\ kī-ˈmer-i-kəl \
1 : existing only as the product of unchecked imagination : fantastically visionary or improbable
Four Years Old
Dear Mommy and Daddy,
I got my quirk today!!!!! It’s telekinesis, just like yours!!!!! Exept it’s a lot more stronger then yours because of Daddy’s quirk!!!! I lifted up all of my classmates at the EXACT SAME TIME!!! My teacher and all my clasmates were really immpressed!! Im gonna ask Jenny if she can take my letter to the post office so they can mail it to you, and I’m gonna send a letter to Daddy too!! I hope your super duper proud of me and write back really soon!
“Is that a letter for your mom?” Shota Aizawa asked as he peered at the sheet of paper. “I think she’ll be really proud that you got your Quirk today.”
“I hope so!” [Name] replied excitedly as she used her Quirk to try and make her crayons draw little shapes all over the letter without actually touching them. “And I’m gonna try and get into U.A. High when I’m older so I can become a hero!”
“Cool,” Aizawa commented, simultaneously erasing [Name’s] Quirk and smirking slightly as the crayons fell onto the table. “Have you picked a hero name yet?”
“Not yet,” [Name] admitted as she swatted at Aizawa playfully. “But I hope my parents can help me pick a name when they get back from their business trip!”
“Your parents go on lots of business trips,” Aizawa pointed out. “Aren’t they ever at home?”
[Name’s] face fell instantly, and she folded her letter in half and got out another sheet of blank paper.
“Not really,” she mumbled. “My babysitter Jenny usually takes care of me.”
“Oh, that sucks,” Aizawa responded, a slight frown crossing his face. “But you can always stay at my house if you ever get lonely.”
[Name’s] expression brightened again. “Thank you so much, Shota! That’s really nice of you!”
Aizawa smiled slightly. “No problem. That’s what friends are for, right?”
Seven Years Old
“Do you know why you’re here, Miss [Name]?” the teacher asked her after school one day.
“Because I beat up Hisao during lunchtime,” [Name] mumbled, not looking very sorry about her decision.
“And why did you beat up Hisao?” the teacher inquired.
“Because he stole my lunch!” [Name] replied angrily, banging her fists on the desk. “And he wouldn’t give it back when I asked the first time!”
“Why didn’t you ask an adult to help you?” the teacher asked, his brow knitted in newfound confusion.
“I–” [Name] paused, her face burning. “I don’t know!” she continued defensively. “It’s none of your business, anyway!”
“It is my business because I’m his teacher,” he explained patiently. “I need you to tell me why you didn’t tell an adult when Hisao–”
“I don’t need to tell you anything!” [Name] shouted, standing up from her chair and grabbing her backpack. “You’re just a dumb adult who likes bossing me around! Just leave me alone!”
“[Name], wait–!” But she had already run out of the classroom.
When [Name] emerged from the front gate, Aizawa was reading a book on a bench, waiting for her. When he heard footsteps coming from the gate, he looked up and put away his book when he caught sight of [Name].
“How’d it go?” Aizawa asked.
“Badly,” [Name] answered tersely. “The teacher is stupid.”
“You did beat up Hisao,” Aizawa reminded her.
“Well, he deserved it,” [Name] retorted. “And I don’t need any stupid adults telling me what to do.”
Aizawa shrugged. “You’ll have to when you’re older and you wanna become a Pro Hero,” he said. “They have to follow lots of rules made by adults.”
“Well, I wish I could just be a hero without having to follow rules,” [Name] grumbled.
“But then you’d be a vigilante,” Aizawa pointed out. “And you’d be arrested.”
[Name] groaned angrily and kicked a pebble on the sidewalk.
“I don’t have to follow rules right now,” she muttered. “My parents aren’t here, so I don’t need to follow any dumb rules the adults make.”
“But you’ll have to eventually,” Aizawa stated calmly. “If it makes you feel better, I’m stuck following rules, too. We can follow them together.”
[Name] huffed and crossed her arms, a small smile flitting across her face nonetheless.
“Fine. But only because you’re following them with me.”
Twelve Years Old
“Have you been eating enough lately?” Aizawa asked in the cafeteria during lunch. “You haven’t been bringing food recently and you’re thinner than usual.”
“I’ll be fine,” [Name] waved her hand dismissively. “There are kids in other countries who have it way worse than me, so I think I can go a few days without eating.”
“What did you have for breakfast?” Aizawa pressed.
[Name] tilted her head thoughtfully. “Um...nothing, now that I think about it,” she recalled. “I’m out of money in my school bank account, so I was planning on skipping out on lunch and just going shopping after school so I can learn to make my own food.”
Aizawa stared at her with wide eyes, before sighing and getting up from the table.
“Where are you going?” [Name] called after him as he walked away.
“Buying you lunch,” he shouted in reply.
True to his word, Aizawa returned a few minutes later with a hot dog, french fries, a bottle of water, and a sugar cookie. He sat back down at the table and pushed the tray in front of [Name].
“Go on, eat,” he told her. “If you’re not going to get yourself food, then someone has to.”
[Name] said a quick thank you to Aizawa before scarfing down the food like she was on the brink of starvation.
“Jeez, you really need to eat more,” Aizawa commented as he worked on his own lunch. “This isn’t very healthy.”
“I’m fine, Shota,” [Name] insisted between bites. “I’ve gone this long without eating, so I could’ve gone a bit longer.”
“Tell that to your parents,” Aizawa pointed out. “They should be making sure you eat, not traveling on business trips all the time. If they really cared, don’t you think they’d at least be here for you?”
[Name] visibly flinched, and Aizawa immediately felt guilty. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it like that–”
“Isn’t this line of conversation getting a bit too deep for twelve-year-olds?” [Name] asked jokingly, forcing a lopsided smirk on her face as she and Aizawa finally finished their lunches. “We’re not even in middle school yet and we’re already talking about child neglect.”
Aizawa raised an eyebrow, following [Name] out of the cafeteria as the bell rang. “You’re really bad at hiding emotional pain, you know that?”
Before [Name] could make a retort, Aizawa stopped and pulled her into one of his rare, self-initiated hugs. “I’m always gonna be here for you. You know that, right?”
[Name] remained fro for a moment, eventually letting a quiet heh escape her lips as she relaxed into Aizawa’s arms.
Thirteen Years Old
[Name]–bruised and bloodied from her most recent after-school brawl–retrieved the mail one afternoon, sifting through the various envelopes and tabloids as she walked back to the house. When she got inside, she threw most of it into the trash, save for a few coupons and a small white envelope with her name on it. [Name] ripped open the envelope and pulled out the card inside, which was revealed to be a store-bought birthday card with butterflies and flowers on it.
Opening it revealed pink cursive lettering stamped into the card that read, “A very special birthday for a very special girl!” Underneath it was messily scrawled print written in what appeared to be a pen that was low on ink:
Sorry we can’t be here for the big day, but we hope you have a happy birthday without us!
Mom and Dad
Rolling her eyes, [Name] used her Quirk to telekinetically tear the card into fourths and tossed the pieces onto the table along with the envelope. Nothing had changed; the exact same thing had happened last year. And the year before that. And the year before that. [Name] didn’t even feel like her parents’ daughter anymore; she felt more like a task they had to complete, like doing the laundry or washing dishes: “Send [Name] a birthday card.” “Convince [Name] that we still acknowledge her existence.” In all honesty, it was getting old.
Suddenly, a knock sounded from outside of the door. Opening it revealed Aizawa standing in the doorway.
“Today’s your birthday, right?” he asked, even though he already knew the answer. “I brought cake from that ridiculously expensive bakery you like so much.”
“Oh, you didn’t have to do that!” [Name] protested, nonetheless letting Aizawa enter her house and place the bag in his hand on the dinner table. “Really, Aizawa, it’s just cake.”
“Exactly,” Aizawa agreed. “So let’s fix those injuries first; those are much more important than cake.”
A few minutes later, Aizawa was dabbing rubbing alcohol onto some of the cuts with a cotton ball, then placing bandages on them as [Name] held a small bag of frozen veggies to her swollen eye.
“You can’t keep getting beat up like this, [Name],” Aizawa murmured. “At this rate, you won’t be able to move from all of the injuries you keep getting.”
“I’d get fewer injuries if I actually knew how to fight,” [Name] grumbled. “Those boys only knew how to fight because they watch those stupid fake karate movies.”
“I could teach you,” Aizawa offered, putting the cap back on the bottle of alcohol and placing it back in the first-aid kit. “You’re already decent at it, and you can’t be a good hero if you only rely on your Quirk in battle.”
“I won’t have a problem with that, they won’t let us use our Quirks yet, anyway.”
“But when they do, it’ll be good to have a head start on everyone else,” Aizawa insisted. “You’ll have more experience than them.”
[Name] shrugged. “Okay then, when do we start?”
“Tomorrow is Saturday, but we have homework,” Aizawa mused. “How does three o’clock sound?”
“Works for me,” [Name] agreed. “And by the way, why’d you go through all the trouble of getting me a cake? It’s just one day of me getting older.”
“I figured that you’d have a bad start to your birthday–” he glanced over at the torn-up birthday card, then to the newly patched-up cuts and bruises on her face. “–so I figured this would help to make up for it–”
Aizawa's sentence was interrupted when [Name] tackled him in a tight hug.
“Thank you,” she murmured gratefully. “Thank you for caring.”
Aizawa squeezed back just as tightly.
“It's nothing. Happy birthday, [Name].”
Fifteen Years Old
[Name] stumbled and fell backward, instinctively using her Quirk to suspend herself inches above the ground. Aizawa looked down at her, his expression wildly unimpressed and his arms crossed over his chest.
“You weren’t fast enough,” he stated bluntly as [Name] floated herself so that she was standing back upright. “And what did I say about not using your Quirk?”
“I could’ve died, Shota!” [Name] cried, putting her hand on her forehead dramatically. “I could've broken my skull in half!”
“At most, you would've fractured it,” Aizawa countered. “At the very least, you’ll just have a bruise.”
“It still would've been painful either way,” [Name] mumbled, rolling up the sleeve of her shirt to check the time before hurriedly pulling it back down. Aizawa noticed, but didn’t make a comment on it just yet.
“You need to learn how to fight without relying on your Quirk,” Aizawa said, swatting lightly at his friend. “If someone like me comes along and takes away your Quirk, you need to be able to defend yourself.”
“Not to mention we have to be well-rounded in our skillsets when we take U.A.’s entrance exam,” [Name] mentioned.
“Which is why you need to learn hand-to-hand,” Aizawa reminded her. “And when internships roll around, pick someone who can teach you armed combat.”
“Damn, you’ve really thought this out, haven’t you?” [Name] said appraisingly. “What kind of internship are you thinking about signing up for?”
“Somewhere that’ll teach me to sneak around and make quick and efficient captures,” Aizawa replied, taking a fighter’s stance and throwing a punch in [Name’s] direction.
[Name] let out a short yelp as she narrowly dodged the attack, quickly regaining her composure and aiming a kick at Aizawa. He moved out of the way, but [Name] quickly swung around and landed a solid punch right in the center Aizawa’s face. He stumbled back, clutching his nose as blood began to flow out at an alarming rate.
“Holy shit, I’ll call an ambulance!” [Name] gasped, quickly floating her phone into her hand and beginning to dial the emergency number before pausing midway and letting out another alarmed gasp.
“Oh, I need to stop the bleeding first! Uh, be right back!”
A few minutes later, Aizawa was in the hospital with a broken nose and tissues up his nostrils.
“Ohmygod, I’m so sorry, Shota!” [Name] apologized, her eyes wide and slightly panicked as she stood in front of him. “I didn’t mean to hurt you that badly, I swear!”
“It’s fine, really,” Aizawa replied, his voice surprisingly calm for someone who just had his nose broken. “It was a solid blow, and it’s the first major sign of improvement that I’ve seen so far. I’m proud of you.”
[Name] stood there, her eyebrows raised disbelievingly at Aizawa’s nonchalance–no, appraisal at the fact that she’d just broken his nose.
“You’re a real piece of work, you know that?” [Name] finally asked, pinching the bridge of her nose exasperatedly.
Aizawa let out a short, slightly pained laugh. “I could say the same about you.”
“Oh, shut up,” [Name] shot back playfully.
After a few moments of peaceful silence, Aizawa asked, “Are you doing okay?”
[Name] knit her brow, the confusion evident on her face. “Yeah, why do you ask?”
“You acted a bit off during the sparring session,” he informed her. “Before you broke my nose.”
Remembrance flickered across [Name’s] face for a split second before shaking her head. “Don’t worry about me, I’m fine,” she reassured him. “I’m honestly more worried about you, Shota. I did break your nose.”
Aizawa sighed tiredly. “Look, if you need to talk about anything, just tell me, okay? I’ll listen to you.”
[Name’s] eyes widened, before her expression melted into a sad smile.
Sixteen Years Old
Aizawa knew that something was very wrong when [Name] suddenly collapsed during rescue training. He stayed calm when he helped escort her to the med bay, and waited patiently for a diagnosis from Recovery Girl.
“It seems that Miss [Name] is showing symptoms of severe sleep-deprivation and malnourishment,” Recovery Girl informed him. “And I’m not sure if you were aware of this, but there’s something else I noticed while I was doing a checkup on her...”
Recovery Girl rolled up [Name’s] sleeve, and on her arm were countless raised pale scars.
Aizawa’s eyes widened at the sight before him. “How long as she been…?”
“Judging by the amount, two or three years, give or take,” Recovery Girl answered, her expression grave. “Had you noticed any irregular behavior from [Name] during the two to three years she might’ve started cutting herself?”
Aizawa nodded, his fists clenched at his sides. “I did,” he muttered. “I did, and I didn’t do anything about it because she always insisted that she was fine, I should’ve pressed more–“
“It isn’t your fault, dear,” Recovery Girl reassure him. “And I’m not just saying that! I have faith that [Name] would’ve told you once she was ready; you tried your best, and I know that she isn’t mad at you in the slightest. Don’t worry, she’ll get better over time. She just needs people there to support her during the hard times.”
A low groan sounded from the hospital bed. Aizawa whipped around and saw [Name] blinking rapidly from the bright lights. She sat up groggily, rubbing her eyes as she let out a long yawn. Recovery Girl went up to [Name] and gave her a prescription, murmuring some things to her before exiting the hospital room, leaving [Name] alone with Aizawa.
[Name] clasped her hands together, avoiding Aizawa’s piercing gaze. “Shota, I–”
“How long have you been cutting yourself,” he asked lowly, his voice leaving no room whatsoever for [Name] to dodge the question.
[Name] clasped her hands tighter. “I started about...two or three months after I turned thirteen,” she mumbled. “I was cutting vegetables, and I accidentally nicked myself with the knife. And it felt...good. Like every negative emotion I ever had just left for a moment. It felt good. I didn’t feel as upset as I did earlier.”
Aizawa inhaled deeply. “That’s why you acted so off at the emergency room,” he muttered. “You didn’t want me to know.” he moved to sit on the bed next to [Name]. “Why didn’t you say anything?”
[Name] shrugged nonchalantly, but her expression was absolutely shattered as her eyes began shining with tears. “I didn’t–I didn’t want you to just ditch me,” she whimpered, letting out a choked sob. “I’m terrible! I’d call that an understatement, but I’m absolutely terrible, and…” [Name] paused to take a shaky breath. ”I didn’t want you to think I was terrible, either.”
Aizawa gritted his teeth and clenched his fists. “Why the hell would you call yourself that.”
[Name] froze and gulped. “I mean...my parents probably would’ve come back if I wasn’t,” she pointed out. “I mean...what if they left because there’s something wrong with me?” The first tears finally fell down her face. “What...what did I do wrong, Shota? What the hell did I do?!”
Aizawa suddenly enveloped [Name] in a tight hug; possibly the tightest hug she’d ever received. This only made her tears fall harder, and she didn’t know why.
“You are not terrible,” Aizawa told her, his voice still low and very pissed off. “You’re the least terrible person I can think of, and goddamnit, it’s not your fault your parents never gave a damn about you in the first place.”
Aizawa felt [Name] shudder in his arms and tightened his embrace.
“I will never ditch you,” he reassured her. “And not in a creepy, stalker way. You can stop worrying; we’ve been best friends for this long, so I’m not just going to cut it off now, nor do I want to.”
[Name] let out a choked sob and finally returned Aizawa’s embrace, her body wracked with sobs as she attempted to keep from crying more.
“It’s okay,” he murmured. “Just let it all out.”
As if on cue, [Name] let out an anguished scream, muffling it into Aizawa’s shirt as she continued to cry relentlessly. Aizawa held her the entire time, never letting go until [Name’s] sobs finally stopped. And even then he didn’t let go. The two of them just sat quietly together on a hospital bed without any disturbances.
Things would be okay.
Seventeen Years Old
“Well, what do you think?” [Name] asked, twirling once to display the entirety of her upgraded hero outfit–which in essence was basically a Mary Poppins cosplay–including the umbrella and carpet bag.
“You look like Mary Poppins,” Aizawa observed. “Is that your hero name, too?”
“As a matter of fact, yes,” [Name] replied, sounding slightly offended. “That movie was my childhood when it released in Japan!”
“Fine, but how is this outfit combat-practical?” Aizawa questioned.
“Well, my carpet bag is made of the same material as your scarf,” [Name] sniffed, hooking her umbrella on her wrist before pulling her pocket watch out of her coat pocket and opening it. “I also tracked down someone whose Quirk was dimensional storage, so she helped me make the carpet bag hold more stuff like in the movie.
“Oh, and my umbrella is also a sword, like Mycroft Holmes’s umbrella,” she added as an afterthought. “Thank god I found someone to give me sword-fighting lessons at the start of middle school.”
[Name] shook her head and closed her pocket watch, slipping it back into her pocket. “A character from this British TV show I watched over the summer. Had to go on American Netflix to watch it. Anyway, where are you going for your internship next week?”
“There’s a heroine who specializes in hand-to-hand and close-quarters combat,” Aizawa answered. “I got an offer from her after the Sports Festival, so I decided to take her up on her offer. What about you?”
“I got an offer from this place called the Armed Detective Agency,” [Name] told him. “Apparently it’s like a regular detective agency, except all of its members have Quirks.” She smirked. “Cool, right?”
Aizawa raised an eyebrow. “What made you decide to join a detective agency for your internship?” he asked. “Didn’t peg you as the sleuthing type.”
[Name’s] face immediately flushed pink. “I just...want to be better at observation and stuff, okay?” she shot back, crossing her arms over her chest defensively. “It’s certainly not because I just became obsessed with a British detective show!”
Aizawa snorted and lightly punched [Name] on the shoulder. “Geek. Or is it ‘Anglophile’?”
“I am not an Anglophile!” [Name] insisted. “I’m not a geek, either!”
“In your case they’re the same thing,” Aizawa countered.
“Oh, piss off.”
“See? You’re already using British slang,” Aizawa pointed out, a smirk of superiority gracing his features. “Anglophile.”
Eighteen Years Old
“You think they’ll come?” Aizawa asked one evening. He was reclined on his bed doing homework, and [Name] was leaning on his shoulder, her eyes closed but still awake.
“No,” [Name] replied shortly, her voice surprisingly bitter as she opened her eyes. “They haven’t been there for me for the past fourteen years, why would they be here now?”
Aizawa sighed. “What could your parents possibly be doing that keeps them from seeing their child for fourteen years?” he asked, his voice a mixture of incredulity and irritation. “At this point, it’s just bad parenting.”
“I don’t know!” [Name] snapped, getting up from the bed and pacing around the center of Aizawa’s bedroom. “And at this point, I don’t give a shit about them, because they sure as hell never gave a shit about me!”
“No, I don’t care if they’re my parents and I’m supposed to love them no matter what, because they never gave any indication that they ever loved me! They only treated me like I was some chore to get done, I don’t even know if they remember I exist at all!”
By now, [Name] had tears streaming down her face and she was gesturing wildly as she talked, her voice getting more hysterical as she went on. “I even send them emails, and they still don’t reply to them! They actually prioritize their work over their own daughter! I never knew what it was like to have parents who actually cared, the only person who actually gave a damn about me was you, Shota! You helped me train, you never left me behind, you let me sleep at your house even up to now! I just...”
[Name] finally collapsed to her knees, her chest heaving as she continued to cry. Aizawa got up from his bed and knelt down next to [Name], wordlessly encircling his arms around her and nudging her closer to him. [Name] pressed her face into Aizawa’s clothed chest and went on crying, her tears staining the black cloth as she tightly gripped his shirt.
Several minutes passed before [Name] finally calmed down. She pulled away from Aizawa and wiped her eyes on her wrist.
“You good?” Aizawa asked her.
[Name] nodded. “Yeah,” she murmured. “Thanks for being there for me, Shota. You’re an incredible friend, you know that?”
Aizawa smirked slightly. “Obviously.”
[Name] laughed and pecked Aizawa’s cheek. “Don’t let it go to your head,” she reminded him.
“Too late, already did.”
Twenty-One Years Old
“Charming Heroine Poppins Rapidly Rising in the Ranks of Heroism,” [Name] read aloud as she walked into the living room with a newspaper in her hands. “But little do they know is that she lives with another Pro Hero who has the greatest resting-bitch face in the world, as well as five cats.”
“And they’re all named after Sherlock characters,” Aizawa remarked dryly from the couch. “How you pulled it off without me knowing, I’ll never understand.”
“It’s a girl thing,” [Name] informed him jokingly as she went into the kitchen and poured cat food into five bowls. “We’re amazing at sneaking around if we’re properly motivated.” Soon enough, their respective owners: Sherlock, John, Mycroft, Mary, and Molly emerged from the hallway and each made a beeline towards their food and began eating.
“And your motivation was naming the cats after Sherlock characters without my knowledge,” Shota commented.
“That, and I knew that it’d annoy you,” [Name] added. “Totally worth it, in my opinion–ah!” Immediately following her comment, a pillow smacked [Name] straight in the face.
[Name] glared mockingly at Aizawa, immediately picking up the pillow and going over to sit next to him on the couch, placing the pillow in the corner. Seconds later, [Name] grabbed the pillow again and whacked Aizawa with it.
“Aha!” [Name] yelled triumphantly. “REVENGE!”
“You’re such a child,” Aizawa muttered.
[Name] let out an affronted gasp. “But you started it!”
“Case and point,” Aizawa pointed out. “Child.”
“Mm, no,” [Name] hummed, leaning against Aizawa’s shoulder. “If I’m a child, then you’re a grouchy old man.”
“We’re the same age,” Aizawa reminded her, draping his arm around [Name’s] shoulder and pulling her closer to him as he rested his head on top of hers.
“No, I’m three months older than you,” she corrected him. ”So technically we’re not.”
“Those are merely technicalities,” Aizawa replied dismissively. “We’re the same age.”
“With a three month-difference.”
Twenty-Two Years Old
When Aizawa broke the news to [Name], she burst into peals of raucous laughter.
“You’re a teacher?!” [Name] gasped in between laughs. “You’re actually a teacher now? Oh my god, you always said that you never wanted to be a teacher and look at you now!”
Aizawa glared at [Name] after a few more minutes of her continued laughter. “Are you finished?” he asked irritably.
[Name] took in a few deep breaths, calming herself down as she stood up from the couch. “Don’t worry, Shota,” she reassured him, going over to him and wrapping her arms around his shoulders in a loose embrace. “You’ll be a good teacher. Even if you have to expel a hundred students, you’ll get the hang of it eventually.”
Aizawa made an amused hmph and returned [Name’s] affectionate gesture, even going so far as to press a kiss to the top of her head.
“Mind giving me a hand every now and then while I’m trying to ‘get the hang of it’?” he murmured in question.
“Of course,” [Name] agreed. “As long as I don’t actually have to teach.”
“Fine by me.”
Twenty-Nine Years Old
“I can’t believe you actually expelled over one hundred students. I was joking when I said that, I didn’t think you’d actually do it.”
Aizawa shrugged nonchalantly. “They weren’t showing the potential needed to become good heroes.”
“But that doesn’t mean you should just expel them all!” [Name] argued. “I know being a hardass is your thing, but could you maybe tone it down a bit for your students? They’re just teenagers.”
“They need to know what they’ll be facing early on,” Aizawa retorted. “The world isn’t going to be all sunshine and rainbows; you of all people should know that.”
[Name] flinched, but quickly regained her composure as she crossed her arms over her chest.
“You’re not wrong,” [Name] conceded, avoiding Aizawa’s gaze. “And while I don’t really agree with your methods, just...don’t act like a huge hardass, okay?”
Aizawa rolled his eyes, an amused smirk gracing his features as he went up to [Name] and ruffled her hair.
“I’ll see what I can do,” he murmured in agreement.
“Damn straight,” [Name] said, standing on the tips of her toes to kiss Aizawa on the cheek.
Thirty Years Old
Aizawa got home late that night; the U.A. press conference absolutely drained him, and he hated the media more than ever. When he entered the house, it was pitch-black, save for the moonlight filtered through the open blinds. Quickly sensing that something was off, Aizawa turned on the living room lights and went to track down [Name]. All of the doors lining the hallway were shut, but not locked. Eventually, he opened the door leading to the bedroom, where all of the lights were off, the curtains were drawn shut, and the AC was turned on full blast.
He saw [Name] curled up on a towel spread out on the floor. A switchblade covered in dried blood was gripped in her hand and she was shivering violently. She wore shorts and a tank top that was pushed up to reveal her stomach–which, like her arms and legs–was covered in cuts of varying size. The blood oozing from each cut slid down her arms, legs, and stomach and dripped onto the towel. A small part of Aizawa was amazed that [Name] actually considered using a towel to keep the floor clean of blood, but he had far more important things to worry about.
[Name’s] face was streaked with tears–both old and new–and when she heard the sound of Aizawa’s footsteps entering the room, she curled in on herself even more and gripped the switchblade more tightly, her sobs becoming more prominent as she cried even harder.
“Shota, I–I’m sorry, I...” [Name] broke down into another fit of sobs as she failed to finish her sentence.
Aizawa quietly went to sit down next to her, his expression blank as he pried the switchblade from her fingers and tossed it to the other side of the room.
“Let’s get you cleaned up,” he murmured, helping [Name] to her feet and guiding her to the bathroom where they kept the medical supplies.
[Name] sat quietly as Aizawa tended to her self-inflicted wounds, washing the blood off and applying bandages where needed. He didn’t speak as he did this, nor did his face give away any trace of emotion whatsoever. A few stray tears ran down [Name’s] cheeks at how eerily calm Aizawa seemed. Was he really this collected? Was he secretly angry as all hell? For once, [Name] couldn’t tell how he was feeling, and they’d been friends since forever.
Eventually, Aizawa finished [Name’s] wounds and stood up. “Have you eaten anything recently?”
[Name] shook her head. Aizawa nodded slightly and led [Name] back to the living room, making her sit down on the couch as he made food in the kitchen. Aizawa came out of the kitchen a few minutes later with two sandwiches and tea.
“Eat. Can’t have you starving to death on me.”
[Name] shook her head again. “Later,” she mumbled. “Please.”
“Do you want to talk about it?” he asked.
Another shake of the head. [Name] took in a shaky breath and collapsed against Aizawa’s chest, still shivering from the prolonged exposure to the AC. Aizawa held her close to him, rubbing her back soothingly as the two of them sat there together.
“I’m sorry, Shota,” [Name] mumbled apologetically. “I know the press conference was shitty, I didn’t want to stress you out even more. I just...I couldn’t help myself. I thought I was doing fine, but then I saw all of those reporters attacking you on TV, and I was just so angry and upset that I couldn’t do anything and I just...I’m so sorry.”
“It wasn’t your fault,” Aizawa reassured her quietly. “That’s the media for you: always looking for some scandal to publish to the world.”
“But they were looking for almost any excuse to throw you guys under the bus!” [Name] protested. “They’re bastards and ingrates and I hate them!”
“Well, what can you do,” Aizawa muttered darkly before turning his attention back to [Name]. “But enough about them. How are you holding up?”
“Shitty,” [Name] responded just as darkly. “I’m pissed off at the media for being jerks and at my parents for sucking at being parents. I’m depressed, self-harming, self-loathing, malnourished, and more often than not I think about killing myself.”
For once, Aizawa didn’t know what to say; [Name] had never been this upfront before. So he simply hugged her tighter, if only to remind [Name] that despite everything, he’d always be there for her.