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Riot Report

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Red Riot. You saw him on the news almost every day, helping people out, giving that million watt smile, showing the world how to properly be a hero. The first time a story about him ran, back when you were in high school, you knew you were a goner.

 

Red Riot. The hero that stole your heart ten years ago. Now, you watched him again from the sidelines, camera in hand, press badge dangling from your neck. You were impossibly close to the fight, hiding out in an alley that had be barricaded by debris. Your hair flew wildly in your face and Red Riot and an unnamed villain traded blows. You raised your camera hesitantly, adjusting the lens, watching the focus on his face come in sharper.

 

“Just one shot and my editor will get off my back,” you mumbled.

 

The villain turned, Red Riot’s fist glancing off his shoulder, and charged for your alley. “I knew I spied a rat but I couldn’t be sure!” he snarled, “Thanks for giving it away!”

 

You dropped to the ground so fast that you almost lost your camera. Pressing your body into the barricade, you hear the villain grunt as he launched himself over, Red Riot hot in pursuit. Before the hero could jump over you, though, the villain snagged you from the ground and pinned you close to his chest.

 

Red Riot stopped cold.

 

“Now, now, we all know how much you care about the people,” the villain sneered in your ear. One arm was locked around your waist, pinning an arm to your side, while the other was draped over your chest with his fingers caged over your throat. He was dragging you backwards. For every two steps he took, Red Riot took one. “So how about you stay back and I won’t kill the cute reporter.”

 

The villain wasn’t expecting your camera to smash into his groin. His grip loosened and you dove to the side. You didn’t see more than Red Riot lunging, but from the sounds of it, the villain was out cold in a matter of seconds. You rolled onto your backside, panting as adrenaline rushed through your body. Red Riot was scooping up your damaged camera.

 

“I don’t think you’ll be getting much out of this,” he said with a grin. You couldn’t help your blush. You knew he meant to look menacing with those sharp teeth and that mask but damn this guy was so cute? He offered a hand to you, giving you a chance to v quickly glance over his fingers. No wedding band either. There was no way this guy was single.

 

Taking his hand, you let him pull you to your feet. He held out your camera. “As long as the memory card is still good, I’m saved,” you teased, “If it’s not, guess I’ll just have to find you for another picture.”

 

Red Riot placed gloved fists on his hips and gave you a smirk that was far too devilish. You felt your knees quiver. “Yeah, guess you’ll have to. Wouldn’t mind a little one on one with a fan like yourself.”

 

Your mouth went dry. Before you could return with a witty comment, the police flooded the alley. Red Riot winked at you as they took you away to an ambulance waiting in the road. You glanced back in time to see him flexing for a picture and scowled, heart pounding in your throat.

 

That was your hero. That was your picture.

 

Dammit.

Chapter Text

“You were right in the fray, is that right?”

Your editor stood behind your chair, his reflection evident in the screen of your computer, making it impossible to ignore him. He crossed his arms and watched as your facial expression fell. “Yes,” you answered.

“And yet?”

You turned your chair around to face him. “I had a picture. I did. But I also used my camera to make sure I didn’t die, you know,” you said. Your editor leaned into your space, the tuna from his lunch clinging to his breath. You pressed your back into your chair.

“Do you think the reporters over in America give those kinds of excuses? They’re in the shit all the time!!” You repressed a sigh as he leaned away, huffing. “Get that Red Riot piece on my desk by Friday or I’m reassigning you!”

You whirled around in your seat and focused on your word document, squeezing your eyes shut. The rest of the day passed in a frustrated blur as you struggled to type up something that resembled an article about Red Riot. When the clock struck seven, you decided to call it a night. Gathering up your work, you shoved it all into your bag and proceeded out the door, nose buried in the notes you had taken about your experience with the hero.

And ran right into a ginger delivery boy.

You swore as you dropped to the ground, gathering up the materials you had knocked out of his hand. “I am so sorry,” you exclaimed, “I wasn’t even paying attention!”

“No no, it’s okay!” You glanced up. He had a hat tugged low over his face, bright red bangs hanging in his eyes. His mouth was tilted up in a sheepish grin to show off fantastically pointed teeth. He tilted his head in such a way that you couldn’t completely see his face. He held out your notebook. “You doin’ a Red Riot piece?” he asked.

You took the notebook gingerly, looking down at the big block letters across the front of the notebook in silver sharpie: Red Riot Notes, with your name in very clear letters underneath it. You looked back up at the man as he stood and climbed to your feet. “Uh, yeah,” you answered. You puffed your cheeks at your own dumb response. You shoved your other hand out at him, holding the envelopes he had dropped. “Little late for a delivery, huh?” you asked.

He shrugged, large shoulders straining against the thin material of a wind breaker. “Few hero offices wanted me to swing some stuff by, give me a little extra pay. No big deal, ya know?”

You nodded and a smile crawled across your face. “Well…” Adjusting your bag on your shoulder, you gave him a small wave, “Good luck with that then. Have a good night.”

As you started to walk away, you heard him turn. “Hey, you were at that fight, weren’t you?” he asked. You looked back at him, pausing at the curb. “Red Riot and that villain. Uh…”

“Some small timer, I don’t even remember his name either,” you interjected. You nodded, though, and he tilted his head up a little more, lips twisting in a frown.

“Are you okay? I was uh…I was watching the fight from the crowd and you were taken to an ambulance weren’t you?” he asked. You nodded. “So are you doin’ okay?”

Your chest tightened as you remembered the feel of the villain’s arm around your waist, his fingers over your throat. Swallowing a lump, you attempted to smile. “I’m in one piece. And I got to see Red Riot up close.” You flopped your hand against your thigh, letting the notebook flap against you. “So…good notes. Anything for good material, am I right?” The boy was silent. You turned away and started to cross the street. “Anyway. Have a good night.”

“You too…” he called after you. He took another step away from the door and cupped a hand around his mouth. “And be careful!” You lifted your hand to acknowledge his statement and disappeared into the evening crowd. As he watched you go, he rubbed the scar above his eye. “Be careful,” he repeated to himself. He backed up and pushed open the door of the building.

Chapter Text

You tapped your foot nervously, new camera clutched between your fingers, frozen against the lip of a roof. Red Riot was battling in the streets below. You finally had your article written out describing your incident and all you needed was a picture. Just a picture. Just one…

“You know you’re far beyond the police barrier, right?” You jumped so hard that you knocked your elbow against the ledge, swearing softly. Suneater stood behind you, shoulders rolled forward, tired eyes watching as you turned to him. “How did you even get over here?”

“Persistence and parkour,” you answered flatly. Annoyance flashed in his eyes. You gave him your best apologetic smile. “I’m a member of the press?” you tried.

He paced over to you and hauled you up by your elbow. “It can be dangerous this close to the fighting, you know. Maybe I should take you back.” You released a sound as he dragged you towards the stairway door.

“Oh come on I just need one picture! My editor is riding my ass hard about this, please!”

“I would never hear the end of it if a civilian got hurt during one of Red Riot’s fights,” Suneater mumbled. You weren’t even sure he heard you. He sighed as he hauled open the door. “Go on then. I’ll make sure to get you back behind the police barrier in one piece,” he said. You huffed and walked in front of him, slinging the strap of your camera around your neck. The door thumped closed as he followed. “I still don’t know how you managed to get this far without being stopped.”

“I’m good at my job,” you said. You looked back at him, stopping at the platform, and lifted your camera. “Can I get a picture? It’ll be great to run with the fight shot I got for tonight’s edition. ‘Suneater rescues daring damsel from dastardly danger’ or whatever my editor comes up with.” You stared at him through your lens, which seemed to amplify his annoyance and ire. You let the camera thud against your chest. “Or not.”

“If Lumillion saw my picture with that headline, he would chew me out,” Suneater stated. He followed the rail and started down the next flight of stairs, fully expecting you to follow. You glanced back up at the roof entrance. “Don’t even think about it. I had a full plate of takoyaki today and I’m sure tentacles move faster than you can run.”

You gave a groan of disgust as you rolled your eyes and followed him, stomping your feet loudly on the stairs. “It’s like I’m in high school all over again,” you complained. You puffed your cheeks. “Don’t do this, don’t do that. I just want my mother fuc—”

The wall ahead of you exploded in a shower of rock and drywall. Suneater lunged up the stairs to you, pulling you back up to the previous platform. Red Riot tumbled through the hole, pebbles rolling of his shoulders and plaster dust settling against his Unbreakable form. You gulped. Your fingers fumbled for your camera as Suneater started to drag you back towards the roof. “Let’s get you out of here,” he stated. Riot’s head turned just slightly, stony red eyes watching as you were escorted through the door.

You clenched your teeth. “Shit.”

“No time to regret it now.” Suneater was peering over the edge of the roof, watching as the villain stalked forward. You scrambled to his side, camera at eye level. He squinted at you. “Do you not have a sense of self-preservation?”

“I’m a journalist.”

“So that’s a no.”

You glared at him over your shoulder for a second before peering back through your lens. You adjusted the settings, watching Red Riot come into focus. His shoulders had relaxed, showing the defined muscles rippling across his back, and the sleeves down his arms were now shredded. You briefly wondered about looking into the support industry and how pro heroes have helped that along. Leaning back, you changed the setting from photo to video and started to record. Red Riot wound up a right hook while dodging a kick from the villain. As he stepped back in, his are from the elbow down hardened seconds before he made contact with the villain’s chin. The man flew backwards and crumbled into a car. Red Riot rolled his shoulder and turned, flashing a grin in your direction.

Your face warmed and you immediately snapped the video off.

“Oh, I see now,” Suneater said in your ear. You jumped again and swore, your glare much more intense as you turned to him. Suneater shrugged his shoulders and held up his hands. “The journalist likes Red Riot. You’re just like Lois Lane, aren’t you?”

“Don’t you bad mouth her, she’s a respectable journalist!” you snapped.

Suneater smirked and leaned back against the ledge of the roof. “But you didn’t deny that you like him.” He waved his hand towards the door to the stairs. “You should go. I don’t know how the police will react when they see you at yet another Red Riot scene where you shouldn’t be.”

“Oh, I just get to go all by myself now, huh?”

“Well yes. I’d hate to get in the way of you meeting your hero you know.” Suneater smirked as he turned away, wings spreading from his back. He jumped from the ledge and soared down to the villain.

You whistled. Carefully, you made your way down the stairs to the ground floor and picked your way through rubble. “Bet the insurance company is having a field day,” you mumbled.

“They got Hero Insurance, I hear,” Riot said behind you. You turned. He crossed his arms over his chest. You noticed how he could hardly even do that due to the size of his chest and arms. “You’re here again.”

“I told you I needed my picture,” you said. You waved your camera, looking down the street. The police and a herd of reporters were making their way towards you. You turned back to him, “I couldn’t miss my opportunity to get it.”

“Ya need to be careful,” he said, “You could get hurt out here doin’ that.”

You shrugged your shoulders, watching his face. He must have been a little worried that a civilian was still in the area. “Everyone keeps telling me that like they don’t know what I do for a living,” you said. You started towards the reporters, checking your camera. “Later, hero.”

Chapter Text

You stared at the newspaper kiosk, straw of your bubble tea shoved too far in your mouth, and contemplated how well your picture looked on the front page.

Red Riot Rocks Downtown.

Man, you really wish your editor would have let you come up with the title.

You fished around in your pocket for exact change and snagged a copy, dropping the cash on the counter as you turned away. On the other side of the kiosk was the bus bench, and there sat that delivery boy, paper hovering right in front of his face as he read. His hat was on backwards today, forcing pieces of his bright red hair through the front opening, and a pair of large, round dark sunglasses sat on his nose. His tongue poked out from between his teeth and as he moved, you heard the gentle click of metal. A tongue ring?

You took the spot next to him. “Is it any good?” you asked.

He snapped his head to you and grinned, glasses hiding the color of his eyes. “Good? This shit is intense!” He turned to you completely, letting the paper fall into his lap. “I mean, how weren’t you scared?”

Well, at least he remembered you. You folded the newspaper and shoved it into your bag to clip the article later. A habit. “I was, actually. That was the most terrifying moment of my life,” you answered, “But I knew I was in good hands. So…”

You thought he was staring at you. After a moment, he reached up and lowered his sunglasses to the tip of his nose, allowing you to see bright red eyes. You felt a blush rise to your cheeks. He winked. “You must be pretty brave,” he stated, sliding his glasses back up his nose, head tilting up just slightly with the compliment. Your blush grew. “Gotta be right? You can’t just rely on those good looks.”

You snorted and rolled your eyes, embarrassed. “Down boy.”

“Kirishima.”

“Hm?” You faced him again, looking down at his offered his hand to you.

“Kirishima Eijirou. It’s my name,” he said. You looked back up at him, allowing your eyes to trail over the tee shirt he wore. You were afraid it would rip if he flexed too hard. You took his hand and introduced yourself.

“It’s nice to meet you, Kirishima.”

“Same, actually.” He grinned and pulled his hand back. You looked back in your bag, trying to find a distraction. “Hey uh….okay so I don’t mean to sound weird.”

“Weirder?” you offered. He pouted, nose scrunching up and shoving his glasses against his face.

“No?” he said in offense. You laughed. “I was gonna ask if you wanted to go across the street for another tea. I seriously enjoy your articles in the paper. They’re fuckin’ insane.”

You shook your cup at the mention of another tea and tossed it in the trash. “Alright then. I’ll take you up on your offer, Kirishima.”