,” Shigaraki growled before grabbing his neck. 

 

One finger was raised so he wasn’t being decayed yet. “What the hell were you thinking?” his Master demanded. “I own you! You’re nothing but a fucking dog! You listen to me!”

 

Bakugou-- Kacchan --was family. His instincts demanded that he help Kacchan first. 

 

“Shigaraki, we need to go,” Spinner reminded him as the fight between Sensei and All Might raged on behind them.  

 

“I should kill you right here and now,” Shigaraki threatened, ignoring Spinner. “Kurogiri’s not even awake to protect you. You will never be anything but defective! You’re useless!”

 

He squeezed his eyes shut when his Master’s hand tensed around his throat. This was it. He was going to drop his finger and--

 

“Move, kid!” His throat was released. He opened his eyes and saw Shigaraki stumbling back. A little, old man in yellow moved quickly, kicking his Master’s associates. Magne was kicked hard enough to get knocked out. 

 

Giant fingers wrapped around him from behind, pulling him away from the League. “Hey, kiddo. I got you,” the massive woman he’d seen earlier said gently. “Let’s get you away from all this.”

 

He tried not to panic as he was lifted in the air by the giant hero. Was she going to squish him? …No. She put him down by a bunch of people in uniform. Police, probably. No sooner than his feet were on the ground again, wood was wrapping around him like it had back at the bar. 

 

“Kamui Woods, what are you doing?” the woman asked, shrinking down to a normal size. 

 

“This guy was with the League,” the wood man replied. 

 

“I just saw him risk his life to save the League’s hostage!” she argued. 

 

A man in a long coat and a hat approached them. “We’ll take him into custody for now and figure out his story from there,” the man suggested. “Protective custody, in case he’s a victim too. He looks very young but they did have a middle schooler in their ranks at the attack on the camp. We can’t rule anything out.”

 

The wood man released him so that the hat man could put handcuffs on him. “What’s your name, kid?” the hat man asked. 

 

He warbled uneasily, not sure how to answer. He had so many names now. “Can you speak?” the man asked next. He shook his head and the man sighed. “My name is Tsukauchi Naomasa. I’m going to have an officer take you to the station ahead of me, but I’ll come soon to talk with you. Okay?” 

 

He nodded. He was pretty sure he was going to jail now. His Master and the other League members didn’t have many nice things to say about jail but he knew that’s where villains went if they weren’t killed by heroes first. 

 

A woman in uniform came to escort him into a car. He’d never actually been in one. He only ever traveled with Kurogiri’s portal. He leaned against the wall of it as the officer drove, peering through the glass window. The further away they got from the fight, the clearer the sky got. When he escaped before, it was during the day. But the night was very pretty, he decided. 

 

“Are you looking at the stars?” the officer asked. He trilled in response. She laughed lightly. “When we get there, we can stop for a moment to look up. It looks nicer without the glass and the streetlights.”

 

He trilled again and settled against the car’s wall to watch the stars.

 


 

Sometime after he was put in a room with a big mirror, he realized he left Katsu behind. How would he sleep in jail without Katsu? Maybe he could ask the giant lady to get Katsu. She was a hero and heroes saved innocent people, which Katsu was. He would have to ask for a paper so he could draw Katsu since she wouldn’t know what he looks like. She’s never met Katsu. 

 

He waited a long time and someone brought him water. They tell him he has rights for things like shutting up and a lawyer, whatever that is. They ask him questions. He can’t answer so they leave. His hands are chained to the table and his shoulder still hurts from Toga’s knife. 

 

He watched himself in the mirror for a while. They didn’t have one anywhere he was allowed to be at the bar so he only ever saw his warped reflection in the tv or the dishes in the bar. It was interesting seeing himself in multiple colors instead of silver or black or clear. He knew he was very green, of course, since he could see his limbs any time. But it was still interesting to see. 

 

After a long time, the hat man came in. “Sorry, I took longer than I expected to.” Why was he apologizing to him? People didn’t do that. Except for Kacchan. “I brought some paper for communication in case you can write. And this is Aizawa. He’ll be present during your questioning since we don’t know your quirk but we saw you do a lot of damage.”

 

A man with black hair and black clothes walked into the room. All of Izuku’s instincts screamed that he was a dangerous person so he shrunk down in his seat to appear smaller. “Can you write?” Tsukauchi asked, sliding a notebook and pen toward him. Izuku nodded and took them. “Let’s start with your name.”

 

‘Which one?’ he wrote. 

 

“Um… Let’s go with all of them in case your aliases are known,” Tsukauchi decided. 

 

‘Nozuku. Nomu. Pet. Defective. Deku. Brat. Stupid. Worthless. Dog. Ba--’  

 

“Okay,” Tsukauchi interrupted. “Those aren’t names. Well, not all of them. Most of these are just insults. I’ll write down Nozuku… Why would you be called a nomu though?”

 

‘Am one.’  

 

“All of the nomus we’ve seen so far have been mindless beasts,” Tsukauchi said, raising an eyebrow. “They seem offline unless given a direct order.”

 

‘Different nomu. Better nomu.’  

 

The hat man exchanged a look with the dark man. “Eyewitness reports say you saved Bakugou Katsuki. If nomu are supposed to be loyal to the League, why did you do that?”

 

‘Instincts. Am defective. Instinct protect family. Family first. Kacchan family.’

 

“You consider Bakugou Katsuki your family?” Tsukauchi asked, sounding confused. Izuku chirped and nodded. “Okay… That registered as true… Whatever that was.”

 

“Tsukauchi, let’s step outside so I can make a call,” Aizawa spoke abruptly. Hearing his voice for the first time made him bristle and duck his head. 

 

“We’ll be right back,” Tsukauchi promised. He watched them leave before returning his attention to the mirror. He blinked at his reflection and it blinked back. He did it again. 

 


 

“Do you think he’s really a nomu?” Tsukauchi asked once they were outside of the interrogation room. 

 

“I don’t know,” Shouta replied, walking into the room on the opposite side of the one-way window so that they could keep an eye on the kid as he made a call. He pulled out his phone and dialed his co-worker and close friend. 

 

“Shouta, hi! If you’re calling to check on the kids, everything’s good here,” Nemuri said cheerfully when she answered. “Bakugou had a broken wrist but Chiyo’s already taken care of it. We’re gonna bring him to the station in a couple of hours for his statement.”

 

“Put Bakugou on the phone,” Shouta instructed. 

 

“Why?” Nemuri asked. 

 

“Just do it, Nem,” Shouta huffed. 

 

“Fine, fine. Crabby-pants,” she muttered. “Hey Bakugou, darling. It’s Aizawa. He wants to talk to you real quick.”

 

Her voice faded as she handed off the phone even if she was still loud enough to be heard. There was some grumbling that sounded like it came from his student. “Hey, Eraser,” Tsukauchi whispered. “Look at the kid.”

 

Shouta turned to look at the kid in the window while Nemuri and Bakugou seemed to be arguing. The kid was just staring at them. “Yeah, he’s been doing that a lot since we brought him in,” an observing officer supplied. “We aren’t sure if he can see us or if it’s just some kind of intimidation tactic. People aren’t dumb. They know it’s not a mirror.”

 

The kid blinked at them in a way that a cat might. “Aizawa-Sensei,” Bakugou finally spoke. “Did you need something? I can come in sooner if you want. Hospital’s boring.”

 

“I’m sure it is.” Of course, he knew from experience that it was. “I need to ask you something about one of the villains we apprehended. He called you family and--”

 

“Is he green? Fur and wings? Cat ears and a tail?” Bakugou asked in a desperate rush. 

 

“Uh, yes. Very green,” Shouta confirmed. 

 

“He’s alive? Is he okay?” Bakugou sounded relieved and the softness in his voice was unusual for his typical demeanor. 

 

“Yes, he’s alive. He seems fine. Who is he to you?” Shouta asked. 

 

“Our families were close. His name is Midoriya Izuku and he was kidnapped sometime before his fifth birthday. We never found him. But he was there, where the League was holding me. They made him into a nomu.”

 

Shouta swore as he realized that this just got a lot more complicated.

Chapter Text

“So how old is he?” Shouta sighed. 

 

“My age,” Bakugou answered. “And he’s not a villain, he’s a victim. I don’t know how long it took them to turn him into a nomu but either way, he’s been conditioned to obey them since he was a little kid. Anything he’s done, he’s had no other option. They even put a shock collar on him because sometimes he doesn’t follow orders.”

 

“The other nomu follow orders without fail. Why is this kid different?” Shouta asked. 

 

“Kurogiri said that he’s defective,” Bakugou explained. “He’s a nomu too by the way. But anyway, he all but said that nomus are being mind-controlled to obey. Nodded his head while saying he couldn’t confirm it, so either he’s got a gag order keeping him from physically confirming it or someone was listening. But some of Izuku’s quirks interfere with that.”

 

“Mind control of some kind would explain a lot.” Shouta looked back at the kid through the window. “So… They had to resort to less reliable methods to keep him in line. Not that it worked. He saved you, after all.”

 

“From what I could tell during my time there, he will obey most orders from pretty much anyone unless the animal instincts he gained from his quirks contradict them,” Bakugou told him. “He even listened to me, though I wasn’t trying to order him.”

 

“You're saying that he’ll be cooperative with us whether he’s actually consenting to things or not,” Shouta said cautiously. Tsukauchi looked up in surprise at that. That’s not good. 

 

“Pretty much, yeah,” Bakugou replied. 

 

“Have Midnight bring you here as soon as she can. Does he have family we need to contact?” Shouta asked, kind of hoping the answer was no. He did not want to tell some parents that their kid was genetically experimented on and probably tortured for years. 

 

“Yes. His dad’s on a business trip but his mom, Midoriya Inko, is home.” Bakugou groaned suddenly. “Crap, he doesn’t even remember her. It took him a bit to remember me.”

 

“We’ll reintroduce them with caution,” Shouta promised. “Tell Midnight to get you here soon.”

 

He hung up and turned to Tsukauchi. “It’s unethical to question him. He’s conditioned to obey orders from anyone. His consent is unreliable.”

 

“Maybe if we make it clear that we aren’t ordering him?” Tsukauchi suggested. 

 

Shouta shook his head. “We have no way of being sure if he believes us or if he’s still acting as if we’re ordering him to comply. Plus he’s a minor and a victim. We need to wait for a representative. Bakugou will be here shortly. But we should still ask his mother if Bakugou can act as his representative.”

 

“I’ll go call his mother,” Tsukauchi offered. “You should go sit in there with him in case he tries to use any of his quirks. I’ll have Bakugou sent in when he gets here.”

 

This was going to be a long night, wasn’t it?

 


 

He had finally gotten out of the cycle of blinking at his reflection every time it blinked back and now he was working on a drawing of Katsu. To help the heroes find him. 

 

The door opened again and the dark man came in by himself. He watched warily as the man sat in the chair that the hat man had been in before. “We called Bakugou. He’ll be here soon,” Aizawa informed him. “He’s caught us up on the situation and given us your identity.”

 

He nodded hesitantly. This man radiated power. A little more than his Master even. If he was supposed to obey the more powerful Sensei before his Master because he was higher, then he should probably listen to this man before his Master too. New Masters were stressful since he didn’t know their preferences or their usual demeanor. He would do his best, though. 

 

“We’ll also be calling your mother, Midoriya Inko,” Aizawa continued. “We won’t have you see her yet, but we need her permission for a few things.”

 

If Aizawa needed Inko’s permission, that meant Inko was more powerful than Aizawa. He would keep that in mind. He was having to do a lot of reordering of his mental list tonight. Maybe that’s what’s supposed to happen when you meet a bunch of new people at once. 

 

The man stayed quiet after that and after a few moments, he went back to working on his drawing of Katsu. It was usually okay if he did his own things while waiting for orders. 

 

Aizawa didn’t seem to mind. 

 


 

“I still can’t believe it,” Inko sighed over her cup of tea. “All Might has been an icon since… Well, since we started high school. He took the world by storm at his debut.”

 

“To be fair, it’s kind of hard to process a man deflating like a balloon no matter who it is,” Mitsuki replied. Inko had come over to offer moral support for her friends while her son, Katsuki, was rescued. The raid to rescue him resulted in a battle between All Might and a stronger villain than she’d ever seen before. The whole situation was surreal. 

 

“I’m glad Katsuki got out of there safely,” Inko murmured, looking away from the burning city on the news. Rescue efforts and explanations of what had happened were still being televised. 

 

“Yeah. I want to see him now but the teacher I spoke to, Midnight I think, said Recovery Girl’s quirk might put him to sleep for a bit. They’ll call again when he’s on his way to the police station to give his statement. I have to be present for that, I guess,” Mitsuki shrugged. 

 

A cell phone rang and Mitsuki reached for hers only to frown. “It’s not me. Must be yours.”

 

“Who would be calling me at this hour?” Inko wondered aloud as she reached for her purse on the coffee table. When she pulled her phone out, the screen displayed an unknown number. She frowned but answered it. “Hello? Midoriya Inko speaking.”

 

“Hello, Midoriya-san. My name is Tsukauchi Naomasa and I am a detective with the Musutafu Police Department,” the person on the other end explained. “I apologize for calling at such a late hour but there’s been a development in… Your son’s case.”

 

“My son’s case?” Inko repeated, confused. Mitsuki tensed and gestured for her to put it on speakerphone. She did. “My son Midoriya Izuku?”

 

“Yes. Tonight there was a raid on the base of the League of Villains in order to rescue a UA student that they kidnapped. I’ve been informed you are close to the family of that student.”

 

“I am,” Inko confirmed, not liking where this was going. “What does this have to do with my son’s case?”

 

“He was found with the League,” the detective answered. Inko had to cover her mouth to keep from interrupting him. “He’s… fine. Right now, relatively speaking. However, he is not the same kid he used to be. We don’t have the full story because, for several reasons, we can not question him without a representative present. We were hoping Bakugou-kun could do it since Izuku-kun has responded positively to him already. But we need your permission.”

 

“Okay! I give permission,” Inko agreed quickly. “Katsuki’s parents are here with me now actually. I came over to their house for moral support. You’re on speakerphone.”

 

“Ah, that’s good. I was going to call the Bakugou’s next. Can you all three come down to the station?” the detective asked. 

 

“Yeah, we’ll be there,” Mitsuki spoke up. “Is my brat already there?”

 

“He’s been contacted and should be here soon,” the detective replied. “Midoriya-san, I do want to warn you before you come in. Izuku-kun probably does not look like how you remember him. I will explain in more detail in person but for now, I will simply say that he has quirks now. Plural. And at least one is a mutant quirk, altering his appearance.”

 

“...Do the mutations hurt him?” Inko asked hesitantly.

 

“They might have when they first altered his body but as of today, he does not seem to be uncomfortable due to them, no,” the detective answered. “Again, we don’t know much yet.”

 

“As long as he isn’t hurting, I don’t care what my baby looks like,” Inko decided. “We’ll be at the station as soon as we can. Thank you for contacting me.”

 

“I wish it were under better circumstances, Midoriya-san,” Tsukauchi said quietly.

 

“Me too, detective,” Inko admitted. “Goodbye.”

 

She hung up and let out a heavy sigh before looking at Mitsuki. The second their eyes met, Inko teared up. It was a miracle she hadn’t started bawling during the phone call. “They found my baby, Mitsu! He was with villains the whole time!”

 

Mitsuki pulled her into a hug. “He’s gonna be okay, Inko. Whatever’s happened, we’ll get through it. Okay?”

 

“Okay,” Inko sniffled. 

 

“Masaru!” Mitsuki called for her husband. “Kats is on his way to the station so we gotta go. Oh, and they found Izuku!”

 

Inko was helped off the couch and ushered to the door. As they reached it, Masaru appeared in the living room looking shocked. “They found Izuku?”

Chapter Text

Inko and the Bakugous got to the station before Katsuki did. Their neighborhood was closer than the hospital was and Katsuki had to go through all the discharge paperwork first. When they arrived, the detective she spoke to on the phone took her and the Bakugous to the observation room parallel to the holding room that Izuku was in. 

 

“Before I let you in, I would like to reiterate that he probably looks drastically different,” Tsukauchi said again. “I understand that he was diagnosed quirkless just prior to his kidnapping. Currently, he has wings and feline mutations from what we can see.”

 

Inko took a breath to steady herself. “I understand. I want to see my son.” 

 

Tsukauchi nodded and opened the door, letting them into the observation room. There was a dark-haired man in there with him but Izuku was all she could focus on. He looked the same but also… not. His face was nearly identical aside from a slight change to reflect his age. The ears and all the fur were new. Something shifted under the table, drawing her attention to a fluffy tail and paws. His feet were paws now. Of course, she was still his mother so…

 

“That patch of fur on his shoulder is discolored,” she pointed out. “Can you check him?”

 

The detective pressed a button for an intercom. “Aizawa-san, please check Izuku-kun’s shoulder.” The man, Aizawa, got up to check Izuku’s shoulder, carefully shifting fur aside to see the skin beneath it. The man sighed. 

 

“He has a wound here. It’s clotted pretty well but it should probably be cleaned,” Aizawa responded. “Send in a first aid kit.”

 

An officer was sent to go get a first aid kit and Tsukauchi apologized. “It probably clotted before we got him in custody and we can’t see the wound itself through his fur. Though, I suppose you’re a nurse, according to your file. You must have a good eye.”

 

“No,” she replied quietly. “I just know what color our hair is supposed to be.”

 


 

When Katsuki arrived, his parents and Auntie Inko were already there. He got hugged by all three of him and his mom said embarrassing things that made him glad that Aizawa was in the other room with Izuku. “All right, all right,” he grumbled, trying and failing to push his mom away. “Aren’t I helping you talk to Izuku?”

 

“Yes. Now that his status has been changed from possible villain to verified victim, we’ll be focusing more on having him recount his time with the League,” the detective answered. Tsukauchi. Katsuki remembered him from the USJ. “While we would like to know more about the League itself, our priority will be helping him recover from whatever he went through. The most pressing concerns are his health and his status as a nomu.”

 

Katsuki’s mom let go of him as the detective spoke. “Since we can’t verify his consent to anything at this time, we’d like you to act as his representative. He feels close to you. He even referred to you as family and betrayed the League to help you, leading us to believe he trusts you. So we will also trust you in determining if something is too difficult for him to discuss.”

 

“I haven’t seen him in over a decade,” Katsuki reminded the man. “What if I’m wrong?”

 

“He still trusts you and survivors are often able to talk about things that upset them as long as someone they trust is present. At the very least, your presence may make this whole ordeal easier for him,” Tsukauchi reassured him. 

 

“If it’s difficult for him at all. I don’t think he fully understands that what happened to him was wrong,” Katsuki admitted. Tsukauchi nodded in understanding and then they were off to join Izuku and Aizawa. 

 

Izuku perked up as soon as Katsuki came through the door. He tried to stand but he was handcuffed to the table. “Why is he handcuffed?” Katsuki asked. 

 

“His safety and ours,” Aizawa replied. Izuku chirped happily as Katsuki took a seat next to him. Tsukauchi sat next to Aizawa. It was stupid but understandable. Izuku was unpredictable still. 

 

“Bakugou-kun, why don’t we start with what you learned about Izuku-kun while you were held by the League,” Tsukauchi suggested. “We’ll do your statement later so just focus on your interactions that were relevant to Izuku-kun, okay?” 

 

So Katsuki told them everything he could remember. How he didn’t even see Izuku until he’d been there almost 24 hours. How Izuku didn’t remember him at first but started to the longer he was there. How Shigaraki used Izuku as a pawn to manipulate him once he realized he meant something to Katsuki. How Shigaraki talked about Izuku. How the League interacted with him individually. And what Kurogiri had told him about Izuku and the other nomus.

 

Tsukauchi interrupted him when he mentioned Tsubasa. “They turned another child into a nomu?”

 

“Yeah, but the other kind. Like what we saw at the USJ and Hosu. Izuku and Kurogiri seem to be different because they are still capable of thought. I mean, Tsubasa is proof that they still have emotional reactions to certain stimuli, but Izuku and Kurogiri are still intelligent. If that makes sense?” Katsuki explained uncertainly. 

 

“If Kurogiri wasn’t under the effect of the suspected mind control quirk, do you believe he’d be capable of independent actions like Izuku-kun seems to be?” Tsukauchi asked. 

 

“Yes. Because even with it, he was finding ways around it to take care of Izuku and protect him. The guy basically threatened me over a teddy bear,” Katsuki said with a wry laugh. 

 

Izuku chirped and slid the notebook he’d been doodling in into the middle of the table. Katsuki and the two adults leaned over to look at it. It was a picture of the bear and a note. 

 

Rescue Mission: Katsu Bear. Innocent civilin civylin person. Hero must save. Location: Nest. Deadline: Bedtime.’

 

“Oh, yeah. He can’t sleep without his bear,” Katsuki grinned. “It’s probably still at the bar. Trust me. You want to find that bear. Fair warning, it doesn’t actually look like a bear anymore.”

 

“I’ll see what can be done,” Tsukauchi promised. “Now, onto the questions we have for Izuku-kun. How did you come to be with the League? Were you with them the whole time?”

 

Izuku flipped the page in the notebook to write on a fresh one. It took a little bit but soon he had a chunk of text for them. ‘Whole time. Maybe. No remember any person else. Only Master and Sensei and League and Kurogiri and Doctor. No remember no wings or fuzzy. Not true. Remember little bit. Now. Kacchan make me remember. Laying on back no wings. A bit. Rest of time no remember. Always nomu except when not. Confusing. Help.’

 

“When I first showed up, he didn’t remember anything other than being a nomu with the League. He started to remember bits and pieces while I talked about our shared childhood,” Katsuki supplied. Izuku nodded. 

 

“Do you know how old you are in your earliest memory as a nomu?” Tsukauchi asked. Izuku seemed to think this over before replying. 

 

‘Maybe 6.’ Everyone in the room except Izuku looked uncomfortable with that. 

 

“What can you tell me about your time with the League? How did they treat you? What did they… order you to do? That sort of information,” Tsukauchi clarified.

 

Izuku seemed conflicted as he wrote, pausing repeatedly to think things over. Was guard dog. Security. Protect Master. Listen. Was defective. Quirks make bad mix. Instincts break orders. Master no like instincts. Kurogiri said still good security. Can bite. Can react. Can fight. Master keep defective nomu. Got training. Can listen better now. Not always. Still defective.’

 

“Shigaraki implied that Izuku’s killed on command before,” Katsuki added, reading over the words with Tsukauchi and Aizawa. “One of his quirks makes his bites venomous.”

 

“Maybe we should bring in a specialist for easier communication,” Tsukauchi suggested, looking at Izuku’s notes tiredly. “His writing is on level with early elementary.”

 

“That’s not his fault,” Katsuki said defensively. 

 

“No, I know. It’s just difficult to get the full story like this,” Tsukauchi explained. 

 

“Maybe we don’t need it. He’s home now, isn’t he?” Katsuki challenged. 

 

“It doesn’t work like that,” Aizawa spoke up. “In order to determine our next steps, we need to know what he’s been through and what he needs to recover and be rehabilitated.”

 

Katsuki grumbled but didn’t argue with that. 

 


 

Inko watched her boy through the window. He seemed so frustrated with his limited communication. She had only just started to teach him to write at home to satisfy his curiosity and help him with his hero notebooks. He wouldn’t be taught properly until he got to elementary. But then he was gone and he never got to learn. 

 

He spoke better than he wrote but that was to be expected. She was sure that there was a well-spoken boy somewhere behind those warped vocal cords. Even if he wasn’t taught formally, he’d pick up the language. He’d started picking up English from all his All Might documentaries before he left by accident. He absorbed things like a sponge. 

 

But for now, her baby was doing his best with chirps and growls and the writing skills of a toddler.

Chapter Text

The police asked even more questions than Kacchan did. And they were more complicated too. He couldn’t answer them with a yes or a no or just a few words. It was frustrating to admit that he couldn’t write well enough for this. He just didn’t know enough to write all his thoughts and he couldn’t speak it either. Any attempt would be too embarrassing to try. 

 

They talked about a specialist but he wasn’t sure how that would help. He’d been cut off from communicating for a long time. If there was an option, wouldn’t his Master have found it before?

 

They named names that he didn’t know and he got bored listening. He had his own questions so he started writing again. 

 

‘Where Master?’ He pushed the notebook toward Kacchan. 

 

Kacchan frowned, looking almost angry. “He’s gone, Izuku. You aren’t going back to him.”

 

‘Because bad nomu?’ His Master had tried to kill him for disobeying before the big lady took him. Was he being thrown away instead?

 

“Because Shigaraki is a villain and a shitty person. He’s not your master anymore,” Kacchan told him. The other two in the room had quieted and were watching them now. 

 

He frowned, confused. Shigaraki was his Master always. Temporarily he could be given to other people, left in their power while his Master did other things, but he always returned to his Master. Then again… His Master was going to kill him. His Master doesn’t want him anymore. 

 

‘Nomu jail now?’ he asked. 

 

“No!” Kacchan yelled, looking more upset. “If anyone should be in jail, it’s Shigaraki!”

 

“You aren’t in trouble here,” Tsukauchi interjected. “And you don’t have to listen to anyone in the League anymore. You’re free now.”

 

He looked between the two men and then turned to look at Kacchan, puzzling over this new information. He didn’t have to listen to the League now? Was this like… a permanent transfer of ownership? Like how the Doctor was his first Master until he was given to Shigaraki? Who was his Master now then? Was it Aizawa or was it still being decided?

 

Aizawa stood after a few moments of silence. “I’m going to call Nezu. I’ll have him bring Kouda in. I’m not sure if his quirk will work on Izuku-kun but we can try.”

 

As he left, Tsukauchi stood too. “I’m going to send someone to find Katsu,” he said with a gentle smile. He took the page with Katsu’s picture before leaving. 

 


 

After calling Nezu, Shouta headed to the observation room. Tsukauchi was already there, telling the mother about the kid’s responses. “It's too vague, through no fault of his own, so we’re trying to find someone who might be able to understand him,” Tsukauchi explained. 

 

“A guard dog, huh…?” Midoriya muttered. “Is that why he has a collar? Why aren’t you taking it off?”

 

“Bakugou-kun said it was used to control him. It’s a shock collar,” Tsukauchi answered. “We have a tech expert who will be here by 7 am that can remove it. It has an anti-removal mechanism that could hurt Izuku-kun if we were to just take it off.”

 

“Okay,” Midoriya sighed. “Are you sure I can’t see him? Like in the room with him?”

 

“With his impaired memory, we aren’t sure how he’ll react to you,” Shouta spoke up. “It’s easiest for us to get the whole story while he’s open and relaxed like this. If anything causes him to shut down, it could be a while before we can get any more information. That would delay creating a rehabilitation plan for him. It would also be best for him to be in a more comfortable space when we do reintroduce you too. Right now, he’s pinned down in an empty room.”

 

“Does he really have to be handcuffed?” Midoriya asked. 

 

“Just for now. If any of our questions upset him, being handcuffed would keep him from hurting himself. And to a lesser extent, us. I’m there to erase any emitter quirks that being bound won’t interfere with,” Shouta explained. “We just don’t know what he’s capable of.”

 

“I hate that that makes sense,” Midoriya huffed, looking near tears. The other woman, Bakugou’s mother, put an arm around Midoriya’s shoulder to comfort her. 

 

Shouta looked away to give them privacy, focusing instead on Bakugo and Izuku. Oddly, they were in a similar position as their mothers, with Izuku leaning his head against Bakugou’s shoulder and Bakugou’s hand in Izuku’s hair. One of Izuku’s wings curled around them both, draped over Bakugou’s lap. While his mother was upset, Izuku just looked exhausted. 

 

Hopefully, they’d be able to get this all resolved quickly so that he could sleep soon.

 


 

Bringing Kouda in had neutral results. He had nervously explained that he couldn’t understand Izuku since he wasn’t speaking ‘true animal language’ as he put it. But he could still determine the emotions behind his calls. Nezu confirmed this through the intercom, actually being an animal. Then he said he had a backup plan and to wait a bit for them to arrive. 

 

The bad news was that Kouda couldn’t help. But what made the whole thing neutral was that when Kouda signed his explanation, Izuku had reacted. According to Bakugou, Izuku used a made-up version of sign language to communicate with the League. With that in mind, they were able to decide that learning JSL would be a part of his rehabilitation plan. 

 

Nezu’s backup plan turned out to be Hound Dog. “He speaks a human language with animalistic sounds. I can’t understand him either when he gets like that,” Nezu explained. “Perhaps he can understand Izuku-kun? Of course, that’s just a theory.”

 

A theory that, thankfully, turned out to be correct. 

 


 

“Okay, Izuku-kun. We would like you to try and speak however is comfortable for you. Just like we did with Kouda-kun,” Tsukauchi instructed. 

 

The last person they brought in couldn’t understand him but he could speak with his hands. Unlike when he did it, the others here understood the person. They promised to teach him so that he could talk with everyone. Now they have someone else here. He looks like a dog. 

 

“First, while staying with the League, what conditions were you living in?” Tsukauchi asked. “Where did you sleep? How frequently did they feed you? What did they feed you?”

 

He started to speak, chirping and trilling, and was surprised when the dog-man started to speak. “I am supposed to sleep in the little room but in the past few years I’ve been--”

 

The dog-man stopped speaking after he cut himself off. It was weird. This meant that his Master-- No, Shigaraki. He has a new Master. --failed to find him a way to talk. 

 

“Izuku?” Kacchan questioned, getting his attention back. He chirped. 

 

“Weird,” the dog-man translated. 

 

“What’s weird?” Kacchan asked. 

 

“I think he means that having his words translated is weird,” the dog-man elaborated. He nodded in agreement. 

 

“So in the last few years, you’ve been sleeping where?” Tsukauchi prompted him to continue. 

 

“Behind the bar after there are no more customers. Or in Mr. Compress’s room because it’s the cleanest one so there’s space to hide in his closet. And during the day I nap in whatever beds are empty.” It was still weird how the dog man echoed after him but it was helpful. 

 

“So you were given more freedom,” Tsukauchi clarified. 

 

He nodded and then continued answering the question. “I had to go back into the small room if I was being punished. Except for when I was in there to guard Kacchan. They fed me almost every day unless I was being punished. I ate what everyone else ate. It wasn’t always good but it was what they could get.”

 

“That’s better than it could have been, at least,” Tsukauchi sighed. “As for punishments, were those the only way they punished you? Why and how often were you punished?”

 

“No. Not the only way. Just most common after yelling. I could also be shocked or hit or chained. Once, my Master started to decay me but Kurogiri stopped him by saying I could still be useful. I was punished when I wasn’t useful. When I didn’t listen or did something wrong. They hardly gave me important jobs because I mess up a lot. Too many instincts. I was at least yelled at every day because I kept messing up things. I tried to be good. Really, I did.”

 

“I’m sure you did,” Tsukauchi replied with a sad smile. The other people in the room looked sad too. They were probably sad because he was so bad at being good. He was sad about that too. “You said you weren’t given important jobs, but what jobs were you given?” 

 

“I am supposed to protect. That is my primary directive. I protect my Master, my Master’s property, and my Master’s associates. My Master also had me track, restrain, punish, and kill when he gave the command. That is all I am good at since I’m defective.”

 

He noted that the room seemed tenser after the dog-man translated that for him.

Chapter Text

There are a few ways this could go from here and I can't decide.

So I want your opinions. 

 


 

Option A: Izuku gets placed with his mom temporarily.

This will not last. He will eventually wind up at UA because they have better resources.

Pros:

Some time with Inko.

Izuku might see his home and regain more memories. 

Time outside UA gives him the opportunity to meet a surprise character. 

Cons:

Risks Inko's and Izuku's safety.

 

Option B: Izuku is hospitalized temporarily.

Mostly so they can figure out what the 'nomuification' did to him medically.

Inko can stay at the hospital with him and see for herself that he'd be safer at UA.

Pros:

Some time with Inko.

His behavior can be monitored and recorded in a safe environment.

If hospitalized in the hero wing, it's safe from the League.

Time outside UA gives him the opportunity to meet a surprise character. 

Cons:

The medical environment might remind him of the nomuification process.

Less freedom. He'd have to stay in his room.

Might eat a doctor. (Joking!)

 

Option C: Izuku goes straight to UA

He stays in the teacher's dorms as a ward of UA.

All the teachers work together to watch and rehabilitate him.

Inko can still visit.

Pros:

Around people his age sooner.

In a safe environment capable of withstanding his quirks right away.

Given more freedom since he can roam safely at UA.

Cons:

Less time with Inko.

I have to figure out how to get him to meet the surprise character.

 


 

In all three options, we would eventually end up at UA. 

Either in a few weeks or a few months.

Sending him to UA just makes the pros of being there happen sooner.

The surprise character is a canon character.

Other suggestions are welcome too!

Chapter Text

Enji shifted some rubble aside to get into the room behind the crumbled wall. He and the other heroes were being tasked with cleanup and rescue. He didn’t have the best effect on civilians so they sent him back to the bar to look for evidence while cleaning. About 20 minutes ago, an order had come in from Tsukauchi. They were now looking for a toy bear in the bar. 

 

He wasn’t. He didn’t give a damn about some stuffed toy. Why were they even looking for it? Was it some kind of evidence? Would a villain really ask for something like that if they were captured? 

 

The wall gave way to a small, windowless room. There was a mattress on the floor and an empty bedframe on the other side of the room. Claw marks covered the walls, which was impressive given that they were concrete. Were they keeping those nomu things in here or what? Someone with a quirk like Power Loader’s or something?

 

He let his flames burn brighter to illuminate the space. Next to the mattress was a bundle of blankets. He moved closer to make sure there wasn’t anyone in there. They’d already taken that Bakugou kid. It wouldn’t be surprising if they took other children too.

 

There was no child in the blankets but there was a pitiful excuse for a bear. It was just a scrap of fabric and fluff really. Picking it up, he left the room. “There’s a small room in there that should be photographed for evidence,” Enji said to the first officer he came across. 

 

Once he got outside, he looked at the bear again. It was laughably small in his hand and looked nothing like what it was supposed to be. “It should be put out of its misery,” he muttered. 

 

“You better not be considering burning that thing,” Mt. Lady huffed from where she was clearing the street of building debris. “That belongs to a kid that the League’s held for way longer than that UA student. I know you’re an asshole sometimes but do you really want to be responsible for burning a child’s best friend and only source of comfort for who knows how long?”

 

“...No,” he sighed. It was still a poor excuse for a bear though. Hopefully, someone will get the kid something better. Something in one piece… And less moldy.

 

The bear was handed to an officer that looked like a cat and then it was on its way to its kid. 

 


 

With Hound Dog’s help, they were able to get a better picture of what Izuku had gone through. They had very little information on the process that turned him into a nomu since he didn’t remember, but it was possible that he was under sedation for that. He had stayed with someone called only ‘The Doctor’ for a while, doing what sounded like physical therapy and quirk training. 

 

Once he was in full control of his body and new quirks, he was handed off to Shigaraki. The villain was only 11 when they first met but he was already cruel and short-tempered. Izuku’s conditioning was handled by someone called ‘Sensei’ until Shigaraki was 14. The conditioning was repeated periodically to ensure that it didn’t wear off, though the frequency was decreased in time. It included drills and tests on the rules. If he made a mistake, he was beaten or shocked. 

 

It was heartbreaking to hear Izuku proudly tell them that he got really good at the drills and tests in recent years. Right around the time that he started getting more freedom. Shouta tried to keep his reactions in check since the kid didn’t know better, but it was difficult. 

 

They were relieved to hear that despite the physical and psychological abuse, he was not sexually abused by anyone in the League. In fact, the one time a guest had tried, Shigaraki decayed them and ordered Izuku to kill anyone that tries to touch him like that in the future. 

 

Initially, they’d been concerned about that because of his lack of a shirt. Why was the League keeping him half-naked? Izuku explained that nomus only get one outfit a year to account for growth or wear. His shirt got torn in a fight and it kept ripping easily after that. He wound up using the tattered remains of it to patch up his bear who had started tearing from old age. 

 

Shouta had to really fight to keep a straight face when Izuku explained that he ‘cuddled Katsu too hard’ and that’s why he had weak patches that tore with little effort. It didn’t help that he had cat-like features and looked like a pouting kitten. He had to remind himself that the kid had parents and he couldn’t just take him home like he does with the stray cats he finds on patrol.

 

His kitten-like appearance really conflicted with the fact that he’s killed or severely injured a lot of people. Shigaraki was already committing crimes and making connections for the future of the League when Izuku was first given to him. When he was only 11, Shigaraki was torturing people and trading illegal favors to build the group he ran today. All under this ‘Sensei’s’ watchful eye. 

 

Due to Shigaraki’s early involvement in villainy, Izuku started early as well. None of it could be counted against him, legally speaking, since he was forced to do these things under threat of beatings or electrocution. Coercion through the threat of torture. He was never a willing participant, even when he started to compartmentalize. He had to cope somehow.

 

In another attempt to cope, he’d become attached to Kurogiri. The other nomu like himself. That brought up issues with the investigation on the League. They had thought Kurogiri was a willing member of the League. Knowing now that he is a nomu and is likely being mind-controlled changes things. They will have to figure out how they will handle him once he is apprehended. They would probably try to rehabilitate him too. 

 

Hound Dog, being UA’s school counselor and licensed psychologist, gave his own input on Izuku’s mental state while speaking with him. After they moved to the observation room, of course. “He is very open and given his history, I’d say that comes from a lack of privacy. Normally kids with no privacy would have a reverse reaction, becoming secretive, but he was also conditioned not to think of himself as a person. People don’t get privacy or secrets. He is a nomu. The few times he referred to himself with anything other than ‘me’ or ‘I’ he used ‘nomu’ to do so. In his own mind, he does not have a name. He has no self-identity.”

 

“What does that mean? Can that be fixed?” Midoriya asked, sounding rightfully concerned. 

 

“Self-identity is how you perceive and define yourself as a person. Your personality traits, abilities, physical characteristics, interests, hobbies, and social roles. But he is failing to see himself as a person in the first place,” Hound Dog explained. “The good news is that he’s retained a few things despite the conditioning. His attachment to Kurogiri and this toy bear he speaks of are small parts of that. He’s not completely lost so deconditioning will be a little easier for him. We’ll have to keep a close eye on him though.”

 

In the end, it was decided that he would be moved to the hero ward of the nearest hospital. They would have specialists figure out exactly what has been done to him to make him a nomu. They would also have a quirk specialist take a look at him since he didn’t know all of his quirks. Midoriya would be able to stay with him, being immediate family, and he would be checked on often by Shouta, Hound Dog, and Recovery Girl. The Bakugou’s would all be allowed to visit. 

 

Once he’s cleared medically, they will decide the next step based on his mental state. Most likely, he would be hospitalized long-term for psychological care or moved to UA. Going home with Midoriya was not an option until the League has been apprehended. The possibility of them coming back for him was too high to risk his safety in an unsecured environment. 

 

At 15 minutes past 7 am, someone came to remove the collar. No one predicted the meltdown that followed. Shouta had to erase a quirk that was alarmingly like his husband’s. Shouta called Nemuri once they figured out the issue was that he felt unsafe without the collar. She was able to bring a choker necklace that couldn’t harm him. Just an accessory that could be removed.

 

Shortly after they fastened a green, beaded necklace to his neck, Officer Sansa showed up with the bear Izuku had asked for. He was released from the handcuffs so that he could hold his bear without issue. He nuzzled his cheek against it and the action happened to align with one of the patches. Obviously, that was how he wore out the fabric so much. 

 

With the kid settled and the questioning over, all that was left was reintroducing him to his mom. 

 

Hopefully, that would go better than removing the collar did.

 


 

This is the necklace Midnight gave him.

Weighted like a collar without the appearance/associations of one.

Chapter Text

Before they let Inko see Izuku, they moved him to a room that they usually use when interviewing young children. It was carpeted and had a couch and chairs, so the detective felt that Izuku would be more comfortable there if he became distressed. 

 

Finally, they told her she could go in and led her to the room. She opened the door hesitantly. Inside was Izuku, Katsuki, and Aizawa. The dark-haired man would be staying since he could erase quirks. Seeing Izuku use an emitter quirk in the holding room had been more jarring than seeing him with mutations for some reason. 

 

Izuku was on the ground, Katsuki kneeling next to him, having already found a puzzle to work on. The pieces were spilled onto the carpet and he was sorting them by color. She smiled fondly. That was something she’d taught him to do to make it easier to put together. 

 

An ear twitched, registering the sound of her footsteps before he looked up at her. He watched her warily for a moment before returning to his puzzle. “Izuku, that’s your mom,” Katsuki said gently. “Do you remember her?”

 

He didn’t even look up a second time before shaking his head. He didn’t react when she took a few steps closer either. “Try using your quirk,” Katsuki suggested. “He recognized me by mine.”

 

“All right,” Inko replied before pulling a few stray puzzle pieces towards herself. Izuku looked up at that. She smiled and knelt down in front of the puzzle, handing him the pieces she’d picked up. Rather than taking them, he grabbed her wrist which made Katsuki and Aizawa tense. She let him shake the puzzle pieces out of her hand. And then he let go. 

 

“Izu-chan,” she said gently after he started working on the puzzle again. “It’s okay if you don’t remember me. I’ll be here for you anyway. We can always start over.”

 

Izuku looked confused by that and looked at her like he was thinking something over. His eyes always were incredibly expressive. Hers were too. It was genetic. They also joked that their ability to cry was genetic as well. 

 

After a moment, he shifted around the puzzle so that he was by her side. She watched, unmoving, letting him take the lead like she would with any traumatized patient at the hospital where she worked. He grabbed a handful of her hair and gently pulled it closer to his face. He sniffed her hair cautiously and frowned. 

 

It was too bad that Nezu and Hound Dog had to return to UA. She really wished she could know what he was thinking. But sadly, they had things to attend to. Hound Dog would be meeting them at the hospital later but he had to make arrangements for his responsibilities at UA first. 

 

She was not at all prepared for Izuku to tentatively hug her. Though she suspected he was just smelling her. When she wrapped her arms loosely around him, tucked under his wings, he tensed for a few seconds before relaxing. He nuzzled into her shoulder and purred. 

 

This went well after all. 

 


 

He didn’t know what to make of the lady that showed up while he was working on a puzzle. Kacchan said that was his mom. But a mom is a person that raises you and he was pretty sure Kurogiri already filled that role in his life. She didn’t seem threatening so he didn’t mind her. 

 

Kacchan seemed really insistent on him knowing her though. He told her to use her quirk, which was some sort of telekinesis. She took some puzzle pieces that had fallen out of his reach when he dumped the box out earlier. She gave them back right away, at least. 

 

When she tried to hand them over, he grabbed her arm before she could grab his. The Doctor had tricked him with that move before, handing him things only to restrain him. She didn’t seem upset that he had outsmarted her, though. So maybe that wasn’t her goal. 

 

“Izu-chan,” she said gently after he started working on the puzzle again. “It’s okay if you don’t remember me. I’ll be here for you anyway. We can always start over.”

 

This lady wasn’t even upset that he didn’t remember her. She’d still want to know him even if they were strangers now? That made him feel a little guilty for not remembering her. He should probably give her more of a chance to be remembered. If he actually knew her before. He can’t imagine having known such a kind person. 

 

After a moment, curiosity got the better of him. Since Kacchan was so sure he knew this lady, maybe he’d recognize her smell like he did with Kacchan. He smelled her hair first, not wanting to get too close if he didn’t have to. Her scent was artificial here. Like hair soap. She still didn’t seem like a threat, so he hugged her to get closer to her actual scent.

 

He still didn’t recognize her but she smelled a bit like him. He had met people like that before, that smelled like each other. They were usually related by blood. So… That meant she had to be related to him. Family. Even if he didn’t recognize her. 

 

She hugged him back and he tensed before relaxing. If she was family, she was probably safe. He didn’t have any memories of her, but her scent was familiar and comforting. He nuzzled her shoulder and purred to let her know this was okay. She could hug him. 

 

Family was safe. This was fine.

 


 

While they were reintroducing the Midoriya’s, Tsukauchi called ahead to the hospital so that they could prepare a room, and Nemuri was sent to grab the kid some clothes. He needed something to wear out of the station other than tattered shorts. She wound up bringing back a long-sleeve shirt that read ‘benign’ in English. You know, a blatant lie. 

 

“That’s not funny,” Shouta scolded when she showed him. 

 

“Yes, it is! Because he’s not!” Nemuri chuckled. “Anyway, hospitals are cold so I went with the warmer option. I found sweatpants for people with quirk mutations like his too. We’ll probably have to cut holes for his wings but we can let him show us. I’m sure he’s been modifying his shirts for a while. He’ll know better than us what to do.”

 

And he did. In the short time that Shouta had left the room, the kid had finished the puzzle. So he had no resistance to changing gears to modify the shirt. Getting the material over his wings was a process but he did it as fluidly as was probably possible. The pants were easier, having already been designed for people with tails in mind. 

 

Bakugou took one look at what the shirt said and snorted before giving Shouta a questioning look. “I didn’t pick it. Midnight did,” Shouta clarified immediately. He was not going down for Nemuri’s sense of humor.

 

An annoyed huff drew his attention back to Izuku. His mother was straightening the collar on the shirt and Izuku was barely tolerating her fussing. As far as they could tell, Izuku still didn’t recognize her but he’d decided he liked her anyway. Midoriya didn’t seem to mind that he didn’t remember her. Or if she did, she didn’t show it. She said his acceptance was good enough. 

 

Soon, they were on their way to the hospital. Shouta and the Midoriya's rode with Tsukauchi while the Bakugou's followed in their own vehicle. Izuku had seemed thrilled that it was morning now and the sun was out. He stared out the window the whole trip, chirping occasionally. 

 

When they got to the hospital, the staff had already been filled in on Izuku’s situation and they had a room ready for him. The door and windows were secured so that Izuku couldn’t leave and no one could break-in. Since the ward was meant for heroes primarily, it received quite a bit of funding from the government and the hero commission. 

 

That funding was put toward state-of-the-art machines and renovating the individual rooms to be more comforting. Muted blue walls instead of stark white. Actual seating rather than cheap plastic chairs. Lighting that wasn’t as harsh on the eyes. Of course, the areas for short-term patients didn’t have the same benefits since they were usually discharged the day they came in.

 

Izuku was staring out the window and pointing things out to Bakugou when the doctor that would be handling his care finally came in. “Oh, there’s a lot of you in here,” she said, laughing lightly. “Good. It’s good to have a support system when you’re healing.”

 

She had Izuku’s attention the second she walked in. Only he didn’t react to her the way he did with his mom. His tail and wing feathers puffed up and he hissed at her. He did not look happy. She simply smiled, unbothered. “Oh my. You must be my patient.”

 


 

Shirt of Lies

Chapter Text

Everything was fine. He got new clothes earlier than he was supposed to. He had Katsu again. He got to do in the car and see the sky and the clouds and the sun. The new place they took him to was fine too. The room they were in was up high and he could see lots of things outside the big windows lining the wall. And then a scientist walked in. 

 

The Doctor wasn’t the only person that worked with him before he went to Shigaraki. There were lab assistants working under The Doctor. They wore long, white coats and did all the worst things in the lab. The absolute worst part about them is that when they were there, all The Doctor’s procedures were done without sedation. Because the scientists could hold him down. 

 

If they weren’t around, he got to sleep through everything. If they were around, there was a good chance that he’d be awake to see The Doctor digging around in his insides. If that happened, he could only hope that it would hurt enough for him to pass out. Being asleep was better. It was always better. Being fully sedated was best though. 

 

But now there was a scientist here! He trusted Kacchan!

 

He felt his fear and feathers puff up in fear and he hissed in warning. The scientist didn’t even seem phased. “Oh my. You must be my patient,” she said with a smile. 

 

“Izuku, it’s okay,” Kacchan told him. Izuku growled at him because he was a liar! He said there was no more League! Scientists were the worst people in the League. 

 

The scientist moved and he tensed, keeping an eye on her as she walked over to some cupboards. He could feel his tail thrashing as he waited, conflicted. He wanted to attack her because he wanted to be done with scientists but that would be bad. He wasn’t supposed to attack people unless they hurt his Master or his Master’s associates. That might be Aizawa now, though he wasn’t 100% sure about that. 

 

He watched as she put things in a basket. He recognized a lot of it since The Doctor and the scientists had used them before. Some of it was unfamiliar. And then she started walking towards him. His back hit the wall behind him when he tried to back up. With nowhere to go, he lowered himself to the ground, crouching. If he needed to, he could spring around her like this. 

 

She stopped with a few footsteps away and knelt in front of him. “Hello, Izuku-kun. My name is Seki Hikari and I will be your primary physician during your stay here. I won’t be the only one you see, but I will be coordinating your care with specialists to make the process smoother.”

 

His wings pressed uncomfortably against the wall when he tried to get further away from her. He growled, calling her something mean. He learned all the best mean words from Shigaraki. He said them a lot when he played video games. She couldn’t understand him though. 

 

“I would like to do an intake examination if you don’t mind. We can go as slow as you like.” He watched her take something out of the basket. “This is a thermometer. I just need to touch this to your forehead for a few seconds and it will tell me your temperature.”

 

He huffed at that. He wasn’t stupid. He knew what a thermometer was and what it did. She moved the tool towards him and everyone else in the room looked just as on edge as he felt. To close, too close, too close! He lashed out, clawing her arm and closing his jaws on her hand. She didn’t even flinch but a sharp pain in his teeth and gums made him let go. 

 

Her arm was unharmed and sparkling. He ran his tongue over his teeth to make sure none had broken. She just smiled patiently when he glared at her and growled again. “I was selected to be your lead physician because of my quirk. Diamond Skin. I am the most suited to interact with you given your unpredictability and my durability.” 

 

The clever scientist took his temperature while he processed that. While she picked a new tool out of the basket, he scooted along the wall toward Kacchan, hiding behind his legs. “Izuku, you’ve got to let her check you over,” Kacchan sighed. “She’s not gonna hurt you.”

 

He pouted at the order but stayed where he was. If she wanted to ‘check him over’ she would have to come here. He growled another mean word when she did without hesitation. 

 


 

Shouta had no idea what this doctor’s quirk was so for a second there, he thought he was about to have a mangled medical professional on his hands. Izuku had seemed downright offended when he realized what happened. He was quick to scurry off and hide behind Bakugou, clinging to his leg like a little kid. His ability to compact himself only made him seem even smaller. 

 

He winced when he realized that Bakugou’s pleading was taken as an order. It was going to take a long time to break that and they would need to be extremely careful with how they worded requests in the future. But for now, he was begrudgingly allowing the doctor to take his vitals. He even let her take a fur sample and a feather, though he’d plucked the feather himself. 

 

The doctor finally left after saying that a nurse would be sent by to collect a blood sample soon. Shouta was worried about how that would go. Bakugou’s parents and Izuku’s mom all seemed unnerved by the whole thing. Since Bakugou was preoccupied with comforting the very distressed Izuku, Shouta took the opportunity to talk to the parents. “How are you doing?”

 

“I didn’t expect him to actually attack that woman,” Bakugou’s mother admitted. Her husband nodded in agreement. 

 

“Well, he was terrified,” Midoriya sighed. “I’m more concerned about what he went through to create that level of fear. And the way he just backed down when Katsuki told him to… That’s not right. He shouldn’t be able to ignore his own terror like that.”

 

“You’re right. It’s not healthy,” Shouta agreed. “That said, it is normal for victims of abuse or trauma. Especially when it was recurring. It enables them to cope with their situation. Part of his recovery and rehabilitation will be getting him to ignore what he perceives as orders, and letting himself feel his emotions and act on them within reason.”

 

“How many of those emotions and actions are inhuman though,” Bakugou’s mother questioned. “He has animal instincts now, right?”

 

“He does. Because of forced genetic mutation,” Shouta reminded her. “This wasn’t something he chose but it’s something he lives with now. Any feelings or instincts that come from his mutation quirks are still valid. Hound Dog lets himself experience his instincts. Even Nezu, intelligent as he is, experiences obviously animalistic behavior. For example, he likes to burrow in my scarf. I often wind up carrying him or being a perch during meetings.”

 

“But if he attacks someone like that…?” Midoriya looked over at Izuku, seemingly concerned. 

 

“He gave her several warnings. His posture, body language, the hissing, the growling. He didn’t attack her unprovoked,” Shouta defended the kid. “Even people without animalistic quirks will lash out when they’re scared and cornered. The only behavior that should be curbed is behavior that harms people unprovoked. Like if he tried to hunt people or something.”

 

“I think I understand,” Midoriya murmured, partly to herself. 

 

Only a few minutes later, a nurse came for Izuku’s blood sample. The whole room tensed, expecting a repeat of what happened earlier, but Izuku didn’t seem bothered. Even when the blood was actually drawn, Izuku just watched with slight curiosity. He also seemed interested in the pins the nurse wore on his scrubs. 

 

Shouta’s eyes widened when he figured it out. What they wore mattered. This guy only came in scrubs but the doctor had a standard lab coat. It was just a theory for now, but he would be sure to tell the staff. If he was right, as long as no one wore a lab coat, Izuku wouldn’t be as afraid. 

 

They all relaxed when the nurse was able to finish up and leave without a reaction from Izuku. Another nurse came and stood in the doorway a moment to tell them that the intake was over and everyone could settle in if they wanted. Again, there was no reaction from Izuku toward the woman in the door wearing scrubs. 

 

“We’re probably going to go home for now,” Bakugou’s father decided. “Didn’t expect an all-nighter.”

 

“And into the day-er,” Bakugou’s mother joked. “Inko, I can bring you some things from your apartment later if you want.”

 

“Yes, please,” Midoriya replied, taking her keys out of her purse and handing them to the other woman. “I’ll text you a list after I get Izuku settled.”

 

“I’m going to head back to the station. I assume you’ll be staying here?” Tsukauchi asked Shouta. 

 

“I can erase his quirks,” Shouta replied tiredly. “It’s best if I do.”

 

Thankfully, summer break was still in effect. Otherwise, he might miss work for this.

Chapter Text

He woke up in a bed that was too empty. Not enough blankets for a nest but he managed to sleep. Looking around, he saw the nice lady sleeping on a couch and Aizawa sleeping while sitting upright in a chair. It didn’t look comfortable. 

 

The curtains had been closed so that the room was darker. But he could still see clearly. His eyes were altered, after all. He climbed out of the bed and walked over to the door as quietly as he could. There was a thin, little window and he could see outside. People walked up and down the hallway, past the door. He saw another scientist among everyone else. 

 

The scientist that he met earlier hadn’t hurt him. It was weird. They always hurt him. So… He guessed that maybe they were not from the League. The world had to have other scientists, right? Maybe only the ones at the League were bad. Because Kacchan said Shigaraki was bad too. A villain. But Shigaraki had said villains were just misunderstood. Heroes were bad. 

 

This was all so confusing. 

 

The door beeped when he tried to open it. He wasn’t sure what the beep was but he knew what a locked door felt like. Oh well. It wasn’t the first time he’d been locked in somewhere and this was a nicer room than he had before. There was a window! 

 

He eyed the cabinets the scientist had gotten stuff from before. When he investigated them, they were not locked. He found lots of things. The Doctor had never let him touch the tools on his own so he took full advantage of the opportunity. 

 

It was hard getting it in his ears but he managed to wear the stethoscope. He listened to his heart like The Doctor used to. He’d never gotten to hear it before. Sounded weird. He couldn’t look in his own ears or eyes so he left to tool for that alone. He squeezed the thingy on the blood pressure cuff but didn't put it on. He didn’t know how to read it anyway. 

 

Then he found a jar of marshmallows and tried to eat one. “No, get that out of your mouth!” Aizawa ordered, appearing out of nowhere . The man was incredibly brave since he proceeded to stick his fingers in his mouth, not seeming even a little concerned about his venom. 

 

He pouted when the marshmallow in his mouth and the jar of them were taken away. Didn’t taste good anyway. Tasted like Katsu’s stuffing. Maybe he could give some to Katsu. 

 

Aizawa sighed. “Sorry, kid. That’s just not something you can eat. We can ask someone to bring food if you’re hungry.”

 

He shook his head. He was just tasting. Tasting doesn’t mean hungry. 

 

The man said nothing else, letting him explore the cabinets without interference. It must be okay to explore. Except for tasting. Was licking not allowed too? It’s not eating. He decided against testing that boundary and put the stethoscope back on. Aizawa was still standing near him so he stood up to press the sound end to the man’s chest. Aizawa let him do that too. 

 

Aizawa’s heart was a lot slower than his. When he looked up at the man, he had a face like Kurogiri made when he was content with him. Neither had very big expressions, making them hard to read for most people. But he’d known Kurogiri forever. He learned the slight faces. 

 

He tried to tell the man his heart was too slow. It took a bit but Aizawa figured it out when he pointed at the clock on the wall and made a motion like it was going backward. “My heart rate is normal for someone with my activity level,” Aizawa told him, looking a little bit amused. “Your heart rate is most likely faster due to your mutations. The staff here will figure that out for sure.”

 

That made sense. He eyed the lady still sleeping on the couch. “You’ll wake her up,” Aizawa warned. He considered that. It wasn’t a no. He would just do it extra quietly. 

 

Unfortunately, he underestimated how light of a sleeper she was. He’d barely touched her when she startled awake. “Wha-- Uh, oh. Izuku. How’d you sleep?”

 

He just shrugged, mildly impressed at how easily she adapted to being woken up. Dabi usually burned people. Toga just wouldn’t wake up. Shigaraki would be disoriented for a bit. Her heart rate barely changed under his stethoscope. At least he knew that she wasn’t afraid of him. 

 

“He’s been entertaining himself by listening to heart rates,” Aizawa informed her. “He also tried to eat a cotton ball.”

 

The lady laughed as she shifted to sit up. “He used to do that when he was little too. He thought they were marshmallows. I could never convince him otherwise.”

 

Cotton ball… Cotton ball… Hm. He would have to remember that. 

 


 

Inko watched apprehensively as Izuku emptied out a cabinet and then climbed inside it. She hoped he wouldn’t get in trouble for that. It was impressive that he could fold himself up enough to fit, though. According to Katsuki, Izuku was taller than he seemed. Neither she nor his father were particularly tall, so she had always assumed he’d be short too. 

 

Soon after he stuffed himself in the small space, the doctor from before came back. Aizawa had brought up his theory about the lab coats after they got Izuku to sleep. But Dr. Seki would be keeping hers on since she’d already been seen in it. She didn’t want him to start associating the scrubs she wore underneath with whatever frightened him. 

 

“I have good news,” Dr. Seki said when she came in. She didn’t even falter when she spotted the objects on the floor and the tail poking out of the cabinet. “His fur and blood samples came back. He is completely free of toxins and illnesses. He’s a little malnourished but it’s not drastic. It definitely fits with the diet of availability that was described. Physically, I’d say he’s healthy.”

 

Inko sighed in relief. “But that’s not all there is to this,” Aizawa spoke up and Inko tensed again. 

 

“No,” Dr. Seki agreed. “Moving forward, we’ll want to document evidence of past injuries, figure out how his body has changed structurally, learn more about his quirks, and determine a baseline for what’s considered healthy for him. During intake, some of his vitals were a little off from what we’d normally expect but nothing we’d consider a medical emergency. His body was forcibly mutated and we need to make sure that he will remain healthy in the future.” 

 

“Victims of experimentation like this can become ill long after the initial event. That’s why medical trials can sometimes go on for decades. By monitoring him for a bit, we’ll be able to see if there’s any sort of degradation occurring,” she explained. “His mental health will also be evaluated, but I believe the pro hero Hound Dog was going to lead his psychological care seeing as how he’s the only person that can currently understand Izuku-kun.”

 

“How long will that take?” Inko asked. 

 

“It’s hard to say. Could be a week; could be a month,” Dr. Seki said with a sympathetic smile. “It depends on how smoothly everything goes and if any results are difficult to collect. The degradation could be especially difficult and time-consuming, but that is something that we can monitor even after he’s discharged. He would need to come back regularly for testing. Maybe every three months or so.”

 

“In the meantime, we can start some of his rehabilitation,” Aizawa told her. “I know sign language. My husband’s better at it and could also come by to help him learn it. Nezu can arrange simple lesson plans for him to work on in here and pass time with. They would also help him communicate better. And then whatever else Hound Dog recommends for his mental health.”

 

“That sounds simple enough,” Inko sighed. “I don’t suppose you’d be willing to teach me sign language too? I don’t know it but I’d like to understand Izuku once he learns it.”

 

“Sure. That’s no problem,” Aizawa agreed. Inko smiled, thankful for all the help this man was giving. Sure, he was probably just doing his job but she was grateful nonetheless. 

 


 

Tucked away in the cabinet, he listened to the scientist talk about him. He didn’t get what she meant by degradation but he understood most of the rest of it. It didn’t sound so bad, except maybe the part about finding out how his body has changed. That sounded like ‘cutting him open’ territory. She’d been nice so far though, so maybe she’d let him sleep for that. 

 

He didn’t close the door all the way because he wasn’t trying to hide, so he caught her gaze when she looked over at him. She smiled briefly before continuing her talk with Aizawa and the lady. She didn’t seem upset that he’d put all her things on the floor. 

 

Good. This was his spot now.

Chapter Text

It had been a week since Izuku had been brought to the hospital. Shouta and Midoriya were there almost 24/7. Bakugou visited daily and it was pretty safe to say that he was Izuku’s current favorite person. He’d taken to hiding and ambushing the blonde when he arrived. The first time Izuku pounced on him from the top of the cabinets had caught him off-guard, explosions crackling in response that Shouta quickly erased. And then he was just lying there stunned and pinned while Izuku nuzzled him much in the way Shouta’s cat did to scent-mark people. 

 

Thankfully, Bakugou reacted better to all of the following ambushes. 

 

Izuku had mostly neutral reactions to all the tests that occurred in his room. He let nurses and doctors in scrubs take his vitals, draw blood, manipulate his joints, comb through his feathers, and more without so much as a squeak. He still didn’t seem to like Dr. Seki but he tolerated her presence for the most part. There was a daily test to see if her quirk would falter so that he could bite her but when it didn’t work he allowed her to do her job, grumbling the whole time. 

 

There was one nurse that he’d come to really like. Shouta was completely sure that it was because they kept bringing stickers to bribe him with. Izuku treasured those stickers for some reason. He wouldn’t peel the backing off to stick them anywhere. Instead, he’d lay them out on the ground every so often to look at them. Midoriya eventually got a sketchbook from the gift shop on the ground floor and Izuku had spent yesterday carefully placing the stickers inside. 

 

Not everything had gone well though. When he had to be taken from the room to use equipment that can’t be moved, like the x-ray machine, there was a 50/50 chance of him reacting badly to something. Shouta always had to go with since the staff couldn’t manage his quirks without sedating him. Quirk suppressants didn’t work on everything. 

 

The worst one had been the MRI machine. Izuku cowered in a corner while Shouta asked the staff it was medically necessary. They insisted that it was and he made them explain why. It would be the safest way to see inside areas they couldn’t see with an x-ray or ultrasound. Shouta sighed and crouched to Izuku’s level. “Kid, this isn’t an order, but they really need you to go in there. Just for a bit. I can stay and hold your hand, okay?”

 

They’d been working on navigating Izuku’s conditioning with Hound Dog for the last week as well. Although he could initially be oppositional when frightened, if anyone asked him to do something, he would force himself to. Hound Dog told them to explain before every request that it wasn’t an order and to give Izuku a chance to say yes or no. 

 

Hound Dog admitted that he wasn’t sure how well Izuku understood that since he still hadn’t said no to things that could be perceived as orders. Izuku had said he understood but it was possible that he was just agreeing with what they explained to make them happy. Until he said no to something, they couldn’t be entirely sure of what he thought. 

 

Once again, Izuku agreed, taking the hand that Shouta had held out for him. He trembled the whole way to the machine and cried quietly once he was inside. Shouta hated it. On one hand, he wished Izuku would say no when he was so obviously terrified but on the other hand, they did need to get through these medical procedures. It was conflicting. 

 

Then there had been the startling revelation that Izuku thought they were gonna cut him open. Hound Dog had asked what he thought of the hospital so far and Izuku had said he ‘wasn’t looking forward to being cut open’ and ‘could they please let him sleep when they did.’ Everyone needed a moment to process that before they could even begin to explain to Izuku that no one would be cutting him open at any point during his stay.  

 

The only thing Izuku had specifically asked for through Hound Dog, was more blankets. Shouta and Midoriya were both adamant about getting his only request fulfilled, lowkey bullying the staff into giving them more blankets than was usually allowed. They also raided the gift shop for some of the fluffier blankets. Izuku was thrilled and used them to make a nest. 

 

Shouta’s husband, Hizashi, came three days in the past week to teach him sign language. They were starting with character signs so that Izuku could spell things out. The downside to that was his limited ability to spell in the first place. But Nezu had been quick about finding teaching materials and Midoriya had been helping Izuku work through them. He was slowly improving. 

 

Today, they were taking Izuku to another test outside of the room and then, later on, a quirk specialist would be by to examine him. Izuku seemed to enjoy walking through the halls and despite Shouta’s best efforts to stop him, he would regularly peek into the rooms as they passed them. This time, Izuku seemed to linger at one door and Shouta had to gently pull him away. 

 

They got to the testing room and Shouta watched the nurse set up the imaging equipment. He wasn’t sure what exactly this was for but he narrowed his eyes when he saw a long needle. He turned to Izuku to gauge his reaction but the kid was gone. “Izuku?” Shouta scanned the room before going out into the hallways. Nothing. “Shit.”

 


 

He had figured out a bit ago that there were a lot of heroes here. He was starting to suspect that Hound Dog was a hero too, and he didn’t know how to feel about that. The dog-man was nice and could talk for him. It was probably fine to keep talking to him. 

 

When he looked in the other rooms, he could see heroes he recognized from the news. They didn’t look so scary when they were stuck in the beds wearing those long t-shirts that everyone but him seemed to be wearing. He wore normal clothes. He was already so happy with his new clothes and then the nice lady got him more. Inko. She was called Inko. 

 

This time when he was on his way to a test, he saw someone he didn’t recognize but they caught his attention anyway. They looked like him! Well… Almost. Aizawa made him stop staring but after he turned away, the urge to go back to the person he saw was too strong. He would probably get in trouble later but he ran away from his new Master. 

 

The door was unlocked and there were two other people sleeping in the room that he hadn’t noticed before. One was a hero he saw put out an apartment fire on TV. They had a rain quirk of some kind. “You’re not a nurse,” the person he came to see commented, sounding amused. 

 

He shook his head and approached them slowly. A lot of people here were heroes. This person could be too, so he had to be careful. “Did you want an autograph or something, kid?”

 

He didn't actually know what an autograph was, so he just crept closer and then reached for the wings resting behind the person. He barely brushed the bright, red feathers when they shifted out of reach. “Woah there, kid. You can’t just go touching people like that.”

 

Backing away, he crouched, curling in on himself protectively. This person was probably a hero and now he’d made him mad so he’d probably hurt him. He shouldn’t have left Aizawa. This was a bad idea. He didn’t even notice that he was whimpering until the person spoke up again. “It’s okay. I’m not hurt or anything. My feathers are just really sensitive to touch,” the person laughed. “More than average. I bet it’s different for you, huh?”

 

He looked up and saw the person motioning to his own wings. “Then again, it doesn’t look like you’ve let anyone preen your feathers lately. You could be sensitive. Or maybe your parents don’t do it right? Are the wings a unique mutation for you?”

 

“Hawks,” Aizawa’s deep voice cut through the lull in the conversation and made him flinch. “I apologize if he’d been bothering you. Izuku, come on.”

 

“The kid? Nah,” the person dismissed. “Is this one of your students, Eraser?”

 

“No. He was rescued recently and I’m watching him due to my quirk,” Aizawa replied. 

 

“Okay. Well, the kid seemed pretty interested in my wings and his are kind of messed up,” the person pointed out, making him shift uncomfortably. What was wrong with his wings?

 

“When they x-rayed his wings, they said they were fine,” Aizawa argued, narrowing his eyes. 

 

“I meant the feathers,” the person replied flatly. “The feathers need to be cleaned and straightened, damaged ones pulled out, and new ones adjusted so they grow right. There are also oil glands that keep the feathers moisturized and water-proof and that oil needs to be applied to the feathers manually. He can reach the ends of a wing but not the whole thing.”

 

Aizawa sighed. “Can you show me how to do that?”

 

“Yes,” the person grinned. 

 

“Will you still be here in an hour?” Aizawa asked. “Izuku has a test that he’s late for now.”

 

“Sure. In fact, I’ll be here overnight,” the person beamed, fluffing his feathers in pride. 

 

“I don’t even want to know what you did,” Aizawa replied tiredly. “Izuku, come on.”

 

He followed Aizawa out of the room, waving goodbye to the winged person as he went.

Chapter Text

The test with the needle wound up being something to detect nerve or muscle damage. Shouta had to watch this nurse stick a long-ass needle in the kid repeatedly. It made his skin crawl just watching. He couldn’t even imagine how Izuku felt. Although, the look of betrayal cast at the nurse seemed pretty indicative of his opinion on the procedure. 

 

The nurse handling him was competent, at least. She gave clear, concise instructions as she manipulated his limbs and collected readings. Tense and hold for 10, 9, 8… 2, 1. Relax. Bend this arm. Don’t tense for this one or it will hurt. Tense as much as you can for this one. Not once did she assume that Izuku couldn’t understand him and the process wound up being pain-free. 

 

Or he assumed it was pain-free since Izuku didn’t start crying or try to bite her. 

 

Afterward, he took the kid back to Hawks. The number two hero after the retirement of All Might. An obvious pawn of the HPSC that he kind of felt bad for. But Hawks never indicated he needed help, even if he let it slip that his ‘higher-ups’ annoyed him on more than one occasion. 

 

“Kid! It was Izuku, right?” Hawks greeted as soon as they opened the door. Izuku nodded shyly. “All right. You come sit at the foot of the bed with your wings facing me. Eraser, pull up a seat.”

 

The kid’s tail thrashed in agitation, likely not enjoying having his back to people. “So what are we doing?” Shouta asked, trying to move things along before that instinct could become a problem. 

 

“First, a quick lesson on wings and wing quirks,” Hawks said brightly. “First, people with wing quirks are not birds.”

 

“Obviously,” Shouta deadpanned. 

 

“What I mean is,” Hawks continued. “Since they aren’t birds, they often lack important bird anatomy. They can’t twist their neck enough to reach their feathers, they don’t have talons to comb the feathers effectively, and they usually don’t have a tail with a preening gland. Of course, there are exceptions but these are the most common issues. So people with wing quirks need help preening. I don’t, since my feathers detach. But again, in general.”

 

“Okay,” Shouta nodded to show he was listening. 

 

“The wings themselves are like extra limbs. Arms, specifically.” Hawks pointed along the structure of the wing. “You’ve got the humerus, radius, and ulna bones. Metacarpals here.”

 

Izuku tensed when Hawks stretched out his wing a bit for that last one. “For the feathers, you’ve got the scapulars, marginal coverts, alula, secondary coverts, primary coverts, secondary feathers, and primary feathers.” 

 

Shouta was not going to remember that so he made a mental note to find a book about bird anatomy later. “Most people with wing quirks have their oil glands under the wing, right along the scapula. You wouldn’t find them here on a real bird.”

 

Hawks raised the wing to show him. Then he released it. “But we don’t need oil yet. First, you have to clean the feathers of debris and remove the obvious broken ones. You can do that wing while I do this one. Copy what I do.”

 

He followed Hawks’ lead, half-expecting Izuku to grow more agitated at the sudden contact. He wasn’t a fan of touch that wasn’t on his terms. But after combing through the feathers with his fingers a few times, Izuku practically melted. The amount of dirt that was knocked loose onto the bedcovers was shocking. Izuku had been taking showers since he arrived. Was that not enough to clean his wings? Even little rocks occasionally fell out from between the feathers.

 

“See how this one is almost perpendicular to the others?” Hawks pointed out, showing him how to identify broken feathers. “And this one’s already barely hanging on.”

 

Shouta froze when a feather that seemed perfectly fine snapped under his touch. “Uh, I think I broke one,” he admitted quietly. Hawks glanced over and then clicked his tongue. 

 

“Without the oil, his feathers will become brittle like that. You’ll probably break more,” Hawks reassured him. “Hey, kid. Has anyone ever preened your feathers like this?”

 

Izuku’s head shook. Shouta frowned. This was basic maintenance for his quirk. The League didn’t have anyone help him with it? Not even Kurogiri?

 

“You said he was rescued?” Hawks questioned. He didn’t even wait for an answer before ranting. “Thank Kami they got him when they did. Aside from the fact that not preening prevents the wings from being cleaned, it can lead to all sorts of other problems. Mites, skin infections, difficulty flying, losing feathers, and awful itching. This is a sign of neglect if it's not just ignorance.”

 

It took a while to get through the rest of the feathers, especially with Shouta moving more slowly than Hawks, but they did it. “Next, you’ll want to straighten the feathers and remove dried sheaths from new feathers. The fresh sheaths are grey but the dry ones are almost white. They crumble easily. Don’t yank them off though. I’ll show you how to interlock the barbules too.”

 

By the time they were halfway through that process, Izuku was purring lightly and completely relaxed. “Yeah, it feels good to get that itchy stuff off the baby feathers, huh?” Hawks cooed, clearly coming from a place of understanding. 

 

This process took longer since it required a little more attention to detail but eventually they were done. Midoriya was probably wondering where he and Izuku had disappeared to. Had he known it would take this long, he would have warned her before visiting Hawks. “Okay. This will be your last step. You just need to collect the oil from the gland and spread it over each feather. When your fingers feel dry again, get more oil. You’re going to want to get every feather. And since his wings are so dry right now, you’ll need to use more than you would if they were properly maintained. Once they’re in better shape from regular care, this won’t take as long.”

 

“So the fact that it’s taking this long is abnormal?” Shouta clarified while Hawks demonstrated the oil collection and coating a feather. 

 

“Very. I don’t think I’ve ever taken this long to preen my own wings,” Hawks said quietly. He was usually a more chipper person, but the state of Izuku’s wings clearly upset him. “This is ridiculous. They’re all in terrible condition except for the primaries but I’m sure he groomed those by himself. And he didn’t use oil since he couldn’t reach the gland. I swear, it's like they haven't been cared for since he got them.”

 

“That is probably accurate,” Shouta said tiredly. Hawks looked at him with a pained grimace on his face before returning his attention to the feathers. 

 

They coated the rest in silence and by the end of it, Izuku’s wings were dark and glossy. His wings were already impressive before, but now they were magnificent. They had an almost green sheen to them under light. 

 

“Beautiful,” Hawks murmured. “Now that’s how wings should look.” Shouta found himself in agreement. The before and after was drastic and he almost felt bad for not noticing that there was an issue in the first place. He would certainly notice now. 

 

Izuku had been so relaxed by the process that he was now dead asleep. Shouta couldn’t help but smile at the sight since Izuku had difficulty sleeping so far, even with his beloved bear. Katsu was still in Izuku’s room, so this was probably his first time sleeping without the bear. 

 

With great reluctance, he woke Izuku up to take him back to his room. Shouta thanked Hawks for the lesson, fully intending to teach Midoriya what he had learned at some point. Izuku sleepily bowed in thanks and let out a small chirp that had Hawks grinning. Apparently, Hawks chirped instinctually too, but his PR team ‘suggested’ suppressing it. 

 

Hawks couldn’t understand Izuku the way Hound Dog could, but he understood the general tone of the chirps. He made them promise to come back sometime before he got discharged. 

 

When they got back to the room, there was still an hour before the quirk specialist would be there. So he guided the sleepy kid into bed, though it was really just a mass of blankets at this point, and tucked him in with his bear. He made sure not to disrupt the structure of the nest since that had resulted in a meltdown and no sleep for anyone the last time it happened. 

 

“That took a long time,” Midoriya said softly after Shouta retreated to his chair and slumped into it. 

 

“Not really. We finished a while ago,” Shouta told her. “We ran into Hawks though and he had advice for taking care of Izuku’s wings. He showed me how to preen them. He assured me it only took so long since they’d been badly neglected.”

 

“Oh, that’s kind of him. He’s… number 3, right? I’ve never been a big fan of heroes but Izuku was so I tried to pay attention so that I could fill him in when we found him,” Midoriya smiled. 

 

“Number 2 now, because of All Might’s retirement,” Shouta corrected. “The preening is supposed to be a daily thing, so I’ll show you tomorrow, Midoriya-san.”

 

“Please. I think you can call me Inko by now,” she laughed.

Chapter Text

The quirk specialist, Dr. Ono Shiro, arrived wearing dark blue slacks and a grey sweater over a light blue dress shirt. No scrubs, but no lab coat either. Izuku didn’t seem upset by his appearance, at least. His outfit was explained by the fact that he worked with the police, not the hospital itself.

 

The man explained that he had a DNA analysis quirk that helped him to evaluate genes involved with quirks quicker than sending samples to a lab. He’d been helping the police navigate and identify the numerous quirks found in the nomu they apprehended. 

 

Shouta and Inko watched warily as the man checked Izuku over, repeating many of the simpler tests they had seen done throughout the week. He also asked Izuku for permission to pluck out single strands of fur from various spots. Izuku let him, wincing when each strand was pulled. 

 

Dr. Ono sat down to analyze the fur samples, writing in a notebook as he did so. His hands emitted a faint, blue glow from the palm when he activated his quirk. Izuku got bored of waiting pretty quickly and crawled onto the couch next to Inko, holding up a book for her to read to him. Something about a place called Narnia. 

 

Finally, Dr. Ono finished with the fur and hair. “Well, I can tell you that he has two separate feline quirks. His feet are different from the rest of his body. The quirk gene in his feet seems to be for a lion quirk centered around the claw aspect. Side effects include a slight increase in aggression but other than that, it doesn’t add much else.”

 

“The rest of him is a domestic cat, but nothing specific,” Dr. Ono continued. “This quirk gives him the physical characteristics, heightened senses, and instinctual behavior of a cat. Side effects include mental slips where he can lose touch with his humanity briefly and allergies to chocolate and grapes. These are human allergies modeled on feline food intolerances. They would not actually have the same effect on him as cats and no other typical toxins for cats seem to be a problem for him.”

 

“Is that all? What about his wings?” Inko asked when the man seemed to be done talking. 

 

“Oh, no. That’s not all. Those are just the only two detailed in the fur samples. There are more samples to collect and more quirks to find,” Dr. Ono reassured her. “I would register these two as Lion Claws and Cat Body. Now, let's see about your venom. Can you bite this?”

 

Izuku didn’t listen for once but only because he seemed baffled by the request. The man held out a cup with a latex-like cover stretched across the top. “It’s to collect your venom,” Dr. Ono explained. “I’ll analyze it but we should also produce an anti-venom for emergencies.”

 

Hesitantly, Izuku complied and the venom was collected. Dr. Ono scanned that sample too, though it took less time than all the fur samples. “This quirk doesn’t seem to be based on any particular snake. The venom produced is a hemotoxic venom. It would cause extensive muscle and brain hemorrhaging. Blood will start seeping out of every possible exit, including the gums and nostrils, and any cuts. Blood will also start passing through the body via stools, urine, saliva, and vomit until eventual death. I’d say death would come in a matter of hours.”

 

When he looked at the kid, Izuku seemed impressed and maybe even a little proud of himself. All Shouta could think about was how he stuck his hands in that mouth earlier that week for a cotton ball. He could have died . “Yeah, an anti-venom would be good,” Shouta agreed. 

 

The next sample taken was a feather. Again, it didn’t take him long to analyze. “This quirk gives him the wings of a black eagle. Specifically, the Ictinaetus malaiensis variety, since more than one type of eagle gets referred to as a black eagle. They differ from other eagles in that their primaries are longer. His wings are shaped for passive soaring, which is a slow flight pattern. Side effects include seasonal molting and instinctual behavior consistent with a black eagle.”

 

“I would call these two Viper Venom and Black Eagle. Clear and concise,” Dr. Ono smiled. “All that’s left is a blood sample. With the obvious mutation quirks out of the way, it will be easier for me to sift through the full genome and figure out what else he’s got in there.”

 

Izuku sat still while the man pricked his finger to smear a bit of blood on a glass slide and then he returned to Inko for more of his Narnia story. This scan took the longest and even Shouta found himself growing bored and paying more and more attention to the story as Inko read. Eventually, Dr. Ono put down his pen and cleared his throat, grabbing their attention. 

 

“I was able to isolate four more quirks which is consistent with what the witness, Bakugou Katsuki reported. The first, we’ll call Sonic Amplification, lets him increase his volume to dangerous volumes and frequencies. This could be done with yelling, screaming, crying, or any other typically loud and forceful sound. I was worried about him deafening himself due to his heightened senses, but it looks like his ears have created a sort of ‘plug’ that covers and protects his eardrums when this quirk activates.”

 

“Oh, that’s good,” Inko said, sounding relieved. 

 

“The second, we’ll call Beta Regeneration. It’s a weaker version of the regeneration quirks we’ve seen in the other nomu that have been recovered. Whereas those creatures heal near-instantly, this boy does not. But he does heal faster than the average person. A papercut could be healed in an hour instead of a couple of days, and a fracture could heal in a week or two instead of the standard 6 to 8 weeks. It doesn’t deplete his energy. In fact, it helps him recover energy faster.”

 

“You’re telling me he has more energy than the students I deal with already?” Shouta asked. 

 

“Most likely,” Dr. Ono replied with a sympathetic smile. “The third quirk is a locator quirk, though the activation requirements are unclear. I can sense that it needs something external to work but I can’t quite visualize what it is.”

 

“Izuku, do you know?” Inko asked, looking at the kid currently curled into her side. Izuku nodded took the book from her, paging through it for something. He finally stopped on an illustration of a map. 

 

“Ah, a map would make sense for what I’m reading,” Dr. Ono nodded. “I could sense that he locates people by pointing. Not randomly. He’s drawn to whatever he’s pointing at and if the external activation, or the map I guess, is missing, it doesn’t work at all. In that case, we can call it Pinpoint. A little bit of wordplay there.”

 

Shouta frowned, wondering if Izuku could locate the League with that quirk. After Kamino, they’d gone into hiding and there had been no progress in the search. He didn’t really want to use the kid like that though. That’s no better than what Shigaraki did to him. So he decided against it. 

 

“The fourth quirk actually works in conjunction with the wing quirk,” Dr. Ono said, sounding impressed by this. “As he is now, he’s too heavy to fly. His wings can’t actually support his body. Most people with wing or bird quirks have brittle, porous bones so that they can fly. Izuku here does not. But! That’s where this quirk comes it. Calcium Manipulation. He is able to control the density of his bones. And not only can he make himself light enough to fly, but he can make them dense enough to withstand forces he otherwise wouldn’t be able to. Between that and his regeneration quirk, someone could drop a building on him and he’d probably be fine.”

 

“Let’s not test that,” Shouta replied with a sharp glare. 

 

“Oh, no, of course not. I just meant that he’s very durable,” Dr. Ono assured him. 

 

“So… Lion Claws, Cat Body, Black Eagle, Viper Venom, Pinpoint, Beta Regeneration, Calcium Manipulation, and Sonic Amplification,” Inko repeated slowly. “That’s everything?”

 

“That is everything,” Dr. Ono confirmed. “And again, he’s allergic to chocolate and grapes. He also has an increased need for calcium and meat. He is an omnivore but he has a lot of predator mutations and instincts. And even if he wants to, don’t let him eat raw meat unless it’s something you could safely eat yourself. Like sushi. I’ll leave a copy of my notes with Dr. Seki.”

 

They said their goodbyes and the quirk specialist left, leaving them to absorb everything he had uncovered. “That’s a lot,” Inko sighed after a bit. “I don’t know anything about quirks like that. I just have a weak mental quirk myself.”

 

“That’s why Nezu suggested that he become a ward of UA when we were discussing options for his rehabilitation,” Shouta explained. “The staff there teach kids with quirks just like these all the time. Our campus is equipped for the sort of care and security measures he needs.”

 

“I’m starting to see that,” Inko replied tiredly.

Chapter Text

The quirk man had a lot of things to say about him and his quirks. He hadn’t known all of that. The extent of his knowledge was that he had wings, was like a cat, could find people on maps, could scream really loud, could heal quickly, and was venomous. He hadn’t known he was allergic to chocolate but that explained why it made him so sick. He just avoided it. 

 

Inko seemed overwhelmed by his quirks and he kind of felt bad about that. She was really nice and he didn’t want her to feel sad. She talked to Aizawa while he tried to do more homework. He was getting a little better at writing because of the worksheets. 

 

Not long after the quirk man left, he heard Kacchan outside the door. He could recognize his footsteps, after all. He scrambled up on the cabinets to get a better vantage point. The door opened with a beep and he tensed as Kacchan came through the doorway. The second blonde hair was in sight, he pounced. Kacchan sighed and patted his head. “Yep, you got me.”

 

He let Kacchan up after marking him. Before, only Kurogiri and Toga let him do that. For some reason, it made him feel more secure when things smelled like him and his face and hands left behind the strongest smells. He wasn’t brave enough to nuzzle Aizawa but he did pat his face once and nothing bad happened. 

 

“So what did the quirk specialist say?” Kacchan asked as he got up. 

 

“He has 8 quirks just like Shigaraki said,” Aizawa answered. “The main ones I can see that we’ll need to watch out for are the sound amplification, his venom, and the fact that he can fly.”

 

“Because he’s a flight risk?” Kacchan grinned. Aizawa just rolled his eyes in annoyance. “Do we know anything else? They’ve been doing tests on him all week but haven’t said a damn thing.”

 

“No. Dr. Seki said she was compiling everything to get the most accurate picture and she’ll go over it all at once when they’re done,” Aizawa explained. 

 

He was pretty sure Aizawa was annoyed about that because he’d started asking the people doing the tests about the results. They always brushed him off saying they only recorded the results, they didn’t interpret them. He wasn’t sure what the problem was or why he was still here. Sure, he was defective but he was good at basic things most of the time. 

 

Hound Dog told him he was not owned every time he came. He thought maybe the dog-man was trying to trick him or test him. Even Aizawa said “this is not an order” every time he gave him an order. It was confusing. Was all the testing just because he was new? Or… Maybe Aizawa was just a different kind of Master? One that wanted him to make choices?

 

Kurogiri made choices sometimes. Maybe Aizawa wanted him to be like that? But that would mean that Aizawa trusted him a lot even though he was defective. That felt nice. 

 

“Your wings look nice,” Kacchan pointed out abruptly. He nodded and purred. 

 

“Hawks showed me how to preen them. Its maintenance care and it will need to be done daily,” Aizawa told him. 

 

“He said he’d teach me tomorrow so we can wait until you get here to start,” Inko offered. 

 

“Okay, sure,” Kacchan agreed. He liked the idea of lots of people knowing how to do the thing that the winged person did. His wings have never felt better. 

 

“Did you get any new stickers?” Kacchan asked him. He chirped affirmatively and went to go grab his book to show him. One even had sparkles that Inko called ‘holographic.’ 

 


 

Kacchan was still there when a lady in scrubs came to collect him for another test. When he hung onto his arm, Kacchan came with. “Hey, how many more tests does he have to do?” Kacchan demanded as they followed her to a new room. 

 

“I don’t know. I’m not his doctor,” the woman replied. He frowned, not liking that they called the scientist ‘Doctor.’ The Doctor was ‘Doctor.’ 

 

As soon as they walked in, he recognized the thing with the stickers and wires. He didn’t like it because they put one on each of his shoulders and they got stuck in his fur. Inko had to help him get them out and even though he could tell she was being gentle, it still hurt. 

 

“Take off your shirt, please,” the woman instructed. He shook his head. He was not letting them put anything sticky in his fur again. Both Kacchan and Aizawa looked surprised at that. “Dr. Seki wants a second ECG reading. I need to be able to access your chest.”

 

He shook his head again and the woman looked at him tiredly before reaching for him. “He said no,” Aizawa said firmly, stepping between him and the woman. 

 

“Dr. Seki ordered this test because she had concerns about the first reading,” the woman replied. “He needs to cooperate. We can sedate him if we have to but it could interfere with the results.”

 

“It’s his first time saying no to anything,” Aizawa said slowly, keeping himself between them when the woman tried to move past him. “That should be respected.”

 

“If you won’t let me do my job, I can have security escort you out,” the woman huffed. 

 

He bristled in anger. Aizawa and Hound Dog said he could say no! He thought they were tricking him but Aizawa is right here saying to listen to him because he said no. So! So she should listen! Instead, she was being mean!

 

She reached past Aizawa, grabbing his arm and pulling him forward. Aizawa’s hand, clamped down on his shoulder, trying to hold him back from the woman that was ignoring them both. “You are both making a big deal out of a painless procedure,” she said, irritation rising. 

 

He yanked his arm out of her grasp and bolted toward the door. Kacchan got in his way this time. “Izuku, it’s okay. You don’t need to run off,” he said gently. 

 

But the woman was already trying to follow him, even if Aizawa was trying to block her. “Leave him alone. He said no. Dr. Seki already knows autonomy is something we’re working on with him. She’ll understand,” Aizawa told her. 

 

“He could have a heart condition,” the woman argued. “This is a simple test to double-check that before we have to move on to something more invasive.”

 

Trapped between Kacchan and the mean woman, he darted over to the nearest counter and picked up a box of something to throw at her. That would scare her off! He missed though and it hit the ceiling. She froze, seeming offended that he had done that. “That is it! I don’t get paid enough to deal with some villain’s monster! This is ridiculous!”

 

She stormed forward again but ignored him entirely when he darted out of the way. Instead, she pushed past Kacchan and left the room entirely. Aizawa radiated anger and it was frightening. He’d messed up. He’d been a bad nomu again. His Master followed after her, stopping to say something to Kacchan before he left too. He was too worried to say anything. 

 

Kacchan looked out in the hallway through the window but didn’t leave. He was probably disappointed in him, not even looking at him. Sadly, he looked over at where the box hit the ceiling. He perked up in surprise when he noticed that it was like a hole now. One of the many squares up there had moved. He glanced at Kacchan who was still looking out the window. 

 

He was a bad nomu. Shigaraki didn’t want him anymore. He was gonna kill him before the little yellow man and the giant lady interfered. And now his new Master was mad too. He wasn’t gonna want him anymore. So he made a decision. He was gonna go away. He can’t bother people if he’s gone, right? 

 

So he climbed up on a chair to get a little height before jumping off it and using his wings to push himself the last little distance to the hole in the ceiling. “What…? Izuku! Izuku, no!” Kacchan spotted him so he scrambled faster, trying to pull himself into the ceiling. “Fuck! Izuku, get back here. It’s fine! Aizawa went to deal with her supervisor. She’s not getting away with treating you like that. Izuku!”

 

Having gotten into the ceiling, he slid the tile back in place and crawled through the dark space. 

 

“Shit!” Kacchan said a lot of Shigiraki's mean words somewhere below him but he kept crawling until he couldn’t hear him anymore. There was just beeping below him now and he paused to think about where he should go. Maybe outside? How would he get outside from here?

 

He crawled some more until the sounds changed again. People chattered below him. He lifted a tile to peek in. There was a hero he recognized with other people in normal clothes. They were just talking about random things so Izuku replaced the tile and kept crawling. 

 

Eventually, he came to an empty hallway. He dropped out of the ceiling and there was a door with a picture of stairs. Stairs go up. Could he get to the roof with those? Maybe he could try flying again? He pushed open the door.

Chapter Text

Shouta made his way to the nurses’ station since that bitch of a nurse managed to get out of sight before he followed her into the hallway. At the desk was the head nurse that had been nothing but pleasant with Izuku and the nurse that gave him stickers. The head nurse noticed him approaching. “Oh, Aizawa-san! What can I do… for… you? You look upset.”

 

Her tone wavered as she registered his foul mood. “Izuku said ‘no’ to something for the first time,” he told her. 

 

“That’s great!” she smiled, though it dropped a second later when she noticed he did not share his excitement. “That great, right?”

 

“It would have been. Except one of your staff ignored him and belittled him for doing so,” Shouta explained. The concern on her face was immediate. “She grabbed him and tried to physically force him to go along with whatever test she was going to do and when I interfered, she threatened to call security on me. Izuku reacted appropriately for a trauma victim and lashed out by throwing a box of tongue depressors at her. She then called him a villain’s monster and left.”

 

“Which nurse was this?” she asked, looking like she shared his anger. Good. Otherwise, he’d have to deal with this himself and if he dealt with it, they’d never find her body. 

 

“She had dark hair, straight bangs, dark pink eye color,” Shouta answered. 

 

The head nursed grimaced. “That sounds Kijo-san… There have been complaints about her being brisk and short with patients but nothing quite this bad before. I don’t think this is something that can be looked at as just a personality thing… I don’t have the authority to fire her but I can fill out a report for the person in charge of staffing.”

 

She seemed to be muttering mostly to herself and then she sighed. “I’m sorry. Is Izuku okay?”

 

“Physically, yes. I’m not sure if this set back his mental recovery though,” Shouta admitted. “We’ll just have to see.”

 

“Aizawa-Sensei!” Shouta turned at the slightly panicked shout and saw Bakugou running up to him. 

 

Alone.  

 

“Where’s Izuku?” Shouta asked as his student came to a stop in front of him. 

 

“That’s the problem! He crawled into the ceiling!” Bakugou said, sounding more nervous than Shouta had ever heard him. 

 

Shouta wasted no time in heading back to the room. Bakugou and the head nurse trailed after him. “How do we get him out?” Bakugou questioned as they walked. 

 

“I don’t know. We’ll figure it out,” Shouta replied. Hopefully .

 


 

Up on the roof, the sky was not as dark as it had been the night he was taken by the police. It was a mix of blue, pink, purple and he decided he might like this sky even more than daytime and nighttime. At the edge of the roof, he spread his wings but hesitated. It’d been a long time since he flew and he wasn’t entirely sure that he still could. Last time it had been instinctual.

 

He decided to just try and see. If he couldn’t, his wings would still slow his descent, letting him hover to the ground. He did that a lot back at the League in his free time. Climbing on top of tall things and just letting himself float down, wings outstretched. Kurogiri had called it branching, saying that many juvenile birds do it to learn to fly. He did it because he didn’t have space to fly. 

 

Jumping off the roof, he did fall a bit further than he meant to before his wings caught him. A few desperate flaps got him higher up in the air. It wasn’t graceful but it worked. He didn’t get very far above the buildings but that was fine. From this height, he could still see people and cars in the streets very clearly. A few seemed to spot him. 

 

There were lights all around to combat the growing darkness. Occasionally, he flew past an extra-tall building and he could see inside through the windows. One had little tiny people. Children! He hovered a moment to wave to them, wondering if he used to be that small. 

 

He flew until he got tired and then he let himself land on top of a shorter building that smelled really good. When he saw a couple leave with a paper bag, he realized it must be one of those food places that the League talked about when someone went to get take-out. 

 

Climbing down from the building, he cautiously approached some of the lit-up buildings along the street. There were lots of pretty and colorful things in the windows. Most looked like food but some had clothes. One even had a bunch of sparkly rocks that reminded him of the scientist he kept trying to bite. They came in different colors but they were all kind of clear like her. 

 

Someone bumped into him and they bowed in apology. He bowed back and smiled. They didn’t mind and smiled back before going on their way. They hadn’t yelled at him or been scared of him. It was almost like he was a person. He huffed, amused at himself for the thought. 

 

He kept exploring until he seemed to reach the end of the shops. Then he climbed the nearest building to jump and fly again. This area of the city was darker. The sky was dark now too, with lots of stars. He tried to turn mid-air to see them but almost knocked himself out of the air trying. 

 

Eventually, he came to a building with a bunch of handy perches on it. He figured it was made with fliers in mind and landed on one that was brightly lit up. He peered inside at the source of the light. It was a room that looked cozier than the one he’d been staying in. There was a girl in blue pants and a black tanktop sitting on the floor, hunched over a little table. It looked like she was doing worksheets like he did with Inko. 

 

Behind her, he noticed a jacket that looked like the one Kacchan wore sometimes. He only wore it when he was going to ‘UA to train.’ Whatever that meant. Had she stolen Kacchan’s jacket or did she just have one like it? Did she know Kacchan? Maybe she could get him to come here because he was maybe a little bit lost now. He would just have to ask. 

 

He tapped on the glass with a sharp nail and it clicked nicely. She whirled around, looking startled. He smiled and waved but that only made her look more afraid. He wasn’t sure if she could hear through the glass but he chirped anyway and motioned for her to open the glass.

 

“G-go away!” she said, though it was muffled. His ear twitched trying to pick up what she was saying. “I will call the police! I don’t have anything worth stealing!”

 

He frowned. He didn’t want to steal anything. He wanted her to call Kacchan!

 

Stomping his foot in irritation he tapped the glass again and whined. He could shatter it but that would hurt her. She practically threw herself toward a bag on the floor and dug through it for a moment before pulling out a cell phone. Aizawa talked on those all the time. 

 

He trilled happily. She must be calling Kacchan. He would wait for Kacchan now. 

 


 

Shouta had searched the hospital for Izuku, even crawling into the ceiling himself. It wasn’t until someone reviewed the security cameras and found him going up to the roof that they realized he left the whole damn building. Now he was out looking for the kid along with a handful of other heroes that were in on the situation. Like Hound Dog and Hizashi. Even Hawks got himself discharged early to help with the search. 

 

It had been a couple of hours already and he was starting to think worst-case scenario. What if he hurt himself somehow? What if a hero mistook him for a threat and he wasn’t able to communicate to clarify his situation? What if the League found him and took him back?

 

He’d just stopped on a tall building to scan the streets when his phone rang. The caller ID said it was one of his students. He really hoped it was just a homework question because he did not have time for another hell class emergency when he was still looking for Izuku. 

 

“Aizawa,” he greeted gruffly. 

 

“Aizawa-Sensei!” Uraraka screeched in his ear. Yep. An emergency. Just great. “There’s a person on my balcony trying to break in!”

 

“What? Where are you?” he demanded. 

 

“My apartment! I just said--”

 

“Yes, but what’s your address?” He interrupted, using the last bit of his patience to not snap at her. 

 

“Oh, uh…” she gathered her thoughts before telling him. It was nearby at least. 

 

“I’ll be there shortly,” he assured her. “Stay on the line with me.”

 

“Okay, but hurry. He definitely looks like he could bust glass. I honestly don’t know what’s keeping him out there,” she whined. 

 

“What’s he doing?” Shouta asked, a little confused by that. 

 

“He’s just… staring at me. Smiling…” she paused. “He’s actually kind of adorable with this whole cat-bird thing he’s got going on.”

 

“Cat-bird--” Shouta groaned. “Is he green?”

 

“Uh, yes?” she replied questioningly. 

 

“Problem children. All of you,” Shouta grumbled.

Chapter Text

“Uraraka, do me a favor and let him in before he flies off,” Aizawa requested. “That’s actually the kid I was looking for just before you called.”

 

“Oh?” Ochako looked at the boy outside her window. “Why is he on my balcony?”

 

“I have no idea but I’m glad,” Aizawa sighed. “Let him in and don’t let him leave. I can’t tell you the full story because of confidentiality concerns but he’s someone I’m helping to take care of.”

 

“Is he hurt?” Ochako asked, already getting up to go open the door. 

 

“He shouldn’t be,” Aizawa replied. “You should know, he can’t talk and he has a high level of animal instincts as a side effect of his quirk. He shouldn’t hurt you though.”

 

“Shouldn’t,” Ochako repeated, unlocking the door and sliding it open. “That’s not reassuring.”

 

“Pay attention to him and respect warning signs like growling,” Aizawa instructed. “I’ll be there soon. Don’t give him chocolate.”

 

Her teacher hung up leaving her to fend for herself. “Well, come inside,” she said to the boy, gesturing with a tilt of her head. He walked in hesitantly and she closed the door behind him. “I was working on homework that I still need to finish so… Just… Make yourself comfortable, I guess?”

 

He watched her with wide eyes but didn’t move so she awkwardly returned to the fold-out table where she’d been working on her summer reading and accompanying notes. She looked up occasionally to check on him. After the second time she glanced over, he started to wander around. It was really distracting and a little unnerving. 

 

She looked away to read a couple of pages and when she looked up again, he was right in front of her. She hadn’t even heard him move. How was he getting around so silently with those massive wings that brushed the ground? He was holding a picture frame she’d had on the shelf of their whole class and excitedly pointing at one person. Bakugou. 

 

“Do you know Bakugou?” she asked. He surprised her by nodding. Right. Not being able to talk didn’t necessarily mean not being able to understand or communicate. It was rude of her to assume that. 

 

He pulled the picture back to scrutinize the photo, looking over each face. “That’s our class,” Ochako offered gently. “At UA? There are 20 of us. And Aizawa is our teacher.”

 

He just tilted his head at that. He seemed confused. And then there was a knock at the door and she watched, intrigued by how his ears swiveled up and toward the sound. He was adorable!

 

She got up and answered the door. Aizawa stood there looking a little more exhausted than usual. “Please tell me he’s still here,” her teacher asked sounding a little desperate. 

 

“Yeah, he’s just in there.” She stepped out of the way to let him in and closed the door behind him. She was just locking it when she was startled by a screech. Running out of the genkan, she found Aizawa holding his hands up placatingly while the boy crouched on her fridge. 

 

“Izuku, please come down. You aren’t in trouble,” Aizawa said to the boy in the softest voice she had ever heard from her usually stern teacher. “That nurse will probably be fired.”

 

The kid, Izuku apparently, responded with the saddest little sound she’d ever heard. “Do you want to sign?” Aizawa asked. Izuku shook his head. “Write?” Another shake of his head. “Do you want me to get Hound Dog?”

 

The boy on her fridge seemed to consider this for a moment and nodded. Aizawa pulled out his phone and started texting someone. “Okay, I can do that. He’ll be here soon since he was already in the area helping me look for you.” Aizawa turned to Ochako. “I’m sorry about this. I still have no idea why he ended up at your apartment of all places.”

 

She just shrugged. “It sounds like it’d be troublesome if he hadn’t. I’m glad things worked out.”

 

While they waited for Hound Dog, Aizawa kept trying to coax Izuku down. “At least get off the fridge,” her teacher sighed. The boy just hissed at him. Ochako had to bite her tongue to keep from laughing at this ridiculous situation. 

 

Here she was in the last stretch of summer break with her teacher in her living room trying to coax an odd but adorable boy off her fridge after that same boy nearly gave her a heart attack by showing up on her balcony. The way he stared at Aizawa and thrashed his tail reminded her of those cat videos where the owners tell them not to do it, but they push the mugs down anyway.

 

Hound Dog showed up and seemed confused to see Ochako. “Really, what are the odds that he would wind up with one of your students, Aizawa?” Hound Dog muttered in disbelief. 

 

Ochako agreed that it was weird but their class had been nothing but eventful since the first day of school. Things like this just weren’t that surprising anymore. At least, once the initial panic at seeing a stranger on her balcony subsided. 

 

When the hero and the boy spoke, the boy chittered and growled. She and Aizawa only got Hound Dog’s side of the conversation. “Will you come down from the fridge? …Why? …Do you not want to go back to the hospital because of the nurse? …Yes, I know you said no… Yes, you can say no… Yes, it was wrong of her to ignore you and Aizawa. You won’t have to interact with her ever again and Aizawa made sure that won’t happen with anyone else… Yes, she is.”

 

“Is what?” Aizawa asked when Hound Dog chuckled. 

 

Hound Dog froze. “I, uh… I will not be repeating what he said in front of our student.” Ochako couldn’t stop herself from laughing that time, but she did put her hand over her mouth to smother it. The boy smiled at her. 

 

“Izuku, we need to go back to the hospital,” Aizawa said, redirecting the conversation. 

 

The boy shook his head and chirped. Or squawked maybe? She couldn’t tell. “What if you go somewhere else? We can take you to UA,” Hound Dog suggested. “...Yes, with Aizawa… Why? …No, Aizawa’s not mad at you.”

 

Judging by the flurry of angry noises that followed, Izuku disagreed. 

 


 

Aizawa was mad at him. He’d been so angry and left him. And Kacchan wouldn’t even look at him. He messed up. He was bad. Now Aizawa won’t want him anymore. He told Hound Dog that much with a series of harsh calls and chirps. 

 

Hound Dog waited patiently for him to finish. “Aizawa was mad at the nurse,” he corrected. “Mad for you. Because he cares about you. We all do. He’s very proud of you for saying ‘no’ when you were uncomfortable.”

 

“I am,” Aizawa agreed. “I’m getting that bitch fired.”

 

He noticed how the girl’s eyes widened at that. She seemed impressed so that must be a good thing. But Aizawa could just be saying he’s not mad so that he could kill him. When he said that, Hound Dog sighed. “No, Aizawa’s not going to kill you.” But Shigaraki was going to. “I understand that Shigaraki was going to but--”

 

He interrupted the dog-man to tell him why. Because he was defective! Because he was bad! Because he could never be useful or do things right! Just like now when he tried to say ‘no’ like Aizawa kept saying he could but it ended badly! He makes things bad!

 

“You don’t need to be valuable or good,” Hound Dog stressed. “Hell, you could wreak havoc all day long and throw temper tantrums every hour but we would still be here for you. Your deservingness of care is not determined by how useful you are to people.”

 

Things would be better if he was gone! 

 

“Things would not be better if you left,” Hound Dog argued. 

 

He can’t mess things up if he’s not around! It’s better!

 

“No, that’s not how that works,” Hound Dog said sharply. “You left and we all worried because we care about you, Izuku.”

 

He’d worried them… He’s just a nomu… You don’t worry about nomus… Nomus are for using and telling what to do. And he can’t do it right because he’s defective.

 

“No, you are a person,” Hound Dog said with terrifying firmness. “And you are not owned. You are free. I will tell you that as many times as I need to until it sticks.”

 

He was quiet for a moment before he pointed out that he ran away and they should be mad about that now. If they aren’t mad that he’s defective, he still ran away. 

 

“It’s not great that you ran off,” Hound Dog agreed. “But no one is mad at you for that. We are just relieved that you are okay and sorry that you felt you had to run away in the first place.”

 

“No one is mad at you for anything,” Aizawa spoke up. “So come back, please?”

Chapter Text

When Izuku finally climbed down from the fridge, Shouta felt immense relief. As soon as the kid was within reach, Shouta pulled him into a half-hug. “Please, don’t run off again,” he pleaded. He wasn’t sure why but out of everyone Izuku had met so far, he seemed to view Shouta as the most important, listening to him over others. As concerning as it was, it was a little flattering. 

 

Like when a cat walks into a room of people and chooses you. 

 

But the half of the conversation with Hound Dog that he caught implied Izuku thought Shouta would hurt or even kill him if angered. That did not bode well for the trust he thought they were forming between them. Rather than liking him, Izuku just might be the most afraid of him.  

 

“Again, I’m sorry for the intrusion,” Shouta bowed to Uraraka as they were leaving. 

 

“Oh, no,” she protested, waving her hands. “It’s totally fine! I’m glad he found a safe place even if it was an accident. It um, it sounds like he’s involved with the League.”

 

“I can’t clarify what you heard tonight,” Shouta told her. “But… There’s a chance that he will be living at UA soon. It’s one of a few options we’re discussing. If he does wind up at UA, your whole class will be informed about some of the details regarding his stay.”

 

“Would he be in our class?” Uraraka asked, looking excited. 

 

“Not technically. He wouldn’t be a student but he’d be allowed to sit in on classes,” Shouta explained. “He could even join certain heroics exercises. Like obstacle courses or races.”

 

“Okay. I hope he gets to go to UA! He said he knows Bakugou so I bet he’d like going to school with him,” Uraraka smiled. 

 

“He would,” Shouta agreed. “We should get him back though. Have a good night.”

 

“You too, Aizawa-Sensei!” Uraraka said brightly. Before Shouta could usher him out the door, Izuku stepped forward and took Uraraka’s hand. He brought it up to his face and gently rubbed the back of her hand on his cheek before letting go. 

 

She just smiled, unphased by the odd display. “You have a good night too, Izuku.”

 


 

Midoriya Inko had never given up hope that her boy would be found. And he had been. But the child that returned was so different, through no fault of his own. Little bits of his past shone through, reminding her that he was still the same little boy stolen from her all those years ago. 

 

But as she sat here in his hospital room, waiting and worried after he’d escaped from a secure hero ward, watching Katsuki pace a hole in the floor, she realized something important. She did not have the capacity to care for him as he was now. And she hated that. 

 

Taking him home was never an option right away, but she’d thought after some time in a psychiatric wing like they suggested… Well. It didn’t look like that would be possible. Even after his trauma has been dealt with and his mental health improved, the animal instincts that affected him as a side effect of his quirk would always make him unpredictable. 

 

What would she do if something triggered his instincts and he ran away from their apartment? 

 

No, he was forever changed by what the League had done to him. Even if he was in a better place mentally, learned to write and sign, and caught up with his peers socially and educationally, he would still need to live somewhere that was highly secure. She couldn’t afford that. She couldn’t even be authorized for some of the systems places like UA had. 

 

Even now, while he was lost, she couldn’t do anything to help. She was stuck here waiting while the heroes looked for him. Because it was a hero that could mitigate his more dangerous quirks. It was a hero who could actually communicate with him. It was a hero who knew where his instincts might take him while he was out there. Inko knew nothing and she couldn’t help. 

 

He would be safest with heroes. 

 

And it’s not like she would never see him again. Nezu already said, back at the police station, that if he stayed at UA she could visit any time of day for whatever reason. She would be given a permanent access card like the rest of the staff. She wouldn’t even need an escort while on campus. 

 

So when Izuku returned with Aizawa, getting wrapped in a crushing hug by both her and Katsuki, Inko was certain of her decision. For his own good, she would leave his care to those who could provide everything she couldn’t. 

 


 

Izuku purred loudly as Katsuki and Inko preened Izuku’s wings under Aizawa’s guidance. Katsuki still felt guilty for letting Izuku run off. He’d mistakenly thought that the door was the only way out of the room. Aizawa had tried to assure him that the ceiling normally wouldn’t be an escape route. That Izuku had only pulled it off because of his ability to make his bones lighter. Otherwise, the ceiling would have collapsed under his weight. 

 

He still thinks he should have paid more attention. If he had, he might have been able to stop him. Instead, he was trying to see if Aizawa was going to kill that nurse or what. And then after Izuku had gotten outside, Katsuki wasn’t even allowed to help look. It was apparently too dangerous since he just escaped from the League and he didn’t have a license for public quirk use if he did run into trouble. They wouldn’t even let him go with a pro hero. 

 

Katsuki winced as another feather broke under his hands. “How long until they stop being brittle?” he asked. 

 

“I don’t know,” Aizawa admitted. “But Hawks made it seem like broken and loose feathers are pretty common even if the feathers are healthy.”

 

“Will he molt?” Inko asked. Katsuki paused to wipe his hands on his pants. He didn’t know if Izuku could absorb the nitroglycerin he secreted through the feathers and he wasn’t about to risk it. 

 

“Izuku, have you ever lost a lot of feathers all around the same time?” Katsuki noticed Inko subtly flinch when Aizawa asked Izuku directly. He had noticed earlier on that she seemed to forget that Izuku could still answer questions, especially yes or no questions. She was working on it and he could tell she felt bad when she slipped up. 

 

Izuku nodded, though he seemed half asleep, lulled by the preening process. Did this really feel that good to him? Katsuki was pretty sure feathers didn’t have nerves so…?

 

“Tsukauchi, Hound Dog, and Nezu will be here tomorrow to discuss what we’ll be doing in terms of Izuku’s security now that we know he can travel through the ceiling,” Aizawa stated, reading a message from his phone. “After all, he has ceiling tiles in his room.”

 

Yeah, that was something that Katsuki had noticed while waiting in here when they made him stay behind. “As long as that bitchy nurse stays the hell out of here, he’ll probably stay put,” Katsuki scoffed. “What was her fucking problem anyway?”

 

“Some nurses don’t have the best bedside manner,” Inko said quietly. 

 

“Why not? Don’t people become nurses because they like people and want to help them?” Katsuki asked. 

 

“Not always,” Inko replied. “There are some tracks with no patient contact. They might end up in a role with patient contact either because they have to spend time in that role before advancing. Or they might not have gotten the job they wanted, but they still need a job and they might as well use their nursing degree. But what she said about Izuku tells me she was just prejudiced this time.”

 

“Prejudice will be a concern going forward,” Aizawa added. “Not many people understood the severity of the USJ attack but the Hosu and Kamino attacks were much more public. People saw how much damage those other nomu caused. Plus there’s the fact that he lived with the League for quite a while. Whether it’s the staff at a care facility or students at UA, there could be issues because of all that. We’ll need to keep an eye on him and the people that interact with him.”

 

Izuku let out a confused ‘merrrp’ that was fucking adorable. Katsuki hadn’t heard him make that sound yet. “UA was attacked by the other kind of nomu and a hoard of lower-class villains,” Aizawa explained. “Bakugou’s class was the only one present for the attack, but there was a lot of fear in the other students and their parents at knowing that villains got into our campus. And then several nomu attacked Hosu a while back. And more nomu were set loose when we tried to rescue Bakugou. The night we recovered you.”

 

A sad, quiet trilling followed, accompanied with the sign for ‘scary.’ “Yes. Some people might be scared of you,” Aizawa replied honestly. “But you’re very different from the nomu that make people afraid. I’m sure they will see that in time and stop fearing you.”

 

“Give them a day and they’ll see he’s just a big, winged kitten,” Katsuki smirked. “Nothing scary about him.”

 

Izuku seemed about to protest until Inko gathered some oil from his gland and he melted, purring instantly. 

 

“Not scary at all,” Inko agreed with a laugh, carefully coating his feathers.

Chapter Text

He was so excited! Kacchan got to sleepover because of how late it was. He was already awake but Kacchan was still asleep in a sleep cocoon that smelled like Aizawa. Aizawa was awake too and he was pretty sure he didn’t sleep at all. But Aizawa said nothing when he climbed out of bed and sat on the floor next to Kacchan, waiting for him to wake up. 

 

He very quickly decided that waiting was boring and it would be better if Kacchan woke up. So he poked his face. But nothing happened. He poked him again and still got no response. He felt eyes on him and turned to see Aizawa watching them with his face half-hidden in his scarf. 

 

Turning his attention back to Kacchan, he moved so that he was sitting at the very top of Kacchan, by his hair. Then he draped the fluffy part of his tail onto Kacchan’s now upside-down face. Kacchan’s face scrunched up and Izuku shifted his tail so that it was more irritating. Kacchan tried to shift away in his sleep but the sleep cocoon held him still. 

 

He kept it up until Kacchan finally woke up with a sneeze. Several sneezes. When Kacchan recovered from his sneezing fit, he glared at him. “Why?” was all he asked. 

 

“I think he wanted you awake,” Aizawa spoke up from his seat. “You should be proud of him. He managed to wait for a whole 20 seconds before he got impatient and woke you up.”

 

Kacchan groaned before wiggling out of the sleep cocoon. “Fine. I’m awake. What do you want? You gotta be quiet so we don’t wake Inko, though.”

 

He nodded and went to go get the Narnia book. He liked the fauns and the griffins because they sounded like him by their descriptions. He curled into Kacchan’s side and listened to him read until Inko woke up and had him eat breakfast. And then Inko read to him and Kacchan until they were interrupted by people walking into the room. 

 

The detective he met before, Hound Dog, the scientist, and… a very big rat. 

 

Or at least something that smelled similar. He got off the couch slowly, creeping forward as the detective and Aizawa greeted each other, but he froze when beady eyes zeroed in on him. The creature’s smile was more threatening than prey should ever be. “Don’t,” it said evenly. 

 

Growling quietly he stared the thing down, even if he was a little scared now. How come the animal can talk but he can’t? Why doesn’t it act like the prey it smells like? Everyone else in the room smelled nervous as he and this rodent faced off. After a few moments, he looked away, more overwhelmed by fear than he cared to admit. Beaten by a mouse. Shameful. 

 

“Well, then. Shall we move on?” the rodent asked, directing its question to Aizawa. With its eyes off him, he took the chance to hide behind Kacchan, clinging to his leg. 

 

It was clear that the creature was more powerful than Aizawa. And not in a good way. 

 


 

Shouta had to hide a smile in his scarf when Izuku tucked tail and ran to hide behind Bakugou. He wasn’t even surprised. His boss tended to have that effect on people. “What just happened?” Tsukauchi asked, looking between Nezu and Izuku. 

 

“He was considering hunting me,” Nezu replied, though he didn’t sound upset about it. “I simply warned against it non-verbally. I also won a dominance battle between him and me.”

 

“Anyway,” Shouta interrupted. “Dr. Seki here agreed to give us Izuku’s partial assessment based on what has been gathered before we decide where to move him.”

 

“Some tests need to be done over time for the full picture, but we have enough of his assessment finished to draw clear conclusions,” Dr. Seki added. “The most important thing is that we were able to confirm that he shows no signs of genotoxicity. Meaning his DNA wasn’t damaged. It was simply added to much in the same way childrens’ quirks develop.”

 

“What do mean?” Inko asked. 

 

“When a child’s quirk develops, their quirk factor awakens. When it does, the previously dormant aspect of their genetic code tells the DNA to replicate with an additional nucleotide. This is an insertion mutation,” Dr. Seki explained. “This is why some kids get quirks that are completely unrelated to their parents’ quirks. When quirks are inherited or blended, it means that the parents’ quirks were a part of their genetic code. If they didn’t inherit that bit of code, they wind up with something randomized.”

 

“Not inheriting their parents’ quirks…?” Bakugou frowned. “That sounds like quirklessness.”

 

“Correct. Except the quirk factor knows to activate at a certain age or when certain conditions are met. Whether it activates or not, most quirkless people do have dormant code for a quirk factor in their DNA. That's why trauma-induced quirks can occur in quirkless people. It's theorized that humanity started to develop the quirk factor in DNA many, many years before quirks actually started appearing. Evolution can be slow, after all,” Dr. Seki smiled. 

 

“So they simply turned his quirk factor on so that he could receive quirks,” Nezu concluded. 

 

“Or they gave him the quirks and it activated his quirk factor by default. It’s a ‘chicken or the egg’ situation,” Dr. Seki replied. “Either way, his DNA is healthy and the quirks did not damage his body. Though he probably had the same pains people with mutant or transformation quirks tend to feel when their bodies change abruptly.”

 

“His auditory and olfactory systems were mutated by his quirks so they match up to that of a cat better than a human. His wings and lower legs also match up to the anatomy of their respective animals. Excluding his tail and what I’ve already mentioned, from his knees up, he is entirely human,” Dr. Seki told them. 

 

“But he has fur up to his hips and on his neck and shoulders,” Bakugou argued. 

 

“He does, but it doesn’t alter his anatomy. His femur, that’s his thigh bone, would be shorter if he had the exact anatomy of a cat in his upper legs. But proportionally, they’re human. His lower legs, while physically bigger than a housecat, are proportional to a housecat,” Dr. Seki clarified. 

 

“We’re talking anatomy proportions when I say if something is human, cat, or bird,” Dr. Seki continued. “Technically, he is fully human. His fur is actually human hair that has the same length, density, and growth rules as cat fur. His feathers are human keratin. DNA testing his fur or his feathers returns ‘human with a cat or bird quirk’ as a result. He’s not actually an animal.”

 

“Oh. Okay,” Bakugou grumbled. 

 

“Are there any lasting health concerns?” Nezu asked, getting them back on track. 

 

“If he mistimes flying and landing, he has a high risk of breaking bones with the calcium manipulation quirk. The only other concerns I have, save the results of the degradation testing which we don’t have yet, are his heart and some nerve damage we found,” Dr. Seki replied. 

 

“The nerve damage is located on his abdomen, where the scarring is. The scarring is probably the cause of the nerve damage. Check him over once in a while because he won’t be able to feel burns, cuts, or other injuries in that area,” Dr. Seki warned. “And due to how his quirks combined, he developed a faster than average heart rate. Normally, this would be fine but his heart didn’t mutate to handle that change like the other altered parts of him did. The walls of his heart seem to have thickened.”

 

Shouta could admit that he didn’t know what that meant. Thankfully Inko did. “Is he at risk of heart failure?” Inko asked. “Or has it not progressed that far?”

 

“Based solely on his readings, I would think it’s only just started to be an issue a few months ago,” Dr. Seki answered. “Except we know that he was given these quirks years ago. So it’s likely that his regeneration quirk has been able to drastically slow it down. At the current stage he’s at, we would expect chest pain and shortness of breath if he overworks himself. But I’m thinking about giving him something to slow down his heart rate. His regeneration quirk might be able to undo the damage entirely if given a chance to work uninterrupted.”

 

Inko sighed in relief. “I’ll approve any medication you decide on. So then what about his mental health?”

 

Dr. Seki turned to Hound Dog expectantly. The pro hero cleared his throat. “Izuku is still largely affected by the conditioning the League put him through. However, his conditioning was to obey orders, not necessarily to hurt others. So he shouldn’t harm people since no one here would tell him to do something like that. He did not develop emotionally or socially, partly due to isolation and partly due to compartmentalization and detachment, which are coping mechanisms he subconsciously used during his time with the League.”

 

“Right now he seems okay, outwardly, but once he sheds the conditioning and is able to both understand and face what happened to him, it is likely that he will start to act how one would expect a recently traumatized victim to act,” Hound Dog elaborated a concerned expression. “The PTSD he undoubtedly has will be more noticeable.” 

 

“So where do you recommend he go based on that information?” Inko asked both Dr. Seki and Hound Dog.

Chapter Text

“Physically, I’d clear him to go to either the psychiatric facility or UA,” Dr. Seki smiled. “But as far as mentally, I would defer to Hound Dog’s judgment.”

 

“I feel that a psychiatric facility would be harmful to his recovery,” Hound Dog decided. “They have strict routines and protocol that would not be helpful with deconditioning him from responding to orders. They would be better equipped to deal with severe meltdowns but Izuku is not currently experiencing that. I would suggest that he go to UA now and if, after deconditioning, he needs more intensive psychiatric care, we can move him to a dedicated facility.”

 

“Then I want him to go to UA,” Inko said firmly. She trusted Hound Dog. Plus he was the only being on earth that they knew of that could understand Izuku without barriers. 

 

“Luckily,” Nezu chimed in. “UA has just finished having dorms built. Given the way the League seems to be targeting my school, I feel that it is safer for the students to be on campus. Bakugou-kun, your parents should be receiving an information packet about the dorms today or tomorrow. As for Izuku-kun, I would have him stay in the faculty dorms with the teachers who will be watching him while he lives on campus. He would even get his own room!”

 

“How soon could he move in?” Inko asked. 

 

Nezu grinned at her. “Tomorrow!”

 


 

When evening rolled around, Inko started preening Izuku’s wings in hopes that it’ll get him to bed sooner. The dorm move-in for the staff was taking place earlier than Izuku had been getting up and she didn’t want him to be overtired. Aizawa had left shortly after this morning’s meeting. 

 

Apparently, both Nezu and his husband failed to tell him about the dorms, though for different reasons, so he headed home to help his husband pack. Katsuki had stayed and helped Inko watch Izuku until he had to go home. Now it was just her and her little boy. 

 

She still wasn’t sure that he viewed her as his mother, so she didn’t think he was too upset by the prospect of going to live somewhere else. But before she could get very far into preening his first wing, he turned around and faced her with a determined expression. “Yes?” she smiled. 

 

He took a deep breath and then pressed his lips together in a way she hadn’t seen him do before. “Mmmooo…” He looked disappointed in himself as the sound trailed off, not quite able to regain the ‘m’ sound after opening his mouth for the ‘o’ sound. She still teared up and pulled him into a hug. 

 

“You can call me ‘Ma’ if it's easier for you,” she said with a breathy laugh as tears fell down her face. “But I don’t expect you to talk either.”

 

“Mmma,” Izuku repeated. Inko held him tighter as he hugged her back. 

 


 

Cars were quickly becoming his favorite thing. They took you to new places. This time, the car he got in was driven by Yamada. The man even showed him the sign for ‘car’ before they got in. And now they were standing in front of a big door, except it was still outside. And Hound Dog was there! And… the big rat was there…

 

He hid behind Inko. The rat just smiled at him and then addressed Inko. “I have access cards here for both of you. However, I also had Power Loader create a wearable ID for Izuku that doubles as a tracker. This is because he might lose or forget his ID which would be a big problem with our security system and so that we can find him quickly when we let him roam.”

 

“But I told him it would be unethical to put a tracker on someone without consent,” Hound Dog added. “So it’s up to you if Izuku wears it or not. UA will be caring for him but you are still his acting guardian. All decisions must be finalized with you.”

 

“Yes! That is the law!” the rat said in a bright tone, though he smelled annoyed.  

 

“As long as you don’t put a collar on my child, that’s fine,” Inko replied. He frowned, touching the cold beads of the collar he wore now. What was wrong with it? Did she not like it? He liked this one a lot better than his old one. He can take it off when his neck gets itchy.

 

“Having worn one myself, I would never. It’s a bracelet,” the rat assured her. He took it out to show it to her. After appraising it, Inko nodded and put it on his wrist herself. Good. Because he didn’t want to go near the rat if he could help it. 

 

The rat handed her something else. A little card. And then walked away, clearly expecting them to follow. Ha! Like they’d do that!

 

…They would do that. That’s exactly what everyone did. And he wasn’t about to let Inko and Aizawa leave him there, alone, outside the door that didn’t lead inside. So he followed the rat. 

 

They were taken to a big building like the hospital. But not as big. But still bigger than the police station. When they went inside the doors, which actually took them inside this time, there were lots of people with boxes and bags inside. He took a step back instinctively, bumping into Yamada who had been behind him. “Careful, Little Listener,” Yamada said gently. 

 

“Gather round, everyone,” the rat instructed, climbing onto Aizawa as he spoke. He bristled at the creature standing on his Master as if he owned him. Aizawa was his! “These two are Midoriya Inko and Midoriya Izuku. They are civilians and you will be seeing a lot of them.”

 

“Why?” a big man with bigger fangs asked. 

 

“Let me get to that,” the rat said in a cheerful yet threatening tone. “When our student Bakugou was recovered, this young man was also rescued by on-site heroes Mt. Lady and Gran Torino. He was held captive by the League since he was 4, nearly 5, years old.”

 

That got some murmurs and he pressed his ears flat when he remembered how Aizawa said some people might be scared of him. “They experimented on him and turned him into a nomu.” The murmurs got louder. “But he is not the same kind of nomu as we have seen before. We have learned that both Izuku and Kurogiri are sentient nomus. They are capable of independent thought. So much so, that they control Kurogiri with a mind control quirk. One that thankfully does not work on Izuku due to how his quirks have affected him.”

 

The people in the room glanced at him, some warily and others with pity. He didn’t like it. “Since their usual methods of control did not work on him, they relied on conditioning and a shock collar. He was only conditioned to follow orders. Which he interpreted as meaning ‘orders from anyone.’ For his own safety, he will be living at UA under all of our care. His mother is allowed to visit him at any time without an escort. Further details and things to keep in mind while interacting with him can be found in the dorm welcome packets that have been placed in your rooms. Have a good day.”

 

He watched as they took the dismissal for what it was and scattered. The power this rat had over all these people was terrifying. The rat just smiled at him from Aizawa’s shoulder knowingly before looking away again. “Now! Let’s show the Midoriya’s Izuku’s new room,” he chirped. 

 


 

“--and they’re twice the size of student dorm rooms,” the rat said as he let them in to look around. “This is because some share a room, like Aizawa and Yamada, and others have family that will visit and stay overnight. Like Izuku-kun here. Those who don’t can make the extra space into some sort of private nook to relax in. Power Loader already had me approve designs for a miniature lab in his room. He helped design the dorms too.”

 

He frowned at the extra tall bed. Sure he’d have no trouble getting up there and there were even stairs, but in this room, it was too big and open. “That will be your mother’s bed when she stays,” the rat told him. “You might find what is behind the curtains to be more to your liking.”

 

Narrowing his eyes in suspicion, he lowered himself to poke his head between the curtains below the sleeping part of the bed. It was a little space filled with lights, pillows, and blankets. A partially formed nest was already there but it was waiting for him to finish building it to his preferences. He dove in, immediately rearranging things and scenting them. 

 

“What’s under the curtain?” Inko asked, sounding confused. 

 

“I noticed the nest on his bed when I visited the hospital yesterday. Originally, this was a bunk bed since I thought with the wings, he might like to be up high. I had Power Loader take off the legs and one of the steps so that the bottom bunk rests on the floor and filled it with soft things. I, myself, burrow rather than nest, but the concept is very similar.”

 

He shot out of his new nest and tackled the rat to hug him and scent him in thanks. A paw patted him on the head. “Yes, yes. You’re welcome. Please, do not pounce on me ever again.”

 

For the rat that got him the best nest he’d ever seen, he would try to curb his instincts.

 


 

So his new nest is cozy like this (but with way more blankets and pillows)

Lights are all on the inside and are safe. He can turn them off inside too.

And under a bed like this. Except they get a full bed instead of a twin.

Because wings and teens take up space and Inko is an adult. 

Chapter Text

After putting his clothes in drawers like Inko showed him to, his books on a shelf, and Katsu in his nest, he set out to explore the rest of the place. The rat said he could go anywhere in the dorm building but he had to ask to go in other people’s rooms. He could also go anywhere on campus. Well, almost anywhere.

 

His new bracelet would beep slowly if he was nearing a campus boundary or an off-limits area. It would beep quickly if he passed the boundary. And if he passed it, he had 5 seconds to return to a safe zone or security protocol will kick in. “You don’t want that,” the rat had chuckled. But he could go to off-limits areas if he was accompanied by a teacher. It was for his safety.

 

The first person he came across was a woman whose scent he recognized from the first clothes he got at the police station. She said he could call her Nemuri but during school, most other students would refer to her as Midnight or Kayama. She also hugged him but he let her because she had gotten him his first nice clothes. That shirt was soft. 

 

When he figured out she was a hero though, he took off. Hound Dog hadn’t hurt him. But Hound Dog could understand him so it was different. When heroes couldn’t understand him, they attacked him. First, the one that yelled at him for flying when he was 8 and then the woodman. Twice! He got wrapped in wood twice! The woodman did not like when he scratched the wood.

 

He crept into what the rat had called ‘the common area.’ It reminded him of the bar a little bit because it had couches. There was no bar though. It also didn’t have tables with chairs. It just had low tables that the couches and smaller couches were gathered around. Like a little couch meeting. There was a TV on. It was bigger than the one the League had. Two people sat on a couch facing the TV. One had a fancy hat and the other looked like a concrete block. 

 

It took them a moment to spot him and when they did, they both looked and smelled nervous. He tried not to take it personally. “Hey there, youngin’. Welcome to UA,” the fancy hat man greeted him despite his nerves. “Ya can call me Snipe. And this here is Cementoss.”

 

The concrete man nodded but didn’t say anything himself. They didn’t want him here he moved on to explore somewhere else. Their names sounded like heroes anyway. At least the hero Nemuri seemed to like him. He would avoid those two in the future so that he didn’t upset them.

 

Next, he found a kitchen where a man that seemed to be more machine than man was cooking something. Hound Dog and the big man with the bigger fangs were sitting at a table nearby. The machine man noticed him watching. “Hello, Izuku-kun! I’m Lunch Rush. I’ll be making most of the food around here.” The machine hose that seemed to come from his face hissed and his ears flattened at the sound. 

 

“Oh, don’t mind that. It’s just to help me breathe,” Lunch Rush reassured him. “Would you like some yakitori?” He looked past the man and saw meat on sticks being fried in a pan. He nodded. Lunch Rush took one out and gave it to him. He grabbed the hand that gave him the snack and rubbed it on his cheek in thanks. Lunch Rush was probably a hero too but he could overlook that. He made snacks!

 

“Izuku, come sit while you eat,” Hound Dog suggested, motioning to a chair next to him. He sat next to Hound Dog and then carefully tasted his snack. It was chicken and it was delicious! Lunch Rush can be a hero. He doesn’t mind because the snacks he makes are tasty!

 

He was just about to take another bite when he noticed the big man glaring at him. He stopped and sniffed but he couldn’t smell anything but blood. Had he killed someone? “Oh, Izuku, this is Kan Sekijiro. He also goes by Vlad King or just Vlad around here.”

 

Shyly, he asked why Vlad smelled like blood. “He has a blood manipulation quirk,” Hound Dog told him. That made sense then. But he still didn’t like that he couldn’t smell anything else. It made him harder to read. He was glaring but that could just be his face. 

 

Next, he asked a question he’d had since meeting Nemuri. Some people had one name and some people had two names and some people had three names. Why did they need so many names? “People normally have two names unless they have a title like ‘doctor’ or ‘detective.’ Here, the staff are pro heroes so we have civilian names and hero names. Some of our staff choose not to share their civilian names, even with other staff,” Hound Dog explained. 

 

“Now that I think about it, I don’t think I ever told you mine. My name is Inui Ryou. You can call me whatever you’re comfortable with,” Hound-- Ryou smiled. Yes, he would call Hound Dog Ryou. It was shorter and nicer. Shorter names were easier to remember and say.

 

“Should you really be telling him all that?” Vlad said, his frown deepening. 

 

“Why wouldn’t I? He’s living here now and will likely be here for years,” Ryou frowned back. 

 

“And what if the League takes him back? Then they have all this info,” Vlad countered. 

 

“It’ll be our job to make sure nothing happens to him,” Ryou growled. 

 

“He could just leave. Do you even know if he’s loyal to them?” Vlad argued. 

 

“Of course I do. He betrayed Shigaraki to help Bakugou escape. His loyalties lie with what he considers family over what he considers a master,” Ryou told him. “He’s content where he is so he wouldn’t leave.” 

 

He nodded and chirped in agreement. It was better here. He liked Master Aizawa much better than Shigaraki. Vlad grumbled but didn’t say anything else. Since he was done with his snack, he got up to go explore more. 

 

He wound up in a room he didn’t recognize. There were box-shaped capsules along the wall. There was a pretty person in a puffy suit walking over to a table with a basket. He walked over to see what they were doing and they startled when they saw him. He backed up several paces when he smelled the fear on them. Not nervous, but very afraid. 

 

Then guilt filled their scent. “I am so sorry. You can smell my emotions, right? That was in the file Nezu gave us. It’s nothing against you personally, I promise. I just… I was badly injured in the USJ attack. And not by the nomu with the exposed brain. By Kurogiri. And Nezu said your the same kind as him and I can’t help but… I’m sorry.”

 

He understood. It was like how Dabi is scared of flames that are not his, especially the orange ones. Dabi told him once he was badly hurt in someone else’s fire many times. Now he associated all flames with that bad person. With the bad memories. 

 

So he left them alone. 

 

He already knew Aizawa and Yamada so he didn’t stop to talk to them when he saw them walking down a hallway. Eventually, an open door caught his attention. A short man was working on something that sparked while a tall man sat in a nearby chair. The tall man saw him first. “You can come in,” he said with a smile that was unsettling. Not everyone had a comforting smile so he wasn’t going to let that bother him. Much. 

 

The short man stopped what he was doing and turned. “Hey! How do you like the nest space? It was Nezu’s idea.”

 

Nodding happily, he signed the words for ‘yes’ and ‘like.’ “That’s great! I’ve never built a nest shelter before so I wasn’t sure if it would work.”

 

“Since my friend forgot to introduce himself before talking shop,” the tall man said in a teasing tone. “His name is Maijima Higari and his hero name is Power Loader. I go by Ectoplasm.”

 

“I was getting to that,” Higari huffed. He tried to peek past him to see what he had been doing. “Oh, are you interested? I’m making a message bot for the staff!” He was suddenly less interested. What is a bot? It sounds like a bug. He left to go see what else he could find. 

 

He found another person who smells like blood, but not as badly as Vlad. He can still read them. And they hated him. The mix of intense rage and fear stung his nose. They were noodly but their height made them intimidating as they loomed over him. “I don’t know what possessed Nezu to allow a nomu into UA, but I will be watching you. I don’t buy your act. The second I see you doing anything to assist All For One, I will destroy you. I won’t let that man win.”

 

His fur bristled at the threat. He would avoid this person the most.

 


 

Green = Likes Izuku/Positive toward him

Yellow = uneasy, nervous, in between like/dislike

Red = dislikes Izuku

These statuses are subject to change as the story progresses!

Chapter Text

“He wants to go outside,” Inko told Aizawa. “I caught him trying to jump off his balcony.”

 

Aizawa just nodded like he expected that and motioned for him to move closer. He stood in front of Aizawa and got a very serious expression back from the man. “You can go outside. But you need to be aware that there are students on campus. Heroics students come in during the break to train in our gyms, general education students have clubs, support students are allowed to do personal projects in the labs, and business students… Well, I’m not sure what they do actually.”

 

He signed ‘yes’ and ‘people’ and ‘okay.’ Aizawa sighed. “They don’t know about you yet. Although, I don’t think Nezu is telling every course the full story about you. But if you run into anyone, they’ll probably be curious about you since you’re new. This isn’t an order, but it is a rule; do not hurt anyone. If you get overwhelmed, just leave. If they follow you, fly.”

 

The signs for ‘people’ and ‘no pain’ were what he chose to show he understood. Aizawa let him go after that, and soon he was out of the building and walking along a concrete path. Deciding where to go first was surprisingly hard but he picked a random direction and walked. 

 

There was lots of grass everywhere and he found a freshly cut patch that smelled extra strong. He rolled around in that and when he was satisfied, he noticed that some of his clothes and skin were stained green. He didn’t mind though. 

 

He found a garden and decided he should bring Inko there another time. It was pretty and so he wanted to show it to her. There were some people like Kacchan. They wore the same clothes he sometimes did. A few people talked to him and asked if he was interested in joining the gardening club, but he didn’t know what that was so he shook his head. They didn’t mind. 

 

There were heroes he didn’t know walking around too. He didn’t know how he felt about it. Were they teachers too? Why didn’t they live in his dorm then? Only one stopped to talk to him, asking if he was trying to get anywhere specific. He signed ‘no’ and they let him go. 

 

Eventually, he ended found a long building with a bunch of different rooms. There were people inside them when he looked through the glass on the doors. Some were fighting and others were doing the exercises that he’d seen many people in the League do. Sometimes he had to do them too. He was very good at some exercises. 

 

He stopped when he saw Aizawa in one. Or at least Aizawa’s scarf. It was moving and he was jumping around, trying to grab some tall things with it. He opened the door and snuck inside, planning to surprise Aizawa. Eyeing the perches above them, he looked around for a way to get up there quietly so he could glide down. When he found one, he climbed. 

 

For safety, he waited until Aizawa stopped moving before gliding toward him. He could hear panting like he was out of breath. Which didn’t seem right… Aizawa was too athletic for that. 

 

Too late, his nose registered the smell of a stranger. This was not Aizawa!

 

Tilting his wing, he forced himself off course, accidentally veering into a bunch of stuff resting at the side of the room. He let out a startled yelp when things started toppling over, burying him. And then it was quiet except for too fast breaths from the stranger. He scared them. 

 

“What the fuck…?” they muttered to themselves, though he picked it up from where he was. He stayed put because he was hurting and embarrassed. Hopefully, the stranger would leave. 

 

“Are you okay?” they asked, a little closer now. He pouted. Of course, they wouldn’t leave. He tried to wiggle out of the things covering him and whined when a sharp pain shot through his wing. “Don’t move. I’ll get this stuff off you.”

 

He couldn’t move after being given the order, so he just laid there waiting to be uncovered. Soon the last thing was lifted off him and he was carefully pulled to his feet. Once standing, he found himself face to face with a miniature, purple version of Aizawa. He whined again and teared up. Why didn’t Aizawa tell him he had a child?

 

“Woah, okay, crying. Um, I can take you to Recovery Girl if you’re hurt?” Aizawa’s child said uncertainly. He nodded and let the purple offspring take him somewhere new. 

 


 

“Oh dear, what happened?” Recovery Girl asked. Hitoshi glanced at the teen next to him but they didn’t say anything, seeming completely enthralled by the infirmary itself. 

 

Well, I was training in the gym,” Hitoshi started. “And then this kid came out of nowhere and crashed into the equipment stored by the wall. I ask if he’s okay and he just whines. Like a pained whine. So I help him out and then he just started crying as soon as he was free.”

 

Recovery Girl just shook her head and sighed before approaching the mystery teen. “Hello, Izuku. My name is Shuzenji Chiyo and I will be coordinating with Dr. Seki during your stay at UA. I was supposed to meet you tomorrow, in a meeting with Nezu, but I see you are just like the rest of Aizawa’s so-called problem children.”

 

The teen-- Izuku --flinched at that and his ears drooped. It made Hitoshi take a second look at him, taking note of the tail, the nose, the wings, and… the paws… He had to bite his lip to keep from asking the other teen if he had toe beans. That’s probably rude, right? 

 

“What hurts, dear?” Izuku motioned to his wing and Recovery Girl began inspecting it, feeling along the bone, Hitoshi assumed. “Nothing broke. You’re lucky. Yours are fragile, especially when landing. I know you know that.”

 

Izuku ducked his head slightly. Apparently, he did know. “It’s just a sprain. I can heal it and you’ll be good to go. Just ice it if it still feels sore later.”

 

Hitoshi waited for the familiar drowsiness of Recovery Girl’s quirk to hit the other teen but he didn’t seem phased in the slightest. He would have thought Recovery Girl’s quirk failed if Izuku hadn’t jumped up and stretched his wings without an issue. Weird. 

 

“Off you go now,” Recovery Girl said, handing them both a lollipop. Hitoshi walked out with the mystery teen following him. He was going to go back to the gym but Izuku stuck to his side. He didn’t want a repeat of whatever happened in there. And from what Recovery Girl had said, he already gathered that Izuku wasn’t a normal student. 

 

A cat-like trilling from Izuku made him stop short, causing the other teen to bump into him. He turned to see Izuku rubbing his nose with a frown which was cuter than he had any right to be. Izuku sniffed and then brightened, holding up his lollipop and trilling again. When Hitoshi didn’t do anything except stare at him in confusion, Izuku held it out toward him. 

 

“What?” Hitoshi asked. The trill repeated and Izuku looked frustrated. That’s when it clicked for Hitoshi. “Can you not talk?”

 

Izuku shook his head. Hitoshi glanced at the lollipop still held out to him. Hesitantly, he took it and unwrapped it before holding it out to the other teen. Izuku just tilted his head in confusion which was, once again, adorable and very cat-like. “It’s candy.”

 

‘Soft food sweet?’ Izuku signed. It was simple and told him Izuku was a beginner but Hitoshi knew how to translate childish JSL better than cat sounds. 

 

“You mean gummy candy?” Izuku nodded. “You’ve only had gummy candy, huh? This is is a hard candy called a lollipop or a sucker. Just don’t eat the stick and you’re good.”

 

The mystery teen took the lollipop back and licked it experimentally before smiling and putting it in his mouth. Between his looks, the fact that he was at UA mid-year for unknown reasons, the fact that he can’t communicate well, and the fact that he doesn’t know what a lollipop is, Hitoshi started having a thought. This guy was a cryptid! 

 

Maybe his parents thought his quirk made him too much like an animal and so they dumped him in the woods. Obviously, he was enough like an animal for other creatures to take him in and teach him to survive. The heroes must have rescued him recently and now he was at UA because it was the safest place for him. Now he was learning to be human again. 

 

“You know what, Izuku? I’ll help you,” Hitoshi decided. Izuku just blinked at him. “I’ll teach you about all sorts of things. And I can help with your JSL too. The teachers here absolutely can not be trusted with your education on pop culture. Especially not Present Mic-Sensei. I will take you under my wing.”

Izuku glanced over his shoulder and Hitoshi laughed. “It’s figurative. I don’t actually have wings.”

Chapter Text

“So why were you in the gym earlier?” Purple Aizawa asked. Though he had learned that his name was actually Shinsou Hitoshi. 

 

He carefully spelled out ‘Aizawa’ and then pointed at Hitoshi. “Aizawa was looking for me?” Hitoshi guessed. He shook his head and then tugged on the scarf still around the purple boy’s neck. “Ohh… You thought… You thought I was Aizawa.”

 

He chirped in confirmation. “You do bird sounds too?” He raised his wings as an answer. “Okay. Cat-bird. That’s almost like two different quirks.”

 

Remembering what Aizawa said about people being curious, he just walked away. Hitoshi followed after him. “Sorry. If you don’t want to talk about your quirk, we don’t have to. I get it.”

 

Pausing, he grabbed Hitoshi’s hand to rub on his cheek in thanks before he continued back to the faculty dorms. Hitoshi followed after him again but this time he could hear him muttering. “I’ve been chosen by the cat-bird…”

 

When they got to the dorms, Hitoshi seemed confused but followed him inside. Nemuri, Yamada, and Aizawa were in the common area on one of the couches. “Oh shoot, he kidnapped a student,” Nemuri said in mock concern. 

 

“What is this place?” Hitoshi asked, looking around. “And those other buildings too.”

 

Aizawa sighed. “Dorms. They’re new. I’m actually going around to my student’s homes tomorrow to get permission from guardians and drop off packing lists and move-in information.”

 

“Sweet,” Hitoshi said quickly before changing subjects just as fast. “And he is?”

 

Aizawa sighed louder. “This information does not leave campus and you will get full details with the rest of your class.” Hitoshi nodded in agreement. “This is Midoriya Izuku. The summary is that he was rescued from the League. They took him when he was 4 and turned him into a sentient nomu. Kurogiri is the only other nomu like him. The quirks they gave him wound up affecting his ability to follow orders consistently. He went rogue to save Bakugou and other heroes at the Kamino fight recovered him.”

 

“So he’s not a cryptid?” Hitoshi asked, sounding disappointed. Aizawa stood up and started to walk away without a word. 

 

“I’m going to my room,” Aizawa declared before he disappeared from sight. He watched Aizawa leave in confusion. Was he mad at his child? Was ‘cryptid’ a bad word? Kurogiri used to leave the room when Shigaraki yelled bad words at his games. 

 

“I should probably head home. Do you have a phone?” Hitoshi asked, turning to him. Was his home not here with his parent? 

 

“He does not have a phone but I can take your number for him,” Yamada offered. “We should probably get him a phone. It’s just, he’s still learning to write. He didn’t get the chance to learn, ya know. But he’s learning quickly.”

 

“We can do video calls,” Hitoshi shrugged. “He seems to understand when I talk. And I know JSL and how to interpret beginner sign.”

 

“That’s a great idea, little listener! I’ll talk to Nezu about getting him a phone sooner,” Yamada beamed. Hitoshi told Yamada some numbers and Yamada typed them into his phone. Then Hitoshi told him goodbye and left. He hoped Hitoshi would come back. He was nice.

 


 

He was enjoying another day of exploring the campus when he smelled something foul. It was the sort of intent he used to smell on certain villains who came to the bar. It always set him on edge and it meant someone was going to do something bad. 

 

Worried that someone had come to hurt the students, he went off in search of it. Aizawa said he can’t hurt the students, so that rule must apply to other people too. He would stop them and make sure they know to follow Aizawa’s rule. 

 

It wasn’t long before he came across a hole in the wall. Peeking inside, it looked like a metal tunnel. A bit small but nothing he couldn’t squish himself into. He followed the scent through the tunnel until he saw a light and a small person in front of it. They reeked of bad intentions and they were muttering to themselves. Too quiet for most people to hear. But he could. 

 

The things he said reminded him of the things the man who touched him said. The man Shigaraki decayed before giving him the order to kill anyone who tries to touch him like that again. 

 

Silently he crept forward enough to see over their shoulder but not alert them to his presence. There was a girl in a room with metal walls. She did not have a shirt on. He remembered once that Magne had explained girls need privacy when he accidentally walked in on Toga while she changed and she had reacted… violently. So this person was doing a bad thing. 

 

He growled and the person startled, turning to face him and shrieking suddenly. He recognized the camera in their hands. Dabi and Giran and Compress used them to get evidence for things. They made moments permanent. This person was invading that girl's privacy and capturing it forever! How dare they? 

 

Launching himself at them, the slated metal behind them gave out and they fell into the room. The girl seemed to have covered herself with a shirt and been watching where they were hiding. She squeaked in surprise when they fell into the room. The person below him was yelling and screaming about a monster. He would show him a monster. 

 

Before he could bite them, something wiggly wrapped around his middle and pulled him off them. “Nejire-san, are you okay?” a muscular blonde asked, coming into his field of vision. 

 

“Uh… yes?” she replied with wide eyes. 

 

The person he’d been pulled off was short, like a young child, and had purple balls on their head. They were bawling like the toddler they resembled, but he could smell that they were older. Children smell different. He kept struggling against his restraints to get at them. 

 

“That thing was in the vents and it just attacked me out of nowhere!” the person cried. 

 

The blonde narrowed his eyes at that. “What were you doing in the vents?”

 

“N-nothing!” the teen baby said quickly. Liar! He snapped his jaws and growled again, making them flinch back in fear. 

 

“You,” the blonde faced him. “Can you calm down for a second and tell me your side?”

 

Still growling, he stopped struggling. This was important so he added charades to his sign language. When he mimicked a camera, the blonde stiffened. So did the thing around his waist. Glancing down, it looked like an octopus arm. 

 

“Give me the camera,” the blonde ordered, looming over the tiny, stinky person. At least now they stunk of fear. 

 

“What camera? I don’t have a camera!” they lied. The blonde just stood them up and patted them down, finding the camera in their jacket pocket. 

 

“I’ll be taking this to principal along with you and whoever that is,” the blonde decided, grabbing the smaller person by the arm. The girl, he had noticed, had a shirt on now. 

 

The octopus arm was attached to another person with dark hair. They did not let go of him as they walked through the halls to a door that smelled a lot like the rat. It opened before the blonde could knock. “Come on in!”

 

“I found a pervert taking pictures from the vents leading to the girls’ locker room,” the blonde said as they walked into a nice office. “And then this… person attacked the pervert. But I’ve never seen them before so I brought them too, just in case.”

 

“That is Midoriya Izuku. You’ll probably see him around a lot,” Nezu smiled. “Amajiki-kun, I would suggest letting him go before he tries to eat the octopus tentacle you’ve manifested. He’s looking too curious and hungry at the moment.”

 

The octopus arm released him quickly and he pouted. He only wanted a little taste. “As for you, Mineta-kun. This is not the first complaint that’s been filed against you regarding inappropriate behavior. This is, however, the first punishable offense you’ve committed.”

 

“Punishable?” they squeaked.

 

“I could expel you,” Nezu grinned ferally. He instinctively backed up at the sight of a superior predator. The blonde and the dark-haired person both shot him concerned looks. “Togata-kun, Amajiki-kun, Neijire-san, why don’t you three help Izuku-kun back to the faculty dorms? Mineta-kun and I need to discuss what will happen next.”

 

He grabbed the arm of the girl and dragged her out of the room. As expected, the other two followed quickly after their friend. Whatever was about to happen, none of them wanted to be there for it. He knew that much. 

 

The blonde left the camera on a table on the way out and the door slammed shut behind them. “...So! It was Izuku, right?” the blonde smiled at him. He nodded. “I’m Togata Mirio and this Amajiki Tamaki and--”

 

“I’m Nejire Hado! I’m a third-year!” the girl said brightly. “Thanks for stopping that creep!”

 

He tensed when she hugged him without warning. 

 

“Um… Nejire-san… I don’t think…”

Chapter Text

“Um… Nejire-san… I don’t think… He wants to be hugged…” Tamaki said weakly. 

 

“Why not? Who wouldn’t want to be hugged?” Nejire argued. Him. He would not. He didn’t know her at all and she was squeezing his wings too tightly. 

 

“He looks like he’s in pain, Nejire-san. You should probably let him go,” Mirio agreed. 

 

“Oh, sorry,” she said, letting him go. He stretched his wings but she hadn’t damaged them. 

 

“Now, we don’t even move into the dorms until later, so we aren’t actually sure where they are.” Mirio smiled. “Could you lead us there, Izuku-kun?”

 

He nodded and started walking, trailed closely by Nejire who had more questions than the detective or Hound Dog did combined. 

 


 

“Do you think he’s gonna bring students back every time he goes out?” Nemuri asked Hizashi. Shouta frowned and looked over to see Izuku followed by the big three. 

 

“What are you three doing here?” he sighed. 

 

“Nezu told us to bring him here. He caught a pervert,” Togata beamed. 

 

“Did--” Shouta took a breath to stay calm. “Did he eat or bite the pervert?”

 

Izuku shook his head but Shouta waited for Togata to reply. “I don’t think so. He didn’t eat him, since he was still there to take to the principal’s office. But I don’t know if he bit him before we got in there.”

 

“He probably wouldn’t have survived the walk to the principal’s office if he had been,” Shouta replied, a little relieved. “What happened exactly?”

 

“There was this creep hiding in the vent in the girls’ locker room. Apparently, he was taking pictures of me. It was this little purple guy that I’ve seen creeping around before in places he shouldn’t,” Nejire answered. “Then Zuku here totally stopped him. He was in the vent too and all of a sudden they burst out of the vent. After Tamaki pulled him off the creep and restrained him with his quirk, he told us the creep had a camera. He was so mad.”

 

Shouta sent a text to Vlad, recognizing the description of the other teacher’s student. “Barring the use of violence, that was a good thing that you did, Izuku. Thank you for helping one of our students.” The Big Three, as they were called, gave him a confused look. But Izuku looked happy and that was all that mattered here. 

 

“You said there was an issue with my student?” Vlad questioned as he walked into the common area. It was no surprise to see Hound Dog with him. They were good friends. The situation was re-explained, this time by Togata. Shouta frowned when Vlad glared at Izuku. Not the proper person to be glaring at when it was his student that just committed a crime. “And what was he doing in the vents?” 

 

Izuku saved everyone from trying to guess by launching into his own explanation, translated by Hound Dog. “He’s saying that he smelled someone with bad intentions and followed it into the vents… Because Aizawa said it’s a rule that students can’t be hurt and he guessed that it applied to other people too…” Hound Dog frowned in confusion. “Girls need privacy and the false child was trying to invade hers and capture it…?”

 

“The false child is probably that creep,” Nejire cut in. “He was really short and bawling his head off. Kind of not what I would expect from a hero course kid. Then again I wouldn’t expect hero course kids to try and take pictures of naked girls without their consent or knowledge either.”

 

Vlad agreed and apologized to Nejire for his student’s actions and to the other boys for their time being taken up when they had to step in. After they left, Shouta overheard Hound Dog trying to explain to Izuku that everyone deserves privacy, not just girls. That he also deserved privacy and he should tell one of the teachers if anyone ever invades his. 

 

Then he laughed at something Izuku said. “Hey, Aizawa,” Hound Dog replied, chuckling. “Izuku wants to know when your offspring, Hitoshi, is coming by again.”

 

Shouta buried his face in his capture scarf with a groan while everyone except Izuku laughed. 

 


 

“It is very pretty,” Inko agreed once she saw the garden. Izuku had wanted her to come to see it yesterday but she had him wait so that she could prepare some bentos. Now they could have a little picnic. She’d even made his old favorite, Katsudon. She didn’t know if that was still his favorite, though. 

 

They sat on a bench to eat and enjoy the flowers. Izuku held his wings up behind him so that they didn’t get squished and she smiled at how much glossier they looked. Preening them daily really had helped their health. Maybe she should send Hawks a thank you basket…

 

In a couple of days, Katsuki would be moving in with the rest of his class, and Inko herself would be heading back home. Their apartment was just closer to her place of work and she’d used up all of her paid time off to get Izuku resettled. Plus Hisashi would be home from his trip in a little more than a week. He didn’t have the authorization to come on campus like she did, and he wouldn’t unless Izuku meets him and reacts well to him during a supervised visit. 

 

Glancing over at Izuku after looking around at the flowers for a bit, she was immediately concerned by the large tears dripping down his cheeks. “Oh, honey, what’s wrong?”

 

He looked down at the bento he’d been eating from. “Mmaaaaa!” he sobbed before taking another bite of the katsudon. She relaxed. “Do you remember me making this?” 

 

He nodded and she started to cry too. They were both Midoriya’s, after all. 

 

“I can make this for you anytime you want,” she promised.

 


 

Aizawa said Katsuki would be here tomorrow! He had explored almost all of the campus, setting off the beeping in his bracelet a few times in the process, and so today he was exploring the last part of the school building. He was briefly kidnapped by Nemuri and some students that she said were her ‘graphic design club’ but they let him go eventually. 

 

Inko had gotten him mostly plain color shirts when he was at the hospital. She said it was so that he could pick out his own style sometime soon. Nemuri let him do that a little today. She had each of the students there design a shirt for him and he got to pick one to wear. But Nemuri promised they would all be sent to his room later. The one he picked to wear now would win.

 

He wasn’t sure what they won. And then Nemuri had to read them to him because they were pretty much all written in English. Something about that being popular in fashion. 6 shirts were black. They said: Support your local cat cult, meow I’m a cat, caution does not play well with others, caution irritant, local cryptid, and I’m an angel duh. The cryptid one had sunflowers!

 

Then there were four other shirts in colors. There was a pink one that said ‘Mothman believes in me’ but he didn’t know who Mothman was. Probably a hero. Then a green one that said ‘I’m actually a gremlin.’ Kacchan called him that once at the hospital. The purple one said ‘Sorry I can't I’m an inside cat’ which was not always true. And his favorite was the red one that said ‘do not pet me.’ And it had an angry kitty face on it in pink. 

 

That’s what he was wearing now. 

 

The smell of smoke drew him to another room. Classrooms, Hound Dog had told him. Places for teaching. When he slid open a door and heard an explosion, he ducked. Nothing else happened so he looked up. There was a pink-haired person with big googles standing in a bunch of smoke and coughing. And cackling. He shut the door and walked away. 

 

He would ask the rat to add this room to the list of off-limits spaces. For his safety. 

 

After he definitely did not run away from that room, he headed back outside. He saw Aizawa’s offspring walking toward the giant running circle he’d found before and chased after him, catching up pretty quickly. Hitoshi smiled when he saw him. And then he looked at his shirt. 

 

And started laughing. 

 

“That’s fucking hilarious! Do you know what it says?” He nodded proudly. He had very much liked his choice. Hitoshi laughed more and for a moment, he thought Hitoshi might die from lack of oxygen. If he fainted, he’d have to go get Aizawa. “I love it!” Hitoshi finally wheezed. 

 

Pleased, he just smiled and waited for Hitoshi to regain the ability to breathe. “You wanna go run some laps with me?” Hitoshi asked, pointing at the track. “I’m supposed to be building stamina.”

 

He raised his wings questioningly. “Yeah, sure, you can fly if you prefer.”

 


 

Izuku's New Shirts

Chapter Text

He was practically vibrating in the common area of the faculty dorm. Aizawa said to stay until he got back. He needed to show the students around the new dorms and let them get settled first. Then he could go see Katsuki while everyone was busy unpacking! And Aizawa would come later to introduce him formally to the class. 

 

“He seems really excited,” Vlad commented. “I thought he’d be more subdued since his mom left.”

 

“He was when she left last night. But today, his friend will be here,” Hound Dog replied. 

 

“Shinsou?” Vlad asked, having spotted him with Aizawa’s offspring yesterday. 

 

“Bakugou Katsuki. They knew each other before Izuku was taken,” Hound Dog explained. “That’s why he was willing to betray Shigaraki to save him. Bakugou’s like family to him.”

 

He ignored them when Aizawa walked through the door looking exhausted. The man caught his eye and sighed. “Go nuts. I showed you where their dorm is already.” Then he turned to go upstairs and muttered to himself. “Bunch of problem children… All of them.”

 

He was gone and flying as soon as he was out the door. He’d gotten better at off-the-ground takeoffs this week, no longer smacking his wingtips painfully on the ground. 

 

The 1-A dorm was not far and he landed on their steps before heading inside. The layout looked almost the same as the faculty dorm. There weren’t many people in the common area. Just a tall, black-haired person with a cup of water heading for the elevators and a blue-haired person coming out of the kitchen with an orange drink. 

 

The blue-haired person walked straight toward him and the black-haired one gave him a sympathetic smile before disappearing into the elevator. 

 

“You! Who are you? You are not in our class!” the blue-haired person said with a startling volume and firm tone. 

 

He didn’t have a sign for his name and he couldn’t think of any that explained who he was. At least not fast enough for this person. “If you are not in our class, then there is no reason for you to be here. You should go back to your own dorm so that you do not disrupt the people here!”

 

Hesitation won out for just a few seconds, but the compulsion to follow the order was stronger. He left, walking slowly this time, to go back to his dorm. At some point during his walk back, he started crying. Why was he like this? He just wanted to see Kacchan…

 

To avoid Aizawa and the other teachers who would probably want to know why he was crying, he entered his room through the balcony. He was ashamed. He knew they wanted him to not follow orders and make decisions instead, but he kept failing when faced with an order. Crawling into his nest, he hugged Katsu and cried. For the first time, he hated being a nomu. 

 


 

Shouta returned to the dorms expecting to see some kind of chaos. It was chaotic, but it was muted compared to what he’d been expecting. Were Bakugou and Izuku in Bakugou’s room?

 

He spotted Iida sitting at a table with Uraraka, Yaoyorozu, and Tsu. “Iida-kun, can you go through the dorm and tell everyone to gather in the common area for a meeting?” 

 

“Yes, sir!” Iida replied before zooming off, utilizing his speed quirk. Shouta gathered the kids in the already in the kitchen and commons himself. Soon enough, everyone was there. Except for Izuku. He glanced at Bakugou who had appeared alone. 

 

“Bakugou, where is Izuku?” he asked. The rest of the class looked confused but that was fine for now. 

 

“Is he not with you?” Bakugou replied, narrowing his eyes. 

 

“I sent him here a few hours ago,” Shouta told him. 

 

“I didn’t see him,” Bakugou replied. 

 

Shouta sighed. “Has anyone seen a boy with cat-like features and wings?” Uraraka and Shinsou raised their hands. “Today?” he clarified. Their hands went down but Iida and Sero raised theirs. 

 

“I went upstairs but I saw Iida going to talk to him,” Sero supplied. 

 

Everyone looked at Iida. “I asked him who he was and when he refused to answer, I told him to leave,” Iida explained, looking unsure of himself. 

 

“You did what?” Bakugou demanded furiously. 

 

“Bakugou, relax,” Shouta interrupted before focusing on Iida. “He can’t talk. He’s a new ward of UA that I intended to introduce to you all right now. But now I have to find him. So what were your exact words when you told him to leave?”

 

“I… I told him he should go back to his dorm because I didn’t know what class he was in,” Iida answered. 

 

“All of you, stay here. I will bring him back and introduce him to you all,” Shouta instructed. “Bakugou, you can come with me. If he’s upset, I’ll need your help calming him down.”

 


 

They found him in his room, asleep in his nest. From his swollen eyes, Shouta could guess that the poor kid had cried himself to sleep. Bakugou sat by him and woke him up. It took Izuku a few seconds longer than usual to become alert. “Morning, sleepyhead. Are you okay?” 

 

Izuku blinked and then whimpered. Bakugou pulled him into a hug. “I know. We heard from Glasses what he said to you. He’s an idiot and you don’t need to listen to him.”

 

Shouta didn’t disagree with him at the moment. “Come on, let’s go introduce you to the class. And explain to Iida why he should be careful in how he speaks to you,” Shouta said gently. 

 

‘No. Bad,’ Izuku signed before pointing at himself. 

 

“You’re not bad,” Shouta assured him. “Why do you think that?”

 

They both waited patiently for Izuku to decide on his words. He had few compared to his spoken vocabulary and had to pick carefully to convey his thoughts. ‘I listen. Bad. No listen. A-i-z-a-w-a wants,’ Izuku finally settled on. 

 

“You’re right that I don’t want you to follow orders anymore,” Shouta agreed. “No one wants you to. Not Bakugou, not Hizashi, not Nemuri or Hound Dog. Because it’s not healthy for you. But conditioning takes a long time to break. You’re not bad if you still follow orders. Unlearning what you were taught for years will take time and it’s okay if you slip up. Okay?”

 

Izuku nodded. “Are you ready to meet my class now?” Bakugou asked. Izuku nodded again. 

 

“Good. Let’s head over there then,” Shouta prompted.

 


 

Finally, Shouta stood in front of his hell class with Izuku at his side. “Hold all questions until I am done speaking,” he warned them. “This is Midoriya Izuku. When he was four he went missing shortly after being diagnosed quirkless. It turns out that he was kidnapped by the League because of his quirklessness for their nomu projects.”

 

The class murmured quietly but didn’t interrupt otherwise. “He was turned into a unique sentient nomu. The only other one that exists is Kurogiri, which we were not aware of prior. We have learned that Kurogiri is mind-controlled somehow to keep him in line despite his ability of complex and independent thought. Izuku here was modeled after Kurogiri but the quirks they gave him interfered with the quirk that mind-controlled Kurogiri.”

 

“In order to keep him in line, they relied on conditioning through the threat of torture and a shock collar. Obviously, this is not as effective as mind-control. It was by chance that he and Bakugou knew each other before he was taken. So when Bakugou was kidnapped, he went rogue to make sure that Bakugou escaped. Other heroes recovered Izuku just before Shigaraki was able to decay him.”

 

That got gasps of shock from a few people and expressions of concern from the rest. “He is here at UA to be rehabilitated while living in a safe environment. Safe from the League and safe from himself. See, the parts of his quirk that interfered with the mind-control were his animal instincts. They also interfered with his conditioning at times. UA is the best equipped to handle him if any harmful instincts are triggered. Like fight or flight when frightened.”

 

“When interacting with him, you need to keep his conditioning in mind. While he was taught to obey orders, he interpreted that as any order from any person. Iida, when you told him to go back to his dorm, he was unable to ignore you or disobey. As heroes in training, I expect all of you to be respectful and responsible with this knowledge. If I hear of anyone using his conditioning against him, there will be consequences.”

 

He got several nods of understanding. Though, it wasn’t like he expected this bunch to do anything like that. “He is in therapy for deconditioning. A part of that is having the people around him say ‘this is not an order’ before requesting something of him. And then respecting his answer, whatever it is. He usually doesn’t interpret things worded as questions as an order.”

 

“Lastly, because of how his quirks manipulated his vocal cords, he can not speak. Hound Dog can understand him fluently if you need someone to translate. Otherwise, he can communicate in writing or sign language. He is still learning both of those since the League didn’t educate him. He picked up spoken language just fine, however, so he can understand when people talk to him. Present Mic will be offering JSL lessons if you do not already know sign language.”

 

His class stared at him with wide eyes which was understandable at this point. “Any questions?”

Chapter Text

“Any questions?” Hands shot up around the room. He didn’t think a single student didn’t have their hands raised aside from Bakugou and Shinsou. 

 

“Introduce yourselves to Izuku when I call on you then,” Aizawa sighed. “Hagakure.” 

 

“I’m Hagakure Tooru. My quirk is invisibility, obviously,” a clear person giggled. He didn’t get it. She still glowed enough to be seen. “Aizawa, how do you know he isn’t lying about Kurogiri being a nomu or himself being mind-controlled or not?”

 

His fur bristled but he didn’t growl at her for calling him a liar. Even if he wanted to. “He was interviewed by a detective with a truth quirk. Hound Dog had to translate but the vocalizations he made registered as true even if the detective couldn’t understand him. Uraraka, you’re next.”

 

“Oh, um! I’m Uraraka Ochako. We kinda met.” He nodded, remembering the girl. “My quirk is anti-gravity, so I can touch things and take away their gravity. What quirks do you have?”

 

He liked it better when they spoke to him instead of Aizawa. Even if Aizawa would still answer for him. “He has 8 quirks. 4 cause physical mutations. I’ll explain them all further if they become relevant but they are named Lion Claws, Black Eagle, Cat Body, Viper Venom, Pinpoint, Sonic Amplification, Calcium Manipulation, and Beta Regeneration. I will warn you though… If he ever bites you, come to me for antivenom. He has to choose to inject his venom so a bite from him is not inherently dangerous. But I’d rather not risk it. Jirou.”

 

“I’m Jirou Kyouka. My quirk is Earphone Jack. What do you mean animal instincts?” a purple-haired person asked. Darker purple than Hitoshi. 

 

“We don’t know the full extent of these, but I’ll give a few examples,” Aizawa told her. “One is that he nests. He feels safer sleeping in that sort of structure instead of a bed. He likes to climb and squish himself into small spaces. He had a dominance battle with Nezu when they first met. It was more of a staring contest, really. Nezu won. And he will attack if he feels threatened or if you have threatened the safety of people he perceives as family. The quirk Cat Body specifically has the side effect of total slips into his instincts but we haven’t seen that happen yet, so we’re assuming it’s rare or has specific triggers. Mostly, he’s harmless. Todoroki, go.”

 

“I am Todoroki Shouto and my quirk is called Half-Hot, Half-Cold,” a red and white-haired person said. “Since he was the League’s prisoner, does that mean he doesn’t have many belongings?”

 

Aizawa looked at Todoroki in suspicion. “We’ve gotten him the basics.”

 

“Noted,” Todoroki replied with a decisive nod. Aizawa stared at him a bit longer before moving on. 

 

“Asui, introduce yourself and ask your question,” Aizawa instructed. 

 

“I’m Asui Tsuyu but please call me Tsu. My quirk makes me like a frog,” a green girl said to him, bowing in his direction before turning to Aizawa. “Why are you introducing him to us?”

 

“Because he’s not a student so he has nowhere in particular that he’s required to be. I expect that he’ll follow me or Bakugou around the most, so you’ll see a lot of him,” Aizawa answered. “UA is also hoping that interacting with peers his age will help with his rehabilitation. Iida?”

 

“I am Iida Tenya, Quirk: Engine!” the blue-haired boy from before said loudly. The next thing he knew, the boy was in a low bow in front of him. “I apologize for acting so rudely to you before and making assumptions. I will try to do better in the future!”

 

“But he never does, does he?” Jirou whispered to a blonde. The blonde shook their head. 

 

He didn’t know how to get Iida to stop bowing so he just grabbed his hand to get him to stand up and rubbed it on his cheek. A thank you for the apology. “He forgives you,” Aizawa translated, finally getting Iida to relax and back off a bit. “Monoma?”

 

“Hello. I am Monoma Neito,” another blonde smiled. UA had a lot of blondes, didn’t they? Was that intentional? “My quirk lets me copy other people’s quirks for a short time.” 

 

He tensed after hearing that. It sounded a bit like Sensei’s quirk. He didn’t like that. “I was wondering if you’d let me try copying your quirks. I’m interested in seeing what happens when I copy someone with multiple.” 

 

Shaking his head, he backed away from the crowd of students to hide a bit behind Aizawa. Monoma looked a little hurt and he felt a little bad just then. But Sensei was scary… “Don’t worry. Monoma doesn’t copy quirks without permission if he can help it,” Aizawa reassured him, shifting so that he couldn’t hide behind him anymore. “You’re safe here. Tokoyami, you’re next.”

 

“Tokoyami Fumikage. I do not have a question. My quirk, Dark Shadow, is sentient and she has a question,” a bird boy said. He chirped to see if they’d understand. They seemed to smile fondly but nothing else. Their quirk though… A giant, bird-shaped mass flew out of him and chirped back! He chirped excitedly and so did they. Aizawa looked baffled. 

 

“Oh, Tokoyami! I can understand him! He’s very excited to meet another chirper! He said Hawks could chirp but couldn’t understand his chirps very well,” Dark Shadow exclaimed. 

 

“You can?” Aizawa asked, looking just a tiny bit happy about that. 

 

Tokoyami nodded. “She can. And I can, sort of. If Dark Shadow feeds me the translation via our telepathic link, I can understand.”

 

“Oh, that’s great,” Aizawa sighed in relief. “We won’t have to rely on just Hound Dog anymore.”

 

“I would be happy to provide translation assistance, as would Dark Shadow,” Tokoyami replied. 

 

“That means we can ask more complex questions!” a pink girl cheered. “I’ve got one.”

 

“Yes, Ashido, you can go,” Aizawa said, shaking his head. 

 

“Okay! I’m Ashido Mina and my quirk is acid!” she smiled brightly. “What was it like living with the League? Are they mean or weird or what?”

 

He answered with Tokoyami translating. “They’re like a family. But not mine. They were close with each other, sometimes fighting and sometimes silly. But I was an outsider.”

 

“Aw, that sucks,” Mina pouted. “We’ll be your family, okay? You’re part of the Bakusquad now!”

 

Off to the side, Kacchan groaned. “Satou, you're up,” Aizawa prompted, moving the discussion forward. 

 

“I’m Satou Rikido and my quirk lets me become stronger by consuming sugar,” a large brunette said. “Do you have any food allergies?”

 

“Chocolate and grapes,” Aizawa answered before he could. “Kouda?”

 

The boy from the police station signed something. “He can meet your rabbit but I need to be there the first time. We don’t know how high his prey drive is yet. Sero?”

 

“I’m Sero Hanta and I shoot tape from my elbows,” the tall, black-haired person grinned. “Since you lived with criminals, have you ever smoked weed?”

 

“Sero,” Aizawa spoke with a warning tone. He just shook his head. 

 

“Do you want to?” Sero grinned wider. 

 

He hesitated and looked at Aizawa who looked a little mad now. “You’re joking or you get detention.”

 

“I’m joking,” Sero said quickly, grin falling from his face. “Sensei, I would never!”

 

“Sure,” Aizawa replied flatly. “Shouji?”

 

“I am Shouji Mezou and my quirk is Dupli-Arms,” an odd-looking person mumbled through a mask. “Your mutations were forced on you, so I was wondering if they hurt?”

 

He shook his head and raised his wings slightly before letting them drop. “Medical professionals have confirmed that he is in good health,” Aizawa promised. “Kirishima?”

 

“Hi! I’m Kirishima Eijirou and my quirk is Hardening,” a redhead with spiky hair and teeth beamed at him. “I think it’s super manly that you saved Bakugou. I was the one you tossed him up to, remember? Anyway, I wanted to ask if you’d be staying in our dorms?”

 

“He has a room at the faculty dorms,” Aizawa answered. “However, if you all get along well with him, he can sleepover in one of the spare rooms from time to time. Yaoyorozu?”

 

“Hello and welcome to UA. I am Yaoyorozu Momo. My quirk is creation. You can call me Momo or Yaomomo,” another tall, black-haired person said. But hers was in a ponytail. “I don’t really have a question. I’m the class president, and I know you’re not a student, but you can come to me if you need anything. I am happy to assist you.”

 

He smiled at her before dashing over to her to hold her hand and rub it against his cheek. She smiled back as Aizawa called on the next person. “Kaminari?”

 

“Kaminari Denki. My quirk is Electrification.” He held Momo’s hand a little tighter. That meant shocks, right? “Aizawa-Sensei, you mentioned biting. Uh, how likely is that to happen?”

 

“He gives non-verbal warnings, like backing away to get space and growling. Don’t ignore his boundaries and you won’t get bit,” Aizawa shrugged. “Ojirou?”

 

“I am Ojirou Mshirao and my quirk is just my tail. Nothing fancy,” yet another blonde said shyly. “Can he learn to talk or do we all have to learn sign?” 

 

“His vocal cords aren’t shaped for our language’s sounds,” Aizawa told him. “You don’t have to learn sign but then you will not be able to communicate with him. Aoyama, I believe you’re last.”

 

“Oui, Sensei,” a sparkly blonde said. “I am Aoyama Yuuga. My quirk is Navel Laser and it is tres chic. And I would like to know why would UA let a nomu into our school under any circumstances?

 


 

The starting statuses for everyone. 

Anything less than green is subject to change.

Izuku sees Hagakure like this.

Her quirk is just listed as a mutant quirk that lets light pass through her.

It's possible that lights outside the human visible spectrum don't.

We don't know, so we can play with the concept. 

Chapter Text

“I would like to know why would UA let a nomu into our school under any circumstances?”

 

His ears flattened at the question and he dropped Momo’s hand, which he realized he was still holding. He had picked up on several people being nervous based on smell alone, and could even tell that a few people didn’t like him. But this was the first one to be upfront about not wanting him here. He wondered if it was a coincidence that he was blonde like the noodle man. 

 

“Are you fucking kidding me, Sparkles?” Kacchan growled. 

 

“We’ve seen what they can do,” Aoyama huffed. “The damage they cause est mauvais! Very bad! And not just the brain ones, but that misty one too. Might I remind you that the mist one was the reason we lost you to the League in the first place?”

 

He looked down at the ground. Kurogiri didn’t have a choice…

 

“Did you miss the part where Aizawa-Sensei said that guy’s being mind-controlled?” Hitoshi spoke up. “Given how many times I’ve brainwashed you in training, you’d think you’d know how hard it is to snap out of that shit. Plus if it’s held him for years, it’s way more specialized than mine is. It's probably not even breakable by jolts or impacts like mine.”

 

“That doesn’t change the fact that they’re dangerous,” Aoyama pointed out. “Created by villains to be villains. Their quirks are hand-picked to make them nearly impossible to defeat. Even if this one isn’t being mind-controlled, Aizawa-Sensei also said that he has animal instincts that make him unpredictable! C'est un monstre. Just another beast putting our campus in danger.”

 

“That is enough,” Aizawa said sharply. He walked over to him and put his hand on his shoulder. “Izuku is a victim and he is a survivor. He went through literal torture, physical and mental, and stayed alive long enough to be rescued. Despite his language barrier and his instincts, he was clever enough to adapt to his situation. If he hadn’t, things could have been worse for him.”

 

“The trauma he experienced and the quirks that were forced on him do not make him a monster.” Several students withered under Aizawa’s glare. “Is that understood?”

 

“Yeah, it’s his behavior that will prove he’s a monster,” Hagakure scoffed quietly. He locked eyes with her, which seemed to surprise her. No one else had heard her but him. He felt tears run down his cheeks as he wondered just what the other nomu had done to make him so hated. 

 

“Aoyama, you made him cry!” Mina exclaimed. “What the heck?”

 

“Victim blaming isn’t manly,” Kirishima frowned, folding his arms over his chest. 

 

Aoyama didn’t respond, just huffing in annoyance and looking away. “Hey,” Kacchan stepped in front of him, blocking his view of the other students. “Ignore them. We can just go hang out upstairs with my friends. Unless you want to go back to the faculty dorms?”

 

He looked up at Aizawa who was watching him with concern. “It’s up to you, kid,” Aizawa told him. He grabbed onto Kacchan’s shirt in answer. 

 

“All right,” Kacchan agreed before turning. “Sero, we’re going to your room. The rest of my idiots can come too.”

 

“Bakusquad, assemble!” Mina cried. 

 

“Stop calling it that,” Kacchan grumbled. As they passed Hitoshi, he grabbed his sleeve, making Kacchan pause. “You want him to come too?” He nodded. “Come on, then. You’ve been chosen, Eyebags.”

 

“Yes!” Hitoshi cheered to himself quietly before following them to an elevator. 

 


 

Shouta waited until the elevator closed before turning his attention to the remaining students. “Being nervous is understandable. Being cautious is commendable even. But as heroes, when faced with a presumed victim, you treat them accordingly regardless of any hesitations or suspicion you may have. If at any point, evidence is uncovered to the contrary, then you may arrest them. Even then, though, you are not the judge or executioner in law enforcement.”

 

“Currently, Izuku’s story is confirmed both by Bakugou as a witness and by the detective with a truth quirk that interviewed him. His quirks have side effects but so does everyone else’s. There are plenty of people out there with animal quirks that have unpredictable instincts as a side effect. I certainly hope you wouldn’t call them monsters,” Shouta said, leveling them with a stern expression. “That would be considered quirk discrimination at the least.”

 

The handful of students he had noticed as being more on edge or even hostile had the decency to look ashamed at least. Even Aoyama who had spoken out so strongly. “Now, I’m going to go back to my dorm. If I hear about any harassment, tonight or in the future, there will be consequences. Come and get me if there are any issues.”

 

With that, he turned and walked out of the building.

 


 

“You were sooo soft! It was sooo cute!” Mina cried, dramatically draping herself over Sero’s bed. 

 

Katsuki just rolled his eyes and ignored her, looking over at Izuku. He was exploring and seemed to have stopped at a little cactus on Sero’s desk. Was he gonna-- “Kirishima, stop him!” Katsuki warned. The redhead was close enough to grab Izuku and pull him back a bit just before he could lick the spikey plant. 

 

Izuku whipped around and pouted at him. Katsuki just shrugged. “You can’t eat a cactus.”

 

“I have snacks,” Sero offered. “I promise, they’re way better than a cactus.”

 

He pulled out one of his boxes of snacks. Katsuki knew that the second box next to it was mostly sweets, including chocolate. Not good for Izuku who was now approaching the table cautiously, free from Kirishima’s grasp. He wound up sitting between Shinsou and Sero. 

 

“So I have more when I’m freshly stocked but for now I have pretzels, shrimp chips, rice crackers, sweet potato chips, and a whole bunch of umaibo,” Sero told them, peering into the box and shifting the contents a bit. He tilted the box toward Izuku. “You can pick whatever.”

 

Izuku picked shrimp chips and Sero passed the box around to everyone else. There was always a 50/50 chance that Izuku didn’t know something, so Katsuki watched him carefully until he opened the bag without any trouble. So the League gave him chips before. He wasn’t sure what to do with that information. 

 

“So if we feed him,” Kaminari whispered while Mina asked Izuku questions. “Does that lower the risk of the biting?”

 

“No,” Katsuki replied flatly. Kaminari actually looked alarmed so he sighed. “Not scaring him will lower the risk. It’s a self-defense thing, not because he’s hungry.”

 

“Oh…” Kaminari responded with wide eyes. He seemed genuinely afraid of Izuku and Katsuki kind of hated that. Kaminari had been taken out by his own quirk during the USJ though. He may not have seen the nomu that time but he still had nightmares for weeks after that. Being that vulnerable around so many villains had terrified him after the fact. 

 

When he looked back at Izuku, he had squished himself pretty close to Sero. Being the laid-back person that he was, Sero didn’t seem bothered, leaning back against Izuku in return. “You can’t not know your favorite color,” Mina insisted. Izuku just shrugged. “Then we will find your favorite color because this is a travesty!” 

 

The rest of the class may be iffy but Izuku would fit in just fine with his friends. 

 


 

“Did you have fun?” Shouta asked as he preened Izuku’s wings that night. Izuku nodded. “That’s good. You can go see Bakugou anytime. There are no restrictions on the other dorms. There is a curfew for the students though, so you might have to stay in his room if you want to visit late.”

 

Izuku chirped, which Shouta had learned early on was a sign of agreement in this sort of context. He may not know what Izuku was saying but he was starting to understand him on some level. He still hated that the League stole his voice from him, but they were breaking down the language barrier they created bit by bit. 

 

“I’m sorry for how some of my students reacted,” Shouta apologized. “While I expected that some people would initially be nervous around you or even scared, I didn’t expect any of my students to react with hostility. You didn’t deserve that.”

 

‘What other me did?’ Izuku signed, raising his hands high enough for Shouta to see over his shoulder. 

 

“The other nomu?” Shouta guessed. Izuku nodded. “I told you that they attacked Hosu and Kamino. You know what that means, right?”

 

‘Other me bad to other you?’ Izuku tried after a moment. They need to teach him more words soon. Especially verbs. 

 

“You think the nomu only attacked the heroes?” Shouta clarified. 

 

‘Yes. J-o-b,’ Izuku replied. 

 

“That’s… what they were made to do?” Izuku nodded. Shouta sighed. “That might be what Shigaraki told you, but he ordered those nomu to attack everything and everyone. They hurt heroes and civilians. They destroyed buildings and cars. Hosu was burning because of them.”

 

Izuku flinched. “But that’s not your fault. Plus you’re different from them in so many ways. There is no excuse for my students, or any others at UA, to treat you badly. This isn’t an order, but I want you to tell me if anyone is mean to you, okay? Promise me?”

 

 Izuku nodded and Shouta relaxed, running his fingers through the soft feathers to straighten them. “They’ll come around once they get to know you, I’m sure,” he said, smiling to himself.

Chapter Text

Izuku stood behind the counter, watching Lunch Rush cook both with excitement and a little fear. He’d gotten too close a few minutes ago and been burned by some oil popping up from the pan. “Izuku,” Shouta called to him. Izuku didn’t turn but his ears shifted, showing he was listening. “Classes aren’t starting yet but I’ll be doing summer training with the class today. Would you like to come with me?”

 

He turned briefly to nod before snapping his attention back to Lunch Rush when something sizzled. “After breakfast, of course,” Shouta chuckled. Izuku still seemed wary of the other teachers in the dorm, even Hizashi, but he warmed up quickly to Lunch Rush. The food-loving hero was always happy to cook and Izuku was always happy to eat. A perfect match. 

 

After eating, they headed to the main building together. He listened through the door for a few minutes as his students chatted and gossiped, as he usually did. It paid to be aware of the drama going on in his classroom, even if he largely ignored it. Sometimes it was relevant. 

 

When they walked in a handful of students greeted Izuku cheerfully or politely. Giving them all a stern look got everyone quiet and sitting in their seats. Izuku stood by Shouta, watching the exchange with interest. 

 

With everyone gathered in the classroom, Shouta addressed his class. “I believe I mentioned this yesterday, but for now Class 1-A of the hero course will be focusing on getting their provisional licenses. A hero license bears with it the great responsibility of human life. Of course, the exam to receive one is very difficult. Even the provisional license has only a 50% passing rate each year.”

 

“Just the provisional license is that hard?” someone muttered. 

 

 “That’s why today, we will have each of you come up with at least two--” He was cut off by Nemuri, Ectoplasm, and Cementoss slamming his classroom door open. Izuku was so startled that his tail puffed up. “Ultimate moves,” he finished with a sigh.  

 

 “Ultimate moves?!” the class echoed.

 

 “It’s like a real school thing and yet it’s like a normal hero thing!” someone cried.

 

 “Ultimate. This means that this move will give you a sure win,” Ectoplasm said.

 

 “A move so ingrained into your body that others cannot copy it,” Cementoss explained. “Battle means seeing how much you can force what you're good at on your opponent.”

 

 “Your moves will represent you,” Nemuri added. “These days, pro heroes without ultimate moves are an endangered species. “

 

“We will tell you more as we go along. We want to proceed logically. Change into your costumes and meet in Gym Gamma,” Shouta instructed. The students ran off and he turned to Izuku. “Are you okay?”

 

Izuku looked up from his tail that he’d been smoothing manually. ‘Okay,’ he signed. 

 

“All right. Come with me then. You can watch Bakugou and the others train,” Shouta smiled. 

 


 

He was standing by Aizawa’s side when the students showed up in… hero… costumes…? Even Kacchan. He was starting to get the feeling that he missed something here. “Gym Gamma, also known as the training dining land, or TDL,” Aizawa said abruptly before he could fully process what he was seeing. 

 

“I came up with the idea for these facilities,” Cementoss told the class. “Terrain and other things can be prepared specifically for each student. That’s what the ‘dining’ part refers to.”

 

 “Please allow me to ask a question,” Iida spoke loudly. He was wearing the same blue pants he saw Uraraka wearing the night he left the hospital and a matching shirt. “Why must we have ultimate moves for our provisional licensing exam? Please tell me your reasoning.”

 

 “I’ll tell you everything in order. Calm down,” Aizawa chided. “The job of heroes is to save people from danger, like crimes, accidents, natural disasters, and man-made disasters. The exam to become one naturally looks at how well you are able to do that. Your ability to gather information, make decisions, move, and fight, in addition to your ability to communicate, draw people to you, and lead. Every year, a different test is used to look at how well you are able to do those things.”

 

A test for heroes…? That's the second time someone said that.

 

 “Of those, your ability to fight is especially important to your future as heroes,” Nemuri added. “If you are prepared, you won’t have to worry. Whether or not you have an ultimate move will greatly affect whether or not you pass.”

 

Future as heroes… He looked down and frowned when it clicked. This was a hero school. It wasn’t just that all the teachers were heroes. The students were all trying to be heroes. He didn’t know how he felt about that. 

 

“Not being influenced by circumstances and being able to act consistently will make you a great asset on the front lines,” Cementoss spoke again. 

 

 “Your ultimate moves do not necessarily need to be of the attacking type,” Ectoplasm clarified. “For example, Iida’s Reciproburst. The temporary burst of speed is enough of a threat to be worth calling an ultimate move.”

 

 “So that’s good enough to be called an ultimate move?” Iida asked, sounding pleased.  

 

“I see… so we need to find something that allows us to feel like ‘as long as I can do this, I have the advantage. I can win,” Satou concluded. 

 

 “Exactly!” Nemuri confirmed. “Kamui Woods, who played a big part in the Kamino fight, has a move called Lacquered Chain Prison that is the perfect example of an ultimate move. It restrains his opponents before they can do anything”

 

 “The training camp was canceled, but the training you did to develop your quirks was a part of the process to create your ultimate moves” Aizawa explained. “In other words, until the beginning of the next semester, for the ten days or so until the end of summer vacation, you’ll be working out your ultimate moves as you develop your quirks. You’ll be doing intensive training.”

 

 “In addition, you should think about how you can improve your costumes to work better with your developing quirks,” Aizawa added. “Get through this with a Plus Ultra mentality. Are you ready?”

 

 “Yes, sir!” the class replied earnestly. At least now he knew why Shigaraki had targeted them. 

 

The students spread out to start their training with instruction from the four teachers. Ectoplasm was able to make clones of himself but the original smelled stronger. That had been the case with Twice’s doubles too. 

 

Soon enough, students were scattered around the area training their quirks. Ojirou was sparring with an Ectoplasm clone, Mina was trying to figure out how to shoot acid out for long distances, and Momo was trying to make two things at once. He could see Kaminari’s electricity in the distance which he fully intended to avoid. 

 

It was when his gaze fell on Hagakure though, that he felt a rising panic. She wasn’t wearing anything but shoes and gloves! Where were her clothes? He grabbed Aizawa to point out the issue. 

 


 

Shouta did not expect Izuku to latch onto his arm and shake him. Not that the kid was touch-averse, but he was usually gentle with Shouta. He’d guessed that it was out of fear or nervousness. The rough contact wasn’t a good sign though. Izuku looked distressed. 

 

“What’s wrong?” he asked. Izuku gaped at him in a way that didn’t need a translation. Whatever the issue was, he was shocked that Shouta didn’t immediately know. He pointed out at the students which just left Shouta confused. “They’re training their quirks. Everything looks fine.”

 

That just seemed to offend Izuku and Shouta watched helplessly as the kid stormed off, leaving the gym. “Do you need to go get him?” Nemuri asked. 

 

“No, he’s allowed to roam,” Shouta sighed. “If something here scared him, it’s better that he gets space from it.”

 

As the minutes passed, however, he wondered if he made a mistake. Sure, there were staff that could handle any meltdowns or panic attacks and yes, he couldn’t get off campus without both him and Nezu being alerted but… 

 

Well, he didn’t get to stew on it for long. Not when a green, black, and pastel blue blur barreled past him and toward the students. He processed the blur just in time to see Izuku descend on what had to be Hagakure. The scream that followed confirmed her as the target. 

 

By the time he’d run over, Hagakure’s gloves were up by where her face should be, protecting it, while Izuku fussed over her. Rather than attacking her, he seemed to be trying to keep a blanket wrapped around her. “Tokoyami and Dark Shadow, can you figure out what’s going on here?” Aizawa asked. He wasn’t going to do anything if Izuku wasn’t hurting anyone. 

 

Dark Shadow was already out and started chirping. Izuku responded back as Hagakure’s hands lowered a bit. “He says that she doesn’t have any clothes on and girls deserve privacy,” Dark Shadow supplied. 

 

“But she’s invisible,” Ashido responded first, sounding confused. 

 

Izuku made a confused sound which Dark Shadow translated. “He says he can see her.”

Chapter Text

“He can what? ” Hagakure shrieked, grabbing the edges of the blanket to hold it over her shoulders. Izuku stopped fussing over her torso and pulled the other end of the blanket over her legs. He seemed relieved that she was covered now. 

 

Kouda stepped forward and started to sign. ‘This is just a guess, but both birds and cats can see UV light. It’s a part of the light spectrum that humans can’t perceive. It’s possible that UV light does not pass through her and that lets him see her.’

 

Aizawa translated for the rest of the class and Hagakure looked at Izuku with wide eyes. “So… then you know what I look like?”

 

Izuku hesitated but replied with Dark Shadow translating again. “He says… You don’t look like other people. He can’t see you clearly or in color like others… But you glow a bit and he can see your shape and… outlines of facial features. You’re not invisible to him.”

 

“That makes sense,” Iida cut in. “Light is responsible for how we see color. If the lights that produce color pass through Hagakure-san, then Izuku-kun would not be able to see her in color.”

 

“Okay, but she can’t keep walking around naked if he can see her,” Jirou pointed out. “Unless we ban him from costumed practice or something.”

 

“No,” Shouta spoke up. “If he can see her, then it stands to reason that there are other people who can too. Either with a specific vision quirk or an animal quirk like him. I think your costume needs to be redesigned at this point, Hagakure.”

 

“But… My design was rejected?” Hagakure replied. “Like I submitted a design for a bodysuit that was supposed to turn invisible like me and the support company didn’t make it. They just gave me the boots and gloves.”

 

Shouta frowned. “They what?”

 

“I thought you knew…” Hagakure said nervously. 

 

“Did anyone else have problems like this?” Shouta asked. Yaoyorozu, Ashido, Uraraka, Sero, and Kaminari raised their hands. “Elaborate.”

 

“My original design included a lot more skin coverage with removable panels,” Yaoyorozu told him. 

 

Uraraka grimaced. “I didn’t ask for something so tight… And I didn’t ask for heels…”

 

“Mine’s close but the top was supposed to go to my neck,” Ashido shrugged. 

 

“I asked for insulation against my electricity in certain areas to minimize how much I short out and clearly that request wasn’t fulfilled…” Kaminari said sheepishly. 

 

“Mine was supposed to have kevlar reinforced areas for protection and my helmet was supposed to be more protective in case I ever fall. I don’t think this is the material I requested but it’s held up so far, so I didn’t think to say anything,” Sero admitted. 

 

Shouta sighed. “I will set up appointments with Power Loader. Some of you could stand to update your costumes too, so this will be a class activity. Hagakure, wear your gym uniform for now. You can go change. Just bring the blanket back. It’s Izuku’s.”

 

“Yes, sir,” Hagakure replied. Izuku and Ashido helped her up and then she left the gym with the blanket still draped over her shoulders. 

 

“The rest of you, continue training,” Shouta instructed. “There are only 10 days left of summer break. Do your best.”

 

The students were quick to scatter.

 


 

He and Aizawa went back to the faculty dorms after the students were done training. The first thing he did was put his blanket back in his nest. It smelled like Hagakure a little bit now. He wondered if he could find more soft things and rub them on people he wanted scents from. Then he realized it might be easier to borrow their soft things. An idea to tuck away for later. 

 

The second thing he did was track down Ryou. When he found him in the kitchen, he confronted him. No one told him this was a hero school and Kacchan was a hero. 

 

Ryou looked baffled. “I thought you knew. All of the staff here are pro heroes, either active or retired. You know I’m a hero, right?”

 

He guessed back at the hospital. 

 

“The students aren’t heroes. Some are heroes-in-training. But that’s only the heroics course kids,” Ryou explained. “We have three other non-heroics courses.”

 

If they were not heroes yet… Maybe that was okay. But if all the staff were heroes then…?

 

“Yes, Nezu and Aizawa are heroes too,” Ryou answered. “Izuku?”

 

He backed away when Ryou reached for him. He was breathing a little too fast, he knew, but… His Master was a hero? What did that mean for him? Heroes are supposed to hate him or at least be unsafe for him. But if his Master is a hero? It was too confusing. 

 

“What’s going on?” Aizawa asked, walking into the kitchen with Nemuri. 

 

“He didn’t know that UA is a hero school. And he didn’t know you were a hero,” Ryou told him. 

 

“Is he scared of heroes?” Nemuri questioned. “Is that why he’s been avoiding most of us?”

 

“I think so,” Ryou replied. “Though, I’m not sure why exactly. He hasn’t mentioned anything specific so it may just be a part of his conditioning considering who he was with.”

 

Aizawa approached him and he tensed. “It’s okay, Izuku. Can you copy my breathing?”

 

He bolted. 

 

All three teachers called after him but he blocked them out, heading for the door. Once he was outside, he flew up. They couldn’t follow him there. He didn’t want to leave campus but he didn’t want to be here right now either. He wondered where to go and remembered that Ryou said the students aren’t heroes yet. So he would go to Kacchan.

 


 

Hanta was resting in his room after the slightly excessive quirk training Aizawa-Sensei had put them through. He was pretty sure Midnight was a sadist after that. His peace was interrupted when he heard a ‘thunk’ on his door. Not his regular door, like he’d expect from a few of his friends. No, it came from his balcony door. That was unusual and concerning. 

 

Cautiously, he got up and approached the door to see what happened. Sitting on his balcony and looking a little dazed was Izuku. Did… Did he fly into the glass? Like a bird would?

 

Opening the door, he crouched down to the other teen’s current level. “Are you okay, dude? Did you hit your head or anything vital?” Izuku seemed to snap out of it and shook his head. 

 

“Okay, well, come in. I guess?” Hanta told him. “If you want to. I think that’s why you’re here. Am I right?” Izuku nodded and Hanta helped him stand. Thankfully, he didn’t seem injured. 

 

“I’m guessing you came for Bakugou?” Hanta asked as he shut the door. Izuku nodded again. “You know this isn’t his room, right?”

 

And oh, crap. Izuku looked ready to cry at that new information. “But I can take you to him!” Hanta offered quickly. Please don’t cry… Izuku brightened and his eyes were pleading. “So… Just follow me and I’ll take you to Bakugou.”

 

With that, he led the surprisingly expressive nomu out of his room.

 


 

“What?” Katsuki growled when he ripped open his door. The incessant knocking wouldn’t go away even though he’d told his idiots that he was too tired for their antics tonight. Sero stood there looking a little sheepish. 

 

“H-hi,” Sero laughed nervously. “I found your cat.” Looking past Sero’s shoulder, he could see Izuku standing there. “He came to my room since that’s the only one’s he’s been to. He flew up to my balcony to get in.”

 

Then Sero leaned closer and whispered. “I think he flew into the glass door but he’s not hurt.”

 

Izuku frowned a bit, having heard him. Katsuki sighed. “Okay. I’ve got him now. The idiot ban is still in effect so…”

 

“Go away. I know, I know,” Sero chuckled. “Grumpy blasty boy needs his quiet time. Got it.”

 

Katsuki glared at him but he remained unaffected and walked off. ‘I go?’ Izuku signed.

 

“No, I actually like you,” Katsuki joked, ushering his friend into his room. “What did you want? Are you just here to hang out?” 

 

Izuku shook his head and mimed writing. Katsuki got him a notebook and pencil without questions. Sometimes Izuku found it easier than sign since he knew a bit more in writing and it took a while to sign characters individually to spell a word.  Except instead of writing, he drew something this time. It kind of looked like Aizawa in a cape. 

 

“I don’t think he has a cape,” Katsuki pointed out. “Just that scarf thing.”

 

He got an annoyed look from Izuku. So he looked at the picture with a little more scrutinization. “Do you want to get him a cape?” he asked finally. 

 

Now Izuku looked pissed, snatching back the notebook to draw something else. It was pushed back to him with a drawing off All Might… Also with a cape. His costume hasn’t had a cape in years, though Izuku might not know that. Back when they were little, quite a few heroes still had capes and-- Oh. “Did you not know that Aizawa is a hero?”

 

The pout that faced him now told him that he guessed right this time.

 


 

I already showed how Izuku sees Hagakure but here's another example.

Just more white-purple glowing than this teal color.

The difference is that the clothes would be solid/normal to him.

Features that are distinctly raised from the plane of the body are visible. 

So he can kind of see her ears, nose, eyes, hair, etc.

He can probably tell where her fingernails are since they're different from skin.

He can't see anything very explicit but...

He would be able to tell the difference between her being nude and her wearing an invisible bodysuit.

He's a little gentleman though because Magne taught him right.

Chapter Text

“Aizawa is an underground hero, meaning he’s rarely in the media… But I really thought you knew already or I would have said something,” Katsuki told Izuku. Izuku screeched quietly in frustration, grabbing at his hair. Katsuki pulled his hands down. “Don’t do that, please.”

 

Izuku listened but started tearing at the page he’d drawn on instead. Katsuki frowned as he watched his friend destress by making confetti. “Is that a problem? I know you said you don’t like All Might anymore but… Do you hate heroes?”

 

The paper shredding stopped for a moment as Izuku thought that over. He shook his head after a bit and lifted his hands to sign. ‘Hate me,’ Izuku clarified. 

 

“This is the sign for ‘heroes,’” Katsuki said, showing him. He’d learned to sign a couple of years after Izuku’s disappearance when it became clear that his quirk would cause hearing loss. Now he was nearly deaf, relying on hearing aids. He’d chosen battery-powered ones since they can last for weeks, unlike the rechargeable ones. Getting kidnapped proved it was a good choice. 

 

Izuku copied him a few times until he got it. “Why do you think heroes hate you?” Katsuki asked. 

 

‘Heroes and other me fight. It’s j-o-b,’ Izuku explained. Katsuki was about to explain why his situation was different when Izuku added, ‘Outside one time. Heroes hurt me.’

 

“That time you got outside to fly, you encountered a hero?” Katsuki concluded with all sorts of emotions surging up at that. Someone found him and let him go back to the League? How much of his current state could have been avoided if they’d rescued him then?

 

He watched Izuku motion to his wings and then his feet and then his teeth. “Your mutations?” Izuku started to shake his head then paused with a confused expression. Katsuki needed to get better at charades. Izuku pointed at Katsuki’s hands next. “Quirks?”

 

After showing him the sign for ‘quirk’ Izuku continued. ‘Bad quirk. Heroes said no okay.’

 

Katsuki winced in realization. “Flying in public is illegal quirk use.”

 

Izuku nodded. ‘Heroes said no. Heroes said--’ Izuku mimed something that Katsuki assumed meant to talk. ‘I can no do that. Heroes mad. Heroes hurt.’

 

“So you got out. I’m guessing you were younger?” Izuku nodded again and held up 8 fingers. “You were fucking 8. A child. And a hero ran into you, told you to stop using your quirk in public, ignored the fact that you couldn’t speak, and proceeded to attack you? Is that right?”

 

Izuku’s ears flattened as he confirmed that. “I’m not mad at you,” Katsuki assured him. “I’m mad at whatever hero did that. That’s not normal. Heroes aren’t supposed to do that. Ever.”

 

‘Heroes hurt a-l-l for one,’ Izuku countered. ‘A-l-l man heroes.’

 

“All Might?” Katsuki asked, holding in a laugh. Izuku was certainly creative with the handful of words he has learned so far. “Okay. Well, All For One is a villain. Which you are not. And he’s the kind of villain that is so powerful that the only way to stop them is to go all out. Which is what All Might did. In general, heroes stop villains from committing crimes or hurting innocent people.”

 

“And whatever Shigaraki forced you to do doesn’t count against you,” Katsuki added when Izuku tensed. “I know you’ve done bad things but it was coercion. It doesn’t make you a villain.”

 

‘Heroes no hurt me?’ Izuku asked, looking concerned. 

 

“No. Or… I can’t speak for shitty, fake heroes, I guess. But here at least, at UA, no one will hurt you. All of the heroes here are good. Especially Aizawa. He protects us,” Katsuki smiled. 

 

‘Others no like me. Scared. They hurt me?’ Izuku asked next. 

 

“They shouldn’t. Some people might talk shit but I don’t think anyone here is cruel enough to actually try and hurt you. If anyone tries, you tell me or Aizawa,” Katsuki told him. 

 

Izuku didn’t look as reassured as Katsuki had hoped he would be. But he seemed less upset than he was a moment ago. He would just need to keep an eye on him.

 


 

Poking around Kacchan’s room was interesting. It was really clean, like Mr. Compress’s room. He felt like he was learning a bit more about his friend. 

 

Kacchan had promised him that he was safe. That Aizawa wouldn’t hurt him even if he was a hero. That heroes actually weren’t supposed to hurt him ever. He wasn’t sure if he believed him completely yet but Aizawa was his Master. Maybe he could ignore his hero status like he did with Ryou and Lunch Rush. Aizawa did the wing thing too. He liked that. 

 

“That’s you and Auntie Inko,” Kacchan told him when he found a picture of a green kid. A little bitty kid. Smaller than he ever remembered being. “There are others in there of you.”

 

There were a lot of pictures. He recognized little Kacchan but not himself. He didn’t remember the places they were at in the pictures or what they were doing. It made him sad so he put them away and went to look in Kacchan’s closet. 

 

It wasn’t empty like Mr. Compress’s so it didn’t have enough room to lay down and sleep. There was enough room to hide though. While he was in there, he took a sweater that smelled a lot like Kacchan. Even though it had been washed recently, judging by the smell of soap. For a person’s scent to stick through washing, they had to wear the item a lot. Or sleep with it, like blankets or pillows. “Are you stealing my hoodie?” Kacchan asked incredulously. 

 

He nodded, holding the soft thing close to his chest. He would fight for this. But Kacchan just rolled his eyes and smiled fondly. “Fine. You can take it.”

 

Someone knocked on the door and Kacchan got up to open it. He could smell Aizawa before the man even spoke and he ducked into the closet. “Bakugou. I came to check on Izuku. Since I could see that he came here, I decided to give him some time to calm down.”

 

“Yeah, about that… Here, come in.” He heard footsteps and the door shutting from his hiding spot. “Did you know he’s terrified of heroes?”

 

“I have recently become aware of that,” Aizawa replied. 

 

“Apparently, when he got away from the League once when he was 8, he ran into a hero. And instead of helping him, they yelled at him for illegal quirk use, got mad when he didn’t speak, and went so far as to attack him,” Kacchan said angrily. “And then the only other time he’s seen or heard about heroes, obviously they were going after the League’s members. So he is convinced that heroes will hurt him. I think I’ve explained otherwise, but I’m not sure he got it.”

 

Aizawa sighed tiredly. “That’s not great. I’ll let Hound Dog know. He can work it into his rehabilitation plan. That would fall under therapy.”

 

He perked up when Aizawa stepped into his line of sight. The man looked around the room before his gaze landed on the open closet. He didn’t approach yet, though. “Anything else?” he asked, turning back to Kacchan. 

 

“Yes, actually.” He could hear the smirk in Kacchan’s voice and he immediately grew suspicious. “Have you ever considered adding a cape to your costume?”

 

He squeaked in outrage at the betrayal. Aizawa looked at him again and nearly smiled. “No, I haven’t. Capes are a hazard and therefore illogical,” Aizawa said as he finally approached the closet. He crouched to be at his level. “How are you, kid? Do you want to stay here overnight or come back to the faculty dorms for bed?”

 

Avoiding his Master’s gaze, he considered it. The faculty dorms had his nest. And Aizawa was better at the wing thing than Kacchan. Aizawa hadn’t hurt him before and Kacchan trusted him. He looked back at the man and signed. ‘Small scared. Okay. I go with you.’ 

 

“Nervous?” Aizawa guessed. When he nodded, Aizawa showed him the sign for that. There were lots of signs to learn and he still thinks the ones he created make more sense. “That’s okay. You can be nervous. I’m sorry I didn’t explain that I was a hero. I honestly should have realized you didn’t know since people often mistake me for a homeless person.”

 

“That’s because you nap everywhere in that stupid sleeping bag,” Kacchan teased. 

 

“You know what? I don’t get much sleep and that sleeping bag is comfortable,” Aizawa countered, glaring at Kacchan. “I can sleep anywhere. Can you, Mr. 8-PM-Bedtime?”

 

“Why the fuck do you know about that?” Kacchan demanded, looking slightly horrified. 

 

“The dorm’s security system is designed to inform me if anyone is breaking curfew. That means I also know who’s locking themselves in their rooms to avoid socializing and who sleeps way too early for a teenager,” Aizawa answered before turning back to him. “Do you want to know my hero name?”

 

He nodded. “I’m Eraserhead,” Aizawa told him.

Chapter Text

Shouta had gotten lucky that Izuku accepted his status as a hero so quickly. He had thought that it was going to cause a bigger setback than it did. But no. Izuku had gone back with him and let him preen his wings, just as he had before. 

 

It seemed only the concept of heroes gave him anxiety. The actual people behind the title did not. As proven by himself, Hound Dog, and Lunch Rush. That would also explain why he tolerated the other teachers and let Mt. Lady handle him back when he was rescued. As long as Izuku kept meeting calm and kind heroes, he might overcome the fear. 

 

So Endeavor was off the list of potential introductions. 

 

Vlad was pretty gruff too but they’d already given each other a wide berth. And then heroes that normally scare younger children don’t bother him, as proven with Ectoplasm. In that case, he might be fine with Gang Orca if it ever came up. 

 

His thoughts were interrupted when he walked into the kitchen and noticed that Izuku wasn’t there. But Lunch Rush was and the man was cooking. It was odd for Izuku to not have rushed down here the second he smelled something. “Where’s Izuku?” he asked after a moment. 

 

“On top of the fridge,” Lunch Rush replied. “I think he likes to feel tall. He was already up there when I came down. I figured that out when I closed his tail in the door.”

 

“You what?” Shouta asked, panicking just a little. The kid has a fear of heroes hurting him and now one closes his tail in a door?

 

“He’s fine. I checked and tied a ribbon onto him,” Lunch Rush dismissed as Shouta looked up at Izuku. “You know because he’s not actually hurt but you’ve got to put something on a boo-boo for it to feel better. Ribbons are nice. Stickers work too but not on fur.”

 

Izuku was watching the man cook with his usual bright and curious eyes. Sure enough, Shouta could see a yellow ribbon tied to the end of his tail. When he noticed Shouta watching him, he chirped in greeting before focusing again on the food. 

 

Shouta just sighed and shook his head. At least he was okay. 

 


 

“Death to stone!” Mina cheered.

 

“Death to stone!” Kaminari agreed. 

 

Katsuki paused his training where he’d been focusing his explosions to cut through the stone targets that Cementoss was making for him. “Would you stop it?” he asked, turning to them. 

 

“But death to stone!” Mina replied.

 

“Yeah, death to stone!” Kaminari agreed again. 

 

“Yeeaaaahh!” Mina exclaimed, throwing her fists up in the air. 

 

“Yeeaaaahh!” Kaminari copied her. 

 

“Aaaaaaahh!” Izuku copied them both, thankfully without his voice quirk. 

 

“See? He gets it!” Mina beamed. 

 

Abruptly, Katsuki realized that the downside to Izuku and his friends getting along is that they might rub off on him. Was he mentally prepared for that? Maybe Izuku should make other friends. 

 


 

He decided to give more of the heroes a chance. Nemuri was nice before so he’d start with her. While she was overseeing the student’s training, he went to stand by her. She noticed him and smiled before focusing on the students again. 

 

She had hugged him before and that had been safe. But she was also kind of busy and he didn’t want to disrupt her with a hug. So he settled on holding her hand. He just hoped his nails wouldn’t scratch her. He knew they were sharp compared to other peoples’ nails, resembling the claws on his feet a bit. They were black like his claws but flat like nails should be. Just sharp.

 

Carefully, he slipped his hand into hers. She glanced down at him in surprise before a grin spread over her face. He’d seen people at the League grin like that and it never preceded anything good. His ears flattened. Perhaps he made a mistake. 

 


 

Shouta was torn between amusement and concern when Nemuri grinned at Izuku. She was harmless, unless you were a criminal, but she had a sadistic side. She certainly enjoyed intimidating people and at this point, Shouta was sure it came second nature to her. Like some sort of involuntary thing that she had to consciously stop when the situation called for it. 

 

Izuku’s ears had flattened but Nemuri just patted him on the head with her free hand and went back to watching the students. As she kept calling out instructions and corrections to the kids, Izuku relaxed. He stayed there for a good 20 minutes before he got bored and left her. 

 

After Izuku took to the air to get atop one of the towers Cementoss made, Nemuri looked straight at Shouta and pouted. He could almost hear her dramatically whining about abandonment though she didn’t say a word yet. He would definitely hear it tonight when she relayed the moment to Hizashi. And Hizashi, of course, would gasp in sympathy. Drama queens, the both of them. 

 


 

“Midoriya? …Izuku?” He turned to see Todoroki at the base of his tower. He’d been watching Momo make things because it reminded him of how Kurogiri makes people appear from nowhere. “Can you come to the dorms after training? I have some things to give you.”

 

He nodded and the red and white person walked away, seemingly satisfied with his answer. He went back to watching Momo. She spotted him and waved before making a tiny figure of him and leaving it on a rock near his tower. He left his perch hesitantly to go claim it. 

 

When training was over and the students had changed into their normal clothes, he gave Aizawa his mini self to guard and then followed after Todoroki. The class apparently all walked together in a hoard so lots of people asked him questions along the way. “Are you coming over to hang out with us? Do you wanna watch a movie?” Mina asked. When he turned around to answer her, he noticed Aizawa following at the back of the group. 

 

Shrugging, he looked back at Todoroki. “I have something for him first. Then you can do what you want,” the other boy told her. 

 

“Ooh, what do you have for him?” Mina questioned excitedly.

 

“It’s a surprise,” Todoroki answered. Once they got to the dorms, Todoroki left him in the common area. The other students all stuck around, smelling curious. He was also curious. Aizawa stood in a corner, away from the students but close enough to watch. 

 

Soon Todoroki came back with a box and sat on the couch with it. “First… This,” Todoroki said as he pulled out a blue bunny. It reminded him of Katsu. But different and in one piece. “The ears crinkle and the feet squeak when squished.”

 

“Oh, it’s like a sensory toy,” Kaminari commented. 

 

“I think this was intended for dogs,” Todoroki said flatly. “But I thought that might be better since it’s made to be durable because of that. I also have other things.”

 

They all watched as he reached into the box and pulled out another bunny and a colorful ring. “These both squeak and that is all. This one crinkles and jingles and it has catnip in it.” He pulled out another one that looked like a fish snack he had once. 

 

Aizawa came out of nowhere and snatched it. “No cat drugs.”

 

“Aw,” Sero pouted. He tilted his head, wondering what catnip is.

 

“I will keep that in mind for future purchases,” Todoroki replied before reaching into the box again. He pulled out three fluffy balls. “These make noises that are supposed to appeal to cats. And then you can buy jingle balls in bulk so there are 200 of those in here.”

 

Todoroki shook the box and it jingled. “Todobro, gifts are manly and all but… Isn’t it offensive to give cat and pet toys to a person just because they have a mutation quirk?”

 

“Is it?” Todoroki asked. 

 

“I would think it is!” Iida cut in loudly. “People with animal mutations are not animals!”

 

The students started arguing amongst themselves but he stopped paying attention. The League used to argue all the time. Instead, he eyed the soft things that Todoroki had taken out of the box. Aizawa leaned over the back of the couch to grab the white rabbit and then he handed it to him. Experimentally, he chomped down on it. 

 

Squeak!

 

All of the arguing stopped but he didn’t notice. He didn’t notice the class staring at him as his eyes widened and his pupils dilated. He didn’t notice them watching with bated breath as he processed the sound. He was in his own world when he started chewing and squeaking the toy rapidly to hear the sound over and over. Squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, sque--

 

“Well… At least he likes it?” Momo laughed. “I think if he’s not offended it’s fine. 

 

Squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, sque--

 

“Ohh… That’s going to get old fast,” Aizawa muttered tiredly.

 


 

Chapter Text

“I still can’t believe Todoroki got Izuku a bunch of cat toys,” Mina commented while Katsuki cooked breakfast for himself and his idiots. She had been a little disappointed that Izuku was too enthralled by the squeaky toy to watch a movie but she also gushed about how cute it was so she wasn’t too upset. 

 

“Yeah… It doesn’t really seem like something he’d do, does it?” Kaminari agreed. 

 

“I think it kind of does,” Sero disagreed. “At the beginning of the year, we thought he was cold and distant because he was stuck up or something. But thanks to group projects and team-ups--”

 

“And the conspiracy theories,” Katsuki added. 

 

“And the conspiracy theories,” Sero continued. “We know he’s actually just a terribly awkward person and social interactions freak him out a little. Maybe he’s trying to make a better impression with Izuku because he did so poorly with us. Or maybe he just likes cats.”

 

“Izuku is cute,” Uraraka chimed in from where she and Tsu were going over notes and eating fruit. “I met him by accident before we came to the dorms. That was one of my first impressions of him. He’s very cat-like and adorable.”

 

Tsu nodded but didn’t speak. “He is adorable!” Mina exclaimed. “He’s gonna have everyone wrapped around his finger. Did you guys see his toe beans?”

 

“Maybe we should start a club,” Sero suggested. “Or a cult.”

 

“I would not be opposed,” Todoroki said, walking into the kitchen. 

 

“How did you get those cat toys here so fast?” Katsuki asked as Todoroki went to a cabinet to get a box of tea. 

 

“Express shipping,” Todoroki replied flatly. 

 

“Why’d you get Izuku cat toys?” Kaminari questioned. Him, Mina, and Sero all stared at Todoroki intensely, waiting for his answer. 

 

“For context, I hate my father,” Todoroki deadpanned. “I have free rein of his credit cards and usually I donate his money to charities I know he’ll hate. He can’t argue against it without looking bad. But I don’t get much for myself because there isn’t much I want.” 

 

“But Aizawa said Izuku lived with villains and doesn’t have much,” Todoroki continued. “He’s rather adorable and I don’t understand how anyone could look at that face and then hurt him as the villains did. I think he deserves the world for what he’s been through and I have access to the funds to make it happen. So why shouldn’t I buy him things?”

 

“That makes sense,” Sero decided. “Maybe you should be president of the cat cult.”

 

“I don’t think I have enough leadership skills for that,” Todoroki admitted. 

 

“Iida does! Or Momo!” Uraraka supplied cheerfully. “Would Iida join a cult though?”

 

“Maybe if we don’t call it a cult, kero,” Tsu suggested. “At least not officially.”

 

Katsuki just sighed and focused on cooking. Even if Izuku made friends with other people, it seemed like his whole class was fucking nuts. Maybe he should introduce Izuku to Class 1-B.

 


 

Squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, sque--

 

“Izuku!” Shouta stopped to take a deep breath. The squeaking was driving him up a wall. He was this close to murdering a plush bunny with extreme prejudice. “Okay. This isn’t an order. It’s a request. I am begging you… If you want to squeak, please squeak in your room. It’s soundproof so no one else can hear it. Please, keep squeaking confined to your room. Please?”

 

Izuku stared him down for a good ten seconds before chomping on the plush toy deliberately. Squeak!

 

“How about breakfast?” Lunch Rush cut in, carrying a plate over. “Can’t eat and squeak at the same time.”

 

Shouta sighed in relief when the squeaky bunny was finally released in favor of food. 

 

Would it be wrong to steal the squeakers inside the plush? Probably. 

 


 

He was following Aizawa out of the dorms to the gym where the students had been training when the rat intercepted them. The rat opened the door just as they were about to walk out. “Ah! Izuku! Excellent! You’re just who I wanted to talk to,” Nezu smiled. “I have something for you.”

 

Since leaving the League, it felt like people just keep giving him things. He wasn’t sure what that was about but he felt like he should figure out a way to give back soon. Shigaraki never gave him things because he wasn’t worth it. So it was especially rude that he kept accepting things without giving anything in return. He would have to think of something soon.

 

Aizawa hesitated at the door but left to see his students at Nezu’s prompting. Once Aizawa was gone, Nezu pulled out a bag from nowhere. How did he do that? Was that a quirk? “This messenger bag shouldn’t interfere with your wings in any way,” Nezu explained as he showed it to him. “I noticed that you got a lot of gifts yesterday so I figured you should have something to carry things. Now you can bring things with you from your room, put things in there from around campus, and even carry snacks and drinks for yourself or friends.”

 

He accepted the bag and crouched to grab the rat’s paw and bring it to his face. The rat had not appreciated being tackled so he would thank him normally by scenting the back of his hand. When he let go, the rat surprised him by petting him on the head. It was almost like… “I would return your gratitude formally but humans frown on licking and if I am to continue to be accepted by them, I have to be extra careful. You’re still a human despite those instincts. I am not.”

 

Reaching up, he touched the curls the rat had scented with his paw pad. The correct response, what he would do if someone rubbed his hand on their cheek, would be to lick the top of their head. Though maybe the rat had a point about humans not liking that. Still! Having his hair lightly scented was close enough and it felt nice for someone to communicate how he did. 

 

He felt understood a bit more at that moment.

 


 

He set out with a snack, his squeaky bunny, and a bunch of jingle balls in his bag. He could go to the gym but Aizawa’s students did pretty much the same thing every day. If he went to check around campus, he probably wouldn’t miss anything. Instead, he decided to go to the garden that he’d taken Inko to. He wondered if she would be back soon. 

 

Deciding against scratching a tree in case they were people like the woodman, he sat under one and closed his eyes to listen. He could hear birds in the area, the fountain, that garden club from before. It was nice. 

 

“Hello!” He shrieked and scrambled away from the tree, staring in slight horror at the face that was not there before. It was like the wood-man! “Sorry! Didn’t mean to scare you!”

 

He narrowed his eyes. Dabi would say that sounded like bullshit. 

 

“I just wanted to thank you,” the face said before it started to emerge from the tree. That wasn’t a wood-man! That was a ghost! There was only one thing to do when faced with a ghost.

 

He punched them and ran. 

 

“Ow…” he heard behind him as he ran in the direction of Aizawa’s gym. “Wait! I wanted to thank you for helping…”

 

The distance he cleared was enough to drown out that last bit. He made it to the gym and then ran inside, throwing himself into Aizawa’s side. “Kid?” Aizawa responded, wrapping an arm around him. “Did Nezu do something?”

 

He shook his head. “No? Then what happened?”

 

“Maybe he missed you,” Nemuri teased. He didn’t get to answer because suddenly the ghost was there. 

 

“Hi! Sorry, I--” He shrieked again and hid behind Aizawa, clinging to him. If the ghost got any closer he’d probably climb him or run. 

 

Aizawa sighed. “Togata, why are you harassing our ward?”

 

“I wanted to thank him,” the ghost replied. Though, as Izuku peeked around Aizawa, he recognized the blonde from the day he attacked the false child. “I think I scared him because he punched me in the garden.”

 

“You realize your quirk can be startling when people aren’t aware of it?” Aizawa questioned. 

 

“That’s a good point,” the ghost replied easily. “I probably deserved that punch to the face then, huh?”

 

“You are lucky that’s all he did,” Aizawa told the ghost. Then Aizawa shifted so that he couldn’t hide anymore and pushed him toward the ghost. Traitor! “What did you want to thank him for?”

 

“Right! I wanted to thank you for standing up for Nejire-san!” the ghost said, turning to address him. “That boy wound up getting suspended and moved to gen ed. The only reason he’s not being expelled is that he is getting the chance to attend therapy and sensitivity classes. Which I think is better than having him loose on the streets where he could harass civilians.”

 

He wasn’t sure what any of that meant but the ghost seemed happy about it. So he smiled.