It was a quiet night for Shouta Aizawa, better, but still not very well-known as the Pro Hero Eraserhead. The air was brisk against his skin, blowing his tousled hair into his face as he patrolled the rooftops of the area that had been assigned to him by the agency he worked with. His capture weapon dangled lazily around his neck, obscuring the lower half of his face and being ever so helpful at maneuvering his unconventional workplace. Or perhaps it was conventional, he mused, considering how many heroes were making their debuts now. Despite the sheer number of them and how many he would run into if he would stick to the ground rather than making his way across the roofs, he still preferred working on his own.
Shouta glanced around the empty rooftops, vigilant eyes scanning the area before him for even the slightest of movements. Nothing. He grew increasingly frustrated as nothing seemed to happen and though Aizawa was aware how irrational that must've sounded coming from a pro hero, he still had bills to pay at the end of the month.
With a quiet sigh rolling over his lips, he used his scarf-like weapon to lower himself towards the ground. Perhaps this was the way to go for tonight. Perhaps this was the way to go if he did not want this night to feel like a waste of his precious time.
Only about ten minutes later, his ears picked up a commotion in the distance. It was a woman, judging by her voice she must've been in her mid-thirties, screaming at someone at the top of her lungs. Shouta accelerated his pace rapidly, propelling himself foward with his capture weapon wrapped around the closest fire escape, drawing himself towards the scene as quickly as he could.
“Let go of my bag!“, a jarring voice resounded through the previously quiet night, desperately struggling against the muscular agressor. A couple more high pitched screams echoed through the small alleyway before silence fell, but not for long.
“Mommy?“ The same voice spoke once more, much more quietly and timidly than before. „What's going on? I don't understand what -“ She was cut off. A longer, deeper silence spread through the night.
Shouta pulled his glasses over his face as he reached the corner to the small alleyway everything was happening in so quickly. It wasn't until he reached the scene that he realized he had come too late. Just one person lay on the ground. Hopefully, she was just unconscious. The pro hero clenched his teeth as he quickly looked around. The guy couldn't have gone very far, but first... He let himself walk swiftly towards the victim, her motionless body propped up the wall, a trail of crimson seeping across her face from a gash in her forehead. He knelt down for a short moment, checking her pulse quickly – she was stable, thank god.
He couldn't lose too much time, especially not with the mugger still around. Just as he got to his feet again, a faint shuffle in the background let the pro hero's senses jump back into high alert mode. He twisted his body as fast as he could, deep red eyes wide open, his raven locks flying up towards the air. No one. Or that's what he thought. Just when he shot his capture weapon in the air to grab onto the closest rainpipe, he felt a hand reach for his shoulder, grasping him roughly from behind, dragging him around and suddenly everything went black for a moment before...
Shouta found himself in the appartment he shared with his partner. The TV was on, he was resting on the sofa, his body felt sleepy and he was tempted to give in to the most welcome embrace. Only that he did not usually wear glasses and only that those weren't his hands. Those long and slender fingers belonged to no one other than...
Shouta almost screamed before covering his mouth with his hands, muffling any tone that was about to surge forth from him. He almost just accidentally brought the house down. Probably. He didn't know, if truth be told. The only thing he did know was that this body's quirk did not belong to him and he had no idea how to control it. This wasn't his body, this was Hizashi's.
That was when Shouta Aizawa truly panicked. If he was here, that meant that-
He had almost dozed off in front of the TV waiting for Shouta to return from his night patrol when suddenly his vision had gone black. For an instance, Hizashi had assumed that he had actually fallen asleep this time before his vision returned to him to present him with a fist that crashed into his jaw. A sharp pain surged through his head and he felt himself stagger backwards, trying to regain his balance. His mind was awake at an instant, racing through what possibly could have suddenly dragged him from his couch to this situation, but the attacker he faced didn't leave him time to gather himself.
The man he faced reached out for another strike, which Hizashi just barely dodged, dropping to his knees and pushing off the glasses-like thing on his face that was obscuring his vision, hiding it under the capture tool around his neck. That was when his mind started to put one and one together and when a lock of raven hair fell into his face everything was as clear as glass to him.
That was when the bulky thug kicked at him and Hizashi immediately tried jumping backwards to avoid it but he misjudged power these legs held as opposed to his own body's. He took off but his impromptu planning had been futile as he still got hit – in his ribs rather than in his head – and flew sideways towards the wall, crashing into it with full force. The impact knocked the air out of his lungs, forcing Hizashi to gasp for air, eyes wide open in terror. He wasn't a good close-combat fighter, he never had been, that had always been Shouta's forté and now it was biting him in the rear. Or rather, Shouta's body had to take the beating for his own incompetence. His teeth bit down on the chapped lips that weren't his own, thinking.
He only had to get rid of that guy's quirk. That should get rid of the effect and switch their positions once more. The only issue was that he had not even the slightest clue how. As far as he was aware, Shouta just stared at his targets and that did the trick. Obviously, that did not work for him. Even his capture weapon was sluggish to respond to Hizashi's calling. He barely managed to wrap it around the approaching agressor's arm before he could come at him again, detaining him for a brief moment before it limply fell towards the ground again. Shouta's muscle memory must have done that for him. Even now he was protecting him. Hizashi grinned. It felt wrong grinning as Shouta but he couldn't help it. He wasn't going to fail him.
Meanwhile in their appartment, Shouta desperately scrambled for a pair of jeans to throw on before hunting down Hizashi's phone to scan for his own body's location. They had them shared with each other ever since their days together at Yuuei, just in case something happened to the other. Just in case something went wrong. Like tonight. He cursed himself to drag his partner into this, brow furrowing deeply. It did not suit Hizashi's face at all.
It took the phone a moment to get the data and by then he was already at the door, cursing the blond radio star under his breath for not sharing the same shoe size and having to wear his boots with small heels at the back instead of a pair of his own. He also cursed, realizing how far out he had gone on his patrol. There was no way he'd get there in time – no . He couldn't allow himself to think that way. Hizashi was in danger and it was undoubtedly his fault for acting carelessly but he wouldn't let the situation get any worse than it already was.
He raced down the stairs, leaving the appartment complex only to realize... he hadn't driven a car in ages and especially not his partner's. Shouta cursed under his breath. He tapped Hizashi's phone once more, sending out a signal to the local police forces, alerting them of the villain he had been attacked by at his location. He did not dare call and use Hizashi's voice. The voice quirk was not something he dared messing with and though he had remembered equipping Hizashi's directional speakers before stumbling out of the flat, there was no way to turn it off completely with those.
It was a race against time that Shouta was desperate to win. His legs moved on their own as he made his way through the crisp night once more. A night much less quiet than it had been just mere minutes ago.
“My, my... how unfortunate“, the villain spoke to him as he freed himself of the loosely tied capture weapon. „So the last person you interacted with was actually someone with a slight sense of movement – not a good one, mind you, but still.“ The figure grunted as he drew a slim butterfly knife from his belt that was still ever so slightly coated in blood. “Another hero even, perhaps? Well, in any case... I better end this quickly.“
Hizashi's eyes flew wide open at the sight of the knife. His body moved on its own despite the throbbing pain in his side, hauling himself to the side and rolling to his knees before the attacker could reach out for him once more. His palms grazed against the hard pavement but instead of retreating further, he moved in, Shouta's capture weapon grasped tightly between his fingers, lashing out towards the other. He ducked low, dodging the arm that was swinging towards him knife in hand, and aimed a powerful thrust at the thug's chest. The hit connected, but it didn't have the effect Hizashi was hoping for, as just an instance later his shoulder was met with a rough shove, sending him stagger backwards once more.
For an instance, Shouta's voice echoed in his head. “You rely on your quirk too much.“ A line from long ago. 15 years had passed and it still rang painfully true. Hizashi blocked another following hit with his forearms before retorting with a kick, knocking the villain back ever so slightly, catching him off guard. He knew how powerful Shouta's body was but it was no use if he had no idea how to use it properly. Hizashi made another attempt to utilize this body's quirk but even though he felt his hair elevate ever so slightly, nothing happened.
The hit connected with his chest, knocking the air out of his lungs and sending his body fly backwards. When his head crashed against the concrete beneath him, Hizashi lost consciousness. His vision was drowned by nothing but darkness.
Shouta breathed heavily as he ran down the small alleyways. Faster, he needed to be faster. Hizashi's body didn't have enough stamina for something like this. Time was racing against him and the cold feeling of dread spread through every fiber of his being as he made his way closer and closer to the crime scene. Even before he arrived, he could hear the police sirens in the distance and see the faint flashes of red and blue against the pitch black brick wall.
He had lost track of time but when he finally turned around the corner of where it all happened, just as he had before, a pang of guilt hit him in the chest. Every muscle in Hizashi's body ached as he moved, completely out of breath. The bright green eyes he used as if they were his own scanned the scene franctically for a sign of hope. For a sign that he hadn't just left his partner to be slaughtered by a small-scale villain just because he had been careless for just a moment.
Two ambulances had arrived on the scene and the police officers only made a half-hearted attempt to stop him as he approached, clutching his hand to his chest, forcing his body to just give him a little more energy. He brushed off their hands, staggering forward, only stopping as his gaze fell upon a bloody shock of black hair buried within his very own capture tool.
His lips parted ever so slightly. He wanted to scream but stopped himself before his voice cords could even produce just the faintest of sounds. A hand rested upon his shoulder, a light touch that was but too familiar. Shouta could hardly draw his attention to whoever dared lay a hand on his partner's body but a familiar voice eventually drew him back to his reasonable self.
It was Sansa, the police officer who had worked with him on many cases before. For an instance, it was almost comforting to see his face. An almost stoic expression lay upon Sansa's feline features as he started to speak.
“Thank you for drawing our attention to this, Present Mic.“ His voice was calm, reassuring. How could he be so calm as they carted a pro-hero's motionless body into an ambulance? Shouta clenched his teeth in desperation. “We did our best to come as quickly as we could. Eraserhead is barely in a stable condition and we were able to secure the villain before it was too late.“
Shouta exhaled. Stable. He took a deep breath, organizing his thoughts before opening his lips ever so slightly to speak. A trembling, much higher pitched voice than the one he was used to hearing when he spoke, left him. “No. You got this wrong. I am Eraser. The villain's quirk switches people's consciousness.“
It was all he got out before shooting the officer another, desperate gaze and stumbling towards the ambulance where they just secured the stretcher his own body lay on in the back of the car. He dared not add anything else lest this body's quirk might go rampage on the surrounding buildings. Sansa followed him on his heels softly, arranging everything with the paramedics so Shouta could go with the ambulance, understanding without many words being said that it wasn't safe for him to talk in the body he was in.
Just instances later, Shouta found himself on the passenger seat of the ambulance, rushing towards the closest hospital specialized in dealing with pro-hero's injuries. His mind raced as he fumbled with Hizashi's phone, desperate to send out a message to Recovery Girl. Barely Stable. He couldn't lose him. Not now.
When they arrived at the hospital, Hizashi was quickly carted away towards the emergency room. It took Shouta every inch in his body to stay reasonable and not run after them. There was nothing he could do now, despite the guilt eating him alive. As he was sitting in the waiting room, he heard the doctors' chatter quietly next to him about the condition his body was in. Broken ribs. Multiple, shallow cuts along his arms, a severe concussion and a non-lethal stab wound in his abdomen.
Seconds stretched to hours as he waited, only communicating with nurses and doctors through typing his words out on Hizashi's phone instead of using this way too familiar body to speak. The only thought that kept him sane was that he must be still alive. If he wasn't, they would have switched consciousnesses by now, right? Right? He clenched his fists so hard that his knuckles were white as bone, yet careful not to break his partner's skin where his nails connected with the soft, uncalloused palms.
An eternity passed before a nurse approached him with a empathetic look on her face. “He is unconscious, but he is stable.“ Her voice was calm, reassuring even. Shouta drew in a deep breath after holding it for ages, anxiously. For an instance, he let relief wash over him.
Thank you, he typed out quickly, holding the phone up for her to see.
“It would be the best if you went home and got some rest“, the nurse added.
His eyes opened widely, green piercing through the calm expression on her face. He was desperate to speak, to convey the urgency that kept him awake through pure exhaustion. Instead, he deleted what he previously typed and started over.
I can't. I need to be with him.
This is my body too, you know?
The nurse raised an eyebrow and paused for a moment. Eventually, however, she nodded and motioned him to follow her.
The room was quiet save for the rhythmic beeping of the heart rate monitor that they had hooked Hizashi up with. Shouta bit his lip as he was directed towards an empty chair next to the bed, sinking down onto the smooth, white plastic. Not for a single instance did his gaze leave Hizashi, as he laid there, trapped in his own body, wrapped in clean, meticulously placed bandages. It felt off seeing himself from this position. It wasn't fair.
The nurse's words were but a faint sound in the distance, he did not even notice when she left. Shouta reached out for the bruised, hand that laid softly on the hospital bed and wrapped Hizashi's slender fingers that he was guiding around his own body's. Shouta sat there in silence for hours before the body he was stuck in gave out and he lost consciousness, with his head rested on the bed in front of him.
When Yamada Hizashi came to, his body did not ache. He felt weary, like he had pulled two all nighters in a row but... he was fine? It took his fuzzy mind a moment to register the scene in front of him. His vision was drenched in white, only to manifest in clean sheets before him. He held a hand in his own. A calloused, rough and familiar hand. It was warm to the touch, comforting even.
The last thing that he remembered was his head hitting against the rough concrete of a dark alleyway so how was this...?
It was the quiet sound of the heart rate monitor that eventually made Hizashi snap from his drowsy mind. His back ached as he sat up in the plain hospital chair, looking down at himself before his eyes frantically looked over to who lay in front of him. The grip he held around Shouta's hands tightened ever so slightly as he furrowed his brow, helplessly staring at his unconscious partner.
“Shouta“, he whispered, his voice cracking as last night's events dawned upon him and tears welled up, blurring his vision before drawing thin, wet lines across his face. They met their entwined fingers, lacing them with a faint film.
“Shouta... Shouta, baby, please, you have to wake up“, he spoke, barely audible, in a jumble of English and Japanese, desperately clinging to the warmth that radiated from the rough fingers between his own. There was nothing. Peacefully, Shouta's chest rose and fell with every breath he took.
This was all his fault. If he hadn't been such an incompetent fighter, Shouta wouldn't have almost died. If he had just been able to activate that damned quirk of his. Hizashi sobbed uncontrollably into his free hand, his body shaken from the raw emotion.
Recovery girl eventually came close to mid-day when the doctors deemed Shouta's condition stable enough for her to do her work. She hardly minded Hizashi's presence when treating the Erasure hero anymore, as she was used to it by now. This wasn't close to being as serious as the USJ-incident so the blond got to stay. „I wonder if there'll ever be a day where the two of you don't get into any trouble“, she murmured as she looked over Shouta's remaining injuries as she was done. There hadn't been enough stamina left for her to heal him fully – it never truly was enough when it came to Shouta. His sleeping schedule and his diet took a serious toll on his body and she would definitely lecture him about this once he returned to his teacher position at UA.
“Oh, Shouta...“ Much softer than anyone other than them had ever heard the Voice Hero speak. He rested his forehead against the back of Shouta's hand that he held in his, drowsing off into another light slumber, half-awake, half-asleep.
Quiet. Just the touch of a voice usually so raspy and deep.
In an instant, Hizashi was wide awake. His green eyes flickered open, drawing in all the sensations they possibly could. From the way Shouta's tangled, black locks drowned his facial features to the clean, white canvas the white bandages had laid upon his body.
For an instance, he forgot how to speak. Only when the relief of hearing his partner speak finally washed over him the tide rolling in did Hizashi find his words once more.
“Shouta... oh Shouta, thank god you're awake“, he mumbled, clutching the other's fingers tighter, shivering with glee when he felt him return the gesture. “Shouta, I am so sorry I couldn't-“, he began, but before Hizashi could finish emptying his heart at the other, he was cut short.
“No, Hizashi...“ Shouta coughed, his gaze was half-stern, half-worried, “I am sorry. I dragged you into this. I was careless. I-“
A graceful finger found its way onto Shouta's lips. A soft, almost sheepish smile grazed Hizashi's tired visage. Shouta hadn't seen him smile like this since what felt like an eternity. For an instance, he did not see the pro hero Present Mic across of him but the young UA student Yamada Hizashi that he had so hopelessly fallen for and who had not only returned his affections but also made him the happiest man alive in the past years they had shared with each other.
“You were right, you know. When you said I relied too much on my quirk to fight. Just look at yourself, apologizing just because I suck at close combat and couldn't make good use of your body.“
A faint blush crept onto Shouta's cheeks. “All that matters is that you're okay“, he finally gave back, averting his gaze. His lids still felt heavy. The encounter had definitely been more taxing for his body than he liked to admit.
“Says the one who's tied to a hospital bed right now“, Hizashi chuckled weakly, admitting defeat before leaning over and placing a soft kiss upon Shouta's chapped lips, inhaling the warmth that radiated from his body.
Shouta snorted weakly.
Hero work was dangerous. They had known this much when they applied for UA. Every day they were reminded of it once more, which made it even more important that they spent the time they had left with each other.